Tuesday, May 8, 2012

One for the record books

I am always aware of how much I miss my family- how wrong it is that we are all so far apart. There are times though when that awareness is something more.

Sometimes it is simple things- like when Wil does something funny, and I wish my parents were there to see it. Or when Don gets out his tool belt, and I wish my sisters were around to tease the devil out of him. Other times are more meaningful moments, like my son’s upcoming Kindergarten graduation, none of my family will be here for that milestone. Those are memories we will not get to make with each other. Instead there will be phone calls, photographs, Instagrams and shaky video clips on Facebook.

But there are times when we do make it back to the Rock and gather together. This past Easter was one of those rare occasions. On April 7th  my little sister got married and we all trekked home for the Easter weekend to support her. Grandparents, parents, siblings, cousins, in-laws, outlaws and a side order of mainlanders descended on the Rock.

We were only together for four days- but boy did we make the most of it: a lot of laughing, a lot of crying,




 some truly monumental dancing,


my little man in a tux,


a lot of great food, a lot to drink, a 2 am run to Hiscock’s at the end of the big night and a lot of group hugs.


So it was a good long weekend. A beautiful wedding. We officially welcomed Perry into the family, we met awesome new people who became friends, and we got some much-needed time to reconnect as a family.

We need to do it again soon…Hear me little brother? Little sister? Weddings are the one event we all seem to somehow find time for….so how about it?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

One goose step leads to another

I know I feature Rick Mercer's Rants a lot on this board. That is in part due to the fact he is a Newfoundlander I admire and find amusing, but also because sometimes he just nails a point.
This is one of those times.

Vic Toews' big brother quest for online surveillance of Canadians has generated a lot of media attention- but not enough public outcry. Few seem to understand the implications this kind of unfettered access into our private lives Bill C-30 would provide.

Bill C-30, or as the Tories would gift wrap it: "Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act". As much as I would like to see child molesters flayed, and then burned slowly over an open fire, I cannot support an act that would:

--> allow authorities to demand access to subscriber information from both ISPs and telephone providers without needing to present a warrant

--> require telecommunications providers to ensure that there was a back door entrance to allow all communications to be intercepted when desired. Guess who is paying for that.

--> these powers would be granted to police agencies, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Competition Bureau officials, as well as anybody "appointed" by the Minister of Public Safety to carry out such actions.

--> allows any of these persons to make copies of the data taken from citizens' digital devices, without oversight or a right of appeal.

--> prohibit ISPs from answering affirmatively if a customer asked them whether authorities had been searching their data.

Think about that.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A strange kind of luck

My luck, if you can call it that, has not exactly been stellar for the past little while. For some time now I have wondered if someone has created a mini voodoo doll in my likeness and is methodically pulling on its fingernails and holding its nether regions to the fire.

Nothing that will kill me- just damn annoying.

For example, my washer randomly stops washing mid cycle, and starts up again just as randomly. In my kitchen, the faucet only has one working option: spray, which makes it difficult to fill a kettle.

A leak in my kitchen ceiling alerted us to the fact our shower stall in the master bathroom had to be gutted and redone. As you can imagine, that was not exactly cheap.

Our mattress popped a spring a week ago, which meant we had to order a new one. Do you know how expensive those things are? The new one has arrived and it feels a lot like it is made of concrete and stone. I am hoping it is going to loosen up- but hope has been thin these days.

Since December my van has had a series of issues, starting with the engine light coming on due to leak in some tube, and then it died in the driveway because it needed a new battery. Two weeks ago one tire went flat on my way to work, which just happened to be the first day of exams. I was late. About four days later a second tire popped and I was late yet again. My momma didn’t raise no fool, after the second flat I replaced the set. Ka Ching.

In the midst of all this, I was called for Jury duty.

Fantastic.

But you know, just when you think someone really has it in for you, something happens that changes your view on things.

This morning as I was brushing my teeth, I made the mistake of looking up, where I saw a shadow creeping across the bathroom ceiling. I moved the towel, which was draped over the door, hoping that it was a nasty trick of the light. Nope. It wasn’t a trick.

I hopped up on the bathtub and touched the ceiling. Wet and cold.

Funny, I thought, while it has been cold, it has not been wet, and there are no pipes up there, so what in the name of holy hell is happening now? I got down and sat on the edge of the tub, numb. Distantly I heard Wil calling out to me: “Momma, come wipe my bum.”

There was nothing to be done at the time, school is waiting for my boy, work is waiting for me, and we are now behind schedule. In a daze, I wipe the little bum, brush his little teeth, kiss his little face and stuff him in the van. When we get there, I realize, I forgot his knapsack with his schoolwork and lunch in it. So back home, retrieve knapsack and back to Wil’s school. I realize at this point, I am barely going to make it to work on time for the third time, in as many weeks.

Finally on my way to work now, I am in a complete and total funk. Worry is a monster gnawing away on my innards. How much is this going to cost? Does this mean our roof is going? Are we going to have to replace that now? What next?

Cresting the hill I can see the flashing lights of the fire trucks and I can hear the sirens of the police cars. Meters away, at the corner of Tauton and Baldwin is a bad accident. “My first thought was: Gosh I hope everyone there is alright.” My second, more cynical and selfish thought: I am surprised that wasn’t me.

And then it hit me.

I missed this collision by minutes…perhaps the amount of time it took me to go home to retrieve a little knapsack.

So, leaky roof- bring it on.

That, I can handle.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Star Wars, the version you didn't see...

If you have a fan of Luke, Han, Leia or Darth Vader in your family, you need to watch "Star Wars Uncut". It is the work of thousands of Star Wars fans to remake "Star Wars: A New Hope" into a fan film, only 15 seconds at a time. Fans were asked to recreate any 15 second scene from Star Wars, however they wanted, and then each of those scenes were pieced together to recreate the whole film. This is the result:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Iceberg Alley

It is really had to beat the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism ads; they are so beautifully done. But man! How they make me homesick.



Thursday, December 22, 2011

I wish it was Christmas today...

This update on their old tune almost perfectly sums up how I feel about today- two days left until Christmas break, and stuck in Ontario.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Messiah at the Mall

You probably have heard of Flash Mobs even if you haven’t been present for one. A Flash Mob is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place to perform an unusual act like a dance, or a pillow fight, for a brief time; and then disperse as quickly as they appeared. Most times Flash Mobs are heavily reliant on social media and are often organized via cell phones, Twitter, Facebook and the like.

This past weekend, shoppers at the Avalon Mall in St John’s were pleasantly surprised by a Flash Mob. Members of the Philharmonic Choir of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra treated shoppers with a sudden performance of the famous oratorio from Handel's "Messiah." The video below was provided by Nine Island Productions. Thanks to my cousin Emily for the link.


Friday, December 9, 2011

The Muppets

For a large chunk of my childhood I had a secret wish: I wanted to be a Muppeteer. It's not something I shared with many people because I knew almost everyone would think I was strange but I truly loved the little world and the quirky cast of characters that Jim Henson created. As a very young child I knew it wasn't real, but I loved The Muppet Show all the same.

We introduced Wilson to the Muppets when he was about two years old. Many of the popular song segments and special guest appearances are on You Tube. Wilson loves everything we show him - the music, the slap stick, the exploding Muppets, and the Swedish Chef. I am really looking forward to seeing the Muppet Movie with him over Christmas holidays.

So earlier this week when I heard about the frenzied tirade Fox News anchor Eric Bolling spewed about the latest Muppet Movie, I was instantly angered and offended. The moron suggested that the movie was aimed at planting the seeds of "class warfare to brainwash our kids". He took issue that the villain in the film a character named Tex Richman, a greedy oil executive who wants to drill under the Muppet's theatre.

Bolling's Fox News colleague Andrea Tantaros added to the flummery: "I just wish liberals could leave little kids alone." To which Bolling wondered aloud why the Muppets couldn't, for once, "have the evil person be the Obama administration" and then "Where are we? Communist China?"

I was going to put the link to a clip of the show here, but decided against it. Fox News doesn't need anyone else pushing up their viewership- even if it is only to see the new definition of stupid in action.

The Muppets are communists? Really?

I have never been a fan of Fox News. I reject their obdurate pursuit to redefine reality where all those who do not spew the same vitriol as themselves are somehow part of a large leftwing propaganda machine.

Just as I was starting to really work myself into a lather about it all- I remembered: It is Fox News.

Who gives a shit?


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

We have to Remember to Remember.

Remembrance Day commemorates the sacrifices of people in all armed conflicts. Every year, we are asked to take a few short minutes out of our day to remember the sacrifices made for our freedom and safety. Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the few provinces who have made the day a statutory holiday. As they should.

As all provinces should.

It is a disgraceful fact that Ontario does not currently recognize Remembrance Day as a holiday. God forbid anything get in the way of the almighty dollar.

In Newfoundland, it is different. We still remember and honor those who fought. For us, Remembrance Day is far more than a 2 minute break in the middle of your working day.

We remember the stories of the “Fighting Newfoundlanders”, The Royal Newfoundland Regiment, "The Blue Puttees" and those who continue to serve with the Canadian Armed Forces. We remember the battle at Beaumont Hamel, in fact we still honor the Danger Tree- a tree half-way across No Man's Land. It marks the most forward position Newfoundlanders reached before they were shot down. We remember the merchant mariners, while not part of the armed forces, faced constant threat from enemy submarines, destroyers and aircraft. Some were killed at sea; still others captured and kept as prisoners of war.

I remember the stories I learned in school of bravery and ingenuity displayed by Newfoundlanders who fought in the Great War. The Royal Newfoundland Regiment received 280 decorations. Names like Tommy Ricketts, a Newfoundland awarded the Victoria Cross and Lieutenant Cyril Gardner, the only allied serviceman to receive the German Iron Cross. He captured an entire German Patrol and then stopped a British Officer who wanted to shoot the unarmed German prisoners. Mariner Edmund Wagg who after the oil tanker he worked on was attacked by an Italian submarine, rescued 18 of his shipmates before an Allied ship found them. Wagg received a commendation from the United States government for his efforts. We remember Newfoundland soldiers Justin Peter Jones, Cpl. Thomas James Hamilton and Pte. John Michael Roy Curwin, Cpl. Brian Pinksen, Sgt. Craig Paul Gillam, and Sgt. Craig Paul Gillam, killed serving in Afghanistan.

I remember my Poppy, Wilson Price, who served our country well and came home to build a life for his family.

I wish I was home this Remembrance day- because I would take my son to the Cenotaph and I would tell him about our troops. I would spend some time at the Legion and talk to the veterans there. Though their numbers are fewer now. I would go home and spend time with my family- thankful for the opportunity to raise my son in a country like Canada.

But I am not in Newfoundland, I am in Ontario. So I will be at work, like so many others this Remembrance Day. While I know I will take the two minutes asked of us to pay my respect, I wonder, just how many Ontarians out there in Cubical Land, or on a job site will do the same? I am not optimistic.

For all too many, this is just another day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Prepare yourselves!




Today is All Souls Day, so I guess now is as good time as any to warn you about the coming Zombie Apocalypse. I even have the Center for disease control to back me up on this.

The CDC is advising all its citizens of the impending Zombie invasion. Nope, not kidding.

It is a slick little campaign which attempts to connect with a younger demographic by tapping in to the current popular obsession with zombies. The article actually offers a useful set of preparedness tips which include stockpiling emergency medical supplies, food, water and tools.


All of the tips will help you survive a Zombie attack; even though there is no mention of a twelve gauge. These tips also come in handy for an extended power outage, a natural disaster, or (insert your favorite animal prefix here) ____ flu.

The over hyped prognostications of disaster, world wide panic and widespread infection of bugs like SARS or Bird or Swine flu have resulted in a population of people who are now immune to future dire predictions of humanity’s potential demise. Ironically, this creepy little campaign gets the message across without the fear mongering, and gets past our “I heard this crap before” censors. And let's face it folks, this whole idea is just plain cool.


Check it out at the CDC website.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Your Man Reminder

As many of you know, October is the Breast Cancer Awareness month. No doubt, you have seen people getting their pink on this month. You may have sponsored a friend for The Run for the Cure or perhaps you ran yourself. Maybe you played Boobyball, bought a bracelet, or a pink t-shirt or other such swag. And good for you if you did.

It is important.

I support all these initiatives, however sometimes I worry that another message is lost in that sea of pink. It is a given that we need to fundraise cancer reasearch to beat this disease. However, early detection can be quite literally be in your own hands: checking your own breasts regularly ( or perhaps the breasts of someone you love- wink wink, nudge nudge) is profoundly important.

The folks at Rethink Breast Cancer have come up with an unforgettable, entertaining and stimulating way to make sure women remember do their monthly checks: the Your Man Reminder app.

That is right, hot guys in the service of your boobs is only a click away. Have a look:




:)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving.

In honor of the Thanksgiving weekend, I give you this: "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly"




Enjoy the long weekend everyone.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Damn you Plantar fasciitis! Damn you!

Two summers ago I started a jogging program. There were many nights I simply wanted to jump in front of a bus rather than continue, but continue I did. I made it all the way to eights and ones (jog for eight minutes, walk for one, repeat this cycle a few times). It was an activity that was good for me, and I surprised myself by sticking with it.

However, I broke my foot that Halloween. I am still not sure how I managed to do it: one moment I was walking happily along, and the next I was suddenly tits up, and in a great deal of pain. Fast forward a few months past me hobbling around in an air cast, and then a few more months of physiotherapy, and then a couple of months of simply walking- I began the jogging program again. Starting at the beginning with twos and ones: walk two minutes, jog one.

About three weeks in, I was noticing pain in my feet. In the beginning, the pain flared up mostly after a period of inactivity, but as the weeks went by I noticed more pain through-out the day- especially after longer periods on my feet, in the middle of a walk, or halfway through my jog. It was getting worse. I thought it was just because I had broken the foot before, and it was always going to hurt when I was active so I ignored it as best I could. Tried to stretch it out.

One night, around 4 o’clock in the morning, I awoke to the sound of Wilson screaming- poor little shagger was having a nightmare. I leapt out of bed, and promptly fell to the floor, crying out in agony. I could not stand up.

The next day I went to the walk in clinic, and was diagnosed with Plantar fasciitis.

That was over a year ago.

The Plantar fasciitis is still not better.

Here is what I have done to address the Plantar fasciitis:

Rest: Stopped walking, and jogging. Which has been demoralizing.

Physiotherapy: Have been to two different physiotherapists. Mixed reviews on this. The first lady was very sweet and tried her best. She gave me a number of exercises to try. After a few months with her, I ran out of coverage, and was still not better. The second physiotherapist actually helped me reduce pain quite a bit, but has not gotten rid of the problem. She also gave me new exercises, did ultrasound and some sort of electric pulse thingie. But I have used up coverage with her now as well.

Sports Medicine: Went to a Doctor who specializes in sports medicine. He told me not to get the cortisol shot and sent me to a physiotherapist.

Massage Therapy: Again, two different masseuses. I find that they ease pain somewhat (though the session itself is painful) but massage really has not been a cure for me.

Strassburg Sock: Bought it at the running room. I think it helps a little. But is no cure. Have been wearing it about a month now.

Orthotics: $1000 wasted – I had a pair for my running shoes, and for dress shoes. I wore them for almost a year. No benefit. Zip. Ziltch. Zero. Matter of fact, I had the running orthotics remade three times. The last pair that was made for me are brutal. I can’t even stand in them.

New Sneakers: Outfitted at the running room. Meh. No big difference.

Ice/Stretches/Anti-inflammatories: daily, immediate relief only.

Chiropractic: Have just started this, and have only been at it two weeks. So far, I am not overly impressed but am going to hang in there until the coverage runs out for sure. He seems somewhat hopeful that he can fix this, and I am hanging on to that, because at this point I am terrified that this damn Plantar fasciitis is never going to go away.


What the heck am I doing wrong? Am I ever going to be able to go for a jog again? Cripes at this point I would settle for a long walk without crying from pain hours later. Have you ever suffered from Plantar fasciitis? What did you do to get rid of it? How long did it take? Did it ever come back? Is this thing curable or not?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pure Energies and Rick Mercer

This week on the Mercer Report, Rick was with Mike Holmes to install solar panels on the roof of a home in Oshawa, ON. David Suzuki makes an appearance as well. They are working with an innovative Canadian company called PURE Energies. Based in Toronto, this company was created by solar specialists who design, install, finance and operate residential rooftop systems. They offer a no cost profit sharing lease or the option to buy a system for your house.





I think this is a fantastic idea! While this is something I would seriously consider, I have to admit, I am still looking for the catch.

Also, I wonder how the solar panels will affect the cost of replacing the roof? Eventually those shingles are going to need to be replaced. Would I have to call PURE Energies back to first remove the panels, and then get them to come back and put those suckers back up once the roof has been redone? What about a leak? How much more would the panels complicate things?

Regardless, this is something I plan on looking into. Have any of you had experience with this kind of thing? Suggestions? Concerns?