Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

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Woot! Woot!

September 4, 2009

Let the celebrations begin!! I’m working a shortened week; just 5 nights instead of 7.  50-odd hours instead of 70+… so Lynda and I can attend a friend’s kid’s wedding on Saturday. One of those rare opportunities to get out as a couple and enjoy the nuptials, dinner and some dancing. Oo, Oo; leading into the long Labour Day weekend, too. Gotta like it!!

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Any other glass nuts out there?? I just came across this website by a glass sculptor who does realistic representations of germs, viruses and microbes. Beautifully intricate – go see!! http://www.lukejerram.com/projects/glass_microbiology I picked up the link from ‘For the Sake of Science’ – the latest addition to my blogroll. I’ll be digging back through his archives for a better look-see later on. For now, welcome Michael.

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Really,

Really,

rreeaallyy

rreeaallyy

f . . . a . . . s . . . t . . .

f . . . a . . . s . . . t . . .

A couple of my nicknames around home are ‘Flash’ and ‘Speedy’ because I’m really not either. I’m sort of a laid back, laconic type – slow moving, I take my time thinking things through, thoughts idle their way to my tongue. But these pictures are evidence of what happens to me when I’ve had way too much coffee. I was just a blur heading through the kitchen on this afternoon.

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Weather-wise this has been the best week of the entire summer once we had those couple of cooler days out of the way. We’re enjoying a long lasting high pressure system with nary a cloud in the sky all week – night or day. Beautiful for night sky-watching. There won’t be a ‘Skywatch Friday’ post this time because all you’d see is big blue skies. I’ve gotten along on 4 to 5 hours sleep a day so I’ve spent lots of time in the yard with the dogs and spent a couple of afternoons, including today, cutting the grass. It was really nice to don shorts and work boots, nix the shirt and enjoy the feeling of the sun beating on my back and shoulders as I worked away. Most days saw a nice breeze and low humidity. Beautiful!! I’m a month or 6 weeks past due for a haircut so the sun has bleached out almost to blond the longer stuff. Maybe I’ll get trimmed up before the wedding; maybe not.

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Here’s an old love song called ‘All We Are’ for anyone feeling the vibe. It’s by a local rocker named Kim Mitchell who has had a long career but who has become an on-air personality on a Toronto classic rock station. He still does the summer concert fest circuit and has a devoted following.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1PXoxgCXus&feature=related

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Revisiting RSS + SEO Info

September 3, 2009

Despite the fact I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years now (already!) I’m not really very tech-savvy. On the geekdom continuum scale I’m probably a 3.5 out of 10. Some of you know that from questions I’ve asked via email ( Robin, Amuirin, Stevo…… et al). On the plus side I did change blog platforms a few months ago from Blogspot to WordPress and I continue to work on my resistance to try new things. Like checking into RSS feeds…..

Now I’m sure, as with most computer matters, there are many ways to skin this particular cat but having done some reading and tried a few things this is how I’m working this out…. and I’ve done it this way because I don’t have the use of my own computer. (At home I’m using Lynda’s.)

1) For friend’s WordPress blogs I’m using the ‘Readomattic’ tab under ‘Dashboard’ and have added both of Robin’s blogs – ‘Life in the Bogs’ and ‘Bountiful Healing’, as well as Amuirin’s ‘Stop & Wander’, lazy buddhist’s ‘Stumbling Along The Path’, ybonesy and Quoinmonkey’s ‘red Ravine’, and Sue’s ‘What Really Happened To Meg’.

2) For blogs on other platforms or whose authors have their own domain I’ve built an iGoogle page and added their feeds to my page content. From Blogspot I have Kel’s ‘xfacta’ and Sue’s ‘Discombobula’. With their own domains I have Stevo at ‘Asian Ramblings’ and Ron at ‘Ron Dubin Photography’. I’m planning to add more from my blogroll as time goes on.

I understand that if I was using my own computer I could be using the ‘Favorites’ folder and the ‘Feeds’ tab for automatic updates.

Yeah, I’m a slow learner but a little progress is better than none at all. (BTW – if you have any input or corrective suggestions / info; I’m all ears.)

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If I ever get serious about the content I’m posting and wish to make money from blogging I’ll be doing more reading about SEO in order to increase traffic. I’d likely start all over and begin with an entirely new blog from the ground up. One on-line reference I found is here: http://www.problogger.net/ – scroll down to mid-page for the box titled ‘Popular at Problogger’. Under each of the 4 tabs there are a number of headers related to SEO. Via a query I sent to Stevo at Asian Ramblings I found out about Nomadic Matt’s ebook which contains a wealth of info on SEO. While it is geared to Travel blogs much of the info would be universal or tailorable to specific uses. Find out more here: http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/make-money-with-your-blog/ . One day Matt I’ll be ordering a copy… I just can’t predict when that may happen.

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shadowcast clover on cabinet door

shadowcast clover on cabinet door

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Mish-Mash

August 29, 2009

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It has been a mixed up, muddled up week which has included far too much time on my hands, too many things which are outside my control and as a result a little too much stress. On the other hand, I have had some time to get some things accomplished around the house and stuck my nose in a book from time to time… I’m reading Hunter S Thompson’s novel “The Rum Diary”. Quite good; I’m enjoying it. It differs quite a lot from the writing style in his other books and reportage. I haven’t had the focus or inclination to get my drawing materials out lately.

Last evening I sent a video link to a bunch of American blog friends for one that was mentioned on our national news. It contains some Canadian perspective on the current debate stateside on where the American healthcare system may go in upcoming times. Whether it eventually is modelled on our system or not isn’t important – it will have to be tailored specifically to American needs. We’ve enjoyed the benefits of our system for 40+ years so there may be something contained here that will be thought provoking and engender more discussion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXXBCFnhsUc

Freedom update – It is 5 weeks post-surgery (the second one) and she continues to come along slowly (as in; not as quickly as we would like for her). We had her up for a check-up with the surgeon on Thursday and he attributes the lengthy recuperation to Freedom’s age and the fact it is a second surgery. He is unable to find anything wrong with the knee joint….. and so we wait, and exercise her, and do physio, and keep her quiet and still as much as possible.

That’s it for now – enjoy the weekend & I’ll be back Sunday evening for another week of work.

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Extreme –

August 17, 2009

– ly unflattering self-portrait.

To start the week on a light note, check this out….

very scary

very scary

In this reflected image an overhead spotlight almost completely flares out my hair, deeply shadows my eye sockets & cheeks and highlights my moustache and beard. Someone really ought to clean that window! … and I know what you’re thinking; ‘God, this guy must get really bored!’ Yes, sometimes I do.

Same night, same window, different view and distance.

lemme out

lemme out

Yup… really, really bored.

What’s new?? Well, last night Lynda and I got out with friends (Janis & Eric) to celebrate Eric’s and my birthdays. Eric’s had just passed; mine comes along later this week. This is one of those big milestone ones for me… as in, some stores and services begin offering ‘senior discounts’ at this age. Oy vey, never thought I’d get this old but it beats the hell out of the alternative.

Our fave restaurant came across once again with excellent food and service. Think prime rib roast beef with lobster or honkin’ big strip loin steaks smothered in Bearnaise sauce with shrimp, lobster and asparagus. I followed up dinner with a big slab of cheesecake. Mmmm….Mmmmm! To top it off Lynda treated me – bonus!!

The weather is gorgeous. Hot clear skies and muggy as hell. 30C with a humidex over 40C. Lynda has the AC running at 22C constantly so I have to outside occasionally to warm up.

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Doppelgänger

July 26, 2009

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Doppelgänger: In the vernacular, “Doppelgänger” has come to refer  to any double or look-alike of a person.

Earlier tonight one of our clients calls me aside and says, ‘ I finally figured out who you remind me of; it’s Peter Fonda.’

‘Hmmm…???’, I’m thinking. Okay, is this a set-up?? Where is the zinger coming from?

Yeah?, I say.’ The more current one of ‘Ulee’s Gold? (1997) Or the old one from ‘Easy Rider’? (1969)

Peter Fonda - 1997

Peter Fonda - 1969

‘Oh – definitely Easy Rider’, he says.

‘Good answer’, sez I.

(Buddy should really get his eyes checked.)

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Mistaken Identity:

A few weeks ago I had just arrived at work wearing a dark crewneck shirt that had a cream-coloured band around the neck, a collarless black shirt over it and a grey jacket. From 15 feet away the mother of one of our guests looked my way and said to her son, ‘My, I didn’t know they had clergy on staff here, as well.’

in my father's house

in my father's house

I laughed nervously as I waited for the bolt of lightning to smite me straight to hell. From on high my father is laughing his butt off. ‘Say WHAT???’

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Self Image; Self Esteem; and the Face we present to the world

Recently someone (who shall remain nameless) commented on a shot I had posted here of myself and called me ‘handsome’. My reaction to the compliment was same as always – HUH!?!? – I never know what to do with them when they come my way. I suppose it’s because I don’t think much of my looks and like most folks I ‘get up, suit up, present the best face I can, and show up’. Like Popeye always said, ‘I y’am what I am and that’s all that’s I y’am.’ Gotta work with what God gives ya.

I think I could get a consensus to this proposition – 10% of the population would get classed as attractive, beautiful, handsome; at the other end, 10% would be lumped in as unattractive, ugly, hard on the eyes; the rest of us – the other 80% fall somewhere in the big middle ground.

A post I was reading last night included a section where the gal used to play a game with herself – ‘if I could change one thing about myself it would be…..’. Well, as I’m starting to show the signs of my advancing age that one thing would be my eyelids. I’m getting this hooded look to my eyes that I don’t like but in the big scheme of things…. so what?? I’m not going under the knife anytime soon, that’s for sure.

Far more importamt to me these days than the external is anyone’s internal composition – heart, mind and soul sorts of stuff. By the time I sought help for my problems with addiction I was a hurting unit bled practically dry of identity and self-esteem. This process of recovery I’ve engaged in for the last 6 years has been very much one of  re-building; putting things back together when you don’t have all the original pieces. At first it was all about substance, the absence of it and finding ways to a new state of ‘normalcy’. Then it got to be about re-attaching to roles – son, husband, father, friend, employee. Finally it came about to integrating values, ethics, qualities of character, moral beliefs and living a life that included spirituality. From that eventual internal foundation I’ve been able to move more to outside concerns where I’ve been allowed to be of use to others – family, friends, clients and strangers. It’s being open to ongoing change, adopting an attitude of willingness and engaging in action toward improvement. Progress not perfection….. hand steady on the tiller.

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When is the last time someone confused you for somebody else or told you that you strongly resemble someone??

Has anyone ever thought you actually were someone you aren’t??

How do you deal with compliments?? How do you feel when complimented??

Do you feel good about how you look?? Satisfied?? or, are there things about your appearance you would change, given the chance?

How do you feel about your internal condition?? Mental, emotional, spiritual??

If other people could see / hear the nature of how you think would they be terribly surprised??

Have some fun and comment.

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The ‘Oops, I forgot to title this post’ Post

July 25, 2009
Sentinel

Sentinel

Contructs

Contructs

During down time between sessions some of our guests have been busying themselves by doing a little building out back. There were plenty of a variety of bricks left from the immense interlock patio that was laid last summer. What’s that saying? ‘Busy hands are happy hands.’

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Last night and today have been fun following along with ‘Skywatch Friday’, visiting sites, leaving comments and replying to comments left on my post. I plan to do it again but not every week. It sure bumped my number of visitors. Pretty fascinating to scan through the list and drop into the various sites for a look-see – some beautiful images captured around the globe.

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Ah, change. There are instances that crop up where I can be grateful not to be what and whom I used to be. There used to be times where a situation would crop up and I’d get all reactionary, easily offended and wind up blurting and spewing my outrage. Thankfully today I was able not to be that sort of person and have made peace in a reasonable way. No offence intended; none taken. But it wasn’t without a couple of those ‘wtf!?!’ moments. Positive change over time has a good cumulative effect.

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Freedom update: Had her up to the vets for a check-up with the surgeon on Thursday. Seems the mesh they inserted to replace the tendon has shifted around the bone and that is why she hasn’t come along as well or as quickly as she should have. Monday will mark 8 weeks since the original surgery and that’s the day she’ll go under the knife again. This time less invasive and right back to the level of activity and exercise we’ve got her to. Although we’ve managed to get her weight down by 8 lb to 70 they are asking us to make her drop a further 10 lb. Yikes – there’ll be nothing left of her, poor girl.

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A reminder of and a link to a previous post of mine – for a couple of reasons. 1) Because there have been a number of posts since, it’s about to drop off the tail end of my current page, and 2) there have been new updates to it. So, if you haven’t already I’d encourage you to have a look at blog-friend Susan’s site as well as my original post regarding it HERE. Or you’ll find it on the sidebar under ‘Appeal’. The update is on the ‘What Happened Next’ page but go ahead and read it all.

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Christmas is 5 months away. Double Yikes!!

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Cousin BJ hasn’t been mentioned here much lately but the emails have flown back and forth this week at a high volume. Her’s tend to be much longer than mine and roam over more topics. It’s good to have someone to bounce things off and get feedback and direction from.

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Answer This Call

July 12, 2009

Meg   

What Really Happened to Meg Morris and IT Solutions/WYSIWYG?

When I was originally introduced to the blogging world there were a few folks I came to ‘know’ right off the bat. A couple are still friends today: Robin at ‘Life in the Bogs’ & and Kel at ‘xfacta’, both of whom you’ll find in the sidebar. But I think perhaps the first blog I ever commented on was a smoking cessation site run through the WEA Trust in Madison, WI. As part of her job Susan Morris was responsible for posting to the blog and providing resources and motivation to people seeking to quit smoking. First through comments and responses and then via email Susan and I became on-line friends. Sometimes our messages would be quite frequent and then occasionally we’d have fairly lengthy lapses. All in all, looking back there is quite a volume of correspondence that started in late 2005 / early ’06.

In April of 2007 imagine my shock and horror when Susan informed me that her sister Meg had been found dead at her home in Florida as the result of an apparent suicide; and that she would be out of town for some time attending to the funeral arrangements and estate. And again just weeks later, hard on the hells of her sister’s death, Susan’s father died as well. My heart cried for her. In attempting to properly address the issues surrounding their deaths and estates Susan eventually left both her job, and as a result, her work blog. (My question to her ever since has been, ‘When will you start a personal blog? You’re a writer – so write!’)

Right from the get-go Susan had her suspicions that Meg’s suicide really wasn’t a suicide at all. The more digging she did and the more input she got from the people who knew Meg best made more bells and whistles go off. And those suspicions grew and grew. Recently Susan started a new blog devoted to getting answers to all those big unanswered questions. If this was your sibling would you not do the same?? I hope you will take the time to check it out. Then should you feel moved to do so perhaps you could keep the chain going by adding a link on your site in order to expand the exposure. The best result would be that the local police force or coroner decides to re-open the case and do a proper investigation. There appears to be evidence here of fraud, larceny, coersion, intimidation and murder.

Here is the link which will also appear on the right sidebar: http://whatreallyhappenedtomeg.wordpress.com under the category heading ‘Appeal’.

Today – July 10 – is Susan’s birthday so I will hold this as a draft in respect of that. Please feel free to comment, to copy this post as an intro to a link or link directly to Susan’s blog…… and may God bless both Meg and Susan.

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The Whole Enchillada

June 28, 2009

This could be short; may be long…. dunno yet. Grab bag time!!

Last night was absolutely ‘the night from hell’ here at work. A new arrival whose using had done himself some major damage had his room-mates awake and very upset all night. Each time I got the guy settled he found a new way to mess up. Some substances take much longer to withdraw from than others and he hasn’t re-landed in this dimension as yet. The day counsellors had a crisis team up here to assess him and then sent him to a local hospital for a psych assessment as well. After his arrival at hospital he declined to be examined which ultimately meant he was also choosing to leave our treatment. He departed just before my shift started this evening much to his room-mates (and my) relief.

My son and his family arrive Tuesday from the west and we have a ton of prep to do both inside and out about the place before they arrive. With Freedom’s lengthy recovery from surgery we’ve gotten way behind on day-to-day cleaning and yardwork. Yoiks! Add in a few hours work, time for shopping for food & a playpen, a longer than usual meeting and some sleep and we’ve already run out of time. Something might have to give, somewhere…..

Once they get here I don’t expect to be around home much so blogging will be light. I might just have to share a photo or two of grand-daughter Madison when I get a minute though.

Oh, yippee!! We have air-conditioning again – Hallelujah!! It’s SO much easier getting along with a hot-flashing menopausal woman when the house temperature is 70 as opposed to 86. Thank you Mr Serviceman, thank you. Blessings on your soul!

There has been no time lately to download & upload any of the pictures I’ve taken lately so lemme see here…. what have I got in the media library…..

Take Yer Pick

Brain Scan

… a small sampling of the rocks rattling around my cranium. (I’ll likely re-post this when I’ve cropped it properly – that’s why it was still in the bin.)

We’re planning to have some family & friends over for a BBQ on Canada Day, July 1, for a meet and greet with Russ and family. We’re doing it early in hopes of taking in the local municipal fireworks display. Saturday we’re supposed to head into Toronto for what is called the ‘Festival of Fire’ an international fireworks competition. A couple of decent photo-ops, I would think. There ought to be lots of ooohhs and aaahhs on those two nights.

Which reminds me…. each year in August we are treated to a natural display in the form of meteor showers: the Perseid’s. There’s a great viewing spot just north of here away from incidental light contamination at a conservation area called the Purple Woods. We were there a couple of years ago skywatching for several hours and the parking lot was full. You would hear someone gasp from across the lot at something they had seen; then you’d hear all the folks muttering who had missed it. Too funny but it was a wonderful show.

So, officially I’m on hiatus. Unofficially I’ll check in here when I can and on blog friends as well. Woo-Hoo…. I finally get some time with my son!! It’s been way too long once again.

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The Brownie Visitation

June 3, 2009
Toward Dusk

Toward Dusk

Here are 3 of the 4 tents lined up across the yard following the storm. Double pegged? You bet!!

Sunday morning tear down

Sunday morning tear down

Following breakfast the girls sorted out and stowed their gear. Just about to break down the tents.

Adoration of Freedom

Adoration of Freedom

 Here Freedom enjoys a right royal sucking up by her adoring fans. Milo’s head is just visible bottom right.

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Our ‘Big Girl’

June 1, 2009
Freedom

Freedom

Today is all about our dog Freedom. I had her to the vet by 8:30 this morning for surgery on her back left leg. The vet called about an hour ago to say everything had gone well and ‘Free’ was coming out of the ether. We can pick her up after dinner time. Time to relax now and breath easy. Thanks folks for your good wishes.