Thursday, April 30, 2009

What kind of dog is that?

Think you know dogs?

LeeAnn sent me to this quiz.

I got 60% (average is 54%).

How did you do?


I had three seminars to conduct in Mississauga today for the insurance company I work for ... the same client I did them for on Friday night.

That's 4.5 hours of me talking.

Driving home this evening was crazy as it was pouring rain. It's still raining!

Bailey needs a car!

This is my neighbour, Bailey. Isn't he a handsome boy?!

Bailey's dad, Ian, is in a contest to win this car.

And he needs your help.

Please go here and vote for Ian every day 'til the contest is over. He'll give you drive if you ever come to Toronto!

Need more encouragement?

Here's Ian dancing while John Wozniak of Marcy Playground is singing their soon-to-be-released song, Star Baby ... check it out!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I taught Advanced Excel today. It's a heavy duty workshop to teach ... forms, pivot tables, database filters, etc.

After we got home from work, Gord tried to have me talk us into going to a patio for a drink (it's chilly but sunny). But I was tough and said no, he had to go to his fencing class ... and he did.

It took a while but I was able to talk myself into going to the gym ... and I'm glad I did.

I did 30 minutes on the arc trainer ("random hills" mode) while watching Friends (The One The Morning After) and 30 minutes on the stationary bike ("random" mode) while reading My Husband's Sweethearts.

It's been a while since I've been at the gym in the evening ... lots of grunting men weightlifting.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Something new

Here's something we'd never seen before.

I bought this cat house just before Christmas and Byron loves it. He's in it quite often.

This evening, Morgan cautiously approached it ... slowing walked in ... and got kinda comfy for a while.

Morgan's funny.

He'll get hooked on sleeping someplace different for a couple weeks ... and then forget all about it.


I read about FMyLife in today's Toronto Star.

Readers post about the funny, pathetic, or outrageous things that once happened to them. Many are rude or crude. Most of them have bite.

I just checked it out and it's a hoot!

Here's a sample:

Today, my daughter walked in on me taking a shower. She said, "Hey, yours is the same size as Dylan's!" My daughter has seen Dylan's penis, which apparently is the same size as mine. My daughter and Dylan are 7. FML

Today, I was making a nacho and grabbed some refried beans that were in a plastic container out of the fridge and put them on top of the chips. After I’m completely done eating my mom looks in the fridge and asked me if I knew where the cat food was. I just ate a small can of cat food. FML

Go on and check 'em out!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Book ~ "Three Little Words: A Memoir" (2008) Ashley Rhodes-Courter

From Chapters.Indigo ~ "Sunshine, you''re my baby and I'm your only mother. You must mind the one taking care of you, but she''s not your mama." Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes, living by those words. As her mother spirals out of control, Ashley is left clinging to an unpredictable, dissolving relationship, all the while getting pulled deeper and deeper into the foster care system.

Painful memories of being taken away from her home quickly become consumed by real-life horrors, where Ashley is juggled between caseworkers, shuffled from school to school, and forced to endure manipulative, humiliating treatment from a very abusive foster family. In this inspiring, unforgettable memoir, Ashley finds the courage to succeed - and in doing so, discovers the power of her own voice.

I started this book this morning and spent most of the day reading it.

It's the true story of Ashley Rhodes-Courter who spent many years in the foster care system, believing that her mother was eventually going to come get her. She gets adopted by the Courters and it takes many years for her to trust them and believe that they aren't going to unadopt her.

I hadn't heard of Ashley or her story ... the book caught my eye when I was at the library last week. And it's nice to learn that Ashley has gone on to be an advocate for foster child and their rights.

Definitely a book that I would recommend that you read.

Smell ya later, Dufflets

Dufflet's Pastries is in my 'hood.

On the day I moved into my condo back in June 2001, I walked to the bakery figuring I would buy some fresh bread and pastries. Yum!

But alas, they don't sell from the bakery ... just from their three stores. And some restaurants serve their cakes for dessert.

They are moving to Etobicoke today.

I'll miss them.

Depending on the day, the 'hood smelled like chocolate cake! Or gingerbread! Or cinnamon!

Real Food for Real Kids will be renting the space. According to their website, they make and deliver all-natural food to select schools.

Sounds like a good cause but I doubt they will smell as good.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Book ~ "Too Close To Home" (2008) Linwood Barclay

From ~ Canadian author Barclay's previous novel, No Time for Goodbye (2007), a Thriller Award–finalist, showed that he knows how to put ordinary people into extraordinarily dangerous circumstances. Barclay works some of that same magic in his second stand-alone thriller, which opens with the shooting deaths of Albert and Donna Langley and their teenage son, Adam, in their Promise Falls, N.Y., home one hot summer night. Bill Cutter, a neighbor who works as a gardener and was once the driver and glorified gofer without an ounce of self-respect for the town's nasty mayor, and Bill's wife, Ellen, soon find themselves wondering who would want to kill the Langleys and what part their sullen 17-year-old son and Adam's friend, Derek, may have played in the tragedy. While this one isn't quite up to the standard of No Time for Goodbye—its convoluted plot creaks occasionally—readers will zip through it with delight.

I've read Barclay's other books and enjoyed them. So I was looking forward to reading this one.

I thought it was so-so, not great.

It's a big book (400 pages) and there are a lot of storylines that all come together in the end. I'd figured out a lot of them. And I didn't buy the ending ... I found it weak.

I liked the main character, Jim, but wasn't all that crazy about his wife, Ellen. Not many of the characters are likeable.

The F-word is used a lot ... I don't think it was necessary a lot of the time.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday stroll

After our walk to the park and back, Gord and I walked to College Street to find a patio.

We had a couple beer at the Abbey.

Then we headed east along College.

We grabbed a slice of pizza at Bitondo's (I'd read about them on blogTO a couple weeks ago) for supper and had a drink at the Monarch Tavern. It's a good thing we stopped there because all of a sudden it got windy and started raining.

Trinity Bellwoods Park

It was such a nice day today that Gord and I took KC for a walk to Trinity Bellwoods Park and back.

There were lots of people enjoying the park.

KC had fun running around.

Just before we left the park, KC headed to one of the spots that has the plant she likes to eat.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Toronto Nationals

Toronto has a new lacrosse team ... the Toronto Nationals.

They will be playing outside on BMO Field,which isn't too far from us.

I got a call this afternoon asking if I wanted to buy a flex pack ... four ticket vouchers, two teeshirts and post game meet 'n greets with the players for $110.

Sounds like fun so we bought a pack.

We'll see a game in May and another in July.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dish cloth

I finished a dish cloth tonight.

Use cotton yarn.

Cast on 4 stitches.

Knit 2, YO, Knit to end.

Turn work.

Knit 2, YO, Knit to end.

Turn work.

Keep doing this over and over and over and over and over until there are 56 stitches.

Knit 1, K2tog, YO, K1, K2tog, knit to end.

Turn work.

Knit 1, K2tog, YO, K1, K2tog, knit to end.

Turn work.

Keep doing this over and over and over and over and over.

Cast off the final 4 stitches.


I went to the gym this morning. I did weights (free weights for my arms and upper body and machines for my legs), a boxing workout and 15 minutes on the stationary bike ("around the world hills"mode).

I have a couple retirement planning seminars to do tomorrow evening so I prepped for them.

I read for a bit ... I'm reading Too Close to Home.

We watched Survivor (great blindside on Tyson!) and Hell's Kitchen (Ben talked the talk but couldn't walk the walk!).

Value-savvy shoppers score big with coupons

Do you clip and use coupons?

I do! I have for years.

Sometimes I only save a few cents but I'd rather have them in my pocket, thank you very much!

Today's Toronto Star has an interesting article about the benefits of using coupons.

Plus they list these websites where you can go for coupons and deals:


Eight lives left for this litter

Good Samaritan rescues 10 abandoned kittens

When Jonathan Breedon heard the cries of a kitten near his Vaughan Rd. home early yesterday morning, he thought nothing of it.

But when he heard the same cries in the mid-afternoon, he decided to investigate.

Breedon traced the noise to the open backyard of a house at Cedric and Jesmond Aves. Rummaging through a pile of wood, he stepped on a wood basket.

A kitten crawled out of the No Frills shopping bag beside it.

"I'm like, `Okay, there's a baby cat in there,'" said Breedon, 23. "`Oh my gosh, maybe there's two or three.'"

There were 10 kittens in the bag – newborns, their umbilical cords still attached.

"I was shocked and disgusted. How could anybody do that? They're just babies. You've got to take responsibility for them."

Breedon has rescued animals before, including three abandoned dogs and a baby squirrel he found on a bridge over Allen Rd.

He took the kittens home, washed them in his bathtub, and fed them each an ounce of milk. Then he wrapped them in a towel, placed them in a box and brought them to the grateful Humane Society.

The kittens will be placed in a program to help them transition into an existing litter, spokesperson Ian McConachie said.

Source: Toronto Star

I was saddened when I saw this on the news last night. What cold-hearted person would do this??!! I hope they catch whoever left these kitties to die!

April 24 update: One of the kitties has died :(

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Volunteer literacy tutor training

I taught Intermediate Level II Excel today in North York.

Then I had training this evening at St. Christopher House to be a volunteer adult literacy tutor.

There were 12 of us in the class. We talked a lot about learning styles.

We'll each be matched with someone who we will meet with for a couple hours once a week who could be working on:

* getting their driver's license
* citizenship preparation
* going back to school
* applying for a job
* helping their kids with homework
* shopping
* banking
* learning to use a computer
* writing stories

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Volunteer computer tutor training

What a busy day!

I taught Intermediate Level I Excel today in Mississauga.

Then I had my first training class from 6 to 9 at CAMH to be a volunteer computer tutor. There are 17 in the class and I think I'm the only computer tutor. The rest are going to volunteer in different departments. We learned about the different disorders and addictions of the clients (that's what they call their patients), how to interact with them and what to expect from them.

Not much else to say except I'm tired and I'm going to watch Biggest Loser on a timeshifting channel cuz I missed most of it earlier.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Strolling on a Sunday afternoon

It's such a nice day today (sunny and 12C) that Gord and I went for a long walk rather than being stuck inside at the gym.

We cut through Exhibition Place, heading towards the water.

We headed west along the Waterfront Trail to Humber Bridge (about 9km).

Along the way, some guys on horses passed us just west of Ontario Place. It was the knights from Medieval Times!

Here's Gord!

And here are the knights, just west of the Argonaut Rowing Club.

This girl was feeding the seagulls while Mom took pix.

Along the way, there are some exercise equipment so we tried 'em out. With the second two, you are using your own body weight as resistance.
We ended up on the other side of Humber Bridge. We had started walking at the far right of the picture.

Then we walked home, along the Queensway and Queen Street W.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Heading home

After the Jays game, we walked up to the College/Bathurst area and shared a $10 pitcher of Amsterdam Blonde at the Crown & Tiger.

We stopped in at the Monarch Tavern since it's on our way home.

After a while, we started getting peckish so we ordered Caplansky's smoked meat sandwiches.


At 10:00, there was ultimate fighting on pay-per-view so we stayed and watched some of it.

Toronto Blue Jays 4, Oakland A's 2

I was given a couple tickets for today's Blue Jays game so Gord and I went.

The seats turned out to be in the Designer Guys' private box.

To be honest, I've never watched their show but we did appreciate being in their private box.

There was lots of food ... salad, sushi, wings, pizza and chips. Here's Gord eating some sushi (I passed).

We had a great view of the field.

Chia Kitty enjoyed the free booze.

Go Vernon!

Go, Aaron!

The Jays won in the 12th inning ... yay!

I'd never been in a private box before ... I liked it!

What a great chair!