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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Why is a Trip to Costco So Damn Expensive???

Published November 30, 2010 - 1 Comment

Our local Costco opened in May of this year.  I was reluctant to go into it for personal reasons, but those finally sorted themselves out.  Yesterday was the third time that I’ve stepped foot in that store, and the first time that I spent any money in there.  $421 worth!  I’m pretty sure that I had a mini-stroke when the girl announced the grand total to me.  She then suggested that I upgrade to their “black card” so I could earn 2% back.  It was all pretty much a haze at that point.  They guided me over to the customer service desk, and had me sign a couple of forms, swipe my debit card again, and stand for another lovely picture.  I can’t be sure, but I think that I might have signed away what was left of my soul.

Granted, not all of that $421 was mine.  And some of it was Christmas stuff that I would have spent whether it was at Costco, or the mall.  So it’s not completely horrendous.  But still… I remember from my old membership years ago how easy it is to spend money in there.  Everything looks so amazing in there.  Giant jars of cashews?  Who can saw no to those?  Packages of toilet paper that are too big to fit in your car?  If they can wrap plastic around it and sell it as “wholesale” they will!

It’s a neat store, but I don’t want to have too many trips like that.  At least not until my toilet paper runs out…

The Holiday Season is Fast Approaching…

Published November 30, 2010 - 6 Comments

You may have noticed a tiny change in the appearance of this blog.  Some of the less recent readers may recognize the holiday theme from last year.  Yes, I kept a copy of it in the WordPress theme directory, so I could pull it out this year!  I like it.  I haven’t given up on Thesis, but let’s face it… out of the box, Thesis is pretty boring to look at!  If I had any amount of web design skill at all, I could customize it to look better… hell, I could probably even make it look Christmasy if I knew what I was doing.  But I don’t, so I need a theme that does all of that for me.  This one looks nice, is relevant, and easy to use.  Behind the scenes, it’s basic compared to Thesis, but that’s fine.  I wanted to spice things up as we turn the corner and head into the final stretch before the Big Guy (Santa) gets here.  That’s right.. it’s less than a month away now.  Sorry to bust your bubble, folks.  I know that some of you have not even started your shopping yet.  Then there’s my Mum, who has probably been done and wrapped since August.

Yeah… didn’t inherit that gene.

When is Being Stubborn a Good Thing?

Published November 28, 2010 - 0 Comments

I’m sure that most people (myself included) consider the personal attribute of “stubbornness” to be less than ideal in most situations. But there might be times when being stubborn is the right choice… if not the more difficult one.  So when is being stubborn a good thing?

When you refuse to give up on someone.  When it’s easier to just cut your losses and walk away… and you don’t.

Because you are the better person.

The better Friend.

Thank you.

In The Middle…

Published November 24, 2010 - 0 Comments

Need to take a little time off… it doesn’t come as easily as it once did, and I’d rather post something good once in awhile, than a bunch of shit… just to fill a quota.  I listen to something like this… my new favourite song… from Theory of a Deadman… and I realize.. THEY can write…  There’s no reason that I can’t too… except that there IS a reason… and I need to deal with it because it can’t go on forever… it just can’t…  the rabbit hole has to come to an end at some point…

Take a listen here.

What would you do if we woke up and the whole world was gone?
Well, would you believe with me is where you belong?
Well there goes the world and we’re right in the middle
There goes the world and we’re right in the middle
I said leave me here
I said leave me here with you

As the city crumbles I see that there’s nothing left behind
As we lay here together I feel your heart beat with mine
With time standing still, here is where we’ve always been
Well there goes the world and we’re right in the middle again

I said leave me here
I said leave me here
I said leave me here
I said leave me here with you

Hey you, where are we going from here?
Hey you, where are we going from here?
Hey you, where are we going?
Cuz there goes the world and I’m right in the middle with you
I’m right in the middle with you
I’m right in the middle with you
I’m right in the middle with you
I’m right in the middle with you

Christina Perri – Jar of Hearts

Published November 24, 2010 - 0 Comments

I don’t know what took so long, but they finally managed to get a video for Jar of Hearts put out.  That’s the song that was “discovered” on So You Think You Can Dance last season. So it’s only fitting that at least two of the backup dancers in this video are former contestants from that show.  I’ve watched this video a few times… as much as I love the song, the video doesn’t really do much for me.  But it’s nice to see an emerging artist finally get her little piece of the spotlight.

Let’s Talk Bacon!

Published November 24, 2010 - 5 Comments

I’ve had this blog post in mind for awhile.  In fact, I’ve had the title scrawled on my whiteboard for weeks.  That’s how I do things.  Something pops into my head, and I write it across the whiteboard.  I get some interesting looks sometimes… “Let’s Talk Bacon” in red marker..  Umm.. ok…

But seriously, am I the only person who likes maple bacon?  Or maybe it’s a guy thing?  I usually don’t bother to buy the maple bacon if I know that I’m going to be cooking it for someone else.  It never seems to be a hit.  I don’t understand it.  It’s a very slight flavour, and I think one that enhances the taste, but oh well.  Maybe it’s just me.

I’ve started buying the Olymel bacon that comes in 3 pre-packaged sections.  It’s only 70 cents more, and I figured that was a small price to pay for not over-indulging on the stuff.  If I’m cooking breakfast for a few people, I will use the regular bacon, but if I’m only making something for myself, the Olymel is definitely the way to go. 

What’s definitely NOT the way to go is that Ready Crisp pre-cooked bacon from Maple Leaf!  What a complete waste of money!  The only reason I even tried it was because the grocery store had a deal on where it was free with the purchase of something else.  OK, can’t go wrong there!  I’ll try it!

5 seconds in the microwave (per piece) is all it takes.  Why?  Because it’s paper thin, and almost completely devoid of any taste!  I was eating it by itself and I might as well have been chewing on cardboard.  There’s no way that I could have been able to taste “bacon” had it actually been in a sandwich or something else. Do yourself a favour… stay away from this stuff.  If you want to have pre-made bacon, then you’re better off just buying regular bacon and cooking up the whole thing, and storing it in the fridge to use as necessary.

Yuck.

But at least now I can erase my whiteboard and throw another idea up there!

Welcome to the Microsoft-Free Zone

Published November 23, 2010 - 9 Comments

Last week I wrote about buying my first iMac.  And here’s a quick update: I LOVE IT!   In fairness though, I might very well have been saying the exact same thing had I bought a 27″ all in one Windows machine too.  It might be less the fact that it’s Apple, and more the fact that it’s a beautiful machine.  The jury’s still out on that one.  But doesn’t matter.. I love it.

Today I want to talk a little about what I did to my Dell Inspiron laptop.  I’ve removed Windows 7 from it, and gone with Ubuntu Linux!  Exciting, isn’t it?  Yeah well, for me, it kinda is.  I’ve never installed Linux before.  I’m not really that type of geek.  (Whatever the hell that means)  But the current installations of Linux are a lot more user friendly, and a lot less geek factor required.

I have to say… my laptop runs noticeably faster under Ubuntu than it did under Windows 7.  I think that it shipped with Vista, but I had put a copy of Windows 7 on it last year.  Maybe it was the hardware.  Maybe it wasn’t high enough for Windows 7 to run as well as it probably should.  I don’t doubt that.  But still… doesn’t change the fact that Ubuntu runs beautifully on it.

I honestly don’t find that it looks as slick as Microsoft Windows does, but it’s not horrid.  I’m sure that there must be a version of Linux that is closer, but Ubuntu comes highly recommended, so that’s why I went with it.

As for software, as long as I have Firefox to start with, I’m fine.  After that, I installed VLC (movies and music) which is far better than Windows Media player (I also run this on the iMac), Tweetdeck (for Twitter), Open Office (a Microsoft Office clone) and Evolution (e-mail program).  I’ve been an Outlook user all my life (well, maybe not THAT long) and I was hesitant to install Evolution, but ya know what?  It’s pretty damn good!  Oh yes, and even Skype runs on Linux.  All these programs are free, and stable, and do 99% of what I need a computer to do.

Other than the XBox 360 (and my roomie’s Toshiba laptop) there are no Windows devices on the network any more.

And really… I can’t say as I miss them.

What Are Those Funky Little Pictures on the Blog? Gravatars! They’re FREE!

Published November 23, 2010 - 0 Comments

I was asked by a couple of people recently why I (and some other people who post on the blog) have a nifty little picture beside my name when I reply to a comment on the blog.  There might be an assumption that it is something specific to this blog, and I have to set you up with one if you would like your own.  That’s not the case at all!

The picture is called a Gravatar (I think it means Global Avatar) and you can sign up for one (free!) at www.gravatar.com.  Just remember when you register an email address, to use whichever one you typically enter on the blog when you fill out a comment.  That will link back to your Gravatar account, and automatically post the picture there.  You don’t have to use a picture of yourself.  You can use whatever you’d like.  Anything is better than that default blob of a person that gets put beside your comment if you’re not using a Gravatar.

And once you have a Gravatar registered, it will link to any WordPress blog that you comment on.  You can have multiple ones set up too, if you comment on different blogs, using different email addresses.

I’d love to see more people using them, because it really gives a little more “life” to the blog.  So if you want to give it a try, sign up for a Gravatar and leave a comment.  If you run into a problem (you shouldn’t.  It’s very straight-forward) don’t hesitate to give me a shout.  I’m always around here somewhere.

Have a great Tuesday!

First Snowfall of the 2010 Season

Published November 21, 2010 - 4 Comments

Daddy!  Daddy!

I could hear them running up the stairs.  I actually thought that something might be wrong.  They seemed pretty serious.  Whatever it was, it had better be good  to be waking me up from my slumber so early in the morning…

IT’S SNOWING OUTSIDE!

*groan*

Really?  That’s the emergency?  That’s what you woke me up for?  No freak accident?  No blood?  No Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes man with a cheque for a million dollars at the door?  Snow?  Haven’t we seen snow before?  It’s not such a fond memory, is it?

Well apparently my interpretation of the current weather differs slightly from that of my kids.  They see snow and get giddy with excitement.  I see it and think “Shit, I need to get my winter tires on the car…”

In a flash they had their coats on, and were outside making snowballs.  My son came back in and asked me if I would go outside with them.

“Come back in June”, I told him.  All I really wanted to do was roll over and go back to sleep.  Unfortunately for me, they had different plans.

I didn’t stay outside long.  I took a few pictures…  Helped my daughter make an 8″ snowman on the patio table that I should really have brought in already…  Threatened my son with a lifetime of hard labour if he dared to throw his snowball at me… and beat it back inside before frostbite set in.  I think that I’m becoming even more of a wimp in my old age.

I was really counting on the idea that the snow would be short-lived, and gone by lunch time.  Well… it’s now 3:22am and not only is it still there… but I’m pretty sure that there’s even more of it on the ground now.  Lovely.

Now I’m really going to have to get those winter tires on…  🙁

General Motors is Back… Now What?

Published November 19, 2010 - 0 Comments

So yesterday was an interesting day on the markets.  General Motors relaunched itself as a public company for the first time since it went bankrupt.  Consumer confidence is high.  The recession is over.  Not only is GM hiring back their laid off workers, but they’re hiring additional workers as well!  The sky’s the limit.  American and Canadian taxpayers are going to get their bailout money back (well, at least a portion of it) .  Things are good. 

Or are they?

How optimistic are you about the economy?

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