What to blog about?

It is the last day of the year and I have no idea what to blog about. I was going to do a decade in review like Dr. Beth did at Not to be Trusted with Knives but it was getting too long and meandering. I may come back to that at some point. I don’t make resolutions because I think they are stupid and set people up to fail. I think one needs to constantly be evaluating what is working and what is not and figuring out how to fix it. I think this year will involve some self-examination and working through some shit that needs to be dealt with.

This has been the strangest holiday season ever for me. I have not had one chocolate, very few shortbread cookies and not a lot to eat. I still don’t really have my appetite back. I get hungry sometimes – a little more often than I was before but still not great. I miss eating I have to say. Right now it is really no fun as I take 3 bites and I am done. I used to eat 3 meals a day, now it is a bottle of ensure and one meal – with no snacks. I also plan to get back on the treadmill once my hemoglobin hits triple digits at least.

I am really pleased with my Christmas gifts. In addition to the Apple TV I also got a Kenwood/Garmin GPS Stereo with an iPhone cord, bluetooth and all sorts of other things. It will be installed in my car on Sunday, just in time to go back to work on Monday. I have been using the FM transmitter cords for my iPods but the airwaves have become increasingly crowded and it is hard to find a good station to set it on without a lot of static and other things taking over. Music in the car is my sanity and I can’t stand it if it does not sound good. So I have been back to burning CDs, which really sucks!

I totally scored at London Drugs again today. I picked up 5 $50 iTunes cards as they were still listed on the sign as $10 off. When I got up to the till to pay for them a supervisor said the promotion was over. However, I still got my $10 off because the sign was still up. The Apple TV must be fed!

Oh, I guess I am going to make a resolution of sorts but it is nothing new. I have participated in NaBloPoMo for 2 months now and I am going to continue through 2010. I don’t know if I can do it but I am going to give it a try. I have yet to do it everyday in an entire month but I am close – I missed 2 days in November and 1 day in December. Sometimes it is just not worth it to get out of bed and go blog because you know you forgot. Blogging is a great way to share things and a soap box of sorts for my political opinions. I love being able to work through personal stuff on the blog as well. I think we are all the richer when everyone shares!

Have a safe and happy New Year!

Proroguing Again…?

One has to wonder if proroguing parliament at the end of the year is going to become a new Canadian tradition. After all when you have pesky investigations, which are not going well, looming on the horizon it seems wise just to shut the whole thing down. We certainly wouldn’t want the negative results of an investigation being released during the Olympics, it might sully Canada’s reputation.

It is unclear why Harper would have any concern about our reputation. We have been given the ‘fossil of the year’ award at the Copenhagen climate change summit. We have likely handed over Afghan detainees who were later tortured. The RCMP tasered Robert Dziekanski to death because he held up a stapler and committed the ultimate sin of not speaking English. This really does not bode well for the thousands of tourists who are going to descend on Vancouver in a little over a month.

Working on substantive issues is far more important than being able to strike new committees in the Senate. Apparently, the Conservatives, who are close to a majority in the Senate, think that it is appropriate to prorogue Parliament so the committees can be re-formed. Personally, I think it is far more important that all the work that has been done on various bills, and by committees completing investigations be preserved. Does the government actually think that the Opposition would let the issues go?

Proroguing Parliament again will demonstrate to Canadians that Stephen Harper is afraid of democracy. Harper does not want the findings of the Afghan committee to be released. Proroguing once to stop a confidence motion was one thing, this time there is no overt threat to his minority government. There are no coalitions in the wings threatening to take over.

Even though Ignatieff has said that the Liberals would no longer prop the Conservatives up, they are in no position to bring them down. It would also be foolish for the Liberals to do so at this time as they are in disarray and have no chances of forming the government. It is in their best interests to take time and rebuild and potentially find yet another leader.

I have said it before and I will say it again – we need a leader! There are very serious issues that need to be handled by someone with vision and the leadership skills to pull it all together. We may not always like the decisions a government makes. Many people were against Chretien’s decision to keep us out of Iraq. However this decision not only proved to be correct but prescient. It feels like eons since Chretien resigned. I miss him.

Apple TV*

Apple TV

My surprise Christmas gift this year from Deb was an Apple TV. I had been thinking of getting one but I was not entirely sure I would use it. However, my doubts were quickly dispelled.

Set up was quite easy. I do need to get a switch box as we only have 2 HDMI slots on the back of the TV. So for now the Blu-ray is not connected. You can order movies and TV shows through an interface on the TV or through iTunes. So far, I have mostly downloaded through iTunes as I would like to have a copy on my computer. Once you have downloaded content it syncs with the Apple TV, much like the iPod.

So far I have downloaded a couple of seasons of Six Feet Under, some episodes of Glee and Mad Men. I really like the interface – it simple and slick. I also like the idea of buying movies and TV shows electronically – no packaging.

It seems like you can get just about anything on iTunes. Some shows seem to be up on iTunes right after they are broadcast. No waiting for the season to be released on DVD. I think the Apple TV is going to be a great addition to my collection of digital toys.

*Or how Apple has taken over my life.



We lost Tucker* today as he had been slowly deteriorating for the last week. He wouldn’t eat or drink. Tucker had been a starved dog so for him not to eat was a major indicator that something was wrong. Tucker was also vomiting and lethargic. It had become clear that he no longer had any quality of life.

One of the hardest decisions when living with old and sick dogs is deciding when the time is right to let them go.I read another blogger who basically said she would rather let them go too soon then to wait too long and have them be in pain. I believe this is a good approach. Still it is very hard to make the ultimate decision. At our house it is generally a consensus approach. Quite often you can tell by looking their eyes. They seem to have a way of communicating what they need. It is very important that we be open and receptive to their message.

I think we timed this really well for Tucker. His pain meds still seemed to be doing the job and up until yesterday he was eating some food with his usual gusto. When Tucker would not take food and didn’t fight when Deb gave him his pills we could see that a lot of him had gone already. So the decision was made that today would be the day.

Helping a dog to pass is the most important thing we can do for them. Making sure they are not alone and that they are not scared is paramount. Holding their heads and stroking them and making sure that they are not scared is crucial. A lot of us who have rescued dogs try to make up for all the things that particular dog did not have in their lives. We are no exceptions. They are loved, they get treats, they go for walks, they sleep in our bed. We do the very best for them that we possibly can – right up until the end.

Happy trails Tuck. I hope that wherever you are you can eat as much as you want and run like a puppy. We loved you.

Tucker waiting for a treat
Tucker at the dikes having a great time.

*More of Tucker’s story here

Major Score!

So, not only did I get $250 worth of iTunes cards for $200 today, I also got 5 Burt’s Bees lip balm (the stick format) packages, in a tin, for $9.99 each. Each of the tins contains 4 lip balm sticks. Normally each lip balm costs $4.99. This was a serious deal! I bought them all!

Boxing Day Randomness

A collection of random things that happened today…

Our swanky new ice machine

We woke up and discovered that the beloved and much used ice machine had broken. We use it every day. Life is not worth living without a nice machine. So we had to procure a new ice machine today. At least I did not spend the day trying to talk some septic guy into coming here in the snow to pump out our overflowing septic system.

My mother bought an outfit for me at my favourite clothing store – Suzanne Bell’s.  I did not particularly like it although it was purple, my favourite colour. Of course I found a bunch of clothes that I just had to had. We had a good time there. They all have great senses of humour and we laughed like crazy.

Then we tried Canadian Tire and Wal-mart for ice machines – no go. We did, however, discover that Wal-mart sells sushi. Who knew. It was pretty good too.

Our next stop was Home Outfitters. We knew they had ice machines there and we were not disappointed. It was, however, the last one. We didn’t get a box and we didn’t care. We also found tons of stuff. There was an $800 stock pot! I could not believe that it would be possible to pay that much for a stock pot! Anyways we let with our ice machine, a new cuisanart griddle/grill, a new Le Creuset frying pan, and some other stuff that is escaping my memory at the moment.

We then stopped at the bank and we went to London Drugs. I needed to get a 1 tb drive to act as a network drive for backing up files etc. I also got a really good deal on iTunes cards – the $50 cards were $10 off. At Deb’s suggestion I bought 5 and ended up getting one free!. This will be great for my new Apple TV! Then we made it home, finally.

Not sure where the day went. It might help if we got up before noon! All together it was a productive day full of retail therapy.

On a good note today the hip pain that has plaguing me for days has mostly gone away. What a relief to be able to walk and stand mostly pain-free.

I must add a bit of a rant though. What is with all of these specialized parking spots? There are disabled spots – which I totally get. Small car spots also make some sense. But today at the Canadian Tire I saw a spot for  a fuel-efficient spot. There was a Toyota Corolla parked in it. Is any 4-cylinder car considered fuel-efficient? I would think it should have been reserved for a Smart Car or a hybrid. Then when we went to Home Outfitters there were spots for parents with strollers. What is it with the proliferation of specialized criteria for parking spots?


This has been the week from hell. My sister was an asshole and yelled and screamed at me on the phone. Then my mother made one of her damaging comments which upset me. I have also blogged about how my mother wants a perfect Christmas. This has all come together in a perfect storm.

When I called my mother yesterday she wanted to talk to Deb. I told her that Deb was at work and not home yet. So, she asked us to call tonight so she could talk to Deb. Deb is mad, and rightfully so, at the way they have treated me lately. She does not understand why I continue relationships with them. I do so out of obligation.

This sense of obligation has been pounded into me since I can remember. My mother visited my great-grandmother in her nursing home every Tuesday. As kids we were made to go as well even thought we hated it. It was an obligation. Through my twenties, the sense of obligation extended to my grandmother. I was expected to help her even though she was mean and nasty to me. When my step-father had cancer I was expected to do what I could. This involved dropping everything several times to go to Calgary and/or Radium to help. Both Deb and I did everything possible for them up until he died and after.

Now, I phone my mother every day, without fail. Yes, it is a trial and she never really wants to hear anything about my life it is all about her and telling me all the trials and tribulations of my sister’s life. It does get a little monotonous listening to her go on all the time. Pretty much the only time she wants my opinion is when it comes to computers and other tech issues. She will seek my advice when she has a problem.

I do these things because I have an obligation to my family. I can’t seem to make Deb understand how this works. The only other person who gets it is my sister. I wish she could understand because it puts more pressure on me when my mother wants to talk to her. The issue is further complicated by the fact that my mother is very fond of Deb. My mother gets that Deb hates to talk on the phone so that works for most of the time. However, holidays, birthdays etc., my mother expects a phone call.

I wish I could come up with a solution. I think some counselling is in order as I have mentioned before and I will be following up with the counsellor. I just wish that it did not make things so tough for Deb and me. I guess, as Deb says, we will have to agree to disagree.

My Plans for the Holiday

So here are my plans for the next several days off;

1. I want to listen to music and play computer games. Not sure which music – I will probably just put the iPod on shuffle.

2. Watching TV. Unless I can get a box set of something I intend to watch repeats of Criminal Minds, Big Love, or Six Feet Under.

3. I am going to cuddle dogs.

4. I am going to sleep as much as I want.

5. I want to try and do nice things for Deb to make her feel a little better.

6. I want to make spring rolls and wontons again.

7. We had the septic pumped about 2 weeks ago, so we are hoping to avoid the boxing day spetic problems.

8. I have to update the database for work and do some other work-related things.

9. Deb and I are going to see a movie together. She wants to see the new Sandra Bullock movie. I love Sandra Bullock!

Hopefully, I will be able to get the rest I need and grow lots of hemoglobin because there will be so much to do in the new year!


I am now off until January 4th. I am looking forward to lots of time to do very little. At least I shall enjoy the thought. I know it won’t play out that way. We don’t have much planned beyond the turkey on the 25th and a small get together on the 28th.

I am very tired today. I have been living under tight deadlines since before I went into the hospital. Things are now done and not a deadline was missed. Plus we got a small grant for organizational planning that I applied for so I am very pleased with that development.

I am now heading to bed for my first night of not having to get up in the morning. I need to build some more red blood cells as I can feel that I have lost some. I will try to blog earlier in the day tomorrow. Good night.