Beautiful Girl

Zoe is a great dog! She is a little weird at times. In the mornings she has to grab a toy. She then wants you to throw said toy a couple of times until she is done with you. Then it is naptime for her highness. The next time she comes to life is when it is food time. Zoe loves her food. She can’t wait for it to come. She starts to bark and doesn’t stop until food is delivered. Sometimes she is pretty damn sure that the service in this restaurant sucks.

Naughty girl sticking her tongue out!

For some reason, Zoe decided today that she had never seen the cat. So she started to bark at her and wouldn’t stop. She was making me c-r-a-z-y. Then when I started to ignore she started clawing at my leg so that I would give her attention. That dog is evil! Cute and evil!

Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘we are in a sync loop’ edition

When I got a Mac I decided pretty quickly that I did not like iCal – the calendaring program that comes with OS X. Its interface is not very user-friendly and it lacks the ability to handle repeating to-dos. I came across BusyCal and I was hooked. The problem I had though was trying to get everything to sync across 3 Macs, an iPad and iPhone.

Busycal works best when all of the computers and devices are on the same LAN. Unfortunately, that is not the case with me. I also need to sync some information from a Google Calendar. Mobile Me can also be used to sync the calendars however, you have to be careful that you don’t end up with a sync loop. Apparently, I managed to do this by subscribing to the same Google calendar. I have to say that BusyCal has amazing technical support. Generally, they respond to questions within an hour. Plus they are very patient. I now have everything working properly.

My mother has been raving about this great Cuisinart coffee pot she bought that has a chamber for hot water. Basically, you keep it filled and turn it on when you want water. In less than 5 minutes, the water had boiled. Then you can just draw the water into the cup. It will accommodate any size of cup. I am very excited to have hot water on demand!

Now for some dog updates:

  • Sawyer seriously likes to play ‘silly bugger.’[1] Take this morning – he was barking like a maniac to go out. So I get out of bed and take him downstairs to let him out. He races and immediately goes to the wrong door. I go and get him and he runs to the back door. I follow, I open the door and he goes back up the stairs. Can you say ‘little bastard?’
  • Still on the little man, he seems to think that eating is akin to having his claws pulled out one by one. He seems to want to eat with an audience. Which is a complete and utter pain in the ass in a multi-dog house. We have to keep everyone else away while he tries to eat his food. What makes it worse is when he is in his place to eat he barks, cries and howls. He makes it sound like we are torturing him.
  • Everyone else is doing really well. Zoe was back sleeping with us for a bit. We can’t let her up in the bed at night because she tries to bite anyone who moves in her general direction. She slept in the laundry basket. Too cute! I promise to post new pics soon! We have such a great crew of dogs.

[1] Silly Bugger is a game in which you try to get a dog to do something like, oh, let’s say, out to pee. Instead of cooperating and going out the door, he runs away. When you try to get him, he stays just out of reach. Silly bugger is, hands down, the most annoying thing dogs do!

Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘what a great news day’ edition

Some days are slow and other days are not! Today was a hot news day. So here we go!

  • First up – a BC father and daughter are jailed for a 2 million dollar GST scam. Apparently, the daughter could barely stand as the sentence was read. She received 5 years in jail and her father got a year less due to ill health. I am not sure what good one less year is going to do him. He is 74 and likely won’t survive 4 years in jail. Seriously though if you are going to do the crime you deserve to go to jail.
  • Bev Oda- what an idiot is all I can say. She doesn’t have the courage to deny KAIROS outright instead she does it in a sneaky underhanded way. She should resign and if she doesn’t Harper should fire her. But when does Harper ever do the right thing.
  • Today Phillip Owen apologized to Kim Rossmo for negative comments he made about Rossmo’s work on the Missing Women Case. It is about time that Kim Rossmo get the credit he deserves for the work he did.
  • Germs – I have left the best for last. The CBC did a study that found out that trays in food courts have as much bacteria as a toilet seat. Over the lunch hour there was a call in show about this issue. During this call in, listeners were regaled with everyone’s fears about not touching things that might have germs. It was rather all insane if you ask me. No one talked about the effects of not coming into contact with germs. We need to challenge our immune systems with germs. Totally scary!

Date Weekend

Deb and I had a great weekend. We went out to do a few errands yesterday and out for brunch to De Dutch. We both had the Peach Melba pancake thing[1] and it was awesome! We then picked up a bunch of curry supplies. I needed new spices, as mine were quite old. With Deb’s change to vegetarianism she has asked me to make more curry for her as many dishes are naturally vegetarian. Tonight I made her matar paneer with potatoes because she is a Nova Scotian at her core!

This afternoon we went to see the King’s Speech. It was fabulous! It was so good in fact that I was able to completely forget about all the crap in my world. Colin Firth was fabulous. I really enjoyed watching the relationship develop between the therapist and ‘Bertie.’ If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it.

We have decided that we need to do these kinds of things more often. Because we are both sick, it becomes easy to just stay home. While we need to do a fair amount of staying home and relaxing, I think we will try to balance things out a little more. We had a great time this weekend and hopefully we can do it again soon!

[1] I can’t spell it the way they do.

Some changes and updates

The more astute of you will notice that the title of my blog has changed. Dispatches from the Swamp, which is something I use quite regularly to tie together a small group of updates has now become the title of the blog.  After all I live in a swamp and pretty much everything is a dispatch from here. It was a suggestion Deb made today when we were out for brunch.

When I started my blog, I really didn’t know what I was doing. To be honest, I really didn’t think that I wrote well or that people would want to read the blog. My main reason for starting it was a place to get my political and activist passions out into the open. Mostly, I really needed to just get it out of me. Since August 2007, my blogged has morphed into what it is today. I had over 22,000 hits last year, which is astonishing to me. Most days, my readership is in the triple-digits. Believe me when I say, I am humbled and grateful.

I can’t say that things won’t change with a new name. You never know. I am sure I will continue to write the ‘Dispatches from the Swamp’ posts. What I do know is that my blog will continue to be a big part of my life especially as I try to post everyday in 2011!


I have been trying to find a program that I can use easily across all of my devices to capture information that I want to keep or look at later. I find things in twitter and blogs that I find interesting and I want to keep. I also don’t want to spend a lot of time getting the information in to the program. I also needed something that would sync seamlessly across all of my computers and my iDevices.

I looked at Circus Ponies Notebook but I couldn’t really figure it out. I tried Yojimbo but there was no way to sync easily. I would have had to put a save file into Dropbox and always remember to close it on each computer. I could not figure out a way to sync the iPad version with the information on my computers. So Yojimbo was out. I tried using the notebook feature in MS Word but I had the same syncing issues. Plus there was no real easy way to get information into the file from the iPad.

Enter Evernote. I was skeptical at first. However, very quickly I could see the value of the program. It is easy to start a new note. You simply click, add the information you want and it syncs with the cloud. On the iPad, which is where I need a program like this the most, it is so easy. I am able to copy a link, use fast-switching, tap to create a new note, paste what I want to save, click save and I am done. The other day I think I saved about 10 things in under 15 minutes. I was later able to go in and organize the notes when I have time.

I also use Evernote to capture ideas for future blog postings, things I need to do for work and personal things. Although I have not done it yet, you can use Evernote to store receipts, user manuals and other images. You can set up separate notebooks for different purposes. Tagging notes and other things in Evernote is also very easy.

What makes Evernote even better is the fact that it is free. There is a premium, paid version that drops the ads and gives you some other features. The cost is minimal but I have no real intention of getting the premium edition at this point. I really like Evernote and it is definitely meeting my needs!


This is such an amazing video. It gives me hope for the future. However, I worry about a disconnect between talking about acceptance and actually integrating it into one’s worldview. Even though the pink shirt campaigns have existed for a couple of years, school bullying is still occurring at a high rate in schools. While I completely support events like this flash mob, I wonder what the students’ understanding of acceptance really is. If one were to ask some questions about how acceptance plays it in their daily lives.

For those of you with children what do you see?

Enjoy the video!

Just Keep Your Head in the Sand

The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) has done an investigation into how the RCMP treats people in northern BC. Apparently, there have been many issues and tensions growing between the RCMP and the population. Of course, anyone who pays attention to politics in BC could have predicted what they would find when they did a consultation. Reports of First Nations people and the homeless being subjected to illegal arrest, racial profiling and illegal search and seizure were some of the major concerns. The BCCLA published the complaints anonymously understandably to protect peoples’ privacy.

The RCMP was not invited to the party for whatever reason. I am sure we can speculate. Perhaps it was felt that if they were there they might have retaliated. If people were not guaranteed anonymity maybe they may not have come forward. Now, the RCMP say they are not going to investigate these abuses of power.

Clearly the RCMP has no intention of taking action on members who behave badly. You would think given all of the issues with the RCMP of late they would be more than willing to work with the BCCLA to make some positive change. Obviously the RCMP is very comfortable policing small town BC.

Maybe it is time to get rid of the RCMP as an answer to local policing for small communities. Obviously, small towns like Terrace are not going to be able to create their own forces. However, with some provincial leadership, there is no reason why a provincial police force cannot be created. This will take leadership, serious leadership. Perhaps the next step for the BCCLA is to talk to the various leadership candidates in both the BC Liberal Party and the BC NDP to see any leadership can be found. The citizens of BC deserve more fair policing.