Saturday, 31 May 2014

#151 Digital Image SelecShawn

Work continues on the webpage.

Today was spent reviewing and sorting through literally thousands upon thousands  of pictures to put upload. 

Pictures of the kids, family, food, holidays, vacations, us and assorted other subjects big and small.

Now to decide what makes the final cut and write descriptions of it all and then upload, upload upload.

Right now I need to get away from the computer and stretch, before I start to look like Quasimodo...

Friday, 30 May 2014

#150 Employee to Employee AppreciaShawn

So Summer Hours officially began today in the office.  What that means is you can leave at noon, on Friday as long as you work the missing 4 ours from Monday to Thursday.

For all office employees except for Customer Service.  We get screwed at every bend and corner. 

The day before I joking said to Carole,  the head of Finance that I think this Summer, those that do get to leave at noon on Friday should bring fresh home made baked goods to those employees that can't leave until the end of the day.  She said, "You mean you and the rest in Customer Service"  I said, "Well I'm just joking, but maybe it would take a little of the sting out of when everybody stops by to say goodbye... lol"  She replied, "I never thought of that, but that must a little insensitive."   Indeed.

Well I was literally only kidding around, but when I got to my desk today there was a Muffin on my desk from Carole.   I smiled, but then I thought, oh my god, she really thought I was serious.  I went to her office and said thank you, but that I was only joking around yesterday.  She said she knew that, but realized that it does suck that Customer Service consistently gets screwed on things like Summer Hours, or "Office Holidays, where everyone takes the day off bu us, because our clients might call....

She told me after we spoke yesterday she spoke to a few of the other employees and they decided to rotate bring us in a treat every Friday.

So yea, we'd rather have the afternoon off, but it's nice to know that there are a few in the office that appreciate Customer Service.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

#149 Website Pre-ProducShawn

I'm setting up a webpage for Marcel and the Kids and I. 

I have so many ideas that I'm finding it hard to focus and concentrate. 

My mind is swirling at night in bed... If you had your browser with about 20 tabs open, that is my mind. And that's getting me no where!

So for now I have to pull in the reins. Focus on basic lay-out. Pre-format the pages and at least get the menu bar and header images all edited and uploaded.

Focus focus focus. Not my best trait, but I'm gonna try.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

#148 VegetaShawn

So I packed lunch for today (and the rest of the week, for that matter). I'm on a bit of a veggie kick.

Crudité (red, yellow and orange peppers, cucumber, celery, carrots and fennel) with Hummus. And some Kalamata Olives, Dill and Lemon Tuna and some Naan Bread. 

Oh! and an apple as well!

It was deelish.

Sure I love to go to McDonald's, or have Pizza, or some Chinese Take out for lunch, but I'll tell you... I LOVE raw veggies! Well Veggies in general, cooked or raw. 

Don't get me wrong I like meat too, I mean, c'mon... Bacon. Am I right? 

But yea, veggies and dip. Can't get me enough!  And what with bikini season just weeks away...

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

#147 Seasonal CelebraShawn

Today's high was 12'C... 
If you factor in the windchill (yes, I said windchill) it felt like 9'C.


It was such a beautiful day.

The people at the office not only hate me for enjoying it, they actually blame me.

Look, if I knew HOW to make the weather be like today, I can assure you, we'd have a lot more of it!

Monday, 26 May 2014

#146 Portable AcquisiShawn

I ordered a portable scanner a couple weeks ago. It arrived today. 

I have hundreds of photos I want to scan, and so does Marcel.  And then there's my parents.  I'm sure there are likely a good 100,000+ photos in their house. A great many I've no interest in, but then again there are probably a few thousand of immediate family I'd love to have copies of. And I know Marcel's Mom has pics we'd like to have as well...

The beauty of this scanner is it's not a flatbed scanner. It's a wand. You can scan photos, documents, magazine pages, certificated etc...  It scans in JPG or PDF formats.. Colour or B&W. You can upload with the mini SD disk, with a cable or via Wifi.  It also comes with a small flatbed with a transparent overlay to keep documents and or photos flat, if so needed. And the best part is it all fits in a small carrying case about the size of a rolling pin. Compared to the last flatbed I had that was a good 24 x 18 inches. And about as silent as dishwasher from 1982.

I did a test scan tonight. And it did a not too bad copy. 

Best of all when we visit the family cottages, or our parents, we don't even need a laptop as the SD disk is 8G. 

I can't wait for the weekend so I can get caught up on the stack of pictures I have, waiting in a folder in the closet.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

#145 New AddicShawn


It's difficult to explain why it's an addictive site, but it is!

I can however blame Marcel directly... He is indeed my Etsy pusher. He got hooked on the site 2 weeks back and is spending literally hours and hours per week scrolling through countless pages... and he's officially hooked, he's purchased something already.

Okay so have I, don't judge!

It's a never-ending site full of anything and everything you could possibly imagine... every craft known to man and then more never imagined! Clothes, painting, photos, ceramics, jewelry, and on and on and on. If you can't find something you absolutely MUST HAVE within a half an hour, then you obviously have everything you've ever wanted, or didn't know you wanted... in which case... give me some money so I can increase my collection. Thanks.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

#144 Memory Lane - No EmoShawn

We went to some friends' yard sale today. It was held at my last apartment (that I sublet from them for a few years).

Walking over there today I wondered if I'd feel any emotion about being there again.   I had lived there from Sept 2009 to March 2013... well actually only til Aug 2012... from Aug til the following March I was living almost full time with my BF at his condo. It had all started that Aug when the AC unit died in the apt.  It wasn't listed in the lease so the landlord felt no need to replace it, and I sure wasn't going to dump of $1000+ on an AC unit that I couldn't take when I left... so I started staying more and more with Marcel since the fans and the portable AC unit I had, were just not cutting it, and his condo was nice and cool. 

When the cooler temps of Fall and Winter came, I guess we just became so comfortable staying together that I didn't bother going back... other than to check the mail, shovel the snow, grab something or another... And then we decided, screw it, I may as well move in proper. We would save some money by splitting one set of bills instead of paying two full sets (rent/mortgage, hydro, cable/internet and so on...)  and more importantly  we liked being together. 

So, I gave notice and slowly, but surely I'd go over pack a box, sort and chuck out what I didn't need or want anymore. It was cathartic, and rather easy to throw out things since I really hadn't been there for so long. By the time the final move was done on March 30th 2013, I was well and truly done with the old Apt.  Granted, I did love the place when I moved in, in fact I put a lot of time into the place before and while I lived there.  I certainly cleaned and spruced up the place. But it was an old building in increasingly disrepair in great part because the landlords were old and neither cared to do the work, or would pay for work to be done. I did what I could but when you only rent, you're only going to do so much. It was not hard to walk away.

I was back once in the spring and it didn't really still much  emotion in me.

Being there today I felt no loss of affection for the place, as a matter of fact I felt rather claustrophobic there.  It has more square footage than our place now, but it's layout in early 1900's design, with many small rooms, vs the open concept of Marcel's and my place now (a 1900's place renovated in the 1980s) made me uncomfortable. I never considered myself an open concept / lofty sort of person, but I have to say it's grown on me.  

I could not wait to leave the old place after being there only 10 minutes.  In fact, it seems to have gone steeper down hill... it almost made me wonder if the disrepair was because the place missed me...  A sad thought truly, but while I will fondly remember my time there, it is no longer my home.

My home is pure and simply, where Marcel and the dogs are, and it's not there.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

#142 Forecasting Disappointing CondiShawns

The only thing that upsets me as much as when Weather Forecasters call for heavy snow and we git a scant flurry, is when they call for thunderstorms and we get showers.

Honestly. I LOVE extreme weather. I crave it. I need it. And when they tell me we're gonna get it, the anticipation is almost too much.

So you can imagine when we don't get the fantastically awesome weather, just how disappointed and depressed I get.

Today was one of those days.


Honestly, how is it 30+ years ago when the weather forecaster on the news used to draw the weather systems on a blank map, they were far more accurate. And now, in the days of satellites and computer programs and projections, how, just HOW can they be so consistently wrong?


Disappointing dumbasses!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

#141 Tecnology FrustraShawns part 2

Well the Technician arrived for today's afternoon appointment. After 30 minutes he gave up and gave us a new HD PVR Converter box.  The only problem, as I knew was going to happen... we lost all our taped shows, a good 30+ hours worth...  Including the Season Finales of 3 shows...
Bach to square one... and watching, *gasp* live TV, with *double gasp* commercials.

First world Problem I suppose... 

Now, fingers crossed, that's it for the technological blubs for a while.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

#140 Technology FrustraShaws

Some days you win, and some some days you don't.

Today was a draw.

We had an Electrician in this morning to deal with two issues:
- the bathroom light and the electrical socket. 
-the kitchen ceiling light.

Well, a little over two hours and $430 some odd dollars later, and we had functioning lights and safety plug....

Que the fiber optic cable box and PVR ... All of the sudden, it isn't working. After an hour with "tech support", we had to schedule a technician appointment. 

So tomorrow is round two of Us vs Technology. 

I only hope we won't have lost the 30+ hours of taped shows... (Fingers crossed)

Monday, 19 May 2014

#139 Seasonal AppreciaShawn

If Summer could be like this weekend, then maybe I'll become a Summer Lover.

It was sunny, with a lovely breeze, and temperatures in the high teens to low twenties. 


No high heat, or humidity.

Excellent conditions for a long dag walk... the sidewalks and roads were not too hot for their feet. 

Windows and patio door wide open to catch the breeze. 

But we are realistic and know these beautiful days are all too few, so we will enjoy them as they come.

In other news... 216 days to Winter.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

#138 Long Weekend ActShawns

Another successful relaxing long weekend day.

Planted all the flowers, inside and out. 
More tidying up. 
Walked the doggies. 
Made a delicious Thai Chicken Pineapple Stir Fry. 

And we still have one more day to go for this weekend... 


Saturday, 17 May 2014

#137 Long Weekend PreparaShawns

We made a great dent into the unofficial first long weekend of Summer. Unofficial I say because Summer only begins on June 21st.  Today we:

- Stored all our Winter-ware
- Unpacked our Summer coats
- Got a new take of propane for Barbecurella (our BBQ)
- Picked up and marinated some amazing Lamb Chops to christen the new take of propane
- Purchased flowers for the patio flower boxes
- Purchased some fresh herbs for the Kitchen Windowsill Garden: Rosemary, Thyme and Bay Laurel (we already have a pot of Basil)
- Congratulated ourselves with a summer cocktail: Lemonade and Gin 

All we have left to do today is grill the lamb chops and enjoy the cool breezes of the evening.

Tomorrow we plant!

Friday, 16 May 2014

#136 DevastaShawn

I found out today that sweet, sweet Malachi, the Basset Hound that was found by the Oromocto SPCA in New Brunswick had to be put down today. 

He was severely dehydrated, and chronically malnourished and had lost so much weight that his heart and kidneys were close to failure. Even under medical attention he was still losing weight. 

After all the tests, blood work, x-rays and medication, it was decided the best thing was to end the pain and suffering already past and to come. 

My heart, for a second time this week was crushed into a million pieces. I know he;s no longer suffering, and that his last few days were filled with unending love and affection and attention, but I'd still rather a miracle and he was getting better.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

#135 Friendship Re-connecShawn

Well it only took 17 years, give or take a few months, but I finally tracked down a dear old friend today. We both lost track of each other is more like it.  Our last contact was back in the late 90's. We were actually still writing letter! Email?! What was that?!

We both had a tendency to move around, a lot, and I guess over the moves addresses and forwarding failed. And then, the abyss...

I've never stopped thinking of her over these many years.

About 3 weeks ago I found a contact on the internet for her husband (not even sure if they were still married) and hemmed and hawed if I should email him, in no small part because he's a Sheldon Cooper-esque scientist with the US military. I finally decided to send a brief email in the hoped it would not be bounced or filtered and then have my every move tracked... for all I know I could be. hmmmmm

In the end though, it was worth it. I got a response today!  It filled my heart with such joy.

Now to write back and try to catch up on the past couple of years.   CANNOT WAIT!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

#134 Office DissatisfacShawn

30 minute meeting with the "boss", to discuss my 2014 Objectives. Because that's the sort thing you like to finalize in the middle of May.

Then I had a two and a half hour phone conference. Regarding security, record retention, document storage, hand-written signatures vs electronic signatures vs bio-metric signatures... and other scintillating topics. 

Living the dream people, living the dream.

Kill me now.  

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

#133 Proceed with CauShawn

I'm only going to say this once:

Unless you are pregnant, elderly, disabled/have a cast, or are my Parents, do *not* try to cut in line in front of me, at the bus stop, on the metro platform, at the bank, grocery store, at the checkout of any store, or anywhere else people queue for entrance/access/service. 

As Gandalf said, "You shall not pass!"

And as I said, "I *will* trip your ass."

Respect the line!

Monday, 12 May 2014

#132 DonaShawn

Some days you just wake up and don't have the slightest clue how, a simple picture will completely derail your day...

 Meet Malachi.

This sweet, sweet boy was found wandering about the streets of Oromocto, New Brunswick on the weekend. The posting from the local SPCA mentioned they found him, were seeking any information on him, seeking any tips on his owners. It was shared by a friend in NB who does a lot of work with the SPCA in New Brunswick.

He's in rough shape, but he's been through a slew of tests and has already been placed in Foster Care. The owners have been located and an investigation is underway. (It’s very unclear if this is a case of neglect or a case of a lost family pet)


I was almost to work this morning, sitting in the bus, just scrolling through my FB feed on my iPhone and I say his face, and then when I clicked on the image I saw more than his face, I saw his body, or lack thereof. I saw his rib cage, his hips, his knee-bone.  And in that moment, my heart shattered into a million pieces.

I got off the bus and walked to work. Once I got to my desk I logged into FB. I had to take a second, closer look. Maybe I shouldn't have because I was increasingly became a mess. I couldn't really cope with anything at that point. My day had come to a screeching halt. 

I started looking online for more information, and finally found a number for the NBSPCA - Moncton.  I called and offered to make a donation for his care. I was told they could take a donation from me immediately but that if i wanted to donate specifically to the Basset Hound, that I should call the Oromocto location. So I took their number and began to wait.  It was 9am for me and the local office would only open at 10:30am.

That has to be one of the longest 90 minute waits of my life!

I finally got through at about 10:45am and spoke to one of their workers. I explained where I was and why I was calling and after talking about Malachi for a few minutes and hearing he was already in Foster Care, I was markedly relieved.

I don't know why this little fellah affected me so. I've seen similar images in the past, but there was just something in his face. I had to try to help him.

I made the donation on behalf of our two pooches: Santiago and Peanut.

Hears to hoping that he makes a full recovery and gets adopted by a loving family.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

#131 Mother's Day

Today is Monther's Day, and as a proud Momma's Boy I am only to proud to say, I Love my Mom!

While we've maybe not always seen eye to eye, I can say that she's not just my Mother, but she's also a good friend.

We share many things...

-Love of Gardening
-Love of Crafting
-Love of Baking and Cooking
-Love of Family
-We're not to shy to voice an Opinion
and of course...
-Our amazing blue eyes.

Love you Mom, I your boy.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

#130 Heat AverShawn

Today was a reminder that Summer is coming.  And I'm not altogether happy about it. 

It was 23'C, with a 27'C Humidex. 

My personal Limit is about 22'C. but I would say no to 20'C

While there are elements of Summer that DO appeal to me:
-Barbecuing / Grilling food
-Gardening (if even only in patio and window boxes)
-The smell of fresh cut grass
-2 weeks at the cottage on PEI
-Walking the dogs
But that's pretty much it.

I don't care for high heat or humidity, and even less for the Hydro bills due to our almost four months of non-stop Air Conditioning the apartment... don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to have the AC, but it's not cheap when it's running 24/7 for four months!

After today, I'm considering starting my annual Countdown to the First Day of Winter early. I usually start on the first day of Summer, but I'm not above starting early, and the first day we touch 30'C I very well just might start the countdown. 

Friday, 9 May 2014

#129 First World DeluShawns

Perspective is everything.

Today Netflix sent an email out to all their existing American and Canadian subscribers to announce that their accounts will remain fixed at their existing $7.99 a month (for the next two years). NEW accounts however will now be $8.99 a month. That’s a $1.00 a month, or a mind boggling $12.00 for  a year.  They indicate this increase is to help them increase their libraries of Movies and TV shows. And I’m all for that, especially as a Canadian subscriber. Hell, I’d be happy with them actually increasing my account by $1.00 right now, if only to help increase the options. It’s not like we still don’t get more than our money’s worth every month.

On the other side of the coin, Hydro Quebec just announced their record breaking profits for 2013 at  just under 3 billion dollars ($2.94 billion to be exact) And yet they had the nerve to have requested from the previous PQ Government to approve a 4.3% rate increase, which the government gladly green lit. 

What I’m seeing today are a LOT more people losing their shit over the $1.00 increase to Netflix, EVEN THOUGH, their accounts will not be raised for another 2 years; compared to people upset with Hydro Quebec continuing to systematically rip off their monopoly held clientele. Granted these are for the most part the same people that complain with each and every minute change FREE services like Twitter and Facebook make.

Is it just me? am I the only that is much more concerned about the Hydro rate increase?!   From what I've seen online today, I guess so.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

#128 #QuestShawn

Just curious what a #hashtag will do to help locate the hundreds of schoolgirls from Nigeria?

I mean, aside from the screen time it gives #celebrities.

A friend on FB mentioned that it helps draw media attention to the story. But I tend to disagree. I find that the media was well (if not finally) reporting on the story, frequently. THEN came the #hashtag, and the Instagram selfie pics, and the Facebook #shares and #likes.

What this is going to take (if it's not already too late) is for International Government Aid, / Military Equipment /  and Man-Power on the ground and in the air.

It would seem that France, England and Canada are now getting involved. Hopefully The US will be as well.

#hastags and #likes don't find kidnapped school girls, they don't cure cancer in infants, and they shouldn't be the deciding factor for children to get a puppy/kitten/bunny/etc.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

#127 Parental Missed CommunicaShawn

Spoke to my parents for a couple of minutes on Monday and we agreed to a call tonight to discuss an Excel spreadsheet I made for the to manage expenses for the family cottage because, as I mentioned prior we will be contributing to them.

She was to have called by 7:30pm, I called at 8:15pm   one was watching cat videos on the web, the other was in bed (the one that agreed to the call) Mom was too tired to talk about it tonight.

I knew this would happen.  They are Cash Blocking us. At every turn they are trying to put the kibosh on letting us help. I've now mailed two checks and had to remind them that I can see whether or not they have cashed the checks.  I heard an audible groan from my Mom. 

So help me they are going to take our money, or else...

...or else I'll ground them and take away their TV and Internet privileges. So help me, I'll do it!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

#126 Lyrical IntrospecShawn

My recent voyage down memory lane continues...  Last week I was listening to The Cranberries and then yesterday I started listening to Sinéad O'Connor.

I don't know what it is about the lilty Irish female voice, but it doesn't seem to matter how up-beat, or loud, or slow or grungy the song, I get all deep and philosophical and introspective. And I cannot get enough.

Last month I was re-visiting the 80s, right now I'm in the 90s.

I'm stuck on The Lion and the Cobra, and I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. All that's missing is my old, all black wardrobe and eyeliner... 

Monday, 5 May 2014

#125 Save the Ravens PetiShawn

I saw a post on Facebook today. A petition to stop the Idaho Government from culling over 4000 Ravens. 

Here's the thing, I absolutely love Crows and Ravens are absolutely near and dear to my heart. They are on par with Marcel, the dogs and my parents; so Idaho's plan is very disturbing to me.

If you're interested to know more about the petition and if you want to sign it yourself, click on the picture below.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

#124 Baked Goods AppreciaShawn

Marcel baked me some Blackberry Muffins on Friday, so today I am baking him some Lemon Blondies.

As they say, one (baked)good turn, deserves another. 

Saturday, 3 May 2014

#123 New Cliche on TaxaShawn

It's true; there are only two guarantees in life: Death and Taxes. And since clearly I'm not yet dead, as I write this, it can only mean I've just done my taxes.

Thanks to Heartbleed, the Canadian Revenue Agency extended the deadline for individual tax returns for 2013 from April 30th, to May 5th for electronic returns.  I'm not sure why exactly though. Sure, Canadians were unable to submit online tax returns for 5 days while they corrected holes where Heartbleed could reach, but really... all they were doing was pandering to procrastinators.

And while I *am* a bit of a procrastinator, it is never more prevalent then at Tax Time. It's not because I dread the posibility of having to pay MORE - truth be told this is only the 2nd time in the past 15 years that I'll be receiving a refund - it's because no matter how  well designed a tax return program might be, it's still talking legalese mumbo-jumbo. Beside every single field they have a little, info button, and inside that pop up a little help button, but at the end of the day mumbo-jumbo.

My tax returns are generally very straight forward: one T4, one Releve 1, a stack of prescription receipts, my RRSPs, a couple of charity donations receipts and my Metro pass; and yet... it's a 90 minute - minimum - headache. And most of that time is reading and trying to do on the spot translation.  THIS is why I procrastinate. 

Some people say, well, since you hate it so much, why don't you pay someone to do it for you? Well because that's what I did until 3 years ago. And in that time, I've only paid once. In 12 years of paying people, I've not only lost money on them, I've had to pay more taxes. Coincidence?  I don't know, but until I win the lotto and have property and investments up th wa-hoo I'll do 'em myself. I just don't have to like doing them.

So maybe, there are three guarantees in *my* life... Death, Taxes and me Bitching about Taxes.

Friday, 2 May 2014

#122 Metro Announcement FrustraShawn

A little over a year ago, the STM removed all the garbage and recycling receptacles from the platform level of all the metro stations in the city. They added a few extra at the entrances, street level. 

This was done to make the riders of the Metro more responsible at disposing of their rubbish... by moving the garbage ans recycling cans FARTHER from the people! Admittedly things are a little less messy than they were at the beginning, but then when this change took place people were just dropping their papers etc anywhere and everywhere.

Now, I've bitched about the over excessive announcements in the Metro about slowdowns and broken doors etc and these go on ad nauseum throughout the day, every day. 

But *now* they have added an announcement, literally, *every five minutes* thanking people to use the waste receptacles when leaving the Metro. These announcements have the same warning tone at the beginning as interruption announcements, which just makes them that much more annoying.

And in the past 2 weeks, I've noticed an increase of people leaving their papers in the metro cars. LOL!  Well played STM, well played!

Stop the insanity! Stop all the pointless announcements!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

#121 Parental Financial ComplicaShawns

A couple of years back my parents put my name on the deed to the family summer home on PEI. Because neither they or I are residents of the Island when the time comes, transferring the property to me, and or inheritance will be a costly affair. So this was done to avoid this. 

Seeing as I'm on the Deed and the tax bills from the province I decided that my time to contribute financially to the maintenance of the property.

Have you ever tried to give your Parents money (that you hadn't borrowed in the first place)?  Let me tell you it's not easy!

It's taken 6 months just to get copies of the bills from *last* year! lol

Now that we know some of the costs, *they* are making excuses why  we shouldn't pay anything... UGH! Too bad! 

Just think about this... when was the last time someone offered to pay some of YOUR bills, and you said 'No'. Remember that time, it never happened? ;-)

I get that they don't want to feel that can't manage on their own, but I am a part owner. They just have to understand.

So now I guess the real challenge will be their cashing the checks we send. (Fingers crossed)