Monday, February 27, 2006

I am so humiliated

Misty asked today "Have you ever been likened to a cartoon character, or wanted to be one?"

Well, no and no. So I consulted my best friend from junior high, who has known me almost as long as I have known me and she said she'd never thought of me that way before but she guessed it would be one of the gophers Mac and Tosh of Bugs Bunny fame. Me being one and her the other.

Excellent. I am a syncophantic rodent.

I have duly notified Misty of my pathetic cartoon alter ego, but how about you? If you've not already answered this question on Misty's site, what's the deal? Have you ever been likened to a cartoon character or wanted to be one? Fess up, now. No, you first. Oh my, no. I simply couldn't. You must go first. (Help me...)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Enough with the snow, already

Oh. My. God. Lest anyone think I am exaggerating, I present a corroborating news item here. it took me 4-3/4 hours to dig out. I feel like I've been beaten with sticks.

This is what I saw when I got up this morning.

And the view from my basement door.

Eye level view. Just for reference, I'm 5' 2".

I had to dig my way out of the house. A first.

The car emerges.

After about an hour's work.

And 4 and 3/4 hours later, voila! I'm actually able to use my car again.

Drugs are my friends. As are my ice pack and Epsom salts. And a hot bath, to which I am heading right now!

Snow more, please

The view from my basement (street level) door. Yes, that drift is almost 5' high. It's been snowing with high winds for the last 24 hours. The strange blue tint is from using the night setting on the flash.

From the front door. That would be my car and the drift you can see in the previous picture towards the back of it.

From the basement door without flash.

And from the Strange Things You See While Driving Around Town file, I took the pic below while on my way to the gym one lunch hour. While stopped for a pedestrian-activated traffic light, I noticed this woman crossing the street, carrying something unusual. I just got my camera out of my purse in time to snap a picture of her carrying...

a coffee table. And pulling a suitcase on wheels. Makes you wonder... was she moving house one piece of furniture at a time? Or just going for tea and bringing along a few accoutrements?

Friday, February 24, 2006


The hometown boys did it! St. John's nearly ground to a halt this afternoon to watch the game. Schools closed at noon and in offices like mine, where there is a TV, lunch was ordered in and all work ceased to watch the game. And it was beautiful to behold.

Photo from the National Post

We're not used to producing Olympic gold medallists here. It's a small city, only about 105,000, in a province of about 500,000 compared to the 30,000,000 in all of Canada. It's not a big pool from which to draw your talent.

It was, in a word, sweet.

P.S. - This is my 100th post. I coudn't possibly think of a better topic for it than this.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Hurry hard!

Well, it's all very exciting. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are collectively proud enough to burst their buttons. The Canadian curling team (Newfoundlanders all, except for the second who is from my home province of New Brunswick) is competing for the gold medal tomorrow in Torino.

They're even closing the schools across the province tomorrow afternoon so all the little kiddies can go home to watch our own do us proud. Go get 'em boys!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

CBC Web Cam

From the local CBC website...

Overlooking scenic (?) Duckworth Street towards Signal Hill, on which you can just pick out Cabot Tower (the little dark spotch) from which the first Trans-Atlantic radio signals were sent and received by Mister Marconi.

Historical fact!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mr. Picasso Head

Toooosday Caption-Me-Do

Monday, February 20, 2006

And now for something completely overdue...

PBS is bringing back the gang!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I am Canadian

A Canuck. A herringchoker and Maritimer by birth, a Newfie and Atlantic Canadian by choice. An Anglophone. English and Irish by ancestry.

My paternal grandparents emigrated from England (via Gibraltar) sometime around 1908. My grandfather was born in Surrey and my grandmother in Liverpool.

My maternal grandparents were Canadian-born. My grandfather was a rabid member of the Orange Lodge, so I presume my ancestors on that side were Ulstermen. My grandmother's roots are less known, but were supposed to be Irish with one German grandmother. Very typical Atlantic Canadian roots.

It's funny being a Canadian. It's kind of like being the somewhat obscure sibling of a superstar. Everyone knows you exist, they just don't know that much about you. Even our accents (for there is more than one) are unknown. In England, I am asked if I am American. In America, I'm asked if I'm English. And they can work against you here. In Western Canada, I would be scorned as a Maritimer; here, I'm snubbed as a Mainlander.

Despite our being the second largest country (in area) in the world, non-Canadians generally have no idea of the scale of the country. Relatives from other parts of the world tell you they'd like to go shopping in Toronto on Saturday and what time would you have to leave St. John's to get there by car. Oh, around, say... 8:30 in the morning... on Thursday. It's a 10-hour drive from here to the west coast of Newfoundland*, then an 8-hour ferry ride to the east coast of Nova Scotia and then at least another 16 hours or so to Toronto.

Or you'll meet someone whilst travelling the world and when they find out you're Canadian, they'll ask if you know their cousin Dave in Winnipeg. I got bussed to school, but not that far...

Even we don't always know how big we are or where we end or begin. Or at least the advertising agencies don't. There was an Anacin commercial a few years back that boasted it could keep you headache-free as you flew from coast-to-coast - from Vancouver to, not St. John's, which would truly be from coast to coast, not even Halifax, which would be close, but... Montréal. They'd only left out four provinces. Four of the smallest provinces, granted, but still. I guess it was as far east as they could imagine travelling. Or maybe as far east as they'd want to, but that's another post. If you consult the map above... okay you can't exactly do that, it's too small, but you can find a readable version here. Otherwise, you'll have to trust me on this. Montréal is in Québec, the big green province on the right and St. John's is in Newfoundland** and Labrador, the purple province on the right and as far east as you can go before you have to start treading water. Let's just say if I stood at an airline counter in Vancouver airport (in the yellow province on the left) and told them I wanted to fly to the opposite coast and they sent me to Montréal, I'd be a tad peeved. And have a very long walk ahead of me.

So. Due to the travellin' feet of my grandparents and probably in no small way to the Irish potato famines of 1800's, I am Canadian. I think Joe says it best.

Molson Canadian - Joe Canadian ad

*Newfoundland, while the 15th largest island in the world and approximate half the size of Great Britain, is only 4.1% of the total area of Canada.

**Newfoundland is pronounced to rhyme with 'understand' with the middle syllable sounding more like 'fen' than 'found'. Newfoundland, understand?

The Wrath of Dawn. Educating the world one blog reader at a time. Fnarr and, indeed, guffaw. As if.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Well, I finally looked it up. I've seen ASBOs, an unfamiliar term here in the colonies, mentioned on several British blogs and GW just mentioned it in my comments, so it was well past time. As are so many things, it has been quite handily explained, with examples, by our good friends at the BBC.


I love words. I love reading. I love writing. Once I was old enough to realize that all those squiggly marks I saw around me meant the stuff we speak (around the age of 3 if I recall correctly), I was hooked. BEGGED my mother to teach me to read. She wouldn't. Said I'd be too bored when I started school. She was right on that score, I was bored out of my mind even though I still needed to learn to read, but still, when you get a kid begging to learn to read, how do you say no? I desperately tried to learn to print on my own. Got some of it right. And once I learned to read, I read everything I could get my hands on. Devoured books. I don't necessarily read well, but I read a lot. And I do love words. Especially funny-sounding ones, or ones that so perfectly sound like what they are.


Endoplasmic Reticilum
Fuckwit (I didn't say they'd all be nice...)

Pay Cheque - not funny. Not funny at all.

So what are your favourites? (Apply a modicum of decency please...)

Mr. Fabulous
Aunty Marianne
(will do another post about words we hate, maybe...)

Update #2
Ricardipus - The Blogless One


Update #3
Ricardipus - again, still Blogless

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Ms. Magoo

I was fooling around with the camera tonight and discovered that you can combine the super macro setting with eyeglasses to get some interesting shots. As I may have mentioned before, I'm blind as a bat and as I'm also older than a badger I need a strong bifocal prescription. Thank the gods of opthalmology that reduction lenses and progressive bifocals were invented, otherwise I'd look like Mr. Magoo's sister. As it is, I just look* incredibly intelligent.

But I digress. During my photographic explorations, I discovered that on the super macro setting, my camera can take focused pictures through my glasses. Yes! Is this not fascinating? No? Too bad. This is my blog. Write your own drivel.

So I snapped a bunch of shots, battling reflections, the fact that my camera is non-SLR and my own ineptitude. And got:

Just one of the many ways time gets wasted around here.

*operative word


Missing. Answers to the name Ricardipus. Likes to be scratched behind the ears. May smell of coffee-flavoured yoghurt. If spotted, do not approach too quickly. He has a chainsaw.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Baby-B busts a move

Thanks, GW!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Yackety yak - Part the second

The yaks have arrived. Neither the Royal Mail nor Canada Post let us down. And it took less than a month to wend its way from the UK. What's next? Dogs and cats living together?

As promised, photographic evidence of my booty*...

And a close up of the rather nice embroidery work.

Thanks, Alan!

*You at the back! Yeah, you! Keep your smart remarks to yourself!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Hearts and flowers

Found another lovely VD site courtesy of Mr. Sun. Kinda makes you all weepy, huh?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Taking a leaf from
Misty's book, I've found a photo sorely in need of a caption. So, my fine readers, have at it!

Update And Alan of Random Burblings wins!

Fluffy felt she needed more practice at passing through rings in case she ever met Richard Gere again.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Can she bake a cherry pie

No, but while you're here, sit down and have a piece of Blog Pie. Fresh baked every day by too many cooks.

Help stop the spread of VD

In one week's time it will be the day dreaded by singletons the world over. It will be 'you are a loser in the romance sweepstakes day'.

Help stop the spread of VD. Join me and thousands of others in sending an Anti-Valentine. It's the right thing to do.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

So sue me

Went with friends to a new Japanese restaurant last night. What a treat! The service was fabulous (a tad slow, but it's a new place so we'll cut them some slack), the decor was faulous but needs some sound proofing, the presentation was flawless and the food delicious.

There's also a new Thai place that's just opened. There's actually quite a nice selection of restaurants here now. When I moved here 25 years ago, you were lucky to get decent Chinese. The variety in the grocery stores has improved immeasurably as well. Sometimes living on an island in the North Atlantic isn't so bad after all.

What are your favourite restaurants and how happy are you with the variety in your area?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

And slightly over two hours later...

After two people shovelled and scooped for slightly over two hours... voila! clear driveway, visible car.

The snow the plow had left at the end of the drive was UP. TO. MY. CHEST. Granted, at 5' 2" that may not seem high to some, but size is relative and when you're the one doing the shovelling that's DEEP no matter what it would be on a tape measure.

They're not predicting anything but flurries for the next two days, then rain. Won't that be sweet.

And the 'lizzard lingers

Riley surveys the snow

And the blizzard rages on, although slightly diminished. There's still at least 10 more cms to come to join the almost 30 cms that have fallen over the last 24 hours. I have at least 2 hours of shovelling ahead of me. Oh joy. That giant lump featured in the picture below would be my car. And that wall you see on the left just peaking out of the snow drift? That's about 4 1/2 feet high. And, you ask, incredulous, can the snow possibly have drifted up almost to the top of the wall? Why, yes. Yes, it has. Thank you for asking. And now I've got a date with a snow drift...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Holy Acrophobia, Batman!

You are Robin
Young and acrobatic. You don't mind stepping aside to give someone else glory.

What superhero are you?

Found on Anne's blog.

It's a 'lizzard!

The view from my front door.
Blizzard warning in effect.
Today..Snow at times heavy and blowing snow. Amount 15 cm. Wind northeast 50 km/h gusting to 80 except gusting to 100 near the coast. High zero.
Tonight..Snow at times heavy and blowing snow. Amount 25 cm. Wind northeast 50 km/h gusting to 80 except gusting to 100 near the coast. Temperature steady near zero.

These are the people in your neighbourhood

Mr. Fabulous posted about his neighbours today. It made me feel much better, I have to say. It seems his neighbours are just as distant and weird as mine.

I've lived in this house for 15 years this month. Of the 5 houses bordering it (2 on either side and the 3 across the street) only one house has had the same family in it for that time. The others have all changed hands at least 3 times with the house to my left having at least 5 owners.

Let's start with the family that has stayed the same. They're in the house across the street to my right. Husband, wife and 2 daughters, the younger of which occasionally babysat for me when my kids were younger. Let's call them the No-talk family. These people rarely speak to me. To be honest the husband never has. I am invisible to him. He never spoke to my ex either, until the day they were both out shovelling snow just after a possible merger between their two companies had been announced. He crossed the street to talk to ex and although he'd never previously spoken to either of us, knew exactly where ex worked, what he did and what he was likely to know about the merger. So clearly, although he'd never spoken TO either of us, he done plenty of talking ABOUT one of us.

Fast forward to our separation. My EAP counsellor at work is a former employee of Mrs. No-talk. Almost every time I spoke with my counsellor (which is frequently, because divorce is just that kind of fun), she mentions that Mrs. No-talk across the street has expressed sympathy for poor, little old me, now making my way through life alone and how she hopes I'm doing okay. She hopes I'm doing okay? Is this the same woman who completely ignores me each morning when we're getting into our cars to go to work? The same woman who has never bothered to say, "Hi, how's it going?" Married to the same man who clears his driveway with his snowblower while I shovel mine by hand, even during the two winters in a row in which we had an accumulated snowfall of 20 plus FEET of snow and never once helped me? Clearly, she also prefers talking ABOUT me to talking TO me.

Next door to them and directly across the street from me, we've had 3 families. The first had money to burn (hubby was a lawyer, wife had a rich daddy) but tiny black hearts and left my 5-year old and I in the driveway with a dead battery while they drove away with their daughter to the dance school Christmas party we were attempting to attend. It was an incredibly cold day, neither of our cars would start and I'd offered to give them a ride if my car started first. Hubby walked out of their house, boosted their car from the neighbour's, went back inside and wife drove off with daughter, leaving me to explain to our daughter why they would do that after she'd heard me offer to help them.

The next couple were a rather hapless young lawyer and his friendly wife and two very young children. One night about 10:30 p.m., I heard a car door slam outside my driveway, followed by two rather loud, drunken voices. Two men staggered down the street and around the corner and I thought, "That's that." Until they returned, banged on the door of Hapless Lawyer's house until he answered and then proceeded to drink (I suspect) in his van, playing music at top volume in his van in the driveway. At one point, one of his charming visitors was dancing on the roof of the van, hooting loudly. They moved not longer after that, to be replaced by...

Strange Man and No-speaking Woman. Again with the invisibility. The only time he has spoken to me was to complain about the service in the local doughnut shop and to offer my dog a bone from a pork roast, which I declined because my dog doesn't need the extra calories, thanks. The only time she has spoken was once when she was walking her dog while I was shovelling and I spoke first.
Next to them and to my left, we've again had 3 families. I think. There was a confusing period during which the house was for sale for a protracted period of time and I think someone may have been living there, but I'm not sure.

Family number one had Katherine the Child from Hell. Pure evil that child was. Amused herself by doing fun things like taking my clothespin basket and throwing all the clothespins up into my windows and spitting a mouthful of milk into the rabbit's water dish (cow's milk will make rabbits very sick and this had been explained to her). She was the kind of kid that makes you want to count the silverware after she's visited.

The next crew I liked well enough, they had daughters around the same ages as mine, we were each other's back-up babysitters, and the mom and I actually got rather friendly, but apparently they never, ever said 'no' to their kids, nor did they ever clean up. Which made it a little awkward when the kids played here. But I liked them just the same. Of course, they divorced, she and the kids left the country and he married a successful local entertainer and has now passed out of my lowly circle of non-celebrities. Then came the murky period when people may have been living there or not and now we have the Unknowns. There are always at least 3 vehicles parked in the driveway and boats and snowmobiles seem to come and go but I couldn't pick the people out of a police line-up if my life depended on it.

The house directly to my left must have a revolving door on the front of it. I think we're on family number five, but I'm not sure. I am the only house on my block, with the houses on either side facing streets perpendicular to mine. Because of this arrangement, I don't see much of the neighbours on either side. There have been springs when I've been sure the couple in that backyard is not the same one who mowed the lawn last fall, but since they never speak, I'm not sure. Currently, there is a mom and her teenaged daughter there. She actually spoke to me last summer. I almost fell off the deck.

To my right we have the same revolving door policy. The house used to be a rental and it showed. The first people had a Beagle who used to poop in our backyard. Very popular when you have a toddler who thinks everything she finds on the ground deserves close inspection.

The next was a single mom with two rather rowdy boys. Don't remember much about them except they thought it was great fun to taunt my two girls.

They were followed by the Screaming family. She had a penchant for staying out all night with "the girls." This would be followed by him yelling at her for what seemed like hours and that man could yell for Britain. My favourite fights were the ones that would occur at 3:00 a.m. and wake me from a dead sleep. From NEXT DOOR. They had two young boys who would emerge into the back yard (right next to my bedroom window) around 7:00 a.m. each weekend morning and shriek in those high-pitched shrill little boy voices that could shattering glass for an hour or two. The mom looked like a hooker and the dad was really creepy and I think it was him I caught peeking into my windows one winter night.

They were replaced by an older couple who completely remodelled the house and did the yard up like... well... like an explosion at a garden centre. They were in the house 3 years and every summer they added more furniture, lights, and much to my annoyance, fountains. The one in the far corner was okay, it kind of sounded like a trickling brook and I could barely hear it, even with my bedroom window open. But one summer night, I awoke, heard what sounded like my bathtub running and made a mad dash, half asleep for the bathroom, thinking one of the
kids had left the tub running, visions of flooded house dancing through my head. No. It was just the new fountain they'd installed right next to the fence between our properties about... oh 5 feet from my bedroom window. For the next two summers, I could only open my bedroom window on windy nights because I just couldn't sleep with what sounded like a running bathtub right outside my window.

They've been replaced (and took their dratted fountain with them!) by another family with two young boys with the usual shrieking voices. During the summer, they had a trampoline in the backyard. Placed, coincidentally, right over the spot that had housed the annoying fountain. There must be something about that spot. Evil spirits.

I know this lack of contact with my neighbours is partly my fault. Because the houses seem to change hands so often, I've lost interest in getting to know anyone. They won't be there long. So I just keep to myself and speak when spoken to. Occasionally, I'll speak just to freak them out, but other than that, I just go about my business.

But from reading Mr. Fabulous' post, it's the same in his neighbourhood. Maybe, as he said, it's the way things are today. Or maybe it's just me.