Thursday, January 31, 2008

Jim Gaffigan-Bacon

Oh wow, this is funny!

It's in me to give

In keeping with my ridiculous schedule it would be fitting that I have a blood donation apointment for this evening. In fact, this time I'm trying for plasma - instead of whole blood. I signed up for the apherisis program knowing that it posed a much larger time commitment, but it will be more beneficial in the long run for those who will use my blood products.

I've been told it should last about 1 to 1 1/2 hours tonight, and hopefully I can just read - quite a luxury these days, or if that proves too dificult I'll bring out the iPod. Either way I can relax and take some me time tonight which I am very much looking forward to.

As I am finishing this post I had a quick thought, have any of you guys ever donated? If not, why not (baring any medical or belief refusals like low iron, small veins etc)?

Now if you will all excuse me I shall take some iron so I can be ready tonight!


Update: It is in me to give!!! Tonight went so smoothly, I am very pleased... as you all know I've been plagued with problems of iron deficiency so tonight was a great experience. The plasma team on the third floor are great! In fact, tonight went so well that instead of the usual 30-35 minutes for women I managed to finish in 22 minutes! Hot damn! This is a great week isn't it?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


This just in... passed with flying colours... thanks for all the well wishes - you guys rock!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday's Thoughts

  1. It's F-ing cold... I do not like the fact that I can feel the cold radiating from the window beside my desk thus making it very difficult to type.
  2. 5:45 am - when it is -44 with windchill - is not a fun time to leave the house.
  3. Kickboxing, followed by push ups/ sit ups galore the day before a very scary fitness test is not a good idea.
  4. Waiting for aforementioned scary fitness test is also not fun.
  5. Remembering you left your lunch bag in the car when you are sitting at your desk is quite tragic.
  6. Working twice and until 10:30 pm on such a day when your eyes freeze the moment you step outside sucks. **At Least I am not my little sister and do not have to spend the workday outside... sorry kid... come by at lunch and I'll make you a lovely cup of tea to warm you up...
  7. Contemplating failing scary fitness test and thus having to tell everyone that you failed makes me feel rather sick
  8. Knowing that if I do in fact pass the scary fitness test I will be catapulted into a world where I will be very green .... and will make myself look like a fool for at least a year.

That's enough thoughts for right now... suffice it to say I am cold, tired and thoroughly freaked out by tomorrows test.. Can everyone send me their strength around about 1 pm tomorrow? Thanks!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Does this mean A is not for Apple but rather Afghanistan???

Harper accepts main Manley recommendations

Meagan Fitzpatrick , Canwest News ServicePublished: Monday, January 28, 2008

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper says his government accepts the main recommendations in the Manley report, including the demand that NATO provide more assistance in the Afghan south as a pre-condition for extending Canada's mission there.
"I have spoken with Mr. Manley and advised him that our government broadly accepts the recommendations put forward by the panel on Canada's future in Afghanistan," Harper said at a news conference in Ottawa.

The prime minister said he also agrees with the specific conditions set out by the five-member independent panel that should be met in order to extend the mission beyond February 2009.

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper listens to a question during a news conference responding to the report from the Independent Panel on Canada's Future Role in Afghanistan, in

The report, produced by a panel headed by former Liberal deputy prime minister John Manley, said Canada should only extend its mission if it can convince its allies to commit at least 1,000 more troops and if the Canadian military receives helicopters and surveillance drones.
"In other words, while the case for the Afghan mission is clearly compelling, the decision to allow our young men and women in uniform to continue to be in harm's way demands the responsibility to give them a strong chance of success," Harper said.

"Both of the recommendations will have to be fulfilled or Canada will not proceed with the mission in Afghanistan."
The prime minister said the military equipment has been on order for some time, but that securing it and getting it in the field has been delayed because it is some of the most sought after equipment "on the planet."

Harper said that over the last two years his government has begun introducing other measures along the lines of what was suggested in the report.

Until Monday, Harper had said little about what he thinks about the report. He briefly referred to it on Friday during a speech to Tory supporters in Ottawa, calling it "strong, balanced and realistic," but had not yet said what he thought about its recommendations.
Harper said the government will introduce a motion in the House of Commons this spring "seeking support for Canada's way forward."

He spoke to Liberal Leader Stephane Dion on Sunday about having a debate on the motion, Harper said, and he plans to speak further with Dion later this week.
Harper said his government has reached a "tentative"_decision about whether to hold a vote in the House of Commons before he attends a major NATO meeting in Bucharest in April, or after, but that he wants to discuss that with Dion first. The Bloc Quebecois and NDP both want Canada out of Afghanistan so the Conservatives have to work with the Liberals in order to get the mission extended.

He said in the coming weeks his government will more fully respond and react to the other recommendations in the report.

The report was critical of the government's management of the mission and urged Harper to personally take on a more active diplomatic role. It also said the government needs to improve its communications strategy so that Canadians are better informed about the war in Afghanistan.

Harper said he accepts the criticisms in the report and takes them seriously.
"This is an extremely difficult mission, we don't believe it's perfect, we never have," he said, adding that no other issue has caused him more headaches and heartaches than the war in Afghanistan.

"We accept the judgment that there are several things that could be done better," he said.
Harper said he will personally be speaking with the leaders of other NATO allies and will share the recommendations of the Manley report with NATO when he attends the April summit.
Harper said the alliance's efforts in southern Afghanistan, where the Canadian troops are stationed, have not been adequate. The alliance's reputation and future credibility hinges on success in Afghanistan, Harper said, and he added that he is "optimistic" that NATO will come through on delivering the help Canada is seeking.

Holy Deep Freeze Batman

I just checked the temp for tomorrow - that day I need to kickbox at 6:30 in the morning... and it seems as though I'll be leaving the house with -38 degrees sans windchill..... wow, that is just about the worst thing I've heard in a long while. To add to that unholy mess of a morning I also have to work at job#2 later on after work... so that means I'll be heading home at 10:30pm... I am hoping desperately that my car starts... I really have no clue what the heck I will do if it doesn't.

Despite the weather it was a rather lovely weekend. I kick boxed Saturday morning, it was a killer workout.. 110 push-ups, shall I say more??? Then off to job #2 I went.... which wasn't the best day, but I got through it nonetheless. Afterwards I was off to spend the night with some friends, went to bed at 9:30 - it was glorious!

Woke up Sunday morning, went to Chez Cora's for breakfast... ate my weight in meat... was full for hours and hours so I relaxed a bit in the afternoon and then continued to stuff my face with fish and chips, popcorn shrimp, chocolate milk and eggies and Ronnalie's... Now this is the nice part - anytime spent with the aforementioned Ronnalie is wonderful. Each time I leave I feel as though I have refreshed my soul - we talk and talk and I always feel better about my life, the decisions I made and what is to come for me... so I think she deserves a big THANK YOU for keeping me sane and grounded. It's almost as good as a 2 week vacation!

So there I was all set from my conversation with my dear friend, driving home in the chilling cold... not fun. So what did I do, I went home and decided to make an impromptu beef stew.. I really didn't have any of the proper spices, and I didn't even use Frank's Red Hot so I'm not sure if it will be delicious - but as long as it's warm I couldn't care less!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Book of the Week / Happy Robbie Burns!

Happy Robbie Burns Day!!!

As we all know (I hope we all know), today is the Birthday of Scotland's Greatest Poet. If he was alive he would be 249 years old - not bad! But, in all seriousness it is a day to celebrate as he was a great poet and luckily his writings live on today - "Auld Land Syne" and "A Red, Red Rose to name but a few. So if you happen to see a bunch of kilted men and women out and about to day make sure to wish them a Happy Robbie Burns day, and if you are so inclined I urge you to have a wee bit o' haggis and wash it down with a dram o whisky to commemorate this special day!

In honour of this day I propose the Book of the Week to be a Collection of Robbie's poems... this particular one is available on ebay for only $24.99 USD.

Happy Reading, and Happy Celebrating... Slainte!

A Red, Red Rose

O my luve is like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
My is love like the melodie
That's sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonny lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,

And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only love!

And fare thee weel, awhile!
And I will come again, my love
Though it were ten thousand mile.
My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm off to Impress a Man in a Kilt

This was my usual facebook status on Wednesday nights... sadly I will only have 1 more Wednesday where I do get to impress a man in a kilt. The man in question is my SCD Teacher - John. After my phone call to set up the dreaded fitness test, the recruiter from the unit said that because we parade on Wednesday nights and the test is on a Wednesday I would have to wait until the next week to start my military stuff. All translated this means that next week is my last week with my dancing group. I won't even be able to attend meetings every month either as I am certain they will demand 100% attendance... perhaps I can talk them into something. I also need to confirm my dates for Basic. I think it would be nice if I was able to figure out when I might be taking off, when I can give my employer an idea of when and how much time I'll be gone for. Also, if I need to train on the weekends, job #2 will have to be notified... yikes... February will be quite the transitional month I think.

This uncertainty is driving me batty - I would love to have my entire calendar planned from now until July and then be able to get my life sorted. I guess I need to just pass the test on Wednesday - back to push-ups for me!

On a happier note, kickboxing this morning was pretty decent - my push ups and sit ups were much better and I am wearing previously "too small" pants. Not bad for 2 1/2 weeks in...

Tonight's schedule: Run for 45 minutes and cook a roast for dinner (yeah, that's right... I'm a full fledged adult now - I make roasts!)

**** Update: Just got back from the Gym.... ran for 40 minutes - 10 minutes more than last time, but I did go 59% further than on Tuesday, and faster as well so I think that's pretty darn good!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Great Googley Moogley !!

My spirits have been both run down and lifted considerably since I last posted, and for several reasons really....
  1. A certain someone at work from my first desk was back at it today.. made me feel rather frustrated.
  2. I was hungry and that darn piece of toast w/ peanut butter just did not cut it
  3. (it gets better from here)... I completed some pressing errands, thus helping me to tick off my to-do list (I just love doing that)
  4. I attempted to go for a run - now, this requires somewhat of an *, please note that I have not really ran since BASIC - 9 years ago. I have tried over the years but failed miserably and therefore gave up rather quickly. This time, motivated mostly by fear of fitness tests and more BASIC I tried again after work. I didn't go to the gym, or outside but rather attempted this chore at a friend's house on their treadmill. I started with a grim feeling that I was going to "ease" into this running business by doing 3 minutes of running, followed by 2 minutes of walking and so forth until I reached 1/2 an hour or so. However, after the prescribed 3 minutes I felt pretty good so I went for 5 minutes, and then 7 minutes, and then 10 and so on and so forth until low and behold I was at 30 minutes of straight running!!! I wasn't actually running, but jogging with an incline of 2. Not bad for my first attempt I think. Maybe I will pass this darn fitness test after all! ** Note: I think that my ability to run, coupled with the fact that my workout this morning was the best thus far is indicative of the magical powers of the t-shirt that I wore... my old BRT 9902 Basic Training T-shirt... I should have got more than 1 I think!
  5. At the aforementioned friend's house, I always have a nice time, and I am almost always fed something tasty. This time was no exception - Steak, sweet potatoes and beets.. what could be yummier I ask?
  6. I got my laundry done - another thing checked off my list - yeah!
  7. I learned all about investing and mutual funds, plus I finalized realized what the hell went wrong in the US with their darn sub prime mortgages.... which consequently is something quite important to my job!
  8. Someone told me that they could see a difference with all the kick-boxing I was doing. That really made my day!
  9. This is my 400th post!
  10. I'm now at home, watching NCIS, reveling in the fact that I like running, I wasn't horribly out of breath after my first 30 minutes and and I can actually sort of, kind of do it... perhaps another run is on the docket for tomorrow, and of course some more push-ups!
So there we have it, well done me!

* Note: the title link has really nothing to do with the post, I just thought it was a great expression (quite fitting in fact), and a great commercial.

AHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!

Kickboxing this morning was brutal, I can hardly type this out my arms are so tired..... Let me explain why though.

Last night was upper body toning - I always seem to think that I can do better than I actually can and therefore end up using up all available energy just to get through the workout, which now that I think about it is probably a good idea. Anyways, last night my workout, I felt, lacked a little something something... in fact my push ups were so crap that I went home and did oodles more. I think I needed to redeem myself in my own eyes or something to that effect. Anyways what ended up happening is that this morning I was so tired, and without very much arm strength that kickboxing was indeed quite difficult. Nevertheless I gave it my all, working harder than I have yet and feeling much better about my performance.

So then, arriving at work, I trudged up the stairs (cause now with my eco-friendly attitude I do not take the elevator unless I cannot physically make it up the stairs) and collapsed at my desk taking a bit of rest. When I got my strength back I trudged up the stairs again to change into proper clothing (my floor is being renovated to the ladies room is either up or down stairs to me), and came back to make my breakfast. I missed my cell ringing and when I checked the messages... I had a message from the military peeps - they wanted to book my fitness test... YIKES!!!

So this would be the final bit before I am totally in. I am pretty scared, but I called, made the appointment for next wed the 30th and then if I pass I am in - which means I should be doing non stop push-ups and cardio from now until then.... double yikes! I know I will pass, but I am scared nonetheless.... maybe I'll screw up and be banned from any and all military activities... but really, it just hit me - this is it - I am in, I am going, wow...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Week 2 Wrap up

Last Saturday morning was the unofficial end to week 2 - the hardest one apparently - the official end was of course Saturday evening, but at least I was finished with the exercise part of it. As usual, the kickboxing was killer - Shelley is the hardest instructor, and those mornings spent with her have become the bane of my existence... well, that coupled with the fact that I work for 8 hours on my feet after the killer session really doesn't do anything to lift my spirits.

Job #2 however, wasn't too terrible - people were generally quite decent, nothing of note occurred, but I was quite tired when I got home.. thankfully the girls drink night had been postponed so I went home, put on my pjs and made some dinner. Later that evening my little sister called and decided we were long overdue for a visit and wanted to pop 'round with some movies and Mr. Coop, I of course thought this was a great idea and they made their way over. After the movie and some chatting I eventually went to bed as it was 1 am and Amy left around 2, I think... I was asleep so I'm not too sure.

Sunday morning is always a wonderful time for me, I generally can sleep in and relax which in my life seems to be somewhat of a rarity. This week was no exception - I woke up around 9:30 and leisurely got ready for out annual "World's Largest Robbie Burns Dinner" for the Homeless. Being around lunch time this year means of course that it was more of a lunch than a dinner but a meal nonetheless. The official numbers haven't come in yet, but as last year we served over 800 people in less than 45 minutes and this year it was much much colder out pretty much guarantees that we served close to 1000! Roast Beef, Haggis, Mixed Veggies, Turnip, Mashed Potato and Gravy were all on the menu, and it was a hit from what I heard. I think we even gave out socks!

After that was all said and done I made my way over to the local 7-11 to pick up my Sunday treat - Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, along with some Vanilla Milk... then back home for a bit of R&R before movie night with the other R&R - I seem to have watched a few movies this weekend! Anyways, back to the movies.. "Paris When it Sizzles" with Audrey Hepburn was up first. A very interesting movie, fun to watch with friends, and of course loads of snacks... and being that it was Sunday we basically stuffed our faces with all sorts of things bad for you, but guaranteed to please... Movie number 2 was "Fracture" with Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling - not a very Linda movie, but it was very good. I even guessed the outcome 38 minutes into the movie... fun times for sure!

After that it was off to bed and up this morning for the start of Week 3... I can't hardly wait..

Friday, January 18, 2008

Book of the Week

Remebering yesterday's post about manners I thought this week's book should also be along the same line. Now, I could have gone old school and posted an Emily Post Etiquette guide or perhaps a Miss Manner's tie in, or even something Martha-esque, but I think I shall choose "Talk to the Hand" By Lynne Truss. It isn't a book on etiquette per-say but it does deal with the breakdown of basic manners in today's society, and to be quite honest it really is funny

In Lynne's own words:

" Writing Talk to the Hand was a process of synthesising and organising. I had been banging on about the rudeness of modern life for a couple of years on the radio; I’d also written talks about the burden of choice and the pernicious effect of the internet on the way people think of themselves in relation to “society”. There is a lovely example in one of David Lodge’s novels of a person sitting final exams, carefully pouring his knowledge into his answers, day after day, until he’s poured out the whole lot and the exams are over. I felt something similar about Talk to the Hand. I had so many things I wanted to say, but I had to say each thing in exactly the right place, and not to have any left over. When the process was complete, I felt quite purged. As far as I was concerned, I had laid out the problem to my absolute best ability.
People still tell me I wrote a book on etiquette, which is a bit depressing, but I suppose Talk to the Hand was a bit hard to classify. It didn’t tell people how to behave, in the style of the traditional book on manners; and although it was, unashamedly, a big long moan about modern life, it didn’t have much in common with Grumpy Old Men or Is It Just Me, or Is Everything Shit?, either. I was trying to do something quite new with Talk to the Hand: maybe amateur sociology, in the way that
Eats, Shoots & Leaves was amateur linguistics. Anyway, “forensic polemic” was how someone described my strategy, and I liked this description very much. If you hate something, I think you have a duty to ask why you hate it, and also whether it’s reasonable to hate it; then you have to try to understand why this hateful thing seems to have come into existence. I brought a lot of modern life under the umbrella-category of rudeness – including automated switchboards, customer service, mobile phone abuse, littering, and telling strangers to Eff off. And, as I said, it made me feel ever so much better."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pet Peeves

I just read this and I agree... I believe that there is a very large problem these days with the general public and the lack of manners and disregard for the fellow person.

Reading through the list has brought a few things to mind... For me I would have to list basic table manners as my biggest pet peeve. My mother drilled these into me a as a child and I am generally shocked at the apparent lack of intstruction these days. Meaning, elbows on the table, chewing with mouths open, speaking with mouths full of food.. these kind of things are never acceptable and I cannot fathom my their mothers / fathers / parental figures never taught them how to behave like civilized humans at the table.

Lateness is another pet peeve of mine, 5 minutes is fine, frustrating but fine, but after that it becomes rude and shows the obvious disrespect that the person in question has for someone's schedule.

Yikes, that was rather preachy wasn't it....

MMMM Peanut Butter Cups...

Is it good that I barely have enough energy to lift my arms?? Driving sure is fun this way!!!

No really, I am tired, very tired, but quite happy that I am pushing myself this hard.. yeah me! The best part is that I don't think that I will feel any less tired at week 8, 9 or even 10 - but that means that I am working hard, right? and I should get the proper results, right? I just hope that I can make it through basic without keeling over and dying...

In other news I went dancing last night, after my upper body workout.... not the smartest idea, but hey, I like to socialize. Dancing went well, I remembered most of it and hardly screwed up at all. I also got a brochure for the St Giles dance workshop and ceilidh the last weekend in April, I think I should go.

Nothing much else to report to you, my week has been rather lack-luster, mostly working out and cleaning of the house, plus a side of cooking to go along with it all. Maybe my weekend will be better, I have some drinks scheduled for Saturday night and a movie day on Sunday... and yes I will be eating Reese's peanut butter cups, and maybe even some nutella.... until now I will have to satisfy myself with some peanut butter on toast

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Yikes! It's Tuesday

I just realised that I haven't posted anything since last Friday so I thought I'd give you the run down on how I've spent the last few days.

Friday, the first Friday night I haven't had to work in a while, so what did I do? A killer upper body workout... then I raced across town to attend the first annual (?) R & R Fondue Party.. mmmm .... sadly due to the kickboxing I was only able to partake in a portion of the culinary delights. Even so, it was fun, and tasty.. the right mix of people, and some nice conversation. Well done you two!

Saturday morning was killer, kickboxing at 7:30, this time with the Nazi instructor... but I was happy after I made it through the workout... it was the toughest yet so I am sure that I will be looking forward to each and every Saturday... yeah right! After I was thoroughly exhausted I zipped up to job #2 and spent the entire day on my very tired feet... not so much fun. But in the end I was also glad I had made it through the day - I even had a special lunch date! The evening was much better as I got to dine with my Grandma and Aunt, always a blast, and they made me dinner, plus I got to hang out in the old hood later that evening so really I came out a winner that day!

Sunday was my free day, meaning I could eat whatever I pleased, and I did... Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are my weakness it seems and I indulged... mmmm... I also worked, had some very very ridiculous customers... ask me later and I'll tell you the stories - they are something else! Sunday night was another dinner date, this time across the street at La Viena - I behaved in my food choices with the exception of the white pasta and Caesar salad.. oh well, I'll live I guess.

Now onto Monday, worked, had another special lunch date (lots of those lately huh?), worked out (lower body this time, including 256 sit ups, yeah I counted), cleaned my disaster of a room and fell into bed.

That brings us to Tuesday. Kickboxing this morning, it was so tough... and some grocery shopping quickly before work, and I've some clean up work to finish before lunch. On that note, I should go...


PS - Good Luck Today Chump!

Friday, January 11, 2008

8 Years

Today marks the anniversary of that fateful day 8 years ago when I began my European Obsession, not that I wasn't completey obsessed before that point, but this was the first time I was actually going to said continent. So here I was ready, waiting with oodles of luggage, delayed at the airport for hour after hour as the electrical storm kept my crew from departing Vancouver.... but finally 6 hours later I was on my journey......

What a journey it turned out to be, crazy Swiss people, spoiled children, beautiful scenary, small town living and of course the French language that I am so happy to be able to speak.

Book of the Week

I decided that I needed a better knowledge base about certain world conflicts. I know that I used to keep up with it when I was in school - mostly because I had to in order to write something, or pass something. Now however I am doing this for me, and really that is a quite the reason. So without further ado.. this weeks Book of the Week is "In the Hot Zone" by Kevin Sites.

I've read about 4 chapters thus far, and I can say that Kevin has a nice easy style of writing. Although the theme of the book is rather morose and although you do end up feeling dissapointed in humanity and their actions, it is a good read.

From the Publishers:

Kevin Sites is a man on a mission. Venturing alone into the dark heart of war, armed with just a video camera, a digital camera, a laptop, and a satellite modem, the award-winning journalist covered virtually every major global hot spot as the first Internet correspondent for Yahoo! News. Beginning his journey with the anarchic chaos of Somalia in September 2005 and ending with the Israeli-Hezbollah war in the summer of 2006, Sites talks with rebels and government troops, child soldiers and child brides, and features the people on every side, including those caught in the cross fire. His honest reporting helps destroy the myths of war by putting a human face on war’s inhumanity. Personally, Sites will come to discover that the greatest danger he faces may not be from bombs and bullets, but from the unsettling power of the truth.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Quite a night

Lower Body Resistance was the name of the game last night... it went well - a bit awkward with bands pressing on my tendon but I suffered through... and then zipped across the city for my meeting. I arrived late, sat through very boring budget / financial reports and the like patiently waiting for the pièce de resistance..... January meetings are always fun with a bunch of Scots, meaning that they are dedicated to Robbie Burns and therefore we eat a traditional Haggis. Which despite knowing what is in it, I enjoy. So here we are after the meeting, standing in awe of the haggis being piped in, then one of the members recited the traditional Robbie Burns Ode to a Haggis. The recitation was quite well done, and the Haggis was tasty, but the real treat came when our President thought to serve the traditional New Year's Drink.. Atholl Brose. Another tasty concoction, this time made of whisky steeped in oatmeal, drained, mixed with brandy, cream and honey. Quite nice indeed... sadly I had only a small sip, but I might have to make this another time! I've pasted a bit of an explanation as to the history of this tasty brew.. Slainte!

The history of the Scottish drink Atholl Brose It is not known for how long Scottish folk have been drinking Atholl Brose but the earliest recorded recipe dates back to 1475. Prior to this Atholl Brose recipes were handed down from generation to generation as each person was taught to make this delicious drink.

The drink is so sweet and tasty that legend has it that it led to the capture of renegade Iain MacDonald the Lord of the Isles who was leading a rebellion against the King. He was caught supping at a well that had been filled with whisky, oatmeal and honey at the order of the Earl of Atholl who knew that MacDonald drank regularly from the small well. The Duke’s recipe was the downfall of Iain MacDonald who stayed to enjoy the drink and was captured by this cunning trap. Since then Atholl Brose has been enjoyed by many a Scot since.The drink is so sweet and tasty that legend has it that it led to the capture of renegade Iain MacDonald the Lord of the Isles who was leading a rebellion against the King. He was caught supping at a well that had been filled with whisky, oatmeal and honey at the order of the Earl of Atholl who knew that MacDonald drank regularly from the small well. The Duke’s recipe was the downfall of Iain MacDonald who stayed to enjoy the drink and was captured by this cunning trap. Since then Atholl Brose has been enjoyed by many a Scot since.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hot Damn!

The moment I've been waiting for... and the whole reason why I put everything possible on my visa card.... I have enough Aeroplan points to fly to Scotland!!!!! In fact if I get 15 000 more points I can fly Business Class... O Happy Day!

Now, I just need to save some spending money and book the time off work... I can't friggin' believe it!!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Day 2

Yesterday was the first day of the UBC course. For those of you who do not know what that is, let me enlighten you. My Co-worker Sandy took this course last January... now keep in mind that she is quite fit to begin with... and basically it is a 10 week course of intense kickboxing and resistance training. The schedule is as follows...

  1. Resistance Training Upper Body (Monday)
  2. Kickboxing (Tuesday)
  3. Resistance Training Lower Body (Wednesday)
  4. Kickboxing (Thursday)
  5. Resistance Training Upper Body (Friday)
  6. Kickboxing (Saturday)

The next week of course the lower body resistance is 2 times and upper body is only once. The point of this post, however, is to explain how friggin' intense the course is. Sandy was so incredibly different after the 10 weeks last year, and the other pictures I have seen are just as amazing, if not more, so I am left wondering what will happen to me if I do in fact give it my all the whole way through - and trust me Sandy will not let me slack off. My main concern is that I have almost never pushed myself this hard (except for the military of course), and just now it is starting to set it how sore I am going to be. Well, that and the fact that my resistance training was at 6 pm last night and my kickboxing was at 6:30 this morning, so not much rest for my poor poor arms.

Tonight is fun TV night, yeah! NCIS, followed by The Unit (my fav) so I will be sure to be watching that... but before that I have my fitness evaluation as I missed Saturdays due to work... I'm not sure how wise it was to have it today after I've already kick boxed seeing how my arms are feeling rather weak and I have to do push ups.. yikes! Nevertheless, I shall do my best and immediately go home and soak in a tub full of Epsom salts. I can't wait!

Monday, January 7, 2008

7 Eco-friendly Resolutions...

Something I think we can all try to do... #1 see my resolutions, #2 and#3 very helpful and something I will do immediately...

1. I will relinquish my title of Most Likely to Acquire Useless Crap I Don’t Wear or Need.Admit it — your closet is full of had-to-have items that have been banished to a life of hanging unworn. You have enough notepads, pens, books, magnets, and collectible tchotchkes to fill a ministorage unit. Yes, our purchases keep the economy going, but most of us buy far more than we need. (There are whole TV shows dedicated to demonstrating ways to unclutter!) Remember that packaging, waste, and pollution are created to make these items available to you. If you trash those once-new goodies when you’re no longer interested in them, they will live in a landfill for years and years. It’s time to clean out, and stop collecting crap.

2. I will avenge my phantom load.Phantom load has nothing to do with the pounds that mysteriously appeared on your midsection over the holidays. The term refers to the energy wasted by electronics and power chargers when they are plugged in but not in use. That’s right — your computer cord, cell phone charger, and time-telling DVD player are all sucking energy from the outlet even when there isn’t anything attached or being watched (hence the spookyphantom-ness). Actually cut the power to your electronics by plugging them in to a power strip and flipping the switch to “off” when you’re not watching or listening.

3. I will be smarter than bottled water companies and drink for free what they are trying to sell me.Kicking the plastic water bottle habit might sound like an impossible feat if you’re as addicted as the average thirsty American; last year we consumed enough water to fill about 50 billion plastic bottles. If the fact that plastic is bad for the environment doesn’t get you to quit, just think: Several bottled water brands use the same H20 that’s available from your faucet. So buy an eco-chic reusable stainless steel bottle, and refill it throughout the day — for free. If you’re parched at the mere thought of quitting cold turkey, ease into a plastic-bottle–free life by bringing one less bottle a week to the gym, or by giving them up at the office.

4. If I can remember to TiVo “Dancing with the Stars,” I can remember to bring my own bags to the grocery store.It’s as if plastic shopping bags are required to exit a store—the disposable sacks are forced on customers even when the purchase is just a can of soda. But plastic bags are made from petroleum and only about 1 percent of the estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion Annie Bell plastic bags consumed worldwide are recycled each year. Most end up in landfills (where they take perhaps 1,000 years to decompose) or in the sea. If you start bringing your own bags now, you’ll be ahead of the curve if plastic ones become outlawed in your community.

5. I will switch to recycled paper products at home (but not if they make me chafe).We know there are some folks out there who must have two-ply, but even you can commit to changing just one thing. If you have a Larry David-like aversion to recycled toilet paper, try the paper towels. If brown won’t match your kitchen colors, look for recycled paper towels that are whitened without chlorine or stick with washable dishcloths. By purchasing recycled paper products you’re preventing trees from being chopped down, and paper waste from ending up in landfills. In addition, less energy and water are required to produce a recycled paper product.
6. I will consider whether my meal came from the farm or the factory.Big agriculture isn’t all bad. Everyone has a guilty culinary pleasure that comes from a big factory (see: Oreos, and Cap’n Crunch). But while you’re worrying about your own carbon footprint, remember that your food has one too. Think of how many miles your food has traveled (do you really need berries from Chile?), how many chemicals are used, and how much pollution and waste have been generated in the production of your foodstuffs. Support local agriculture by shopping for food at a farmers market. The goods will be fresh, and you might enjoy meeting some of the people who grew your dinner.

7. I will take a day off from road rage and take mass transit or car-pool one day a week.If you have public transportation options available to you, try switching to the train or bus one day a week. According to the American Public Transportation Association, public transportation use saves 1.4 billion gallons of gasoline each year, and can reduce household expenses by $6,200. Plus you’ll get a day off from road rage. If you don’t live near public transportation, try organizing a once-a-week carpool with your neighbors or coworkers. You’ll save on fuel, tolls, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by removing cars from the road. As a bonus, you’ll gain access to that exclusive carpool lane.

4 times a charm!

Hot Damn we've got ourselves another gold medal... it was a freakin' nightmare of a third period, and a fantastic overtime one... I can't say I was very well composed throughout but in the end we did quite well..... more than well - absolutely brilliantly!!!
Well done boys, you made this Canadian girl very very proud!

PS - Calgary had an extra special day as the Flames won in overtime as well.. bravo to you too!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Going for Gold

4-1, Yeah Baby!

Book of the Week

Seeing that it is the end of the first week of January and most people have made some kind of resolution to be better this year I thought it fitting to have this week's book as "Getting Things Done - The Art of Stress-Free Productivity" by David Allen.

It outlines how to get things done, which could be extremely helpful this day and age where most of us can admit to experiencing some degree of procrastination.

From the Editors:

With first-chapter allusions to martial arts, "flow", "mind like water", and other concepts borrowed from the East (and usually mangled), you'd almost think this self-helper from David Allen should have been called Zen and the Art of Schedule Maintenance.
Not quite. Yes, Getting Things Done offers a complete system for downloading all those free-floating gotta-dos clogging your brain into a sophisticated framework of files and action lists--all purportedly to free your mind to focus on whatever you're working on. However, it still operates from the decidedly Western notion that if we could just get really, really organised, we could turn ourselves into 24/7 productivity machines. (To wit, Allen, whom the New Economy bible Fast Company has dubbed "the personal productivity guru", suggests that instead of meditating on crouching tigers and hidden dragons while you wait for a plane, you should unsheathe that high-tech sabre known as the mobile phone and attack that list of calls you need to return.)
As whole-life-organising systems go, Allen's is pretty good, even fun and therapeutic. It starts with the exhortation to take every unaccounted-for scrap of paper in your workstation that you can't junk. The next step is to write down every unaccounted-for gotta-do cramming your head onto its own scrap of paper. Finally, throw the whole stew into a giant "in-basket".
That's where the processing and prioritising begin; in Allen's system, it get a little convoluted at times, rife as it is with fancy terms, subterms, and sub-subterms for even the simplest concepts. Thank goodness the spine of his system is captured on a straightforward, one-page flowchart that you can pin over your desk and repeatedly consult without having to refer back to the book. That alone is worth the purchase price. Also of value is Allen's ingenious Two-Minute Rule: if there's anything you absolutely must do that you can do right now in two minutes or less, then do it now, thus freeing up your time and mind tenfold over the long term. It's common sense advice so obvious that most of us completely overlook it, much to our detriment. Allen excels at dispensing such wisdom in this useful, if somewhat belaboured, self-improver aimed at everyone from CEOs to football mums (who, we all know, are more organised than most CEOs to start with).

On a side note, my dinner experience last night with KQ was fantastic.... Thanks again for the company KQ! Oh, and the game today for the World Juniors goes at noon... Canada vs USA... should be a good one -

GO CANADA GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

MMMM Prime Rib

My mouth is already watering. Tonight is the first annual KQ and LS Prime Rib Dinner at Smugglers. It seems as though we might be alone in our date, but boy are we going to be satisfied. Especially when we get all access to the salad bar, which by the way is quite fantastic.

Last night I was also treated to a great culinary experience, this time is was the Keg and I ate a delicious bacon wrapped Filet Mignon. Not as fantastic as the Château Briand at the Inn, but nevertheless a lovely piece of beef. If I could I might eat this way 4 times a week, but sadly I am a poor bastard and thus cannot pay for delicious steak.. poor me.

Anyhoo, to further the temptation I've decided to post a lovely picture of exactly what I shall be dining on this evening.. aren't you all so very jealous????

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

SYTYCD- Lauren and Pasha (Hip-Hop Routine)

Way to cool not to share...


Well, it's Jan 1 - and what do we do this time of year but make resolutions to be better individuals. So here's my take on it, even though new year's resolutions are generally crap. Oh, and these are in no particular order...

  1. Keep in better contact with my friends
  2. Get up early and enjoy each day
  3. Be more productive on a daily basis
  4. Be more positive about everything
  5. Purge my belongings... I have far too much stuff
In regards to my last years resolution lets, recap shall we...

  • Smile more, and mean it, aka be happier - and this I will make an active effort to do so! Not bad this year... I think I definitely laughed more - courtesy of course of Lanster and Eleni...
  • Have better posture - I used to have wicked awesome ballet dancer posture, somehow over the years it as suffered a wee bit, it's not really that bad, I'm not a sloucher by any means, but it could use some improvement. Also, improved a bit - no doubt by going to the gym.
  • Get more sleep Funny stuff... sadly no improvement here
  • Cook more at home - I have amazing cookbooks and I should freakin' use them I did well here, I found some more recipes and hopefully I will do even better this year
  • Stop procrastinating Yikes, I think I made this a resolution this year...

So after all that I think I should review what I actually did this year...
  • Changed departments twice
  • Did eye exams in Tunisia for people who needed eye care
  • Saw the Sahara desert
  • Acquired 2 husbands... one in Tunisia and one in Montreal...
  • Zipped out to Montreal twice to visit friends
  • Visited with Rupinder when she came home from the UK
  • Almost Visited with Maya, mental note to visit with her this year - in person of course
  • Finished 3 classes in the Land Admin Course, too bad it is not for me
  • Became an Auntie (not a real one)
  • Participated in 3 charity walks
  • Cleaned up a flooded apartment twice
  • Bought a fancy new Mac laptop
  • Started Scottish Dancing
  • Left the eye clinic and started a different Job #2
  • Saw Diana Gabaldon in person
  • Joined the Naval Reserve
  • Went to Vegas to see the Spice Girls
  • Made some very important new friends, including my twin, and of course re-kindled some old friendships
**** Actually As E-Money Pointed out, I acquired 3 husbands... Sorry Scott.. how could I ever forget you?

I think that just about covers it... I am just hoping that 2008 is even better, and more exciting.

And what do you think this year might bring for you?