Sunday, February 27, 2011

Broken record blog

So we haven't addressed the graffiti problem because it's so cold and inclement all the time so someone came along and added a tag to the wall. This must have infuriated the original taggers because then they came back and essentially filled the wall in with their logo. Is it wrong to fantasize about catching them in the act and dowsing them with gasoline and tossing a lit match onto them? I think it is wrong, but fantasizing harms no one. Sometimes I really loathe my species.

There's a groupon deal up here for a half price hot air balloon excursion. Serge wants me to book it but there are so many other expenses coming up. Not to mention the thousand dollar electricity bill we just received. It's for two months and covers the two units downstairs as well as our unit but it's the priciest bill we've had to date. Been cold up here. I sure bitch about the price of things a lot, but that's what happens when you're poor all the time. We're only rich on paper, believe me.

That may be changing though. With the new opportunities at the college coming my way, I'm hoping that my work becomes a bit more steady and predictable. Fingers crossed.

Synchronized walking. This was over at the doggie park yesterday. There was only one other dog when we arrived, I guess people were dissuaded by the cold, despite the bright sun. It was so funny a couple weeks ago. I didn't have my camera then but someone had built a big snow dog next to a snow man. Well by the time I saw them, the snow man had been toppled but the snow dog remained a lone sentinel in the park. The funny part was that the bottom half of it was yellow from the litany of dogs pissing on it. I keep hoping someone will build another so I can get a picture of it.

I need to start writing down my blog ideas. They always come to me when I'm writing implement challenged, like in the shower or while driving. Then poof, the idea evaporates before I get to a pen and paper. The ideas are probably dull anyway, like the rest of today's post.

After the black dog left, we were alone for a bit and I tossed snow balls for Georgie. Then this guy arrived. He wasn't interested much in Georgie, but then when I was fixing to go, I displayed the leash and Georgie started running toward me. I wanted to get another pic of him running but then the other dog took notice and decided to try to pounce on him. There's no way I could have gotten this shot by planning, nope, this was all serendipity. And I love it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reported speech etc.

We haven't had a sunrise around the blog for awhile. The sun, after having risen for months behind the building on the right is now marching steadily to the left so we have sunrise season for a while. Eventually it will rise from behind the building on the left. Before I moved up here, I never really noticed how much the sun's trajectory changed. It's not quite as pronounced in Southern California. The longer days make my heart swell. I imagine it does the same to you.

Today I wrote all that on the board. I may just copy it and distribute it next time. My arms hurt after doing that. Still, it's probably the most strenuous part of my job. I almost brought Georgie to class for the day. There was a dog all last week at the physical therapy place next door so I figure it wouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately, I had allergic students or rather students with allergies to dogs so that nixed that. Don't understand that gobbledygook on the board? It's all about how when we report what someone has said, we change the verb tense. "I'm having a party this weekend." becomes He said he was having a party that weekend. You automatically do this without thinking but in a second language you have to pay attention to the time shifts.

We can't have a post without a Georgie pic now can we? He sure does have a lengthy tongue. I wonder what evolutionary advantage this gave them. Did you know a crocodile can't stick out its tongue? True, though truly useless information too. Here's something else I learned today. The US debt is now at 96% of GDP. Canada's debt is now at 41% of GDP. The top corporate tax rate in the US (federal + state) is 40% but is only 25% in Canada. All sorts of interesting comparisons in the article here. See y'all on the weekend or "at" the weekend for you Brits.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekend update

Peen alert! Yesterday there was some green gunk coagulated there. I have no idea what that is but it's gross! My peen certainly doesn't do that trick. The other gross thing Georgie frequently does is drool. Whenever the humans are eating, his salivary glands go into overdrive anticipating the possibility of a morsel coming his way, and two strands of drool will do the pendulum dance. Sometimes the strands even reach the floor.

I've been bad about blogging lately. Not writing nor reading. It's not that I'm not interested, it's just that there are so many other things that must be attended to. I worked up the preliminary tax return yesterday. For the first time in over a decade, I'll be getting some money back. This is largely because nearly all of my income was from actual employers who took over 30 percent of my earnings in withholding. Serge, who works for himself still has to pay the piper. Perhaps I'll help him with that this year.

Work opportunities from the college continue to come my way. I've been asked to develop a 60 hour ESL course tailored to the trucking industry, and then give the course. I don't know if y'all know but truckers who enter the US must have a functional level of English language skills. If they can't clear customs and understand and respond to the agents, they will be denied entry to the states. I predict these men (I'm assuming) will be a motivated bunch. That all gets going mid-april just as my current contracts start dwindling down. I got off the unemployment claim I've had going because of that.

If I had more news, I'd certainly share it with you. Life is fairly copasetic though, and the elongation of the daylight is perking up spirits. It's still cold but we had a warm spell that melted half the snow. The ensuing cold froze all the remaining snow into blocks of ice now. Georgie doesn't like it all that much, he's much more interested in diving around the powdery stuff. I'm sure we'll get pummeled by more storms before the winter is over though. Have a great week everyone. I'll try to check back in half way through it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Quick check in

No real reason (do we have to have one for Georgie porn?) for posting this other than I like his look in this photo. I always marvel at how different dogs look in photos than when you look at them. Well this photo represents how I see him in real life. It's his serious call me George look.

I also have no point for this post other than it's been a few days and as you know I'm trying not to let it die. Of course everything has an ending, so eventually this will too. I'm in my fourth intensive group this week and they are doing just great. I'm so proud of how much progress they have made. It makes my job very gratifying.

We were talking about remedies today (they're all nurses) and one of them told me how to decongest the nasal cavity without taking any pills or squirting anything up the nose. She claims quite firmly that rubbing vicks all over your feet will do the trick. She works the info-health line up here (811) and has had numerous skeptics call back to thank her for this trick that works. I remain skeptical but I will try it next time.

We're over half way to the weekend and you're already done with this post! Peace.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

12 of 12

Good morning Georgie. Did you pester our overnight guest all night? Did you insist on sleeping with her, nay on her all night? You know we don't mind, but non-dog owners might have some issues with that. You need to sleep with your daddies.

Must have coffee. And yes I did sleep in my shirt. Lately I've been sleeping with the last layer of everything. Socks, long underwear and undershirt. It's cozy and warm that way. Serge used to not let me have socks in bed at any time but he's mellowed as he's gotten older.

It was a snowy morning, but Georgie needed to go out and do his business. Even though our street is one of the major streets of this city, weekend mornings are very quiet. Our street leads right downtown but there's no rush hour per se on the weekends.

Georgie so loves the snow. His yin is the perfect antidote to my yang on the matter. As much as I'm coming to loathe it, he always makes me smile diving around in it.

Weekends are workout days. And so I did my shift in the basement. I feel all manly looking at this shot. The bar is so heavy it's bending. There's 72.5 pounds on each side plus the olympic bar which I think is 35 pounds. So squatting 180. Ooga booga.

All through the day yesterday, I played words with friends on the ipod touch. I can only do that when there is a wi-fi connection as there is at home. Usually, I just play my turn when I'm (ahem) doing my morning duties. If you'd like to play, start up a game with me. I'm tornwordo.

The skies cleared up in the afternoon and the snow stopped so I took Georgie over to the doggie park in Park LaFontaine. He ran and ran and ran and ran and ran and ran and ran and ran and ran. This shot is the epitome of his energy at the park. So cute.

It's been on my list for two weeks and I finally got around to it. I audibly gasped when the cashier rang it up and it came to over $6. I remember getting a quart of oil for a dollar not so long ago. But maybe I'm dating myself. How much is a quart of oil in your neck of the woods?

We went over to Dan's house for supper (Dan forbids photos of him posted) with our overnight guest Ida. Ida came to town (she lives in the sticks) for a one day seminar and when she was done, we went over to Dan's. We brought over coquille st-jacques, and incidentally, the Choix du President brand is the best! chock ful of seafood and the sauce is unctuous (is that a word in English?) and divine. This picture is of course the oil and vinegar for bread dipping. I thought it looked like abstract art.

Dessert was prettier than it was tasty. But I've found that to be true of most "pretty" desserts. Chocolate mousse looks like a mound of doo-doo, but it's delicious. Ditto for souflees. The more gussied up the dessert, the more conflicting the flavors. These had lots of marzipan and coconut figuring into the mix. For me, if you put coconut in it, you've ruined it.

Dan's cat Emile. He was crawling all over the place and we were a bit taken aback when he was jumping up on the counter while dinner was being prepared. Dan said it's the one animal he's ever lost the war with. Thank god Georgie cannot jump up on the counter, because if he could....

Back home, Serge took Georgie out for his evening poo/walk. When he got back he tortured Georgie by hiding his cookie. He didn't hide it there, but Georgie just wanted to make sure.

There you have it. Chad isn't sponsoring this anymore, so I can't direct you to others who have done a photo spread of the day. Update! He is sponsoring it for one more year. You can see other photo spreads here. I like doing it once a month because it gives an objective and a creative edge to the day. I hope you liked this one. Cheers!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The uggathon continues

We can play ink blobs. What do you see in the lower center portion of the photo?

This is a fried box that once housed those two double breakers there. In case you missed it on FB, Sunday evening just as the Superbowl got going, the tenant from downstairs came up and said his electricity was out. We called for an emergency electrician, actually we called several and they all quoted similar amounts, basically $325 plus parts for an after hours call. Anyway, this box leads to another box with a breaker and that breaker was loose and replacing it seemed to fix the problem. Unfortunately, that breaker (a double hundred amp) was a sign of the trouble in the other. This we found out this morning when the tenant came up again with the news of another outage. After all is said and done, we're out $900. That's a week in Cuba dangit! 

I was trying to remember if we had any electrical woes before and so I searched the blog. I ended up getting sucked in reading Feb 06 and saw how different my writing style was. How much better it was. That's because I was trying harder. At that time, I blogged every day religiously. Of course Sara was alive then and I got to cryin over her in one of the posts. Serge mocked me. "You have a dog!" he said in that stop-that kind of way.

Did you ever say "adoy" when someone did something stupid? I did. And after that came duh and doy. I still say duh to this day. You?

Last night Georgie went outside and was all hyper prancing around in the snow. I started throwing snowballs and he was crazily diving in and digging, frantically looking for the ball. Then he started doing this thing he does where he runs up to you and you try to grab him and he fake growls and darts back, then repeat until the hyperactive impulse reaches a zenith and he goes tearing off uncontrollably around the patio. The whole thing was so cute that I ran out there in my socks and bathrobe and played with him stomping around in the two feet of snow. It made me feel kid-like. I'm smiling as I type. Here's another time during the day of him chasing snowballs.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Not hearting the snow

Ugh. The storm track has moved back our way. First the 10 inches on Wednesday, then this morning there is another 6 inches on the ground even though they were only calling for 2 to 4 last night. They have been really bad about getting the quantity predictions right this winter. And tonight and tomorrow they are calling for another 4 inches. So what, does that mean 8? If human beings had evolved in the north instead of in Africa, our arms would probably resemble shovels.

One bright side to the incessant snow is that the city has to ramp up the snow removal operations. Although they have to start over today, during the snow removal operations if you don't move your car when you are supposed to (they put up signage with times) they tow the car to a nearby spot and ticket it. Well, if the van is still in this city and it's abandoned on some street somewhere, we'll be able to find it because the police will ticket it and find it has been reported stolen and call us. So far that hasn't happened but they didn't finish the operation from Wednesday's storm. So. Fingers crossed.

Georgie sure loves it. It seems that most of the dogs do. At the doggie park yesterday, all the dogs seemed more frolicky than usual. Georgie has been better at the doggie park. It must have been that particular mix of dogs that caused him to misbehave last week. Although he is still more vocal, he's just being a regular ole dog.

I'm so burnt out from the last three week's intensives. I have a break this week and only have to work two days. The other days I'll be prepping for the new course I picked up. And daydreaming about warmer climes. We do have something to look forward to though. The parental units have decided to take the family to Europe in October for two weeks. Yahoo! That is sure going to be a blast.

This is dull I admit so I'll let you go. I must do some shoveling now. Oh goodie gumdrops.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Double trouble

Well it's our turn to get pummeled by snow. I knew it when I looked at that scary satellite picture this morning. They were calling for 2-4 inches but I wasn't buying it. I took public transportation to work because I didn't want to risk having to drive home after a foot of snow fell. So glad I did that because a big dump of snow is what we got. Can't complain though, we usually have far more big snow dump events. I might have actually braved the storm this morning if I had had the van. I feel safer in the van for some reason.

Trouble is, the van was stolen Monday night. I didn't even notice it until I got home from work Tuesday afternoon. I noticed the van wasn't parked there so I figured Serge had gone out someplace. I entered the code to unlock the front door but it wasn't locked. "Uh, hello?" I asked and Serge replied, "Hello," from his office chair. "Where did you put the van? Did you put it in the garage?" I asked. Serge said that it was parked on the corner. "Uh, no it isn't," I replied. After running through all the possibilities including contacting the city to see if it had been towed for some reason, the only possible explanation became theft. So the police came and made a report and basically told us not to hold our breath. At first I felt like I was punched in the stomach but after a couple stiff drinks, we started enumerating the upside. No maintenance costs, no digging it out of the snow, no repairs. And it really was a beater, we had already decided we wouldn't make any major repairs on it and the transmission was doing that telltale clunk when it shifted so I don't think it had that much life left. 1996 is pretty old for a car up here and 230,000km is pretty high mileage too. Farewell to the van.

Finally today, I have this ad I took out of the paper this morning. It's for your basic sex shop but I just couldn't (and still can't) figure out what the thing next to the lube bottle is. Any ideas? It kind of looks like a spoon with a hole in it. You can click on it to enlarge. Wednesday down, two days til the weekend. See you then!