Sunday, June 28, 2009

The week that was...

Well, the damp, overcast and muggy weather continues here with no end in sight. Yesterday was so-so and today is ify, but at least it has stopped raining - for now.. Supposed to be another rainy day tomorrow and clouds and showers are forecast for most of the coming week... Enough aready! We need a week or two of sun!!

I had drinks with Don and Mar and Shaun and Mary after work on Friday then Shaun and Mary and I decided to grab a quick bite of supper, after which I walked home! We're trying to talk the gang into a week in St. Lucia next February... Self-catering again, renting a place and a car and basically having a blast as we did last June in Tuscany. Shaun and Mary are giving it serious consideration (I think), and Don and Mar have pretty much decided against it (I think), opting instead for a trip to Kilimanjaro later in the year. We have found a place that is very reasonable (owned by Canadians, in fact), and the airfare is very inexpensive as well, so... Put on your thinking caps, my friends (Yes that means you Georges and Barb and Paulie too!) and let's get this idea off the ground! :)

I got to the farmers' market again yesterday morning and bought more basil (I made pesto again today and froze it for a cold winter's day). I also bought a little mini-quiche that I'll take for lunch one day this week and a few other odds and ends. I also biked my 21 km yesterday, bringing my total km so far this year to just over 1000. Still need to do better though.

Mowed the front lawn today and then went with Brad to buy some more pots for both outdoor and indoor plants. We picked up some petunias as well.

Here's some pics of the past week with a few fellas thrown in at the end to make up for the lack of a Skinny Saturday yesterday!

Two pooches and old containers we had on hand that Brad salvaged and painted red

Part of our garden with a trellis brad made for the cucumbers to climb

Strawberry rhubarb pie

Last night's supper, roasted potates, carrots, asparagus, and seared scallops

The whole pie fresh from the oven

Summer in a bowl... The smell of cut up strawberries and rhubarb makes your mouth water

And finally, da boyz:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Reading List

Hey all... Brad and I are compiling a reading list of books to buy/borrow to take to the cottage with is this summer... So give us some of your suggestions/recommendations/favourites... Really... Leave a comment! Thanks!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Catch-up

Been another drizzly and overcast days here on the east coast of Canada. Happy Fathers day to all you dads out there. And Happy Solstice to all you pagans! The longest day of the year... Jeez. Now the days will start getting shorter again!

I went for a 75 minute walk early this afternoon and then came home and made pesto and a puttanesca sauce. Kinda counterintuitive, n'est-ce pas! Oh well... All this exercise is bound to have some effect! It better, in any case. Brad went out to his sister's place for a father's day barbecue. I decided to sit that get-together out, opting instead to continue cooking and later giong for another swim. So all told this weekend, I biked 21 km, went for a 75 minute walk, and swam twice for 30 minutes each time! Burn you gall-darn calories, burn!

Not looking forward to the full week of work ahead... Thankfully, it's faily slow, and I'm going to try to walk someat lunchtime this week too. If it isn't pouring rain, that is...

Have a good week all!

Dan Savage on Monogamy

The always funny and witty, Dan Savage.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Skinny Saturday 58!

Hey dudes. Hope your weekend is sunnier and drier than it is here. Rain all day, and more forecast for the foreseeable future. Ugh. Hopefully it will give the garden a boost, though. Got my 21 km in on the bike in the basement, and two nights ago Brad and I went for an hour-long bike ride outside. It was nice, except for the scads of bugs we kept running into on the trail. Those one that just hover in a cluster and generally make a nuisance of themselves. Got down for a quick visit with mom today too. She looks great and her only complaint these days is her arthritis, which is worsened by the cool rainy weather.

Gonna try to get a swim in today too.

More protests in Iran despite the warning ofthe "Supreme leader." My thought are with them. I hope it ends well, though I fear it won't.

In any case, here are the fells of Saturday!

More Ronaldo... I think I am turning into somewhat of a stalker where he is concerned!

Ah-hem ... Wouldn't mind going for a bike ride with this guy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

One to remember

I think the photo below is a powerful image. It's of a supporter of Iranian presidental candidate Hossein Moussavi protecting a riot squad policeman after he was injured in skirmishes with protesters in Tehran. The green shirt is protecting the guy from his own fellow protesters, in other words, from the same people the police officer was probably beating just moments earlier. The green shirt obviously thought this officer had suffered enough and did not want him to be killed. A moving display of humanity. The image will stay with me for a while. I found the photo at's Big Picture, which is a great site, btw.

Addendum: I just found this YouTube vid of the same thing happening. Moussavi supporters protecting a member of the riot police. The running commentary is in Italian.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How low can they go?

Michael Phelps' trunks, that is... Not that I'm complaining, mind.

Monday, June 15, 2009

More Ronaldo

Wow! Christiano really seems to enjoy a man's touch. These are from a Vegas hotel this past weekend.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Review

How come weekends are so short and the work week so long?? It's been another productive day on the home front. After mowing the front lawn I spent most of the day in the kitchen. First I made a mung bean & sticky rice concoction that turned out to be very satisfying and tasty. I got the recipe here. It makes a great dessert and would even be good for breakfast, I think. Though it's already quite sweet, I think a little maple syrup or a touch of brown sugar would not be out of place.

Then I tried another new recipe, this one for potato salad. You can find it here. It turned out terrific as well. The dressing is really zingy and the potatoes and asparagus go very nicely together. We had it for dinner along with the usual Sunday night roasted salmon (this time with fresh dill) and with steamed beet greens, which I purchased at the market yesterday as well. We had the homemade vanilla bean ice cream for dessert and it was yummy, too! Lots and lots of tinsy vanilla beans bursting with authentic flavour. We were very well-fed today. Brad spent his day in the back yard again and I'll soon post some photos of his labours back there.

Oh, and Martian Child was excellent. I highly recommend it. It was touching and funny. John Cusack and great as the father and Bobby Coleman was the bomb as the little Martian.

With that, here are some some pics of the week that was:

Brad's dad came for dinner last Sunday, when we again dined al fresco on the deck

This is what we had: roasted salmon & vegetables and tomatoes with feta and chives

All you need for making pesto (except the basil): olive oil, fresh garlic, grated parasan cheese, toasted pine nuts, and some lemon juice. Not everyone uses lemon juice, but I do because I like the added flabour and it keeps the pesto bright green and prevents it from turning black through oxidization.

Here's the basil! Washed and patted dry on paper towels.

Mix all the ingredients in the blender and this is what you end up with! A little pot of summer! After the pesto is made, Jasper and I head out on the deck. I use a spoon to scrape what I can out of the blender container and gobble that up myself. Then I rub my hand all around on the inside of the container to get the rest, which Jasper in turn licks off my hand.

Last night's supper

The mung bean and sticky rice pudding.

Zippy potato & asparagus salad.

Parmesan and gruyère toasts were the appetizers tonight

And finally tonight's supper: roasted salmon with fresh dill, steamed beet greens & the potato & asparagus salad.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Skinny Saturday 57!

Phew! Another extremely busy day here in Atlantic Canada. It was a gorgeous morning, after yesterday's rain, when the sun came up everything sparkled like diamonds and emeralds under the clear blue sky. I went to the farmers' market very early, as I had an inking that my organic basil would be coming into season and I was right! Dude saw me coming (they call me basil Jeff), and had a big smile on his handsome face! I bought 3 bunches and made pesto this afternoon. Mmmm... so good. I truly do think I could live on pesto alone! I also bought some Morbier cheese (that's the one with a layer of ash in the middle - What? It's yummy!) and some homemade vanilla bean ice cream, which I haven't tried yet - I'll let you know the verdict soon.

Then I biked my 21 km in the basement, grabbed a bite of lunch and headed out to run errands and buy lotto tickets ($24 million tonight!). I did a couple of loads of laundry, cleaned the bathroom on the top floor, and made the pesto. Then I went and swam for half an hour! So now I am pooped! Brad spent the day in the backyard, building trelleses and planting things, so he is beat as well... We dined al fresco on the deck, and now Brad is in the shower and I am typing this. Tonight, we're going to watch Martian Child. It was next on our Rogers Home Direct list. Hope it's good....

Till tomorrow with some pics, here's da boyz:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ronaldo gets his wish!

Real Madrid has purchased Christiano Ronaldo from Man. U. for a whopping $131 million US. Story here.

And here are a few recent pics of the boy vacationing after he and his team lost the Champion League final to Barcelona in Rome... I wonder who the touchie-feelie dude is. Christiano certainly doesn't need a sugar daddy!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I'm probably way behind the times, but I just heard this for the first time today and really liked it. Perhaps you will, too.

Live from New York City! It's Kids in the Hall!

Couldn't resist this from Overheard in New York!

Wednesday One-Liners Contemplate Eating Their Young
Man yelling at children: If I see it I spank it!

--94th St & Columbus

Overheard by: olivia

Mother to complaining seven-year-old daughter: Let's pretend we're the Israelites wandering in the desert.

--42nd St & 8th Ave

Mom to child: If you do that again, I swear to god, I will make you ride outside! I will strap you to the wing and make you ride outside!

--JetBlue Plane, JFK Tarmac

Woman to small child looking at store window: Jean-Claude, you simply cannot be this demanding at two and a half!

--3rd Ave, Brooklyn

Overheard by: Paula Katinas

Mother to screaming child: You are so mean! Who raised you? Wild animals? Indians?

--Greene St, SoHo

Overheard by: Mememonkey

Mom getting on subway to small kids: Well, now you know what "burlesque" means!

--1 Train

via Overheard in New York, Jun 10, 2009

No Safe Words

Not really sure what to make of this short vid, though I dig the imagery!

Apparently, producer Noam Gonick contends that Pride is becoming a “military parade that glorifies fascist imagery of cops, conformity and corporatization.” Gonick originally produced his film to address human rights issues. His subjects in the film were the football players from the UBC Thunderbirds.

Gonick asked the Thunderbirds to imitate waterboarding techniques on each other, with players’ faces covered in rainbow-colored underwear. They also performed hazing rituals.

“I didn’t even have to direct them,” the filmmaker says. “It took off on its own.”

Gonick and animator Dennis Tam edited the football player footage with graphic text ‘scorecards’ recalling military dictators like Adolf Hitler and Augusto Pinochet. He also gave his film a name: No Safe Words. In SM culture, a safe word is what a slave says to a master to force them to stop. “In human rights abuses,” says Gonick, “there are no safe words.”

LOL... Okay... Take a look and tell me if that is the message YOU received! :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Time to End It!

Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the U.S., that is. It's the policy that mandates the dismissal of anyone who is openly gay, lesbian or bisexual in the U.S. military. A large majority of Americans favour allowing gay men and women to serve openly. Candidate Obama promised to rescind the policy, yet bright, patriotic, hard-working individuals continue to be discharged.

Mr. Obama, tear down this wall!

The New York Times has a compelling op-ed video in today's edition. It's the story of the husband of a gay soldier serving in Iraq. You can watch it here.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Skinny Saturday 56!

Had a blast last night chez Georges and Barb's - Thanks again, guys! It's a beautiful sunny day here. I got my 21 km in on the bike and mowed part of the back yard. Now I'm gonna rustle up some lunch and catch some rays on the back deck. Gotta start working on my tan for the beach this summer. Gotta seriously start losing some pounds, too. It's crunch time in more ways than one!

Here's da boyz:

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Book of Negroes

Well, another Friday is finally upon us. It's been a long week and I am looking forward to the weekend. Our great friend Mary had a birthday yesterday, so here's another shout out to her! Happy birthday, once again!

Tonight all the usual suspects are gathering at Georges and Barb's for an end-of-the-week barbecue! Can't wait! Sunday, I'll go down a visit mom. She wanted a foot stool, even though the new chair I bought for her is a recliner. She can't get it to recline on her own and doesn't like to ask for help with it. So I got her a small stool that should do the trick.

I finished The Book of Negroes last week. It's by Canadian author Lawrence Hill. I highly, highly recommend it. It follows the story of one woman, Aminata Diallo, who was kidnapped in Africa and sold into slavery in 1745. It is very well written, powerful, and a page-turner. Get a copy and read it if you haven't already. Here's an excerpt:

Let me begin with a caveat to any and all who find these pages. Do not trust large bodies of water, and do not cross them. If you, Dear Reader, have an African hue and find yourself led toward water with vanishing shores, seize your freedom by any means necessary. And cultivate distrust of the colour pink. Pink is taken as the colour of innocence, the colour of childhood, but as it spills across the water in the light of the dying sun, do not fall into its pretty path. There, right underneath, lies a bottomless graveyard of children, mothers and men. I shudder to imagine all the Africans rocking in the deep. Every time I have sailed the seas, I have had the sense of gliding over the unburied. Some people call the sunset a creation of extraordinary beauty, and proof of God's existence. But what benevolent force would bewitch the human spirit by choosing pink to light the path of a slave vessel?