Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tin Man

Here is a link to an excellent article on our dictatorial Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. It was written by columnist Jeffrey Simpson and appeared in yesterday's Globe and Mail. He says it all so well. Please check it out.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

Thursday's economic statement was an economic lame duck and a political boner. It revealed, among other things, the kind of Conservative Party that all but its core supporters suspected would eventually be outed: a group of ideologues, led by a Prime Minister who discarded his campaign sweater to reveal an economist with a tin heart and a politician who looks everywhere for political advantage. [...]

The miscalculations have been stunning. Mr. Harper's strategy has accomplished already the near-impossible: to bring the Liberals and NDP together.

He had so many other, less partisan options at a time of economic crisis and grave national concern. That he acted in this fashion, at this time, was enormously revealing. And very sad.

Busy Sunday

Been a busy and productive day here for both spouse and me. Brad's been on a cleaning jag, vacuuming the house from top to bottom, doing several loads of laundry, including the dog's beds, cleaning up and scrubbing our back porch/mud room. We use the back door almost exclusively for our comings and goings as there is a bench to sit on while putting on our shoes or boots and there's room to towel down the dogs when they are wet, which has been quite a lot lately!

Me, I've been cooking and cleaning also. I made the carrot-ginger-peanut soup (the recipe for which I have posted before) and the Georgian (former SSR) bean salad, Lobio, for which I have also provided the recipe. These two will provide me with at least three lunches to take to work this coming week. My poor colleagues, though, when I take the Lobio, it's full of fresh garlic! (I always keep my office door closed and chew gum when I have to talk to someone in person.) I sweat it all out when I bike my 21 km. Brad doesn't dare go into the basement for a while on the days I have eaten Lobio or vegetarian chili for lunch! (An interesting fact about garlic that perhaps you didn't know: you shouild let it sit for about 15 minutes after you cut or mince it. The beneficial enzyme that gives garlic its very healthy punch takes that long to be produced, so if you use it before then, you are missing out on a lot of the stinking rose's benfits.)

Most of the morning/early afternoon, I've also been listening to BBC Radio 3's Breakfast show. This has become a tradition on Sundays for the last month or so. It's a great program that presents a wide variety of mostly classical music. I especially enjoy it when it's hosted by dishy Alister Appleton! I'll make links in the sidebar momentarily. In a similar vein, if you enjoy jazz, don't forget to check out the jazz program each night on Éspace Musique (that link is already there). If you want to listen to it live, simply click on "Écoutez en direct." The programs from the weekend are also saved and you can listen to them anytime. They are usually hosted by honey-voiced Dorothée Berryman.

Now, I've got to go down and do the dishes I've dirted. Then I'm off to the pool for a swim.

Here's a pick of some of this week's lunches:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Skinny Saturday 36

Not much going on today. The sun is finally coming out after several overcast and rainy days. The snow has all disappeared, which is a good thing.

There's a lot of political drama going on in our nation's capital. The Harper government is trying to pass an economic update, which basically does nothing with regard to the economy, but it includes a provision that would take away funding for political parties paid out by Ottawa. Right now, all parties receive a certain amount of money for each vote they get. It's a paltry amount, in the grand scheme of things (around $27 million), but the opposition parties in particular would be devastated if that funding was denied. And that's why Harper is doing it. Because he is a bully of the highest order. And he thought he could do it now just after we've had a national election and the Liberals are in the process of replacing their leader. He didn't think the opposition parties would dare to oppose him on this and force another election. But oppose him they are and if they band together and form a coalition, they would have more seats than the Conservatives, and they could introduce a non-confidence motion, pass it, topple the Harper government, and ask the Governor General to allow them to form a new government. And I dearly hope that just such a scenario plays out! We'd finally be rid of that asshole bully Harper and no doubt his own Party would force him out of the leader's job as a result. Oh, I really hope that this is the beginning of the end for that twit!

In any case, the boyz are getting impatient, so here they are!

Friday, November 28, 2008


I'm not so sure about this new ad for men's fragrance. The guy is def hot, but can you say SHRINKAGE???

FANTASY Real Estate Friday

And a major fantasy it is! A New York penthouse condo atop the Time Warner Building at Columbus Circle (my favourite part of town, incidently). The property is listed at a whopping $65,000,000! Can you imagine!? With monthly real estate fees of $16,332 and monthly maintenance fees of $13,361

Here's the description:

Nested in the New York skyline atop the Time Warner Center, this full floor, triple mint home with 360 degree views of New York City and beyond will take your breath away. From Lady Liberty to Greenwich Conn., from the Palisades to Wall Street, you can see it all from this full floor apartment high in the sky.

This penthouse features 14 ft. ceilings throughout, elegant and dramatic entertaining space and warm and inviting private sanctuaries. A master bedroom suite encompasses an office, his and her dressing rooms, gym and his and her bathrooms. The 41 ft.-long living room with floor to ceiling windows has the most incredible view of Manhattan. The red lacquered corner library/office also commands a special place of solitude in this apartment. A full dining room with views of the Hudson River is a room of understated luxury. A chef's kitchen and pantry, a full laundry center, four full bedrooms with en-suite baths and a screening room, round out this amazing property.

25 Columbus Circle represents the ultimate in five-star living and dining, pampering its residents with a complete array of luxury amenities: from a white glove concierge service, access to the gym, spa and pool of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, private screening room and a discrete basement garage, to the outdoor roof deck, children's playroom, board room with Park views, private storage and ballroom. In addition to the building's private services, the Time Warner Center is also home to the best in shopping, fine dining and entertainment, such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, Whole Foods, Per Se, Landmarc, Stone Rose Lounge, Hugo Boss, Pink, Calvin Klein and Williams-Sonoma, to name a few.

Residents of this five-star condominium also have access to Club 51, which offers magnificent party rooms with bar and catering kitchen, roofdeck, children's playroom, gym, massage room and theater.

And here are the pics:

Sigh... It's fun to dream. Have a good weekend all.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thankgiving to all our friends in the United States. You all have a lot to be thankful for down there this year! In less than 2 months, Bush will be relegated to the dustbin of history and you'll have a new, articulate, eloquent, and intelligent President! Yay!

Here's a pic of Pumpkin the turkey, who Bush pardoned this year... I doubt that history will be so kind to Bush!

Have a great holiday everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


No, not the stuff in your dairy section. The movie. It's out now. Go see it!

True Colours

Here's a great ad for Bjorn Borg's new online dating service. Very catchy!

Welcome Home!

Here's a link to a great vid that Marlene sent me. The video show the reaction of two dogs when their master (a soldier) returns after 14 months in Iraq. Unconditional love at its finest!

Check out the video here

Happy Birthday International Space Station!

The international space station that orbits or beautiful globe has just turned 10! Check out these and other great pics at the

Awe inspiring, no?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hip, hip. hooray!

Let's hear it for Queen Rania of Jordan! Wow. I was blown away by this video. Queen Rania has just won a YouTube Visionary Award. It was presented by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and his wife Jen. Queen Rania really seems to be a classy, articulate, and funny women. Family members of mine are soon going to be moving to Saudi Arabia for a while. While I doubt I would visit them there, I would jump at the opportunity to perhaps hook up with them in Jordan.

Check it out!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Edmonton (Alberta) meteor

Very cool. Came down last Thursday, November 20/08.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lazy Sunday

Well, not really lazy, but it's going to be from here on out. Went down and visited mom and got her stocked up on supplies. We had a good visit. It was messy driving, though, with the melting snow and salty spray kicked up by cars in front. It's supposed to rain later this week, so I suspect the snow will disappear completely by Tuesday or Wednesday.

We went out last night and saw the new Bond flick, Quantum of Solace, with Shaun and Mary. We all kind of liked it. I enjoyed Casino Royale more, but this one wasn't bad, and it was neat to see the Campo in Siena again. We had drinks there in June.

After the movie, we headed back to Shaun and Mary's for drinks and snacks. S & M also surprised me with a birthday cake and a card containing lotto tickets! (I didn't win 6/49 last night guys, and I am going to scratch the other tickets as soon as I finish this post... If you don't hear from me in a while, you'll know I won! ;-)

I'm also going to light a fire in the fireplace as soon as I finish this post, and we're having an easy dinner of baked potatoes and roasted maple/dijon salmon. The salmon is our usual Sunday night fare. Reading by the fire will be what's in store for this evening.

Here's a pic of yesterday's snowfall. It could have been much worse, I guess. Other areas received significantly more accumulation.

And here's our current background on our home computer. Poolside in Tuscany. And yes, those are my feet, and yes, I took the photo that way on purpose! ;-)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Skinny Saturday 35

Well, another week has come and gone. The time seems to pass faster all the time. Don and Mar weren't available to go for drinks afterwork, so I came home and biked 21 km in the basement before supper. (Brad was out at his dad's for supper and a movie - They watched Munich with sexy Eric Bana.)

This morning I was awakened by the sound of the snow plow going down the street. Can you imagine?? The rudeness of it all. Snow. On November 22. We only had about 4 cm, but still. Oh well, I guess it had to start sometime. I went down to the basement and rounded up my winter boots and took Kaiser for a walk in it. One lady we passed said, "He looks like he's happy!" referring to Kaiser who was all smiles and lapping up the white stuff to beat the band. Crazy dog.

Brad's off to the theatre for a Met live broadcast. It's the Damnation of Faust, I think. I wasn't really interested in it and had a lot of stuff to do this afternoon, so I took a pass on the opera. I biked another 21 km this morning, so that makes 42 km in the last two days! Will try to bike another 21 tomorrow. This HAS to pay off sometime!! (Thankfully, I've lost about 3 pounds this week. Just 13 more to go!)

I had to do my biweekly running around to pick stuff up for mom, whom I will visit tomorrow. I got her turned on to dried peaches, which have a huge amount of fibre in them, in an attempt to keep her bowels in good working order. Ugh.

Nuff about that. On to the boyz of Saturday! Good weekend all!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pics from Russia

Happy Friday everyone. Been a long week. And it's been VERY cold here for the last few days. I actually dug out and wore my longjohns this morning! It's getting cool in Russia too these days. Take a gander:

A couple smooch in the newly fallen snow in Moscow

A man plays a trumpet on Nevsky Prospect in Saint-Petersburg. Nevsky is a very busy and loud street. We were swarmed there by a group of 5 pickpockets. They jumped out of no where and stuck a book or something in my face, shouting, "Five dollars, only five dollars!" I kept saying "N'yet, n'yet, n'yet!" And we finally made our way past them. Thankfully my wallet was in the breast pocket of a zippered-up fleece and they never got anything. Having one's wallet stolen in Russia would NOT be a pleasant experience, to say the least.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Charlie and Marcus (behind the scenes!)

A couple of great behind the scenes videos of recently voted-off Survivor contestants, Charlie (who's gay) and Marcus (who's not, at least he says he's not!;-) They're having a gay old time!

Sexiest man alive!

Well one of 'em anyway. Hugh Jackman (left) and his trainer.

Where's the love?

Hahaha! Too funny. Bush at a recent meeting of world leaders. He's certainly not the most popular guy in the class!

Beaujolais Nouveau

And today, in case you didn't know, is the release of the 2008 Beaujolais Nouveau. I usually pick up a bottle or two. It's just a November thing to do... Here's a tasting in Beijing:

Piano Prodigy

Just came across this on the Internet. Emily Bear on Ellen. She's a 7-year-old piano prodigy and composer - she's written 126 pieces and has been composing since she was about 3! Generally, I don't have a lot of time for kids, but this little girl is adorable. This clip is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face - and perhaps even a tear to your eye! Check it out!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


A lot of numbers this month. 18-year anniversary, 34 skinny Saturdays, and today, 47-years-old - for me. Yikes! Funny, I don't really feel much older, and certainly no wiser. I don't have any real baby pictures scanned, but here's one of me when I was about 5 or 6 dressed as a ring-bearer for one of my brother's weding. My trusty dog Spots by my side... Ah, those were the days!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

To boldly go...

So I don't think it's EVER going to stop raining here! It poured here last night, over night, and most of today. It's continued to be incredible mild for this time of year, though, reaching 15 C today. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and much cooler. Flurries are forecast for Tuesday and periods of snow for Wednesday! I'm definitely not ready for snow yet! :-(

I just caught the last 20 minutes or so of The Pacifier, a Vin Diesel flick. My goodness he's Hot!

And I just came across the new trailer for Star Trek. I think it's one that someone shot as it was playing at a theatre. The official trailer is not on the Net yet. I was a huge Star Trek fan as a kid. Check it out:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Skinny Saturday 34

It's yet another dreary day here in eastern Canada. It's starting to rain. Again. I'm getting very tired of drying off the dogs after they've been out. At least it's very mild, about 13 C. We could in fact be getting snow here at this time of year. Someone was saying that December is supposed to be colder than normal this year with more snow than usual as well, but January and February are supposed to be milder with more precipation falling as rain... Time will tell, I guess. Personally, I'd rather have snow in the winter than rain. Rain just makes things messy.

I translated an interesting letter yesterday at work. Well, the contents weren't all that interesting, but it was from a couple of decades ago and written by a former Premier of the province. In the letter, the Premier also mentioned a certain Cabinet Minister of the day who would have, in fact, been my father. What a blast from the past! That Premier is long since dead, and my father, too, but the letter gave me cause to remember them both and to take a short journey down memory lane...

Ah well, on to the here and now. Here's da boyz of No. 34.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Reader

Hey all. Here's the trailer for a new film that will be released later this month or early in December. The film is called The Reader and is based on the book by the same name by Bernhard Schlink. It made Oprah's list a number of years ago, but I read it and loved it way before Oprah. It's quite a short novel, my copy is only 218 pages, so if you haven't read it, you'll have a chance before you see the movie. I highly recommend it. The movie stars Ralph Fiennes (whom we saw in a play during our overnight in London this past summer) and Kate Winslet.

Check it out:

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Eighteen years ago today that Bradley and I met and we haven't looked back since. Happy Anniversary, sweetie. Love you so.

Happy Anniversary wishes also go out to Don and Marlene! I'm not sure how many years it's been (more than us, I'm pretty sure), but they were married on this same date! Hope you guys had fun at the wine festival!

Here's a few pics from last weekend and last night. The pizza Brad made was yummy. Toppings included olives, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, red pepper, feta, parmesan, and mozzarella.


My high school graduation photo. I was sixteen and trying to grow a mustache

Jasper LOVES to lay by the fire

Part of our humble abode

More humble abode


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Skinny Saturday 33

Another drizzly November day here in eastern Canada. I skipped the market this morning and headed straight to the bakery where I picked up my usual 2 loaves of bread and a quiche Lorraine (Mmmm, their quiches are SO good!).

I then went with a friend to the pre-judging for the provincial bodybuilding and figure championships. Meh. Some good physiques to be sure, but it got kind of boring after a while. All the quarter turning and posing. And of course the under-40 men were saved until after the intermission, but after 2 and a half hours, I had had enough and didn't stick around for the second part.

Came home and lit a fire under Brad and then later on lit one in the fireplace. Brad is making a pizza for supper as I write this, sipping away on a Honey Dew. We are watching a film this eveing, Savage Grace, which I posted about a while ago. I think it will be a rather disturbing film to watch, but hopefully good as well.

I made reservations at a restaurant for the 2 of us for tomorrow evening.

Without further delay, here's da boyz:

Friday, November 07, 2008


A big thank god it's Friday! This has been a long week. Some late nights, 2 trips to the dentist (fillings and a mold for bleaching trays), and some busy days at work. This morning it's very mild and raining a pour. The rivers are really high and running very fast. A lot of water has come down in the last 24 hours.

Thankfully, this is an extra long weekend for me. I am taking Monday off as a vacation day and Tuesday is a statutory holiday (Rememberance Day), so after today, I won't be back to work until next Wednesday! Yay!

I'm elated that Obama won the US election. It's going to be great to have someone who's smart and articulate occupying the White House. My joy is tempered though by the passage of Proposition 8 (to ban same-sex marriage) in California and similar measures in Arizona and Florida. In California (and elsewhere, too, I'm sure), backers of Prop 8 (including the Catholic and LDS churches) lied through their teeth in order to get the measure passed. They said that freedom of religion would be threatened, that kids would be affected, that schools would have to teach about the "gay lifestyle." All lies, of course, but the tactic apparently worked. If I were a gay American, I would certainly give serious thought to moving to Canada or Europe. Same-sex marriage has been legal here in for going on 4 years. Somehow the sky hasn't fallen, my straight friends continue to marry, some have kids (or grand kids! ;-), the churches are still standing, and not one church has been forced to marry anyone it did not want to. Go figure.

How about a couple of pics to end with?

Here's Justin Trudeau and his son Xavier as Justin was being sworn in as a Member of Parliament. Jeez, he looks like his father!

A puppy sleeping in Iraq

And Michael Phelps - I miss him not being in the news everyday!