Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fluffy, Dobi and Jodie but mostly Fluffy

We didn’t know it at the time but he had been in many homes in our neighbourhood, scratching on doors and when they let him in he instantly worked his way into their hearts. He was so cute and spunky, all 7 lbs. of him friendly and always hungry as a bear. He loved everybody and everybody loved him back. We found out later of some of the homes he had vacationed at and how they had gone through the process of trying to find out who he belonged to by placing found ads in the papers, posters on poles, carrying him around knocking on doors and if he didn’t escape their home first eventually took him to the pound. He had been there so many times they recognized him and knew his moms number. She had paid the fine to get him back many times.

He scratched at our back door one night in a storm, terrified of the thunder and lightning, soaking wet, tired and hungry. We brought him in, bathed and dried him, fed him and took him to bed with us. Yeah, we were that easy!At the time we had a hundred lb. Doberman and even though they were an unusual combo they very quickly became best friends.

Since we didn’t know Fluffys wanderlust history it wasn’t long before he spotted an opening and he was gone. Our yard was fully fenced and Dobie couldn’t get out but we weren’t prepared for this tiny escape artist who could find an inch or two under a fence board and he was soon gone on his way to greener pastures. He started returning off and on throughout the day and he’d often find me in the greenhouse, get some lovin’, have a game of tag or hide and go seek with Dobie and then he was gone again. Of course we left those gaps under the fence so he’d be able to get back in. He never did learn to go to our front door, he was a back door kind of dog.

We called him Fluffy as that fit his description and he wasn’t our dog, so we had no right to be naming him anything but simply something to refer to him as in “the fluffy little dog is here again”. He and Dobie played so well together like a very odd Mutt and Jeff high energy type couple running around the yard then a minute later he’d be gone and then we’d worry, all the while thinking how are we going to handle this; he isn’t our dog but does his owner even want him? What's a body to do?

One night he was at the back door again, soaking wet at midnight although it wasn’t raining. We soon figured out he must have been at the pool party at the house up the street and he had been swimming either by choice but as they sounded like a rowdy bunch we decided he had probably been thrown in.

The next day i knocked at that door with him in my arms and his mom accepted him from me although not very enthusiastically; it seemed as though she hadn’t even noticed he’d been gone. But at last i knew he had a mom and a home. She said his name but i didn’t quite get it; sounded like Gunga and i didn’t like it so we continued to call him Fluffy. She didn’t offer her phone number so I gave her mine and as well  pointed out my house to her in case he ever took off again. Guess i should have said when he took off again. Needless to say he did come again but there was no call. I returned him several times and sometimes she didn’t answer the door and so he'd come home with me for another day. When she did answer the door she was in her housecoat, unfriendly and indifferent. She finally begrudgingly gave me her phone number and i called her one day to ask if she’d like to come to my house and get her dog. She said she would later. Later didn’t happen and i could see it was a case of an unfit mother. It was time to take custody of this little pooch!

Fluffy lived with us for 12 years never losing the urge to wander. He absolutely loved new people, a new bed to lie on, new hands to pet him and new lips to kiss him, new and different food to try out and plenty of loving and fawning all over him. He was a real tramp who always thought the grass was greener on the other side of the fence and the one he loved the most was his most recent aquaintance.

He was so darn cute and friendly and by then we loved him and so we welcomed him into our family. We closed up all the holes he had been entering through. He was going to live here whether he wanted to or not! I watched every morning as he and his pal Dobie at his side walked every inch of the fence line in search of a crack to escape through. There was none and so he settled in as our dog, but not without making an attempt to leave every chance he got when a door was opened. His real mom never called or came to our door. He was our dog now.

Once we had decided to take ownership of this dog we took him to the vet for a checkup. We were surprised when the vet told us us that he was actually a she and guess what; surprise, she’s pregnant! Well, we knew he peed like a girl but we didn’t have any reason to really look through the fluffy mess as his sex made no difference to us. He was just him to us and we never did get the hang of referring to him as she. But pregnant? Nah, i didn’t believe it then and still don’t now, in fact i found that to be impossible as he hadn’t been around any other dogs in many months. The vet insisted that Dobie would be the father and that Fluffy had actually helped him out by standing on a chair or the back of the couch. The whole idea was preposterous and to this day i think that vet ripped us off by charging us for an abortion as well as the sterilization.

In the first spring of Fluffys life as a member of our family we took him to a dog groomer as he had become an unruly tangled matted mess. We had never had a dog that went to a groomer before and so i guess we were unprepared as to what he’d turn out to be because upon our return we walked past the cages of dogs waiting for their owners to come get them. We didn’t recognise the fancy little one who was prancing, acting cute and yelping happiness and get me outta here at us. Yes, it was Fluffy looking like a Hollywood starlets little arm decoration and we felt rather sheepishly proud carrying our pom-pommed expensive looking little toy poodle out of there. Needless to say we became regulars at the groomers and Fluffy started sporting ruffles or pink bows on his ears. I was a proud mama!

Life with Fluffy was anything but boring. He was a character with an unforgettable personality. He loved sweets and one night we inadvertently left a bag of candy on a side table. I woke at 4a.m. to see the lights from the tv flashing through the darkness and when i felt for my husband he was there beside me. OMG, what the heck is going on? A burglar who watches tv? I woke hubby and we crept slowly down the hall to find Fluffy had somehow maneuvered from a chair over to the table to get a candy and he had stepped on the remote.

Fluffy knew he was special and so played the prima dona but always with the undercurrent of a very fickle tramp. He got away from us three times despite our constant watch. The first time carpet cleaners left the door open for a couple minutes but he was outta there within seconds. Soon a pickup was spotted driving slowly down the street and sure enough there was Fluffy on the drivers arm with the driver asking him “is that your house”? and “is that your mom?” as I flagged him down. He had made it to the elementary school nearby and had been flirting with the kids, maybe trying to make arrangements to get a new room mate. Another time as we entertained guests he somehow got away and some of those guests still tell the tale of how funny it was when the stove and oven were suddenly turned off and everyone had to scurry off frantically in every direction to search for him. Of course your dog is priority, so what if dinner is 15 minutes late!
The third and last time was after Fluffy became blind and he had unbelievably made his way down to the busy River Road as huge semi’s and container trucks wizzed by. A kind lady had rescued Fluffy snorkling along with his nose to the ground as he did since becoming blind and it was raw and bleeding from road burn but he was on a mission to find a new place or a new friend or a new food or whatever it was that he always longed for.

Fluffy was about 10 years old when he began having epileptic seizures. At first we didn’t know what was going on as he would simply stop playing and suddenly lay down for a couple minutes. We thought he was just tired from playing with his big companion. But eventually this developed into a ritual of walking in circles first and he had to go on a med but it didn’t completely stop the seizures from happening. His vision then went gradually until he became totally blind but that didn’t stop him from making his daily rounds to check and see if an exit had miraculously appeared somewhere in the fence or the gates during the night. The little bugger was blind as a bat but the gypsy in him was strong and he still wanted to roam the world. He could feel his way around and he knew there’d always be someone out there who’d help him. It was truly amazing how well he managed totally blind and wonder just how much Dobie had taught him as his seeing eye dog. Then we lost our precious 11 year old Dobie to a sudden heart attack and Fluffy went alone to check the fence line every day. But he wasn't alone for long and soon he had a new sister; Jodi, inherited from my husbands folks after they passed away. Jodi was a larger version of a toy poodle and all girl, very feminine, delicate and refined and so didn’t understand Fluffy or his ways. Jodi had been an apartment dog all her life and didn’t like the outdoors much so she hung out in the house and wasn’t interested in learning any of Fluffys wild shenanigans.
She liked to have her wavy hair brushed and she'd sit and look nice and she was just not into the stuff of wayward tramps.

It was around this time Fluffy lost all his teeth and he went on a diet of soft foods. He continued to be king of the house and he’d gallop around with no hardships going very fast from room to room and he could still jump up onto a bed or couch and off again without a problem. When it was apparent he was going deaf we were shattered for him but his quality of life was still good until he developed arthritis in his joints. But even with the meds he seemed happy and content until one day he didn’t revive quickly from a seizure and we knew it was time to let him go. Fluffys been checking out all four corners of heaven ever since with his pal Dobie at his side and a few years later Jodi joined them both.

Our home is quiet now, too quiet really without a dog. Every home needs a dog and every dog needs a home, even a wayward tramp like Fluffy.

"A really companionable and indispensable dog is an accident of nature. You can't get it by breeding for it, and you can't buy it with money. It just happens along."
- E B White, The Care and Training of a Dog

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day 11-11-11


Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the official end of the World War I hostilities on November 11, 1918. World War I was a massive conflict was played out over the whole globe, but particularly in Europe, where troops from Canada supported the Allied forces.
World War I resulted in the loss of huge numbers of lives amongst both civilians and military personnel. Many more people were badly injured. The war left great emotional scars in the servicemen, who had experienced it, and in the communities, whose sons, brothers, fathers, uncles and grandfathers had died.
Remembrance Day commemorates those who died in armed conflicts, particularly in and since World War I.
In Canada, November 11 is officially called Remembrance Day, but it is also known as Armistice Day and Poppy Day. Remembrance Day is commemorated in many countries, particularly members of the Commonwealth, including Australia and New Zealand (where it is also referred to as Armistice Day). In the United States, Veterans Day falls on the same date. In the United Kingdom, the Sunday closest to November 11 is known as Remembrance Sunday.


Remembrance Day is symbolized by the artificial poppies that people wear and place at war memorials. The poppies may be worn or placed singly or as wreaths. The use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance comes from a poem written by John McCrae, a Canadian doctor serving in the military. The poem is called In Flanders Fields and describes the poppies growing in the Flemish graveyards where soldiers were buried.
Poppies grow well in soil that has been disturbed. They grew in large numbers on the battle fields. The red color of their petals reminded people of the blood lost by victims and casualties in the conflict.

Other symbols of Remembrance Day are the war memorials, which are usually near the geographical center of communities. These commemorate members of the community, who have died in military action. A particularly well-known memorial is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa, Ontario. The military parades held on November 11 are also symbolic of Remembrance Day.

What do people do?

Many people wear artificial poppies on their clothes in the weeks before Remembrance Day. Red poppies symbolize the memory of those who died. On November 11, special church services are organized. These often include the playing of "The Last Post", a reading of the fourth verse of the 'Ode of Remembrance' and two minutes silence at 11:00 (or 11am). After the service, wreaths are laid at local war memorials.
The official Canadian national ceremonies are held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario, according to a strict protocol. A service is held and wreaths are laid by armed services representatives. In May 2000 the remains of a Canadian soldier who died in France in World War I, but was never been identified, were laid in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial.
Since then, members of the public have laid poppies, letters and photographs on the tomb. Similar services and events are held throughout Canada. Some schools that are open on Remembrance Day hold special assemblies, lessons and presentations on armed conflicts and those who died in them.

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Open letter to bottled salsa companies

You used to make an extra mild salsa that was delicious and truly mild with all the heat i could handle but now it seems the mildest one produced is called simply mild. What happened to the EXTRA MILD?  Am i the only wimp in town?
Unfortunately for me what you call mild is way too hot and i believe it’s actually medium or hot mis - labled. Is this possible? Has somebody messed with the recipe or the labels? Do you have a reliable taste tester?  Now, this is something i've never understood and maybe you don't know spicy food is eaten by people who live in hot climates while people who live in cooler areas like Canada are cold because it's fall now which feels alot like winter and you might think we'd like to eat spicy hot foods to help keep us warm, but isn't so.  For me to eat salsa i have to go to alot of extra effort; either full out from scratch or start with 1/6th or less of your mild jar then add alot of my own ingredients that consists of a variety of veggies and fruit all finely chopped......this helps to cut the heat and makes it last longer since it’s quadrupled in size, but really, i’d rather be able to buy ready made extra mild salsa that really is extra mild and not the trick word mild that really means hot!

Please taste test and check your recipe or do a survey and i know you'll find out theres way too many fiery hot peppers being put into your mild salsa when less than 1/4 of a tiny green jalapeno minus the seeds would do. Alternately the addition of alot more tomatoes, mango, peach or nectarines along with jicama and tomatillos and a little lime juice will do wonders for your product and people will buy so many bottles you'll become richer than you will selling salsa that's so hot people either dump it or choke down just a little bit and maybe, like me, swear off of buying it ever again! Like i'd suggest you bulk it up enough to make 6 jars out of every one. Now that is a sure way to make less waste on earth and guess what - you'll be the winner!


Monday, October 31, 2011

Pavel has to decide what he wants to be tonight......

Sister Petunia Blue
Cool cat Pav-Elvis

The Canuck Siamese twins

I've heard of the dog days of summer but c'mon it's fall now

I’ve been making crappy art all day, trying to soothe myself i guess for wasting a few bucks at the casino two nights in a row. When i got fed up with my lack of talent i went around checking out some art sites and also searched eBay to see if there was anything interesting and there wasn’t.

So i played my Zelda game and still can’t get any more than 3 or 4 minutes playtime before getting killed off and i’m sick and tired of having to start again with those same boring stupid big spiders which actually are easy to kill or even just run by but then the intensity picks up real fast when the pig-like things come marching through the forest shooting arrows that are fatal all the while running as fast as i can past the landmines while getting bombed by an unseen vessel offshore. I know there's a place nearby to get my life restored but so far havent been able to find it again; where's a kid or a grandkid when you need one? The music i once loved is starting to annoy the crap outta me now. It seems this game is a cheap knock-off from 1995, not 84 and at first i thought it was exactly the same but now i think the music is cheap and tinny and the game is wayyy harder, not to mention the cord is just inches too short to be able to lean back on the bed to play and so my back gets buggered and tired real fast. Oh woe is me.

So i did some blog hopping and see that everybody else has interesting lives with tons of stuff going on while i am sad and bored outta my gourd. One difference the past few days has been my phone ringing a lot and i can see on the call display it’s WA state calling and OMG, what does a person have to do or say to get rid of car salespeople? I’ve politely asked and that quickly evolved into rudely asking them to take me off their call list and when that didn’t work i tried just not answering the call but that only left them to try again…..and again...early the next morning before i’m even awake! All because of an ad i saw on tv that said they’ll tell me what people really pay for a new car….Since it was an American ad that didn’t accept Canucks i thought with our dollar being close to par i’d just sneak in with a fake address and zip code and find out some valuable info, just in case it’s needed. But their form also required a phone number and i wouldn’t get an answer without one so dummy ol me because i didn’t know offhand an area code for WA went and put in my real number and now i can’t get rid of them; all 99,861 car salespeople in WA state have called, some twice or more and the best answer they could provide me was $400. less than the sticker price and i don’t believe that for a new car. What a waste; do they think i’m stupid? Don’t answer that!

So i went to Michaels site to enter their contest and found a lengthy form to fill in just in case i win. First problemo was entering my postal code on a form that’s obviously meant for the U.S. as it says zone and therefore won’t let me enter my postal code so i left that blank. Then wasted a lot of time trying to read the info needed re the number of my most recent purchase as well as the number of the store and the sales person on the sales slip because apparently they were almost out of ink when it was my turn but the real problem was entering the date of purchase and it gave an example of 05/25/5555 and so i entered 10/30/2011 exactly as shown on my receipt and it kept being rejected saying WRONG FORMAT, please enter the date correctly! By then i had already written a glowing account of the tidyness of their store and their wonderful products and their friendly helpful salespeople just in case that might help me win the prize so you could say yeah, i was ticked off, because it was all for nothing and i had to finally just X outta there like a dog with my tail between my legs which is very similar to the walk of shame in a casino when you have to get your $ from an ATM instead of a slot machine.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ralph and the game

“Ralph, follow me”

“Over here Ralph”

“Sit down right here sweetie”

My observation of Ralph and his wife had begun. I looked up from my McD’s brekkie to see the woman lead her husband Ralph to a seat nearby.

They settled down and Ralph twisted his Canucks cap a little this way then that way. Then she said “be careful honey; your coffee is hot”

Then “oh, honey, don’t gulp it; just take a little sip, it’s still really hot”

After a while the wife started reading the morning paper and Ralph sat for a while in bewilderment. Then Ralph asked “did you find out the score of the game yet?”

“Yes, honey, we lost 4-0”

“No, I mean the Canucks game last night”

“The Rangers won 4 zip”

Ralph took a sip of his coffee “well, i’d like to find out how it went”

“Sweetie, it wasn’t good. The Canucks lost. The Rangers won.”

“No, i don’t mean that game, i mean the game last night, doesn’t it tell the score in the paper?”

“Yes, sweetie, the Rangers got 4 and the Canucks didn‘t get any”

“Are you sure? That tribute they did for Rick Rypien was so good. You’d think we’d win for him after all that”

“Yes, it’s a shame but we didn’t win hon.”

“Well what was the score then?”

“Canucks 0 Rangers 4”

“You mean we didn’t win it?”

“No, hon, we didn’t win it, maybe next time we’ll win, ok”

“I need to know the score; will you check the paper and find the score?”

“OK, here it is; see here it says “Rangers 4, Canucks 0, game over”

Ralph took a big sip of his coffee and then “it was a sad night for Vancouver; we couldn’t live up to that tribute to Rick Rypien; it was just too emotional”

“Yes dear, it was very emotional and it’s too bad we lost the game”

“Well, what was the score?”

“Rangers 4, Canucks 0”

“Are you sure they won? You know that would be the first time the Rangers won in Vancouver in 14 years”

Suddenly i had to get out of there before i lost it. Poor Ralph, half here, half gone. Moments of bewilderment and memory loss and moments of such clarity it just took my breath away. You could tell his wife had loved the guy for a long long time and they had probably watched the game together the night before on tv.

I hope to hell this never happens to one of us, I just couldn’t take it and I don’t know if I could be as patient, as kind and considerate as that wife was to her husband. Right now we’re still at “wtf, don’t bs me; you know dam well what the f’ing score was!” I wonder if it’s like a phase you go through and then the tide turns or what. I don’t know, just hope it never happens to us.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Learning by trial and error

I always thought serving on jury duty would be interesting and one day i received a summons to go.

Lots of people try to get out of doing jury duty but it really can be a very interesting experience and a productive way to spend a few days doing your civic duty. Plus i had nothing better to do and would welcome the opportunity to do it again, anytime.

So i went to the courthouse and waited with a few hundred people holding the same summons and when my number was called I was giddy with curiosity and anticipation. After a quick look from both the prosecution and the defence much to my surprise i was chosen me to be a juror on a second degree murder case. In recollection i've no idea why they picked me as they asked only my name, age and occupation. Whatever the inspection entailed i was ok’d by both sides.

I remember dressing up rather formally to go to court that day wearing all white with turquoise ruffles which in my mind now should have dismissed me as being stuffy and not at all what seemed to fit in with the accused man or his groupies as they were all wore jeans and t shirts. I wonder if i had worn my jeans if i'd still be chosen or if clothes made a difference. Guess not because why would they expect the average citizen to match the accused criminal? I dunno; still don't get the "peer" thing. Also i was at least ten years older than the accused but then so were a few of the other chosen jurors. I had always thought the term “a jury of your peers” meant people of equal social standing or at least age but learned it can mean anyone and usually they're opposites; at least it seems to be in most trials. Well, guess it would be silly that an accused murderer should have other accused murderers sit in judgement of him or a bunch of thieves for a thief. So much for my peer group understanding. I was learning all sorts of things as i went along, alot of which i had never even thought of before and some of which i still don't get! So for those wondering, no, you don't have to be the brightest crayon in the box to be a juror.

The crime had taken place a couple years previously and i had just a vague recollection of reading about it in the newspaper. The accused and his entourage were in the courtroom daily. They were low lifers on welfare, didn’t work at regular jobs and were involved in theft and drug sales on a daily basis to feed their alcohol and drug addictions. The accused guy on trial had lots of fans and he was obviously their well respected ringleader.

In the next 3 weeks i got to know the other jurors of six men and five other women. One woman juror in her late 60’s had served in 3 murder trials almost back to back in recent months and she was tired and annoyed to have to be a juror in yet another trial. Another woman was about 40 and a knitter and she created an intricately patterned red sweater in the jury room knitting a few minutes here, a half hour there while we waited. Another woman and i became friends. So, we waited and drank coffee and chatted in between the activities and the witnesses that we weren’t to see or hear going on in the court on the other side of the wall. This was called “voir dire” and it was like a trial within a trial of witnesses and evidence with links to our trial but involving other people who would be tried separately for their crimes, such as the cab driver who drove this crew to and from the crime scene. I learned just recently voir dire can mean different things in different places as in the Anthony case in Florida where it meant jury selection.
Unlike Casey Anthonys trial we were not sequestered until the last day and we went home at the end of each day with admonishments to not read or talk about the case to anyone. We also went to lunch wherever we wanted and as i walked down the street to my favourite sandwich shop i often observed the accused mans cohorts heading for the pub up the street where i'm sure they
enjoyed a liquid lunch.

The men on the jury were not memorable except for one who didn’t remove his bomber jacket throughout the entire trial. It was like he thought he’d be leaving soon and he stood a lot of the time as though ready to make a quick exit. Unfortunately for him it took weeks so he might as well had removed the jacket, settled in and made himself at home. Mr. Jacket Man also stood out because of the statement he made to the group within the first minute of being in the jury room
“I’m sure we all agree he’s guilty as hell”……….

No evidence had yet been given but he had already made up his mind and assumed all the other jurors had too. At this point we didn’t even know the story or the participants and hadn’t yet seen the crime scene photos or any of the tons of evidence. I knew i had to learn a lot more about the crime and the accused’s involment before making my decision. I didn’t want to send an innocent man to prison; nor did i want to set a killer free. I wanted to be sure to do what had to be done and that would only be possible by listening carefully to all the evidence and proven until i felt right with my judgment. I didn’t want to make decisions based on the accused guys appearance or his friends or their lifestyle or on anyone else’s decision. I knew i’d have to live with myself afterwards and so determined to do my best to figure out the whole story. Thank God the rest of the jurors felt the same way.

The judge spoke to us about the murdered woman and how her life style shouldn’t enter into our deliberations as she also lived the party way of life. He said she was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, somebody’s sister and someone’s aunt and she shouldn’t have lost her life to the hands of people that she had welcomed into her home. Her life was just as important as ours or anyone else’s. Not that i would have felt wrongly of her but maybe a little conflicted and possibly not thought of it exactly like that without it being said. We're all supposed to treat each other as equals but sometimes it's hard and not all people can think this way.I hadn’t anticipated the possibility of getting all hung up on the murdered persons lifestyle as well as the accuseds. The judges advice sure beat hell out of having to figure it out on my own when my brain was already bursting with the scenerio of their drug and alcohol fueled lives and his words came back to me often during the trial and i was grateful for the help. It was like a weight taken off my shoulders and it made my job alot easier. I thought i’d always remember it’s like this for all people at all times; innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable shadow of doubt.
But, that was then and this is now and i feel somewhat differently now after watching the Anthony disaster. I now believe the victims lifestyle does carry some weight in some cases (not Caylees in the Anthony case but her mothers, if we're to believe she was also a victim there) And circumstantial evidence can and should play a larger role as murderers don’t always kill in view of other people or on camera and proof isn’t always in the pudding or clearly evident. Not in this case but in Anthonys trial definitely so. Had i been a juror on her case i most definitely would have said yes, she’s guilty as hell.

The man accused of the crime of murdering this woman was the second person to stand trial for the same killing. The other; a woman, had already been to trial and found guilty and was serving 25 years in prison. She was brought in to tell her story wearing her prison garb.

The two of them had been in the kitchen of the woman’s home when one or the other of them snuck up behind her and strangled her with own dish towel. Of course they each said the other one did it. But because the other one saw what happened and didn’t make any attempt to stop it or call 911 that made them both eligible for the murder charge. Their friends in the next room claim to have not heard anything nor did they know of any plan to kill her or that she was dead when they left her house. Their job was to grab the tv and collect some groceries to bring home with them which they did, and this then also implicated them and the cab driver as he helped to put the stash in the car trunk knowing it was stolen goods.

They were about half way home when the cabbie clued in that something bad had happened and he wanted no part of it. He pulled in to a gas station on the pretence of needing to fill up, went inside and called the police. All the people involved in the crime sat waiting in the taxi for his return. It must have been a big surprise when the police came to their cab and arrested them instead.

Unlike the Anthony case we had been encouraged to talk amongst ourselves in the jury room and this turned out to be a good thing. One example is that during testimony a witness had said the accused man had drank a “40 pounder” prior to going to the ladies house. Neither lawyer questioned it or explained it but when we went into the jurors room the knitting lady said “wow, he must have been so drunk after drinking 40 lbs of alcohol he probably blacked out and wouldn’t have known what he was doing!” I think she would have been heading towards a verdict of not guilty by reason of alcohol stupor but along with a few of the other jurors we were able to explain it to her, and don’t ask how I knew this because i’m not a drinker but i knew the term 40 pounder meant 40 oz. Good grief; 40 lbs. is the size and weight of a four or five year old child i think. But who knows how many misunderstandings jurors have if slang or regional lingo is spoken and you can’t ask? There were times i felt like holding my hand up like at school to ask the judge something but of course it’s not done. I remember hearing hours of discussion of in what order they were seated in the cab and my brain was silently shouting “just ask the driver!” But they never did and of course his version had been established already but in voir dire and the info was not necessary for this jury to know. In the jury room we discussed all sorts of things and each juror had a different insight into just about everything and everyone learned things from each other, especially from those who were not at their first rodeo. Some people totally missed entire points or had to have something explained again. We also sent a couple of notes to the judge to ask questions which helped as well. However questions were kept to a minimum as it was a lengthy procedure because everyone involved had to be present to see the judge read the note and hear both the question and the answer.

In the end we all knew he was guilty as hell and i for one was glad to know that fact 100% without a doubt. Mr. Jacket Man had been right all along. But i was glad that I stuck with it and came to that conclusion on my own.

I think if the jurors in the Casey Anthony case had been able to talk amongst themselves, compare notes, ask questions and have things explained within the group surely they too would have come back with the verdict of guilty as hell!

Now, if they study that trial and learn from those mistakes that would be what i’d call learning by trial and error and that would be a very good thing.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Sting and pain of bursitis

Bursitis or inflamation of the soft tissue around the muscles and bones usually arises after an injury such as a fall or in this case as a result of unaccustomed overuse of the shoulder joint or shoulder muscles. Or old age. Or both.

Pain is the result and the usual treatment is rest. So, no cleaning, no cooking and no unnecessary use. Today the hubster offered to cook and he wanted no help or suggestions. I let him have at it and he made us a delicious dinner which consisted of rice, noodles and potatoes swimming in Paul Newman’s own Marinara sauce. It was a culinary delight of ingredients that I never would have thought of combining and probably never will get to uhhh …enjoy… again.

I started wondering about those stinging ol’ blue eyes as I dined and so googled him to find out today is the third anniversary of his death. RIP Paul. RIP rice, noodles and potatoes all at once. RIP bursitis.

And then Nancy Grace danced across my screen. Will this day never end?

“It's always darkest before it turns absolutely pitch black.”
Paul Newman
                                The Sting                                          

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Willys gone to Indiana

I was notified my twenty dollar bill has been sighted in Indiana! That's a long way from here and it must have gone through alot of hands yet nobody along the way checked out the Where's Willy site until yesterday (see my post when i set it free on Aug. 7, 2010)
I was wondering whatever happened to that twenty as the only other registered bill i've found was a fiver and it's never surfaced again since it left my hands in 2004. This one went from my purse to Ontario and when looking at the map of it's journey it has certainly travelled a long and windy road, coming all the way out to Beautiful B.C. from Montreal, and then it travelled and presumably shopped in Toronto, Ont. and is now having fun in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I wonder where it'll go next; please watch for it and let me know if you find it or other marked bills from  or  amongst your wad.

Twenty Dollar Bill, Serial# EYZ62---17 Series: 2004
This bill has travelled 7,575 KM in 2 Yrs, 121 Days, 13 Hrs, 52 Mins at an average of 8.9 KM per day.
It is now 1,067 KM from its starting location.
This list is in reverse-chronological order
Entry Time
(Local Time of Zip)
Location, State/Province
(Green=USA, Blue=Canada, Purple=International)
Travel Time
(from previous entry)
Per Day)
20-Sep-2011 08:26 PM Map this location Fort Wayne, IN 326 Days, 17 Hrs, 42 Mins 559 1.7
Bill Entry Changes: Zip Code has been changed
User's Note Help me track where willy has been!
29-Oct-2010 02:44 AM Map this location Toronto, ON 82 Days, 21 Hrs, 35 Mins 3,344 40
User's Note Bill came through the office at my work downtown Toronto right near the CN Tower.

The last hit on this bill was on my birthday. :p
07-Aug-2010 02:08 AM Map this location Delta, BC 1 Yr, 76 Days, 22 Hrs, 35 Mins 3,672 8.3
User's Note I won at the Boulevard Casino in Coquitlam, B.C.
The machine paid me with a ticket which i then stuck into a ticket breaking machine and out came this twenty.
22-May-2009 06:33 AM Map this location Montreal, QC Initial Entry n/a n/a
User's Note 3781, atm Mt-Royal, Jacqueline 2, hit 1156, 1188, 1296

Friday, September 16, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Memories; one old, lots of new

I selected this picture because the day is done and i wanted to remember the twin towers as they once were. All last week we watched shows with new film footage and new stories but the horror lives on in the basic facts. I crossed the border and went into the U.S. on that dreadful day, but nowhere near new York; in fact far far away to the little town of Blaine, WA in the Pacific northwest.
We had received a call from one of our daughters earlier in the morning and i knew something was wrong before she even said "America is under attack!" and then we watched the horror unfold. Later that afternoon i decided to carry on the plan i'd made for the day and crossed the border into the U.S.and drove through the main street of Blaine which was eerily bereft of people and pets. The sky was blue and and everything still but there were no sea gulls high above or crows or playful little birds flitting around as would be usual on a sunny afternoon in a beach town. It appeared to be an abandoned village but with a billion U.S. flags of every size flying everywhere and me by the side of the road bawling my eyes out. I shouldn't even have gone there that day but i am glad i did as i gazed at the blue sky and all those flags that shouted the unmistakable message that we will never surrender.In the P. O. people were gathered in quiet little groups and i heard a man talking about his visit to the Twin Towers and what great buildings they were. Another told of her son having been there the day before for an interview for a job.

Last week i watched a show about one of the air traffic controllers who left work that day never to return. Instead he worked on his boat and he and his wife have been sailing ever since. He said "i'm reminded of that day every day when i look at the sky and it's always that same shade of blue" He is seeing 9-11 over again and is torchered by simply by seeing the sky every day. I remember seeing the sky that day driving though Blaine even though i was thousands of miles away from where the tragedy occurred and my heart goes out to anyone who has such a simple pleasure taken away because of the tragedy. My heart goes out to all the citizens of the U.S. who are bravely carrying on with innocent memory triggers such as the sound of a plane, colour of the sky, smells or dust that makes them remember, when they really wish they could forget or better yet that it didn't happen. Another man i saw on tv sees the terrorists wherever he goes, driving along side of him, walking on the sidewalk, in a restaurant or in every crowd suddenly theres one of them and he has to deal with all the emotions again and again.

9-11-11 and this morning we awoke to the good news that little Kienan was safe at home. Kienan is a 3 yr old boy from Sparwood, B.C. who was abducted 4 days ago from his own home. As the days went by it was hard not to think the worst but the kidnapper returned Kienan unharmed during the night to his own home which was empty as Kienans family had to leave during the police investigation. The kidnapper then phoned the police and told them that the boy was safe at his home.When the police arrived they found Kienan sitting on the couch with his blanky and later this morning he was outside playing happily with his 7 brothers and sisters.It's so rare for a child abducter to return a child completely unharmed. We can tell easily that a miracle happened today.

As i pulled into the parking lot of my favourite casino a couple of nights ago i happened to glance down to my milage readout thingy... and just about drove into a cement pillar when i saw this

I can't believe i've put that much mileage on my car as i hardly ever go anywhere! However my car is now 9 yrs old and guess those little jaunts add up. I pulled in to a parking slot as it rolled over into the big one and now i guess my car isn't worth as much as it was in the first pic.

Lately i've been a-hankering to do some reading. I used to read a lot but not so much now since i seem to have developed a problem of not concentrating very well anymore. Guess its another of those getting old things and a wandering mind. I can read the newspaper every day and remember some of what i read but books...fergit it; i just keep re-reading the same page over and over and still don't know whats going on. Time to investigate audio books! So off i go to the local library and yes, they have an extensive collection for loan and ability to bring in just about any books a person could possibly want. So i ordered a few and then went shopping for some old version of listening to them. I know i better get old technology, no geeky gadgets for me because i might not understand how to operate a new-fangled thing, in fact i have enough trouble with my cell phone. So, see, i'm not stupid, i know and admit my limitations. Plus i know new tech is way more expensive and i just want something cheap in case it dosen't work out so i was feeling it.
Problem: old tech is hard to find these days. Then the salesman in one store insulted me asking "Do you even have a computer? Do you know how to download? Do you realize how much it costs for audio books?" I went to Ebay and Craig and they had some but i decided to check out a few more local stores and found exactly what i thought i wanted

Sony Walkman with earphones that stay on the ears....or so it said. So i bought it and it wasn't until i got home that i noticed it had been pre-owned and very cleverly re-packaged. All it's parts were not in the box. One of the audio book versions available required an adapter which wasn't included but i forged on thinking i'd just get the books that don't need the adapter. Well! After spending 20 mins getting the thing open and then finding it didn't even come with batteries i was choked but rounded up a couple batteries from the smoke alarms and tried it out. A couple minutes later the earplugs were off so i jammed them in real good but a minute later they were off again. WTF! I bought the thing not knowing this was even a problem but relieved because it said Sony had corrected it! Stupid me i fell for it! I thought i'd never have to know the despair of loose earphones so i sat there holding them onto my ears while listening to a woman's voice reading me a story and i hated her right off the bat when she changed her voice to mimic what the other person was saying. OMG then she did it again when a third character, a very gruff sounding male entered the story! The speakers attempt at manliness made the guy sound like he was angry, which according to the words he said as he greeted his friends wasn't. But i persevered and listened for while also reading "how to bookmark your spot" Meanwhile i was wondering where should i look as i listen? The ceiling or the floor or out the window or what?  OK this is not what i expected so i bookmarked the spot in case i decided to carry on with these weird sounding fake female/male people. But i guess i hit the wrong button and then it was all over, the end, or i guess it was also the beginning again. Granted i should have books are for blind people so there's not usually a problem of where to look. Smart blind people. I can see, and now that i can see that - i have to dig the sales receipt out of the trash and get this stupid thing off my hands asap. The good thing is i at least tried it out and know now i don't ever want to listen to an audio book ever again. I didn't pay for high tech or learn how to download books online or buy all the gift cards the salesman said i'd need. I'm free as a bird now and back where i belong and going to try to read properly again, like the old fashioned way. I'm so proud of myself today for trying out something new, knowing i hated it and then taking care of the situation all by myself.

So, we went to the annual car club picnic and stuffed ourselves with fried chicken, salads, pulled pork, corn on the cob and apple pie.

and on our way home stopped at a new development to check out some new digs in case we decide to move

The ground floor corner unit in the center of pic. Bob liked it best and it was nice but small and while centrally located in a nice community about 25 miles from here i'm still hoping to get into another place in the opposite direction that i like better......This is soooo us to not agree on anything.  But i don't think a move will happen anytime soon anyhow. Most or all of these types of places have just one parking spot with an option to purchase another for a very steep price. We have 3 vehicles. We need 3; mine, his and the hot rod. Plus alot of places don't allow pets so that would be a definite deal breaker. It's not going to work so i think we'll stay put for now. Who knew it would basically all come down to parking spots? and a 16 year old cat. Well, i did think of other things as well like changing cable and internet company, phone, email addy, bank, supermarket, etc; and losing my hairdresser would make me sad as would changing Drs. after all this time.Those are biggies although i'd like to think i'm adaptable don't have to put it into effect much. Everything is walkable from this condo; even the casino, yayy, just down a block and a half and they did have some nice art in there though poor pic. The white parts are pearly irridescent and very striking in real life.

But probably wouldn't keep their art anyhow as i do have some great stuff of my own to hang.
When we got home the first thing that hits when you enter is the most wonderful fragrance of a bowlful of ripe guavas i like to keep around for as long as we can get them.
Their fabulous fragrance drifts through the whole house and i love the scent so much i might try to grow some. The seeds need to be boiled for 5 minutes or soaked in water for 2 weeks before planting. I can do that. Also snacking on edamame beans and they are totally delicious, nutritious,low cal and an anti-oxident as well. Then i checked on the live feed to see what the final 3 Big Brother contestants were doing; they were eating and what are they eating but edamame beans! Overall it turned out to be a very nice day despite the 10 yr anniversary and reliving it over again. I hope everybody is moving on and finding joy in your everyday lives.