My Latest Tweet

Nov 25, 2009

Just trying something else...

Bear with me. This is me learning more about Blogger...

la la de da... testing testing still testing... (thanks ;)

Nov 2, 2009

Just trying something...

Not sure if this will work, but...

...might as well try!

Sep 12, 2009

Interesting Wall Art

This is cooool....

Artist Charlie Kratzer decorated the walls of a room using $10 worth of Sharpie markers. Click on the following link (courtesty of to see a panoramic vid of the results:

Let Kids Draw On Your Walls With Sharpies

Aug 27, 2009

Been Busy

Wow, I used to post on my blogs a lot more. I guess my life has been busy! I'm still around, though, so thanks for checking in :)

Aug 10, 2009


As irony would have it, when I clicked on my tweeted link for this Adsense post, the ads on my page were about none other than - you guessed it - Adsense. Hmmm.

Adsense Question

I've noticed something lately with Adsense that I find a little frustrating, and I am wondering if it's always been this way and will continue.

The way Adsense is supposed to work is that it crawls your site's content and populates your ads with site appropriate content. I find this works well when my blogs are viewed as a hole (i.e. more than one post per page).

However when traffic comes via links to specific posts (only one post is displayed on the main blog page), then the ads are no longer site appropriate. They seem to default to ads for "blogging", which is not what my blogs are about.

If I have a reader arrive from, for example, a link posted on Twitter about a diet post, they're not going to have any interest in the "blogging" ads. They're looking for weight loss information. Those weight loss ads only appear if the reader clicks on the blog header ("home") to generate more posts on the page at the same time.

Is it because my posts are short and Adsense doesn't have enough per-post content to crawl to populate the ads? If you have Adsense on your blog(s), what has your experience been with this issue?

Jul 30, 2009

Free Downloadable Dictionary

I haven't tried this out yet (but I'm going to). I got this from the "Ask Marc Saltzman" column in the Costco Connection magazine.

If you're looking for a free downloadable dictionary/thesaurus that works with most programs, try

You hold down the control key and right click with your mouse on the word in question and a small window pops up with dictionary and thesaurus info, including Wikipedia links (which are not there when you use the program off line). The software is 7.4 MB and contains 150,000 root words and 120,000 synonym sets, and is available in several country versions.

Jul 22, 2009

Good Find - Life Labs

I used to go to BC Biomedical Labs, because I had no idea there was an alternative. Then one day I was told about Life Labs by my cousin, (and I swear to God if I ever had another daughter I now know who I'd name her after ;)

What a relief! To have a lab to go to where there is no wait, and the staff is easily as knowledgable as the Biomedical Labs (where long waits are standard).

Anyhoo, if you're like me and HATE line ups and waits, (and need lab work done!) check out their website to find a location nearest you:

(You're welcome ;)

Jul 17, 2009


I'm trying to, anyway.

I have my eyes on the prize of 10 hours per week with no kids (blissful giggle) this September when my youngest starts Kindergarten, at which point I have every confidence that I will completely fix and restructure my life (cough cough). Meanwhile, I've been setting a timer every day (when I remember) for :15 which I devote exclusively to DECLUTTERING.

I kinda like it. I feel energized when I'm done, like I've actually gotten something accomplished. You can't always see the results, because it is, after all, only fifteen minutes, but at least I know I've done it. I have to be strict with myself to NOT use that time for, say, loading the dishwasher, because that is not decluttering. That falls under the category of mandatory stuff that I should be doing daily instead of surfing the internet.

Anyhoo, just thought I'd share my little success with this strategy. I have no before and after photos ('cause at this point of my journey through chaos the benefits are mostly psychological), so you'll just have to take my word for it...

Jul 15, 2009

Wart's Going On?

Ah, wart remedies.

Here's a list of 50:

I have personally tried the duct tape remedy, and although it took a long time, it worked beautifully. My Doc says it's because the tape attracted the attention of the body's immune system, which is what really fought off the wart (not the tape itself).

My mother in law commented recently that she had a nagging wart that she couldn't seem to get rid of, until she got a large splinter stuck in it - then the wart disappeared within days. She laughed as she told me that the next time she gets a wart, she's going to find a splinter and stick herself on purpose. (psst! wake up immune system!!).

So there ya go. It's not the stuff you put on the wart that kills it - it's your own immune system.

Jul 14, 2009

Profanity And Pain Relief

Hmmm... there may be a biologial root to profanity after all.

According to this Vancouver Sun article (which I can't find a link to... why is it that some articles are out there for free and others are subscription only?) SIGH

...anyway, according to this article, swearing originates in the right brain, as opposed to most language which arises in the left, and the use of profanity seems to increase our pain tolerance.

Researchers at the school of psychology at Britain's Keele University conducted an experiment where they had volunteers hold their hands in ice water as long as they could while chanting a swear word of their choice. They repeated the experiment, the only difference being the second time around they used a non-profane word. You guessed it - they were able to stand the cold water longer while they were swearing.


(Judging from my husband, it must also help with getting the PDR to record properly, in addition to various other tasks ;)

Fyi, the name of the Vancouver Sun article is: "Naughty Word Helps Make The Pain Go Away", in case you want to try Googling it....

Jul 8, 2009

Laptop Battery Woes

Twice now I've had issues with my laptop battery, which both times have resulted in my laptop shutting down to prevent a power short from destroying my data. I thought I'd share what I've learned, to save other laptop users the same grief...

The first time, the laptop simply wouldn't power up. There was no response at all to the power button, with or without the power cord.

The issue: the battery contacts were not all touching.
The solution: the Best Buy tech simply took the battery out and then powered the laptop up using just the power cord. Once the laptop was running, he inserted the battery and ran a diagnostic on it to ensure that it wasn't faulty. He then told me that sometimes the batteries get moved slightly so that not all of the contacts meet, and that had been the problem.

The second time, there was power to my laptop, all indicators lit up blue and normal sounds from the hard drive, but no response from the screen. I even tried plugging in my desktop monitor, but that didn't work either.

The issue: the battery was over charged.
The solution: again the tech removed it, used the power chord only, and entered some kind of code (or something) to reactivate the screen. He then told me to NOT use the laptop plugged in with the battery in it, while the battery is fully charged. In other words, don't over charge it again.

Jul 6, 2009

Doctors In BC Can Self-Prescribe

This is kind of interesting... I had no idea that doctors in BC can prescribe medications to themselves.

“Technically, it is not illegal but self-prescribing isn’t condoned by the College of Physicians and Surgeons..." (Vancouver Sun)

Apparently many physicians in this province have no family doc themselves, so they tend to take care of their own medical needs, which would include writing their own prescriptions. While this would be convenient, couldn't it be dangerous in the case of mis-diagnosis due to lack of objectivity?

According to the article, an attempt is being made to encourage more physicians to take other docs as patients, to help rectify this issue.

It's a tough call: is it fair to ban physicians from self-prescribing when there is a lack of care available for them? What do you think?

Jul 1, 2009

Jun 26, 2009

Crop Circles Explained

Uh huh. Stoned wallabies??

Supposedly they eat the poppies, get high as a kite, and then hop around in circles. So much for the aliens theory ;)

Read more here:

Jun 23, 2009

My Take On Jon And Kate

Yes, I too got sucked into the "Jon and Kate big announcement" episode that aired last night.

I used to watch the show now and then, but found myself tuning in less and less as time went on. When I watched last night I was not really up to speed - for instance, I had no idea they now have two dogs, and I had never seen their new home (wow).

The episode saddened me. Not the divorce stuff - that's fairly common these days. What got to me and is still haunting me this morning was the birthday party.

Is it just me, or was there NO ONE there? Yes I saw the "classmates and other moms", but where were the other friends and family? The Gosselins were holed away in some secluded location, with all the trimmings (balloons, bouncy castle), but with no one else around. The whole time it was on, I felt like it was just the party set up and I was waiting for the real party to start. It was like some carnival that was never advertised, so no one knew to come. SUCH a weird vibe.

Why? Because the media attention has overwhelmed them, and they're trying to escape it. In the past they've taken the kids out in public (i.e. Disneyland) and they've had a taste of normalcy. Now, I think, the Gosselins are feeling so much media heat that they're hiding from the world. Hiding, and yet parading around on TV.

Is it really their fault, or is that simply what happens when you're in the public eye? For all their faults, Jon and Kate are just like so many other people that we share our "non-public" lives with. They're no different - no better, no worse. I think originally they tried to make a good decision in regards to doing the show, but that decision has turned sour.

In my opinion, the show has become toxic for these kids. In the beginning it may have been fun, and the exposure may have been beneficial to them in regards to getting them extra help. Now, however, I can't help but fear that the seclusion they've been forced into can only impair their development.

Whatever. I'm not a child psychologist.

I am, however, of the opinion that there should be a limit to this kind of TV programming when it involves kids who aren't old enough to choose for themselves. Adults can make their own choices and take the consequences of those choices, but is it really fair to take a child and shape his or her entire life in such a way that this child becomes segregated from the rest of mainstream society?

It's not too late - they could take these kids off the air, and let some time pass. Let their "fifteen minutes" fade into memory, and into the archives of reality TV. Give them a shot at a normal life. But will they? Here's hoping.

Jun 22, 2009

Leather Couches And Cats

So here we are, in week I forget how many now, of the not-so-new leather couches and cats saga.

So far so good I suppose, if you're considering the scratching post scenario. As of yet both cats have absolutely NO interest WHATSOEVER in using the couches to purposefully scratch (why do they do that, anyway? Sigh). They both use other things to "sharpen their claws" or whatever it is they're doing: one cat uses the cat scratching post that we bought and the other uses the carpet (a-ok since we're going to rip it up and install laminate one of these fine days).

However one cat (the one who scratches the carpet) cannot resist sleeping on the leather. She simply cannot help herself, and no amount of spraying with a water bottle has deterred her.

Sleeping you say? What could be the harm in that? Simple - when she gets up to jump off the couch, she on occasion has accidentally scraped the leather with her nails.

How do you get mad at that? It's so not deliberate. She's just moving herself, for heaven's sake. Arrgh.

Anyhoo, below is a sample. There's a close up shot of one of her "jumping off" scratches, as well as a further back shot of the scratch next to my husband's glasses (for scale ;) One or two of these is tolerable and not really noticeable, but if this keeps up the couches will be looking old pretty fast...

Jun 20, 2009

My Puppy And His Paws

My dog loves to chase his ball, and will bring it back for us to throw to the point of exhaustion (his and ours ;) Usually we do this in the back yard, where he's running on grass. Yesterday we were talking to neighbours in the front yard, and our mutt was doing his mad retriever act on the street.

I could hear the scritch scritch sound of his nails on the pavement, but not for a second did I stop to think about the pads of his paws. He, of course, was so intent in playing ball that he didn't pay attention to how he felt.

Today I noticed him walking gingerly across the lawn. I stopped him and inspected his feet, and sure enough, the pads were worn almost raw in some spots. Poor pup!!

Needless to say he won't be running after his ball for a few days...

Jun 16, 2009

Rambling About Reading, Writing, and the Internet

This has become more of my blogroll page than I blog I actually post to. I log in, and then scroll down to the bottom right (where I have other blogs I read) and then I start surfing (do people still use that term?).

I'm finding lately that I'm able to focus more when I read, after struggling with my attention span in recent years (not sure why it's getting better - maybe the fish oil I've been taking?). I was an absolutely voracious reader as a kid, devouring entire books (well above my grade level) in one sitting. As an adult, however, I have trouble finishing a newspaper column.

I blame "The Google Effect". Hey why not? It makes sense. Good enough theory for me. It beats blaming pregnancy related brain loss (that's just depressing ;)

The upside of spending so much time on the net is that I'll be web savvy when my kids get here. They're already on-line, but in a very controlled and kid friendly environment. When they start to branch out into older kid stuff, I'll be the mom who's one step ahead.

I burst out laughing last night at a TV ad for - the new search engine: the ad showed a couple of women talking, one of them spewing gibberish because she was all Googled out. I found it hilarious, but my husband (being a non-net trades guy) was lost. I guess there's hope for my Google-affected brain yet ;)

Jun 12, 2009

Bear With Me...

...while I tinker with some HTML. I'm still learning ;) I'm using this post to try a few things, so it may keep changing...

Jun 7, 2009

Have A Cuppa AdSense

Coffee coffee coffee ;)

I just noticed that all the ads between the posts on this blog are coffee related (grinders, beans, etc etc). How in keeping with the blog theme! So I suppose if I want that to continue, it means I have to keep talking about coffee. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with AdSense, the ads are automatically generated based on the content of your blog, so that your audience is more likely to be interested).

At the moment (coffee) my daughter has a friend over, and they're (beans) playing in the back yard -

...wait, I can do better than that:

At the moment my little bean of a daughter has a friend visiting. They're too young to go for coffee, so at the moment they're in the back yard, the sound of their happy voices filtering through the window. The two girls, with my son, are a good blend of fun!

(Heh heh)

May 29, 2009

How To Grind Coffee Beans When Everyone Is Asleep

I'm back!! (What was I thinking, planning to update 8 blogs daily ;) Monthly maybe.

So here I am, sitting at my laptop, thinking that a fresh cuppa joe might be nice (although it is 10:10 pm). The kids are asleep, and my husband is, um, snoring on the couch.

must have coffee

Unfortunately for me, I'm a little picky about my brew. It's not just that I prefer freshly ground beans, it's also that I don't have pre-ground coffee in my house. Just beans, beans, and more beans, and a noisy grinder.

I came up with this solution awhile back, and it's pretty darn funny so I thought I'd share it (ok, I think it's funny, which is maybe why I need more coffee).

I take a short and a long couch cushion into the kitchen. I put the short cushion on the counter and place the grinder on top of it. I then wrap the long cushion around the grinder, making sure that I cover it completely, top and sides. I then wrap my arms around the whole thing and lean until it starts grinding.

Once you've finished laughing (and wondering why I don't just take the grinder into another part of the house), you can read on to find out that this actually works! The cushions insulate the grinder enough so that the sound is muffled and doesn't wake anyone up. This means I can have coffee ANY time, regardless of who is sleeping nearby.

...why am I still typing?

May 22, 2009

Internet Explorer Issue Resolved?

Looks like everything is back to normal, at least. Meanwhile I now have Firefox downloaded and am using it as an alternate browser. It seems to work really well (I like it!) although the version I've downloaded is missing some plug-ins that I'll have to add (like Flash Player). No biggie.

The upside to it all is that in an attempt to rectify the problem (before I knew it wasn't just me that was having it), I changed my Fine Grind blog template as a way of cleaning up the code. I actually like this new template better, but wouldn't have switched and discovered it if Internet Explorer hadn't gone wonky on me. Silver lining!

May 21, 2009

Internet Explorer Problems

Ok, soooo... if Firefox opens this blog fine but not Internet Explorer, is it a Blogger issue, or an Internet Explorer Issue?

Not sure how to procede from here, other than to cross my fingers that IE & Blogger will work out the bugs. I've changed my browser to Firefox, but what about readers on IE who will simply move on when they can't open this page?

Oh the joys! Gotta love technology...

Oops... Blogger Problems

Will this post publish? We'll see... !!

So many times I've been surfing through blogs and encountered sites that would not open. Now it appears that I'm having the same trouble with this site, and "My Life With Two Kids".

It started when I made a small change to the HTML for Fine Grind. I'm very careful when I do this, and after I encountered problems I went back in and reversed the changes. The odd thing is, I didn't make any changes with the Two Kids blog, and yet that one is having problems as well. Hmmm.

The one thing I haven't done yet is restart my laptop in case it's a problem with IE. I'm going to do that next... wish me luck!!

May 18, 2009

Happy Victoria Day :)

Happy birthday to the late Queen Victoria, who took the throne at the tender age of 18 and then ruled until she died. Now there's job security for you ;)

My six year old and I, with the help of the internet, did a quick lesson in the British monarchy, from a look at old paintings of Victoria, to new photographs of Harry and William. Queen Elizabeth II, who is "the alive queen right now", was referred to as "very beautiful!" by my jewel-obsessed daughter.

Gotta run... must make lunch for my little Queen & her brother. Have a nice Victoria Day :)

May 12, 2009

Ahhhh! Chai Tea :)

...with LOTS of organic wild flower honey, and 1% milk. Yummy. Drowning my sorrows, trying to not think about hockey... (ooh!! darn it ;)

May 9, 2009

Busy With Life

I seem to be in another one of my blogging dry spells... Lately the kids have kept me pretty busy. Busy with playdates, birthday parties, trips to the park... and tonight, the TV will keep me busy with...

Canucks vs Blackhawks!!!!

C'mon, guys!!! Best of three, now. The next team to win two games takes the series. You can do it!! (Ok, well, we can all PRETEND you can do it to make ourselves feel better?) lol, or you can just do it!!!

Good luck, Nucks!!

May 2, 2009

Game Two Tonight!

So far so good, vs the Chicago Blackhawks. Game one was touch and go at the end when the Blackhawks tied it up, but the Canucks were able to prevail. That makes their 2009 playoff record 5-0!

Keep up the good work guys! We'll be watching tonight :)

Apr 30, 2009

Go Canucks!

Game 1 tonight of round 2: the Vancouver Canucks take on the Chicago Blackhawks (hmmm... wonder if the Obamas will be watching?)

I've avoided disappointment in previous years by simply assuming the Nucks will never win the cup (gasp! I know, I'm sorry), but this year I'm changing my tune: this will be the year!! Vancouver Canucks, Stanley Cup Champions!!!

(why not? ;)

Apr 20, 2009

Sea Of Red

OK that last post was not nearly as funny as I thought it would be. Sorry 'bout that.

Watching the Calgary Chicago game (NHL playoffs, fyi) and am very impressed with the Calgary fans. I'd say probably (no exaggeration) 95% of the people in the stands are wearing red. It's pretty neat. It's almost like they hand out red Flames shirts to people as they come through the door (I'm sure they're selling them like hot cakes).

See, now, if I was a more techie blogger I'd figure out a way to take a screen shot from my TV or something and post it here. I suppose I could always use my cell phone, but that would involve getting up off the couch. Suffice to say, everyone looks pretty much like this:

Today's Post


(I'm still thinking...)

Apr 19, 2009

Daily Post (Starting Today!). Cat VS Couch.

Ahem. Seriously, other people post daily, why can't I? Even if I have nothing to say, I can say hello.

This morning I am faced with the smaller of the two cats, who for the past couple of days, has been on her ABSOLUTE BEST BEHAVIOUR. Why? Because a couple of days ago, she actually dared to stretch her legs up the back of one of our NEW leather couches, flex her claws, and scratch.

I reacted in such a way that it must have been pretty clear to her that this was BAD. BAD BAD BAD kitty. There was shouting, stomping, and even a water spray bottle complete with pursuit.


Luckily there was no damage to the couch, and my six year old, who witnessed the event, and I, have not told my husband. Nope, that would not be good for poor lil' kitty. As much as I love our new leather, I love her a little bit more :)

Apr 17, 2009

Playoff Beard

Aw, shucks guys, I'd grow one if I could. Hey, I could stop shaving my legs? Ohhh kaaayy maybe not. I'm a fan, but let's have some boundaries here.

I'm referring to our local NHL team, the Vancouver Canucks, and how they're up in the series 2-0 against the St. Louis Blues. I avoid the yearly playoff disappointment but just assuming that they're never going to win, but I still support the team.

My husband is a huge fan (hmmm. I see stubble ;) At the moment he's asleep on the couch wearing fleece Canucks lounge?pajama pants. We have too much 'Nucks stuff in the house to list, so I won't, but just think easy Father's Day, birthday and Christmas shopping.

He won't let me buy game tickets though (so I suppose our big screen TV is paying for itself!) because they're STUPID expensive. (Seriously, what gives with that, anyway?)

Apr 12, 2009

Cold Water Defrosting

One thing I forgot to mention about my favourite defrosting method using a cooler is that because the cooler keeps the water very cold (so, very safe), it takes twice as long. It's still faster than fridge defrosting, but not quite as fast as cold water defrosting in the sink or bathtub (which is not quite as safe).

Bottom line is that we have a bird that needs to go in the oven in about :90, and the cavity that I'm supposed to stuff maybe be frozen solid still.


The moral of the story? If it's the day before and you've forgotten to start defrosting like I did, send your husband out to buy a ham instead ;)

Apr 11, 2009

Turkey Business

Me? Cook a turkey? sigh. Ok, I'll try again.

I've actually done it twice before and all have emerged alive ('cept for the turkey of course). Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, which calls for something. Many people do ham, which is a heck of a lot safer, lol. But noooo... I have to tempt the Food Safe Gods yet again and cook another bird.

So, for my review and benefit (and for those of you in my shoes), here's an overview:

Cold Water Thawing:

About :30 per pound. Turkey must be in leak proof packaging, and water must be kept clean and cold (changing every half hour is a good idea).

At the moment mine is still in its plastic wrap, double bagged in garbage bags, in a cooler full of cold water in the bathtub. I love this method. You close the lid of the cooler which keeps the floating turkey UNDER the water, and the insulation of the cooler keeps the water at a safe temperature. To change to water, simply open the drain at the bottom of the cooler, and then refill once the old water has drained out.

They recommend cooking cold water thawed turkey immediately because the conditions are not temperature controlled, but I've put the bird back in the fridge before cooking it. Mind you, I use the cooler which keeps the water cold, and I check on it constantly. (Believe me, I'm paranoid.)


About :20 per pound (assuming it's properly thawed ;) Rinse out the cavity, stuff it and close it with skewers. Cover with foil in the beginning (remove near the end to brown).

Note: only put the stuffing into the cavity immediately before the turkey goes in the oven - never pre-stuff the bird and let it sit in the fridge. Supposedly that's really dangerous. I've also heard that you shouldn't mix the dry and wet ingredients of the stuffing (assuming you're making home-made) together until the last minute either. Who knows. I'm sure there are people who have done this and been just fine (or who wondered what their stomach pains were from later ;) but I always err on the side of caution.

Happy Easter cooking!!

Apr 7, 2009

Exiting Entrecard

I signed up for Entrecard awhile back, and noticed an immediate increase to my blog traffic. There was also an immediate increase to my Adsense revenue...

... by about $0.01 per day. Now when you're not getting much Adsense revenue, ANY cents per day are welcome :) But at what cost?

When I log on to maintain Entrecard (approve ads, click on other cards, search for blogs to place ads on, etc) I am finding that it takes so much time, that it's all I end up doing for my blogs on that day. All for about $0.05 - $0.07 per week?

If the whole Entrecard thing was fun, it wouldn't matter. But to me it's a bit of a job - one that doesn't pay very well!! My time is worth far more than that.

What's your experience been with Entrecard?

Apr 6, 2009

Outdoor Pajamas

Would you wear your pajamas outside? I don't mean to step on your front porch to get the paper, either. Would you wear them to the cinema or supermarket?

Apparently doing so, in the warmer spring weather, has traditionally been seen as a sign of affluence in Shanghai. Slippers are replaced by flip flops, loafers or even high heels as outdoor footwear to go with the PJ's. The prevailing theory as to how this originated is that it shows off one's social strata. If you have pajamas to sleep in, as opposed to old clothes, you are seen as being more affluent.

There is growing resistance to this practice, as many Chinese are embarrassed by it, even calling it uncivilized, and "visual pollution." There are many who want the practice stopped in time for the 2010 Shanghai Expo.

I came across this story in today's Vancouver Sun (can't find a link to it though). One day maybe I'll travel the world, but meanwhile those of us who can't have the media as a window to it :)

Apr 2, 2009

April Fooled

I unplugged our Internet connection yesterday (because I'm a little paranoid ;) only to hear on the news that the Conf*cker virus could and might spring into action on days after April 1st as well. sigh.

So there ya go, virus peeps - you had your fun. You kept some of us off the Internet for a day. It was an interesting day. My kids fared better than I thought they would (but then again we have Wii). I read part of a book (hey! that was fun) and got caught up on some laundry (hmmm. what does that say about me and my Internet habit? Never mind...)

Mar 30, 2009

Wassup, Weather Gods?

Seriously. Can I plant my four year old's bean stalk in the garden yet? I don't want to kill the darn thing.

We have a magic window sill that can grow just about anything. Two years ago, A's preschool bean stalk grew up to the top of the window, so tall that I had to support it with straws taped together. I moved it out to the garden and before I knew it, it was over my head (maybe there's some truth to that Jack story ;) We were eating beans off it for a couple of months.

Now J has one too, and it's looking like it wants to go outside. I honestly don't know if he remembers A's beanstalk, or would even care if his went outside and died, but it would bug me.

So I ask you, yet again, southern BC weather peeps, are we DONE with the cold and snow already???

Mar 29, 2009

April 1st Virus Info

Will it be dangerous, or is it just a hoax?

Here's an article from the Calgary Herald (my McAfee declared this a safe link) with more info:

Apparently the virus is already in 12 million PCs world wide, and on April 1st these PCs will communicate with the remote version of the virus for new instructions.

Macs are not at risk at all, and PCs that are newer with their Microsoft updates current are at less risk.

I don't know about you, but I'm disconnecting my Internet on April 1st. My question is, will the virus still be active on April 2nd?

I guess we'll find out! Good luck, everyone...

Mar 27, 2009

Broccoli For Headaches?

Who knows. All I know is that I have had a head splitting migraine all day. I read somewhere that foods high in calcium, such as broccoli, can help. Desperate for relief I dove into the fridge and found the broccoli. Mmmmm. Fresh, too! Crunch crunch crunch...

...and now, about an hour later, my headache does seem to have subsided. Oh it's still here, don't get me wrong, but I'm sitting up at my laptop instead of lying on the couch my eyes closed.

Mind you, I have the TVNC (two very noisy children), so we'll see how long this lasts...

Mar 25, 2009

Praying For Stellan

Click here for his story:

Prayers for Stellan

Mar 22, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #11


Here's mine for this week! It's a favourite snack of my kids...

Coffee Brewing Tip

If you`re looking to perfect your coffee brewing technique, here`s something to try:

Use two filters, and a coarser grind.

The reason: over extraction makes coffee bitter, and a grind that is too fine results in over extraction (but a grind that is too coarse with one filter results in weak coffee).

However if you use two filters, the water doesn`t pass through as quickly, and the coffee will be more full bodied. That, combined with a coarser grind to reduce bitterness, makes a better tasting cup.

I read this tip awhile ago, and the results were so good, I haven`t looked back. You may have to experiment with the way you grind your beans - I know for myself, over-grinding was an ingrained habit that took awhile to break. I use a re-usable filter, combined with a paper one as well. I compost my used grinds and paper filters, so at least that makes it a bit more green.

Have fun, and happy brewing!

Mar 21, 2009

Cat Proof Your Plants

Heh heh...

Here's a solution to my cat plant-litter problem!!! Sprinkle some of this stuff in the plant soil, and presto... no more cat plant luuuv!!

Hmmm. I wonder if it actually works. It supposedly smells like Coyote and Fox urine, to scare the cats away, and it's non-toxic. Sounds good in theory, 'cept... I wonder how they add the scent?

Mar 20, 2009

Cats Run My Life

Since the acquisition of our scrumptious new leather couches (ahhhh!!! they still smell intoxicating), I've been, um, "working with" the cats to create an environment that is couch safe and still pet tolerant. One of my strategies has been to lock the cats in the basement at night, when they're not subject to human supervision.

They have places to sleep, and I provide them with litter. Apparently I've failed in this regard, because they've made alternate arrangements. Specifically, one of my plants.

It's kind of my own fault, because I (duh) have not removed the plant. And once the soil has been peed in, that's it. It's cat territory. There's no amount of cleaning or scooping, or disinfecting the surrounding laminate that will dissuade them from their target.

"Ha!! It's ours now, so give it up, you sad and sorry human!!"

Regretfully, I think the only solution is to move the plant outside, and take my chances with the elements. It'll either grow, or die. So be it.

Here's my issue: if I move the plant outside, then what? Will they continue to ignore the litter I've provided and move on to the next plant? Will they systematically go from plant to plant in their relentless pursuit of human dominance? Will they ultimately prevail and continue to rule???


Mar 19, 2009

A Tale Of Two Couches

Four, actually, if you want to get technical... there were two, um, old tattered ones and now there are two delicious smelling new leather ones!!

We have cat issues. Our cats, between the two of them, have virtually destroyed the old couches (hence the "tattered" description). They weren't just couches, they were cat beds and scratching posts as well. And, um, cat urine dribble catchers. Blech. Let's just say they're not fit to be passed on to anyone or sold.

We took the ultimate risk of bringing NEW LEATHER into a house with two clawed cats. Two cats with claws, and only ONE spray bottle. Did I mention the leather? It's not cheap. (Nor is my daughter quiet, as she rambles on about one of the cats while I type this. I take no responsibility for grammatical errors while my attention is so divided :p )


I had heard many leather couch and cat stories, ranging from "Omg, my cats destroyed it!" to "it was fabulous - they ignored it." I have to confess I was skeptical, and for the first few hours after the couches were delivered, a little stressed out.

I'm happy to report that so far, knock on wood (you too please? any wood you have handy?) it's been a non-issue. The cats have come forward ever so tentatively to sniff the couches, but that's been about it. I'm starting to feel hope!!

Can they really leave the leather alone? Is that even possible?

DH has agreed to spend $$ on a "cat condo" - you know, one of those atrocities that they can climb on, sleep in, or scratch that are more, uh, rec-room style as opposed to front room decor? Hopefully that will give them an alternative spot to "cat" on. (Whaaat?? Hey, if "google" can be a verb... ) I think safeguarding our new yummy chocolate coloured leather is worth nasty-cat-condo-ing a corner of the room.

Wish me luck.

Mar 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

May the luck of the Irish be with you!!

Mar 16, 2009

Manic Monday #159

Click here to play:

Are you a saver or spender?

Both. I alternate. I live in a constant state of financial confusion.

Do you prefer to walk around barefoot in your home? Socks? Shoes?

Socks, absolutely. Shoes would add to the mess and barefoot would, um, be too in touch with it. Socks allow me to be in denial about the state of my floors, without actually making them dirtier.

Do you talk to yourself?

Excessively (do I get points for confessing?). It can be embarrassing when I'm caught ;)

Mar 14, 2009

Slumdog Shame

I don't know about you, but I find this a bit disturbing.

According to this Vancouver Sun article, the child actors who starred in the Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire (a film which has already made $45 million showcasing poverty in India) have returned to their own lives of poverty.

Rubina Ali (who played Latika in the film) was paid a mere $1,000 to act in the film and has now returned to life in a hut that she shares with her parents, brother and sister. Azhauddin Ismail (who played Salim) was paid $3,500, and now lives with his family under a plastic sheet by railway tracks.

The film's producer has supposedly arranged for $50 per month to be given to the children for food and books, and has told their parents about a trust fund that has been set up for their future, but has not given them any details supporting this.

Assuming this is true, you would think that a film that has generated that much success could provide better for its young stars, rather than getting away with what appears to be the bare minimum of compensation for their contribution.

Hopefully there really is a trust fund, and now that the media has gotten wind of the kids' scant remuneration, the monthly book and food allowance will increase...

Mar 13, 2009

Norton Nonsense

I just tried renewing my Norton anti-virus protection. No it hasn't expired yet, to any hackers out there. (I'm not paranoid, I just don't like excluding any readers ;)


Although it had me under "Canada" in the country field, it wouldn't let me proceed any further until I entered a valid US zip code. (sigh). Ok, soooo... even though it defies logic to enter a US zip code under "Canada", I entered the only one I could think of. Please don't laugh.


Yes, you're right. I entered:

It accepted it!!! So there ya go, Beverly Hills folks, the province of BC Canada is now included in your popular zip. I feel a shade cooler already...

Mar 10, 2009

Cleaning Sea Monkey Tanks

So here's my task for today: cleaning out the kids' little Sea Monkey tanks.

Let's just say I'm glad I'm not a Sea Monkey. They, um, swim around in their own poop, for heaven sake. POOP.

I'm OK with the algae, because that is supposedly what they eat. J's tank has a nice layer of green at the bottom (but not A's - it's a little strange since both tanks have gotten identical treatment and sun exposure). Not only that, the algae doesn't go floating around in the tank, making the water all cloudy, with the... you guessed it. Poop. (Watching them poop was slightly amusing at first but having to finally clean up after it is not).

Here's the dilemma. They need their same, treated water, so I can't simply refill the tanks with new stuff. What I've done instead is dumped the monkeys, grungy water and all, into a clean bowl, and am waiting for all the floaties to settle to the bottom. Then I ever so carefully, scoop by scoop, return the monkeys and their treated water back to the tanks.

The problem is, every time I scoop, it stirs up the gunk at the bottom and re-mixes it with the water. I can only do about 2-3 scoops before I have to walk away and let it sit again for about half an hour.

This might take all day. If anyone has any alternate suggestions that might work, feel free to leave a comment :)

(translation.... heeeelllp!!)


Mar 9, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #9


Lil' J let me borrow some of his hot wheels cars for this pic :)

Mar 8, 2009

NOW We Get The Snow...


I've given up trying to figure out or predict this year's weather. At the moment it's 4C and it's snowing like mad! Sticking and everything. Glad I didn't pack away the snow pants. Yeesh.

Mar 7, 2009

No Snow!

Woke up today to beautiful blue skies and no snow on the ground. It's windy though, so God only knows what that'll bring, lol...

Mar 6, 2009

More Snow?

In March? In Vancouver? You've got to be kidding me! That's what they've forecast, anyway. It's supposed to start at about midnight, so we'll just see what happens. Yikes.

Mar 5, 2009

Outside The Box

Yet again I've learned something from my child.

Today he was playing "Mission", on Wii Play. In this game, you have a tank and your objective is to destroy the enemy tank before it destroys you. With your controller, you can move, drop bombs, and fire shots. To aim your shot, you point with the controller.

J doesn't do this. He doesn't aim his shots. Anyone who's played Wii knows that the controller pointers can be a bit finicky for an adult, never mind a four year old.

What he does instead is, using the arrow keys, maneuvers his tank around the enemy tank so that his cannon is facing the right way for him to fire (instead of moving the cannon).

He is amazingly good at this. Better than me, in fact. He can dodge shots like nobody's business, ducking back and forth, and circling around until his cannon is lined up, and then BOOM! He fires (and racks up points).

It's interesting to me, how he can completely disregard and important aspect of the game (aiming the cannon), and yet still beat the computer consistently because he is proficient enough in another area (maneuvering).

So here's my lesson: (pay attention, Jeanne ;)

Sometimes not confining yourself to a traditional approach frees you up to learn an equal or better alternative...

Mar 1, 2009

Mellow Yellow #8

This is the keyboard on my son's Lightning McQueen laptop :)


Feb 28, 2009

Not As Old As I Thought...

I thought I'd try the hearing test again just for the heck of it, and this time I heard it! The first time I took the test and failed, I had downloaded the mp3 file and played it with Windows Media Player. This time I was able to play it on the player included in the link and heard it. Not sure if that made the difference or not.

On the other hand, this second time when I passed, I was also eating ice cream. Hmmm....

Train Horns

Created by Train Horns

My Old Ears!!!

Ah yes. All those years of listening to loud music have caught up to me. sigh.

DrowseyMonkey, has this on her blog, and thought I'd try it myself. I failed! I was skeptical at first (if I really can't hear it, it must be a hoax), but then I had my six year old listen.

"I can hear it!" she said.

(thanks, kid ;) arrgh.

I asked her to describe it and she couldn't. I then had her close her eyes, and tell me when the sound started, and when it stopped (to make sure she really could hear it, and wasn't just playing along). Sure enough, she told me when it started, and as my eyes followed the audio player status bar, when it stopped. Lo and behold, it appears to be legit.

Give it a try yourself, and may you have a better result than I did!

Train Horns

Created by Train Horns

Feb 27, 2009

My New Best Friend


I finally got around to trying coffee flavoured Bailey's. The regular Bailey's that DH bought came with a 50ml trial size of the coffee variety.

Now while I realize that there could be a slight bias at work here (i.e. coffee ;) there is no denying the YUM factor. All that's missing is the Pot Of Gold chocolates...

Feb 26, 2009

Snow? What Snow?

Apparently we're not done yet! At the moment it's -3C and there's about an inch of snow on the ground. If you're from the east or northern BC you're laughing at that, but lemme tell ya, this is weird for the south coast of BC this close to March.

The snow itself is not too bad, but today it's pretty icy. So far my snow boots have kept me upright, but I keep hearing good things about those attachable grips that you can put on your shoes. When the snow is too deep for shoes or too cold for rain boots, they seem silly, but it's a day like today that they're clearly designed for...

Feb 24, 2009

My Solemn Vow

You are my witness!

Today I make this pledge to finally, once and for all:

despite all obstacles that may appear in my path, or attempt to dissuade me from my goal;
despite any and all misgivings others may have about the sincerity of my purpose;
despite countless interruptions from my children; or anything else that could stand in my way...

I do hereby solemnly swear that,


I will....



Feb 22, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #7

(A macro shot of my liquid dish soap :)


Feb 21, 2009

Sign Of The Times

We took the kids to Boston Pizza last night (after buying our new computer desk).

Boston Pizza is a pretty kid friendly place: the kids are given paper games and colouring sheets, as well as small (brand new) boxes of crayons to take home. Last night, after being greeted by our friendly server, A & J were given each one blank sheet of paper, and a small cup of used & broken crayons to share.

Ohhhhh kay.... really?? (cutting costs??) It was bizarre. (I'm just sayin').

Feb 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Feb 10, 2009

Guess What Wii Got?

Heh heh. (Sorry, couldn't resist ;)

My husband brought it home today, and now Lil' J & A are busy bowling. I, on the other hand, am trying to remember how to find my router's access code so that I can connect the Wii to the internet. If necessary I suppose I can call the router company: "Help? I'm a dork - how do I find the code again? You know, the one that I set up to begin with?", but at this point I'm not motivated enough. That may change after the kids are in bed and I have the Wii controller in my hot little hands.

Meanwhile, what I should be doing instead of typing this is making the kids dinner. Ah, dinner. What I really want are some of the Dad's cookies that DH bought, but that would not be setting a good example now, would it ;)

Feb 7, 2009

Welcome To My New Blog!

I've been wanting to revise my home page for awhile now, and was looking for a blogspot address that hadn't already been used, but was simple and memorable. My "Blog Scene" URL is and even I can't remember it (oops). So I kept trying different addresses in Blogger, over and over again until I found some that was available, and wasn't

Geez Louise, everything from to was taken, so I was shocked and amazed when "" showed as available. The fact that I'm a coffee addict made it an easy sell ;)

Anyway, links to posts on my other blogs are to the left. Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!