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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Snow Plowing Bill Arrived

Published May 31, 2011 - 4 Comments

I got my snow plowing bill a couple of days ago.  Last winter was the worst one that I’ve had since being at the farm, and I knew that the bill was going to be a doozy, so I’ve been setting money aside.  I was hoping that the $400 I had in my snow removal account (only a Canadian would have a bank account labelled “snow removal”) would be enough to cover me for the year…  I was wrong!  14 times my driveway was plowed, for a grand total of $472 after tax.  Yup, that’s right.  Nearly $500 to keep from being snowed-in.

And if you’re thinking to yourself  “Why doesn’t he just do it himself?” the answer is pretty simple… there’s nowhere to put it!  I’ve shoveled plenty of snow in my life, and there has always been a place to put it.  Not with this place.  The driveway is too large, and there is no natural slope to be able to push the nasty white stuff.  Trust me… it’s a much larger job than I want to tackle.  And to prove my point, this is what the guy shows up in to clean my driveway.  Yup!


Saint John Sea Dogs Win 2011 Mastercard Memorial Cup!

Published May 30, 2011 - 6 Comments

Last night was the Memorial Cup final.  The Saint John Sea Dogs became the first team in Atlantic Canada to win the Canadian Junior’s top prize in its 93 year history!  93 years!  It’s hard to imagine that no other Atlantic Canadian team has won before now.  Sad, really.  We have some great talent in this part of the country, but it’s taken us almost 100 years to bring the cup to any of the four Atlantic provinces?

Needless to say, this is quite an accomplishment for our Sea Dogs!  I only wish that I was more enthusiastic.  Yup, that’s right.  Our little team just proved that they are the top team in all of Canada… and my general level of excitement sits somewhere around the apathetic mark.  I realize that this is totally MY problem, and wish that it was different… but as much as I love to watch NHL hockey on TV, I’ve always had a hard time getting excited about our local teams.  That’s even more sad than Atlantic Canada being shut out for the last 93 years because the Sea Dogs have worked really hard to get to where they are today.  I’ve seen a grand total of 1 game at Harbour Station, and I enjoyed it… but it’s just something that I never really think of when planning my activities.  It’s even more of a shame because I took the kids to that game, and they really enjoyed it… but again… not something that I ever think of.

So congratulations to the Saint John Sea Dogs for winning the Memorial Cup!  It’s a great thing that you’ve done, and I hope that this inspires me to get off my ass next season and take in a few more games.

Go Dogs Go!

A New Blog Added!

Published May 30, 2011 - 3 Comments

I was going through the Google Analytics logs of all my sites, and I noticed something interesting.  My pickle site, LadyAshburnhamPickles.com has more traffic going to it than I thought it did!  It’s not going to break any records, but people seem to be going to it.  I’ve even had a few people contact me to ask about bottles (whether I sold them, or where the best place to get them might be).

And it got me thinking… maybe it was time to add a blog section to the site.

Just to confuse things… LadyAshburnhamPickles runs on WordPress, but uses static pages, rather than sequential posts (like this site).  When I came up with the idea for the site, I envisioned it as a static page, with some information on Lady Ashburnham, and the pickle recipe.  I gradually added a couple more static pages, but the intent was to create a strictly niche target micro-site, that would be hands-off.  In other words.. it was a test.

I don’t plan on dedicating a ton of time to the new blog (after all… how much can you possibly write about a single type of pickles?) but I thought that adding a community element to the site, where I can periodically throw a post up might be another good way of testing things.  Who knows what will happen?

Let’s find out!


Bring the Cup Home to Canada!

Published May 29, 2011 - 4 Comments

Vancouver Canucks vs Boston Bruins

Well we now know who is heading to Vancouver for Wednesday’s game!  After the Boston Bruins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday night 1-0 to clinch the series in seven games, the stage is set to finally bring the Stanley Cup back to its rightful home… Canada!

It’s been far too long.  As my Canadiens friends delight in reminding me, Montreal was the last Canadian team to bring the Cup home.  Since then I’ve watched as Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Ottawa all made it to the final… only to be bested by their respective opponents.  (You may have noticed that my beloved Maple Leafs are the only Canadian team not to tease me… Thank you for your consistency, Toronto!)  Well this year that is going to change.  The Canucks finished the season in top spot, taking home the Presidents’ Trophy for the most points.  That’s only the beginning!  Sure, they suffered a tiny hiccup in the opening round against the defending champs, the Chicago Blackhawks.  Taking that series to Game 7 certainly didn’t give me any warm, fuzzy feelings about the Canucks’ ability to go all the way.  That’s all water under the bridge now.

It’s time to start cheering again, Canada!

Motorola Q Rears its Ugly Head Once More

Published May 28, 2011 - 5 Comments

I never thought I’d see the day that I wrote another post about my old cellphone, the Motorola Q… otherwise known as the Piece of Shit that I Used to Use Before I Entered the Realm of Real Smartphones and Got an iPhone…  But after dropping my iPhone again just before going on vacation, the LCD screen broke… that’s the part that I didn’t break the last time I dropped it, and was so thankful because it’s more expensive to fix, and a little more complicated.  *sigh*

Well I ordered my replacement LCD from Amazon, and went to do the repair the other day… only to discover that I stripped the microscopic screws that hold the iPhone together the last time that I opened it!  So I can’t get past step one… 1. Remove the two tiny screws at the bottom of your iPhone.  Wonderful.

I contacted Bell to see whether I was eligible for a hardware credit.  Nope!  Of course not!  I’ve had the phone for 15 months, and I’m short 3 months for a possible early hardware update.  And even if I did get the credit, it probably wouldn’t be very much.  So I walked down to the Bell store in the mall and asked the guy what my options were.  I got the answer I was expecting… buy a new phone.  Sure, they’re only around $700 for the iPhone… the Android phones are a little less, but not much.  I’m still looking at $500 or more for those.  Chump change!  I’ll take two!  Yeah.. not gonna happen.

The other option (aside from cancelling outright, with a $400 penalty) was using an old cellphone.  Oh no… don’t say that!  Not that #$%^&*( Motorola Q again!?!?   Yup!


It May Look Pretty... Don't Be Fooled

I went back to see the guy from Bell, and handed him my Q.  That’s the phone that I had said that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy (except one).  It’s an old Windows Mobile phone, and it is crap.  It locks up regularly, and the only way to unlock it is to take the battery out and then put it back in… something that tended to happen on a daily basis before I got fed up and bought my iPhone. The guy looked at it in amazement.  He’d never seen that phone before.  Bell doesn’t even list it in their system as a phone.. they have it listed as a PDA!  I told him that it was a POS, not a PDA.

Things haven’t improved since it was taken out of service.  Now the battery is old and not holding a charge.  My txts aren’t being sent/received reliably.  A few of the buttons on the QWERTY keyboard are stiff and don’t always display the proper characters.  It’s a real mess.  I don’t know how long I’m going to be able to use it before I smash it with a hammer.  And I’m not joking.  It wouldn’t be the first piece of electronics to die a violent death at the hands of a heavy hammer.

Stay tuned…

Niagara Falls Skylon Tower… What a View

Published May 27, 2011 - 10 Comments

Yes... I went up that glass elevator on the outside

One of the many highlights of my Ontario vacation was having dinner at the top of the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls.  Karen planned this as my special birthday dinner, and it was amazing.

I have to admit, I was more than a little leery about riding in the glass elevator on the outside of the building.  I would was preferred to have been inside, but that really defeats the point of the experience.  I won’t say that I’ve conquered my fear of heights, but I did manage to calmly ride the elevator 520 feet up, and keep my eyes open as I did it!  Trust me… that wasn’t exactly how I expected things to go.

At the top of the tower is an observation deck, and a restaurant which rotates one complete revolution per hour.  As you can imagine, the view of the falls from that height is spectacular!  The restaurant is dining at its finest.  We were there for the early dinner, which is priced a little more reasonably than the main dinner.  I had the prime rib, which was surprisingly a good amount of food.  I was expecting a tiny piece of beef in the centre of a large plate, but that wasn’t the case at all.  It was good, but whatever sauce they serve with it nearly killed me when I tried it.  Extremely strong taste, and not at all enjoyable.  Thankfully it was served on the side, and not covering the prime rib!

I don’t know if I’ll ever have the opportunity to visit Niagara Falls again, so I’m going to keep this memory close to me.

Oh, and if you’re ever there, you don’t have to eat at the restaurant in order to go to the observation deck.  Access to the deck is included in the price of dinner, but if you don’t want to eat there, I believe you can pay $10 to ride the elevator to take in the view from the top.  Even if you’re not interested in eating there, I would recommend going up to the observation deck.  The view is unforgettable.  And don’t worry about the glass elevator… it’s not as bad as it sounds!  🙂



Glee … Is the Honeymoon Over?

Published May 25, 2011 - 8 Comments

** Spoiler Alert – If you haven’t watched last night’s season finale, and you intend to, you may not want to read this post **

For some reason I had convinced myself that the Season 2 finale was a couple of weeks ago.  When that episode came and went, it was obvious that there were still a few more left to wrap up the season.  So last night I sat down at 9pm to watch the season finale… only to discover that it was airing at 10pm, not 9pm.  *sigh*  Not sure why I can’t keep track of these things, but apparently I can’t.

Now I’ve had time to watch it, and to let it sink in… now what?

As far as season finales go, I have to admit… I was disappointed with last night’s episode.  I’ve been listening nonstop to the 2 original songs that they introduced a couple of weeks ago for Regionals.  They’re fantastic songs.  I was really looking forward to the new original songs that would be performed at Nationals.  Maybe I set the bar too high, but the songs last night were nothing special at all.  Worse, the first group number was actually horrible!  New York?  Is that what they called it?  I don’t know.  I could hardly stand to listen to it.  It had nothing for me.  I actually liked Britney’s My Cup more, and it wasn’t even meant to be taken seriously!  Kurt and Rachel’s song from Wicked wasn’t really my thing, but I will say that I didn’t hate it.  Rachel and Finn’s duet during the competition was actually not too bad… but I’m a sucker for their relationship, so they don’t have to try too hard to impress me there.  It’s too bad that the group number that followed sucked.  Well… maybe it didn’t suck… but it was just nowhere near Loser Like Me from the Regionals.

I wasn’t surprised at all that The New Directions didn’t win Nationals.  It was a good move for them not to win…. what I wasn’t expecting was a 12th place finish.  I thought that was pretty clever.

I tried not to cry when Quinn cut her hair… why do they do that?

I could keep going on, but really.. what’s the point?  There really wasn’t much good to say last night.. and I fear that it’s becoming a trend with the show.  I was very disappointed by the previous week’s episode!  One of the Glee creators had come out prior and said that there would be a death of a major character.  That didn’t happen.  The Funeral episode was touching, but not at all what we were led to expect.  It felt like a cheap trick to me… and the show should be good enough to stand on its own and not have to pull a stunt like that.

I’m happy that it’s done for the summer, and I hope that they are able to come back strong in the fall.  Let’s face it… as long as Rachel is still there, I’ll keep watching… but I’d prefer to enjoy the entire show, and not just bits and pieces of it.


Niagara Falls

Published May 21, 2011 - 4 Comments

I will take some time and write a proper post when I get home. I could write several about my 2 days here in Niagara Falls! I’ve always wanted to see them and l was not disappointed! From walking along the walkway, the journey behind the falls, the Maid of the Mist, the glass elevator up to Skylon tower and eating supper in a revolving restaurant with an amazing view… The whole thing has been awesome!

Tomorrow we leave here and start heading home. We may stop in Brockville and do the 1000 Islands tour if the weather is nice. Looks iffy at this point. But tomorrow we’ll be stopping in Montreal again for the night and then home on Monday.

As great as it’s been, there’s still a part of me that longs to be home. Once a maritimer… Always a maritimer…

Last Night in Barrie

Published May 20, 2011 - 2 Comments

Tomorrow we pack up and leave the resort. It’s a bit of a bummer. This place isn’t home but it IS pretty nice. One thing that I miss from my time in Ontario (I used to spend a fair amount of time in Kingston) is the warm night air. Even though our weather hasn’t been great this week, I have still found myself enjoying the night on the balcony.

Tomorrow is a trip through the African Lion Safari (who knew Ontario had a safari??) and then off to Niagara Falls. I’m soooo looking forward to seeing those falls! I get to scratch one more thing off my list of things I want to accomplish. Good thing too, since the end of the world is this weekend! Bummer… I should be charging everything on my credit card since we won’t have to worry about paying it off!

Geeze… Some people…

Pool Time

Published May 19, 2011 - 0 Comments

Just got back from the pool. Yes, you read that correctly. I was at the pool. In the water even! No, not swimming. I still have that on my list of things I’d like to learn. Someday. But I was floating on those noodle thingies while Karen pushed me around. She even abandoned me in the deep end to go get her sunglasses. I calmly floated around until she got back. It was actually fun. I’ve been here for a week and leave tomorrow. Had I realized I would have liked it, I should have gone there sooner.

We’re getting ready for one last trip into Toronto. Karen wants to meet up with an old friend and I want her to take me to the Ikea store so I can see what all the fuss is about. I never get the jokes about not being able to find your way out of one of their stores.

I’m glad that the sun finally poked through. Here, and home!

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