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Another Friendly Visit With Dr Lisa…

Published October 1, 2011 - 2 Comments

“Have you been reading my blog?” I asked her…

“No, why? I don’t know how to do that, and I wouldn’t anyway” she said…

“Well because you just said that sometimes I need a kick in the butt… and I wrote a post once called Dr Lisa Drives Her Small Foot Up My Big Ass… ”

She laughed.

I had my latest checkup on Wednesday, and not a whole hell of a lot has changed.  My blood pressure is still way up, even though I’m taking the medication.  She’s booked me for December with some machine that takes several readings over a period of time.  That sounds like fun.

I asked her again about the dark spot on my cheek.  It’s been there so long that I don’t really remember HOW LONG it’s been there, but I remember asking her about it last year and she said that it was nothing to worry about.  Now I’ve become a little self-conscious about it because people are asking ME what it is, including my kids, who seem to have all the subtlety of a brick to the head…   So she wrote me a referral to see some doctor who does liquid nitrogen treatments.  As a side note, I guess this has been in the news lately, but I hadn’t even noticed.  The provincial government was considering removing flu shots and removal of skin lesions from the list of things covered by medicare.  I knew about the flu shots, but missed the other part.  So when I called to make my appointment, the secretary told me that I might have to pay for this procedure.  Well, the next day the government announced that they would continue to cover the cost of these procedures.  Yeah!

Aside from the vanity procedure… Dr Lisa gave me a bit of a stern talking to again… she reminded me that I will be 40 shortly, and that I require a significant lifestyle change.  She’s concerned about everything from what I’m eating, to the shift work, and even living alone and what I do with my spare time.  She’s a great doctor, and I’m so lucky to have been taken on by her when my daughter was born.

The physical health issues can be kept in check with medication, but I have to work on them more.  The mental and emotional health is a little trickier to deal with.  I’ve discussed it in length with some people, and there’s no point in going over it again, but there’s no doubt that significant changes are required.


Apple Store Madness

Published June 6, 2011 - 5 Comments

One of the great things about going to a city the size of Toronto is that they have a lot more selection of everything!  Granted, very often it’s more of the same… but still, doesn’t matter what you’re looking for, chances are good that you’re going to find it somewhere.

I’m not a big shopper, but we went to Yorkdale Shopping Centre a few times (mainly because that’s where we parked the car to get on the subway) so of course I walked around a little.  After going through the map “You are HERE” I noticed something that excited me… an Apple Store!  Yes, a store completely dedicated to Apple products… a mecca for Apple fanboys everywhere… a virtual shrine to Steve Jobs!  I had to see it!  I had to bask in the glory of all that is Apple!

With giddy excitement I wound my way through the crowds toward my ultimate destination.  And then I stopped.

I’ve never seen anything like it before.  Not the store… but the people in the store!  It was beyond overcrowded!  It was packed full of people standing at tables, playing with all the Apple toys available.  I don’t know if anyone was actually buying anything.  Hell, I don’t know if there’s even a cash register in the store!  Why don’t I know this?  Because I didn’t even bother to go through the door!  I couldn’t believe the size of the mob in there, and I wasn’t about to become part of it.

I’m told that it’s like that every day in the Apple store.  It has nothing to do with any particular promotion.  It’s just people wanting to play with the toys.  No thanks!  I’ll stick to ordering mine through the internet.  It may not be as chic as getting it from the Apple Store… but it’s a hell of a lot more enjoyable an experience than fighting for an inch of elbow room!

Federal Election – Morning After… WTF!?!?

Published May 3, 2011 - 2 Comments

It’s a dark day in Canadian politics today… Day 1 of the Stephen Harper Reign of Terror.  I’m completely baffled by last night’s results.  A Conservative majority?  Who saw that coming?  Not I!

The Liberal party was decimated.  Its worst defeat since Confederation.  Maybe they’ll take the next 4 years and try to figure out what they did wrong.  Here’s a start… find a leader with charisma who connects with the voters!  The last couple of leaders have fallen short in this department.  Iggy didn’t even get elected in his own seat!

The NDP soared to record gains, destroying the Bloc Quebecois, and what Liberal support remained in Quebec.  So now we have an NDP official opposition party.  That’s not a bad thing.  I voted for our local NDP candidate here, but he lost to the Conservative candidate.

The Bloc…   what Bloc?  They fell to 4 seats!  Duceppe lost his seat, along with his dignity and self-respect.  What does this say about the separatist movement in Quebec?  I have no idea.  I’m not paid to interpret last night’s debacle… I just rant about it.  Suffice to say, the Bloc need to regroup, and they have 4 years to figure out how.

The Green party has their first elected member of parliament!  Good for you, Elizabeth May.  Good for you.  I hope that this is just the beginning of things to come for the Greens.

I guess the one thing I keep telling myself from all of this… it’s the first majority government in a long time.  It will be nice to not have the threat of a non-confidence vote hanging over everyone’s heads.  Stephen Harper finally has what he’s always wanted.  Absolute power.


Canada Votes… Again

Published May 2, 2011 - 0 Comments

Well it’s that time, again.  Another federal election.  Didn’t we just have one of these?  Yes, yes we did.  Well, in fairness it was 3 years ago, but when you’re having your 4th election in 7 years they tend to blend in after awhile.  That’s the wonder of our electoral system.  I have always resisted the idea of fixed election dates (ala American system) but I have to wonder whether there might be some benefit to that.

So I stopped to vote before coming into work.  We’re entitled to 3 consecutive hours to vote, and my shift doesn’t end until 7pm, so that doesn’t allow me 3 hours.  I decided to take mine at the beginning of the shift.  It’s a nice day out there.  I wasn’t in any rush to get in here.

Are things going to be any different when we wake up tomorrow?  I doubt it.  I’m still predicting a Conservative minority government.  This could very well go on forever unless there is a real shake-up of the leadership of all parties.  It feels like a virtual stalemate.  I suppose that’s what it is.

Stay tuned!

We Relish… Relish! Umm… Not So Sure About That…

Published April 27, 2011 - 4 Comments

I understand that I might lose a couple of readers with this one, but I can not in good conscience, let this go un-addressed.  It’s not a negative review… it’s simply a little more realistic than some of the ones that I’ve read on the subject.

When Relish opened up across the street at the old Reggie’s location, I was quite excited to try it out.  People raved about the gourmet burgers in Fredericton and Oromocto, and at one point I had almost driven to Fredericton to see what all the fuss was about.  Almost.  But when the Saint John location opened, there was no need to go for a drive.  It was only a matter of time before I would step across the street and put Relish to the test.


Before I was able to place my order, the girl asked me for my name.  I tried to explain that I hadn’t pre-ordered this, but then I remembered someone telling me that Relish likes to make a spectacle when your meal is ready by calling out “We Relish Stephen…”  Ugh.  I can really do without the theatrics.  I just want to get my meal and eat.  So I ordered The Great One, which consists of cheddar cheese, bacon, and roasted garlic mayonnaise served on a nice patty and bun.  I opted for the fries and a bottled water (they serve Pop Shoppe and Pepsi).  The grand total?  (I wish I had my receipt still, so I’m going by memory) Over $14.  I don’t remember how close it was to $15, so we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say $14.  That was after-tax.

I knew walking in there that I was not getting out without opening up my wallet for some serious change, and that’s fine.  I completely accept the fact that Relish is not McDonalds, and I applaud them for bringing gourmet burgers to this part of the country.  If you don’t want to pay that kind of money, there are more than enough fast food places that will serve you a combo for half that price.  But the big question as I opened the box after returning to work…  was my meal actually worth $14?

There is no denying that the burger I ate was far superior to McDonalds or any other fast food chain.  It had a nice taste, although I was expecting it to be bigger.  I had been told that eating at Relish was like eating a real meal.  If I finished it, I wouldn’t be left hungry.  I’m disappointed to say, that was not the case.  The burger was good, but not as filling as I had hoped.  The fries were rather plain and far fewer than I expected.  Considering that fries are the “cheap filler” of any combo, I was certainly expecting there to be more of them.  Relish uses the thick cut fries, and they were good, but nothing special.  Because of the extra care they put into creating unique burgers, I would have liked to have seen something a little more special with their fries.  For those who like such things, I was offered the opportunity to upgrade (for a price)  to sweet potato fries, but I’m not a fan.  Oh, I see that Relish makes poutine, and I am curious about that.  The type of fries they served me would be perfect for poutine.  But how’s their gravy?

I know that a lot of people rave over Relish, and I hate knock on them, because I do think that there is a market for gourmet burgers in this city.  It’s also nice to see something new open in the city core that draws people (although I was the only person in there that day).  Relish isn’t bad by any means, but it’s hard for me to get excited about spending $14 on a burger and fries combo that left me wanting more… especially when I could just as easily have swung through the drive-thru at Swiss Chalet and gotten a quarter chicken meal combo for less money that would have kept the hunger away longer than Relish did with their offering.

When Harry Met Sally 2

Published April 7, 2011 - 4 Comments

I saw Billy Crystal on The Daily Show promoting his new movie on Funny or Die… Wow…. You know when people say “lol” but it’s really not laughing out loud… it’s just something that was mildly amusing and they thought that lol should be inserted?

Well I LAUGHED OUT LOUD when I watched this….   if you loved When Harry Met Sally (and why wouldn’t you?) then you need to check this out…

When Harry Met Sally 2 with Billy Crystal & Helen Mirren from Billy Crystal

Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

Published March 11, 2011 - 1 Comment

It’s hard to imagine the kind of devastation that a huge wall of water can produce… My question is: Why are there people standing on that bridge watching? I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t be my first instinct…


Where Did the Pictures Go?

Published March 1, 2011 - 6 Comments

I upgraded to WordPress 3.1 last night, and I seem to have lost the ability to add pictures or movies to my blog posts. That’s annoying… I went to another of my blogs to test, and it’s running an older version of WordPress… no problems. I can post to my heart’s content. I took a quick look through the online forums and I can see where this has been an issue with previous versions, but nothing yet for 3.1.

So for now I guess my posts will be a little on the bland side…

(actually, it might not just be pictures… other things with the interface don’t appear to be working “quite right”… I’ll have to explore this further in the morning)

Watching the Big Game

Published February 6, 2011 - 0 Comments

I don’t follow football.  Not the CFL.  Not the NFL.  But I like to watch the Super Bowl if I get the chance.  Tonight things are pretty slow at work, so I’m able to sit back and enjoy the game.

One of the things that people really enjoy about the Super Bowl is the advertising.  Unfortunately in Canada we don’t get to see the American television ads.  Thanks to the rule requiring any program that is simulcast on both US and Canadian channels to show the Canadian commercials… those of us in the Great White North have to find another way to see those ads.

This was a rather large annoyance for years, but now that we have the internet, it’s leveled the playing field.  We can easily watch the Super Bowl ads on a whole slew of websites the following day.  And of course… the best of those will get sent around to friends, and then to their friends…

Mashable.com put together a Top 10 of the most shared Super Bowl ads.  You can view that list here.  Most of them are ones that I’ve seen before, but there were a couple of surprises.  Like this one…

Follow-up From Swiss Chalet Fiasco

Published January 31, 2011 - 2 Comments

I was pleasantly surprised to receive a call from the owner of the local Swiss Chalet restaurant today, regarding the feedback that I left yesterday.  The gentleman was extremely down to earth, and apologized for the incident.  He also informed me that the employee involved had been disciplined because of his actions.  That was never my intention.  I hoped that the matter would be addressed, but I wasn’t trying to get anyone in trouble.  Still, it is what it is, and hopefully the message gets through to the employee.

And the question everyone seems to ask… no, the owner did not offer me anything as compensation.  That was never my intent, either.  Yes, it would have been icing on the cake, but all I really wanted was for the someone to take responsibility and deal with the issue, and as far as I’m concerned that is what happened.

I’m satisfied with the outcome.