December 28, 2007

Set another place at the table... wonderful family is expanding! My brother and sister-in-law are expecting a baby in the summer. Rock on!

December 27, 2007

Look what I got for Christmas!

Feeling envious?

That's right, it's a Banana Guard.

I also received these unique stickers:

Let the adhesion begin!

I hope that you all had a terrific holiday. While I was spoiled with gifts, the best present I could ever ask for is one that I have all year long: a truly wonderful family. (Yes, Scott, that includes you.)

December 20, 2007

December 18, 2007

Calamity loves power tools.

My access to power tools has been severely restricted ever since Scott caught me attempting to drill into a cement chimney using a spade bit. He relented somewhat this past summer and allowed me to use his father's power washer. I got a wee bit messy, but man was it fun!

Because I have been known to injure myself with tools as simple as tampers and scissors, I was surprised and delighted when Scott permitted me to use some of the equipment at the machine shop where he works. I used the grinder, the paint gun, and even the horizontal band saw! Whoohoo! If you look closely you will see not one, not two but three hand-mangling warnings on the band saw.

Why, you might ask, would Scott be so reckless as to allow me to operate such dangerous machinery? Was it because I have a kick-ass life insurance policy? Was it because I had corrected his grammar just one too many times? No, it was because I really wanted to have a hand in creating a gate for my parents for Christmas. Here are a few photos of the work in progress.

We installed the gate this evening but neglected to take photographs. Stay tuned for photos of the completed project.

December 10, 2007

Grounded for a decade?

Once upon a time when my brother and I were little, we grew bored while shopping with our parents. We wandered off to search for amusement in the aisles of Sears. As we passed an escalator carrying shoppers down from the floor above, one of us may or may not have pressed the emergency stop button. The escalator shuddered to a halt. "Great," one of the passengers muttered. "Now we'll be stuck here 'til Tuesday."

I certainly don't remember pressing that button, and I'm sure that my brother doesn't, either, but I know there's one child out there who will never be allowed to forget the time he or she pushed a forbidden button.

Ed. Note: Damn, that story was a lot funnier before they corrected it.

December 07, 2007

I'm so Googlable.

When I installed Sitemeter on my blog many moons ago, I never realized just how much fun it would be. Not only do Sitemeter statistics tell me where my readers are located, they also reveal what search terms brought readers to my site. For example, someone in Dexter, Michigan found my blog by Googling, "when was albert einstein potty trained?" The answer to that question does not reside on my blog, but I'm glad that you asked, Dexter.

Einstein, the potty years

Somebody in Karraganbah, New South Wales, Australia happened upon my blog after Googling, "under the heading like a bowl full of jelly," perhaps in search of something related to Saint Nick. Another Aussie, this one from Perth, ended up on my blog after Googling "who wears muumuus." Good question, Perth. Who does wear muumuus? I would, if only I had the right occasion.

I see that the folks at the Pentagon are spending their time productively, as an individual using the ISP Army Information Systems Command-Pentagon arrived at my site by Googling the Emo Philips quote, "A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing."

"Calvin monkey brains" was the phrase that led someone from Atlanta, Georgia to my page, while a search for images of a "fat butt" was the starting point for an employee at an investment management firm in Godfrey, Illinois.

And a shout out to all my fans in Prague, Czech Republic, where a Googler found me using the terms "soiled the bed" and "passed out."

Potty-training, fatt butts and bed-soiling... Classy blog I've got here, no?

December 02, 2007

Needed: a good, hot bath

Not everyone enjoys snow as much as Ferris does. I know I don't. Scott and I dragged ourselves out of bed this morning, layered on the winter clothing and headed outside to shovel. And shovel. And shovel. And shovel. We do not have a large property, but the snow lay in heavy, densely packed drifts and it took us hours to clear the sidewalk and driveway. Our only break was to stop and help a man push his pick-up truck, which had died a sad, sputtering death in front of our house. When Scott and I approached him, the man looked at Scott (6'1", in shape), then looked at me (5'4", round in shape) and nodded in my direction. He said, "You can drive." "That's what you think," I replied.

It's hard to crash a vehicle that is stuck in a snowdrift, and I'm pleased to say that we moved it a full three feet without hitting a thing. I may have cranked the wheel a bit too far, however, as I turned the truck just enough to block the path of an oncoming snowplow. The plow turned around and retreated, leaving our section of road unplowed. You're welcome, neighbours!

I hopped out of the cab and helped push, since we were obviously better off with no driver at all than with me at the wheel. We only managed to move the truck about two more feet before giving up. Scott and I resumed shovelling while the truck's owner climbed back in the cab to await a tow truck.

Between the truck-pushing and the snow-shovelling, my back is aching. I'd love to take a long, relaxing bath, but that would necessitate cleaning the bathtub first, which would mean leaning over and/or crouching. No can do. Note to self: next time, clean bathtub, then shovel.

November 24, 2007

Embarrassing moments

I've been meaning to write a post about embarrassing moments. Time has been in short supply, however, and I'm just stealing a minute before running off to a party, so for now this will have to suffice. It is a photo taken at Scott's 35th birthday dinner. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

November 14, 2007

Calamity's first accident

Can I trust your driver not to hit me?

On Saturday, while driving Scott to his dentist appointment, I had my first accident as a (semi-)licensed driver. I was in a line of cars waiting at a red light when a Leon's delivery truck glided into my lane from behind and hit the back of our Element. Scott threw his door open and hollered, "HEY!" while I put the vehicle into park, flipped on the hazard lights and checked for moving traffic before getting out to inspect the damage.

I was pleased to discover that there was nary a scratch. Barely a smudge in the dirt on our bumper, really. I was so relieved -- both at the lack of carnage and the fact that I wasn't at fault -- that I patted the truck driver on the back and chirped, "No worries!" before hopping back into the driver's seat.

Scott was frazzled, as he always is when I am driving, but I continued merrily onward until we reached the dentist's office, where we were only five minutes late for a 12:30 appointment. Unfortunately, the dentist had no time for Scott that day, as the appointment was actually scheduled for noon. I had entered the wrong time in my PalmPilot. So much for my fault-free day.

November 09, 2007

Like a bowl full of jelly

I'm jiggly in all the wrong places. I'm a "Before" photograph with no "After." My weight is really getting out of hand. I kid you not when I tell you that I often sense that someone is following me, only to realize that it's my own rear end.

avatars free

It took years for me to learn to love -- or at least accept -- myself for who I am. But with the recent increase in the amount of me that there is to love, I have come to realize that my continued acceptance might just lead to a heart attack one of these days. I could become the next "Suicide by Fat -- Obesity Revealed" specimen in Dr. Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds exhibit. That ain't a pretty thought.

November 01, 2007

Thirty seconds of giggling koala

This is sad but true: Scott and I purchased a giggling koala dog toy and let Ferris have it for about two seconds before deciding that it was too cute to sacrifice to the dogs. It now sits safely out of canine reach.

October 30, 2007


I have created my own "lolcats" for the icanhascheezburger website, but I don't know if they'll ever make it to the voting page. For your viewing pleasure, I will present some of them to you here. Enjoy.

October 23, 2007

On a lighter note...'s the latest Ferris video. My apologies for the lame soundtrack.

October 13, 2007

Why Scott shouldn't get an Xbox 360

In my humble opinion:

1. He already has a perfectly good Xbox.

2. Xbox 360s are famously troublesome, while Microsoft customer service is completely inept.

3. Planned obsolescence is bad for consumers and the environment.

4. Bill Gates does not need any more of our money.

5. Halo 3 will not solve the world's problems.

October 12, 2007


Cher has admitted that she once believed that the presidental images carved into Mount Rushmore were the product of natural erosion. In a similar spirit of confession, as I sit here watching Forrest Gump on TV -- the very scene where Lieutenant Dan Taylor is referring to himself as a useless cripple -- I will admit something to you. The first time I saw Forrest Gump, I was unfamiliar with the actor Gary Sinise. Now, a lot of people are very impressed with the technical manipulation that saw Forrest inserted into famous historical footage. Me, I was struck by the sheer genius of the digital wizard who made it seem like Gary Sinise had legs in his earlier scenes. Yes, that's right, I honestly thought that the actor had no legs. Sadly, I made the mistake of exclaiming this to the people with whom I was watching the movie. I'm sure I'll live that down. Sure I will. Someday.

October 05, 2007

God Grew Tired of Us

I recently saw a wonderful film called God Grew Tired of Us. It was a moving, respectful look at the journeys of three refugees from war-torn Sudan. The men end up in the United States, via Ethiopia and Kenya, after having walked for five years in search of relief from war, genocide, dehydration and starvation. They lost many friends and family members along the way. It was fascinating to watch their adjustment to the pace and priorities of America. As overwhelming as their new lives were, never did they forget those they left behind in Africa.

One thing about the film that really struck me was that these men, new to modern conveniences such as airplanes and refrigerators, apparently took no time to get their driver's licences. These are men who were concerned that electricity would be too hard to "use." Now they're driving. Then there's me, someone who grew up surrounded by the latest technology. It has been well over a year since I started my quest to become licenced. During tonight's lesson, my new driving instructor shook her head and said to herself, "That's baaaad," several times. I'm getting the feeling I should stick to using simpler pieces of machinery, such as safety scissors.

September 27, 2007

I've been meaning to post...

...but I've just been so busy. Busy doing nothing even remotely postworthy. That will change, however, for next week my driving lessons will resume, a full year since my last official lesson. My former driving instructor, Lino, has abandoned me, putting his own safety and security ahead of my need to swerve. Honestly, the nerve of that guy. Anyway, a brave new instructor will soon be sliding into the passenger seat of harm's way. Stay tuned, and stay off the sidewalks.

September 20, 2007

Not so fast!

Drop the Timbit. Stop cheering. The recent court decision has resulted in only a partial victory. This means that we're all still in limbo here, wondering what the heck our jobs will entail once this all gets sorted out. Grumble grumble.


My colleagues and I are enjoying some celebratory Timbits after receiving much-welcomed news about a court case. I won't get into the details, but suffice it to say that we're pleased about the outcome and hopeful that an appeal won't be launched any time soon. Here, help yourself to a Timbit.

September 14, 2007


Even more important than the question of whether or not to eat a dirty apple is the decision Ontarians will be asked to make on October 10th. If you are an Ontario voter and you have not heard about the upcoming referendum, please educate yourself here. Personally I'm in favour of the proposed new mixed-member proportional system.

The Five-Second Rule

(Or, as my mother once mis-spoke, the 15-Minute Rule.) Does that rule change depending on the surface onto which one's food has fallen? When I sat down on the bus today I set my lunch bag on the floor between my feet. In the plastic shopping bag was a flat container of leftovers and, perched on top of the container, a shiny Red Delicious apple. During one particularly sharp turn, the apple attempted to break free. It bounced off the container, rolled out of the bag and travelled across the bus, stopping momentarily under the seat opposite mine. Evidently daunted by this sudden freedom, the apple rolled back toward me. I casually scooped it up and placed it back in the bag, as if the apple and I had rehearsed this several times. I wanted to stand up and take a bow, announcing, "The amazing boomerang apple trick! Thank you, thank you ladies and gentlemen. I hope that you enjoyed the show." I didn't. Instead I remained in my seat, my face as red as the apple, and read the minds of my fellow passengers. They were all thinking the same thing: "Is she actually going to eat that?"

I don't know. Will I eat the apple? It is still in the plastic bag, once again secure in its captivity. The entire escape attempt lasted less than five seconds, I'm confident of that, but does the Five-Second Rule become the Two-Second Rule in the case of a dirty bus floor? Does it become the Don't Even THINK About Putting That Near Your Mouth rule once the especially filthy under-seat area is involved? Can any amount of washing fix the damage that has been done? Do I have to resort to peeling? Help me out here, folks. What would you do?

September 11, 2007


September 11th is as good a day as any to discuss the subject of ignorance. Scott and I recently spotted a man in the grocery store wearing a shirt that said, in great big letters, "Speak fucking English." I had to cringe at such multi-levelled ignorance. I could rant and rave about it here, but I scowled and muttered enough at the store. I just wanted to bring it up so that my like-minded readers could shake their heads in dismay, while my, um, other readers could look down at their Confederate-flag T-shirts and ask, "Whuuut?"

September 06, 2007

Making my blood boil

I finally watched Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. Even if only a quarter of the film is true, Dubya and company should be tossed in jail for a very, very long time. I don't know how enlightened Americans can tolerate having such a fatuous, uncaring windbag as a leader. Not that Canada's leader is any prize, mind you, but there has been far less bloodshed as a result of Harper's command. I guess Harper isn't much of a businessman.

September 02, 2007

Scott's Party at Mike and Cheryl's

Scott and I regularly host parties at our place. We seldom host parties at other people's places. Recently, however, Scott inadvertently invited a number of people to the penthouse dwelling of our friends Cheryl and Mike, who have access to a terrific rooftop patio. (Thanks, you two, for being so hospitable!) The patio was the perfect vantage point from which to watch the Canadian International Air Show.

I took quite a number of photos. Here's one of the better ones:

Our friend John took 1100 photos. Yes, 1100. Here's one of them:

In my defense, John's lens (see below) is much more powerful than the one I was using. But I'll admit that John is an awesome photographer.

The weather was absolutely perfect, especially with the breeze off Lake Ontario. It was that kind of refreshingly cool day that leads one to forget about the necessity of sunscreen. At least, I forgot about it. I didn't wear a hat, either. I did wear sunglasses. You know what I'm getting at. I ended up with this style of sunburn:

Following the air show we all retired to Cheryl and Mike's place. Cheryl's hands were full so I carried her camera, still attached to its tripod, back downstairs. I placed it out of the way in Cheryl and Mike's bedroom. I didn't consider how it would look when the other guests spotted the camera mounted at the foot of the bed. Scott, inebriated though he was, took no time to figure out the camera's self-timer feature.

August 28, 2007

Blind Like Me

Years ago I saw a blind man putting coins into a parking meter. I wondered if he would be waiting for a gumball to roll out after he twisted the knob. Last weekend I spotted a man with a white cane browsing in the high-definition TV aisle at Costco. My optometrist told me that I'm legally blind, and while I think that he's full of it, I have to admit that I couldn't care less about the picture quality on my television. As long as the vertical hold isn't all wacky, I'm satisfied.

August 24, 2007

Sweet dreams, Spider

It's never easy to say good-bye to a pet, not even one that stayed with Mom and Dad when you left home. I know this from first-hand experience. My heart goes out to Scott, whose cat Spider died last night. Spider was affectionate and vocal and he enjoyed a long and pampered life. He has left many fond memories behind.

August 23, 2007

I'm a book I've never read

I borrowed this quiz from Mike. His answer was a lot more satisfying than mine.

You're The Sound and the Fury!

by William Faulkner

Strong-willed but deeply confused, you are trying to come to grips with a major crisis in your life. You can see many different perspectives on the issue, but you're mostly overwhelmed with despair at what you've lost. People often have a hard time understanding you, but they have some vague sense that you must be brilliant anyway. Ultimately, you signify nothing.


August 22, 2007

This ad made me spit out my root beer

I was unsuspectingly watching TLC when this ad came on. I'm glad someone posted it on YouTube, because I knew no one would believe me if I described it without proof.

August 19, 2007

I is sick

Scott got sick, so I got sick. I seem to have next to no immune system, so that's the way it goes.

Having energy for little else, I have been surfing the weeeb. Specifically, I can has cheezburger? I aim to have viewed every captioned kitty (and labelled lagomorph and readable rodent) that the site has to offer before my tonsils have returned to their normal size. That shouldn't be a problem.

August 18, 2007


In response to my last post, two readers questioned Montana's culpability regarding the loo-litter incident. Fair enough. I didn't catch Montana in the act. In fact, when I emerged from the basement I found him in the kitchen, gently lapping water from his bowl. But then he glanced at me with doe-like innocence.

That was my first clue. Montana usually has wild eyes and a manic manner.

When I proceeded to the second floor, I found Samson in the middle of the scattered trash, cheerfully chewing on some cellophane. You might think I would conclude that the cat was at least partly responsible for the mess. Au contraire, my friend. You see, I already know what Samson does when he decides to get into the garbage. Samson doesn't knock over the wastebasket and toss trash hither and thither. He gingerly removes the Q-tips, one by one, and gnaws on the cotton tips. (Thankfully, unlike some people's pets, he doesn't eat the entire Q-tip.)

Mea culpa? Not.

While we're on the topic of Q-tips, what's with the maxim, "Never stick anything in your ear smaller than your elbow"? Does anyone seriously believe that Q-tips would still be on the market if people weren't sticking them in their ears? The Q-tips web site suggests everything from cleaning camera lenses to swabbing umbilical cords, but ear-cleaning is conspicuously absent... or is it? Aha! Elbow-maxim-spouting people, stick it in your ear!

August 15, 2007

Scott's dog

Ferris, that lovable, gentle, obedient soul, is my dog. Montana, that $#@#@!, is Scott's dog. I decided to leave the little bugger out of his crate and unsupervised for half an hour and look what happened. He shoved past the baby gate and ran upstairs. I emerged from the basement to find everything from cotton balls to Q-tips chewed and slobbered on and mangled to bits.