I'm so glad you could stop by. This is my personal blog of daily life and my journey through life. You will find a strong emphasis on family and friends as well as finding my ancestors through genealogy. Unlike my other blogs this blog is more of a catch-all so any topic is fair game.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Smooth Waters

smooth water on the lake
Smooth Waters
November 5, 2009

Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Monday, December 28, 2009

Red Wing Team Gnome

NHL Red Wing Team Gnome
Red Wing Team Gnome
December 26, 2009

My husband is one of the biggest Detroit Red Wings fans you will ever meet. I on the other hand am rather fond of gnomes and other mythical beings. I just couldn't resist bringing this little guy home to join my gnome empire. He has taken up residence in my husband's Red Wing room as the official guardian against trolls and other evil spirits. Isn't he simply adorable?


Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Sunday, December 27, 2009

On the Road


On the Road
November 23, 2009

The holiday season brings ample opportunity to be on the roads quite often in rather inclimate weather. For all the holiday traveling we have done over the years I'm always amazed we've gotten there and back safely leading me to to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that one or more guardian angels have been watching out for us. This year has been unbelievably lovely for traveling not that we've done a lot. Still we are very blessed to have our guardian angels watching out for us whenever we do travel.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas 2009 snow globe ornament

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Friends

tiny christmas star

This
Xmas,
I would
like to put
up a tree in my
heart, and instead
of hanging presents,
I would like to put the
names of all my friends.
Close friends and not so close
friends. The old friends, the new
friends. Those that I see every day
and the ones that I rarely see. The ones
that I always remember and the ones that
I sometimes forget. The ones that are always
there and the ones that seldom are. The friends of
difficult times and the ones of happy times. Friends
who, without meaning to, I have hurt, or without meaning
to have hurt me. Those that I know well and those I only know
by name. Those that owe me little and those that I owe so much.
My humble friends and my important friends. The names of all those
that have passed through my life no matter how fleetingly. A tree with
very deep roots and very long
and strong branches so that
their names may never be
plucked from my heart. So
that new names from all
over may join the existing ones. A tree with a very
pleasant shade so that our friendship may take a
moment of rest from the battles of life. "May the
happy moments of Xmas brighten every day of
the new year". These are my sincere wishes.



source: Christmas Card Verses for Your Holiday Greeting Cards


Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Glow Shores


Glowing Shores
November 5, 2009

Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

An Old Favourite - Dallas

Dallas, a primary time soap opera first aired in April of 1978. The show revolved around the wealthy Ewing family of Texas who were into both oil and cattle. It featured Barbara Bel Geddes as Miss Ellie (Ewing), Jim Davis as Jock Ewing, Larry Hagman as JR (John Ross) Ewing, Patrick Duffy as Bobby Ewing, Linda Gray as Sue Ellen Ewing, Victoria Principal as Pamela Barnes Ewing, Charlene Tilton as Lucy Ewing Cooper, Ken Kercheval as Cliff Barnes and Steve Kanaly as Ray Krebbs. I was hooked on this show the first time it aired as a five part mini series until it ended 13 seasons later in 1991! I'm now enjoying re-runs :)




Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Monday, December 21, 2009

Tami-foolery: Misled panic for placebo as H1N1 Tamiflu drug 'useless'

From the first case of Swine flu there has been massive fear mongering throughout the media perpetuated by comments from the WHO. The flu was renamed H1N1 after the misaligned concerns that people could get this flu from eating pork but not before it had a dramatic effect on pig farmers world wide. Egypt ordered all pigs in the country destroyed. Some pig herds in North America were destroyed as well but the biggest effect this flu outbreak had was people refusing to eat pork which saw the price of pork drop dramatically forcing some pig farmers to sell off their pigs and get out of pig farming. Currently it is quite easy to find pork loins and pork shoulders for as low as $1/lb in Ontario. This price is indicative to the plight of pig farmers who can't raise pigs at $1/lb! In addition to the pig farmers problems, millions of taxpayers dollars have been spent on the H1N1 vaccine and that has not been without problems.

Extremely long lines of duped people lined up for the H1N1 vaccine, standing in line for 5 or more hours to get their shots at poorly planned flu shot clinics. If anything the stress of standing in the cold and damp with little more than a few snacks meant a better chance of them getting sick than the vaccine preventing them from getting sick. There have been reports of the H1N1 vaccine being contaminated and some centres in Toronto had to destroy vaccine because it could not be used quick enough. Then the reports started surfacing not only about the ingredients in the H1N1 vaccine but also the serious side effects of the vaccine being experienced by some. In the midst of all this the fear mongering continued.

People who could not take the H1N1 vaccine were assured if they contracted the flu they could be given Tamiflu, an anti-viral drug that would lessen the effects of the flu. Now it is coming out that Tamiflu is not effective against H1N1. Here's a great video that explains more.



Despite the dire predictions of the WHO the H1N1 flu has become the pandemic that never was. In it's aftermath it has cost millions in vaccine and vaccination programs. Side effects from the vaccine have left some with problems they will continue to experience for the rest of their lives. The fear mongering created a panic but at the same time it created a lack of faith in Health Canada as to the advice they were giving out and how they handled the whole H1N1 issue. I'm curious how Health Canada is going to address the issues regarding Tamiflu.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Sunday, December 20, 2009

BYBS - A Child's Love

Blog Your Blessings Sunday
Two tiny little arms reached up as tears welled up and a little lip quivered as one tiny voice whispered Grandma. I pulled the little one up who snuggled in so deeply, holding tightly while still quietly sobbing. As the tears quieted the tiny little arms still held tightly while a small voice again whispered love you Grandma. I tightened my hug thinking how very lucky I was to share this precious blessing of being able to give comfort knowing this little one had reached a very special spot in my heart, one that over the years will continue to evolve. Each grandbaby holds a special spot much like our kids did a generation earlier. What a blessing it is that hearts continue to grow to hold all these special spots, each very unique, each very special and each a blessing!
Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Foodie Fun

my favourite cheesburger
My Favourite Eating Out Burger
November 13, 2009

This blog tends to get a lot of everything else I'm interested in which is great but unless you check out my cooking blog, you end up missing out on some great meals. Pictured is my favourite burger from my favourite pub & grill. The ½ lb cheeseburger comes with white cheddar cheese served with a side of dill pickles and onions. Mustard and ketchup is available on the table. That's it, no relish and no other fancy toppings, just the pure taste of an unadultered cheeseburger. The burger cut in half for easy eating and like most people I always bring half home as it is just too big for me to eat the entire burger. Doesn't it look wonderful? Is there any wonder why this is my favourite eating out burger?

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Piano Staircase

How do you get Swedish people to chose the stairs instead of the escalator? Well here is a rather unique way and one that I definitely would have fun playing on!



Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Morning Haze

fog over the lake
Morning Haze
November 5, 2009

Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Grim Reaper

[from my email files, I'm just saying I can relate to the following sentiment.]
---

Dear Grim Reaper,

So far this year you've taken away my favourite dancer Michael Jackson,

- my favourite actor Patrick Swayze,
- my favourite singer Stephen Gately
- and my favourite actress Farah Fawcett.

Just so you know,

- my favourite politician is Dalton McGuinty.

Regards,

Tom

-----
Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Monday, December 14, 2009

Free BBQ Grill

[from my email files, slightly modified by me. Note the image is as appeared in the email]

-----

I know it's too late for the 4th of July, but Labor Day is right around the corner. . . .if you need a new Grill here is a bargain for you.

Stainless steel grill, for FREE. You read right......FREE!!!!!

Now available at numerous No Frills, Food Basics, Sobey' stores; Wal-Mart; even The Dollar Store !!!!

Hurry before they run out of stock!

shopping cart bbq grill

-----

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Sound of Silence

Technology is a wonderful thing! Little did Alexander Graham Bell realize when he invented the telephone that it would become an insidious pest in our lives. He did not envision the fact that a phone company would charge us outrageous prices for their service then turn around and list our phone number in a directory in addition to selling our phone numbers so that every telemarketer for miles around can call us. Nor did he envision the governing party aka CRTC above this phone company aka Bell Canada would set the ground rules that basically telemarketers can call you on the phone you pay for so basically at your expense from the hours of 8 AM to 9 PM basically 7 days per week. When the populus finally had enough to complain the CRTC set us this nice concept called the National Do Not Call List for you to add your phone number to. In essence this really became a Do Call List of which those numbers were harvested as anyone dumb enough (including us) who signed up quickly found out. If you add your name to this list the telemarketers have 31 days to purge your phone number from their system which in theory sounds fine but in practice gave them carte blanche 31 days to pester the snot out of you on a daily basis. To add insult to injury anyone you had dealt with in the past or as in Bell themselves have a current account or any charity was not governed under the new rulings so they could pester the snot out of you any time they wanted but sure shooting it was usually just as you sat down to eat.

Bell Canada offers this nice little service that you do have to pay for called call display. This allows you to see who is calling you which is great unless they choose not to identify themselves then the number comes up as long distance/long distance or private number. In reality this wouldn't be necessary if Bell did not put your name and phone number in a public directory then sell this information to telemarketers. Apparently they don't get the concept that I want communication services for those I want to communicate with not telemarketers, charities and other scammers. After the Do Not Call List major fiasco we took to only answering calls that identified themselves and we took advantage of another one of Bell's paid services called call block that allowed us to stop up to 12 calls from getting through. I turned off the answering machine portion of our phone allowing unidentified calls to ring until they gave up. The end result was not dealing with these calls but a lot of telephone ringing some days. Onto the scene came our new phone system, nice and shiny silver and white like a white knight and it has been a white knight.

This system has virtually all of the extras Bell offers built in with the exception of call display, the only service we must subscribe to through Bell but stripping our line of all the extras saved us $30 per month! Now the beauty of this system is with one click of a button all unidentified calls are automatically blocked. Period! The phone doesn't ring at all. Any call that comes in as a number only can be checked online then if desired saved to the call block list meaning if they call again the number rings once then is disconnected. The phone does log these attempts and what I've noticed is especially with one persistent telemarketer it went from 10 calls the first day to 4 the next day to 1 the next day and surprisingling a break of 2 weeks then one call and nothing since. We have effectively taken back our phone lines and I have to tell you the sound of silence is golden!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Friday, December 11, 2009

The Tiger Wood's Issue

Tiger Woods was more than likely a household word before this latest turn of events. You would have to be a hermit to not have heard about his unfortunate car accident in the wee hours of the morning that has everyone talking. It is the topic du jour on Twitter and throughout the blogosphere. The media in particular have blown this incident way out of proportion by bring in aspects of Tiger's personal life that are best left behind closed doors. One argument has been that Tiger Woods is a public figure so the public has a right to know every little detail about him. Wrong! He is not paid through public funds and while he is quite visible on the golfing circuit he is not a public figure. He does not owe the public anything. The second argument is he is a celebrity so owes his fans an explanation. Wrong! Tiger has always conducted himself professionally when golfing or acting on behalf of golfing. He consistently performs well. He is essentially giving his fans what they are after. He does not owe his fans more than that.

What strikes me sad about this whole story is it has always been the media that has put Tiger on a pedestal. They were the ones to perpetuate the ideal of him being the perfect everything. Then when the fallout from the car accident started to unfold their little bubble was burst. Tiger himself never did put himself on a pedestal. He has strived and continues to strive to be a top notch golfer. That's it. The fact that he has insisted on maintaining privacy for him and his family has only fueled the media frenzie.

Let's put this in perspective. Married couples have cheated on each other since the dawn of time. This is nothing new and definitely not news worthy. Marriages of convenience have existed since the dawn of time so again, nothing news worthy. Pre-nuptial arranges have existed since the dawn of time, again not news worthy. The only thing in this whole entire media feast is that the state troopers treated Tiger like any other citizen by issuing a citation for the accident. Tiger has never given any indication his wife abused him so that is a non-issue as well. Whether he has or has not been cheating on his wife regardless of the number of alleged women, although I do have to question the motives of those women now coming forward, this is and should remain a private issue for Tiger and Elin to deal with themselves without the glaring lights and accusations from the media. In short, it is time for the media to butt out of Tiger's private life.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Protest Against Ontario's Proposed HST



Despite considerable opposition the Ontario Provincial Government in their ulitmate wisdom tabled their proposal for the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) comprised of PST (8%) and GST (5%) resulting in the new HST (13%). This sparked my short rant on the proposed HST. The new HST will see an additional 8% tax on goods and services that previously were exempt from PST.

In the past week we have seen more opposition to the HST and yet the Ontario Provincial Government is determined to get the HST through legislation. What is rather funny at one point Stephen Harper said that public hearings are the cornerstone of democracy yet the government has refused to allow any public hearings with respect to the HST. The opposition party held a sit in to protest the HST and recently First Nations took to the streets of downtown Toronto in protest. They were joined by others protesting as well. Currently First Nations members are entitled to a point of sale tax rebate because they do not pay provincial sales tax. The HST will eliminate this rebate in direct violation of their treaty rights.

Get involved! Write and call your MPP and editors of newspapers. Sign petitions and join any demonstrations if at all possible. Start your own demonstration. Spread the word about any protests and demonstrations. Use as many forms of social media (eg. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace) to spread the word. Protest in as many ways as possible. The more voices heard the greater the chance of stopping the HST. Remember this tax is legalized robbery kicking people when they are already down!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Warm & Toasty

the cabin

Warm & Toasty
November 1, 2009

Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Bartender

[from my email files. For those not familiar the Toronto Maple Leafs are also known as the Make Me Laughs ;) Enjoy the chuckle.]
-----
A man enters a bar and orders a drink. The bar has a robot bartender. The robot serves him a perfectly prepared cocktail, and then asks him, "What's your IQ?"
The man replies "150" and the robot proceeds to make conversation
about global warming factors, quantum physics and spirituality, biochemistry, environmental interconnectedness, string theory, nano-technology, and sexual proclivities.

The customer is very impressed and thinks, "This is really cool." He decides to test the robot. He walks out of the bar, turns around, and comes back in for another drink. Again, the robot serves him the perfectly prepared drink and asks him, "What's your IQ?"

The man responds, "about a 100."

Immediately the robot starts talking, but this time, about football, baseball, nascar, super models, favourite fast foods, guns, and women.

Really impressed, the man leaves the bar and decides to give the robot one more test. He returns, the robot serves him and asks, "What's your IQ?"

The man replies, "Er, 50, I think."

And the robot says... real slowly.

"So...............You gonna follow the Leafs again this year?

-----

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Monday, December 07, 2009

Ontario's Splendor

the lake
Ontario's Splendor
November 1, 2009

Ontario is such a beautiful province that never fails to present amazing photo opportunities. My husband took this gorgeous picture at this year's hunt camp. I just love how it came out!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Sunday, December 06, 2009

BYBS - Quality Time

Blog Your Blessings Sunday
Last week I decided to de-clutter our bedroom closet and the dressers. So I started hauling out things of the closet during commercials and by the time my husband got home I had created absolute chaos! Our bedroom floor was covered with just a small path between various piles of clothes. The mess spilled out into the family room with one couch piled with clothes, clothes on the floor and bags in the process of being filled to be either tossed or donated. After dinner my husband offered to help. We worked at the de-cluttering process for a half hour then left the rest to the next morning. By the end of day 2 we had 2 bags for donating, a bag of clothes and box of shoes for the kids, a couple of trash bag and a bag of hangers heading out the door. In the process we shared a lot of chuckles to downright laughter. It was a wonderful way to spend a bit of quality time together :)

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Friday, December 04, 2009

A Sad Day on Coronation Street

I am a die hard Coronation Street fan. I've watched Corrie on and off since my teens then pretty much daily since my kids were quite small. Many of the characters have become extended family members. I've laughed and cried right along with them. It is with great sadness to hear that Maggie Jones who played Blanche Hunt, Dierdre's mother since 1974 passed away on Dec 2, 2009 (more here). RIP Maggie! Thanks so much for all the talent you shared with us over the years. You will be sadly missed.




Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Moonlight


Moonlight
November 30, 2009

My sleep has been off lately so I have had the great pleasure to enjoy some night scenes I would otherwise miss by sleeping. This just reinforces my theory that sleep is highly over rated. Actually sleep evolved as a survival mechanism for protection against nocturnal predators. Sleep meant less chance of detection by predators the species could not see in the dark of the night and it renewed the body to avoid daytime predators. At one time it was common for humans to go to sleep just after dusk awakening at dawn ready to start another day. Fire changed the way people ate and allowed them to enjoy the later evening hours when they were not threatened by enemy attack. Fire also brought heat to indoor shelters. Indoor lighting in the form of controlled fire (candles, lamps) changed things further but nothing has had as much influence on our sleep patterns as electricity.

Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Air Canada Centre

Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, Ontario

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Where's the Beef?

When it comes to advertising some television commercials have become classics. Everyone has seen them and everyone remembers them. In addition to that quite often the commercial punch line is modified to be used in other applications. Wendy's® came out with their famous Where's the Beef commercial first airing on January 10, 1984. Clara Peller with her catch phrase Where's the Beef became an instant success! The commercial was clearly aimed at the Burger King® Whopper burger. Still who can forget Clara who claimed in a 1985 commercial for Prego® pasta sauce that she had really found the beef. Here's a video of her great Wendy's® commercial for you to enjoy.



Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Monday, November 30, 2009

Can I Borrow $5

[from my email files]

-----

A woman came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find her 5-year old son waiting for her at the door.

SON: 'Mummy, may I ask you a question?'

MUM: 'Yeah sure, what it is?' replied the woman.

SON: 'Mummy, how much do you make an hour?'

MUM: 'That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?' the woman said angrily.

SON: 'I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?'

MUM: 'If you must know, I make $20 an hour.'

SON: 'Oh,' the little boy replied, with his head down.

SON: "Mummy, may I please borrow $5?"

The mother was furious, 'If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don't work hard everyday for such childish frivolities.'

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.

The woman sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After about an hour or so, the woman had calmed down , and started to think:

Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $5 and he really didn't ask for money very often. The woman went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.

'Are you asleep, son?' She asked.

'No Mummy, I'm awake,' replied the boy

'I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier' said the woman. 'It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $5 you asked for.'

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. 'Oh, thank you Mummy!' he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills.

The woman saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again.

The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his mother.

'Why do you want more money if you already have some?' the mother grumbled.

'Because I didn't have enough, but now I do,' the little boy replied.

'Mummy, I have $20 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow.
I would like to have dinner with you.'

The mother was crushed. She put his arms around her little son, and she begged for his forgiveness.

It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $20 worth of your time with someone you love.

If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of hours. But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.

-----

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Sunday, November 29, 2009

BYBS - Light

Blog Your Blessings Sunday
The majority of the past week was very dull and grey even though the temperatures have been milder than normal. November is the worst month for me! The whole month seems to be day after day of grey. These are the days I dread. The dull and grey seeps into everything including my mood. My blessing this week has been daylight CFL bulbs. Rather than the soft white with a bit of yellowish glow the daylight CFL have a cool natural light. The wattage is a bit higher at 15 W per bulb but what a difference these bulbs make especially on the lower level! I have 7 of them on constantly during the day almost year round. Given the design of our house this is a necessity and because they are CFL the annual cost of operating comes in at under $40, a very small price to keep the dull, grey days from affecting my mood. What a wonderful blessing lights are!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Should a Three Year Old Watch Childbirth?

[from my email files. Enjoy the chuckle.]

---

SHOULD A THREE YEAR OLD WATCH CHILDBIRTH?

Due to a power outage, only one paramedic responded to the call. The house was very dark so the paramedic asked Kathleen, a 3-yr old girl to hold a flashlight high over her mommy so he could see while he helped deliver the baby. Very diligently, Kathleen did as she was asked.
Heidi pushed and pushed and after a little while, Connor was born. The paramedic lifted him by his little feet and spanked him on his bottom. Connor began to cry.

The paramedic then thanked Kathleen for her help and asked the wide-eyed 3-yr old what she thought about what she had just witnessed. Kathleen quickly responded,

'He shouldn't have crawled in there in the first place ....smack his butt again!'

---
Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Friday, November 27, 2009

In the Clouds

buildings in the fog
In the Clouds
November 19, 2009

Weather anomalies can present some of the loveliest photo opportunities! I love how the fog made it look as if the buildings were disappearing into the sky. At the same time the street lights played off the fog to give an amber glow. I thought it was the perfect photo opportunity.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Short Video Opportunity



Sightseeing and photo opportunities present themselves above and below ground. You never know what you will find that will strike your fancy. I can always find a photo opportunity but this time I found a quick video opportunity :)

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Going My Way?

subway
Going My Way?
November 19, 2009

Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Patterns of Life

Patterns of Life
November 19, 2009

Have you ever noticed how patterned life it? It begins from the moment of conception and continues throughout our entire lives. Even after life ceases it is still patterned. The universe is patterned and everything about life is patterned. Anything that throws that pattern off even just a little creates a bit of chaos. It's only when an event throws off the pattern too much that life does become chaos. So here is my rendition of Saturday Night Live's Deep Thoughts.

I thought this image of a tiled floor would make for a good imagery of the pattern of life. Notice how the pattern is distinct with lines forming repetitive connections. The pattern in itself is consistent, repetitive and predictable yet other slight events affect the surface of the pattern. For many the recent economic events and uncertain future has been that precipitating factor. In some cases the recession is forming shadows along the patterns edges. In other cases it's adding a bit of clouding through the middle of the pattern but as long as the pattern remains, life goes on.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Monday, November 23, 2009

Advertising

Alymer pasta sauce advertisment
Advertising
November 19, 2009

Everywhere we go these days we are bombarded with advertising. Since there is no easy getting away from it short of becoming a hermit with no access to the outside world, we may as well poke a little fun at it. Now to my way of thinking advertisers must think the average Joe Q. Public is a complete moron eagerly awaiting every opportunity he or she can find to part with their hard earned dollars. Advertisers are so sure Joe Q. Public is going to believe their sales pitch they use the same techniques over and over with only a bit of variation. Just how many times a day can you watch flowers or sparkles come out of the latest, greatest soap bottle on television? Advertisers have even convinces Joe Q. Public that home cooking is way too complicated and it goes on with them playing a cat and mouse game each changing the advertising game board just slightly enough to keep the game going.

I don't know about you but I really am not interested in buying something even though it is food and I'm a foodie that is being peddled by what appears to be a raving lunatic in serious need of medication even if I could win $5,000! Sorry but the advertiser is way off on this mark. It reminds me of the one Tabasco® slot machine I've played on occasion. I seldom play it because of the graphics! Sorry Aylmer® I wouldn't try this sauce just on the basis of this ad and I don't care how much Photoshop® work you had to do get those pearly whites.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Sunday, November 22, 2009

BYBS - Family & Friends

Blog Your Blessings Sunday

The focus of last week's blessings was very much family and friends. You know family and friends are two of life's greatest blessing. They should be cherished and nurtured! Without either you really have nothing.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Saturday, November 21, 2009

H1N1 Preparedness Health Canada

I do hope Health Canada realizes how much stress relief they are providing by their antics. At least our minds aren't on the recession any more :) Enjoy the video.



Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Good Story

[from my email files, enjoy the chuckle]

-----

A guy is driving around the back woods of Montana and he sees a sign in front of a broken down shanty-style house:
'Talking Dog For Sale ' He rings the bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard.

The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador retriever sitting there.

'You talk?' he asks.

'Yep,' the Lab replies.

After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says 'So, what's your story?'
The Lab looks up and says, 'Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA. In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.'

'I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running. But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals.' 'I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired.'

The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.

'Ten dollars,' the guy says.

'Ten dollars? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?'

'Because he's a liar. He never did any of that shit.

-----


Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - The Eagle


The Eagle
October 7, 2009


Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Latest Police Radar Cars

[from my email files. Something about this says entrapment to me but I'm sure the men in blue using these vehicles have checked out all the legalities. Note, image and wording is as I received it via email.]
-----

image source: unknown

Just your "average Taxi" right…….. WRONG
Oh yes…. It's intentionally designed to look like a taxi, no markings etc.
Note the red lights, front & rear view mirror area.
The roof sign actually says "Police" with the phone number to confuse it with a taxi!
This is the latest POLICE RADAR CARS….. In use in Georgetown & Milton areas.

-----

Note: Georgetown and Milton are located in Ontario, Canada.

Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Monday, November 16, 2009

Say No to the HST

The Ontario Provincial Government in their ulitmate wisdom tabled their proposal for the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) comprised of PST (8%) and GST (5%) resulting in the new HST (13%). On the surface that doesn't sound too bad since both PST and GST has been in place in Ontario for quite some time. However, the new HST will see an additional 8% tax on goods and services that previously were exempt from PST.

This includes: gasoline, utilities (heating, hydro, natural gas), internet bills, prepared foods over $4, magazines, adult footwear under $30, admissions under $4 (eg. pool, skating rink), veterinary care, personal services (eg. hair stylist), professional services (eg. legal, accountant), membership fees, real estate commissions, commercial property rentals, condo fees, landscaping, vitamins, most admissions to live theatres, taxi fares, conferences and seminars, dry cleaning, carpet cleaning, labour costs related to home renovation, motor vehicle services, ice rink rentals, hotels, overnight summer camps, domestic air and rail travel, bus tickets, Christmas trees, electrical and plumbing services, snowplowing, bicycles, funeral costs, postage stamps, courier fees, golf green fee, new homes over $400,000 (but there's a rebate).

[rant]
Well now, if you didn't suspect Ontario was being governed by a bunch of money grabbing morons this should confirm it. Which part of we are in a recession do they not understand? Unemployment has increased and many are still living the very real fear of losing their jobs anytime. Our hydro rates are changing to Time of Use (TOU) by June 2010 meaning we will be paying more for our hydro. Food costs continue to increase and food banks are already over taxed trying to feed people who simply don't have enough money for food. The satellite and cable companies are now negotiating with the CRTC for a $10 tax per customer (aka $120/year increase) if they have to pay for local television programming. Now with the signal change folks are forced into using satellite and cable services because they can no longer get more than a couple of channels using an antenna. Gasoline is already high enough priced without taxing it more and in case these morons don't understand many taxpayers in rural communities have no choice but to drive to work. So I suppose they could get up a few hours earlier since sleep is highly over rated anyway and commute to work on their bike but they best buy it before the HST comes into effect otherwise they will be paying an additional 8%. The internet [which by world standards in Canada is the worst] has become a way for unemployed taxpayers to find jobs without having spend money they can ill afford traveling to search for employment. Those on fixed incomes rely on the internet to stay in touch with their loved ones because of the high cost of long distance phone charges. So why not penalize anyone using the internet by applying an 8% tax.

Now the premise is this HST is going to be good for Ontario by stimulating the economy and create jobs. I say that is bull hockey! People who are already giving up luxuries like warm winter clothes for kids, food and medications just to keep a roof over their heads are not going to be stimulated into spending by adding an 8% tax. It is not very encouraging when a taxpayer struggles to be environmentally friendly by reducing their hydro consumption with very little incentive from the Ontario government only to see their bill increase by 8% and the sad reality is many are reducing their consumption not because they are trying to be eco-friendly but because they simply can't afford the current rates.

People have been tightening their belts. We have changed our spending habits especially for any dollars spent in Ontario already. If the HST goes through it will not affect us as much as others but I resent the Ontario government for forcing us to consume less all the way around. Taxpayers can minimize the impact of the HST by buying used privately and eliminating things like magazines. Prepared foods (aka restaurants) can be drastically cut back on or eliminated. Add an inexpensive movie package to your television service and eliminate going to the theatre. Any home renovations should be DIY and if you can't do-it-yourself find a family member or friend to help you. As long as no money changes hand the Ontario government can't profit from their latest brain wave. Don't use domestic air, rail or bus travel. Remove your carpeting to eliminate any cleaning costs. It's better for your indoor air quality. Finally tell your family to refuse a funeral for you. Just tell them to prop you up beside the jukebox it you die!
[/rant]

What can you the Ontario taxpayer do to stop the HST? Seriously get involved! Write your MPP and often! Yes you will get a canned reply but keep writing. Sign any petition possible. Inform any services such as air, rail and bus that you use that if the HST goes into effect you will no longer use their service. These services can put a lot more pressure on the Ontario government than one person can. Take your tourist dollars outside of Ontario but be sure to inform services and your MPP that you are doing so because of the HST. Buy used privately and become a DIY but be sure to tell stores and services that you are doing so because of the HST. Again more voices are better than one. Write as many letters to the editors of various newspapers as possible expressing your concerns over having to pay an additional 8% especially on gasoline and utilities. Write about it on Facebook and MySpace. Tweet about it on and often Twitter. Blog about it then pass the word through Digg and StumbleUpon. Organize and/or participate in any form of peaceful protest you can to help stop the HST. Finally when it comes time for an election express your displeasure with the HST with your vote!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Thursday, November 12, 2009

This Hour has 22 Minutes Cough Etiquette

Poking a little fun at the Canadian government is the Canadian way and hey if we can't laugh at ourselves who can we laugh a? Leave it to the fine folks of This Hour Has 22 Minutes to bring one more chuckle to make dealing with the H1N1 flu threat this year. As you may have heard one of the current recommendations to help prevent the spread of H1N1 is to sneeze into your sleeve. Quite frankly as someone who does a lot of sneezing the idea of sneezing into my sleeve is rather repulsive, thank-you very much. I find keeping a good supply of tissues on hand to be a bit more effective and definitely more refined then walking around with decorated sleeves if you know what I mean ;-) I hope you enjoy the video.



Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day 2009

[Reposted from November 11, 2008 because this video is that good. Please take a few moments to view the video and ponder the price of freedom.]

I come from a strong military family with ancestors that were instrumental in shaping the history of Canada. I grew up surrounded by relatives who had fought for this country. Some of them made the ultimate sacrifice and while they are no longer here they live forever in our memories. If this video does not bring tears to your eyes, nothing will. On the 11
th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month we honour our fallen with 2 minutes silence from shore to shore of our great nation, Canada. Please join our nation in showing our respect and how thankful we are for enjoying the freedom they fought so hard for.



Remembrance Day Tribute
courtesy of
Global TV Edmonton


Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Eye on the Flu Shot



Despite the humorous approach to the flu vaccine there is a fair amount of truth behind the video. Before you decide to get the flu shot you should know what you are getting so you can make an informed decision. What is in the regular flu shot?
  • Egg proteins - including avian contaminant viruses, can cause allergic reactions
  • Gelatin - known to cause allergic reactions
  • Polysorbate 80 (Tween80™) - can cause severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis
  • Formaldehyde - a known carcinogen
  • Triton X100 - a strong detergent
  • Sucrose - table sugar
  • Resin - known to cause allergic reactions
  • Gentamycin - an antibiotic
  • Thimerosal - mercury is still in multidose vials as a preservative
Note: The vaccine can cause allergic reactions and anaphylaxis usually associated with sensitivity to egg or gelatin


Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Sunday, November 08, 2009

BYBS - Busy Days Yet Peace & Quiet

Blog Your Blessings Sunday

My husband was away last week but that didn't change much here other than missing him. I continued to enjoy the weather that decided to take a turn for warmer air and sunny skies. I spent much of the week enjoying nature's beauty, winterizing and preserving food. I went shopping once during the week scoring a few good meat and vegetable deals at $1/lb. I had planned on eating out on Friday night for dinner as we usually eat out Friday nights but I had a sinus headache so decided to stay home. I curled up on the couch instead to enjoy a bit of the food channel and a move. Basically things continued on as normal, peaceful and quiet. That in itself is a blessing. Oh and I tested out our new phone system that brings a whole new meaning to peace and quiet.

Everyone knows how much I detest being disturbed by telemarketers and honestly after signing up for Canada's Do Not Call List the calls increased rather than decreased! The best part is the phone system has all the features of Bell already built in so the only thing we need from Bell is caller id meaning a $30/month savings for 3 months the $25/month after that. I like that we can control all the functions too without paying extra! Not only that it is EnergyStar qualified saving 59% in electrical use with a payback period of 2.3 months. The headsets can even be set to silent mode something I'm sure I will appreciate when the grandbabies are taking a nap. But in terms of privacy and peace of mind it has added a unexpected level of peace and quiet so this has been a real blessing. Taking control and letting technology into your home when you want is a good thing. Keeping technology out of your home when you don't want it is even better

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Days Gone By


Days Gone By
October 30, 2009

I am a serious sucker for any wall art. I don't know why exactly but there is just something that fascinates me about it. Perhaps it it the size or the detail or just it strikes my fancy. This particular wall art is a bit bitter sweet as it is on the side of a restaurant that was part of a chain that went under. We were first introduced to the restaurant by friends of ours and it quickly became the place the four of us chose to eat. It was laid back, comfortable and served excellent foods. We shared many a fine moment there enjoying good food and good company. Like anything all good things must come to an end. Unfortunately this restaurant chain was a victim of the recent/current recession so they closed their doors. I had a chance to take a picture of the outside of the building, now lonely and abandoned the other day. It was a sad photoshoot as I snapped multiple pictures of an empty building devoid of all signage other than the wall art. Somehow the wall art just captured what I was feeling will taking the pictures. May we always remember the days gone by fondly even though the structural attributes may be missing!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Friday, November 06, 2009

Fall Classes for Women

[from my email files, author unknown but most likely a male...LOL!]

-----

Fall Classes for Women at
THE ADULT LEARNING CENTER

REGISTRATION MUST BE COMPLETED
By Wednesday OCTOBER 30, 2009

NOTE: DUE TO THE COMPLEXITY AND DIFFICULTY LEVEL OF THEIR CONTENTS, CLASS SIZES WILL BE LIMITED TO 8 PARTICIPANTS MAXIMUM.

Class 1
Up in Winter, Down in Summer - How to Adjust a Thermostat
Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
Meets 4 wks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hrs beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 2
Which Takes More Energy - Putting the Toilet Seat Down, or Bitching About It for 3 Hours?
Round Table Discussion.
Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3
Is It Possible To Drive Past a Winners Without Stopping?--Group Debate.
Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4
Fundamental Differences Between a Purse and a Suitcase--Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.
Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5
Curling Irons--Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Bathroom Cabinet?
Examples on Video.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM

Class 6
How to Ask Questions During Commercials and Be Quiet During the Program
Help Line Support and Support Groups.
Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

Class 7
Can a Bath Be Taken Without 14 Different Kinds of Soaps and Shampoos? Open Forum.
Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8
Health Watch--They Make Medicine for PMS - USE IT!
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9
I Was Wrong and He Was Right!--Real Life Testimonials.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.

Class 10
How to Parallel Park In Less Than 20 Minutes Without an Insurance Claim. Driving Simulations.
4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.

Class 11
Learning to Live--How to Apply Brakes Without Throwing Passengers Through the Windshield.
Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

Class 12
How to Shop by Yourself.
Meets 4 wks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.

Send this to all your guy friends for the best chuckle of their day ....
And to all your gal friends who have a sense of humor

-----
Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Woman Calls Cops on Herself

They say everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame and 49-year-old Mary Strey of Granton, Wisconsin decided to get her's Hallowe'en night. After an evening of bar-hopping she was driving home when she called 911to report a drunk driver - herself! I can just imagine the shocked look on the face of the 911 dispatcher. Honestly this woman should be right up for a Darwin Award simply for the sheer fact she was driving under the influence. As if that wasn't bad enough she made the call on her cell phone while driving under the influence! Her blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. She was charged with misdemeanor drunken driving an is scheduled to reappear in court Dec. 10. Despite the danger she put herself and others in that night you can bet the talk shows will want to interview her, a reward for her own stupidity. Her new found fame on YouTube will live on to be enjoyed by all her admirers, family and friends . Here's the video of her 911 call.



Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Rainy Drive

rainy drive with heavy rain
Rainy Drive
October 6, 2009

Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A Bit of Pampering


Oxygen Bar
October 7, 2009

During the last leg of our recent road trip we stayed at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Today's casinos offer so much more than gambling and in fact you can entertain yourself quite nicely without ever stepping onto the gaming floor. Soaring Eagle offers a variety of eateries with the snack bar and buffet, top notch entertainment, banquet facilities along with a wonderful, luscious spa facility. You can lounge in their gorgeous pool overlooking a nice view of the outdoor fountain and hot tub, soak in the indoor hot tub or indulge in one of the many services the spa offers.

When traveling a bit of pampering is always nice. I discovered oxygen bars quite some time ago on one of our travels. Basically oxygen is scented with certain scents meant to relax or stimulate or give another effect while refreshing you with the increased oxygen level getting into your lungs and hence to your brain. Treatments range from 5 to 30 minutes costing according to the length of the treatment. Treatments may or may not include a light massage to help relax you. You simply sit on a stool, get hooked up to a disposable rubber tube attachment that inserts into your nostrils and sit back to enjoy. I chose lavender to help reduce my stress level with a 10 minute treatment. After the treatment I booked an appointment to have my make-up done then wandered off to tell my husband I was going to play online in the room. Wi-Fi is included so this gave me a chance to unwind a bit from all the sensory over stimulation of the gaming floor. I can seriously only handle so much at a time! While I was catching up online I flicked on the television to see what was cooking on the food channel. It looked good so I curled up to watch it then promptly fell asleep! The next morning I enjoyed having my make-up done feeling quite good that I had taken the opportunity to enjoy a bit of pampering.


Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Monday, November 02, 2009

Toronto Hydro Warning

[from my email files - The email warning came complete with the doctored Toronto Hydro logo which changed the lamp portion and wording to royal blue and omitted the words electric system under toronto hydro. Given the nature of the email I didn't think Toronto Hydro would give me permission to use their logo, doctored or not so for the purposes of the post I did not include the logo. I think it is just as effective without the logo :) ]
-----


Bulletin


Toronto Hydro is warning customers of the rotating winter power blackouts that are expected to occur on:

Tuesday, Nov 3, 2009
Saturday, Nov 7, 2009
Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009
Saturday, Nov 14, 2009
Saturday, Nov 21, 2009
Monday, Nov 23, 2009
Monday, Nov 30, 2009

This is a province wide alert.

Additional power is required to run the goal judge light behind the Leafs' net.

Sincerely Yours,

Toronto Hydro

-----
Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Sunday, November 01, 2009

BYBS - Hallowe'en Reflections

Blog Your Blessings Sunday
While waiting for the little ghosts and goblins to come haunting last night I couldn't help but thing of my days of trick or treating as a child then those of our now grown kids. My how times have changed! When I was young we had pretty much free rein of our little town. We all knew who made the best fudge and popcorn balls. Getting a treasured homemade candy apple with the sparkling red coating was one of the highlights of the night. Our bags became heavy with all kinds of homemade candies, cookies and penny candy. Fast forward to our kids trick or treating days as children. By then times had changed. Parents started coming with their kids and there were fears over harmful candy/apple tampering. Apples and homemade cookies and candies were discouraged with many parents tossing them out rather than take any chances. By their teenage years a local radio station encouraged kids to be in from trick or treating by 8:30 pm by offering prizes if they called your home and the kids were home. Parents in larger centres began taking their kids to Hallowe'en parties rather than letting them trick or treat. In many areas curfews became the norm for anyone under the age of consent. Time have once more changed! We had 7 children with their parents visit last night, all from our street. Many parents are confining their children's trick or treating to family and friends. I've heard comments from younger parents questioning the message that trick or treating sends as well. In today's world we tell our kids not to accept candy from strangers and not to go to strangers' homes yet trick or treating is quite contrary to that message.

We live in such an amazing time with those who are middle age and older experiencing many things we could never dream was possible. Yet there is a sadness that the younger generation will never experience the quieter, simpler times of our youth. Gone are the days stores closed on Sundays, Wednesday afternoons and 5 o'clock on weeknights except for Fridays when they stayed open until 9 pm. Gone is some our innocence and quickly going is some of our traditions.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just a Reminder

It's that time of year!

turn the clocks back

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Friday, October 30, 2009

Room at the Inn


Turtle Creek Casino & Resort Room
October 5, 2009

I love getting ideas for decorating/renovating our home and since we do a lot of traveling I have an uncanny knack of taking pictures of where we stay. I take pictures of the decorating, the tile work, the washroom and anything else that strikes my fancy. It's rather interesting that I can see a style or colour combination on tv or in a magazine yet can't get a really good feel of it until I see it in real life. I keep a large file of these pictures filed under the category of home ideas.

What we really liked about this room was the clean yet cosy decor. What we didn't like was bumping our shins on the bed frame. Both of us ended up with multiple bruises from running into it. Now this is a good thing because we saw this bed frame idea in a magazine and had planned on doing the same for our bed. That is just not going to happen now! I liked the wall turned headboard idea here too. So that might be doable in different colours of course.

The room was spacious and comfortable, nicely decorated. The washroom had the glass tiles I fell in love with as an accent wall. I liked the deep earth tone colours as well. A few more ideas were added into my home ideas folder.


Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Thursday, October 29, 2009

H1N1

Everyone is talking about the H1N1 flu. As predicted it does seem the flu is making its second rounds right now. H1N1 is now the hot news topic, it's big in the blogsphere and it's all over Twitter. Yesterday I was talking to our neighbours both who are feeling just a bit under the weather as are we. They know of two people down with N1N1! Then I checked the mailbox to find the H1N1 pamphlet from the Public Heath Agency of Canada. Apparently H1N1 has hit our small little corner of the world. With that new I came in the house a brewed a fresh pot of herbal tea, snuggled into an afghan and continued on my hibernation theme.

We've been taking precautions since the first outbreak because with chronic respiratory problems I'm in the higher risk group for complications if I contract H1N1. At the same time and considering the risks we do not plan to get the H1N1 vaccine. Staying away from social situations including shopping until there is a good freeze has always been a good way to help prevent illness. Avoiding contact with infected people seems to be one of the best courses of action. Of course we take precautions like washing our hands well often combined with good housekeeping and sanitizing. We are fortifying our bodies with good, old fashioned home cooking. That heathen greeting of hand shaking has gone out the window although I very seldom did that anyway. Learning not to touch any mucousal membranes or your face is likely the hardest because most people don't realize how many times they do this just on an hourly basis. At any rate it is now a wait until a really good freeze that will help stop the spread of the virus. In the meantime we putter on.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Mackinaw Bridge


Mackinaw Bridge
October 5, 1009

Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Sunday, October 25, 2009

BYBS - A Beautiful Autumn Day

Blog Your Blessings Sunday

It has been quite pleasant and on the warmer autumn temperatures type of day today so we took a bit of time to enjoy the lovely weather. All of the lawn furniture has been put away. We did a fair amount of caulking and sealing as well. I'm still puttering doing a bit more sealing and checking for air leaks while enjoying the gorgeous sunshine. I'm hoping to get a bit of work done cleaning out the garden as well today. What a lovely, unexpected blessing!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dollarama

I was watching my favourite Canadian funny men, Rick Mercer the other night. One of their skits was about Dollarama, one of my favourite shopping haunts. My family teases me about shopping at dollar stores but hey there are some excellent values to be found if you know what you are looking. Apparently they are making money thanks to moi :)



Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Friday, October 23, 2009

Stranger met on Safari

You never know who you will meet of a Safari adventure. I love these types of animations and couldn't help but think the grandbabies would really enjoy this as well :)



Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Thursday, October 22, 2009

On the Safari


Majestic
October 3, 2009

Continuing on my safari I came across this majestic elephant. Isn't he grand? Just look at those huge tusks too! The scenery is all hand painted but the stuffed animals are real at Cabelo's. I am really pleased with this photo. I had to do a bit of tweaking to compensate for the incandescent lighting but other than that I think this picture looks very realistic just as if I had been on a real safari :)

Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Evening Visitor

heron
Evening Visitor
September 16, 2009

Garden Gnome

©2006-2009


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Safari Adventure


The Attack
October 3, 2009

On our recent Wisconsin trip we made a short side trip to the plains of Africa. There I managed to capture an amazing scene without getting hurt but the noise was astounding. Isn't it amazing?
-
-
-
Umm, you are buying the short side trip story are you? It was a side trip but to Cabela's not Africa. Cabela's is a huge outfitter's outlet so anything related to living the great life outdoors can be found there. Scattered throughout their store are various very realistic displays of full sized real preserved animals set against their natural habitat. An awful lot of work must go into preparing these exhibits. They also have huge tanks and small ponds of game fish which is rather interesting in helping novice anglers identify local fish. As if that wasn't enough they even have a small museum with several exhibits.

I'm not a shopper by any stretch of the imagination but this type of store I find very interesting. The have a fair amount of food and food related items. The store is massive but extremely interested. I took a lot of pictures of the displays so will share a few more with you as well.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Monday, October 19, 2009

Autumn Comes to the Forest


Autumn Comes to the Forest
October 3, 2009

The kids live on a beautiful country property surrounded by natural forest home to deer, wolves, racoons, skunks and porcupines. There is an abundant avian population as well. The forest behind the kids' home showed more yellows than reds. The morning I took this picture a cute little woodpecker was busy practicing of the eaves trough. He just would stay within my camera view so I didn't get a picture of him.

Summer basically didn't exist in many areas this year so the fall colours don't seem to be popping. It hasn't helped that many areas have already experienced their first hard frost bringing the end to many home gardens. At the same time the trees simply dropped a lot of leaves with the frost. Still the colours are quite enjoyable.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Building Art


Building Art
October 2, 2009

I have always been fascinated with building art. There are three types of building art with the primary goal of the first being advertising a product and/or business. This type of art was the precursor to bill boards and advertising signs. The second type is meant to beautify the side or front of a building as a way of conveying something about the owner of the building or perhaps supporting a community focal point. The third type is the one that tends to get a bit more publicity because it is viewed as vandalism. Graffiti has been an ongoing problem for many communities but with all the legalities aside it is amazing how gorgeous some of this building art is.

Pictured is the building art for advertising the Jacom Leinenkugel Brewing Company in Chippewa Falls and Milwaukee in Wisconsin. The art that expanded an entire wall of the building just caught my attention so I was quite pleased that the picture came out as good as it did. The muted colours just add to the eye appeal.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009