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.
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 :)
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.
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!
[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.
[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!
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!
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.
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!
[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?
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 :)
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.
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.