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Archive for May, 2008

Double double?

I was talking to a friend today about ordering coffee and she told me about an incident at a drive-thru in Rhode Island.  The clerk had no idea what she meant when she ordered. 

From this it seems the method for ordering coffee is different in the States than in Canada (or at least in some of them). 

I have a small (but awesome) audience here but they are scattered across the continent so I thought it would be interesting to do a small poll to determine if geographic lines really do come into play when ordering a coffee. 

So, if you please, answer me these three questions.  It won’t hurt a bit, I promise. 

 

1.  If you order a ‘Regular Coffee’, what would be in it? 

2.  If I asked you for a “double double”, what would you give me?  *

3.  Where are you from? 

 

* I realize this is just begging for a slew of funny answers that are not remotely coffee-related.  I welcome them.  But I really am curious so please answer seriously too! 

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Weird or Wierd?

I’ve always been a really good speller.  I swept many a spelling bee growing up (except, of course, that one where I came second place in front of the entire school for misspelling ‘parallel’.  You can bet I’ve never misspelled that one since… damn L’s!). 

Anyway…

I’m not sure if I bumped my head or what but at some point in the last year my brain has decided to take a vacation on the word ‘weird’. 

I just looked it up again now, just for this post, and it is ‘weird’, but when I have to write it tomorrow I’ll no doubt question it again.  It’s that damn “I before E except after C” rule.  Frigging english language and its exceptions.  As if the rules aren’t enough to remember, you have to remember a list of exceptions to go with every rule. 

I look at ‘weird’ and ‘wierd’ and they both look right to me.  I’ll often be typing in a chat window and come to the word, retype it, look at it, retype it, look at it, and go through this cycle until I either look it up or decide that the person on the other end won’t care or, in some cases, won’t know the difference. 

Anyone else have a word like that? 

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The local radio station has started running ads featuring Matthew McConaghey’s voice.  What is he advertising, you ask?  A new movie?  No. 

Beef. 

I have mentioned before that I am a vegetarian.  Lacto-ovo vegetarian to be exact; I eat dairy products and eggs but no flesh.  No fish, no fowl, no pork, no beef.  Especially not beef; it definitely ranks highest on the ole gross-out meter although I don’t really have a reason why. 

But it doesn’t matter.  When Matthew McConaghey says, “Beef.  It’s what’s for dinner” in that raspy, playful, sexy voice… well, let’s just say that is one hunk of flesh I would not be kicking off my plate. 

I believe him and damnit, I want it to be true! 

Hubby, fire up the BBQ.  I’ve got half a cow strapped onto the car and momma’s hungry! 

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My town under water

As mentioned in a recent post, the area where I live experienced a flood while Hubby and I were in Cuba. 

Many people experienced damage to their homes and I sympathize for them but I was only kind of joking when I said that the exciting stuff always happens while we’re out of town.  I really would have liked to see this, mainly because this is the first time the river has broken its banks in Bristol since 1973 (according to that old guy that’s always sitting around town).  And that, he will tell you, was an ice jam, and not just the water rising.  Oh yes, there’s a difference. 

So, for those of you no longer at home, here are some pics.  These obviously aren’t my pics but are taken from a group of 400+ pics on Facebook called ‘Carleton County Flood 2008’.  I realize this won’t mean much to the rest of you but you’ll just have to suck it up for one post.  

First – The Saint John river in Riverbank (South Florenceville, towards Hartland), just past the elementary school. 

Not a great pic but this shows the height of the Saint John river on the old Florenceville bridge.  They closed it and took the opportunity to fix the potholes (hooray… it only took a flood). 

Here’s one of the Shiktehawk stream rising up over the bottom of Kinney Hill (looking toward Bath).  Joe, Chris… I’m pretty sure your house was safe. 

Same location but looking toward Bristol. 

I don’t know who took it, but I love the lighting in this shot of the church sign at the bottom of Tapley Road (the street in Bristol that I live on).  Since the road to Florenceville was blocked, people were using the old dump road until it got too full of ruts.  They were then diverted out back, through Mount Pleasant.  About a 30-minute detour for what is normally a 3-minute drive. 

Another view of the bottom of Tapley Road.  This house is now condemned, as is the one beside it. 

Another of downtown Bristol.  Brennan’s hardware store is just to the right (they have had to gut the store and are still cleaning up). 

Another view of main street in Bristol.  Where you see water is where the road usually runs.  Notice the church sign in the background. 

Bristol’s main street after the water has receded (but is still high). 

Anyway, there is a tour of the town I live in, even though it was a little under water at the time. 

Yes.  It’s small. 

Yes, I do realize that the use of the words ‘downtown’ and ‘main street’ are laughable when there is only one street that runs from one end of town to the other. 

But it’s home. 

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Meme me

I’ve been meme’ed.  Maybe it’s spelled ‘memed’.  I don’t know but I figured you might be confused by ‘memed’ and ‘meme’ed’ would be clearer. 

Still nothing, eh?  Yeah, I was confused too.  Thankfully my fellow canuck blogger buddy, Kris, went to the trouble of looking it up for us.  (By the way … read his stuff.  It is hilarious as long as you’re not too serious about the word fuck.  In fact, I’m wondering right now why he isn’t on my blogroll.)

meme

n.
A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another

or

An idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. 

By the way, ‘meme’ is pronounced with a long ‘e’… like ‘meem’.  Personally, I would prefer to pronounce it ‘meh-mee’ but the word has been around since 1976 so I suppose it’s too late to put up a fuss now. 

Kris is the meme’er in this case, which makes me the meme’ee.  (I honest-to-goodness just went to a couple of dictionary sites and made sure there wasn’t some old-world definition for ‘meme’ that would make that last sentence particularly naughty or make me embarrassed or put me up on cyber charges for inappropriateness.  Because you never know.  We’re good, Kris). 

This particular meme is asking me to write 6 things about myself and then tag 6 other bloggers.  The writing I can do because it is really just another post of random stuff about myself that was floating around in my head anyway.  I’ll probably skip the tagging though.  I think I just heard meme’ers the world over collectively gasp.  “Break the chain?!  You wouldn’t dare!”.  Yeah.  I would. 

Anyway …

1.  I am recently very into used clothing stores.  There was a time not all that long ago when I snubbed anything second-hand and bought only new clothing.  Silly me.  I love sifting through the racks in spite of them making my nose itch and my esophagus swell.  I think I enjoy finding the deal as much as looking at something god-awful and picturing someone wearing it.  It does not take long to realize, though, that not all second-hand clothing stores are the same; some are worth going back to and others are not. 

2.  I love a good yard sale.  Maybe I could have lumped this with #1 but it really isn’t the same because I rarely look for clothes at a yard sale.  In particular I look for old furniture pieces, interesting dishes, anything to use as a planter, that sort of thing.  Anything that looks old and interesting and that I couldn’t just go out to Walmart or Ikea and buy.  But as much as I enjoy yard sales, there is still something a little creepy and insanely personal about walking around a person’s lawn and looking at their castaways laid out on tables so I don’t go to a sale just for the sake of going.  I’m a drive-by yard sale’er; I’ll stop if your junk looks like it’s worth my time from the road. 

3.  Tea.  I really dislike black tea.  I’ve tried but I just don’t like it.  I hate that dry, scratchy aftertaste it leaves on your tongue.  Lately, though, I’m really into herbal teas.  Licorice Spice, Lemon Ginger, Green Tea with Jasmine, Honeybush, just to name a few.  A co-worker and I are on a tea “kick” and meet for a tea break a couple of times a day.  Our desk drawers are full of different kinds and deciding on a tea has really become a matter of mood, time of day, and desired effect.  We’re finding Stash is a really good brand, as is Tazo. 

I can’t wait to make tea out of my own peppermint (like this one below) and chamomile plants this summer. 

4.  Recently, a co-worker (not the tea one) organized a litter walk at lunch hour.  In areas where snowfall is abundant (Kris, you know what I’m talking about), the same things happens every spring:  the snowbanks melt to uncover miscellaneous garbage that people think is just going to disappear because it gets covered by the snow.  The road we walk/jog/run along over lunch hour needed help so she organized a crew of 7 to pick garbage. 

So many people (adults, mind you) at work ridiculed us, or, with a snort, just flat-out refused when we asked for help, as if they were above it.  One girl yelled “garbage pickers” out her car window while driving by.  It was kind of disheartening to get that reaction but the feeling we got from cleaning 8 bags of garbage along a 1-km stretch far outweighs all that immaturity.  Besides, their teeth or hair will probably fall out next week and I’m still glowing from the good karma. 

4.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned gardening much here but I am crazy for it.  Hubby and I have a fenced-in area for vegetable gardens that we have been adding beds to every year.  This time of year has me all a-flutter with bed preparation, deciding what plants to grow this year, how to lay them out in the gardens, looking for seeds… you know, all of that fun gardening stuff!  I love putting something on the dinner table that I know I have grown from seed.  It is most definitely a learning process from year to year to decide what works for you, what will grow next to that crop, and what you’re actually going to get use from.  If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that Hubby and I won’t eat radish. 

I also have quite a few perennials in various gardens around the property.  I am constantly looking over my property, envisioning new beds and walkways.  There is something very natural and “earthy” to me about digging up a plant and taking a shovel at its roots to produce two plants.  If we’re at this house long enough, my goal is to have a “lawn” of beds that requires less maintenance than mowing once or twice a week. 

You will be subjected to pictures of all of this, by the way. 

5.  You may notice that I don’t LOL or LMAO and I have certainly never been ROFL.  I have a best friend but not a BFF.  She would call me later, not L8R.  You may think TISNF but I will probably not TTYL about it.  IMO I really wish ppl would stop writing this way.  OMG, pls?  What do I think of it?  Obviously nm but ppl seem to have np with it.  Ppl might say, “MYOB” and LMK that I am an old fart and not hip but I would say, “HOAS.  FWIW, I think this is all FUBAR and not gr8 and it’s not b/c I’m old (ok, so I may not have a POS anymore) but b/c I just want ppl to write in english, not this f’ed up text language that IC everywhere.  I don’t want to have to RTFM just to read an MSN msg.”  TTYL

That took a lot out of me. 

I really do fear for the future of the English language. 

6.  Hmm, one more thing.  Hmm, something about me.  Too much citrus seems to give me canker sores.  Does this happen to anyone else?  Not just one canker sore but a frigging cluster of them right where my gum meets the lip so that it sends pain all through one side of my face if I smile.  It sucks.  Oh, and this has only started happening in the last 6 months so what does that mean?  No one told me cankers were a sign of aging. 

.

There… I’ve survived my first meme’ing.  I’m officially a meme’er (minus the tagging of course).  I feel different somehow.  Meme’ier.  Meme me anytime you want; I rather enjoyed being meme’ed. 

You know what I’m suddenly in the mood for?  A good ole episode of the Muppets.  Featuring Beaker. 

I’m just not sure why…

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Hubby, I have found a new party game for our next summer BBQ. 

Cheese Racing!

How to play?  Players throw a slice of cheese on the grill.  The player whose cheese fully inflates first wins! 

(Don’t you all LOVE that this grill is leveled by beer cans?)

If this doesn’t have trailer park written all over it, I don’t know what does!  But I must say, I am more than a little impressed (not to mention dumbfounded and a little creeped out) that the wrapper on a cheese slice will not melt, despite the cheese inside eventually boiling. 

The folks over at CRASS (Cheese Racing Association) do issue the following warning:

Be sure to ingest large quantities of alcohol and/or other chemical relaxant before (and during) play.  This will relax the body and nervous system, thus minimising the pain of any injury and enabling you to play on. 

Uh… yeah. 

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I chuckle at the title of the last post because it contains the word ‘snowbank’.  Since writing it, Hubby and I have spent a full week in 30-degree weather and glorious sunshine, compliments of Cuba.  I suppose the white sands of Varadero beach could be mistaken for snow but I assure you, snow was the furthest thing from our minds. 

Operation Cuba Bound was a success:  18 pounds gone (more for Hubby) and 6 months smoke-free.  So off to Cuba we went and it was beautiful.  Palm trees, white sand beach, turquoise water.  Sigh. 

Things learned:

  • Driving to the airport the night before and sleeping in your wagon in EconoPark may sound like fun, but …  (wait… did that really sound like fun to me at some point?  I kid, Hubby.  But you have to admit, the overhead planes and 10-minute shuttle did make sleeping rather difficult.)
  • All of Cuba seems to be musical. 
  • Keep your eyes down when walking in Havana.  Dogs (that seem to be strays) go poo in the streets. 
  • Walking in a town/city that is not littered with chains featuring arches and neon lights is rather… well… nice.  Refreshing.  Calming.  And definitely more interesting. 
  • If you head to Havana, stop at one of the roadside stands on the way for a $2.50 pina colada that is made from real fruit. 
  • Snorkelling.  Do it.  Every time.  Especially if it’s directly off a catamaran. 
  • A mojito is way better when you order it in Spanish, sitting in a cafe in Havana. 
  • I have learned (again) that a bikini in the Caribbean is completely different than a bikini in Carleton County.

Things that continue to make me shake my head:

  • The person that can be in fricking paradise and still complain about the most insignificant things (like their potatoes being cold).
  • Litter.  I realize that we were sharing the beach with dozens of younger party types but a garbage can is a garbage can despite your age and, yes, even despite a dozen pina coladas.
  • Why do people stand up as soon as the plane has stopped?  More importantly, why do you look at me like I’m strange for staying in my seat until the door is open and the people in front of me are leaving the plane?  Aww, is this your first time?
  • On the same vein, is it really necessary to turn on your cell phone as soon as the wheels are on the ground?  Okay, maybe to call your mom who is picking you up.  But do you also need to call your best friend, your great aunt Sadie, your hairdresser, and your cat all before the plane door is open?  You think this makes you somehow look important, eh?  More like self-important, I think.  And a little rude. 

Okay, so it was a really great trip and just plain nice to be away, just the Hubby and I.  But now we’re out of the clouds and back to real life:  yard work, gardens, work, all of it. 

A few odds and ends…

The first thing we discovered upon returning is that our town and neighboring towns experienced floods while we were away.  First major flood since 1973.  We miss all the fun stuff.  I’ll do up a post and a few pics in the next day or two. 

I owe you guys pics of the hobby room, recently renovated.  I haven’t forgotten. 

Jenn… it will be on its way within the week.  I promise.  I hope baby #2 is treating you well. 

Kris… it’s coming. 

First paddle tonight in the Presque Isle stream.  Yay! 

Sorry for the lame post that’s all over the place but I had to write something or I would risk winning the You’re a Bad, Bad Blogger award.  First prize is a spanking.  Not the fun kind. 

Ouch.

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