Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap day

Since today is leap day, I googled leap year traditions.

I didn't realize that there were so many different calendars - or that they all handled the leap year issue a little differently. I also didn't realize that leap day used to be Feb. 24.

For the record, I did not propose to anyone today.

And happy first birthday to my niece, who is a leapling.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ridiculously large fruit

Today I ate a pomelo. It was interesting. It was good, but really, really big. It's bigger than a grapefruit. (Actually, I only ate 1/2 of it).
Yes, I brought the pomelo down to the computer (where the camera lives) instead of bringing the camera to the fruit.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My house smells like Easter eggs

Since today is cleaning day, I cleaned my bathroom using natural cleaning products.

I used a baking soda paste to clean the bathtub. It worked really well.

The vinegar and water solution I used to wash the counters may have worked, but it hurt my hand. I'll be less likely to try that one again in the future.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Is it spring yet?

Today I stole an idea from another thing-a-dayer and I painted my toes alternating colours. I can't find the post I stole from, but will link to it if I find it.

Today is also the first time I posted a picture of my feet on the internet. That part feels a bit weird.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I'm feeling lucky

You'd think that since I had today off, I'd have something big and exciting for today's new thing.

That is not the case. Basically, I didn't do much today. However, I did choose "I feel lucky" when searching for something with Google, even though I didn't know where it would take me. It found what I was looking for, even though I noticed after hitting the button that I had spelled it wrong.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

More food

Today I cooked couscous. You'd think I'd have more to say about it, but really that's the whole story.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Last summer I changed from an oil furnace to a natural gas furnace. The contractor removed the old oil tank and patched the holes in the wall.
The holes in the floor (from the legs of the oil tank) remained. Somehow, I manage to step in one of them every time I get clothes out of the dryer. (How I managed to get clothes out of the dryer when there was an oil tank where I step is a mystery).
Today I patched the holes in the floor. I couldn't finish the job today - I need to let the first layer dry and then apply a second coat - but I got it started. It should be finished tomorrow.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Feeling slow today

Today I added the Dilbert widget to this page. Dilbert doesn't seem as directly applicable to my life as it did a year ago when I worked in a cubicle at a large company, but it still has its moments.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another busy Thursday

Today I joined two paper clips without touching them. touching them. It took two tries. However, when it finally worked, the paper clips shot about 2 feet away.

I also took a new way home from boxing. However, that was more because I wasn't paying attention than an intention decision.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar eclipse

When I heard that there would be a lunar eclipse today - and that it would happen around 10:20 p.m. rather than 3:43 a.m. as often seems to be the case with astronomical events - today's new thing became obvious.

So today I watched a lunar eclipse. To be more accurate, I looked outside once every 1/2 hour or so. Lunar eclipses are slow, and it's cold outside.
Around 8:30:
Around 9:20:

At 9:50:

And finally, at 10:15. As promised, the moon turned red:

It was way more visible in person than it appears in the picture.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Picture it

I've had Microsoft Picture It! since I got my computer, but I've never really gone through the various effects that it can do.

Today I experimented with various filters in Picture It!. I won't upload all the effects, but here are a few.

The original picture:

The black & white negative view:

Film Grain:

Glowing edges:

Monday, February 18, 2008

Don't look to me for origami help

Today I attempted to make a flapping paper airplane . It wasn't a huge success. I was OK until step 14, then I was completely lost.
Oh well.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Throat blessing

Today I had my throat blessed. Interestingly, I had a bit of a sore throat before it was blessed, and it's gone now. Apparently it worked.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hot water

Today I insulated my hot water pipes. It was ridiculously easy.

Step 1: Buy pipe-shaped insulation.

Step 2: Turn on the hot water tap until the water is actually hot.

Step 3: Put insulation around the hot pipes.

Step 4: Pull off yellow tape and press the insulation so that the adhesive sticks. (I bought the "expensive" insulation - the cheap stuff didn't have adhesive but looked harder to work with. The expensive stuff was $0.83 each.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

In retrospect, it seems obvious

Today was a busy day at work. I was working on a document all day. It finally got printed at the last minute (as these things usually do). And then I helped prepare the printouts for binding. I don't think I'd actually considered how things like that were bound before. It turns out the secret is glue and heat. Who knew?

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Both this morning and this evening, I brushed my teeth for a full 3 minutes.

Three minutes is a really, really long time. And tooth paste gets really foamy after about 1.5 minutes.

My teeth feel really clean. I kind of feel like I just got back from the dentist.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Today I played slider.

Basically, it's mindless fun.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Things I haven't done since I started my current job

I work at a small company. In our building, there are 4 bathrooms. One is men only, one is women only, and the other 2 are unisex. (For the record, they're all bathrooms like you would have in your house - i.e. one person at a time.) Today, I used the women's bathroom at work.

Since October, I've been regularly going to the gym at the Superstore in Kanata. I'm there about twice a week. Today, I actually bought groceries at the Superstore.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Six months ago, I could do a grand total of zero (0) tricep dips . Today, for the first time, I made it through all the tricep dips in a track without having to stop.

I'm ridiculously excited about this.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Today I added a counter to this page. I know a lot of people are checking out the page, and I'm nosy enough to wonder how many. Now I'll know.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Not so big plans

I had big plans for today. However, due to the fact that I'm still tired from the trip, plus the (light) snowfall and general laziness, none of them happened today.

Anyway, a year or two ago, a new store opened up close to one of the grocery stores I shop at on a regular basis. I thought "hmm, that's interesting" and peered into it occasionally, but never went in. Today I browsed through the mystery store. It's bigger than I thought it was - it opens up at the back and clearly goes behind one of the other stores in that strip mall. I thought it was a clothing store (which it is) but it turns out it also carries purses, jewellery, and shoes. I didn't buy anything (or even try anything on) but I might next time I actually need anything of that sort.

Friday, February 8, 2008


I rarely write anything by hand, and I've noticed that my handwriting is getting worse now that I don't use it as often.

Today, however, I took "worse" to a new level when
I wrote out the alphabet (upper & lower case, printed and writen) with my left hand.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sometimes new things just happen if you're paying attention

As is usual for Thursdays, time was short today. However, when I looked at iGoogle, I noticed a quote by someone with the same first name as me. So today I read a quick biography biography of Colette.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Getting back to normal

Somehow today is Ash Wednesday. I don't really know how that happened, it snuck up on me this year.

So that that doesn't happen again, today I googled a list of official and unofficial holidays for the year. Now I'll be ready to celebrate "Get a Different Name Day" on February 13 or "What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs? Day" on March 3.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Really, really tired

I am still severely jet lagged. However, today I uploaded photos to flickr. Pictures from the Botswana trip can be found at:

Also, FYI, my luggage returned!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Home at last

Well, I'm home again. (My luggage is not, but I have been assured it should be soon). That means this is going back to a more focused "thing a day" blog.

Sadly, today's new thing is also a food thing - I stopped at Quiznos for lunch, and ordered a sammie. The verdict? Tasty, but they should reconsider the packaging - they tend to unfold during transport.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

If today is Sunday, this must be London

The flight from Johannesburg was late (because they took 40 minutes after the flight was supposed to leave to load the baggage). However, that doesn't really affect me much - it just means I have less time to kill in London. I'm happy I was able to get a decent amount of sleep on the flight.

This morning after I woke up I had an hour left of the 11 hour flight, so I played some video games on the interactive in flight entertainment system.

At Heathrow, I changed to the proper terminal and then went into the Air Canada lounge. Lounges are the way to go, let me tell you.

Anyway, I then took a shower at the Air Canada Lounge at Heathrow.

I'm home tonight. I can't wait.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

February 2

Today I looked up the conversion rate from South African Rand to Canadian dollars.

Edited to add:
I spent South African Rand, but not using cash - I used my credit card. Getting money changed was too expensive.

It was 31 degrees celcius when I left Gabarone, and my final destination of Ottawa had issues yesterday with air travel being affected because of a winter storm. This is going to be quite a shock.

The internet in South Africa is much, much better than Botswana. I may get inspired and post more later today - just general comments about Botswana.

Edited again:
Botswana comments:
- The food was consistently good - there were a couple of meals that weren't great, but only 1 or 2 out of two weeks. (And usually the ones that weren't great were ones that I could have predicited wouldn't be great).
- With every meal, you get a toothpick.
- Nothing I ordered was ever quite what I expected.
- Coke cans are smaller, but heavier - I always thought there was a little bit of liquid left in the can.
- Feta cheese is common, but it's milder than it is in Canada.
- There's not much traditional food - in the two weeks, I only saw one restaurant that had anything very traditional.
- At lunch time, stands pop up at the side of the road (and in grocery stores) selling food. Perhaps this is more traditional - I was a little concerned about eating food from the side of the road so I didn't try it.
- There is a big British & South African influcence in Botswana. A lot of the hotel/restaurant managers are South African.
- On the way from the airport to the hotel, I saw a monkey. On the way from the hotel to the airport on the last day, I saw some type of wild birds (about turkey sized). Other than that, I didn't see much wildlife outside of the game reserves.
- Since the Botswanan pula is worth around 16 cents Canadian, prices were generally cheap. There were a few exceptions, mostly things like electronics.
- Restaurants are good, but hard to find. And they advertise with billboards, but don't put their location on the billboard. In the phone book, they are listed but their address is generally a post office box.
- The roads are wide and not crowded. They tend to have a lot of potholes. They drive on the left.
- Pizzas are delivered on motorbikes which have a large box on the back.
- It's one of the safer-feeling countries I've visited.
- There are always lots of people walking around.
- Women use umbrellas in the sun to provide shade.
- Public transportation is done using vans, and is quite cheap. I heard (but didn't verify) that fares are about $0.05 Canadian.
- The first week was cooler and rainy. The second week was hot, but not humid. It felt about like a Canadian summer - it wasn't ridiculously hot. However, the second week the power failures started. Botswana gets their power from South Africa, and with the development going on in both countries, there is a power shortage, so everyone gets blackouts.
- Women do carry things on their heads. It's not something I saw every day, but I did see it 5 or 6 times over the two weeks.
- Babies are typically carried tied to their mother's back using a shawl or towel.

I'd love to go back and go to more of the country - particularily to do a safari up north.

A somewhat typical house:

"Do it yourself" housing - i.e. shantytown:

February 1

Another day, another food related new thing (and more internet problems, resulting in another late post).

Today I had lunch at Bimbo’s. It’s another chain place, and looks to be primarily a burger place (although, oddly, they were out of burgers. I had a grilled macon and cheese sandwich.

Then for dinner, another new place, where I had ostrich. I’m not sure about the ostrich, largely because it was encrusted with black pepper, which was very overpowering.