Saturday, May 31, 2008


I think I've mentioned my garden before. I plant a lot of vegetables, but ultimately I have a garden for the tomatoes. They just aren't the same from the store.

Anyway, today I started a tomato-growing experiment. The red dishes surrounding selected tomato plants are supposed to make the tomatos grow faster - something about reflecting the right spectrum of light back at the plant. I guess I'll see if those 3 plants are the ones that produce tomatos first.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Light & fluffy? Not around here.

Growing up, we often had "big pancakes" on Fridays. This was a recipe from my mom's side of the family.
For those reading this who are not familiar with them, let me attempt to explain.

Big pancakes are incredibly simple - flour, salt, powdered milk, eggs, and water. Mix them together so that they are the right consistency (not too solid, not too runny), then put some in a frying pan, lift the frying plan & turn it to & fro until the batter covers the entire bottom of the pan, cook, then flip & cook the other side.

For reference, they're a little thicker & more solid than a crepe. They don't raise much - they pretty much just stay flat.

Anyway, when you go to eat them you put butter, jam (or yogurt, if you're in my aunt & uncle's family & put yogurt on everything), roll them up, cut & eat.

I'm not terribly fond of messy food, so I just normally had butter on mine.

Anyway, this a long, roundabout way of saying that today I had big pancakes with almond butter & jam.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Every year I plant some flowers and some vegetables. Of the vegetables, the corn, the tomatoes, and the cucumbers grow (and raccoons always eat the corn before I realize it's ready).

Anyway,since I do not have a green thumb, I buy bedding plants and throw away the containers they come in as I never know what to do with them.
Today I found out that my colleague's daughter's school has a greenhouse that will take plant pots, so I went through my shed and found plant pots I could donate

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I'm not a huge fan of reality TV. The only reality show I've ever watched for more than one episode was The Apprentice, and that was many seasons ago.

Anyway, today I watched an hour of So You Think You Can Dance?

My first issue with it is totally my problem - I tend to do other things while watching TV, which is not a good idea when you are watching a show about dancing - it's kind of visual.

The second problem is the show's problem (and it's one it shares with American Idol). If you have an open call for a reality show, you're going to get:
- people who have talent,
- people who figure "why not, I don't know what I'm doing with my life",
- people who just want to be famous, and
- people who really believe they have talent (even though they don't).

For some reason, the judges feel the need to tell the people in the fourth category that they are delusional, they have no talent, and that they're wasting the judges' very important time. It seems unnecessarily cruel to humiliate them on TV. (Don't get me wrong, I think that it is sometimes appropriate to tell people that you don't think they have a chance at making a career out of something like dancing, but there's a time and a way to do that respectfully.)

Of course, by this time if you sign up for reality TV, you pretty much should expect to be insulted and editted negatively & be prepared to deal with it. But still.

OK, my tirade is done now.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Crawling along

I always try to go the speed limit in residential areas. However, I'm not so diligent on major roads.

Today I went the speed limit all day. It was interesting. Most of the time it wasn't a big deal, but it got annoying when someone was going 20 km/hr under the speed limit in the right lane and yet the traffic in the left lane was 20 km/hr over the speed limit.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Today I did an online test about distinguishing fake smiles from real smiles.

For the record, I got 17 out of 20 right.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Today I participated in free hamburger day at Harvey's. I arrived at the store at 12:16 to see a line up. If it hadn't been my new thing for the day, I probably would have gone home.

But, you know, I didn't want to think of another new thing, so I stayed. By 12:38 I had my burger (with toppings) in my hand. Not too bad.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Little things

Today was errand day. This included getting the car washed. Once a year I go to a full service car wash. For $25 they clean the car mats, vacuum the inside of the car, put the car through a car wash, and clean the dash and the inside of the windows. Totally worth it, especially when you consider that if I used my glass cleaning skills on the windshield I'd drive into a tree.

Anyway, so on the way back from getting the car washed, I saw an odd steeple in the distance and randomly drove around until I could identify it as a Ukrainian Othodox cathedral.

After that, the errands continued and I went to the grocery store. However, the entrance was blocked due to an accident, so I parked at the back of the grocery store & walked around to the front. That worked well on the way in. Let's just say that I should have taken a cart on the way back. However, all was well in the end.
Also: Grub update for those who are interested.
The clover is growing. Also, the parts of the lawn where the nemotodes were applied are no longer being dug up by animals, so it looks like the nemotodes are doing their job.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Today I created a drawing on sketchfu. I'd love to blame the poor artwork on the fact that I was using a mouse, but I draw equally poorly using paper & pencil.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I usually eat lunch at my desk, and what better thing to do while eating lunch than check out other thing-a-day blogs? Krstlchik post from yesterday was mysterious. What is this "end of the internet"? Anyway, today I went to the end of the internet. It's pretty much what you'd expect.

In other mysteries, when I got home from boxing I went to take a shower. In the bathtub I found an ant and a spider.

My questions:
Did I interrupt a big chase scene?
Was it a Romeo & Juliet story? (If so, the ending was appropriate, as they both ended up dead.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Food again

Tonight I ate at the new Thai place in my neighbourhood. It was fine, but definitely not the best Thai food I've ever had. I did had chicken curry with coconut milk, though, so apparently my general dislike of curries does not extend to those with coconut milk in them.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Yet another walk

For most of my time in Ottawa, I worked for a large high-tech company. I worked at a couple of different locations, both somewhat isolated from the rest of the city. My new job is located in a neighbourhood where walking to various businesses is possible.

When I started my current job, I was surprised to find out that we get paid by paycheque - i.e. I have to go to the bank every 2 weeks and deposit a physical paycheque. (I didn't realize anyone still did that).

Today I walked to the bank to deposit my paycheque.

Monday, May 19, 2008


I'm back in Ottawa (and I've updated the entries for the last few days).

One of the strangest parts of this trip was that I bought absolutely nothing - I spent money on the hotel, meals, and transportation, but I didn't buy anything that I brought home with me. As a result, today I went through Canadian customs with nothing to declare. It was kind of odd.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


So the Boston trip was to visit my youngest sister Wanda, who has been going to school there for a year. I also met up with another of my sisters, so the three of us spent the weekend together.
Since Wanda was unable to answer a lot of our questions, we spent Sunday going on a city tour of Boston. It was informative. It always amazes me when I go somewhere that has so much history.
We did more general wandering around Boston and went to the New England Aquarium. All in all it was a good day.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


I spent Saturday in Providence, Rhode Island. (Yes, there are lots of things to do in Boston, but Rhode Island is a whole different state, which somehow made it much more interesting to me). It's about an hour from Boston on the commuter rail line. It's really a nice city. We basically wandered around for a while, then walked the historic mile.

We got back to Boston a little after 6 and heading towards the Common to get some food and see my youngest sister's school.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Boston bound

[Edited to add details]

Today I went through US customs in the Ottawa airport, and then flying to Boston. I've gone through US customs in Toronto before, but that was a different scenario as I was connecting from one flight to another, not checking in to go through customs. I wasn't sure how long it would take to check in, go through security, and then clear customs. In the end I had lots of time.

My sisters met me at the airport, and we took the shuttle to the hotel before taking the orange line of the T to go for supper. We did some general exploring, then ate at the Cheesecake Factory before heading back to the hotel

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Today I tried organic edamame. I've got to say it wasn't bad, but it definitely wasn't my favourite.

(Edited to add: Edamame is basically soy beans)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I started my current job in October. My colleagues & I don't eat lunch together, but we do go for a walk at lunch when the weather is nice (i.e. it's not raining & there's no snow on the ground). Basically, that means that we just started going for walks again in the last few weeks.

Our walks to date have taken one of two paths - either around the block, or down a walking trail to the west of our office.

Today one of my co-workers wanted to walk to the Tim Horton's on the corner, so we walked to Tim Horton's at lunch, and then walked across a field to the walking path to the east of the office.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Early morning

My houseguests left today. (The human ones, not the robins.) There's nothing like being at the airport for 6:15. However, while I was there I parked on the top floor of the airport parking garage. Usually I park as close as possible to the entrance of the garage, but today the entire first floor was blocked off, which made the next floor realy full. I didn't realize there was a top floor that was not covered, but there is.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The circle of life

So, about the birds. For the last couple of days, the robin hasn't been around as usual. I was wondering what was going on there. That mystery was solved when I saw a baby robin peaking out of the nest. The mother robin was apparently out gathering food.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


This is one of the new things that was always on my to-do list, yet never quite happened.

A few years ago (6? 8? no idea), light rail came to Ottawa. Now, since it was in Ottawa, it was done as a pilot project to see if it made sense.

To put this in perspective, the transit way (which is exclusively for buses) runs from east to west. The major highway through town runs east-west.

Light rail, on the other hand, runs north-south.

As a result, it goes from a shopping centre in the south of the city to a station kind of (but not really) downtown.

As a result, I've never taken it, so today I rode the O-train from start to finish and back again.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Today was a busy day. However, I did make it home in time to cook spaghetti squash for dinner. It was enjoyable, but really, really hard to cut in half.
For those who are unfamiliar with spaghetti squash, it is a squash (obviously) which, when cooked, naturally peels off into pieces that look like spaghetti.
Basically, I cut it in half (with help from my sister - it's a two person job), scooped the seeds out, put it cut side down on a cookie sheet for 35 minutes. Next I scooped out the spaghetti-like strands and added a little butter to it. It was crunchy, and probably my favourite of the squashes I've tried. Plus it looks like something it's not, which somehow makes it more interesting.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The war on grubs, part II

Today I applied nematodes to my lawn. Nematodes are small organisms that feed on grubs. Hopefully they will enjoy their lunch.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Title suggestions? Apply here.

My car has been making an odd creaking noise when it turns lately, so today I took it to a new garage. Conveniently, it's really close to work, so after I dropped off my car, I walked to work.

And while I was at work, another of my sisters arrived at my house with her Nintendo DS, so she shared a DS game with me over the wireless connection. I lost horribly.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Is she a mouse or a monkey?

Today I taught my niece to play mousetrap. She enjoyed it - especially watching the trap attempt to catch the mouse at the end.

You'd think I'd have taken a picture, but somehow I didn't think of it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


My guests are still in town, and we went out for Vietnamese food tonight. While we were there I attempted to teach my four-year-old niece to eat with chopsticks. She did well, especially considering that she insisted on holding them at the end farthest away from the food.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Grub be gone

I like having a lawn, but I'm not very picky about how it looks. Anything goes with me as long as it's not prickly, and it's vaguely green. However, grubs are a big problem in Ottawa and, based on the animals that dig up my lawn nightly, they are specifically a problem in my lawn. So today I bought and planted clover seed to increase the bio-diversity of my lawn. Basically, you buy it, mix it (7 parts sand to 1 part seed) and plant it. We'll see how it turns out.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Don't stand there! You're in the water!

I am totally not used to having a four-year-old around. It's always entertaining (although I could use a nap right about now). Anyway, today I helped make a boat out of sofa cushions.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Have you seen the monkeys?

The whole plan behind having my sister & niece fly into Toronto was that it would allow us to take my niece to the zoo. So today I rode on the zoomobile at the Toronto zoo. It cost $7, but was totally worth it - my niece is 4 and her legs got tired after about 1.5 hours. With the zoomobile, we were able to see the rest of the zoo without having to walk everywhere.

May 2

Yes, I know, I'm late in updating. That's because yesterday (May 2) I drove to Toronto to pick my sister & my niece up at Pearson International Airport. I've flown out of Pearson before, but I've never actually driven there. Mapquest said 4 hours 45 minutes. I made it there in just under that, and I stopped twice (for very short periods of time).

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I was killing time on the internet over lunch, and I chanced upon phrasr. Basically, you type in a phrase & it finds flickr photos for each word. You can then change the pictures if you want. It would probably be more useful if I had something meaningful to say, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Here is the result of my toying around: