IKEA angst….

WHY, Oh, WHY do people think it is appropriate or necessary to bring every single member of the family along to IKEA plus every child within a 5 mile radius of their home?????? As far as I am concerned, if you absolutely insist on bringing children or any member of the family not able to walk in a straight line at a reasonable pace or able to have care and control of a cart they should be duct-taped to a stroller.

And the next time I go to IKEA, I will bring an air-horn with me. I will no longer resort to screaming “EXCUSE ME” in your ear as you amble in ever decreasing circles in the aisle while carrying a Hrvrtxsis ice-cube mould and a Tvudermööööökenhangle ear-wax caddy and stare glassy-eyed at the ceiling, in order to get by you. Be warned….

And don’t get me started on those horrible cardboard “meat” balls….

They should open an IKEA which is exclusively for people who want to get in, get the thing they want, and get the fuck out…. I’d pay extra for that.

Photo Hunt: Circle & Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice

A year comes full circle.

Part of this image is a photo, so it counts…. The rest is done by hand on my Bamboo Tablet.

Family history mystery solved.

I was watching “A History of Scotland” this evening. At one point, Neil Oliver was speaking about the Representation of the People (Scotland) Act 1832. It was along awaited and hard fought battle to obtain electoral reforms. I can’t pretend to understand the voting methods but the part that interested me was that the Act extended the vote to any man (women, needless to say, were still excluded) who owned land worth £10 or more. Which brings me to the family history thing….

While doing some family research, I came across an ancestor who, amongst a number of others, who was brought up on charges for some sort of electoral fraud which I was at a loss to work out. It seems that it was not an uncommon practice for property owners to create the illusion that their property was worth more than it actually was worth. For instance, A man would “sell” his property to his neighbour and would then within the year “buy it back” for more than they sold it for. I couldn’t figure out why anyone would pretend to sell their land and then immediately buy it back for more money than they sold it originally…. and within a short time. Since they didn’t actually “sell” it and no money actually changed hands, who was to gain from this? And what did this have to do with voter fraud?

NOW I understand that in order for a man whose property was worth less than £10 to vote, he would have to involver himself in a little subterfuge in order to be able to vote.

Apparently, though, this was also tied up in rigging votes for certain candidates. Reforms had not yet eliminated the problem of rotten boroughs and intimidation, bribery, and blackmail which were the result of open ballots. It wasn’t until 1872 the the secret ballot was legislated. Prior to 1872 (and as alleged in this case), candidates would “facilitate” the transfer of land back and forth between the owners in order to “legitimize” a landowner as a voter.

I don’t know what the result of this particular case was and can’t find the site where I located this information. If I do find it, I will fill in the blanks to this post.

Merry Christmas to me…

(and belated Happy Birthday)

I bought myself a present for Christmas and my birthday – this year’s and next years, possibly.

Canon EOS 60D w/ EF-S 18-200IS

Canon EOS 60D with 18-200 mm lens. I haven’t used a 35 mm camera in… almost 30 years. had to replace my Canon digital point-and-shoot but having had two in the last. 10 years which lost resolution within a couple of years, I wasn’t prepared to spend more money on another. The one I have is serviceable for stuff I can’t use a bulky camera or when resolution doesn’t matter so much.

Now that the 35mm ones have larger viewfinders and also have view-screens which you can use while shooting, I feel comfortable in finally getting one. It wasn’t cheap but with the package deal, sale price and rebate, with tax I got the package, a battery, and a camera bag for what the regular base price without tax of the camera and lens would have been. I have a friend who bought the 20D about 4 years ago and I’ve been impressed with the images she has produced using it. My brother-in-law also has a Canon but I am not sure what model he owns.

I have also ordered another gift for myself… a much more modest gift. I found a copy of “A Woman’s Journey Round the World, from Vienna to Brazil, Chili, Tahiti, China, Hindostan, Persia, and Asia Minor.” (1852) by Ida Pfeiffer.

Ida Laura Reyer-Pfeiffer (1797-1858)


WHY will WordPress not allow me to put in line spaces????

I keep putting them in but they disappear. Frack!

This is really annoying. The only way I can make a new paragraph is by adding in a — between the lines I want an extra line between!

Okay…. Now, after 35 tires, the paragraphs I wanted appear (on my previous post… not here…). I did nothing different. WTF?

Yummy Brownies

This is my recipe for Brownies. They are dense and chewy and very chocolaty…



3 squares unsweetened chocolate

6 tbsp, butter

1 1/2 c. sugar

3 lg. eggs

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 c. flour

6 tbsp. cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla


Preheat oven to 350°

Butter and flour a 8 or 9″ baking pan.

Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave (or in a double-boiler).

Stir together all the other ingredients and add the chocolate and butter. Stir until well mixed.

Spoon into the baking pan and smooth.

Bake for 40 minutes or until dry on top and slightly firm to the touch.

Cool for about 15 minutes, turn out on a plate and flip right side up. With a wet knife, cut into squares.



3/4 c. chopped walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans

Photo Hunt: Funny

Not my fault…

Mutinus caninus (Dog Stinkhorn)

Island, Charleston Lake

Parking lot, World Exchange Plaza, Ottawa

Well, well, well…

It turns out that I AM going to be renewed at the end of December for another 3 months. Not just as a contractor but as a term employee. That means that for the next 3 months I will have my benefits, holidays, and sick days. If I am renewed at the end of March for another three months, it will likely be on the same terms.

This is great news because I was trying to cram a whole lot of dental work in by the end of December and it looked like one procedure wasn’t going to make it in by the deadline. Now I don’t have to worry. It also means that I have a bit more time to pay off my VISA bill. The job won’t last forever which is something I was aware of but at least it isn’t going to come to a crashing halt before I am prepared. I am hoping to make myself as indispensable as possible in hopes that someone will think twice about not submitting a call-up with my name on it.

And, apropos nothing…

A pain in the…

On Thursday, I took Mom in to FINALLY have the growth on her head removed. The doctor couldn’t specifically identify what it was. She did say that it resembled a particular thing the name of which escapes me. She is treating it as “precancerous”, however, and sent it for biopsy. She said that if it was what she thought it was, it was likely benign.  If it was what she thought it was, they often grow to quite monstrous sizes and then fall off all on their own. However, since it was painful and disgusting-looking waiting for it to get to where it “falls off all by itself” just wasn’t an option.

It was already the size of the end of my ring finger and the affected area was about an inch in diameter. It looked sort of like a flaky, crusty stalagmite….

So we are both relieved that it is now gone. She because it hurt and I because I don’t have to look at it!

Now she had a large hole in her scalp which will have to heal. She hasn’t had any pain at all!

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