Great meeting!

Tonight was the first Board meeting after the big brouhaha that finally came to a head in the co-op. It was the first time in months that I have been thrilled to be able to be at a meeting and “git ‘er done”. And I know I was not alone. Nice to be able to do things without having to be sidetracked with things that aren’t germane to business just to feed the ego of someone else whose only interest is to exact petty revenges.

Very happy.

And, more to the point, my blood pressure has gone down to the point that my doctor was very, vary pleased. It hasn’t been this good in years.

Twitter spelling test…

The Twitter Spelling Test

Created by Oatmeal

Cat shit…

A few weeks ago, for about $10 (on sale), I bought a great mat to go under Benjamin’s cat box. I was getting tired of finding chunks of the silica crystal litter all over the floor and, worse, standing on one in the night. Those things hurt! And they stick to your feet.

Most of the mats I have seen are small faux grass mats which the cats hate the feel of so they kust jump over. This is a large mat made of a rubberized material. The little sticks to it but is easily swept up or you can pick up the mat and knock the bits back into the box. Plus, it is “reasonably” attractive…. sort of… It isn’t ugly, let’s put it that way.

Because the box is in the bathroom and this thing breathes, it doesn’t soak up water and get all mildewy and mouldy.

And, you can cut it to the size you want, as well.

On an unhappy note, our friend Selene’s 12 year old Tortoiseshell, Kari, had not been eating, drinking or pooping for several days. She took her to the vet on Thursday and the vet seemed to think it was allergies. She gave her Prednisone. But on Friday night, she was worse and when I went over on Saturday, she was panting and her lips and gums were white.

We took Kari to the animal hospital and they said it was congestive heart failure. They could give her some meds and she might live another year but that her quality of life would be diminished. Selene decided to let her go.

Selene said that she hadn’t cried in 12 years and she wasn’t going to start now… but she cried and cried… She was so distraught that she was unable to tell the vet “Yes” to give the shot. So I had to do it.

I felt terrible. Selene initially decided not to stay in the room when Kari was given the injection but I said that she might regret staying in the room but she would likely regret NOT having stayed in the room, more. So she stayed.

Today was a good day!

This evening, Mom and I attended the Child Haven fundraiser dinner, at the Tudor Hall.

They have a great silent auction and sale tables. I bought a small figurine of Ganesh

and bid on three items in the silent auction. I managed to score all three items.

The first were a pair of silver earrings.

The second was an embroidered shawl for Mom. It is beautiful! (Sorry no photo. Mom took it into her room so I will have to take one tomorrow.)

The third thing I bought — and this was my BIG find — was this great hand-woven wool carpet from Nepal.

Isn’t that the most amazing thing you have ever seen!… Well. Maybe YOU don’t think so. I fell for it the second I saw it! I have this “thing” for images of death, skeletons, and skulls. I am hoping to be able to get some traditional Day of the Dead things as well, some day.

It is a “Tantric” carpet. Traditionally, they had skeletons and skulls, flayed animals or humans, or tiger skins. Not terribly surprising, I was the only bidder and I paid the reserve price.

Earlier in the day, after seeing a photo posted by my dear friend Az I had a terrific hankering for cheese. Some time ago, I heard an interview on the CBC with the owner of a new cheese shop in Old Ottawa South, on Bank Street. I have been wanting to pop in and pick up some cheese from Serious Cheese and today was the perfect day.

There was a very helpful and enthusiastic (and knowledgeable) clerk, named Julian, in the shop and he helped me make some choices (he also cheerfully got my mother a chair to sit on and offered her a glass of water to sip while I shopped).

I had wanted to try Le 1608 from Laiterie Charlevoix since I heard the radio interview. Le 1608 is made from the milk of The Canadienne, the oldest breed of cattle in Canada (and only breed developed on the North American continent!). The Canadienne, with less than 500 head left in North America, is now considered endangered.

It was delicious! A semi-firm, brine-washed cheese, it had a wonderful taste and an equally wonderful after-taste.

I also picked up a sheep milk cheese called Counting Sheep from Ontario’s Fifth Town artisan cheese maker. It is a soft Brie-like cheese. I haven’t tried a lot of sheep cheeses and was worried that like some goat cheeses, it might have a rather unpleasant flavour I associate with goat cheeses. I needn’t have worried. It was lovely! I’m not sure if it was “older” or “younger” but I took a sip of Mom’s red wine with the cheese and it was a wonderful compliment. I don’t generally drink wine but I might just have a tiny glass with it, in future.

I bought 7 cheeses , in total, including a smoked blue cheese which was, if I recall, Smokey Blue from Rogue Creamery; and Le Fleuron de Bruges, a soft Belgian cow’s milk cheese.  The latter reminded me of Oka which, due to my boycotting of this cheese (because of the role in the Oka monastery in taking from the Mohawks of the area the traditional lands…. which ultimately led to the Oka Crisis and ongoing land disputes), I refuse to eat. This is a slightly softer cheese but with much the same flavour.

Poladroid

Here’s a nifty little program called Poladroid.

With Poladroid, you can turn any photo into a Polaroid-like image. It even “develops” so you can save copies as it processes.

There are a very little bug in the Beta version (like having to wait until all the images you’ve chosen to render finish and then closing the program to get rid of the images floating about on your screen). As well, English doesn’t seem to have been the first (or even third) language of the creators so that instructions are a little odd. The website itself is fine and there is a downloadable instruction guide which is in good English. It was the actual download instructions and some of the pop-ups I got while developing that were… weird.

The settings allow you to increase (though not pick) special effects to the photo or paper, such as scratches, dirt and fingerprints (different on each image, so you can play around with one image until you get something you like). You can also select the amount of blur and rotation in your image.

The images develops slowly and they’ve even built into it the ability to speed things up by “shaking” the image as you would with a real Polaroid.

IMG_0080-vi-pola01

"Door"

"Barn"

LongRiders-vi-pola03

"Long Riders" without effects

LongRiders-vi-pola02

"Long Riders" with effects

There are a few online options, as well.

At Rollip, you can select a layout, upload an image and then download it. Nice options available in the free version and up can go pro, as well. I like the options better on Rollip and it’s faster.

Farm

"Farm"

"Columbine"

"Columbine"

My Brain Hurts.

headache-main_Full

I am more of less recovered from the Shingles attack of the last two weeks. At least visually.

I had gone into the pharmacy (mine) to see if there was ANYTHING I could put on my skin to soothe the skin. The pharmacist there did the pharmaceutical version of run screaming for the door. He stood WAY back behind the counter and kept repeating “No, I can’t help you…. No, I can’t help you…”

Okay, I am “contagious” if I touched someone and they came in contact with the crusty stuff from the sores. I can’t give anyone Shingles. They COULD get Chicken Pox in the rare event that 1) I ran up and hugged them or rubbed my head on their face and 2) they had never HAD Chicken Pox or been vaccinated or 3) their immune system was down and or they were pregnant.

In this case, I was keeping well away from people, not touching them and not touching anything I wasn’t going to purchase. I didn’t even allow them to touch my bank card which I swiped myself and I was wearing a glove when I keyed in my account number.

But Cripes, the pharmacist acted like I was going to leap across the counter, kiss him and infect him.

So… I went to my mother’s pharmacy and asked them there. The pharmacist showed me an ointment, Cicaplast, ($$$) which is made for people who have had bad burns or are recovering from skin peels. He kept his distance and I kept mine.

Cicaplast works nicely, BTW. The skin on my eyelid almost immediately became less red and tender, the “wrinkled” appearance from the horrendous swelling diminished, and the forehead redness was almost gone in the morning.

I did get off rather easy in the “excruciating pain” department, with the exception of a single repeated spasm under my right cheekbone which was somewhat painful.

Now, however, I have a persistent pain the shoots between the corner of my right eye and my temple. Feeling not unlike what I imagine being stabbed in the temple with an ice pick, it is really debilitating. Luckily, it isn’t ALL the time but does give way sometimes to the painkiller I was given (Talwin). Unfortunately, the Talwin doesn’t always DO anything.

Sometimes it knocks me flat on my back (on a rare occasion) and other times I can’t go to sleep at all. I have had to resort to taking Gravol (an over-the-counter anti-nausea medication) and the Talwin if I want to get something resembling a reasonable night’s sleep.

What tis beginning to worry me a bit more is the fact that I seem to be having sudden problem with my ability to do puzzles, particularly one that I have been reasonably good with up until that last few days. I play Scramble on Facebook . Scramble is a grid of letters and you have to try and make as many words as you can in a short amount of time.

I play constantly and have managed to rack up a score of 249. More often than not, I was getting in the 130 to 140, with the odd game just over 100. Now, I can’t seem to “see” the words. I can get a number of three or four letter words but sometimes I can’t even get more than a few of those.

tw_plastic-letters-by-l_avi

When the game finishes and I see the list of words I could have gotten, I am stunned because even when looking a the board with the list of words, I have a hard time “seeing” them. It takes me a bit of time to follow the letters and find the word. And when I do, I am misspelling them or at least mixing up the letters (trio comes out tiro).

Maybe I need to just stop and let my brain rest. I am just hoping what is going on it temporary.

What’s on your desktop?

My dear friend, az, posted hers. Mine looks like this…Desktop

I always go for a black background because my eyes are bothered by too much white on the computer screen. I opt for a bold but not too bright image for the desktop and have several different images which I use on my office and government desktops (office .. gov’t). The images are always my own photos.

I don’t like too much clutter so I keep a limited number of icons out where I use them and the rest are in folders where I know where to find them, divided by type… Sight, for photo and video editing software, and sound for… well, anything to do with sound. I see a couple of icons I should relocate into folders. I keep the icons along the sides of the screen because, again, I don’t like clutter… at least on my screens. My work icons are on the right of the screen.

Off on a road trip!

I finally took the car in and had the wheel bearing replaced. I can now take the car out on the open road. So Mom and I are off on a jaunt!

Yippee!

cartoon-car1

Yeesh…

Japanese escalator. Would it KILL them to climb 5 steps? And it is DOWN too…

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Sony Releases Stupid Piece Of Shit That Doesn’t Fucking Work

“Our Tech Trends reporter looks at the new gizmo Sony promises will revolutionize the way consumers become infuriated by goddamn blinking TV box things.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Found on Casa az….

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