Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Would It Kill You To Smile ?


    I've never felt compelled to call a radio talk show until today. I was in Tim Hortons drive-thru for my morning coffee when the topic of discussion on 1410 CFUN was, "Do you think Vancouverites are friendly ?" I grabbed my phone, dialed *1410 and immediately got through. The producer asked me my name, the question and I was put on hold awaiting my turn to "share" (I made sure I turned my radio down, not wanting to be one of those knobs with feedback and the, "Can you turn your radio down please ?"). When I got on air I proceeded to tell my tale of woe, how that I find Vancouverites extremely unfriendly and I would venture to say borderline miserable.
    I explained to the host how I have been taking the same walk down Lonsdale for almost twenty years. During that time there are only two people that I say hello to on a regular basis and one of them is a bit of a kook (he probably thinks the same thing about me). I usually walk around the same time each day so I see the same people and not one of them makes an attempt at any sort of  eye contact, acknowledgement or friendliness- I sometimes like to pretend that if we were the last two people on the planet... you'd talkin' a blue streak, Jack. I'm not the type of person that wants to make friends with everyone but could you at least give the token tight- lipped little smile or a nod.
     Even the people that work in customer service (similar to military intelligence and holy war) seem to be insincere at best. There are a couple of superstars I've met in businesses on Lonsdale but they were both from small towns... you can almost tell as soon as you talk to them.
     I could go on about this topic but I'll nip it here. Canadians have always been known as friendly and easy going but with the Olympics coming here in 2010 that could easily change... lighten up...  
    A few pics I took today on the "walk"...
























Monday, April 28, 2008

Parenting, Destiny and Metallica...


      I spent yesterday afternoon drinking wine with a friend (let's call her "Stepherino") watching  Juno. It was the third time I've seen it and I think I was more teary eyed (from the movie) and bleary eyed (from the wine) than the first two times I'd seen it. It's an exceptional moving picture and Ellen Page is great as a teenager (Juno) trying to decide what to do when she finds herself unexpectedly pregnant. The film was extremely well cast and I found myself drawn in by all the characters but without a doubt she steals the show.   
     I've never been married (been close a couple of times but apparently that only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades) and I don't have any children. Most of the time I don't think about it and it doesn't bother me but her character made me feel like I missed something by not ever having kids of my own and sharing the challenge of parenting. What makes it even more frustrating at these times is that I think I would have made a pretty good Dad (it's never too late but it's the third period with not much time on the clock). I started to wonder... Do we choose our path in life or no matter how hard we try does our path choose us, and our lives just seem destined to go a certain way... not that I believe in destiny... or maybe I do. It's hard to explain but last year when I was watching American Idol the thought crossed my mind, "Somewhere it must be written (for lack of a better word) the outcome of this contest... the winner already decided no matter what the efforts of the the other contestants...  
     Deep... really deep.... 
 
      And then I can take some comfort in my old friend Metallica... I've only played this song eleven million times... 



Sunday, April 27, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

Starbucks and the Cleanse...





     I heard a little while ago that Starbucks profits were down (that's a shame). I've always thought that if Starbucks really wanted to increase their profits they should apply for their liquor license and serve specialty coffees. How about a nice caramel Baileys latte to jump start your Sunday morning? After the show ? A Monte Cristo might go down nicely, or perhaps their specialty.... the Italian coffee (equal parts Sambuca and Tia Maria topped with coffee and whipping cream... delicious). Big meeting with the boss? Doesn't always have to be a coffee drink, try a Blueberry tea... Grand Marnier and Amaretto topped off with your favorite tea and a cinnamon stick, could be the perfect way to take the "edge" off.  Let's get civilized...





    I'm feeling the need to comment on "the cleanse" as seemingly every female I know is or has been on one lately. Don't get me wrong I don't have anything against them, I've even tried a couple myself and I'm all for anything anyone is willing to do to improve their health. A cleanse may even be a great way to shed a few pounds and possibly change your eating habits, with a big emphasis on possibly. After doing some limited research I found as with most things, there are conflicting opinions about the benefits of the cleanse but I did find this quote from an anatomy/physiology professor after a patient had been sent to him by his doctor. As he put it, "It's B.S., as your colon turns over every four to five days anyway. If anything it can do more harm than good, you mess with normal flora and you may get a really good cleansing." I'm not too sure what the last part of that quote means but you get the gist of  it.
    There is enough information available now to everyone about diet, nutrition and exercise. I know how hard it is to keep to any kind of menu adjustment but it isn't rocket surgery... move more and eat less. Drink plenty of water, eat lots of fruits, grains and vegetables, limit carbs, dairy and alcohol, blah, blah, blah (all of which I'm mediocre at, at best) What I see with the cleanse though is that people do well for a couple of weeks, thinking it's a miracle cure, and then settle nicely back into their old ways (myself included) totally undermining any benefits they may have achieved. I wonder sometimes if it isn't just another form of snake oil... it's been around for a long time..


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Quotes...

    I have a "Quotes of the Day" box on my Google homepage that displays three daily quotes (hence the name,"Quotes of the Day"). It's rare that all three fit so perfectly  with my thoughts and thinkings but today was one of those days... 


Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen.
  - John le Carre
The only really good place to buy lumber is at a store where the lumber has already been cut and attached together in the form of furniture, finished, and put inside boxes.
  - Dave Barry
Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else's can shorten it.
  - Cullen Hightower

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Theme...

   In keeping with the theme that this blawg has no theme (but I guess by saying that it does has a theme) some photos... and I can achieve the satisfaction of posting a blog without all the annoying writing. Captions are easy...that and stealing interesting quotes off the www. and not telling you who said them so that I appear really smart, S-M-R-T...

     Just some shrapnel that was stuck in the treads of my boots (not the lens cap). Had rocks there before but never a stick. I know... absolutely fascinating.

     George Harvey might have his collection of vintage Nikon cameras but he's got nothing on this classic collection of Kodak Instamatics...

    Polished my golf clubs... and my bayonet. My mish mash set of clubs got stolen out of the back of my truck last year so I went to a sporting goods consignment store to see if I could get a decent used set. I bought some for around $275. When I went to Perfect Lies to buy golf balls I saw that I could have bought a brand new set for $300... depression set in, I had to have these new ones. New is better than used.

     Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more... the bible has some good advice...

     I like to think that the moon is there even if I'm not looking at it...

     The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once...




Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Mansfield Bar...


     The reason I posted a picture of Jayne Mansfield yesterday was that I had heard something on the radio about Mariska Hargitay of Law and Order SVU being her daughter. I've never really followed the show so I googled her (I wish)... 



      She's the daughter of  Mickey Hargitay a former Mr. Universe and Ms. Mansfield...

       I then received a comment from Things Best Left Unsaid, 
suggesting that I do some research on the " Mansfield Bar". After doing a little homework I found out that the Mansfield Bar or underride guard is a strong bar made of steel tubing that is fitted under the rear portion of a semi-trailer to prevent a car from passing underneath the trailer in the event of a rear-end collision... this was the best picture I could find... 



    Since a semi-truck trailer is much higher off the ground than a standard car, without the underride or Mansfield Bar, the structural members of the car would pass underneath the structural members of the semi-trailer in a collision, roughly at head height with the driver and passengers, with nothing to protect them but the windshield. The Mansfield Bar name comes from a highly publicized accident involving 50's icon (and Anna Nicole Smith prototype) Jayne Mansfield, in which her car rear-ended a large truck, killing three of six passengers including Ms. Mansfield. This took place on June 29th, 1967 - before The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration required underride guards on semi trailers. The car passed under the truck just high enough that Jayne Mansfields head impacted the rear of the trailer... This next photo is from the actual accident site... it's pretty oogie so look away if you're squeamish but it demonstrates what happens in a crash without the Mansfield Bar...


    It turns out that three year old Mariska was in the back seat where she miraculously emerged unhurt. She did have some plastic surgery on her eyebrow area to repair a scar resulting from the accident and ended up with a zig zag scar on the side of her head.
    This being my first real "research project" on the interweb, I hope I got most of the facts right and all I can say is... " Who knew?"

Monday, April 21, 2008

What do Danica Patrick and Jane Mansfield have in common?... Probably nothing other than the fact they're both on this blawg...

   I have absolutely no interest in auto racing and really don't know that much about it. I do however have some fond memories of taking road trips to Seattle and Spokane to see the 64 funny cars and I attended the first year the Indy was in Vancouver which I thoroughly hated. Oh here they come...ROOOOOOAAAAAAARRRRR!!!! and then out of sight for another ten minutes (or whatever it was... and to think, only 199 more laps to go). There is also the two hour left turn known as Nascar, huge in the States now but I just  don't get it, it's not for me. That having been said Danica Patrick won her first Indy race in Japan on the weekend, becoming the first woman to win a professional auto race. Patrick was named rookie of the year for both the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 IndyCar Series season. There was concern that she was never going to win and possibly end up another Anna Kournikova in tennis or Michelle Wie in golf. But that was all put to rest this past Sunday... Sisters are doin' it for themselves... 



   Oh yeah did I forget to mention... she's super hot. Maybe that might explain my sudden interest in car racing, kind of like people watching golf only because of Tiger Woods... You go girlfriend...



 

 
      And in a totally unrelated topic... sort of...

    Everybody's probably seen this but a great photo of Sophia Loren giving Jane Mansfield the hairy eyeball... the stink-eye... the googler.


  


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Marquis De Sade...

      I was reading the movie reviews in the newspaper a few years ago when I came across a review for Quills. I usually don't read reviews because they always seen to have some kind of a "spoiler" that ruins the movie for me in some way (don't get me started on movie trailers, after seeing some of them you hardly need to see the movie) but glancing over the page the name Marquis de Sade caught my eye. Having heard the name before I had this idea that he was some evil creature from French history but I new little or nothing about him (as with most things). The next day being a rainy dark Saturday (what's new, it's Vancouver)  I decided to go see Quills at a matinee... loved the movie and became instantly fascinated by this historical figure. It turned out he was writer that was unjustly persecuted by the French government and church (what are the odds) for his radical thoughts and ideas. I won't go into any great detail here but his work isn't for the squeamish or faint of heart, he was a philosopher of extreme freedom and the term "sadism" is rooted in his name. Sade has influenced some of the greatest writers of the last century- Baudelaiare, Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky and Kafka. 
    Long story short, I went to the store to see if they had any copies of his work (they were banned for a long time) and found them at Indigo. I was amazed at how well these books were presented (sucker for packaging) and bought my first, eventually acquiring all three volumes of his work. It took me a while (two years) to get through them all but I found him to be shocking, enlightening, outrageous and in the end possibly the freest thinker the world has ever known... for me the most fascinating and influential literature I have ever read and no where near as horrifying as the bible...





Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Kitchen...

     After years of making coffee every way imaginable from percolator to French press, Mr. Coffee to the original cast cappuccino maker and even just making cowboy coffee by boiling grounds in a pot on top of the stove, I've given up. I'm tired of fussing with filters and grounds, which are the worst things to wipe up when you spill them. Gone are the days of waking up with filters and no coffee or coffee and no filters and then having to strain it through paper towel or toilet paper. (If you do use toilet paper don't use the stuff with baby powder... gross). I used to have this roommate that would take the pot after the coffee was finished, squirt dish soap in it, fill it with water and leave it in the sink. Then when I'd make the morning coffee I could never seem to rinse all of the soap out. The result ? A soapy tasting pot of joe... pour it out and start over, not fun at 6:00 AM.                                                                                                     
      I really shouldn't say given up because I really like instant coffee now but it has to be Tasters Choice. It's a little more money than other brands but I can taste the difference. Like a bad smell (I was going to use "good friend" there but it sounded too corny) it's always there, no more filters, wet grounds and soapy, baby powder aftertaste. It says the large container makes 150 cups, that's almost half a year without a second thought... and I can still have a coffee out.

     Ma and Pa received these canisters as a wedding present... hard to believe they're over fifty years old...  



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nutrition...

     About a year and a half ago an infomercial came on the radio for this product. By the time it was finished I was completely sold and was jotting down the 1-800 number. While I'm not usually a sucker for snake oil salesmen (although I have had my moments) this seemed the ideal way to get my omega 3 fish oils (whatever they are) since I don't eat a lot of fish. I ordered it and they proceeded to send me two bottles every two months. In the first month they recommend taking four of the football shaped gel tabs a day (of course they do) and then two daily after that. Whether it's psychological or not I felt better taking them but as per usual with vitamins my intake tapered off and the bottles began to pile up. I simply couldn't get caught up and I must have had eight or so in the cupboard. Out of guilt and frustration I called the company to cancel my order and the salesmen told me if  I cancel now I'll never get this pricing again (suuure) so he suggested putting deliveries on hold and he'd call back in a couple of months to remind me, which he did. The problem is that when he phoned I didn't recognize the number (call screening), I never checked my messages and the bottles started to show up again. It's an American company which makes it difficult to get through to them on the phone so rather than cancel I'm trying really hard to stay caught up. It's been three months... so far so good...

      I was watching this cooking show and the chef was using blueberries as an ingredient in a few of his recipes. He proceeded to tell how blueberries are very high in anti-oxidants. Having heard this term a hundred times I new it was something good for you but not really sure what or why. Apparently they are biochemicals that prevent the content of your blood and cells from being oxidized by free radicals (the bad guys) hence the name anti-oxidant. Free radicals are rogue chemicals that disrupt the normal function of your body so anti-oxidants basically help cleanse your blood (and some wine, I don't know if it does anything but I feel better).
    Once again I was sold and being a little bit of an anxious, all or nothing, obsessive/compulsive, bipolar manic depressive I went grocery shopping and naturally had to buy all things blueberry (as you can see in the photo). I drank some of the juice this morning and put the spread on 16 grain sprouted bread with a smear of roasted almond butter... both products quite delicious. We'll see how long this attempt at nutrition lasts... wish me luck. 

Monday, April 14, 2008

Using Up the Roll...(Not toilet paper)

    Until the advent of the Kodak Instamatic camera, all our family photos were taken with the old Kodak Brownie Hawkeye... the one with the flash bulbs that would blind you for half an hour on Christmas Eve...






     I was going through some old photos when I came across these classics. Occasionally Mom would say, " I have some film left in the camera, go outside and do something so I can use it up." These are some of those photos taken with the Brownie...  


    Bobby Walsh, Dennis Bassanesse and I in my first pair of North Stars... I really wanted Adidas Rom but I let that slide... it was the summer I got my first mustang bike. After supper (we still had supper then not dinner) one night Dad said," Come on we're going for a drive." He took me to Caps Bicycle (you wouldn't believe the trouble I just had spelling "bicycle") and surprised me by saying, "Pick out any bike you want." I chose a metallic green CCM, sissy bar, white banana seat with a green metallic stripe down the middle... fantastic. You'll have to excuse the little trip down memory lane but whatever... it's my blog...


    This wasn't a "use up the roll" shot but it's my new bike... chawesome. See my sister's white socks pulled up?  Mom would fight with her about using elastic bands to keep them up. She would say, " You've pulled on those socks so hard your toes are curled up and those elastics are cutting off the circulation to your feet." Sis would just put the elastics on on the way to school. The things you girls do for fashion... 




     Back to using up the roll...


    I have no idea what we were doing here but it looks like Dennis got to be "Lucky Pierre"...

       Roll finished... off to Cunningham Drugs for developing. Memories of red pistachios and mixed nuts roasting behind glass in that two tray system and an older lady behind the counter with the bee-hive hairdo, false eyelashes, long red fingernails with matching lips, horn-rimmed glasses on a chain around her turkey neck and leathery skin and man voice from way too many Benson and Hedges 100's. 








 

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin