Sunday, July 31, 2011

Betty's gone

Betty's gone and we're not sad.

We've been dragging Betty's sorry and very heavy carcass around with us for YEARS and it was time to lighten up!

Little work with a backhoe and we were all done.

See, Betty?  She was the diesel engine in our boat.  She never really worked.  We left TO for the Bahamas under sail cause she wasn't working, we fixed her, she broke again, we fixed her again, she broke again, we lost faith in Oswego New York, just before entering the canal systems, and got Suzi.  Suzi Ki.

Suzi Ki is a dream.  A mid-eighties 6 hp outboard that pushed us from Oswego all the way down past Miami in Fl and then across to the Bahamas, I'm not sure how often.  Still going, though she's a little slow to wake up when we launch.

Gonna go some faster this year I'm thinking.

Tip of the hat to the man who did all the work, and the guys from the boat yard with their backhoe.

Betty's history.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Auto correct fail!

The girls are off to a cottage for a couple of weeks, they're driving out with the dad and his kid, the folks we stay with every year.  Good friends.

It's a long drive, so the dad sent me a message to let me know how they were doing.

"We're in orgies"


One would hope not, especially while they're driving!

Friday, July 29, 2011


Nothing profound to say, just oh so very very glad it's the weekend, and a long one at that.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Love being married for a while.

The man and I are debating new toilets for the boat - don't we lead an exciting life????

We're thinking of going with the airhead!  Love the name and all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Dream in High Park

Dream in High Park, this year they're doing A Winter's Tale.  Good, yes.  Brilliant, not so much.  A super lovely night out though and that was wonderful.  Breathing outdoor fresh air all night.  Ahhhhhhhh.

Good night all, hope you had a good one!

Monday, July 25, 2011

If work keeps up at this pace

Posting seems to be getting irregular, shall we say.  I am locked out of blogger at work, so I cannot toss up a post in a spare moment there, and life is being SO CRAZY busy these days I cannot so much as breathe.....

work work work work work...but it is good.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wonderful weekend

Boats and junk food and dog catchers and swimming and the usual general nuttiness all around, lots of fun, but now it's late and so more later.....

Hope yours was a great one too.

Friday, July 22, 2011

I had work to do tonight.

Lots of work to do tonight.

Sat down to start it off, then I got smart and put it away and hung out with the family and some friends.

I mean honestly, which is more important.

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rob Ford is breaking my heart

Seems I don't know this city anymore.  How did this guy get in?  Who are the people who voted for him?

I am horrified and baffled.

Amongst a horror list of other cuts - decided on by KPMG of all groups...were they elected????  the fantastic wonderful I dream of visiting it, best I have ever found in the world Toronto Public Library is likely to get hammered too.

Please sign the petition....not that I imagine he'll listen, but what the heck.  Maybe he won't be at the cottage that day.

God, this is making me ill.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bad dog!

I took his Chuckiness out early early early yesterday morning as the heat has been fierce.  We went to our local park and I was tossing pine cones for him to chase. Unusually, there was a young man with a series of soccer balls (6 or 7) practicing shots on the nets that are up in the park.  As we got closer Chuck went over to pee on the goal posts as he does every. single. day, and as do all the other dogs every. single. day.  The guy stopped kicking the balls at the net.  He wasn't very good and they weren't going very hard or far (and mostly wild) so I shouted down that he could keep going and not to worry about the dog.  "No, " he said, I don't want the dog to bite my balls."


"I don't think he's interested, ya know?"  I called back.

Hmmmm, did he get his own joke?

Anyway, Chuck came trotting back towards me and glanced over behind the net where the guy had dropped his bike and bag, then he looked again and started hollering NOoooooooooOOOO!!!!

Yup, the Chuckster went over and dropped a load on his bag.


Fortunately as he was being bellowed at and I was running down as fast as I could he only got out a nugget or two....and to cap it all, I only had a bit of newspaper to pick it us as I'd fogotten a bag, and the grass was long.  Did I get it all?

I was embarrassed enough I just walked away without looking at the guy.  Fortunately I got far enough away he couldn't hear me before I started laughing.

Good thing he'd gotten over his stomach bug, no?  That's my dog, he won't bite your balls but he might sh*t on your bag!

Oh, and the soccer guy?  He didn't come back this morning.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Margaret Drabble and ASByatt are sisters???? Estranged sisters, but sisters?  REALLY????

and this:

Murakami's IQ84 is not going to be released until Oct?  I read it AGES ago in Catalan.


Monday, July 18, 2011


A post or two ago I used the word wicket for a desk in a series of desks, like tellers in a bank, or immigration officers in a line of desks....

and it sparked comment.

I assumed it was a british word, but Kate a brit was surprised by it so I looked it up in Websters, and American dictionary, and my usage came up numbers 1 and 2  and they said, "Middle English wiket, from Anglo-French, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old Norse vīk inlet, corner
First Known Use: 13th century"

While word reference (from the OED) had it second and claimed it is a N American usage.  

LOVE this language, I guess it came over with the immigrants from the UK and the older usage stuck as the cricket association didn't?

Cool, no?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I love

I love love love visiting family and friends.  

Love it, the greatest part of being here each summer.

Visiting two in one day though, BIG lunch, multiple desserts, then again at dinner.


Glad we walked back and forth to dinner anyway.

What a delightful day.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Anecdotal evidence

We have anecdotal evidence that if a dog eats a shed snake skin, it leaves him rather ill.

We have definitive evidence that an ill dog makes it difficult to put into action many of the plans that the dog's family had for the weekend, specifically going to Ottawa for a wedding.

We also have definitive evidence that it doesn't seem to make the dog ill for very long (12 hours or so) but leaves him lethargic thereafter.

We also have definitive evidence that it doesn't impact on his willingness the next morning should he see a particularly attractive female dog the next morning!

Good times all around.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

System based on trust

Something to love about Canada.  Honestly.

Had to renew my driver's license.  Aside from the hassle of street addresses for strip malls - impossible - it was pretty darned good.  There was a line, but there were 6 wickets open, so it went fast (and I had a book).  While waiting I debated mentioning my address change, we've sold the house and our mail is sent to a friends.

I considered not mentioning it at all as they would want proof of the new address etc etc etc, and I didn't have any.  I got up to the desk, handed over my papers, she asked if it was the right address and I held my breath then said that no, we were moving but I didn't have any papers to say it was my address.

NO problem, just tell me the address and we're good to go.  That was it!

I even brought my passport cause I couldn't come with NOTHING, she looked at me like I was C.R.A.Z.Y!

Take that Spain.



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SOOO many books

So little time!

Lined up:

  • The Element, Ken Robinson.
  • Out of Our Minds, Ken Robinson.
  • The Book of Tea, Kakuzo Okakura
  • Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Froer
  • The Peppered Moth, Margaret Drabble (WHY haven't I read her before???)
  • Googled, Ken Auletta, 
  • Shanghai Girls, Lisa See
  • The Coffee Trader, David Liss
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brody, Muriel Spark
  • Growing Pains, and autobiography, Emily Carr
  • Home Truths, Mavis Gallant
  • Blinding Light, Paul Theroux
and a whole bunch on hold at the library.

Someone call work, m'kay?  I can't make it next week.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ummm, and your name is????

Know something I find weird and kinda interesting?

I mess up my kids names, starting with one's and then realising I'm doing it wrong and switching mid word.  I'll also call randomly use the dog, the man (oh how he hates that) and the boy's names.  We're hanging out with a friend's kid whose also a friend right now, he's almost 11.

What interests me about this is that I, and most adults, will misassign names to kids and siblings etc... (I have been known to call eldest by my sister's name for example) fairly often, but I believe that we mostly err within gender boundries.  What I am trying to say is that I will mess up boys names within boys (including the dog) and girls names within girls, but rarely do I assign boys names to girls or vice versa, indeed I think I could count that on one hand.

It seems odd to me, or interesting, that we (or at least I) filter name searches so strongly through gender...even with family.

Strange, no?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Running, the mind game

OK, so I'm running along, and it's OK,  then I stop.  Sometimes I'm not even very sure why I stop.  My lungs are doing OK, my legs are doing OK, it's like I'm just kinda not liking it at all.  Something inside does this commentary about the idiocy of doing this and I should just walk a bit.

And I do.

Then Chuck gives me a look....what?  AGAIN????

Then I start again.

I really think that getting over the walking part of running has as much to do with head space as anything else.  If I am feeling good about the running, like at home, I can run much farther, but if I'm uninspired like here, I stop WAY more often.

Head game.

Maybe I should try listening to music, but I don't really want to, I'm running trails and I am THE only woman alone I see at that hour....though I have the Chuckster with me.  Think I need to be able to hear.

Gonna have to psyche myself out of this head game.


The Running Room when I got my shoes gave me a couple of great tips.  Runners should feel like socks when you try them on.  OK, I get that.  Also they said a good way to start running is to spend 1 week running and walking at 1 min intervals, then the next week 2 min of running to one of walking and so on till you're running 9 min with a one min interval and then 20 min straight.  I think I could get in there in the middle end, but maybe a clock would help discipline me.  Never has before, but maybe this time.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Further to that Catalan class....

OK, further weirdness, the majority of the reading list for the course, these are recommended readings, but whatever, 8 of the 10 books, are in English.

I actually have an advantage over the majority of the students.  Not only can I manage the Catalan, struggle through all the Spanish, mostly, but I can actually read the readings.

Does this not seem really really weird in a course that is not graduate level?????

Friday, July 8, 2011

What I don't like about running here.

I have been trying to figure this out, and I think there are three things about it that make it much suckier.

1.  I start off downhill and end off uphill.  At home it is the opposite, so I end on a high note, so to speak, rather than feeling rather more slow and useless.

2. The dog is on leash.  This is annoying in some ways, though he is very good and runs right along beside me, but I also loose the distraction factor by watching him run around and generally be gleeful.

3.  Long straight flat trails/sidewalks simply suck.  Little kids, if the trail winds and is narrow and interesting can walk remarkable distances.  Put them on a long straight road and they're begging to be picked up within a hundred meters.  I think I am the same.  They are dreadful, plus you don't have the distraction of watching the footing nor the delight in rounding the corners and seeing the new vistas change.

Persistence and determination is more the order of the day, and that just t'ain't so much fun.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

You blistering son of a rabid tush

10 year old boy coming up with insults without swearing.  Base words:  dazed, rabid, tush, buttocks, son of a, infest, infect, blistering.  First one that came up, blistering son of a rabid tush.

He's looking for a variety or words that could be put together in promising ways so he can invent creative ways of insulting folks when the need arises.  Without swearing.

A good way to pass a summer evening, no?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Striking a blow for Catalan nationalism

Remember how I signed up for a course in Japonese food and culture in Catalan to keep up my skills while I'm here in Canada?  At UOC, yes I'm naming them and debating posting in Catalan too.  That would be the Universitat Obert de Catalunya.

The class is advertised as being in Catalan, so imagine my disappointment when I logged in today and found the welcome and the course orientation information entirely in Spanish.


The body of materials provided for the course are in Catalan, but the teacher....well, she's a girl from Spain, as in not Catalunya Spain, doing her PhD in something or other and doesn't write Catalan well, though she can read it, she says. (why is it I cannot get any work anywhere without nivell C in Català and this broad can teach a Catalan language University course in Spanish????)

Why, one might ask, would the UOC consider her a suitable instructor?

I wrote her an email, explaining that while I am interested in Japonese food and culture, I was principally taking the course to maintain my Catalan, so the Spanish use is pretty much NOT ok with me.  She replied in fairly terrible Catalan, and then reposted the welcome and intro in better Catalan, I suspect some emails were sent back and forth and someone in the University is translating it for her now.

Unfortunately, many of the Catalans in the course are now writing in Spanish rather than Catalan, a frankly SUPER annoying habit that most Catalans have of simply switching languages every time anyone with an accent speaks or if even 1 person in the room has trouble with Catalan.  Honestly.  Drives me nuts.  Do they want this language or not?  Do they want people to learn it?  Do they want immigrants to learn it or would they like to keep it to themselves as a sort of secret?

I will grant that not all Catalans do this, only about 95% of them, and many persist in Spanish even if I persist in Catalan (which I pretty much have to) and outright ask them to use Catalan.


UOC will also be getting an email from me.

Not a very nice one either.

Ya know, I teach courses here, I cannot advertise that the course will be offered in English and then deliver it in French.  Not a choice boys and girls.

Not a choice.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tate Britian

The Tate Britian has an exhibit of watercolour work on that I am missing and it is making me ache.  They are making a series of videos to accompany the show and they look fascinating.

I say look fascinating cause they won't let me watch them at all in Spain, and here in Canada they are incredibly hiccup-y....they jump forwards and back, repeat and loop...

very very frustrating.

Chances are the Tate isn't listening, but if you are?  Please, some of us outside the UK would like to see a bit too.

Monday, July 4, 2011

OH my goodness gracious

I'm not sure what all happened there, but I just dropped off the blog world for a bit.  Probably partially cause I cannot read any blogs at work, nor my greader.  Nada.

Soooo, what has been happening?  Not sure, went by in a blur, but it's been good and busy and filled with work and family and friends.

We're taking care of a friend's kid for three weeks or so and it's a blast.  He's a great kid and everyone is having fun.

Work is work and going fine.  nuff said.

Got some sailing in which was super sweet......

and (my life is so exCITIng!)  bought some nail clippers today!!!!  Forgot them in Spain and things were getting desperate.....

oooh, I was thinking of something else and now it's gone.  Hmmmmmm..........

Learned something new about myself.  I can no longer sleep well if I have three cups of my Great Aunt's strong tea at  4pm.  Considering I get up at 5:30am the 1am reading was not such a good idea.  Then the dog decided to bark and bark and bark.  Two barks at a time spaced about 15 min apart.

Then friends in Bali sent a text message at 4:15 am.

I didn't really get back to sleep after that.

Today has gone surprisingly well all told, but here's hoping that the Chuckmeister sleeps a little better tonight and I do to.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Toronto Public Library


My only problem is I'm starting all the books at once!

Ohhh, and we went for pho.  I LOVE pho......

Then bubble tea for the kids (and me)

Walks in the park

Bike rides


Dinner outside.

Gotta love a weekend.  and the TPL.

If someone plays music in the woods....

This is amazing