Sunday, December 31, 2006

Woo hoo!

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

I'm joining the piggy round-up

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Not just in the momosphere

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Friday Fun!

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

This week's most ...

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Monday, December 25, 2006

T minus two

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Planning amnesia

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

The year in review

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Bonus fun!

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Friday Fun!

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

In case you were wondering

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This week's most ...

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

It was so not about the pop

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Paint with what?

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday Fun!

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

This week's most ...

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tech notes: PVR rebooting

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Internalize much?

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Random bullets of randomness

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Vote early, vote often.

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Friday, December 8, 2006

Friday Fun!

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Sunday, December 3, 2006

Funk'd

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Friday, December 1, 2006

Friday Fun!

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

This week's most ...

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

Dressing for winter

The government has put together a website to help folks moving to this fine province. As part of this resource, there's a section on how to dress properly for the cold weather. There's a funky flash animation showing South Park-esque kids freezing. And a PDF file identifying just how many layers you should be wearing at any given thermometer reading.

I grew up just as schools stopped teaching the Imperial system of measurement and started up with the Metric. I was right at that sweet spot where I never really learned either all that well. I know this chart is for newcomers, but I think it's going to come in handy around here!

(Thanks to Nicholas Keung for his article "Winter dressing for beginners" in the Toronto Star.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Why is it?

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Tech Notes: DIA update - Days 8 through 10

OK. So it seems I've been a little distracted since my last foray into the web accessibility world. I've completed these:

Day 8: meaningful page titles
  • easy to do with websites created from scratch
  • unsure of how to implement theory with Blogger (doesn't let you have much control over the page titles)
Benefits:
  • everyone benefits -- it's a basic principle of good webdesign
  • specifically:
    • some screen readers have special keyboard shortcut (INSERT + F10) which displays (and reads) a list of the currently open windows, by page title.
    • Lynx displays the page title in the first line of output, so it's always the first thing that Marcus reads in Braille.
    • For various reasons, folks sometimes gets confused and momentarily loses track of what he's reading. The page title in the window titlebar acts as a visual anchor; it stays in the same place, even as he scrolls the page. You can always glance back to it to jog your memory.
    • Google displays the page title in its search results, and it ranks keywords higher when they appear in the page title. This is a Good Thing for you, if you're interested in generating site traffic.

    Day 9: Providing additional navigation aids
    • only able to add one (home) of the three (home, prev, next) as Blogger doesn't yet do the "next" and "prev" thing gracefully

    Day 10: Presenting your main content first
    • Wahoo!! This was really easy to implement as I don't use tables for page layouts! Woot!

    Benefits:
    • Folks using specialized readers can "see" my main content without having to endure my sidebar lists. (Many specialized readers display content in the order in which it appears in the HTML source. Which means that they have to go through a terribly long menus and sidebars to get to actual content.)
    • It also assists with search engines better able to rank your site -- some give more weight to the content nearest the top of the HTML page (not the page as it is viewed.)

    Notes:
    You don't have to have the sidebar on the right of the page to make the page accessible, contrary to what this page suggests. (In fact, it is possible, with a poorly configured website, to have the sidebar on the right hand side of the page and still have the sidebar content appear first in your HTML source. For a quick check, load your page without a reference to styles (or a style sheet). What you see, unformatted in the browser, is the order in which your data will appear in a screen reader.)

Time to make complete these changes: 10 minutes.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Friday Fun!

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

This week's most ...

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Dear Santa

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

No Child Without

From the Globe and Mail article "MedicAlert launches child program -- Charity to provide medical bracelets to eligible children aged 4 to 14"
"A Canadian charity is launching a bold new initiative to bolster the safety of an estimated 200,000 schoolchildren who suffer from potentially life-threatening conditions such as asthma, diabetes and peanut allergies."

"The children will be provided with a free MedicAlert bracelet, engraved with key medical information and backed up with access to a detailed electronic medical record and contact information through a 24-hour-a-day hotline."

From the MedicAlert website:
"The No Child Without program is an exciting new program developed to ensure children across Canada from Junior Kindergarten up to the child's 14th birthday with medical conditions, allergies or special needs are protected by the Canadian MedicAlert®
Foundation. There is no cost to the parent, school or Board of Education. "


Brilliant!


Monday, November 20, 2006

Do the sleeve sneeze


(A follow-up to my Nov 6 post "Why don't we do it in our sleeves?")

Toronto Public Health has a new promotion on with this snazzy poster and this not so snazzy name "Stop the Spread of Germs Health Promotion Campaign."




Disability discrimination

Helen Henderson's article in Saturday's Star, "Why the gap between ability, job quality?" highlighted "society's inability to evaluate correctly the talents of people who move or process information differently from the decreed norm."

According to the article:
In 1998, the Canadian Council on Social Development found that 51.8 per cent of men and 41.1 per cent of women with disabilities with post-secondary degrees were employed compared with 82 per cent and 73 per cent of their respective able-bodied counterparts.

Three years later, a Statistics Canada survey showed only 51 per cent of people with disabilities aged 25 to 54 were employed compared with 82 per cent of their able-bodied peers.
Among those aged 55 to 64, 27 per cent of people with disabilities were employed compared with 56 per cent without disabilities, StatsCan said. For youth with disabilities aged 15 to 24, 47 per cent had jobs compared with 57 per cent of those without disabilities.
The mind boggles.

To learn more about what's being done to change these statistics, visit the Canadian Association of Professionals with Disabilities website.








Sunday, November 19, 2006

PSA: Chubby Bunny

"Chubby Bunny" is a game often played by children that involves the placement of increasing number of marshmallows or similar items into one's own mouth until you can no longer say "chubby bunny."

Sounds harmless, non?

"The game is insane," said John Fish to the Globe and Mail. "You have these esophagus-sized plugs and you're not allowed to chew them or swallow them, but your saliva's acting on them and making them slippery -- I mean it's inevitable that someone is going to die." (Mr. Fish's 12-year-old daughter died after playing Chubby Bunny at school in 1999.)

Also from the Globe and Mail article:
"You breathe in at the wrong time and you draw a huge airway obstruction down into your airway that is essentially self-sealing," said Chris Darby, duty manager for Thames ambulance."It's like spraying Styrofoam in there."
For more information, see this CBC news article, the Wikipedia entry or this article on snopes.com.




Friday, November 17, 2006

World Kindness Week

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Friday Fun!

OneLook's reverse dictionary!
"OneLook's reverse dictionary lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept. Your description can be a few words, a sentence, a question, or even just a single word."

Brilliant! If you could link it straight to my brain, I'd buy a life-time subscription! (Am I the only one noticing they're losing words since they became a mom?)



Thursday, November 16, 2006

This week's most ...

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Club Penguin

According to this recent Globe and Mail article, clubpenguin.com has emerged as an unlikely Interweb phenomenon. Three fellows from British Columbia launched this social networking site for the preteen set over a year ago.

It's a type of MySpace.com or Facebook.com for eight- to 14-year-olds.

To date, Club Penguin has resisted the temptation to cash in on their success.

Quoting from the Globe and Mail:
"Advertising is a great model for a grown-up world," explained Mr. Merrifield, who has two children of his own. "But I wouldn't want my seven- or eight-year-old being pitched all day long. I wouldn't let my child watch an hour of advertising on TV. So why would I on the Web?"
Very cool. I wonder how long it will last.




Chicken soup for a mother's soul

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Monday, November 13, 2006

PSA: Tips for parents

And now for a Public Service Announcement (PSA). (With thanks to Andrea Gordon for putting together the original article.)

Dr. Vito Forte, chief of otolaryngology at the Hospital for Sick Children, has a few tips for parents:
  • Don't try to remove something from a child's ear, nose or throat yourself. Chances are, you'll push it in further.
  • Go to a hospital, where you'll have access to a specialist if needed.
  • If you notice discharge or a foul odour coming from your child's nose or ear, or if they complain of pain, have it checked out. They might have stuck something in there.
  • Heed the warnings on toys with small pieces that indicate they aren't recommended for the under-3 set.
  • Watch for tiny button cell batteries found in electronics. They leak alkaline in contact with moisture, and should be treated as a medical emergency.






Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tech Notes: scanner software

Note to self: in case you ever need this again! (Can you tell I'm having a productive weekend?)

Thank you HP Support, for putting this out there so I could find it!


HP Scanjet Scanners - Resolving Internet Explorer Script Errors in Line 114

Symptom
An Internet Explorer Script Error in Line 114 displays when opening HP Director. This is caused when the file hpqdirec.exe is not properly registered with the System Registry.


Solution
Manually register the file, hpqdirec.exe, by following the directions below:
  1. Click the Start button, then select Run.
  2. In the Run box, type c:\program files\hewlett-packard\digital imaging\bin. Then click OK.
  3. Locate the file hpqdirec.exe in the opened folder. After verifying that the file is there, click the Start button, then select Run.
  4. In the Run box, type command. This will open the DOS command prompt.
  5. Type CD\ and press Enter.
  6. Type c:\progra~1\hewlet~1\digita~1\bin\hpqdirec.exe /RegServer and press Enter.

    NOTE: There is a space between "hpqdirec.exe" and "/RegServer"
  7. Close the Command prompt, and turn the computer off.
  8. Turn the computer on, and run HP Director. The program should open correctly.



Your new version of Blogger is ready!

Or so claims the dashboard on my Blogger account. The real question is, am I?



Saturday, November 11, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Fun!

ThinkGeek Bluetooth Retro HandsetThe perfect gift for analogue people (like me) in this ultra digital world! The "ThinkGeek Bluetooth Retro Handset."

Now updated "to connect to your cell phone using Bluetooth technology. That's right! No more tangled up phone cord. Now people will think you're really crazy talking into a old-time handset connected to... nothing."

Now all I need is a cellphone.







Thursday, November 9, 2006

This week's most ...

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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Tech Notes: DIA update - Day 7

After years of procrastination, I'm finally working my way through Dive Into Accessiblity. Last night, I completed Day 7.

For those of you playing along, that means I've read about Jackie, Michael, Bill, Lillian and Marcus's issues.

I've ensured that I've identified DOCTYPEs on each of my webpages. And lastly, I've declared language on each of my pages.

All of that took less than an hour. I may be able to get through this by the end of the year after all!




Monday, November 6, 2006

Curious

Not seven minutes after I posted "Why don't we do it in our sleeves?" , someone from the Health Canada office swings by for a visit.

Now that's spooky.



Why don't we do it in our sleeves?

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Saturday, November 4, 2006

Bonus fun!

Nothing quite like the sound of a giggling baby! (With thanks to Break.com.)






Friday, November 3, 2006

Friday Fun!

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Thursday, November 2, 2006

Diversity

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This week's most ...

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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Polyoramas

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Why is it?

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Where does one begin?

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday Fun!

No wonder our idea of beauty is so distorted. (Hrm... with this technology available, maybe I can audition for those "super model" roles afterall!)

Have a look at the innovative Dove "Evolution" ad.



Thursday, October 26, 2006

This week's most ...

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Doctor Who?

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Annika website update

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hello Mr. Miche!

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Difficult Clients

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday Fun!

Jim Henson's "Fraggle Rock" is coming to the big screen!

The 1980s cult hit TV show is being developed by Ahmet Zappa -- younger son of Frank Zappa -- into a full-length live-action musical fantasy starring the classic characters.



Thursday, October 19, 2006

This week's most ...

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Monday, October 16, 2006

Wiped

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Preschool boys

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Friday, October 13, 2006

How great is that?

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Friday Fun!

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

This week's most ...

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A weekend of Thanks

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Saturday, October 7, 2006

Why do I blog here?

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Friday, October 6, 2006

Friday Fun!

Try as I might, I can't locate the original post to which this image belongs. But I love it!



(With thanks to one of my professional lurkers for tipping me off.)


Thursday, October 5, 2006

This week's most ....

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Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Recurring dream

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Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Sobering follow-up

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Monday, October 2, 2006

Blogging across boundaries

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Sunday, October 1, 2006

It's all over... for now!

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Fear

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Friday, September 15, 2006

I am. Are you?

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Friday Fun!

From beginning:
Clown-face sandwiches
"... it actually explains why some children are afraid of clowns."



To end:
Moms Prefer Smell of Their Own Baby's Poop
I'm willing to let that claim go untested.





Thursday, September 14, 2006

This week's most ...

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

QOTD

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Oprah dissed Mom Jeans

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Real life, real drama

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Friday, September 8, 2006

Friday Fun!

"A groom cake to go with the traditional wedding cake. A guy's cake. Like... made out of meat."
http://www.blackwidowbakery.com/demo/meatcake/

CMAJ article on the clinical off-label use of a recreational device (the Super Soaker Max-D 5000) in the alleviation of a socially emergent ear condition.
http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/173/12/1496




Thursday, September 7, 2006

This week's most ...

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Sunday, September 3, 2006

Tech Notes: Wiki Dot

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Exactly how much?

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Saturday, September 2, 2006

Thursday, August 31, 2006

This week's most ...

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pinch me, I must be dreaming!

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Allergic Living

I stumbled across this the other day. It looked interesting and informative. And if I read correctly, it's Canadian to boot! Thought I'd give it a plug.

They bill themselves as:
"the magazine and website for people dealing with serious food and environmental allergies and asthma."

http://www.allergicliving.com/




Monday, August 28, 2006

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Words of wisdom

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Fun!

Puppetry like you've never seen before!
http://machomedia.blogspot.com/2006/06/little-girl-giant.html
The little girl giant
woke up one morning
got a shower from
the Sultan's Elephant,
and wandered off to
play in the park...

[Warning: Sound]




Thursday, August 24, 2006

This week's most ...

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday Fun!

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

This week's most ...

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tech Notes: web hosting and domain names

Recently, I was helping a friend makeover their website. In the process, they also needed web-hosting. There was only one requirement: that their money go to a Canadian company.

I thought I'd share some of my research and findings, in case any of you out there are in the market too. (And this give me a chance to document things on the off-chance I ever need it again!)




monthly webhosting as low as(*) domain registration available(+) domain privacy available(%)
canaca.com $3.95 no no
blacksun.ca $10.00 yes yes
stormweb.ca $2.99 yes yes
dotcanada-costco.com $99.00 per year yes unknown
selectMyDomain.com
(a division of StormWeb)
no yes yes




* the "as low as" packages typically require you to commit for a year or more at a time
+ typically, .ca domain names cost almost twice as much as .com domains. I've seen them "on special" as low as ~$10 for a year and as high as $40
NOTE: watch out if your purchasing a secondary domain that you wish to point to an existing domain... often obtaining the domain is inexpensive, but they fleece you when you decide you want to actually have the domain point to something
% as of this post, it is not possible to hide your personal information from the whois database if you've got a .ca domain (although I hear that's coming in the near future)



Lessons learned:
  • for privacy to be enabled on your domain name (so that people can't whois your phone number and address) you often have to contact tech support separately as the information isn't always apparent on the sign-up forms
  • check to find out what happens if you exceed your monthly bandwidth (network traffic). Do they charge you more or shut your site down?
  • find out what other services or widgets they offer that may or may not appeal to you
  • investigate claims or guarantees about service availability
  • if pre-sales support is shoddy, don't expect anything better after you buy
  • investigate tech support hours of availability
  • sometimes smaller organizations provide better support than the larger, well established ones
  • sometimes they don't




Monday, August 14, 2006

You're On Notice!

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday Fun!

Practical Math:
A Backhoe weighing 8 tons is on top of a flatbed trailer and heading east on Interstate 70 near Hays, Kansas. The extended shovel arm is made of hardened refined steel and the approaching overpass is made of commercial-grade concrete, reinforced with 1 1/2 inch steel rebar spaced at 6 inch intervals in a criss-cross pattern layered at 1 foot vertical spacing.

Solve: When the shovel arm hits the overpass, how fast do you have to be going to slice the bridge in half? (Assume no effect for headwind and no braking by the driver...)

Demonstrative solution.




Thursday, August 10, 2006

This week's most ...

... wonderful linguistic accomplishment:

Spontaneous speech has been a long time coming for weeMiche. She's been able to repeat words with clarity for over half a year.

"Say Dada, weeMiche."

"Da-dah!"

But she had chosen not to use those words. Chosen not to refer to Mr. Miche or me with any label.

About a month ago she started to point to us and use the appropriate labels. But only to a third person. (As in, my Daddy's over there.)

Last night, weeMiche marched up to Mr. Miche, said "Da-dah" and proceeded to inform him of a task with which she'd like him to assist.

Brilliant!


Wednesday, August 9, 2006

I could care less.

This isn't going to be a post about how much it drives me crazy when people use the phrase "I could care less" when they really mean that they couldn't care less. I really mean what the title says -- I could care less.

I care a lot. About everything. I was known in my place of employment as someone who had extraordinary attention to detail. I excelled at managing projects. Not because I was a good project manager, mind you. But because I cared so much about my work that I often picked-up the slack of others so things would some together in the end.

I worry too. Because I care. When tragedy befalls a friend, I try to find ways to help. And if I can't actually contribute something beneficial, I will often spend of a lot of mental energy brooding about the situation.

Let's not forget the time spend wondering if I offended the cashier at the grocery store. Or technical support on the telephone. Or the hours feeling put out because of an ill-thought out comment made by a complete stranger. Why do I care about what these people think? Why do I spend my energy on people who have likely completely forgotten about our little insignificant interaction through the day?

This takes a lot of energy.

Don't get me wrong. Caring is a good thing. It helps to make me a good friend, daughter, wife and mother. It's the glue that holds the human race together despite mankind's determination to do otherwise. But you can't care 100% about 100% of the things in your life. At least, I can't.

Not only could I care less, I should care less. Even if only as a matter of self-survival.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

One whole day.

Mr. Miche noticed that I've been looking exhausted of late. He kindly offered up child-care for One Whole Day so that I could recharge.

What to do? What to do? One. Whole. Day. I could do anything I wanted! Spa time? (Try getting that last minute on a long weekend.) Personal pursuit time? (Like I can find any of my personal pursuits under all this clutter.) I could tend to my garden! (Did I mention recently about my stupid ankle?) It was looking like I might spend the day actually catching up on some much needed rest!! Woo hoo!

So. What did I do, you ask with envy?

I spent the day painting my parents' porch railing. Yep. That's right. I could get the whole thing done in one day or take 5 evenings to do it. I really need to protect my evening wind-down time. And it's done. And for One Whole Day I didn't have to plan, make or clean-up meals!

After dinner, the familyMiche went out for ice cream and playground time.

I didn't get the physical rest my body could probably have used, but the mental break sure felt good.

Monday, August 7, 2006

The Art of Medicine

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Saturday, August 5, 2006

Last Vaccination

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Friday, August 4, 2006

Friday Fun!

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Thursday, August 3, 2006

This week's most ...

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Wednesday, August 2, 2006

How do you do it?

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

It. Is. Done.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Things I learned today:

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday Fun!

Google Is Officially A Verb
http://techdirt.com/articles/20060705/232200.shtml

"From the standpoint of Google, however, this could take them a step closer to losing the trademark on their own name, as it starts to fall into more common usage. Can Google sue the Oxford English Dictionary? "


Tourist Remover
http://www.snapmania.com/info/en/trm/howto.html

An interesting service which lets you remove extraneous tourists from your holiday snaps. (I wonder if it works with photos of your ex?)


Your genes are shaped in part by your ancestors' life experiences -- no pressure.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/ghostgenes.shtml

"What people do no longer just affects themselves, but can determine the health of their children and grandchildren in decades to come. "


Thursday, July 27, 2006

This week's most ...

... surreal experience:

Fifty-plus children and caregivers sitting in a room for storytime, reciting "Goodnight Moon" without having to look at the pages being flipped.

"In the great green room, there was a telephone ...."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Random bullets

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

The only time is now

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday Fun!

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

This week's most ...

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pre-Party Panic

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I've been rooked.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Friday Fun!

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

This week's most ...

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Rain, rain ...

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Update: One Red Paperclip

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Sunday, July 9, 2006

Water safety tip

I was recently reminded that a toddler, if drowning and panicked, has the strength to submerge and drown an adult who is trying to save them.

Here was the advice offered to me:
  • if possible, use a life-saving hook to fish them out of the pool / water
  • if you have to get into the water, offer a life-buoy, flutter board or life-jacket for them to grab hold of
  • if you have have to get into the water and have no objects to offer, approach the victim on your back, with your feet closest to the victim. Be prepared to offer a firm kick to the victim's chest in the event they grab at you and try and push you down in an effort to get their own head above water.
Hopefully, none of us will ever have to act on this information.


Saturday, July 8, 2006

It's a small world

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Friday, July 7, 2006

Friday Fun!

Predicting the future -- search engines as "(the) database of intentions."
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/05/business/05leonhardt.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
http://www.google.com/trends

For those serious about environmentalism -- build your own grass chair.
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/04/get_ready_for_s.php


Question: How do you pave a 2.66 mile long track with a 33 degree bank in the turns?

Answer: Very carefully, with steamrollers and 40-ton pavers on 3-point winches and cranes. And to get the bulldozers (used as counterweights) at the top of the turn, you have to disassemble the entire crash netting. They've been at it for 2 months, and they're only half done.
http://www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/news/photo_galleries/


Thursday, July 6, 2006

This week's most ...

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Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Paralysis

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Monday, July 3, 2006

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday Fun!

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

This week's most ...

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Still around ...

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday Fun!

It seems I'm not the only one dealing with graduates from this particular School of Tech Support. Listen in on this fine graduate's work while he was employed at AOL. Have a read of the complete story here.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

This week's most ...

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Hell's Kitchen - gotta get my fix

Try as I might, though I hate to admit it, I get sucked into blatantly contrived and unrealistic reality shows like Hell's Kitchen. Is there a 12 step programme for people like me?

Monday, June 19, 2006

More support for less house-cleaning!

From The Toronto Star:
"Supporting the 'let them eat dirt' theory of child rearing, the research suggests that an overemphasis on cleanliness can actually open rodent -­ and human- ­ populations up to endemic, immune-based ailments, says Duke University scientist Bill Parker. "
Isn't it nice to have science back you up on minimal house-cleaning?

Doh! Except for this caveat:
"Nor, he says, is it likely a good idea to keep your kids dirty, or to let them eat mud."



Saturday, June 17, 2006

Oh, no! Say it isn't so!

According to these articles from The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star, the CBC will stop running Mr. Dressup reruns coming this fall.

If you think Casey and Finnegan should stay on the air, let the CBC know.

Tech Notes: batch HTML validation

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Thursday, June 15, 2006

This week's most ...

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Friday, June 9, 2006

Friday Fun!

Professional Rock Stacking & Rock Balancing by Team Sandtastic.

Here's a hobby I should pick up. No technology required and it would not only force me to get outside, but to also practise my patience.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Not one of my finer moments

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This week's most ...

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Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Johari: Thank You

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Tuesday, June 6, 2006

The Gift of Time

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Monday, June 5, 2006

Who am I?

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Saturday, June 3, 2006

Friday, June 2, 2006

Friday Fun!

A good reminder to erase your personal data from your hard-disk before selling your broken laptop on eBay to a buyer who thinks that he's buying a functioning laptop.

The Interweb makes for a whole new avenue of revenge.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

This week's most ...

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

We're still here

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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Tell me something I don't already know.

I found this over at Phantom's place. I wish I could say I was surprised by the results....

Your results:
You are An Expendable Character (Redshirt)

Since your accomplishments are seldom noticed, and you are rarely thought of, you are expendable. That doesn't mean your job isn't important but if you
were in Star Trek you would be killed off in the first episode you appeared in.


An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
100%
Beverly Crusher
80%
Deanna Troi
80%
Uhura
65%
Spock
64%
Chekov
60%
Geordi LaForge
55%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
55%
Will Riker
50%
Jean-Luc Picard
50%
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
50%
Data
41%
Mr. Scott
40%
Mr. Sulu
20%
Worf
15%


Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Quiz


Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday Fun!

24 beers a day for 8 years.
And I thought I had a pack-ratting problem.

CryptoKids.
Because it's never too early to start training for the NSA.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

This week's most ...

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I am NOT a Freelance Writer

For those of you coming to visit after reading this ninepounddictator post and Googling "Rebecca Eckler," I'm not the Freelance Writer who did a Mother's Day column criticizing Rebecca for having a blog and also having a nanny. Here is the link you are looking for.

Thanks for stopping by!

Favourite Finale

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Monday, May 22, 2006

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Post one hundred

Wahoo! I've reached my 100 post milestone! (Actually this was my 100th post, but I missed it and figured that you weren't counting along.)

Not bad considering back in February I had no idea what I would possibly post about!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Overwhelmed

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Bonus fun!

An enterprising chap from Montreal started an interesting project in July 2005. Could he parlay a red paperclip into a house?

It looks something like this:
Red paperclip --> fish pen -> door knob --> Coleman stove --> red generator --> instant party --> famous skidoo --> trip to yahk --> cube van --> recording contract --> a year in Phoenix ...

Now he's got one afternoon with Alice Cooper up for trade.

What do you think? How many more trades until he gets the house?

I wonder what I could get for a slightly used teether ....

Friday Fun!

Air with flavour:
http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/national/news/20060513p2a00m0na027000c.html
'The oxygen comes in two flavors: "strong mint" and "grapefruit" ... '
Does flavoured air _taste_ like the flavour? or just smell like it?

Liquid with scent:
(a repeat from Bacon and Eh's place)
Hasbro is releasing a perfume, 'Eau de Play-Doh'
Urm. No thanks. I can get mine directly from the can.

Visual simplicity:
From the article In pursuit of simplicity.
A montage of the Yahoo and Google homepages from 1996 to 2006.

Hearing and touch:
The final two senes are left as exercises for the reader.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

This week's most ...

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Random Bullets of Today

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Friday Fun!

The evolution of dance in 6 minutes. [warning: sound]

Apple vs PC. The gloves come off.
(at least 4 variations, keep hitting refresh!) [warning: sound]

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The "New Mom Look"

Fame? Talent? Beauty? Procreating with the movie star with whom you had a teenage crush? Apparently none of it can immunize you against the "new mom look" with which we're all so intimately familiar.

This week's most ...

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Monday, May 8, 2006

Note to self: Party ideas

Some gems to tuck away in this surrogate memory.

Birthday party tidbits from Andrea Gordon and Don'tLet'sStart. Fire stations and appliance box spaceships sound like so much fun! Crafts and bowling sound good too. I especially love the clown photo board and the carnival theme in the latter blog!

Hopefully, I'll remember where I filed these!

Sunday, May 7, 2006

The Compact: Update

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Saturday, May 6, 2006

New to the blogosphere

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Friday, May 5, 2006

Prevent or Cure Asthma

Apparently someone out there has cured themselves of asthma by infesting themselves with an intestinal parasite. I think for me, the cure is worse than the disease.

But look here, there's a sister story about the prevention of asthma by feeding children dirt. I think I'll save myself the time and aggravation by letting up on the housekeeping 'round these parts. Anyone care to join me?


Friday Fun!

The Pop Culture Translator. Brought to you by the Canadian College of English Language.

This week's most...

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Thursday, May 4, 2006

The Mother of All Jobs

(I didn't title the article to which I'm referring, but I feel I should apologize to Ann Douglas anyway. Sorry Ann!) I know it's been done once or twice before, but I never get tired of reading articles like "The Mother of All Jobs."

The job: a full-time stay-at-home mother.

Massachusetts-based Salary.com has calculated the pay scale for a non-working mother based on the tasks she performs every day.

They looked at the pay scales of 10 jobs that appear to be part of a mom’s day-to-day routine – including a janitor, a housekeeper, a daycare teacher, a cook, a laundry machine operator, a van driver, a CEO and even a psychologist – then averaged out what the typical matriarch should be making.

The amount: $148,462.37 (Cdn.), if someone was willing to pay her for all her hard work.

I love this part too:

Salary.com has a website where moms can plug in their circumstances (number of kids, their ages, time spent on certain chores, etc.) It will calculate how much those services would be worth if there was an official job title consisting of ‘full-time mom’, and even produce a printable document in the form of a paycheque.

Maybe I should print that off and and take it to the bank!

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Paranoia

I wonder how good or bad it is, that today, someone from the Toronto Star did a Google Search on "about Miche."

Overly sensitive?

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Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Monday, May 1, 2006

The InterWeb spells D-O-O-M

Technology is allowing us to make more mistakes faster than ever before!

Thanks to people like me that can't spell, but have internet access "traditional phrases are now more commonly misspelled than rendered correctly in written English." So says this article.

Common errors:

Common | Correct

straight-laced | strait-laced
just desserts | just deserts
font of knowledge or wisdom | fount of knowledge or wisdom
free reign | free rein
slight of hand | sleight of hand
phased by | fazed by
butt naked | buck naked
vocal chords | vocal cords
a shoe-in | a shoo-in


Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Gift of Acceptance

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Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday Fun!

It's possible to make everything into a competition. Even search engine results. Have fun at Googlefight!

This week's most ...

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Happy 80th anniversary!


Wahoo! Winnie the Pooh has his own star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame!

Not bad for a Canadian black bear named Winnipeg!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Gotta dance!

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday Fun!

In which we learn about the importance of shut-off valves while testing a foam firefighting system in an air force hangar.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I'm finally over the flu!

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This week's most ...

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Monday, April 17, 2006

Spreading the word

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Baby daze

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Friday, April 14, 2006

We pledge to fight 'blue-sky' thinking ...


© Giancarlo from Italy


"At The Cloud Appreciation Society we love clouds, we're not ashamed to say it and we've had enough of people moaning about them. Read our manifesto and see how we are fighting the banality of ‘blue-sky thinking’. If you agree with what we stand for, then join the society for a minimal postage and administration fee and receive your very own official membership certificate and badge."



Friday Fun!

by Azuregos Works

[warning: sound, adult language]

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A whole new meaning to the term "blue skying"

According to this article Beijing plans to ban more than 2m cars to ensure that one of the world's most polluted cities will have clear skies for the 2008 Olympic games. They will also be seeding clouds to induce rain and temporarily closing building sites and factories.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Note to self: Streetproofing

I came across this some time ago. I want to remember it for when we start to streetproof weeMiche. Just in case I don't remember, I'm marking it here. That way you can read it and remind me about later, when I post about not knowing what to do to keep our little girl safe.


Guidelines for streetproofing your kids (shamelessly ripped-off from Andrea Gordon's blog):

Rules for kids have to be few and simple. The best ones I ever heard, adapted over the years for teenagers:

1) Never go anywhere with anyone without telling me or the adult in charge. For balky adolescents, you can approach it as a matter of courtesy - that family members need to know how to get in touch with each other.

2) If you get a funny feeling in your stomach, or something doesn't seem right, get away from a person or situation ASAP (or in the case of little kids, tell an adult they want to leave).

Those rules cover everybody - the "friendly neighbour" down the street, the uncle, the babysitter's boyfriend and, of course, strangers.


Sunday, April 9, 2006

How do you know when you're done?

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Tech Notes: E-mail ... for geezers?

Interesting. According to this article, if you're in your teens or early 20s, e-mail is now considered to be an old-school technology. One that's useful mainly for communicating with parents and teachers. Old people.

Kinda makes me wonder where technology is going to be when weeMiche is in highschool. *shudder* I'm not sure I'm up for that kind of learning curve.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Friday Fun!

OK. I'll admit it. I didn't know that "scumbag" was an offensive word. A word so offensive that it outraged some people doing the New York Times crossword puzzle.

Still puzzled yourself? Have a read here.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

One of Those Days

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This week's most requested ....

.... interactive rhyme is "Criss, cross, applesauce."

Criss Cross [draw an 'X' on their back with your index finger]
Applesauce [touch left, then right shoulders on the syllable
Spiders crawling up your back [walking your fingers up their back]
Cool breeze [blow across the top of their head]
Tight squeeze [hug tightly]
Now you've got the shiveries [tickle over whole body]

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Tech Notes: Blog Search

For those keen to try All Things Beta, Google's done it again with their Blog Search.

My all time favourite Google tool is still their map / satellite function. First, go here http://www.google.ca/maps and enter as criteria "1 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A1, Canada" and voila! A beautiful hybrid map / satellite image of Rideau Hall!

QOTD: Opportunity

"Opportunity knocks at the strangest times. It's not the time that matters But how you answer the door."
-- Steve Gray

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Monty Python as required reading

Not exactly. But according to this article, a travel book written by Michael Palin will become required reading in high school to boost interest in geography.

It's certainly not the Spanish Inquisition, but I didn't expect that!

Saturday, April 1, 2006

How the "haves" view the "have-nots"

Jan Wong has a great article in the Globe and Mail today. It's the first in a five part series describing her experience spending a month as a minimum wage earner, working as a housecleaner. She describes her struggle to exist on less than a living wage. Not surprising is the way that most clients treat their housecleaning staff.

A very interesting look at life.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Fun!

This post was in no way inspired by DaniGirl's recent pants incident.

This video says it all!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

One Tough Challenge

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This week's most requested ...

... book is Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton.

Excerpt:
    STOMP YOUR FEET! CLAP YOUR HANDS! EVERYBODY READY FOR A BARNYARD DANCE!
    Bow to the horse. Bow to the cow. Twirl with the pig if you know how.
    Bounce with the Bunny. Strut with the duck. Spin with the chickens now--CLUCK CLUCK CLUCK!
    With a BAA and a MOO and a COCKADOODLEDOO everybody promenade two by two!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

QOTD: Timely inspiration

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Clearly I'm not part of the target demographic

The post "Programmable Liquid Container lets you customize your cola" was recently brought to my attention. Which linked to this post about Customizable Soda. Imagine that, "up to 32 possible soda choices in a single bottle."

I don't know about you, but I can't even recall 10 different flavours of soda pop! But then again, I can't remember the names of all Seven Dwarfs either.

Monday, March 27, 2006

No doubt based on my extensive medical expertise

Am I the only one who thinks it's a little odd that the first page returned by Google when searching for "Epipen guidelines" is a link to my blog?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Tech Notes: The importance of back-ups

In today's Public Service Announcement I'd like to stress the importance of frequent back-ups of critical data.

Enough said.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday Fun!

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

This week's most persistent ...

... earworm (ohrwurm) is Five Green and Speckled Frogs (lyrics below).

Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Get it out of my head!!!

Five green and speckled frogs
Sat on a speckled log
Eating some most delicious bugs
YUM! YUM!

One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Then there were
Four green and speckled frogs
GLUB. GLUB.

(Repeat in descending order.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Make $$$ Fa$t

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Monday, March 20, 2006

Disclaimer

The posts in this blog may or may not be works of fiction. Names, persons, places and events described here may or may not be products of the writer's overactive imagination after scarfing back a chocolateFudgeWalnutBrownie. Any resemblance to actual places, events, or people, living or dead, could be coincidence -- or might be intentional.

Thank you and good day.

Never lose track....

"GlobalPetFinder introduces the latest in proven GPS and 2-way wireless technology to help you keep track of your beloved pet."

I wonder if anyone has considered using this for their children?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Four Meme

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Hogs and Cusses - part three

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Friday fun!

I can't believe there's a market for Puppy Purse Carriers® like these. (Poor, poor, puppies!)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

update: greeting card design

Perhaps creating greeting cards as the play-group craft is a little ambitious for children of weeMiche's age. But there's nothing like glue-stick, markers, stickers and glitter to keep toddlers happy! (Too bad the items are never quite used as intended)

This week's most requested ...

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

PSA: I've been targeted... have you?

Hey! How many of you got spammed with this message today? (I've changed the company name to BlahBlahBlah to avoid giving extra publicity to the folks in question.) If you are in any way linked or available from T.O.Mama's post from last year, be warned... this message is headed your way! (This is based on visitor tracking information available to me.)

(I have to say, I'm impressed that one of my posts was actually read... briefly and incompletely but read nonetheless.)
Hello and good afternoon from BlahBlahBlahMom.com..I hope this message finds you well. My name is Chris Cooper and I work with a company called BlahBlahBlahMom, one of the internet's leading resource and shopping sites for Moms.. If you are not familiar with BlahBlahBlahMom, please stop by their site at www.BlahBlahBlahMom.com. This morning I was on the 'net looking for some "parent/kid focused" blogs this morning and came across your blog, and I really enjoyed reading your posts. (how did it go with the greeting card submission?)

Anyway, I wanted to contact you today to see about your interest in possibly joining the BlahBlahBlahMom Affiliate Program. Are you familiar with Affiliate Programs? If not, basically they work like this: you would join the BlahBlahBlahMom program (for free, of course), and post an ad or two on your blog promoting BlahBlahBlahMom. Then, whenever your readers click those ads, come over to the BlahBlahBlahMom site and join BlahBlahBlahMom, you are paid a commission on that registration. The affiliate program is a quick and easy way to make some extra money from you blog.

We do have a number of incentives that we use to attract new members to join, in fact right now we are featuring a Free one year subscription to Parents Magazine as well as a $2500 Home Organization Sweepstakes. You could post a banner or text link about these offers on your blog, and since your blog is read by the perfect BlahBlahBlahMom member (moms!), it would seem to be a natural fit to post info about BlahBlahBlahMom and make some money on the side.
Please let me know what you think. If you have any questions or comments - please feel free to get in touch via phone or email. If you would like to get started, you can apply here:www.BlahBlahBlah.com/BlahBlahBlahMom.

Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon!


Perhaps laying in wait is a bad idea?

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Needed: single-use copywriter

update: Copywriter no longer required!

Thanks for all of your ideas and submissions.

We're syndicated!

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

How Evil Are You?

With thanks to Badger for pointing the way to a place where there are no limits to how unproductive I can be!

You Are 30% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

Bwahahahahahahaaaaa!!!! Ahem. Hope everyone's having a nice weekend!

Good Deed'O'The Day

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday Fun!

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Thursday, March 9, 2006

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Points of Prattle

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Marimba Ponies: Too cute for words!

I'd never heard of the Marimba Ponies until I happened across this post which linked to this 8 MB MPEG of the band doing the Sabre Dance. (Technically I came across the URL to the MPEG first and had to back-extrapolate the post... but that's neither here nor there).

It's worthwhile noting that members of the Marimba Ponies are aged four through twelve.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

101 Things About Me

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Test Results

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Monday, March 6, 2006

Disclosure

The contents of this post have been deleted.

Sing-A-Long On Demand

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Sunday, March 5, 2006

In The News: Canadian Parent Help Line Closes

Canada's Parent Help Line phone-in service shut down last month due to lack of funding. Read the Globe and Mail article.

In The News: Mercury in Fluorescent Bulbs

Not unlike their pole-shaped counterparts, compact fluorescent blubs also contain mercury and should be treated with the same precautions.

Noteworthy points from the Toronto Star article:
  • If a compact fluorescent bulb breaks, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency advises householders to immediately air out the room to let mercury vapour escape. The broken glass should be swept up, not vacuumed, and then placed in a sealed bag.
  • Manitoba Hydro advises householders to wipe the area where the bulb broke with a damp paper towel, and to dispose of the towel with the shards of glass.Most bulbs will burn out eventually without breaking.
  • Both Toronto Hydro and Ontario's energy ministry have the same advice: Store the burned-out bulbs in a safe place, and dispose of them when there's a community hazardous-waste collection.
  • In Toronto, there's generally one Environment Day per year in each ward, when local residents can bring hazardous waste to be safely disposed of.During the rest of the year, the city's six solid-waste drop-off depots will take hazardous waste. Information is available at 416-338-2010.
Read the Toronto Star article.