Friday, December 25, 2009

David Wilcox Natural Edge

One of the best acts of all times.... virtuoso... David Wilcox.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Brittany Murphy dead from H1N1 ?


....Apparently from natural causes.
Will the coroners office release further information about " flulike" symptoms .... was it H1N1 ?
It's understood that Murphy had a preexisting medical condition which may have made her more susceptible to H1N1.
So Sad ...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pretty Pictures and more



As the year draws to a close,I'm extremely happy that my annus horribilis is almost over.
The economy crashed and we were dragged into the maelstrom. My ex convict decided to stop paying his court ordered child support and my beloved became extremely ill. I discovered that crooks and thieves are experts at playing the system and am still owed five figures in back support.We had to fore go such items as food,extra curricular activities and many items which most people would consider basic necessities.
I kept our crew afloat through working at a position which was below my skill set and far below my normal rate of remuneration. My normal work day began at 6 a.m and ended at 5.30 p.m., it was exhausting but we were grateful that I had a job when so many were unemployed.
For most of the year, the reno slowed down to a trickle as we could not afford to hire subcontractors for some of the work.
We did what we could, we completed a washroom,all of the drywall,the fountain,a boxed garden,retooled the wiring,cleaned out the garage,installed the last window and have started to frame in the windows.
The majority of the work can only be accomplished when my Reno Man is up to the job.
Multiple Sclerosis is a nasty disease which attacks differently every day.It's so frustrating for Reno to see the work which needs to be finished yet not to be able to complete the job.MS can screw up the best intentions to complete a project no matter how small.
Despite setbacks,work progressed slowly yet surely.
Most recently we finished the eco program and had our home re-audited to realize a fat cheque for completing retrofits to improve our home energy usage.
Our 43 year old house is now insulated tighter than a new home ... the result of replacing our roof,insulating, and replacing all of the windows and doors with new energy efficient replacement windows.
Reno started back at the old grind, boxing and framing in our windows.Day by day, the house is coming together. The teenager scored a part time retail job that she loves and I landed a dream job at a non profit organization.
We are still fighting an upward battle,not only is there no Christmas tree ,for the first time in our history, there will be no presents underneath it. Our money is tied up in mortgage payments,utilities,insurance and food.
I don't believe our situation is unique,many former middle class families are struggling to keep it all together despite the frigid shock of new found poverty.
Coping with the restriction poverty brings, we will be happy to spend the holiday season together,healthy and glad to have a few days off. Christmas is a time to relax,breathe deeply and look forward to brand new year.It's an interesting perspective,no commercialism, no gifts and surprisingly no stress. Perhaps simple is better ?
I could not imagine placing my family on a list for a food hamper or presents for the girls and question why year after year, the same families receive such charity from the Salvation Army or like organizations.I know what it is to be without, yet cannot imagine putting out my hand year after year. Why the entitlement at just one point in the year ?
I received many presents this year. I learned patience,understanding,new skills and empathy. I'm pleased to have made it this far on my own skills and dime.
I trust in the universe, in karma.We will be a stronger happier family as a result of this hard lesson no matter how difficult the lesson
As I left for work one day last month, the sunrise was spectacular, the sky magnificent yet ominous. Much like the sky, this year has been a beautiful horrible scene which turned into a beautiful warm bright day...here are the pictures to prove it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Get Informed about H1N1



Luke Gerram Virus Sculpture photo from http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2009/sep/02

Get informed about H1N1, get vigilant and protect you and the ones you love against the flu.

Following article courtesy of the Government of Ontario.

This year it's a different flu season

How can you tell if you or your child has H1N1?
Use Ontario’s online self-assessment tool which helps to diagnose the symptoms.
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/ccom/flu/h1n1/public/tools/assessment/default.aspx

What to Do When Your Child is Sick with Influenza
1. Treat your child’s fever
Take off heavy clothing and blankets.
Dress the child in lightweight clothing and keep the room temperature at 20°C (68°F).
Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and muscle pain in the dose recommended on the package (unless your doctor says otherwise).
Note : Do NOT give acetylsalicylic acid (ASA or Aspirin®), or any cold medicine that has ASA, to children or teenagers under the age of 18.

2. Treat your child’s other flu symptoms
Encourage your child to get plenty of rest.
Use salt-water nose drops to treat a stuffy nose.
Ask your pharmacist about any over-the-counter medicines for cough.
3. Protect others from flu
Keep your child at home until his/her fever has been absent for at least 24 hours and he or she is feeling well enough to resume normal activities. It’s important for your child to stay home if there’s fever so that the virus doesn’t spread to other children.
Your child can return to school 24 hours after the fever has resolved and he/she is feeling well enough to get back to normal activities.
When should you seek medical care for your child?
Use Ontario’s influenza assessment tool
(link: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/ccom/flu/h1n1/public/tools/assessment/default.aspx) to see whether your child needs medical care.

Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider if your child is under age 5 and develops flu symptoms. The risk of complications from flu is higher for children under age 2.




H1N1 Vaccination

Where is the shot available?
Many health care providers, Family Health Teams and Community Health Centres are now offering the flu vaccine. Moms should call their doctor’s office first to see if they offer the shot, and if not there is updated listing of flu clinics here: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/ccom/flu/h1n1/public/clinics.aspx. This list is updated regularly.

Children


Children are highly susceptible to the H1N1 virus, it is recommended that parents get their children immunized over the next few weeks.


Depending on their age and health conditions, some children should receive two half-doses of H1N1 flu vaccine, administered at least 21 days apart.
If you have already had your child vaccinated, and they are between 6 months and 35 months old, they may be due for a second dose. Check with your health care provider or take a look at the chart here: (link to: dose chart on Ontario.ca/flu)


Seniors with underlying health conditions

Adults aged 65 and older seem to have more protection against getting H1N1 flu than the general public but those with underlying health conditions are more vulnerable to serious complications and death if they do contract the disease.

Seniors with underlying health conditions will be offered the vaccine in the offices of their family health care providers.

Information for pregnant women
Pregnant women are no more likely to get the H1N1 flu virus than the rest of the population, but they are more likely to develop complications from an influenza infection.

Most pregnant women who get the H1N1 flu experience mild symptoms of influenza. They will be sick for a few days with fever and cough, and then recover. A small number may become severely ill and require hospitalization.

As with seasonal influenza, pregnant women, especially those in the 2nd and 3rd trimester, and women up to 6 weeks after delivery are at a higher risk of developing complications from influenza (e.g., pneumonia).




Wouldn’t if just be safer to not get vaccinated at all during pregnancy?

When you are pregnant, your immune system is suppressed. This puts pregnant women among those who are most at risk of complications from catching the H1N1 virus.

So it is strongly recommended that pregnant women receive an H1N1 vaccination so you can avoid catching the H1N1 flu.

The vaccine is safe for pregnant women. The vaccine does not contain live virus; you cannot contract H1N1 flu from it. Unadjuvanted vaccine is being offered and can be administered at any stage of pregnancy. Link for pregnant women: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/ccom/flu/h1n1/public/pregnant.aspx


Links

http://www.ontario.ca/flu

www.momcentral.com

Fight H1N1 - Become a warrior Mom



I laid on the couch (two of them pushed together to create our bed during this renovation period )exhausted and hurting. I felt as if someone had taken offense and beat the crap out of my left arm, but no, I had demanded that a health professional stick a needle into my arm to protect me against the H1N1 virus.
I deliberated whether this "reaction" was a physical or psychological manifestation, was I short of breath and sporting a low grade temperature because of the shot or merely because I took my girls to the H1N1 clinic after a grueling ten hour day at work before we had an opportunity to have dinner ?
Would this inoculation protect me,my girls and my immune suppressed beloved against the newest version of the Grim Reaper ?
Did I make the right decision or was there any truth to the counter-spin that the serum contained mercury or was an untested serum which may cause deadly side effects now or in the future? The debate raged in the office and amongst my Facebook friends.
I don't ever remember my parents debating the pro/cons of immunization, it was part of the agenda. Immunization was a fact of life and it kept the bad diseases such as tuberculosis from destroying another generation. My Fathers' Mother died at the age of 31, in a tent, on the farm in 1922 from TB. She left 5 children all under the age of 7 because THERE WAS NO CURE OR PREVENTATIVE MEASURE. Death from communicable diseases was real and devastating,it affected my parents generation in every way possible.
We have destroyed pandemics and saved millions because of the advances of modern science. Why are we intent on going backwards ?
In my house, we take every and extra precaution to keep healthy,my beloved lives with Multiple Sclerosis and has a compromised immune system. When he gets sick, he can die or take twice the time to recover compared to one of us.
Keeping my family healthy is my first priority and I don't suffer fools lightly... I despise people who decline the flu shot,are sloppy with personal health hygiene,and knowingly go into work or send their kids to school when they're sick are high on my hit list.
We need to become vigilant about our families health, against H1N1 and other viral boogeymen.

Get the H1N1 immunization and get your regular flu shot.
Frequently wash your hands and teach every family member the same hygiene.
When sick, stay home.
Become a warrior against H1N1,devise a sick house plan with your family and stick to it.
What's a sick house plan ?
It's a plan devised to confine the sick person away from other family members and the public and designed to stop the virus from spreading to other people.
The first step to creating a healthy house is insisting that every family member wash their hands with soap and hot water when returning home.
If sick, the sick person will wear a medical mask when not confined to their room.
The sick person will be excused from daily chores and confined to their room in order to keep the virus away from the rest of the family.Meals and liquids are delivered to the sick person's room and the sickee should be confined to one washroom.
The sick person's bedding is washed on a daily basis and toys are disinfected.The person handling the sickee's personal items will wear latex gloves and a mask when dealing with the sick person.
It sounds extreme but it works.Keep in mind, it's not unlike previous sick hygiene protocol from the fifties or sixties. When your sick, you stay in your room and don't get to sit on the couch in the living room,watch T.V. and get other people sick.
Most of all , don't go to work when you're sick or send your little typhoid Mary to school to get other people sick.
We implemented this protocol last year and it works.
Become a warrior Mom and become vigilant against the outside forces which threaten your family.

http://www.momcentral.com




http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/ccom/flu/h1n1/public/tools/assessment/default.
http://twitter.com/MLHealthUnit

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Little Ceasars Hot N Ready



The best consumer find of 2009 for our family was discovering a cheap,fast,delicious and easy fast food for our eating pleasure.
Our family has had to extensively cut back our budget and that included eating out.
It's so easy to resort to fast food takeout or as the Brits call it "takeaway" but mighty expensive and nutritionally unsound.
Take out is now a once a month treat or birthday meal and we all agree that Little Ceasars Hot N Ready does it for us.
Where else can you feed a family of four for under 20 smackeroos, get free garlic and parm and the best pizza ever ?
Our favourite pizza is the "Canadian" followed by the traditional Hot N Ready.
No waiting 30 minutes or less, it's ready to go when you are.
The founders of " Hot N Ready" provides discount franchisee incentives to Veterans and community incentives for local fundraising.
Founders Mike and Marian Ilitch have stuck to a successful formula that he elaborated on in a Detroit Free Press article where he stated,
"It always hit me how much it cost to buy clothes for the kids. And how expensive it was to raise a family," said Mike, 79. "I had a passion to see if I could provide a quality product and buy the best ingredients available, at a price that would really fit in with people's budgets."
Some companies pitch a consumer product into the marketplace then jack up the price according to consumer demand. Mike and Marian Ilitch have made millions through offering a quality product and keeping the retail price of their daily driver (PIZZA)
affordable and below their competitors pricing.Their formula has won consumer loyalty and the high quality of the products keeps families coming back.
I don't frivolously pitch products, but Hot N Ready has provided a monthly family treat in a very tough financial time for us. It may be inexpensive but damn it,it tastes great and has provided us with a few great meals and memorable events.
If you haven't had a Hot N Ready ... you haven't truly lived.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What defines a Monster ...

This isn't a regular blog...just a twitter... a mini blog.
Mastoora Qezil plead guilty and will be sentenced later this month.
I'm not surprised by her plea,she will merely get a slap on the hand as the Crown has conceded, " she didn't mean to hurt anyone".
Right...when you insert sharp objects that can kill into a piece of food there is obviously no intent to hurt anyone.
This evening my thoughts were focused on Mastoora Qezil as I drove home from the library.
The modern justice system has a disdain for shaming or extracting the proverbial pound of flesh from criminals.You're not a bad person unless you intentionally kill someone.. "on purpose like". If you kill a person with your vehicle while impaired or
insert needles into "kid food" it's not on purpose, so not as bad.
Unbelievable...
The eureka moment burst into my consciousness as I turned onto my street.
A monster is someone who would rather be feared than loved.A sane person will always choose love over fear, it's that single choice that makes us human.
When you choose to exact your revenge on a former employer through lacing needles into a product which others will eat, that's clearly premeditation.
Mastoora chose an act of evil and through this act perpetrated fear and chaos.
Why should she get a light sentence when she clearly decided to wield fear and destruction?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ramone's Youtube channel.

The innernet has been an amazing tool that has shaken dictators and democratized the 3rd planet from the sun.
I could rave on philisophically about the innernet but instead I'm going to lay it on the line.
I love bootlegged media, specifically fan shot bootleg video.
I'm not endorsing downloading pirated media ... Reno is an artist and musician... I don't download because it hurts and discourages artists.
I don't think shooting video hurts anyone, instead it adds another layer to the artists' promotion.
I just discovered the Ramones Youtube channel.
I'm in love ...
Check out www.youtube.com/JukeRamone


p.s. - Cheryl, I spelled internet innernet cause it's conveying slang usage.
p.s.s.- I really dislike Melissa Schenck too..
p.s.s.s.- No need to respond... it's okay.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Where the f@#k is Miss Manners when you need her ?

I'm blaming The Hot Librarian for my instant slide into profanity.
I don't think swearing makes you appear smarter unless you fit it into a funny context. The Hot Librarian is funny and I admit that I view her as a younger,drunker,
single,childless me albeit with better grammer and syntax. I miss being uncensored.
I'm struggling with the Mumminess of Mummy blogs.

Im not a hypocritical tight ass who flogs multicorporate wares on the innernet.
I tried... I signed up to a Canuck mum blogo site and agreed to review a product.
I was so excited when I signed for my package from the sexy Purolator delivery dude and coyly mentioned to him that I was reviewing the product for a company when he queried .
I opened the box and pulled two measly boxes of @@@@@@@ out. You know... the hotel jam size. The glow went off the whole "review" scam...I wanted a new iphone,Acer or Flip Cam not two packets of condiments.After the scammy reality of flog your blogness set in I decided that I'm just not cut out for promoting mommy products.
That being said ...
Blogging has been good for me.I'm gradually improving my writing skills and learning new and interesting ways to express myself.

I'm proud to have introduced and enbedded 'The Undertoad" a blog about a guy named Andrew Kummer who killed three people in London Ontario one early spring night, Mastoora Qezil, a Mom who laced needles into hotdogs sold through out Ontario, and Fast Times at Lanigan High ,a new phenomena about gen x and boomer parents who supervise their teenagers binging.
Hundreds of you have visited my corner of the internet looking for information on binging,food tampering or the undertoad.For what ever reason,I hope you cutnpaste the relevant parts out for your essay and pray your teacher takes off marks for your (my)poor grammer and syntax, serves you fuckers right:)

I'm really hoping that the Lanigan class of 2010 plans their prom theme to be "Fast Times at Lanigan High" as my prom theme suggestion in 1986 got shot down. I thought we has a shot at getting the Premier to come to our high school if we planned our prom theme to be "Millers Ontario". Sure it was sarcastic but I think the prom theme election process was rigged.Who in their right minds would want "Walt Disney" to be your prom theme. No debauchery there.

Despite a few kudos and hurrahs over a few thought provoking posts, I'm not completely happy with the overall tone of the blog.I'm not an uptight hyprocrite Stepford Mom, just someone who may have grown wise in the last couple of decades but for the most part I'm stuck at the virtual age of 21. Don't get me wrong,I believe in
truth,justice,honesty and the rules of right and heaven help you if you think you're above the laws of the land.I have raised my daughters with this mantra but I'm not a prude. I like to push and reveal hypocrisy while watching society rotate from the outside ring.
I'm not a nice stepford Mom or the typical Redbook Mommy.
I endured a decade long dysfunction of a marriage with a narcisstic asshole before waking myself up from my nightmare to fight for my children and the right for us to live a normal life. I'm proud that we have made it so far and am so ever blessed to have met my knight in shining armour who secured our future and continues to butter my toast each and every morning. So I'm now a wiser smarter 21 year old revolutionary who likes to have the odd glass of pinot grigio and not drive.
I drop the f word at home on a regular basis but then again we all do...Katie worked up a wicked profanity habit from watching Bubbles on the Trailer Park Boys. We finally had to ban her from integrating swear words into every fucking sentence. It was getting to be a lazy habit, after all profanity only works if it's used in the right context.
Life's only interesting uncensored.
So from now on, no more pseudo stepfordisms... just the naked truth. Promise ...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Badlands

This year I'm enjoying the sweet moments of a statutory holiday.
Labour Day is bittersweet as it's the first long good bye to summer,the last day before the new school year starts and the reminder of why we work.
I'm grateful for my job, it provides shelter and the essentials of life.
It's not an academic challenge, it's merely a contract position but it does challenge me each and every day.I'm happy to have a job at at time when eleven percent of the adult population in my area doesn't have one.
It offers me hope, I landed a job in this economy and in the future I may have the right stuff to offer another company my talent and skills.
Long hours plus commute leaves me exhausted ... I appreciate every minute I have not working.
I had a eureka moment the other day as I was driving to work.
I was listening to Springsteen's "Badlands", probably for the umpteenth time since it was released in the 1970's. It's always been a landmark song but the Boss finally got me.
I finally feel and know the angst.
I know why it's good to be alive and wise enough to know why.
Happy Labour Day !

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Doves




Ever think that you're being watched ?
Last night Reno man was out cleaning the pool and heard a swish swish sound from the deck. Lo and behold it was his regular fan, the dove who regularly flies in to hang out beside the pool with my hot pool boy.The bird seems to be Reno's biggest fan and follows him around the yard as he works on the project du jour.
Last night, the dove decided to bring thirty or so of his friends to watch Reno do his thing.
The flock of doves .... thirty or so decided to pose for the cheap shot.
So bizarre ...

Monday, August 24, 2009

More




I admit it.
I hacked out the last blog when all I really wanted to do was post pretty pictures.
My writing sucks after a ten hour work day and today is no exception.
After posting, I meandered through sites I regularly read and lo and behold, The Hot Librarian posted after a long vay-cay from bloggo land.
You MUST read this, it's simply the funniest thing I have read in weeks, no months.
Take the jump at the right of my page, you won't regret it.
Now for some more useless snapshots ....

Dog Days of Summer





August is a schizoid month as the weather bounces between humid and rainy.
This month, Reno Man has been diligently working on his solar pool heater when it's not raining or frying hot on the deck.
We decided to build the solar heater on top of the gazebo roof or rather,instead of the gazebo roof. The end result will be an inexpensive solar heater that will raise the pool temperature ten degree's within three days.
The design of the heater is presently proprietary but may be available via ebay/paypal next year. Many solar pool heaters appear to be built by some sorry schmuck who reads "Popular Mechanics", thinks he can build anything and doesn't care too much for the visual aesthetic.
I'm quite pleased that Reno Man shares my values for modern design and simplicity and built a solar pool heater which is pleasing to look at and completely efficient.
We have enjoyed harvesting lettuce,peppers,nasturtiums and tomatoes from the garden.
Recession gardens have enjoyed a renaissance this year as millions of people have decided to grow their own food instead of buying inflated fresh food. I have always loved having a garden and this year is no exception.
It's a bittersweet summer, it seems like the hot weather just arrived a couple of weeks ago and it's already fading into autumn.
For the past few weeks, I have been weeding my garden at 6.00 a.m. before getting ready for work. This morning, it was still black when I trudged out to the garden to weed and turn off the pool pump.... a sure sign of the imminant season change.
Sigh ...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Won't you slip inside my sleeping bag ?


We moved into Reno House in midsummer of 2008 during the early stages of interior renovation.The girls had to share an almost finished bedroom which almost led to world war three but at least they were able to live inside.
Reno Man and I were left without a bed or couch or anything to sleep on.
The house with the exception of the teenager's room was under serious renovation. We were lucky to have a working toilet and electricity.We had no internet,telephone or television.
We cooked everything on the barbeque and set up a used just ripped out sink to create a place to wash up....outside.
It was brutal.

You get the picture.
Mom and Dad decided to buy a nine person tent and 36 inch air mattress and camped in the backyard for the rest of the summer.
Until the early October snowstorm , we slept outside under the stars beside the pool in our newly landscaped backyard.
In the summer,late nights were spent sipping a glass of wine or coffee at our patio table while listening to CBC 2 or simply watching the stars. Around eleven we would slip in to our tent and listen to the pool fountain as we drifted off to sleep.

I miss sleeping outside in the tent.
It was a great deal of fun , almost so much fun it could be classified as illegal in some countries ;)

It was a combination of the best camping experience of your childhood and adulthood,hiding out in a tent,talking until the wee hours and experiencing the best of both worlds.
I miss playing " lets find a talk radio AM radio station from south of the Mason Dixon line on the wind up portable radio".
It was a vital part of keeping our relationship healthy during an extremely trying stressful period of our lives.

We did discover a few interesting facts during our outdoor living period.

1. Ant's don't sleep at night. We had ants crawling on the ceiling and walls of the tent, They must sleep in shifts.

2. Our tent is grey,blue orange but under the yellow light that is situated in our maple tree, the tent looked yellow, grey and red. The ant 's would avoid crawling on the "red" colour.

3. Water is the enemy. It was important to keep the mattress away from the sides of the tent as to avoid the dew coming through the walls of the tent and getting us wet.
The tent surprisingly held up despite a few wicked storms. The rain pounded and the wind howled but we were surprisingly warm and dry inside.

4.Don't drink liquids too late at night so as to avoid a mid - night run into the house to use the facilities. This only applied to me as Reno Man could use the outdoor facilities.

5. Air mattresses are not meant to be used on a daily basis. They give out after six months of steady use.

6. Tuques are acceptable nightwear if the temperature falls below 5 C.

Our situation was dire and drastic but sleeping outside under the stars with my honey was so fine I get misty eyed from time to time.

I would recommend that every couple try sleeping outside under neath the stars in a sleeping bag for a night or two.
It's better than bacon !

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Think Summer 2009


"Anything the mind can conceive is possible. Nothing is impossible. All you have to do is look within and you can realize your fondest dreams. I would like to wish each one of you all of life's wonders and a joyful age of enlightenment." Doug Henning

It's overcast and humid. The humidity strikes you across the face and sucks the energy out through your sweaty pores. It's not summer hot, it's a damp and cool mist that encourages, no ,welcomes the plagues which used to dominate the summer climate of Upper Canada. The mosquitoes reign supreme ,dancing in the underbrush.
You swat them away as you pull away the weeds which have grownup beside your sickly plants that are merely existing not growing.
Summer, damn it, should know better.
Summer is hot,85 Farenheit hot.Banana Boat rising up through the air rippling off of hot tanned bodies.Chittering children's happy playful voices pollute the air amid the sounds of splashing water.The wind moving through the corn field,bee's buzzing through the country air.
Cicadas call out to one another when the temperature hits 80.
When I was growing up in Southwestern Ontario,we called them tree toads, the harbinger of summer heat. It was a big deal in the 1970's to hear tree toads as it wasn't the norm. It was a rare treat to have continuous heat above 80, how soon the collective forgets.
I believe Canadians have issues about the climate. What it should do,what it doesn't do. Our identity isn't based in culture, it's based in the weather.
We fail to speak out on the issues which we could have control over and instead obsess about the weather which we can't control.
The summer of 2009 is uncannily like the summer of 2008,1992,1991,1989 and as far back as 1816.It's not new or uncommon to have a rainy tepid summer filled with erratic low pressure unstable weather.
A few countries around the world are trying to control the weather through technology like HAARP but have discovered Mother Nature bites back with a vengeance when men in suits try to reign her in.
We are obsessed with our perception of what summer should be.Our urban Canadian society so desparately want to have a hollywood summer complete with white sand,tanned bodies and outdoor sidewalk bars.
It is such a disappointment when we are stuck with mosquito ridden,cool,rainy damp days.Canadian mother nature reminds us we live on the remnants of a distant ice age,surrounded by the untameable wild amidst man made cocooned development.
It's not Laguna Beach,Hemingway's Cuba or Elmore Leonard's South Beach.
We live in Margaret Atwood's "Surfacing".
Wild,unpredictable and so complicated.
If you can stop obsessing about the unattainable,discover pleasure in the simplest ways and apply your mind to manifesting your dreams then anything is possible.
Even the weather.
I have given up on the predicting skills of meteorologists,they simply can't predict the summer of 2009 weather.
I'm suggesting that we take Doug Henning's belief in positive manifestation to heart and think hot,sunny and dry for the upcoming Civic Holiday weekend.
Manifesting the weather we want is the final frontier, forget yogic flying, this is attainable.
Stop ruminating on the negative,accentuate the positive and manifest your desire for hot sunny days.
If all 34 million of us think hot,dry and sunny it's bound to work.
It's our long weekend,let's make this happen.
Now dear reader, it's up to you.
Send this blog link to all of your contacts,include this link in your blog,alert the media to our collective "manifest summer" movement.Play summer music,think hot,go barefoot in the sand,think positive thoughts and create a positive attitude about the summer we have and the summer we want.
Think Summer and it will come !

Join the "Let's Manifest Summer" campaign on Facebook

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Movie Night on the Lido Deck




Despite the general consensus that the summer of 2009 hasn't yet arrived,our clan is making the best of it.
Katie has been spending hours in the 68 F pool learning how to dive,snorkel and increase her endurance. It's hard to believe this is the same girl who was afraid to jump into the shallow end two summers ago. The teenager is enjoying spending time with her friends,waiting for her non-boyfriend to get back from his army placement and looking for that elusive part time job.
It's a rare opportunity when we get to take a night off and enjoy our backyard and each other.
Last week , the Reno man brought out the big screen,dvd player and projector for movie night on the deck under the stars.
We pulled out the "comfortable" patio chairs and settled in with our sweatshirts,cozy throws and hot drinks to watch Jerry Seinfeld's, "Bee Movie".
It was better than the drive in or IMAX...watching a movie with your family on your deck in your backyard is a great experience which every parent should share with their kids. Best of all it was entirely free, we own the equipment and the movie was borrowed from the London Public Library.
Seinfeld did not disappoint, it's a great movie for adults and children alike.
Feet up,watching a movie on a eight foot screen with the pool sparkling in the background under the stars is an amazing feeling which everyone should experience.
Summer isn't about the weather or other factors that we can't control, it's about the experience which we create. Our creation became a shared memory about how we enjoyed the summer of 09. Chilly but memorable nonetheless.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Growing Up Cyrus




It boggles my mind that any parent would allow their preteen to upload video content to the internet. It smacks of poor judgement and bad parenting skills.
How many times have you warned your children about strangers and taught them basic safety skills which will hopefully keep them safe from predators in the real and online world.
We are still reeling from the abduction and murder of Victoria "Tori" Stafford, a young girl from Woodstock, a rural community a few miles from my hometown. We get complacent, too comfortable in the idea that abduction by a stranger is rare and that we have drilled safety skills time and time again through our kids heads.
It's simply incomprehensible that your child could be made a target.
It's even more mindboggling that other parents or children themselves may be exposing their child to a predator.
Noah Cyrus (daughter and sister to Billy Ray and Miley) and friend Emily Reeves have
set up a YOUTUBE site where they video blog their personal and professional life to millions of subscribers.
It's frightening that millions of people worldwide can view two little girls prancing around like JonBenet Ramsey and posing like Lindsey or Paris.
I'm sure that Billy Ray knows all about it as does Noah's publicist and the ensuing fame can be offset by their personal security service.
The point is, kids on YouTube who don't have the last name of Cyrus ,risk their lives through sharing personal and visual information on the internet. Thousands of preteen kids regularly upload videos to YOUTUBE,including a couple of girls in Katies' class who recently uploaded video from the latest sleepover.The parents of the said friend were nonchalant about the Youtubed pajama wearing pillow fight.
Parents and kids alike can't see the potential security threat from uploading questionable content to YouTube.
There isn't a medal out there for parents who maneuveur their child unscathed to adulthood. It's usually a miracle that we can produce kids who become useful adults.

That being said ,ignoring your kids web activity may place your child in danger of being molested,maimed or murdered.
I don't want my daughters growing up like Cyrus, I just want them to grow up safe.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fast Times at Lanigan High - Is It Worth it ?



The Lanigan Safe Grad story has blown into a huge media storm of mass proportion.All kinds of media including this blog,Saskboys Abandoned Stuff,a CBC television report, major Canadian newspapers,international media and talk radio from coast to coast are discussing the concept and legality of "Safe Grad". As Jim Lahey may say, " it's a shit storm , with shit ropes and shit hawks riding the shit wind".
The residents of Lanigan are peeved that their decision to host a binge party for beginners is being singled out and have protested in droves.Safe Grad proponents are convinced that supervised drinking by responsible adults is the only way to protect "kids"from the consequences of binge drinking.
The nomination for "Bad Parents" of the year is unjustified.

Let's set aside the usual arguments surrounding the issue and examine Safe Grad's from a new perspective specifically risk,liability and responsibility.

Parental Responsibility

As a parent, can I be criminally charged for permitting my child to drink alcohol outside of my home ?
The law can be interpreted in many ways,case law sets the precedent for legal decisions.The law clearly states it's illegal to purchase alcohol for minors or serve a child who is not yours' alcohol, .
Maybe the Safe Grad will be incident free but the next enabled party could find you being charged.I'm sure a large order of alcohol from the local beer or liquor store could be tracked to the party property one way or another.Your fellow PTA'ers may be all gangsta wit you until the police are interviewing your homey friends about "who supplied the juice.
Could your signature on the permission form create the piece of evidence which convicts you of child abuse if your child or another teen partier is harmed because of your "negligence".


I would be mortified to serve alcohol to my teen and her friends and watch them get stupid.

Who is going to pretend that the lil darlings are going to have one or two glasses of chardonnay and discuss politics,religion and the Stanley Cup playoffs.
What's the entire point of the party? PARTY !
What eighteen year old wants their parent at a party,handing out drinks and watching your best friend blow chunks of Junior Mints and Lemon Gin and Wink ?
Who in their right mind would want to chaperon ?
See above Youtube video and assess your tolerance.

School Board Liability

It has come to my attention that a certain "Safe Grad" committee has held meetings on school property .The Safe Grad Committee distributed permission forms which include an alcoholic drink order form.Despite lipservice to a "division policy",
it seems that school administration may be negligent enforcing this policy.


Law Enforcement
RCMP are refusing to intervene in this event and choosing to take a "don't ask,don't tell attitude".
It's not legal to serve alcohol to minors, unless you as the parent is serving the booze.

I'm not sure that permission forms cut it.While we're at it,since when can you sell alcohol to minors ? Is " contribution to a delinquency of a minor" a factor
here ?
The RCMP is adamant that no federal,provincial or municipal laws are being broken,I guess they interpret the law a bit differently out west than in other parts of the country. I'm hoping that no one at this event will be charged with a DUI and am sure that there will be a couple of cruisers parked at the boundary of the event.
No one will get hurt or die in a motor vehicle accident from driving to or from the party on the night of the Lanigan Safe Grad.
This night will be an exception until the day when your underage teen decides to drink without you.
Stats prove that a teen has a higher probability of developing into an alcoholic if parents permit or enable underage drinking.This defeats the myth that children of teetotallers or MADD advocates are more likely to engage in binge drinking.
Lets be real.
Enabling and supervising your child drinking underage hasn't worked.

Saskatchewan has the highest proportion of adolescent
drivers (age 16 to 19) who are fatally injured and
have BACs (blood alcohol contents) above the legal
limit. That comes out to 29 per cent of Canada’s total
fatalities.

If parental supervision of such events teach our teens to drink moderately and safely ,the above stats would read differently.

In any action, a wise person assesses the risk before taking any action.
Even if you win a civil or criminal action, can you afford the legal fee?
MADD produced a position paper entitled ,Alcohol,Teens and Catastrophe, What Every Parent Needs to Know About Avoiding Alcohol Liability.
R Solomons legal opinion scared me off of providing my home as a party house.

The article states,

" What will get me sued ?
• As a Provider of Alcohol: The law does not prevent you from
being a gracious host, and no one has ever been held liable for serving
alcohol responsibly.
Your potential liability as an alcohol provider begins when you serve,
give or make alcohol available to intoxicated individuals in circumstances
in which they pose a risk of harm to themselves or others. For
example, you may be held liable for serving alcohol to an obviously
intoxicated guest who you know is planning to drive. Individuals will
be considered intoxicated well before they become incoherent or completely
unable to take care of themselves. The courts will focus on
whether the individual displayed obvious signs of intoxication, such as
slurred speech, boisterous conduct or a lack of physical coordination.
As a provider, you may be held liable if your intoxicated guests
injure themselves or others on your property, on their way home and,
perhaps even until they regain sobriety at home. These
general principles will be applied more strictly in the case of
underage drinkers.
• As an Occupier: Even if you do not provide any alcohol, you may
be liable for alcohol-related injuries that occur on your property. The
term ‘occupier’ includes anyone in control of property who has the
power to admit or exclude entrants. For example, you would be considered
an occupier when hosting a party in your home, running a social at
your service club, or renting a hall for your daughter’s wedding.
Occupiers are not responsible for every injury that occurs on their
property. Rather, they can only be held liable if they are
negligent in maintaining the physical condition of the property, supervising
the conduct of their guests or controlling the activities on the
property.
The liability issue is often framed in terms of whether the
occupier took reasonable steps to prevent harm in the specific
circumstances.
• Expanding Liability: The scope of alcohol liability continues to
evolve and expand. For example, organizers of potentially
dangerous activities must take whatever measures are reasonably necessary
to prevent intoxicated individuals from participating. Employers
have been held liable for negligently failing to prevent alcohol-related
workplace injuries, and for alcohol-related injuries arising from negligently-
planned, managed or supervised company parties or other social
events. Parents, coaches, counsellors, police, and others in positions of
authority appear to have a broad duty to protect young people who are
or may be intoxicated.

1 Do not serve, provide or make alcohol
available to any person who is, or may be,
under the legal drinking age. Not only is
the conduct illegal (with few exceptions),
it will also adversely colour the courts’
perception of your conduct.
2 Do not permit drinking to be the focus of
the party or event. Do not permit drinking
competitions or other practices that
promote intoxication.

Liability for Activities on the Premises
Stringer v. Ashley
Stringer broke his neck diving from the Ashleys’ second-storey bedroom window
into their shallow swimming pool. He and several other guests had dived or
jumped into the pool between 10 and 22 times without incident. Mrs. Ashley had
warned Stringer, who had at least six drinks at the party, not to dive. However, the
jury held that it was not sufficient to simply warn Stringer, who was obviously
very intoxicated. According to the jury, Mrs. Ashley should have told Stringer to
leave, stopped the party or called for help to dissuade Stringer. Mr. Ashley was
held liable for failing to assist his wife. He should have asked Stringer to leave,
locked the bedroom door or otherwise prevented further diving. Although Stringer
was largely responsible for his own misfortune, the Ashleys were found 40% at
fault for Stringer’s $5,000,000 in damages and thus were held liable for
$2,000,000.
In the preceding cases, the specific danger was readily apparent to the occupier
during the event. However, occupiers may also have some responsibility for simply
allowing events to be held on their property that have, in the past, been associated
with violent, dangerous or irresponsible conduct. Indeed, this reasoning may
have prompted a $700,000 settlement in a case that arose from a “bush party”
hosted by the defendant’s son on the defendant’s farm. Bush parties commonly
involve underage drinking, severe intoxication, assaults, illicit drug use, and
impaired driving. The plaintiff in this case was left a quadriplegic following a
fight that he had initiated at the event while intoxicated. Apparently, previous
bush parties on the farm had also resulted in numerous problems. No formal invitations had been issued to the 300 youths who attended, nor did the defendant or
his son provide any alcohol. The plaintiff sued the defendant as an occupier for
merely allowing an event to be held on his property that he knew or ought to have
known posed foreseeable risks of injury to those attending.

(ii) Liability for the Conduct of the Entrants
McGinty v. Cook
A conservation authority was held liable for over $210,000 after the McGinty
family was assaulted by intoxicated youths. Although the park was advertised as a
quiet family campground, the staff largely ignored the McGintys’ complaints
about the youths’ noisy party. Later that evening, Paul McGinty was attacked
when he responded to cries for help from the party. The intoxicated youths then
viciously assaulted Gregory McGinty. The conservation authority was held liable
as an occupier for negligently failing to control the assailants’ conduct. Despite
previous incidents with the group that summer and a violent confrontation earlier
that evening, the staff did not eject the assailants or take any other steps to protect
the other campers. The court stated that, at a minimum, the police should have
been called earlier in the evening and the quiet time should have been strictly
enforced.

i) Liability for the Condition of the Premises
Chretien v. Jensen
The Jensens lived on an island connected to the mainland by a bridge that they
had responsibility for building, maintaining and repairing. The bridge, which was
about 20 feet above the river bed, had a low guardrail made of logs, but no
handrails or lights. As they had often done, the Jensens allowed their adult children
to host a party for their friends, who brought and consumed their own alcohol.
As in the past, the bridge was the gathering place for much of the socializing.
Late in the evening, the plaintiff, who was very intoxicated, fell from the bridge
onto a raft moored below and was rendered a paraplegic. The court held that the
Jensens breached their standard of care as occupiers, because the bridge was
unsafe for such alcohol-related gatherings. In particular, the court was critical of
the low guardrail and lack of handrails. Since the plaintiff was 40% contributorily
negligent, the Jensens were held liable for 60% of the plaintiff’s losses.


Private hosts and providers should assume that they may be
held liable for giving, serving or making alcohol available to a person who they
know or ought to know is intoxicated, particularly if there is reason to believe that
he or she may be driving. Moreover, the courts will likely apply more stringent
principles of liability in cases involving underaged drinkers.

Some courts have equated the
term “intoxication” with a blood alcohol
concentration (BAC) of
0.08% – the level at which it
becomes a federal criminal offence to
drive. Nevertheless, the successful
claims have typically involved
drinkers whose BACs were double or
more this level. It is reasonable to
assume, however, that the courts will
adopt a lower BAC threshold for
underaged, inexperienced or otherwise
vulnerable drinkers.


Parents would not be held liable for the injuries
caused by an 18-year-old who was no longer living at home
unless they somehow facilitated, encouraged or participated
in the conduct causing the harm. Similar principles
apply to teachers, coaches, counsellors and others
who work with children and young adults.
( read the organizers of the event, parents signing permission forms allowing their child to purchase alcohol from another parent,school board for allowing event planning to take place on school property or forms to be distributed at the school)
There are two major types of alcohol-related claims. First, you may be held
liable for providing alcohol to intoxicated individuals who then injure themselves
or others. Second, even if you provide no alcohol, you may be held liable as an
occupier for any alcohol-related injuries that occur on your property. While the
courts will be more critical of alcohol-related events involving underaged youth,
this will likely be viewed as only one factor in determining liability."

If your sorry ass is ever charged or sued,expect a hefty bump in your insurance premium,the chance that no insurance company will ever cover you ever again, and the cost of a civil suit which isn't covered by any insurance company. Why take the risk

Is it worth it ?:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fast Times at Lanigan High



No more sneaking beers from your parents fridge or paying lots of dough to get an elusive fake ID in order to buy a case of beer or coolers if you're under the age of nineteen in Lanigan Saskatchewan.
The Star Phoenix reported that parents in Lanigan Saskatchewan are organizing a
"Safe Grad" party in which Lanigan Central high school students who have reached the age of fifteen (Grade Ten) and have a signed consent form from their parents or guardian may attend a party at a private residence to celebrate the end of the school year. The Star Phoenix reports,"The graduates planning to attend the Saturday night drinking party had to submit a form signed by their parents in advance of the party. The graduates had to pre-order and pre-pay for the alcohol they'll drink during the 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. party. Graduates and their guests, who have to be in Grade 10 or higher, will be allowed up to 10 drinks, including beer, vodka, rum and rye".

Is this a story from an alternate universe where parents encourage binge drinking or
a new phenomena of parenting from the generation of people who made "My Super Sweet Sixteen" a hit TV show ?
Why are thirty and forty something adults blatantly breaking the law and enabling their children to drink underage ?
Is this binge drinking culture so entrenched in our rural society that our law enforcement turn a blind eye when it comes to enforcing liquor and control laws regarding minors ?
Safe Grad parties started in the United States in the late 1980's as an initiative to reduce impaired driving accidents and excessive drinking on Grad night.High school committees and parent volunteers create all night parental supervised and school sanctioned dry events focused on celebrating without alcohol.Some school grad committee's hold carnivals,camping trips,dances all of which are alcohol free but are often held before the "real thing" or skipped for the usual pissup at a bush party or at a classmates home.
Even though "Safe Grad" protocol is followed by American and Canadian prom and graduation party organizers,statistics show it hasn't had an effect on underage binge drinking and the resulting havoc.The impact of alcohol in
Saskatchewan, in terms of death,illness and economic costs, adds up
to 508.7 million dollars annually.This is a cost of 503 dollars for each
person in the province. Binge drinking was promoted as a cultural rite of passage through popular 80's movies such as Animal House and Can't Stop The Feeling .Bush parties and underage drinking has been part of the culture of rural Canada for generations and is entrenched in our culture as hockey.
A resident of Estevan,Saskatchewan states," It's definitely a culture of alcohol here, no question of that. If you go to some gathering, the expectation is that there will be alcohol served. If you offered something else to drink, your guests would think you quite strange. When they are told that you don't drink alcohol, people think there must be some health issue that prevents you from doing so, and they feel sorry for you because you can't get hammered like all the normal people.
The thing that really gets me is how proud they are of their drunken silliness. "Oh man, I was so drunk I can't even remember getting arrested. That was such an awesome party!" And everything is a reason for a drink. It's Wing Wednesday. It`s Thirsty Thursday. It`s F*****-Up Friday. It`s Christmas. It`s Canada Day. It`s Remembrance Day".

The parents of today binge drank from time to time so find it difficult to outright ban their children from underage drinking.It's easier to supervise the party and prevent impaired driving than to turn a blind eye to your teens activities or risk your teen defying you.
Saskboy,a popular Saskatchewan author who writes at www.abandonedstuff.com observes," there has been a generational shift to one where the older generations are afraid to punish the younger, perhaps because they know that the younger will rebel at least as hard as they experienced during the 1960s. As more old guard die off, we're on the crux of a sweeping generational change in a lot of norms if my generation starts making laws.Parent sanctioned drinking is the norm in Saskatchewan, but interestingly I think if they caught their kids with marijuana there would be hell to pay. "Safe Grads" are about as dangerous as uncontrolled ones, because you have parents acting as chaperone's for 18 year olds who should know better by that point. It doesn't bode well for those children in their coming years if they can't drink safely without Mommy there with them. Hopefully they are fast learners and don't meet the nose end of a vehicle with an intoxicated driver in charge, or the wrong end of a knife in a drunk fight". He further adds,"Some people opposed to Safe Grads (not to be confused with Dry Grads) may be prohibitionists, but I know prohibition won't work. What might work is a fun dry party that isn't set up as a token to fail. People have fun without alcohol in all sorts of situations, so dry parties shouldn't be set up like booze parties minus the booze. Any recipe missing the main ingredient will be bland, so make a different fun time".

However a Lanigan resident supporting their initiative states,"In my town there were often many grad parties, which would usually get out of control and end up with some kid in the hospital because of drunk driving or alcohol poisoning. So the parents of my town came up with a safe graduation party. The whole point of the safe grad is to make sure that the teens at the party do not exceed their limit and have a safe ride home, as parents volunteer to drive kids back and forth from their homes to the party and to supervise the kids at the party.
There is a form that is given out to students wishing to attend the grad party, this form must be signed by the student's parent. On the form the parents and student decide how much alcohol to buy, which will be given to them drink by drink by parent supervisors at the party. The supervisors cut off the students from alcohol when they think that the said student has drank enough.
Now this is being criticized in the local paper and while I know,and all of the parents and students know, this is supplying alcohol to minors, without a safe, supervised grad though, there would be many accidents. I was at an unsupervised grad party last weekend and there were three car accidents and a rape. These events would have been prevented if the party had been supervised".

Before parents agree to supervise underage drinkers or agree with the line, kids will be kids,we need to be be aware of the danger of binge drinking.
Kirk Sinclair, Author of Know when to draw the line: A guide to lower risk drinking states, " binge drinking is what happens when someone drinks a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time through:
- Binge drinking (having more than 5 drinks during a drinking episode)
- Drinking games
- Funneling
- Chugging
If someone drinks too much too fast, the amount of alcohol in a person's blood - called Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) - rises to a high level really quickly
A BAC of 200-300mg% would likely cause alcohol poisoning
Alcohol poisoning can cause brain damage or death
Someone who blacks out, passes out, or throws up is on her or his way to alcohol poisoning

Here's an example:
If a 110-pound female had 6 drinks in 4 hours, she would have a BAC of 225 mg%. She would be putting herself in danger of getting alcohol poisoning.
What about the "one drink an hour" rule?
This is misleading. Science has shown that the old "one drink an hour" rule is NOT TRUE for all people.
For example: If that same 110-pound female drank 7 drinks in 7 hours, she would still be at real risk for alcohol poisoning - she would have a BAC of 225 mg%.
If she was driving she would be more than 4 times the legal limit of alcohol for driving" !

In Ontario under aged impaired teens who are hospitalized and treated for alcohol poisoning face criminal charges,sentencing may include psychological treatment,detention in a juvenile facility,probation and an indefinite ban on securing a drivers license .
Can today's parents create an open environment where children form a healthy attitude to alcohol. Is outright prohibition on teen alcohol use archaic and ineffective ?

Maria Christenson,a Seattle Author and Mom states," It seems to me the most important things to teach teens about alcohol are moderation and responsibility. When my 16 year old son expressed an interest in drinking beer I made him research types of beer, how they're made and then tell me specifically why he wanted to try it. "Just to know what it tastes like," he answered. We decided on a local microbrewery ale and we split a bottle and talked about the taste and what types of food it might enhance, things like that. That was a couple of months ago and he hasn't had any since. He knows he just has to ask me if he wants a half glass of beer with dinner, but knowing that, it's no big deal to him. My kids can have a small glass of wine with dinner on special occasions or when they ask, but they rarely ever do. I want them to think of alcohol as something to drink because of taste rather than as a means to get drunk and so far that works.Lastly, I help my kids navigate their way through the issue of alcohol use, but I would never feel comfortable giving alcohol to other kids.Her response to the Lanigan parental permission requirement was "Written permission?... I recall being a pretty decent forger of adult signatures as a teenager".
Anna Burwell Gohm,an Ontario Mom says,"When we were kids ,Dad let us drink in front of him or away . None of us grew irresponsible or were big time drinkers. I have always allowed my children to drink with us within reason but we (John and I)don't drink ourselves sick either . I feel we are teaching our kids responsible drinking early.Our oldest boy is turning 16 this fall and he has gone to and had bush parties where drinking is involved . They are somewhat monitored by adults but what is the point of saying no ... they'll just get it someway and drink it anyway.I for one,would rather know where my child is and what he's doing than be naive and say ..my child wouldn't do that.To them its no big deal ,if they want to party ,what ever, and we have an open honesty policy ....you break it PARTY OVER !!Honest about everything ALWAYS ! They won't be busting out of their parents rules at nineteen going yay I'm free, I can drink , by that time it will be no big deal. I trust my kids and if they want to have a couple of drinks with in reason and not get stupid I don't have a problem with that. Life's about lessons and parents need to be open minded .If there are no rules ... whats the fun in breaking them .... and I must say I have 3 amazing kids who I trust completely .They tell me everything cause they know I won't freak out".
Parents seem to be split on the this issue, but all agree that ignoring underage binge drinking hasn't worked in the past either.
Will "Safe Grad" parties where alcohol is consumed by minors stop binge drinking and encourage moderation or is it just a token gesture by parents who don't want little Justin getting killed on grad night because he had one too many ? Are we just concerned with the outcome of underage drinking and ambivalent or dismissive of the danger of binge drinking because we did it and survived?

Recent research shows that there are long term effects of teen alcohol consumption.

Binge drinking is more harmful to brain cells than any other pattern of
drinking.A person’s brain does not stop developing until his or her early to mid-20s and adding alcohol to the mix is a recipe for disaster.
The brain goes through dynamic change during adolescence, and alcohol can seriously damage long- and short-term growth processes. Frontal lobe development and the refinement of pathways and connections continue into the mid-20’s.Damage from alcohol at this time can be long-term and irreversible. In addition, short-term or moderate drinking can impair learning and memory far more in youth than in adults. Adolescents need only drink half as much as adults to suffer the same negative effects.
In 2008, a survey of first year Canadian college students showed 38% of students admitted to binge drinking and impaired driving causing accidents among those 16-25 is on the rise in Canada.Teaching children about alcohol moderation and keeping the lines of communication open are important yet it's evident there is a gaping lack of intelligence in condoning or validating underage drinking through supervising safe grads or buying alcohol for minors... and it's illegal.
The age of majority in Saskatchewan is nineteen and it's illegal to purchase alcohol for a minor. The act states in section 110(1) Subject to subsections (2) to (4), no person shall sell or give beverage of
alcohol to a minor and nothing in this Act is to be construed as authorizing the sale
of alcohol to minors.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a parent, guardian or spouse who gives
beverage alcohol in a private place to a minor who is his or her child, ward or
spouse, as the case may be.
I'm sure the intent of the legislation was to avoid the criminalization of parents who serve their offspring a mimosa at new years brunch but not foreseeing parents setting up a private bar where up to ten drinks can be bought. Police are aware that "safe grad" parties happen in communities throughout Saskatchewan but are turning a blind eye to underage drinking on private property.
"The model that I'm referring to talks about where there is a parent or guardian on-site and they are making a decision, as the parent or guardian, for their child, in terms of whether or not they are going to provide them alcoholic beverages at that specific time, in that specific location, at a private place," explained RCMP Sgt. Brian Jones in a Star Phoenix news article.
"It is an arrangement between private property owners and parents and guardians of those people in attendance. It's a private function on private land. Whether it's a good idea or not is not for us to decide," he said.
I guess the police decipher the law to believe the signed contract by the parent bestows an authority to serve and control alcohol to another child or that every parent will accompany their child to the party. I'm highly doubtful of the validity of that interpretation or if there will be equal amounts of teens and parents at the Lanigan event.
It seems the police decision to turn a blind eye to enforcing the law creates an urgent need for new dialogue and clear legislation regarding underage alcohol use which our police feel is enforceable. Or is it merely police negligence ?
If the majority of adults believe it's okay to accommodate underage drinking why isn't there a clamor to lower the age of majority and liberalize the law ?
Finally ,why do parents choose to break the law and buy or allow alcohol to be served in our homes to our children and their friends ?
Parents such as Tony Slattery, father of six was not surprised by the Lanigan Safe Grad plan and commented," I do not condone it. I think this is totally irresponsible on behalf of the "caring" parents that participate in this. If we look at this as a way to help keep things safe for our kids...why have a drinking age at all? Should we lower it? Maybe we could have a contract on the limit of how many joints,lines of coke,ecstasy... or any other drug can be allowed. I mean..they are just going to do it anyway so lets help them in a safe monitored environment... This behaviour will cause long term issues with alcohol for some of these kids. We should be taking the higher road as parents.I think its about responsibility and a 10 drink limit for a child ( that's the legal definition of anyone under 19) is totally irresponsible. It is one thing to allow your own child to drink in your home under your supervision...but to allow them (which to a child is a encouragement) or anyone to drink excessively is not right.That is not being responsible as an adult".
The Lanigan "Safe Grad" has raised more questions than answers and it's past the time where we can ignore how society handles this issue. It's clear that authoritarian parental handling of the issue didn't work for our generation yet this new method of supervised drinking isn't creating a moderate responsible attitude towards alcohol either.
Too many young people binge drink,drive impaired,have unprotected sex while under the influence and pose a risk themselves and others. The answer is transparently clear,as parents we need to protect our children from predators,unsafe situations and unfortunately sometimes from themselves. We need to have clear and open dialogue on this issue and put a stop to teen alcohol abuse and senseless loss of life. For our kids sakes...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Yellow Morels






It was lots of fun harvesting the yellow morels and I just wanted to share my newly downloaded pictures with you.We were pleased with the crop, the morels were bug free
and delicious.We removed the extra dirt,cut them in half and laid the tiny treasures in the sun to dry. Easiest harvest ever !

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Where did you go Mastoora Qezil ?



According to my source at the Guelph Mercury , Mastoora Qezil's case has been delayed but should be coming up within the next month.
Stay tuned ...

HAIR !




For my entire professional career,I have spent thousands of hours and dollars ensuring my hairstyle was attractive,professional and efficient.I usually wash,blow dry and straighten my naturally wavy hot mess hair. My coarse thick hair is unusually wavy but has an annoying straight layer on top which drives my hairstylist mad. The straight iron has been a godsend, without it, I appear like I just got out from under the covers.
I used to hate my hair until I met my reno man and he encouraged me to let my hair go wild and free. I used to be mortified by his suggestion until we started working at reno house and the hair upkeep just got to be too much. I started wearing my hair up and under a hat as a safety precaution and to keep it clean. Drywall dust and hair is not a good combo... and my straight iron is in a box somewhere ...
I was further inspired by the man himself who has not cut his hair since last year.This guy has had a brush cut since I met him a few years ago... this is drastic.
His hair is now past his ears and the wave in his hair turned into ringlets. My boomer guy has reverted to his long haired youth and dare I say it ... he looks hot. I'm predicting the Howard Stern hair will make a comeback among guys 50 plus as part of a zoomer retro movement.
In the meantime, my hair now resembles Drew Barrymores new tousled much criticized hair style. Sometimes I don't know if we resemble derelicts or celebrities but if you see us on one of our walks around the hood, do say hello.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Cuisinart Grind and Brew



I'm not getting paid for product placement or review.
In fact,I have never blogged about a product although I have complained about a business or two ;)
In my household,I have a love hate relationship with the coffeemaker.
We make 1-2 pots a day,for people who love a deep rich brew,no Timmies for us.
The man and I create our own blend at the supermarket and mix it with dark columbian to make a spectacular cup of coffee ... java....drink of the gods.
The coffeemaker invariably gives up the ghost after the warranty expires.
Three coffeemakers have given up the ghost within the last five years.
The last two culprits, "Starbucks" and "Hamilton Beach" each lasted 18 months...sigh..what's a girl to do ?
I'll tell you what,don't pass go , go directly to "The Bay" and buy the latest thermal carafe Cusinart Grind and Brew.
Imagine, waking up to fresh ground coffee at your specified time.No more messy paper
inserts as the fine metal/plastic filter cleans up just fine.
The coffee will stay hot for six hours and makes enough for four large cups of joe.
The best part of the deal is the three year warranty,add the Bay guarantee and you have yourself a worry free java machine.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Party Toast



Four people in our family including yours truly celebrated a birthday this month.
That means alot of cake, even if two of the people in question never made it to reno house to celebrate. We celebrated for them !
Since I discovered the miracle of the egg free cake (add one can of pumpkin to any cake mix,add a bit of milk to give it the right consistency, pour into greased pan and bake) we have enjoyed three scrumptious cakes.
So what do you do with the leftover ready to eat icing ?
The man and I started a little ritual we call party toast.
Take a piece of bread, toast, becel it and add icing. Party Toast !
Party toast is solely an adult pleasure.We indulge in party toast when the kidlets are absent from the house. It's a forbidden joy,so good yet so bad.
The kidlets regularly make fun of our fondness for retro food such as cheese whiz,shreddies,wieners and baked beans so why would they like party toast ?
They don't deserve it. I urge every parent out there to have an adult party with party toast, don't tell your kids,hide the evidence and comment back on your experience.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

These are a few of my favourite stocks...




Whisker's on kittens, not for me. I prefer the markets to pussy any day.
My long term stock picks include my ultimate favourite go long stocks, Veolia (VE) and Clean Energy Fuels Corp (CLNE). Green can generate green $.
The old adage is , invest in what you know. I know tech,baubles and gadgets so have invested in Electronic Arts,Research In Motion,Apple,Microsoft and Palm.
I always expect Apple to be volatile but what I don't understand is Palm.Palm shouldn't be so flip floppy especially with this new release around the corner.
Electronic Arts (ERTS) is another brand which should be stronger,at one point I thought video games was the only thing keeping the world economy afloat. Everyone and their Mom games , the stock is steady but should be a bigger gainer.
I have also learned that there is a happy medium between trading penny stocks and the Warren Buffett method. You have to know when to hold em, yada yada.
Penny stocks are for penny stock traders.You will burn and die in penny stocks if you're not playing the game when the market is open. I promoted a penny stock for three days and pushed it up 46% before it went flat.During this time period,I sat at my computer during market hours (9-4) bought on upside and sold at the peak before it went flat.That's how I made my quick 50k, thank you QTM.
I'm happy I still have a strong bladder,is it true that stock brokers wear depends?

Nonetheless,I have learned the following from play stocking;

1. Don't diversify too much 5-6 stocks at the most.
2. Research is key
3. Buy what you know (see number 2)
4. Buy on upside, sell before it goes flat unless the stock has a steady return history.

Monday, May 18, 2009

This holiday brought to you by Labbatts, I mean Queen Victoria


The teenager will never be a brain surgeon,supreme court justice, concert pianist or world renowned historian. She does have some smarts and maintains a
"B" average. Some of her grades are simply outstanding and yet she struggles with the other half. I can't understand how she can pull off an 'A' plus in English yet skim by in Ancient History.
Through osmosis, the teenager has innate knowledge of Canadian history and like her Mom hates the ignorance of her classmates.
The argument of the week between the teenager and the "heathers" at the "snob by reputation" high school was based on the origin of "Victoria Day".
Several young ladies in Grade 11 who maintain a 4 grade point average were quite adamant that the stat holiday celebrated on the third Monday in May is to celebrate beer.
The holiday is hardly ever on May 24, so it's not connected to the date,it's connected to buying a case of beer.Everyone buys a case (24) of beer to celebrate hence the 2-4 holiday.
That's right folks, these senior high school students are dumb as doorbells.This blog is brought to you by the "stupidest generation ever" tm.

Wikipedia states,"Victoria Day (in French: FĂȘte de la Reine), colloquially known as May Two-four, May Long, or May Run, is a Canadian statutory holiday celebrated on the last Monday before or on 24 May, in honour of both Queen Victoria's birthday and the current reigning Canadian sovereign's official birthday. It has been marked since before Canada was formed, originally falling on the sovereign's actual birthday, and continues to be celebrated across the country on a fixed date and in various fashions, also being considered an informal mark of the beginning of the summer season. As a federal holiday, Victoria Day is a holiday for Quebec; however, the government of Quebec in 2003 made 24 May concurrently National Patriots' Day."

Victoria Day was established as a holiday in Canada West (Now Ontario) in 1845, and became a national holiday in 1901. The holiday has evolved as Wiki describes," It was noted that on that date in 1854 – the 35th birthday of Queen Victoria – some 5,000 residents of Canada West gathered in front of Government House (near present day King and Simcoe Streets in Toronto) to "give cheers to their queen,"[2] and on Victoria Day 1866, the town of Omemee, also in Canada West, mounted a day-long fĂȘte to mark the occasion, including a gun salute at midnight, pre-dawn serenades, picnics, athletic competitions, a display of illuminations, and a torch-light procession.[3]

Following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, 24 May was by imperial decree made Empire Day throughout the British Empire, while, over the ensuing decades, the official date in Canada of the reigning sovereign's birthday changed through various royal proclamations: for Edward VII it continued by yearly proclamation to be observed on 24 May, but was 3 June for George V, 23 June for Edward VIII (their actual birthdays), and various days between 20 May and 14 June through George VI's reign as king of Canada. Elizabeth II's first birthday as sovereign was the last to be celebrated in June; the haphazard format was abandoned in 1952, when the Governor-General-in-Council moved Empire Day to the Monday before 25 May, and Elizabeth's official birthday in Canada was by regular vice-regal proclamations made to fall on this same date every year between 1953 and 1957, when the link was made permanent.[1] The following year, Empire Day was renamed Commonwealth Day, and in 1977 it was moved to the second Monday in March, leaving the Monday before 24 May solely as Victoria Day.

The reigning Canadian monarch has been in Canada for his or her official birthday twice: the first time being on 20 May 1939, when King George VI was on a coast-to-coast tour of Canada and his official birthday was celebrated with a Trooping the Colour ceremony on Parliament Hill.[4] The second time was when Queen Elizabeth II was in Canada from 17 May to 25 May 2005, to mark the centennial of the entries of Saskatchewan and Alberta into Confederation; no events were organized to acknowledge this fact.

Although Canadians have historically been loyal to the crown, the holiday's intent was to promote loyalty amidst a fractured Canadian society.
Canada was not yet a country, merely two colonies ruled by the elite with very few democratic rights and freedoms.

Immigrants from the United States were denied the right to buy land and many United Empire Loyalists who fled the US and persecution were frustrated by the slow reform of colonial government in Upper and Lower Canada.
Our "civil war" took place in 1837, the year Victoria assumed the throne and in subsequent years the government of the time was quite eager to inflame Canadian patriotism by any means necessary. Even a statutory holiday.
For more information on our civil war, take the jump to http://tripatlas.com/Upper_Canada_Rebellion.

The first "long weekend of the summer " is traditionally marred by tragedy, too often on our roads or in our lakes.
The first Victoria Day tragedy took place in my hometown of London when a passenger ferry named Victoria overturned in the Thames River, near London, Ontario. The boat departed in the evening with 600 to 800 people on board ,three times the allowable passenger capacity and capsized part way across the river, drowning some 182 individuals, including a large number of children who had been with their families for Victoria Day picnics at Springbank Park. The event came to be known as the Victoria Day disaster.
Since the victims were evangelical christians, I don't believe beer was involved.
Happy Victoria Day !

Saturday, May 16, 2009

One day at a time ...


I was such a debbie downer in my last post. Thank you for the advice on how to turn an upside down smile upright again. The universe is just one big ol biorhythm , just ask and ye shall receive. Some dude actually saw my kijiji ad and bought the rest of the morels... and at market price.It paid for the teenagers b-day celebration which consisted of chilli cheese dogs,orange pop and cake.I know the teenager wasn't particularly happy about staying in on her birthday but we made the most of a bad situation.All of her friends skipped out on her as it is the long weekend and they all had plans,church camp,army,cottage etc. Sometimes it totally sucks to be 17. In our family we have an interesting rule. You can celebrate your birthday once a year,but you can choose when you want to celebrate it. The teenager decided to move her birthday celebration to late June when she can have a pool party and all of her friends can celebrate with her.Alternate birthdays rule! The neighbours decided to plant a tree in front of their upstairs windows which will hopefully provide much needed privacy for both of us. Why pull down your blinds when you can block the view with a tree ? Yes , I know,small mercies. The man is feeling a wee bit better and I'm hoping that we can restart our grand plan on Monday. Our latest excitement is a pair of mallard ducks who really want to nest under our deck and we are doing our very best to stop their evil procreating plans. The renovator man is doing his very best Elmer Fudd to keep them out of our yard. Overall, a better week, more laughs and borrowed dvd's from the London Public Library have encouraged a positive karma.
The highlight was receiving an invitation to my stepdaughter's baby shower. I'm going to be a g-ma who isn't a Grandma but as much fun and quite a bit younger.We have named the fetus "Weezer" much to the consternation of his parents who didn't quite understand the need for a fetus name."Weezer" ,is a name of a band but was first the name of the youngest "Little Rascal" from the Our Gang series first seen on the silver screen waaay before my time. He was the cute little guy who pulled the wagon and never spoke,the renovator man thought it was an apt name for his soon to be grandchild. We're all excited about the grandbaby and the imminent move of his/her parents from the big smoke to cottage country. A grand baby and cottage country, it doesn't get much better does it ?
The universe smiles when you least expect it...