Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Photoshop ..pshaw....Egyptians did it centuries ago

A picture is worth thousand words.
Women throughout time,including egyptian Queen Nefertiti used any means necessary to
look good.
Just think what they could have done with Photoshop ...

Picture courtesy of National Geographic

How Could You Mastoora Qezil ?

Mastoora Qezil pictured here:

The blogosphere has been rife with controversy since last weeks arrest and bail hearing of Mastoora Quezil ,the alleged former employee of Maple Leaf Foods who has been charged with "mischief" over lacing fifteen needles in hotdogs and lunchmate snacks.
People are furious over two issues,the slack would be sentence of less than two years and the concern that this was a politically motivated terrorist action.
Right wing bloggers are right in pointing out that food tampering has been used as a terrorist ploy by many extremist factions for many years and leaving any anti muslim overtones aside, food tampering is a terrorist action.

I have been following the forum debate at The National Post and Globe and Mail and citizens are outraged that Mastoora Quezil if found guilty will only be sentenced to up to two years. If this is her first offense perhaps she will get house arrest ?
Forum followers want to know if the crime was a politically motivated terrorist act and are concerned that this angle hasn't been thoroughly investigated.

I don't want the right vs left debate clouding the fact that Canada has gaping holes in it's laws,leaving us vulnerable to would be criminals.
Any food tampering is a terrorist act and tougher legislation similar to the FDA
should be enacted.
It's time for our politicians to reform this law as fast as they changed the "safety sports helmet" law.
Contact your MP or better yet Steven Harper and tell him he needs to move fast to protect the lives of Canadians.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Food Tampering = Attempted Murder Mastoora Qezil

In the United States, food tampering carries a serious sentence ... up to punishable by death. In Canada , the maximum penalty is ahem,two years or less.

Ron Doering,the Gowlings "Food Law Guy" expounds on our slack law's on his blog at
The Canadian Food Inspection agency defines food tampering as,

Food tampering can originate from any number of possible sources and may, at times, appear to be accidental. Often, the motive is unclear but may be related to:
extortion for personal gain
labour-management problems
an attempt to draw attention to a "cause" by obtaining free publicity
revenge, by causing financial damage or discredit to an organization through lost sales or damaged reputation
reasons known only to the perpetrator
possible terrorist act

Twice, our government has dropped the criminal code reform regarding food tampering.
Our laws need to protect us , not protect the criminal.
Your child or mine could have died from eating tampered Scheider Lunchmate meats.
Two years or less is a travesty !

See story and criminal code definitions below ...

229. Culpable homicide is murder

(a) where the person who causes the death of a human being

(i) means to cause his death, or

(ii) means to cause him bodily harm that he knows is likely to cause his death, and is reckless whether death ensues or not;

(b) where a person, meaning to cause death to a human being or meaning to cause him bodily harm that he knows is likely to cause his death, and being reckless whether death ensues or not, by accident or mistake causes death to another human being, notwithstanding that he does not mean to cause death or bodily harm to that human being; or

(c) where a person, for an unlawful object, does anything that he knows or ought to know is likely to cause death, and thereby causes death to a human being, notwithstanding that he desires to effect his object without causing death or bodily harm to any human being.R.S., c. C-34, s. 212.


... / Definition.
180. (1) Every one who commits a common nuisance and thereby

(a) endangers the lives, safety or health of the public, or
(b) causes physical injury to any person,
is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
(2) For the purposes of this section, every one commits a common nuisance who does an unlawful act or fails to discharge a legal duty and thereby

(a) endangers the lives, safety, health, property or comfort of the public; or
(b) obstructs the public in the exercise or enjoyment of any right that is common to all the subjects of Her Majesty in Canada. [R.S., c.C-34, s.176.]

Woman arrested in meat tampering
Vik Kirsch
Mercury Staff


City police arrested a Guelph woman yesterday after sewing needles were discovered last week in Schneiders luncheon meats and wieners at a supermarket on the city's west side.

A 41-year-old woman was arrested yesterday, city police said in a news release last night. Held in custody, she is scheduled to appear in bail court in Guelph today.

Early last week, a customer of the No Frills grocery store on Silvercreek Parkway discovered a needle in a package of Schneiders turkey luncheon meat and returned the package to the grocery store. Store management and investigators from city police and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency then checked almost 340 luncheon meat packages and related meat products in the refrigerator unit where the original tampered product was found.

In all, they discovered 13 sewing needles of various sizes in 12 packages of 11 kinds of luncheon meats and wieners over the next couple of days.

Police noted yesterday nobody was injured as a result of the tampering.

Parent firm Loblaw Companies Limited checked similar products in its stores in its supermarket chains, including Zehrs, within a 25-kilometre radius of the Guelph store, but found no further tampering.

The food inspection agency was called in to determine if other stores had tampered meat products, but found none in the days after the incident.

Loblaw management, food inspection agency officials and city police investigators could not be reached for comment last night.

Mastoora Qezil, 41, is charged with one count of common nuisance.

The police investigation continues. Anyone with information is asked to call city Const. Kevin King at 519-824-1212, ext. 222.

Anonymous tips can be phone in to Crime Stoppers, at 1-800-222-8477.


I want your movie reviews !

Oh where did you go Siskell and Ebert ?
The man and I are compiling our must-see dvd released movie list for spring 2009.
We're one of the idiots responsible for the movie industry going into the crapper simply because of my puny budget and our general antipathy to going into a movie theatre for several reasons.Lame-o reasons like, it's filled with pus filled nose sniffling crusty eyed mouth breathers,I can't legally sip on a sippy chardonnay box (yet),the ginormous cost(thanks TMZ for the word Ginormous)and we would rather watch a movie in our home theatre.
Send me your top movie picks and I will give you credit for the tip.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What if Hugh Jackman and Charlie Brown fight it out for world supremacy ?

My beloved man is more than a renovator, he makes his way in the world as an artist/video game developer. It's unfortunate that the reno has taken so long as his considerable artistic talent sits idle as the computer that he works on.
It's just not work,creating art, pixel by pixel is his passion, In the evening hours he creates amazing pieces that can be seen on such websites as the CG Channel.
He tends to vary his theme ,from fractal to realistic and the latest is hmmmmm.... this.
The latest is a take on,etch a sketch art entitled ,"What if Hugh Jackman and Charlie Brown fight it out for world supremacy". As you can see, Charlie Brown came out of the closet after the death of Charles Schultz, became a tranny, and challenged Hugh Jackman to a duel. The piece is not complete without Paris Hilton's chihuahua, aliens and an airplane.

Such a contrast to "Calm" an earlier piece.
I fear this renovation has had an evil effect ...

The Frugal Family

I have never been the kind of mother gatherer who travels from store to store to pick up "the bargain" of the week. I shop at one grocery store and supplement throughout the week from the farmers market if needed.
I'm going to buy the items that my family needs not the items that we may use at some point in the future, Nonetheless, my grocery budget has shrunk and propelled me to find the same items for less moolah.
Last week I discovered Food Basics.
Food Basics is owned by Metro, the same people who bring us A&P,it's a value driven company which means you pack your own groceries and shop in a "retro" environment.
Retro meaning,the store never updated the shelving or lighting hence the feeling that you warped back twenty years.
My usual $150-175 a week in grocery spending has now shrunk to about $110.00 a week just by switching to a value driven grocery store.
Keep in mind that we don't prepared foods or buy alot of extra junk like cakes,soda,prepared frozen entree's,kid lunch snacks but the rate of inflation has hit our family harder than the ever rising price of gas.
My goal is to reduce my weekly grocery shop a further 25% through the use of coupons that I'm actually going to use.
I'm never going to buy into "surf and get paid",buy 5 items get one free , buy counterfeit items from China or buy in bulk for a rainy day.
It's not going to turn into a hobby either ,but frugal doesn't have to mean flakey.
I'm interested if anyone else actually saves money with coupons ,share your stories,let me know.

In the meantime...


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You offend me Fox News

I don't allow my 11 year old to appear on a national talk news show because she doesn't have the knowledge or media saavy to discuss current affairs with other talking heads.
I'm not even certain that in eight,ten or even twenty years that she will be erudite and well read enough to be a competent guest panelist on a round table current affairs show. She has a gift for comedy and currently has over a hundred children at her school laughing about a scottish dessert called "Spotted Dick" but her gift doesn't qualify her to appear as a talking head.
I think she has a shot at getting a guest spot on FOX'S RED EYE if the latest gaffe from the late night Rupert Murdoch owned FOX show is any indication.
I just watched the offending video ( posted above) after seeing the apology clip over and over. The apology is lame ,the ignorance offensive.
Why is brutal ignorant slander acceptable and when it's disputed merely slagged off as comedy ?
Slander and ignorance is never funny or acceptable.
Americans deserve intelligent television, our soldiers deserve respect.
Fox has been officially banned from my household and I'm urging every person who is disgusted as I am to turn off Fox.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Movie Review of the Week

On the second merry go round shot at "marriage",I think my experience has helped shape a happy relationship. Give and take, is in the top five tricks to a great partnership
(take that Cosmo) especially when your partner gives as equally and whole heartedly as yourself.
I truly believe in making my man a happy guy and while everyone what knows what the number one trick "is", many have no clue what's in the fifth commandment.

This week we picked two movies for our weekend viewing pleasure.

The first flick picked,viewed was the action thriller ,Transporter 3.
I have not seen the first two movies in the Transporter franchise , but that's a moot point.
It contains superb driving,great story,amazing cinamatography,a romantic subplot,mob
violence and an unending car chase. It's overly apparent that the targeted audience is male ages 10-90 and it's not deep.
Did I enjoy it... you bet. Did my guy like it, oh yeah.
He was happy he got to pick a flick, I was surprisingly thrilled that I liked the movie. The action was non stop and kept us both glued to the screen.

The second movie chosen BY THE BOTH OF US, was the critically acclaimed hollywood
insider movie WHAT JUST HAPPENED starring tinsel town heavyweights such as Robert De Niro,Sean Penn, Bruce Willis and Robin Wright Penn.
The movie follows two weeks in the life of a hollywood producer who is seeking to save his two films from falling apart while balancing his own personal crisis.
The movie brought out the critic in each of us and the man fell asleep half way.
It could have been a better movie,the film should have been edited to keep the story moving faster than a turtle. It's a movie that only the film community could appreciate and perfect watching for any university film course.
It's a diamond in the rough that should have been a better film.Great performances by all of the actors,the deleted scenes should have been left in to keep the story relevant and the alternate ending should have been used. The viewer gets the feeling that the joke is lost on non-film hacks and wonders why we should pay for someone else's party.
Barry Levinson, the director and Robert De Niro could have take out a PSA to tell us the film business is a bitch or shot a movie that actually resonates with the audience. The irony of it all is that the movie centers around a director who won't edit his movie to please an audience and results in the DeNiro character losing his reputation and fortune. Now thats ironic....

See Transporter 3 and take caution on What Just Happened.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Undertoad

In John Irving's " The World According to Garp", Garp and his wife Helen believe the undefinable but always lurking undertoad (undertow) will eventually raise up and wreck havoc and destroy their family. The undertoad is the fear,worry,anxiety that eventually the bad thing will happen to you or a member of your family.
Last Friday night, the undertoad hit in my neck of the woods.
I heard the crash and the subsequent sirens as it occured just down the road from reno house.I live in a sheltered quiet area and it's always a shock and curiosity to find out what the hell happened after listening to sirens shrieking for twenty minutes. It was an unprecedented event for this neighbourhood... the undertoad
Andrew Kummer , a twenty five year old douchebag who considers drinking as his "job and education" on his Facebook profile decided to get into his truck and drive despite the fact that he was undoubtedly impaired.His arrogant decision to drive killed three people , his best friend and two innocent children.
It's unbelievable that the generation who grew up with the don't drink and drive campaign continues to drink and drive. I can't believe it's generational , if it is, the millenial generation must be called, "the stupidest generation ever".
I truly believe society must dig deeper and consider that anyone who drinks and drives isn't only stupid but must be mentally unbalanced. Mentally impaired people should never be allowed to have a license and should be forced to undergo psychiatric treatment.
It's not an excuse nor should the behaviour be excused.
Alcohol abuse is never a singular dysfunction but merely a symptom of a deeper psychosis.I would also state that committing any criminal offense is dysfunctional and the criminal needs to be locked up to protect the rest of us.
Drinking excessively shouldn't be acceptable, and Andrew Kummer's friends and family should be shamed for ignoring his dysfunction. Our society is too accepting of people who drink too much, it's featured as a comedy gag , a rite of passage and part of growing up.Parents of my generation buy alcohol for their underaged kids to be consumed at home with their friends so "the kids can drink safely".
The time has passed to merely concentrate on a drive safe campaign,it's time to enact zero percent laws and tough sentencing.
I felt the undertoad last Friday,as it passed by my house.I fretted and prayed that my girls were safe from the undertoad and hoped that it didn't grab someone elses child.
This time, the undertoad wasn't an unnameable force of nature, it's just an idiot who thought he was above the law.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Movie Review - Run Fatboy Run

Since giving up cable, we have been watching more movies.
When you have to pay for movies whether at Blockbuster or the local convenience store
(I'm too wary to download movies as of yet),the pressure is on to pick a movie THAT DOESN'T SUCK.
My budget for movies is less than $40 a month and we rarely watch movies on "school nights". It's always tricky to find a movie that will satisfy the guy, the teen, the preteen and not bore me to death.
There are some nights that have been designated date night movies for just the two of us.We watched Clerks 2 and Closer , the latter sucked !
Movies have to be worthy of the cash spent..... Closer wasn't worth the $1.99.
We decided to create a list of must see movies in order to separate the wheat from the chaff.
The first movie on our list was watched last night.
Four thumbs up for 'RUN FATBOY RUN'... it was hailed as the best date movie ever but was a great view for the entire family.

Friday, March 6, 2009

It smells like Spring !!!!

It looks and feels like Spring has sprung !
The warm temperature slid into London Ontario under the guise of darkness in the night.
The nasty curb snow has disappeared and the arctic ice on top of the pool cover is slowly melting. The nastiest cold winter in over twenty years has hopefully said it's last goodbye. It has left a few days work of cleaning up the branches left behind by our municipal garbage collectors and leaves which I couldn't completely suck up into my handy leaf blower.
I was the lone warrior cleaning up the gutters and leaves the night prior to the big storm in October. I'm happy that I was the crazy lady out at nine p.m. cleaning up her front yard but alas , my back yard suffered.
So it looks and feels like spring but how can you really tell the nasty weather has gone back up to Santa land ? Wiarton Willie proclaimed six more weeks of winter , could the groundhog be wrong ?

It's all in the smell.
When the permafrost starts to thaw,I swear I can smell the ground thawing, complete with every kind of decomposting debris. A strong whiff of decomposing leaves,brush,garbage and dog poop means the Easter Bunny can hop on over to our house.
In the seventies, that particular smell started after March Break , usually the first week of April. In the late 80's ,that particular smell wafted between the buildings at York U , sometime between spring break and the beginning of exams.
I truly believe that a fine combination of harpp and global warming is the cause.
I'm not unhappy in the least and I am going out on a limb to pronounce
that spring has sprung the first week of March ,the nose is never wrong.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


The man and I watched CBC'S National last night instead of the local news to get used to no local news coverage. It was a spontanous decision up there with choosing to watch paint dry vs watching grass grow.
At the end of the newscast, Peter Mansbridge fluffed Strombo's name in his outro remarks. Instead of pronouncing Strombopolous as it should be pronounced, the usually erudite anchor said ,Strom bobob olous.Holy shite,Peter Mansbridge isn't a talking head robot. He muffed George Stroumboulopoulos name !
Did anyone else catch this ?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

CRTC Bureaucratic Boondoggle

The powers that be at the CRTC decided a few months ago that the big media monoliths, Bell,Rogers and Shaw didn't have to pay local stations a fee to carry the feed on cable or satellite programming. Dire warnings were issued at the time by "networks" such as Canwest and CTVGLOBEMEDIA that this ruling would change the face of local Canadian programming.

Who is to blame ?

The CRTC allowed CTV to acquire the A Channels formerly owned by CHUM and this move unilaterly created a monopoly of media , particularly in Sw Ontario.
Don't think that a recession was the final death knell for A Channel. I'm certain that this was in the works as plan B for a very long time. CTVGLOBEMEDIA have had over two years to reorganize their network to ensure it remains profitable and fulfils the mandate of public broadcasting.
If you read the myriad history of CTVGLOBEMEDIA at wikipedia you will realize that Bell and Rogers have all had stakeholder status in the history of this media.
If local news disappears from the landscape ,will Rogers Community Channel now be the only purveyor of news. Are we going to allow interns and volunteers without education and experience be the gatekeepers to decide what stories to run or not run ?
Isn't it the mandate of the CRTC to regulate media and protect the public interest ?
Or are the mandarins at the top too immersed in the corporate media culture to carry out their mandate ?
Why do we need the CRTC if it's essentially a toothless bureaucratic monolith ?


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The day the local news died ...

Since moving into Reno House , we gave up cable.
When the weather turned brisk in November, the man hooked up one television and using some superman type tech superpower hooked up our HD big screen so we get six channels.... all Canadian. Nonetheless we were all thrilled , after going without ANY television ,watching the local news on A Channel was ENTERTAINMENT !
I live in a midsize city that has only one television station. A Channel ( now CTVGLOBEMEDIA) provides all local news , school cancellations, local weather etc. The station has changed hands several times in my lifetime, but the characters remain the same.
I'm afraid that the new downsizing , scrapping the morning show is just the start to erasing local television coverage in London and region. The regular programming has shrunk into substandard crap and I fear that it's the beginning of the end.
I'm also rather miffed that the CTV station in Kitchener will remain unscathed. CKCO has a smaller coverage area , smaller population and is simply a bedroom community of Toronto which has a CTV channel.
This bonehead move will only drive more viewers away from traditional media to the internet for local content.


Photobucket Album

Monday, March 2, 2009

When life happens ...

Almost a year has passed since I last blogged.
Tee hee , this sounds like an apology I made in Grade Eight to my dear diary, some things never change !
This time the excuse isn't quite so flimsy and has style and substance.
In May 2008, I decided to take my capital and invest it into property and not the stock market.
In retrospect , a very good move.
My crew and I bought a large derelict house and property in a high end neighbourhood.
It has and is still under renovation and is a constant financial sacrifice.

We have since May 2008,

Sent off 80 tonnes of construction and landscape waste to be recycled and or trashed.
Redeveloped the property for proper water flow, I personally dug twenty metres of"big O" around my pool and other areas to divert water from flowing into the house.
Chopped down forty trees and bushes.
Planted twenty trees and bushes,
Replaced the roof
Built four decks,
Placed river rock around the perimeter of the pool , built retaining walls, planted bamboo, five bedding areas, and built a burm feature in the front yard.
Turned the backyard into a grass free area, complete with pea gravel paths and several different living areas. Think california chic meets muskoka.
Shovelled dolmite into my front bedding areas , and had a a visit from the bomb squad thanks to some shock cord and blast cap left in by the blasting company. No explosion ( the cord and cap were taken away by the boys in blue and blown up elsewhere )and no apology from the company that sold us the two tonnes of dolomite. No thumbs up to GRAND RIVER STONE.
We tore down walls, cleaned out mold, installed new windows and doors,rebuilt rooms,installed new kitchen,tile,laminate and lived for months with only the bare essentials.
We are now point where we have two bathrooms to go, casing, baseboard and paint. It has been a slow process but the house is finally coming together.

I have learned to demolish drywall,sand,paint ( a fence nothing fancy but it's a start)and perform every labourer job under the sun.
I also discovered that I love working outdoors and get a certain elation from taking a landscape design on paper to reality.

We as a collective unit have also learned how to live without the basics albeit for a short time and have also had the opportunity to get to know one another a little better.
When we decided to take this plunge, we had to give up a few luxuries, eating out and cable television to be exact.
Giving up cable has been one of the best moves I have ever taken as a parent.
More to come ... promise.