Refuse to be Passive

Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Why Hanson will ALWAYS rock

In Life in General on August 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm

I’m once again rocking out to Hanson’s newest CD “Shout It Out.” Unlike their last album, “The Walk”, this is a little more fun and a little less serious. And have I mentioned a stellar brass section? That’s right. I’m talking trumpets, trombones, and saxophones. After being musicians for more than a decade, these boys still know how to have fun with their music. It’s as catchy as ever, and even the cowbell sounds good. With “Shout It Out” the guys have gone for a bit of a vintage feel that’s actually pretty brilliant. Don’t believe me? Check out their latest music video for “Thinkin’ About Something.”

See? Totally fun and addictive. Add to that that they’re just great guys and, well, enough said.

Want to know more about their latest album? Check it out here.

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Frozen Salad

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2010 at 1:06 pm

My salad is frozen. Someone adjusted the fridge temperature a little too much. Sadly, that also means that my peppers for snack this afternoon are also frozen. Horrors! Peppers are expensive! Oh well, now I guess I’ll just have to find something else to do with them…

Last Days

In Life in General on August 19, 2010 at 12:42 pm

The yellow air hangs thick over Edmonton. I step out the door to deposit some letters in the mailbox and I’m assaulted by the smell of smoke. Thankfully I don’t have respiratory problems, or I’d probably have a coughing fit. Apparently the fires in BC have decided to send us their smoke. I’m just thankful that I don’t have to worry about needing to evacuate my office, home, or city. A co-worker comments to me that after Haiti, bad things seem to be happening on a larger scale more frequently. I commented that maybe we just notice it more now. Maybe our news services now keep us in touch with things that happened before, but we never heard about. She commented that we’d had excellent news coverage for at least the past twenty years. Well, maybe it’s the last days, and we won’t need to be worried about living on the earth much longer, came my response. Apparently that’s what’s been floating around in her mind as well. Then the question poses itself, “Am I ready for the last days?” Not as in, do I long for them, rather, would the end of things as we know it fill me with dread or regret for things undone?

Farmer’s Markets: Truly Local?

In Food on August 18, 2010 at 9:22 am

I read of a man in Airdire who went shopping at Superstore one day and he noticed a man stocking up on produce. The next day, this same man went to his local farmer’s market and saw the same man who had been in Superstore selling the produce. So, this consumer walked up to the seller and inquired if the seller had grown all of his products on his own land. The seller assured him he had. The consumer then said, “Then why did I see you in Superstore yesterday, buying this?” The seller glowered at him and walked away.

I love farmer’s markets, and a story like this distresses me a bit. I don’t live in Airdrie; I live in Edmonton. And I know many reputable local businesses that sell at our farmer’s markets. But the truth of the matter is, I know little of the producers and often wonder how far my food is travelling. Is it local at all? Is there any misrepresentation? If you’re interested in seeing where your food is raised or grown, many producers will be happy to let you see their farms or gardens.¬† But if you’re not up for a jaunt into the country, there’s another way of finding local producers, a website: Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association. From this website, you can search by product type for local producers, from strawberries to chicken, I can find out where in the province I can get good local products.

Now, not all local producers are on this page. Undoubtedly there are others. For example, when I look under eggs, I don’t see Green Eggs and Ham– a ten acre mixed farm near the Edmonton International Airport and a well-loved vendor at the downtown Farmer’s Market. So please be aware that this list is not comprehensive. But if you’re looking for a little peace of mind, check it out.

A hit of adrenaline

In Life in General on August 15, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Do you remember that intense feeling of panic right before an exam that you really didn’t study for? I got to experience it first hand tonight, and forgot how freaky it can be. As many of you know, I’m currently working towards a professional diploma in Career Development. I’m only¬† a month in, and already the procrastination has started. I was glancing through my course booklet and noticed in a separate introductory package that my journal was due one month after my start date. Oh crud. Double crud. That’s four days away. And I’m only working my way through Chapter 3! What if the journal is supposed to be comprehensive?! I started reading quickly through my course booklet that came with my textbook, searching for what my “journal” was supposed to be. Then, I noticed that my course booklet, all 100-pages of it, seemed to have fill-in-the-blanks and empty spaces to fill in answers. Crap. The booklet must be my journal. And yes, this booklet is very comprehensive. I quickly cleared my kitchen table, plunked down my text and my booklet, grabbed a glass of water and started reading, my heart in my throat. How was I supposed to do this all in four days? Heck, even a month seemed like a tight deadline to read an entire text and provide feedback. About four pages in, after the introduction was a detailed layout of my assignment for this course. It includes a 20-page paper and a lot of research. I started second guessing myself. That didn’t sound much like a journal. Was that added on to the journal? And nowhere was I reading about the subsequent audio and video tape portions of the course. I got up and ran upstairs to double check the introductory sheet on which I’d read that my journal was due within the first month. I glanced at the sheet, and sure enough. I kept looking and my eyes landed on the course code. Relief washed over me, and even though my heart was still pumping like a race horse’s I knew everything was going to be alright. The course that required the journal to be submitted within a month was the one I start in September. The adrenalin that had shot through me began to subside and I scolded myself once again for procrastinating on reading the course material thoroughly, so that I knew what I was in for. I’m a brilliant procrastinator, and it’s gotten me into trouble before, pulling all nighters only to get a B- on a paper. The problem is that in this course, that would be a fail. 80% is a pass.

So, hopefully my lesson is learned. I will read course outlines in detail as soon as I get them. And then I’ll do at least one hour of homework/reading a night, with a few extra hours on Saturday. This working and studying thing is going to suck. (Appologies to people who don’t like that word, like my mother…and my aunt I’d wager). On top of that, I’m still doing my volunteer work. Ouch. Not much free time for me. Oh well. It’ll keep me from getting bored and rotting my brain with too much TV and too many movies…although I’m not sure there’s such a thing as that last one.

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I saw a Chipmunk trying to pick up an green apple laying next to a tree. It was too big.

The Swarm

In Life in General on August 9, 2010 at 3:38 pm

This morning I got up, put on jeans, rubber boots, and a jacket. I zipped up the coat and flopped on the hood. I grabbed a pair of heavy duty gloves and headed out. The weather was a balmy 16 degrees, and there were fluffy white clouds in the sky. Why then was I dressed so? Well, I was on my way to water my garden. What, it still doesn’t make sense? How about this. The moment I stepped off the pavement and into the grass a small swarm started to form around me. As I plodded the next thirty feet to my plot in the community garden, the swarm began to grown. By the time I reached my garden plot, hundreds of mosquitoes flew round my feet, lets, torso– looking for a yummy spot to bit. It took them only a minute or so to move towards my face. So it was, that with one hand I holding the watering wand, and with the other I was clearing the air around my face of these vicious insects.

It didn’t help much that someone had decided not to wrap up the hose, and so I had to trudge to the other side of the garden to retrieve i t and then weave my way back to my plot to water my burgeoning lettuce, kale, and spinach, as well as my rather pathetic pepper plants that have blooms, but I fear they’ll topple before the fruit gets to full size, so I may just pick the blooms and hope for a bit of warm weather. My tomatoes are fearless though. They’re taking over everything– it’s a battle between them and the nasturtiums I planted a couple feet away. I had no idea either of them would become so large.

After I watered my garden I grabbed a bunch of lettuce leaves so that I could make myself a salad for lunch. I was halfway back to the house before I realized I’d forgotten the carrots. I decided to save those for another day. There was no way I was heading back into the swarm, at least not today.

Consistantly Inconsistant

In Food, Life in General on August 7, 2010 at 8:54 pm

I used to blog at least every other day. I don’t know what’s happened. It’s like the well of creativity has dried up. Even my metaphors are unoriginal.

This weekend I’m taking care of my sister’s dog– Maggie. She’s a white/cream lab cross with something else thrown in there. She’s been a delight. Last night we wandered down to the ravine, although didn’t spend much time there as the clouds rolled in quickly and the mosquitoes were swarming us.
This morning we were up on-time, had breakfast and headed downtown to go to the farmer’s market. She was an excellent dog, although I had to keep here lead short, as there were many other dogs around, and kids– which she loves. Thankfully, she’s a well trained dog, who sits on command, even if she’s still working on the concept of “stay.” From there we headed back to my place for an afternoon of chores, gardening, and watching TV. I also did a bit of baking–Rosemary Peasants Bread. Delicious. So delicious that half of it is gone already. Whoops. I knew I’d stopped baking for a reason. But darn, I do make a good loaf of bread.
Tomorrow I might take Maggie down to the river after church, and hopefully the mosquitoes won’t be too bad. I might have to go out and buy some bug spray before I head down there, maybe they’ll be bearable then.
The only downside is that she seemed to smell a bone burried under my lawn, so there is now a hole beside my stone pathway, and she managed to break most of my rhubarb as well. That rhubarb has had a rough summer. First, with a neighbour who cut my lawn and hit my rhubarb and sapling at the same time, and now a dog. Thankfully rhubarb seems hard to kill once it’s established, so I expect she’ll bounce back.
Honestly though, I got so many compliments on Maggie, from how pretty she was to how obedient, and if my sister and her husband ever decide they can’t keep her, I’ll be at the front of the line to take her off their hands. She really is a delight, even if she does get those sad eyes when I don’t feed her human food.