Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wait for it.....

Came across this little gem in my web adventures the other day.  Too cute not to share.  Weren't expecting a happy jumping little creature were you?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Goodbye....

Longest. Weekend. EVER....and not in a good way.

Yesterday we were faced with the heart wrenching decision of having to put our dog, Chiquita, down.  The most difficult thing we've had to do, or perhaps the easiest.  She was suffering, in pain and not living the way she was entitled to live.   It would have been selfish and it would have been for US, if we had not decided the way we did.  We chose the way we did, for her.

She joined our family in November 2000.  She was not my 'baby' or 'child' nor was I her 'mother'.  She was our pet. But as a pet, she was a member of our family.  A loved and respected member. She would protect and defend us and our property and we trusted her with our lives, as she trusted us with hers.

She had silly habits like sneaking used tissue and trying to eat it before she got caught.  It had to be used though, fresh from the box just wasn't the same.  Anything within nose reach on the counter was fair game and she was a fan of toothpaste.

Late last Fall she was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease.  The disease itself doesn't kill the animal, but the effects of the disease are devastating to the organs and that is eventually what will make the animal suffer.  Surgery and medication weren't options, but after much research we found some homeopathic drops that had good reviews and history and we gave them a try.  They seemed to work for the last few months and we are so grateful for that.

Things aren't the same around here.

It will take time;  but  memories, though they fade, are gifts that were created when we were given the opportunity to live them, and love doesn't die.





Until next time.




Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sugar, Sugar.




Came across this interesting visual. Pretty scary how much sugar is lurking in the goodies that we consume on a daily basis. 


Friday, February 10, 2012

Fad or Fashion?

Some interesting stats here. Some are quite surprising....or are they? I do know that I would have loved to have been on the 'ground floor' of the creation of Facebook. 







Thursday, February 2, 2012

There's an app for that.

Ok....so, fellow iPhone users out there...what are your favourite apps?

I'm a confessed tech-whore...so that in turn makes me an app-whore.  Keep in mind that from my (short) list below, some of the apps were FREE and some were not.  Some of the the apps were actually FREE (on sale) for a limited time and now are regular price, so I'm not going to list prices or even give links.  If you are interested in a particular app search the App Store and you'll get details there.  A lot of developers offer 'lite' versions of apps, these are usually less featured (won't do as many cool things) for FREE.  Try the lite version (if available) play around with it and see if you like it before committing the 99 cents!

I have downloaded and deleted more apps than I care to remember.  (Remember I am on iPad 2 and iPhone 4S so yes....there probably is an app for THAT) Not all apps are Frantastic™, but some are keepers.


So here's a few that I've been enjoying:
  • appsgonefree - Daily listing of apps that are free for a short time only(usually only 24 hours), I have gotten many cool apps FREE that normally would be $.99 or more!
  • AppStart - Nice starting place for new iPhone users, gives you the basic info, then suggests apps for you depending on your preferences and needs.
  • MeMeGen Pro- just for fun darn it! Super funny pics that you can put titles/captions to.  It's not going to save the planet, but it is giggle-worthy.
  • instagram - Cool photo program, that all the cool kids use to take cool pictures! Did I mention it's cool? Once the pic is taken and fancied up, it's uploaded onto an instagram roll for the entire planet to see.
  • Camera+ - Lots of photo editing options here....LOTS.
  • PhotoStudio - Even more photo editing options...seriously.
  • The QRCode Machine - QR code fans unite! Whether creating or reading a QR code, this is the coolest app by far. Create code, save and email or decipher codes that have been sent to you or that you find in your journeys through life. Neat-o interface. If you have to ask what a QR code is....probably not the app for you.
  • Meernotes - Very nice note taking program. Notes are divided into books with chapters and indexes etc. Lovely hand writing font as an option and several 'cover' choices. Probably a bit too much detail for shopping lists or honey do lists, but if you're a writer, or blogger perhaps, this is a nice way to take note.
  • Pimp my Screen - Customization at its finest.  Change the wallpaper, lock screen, choose from bazillions of 'app shelves' or backgrounds. Constantly updating available inventory.   Lots of choices to make your iPhone look like YOUR iPhone.  
  • Flipboard- a fantastic magazine like app that allows you to organize all of your feeds (many to choose from) and then peruse them in page flipping fashion.  Just released for the iPhone recently, this app has been on my iPad forever.  Granted it's a nicer view on the larger device but works well on the iPhone and I use it daily.  
  • DataMan - Ahhhh data, the burden of all cell users.  If you need to watch your data usage...this is the app for you.  You input your cellphone billing date and plan maximum and then it monitors usage for both WIFI and network.  Then when you reach 50% of plan you get  a warning alert, and again at 70% and again at 90% and finally at 100% (can't say it didn't warn you!) You can also go in and check usage if you're curious.  Darn it SIRI! Why must you suck so much....data.
  • Spool - Saves web pages and videos from your browser to your iPhone for offline viewing. Handling video, image galleries, slide shows, PDFs, long articles, and blogs that you encounter and want to enjoy when you have time.Spool does wonders where internet connections are spotty like on trains, planes, and automobiles (passengers only, please.) At a boring meeting? The app loads up pages instantly from your device's local storage for discrete under the table reading. On a plane and don't want to spend $12 on WiFi? Spool up videos to make your long trip fly by. Your Spool will hold up to 2000 mb of data, so lots of room.
  • AccuWeather - much preferred over the on-board weather app...sorry Apple.  As accurate as a weather forecast can be...and best part...it actually knows where McBride is!
  • Evi - Siri's younger, Android born cousin. Not as hip or stylish and certainly not as friendly or personal, can't even customize 'her' but for a basic search-bot she's a star! The one benefit over Siri is that Evi's searches result in pages you can view while still in Evi's interface.  None of that pesky having to go to Safari to follow through on a search.  The downfall to Evi is that since it's not an Apple borne creation, it doesn't interact with other apps, so no emails/texts/opening and closing of programs or taking notes/booking appointments or making lists.  Evi is still in Beta so, she will most certainly improve with time.  
  Would love comments here or on Facebook with any gems that you use and enjoy!

Until next time.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Best. Chocolate chip. Cookes. Ever. Recipe.

I have tried MANY recipes...MANY, and this is by far the best.  Truly.  Enjoy.



1 cup butter flavour Crisco (yup, it's true and it DOES make a difference)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs

Cream together until light and creamy.
Add 1 tsp vanilla extract. Mix well.

Add 2 cups of flour. 1 tsp baking soda. 1/2 tsp salt.  Mix well, but don't over mix.

Add 2 cups (or as much as you want, I use the whole package) of chocolate chips/chunks.  You can use semi-sweet, milk, peanut butter, butterscotch...whichever flavour you prefer.  You could also add 1/2 cup of nuts (pecans/walnuts etc.) should you so desire.

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.  Cool on pan for a couple of minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Magical.

Until next time.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Not in Canada....Eh!....Eh?

Interesting how in the US, the people are up in arms over something that up until a short while ago, I didn't think we were facing as well.  This is an interesting read.  Quite the jump from protecting copy-written work to censorship, but it's an easy jump and it's a jump the Government appears primed to take.


Warning: It is a loooong read, but an interesting one and the language is occasionally...*ahem*...rude. But, if you think it doesn't affect you......it probably will.  

Another thing to keep in mind is that the opinions of the author of the blog post (below) are their own - not mine or yours, or that of the Government in power.  Do your own research.  Read the comments below the post and Google it! 

In the words of Mulder & Scully...."the truth is out there".


A Copyright Quickie

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Til we meet again....

Hello my fellow peeps,


It has been a wee bit since I last contributed to Frantastic's blog but it seems I was blogged out or worse, didn't know what to blog about....I still don't know. However, for the art of blogging, I have decided to bring up reincarnation! Why you ask, why not? I'm sure we have all thought at some point in time that we would like to come back as something or someone else in our next life.


I have often thought of who or what I would want to be. My first thought and my most preferred is that I would like to come back as an Orca. Those beautiful marine mammals that are graceful, resourceful and family oriented. I wouldn't want to be a transient whale but a resident in either J, K or L pods. I could be know as J 48 or Sparky for short. Sparky sounds like she's fun. She is a carefree whale out to have a whale of a good time......get it? 


Now if I couldn't be a Killer Whale, then I would want to be either a Grizzly or Polar Bear. Probably a Grizzly though as I prefer not to live in arctic conditions and sleeping for 6 months of the year sounds rather appealing. However, hunting would have to be outlawed! I really don't want to be stuffed and sitting above someone's fireplace!


I'm sure you see that in either case, I want to be at the TOP of the food chain, not the bottom. I want to be the hunter, not the prey. 


I'm sure either way, you my fellow friends will be reincarnated as something you wish. What would you be? A person, an animal or mammal or you, again in life part deux?


I leave you now to think about it. Til we meet again mon cheries.


Adieu


Queen T

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nope....don't think so.



Shocking! I'm not a Tim Thomas fan; even before last year's event 'that shall not be named'.  He is arrogant, obnoxious, self-centered, probably mentally unbalanced since he's always smiling and talking to himself during a game and he gives off the 'creepy' vibe.

The political melt down of late due to his refusing to go to the White House is interesting.  People are either firmly by his side, supporting his decision to stand by his beliefs (the ONLY American on the team, by the way) while others are shredding him for not going.

My take doesn't matter, but it's my take.  The TEAM went for a trip to the White House. The TEAM was invited to show off their item "that shall not be named". They are an American TEAM (did I mention he's the ONLY American).  Tim Thomas' salary is paid by this American TEAM, he signed a contract that stated that he would take part in TEAM events, for the TEAM, that he would promote the TEAM as required.  This meeting was a TEAM event, promotion and a requirement to attend was given.  But nobody in the hierarchy of Boston management did anything about it.  Management, allegedly, knew from the beginning that Thomas wasn't going.  The upper echelon even stated that they 'could' suspend Thomas, but wouldn't.  A few months ago a rookie on the team missed a TEAM breakfast, he didn't set his alarm (poor fella) and  he was suspended a game for missing a TEAM function.  He was NOT Tim Thomas.

Some broadcasters believe, Thomas' hatred for current government is due to his severe right wing stance.  (The current joke is that he shouldn't be a goalie, he should be a right winger. Ha.) Others have hinted, as in the article I've linked here >TimThomas , that he has even stronger personal opinions.   The reporter in the piece I have linked is obviously ok with Thomas missing the TEAM event, because it was his personal right to do so.  Actually....it wasn't his right to miss the event, it was his obligation to be there.  You don't like the President or his politics.  Too bad.  You don't like the food on the menu. Too bad.  You are paid well, to be a member of that team you do what they tell you to do for the promotion of that team. You sit there, you smile and you pretend that you are honored to be there.

If he wasn't Tim Thomas, he would be in trouble.  It's a dangerous thing Boston management has done.  They have allowed Tim Thomas to decide for himself what TEAM functions he will and will not attend. Thomas' Bruins...has an interesting ring to it.

I'm curious to see how it's handled the next time (because, precedent being set, it WILL happen again)...with someone other than Tim Thomas. 


Until next time. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

The red marbles

Came across this story on one of my internet journeys.  It is a lovely tale, I was weepy at the end  (I cried 3 times during Kung Fu Panda 2, so take that as you will).
 ________________________

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

'Hello Barry, how are you today?
'H'lo, Mr Miller. 
Fine, thank ya. Jus 'admirin' them peas. They sure look good. 
'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma? 
'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.' 
'Good. Anything I can help you with? 
'No, Sir. Jus 'admirin' them peas. 
'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr Miller 
'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.' 
'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas? 
'All I got's my prize marble here.
'Is that right? Let me see it' said Miller 
'Here 'tis. She's a dandy. 
'I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked 
'Not zackley but almost. 
'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr Miller told the boy 
'Sure will. Thanks Mr Miller.

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store. 

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could. Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket. 

'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt. 

'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho . 

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Day 6

Day 6


The darkness fades; the sun came out today, gives one hope that not all is lost....or is this yet again another false illusion? Every waking day, one reflects on a not so distant past, a life of joy and simple pleasures.... is it all lost and gone forever?! Has this become our new existence? What will become of this vast land of ours? Inhabited by this new terror; generations lost to a new world, barren, cold and frigid? One cannot help but questions one’s own mortality.

As time goes on lingering, one reaches a breaking point, I find myself questioning every move, question dare I say.... every rational thought? Yes, perhaps it is safer to remain confined but rations are critically low, how much longer one can hold out is anyone’s guess. There simply seems no end in sight! Self preservation must prevail, and so that said..... A quest of great undertaking has been designed; a precise select set of circumstances must have been established necessary for this expedition. After careful consideration and much scrutiny of the many variables, sacrificing life and limb...it has become inevitably necessary to embark on this trek to salvation. Weary as I am...I prepare to embark, double and triple checking my supplies....I say a simple prayer as I slip deep into the abyss.....

Safeway, here I come.

Molly McIntyre

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Dark Side

I have crossed over.....I have left the RIM and entered the Realm of Apple.....


I know, I know........I said that would NEVER happen. Well, folks...just another reason why we should listen to our elders when they throw such pieces of sage wisdom at us as "never say never"....


I loved my Blackberry, I couldn't imagine ever being dissatisfied, of wanting MORE.....and then SIRI came along.


SIRI is the single greatest (communication) innovation since the introduction of the telephone. If only Mr. Bell could see us now! SIRI is intuitive, witty and wise enough to call me Madam. There does not seem to be any function of the iPhone 4s that SIRI cannot perform for you. Gone is the need to TYPE your emails, text message or even your grocery list. Tell SIRI what to do and it's done. Even if you say "text my son" SIRI will ask "what would you like to say to (insert son's name here)" and then he/she composes the message, asks you if you want to send it and then....sends it. If you say "add milk to my grocery list", milk gets added to your 'Reminders' list entitled 'groceries' ..... as for the wit.... you can tell SIRI that you need to hide a body and he/she will suggest places to do so and give you directions to the location of your choice! Now THAT is an assistant ;)

I honestly think that if there was a major catastrophe and I had to choose between saving a loved one and saving my iPhone..........well, if the human can't save his/her self.....survival of the fittest right? My poor defenseless iPhone would NEED me.....although with all of the innovations and magical functions inside it's little body, I wouldn't be surprised if in the event of a disaster, it would gather data from the surrounding area, deduce what was required and transform into a life-raft with a helicopter prop and whisk us all to safety....


Á bientot


Anastacia Rex

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A whale story

A female humpback whale had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat.  She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.



Spectacular Whale


A fisherman spotted her just east of the coast of San Francisco, California,  and radioed for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so badly off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her. A very dangerous proposition as one slap of the tail could kill a prospective rescuer. 

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, nudged them, and pushed gently, thanking them.  Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. 

The man who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same. 

May you and all those you love, be so fortunate as to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you and may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude. 




Until next time. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Factoid Saturday

10 Interesting Facts

  1. Leonardo da Vinci was able to draw with one hand while writing with the other.
  2. Marilyn Monroe had six toes on one foot.
  3. Anne Boleyn had six fingers on each hand.
  4. Mel Blanc [the voice of Bugs Bunny] was allergic to carrots.
  5. Pope John Paul the 2nd became a honorary Harlem Globetrotter in the year 2000.
  6. Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon with his left foot.
  7. The first owner of Marlboro Company died of lung cancer.
  8. The average person in their life time will eat 60,000 pounds of food, the weight of approximately six elephants.
  9. 25% of the bones in your body are in your feet.  Also, Your ribs move about five million times a year.
  10. Most of the dust particles in your house are dead skin.

Another Tranche of 10 Interesting Factoids

  1. The average person laughs thirteen times a day. Are you average?
  2. Men are more likely to be struck by lightning than women.
  3. Amateur boxer Joe Flanagan named his two sons Bob and Weave.
  4. Drivers kill more deer than hunters.
  5. William Semple, a dentist, invented chewing gum to exercise the jaw.
  6. Walt Disney was afraid of mice.
  7. More people use blue toothbrushes than red.
  8. Everybody's tongue print is as unique as their finger print.
  9. A hardworking adult will sweat up to four gallons of water per day.
  10. Fingernails grow nearly four times faster than toenails.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wit and Wisdom

Sometimes, there just aren't enough hours in the day.  Sometimes I find some gems on the internet and they're just too good not to share.  So every once in a while to fill in space on the blog-o-rama I'll do what I like to call Wit and Wisdom.  I'll share something that I find funny as well as something that hopefully gives you an Oprah 'Aha!' moment.

Until next time.





Wit.
Wisdom

Monday, January 9, 2012

Shoe Addiction… It’s a Girl Thing




Hi everyone, as I mentioned previously I am going to come clean about my addictions, this is one many of you share…. SHOES!  Guys (unless they are gay) just don’t get this one.

I must admit that I came to this addiction rather late in life and I can place the blame squarely upon my sister (Susan, are you listening????).  I have wide feet with a high instep and quite frankly I just couldn’t be bothered trying on pair after pair that didn’t fit so that I could have a closet full of shoes.  One black pair, one brown pair… good to go.

Then my sister, a notorious shoe addict, finally badgered me into trying on some of her collection.  To give you some indication of the extent of her issues, she recently had the den in her home converted into a “closet”, it even has an island… it also has three floor to ceiling units for a part of her shoe collection… it’s practically an art gallery.  

 At any rate, there were some of her collection that actually fit and looked good and were quite comfortable and they were Fluevog’s (check out www.fluevog.com) .  At the time I was a Fluevog virgin and didn’t realize what a religion they are to some, their slogan is “Unique Soles for Unique Souls” and that about sums it up.  At the time there wasn’t a store in Calgary so I accompanied my sister on one of her several times a year pilgrimages to the Fluevog mecca of Vancouver.  Needless to say I came home with several pairs of shoes and ankle boots (one pair was blue!)… this was just the beginning.

I currently own about 40 pairs of shoes and ankle boots in a variety of colors stored in a huge 4 drawer credenza by my back door.  I have Fluevog’s, Fly’s, Audly, Guiardon, TN-29, R.A.S, Frye, Chia Mahara in all shapes and colors.  One thing I don’t have are spikes or stilletos, just can’t do those… I’d have a broken ankle before you could say “Call 9-1-1”.  So, no Jimmy Choo or Louboutin in my future but I’ve managed to put together a great variety of footwear for every occasion.  And now for the photo part of this presentation…

These are one of my all-time favorite pairs, the Mini Zaza.  I never knew that shoes had names, go figure.  At Fluevog they create “families” of shoes based on the same heel and platform.  These have a wide toe so no squished tootsies and a 2 1/2 “ heel and are amazingly comfortable.  I have these in the Red/Pink below and in Black/Cream. They are great to wear with anything from skirts to skinny jeans.   I also have another style from this family called the Mini Lily Darling in an Oxblood/Black (I call them my naughty secretary shoes, check them out on the website)
Picture from www.fluevog.com


Next another Fluevog shoe called the Baroque Cortona.  My sister has a pair of these lovelies and I think that the heel and patterned leather is amazing…
Picture from www.fluevog.com



Fluevog also has fabulous ankle boots including these rocker chick pointy ones called the Truth Melissa.  I have these in a lilac body with a blue buckle and fold-over top.  These are super with jeans which you can tuck in and flip the top of the boots up, super cute!
Picture from www.fluevog.com


The following little beauties are for the serious footwear connoisseur,  they are by Tracey Neuls and will run you about 750.00 regular priced (I don’t own these but I’m sure you can imagine who does.. yup, sister). These are the Green Bow Peep Toes… I will admit that I do covet these, the leather is “like butta” and they look amazing on.
Picture from www.gravitypope.com


Another gorgeous creation from Tracey Neuls is the Red/Black T-Strap with a heel that is part wood and part leather wrapped… again, not in my closet but in the possession of someone I know well.


Now, onto BOOTS.  I have not owned a pair of knee-high boots in eons, I haven’t even tried any on.  It seems that unless you wear a size 8 dress with calf size to match there is no hope of getting a pair of boots from a regular retailer that you could possibly zip up.  Once again the answer has been found and it is www.duoboots.com

This UK based company makes beautiful, fashionable boots in custom foot & calf sizes.  Simply measure your calf and order away.  I know, sounds too good to be true right?  WRONG, once again we have my sister to thank for this find, she was recently in London & Paris to celebrate her 20th anniversary and shopping was at the top of her agenda.  She was doing her pre-trip google for stores that must be visited and came across Duo Boots, she bought two pairs and brought them home.  Just before I left to come down to Mexico she was wearing a pair when she came to visit and insisted I try them on.  They were beautiful black leather equestrian style boots and had hot pink leather lining.  I looked at them doubtfully but what the heck, I tried them on then pulled the zipper…  zip, all the way up and those beauties were on and they were magical.  They were having a sale so I went on and ordered two pair for myself.  Unfortunately I have to wait until March to try them on but the thought of having beautiful  knee-high leather boots that  zip up… nirvana. This site is also good for folks with really skinny calf’s as well… come one, come all.
Pricture from www.duoboots.com

This is one of the pairs my sister brought back that I tried on, the Gravina… on sale now for $240 Cdn plus $20 international shipping