Friday, June 29, 2007

Blue-Green Algae and Your Dog

I wrote a post on my Temple Treats Dog Blog this morning that discusses blue-green algae, which is a substance found in stagnant water sources that is fatal when ingested. If you are an animal lover, or spend a lot of time in the outdoors yourself, please take a moment to read this post:

Blue-Green Algae Can Fatally Affect All Animals. Do Not Let Your Dog Drink From Stagnant Water Sources

I know I am going to be extra careful with Stella this summer when we take her capming.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Police CD: Not just for road trips anymore!

Guess which double disc compilation just hit stores? I will give you a hint - it’s the The Police!

I am a huge fan of the Police – to the point it drives the BF crazy on road trips. He actually feels the need to point out to me that there is other music out there. While he does have a valid point, the fact of the matter is that there is not a lot of music out there we both agree on. The Police are an exception to the rule (and by that I mean my grumpy boyfriend doesn’t loathe them like he does my other music choices) so it is inevitable that my boyfriend, dog and I spend the majority of our three day road trips listening (and singing along) to a Police CD or two. Well, we like to think Stella is singing along with us. She may actually be howling for us to shut up.

I wonder how my boyfriend is going to feel about The Police after we go to the mall to pick up the new Police CD this weekend and then spend the rest of the day shoe shopping. And after he finds out there is an awesome vintage poster of The Police included in the double disc compilation that will likely end up prominently displayed in our condo.

Anyway, enough about my boyfriend and more about The Police. Folks, for your viewing pleasure, here is a 30 second TV spot that is running right now in the UK!

How cool is that?

A gold mine of events that are dog friendly without being dog focused

One of my friends from work invited Mark, Stella, and I to a free outdoor movie at Yonge/Dundas square last night. It is kind of sad that my friend who lives and works in Markham knew about a free movie 10 minutes from my house while I did not have a clue.

We went without even caring what was playing. We were just happy to have something to do that was pet friendly without being pet focused.

The walk up to Yonge/Dundas was a lot different than our usual walks. Usually people smile at Stella and try to pet her but on this walk, people mostly glared at her like she was in the way. The sidewalks were not even that crowded and I was keeping her on a short leash so she definitely wasn't in anyone's way.

Stella, herself acted pretty strange at one point on the way up to the movie. Usually she is vey friendly and she loves everyone with great exuberance. She never ever growls or get snarly. Last night, however, as we were about to walk past a homeless man sitting in the ground, Stella stopped dead in her tracks and would not budge past him. She also wouldn't take her eyes off of him. When I finally gave up tugging on her leash, I bent down to pick her up and realized that she was grumbling low in her throat. Not quite a growl but she was definitely displaying her unhappiness. I picked her up and carrried her about ten feet before putting her down again, at which point she turned around and glared at him again, She kept turning around until he was out of site. Stella has seen homeless people before and usually she just wants them to pet her. I am not sure what made this guy so different.

Anyway, back to the movie. The feature presentation was a 1950's Movie called Forbidden Planet. I am not a huge space movie fan but I had a good time. The movie had Canada's own Leslie Neilson in it. Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe, Episode One played before the movie and I thought that was pretty cool.

Every Tuesday for the rest of the summer, a space movie will be playing at Yonge / Dundas Square. Apparently there will also be Wednesday lunch hour concerts, and weekend cultural festivals every weekend from now until the end of August.

Here is the Tuesday night movie listing ---

June 26th: Forbidden Planet (1956)
July 3: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
July 10: Sleeper (1973)
July 17: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
July 24: Blade Runner (1982)
July 31: 31 Brazil (1985)
August 7: Gattaca (1997)
August 14: Matrix (1999)
August 21: Minority Report (2002)
August 28: Trip Hop Metropolis (1927)

All of the other event listings are on a press release I found on the Flip Publicity website:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

CN Tower; Red, White & Blue?

View of CN Tower from our balcony (until the next tower is built, then we are screwed)

The weather was perfect last night so Mark and I took Stella for an extra long walk on the boardwalk. We stopped for a drink at an outdoor bar and had a great view of the party boats, giant sail boats (when they are that big, do you call them sailing ships) and the squabbling seagulls. Stella tries to chase the pigeons and the seagulls but if she caught one, it would probably peck her to death before she could do it any harm.

For the entirety of our walk, we had a great view of the CN Tower, which has been lit up every night for the last week or so. They are experimenting with LED lights and the tower is looking pretty cool. Last week, we went out on our balcony to watch the show as the practising began. While impressed, we were quite confused to more often than not see some glowing combination of red, white and blue. We did not see a simple red/white combination at all. There were some other colours thrown in but the majority of the time, it looked like giant. looming American pride display.

Maybe someone complained because we noticed on our walk last night that the tower's light show is now mostly red and white. It looks very cool! So hopefully it will look the same for next weekend. And while I am hoping, I hope the weather is the exact same, too!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Outsourcing to India and Other Fun Workplace Trends

The Internet blocker is back up at work so until I am given access to the code, I will be miserable and very, very bored. All of my fun duties involve my Internet tasks. I have said this before but it was in a post long, long ago so I don't feel completely redundant in repeating it; I find it very ironic that the Internet blocker is designed to keep us employees focused on our work and not surfing for personal interests, yet the blocker has blocked most of the sites I need to complete my tasks while at the same time left me access to this, my personal blog.

Ah well, I have bigger things to worry about than my workday boredom. For example, my mother lost her job on Friday because her company decided to outsource her position to India. This is happening to a lot of people in a lot of companies but I thought my mother would be safe because she is a technical writer. It simply did not occur to me that positions involving written communications would be well suited to India. Maybe they write the documents in their own language and then have it translated....

Anyway, I am sure my mother will find something soon. She is very good at what she does and pretty resiliant. If not, well, why not just pack up the family and move to India? I hear they are hiring like crazy over there...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer Fun for My 10 Year Old Brother!

To follow up on a recent post, my mother and I have not made any definite summer plans for my brother yet, with the exception that we will, without a doubt be finding some sort of Innovative Tutor for him. His grades improved this year with the help of an after school program but there is still room for improvement. We are going to start shopping around right away and we are going to begin our search with Score Learning Center. All my brother needs is an Innovative Tutor to help bring him to his full potential and, from what we’ve heard, Score Learning Center has a reputation for having excellent tutors on staff to help children excel academically.

Knocked Up, The Movie

The BF and I finally went to see a movie. It is the first one that we have seen since moving into the condo in March. This is despite the fact that my mother gave Mark a $100 movie gift card for Christmas and I received two free movie coupons from my dentist as a thank you for a referral. So I left the movie choice up to Mark and after debating heavily between Knocked Up and The Rise Of The Silver Surfer, he chose the former.

Knocked Up was excellent! It was light and funny and silly; a romantic comedy that even guys can get on board with. The script was not very polished but that is okay because it made it seem more like actual conversations (re. arguments) that my boyfriend and I would have. My BF and I are both pretty sarcastic people and while we are having arguments we both say some things that are not funny at the time but hilarious later when we are retelling the scene over beers. We are a great source of amusement for our friends.

Anyway, I highly recommend Knocked Up to anyone with a sense of humour. Oh and that guy from Undeclared, a show brutally cancelled without being given a fair chance, was in it. I love that guy!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Goodbye Adorable Pink Puppy Sweater. Goodbye.

Stella, my spoiled Boston terrier puppy has finally outgrown her adorable pink sweater. Much to my boyfriends chagrin, I bought her that sweater a week after we brought her home. She has grown so much; the vet just weighed Stella in at a full 10 lbs! She does not have much further to go and she will be full-grown. Sigh. They expect her to get to be between 18 to 20lbs.

Honestly, though, Stella looked so adorable in that pink puppy sweater that I am more than a little sad to see it go. On the other hand this does give me an excuse shop for yet another sweater, perhaps even more adorable and more pink? How great is that?

So I am now officially beginning my quest for an adorable pink replacement sweater for Stella. Of course my search begins online and anyone who has read any of my previous posts knows that my online search begins with looking for online coupons! I am so predictable.

I just took a look-see at and found a whole bunch of online pet store related coupons. There was more than a couple PETCO coupons. I am going to start my pink puppy sweater search there since I am a such a big fan of PETCO. is updated daily so, I am not too worried if I do not find the perfect pink sweater right away; I am a patient person! Besides, there is a whole bunch of people related coupons, too and there is nothing wrong with my quest being side tracked a little, right? My aunt’s birthday is coming up and I found a ton of promo codes. Aunt Shirley is an Avon fiend!

Stella, My Boston Terrier

Here are some unsolicited pics of my Stella Bella!!!

linkdonkey: 10 fat cats

linkdonkey: 10 fat cats

If any of these cats sat on my Nellie, she would be flat as a pancake!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Decorating Begins.

So a full three months after we have moved in, we are finally building a shelving unit around our bed. And by we, I mostly mean the boyfriend’s parents. They are amazing at that sort of thing.

My BF’s mom and I designed what we want it to look like and it is going to be so great! It will have shoe storage, cupboards, shelves, and a pull out night stand on either side with a shelf going across the top so wicker baskets and/or my hat boxes can be put on top. We are going to paint the walls and buy all new curtains and bedding next, I am really excited!!!

So we start with the shelving unit on the weekend (I will try to post pics) but I have already started looking for bedding options –not that I have anything in particular against the blue and grey plaid blanket that Mark brought with him. It is simply not calming (i.e. girly) enough. I am thinking more of a soft blue and spring green. Anyway, Terry’s fabrics has a lot of quality bedding options so I am going to start there and I will keep everyone posted!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Why I Got a Business Degree

In my last entry I gave a glimpse into my adventurous and fiercely independent past. Anyone who knew me then finds it a little difficult to believe that I am now a homeowner and have all of the normal responsibilities that go with it. I guess everyone needs to grow up sometime. Sigh.

Anyway, I wrote an article on helium about my decision to return to school. If you are Interested, it is entitled Deciding If A Business Degree is Right For You (unfortunately, I do not get to make up the titles).

Monday, June 18, 2007

Survival of the fittest, yup that's me...

When I was about 18 years old, high off my recent graduation (escape) of high school and obligatory summer backpacking in Europe, I got in my head that I should back pack across Canada. Adventurous, right? Maybe, had it have been summer. As it turns out the idea to backpack in winter was simply stupid. I left Toronto and made my way to Winnipeg. After deciding that I did not like Winnipeg in winter, I bought a train ticket to Saskatoon. I chose Saskatoon mostly because the name sounded pretty cool and I did not think it could possibly be as boring as everyone says.

Well after an interesting train trip I arrived in Saskatoon. At 2am. In the freezing cold. There was nothing around for miles and, as it was the last train of the night, the station was closing. I couldn’t even stay in there for warmth until I figured where to go and what to do. So doing what any panicky 18 year old female traveling alone would do (like there are so many out there) I snuck back on the train and hid in the bathroom while the attendant came around checking tickets.

I held my breath in the bathroom as I heard the attendant oh so slowly shuffle past. I felt the train pull out of the station and sighed with relief. As the train started chugging along I was quite smugly wondering to myself how long I had to hide out when there was a harsh rap at the door. My smugness rapidly dissipated “Um, just a minute” I squeaked nervously.
“It’s okay, Miss.” the attendant answered “The train has left the station, you can come out now.” Sheepishly, I opened the bathroom door. “I saved your seat for you, Miss.” The kindly attendant winked as I made my way back to my seat.

So that is my rough and tumble, stuck in a strange place with nothing but my wits story. I am sure CIA Operative, Michael Weston would have done much better than me if he were in my shoes. Michael Weston is a CIA Operative who will be coming to USA Network's Burn Notice this June, 28th. I will definitely be watching to see does in much more interesting situations than mine!

Idaho? No Udaho.

All I can say is: Move to Moscow, Idaho if you want cheap booze. This was a top shelf price list at one of the bars there and they also had $3.00 martinis. I went to a bar across the street and played pool for free all night (ladies, free) and drank $1.50 wells. Needless to say, I spent most of my vacation not quite sober.

Stella's First Off-Leash Experience

Stella had the most incredible weekend ever! She got to run off-leash in the boyfriend's parents' back yard on both Saturday and Sunday. It was her first time off-leash and she was ecstatic! On Saturday she couldn't calm down at all. She just kept going and going and going! She was like the Energizer bunny on crack. When we brought her back on Sunday she was a tiny bit more mellow. She took the time to smell the roses, so to speak. She also took the time to eat big chunks of grass, pine cones, dirt and even rocks. We pretty much spent most of the day chasing the goofball around and digging stuff out of her mouth. We distracted her as much as possible by playing fetch and tug of war. Mark kept trying to get her interested in the frisbee but she is still too little and the frisbee is way to big. Unless the frisbee was flipped upside down and filled with fresh water, she had no interest.

I think we are going to pick up one of those Flying Squirrels or something similar. Something soft and not too hard on her pupppy teeth, which she has alread started losing. I have found two already!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Man Feeds Puppy to Pet Snake

I usually like to keep things light on this blogspot but every once in a while I read something so vile that I think I may snap. For example:

A man in Arizona covered his puppy in cooking oil and then fed it to his pet snake while two young teenagers watched. Here is the kicker. The maximum sentence that he could have received under Arizona State law (where this happened) was just one year! And he didn't even get that sentence. He was slapped on the wrist with a mere three months in jail, over 50 days of which have already been served while he awaited trial, and then two years probation.

So to sum up, in about a month this future serial killer is going to be out of jail! A least he won't be going home to his puppy fed snake. That pet was confiscated due to neglect.

Source: Man who fed puppy to boa gets 90 days in jail

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Grade 8 Reunion

Stella threw up on my sock. It was pretty gross.

The grade 8 reunion was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I dragged my boyfriend along to it so that I could have someone in the know to commiserate with later. We actually had an okay time. I found out that my best friend from grade 7/8 is now a bus driver for the TTC. This shocked my boyfriend completely because she is thin and pretty. In his mind all TTC drivers need to be big and hairy - even the women. Especially the women. Another one of my good friends from that time is now an actress/reiki istructor. Her husband is pretty cool and Mark and I ended up talkng to them most of the evening.

The weirdest part of the reunion happened towards the end of the night. One of the guys skipped out on his bill! We all know exactly who it was that did it. It is so weird that, after all of these years after being the fun loving class clown, that is the impression he chose to leave us all with.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Most Embarassing Puppy Story Yet

Okay, so here is my MOST embarassing puppy story so far. Yesterday, I was walking back from the grocery store with Stella in the blistering heat. I was also carrying my purse, Stella's purse (I bought it at Woofstock this weekend so I could take her into the grocery store with me), and a grocery bag that would not fit into the very heavy, stuffed to the brim with groceries, environmentally friendly cloth bag on wheels I was dragging behind me.

I was attempting to drag Stella, all of the groceries and two purses across a busy intersection in downtown Toronto before the light went from yellow to red when Stella decided she had to go. She squatted down in the middle of the intersection, in front of all the waiting cars and pooped. Alot! I didn't know what to do because the light was now red and everyone in their cars were waiting for me to cross...was I expected to scoop the poop or not? I couldn't just drop all of my groceries and fish through one of the purses I was carrying for poop scoop baggies while everyone drove around me, could I? In the end, I left Stella's mess and scurried, red faced, out of the intersetion. How embarassing!

Summer Plans Gone Awry

My mom and I had decided to put my brother in a canoe camp this summer. I just heard on the radio, though that Balmy Beach (the beach that the canoe camp meets at every morning) has been closed due to E.coli concerns. Hmm. Maybe it is time to explore other options.

There are a lot of Summer Camps out there for us to choose from. Up until this year, we have always put him in Tae Kwon Do camp. Last year, though, he just seemed so bored that we decided to try something new. Now that it looks like Canoe camp fell through, maybe we should start thinking about something like Score. Score Learnng Centers host summer camps that help tutor kids and keep them in practice for the fall.

My brother has been getting after school tutoring and his grades have really improved. I bet a summer learning camp would help him excel. I checked out the Score Learning Center’s website and they say that my brother could improve as much as 1.5 grade levels over the course of a summer! I am going to go call my mom..

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Search Engine Strategies Expo

Well I am back from the Search Engine Strategies Expo at the MTCC. It took about an hour to go visit all of the booths (twice). The biggest disappointment was the Google booth. It was basically a giant google sign, two chairs, and two sales staff. That was it. Oh, I did score a Google keychain/mini flashlight/measuring tape thingy so it was not a total loss.

A new directory (with a twist) called n49 gave me a free tshirt and a shot glass. Both were pretty cool. The n49 booth was fully staffed and ready to give info. I signed up for an account (I had to to get the free shirt!) I will write another post about them once I get my confirmation email.

All in all I was pretty disappointed. I know that the event was more about the classes than the Expo but the company that I work for is way too cheap to spend $1300 on the classes for me. They sent me to the free part expecting I would learn something anyway. Maybe my boss won't be too pissed off if I give him my free shot glass...

PayPerPost: Richer Than My Aunt Shirley

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I recently signed up for PayPerPost. I still haven’t gotten over how cool it is that I can get paid to blog! I also mentioned that I am planning to save all the cash I make from PayPerPost, Adsense, Helium, Blogsvertise and other online opportunities so that, come Christmas time, I can do all of my holiday shopping online with the earnings. So far I am up to just over $50 and most of that is from PayPerPost.

I have not been doing the paid blogging thing long but so far, PayPerPost has had the most opportunities for me. Also, I am pretty sure they are going to be around for quite a while because I read a press release today that they have secured 7 million dollars in funding and capital (in addition to what they already have)! They have over 10 million dollars to do who knows with. That could buy a crazy amount of Christmas presents!

Maybe they will use some of that money to sponsor contests and giveaways that their paid bloggers can give away on their blospots (hint hint).

Here is the PayPerPost press release in its entirety:

The PayPerPost Revolution Accelerates, Sponsored
Blogging Marketplace Secures $7 Million Series B

Draper Fisher Jurvetson leads round and joins Board of Directors

ORLANDO, FL – (June 12, 2007) – PayPerPost, the leading marketplace for advertisers to reach bloggers and other consumer content creators, today announced it has completed a $7 million second round investment led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, an investor in the company's Series A and one of the world’s leading high-technology venture capital firms. The financing brings the total amount of capital raised by PayPerPost to over $10 million, giving the company considerable resources for further development as the industry’s leading Consumer Generated Advertising marketplace. Additional participants in the round include existing investors Inflexion Partners and Village Ventures as well as new investor DFJ Gotham. With this investment, DFJ Managing Director Josh Stein also joins PayPerPost’s Board of Directors.

“PayPerPost created this exciting new advertising space and has established itself as the industry leader,” said Ted Murphy, chief executive officer of PayPerPost. “Although we’ve only used a portion of our first round capital, this added support from investors unlocks significant growth potential. Our content creator and advertiser ROI metrics clearly demonstrate the upside for PayPerPost’s model. We intend to use this capital to build the infrastructure, visibility and professional expertise necessary to reach and retain a greater network of advertisers and content creators than ever before.”

Since its founding in June of 2006, PayPerPost has signed more than 6,500 advertisers to its groundbreaking service, which has enabled Consumer Content Creators to be compensated for their efforts discussing specific companies, products or services via blogs, videos or other media. The content creators are required to disclose relationships with advertisers on their blog, providing transparency for the end reader. Over 125,000 Internet postings, most in the form of blogs, have already earned money for their creators through PayPerPost’s innovative marketplace. PayPerPost recently released PayPerPost Direct, a disruptive new service that allows advertisers to contract and negotiate directly with individual bloggers they identify through a safe, managed system.

“PayPerPost has laid a strong foundation for the future,” noted Tim Draper, founder and managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. “It continues to attract a critical mass of participants from both the advertising and blogging communities. Analogous to Overture’s sponsored search model, we believe PayPerPost’s business model holds disruptive potential and will enable the company to thrive in the evolving paid-content arena.”

To mark the $7 million dollar funding, PayPerPost has launched a new website detailing the company’s service offering at Bloggers and advertisers can easily sign up at the site and begin leveraging the self service marketplace.

SEO conference at MTCC Today

I do not have to go to work today because I am attending an SEO conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This is a very exciting day for me because instead of a half hour commute out of the city, I get to walk for 5 minutes to the conference. I am lookiing forward to the conference, I am hoping I learn something. I need to learn something! I mean, theoretically I know what I am supposed to do to get traffic to my blogs, I just don't know how to go about doing it..other than spectacular writing, of course but so far that is not helping much ;)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Christmas in June

My last couple posts have been about saving money for (and during) the holidays. As I have stated, I LOVE shopping for presents. I know it is only June but I am already scouting out and making mental notes about what to get for whom.

From my last post we all know that I plan to do most of my holiday shopping online this year and I have already given more than a few suggestions for debt free shopping but what I haven’t talked about yet is online shopping coupons. online shopping coupons are something every online shopper should take advantage of because the savings can really make a difference. This year I plan on taking advantage of a ton of Best Buy coupons. As I mentioned in a previous post, I bought my boyfriend the Xbox 360 last Christmas and now I need to feed his addiction!

Of course what my boyfriend really wants from Best Buy this year is a 42” wall mounted flat screen but that dream is about as realistic as visions sugar plums dancing in his head. Poor guy!

10 Money Saving Holiday Shopping Tips

In my last entry I revealed my plan of evil genius proportions to save up all paid blog entry earnings for holiday shopping. This year there will be no credit cards bills, no hours agonizing over what I can afford to give and no worries about driving in yucky weather to get to the mall. All of my shopping will be done online, through Paypal. I have other tried and true methods of saving money during the holidays and if you are interested, you can read my article that includes 10 money saving holiday tips by clicking here: How to spend wisely on holiday gifts

For those of you who haven’t notice yet, I have officially signed up for I have only been a member for a week now and already the opportunities for paid blogging are rolling in. In fact, with the exception of Saturday, I wrote a paid entry every single day last week! PayPerPost has so many paid posting opportunities that, had I had the time, I could have written more (their limit is three per day). As it is I am simply posting on my otherwise boring lunch hour at work

So, so far I have made about $35 from PayPerPost, all from companies that wish to advertise on blogs. Not bad for one week! I will get paid via PayPal which is awesome for me because I plan to save all of my earnings until Christmas time and then do all of my holiday shopping online (probably from the same companies that are using PayPerPost to advertise on blogs, hah!) Thanks to PayPerPost and a few more online payment opportunities, I will not be going into a Christmas induced debt (or frenzy) this holiday season.

There are about a billion opportunities on PayPerPost, starting with this blog. Anyone who wants to can click on the “review this blog” icon at the bottom of this entry and get paid to write a review of my blog. I would LOVE to read a review on my blog. Unless it was a really horrible review in which case I would probably cry like a little girl...!

My Boyfriend Cut His Finger Doing Laundry.

Way back..waaaaay back I mentioned that my boyfriend cut his lip with a plastic spoon. I also tattled about the time he cut his tongue on a stick of gum. Well, he has officially topped himself. Last night my boyfriend cut his finger doing laundry.

He swears that this is not a pathetic ploy to get laundry on the list of chores better left to me but I am not convinced. See, he is still maintaining his innocence regarding poop patrol. In case you all missed that post, when we first brought home our Boston terrier puppy, Stella, my boyfriend threw up when he had to clean up a particularly potent smelling present Stella had kindly left for us. I immedately jumped to the conclusion that my boyfriend was trying to ensure that this nasty chore became the sole duty of me. Even though that was months ago, we still argue the authenticity of his girly reaction to puppy poop patrol.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Why I Love My Condo

As proven this weekend when family came to town, smaller is definitely better! With my cozy-chic condo being a measly 630 square feet, there was simply no chance in hell that my visiting family could stay here at my place! My poor mom, they are all over at her house right now. She does not have a very large home but it is a palace compared to my pad.

I felt a little sorry for my mom when I first found out that the entire family would be staying with her all the way across town instead of in any of the Cheap Hotels in my neighborhood. Not sorry enough, of course, to stop myself from performing a little happy dance on my mom’s kitchen floor. My mother, who in my opinion was acting like a very sore loser, grumbled about it being unbecoming to gloat. She then looked pointedly at my new haircut and gave one those insults disguised as compliments. I believe that she, and all mothers of adult daughters, must take online classes specializing in passive-aggressive wordplay.

Personally, if I were my mother and I was facing the prospect of having man, woman, and children (including one teenager (shudder)) staying three full days in my house, I would simply and politely direct them to Hotel is one of those all encompassing websites that can help anyone anywhere in the world book Cheap Hotels, car rentals, even vacation packages. The website comes complete with online and telephone booking, a destination guide and a lowest rate guarantee. It is crazy how many discounts my family could get from! And those discounts are not only available on Cheap Hotels but also on motels, fabulous resorts, bed and breakfasts and even condo rentals.

As an added bonus of booking through, my family would not have to suffer through any of my mother’s compliments that are really insults. It would be a win-win situation for everyone, really!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Cub Picnic. Yep, this is how I spend my Friday nights now.

Tonight after work, my boyfriend and I are going to my little brother's cub picnic. It is their very last meeting before their summer so even though I will probably be starving to death by 9pm when it is over (kidcentric events tend to have very few vegetarian options), I am going to go. Joe is pretty excited about all of the awards he should be getting.

There is a lot of controversy going on in the States right now about whether or not girls should be allowed in the Scouts. There are already a bunch of girls in Joe's Cub troop and I really don't see what the big deal is. I have even written an article on shy I believe girls should be allowed in the Scouts.

Here is the link: Should girls be allowed in the Boy Scouts? It is by no means a literary masterpiece but I think I make a few solid points

Girl and Dog and Night Vision Goggles

Last night I took Stella for the longest walk of her short (3 ½ month) life. She was so excited about EVERYTHING. She wanted to eat whatever was on the ground – leaves, cigarette butts, whatever. We were having so much fun, instead of turning left and heading back to the condo, we turned right and headed for the boardwalk. I did not even notice how dark it was getting until it was pitch black out!

Stella is ferocious jumper and licker of the face but guard dog she ain’t. Still, she was seeing things that I couldn’t possibly see unless I had a pair of night vision binoculars. Stella would make me very nervous because we would be walking along with her nose to the ground and all of a sudden she would lift her head up and freeze, staring with great interest at God knows what lurking in or behind a bush. The whole experience made me think back to a site I was on the other day, I had seen a wide range of night vision binoculars, night vision scopes, night vision cameras, and about a billion other things. They also have a full line of military and tactical gear . I can’t imagine any bush lurker bothering Stella and I if we were decked out in tactical gear . Of course Stella’s gear would have to be custom made... :)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Puppies; Never Let Them See You Cry

I am about to divulge a very embarrassing personal secret about myself. I am one of those types of people who cry over stupid things. Last night I cried because a little kid on American Inventor got shot down by everyone but George Foreman. The little kid started crying and then I started crying, much to Stella's horror and dismay.

Stella had been standing on the other side of the room with a big pink chew toy in her mouth. When I burst into tears, Stella's jaw dropped and the pink toy fell out of her mouth. She stood like that, staring at me with a horrified expression and her mouth hanging open for just a split second before dashing across the room, flying onto the couch and landing squarely on my face. She began frantically gunting and licking at my face like it was her personal mission to remove every last teardrop, not only from my face but also from the face of entire planet. Her reaction was so ridiculous, I of course went from tears to laughter! I guess she has just never seen me cry before, silly dog.

Wanted: Reliable, cheap (very cheap) phone cards, please!

I recently found out that I had some problems with my answering service while I was on holiday. Apparently the lines were down over the course of a weekend and I missed a few Temple Treats orders. To make matters worse, I had a lot of trouble returning the messages that I did receive. I had purchased a phone card so that I could return customer calls while I was vacationing – you never truly vacation when you own your own business – but the card I bought sucked! If the customer did not answer my call directly and I was forwarded to their mailbox, I was not able to leave a message! The call simply disconnected. It was crazy! Luckily I have some very loyal customers and they were kind enough to put up with the mess of a phone card.

So now it is time for me to get a new global phone card (holiday or not, I always carry a phone card in case of emergency). I am thinking about Using Pingo. What is really selling me is that Pingo phone cards have a near perfect reorder rate and they are offering four free hours of international calling simply for signing up. They also have a rate watcher service so I don’t have to waste a lot of time searching for the lowest phone card rate. I was so busy before I went on vacation, I didn’t even have time to shop around, I just bought the first one I saw and now I know I was ripped off. Not only could I not leave messages on people’s answering services, there was a bunch of hidden fees. These little surprises made my card time run out before my vacation ended. I was only gone a week. I have been assured that there are absolutely no hidden fees with Pingo. It is a very cheap phone card with no surprises!

Pingo also happens to offer a refer a friend program so after I sign up, I can get $15 for every friend Irefer to Pingo. I will start with my college friends te ones I was visiting on vacation). Once they have signed up for Pingo, they can start calling me!

Training kids is like training puppies, right?

Last night I went to dinner with my mother, little brother, and his friend Danny. My brother and Danny ordered from the kids menu (despite my brother's many protests) and so they had their choice of entree, side, and dessert.

About half way through my brother's pizza (his entree choice) it became very obvious that he was getting full. My mom suggested he stop eating and wait for his dessert to come. The rest of his pizza could be wrapped up for next day's lunch. Not content to leave food on his plate when he had a perfectly good belly to store it in, my brother started picking the toppings off of his pizza. Seeing him reach for a giant slice of pepperoni, I told him not to pick at his pizza because he wouldn't want it for lunch without any toppings on it. Well the little bugger ignored me! Pretending he didn't hear what I was saying, he peeled the pepperoni off the pizza.
"Joe" I said sternly "Put that down."
Again he ignored me and started bringing it to his mouth. This time my mother gave it a go,
"Joe listen to your sister!"
No response. Mad as hell at his impertinence, didn't even think about what I was doing. I simply lifted up my hands and clapped very loudly three times. This is what I do when my Boston terrier puppy, Stella, ignores me in the manner that Joe was at that moment. The funny part is that Joe, my mother, and Danny all reacted in the same manner as Stella would have if she were there. They all dropped what they were holding and sat up straight! How funny; they even folded their hands in their laps.

Luckily for all of us, the waitress came by shortly after that to take our plates away and bring the kids' desserts. Joe's pizza was safely wrapped up so I hope he enjoys his lunch today.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Paid Blogging Made Easier (and Cheaper)

I want everyone to take note of the brand new icon on the sidebar. I am now for hire! Thanks to the folks over at PayPerPost, an advertiser can now click on the “Hire Me” icon, contacting me directly to blog a review about their product, service, or website. And unlike most other blog advertising sites out there, PayPerPost is only taking 10% off the top of my blogs (5% of which goes to PayPal and other transaction fees). Other companies out there mark up price 50 to 100% (poor advertisers!) and then give only a pittance to the person who actually wrote the blogs!

PayPerPosts new Pay Direct system is incredibly user friendly (especially compared to some PPP competitors out there) and offers all of the security and convenience that is offered through their regular PayPerPost program. Bloggers can even pick a minimum fee amount and post it right on their Pay Direct icon. I chose not to do that because my fee is dependant upon what the advertiser would like me to write about. I can always change my mind later, though.

So I want all you advertisers to start clicking on my PayPerPost “Hire Me” button. The sooner, the more often, the better! I have chew toys to pay for (Stella just ruined another one last night).

Facebook, you have forsaken me!

Well my new addiction has bitten me right in the ass. Addictions aren't supposed to do that, are they?

Stupid Facebook! Somehow I am now signed up for a grade 8 reunion. How the heck does something like this happen? I mean, I didn't like half of these people when I was 12, why would I like them now? What I really can't figure out is why I, an intelligent woman, clicked "yes" on the evite. Maybe it was because there was not an "omigod, no, nO, NO!!!" button featuring a cartoon icon of a screaming girl with her hair on fire running around in circles. Somehow the simple decline button that they did have just didn't seem adequate.

I still haven't decided if I plan to skip out or not but since it is not in my nature to ditch the follow through part of a stupid decision, I will probably have squeeze into my one and only pair of Sevens, poke myself in the eye ten times until I manage to get my contacts in, pick out a low cut top that features my boobs instead of my waistline, and top it off with my Gucci sunglasses and Dior watch (both of which I got on AMAZING sales). Hopefully I will look moderately successful and not quite as fat as the girls whom I did not like (but probably pretended to) and that one boyfriend I was lucky enough to have show me by example who NOT to date. A lot of girls don't learn that until much later in life, if ever!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Meade MySky: astromomy class without the cranky instructor

Most of my recent blog entries have been about my Idaho vacation. Yes, I know vacations are meant for exotic places and adventurous activities but I simply wanted to visit my two best college friends graduate from their respective programs. As an added bonus, I avoided hotel stays for the majority of the trip because my good friend Bryan let me stay in his spare room. I met Bryan in an astronomy class. My first day in the class, I arrived a little late. The instructor’s head snapped up from roll call as if an uninvited in-law just entered the room. I knew then that this class was going to give me trouble. I looked around, not for an empty desk but instead for the smartest looking student in the room to sit beside. That smart looking guy was Bryan, my new study partner.

Despite the fact that Bryan did turn out to be super-genius smart and I am not an unintelligent creature, I only got a B in that class. Personally, I blame the teacher (or, y’ know, my tardiness). I think I could have gotten an A, though, if I had had one of these awesome gadgets- a Meade My Sky Personal Video Planetarium.

The Meade MySky is a point and click type guide to the universe. I don’t mean to sound all dramatic, here but the interactive skyscout is touted as being incredibly easy to use. It even has a full-colour LCD screen. According to an advertisement I read, the Meade MySky can help you identify objects in the night sky even better than if you had your own personal astronomer...or...I imagine, better than a crabby astronomy professor who just can’t let go of the fact you had trouble finding a parking spot on the first day of his class!

I think I will get a Meade MySky from for my nephew for his upcoming birthday. He is 10 years old and I know he would love this cool new gadget, plus I would then be able to re-live my astronomy lessons vicariously through him!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Cat 1, Dog 0. The thwarted invasion of the litter box.

This weekend was not a great one for me. I have not been feeling well, I had to work, and my boyfriend was seriously wearing on my nerves.

After work on Saturday I was trying to take a nap while Stella ran rampant in my condo. I believe she instinctively knew that my defenses were down and she was taking full advantage. She even got brave enough to stick her head through the swinging door of Nellie's enclosed litter box.

Up until Saturday evening, the exact moment when Stella decided to invade Nellie's litter box, Nellie had been impressively (albeit reluctantly) tolerant of this new and clumsy beast. I guess, though, that invading her litter box was Nellie's last straw. Enraged, Nellie flew down from her scratching post and attacked poor little Stella's butt. As fast as Nellie had decended on Stella she was gone, glaring from the darkest recesses of under the sofa. Stella, stunned and confused, with her head still in the litter box let out a painfull yelp and instictively jumped forward. Unfortunately she got stuck half way into the litter box. Realizing that she was not going to get in the box, she then attempted to get out. With her body half in and half out of the litter box she began twisting and turning, dragging the litter box frantically and backwards around the condo. She finally managed to burst free, with litter flying in every direction, from the box!

Stella was covered in cat litter and completely confused. Having no idea where her original source of pain had come from, she bagan barking and growling menacingly at the litter box as if it were a dangerous intruder. Stella is not big on barking and I have only really heard her bark once or twice but she just went on barking at this litter box for until I scooped her up and brought her into the bathroom for a (gasp) dreaded bath!

The poor girl shook and shivered through the entire torture of a very rigorous bath. Cat litter is really impossible to get out of dog toes and claws. I swear I heard the cat laughing.

As of last night, Stella is still glaring suspiciously in the direction of the litter box everytime she passes by it.