Saturday, September 30, 2006

Attractiveness Scale

Found this this morning, at (a 'lifestyle blogzine')-- very cool.Not sure the source on this. Did buddy at find it or create it? Anyway, check out this blogzine, the post today is one of my favourite sites, so I know he/she/it has good taste (can't seem to find any 'about me' page!).

What do you folks think of the chart? Accurate or not?

I think it clarifies a few awkward moments in my...uh...history.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Management Microcosm

In an hour, I'm off to my silly minimum-wage job. I would enjoy it a bit more if it weren't for some of the managers...exhibiting the full range of faulty management 'styles':

Everyone's Friend
Tries hard to bond with all the staff on a buddy-buddy level. After hours, once the doors close, she's hip because she puts pounding rap on the speakers while people run through their closing routines. Is rather lackadaisical in her management duties. Can't actually discipline (or manage) because she has no respect from the staff.

Drama Queen
Reads her management handbook, but only comprehends 'be a bitch'. The kind of person who upbraids staff, about anything, with an ever-present surly 'I'm the boss' attitude. I have to bite my tongue in her presence, or I'll be muttering "pot calling kettle black" or "more flies with honey, Honey" all the time.

Mr. Aloof
Thinks management is above it all. Or maybe he's just distracted. The kind of manager you really don't want, because when a manager is actually needed, he's no where to be found. A manner that makes you wonder if he even knows your name or not.

The GM and the other manager at the store are brilliant. They've got the balance of friendly, down-to-earth respect for self & staff that is crucial to good management.

So, the gamble of the shift -- will it be boring or boring and annoying -- depends on this 3:2 gamble of who's going to be the 'manager on duty' for the time I'm there.

Wish me luck.

I swear, this is my last week at this tedious job. But I'm a sucker for the GM and this other manager, and want to be able to fill a shift for them, 'cause, like every other service industry business, they are short-staffed.


"Spam spam spam spam!"

Damn! Just got a spam-bot comment!

Metro was ranting about email spam yesterday (check out the Monty Python clip at the end). But the relevant post is from Creative Energy, where she talks about breaking 'CAPTCHA'.



Glacial Slowness

In July, I applied for a government job. "Why on Earth?!?" I hear you ask...well, the job description (such as it was) listed all of the skills that I want to be using, and it, needless to say, didn't start at $8.50/hour!

Well, I applied online, and the site told me that a 'decision' would be made August 31st. Whew. A long time to wait. So, when the end of August rolled around, I looked back at the application seemed to have been passed on to a human! (O Joy! O Bliss!)

A couple of weeks later, I got a tersely-worded email telling me to go to another town to take a couple of tests (the General Competency Test Level 2, and a knowledge test). [Wanna try the GCT2? Here's the sample test.]

Yesterday, I received my results from the GCT2...a definitive pass! Yeah. It had to be sent to Prince George to be marked, and it took almost another 2 weeks. It only had to be fed through a computer! Now I have to wait for the marking of the knowledge test, with its handwritten essay answers. That should take what? Another month?

Then, assuming I didn't screw up on that one, I will be entitled to an in-person interview.

Anyone out there with any experience on working for your government? Who knows, I may need some tips!


Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Cold Desert, who is blogging to help him focus on his Ramadan fasting (right, Ahmad?), has just posted a good list of the usual fun email 'wisdom' -- I like:
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
Yup, ya gotta hear 'em talk.

I generally trust my instincts, I've been wrong numerous times, but with time, I'm getting better at reading people. Metro, love him though I do, has a hard time catching undercurrents in a situation.

What's that other line: "It's better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." (Ah, you ask, "Who said that, anyway?" Very good question. Here it is discussed on a forum...probably the original source is the Bible, and Proverbs 17:28 "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." [and no, I didn't have time to do an actual Bible search, so for all I know that quote is off!])

Good morning all. Have a great day, a productive day if possible. If you are celebrating Ramadan this month, may peace find you (and enjoy your evening festivities!).


Sunday, September 24, 2006


Metro and I, walking past the school near our house on this lovely sunny Sunday, passed a gaggle of 13-year-olds, including two couples holding hands (oh! the first hand-holding!! Remember it?). One girl expounded: "Tyler, there comes a time in every teenager's life...."

Damn! Missed it! I so wanted to hear the Words of Wisdom.

But haven't we all been there? Expounding on our age, our era. I'm guilty of it.

How to identify a 20-something:
  • prone to asking "how old do you think I am?"
  • believe s/he invented sex

How to identify a 30-something:
  • prone to making pronouncements about 20-somethings

Ah, well. I'll be 40 soon enough!


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

In-law Impetus

My in-laws arrive today. This afternoon. And it's a great thing...I'm excited about them seeing the house (we're both so happy and proud of the place!), and they are lovely people. We've planned a dinner out at the Lost Moose Lodge tomorrow, with my mom joining us. I figure, the view will overwhelm...10 km up into the mountains, with a spectacular view:

But, the great advantage to having any visitors come, is the impetus they're imminent arrival gives to the cleaning, arranging, organizing of the space. Everyone has experienced it, so you'll all agree that there's just something about mothers coming to visit that get you motivated...right?

The place is looking its best yet!


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Arrr! Mateys!

Don't forget, today is Talk Like a Pirate Day!


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Back to definitions...

What makes a good neighbour?

For us, in our new house, it means people who greet you enthusiastically when they see you. People who lend you their lawnmower. People who come over for a glass of wine and a chat.

And people who clip your picture out of the paper and save it for you.

Yup. I was in the paper again. Third time in 5 months. This time, at a networking event.

Small towns. Definitely cuts down on the number of people you can, well, cut down. It's decidedly bad form to lose your temper, or bad-mouth anyone in a small city (about 30,000 people in the area).

Like ignorant anonymous commentors...ya just gotta grin and ignore it.

Tell me your stories of neighbours, small town, or small press fame!


Thursday, September 14, 2006

There's nothing like a British comedy!

Brought to my attention by my friend (who does not blog nearly often enough for the world to get a decent taste of her writing talents), 30-something media addict, is this trailer for a new Brit Com, Driving Lessons. Starring no less than Rupert Grint, still cast as somewhat of a sidekick, but more the star of the show.

30-something was right -- it looks like an English Driving Miss Daisy, but mixed with a heavy dose of Harold and Maude...mop-haired shy boy and outlandish (much) older woman. But the romance comes from somewhere else this time...

And one of my favourite under-appreciated actors is in it, Laura Linney. Hmm. Her filmography lists 8 projects for 2006 & 2007 (3 in post-production, 1 still in pre-production), so maybe she's no longer under-appreciated!


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Googlism is more than a religion includes a wonderful set of really useful tips on how to get the most out of Google: How a Googlist Uses Google. Tres cool.

The Church of Google itself

Wonderful silliness.

powered by performancing firefox

Monday, September 11, 2006

I like surprises...

A couple of weeks ago, we picked up a VHS copy of Looney Tunes: Back in Action. I'm a Bugs Bunny fan, so when a supposedly awful movie has Bugs in it, and it's available for $3 at Liquidation World, well, I'll pick that sucker up.

Last night, we watched it. Guess what? It was good. Amusing. Silly. It really helps to expect nothing, but this was easy to enjoy. Fun cast, crazy slapstick, quasi-adult story...Ah! That's the problem it had in the theatres -- parents expecting kid-fare. Adults avoiding it because they expect it to be kid-fare.

No. It ain't Oscar material, it ain't anywhere near cult-movie status...but it was fun.

And the current meme the last two days (after watching Phil the Alien tonight, adding its madness to Looney Tunes), is aliens in glass bell jars. Watch for it.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hair care

I would like to confess that I have crossed over to the...dark side, quite literally. I've had my hair dyed. Coloured. Tinted. What-have-you.

Yes, I do realise that women (and men) around the world have been doing this for a year or two, but I am, and have been my entire life so far, a hair minimalist. I get haircuts that are maintenance free. I don't use a blow dryer. I sometimes use a bit of mousse, or hair spray, to make my non-style look a little more like a style, if I'm going out.

I've ignored my incoming gray for years. (But not my day I was standing in the sun, and she asked: "Oh, Lori! When did you start dyeing your hair gray?" Hag.) Or tried to. But lately, it has been starting to bother me. Here I am, trying to get a professional job, and my gray is not coming in in any becoming way. It's blotchy and uneven, not some lovely salt-n-pepper colour. So, I got it done. It looks great, but I realize I've now stepped onto the slippery slope of hair care -- I'm going to have to do it again. And again. And again. . .until I go completely gray and can just let it be.


On another note, has anyone ever heard about this natural haircare wonder: A few years ago, someone said to me, "Oh, doesn't so-and-so have great hair! She doesn't use shampoo you know" and proceeded to explain to me that if you stop using shampoo, and just use water to wash your hair, after awhile the body produces its own sudsing element when the hair gets wet.

What?!? Is this true? I've done a bit of googling (I can't type in "natural shampoo" or some such, as I'd get pages and pages of advertising) for phrases lik "don't use shampoo". . . . and it seems like there are plenty of people with really long, thick hair who don't use soap or shampoo, but no mention of a natural 'sudsing agent'.

Talk to me of hair.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Jokey emails...

Normally I don't like the emails that start "You know you grew up in the 80s when..." or "Ten ways to tell you are addicted to the Internet..." But my mom sent me a funny one today.

Here we are, at then end of our first Okanagan summer here in our new's still hot, even though it's utterly hazy with the smoke of a fire that's been burning for ages, and has crossed the border from the USA into Canada.

Anyway, the joke:

The only true desert area in Canada.. the Okanagan

LIVE. Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. What a place! It is beautiful.I've finally found my home. I love it here.

June 14th: Really heating up. Got to 100 today. Not a problem. Live in an air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car. What a pleasure to see the sun everyday like this. I'm turning into a sun worshipper.

June 30th: Had the backyard landscaped with western plants today. Lots of cactus and rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing lawn for me. Another scorcher today, but I love it here.

July 10th: The temperature hasn't been below 100 all week. How do people get used to this kind of heat? At least it's kind of windy though. But getting used to the heat is taking longer than I expected.

July 15th: Fell asleep by the community pool. Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body. Missed 3 days of work. What a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though. Got to respect the ol' sun in a climate like this.

July 20th: I missed Lomita (my cat) sneaking into the car when I left this morning. By the time I got to the hot car at noon, Lomita had died and swollen up to the size of a shopping bag and stunk up the upholstery. The car now smells like Kibbles and shits. I learned my lesson though. No more pets in this heat.

July 25th: The wind sucks. It feels like a giant freaking blow dryer!! And it's hot as hell. The home air-conditioner is on the fritz and the A/C repairman charged $200 just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts.

July 30th: Been sleeping outside on the patio for 3 nights now. $300,000 house and I can't even go inside. Why did I ever come here?

Aug. 4th: Its 115 degrees. Finally got the air-conditioner fixed today. It cost $500 and gets the temperature down to 85. I hate this stupid city.

Aug. 8th: If another wise-ass cracks, "Hot enough for you today?" I'm going to strangle him. Damn heat. By the time I get to work the radiator is boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet, and I smell like baked cat!!

Aug. 9th: Tried to run some errands after work. Wore shorts, and when I sat on the seats in the car, I thought my ass was on fire. I lost 2 layers of flesh and all the hair on the back of my legs and ass. Now my car smells like burnt hair, fried ass, and baked cat.

Aug. 10th: The weather report might as well be a damn recording. Hot and sunny! Hot and sunny! Hot and sunny! It's been too hot to do shit for 2 damn months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. Doesn't it ever rain in this damn desert?? Water rationing will be next, so my $1700 worth of cactus will just dry up and blow over. Even the cactus can't live in this damn heat.

Aug. 14th: Welcome to HELL!!! Temperature got to 115 today. Forgot to crack the window and blew the damn windshield out of the car. The installer came to fix it and said, "Hot enough for you today?" My sister had to spend $1500 to bail me out of jail. Freaking OKANAGAN!! What kind of a sick demented idiot would want to live here?? Will write later to let you know how the trial went.

Have you all come to visit yet??


Thursday, September 07, 2006

'dere ain't nuting more absurd dan dis'

I forced my man to watch Hudson Hawk tonight, for the umpteenth time. Poor guy.

I have a confession to make...

I like bad movies. Ridiculous, over-the-top, silly-fun movies. Spoofs and silliness. Tongue-in-cheek wacky and 'way-too-serious-for-our-own-good' absurd. But there's a fine line between a brilliantly stinky fromage and a bad-bad-stinky-bad film.

I'm not going to defend my bad movie collection (Can you name 4 extra silly movies with Kurt Russell? I have them all!), or the somewhat sketchy merits of Hudson Hawk, but I will recommend reading the Agony Booth's take on the film -- very funny, if unforgiving.

Any guilty pleasures out there anyone would like to confess to?


Monday, September 04, 2006

"You can't make this stuff up."

Ain't that the truth. With Metro writing a book this weekend, and me just trying to stay out of his way (and be supportive at the same time!), the truth is, the best dialogue is what is merely overheard.

Which is why you should take a run past this Labour Day. (Apt, in so many ways...) His work day is our entertainment, as you can see in his latest, eavesdropping post. A sample:
1) “I want Diet Coke in my Absolut. Not a Diet Coke and Absolut.”
3) “This Apple Strudel’s not what my mother used to make. I don’t want it! Send it back!”
So. Always remember that the people who serve you in the grocery store, gas station, restaurant, stationery store, or what-have-you, are listening...


4 p.m. update...

Left a comment on Waiter's blog, to let him know I'd blogged about him, and linked to him...and he seems to have deleted my comment. What?! Did I break some unspoken blogger code of conduct? Is he too cool, now that he's got a book deal, that he doesn't need the traffic anymore? Or maybe doesn't feel he needs to add my two readers to his tally of thousands. Did he come here, read my little bit of nothingness, consider me beneath him, before he deleted the comment?

Weird. Leaves me feeling uncomfortable, like I've been caugh peeing on the sidewalk or something.

UPDATE to the update

Okay, so I was wrong. As a few people have told me. My sincere apologies, Waiter, for doubting you. I am, by the way, very pleased at your book deal, and hope (as I'm sure all your readers do) that you don't stop telling stories!


Friday, September 01, 2006

Are you interested?

I just spent a month, writing 100 words every day. It's like a snapshot of my life...the vaguely interesting minutae. Read it if you're bored...and imagine the apostrophes (for some reason, they didn't show up...sort of like it was created for Andy Rooney, who refuses to use them -- just google "Andy Rooney apostrophes" to read the furor):

Loricat's 100 Words

Reminds me of a boyfriend I had once who thought it would be a good idea to write a daily 10 word diary. Ten words. If it was a slow day, he could write: "Ate dinner at home again. Mom cooked my favourite pasta." (He lived with his parents.) If it were a more, oh, I don't know, momentous day, he'd have to be awfully choosy: "zombie comic thai food Tarantino blood gore Gregorian chant sex" and hope that years later it would all make sense. On super-special days, he allowed himself an extra word -- but only twice a year!

Will I do this months' 100 Words? I have to decide today... 'cause ya gotta commit to the whole month.

I'll let you know. Anyone else with me?


Still on travel...How about a castle?

From our friend IH who lurks and occasionally posts comments, I received the coolest story...Stone by stone, craftsmen in Burgundy build a medieval-style castle.

Seriously, how cool is that? They are not working in the 21st Century:
The 50 paid craftsmen, plus volunteers, wear tunics and use rustic tools. Except for the occasional hard hat or pair of safety goggles, there's little to remind visitors that this is not the 13th century, but the 21st.
Started in 1996, the castle is one-third finished, and is no longer funded by the tourism pays the bills.

...Last year, 245,000 visitors admired the work of Guedelon's stonecutters, carpenters, potters, rope-makers and blacksmiths.


On a recent visit to Guedelon, I watched in awe as a man climbed into a wooden contraption that looked like a huge hamster wheel. He ran frantically, spinning the wheel and activating a pulley system that lifted a load of stones atop a tower.

When he was done, our tour group broke into applause, and poor Jean-Paul climbed off the wheel, huffing and puffing and fanning his tunic. It was all so ... medieval.

The craftsmen say "it's satisfying to build something slowly, as a team, especially in the fast-paced Internet age."

This reminds me of my long-held wonder at how the value of things has...twisted. Handmade soap is now a luxury, as are the hand-woven jackets my cousin crafts and sells for a small fortune. The things our ancestors needed to do are now our expensive 'extras', and building a castle stone-by-carefully-carved-stone is a tourist attraction.

Crazy humans.