Thursday, May 31, 2007

One eye'd pirate

Don't know exactly what I did but boy did my eye bother me all day. It felt like I had something, like crust, on my eye when I woke up. Not matter how much rubbing it wouldn't go away. It wasn't until I finally hauled myself out of bed and went to the mirror in the bathroom that I realized that there was nothing there.

So off I went to work with a slight irritant. Well by 11:00 a.m. it was bothering me even more. Man it was almost like having sand in my eyes. So I thought what the heck I'll go rinse my eye with some water. That seemed to move the irritant to the to the middle of my eye lid.

An hour later I decide enough of this and decide to really wash it out. It feels better for a few minutes. But the tears keep coming and the irritant is back. Once I looked completely bloodshot in the eyes I figured it was time to find the mythical nurse on site that I had heard about. Maybe my coworkers could tell this was not alcohol induced.

So I find the nurse by the onsite gym (did I mention how rough it is to work there). Out comes the big magnifying glass light and a whole bunch of eye poking. "Nope I don't see anything"

Oddly enough while that poking killed, a quick rinse with some eye drop tears and 30 minutes later I was feeling pretty good. Blinking seemed to irritate it so I did my best one eyed pirate for about 40 minutes at work. You know when ever I tried using one eye for something it didn't seem like a big deal. Things became much more difficult after some time. An odd sensation.

Slowly through the evening it's been getting better. Fingers crossed for the morning.

Quote of the Day 11

We think this is the first time we heard a statement like this. We were sitting down watching a bed time Max & Ruby, Max's Valentine, when Max was using his remote control helicopter to get Ruby's kite un-stuck from a tree.

BigE "When I grow up I want to be a helicopter man"

We think that means helicopter pilot.

Picasa Upload to Flickr

Okay I'm not a hard core graphics guy by any stretch. I think Google's Picasa does a great job of allowing me to simply edit photos. It is even smart on downloading photos from my camera. The gd software that came with the camera couldn't even do that.

Well now there is a plugin, for Picasa, called picasa2flickr that will let you upload directly to Flickr. Which as I keep harping on is where we have over 2300 of our pictures available.

So now I have the best of both worlds.

How to make a Mama's boy

  1. Take a night shift by Mama

  2. BigE sleeps in till Mama's home

  3. Dada greets BigE dressed for work

  4. BigE realizes he's going to daycare

  5. Have BigE remember that he often spends the mornings at home with Mama snuggled in the bed.

Poof. "I want mama"

Next thing you know he's lying in our bed with Mama watching cartoons.

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Dora night light

BigE isn't a big fan of the dark. He likes a hall light on when he's in bed. And he won't go down a dark slide or dark tunnel. However today at the grocery store he spotted a Dora night light. It was a big hit.

Tonight he went to bed without the hall light on. He called me back into his bedroom 20 minutes after going to bed. I had to fix his blankets. The room had a green glow from the light. Then he told me

I like my dora light

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means

ice cream cone boxBack in Quote of the Day 2 we noted how BigE could easily be bought by chocolate milk.

Tonight I thought I would up the battle with a chocolate ice cream cone. Hey it's 6:45, about 30'c and we're warm. Plus Mama had picked up some coloured ice cream cones at the grocery store.

I open them up planning on showing BigE his options when I see something's wrong. I look at the box then read this
ice cream cone colour contents
5 Pink, 5 Brown, and 10 Beige.

Update: What's wrong? Where's the colour? Pink ok. Brown and Beige?!?!?!

A little explaination. In a pack of 20 COLOURED ice cream cones there are 5 that are not Brown or Beige. Those maybe colours if you design corporate or government office spaces. However I'm going to go out on a limb, risk offend the Brown Colour Council, and say that's not really an exciting colour for kids ice cream cones.

See, thinking about ice cream cones and colour. I don't know about you but I think about red, blue, green, yellow, orange, purple. How about they pick one or two of those and replace a few beige. That way we can save beige dye for more useful things such as siding, or hospitals.

I can't help but feel like one of those two, brown or beige, is simply the manufacturing defects dressed up.

PS for you trivia buffs the title is a quote from the movieThe Princess Bride.

Long Distance Grandma

So I'm checking out a site named Don't worry there won't be a quiz on that. I'm still not really sure what the heck it is. Anyways there was a post/theme How to be a Good Long Distance Grandma.

That caught my eye. Not because BigE doesn't have Great Grandmas but maybe we could use some ideas to overcome the distance. Short of air travel that is.

Now the trick on this site seems to be to keep your eyes on the center column of information. But here are some of the links from that page

Staying Connected with the Kids from Long Distance (

Ponder Postcards. One of the things some of my contacts said about postcards was that they are quick, easy and fun. They have the personal touch of a handwritten note, but they also don't have to be long and involved. They are especially fun when you are traveling for business or pleasure and come from wherever you are.

Surprise Gifts. One of my friends tries to find a little trinket (stuffed animal, poster, cute socks) and send it along with a note every month or so to a daughter who lives far away. It doesn't have to be expensive, and it is always a nice surprise for her.

Long-Distance Grandparents (
Bake and send their favorite cookies. Include the recipe, and videotape yourself making the cookies for a personal cooking lesson.

Ok I quoted that for me. But it was in the article.
For a far-away grandchild's birthday, buy party hats, favors, balloons, etc. and send them to the grandchild to use at their party.

Create mementos from a hobby you enjoy. A birdhouse, jewelry box, quilt or holiday ornament made specifically for the child will be treasured for years to come.

Now I don't really want to encourage spending money here. But most of this is pretty simple stuff. From our perspective BigE has enjoyed using mail. He likes getting mail. As observed with his paintings he likes sending them. So maybe we need to get more stamps.

This does raise the challenge to come up with more ways to connect the dispersed family. Ideas? Post a comment or drop an email to

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Get TheBusseyFamily blog in your Inbox

There is now a link on the upper right hand side of the page Get The Bussey Family by Email that will let you get all new posts in a single daily email each morning.

That way you can read all new posts in one email that should be delivered before 9:00 am EST each morning.

Of course you can always read the posts here at TheBusseyFamily

Quote of the Day 10

Bed time snuggling

BigE "Dada I want you to snuggle"

Dada "I want you to snuggle me!"

BigE "Noooo Dada ... I want you to snuggle me"

Dada [Laughing] "Okay" [Leaning in]

BigE "Your too close. Move over there!"

Consumer Reports - Finally

Back in Mother's Day and Consumer Reports I was bitching about Consumer Reports and their website. Well it's been about two weeks and as far as I can tell it's still busted. Although I did discover that it does seem to related to already having an account and trying to renew.

I thought ok I'll just create another account, no big deal. After I'm filling in the data and my credit card info I click subscribe. What happens? They can't process my credit card. There was an error. Double check the number. Yup that's correct. Oh well I give up.

After several emails to CR that went no where, a week later I got one of those "We want you back" emails. If Mama hadn't wanted it I probably would have told them to _ _ _ _ off!

After checking that the link was not spam I clicked on it. Licked split they took my info and had processed the charge. Odd how it just wouldn't work when starting from their site.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

One kid's fun is another's fear

From our friends over at the WBFamily comes a post May 26, quote of the day related to our A Trip to the Fair post. Regarding BigE's reaction to the roller coaster came this quote

"I liked the ride that made BigE cry."

Google Reader II

So back in Google Reader I blathered on about how great Google Reader was.

So okay now you want to try it. First you'll need an account with Google. If you have a GMail account already you can use the same account.

Once your logged in you'll see you subscription info in the top left corner. Here's a snap shot.

When you first sign in you'll have nothing under "Add subscription".
That's the place to start to add your RSS feeds. Let's go through the steps to add TheBusseyFamily's RSS Feed.

Click on "Add subscription", in the pop up box type "thebusseyfamily" (without the quotes)

After hitting enter Google will go off and search feeds and come back with a list. You should see at the top of the list.

Click on Subscribe. Immediately you'll see your left hand side bar update with the "TheBusseyFamily" and a number in brackets.

The number in brackets is the number of un-read messages from that RSS feed. If you click on TheBusseyFamily you'll see all of the posts from the blog on the right side of your page.

If you leave your window open for a while don't forget about that "Refresh" button. That will send Google Reader out to all of your feeds to check for updates. Very nice.
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Stomach Bug

Well it seems like BigE has a little stomach bug. After daycare he was wiped out. We were hanging on the couch when "Dada I don't feel well ... blah". Then there was another up chuck later on in the evening.

So far this morning everything seems okay. Fingers crossed.

Update: By the end of the day he seems to be doing better. There's been no more vomit. Now he's whining for some ice tea drink. Seems everything is back to normal.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Email SPAM

After a few recent incidents of email spam, say like RBC Financial Group Phishing Scams - found on City TV news. I thought I would highlight a few simple ways to defeat it. No matter how good your email providers spam filtering is some will eventually find you.

Good signs that an email is spam

  • Offers prescription drugs at low low prices
  • Promises to enhance body parts
  • Offers money or prize for signing up
  • Warns that an account is deleted or about to be deleted if you don't take action.
Step 1 Never reply
If you do that just lets spammers know that address they used is correct.

Step 2 Just delete
Obviously if a site or person you have never heard of sends you an offer for free stuff or cheap goods just ignore it and delete it. Or if your email account allows you to mark it as spam to help them identify spam then do that.

Step 3 Check the link
So it looks valid. Maybe you have an account with that site. But has taught you to be paranoid, or your Nanny D and your naturally paranoid.

How can you check the link? Well you just can't click it because often times the fake site is made to look like the real site. The trick is to place your mouse over the link in the email but DO NOT CLICK.

EDIT: I show a web browser/internet explorer email account here. But if your using Thunderbird/Eudora/Outlook then you should still see the same basic thing.

Here's a sample email. I have a Paypal account so maybe this is legit (Note fake Paypal emails are a dime a dozen).

But when I hold the mouse over the link and look at the BOTTOM LEFT corner of my web browser (both Internet Explorer and Firefox) I see what the real link is. In this case

So the email text says, which is correct, but the actual link is to some ridiculously long address off If I keep looking I see another http string in the url. That's just wrong. These should be RED FLAGS that this is spam. Then follow Step 2.

Soccer Post #4

Update: Woops thought I had posted this on Saturday. Turns out I saved it, not published it. So here it is.

Well things were a far cry better then Soccer Post III. BigE hit the field running today. Using the first 10 minutes while everyone got organized to run around the field kicking the soccer ball. Once practice started he did a pretty good job of staying with the practice. He was having fun and going on his own.

Today's practice was outside as well. Nice to see the kids running around a yellow field on a bright sunny day. Wait yellow? Yes, the city of Ottawa doesn't use pesticides.

With 10 minutes to go they had a kiddie soccer game. BigE wanted to play goalie. Maybe because that is the only position he knows the name of. But either way he had fun.

Then in the final five minutes it was a free for all with the parents playing. BigE played "soccer ball" with Mama.

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Quote of the Day 9

BigE "Hey there's Jakie's soccer ball. Let's put it in the mailbox so he'll get it back tomorrow."

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Fair Signs

So during our adventure in A trip to the Fair I noticed the signs on the kid's rides.

Fair saftey sign

Upon closer inspection I see:
Fair saftey sign

There are kids under 42" tall that have heart conditions. Maybe. Probably, sadly.

High Blood pressure? Is daycare that stressful?

No smoking on the ride! Thankfully I bummed a smoke from the four year old before he got on the ride.

No Drugs! Well that might explain what Jeff was up.

Welcome to the safety world! Please wear your helmets at all times! No Running while pointing.


A Trip to the fair

After Merry go Rounds BigE was determined to take Jakie and Eric to the fair. On Saturday we headed to the Gloucester Fair.

And boy was there a fair. This was a much larger fair then the previous parking lot fair. There was a nice mix of kids rides and "Big Boy" rides for Jake and Eric.

First up was the classic Merry-Go-Round.
BigE Merry go round Mam
Again in the modern fashion was the hard rule of only one parent per child. Never can have too many safety nets.

One of the most popular was this truck on rails ride.
BigE Black truck

There was a similar speed boat ride that was fun.
BigE in boat at the fair

The beauty of course is that you can drive with out even paying attention
BigE in boat at the fair no looking

Then there was a trip down the big slide.
BigE and Mama going down the slide

However by this time we had made our way through most of the rides. We did attempt to go one to far however. BigE's buddy found the small roller coaster fun. So we bundled the two of them up together for a ride. It was only three or four loops around a small track. By the time the second lap started BigE was in full tears. It was too fast.
BigE and Mama going down the stairs
That took most of the starch out of BigE for the day. After calming him down we decided to go to back to the slide. Nice, safe ride. Nope. BigE wouldn't have any of it. Even resulting in the walk of shame back down the stairs. So it was back to the safer rides for a few more trips to make sure the fair was a hit.

Then we headed to the back of the fair to check out the monster truck ride (no we didn't spend $5 a head to go), the petting zoo, and the rodeo ring. Where I managed to drop an inflated toy into the right about 15' from where a horse had to round a turn. Woops. No harm.

All in all quite a fun day.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Post 100

Congratulations to us for 100 posts. Where our unofficial motto is

Quote of the Day 8

Just after putting BigE to bed. I'm on my way out the door when

BigE "I don't like going to daycare"

Dada "That's ok. You won't like going to school either"

silence ...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Using Google Reader

Okay I've been reading blogs for a number of years. Eventually once you reach a critical number of blogs you have to rely on RSS feeds. There's just too many sites to go visit them all. Or your at work and want to keep up and do it quickly.
Sure there are applications (or firefox extensions to read them), or websites like Bloglines, or a personalized page like My Yahoo page that let you have a customized RSS list. But the information was cluttered, required installing software on many machines (i.e. work pc), or the data shown was hours or days old.

Long story short that was until I tried Google reader. Maybe 9 out 10 blog readers use something else. But right away it clicked for me.

  • It was web based so I could use it anywhere.
  • It checked feeds in real time.
  • It allowed me to easily group feeds.
  • I could see the latest posting from a group of feeds without clicking on each feed.
There's a pretty good quick three page overview at
Google Reader Help
. Short, sweet and to the point.

However given my readership is a little light on the web savvy and all I'll soon add a post with some additional information.

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How to unwind

After a couple of days of daycare and a late night you veg out ...
Well what luck. As the TV turns on I realize its been left on Treehouse AND the Backyardigans just started.

I should point out a new favorite. The "Cold Juice" drink. Take any juice, no matter how cold, add to a glass with ice. Or Juice on the rocks as the adults might call it.

BigE spotted me doing this to some warm juice and that was it. I must have "Cold Juice"

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Flickr Photos

Just a reminder that we have 2300 photos up online now on Flickr.

Everyone who has access can add tags or notes to pictures. See people in pictures but there is no tag for them? You can add their name as a tag. If your curious what tags are already in use check out the main page to see which ones are in use. The bigger the word the more pictures tagged with that tag.

See something in the picture you want to highlight? You can add a note to the picture. That puts a note on a region of the picture. If someone looking at the picture puts their mouse over the region then your note will pop up.

If your asking how the heck do I do that? Check out Flickr Photo Sharing which has a link to a handy Flickr Newbie Guide.

Baby Birds V

For the first time in a long time when I stuck my head out the front door I did not find any birds. Now that the baby's can fly I think we may have seen the end of them. Oh well it's been fun.

Of course like all party's the clean up is always a bitch.

Acanac II

Back in my post Acanac I was noting they're cheap/discount DSL service. Well it's been another week using they're service and I haven't had any trouble. Maybe that's the key. As long as it works everything is okay.

For example if I search for "acanac review" from google and the first one is
dta = "don't trust acanac". However there are good reviws in the mixed back at Dsl Reports' Reviews for Acanac Inc.

One important thing I have found is that the cheap price, $18.95 (including tax paid for the year up front), is for the first year only. After that they go up to $33.95.

The other good discount DSL serice is Highly revered at work for individual DSL service. List price is $29.95. However you have to buy your own DSL modem. For example Teksavvy offers a Speedtouch 516 for $125.

I'm a little concerned about the switch over time in moving to Acanac. One way to reduce that risk is to register for a DSL login from Teksavvy for $10. Should Acanac not have my account setup, or be delayed, I could connect to teksavvy via this login and go from there.

Now if there is a problem with my local connection I'm hosed either way. I.e. my local equipment over near the park has a wiring issue or a back hoe hit it.

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Who needs an alarm clock?

Why set my alarm clock for 6:30 when my neighbor sets his at 6:20. I roll over in bed half awake I hear

Ah ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ...

Ah my neighbour's 6lb dog. Great bark per pound. Oh and look it's 6:30 on the dot.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Backyardigans: The Musical passing as a Cartoon

BigE is really loving the Backyardigans these days. It's a really great show. Now you don't learn a language or anything. But you do pick up a tune and some new dance moves.

Every episode starts with the gang in their backyard. Then as soon as the theme for the show is set their imaginations kick in and your transported to the swamp, safari, artic, desert or where ever they're headed for the show.

Odds are they've been singing and dancing by the time you get this far. The current favorite is episode #17 "Race around the world".

This finally supplanted episode #13 "Polka Dance Party". Polka playing cowboys heading to Cheyenne was a big hit. I don't recall seeing any accordions in any spaghetti western. Or a drummer floating down the river on a raft playing polka. Or those dance moves.

Now for all casual fans it's important to know the cast. They are:

  • Pablo the penguin

  • Tyrone the Moose

  • Tasha the Hippo

  • Uniqua the ???

  • Austin the Kangaroo

Another BigE picture

He's getting better. Now he needs better models.

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Going to the school play

Last night we were off to a school play that big cousin Eric was in. After an hour and ten of entertainment here is a 48 second video of Eric's big moment.

BigE was really digging the recorded 60's tunes and the music from the band.

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Baby Birds IV

A picture from last night on our way out the door. A baby bird that made it over to the garage.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Quote of the Day VII

BigE informs me that

I didn't see my owie hurt anymore. The owie melts into my band-aid. That's what my band-aid is for.

Baby Birds III

An update to Maybe they need a five bedroom house.

Got home early today (working from home this afternoon) when who's blocking the doorway but a baby bird. Seems he's already managed to get out of the nest. He seemed in good shape. He had no trouble flapping his wings.

By the time I got back with the camera he was gone. Don't know if he made it back to the nest. I couldn't get close enough to check for beaks.

UPDATE: Just say the baby birds in action. Just had a visitor to the door. It was enough to startle the birds and send two flying off. They made it safely to the house next door.

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Amazon Rant

Now Amazon is a very successful company. They have a lot of neat stuff. Their Amazon Web Services has piqued my interests for months. And I really don't want to offend them but ...

If I'm looking at a book on and they know enough (probably by my IP address) that I should probably be at the Canadian site it would be really nice if the "Shop at" link took me directly to that same book on the site. Instead of the main page.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Late Evening Sun

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Maybe they need a five bedroom house

A small update to Baby Birds II. It appears that while quiet the birds are up and moving around.

Four baby birds can put a tight squeeze on a nest. So much so they have to climb up onto the side of the nest to move around. What's amazing is that they seem to be content all packed in there for most of the day.

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School prep

School prep seems to have taken on a new meaning. Books, pencils, or backpacks? No. We're on the J-K level. That is working on recognizing our ABCs, doing up the button on our pants and wiping our bum by ourselves. The new cry in the house is

"Daddy I did it by MYSELF"

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The Little Gardener

I should point out the new gardening gloves. They're a little hard to see but they're the orange around the hose. Funny thing how he is able to turn on the hose all by himself without any help. No "I can't do it" 's on that one.

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Quote of the Day VI

BigE upon seeing me come into his bedroom dressed in the morning.

"Do we have to go to daycare today"

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Monday, May 21, 2007

BigE's Bike

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Flickr photos on your desktop

Flickr Wallpaper is a neat app that will let you set your desktop wallpaper to a picture from a flickr photo set. You can filter a users photos down to certain tags. You can run the program everytime you boot or once a month.

Looks kind'a nice. I'm checking it out.

One word of warning. It requires MS .NET 2.0. (Like Java if you know what that is) But that is 22M. Dial up users this means it will take a light year to downlaod.

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Bird Birds II

An update to Baby Birds

Baby Birds in the nest
Never far away was mommy and daddy. Keeping a close eye.

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A Burner is back

Not really earth shattering news like world peace or anything.

The latest burner to burn out, that I ranted about in Maytag Junk, is now working. Don't know how long this will last.

Funny how it didn't work when I tested it on Friday. But after checking out yesterday maybe it realized I wasn't kidding.

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BigE takes some more pictures

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Organic lawn care

Old fashioned organic lawn care.

Today known as being one cheap bastard. And certainly not the lazy bastards way.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Vegatable garden is planted

Doesn't look like much just yet. Probably won't look like too much later either. But what the heck.

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Quote of the Day V

BigE "We don't have a baby. We just have a doggie"

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Soccer Post III

So it's Saturday morning and it's time to head to soccer. I'd heard a rumor that they were going to update their practice to better suit the kdis. Well it was different.

First thing the kids were outside. Second, after doing jumping jacks as the warm up they all got balls. Third, the first drill was knocking down cones by kicking the ball. Fourth the kids had a lot of ball time. As much as they wanted really.

Now BigE was in a very shy mood and did not want to practice. Very frustrating. So we stood on the side of the practice. We may not be practicing but we wont be doing anything else. The final 10 minutes were open free "game" time with parents getting involved. This was about the only time BigE was playing. In the end I think he only did that part because Dada informed him there would be no TV if we didn't practice.

In the end he had fun and said he wanted to play next week. We'll see if that is true in update IV.

BEST PART OF THE PRACTICE: BigE's buddy M had to pee during the practice. Where does he pee?

Hint M likes to pee outside.

On one of the practice cones. Heard on the side lines "I've never see that before", and "Well now I have seen everything". Didn't phase M one little bit.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Baby Birds

I have a new game at our house. I try to open the door, lean out and grab the paper without disturbing the birds. Kind of like a game of operation. Today I thought I did a great job because no bird came flying out of the nest. That is until I thought I noticed another beak.

So I ran back in a got my camera. I quietly reached around the door frame and snapped a photo.

Not bad from inside the house eh?

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Chicken Nuggets, Corn, and Butter

All combined make for a very tasty meal. After all this looks so sweet and innocent.

Now zooming in on the butter.

That butter grove was not there when I got up from the table. To say he was eating corn would be like saying you eat your straw. The corn was a good tool to scoop up butter to lick.

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Flickr Photo Sharing

A great Flickr introduction is Newbie's Guide to Flickr from

What I'm going to do here is expand on the photo sharing. So here's a little guide to help you access our photos on Flickr. The rough steps are:

  1. Request invite. Send me an email letting me know you want to browse the photos. No big deal. I just need 10 seconds to invite you.

  2. Wait for the sign up email and click on the sign in link.

  3. Now regardless of what email I sent to you, your going to need a Yahoo login. Its a quick, simple and free registration. Sorry this is needed to restrict access to the photos.

    If you already have a Yahoo account you can just use that login.

  4. Once your in I should appear as one of your Contacts on the left hand side.

    You then can click on my name to see all of my photos

  5. Once on my picture page you should see something like this.

    From here you have a couple of potential options underlined in red (Now we're getting into standard flickr operations)
    • Search photos (warning most photos have no description)

    • Click on Sets to see the sets or groups of photos (i.e. Christmas 2004 or Blah's birthday)

    • Click on tags to see all of the tags applied to my pictures. Most have some tags. More work is required. For example here are the flickr tags for the entire site

      The bigger the word the more pictures tagged. Click on the word to search for all pictures with that tag.

Well that's about it. Remember you can get the originals by clicking on the tiny "all sizes" button in the top left hand corner of the picture.

Download the largest sized one you can stand (download time) if you want to print them. The larger the file the better the picture quality.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Maytag Junk

That's what my stove is. A piece of Maytag junk. Back when we bought our house we hit a few local appliance stores. Along the way we somehow meet with a Maytag rep at one. He had Mama wowed. He did have a good story. We ended up with 5 Maytag appliances.

Only one has not required repair in the first 5 years. The Maytag repair man bored?

My ass. Poor ba***** passed on before my junk started falling apart.

Our fourth, yes fourth, stove element just burned out in the middle of a pot of corn. I thought a watched pot didn't boil because you were watching it, not because the stupid thing broke. How does that saying go?

What kills me is to bring this thing back into full service I need two burners. With service fees and taxes that at least $150 per burner. So I'm looking at $300 plus to fix this. Well I know what sunk costs are and it's time to declare this bad boy a goner.

The worst part will be the battle between replacing it and riding it into the ground.

For the record it's model no is MER57770ACW.

Oh and the best part. For a machine that was manufactured in 1999 this is what I get online looking for the manual:

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Quote of the day IV

Picture a post bed time poop. I.e. I have to poop and want to stay awake a little longer. BigE's playing with an old box of wipes. When you pop up the lid you can pretend it's a computer. Like Dada's laptop.

On our way back to the bedroom.

BigE "I want to put my puter (i.e. computer) by my bed" (The position of honor)

Dada "Sure" [Closes the lid]

BigE "Hey this is just a box." [Flicks it onto the counter and leaves]


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Dada realizes he can eat that last granola bar as a snack because Mama will pick BigE up from daycare. (And bribe him with Chocolate Milk).


From RedFlagDeals there was a posting about They provide discount DSL service. I.e. they resell Bell's DSL service.

They had an offer to try it free for a month. Switching DSL providers is actually quite easy. You simply change your login and password on your modem. Kind of like you log into an online email service with different user name and password. Instead of a user name like b1***** it's ***** Not too difficult.

So here's my little review:

  • It's acutally working quite well. My only network interruptions are my usual wireless hiccups

  • I'm getting the same downloads as I did with Bell.

  • In fact this post was typed while connected.

It's officially listed as $33.95 a month. However for as long as I've heard of them you can buy a year of service for $227.40 (including the tax) for the year. That's $18.95 a month.

Current rate for Bell? $47.95 a month.

How does Acanac do it? I'm not really sure. Rumors on the web put per customer cost around that $18-21 mark. I.e. what Acanac get's charged by Bell to use their infrastructure. Probably time to do a little research.

But their genius little marketing scheme got me to try it. And you know what? It's working just fine and now I'm seriously considering it. For the most part, including the bit to my home, it's the same network. But customer support is reported to leave a little bit to be desired. That's probably what you get for 18.95 a month.

Then again there is G.E. in TO that has received poor service from Bell. The size of the company seems to have little to do with service these days.

I think Bell's going to have to do some kind of price match to keep me if things keep going.

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Arnie Ernie

Here is a picture of Arnie as requested (or Ernie as BigE still seems to call him). Of course his full name is Trinity of Hope’s The Terminator. Hence Arnie.

These are the "Dog people" that some of you may know of. Next time your thinking of charity send a donation their way. (Paypal, CanadaHelps, or by cheque)

Remember they are a registered charity. I.e. a tax deduction.

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Quote of the day III

How Mama buys affection:

Mama "You want Mommy to come pick you up from daycare?"

BigE "I want mommy to come pick me up from Daycare with CHOCOLATE MILK!"

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Online deal listings

One good site for Canadian online deals is If you check either the Deals page or the "Hot Deals" forum you can find some decent deals. The really super cheap that might be limited in supply are usually long gone by the time their posted. But many deals, especially by the big players, are listed there.

And it's not only online deals. They may be listed online but most offers are also available in store. Just incase you think technology peaked with the 8 track. You'll usually find electronics, TVs, computer deals, especially laptops, latest stuff from Costco.

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Organic Milk

This post over at theres a new post titled " HORIZON ORGANIC MILK – Is it all just lies?", leading off

Under the advice of several colleagues and readers, I decided to pick up a copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Fascinating read to say the least, and one thing that cropped up was the term ‘organic’ and how the word has become perverted and practically raped by the agricultural industry. Not surprising when you consider it’s now a $15 billion a year business. That’s a lot of money…which means power…which means corruption.

We've been buying organic milk for BigE since he (finally) left the teet. Now when he used to get 75% of calories from Milk I didn't mind paying premium dollars for the Milk.

It did remind me that I meant to look into what was really being claimed. Or did I just link to internet cruft?

Here's our milk

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One more toy

BigE "I need one more thing from the toy store. Ahh ... uhmmm ... a jumpoline"

One of our favorite (toy) stores Those Demo jumpoline's are popular.

Update: Apparently Dada is needed because Mama isn't strong enough yet to lift the jumpoline into the car. Interesting that he thought 'yet'.

You'd swear we said at some point he could have one?
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Treehouse favorites

BigE's favorite Treehouse TV shows

Honorable Mentions to two shorts (Not full shows but between show fillers) This is Daniel Cook and This is Emily Yeung

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Cockey Hockey

Heard today on the Team1200 (The sports radio station).

It's BYOB night at ScotiaBank Place tomorrow night. That's Bring Your Own Broom

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Comments are on

I have enabled posting by anyone. That way any of you less then savy internet users don't need to sign in or anything to leave a comment.

I have no idea if anyone will want to do this. I'm simply letting the experiment proceed. If no one does it or I only get spam then I'll turn it off.

Note that I still have moderation turned on. So I will review and possibly edit any posts to protect the innocent. I'm the dictator. All edits are final.

Road Rash

No not road rage. Road rash. Related to our older post Dog Walk I thought it would help explain things to some reads (and tell a funny story).

Picture the family dog walk. BigE is riding his bike on the side walk on a main 4 lane road. Now in these new neighbourhoods the sidewalk is about 15 feet from the road. Mama and I are walking along side. Mama has Arnie.

Arnie spots another dog on the other side of the street and he wants to go meet him. Now Arnie is a sweetie. He just wants to go play. But when 140 lbs wants to go play it can be hard to restrain. With the help of a gentle leader Mama does the job. While our attention is drawn, BigE takes a spill. I scoop him up to comfort him and stop the crying. There's nothing really wrong.

Except when things take a turn for the worse.

Then like out of a movie Mama is yanked towards the street. While our attention had been turned to BigE, Arnie had decided to make another pull for that dog. This is where the fun begins.

Mama doesn't let go. "I couldn't let go of the dog" she would later say. What would the other person think. So she tries to keep up. And by keep up I mean stumbling along trying to run fast enough to keep up with Arnie who is in full stride. Mama's upper body is going about 50% faster then her legs. It's quite a sight.

She's able to keep it up until the middle of the road. Then trip! Now Mama doesn't come to a complete stop. I'd say she made it about another 5 ft before coming to a complete stop. All the while one arm is out stretched clinging to the leash . Of course that pulled up her shirt on one side and caused some nice road rash.

Thankfully at 5:00 p.m. when the traffic is just pouring back into our neighbourhood there wasn't a car this whole time. I ran out with BigE in my arms and scooped up Mama. Once we got to the other side then the traffic came pouring back.

I think the damage assessment was hip road rash, sore fingers and wrist, and one embaressed Mama.

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Letter from nanny

Somebody was happy to get a package in the mail yesterday. A few toys left at nanny barb's. Well it included a little letter. Boy o' boy that letter has been pure gold. BigE has hardly put it down in the last 24 hours.

Oh and that chocolate hockey puck was pretty darn good too!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Dog Walk

BigE [To Dada] "When Mama falls down you pick her up and go get ernie. I'll stay with my bike"

Somebody remembers the "Graceful fall" episode. Even better he just assume's Arnie's gonna take Mama down.

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Share on Facebook

Ok, so as many of you know Mama is big into Facebook right now. While we're quietly trying to share a little family blog we also want to be some what useful and share some events.

So I've started adding a little link "Share on Facebook". This lets you add a link to facebook. Either as a post to your facebook profile OR send the link to another user to let them know about it.

If you post it to your profile your friends will see that in their what's new feed under your name.

If this is all gibberish to you then you can probably safely ignore this posting.

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What to do with that old IPOD

Well if you have an IPOD (click wheel, mini or nano) that is older, or slighty busted one (oxymoron I know) or one that is definitely junk that you haven't gotten rid of there is hope. Check out

Why post this on TBF? Because I'm pretty sure in the hipper techie circles there are a few sketchy IPODS.

Looking at their form:
* An good condition working 20G IPOD, no box, but USB cable and charger is still worth (as of today) $50
* A first gen 4Gig Mini with a cracked screen, cables, and charger is worth $16.

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Dirt and Poop

BigE does a poop 30 minutes into what was supposed to be a nap. Of course dada get's the wiping honors.

Dada "Hang on, stop squarming I have to get poop"

BigE "Pardon dada"

Dada "I have to wipe up your dirty bum"

BigE "My bum is dirty"

Dada "Well yeah it's poopy"

BigE "Dirt is poop?"

Dada "Uhhhh .... no Poop is dirty"

BigE "Oh ... OK"

There was that moment when the mind was reeling with the implications of dirt is poop.

That's about as good as any post titled Dirt and Poop will get.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day & Consumers Reports

So I was thinking of surprising Mama with a subscription to Consumer Reports. Ok so that it's a little bit of a wiener gift but (a) she wanted it (b) it would be a nice little surprise. In the (our) modern two income world you end up buying most things you want anyways. And let's face it I can't out shop Mama

So I head over and there are two adds for subscriptions. A small one on the side and then this big Mother Day's Gift Subscription.

Mothers Day Gift subscription ad

But after trying to login I got this error.

Consumer Reports says they have unexpected heavy traffic

On Friday.
On Saturday.
And finally on Sunday.

I can't find an email on the website. So God only only knows how many people couldn't get through. I mean if it was everyone then somebody in Marketing is going to sh*t on Monday when there were 0 subs over the weekend. Unless they had really, really low expectations.

So here I sit, still unsure if I should keep trying.

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Happy Mothers Day

A Happy Mothers day goes out to Mama, Nanny Dot and Nanny Barb.

Can't let the day go without saying "Happy Mothers Day"

Merry go Rounds

Funny thing happend today. After a trip through the Big Ol Box (BOB) store, we were heading out to a dollar store. As we're pulling into the parking lot. I'm thinking "Hmm how do I distract BigE from noticing the McDonalds." Especially since this one has a playground.

Side note: For the love of all that is holy; McDonalds how can you not have every McDonalds restaurant not upgraded to include a playland. Look at your own marketing studies. These things are like drugs to the kids.

Anyways as we go into the parking lot. Something has BigE distracted. A big ferris wheel? Ah one of those roving fairs has opened up in the parking lot. Ferris Wheel, round-about, Berry-go-round, space shuttle, and a dozen prize setups.

One stand even had an inflated Dora hammer as a prize. Dora and hammers. A natural duo like Fish andChips. Maybe it's the Dora marketing machine's response to this "WANTED---- DORA THE EXPLOER STUFF FOR A BOY"

As I run into the dollar store; some nice man gave Mama and BigE unused several tickets when they were standing in the ticket line. So we (BigE) got a couple of rides including the merry go round, space shuttle and berry go round (Big Strawberry that you sit inside and spin).

One thing I did notice is how the Merry go Round has changed. If you head to you can see the picturesque Merry go round. Kids smiling, arms up in the air, lights on and fast motion.

It's exactly like that today. Except now you have to photoshop in a parent or two behind the kids holding on for dear life. Oh yeah and add in a talk bulb "Hold on Johny you don't want to fall". There is almost as many parents on the Merry go Round as kids. I wonder what the weight limit on that thing is?

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Spring has definitely sprung

While the recent heat has cooled a little. There is no better sign that spring is upon us then the apple tree blossoming. Last year it produced about 3 dozen apples. (Of decent small to medium sized apples).

What's best is they were just a little tart. Just the way I like them.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Another Soccer practice

Well after the vacation break we were back to the local community center for another soccer practice. After missing two weeks I was curious if the staff had started to figure out how to coach three year olds.

The verdict is in. And it is no. They're not evil, or incompetent. They're just teen aged city staff (read summer job people) hanging out with the kids. But they just don't seem to understand the attention span lengths they're dealing with.

Each week they spend (read waste) 5 to 10 minutes trying to get the kids into a circle and pass a single ball around. So in case you don't quite grasp the difficulty. Here are the steps involved in this drill:
(a) Herd the kids
(b) Form the circle
(c) Show the ball and explain the drill
(d) Repeat for the kids who weren't paying attention
(e) Pick the most timid kid first
(f) Manually move the kids leg to explain that whole kicking motion
(g) Re-herd the other kids
(h) Re-form the circle.
(i) Kick the ball.
(j) Some kids run off to get the ball that they all missed.
(k) Re-herd the kids
(l) Re-form the circle.
(m) Try to get they're attention
(n) Re-form the circle.
DING times up. Move on to the next drill.

Now imagine what the class is like. You only had to read that list. And let's be honest by (d) you were probably bored and skipped it. Picture twitching and hyper three years who just want to kick the ball.

But it's not all bad. BigE had a little bout of shyness to start this soccer practice. We missed the first five minutes when he didn't want to play. That was ok. But I informed him that we could go home but we would not play with the pirate ship instead.

Realizing there wasn't going to be a better activity in the next 30 minutes he decided to join in. Then it became the running practice. But as he ran circles, largely ignoring the soccer ball, he was having a blast.

He did join in to cheer GOOAAALLLLLLLLLLL! Even if the other team scored. Thankfully that's enough to keep us happy with it for now.

Pirate Adventures

BigE's little buddy comes over to play with the pirate ship. Now we're really glad that we had two pirate costumes.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Pirates Ho!

Well somebody got lucky. There was a discounted pirate plastic play house at a grocery store today. We'd been looking to get BigE a play house of some sort. He really seems to love those things. Plus it meets my criteria that we not keep buying things available across the street in the park. "He can walk the 500 ft to the park." I think that is what passes as a hard ass these days.

But imagine the surprise when opening up the package we find two packages contains some clothes. Hmmm what is that? Turns out it also includes two pirate costumes. Well shiver me timbers.

Somethings are worth the 10 cents of polyester.

Who's reading this blog

So I did two posts tonight. Dora was just about done on the TV. (Yes I'm a bad parent and allow the TV to baby sit my child). I head over to the venerable Google Analytics. Well page views looked a light high.

Wait a minute we had page views from Beverly Hills, London, and Santiago. We are now an international player baby.

Ahh, it's getting dark again. We're slipping back into oblivion.

Green Credits

Have you heard of a company like terrapass that offers (i.e. sells) carbon offsets. I believe it was one of the companies used by Al Gore. If you feel guilty or want to reduce the impact, of say your combustion engine, you can buy an offset. Depending on the size of your car it's something like $40 USD.

Now comes "You Carbon Credit Reduction Source". It was bound to happen. Check out Why we do it.

Maybe there will come a day with 50'c average temperatures in the birth province, most of the province in under water, and in running for public office some party staffer/stoogie will dig this up and will I regret this post.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

"I have to think about it"

A little bit of rough behavior resulted in a "Boot to the Head" (as one famous group used to say) and I asked BigE to be careful. Well low and behold he headed to the end of the bed, crossed his arms and put his head down.

"What are you doing"

"You hit some one you have to sit and think about it"

"Is that what they do at Daycare"