Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Light and Shadow

One doesn't want to get too optimistic and excited at this time of year, but a hint of spring was in the air yesterday. After being locked in winter's icy grip for about six weeks, the temperatures actually hovered slightly above freezing yesterday. And the sun was out and the wind was down, making it a most pleasant day, a fine day to grab a coffee and reconnoiter at the park for a while.

Sun and Shadow

Light and shadow seems to be the theme these days. Below is AC the Groundhog's shadow on a tree trunk.


I couldn't resist snapping the moon between the trees.

Moon Through Trees

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

By Popular Demand ...

... here is the Zucchini Lasagna that some of you requested.

It's quite a bit of work to slice and dry the zucchini, but it's worth it because this is a really good recipe. Really good. It seems that everybody who tries it loves it. I slice the zucchini with a knife because I can't seem to get the cheese slicer thing going for me.


3 large zucchini, washed but not peeled
2 teaspoons of salt, or less, as needed
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon fennels seeds
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (26 oz) jar marinara sauce (3 cups)
nonstick spray
1 1/2 cups fat-free ricotta
4 oz shredded fat-free mozzarella
1/4 cup pasteurized egg substitute
1 tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg
1 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Slice zucchini into long 1/4" thick strips with cheese plane. Dry zucchini by laying on paper towels and sprinkling both sides with salt. Let stand for 15 minutes, turning once as they sweat out moisture.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in saucepan set over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring until lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Add red pepper and fennel and cook for 30 seconds. Crumble in ground beef; stir and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in marinara sauce, bring to simmer, cover, reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 10 ,minutes.

3. Preheat over to 350F. Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with nonstick spray.

4. Thoroughly combine ricotta, mozzarella, egg substitute, and nutmeg in large bowl and set aside.

5. Use fresh paper towels to wipe salt and moisture from zucchini strips. Gently squeeze the strips between fresh paper towels to remove any excess moisture, but take care not to crush or tear them.

6. Build lasagna by sprinkling the bottom of the prepared baking dish with 1 teaspoon bread crumbs. Lay 1/3 of zucchini slices in bottom of pan, overlapping as necessary. Spoon 1/3 of red sauce over them, then spread 1/2 cheese mixture over sauce. Sprinkle with 1 tsp bread crumbs, then layer 1/2 remaining zucchini. Spoon 1/2 remaining sauce over them, then spread the rest of the cheese mixture over top. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp of bread crumbs. Finish with remaining zucchini slices and sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

7. Bake until bubbling and quite hot, about 50 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

About the Chicken ...

Hmmm, I guess ole AC confused a few of y'all when he wrote about purchasing a rotisserie chicken for lasagna. Actually, I'm quite glad of the confusion because it's nice to see someone other than me confused ... for a change. lol

It's very simple, really. I mostly do light cooking and have come across three recipes for lasagna, only one of which calls for the usual ground beef. And, no kidding, that one doesn't even use lasagna noodles. Really! For that recipe, I slice up three or four zucchinis which I use in place of the noodles. It's a very yummy dish actually, probably the best of the three lasagnas that I do. It's from Dr Phil's diet cookbook by the way.

The other two versions, including yesterday's, are from Crazy Plates by Janet and Greta Podleski. One is a vegetable dish, where I roast a combination of veggies as the main ingredient. Yesterday's lasagna simply calls for chicken as a variant. Just as they do for several other recipes, including Butter Chicken and Chicken Corn Chowder, the authors recommend using a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket because they are quite moist, tasty and pre-cooked.

Anyway, company came, and the lasagna was good. We chatted and laughed. One odd thing did happen though. A coffee shop featuring fair trade coffee has opened in the town that is the nearest neighbour to ours, so we decided give it a try. We trooped in, looked around, turned around, and left. You see, there were only three little tables, and they were each for two — and we were a group of four. Weird!

But that's okay! Canada's favourite coffee stop, Tim Hortons, was just around the corner. You can always rely on Tim's!

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Memory and a Chore

Not having an original thought of my own these days, permit me to relate a memory that bubbled to the surface upon reading Cate's most recent post. She wrote about wondering why their young son was not calling them Mom and Dad in the normal and time-honoured fashion. Then she realized that he was attempting to use their first names.

I can only remember our kids doing that once; it was the youngest, Bug, who resorted to our first names in a moment of frustration. My memory informs me that Cuppa and I were doing something or other in the kitchen, and Bug was just outside in the hall, frustrated by the kiddie-gate between us. We weren't paying her much mind, but I recall being dimly aware of Bug calling for alternatively, first Mom and then Dad. After a bit, I was shocked and greatly amused to hear our first names being used. It worked too; she really got our attention.

Meanwhile, it is time to go shopping — again. I need to pick up a rotisserie chicken for a lasagna that I want to make for company tomorrow. Well, I want to make it today and serve it tomorrow. Lasagna is almost always better the second day anyway. I was supposed to pick it up yesterday when we were shopping, but I am very absent-minded. Cuppa said, "I'll get the bread, and you go over and pick up the chicken." Unfortunately, I got waylaid in the cheese section and completely forgot about the chicken until we got home. With a memory like mine I'll never run out of things to do ... although I may forget what they are.

What I did remember to do yesterday was to restore a photo for our neighbour. It's her birthday, so this will be a little gift for her. I was able to coax the computer along fairly well yesterday.

Boy Before

Boy After No.2

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Stressing and Savouring

I appreciate your commiseration with my computer woes. Said woes continue. Backing up files, which I haven't done for a while, is even problematic because even that process tends to cause a crash. So, I drag a few at a time to Cuppa's computer, and will put them on an external hard drive from there. I am doing the extra step of loading them onto her computer first because not having to deal with an additional item is one less thing to tax my sadsack machine. It's all very odd because I can usually do things like type this without running into trouble.

We didn't get around to exploring new pathways as I had wished the other day. We returned rather late from ogling Butterfly's shower presents; it was downright nippy by that time, and the shadows were beginning to lengthen, so we stuck to tried and true paths. Nevertheless, Cuppa thought to bring her camera along, and I was able to snap the following picture. It's a little creek right next to the river in the park near our house, and I think it looks pretty fine in this photo. As you can see, I continue to experiment with methods of processing colour into black and white.

Perhaps because I remember the days when it was so cool to advance to colour photography, I am not quite as taken with b&w as many. I probably prefer colour to b&w about 99.9% of the time. But it's still fun to experiment, and I only crashed the computer once while doing that — or maybe it was twice. Sigh. Nevertheless, while the computer causes some angst and stress, I appreciate being able to spend time playing with pixels like this and generally savouring my days, for there looms a time when there will be no more days to savour.

Meanwhile, Butterfly has posted some photos and I know that Cuppa will also do so either today or tomorrow. I know because I uploaded a half dozen for her last night, and they merely await proper and lucid explication. Wow! Did I say that?! lol

Creek by the River

Creek by the River b&w3

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sunday Babbling

I guess, I'll just ramble a bit this morning. I don't really have anything particular on my mind but feel like typing some words anyway. Am I the only one who ever feels that way?

It looks like a nice Sunday out there. It's sunny, and temperatures will be in the mid-teens F this afternoon, so it's time to get out for a walk. Somehow, what we plan to do every day (i.e. go for a walk) doesn't get done on many days. In fact, I think we've been sedentary for three days now although I have worked out once in that time. We have recently heard that there are some walking trails out on the edge of town, so maybe we'll try to find them. The directions weren't terribly clear to me, but I can get to the general area anyway.

What I have been doing is getting very frustrated at/by the computer. It has the tendency to shut down with no advance warning when I am working on it,particularly when I am working with Photoshop. At first, I thought it was a heat issue. I work on a large screen laptop, and, sometimes, laptops do have heat issues. So I forked out money for a cooling pad — a device that has fans to help keep the machine cool. But it's just gotten worse, so it isn't a heat problem. Next, I suppose shall try adding more memory (as Photoshop is very memory-intensive program). Although I should do that (add memory) regardless, I suspect the problem is deeper than that. I do not look forward to taking it in somewhere or reformatting and starting over, but it may come to that.

Meanwhile, I will continue to be somewhat frustrated in my attempts to get things done. While I can usually type and surf the net without too much problem, the things that I shall call work for want of a better word are problematic: work such as restoring a photo for our nice neighbour. It's a school picture of her son but has faded and been splattered over the years. Since it is both her favourite and her son's, I would like to help her/them out.I think I can, but it's really difficult to make headway when the computer keeps crashing. Sometimes I laugh; sometimes I cry; sometimes I bang my head against the wall; one time I may pitch the things out of this second story window — without bothering to open it first!

The women had a baby shower for Butterfly yesterday. Two of her friends and their spouses drove all the way across province from our former hometown to hold it for her. That's sure committed friendship because it's a six hour drive — at speeding best; it was certainly more than six hours for Cuppa and me when we used to make that trip, but, of course, I was greatly impeded by the necessity of making many more pit stop than the young ones are required to. Since I wasn't there at the shower, not anywhere remotely proximate, I won't try to talk about it, but I presume that Cuppa will write about it at some point in time — and possibly post photos (do ya think?). Cuppa had to leave early, so we'll head over to Butterfly's later to properly and thoroughly examine the various gifts. For whatever reason, Cuppa must actually touch something in order to see it, and she didn't get a chance to do that yesterday.

So, that's what I have to say when I don't have anything to say.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Arizona Bling

Well, what blogger doesn't like to make the most out of a bit of a predicament. Of course, that's partly what I did yesterday with the ... er ... em post. However, most of Valentine's Day was actually fine. We had wanted to splurge on a breakfast sandwich at Tims after the procedure; in fact, being mindful of our waistlines lately, we had planned on it as sort of a break-diet breakfast for about a month. But, we got out of the hospital a little too late. However, on the drive home I remembered the Thruway restaurant and was pretty sure we could get breakfast there even though it was close to lunch time. It turns out that we could, and it also turns out that it was very good and satisfying.

Once we got home, I gave Cuppa the card that I had prepared for her featuring the photo below. It was just over a year ago that I took the photo at Monument Valley, Arizona. She has climbed a bit of a ridge to look out over the vast view of monuments (buttes and mesas). Monument Valley was the highlight of our wonderful trip to Arizona. I superimposed the portrait of Cuppa with those earrings which she also purchased somewhere in Arizona. Not one to normally notice such things, I really like
those earring — find them very hot, eh? You should see the heavy metal necklace she's wearing today though. I also notice that!

Pondering Arizona

An ... er ... em ... Day

Some days are pissy; some days are much more literally pissy than others. For me, despite it's tender connotations for many, such was my Valentine's Day. But that was yesterday, and yesterday's gone.

You see, although it's been deucedly cold this winter, at least for the last month, it hasn't been so terribly snowy here. That's good in a way because, yesterday, I was scheduled to get up at the crack of dawn and drive out of town to meet with my friendly urologist. Ah then, does my use of that word begin to grab ahold of you now? You see why I had to use, eh? Good, I'll therefore stop using that word which may be unpleasant to some. From now on, we'll call it an ... er ... em ... day.

But that's also bad because the weatherman decided that yesterday was precisely the appropriate time for a glorious snowfall. Indeed, the weather on the trip was rather ... er ... em ..., for I was forced have to drive in the season's worst snowfall yet. However, although the highway wasn't bare pavement, it wasn't really all that treacherous either although the ... er ... em ... drivers in front of me who were travelling at an astounding ... er ... em ... 50k/30mi per hour must have thought otherwise. Talk about ... er ... em ... drivers! Just ask my roadrunning SIL, I'm not exactly a speed demon, but really now. So, after following these ... er ... em ... drivers for about ten minutes, I decided to pass. No problem: they were simply over-reacting, and I was able to proceed fairly safely and cautiously to meet with my ... er ... em ... doctor on time.

So look, I was only expecting the appointment to take a few minutes for all one is asked is to empty one's interior liquid contents into a computerized container which measures ... er ... em ... flow rate. Easy right? Well, wasn't I surprised when they asked told me to remove my clothes? Then I sat and waited ... waited ... for quite a while before a kindly nurse must have noticed my crossed legs and my tortured expression. Finally was permitted to ... er ... em ... , and, thankfully, nice nurse was so kind as to leave the room for these ... er ... em ... parts of the procedure. But then: "Now, please go back to the waiting room, Mr Cloud, and we'll do it again in a while."

Sigh. After waiting for about another half hour, we repeated the ... er ... em ... procedure, whereupon she said, and I'm not making this up, "The doctor will have to see you next, but he's in surgery and might be another hour. But you can put your clothes back on." Double sigh.

... meanwhile the snow is gently falling and the roads are gently clogging up even more ...

All in all, a ten minute ... er ... em ... job extended into two hours (I know that it should only take ten minutes because I've experienced it before), not counting the extended time that it takes to drive about in inclement weather conditions.

And well, some of you may remember me getting very sick back in October after having a more invasive ... er ... em ... exam performed on my body. Did I say that I was very sick afterwards? Oh yes, I see that I did, here and here. Truth be told, it took about two months before I felt completely well again after that infection. For many nights during that somewhat trying interval, I went through several changes of attire because I'd sweat through as the saying goes.

Well, in a few weeks, the ... er ... em ... doctor wants me to do it all over again, just to clarify things, doncha know?

So you see, Valentine's really was a ... er ... em ... day, very definitely an ... er ... em ... in these here parts.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Leaking Through the Slats

So, just for a change, I thought I'd post some photos today. I mean to say that variety is the spice, eh what? Well, at least the photos are more or less different from post to post.

Solstreaks 1

As I peered out from the bedroom window yesterday, I was quite taken with the streaks of light eking their ways through the fence slats. At first I thought that it would be a good candidate for b&w treatment (above), but I seem to have been wrong as the coloured version (below) looks much better to me. Some people can look at a photo and immediately ascertain how best to present it, but that ability seems to elude me. Anyway, I do like the coloured version.

Solstreaks 2

In case you wondered, yes, those are Christmas lights still hanging from the fence. We're thinking of them as seasonal lights, doncha know. I've posted the original photo below, so you can see where I started. I cropped it because I wanted to emphasize the streaks of light and did the rest because I wanted to make it look better — to me, at least.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Snowy Tree

Last week we sat in the park and drank our Tim's coffee (half hot chocolate, Ben). I had been anxious to take pictures of the gently falling snow, but, alack and alas, it stopped falling just as we were arriving. Both Cuppa and I took snapped a few anyway. When I uploaded them, I realized that we had essentially taken the same three shots. This is one of mine, processed in two ways.

Snowy Tree 1

Snowy Tree 2

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Moving Moment

Coffee with Butterfly

Yesterday, Cuppa was summoned by Butterfly to help put some finishing touches on the nursery. Company is coming next weekend, so although Smudge is not due for two months, it was time to more or less complete the decorating. No doubt, Cuppa will want to fill you in on all of the details, and since I have no idea what the details are anyway, I won't even try.

Often, when we drop in to see the kids, we'll first make a stop at Tims and take an offering with us. The photo shows me with travel mug in hand. What it doesn't show is my favourite afternoon choice, a blend of hot chocolate and coffee — with double cream of course. Mmm mmm good.

But get a load of Butterfly's cup on the dresser! Do you think she had a craving, or what?

Anyway, the gals did their thing while the boy and I watched tv, ate chips, and drank Diet Coke. Then, we all had pizza and watched the hockey game while playing Trivial Pursuit. At some point in time during the evening, Butterfly said, "Dad, I think if you put your hand right here and are patient, you'll feel the baby move." So, I did. Butterfly placed her hand on mine, and Smudge kicked or elbowed (probably elbowing as it was hockey night in Canada from coast to coast to coast) from below, three generations of Clouds coming together.

Three generations. The moment moved me.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Night to Remember

Colour me surprised that some of you have asked about the concert. This guy thought that just about everyone was probably sick to death of my harping on about the concert and The Rankins. Well, maybe you are and are simply being nice.

On the other hand, you might be wondering why I haven't posted some sort of report already. It's hard to say, really. For whatever reason, I don't feel much like writing all of a sudden. That happens to me periodically — much to the relief and joy of thousands tens of bloggers. But I'm determined to make the effort this morning ... on which I didn't get out of bed until ten o'clock. While I'm not exactly an early riser (not a lark, I), it's pretty doggone unusual for me to cower under covers until such an indolent hour.

So ... so ... here's where I get bogged down because I don't know quite what I think. Perhaps I am a little disappointed after all of my expectations. That happens, doesn't it? At least it does to me. I go to a movie that I hear is great, and I am disappointed. I go to another flick somewhatgrudgingly because someone else wants to go, and I end up really liking it.

Here's the thing. It was held in an arena. So, right away, the sound quality takes some beating. I mean to say that nobody sounds as good in an arena as they do on a well-mastered studio album. And the seats were not at all comfortable. They were tiny with neither elbow or leg room. My seven-inches-shorter-than-I-am wife felt cramped by the lack of leg room, so you might imagine how confined I felt. As I ponder the venue, I am inclined to vow never to attend another concert in such a place. But I can't quite induce myself to go that far because I might. Yes, if The Rankins were to make another Reunion Tour (that's what it was called) in five years time, I might do it again (but I would try desperately to secure an aisle seat). There are also one or two other artists for whom I just might (or not) make an exception.

So, I guess that last statement tells you that, reservations notwithstanding, I am very, very glad that I went. They did a great job of performing old, new and varied songs for two solid hours without a break. The opening act played for about a half hour. It was a British guy, Seth Lakeman, who had a great voice and was a wonderful musician, but neither Cuppa nor I could understand a word that he said with his accent. He might as well have been speaking Spanish or what have you. But I was still impressed. I mean to say that most people can't understand what half the bands are nattering on about anyway. After the warm-up, there was about a 20 minute break before Jimmy, Cookie, Raylene, Heather and the rest of the band came onstage for their long, but seemingly very, very short, performance.

Yes, despite the unfortunate seating, time flew as the band delivered one wonderful rendition after another. In addition, Cuppa and I were tremendously fortunate to be seated near a bunch of enthusiastic kids, many from Cape Breton. While the majority of the audience was not young, there were also lots of exuberant youth in attendance. They hooted and hollered and their liveliness made the concert even more enjoyable. For the last song of the pre-encore part of the concert, on some sort of pre-arranged signal, a whole gaggle of these kids pranced to the foot of the stage and danced their way through The Mull River Shuffle. What a party that was!

That was right after the most amazing and touching rendition of Rise Again by Raylene who almost literally raised the rafters. She put everything that she possibly could into that song, so much so that it almost sends chills down my spine to recall it. They lost their brother, John Morris (a member of the band) in a car accident a number of years ago and their sister, Geraldine (a member of the initial Rankin Family group), just as the tour was to begin. They actually missed their first gig to attend the funeral. So, the song was fraught with even more meaning than usual, and, as I said, Raylene was absolutely awesome on it. (Rise Again is the song available in the sidebar if you haven't clicked on it ... and you haven't).

To top the evening off, we exited to a magical looking snowfall, not a heavy fall but a very pretty one. The magic was enhanced further when we still saw some people skating as we drove alongside the canal at 11:00 pm on a fine winter's night.

So, yes, the venue notwithstanding, it was a rather wonderful night. In addition to their music, they are just down home, aw shucks, uninflated ego, salt of the earth types. There wasn't one silly hat to be seen on the stage and no sunglasses or other sartorial nonsense, Some musicians don't need to distract you with buffoonery in order to entertain and enthrall you.

Bless you, Rankins, for a night to remember.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More about the Canal

Some of you may have scratched your heads when I mentioned walking around the canal in my previous post. "Why would AC want to walk by a canal in winter?"

Well, you see, in winter it turns into one long skating rink, almost 8km (or 5 miles). I don't think I had ever seen them skating on the canal until last Sunday when we happened to be in the same area as where the concert will take place tonight. In our first winter in this region last year, the canal wasn't open to skating for most of the season; it was simply too warm. This winter started the same way before we got locked into the freezer. Brrr!

Anyway, on Sunday, we did get to drive alongside the canal for a while, and it was terribly delightful to see hundreds upon hundreds of people enjoying the invigoration of the day. We didn't seem to chance upon a good spot to take a picture, so I've located one form the internet for you to get the idea of what I am nattering on about. Don't you think it looks magical?

There are even concession stands on the ice in places. Look here to see a photo. In fact, if you click the photo, it will take you to more pictures of this area in winter. It's probably worth a look.

Meanwhile, the concert's tonight!! I'm hardly excited at all. I'm sure you believe me, eh?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bittersweet is a Taste

It's almost here. The Rankins concert is tomorrow, and I am partly excited and partly forlorn. That may sound strange, but, after seven years, this is strictly a one-off reunion for the family band, and that makes me a touch sad. Maybe sad isn't the right word; perhaps I am simply being maudling and sentimental. Also, if I had my druthers, we'd be doing this on a fine spring or summer evening when we could take in a leisurely dinner and then walk around town and/or the canal. As it is, we're in a deep freeze, so I think we'll confine ourselves to simply taking in the concert — make a night of it, so to speak. Maybe what we'll do is go out for a bit of dinner locally before driving into the city. That way, we'll still get out for dinner but not have to search around in the bitter cold for a suitable dining spot since we don't know the area very well.

I suppose that all sounds a bit like the glass is half empty, but it's not really. I'm just feeling a bit wistful; it will be a somewhat bittersweet evening, I think. But that's a taste isn't it: bittersweet? And I plan to savour it on my tongue, both the bitter and especially the sweet, for that too is life.

Meanwhile, I've posted another of their songs, Rise Again, in the sidebar (press play, I've turned autoplay off). It's another great song, and the lyrics are below.

When the waves roll on over the waters
And the ocean cries
We look to our sons and daughters
To explain our lives
As if a child could tell us why

That as sure as the sunrise
As sure as the sea
As sure as the wind in the trees
We rise again in the faces
of our children
We rise again in the voices of our song
We rise again in the waves out on the ocean
And then we rise again

When the light goes dark with the forces of creation
Across a stormy sky
We look to reincarnation to explain our lives
As if a child could tell us why

That as sure as the sunrise
As sure as the sea
As sure as the wind in the trees
We rise again in the faces
of our children
We rise again in the voices of our song
We rise again in the waves out on the ocean
And then we rise again

We rise again in the faces
of our children
We rise again in the voices of our song
We rise again in the waves out on the ocean
And then we rise

Sunday, February 04, 2007

How Does That Jar Ya?

I continue to be jarred by that ... er ... bottle of mayo that I mentioned a few posts back in Maybe I Really Am Dyslexic . You know the post where I described turning the lid the wrong way at first and breaking the opener when I exerted so much force on it by trying to reverse my error?

The jar's been sitting on the counter ever since. Today, SIL dropped by, gently twisted the lid, and it almost flew off in his hands. While one is tempted to feel very foolish under such circumstances, it brought to mind a similar situation when I was the hero rather than the goat.

I was in my first year of high school — grade eight. I wasn't exactly large and robust back then. In fact, I didn't have my growth spurt for another year, not until after ninth grade. Funny that one of my previously larger friends chose that summer to stop trying to goad me into wrestling matches. I had usually accounted for myself reasonably well when I was quite a bit smaller than he, so perhaps he was wise to desist when I became the larger fellow. But, once again, as is my habit, I digress — forgive me but one memory leads to another.

The memory that I strated to unravel was the one time when I was the lid removing hero. A friend and I were hanging around after school, and another guy whom we didn't know brought an ink bottle over and asked if we would try to open it. Neil tried and failed. I tried and opened it just as easily as SIL did today. The kid looked at me with some surprise and respect and said that he had taken it to all sorts of guys who hadn't been able to budge it. No doubt, at least part of the surprise stemmed from the fact that I was one of the littler guys to be offered the opportunity.

I know that it was simply the bottle's time to give it up, and I was just the next guy in line. It felt good though: much better than it did today watching SIL open the mayo so durn easily.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

An Irate Consumer

Is it just me, or do things like this provoke others too?

In Canada, We have a chain that sells boxed, frozen meats and other items. It's called M&M Meat Shops. We have never done a lot of shopping there but do drop in from time to time to purchase this or that. In fact, I dropped in just yesterday for such a purpose but will probably never do it again.

They had those frozen, skinless boxes of chicken breasts on sale, and, since we usually keep a box in the freezer, I decided to pick one up. However, it was not to be.

You see, I had to have one of their silly Customer Club cards to take advantage of that particular sale. "Oh it's free, and you can have it right away." I shook my head in perplexity and walked out sans chicken.

It's the principal of the thing. It's so stupid to make you take out a membership to purchase an advertised, on-sale box of chicken. What's the point? It's just plain silly and wrong, and I can't be bothered to play thier ridiculous little games. For one thing, I don't need one more card to keep track of, and, for another, I don't need one more company keeping track of me.

So, I am without the chicken, and they are without a sale and without further custom from this consumer. Presumably, a company advertises a special to attract customers and widen their clientele, so, how does alienating customers assist in this pursuit?

I'm actualy a fairly even-keep kind of guy who doesn't get terribly upset about too many things, but stupidity bothers me, and I am still shaking my head in utter frustration at sheer folly of this particular policy of M&M Meat Shops.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Foto Friday

Time away from Blogger gives me time to work on photos. You may recall seeing a black & white version of the first one, below. I have tinted it in Photoshop. According to my memory these are something like the original colours, but my memory may be faulty. Men aren't all that great at recalling clothes, doncha know?

Wk2 Coloring a Photo

This one is supposed to resemble a stamp (please stretch your imagination for ole AC). Lanark is the county in which we reside.

Wk 1 Stamp

Of course, you have seen many photos of Rocky. In the next two, I am playing with matting and framing.

Wk1 Vignette

Wk 1 Framed

The backyard from the bedroom window.

Shadows from the Window

Neighbourhood winter scenes taken on recent walks.

Icebound Driftwood

Broken Limb