Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Suzuki dealership closes tomorrow

I called to schedule an appointment only to find out my Suzuki dealing, on Hymus in Dorval is closing it's doors Friday, so I couldn't make a service appointment.

So I have to get it done at Lasalle Suzuki. Thankfully, one of my co-workers lives in Lasalle, not too far from the dealership, so after I drop off my car, she will pick me up and take me to work, and will drop me off to pick up up at the end of the day.

Still sucks my dealership is closing Friday, because I can practically walk to it from work.

My other option was in Laval, but it was too far in Laval to make it convinient.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

RIP Dr. Morgentaler

Dr Morgetaler was instrumental in helping get safe abortions for Canadian women. He died at the age of 90. RIP.

My little Ziva is finally more tame

Ziva my female cat has always been a little wild and untamed. Despite starting to clip her nails when she was a kitten at 3 months old, she would fight me, hiss, spit, bite, and scratch just because she didn't like being man handled. Or she didn't see the value of having her nails clipped. 

She's probably about 3 years old now and she's finally starting to chill out. I can now cut all her nails except the weird one without any fuss. Even the weird one, I can cut and it's like she's finally realized how good her feet feel with short nails. Especially since she has mutant feet with like 8 or 9 claws on her front paws. 

She's had a mild eye infection for a bit, but each time I tried to get near her she would almost rip my face off. But it had gotten bad. The amount of crap in her right eye a couple of days ago had me thinking I needed to intervene. I figured it would be a hellish battle despite the fact she can't be more then 8 lbs. She's the smallest cat I've ever had. 

Well the first morning, she was fiesty, but I cleaned her eye with a solution of water and baby shampoo and then put some antibiotic over the counter eye drops and of course made sure to dry off all the fur around it. She was pretty pissed but she was not as rabid as I expected! She didn't bite or scratch she just fought so I couldn't hold her. 

Yesterday she wasn't so bad and it was like she was resigned to it. This morning she didn't even fight. It's like she finally realized that I'm doing it to help her and I'm sure her eye must feel much better. 

But it took a full 3 years to get her there. When I compare to Jethro who had a far worse eye infection when he was one, and I just had to call him and he'd come have his eye cleaned and put eye drops 3 times a day... He'd come knowing fully well I was treating him and he even had to wear an Elizabethan collar so he wouldn't rub it. At least she's not rubbing it, so no collar necessary and I think 2 more cleanings and her eye will be as good as new.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Everything is spammed

You can't install or update anything without paying attention otherwise you end up with software you don't want.

For instance, if you update Java, you end up with some crappy McAfee product, if you update Flash you ended up with Google Drive and if you update Bittorrent, you end up with that Corel Winzip Updater.  Makes you wonder if this software was that awesome would it have to be bundled with things people actually use?

Personally when I see software bundled with other software automatically, I think the bundled software is low quality and generally garbage. If it was really awesome would anyone give it to you for free?

Finished is the day of installing anything by pressing next next next, without reading. :(

Monday, May 27, 2013

She's leaving tomorrow

My youngest daughter is flying to the UK with her friend tomorrow. For 2 years or so. She left me 6 boxes yesterday to ship to her when she has an apartment.

Hope she enjoys her experience of living in London and working in London. I almost ran away in London at 17, so I can't blame her for wanting to be in the UK.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lebanon slowly gets dragged into Syria's problems

Not surprising after a speech by Hezbollah's leader, there were attacks in Hezbollah district of Beirut. Three rockets launched, only 2 exploded. Things are not improving in Syria and it is obvious that Hezbollah is fighting with Bashar Al Assad. That won't finish that well for them.

Sucks for the average Lebanese that will once again get stuck in the middle of sectarian violence.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Dubai - some things don't change

I remember being appalled in 2007 by the conditions of the construction workers. Treated like cattle, and working in heat sometimes over 50C.  There's been a strike, which is illegal for foreign nationals in the UAE.

It's now 6 years later and things have not improved for the poor workers who slave in the sun and heat, and risk death and deportation. This is a form of slavery, except people sign up for it voluntarily thinking it can't be worse then at home!!!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Missed Opportunity

We had planned to go camping this week-end with friends, but I was just too burned out. Sometimes being out in the wilderness is what gives me back my energy, and I was hoping for that. but it didn't happen camping last week-end despite being really spectacularly beautiful and even though there were people there, not enough to really affect my mood.

This has been a bad spring. I've been more depressed then usual and struggling with more then usual. Perhaps being spring has been delayed and I seem to just not get enough light, not get enough sleep, not get enough of anything.

Was hoping to go to Mastigouche and cross Lac Sorcier again but it will be for another time. Spent an evening this week chatting with a girlfriend about all the canoe trips we want to do. And I went today to check out for Nova scotia and there are 2 rivers that have maps in Cape Breton for canoeing them.

This summer, if I get the chance I want to go to Parc de LaVerandrye. Have not gone there since my teens. But it was the place I had the best seafood chowder ever, fed to us by a random guy fishing and cooking at the parc!

I also want to go back to Parc Frontenac, and this time canoe on Lac St Francois. The campsites I've had in that parc were perfect for canoeing. Would also be fun to go at a different time then late August and October, as I'd like to see the bog at another time of the year.

We also want to go back to the La Tuque area to pick blueberries in August and freeze them and hope to have some for all winter, since I eat blueberries in my cereal every morning.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sunlight soap whitens without bleach

Two weeks ago I took out my white leggings out of my leggings drawer because I wanted to wear them under a dress only to realize that there was a pinkish stain in the upper part and it seemed like it had stains around the knees. The fabric was also a touch yellowed.  The leggings are part cotton and part spandex, not something you should bleach.

Took a bar of sunlight soap and lathered the leggings completely, thick with soap. Then hung the leggings as is on the clothes line. Left them out for 2 days, then took them back in rinsed them and resoaped them a second time. Left them again for a few days,  out in the sun.  Then I tossed them in the wash with a load of whites.

Those leggings that were a disgusting colour and full of stains are now perfectly white and ready to wear. And no damage on the fabric.

I remember asking myself as a kid why the sun was called "Sunlight". Well it's obvious. If you wash your clothes with it and put them out in the sun, the sun light will help them get white :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Photos from Day 4 canoe-camping

View from the campsite on the River

Porcupine quills

Malbaie River in the rain

Low lying clouds

Inukshuks under the clouds

The rain stopped but clouds lingered

There was a bit of fog right along the coast

May long week-end canoe-camping trip day 4

It was probably 3AM when it started to rain, but it rained for a few hours at least. It was still raining when I needed to use the bathroom around 5am. Ended up waking up around 8am. This was the time I was hoping to leave the campsite, but at least it wasn't raining anymore.

Still though we had to pack up the campsite knowing there was about 3 hours worth of canoeing to get back to the truck. We left our campsite around 11am by the time we ate breakfast, packed up everything, walked everything to the canoe and loaded the canoe. There was fog everywhere or low lying clouds, whatever you want to call it. Made the paddle back pretty scenic.

We arrived back at the canoe launch site around 1:30pm.  We were in Baie St Paul around 4pm eating some French fries in this little diner in a mall with a "Hart" bargain store. Hadn't seen one of those in years.  We made it back to Montreal around 8pm.

More Photos from Day 3 canoe-camping

Female downy woodpecker

Not a clue what this is

Not a clue either what bird that was


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Photos from Day 3 canoe-camping

Going up to les chutes du Russeau blanc

Les chutes du Ruisseau blanc

The spot up in the tree is Porcupine we chased

Riviere la Malbaie

Interesting cloud formations over riviere la Malbaie

May long week-end canoe-camping trip day 3

I actually slept from 10pm to 2:30Am then I really needed to use a bathroom. I figured I wouldn't fall back to sleep but I did until I was rudely awoken around 5am by a munching porcupine. THere was no shoes, so he was munching on one of the straps of the tent. I flashed my bright light at him and he left.  But the little fucker was back at 9am and woke me up again.

Apparently the porcupines in this park have a shoe fetish. We ran into another camper who complained he got his shoes eaten by a porcupine despite the fact that they had even left food out!!!

Around lunch time we walked up the path to "les chutes du ruisseau blanc." This is the waterfalls higher up the mountain, we were camping next to ruisseau blanc.

When we got back to our campsite around 2:30 there was another porcupine, he was chewing on our life jackets. My friend chased him up a tree, where he stayed for a while.

We then went for a short walk along the path to find a quiet spot to lounge near the Malbaie river, just before our campsite where we got caught in the sandbars.  With the sun out in that spot it was more then 20C and we were able to get a bit of sun. It was so peaceful there that my friend ended up asleep snoring in the grass. It is incredibly quiet when there are no canoes or bicycles.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Photos from Day 2 canoe-camping

May long week-end canoe-camping trip day 2

Despite all I did day 1, I could not sleep. Probably too hyper from the babbling brooke next out our campsite  I think I had just finally dozed off when I was woken up by a porcupine of all things. He was in our tent vestibule chewing on my companion's shoes.  He came back at 10am for an encore. We pretty much had to chase him off several times.

The porcupines are balsy and seem to think they own the place. Then again it was the first night that campers were around for this season.

We walked the 8km back to the truck to pick up, among other things, my friends boots, as his shoes had been all chewed. The view from the road is not nearly as scenic as in the water but it's beautiful nonetheless. Some views are more spectacular then others. I had a hard time walking 5 hours, well it took us about 2 1/2 hours each way. My right ankle is sore and stiff.

It was mostly sunny with cloudy periods and it was probably 14 or 15C during the say, but dropping near zero at night. This tent is quite warm so no issues with this.   At the campsite l'equerre, you get 2 ballots of wood that come in the price of the campsite. That means we're having a nice fire tonight.

It's a ruffed grouse

The gorge is really deep

If you look at this photo in it's full size, you will notice a red canoe in the water! Just to give you an idea of how deep the gorge is in the Malbaie River.  Canoeing in the Malbaie river is breathtaking!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Photos from Day 1 canoe-camping

Doesn't our truck look small next to the mountains?

Canoeing down the Malbaie river

Canoeing down the Malbaie river

A loon taking off

Canoeing down the Malbaie river

After canoeing 4Km we ran into the Inukshuks

After canoeing 4Km we ran into the Inukshuks

Those rocks with their reflection looked like flints

The white is actually SNOW!!

May long week-end canoe-camping trip day 1

We left Montreal at 11 am, we should have left at 10 like I wanted to but time seems to just disappear. We made one pit stop at the first truck stop on the highway between Montreal and Trois-Rivieres.,  The next time we stopped was at the lookout tourist information for Charlevoix. The region is beautiful. We had stopped briefly at Baie St-Paul to go to Parc National Grand Jardins last year, this time we were looking for Parc National des Hautes Gorges de la Malbaie.  The view at the tourist information was spectacular. We're way up above and you can look down into the harbour on the St Laurent.

We got to the gate of the Parc National des Hautes Gorges de la Malbaie at 4:50pm. The gate closes at 5pm. I wasn't sure we'd make it because of the distance which is why I wanted to leave at 10am to make sure I'd make this gate.

We drove the 8km to the parking lot, where we left the Suzuki for the week-end and took out our canoe and gear. Thankfully they had canoe dolley to help transport it to the point where we can put it in the water.  We took all our gear, and we don't travel light, and put it in the canoe for an 8km paddle to our campsite.

We left the canoe launch site at 6:30 PM. Part of what delayed us is we had to wait for the SEPAQ to get their boat in the water, as it was the first day they were opened for the season. We couldn't load the canoe until the waves they created while parking their boat subsided, it was just too much.

They told us the canoe ride would be 2 hours, but I guess that would be with a small canoe and little gear, but we have a big canoe and lots of gear. We did not make it there until 8:50, so it took us 2:20 minutes.

The last 15 minutes were the worst as it was getting dark and there was a canoe that moved around the same time and over took us we saw them go in a long arm of the river and come out and disappear to what seemed the campsite so we decided to take the shorter route. However the longer route would have been preferable as we ended up in a shallow area where the canoe got stuck in sand. More then once. It was almost impossible to see anything by then and my companion was ready to park there. {Would not have been a good idea as it was a small island but I digress} I pushed and we found the campground a few minutes later.

Usually I get a thrill with new adventures but seeing I had driven 5 hours, and paddled over 2 hours, and I was tired and hungry, by the time we got stuck I was pretty unimpressed.

Once we made it to the campground, we then realized that the spot we chose was NOT waterfront, and we had to lug all our gear to our campsite. The only thing we did not lug was our canoe.  It was 9:30 pm by the time I put the chickpea curry on the coleman and started warming it up. It was 11pm by the time we had the tent up.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Loneliness can kill you!

Really interesting article on The Lethality of Loneliness. Very long article but well worth the read.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

More Forest spring time photos

Never mind FUCK, DICK is a 4 letter word!!!!

Never mind that Dick, as in Dick Van Dyke has been a nickname for Richard for hundreds of years, it is now considered to be a 4 letter word by Marks & Spencer. I kid you not.

The scariest part is that there is food in the UK called "Spotted Dick", which in some places has been renamed "spotted Richard".

I guess someone was just being a DICK about it.

Monday, May 13, 2013

No more Suzuki in Canada

Figures that now that I have a vehicle that I love, my 2010 Grand Vitara, Suzuki Canada is closing it's doors in 2014.

It really sucks. I love my Suzuki. It takes me everywhere I want to go and is rugged. I was already thinking about my next Suzuki. But it will be no more :(

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Genuine Indian Brand Canoe

The canoe I picked up for $300 on Kijiji last summer was a 16ft fibreglass genuine Indian Brand canoe.  There isn't much to be found about the company brand because from what I understand it closed in the late 1960s.

From the research and reading I've done, The Indian Brand canoes are good sturdy canoes. They aren't as lightweight as more current canoes but they are hard to destroy. My canoe is quite stable in the water and can handle loads of gear for camping.  So for a good price they are well worth the buy. You can find fibreglass canoes  from 11'-18'   as well as some of the first moulded plastic canoes were made by Indian brand.