Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

I've Been There....It's a Real Dump

In a recent post I mentioned the acquisition of a new appliance from a dump. I have a feeling that a number of my readers think this to be an odd practice. Why would someone throw something out unless there was something wrong with it?

When I moved from the Sault to Ottawa I knew I couldn't take much of my stuff. In fact all I could take was four Saturn Ion loads. Saturn Ions, unlike Jettas, are not very spacious.

I couldn't take anything big. I was able to take my books, CDs, and DVDs. I could take my desktop computer and my laptop. I could take some odds'n'ends. I could take the contents of my filing cabinet. I could take my stereo. I could take my golf clubs and guitars. I took one lawn chair.

I couldn't take my filing cabinet. I couldn't take anything from the kitchen, except the microwave. I couldn't take my TV. I couldn't take my bed. I couldn't take my desk. I couldn't take more than one lawn chair. I couldn't take my office chairs. I couldn't take my dresser. I had to get rid of those things.

I sold my TV, a 27 inch Panasonic. It was only about 3 years old. The DVD player was a 5 disc player. When I sold the TV I threw the DVD player in with it. Without a TV I didn't need a DVD player.

I was able to give my book shelves, some chairs, and filing cabinet to some friends. However, I had a desk that was only about a year and a half old. It was a nice desk. I couldn't take it.

My bed was a single-sized bed. I couldn't give it away. It easily came apart for convenient storage in a basement or spare room. No one would take it. I donated my couch and chairs to the church.

If I had a truck I could have taken some of these perfectly good things to the dump. However, if I had a truck I could have brought these perfectly good things to Ottawa.

En tout les cas. That's my story. That's just one scenario which could lead someone to throw perfectly good things away.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Animals Make Lemonade

When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.

According to today's article a number of animals do just that. When trying to get animals to mate with less than ideal mates, the animals would compensate. Females who were forced to be with utility males laid more eggs. Males who were forced to be with homely females also produced more output.

The theory is that since the odds of having good offspring are reduced then the creatures jack up the odds by having more offspring. Chances are at least one will survive to pass on their genes.

I wonder if this has something to do with the fact that the girls I date seem to want to have 63 kids.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Plethora of Dryers

A month ago we didn't have a dryer. Now we have 3.

A while ago I mentioned how our dryer had died and I was spending my Thursday nights at the local laundromat. Someone at church said that they had a dryer. All we needed to do was get a truck and get it.

So, we eventually got a truck and went to pick the dryer up. It was an old-school one. It was actually this guy's mother's dryer from way back when. The front door was small. And you'd better believe it didn't have one of those "Energy" stickers on it!

But, hey! It's a working dryer! It's better than the one we had before.

So the McQueens used the truck to take the old dryer to the dump. While there they found another dryer. Jack decided to bring it home to see if it still worked. If you've never searched a dump you may think that to be an odd thing to do. It may be, but believe it or not, a lot of people throw away perfectly good things! When Jack told me he got the dryer I told him "You know, generally when people throw things away, there's a reason."

He didn't buy my logic.

We set both dryers up in the garage to test them before moving them into the laundry room. Guess what? Jack was right! I was wrong! The new dryer from the dump works! I don't know why it's previous owner got rid of it. Maybe they were moving out of town in a hurry and didn't have time to sell it? En tout les cas. It doesn't matter.

So now the dryer from the dump is moved into the laundry room. Someone else gave us a dryer too. I think it has to be fixed. I find this funny. Usually we get working appliances and use them until they break. In this case we skipped the middle step and went straight to having a broken appliance. I'm not sure what's wrong with it, or how much effort or money it will take to fix.

So we have three dryers. I wonder if there's a market for lint?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Another Holiday I Won't Get

How would you like a statutory holiday in February? I know I would. As today's article explains, if you live in Ontario, and if the Liberals get re-elected this October you may well get one.

Or, if you're like me, you live in Ontario but work in Quebec you will be met with the royal shaft this February. All the kids won't have to go to school on that day.

Being February, there will probably be a blizzard that day. Pastor Jack, Wendy, and Robin will stay home, sleep in, have snowball fights, hide out in their respective snow forts, followed by sipping hot chocolate with marshmallows by the fire. The buses will run on a holiday schedule forcing me to drive in. And since I live 3.2 parsecs away from work I won't want to drive in that day because of the blizzard. So I'll have to call in sick. But since everyone at work knows I live in Ontario, they'll assume I just want the holiday.

Of course the Liberals might not be re-elected. Or if they do, they might not keep that promise. My contract is over before February. If I'm not extended then that'll be just another day I can enjoy my unemployment. If I still am working here I actually hope to take my vacation time in February. I actually like coming into work during the summer. But I hate leaving the house in the dead of winter. So there are many ways it may work out for me.

One of the main lessons I picked up in college is that some days you get the elevator, and some days you get the shaft.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I'm An Artist Too (34)

This is the coffee cup version of a picture I drew in my notebook at work:

I like the notebook one better.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Physical Work == Health-Food

Physical work is the health-food of living.

Health food is good for you. Most people don't eat health-food because it tastes good. They eat it because it's good for you. (mmmmmm.....rice cakes.) You eat junk food because it tastes good, and it's readily, cheaply, and easily available. Opening a bag of chips and a can of pop is easier than making a meal consisting of some meat, rice, and vegetables.

Physical work is good for you. Your body wasn't designed to sit at a desk in front of a computer for 8 hours a day. Doing physical work is better for it. Most people tend towards the lazy (or higher efficiency). Sitting at a desk is physically easier than paving a road.

There are some people, I'm sure, who like health food for it's taste.

There are some people, I'm sure, who really enjoy doing hard physical work for the sake of hard physical work.

When you eat a lot of junk food, you get to a point where you're full, meaning you don't feel like eating any more. But you don't feel satisfied. Not like after you finish a good meal. The feeling of fullness is quite different. You feel much better after eating a healthy meal than you do after eating a full bin down at the Bulk Barn.

There's something satisfying about doing manual labour. I disdain hard work as much as the next guy, yet I think my best job ever was being a ramp-rat at Air Canada. Sure, it was hard work. But there's something satisfying at the end of the day when you've earned your pay by physical work. I don't get the same satisfaction from my desk job.

I'm not about to give up my current diet for a health-nut type diet.

I'm not about to leave my computer programming job for a construction job.

This blog entry has been brought to you buy a lazy, tired, busy, ill-prepared, pestered Andrew.

Goodnight everybody!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Not Milk

In last week's article I talked about cutting back on meat. I also mentioned that some people have researched milk and have decided to stop consuming dairy products. (Thanks everyone for your comments!)

I decided to do some research myself. Today I bring you not an article, but a web page with many articles. It's all about the harmful effects of milk. There are countless articles there. I didn't read many of them, and realistically I'm not going to.

I did read an article or two on prostate cancer and how it's growth and spread is linked to a hormone in milk.

I started to read a long one on Crohn's disease. That's some scary stuff! That article is not for the faint of heart. It's a nasty chronic disease that's apparently on the rise, and is very closely linked with a type of bacteria found in milk that does not get removed during pasteurization. In one study they found that bacteria in 100% of Crohn's patients, and 0% of non-Crohn's patients. Mind you, I didn't read the article all the way through. I think that's just correlational . It doesn't mean that that type of bacteria causes Crohn's.

Of course, I suffer the same problem here as I do in many other areas. I'm not a chemist, nor am I a biologist. So they could be lying to me; pulling the wool over my eyes and I'd have no idea.

So do I believe these people, or do I believe mom/the teacher/the dairy council? My decision will not be based not on the facts, but how much I like milk verses how much effort it would take to lead a non-dairy consuming life. Chances are, that's how your decision will be made too. Cognitive dissonance is a powerful thing.

I'll start with the easy things. For example, I won't take milk in my coffee. Instead I'll take cream.

I think milk will win. I can't imagine a life without cereal.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I'm An Artist Too (33)

This guys hands are ping-pong paddles. He's challenging you to a game of ping-pong.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Last Words

Our church has been graffitied!

I just returned form an event at church called Last Words, an event which Bruce McQueen and our youth pastor, and  put together. It was a graffiti event. There were bands, graffiti artists, and apparently break dancers which I missed by a few minutes.

The artists painted on boards that had been affixed to a fence along the edge of our church's property. Other people pained the walls in the portable used by the youth of the church.

There were no coffee cups, so I was unable to participate.

Here are some of my favorite pieces: