Sunday, December 27, 2009

The One Where My Dad Hangs Up On Guy Lafleur

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays everyone!

In the spirit of Christmas, since I haven't had a chance to get a post up here lately, because of all the Christmas 'stuff' I've been doing, I figured I'd share one of my favourite Christmas stories.

The one where my dad hangs up on Guy Lafleur.

Yes, Guy Lafleur, the former hockey star of the Montreal Canadiens.

Called my dad.

And dad blew him off, over the phone.

Yeah.

For you regular readers, this is an old post, so I apologize if you've already seen it.

For you new visitors to the Korner, I hope you'll enjoy this story of a Christmas surprise gone terribly WRONG!


The Christmas Surprise that Backfired on Me!


Hey all!

Being that it's Christmas (for me it is, otherwise, insert holiday of your choice here) I thought it was a good time to share my Dad/Guy Lafleur story.

I originally sent this out as part of an email to family & friends shortly after dad died. Hard to believe it was already over 3 yrs ago!


Shortly after finding out dad was sick, I started to plan a Christmas surprise.

I wanted to do something really "special" for him. I'm the type of person who tries to put some thought into what someone might actually LIKE to receive, so not knowing what the next year might bring, I wanted to give him something extra special, something unique that Christmas.

So, I got it in my head to give him a phone call from Guy Lafleur.

Those of you who knew my dad, you know exactly what that would have meant to him.

For those of you who didn't know him, I could say, "just imagine your all time favourite sports hero', and you would have what that icon on ice meant to my father.

But let me also give you a bit of background ... all my life dad was a Habs fan, and Guy Lafleur was definitely "the man".

I was told many times that the night I took my first steps, dad was here in Halifax watching Guy play at the Metro Centre.

Later that night, he managed to get his autograph at the hotel. I'm still not quite sure of which event he was most proud ... my first steps, or that autograph lol.

I can remember he used to have these Habs team pictures, torn off from hockey calendars over the years, hanging in the basement...


Anyway, when my wonderful father in law heard of my 'operation xmas call' mission, he provided me with the name of the PR Rep for the Canadiens, so I gave her a call and explained that I wanted to give my dad a phone call from Guy Lafleur for Christmas.

She said she couldn't make any promises, but that she'd pass the message along to him.

I told my mother about this surprise, and asked her not to mention anything to dad.

BIG mistake!


The day we arrived home for Christmas vacation, dad had a surprise for me.

That afternoon, mom had run out to the store for maybe 20 min, and while she was gone, the phone rang.

Dad didn't recognize the number, and because he was quite sick at the time, didn't really want to be getting on the phone anyway, but he it picked up to find someone who was "supposedly" Guy Lafleur on the other end.

Knowing that Montreal hadn't played very well their last few games, dad thought it was just someone in the family or one of his friends who was playing a joke on him.

So, dad chatted politely for a couple of minutes, then said abruptly, "Well, I've gotta go."

And he HUNG UP!

On GUY LAFLEUR! HIS IDOL!


He only found out later, much to his surprise and absolute DISMAY, it really was Guy Lafleur on the phone!

When mom got home he told her about the phone call and she said "Uh...Jim... that really WAS Guy Lafleur. Kimberly arranged that phone call as a surprise present for you".

Poor Dad!

It's not often I've seen him REALLY disappointed, but that was definitely one of those times.

I tried to get in touch with the PR lady again, to explain what happened, but being Christmas and all, I didn't have any luck.

Even though the surprise sort of backfired on me, I know he was still proud to have received that phone call ... despite the fact that he didn't realize at the time that he really was talking to his longtime idol.

It was always his first reply when asked that year "so what did you get for xmas? lol

But more importantly, I know that he was proud of me, for making the extra effort to try give him something memorable, and for making what turned out to be his last Christmas, a pretty cool one.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

And careful how you answer the phone this season, it could be someone you least expect on the other end of the line ... in a good way ... not in an overdue bill collector way! ;-)

K.


P.S. The ex told me the other day, that my father in law will apparently be doing an interview with Guy Lafleur sometime in the near future.

He plans on bringing up this story during the interview. If he does, I'll be sure to post an update on what Mr. Lafleur thought of that phone call, where some guy he was giving a 'special phone call' to, decided to hang up on him!

Oops, sorry about that, Mr Lafleur!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Flash Mob Mania!

Despite the fact they've been around since 2003, Flash Mobs (or flashmobs, or flash-mobs) are suddenly taking the world by storm.

For those of you not familiar with the term Flash Mob, let me explain.

Wikipedia defines flash mob as “a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual action for a brief time, then quickly disperse. The term flash mob is generally applied only to gatherings organized via telecommunications, social media, or viral emails."

Taken from Flash Mob Wikipedia

We've all been sent a link through email, or over Facebook, that brings up a YouTube video of the latest Flash Mob occurrence. And we all have our favourites.

Well, those of us that LIKE watching Flash Mobs do, anyway.

Last April, I posted about a FM instance at a Farmer's Market in nearby Truro, NS.

It was FANTASTIC! I LOVED it.

Most recently, the city of Halifax joined in the Flash Mob Mania, by organizing an event in the food court of a busy shopping centre.

The Bust A Move initiative was the kick off event to raise awareness and money for a new mammography machine for the local hospital.

You can read more about it HERE.

There are quite a few of these Flash Mob videos out there.

But if I were to pick my all time favourite, it would have to be the one filmed at the train station in Belgium.

Approx. 200 dancers bring Central Station in Antwerp, Belgium to a standstill, during their spontaneous performance to The Sound Of Music's 'Do Re Mi'.

If you haven't seen this yet, WATCH IT.

NOW.

No, I mean, it, right now.

I'll wait.




Isn't that absolutely AWESOME?

Well, I thought so.

Then, there is the all time largest flash mob gathering ever.

Oprah Winfrey's 24Th season kickoff features the Black Eyed Peas, and approx 21,000 dancers who went from 'still as statues' to one big dancing organism.

Although there is some debate as to whether or not it's considered an 'official' Flash Mob, it's still pretty cool.

To see all those people, moving as one, regardless how it all came together, is impressive.

If you haven't seen THAT one yet, you can find it HERE.

I love that chick in front, at the very beginning, who's the only one just givin' 'er!

And I know the minute my mom sees her in this video, she'll be thinking, 'Yup, that could be my daughter, right there.' ;-)

There have also been a number of Flash Mob 'spinoff's', if you will.

I have included one that I thought was creative. And the kids look like they're having a blast.

It's from Fallston High School - Homecoming 2009.

It starts off slow, but be patient, because once they get going ... WHOA!!!

And check out that coach who's leading the cheerleaders.

Is she gettin' into it or WHAT?!?! ;-)




And then, there's what definitely is NOT a Flash Mob, but a tribute to the same Black Eyed Peas song, and known as a 'LipDub'.

This is a video made by 172 students at l'Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

It was done in ONE take.

One continuous, almost flawless (except for the random chick going up the escalator at 1:33-34 lol!), shoot.

They did an AMAZING job!

Congrats to all those who participated in this! It turned out GREAT!

If you haven't seen this one, WATCH! ENJOY!




If this is your first introduction to Flash Mob Mania, and want to see more, simply search 'flash mob' on YouTube, and voila.

If you can't stand these videos, sorry, I don't expect all my interests to be shared by everyone, but guaranteed, there will be at least ONE of you, forwarding one of the links above to a friend.

And possibly MORE than one, walking away singing, 'I got a feelin', that tonight's gonna be a good night ...'

Yeah, sorry 'bout that one too. But serves ya right for reading this first thing in the morning at the office.

Now, it's going to be in your head allll day ;-p

K.

Monday, December 7, 2009

When Doing The Right Thing Sometimes Feels Wrong

I had another interesting adventure tonight.

They seem to follow me, those adventures.


I've been robbed before. Twice.

My apartment was broken into many years ago, and my purse was stolen out of my car only a few years ago.

But I've never actually SEEN anyone attempt to commit a robbery right in front of me.

Until tonight.

That was a first.


After dinner, I dropped the boys off at basketball practice, and headed out to the MomStore.

AKA, Wal-mart.

Gotta love Wal-mart.

And I mean that both on a sincere and a sarcastic level. For so many reasons.


Tonight was relatively painless.

In and out in about 20 min.

As I was walking towards the OUT door, I noticed two things at the same time.

First, was the woman to my right, who was also leaving the store, but pushing her cart towards the IN door.

In a split second, I took in the fact she had a CARTLOAD of stuff, and she was walking with purpose towards that door.

And boxes. I saw lots of boxes. No idea what was in them. But the subconscious immediately registered 'big ticket' items.

I looked at her for no more than a couple of seconds before focusing more closely on the person to my left.

The 'Wal-mart Greeter, and 'Let me check your receipt cause you have a box in your cart that isn't in a bag' person.

Now, I don't know who mans this post in YOUR Wal-mart, but in this particular store, on this particular evening, it was a 'little old lady' type.

With a limp.

I don't say that to be mean, but it's sort of part of the story.


I have seen this woman working there many times.

She was in conversation with a couple of teenage boys as I walked by.

The 'cart full of boxes' woman (from here on known as Cart lady), was walking much faster, and had already reached the door, and was halfway through it before the 'YOU'VE STOLEN SOMETHING!' alarm went off.

Right away, the Wal-mart greeter lady (from here on known as WG lady), went after her. Calling out to her 'Excuse Me'.

Three times she called after her.

Getting louder each time, when by the third, she was SCREAMING across the entrances.

EVERYONE could hear her.

Except Cart lady. She just kept on going. Didn't look back once.

I lost sight of them for a second when the two teenagers the WG lady had been talking to stepped in front of me, and began going after her, and calling after her.

****SIDE NOTE****
Personally, I thought that was a little strange in itself. What could be so important, that they would have to chase after the WG lady, when SHE'S chasing after a potential thief?

So, when I finally got out the door, there was WG lady, holding onto either the cart, or the Cart lady herself, I'm not sure.

What I AM sure of, was the conversation.

WG lady was asking for the receipt, and Cart lady was saying she didn't have time to produce it because her cab was waiting.

Excuse me?

Your cab is waiting?

You're two seconds away from being accused of stealing by pissed off WG lady, who had to limp after you, chasing you down because you completely ignored the warning bells and her screams, and you won't produce the receipt because your cab is waiting?

WTF?!?!?!

Obviously I wasn't the only one who thought that was a lame excuse, as the WG lady was beginning to lose it.

God love 'er, she just kept repeating, 'I need to see your receipt!'

Unfortunately, Cart lady was determined to leave, and WG lady was giving off the 'over my dead body!' vibe.

All of a sudden, Cart lady starts grabbing boxes off the top of the cart pile, and yells 'I'm taking my stuff!'

WG lady tries to take the box back and yells into the crowd, 'Get security!'

This is the moment my brain officially split in two.

One side said, STAY!

The other said, GO - FAST!

I went.

I had no idea where to find 'Security' in Wal-mart, so I made a very gender biased decision, and walked to the two closest guys wearing red Wal-mart shirts.

I told them, 'The Wal-mart lady at the front door needs your help. I think someone may be trying to walk off with a cartload of stuff. She asked for security.'

And honest to god, I got the look.

The one where they first stare at me, then look at each other, then back at me with a 'Um. Security? Um. You want US to do something?' look.

I simply said, 'She needs HELP!' and walked back towards the entrance.

By the time I got back outside (after stopping to say a quick 'Hi' and 'Gotta love Wal-mart') to a neighbour who had seen me (and another person) asking for security) the Cart lady was gone.

The WG lady was about five cars down into the parking lot, with a couple of Wal-mart employees.

She had the cart.

It looked to contain LESS than it did a few minutes before, but there was still quite a bit in it.

Cart lady was nowhere in sight. And WG lady looked PISSED.

I walked over to her and started to say that IF there had been an incident, and they needed anyone who had seen anything, that I had been directly behind them.

I'm not quite sure how much of that thought I actually got out, before she simply walked by me and gave me the hand.

Yup, got the hand, People.

Oh yeah, she was pissed.

So, I left it at that, shook my head, and walked across the parking lot to my car.


On the drive home, I replayed the incident through the brain, and once again thought of that moment where WG lady yelled for someone to get security.

I knew going to get help was the right thing to do, but I also wanted to stay there, in case Cart lady did anything to WG lady.

I don't mean 'did anything' in a 'stab her in the parking lot' kind of way. I just mean that Cart lady was adamant she was leaving - with her stuff. WG lady was just as adamant she was staying.

I was afraid Cart lady might push her down in her attempt to get away, and that's not something you want to see happen to a little old lady who is already sporting a limp.

It was one of those moments where you think, 'Nothing will happen to her', but the minute you walk away to get help, you think 'But what if something happens to her?'

One of those moments when doing the right thing sometimes feels wrong.

And then thinking, she must have gone after her through the parking lot. Could I have done anything to help stop her?

Did she get away with anything? (After seeing the before and after of the cart, my personal guess would be, yes). Could I have helped in stopping her from taking anything if I had stayed? I was 'right there'.

Who knows?

Personally, although I agree with employing people of 'retirement age' as a greeter, I don't agree with them having to chase down potential thieves.

If Wal-mart is going to offer 'security', then post someone at the front entrance/exit, where people with balls the size the their shopping carts will attempt to walk right on out.

Ahhhh Wal-mart. Gotta luv ya!

And there you have it, another one of those 'interesting adventures', and opinions, from the Korner ;-)

K.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bikinis, Doggies And Thongs ... OH MY!

OK, let me state upfront, this is NOT a post for men.

Sorry.

You males just aren’t going to find anything of interest here.

So you, you, and yes … you … hiding way back in the korner, you may all leave.

If you so choose, feel free to forward this post on to the women in your life, and if they find it of interest, they will inform you if and when they need such product that I’ve chosen to review and share with everyone here.

Yes, this is a product review.


For the Always Thin Flexi-Style® pantyliner.






THIN!




VERY thin! I took one out of the box, and though 'WOW, that's thin.' THEN realized I actually had three of them pressed together. Yeah. Thin.



As I said, gentlemen, you may leave.



Now, for you ladies (and that one man who stayed out of confusion, and the other dude, out of defiance because I asked him to leave), let’s discuss that dreaded monthly period, the protection we use and the underwear it resides in.

Shall we?

OK, so now that I’m fairly confident after that spiel, I will no longer be discussing my period, or exposing my underwear to my male co-workers, or my son’s friends, I can tell you I was only half joking.


A little while ago, I was asked to review the new Always Thin Flexi-Style® liners.

My first thought was ‘Ew. No.’

As I continued reading through the email, the offer became a bit more interesting.

What makes this NEW liner so ‘special’ is that you are able to mold it to any style of underwear you might be wearing at the time.


Bikini, sport, thong … one size fits all.




The Always® people believe so strongly in their new Thin Flexi-style liner, that they were also willing to send me a $10 gift card, to purchase ANY pair of underwear I wanted, to prove their point.


Well now.

New undies.

Ten bucks could get mama a cute pair of undies depending on where the card was from …

So, me being me, I told the marketing rep ‘Sure, send them along.’

CRAP!

NOW, I have to try and figure out how to bare my underwear to the world, in such a way that my mother will still be able to go out in public and will still admit to being my mother ;-).

Sigh.

Here we go …


So, the liner advertises that it will basically mold itself to any pair of undies.


I put it to the test.

It just so happened that on the day the package arrived, a Thursday, so did the exact reason I would need it for. Three days early.

Perfect timing.

Although my drawer is filled with Granny Panties for just this time of the month …

… instead, I happened to be wearing what every girl’s got in her drawer. The more stylish of the Grannie Panty family, the tried and true plain white cotton, bikini cut.

Now here’s the funny thing. Not long before I received the package, I was telling my co-worker about it, and said La Senza, here I come baby!’, having no idea where the gift card may be coming from.

I just happen to like La Senza .

A lot.

And what do you think was on that card I hauled out of my little package?

Oh yeah!

La Senza, Baby!

When I got home after work, and later that evening, I had determined that:

Day 1 of Always Thin Test - Bikini StylePASSED



Fast forward to Sunday.

This would be day two of the Always Thin TestDoggie Style

Yes, you know that underwear.

The ones your mom still gets you every Christmas. Or just when she thinks you might be in need of white and pink polka dot underwear with little purple doggies on them.


Yeah. Those.

You’ve got them buried in your drawer. I know you do.


And you! You men who insisted on lurking around.

I WARNED YOU!

Gave you ample opportunity to leave.

Hell, what do I know, maybe you have them buried in YOUR drawer too.



I wasn’t initially planning on Sunday being day two of the test.

I mean come on, People, you’ve SEEN the size of those things!

I know the Always® people have faith in them, but they’re not the ones who would be sitting at a basketball game and then underwear shopping for the afternoon.

Unfortunately, when I stuck my hand in an empty tampon box, I realized I had no choice.

Day two it was.

And ya know what?

Day 2 of the Always Thin TestDoggie StylePASSED


NOW came the REAL test.

I had played it relatively safe so far.

The bikini style hadn’t required much fitting. The purple puppies required a bit of folding given the smaller area to work with.

But now, it was time to break out ...




… the thong.

You want a test? I’ll give it a test!

In honour of the holidays, I chose what I thought was a ‘festive’ pair ;-)

Merry Christmas to me. Courtesy of Always®.

Final result, Day 3 of the Always Thin TestThong StylePASSED

I must admit, I was impressed. The product did what it was supposed to, when it was supposed to, and in a variety of ways … as it was supposed to.

What can I say?

Bikinis, Doggies And Thongs ... OH MY!

Thank you Always®, for giving me the opportunity to try your new product, AND for the new pair of festive undies!

Now, for all you faithful male readers who hung around, I’m not sure if I should be flattered or disturbed.

But I figure you’ll now be scarred for life, with the image of my Granny Panties in your brain.

Just remember, we only keep THOSE types of underwear for certain times of the month.

And for every pair of these




that you’ll find in my drawer, you’ll also find a few pair of these …


And if that wasn’t enough to wipe away this entire post from your brain, did you know that in that same drawer, next to those same Granny Panties for those awful days, there’s something like THIS lying next to it.




For those many more good days ;-)

Sorry Always® people, no place for a liner anywhere under there!

And sorry Mom, for this entire post.

On the bright side, it’s one less pair of underwear you have to buy me this Christmas!


K.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You Want A WHAT For Christmas?

Christmas is right around the corner.

I don't want to think about it.

I'm not ready, and worried about being ready when the time comes.

Regardless of my state of readiness, it's coming.



A few weeks ago, Adam informed me of something that was on his Wish List.

It wasn't exactly what I was expecting.

'MOM! You've GOT to come here and SEE this!'

I knew he was watching TV, and given the time of night, I figured he was watching a particular show.

Oh it was a show alright, but again, it wasn't what I was expecting.



There was my 9yr old son, watching the infomercial for the Magic Bullet!

Alright! ALRIGHT! Get your minds out of the gutter! Not THAT type of magic bullet!


The Magic Bullet that, according to the website, 'saves you time because it does almost any job in the kitchen in 10 seconds or less!'

They make breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and desserts in that thing.

And there was Adam, GLUED to the TV ... fascinated.


As soon as I walked in the room, he said 'I want a Magic Bullet for Christmas!'

Having not yet seen what he was watching, I shot back a, 'You want a WHAT for Christmas?'


'LOOK what Mick & Mimi can do with it, Mom! WE could make those too! And it's ONLY three payments of $33.33!'

OK, I wasn't expecting THAT one!

Now, here's the scary part ... with each segment, he knew exactly what they were going to make, how to make it, whether to slice or dice, and was repeating parts of the dialogue along with them.

Aw, man, HE'D WATCHED THIS BEFORE!

My kid is hooked on the magic bullet.

He now watches it, if he can catch it during what little time he watches TV.

He brings it up every few days. 'Can we get a magic bullet, Mom?'

And a few days later, out of the blue, 'Just think of all the things I could make with it.'

Notice he said 'I', not 'you'.

Yeah, he's his father's son. Always in the kitchen, and seriously wants a cooking appliance for Christmas.

Go figure.



My mother was visiting over the weekend. He sat her down to watch the infomercial. He REALLY wants that Bullet!

On Sunday, she made omelets for breakfast.

Adam was helping her.

As she was preparing the ingredients, he looks up at her, batting those baby blues and says;

'Ya know Grammy, if we had a Magic Bullet we could make this in only 6 seconds.'

And a couple of seconds later, 'You know, with the Magic Bullet, this would be done.'


Damn you Mick and Mimi and your Magic omelets, muffins and slushies that come in their own cups with different coloured tops!

Just damn you.

And your three easy payments.



Nope, never thought I'd hear one of my kids ask for a Magic Bullet for Christmas, (a SNUGGIE maybe).



But if it had to be a magic bullet, I'm glad it was the blender, and not ...

... the other one.



If you'd like to see firsthand, the Magic that is, The Bullet, you can find Mick and Mimi here:








This is Part I. If you really want to see more of the Magic, you can find Part II HERE.



So of course after I saw the videos, I read the comments.

Not everyone is happy with the Magic of their bullet.

Since there's also a huge shipping fee on top of the three easy payments, I thought I'd run it by Adam that maybe the Bullet wasn't such a great idea.



However, when I brought it up to him with a, 'Ya know, Bud, some people weren't happy with their MB.'

He simply looked at me, seriously, and replied, 'Well, if we're not happy, then we'll use the 30 day money back guarantee, won't we?'




Seriously.



My kid.





Please Note: This was NOT a solicited review for the Magic Bullet product. Simply one boy's fascination that needed to be shared.

With his approval of course ;-)


K.


P.S. Oh and Santa, please feel free to bring Mama the other magic bullet for Christmas. It's been a long five years. Thanks. Smooches!



*************************************



UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE


**********************************************

Seeing as so many people have made it over to this post, I HAD to come back and let you know if Adam opened a Magic Bullet on Christmas morning.

YEAH BABY!

And yes, he made omelettes ... in his Bullet, for breakfast ;-)

Mick and Mimi would have been SO proud!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Fascination With James Bulger, And His Killers

A year ago today, I wrote a post.

It was about little James (Jamey) Bulger. Or more specifically, 'whatever happened to his killers?'

I had NO idea at the time, the amount of traffic that one post would drive to my site.

It has both shocked, and saddened me. According to Google Analytics, this post has been viewed 5,265 times since it's appearance.

It has, beyond a doubt, generated the most hits, and comments on my blog.

I'm not sure how I feel about that.



Most of the hits have resulted from Google searches.

The most popular, being some version of 'James (Jamey) Bulger's Killers' followed closely by 'James (Jamey) Bulger's Killers, Where Are They Now?'

Fifteen years later, and all these people are still wondering what happened, and where these (now) men are living.

Why?

Why is it, that EVERY SINGLE DAY someone does a search on Jamie Bulger and the boys who tortured him?

That was the question that went through my head, every time I saw the page had been viewed.



Then, about a month after it was up, the hits on that post started climbing towards the end of the day.

And climbing FAST!

By the end of the viewing frenzy, it had been looked at 750 times in 12 hours. And 99% of the hits were from the UK.

What the heck was up with that?

I went to the analytics site, to see where everyone had come from.

ALL google searches.

I could understand if someone had 'stumbled' or 'dugg' the post, but all the visits were because people had done a search on Jamie. Or his killers.

WOW.

That surprised me.

Over time, I got curious, and ran my own 'Whatever happened to James Bulger's killers' search in Google.

The scary thing is, it came back with 24,000 results.

And there I was, in the top three.





Now, usually I'd be happy to be in top three anything!

But this ...?


A few months later, there was another spike.

This time, I had come to the conclusion that the surge in hits was caused by one of two things.

Either there had been some sort of 'special' aired on TV about the crime, or the case had now become homework for university/law/crimiology students, and they had just been given their assignment.

A few weeks ago, one of my theories was confirmed.

I received an email from a guy in the UK, who had just watched a show on the Bulger killing on TV. He then went off on a Google search, and found me.

(And took the time to write. Which is always nice BTW. Getting a 'hi, like your site!' email from strangers. Now matter HOW they got there!)

So that explains the days with super hits.


But what about the others?

What fascination, curiousity or requirement is bringing people to this post daily?

And what are they leaving with?

Compassion? Rage? Nothing?

Judging by the comments, it's still clearly an emotional issue.

Both the post, and comments have brought about heated opinions on the matter.

And right or wrong, people have very strong feelings on how these men should be allowed to lead the rest of their lives.

Keeping in mind, they were already judged. 15 yrs ago.


Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

That's why I've published all comments left on the blog.

All comments, with one exception.


Yesterday, I finally added an update to the original post.

I'm actually a little creeped out that it had to be done at all.

I've asked that readers stop sending me what they think are the new identities, and whereabouts, of Robert Thompson and Jon Venables.

I will NOT publish this information.

Yes, I think what they did was absolutely horrible. Reprehensible.

But what happens if I were to approve a comment that says 'Robert/Jon's NEW name is Oscar the Grouch, and he now lives at 123 Sesame Street! First trash can on the left ... you can't miss it!'

Would the people who have commented, who continue to hate these men, and believe they should be tortured/killed for their sins, would they and their friends suddenly show up on Sesame Street, trashing that first can on the left?

And what about the poor Bird who lives next door? What if he gets caught in the crossfire?


Seriously though.

There have been some pretty hateful comments left on the original post.

I am NOT going to be responsible for pointing the finger at people who may, or may NOT be who someone thinks they are.


And just because my mind works in the strange ways it does, another thought ran through it ...

What if there was some sick, vindictive person who was pissed off at someone, who was absolutely NOT Robert Thompson or Jon Venables ... but accused them anyway, for reasons that would only benefit the accuser?

Too many Criminal Minds episodes? Perhaps.


Any way you look at it, innocent people could get hurt by flinging names randomly out into the Internet universe.

If you think you know who and where they are, and feel you need to ABSOLUTELY do something about it? Send the info to the local police, (which I'm sure they already have), and then knowing that the proper authorities (now) know, and will be watchful, should be enough to ease that conscience of yours.

Don't send me your info.

I don't want it.


After a year, that post now generates anywhere from 300- 400 hits a month.

And sometimes, it still spikes to almost 500 hits a day.

For whatever reason, there is still a fascination with James Bulger, and his killers.

Was it because of the nature of the crime? That it was committed by children.

Who knows.

For whatever reason, people are still wondering Whatever Happened To James Bulger's Killers?

But, for Robert and Jon's sakes, I hope they never find out.

K.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

H1N1 Ain't Been No Fun! - The H1N1 Series - Part II

Sorry it's taken so long to follow up on the last post.

I'm sure when you saw 'series' you didn't think it was a WEEKLY series! ;-)

I haven't been in the frame of mind to blog.

Period.

Too much real life to deal with. Good and bad.

'Nuff said.


So, if you're just joining us, the boys and I have NOT had our H1N1 virus shot.

If you're interested in reading my thoughts on this, feel free to check out the first part of this series; NO Shot For YOU! The H1N1 Series - Part I

All caught up?

Alrighty then!

So you know that while the boys and I were waiting to be eligible for the vaccine, we got the flu.

Of course.


It all started when I went to Alec's basketball game on Sunday (couple of weeks ago now).

They were with their father that weekend, but being the first game of the season, I wasn't about to miss it.

During the game, I noticed he was dragging his ass.

I chalked it up to the fact he had been to a Halloween Party the night before from 5-11pm.

I figured the trick or treating and late night had done him in.

When I picked him up from his dad's after dinner, he had just woken up with a headache, and was warm.

Again, figured the trick or treating and late night were taking it's toll.


Took his temp when we got home ... fever. I gave him Advil, and he went to bed.

Next morning, the fever was down, and he seemed fine so I sent him off to school.

By 3:30 when he got home, the fever was up over 100, and all the other symptoms had kicked in.

He stayed home the next day.


When Adam came home from school on Tuesday, he complained of being tired and had a headache.

The fever hit the next morning.

No school for you! Quarantine!


And me? When I went to bed on Tuesday night, I went with the intention of going to work the next morning (if Adam was able to go to school).

Instead?

I woke up with with the freakin' flu!

Full fledged, kicked in, you're not getting your ass out of this bed, flu.


Was I surprised I got it, after Alec started showing signs?

Nope.

You're talking to the girl who's had the double lung surgery, now has 15% less lungs and was diagnosed with COPD awhile back. Immune system less than 100%.

Oh, there's a respiratory pandemic going around?

Yeah, let me just move myself on over so you can come right on in Mr Flu.

Ya little bastard!



For three days my children were basically orphaned.

I COULD. NOT. MOVE.

Thankfully (?) since they weren't feeling well either, and spent most of THEIR time in bed, they weren't very demanding.

Oh ... it's morning? Breakfast? Milk in the fridge, cereal in the cupboard or waffles in the freezer.

Help yourself.

Body crashes back into fetal position.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Lunch? Already?

Last night's leftovers in the fridge.

Help yourself.

Body CRASH!

It was crazy!

I DID however crawl out to make them dinner.

I had to. The 'guilty mom's' were setting in.

Not that they ate alot. Due to that old 'loss of appetite' symptom.

Me? I didn't eat for three days.

Had a clementine on the third day.


Thursday was spent in much of the same way.

A complete flu-induced HAZE.

Friday? Same.

A few days later, I had to ask Alec what I'd made for dinner on Thursday night.

For the life of me, I couldn't remember.



The flu hit us.

Hard.

Alec and I hardest, and Adam with only a few symptoms.

We spent from Wed - Sun at home (Alec Tues-Sun) and four of those days were quarantined in the house.

We stayed away from everything. Work, school, basketball, etc.

We couldn't have gone anywhere if we'd wanted to anyway.


By the weekend, I had no choice. I HAD to get out and get groceries.

I was out of milk, bread, juice, eggs, etc. All the 'staples'.

And ... I hadn't had a coffee in FOUR DAYS, People!!!!! FOUR DAYS!!!!!

I was seriously jonesin' for a Tim's by then!


When I got to the store, I went straight to the pharmacy and asked if they had any masks.

They didn't.

Which surprised me.

So, I kept my head down, mouth shut, avoided all contact, got my stuff in under 5 min and got out.


I had spoken to the Dr.

I KNEW the diagnoses.

I know the H1N1 symptoms, process, rules, and spiel like a mantra.

If you have a confirmed case do this. If you have an unconfirmed case, but are presenting symptoms, do the same thing.

If you're around someone who is presenting symptoms, but you are fine, go out, live your life as usual.


I spoke to the Clinic when Alec first showed many of the symptoms on Monday night.

Diagnosis? STAY HOME!

I spoke to the Dr again once I started showing them on Wed.

The advice was the same.

Basically, there is ONE flu going around, if you have the identified symptoms, you have it. Stay home. Stay away from people. Treat the fever, headache and cough. Rest.

Period.

And you know what?

Your body doesn't give you a choice anyway.


So here's my take on this flu, and the whole experience.

  • * When it hits, it hits HARD and FAST.
  • * Don't bother trying to get out of bed, no ... really ... just STAY there.
  • * No, that is not a knitting needle poking through your eye and into your brain, it's simply a flu-induced headache, that should be gone in a few days ... really.
  • * You did not walk in your sleep and throw your body off a cliff. Those aches and pains? Yeah, thank the virus that's roaming around on your insides.
  • * Food? Uhhhh ... no.
  • * Cough? Nasty until it's under control.
  • * Chills, fever. Yup, yup.
  • * And if you have to deal with employers who require notes after 2-3 days ... god help you! Cause you're NOT making it out of the house to get that note!

Nope, H1N1 ain't been no fun!

But there IS an up side to this virus!

Come on, People, you know me! I HAVE to find a freakin' up side to this!

No stomach issues!

Which is a huge WooHoo for people like me who HATE puking with an almighty passion.


And there's another positive to consider.

We've been through it, and recovered, vaccine free.

Our bodies have now (hopefully) begun to build up a natural immunity to it, and this one bout will be the ONLY one ... this year.



There will be NO Part III to the H1N1 Series

When I originally had the idea for this 'H1N1 series', I had three things in particular I wanted to talk about.

The vaccine, actually having this H1N1 and the policies around being absent from work during the pandemic.

I have decided not to include the third post.

The reason I originally wanted to vent about it is no longer an issue.

With help, policy was changed, and people were looked at individually.

I will simply say this; All organizations need to take the seriousness of this pandemic into consideration, when advising their employees on 'sick time policy'.

Bottom line?

Realistically?

People who have come down with this little beast, are simply NOT able to get to the doctor's office on day 2-3. And some, maybe longer!

And do any of us REALLY want to be dragging our sick selves, and sick families down there, to expose and infect others?

Um ... NO!

In this particular case, with this particular flu, common sense needs to be put before 'policy'.

And that's all I have to say about that.


Stay healthy everyone!

K.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

NO Shot For YOU! The H1N1 Series - Part I

We've been sick here.

All of us. To varying degrees.

I wasn't going to post on H1N1.

Simply because I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole vaccine, panic, people and policy thing(s).

I didn't really want to jump on any one bandwagon, and instigate a bunch of debates I really don't want to publicly instigate.

But ya know what?

Now that we've been through the week from flu hell, and are all on the mend, I've decided there are a few things I DO want to share.


Before I jump into 'our story', let me get a few things out there.

The Vaccine

I'm still not sure, 100% positive in my heart, that it won't leave long term effects in some, or many.

There is SO much information out there. And no, I'm not talking obviously bogus or the 'listen to me, I'm a nutjob' YouTube videos.

Real conflicting information.

And after reading so much, because ... you know, you have to be knowledgeable about the things you're going to put into your body, I'm still not convinced they know enough about it, and how much of a benefit it's really providing.

How many people do you know who have gotten 'the shot' and still ended up sick?

What long term effects will it have?


We're always so quick to jump on the latest 'miracle wonder' that will help us in whatever way.

You know what I keep thinking about?

When pregnant women were given the SAFE drug, Thalidomide (a harmless sedative for expectant mothers) in the 50's & 60's.

Oh sure, it was safe.

And HOW MANY children were born with birth defects because of it?



OK, so I'm comparing apples to oranges.

But bottom line is, we're all lining up to put something into our bodies, that hasn't been through a proper human trial.


Oh ... wait ... that's what THIS is ... isn't' it?


The High Risk List

Regardless, the decision whether or not to have the boys and I vaccinated was taken away from me, because we did not fit the requirement for the High Risk Category.

Meaning, NO Shot For YOU!

"Public health officials say there are only enough vaccines for people in four groups: pregnant women, First Nation communities, health-care workers and children between ages six months and 59 months."

Taken from the following article: Halifax-area H1N1 clinics open to high-risk groups

So, although there were those who instantly made to the decision to vaccinate, and stood in lineups lasting up to SEVEN hours!, since we couldn't get it anyway, I decided to stop worrying about THAT one, until the time came to open it up to the rest of us.


Given the vaccine shortage, I completely understand why this has to be done on a priority basis, and I agree with putting children, pregnant women and health care workers in high priority.

I do however, think that list should have been opened up to children 6-18 with pre-existing respiratory health conditions.

And I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say some are questioning whether or not it was 'fair' to have the First Nation people receiving their vaccines first.


Here's the issue.

Yes, First Nations on reserves were hit hard during the first wave of H1N1 last spring.

And the shortage of medical supplies must be an ongoing issue, not just H1N1 related.

That I can understand too.

But one person I spoke with about it made, what I thought, a good point; "If the general population outside of first nation reservations are expected to be responsible citizens, and take all precautions NOT to sick while waiting for the vaccine, why shouldn't they be expected to act responsibly also?"

And what about members off reserves?

If they're not living in 'high risk' areas, would they have been eligible for the first round of vaccine also?


I've never considered myself racist.

It wouldn't matter which 'group' we're talking about. I simply think that if a group of individuals can't take responsibility for their community, keeping in mind they choose to continue to live where they live, why should the rest of the general population suffer for it?

And by general population in this circumstance, I'm talking the kids only.

Kids over the 'high risk cutoff age' that have health issues, and could have really used that shot.

But that's enough about that.



Prisoners are priority?

OK, so here's the thing that REALLY pissed me off about the whole high risk priority list ... something that public health officials didn't mention ...

What about the ... the ... INMATES who are getting the vaccine before the rest of the community's children?

That's one I just don't understand!

The argument is that the inmates are in confined spaces and therefore susceptible to getting sick.

N.S. swine flu vaccine for high-risk groups only

But it wasn't only in Nova Scotia!

B.C. inmates to receive flu vaccine before prison staff

PEI - Inmates get H1N1 vaccine, children told to wait

(Thanks Michelle for the links!)


Um ... has anyone walked into a Primary classroom lately? Or sat on a school bus? Or been in a busy cafeteria line?

That goes for you grown ups too.

Do some of you not take the bus? Sit inches away from others in cubes?



Let's take a good look at this.

These inmates are ... ahem ... adults.

If they value their lives, they're going to wash their hands and take the other advised precautions to avoid getting sick.

Kids?

They just don't get the seriousness of germs and illness.

While in THEIR confined spaces, they're all sharing stuff, and touchy feely, and leaving their slimy boogers where you least expect.

When not getting a big kick out of wiping them on others.

Just cause.

Like I said. Just don't get it.


So, while the boys and I were waiting to be eligible for the vaccine, we got the flu.

Of course.


It all started when ...

Actually, we'll save all that for next time.

Be sure to come back for H1N1 Ain't Been Fun! The H1N1 Series Part II


Stay well everyone!

And make informed decisions.

'nuff said.

For more information on the H1N1 vaccine, see the Public Health Agency of Canada website


K.

Monday, October 26, 2009

So I Open The Door, And There's The Police ...

Not long ago, I wrote a post about the choices kids make.

The good, and bad.

At the time, one of my kids had made a good choice.

Last night, the other one made one that wasn't so good.


Boys were downstairs with a friend.

I was upstairs in the bathroom.

Suddenly, the phone started making this strange ring.

I thought it was the boys, messing around with the phone, so I yelled down from the top of the stairs for them to stop.

They said they weren't the cause of it.

I found the phone, answered and heard something along the lines of;

'This is 911, someone from this number just called the emergency line.'

My jaw dropped.

He'd done it!

He'd actually done it!


Through gritted teeth, I answered, 'Oh REALLY!?!', as I immediately headed for the basement.

I told the 911 operator that I assumed it had been my 9 yr old son who had made the call, as I looked at Adam and asked, 'WHY did you call 911?!'

'I didn't MEAN to!', came the wail from my boy, who KNEW at that moment he had done wrong ... BIG TIME!

Lines were crossed. Boundaries demolished.

I was pissed.

The 911 operator heard it in my voice too. I know she did.

You can't hide that kind of pissed.

I just couldn't believe, that after all the times he'd 'threatened' to call 911, because although it wasn't an emergency, for whatever reason, he felt he was being treated unjustly, because I'd said no, or stop, or wouldn't do or give or ... whatever it was he wanted at that moment.

Or if he was arguing with his brother.

We had talked about it. Many times.

Exactly what the emergency service is for, and what it's not.

And yet, after all our talks, here he'd gone and done it.

Arrraaaggghhhh! Wrong choice!


So I ask her if she'd like me to put Adam on the phone, to explain WHY he called, and she said no, that wasn't necessary, but that all 911 calls have to be followed up with a police visit, and they would be there shortly.

She also confirmed that there wasn't an actual emergency.

I clarified that it had been nothing more than a child choosing to do something he shouldn't have.

Then, I got off the phone, told Adam the police were on their way, and suggested it was time for the friend to leave.

Then, we waited.

During that time, the seriousness of what he'd done, sank in for Adam.

Regardless WHAT the police said, he already knew he was in trouble as far as I was concerned.

He was extremely upset, nervous, and despite reassurances from Alec and I, was convinced the police were going to take him with them.


About 20min later, the headlights turned up the driveway.

Alec, not about to miss out on THIS, shouts from his window perch, 'There's TWO of them!'

So, I open the door, and there's the police ...


I invited them in, asked Alec to leave the room with the dog, and asked Adam to come down off the stairs, and into the room, and speak to the officers.

He reluctantly explained what had happened.

He had dialed, and hung up immediately, thinking that someone would have to answer before the call would go through.

He was wrong.

The police were very understanding.

They asked him a few questions, we chatted a bit, and they shared that the call they had before ours, was for the exact same reason.

I think that was an attempt to make BOTH of us feel better lol.

They also had a serious discussion with Adam about the importance of understanding the rules and use of the 911 system. And that what he did was wrong, but he wasn't in trouble.

He apologized.

I also shared how, 'I'm going to call 911' has sometimes been used as a threat.

They had a serious discussion with him about that as well.


I thanked them for that, and said I hoped hearing it from someone OTHER than his mother would now make it real.

I also thanked them for coming, and having the talk that they did.

Adam thanked them for not taking him away.


After they left, I told Adam I hoped he'd learned his lesson.

And that if he EVER thought of doing that again, when there wasn't an emergency, that he'd better think twice, because now, HE was in their SYSTEM, and maybe next time, he wouldn't be so lucky, and he WOULD end up leaving with them.

Yeah.

Tough Love. I'm all over it.

K.