Tuesday, December 25, 2007

No Secret Santa gift yet...

Honest, Secret Santa, despite my potty mouth and potty keyboard on this and other blogs, I really HAVE been a good boy all year.
But here I am, two days after Secret Santa Day, and what have I got? Big, fat ZILCH.
Maybe you went down the wrong email chimney. Mine is the one at mcintyre_bob@hotmail.com . So lay it on me, Big Guy!

Love and hugs,
Newsguy Bob

P.S. Please hug Mrs. Secret Santa and the Secret Reindeer for me, even that arrogant "My nose glows" Secret Rudolph and Secret Bruno, the brown-nosed Secret Reindeer (for anyone who doesn't know, Bruno is the one right behind Rudolph. He has a hard time stopping).

Monday, December 24, 2007

R.I.P. Holly

It has been a week or so of bad news from a lot of people who work in our building. One suffered a broken back and hip in a car wreck; another is dealing with her mother having broken her hip; and yet another with his mother and older brother being severely hurt by smoke inhalation during a fire in their townhouse.

The big shocker came this morning. One of our receptionists was driving in to work from her home in Brockville, when a five-ton truck hit her little car, killing Holly. She was a long-time security guard in our building, who just moved in to the receptionist job a few months ago.

A sobering occurrence this Christmas Eve.

Rest in peace, Holly. We already miss you.

To anyone reading this, give your loved ones an extra hug today.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My annual Christmas card letter this year

Hey guys and gals…



My thanks to all those who have sent me emails this past year........



I must send my thanks to whoever sent me the one about rat sh*t in the

glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet towel with every

envelope that needs sealing.



Also, I now have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same

reason.



I no longer have any savings because I gave them to a sick girl (Penny

Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.



I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive

the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for

participating in their special e-mail program .....



OR from the senior bank clerk in Nigeria who wants me to split $7

million with me for pretending to be a long lost relative of a customer

who died intestate.



I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking

out for me, and St.Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.



I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a

water buffalo on a hot day.



Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I

forward e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five

minutes.



Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca-Cola because it can

remove toilet stains.



I no longer can buy gas without taking someone along to watch the car to

prevent a serial killer crawling into the back seat when I'm filling up.



I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a

perfume sample and rob me.



I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a

number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda,

Singapore and Uzbekistan.



Thanks to you, I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown

African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when

it bites my bum.



And thanks to your great advice, I can't even pick up the $5.00 I found

dropped in the car park because it probably was placed there by a sex

molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.



Now, if you don't forward this to at least 144,000 people in the next 70

minutes, a large seagull with diarrhoea will land on your head at 5:00pm

this afternoon and the fleas from 12 mangy camels will infest your

backside, causing you to grow a hairy lump. I know this will occur,

because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbour's

ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician.



By the way....a South American scientist, after a lengthy study, has

discovered, that people with high intellegence but low IQ who have

infrequent sexual activity, always read their e-mails with their hand on

the mouse. Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late.



Have a great 2008 and keep emailing

Love and hugs as ever,
Bob

Anyone know of anyone driving from Ottawa to Iroquois Falls in the next four days?

So how dumb am I? Okay, a rhetorical question there, but bear with me.
First, I book the flight north for Boxing Day. Then I go out Christmas shopping, sucking up to Santa and Big Retail Business by going hog wild with big presents like housecoats, sweaters, goofy slippers (no moose or Homer Simpsons, but in that realm). How the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks do I pack all that crap?
So it looks like I'll find a box big enough, and put it on the bus. Thank Gawd the strike is over, and buses are running again north of North Bay.
Where's Scotty when you need him to beam something up for you?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Okay, more Dubai photos

Welcome to my desert.
"He's got the Burj Al Arab in his hands..."

This one's for the guys. Notice how blue the water of the Arabian Gulf is?

Eating sushi at the Bamboo Lagoon in the Marriott Hotel. The first time I've ever been brave enough to eat sushi. Now I know what people mean when they say it's an acquired taste...
Have you had enough for now?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

My eyeballs hurt

Oy! It's the morning after the CTVGlobemedia Christmas party. Why is my keyboard so damned loud?

I think I saw Mr. and Mrs. Milky at the party. I think he grabbed my ass -- not that I'm complaining.

On another topic: Coffee has been sneezing a lot the last couple of days. Should I be worried? I've only been a cat owner for six days. Am I becoming an obsessive dad?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Anybody seen Urban Pedestrian?

I haven't been able to get on to her blog the past couple days.

Where you at, Urb?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

What's wrong with this picture?


Answer: It was taken in the desert. More accurately, it was taken at Arabian Ranches in Dubai.
Actually, there are a lot of Christmas decorations there, considering that the UAE is officially a Muslim country. The malls are all decked out -- and there are a lot of malls. Shopping is a national pastime in the UAE.
When I was shopping last Friday, I saw a Muslim guy dressed in a dishdash (the same thing I'm dressed in, in the Osama Bob Laden pic) buying an artificial Christmas tree and decorations to go with it. His very beautiful blonde significant other was also with him.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Camel Jockey Bob

This photo was obviously taken while I was on a desert safari in Dubai. It starts late in the afternoon with about an hour of dune bashing in Toyoto SUVs (I can't remember the name. It's not Range Rover, but something like that), ending up at a Bedouin type of camp set up in the desert, where you get to ride a camel for about 100 yards, then have a traditional dinner -- although one featured dish in the buffet was spaghetti bolognese.
I also got a henna tattoo of a scorpion, which the henna artist said is a good luck symbol for a man getting married. "With no tattoo, there is no marriage." She said the tattoo would last about a week, but after three days, it had faded away -- the same way my "Go Sens Go" henna tattoo did during the playoffs.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Osama Bob Laden

This is the first of my pics from Dubai. It was taken while I was on a desert safari last Wednesday night.

Scary, eh?

The debut of Coffee Cat

Isn't she beautiful? I adopted her today from the Ottawa Humane Society, she's 14 months old, and we've already bonded. When I'm at the computer, her favourite place is on top of my bed, which is right behind me, either just watching me or grabbing a catnap.

It's going to be nice to have some life around my apartment, other than me and my houseplants.

Wow! Talk about eventful times!

Okay, so I'm home safe and sound from Dubai, but my camera is being retarded, and I'm having a hell of a time downloading pictures.
I'm also suffering jetlag from the nine-hour time difference. I was exhausted last night, in bed by 10:15, and wide awake by 5:15. I know I will crash this evening, and hopefully, that will be the end of it.

Okay, eventful times since I got home, in reverse chronological order:

First, I am now the proud daddy of a 14-month-old female cat. I adopted her from the Ottawa Humane Society this afternoon. I'll post a pic when I can. She's all black, sleek body, with beautiful eyes. We have already bonded. Right now, she's still exploring her new home. GET THIS: Her name was and is COFFEE. I've already informed Ma Horton, and she seems pleased.

The big, momentous event: LITTLE BROTHER DAN GOT ENGAGED YESTERDAY!
He and Pretty Christine came to Ottawa for the weekend, to surprise his Mom on her birthday. Then yesterday, at Christine's folks' place in nearby Rockland, he proposed and gave her a ring. Thanks to today's snow storm, they're stranded here for a day, so we had lunch together, and Dan asked me to be his Best Man! No wedding plans are in place yet, but it will probably be somewhere in the Caribbean in the next year or so. As Dano told me last night, "Keep your sandals warmed up."

Proud of my Little Bro? Who? Me?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hi from Dubai!

Sorry, no pics yet.
My arrival was delayed by 24 hours by a freakin' snowstorm on Thursday night, that made me miss my connection to Munich. So I had to stay overnight in Toronto (yuck!) at my own expense (Air Canada doesn't pay if the delay is weather-related). But I'm here safe and sound, chuckling at the irony of a snowstorm delaying my trip to a desert.
Yesterday, I took a double-decker bus tour of this fascinating city. Tomorrow, I'm going on a sunset desert safari, complete with camels and belly dancers, but not belly-dancing camels.
My hosts are the absolute best, setting up the ideal itinerary that isn't too ambitious, but hits the high points. After all, part of vay-kay is relaxation, too.
There's a swimming pool less than a five-minute walk from here. It's not used much this time of year, because the locals find the weather too cold, at 30C daytime, low 20s at night.

I'll check in again if and when I get a chance. Meanwhile, has anyone heard from Maria?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

ow ow ow ow ow ow ow -- NOT!

So I'm back from the back-waxing and holy crap, I survived!
Nothin' to it. It really is just like getting a whole bunch of band-aids ripped off your skin. Of course, you feel it, but it's not that bad, and doesn't last long.

The benefit: My back is now as smooth as a baby's bum, just in time to wow the ladies on the beach in Dubai. And don't forget, there are more than just the head-to-toe-covered Muslim women. As my buddy Rick describes it, Dubai is a playground for the very rich British. It's their Florida.

Would I do the waxing thing again? Absolutely. What do I think of someone who wouldn't? Well, there's a five-letter word to describe them. It begins with a P and ends with an USSY.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I unintentionally made N@ pee her pants

First, for anyone who doesn't know: I cracked, and since sometime last week, I have been on facebook.
Next, I made the mistake of posting a goofy picture from high school on a facebook page about my high school. Already, my friend Doug and N@ have seen it and commented on it. They're both 15+ years younger than me, and neither of them went to Iroquois Falls Secondary School. So tighten your Depends, cuz here it is:

Doug said he would bet that the kid in the pic has a Dreamboat Annie T-shirt. I replied that I don't remember having the shirt, but I almost wore out the grooves on the Dreamboat Annie album, and now have it on CD, too.
N@ said "BWAAAAA----HAHAHAHAHAHAH PLEASE POST THIS ON YOUR BLOG! PLEASE PLEASE!!!! YOU MUST SHARE THE JOY!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE"
The T-shirt actually says "Bob McIntyre for Student Council". It was towards the end of Grade 10, it was my first campaign, and it worked. I spent the next three years on Student Council, including one as vice-president and one as president (Ontario had Grade 13 back then). I also had posters all over the school, and my buddies all wore homemade buttons that said "Vote Bob". Hey, it was 1974 -- there was no such thing as Powerpoint presentations or promotional videos. I hand-lettered the T-shirt, the posters and the badges.
Alright, let's see YOUR embarrassing high school pictures on YOUR blogs.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I work with the greatest people

As a TV news producer, I supervise whatever crew I happen to be working with at any given time. On weekends, we are a skeleton staff. The small number of people that we have to produce four 30-minute shows would shock a lot of people in television (although the last couple of years that I worked in Timmins, the late night crew consisted of the anchor and an all-in-one producer/director/switcher/audio person/tape operator).

I call them my Weekend Dream Team, and for good reason. We do a great job, and put a super product on the air every week. We also have a lot of fun. The talk in the newsroom gets very risqué, to the point that I often think I should put an end to it. But everyone participates, and no one has complained. So I remind myself that although it kicks the crap out of "the line", it hasn't crossed it. Besides, when I started my job as weekend producer last January, I decided that if we had to work weekends, we were going to have fun.

I often gush about my Weekend Dream Team and the great job we do together. That pisses some people off, but if you knew those people, you would get a chuckle out of anything that pisses them off.

As a token of appreciation and because many of us are on days off when any little celebrations are held in the newsroom, I organized a Weekend Dream Team pizza party a couple of months ago. The company paid the tab, I rounded up a few prizes -- including a pair of Senators tickets -- and everyone said how much they enjoyed it.

And then, last night, the entire team totally surprised me after our 6pm newscast with what they called "The Bob McIntyre Appreciation Dinner" -- something they wanted to do before I go to Dubai, and leave them in the hands of another producer for two weekends. They had pizza, pop, salad and other goodies.

I was humbled and honoured. Every one of my team members told me how much they appreciate working with me, how I surpass any other producer they've worked with in every way, and how they actually look forward to working weekends. I was almost speechless -- a rarity in itself.

So let me acknowledge each of these people to my blog friends. Regardless of their actual jobs, there is no snobbery. Each one realizes the contribution each makes to our work environment, and to the on-air product that we're so proud of. I have verbally thanked each and every one of them for the wonderful gesture last night. And even though none of them know of this blog, I proudly list their names: Doug, Chris (a.k.a Jonesy), Ron, Kate, Brent, Taz, Dash, Jason (a.k.a. J-Mac) and Jeni.

We all know that we won't be together as The Weekend Dream Team forever, but I do cherish every one of these fine people, and always will cherish having worked with them.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Who's in for $17,000,000 ?

Tomorrow's Super Seven.

Here are my numbers:

06 16 22 23 26 36 42
07 11 19 23 28 44 47
01 05 09 16 21 33 35
Encore 0079389

If you want to kick in your three bucks worth, post your numbers here by 9pm tomorrow. A suggestion: I have signed my ticket in the signature spot, and just below, wrote the word "blog" to distinguish it from the other tickets that I have.

Good luck to us. Maybe I'll bring a planeload of blog friends to Dubai with me next week...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Body waxing

Maybe this is a question I should ask over on Urban Pedestrian's blog, but what is body waxing like?

I'm quite a hairy guy, especially considering that I'm not of Mediterranean descent. I don't mind hair anywhere else on my body, but I'm kind of self-conscious about my back hair. I have more hair on my back than a lot of guys have on their chests. In fact, one time I had allergy tests, with pin pricks on my back onto which were dropped little doses of possible allergens. The test didn't work, because of my back hair, so I had to get them done again on my arms.

Anyway, with my trip to Dubai coming up in nine days, I have made an appointment to have my back waxed for the first time ever. Just the back, nothing else, no bikini or Brazilian for me, thank you.

The woman who's going to do it told me to take two extra-strength Tylenols before I go, because it hurts. She says she'll do a small patch first, then I can decide whether to proceed. She actually asked me if I've ever seen The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and said it really hurts that much, like a huge band-aid being pulled off.

I'm not really worried. I've survived kidney stones, which I understand is the most painful experience next to childbirth -- which, fortunately, I'll never have to go through.

So fill me in with horror stories and any wisdom you can impart about body waxing.

Why do I get the feeling I just opened the door to an avalanche of smart-assed comments?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I work in a cool place

I'm sitting at the Assignment Desk in the A-Channel Ottawa News Centre. I just stood beside my chair for two minutes, to mark the 11 o'clock hour, while watching our live coverage of the national Remembrance Day service. Remembrance Day certainly seems more poignant to this Baby Boomer, witnessing and reporting on young men (and one woman) coming home in coffins, from what is arguably someone else's war.

What is really cool, however, is that our building is just a couple hundred yards east of Parliament Hill. If the Chateau Laurier wasn't in the way, we could see the Parliament Buildings from here. From the right vantage point in our parking lot, you can see the Peace Tower clock peeking over top the Chateau. Anyway, when the Air Force flypast portion of the ceremony took place, it was like Surround Sound in here, as the jets flew over our building. Cool on one hand, and on the other hand, another poignant reminder of the significance of Remembrance Day.

When I was in elementary and high school, November 11 was a school holiday. A few years after I graduated from high school, the holiday was removed, and kids began going to school on November 11 (if it is a weekday, of course), although some classes would attend the local ceremony. As I recall, it was the Royal Canadian Legion who promoted the idea of it not being a school holiday, because Remembrance Day should be a day to remember the freedom and democracy that our forces fought for, so that kids could go to school.

Lest we forget.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

LEST WE FORGET


I will be pausing at 11:00 tomorrow morning, to say a silent "thank you" to any Canadian who has ever served in our military, for the one thing we take for granted everyday: Life as a free person.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Another rant about manners

Because of the time of day that I work, it usually falls on my shoulders to answer the phone in our newsroom. Let me tell you, a radio or TV newsroom attracts calls from all kinds of stupid, ignorant, ill-mannered people. It usually increases exponentially when the moon is full (a story for another time), or when a hockey game is on.

Tonight, we are airing the Washington-Ottawa NHL game. I just got a call from someone who wanted to talk to an engineer. I told him there's none here tonight, and he would have to call back tomorrow. So then he asked me if I noticed that the A-Channel logo (we call it a "bug") is always on the screen. I said yes. He said it gets in the way of watching the hockey game. I replied that I hadn't noticed that, and besides, it takes up such a small part of the screen. So then this jerk says "Well, how do I go about questioning someone's competence and ability?" My reply: "Well, if you're going to get insulting, forget it." Him: "Yeah, I am going to get insulting." Me: "Then forget it," and I hung up.

I've always exercised that approach. If someone is going to be polite and civil, I'll participate in a civil conversation. If they want to get abusive, I warn them that if they continue, I'll hang up. If the abuse continues, I hang up.

Again, what happened to common decency and respect???

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Okay, who's in?

THIRTY-FIVE-MILLION DOLLARS in tomorrow's Lotto 6/49.
Maria, Kitty and I have been pooling tickets the last couple of draws. Anyone else who's interested, put down your three bucks for a quick pick plus Encore, Extra, or whatever it's called where you live.

Here's my contribution:

03 16 21 26 34 42

Encore 1913108

Good luck to us!

Monday, November 05, 2007

I'm worried about Doe-reen

You remember her. She's the dear deer who was frolicking in the field behind my place back in July, and I took this photo of her.

Okay, so the name just occurred to me today, but here's why: A couple of hours ago, a deer was hit and killed by an OCTranspo bus, not far from here. Word is that the driver was the only human on the bus, and the deer went through the passenger's side of the windshield, dying soon thereafter inside the bus.

Was it Doe-reen? I'll never know.

Why do I suddenly have a craving to fire up my barbecue and grill some venison?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

HAPPY HALLOWEEN



...from Newsguy BOO!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thanks, Ma. Yer da bestest

I just KNOW that you had something to do with making Blackburn Hamlet, where I live, a better place.
Construction is starting on the Hamlet's first Tim Hortons. Word is that it will be open in four weeks, which I believe, after seeing how fast several of them went up along the Highway 11 corridor a few years ago.

So thanks, Ma. Now do you think you can do something about getting us a beer store, or at least an LCBO that sells cold beer?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mark's making me do this

My buddy Mark, who lurks here but has never commented, has shamed me into reporting that finally, after six months living in my new dee-luxe apartment, Canada Freakin' Post is delivering my mail here! Mark says it's only fair for a cranky old fart to report such things.

Anyway, all my bitching and moaning was for naught. The only reason the mail is finally being delivered here is because there is finally one layer of asphalt on the parking lot.

My MP's office wasn't a lot of help, either. After registering a complaint there, I got the phone call from Mr. Pisshead Bullshit, the Canada Post regional supervisor or whatever the hell his title is. I was not satisfied with his answers and let him know. Then, not hearing back from the MP's office as promised, I called again last week. The girl I originally dealt with wasn't there, so I had to talk to a guy who said he could look into a follow-up on the problem. But then HE was making excuses, and tried to tell me that Canada Post isn't really government. I reminded him that it's a Crown Corporation under contract to the federal government to fulfill every Canadian's right of mail delivery. He said he would try to go over Mr. Bullshit's head, but I could tell he had no intention of doing anything. Just wait and see if I ever vote for his boss, Conservative MP Royal Galipeau.

All that aside, I'm happy to finally be getting mail service. Time to move on to something else to bitch about, as a cranky old fart.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.


Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.


Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.


Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.


You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.


Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.


With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.


Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Why is common courtesy surprising?

I was raised to respect everyone, regardless of sex, race, creed and anything else that makes people individuals. Sure, we learned a lot of jokes that you would consider racial and/or discriminatory, but we also learned that there's a time and a place, and no real malice should be intended.

We were also taught manners: please, thank you, may I be excused from the table?, and so on.

So why is it that when you display those good manners and do things like holding a door for someone, you are greeted with surprise, albeit pleasant surprise?

Case in point from today: I had an appointment for a tuberculosis test, in connection with some volunteer work I'm planning to do at a hospital. There was an accident on the Queensway, so I called from my cellphone, and left voicemail saying that I might be a bit late, and apologizing for it. When I did arrive about ten minutes late, the nurse who gave me the test immediately thanked me, expressing delight that someone would be so thoughtful. I hope it didn't show how surprised I was, that she would be so surprised.


Another time, when I was still living in Timmins, I met Little Bro Dan, his mom and sister at the mall ("The Square" as it's known locally -- official name, Timmins Square) after work one Friday night. The guy at New York Fries thought that both Dan and Chantal were my kids, and told me how mannerly they were, always saying please and thank you, and how rare it is in kids. Rather than the entire explanation that they weren't my kids, I just thanked him for saying so, and passed along the word to their mom, who was even prouder of them than I was.

Common courtesy and the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I guess it is a rare commodity. Sad.

Anybody into symbolism?

What does it mean when you're walking down the street at almost 2:30 in the afternoon, on your way to work, and you see a rat walking along the same sidewalk?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The colourful season is over

Yesterday: 26C and sunny. Today: Relentless rain and 11C. But for once, I did not waste the beautiful weather yesterday, and actually got off my ass and went for a walk with my camera.
Unfortunately, the autumn colours around Ottawa have passed their peak. But I did get this rather interesting photo that illustrates that. I guess there's no denying that winter is indeed on its way. This is Canada, after all. And being a native Northern Ontarian, I know how to cope with it. It beats the Hell on Earth happening in Southern California right now.
Have a good rest of the week.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Peoples is weird

Okay, singing a song slightly under your breath is one thing, but a woman I encountered in Dollarama today was trying to outdo Lionel Richie on "Say You, Say Me" which was playing throughout the store. Honestly, I heard her from one aisle over, this fairly sane-looking woman pushing a stroller. First thing I thought was what would Simon Cowell say? and the next was that subjecting her poor baby to that awful squawk is child abuse.


And yes, I sometimes shop at Dollarama, when quality is not an issue. All I was looking for was a cheap picture frame for this great pic of me, Little Bro Dan and Pretty Christine, that was taken at the 25th anniversary party for my sis and bro-in-law. Christine is the one on the left.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I take back what I said about Drew Carey


They're into Showcase Showdown #2 as I write this, and he's not bad at all. As usual, he laughs a bit too much and too heartily at his own jokes, but I think he'll do alright on The Price Is Right. Actually kind of refreshing from old Bob Barker.

I do wish, however, that he would lose the horn-rimmed glasses. Sure, it's part of his schtick, but he's beyond that now.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

This is kinda disturbing... but I love it!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=zzkOW8tOZX4

A fellow weekend news producer at Citytv in Toronto sent me this link. The whole subject arose out of our Barrie station doing a story on hunting safety today, and our London story asking for the story, saying there are a lot of Elmer Fudds in that area, too. That led to me sharing my knowledge of the Elmer Fudd language tool available on Google.

Click on ‘Language Tools’ on the Google home page, then scroll down to the language list. There’s also “Bork, bork, bork!” and Klingon. Don’t ask how I discovered all of that.

I hope your weekend is vewwy, vewwy quiet. Heh-heh-heh-heh. Elmer Fudd RAWKS!

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Pox on Canada Post

...and may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your letter carrier's skivvies.

I have lived in this new building for almost six months now, and still, no mail delivery. I was so p.o.'d about it last week, I went to my MP's office. This morning, shortly before nine o'clock, I was awakened by a phone call from Canada Post (hey, I work until 11:30 tonight and have to be back in at 9:30 tomorrow morning, so I was still sleeping, okay?). This -- ahem -- gentleman tells me that he was at the building this morning, and still won't approve mail delivery, because the parking lot isn't paved yet. He goes on and on, telling me how under new legislation, if the letter carrier gets hurt, he could be sued, blah blah blah. I remind him that I have been living here for almost six months, and know of no one who has been hurt on the property, and how his answer is unacceptable. He replies that until the parking lot is paved or someone above him orders him to start delivery, it won't happen.

Good gawd, one of my neighbours on the ground floor uses a walker, and my next-door neighbour walks with a cane because of bad knees, and we all get into and out of the building fine. Mr. Canada Post A-hole says it's dangerous for a letter carrier to carry trays of mail into the building. TRAYS OF MAIL?!? There are twenty apartments in the entire building!

What's worse is that we don't simply have to go to the Shoppers Drug Mart about a kilometre away to get our mail. Because of the postal code we're in, we have to go to the Orleans post office, which is about five kilometres away.

I do agree with Mr. A-hole that it's about time the parking lot was paved. The tenants have been bitching to the landlord about that. In fact, I have left a message for the building manager this morning, after talking to Mr. A-hole. Regardless, I refuse to accept claims that it is unsafe for a poor little letter carrier.

The Canada Post attitude is stereotype government/crown corporation arrogance. Competition -- as impractical a concept as that is -- would certainly pull a few heads out of Canada Post arses.

In the meantime, I have now vented, and feel better for it. BUT I'M STILL NOT GETTING MY F**KING MAIL DELIVERED!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Seven things about me

My gawd, my life has been rather unremarkable. I come to this conclusion after being tagged by Kitty for this "Seven things about me" thingy, and trying to come up with a list. I've never shot a man just to watch him die; I've never climbed Mount Everest; and my name is not on the Stanley Cup. I'm slightly bashful about the list that I've come up with, but here goes:

1. I was on Reach for the Top in high school -- in Grade 11 and again in Grade 13. I was captain that last year, and we made it all the way to the national final representing Northern Ontario, before losing 340-315 to Manitoba. We were closing the gap during the final snapper questions, but ran out of time.

2. While in Grade 9, I was in our high school's production of Bye Bye Birdie. I had the most minor of the starring roles. I was Randolph McAfee, the 12-year-old brother of Kim McAfee of Sweetapple, Wisconsin, who was chosen to get one last kiss from Conrad Birdie, before he was inducted into the army. I could still sing then, because my voice hadn't completely changed.

3. The summer I was in college (1984), I had a total of eight jobs. The only full-time one was as maintenance man/painter/grass cutter at the sewage treatment plant in my home town of Iroquois Falls. Hey, it paid $6.04 an hour and all I could eat! (Ba-doom-boom!)

4.I hate canned peas. It's because when I was about three, I gagged on them and puked all over the supper table. My parents never made me eat them after that. I do, however, love fresh, uncooked peas right out of the pod.

5. I don't own any teddy bears at the moment. But when I was news director at CKGB/CFTI Radio in Timmins in the late 1980's, I spearheaded the project to put two teddy bears in every OPP cruiser between Timmins and Hearst, Chapleau and Matheson, and the radio station paid for them. Coincidentally, the first two kids to receive the bears were kids of friends of mine, when they were in a fairly serious car accident.

6. When I was 20, I sold real estate in Timmins and Iroquois Falls for about five months. Long story short, there was a definite credibility problem involved in a 20-year-old trying to sell homes to people in their 30s and 40s. From there, I went on to become a management trainer at two S.S. Kresge stores: first in Sudbury for about eight weeks, then Toronto for another six. After that, I got my first media job.

7. I am named after my maternal Uncle Bob and my paternal great-great-Uncle Tom. My full name is Robert Thomas McIntyre.

That's it. Try not to be too underwhelmed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

iPod advice, please

Okay, fellow Bloglodytes, time to help Newsguy out here.

I'm planning to buy a good MP3 player before going to Dubai, cuz I'm gonna be spending a lot of time in the air and in layovers in Munich, Frankfurt and Toronto. (iPod has become the generic name, like Kleenex, Xerox, Coke and aspirin, hasn't it?)
I've bought cheap ones in the past -- three times, I think -- in the 25-to-60-dollar range, and have finally learned that you only get what you pay for. So the advice of anyone who owns a good one is needed and appreciated, please.

Chuckle if you wish at some of my questions, but at Newsguy School I learned that the only stupid question is the one you don't ask. So here goes: If you buy an actual Apple iPod, you can still download music from a PC, right? Can I download some of the music I already have on my computer and/or from my extensive CD collection (the remastered Nelson Eddy and Jeannette McDonald collection is amazing!)?

A friend at work whom I plan to also consult says not to waste money on iPod, cuz you pay for the name, and some of the other models/generic brands are as good if not better. True?

Please, help out a Cyberpal here, will ya?

And if you live in Ontario and haven't voted yet, get off your arse before 9pm/8 Central time. I voted last week at an advance poll, cuz I'm working tonight as part of A-Channel's election coverage. If you don't vote, you can't bitch about the provincial government.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Big Brother (Orwell-style) is watching me!

First, Happy Thanksgiving. No, I did not have turkey dinner. Let's not go there, shall we?

I'm not sure if it's a product of now working for a much bigger company (CTVglobemedia), but all of a sudden late last week, the stupid net-nanny, WebSense, quit letting me post comments on blogs from any computer at work. Milky, are you having the same problem? Heck, it won't let me on to t's blog at all. Frustrating, especially when I have an especially clever comment, and can't use it! It's like bein' all spruced-up and splashing on the Aqua Velva, but no date except the inflatable lady who lives in my closet.

Well, we had a surprise party on Saturday night for my sister and brother-in-law's 25th wedding anniversary. My nieces, 17 and 20, did a great job of setting it all up and keeping it a total secret until their folks arrived. We had it at second cousin André's house. His super-organizer wife, Jen, gets a lot of credit for opening her home to us, and guiding Caitlin and Michelle along the path to party success.

Here's a couple pics I took. I'm waiting to get some from the girls. One of Michelle's friends was official photographer for the evening. The joke is that she's Asian, so you know the shots will all be good. I haven't seen any yet, but hear from sources that they are, indeed, well done.
Tomorrow is the actual date of Dale and Den's anniversary. They're leaving for Italy for ten days tomorrow night. (By the way, Dale is my sister; Den is short for Denis, my bro-in-law).
The party was wonderful. A super bonus for me is that Little Bro Dan and Pretty Christine dropped in for an hour or so. When I get the photo of the three of us, I'll share it. Man, I love those kids.

And, okay, here's why I didn't have turkey dinner: Dale was supposed to cook one yesterday, but was too tired from the party to cook, so we ordered pizza and wings instead. To be honest, I was a bit peeved, because if I had known sooner, I had been invited to Christine's parent's house for turkey, but declined, because I had already been invited to Dale's. However, Dale did not know of the other invitation. I'll survive -- I'm a tough old goat.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

You Might Be A Part Of The Taliban If...

...You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to beer.

...You own a $300 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't afford shoes.

...You have more wives than teeth.

...You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.

...You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry ammunition in your robe.

...You've ever been asked, "Does this burka make my ass look fat?"

...You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.


Thanks to my buddy Chris for this. The answer to the burka question is "No, why don't you go to Giant Taliban and buy some bit of bum pads?"

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Your next CANADIAN IDOL!

Okay, so one of the guys who delivered by new bed from Sleep Country Canada on Tuesday told me he tried out for Canadian Idol, but didn't make it past the producers, into the audition room with Sass, Zack, Jake and Farley. The producers told him he was too shy. He also thinks he chose the wrong song, because a lot of people sing Stand By Me (the movie of the same name, incidentally, is one of my all-time favourites).
He also told me he isn't in a band, but sings Karaoke a lot. Uh-oh! Should that set off alarm bells? You be the judge. Pepe also participated in a contest run by Tourism Ontario, singing its newest jingle. You can check it out and vote for him online: http://memelabs.com/ontariotourism/index.php?play=605&page=61&mode=recent
He says he'll try out for Idol again next year. I told him I would watch, because I now have a reason to, and haven't watched Canadian Idol, because I can't stand Ben Mulroney.
By the way, if you check out the link, you can vote for my new friend, too, and help him in the tourism jingle contest. He says a lot of people are voting for others, by using a lot of bogus email addresses.

Oh, one more thing: By the time you read this, it will likely be time to say "White rabbit". :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Drum roll, please... NUMBER TWO-HUNDRED!

Thanks for joining me and being part of this momentous occasion in my teeny-tiny little corner of Cyberspace -- and thanks for the suggestions about what to post. I will use some of those suggestions, and ignore the rest of them, such as the photo of me wearing nothing but my Crocs.

THE PLATFORM SHOE INCIDENT
It was March, 1976. I had turned 18 about a month earlier, and was working at the Cinequois Theatre, the movie theatre in my hometown of Iroquois Falls. The Cinequois was owned by my best friend's Mom, and I was affectionately referred to as The Assistant Manager.
The previous summer, I had visited another friend who was working in Toronto for the summer, and bought the most bitchin' pair of platform shoes -- zippered boots, really -- with a two-inch sole and three-inch heel. They gave me extremely painful shin splints, but sure were cool, especially when I was also wearing elephant pants and puffy-sleeved shirts.
On this fateful night, I wore the boots to work at the theatre. During the nightly screening, it had rained outside, then the temperature dropped below freezing, leaving a nice coat of ice on the sidewalk. As I was leaving work, I slipped on the ice, fell forward, and braced my fall with my hands. The next day, my left wrist was extremely sore. So I went to see the doctor, and ended up in a cast from my fingertips to my elbow for a month, with my hand at a double-90-degree angle in the cast. I had broken a little bone in my wrist not much bigger than a fish bone.
I never wore those stupid shoes again.

Finally, to use one more suggestion from my Cyberfriends, here's a photo of moi on my second birthday -- February 8, 1960. Colour photography wasn't very common, good or affordable back then, but no, my father did not chisel this photo out of a stone tablet.

So that's it: Post #200. Kinda underwhelming, eh? For 201, I'll tell you about the kid who delivered my mattress today, and could be the next Canadian Idol.

What should I do for Post #200?

Yes, my next post will be number 200. So I'm looking for ideas on how it should reflect that milestone.

I like revelling in life's little accomplishments or achievements or acquisitions that to others might seem trivial. But hell, why not?

For instance, I'm awaiting delivery sometime in the next couple hours of a brand new bed, my first queen-sized bed (No, Kitty, it doesn't mean that at all). And in case you didn't notice, last week I was celebrating having booked my trip to Dubai. By the way, did I mention how jazzed I am about it?

So let's hear from you: What can I do to mark post number 200 on my blog?

Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm gonna be on the Interweb Thingy

I am featured in today's edition of "Inside A-Channel" on AChannel.ca/ottawa.
I'm producing tonight's 6:00 pm show, and our anchor, Sandra Blaikie, interviews me about what's coming up. It should be online by four o'clock.

Before you say anything, I'm having a bad hair day, hence the pouffy thing at the front (it's time for a haircut), and the red Senators T-Shirt is because our station observes Wear Red Friday every week, in honour of Canadian military personnel. Also, you'll see that the computer I'm working at has two monitors. The right-hand side one has the photo of me and my sibs.

Okay, watch away and comment away: I'm ready for it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm the big bad wolf

I participated in something today that is, frankly, disturbing.

For a series called "Stranger Danger" which will run during fall ratings coming up next month, we at A-Channel in Ottawa asked parents to let us know if they wanted their children tested, to see if they knew how to respond to being approached by a stranger. The idea came from the disappearance of Cédrika Provencher in Québec last month.

Today, we tested two girls. I played the part of the stranger. I was equipped with a hidden camera and microphone. One of our ENG camera operators was using a camera hidden in the back of a van, while the reporter putting the series together used a mini-cam in the van, getting the mothers' reaction while each scenario unfolded.

In the first scenario, I was looking for Zoey, my lost dog, as ten-year-old Chelsea came walking down the street, on her way to school. I asked her if she had seen Zoey, and gave her a poster with Zoey's picture on it. Chelsea immediately started talking to me, calling for Zoey herself, telling me her name and where she lived. When I asked if she would come in my car to look for Zoey if I dropped her off at school, I could feel the wall go up between us. She kept walking towards school, and said if she saw my puppy, she would phone me.

In the second case, five-year-old Stephanie was brought to a park by her mom, who works part-time in a building on the edge of the park. After playing for a few minutes, Stephanie's mom told her she had to get something at the office, and she should sit on the bench and have some candies and water. After Mom walked away, I walked over to Stephanie, called her by name, and said I worked with her mom and she would like me to take her to her. With no hesitation, Stephanie started packing up her things and came with me. She wouldn't talk or hold my hand, but responded to all my questions with head gestures. When we reached the parking lot and the camera van, Mom opened the door and stepped out.

Each mom was shocked and upset, but kept repeating how glad she is to have participated in the exercise. It gives them a starting-off point to reinforce or expand on their warnings about stranger dangers.

Chelsea passed when it came to not getting into the car, although I could have easily dragged the little thing into the vehicle. Stephanie, as it turns out, did not talk to me, taking her mom's warnings literally.

Phase 2 happens in a couple weeks, when the kids will be tested again in different circumstances, and approached by a woman.

From my standpoint, it was an eye-opening, disturbing experience. It was too easy to engage the girls and get them to go along with what I was suggesting. I felt creepy but didn't realize how much the first case (Chelsea) rattled me until I tried to start the car. My hand was shaking so badly, I had to steady it with the other hand to put the key in the car's ignition.

I sincerely hope that when the series airs, it prompts families right across our viewing area to discuss stranger danger with their kids, in enough detail.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

DUBAI, HERE I COME!


I am so jazzed. I just booked my flights to and from Dubai. I leave Nov. 22 and return Dec. 2. Und I land in Churmany on ze vay zere und ze vay beck -- Munich und Frankfurt, respectively.
Not bad for a guy who never left the continent until less than two years ago, huh? In fact, except for a couple quick trips to Michigan (as in a couple hours) and a hockey tournament or two in New Yawk State, I had never left Canada. And by "leaving the continent", I mean once to Cuba and once to the Dominican Republic.
Have I mentioned that I am so jazzed?
Work is being very co-operative, too. Of course, I can't go until after fall ratings, the final day of which is the day before I leave, but Boss Peter said book the trip, and we'll make it work.
Have I mentioned that I am so jazzed?
I intend to fill my one-gigabyte memory stick on my new camera. If you think Kitty posted a lot of his vacation pictures, all I can say is "Hah!"
Have I mentioned that I am so jazzed?
Okay, bloglodytes, start envying in three... two... one... NOW!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Household Hints from Bob

Today's episode: Cleaning those nasty Crocs -- the fun rubber shoes that anyone who is anyone is wearing. After all, they come in a veritable kaleidoscope of bright, fun colours.

Glad you could join us on this sunny September day. We hope you had a great weekend.

Y'know, it doesn't take much for a really excellent idea to cross over to the fourth dimension known as [fast, dramatic violin riff in reverb] The Urrrrrbbbbbaaaaannnnn Mythhhhhhhhh.

Today's tip comes from that dimension... and is pulled back to Reality. I know you've heard that Ethel's mother's best friend's niece's twins' kindergarten teacher sent a note home, demanding that the twins' dirty Crocs be cleaned, before she would allow them back into the story circle. Teacher's suggestion: Put the dirty little buggers in the dishwasher -- oh my goodness, I mean the Crocs, not the twins! Heavens to Mercy!

"Pishtosh!" you exclaim. "The dishwasher??? Tsk, tsk. The dishwasher is meant exclusively for dishes, and seeing as you wouldn't eat out of the Crocs, they don't qualify. How trailer park!"

Well, someone has their nose much too high in the air, now, don't they, hmmmm?

That's where the crack research staff at Household Hints from Bob comes in, as usual, to put the theory-slash-myth to the test and -- pardon the vulgar sound of this -- de-bunk it.

So we put our favourite pair of red and black Ottawa Senators Crocs in the dishwasher with the usual stuff that goes in there, and set the dishwasher to run in the wee small hours. After all, we must all do our part to conserve energy and protect this great planet of ours, so that we can continue offering Household Hints from Bob for generations to come.

Drum roll, please, as morning arrives and we open the dishwasher... [brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (drum roll effect -- you can come up with better?), [BING!(cymbal crash)] ...and my stars, it worked! They're so brand-new shiny clean, we would eat out of them before the twins put them on their grubby little feet and smear toe jam in them again.

There you have it, another urban myth dragged back into the third dimension, joining the Household Hints from Bob Household Hints Hall of Fame!

Join us next time, for the episode we like to call "Get rid of that deep-seated belly button lint, without going to the garage to get the extra heavy duty shopvac".

Thanks for joining us. Have a great day, and may you get your next goose long before Christmas Day! Buh-byeeeeeee.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Clean out your lint traps!

There's no joke here. It's a word of caution that I hope you'll help spread around.
My second cousin and his wife, who live in a house across the road from our cottage, have lost their beautiful home to a fire, caused by a blocked lint trap on their clothes dryer. Luckily, they woke up at 1:00 a.m. (I'm not sure, but probably from a smoke detector) and got out of the burning house with the proverbial clothes on their backs.
At first, it was thought that the house was just gutted, and could be restored. But on the phone tonight, my Dad told me that once they could inspect it, they learned that it has to be torn down and totally replaced.
I've heard of this before, and hope you keep your lint trap cleaned out. It doesn't stop at the screen that traps most of the lint from each load, either. Get in behind it with your vacuum cleaner on a regular basis. It's surprising how much lint gets past the screen. It builds up and eventually catches fire.
One time that I heard of such a thing was at a fire that I covered in Timmins as a videographer. Damage was very minor that time, because it was one o'clock in the afternoon in an urban residential area -- not one o'clock in the morning, in a rural area some ten kilometres from the nearest fire hall. Anyway, the lady in that house neglected her lint trap, and it caught fire, killing her cat. The fire chief told me that when cats sense fire, they hide -- under a bed, in this instance. And because a cat's lungs are so small, it takes very little smoke inhalation to kill it.

So please, check that lint trap regularly, and go deeper than getting the lint out between loads.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

My weekend at Lac du Cerf

The weather was beautiful, and the company was great -- even if some of the young people were drinking beer and smoking dope before breakfast. Oh well, they are family, and not my responsibility. Every family has a little bit of white trash, doesn't it?

Here's a pic of Zoey, my dogniece who I sometimes babysit, and who ate the poopy diaper and licked the peepot. Hey, maybe the white trash got her stoned, and she had the munchies! Isn't she pretty?

Speaking of pretty, check out these two beauties. Claire and Caitlin are five months old, the daughters of my second cousin Charlie, and his wife, Trish. They also have an almost-three-year-old son, Carter, who's quite the little cutie, too.
I learned from Claire Bear and Caity Cait that I'm too old to be a Daddy, but I'm going to be an awesome surrogate Grandpa to Little Bro Dan's eventual kids. Yep, old Uncle Bob has the touch. I rocked Claire to sleep twice, and Caitlin once. Of course, I do have that effect on women of all ages.
We had a lot of laughs and ate a lot of great food this past weekend. I only wish this stupid sinus infection for which I'm now on antibiotics hadn't made me feel like crap. I had three beers all weekend -- between Friday night and Monday afternoon!

Has anyone seen my damned camera cable?

I'm jonesin' here to start posting pics from my weekend, but I can't find the stupid cable. It can't have gone too far -- this is only a two-bedroom apartment, and I usually keep all that junk on or in my desk.

ARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!

Catholics, please pray to St. Anthony for me. It used to work for my best buddy's Mom, when she had misplaced something.

Any other suggestions for finding it?

Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy Labour Day

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, have a great, safe time.
I'll be at my cousin's little piece of Heaven in the North Laurentians, and will report in with photos next week.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Let's be juvenile

I left a comment on Kitty's blog (misster-kitty.blogspot.com) that anyone who lurks there and here probably hasn't seen yet, because it's part of his last post about being away for a while.

I know what let's do: Let's scare the shite out of him the first time he checks his blog, by running up the number of comments to that most recent post. I've started, it's your turn. You know: while the Kitty's away, the blogmice will play...

I am SO 12 years old!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Woo-hoo! My 189th post!

Being the iconoclast that I am, I am not waiting until #200 -- I'm celebrating post #189 in all its glory (or lack thereof, if that's how you glass-half-empty types want to look at it).

Besides, fellow Bloglodytes, to quote that wise philosopher, N@, "I gots nothin'."

Friday, August 24, 2007

HEY, MONTREAL: What's goin' on?

We're hearing here in the A-Channel Ottawa Newscentre that part of the Métro has been shut down/evacuated.

What's up with that?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm peeved. I must vent

There are some issues that just should not be used to play politics. With about six weeks to go until a provincial election in Ontario, Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty is considering a petition to rename part of Highway 401 in honour of Canadian soldiers who die in Afghanistan. That's a very noble gesture that I support wholeheartedly, regardless of my own political beliefs and support, and regardless of the timing. Then this afternoon, we got this news release in our newsroom:

FACT CHECK: MCGUINTY AND THE ARMED FORCES

The facts get in the way of Dalton’s story

(Toronto, ON) – A story in today’s Globe and Mail says that Dalton McGuinty is considering renaming a stretch of the 401 the “Highway of Heroes” in honour of Canada’s war dead.

It’s a worthy initiative, to be sure. But it also begs the question of Dalton McGuinty’s sincerity when he says, as is reported in the Globe, that Ontario needs to look for opportunities to lend support to Canada's soldiers and thank them for their sacrifices.

Over the last two years, Dalton McGuinty has had no fewer than two occasions to help out those Ontarians serving in Canada’s Armed Forces in real and meaningful ways, and he rejected both of those options right out of hand.

Opportunity 1: When Dalton McGuinty broke his promise to the people of Ontario and brought in the single largest tax hike in the history of the province he called it a “health premium” and made it so that Ontario’s men and women in the Armed Forces had to pay it.
But they don’t use Ontario’s health care system.

During the spring of 2006, John Tory and PC MPP John Yakabuski led the call in the Ontario Legislature to have the McGuinty government, at the very least, repeal the health tax for our men and women in the Armed Forces. Dalton McGuinty and his ministers were given nine separate opportunities to say that they were going to repeal the tax. Instead of doing so, Dalton refused to answer the questions put to him and his Minister of Finance defended the practice – saying that the families of Armed Forces members used Ontario’s health care system.

So what happened when those families tried to access those health care services?



Opportunity 2: The Phoenix Centre for Children and Families near CFB Petawawa provides mental health services for the children of soldiers who are serving in Afghanistan.
In September 2006, Greg Lubmiv, the executive director of the Phoenix Centre, and Lieutenant Colonel Dave Rundle, the base commander at CFB Petawawa addressed a letter to Dalton McGuinty’s Minister of Children and Youth Services asking for special funding to deal with a huge increase in the need for mental health services for the children in and around CFB Petawawa.

The Minister refused the request and told Mr. Lubmiv and Lt.-Col. Rundle to ask the federal government.

When asked about it , Dalton McGuinty’s minister gave this appalling answer:

“It’s [the increase in the need for children’s mental health services] a direct consequence of federal government initiatives.”

It wasn’t until the Ombudsman stepped in that the Phoenix Centre got the money Dalton McGuinty’s government previously said didn’t exist.

John Tory and the PC Party of Ontario also believe that support for our men and women in uniform must happen 365 days a year – not just at election time.




It is disgusting that the Conservative Party would use the issue to try to score political points. I hope it comes back to bite them in the collective arse.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tasteless joke time

Q: What do Rosie O'Donnell and Michael Vick have in common?
A: Their careers were both ruined by a dogfight.

I can't take credit/blame for this -- I heard it on Letterman last night.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My Pride and Joy is 25 today


It is hard to believe that the big-eyed little guy I met 14 years ago last month is 25 years old today.
As anyone who's ever lurked here knows, Little Bro Dan is my pride and joy.
While I wouldn't change a single thing or take back a single second of being Big Brother to my Dano, I would be lying if I said I don't miss the little guy who moondanced around the Mini-Putt doing his Robin Leach imitation ("Champagne wishes and caviar dreams...") that Wednesday night in July, 1993; the same little guy who would snuggle up next to me on the couch at the cottage while I was doing a crossword and try to help, or commandeer the puzzle ("What's a domestic feline pet, three letters, first two are C and A?"); or, while driving in the car one day, asked what would happen when he turned 16 and the Big Brother match officially ended ("It's just a number. You're not getting rid of me that easily," I replied. "Good," he said with obvious relief, "I was hoping you'd say something goofy like that.").
I could go on and on, and often do without much prompting.
The bottom line is that being a Big Brother is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. I am so proud of the young man Dano has become. To say I'm thankful that he is an integral part of my life would be a total understatement.
Happy Birthday, Buddy. Your Big Brother loves and cherishes you.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Where were you?


Thirty years ago tomorrow: August 16, 1977. The death of Elvis Presley (if you truly believe that he's dead). He would be 72 if he was still alive.
It was my Dad's 46th birthday, and I was just a couple weeks from leaving home to start university, at what was then Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. After birthday cake for dessert, I borrowed my Dad's car to get together with my buddies for one of the last times before we dispersed to various colleges and universities. I had just pulled out of the driveway when I heard on the radio that the King had died. A couple of weeks later, on Labour Day weekend, the radio waves were full of Elvis tributes and music.

Your turn. Where were you when you heard?

This is for you, Ma:


Just 'cuz.
I took this photo beside my Dad's driveway, right next to the neighbour's house. Do I like my new camera? Well, yeah!

It's been kind of quiet in our little Blog family lately, hasn't it? What with vacations, etc., I guess people other than me are spending less time online. But I kinda miss 'em. Come back: all is forgiven.

Have a great day.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The McIntyre Kids



Left to right are me, my sister Dale and brother Danny. He's a year and a half older than I am, she's three and a half younger.

Danny and his wife, Candy, spent the weekend in Ottawa, staying at my new deluxe pad. They left early this morning, and informed me last night that next time they come to town, they will also stay at my deluxe new pad.

We are close, but not in-your-face close. We do spend time together whenever possible, but living eight hours apart doesn't make it possible too often. Regardless, if we ever need each other, we know we're no farther than a phone call or MSN message away. And of course, although I usually have supper at Dale's house every Sunday, it's rare that the three of us are in the same place at the same time. So we had a nice weekend: pizza at my place Saturday night, supper at Dale's last night. While I was at work during both those days, Danny and Candy did stuff with their son, Scott -- who also lives in Ottawa and joined us for pizza and Sunday supper -- and with Dale and her husband, Den.

I love this picture of us, taken last night at Dale's. We took a similar one two years ago at Danny's house. I showed it to people at work, and said it was me with my parents. One co-worker commented on how young my mom looked! Dale got even: she showed it to people where she works, and told them it was her two dads! Yes, we are a bunch of jokers, and have a lot of laughs when we are together.

So here's to siblings, and the connections unique to them. To people who don't communicate with their sibs (such as most of my stepmother's five kids), I say that life is too short for that crap. Swallow your pride, and pick up the phone, before it's too late.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Merv Griffin goes to the big bonus round in the sky

From the news wire, just minutes ago:

A spokesman for Merv Griffin says the entertainer turned businessman has died.
Griffin created the game shows "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune" and parlayed them into a multi-million-dollar entertainment empire.
A statement from Griffin's family says he died of prostate cancer.
He was 82.


Put the clicker down and follow the light, Merv. Final Jeopardy is over.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I just met Maria, Hubby and Soccer Player Son

...and damn! I don't have my camera with me.

They just stopped in, en route to son's soccer game in Hull. Nice people. I enjoyed our all too brief visit. I hope you do drop in again when you come back for more soccer in a couple weeks, folks.

Small world, eh?

Friday, August 10, 2007

How I'm feeling today:


...and how are you?

Actually, this was a lame attempt to show off the loon photo I shot at the cottage with my new camera.

But seriously, how are you?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Dogs is GROSS!

Zoey just PUKED -- and she and Jack ATE IT before I could clean it up! I think it's because she just polished off a full bowl of dog food, and then tried to chase it with a kleenex or teddy bear stuffing (although I can't find a mortally wounded toutou anywhere) or maybe, um, a feminine hygiene napkin. After all, there are normally three female humans living in this house, aged 17-45.

Don't get me wrong, I love these pooches, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to being happy that Sister and Bro-in-law are coming home today. There have been a few other "accidents" during my ten-hour absences for work purposes: a few little turds and a puddle, all of which have to be products of Jack. They were too little to be Zoey's and Jack IS only a pup, not quite six months old. Plus, I look forward to sleeping past 7am tomorrow by two or three hours.

I would still like a dog of my own, and will have one someday. I met a co-worker's three-year-old cocker spaniel yesterday. He's pretty affectionate and laidback, and I offered to dogsit him at my place, if his human ever goes away for a weekend or whatever. Annette and Oliver (human and canine, respectively) live alone in an apartment, so he has pretty good bladder and colon control, and is accustomed to spending stretches of time alone in said apartment, so shouldn't be any problem chez moi. The thing with Zoey and Jack is that with four humans on different schedules, they're rarely alone for any more than a few hours at a time.

Well, seeing as I've been up for two hours already, I might as well get on with my day.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Hello, fellow holiday suckers -- I mean, WORKERS

Grrrrrrrrrrr.... who else is working today? Is it a holiday in Quebec?

Bad enough I have to work, but the mutts I'm babysitting had me up before seven o'clock. Their only saving grace is that they're damned cute. I've tried to keep them awake in the evening, hoping they sleep later in the morning, but then I start to fall asleep, and pack it in at around 10:00.

Well, off to shower, etc., then to work.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

My Maggie Muffin

This is my youngest dogniece, Maggie. Her humans are Little Bro Dan and Christine The Pretty One.
Maggie now loves her Uncle Bob. When she visited my place in May, she was only interested in me if I was feeding her pieces of cookie or pretzel, but now that she knows me, she loves me. She's a riot to play with, and always has an ample supply of big kisses for Uncle Bob.
Maggie is mostly Yorkie, with a dash of one or two other small breeds. She's trained to do her bidnid on a pee pad, and is "transitioning" (Dan's word) to using the great outdoors as her bathroom.
I also visited a couple other very affectionate pooches while I was on vacation. Kia is a two-year-old black Lab who is very affectionate, but doesn't realize that her claws and her strong legs can hurt humans. Chelsea is a cocker spaniel who thinks she's a Princess, and is happiest when someone (i.e. Me) is scratching her belly.
Then there are my brother and sister-in-law's retards -- er, shih tzus. Shiloh is a crabby, arthritic, epilpetic 13-year-old with a funny eye and six toes on one foot. Then there's his 11-year-old daughter/sister Emily (yeah, they're canine trailer trash) and the latest addition, Gucci, who joined the family via the fosterdog route last fall. His name comes from the fact that he loves to drape himself over someone's arm like an expensive Italian purse. His favourite activity is having a stare-down with Fetch the Chipmunk.
My favourite northern dog is, however, Maggie Muffin. Tomorrow, I move in with my favourite Ottawa pooches, Zoey and Jack, to doggysit for five days.
Now I know why they're called the dog days of summer!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Back from The Land of Awesome Sunsets



Hello, Possums! Miss me?
That piece of beauty at the top of this post is a close-up of the honest-to-goodness sun, just as it was setting one night last week over a small lake we simply call Highway Beach, alongside Highway 11 (the Trans-Canada Highway), 40 km south of Cochrane, Ontario. I took the pic with -- get ready for it -- my brand new DIGITAL CAMERA! Yeah, Milky, I got the S3 as you recommended. More on that some other time.

Ma, t and others in Shaniaville: Sorry I didn't get to see you while I was up there. The time absolutely flew! I did spend a good amount of time with Dad and StepMama, and with Little Bro Dan. In fact, here's a pic that my dad took, with my old camera:

Doesn't my favourite Paramedic look great in uniform? Pardon my semi-gush, but I'm constantly amazed at what a great young man he is.

Awright, move along, nothing else to see here. I'll pollute the dubya-dubya-dubya in the days to come with more crapola and photos. In the meantime: DREW CAREY??? WTF? Are they gonna change the name of the show to "What Price Is It Anyway?"?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Where I'll be

For the next couple weeks, about you'll find on this blog is this:


I'm not really going fishing, it's just not something I do, but you get the picture.

I intend to spend most of my time at the cottage, regardless of the weather. My dad tells me, however, that the forecast is for hotter, dryer weather. I would never place a bet on a weather forecast, but that is a hopeful sign.

And on evenings when the sky is clear enough, I'll see something like this:


...or this:


Believe it or not, those are two different sunsets at the same place. I call the sunset the fingerprint on the end of the day, because as breathtakingly beautiful as it can be, no two are exactly the same. If luck is with me, I'll also get to see the Northern Lights. There's nothing like standing on the dock, watching the colourful whips dancing across the sky, crackling, to make you realize that in the whole scheme of things, you're extremely small and insignificant. It's such a relaxing, peaceful feeling.

So keep the place warm for me. I'll catch up with everyone next month. Once my shift at work is finished tomorrow at about 6:30pm, I'll be on vacation, heading north on Monday, back to Ottawa on the 31st, and back to work August 1st.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My latest project

I have a desk that my parents bought me when I lived in North Bay in 1986. They got it, unfinished, at Consumers Distributing (Remember that place? I wish it had worked without the constant "Sorry, it's out of stock. Can you pick another item?" and was still around).

Anyway, I finally got around to finishing it, 21 years after the fact. Here's what it looked like:


And here's what it looks like after four coats of all-in-one stain and varnish, followed by a final coat of clear varathane:


...and where I'll keep it in my apartment, until I think of somewhere else that it might work:


Not bad, eh? Is there any end to my talents? My Grade 9 woodworking teacher, Mr. Romaniuk, would probably give me a C for it, because there are a few spots where the stuff ran a bit. But we didn't get to finish our coffee tables or salad bowls, because he was also a phys. ed. teacher and was away so often, coaching this team or that team. We were his only woodworking class. But I digress.

My next project will be the annual interior cleaning of my car. Yeah, I know, it sounds gross, but I live in an apartment, and it ain't easy to clean it. So every summer, I put one afternoon at the cottage aside to scrub that baby clean. Other than dust and the occasional spill of coffee from the cupholder, it doesn't get that grossly dirty. For one thing, I don't smoke...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What're you reading?

Six more sleeps until this cat starts his summer vacation, and there's a spot waiting for me on the deck at the cottage, to catch up on some reading. Any suggestions? I generally like mysteries, Stephen King and some celebrity biographies.

Right now, I'm reading The Black Ice, a cop novel by Michael Connelly, who was recommended to me by a co-worker last year. His stuff is reminiscent of John Grisham's. I think I've read everything Grisham has written.

I already have two books lined up: Stephen King's latest, called Lisey's Story; and the Hemingway classic, The Sun Also Rises. If I don't finish whatever reading material I bring with me, that's okay. I do most of my non-vacation reading on the bus back and forth to work.

So fire away with any suggestions.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

My James Taylor concert story

On Ma Horton's blog today (macoffeeshoppe.blogspot.com), I mentioned how I wish I could sing just well enough to be a back-up singer for someone like Garth and Tricia or James Taylor.

That reminded me of the James Taylor concert I went to.

The year: 1996. The place: the Ottawa Civic Centre. I was still living in Timmins, and Little Bro Dan and I had come to Ottawa for our annual visit with my sister, brother-in-law and their kids. Dano was 13 and had never been to a concert (Hey! He grew up in Timmins, okay?), so we got tickets to James Taylor for him, my sister and me.

We were just nicely in our seats. The concert hadn't started yet. Three hefty women came along, looking for their seats in the row in front of us. When they realized they should be in our row, one stepped over the back of the seats, but the other two were wearing tight denim skirts, so they walked around. Dan was sitting next to the aisle, so we stood up to let the women in. One of them stopped in front of Dano, just long enough to shake her boobs in his face. Dano turns to me with eyes as big as frisbees, and exclaims "I LIKE concerts!"

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Help! I need my support group... and a kick in the ass

I was doing so well on the diet and exercise regimen, but have fallen out of it the past couple months. My diabetes is under control, but I think I've probably put back on most of the weight I lost. I've only been to the gym a couple times since I moved to the new place, and find it so easy to decide not to go.

I know that if I get back into the routine of at least two or three times a week, I'll get back on track. I want to do that between now and when my holidays start on the 16th, so that I'll miss it while I'm lazing around the cottage, etc.

So please, kick away.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

"Money makes the world go 'round..."

Crap! Now that stupid song from "Cabaret" is going through my hollow head. Up near my list of the crappiest movies of all time. Don't get me started.

Anyhoo, today I was out shopping and stopped at Canadian Tire to get a new electric kettle. I boiled the old one dry last night. I've done that before. I've also turned a stove element on under a couple of them. My aunt, who lives in Florida, says you can't buy electric kettles in the States. So when she needs a new one, someone in Canada has to send one to her.

Anyway, I had $4.35 of Canadian Tire money in my glove compartment, which covered the tax and then some. And this is what I really like about Canadian Tire money: even when you use it to help pay for whatever you're buying, you get some back! Today, it was 20 cents.

Canadian Tire money is another advantage to living in Canada, and not the Excited States. Also ketchup chips and dill pickle chips. My niece is working as a camp nurse at a camp in Michigan for the summer, and her supervising nurse, who is American, loves ketchup chips, so my sister's sending her some.

I know that Shania Twain says ketchup chips are a treat she enjoys when she's in Canada. There's also a chocolate bar that she can't get anywhere else. Crunchie, maybe? Whoever's better at Shania trivia than I am can confirm that.

One more money thing: Also while I was out, I brought all my accumlated change (pennies, mostly, but dimes and nickels, too) to the Coinstar machine at Loblaws. I got $13.63 back, even after the service charge of 9.8 cents per dollar. The machine spits out anything that's not American, Canadian or a real coin. I had a parking token mixed in with the chicken feed, not sure where I got it. Maybe it was in some change sometime and a cashier mistook it for a penny or dime. The machine also wouldn't accept one lonely 2004 Canadian penny. I put it through four or five times, and it kept getting spit out. WTF?

Coinstar sures beat the crap out of counting and rolling.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Doh! I mean Doe... a Deer... a female Deer!

I knew that my new place, situated where it is, would give me an opportunity to spot some wildlife. I've already seen a lot of birds, most notably a red-winged blackbird. Even if I didn't see the birds, they leave proof of their presence all over my car.
I just happened to look out the window at about four o'clock this afternoon, and there was this beauty:

My neighbour had told me about spotting her in the early morning, but at 4pm? When I went out onto the balcony to take a few photos, he was also on his balcony watching her. He figures she probably came across the highway (actually, the Blackburn Bypass) at night some time, and is now spooked by it during the day. Of course, we joked about putting her on the barbecue. I have eaten barbecued venison. It's delicious.
Anyway, it's times like these that I wish I had a better camera, with a longer lens. I'll have to invest in one before my trip to Dubai in December.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Happy Canada Day/Bonne Fête du Canada



I took this photo about three years ago at the family cottage. We proudly fly the flag all summer. This year for Canada Day, I'm even flying a flag from the back window of my car. I bought it yesterday at WalMart, which, of course, is an American company. The flag was made in Taiwan, but it's still MY flag, and I am proud to be a native citizen of the best country in the entire world.

Have a good, safe Canada Day weekend.