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Come to think of it, I can't name three

Rick Mercer's post today presented an interesting challenge:

You could take a hundred bucks, you could stand on a any street corner in Canada, offer people five bucks if they can name three cabinet ministers off the top of their head – double their money if they can name the minister of health. At the end of the day you'd still have enough money for dinner and a movie.

When I first saw it I thought, "I can do that!"  I'm up on current events, I listen to CBC radio every morning and evening, I glance at the newspaper (my Post-doc work which involved reading 11 papers a day for 6 months killed any desire I have to read the paper).  But guess what, I can't do it.

I'm rather ashamed really.  Wait, I can do it... (It was really bothering me).

Tony Clement (Health, I think)

Stockwell Day (Security something or other or something like that)

Jim Flaherty (Finance Minister)

Weirdly, I have that guy, the one from Nova Scotia in my head.  The one who dated Belinda Stronach...He's a cabinet minister, but for the life of me I can't think of his name.  Sure it would make four and I'm being a keener, but it's bugging me.

Let me go Google and see if I'm right.

I'll be back...


(5 minutes later)

Okay I'm back.  I went to this site (the first one that comes up when I google "parliament of Canada cabinet ministers").  It doesn't work.  Did Rick Mercer break the server?  Or is Stephen Harper up to something?

This one does work.

Peter McKay is the guy I couldn't remember and he's Minister of Defense.

Stockwell Day is Minister of Public Safety

I got Jim Flaherty right (all those years in Mike Harris' fucked up Ontario make him hard to forget)

And woohoo for me, Tony Clement is the Minister of Health.  (It's not good for Canada as a whole, but I'm feeling good about my political awareness).

So where's my 15 bucks?

Look before it's gone

Motive and opportunity ran into each other during the kids' skating lesson and I snapped an outdoor picture of Roam-in-progress.


Then Fate swept in and let me know that I casted on 4 fewer sts than I needed.  I can analyze  volumes of data, yet cannot count to 55.

There is no photo of me ripping it out.  Fuck.

I'm almost back to the 12cm mark where I noticed this and I'm glad it was the left front and not the back.

In other news, there's still time to vote for the Canadian Blog awards.  I'm a finalist in two categories.

Best Personal Blog

Best Activities Blog

Also, my pal (and nominator) has a blog in the Best Business Blog--Canadian Silver Bug.  Check it out. 

10 Things I've Done

Rosemary tagged me for an interesting meme.  I'm to list ten things I have done that others likely have not.  This is really difficult--I'm a pretty run of the mill girl.

1. I worked in a chicken processing plant.  The chickens looked like whole ones from the grocery store when they got to the plant, I just made them into smaller pieces and boxed them.  This was a good "stay in school" motivator.

2. I attended a UN conference for University students in Seoul, South Korea and stayed in the Olympic residences.

3.  I read the complete Anne of Green Gables series ever summer for 10 years.  It's nearly time to introduce it to Emma.

4. I lobbied then Finance Minister Paul Martin about a tax issue for students.  And it led to the change we wanted.

5. I was elected Vice-President Student Issues of the Lakehead University Student Union.  I won by 3 votes (of about 3000).

6. I was the Chair of the National Graduate Council of the Canadian Federation of Students.

7.  I broke my nose playing Rugby.

8.  I sued someone in Small Claims Court and won (well we settled, but I got money!)

9. I had the Chicken Pox when I was 27 (I don't recommend it).

10. My appendix ruptured and I survived.  (I also don't recommend this).

I'm not going to tag anyone because I found this so hard.  But if you want to play, I would love to read your list

Our Day in Court

When we bought our house last year there was a teeny snag.  The new-ish fridge that was there when we signed the deal, was not there when it was time to close; an *old* year old fridge was there instead.  We later discovered it was manufactured in 1982, so it was a really old fridge.  One that froze our veggies in the crisper and apparently produces 400lbs of CO2 a year; it made a Godzilla sized carbon footprint.

We tried to deal with this before the closing, but the seller's wouldn't budge.  We were mighty miffed at the time since we didn't get what we bought and it was an expense we didn't want to consider.  Our lawyer suggested we go through small claims court and after some humming and hawing, we filed a claim last July.

We had our settlement conference yesterday.  I had prepared my case, thought through what I needed to say, collected my evidence (hooray for internet real estate listing with photos!) and was ready to fight.  Frankly, I was also doing this because I wanted to hold the seller's accountable, so it was also a wee exercise in revenge for making our first house purchase not so smooth. Knitter/lawyer Georgiana was very helpful too.  She helped me get to the meat of the issues and prepare and not over think things. 

We're not supposed to disclose what happened, but I will say the defendents acted as I expected and the Judge was good, fair and efficient.  I got hooked on the one thing I knew would be a problem--the age of the original fridge and the depreciated value (it's hard to document the age of something you don't have), but in the end we settled for a reasonable amount of money (about half the price of a new fridge) and I got a few other things I wanted:

We were validated in our claim (i.e. we were right)

We made them squirm a bit and got to tell them we weren't happy (i.e. a bit of revenge).

We learned some things for the next time we bought a house.

Do yourself a favour and record the serial numbers of the important appliances in your purchase agreement.  If they disappear you'll be able to prove that they were changed and the age of the appliances.  Take photos too.  I gather this kind of switcharoo happens more than you would think and while appliances are minimal in the price of a house (especially in Toronto), you want what you paid for and forking out unanticipated cash sucks.

Now we're going to go buy a new fridge.  I've been holding on to the clunker until this was over in case I needed it for some reason.  But now we can send it to the landfill where it belongs.

I have my eye on something like this:

Amana 21.6 cu. ft. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator <br>463 685 252

Black (I don't like Stainless, and where the hell do you put all your notes?  They're not magnetic), freezer on the bottom, 22 cubic feet (we've suffered with tiny fridges long enough) and pretty plain (I can make ice and get water from the tap).  If any of you have any fridge recommendations, let me know, I'm new to this.

I should also say that if you've been wronged in some way (contractors, real estate, someone didn't pay you for contract work) this small claims court thing is pretty good.  It's not very expensive, you can sue for up to $10,000 and you don't need a lawyer.  I'm really not litigious, but since the sellers didn't come to us and work things out with the fridge, it was nice to have this option.

Aw, Shucks...

I've made the finals for both categories in the Canadian Blog Awards!  Thanks so much for your votes. 

Could you go and vote again?  You don't have to be Canadian, just a fan (or someone I gave money or yarn to).

Best Personal Blog

Best Activities Blog

And if you're looking for some good reads check out the other finalists.  I've found some more new reads. 

I'll also try to be careful out there after I discovered this:

The snappy folks at xkcd (funny cartoons for geeky types like me) started this and it's changing google algorithms everywhere! (Google and see!). 

Funnier than lots of the stuff out there

I haven't been following the US election that closely, except to listen to the radio reports (CBC Radio One is a constant in my house--even my kids have their clock radios set to 99.1) and read up on how mysogyny runs wild in response to Hilary's campaign. 

It's amazing how much a woman running for President makes sexism show.  You can follow it all on Feministing if you're so inclined.

This one is on the fence for me, only because it makes me laugh and doesn't call Hilary a bitch.


Not sure if it's real, but it is pretty funny.  Though the whole Monica thing was totally bizarre to me (and most other Canadians).


You paid attention during 100% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Okay, I need to confess that I couldn't remember how to figure out the area of a triangle, but I can google the answer and find out, which I see as a mark of intelligence.  I did the math myself.  I don't think you need to know all the answers, just where to look for the answers. 

Monday Morning: Make My Day

Thanks to everyone for giving me a whole list of new blogs to visit.  Sometimes my brain needs a break at work and it *kills* me when I've gone through my blogroll and I want more.  I have lots of new voices to explore now.

And even bigger thanks to Suzanne who gave me this:


I love it!  Thanks.  I have been a bit light on the blogging since I started my new job and I've really missed it.  I'm hoping to maintain my more regular blogging schedule from now on since I always have something to say and I really like to say it.

And now, as part of my award, I get to pass the award on to ten bloggers who make my day. According to the instructions, I am supposed to: "Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times."

Here's my ten in no particular order:

1. Everybody Loves Saturday Night

2. Dogs Steal Yarn

3. In Yarn Veritas

4. Rose Kim Knits (I *so* look forward to Thursdays)

5. Yarn A G0-Go

6. Claudia's Blog

7. Brainy Lady

8. Crafty Grrrrl

9. Cosmic Pluto (designer extraordinaire)

10. Enchanting Juno

It was hard to decide who to give these two since I love all my reads.  But today, these are it--thanks for blogging good stuff.

Why Alternate?

Right now I'm totally into knitting Roam.  It is a pattern that my Briar Rose Fourth of July yarn was waiting for and the results thus far are gorgeous.  Laura is a fantastic designer and I love the little touches she adds to the shaping that give it that extra style.  And Chris over at Briar Rose is on my short list of favourite handpaints.  Keri just made the Central Park Hoodie using her yarn and now I covet that as well.  Chris' use of colour is beguiling to me--I just want to see how things will turn out while I'm knitting.  Keri pinned what keeps me knitting--I'm all about colour. 

Another thing to like about my yarn is the 500 yard put ups.  That makes for few ends and some big balls (sorry I have AC/DC in my head).


Notice anything?  Yup, they look mighty different, but they're from the same dyelot.  I don't know anything about handpainting yarn so I don't know why it turns out this way, but one thing is clear from seeing these side by side: alternating skeins is a must since one ball reads red and the other says green to me.

It does make this project not so portable, since these balls are about the size of a large grapefruit.  But the results are very pleasing.


And there's no pooling, another peril of handpaints.  I bet alternating two different skeins of yarns with harmonious colours could be very interesting.  Something I might try on a pair of socks sometime.

Shout Out!

I want to add some new blogs to my reading list.  Can you all tell which blog is your favourite and why? (And don't say mine, because even though that will make me smile and love you dearly, that isn't the point).  I have a list of what I read regularly on the left so you can see what I'm into.  I will warn you I have an aversion to excessive cat blogging.

Friday!  (I've been saying that all day; I was up early.)