Friday, 31 May 2013

On Corn

From toothpaste and anti-wrinkle cream to fueling livestock and ethanol, the frightening list of products containing corn does not cease to grow.

(Recent corn purchase in Ottawa)

Thursday, 30 May 2013

On a Toxic-Free Generation

It's time to "wipe away the fingerprint of our old habits" and start clean by using greener household, beauty, and hygiene products.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

On Acronyms

They are not the same as abbreviations and/or initialisms:

Acronym: A new word formed by the first letters of each of the successive words in the term. (e.g. IKEA, Radar, Laser, NATO)

Abbreviation: A shortened form of a word/phrase used in place of the whole term. (e.g. Mtl, wknd, amt, etc)

Initialism: An abbreviation formed from initial letters that do not spell out a word therefore must be pronounced as individual letters. (e.g. HMV, SXSW, ABC, FDA)

(IKEA stands for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd)

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

On Creative Dishes

Many unique meals and/or desserts require more imagination than actual talent or good recipes. 

(Snowmen cupcakes at the Montreal cupcake festival)

Monday, 27 May 2013

On Glenn Gould

He was one of the most talented pianists of the 20th century but stopped performing at age 31 partly due to "GPAADAK" (The Gould Plan for the Abolition of Applause and Demonstrations of All Kinds).

(Glenn Gould bronze sculpture near the CBC building in downtown Toronto)

Sunday, 26 May 2013

On Bowling

Unless you are a child, learning to bowl with two hands is generally a waste of time.

(Teaching some basic bowling skills to a child)

Saturday, 25 May 2013

On Commonly Misspelled Words

Quizzing friends and/or family is on of the best ways to retain the spelling of some of the most difficult words in the English language.

Top 10 Commonly Misspelled English Words:
  1. Vacuum
  2. Millennium
  3. Colonel
  4. Pastime
  5. Kindergarten
  6. Memento
  7. Playwright
  8. Calendar
  9. Accommodate
  10. Misspelled*
(Sample VAIO photo)

Friday, 24 May 2013

On Amusement Parks

Whenever possible try to bring your own food and/or drinks as prices tend to needlessly skyrocket.

(Temporary amusement park in downtown Ottawa)

Thursday, 23 May 2013

On Writing

"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."

-Sylvia Plath, author of The Bell Jar.

(A view of Paris from a Ferris wheel downtown)

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

On Rainstorms

There are some intense rainy circumstances where umbrellas are totally useless.

(A tropical rainstorm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

On Perennials

Although they may return for three or more years they do not last as long each season as annuals do.

(Sample VAIO picture)

Monday, 20 May 2013

On World Hunger

If we are not going to take the proper steps to help the thousands who die of hunger every day the least we can do is not take our own food for granted.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

On Languages

Learning a second or third language can only be beneficial:
  1. Gain insight into other cultures
  2. Improved social life
  3. Better marketability
  4. Increased brain activity
  5. More confidence

(Linguistic street art near the Parliament in Ottawa)

Saturday, 18 May 2013

On the Post Office

Having one of the oldest professions in the country does not necessarily guarantee job security.

(Mosaic at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau)

Friday, 17 May 2013

On Tulips

Daily cold water changes and regular stem trimming keep these beautiful flowers alive longer.

(Tulips at the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa)

Thursday, 16 May 2013

On Highway Driving

Keeping at least another car's distance between vehicles is the best way to ensure a safe journey. 

(Cars on Highway 40 near just beneath Blvd St. Charles)

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

On Illegal Cigarettes

When the average pack of cigarettes cost over $10, you can bet that children will search for ways to buy cheaper ones.

(Large display on Sparks street in Ottawa)

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

On Hockey

Leading 3-1 in the third period with 3 minutes left does not guarantee that a team will win the game.

("Go Sens Go" outside Don Cherry's restaurant in Ottawa)

Monday, 13 May 2013

On Prejudices

"Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones." 

-Charlotte Bronte, from Jane Eyre

(Firm tree at the Bonnet House in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)

Sunday, 12 May 2013

On Mother's Day

Participating in creative activities together is usually more meaningful than buying an expensive gift.

(Attending Winterlude in Ottawa with my mother)

Saturday, 11 May 2013


Large, busy stores actually propose "quiet shopping time" hours to offset the large masses.

(Statistics for the new IKEA store in Montreal)

Friday, 10 May 2013

On Computer Programming

Although not taught in most schools, learning to code can be one of the most useful tools one can learn at any age.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

On Capturing Wildlife

Being patient, moving extremely slowly, and remaining still are crucial elements in capturing a decent wildlife photograph.

(Loons flying away after my brisk movements)

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

On Getting Rid of Ants

Sprinkling a little cinnamon or paprika around the house works a lot better than spraying harsh chemicals.

(Cinnamon strategically placed around my place)

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

On Sea-Doos

Putting just a little pressure on the gears can cause drastic changes in both speed and direction.

(Test driving a Sea-doo in Sunrise, Florida)

Monday, 6 May 2013

On Electronic Cigarettes

Although they are a better alternative to modern day cigarettes, they do little to curb the cravings and can be just as expensive.

(A friend's electronic cigarette)

Sunday, 5 May 2013

On Feeding Wildlife

Feeding birds and other wild animals often results in them becoming dependent and unable to retrieve their own food.

(Two birds among many outside a tourist venue in Florida)

Saturday, 4 May 2013

On Boat Tours

Taking a 30-minute boat ride through the Everglades does not guarantee that one will see any alligators. 

(No alligators to be found on an April mid-afternoon)

Friday, 3 May 2013

On Quotations

"A quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business."

-A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh author)

(Sample VIAO photo)

Thursday, 2 May 2013

On Selling Barbies

Having many photographs from various angles eases the sale of expensive collector edition items.

(Collector Edition Cher Barbie Doll that I sold)

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

On Homonyms

They are not the same as homophones and/or homographs.

Homonyms: Words that have the same pronunciation and spelling but different meaning. (e.g. I cannot BEAR it vs. is that a BEAR?)

Homophones: Words that have the same pronunciation but different spelling and meaning. (e.g. TWO vs. TOO vs. TO)

Homographs:  Words that have the same spelling but different meaning and pronunciation. (e.g. WIND in the Willows vs. Time to WIND down)

(Similar but different claws at the Montreal Biodome)