Friday, 30 April 2010

Good Neighbours

The old school on my parents' property almost burned down the other night. One of the neighbours, when driving by, noticed a glow coming from one of the windows. She drove back to my parents and called her father and her sons on the way. By the time my parents got back to the school, efforts were well underway to throw out the smoldering straw that had been stored inside. The local volunteer fire department arrived and the building was saved.
I am thankful for people who keep their eyes open and aren't afraid to become involved. This is what small communities are all about.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


It is really hard to see the veneer patches the Geek has applied to the drawers on the dresser and the night table.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Well Fed

The Geek put 'weed'n'feed' on the furniture today.
Can you see the difference between the drawers that have been given the wood feeder and those drawers that are still hungry?

Friday, 23 April 2010

Earthquakes and Volcanoes, Oh My!

Found this gem of an article from the Chicago Times in a rather round-about fashion. Makes me wonder, if this dude is right, and immodest dressing causes earthquakes, what did Iceland do?

Iranian cleric blames women's immodest dress, promiscuity for earthquakes, urges repentance

BEIRUT (AP) — A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear immodest clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes.

Iran is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries, and the cleric's unusual explanation for why the earth shakes follows a prediction by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that a quake is certain to hit Tehran and that many of its 12 million inhabitants should relocate.

"Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes," Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Sedighi is Tehran's acting Friday prayer leader.

Women in the Islamic Republic are required by law to cover from head to toe, but many, especially the young, ignore some of the more strict codes and wear tight coats and scarves pulled back that show much of the hair.

"What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?" Sedighi asked during a prayer sermon Friday. "There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam's moral codes."

Seismologists have warned for at least two decades that it is likely the sprawling capital will be struck by a catastrophic quake in the near future.

Some experts have even suggested Iran should move its capital to a less seismically active location. Tehran straddles scores of fault lines, including one more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) long, though it has not suffered a major quake since 1830.

In 2003, a powerful earthquake hit the southern city of Bam, killing 31,000 people — about a quarter of that city's population — and destroying its ancient mud-built citadel.

"A divine authority told me to tell the people to make a general repentance. Why? Because calamities threaten us," Sedighi said.

Referring to the violence that followed last June's disputed presidential election, he said, "The political earthquake that occurred was a reaction to some of the actions (that took place). And now, if a natural earthquake hits Tehran, no one will be able to confront such a calamity but God's power, only God's power. ... So let's not disappoint God."

The Iranian government and its security forces have been locked in a bloody battle with a large opposition movement that accuses Ahmadinejad of winning last year's vote by fraud.

Ahmadinejad made his quake prediction two weeks ago but said he could not give an exact date. He acknowledged that he could not order all of Tehran's 12 million people to evacuate. "But provisions have to be made. ... At least 5 million should leave Tehran so it is less crowded," the president said.

Minister of Welfare and Social Security Sadeq Mahsooli said prayers and pleas for forgiveness were the best "formulas to repel earthquakes."

"We cannot invent a system that prevents earthquakes, but God has created this system and that is to avoid sins, to pray, to seek forgiveness, pay alms and self-sacrifice," Mahsooli said.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

And They're Off

One sunflower has sprouted and the tulips are ready to bloom.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Garden Starts

The Geek has started some stuff for the garden; basil, flowers and other green stuff!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

As If 'They' Weren't Making Enough Money From Women

This article was in today's edition of the Winnipeg Free Press. I found the Tush Tryouts section areas highly amusing...

No ifs, ands or butts

Padded undies give a guaranteed bum boost to those who feel they lack a delectable derrière

Padded undies give a guaranteed bum boost to those who feel they  lack a delectable derrière.

Padded undies give a guaranteed bum boost to those who feel they lack a delectable derrière.

A GOOD friend of mine who’s in his early 50s recently went to a seamstress to get a pair of pants altered. Although the woman spoke minimal English, she apparently had no trouble articulating the sartorial challenge before her.

"You got no bum," she told him.

My friend laughed it off, although he did start adding lunges and squats to his regular routine.

Little did he know that for less than $50 he could've just bought himself a butt.

Underwear that enhances -- nothing new under the sun for women -- may be the shape of things to come for more men as they feel the pressure to conform to their own unrealistic beauty standard.

When guys start worrying about how they look from behind, you know they're feeling it.

A Google search for "butt enhancers" reveals a buttload of options for maximizing your gluteus maximus without actually engaging that muscle (or undergoing a cosmetic procedure, although that option also seems to be gaining attention). Judging by the number of products targeted at men, you'd think the padded bra had switched teams and moved south.

Bottoms Up, a Toronto company founded by a one-time Winnipegger, sells customized briefs with removable contoured butt pads ($45.99) in three thicknesses (Quarterback, Halfback and Fullback). The latter will plump a rump up 2.7 centimetres. Men who prefer the full package deal can add Pouch Pads ($11.99).

Jack Timlock, a former costume and set designer who developed the undies, says business is booming, even though he has never advertised. (Sales reportedly doubled in 2008 when Regis Philbin held up a pair of Bottoms Up briefs on Live With Regis and Kelly.) Although he has shipped product to some 60 countries, Timlock says 95 per cent of his customers are in the U.S. The majority are male and many are gay.

Timlock says he sells to a lot of men with HIV who have lost the fat after years of taking antiretroviral drugs, as well as cancer patients and "a lot of seniors and people in wheelchairs," but he admits it's vanity that's keeping him in business.

"There are a lot of gay men who want bigger butts. However I also get a lot of wives buying for their husbands. They write and say, 'I'm tired of looking at him in those droopy pants,'" says Timlock, a former producer of Winnipeg's Rainbow Stage theatre. He and Bottoms Up co-owner, Rick Mucha, lived here from 1981 to 1994.

Kerri Christman, owner of Butt For You, also based out of Toronto, says her client base -- again mostly male -- runs the gamut from models, stuntmen, bikers and horseback riders to seniors who want extra padding in case they fall and even men looking to exact a little bootylicious revenge.

"I had one gent who wanted a pair FedExed overnight. He was going to his divorce hearing the next day. His wife had always complained he had no butt so he wanted to walk into the courtroom and show her that he had an ass," Christman says.

No doubt one of the reasons men are paying more attention to their rear ends is because women have become more outspoken about, and are placing more significance on, men's physical attributes. A generation ago, a comment like "Nice butt!" would be considered unladylike, if not vulgar. But today, thanks in no small part to the taboo-busting influence of Sex and the City, ogling and objectifying the opposite sex is no longer a solely male domain.

And vanity, thy name is no longer woman, that's for sure. Bottoms Up plans to launch a pec-pad shirt in the next year and Timlock says there are already more than 100 names on the waiting list.

All of this puts a new gender spin on the old question about false advertising: What happens when a guy who's enhanced to the nines gets into an intimate situation and his unsuspecting partner unwraps the package to discover it's all just padding?

"Maybe keep the lights off," Timlock suggests.

Tush Tryouts

Will a more bountiful booty enrich your life -- even if you have to stock the pantry with store-bought buns? We gave four Free Press employees a chance to answer that question by testing out some padded underwear. Here's their bottom line:

Bottoms Up Men's Butt Padded Briefs ($45.99)

Fit/comfort: They were more comfortable than I thought they might be. Even wearing fairly snug jeans, I could move around and sit down with ease.

Appearance: I'm a fairly fit and slim guy and I found they made my behind look disproportionately big.

Feedback: My girlfriend, when she stopped laughing, said they made me look heavier and that she's never lusted over a guy because his backside was well rounded.

Bootylicious?: They certainly enhanced my key measurements, but I'm not sure if I'd feel any more confident or alluring wearing two mega-sized shoulder pads strapped to my butt.

Bottoms Up Women's Butt Padded Boy Briefs ($39.99)

Fit/comfort: When sitting down, I found them pleasantly comfy, like sitting on a cushion. When standing and walking, I found they crawled into places they shouldn't. They need a redesigned crotch that doesn't have thick seams.

Appearance: The butt falsies made me feel I'd gained an instant five to 10 pounds. And their unsexy design could be a romantic mood-killer.

Feedback: Wearing them with jeans, I got nothing but positive comments, with both men and women telling me I looked younger, hotter, curvier and more bootylicious. Everybody said the look was natural, as if I'd been doing squats. They said my "junk" looked higher, rounder and more "grabbable."

Trying them with a much tighter pair of cords, I found them hotter and more uncomfortable, like a bulky extra layer of clothing. I got comments that the Bottoms Up created a diaper-like bulge -- a bump-out that was too abrupt to look natural.

Bootylicious?: This experience made me self-conscious about my real, flatter fanny. I started to feel inadequate for not exercising enough to beef it up and sort of guilty for taking a "shortcut" to a look that many women spend hours in a gym to achieve.

Would I actually wear the butt-boosters? Not a chance. But they do work as advertised.

Butt for You Men's Boxer Briefs ($36.95)

Fit/comfort: My butt stuck out so far, I was worried whether I'd be able to do up my pants. After you get used to the extra luggage, they're not half bad; they made long days sitting in an office chair more comfy.

Appearance: At first, I felt very on display -- like I had a big bubble butt.

Feedback: My boss was crying, she was laughing so hard. She said that even though she has never looked at my butt, she could tell there was something extra back there. Wore my bum to the Tim McGraw concert. I was there with a buddy who knew about my "project" and when we ran into a female friend of his, we asked her who she thought had the nicer bum. To my amazement, she said my buddy did.

Bootylicious: I've always gotten lots of attention from the ladies and thought for sure something more would happen with my new bum but it didn't.

Butt For You Women's Boyshorts ($36.95)

Fit/comfort: Reasonably comfortable, although likely hot in summer. Best use I found for them: slip on a pair as a built-in back cushion when you're about to sit on a hard-backed chair or pew.

Appearance: When I wore them under my dress pants, I looked a bit matronly from the rear. It reminded me of the bustles women used to wear in the 1800s. Under loose jeans, they filled me out sufficiently that I could throw away my belt. But frankly, the foam on my rear made me look like I'd put on weight. (Dress and undress alone, because the briefs look ridiculous on their own.

Feedback: My partner didn't notice at first, but when prompted to look more closely, offered that my shape looked "abnormal."

Bootylicious?: The Butt for You company won't be hiring me to do their infomercials any time soon. (Unfortunately, the pads are not firm enough to use as knee pads for canoeing.)

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 17, 2010

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Anyone Looking for a New Career?

The course starts soon....

Here is a description of what you will learn...

This isn't for me, since I have all the intuition of a Mack truck but I am sure there is someone out there who will find this useful.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Superheroes in Training

S, T, and Xander, in their superhero capes, practice their goose whisperer skills at St Vital Park earlier today.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Jon's Skeleton Sandwich

I heard a recipe for Jon Montgomery's favourite sandwich on CBC one day. The chef of the Russell Inn, who was talking about Jon's gold medal win, called the sandwich The Monty. I personally don't like the name/word Monty. To me it sounds like a big, dopey calf (don't get me wrong, I love big, dopey calves); so I call it a Skeleton sandwich. I think I remembered everything mentioned by the chef, but if not, we like it the way I have it.

Mix together
~ 1/2 cup mayonaise with 4 - 5 tablespoons of Tabasco sauce, a handful of cashews (depends on how big a hand you have and just how nutty you are feeling), and a can of tuna.
Put a piece of whole grain bread on a hot, buttered griddle. Place a layer of havarti cheese, the tuna mix, another layer of cheese and top with another piece of bread. Grill until golden.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Ice on Lake Winnipeg

Scribbler sent these pictures of the huge ice ridges that blew ashore on the west side of Lake Winnipeg near Winnipeg Beach.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Easter Bread

The Geek has been helping Mrs Peartree with some home repairs. Mrs Peartree gave the Geek this Portugese Easter Bread.
I've never had a bread with eggs baked inside.

I can't find the story behind the Pao de Pascua com ovo, but considering eggs play a large role in many Easter traditions, I can only guess that has something to do with it.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Garage Sale Season is Now Officially Open

We had a bit of snow this morning, thankfully not the 5-10 cm the weather forecasters were calling for, and it had pretty much melted by noon.I went down the Crescent to my first garage sale of the season.
While I was checking out the goods for sale I saw an Art Deco-esque bedroom suite 'hidden' in one of the downstairs bedrooms.
I left thinking that if was still there if I came back later, I would buy the headboard and footboard.
When I went back with the Geek it was still there, and I bought all five pieces.
The Geek has kindly offered to glue down any loose pieces of the veneer and give it a dose of 'weed and feed' (wood finish feeder).
I'll post some pictures of the finished product then, as well as the new cushion for the dressing table bench.