What Did He Say?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 19:58 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
I started working on this squiggle thing quite a while ago.  And what better to finish it off, than a robot?

Tuna Pizza

Monday, March 28, 2011 20:17 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Tonight's dinner was one we tried to recreate from a pizza place we visited a while back in Eastbourne: Tuna Pizza!

While not quite as good as the one from the pizza joint, it was still very yummy, and it serves as a starting point to try some different variations.

Mexican Salad Stuffed Squash and Chocolate Pot-de-Creme

Sunday, March 27, 2011 18:12 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Today we made an absolutely wonderful Mexican Salad Stuffed Squash followed by a decadent and scrumptious Chocolate Pot-de-Creme.
Mexican Salad Stuffed Squash
Chocolate Pot-de-Creme

Guys and Dolls

07:51 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Guys and Dolls
Last night we rented the movie Guys and Dolls.  Up until this point, I had never actually seen the whole movie.  I had seen bits and pieces of it over the years, and of course I had heard a few of the songs that were made famous by the movie, but I never actually watched the whole thing.

While overall, I really liked the movie, I thought the pairing of Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine lacked any chemistry what so ever.  I thought that the dance number in the sewers could have been removed.  And evidently, the contraction wasn't invented until after 1955.  Every actor in the movie sounded like Fat Tony from The Simpsons.

All in all, I liked the movie and would give it a 6 out of 10.

I'm Being Watched

Thursday, March 24, 2011 18:26 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Opened by MAF, or Opened by The Man?
A while back, I talked about forgetting to check my pockets before washing a pair of jeans and as such ruined my pedometer.  Luckily, Costco was still selling them and my In-laws picked one up for me in exchange for donating money to the Christchurch earthquake fund, in their name.  I got the package in the mail box today, but noticed that it had been opened by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry!

My mail is being opened by The Man!

We've received many packages and letters from Canada since being here, but this is the first time that a parcel was intercepted.  Good thing there was nothing illicit in the package, but now I'll have to control my thoughts as I don't want them opening up my brain to see all my illicit thoughts.

The First Spaghetti

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 21:05 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
I was wondering how the first dinner with spaghetti went...

Alice: What the hell is this?
Jim: I call it spaghetti!
Alice: You sliced up all my lasagna noodles!
Jim: ...to make spaghetti.
Alice: What was wrong with the lasagna the way it was?
Jim: Well it's easier to eat.  See you have to use a knife AND a fork to eat lasagna, but with spaghetti, you just need a fork.
Alice: It keeps falling off the fork, look.  It's too slippery.
Jim: You have to twirl it.
Alice: What?
Jim: You have to twirl it around the fork...like this [demonstrates]
Alice: And that is easier than cutting lasagna?
Jim: Well, I haven't worked out all the kinks yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll work them out soon.
Alice: You're a frigging idiot.

Never Let Me Go

Monday, March 21, 2011 06:29 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Never Let Me Go
I'm starting a new habit of doing quick movie reviews.  Nothing Ebert-esque, just something that will remind me of the movies we watch as well as a short note or two on it.

Movie: Never Let Me Go
Review: This movie, based on a book, is the story of a world where clones are created with the express purpose of donating their vital organs to their originals.  It follows three friends from their life in a group home as children, into their late 20s and early 30s.  The story is very dark in nature, but still manages to hold your attention until the end of the show.
Rating: 7 (Out of 10)

Kaitoke Regional Park

Saturday, March 19, 2011 17:57 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Kristie and I spent the morning and mid afternoon at Kaitoke Regional Park, just outside of Upper Hutt.  The park is a wonderful, picturesque place with marvelous walking trails, swimming holes, picnic areas, and camping.


In fact, one of the areas was where they filmed Rivendell for Lord of the Rings.  Unfortunately, none of the structures they created while filming remain due to copyright issues.  Bugger!


Here are some of the pictures we took today:  If you want to see all the photos, you can check them out on Picasa.


Rivendell




Kristie and Pups Under Bridge




Family Portrait


Angus Takes a Bath


Interesting Perspective
Stream Walk


Walnut in his Glory


The Puppy that Ate Manhattan

Actions Have Consequences

There is a video on the webernet right now that is going viral.  It is a video of young Australian boy, named Casey Heynes being bullied by a smaller kid, who is backed up by some muscle behind camera (the muscle reveals himself at end of video).  Note: I won't link to the video itself, as I don't want to sensationalize the violence that occurs.

In the video, Casey, the victim, is simply standing in a school foyer, when the smaller kid (I'm going to call him Toady) comes up, says: "Have you been talking shit?'', then grabs him by his shirt and punches him square in the face, knocking Casey's head back.  It is important to realize that Casey stands passive until this point.  His hands are at his side, and has not even taken a defensive posture.  Toady then tries to punch him in the face again, and Casey blocks this blow.  Again, Casey isn't even in a defensive position at this point.  Toady then starts show boating with some foot work and jabs Casey a couple times in his midsection.  At this point in the video, you can see that Toady is about to try to administer another head shot, when Casey finally snaps.  In a flurry, he wrestles Toady completely off the ground and administers a devastating body slam of Toady onto the hard floor.  The effect of Toady is immediate; he tries to get up, but he is clearly injured, and can barely stand up.  It is at this point that Toady's muscle comes from off camera and confronts Casey.  Casey turns to walk away, and the muscle starts to follow him.  Luckily, a brave girl steps between Casey and the muscle and prevents any further violence.

The Herald Sun reported that both Toady and Casey were suspended.  Let me repeat that: Both Toady and Casey were suspended!  A New South Wales Department of Education and Training spokeswoman said that the school "does not tolerate any violence and deals with all cases according to its community-agreed discipline code".  This is what makes me seethe with anger!  Casey, who apparently has been bullied his entire life, is now being punished by the school board for being a victim!  Pardon my internet euphemism, but WTF?

I ask anyone in that school board who thinks that the suspension is justified to think about the following scenario:

You're sitting in your car, parked, and enjoying a quiet afternoon.  Suddenly, another car starts ramming into you, again and again, unprovoked.  You can't go backwards; you can't get out of your car.  You're panicking; you don't even realize fully what is happening at this point.  The car is relentlessly ramming into you, back and forth, again and again.  The only way out of this situation is to drive your car headlong into the other car to get away.  Now, imagine after the incident, you're mind is reeling trying to figure out what happened, when you are approached by a police officer and you are arrested for causing an accident.

How can anyone at the school board, after watching that video (and don't tell me the video wasn't watched by members of the board), have the heart to suspend Casey?  I am pretty sure that the school board's community-agreed discipline code has no bearing in a child defending himself.  Do not blame the Victim!

I generally think that society today has become too litigious, but what the board did to Casey is no different than what Toady did to Casey,  In fact, it is worse!  They have seen the evidence; they have seen that Casey was viciously attacked and they still willfully punished the victim.  This is no less an attack on Casey that what Toady did and as such, I believe that legal action should be taken against the school board.  Actions have consequences, as I'm sure Toady will understand now.  Similarly, the board's actions must not go unchallenged.  I believe that legal action should be taken against the members of the board that inflicted the punishment on Casey.

If anyone is interested in showing their support, a Facebook fan page has been started for Casey at https://www.facebook.com/CaseyHeynes

Flower Power

Monday, March 14, 2011 09:28 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
I took a photo of some of the wildflowers that grow along side our driveway.

Dare to Dream

Monday, March 07, 2011 15:46 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Last night I had one of the most vivid dreams I've had in quite a while.

I dreamed that I was a building contractor doing work for my brother Andy and his wife, Sue.  I was on my second day of work, and was quite tired, so I decided to take a nap in the attic above their garage (as one does).  While napping, Sue came in with a whole bunch of people, who turned out to be mechanics.  She was the leader of a mechanic cabal who were trying to ensure that governments would not allow any generic replacement parts to be manufactured in order to ensure their monopoly over all auto parts.

I continued to pretend to nap while the meeting was happening, when in the middle of the meeting, Sue noticed that I was napping in the attic (as one does) and rapidly cleared out the meeting.  Later on, after I went back down stairs, she was very angry and fired me as their contractor.  I protested saying that she was only firing me due to the fact that I knew about her plan to corner the market on auto part accessories.  She pretended that she had no idea what I was talking about.  I grew quite angry at that point and left the house saying that I would take them to court.

Later on, I was with my sister Kim, jumping from rock to rock, along the river doing multiple flips in the air (as one does).  I was trying to tell her about Sue's mechanic cabal, but she wouldn't listen to me about it.  With our last flip off the rocks, we landed back at Andy & Sue's house, where they were having an art exhibit.  Behind glass cases, they were exhibiting what I originally thought to be very large timber wolves, but in reality what turned out to be very large Yorkshire Terrier puppies...the size of large grizzly bears actually.  I was admiring the large Yorkshire Terrier puppies outfits of fishnet stockings (as one does) when Andy came in, very upset with me.

I asked him if we could sit down and talk it over, which he agreed to.  But as soon as I tried to discuss the evil mechanic's cabal, he shut me down by screaming at me.  I asked him again if I could explain my side of the story, and he once again said yes.  After giving him the details of the evil mechanic's cabal, led by his wife Sue, I could see that he was on the verge of a rage.  But instead of lashing out at me, he signaled to Sue to bring over three, signed cheques, which she delivered between the teeth of needle nosed pliers (as one does).  Two of the cheques had a memo for the work I never got a chance to complete, and one of the cheques was for rent.  The overall intent of giving me those cheques meaning that by paying me, I was now dissolved from any associations with Andy and Sue.

That's it, that was the dream.  Obviously, the hidden meaning behind the dream was that Sue is going to make a bloody fortune off car accessories (as one does).

Nostalgic for Newfoundland

Sunday, March 06, 2011 11:50 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Nostalgic for Newfoundland
About 7 or 8 years ago, Kristie and I got to have a holiday in Newfoundland/Labrador.  We were so taken with the place that for a few years after the fact, we kept ordering items from various online merchants to remind us of our time there.  For instance, we use to order Gooseberry Syrup, we ordered art, and now, here in NZ, we've just ordered (and received) new clothing.

While there we found a clothing store called Living Planet.  Both Kristie and I bought a couple t-shirts each.  Both of my shirts showed versions of old Newfoundland stamps: one of Cabot Tower and one of Newfoundland Cod.  Kristie's shirts both had cartoon fish motifs, one saying to be the biggest fish in your pond, and the other one without a caption.  These shirts have held up extremely well over the years, and we were pining for some shirts from this store again recently.  Luckily, Living Planet now have an online presence and we were able to order a couple new shirts.  I got a shirt with a replica of the Newfoundland moose road warning signs and Kristie got one with the Jellybean Houses and one with an owl (all three shirts are pictured above).  Kristie got two shirts to my one as payback for forgetting to meet her after work one day...not the only time this has happened.

We placed the order on Feburary 2nd and they arrived on February 28th.  It only took 20 days shipping from Newfoundland!  We've had things from Alberta that took well over twice that long!

Whole Lot of Nothing

09:27 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Ok, the last couple weeks haven't been anything to write home about, so instead, I'll blog about it.

Shaving

I'm the kind of guy that can get away with shaving only twice a week; usually on Monday evening or Tuesday morning (my first work day) and then again on Thursday morning.  The amount of hair that grows between Tuesday and Thursday is roughly the equivalent of a normal person's five-o-clock shadow.  The problem is the longer time frame from Thursday to the next week's Tuesday.  In that time frame, it has about five days of growth and by the time I'm ready to shave, it can be a little bit painful with the whole tugging thing. (yeah-yeah, I know I'm a wimp.)  So a couple weeks ago I started an experiment where I would shave every day while showering.  It did eliminate the pain as there was virtually nothing to shave away, but I found that I never felt as clean shaven as with the biweekly shavings.  I'm pretty sure that it is nothing but perception, but I didn't like the feeling of a bad shave, so once again I'm back at the biweekly shavings.

Pedometer

Not last Christmas, but the previous one, my In laws got me a Omron pedometer that I absolutely loved.  You could plug it into the computer and download your steps, and the software would show you all kinds of stats...I loved this thing.  Loved?  You mean love right?  Nope, I meant loved.  Last week I accidentally left the pedometer in my pockets while doing a load of laundry, and didn't notice it until I emptied the washing machine.  I tried drying it out in rice for quite a few days, but alas, it is gone to pedometer heaven.

Sunglasses

Before leaving Canada, while still working for Canadian Blood Services, I managed to squeeze in one last eye glass prescription under CBS benefit's package.  As this was the last time I would be able to take advantage of the health benefit program, I decided to get a regular pair of glasses as well as a pair of prescription sunglasses.  This was the first time I've ever had a pair of prescription sunglasses, and absolutely loved them!  Loved?  You mean love right?  Nope, I meant loved.  Yesterday, after coming in from a walk with the pups, I noticed this weird spiderweb-like thing on the lenses of my sunglasses.  As I tried cleaning them off, I noticed that the spiderweb-like thing was the result of the UV coating disintegrating.  It was really strange; I had worn them the previous day without any issue, and then one day later, they were destroyed.  I'm going to look into seeing if they can be re-coated, but I'm not holding my breath.