Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2008!
All my friends, I will be taking some time off
to spend time with family and friends,
therefore, my story blobbing will resume in the new year.
I will see you then!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Share Your Christmas Moments

The Christmas is around the corner, so why not get into holiday spirit, a time of giving and time of beautiful moments with your family. These are few things that I would like to share with you - a moments of happiness. A moments that can be described in few words, however, they will last forever with me, and now I have the opportunity to tell the world, and have them on record.

I have two sisters and one brother. The order goes as follows: my older sister, me, my younger sister and my youngest brother. There is 5 years age difference between my younger sister and 10 years difference between my brother and me. My happy moments were when three of us (my brother wasn't born yet) used to go to the local forest and cut a small tree down, drag it home for about 5 km over fields of snow, in some places 1/2 meter high. Then we would assemble it and hang as many candies as we could, then we would eat them in a matter of few days.

When my brother was born and he was about 2 or 3 years old, I dressed up as Santa Claus and give out gifts in the house. We all head a blast.

It was tradition that no meat was consumed during Christmas dinner and still is. However, not now, but during my grandmother's time we all used to eat from one dish, and hold on to the spool through all 12 courses so our back would be good to work in the fields - I think that was funny when you are about 5 years old.

Last year in 2006 I finally decided to dress up as Santa again this time for my nephew and niece. I made my Santa suite from scratch, it took me a whole week to do it by hand. Unfortunately, my pants didn't survive the adventure, and thank God I had the long jacket. They called me a skinny Santa, hopefully this year I will not have that problem, lol. I will post some pictures on my only photo blog in few days.

And if you have some happy, funny or even sad moments - I would love to hear it. If you by any chance had the same idea, please feel free to provide a link to your site.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Told You So!

I am going to blob to myself and you are going to let me know if I am making any sense. So I am lying in bed, and again head full of thoughts, and they are usually result of talking to someone on the phone or in person, or watching TV, or listening to a radio, and then analyzing - at least that's me. This one is just simple one, which came to my mind out of nowhere. How many times did you hear simple expression like 'I Told You So'. Well, I think when we were children, then you probably heard this from your parents or grandparents. So I guess when you are kid, you do know less, and if you do something wrong, and you been asked to do it right way, sometimes mom will slip in 'I told you so'. We cannot argue this for children and sometimes even now when we older, because our ignorance sometimes make us to make bad choices. However, for some other situations 'I told you so' should be rephrased.

Here are my thoughts - not very long I hope. Suppose I am on my way for a job interview and even everything went well afterwards - never know may be someone else had even better interview and they will get a job. Statistically it is fifty-fifty rule, I get the job or I don't get the job. And then if there is a population of ten candidates, I only have ten percent chance to get the job. The life does not ends here if I don't get the job, because I can move on and explore other opportunities. Suppose I did get the job. I get home, and first thing I hear, 'I told you so'. I know whoever said this means well, but I think it will be better to say - 'Congratulations, and when do you start?' or 'It felt like you will get this job', I suppose. The flaw I see is this. The person who said 'I told you so', to me at least, is taking a credit.

I don't' have a real conclusion for this one, because I do myself stupid things sometimes because of my ignorance (yes, I am not perfect) and if I listened to someone the stupid thing would have been the right thing, and may be the 'I told you so' phrase is the right for that moment. But I think that the 'I told you so' phrase for kids, should be rephrased to 'Let's try right next time', because as we grow this phrase becomes misused, just like 'ASAP' (as soon as possible) doesn't really mean 'now'. Start from the source.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Help Can Come In Many Different Forms and Shapes

Helping others is one of the greatest gifts one can give someone. However, each individual will offer help in many different ways, and I would like to present my way of helping others. Believe or not, I helped many times, and many times my help wasn't viewed as help, but I always believed in the long term help meaning that will last forever, and I am lucky to have my second half thinking the same.

Here is my magic list of items of which I strongly support:

1) Help your self first. Let just give you an example from the air travels. Not sure if anyone pays attention to the emergency routine demonstrated by the stewardess, but I do. When that oxygen mask is ejected, put on yourself first. If you will not, then in case of emergency if someone needs more assistance than you, without a mask you may help one person, but with the mask you can help many.

2) Think how you are going to help. It is nice to give little things there and there in case of need, but have you heard an expression when you give someone a finger, next thing they want your whole hand. Yes, some people will eventually abuse the free help, and especially the financial help. So here is the statement that explains it all. I think this comes from the bible, and not sure if these are the exact words, but if you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, however, if you teach a man to fish he will eat for life. Don't be afraid to give people advice and teach them, and don't be afraid to set rules when your help is abused. I rather teach people how to survive, than just give and see that on the end it is all wasted.

3) Help is not just about giving, it is also giving a mental support. Believe or not, such support may be indirect help, but it does gives one in need strength to go on.

4) When you helped someone, don't expect to get help back from the same person. Life works in mysterious ways, and the help will come your way in time of need, and don't be surprised that the helping hand came from total stranger.

5) Sleep on your helping decisions. I am strategic thinker, and many times people think that I am reluctant to help. But no, they don't see sometimes that there may be an alternative way to help, and not just one way. I think even the person in need, needs to understand that they cannot just turn the whole world upside down because they are the only and only that need help. Sometimes, I do sleep on my helping decisions, because I really think working in harmony together we can accomplish a lot more.

I would love to hear what others have to say about that, and if you have other helping suggestions that may benefit all of us here, please let us know.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Transparent Life Path

Interesting or not, but fascinating. Your life can be traced back and probably will be 100% traceable in the near future. Due to power of all the electronic gadgets, computers, payment and banking systems, security systems, and any other tracking and recording system or devices out there, I think we can put our daily, monthly, annual or life path on the Google map, lol, that may also include photos; and with that I think that we can also have our daily routine outlined to minute detail and exact location.

Let see how this can happen by looking at this extreme example.

It is Monday morning April 29, 2007. Jane woke up and noticed that she is late for work. She picked up up her Blackberry and sent a text message at 9:00 am to her co-worker letting her know that she will be in the office pass 12:00 pm. Jane's work place is about 75 km away from home. She got ready, but then she also realized that there are few errands to do. During breakfast, she made a quick list of her errands, one of them she needed to change her dental appointment. At 9:45 am she called dental office to make a change - costs her extra 10 cents for this call, I think in the near future it is time to look for another dentist closer to home. She also made one more call. Jane called jewelry store which she decided to visit on the way to work. Right after she left her apartment, and headed for the toll highway entering around 10:15 am, and she got off about 10:45 am heading for the Central Mall. She needed to get a gift for her friends birthday for this coming weekend. She goes to jewelry store, picked nice gold necklace and paid with the Master Card. On the way from the mall she decided to get a cup of Tim Horton coffee, she ensured to take the receipt so she can get her money back from work. Jane is now back on the toll highway at 11:30 am heading for work, she is going to make it for 12 pm. Well, well, major accident on the next exit, and she is now moving slow in traffic. At 11:45 am Jane passed by the accident scene, wow was a major one, so Jane took her digital camera and snapped few pictures to show at work. Finally she got off the highway at 12:15 pm, and headed for the parking garage about 5 minutes away - fully secured. She entered first set of the security gates where three cameras pointed at her car, and then she entered second security gate where she swiped her security pass exactly 12:22 pm. It takes Jane about 7 minutes to get to her office desk that included 2 more security pass card readers. Jane finally arrived at work, she logins to her computer at 12:30 pm. She only worked to 5:00 pm, because after work she took customer out for dinner. Through out the day she wrote few emails back and forth, sent some text messages, and created few reports. Exactly at 5:00 pm Jane left from the office exactly same way out as she came in. The restaurant is mid point between her work place and home. Her reservation was for 6:00 pm. Dinner was really nice and it ended at 8:00 pm, she paid with her Corporate Visa Card. Jane headed home, same route she took to work. She got home, her apartment is on the 10th floor, and since it is now after hours, she had to use special security gates with cameras, and press special access code to enter. She got home, sent quick text message to her boss that the dinner meeting was successful. Day turned out to be very busy for Jane, however, she still had time to make for herself cup of tea, and blog for a while. She ensured that she was in bed by 11:00 pm so she can get up and get to work on time.

Now to make this story more exciting, Jane is a crime suspect and the crime investigation team is looking into Jane's day routine for April 29, 2007. They were able to get access to her security pass login records, credit card information, computer at work and at home, and everything else like phone records, toll highway records or security camera videos. The following is Jane's day routine based on the external electronic records and Jane's brief description of her day to the police. The task force submitted the following report to the team leader of this investigation.

08:59 Jane woke up (location: home; time estimated)
09:00 Jane sent text message (location: home; source: Blackberry)
09:45 Jane called dental office (location: home; source: Long Distance Telephone Bill)
09:50 Jane called gift store (location: home; source: Police obtained Telephone Records)
09:55 Jane enters parking garage (location: home parking garage; source: Garage Security Camera)
10:15 Jane enters toll highway (location: 100; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
10:45 Jane exited toll highway (location: exit 101; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
11:00 Jane paid for the gold necklace (location: Central Mall; source: Master Card Records)
11:05 Jane paid for Tim Horton Coffee (location: Central Mall; source: Tim Horton Receipt)
11:20 Jane left Central Mall parking garage (location: Central Mall; source: Parking Security System)
11:30 Jane entered toll highway (location: 110; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
11:45 Jane took photo of the accident scene (location 111; source: Digital Camera)
12:15 Jane exited toll highway (location: 112; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
12:20 Jane entered workplace parking garage (location: workplace; source: Parking Security System)
12:22 Jane passed 1st security check (location: workplace; source: Workplace Access Security System)
12:25 Jane passed 2nd security check (location: workplace; source: Workplace Access Security System)
12:27 Jane passed 3rd security check (location: workplace; source: Workplace Access Security System)
12:30 Jane login into her work computer (location: workplace; source: Workplace Access Security System)
13:00 Jane received text message 1 (location: workplace; source: Blackberry)
13:15 Jane created office memo 1 (location: workplace; source: MSWord File Date and Time Code)
13:30 Jane sent email to customer (location: workplace; source: Outlook Date and Time Code)
15:00 Jane wrote customer report 1 (location: workplace; source: PowerPoint Date and Time Code)
16:05 Jane wrote customer report 2 (location: workplace; source: PowerPoint Date and Time Code)
16:45 Jane send personal email from yahoo (location: workplace; source: Yahoo Email Date and Time Code)
16:50 Jane send text message to customer that she is meeting for dinner (location: workplace; source: Blackberry)
17:00 Jane logout from her work computer (location: workplace; source: Workplace Network System)
17:04 Jane passed 1st security check (location: workplace; source: Workplace Access Security System)
17:07 Jane passed 2nd security check (location: workplace; source: Workplace Access Security System)
17:11 Jane passed 3rd security check (location: workplace; source: Workplace Access Security System)
17:20 Jane exited workplace parking garage (location: workplace; source: Parking Security System)
17:25 Jane entered toll highway (location: 113; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
17:45 Jane exited toll highway (location: 114; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
17:55 Jane arrived at the restaurant (location: Mamma's Place; source: Parking Security System)
18:00 Jane met with customer (location: Mamma's Place; source: Reservation Log)
20:05 Jane paid for dinner (location: Mamma's Place; source: Corporate Visa Card Records)
20:10 Jane left parking lot (location: Mamma's Place; source: Parking Security System)
20:30 Jane entered toll highway (location: 115; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
20:10 Jane exited toll highway (location: 116; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
21:15 Jane arrived apartment garage (location: home; source: Garage Security Camera System) 22:00 Jane sent text message to their boss (location: home; source: Blackberry)
22:05 Jane logins to her home computer (location: home; source: Personal Computer)
22:20 Jane posted on her blog (location: home; source: Blogger)
22:45 Jane commented on blog 1 (location: home; source: Blogger)
22:55 Jane commented on blog 2 (location: home; source: Wordpress)
23:00 Jane headed for bed (location: home; source: Jane's word)

Since the estimated time for the crime was between 5:00 and 6:00 pm, it could not have been Jane as per above investigated outline, and the location was way out. Jane is cleared from the crime suspect list.

Imagine that. Yes your life can be traced, may be not like Jane's, but similarly. Indirect data about you can be obtained from your computer records, from your photo images (date and time code), your blog posts so make sure you don't' post during work hours, lol, your credit/debit cards, your banking, your cash receipts if you keep them, your created files (date and time code), medical office log books, reservation logs, toll highways, mobile phones, telephone records, emails, mail packages, and other records such diplomas received, your notes, neighbors notes, others photos, other witnesses. And I am not mentioning search engine tracking your searching habits, cookies, online purchases, online banking, etrading, logins, posts, discussion posts and many many other Internet activities. Yes the list is big, and yes we are very transparent. The question is do we want to be that transparent? For me it really doesn't matter, as long as all my personal stuff is secured. However, as far as knowing my life routine, I don't really care if someone is watching, I am sure someone would want to dig if I was only famous.

Therefore, only if you hide away from the society the transparency goes away, however, that one photo snap by someone else can place you in exact location, exact date and time. So no, you cannot get away 100%.

Lastly, did you know that your computer data is never removed from the computer, even when you deleted all the files you don't want someone to see. Only physical destruction of the computer will destroy everything - like hammering or subjecting your computer to very strong magnetic fields.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Bash 2007: Ghost Story 4 - In the House

When we were young we played crazy but not dangerous pranks among us, but these pranks turn into scary feeling. The house we used to live was an old house built by Germans. I think Germans used to keep deceased in the funeral home right at the cemetery. However, that tradition changed when Polish moved into the area right after the war. A dead person was prepared and kept in the house for three days. When my grandfather died, they did the same, they kept him for three days in our house. All I remember is that a lot of people came every day, sat around the coffin, and either prayed or again gossiped about the latest and greatest, and also told stories or little things just enough to make us think about it. I was only five years old then, but I was quite aware of the ghosts too. So they used to say that kids had tendency to see more, and they told once a story how a little girl saw her dead mother just beside the coffin. No body saw anything, but the little girl was talking to her dead mom as she was alive.

Going back to pranks. Sometimes my parents and grandparents would work late in the field or for some reason leave us in the house alone. I think then it was three of us, my older sister probably eight years old, me just about seven year old and my other baby sister probably year old. For some reason we would sit tight in the house, but then one of us would start tell the ghost stories and even embellish them and act like one too, lol. On the end, we both would get so scared that we would take are baby sister and sit outside the house until late evening when it was dark, and wait for someone to come back home. We were much more comfortable outside, I guess we had more freedom just in case we had to run, better than hiding in the small rooms with an imaginary ghost, lol.

So the Halloween is around the corner. I will conclude the Halloween Bash 2007 with this story. So for all those kids and everyone else celebrating Halloween - have fun, play safe, and never know may be you will see the real ghost too.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Halloween Bash 2007: Ghost Story 3 - Man Without Faces

This story unfortunately makes me laugh now, but not then. This is the second cemetery story I am going to tell you. I will keep it short today. The story was by this one man in our town, and I think this time it happened on the side of our cemetery, because I recall them talking about him biking to work to the milk processing plant that was few kilometers away from the cemetery. Yes biking was very common in Europe then, now days many treat bicycles as exercise mechanism but then it was main transportation mechanism.

This man was working evening shift, so around seven in the evening he was biking to work. It was fall season so around that time it was getting darker. His main routine was biking by the cemetery. So one day he is taking his regular routine to work, and he sees this army of seven to ten man standing at the entrance. It was a bit dark, so he didn't really see all the details meaning - do I know them. However, they were all dressed elegantly, and just standing around, no real movement. As he kept biking towards them, he could clearly see them, but still could not recognize who they were and if they were from this town. He got scared, so he moved to the other side of the road and kept biking, biking fast. He eventually passed by them but was scarred to look at them. But his curiosity did not stop him from looking behind, and he did. To his surprise, he saw these man in uniforms and their blank faces, its almost like there was a cloud front of their faces distorting all face features. Now he was paddling very fast and when he was now farther he gave this one more look back - but there was no body there anymore.

Well I don't know how much I can believe this story. There are few things that I have not included, the man who saw the army of man in the uniform without faces, liked to drink. It was later in the day, so being a bit drunk and scared might have disturbed his vision. What I cannot explain is why they were there in the evening and all dressed the same. So this story remains a mystery to me, but again in our town it was very much believed to be another ghost encounter or encounter of many ghosts.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Halloween Bash 2007: Ghost Story 2 - Beautiful Cherries

Small town, lots of gossip and lots of ghost stories. We all know what happens to the story when the story is passed from one person into another and then another - embellished story. People want to make it more exciting so they add stuff and remove stuff. Therefore, I cannot confirm the stories I write here are one hundred percent real. However, our parents and grandparents always claimed that they were real. By the time I was fourteen I heard many ghost stories that I start fearing them, and this continues until today.

I remember every November 1st on the Souls Day in Europe we used to go to the cemetery and light candles on my grandfathers grave. All was fine when this happened on the weekend, because we all went, but when Souls day fell on the weekday and when I was old enough, my mother asked me to visit the grave by myself after school. Oh, I used to bag her not to make me do that. One year I went, and I was so focused that I never noticed beautiful flowers placed on my grandfather's grave, plus the other conditions I experienced - increased heart rate.

Therefore, I will tell stories that I heard related to people seeing ghosts in the form of people, around cemeteries of course. There were two everyone was talking about, today is one of them.

This happened in the neighboring town. There was this poor woman with a small child. She had tendency to walk around the neighborhood and gather fruits and vegetables form others. Collecting fruit from wild fruit trees that grew on the side of the road was also very common. Everyone in the town knew about the beautiful cherry trees that grew on the side road just beside the town's cemetery, but everyone also knew that they shouldn't eat them. They did not really say why, but it all makes sense now, the cherry tree roots got all their nutrients from the cemetery, and I will not expand on that any further. This woman knew about that too, but one day she ignored the message. She and her child were passing by and decided to collect some beautiful cherries. She put the child on her sweater under the tree, gave him some tree branches and flowers to play with. The tree wasn't really small so she had to climb, and she did. Once in a while she would look down to see if everything was okay with the child, and everything was, until that one time. Yes that one time she looked down and she saw this beautiful young woman playing with her child. The child wasn't really replying just playing with the branch sticks while it looked like the woman was saying something and trying to get the child's attention. The mother couldn't hear anything. The mother felt something was not right, and without thinking she literally jump off the tree. To her surprise she found no one with her child, and the child continued to play with the sticks.

Now you know why I will not go to the cemetery alone. These are not very huge ghost encounters, but enough to make me think twice when I am passing by the human resting place.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Halloween Bash 2007: Ghost Story 1 - A Deadly Prank

Until I was 14 years old I lived in a small town, a small town of about three thousand people where everyone knew each other, everyone attended everyone's wedding party, everyone celebrated new born baby, or everyone gathered at someone's funeral. Everyone knew everyone's affairs. Everyone watched the same shows and patiently waited for the next episode. And by the way there was only one channel, and no commercials and the TV was still black and white. Beyond all this the gossiping was big, and there was not a single day when we didn't have a gossip or story to tell. As title states, there were many ghost stories going on in our town. Sometimes it was parent's greatest tool to keep children disciplined by scarring them with ghosts - not very bright idea. We as kids never saw ghost, but we knew and we had to believe that they existed as our parents and grandparents made us to believe.

When someone died, at that time the body of the deceased was kept in the house for three days. For three days most of the time grandmothers and sometimes mothers, and may be grandfathers, would gather around the body, sit for hours and talk. Sometimes they would bring us kids so you could actually listened to the real prayers - gossips and ghost stories, lol.

Not to go into scary mode immediately, this ghost story told here is a ghost prank played among few guys - unfortunately tragic. One day bunch of twenty year olds decided to play a prank and bet some money on two guys who claimed that are not scarred of ghosts at all - they believed that there were none. One of the guys was told, if you such a hero, then go to the cemetery's funeral home before eleven at night jump into the coffin and close the lid. He was instructed to lay in it until pass 12 am. At 12 am - the so called ghost hour, a ghost will come to the funeral home. The cemetery had this old funeral home which was not used at all, I think it was build by Germans who lived in our town before. However, it was well maintained by the cemetery's gate keeper.

Later on, the pranksters told other guy, if you such a hero, then go to the cemetery's funeral home just before 12 am. Bring some hazel nuts with you and start cracking them on top of the coffin at exactly 12 am. We are sure that the ghost will show up. There may be even one in the coffin.

The bet started. The ghost non-believers went for free cash believing that they will win the bet. What happened next? Well that one day first guy showed up at night at the cemetery's funeral home. What he did exactly, how he felt, and was he scared? - no body knows, it is just him, and I cannot speculate on this. He jumped into the coffin, covered with lid and waits. There is probably more to the story, he probably showed up during they day and ensured that the doors were open, and the coffin was free of dust, may be or may be not. Note, at those times life was different, so doing things like that was very normal. Yes, what do you do with all this time when shows on TV were only for limited time, there were no computers, no video games, and no work for students.

Very close to 12 am, the second guy showed up with flashlight, hammer and sack of hazel nuts he probably stole from someone's property. At exactly 12 am he sat on the coffin and started to crack nuts. What happened next? Well the guy in the coffin puts his flashlight on and checks the time - and its 12 am. He is not scared - just curious. Now the guy who was cracking the nuts noticed the small illumination coming out from the coffin, and he probably started to think that may be ghosts do really exists. He continued to crack the nuts now more eagerly. Well the guy inside the coffin is now very very curious as he hears harder knocks - he decided to get out. This did not help the other guy, when the lid moved and more light escaped from the coffin, and it is only speculation, the guy probably got into a shock first. Well for sure he collapsed. As the lid continued to open, and the curious guy is walking out, thinking - someone is probably playing a prank on me. He is right, however, to his surprise he found his friend lying dead and realizing what just happened.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Good Food

Today I will be talking about food. However, I will be talking about very natural food I used to eat, and probably never I will experience the same taste again. Someone may ask why? Firstly, my grandmother is resting in piece, recipe or way of doing left with her, and ingredients are not the same as they used to be. In short, the person, the process and the ingredients can not be duplicated at this moment. So lets go back in time over 30 years ago to a small town of just about three thousand people where my grandparents and parents used to have a small farm consisting of a one cow, one pig, one horse, and chickens and roosters. Occasionally we had rabbits too, a seasonal breeding. When my grandfather passed away, we ended up selling the horse. My dad had his own business so he didn't really have time to utilize the horse in the farm. It was easier to just contract out for a necessary task - and it worked. The farm also consisted of many hectares of land, mainly used for potatoes, hay, and then for regular vegetables that were stored over winter time. Around the house we had many different trees such as apples and plums mainly, and lots of current bushes and goose berry. This was our garden of Eden.

Lets now go back on track and talk about the food. There was no pesticides, that means always needed to watch out biting into these high protein worms - you learn how. Fruit was always available all year long. Fresh from the tree or bush in the summer, and fresh, dry or jarred in the winter. The only fruit we ever bought in the store, were exotic ones such as oranges, grapefruit, or lemons. Or other fruit that needed special attention like melons or grapes. It was kind of cool not to have them all the time, because when we did we appreciated it more. We never bought vegetables in the store. Okay I lied, may be tomatoes, but that because we didn't have the heat to grow them, but my mother had a way to used them and make a green tomato salad.

You know what happens when you have a cow around. Yes, you get a fresh milk, in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon and in the evening. I think me and my father were the only two individuals in the house who never milked the cow. Because I just couldn't do it, so I got the responsibility to hold the tail and keep the flies of cow's back. My grandmother specialized in making butter and cheese. There is nothing like fresh bread, butter and cheese sandwich sprinkled with a bit of salt on top, or if you had sweet tooth - homemade jam was added. Add glass of milk to help the flow. As I mention my grandmother was master in making butter. I still remember her slim figure with long arms beating the life out of the milk using wooden barrel and holed beater. Cheese wasn't so bad, it was more a function of heat and time, and separation task using a cheese cloth. As I am writing it now, I am feeling hungry to go back in time.

You know what happens when you have chickens around. Yes, fresh eggs, and fresh chicken soup on Sundays. Sunday was a special day, the chicken was sacrificed for lunch. Hardly ever we had different type of soup on Sunday. We always fought who is going to get the chicken heart or other internal organs. Yes, many people just don't eat that stuff any more because the way chickens are fed - just way too much of unnatural stuff that is fed through the organs. But then it was different, all the food was grown by us, with not pesticides or any fertilizers, except the natural fertilizers - you remember the cow.

You know what happens when you have a pig around. Yes, annual sacrifice - I mean lots of meat. We used to smoke it all or preserve it in the jars. The very common way was to preserve in gelatin. Some people would say - yak, but I like it. The other good stuff was ham and sausages. Again, nothing like bread, butter and ham or sausage sandwich. However, we used to melt lard with bacon bits, it was good but pure fat and deadly. Also, I never liked the pig killing time - sad, and especially when my father had to do it. I have to tell you he just had no skill, and I would like to put that part behind me because wasn't pleasant.

The last thing we had lots of land mainly used for potatoes for us, and grass, wheat and sugar beats for cows, pigs, and chickens. Then around the house garden, a garden full of vegetables and fruit that was consumed during late spring, summer and early fall, and then preserved for winter. I don't think I have to describe the fresh salads, vegetable soups and snack vegetables. The fruit was unlimited.

As a kid myself and my family back then lead healthy life. I continue to lead healthy life, but then there are limitations. For example, an egg may look the same, but the composition is not. The food will never be the same, unless I go back in time.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

How to Divide One Slice of Bread

There are times when I actually make a point to watch a TV commercials. There are few that are just adorable, meaning that they are usually with children. Its their face expressions and what the say that make my put my the whole world on hold. There is one with two brothers arguing while their little sister drinks his brother's juice or cool aid, and when in trouble, all you hear 'I love you'. So there is this new commercial on TV for peanut butter. It is my another favorite one, because I did not know what the expect. By the way, I changed things around a bit, however, the story line remains the same.

The story goes. Three characters, the mother and the two boys, Joey and Bobby, and two main and the most important items of the commercial, the jar of peanut butter and one slice of bread - yes only one slice of bread. The two brothers are jokingly fighting over this one slice of bread and obviously to be spread with peanut butter. The mother suggests that the slice of bread is split. Easy, but not. One of the boys Joey wants the bigger piece because he is older. So what happens next. Well the mother gives knife to Joey and tells him to split the bread. There is suddenly sadness on the Bobby's face, because he knows that someone wants bigger piece of pie, its Joey. Well, Joey splits bread into two, but he intentionally makes one piece bigger. As I watched, I was thinking oh mother do something for the younger one, and she does. Joey got to divide the bread, but Bobby gets to choose. Nice little trick, fortunately both boys were happy on the end.

So that day I learned something new, may be old story, but new to me. I think this story teaches are something, and depending which venue you choose, it can have many many meanings.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Honest Hand Shake

Last couple of years I spend lot of time traveling - seen Singapore, Japan, Germany, Italy, some Canada. It was nice, but I always get home sick - usually after four days of being away from home. Well, imagine my fifth, sixth, or fourteenth day. Most of them were business trips, therefore, site seeing was done on the weekends, otherwise, I spend working, eating and sleeping per each day, and next day was just the same day. I also don't like being in the air a lot, just personal fear of flying I have - but then after so many flights it was just like taking a bus. So here I am going to tell you a story, my side of the story, and I will leave it with you do decide what is the other side of the story, because I don't know and I will never know.

We, myself and my husband were sitting on the plane, ready for take off to Frankfurt. As always I got my window seat, where I can stick my face to the small airplane window and watch clouds for hours as long as there was sun. Behind us, I did not look, but by listening, there were three people sitting - young boy, older woman and younger woman. At first I thought that they were all related, however, they were not. The boy wasn't, he was alone traveling by himself.

It was getting dark behind the window, so I decided to open up my laptop. As I was reading I noticed that once in a while my seat would move back or forth, as the boy was leaning forward and trying to see what I was doing, and give up and come back again. Before knowing that he was not related to other two ladies, I assumed that he must be one of those disturbing kids that like to bother others. I had those before, and I tell you they would kick back of my seat and parents never did anything. Well my assumption was wrong. Since I noticed that my chair was now rocking back and forth more frequently, I decided to turn around with my friendly smile, and I did. I noticed the two ladies were very much a sleep.

I turned around and I saw this young boy, with fair skin, big eyes and light brown hair smiling at me. He pleasantly asked, what I was doing at my laptop. I said I was reading some articles. It was kind of hard to explain my business stuff to him, now knowing how young he was. The boy seemed very nice and friendly, not what I imagined. I asked him - what is your name? He answered, 'I am Christian', and he took his little hand and forwarded through a narrow opening between the window and the chair to introduce himself. I was in a really bad position to make that hand shake but it was so honest that I just twisted my arm to fit between and shake his hand. We made a connection that would only last few hours.

Christian was traveling from Canada, somewhere closer to West Coast. He offered to show me all his documentation, but I refused. I told him to keep all in place and not to loose it. He listen. He also told me that he was flying to Sofia, Bulgaria. He was going to school there, and was living with his grandmother during his school year. He traveled four times a year - for summer and Christmas holidays. He didn't want to really go back to school and be away from his mother. Father was never mentioned. He was lonely and sad. We kept talking about school stuff, his languages skills and once in a while I would point out an airplane flying by as sun started to rise above the horizon. We started to see more puffy clouds, and here is something what me and Christian had in common - being in the clouds. At some point he said, 'I want to walk in those big clouds over there', something I always dreamed of.

The plane landed. I started to pack. He was getting ready for another flight. Someone was going the take him. Christian became distant. I felt that Christian met many people like me on the airplane before, and he knew that he will never see them again, and he will never see me again. I said Good Bye as I was leaving, and he did too. My heart was broken seeing the sadness in his eyes, and now no more connection.


Monday, September 17, 2007

A Quest For Balanced Life

When Grace graduated from school, she had a rough idea what she wanted to do. The goal was to learn and gain knowledge in the first few years on the job. She did that. First couple of years the learning process was quite slow, but she was definitely learning fundamentals on the real job. Fundamentals in school were theoretical, fundamentals on the job were practical, and she definitely was fulfilling her practical knowledge. Then what. Well, then Grace moved on, she was now ready for a second step. A step where she could apply her knowledge and solve problems. Time came and she was looking for a new job. Decisions were tough to make. Everyone was offering her mountains of gold - like brand new desk, a new computer, complete working system in place and job that required very little challenge. The challenge was just get things rolling, get things done, and ensure you follow the system. Yes follow the system already in place. In this case there is no room for change. Was this what Grace wanted in her next career step? No, that wasn't it.

Grace needed something more challenging and her wish came true. She arrived at the place where everything was just right, and at first she thought there is no challenge here, but that thought was based on her visual observations only. However, something made her listen deeply - the boss wasn't happy. As she listened and listened, she started to see a true picture - the business was in trouble, and things needed to be fixed. There were many other candidates for this job, Grace needed to win this and how? Well, the right answer was - 'I don't want to work in the place where everything is perfect. I want to work in the place where I can get hold of the broom and start cleaning and creating a system that is right for all' - Grace got the job. Her knowledge now was growing along the exponential curve. Just to clarify, she was a dry sponge before, and at the second step she was now the wet sponge, absorbing much more knowledge than before. She worked for couple years in this second step or on her second path, but unfortunately boss's impatience to have things done, and fake appreciation and dishonesty to all employees eventually brought him to bankruptcy. Grace was long gone before his downfall.

Before Grace had challenging job she took pre-early second step, she went to work for herself. Grace failed because she was too aggressive, naive and she just did not have enough knowledge to recognize that it wasn't that easy, and it would have not been if she knew what she was doing. However, the paths in life are not that obvious sometimes, and because someone else walked that path, it may not be a path for you.

When Grace left the second step job, now she was ready for the third step. By some unknown reason her own business made a perfect sense now. She took different approach. She entered the abyss of unknown with her true confidence, with what she really knew and not with what she pretended to know. The honesty, dedication and now her skill got Grace successful. So how Grace measures her success. In business world usually success is measured by how much money you make. However, she measures her success based on that too, because you need to make money to survive - yes she makes enough to have her business going every year, but not any more when she was working for someone else. However, Grace's true measure of success is happiness defined by balance between a work and personal life.

The moral of the story is, when you are new to the working world, you must think of your path carefully. You must also know that the path you chose may not be always the path you end up with. You must also realize that your work path will take most of your life on the beginning but as you get established you should realize that there is also personal path that you can run in parallel. Lastly, you must also know, that any path you choose may not be an easy path, but it is up to you to stay strong and honest with yourself to make the right life decisions.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

This Is A Perfect Example of Unconditional Love

Well today it will be someone else's story. I just want to repeat a story that been all time my favorite. I enjoy reading every time it gets to me by email chain letter, come across it on Internet or even someone already knows it and tells me again. I usually listen, and then tell them yes I know all about it. I probably will embellish or change the story a bit, however, the meaning will remain and that's what matters on the end. So there is this little boy, may be five or older, and his older sister been diagnosed with leukemia. The boy been asked if he can give his blood to his sister so she can get well. Without hesitation the boy agrees. During the blood transfusion the boy was laying beside her sister and watched how color on her face came back. He smiled, then he turned to the nurse or doctor standing by and asked, how soon until I start to die? To me this is a perfect example of unconditional love.

Friday, September 7, 2007

A Plane Crash I Will Never Forget

I was one of the witnesses when British air plane RAF Nimrod crashed into Lake Ontario during the International Air Show in Toronto on September 2nd, 1995. I wish I didn't witness. Why? Because 7 people died, 7 young men died and no one could do anything. Few years later, on September 11th, 2001 in horror I watched live news at home when the New York World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists and eventually collapsed. Thousands of people died. Two incidences 6 years apart, one pure accident a human error, and another one evil human choice.

The story goes on. I liked going to air shows. Every year about 2 weeks before I would get impatient about the Labor weekend air show. Little things like - which day should we go, where should we sit or will it rain? That year in 1995, something unusual was happening to me all week long before the air show. I was having these dreams about air plane landings near GTA airport. These white and red mid size air planes were flying over the highway and were landing on the Pearson International Airport, Toronto. It felt strange, but then I thought, I am getting impatient again and may be just because I pass by airport too often. Perhaps that is why the air plane dreams were sparked.

Finally we, my boyfriend then and husband now, decided to take on the Saturday show. It was the first day of the air show. That day Saturday turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. That morning I woke up and I was little edgy and excited. I told my mom, you will not believe what I dreamed about. An air plane crash and it crashed in front of our old house where I used to live when I was still in elementary school. It wasn't that bad of a crash, and I could not see if anyone died. I only saw a big round pointy tip of the plane, shadowing the whole front yard and the house. The smoke made impossible to see more detail. That morning my boyfriend quietly listen to this story on the other side of the phone.

We arrived at the CNE by noon. Passed through pathways full of people. Once in a while an army cadet would come up to us and try to sell us the air show program. 'Air Show Program for Sale', 'Air Show Program for Sale' - he kept yelling out loud. We passed on the first offer, but then gave in on the second offer, so we purchased the air show program for five bucks. We found perfect spot to watch the show. A spot that gave us nice view for free. It was sunny, very hot, but the breeze from Lake Ontario kept us cool.

Everything was going well. Planes flew back and forth, peoples heads moving back and forth. I particularly liked fighter jets like the F16 or Stealth leaving thunder like sound behind. I forgot all about my dreams and nightmares. The Nimrod came to the view. I don't remember if he flew by once or twice, but then around 3:30 pm (I think) close to the end of the show, the Nimrod was moving our way. Far away from us but our way. He was flying gradually down. I took some photos before. I watched, and the plane continued gradually descending towards the water. I thought - its all part of the show. Suddenly the plane nose dived into the shallow waters of the Lake Ontario. The water splashed and I thought - its all part of the show - this was me being in shock state and hoping that what I just saw was not real. People whispered, shook their heads. I looked into my boyfriends eyes - it was true, the plane crashed. Perhaps the plane in the dream was Nimrod.

Air show was cancelled, curious people were awaiting news, asked questions. As we walked back to the car the same army cadet passed us - 'Air Show Souvenir for Sale', 'Air Show Souvenir for Sale' - he yelled out.


British Bomber Crashes During Air Show

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Equation For The Hardest Job

Finally my article idea came back to me after days of trying to remember what I was going to write about. It came back while we were driving to work beside the toilet rental truck with some type of sewer pump. I said, wow, all he has to do is rent these portable toilets, clean them, deliver or pick them up, and he is making money - the man driving a truck looked happy. There is lot of constructions, and sport events going on in our area, so these are very useful, and yes there is market for it. Eureka! I got it, I finally got it. I know now what I wanted to write about - it was about the hardest job, and I had all figured out. So what is the hardest job. Is the hardest job also the most difficult job? Is the hardest job also not very pleasant job? Is the hardest job also stressful job? I guess you can ask these questions to determine the job hardness level. However, I will share my opinion about the hardest job.
A job can only be hard if you yourself make it hard. In life we may not have choice where we are going to work, but we have the choice to make it better. A job can be difficult, but if you skilled then it is not difficult anymore. A job may not be pleasant, but needs to be done, and you are happy because at least you have a job and can support your family. A job can be stressful, but then who is in control?
The other day in the mid of hot summer day, the garbage man passed by to pick up garbage from the curbs of houses on my street. I observed and thought for second, his job must be hard. Then I listened and looked closer, the man has full blast radio on, and he sang away - he looked not just happy, but he looked very happy.
The other day in the mid of hot summer day, the elegant car passed by with an elegant man in a dark suit, and probably running air conditioner at full blast. He probably is some kind of executive, not much of physical hard work to do - I thought, but then he looked not happy.
The other day in the mid of hot summer day, I see young landscaper digging a small flower bed. He looked tired and exhausted. He doesn't belong in this job, but he does it. Is he happy?
Few weeks ago, we had window installer replacing all the windows in our house. When we met him, he looked happy, but once we got to know him, I don't think he was.
I am now confused very confused and I wish there was some kind of equation for the hardest job, but then no. No it is not right. I think the hardest job is when you are not happy. And I am beginning to think there is no equation for hardest job, or for happiness, or for anything in life, and I better move on before I become even more confused, and blogging will become the hardest job in my life.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Empty Head of Mine

There are days when I can write my head off, and there are days I have no ideas - and today is the day where my head is absolutely empty. The other day, I did have an excellent idea, and I know it was excellent because I was thinking about it a lot and planning how I will write it and so on and on, but then I don't know what happened - I cannot remember. May be I just think too much. So just letting you all know, that the blog is still active, and if you don't see anything new, then that means my head is not active. Please stay tuned, and enjoy my other blobbing stories, and lets hope I have some new stories for you in the loot bag in the next few days.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sometimes I Wonder Why?

  1. Sometimes I wonder why we haven't been back to Moon since 1972?
  2. Sometimes I wonder why since I been more in tuned with nature, animals tend to come my way, especially birds?
  3. Sometimes I wonder how much stored data is there on Internet, and how much is generated everyday?
  4. Sometimes I wonder why rain falls after every time I wash my car?
  5. Sometimes I wonder why people have pets and they do not take care of them?
  6. Sometimes I wonder why when I am really hungry, the food delivery takes forever?
  7. Sometimes I wonder why I like graphed paper over lined paper?
  8. Sometimes I wonder why when I am in the rush to get somewhere, there is always extra traffic on the road?
  9. Sometimes I wonder why when I need help in return there is no body around?
  10. Sometimes I wonder why when someone else is yawning, I start to yawn also?
  11. Sometimes I wonder why I am more efficient when I am organized, and others are more efficient when they are not organized?
  12. Sometimes I wonder how can one remember exact location of each object on one's study desk?
  13. Sometimes I wonder why crying generates tears?
  14. Sometimes I wonder why I dream every single day - its my second life?
  15. Sometimes I wonder what kind of technology will be in the world 100 years from now?
  16. Sometimes I wonder will I ever finish the Internet?
  17. Sometimes I wonder why now that I am older the life seems to be zooming by?
  18. Sometimes I wonder why I like number 11?
  19. Sometimes I wonder why I get many encounters with number 11?
  20. Sometimes I wonder why I cannot let go my fears - swimming and ghosts?
  21. Sometimes I wonder why I love what I do....yeah sometimes I wonder?

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Silent Couple

When we started to mountain bike, it was all about the fitness, and as we biked more and more, it was more about self discovery - the appreciation for nature and people. The more we appreciated, and pay more attention the the surroundings - the more birds would come to us, the more animals be around us and the more interesting people would stop us on the side of the road to talk. And for those who passed us in silence, their silence gave us a sense of unprecedented calmness and peace, and happiness. If I talked about every person we met when biking this would be a long story to tell - but there is someone I want to talk about. Firstly what are the chances that you will see the same person every time you go biking. The only explanation is that since we bike only once a week in the morning that person must walk everyday in order for us to meet at almost the same location. So I don't really see coincidence in this encounter, but the coincidence was that we had the same routine.
It was one very beautiful summer day. Just by accident we decided to take a quick stop in that one location to get a drink. People were passing us by bikes, and by walking, and it was that one old couple that passed us. Both were tiny and fragile boned individuals due to their age, but beautiful. They were a long time friends, husband and wife. She was helping him to walk, as he looked much older and more fragile. She was a strong woman and he appreciated. They walked slowly, they did not talk nor say hello - but they were happy. They were happy that they were still together, they were happy that they lived that long, and even we don't know anything about their life - their face expressions told the story of their life - the love for each other. They were the silent people, but their silence was telling the story of their lives and was saying hello to us.
As the summer almost passed by, the birds continue to come to us, more animals race us through narrow bike trails everytime, and we continue to meet interesting people, and we continue to see the silent beautiful old lady - but she was alone. As we may physically perceive that she was alone, she was not. Her face expression told the story of her life - she is happy to celebrate her husband's life and continues to walk the same path with gentle smile on her face.
There will be a time that she will be gone one day too, but as we will continue this bike path of wisdom and to self discovery, the silent presence of a beautiful couple will always be there.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Internet I Never Left

I finished the Internet. I am done. There is nothing else for me to do. Can you imagine if you really did finish the Internet. No, no one can imagine that. Internet is like the spider web, as a matter of fact that how the world wide web was named. If you look at the spider web, what do you see? What I see is no way out. That's right, no way out. Or you can say I see many ways to get somewhere, but there is no way out. If I recall my first experience on the web, it was during my university time, back in 1995. I was sitting in the computer room, full of the Unix stations and one big dot matrix printer making lot of noise. Aside, I got in trouble once from the administrator for printing too much, but he was nice and gave me just friendly reminder. Going back to my story, I was sitting front of the Unix station, and I don't know how I exactly was introduced to the net, but I was browsing through whole bunch of text with hyperlinks. From one hyperlink to another, I found myself in the United States White House. How cool was that? Yes, my blood pressure went up, excitement hit my face - I am in the White House. And all it was a picture of the White House dressed up with text. That was my first picture enhanced web site I visited, and that is how I entered the Internet space and never left.


Accelerated Life

Today is August 23, 2007, and I am 319740 hours old, and I am planning to live hopefully up to 876 000 hours. For every passing day there are 24 hours. So if you ask me why am I suddenly into hours. Well life is too short to live day by day, I want to live hour by hour. I enjoy what I do and I enjoy every minute of that hour to the fullest. The life can completely change in one hour, and even in one minute. However, what I wanted to emphasize is that when I was young, and I was 61 320 hours old, life felt really long. What I mean by long? - It felt like we had so much time. Felt like minutes, hours and days were very long, and we were able to do so much, and remember so much. But then at 219 000 hours, life started to accelerate, and it is still. Minutes feel like seconds, hours feel like minutes, days feel like hours, and months feel like days. To add one more line to it - years feel like months. And when I was 61 320 hours, all that was in reverse. If I had special power, I slow down everything by decelerating life, but then I am asking for impossible.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reaching Out

Sometimes I feel like reaching out to others, but this is a different type of reaching out. Today I wanted to reach out and close the gasoline tank of the car passing by. I wished that one day someone reached out to me for all the gasoline caps I lost. I actually left mine on the roof of the car. Other times I want to reach out and properly close the driver's side door, or passenger's side door, and other times I want to reach out and open driver's door to put the seat belt where it belongs. May be I should get a set of signs that I can wave by the drivers saying 'Close Your Gasoline Tank', 'Close Your Door' or 'Pull Your Seat Belt In'. So the lesson of this story is - please close your tank, properly close the car door and always and always carry extra windshield washer with you, because cleaning windshield with your sleeve or a suck is fun to watch on my side, but not on yours.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Kids Speak

This weekend my 6 year old nephew and 3 year old niece were visiting my parents, to them they were visiting grandparents. We don't see them too much because of where we live and where they live, however, when we see them we always have so much fun. I usually take tons of pictures every time. They know now, and seems like they don't mind the paparazzi aunt.
After going home, we always laugh at things kids usually say. One of the funny episodes were with my husband and nephew, and my niece joining in. Just to explain couple of things, we are called teta and wujko. Teta is Ukrainian word for aunt and wujko for uncle. So it all started with my nephew pointing out - wujko you have a bad breath! My husband reacted by making a face, so my nephew continued, that is okay I have bad breath too sometimes. The game continues until, my nephew points out again - wujko you have big nipples, and my niece on the background laughs with screaming big nipples, big nipples, ha ha ha. Yes it was a bit cold outside.


Hwy 401 Observations

To point out I see my husband almost 24/7. We work together, and we go everywhere together. I have one day off work, but lately he has been taking days off with me because of his accumulated vacation days. However, we never run of things to talk about, even if something we see to criticize. Sometimes when we drive, we criticize others for their driving, or make fun of others. Don't you worry, nothing offending, just two people hanging out for too long with each other and starving for excitement.
This time we are driving on Hwy 401 and there is this guy driving red Jeep with no passenger side door. Okay, safety first, I don't think it is wise. But then we just envision this guy driving on the desert with his Jeep in Africa and this lion jumps in for a free ride. That would be fun to watch - may be someone can use this for movie set. So as we pass him and leave him behind and out of our sight, we finally reach Hwy 403, and we notice this piece of rolled paper swatting around the car and out the window. It turned out that a wasp jumped in for a free ride with this other guy. So our wish came true, lion - wasp, close enough, jumping for a free ride. It was funny to see, and hope everything turned out okay on the end. I tell you its not fun to ride with a wasp hovering over your head.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

How Much I Know About Fishing

Its all started with 'angling'. What is angling? - I asked when watching fishing show on early Sunday morning. According to wikipedia - 'angling is a method of fishing, specifically the practice of catching fish by means of an "angle" (hook). The hook is usually attached by a line to a fishing rod.' Now we both know what angling is, and after all this explanation I rather use word fishing.

Now that I am blobbing about fishing, this brings some old childhood memories about my early fishing days. I was only five years or seven years old, if I recall. My fishing was called dry fishing. I would take a long 1 meter stick, attach this heavy thread to it, bent nail, and some bait like piece of dry bread. I would clime on top of the old table or tree log to get some height so it looked like my thread was suspended in the water. What happened next - I would sit and hope for fish, the fish that I could only catch in my dreams.

Later in life I learned more about fishing. This was recently and it was about sports fishing. Firstly, I think it is very cruel, but that is my opinion, and I enjoy my dry fishing better. To continue with the fishing story, our biking path is usually along the river where many people enjoy the 'cruelty to animal game' - I mean sports fishing. However, before then I did not of such thing. Again, continuing with my story, we hit the end of the trail, and we see this man fishing. I look at the water flowing through the dam, and I tell you it is dirty. How can you catch fish in here, so I asked the man: What do you catch in here? The man replies with a strong Russian accent, some carrrp, may be some catfish. And before he can finish his list, I asked - and you eat this fish? No - the man replied - and turned away. So this is how I found out what sport fishing was.


Friday, August 17, 2007

What Vista and Jesus have in Common?

They both appeared at the same time on the Ads by Google banner on top my Story Blob page. If you religious do not take this seriously, it is a fact, and its possible with Google ads, and watch because of my post Jesus will lead, and who wants Vista.


Cooking With Love

Today I am going to BBQ chicken breasts - lets add lots of salt, black pepper and fine ground hot chili pepper, and baste it with olive oil. Salt give us high blood pressure, black pepper is hard for digestion, and fine ground hot chili pepper - like Germans say put lots of toilet paper in the fridge because you will need it for next day. Is this what we call cooking with love - yes I added some olive oil.


Backyard Birding Surprise

This is one of my birding stories. Its real, short and sweet if you not into long reading...

Today, I was not able to go birding (because we are renovating, actually my husband is working hard and I am here blogging). However, I was very fortunate to see something cool. So I am sitting on the Muskoka chair and eating breakfast outside. I looked up and I see this bird going head on, towards me. First I thought that it was a Rock Pigeon, yeah I really thought that. But then the flight pattern was different. As this bird flies towards me and got closer, it finally hit me that this was either an osprey or one of the hawks (not sure which one, or even Melrin), and this bird was holding something in his claws, fish or mouse, or even bird (sad). He flew over my head, just about 3 feet. It was a smooth and very quiet glide. And how cool this is, now that I am heavily involved in birding, birds come to me. Or may be it was my breakfast. lol.

So I get excited and called my husband to tell him the story.... So now we both standing and talking about it and I kept repeating 'wow'. Then suddenly both of us looked up and there is this Great Blue Heron flying over, unusually low, just cleared the house.

This is just within 5 minutes - two big birds just like that...must say it was fun morning. And where was my camera in moment like that - I guess I will have to remember it.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Supervisor's Prayer by John Luther

It was a coincidence, I opened the quotation book and on this page was this prayer. I like it. It reminded me some of my bosses. Read on.

Dear Lord, please help me
To accept human beings as they are -
not yearn for perfect creatures;
To recognize ability - and encourage it;
To understand shortcomings and make
allowance for them;
To work patiently for improvement
and not expect too much too quickly;
To appreciate what people do right -
not just criticize what they do wrong;
To be slow to anger and hard to
To have the hide of an elephant and
the patience of Job;
In short, Lord, please help me be a
better boss!

My Only Photo: The Humor In The Sign

I published some non artistic but worth of smile signs on my other blog, enjoy: My Only Photo: The Humor In The Sign



Yesterday we started to do two things, installing windows and installing security. The windows installation started just fine. The installation guy showed up earlier than I thought - I guess had to get up earlier than usual. The boxes were unpacked and straps removed. But before installing windows, we had to uninstall the old one. Messy job, but the guy did good job to cover his tracks - oh boy he talked a lot. While installing windows, why not install the security at the same time. The Internet security expired so we needed to install new version - and this is where all the mess started - I mean real mess started, not physically, but computer wise. I rather have messy house when installing windows, and not messy computer, because things can be lost. Well the real issue we had started with the order of three licenses, and every license needed to be downloaded from the site. I thing its stupid, but then we don't have much to say, just do as they say, and we still did our way thinking whatever we downloaded first time would still work. I guess not. Well then the security lady from India, and I am here in Canada, is taking over my computer. Should I trust her, god knows what they can do to your computer and disappear from face of this Earth, and I wouldn't even know where to look. She is in. Eight hours later, the scan still doesn't work, got the blue screen of death twice, she kept repeating like a broken record its not them, and the window guy is about to leave having all the windows in.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My New Friend - the Neighbours Cat

This has been one of those days that I just don't have creative juices flowing - and I say at all. I usually have good imagination, and since I don't have any good writing ideas for today, and as you noticed for few days now, I will blob about my day. So to start, I had to abandon the Story Blob blog for a while, and one of the reason was I was chasing meteor shower. That took some of my time, first prepping all my cameras, to ensure I am not to miss anything and then trying my cameras on the dark sky, because I never taken any photos of the dark sky. Well after all, the whole event turn out pretty good, got some shots of Perseid's Meteors, and some satellites hovering around. But this is not what I want to talk about today, therefore, to know more and to see more about meteors you can check my photo work on my myonlyphoto blog. So today we are replacing windows in the house - how exciting. Not to mention this week is my time off from work - how exciting. Not that exciting, but I will make it exciting - I will definitely find something to do - or may be I write more stories. Lets get back to what I was going to write today. Knowing that we cannot go back in time, once the windows are replaced - the old windows are history. Guess what - I am taking photos of the windows to have that snap shot for my personal historical reasons, and just in case if something goes wrong, I have a proof how good the windows were - no really, the old one may have been good, and we just getting something we may not like. Will see. Going back to my story again. I took shots inside the house and outside the house. While taking shots outside I met up with this cat. The cat I always told to leave my front yard. So the cat is trying to make friends with me, and I am photographing the cat - the windows are pushed aside for a bit. So this cat is going away, I guess is not liking the photo shoot. Well, some how I sensed that he wants to be friends, and this is the time I let the cat into my territory. On the side note, I am not a person that likes animals that much, but I know once the cat or dog warms up to me or any other animal (not sure what), I wished I had one of those. I sense wonderful feeling, giving this nice little neck rub and knowing that it is appreciated. Anyway, enough of this romantic talk, and the cat is now in my territory. I took finger off my trigger and looked what is going to happened. Next thing this cat is rubbing against my leg, and I am getting lots of hairs on my black pants, but I do not care. I am sensing gentleness and friendship, and peace. The cat moves away into shadow and is being playful. I give him nice rub. Then the cat takes a little break and goes and rests under my car, and I move on with my window photo shoot. The cat follows. Follows me all the way on the back of the house. I know we are friends now. The cat enters my backyard very cautious. Observes. I continue with my photo shoot, and sometimes I sneak that one photo of the cat between. I am done with photo shoot, the cat leaves the backyard first, but stays very close to me and walks with me. The spiritual time is coming to end, I give a cat good bye rub, and the cat purrs and rubs the wall and starting to be playful again. I play, and its fun. Time to go, so I say 'go on' and I will see you again. The cat with sad face now, moves on, he or she knows. This was very peaceful, spiritual and friendly time with this cat. I think I will see him or her again. Now to give you some background, this same cat one day, may be 5-6 years ago, showed up at my footsteps. The cat wanted to come in, but then when I showed my face cat recognized that I wasn't the owner - to cat's surprise. The cat said something and left the steps, and few years later here he or she is.


Friday, August 10, 2007

They Make Us Say It

Day started up with calling my husband by my maiden name. It happens a lot, but it is solely my fault. I wanted to keep my maiden name, but I also wanted my husbands last name - talking about greed here. On the end I ended up with two part last name, and no hyphen. Things I did to remove that hyphen. If there is no hyphen on the credit card application form filled by me, there is none, why do people still added. Everyone likes to assume. Many times cards had to be re-issued, many corrections had to be made, and they still would put that damn hyphen. Well to avoid that I got into habit using my maiden name and if my husband is with me then he gets nailed with it. Sound kind of funny, because no body is called by my maiden name except my father.

So far morning is good. We had a good laugh about the name. That kind of brightens the whole day if you start on the right foot. Got hungry laughing. Next we are driving thru A&W. We like A&W and we had some coupons. Now comes another wave of laughs - ham'n'egger. Why do they do that to us, this just doesn't seem right - its too funny to say it. Try it. Repeat very fast few times, sound like some hanging egg header. Now the debate starts, how we are going to order this ham'n'egger, so I said - they don't know ya, just say it in a funny way, they will have fun listening. It was fun debating, until - can I take your order please? and my husband answers, I have a coupon for 2 ham and egg sandwiches for 4 dollars. Ohhhh, he was just embarrassed to say it. So I made him to pay in lot of change, like 24 x 1 cent. After all the fuss it wasn't so bad - they lady said I will take your word for it and she took all the change.


Thursday, August 9, 2007

George the Duct Cleaner

Now with the telephone call display technology everything is just not right, yes not right. It is so chaotic. The telephone companies gave so much flexibility that I have no idea what I am looking at when someone is calling. Some of the numbers on call display are 1111, 222-2222 or 000-000-0000. What kind of number is that, I cannot even call back. The marketing companies finally learnt how to block the calls, so only some digits shows or sometime just Private Number. So to make this long blobbing story short, I get a call today. Guess who's calling. Its George from duct cleaning, and they are in the area and they will give me a free estimate. I am so amazed that estimates are free, what exactly am I getting that they really emphasize the 'free estimates' for. Can you imagine, estimates were not free, and then the estimate would include estimate price on top of the estimated price, if you know what I mean. So this man on the other side of the phone answers the phone. Yes, he answers the phone. He dials and then makes me wait and then he says hello. So he finally introduces himself, hi, I am George and I am calling from duct cleaning company. We are in the area and we are giving free estimates. The free estimate gets me every time as you know. So I interrupted George, and said: George my ducts are clean and they are clean as they can be. George I will not be needing any duct cleaning. George laughs on the other side of the phone, and answers that it's fine madam, you have yourself a good night. I hang up with a thought - what a pleasant marketing call for change.


Friday, August 3, 2007

My Happiness Expressions

[Aug 03, 2007] Happiness cannot be described. [Aug 08, 2007] Happiness can be experienced by everyone, and not just humans. Animals can be happy, and plants can be happy. [Aug 09, 2007] Can you be happy during rainy day, of course you can. Any external forces should never disturb your happiness. [Aug 10, 2007] Happiness is when you make others job easier even when they screwed up with you order. [Aug 12, 2007] There are two kinds of happiness, internal and external - and I prefer internal. [Aug 13, 2007] I wish I was always happy - the life sometimes takes unexpected route. [Aug 14, 2007] Today I saw happiness in cat's eyes. [Aug 16, 2007] Happiness is independent of frustration, like frustration with your Internet security provider. [Aug 19, 2007] Yesterday I was happy, today I am happy, and tomorrow I will be happy. [Aug 22, 2007] I am happy when I meet new people, even if it is through a blog, or through a discussion board. [Aug 23, 2007] Your soul will always seek happiness.


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A Home He Always Dreamed Of

This is a story that I been told when I was young. However, I don't remember all, so I added my own twist. There was a town once, and in this town there was a grassland, and on this grassland there was a small forest. In the middle of the forest there was a small house. And the house had four windows. There was light coming out of these windows. Inside the house there was a family. And there was a table in the middle of the kitchen where the family would gather and eat dinner every night. On the table there was food, and in the middle of the table there was a pot full of mashed potatoes. And every one had its own spoon, and glass of sour milk. And everyone would dig into the mashed potatoes pot. The family would eat like that every night after hard work in the field. One day there was a homeless person walking from town to town. And this person walked into the town where the family lived. The person walked through the grassland and saw people working in the field, but he did not stop and kept walking towards the forest. He walked through the forest and found this most beautiful little house that he always dreamed of. The sun would shine and create most amazing view of the little house in the forest. He knocked on the door, there was no answer, however, the door opened. He walked into the house, and he sensed the most tasty aroma of baked bread. He looked at the kitchen table. There were four chairs around, four spoons and four glasses on the table. In the middle there was a loaf of bread, the bread he always dreamed of. He looked around, and he saw this one chair, a broken chair in the corner leaning against the wall. He looked around for some tools. He took the chair and slowly fixed one leg and then second leg. The chair was all good now. He pushed one chair beside the table and placed his chair beside. He noticed some wood in the corner, so he carved the spoon. He looked around and he found clay cup full of dust on top of the wooden shelf, he washed it, and now its all good now. He sat at the table. He waited. It was getting dark, and when it was completely dark the family came home. The father arrived through the door first, then mother, and then son and daughter. Father lit candles in the kitchen and then he noticed a motionless shadow of man sitting at the table. The family did not move, but there was no fear. The man looked at the family with no fear either and no words were exchanged. The father noticed that his daughter chair was moved, and old broken chair now fixed was standing beside. And he also noticed a wooden spoon and the clay cup that once belonged to his long time gone mother. The family sat by the kitchen table, reached out to each other to say the prayer not omitting the homeless man. The prayer was long and thankful, and the man was thankful too. He knew he found a home he always dreamed of - and he was not going anywhere.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Racing the Rain

We must go now. The sky is getting darker and darker. The storm is on the way, and it is really bad storm. I don't think we can afford to hide under the trees - its dangerous. We packed everything. The car is a mess, but we must go now. It started to spit with rain a bit, but it stopped. I am sure it will start to rain hard very soon. Did we get everything in, I don't know. At this point we cannot see anything - its really dark. We know that there is still stuff on the ground, but if we start picking everything up we are not going to make in time from here to the bridge. I know that we still need to drive out from here, and it may take us some time to get out. Okay, I think we got everything now. I used flashlight to pick the rest of our stuff, but it does not matter anymore - it may be fun for bears to play with it and I probably wouldn't miss it at all, probably not even remember what it was. Driving now through signed path, signs by us. This camp was really fun to visit, however, hopefully we can get out from here on time. Lots of hiking trails, good thing we had the GPS, otherwise, our adventures would turn into a disaster, but hey its already been disaster. We are still driving through the forest, cannot see much, it is dark. It is spitting again. What is going on with this weather? Just come from nowhere in matter of minutes. It is going to rain badly, and if we don't get out from here on time then I don't know what we are going to do again, we will have to camp out again. The rain is going to go over the bridge and we will not be able to cross it, and there is no other way out. We are still driving, going through a bumpy road, and - oh no, rain. Rain suddenly started to come down hard. Pouring. We are driving very fast, but the rain is pouring even faster. Definitely the rain is racing us. Now, I am thinking desperately, we are not going to make it. How could we miss these clouds on the horizon, we should have left earlier. We are almost there, still driving over the bumpy road and now filled with water. Paddles are not helping us. Oh, I can recognize the area, yes I can see the bridge. The bridge is here, I shout. Then the break squeak. We are suddenly stopped. I guess rain won this time again. Lets go back to camp and try this bridge in couple of weeks once again when the water dries out. Hopefully we can cross this bridge next time.


The Passions

I love photography, and I love writing. Which one I like better it depends on a day of the week. Sometime I wish there were more hours in a day or more days in the week. And sometimes I wish that I only worked 1 day of many working days. And not to forget the last and the most important thing I love - the Internet. If one day someone would disconnect the Internet, I will be stranded here, all alone. It will be like being with out food for days on the isolated island. Okay, may be not that bad, but it will be disappointing not to have access to the Internet and not allowing to express thy self to the world.


July 30, 2007 My Day

Let me introduce you to My Day blobbing. My Day Blob is my day, real true stories, and what happened during that day. Enjoy or not, its real. Today is July 30, 2007 and I already wrote one story for my Story Blob blog today. What is so special about today? Nothing really, it is next day after full moon, and in the morning I found dead House Sparrow on my drive way. On the way home from work I saw killdeer - bird, its a bird if you don't believe me, not deer. Just in case you never met killdeer, I photograph him for you. Not just one but many, two juvenile and mother. How do I know that - I don't. Today also been third day on vacation, not me, but my parents are on vacation, travelling in Alberta. I cannot believe. They did not leave us with any information where they will be staying. I guess they did not learn from all the reminders we been getting from them when we travelled. And now it is 12:32 am July 31, 2007 and I am writing My Day blob. A blob from yesterday I guess. Its late, so excuse me for not making any sense.


Monday, July 30, 2007

Car Care Service

Sometimes I just want to answer silly. Silly means that my answers will be logical and may be some how sarcastic. Therefore, we are going to be in the dealership today, trying to negotiate the best price for my car service. How am I going to do that, I don't know yet. I don't care if I have to walk out with no service on my car. I will be getting what I want - but then this is not getting what I want?

Arriving dealership. Parking on the customer parking. Entering service area full of smiling faces pretending the 'happy to see you' face. Are you really that happy to see me? Oh, are you getting a bonus today, ha ha ha - oh lucky me they are not hearing me. Just being in the weird mood. How can I help you? - the voice behind the counter greets. Yes, you can help me, I need to service my car and I need basic service. What is the mileage on your car? Don't know, but I been driving this car for 6 months now, 5 days a week and probably 50 km per day. Okay, we do not need mileage now, yes it is not necessary now, we will check mileage on your car later. What kind of service would you like today? I need good service sir if you know what you mean. The clerk's face drooped. Did I say something wrong? No, you did not - he answered almost shouting. How can I help you today? Oh, you can help me with many things sir? - I answered. Excuse me, I guess you would like to have a service on your car. Yes, I answered. So, what we are going to do today to you is a basic service, which covers oil change, disposal of oil, tire rotation and wash your car. Excuse me - I interrupted - I personally do not need service today, its my car that needs service. No no, its the car we are going to service, clerk answered angry. We have special interior cleaning for another 99.99 dollars, original price 199.99. Would you like to clean your insides, insides of the car, you will be saving 100 dollars. No, sir not interested. As a matter of fact, I would like to bring my service price down by 29.99 dollars. Sorry, the service is already discounted to 34.99 dollars. Would you like the service today? Can you please remove the tire rotation, I been driving backward more than forward past month, and this month I been driving forward most of the time. I checked my tires, and because due to my conservative driving habits I don't need rotation of my tires. By the way, are you talking about rotating my tires, oh no no, in that case no I don't need rotation of my tires, they been rotating every time I drive. Excuse me would you like the service today or not? - now red faced clerk asked. The tire rotation is included in the price. Its our special promotion today. I walked out.

I guess I am not getting the car care service today I anticipated to get. May be next time.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Recruiter

The phone rang, the call display showed unknown number, however, the housekeeper girl answered anyway. I guess sometimes never know this may be important phone call. The owners of the house did not mind if she did or she didn't answer the calls and did not mind her taking verbal messages. They liked the idea that someone was always home. It felt like this call needed to be answered, so she did, with her sweet young voice she said -'Hello'. She was only 22 years old and came from very small town where she only was able to finish high school level education, and later she would help her parents around the farm. When she came to the city, she did not know anybody and she still doesn't. The housekeeping position was placed with help of some old family friend that one day contacted them and asked if Maya would consider the housekeeping position. He convinced family that the people are older couple who still like to work, but do not like doing anything around the house. He convinced them that the people were very nice and would pay nice money and provide living. Maya did not really want to leave her parents and her younger siblings. She loved her family and going away and going far away was sad. But then her parents finally convinced her. What are you going to do, marry neighbor's son - probably not, because he already had many girls dropping by his place and he never seem to be happy with any of them. What a waste, her parents thought. After many days of contemplation, Maya finally convinced herself that yes it will be good for her to get a job in the city. When finally she arrived, she never seen such a big house in her life, may be one day on the TV and back then she thought that things like that were not real. The owners must have a lot of money, and she though why do they need such a big house, there is only two of them - what a waste, she thought.
The voice on the other side of phone sound familiar, and said - Hello Maya, how are you? She answered not knowing who that was - I am fine.. And how are you? - she asked back politely. I am fine Maya. Is this a good time to talk? - the voice asked. Yes, and who am I speaking to? - she asked. The voice on the other side answered, this is Tom Miko. I am the person who got you this housekeeping work. I wanted to find out if you were happy with what you are doing? Yes, I am - Maya answered without hesitation. She never really was very talkative person, she usually listen and answered whenever someone asked questions. So I hear, I spoke with your parents and they said the same thing, just wanted to find out directly from you. Maya was thinking, what does all this mean? Anyway, Tom Miko decided to be more direct, and asked if she would consider even better job opportunity. Not far away from here and she will be doing same kind of job and getting pay even better. She stayed silent, while Tom was going on and on about this new opportunity. Here she is alone, no parents, and trying to make this decision if she should leave current job and go to that other place. What am I going to say to the current house owners? - and before she even was able to finish her thought, the voice on the other side of the phone answered. I will talk to your employers, you don't have to say anything. Really she though, but also she thought why this voice sounded more and more familiar. Something is going on here, and I don't know what it is - she thought. So she decided to think about it. Maya finally answered, after Tom mumbled something on the other line. She interrupted - I will have to get back to you on this. Tom was silent. She thought she offended him at first, but the voice came back as calm not knowing if this was different person talking on the phone. Okay, Maya - can I call you back tomorrow same time. Yes Tom, and you have a good night - she said and hang up the phone.She finished up cleaning the kitchen table top, where she started before the phone call. The phone call lasted only about ten minutes, however it felt like ages. She decided not to think about it. She finished up all her work for today and headed up to bed. She liked to go early to bed. She always left a little good night note for the owners. They always came home late, I guess they would eat out most of the time. Cooking was not in her job description, but her duties included to serve morning continental breakfast and coffee. She dropped by the rooms to ensure that everything was in its place. Again she did not have to worry about much because the owners only made some very small mess on the weekends, but they were very good cleaning up after. So how much did she had to do, not much. All the money she earned she was saving. She had a pile of check in her room in the night table that she collected over 1 year. She sometimes wondered why they came through the mail. I guess she never asked how she can even cash these checks. Where she was she really did not have to do anything, everything she needed she had, including food. The groceries were regularly delivered to the house, so she always ate well and cook for herself. Maya stay in touch with her parents, but as time passed she called less and less, since not much was happening around her. She was in bed reading newspaper dated from two days ago. She recalled the earlier call and started to think about it, and most of all not about the offer but why was the voice on the other side of the phone familiar. Of all this she could not sleep, so she decided to watch some TV in the guest room. There was nothing on TV as she was flipping through the channels, so she decided to watch the local weather network. Looked like tomorrow was going to be a nice sunny day, not too cold and not too hot. Enough to spend some time in the garden. Sometimes, she would go and take care of the garden, knowing that some local company would come on the weekend anyway to do all gardening stuff. She would pick some weeds, water some wilted plants and sometimes move plants from one place to another. These people don't know anything about gardening, they just place plants wherever they want. The plants that needed shade were on the direct sun and some would be in the shade crying for sun all day long. She stared to follow sleep, but the familiar voice woke her up. It was the voice on the commercial. It was the local real state sales representative, and she caught the last glimpse of it - 'selling fully furnished houses with the housekeeping services'. Suddenly she realized why on first day of her housekeeping job the owners did not arrive from a long trip.