February 25, 2008

Dog Show

Yesterday I went to see the Ontario All Breed Show. Ever since watching the Westminster Dog Show from New York 2 weeks ago, I've been pining for a dog of my own. It's not really possible until I retire from work. So I thought it would be a nice outing and perhaps I might see a dog that tugged at my heart strings. Well, they were all tugging. Since the show was almost finished (last day was Monday - today) there were a limited number of breeds represented. I'm still drawn to the Papillon with it's wonderful butterfly ears. The big dogs were sensational. I'm posting a few pics my dad took. Unfortunately, my Photoshop would not accept the photos for editing - some bizzare notice telling me it couldn't parse the file - whatever that means.

February 23, 2008


I just finished watching Michael Moore's documentary on the American healthcare system - as compared to other systems . Now I'm sure he's taken a point of view that highlights the horrible things that have happened to the American people with coverage by an HMO and those with no coverage. The stories, which appear to be more than isolated incidents, sent me into a seething rage. Michael compared the system in France which is superior on all counts - free health care, free university education, free nanny service in the home, house calls by physicians 24 hours a day, great holiday benefits including an additional week off for getting married. Plus they make great cafe au lait and baguettes. He interviewed an American woman who was refused coverage for her cervical cancer treatment because she was 22 years old (they claim that she was too young for this type of cancer). So she drove across the border to Windsor where she stayed with a (boy) friend and gave his address as her new address and was applying for OHIP. Turns out there's a website for Americans seeking free healthcare in Canada. I think the website is http://www.hook-a-canuk.com/.
Then he went to England where the treatment is, once again, free.

The most interesting part of the movie was when he chartered a boat to take some sick people who had volunteered during 9/11 and were refused any compensation by the government ( and who later developed terrible respiratory ailments) supposedly since they were not contracted by the government to help out. They set out for Gautanamo Bay where all the detainees (suspected al-quaida terrorists, drug runners) were given free medical attention by the U.S. government. Since no one at the tower in Gautanamo Bay acknowledged Michael's call for the same medical services for his 'patients', he sailed on to Cuba (illegal for Americans) where he arranged for medical staff in the Havana Hospital to perform diagnostic testing on his passengers. Subsequently a treatment regimen was designed for each patient to follow at home.

It was also obvious that Canada is lacking in providing the free drug and dental coverage that other countries make available. But that was not the point of the movie.

Well, I guess you can tell that I really liked it.

February 20, 2008

Will this winter never end...?

I'm beginning to hate this winter business. There's the yo-yo effect of the temperature rising, then falling, thus creating treacherous sidewalk conditions. You stop to regain your balance but there's no such thing as stopping - the legs seem to slide away in opposite directions. I even saw a little pug dog doing his business and all 4 of his little legs were sliding around. Wiarton Willie promised another 6 weeks of winter on February 2. I'm not sure I believe him.

I see that Carmi is lamenting the February club assignment which she, herself, assigned :

I feel reluctant to complain since I just rejoined the group and don't want to appear a whiner. Nevertheless, this wallet doesn't even have any money in it to sweeten the deal. Alas, the story of my life - an empty wallet. Well, after the meeting I will 'publish' my creation. I keep starting, then stopping and, since there's a deadline, I suppose that will push me ahead to finish the mess.

February 12, 2008


Lo and behold another snowstorm. It's almost a white out looking through the window and I have to schlep several blocks to get to the subway. Staying at my parents overnight. Seems to me, whichever way you're facing the snow is always being blown in your face. I don't need that kind of facial.

Anyway, here is a taste of the tropics from the orchid show.

February 11, 2008

Tropical display on the coldest day of the year

Yesterday it was minus 30 (celcius) with a fierce westerly wind. I really didn't want to go outside but Sunday is the day I spend with my parents. We went to see the the annual show put on by the Southern Ontario Orchid Society. What a fabulous show. The orchid displays are featured in a landscape setting spanning at least one of those long folding tables. Most had several levels covered in some kind of greenery , moss tumbling over rocks, little fountains trickling water and several varieties of orchids interspersed ranging in size from microscopic to small to large. There must have been about 50 different species represented (of the thousands that exist in the 'wild', so I'm told). It was actually exciting and there was a lot of 'look at that one; look over there' going on about every step we took. My dad had his fancy camera with him and my mother and I decided to pretended we didn't know him in case he did something illegal like touching something. In the end he was worried that his 250 shots would be trashy because the overhead spotlights interfered with the white balance and he hadn't yet mastered the over-ride function. As if I know what that means. But he loves to play with the pictures in Photoshop on the computer. I'm waiting for him to send me something that I can post here.

My wallet was nearly bankrupt to begin with but still I managed to buy 2 plants. One has not even sent out a stock for blooming which means I won't have any action this year. I was buldozed by the exhibitor into buying a plant since I had admired this one in her display . Do you think I can remember which one it was? I admired everything I saw. But I had to come away with some souvenir of this exceptional beauty. I also got a small phalenopsis (sp?) that's white with red splotches. One flower is in bloom and there are 5 buds yet to open. The larger more colourful ones were beyond my finances and it was a cash only situation. Wonder how long I can keep them alive (one of my cats is devilish where plants are concerned and knocks them off the window sill. I've positioned my toxic cactus beside it to frighten her off). All of these plants have been grown in a greenhouse setting so I don't have much hope given my cold window sill and lack of light. We shall see.

February 1, 2008

The biggest storm of the year

Being a Canadian I am somewhat obsessed by the weather. Here in Toronto it's mainly the wind that's a problem. But last night on the news the meteorologists were issuing warnings about the worst storm of the year. So I wake up today, look out the window and I see virtually nothing. True to form, these forecast guys are wrong. It looks lovely enough to take a little walk - so clean, soft, sound muffling....

Here is the view from my balcony.