Sunday, August 23, 2009

A trip to Canadian Tire

Howdy all,
Dave and I went to Canadian Tire today. What is Canadian Tire?, you ask.
How can I describe it? Basically, it's a House of Worship for all agnostic Canadians, a just a darned great place to go for all the other Canadians.
It started out as a TIRE store for gosh sakes. Hence the name.
Then.............they diversified!
You start your trip into Canadian Tire (or Crappy Tire, as many people call it, not because the tires are crappy, but because we Canadians have a weird sense of humour and have to put down our Canadian Institutions. It's really a term of endearment. Trust me. Just like we call Tim Horton's "Timmy Ho's", but I'll leave that for another day)

Back to Crappy Tire:
First you go through a shiny chrome turnstile. Whee!
Then, you glide past the credit kiosk, trying not to make eye-contact with the person who tries to get you to sign up for a Canadian Tire credit card. (We already have one, thanks!)

Once past the quagmire of the credit kiosk one is free to wander at will.
In our case Dave immediately took off for the tool section, while I shot off in the other direction toward the housewares, patio furniture, and handy gadgets areas.
I contemplated the coffee makers and crock pots, delighted in the dishes, marvelled at the mugs, prognosticated at the plastic containers, hemmed and hawed at the home decor section, and ruminated over a rack of spices! Picked up item number one: a bag of Masala Spice mix (the recipe on the back looked interesting).

A little later I leaped into the lighting section and ogled the Ott Lights. Anyone who is a stitcher knows what an Ott light is, but for those of you who don't - it's a light with a full spectrum or daylight bulb in it. I stopped to bow in adoration at the version that folds up, but couldn't justify buying it. Ott lite, I'll be back for you someday. Wait for me!

As I left the lighting section I rounded a corner and was nearly mown down by a large man pushing a buggy at breakneck speed. It was my husband!
"Looking for toilet paper", he announced purposefully, and whizzed past me into sections unknown.
I glimpsed two boxed office chairs in the buggy before he disappeared from sight.
After a lot more browsing I realized that I had lost Dave completely, so I whipped out my handy cell phone and called him!

Him: Hello?
Me: It's me! Where are you?
Him: (Tersely) I'm in automotive, waiting for them to put more (effing) tire gauges out.
(Dave is passionate about tire gauges)
Me: Well, I'm happy to browse some more, so just phone me if you can't find me!
Him: OK. They're out of (effing) toilet paper too, those slimy dogs!
Me: Oh dear! They've lured us here under false pretences. TP in the sales flyer, but none on the shelves!
Him: We'll have to get it some other (effing) place.
Me: (In soothing tones) I'm sure we'll find it at Safeway. Why don't you go to your happy place and get yourself a new screwdriver or something?
Him: (Somewhat mollified) Well maybe. I had my mind set on that (effing) TP. Double rolls.
Me: I know. They have no right to treat us this way. I'm going to go and buy a spatula.
Him: OK. Bye.

I wandered to the kitchen ware section and speculated on a spatula. Settled on a nifty number with blue silicon paddle and eco-friendly splintery wooden handle.
Wiggled the wooden spoons and nearly chose a cherry wood one, but left it for another day. After all, a new spatula and a package of Masala spice mix should be enough for anyone, right?

Eventually found Dave getting ready to head for the checkout. Cart full of aforementioned desk chairs, a handcart dolly thing, a few tire gauges (how many do we need? Is he buying them as stocking stuffers?), several packages of paper towels (in lieu of TP?), and a chopping knife.

Quickly seizing the opportunity I grabbed a bag of chili-lime pistachio nuts and a package of Voortman's Almond crunch cookies that were in the impulse section next to the batteries and Bic lighters.

What a haul!
Trundled home, and Dave put away his beloved paper towels in the space left by our decimated TP collection. Must get some TP somewhere! Meanwhile I put together one of the office chairs for my craft room, and am now resting my right arm, which is sore from screwing in the (effing) bolts to hold the thing together.

Hope everyone had as good a day as we did!
Kathryn : )

Friday, August 21, 2009


Oh dear - it's been 10 days.
A brief catch -up then:
Finally got to meet an Internet friend in person. Alberta Ann and her husband Wilford came by for supper on their way to Vancouver Island. I think Dave scared them a little with his overall Dave-ness, but they handled it fairly well! I'll post a picture or 2 at some point.
While they were in our neck of the woods our son was away camping and managed to lose his cell phone in Osoyoos Lake for the second year in a row!
Before trip.......
Me: Don't lose your phone in the lake like you did last year.....
Son: (a tad scornfully) I'm not going to do that again mom!
After trip.....
Me: (Innocently) So you lost your phone in the lake, eh?
Son: (exasperated) The only reason I lost it was because it was in the pocket of my shorts when I jumped in the lake!
Me (I have no response to this stunning logic, and my tongue is now bleeding from biting it)
So...Off we go to the phone store to get him a new phone. He's on my contract, so I get the bill, but he pays me back. All this will change when he's 19 and a legal adult!
Anyhoo, fortunately I have a $150.00 credit towards a new phone.
Unfortunately, he doesn't want any of those cheap phones.
Fortunately he wants to buy a phone just like mine!
Unfortunately I got mine on an extreme promotion ($49.00) and the same phone now costs 400.00 MORE!
Fortunately the girl at the phone store encourages us to call our service provider and HAGGLE!
Unfortunately I'm not so good at haggling, and while I get some discount on the monthly contract I don't get a much discount on the actual phone, just my 150.00 credit, leaving phone still costing $300.00.
Fortunately the girl at the phone store tells me to CALL BACK AGAIN and KEEP HAGGLING!
Unfortunately this whole process takes over an hour and Dave is waiting for me to get to work
Fortunately my son gets on the phone and does a bit of haggling himself and we eventually get another 150.00 off the phone, so son is OK with paying 150.00 himself and we are feeling stoked about the whole affair. (while forgetting that we wouldn't have to be paying anything at all if he hadn't lost another phone in the lake).
Unfortunately son has little money to last until payday, so fortunately mom pays for the phone and then son buys mom a latte to celebrate and all is rainbows and sparkles and dolphins and unicorns and lollipops between mom and son. Son must pay mom back next payday. Mom feels like a dorky pushover, but wants son to have phone so mom can keep track of son. Mom wonders if she is normal, decides she is NOT normal, but doubts she will ever be able to do anything about it.
Son (who has a day off) goes home to play with new phone. Mom goes to work to earn money to pay for roof over son's head, future crises, etc.
More later,
Kathryn : )

Saturday, August 8, 2009

My Favourite Things. Mine.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Sapling-like ankles, a husband who’s smitten,
Laundry that’s folded without static clings
These are a few of my favourite things

Cream coloured ponies and crisp apple strudels
Dumbbells and barbells and waistlines like noodles
Low interest mortgages absent of strings
These are a few of my favourite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Sons who go driving and don’t end in crashes
Daughters who listen to wisdom I bring,
These are a few of my favourite things....

When the frog bites, When my knees sting
When I’m feeling saaaaaad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I go out
To Dairy Queen and buy myself a blizzard.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tales from the Bike Shop

Yes, Yes, I'll post the conclusion to "Kath and Dave's Excellent Adventure" later, much later.
But for now, while I'm at work, it's "Tales from the Bike Shop". <---don't click here unless you want to go to a motorcycle website.
(Our web guy says that I have to do some link development for our motorcycle shop; this means plastering a link to our website from all sorts of places including this place.)
Two things happened that struck my funny bone like a hammer on an egg (WHAP!):
1. A customer of ours - I'll call him Bobo - called me up out of the blue, and sounding a bit inebriated, (in the middle of the day!), proceeded to start to tell me a dirty joke. Something about a white man and a black man and body parts etc. I had no chance to even protest that:
a) I'm at work and don't have time for jokes
b) I'm offended that he thinks I want to hear a dirty joke (do I give off vibes or something?)
Anyway, he gets partway through the joke and promptly forgets the punchline.
"I'll have to call you back", he says, briskly, despite the slurring. And hangs up.
I'm sitting there with my mouth open (Seems I am doing this more and more these days).
A few minutes later he calls back, tells the end of the joke, and then says "Don't tell Dave I told you this joke, or he'll kill me!"
I tell him, "I tell Dave everything!"
"OK, goodbye", he says quickly, and hangs up.
I'm laughing, not at the joke, but at the fact that this kind of weird thing happens here. Never in my 20 years at my former job, did I get a dirty joke call from a drunk customer. Ever.
2. A customer comes in and asks if we have any metric nuts.
Dave tells the guy "Maybe my lovely wife can answer that - ha ha".
(Maybe this is why our customers think that I want to hear their dirty jokes)
I politely refrain from comment and wait for the speech....
Whenever customers come in and ask us for small things like nuts, bolts, screws, washers, etc Dave goes into a rant about not having time to look for small things, how much money his time is worth, did the guy bring in a sample with him, how can he look for something without a sample, no you can't go back there and look yourself, etc etc. Then he pronounces "If you want me to go back there and look for some obscure nut/bolt/screw without anything to go by, then it's going to cost (dramatic pause) TEN BUCKS per ITEM!" (Arms waving expansively).
Today, however, when the moon in the 7th house and Jupiter aligned with Mars, when peace shall reign the planets, and LOVE, LOVE will fill the stars............
Dave goes "back there" to look for metric nuts.
Very quickly he returns with exactly what the customer needs.
"How much do I owe you?", asks customer.
"NOTHING!", says Dave, "NO CHARGE!"
"Really?", asks customer, No charge?" (sounds like the guy has just won the lottery)
"NO CHARGE!", yells Dave, "It's Christmas in August!" (Arms waving expansively).
"Wow!", says customer. "This is wonderful!"
(The guy practically glides out, euphoric)
Rainbows and sparkles fill the air, and I am left wondering "Where am I?"
Coming up next: Kathryn takes us on a tour of her craft room!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

While the Kid's away.....

The parents play!

(or.....Kath and Dave's excellent adventure!)
Kath and Dave took a rare Saturday off today to create their very own 3-day weekend. Kath and Dave were very excited and had all sorts of plans to relax, rest, recuperate and get a few things done around the house.

Kath and Dave are a bit burned out from work and the recent heat wave. Kath had been near tears too many times in the past few weeks, and Dave was growing a little tired of the drama. OK, a LOT tired.
Saturday morning came early as Kath got up at 4:15 AM to say goodbye to son-who-is-going-camping. (ed note: Kath can be a pathetic idiot at times).
After son had left for the ferry, Kath decided to stay up and not miss A SINGLE MINUTE of her most excellent upcoming weekend. She checked her e-mail, sipped tea, made delicious apple muffins, and fresh coffee.

Eventually the sun rose, and Dave did too, after a much-needed sleep in. Kath and Dave looked at each other, faces bright and shiny with the promise of the day ahead. They sat at the table, eyes sparkling as they congratulated one another on daring to take a Saturday off in the middle of the busy season. "Some things are just more important than money!", they exclaimed in unison.
Little did they know that things would, eventually, go terribly, horribly wrong.
(mysterious and foreboding music plays faintly in the background).
After breakfast, Kath and Dave got busy with all manner of things both relaxing and productive.
Dave scooped the cat box, Kath loaded the dishwasher. Dave cleaned out a junk drawer, Kath
threw in a load of laundry. Dave puttered industriously, Kath puttered industriously. Things were going well.
At some point, Kath expressed a desire to go to the Organic (she calls it Orgasmic) Grocer to get some wholesome food and vitamins.
"Excellent idea, Kath!", chirped Dave.
"Not as excellent as all of your wonderful ideas!", replied Kath, a loving look on her face.
"You Rock, Kath!" sang Dave.
"Not as much as YOU Rock!" trilled Kath.

(Saccharine filled the air)

Kath and Dave got into their jolly little car and trundled off to the Orgasmic Grocer, pure and wholesome thoughts in mind. They bought a few vitamins and some wonderful ingredients to make their own high-fibre cereal. Not that they're at the age where they need fibre, or anything. They also got a free "Alive" magazine. Not that they're at the age where they like getting free stuff, whether they need it or not.

Here's a photo of some of the wonderfully wholesome things that Kath and Dave bought.

While standing in the check-out line, Kath had a great idea. "Sweetie-poo", she said, "I've heard that red wine can be good for one's blood pressure. What say we continue our quest for good health and wholesome activities by going to the liquor store and getting a nice, healthy, bottle?"

In an amazing coincidence, Kath and Dave BOTH have high blood pressure! Surely the fact that they are together 24 x 7, at home and at work, has nothing to do with it. But I digress.

"Excellent idea, Kath!", chirped Dave. "You ROCK!", he sang.
"Not as much as YOU Rock!", she trilled lovingly.

They hopped, again, into their jolly HOT little car, and drove across the street to the liquor store.
Little did they know that the activities of the next few moments would set in motion a downward spiral of greed, gluttony, malice, betrayal, and treachery!

(more of that music in the background. Now a bit louder)

Still innocent of the forces at work against them they entered the liquor store, where they were at once teased and caressed by the air conditioning.

"Oh, oh, oh!", they moaned, like Harry meeting Sally.

The other shoppers quickly backed away.

In their excited state, Kath and Dave picked up not only a delightful bottle of red wine, but a few other things. Obviously the air conditioning was too much for them.

Much of it was healthy - made from grapes, tomatoes, clams, mint, and....well.....distilled grain.
They emerged from the liquor store, delighted with their purchases, and flung them happily into the car.

"Say", said Dave, looking back toward the Orgasmic Grocer across the street. "Is that a BAKERY over there?"
"It sure is!", answered Kath, secretly delighting in her youthful husband's excellent eyesight.
"Hey, Sugar-Pea", said Dave. "What say we go over there and see if they have any wonderful pastries?

"Excellent idea, Dave! You ROCK!", said Kath
"Hurry up and get in the car, wench!, he said manfully.

Kath did as she was told. She loved it when he was forceful like that.

They drove back across the street toward the Orgasmic Grocer and walked into the bakery next door. "Just ONE wee pastry each?", they asked each other.
"Yes, just ONE EACH!", they agreed, and looked at the pastries.
The pastries looked back, and called to them, like sirens at sea, calling out, "Hey, Sailor!".
Time passed. 'Eternity in an hour', as Blake wrote.
Kath and Dave bought THREE pastries each. (They are now fluent in pastry patois)

The day was going so well that Kath and Dave decided to stop in at Safeway and buy an onion.
"Just an onion, fuzzy bear!" Kath called out lovingly as she stayed behind in the car to keep the windows rolled down for the sake of the pastries.
"Right ON, sugar cube!" sang Dave as he skipped gaily into the store......and had his second encounter that day, with AIR CONDITIONING.

It was an encounter that would change their lives.

Back at the car, Kath sang a little song to keep the pastries company.
"You make me feel like a natural WOMAN!", she brayed, to the mind-numbing horror of some innocent passers-by.
"Don't stare, dear", a mother admonished her child. "The poor devil was born that way, and can't help it."

Kath sang on, oblivious, her hips gyrating to the music as best they could while still seat-belted on to the hot, sticky seats. "Everybody have fun tonight! Everybody Wang-Chung tonight!"
"Squeak, squeak, squeak!", complained the seat.
Kath noticed that she could make different musical notes with the seat, by rubbing her sweaty legs across it in varying speeds. Quickly she improvised, by ear (or leg?) Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" (just like at our wedding, she remembered mistily)
She soon moved on to more difficult pieces, like the theme to "Bonanza". By the time she mastered "Flight of the Bumblebee" the seat was SMOKIN'! (and a crowd had gathered)

So she returned to singing......a medley of humpback whale tunes, in the hopes that dear Dave would hear her calling.....

The crowd dispersed. Rapidly.

Meanwhile, inside the store, Dave had just finished choosing a delicious red onion, when the strains of Kath's dulcimer voice reached him. As she whooped out a chorus of Broadway show tunes and segued into the Wim-a-way song (In the jungle the mighty jungle.....) he was struck so full of love for that durned spunky little woman, that he made a few extra purchases.

After going through the check-out ("Someone's a lucky girl!", exclaimed the check-out woman) Dave hopped like a bunny out to the car.

He opened the door, and held out, with a flourish, some gifts for his dyn-o-mite lady.
Roses and lottery tickets!

"Here ya go, little prune whip", he chuckled manfully.
"Oooooh", she squealed, delight squirting from every pore.
"Ah jest loves a gamblin' man", she crooned.

Kath and Dave took their purchases home in their jolly little sweltering car.
"My armpits are glued shut", thought Kath, as she stared lustily at the lottery tickets.