Category Archives: plinky

Ban Soda From All Schools?

Where do I stand on soda in schools? Here in Canada we call it pop (I think that is because of the sound it makes when you take the top off or it is short for popular). I am totally for banning the poison from schools. My Mother uses Coca-Cola to clean her toilet bowl. If it will clean porcelain imagine what it is doing to your stomach. There is also the fact that most teenagers drink regular cola with sugar, not that I think sugar-free is any better, aspartame has all it's documented side effects too. Again, I believe that it has to start at home; if the parents are bringing pop home of course the children will be drinking it at school.

I believe that pop can be an addiction like drugs, alcohol or cigarettes. In the apartment building that I live in there is a pop addiction among the adults. People cart it in 2 liters at a time and pore it over their cornflakes (this is for real). When they get thirsty they think that pop is going to quench their thirst, but how wrong they are. It does the same thing as coffee it dehydrates you.

Here in Vancouver, BC Canada we have the best water, which comes directly from our tap, you don't even need to filter it. I know that in many cities in the U.S. the quality is poor, but next time your kids want a “soda” buy a bottle or gallon of water, in the end your body and theirs will appreciate it.

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How Tech Savvy Are You?

This is the Plinky prompt for today. I don’t answer most of them, because most don’t pertain to my life, or me but this one definitely does. Let me count the ways that I wish I was more tech savvy. First of all let me say that I am very technically astute. I can pretty much repair any software problem on a PC or Mac, even if it means reformatting.  I can also install a hard drive, optical drive, sound-card or RAM. These days most everyone I know has a laptop instead of a tower, so I haven’t been called upon to upgrade anything, but if I had to I could. I am my Mother’s personal IT department.  In my apartment block there are friends computers that I tend to and maintain on a regular basis.

I can also pretty well figure out any menu on any digital camera, recorder, tablet or cellphone.  When Olympus claimed to have a difficult menu to navigate, for me it was a piece of cake. This is how my brain works.  Then on the other hand if I see a piece of IKEA furniture with a whole bunch of screws and nails, I draw a blank.  If I only knew someone who was good at putting a bed-frame together, we could barter.  I live in a building full of men, and not one of them even knows how to use a hammer or screwdriver. The only person I know that is extremely good at putting anything together is my Mother; she is always up for the challenge. Perhaps, if I take her to lunch at the Windjammer she will help me out.

Now for the areas that I wish I could improve on. I would love to be able to write HTML and design my own website or learn to code and build an iPhone app or computer game.  Perhaps, this should be one of my goals for the rest of the year.

I may be tech savvy, but don’t forget everyone is good at something; you just have to find out what it is. As Curly said in “City Slickers”, “when you find that one thing, then nothing else will matter”.

 

 

Where Am I?

The Last Time I Was Really Lost

I won’t forget this event for a very long time.  My brother Tony was flying into town from Edmonton via Abbotsford (45 miles from Vancouver).  My Mother and I drove to the airport without any hitches.  The fun (if that’s what you want to call it) began when we picked up my brother and we were driving back to Surrey (Mom’s place).   It was wintertime and it was dark, somewhere we zigged when we should have zagged.  Not one of us knew where we were; we kept driving around in circles for hours and hours.   I didn’t have a GPS then to help us along. I remember driving on some dark back road and running into a security car and driver and I asked for directions, of course his directions were all wrong.  Somehow after hours, which seemed like days we found our way home on some secondary road.  The moral of this story is if you are going to drive in a strange new place do it in daylight and most of all buy and take a GPS.

Favorite Book From Childhood

This prompt was an easy one; I didn’t need to think about it. My favorite childhood book has to be Dr. Suess’s “Green Eggs and Ham”. I loved all the Dr. Suess’s books that my Mom ordered or bought for my brother and I. I took to them like a fish takes to water.

The moral of the story still lingers in my mind as far as food goes, never say you don’t like something until you have tried it. I know people who have never tried a cuisine or delicacy because of the color or how it looks. Same goes for anything in life, don’t judge what you see by simply the cover.

Favorite Fried Food

What’s Your Favorite Fried Food Indulgence?

Without a doubt my favorite fried food, has to be “Fish n Chips”. I can’t say that I have tried too many different restaurants in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver. My usual standby used to be “The Windjammer” on Main Street, it has now moved to my part of town up on “The Drive”. I have yet to go to The Windjammer, but I am hoping that it is as good as it used to be at the old place.

A few weeks ago my Mom and I stumbled into C-Lovers in Coquitlam and I have to tell you that is the best fried fish n chips I have ever had,so far. I tried hard to get the batter recipe from the owner but, he wouldn’t budge. The crust was so delicate and crispy and not greasy at all. I plan on going back there on Mother’s Day.

Let me know what your favorite fried food or fish n chip place is?

My 5 Favorite Rock Albums

I knew this was going to be a difficult choice, so instead I am going to name my top 5 and how they influenced my life at the time.

I grew up in an era where we actually had real, vinyl record albums. I remember the shear joy of arriving home, taking off the wrapper and doing the infamous sniff test. It was the scent of vinyl all new, shiny and black. You would always get excited to find out if there was going to be a booklet included with photos and lyrics. I still remember Led Zeppelin’s “In Through The Out Door”, the inside sleeve featured black and white line artwork which, if washed with water would become a permanent, full water-colour. I still remember when someone accidentally spilt water on mine, and we were all in awe and amazed by what we had discovered. We imagined that we were the only ones in the world that knew this secret. Today if you can still find a CD, the liner notes are so small that I can’t even make them out in my reading glasses. Gone are those days, but I still long for the sound of a good vinyl record, with scratches and all.

In the 70’s there just weren’t many female musicians playing rock n roll. Most of the role models were men, swinging their hips and caressing their guitars as if they were women. I thought how could I relate to that.

I began playing acoustic guitar at age 13, but when I discovered Suzi Quarto, The Runaways, Heart, Patti Smith and Girlschool all that changed. When I saw photos of Joan Jett with her electric gold top Les Paul, I knew I had to have one. I did get my Les Paul at the San Francisco Pawn Brokers and soon a gigantic Custom amplifier followed, which the neighbourhood and police soon learnt to hate. All of sudden I felt like I belonged and that I was in a secret club only for girls. We could be raunchy and play power chords just like our male counterparts.

Here is my list of my top 5

1. 1974 – Suzi Quatro – Suzi Quatro
2. 1976 – The Runaways – The Runaways
3. 1976 – Heart – Dreamboat Annie
4. 1978 – Patti Smith – Easter
5. 1982 – Girlschool – Hit and Run

What Was The Last Thing You Got Really Excited About?

 

Try to remember your first kiss or rock concert or perhaps the first time you drove. When you are young and experiencing life for the first time, there are moments that are so exhilarating that they take your breath away.

Then age happens…as you mature you become jaded and less amazed about adventures, nothing ever feels like the first time. The older you become the less impressive new ideas become, in other words, you have seen it and done it all or at least that is how you feel.

For me learning to play guitar at 13 was one of the most thrilling periods of my life. I can’t say that I have ever felt that way since. I continued to play guitar, mandolin and sing from age 13 to well into my 30’s. There were the constant jam sessions and open mike nights; every time I played and sang in front of a live audience it was new, different and electrifying.

Time and medications have now taken it toll on my mind; my memory isn’t what it used to be (I now have to write everything down and use the Google calendar). The odd time, I think I want to take a stab at it, but it becomes so frustrating trying to remember lyrics. I think to myself why put myself through the agony and misery, so for now I have my two guitars hanging on the wall collecting dust. My days of music are nothing, but a faded memory now.

In lieu of the guitar, I have now taken up art again, yes again. The last time I painted anything I must have been in my late teen or early twenties. This revisited endeavour is kind of “exciting”. At the moment, I am not sure what medium I want to focus on so I am trying different avenues, from pastels, water-colour pencils to paints. I am having fun looking up tutorials online and trying my hand at the different aspects of art. I don’t think I will ever be a Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe or Emily Carr, but at least it is something that doesn’t frustrate me and I can honestly say it is stimulating. I even have dreams of painting and when that happens it must mean something.

Do You Need Coffee To Wake Up In The Morning?

For many years I was a coffee drinker and snob. I wouldn’t drink just any java that came across my table. I wanted my coffee extremely dark and with bite. No ordinary cup of Joe would ever pass through my lips. I even invested in my own espresso machine and grinder, so I could perfect my own cup. I could have gone to Starbucks, but could I actually trust the barista to make it my way.

Now in a very short time, I have become a tea connoisseur. I tried a cup of Chai, and thought, “Hey, why can’t I drink this when I wake up”. Once diving into the world of tea, I discovered a vast assortment, much more so than coffee. There is everything from Lemon Myrtle to exotic Pumpkin Chai. Along the way I have discovered “Davidstea’s” (it is a retail tea store across Canada and they just opened 3 in the U.S.). So the answer to the todays questions… No!…I don’t need coffee to wake me up, but I sure do need a good cup of tea. Happy sipping!

A Wasteful Habit

I have read on “Plinky” about people wasting paper towels, electricity and food. My claim to fame isn’t any of the latter, but instead the misuse of my time on my computer. I can lose my myself for hours until I realize what time it is. Mind you, I do sort and edit photos and do all kinds of research on art, computers and photography. Instead, I could be working on my art or music or even be cleaning my apartment. I suppose, there are worse things I could be wasting my time on, like smoking, drinking or an array of other bad habits.

Memories Of My Family Vacations

While growing up our next door neighbours took vacations to Disneyland and came back with Mickey Mouse ears… oh how I wanted a pair of my own. I also heard stories of other people’s experiences of far away places in Europe and even spending the whole summer at Grandma’s house. My memories were a bit different to say the least.

Every summer for exactly a week, my vacation was to visit the relatives in what is known as the “Kootneys” in the center of British Columbia. Don’t get me wrong this area of BC is beautiful, it was just that my Dad had 2 weeks off, but someone managed to cram everything into 7 days, so he could get back to the West Coast to drink with his boozing buddies.

It was the same routine every single summer from the time I was born till I was old enough to know better. My Mom would load my brother Tony and I into the car, while my Dad would spend an extra hour going over the car with a fine tooth-comb making sure we had enough oil,gas and air in the tires. I still believe he only did it to test my Mom’s patience. Once we were on the road, my Dad had a one track mind and didn’t want to stop anywhere else until we arrived at our destination. He would only stop in Princeton for breakfast and at the odd gas station.

Most of my young memories are quite vague but, what I do remember is how I loved being at my Aunt Mabel’s (My Mom’s sister) place, she was a warm and wonderful person. She had a small farm by a river and I remember swimming in the river (once I acquired a leech on my foot, which at that age it didn’t even faze me). There were chickens to feed and a cow to milk on her farm. I loved it so much, I always imagined being able to stay there all summer. My brother and I would always play with my cousins, while the men drank and the women cooked and chatted. Believe me when I say, it wasn’t terrible, in fact it was awesome, it was just that a day or two on the farm went so fast and it was time to leave and go elsewhere.

The last stop was always Creston BC, where my Father’s parents lived (my Grandparents). I always looked forward to seeing my cousin Cheryl (Carlita) and again our visits were always cut short. My Dad was always in a hurry to get back to Vancouver, and because of it, you were never able to get to know anyone, how could you. Unless, you spend time with your cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, you never get close to them.

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