365 Days

Victory fingers Dec 2 14Today is a high-five, way to go, milestone day in my life. I"™m not looking for accolades, congratulations or any such thing from you, my readers.

This blog post is my thank you to me.

It"™s been 365 days, or 8,760 hours, or 525,600 minutes since I last smoked a cigarette.

Frankly, I don"™t know how I achieved this milestone as I resisted even contemplating quitting for 40+ years. I expended a lot of energy in fighting for my right to smoke and honed my argumentative skills by furiously debating with those who urged me to quit. (more…)

I Saw the Bogeyman

I saw the bogeyman last week.

All the years of my childhood, I feared that unknown scary person. You know, the one that you were sure was under your bed at nights when you couldn"™t fall to sleep, or the one who was definitely hiding in your closet just waiting for you to nod off and would then come out and choke you. Yeah, that "˜thing"™ "“ the one without a face or a name, but the one that scared you silly and caused nightmares.

Guess what? He"™s now real"¦ at least to me. And he came out in broad daylight last week and terrorized myself and my city.

Around 7:00 pm, on June 4th, a few kilometers away from my tiny little house in the usually quiet small city of Moncton, NB, he came out of the shadows into the slowly fading evening skylight. (more…)

Smile"¦ Pretty Please?

"œSmile at strangers and you just might change a life." "“ Steve Maraboli

Emily June20004One of the most underrated activities, but most thoroughly appreciated ones, has to be the art of giving and receiving of a smile.

One of the hot topics almost every day in the business world is poor customer service"¦ which I think relates to smiling or the lack thereof. There are tons of posts on Facebook and other social media sites telling tales of how such and such a company "˜shafted"™ someone out of money by refusing to issue a refund, or how the cashier at a local grocery store practically bit someone"™s head off when they questioned whether the price of the kumquat"™s they were purchasing was correct. While some of the beefs are definitely legitimate, I believe I"™ve stumbled on one of the biggest flaws in providing excellent customer service. And do you know what it is? (more…)

Auto-Correct Isn"™t So Correct After All

celll phoneAs most of you know I"™m an editor/writer and words are my forte"¦ or so I thought until I got a supposedly SmartPhone and found out I"™ve been outsourced to a battery the size of a gnat.

I do use spell-check while writing and editing simply because it came with the software on my computer, and it does pick up on misspelled words. (By the way, according to Wikipedia, spell-check first became available on mainframe computers in the late 1970s. A group of six linguists from Georgetown University developed the first spell-check system for the IBM corporation at that time.) Even though it can"™t distinguish between homophones (they"™re, their, and there, for example), and doesn"™t recognize common grammatical spelling errors, at least it provides a slight improvement in ones written word when used judiciously.

But this auto-correct thing has me baffled.

Where does it come up with these often hilarious substitutions of what "˜it"™ thinks you want to type? Is there a mini-me in that electronic box who can mysteriously read my mind, knowing what I want to say almost before I do?

Here"™s an example of a text I sent the other day to a friend of mine. Keep in mind that I have rather long fingernails (my one area of vanity) and the touch screen on my phone is definitely not conducive to spelling properly at the best of times.

After I hit "œsend" here"™s what showed up on my screen:

"œSorry I couldn"™t join I guys but my accountant I"™d fur here around one"¦ bummer."

Why in heaven"™s name would I"™d be "œfurring" anyone let alone my wonderful accountant is anybody"™s guess. (And yes, furring is an actual word. One definition is "œfurring strips are long thin strips of wood or metal used to make backing surfaces to support the finished surfaces in a room", and another one involves an <ahem> sexual practice which I"™m not going to go into here at all!) I"™m guessing that "œI guys" is the new pluralized version of "œus" or perhaps a new urban rap phrase, as in "œI guys be wise downtown and round da block"¦ we rock" but hey, it"™s a SmartPhone, so it obviously knows the English language better than I do.

Sigh"¦ I guess I truly am now a part of a generation where communication with others involved talking to someone via that black rotary-dial phone which was wall-mounted in the kitchen of my family homestead, sitting down on a sofa and having an honest to God conversation with the person next to you, face to face, or putting pen to paper and <gasp> writing a letter that you actually had to put in an envelope, lick and place a stamp on the upper right-hand corner, then walk to the local post office to have it sent out to the intended recipient.

By the way, what I REALLY typed in (honestly) was:

"œSorry I couldn"™t join you guys but my accountant is to be here around one"¦ bummer."

It"™s official. My phone is now smarter than I am.

One Size Does NOT Fit All!

photo of me - cold Jan 24 13 adjWarning: Before reading today"™s blog post, be aware that I"™m on a rant as I"™m tired of spending the past 6 days in deep freezer mode here on the East Coast. I most likely am vitamin D, C, A, Z deprived and any other compound in between that I"™m lacking from not feeling the sun"™s warmth!

So"¦ as I mentioned above, my neck of the woods has been experiencing colder than normal winter temperatures for the past 6 days due to a low pressure of Artic air that"™s stuck over the region. For example, when I dragged my sorry butt out of bed this morning, it was -34C with wind chill factored in (around -29F for those of you who don"™t use the Celsius system). Now that"™s a tad chilly by anyone"™s thermometer and since I don"™t own a fur coat (don"™t believe in them) by choice I"™ve stayed indoors, gazing at the bright sunshine that isn"™t providing a smidgen of warmth through the windows of my home. (I should add that my poor electric furnace is also getting a work-out and I"™m afraid that the wheel on the meter is spinning so fast that it"™s going to pop off its axis and slice through the glass casing!)

Anyhow, I digress from the point of this rant.

To try and combat the cold, 4 days ago I dug through my dresser drawers in search of some heavyweight winter tights that I have for just these occasions. In my childhood days, these were referred to as leotards, but in today"™s advanced fashion terms, tights seem to be the more acceptable term. However, there"™s one slight problem "“ I only have a couple of pairs of these winter wonders and this morning after my shower I discovered both were in the dirty clothes hamper. Uh oh"¦

But wait! After a little digging through aforementioned dresser drawer, I found a brand spanking new pair of "˜patterned"™ tights just waiting to be unwrapped from their hermitically sealed plastic covering. I vaguely remember buying them last spring at an end of winter clearance event and had never put them to use, but today was going to be the day they saw the light. (Or darkness under my jeans to be more precise.)

Now the following description may be too vivid for some people to handle, so if you"™ve no sense of humour, stop reading here.

I unfolded the beautiful jacquard patterned black tights, easing them lovingly over my toes and then rolling them up my thighs"¦ and that"™s when the elastic hit the fan. These totally posh tights STOPPED an inch short of my umm nether region! I started pulling with all my might but nope, they weren"™t budging. By this time I"™m sweating from the exertion of trying to haul up the now obnoxious pair of too-tight tights and I"™m ready for my second shower of the day.

In a fit of rage, I grab the package to see what possible size these thigh huggers are and there on the label lies the culprit: ONE SIZE FITS ALL.

Okay. Who the BLEEP is "˜One"™ and how come HER measurements are used as a gauge for the rest of us?  One isn"™t even a prime number for heaven"™s sake! I remember from the movie The Matrix that "˜Neo"™ was determined to be The One, and frankly at this point of trying to get these stupid tights on, I was going to need a miracle of futuristic proportions in order to get them on my body!

I say we outlaw the ONE SIZE FITS ALL labelling of garments because it never does. Same goes with hats. That label equates to them being either too small or too big on me and I"™ve yet to find sweaters that fit perfectly bearing that tag as well.

Let"™s start a movement, ladies, to get this stupid "˜no size"™ label off clothing now! How about we get rid of it and create "˜MIGHT FIT"™ or "˜NO WAY HONEY"™ labels instead? They might be a tad more accurate and at least not give one false hope that the garment may cover whatever body part it"™s meant for.

I did manage to scrounge another older much worn pair of tights from another drawer which fit just fine. But get this: the tag on this pair says "˜Large "“ Tall."™ I"™m 5"™ 3" (and that"™s pushing it) so perhaps the labelling on what constitutes tall is a tad off as well.

So, what"™s the moral of this story? Don"™t buy anything labelled ONE SIZE FITS ALL unless you"™re 110% positive that you"™re the "˜one"™ who was directly involved in the construction of said garment. Either that or just take your chances and be ready for an extra workout in the morning trying to get the @#*! on J

Stay warm everyone!

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