Sunday, November 30, 2008

Man Cold video

Jack Knox mentioned this in his column today and I found it true!

Itty Bitty Book Review: "The White Tiger"

"The White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga

This book won the 2008 Man Booker Prize and well deserved. A black comedy and also very serious about the divide of the rich and poor in India. And another one of these amazing first do they do it!
There's a short interesting interview with the author on this link:

The Man Booker Prize

Friday, November 28, 2008

Completely spoiled by Oyama Saucage

Elaine and I split a lamb burger at the Hotel Grand Pacific after swimming Wednesday and were very unimpressed with the taste of the meat but I think we've both been spoiled by all this wonderful lamb saucage we've had recently and that we bought at Oyama when we were all at Granville Island earlier this month. We've had their Syrian Lamb, Lamb with Mint, and Greek saucage...all fabulous.

You can download their product list at their website and the Curlings had a great idea to put what they wanted on labels beforehand then have them do those up for them. They will also label things but more time consuming and since there is such a variety of things it was a good way to think about what you wanted beforehand. We'll do this next time ourselves.

A note from Don:

Hi Janice,
I was just looking at your blog and would like to point out a small spot of bother.
Having the Oyama list is a great idea but you might not get some of the sausage
all the time. Some are seasonal and some have a lengthy curing process. It might
not be to your advantage to make the labels up ahead of time. We actually did this
time but we had scouted them out the day before. However what we have done
in the past is look everything over and make a list of how many etc. We then get
out of the crowd and make out the stickers and then present them to the clerk.
It still saves a lot of time and you know exactly what you have.

Oyama Sausage Co. The Best Sausages, Hams and Pates in Vancouver British Columbia

A few mouth watering photos from Oyama...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

And some more Willow's photos

Mt. Baker was looking great.

I was impressed with these very obedient dogs.

And there are still a few California poppies hanging on even in late November.

This tree is a bit worse for wear with the wind.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sky at Willow's Beach

There were some amazing skies at Willow's Beach the other day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My dive into watercolour...

I took a one day course not long ago on watercolour painting because I figured it would be a lot less material to cart around when travelling. Also, watercolour is a lot less messy and then there's the problem with acrylics in needing an easel and being able to place it in a good light. I realized at this course that I could actually use watercolour more or less the same way I use acrylics. It's certainly a reasonable way to paint since you seem to use so little paint.

Just to try it out I used a painting I had done in acrylics to copy.

"Pines and Sailboats"
5 x 7 watercolour on paper

My original painting in acrylic:

"View from the Pins Penches"
14 x 18 acrylic on canvas

Monday, November 24, 2008

My latest painting

"Blue Door on Saltspring"
5 x 10 acrylic on canvas

I had this small, funny size of canvas for some reason so figured it would work for John and Carole's blue door. I love the red gardening clogs. This is the photo it's based on and in the painting I gave that part of the house the new paint job they were in the middle of doing.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

garfield minus garfield

Reading in the TC today about Webcomics and this one rather intrigued me.
The blurb said:

"Deliberately or not, Dan Walsh's Webcomic is perfectly representative of the Internet's murky minefield of intellectual property issues. Essentially, Walsh takes Jim Davis's Garfield strip and removes every character except the cat's owner, Jon Arbuckle. The end result is brilliantly surreal."

garfield minus garfield

He seems to be selling books and DVD's with this idea. It is a rather interesting copyright issue and I'm rather surprised he's getting away with it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Leaves we don't have to rake anymore....yippee!

P.S. And also yippee that the folks in our old house have a quiet leaf blower...what a great invention. I also see he has a gigantic rake. I'm sure those weren't around when we were raking these leaves.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Library Cat

This cat was in the parking lot licking up something with great relish (not a bird since I didn't see any feathers). When I came out of the library it was waiting under a tree and meowing then came up and rubbed my legs. I guess it gets fed rather regularly by library patrons. Looked a bit like our old Max and Robin the cat in Carquiranne.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Itty Bitty Book Review: Through Black Spruce

"Through Black Spruce" by Joseph Boyden

This year's Giller winner and very richly deserved. I was so impressed with "Three Day Road" and this one picks up some of the characters and lives of First Nations. His writing always impresses me with its honesty and authenticity. It's interesting he spends half his time in Northern Ontario which has currently been his inspiration and half in New Orleans (he notes in his acknowlegements to the New Orleans gang that "a little rain won't ruin our parade"). I wonder if he will write about New Orleans at some point. I think he could turn his hand to anywhere.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My latest painting

I've had the background done on this painting for quite a while as I really liked it and didn't want to mess it up doing something that I knew would be difficult for me...the Saltspring Island ferry (Howe Sound Queen) that makes the Crofton-Saltspring run. I did try to put a classic Volkswagon Van on the ferry but it ended up looking like an insect from outer space hence what's there.

I've posted the photo that inspired the painting. I took it when we were heading back from lunch and a swim on Saltspring at Carol and John's last summer. I felt the painting needed the wood chip barge from Crofton and also the Saltspring ferry and the little sailboat balanced things off.

"Crofton Bound"
16 x 20 acrylic on canvas

Photo I took that day from the ferry.

Itty Bitty Book Review: Silent Cruise

"Silent Cruise" by Timothy Taylor

I enjoyed this collection of short stories although I sometimes felt I was too stupid and too old to actually understand some of them. I felt that way particularly when reading the novella at the end called "Newstart 2.0". I think Richard would "get" them more. Taylor wrote "Stanley Park" and "Story House"...both taking place in Vancouver. I think I stopped reading "Stanley Park" but I fetl "Story House" was quite fascinating especially if you're interested in architecture.

Itty Bitty Book Review: Breath

"Breath" by Tim Winton

Another bull's eye for Winton. A fast read at a couple of hundred pages but packs quite a whallop.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Goodyear Blimp and Wienermobile make history

John recently published a photo from the 1970's on his photoblog that he took of the Goodyear Blimp when it landed at Vancouver Airport. He later got to go on a ride...lucky guy!

- Photo by John Denniston

Today in the Oak Bay News they had this photo...seems this is the first time they've been together. They make a nice couple don't you think?

Friday, November 14, 2008

A south of France day

Yesterday was one of these fabulous sunny days we sometimes get even in November...a nice relief from all the rain lately.

It was also Thursday which is market day in our wonderful little village of Carqueiranne and the day I would always buy a bar-b-q chicken, tomatoes, and baguette for our lunch. So I did the same yesterday and we had lunch in the sunroom. Of course, it's not quite the same...the bar-b-q chicken isn't stuffed with a dozen cloves of garlic and a handful of herbes de provence, the tomatoes are not kissed by the Mediterranean sun, and the baguette is not our famous Carqueiranne bread, but nevertheless it was a great break.

It was wonderful sitting in the sun. Our villa in France in 2005 had the most amazing exposure in that you got sun all day long.

A chicken, a loaf of bread, tomatoes, wine...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Photo by Amber on the big night in Chicago

Richard has a number of friends in Chicago who were all at Grant Park along with his friend, Amber, from Sacremento who took this photo which she put on her fashion blog. Check out her always makes me wish I was younger and could pull off some of these wild outfits!

Painfully Hip�—�Fashion-Forward Finds for the Weak of Wallet: a cheap chic fashion blog about finding your personal style

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Some great viewing

We really got into "Foyle's War" recently which is a British series about a policeman doing his job during WW II. Excellent and reminded me of another British series called Danger UXB which dates back a while but also takes place in WW II and is about a bomb disposal unit. We saw it on Masterpiece Theatre ages ago but I noticed our library had it on DVD so watched most of it again.

We were looking around for something to wean us off our addiction to Foyle's War and the fellow at Yo Video suggested another British series called "Wire in the Blood"...cop show and very well done. So I guess we'll gobble these up at five a week for seven bucks until we go through them. Then we'll need another fix...any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day

My blog is dedicated today for all the fallen, all the veterans, and all those still serving in all wars.

Remembrance Day in Afghanistan

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Turnell's great Vancouver condo

We loved their condo and I'm sure Roger and Kerry and their family will get lots of pleasure from it over the years. It came with everything right down to the dishes and linens and towels so it was really easy to just set up in Vancouver without much of a hassle and having to buy lots of things. The area is super too (on Robson around Denman) with lots of restaurants and a new Safeway going up.

Kerry in the kitchen.

This is the eating area in the kitchen. It's great to have a window like this off the kitchen...great design.

Lots of neat little French touches around and I really liked the tile colours.

They have two little patios like this one off the dining room then another off the Master bedroom. They call them "Martini Patios" the name!

Living room.

Dining room

Roger and Jim.

Barack Obama: The 50 facts you might not know - Telegraph

Barack Obama: The 50 facts you might not know - Telegraph

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Rainy days in Vancouver

We went into Vancouver this Thursday to Saturday to get our Nexus pass and have some R & R especially for Jim who has had a hellish term. Don and Elaine were able to join us which was terrific as it was their first little jaunt since their extremely hellish year. We decided to stay at the Granville Island Hotel and we both got view suites so it was fun even in the rain watching all the False Creek action and being on Granville Island. We all had a super dinner in the Dockside Restaurant there the first night then we had dinner with Richard and Claudia in the Brewpub side the next night...very cosy in there with the fireplace and wood panelling.

And a bonus was Roger and Kerry were in town in their new condo so we saw them for lunch before heading home on Saturday. We just loved their condo and I'll post photos tomorrow.

View from our room.

The kayakers and Canada geese seem to be having a race here.

Claudia and Richard joining us in the Brewpub.

The Curlings engaged in the very serious business of getting saucage and pates at that great place in the market.

Don and Elaine were well prepared for the weather with their so'westers. I love this Ocean Cement display.

The painted cement trucks seem to be a new thing or perhaps I've just not noticed.

This was a neat display the Emily Carr students had done. I'm always interested in these mini structures.

This one was made into a living space for one person but other ones were made into office spaces, etc.

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow shall stop them....

Friday, November 07, 2008

Will the hilarity ever end?

Reading the the Globe and Mail today that Palin spent much more than $150 grand on her clothes and even bought a Louis Vuitton bag for her daughter. Teaching great values there when people are losing their homes, pensions, jobs, and going bankrupt because of medical bills.

Seems the McCain insiders are out to get her for the expenses and for incredible gaps of thinking Africa was a country and not realizing it is a continent and not knowing the nations involved in And this is who they picked to be a heartbeat away from president of the US!

Apparently lawyers are already on their way to snatch back the clothes...seems she sat around in a towel while meeting high ranking Republicans so doesn't sound like she needs them anyway. It would be a nice gesture to auction them off and give the proceeds to an African relief fund.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

For the young man in Houston

In 2004 we had dinner at a restaurant in downtown Houston and were served by a young man who was very interested in the fact we were Canadians as he was so ashamed of his country that he wished he could immigrate to Canada. He had to fight back the tears as he spoke to us.

I hope his is celebrating this wonderful historic victory tonight and his tears will be of pride and joy for the future of his country.

A heart felt congratulations to the citizens of America for this wonderful election outcome tonight.

This Election Will Change the World - Christiane Amanpour

In the Field: Hear from CNN reporters across the globe Blog Archive - This election will change the world � - Blogs from

Will the world change today?

We were listening to the French philosopher, Bernard-Henri Levy, on BBC World News yesterday and it was interesting to hear him say that there will be a world euphoria of hope and a sea change for the better if Obama wins today. He tends to be very anti-American so to hear him have hope for how the US could influence the world positively is somewhat surprising. I think he's right. How refreshing if the progressive thinkers in the US gain power.

Perhaps the world will catch a break today.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

McCain pokes fun at campaign in 'SNL' visit -

I find the appearances of the main candidates on Saturday Night Live pretty interesting. Did I miss something in the past or is this something new when the candidates who are involved in a very critical and serious political race take time out to play in skits that make fun of themselves and their campaign. I love it but I wonder if it's helpful to the candidates in the end.

Of course Palin has the easiest time...she just has to be herself to be uproariously funny. Her being taken in by those Quebec comics was hilarious although it is a little scary to think she didn't have a clue she wasn't actually talking to Sarkozy.

McCain pokes fun at campaign in 'SNL' visit -