Monthly Archives: April 2008

“What Do You Watch Then?”….

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Just had a conversation with a couple in the bank, about their TV bill here….

They have cable, and were moaning about the amount they have to pay, for adverts and nothing on the TV, so I started chatting to them and it came round to the question, "What do you do?"

So, having had a few emails about the same thing from people wanting to emigrate and worried about the TV, although I’m not sure why, this is the deal.

I flatly refuse to pay for a cable service, to then be bombarded by adverts, simple as that. Why anyone would pay for the privilege to be subjected to inane adverts, is beyond me. Add the fact that there are channels and channels with nothing on and I simply choose not to have it. ( I do enjoy the comment, "Well, you know, we don’t watch much TV anyway." Yeah, in that case, why bother paying for cable at all then. Baffling…..)

"But, what do you watch."

When you get past the fact that you can actually, play games, read books, go out, have a conversation with your kids, or partner, this is what we do.

1.    We go to the library – a lot. They have all manner of DVD’s, from travel documentaries, to historical, educational and nature programmes, documentary films, as well as various box sets and discs of TV shows, a lot from the UK. In the last couple of weeks, we have been working our way through the Stargate TV shows, all 10 seasons, as well as Michael Moore’s latest movie, "Sicko". Sitting in the pile waiting to be watched there’s Inspector Morse, the HBO series, "Heroes" and "Rome"

2.    I subscribe to a DVD rental service for a fraction of the cost of cable and movies in the post. That keeps us going with films, new and old, more TV shows if we fancy them, both for us and the kids.

What more do you need? And I haven’t got onto the internet yet, again, with You Tube and other video services. You actually find you see far more news and educational programmes this way, as opposed to simply vegging out in front of whatever is on. Everything I would be watching, should I manage to find it, we get. We’re watching what we want, when we want. Our problem is we now have too much to watch!

So, if you’re finding it hard to justify those high cable bills, especially with rising fuel and food costs, ditch the cable and get out there to your local library. You never know, you might actually learn something. (I’m trying to get my head around bee keeping right now, as well as learning how to construct a proper "live in" tree house). Or failing that, break out the board games….

Take it easy,

M

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Saturday Night, Sunday Morning….

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Sunday morning and the snow has almost cleared again….

Didn’t last long, although we had a few flurries during the day.

Just got the coffee machine going, the pancakes on, BBC 6Music playing, via the web and sending some new vocal files across to The Phantom, somewhere in Japan. The album is shaping up fast now, May hopefully is still the target for a release.

Soccer yesterday, was a bit of a let down. We lost 2-0, although to be fair, a few of our kids didn’t bother to turn up, probably due to the snow, so we had no subs, meanwhile the opposition managed almost full team change rounds every 10 mins. So our kids were knackered. Sam was OK in goal, he did let the 2 in, but he did make some great saves, one diving at the kids feet, which I was surprised about! And the other team were good, so no shame in it.

Making Smores....

Last night we had a burn up, in the fire pit with some dry wood from the garden and, had "smores"; toasted marsh mellows between biscuits, adding a bit of Green’s Organic Milk Chocolate for good measure. It ended up, in the darkness, just me, the missus and Holly, Sam, flaking out and coming in to watch "The Incredibles". We found him asleep on the sofa. Although she got cold, she said, as we came in, "Well, that was a very pleasant evening, Mum. We must do it again…."

The day is shaping up, Holly has swimming lessons this morning, Sam’s off playing soccer with some kids and later we are off to get the bits for the fish tank. It’s only been nearly 3 years, sitting in the corner, nearly 5 since we actually had the thing working mind you. It’s about time….

Global What!?!?….

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Warming? That’s when the temperature goes up right?….

Global What!?!?....

We woke up to this scene, this fine, mid April Saturday morning, and it’s still coming down. Samuel’s panicing, as he has his first soccer game today. Not sure if it’s the snow, or the fact that he’s drawn the short straw to be the first goalie.

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Natural News Special Report….

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I recently sent out an email, about vaccinations, telling people to get educated. I’ve now found some more info for you all, with a special report from the team over at NaturalNews.com (www.naturalnews.com)….

It’s free, it’s about the HPV vaccine being touted as essential for our daughters and soon to be, our sons. Click here to read the full report.

Like I always say, get yourself educated. Don’t assume that the government or big drug companies have your best interests at heart. Turn off your TV for a bit, I’m sure Pop Idol will still be on later, and your soaps will all be repeated.

Meanwhile your kids are being, for lack of a better phrase, "experimented on, for profit. If you don’t care, fine. But then, don’t moan when it’s too late and accuse the rest of us of blowing things up out of proportion….

Think I’m joking? Paranoid?….

Best-selling Sanatogen vitamin pills are dyed with harmful additives

Britain’s best-selling vitamin pill is dyed with artificial colours which can cause rashes and hyperactive behaviour in children. Sanatogen’s Kids A To Z Strawberry Flavour vitamins have another suspect additive: the red colouring Ponceau 4R.

Two colours – sunset yellow and quinoline yellow – criticised in an official study which led to their censure by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) last week – are found in Sanatogen Gold, the country’s leading multivitamin brand.

Read Full Article @ http://tinyurl.com/4jlm3r

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20 Degrees Today….

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It’s 7.30am, just made the scrambled eggs and the tea, waiting for the 20 degree sunshine to hit the Okanagan today….

….yeah, 20 degrees! 21 in Vancouver! Mind you, it goes down again later in the week, with possible snow flurries by Wednesday. The weather has gone mad….

The interview went OK. I am now a classed as a "freelance photographer/journalist" for various newspapers in the Okanagan, didn’t get the full time post, not enough experience. I wasn’t surprised, so not disappointed. Whether I get anything published (and paid!) or not, depends on what I get.

What else is ahead? My trip to the UK is becoming finalised for May/June, with rehearsals starting as soon as I get there. The Phantom is auditioning drummers now. Johnny (4) Eyes, bass man extraodinaire gets in end of May. Phantomville hits the road very soon….

I have a recording session client here at The ElectroVoodoo Studio, my first since coming to Canada, not including myself, through April. Nigel Keane, a friend and poet, has asked me to help record an EP with him, which begins next week. I am meeting up with him tonight to discuss things and get the ball rolling. Should be fun.

Are we all going back? I doubt it. The prospects for the UK, along with news items I read and emails I get from people there, don’t fill me with confidence. My kids are safer and enjoying themselves more, here in Canada. So, we will probably stay. Although, not in the Okanagan. Wages are not enough, the cost of living is too high and we’ve had enough here for now. Opportunities are better in Vancouver, so that’s where we are going. The weather in Toronto has put us off!

OK, now that the eggs are gone, next job on the list, fix Sam’s hockey net….

Rescue….

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Instead of preparing a portfolio this morning for the photographer/journalist position I was called about yesterday, I was preparing a rescue mission….

The deer that have been visiting the garden were in again, as the Missus was leaving for work. Mojo was up amongst them, all going fine, until one of them decided to “bounce” off.

At which point, Mojo scarpered up the tree, about 30ft up and proceeded to stay there….

Really, just an excuse to make a quick “movie” and see how these movie websites work, in preparation for some upcoming projects. Still, I had to have an excuse, I would have looked daft just talking to myself….

News From the Front….

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Being involved in a number of news and current affair projects, I’ve decided to start posting some of the more "important" pieces of news, I find in my travels around the world and, of, the web.

Comments, as always, are welcome. We do after all, live in a free world….

Tranquillisers putting children’s lives at risk

‘New evidence has shown children’s lives are being put at risk by a surge in the use of controversial tranquillising drugs which are being prescribed to control their behaviour, the Guardian has learned. The anti-psychotic drugs are being given to youngsters under the age of six even though the drugs have no licence for use in children except in certain schizophrenia cases, the report says.

The number of children on the drugs has doubled since the early 1990s as the UK begins to follow a trend started in the US, but critics say they are a "chemical cosh" that could cause premature death.’

Read Full Article @ http://tinyurl.com/4g4stf
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BBC Caught Editing Story To Appease Global Warming Lobbyist

‘The BBC has sensationally been caught red-handed editing a news story about global warming in order to appease a rhetorical e mail sent by an environmental activist, while it has also emerged that BBC writers are aware of the growing suspicions about apparent attempts to censor skeptics of man-made global warming.

A report concerning the fact that global warming stopped in 1998 by the BBC’s environment analyst Roger Harrabin was altered to omit the fact that such evidence is cited by skeptics as a reason to doubt the link between Co2 emissions and temperature increase, and the headline was also changed.’

Read Full Article @ http://tinyurl.com/4arju6
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Death of the Bees: GMO Crops and the Decline of Bee Colonies in North America

‘Commercial beehives pollinate over a third of [North}America’s crops and that web of nourishment encompasses everything from fruits like peaches, apples, cherries, strawberries and more, to nuts like California almonds, 90 percent of which are helped along by the honeybees. Without this pollination, you could kiss those crops goodbye, to say nothing of the honey bees produce or the flowers they also fertilize’.

Read Full Article @ http://tinyurl.com/33mctq
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Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear

‘Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics – ruthless legal battles against small farmers – is its decades-long history of toxic contamination.’

Read Full Article @ http://tinyurl.com/3ocfwa
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Use of mobile phones on planes in Europe approved, (but it will need new technology on board to work) – So how come they worked so flawlessly on 9/11 without the technology they now apparently require??

Read Full Article @ http://tinyurl.com/7dehq
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Wildlife, @ Last….

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As we were eating our dinner last night, we were suddenly "disturbed" by some visitors to the back garden….

Wildlife, in the garden....

6 or 7 of these fella’s made their way through the garden, only for them to return about 10mins later and investigate the bird feeders, before moving on.

At last, a bit of wildlife in the back garden, eh….

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Mojo, the Shaman….

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Just found this photo, from last weekend, when Samuel was suffering a migraine….

Mojo, the Shaman....

He very rarely, if ever actually comes and sits on, or near you, so it cheered Samuel up no end, when whilst he was dozing, Mojo came and curled up right in front of Samuel on the sofa. As soon as Samuel had gone off to sleep, he got off and went to curl up in his box. Very odd, almost like he knew something was up.

Those hotel magnetic key cards….

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This is only for those who still feel that we have a right to privacy, of course… and for those who may wish to take steps to limit their exposure to identity theft… all those who’d rather think ‘if yoo’ve dun nuffink wrong, yoo’ve got nuffink to ‘ide’ can go back to the latest episode of eastenders, or pop idol….

HOTEL KEY CARDS

Ever wonder what is on your magnetic key card?

Answer:
a. Customer’s name
B. Customer’s partial home address
c. Hotel room number
d. Check-in date and out dates
e. Customer’s credit card number and expiration date!

When you turn them in to the front desk your personal information is there for any employee to access by simply scanning the card in the hotel scanner An employee can take a hand full of cards home and using a scanning device, access the information onto a laptop computer and go shopping at your expense.

Simply put, hotels do not erase the information on these cards until an employee reissues the card to the next hotel guest. At that time, the new guest’s information is electronically ‘overwritten’ on the card and the previous guest’s information is erased in the overwriting process.

But until the card is rewritten for the next guest, it usually is kept in a drawer at the front desk with YOUR INFORMATION ON IT!

The bottom line is: Keep the cards, take them home with you, or destroy them. NEVER leave them behind in the room or room wastebasket, and NEVER turn them into the front desk when you check out of a room. They will not charge you for the card (it’s illegal) and you’ll be sure you are not leaving a lot of valuable personal information on it that could be easily lifted off with any simple scanning device card reader.

For the same reason, if you arrive at the airport and discover you still have the card key in your pocket, do not toss it in an airport trash basket. Take it home and destroy it by cutting it up, especially through the electronic information strip!

Or, if you have a small magnet, pass it across the magnetic strip several times. Then try it in the door, it will not work. It erases everything on the card.

Information courtesy of: Queensland Police Service.

FORWARD to friends and family, if you are at all bothered by this information…..

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