Tag Archives: humour


I have gained more white hairs than Santa has on his entire face and head since I got a new computer. I’m not exaggerating. My computer hates me.

My desktop died two Christmases ago and I got a laptop to replace it. This was my new start in a New Year. It would give me more space on my desk. I had visions of me tapping away in my neighborhood coffee bar, writing that great Canadian novel.

Scratch that lofty thought out the window. This laptop had its own agenda. Remember that diabolical doll called “Chuckie?” That’s my computer.

The first thing happened while I was typing merrily along and everything froze. I truly mean froze—nothing moved—neither cursor nor keys. I gently tapped on the enter key and then I tapped a bit harder, a few more times.

Well okay, maybe I tapped a tad too hard as Hubby shouted that he “heard that” from the next room. When nothing happened after all that pounding, I did what we all do in those uncertain techie times, I turned the computer off, waited 2 minutes and then turned it on again.

It worked. Perhaps, this was a glitch. You know, new tech toy, new operator.

Then, the laptop got quite creative. It began to switch bits and pieces of my writing in an egg-scrambley way. I had cleverly killed one of my characters by having his ex-wife push him into a vat of rising bread dough. (He was the baker and owner of a fancy bakery). Well, Chuckie had switched pieces of written bits around when I checked my progress. It was the baker who was attacked by a vat of rising bread dough that was somehow dumped on his ex-wife. Mind you, this was kind of creative too, but it wasn’t what I intended.

Today was the ultimate attack. Microsoft had another update—a 4-minute one. So I left the computer to “shut off and restart” when it was done. As usual, extra bits were added to improve on things I never use but are all part of the Window 11 package.

The scenic view on my screen was spectacular. But, there was no access box for me to sign in. In fact, there was nowhere and nothing for me to access—just a big screen with a big picture. I hauled out the manual I had downloaded and printed out when I got my laptop. There was nothing that even remotely resembled my problem.

Hubby came to my rescue. “Hold your finger on the power/turn-off button for 30 seconds. Then turn the computer on again.”

It was a miracle. It worked.

At least the computer behaved. I was able to sign in and check my email. However, when I tried to reply, the keys didn’t type. The keys weren’t locked, they just didn’t type.

Back to the darn manual. It wasn’t any help at all. I couldn’t even tap out a “help” to Microsoft.

Finally, in exasperation as well as desperation—I turned everything off and unplugged the power cord, the printer and the internet. Then, I plugged everything back and turned Chuckie back on.

Holy macadoodle, it worked. I suppose after 4 hours of hasseling me, Chuckie called it a day. I know I’m exhausted but keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the computer continues doing what it should be doing, being a normal laptop tomorrow.

I’m going to call it a day too by baking a pan of Dark Chocolate Brownies and melting my Godiva dark chocolate bar on top—after all, chocolate makes everything so much better. . . .


Does anyone remember hoola hooping in your younger days?

It was a big thing when I was in my early teens. And it recently came back on the local news because a Victoria teen-ager broke the World’s Guiness Book of Records for swivelling his hips gazillion hours while simultaneously solving the Rubik’s cube gazillion times.

I remember doing the hoop way back when. It didn’t take a lot of swivelling—just the momentum to get it going and gravity to keep it up.

My big brother and younger sister were quite good at it. I wasn’t too bad either.

So I got myself an adult hoola hoop. What exactly is that? To begin with it has a weight of 3 pounds. Theoretically, as you swirl it around your waist, it’s supposed to whittle away the inch or two or three of excess pounds that have made a home there.

Huh—it seemed like a fun sort of exercise and I liked fun stuff when it came to any form of exercise.

The hoop came in a long narrow box that contained 8 sections—each one a different colour. By the time the hoop was fully and firmly assembled, it was a rainbow of colours.

The instructions for hooping seemed simple: (1) Press Sports Hoop tightly against the back of your waist. (2) Keep the hoop in the horizontal position before swinging out. (3) Swing out the hoop forcefully and horizontally. (4) Move your body in any direction against the hoop. (5) Keep your motion fast enough to allow the hoop to stay up.

Easy-peasy, right? Not even close.

First of all, I got steps (1) and (2) without any problems. I even got step (3) moving for half a second. I know the concept of step (4), but even though my brain was yelling “opposite” direction, my body moved with the hoop’s.

I was told that once you learned how to hoop, it’s like riding a bicycle—you never forget.

How the heck did I do it when I was younger? Okay, okay—a whole lot younger.

I dredged up the memory of my Big Brother telling me, “Don’t think about it, just do it.” And, so I did.

This time I followed steps (1) to (3) and when it came to (4), I just reverted to instinct and did it. By golly, I did 4 revolutions before I realized I was really hooping. And, just that second of celebratory glee caused the hoop to falter and drop with a thud on the floor.

I’m told that perseverance and patience are senior traits learned from years of experience. I don’t know about that but stubbornness is definitely in my genes.

And I did do 4 revolutions. If I can do 4 revs, I can do more.

Yesterday, I did 8 revolutions.

There is a definite learning curve to hoola hooping. I’m talking adults‘ learning curves, not little kids or teenagers. Adults have to learn not to question the thermodynamics or science of hooping. As for the “instructions”—honestly, it’s like needing detailed instructions on how to open a door.

I would rewrite the instructions for hoola hooping. Simple is best, right?

My instructions would read: “Don’t think about it. Just swing the hoop to get it going and let your instincts do the rest. Keep it movin’ and groovin’. Gravity keeps it up.”

Don’t be distracted. I find my crime-writing thoughts are quite random and could involve a problem that needs to be solved. One such problem was how to murder someone with a hoola hoop. Don’t even think this as it will seriously cause the hoop to fall to the ground.

I just noticed that there are a series of Cautions and Warnings on the back of the Instruction sheet.

I am so glad I didn’t read these first. My hoop would still be in 8 sections and still packed in its box. Today I can do up to 8 revolutions. Tomorrow, I will do more. And somewhere along the way, I’ll know how to “murder” someone with a hoola hoop.

Happy Hooping, Everyone. . . .


Friends I’ve known most of my life are the ones who really tell it like it is—especially when it’s something I don’t want to know or having my faulty reasoning crushed.

Respecting the social distancing, we sat at either end of this long bench and sipping our respective take-out cups of caffeine, I remarked glumly, “I’ve got to seriously lose some calories. Note that I didn’t order a monster cookie to go with this coffee.”

Raising an eyebrow, my coffee buddy replied, “Girf Friend–I think it’s more than a few calories. I figure it’s at least a hundred-thousand or more.”

“Where did you get that amount?” I yelped in dismay, nearly snorting the coffee up my nose.

“Well, we’ve been self-isolating for quite a few months now—only going out to do errands, getting groceries and stuff, right? And in those times, neither of us have been meeting for coffee or lunches like we use to. If our daily diet comes to 2000+ calories and we’re not physically active–you know, like river rafting or mountain climbing, we fill that gap with munchies and. . .”

“But my munchies have been very healthy. . .” I interrupted. “I’ve switched to veggie chips and high-fibre, low-salt snacks.”

“Are those the veggie chips with sprouts and kale in it?”

“Yes and they’re delicious,” I replied defensively.

“Only after you devoured a bag before reading what veggies were actually in it,” my coffee buddy laughingly pointed out.

“Well, okay. . . ” I slowly admitted, “once I read the part about sprouts and kale; it did turn me off. But the other flavour was roasted cauliflower and spinach, which is even worse!”

“And how exactly did you know that?”

“Had to eat a variety of veggies, so I tried a bag,” I mumbled.

“Uh-huh, I rest my case,” my best friend declared with a grin.

“I could still get a monster cookie and share half with you–that would only be half the calories for both of us.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s another of your illogical reasoning but for half a monster cookie, I can overlook that,” my buddy chuckled.

And that’s what we did to reduce our calories. Tomorrow, we’ll do better.

It’s Good For You

Some people thrive on exercise. You know, the hard physical sweat of toting those bales and lifting those sacks. Being the 21st century, this is equivalent to the various metal monster gym machines that tests your physical abilities to the max.  Me? I’m the gal that loves anything stimulating the mind. If I can find an exercise that’s fun, stimulates the mind and gives a good work-out, you’ll find me there.

I’ve signed up for Jazzercise, Line-dancing, Golden Zumba, Burlesque-fit, Hawaiian dancing, Taoist tai-chi and the latest dance trend, Nuline dancing. All of these choices were fun and not at all like a dreaded exercise class.  I really enjoyed my “work-outs” as it also tested your memory in remembering the sequence of moves. They were all challenging and entertaining.

Recently, I signed up for the Yang style of tai-chi—learning 22 moves in 6 sessions. The lady registering me typed the last digit wrong and I found myself in a Qui Gong class instead. The brochure described Qui Gong as “These gentle, flowing movements combine breathing, movement and concentration to increase strength, flexibility and endurance while relieving stress.” Participants were further informed that Qui Gong was similar to tai chi, but easier to master as the movements were simpler. Well, here I was and I decided to give it my best efforts.

Glancing around the room, I noted there were 30 adults/seniors ranging anywhere from 55-80 years. I decided to stand near the oldest person in the room. This strategy would supposedly make me look more co-ordinated, especially if the elderly senior looked as if a puff of wind would knock him over. We chatted and his name was Ben. Ben was 82 and loved Qui Gong.

At first, the breathing exercises, movement of the arms and shifting of body weight did feel like tai-chi, even reminiscent of a hint of Hawaiian dancing. As the simple moves and holds progressed to more serious moves, Qui Gong felt like isometric core exercises with a dash of yoga thrown in.  If done correctly, it was like a “stretching” workout. Ben was doing it fluidly and effortlessly.

The instructor came over to assist me.

“I’ll support your arms above your head while you relax your body.”

Sighing, I stood straight. raised my arms above my head, bent my knees into a comfortable “sitting” position, relaxed my midriff by breathing through my belly button, tucked my chin onto my chest while fiercely concentrating on remaining loose and pliable. Then still gently supporting my arms straight above my head, the instructor whispered in my ear, “And don’t fall on me.”

Well  for goodness sakes, who can  hold that pose without laughing? I went home and glumly told my Hubby, “I will never make it as a monk.”

And he replied, “I hate to tell you this but women can’t be.”  Thank goodness. . .


Those After Christmas Sales

I sympathize with my California friend, Eva S, who lost a sock  somewhere in the stratosphere (www.notesfromthecupcakerescueleague.wordpress.com/). My loss has been much greater—I lost 3 giant rolls of silver and gold  embossed Christmas wrapping paper plus 2 boxes of sparkling-snow-scene-with-cute-puppies Christmas cards. I know I have them because I fell for that after Christmas sales of wrapping paper, bags and cards that were 75% off at the store. I felt I was a giant step ahead for next Christmas when I had my supply of cards and  gift wraps. And yes, I did put them away in a safe place so I could put my hands on them as soon as the month of December loomed into sight. It was tucked in such a safe place I couldn’t find it when I needed it.

After Christmas sales, also known as Boxing Day Specials—can be a boon to some but disastrous to others. First of all, there is no such thing as a “bargain”–not unless it’s in the technological field and at least 80% off, if they want me inside their store. I remember my friends camping out overnight just to be the first through the door when the electronics store opened on Boxing Day. Back then, there were some great bargains.

My dilemma with the missing wrapping paper and cards came to the fore-front when Hubby and I walked past the card-shop. Yep, there were boxes and boxes of cards plus stacks of glittery, Christmas-y wrapping paper AND all for 70% off the regular price. I’m not falling for that this year–besides  it was a bit more reduced last year. Hubby and I walked on by.

I know I have at least 3 past post-Christmas sales of wraps and cards tucked somewhere in a secret hidey-hole. AND I just know that when I need some special occasion wrapping paper, my Christmas ones will fall out of the closet instead.

So Eva S–don’t worry about your missing sock. It’s probably with my missing wrapping paper and cards. Somewhere, they are commiserating with other misplaced items until their owners  finally reunite with them.










Dark Chocolate Heaven

I love chocolate.  If it’s Belgian chocolate, 70-72% dark, that’s really great. But if it happens to cover small pieces of dried mangoes or tart cherries with roasted almonds, that’s the absolute best!  Costco is my favourite place for sourcing out any Belgian dark chocolate fruit or biscuit. Their supply seems to change all the time.

The big jars of 70%  Belgian  Dark Chocolate Clusters of Tart Cherries with Roasted Almonds, were available for at least three trips to Costco, before these jars disappeared forever. It was replaced with 70% Belgian Dark Chocolate Dipped Slices of Dried Mangoes and believe me, there was nothing “dried” about the mangoes. The entire chocolate treat was tasty and the fruit was moist enough not to taste like dried shoe leather. But then again, how can anything dipped in dark Belgian chocolate taste awful?

The mangoes simply disappeared one day to be replaced with 70% Belgian Dark Chocolate Almond Bark with almond slices sprinkled generously throughout the thin chocolate slabs. These almond treats were packed as thin pieces inside a sturdy paper bag. Needless to say, these replacement treats were too deadly to ignore. This involved several trips on the highway to replenish the dark Belgian chocolate supply of almond bark, but on that last trip, there was also a 70% Belgian  Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bark as well. It too was deliciously decadent.

I was at Costco yesterday and the almond bark, as well as the pumpkin seed bark, has disappeared to wherever the cherry almond clusters and the mango slices in dark chocolate retire to. In a prominent place on the aisle, there were bags and bags of—yep, you guessed it–70% Belgian Dark Chocolate Dipped Figs. Figs? Yes, figs. And let me tell you, I’m not especially fond of figs, but in my case, I think you can chocolate dip a lima bean and it would be great—as long as it’s dipped in Belgian 70% Dark Chocolate.  Um-mm, anyone heading to Costco. . . ?

Oreo Thins

It’s a catastrophe of monumental proportion—Oreo cookies are made thinner.  Thinner?  Yes, that is the horrific announcement in this morning’s paper. Horrific enough to make you grab your cup of caffeine, gulp it down and grab another.

Oreo cookies have always been my favourite to twist apart and eat the chocolate cookie first before eating the side with the white filling. The filling is probably not good for you but heck, that’s all part of the Oreo appeal..  According to the article, these new Oreos are thinner and meant for adults who don’t twist their cookies apart to eat the two halves separately. These adults probably don’t dunk their cookies either.

I have never seen anyone trying to make thinner carrots or broccoli or Brussel sprouts, although there have been plenty of miniature veggies out there.

What’s with this crazy obsession with calories and that F-word? Remember when we were kids? Oreo cookies and chocolate bars were much bigger back then. Come to think of it, everything was much bigger back then except for people. People were too busy building and working and raising their families to worry about being too fat or eating too many calories.  Oops, I said the F-word. Anyway, we were all much more active and any extra calories never lasted long as it was burned off very quickly.

So, what happened? I think we should boycott the idea of thinner Oreo cookies because as soon as it gets thinner, sure as God made little green apples, Oreos will be much smaller. And, don’t fall for that old ploy that smaller is better and there will be more Oreos in the package. I have yet to buy a bag of cookies that are filled to the top. I am definitely not buying smaller or thinner Oreos in a bag that is only 2/3 full.

Mr. Christie–I don’t want thin and I don’t want small. Just leave me my supply of regular-size Oreos ’cause I still love to twist and dunk!

Fitness Queen

I’m a “gym junkie.”  Bet that caught your eye. In actual fact, I think I’m most motivated in the month of January. You know, all those fabulous eats from December so the “guilt” pops out now. Thanks to my amazing trainer, Tracey, I can step gracefully on and off the treadmill, Stairmaster, stationary bike and elliptical machines without looking like a total klutz. I know where to sit and place my feet on the vertical bench, pec dec, ab machine and seated leg press. Best of all, I don’t sit on anything backwards and I know exactly what to do. I have worked out in both public and private gyms.  From my gym experiences I would like to share my list of observations.

1) Why are there so many young, skinny, spandex-clad females tackling only the treadmills that conveniently face the huge front windows, while their tight, sexy butts face the rest of us poor “shlobs” in our loose tees and baggy pants who are seriously working on the incumbent bikes?

2) Why are the TV sets tuned to the Food channels at the Ladies Fitness Gym and to the Sports channels in the “Guys ‘ Gals” gym?

3) Why am I the lucky one to follow behind a 7-feet, muscle-bound hunk of testosterone who can lift 300 pounds AND leaves the machines set for his body, not mine!

4) The time limit on the popular equipment is 15-minutes and at least half my time is spent is spent adjusting the height of the seat, the length of the pulley and the drop in the weights. For a mechanically-challenged person, this is quite an accomplishment.  It wasn’t my fault that if one of the knobs on that springy thing fell off while I was adjusting the seat to my 5′ height. I still think I should have been compensated at least another 5-minutes.

5) Guys can be so macho when they do that male strut in the bar-bell corner, even though they pretend they don’t see you sneaking peeks–they do love an audience. . .

6) Why do I always feel so great after working my way through the entire circuit, then ruin it by treating myself to a warm, “jammy doughboy” even though I drank a healthy carrot/kale cocktail with it?

7) It’s a know fact that gals can do anything guys can do, especially if they have the advantage of spandex. All that bending and stretching is great eye-candy for the guys and most important of all, is a distraction to allow us serious gym junkies extra time on our favourite machines. Hey, if you’ve got it—by all means, flaunt it. This is hard work. . . .

See you at the gym?

New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve just discovered something interesting. Just because we have started a New Year, it doesn’t mean a lot of us are stampeding to make positive changes or promises in our lives. I find this interesting because every year, I solemnly make myself a promise to lose weight, get more active, write that book, reconnect with old friends and a myriad of uplifting, optimistic stuff that always sounds great and makes an impressive list. After the month of January flies past and that first successful flush of actually doing some of the list passes, the resolutions goes the way of the dodo bird—extinct, or maybe that’s extinguished.

Thinking about this further, making New Year’s resolutions is a bunch of hoo-hah just so others can feel righteous that they have made a list and plan to carry it through the entire year. Hearing about their intentions is supposed to make you guilty enough to produce a list of your own.  Guess that also makes it dangerous to your health–think of all that stress in sticking with your resolutions.

This year, I’m not falling into the trap of making any New Year’s Resolutions. After all, what’s the point of making a promise to yourself if you don’t keep it? Mulling this over, I have decided not to make any more resolutions–everFrom now on, if I feel like going to the gym, I will. If I want to indulge in eating chocolates all day, I will.  Realistically. I probably won’t–maybe nibble a few to satisfy that chocolate craving. . .and to ease that chocolate guilt, head for the gym, maybe.

It’s been said that a New Year signifies “New Beginnings.”  I like to think so–it’s a clean page to start anew; but, what about all the unfinished stuff from the Old Year? Because if you think about the projects left unfinished or incomplete, how important were they to begin with?

I find that projects with deadlines or projects that are important to me are definitely tackled first.  Anything else is either filed away for later or “garbage.”  It’s easy to file stuff away, but so difficult later to purge those hard-fought words, the witty repartee, the catchy beginnings and/or the clever endings, the numerous bits and pieces of writing meant for future books or short stories. Filed stuff were meant for something but like barely worn clothes in your closet, if it hasn’t been used in two years, toss it. Just close your eyes ands turf it out. I shred my stuff. After all, if I don’t read it, the recycling man can’t either!

January is just beginning. Did you make any resolutions? Once I purge my files to make room for 2015, I’ll be fine.

Hm-mm, some of these bits and pieces look like it may have possibilities—I’ll just start a new file. After all, some stuff you can’t simply close your eyes and toss. . . .

The Itch

Have you ever had the itch where you saw something that made you curious enough to want to see more?  Or heard someone singing a haunting melody that you wanted to follow the notes and just listen? You know, that wild impulse that comes out of nowhere, grabs you by the heart-strings and have you throw caution to the winds? That crazy, zingy feeling that has absolutely nothing to do with brain cells, logic or sex?

Good–you have.  Wasn’t it a grand feeling to do something utterly wild and free, for once, forgetting the sensible shoes and common sense? To follow your impulses?  That, my Friend, is the itch.

You don’t have a lot of people following their itches. Most are little kids who love the freedom to explore their world and of course, lack the sensible routine of their parents. Or, they’re usually retirees, who have the leisure time to scratch their itches whenever they have one.

But to so many others, the simple truth is when there are limited hours of the day, we don’t. Even when there is the time, we still don’t. So it’s with a sense of joyful glee when we actually succumb to the itch on stolen time–our stolen time.  And because it’s so impulsive and yet feels so right, we enjoy it all the more. I think we should indulge in our “itches” more often as long as it’s fun and legal.  I have to say that in case any crooks are reading this and nodding their heads thinking they have an itch to rob a bank or something. . . . .