Opting out of Christmas?

opt-out-christmas
Would you like to avoid all the stress of Christmas gift buying this year? Why not opt-out?

Here are the top five benefits of opting out of Christmas.

#5. A chance to ignore all the crass commercialism and concentrate on the true meaning of mindless shopping and the endless worship of our possessions.

#4. Double-time-and-a-half if you go to work.

#3. January’s Mastercard bill should weigh a little less.

#2. Seven tons of plastic, cardboard and twisties won’t be sitting in your bin for three weeks, while you try to figure out when the next blue zone pick up will be.

#1. Pout, shout, cry and stay up as late as you want kids!


Seriously?

“Almost 80% of Canadians surveyed by RBC have gotten gifts they don’t like. So give something else: Give the gift of time. Instead of buying presents, go for brunch with your gang or go on an excursion with the family. If you want to give the gift of giving, consider charity: The Western Union Holiday Gifting Index says 87% of Canadian consumers would trade one of their holiday gifts to make someone else happy.  [Here’s the article…]”

 

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Why are Cubs fans so emotional?

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Actor Bill Murray reacts on the field after the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 678125603 ORIG FILE ID: 620750626
CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 02: Actor Bill Murray reacts on the field after the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 678125603 ORIG FILE ID: 620750626

It was 1908. No Internet, no tv, and we were still 12 years away from the first radio station.

-The average worker made .20/hr.
-Theodore Roosevelt was the President of the U.S., Wilfrid Laurier was our Prime Minister and BC’s Premier was Richard McBride.
-14% of homes had a bathtub.
-8% of the homes had a telephone.
-There were 8,000 cars and 144 miles of paved roads in the US.
-98% of all doctors did not have a college education.
-There was no Tim Hortons, but you could make your own coffee for fifteen cents a pound– (that’s .003 per cup).
-The Cubs won the World Series.

It’s been a very long time.

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Are you too old for Trick-or-Treating this #Halloween?

Mike Benny costume. The Radio Whisperer meets The Dog Whisperer...
Mike Benny costume. The Radio Whisperer meets The Dog Whisperer…

I think anyone at any age can dress up and celebrate Halloween, but when it comes to actually going door-to-door and trick-or-treating, there are some signs that you might be too old for that…

You might be too old to trick-or-treat this year…

  • When someone drops a treat in your bag, you lose you balance and fall over.
  • You knock on the door and say “Trick or…..”.
  • You get other kids to chew your treats for you (or the dog), just to get them nice and soft.
  • You avoid going to houses where your ex-wives live.
  • You actually remember when Halloween was called All Hallows Eve.
  • At every door, you stop and explain that your treats can’t contain aspartame, because it makes you really gassy.

More on Halloween here !

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An open letter to Bears

Dear Bears,

twobearsYesterday I pulled out the slow-cooker to make some turkey soup with my Thanksgiving leftovers.

I make the soup in the garage so the whole house doesn’t smell like soup (I’ve had issues in the past – some experimental soups that didn’t smell too great).

This morning I stepped into the garage and I was struck by this wondrous aroma – turkey, carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, sea salt, black pepper, poultry spice, rosemary, thyme, a hint of oregano – – the smell is fantastic. I think to myself “this must be driving the bears nuts”.

I know you guys are in the neighborhood, I’ve seen you going through the trash containers left out at night. I’ve seen your poop in the morning.

The garage door opens…

Not one bear.

No sign of a bear.

Be honest – you guys have licked clean the inside of a mushroom soup can that’s covered in coffee grounds that’s lying beside a diaper…

… but you weren’t enticed at all by the aroma of my soup? 🙁

That hurts.

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Mike’s top five tips for floaters

wildwoodlandinn.wordpress.com
wildwoodlandinn.wordpress.com

If you’re contemplating a float down the Nechako this weekend, here are Mike’s top five tips for floaters…

#5. Though not necessary, it’s nice to have your Pleasure Craft Operator card mounted somewhere in the wheel house.

#4. Be sure to get off BEFORE Quesnel.

#3. If you encounter a 19 foot sturgeon, look over at the others and say “we’re gonna need a bigger boat”.

#2. Keep in mind, if you hit an iceberg and find yourself looking into the eyes of Kate Winslet. She will let go (I saw the movie).

#1. Remember when buying a floatation device you should be looking for something that is more “water proof” than “water resistant”.

#1a. Remember to bring a stash of O’Henry bars with you. Nothing says floater like an unwrapped O’Henry!

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Moroccan Red Lentil Soup

Here’s the recipe for a Moroccan Red Lentil Soup I found online at CanadianLiving.com with my notes in red (link).

Moroccan Red Lentil Soup

Brilliant red and filled with the spices of the country it represents, this soup is a definite crowd-pleaser – perfect for this big-batch recipe. Of course, you can always just halve the ingredients if you want to make less. Also, it freezes really well. By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
Source: Canadian Living Magazine: October 2003

  • Portion size 8

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil (I think mine was just regular olive oil)
  • 2 onions, chopped (Gordon Ramsay’s How To Chop An Onion)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) pepper
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground ginger
  • 1 Pinch saffron, (optional) (Nice for colour, but I couldn’t find any.)
  • 8 cups (1.5 L) water (and stock – to taste) (I did 2 tetra packs of broth and a cup of water)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) red lentils
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used cooked potatoes and added them near the end so they wouldn’t get too mushy.)
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) tomatoes
  • 1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas (Add near the end, the mushy thing.)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) light sour cream (When serving.)
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) minced fresh parsley (Garnish.)

Preparation

In large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven (I did it all in my soup pot), heat oil over medium heat; cook onions, garlic and celery, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and saffron (if using) (didn’t have any saffron…); cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes (or 3, or 4, or 5…).

Add water, lentils, tomato paste, potatoes (later) and tomatoes, breaking up tomatoes with spoon; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 35 minutes (Mine simmered for an hour, then I added the cooked potatoes and peas…).

Add peas; simmer until lentils, vegetables and potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes (25 minutes for me).

I let mine cool a bit, then took out the kitchen wand (hand blender – immersion blender) and pureed the soup until it got to a pea soup consistency.

Didn’t hurt to add a splash of Frank’s RedHot.

(Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes; refrigerate, uncovered, in shallow airtight container until cold. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat to serve.) Ladle into bowls. Dollop each with sour cream; sprinkle with parsley.

Complete recipe here…

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Top five best Tank movies

Taking a break from World of Tanks and looking for a great tank movie? Here are the top five best tank movies of all time.

#1. Fury (2014 – Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf)
Tanks featured: M4A3E8 Sherman, Tiger

#2. White Tiger (2014)
Tanks featured: T-34-85, Tiger

#3. Sahara (1943 – Humphry Bogart)
Tank featured: M3 Lee

There was also a 1995 version with Jim Belushi.

#4. The Beast of War (1988)
Tank featured: Soviet T-55

#5. The Battle of The Buldge (1965)
Tanks featured: Ridiculously, historically inaccurate tanks of all description. “American M47 Pattons represented German King Tiger tanks and M4 Shermans were represented by M24 Chaffees…

Did I miss any? Comment below…

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A book about ants

A friend of mine (who obviously knows me well) got me a book for my birthday!

The Ants is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book, written in 1990, by Bert Hölldobler and E. O. Wilson. It was a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1991. – wikipedia

I found it on Amazon for $174.00. I hope he didn’t pay full price!

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