Happy to have C$ Investments

For the almost 10 years I’ve lived in the US I’ve been concerned about what to do with my C$ investments since they were locked into retirement accounts. I must say that – right at this very moment – I’m pretty happy to have them! C$ reaches new high Here’s another interesting perspective on the strength of the C$ vs. the US economy

Where is a portable TV when you need it most?

Dang! Talk about a great week of TV this week! Look what’s on: October 30 – (PBS) NOVA – Marathon Challenge (okay – great for running junkies like me) November 3 – (NBC) 2008 Men’s Marathon U.S. Olympic Team Trials (7:30 AM Coverage Starts Streaming Online OR The NBC Coverage Online – FOR FREE – also great for running junkies!) November 3 – (NBC) Brian Williams hosts Saturday Night Live – AWESOME! November 4 – ING NYC Marathon – (just when you thought your weekend couldn’t get any better as a running junkie – Paula Radcliffe in her first marathon post-baby and Lance Armstrong returns for part deux!) Jelena and Paula will duke it out big time! Elva Dryer, who my friend KB (also a running junkie – much bigger running junkie than I!) had the privilege to do a pre-race v. v. v. easy run (well – v. v. v. easy for Elva – likely just one v for KB and I) with the day before the CCC 10k in New Orleans this past year. She was so delightful – truly gracious and overwhelmingly humble for someone with her talent – will be running this year. Good luck Elva! Check out some of the women’s bios – VERY impressive! How will I ever keep up this weekend! And with a race on Saturday morning to run myself to boot ;-)

Product Loyalty

Unloading my dishwasher this morning – I was very happy to see how clean everything was. Sounds funny as you would expect that from a dishwasher. I’ve been struggling for some time to find an environmentally friendly dishwashing detergent for our dishwasher that actually works. I finally found one! Ecover out of Australia makes WONDERFUL dishwashing tablets that you place either in the dispenser or the cutlery rack (I put ours in the cutlery rack). Admittedly, they are more expensive than the regular chemical laden stuff, but they do a wonderful job and they contain the following ingredients: “Oxygen chlorine free bleach, plant based non-ionic tensio-active surfactants, enzymes, salts, silicate, citrate, polypeptides, plant based bleach activator, plant based frangrance (lemon type).” (per their website!) It doesn’t have a completely overbearing chemical fragrance that other more chemical dependent products seem to have. Since we’re on the topic, I also happen to be obsessive about getting my clothes clean in the laundry – particularly my running clothes. After trying just about every product out there – I think I’ve stumbled on a good one. I have been using Method Sweet Water (HE Compatible) detergent. I have used all the big name brand detergents, added OxyClean type products and even sprayed things with ‘Shout’ before laundering – but none have done the trick as well as this stuff does. I also found that everything was so much fresher when we were at the lake this summer which was due to the fact that I hung everything out on the clothes line to dry so it got a good dose of sun and wind. I’ve been trying to hang my running stuff outside during the day after laundering and it seems to be helping.

"It is wrong to wish on space hardware…"

“I saw two shooting stars last night I wished on them but they were only satellites Is it wrong to wish on space hardware I wish, I wish, I wish you’d care” – Billy Bragg, A New England Tonight we watched the space shuttle docked to the space station fly overhead. Very, very cool. While it was really nothing more than a spec of light. It was really cool.

Another great musician

I wrote awhile back about John Pointer, who I was fortunate enough to see at the ‘Strings Attached’ show paying tribute to Peter Gabriel. He was fantastic. What I neglected to mention – until I was so thankfully reminded today while listening to KGSR – was Suzanna Choffel. She sang on a lot of the songs – some as backup and some as lead and did beautifully in both roles. I had completely forgotten about her powerful raspy voice until earlier today when I heard one of her songs on KGSR. Her album is available on iTunes and I highly recommend having a listen. Its really quite beautiful music.

An incredible experience.

This past weekend I participated in a women’s retreat called ‘Christ Renews His Parish’ put on at our Parish. This is a program that has been offered since 1991 (I believe) and has seen 30 teams of women and 30 teams of men participate at our Parish alone (other churches of other denominations have also started the program at their churches so there have been a number of other teams as well). Women do the retreat together and men do the retreat together. In all, they have space for 30 people to participate at each retreat and it is offered every six months. I have been looking forward to doing this for some time, but was unable to do it last year because of my RCIA meetings every Monday night and then didn’t want to start in April because you continue to meet with your team for six months following your retreat and I knew I’d be away this past summer. Gibbons had been part of CRHP 27 and I had seen a wonderfully positive change in him all around. He also went forward with team 28 as a co-Renewal Director which is a very huge honour. While I can’t divulge details of the weekend as they ask that you keep the details confidential, I can share with you some feelings I had while participating. Having seen Gibbons experience and having met several women who had gone through CRHP, I knew that it would be a wonderful experience. There was no doubt in my mind. I have been in a state of searching and seeking for some time now, so showing up on Saturday morning with an open mind was not a problem for me. I was ready for pretty much anything. Gibbons had been great about keeping the particulars of his weekend confidential so as to not spoil the experience for me – and I’m so glad that he did. Going and not knowing what will take place makes the experience that much more powerful. I felt a sense of love and peace that I have not felt in a long, long time. I laughed harder than I have laughed in a long, long time and I cried harder than I have in a long, long time. I established solid and deep bonds with women with whom I will have the pleasure of continuing on with in formation for the next six months and look forward to getting to know them even better. Its hard NOT to connect with the people you are with during this type of experience. In moments of absolute pain and sobbing and I had women I have never met before that morning hug me and hold me as though they had known me and been my closest friend for years (incidentally, I sought out a few of these women throughout the weekend when I could see that I was going to need to pull out my hanky again for a good long cry and we shared those moments together). The idea of the weekend was renewal and that’s exactly what I felt. Most of the women emailed yesterday and talked about how they felt yesterday when returning to ‘normal’ life. The general consensus was that our lives had not changed in terms of the stresses, the minute details, and the responsibilities – but we had all changed. Our outlook and ability to manage all of these things was totally different. Our responses to things were completely different than what they were on Friday. I did have one incredible experience that I am willing to share – but not necessarily in such a public forum. If you are interested in reading about it, please email me and I’d be happy to send it to you. It was a very, very special experience and I look forward to the next six months of formation. I can’t wait for next Monday to meet again!

A plea to Britney Spears' Family

Please, just go to LA, pick up your daughter and put her on a plane back to Kentwood with you. Don’t let her go anywhere by herself. Just get the poor girl back to normal.

No drinking, no drugs, no partying – heck, don’t even let the girl go to Starbucks on her own. And please, oh please, make her wear decent clothes (including underwear) to go anywhere with you. Its really quite simple. Just help out the poor girl – please.

And, if you can – try and get Lindsay Lohan to go with you so she can get some help too. These girls just need to be at home and have some red beans and rice for awhile.