Saturday, January 05, 2008

Canada: We're #1! We're #1!


For the fourth consecutive time, Team Canada has won gold at the under-20 World Junior Hockey Championship. Today in the Czech Republic, Team Canada defeated Sweden 3-2 in overtime. Woohoo!

This song seems appropriate for the occasion:

Product review: Sweetzfree

According to its website: "Sweetzfree is a clear liquid syrup base, highly concentrated, and made solely from 100% pure sucralose in a purified water concentrate. It dissolves fully and instantly in any food or beverage. It is so highly concentrated that you use very little. Sweetzfree can be used in cooking, baking, desserts, beverages, or anywhere else you use sugar or other sweet flavouring substances. Sweetzfree, no matter how much you use, or how sweet you make things, adds absolutely NO calories, NO carbs, and NO Maltodextrin fillers, or anything else to your sweet creations other than a totally naturally sweet taste!" (Spelling errors corrected by me.)

I bought myself a 4-oz bottle of Sweetzfree and absolutely love it! With zero carbs and super concentrated, it goes a long way in making your favourite low-carb goodies.

Despite the atrocious (!!) spelling on the website, this really is a good product and I will continue to order it. One of its downsides was that it was only available at certain times because of a shortage of sucralose, but that apparently has been corrected because it's now available 24/7 via online as of December 31, 2007.

One 4-oz bottle is equal to 96 cups of sugar and costs $64 US, while a 2-oz bottle costs $34 US and a 1-oz bottle is $18 US. Click on the photo for a larger version.

Sean Kingston: A great new singer

This kid is only 17 and he's really good! I'm not normally into "new" singers, but I saw his video on TV the other day and thought the tune was very catchy! Love his voice! Maybe it's the background beat of Ben E. King's Stand By Me... Here's Sean Kingston singing Beautiful Girls:

Friday, January 04, 2008

Remembering Patsy Cline

I was listening to some retro country online today and a Patsy Cline song came on, so I thought I'd post a few videos.

Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray



I've Loved And Lost Again



I Fall To Pieces (all-time favourite!)

Getting organized for 2008


Oh man... I've just spent all day filing and organizing things here at home before I return to work on Monday after two weeks of vacation. My filing is all up to date (paperwork, etc.), all my bills are paid... everything is done. I hate having all that stuff nagging at me when I'm trying to get other more forward-looking things done. Oops... I guess I don't have everything done. I have to get the books arranged in my office. Should only take 15 minutes, but has to be done. I can't find a thing!

I also cleaned out my pantry of non low-carb stuff, which feels great. I started my new low-carb lifestyle on June 17 but never really cleaned out the pantry. I'd accumulated so much garbage. Sheesh! I made a donation yesterday to the central food distribution centre for all food banks in the area (Food Depot Alimentaire), got all my herbs and spices organized, and threw out some stuff that was so old I think they served it at the reception after my baptism (which was in 1964, in case you're wondering).

Tonight, I'm going to start working on my vision board. Everytime I write about my goals, dreams, etc., I find that I become energized and focused... which makes sense because that's the whole purpose of writing this stuff down!

It's a good start to 2008 and I'm feeling great.

I'm a big believer in the Law of Attraction! Thoughts become things. Remember that!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Human Tetris

Taking charge of the new year from the start

Hump Day
Published Wednesday January 2, 2008
Appeared on page D4, Moncton Times & Transcript

OK, 2008, before you get too much further along, you and I need to have a little chat.

No, I'm not interested in hearing what you have to say. This time, you're going to listen to me. There's no more Mr. Smarty Pants from you pesky years. I'm sick of your shenanigans. It's time to pay the piper, as they say. There's a new sheriff in town. Me!

You see, your ancestors have pretty much had their way with me. You may remember that 1992 was particularly keen on kicking me around. And 1994 was a mean little weasel, too. You see, I let them take charge. Although your father -- 2007 -- was a pretty nice guy, I did have some issues with him that could have been cleared up sooner than they were had we had a conversation like this last Jan. 1.

I just want to make something very clear to you, 2008: I'm in charge this year. No . . . no back talk. None. I won't hear of it. You're listening to me. I'm not going to be a slave to your whims and fancies. You're going to unfold as I tell you to. No big surprises unless they're to my advantage. No big tragedies.

If you and I are going to make it to Dec. 31, we'd better set a few ground rules before we leave each other today.

First, like I said, I'm in charge. Period. You will do as you're told. There's no more kicking me around like your grandfathers did in the late 1980s or last year when your father played a few dirty little tricks when I wasn't paying attention. Although 2007 ended up being a pretty good guy, he needed to be tamed a bit.

Shut your trap. I'm not interested in your "But . . . but . . ." Read my lips, buddy boy. 2008 is going to be a great year for me, got it? So, here are my plans. Listen up and take notes because there'll be a test and failure is not an option. Repeat: Not an option.

I'm staying on my diet and will reach my goal weight and stay there in a healthy way. If I don't reach it by the end of the year, tell your kid -- 2009 -- that I'll be reaching it when he's in charge. You're to put up no roadblocks. You're going to steer clear of all destructive patterns of the past. You got me? I said . . . You got me??

Good. I knew we would get along.

My finances: There's lots of room for improvement. And by lots, I mean tons and tons. You'll send along lots of good financial happenings this year. You'll make me smarter and more proactive. And you'll take all that nagging debt and do something about it once and for all. I'll be a financial wizard this year.

Look at me when I'm talking to you! There, that's better.

Repeat that back to me. Financial wizard. Good boy! You learn fast.

I don't plan on eating cat food during my retirement, so you're being given the task of sending lots of cold hard cash my way during your tenure and you'd better tell your kid that he's going to have to toe the line, too.

My house . . . the one that I've had for nearly seven years. Yeah, that one. 2001 was in charge when I bought it. Well, if I decide to sell it this year and get a condo, you'll get me my asking price and everything will fall into place so I can get the condo I want when I want it. There'll be no complications. There'll be no hidden surprises. You'll find a nice family to buy it who likes the playground across the street and who'll appreciate and thrive in this nice neighbourhood.

You're writing all this down, right?

As far as friends and family go, you'll make sure that they're all happy, healthy and prosperous. I want people to be confident and successful. If you know of someone who's discouraged, give them hope and give them the help they need. Got that?

I also want you to look out for all the homeless animals around the area. I want you to encourage people to adopt from their local shelters and make sure that all the animals there are healthy and treated well by their guardians. That's an order, mister.

If there are people out there who are grieving, I want you to give them the strength to go on and be happy and live long and productive lives despite the hole in their heart. Repeat that back to me. OK . . . now you're getting it. You're a fast learner.

And 2008, I'm telling you all this because you're going to be my favourite year ever. When I'm done with you, I'm going to be healthier, richer and happier than I've ever been. I'm the boss from now on. I let your relatives push me around, but that's all over and done with. Those bad old patterns are finished and excellent ones are here to stay.

I'm going to be reading a lot of good motivational books for you to learn from this year. In fact, everything I read in 2007 has brought us to where we are today. That's where I learned to take charge and tell you what to do instead of it being the other way around like it always was before.

Things would have been easier for you had I just sat back and taken your garbage. Actually, a lot of people will sit back this year and take what you heap upon them. They act helpless like there's nothing they can do. Wrong!

I hope you realize -- 2008 -- that I'm doing this for your own good. You're going to be an amazing year for me.

I know we're going to be great friends.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Hump Day: Taking charge of the new year from the start

Hi everyone and Happy New Year to all of you (again)! Speaking of the New Year, I had a little chat with 2008 before he got too far ahead of himself. I made it clear who was going to be the boss of my year... and it's me! Read our little conversation in today's Hump Day, found on the editorial page (pg. D4) of the Moncton Times & Transcript. It will be posted online here tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR! WELCOME TO 2008!

Happy New Year to each and every one of you! Make this year your best ever.

Here's one of my favourite songs. Its energy and message perfectly encapsulate my plans for 2008. I'm going to have an amazing year! And you can, too!

Great lyrics!

"And when you feel the heat. The world is at your feet!
No one can hold you down. If you really want it!
Just steal your destiny. Right from the hands of fate.
Reach for the cup of life. 'Cause your name is on it!"


The Cup of Life - Ricky Martin



HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 31, 2007

CBC Archives: Lombardo's trademark sound of New Year's Eve

Click on the photo to go to the CBC Archives site and listen to this interview with Guy Lombardo that aired on December 31, 1971 - 36 years ago today!

This week's Hump Day column...

... is a sit-down scolding of the year 2008. Even before he gets his foot in the door, I'm telling him how things are going to be. And he'd better listen.

Check out Hump Day every Wednesday on the editorial page of the Moncton Times & Transcript.

Countdown to 2008: 1 day to go!

Well... 2008 is nearly here, so I thought it appropriate to post three versions of Auld Lang Syne... all quite beautiful in their own way.

First up: Julie Andrews...



Next: André Rieu...



And last but definitely not least, the definitive version of Auld Lang Syne by Guy Lombardo...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Some good retro and not-so-retro New Year's Eve party tunes

New Year's Eve is coming up and there's no better music to party to than the late 1970s, 1980s... and maybe a straggler from the 1990s. :) Here are some of my favourites!

Edge of Seventeen - Stevie Nicks (from a concert 26 years ago!)



Senses Working Overtime - XTC



Love Plus One - Haircut 100



Wishing - A Flock of Seagulls



Another Nail In My Heart - Squeeze



Electric Avenue - Eddie Grant



Down Under - Men At Work



My Sharona - The Knack



Sweet Dreams - Eurythmics



Six Months In A Leaky Boat - Split Enz



Cars - Gary Newman



A few catchy tunes from the 1990s and later...

How Bizarre - OMC



Every Morning - Sugar Ray



Take A Picture - Filter



That Don't Impress Me Much - Shania Twain



Livin' La Vida Loca - Ricky Martin



Party for Two - Shania Twain and Mark McGrath

Countdown to 2008: 2 days to go!

New Year's Day - U2