Saturday, March 22, 2008

Some rare bloopers / joking around by the cast of The Waltons...

You won't believe the last scene of the first video. Nothing you haven't seen on a diaper commercial, though.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday 2008

Today is Good Friday, the day that Christians around the world commemmorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. Have a very happy, joyous and safe Easter.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Leonard Cohen's Moncton concert sold out!

It took 29 minutes for his May 23rd concert at Moncton's Capitol Theatre to sell out. Apparently, the online tickets (50% of total) sold out in eight minutes, while the rest (available in person or via telephone) sold out within 29 minutes. Looks like his first tour in 15 years will be a major success!

Here he is singing Hallelujah, which he wrote.

And here's Jason Castro's take on the song from a few weeks ago on American Idol:

Happy spring!

Spring arrived early this morning in this part of the world. There's still lots (!!) of snow on the ground here. In fact, there are snow and freezing rain falling today and the schools are all closed... again! But before long, those tulips will be pushing their way up through the ground and we'll once again be bidding a fond farewell to Old Man Winter... at least until later this year, when the snow will return. Be patient! The snow will be gone soon! Until then, stare at the above photo and believe... believe... believe! :)

Idol Chatter for March 20, 2008: "And the latest ousted is..."

There are shockers during every season of American Idol. Popular contestants unexpectedly land in the bottom three. Some even go home earlier than we thought they would. On last night's results show, one of the more popular contestants ended up in the bottom three. But did they go home? Click here to read today's Idol Chatter in the Moncton Times & Transcript and find out! The Top 10 perform next Tuesday at 9 p.m. on Fox!

The art -- and agony -- of being too busy

Brian Cormier
Hump Day
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday March 19, 2008
Page D6

Have you ever had one of those weeks when you're so busy that you pretty much have to cocoon yourself away from the outside world just to get your work done? The past three weeks have been like that for me.

It all started when things got insane at work. A few big projects all came at the same time, causing me and everyone else I work with to transform into magicians, miracle workers, psychics and all-around busy bees -- the key word being "busy". The volume of work was massive, but we delivered, I'm pleased to say.

In addition to these very important and worthwhile projects for clients, a bunch of other things were thrown at me outside of the office (not literally "thrown", mind you) that meant that most of my evenings were now tied up, too. Between my day job, volunteer work and other obligations, it just seemed like there weren't enough hours in the day. It was quite overwhelming.

It's during times like these that I want to walk up to people who whine about being bored and slap them so hard that dead relatives start telling them to walk toward the light and funeral directors run to their telephones waiting to see who's going to get the call to come by with the body bag.

Honestly, I've been so gosh-darn busy that had I had young children at home, I'm pretty sure that I would have dropped them off at the orphanage for lack of time to deal with their needs. With no time to escort them in, I'd likely have slowed the car down just enough so that they could have jumped out with their little plastic grocery bags filled with stuffed toys and clean underwear -- and signs around their necks giving the orphanage instructions: "Becky Sue won't eat a sandwich unless you cut off the crusts." and "Jimmy Bob has to practise his aim in the bathroom."

Gee, I'm starting to sound like a sad country song. Speaking of... I heard Dolly Parton give an interview recently about "Me and Little Andy" -- one of the songs she regularly sang in concerts years ago. Unfortunately, she had to stop performing it because it was such a downer that it really depressed the audience. She went on to say that it was the men who cried louder than the women, by the way.

The song's about a little girl who shows up at someone's door during a blizzard with a puppy in her arms. In typical sad-country-song style, things don't go too well for the poor little girl and the pitiful puppy. Cue the body bags.

What that has to do with me being busy, I have no idea. Anyway...

The key to being incredibly busy and not losing your mind -- in my case -- is to let everyone know. That way, people know to either stay away or not to expect much of you during that busy period, be it a week or two... or more. This particular super busy period for me lasted about three weeks, during which I was pretty much run ragged with new projects, old ones and even some that came out of the blue.

In the long term, such a hectic schedule is simply not sustainable. I would have gone completely wacky, but I was able to maintain some sort of sanity knowing that this busy period had a beginning and an end. The end of this week is the end, more or less. This should be a great relief to all, especially my nerves.

Oh, there will be other super busy periods, I'm sure. And I have to admit, there's a part of me that likes them. The days go by quickly. You get a heck of a lot done. It also gives you a good excuse to avoid people you're not keen on seeing. Did someone call you for lunch who you'd rather not hang out with? "Sorry, too busy." Did Aunt Mabel call to invite you over to file down her bunions on Saturday night before driving her to bingo? "Sorry, Auntie... no can do! I'm way too busy!"

If I really had an Aunt Mabel who expected me to file down her bunions, the old broad would have to be pretty rich and I'd better be the only one in her will.

The key to being busy and not having it drive you up the wall is to remain organized and diligent in your home. As for me, I keep on top of things like mail, groceries, meals prepared for lunches, etc. If not, I'd be reduced quite quickly into a complete mess... a busy mess, but a mess nonetheless.

It's also an absolute necessity to keep lists going, otherwise your entire household, career and personal life could disintegrate into complete anarchy pretty quickly. Forgetting to answer a few e-mails, paying a bill or returning that telephone call (this time from Uncle Harold who wants you to rub stinky ointment on that weird-looking sore on his leg) could get you into a whole heap of trouble... especially if that sore turns out to be fatal and Uncle Harold left you out of his will because you forgot to drop by.

I guess there's one good thing about being so busy. I don't have time to get sick. So far, I've managed to avoid anything too drastic this winter, although one can't help but get a cold or two every year. I just hope I don't end up like last year: perfectly healthy all winter and then a wicked cold in July.

Yeah, being busy can have its drawbacks... like exhaustion, but all in all it's not so bad. I just hope the people I haven't time to see much of lately remember not to take it too personally. Poor Aunt Mabel, though. Those bunions will be as big as the Rocky Mountains if I don't get over there soon!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Today's Hump Day column: The art -- and agony -- of being too busy

This week's Hump Day column appears on the editorial page of the Moncton Times & Transcript (pg. D6) and deals with the issue of being too busy... like wayyyyy too busy. It's been a crazy couple of weeks for me, but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Check it out by picking up your copy of the newspaper today or check back here tomorrow when it will be posted online. Happy Hump Day!

Idol Chatter for March 19, 2008: "Top 11 reprise the Beatles"

Good morning! The Top 11 performed songs from The Beatles last night. Some favourites tanked again. Some redeemed themselves. Some who were on the chopping block did better this week, but was it enough? To find out who did what, click here and read the column online. Don't forget to check out the results show tonight at 10 p.m. on Fox.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Meet Bulgarian Idol contestant Valentina Hasan

Too funny! The poor girl is trying to sing "Without You" by Mariah Carey, but she can't speak English... so tries to sing it phonetically. The results are hilarious, especially if you read the subtitles.

She became so famous for being bad that she was invited back to perform. I love the crowd, who regales in her awfulness... yet, like so many bad Idol contestants, she seems oblivious to their mocking.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Looking for free vet advice

Does that red blotch on my cat Cindy's eye look like blood? She's had this for awhile and I didn't think much of it... until I started thinking it could be serious. She and Casey (my other cat - much bigger than her) wrestle all the time and perhaps she banged her head on the hardwood floor or something. (They're really rough when they play.) She's eating fine and is her usual playful self.

Click on the photo for a high-res pic to see the "blotch" larger.

Leave a comment if you think you know what it may be. I think it's just a broken blood vessel that will heal itself. It's obviously red, so I'm pretty sure it's blood.

UPDATE - March 22/08: I'm just back from the vet and she told me that it's only pigment in Cindy's iris. *phew* She told me to keep watching it for changes in colour, size, etc., just in case... but all is well and it's nothing.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

All Glory, Laud and Honour

Today is Palm Sunday, commemorating the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before his Passion. "All Glory, Laud and Honour" was a very nice hymn sung today during mass. The original latin lyrics were written nearly 1,200 years ago.

Getting better resolution in YouTube videos... so cool!

I tried it... and it works! Crazy. :)

Keep in mind that you have to be on the YouTube site itself for this to work.

Here's the link to this video in low-definition:

And high definition with the code added as per the video: