Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

YouTube video of Pays de la Sagouine on fire

What a shame! $2 million in damage occurred at Bouctouche's very popular Pays de la Sagouine tourist attraction earlier this week. Arson is suspected. Unbelievable. I hope that whoever did this (if it wasn't accidental, that is...) is caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law! Click here for more.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

News release: Dog Adopt-a-Thon to be held at Moncton SPCA October 24-25


October 23, 2008
For immediate release

Dog Adopt-a-Thon to be held at Moncton SPCA October 24-25

MONCTON, N.B. – Big dogs. Small dogs. Black dogs. White dogs. There’s something for everyone at the Moncton SPCA. October is Adopt-a-Dog Month, so we’re holding a Dog Adopt-a-Thon and Open House on Friday, October 24, from noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday, October 25, from noon to 5 p.m. in order to find as many homes as possible for the many dogs we have with us.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to come to the shelter and take a look at our animals,” says Nanette Pearl, Director of Operations at the Moncton SPCA. “Adopting a dog will not only change the animal’s life, but yours, as well. Come see us to find your new four-legged friend.”

During the Dog Adopt-a-Thon and Open House, several volunteers will be on location to speed up the adoption process, however clients will still have to follow our usual adoption process and verification of references. People can still get a head start on the adoption process by filling out a form as soon as possible. These are available at the Moncton SPCA, 116 Greenock Street, or online at Completed adoption forms can also be e-mailed or faxed. Once an application is approved, all someone has to do is find their perfect doggie match from those available at the shelter.

Of course, cats, kittens and other small animals will also be available for adoption during the event.

For more information, please contact the Moncton SPCA at (506) 857-8698.


Media contact:

Nanette Pearl
Director of Operations
Moncton SPCA
(506) 857-8698 or (506) 872-1784 (cell)

News release: Moncton writers to host workshop for tourism promoters, travel agents, writers

October 23, 2008
For immediate release

Moncton writers to host workshop for tourism promoters, travel agents, writers

Moncton, N.B. – Are you making plans for a winter get-away or helping others to make their travel arrangements? Why not make your vacation a profitable one by writing about your holiday adventure? The Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), Southeastern Chapter (, is hosting a workshop in Moncton, Saturday, November 1 that is sure to be of interest to aspiring travel writers, travel agents and tourism industry promoters.

The full-day workshop will explore the ins and outs of the travel writing business with Sandra Phinney as presenter. Phinney is a well-known Nova Scotia writer, columnist and regular contributor to a wide variety of travel publications, including Fodor’s, Coastal Discovery and D.K. Eyewitness guides.

Phinney guarantees that participants will receive the tools they need to begin turning tales from their trips into paid stories. “There are many opportunities to write travel articles for magazines, websites and content for travel guides or specialty publications,” she said.

Phinney’s work appears regularly in Saltscapes Travel and several of her photos will be published in the 2009 Atlantic Canada Michelin Travel Guide. A finalist in the “Northern Lights Awards” for an AAA Living.

Article, Phinney has backpacked in Africa, hiked to outports in Newfoundland, and danced with the Bedouins in Wadi Rum, Jordan.

The workshop will be held from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Moncton Public Library. Cost is $115.

For more information or to register, contact Brett Anningson at (506) (506) 388-1564 or email

Media contact:

Rayanne Brennan
T: (506) 869-8005
C: (506) 961-3633

Starting to think of doing Christmas shopping

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial Page

I've got a major case of wanting to start my Christmas shopping.

Now, before you scream obscenities at this page and turn it to read something that doesn't mention Christmas, hear me out. It's getting colder, so winter is on its way. As well, I'm seeing possible flurries in the weather forecast for today, so it's not such a ridiculous idea that our minds are now turning to Jolly Ol' St. Nick, is it?

I love Christmas shopping. In fact, I just saw my first TV commercial from a retailer urging people to start their shopping now. So, if you don't like Christmas, it's all downhill from here, folks! Halloween isn't even over yet and the yuletide decorations are already pushing aside the costumes that youngsters will be wearing next week.

It seems the older we get, the faster time goes by, eh? By the time I'm 90, I'll be seeing the hours tick by with every blink of my eyes. Then again, when I'm 90, maybe I'll just be falling asleep and waking up 24 times per day, so that will explain the hours going by so fast.

When I was a kid, my parents would go Christmas shopping in mid-December. They normally didn't go shopping together -- except for groceries -- but that was the one time of the year when they made it a point to go together.

Christmas is always an exciting time to be a child. My parents would arrive home with a carload full of goodies and order us to our rooms as they brought everything in, since we weren't allowed to see what they bought. They would then close their bedroom door and put everything away in their closet or under the bed. I always found the anticipation of trying to figure out what I was getting for Christmas to be unbearable.

Of course, whenever my brother, sister and I would show just a bit too much enthusiasm (translation: greed), they felt the need to bring out the parental guilt on how lucky we were to be getting Christmas presents at all.

Then, inevitably -- like the sound of reindeer hooves on the roof every Christmas Eve -- we would then get the annual big speech on how they would have to walk in snow up to their neck in the middle of July just to go to the outhouse. Then there were the stories of how on Christmas morning they would only get one stale piece of bread to share among their 29 brothers and sisters and then gather around the tree and sing like the Whos did in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Then, they would have to go to church for a six-hour mass sung in Latin where the closest thing they would get to a Christmas dinner was the communion wafer. And if they were thirsty? Well, they would just have to drink each other's tears.

Or we'd listen to how they'd have to go to bed at 6 p.m. and then be up half an hour later to get ready for their 20-mile walk to school, completely naked in the middle of January after having had to eat their little brother for breakfast because they were so poor. Did I mention the pack of wolves that was chasing them at the same time? What about being beaten by the teacher with a cane for not knowing how to recite the entire dictionary backwards?

Of course, their stories always make my own tales of childhood woe pale in comparison. It's kind of difficult to get much pity from younger folk when you tell them about the dark days before e-mail. "We had to put these things called stamps on letters and then put them in a red box," I'd say, as their eyes would open slowly in terror. "Then, some guy came to pick them up. They'd then be sorted and delivered to someone's house. Sometimes, it would take a week for a letter to go down the street."

Yeah, I know. Doesn't exactly have the same pity factor as having to bite the tip of your finger off so you could write out your homework in blood, the family being too poor to afford a pencil.

I still can't get my head around the apparent thrill my parents' generation got when they got an orange in their stocking on Christmas morning. Tropical fruit such as oranges was rare back then. Quite a change, these days. If you gave your kid an orange in his Christmas stocking instead of the latest technological contraption, you'd better start sleeping with one eye open and have your fingers ready to dial 911, lest you wake up and find Junior hovering over your bed ready to smother you with your own pillow.

But enough about Christmas. There's plenty of time for that. Next week marks my most disliked holiday of the year: Halloween. In other words, legalized begging for sugar-laden treats door-to-door. Oh what fun!

I hesitate to even ask my parents about Halloween. I suppose that the slow, chubby children who couldn't run fast enough were actually sacrificed in the middle of the street, huh? And they were so poor that they gladly ate the razor blades embedded in the apples they received, huh? Oh. . . and we can't forget that their entire Halloween loot bag had to be shared not only with their 32 brothers and sisters (Mom had three more kids since Christmas, apparently), but with the eight grandparents living with them, too.

Joking aside, I'm happy not to have any horror stories about my childhood Christmases or Halloweens.

Well, except for the year I was kidnapped by that UFO...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Today's Hump Day column...

... is about my hankering for starting my Christmas shopping early... and memories of the horrible (and guilt-laden) stories my parents used to heap on my brother, sister and me when we were kids. You know, the kind where they walked 20 miles to school naked in the snow while being chased by a pack of wolves, only to find themselves beaten by the teacher for not being able to recite the dictionary backwards... in Swahili.

Check it out on the editorial page of today's Moncton Times & Transcript or visit this blog on Thursday when it will be posted online.

Hump Day appears every Wednesday on the editorial page of the Moncton Times & Transcript, the largest-circulation daily newspaper in New Brunswick.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Read this...

Do yourself a favour and read this article from the October/November 2008 issue of Mother Earth News by Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories - Bad Calories.

Crazy Canadian "police chase"

Monday, October 20, 2008

Recipe: Low-carb pumpkin pie

I've made this delicious low-carb pumpkin pie a couple of times and you can't tell the difference between this and a pie made with sugar and evaporated milk.

First, there are two crust options (ground almonds OR pecan meal). I've made it with both. (I altered the recipe a tad from the original. The original pecan crust was a bit different, but I like a spicy crust, so preferred the crust from the low-carb pumpkin cheesecake, so I substituted it for the pie. It would work with either almonds or pecans.)


- 1 1/2 cups ground almonds or pecan meal
- 0.5 tsp each of ginger and cinnamon
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 4 tbsp sugar substitute (or equivalent)


- 1 15 oz can pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup unsweetened soy milk (or milk or cream - milk has more carbs, so adjust - I used unsweetened almond milk, which I always have on hand for my energy shakes)
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup sugar equivalent from artificial sweetener (I used Sweetzfree)
- 1 teaspoon dark molasses (optional - I used organic blackstrap molasses)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 scant tsp nutmeg (scant = not quite a tsp)
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- pinch of cloves (I used 1/8 tsp)
- 1/4 tsp salt


1) Preheat oven to 425F. (important)

2) Dump all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and whirl to blend.

3) Pour into the crust.

4) Put the pie in the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 375F. In 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 300F. (This cooks the crust, so it isn't soggy, but then allows the custard to bake more slowly.) Bake until almost set in the middle, about 30 to 40 minutes more. If it starts to crack a bit around the edges, it's probably done.

5) Cool and serve. If you want to serve it with low-carb whipped cream, click here for a recipe.


This delicious recipe is courtesy of Laura Dolson's excellent low-carb site. Click here to take a look around. Don't forget to bookmark it! Click here for the original recipe.

(Click on the photo for a larger version. This is the exact pie I brought to my mother's for Thanksgiving. Non low-carbers thought it was delicious. They said they couldn't tell the difference.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Celebrity birthdays for October 19th

Country singer Jeannie C. Riley is 63...

Actor John Lithgow is 63...

TV host Ty Pennington is 43...

Psychic John Edward is 39...