Friday, January 22, 2010

#1 songs on Billboard 50, 40, 30, 20 and 10 years ago

Thought it would be fun to look back at which songs were #1 in decades past!

50 years ago this week: "Running Bear" by Johnny Preston

40 years ago this week: "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" by B.J. Thomas

30 years ago this week: "Rock With You" by Michael Jackson (30 years???? Seriously????)

20 years ago this week: "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?" by Michael Bolton

10 years ago this week: "What a Girl Wants" by Christine Aguilera

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Simple... open the cat's mouth and pop the pill in!

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial page

When I was young, we had a few pets that I remember. Barney and Timber were dogs. Choo-Choo was a cat. I had a hamster named Bert, too. I remember taking Barney to the vet with my father once for kennel cough, but that was it. I don't remember Timber or Choo-Choo ever going to the vet. Back in the 1970s, the mentality seemed to be that pets were mostly taken to the vet only for curing an illness, not for preventing one.

As an adult pet owner now, I'm vigilant about getting the two cats I have to the vet for their shots and regular check-ups. The way I figure it, it's best to keep them healthy through prevention rather than rack up a big vet bill if I can help it.

But even healthy pets get sick sometimes -- as do healthy people. Last week, Cindy -- my nearly eight-year-old red tabby cat -- started throwing up constantly. I'm used to it, up to a point. It seems to be something she's done since I've had her, but this was different. It wasn't just occasional... it was constant. To make matters worse, she also stopped eating. That's when I knew something was seriously wrong.

I'm not one to run to the doctor for every little ache or sniffle, and I'm the same way with my pets. I've seen them not feel well before and it rectified itself in a day or two. But after a couple of days, it wasn't getting any better. Without going into the gory details, it was starting to get worrisome. Particularly, I was quite concerned that she would get dehydrated. This is very taxing on the kidneys -- especially for small animals like cats -- and things could go from bad to critical very quickly.

So I made an appointment with the vet and took her in. By then, she hadn't kept much down for a few days and was starting to act "out of routine." If you're a cat owner, you'll know what I mean. Cats are creatures of habit. They do the same thing at the same time every day. I could get rid of all the clocks in my house and know what time it is simply by noting exactly where either cat is sleeping. For example, Casey sleeping in the laundry basket in my bedroom closet means it's 7 p.m. Cindy sleeping on the back of the love seat in the living room is the equivalent of 11 p.m. I could go on and on.

When the vet examined her, Cindy was doing well, all things considered, but it was determined that a hospital stay was in order to make sure that we nipped this in the bud. She couldn't keep throwing up forever, after all, and she was well on her way to beating the feline world record for getting sick to her poor little stomach.

She was kept overnight, leaving just "the boys" at home (me and Casey) for the evening. It's very odd when one pet is not there. Casey seemed to enjoy having me to himself, but I couldn't stop thinking about the missing pet and hoping she was OK. She was in the right place, though, and getting IV fluids and tests, so I knew I shouldn't worry too much. I would certainly rather see her in the hospital than at home continuing to be ill.

The next morning, the vet called to say that Cindy hadn't been sick all night. That was a good sign, considering she'd spent the last three days being continuously nauseous. There were a few tests that were borderline, but nothing that raised alarm bells about imminent death or major illness -- and nothing that a cat who'd been sick for three days wouldn't be showing.

In the end, we're treating Cindy for a suspected bleeding ulcer and she's now on antibiotics and some other treatments for the next week to 10 days. Nurse Cormier brought her home on Saturday afternoon for some TLC.

I've given pills to dogs before and, quite frankly, I thought it was easy. Just open their mouth and shove in the pill -- or hide it in a piece of chicken or some cheese or peanut butter. For Casey, hiding the antibiotic pill he was on a few years ago was easy. I just shoved it in a piece of chicken (which he never gets, normally) and he gobbled that thing down like there was no tomorrow.

Cindy, however, is another story. Giving a pill to Cindy is like putting your hand into a blender while it's turned on high. It's like trying to catch a bullet in your teeth. It's like trying to make love to an angry porcupine. Let's just say that -- when giving a pill to Cindy -- you need to be fast, courageous and prepared to be severely injured.

You should make sure that your life insurance policy is paid up before you give a cat a pill. Not a bad idea to have a will and power of attorney drawn up, too, just to make sure someone needs to pull the plug.

Between their claws and razor-like teeth, they can cause a lot of damage. (I'd probably be the only patient in palliative care with cat scratches all over my face.)

I'm glad I used to watch Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling, because it certainly came in handy when trying to give her the two pills and liquid medicine (three things!) prescribed by the vet. Just when the first wrestling match is over, I need to back for two more to ensure her treatments are all given. I could have used The Great Malumba, Killer Karl Krupp, Leo Burke and The Beast in my corner, let me tell you!

In the end, I'm managing to give her the medicine she needs without too much damage to myself, although it's no fun at all. She's taken me off her Christmas card list and is most certainly plotting to kill me.

Now, I know I can do anything! Need your lawnmower blade polished while it's still running? Give me a call. After you've given a pill to a cat, you no longer fear death.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Warren Transport and D.D. Transport Ltd. create Atlantic Diversified Transportation Systems through strategic merger


January 20, 2010
For immediate release

Warren Transport and D.D. Transport Ltd. create Atlantic Diversified Transportation Systems through strategic merger

REXTON, NB, and MOUNT PEARL, NL – Two of Atlantic Canada’s pre-eminent trucking and transportation companies are merging their general freight and equipment-repair facilities to form a new company, Atlantica Diversified Transportation Systems.

Effective April 1, 2010, the general freight (dry van and refrigerated operations) and equipment-repair facilities of Warren Transport, part of The Warren Group headquartered in Rexton, NB, and the entire operations (flatbed, van and equipment repair) of D.D. Transport Ltd., headquartered in Mount Pearl, NL, will merge to form Atlantica Diversified Transportation Systems (ADTS).

ADTS’s head office will be based in Rexton, while maintaining their offices and operations in Mount Pearl and Clarenville, NL; Bathurst, NB; Debert and Liverpool, NS. Warren’s Vaughn Sturgeon will serve as Atlantica’s president, while D.D.’s Gordon Peddle will serve as vice-president and chief operating officer. The new entity will have about 150 employees.

Other divisions of The Warren Group – such as bulk transport and construction services – are not affected by the merger.

“The merger of our freight and equipment-repair facilities means more efficient service for our customers, while our employees will have expanded career opportunities within the new company,” said Mr. Sturgeon, Atlantica’s new president. “Atlantica is a growth-oriented company looking into the future and committed to the efficiencies of scale. The operations of Warren and D.D. that have merged complement each other and create a stronger company. Everyone will gain: our customers and our employees.”

“The merger of our freight businesses makes sense,” said Mr. Peddle, Atlantica’s new vice-president and chief operating officer. “Whereas D.D. Transport provided more regional coverage, Warren Transport provided more national and North American coverage, so Atlantica will benefit from better reach in a world where security restrictions are expanding every day. From an operations perspective, this merger will also allow us to eventually renew our fleet to more environmentally friendly vehicles that have zero emissions.”

Atlantica Diversified Transportation Systems will operate more than 300 pieces of equipment with annual sales expected to be in the range of $25-30 million over the next year. When including companies affiliated with Atlantica, the group will have sales in the $45-50 million range and operate more than 500 pieces of equipment. Atlantica will keep all of the affected merged Warren Transport and D.D. Transport facilities open. The merger will not result in any layoffs.

“This merger only makes us stronger and solidifies our future,” said Mr. Peddle.

“The merger of certain parts of our operations to form Atlantica is a strategic move that will benefit everyone,” Mr. Sturgeon said.

Vaughn Sturgeon:

The new president of Atlantica Diversified Transport Systems, Vaughn Sturgeon, is also the president and CEO of The Warren Group, based in Rexton, NB. He holds a BA in economics and is a certified management accountant (CMA) and has 20 years of experience in the transportation industry. In addition to its head office in Rexton, Warren also has operations in Bathurst, NB, and Liverpool, NS, as well as in Quebec and Ontario. The company specializes in transportation and construction products and services.

Mr. Sturgeon and The Warren Group have been recognized by Enterprise Kent, Atlantic Progress magazine Top 101 listing, and as a finalist in the Ernst & Young Atlantic Canada Entrepreneur of the Year awards. Mr. Sturgeon is involved in many boards and organizations and has been especially involved in the transportation community. He has been a board and executive member of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) since 1999, and is a past chairman of the board of the APTA. Mr. Sturgeon also sits on the board of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and is vice-chair of the the Halifax-based Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS).

Gordon Peddle:

Atlantica’s new vice-president and chief operating officer, Gordon Peddle, has 27 years of experience in the transportation industry. The former owner of D.D. Transport Ltd., he is the immediate past chairman of the board of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA). Mr. Peddle is also a member of the board and executive of the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s board of directors, as well as vice-chair of the Canadian Trucking Human Resource Council (CTHRC). A recognized leader in the transportation industry, D.D. Transport Ltd. also made Atlantic Progress magazine’s Top 101 listing and recently received the prestigious “Service to Industry” award from the APTA.


For more information, please contact:

Vaughn Sturgeon
Atlantica Diversified Transportation Systems
(506) 523-7550

Gordon Peddle
Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Atlantica Diversified Transportation Systems
(709) 368-1773

This week's Hump Day column...

... is about the ordeal of giving pills to a cat. Cindy -- one of my two cats -- requires antibiotics for 10 days. If you've ever tried to give a pill to a cat, you know what I'm talking about. It can be pure hell. Giving antibiotics to my other cat a few years ago was heaven compared to this.

Like I write in the column, giving a pill to an uncooperative cat is like putting your hand in a blender that's turned on high.

Read all about it on the editorial page of today's edition of the Moncton Times & Transcript, New Brunswick's largest-circulation newspaper.

And remember... if it's Wednesday, it's Hump Day!

(Photo courtesy of this site.)

Digital guitar uses no frets, strings

Teeth-cleaning doggie

The dog must have been concerned because she hadn't brushed her teeth before she passed out. Well, he took care of that for her... with his tongue. LOL

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How to Get Something You Can't Afford

I was thrilled to see that Sue and Steve from the Sue and Steve Show answered a question that I posted for them on Facebook! Thanks!

Check out their great answer below:

These are two great people who believe in the Law of Attraction and they are proving every day that it works!

In memoriam: Kate McGarrigle (1946-2010)

Canadian folk singer Kate McGarrigle passed away from cancer yesterday at the young age of 63. She was the mother of singers Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright and one-half of a popular folk duo along with her sister, Anna.

You may remember Kate and Anna McGarrigle from their song in the National Film Board of Canada's very popular animated short "The Log Driver's Waltz":

Here is her son Rufus Wainwright singing Hallelujah, a melancholic song for such a sad day.

Canadian Idol 2008 Top 10 contestant has a "secret" to tell ya...

A funny and clever video by 2008 Canadian Idol Top 10 contestant Mark Day. (And I don't think anyone will fall off their chair in shock.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Harry Forestell is the new anchor of CBC News New Brunswick!

Welcome back to New Brunswick and good luck!

News release sent by CBC today:

"CBC News today announced that on February 15th, Harry Forestell will become the new host of CBC NEWS NEW BRUNSWICK at 5, 5:30 and 6.

Harry Forestell is returning to New Brunswick after an extensive and exciting journalistic career as a CBC News Network anchor, reporting from across Canada and around the world. In a career spanning more than 20 years, Forestell has had a front row seat to the news and newsmakers that shape our world.

"When CBC offered me the opportunity to anchor CBC NEWS NEW BRUNSWICK, I couldn't believe my good luck. New Brunswick has always been home and the chance to work with our teams in Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton is a great opportunity. The only ones more excited than me about this move are my wife and daughters!" says Forestell of his upcoming move back to New Brunswick.

Forestell was born and raised in Saint John, graduated from St. Malachy's High School, earned his undergraduate degree in English at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, and a degree in journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa.

An award-winning journalist, Forestell is currently the anchor of CBC News Network’s Breaking New Desk. Most recently he was host of Around the World, CBC’s international news roundup, and CBC News Today. As a host-interviewer, Harry has spoken to personalities as diverse as Shimon Peres, Diana Krall and Bill Gates. He anchored breaking news specials on the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami of 2004, the London terror bombings of 2005, the 2008 U.S. Presidential campaign and the death of Michael Jackson in 2009.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming Harry home to New Brunswick”, said Andrew Cochran, managing director, Maritimes, for CBC English services. “His broad background fits perfectly with our commitment to provide New Brunswickers depth, context, and New Brunswick news from New Brunswick.”

“Harry’s move is wonderful news for the CBC News team and viewers in New Brunswick,” said Jennifer McGuire, general manager and editor in chief, CBC News. “Having an experienced and well-regarded journalist like Harry in Atlantic Canada strengthens CBC News in that region. I’m also pleased that he’ll continue to have a presence on CBC News Network.”

CBC NEWS NEW BRUNSWICK at 5, 5:30 & 6 can be seen week nights on CBC Television and Bell Satellite (channel 196)."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cindy's doing much better

Vlog for Sunday, January 17, 2010