Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Spam, not just for breakfast anymore.

When I was a little girl, the word "spam" meant a spiced ham, that came in a tin can with a key, made by Hormel Foods.

This photo is the link to

Hormel probably had no idea that their brand name would become a household name meaning something that nobody, especially we-bloggers, wants.

Just recently, I've been spammed by several people. They've posted little comments in my we-blog comments section as if I had spoken about something they're obviously interested in and then left a web-link to their sites.

Said sites are of course those weirded out little advertising sites that people seem to think they can create to sell to big companies who will be interested in the site content that they've gone to all the trouble to put together for them.

They suck.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Writers block. Gak!

It's one of those days.

I actually have the time to write. I can't publish the blog that I want to for fear of reprisals and I haven't anything else I really want to say.


Maybe if I were getting paid???

Me out.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Putting the heat in the hot seat...

Someone saw the ingredients list on Peppermaster's Chili Chocolate Passion and made the comment that no self-respecting chilihead would eat a Mole made with extract; Actually, he said "self-respecting Mexican", but I digress.

Which was annoying enough to me, since what the guy who was posting refers to as an extract isn't what I was thinking was an extract. So the art department got busy trying to figure out what better way to say that we extract the natural essence from the pepper for the Chocolate sauce.

Which of course brings me to this blog.

After doing a bit of research two big questions come to mind. First is why the heck would anyone even put an "extract" into their mouths, never mind into their hot sauce? And second, with it being so subjective, how do you know how hot a sauce really is?

I'll start with the extract. The idea is pretty inert at first, but in truth, really, there is something scary to me about the idea of extracting capsaicin from a pepper... Especially when you learn how it is done.

Read this:
"Pure capsaicin is so powerful that chemists who handle the crystalline powder must work in a filtered "tox room" in full body protection. The suit has a closed hood to prevent inhaling the powder."

Said pharmaceutical chemist Lloyd Matheson of the University of Iowa, who once inhaled some capsaicin accidentally:
"It’s not toxic, but you wish you were dead if you inhale it."

"One milligram of pure capsaicin placed on your hand would feel like a red-hot poker and would surely blister the skin,"
said capsaicin expert Marlin Bensinger."

Source of quotes: Fiery Foods.

It takes guts to want to work with that sort of toxicity. I have two doors between my office and the kitchen, and they're both closed tight during production so that I don't inhale the peppers while they're cooking back there. I can't imagine what pain I would be in, were I to inhale pure capsaicin powder. Can you say; "major owie"?

There is a link to a University of Toronto page that gives instructions on extracting capsaicin. I gather it's class instruction for a chemistry lab.

In the quote it mentions the use of "acetonitrile" as the extraction solvent.

So, I looked up acetonitrile and do you know what it is more commonly known as??? Methyl Cyanide.

According to,
"Methyl Cyanide is a toxic, colorless liquid with an aromatic (ether like) odor and forms explosive mixtures with air."


Toxic... explosive... And we're eating this? Eeeeew Gross!

Is there any wonder that the Scovie Awards judges refuse to taste sauces made with extracts?

Truth be told though, lots of extract-based sauce makers don't actually use Methyl Cyanide extracted capsaicin. They use pure grain alcohol to force the capsaicin out of the peppers, strain off the pulp of the fruit and somehow manage to get nothing left but capsaicin. Then in the cooking, they evaporate off the alcohol; I hope; at least that seems to be the idea. I'm sure there's way more to it than that and I've probably really oversimplified the entire process, but until I can find step by step instructions, somewhere, that's as close as I can get to explaining the process in layman's terms.

Given the premise that self-respecting chiliheads can not or will not eat sauces that contain these extracts, what do they eat?

For starters. We chiliheads like it hot. The hotter the better. The problem is that depending on how long we've been chiliheads and what peppers we are used to eating, one chiliheads' hot might be completely different from another chiliheads' hot.

Which brings us to the question that I get asked all the time; how hot is it.

Most self-respecting chiliheads have at least heard of the Scoville scale, even if they don't know how different peppers score on it or even if they can't quite remember what it is called.

The Scoville scale was invented in 1912 by Wilbur Scoville. And even though it is a subjective taste test it has the misplaced respect that a more scientific test might deserve. When the scale was invented, (and it is still the same test, today), it asked a panel of tasters to state when an increasingly dilute pepper solution no longer burned. And based on the tasters, the peppers were given their Scoville levels... Generally stated, one part per million of 'rates' would then score 1.5 Scoville units. Confused? Yeah me too, but that's beside the point. The point is they taste the stuff, score it and based on that, it gets a certain number of Scoville units. Got it? Ok.

So, I'm thinking wouldn't that scale be different if the tasters were all chiliheads or heaven forbid, if none of them were? Like I said; subjective. I've seen people take Peppermaster Hurricane Mash in their mouths like it was apple sauce and once tested, we are pretty certain it would score about 200,000 to 300,000 scoville units, essentially because it is 90% pure pepper solids and those peppers all regularly score 250,000 to as much as 577,000 on the Scoville scale. By the same token, I've had people go berserk simply tasting the Chili Chocolate Passion sauce, which based on their reactions, could suggest that the sauce would score more than 200,000 because it's made with the same peppers, but then again, if someone (like me) is used to eating habaneros and scotch bonnets regularly, it might only score 60,000 or less... subjective. Even for those of us used to eating such peppers, that subjectiveness becomes really clear when one takes a teaspoon of the sauce and mixes it into a hot cup of coffee. Rather than being a mild burgeoning heat in the back of the throat, as described on our label, it suddenly becomes a fuming heat that you notice immediately. But, if the chilihead is used to that type of pepper, it still might not feel hot. again, subjective.

Depending on how you look at it, though, it could have absolutely nothing to do with the taster, it could be entirely affected by the ingredients one uses in the sauce. Again, I use the Chili Chocolate Passion as an example, once mixed with the chocolate, butter, sugar and other ingredients, the effect of the peppers is modified. The more of a chilihead one is, the more the nullification is obvious; so much so, that real diehard chiliheads can't even feel the heat.

It gets worse. When one starts bouncing around the internet trying to find out how many scoville units a particular type of pepper or a particular sauce has. It gets ridiculous. It makes me wonder how any self-respecting chilihead can possibly accept a Scoville unit as having anything but historical significance when it comes to heat classing peppers. clocks jalapenos at 25,000. has them at 2,500-5,000. has them score 2500 - 8000.

and The Chile Pepper Institute scores them between 4,000 - 50,000 And these guys have the good sense to show that those scores occurred over different breeds of jalapenos.

Individual peppers are going to have enormously varying levels of heat even off the same bush. So, one could readily eat even habanero peppers as if they were candy, then suddenly, one day, they hit a really hot one and ochochaw! As Jimmy Durante might say.

What that means is that depending on what they're tasting, depending on how used to that particular pepper the taster is, depending, depending, depending... Why are we even talking about this test? It's a joke. It's like measuring a child's fever by placing your hand on their forehead, wearing gloves. Sigh.

Interestingly enough, there is a more technologically advanced test available, which only the sauce makers seem to be aware of and it's called the HPLC test, or High Performance Liquid Chromatography. An HPLC legitimately detects the heat compounds in the peppers and records the amount in parts per million (ppm). For the diehard need-to-know-the-scoville-unit chilihead, a quick conversion is to multiply the HPLC ppm by 15 to get the Scoville Heat Unit. So, here we are back at Scoville units.

So once now you know more than you ever need to know about Scoville units. How is that supposed to help anyone be able to tell you what the world's hottest pepper is?

The Guinness Book of World Records records the Red Savina Habanero as the World's Hottest Spice.
"It has a rating of 350,000–570,000 on the Scoville scale (an index for measuring the hotness of chilies), compared with a score of 2,500–5,000 for the jalapeño."
It seems that even they know better than to say a pepper has a certain Scoville unit rating. The record was entered by GNS Spices of Walnut California in 1994. It scored a whopping 577,000 Scoville units. Of course, it doesn't say how, but then, it's the record holder.

So, given that the Red Savina Habanero holds the world record, does that make it the World's hottest pepper? I'm not so sure.

Reimer Seeds, world famous seed distributor, sells a Tepin Pepper, which is subtitled "World's Hottest Pepper".

Greg Brooks, reputed Peppermaster and owner of Brooks Pepperfire Foods, will argue to his grave that the Bahamian goatpepper is the hottest pepper and indeed the hottest pepper he has ever tasted.

And, according to an article, by Dave Dewitt, the famed Pope of Peppers, which appeared in Chile Pepper Magazine, a report from the Chile Pepper Institute details tests they had done which shows both the Orange Habanero and the Chocolate Brown Habanero beating out the Red Savina.

Then of course there is the infamous Tezpur pepper from India. It supposedly scored a whopping 850,000 scoville units. Published in the Japanese magazine, Paper Sky, the Tezpur is supposedly the Naga Jolokia. Wow! FWIW, the Naga Jolokia in and of itself is another blog altogether. Suffice it to say at this particular moment in time, that I believe the Naga Jolokia is a frutecens and not a chinense and thus incapable of ever scoring enough Scoville units to ever beat out any habanero breed, nevermind score 850,000.

So, moving on... there is more.

I'm going to narrow the whole thing down for you and conclude this entire blog so that when you click away from here (assuming you're still reading), you'll know the correct and only answer to the question; What is the world's hottest pepper.

There are essentially 1000s of different kinds of hot peppers, but there are really only a few "types". Those types are broken down into (but not limited to) the following: (Note that sweet green and red peppers don't have capcaicin, so I'm not even going to include those here.)

Capiscum baccatum

Capiscum annuum

Capiscum frutescens

Capiscum chinense

With me so far?

Well, Capiscum baccatums include such peppers as Aji and Puyas and they tend to have such small amounts of capsaicin as to be barely warm on a good day.

Capiscum annuums tend to include peppers such as jalapenos and cayennes, and other generally not very hot chili peppers. The Scoville units on such peppers range from anywhere near 0 to as high as 75,000. These are noticibly warm.

Capiscum frutescens tend to include super cayennes, such as the Naga Jolokia and the Tabasco. They can also range from anywhere near 0 to as high as 120,000. These are noticibly hot to extremely hot (depending on what kind of heat you can take)


Capiscum chinenses are the hot babies, scotch bonnets, habaneros, my beloved goatpeppers, etc. They include, of course, the Guinness World Record holding Red Savina which as we already mentioned scored 577,000 Scoville units. These are just plain extremely hot.

Wait it gets better. Anyone who has ever grown peppers can attest to this, but the heat level of any individual pepper, regardless of its type, can and will vary from one bush to the next and even from one pepper to the next on the same bush! Which is why ranges are used by the real pepper experts.

So what does this all have to do with the true heat level of peppers. Well, frankly, everything.

What my entire diatribe tells me, (you, of course, can draw your own conclusions) is that the potency of a Capiscum annuum may occasionally beat out a Capiscum frutescens but more often than not, the Capsicum frutescens will beat the Capiscum annuum, but neither type has the ability to come up with the potency that one finds in the Capiscum chinense peppers. And thus it's obvious to any logical thinker that any chinense has the given potential to beat out any other chinense at any time, but that neither variety of chinense has as yet come up with a consistent enough potency to give it the true name of World's Hottest Pepper.

So, to conclude; What is the hottest pepper in the world?

Why, the Capiscum chinense, of course.

You can say you got that from me.

Me out.

Hurricane Katrina had me singing; how much is that doggie in the window?

A song sung by Patti Page and written by Bob Merrill is a rather dopey little tribute to a puppy in a pet store window. This blog is a waggly finger diatribe to every dog owner who at this very moment in time does not have a valid-up-to-date-registered-dog-tag on their dog. (I would have said "or their cat", except I don't like cats.)

Texas oil tycoon Boone Pickens and his wife, Madeleine, spent about $50,000 to charter a flight from Baton Rouge Louisiana on Sunday. The flight wasn't a last ditch effort for a wealthy oil baron to get out of hurricane devastated Louisiana, but a really nice man and his family's contribution to airlifting as many as 200 dogs out of the area to safety, food and water.

Organized by, Operation Pet Lift failed in its goal but still managed to save 80 dogs. Sadly enough, organizers were stymied by Federal regulations that require them to quarantine the dogs for 30 days before they can fly out. Even so, all of the animals are being vet checked, vaccinated and microchipped ... so that the organizers can track the animals in case an owner does come looking for them. is setting up a database of pet pictures to help reunite owners with lost animals.

Andrew Rowan, executive vice president of operations for the Humane Society was quoted by CNN News as saying
"maybe 50,000 or more dogs and cats in New Orleans that need to be rescued. There are vans and cars and trucks all over the place. Dogs are barking, cats are meowing. It's a tremendous logistical operation to provide the care that these animals need."
I was stunned by news reports that helicopters had airlifted out people but they were forced to leave their beloved dogs behind.

Now I understand that dogs really are second class citizens, but I have to wonder, given the choice, would I ditch my dog? Hard to say, I wasn't there and it wasn't my dog.

It's all very sad. But the dogs in New Orleans were not the only dogs affected by Katrina.

This story pales in comparison to what these dogs are going to have to go through, but, once told, it will tie together the whole Hurricane Katrina/dog tag issue.

Katrina whipped across the States and hit us a couple of days later. It was still quite the storm when she got here. But nothing like what whipped through New Orleans and Mississippi.

Anyway, that morning, I went to open up my shop and there on the front porch was a shivering, soaking wet ball of what may or may not have been a dog. She looked like she'd been rolled in mud and the poor thing was in shock.

She fortunately was wearing a dog tag, so we wrapped her up in some dry towels, rubbed her down to help increase her circulation and warm her up and then I called the town hall.

The dog catcher wasn't in, but town hall had a record of the dog tag. The clerk looked up the tag and phoned the owner. Then she called me back and gave me the number of the owner. Who was thrilled to hear that her puppy was ok.

It seems that when the thunder and lightning started flashing the puppy had freaked out. So the owner, foolishly had put her outside; big mistake. The puppy freaked out even more and ended up running herself into a state where she got lost, ended up on my porch, wet, muddy and exhausted.

Well, to make a long story short, the owner came to fetch her puppy and by the time they were ready to head home, the puppy was back to her old self, wagging her tail, wanting to go for walkies! Dog's are so easy to please.

So, here's the part where it all ties together... Are you excited yet???

Let's say there really are 50,000 misplaced dogs because of Katrina. One wonders how many of them are sitting there having been rescued by one of these groups and for whatever reason, don't have registration tags. 1,000, 10,000??? Who can say?

With the results of this Hurricane causing so much thought to be put towards disaster preparation, FEMA, Hurricane relief and heaven knows what else. One wonders if anyone is putting thought into disaster preparation that includes the family pets.

Register your dog. At the very least, in a disaster situation, you'll be able to find your pet. Especially if, as is the case for the 80 dogs that the Pickens' family airlifted out, your dog was displaced to San Diego by a hurricane.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Grow your own!

I opened up the office the other day to discover that we were missing some pepper plants. Lots of them... four out of six to be precise. Someone had taken four of my pepper plants off the front porch and made off with them.

Thieves suck!

I don't agree with it, but I can appreciate someone having to steal to feed their family. I really don't agree with it, but I can appreciate someone having to steal to feed their habit... But what in the devil possesses people who steal for no good reason other than to have something that doesn't belong to them?

Here are my beautiful little pepper plants, nurtured from seeds, watered and chatted to; cared for in the hopes that we might be able to coax a pepper or two out of their beautiful leafy green stalks. But now... someone else is going to get to partake of their hot sweet heavenly goodness. I hope they're real wooses and they hurt themselves. Grrrrr.

We figured it was just teens messing around, because in the place of my missing pepper pots, we received two hanging flower bags... the kind that sort of look like they should be hanging from a headstone. The kind that our next-door neighbour uses to decorate her front porch! Well, at least she woke up to hers simply being out of place, and not gone.

The big problem arose when I opened up yesterday morning to discover that the thief had returned for one of the two big pots!

What was going through the thief's mind as he or she staggered down the street with an enormous pepper plant in their arms.

I called the Surete (our local police enforcement officials) to come and take a statement. They did. The sent M. Talbot... His note on the file confirmation he gave me, reads "Vol de pots"... doesn't even mention the peppers. Sigh. Oddly, he also felt the bizarre need to make a point of saying "I hope you don't think you're going to get these plants back".

Well, duh! of course I don't; but I do want them back. You know, I live in a town with a running 0% crime rate for what is now fifteen years, and the one and only crime that ever occurs, won't even get investigated because... well, because I haven't a hope in hell of getting my peppers back. There is something wrong with that mentality. It kinda makes me wonder if the reason the crime rate is 0% is because nobody bothers to report crime because it doesn't get investigated anyway.

It's times like this when I rather like the way that Catholicism deals with thieves.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Open Letter to Same-Sex Marriage Opponents...

The Government of Canada had only two ways to stop this legislation from passing yesterday.

1. Get out of the marriage game altogether, then it would be the sole responsibility of churches.

2. Invoke the notwithstanding clause.

The only reason that same-sex marriage is a "civil rights" issue in Canada is because the Government currently oversees and grants marriages to heterosexual couples. Because heterosexuals can have a marriage license, but not gays, it is automatically a civil rights issue. You can't allow one Canadian to have access to something but then refuse other Canadians the same access; that would be unconstitutional. Fancy that.

It's a real pity the right wing extremists are unable to comprehend that reality.

I have a suggestion for those Yankees who are so homophobic that you oppose this legislation: You stay out of our bedrooms and we'll stay out of your wars.

And for those Canadians who think they can change this now that it's cleared Government...

I suggest you learn to quit whining about the fact that this got pushed through Government and either invoke the Notwithstanding Clause or lobby the Government to get out of the marriage game altogether... Those were the only two ways to do this yesterday and they're the only two ways to do that today.

Sorry Charlie.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Hypocrite of the Day...

Peter McKay...

For suggesting that the Conservatives didn't get into bed or make an agreement with the Bloc while trying to destroy the Liberal Government.

For suggesting that his dog was more "loyal" than Belinda Stronach.

Peter McKay gets a taste of his own medicine.

And this guy thinks the Liberal's seats will be in question come the next election?

He's lucky he's not running in my riding; we'd have run him out of town on a rail!

Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave...

As I write this, the Canadian House of Parliament is about to vote to pass Bill C-38.

The same-sex marriage bill.

I've waited a long time to see real equal rights for gays in this country.

Today, in Parliament, with the third reading of Bill C-38, the civil marriage for gays bill, and the passing of that bill, those rights became law.

158 yeas to 133 nays.

If the Conservatives wish to change the law, they will now have to invoke the notwithstanding clause.

I couldn't be happier. The only bittersweet is that Guy and Joe didn't survive to see it happen.

Friday, June 17, 2005

How the hell does it get to that point?

Have you ever said to yourself, "My house is a pigsty."?

Have you got dirty dishes to be washed, and crumbs from breakfast on the counter and a floor that could use sweeping? Can your fridge and freezer stand to be washed and tidied? Are the garbage cans due to be emptied? Is the laundry due to be done and your bed unmade?

Is your house just untidy, or are you living in squalor?

No really. I don't just mean untidy house, I mean a really messy house.

This photograph (removed photograph of trash piled to within one foot of ceiling) is of someone's living room. It is absolutely incredible to me and makes me wonder what goes through one's mind or doesn't that causes their house to get that way.

A friend of mine took this photo and several others just like it. I can't tell you how he came to be in possession of these photographs or where he is, but what I can tell you is that this is the SECOND time I've seen photos like this from him. My friend says that it's not his second time, that he sees it quite often. He also believes that he has this disorder but caught it early enough to deal with it.

That's frightening.

The person that owns the place in these photographs literally offered to "crawl into the kitchen to fetch him a cup of coffee".

The disorder has several names, from what I can tell: Squalor syndrome and Compulsive hoarding are the two most popular.

According to the February 2005 newsletter of the Mood Disorders Support Group of New York City, it's not quite so uncommon as one might think.

Associated with other mood disorders, such as anxiety, eating disorders, schizophrenia, dementia, mental retardation, autism and brain injury, the disorder can come about in people with absolutely no psychiatric history or illness of any kind.

How do you recognize a hoarder? A common feature of hoards includes piles of paper or newspapers, magazines, books, mail, notes, and lists. Some will have piles of old clothes, rotting food and stray animals. Research tells me that at it's worst, hoarders will have accumulations of both animal and human waste where it ought not to be, such as in the kitchen or on the bed.


The two hoarders who have had incident to touch my life through my friend, are both elderly, socially isolated and suspicious. This most recent one, whose photos appears in this blog, refused entry to the home by anyone for over 13 years.

Like any other such disorder, hoarders only seek help when they hit bottom or when the hoarding is discovered by others. In other words, when a neighbour or a cop notices the smell or when the filth starts spilling out of the house into the yard.

In this latest case it was a sewer backup in the basement that forced the hoarder to call for help but in the earlier case my friend told me about, the hoarder asked for help after 15 years. As you can see by the pictures; 13 years of trash piles up quite heavily. Imagine how the other place looked when my friend went in to clean up.

I've come across warnings that say that simply cleaning out the clutter will not solve the problem. Sometimes this will create a worse problem and further isolate the hoarder and they just start hoarding again.

I've asked my friend if the first hoarder has gone back to hoarding. He tells me that they've moved into an apartment and their neice has taken care to get them a roommate/caretaker who ensures that the hoarding cannot continue. I don't know what will happen to this latest hoarder. Let's hope they can get the help they need. At 75 though, I'm not holding my breath.

If you know a hoarder, and I don't simply mean someone who won't pick up after themselves, I mean a hoarder, there are ways of helping them get help.

UOCHD offers the following suggestions (click on the link for the details of the text):

2. DON'T FIGHT THE FIGHT FOR THEM. (iow, let them clean it up or you're wasting your time)

It's like the old joke, how many psychiatrists does it take to change the lightbulb... and the answer is, Just one... but the lightbulb has really got to want to change.

Only it isn't a joke. It's real, very very very real.

Monday, June 13, 2005

On Rats and Hot Sauce

While researching the makers of a hot sauce called, get this, "Rat Sauce", I came upon Rat Sauce a website dedicated to everything rat related. This of course, is the instigator of this little we-blog. Rats and hot sauce... what more could one ask for?

Let me introduce you to the stars of masses of horror movies specifically designed to perpetuate the myth that rats are horrific critters deservous of naught but destruction.

Rats as animals have been blamed for the black plague and have been long vilified, and unfairly so, I might add. Were one to do their homework, they would learn that it wasn't the rat that caused or carried the plague, it was actually the Oriental Rat Flea which spread its horrific disease by taking advantage of the rat's mobility. But it's not like that... Rats make great pets; they really do.

Of course, I just know you're sitting there thinking, "What? You're nuts! A rat? Why would anyone in their right mind want a rat as a pet?"

And the answer is simple. They are fabulous pets.

They are very clean, (although I've heard that this can be a personality trait and that there are slob rats out there). They are exceptionally intelligent critters. They are fun to play with and much like a dog, they can be taught tricks and to play games with you and they will interact with you quite readily, especially once they think you're part of their pack.

Rats can fit through a hole no larger than a quarter. They are so agile, they can scale brick walls as though they had rungs. So athletic, they can swim half a mile, and tread water for three days. Their powerful jaws can gnaw pipes and cinder blocks with chisel teeth that exert an incredible 24,000 pounds per square inch. Rats have been known to survive being flushed down a toilet, and can even enter buildings through the toilet pipes, the list of their exploits and abilities is endless. Because of their neverending curiosity, search for food and ability to get at it, once found, they are considered to be one of the most destructive mammals that ever lived.

Watch out if you are going to breed rats, though, because, they are so prolific that a single mating pair can easily produce 15,000 descendants in a year. Not one to worry about breeding my pet, Ralph, was a solo rat. He lived alone on my dresser in a rat habitat, which is essentially a very large, elaborate hamster cage built entirely out of metal. He had a swing, a running wheel, (which he much preferred napping in to running in). He had an old ceramic boot, rescued from an aquarium that he used as his hidey hole and a margarine tub which he filled with shredded tissue as his bed. (When I cleaned his cage, I would give him an unopened box of tissue and he would shred this and arrange it just the way he liked it in the margarine tub.) It was quite something to watch.

As a personality, Ralph was really cool. I'd come in from school and he'd immediately jump up to say hello, hanging from the cage top by one paw, pawing at the latch with the other, until I brought him out to play. He was quite cuddly and loved to snuggle with me. He would give kisses and when I was puttering about he'd sit on my shoulders, his tail curling about my neck. He liked to nibble on sunflower seeds, (the hulls of which, he'd deliberately toss down my shirt). He also loved fresh vegetables especially sweet peppers, which makes me wonder, would he have enjoyed habaneros as much as I do? Some relationships end far too early -- sigh. One weekend at a party, Ralph discovered the pleasures of beer. After that he liked to get drunk and laze on my head. Sitting on my shoulder, he'd poke his snout between my lips and the bottle to suck the beer out of the bottle as I would pour it into my mouth. I loved how that grossed some people out! Come to think of it, I wonder if Ralph ever felt the hangovers that I experienced after those parties? You'll be pleased to know that, although I did at that age, Ralph never smoked. He would hide when I pulled out my lighter. Either he didn't like the flash of its lighting up or he was afraid I'd singe his whiskers; which were suprisingly long.

I really enjoyed my stint as a rat owner, and for someone looking for a new pet, rats are a wonderful option. So long as you can get past the stigma of the wonderful critter actually being a "rat". With 20/20 hindsight, I don't recommend getting one for the purposes of making them your drinking buddy. I think that as a species they have a tendency towards alcoholism; not to mention that their livers are much tinier than ours and they probably don't live so long as they could otherwise. What can I say, I was a wild and crazy kid who didn't know any better and who had no concept of my own mortality, never mind that of Ralph.


is Beebop. Beebop appears to me to be a variegated satin rat. Beebop is very similar to Ralph. Beebop is just one of a large variety of pet rats that can be found at Rat Sauce.

Rat Sauce is run by a fellow named Matt, owner of Beebop and an entire Rat Pack! I only ever had one rat in my life so, I can hardly imagine what having a pack would be like; although I did have a slew of gerbils at one time; but in retrospect, comparatively, gerbils are dumb pets, not dumb in the sense of unintelligent, but dumb in the sense that if one didn't need them to feed their pet snakes, I've no reasonable idea why anyone would ever want one. That said, Matt has gone to great effort to introduce people to the joys of having these rodents as their pets and with contributions from other rat owners, his is a definite site to check out in the event that one is looking for a new pet that is out of the ordinary.

Rat Sauce includes sources for the animal, games and toys that will appeal to our little rodent friends as well as referrals for qualified vets and a forum to discuss the joys and stresses of rat ownership with other rat owners.

I suppose I should throw in a caveat about rat ownership at this point. And that is, if you're going to delve into the ownership of a pet rat, don't do it with the wild rattus rattus that your uncle caught rummaging through his pantry. Wild rats are prone to bacterium and disease; read "Oriental Rat Fleas!" and thus are not meant to be domesticated. Instead, see a professional breeder or at the very least, a quality pet store; one that will guarantee their animals. Rat Sauce has links to breeders all over North America and beyond.

Get a rat. You'll be pleasantly surprised; not to mention the fact that they're great fun to have at parties.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Humans are Pack Animals too.

When I was 8, my parents rescued a puppy and brought her home. She was a ginger and white coloured, floppy-earded dog with a beagle-like appearance. We named her Sandy. She was a mutt and I loved her. She had this weird behaviour when it came to milk bones. She'd bury them. The only thing wrong with that, is that she'd bury them in the house while we watched. I don't know if she wasn't too bright herself or if she simply thought that we weren't too bright. She'd take the milk bone, crawl underneath the tv cart and in full view of anyone watching tv, she'd pretend to dig a hole in the carpet, drop the milk bone into the imaginary hole and then kick imaginary dirt into the hole.

Sometimes, if she were feeling coy, I suppose, she'd take the milk bones and disappear with them; down the hallway to my parents' room. There, she'd pull the bedspread from my mother's pillow, shove the milk bone underneath and then attempt to pull the spread back into place. It ticked me off; she made bed better than I could.

I liked taking her for walks with my friend Cathy. Cathy had a dog named Ginger who was also a ginger and white coloured, floppy-eared dog with a beagle-like appearance. Except that Ginger was short and fat and always had something hanging from her teats... Professional puppy maker, that dog. And she thought Sandy was her spawn; and maybe Sandy was, because Sandy behaved just as if Ginger were her mother.

One day as I stepped out my front door, to take Sandy for a walk, the neighbour across the street let out his doberman pinscher puppy; which saw or smelled Sandy and made a bee-line for her. She went for Sandy and Ginger intervened. Ginger went straight for the jugular on that dobie. Which was really surprising because Ginger was less than half the size of the doberman. It took three of us to get the dogs off of each other and Ginger had gotten the worst of it, by far. But the doberman was going to think twice about going after one of Ginger's offspring again; that's for sure.

I went away on a trip and when I came home, my Dad took me into the living room and sat me on his lap. It was then he told me that Sandy had been killed in an accident. She'd been hit by Cathy's older sister's new motorcycle.

They say that losing a pet is like losing a child. I was just a kid when I lost Sandy, but as an adult I have lost another puppy this time to a fire, and although I've never lost a child, (in contrast to occasionally wanting to lose one or four), I imagine it certainly is at least as intense a feeling.

The relationship between people and their animals is one of companionship. One of love, of mutual need and respect and certainly one that truly epitomizes the concept of family. Ok, I suppose that a snapping turtle, which lots of people keep as pets, aren't about to cuddle up with you and lay their head on the pillow beside yours to sleep, still, they have a relationship with the people they interact with.

I've met enormous parrots with vocabularies that will put more than a few five year olds to shame. I've dealt with snakes who know their handlers by smell and are oddly friendly to them. I've held a mynah bird that calls its owner "Mommy". I've seen domesticated cats, dogs, chickens, iguanas and parrots interact as if they were all the same species. I personally, single-handedly populated Richmond, BC with gerbils that the current residents of the island simply believe are field mice and I've taught a pet rat named Ralph to drink beer and sit on my head.

Our pets listen to our troubles when we are sad and share our joys when we are happy and there is no better tribute to our domesticated pals than a website dedicated to loving our critter friends.

Now I must admit that so far, [The Blog] has been primarily concentrating on standard animals; You know, cats, dogs and dolphins. From what I can glean from the blog, Hart and Yvonne are the proud family of two papillons, Maxie and Sophie and a cat named Zeus.

Personally, you couldn't pay me to have a cat. Not half because Greg and at least one child are allergic, but because I've only ever met one cat that was worth allowing to breathe my air and I believe that cat thought it was a dog. I like to joke that cat's would make a great fricasee, but sometimes when I get hungry, I look longingly at the neighbour's cat and my mouth waters.

Pet lovers will find some useful information and key resources at [The Blog]. And you'll find a slew of photos of really cute baby animals. This one:

reminds me of a much older (read grayer) Ralph.

And this one:

reminds me of how I feel everytime I think about losing my webmaster.

The Much Awaited Chili Pepper Post!

You asked for it; you got it...

Robb Walsh of the Austin Chronicle, in 1991, called it the Chile Pepper Counterculture... Nevermind the fact that Robb Walsh hasn't the slightest clue that Chile is a country in South America and what we eat are called Chilies. According to the concept that Walsh's article created back then, we're a bunch of junkies tripping through life with nothing better to do than get to our next fix. He likened chili peppers to psychotropic drugs, such as peyote, coca (as in cocaine) and tobacco; is that why some chiliheads cough; wink, wink.

Apparently some "experimental psychologist" believes that we chili addicts are "hooked" on endorphins and that we get "strung out".

Right on man, Timothy Leary move over.

I like the burn. The fact that the burn is firing endorphins in my system, makes me feel good, and feeling good is, well... it can't be a bad thing, can it?

Accordingly, in all the times I've ever eaten hot peppers, whereas I've gone through mega-mouth burn. I have never had my thought processes interrupted by simply biting into a pepper. Whereas I have been in so much pain, I've been jumping up and down, I have never been "overwhelmed". And although I get a comfortable good-timey feeling (good-timey? Is that a word??) while my mouth is burning, I don't think I've ever really truly experienced a "rush" or gotten "stoned" or even mildly "buzzed"; Not fair... the only legal stone in the world besides alcohol; which btw is a depressant; and I don't get stoned.

Maybe I'm just immune to endorphins??

Speaking of immunity (How's that for a segue?)... On Sunday, we set up shop at the Ste. Eustache Flea Market. (Ya... like that will ever happen again.) And we watched as chiliheads cravingly looked at our sauces like maybe there was something wrong with them and that's why we were there. A couple of them braved the depths of degradation that was our booth at a flea market (did I say "never again"?) and actually bought little mini-jars to take home. But after four hours, only one real true chilihead did the; eyes lit up pre-endorphin rush approach to our booth...

"Are they hot"?

"Oh, yes"

"How hot?"


"Because, I ate this one sauce called Da Bomb and I like that."

"Ah, I see, well, we only use natural peppers, but they're still hot."

"Yeah... gimme a taste"

I open the jar of hurricane, scoop out a largish quantity, and hand it to him. He pops the 90% pure peppers into his mouth, chews, reflects thoughtfully then mockingly says...

"You've got to be kidding."

Obviously capsaicin sensitive... Not! He didn't cough, or sneeze, or blush but he spun in a circle with a tear in his eye and turned back to us. At which point, I'm thinking... yu huh.

"That's not hot." He says.

Now, he's just being rude... And ya know, I can't for the life of me figure out why. Ego? Machissimo?

Greg says to him; "Well, we only use natural peppers, so you're not going to get the same heat as you can with chemically extracted oleoresins." Of course you aren't; we don't call Greg the Peppermaster for no good reason.

Then Mr. Chilihead realizes that his fiancee has left him and he mentions her.

"Oh," I suggested, "why don't we bring your fiancee over here and have her taste it, I wonder if SHE'LL think it's hot?"

"Oh, she can't eat that, it'd kill her." he says.

How stupid can a person be? It's not hot, but it will kill his fiancee.

Colour me impressed. Not.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I Guess I'm a Duck

I know, I know, I'm supposed to be writing a story about the one and only chilihead that actually came into our booth at the Ste. Eustache Flea Market on Sunday, but I just had to put the following thoughts down on paper... So, if you're still patiently awaiting my chilihead story... you'll have to wait another day... Sorry; I never suggested I was organized. That's FTS' thing. ;)

Some days I get it driven home to me in the weirdest ways how very, very important being a Unitarian is to me.

I grew up in a home where a deep personal sense of theology and a relationship with the universe and how I fit into it, was more important than how I perceived who or what God is. I was taught to seek my own personal relationship with God and that I would find that relationship within my own experiences. Or at least that was the end result of what I was taught. I don't think it was because Dad or Mom are particularly Unitarians, per se, but I think it was the end result of my Dad trying to figure out what he is.

Prayer is how I talk to God and that is something so ultimately personal to me that I really don't understand the concept of public prayer. Why would anyone want to do that? In the new testament, Matthew 6:5 to be precise, it says "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." I'm not even a Christian and that passage makes sense to me. But that's me... Matthew 6:6 is even more telling and it reads: "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

Yeah, I know, those of you who know me really well are thinking "Who are you and what have you done with Tina?".

And now you want to know what happened to precipitate this blog, that's all weirdly religion-based and not at all about the hot pepper story I've been promising?

Well, I read a really well written blog today that technically was more about civil rights being unnecessarily protected for people who didn't deserve to have them protected, than it was about public prayer, but I was really riled internally as I read the bit that pertained to daily prayer in schools. My sensibilities reeled as I read that Tish, the blog-writer felt I was not sane because I didn't somehow believe that praying in school is a good thing. Well not ME personally, obviously, she has no idea who I am, but people who think like me. Why does not wanting to listen to someone's prayers in a public school setting cause such a personal affront to people? Do they not understand that maybe, just maybe, their religion isn't someone else's; isn't mine?

Well, for what it's worth, I'm perfectly sane.

I simply understand and acknowledge that not everyone in the world is a Christian or has a KJV Bible-based religion at the core of their being. How can I help but not acknowledge it. I'm a Unitarian. But I find it odd that Christians don't know that passage but get all riled up about how prayer in school is a good thing... Am I missing something?

Being a Unitarian, I live in a world of a multitude of religions. We are comprised of Jews and Muslims, Christians and Atheists, we have Wicce and Pagans and Sikhs and Catholics and Druids, well, you get the idea. We come from all walks of life and somehow manage to know and understand that we are all part of this great interwoven tapestry that makes up this world that we live in. And as interwoven Unitarians, we strive to learn and understand what makes each of us tick theologically, and we work to avoid stepping on each others' toes so that in essence; we all become a community blessed and more important than the sum total of each of our own comprehension (or lack thereof) of God.

When folks ask me what a Unitarian is, I like to joke that we're the ones who begin our prayers with "To whom it may concern".

But you know what I've come to learn and understand about Unitarianism above and beyond any other "true" religion that I've so far had the honour of examining?

As a Unitarian, I've never been asked to park my brain at the door. In fact, I've often been challenged and forced to use my brain in order to embrace my other fellow Unitarians.

And from what I understand of public prayer... it deliberately doesn't embrace anyone who isn't of that religion and deliberately, without a care, has the ability to affront the religious and theological sensibilities of those who aren't of that religion. And really, any Christian who says to me that they're all for public prayer in school, that there is nothing wrong with it... Well, let's just say that there is more than one oxymoron in the Bible and New Testament.

Separation of Church and State.

It's necessary.

Tomorrow... Hot peppers; I promise.

The Underground Railroad

The term "underground railroad" became best known for helping persecuted nations of people secretly escape their persecutors.

In the mid nineteenth century abolitionists ran the secret underground railroad helping slaves escape their bondage, running north to freedom in Canada.

In the mid twentieth century an underground railroad ran in Western Europe, helping Jews, intellectuals, gays and others escape persecution from the Nazis.

But between 1965 and 1973, over 50,000 Americans used a secret underground railroad to flee North to Canada from the United States, to escape the draft. Avoiding what they felt was an unjust war, the conscientious objectors were welcomed with open arms to a Canada that felt it should be a haven from militarism. And indeed one hopes that Canada is still that.

Today the Underground Railroad again runs from the United States into Canada, but it's not persecution or a draft that the passengers are fleeing, but death in an unjust war.

Jeremy Hinzman, a soldier in the 82nd Airborne Division and Brandon Hughey, another American soldier, are seeking refugee status in Canada in the hopes of avoiding extradition to a country that will probably incarcerate them but could put them to death for not wanting to fight in Iraq.

Mr. Hinzman has lost his initial plea for refugee status but his case will go before the higher court of appeals before he is sent back to the US.

On May 27th a press conference was held in the Trinity Street Church in Toronto bringing light to a question that many of us have not considered. As a nation Canada refused to participate in the war on Iraq because we felt it unjust. We, therefore, need to stand up and protect those who come to Canada hoping to escape the war and allow them refuge from persecution, as we did during Vietnam.

The War Resisters Support Campaign is circulating a petition asking the Canadian Government to live up to it's belief that the war on Iraq is wrong and therefore grant sanctuary to US war objectors.

The list of signatories to the petion is quite impressive.

As of the writing of this blog, the petition held 11,783 total signatures, one of which is mine and weirdly enough, one, #11,657 to be precise, belongs to one Mr. Paul Martin of Ottawa who states his Professional Affiliation as Canada Prime Minister.

Another; #11483 is Jan Wells of Alabama USA who wrote: My brother is in Iraq; 10th Mountain Division, #10843 is Jeff Doran of West La Have, Nova Scotia, a 1970 Conscientious Objector and #123, is Mr. Robert Weiss of Loxahatchee, Fl who wrote: Bush Lied & Our Soldiers Continue to Die.

It's already been proven that Bush and his Government lied in order to invade Iraq, and even though the American people decided in their last elections to allow their Government to continue the Iraq invasion, we as a sovereign nation, must in all conscience allow anyone who disagrees with their Government, the ability to object.

Read the War Resisters Support Campaign Petition written by Michelle Robidoux of War Resisters and if you agree. Please sign it.

And if you are American and are required to register for selective service or are of draft age and you are afraid that your Nation will reinstitute the draft, then this article, Conscientious Objection and Iraq by Joseph Wakelee-Lynch is required reading.

And yet another blog goes by with no mention of hot peppers... What is wrong with me???

Monday, June 06, 2005

What You Really Need in Business but are Afraid to Ask...

Number one... Webmaster. Grrrrr

Number two... An accountant. Grrrr, double Grrrrr.

Now don't get me wrong, here. Our accountant is a sweetheart, an absolute doll. I just love him to pieces.

We gave him the account books in March... He told us that we'd be pressed because of tax season, and would have to wait until he finished all of those, but, he's still not finished the books and now it's June! Grrrrr

Here's Greg on the phone with him now, working on last August... what is the matter with these two?

It used to be simple... One ledger, balance sheet tax return... Who in God's name thought it was a good idea to automate this stuff?? There oughta be a law against Quickbooks.

I've got a great story about peppers, but I'm just too annoyed to post it right now... Grrrr

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Have You Got a Secret???

When I was in Alanon (12-step group for families and loved ones of alcoholics) many years ago, I learned that a secret shared is a secret halved. Very therapeutic and healing that. Simply speaking a secret removes half of it's power. Speaking it over and over again, ultimately not only removes it power but, I believe, eliminates it entirely. It's the reason why such groups are so effective for so many people.

Sometimes I am really glad that my first husband killed himself; and sometimes it really makes me want to cry... I suppose that would be a secret worth sharing. Certainly not one I would need to be anonymous for, not if you know me, certainly, it's not a secret that I would creatively etch into a postcard and sent to PostSecret... or would I?

What is PostSecret you ask?

Well, I found it by Googling "What is the most read blog".

The "instructions for PostSecret are posted as follows:

You are invited to anonymously contribute your secrets to PostSecret. Each secret can be a regret, hope, funny experience, unseen kindness, fantasy, belief, fear, betrayal, erotic desire, feeling, confession, or childhood humiliation. Reveal anything - as long as it is true and you have never shared it with anyone before.

Create your own 4-by-6-inch postcards out of any mailable material. But please only put one secret on a card. If you want to share two or more secrets, use multiple postcards. (Please do not email your secret.)

Please put your complete secret and image on one side of the postcard.

Be brief - the fewer words used the better.
Be legible– - use big, clear and bold lettering.
Be creative - let the postcard be your canvas.

Mail your secrets to:
13345 Copper Ridge Rd
Germantown, Maryland
USA 20874-3454

Email questions or comments to:

And the best postcard I found is this one.

The most read blog: PostSecret

Me out.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Voyeurism Pays or You Learn Something New Every Day

While blogging, I find the most bizarre things...

Did you know that San Francisco holds an annual self-pleasure marathon

All giggling aside; this is supposed to be about safe-sex.

In the 20 odd years that I've been associated with HIV/AIDS charities, we've been teaching people that there is no such thing as "safe sex"; safer sex, yes, but safe sex, no...

The "masturbate-a-thon which was founded by a San Francisco sex-toy company: "Good Vibrations" and is a direct result of the firing of Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders. If you recall; (and who would?) Elders was fired for stating that masturbation "is perhaps something that should be taught" about when discussing youth sexual options.

Discuss "masturbation" with my children? Hubby and I kiss and we get a four-part harmoney of "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeew!".

I never really thought of masturbation as "sex". But I suppose it is. Which means that there really is such a thing as "safe sex". Who'da thunk it?

Now... is THAT a dialogue one really wants to open with their own children?

Violated... send that Tylenol back, wouldya?

You know you're having one of those days when your husband asks you what you want to do and your first thought comes to you in a gritty underworld voice... "Kill the children!"

You and I both know that I'm not the only one to ever think that. And, I'm not referring to parents like Robert and Laura Latimer who killed their severely handicapped child to put her out of her misery, or animals like gerbils who eat their young believing that their existence will decimate the food supply. I'm referring of course to parents who for no other explicable reason than a "t-square planetary alignment" suddenly believe that their children are the only reason that ills of the world exist.

You know, days like today when I open the fridge to get the hot dogs for lunch and the package is there but the hot dogs are gone; devoured by the children.

Later, I toddle to the freezer to get a popsicle that the children have been told not to touch upon threat of death, but they're gone and the empty package is left as the only evidence that they ever existed.

Then I discovered that although I've asked the child to sweep the floor, that they didn't sweep it, but swept the accumulation of all of the breakfast's toast and bagel crumbs onto the floor instead.

As if that's not enough, to add insult to injury, the migraine that I can't figure out how I got, refuses to go away, even after having taken the last two Tylenol 3s and I find that the X-tra Strength acetominaphen bottle is empty but neatly placed back into the medicine cabinet.

I told the children today that if they were rent-paying roommates, they'd be on notice to find a new place to live. It's a wonder we don't have rats.

Oh wait, we do.

We call them "children".

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Website... what website???

Ring... Ring...

Hello, is that Peppermaster??

Um, yes it is, can I help you???

I tried to log into your website to place an order and it says that the products can't be found, I know they're there, they were there the other day.

Um, you're kidding... Well, I'll look into that right away... In the meantime, can I take your order over the phone???

Meanwhile, unheard by anyone but me... deep inside my head... The multitudinous voices high pitched "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!"

My server somehow upgraded their php drivers on the weekend... Nobody bothered to tell my php site! But of course, when they went onto my site to look and see if it was working ok, like the good service provider they are, they saw my front page, smiled and went on to the next website.


Jeeezus, if It weren't my brother's server, I'd be killing someone. I've been sitting here taking phone orders all afternoon! THAT'S WHAT WE GOT THE WEBSITE FOR!!!

I know the old adage is 'You get what you pay for' and I know that my brother pays for my bandwidth, but nobody else on his server was taking manual orders over the phone today.

Did someone put a kick me sign on my back today when I wasn't looking???? Grrrrr.

<-- This was me once I found out that it took all of five minutes of fiddling to get my site up and running properly.


Tequila Cookies

1 cup of dark brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup of granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups of dried fruit, such as dried cranberries or raisins
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila (silver or gold, as desired)

Sample the Cuervo to check quality.
Take a large bowl, check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer...Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.
Add one teaspoon of sugar...Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK, try another cup ...just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit, pick the frigging fruit off floor... Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you c! an find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.

Note to readers... I didn't write this, but I could have... I love Tequila.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

He Makes My Nose Run...

I have to wonder if the Peppermaster's cajun is hotter in the bottle or if it really does get hotter when I throw it into a soup.

Greg just brought me leftover homemade chicken soup for lunch, he tossed in the leftover shrimp and asparagus from the salad we had for supper last night and then added the cajun sauce. Well my tummy is stuffed, my mouth is all atingle and my nose is running. Gotta love this feeling.

We spent the weekend doing outdoor shows... I really wish the weather would cooperate a little more on the weekends.. It rained almost every day; and it was a loooooong weekend, Dagnabbit! It was cold, too. So I had to wear my winter splash pants. Brrrr

We had fun though... There is nothing more fun than hurting people with hot sauce. Man, you'll probably read me say it 1000 more times before I'm done... but hoooey! It's fun. This young kid came up to the booth dressed in a Gingerbread Boy costume... (We were at the May Show in Van Kleek Hill, Gingerbread Capital of Ontario) I gave him a taste of the Chili-Chocolate and he swallowed, then he started screaming. It was bleeping hilarious, I thought my sides were going to come unglued, I was laughing so hard. Poor kid. I told him it was hot; he complained "But it's chocolate!" Geez, people, I'm selling hot sauces, what do you expect???

We went to the Three Owls Gallery to see the displays and I met a baby dragon named Basil... He was absolutely the cutest thing. Sitting on his perch, next to the entryway chained by his left claw, he seemed quite content. Crafted from polymer by one Donald Liardi, Basil would make a lovely mascot for Peppermaster... Unfortunately, with a starting price tag of at least $15,000, Basil had to be left at the gallery.

Michael Cartwright, our Art Director and resident right hand man, was showing his work as well, and that was what brought us into the gallery. Well, lo and behold, I was floored when in through the door walked one Alan Gerber! We had the honour of meeting Alan at a Breakfast TV appearance I had arranged for the Peppermaster the day before the NSDCC show opened in Halifax last November. If you haven't heard Alan's Music, do please, go to his website and listen to his music. Bad but not so Bad is a brilliant piece, and one of my favourites. If he's playing anywhere near you, I recommend you check him out. Alan has played with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin and the Great BB King among many others. He's a show worth catching!

I got up late this morning, after sleeping in from a long weekend of work, to discover the results of two interviews that I had recently given sitting in my email box. One is available for viewing on the web, courtesy of my friends and fellow chiliheads, Joe and Linda: That interview can be seen in Joe and Lin's blog's spotlight on our sauces.

The other one is part of a book being written by author Stephanie Chandler. She's using a profile of me to highlight one of the chapters in her new book, The Business Startup Checklist and Planning Guide, soon to be released by Aventine Press.

All in all, though, it's been a pretty good day. And it's only 2:20.

Me out.

Friday, May 20, 2005

In Response to Confusion

Today's blog is in response to the great comments to Boot, Belinda Boot! And Violated, I apologize for the headache. Shall I send some Tylenol?? You'll need it when you see today's Blog ;)

As for Arabia... who loves ya? :p <-- insert graphic of Bart Simpson mooning you here. I couldn't get the graphic to work. hehe

And for Mark...


What confuses you, Mark? That I’m a separatist, that I support Belinda’s crossing the floor or that I’m aware that we’re still part of Canada and thus must live with whoever is in power in Canada I’m a separatist, that’s a future tense. In the meantime, Canada is still the Government. I'm a 6th generation Newfie on my Mom's side, born in St. John's. I'm a pure laine 6th generation Quebecoise on my Father's side and I've grown up with family who has suffered at the hands of the Federal Government's promises; my Uncle Lorne is Cree, but that's not necessarily an issue here. That information in evidence, I am still and will always be Canadian, who chokes up when she sings the Canadian National Anthem at sports events. So, deep in my black little separatist heart there still burns a teeny tiny glimmer of hope that Canada will fix what ails it and I can cease to be a separatist, but I don't have much faith that what ails us will be fixed during my lifetime.

That said…

The problem with any National party agreeing with the Bloc under any circumstances is that furthering the Bloc’s agenda makes sense for the Bloc; any member of the Bloc, but it doesn’t make sense for anyone else; most especially a Conservative. See what the Conservatives fail to comprehend is that in supporting the Bloc in this initiative, they are screwing over their own constituents. I cite the two Newfie conservatives who have just no-voted themselves out of a seat come the next election; and if you think I’m kidding; bear in mind that the reason I am a separatist is because I am an relatively intelligent, educated, capable 39 year old entrepreneur who cannot work in my beloved Newfoundland because the Federal Government has lied to, raped and pillaged my home to the point where there is no work, no money and no future. I won’t go into how important the Atlantic Accord is to me, but it was REALLY important to the political future of the Conservatives in Newfoundland. Did you know that there is a Newfie Separatist Party??? Most Canadians don’t. Anyway, it’s a very BAD thing in my mind that the two Conservative MPs essentially voted against the Atlantic Accord which was 55 years in the making… and all I can say is that THAT is the very reason why Pointy-Head has no idea what’s going on in Canada.

You seem to be able to wrap your head around the idea that the Conservatives haven’t allied themselves with the Bloc because once the Liberals are out of power and the Conservatives are in, the alliance ends. What you fail to recognize, is the same thing that the Conservatives fail to recognize, it is this unholy alliance that on forcing the election that will cause them to lose the soft C seats in Ontario. Hell, half the population of Ontario consists of ex-Quebecers who fled the Bloc! I guarantee you that they would much rather live with the Liberals in power, (the devil you know vs the devil you don’t) than see Quebec separate, that was the same twisted reasoning they used to justify their fleeing Quebec and leaving the Province to the Separatists. It may be wrongful thinking, but it’s the reality of the anti-bloc mentality.

So, whether or not they actually had any discussions with the Bloc or offered the Bloc anything in exchange for the Bloc supporting the downfall of the Grits is moot. What is key, and you can verify this fact by checking all of the Federal election results for the last 20 years, is that there are NO Conservatives in Quebec, and, there are no New Democrats in Quebec. There is Bloc or there is Liberal. So, if in an election one wishes to vote against the Liberals, there is one choice and it isn’t the Conservatives; and THAT my friend is what pointy-head Harper refuses to grasp. So, conversation or no, alliance or no, any attempt to bring down the Liberals is automatically an unholy alliance and an automatic Bloc legitimacy. That’s the reality of it; welcome to Quebec.

Furthermore, everyone in Quebec is well aware of WHO called the Gomery and is well aware of the fact that Chretien and Martin were so at loggerheads, we seem to be the only people who can see that Martin’s incompetence was easily created by Jean Chretien… Is it likely that the Minister of Finance had no idea what was going on with the Sponsorship Program; easiest thing in the world! In fact, I can easily hear Chretien’s statement in my mind… “Just mek sure that espèce de merde Pol Martin hears nutting aboud dis!”… Easy, you have no idea how easy. Add to that Paul Martin’s calling the inquiry… Am I supposed to believe that Paul Martin, who has been reported as the best Finance Minister Canada has ever had, would call an inquiry KNOWING that if something, anything, got out that directly implicated HIM, he’d be ruined, if not brought up on Criminal Charges??? I don’t personally believe that he was as competent a Finance Minister as everyone would like me to believe, but I do find it very difficult to believe that he’s stupid enough to be the manufacturer of his own downfall. This isn’t about replacing the Liberals with ANYONE in Quebec, it’s about replacing the Liberals with the Bloc, and yes, as a Separatist, I’m all for that. BUT, do I think it’s right that we throw good money away on an election to toss out the sitting Government for doing something that I’m not sure they did??? I want to hear what Gomery has to say, and that to me is far more important than supporting the call for an election right now; unholy alliances aside, Bloc supporter or no.

That said. I keep hearing from the rest of Canada how the “Sponsorship Scandal” is the reason that the Bloc is polling as high as it is. Except that, it’s not the scandal that has the Bloc polling so high, it’s the Conservatives blaming US Quebecers for the scandal that has it polling so high! See, pointy-headed Harper throws out these little comments that very smart Gilles Duceppe picks up on and runs with. And one doesn’t spend a week blaming Quebec for the scandal and then simply get to be ignored for making their comments… “Oh, who I really meant to blame is the Liberals, not the Quebecers”… too late, pointy-head. We’re now convinced that Gilles is better for us than the Liberals, and check your previous election results, you haven’t a hope in hell of taking a Federal seat in Quebec, so… So long, it’s been good to know ya. Whatcha want to bet that IF an election were called right now, the Bloc would take a lot of new seats, Liberals would be out and Quebec would be facing another referendum, and who dya think would be blamed… Certainly, the Liberals would be blamed, it’s their Scandal that caused this right? Wrong, the “scandal” had Quebec further from separation than Quebec has been since I moved here in 83. Having worked in inter-provincial relations, you are in a unique position of seeing what I saw, that aside from all the thieving and Liberal pocket lining, the program WAS WORKING, DogDammit! And the fact that it’s been discredited makes me laugh. Especially since the man doing the discrediting of it, was the most vocally anti-separatist politico going. Mark, you may not fear for the future of Canada or worry about it separating, but you should. ESPECIALLY if pointy-heads like Harper move into 44 Sussex. And, fwiw, I agree wholeheartedly, someone has to answer for the scandal; but on one thing we disagree; the people who had a hand in this AND only those people should be the ones to answer. And unless Paul Martin is implicated, I personally think it’s premature to hang him for the crime that I believe he’s been set up to take the fall for. Ergo, Gomery MUST be allowed to continue, the real culprits must be held accountable; but you and I both know that neither the Bloc nor the Conservatives care whether it’s Paul Martin or Jean Chretien who takes the fall, they want the seats. And since Jean Chretien has conveniently taken his leave from the house; short of criminal charges being laid, it won’t be he. Hanging the next guy to hold the office on behalf of Chretien is simply wrong. And that is why holding an election at this time is soooooo wrong. Gomery must be allowed to fulfill his commission.

As for Stronach’s motives; We’re not going to quibble about whether or not the move was because of her personal politics or her ambition, at the very least her timing was immaculate and her rewards… Any thinking Canadian knows that these things were automatically considerations; she’s a politician for chrissakes. And whether or not she pays a price for her choices, remains to be seen… Worse has happened. I truly believe that she agrees with me about two things; that Martin hasn’t yet been implicated and closure on Gomery is required; whether or not it implicates or vindicates Martin and 2 ANY alliance that furthers the Bloc agenda is a vote against Canada, verbal, written or simply implied. And whether or not I care that Canada stays together, Belinda does; and if you don’t think that what she did saved Canada won’t matter, because she’ll go down in history for it. As for the “she did it for personal furtherance of her political career”; if YOU were a politician and YOU were going to jump ship, wouldn’t YOU do it in the most positively rewarding, flashiest way possible??? Yes, she could have gone independent, yes, she could have simply quit altogether, but instead what she did was highlight the fact that Gomery needs to be played out and gained real power for herself in reference to that. I for one really really want to know whether Paul Martin really is a lying thieving piece of dirt or just incompetent… and for years old personal reasons, I’m really hoping for the latter. Of course there is that third option where Chretien set him up, Martin was duped and is totally innocent of the scandal. I’m still hoping for the incompetence, but only Gomery can tell me the truth.

As for the NDP throwing money around, do you really think that little pet project is going to pass? It’s not an auto wash as the Conservatives would like everyone to believe, but it was a required budget in order to get the NDP to pass it. That said, I personally felt that it was a political coup. The whole job of a minority Government is to make deals and arrangements with the opposing parties in order to govern effectively, and history tells us that some of the BEST results for Canada have occurred when a minority Government worked with the opposing parties.

It was a good budget, because it would pass with the full support of the NDP. It was a good budget because it allowed the Government to stand. And it was a good budget because there was no way that Harper OR the Bloc were going to support the original budget… And finally, it was a good budget because when it passed, it would allow the Gomery to continue.

Harper and Duceppe don’t give a shit who is responsible for the scandal they simply want the power that they believe an election will give them. Duceppe WILL gain seats, Harper, I’m not so sure; especially after the way he and his caucus have behaved over Stronach’s crossing the floor.

Still confused?

Me out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Boot, Belinda, Boot!!!

Wow... Sometimes being a newshound is a PITA. Other times, it's the most fun thing in the world to be; like today! But before I get to the real topic of my post today, I do have to fill you, dear reader, in on some details, otherwise, you'll not have the slightest clue what I'm talking about.

Anyone following Canadian politics lately knows that over the past several weeks to couple of months, something called the Gomery Commission has messed up a nice quiet Liberal minority Government.

The Gomery Commission is essentialy a trial being presided over by Superior Court of Quebec Justice John Gomery. Although, he claims it's not a trial, it's being handled as if it were one. The point of it is to discover what was going on with a whack of money that was mishandled by the last Federal Liberal Government, led by ex-Prime Minister Jean Chretien, and whose Minister of Finance was the current Prime Minister Paul Martin.

The gyst of the whole scandal is that in 1995, the Quebec Government held a referendum which had they won, would have led to the Province of Quebec separating from Canada. The referendum failed. Barely. Jean Chretien and his Caucus decided that something needed to be done to keep Quebec in Confederation (That's what we Canucks call our union of Provinces). And as such the Sponsorship Scandal, I mean Program was born.

The Sponsorship Program was supposed to spend money on advertising and programs that would help convince Quebecers that being part of Canada was a good thing. And as a Newfie separatist living in Quebec, I can personally tell you that it was working. Before the Scandal broke, Quebec was further from separation than it has been since I moved here in 1983.

The problem with Sponsorship, the "scandal" part, is that the Liberal Government took advantage of the fact that suddenly a very large sum of money was put into their hands to vaguely do whatever the needed to do to help further the ideal of keeping Quebec in Canada and this vis-à-vis Quebecers. They absconded with and essentially stole money from the coffers of the Sponsorship Scandal and deliberately didn't keep any records.

So, they launched Gomery to find out the who, whats, wheres and whens... Greed is essentially the why; so that's not important.

Anyway to bring this messy little filibuster around to what is happening today...

The Leader of the Opposition, Steven Harper, the pointy-headed one that I refer to in May 11th's blog; a Confidence Vote, announced today that he is going to back the Liberal minority Government's budget that until yesterday was his motivation for bringing down Paul Martin's Government.

More background...

The pointy headed twit, as I mentioned on May 11th, had decided to climb into bed with the Bloc Quebecois. Now under normal circumstances, this wouldn't bother me, I'm a separatist to begin with, so anything that supports kicking out the Federal Government, I'm all for and I voted bloc in every Federal Election I've been eligible to vote in for exactly this reason.

But... and this is important to understand, Steven Harper is the biggest opponent of the Bloc; has no difficulty labeling Gilles Duceppe, (the leader of the Bloc) a traitor, but then on another day, cozies up to him in Parliament as if they were of a mind, with the simple goal of bringing down the Liberal Government. What's most interesting about that, is that the Conservatives (the Opposition) are just that, conservative, they are blue, blue, blue, right wing, anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-human rights, and borderline KKK... well, not all of them, but enough of them anyway; the Bloc on the other hand is very left wing, pro-gay, pro-choice, pro-human rights and anti-KKK, AND horror of horrors, their ultimate goal is to gain enough power in Quebec, to separate the Province from the Country.

Now what pointy-headed Harper fails to realize is that the separation issue is a burning desire of the Bloc, and anything that will move the Bloc closer to that day is a good thing. Thus, the idea that the Bloc will climb into bed with the Conservatives is not only tenable, if it works, it's a great idea for them. Bringing down the house is ok, so long as it's done for the right reasons... ie, breaking up the country. Bringing down the house, because you think an election will make you Prime Minister, especially when your ally is your worst enemy, is wrong... just plain asshole in the rough, wrong.

And Harper doesn't see that.

That said.

Yesterday, front-bench Conservative Belinda Stronach (hence the title of this blog) crossed the floor yesterday, to sit in a plum Cabinet post within the Liberal Caucus.


Now I've seen some mind-benders in my time, but this one takes the cake. Belinda Stronach is a die-hard Conservative. She actually ran (and almost won) to become the leader of the Conservative party less than a year ago. So HER crossing the floor, especially at this time, is a really big deal.

Needless to say, the absolute dearth of graciousness on the parts of certain Conservative members, most specifically those of the male gender, has been quite overt. They're all over there whining; she did it for power; she's a "dipstick"; she's whored herself to the Liberals for power and it goes on.

What's most telling is watching this from a position of not really caring how it furthers the Liberal agenda, I can easily realize how easily their reactions to Belinda's stroll, damages THEIR agenda.

Check this out... Here's a Party who for all intents and purposes believes that the Bloc is chockful of traitors, yet doesn't mind climbing into bed with them because they mistakenly believe it will further their agenda... ie, bring down Paul Martin's minority Liberal Government. (With me so far?) Now here in Quebec, they don't mind, because any anti-Liberal vote in Quebec is a Pro-Bloc vote. Mostly because the Cons in Quebec are a bunch of butt-heads who are anti-Quebec and partly because the NDP is virtually non-existent.

Well, what the Conservatives are not seeing; or at least the pointy-headed Harper isn't seeing is that by getting into bed with the Bloc, he's furthering the Bloc's agenda and jeopardizing his own career. You can't go climb into bed with the man who wants to destroy Canada if you're a National Party, the two ideas DO NOT go hand in hand. They just don't.

So here is the pointy-headed Harper trying to bring down the Government by doing exactly what Canadians are horrified of; giving the Bloc validity. So, wonder of wonders, Belinda's good sensibilities get the better of her and there she goes and boots across the floor. But now, Harper and his cronies start whining about her doing this for ambition... What??? How daft is that, of course there is ambition involved, she's a politician.

So here's some info that these pointy-headed conservatives aren't recognizing...

1. Belinda refuses to get into bed with the Bloc. That's a good thing.

2. Steven Harper realizes that he doesn't have a hope in hell of bringing down the Liberals now, so he's going to support the Liberal budget; hypcrite... why didn't he do that BEFORE Belinda crossed the floor??? LMAO

3. The problem that arises over the Conservatives suddenly supporting the Liberal budget is that in deciding to do so, they aren't going to support the good budget, which is the one that got negotiated and doctored into a better budget by the NDP AND the one that Stronach's riding wants supported, but instead, they're going to support the bad budget, the original one! THE ONE THAT PUT THEM INTO BED WITH THE BLOC!!!!

I could go on all day, but ultimately, Harper and his blue Conservatives can whine and bitch and complain all they want, they can be as sleazy as they want calling Belinda names and insulting her with their nasty little inuendo, but any thinking Canadian, and there are fortunately a lot of us, knows that Belinda by booting across the House floor to sit in the Liberal Cabinet, has furthered her career, saved Canada and killed Harper's future in one sweet little political coup.

Well done girl!

Public Speaking from the Pit of my Stomach

The worst feeling in the whole world, I think, is standing in front of a large group of people and wanting nothing more than to simply throw up or faint. Either will do. I'd gladly accept one over the other if it would make me feel better. At that moment, footlights shining in my eyes, stand back and mind your shoes. I feel I've been lucky, because, I haven't thrown up yet. Thankfully, although, sometimes it feels like I can, I haven't fainted yet either.

Stage fright is normal, it's natural and suffering from it puts me in good company. The likes of Peter O'toole and Lawrence Olivier suffered from it as well. Composer and pianist Igor Stravinsky was so overcome during a performance in 1923 that his mind went blank. The conductor had to sing it for Stravinsky to get going again. Kate Hudson, Judy Garland and even Barbara Streisand get stage fright. So why should I be different?

I had to laugh as I was sitting there counting the butterflies flitting about my belly, one of the speakers who went before me said that public speaking became easier and easier the more often he did it. I disagree. My body disagrees. That guy and anyone else who thinks it gets easier has no idea what stage fright really is. They can't. It doesn't get easier. It's just as hard as the first time I got in front of an audience and frankly, after all these years, I don't believe it will ever get any easier.

I began my speech with "I have to warn you all that I suffer from extreme stage fright, so if I happen to throw up, you'll know why." Then I proceeded to give a brilliant solliloquoy that came from the heart and lit up the room. I'm so proud of me.

Then I returned to my speaker's chair on the side of the stage delicately sat down and drank a gallon of water to drown the bugs. Phew.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Great Bam Bam!

To begin today, this blog is not now, nor will ever be about the Flintstones.

FTS asked me to sit in on an advisory board and as I was responding to it, I had opportunity to think of Emeril.

You know who Emeril is; don't you? Anyone who watches the Food Network must know who Emeril is.

Well, Emeril Lagasse is a well-known chef. He's created a dynasty for himself, if you will, of restaurants. He's got two cooking shows on the Food Network and a pretty cool band. He's a famous chef and I used to love watching his show. Even though his verbal "Bam Bam" (which is what he yells when he sprinkles something into a recipe) bugs the hell out of me; it is his signature, after all. Which is why I call him the Great Bam Bam. Anyway, focus the emphasis here on "I used to love watching his show"... That is, until I tasted his grocery store line of hot sauces.

Kack! he built a dynasty on that???

What has happened to Nawlins???

How in Dog's name does the Big Easy, famous the world over for culinary creations of splendour and glory, give birth to the likes of "BAM!"??? I ask you??? And was it really necessary to add Yellow #5 and Blue # 1 to the Jalapeno sauce??? Yuck.

All I can say is that the only explanation for what is being offered for sale in our grocery stores with the Great Bam Bam's mug on the label is a sad legacy to commercialism. The Great Bam Bam has lost control.

Hmmm, I wonder, if the Great Bam Bam were to make the Jalapeno sauce without the funky glow-in-the-dark colouring; would it sell as well? Would he get more repeat business??? Does he use those colours in his restaurants???

Worse, when WE create our grocery store line, is the Peppermaster going to have to resort to glow-in-the-dark colouring as well??? Man, I hope not.

On that note... For supper tonight, we're having pork chops slathered in Telicherry Black and barbecued, corn (on the cob???) and a fresh tomato salsa -- we've got just enough of that curried pineapple left over to mix in it. Man, I wish Ell was coming for dinner, he'd know just the right wine to serve with it.

Me out.

Friday, May 13, 2005

More Peppers and an Apology!

So the Peppermaster(R) basically completed the new table top sauces today... I can't wait until he says "GO!" I've got a country worth of tables to rid of "T" sauce!

I've gotta tell you, working for BPFI is a marketing specialist's dream come true. I can't believe I wasted all those years in financial services! Ok... I know they weren't wasted, but hell, hot sauce is a lot more fun than mutual funds and financial planning!

I had to switch back to the Peppermaster's Cajun for lunch today. I'd been sucking on Kato's Crawfish Festival sauce for the past couple of weeks and it's gone. So when I found myself with a cheese sandwich for lunch, I actually felt at a loss... Sigh. It's not that Kato's is anywhere near as hot, so don't get me wrong, I love them both, but Peppermaster's is just that much more expensive, sigh.

Oh... the apology... Here's where I deftly change the subject.

I finally got tired of how slow my computer has been and couldn't find a backup utility on my comp to save my life... OMG, I used to back up once a week before the fire. Here I've been relying on the restore function... How sad is that? Anyway, without a backup, I started moving everything to the LaCie. Amazingly, having taken all that STUFF off my hard drive, it suddenly has room to spin... And it's working again... Whoopeee! I didn't have to format.

What I did have to do though was FILING. I HATE FILING! I REALLY REALLY REALLY HATE FILING. No, I do, it's not just dislike, it's hate. It is too! Anyway, it's done now.

I've defragged, created a restore point, and now I've got a nice clean smoothly spinning hard drive... Which is really cool, and makes me giggle again especially since Violated is over there formatting her hard drive once again. hehehe. <-- Ok, I know, that was a maniacal cackle, but I can't help it, because every time I've had to format, it's been out of absolute necessity... Violated does it in lieu of squishing a stress ball for Dog's sake!! Except this time... her font obsession got her... but nevermind that's hers to tell.

So, guess what I found while I was doing the filing... I found a Canuck's apology to the US.

I didn't write it. But, I could have. I haven't the slightest clue who did. But after Jon Stewart being quoted today on FTS' blog... The spiteful one of my multiple personalities felt I absolutely had to post it. hehehe

Jon's quote? " I've been to Canada, and I've always gotten the impression that I could take the country over in about two days."

So... here it is; the Apology. Jon Stewart and FTS... This is for you guys:

On behalf of Canadians everywhere I'd like to offer an apology to the United States of America. We haven't been getting along very well recently and for that, I am truly sorry.

I'm sorry we called George Bush a moron. He is a moron but, it wasn't nice of us to point it out. If it's any consolation, the fact that he's a moron shouldn't reflect poorly on the people of America. After all it's not like you actually elected him.

I'm sorry about our softwood lumber. Just because we have more trees than you doesn't give us the right to sell you lumber that's cheaper and better than your own.

I'm sorry we beat you in Olympic hockey. In our defense I guess our excuse would be that our team was much, much, much, much better than yours. I'm sorry we burnt down your white house during the war of 1812. I notice you've rebuilt it! It's Very Nice.

I'm sorry about your beer. I know we had nothing to do with your beer but, we Feel your Pain.

I'm sorry about our waffling on Iraq. I mean, when you're going up against a crazed dictator, you wanna have your friends by your side. I realize it took more than two years before you guys pitched in against Hitler, but that was different. Everyone knew he had weapons.

And finally on behalf of all Canadians, I'm sorry that we're constantly apologizing for things in a passive-aggressive way which is really a thinly veiled criticism. I sincerely hope that you're not upset over this. We've seen what you do to countries you get upset with.

Thank you.

Me out.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Beyond weird...

How long have we had the Bermudian pepper spice? How long have I been selling this and only today for the first time, I pop it into my lunch.

It was sweet, but it's not hot.

Non-chili-heads are such wusses.

Me out.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A confidence vote...

I sent this email to Stephen Harper, leader of the Canadian Conservative Party today...



I don't like your politics on a good day. I don't like that you think there is nothing wrong with supporting the lies of the American Government or of stripping the Constitutional rights of gays or women. And for what it's worth, as long as you're behind these ideals, I will never vote for anyone in your party.

Don't kid yourself, Mr. Harper, about what is going on right now. Yes, we're annoyed about the truth coming out during the Gomery Commission. Yes, we're annoyed to learn that the Liberal party was involved in the sponsorship scandal. But what you aren't aware of is that until you started whining that the Government needs to be thrown out over this, Quebec was never further from separation, and you have played right into Gilles Duceppe's hands.

Whatever you may think in your pointy little head, No, we are not behind you in this election call, you're behaving like a sore loser and you're simply going to waste a great deal of money better spent on improving this country, not on furthering your PM-wannabe agenda.

Furthermore, I can't for the life of me understand how you believe that you are going to garner the support of upset liberal supporters by crawling into bed with Gilles Duceppe. All you are helping do here in Quebec is earn the Bloq more seats. You're certainly not about to win them.

You're one sad, sorry excuse for a separatist.



I called him "Sir".

Me out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Politics; is that what they call it?

It's kind of funny watching a bunch of lying sleazy cheating bastards compete to see which lying sleazy cheating bastard is going to come out on top.

And the funny thing is... Society seems to be alright with it because they keep electing the scumbags and scumbags keep getting ahead.

You can go through life in North America, literally making a career out of ripping people off, pocketing money that isn't yours and nobody seems to care.

They call it politics?

What is this world coming to anyway?

Me out.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Hot sauce Imposters...

There oughta be a law!

Here I am going through life thinking that all those taste-alike hot sauces are made with Dave's hot sauce as their base.

Until now...

I just found out, they aren't made with Dave's; heck, Dave's isn't even made with Dave's.

They're all made with

But wait, they don't only make Dave's, they also make Melinda's, Goya and Jamaican Choice.

I don't currently have a bottle of either of the other three, but dya think their bottles might say "made in Costa Rica"?

If I weren't so stunned, I'd be ticked.

Imposters the lot of 'em. Hmmmph!

I suppose I should have known better, but... sigh.

Me out.

Can I do this without a website???


When the game started, I needed a simple little website, a shopping cart, our story, a place to post recipes, product reviews and maybe even a little blog, where our spice club members could post and chat about all things hot pepper.

Then it turned into an html website, a php shopping cart, a forum owned by someone else and a deep pile of things I want on the website, but can't put up there myself because I can't write php. Then the web designer disappeared. I don't know why he decided to stop talking to me, last thing he said to me was I'll call you in 20 minutes. Heck, he'd been so sick for such a long time, I thought he'd died. Well, I'm glad he didn't but either way, I'm now about 6 months behind on my web site. Grrrr. Well, it's over three weeks, longest damned 20 minutes in the history of the world, and he still hasn't called. I called him, left messages, sent emails... nada.

When he finally showed up on MSN, my son told him that we thought he was dead, he simply laughed. I still haven't heard from him.

Sounds like a personal problem, as Dad or my hubby would say. And... so it is.

Ah well, back to where I originally wanted to be with the website design, and I have the right person working on pulling the whole thing together for me. Hopefully now, a year later, it'll all come together and my site will look and work the way we want.

And if it doesn't... I'm going back to good old mail order.

Wish me luck.

Me out.