Sunday, December 21, 2014

Tarot Yule Blog Hop 2014 - The Joy of Gifting

So, here we are 2014, holiday season at hand and I make the crazy volunteer bid to write a Yule blog hop!

I am not sane. Surely, nobody this busy, of sane mind would participate in a blog hop.

Well, here I am doing one. Go figure.

So, to begin with, this is one of those Tarot posts. Because, well, it's a Tarot Yule Blog Hop.

The idea of the hop is to do a reading for the season, with several distinct ideas about gifting. Something I feel VERY strongly at sharing solely based on the gifts I have been given repeatedly and honorifically again and again and I am so grateful for it. This blog hop is an opportunity for me to share that feeling of blessed gratitude. After all, THAT is what gifting is all about.

Maya Angelou, now resting in peace, left us with this gift of gratitude;

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

If in giving you a gift, I can fill your heart with love and your eyes with tears, then I have successfully shared the great gift of gratitude that I live on a daily basis.

I know that as you read my blogs, I'm found discussing all sorts of things, and I don't think I've done a spread here before, but today, I gift you this spread.

If you're a newbie to my blog, welcome. You can read my Tarot profile by clicking here (although it is out of date). The rest of you, carry on reading, we're going to see what Melody has to share on this wonderful issue.

Here is the spread in question.

And today, Melody is using the Gilded Tarot, my favourite deck from Ciro Marchetti.

Here are the cards...

“What gift would you give the world if you could?”

The Three of swords. A card much feared and hated by many because it expresses the difficult to deal with energies of sadness and loss. The gift of this card is the lesson of freedom that comes from sharing one's sorrow and embracing it by transforming it into love. The gift of acceptance that this card brings embraces the idea of coming to grips with life, no matter the difficulty, so that one can move forward, solid, loving and healing. We are creators, without embracing all of our emotions, we leave our strengths and solidity behind.

So, I give the World the gift of Acceptance.

“What gift would you want from the World?”

The Fool. New beginnings, new adventure, new ideas, new, new, new... Freedom means that every day is an opportunity for changing that which has gone before. We are creators, every day we can recreate our entire world in our own image. Whatever we wish to see in this world, that is what we will see. The Gift I would want from the world; the ability to take advantage of the freedom to start anew.

So the gift I would want from the world is Freedom.

“What gift have you gotten that has given you joy?”

The Six of Cups. This is a card about blessings and plenty. Memories of great joy and bliss and contentment. Sunshiny afternoons and green pastures, stretching lazily in the sun like a cat. The gift of joy given to me through these cards shows in this card. I feel the warm loving energy of all that is, and all that ever was in this card. And I have absolutely been living the gift of bliss that Melody has taught me through these cards. Today, more especially than any day previously, and the best part of it is the perpetual perfection of it's threat to continue to always get better and better as time goes on.

So, the gift is my commitment to seeking bliss and the outstanding gratitude for the blessings I am receiving as a direct result.

I must pause in the reading of the cards here, as I starting this reading on Tuesday of the week preceding Yule. Before I read the following two cards, I experienced a personal drama in my life of epic proportions, the sort of which I have come to know herald a major change in my physical direction and pathway.

And so it is with Yule, each year. It brings the end of a cycle and begins a new one. Every year is a gift. I didn't always feel that way. Once upon a time my most dreaded time of the year was Christmas. I have spent so so so many years in pain and in tears over the awfulness that Christmas has always been. A time of careful planning and ridiculous expectations all so that people who don't spend time with each other usually can get together and catch up on what they're missing in these other people's lives.

I end a year of working with the power of myself with the destruction of piece of my heart that I can never get back. Trust is like that. It takes a lifetime to build and single moment to dash it to pieces. When such things happen, it is a message from the Universe that your time here is done. That this phase is over and it is time to move on. There is melancholy, pain even sometimes in such growth, but I have learned to trust Melody longtime hence to guide me along a golden pathway towards the spirit of love and light that we all are and can become in this lifetime.

So even before I read these last two cards, I experience a profound sense of gratitude for this lesson in the dying days of the year. And I step forward with a sense of reticence but great joyful gratitude that the coming gift of a new path is before me.

I return you now to my regularly scheduled blog hop.

"What gift have you given that has brought you joy?"

Three of Wands. Here is a card that denotes a phase that requires forward movent and growth, a journey of spiritual significance awaiting he who embarks. It is inspired, and offers a promise of completion worthy of the voyage. This speaks to the gift that I have been given in learning how to release the past in my existence and to maintain my focus on the present, even through some pretty trying situations. Knowing from my experience that there is always an adventure on the other side of every moment and being able to share that adventure with people through my cards, brings me great joy.

So the gift that has brought me the greatest joy is my ability to gift the adventure of life.

What is one last thing you'd like to share this season?

Seven of Swords. Here the energy is that of one walking away with the best energies, and there is the remorseful sadness that not energies will move forward, perhaps lost, perhaps never again to be seen. But the sun is coming through the clouds and even without those things, it's going to be okay. This card in response to this question reminds me of the Bible Verse/Pete Seeger Song Ecclesiastes 3/Turn Turn Turn.

So the gift is one of seasonal renewal. As the year ends and the new year begins, go forward in peace knowing that all is well, and everything happens in its own time, whatever the reason, t'is but for a season.

Happy Yule.


Saturday, November 01, 2014

Project Respect: Yes Means Yes

I had a lot of people ask me the last couple of days; Are you ok?

I'm fine.

What is not fine is the blind hypocrisy, self-endangerment and gross negligence that people seem to NOT MIND living with, simply, because it is the way it is.



I've been called a feminist as if it's a bad thing. I've been an equal rights fighter since I can remember being something of value in this world. Recently I've been called a "slut shamer", as if it's not okay to ask a victim to call out their accuser.

I'm sorry that SOB hurt you.

But if you don't say anything... Who does he hurt next?



The CBC heard rumours, inklings, suggestions. Everyone knew about Jian. If you didn't and you made eyes at him, you were warned.


I'm a bitch for thinking, SOMEBODY could have, should have said something.

Why didn't they say anything?

Oh, lots of reasons, he's a BMOC, he's important and I'm not, my life will be destroyed if people find out, I don't want to go through the hassle, I don't want to relive the crime...

It goes on, I've received example upon example of valid reasons why DOZENS of women were VIOLATED by Jian Ghomeshi and yet, kept mum publicly.

But, suddenly, he's the country's biggest sex offender and I'm a slut shamer for asking why everyone has remained so silent on this issue.


The most common story line is that there were four women who knew it, and had been victims of it, and were willing to anonymously claim it were so, yet none had pressed charges or were willing to. So nobody knew, and it came as a big surprise to everyone right? The only reason we even know about this is because Jesse Brown tweeted that he was working on a big story. Jian thought it was about him. So, he posted, shock of shocks, his story.

And now suddenly EVERYONE knows... Like it had previously been this heavily guarded dark secret that nobody knew about.

Except, not really. It turns out that the CBC's beloved Jian Ghomeshi was a bit of a freaky deaky in the bedroom and EVERYONE knew it, at least MANY people knew it and said nothing; repeatedly, and this, for years!

So, what did the CBC see that pissed them off so much that they'd distance themselves from the story so quickly and suddenly without much fanfare which to MY eyes, appeared to be them allowing Jian to just walk away without nary a word? They haven't said. But something tells me it was Jesse Brown's story. Only neither the Star nor the CBC could say anything.

So, they announced on Sunday that the split was permanant, Jesse Brown tweeted that he had a huge story breaking in the morning, Jian assumed that story was about him and so, Jian published his statement to try and control the dialogue or at least to temper the fallout.

Which, btw, to anyone thinking clearly is corroborated by girl 4 who actually filed a complaint with the CBC. He seems to be using his aggressive BDSM style to pick up his dates. This is obvious to me in how COMMON KNOWLEDGE Jian's freaky deakiness was.

What is also interesting to the situation is that media keeps talking about the BDSM world and their "boundaries" and "lines in the sand" and "safewords" as if they were a big deal.

Except nobody saying such really is IN that BDSM world nor do they have the slightest clue about how THAT world is no different from THIS world in that it is replete with misogyny.

What I'd like to know the answer to National Broadcaster, CBC and blogger cum reporter, Jesse Brown, is WHAT DID JIAN GHOMESHI DO WHEN THE GIRLS SAID "no" or "stop"?

Because one girl has already testified that when THEY didn't like each other's reaction to his BDSM come on, she was put into a cab.

It seems like he honoured her "no".

And THEREIN lies the rub.

THIS is the real reason that the women didn't report this or file a complaint, I think, because there is a very real actuality that once she said "stop", he stopped. So, here is a situation where a girl has gotten in over her head. "I didn't think he was THAT freaky deaky", is a common refrain.

And we'll keep hearing that line. "we didn't know it was that bad". But it wasn't about the sex he was having, it is about "consent" and everyone is making a big deal about the fact that Jian didn't get consent.

But didn't he?

It's a boundary problem.

In the BDSM world, it is rather common at a party for an admitted submissive to be able to walk through a room without being dominated by admitted doms in the room. Not because the submissive actual consents to it, but because without an explicit, "hands off", it is assumed that anything goes, UNLESS and UNTIL she says no.

And it's ass backwards. No puts the onus on the recipient of an unwanted come on to stop it. And the onus should be on the offerer of the come on to GET PERMISSION first.

Somebody said to me, "what if it was a kiss, does someone need consent for that?". And the answer is yes.

But we don't do that... boundary problem.

In Victorian times we did. If you spied a girl you liked. You'd trip yourself six ways of Sunday to find out who she was so you could get an introduction to her. One didn't just speak to a woman without an introduction.

Now, one has difficulty walking down the street without some sort of a "come on". Pretty lady, gorgeous hair, a look, a stare. I've had men walk into telephone poles from staring at me rather than watch where they were walking.

I had utter strangers come up to me while I was pregnant and touch my belly! I've had men use the come on line "Would you like to go back to my place and fuck", MORE THAN ONCE. And my brother used to joke that this was HIS pick up line. When I asked if that didn't get him a slap in the face, he replied, "usually".

Rumours and warnings about Jian have been common knowledge at the CBC for what looks like a decade. The insinuation here is that they didn't know how bad he was.

And that seems to be the crux of it. Boundary problem.

Because we live in a society where it's okay for people to make passes at total strangers. Because we live in a society where it's an unwritten rule that it's okay to do WHATEVER you like so long as when you are told to stop, you stop.

We tell our kids, be careful, so you don't get bullied, we tell ourselves, lock the doors so we don't get robbed and we tell our women, just say no and it will protect you from rape.

But it doesn't.

It doesn't stop it. Only teaching people not to do these things teaches them not to do things.

If you want something, you ask. If your answer is yes, you get it, if it's no, you don't. You don't get to take it first and then find out if it's okay to take, but we DO behave like that when the "thing" being taken is a someone's personal space.

Poor Jian Ghomeshi. I don't know if the answer to that question is going to come down in his favour or not. He's been railroaded into being outed (accidentally, he claims) by Jesse Brown, and the CBC. And voila, here he is in all his BDSM freaky deakiness.

But is he a sexual predator? Society says he is, because he's hit, kicked and bit his "partners", but the answer to sexual predator ends up being predicated by society to that answer; what did he do when she said stop? I'll let the cops ask that question now, for that's where the actual predatorship begins.

So, assuming Ghomeshi really did stop when told to. He's not a sexual predator by society rules. Society is putting the onus on the victim to stop the "attack" after it starts, rather than putting the onus on the "attacker" to get permission before hand.

Maybe if people would ASK PERMISSION first, rather than last, we'd see a lot fewer "victims" in our society afraid to say anything even though it's the elephant in the room.

If I have offended you with my stance on this whole Jian Ghomeshi thing because YOU have been a victim of sexual violence, then you have misplaced your offense. I did not offend you, nor did Jian Ghomeshi. Society has offended you.

And we need to fix that.

So, how do we fix it? Resolve the boundary problem.

I read ever so recently about a movement called Yes Means Yes.

There is surprisingly zero ambiguity to the word "yes" and it creates a very legitimate boundary to have to cross in order to say, "I had consent". It requires a "yes".

I invite you to join me in sharing this concept with every woman you know and you who are parents of boys, teach them too.

You see, I've been in a situation where saying "no" wasn't easy, because it was a passionate moment, and had something not happened to interrupt that moment, something I wouldn't normally do might have been allowed to occur simply because I was unable at that moment to say "no" or "stop" or anything else for that matter.

So, had that moment progressed, there would have been an "escalation" that I couldn't stop and I certainly wasn't ready for.

Had it happened, his defence... She didn't say "no" or "stop".

And his defence could need to be... She said "yes".

It's called "Project Respect" and it makes sense. Only "yes" means "yes".

Thursday, May 08, 2014

An open letter to the CFIB and the Canadian people on boycotting or hating on the CFIB

My name is Tina Brooks. My husband and I own a small batch specialty co-pack business in Rigaud, Quebec and we are proud members of the CFIB.

I am writing this letter because Canada's labour federations, Press Progress and the Broadbent Institute are actively undermining the CFIB because they have at one time or another been on opposite sides of the fence from a position that the CFIB has represented on the part of its' membership.

Let me tell you about MY experience with the CFIB. When Brooks Pepperfire Foods opened our doors in 2003, we received a visit from our account rep who congratulated us on opening our business and asked if we were familiar with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. My first husband's company had been members, but I personally didn't know anything more than that about the organization.

She explained to me that the CFIB is a non-profit, non-partisan lobbying group who polls their membership in order to present their needs and demands to government. She explained that, because we are members, our points of view would gain access to government that we ourselves could not gain.

The organization also provided a network of small business owners in similar situations to the ones we were about to go through to garner information and support from, if we were so inclined. We have been offered, help and support in running our business and that has been invaluable.

I have an account online that I rarely if ever visit, but when I do, I find useful information for business owners. There is never a discussion of politics or what which political parties are doing unless there is an election. Then, the CFIB provides me with videos of each of the party leaders (all of them, even the backbenchers and independents) and interviews them on the topics they've polled the membership to ask.

Every spring, about this time, my local CFIB representative comes into my shop and spends at least an hour with me, going over what the CFIB is lobbying and has successfully lobbied over the last year, and then proceeds to walk me through a series of polls designed to glean my input as a small business owner. She has never discussed politics with me, although, that is one of my favourite things to discuss. She is very careful not to lead me when going through the poll with me, and she has never expressed any political opinions to me, ever.

Currently the head spokesperson and mouthpiece for the CFIB is a fellow named Dan Kelly. His job is to take the compiled results of these membership polls and to present them, not only to government, but to media as well. He is currently the target, it seems, because of a recent CBC interview discussing the Temporary Foreign Workers' Program currently in the news.

Recently, the Federal Government and several business owners across Canada got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. People and governments are like that. They like to cheat until they get caught. For me it's really annoying because the lessons life teaches are to be honest and tell the truth, but people and especially governments don't do that.

So suddenly, there we were with a few business owners, cheating on the TFWP and the insinuation is that the group cheating are members of the CFIB. So, when the Tory Government in it's crash and burn sort of tactic blankly shut down the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, upsetting an apple cart that had been in place since the 70s, small business owners who ARE members of the CFIB went to our lobby group to complain.

Well, I imagine that some of the TFWP's participants, less than 10% of the membership of the CFIB were suddenly upset because they had employees who were on this program who had been summarily cut off, regardless of whether they were legitimate users of the program or not.

But the ship had sailed. So, Dan Kelly, as is his job, expressed to the media that there was a blanket error being made by the Federal Government in cancelling this program access without individually determining whether the businesses using the TFWP were legitimate or not.

Then there came the media uproar.

Dan Kelly was interviewed by Evan Solomon at the CBC and all hell broke loose.

I invite you to watch that interview here:

Suddenly I was reading Facebook posts and Twitter feeds calling for the boycott of the CFIB membership. Interestingly, at the same time, someone lit upon Dan Kelly's comment that Canadians weren't exactly lining up for fast food service jobs or to clean hotel rooms.

The Canadian Labour Congress, an employee at the CRA and several other Labour groups were up in arms and claiming that the CFIB was biased, that the head of the CFIB had called Canadians "lazy" and that the entire membership of the organization were Tory stooges.

I was taken aback and more than a little surprised. I'm not one to join groups that are partisan or supportive of an anti-human platform. So I was suddenly required to take a really close look at the organization we had aligned with to see if they really were as horrible as people were saying they were.

I spent all morning digging and reading and digging some more. I went onto the CFIB membership website and I started reading and reading and reading. I went so far as to actually do two CFIB surveys, not because I particularly wanted my opinion known on either topic, but rather because I wanted to see if the questions were leading or partisan in any way.

I went browsing the internet to see WHO was talking about the CFIB and what they were saying.

I discovered several things.

1. Dan Kelly is the mouth piece for a non-partisan organization that expressly represents the interests of its' membership which it learns through unbiased non-partisan polling methods.

2. The biggest, most vocal detractors were of two ilk. Tory and Labour/NDP supporters. It seemed to me that I found no Liberal voices in the mix and in fact, discovered that the Liberals were liking the CFIB because the membership liked their stance vis-a-vis the 2013 Ontario Liberal Government's budget; iow, they supported it. So, if anyone might be accused of carrying the CFIB's bias, it might be the Liberals, but no. Supposedly the capitalist pig members of the CFIB are all Tory supporters who hate Canadians because they're all lazy.

3. Although many anti-Tory partisans were claiming that the CFIB is a Tory stooge or that it was a pro-Tory group, I found zero evidence of that. Instead what I did find were NDP and Labour supporters spouting talking points designed to denigrate the CFIB because they didn't support Ontario Labour's desire for business to increase their employment costs by creating private pension plans for their employees. I guess Labour doesn't really understand small business. Especially when we are well aware that pension plans are the business of government, not small businesses.

4. There is absolutely nothing anywhere that would lead any thinking person to believe that the CFIB is directly supporting ANY government faction, unless you listen to the spin of those who would have you believe that the CFIB is supportive of their measures, when only certain members of the organization in fact support those groups.

5. The CFIB goes to a great deal of trouble to amass the responses from the membership to set their platforms and they are extremely careful not only in wording those responses, but in lobbying those responses to Government on the membership's behalf.

6. Press Progress is an enormous mouthpiece fanning the flames of anti-employer sentiment. Only I was not sure why Press Progress would do such a thing... until I learned that they have a pro-labour agenda, funded by the Broadbent Institute.

Yet, I'm seeing bias alright. I'm seeing a pro-labour agenda alright and it's all coming from that one place and it's partisan.

NONE of them are coming from the CFIB. Oh, sure, Dan Kelly said that some employers were saying that Canadians aren't exactly lining up for their jobs. Press Progress decided that he'd said "Canadians are lazy". He didn't say that.

What a lot of people don't know is that those who use the TFWP must be qualified to benefit from the program by the Government of Canada. They must not only pay to bring the employee from his homeland to here, he must also pay for that employee's return. In addition to that, they are required to help the employee secure accommodations and subscribe these employees to the workman's compensation benefits programs. In addition to that, they must pay the worker the "industry average", which in ALL cases is at least minimum wage or above.

If indeed anyone, McDonald's franchisees included, were paying any foreign workers, under this program, less than minimum wage, a majority of CFIB members support throwing the book at them.

But Press Progress isn't talking about that.

It's always wonderful to hear people talking about what the CFIB said, but not once has anyone actually quoted what Dan Kelly did say. They have all implied that he said hurtful and hateful things that make the CFIB worthy of disbanding and worthy of a boycott of anyone who is a member.

At first, I thought it was just Labour, except that NDPers had picked up the ball. So, I asked my MP. He says it's not coming from them... so where is it coming from?

The Broadbent Institute and Press Progress. Nice spin if you can get it.

So, if you're planning on boycotting the CFIB or quitting the CFIB because they're supposedly biased or supporting the Tory agenda... take a slightly closer look at who you're boycotting.

I notice Press Progress conveniently ignored when the CFIB denounced the changes the Tories were bringing to the TFWP last July, but by January, the CFIB was to blame for supposedly supporting the program.

Interestingly, the CFIB has only ever reported what has come from their membership, without partisan spin. Unlike Press Progress who spins what they report.


Read enough of the picking and choosing that the spinners are doing and you'll very quickly discover that you've been spun.

And if, after reading this, you think I'm the one who has been spun, you just go right ahead and boycott all the members of the CFIB, my own business included. Because I've done my homework and seen where the "spin" and "lies" are coming from. Frankly, I'm a little more than embarrassed for the Broadbent Institute, their bias is obvious. I used to think they were less biased than the Fraser Institute. I was wrong. Sad that I was SO wrong. tsk tsk.

As a friend of mine on Twitter said recently; You believe what you like and I'll believe what I like. Personally, I'll believe the truth that is right in front of my eyes. If you see anything that even remotely shows that the CFIB is biased in any way, do let me know, because all of the bias I found was not theirs.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Azodicarbonamide... Yum!

Here ya go.

Azodicarbonamide... what is it?

Well, let's say I told you that it's in every single one of your Timbits and Subway buns and God only knows what else. There it is.

Is it bad for you?

Well, the EU says yes.

Canada, US and Korea consider it to be GRAS, as in Generally Recognized As Safe and suggest it's not bad for you.

IOW, it's allowed in food products, so long as it doesn't exceed recognized maximum levels. What is that maximum? 45 ppm.

The EU classifies it as Harmful. So it's not allowed in food products at all.

But Canada accepted it... how is that possible? Well, I explored that.

The GRAS in Canada was accepted based on studies done in 2004. So, it's safe, right?

Not so fast.

Unfortunately, THIS study was done while the Tories were running the Government. That means that science isn't of much import. So long as the corporations involved can make a ton of money, they're laughing.

So who isn't laughing?

Well you might not be when you learn that the scientists involved weren't happy with the sketchiness of the data they were given. It was done in the 50s. And the fact that 45 ppm is a lot tricky to calculate on any given batch of anything (Ask me about WHY we have to build a food lab?) Add to the sketchy data and the inability to determine with any kind of accuracy how much is actually in the bread and voila, you have a sketchy food ingredient GRAS approved for the Canadian market.

And do I have to remind you what Tories think of science?

That said is it safe.

Yeah probably. O_o Unless you're European.

So why is the European market so different?

Well, essentially, what it seems to come down to is "what is the ingredient" and "what are you using if for".

In industry, yes, it's part of rubber production. It's actually used in attaching that rubber gasket to food lids. THAT is where the max 45 ppm study applies.

They didn't study whether or not it was edible in burger buns, donuts or sub buns. They looked at the product used in food jar lids and whether or not THAT was dangerous.

So, what do we actually know about this GRAS ingredient as food? We know that it causes serious respiratory problems in the people who work with it. The use of it in the food jar gaskets allows that it has generally evaporated most of its problems BEFORE the lids go onto the jars, and even then, the amount that is ABLE to leech into the food is undetectable. Does that mean it's not there? No, it means their testing systems aren't sensitive enough to determine whether it's in there or not nor in what quantity. So, it's been given the GRAS in North America and Korea.

So, now that you see that there is really nothing wrong with this GRAS Food ingredient in teeny quantities, why is Subway pulling it from Canadian subway buns?

Well, apparently a loudmouthed blogger is the source. So, when Subway, Tim Horton's, Mickey D's, and KFC became front page news over said blogger's efforts, I assume they all started looking at the ingredient for damage control.

What did they learn? Probably what I learned.

It's probably harmless.


I'm in food production... sketchy food ingredients are not acceptable to me. If it's safe, I want to hear, it's definitely safe or it isn't safe, not "it's probably safe".

Well given that GRAS is up to 45 ppm, we needed to know how safe it is in the jars. We use glass jars and these lids have the ADA inthe gasket.

So... What did Health Canada learn? They tested the food products and discovered that the traces were actually below 25 parts per BILLION.

So, in the jars, they're essentially safe. In the food, well, that comes down to how much of it do you eat; because it adds up.

Apparently the Environmental Working Group (the organization that tracks pesticides and chemicals in produce, ie the Dirty Dozen), has called for the FDA to ban the use of it in bread products.

Here's the bad news. Studies that were done that found nearly double the amount of allowable ADA was in bread products. Why? Because in Canada, the ingredient is NOT REQUIRED to be listed on the label.

Interestingly when called on it, Health Canada responded that a thorough safety assessment had been done on the product PRIOR to it's approval in 1964.

Let me say that again...


The studies in the FDA's toxicology database are all unpublished studies dated 1959.

So, the scientist's response is that any decision made in the 60s on data from the 50s needs to be reviewed. The simple fact that it has been used for over 50 years doesn't mean it's safe. We learned that lesson from many a harmful product that has now wisely been banned from food.

In fact, the ADA's potentially cancer-causing-by-products, semicarbazide and urethane which are created during the baking process were only discovered ten years ago. That's when the bread comes into play.

Is it safe in the bread?

Well, in Europe, you're not allowed to put it into food and it is not allowed to be used specifically on baby food jars, because THEIR jury is still out. You can use it on regular jars, because 25 ppB isn't significant.

My jury is still out. So, I'm going to err to the side of caution.

If it's on the jar lid, chances are I'm safe. If it's in the food, I'm not eating it.

You decide how YOU want to proceed.

The EU results:

See, all that sensass to get your attention long enough to read this diatribe was worth it.

Will you be having a Big Mac today? Timbits?

Both KFC and Subway have taken my stance of erring to the side of caution. Tim Horton's and Mickey D's? Not so much.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ian Anderson and the red hot chilli peppers. Literally.

When I first heard Ian Anderson play his flute, it was on the local rock station and he was lead singing for Jethro Tull.

I fell in love with the rock and roll flute. So much so that when my kids came home from school with instructions to buy them flutes, I imagined my kids would grow up to be famous rock flautists.

It was a dream that didn't last long.
Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull -- Telegraph Article

The flute isn't the most common rock and roll instrument, in fact, it not as rare as you might think.

Jethro Tull's use of the flute is possibly the most well known, but Genesis, the Troggs, Mannfred Mann and the Moody Blues also had flautists.

Ian Anderson isn't playing his flute professoinally anymore, he's retired to a life of relaxation with his wife that includes gardening in England.

Interestingly, that gardening includes chilli peppers, a love gifted to him by drummer Ritchie Dharma.

Read about Ian Anderson's garden and love for chillies by Mark Diacono in the Telegraph:

Look for Ian's Peach Salsa Recipe. We'll translate it using Peppermaster Sauces soon.

Enjoy this video of Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull playing Bourée.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Date Night with an Aspie

Date night with an Aspie

So, we went out to the Keg last night for date night. Anyway, we sat in the bar, had a couple of hors d'oeuvres and a couple of drinks while watching the hockey game. (Habs lost but clinched the playoff spot anyway).

So, served with the calimari, which was very nice and riddled with the most nummy tempura'd peppers, were two sauces: One, a sweet chili sauce and the other, a teriayaki sauce; think "soy sauce and garlic". Anyway, I can't stomach such Sweet Chili sauces, the combination of high fructose corn syrup, xanthan gum and chemicals is just too much. So, I dipped the calimari in the teriyaki sauce, even though I knew by the texture that it contained the HFCS.

This morning, I dealt with the high fructose corn syrup. I hate mornings.

Being #autistic usually isn't a big deal, because we're careful not to have things in my diet that will make me ill. When I do eat out, there is always a risk.

Now I know why the Keg doesn't qualify as "fine dining" even though they charge "fine dining" prices.

Beyond the HFCS in the dipping sauce, though, the food was great, the company rocked and if we'd won the hockey game, it'd have been a PERFECT date night.

#AspieProblems #AutismAwareness #Aspergers

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Tarot - Oracle Cards Review 1 - Hazelmoon Hawaiian Tarot - Katalin E. Csikos

A little while ago, Katalin E. Csikos posted to one of my Facebook Tarot groups that she was willing to give a copy of her tarot cards to readers in exchange for a review of her deck; HazelMoon's Hawaiian Tarot.

The deck is printed by Artful Dragon Press and had the distinction of being used in an episode of CBS' Hawaii Five-O, Season Three, Episode 304 - "Popilikia" which aired Monday, October 15, 2012.

Well, as you know, I tend to do my tarot readings, education, practice if you will during what I call swamp days.

Today is a swamp day.

Today I'm going to wade into my tarot practice via HazelMoon's Hawaiian Tarot.

My first remark on the deck as I remove it from the box is that it is well printed, on good solid card stock. It is very shiny finished, so it suggests that the deck will shuffle well, not stick and hopefully hold up longer.

They're far rather wider than one expects from this type of deck. It sort of feels like a short, Thoth. or a Fat RWS.

The cards themselves are interesting and my first thought is that borderectomies exist for good reason.

The borders of these cards have a very cool hieroglyph contained within. Some readers will learn the meanings of these hieroglyphs and incorporate them within their readings, others will utterly ignore them. Trimmers will have these very obtrusive borders removed within the week.

The cards themselves are absolutely beautiful examples of Hawaiian folk art that is stunning. Of course, it must be said that I'm a huge fan of native art works, so I'm partial to this sort of thing.

So, I like the cards, they're really cool and they're beautiful folk paintings. BUT, the question is...

Can they read well enough to be someone's go-to oracle?

And today, I need to answer that question. (The following was posted to my Facebook Page, so don't answer looking for a reading, they've already been done!).

I need your help.

If you would like to be a guinea pig for this deck, I am now offering three quick five card readings.

And I give no guarantee of the validity of the readings until after I can actually read them or not...

So... If you wish to be one of these three... Speak now or don't.

ONLY the first three will get a reading. So don't even bother posting after that. (I'll be in a swamp all afternoon.)

So, there was as usual a mad scramble to be on of those chosen for the readings, and for those of you learning tarot, here they are...

XX Judgement, V The Hierophant, IX Nine of Lava Stones.
The Voice is calling to you, are you listening, Chris? Stop thinking about things and doing nothing. Grab the bull by the horns, there is a light at the end of the tunnel... Just go into it. Behind your greatest fear is your greatest treasure.

Boy of Swords, Three of Swords, Five of Swords
The boy is happy. He's just come in from a great day of surfing. The waves have died and now its time to go home and relax. But heartache and gossip are going to affect him. He is about to be embroiled in lots of chaos.

Four of lava stones, three of lava stones, two of swords.
The tide has changed and the situation is deteriorating. The longer you allow it to continue without going with the change, the worse it will get. The time has come for you to make the sensible choice to accept the truth and move forward finally.

In private conversations with each of the sitters, I discovered that the cards spoke very much to them and that the cards were very useful at allowing me to read my intuition into their situation. Which is the point of every good oracle.

The Hazelmoon's Hawaiian Tarot will not become my goto Tarot deck, but if someone chooses it from my decks for their reading, they will be most happy with the outcome.

Oh, and did I tell you how much I love the paintings??!!

If you are interested in getting your own copy of the Hazelmoon, you can get them from the About us link on Katalin's website or from my favourite cardsellers at Tarot Garden. Tell 'em I sent you.