Monday, December 31, 2007

A snow shovel’s best friend…

I know we’ve mentioned this before but just to remind everyone that the best helper you can get with the heavy snow shoveling is good old Watkins Cooking Spray.

Yup, all you have to do is put a good thick coating on your shovel and that miserable old wet snow will not stick. Why lift all that weight over and over again if you don’t have to, right?

Oh yeah, it also works great at coating frying pans and I think it tastes a lot better than that other stuff anyway. Of course, since it’s a Watkins product you can use a lot less of it and it works out much cheaper than those other brands because you can get about 1,600 servings per 397g can. That's a lot of pancakes!

PS: It will also work great on your satellite dish. The snow just keeps sliding off so no more getting up there with the broom after a big storm.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Boredom Tyler, Boredom...

That is what’s wrong with the world according to “Rosie” the Beaver flying bush pilot in one of my favorite movies, Never Cry Wolf. The story takes place somewhere in the western arctic and is filmed with a fantastic cast of Brian Dennehy, Charles Martin Smith and some really great actors from the north, Zachary Ittimangnaw as Ootek and Samson Jorah as Mike. In the movie Smith has been sent north to prove that wolves are responsible for the dwindling caribou herds and of course proves that theory wrong, as most southern hypothesis are. There is nothing quite as silly as some brand spanking new MBA trying to tell an old Inuk that the thousands of years of stories and history passed down from generation to generation together with what he has seen and learned for himself during a lifetime of living on the land is all wrong.

Wolves do take their fair share of caribou of course but these are mainly the old and sick or the very young that have become separated from the rest of their group. There is safety in numbers within the caribou as well as human societies.

Back to boredom... Personally I like boredom, it forces the brain to think and develop along a number of different lines and at least keeps mine active, even if it's only in a complaining state. I love being bored out on my deck just watching the world go by and wondering what the trees are thinking. What sites have they seen, what did they think of that deer that stopped by to rub it’s antlers on the rough bark this morning and what do they think of the woodpeckers that rat-a-tat-tat on their sides searching for insects. Are the trees grateful for this intrusion because the birds get rid of parasites or is it only an itch that they are unable to scratch. Strange thoughts, eh?

How about that wave that just hit shore on the beach? How far did it come, how do wave dynamics work anyway, did it travel here from Killarney or perhaps all the way from Christian Island or even Collingwood? What would it think of the artificial waves created at Wet and Wild in Wasaga that we have visited so often and hope to get back to with the grandson next summer?

That eagle that just went over… does it know that It is a sacred symbol or is it just cruising and wondering if it will get to eat today or not. Hmmm… “The Northern Lights have seen queer sights but the queerest they ever did see, was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.” You certainly can’t fault those strange thoughts by one of my favorite poets, Robert Service who no doubt had more than his share of boredom during a lifetime in the north.

What is that youngster thinking while rolling those cars about the room and parking them in the new garage that appeared under the tree last week? Does he realize he is building motor skills and taking early driver training or is he just having fun? Is he perhaps thinking up new ways to sneak up on me and go BOOP! while poking a finger on my leg or butt, a trick that I sometimes wish I had never taught him.

Ahhh… the ultimate sign of boredom… writing silly blog entries in the middle of the night. Working my brain cells or just destroying them from lack of sleep… I don’t know, but at least I’m not bored. Good night all!

(This was typed up after I finished shoveling snow at 3:45am this morning. I came in after 2 hours of clearing white stuff, took a shower, poured myself a glass of the good sherry and worked on this while waiting for sleep to kick in. Guess I'd better get a life, eh?)


Well I’ve sort of neglected the old blog lately but it’s just an all round nasty time of the year for me and I try to stay away from everything and everybody if I can. Sorry people, but I just can’t get into all these “festivities” and don’t understand them… never have and never will. Maybe it’s just an excuse but I think it’s got something to do with too many years in retail stores where you’re working 14 hours a day (most often seven days a week) for about a month leading up to the chimney creeper arriving. After you put up with all the crap (“I want to charge $1,000.00 even though I know I’m 10 months overdue on my account and haven’t paid a penny since June but it’s Christmas and you have to let me charge and don’t you care about my babies you prick?!”) for 30 or so years you just don’t even want to hear the word Christmas or anything related to it anymore. I know the family thinks I’m nuts and I probably am, but by the time I’m certifiable I won’t know what’s going on anyway so I’m not going to let it worry me.

Anyway, what’s new with you? I got the laptop back with its new hard drive a couple weeks ago and have been busy putting all my files back in. I think I mentioned that I couldn’t restore some of them from backups for some reason or other but that’s not a problem except for a couple of them… and those are things that are for the most part in my mind anyway. I’m thinking of some photos that had not been uploaded to Flickr and my collection of quotes that I had been building up for years but oh well, as I said these are things that live on in memory if not in bits and bytes. I actually don’t really mind having to input it all again as it’s been an opportunity to organize things a little differently. I had wanted to do it before but it just seemed like too much work to move it all around. Somehow it’s easier just to start from scratch, just like after a big yard sale, eh?

I’m keeping busy being at war with the Blue Jays and Squirrels who are just too greedy for my liking and don’t let the smaller birds eat in peace. I’ve also become hooked on “Puzzlebee” on Facebook and just HAVE to make a run at the daily jigsaw with my morning coffee. I also try to keep the brain active by doing an “easy”, “medium” and sometimes a “hard” Sudoku and after that there is a little addiction called “Drift ‘n’ Burn 365" at Shockwave that I have to earn my daily car at. Other than that and doing a little recruiting for my Watkins business it’s been a lazy month off. I don’t suppose it will last too much longer though as I expect an email any time now with a request to hit the road again for Northern.

That’s if for now, time for a nap.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

All I can say is WOW!!!!

Have we got a deal for YOU!

Steve Bretzke, who is the head of the group of Independent Watkins Associates that I belong to, has just announced a special promotion for new associates who sign up between December 18th and 28th, 2007. Steve himself will send you a $60.00 Watkins Gift Certificate upon confirmation of your signup! We just have to let him know by January 5th, 2008 and I will help you with that. On top of his incentive I still have my own standing offer of a $20.00 Watkins Gift Certificate for new associates signing up at any time of the year.

So go to right away to get registered (no sign-up obligation of any kind at this point) and I’ll get some more information on the way to you. Drop me an email at or post a comment to this blog if you prefer, but either way there is no obligation, only opportunity. Our smallest starter kit is only $69.99 plus taxes and shipping and after you take into consideration the $80.00 that Steve and I are offering you how can you lose? I can even send you information on how to save the $69.99 if you want! Again... WOW!

PLUS! I can’t give any details on the following but… there will be a huge announcement coming from Watkins and The Summit Group within the next few weeks that is almost guaranteed to increase and quite possibly even double or more the amount of business and money that many Independent Watkins Associates are earning now. It will greatly benefit you as a new associate also. Can I send you information on this as soon as I can release it?

PS: Many of you have asked me how much money can be made by becoming an Independent Associate for Watkins and a member of The Summit Group operating your own home business… well, what if I told you that I know of people that are earning well into a six figure annual income? Am I making that much yet? Hah, no way… but I may be some day and YOU could be too. ASK ME HOW!

Progressing slowly...

This is Day 4 of reinstalling programs and files to my laptop after having to get a new hard drive put in. I have a number of programs that I feel are essential and these include a good virus checker like McAfee (which gets installed first) with “SiteAdvisor”, SpoofStick, and
OpenOffice. The latter is a full suite of programs that practically duplicate all the Microsoft Office products such as Excel, Word, Power Point and all the others.

The best part of OpenOffice is that it is all free! You are encouraged to make a donation but it is not required and you are free to use it for as long as you want and even get all the updates as they come out also. Not a bad deal at all I think.

I’ve got a number of other favorites such as LimeWire, Boinc/Seti, Flickr Uploader, and also my regular utilities such as the software for my Palm Pilot, a good spyware and malware program, a registry checker/cleaner and of course a very few games that I play semi-regularly.

These would be Age of Empires, Age of Mythology, Diablo, SimGolf and Railway Tycoon. Lately I’ve become addicted to Puzzlebee on Facebook and Drift ‘n Burn on Shockwave but those don’t have to be installed.

My real loss is some of my files as I have absolutely no idea why I can’t restore them from my backup CD’s. I can easily rebuild my Watkins files, I have paper copies of most of my web page business files and most of the photos I wanted to keep are already uploaded to Flickr. One big loss is my collection of quotes that I had been building up for years. I had close to 70 text pages of the ones I considered special or profound and although I will eventually remember most of them I’m sure there will be a few that are gone forever. I even had my epitaph in there!

I was going to look into one of those online backup services but I see that for the next 2 days Dell has a 320gig USB hard drive on sale for only $99.99 so I’m tempted to go ahead and order that. It would hold all the backups for desktop and the three laptops that are kicking around the house. We’ll study on that possibility today and decide about it tonight or tomorrow.

Anyway, back to work…

Thursday, December 06, 2007


I see that several other people have had computer problems over the past week. LifeOnManitoulin and a couple others that I have heard about had their modems blow, and the hard drive on my laptop went. As near as I can figure this all occurred at about the same time. The repairman working on my laptop figures that it was a brownout because of the nature of the hard drive problem and tells me that he does a very good business because of these occurrences on Manitoulin Island.

This is the second time I’ve had this problem in the past three years and since I didn’t invest in a better quality surge suppressor / drop-off protector the last time I guess I’d better do so now. At least I’m lucky to have the old desktop to use but it’s just so miserable to work with after my little Dell that I’m anxiously awaiting the return of the latter next Tuesday with a brand new 120gig drive installed.

By the way, a couple experts I know have always insisted that all hard drives eventually fail. It's just fact of life so if you're not regularly backing up any important data you'd better start. Three sets, grandfather-father-son, is the old standard rule. Wish I'd followed it a little bit better myself as I've lost about a months worth of data. :-(