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Monday, January 28, 2013

Goodbye to Zorro

About 24 hours ago, Zorro crossed Rainbow Bridge and left his family devastated.  He was only 8 years old and in perfect health. 
I never met Zorro, but I saw pictures of him and read about his daily adventures.  Okay, so he didn’t have “daily” adventures, being a Ragdoll his favorite pastime was sleeping (in all kinds of weird positions). 
But every now and then he would wake up long enough to tell an interesting story.  The most memorable being …
Zorro the Ragdoll Cat Meets a Roadrunner
My name is Zorro, and I'm a five-year-old Ragdoll breed cat. Never heard of us? You wouldn't be alone, yet we are one of the most popular breeds in the U.S. They call us the cats that are most like a dog. (Sheesh! What an insult.) So what if I do like to follow my mom around and even wait by the door until she returns. Why not? I have the time. It's not as though I'm not making an intelligent choice, unlike a stupid dog that gets all pouty just because he's been left alone for ten minutes.
Mostly, I suck up as much attention as my inflated ego can handle. Humans describe a Ragdoll's personality as laid-back, but we can be feisty, too! I'll protect my turf against any invading species. Read on and you'll see what I mean. (Disney is negotiating with my mom over the rights to my story.)
Let's start at the beginning.
My mom was in the kitchen doing whatever it is she does there that does not involve preparing my food dish. We had only been in our new home for a couple of weeks. I was starting to feel right at home and pretty much approved of the change. I loved the big glass doors where I could lay comfortably and look out over the patio while watching noisy birds gather all day in the desert willow tree fighting over sips at the hummingbird feeder.
My tummy was full and I was relaxed in my favorite belly exposed position, legs up in the air. I'm rarely very far from mom. (Don't ask me why, it's a Ragdoll 'thing.') I was dozing off when I opened one eye and saw her sneaking towards the glass doors. Humans often behave in strange and mysterious ways, so her behavior didn't seem overly odd.
It was only when I heard her pick-up the phone to call dad that I knew something was up. "Honey, guess what I saw on the patio this morning?" I heard her say. "A roadrunner! I heard a tap-tap-tap on the window, and when I glanced over, there it was looking in the window at me."
And what did Zorra do to the roadrunner?  Hop over to, the answer is just a click away.
Yes, Zorro was a character.  But he was also very sweet and polite.  Want to read what his mom says about him?  
Our Ragdoll breed cat, Zorro, is just the sweetest, laid-back kind of guy you would ever want to snuggle with on your bed or have sandpaper lick your hand. Typical of the breed, he loves his people family more than his Fancy Feast. (Or, at least we come in a very close second.)
His breed is often referred to as the most like a dog,' so when we adopted him at one-year of age, he did seem to lack many typical cat traits. How many cats do you know that come and greet you at the door? Or, how many cats do you know that will follow you around the house? Instead of calling him Zorro, I wonder if Rover might have suited him better.
There’s more.  Click and find out.
Goodbye Zorro, you left us too soon, but I'm sure that wherever you are, you're happy

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Warning all writers

For many of us, freelance writing is the ideal career.  You don’t need any particular training, you can work from home and it pays reasonably well.

A helpful friend, always on the lookout for writing jobs for me, came across an ad on Craigslist and emailed me the link.

The ad looked like this:

Posted: 2013-01-26, 9:18AM EST
Can you write short stories? (Toronto)

Based in Toronto, Ontario, we are a company looking for qualified individuals to help out with writing tasks such as:
- short stories
- movie scripts
- sales scripts
- articles
- news feeds
- PR websites
- blog posts
. . . and more.
Job Duties Include:
- Draft and create consumer content for lifestyle and health related websites
- Research new products and services with the relation to the consumers
- Create projects for blogs and other new media
- Brand messages with reaching a large online audience
You'll have the opportunity to work big name companies and popular websites in several niches from news, geography, sports,
entertainment, travel, and others.
- Highschool Graduate or GED qualified with an interest in writing for blogs, stories, and other publications
- Experience in Journalism, English, Communications or other related fields
- Strong written communication skills with ability to proofread effectively
- Ability to manage multiple projects
- Experience with Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel)
- Internet access / online access
This is a part-time and full-time job, depending on your availability. Hours are flexible from 10 to 40 hours per week.
Travel is not required. Pay is discussed via communication after application process.
Please email us at with your full name and resume. We will contact you soon within 24 hours
Location: Toronto
Compensation: TBD
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
Posting ID: 3572602985

Posted: 2013-01-26, 9:18AM EST

Copyright © 2013 craigslist, inc.

Looks okay, right?  That what I thought too.  When I emailed Rebecca I got an automated response with the following link:

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When you read an ad that promises writers TONS of money you should already smell a rat.  Writers don't make tons of money, if they did everyone would become a writer.

That is not the end of it though.  There are NO writing jobs, but for every sucker Rebecca snags, SHE GET CASH. 


Friday, January 25, 2013

$2,000 faucets

It started so innocently.  My son saw beautiful faucets in Home Depot that were on special … $59 down from $99.  Unable to resist a bargain he bought them and brought them home.  Little did he know those faucets were about to cost us close to $2,000.

The first problem arose when the new faucets didn’t fit the current vanity table in the bathroom.  Oh well, the table was old and in need of replacing, so why not go for a new cabinet?

Off we went to Canadian Tire to have a look around.  We saw reasonably priced vanity tables, complete with a sink, but … they were rather small and I didn’t particularly like the design.  
So, we went for a separate vanity table.

Of course, now that we had a new table, we really should go for a sink as well, so … off we went to look at sinks.

It didn’t stop with the sink of course, we also bought new lighting and a new mirror.

When the vanity table and the sink got installed in the bathroom yesterday, we hit a snag … the piping didn’t fit.  Since neither of us are qualified plumbers we had to rely on a professional.  $210 later, the pipes were connected.

Everything look great.  The new vanity table, the sink, the lights, the mirror … except, now that everything looked new and improved we really should finish the job and go for a new floor.

Off we went again to Canadian Tire to look at floors.  I liked simple, square white tiles, but could have those.  According to the sales person they were not suitable for a bathroom, because their shiny finish would make them slippery when wet.  To cut a long story short, we found a nice tile that wouldn't have us slipping and sliding all over the place.

Of course, now that we had chosen a floor tile, we needed cement and grout, a bucket to mix the cement in and tools to spread the cement, a tile cutter, spacers and a sponge.

Were we done?  Yes, we had everything.

At the checkout point something caught my eye … a washing machine.  It looked so cute and was so reasonably priced.  We needed it, it was a nice deal, so … what the heck, why not?

So, all in all … if Dieter hadn’t gone for the faucets, we wouldn’t have needed the new vanity table and sink.  If we hadn’t gone for the new table and sink, we wouldn’t have gone for lighting and a mirror.  Neither would we have needed a new floor.  If I hadn’t seen the floor, I wouldn’t have seen the washing machine.

$59 faucets that turned into $2,000 faucets … oh well, the bathroom needed renovating anyway.