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Showing posts from May, 2008

Lowering credit card limits: any point?

I almost lost my Mastercard this week after almost calling Citibank to lower my credit limit. I guess I didn't stuff it back into my wallet securely. Thank goodness Natalie the Traffic Master found it on the floor and got it back to me. I didn't even realize it was lost. I mentioned this in a thread over at Give Me Back My Five Bucks , and another poster asked why I'd want to lower my limit. Good question. I now have three credit cards: - a MC with about a $9000 limit - an Air Miles amex with an $8000 limit - a bank Visa with a $10000 limit Total: $27-thousand in credit, plus a bank line of credit. I don't use it. I really don't use it that much. I pay off my balance in full each month, and I don't charge much on them anyway. At most, some airline tickets and hotel when we're travelling. I've *heard* that when it comes time to apply for a mortage, lenders may look at credit card credit as entirely debt, even if

X-Weighted is back

One of my favourite shows, X-Weighted, is back on the air for another season. X-Weighted is a series of one-hour documentaries that follow peoples' struggles to get fit in six months. Each person has his or her own challenges and issues. Some succeed. Many fall short of their goals. The first episode took a 260-pound woman from drinking 24 beer a week to climbing all 1776 stairs of the CN Tower. We watched the show last night, and it's every bit as good as every other season so far. It's already giving me that "I can do this!" feeling. You may recall that I auditioned for X-Weighted a while back, and was this close ][ to getting on the show, 'til they decided not to shoot in Halifax after all. That spawned me to attemp my own (failed) weight loss project, Un-Weighted . I'm grateful to my PVR, Little Eddie Dingle , for remembering to tape the show. I have it set to record "new episodes", so it just sits there in the background and starts r

Good news, bad news on the consumer front

BAD NEWS! Scooter, the Roomba Scheduler with intelli-bin that mom and dad got me for Christmas, is sick and/or dead. It started making a loud grinding noise and the main roller brush stopped working consistently. GOOD NEWS! I got in touch with iRobot (the robot company, not the Will Smith movie) and they diagnosed the problem as a problem. They say they'll be sending a new robot and that I should just throw the old one in the garbage after stripping it for parts. Wow! That's customer service! And the Hammacher-Schlemmer warranty may even extend past the iRobot warranty. --- GOOD NEWS! Steak-umms are back! Thinly sliced sandwich steaks that go from frozen to in-your-belly in minutes! TV ads even promote Steak-umm burgers! BAD NEWS! The ads are American. GOOD NEWS! I contacted the Steak-umm company (at ) with an urgent request for information on Canadian availability of Steak-umms. Company e-mail responder Jena Evans responds enthusiastically: We are pleas

I finished the 5k, and that is a win

For the second year in a row, I took part in the 5k run/walk at the Blue Nose Marathon . Last year I was doing my "Un-Weighted" project and was actually making regular visits to the gym. I was in passable shape. I wasn't training like an athlete, but I was training. This year I wasn't training, and I'm not in shape. I've put on some (read: all) the weight I lost during the Un-Weighted project and I have not been training. Yes, I have been walking home from work roughly four out of five days a week, and attending taekwondo about once a week, but I have not trained in any sense that'd make real training athletes think I trained. My goal this year was just to finish. I figured I'd tack another ten or fifteen minutes on my finish time. But here are the stats: last year's time was 38:55.9. This year's time was 41:14.8. That's a difference of 2:18.1. Really? No training, more weight, and over five kilometres I only went two minutes and

Scott.... there's someone at the door!

What a surprise! My mom and dad showed up Sunday for a visit! Amanda knew in advance and arranged through my boss to get me two days off. My folks showed up Sunday afternoon and completely surprised me. What a treat! They stayed for Monday and Tuesday, and we went out and saw some sights including the Halifax cemetery where some of the Titanic victims are buried, and the Halifax Citadel. Even though I live right across the street, I'd never been up there to see the old fortifications. Yes, they ate donairs. Yes, they liked them, even though, IMHO, they weren't among the best donairs we've ever had. Thanks to everyone involved in crafting this sneaky and super-sweet surprise. It was great to see my parents again after nearly a year. I'm so glad they were able to get out here to visit for the first time. I hope to see them again soon!

Considering privacy when there's nothing to hide

I'm looking for your opinions on this ... I think I know how I feel about it, but I'm aware that other people feel differently ... so help me understand here. I've posted here before about people marking some of my Flickr photos as favorites in a post entitled "Gay guys totally dig me on Flickr." There's a contingent of gentlemen who think my chubby, hairy belly is dead sexy . When I check recent activity on my Flickr gallery, I regularly find that people have marked some of the photos as favorites. When I click on the person's name to see their favorites, there's usually a theme. When it comes to the context in which I find my pictures, it's usually a collection of overfed and underdressed hirsute dudes. Me -- I'm not that spooked by it. I find it flattering that people would find me so attractive they want to see my picture more than once. I don't feel threatened by it. My pictures don't portray me in a degrading fashion in any way

Word of the day: unsalubrious

Morning editor Ruth floored me again with one of those words. One of those words that makes me stop her in mid-sentence and say -- that's new. I have to write that down. Today it was "unsalubrious". The context was in a discussion of Maxime Bernier's girlfriend, and Ruth asking whether the government should now feel compelled to "screen all their dates for unsalubrious connections." Wow. Good word. Unfortunately, it's not quite the right word. Although I find several mentions of the word through Google , the only appropriate dictionary mention I can find is for insalubrious. Usually it refers to something "detrimental to health". Still, good word. Clap clap for Ruth and her always inspiring vocabulary.


The IIHF World Hockey Championship is taking place here in Halifax this week. In fact, it's happening just outside our windows. As my old friend C3P0 used to say, "This is madness!" I'm delights to be living in the heart of a wonderful city, right downtown, in the heart of the action, plugged in to the buzz of the city, connected to the energy and excitement of action and excitement. BUT THESE GODDAMN LATVIAN HOCKEY FANS ARE LOUD! I mean, it's almost 11pm and they're outside -- literally right outside our window, even though we're about 80 feet up in the air -- banging drums and blowing horns in a rhythmic and joyous fashion. Now I know what it felt like to be living on Carlton Street in Toronto when the Leafs won the playoffs. Okay, that's a bit of a lie. Because, as far as I'm aware, the Leafs never won the playoffs. I just walked down the hall to throw the trash down the chute, and even in the middle

Bacon + Vodka = Bacon Vodka

As simple as it sounds, in this recipe at Brownie Points : Bacon Vodka makes up one pint Fry up three strips of bacon. Add cooked bacon to a clean pint sized mason jar. Trim the ends of the bacon if they are too tall to fit in the jar. Or you could go hog wild and just pile in a bunch of fried up bacon scraps. Optional: add crushed black peppercorns. Fill the jar up with vodka. Cap and place in a dark cupboard for at least three weeks. That's right - I didn't refrigerate it. At the end of the three week resting period, place the bacon vodka in the freezer to solidify the fats. Strain out the fats through a coffee filter to yield a clear filtered pale yellow bacon vodka. Decant into decorative bottles and enjoy. 'Nuff said. This sounds amazing. Thanks to lilsis for the link.