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Beau's Journey » 2008 » January

Archive: January, 2008

January 31, 2008: Snowing back home…FINALLLLLLLY

  It is finally snowing back home!  YAY!!!!  Kids are out of school today. 

January 29, 2008: Wicked…Wicked Weather

  An incredible storm system moved across the Ohio Valley today.  Widespread wind damage was reported across the KPAH Forecast Region.  Signficant damage was reported in  numerous counties.  Massac County had roofs ripped off trailers and trailers overturned.  Reports of structural damage to schools in Pulaski and Graves County.  Widespread tree damage.  The list of wind damage reports in KY will exceed 100. 

  The Storm Prediction Center is showing over 200 reports of damage so far.  That number continues to increase.  A deep low pressure moved from Illinois into Michigan this evening.  EXTREMELY fast pressure falls and rises were reported with the system.  Some of the most impressive I have seen in over 20 years.  An incredible event.

  St Louis, Missouri had a record high temperature of over 70 degrees.  Within two hours they were reported snow and sleet.  This came after large hail fell in their county. 

  Blizzard conditions were reported across portions of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois.  Truly an incredible event.


January 28, 2008: OMG :) Check out this snowfall forecast map…

  This is from the GFS Model.  It is showing a BIG BIG BIG snowstorm later this week.  Accumulations of 15-18" here in Waterloo!  Still a LONG way off though.  Looks like potential for snow back home as well.  AGAIN a bit early to call for snow – we know what usually happens!  Stay tuned!  

  This map will change but it is fun to look at tonight!!!!




January 28, 2008: Hell just UNFROZE…

  You knew it was too good to be true…


Free music downloads site in chaos as record giants pull out

Link to story

Music fans around the world faced confusion today as it was announced they would be able to download unlimited, free songs without breaking the law.

A revamped online file-sharing service had vowed to offer a catalogue of 30million free songs that are compatible with iPods, but record labels have denied they had granted permission to share the songs.

Qtrax, which makes its debut today, is the latest online music venture counting on the lure of free songs to draw in music fans.

The key to their revolutionary venture was thought to be advertising, which they hope will pay the bills, namely record company licensing fees.

The New York-based service was among several peer-to-peer file-sharing applications that emerged following the shutdown of Napster, the pioneer service that enabled millions to illegally copy songs stored in other computers.

But Warner Music said it had not authorised the use of its tracks by Qtrax – and later Universal Music Group and EMI followed suit, saying they did not have licensing deals with Qtrax and discussions were continuing.

Justin Kazmark, a spokesman for New York-based Qtrax, has declined to comment.

To take advantage of the free but legal service, the user will need to download the Qtrax software which displays adverts while the user is searching and downloading songs.

The site was expected to feature special sections including one called "Last Night" where users can search for newly added tracks from live concerts that were recorded the night before.

It will also feature music videos, artist documentaries, interviews, album reviews and biographies among other features.


January 28, 2008: HELL FROZE OVER???? Say it isn’t so!!!!

 From today, feel free to download another 25 million songs – legally

  After a decade fighting to stop illegal file-sharing, the music industry will give fans today what they have always wanted: an unlimited supply of free and legal songs.

  With CD sales in free fall and legal downloads yet to fill the gap, the music industry has reluctantly embraced the file-sharing technology that threatened to destroy it. Qtrax, a digital service announced today, promises a catalogue of more than 25 million songs that users can download to keep, free and with no limit on the number of tracks.

  The service has been endorsed by the very same record companies – including EMI, Universal Music and Warner Music – that have chased file-sharers through the courts in a doomed attempt to prevent piracy. The gamble is that fans will put up with a limited amount of advertising around the Qtrax website’s jukebox in return for authorised use of almost every song available.

  The service will use the “peer-to-peer” network, which contains not just hit songs but rarities and live tracks from the world’s leading artists.

  Nor is a lack of compatibility with the iPod player expected to put fans off. Apple is unlikely to allow tracks downloaded from its rival to be compatible with iPods, but, while the iPod is the most popular music player, it has not succeeded in dominating the market: sales of the iPod account for 50 million out of 130 million total digital player sales. Qtrax has also spoken of an “iPod solution”, to be announced in April.

  Qtrax files contain Digital Rights Management software, allowing the company to see how many times a song has been downloaded and played. Artists, record companies and publishers will be paid in proportion to the popularity of their music, while also taking a cut of advertising revenues.

  The Qtrax team, which spent five years working on the system, promised a “game-changing” intervention in the declining recorded music market when the service was presented at the Midem music industry convention in Cannes.

  The singer James Blunt gave Qtrax a cautious welcome. “I’m amazed that we now accept that people steal music,” he said. “I was taught not to steal sweets from a sweet shop. But I want to learn how this service works, given the condition the music industry is in.”

  Qtrax, a subsidiary of Brilliant Technologies Corporation, has raised $30 million (£15 million) to set up the service, which is available in the US and Europe from today. Allan Klepfisz, president of Qtrax, said: “Customers now expect music to be free but they do not want to use illegal sites. We believe this . . . has the support of the music industry and allows artists to get paid.”

  Ford, McDonald’s and Microsoft are among the advertisers signed up to support what is thought to be the world’s largest legal music store. The service says that adverts will be nonintrusive and will not appear each time a song is played. As with iTunes, customers will have to download Qtrax software. They will own the songs permanently but will be encouraged to “dock” their player with the store every 30 days so it can gather information on which songs have been played.

  Jean-Bernard Levy, chief executive of Vivendi Universal, said the crisis in the music industry had been overstated despite EMI’s radical cost-cutting. He said: “Look at Universal – we have double-digit profit margins. But we would like strong competition from the other major record companies to help the industry grow.” Universal has poached the Rolling Stones from EMI and Mr Levy said that others could follow as thousands of staff and artists are made redundant.

  On the appearance of Qtrax, Mr Levy gave warning that the lack of compatibility between competing digital music players was as big a problem as file-sharing. And Paul McGuinness, the manager of U2, said that the sound quality of MP3 downloads was becoming an issue for bands and fans. “There is a growing consumer revolt against online audio quality,” he said.

  To download music http://www.qtrax.com/



January 27, 2008: Lucy…ahhhhhh so cute!

  Kristy sent me these photographs of Lucy!  I love the blanket one.  🙂

Yeah, I figured as much




January 27, 2008: Tech Minute…WildCharge

WildCharge, the first wire-free charging and power solutions for consumer electronics and other mobile devices was selected as one of TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions Of The Year 2007!!

Available now, WildCharge presents its groundbreaking WildCharger™ charging pad. Also available are WildCharge™ adapters that allow most Motorola RAZR V3 phones to draw power wirelessly from the WildCharger pad.

In the next few months, WildCharge will introduce adapters for other leading mobile phones, smart phones and music players. These include adapters for RIM’s BlackBerry and Apple’s iPhone and iPod family of products and more.

The WildCharger™ pad can simultaneously charge and power up to five such devices once these are enabled with our adapters (or have our technology built-in during manufacture.) WildCharge products eliminate messy, tangled wires and multiple wall bricks. Convenient to use. Good for the environment!

January 27, 2008: Adding comments to blog postings (for those wondering)

   I know everyone isn’t internet savy soooo….if you click on the NO COMMENTS button it will bring up the post you are currently reading.  You can then scroll down to the bottom of the page and add a comment.  🙂  That is how that works.  You can also click on the title bar of each post and it will pull up just that day’s happenings – you can then add comments to the bottom of the page.  I can then read those comments.



January 27, 2008: Back to Waterloo…

  Well it is time to head back to Waterloo.  It has been a fun trip up north (aren’t we already up north).  Huntsville, Ontario is a great place to visit.  You can learn more about it on this web-site (just click).  More about Canadian Pond Hockey here.  🙂  It will be a four hour trip home.  Looks like rain – YES RAIN – in the forecast for Tuesday.  🙁  SNOW on Wednesday with high winds (another snow squall???).  Then more rain/snow/ice after that.  VERY active storm pattern setting up across the United States.  Everything from severe weather to snowstorms.


My last picture from Deerhurst 🙂 


OK – sooooo ONE MORE PHOTO!!!!  I love the trees with the snow hanging off of them!



If you ever get a chance to eat at Moose Winooski’s then don’t pass up the opportunity.  Go for the ribs and
chicke wings.  🙂  Slurp!  Messy but good.


GIANT Moose out front.  I FINALLY GOT MY MOOSE.  I have been waiting for EIGHT years to see a moose up here in Canada.


Joey checking out the menu


January 26, 2008: Deerhurst and Huntsville, Ontario

  We went into Hunstville to take a look around.  They have a lot of cool shops.  There is a bookstore (visited it once before a few summers ago).  I call this the cottage bookstore.  Everyone goes here to find a book to read at the cottage.  I am sure they are busy in the summertime with all the Toronto folk coming up to visit the lakes.  In the winter I bet they stay busy with local people who don’t like to get out in the snow.  Cozy up to a warm fireplace and read a book.

The Bookcase – great place to visit


This Christian Church sits up on a hill in Huntsville





We had to stop by the Chocolate shop!!!!



MORE CANDY than anyone could possibly EVER eat. 


Huntsville, Ontario




DAVID trying to stab me with a GIANT icicle.  The evidence would actually melt…the perfect crime????




So we kept seeing this restaurant on the way to Huntsville.  We finally decided that curiosity was getting
the best of us.  Sooooo we stopped by to eat.  They actually had GREAT FOOD.  3 Men and a Stove is the name
of the place.  Great steaks!


3 Men and a Stove


I guess that is the stove????




Joey trying to figure out what he wants to eat.  Probably tired of me taking his picture with the menu.


Joey and David walking in the snow…heading towards the cottage



One of the local "snow" kids.  Can you imagine living up here????  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


Huntsville, Ontario – Canada


And more Pond Hockey at the end of the day. 



January 26, 2008: Snow Mobiling! Snow and more Snow!

  We spent most of the afternoon out on the snow mobiles.  I think this is probably the number one sport for me.  Sport?  Whatever you want to call it.  A machine in the snow – cold air blowing through your hair – through the forest – up and down hills!  Works for me.  Beautiful landscapes up here.  Snow covered trees – dripping with snow.  🙂

  It snowed all day…light fluffy snow.  Nothing heavy.  Looks like rain next week in Waterloo.


David on his snowmobile


Joey and David






That would be me…errr my snow mobile at least.


David in the lead…





That would be me 🙂


Me again…





Ontario 🙂



Joey and David racing down the trails…




Joey and David







Deerhurst, Ontario


David and Joey


January 25, 2008: Huntsville, Ontario – Ski Country

January 25, 2008

  Writing from the cottage.  No internet here…so will post this later.  It is beautiful up here in Huntsville, Ontario.   We are a few hours north of Toronto.  Perhaps three hours?  Snow – Snow – and MORE Snow!  The trees are just caked with snow.   This place reminds me of Evergreen, Colorado.  J  It snowed all the way here.  Light – fluffy snow.  Lot of blowing snow across the road.  Those wavy, snaking, blowing lines of snow that you see during a good winter storm when it is just starting to crank up.  Always reminds me of sand blowing across the road. 

  The snow here is dry.  It looks like the fake snow that you might see at Christmas in a store front.  It is supposed to snow all weekend.  Hopefully!

  We are going to ride snow mobiles tomorrow.  I am a big fan of the snow mobile.  Not a huge fan of downhill skiing – cross country is nice though.  Snow mobiles, though,  are definitely my favorite winter sport.

  Speaking of winter sports – they are having a HUGE pond hockey festival here.  We didn’t realize that until we got here.  Hundreds (thousands?) of people are here to view the event.  CTV was even here.  So we know that means it must be a big deal! 

  We went into town  (Huntsville) to watch the movie “The Bucket List”.  Great movie…if you haven’t seen it then try to go see it or rent it.  I made my bucket list years ago.  Slowly but surely I am crossing things off the list.  When you are given a second chance at life you tend to look at everything a bit differently.  Doesn’t mean there isn’t ups and downs because god knows there is.  It just means that you remind yourself what is and isn’t important.  You have to follow your passion – pursue your passion  – make your passion reality.     Anyway – thee stars for that movie (out of five).

Photos from today 🙂

Pond Hockey weekend at Deerhurst.  Apparently there were 17 countries represented.  Hockey people 🙂
come from everywhere. 




Some extremely large icicles!! 



I would love to take this four wheeler out onto the ice.  🙂


Red Bull anyone???  That would last me 5 years.  I would be bouncing off the walls.


OK – Could we just transport this down to Western Kentucky.


David walking in the snow


CTV was there.  You know it is a big event when CTV is there.  They are the CNN of the north.


Snow – Snow – Snow – Snow – Snow – Snow – Snow – Snow – Snow – Snow





January 25, 2008: Heading north…

  Leaving this morning for Huntsville (not Alabama Kristy so don’t get excited).  Huntsville, Ontario!  🙂  Going to play on the snow mobiles there and hopefully see some deeper snow.  Snow is in the forecast today and tomorrow.  🙂  There is even a chance of rain by Tuesday as a big storm moves up from the southwest.  I am hoping for snow only though! 

  It was extremely cold last night in the State of Illinois.  Temperatures fell to 20 below zero across portions of the state.  Amazing!  Western Kentucky was in the single digits.   BRRRRRRR

  So, Kristy sent me a new photo of Lucy.  I have no idea where Lucy thinks she is going.  Perhaps she is heading for Canada??? 

  Kristy sent me this photo of Lucy.  AHHHH is that her teddy bear????


January 24, 2008: Video of the recent whiteout…

Here is some video I took of the heavy snow squall two days ago. 🙂




Thanks to the famous Tony Crouch for fixing that for me 🙂


  Whether you like rain, sleet, snow, ice, or thunderstorms you should be happy with the forecast for the next 2 weeks.  It appears that we are about to enter a very unsettled pattern across the United States.  I will be interested to see how much snow we can pull off up here in Ontario.  Certainly are some impressive features on the weather map!  BRING IT ON 🙂  Five significant storms on the GFS Model.

  Heading to Deerhurst tomorrow.  This is about 3 hours northeast of Waterloo.  Should be a lot of snow there!


January 24, 2008: Sunset in Waterloo, Ontario

  I went out this evening to try and get some sunset photos.  The sun was setting behind some clouds and everything was cloaked in an orange glow.  It was amazing to watch the snow change colors across the open farm fields.  So peaceful.  There is something about a sunset and snow that just makes me feel warm inside!  I was smiling while I was watching the different colors spread across the landscape.  Beautiful…absolutely beautiful.

  It is hard to pick one photo from the next…the sky is always constantly changing – so here is a mix match of all of them.  🙂


















January 24, 2008: Ice in Waterloo and Farm Update…

  BRRRRR  it is cold outside 🙂



  No new news today on the farm.  Tony and I are looking at another set of apartments in Mayfield.  At least I will have a place to live…if the farm doesn’t work out!  🙂  I think our second choice will be downtown Paducah.  Talk about two extremes?  The farm or Downtown Paducah!!!!  🙂

  Snow flurries this morning…another dusting here.  I see that my car windshield is covered with snow.  That is how I know it snows during the night!  We are heading north this weekend.  Hoping for some lake effect snow.  It is supposed to snow on Saturday as a clipper passes through.  Several inches possible by Sunday Evening.  More next week.  We could even see freezing rain or rain next week.  Depending on the storm track.

  This article is concerning to everyone…


  I worry more about this subject because people are not prepared.  Everyone should have six weeks of food and water on hand.  When something does happen you will be thankful that you listened.  There have been 11 pandemics in recorded history.  It will happen again.  Just a matter of when.  I know people don’t want to worry about these type of things but at the end of the day it is a very real possibility.  Better to be safe than sorry.  The run of the grocery stores if this flu ever does break out in humans will be amazing.  Think about a snowstorm and how fast food goes in the markets.  Now think about something 1000 times worse.  How long do you think the food in any given city will last?  Not long.  Stocking up over time is the best way to protect your family against any type of disaster.  Waiting till the last minute could be a huge mistake.

  Now back to the weather…:)

  So i went to Tim Horton’s today.  I have never been.  I know – I know – been in Canada for years and never stepped a foot into Tim Horton’s.  It is scary.  Anyway…they don’t take Visa.  I thought that was strange but whatever.  Also be warned that their large hot chocolate is about 4 inches tall.  🙂  Their small must be a sip that they give you while you are standing there.   🙂  Their donuts are good…I will say that.  🙂  lol

Tim Horton’s – the Starbucks of Canada.


Januar 23, 2008: More snow photos…

  here are some snow photos from yesterday.  I am still smiling ear to ear thinking about that snow squall.  It has been awhile since I have been in anything that intense.  Reminded me of some of the snow squalls we would get back in the late 1970s on the farm.  The only thing that was missing was a clap of thunder!  I am sort of surprised there wasn’t some thundersnow yesterday.  That was one impressive radar image!

  Below of some of my photographs from the event…




































January 22, 2008: Near blizzard conditions with a snow squall today…

  A heavy snowsquall line pushed through Waterloo this afternoon between 2:50 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.  Large snowflakes – some larger than quarters were flying through the air.  Winds gusted over 40 mph with the squall.  You can see a radar image of the snow line below.  Snowfall rates of 2" per hour were associated with the heavy squall line.   I was caked in snow by the time I got back to the house.  I looked like a snowman!  Fingers started burning towards the end of my photo run.  🙂  They seem to do that ever since that Montreal experience – 30 below zero.  That was a whoops moment back in 2003.



Waterloo, Ontario – Snowsqualls


Line of heavy snow approaching Kitcehner/Waterloo.
































January 22, 2008: Snowing Tuesday in Waterloo!

  Woke up to a lot of snow this morning.  We picked up about  3 inches since Midnight.  The snow has continued into the afternoon hours.  Looks like we may get a couple of more inches.  High winds are forecast for later today.  We could have some decent blowing and drifting snow as the snow is very dry. 

  Some photos from outside the house at noon!

Outside of David’s house









Waterloo Snowfall – January 22, 2008


Snowing in Waterloo.  Roads are slushy to snow packed and covered.


Outside of David’s house


The road in front of the house is packed with snow.


The farm across the street looks like it might be snowed in 🙂


January 21, 2008: Five pin?

  So I guess everyone, who is reading this, has been bowling before?  Canada has a game called "Five Pin". Here are the rules.  Wiki says this: 

Five-pin bowling is a bowling variant which is only played in Canada, where many bowling alleys offer it, either alone or in combination with ten-pin bowling. It was devised around 1909 by Thomas F. Ryan in Toronto, Ontario, at his Toronto Bowling Club, in response to customers who complained that the ten-pin game was too strenuous. He cut five tenpins down to about 75% of their size, and used hand-sized hard rubber balls, thus inventing the original version of five-pin bowling.

  So anyway we went to play tonight.  My first time!  David won the first game (he actually got 3 strikes in a row) – Joey won the second game – and I won the third game.  🙂  Not bad!  Fun game.  Will definitely have to go play again.


This is what the ball looks like.  A bit smaller than a bowling ball.

Joey throwing the ball towards the five pins.

David taking his turn.

This was my winning game score 🙂  Not bad for my first time playing!!!

  It is starting to snow.  Looks like we might end up with a few inches by tomorrow afternoon.  🙂  Hopefully it will
snow in the morning…when I am actually awake.


Snowing tonight in Waterloo


January 21, 2008: Looking at home designs…

  So we like this home design.  It has a "widows walk" (thank you Sue Henry for that information) and a ton of balconies and patios.  This would be great for weather watching AND star gazing.  There are some things about it that we don’t like but we can re-work those with a contractor or architect.


  So we went to the movies last night.  We were going to see "The Bucket List" but ended up at "Atonement".  It was a great movie.   A little hard to follow at times but in the end it was a great movie.  Well worth seeing.  The movie is about a fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister’s (Keira Knightley) lover (James McAvoy) of a crime he did not commit. Based on the British romance novel by Ian McEwan.   You can read/hear more about it here at this link.



January 21, 2008: Looking out the window – 5 degrees this morning

OH YEAH!  BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR – it is a COLD COLD morning in Waterloo!!!!  I am lovin it!

January 19, 2008: Nice day in Toronto…

  Had a great day in Toronto.  Went to see the new movie "Cloverfield" – I won’t spoil the movie for anyone.  The monster wasn’t a rat though!!!!  The theater was packed out.  It was sold out last night.  Looked like it was sold out today as well.  Fun show and I would give it a thumbs up.

  Had lunch with Andrew and David.  Andrew played with the "One Laptop Per Child" computer.  He will probably have it deprogrammed before the end of the night.  lol  I think David wants to work on a microscope for the thing.  There seems to be production cost problems and the company is trying to figure out how to make it cheaper.

  Had a great dinner with Shawn.  Nice little Thai restaurant down the street from his apartment.  Great food.  Will have to go back there when I return to the city.  We watched "Click" after we finished eating.  I have not seen that movie before.  I think it came out last year?  Anyway, it was a good movie.  🙂

  Looks like a snowy week ahead.  I may try to find some lake effect snow bands.  Probably would have to drive an hour north – give or take.

  COLD back home.  Temperatures are in the 12-16 degree range at 10 p.m.  Here in Toronto temperatures are around 8 degrees above.  BRRRRR 🙂  Here are the 10 p.m. Toronto conditions!

Condition: Clear
Temperature: -11.7°C
Pressure / Tendency: 101.8 kPa / rising
WindChill: -22
Dew Point: -16.4°C
Wind Speed: W 26 km/h gust 41 km/h



January 19, 2008: Good Morning SNOW IN THE FORECAST!

  We had a nice time yesterday visiting with Doug.  It was a short visit though.  Hopefully we can get together for a longer stay in the coming weeks.  It looks like I won’t be returning home until the last week of February.  A bit longer than I had originally planned.  All good though.  This means that it will be almost MARCH once I get back in Paducah/Mayfield/Metropolis.   SPRING! 

  It looks like it is going to be a cold day today.  Temperatures are falling through the 20s.  We will be in the single digits and teens tonight across the Toronto area.  BRRRR 

  Today we are meeting up with our buddy Andrew.  Going to eat lunch and then off to see the new movie CLOVERFIELD.  We want to know what the monster is.  I have not peaked online…so no spoilers.  I think it is a giant rat.  Joey thinks it is a dinosaur of some kind.  Who knows!  Looking forward to seeing the movie and having lunch with David and Andrew.


Issued: 5.00 AM EST Saturday 19 January 2008

Today: Flurries. Wind west 30 km/h. Temperature falling to minus 9 this afternoon.
Tonight: Flurries ending near midnight then cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Local amount 5 cm. Wind west 30 km/h. Low minus 15.
Sunday: Cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries early in the morning. Flurries at times heavy beginning early in the afternoon. Amount 5 cm. Blowing snow in the afternoon. Wind west 40 km/h gusting to 60. High minus 9. Wind chill minus 20,
Monday: Cloudy with 40 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 12. High minus 7.
Tuesday: Periods of snow. Low minus 9. High minus 6.
Wednesday: Periods of snow. Low minus 10. High minus 6.

January 18, 2008: Around Toronto…

 Beau Dodson Photography – Toronto, Ontario


January 18, 2008: Around Toronto…

 Beau Dodson Photography – January 18, 2008

January 18, 2008: Around Toronto…

 Beau Dodson Photography – January 18, 2008




 Beau Dodson Photography – January 18, 2008

January 18, 2008: Toronto

Beau Dodson Photography – January 18, 2008

January 18, 2008: Toronto…farm update – other

  Well we arrived in Toronto yesterday afternoon.  Just in time to see the CN Tower being put back up after its afternoon cleaning.  Thought we had lost it there for a second…but no no it was fine.  Sometimes that thing seems to disappear behind a building or something like that.

  I was hoping for some snow.  That didn’t happen until around 7:30 in the evening.  The snow quickly changed to rain.  Go figure.  Come allllll the way to the GREAT WHITE NORTH – IN JANUARY no less – and it rains in Toronto.  CURSED weather.  Sometimes I think I am an avatar in a computer game and some little kid somewhere is saying "turn off the snow turn off the snow."  Then he laughs and mocks me.  You never know! 

  Was able to have dinner with Doug and Andrew.  It has been awhile since we have seen each other.  A few months I suppose.  🙂  It is always nice to catch up on the latest and greatest news from Toronto.  Doug is immersed in the virtual world concepts and how that is going to change business models.  I think sometimes that Doug wishes he had a crystal ball that would allow him to see into the future (even if it was just for a few short moments). 

  So anyway.  We had dinner at the Korean BBQ place on Yonge Street.  It actually has a different name…I can’t remember it right now.  It was nice though.  They bring you plates and plates and plates of food.  You then cook it yourself over a metal stove like thing in the middle of your table.  It reminded me of being in Boy Scouts.  lol

  Toronto hasn’t changed much.  Well it actually is constantly changing – new buildings and condos are going up everywhere.  We saw a sign that said "CONDO’S FROM 500,000 to 8 MILLION DOLLARS".  I want to know what you get for 8 MILLLLLLLIIIOOOONNN dollars?  For 8 million dollars you better get a maid for life, breakfast in bed for the rest of your life as well, also lunch and dinner cooked and served – a driver for my car – and someone to give me a back massage at the snap of a finger.  MAYBE I could see paying 8 million dollars for a condo – IF all of that was included.  On second though…maybe not.  🙂 

  I can already tell it is colder outside this morning.  I can see from my hotel window that it is windy.  Windy + temperatures below freezing?  Probably going to be a chilly walk around Toronto.  We are meeting up with Doug at noon.

  Everyone is asking me about the status of the farm property.  I have no new news on the farm.  I was hoping to have heard something by now.  Maybe next week?  That is what I keep thinking.  My Realtor is in Florida playing Golf.  My Realtor also happens to be my brother-in-law who needed a much deserved break from reality.  I keep waiting for him to send me photos of him and Tiger Woods on the green.  So far nothing. 

  We are heading to Europe in February.  First we have the Winter Carnival in Quebec City (any bets on how cold it will be there) and then a stop in Switzerland before heading to Moscow.  One of the "to do" locations on my list.  I have never been to Russia.  The VISA application was about two pages long.  Go figure.  I get the impression that Russia doesn’t trust Americans.  I wonder why?  I really couldn’t imagine.  🙂 

  It appears that I will return home just in time for March.  SPRING ANYONE???

  My friend Kristy has informed me that Lucy is joining the military.  I guess she isn’t going to wait for the draft!  Daisy isn’t jealous though – she wants nothing to do with the military.  I never took Daisy for being in the trenches (not saying I thought Lucy should be in the trenches either).

 Lucy – proudly serving  (Kristy sent me this photo)