Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You Want A WHAT For Christmas?

Christmas is right around the corner.

I don't want to think about it.

I'm not ready, and worried about being ready when the time comes.

Regardless of my state of readiness, it's coming.

A few weeks ago, Adam informed me of something that was on his Wish List.

It wasn't exactly what I was expecting.

'MOM! You've GOT to come here and SEE this!'

I knew he was watching TV, and given the time of night, I figured he was watching a particular show.

Oh it was a show alright, but again, it wasn't what I was expecting.

There was my 9yr old son, watching the infomercial for the Magic Bullet!

Alright! ALRIGHT! Get your minds out of the gutter! Not THAT type of magic bullet!

The Magic Bullet that, according to the website, 'saves you time because it does almost any job in the kitchen in 10 seconds or less!'

They make breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and desserts in that thing.

And there was Adam, GLUED to the TV ... fascinated.

As soon as I walked in the room, he said 'I want a Magic Bullet for Christmas!'

Having not yet seen what he was watching, I shot back a, 'You want a WHAT for Christmas?'

'LOOK what Mick & Mimi can do with it, Mom! WE could make those too! And it's ONLY three payments of $33.33!'

OK, I wasn't expecting THAT one!

Now, here's the scary part ... with each segment, he knew exactly what they were going to make, how to make it, whether to slice or dice, and was repeating parts of the dialogue along with them.


My kid is hooked on the magic bullet.

He now watches it, if he can catch it during what little time he watches TV.

He brings it up every few days. 'Can we get a magic bullet, Mom?'

And a few days later, out of the blue, 'Just think of all the things I could make with it.'

Notice he said 'I', not 'you'.

Yeah, he's his father's son. Always in the kitchen, and seriously wants a cooking appliance for Christmas.

Go figure.

My mother was visiting over the weekend. He sat her down to watch the infomercial. He REALLY wants that Bullet!

On Sunday, she made omelets for breakfast.

Adam was helping her.

As she was preparing the ingredients, he looks up at her, batting those baby blues and says;

'Ya know Grammy, if we had a Magic Bullet we could make this in only 6 seconds.'

And a couple of seconds later, 'You know, with the Magic Bullet, this would be done.'

Damn you Mick and Mimi and your Magic omelets, muffins and slushies that come in their own cups with different coloured tops!

Just damn you.

And your three easy payments.

Nope, never thought I'd hear one of my kids ask for a Magic Bullet for Christmas, (a SNUGGIE maybe).

But if it had to be a magic bullet, I'm glad it was the blender, and not ...

... the other one.

If you'd like to see firsthand, the Magic that is, The Bullet, you can find Mick and Mimi here:

This is Part I. If you really want to see more of the Magic, you can find Part II HERE.

So of course after I saw the videos, I read the comments.

Not everyone is happy with the Magic of their bullet.

Since there's also a huge shipping fee on top of the three easy payments, I thought I'd run it by Adam that maybe the Bullet wasn't such a great idea.

However, when I brought it up to him with a, 'Ya know, Bud, some people weren't happy with their MB.'

He simply looked at me, seriously, and replied, 'Well, if we're not happy, then we'll use the 30 day money back guarantee, won't we?'


My kid.

Please Note: This was NOT a solicited review for the Magic Bullet product. Simply one boy's fascination that needed to be shared.

With his approval of course ;-)


P.S. Oh and Santa, please feel free to bring Mama the other magic bullet for Christmas. It's been a long five years. Thanks. Smooches!




Seeing as so many people have made it over to this post, I HAD to come back and let you know if Adam opened a Magic Bullet on Christmas morning.


And yes, he made omelettes ... in his Bullet, for breakfast ;-)

Mick and Mimi would have been SO proud!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Fascination With James Bulger, And His Killers

A year ago today, I wrote a post.

It was about little James (Jamey) Bulger. Or more specifically, 'whatever happened to his killers?'

I had NO idea at the time, the amount of traffic that one post would drive to my site.

It has both shocked, and saddened me. According to Google Analytics, this post has been viewed 5,265 times since it's appearance.

It has, beyond a doubt, generated the most hits, and comments on my blog.

I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Most of the hits have resulted from Google searches.

The most popular, being some version of 'James (Jamey) Bulger's Killers' followed closely by 'James (Jamey) Bulger's Killers, Where Are They Now?'

Fifteen years later, and all these people are still wondering what happened, and where these (now) men are living.


Why is it, that EVERY SINGLE DAY someone does a search on Jamie Bulger and the boys who tortured him?

That was the question that went through my head, every time I saw the page had been viewed.

Then, about a month after it was up, the hits on that post started climbing towards the end of the day.

And climbing FAST!

By the end of the viewing frenzy, it had been looked at 750 times in 12 hours. And 99% of the hits were from the UK.

What the heck was up with that?

I went to the analytics site, to see where everyone had come from.

ALL google searches.

I could understand if someone had 'stumbled' or 'dugg' the post, but all the visits were because people had done a search on Jamie. Or his killers.


That surprised me.

Over time, I got curious, and ran my own 'Whatever happened to James Bulger's killers' search in Google.

The scary thing is, it came back with 24,000 results.

And there I was, in the top three.

Now, usually I'd be happy to be in top three anything!

But this ...?

A few months later, there was another spike.

This time, I had come to the conclusion that the surge in hits was caused by one of two things.

Either there had been some sort of 'special' aired on TV about the crime, or the case had now become homework for university/law/crimiology students, and they had just been given their assignment.

A few weeks ago, one of my theories was confirmed.

I received an email from a guy in the UK, who had just watched a show on the Bulger killing on TV. He then went off on a Google search, and found me.

(And took the time to write. Which is always nice BTW. Getting a 'hi, like your site!' email from strangers. Now matter HOW they got there!)

So that explains the days with super hits.

But what about the others?

What fascination, curiousity or requirement is bringing people to this post daily?

And what are they leaving with?

Compassion? Rage? Nothing?

Judging by the comments, it's still clearly an emotional issue.

Both the post, and comments have brought about heated opinions on the matter.

And right or wrong, people have very strong feelings on how these men should be allowed to lead the rest of their lives.

Keeping in mind, they were already judged. 15 yrs ago.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

That's why I've published all comments left on the blog.

All comments, with one exception.

Yesterday, I finally added an update to the original post.

I'm actually a little creeped out that it had to be done at all.

I've asked that readers stop sending me what they think are the new identities, and whereabouts, of Robert Thompson and Jon Venables.

I will NOT publish this information.

Yes, I think what they did was absolutely horrible. Reprehensible.

But what happens if I were to approve a comment that says 'Robert/Jon's NEW name is Oscar the Grouch, and he now lives at 123 Sesame Street! First trash can on the left ... you can't miss it!'

Would the people who have commented, who continue to hate these men, and believe they should be tortured/killed for their sins, would they and their friends suddenly show up on Sesame Street, trashing that first can on the left?

And what about the poor Bird who lives next door? What if he gets caught in the crossfire?

Seriously though.

There have been some pretty hateful comments left on the original post.

I am NOT going to be responsible for pointing the finger at people who may, or may NOT be who someone thinks they are.

And just because my mind works in the strange ways it does, another thought ran through it ...

What if there was some sick, vindictive person who was pissed off at someone, who was absolutely NOT Robert Thompson or Jon Venables ... but accused them anyway, for reasons that would only benefit the accuser?

Too many Criminal Minds episodes? Perhaps.

Any way you look at it, innocent people could get hurt by flinging names randomly out into the Internet universe.

If you think you know who and where they are, and feel you need to ABSOLUTELY do something about it? Send the info to the local police, (which I'm sure they already have), and then knowing that the proper authorities (now) know, and will be watchful, should be enough to ease that conscience of yours.

Don't send me your info.

I don't want it.

After a year, that post now generates anywhere from 300- 400 hits a month.

And sometimes, it still spikes to almost 500 hits a day.

For whatever reason, there is still a fascination with James Bulger, and his killers.

Was it because of the nature of the crime? That it was committed by children.

Who knows.

For whatever reason, people are still wondering Whatever Happened To James Bulger's Killers?

But, for Robert and Jon's sakes, I hope they never find out.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

H1N1 Ain't Been No Fun! - The H1N1 Series - Part II

Sorry it's taken so long to follow up on the last post.

I'm sure when you saw 'series' you didn't think it was a WEEKLY series! ;-)

I haven't been in the frame of mind to blog.


Too much real life to deal with. Good and bad.

'Nuff said.

So, if you're just joining us, the boys and I have NOT had our H1N1 virus shot.

If you're interested in reading my thoughts on this, feel free to check out the first part of this series; NO Shot For YOU! The H1N1 Series - Part I

All caught up?

Alrighty then!

So you know that while the boys and I were waiting to be eligible for the vaccine, we got the flu.

Of course.

It all started when I went to Alec's basketball game on Sunday (couple of weeks ago now).

They were with their father that weekend, but being the first game of the season, I wasn't about to miss it.

During the game, I noticed he was dragging his ass.

I chalked it up to the fact he had been to a Halloween Party the night before from 5-11pm.

I figured the trick or treating and late night had done him in.

When I picked him up from his dad's after dinner, he had just woken up with a headache, and was warm.

Again, figured the trick or treating and late night were taking it's toll.

Took his temp when we got home ... fever. I gave him Advil, and he went to bed.

Next morning, the fever was down, and he seemed fine so I sent him off to school.

By 3:30 when he got home, the fever was up over 100, and all the other symptoms had kicked in.

He stayed home the next day.

When Adam came home from school on Tuesday, he complained of being tired and had a headache.

The fever hit the next morning.

No school for you! Quarantine!

And me? When I went to bed on Tuesday night, I went with the intention of going to work the next morning (if Adam was able to go to school).


I woke up with with the freakin' flu!

Full fledged, kicked in, you're not getting your ass out of this bed, flu.

Was I surprised I got it, after Alec started showing signs?


You're talking to the girl who's had the double lung surgery, now has 15% less lungs and was diagnosed with COPD awhile back. Immune system less than 100%.

Oh, there's a respiratory pandemic going around?

Yeah, let me just move myself on over so you can come right on in Mr Flu.

Ya little bastard!

For three days my children were basically orphaned.


Thankfully (?) since they weren't feeling well either, and spent most of THEIR time in bed, they weren't very demanding.

Oh ... it's morning? Breakfast? Milk in the fridge, cereal in the cupboard or waffles in the freezer.

Help yourself.

Body crashes back into fetal position.


Lunch? Already?

Last night's leftovers in the fridge.

Help yourself.


It was crazy!

I DID however crawl out to make them dinner.

I had to. The 'guilty mom's' were setting in.

Not that they ate alot. Due to that old 'loss of appetite' symptom.

Me? I didn't eat for three days.

Had a clementine on the third day.

Thursday was spent in much of the same way.

A complete flu-induced HAZE.

Friday? Same.

A few days later, I had to ask Alec what I'd made for dinner on Thursday night.

For the life of me, I couldn't remember.

The flu hit us.


Alec and I hardest, and Adam with only a few symptoms.

We spent from Wed - Sun at home (Alec Tues-Sun) and four of those days were quarantined in the house.

We stayed away from everything. Work, school, basketball, etc.

We couldn't have gone anywhere if we'd wanted to anyway.

By the weekend, I had no choice. I HAD to get out and get groceries.

I was out of milk, bread, juice, eggs, etc. All the 'staples'.

And ... I hadn't had a coffee in FOUR DAYS, People!!!!! FOUR DAYS!!!!!

I was seriously jonesin' for a Tim's by then!

When I got to the store, I went straight to the pharmacy and asked if they had any masks.

They didn't.

Which surprised me.

So, I kept my head down, mouth shut, avoided all contact, got my stuff in under 5 min and got out.

I had spoken to the Dr.

I KNEW the diagnoses.

I know the H1N1 symptoms, process, rules, and spiel like a mantra.

If you have a confirmed case do this. If you have an unconfirmed case, but are presenting symptoms, do the same thing.

If you're around someone who is presenting symptoms, but you are fine, go out, live your life as usual.

I spoke to the Clinic when Alec first showed many of the symptoms on Monday night.

Diagnosis? STAY HOME!

I spoke to the Dr again once I started showing them on Wed.

The advice was the same.

Basically, there is ONE flu going around, if you have the identified symptoms, you have it. Stay home. Stay away from people. Treat the fever, headache and cough. Rest.


And you know what?

Your body doesn't give you a choice anyway.

So here's my take on this flu, and the whole experience.

  • * When it hits, it hits HARD and FAST.
  • * Don't bother trying to get out of bed, no ... really ... just STAY there.
  • * No, that is not a knitting needle poking through your eye and into your brain, it's simply a flu-induced headache, that should be gone in a few days ... really.
  • * You did not walk in your sleep and throw your body off a cliff. Those aches and pains? Yeah, thank the virus that's roaming around on your insides.
  • * Food? Uhhhh ... no.
  • * Cough? Nasty until it's under control.
  • * Chills, fever. Yup, yup.
  • * And if you have to deal with employers who require notes after 2-3 days ... god help you! Cause you're NOT making it out of the house to get that note!

Nope, H1N1 ain't been no fun!

But there IS an up side to this virus!

Come on, People, you know me! I HAVE to find a freakin' up side to this!

No stomach issues!

Which is a huge WooHoo for people like me who HATE puking with an almighty passion.

And there's another positive to consider.

We've been through it, and recovered, vaccine free.

Our bodies have now (hopefully) begun to build up a natural immunity to it, and this one bout will be the ONLY one ... this year.

There will be NO Part III to the H1N1 Series

When I originally had the idea for this 'H1N1 series', I had three things in particular I wanted to talk about.

The vaccine, actually having this H1N1 and the policies around being absent from work during the pandemic.

I have decided not to include the third post.

The reason I originally wanted to vent about it is no longer an issue.

With help, policy was changed, and people were looked at individually.

I will simply say this; All organizations need to take the seriousness of this pandemic into consideration, when advising their employees on 'sick time policy'.

Bottom line?


People who have come down with this little beast, are simply NOT able to get to the doctor's office on day 2-3. And some, maybe longer!

And do any of us REALLY want to be dragging our sick selves, and sick families down there, to expose and infect others?

Um ... NO!

In this particular case, with this particular flu, common sense needs to be put before 'policy'.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Stay healthy everyone!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

NO Shot For YOU! The H1N1 Series - Part I

We've been sick here.

All of us. To varying degrees.

I wasn't going to post on H1N1.

Simply because I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole vaccine, panic, people and policy thing(s).

I didn't really want to jump on any one bandwagon, and instigate a bunch of debates I really don't want to publicly instigate.

But ya know what?

Now that we've been through the week from flu hell, and are all on the mend, I've decided there are a few things I DO want to share.

Before I jump into 'our story', let me get a few things out there.

The Vaccine

I'm still not sure, 100% positive in my heart, that it won't leave long term effects in some, or many.

There is SO much information out there. And no, I'm not talking obviously bogus or the 'listen to me, I'm a nutjob' YouTube videos.

Real conflicting information.

And after reading so much, because ... you know, you have to be knowledgeable about the things you're going to put into your body, I'm still not convinced they know enough about it, and how much of a benefit it's really providing.

How many people do you know who have gotten 'the shot' and still ended up sick?

What long term effects will it have?

We're always so quick to jump on the latest 'miracle wonder' that will help us in whatever way.

You know what I keep thinking about?

When pregnant women were given the SAFE drug, Thalidomide (a harmless sedative for expectant mothers) in the 50's & 60's.

Oh sure, it was safe.

And HOW MANY children were born with birth defects because of it?

OK, so I'm comparing apples to oranges.

But bottom line is, we're all lining up to put something into our bodies, that hasn't been through a proper human trial.

Oh ... wait ... that's what THIS is ... isn't' it?

The High Risk List

Regardless, the decision whether or not to have the boys and I vaccinated was taken away from me, because we did not fit the requirement for the High Risk Category.

Meaning, NO Shot For YOU!

"Public health officials say there are only enough vaccines for people in four groups: pregnant women, First Nation communities, health-care workers and children between ages six months and 59 months."

Taken from the following article: Halifax-area H1N1 clinics open to high-risk groups

So, although there were those who instantly made to the decision to vaccinate, and stood in lineups lasting up to SEVEN hours!, since we couldn't get it anyway, I decided to stop worrying about THAT one, until the time came to open it up to the rest of us.

Given the vaccine shortage, I completely understand why this has to be done on a priority basis, and I agree with putting children, pregnant women and health care workers in high priority.

I do however, think that list should have been opened up to children 6-18 with pre-existing respiratory health conditions.

And I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say some are questioning whether or not it was 'fair' to have the First Nation people receiving their vaccines first.

Here's the issue.

Yes, First Nations on reserves were hit hard during the first wave of H1N1 last spring.

And the shortage of medical supplies must be an ongoing issue, not just H1N1 related.

That I can understand too.

But one person I spoke with about it made, what I thought, a good point; "If the general population outside of first nation reservations are expected to be responsible citizens, and take all precautions NOT to sick while waiting for the vaccine, why shouldn't they be expected to act responsibly also?"

And what about members off reserves?

If they're not living in 'high risk' areas, would they have been eligible for the first round of vaccine also?

I've never considered myself racist.

It wouldn't matter which 'group' we're talking about. I simply think that if a group of individuals can't take responsibility for their community, keeping in mind they choose to continue to live where they live, why should the rest of the general population suffer for it?

And by general population in this circumstance, I'm talking the kids only.

Kids over the 'high risk cutoff age' that have health issues, and could have really used that shot.

But that's enough about that.

Prisoners are priority?

OK, so here's the thing that REALLY pissed me off about the whole high risk priority list ... something that public health officials didn't mention ...

What about the ... the ... INMATES who are getting the vaccine before the rest of the community's children?

That's one I just don't understand!

The argument is that the inmates are in confined spaces and therefore susceptible to getting sick.

N.S. swine flu vaccine for high-risk groups only

But it wasn't only in Nova Scotia!

B.C. inmates to receive flu vaccine before prison staff

PEI - Inmates get H1N1 vaccine, children told to wait

(Thanks Michelle for the links!)

Um ... has anyone walked into a Primary classroom lately? Or sat on a school bus? Or been in a busy cafeteria line?

That goes for you grown ups too.

Do some of you not take the bus? Sit inches away from others in cubes?

Let's take a good look at this.

These inmates are ... ahem ... adults.

If they value their lives, they're going to wash their hands and take the other advised precautions to avoid getting sick.


They just don't get the seriousness of germs and illness.

While in THEIR confined spaces, they're all sharing stuff, and touchy feely, and leaving their slimy boogers where you least expect.

When not getting a big kick out of wiping them on others.

Just cause.

Like I said. Just don't get it.

So, while the boys and I were waiting to be eligible for the vaccine, we got the flu.

Of course.

It all started when ...

Actually, we'll save all that for next time.

Be sure to come back for H1N1 Ain't Been Fun! The H1N1 Series Part II

Stay well everyone!

And make informed decisions.

'nuff said.

For more information on the H1N1 vaccine, see the Public Health Agency of Canada website