Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Birdcage


Over the past nine months I have occasionally shared bowling news from our league – Supreme Triples.


Sometimes, after a particularly good night, it was to share the good fortune of our team (The Birdcage). Other times, after we didn’t do so well, it was to complain. Other times still, when my ball didn’t want to roll right or when the pins just didn’t want to fall, it was to vent my frustration.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Can you afford to grow old?


I noticed a headline this morning … A Reminder: Growing Old is Not the End of the World.  
And I agree, growing old is nothing to panic about, there are some definite advantages to growing old, unfortunately, there are also some disadvantages. Let’s start top to bottom.

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Small, medium or large?


Over the past few months I have complained about the cold. Here in Toronto, winter started in November and kept us in its icy grip until well into April.

Even when it was officially spring, the temperatures varied from cold, to very cold, to OMG my fingers and toes are frozen.

Now, for the past week or so, it really is spring and would you believe it … I already miss the cool days of winter.
During the day it’s not so bad, with the balcony door open, the temperature inside is, what I would call, comfortable. But the nights, OMG the nights. I can’t even remember the last time I slept good.

With only a small window in the bedroom, the night air is not just warm, it’s oppressive. I rarely fall asleep before 3:00 a.m. and if I do fall asleep, I keep waking up in a sweat.

While I used to enjoy a nap during the day, that’s become impossible too. I can’t fall asleep without some sort of cover, but it’s too warm for any type of covering. So it’s a catch 22.

Air-conditioning you might say … great idea, except I live in a condo building where the management decides when the A/C gets switched on and apparently they don’t think A/C is needed yet.

So, until I get the use of A/C, I have to make do with a fan. Do I have a fan … as a matter of fact, I have three: small, medium and large.

The small one releases nothing more than a gentle breeze. It’s perfect for very local use, such as a nightstand.


The medium sized one is what I use the most. It has three settings and a swivel head, and gives off an acceptable stream of cool air. Except, it’s still very local. If I’m in bed, and I turn over, I feel cool air on my back instead of my face.


The large fan is more suitable for the living room than the bedroom. For one, it makes so much noise, it’s like a helicopter is about to take off. And two, the emitted air is so powerful, I run the risk of being blown out of my bed.


A few people in my building have a ceiling fan installed, but I’m not in favor of that concept. I have visions of such a fan falling from the ceiling and decapitating me or one of the cats that sleep on my bed.

Think about it, those ceiling fans have huge blades, which rotate at an increasable speed. If such a fan were to fall, it could do some real damage. So, if you had to choose between having a hot head or no head at all what would you pick … (I thought so).

So until the management of this building decides that it’s hot enough for the A/C to be switched on, I’ll suffer in silence and melt, inch by inch, pound per pound.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Girl on the Train - Review



The last time I was on a train, I saw one of my fellow passengers reading “The Girl on the Train”. Since my favorite authors has nothing new on the shelf, I decided to give “The Girl on the Train” a try.

Synopsis

Three women, three men, connected through marriage or infidelity. Each is to blame for something. But only one is a killer in this nail-biting, stealthy psychological thriller about human frailty and obsession.
     Just what goes on in the houses you pass by every day? 
     Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and evening, rattling over the same junctions, flashing past the same townhouses.The train stops at the same signal every day, and she sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof terrace. Jason and Jess, as she calls them, seem so happy. Then one day Rachel sees someone new in their garden. Soon after, Rachel sees the woman she calls Jess on the news. Jess has disappeared.
     Through the ensuing police investigation, Rachel is drawn deeper into the lives of the couple she learns are really Megan and Scott Hipwell. As she befriends Scott, Rachel pieces together what really happened the day Megan disappeared. But when Megan's body is found, Rachel finds herself the chief suspect in the case. Plunged into a world of betrayals, secrets and deceptions, Rachel must confront the facts about her own past and her own failed marriage.
     A sinister and twisting story that will keep you guessing at every turn, The Girl on the Train is a high-speed chase for the truth.

To be fair, I’ll post five reviews. A one, two, three, four and five star review.
By Dianne B May 10, 2015

I did not like the drinking and drugs! It was very slow-going as far as reading. We need upbeat books. This one was a downer!I do not like to criticize, but it was a waste of my time!

2 - Two stars - Slow moving
By Susan W May 11, 2015
I wanted this book to be better than I found it. It was a twisting story, but moved too slowly

By Sydney May 11, 2015
I liked the idea of the book but not the complete execution. It's difficult for the reader to really like or relate to any of the characters. Although I did feel like the descriptions of Rachel's battle with alcohol to be sometimes somewhat compelling. I really did feel her want/need for a drink.

By Ms S68 May 11, 2015
Very exciting mystery. The author made me feel like I was there. Every emotion and every situation practically jumped off the pages

By Teddy W May 11, 2015
My favorite book- Hands down! I loved it!

Personally I agree with Dianne B who gave “The Girl on the Train” a one star review. I didn’t like the main character’s excessive drinking either. In fact, Rachel was the most unsympathetic main character I’ve ever come across.

Throughout the story, I lost count of how many glasses of wine and gin and tonics this girl pours down her throat. She drinks when she’s happy, she drinks when she’s mad, she drinks when she’s frustrated, she drinks for breakfast, lunch and dinner and if she wakes up in the middle of the night, she goes looking if there are any wine dregs in a bottle left. Then she wonders why she has blackouts. Here’s a suggestion … stop drinking!!!

It’s also a bit of a mystery where this alcoholic finds the money to support her habit. She got fired because of her drinking, and she can’t find another job for the same reason, so where does her money come from? The writer doesn’t mention unemployment checks, nor welfare, so maybe wine and gin and tonic are free in England.

I also wonder what kind of message Paula Hawkins sends to her readers with this alcoholic main character. That it’s okay to get drunk when things get rough? That alcohol is the solution to all problems? How do recovering alcoholics get through this book without falling off the wagon? Did Paula Hawkins think about that?

Her clinginess toward her ex-husband is equally annoying. Phone calls at every hour of the day and night, emails, surprise visits … it’s a miracle she didn’t become the victim of the killer.

All in all, if “The Girl on the Train” is Paula Hawkins debut novel, she won’t sell a follow up to me. They might give it to me for free and I’ll pass on it.

This is what comes of trusting a new author … a horrible disappointment.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Girl on the Train - Review


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The last time I was on a train, I saw one of my fellow passengers reading “The Girl on the Train”. Since none of my favorite authors had nothing new on the shelf, I decided to give “The Girl on the Train” a try.

Synopsis

Three women, three men, connected through marriage or infidelity. Each is to blame for something. But only one is a killer in this nail-biting, stealthy psychological thriller about human frailty and obsession.
     Just what goes on in the houses you pass by every day? 
     Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and evening, rattling over the same junctions, flashing past the same townhouses.The train stops at the same signal every day, and she sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof terrace. Jason and Jess, as she calls them, seem so happy. Then one day Rachel sees someone new in their garden. Soon after, Rachel sees the woman she calls Jess on the news. Jess has disappeared.
     Through the ensuing police investigation, Rachel is drawn deeper into the lives of the couple she learns are really Megan and Scott Hipwell. As she befriends Scott, Rachel pieces together what really happened the day Megan disappeared. But when Megan's body is found, Rachel finds herself the chief suspect in the case. Plunged into a world of betrayals, secrets and deceptions, Rachel must confront the facts about her own past and her own failed marriage.
     A sinister and twisting story that will keep you guessing at every turn, The Girl on the Train is a high-speed chase for the truth.

To be fair, I’ll post five reviews. A one, two, three, four and five-star review.
By Dianne B May 10, 2015

I did not like the drinking and drugs! It was very slow-going as far as reading. We need upbeat books. This one was a downer!I do not like to criticize, but it was a waste of my time!

2 - Two stars - Slow moving
By Susan W May 11, 2015
I wanted this book to be better than I found it. It was a twisting story, but moved too slowly

By Sydney May 11, 2015
I liked the idea of the book but not the complete execution. It's difficult for the reader to really like or relate to any of the characters. Although I did feel like the descriptions of Rachel's battle with alcohol to be sometimes somewhat compelling. I really did feel her want/need for a drink.

By Ms S68 May 11, 2015
Very exciting mystery. The author made me feel like I was there. Every emotion and every situation practically jumped off the pages

By Teddy W May 11, 2015
My favorite book- Hands down! I loved it!

Personally I agree with Dianne B who gave “The Girl on the Train” a one-star review. I didn’t like the main character’s excessive drinking either. In fact, Rachel was the most unsympathetic main character I’ve ever come across.

Throughout the story, I lost count of how many glasses of wine and gin and tonics this girl pours down her throat. She drinks when she’s happy, she drinks when she’s mad, she drinks when she’s frustrated, she drinks for breakfast, lunch and dinner and if she wakes up in the middle of the night, she goes looking if there are any wine dregs in a bottle left. Then she wonders why she has blackouts. Here’s a suggestion … stop drinking!!!

It’s also a bit of a mystery where this alcoholic finds the money to support her habit. She got fired because of her drinking, and she can’t find another job for the same reason, so where does her money come from? The writer doesn’t mention unemployment checks, nor welfare, so maybe wine and gin and tonic are free in England.

Her clinginess toward her ex-husband is equally annoying. Phone calls at every hour of the day and night, emails, surprise visits … it’s a miracle she didn’t become the victim of the killer.

All in all, if “The Girl on the Train” is Paula Hawkins debut novel, she won’t sell a follow-up to me. Actually, they might give it to me for free and I’ll pass on it.

This is what comes of trusting a new author … a horrible disappointment.








Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Meet inspector Mickey


Anyone who has a pet, especially a cat or a dog, knows how curious they are with our daily activities.
Noisy activities, such as vacuum cleaning, might keep them at bay, but where it comes to dusting, doing the dishes, or mopping the floors, many of them take a front row seat. And as many pet owners will agree, window washing is their favorite entertainment.

When I filled a bucket with water today, Holly was there, peering in the bucket and looking at me with a face that said … what you doing?

She quickly caught on. As I took the bucket out on the balcony, she planted herself on the windowsill and waited in eager anticipation as to what I was up to.

As the sponge went up and down, and from left to right, so did Holly’s head. As the squeegee moved from the very top to the very bottom of the glass, Holly never took her eyes of this strange contraption.

When the windows were done, Holly took off and inspector Mickey took her place. He padded outside, jumped on the cat tree and had a close look if I had completed the job to his satisfaction.

Are you doubting my statement? See for yourself …






If your cat is not interested in what you’re doing … don’t worry about it, not all cats want to be where the action is.

Just look at Gabriel, he couldn’t care less about window washing and whether or not there are streaks in the glass. He trusts me enough to let me get on with my business while he gets on with his. As long as he gets his beauty sleep, it’s all good.






Monday, May 4, 2015

Kitten Diaries - This week free on Kindle


‘Chanel’s Story,’ is about an ugly shelter kitten who gives herself no chance at being adopted.  After many disappointments, she discovers that there are people willing to look beyond fur deep.   Chanel’s poignant and amusing story shines a well-deserved spotlight on animal shelter adoptions and the importance of responsible pet ownership.   

Beyond the timely message of overflowing shelters, ‘Chanel’s Story’ is, at the heart of it, about the blessing of acceptance.   Not just a human’s acceptance and love for a cat; but also a cat’s special love for the owner who saved her.

In ‘Queeny’s Diary,’ this tiny, Ragdoll breed kitten is left in the care of friends while her owners go away on vacation.  Her diary entries describe numerous adventures and misadventures when she finds herself alone in a household full of other older and eccentric cats.


Get it now at: http://tinyurl.com/q6c3una