Friday, 29 May 2009

talking about computers and learning

I made this little video of the podcast where Maria and I (mostly I) talk about computers and literacy learning so I could post it here. It was great chatting to Maria and fun to be on the interviewee side with such a good interviewer. You can listen to the whole series here: AlphaPlus Tech Podcasts.

Guess what? The podcasts are now on iTunes.

Thursday, 28 May 2009


Lockers originally uploaded by darrendraper

and i am quite happy with that. after all, this blog started a little like this:

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

hoser and not a hoser

It is a rainy day. The birds are eating worms and the flowers are soaking it all in.

We do not have a hose. It has been very sunny and windy and I have been having a hard time keeping up with the watering. Every time I turn around, someone else has wilted and I have to rush over with the watering can to resuscitate the latest victim. You can see how happy the baby plants are to have a good, long shower.

The hanging plants are starting to flower already. Nice one, rainy day.

I would like to thank whoever put this in the alley as garbage. It is perfect. The stand I had would not hold the umbrella up in even the most gentle breeze - I had to bungy cord it to the table. This stand is like the rock of Gibralter and the umbrella held its ground through some pretty hefty winds that were knocking lots of other stuff asunder before the rain came.

And thanks to Mr. Toad for leaving his garbage in our yard!?!?

Speaking of Mr. Toad, he had a huge fight with someone in the alley this afternoon. It seemed to consist mostly of him yelling epithets at a guy who returned the favour with the exact same epithets. It was all very alpha alpha. I was too scared to go and see who was yelling at him and why. Just now a police person was in my yard trying to find out what property the garage next door belongs to. Coincidence?

Monday, 25 May 2009

blogging after dark

It was still light when I finished my chores and sat down at the table in the yard to post about yesterday, but it is dark now.

The video is for Flora so she can hear Toronto on a spring night on a leafy street near Dufferin Grove.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

the real victoria day

We had a housemate consultation about the garden and two of us went to the garden centre to get some plants. The garden centre was BUSY but everything went smoothly. As we were walking in I was looking at the mayhem and wondering how I was going to get a cart when a smiling gardening centre worker rolled one up and said, "Are you looking for this?"

Even the huge line to pay moved at a lightning pace.

At one point, I was standing by our cart while my co-gardener was looking for cilantro and for some reason I said, "Sweet peas" out loud. A young gardening centre worker suddenly popped up and said, "Are you looking for sweet pea vines?" I wasn't but I said yes and he practically ran down the aisle to show me where they were. He told me that sweet peas are his favourite flower and he has them all over his apartment. His advice is a sunny window and LOTS of water. "The problem is that most people do not water them enough," was his parting shot. I picked out 8 sweet pea plants to climb the fence behind the veggies.

We walked up and took a cab back. We lucked out and got one of the rare, great cab drivers who laughed a lot and helped us with our packages.

The universe loves our garden.

When we got home, the planted tomatoes looked parched so we gave them a drink.

The garden fairies saw that we also needed sustenance so they prepared us another snack.

And on that good fuel, we got the plants settled in.

After all that I was exhausted but this time I did not have to rely on the reliable garden fairies because Mum invited us for dinner.

We had soup,

followed by salads,

followed by trifle!

in honour of Queen Victoria's actual birthday.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

gardening newbie

Last year my landlady, queen of the garden, died. Her little vegetable plot near my back door was filling up with weeds and it just seemed wrong. I know NOTHING about gardening but I thought that perhaps it was time to learn. I asked my new landlord, her son, if we could do some planting. He said yes.
Here is what the plot looked like this morning.

And this is what it looked like after I weeded.

Here is the weed pile.

I think Mrs. Setnyk or her friend Maroushka planted this onion. We miss them. We miss their good gardening and the way they rooted our household. But we still have the wonderful flowers, the fabulous rose tree outside my window and this onion.

My dad came by with some henpoop fertilizer and my first tomato plants! Thanks Dad.

I raked in the fertilizer.

I guess I exposed a few unlucky worms and that attracted a couple of hungry robins looking for easy pickings. Sorry worms. And sorry blog readers if this video makes you seasick - robins are very jumpy :P

These robins had no trouble gobbling these worms, unlike some other Toronto robins.

I planted the 8 tomato plants and the robin stood guard.

Here is the garden plot Saturday afternoon.

I did some more garden chores - raking and sweeping. A housemate came home and we sorted some stinky garbage problems and swept up a bit more. Here is the snack and the gin & tonic the garden fairies prepared for us as a reward for a job well done.

The other housemates (there are 4 apartments in our house) want to grow things as well so we are going to get some more plants tomorrow.

Monday, 18 May 2009

monday in the city

Happy May 2-4 weekend everybody.

I met my friend at Harbourfront. We sat on a wall and looked at the boats and the folks passing by.

Then we walked up to Peter Pan for dinner. We had a drink on the patio and went inside for dinner because it was a bit chilly once the sun went down.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

your hero

Let everyone see your inner superhero at the Hero Factory.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

mum day

Mum and Dad came over for lunch. The day started out chilly and cloudy so we ate inside. Do not worry. I gave them more food than this. We started with a plate of pears, figs and cambazola and a glass of kir royale. We had squash soup followed by rice with grilled veg and tuscan beans (navy beans cooked with garlic and sage) and the tuscan cabbage slaw and tomato salad you see here.

I gave Mum a hat because she is a great Mum and I want her to be happy in the sun.

Mum gave me an orchid, some tea towels and candies.

The sun came out so we went outside for blackberry-walnut cake and coffee.

Then we talked via Skype to daughter #2 who lives in London, England.

When D2 had to go, Mum and I chatted in the garden and Dad did the dishes. It got cold when the sun started to go behind the trees so Mum and I came in and watched the Coronation Street DVDs my Dad got for her. Dad went for a walk to Dufferin Grove. When he got back we chatted for a bit and off they went.

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