Wednesday, August 29, 2007

When Heather Dale was Heather who?

I remember Heather Dale when she was just another SCAer selling her CD’s at events. She was at most of the same events I was. Some times our tables would be side by side. She would discreetly play her CD’s, hiding the CD player with a cloth so it would not bother the period police. I always enjoyed having my table or booth by hers, the music was always wonderful to hear and I would buy CD’s whenever I had the money. I still have some of them. She usually shared her table with a man who did paper making, and bookbinding. He did great work. Heather took the time to record other SCA musicians and sold their CD’s as well. She was the person responsible for making SCA musicians in our area realise how good they were and how far they could go. A lot of people grew as musicians because of her. Most out grew the SCA and started performing elsewhere and busking and doing renfestivals. She let our musicians feel valued and did a lot to strengthen and support our local musicians. Now 8 years latter she is world famous and a headliner. It is funny how things go. If you don’t know her or her music please take the time to look at her website

Heather Dale to be featured musical performer at Pagan Pride Day

Heather Dale will be the featured musical performance at Pagan Pride Day in Hamilton Ontario on Sept. 15 2007. For more information here is the PPD link her initial performance will begin at 12 Noon.

Heather Dale:modern folk music with Celtic roots

Heather Dale cheerfully discards the stereotypical limits for both folk singer-songwriters and Celtic balladeers. Tapping into the continuing evolution of Celtic peoples worldwide, this Canadian singer-songwriter offers a new type of Celtic music for the 21st century: a playful, passionate and fearless blend of tradition and innovation. "Her music is powerful stuff, reminiscent of Loreena McKennitt and Sarah McLachlan but with a depth and resonance rooted in its mythic sources." (Vancouver Sun)

Heather fuses traditional stories with a healthy mix of Celtic folk, blues, jazz and world music influences. Particularly known for her interpretations of ancient legends, she excels at finding modern themes within old -- and often overlooked -- material. Her songs celebrate honest love and the personal search for meaning, as well as delivering cunning commentary on such modern concerns as self-image, sexual tensions, and even civil disobedience. "Although steeped in Celtic culture, Dale's approach to the music is contemporary; there's nothing faint or wispy about this Celtic folk singer." (K-W Record)

Her innovative live shows with fellow multi-instrumentalist Ben Deschamps feature over a dozen folk instruments, from bodhran drum to mountain dulcimer, along with Heather's rich and evocative voice. The performances feature original songs from Heather's five CDs, along with traditional folk and Celtic material from North America and the UK.

Heather Dale released her 5th solo CD "The Road to Santiago" in 2005. A cosmopolitan album of modern folk songs, Heather co-produced the CD with folk veteran Paul Mills (Stan Rogers, Tanglefoot). With strong vocal performances and tight songwriting, Heather's songs draw their inspiration from many diverse cultures, including New-World Celtic, Irish, Spanish, Caribbean, Greek, and even Canadian Inuit. "Heather Dale soars on this recording, an unabashed and uninhibited romantic who has found her voice and her musical wings." (Toronto Star)

Additional info and sound clips are available at

Good Eats in Hamilton Ontario

Today we found a great sandwich place. It is called Extreme Sandwich Plus at 2255 Barton Street East, Hamilton, ON L8H 7T4. The name is dead on. I could not believe the sandwiches we got. We got the small ones and ½ of one filled me up. I had a salami one, on a cheese bun. It had 5 layers of meat. There was a huge choice of sandwich fillings, like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion and more. They even had havarti at no extra charge. James got an egg salad sandwich. The man took out a container from the fridge and James thought that it was just the container that they stored the egg salad in. Nope all of it went on the sandwich. It was so big the guy said he would not cut the sandwich because James would not be able the eat it. He also told James to keep the bag on it when eating to keep the egg on the sandwich. (Not to eat the bag, just in case some one takes it that way lol). These were the small sandwiches; I don’t know how big the bigger sandwiches are. The man making the sandwiches was the owner and he did not chinch on any thing. I was very impressed. They even do catering, and I would say based on the sandwiches we got it would be worth having them as caterers.

So if you are in the Hamilton area this is a good place to go. The only thing that would make the place better was some tables to sit and eat at. This is a take out place, but worth going to. We had two extremely large sandwiches, an extra large coffee, and a Fruitopia and it only came to $11.00. Why am I telling every one about this place? Because we find these great places that are a bit out of the way or not in the best locations that are great, but go under because they don’t have enough exposure to build a good customer bass. I would like to see this one stay around. We don’t go out for food very much so it may be a year before we would go back. Just because we don’t have the money to eat out, trust me if we did this place is worth it and we would go again.

Here is the link that will give you the map and phone # if you are interested in finding this place.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The joy of making cake with your kids, well making any thing with your kids

I tend not to let my kids help me make things because we just don’t have a lot of room in the kitchen and it is not the safest place to be with a little kid. However a few days ago we finally found Dunkin Hines Cream cheese icing. I love that stuff. I have tried a few other icings but the only thing that is as good (and maybe better) then the cream cheese icing I make myself is the Dunkin Hines one. The local store does not carry it any more, but we found a store that does. We picked the kids up and told them we would make cake. Sure enough as soon as the kids were done snack, it was “lets make cake”.

For a change I decided to let my oldest help with the actual making of the cake. He likes to help and well it is fun. So he picked out what cake mix, poured it into the bowl, helped Mom pour the water. I did the oil and eggs, but he had the job of counting the eggs and spoons of oil. So he was even part of that. Then he got to mix the cake. Well he held onto the mixer with me, but as far as he was concerned he mixed that cake. Then we each buttered a cake pan. Then he started trying to eat the batter before I could get it into the cake pans. Lots of laughing with that. I made sure I unplugged the mixer; no taking chances with his little hands getting in the wrong place. Then he got one beater and his sister got the other to clean off, letting me get the batter into the pans and oven. Now that was fun. What made it fun was the look on his face as he got to do all this. You could tell it made him feel good about himself and well we got to spend some time doing some thing together. It was great.

The cakes cooked as we ate dinner. When the cakes were done we let them cool and then got them onto some large plates. Now the real fun began. Out to the living room where the kids table is, two cakes, two kids, one can of icing, two butter knives and a spatula, a little container of sprinkles and a half bag of coloured little marshmallows. Was it fun, oh yes. I took the spatula and put half the can on each cake and let them go. With a little help from me. Once the cakes had icing all over, the sprinkles went on and then marshmallows, most of which ended up in mouths not on cakes. Then my daughter used her butter knife to try and cut chunks out of the cake and started to eat. I gave them each a fork and the race was on. They had icing all over themselves, big bald spots on the cakes and smiles like you would not believe.

Finally I figured that they had enough fun (sugar) and took the cakes away, but then gave them each a piece from their cake. Mind you they ate the icing and left the cake. Each day they got a piece from their cake, and it was great. We still have a small piece left but it will be eaten tonight. The kids loved making their own cakes. I hope to be able to do this, or other things with the kids way more often once we move. We will have more room and a place to actually do things like this. It is so easy to forget to make time for things like this. Sure it took more time then if I did it by my self, but would it have been as much fun, no. Was it worth it, yes, just the looks on their faces as they got to make their own cakes, how good it made them and me feel is worth the little extra work.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Winning the lottery

So I was standing in line to check my lotto ticket. The lady in front of me was also checking hers. The music came out of the machine. The casher got kind of excited. The lady had just won second place, over 100,000.00. She looks at the ticket and said, what am I going to do with this. She was in her late 80’s, with no family or friends left and on top of that she had Cancer. She just liked the idea of wining but never expected to win. It was hard not to say, then trade tickets with me, lol. It was nice to actually see some one win, but I wish it had been my ticket. It is always interesting to see who wins. I like it when it is some one who is on welfare or a single parent or a student.

The best one was when this single mom won. Her husband had just left her, signed over his parental rights as he did not want to pay child support. He wanted to live the high life with out his family, but with the new girlfriend soon to be trophy wife. He did have money, but he left them as high and dry as he could. The day after the divorce was final she bought a ticket, using the money from the divorce settlement, and won the big prize, in the millions. We all laughed at the idea of him trying to get back with her.

Then I was working at a temp. job a few years ago. I was told that the person I was covering for had to take some time off for legal matters. Her husband came home one day, and well out of the blue up and left her. Told her it was over. Started divorce proceedings that day. No explanation or any thing. So they divorced, he gave her custody of the kids, signed over his parental rights (see the theme here). He found a nice apartment, new girlfriend, and then almost a year latter found the winning ticket for several million dollars. He cashed it in. His ex found out about it because the papers made a big deal about how this ticket was found just before the year was up, and how lucky the guy was finding it in time to cash it in. It was just days before it would have been to late to claim. Big news. Well, the legal battle started. Why, because it was purchased when they were still married. He had checked the ticket, found out it was the winning one, came home and told her it was over. He figured that if he cashed it after the divorce she would never know about it, and because it was found after the marital assets had been divided, he would get all the money. He knew he had the ticket, spent a lot of money before cashing it in, got a new place, new car, new boat, and new girlfriend. I found this out because the lady called her place of employment to let them know she would not be coming back. The court decided that as the ticket was purchased when they were still married that she got half of it. Then they got into the fraud aspect of it and that he was hiding marital assets. The end result was that the court turned over part of the divorce settlement. Not only did she get a lump sum of half the money, he now had to pay a large alimony, and child support (but did not get to see the kids), so she ended up with more then half, the kids got a good chunk. The girlfriend left him; he lost his wife and kids, most of his friends, and most of the money. All because he was greedy.

It is interesting to see what things happen when people win. Years and years ago I was up north for a camping weekend. On the way there we stopped for coffee, and overheard people talking about how the town was in trouble, and that the pulp mill (paper mill) was closing, and with it went most of the jobs. It was depressing. On the way home, Sunday, we stopped for lunch at the only dinner in the area, same place we had stopped for coffee. It was a different place. We could hear all these people talking about getting together and buying the mill and keeping the town open. We did not know what was going on. Then we found out that a group of guys who worked at the mill had a lotto pool and they had just won about 20 million on the Saturday. I was kicking myself because I had wanted to buy a ticket on Friday when we got into town, but forgot to. So I always think I was that close to buying the winning ticket. Mind you though, I know the right people won that one. Mind you I don’t know if they did buy the paper mill or not. I do know that they told the newspapers that they were going to try to buy it.

I just keep buying my ticket, it only takes one and you cannot win if you don’t buy at least one. Maybe one day I can tell every one I won.

I tried eBay again

So I decided to try eBay again. Not to sell, never that again, but to buy. I have so far have been ok buying things. I think it has to do with the fact that there is more protection for the buyers then the sellers. So what happens, I buy from two people. I asked for a quote before bidding as they only gave shipping for in the US. Both gave me an ok shipping quote. So I bid and win. The first person, hawkl921 gave me the shipping quote based on the weight and the US postal web site. They told me they would take the item to the post office to make sure the quote was accurate before invoicing me. They came back and let me know that the US post office was going to charge $10.00 more then what the web site had said. They then let me decide if I wanted to pay the extra or not. If not then hawkl921 would not hold me to the bid. I was not able to pay for the extra shipping cost, as it would bring the shipping cost to 3 times more then the item. I found that hawkl921 dealt with the whole situation in a professional manner and I would do business with them again.

Now the second person was a completely different story. They had given me a shipping quote and their ad said that if you bought more then 1 item you only had to pay half the shipping cost for the second item. So that is what I did, I figured out what the shipping cost should be and paid for it. We got an email saying we had short paid, and had to pay another $10.00 (that $10.00 again lol). We looked at the payment and realized I had paid $14.00, not the $18.00 I should have so we owed them $4.00 not another $10.00. We let them know, so they emailed us telling us that we had lied to them about our address and had shown them a US address first when they made the quote. Um, no I showed my address in Canada. What would be to point to get a quote for a different address, one that was not even in my country? Nice try, I kept all the emails and was able to show them that. Then they said that their add only said ½ price shipping on the second item if in the US and they expected us to pay full shipping for both items. Um, no went back and looked, it did not say US only. So we said we would be happy to pay the $4.00 I had accidentally shorted them. Then they came back and said that the original quote was for a different item, that it did not have glass in it and that the ones with glass weigh more so it cost more to ship. Um, no I still had the email threw eBay with the link to the product I was getting the quote on. The difference was the colour of the insert, that was it. At this point we decided we did not wish to do business with these people. We had all the proof we needed to know that yes I had short paid by $4.00 but that was it, and if they would not honour their ad then and quote then they were not professional. I would never do business with them. They are a large seller of jewellery displays, but I cannot see how they expect to stay in business if treat their customers this way.