Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

August 31, 2007

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Never go food shopping when you are hungry. That's what I did this morning. I figured I'd get it out of the way today and then I wouldn't have to do it over the weekend, and I would buy some good stuff for the 3-day weekend. As I was rounding one of the aisles, there was a huge display of Hostess products. I spied these carrot cake cupcakes and like Pavlov's dog, I started salivating. Who doesn't love a nice gooey carrot cake with the sweet cream cheese frosting? Ya know the kind.... so sweet that your teeth and jaw begin to hum, and in a half hour your friends or coworkers have to scrape you off the ceiling from the sugar high.

Oh!! OH!!! The deliciousness! Those plump carrot cupcakes, with creamy trans fats and in 100 calorie packages!!! I could have three of these scrumptious icing covered cream filled decadant cupcakes. I've always had a fondness for Hostess products. HoHo's, Devil Dogs, Ring Dings, Crumbcake, Twinkies. It's all good. And my favourite of all, those amazing chocolate frosted cupcakes with the cream filling......Oh Sweet Joy! Oh Blessed Creamy Rapture!! So I finish my shopping, get home and put the groceries away. I cannot wait to try one of these bad boys. I make my coffee and carefully open the box..... ....and I pull this out of the box. Are ya freakin kiddin' me? Note to Hostess: If you are going to put a picture like that on the box, make sure the damn product looks like the picture!!!Yes, that's a quarter, ladies and germs. I gotta tell ya, these cupcakes look like they have seen better days.
Does this really look like the creamy filled goodness that Hostess depicts on the box?

But I ate 'em anyway.

August 29, 2007

Outstanding In Her Field

Earlier today Susan and I were emailing about our excitement over the upcoming college football season. I asked her why Michigan's colour was called "maize" instead of "yellow" or "gold" and she emailed back that maybe they are "outstanding in their field". That brought to mind the extremely amusing Clover Stornetta Dairy billboards that appear along Highway 101 in Sonoma County, California. Every time we headed north, which was frequently, I would eagerly anticipate a new billboard and try to snap a photo of it. They are the masters of very punny Clo the Cow jokes, such as the apron see below, "At Clo's Range"...
...and their "Eclological" grocery sack (that's Clo the cow, ain't she cute?)....

...not to mention their trucks, "Moona Lisa, a Classic Pitcher."

I have a few photos of other billboards and trucks, but it would take an act of congress to scare them up out of my photo albums, especially since I am posting this from work, so I hope you check out the link below. I tried to right-click on the pictures, but unfortunately that's not an option. There will be a line of cartoon photos with different years. Click on the photos and the billboards will display. They are really cute.
Here's Clo at a parade, and I have photos of her at the Fairfax Festival parades too.
The only black eye the company got, which was incredibly STOOPID, was the time they did a "Jacques Closteau" billboard. The Cousteau family got wicked pissed off and sued the dairy for trademark infringement. I believe that they settled out of court and Clover Stornetta had to make a sizeable donation to the Cousteau Foundation or something. I just thought it was so lame that they took offense at the adorable parody, but that they sued a little, local, family-owned dairy over it was so unnecessary. But what can you expect from the freakin' French anyway. They have no sense of humour.

August 26, 2007

Trip Indulgences

Here are some pictures of the really great stuff I got on my trip to Canada.....all the stuff I couldn't think of when Occifer Otto was grilling me about my purchases. It's just as well, he would have made me make an itemized declaration just in case I went over the limit. I've spared you a photo of the maple leaf shaped maple syrup bottle and the red double decker bus pencil sharper w/ the "Canada" stickers on it.

As much as I do enjoy kitschy souvenirs, when I travel and buy spendy things, I try to make a point of purchasing stuff made by local artists.

I got this gorgeous Chinese checkers game in Port Angeles the morning I left. I found one really cool store that was open super early (probably for ferry travelers!) so I went in to browse around. There was no price tag that I could see and you know what they say, if you can't see the price tag, you probably can't afford it. Being a marble addict, I had to inquire. The salesclerk looked and said, "$66.00". I said, "Sold." There was no way I was sailing away from Port Angeles without this. So she wrapped it up real good and I carted it around in my trunk till I got home. I wish you could see how gorgeous and colourful the marbles are. I found an incredible deal on these antique marbles at Willow Antiques in Chemainus. The larger set are antique German marbles and the entire bag was $20.00. Considering I've spent upwards of $50 on ONE antique marble, I thought this was a steal. The pee wee marbles were only $5 for the entire bag.Collecting antique beaded purses is another of my many passions, and again, this one was a steal at $83, also purchased in Chemainus. It's not a large purse, probably about 5" in diameter, maybe less, but the beadwork is exquisite. The key to good beaded purses is the size of the beads. The smaller the bead, the more intricate and expensive the purse. That's why this one was such a great deal. The most I've ever spent on an antique purse is $350, but the purse has to "speak to me." I won't buy just any antique, beaded purse. It needs to be unique and I have to feel that I absolutely MUST own it before I'll put out the money. One of these days I'll blog pictures of my purse collection. Many are too old and fragile for me to display anymore, and those are kept in an acid-free photo box wrapped in acid-free paper.These are some gorgeous art cards I picked up at my fave souvenir shop, Nootka Traders. Last time I was in Victoria I saw them and I didn't get them and I've been obsessing over it for the past 2 years.So I made sure I got them this time. I think if you click on the picture, it'll get bigger; they really are lovely cards. Not sure where I'm going to put them as our walls are chock full of stuff, but I'll find a place. The bottom card, of Parliament, is the one that's haunted me since my last trip in 2005. I have always bought a t-shirt whenever I've traveled places; this has been one of my "things" since I was a kid. I pretty much have always turned my head at the "Made in China" tag and bought it anyway. Imagine my surprise when I passed this shirt with a tag that said, "Made in Canada". I found this shirt at Nootka Traders and it's the only place in Victoria that sells it, that I could find anyway, and I hit ALL the souvenir shops. The art is by a First Nations artist who lives in Vancouver. I thought it was especially cool since I love the moon and my last name is Wolf, and I love wolves..... Oh and the pink thing is the sparkly bracelet I bought at Butchart Gardens. If you click on this picture, you can see all the dog hair covering my shirt. lolI collect these beaded cards and can only find them at one of my all-time fave stores on the planet, Instinct Art & Gift. They always come with a large and small card and are done by a Vancouver Island First Nations woman, with acrylic paints and hanging beads. This is the 3rd set I've purchased. By the way, only in the USA do we say "Native Americans" or "American Indians". In Canada, they are called "First Nations".Bought these at Instinct Art & Gift as well. Both are handmade in Nepal. Can you tell I'm a sucker for beads and glass?This is the painting I got from the artists along the promenade of Inner Harbour. As mentioned in my earlier blog post, they work with spray paints, as seen in this photo in the corner, under the 2 umbrellas, with the crowd standing in front of them. Can you believe they do this with spray paints???? I had a hard time seeing them making the pictures b/c the crowd is always so thick, and being short, I can't see over anyone's heads! They had a lot of really cool, ethereal, magical, celestial paintings, and I was torn between this one and one that depicted the planets, including my fave, Saturn. However, my fave colour is this deep cobalt blue, and I wanted to commemorate my seeing orcas in the wild for the first time, so I got this one and I'm glad I did.

August 23, 2007

Stupid Piece of Crap II: The Crap Continues

So much for the duct tape idea. But all of you guys gave us some good ideas and tips, so now we have to try them.
Seen on a septic truck on Highway 16 on the way home: "Doody Happens".

August 20, 2007

L-Pod Welcomes a New Arrival!

Baby L-110 comes up for a peak at the world. L-103 (born in 2003) on the far left, and L-7 (born in 1961) in the center.
I'm absolutely over the moon to hear that the above baby orca was born two weeks ago to L-Pod, which is the pod of whales that I got to see when I was in Victoria. I am especially thrilled that he/she was born so close to when I saw his/her family off San Juan Island! The marine biologist identified the whale I saw, below, as "L-41/Mega", who was born in 1977. Maybe he's the new baby's father, cousin or uncle!!I think orcas are adorable; they always look like they are smiling, just like dolphins. Which isn't surprising since the orca whale is actually the largest member of the dolphin group. If you have a moment, check out the Center for Whale Research.

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. -- The Center for Whale Research reports a baby orca whale, believed to be about two weeks old, has been sighted off San Juan Island.

The center's director of development and outreach director says the orca's birth was confirmed Sunday when the entire Southern Resident killer whale population swam in to look for food on the west side of San Juan Island on Sunday evening.

Kelley Balcom-Bartok says he was among researchers who went out in a 19-foot boat and saw the new whale.

The new birth puts the Southern Resident population -- the J, K and L pods -- at 87 whales. The new whale belongs to L pod, a family group.

Balcom-Bartok was among researchers who went out in a 19-foot boat and saw the new whale.
The new birth puts the southern resident population -- the J, K and L pods -- at 87 whales. The new whale belongs to L pod, a family group.

The gender of the baby is unknown, but researchers are confident its mother is L83, who was born July 27, 1990. The baby has been named L110.

Balcomb-Bartok said there are 43 orcas in L pod, 25 in J pod and 19 in K pod. The birth had been reported about two weeks ago by reliable observers along the southern coast of Vancouver Island, he said.

The resident orca pods returned to Puget Sound waters in July after being in the Pacific Ocean since late last year. L pod spent most of the winter off the West Coast. Members of K pod were spotted off San Francisco during the winter. J pod can be spotted in the Puget Sound area almost any time of year.

August 18, 2007

Van Isle Sans Chroma

I only shot 2 rolls of black & white film on my vacation, and I was very displeased with how 90% of them came out. Since a small handful did come out good, I am assuming that it was my error in camera settings that caused most of the photos to look washed out and dull, and not the processing by Robi's Camera Shop. Of course I was also using my Pentax K-1000, which is about 23 years old and has shot probably close to 500-600 rolls of film in that time. Nah, it was my fault.

This is in Port Angeles, WA, near the ferry landing. Craigdarroch Castle.

Craigdarroch Castle. This is one of the few photos that I find acceptable.

Mill Bay at the BC Ferry landing.

Bridge crossing The Gorge in Victoria.
Abandoned building, Victoria.
The Johnson Street Bridge opening to let a sailboat through. The side that's up the highest is the railroad tracks part and the other is for vehicle/pedestrian traffic.

No matter what I do, I cannot get my scanner to recognize sides of the photo that have sky in them. It keeps cutting off the sides of my photos, as seen here. There is more to the left side of the photograph.

Johnson Street, Victoria.


French Beach Provincial Park.

Someone clearly built this fort out of beach logs and when I peered over the edge, it looked like the perfect place for a couple to enjoy a little oceanside shimmy-sham. wink wink nudge nudgeI couldn't tell if these logs were placed like this by people or if they were washed onto the beach like this.

August 17, 2007


For our dear friend Eliza:

Thank you so, so much for all of your hard work on your blog and website. Thank you for sharing all of your pictures & movie snippets with us. Thank you for your undying generosity.

May you have the happiest of birthdays now and always.

We appreciate all of your hard work.

I bet I know what you will wish for when you blow out the candles on your cake!

We love you!

August 15, 2007

Stupid Piece of Crap

We can put a man on the moon, but we can't make a shower caddy that actually WORKS.

Over the years, we've had a lot of different shower caddies that, for one reason or another, either rusted away & fell apart or wouldn't stick after awhile. It's frustrating. We have a lot of shower crap, or as Kyan from "Queer Eye" would say, "product", and balancing bottles and razors on the edge of the tub just isn't an option.

The last shower caddy we had absolutely refused to stay stuck on the tiles, no matter how much I cleaned and dried the tiles and cleaned the suction cups. The weight of it kept pulling it down from against the wall to against the shower head. There's nothing quite like rinsing the shampoo out of your hair and suddenly have bottles and razors come cascading down over your head and clattering into the tub. I tried everything to keep that bastard at the top of the shower pipe. Wire. Leather cord. Nothing worked.

I gave up and went to Fred Meyer, in search of a "new and improved" shower caddy. I swear I spent more time comparing and contrasting shower caddies that day than I did when I bought my car a couple of years ago. I finally settled on a metal caddy with a big ass suction cup and a rubber grippy thing that looked like it was supposed to grip the top of the shower pipe.

I got it home and put it in the shower. Eh, it looks OK. Kind of small. But at least it's sticking. That lasted all of about 2 weeks, tops. The friggin suction cup is SO large that it overlaps the grout channels, so any kind of long term suction just ain't gonna happen. Then the rubber grippy thing gave way and again, crap was raining down on my head in the shower.

To quote the famous line from "Network": I'M MAD AS HELL AND I'M NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Then it hit me: WWRGD. That stands for "What Would Red Green Do?" Red Green was a really funny Canadian comedy that ran for years, episodes have been shown in the States on PBS. Among his famous catch phrases are, "If the women don't find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy" and "That's right, we'll use the Handyman's Secret Weapon: Duct Tape".

So I got out my trusty roll of duct tape. And I defy this fucker to come loose again.

August 9, 2007

Tagged by Val

Val posed 5 questions for me and some of the other Vixens to answer, so here goes:

1. What is your earliest memory.
Being in Yonkers NY and visiting the place where my grandfather was living, right before he died, two days before my 4th birthday in 1968. My mom went to Yonkers for 3 weeks that November but my dad stayed home on the Cape to work. I remember laying on the couch at my grandmother's apartment being babysat by my Aunt Lee, and crying because I missed my dad so much.

2. Tell us about your first love.

Well, I had a ton of crushes in junior high and high school, but the first guy I fell in love with was my high school boyfriend, Donnie Martel. He went to Barnstable High and I was at Sandwich High, but we were both really into punk rock and we hung out at the same record store in Hyannis, "Wave Records". I didn't know he liked me at all, till one day Liz & I ran into him and our other friends Chris & Randy, and Donnie gave me a Boomtown Rats button he'd bought for me in Boston b/c he knew how much I loved them. We started going out at the end of February, 1982 and we fell in love quickly. He asked me to marry him the night before I left for my school trip to London & Paris. However, that fall I went away to college in Maine and he stayed on the Cape to go to the local community college, and our relationship fell apart by February, 1983.

Then in a strange twist of fate, both Donnie and I transferred to Emerson College in Boston for the last 2 years of school and we graduated in the same class in 1986. I'd run into him on campus from time to time, but I was engaged to someone else by that point.

This would be Brian's cue to make a disparaging remark about Donnie's "lack of readiness".

3. What was your fave movie or TV show when you were young (under 12).

Hands down, favourite movie was, and in fact still is, "Paper Moon". I adored Tatum O'Neal as "Addie Pray". Loved "Wizard of Oz" and "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" too.

Fave TV show(s): "Lost in Space", "The Monkees", "The Partridge Family", "The Brady Bunch", "Little House on the Prairie" and "Bonanza".

4. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you bought?

My house. I'd pay off my mortgage first and foremost. Then I'd buy a vacation condo in Victoria.

5. Best piece of advice you've ever been given?

"You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask off the ol' Lone Ranger and you don't mess around with Jim." hahaha Just kidding.

I'm not really sure, but my fave quote from the musical movie "Scrooge" (starring Albert Finney) was said by the Ghost of Christmas Present and it's always stuck with me because it really is good advice:

"There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember, time is short, and suddenly you're not there anymore."

August 8, 2007


A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of our beloved blogger Vixens, the Lady Axe. I wish you much luck, good health, love and happiness, now and always.

Here's some of your fave rave male eye candy.