The End of February, Hooray.
Wednesday February 28th 2007, 10:50 am

It’s the last day of February, a day I always look forward to each winter, because it usually means that the worst of winter is behind us. We can get some snow in March, but not the cold temperatures. March in Nova Scotia is usually windy but milder, and whatever snow we received in January and February, will melt. This year, however, we didn’t get much snow, but we did get much colder temperatures than we are used to getting. The beginning of March also means that there are only three weeks left in winter. It also means thinking about gardening. I am not a great gardener, like my brother and sisters, but I enjoy doing it.



The Academy Awards
Monday February 26th 2007, 9:27 am

On January 31, I wrote about the Academy Awards show on this blog, and last night I stayed up until after 1:00 am to watch it until the end. At times, it was a little drawn out and boring, but overall it was worth staying up so late to watch it. I always enjoy watching the fashions, and I thought Helen Mirren, who won for best actress in The Queen, looked amazing. She is 61 years old, and looked better than actresses half her age. I am glad my favourite movie, The Departed, won a well deserved best picture award.



My Target Heart Rate Zone
Saturday February 24th 2007, 12:43 pm

In addition to giving up sweets for Lent, I also started exercising on my treadmill yesterday. I started with two 10 minute sessions in the afternoon and evening, and will increase it to two 15 minute sessions within the next week. Apparently multiple shorter exercise sessions of at least 10 minutes each, are as good as a single longer session. I prefer two or more shorter sessions, at least for now. Some people prefer to exercise in the morning, but my favourite time is after lunch, when it helps regulate my blood sugar better. I also like to exercise in the evening about 8:30, before I start watching television. These times seem to suit me now, but I may vary the times depending on my plans for the day.



Radon Gas
Wednesday February 21st 2007, 1:30 pm

As if we don’t have enough to worry about, there is a silent killer in some of our homes, and most of us don’t even realize it. This killer is called radon gas, and it is an odourless radioactive gas which occurs naturally in our environment. It is a product of the natural radioactive decay of uranium found in rocks, soil and water. It usually escapes into the air where it is diluted to harmless concentrations. The problem is when this gas leaks into our homes and buildings through cracks, openings in walls and floors, and around pipes and drains, and becomes trapped due to inadequate ventilation. Radon gas is of great concern to Americans, but is virtually unknown to most Canadians. Canada is the world’s leading producer of uranium, so Canadians should be more aware of it.



Giving Up Sweets for Lent
Tuesday February 20th 2007, 12:03 pm

Yesterday I wrote about Pancake Day, and the beginning of Lent tomorrow. I wrote that I haven’t given up anything for Lent since I was about twelve years old. I started thinking about this after I wrote it, and I decided that this is the year I will give something up for Lent. From February 21 until April 6, which is Good Friday, I will give up eating all candy, cake, cookies, pies, puddings, muffins, and all other sweet desserts. This period of time is actually forty-four days and not forty days.



Pancake Day
Monday February 19th 2007, 10:09 am

Tomorrow is Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday, which is also called Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday in parts of the United States. It is the day before Ash Wednesday, or the first day of Lent. Traditionally, it was a day to use up all the rich foods in the house such as eggs, milk, sugar and flour, and cook them into pancakes, before the forty days of fasting during Lent. During Lent you are supposed to eat only the plainest of food. When I was young, children were supposed to give up something they liked, such as candy. Other than giving up candy, we didn’t fast, and we ate foods we normally ate. Some families in my neighbourhood, didn’t eat dessert, ate more fish and less red meat during Lent, which they considered to be fasting. The only day we fasted was Good Friday, when we couldn’t eat meat, and always had fish for supper. I could last only the first week of Lent to be without candy, because I never was very disciplined when it came to sweets, and I am still that way.



We Need a Better Understanding of How This New Plan Will Effect Our Lives
Saturday February 17th 2007, 11:27 am

I don’t think the average person understands very much about global warming and greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. I think the government needs to explain in plain language to the average Canadian exactly how their plans and the plan of the new legislation will effect us. We need concrete unbiased examples and details about how the plan will impact our lives, the economy and lead to a cleaner environment in Canada. I don’t think that we understand what the emission credits are, or whether Canada has bought any yet, and how this will effect our Kyoto targets. As soon as this new legislation has been passed by the Senate and becomes law, we need more information.



The New Kyoto Bill
Friday February 16th 2007, 1:42 pm

The Conservative government in Canada doesn’t feel that we can attain the Kyoto targets of a six percent emission drop from 1990 levels by 2012, because it would be very destructive to the economy. If the Canadian public hadn’t voiced their concerns about global warming, this government may not have done anything to reduce emissions. If the public feels that not enough is being done, it could cause problems for this minority government during the next election, which will probably be this spring. The government’s response, recently, was to launch some new plans and reinstate some of the Liberal’s old programs, which they had cancelled. These plans would have taken years to make much of a difference in our greenhouse gas emissions.



HAPPY VALENTINES DAY
Wednesday February 14th 2007, 10:05 am

Even though Valentine’s Day is another one of those “Hallmark holidays”, it is still nice to have a day when we think of love and not war. How bad can that be? According to Wikipedia, a Hallmark holiday is used to describe a holiday that exists primarily for commercial purposes, rather than to commemorate a truly significant religious or secular event. Days such as Secretary’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day are some of the Hallmark holidays.



A Very Dangerous Nation
Sunday February 11th 2007, 11:07 am

If you took a poll, as I am sure there will be many in the coming days, most people would agree with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The United States is the most dangerous country in the world, and most Americans don’t even realize it. They think they are the good guys, protecting the world, but they are usually only advancing their own material well-being, under the guise of something else. They don’t realize that their aggressive foreign policy is forcing other countries to obtain nuclear weapons to defend themselves, as Putin says. Will Putin’s statement make much of a difference, probably not, as Putin will be labeled the bad guy, with his own agenda. Countries who are listening to him and believe him, have believed it for years anyway.