Wednesday, July 19, 2006 

Doers and Dreamers

Since I'm still in 'vacation mode', I haven't been paying much attention to the current events of the past few weeks and therefore my blog has reflected my complete lack of interest. Instead, I've been enjoying the tourist's life and visiting as many attractions the Doers and Dreamers Guide of Nova Scotia has to offer...such as Monday's trip to the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park.

I took my son and my nephew to see some of Canada's indigenous animals (except the peacock and emu) and although they weren't so happy to see us, we were more than happy to spend an afternoon watching them laze about in the sun.

Here's a few photos of some of them...

Canada's showpiece...the moose. Although they can be found in the middle of the Trans Canada Highway, this one found its way instead to the Park.

Dall's sheep.

I don't think there's ever been a time that I've visited the park and seen any of the Black Bears doing anything but sleep. This visit was no different.

The peacocks roam free in the park and there isn't a child who has seen one and not tried to touch it. As easy as it looks, the peacocks aren't that naive and never let the kids closer than 2 or 3 steps from it. This guy led my son on a 20 minute chase through the pheasant exhibits and successfully dodged all his contact attempts.

My hero. The raccoon. Why? Doesn't this pic make it obvious? At least I know what they do when they're not into our garbage.

Off season for the Easter bunnies.

Monday, July 10, 2006 

Postcard from the Great White North

It's now been exactly a month that I've been in Canada and one of the things I just love the most about being back here is the scenery and wildlife.
Since I'm living 30km outside the city, I get to enjoy the drive in every day. Nothing but green forests, lakes so calm they look like mirrors and the odd porcupine and rabbit on the edges of the tree lines. After 8 years of honking horns, noisy motorbikes, and noisy neighbours, it's just so relaxing to appreciate the tranquility that country life has to offer. The noisiest neighbours I have right now are the bullfrogs in the pond at the end of the lane.

Even domesticated dogs seem to have it better here. Almost everyone seems to have one and they all sit in the front seat of their owner's cars if they can get away with it. My own dog is enjoying all the attention every time she's on her daily walks and she's making friends fast with all the four-legged critters on her street except my sister's black lab, Jackson. I guess she's finally met her match when it comes to begging for scraps from the table and she doesn't like it one bit. Once we get settled in our own house next month, she'll resume her place next to my chair without any begging competition and maybe the two of them might be able to make amends.

By the end of this week, I hope to have some photos to share with you of my corner of the Great White North--if I can only remember where I put my digital camera.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 

Proud to Be a Disloyal Shopper

Swiping Away Your Privacy with Loyalty Cards

Shopping is easy here.

Stores, product selection and (thankfully) parking spaces are plentiful. I can always find what I want, when I want, and usually all in one place at the hypermarkets. But my fun ends at the checkout counters.

Every time I walk into just about any store, I'm hounded by the cashiers asking me if I want one of their loyalty cards.

I try to brush off their requests by telling them that I'm the most disloyal customer anyway and a loyalty card wouldn't make me any more loyal. Every single cashier has, so far, ignored this response and they continue to hound me to fill out a form so I can get one by extolling the supposed benefits they offer. Again, I will tell them that I don't want to give out my personal information to strangers just so I can get Air Miles or a $20 rebate on every $500 I spend there let alone have my mailbox filled up with junk mail when they sell my personal details to other companies.

But on and on they go until I become angry and demand they tell me how much I owe so I can please go home.

It's so aggravating.

Whatever happened to coupons and just plain good old-fashioned in-store sale prices? I would become a loyal consumer at any store which consistently offered me good quality products at reasonable prices without having to divulge details that I wouldn't even give to Revenue Canada.

On second thought, maybe I will actually apply for these cards and use the personal details of the store's marketing personnel who adopted this useless ploy to get consumers to cough up their personal information. Let them shovel their way out of an endless barrage of junk mail and telemarketing phone calls on Sunday nights. I'm sure if I asked them to give me their Social Insurance and home phone numbers, they wouldn't be so forthcoming as they expect their consumers to be.