Monthly Archives: September 2011

How Can a Girl Write When There are Critters on the Loose

Chapter four is done. Edited. Well not copy edited but edited. Now chapter five. The end.  I am starting to have doubts that chapter five is a piece of cotton candy served at the end of a very serious meal, but I guess we’ll see. I worry because my sense of humour is showing up in the writing. Maybe good? Maybe….not so good…

Meanwhile, the last of the tomatoes have been harvested. Let me show you.

On no…

I had all kinds of pictures, but I can’t get them to load from my Outlook. Stupid Outlook, stupid Blackberry. Good pictures too of a tree struck by lightening, my bounty and me killing a raccoon with my bare hands. (Okay maybe chasing a mouse)

I’ll figure it out. Yeah right…

So in the meantime here’s a sneak peek to the cover art of my next novel…


Wascaly Wabbit

Damned rabbits got my brussel sprouts!!!

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Peas, beans, lettuce, arugula, beets, parsnips and now the brussel sprouts.  I give up.

Yes I started growing a beard.

I have retired into my weeping chamber to feel sorry for myself. Only Sex Pants Bacall can make this kind of pain go away.


I am going utterly bonkers trying to figure this site out. I can’t figure out how to link to my podcast,  I have no idea (and neither do most of the people I know) as to exactly what an RSS feed is (yeah I know that it’s real simple syndication but it ain’t all that simple), and I don’t know how to tell people how to use it. ARG!!!

All I want to do is have a couple of buttons so people can listen to The Sniffer on iTunes or listen to it on my blog. DOUBLE ARG!!!


And I just want a subscribe to my blog button, send out an email and then if folks are interested they click on a button and it gets sent to their email addys whenever I post. Do you think I can figure out how to do that? TRIPLE ARG!!!!

I know, I know, I have no business not knowing how to do this stuff, given that I’ve been doing a trends and tech podcast with Nora Young for 6 years, but I don’t.

I think it’s back to the cyber God Matt Haff at heystac in Atlanta. He’s not only a god, he’s a kung-fu fighter.



The Pig in the Poke – Our Portlands….

I’m fascinated by the Portlands in Toronto. I always have been. Ever since my pals and I would go cycling through the abandoned Gooderam and Worts stoned on mescaline.

Or the Christmas Days  we spent at Cherry Beach watching the crazy windsurfers. And sometimes simply wandering around the crumbling ruins of Toronto’s industrial age: by abandoned freighters and giant rusted oil tanks that spoke to a time gone by.

I was just down there researching a project for culture czarina Paola Poletta, and couldn’t believe how much reclamation has already taken place. This is a public jewel. We have to take care of it. And under no circumstances should it be given to developers courtesy of Doug Ford.

Read this excellent article in GRID by Edward Keenan, it tells you everything you need to know.




This is unbelievable and shows that Microsoft is not dead

Hi all,  Nora and I will be talking about this on our podcast in the next wee while, but in the interim, you must watch this video. It shows how a designer takes an email instruction from a client regarding some fixtures they want changed in their new home. In particular, handles and lights.

The designer places their cellphone on an intelligent surface, a table. Which is called Microsoft Surface.

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Imagine if you will, a glass kitchen table top or a dining room table top. When you sit down, the top appears to be plain glass, but when you place your cell phone on top of it, the glass spring to life and all the data that’s on the phone is suddenly spread out in front of you. Like in that movie Minority Report. Only rather than vertical, the information is horizontal.

The cellphone *talks* to the surface, you tell it where you want to go and suddenly the floor plans, everything that that pertains to the house in question is on the table.

Next the designer places a tablet, like a Playbook, on the smart surface, which brings up three dimensional details of the house. The designer is able to travel to the exact room where the changes in light fixtures and door handles are to be done and start fiddling around in a 3D space.

The designer can surf the web, using his tablet, click and drag new door handles onto the doors and actually see what they look like. Once he’s determined what he and the client want, he simply sends these details to the manufacturers and makes the orders. WOW

I am absolutely gob smacked by what this technology can do. Does it feel cumbersome? Kinda. Does there seem to be a lot of steps? Yep. But it’s so future forward and I can honestly see what a valuable tool it could be for architects and designers.

I can also imagine how it would work for buying clothes online. A camera models your body in 3D. It’s stored on your table top. Then you go *shopping* online and see a bunch of pants and shirts you like and put them on your body and you can see what you’d actually look like.  Double WOW!

The one thing that’s kinda creepy is that it could mean the death of interior designers and physical stores the way we’ve come to know them, but it’s still a very cool technology.

I picked up the story courtesy of PSFK, the amazing ideas come from nsquared for Windows Phone and Surface. I think it’s very exciting for Window and, like I said before, holy Minority Report.


I Am Compelled….

….to tell you to watch this. It is SO Toronto arts scene. And so gut bustingly funny. Speaking of things that are funny, no not funny ha ha, but scratch your head kind of funny weird.

I was watching Mad Men the other night, the one when Peggy Olsen makes a joke about Margaret Mead. That was in the 1960s. I made a joke about two weeks ago, about guess who? Margaret Mead….Why don’t we have any famous anthropologists anymore? Do we know everything we need to know about human behaviour? I don’t think so….

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What about you? Are you an anthropologist? Do you know any? And if so, where are they hiding?

And I thought my book was too long……

Here I am trying to chop down my tome to a mere 300 pages when Peter Nadas’s Parallel Stories, which is arriving this fall, comes in at more than 1000 pages. Flavourpill, one of my favourite daily tidbit sites came out today with this list of other impressively long novels.

My question to you is this… only pretentious wannabe eggheads who love bragging at dinner parties read long, difficult novels? Do you think anyone has the time or ability to actually absorb them in the age of bits and bytes?


I’d love to know