Archive for ‘Rants’

December 29, 2014

My Year in Review

facebookyearinreviewMany of us formally or informally review the past year and try to set the reset button for the coming year.

If you’re on facebook, you may have posted FB’s version of your year in review. I didn’t post mine because the cover photo was a poster of “keep calm and love Canada” that I posted on July 1.

I looked back and saw it got 19 likes – I guess the timing was good. However, the post to the right got way more. It *was* a big deal in my life this year to be Celebration Planner at Kits house and i got lots of people–not just on facebook–telling me it was a good picture.  Other posts with lots of likes, shares or comments were posts of paintings I’d completed during the year or me at my art show at Leigh Square.  So I *am* a little curious about the algorithm used.

Facebook after hearing from people who had Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad  years have promised they “can do better”.

Yeah, if your six-year-old child died or your apartment burned down – you probably got a lot of likes and comments on those -but as one facebook user suggested words like “died” and “killed” and “burned” might be added to a more complex algorithm. Conversely “congratulations” and “looking good” might adjust the posts we’d like to see again.

Here’s a CBC story with some commentary and a number of examples of years in review that didn’t work well.

Especially annoying was the cutesy festive clip art surrounding photos of people, cats and dogs that died during the year.

December 10, 2014

Scented Candles


I am among the estimated 30% of (North) Americans who have a sensitivity to scents. You might call it a scentsitivity.

“If you sneeze every time you get a whiff of perfume or room deodorizer, you may be one of millions of people with a fragrance sensitivity.”

Yep, that’s me. Sneezing is my personal early warning sign. Others, especially those with asthma, may experience breathing problems.

Recently a colleague was standing among bags of battery-operated candles and asked if I’d like to use them for an upcoming gathering. I said: Thank you. But within minutes returned to say, “No thanks. I’m already sneezing from standing here talking with you for a few minutes.”

They’re pretty and the vanilla scent pleases 70% of the people, I guess.

What drives me crazy is that scented candles emit their little irritants even if not lit, and a person feels pretty grinchy to complain about candles at Christmas.

If you’d like non-toxic scents (and make 30% of your friends happy and healthier), read this blog entry.

Excerpt: Conventional perfumes just smell so … toxic. And that’s because they are! They’re made up of synthetic chemicals, fixatives and solvents. When we wear them, not only are we inhaling this chemical cocktail, but it’s also being absorbed into our blood stream via our skin. Hardly the glamorous luxury product its made out to be.

The writer gave up most of her scented products when she was diagnosed with cancer.

I am pretty sure that the vanilla in scented candles is NOT from a vanilla bean or an essentialoil.

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