Bits and bobs

Random thoughts about random things by a random person

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It’s “About Time” – My thoughts on the movie

As I am wont to do, before I headed out on my travels last week, I downloaded a few things from Netflix. I always download more than I will likely watch en route because you never know when or where you might get stuck or delayed.

One of the things I downloaded was “About Time”. I won’t go into what it’s about – if yo’re interested, you can read a quick IMDB summary here. I’m just going to tell you what I thought of it. I won’t give any spoilers, either, so feel free to read on without any worries about it being ruined for you if you decide you do want to watch it.

I’m not normally one for chick flicks, which this definitely seemed like it would be. It also had a potential “Groundhog’s Day” similarity and I realllllllly don’t like those movies where a character relives the same time over and over again, so that was strike 2 against it. In fact, both those reasons are why it had been in my Netflix list for a while now without me actually watching it.

“Then why did you even bother with it, Lucy?”

Well, I really like Domhnall Gleeson and Bill Nighy. If they weren’t in it, it never would have ended up in my list at all. I downloaded it for the flight et al because I thought that even if I didn’t like it, it would at least be a bit of fluff that didn’t require much brain engagement.

At any rate, as you know, I didn’t end up delayed anywhere so I didn’t need it on the flight or any of my other subsequent travel legs. Last night, though, I was in the mood for a movie, so I put it on.

Quelle surprise!! I thoroughly enjoyed it!! The time travelly bits (not a spoiler – that’s part of the plot snippet for the promo) were not constant or overdone, like I thought they would be. Or at least was worried they would be. And while, yeah, it’s about Tim finding his true love, it’s only partly about that.

It is, as the title says, about time. About how we spend our time and how we value it.

I laughed out loud and I cried. Any movie that elicits both of those reactions out of me is a winner in my books. In the interest of full disclosure, it’s really not hard to make me cry when watching something…it’s the laugh/cry combo, though, that’s the key bit.

In looking for the link for you above, I saw that “About Time” is from the creator of “Love Actually”, so really, since I loved that movie, too, if I had known that before I likely would have watched this sooner. I can even see me watching this again and again, as I have “Love Actually”. It’s a definite feel-good movie.

All that to say, if you are looking for something to watch, I definitely recommend giving this a go! (If you do, I’d love to hear what you thought of it…)

Note: For those interested, it’s rated 14A. I assume that’s because of the occasional smattering of “colourful” language and some semi-nudity/sex-related scenes. If you know me well, you know I don’t like movies that are a constant blue streak of swearing or full of graphic sex scenes. This movie was definitely not that at all. 🙂


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Day 1: On my way continued – the Dublin flight

This post was written on Sept 12/19, just after boarding the Dublin leg of my flight.


I just boarded Air Canada flight 818 to Dublin from Montreal. I boarded early as my seat is in Zone 2 – one of the special zones. Not zone 1 – I seriously couldn’t afford that – but still: Zone 2. We had our own special line and everything and were able to board when the folks with little children could! Whuuuut???! We even had our own path and entrance to the plane. Livin’ the life, I tell ya. Livin’ the life.

Mind you, I’m in row 1. There isn’t anything in front of me besides the loo, kitchen stuff, storage and the cockpit. So I don’t even know what Zone 1 could have been.

I know there was one because they called out for Zone 1 people and 1 guy came forward, showed his boarding pass and was let on. But I have no idea what he paid extra for.

I remember (from booking my ticket) it was double what I paid. So I’m definitely glad I didn’t go for that. Maybe someone comes to his seat and rubs his feet or sings lullabies to him. It is an over-nighter, after all.

You know what it doesn’t have, though? The twisty-turny air blowy thingy. I love that thingy. Oh well – I’m sure I’ll be fine. 😉

And in any event, it was fun to trot up early.

I normally wait till the very end to board – when most of the squishy, crowded hoohah of “Excuse me. Pardon me. Uh. Oh sorry.” has subsided. I also usually get an aisle seat, which is even more reason not to board early and have to play the get-up-sit-down thing as the people in the middle and window seats by me arrive.

This time, though, I got a window seat. It’s a red-eye, as I said, and I wanted the wall to clean against. I didn’t want to be the one climbing over someone or making them get up so I boarded early. Plus, I knew the seats would be bigger and more comfy – more so than the airport seats – so I boarded as soon as I could.

I will add now that I thought the seat next to me was going to be empty, but a woman came and sat there a few minutes ago. Sluiced in perfume. Oh joy. But maybe it won’t give me a horrible headache and sinus congestion this time – I mean, a 6-hour flight will just zip by, right?

There was a glimmer of hope that she’d move when her travelling partner (spouse, boyfriend…?) came up and said there were two seats together in the back.

She didn’t even hesitate in her refusal. And, really, who could blame her? I don’t think there’s anyone I could possibly love enough to trade “up front” comfy seats for “in back” cramped seats for 6 hours. If our relationship couldn’t survive 6 hours apart, well, that’s even more reason not to make the comfy-cramped trade.

So, while her perfume (which is a lovely scent in and of itself) is rather irritating, I definitely gotta give her serious props for sticking where she is.

Ok…the flight attendant just took my order of beef tenderloin (like how I just slid that in there?) and I’m going to read for a while.


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Day 1: On my way!! (Or…What am I forgetting…?)

Normally, I’m a pretty organized traveler. While I don’t start packing in advance, I have my lists ready wayyyyyy ahead of when I need them.

I am a bit of a list queen, I have to admit. Not because my world would collapse if I didn’t have lists. But because I would forget everything if I didn’t have them. I have discovered this from sad experience.

Enough experiences that you would think I would learn.

I suppose I do learn. But I also forget. (Does forgetting negate the learning?)

There have been too many times when I’ve convinced myself I could swing it. Lists are for sissies!!!

Yeah, well…that’s never worked out for me.

Serious kudos to those of you who can keep everything up there in the ol’ grey matter and access it whenever you need it. That is a gift.

But it’s not a gift I have. So I make lists.

This time, though, I only half sort of started a list a few days ago. And put it aside. In fact I couldn’t even remember where it was so this morning I started a new one.

Did you catch that? THIS MORNING!!!

I didn’t start my list in earnest until this morning. The morning of the day I am travelling.

Man, I am living on the edge!!! (I so don’t live on the edge. I can barely see the edge…And I like it that way.)

Anyway, I got the list done, did all the last errands I had and, right down to the wire, got the packing done.

Hmmm…actually, I was so late packing….yup….there it is.

I was so late packing, I forgot to run through my list to see if I had forgotten anything. And, as I wrote that last paragraph, sitting here at the airport waiting for my plane, I remembered that I forgot my hair dryer.

I had thought about it several times. And even headed off to get it a few times. But as you may recall, I get distracted easily and now, voilà – no hair dryer!!

Oh well!

I’m pretty sure (I say, chuckling at my likely delusional optimism) I didn’t forget anything else…


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What’s that whirring sound? (Or…Am I going to have an expensive plumbing bill?)

I put a load of laundry in the washing machine a couple of hours ago. I live in an open-concept condo so the laundry closet is within easy hearing distance. Most of it isn’t at all distracting or disruptive – it’s just the final spin that requires the volume to go up on the TV.

So, as you can imagine, I’m quite familiar with the sound of the various stages it goes through.

Tonight…well, there was a different sound. There was a new, high-pitched, whirring sound. It wasn’t super loud or anything. It was just … there. And it’s not usually there. So it caught my attention.

The first thing I thought was, “Dang it… I filled it too full.”

Being the queen of efficiency, rather than having to do two separate, small loads, I put everything into the one load. I thought, then, that I had maybe filled it a titch too full. Not crazy full. But more so than I usually do and a friend and I were recently talking about flooding washing machines and such, so my mind couldn’t help but go to a place of “Uh oh…”

I tried to talk myself out of it for a while – “It’s fine. You’re being paranoid. Don’t worry about it.”

But, after about half an hour, the whirring eventually won out and I got up to go check.

I opened the doors and listened. I could hear the whirring still, but it wasn’t coming from the washing machine. It was coming from behind me – the spare bedroom.

I can’t quite say if I was more relieved that the washing machine wasn’t about to explode and flood everything on the even of my much-anticipated trip to the Emerald Isle or more confused as to what the heckledy schmeckeldy could possibly be making that noise in the spare room.

I turned around and looked in. There are no “machines” to speak of in there – the router, a telephone and a TV. Nothing “whirrable”. But the sound was most definitely coming from there.


Then I looked further in. The window was open. Ahhhhhh yes.

There was a lovely cool breeze this evening and I had opened both bedroom windows to get a nice cross breeze going – something other than AC air for the first time in a couple of months.

But I had forgotten the windows were open. Oops!

So, yeah…no explosion. No flood.

Just somebody doing some work outside, with what sounded like maybe a circular saw, oblivious to the state of anxiety and confusion they had innocently caused.


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Now I lay me down to…read all night and not catch a wink?

It’s 3:13 am. I have to get up in 2 hours and 44 minutes. I went to bed 4 hours and 46 minutes ago.

Apparently, tonight is not a sleeping night.

I gave it about 45 minutes and then gave up. I’ve been reading since then a blog about sailing from New York to Ireland. The writer skipped what happened after she left the boat so I stopped reading.

At this point, I probably could fall asleep, but now it’s almost too late. That’s the worst with sleepless nights – if I sleep now, I’ll be in seriously rough shape come 6 am! I have a day full of meetings tomorrow, too, so really not fun.

Weird, too, how this never happens except when I have to work the next day. Some kind of sadistic Murphy’s Law?

There are a couple of upsides, though.

First, I’m writing another post! That’s 3 in about 10 hours! That’s gotta be a record for me.

Secondly, I’m writing it in the WordPress app on my tablet. I haven’t done that before so it’s an interesting exercise. Probably not the best idea to do something new when you’re totally baffed, but of all the things an exhausted, sleepless individual could do online when randomly awake in the wee hours of the morning, this is probably just fine. 🙂

And now that I have identified the silver linings of the nocturnal debacle, I shall bid you adieu and decide on my next steps:

To read or not to read

That is the question

Whether tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous exhaustion

Or take arms against a sea of sleeplessness.

Ok…a little poetic licence there, but that soliloquy does talk about sleep, so I think I can be forgiven. Plus it’s now 3:34 am – a body can’t be expected to be at its literary best at this hour. 😉

I will, however, take my leave of you – you who are, hopefully, nestled in a pleasant world of dreams!!


Happy birthday, WWW!!

I had my introduction to the World Wide Web (WWW) somewhere, I think, in late 1994 or early 1995.

I was living in Calgary, AB at the time and one of my friends was dog sitting for friends of hers. They had Internet access and told her she could go online while she was staying there. They gave her some instructions (how to dial up, for example) and told her if she ran into any trouble, she could just call the brother of one of the friends. Easy peasy, right? Uh huh.

Before I go any further, I should say that I know that the WWW and the Internet aren’t the same thing. At the time, though, it was all the same to me. Those were the days of Netscape Navigator and MetaCrawler. Ahhhh the memories! In any event, my first Internet experience was also my first WWW experience.

She was staying there for a week or two and was allowed to have friends over and we were pretty excited to check out this Internet thing. The first time I was over, we thought we’d give it a go. We were pretty excited – we had no idea what this thing was, but it sounded pretty cool. Looking stuff up without books or paper? WHAAAAAAAAT?!?!

We were big movie buffs so the first thing we searched for, after the beeeeep-boooopedy-beeeeeeeeep of dial-up got us online, was movies. Specifically, because we were in our mid-twenties and single, I think we included “hot men” in the search field.

Well, if you weren’t online much “back in the day”, you may not be aware that there was very little by way of search filters. You REALLY had to be careful what you searched for because anything and everything pretty much brought up porn sites. (There’s a little bit of foreshadowing there, in case you didn’t catch it… 😉 )

In retrospect, we probably shouldn’t have searched for movies with hot men. Nowadays, you could search for “movies with hot men” and you’ll get regular movies. In 1994/1995…not so much. But we didn’t know. WE DIDN’T KNOW!!!!

All of a sudden we found ourselves on this page with this naked man behind a chain link fence, some sort of sign or something strategically placed over his “we weren’t looking for this” bits.

We went through a few quick reactionary stages. We were surprised, shocked (really, we had no clue) and then we cracked up laughing. It wasn’t what we were looking for (we were in a Hugh Grant/Four Weddings and a Funeral phase) so yeah…porn wasn’t what we were looking for and we found it hilarious.

But the people who lived there had kids so, before we did anything else, we wanted to make sure that the page we landed on was deleted. We hit the back button, thinking that would do the trick. Then we hit the forward button to make sure the porn page was gone.

You know how the forward button works, so you aren’t surprised when I say that the page was still there. The nekked man was still behind the fence. Eek!!!! We didn’t want their kids to accidentally stumble onto that page. For that matter, we didn’t want her friends to think we hopped online to scour for porn. (Mind you…”scouring” requires wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy more effort than porn searches require online, especially back then…)

We tried the back and forth thing a few times and even closed the window and opened it again. No matter what we did, the nekked man was still there.

We talked about calling the brother, but we didn’t want him to think we were porn dogs, either. My friend didn’t even know him. “Um…hi…I’m dog sitting for your brother [or was it sister?] and I…um…accidentally ended up on a porn site and don’t know how to get rid of it before they come home.” We could only imagine his reaction.

So yeahhhhhhh…we didn’t jump at that option. We tried all the things we had already tried several more times. Needless to say, they never worked. Ultimately, the fear of the kids landing on that page outweighed the feeling of stupidity and, with much trepidation, we made the call.

The brother, who worked in IT, reacted pretty much how we expected. He laughed. A LOT. And loudly. But he helped us.

After that, we refused to try again. We walked a wide berth around it. It just wasn’t worth it.

In the fall of 1995 I went back to university to get my education degree and I was “properly” introduced to the Internet. I was taught how to use it and to be careful of the dangers of porn showing up in your searches. By the time I started teaching, I had a clue. Finally…I had a clue. 😉

And the rest is history!!!


Star Trek: The Next Generation theme song with lyrics

I just saw this on Wil Wheaton’s page… it’s funny! Have a listen and let your inner geek (or outer geek…we don’t judge here!) have a moment to shine!! (Allan: I’m posting this for you in particular – I think you and Matthew could make a lovely duet out of this!)

When we worked on Next Generation, Brent Spiner and I would sit at our consoles on the bridge, and make up lyrics to our show’s theme song. I vaguely recall coming up with some pretty funny and clever stuff, but nothing that held together as perfectly as this, from the weirdos over at

via this is brilliant — WIL WHEATON dot NET