July 28, 2004

Good News!
Well, firstly I got a new job, so I'm no longer working in the raspberry fields! I'm working for a company, updating their sales catalogue (prices, items now offered, etc.). It'll only be until the fall, which is good for me, because I don't want to work too much when uni gets back into swing in the fall.
Secondly, I got my drivers' license! Yes, I know that I'm old and all that, but I have been too lazy to take the test to get rid of my learners' license. But hey, I passed the first time around, so I'm not going to complain. Besides, it's not like having the N was a big deal, just annoying. Especially when those grade 8 kids steal it off your car. But hey, now I don't have to put that stupid, green N up in my car anymore!

July 24, 2004

The Bourne Supremacy...
So, last night I went to see The Bourne Supremacy, which I had read in English while I was living in Lille, France. The movie had almost nothing at all to do with the book. The only thing that was the same was that Bourne was framed, and a few of the character names. The book takes place in Hong Kong, China, and Macau, while the movie takes place in Europe.
Still, I thought that the movie was great. It had a lot of action, and was really well done. I'd definitely watch it again, but I don't know if I'd want to own it.

July 23, 2004

Almost the End...
Well, it's almost the end of the raspberry season. It started early this year, so it'll be finishing early too.
When I first started working, we ran the machine and the raspberries went into flats, which are later cleaned and sold as raspberries in supermarkets, etc. But now that it's the end of the season, we're onto barrels. What are barrels you ask? At the end of the season there are a lot of mouldy, and old berries that can't possibly be sold as they are, so we put them all into barrels that hold 400lbs. of raspberries. These berries are then used to make juice and jam. What you should know, is that about 17% "green matter" is allowed into the barrels. Green matter is anything from leaves and stems, to odd insects and other stuff that I wouldn't really want to drink or spread on my toast. I don't know how well the barrels are cleaned, but I'm sure that everything is sterilised somehow. Of course, this sort of thing happens with most food processing.

July 19, 2004

Bulletin de Paye...
Guess what? I just received, in the mail, my "bulletin de paye" (bulletin of payment) for the month of MARCH, which was just mailed out two weeks ago. Yes, it's the middle of July, and I just received proof now that I got paid for March. No, I didn't get it at the end of March, or in April, or in June, but in the middle of July. I never got a statement for October, November, or December, yet part of those three months were included on January (but not all of them, weird eh?).
And another thing, I'm supposed to keep them for the rest of my life, as the French Revenue Service can audit me at any point in my life. Even 70 years from now (assuming I'm still alive then).
Need I say anything else?

July 18, 2004

I wish I was...
Quite honestly, I wish that I was in Europe. Instead, I'm stuck in the raspberry fields here at home.
I could spend the 30°C days in the raspberry fields wishing that I was elsewhere, or I could spend them travelling through Spain and Portugal, or Italy, or Hungary, Turkey, and Romania. What am I doing? I don't think that I should have left Europe so soon. But there's always another time, right?

July 17, 2004

Look what I found...
I found an interesting blurb on a Government of Canada website about teaching English in Korea...
"Many others, however, eventually reach the point where they feel it is time to leave. With luck, you will realize this before it affects your life too profoundly. It is time to leave when you begin to be negative about the country and its people. When you no longer want to go to work, dislike your students, become irritated with everything and everyone and have angry discussions with others of like mind, it is time to go. "

I think that it would serve well for many countries.

July 14, 2004

French Facts...
I've started reading "And God Created the French" (published 1995) by Louis-Bernard Robitaille, a Québecois journalist who lived and worked in France for several years. It's about some of the (many) French idiosyncrasies, including their love-hate relationship with money, French swimming pools (I've heard stories from friends about that one), French etiquette, and EuroDisney. It's very well written, easy to read, and doesn't totally knock France.
I don't know how many of you have ever ridden a Metro in France, but you may have noticed a few "interesting" smells. Well, I've found a few interesting statistics about French hygiene.
IMPORTANT NOTE: do not read this if you are about to eat something.
-26% (47% according to another source) of French take a bath or shower every day, which means that 74% (or 53%) of people do not wash every day
-1% change their underwear only on Sunday
-30% "find it agreeable not to wash for several days"
-41 million toothbrushes are sold a year (with a population of 55 million, which means that 14 million French people use their toothbrush for more than a year!)
-59% of Jacques Chiraque's followers wear deodorant (the highest percentage of the major political parties)
-the French use less deodorant than any other country in Europe
-the French consume half the amount of soap as Britain (with the same population)

The sources are "And God Created the French", and the 2003 Lonely Planet guide to France.

July 13, 2004

It's raining, it's pouring...
No, the old man isn't snoring. But it's raining really hard, and there's thunder and lightning. Yesterday it was hot (around 29°C), and it was nice this morning. Then, all of a sudden, it got cloudy and started to pour with rain.
Thank goodness I'm not out in the raspberry field!

July 09, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11...
So, I went to see Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore today. I went to see it with Sophia, who was an English assistant in Lille (and lived down the hall at the MAJT from me).
First off, I really liked the movie. Even though it was obviously a documentary, it didn't really feel like one. Granted, it wasn't an action movie like Spiderman 2, but it was really well done.
Although I agree with a lot of what he has to say, you also have to look at the fact that he is only showing his point of view, and that it's fairly easy to use some of the quotes out of text (of course Bush isn't the best public speaker, but still). Moore does make a good case against Bush. He starts off with how Bush should not have even become President of the States (the whole Florida voting scandal), then Bush's credibility goes downhill from there.
Has anyone else seen the movie? What do you think?

July 08, 2004

The Life of Pi...
So, I just finished reading "The Life of Pi" by Yann Martel. I won't give too much away, but I liked the book quite a bit. It's basically about a boy who gets stuck on a lifeboat with a Royal Bengal tiger for many, many days, and what happens to the two of them. (You know that he has to survive, since it's him who's telling the story many years later from Canada).
The end part with the Japanse investigators surprised me a bit. Which version was it? (I think it was the tiger version.)

July 07, 2004

Job Search...
Now that my job with Elections Canada is done, I'm "looking" for a new job. I am looking for a new job, but not too hard at the moment (hey, at least I'm being honest).
I've basically been offered a job in management at Wendy's, but my problem with that would be the number of hours I'd have to commit in the fall, once I go back to school.
I'll probably pull a few days in the berry fields (again), while I'm looking around at other possibilities.
In the mean time, I'll use some of my free time to visit friends.
I know that I can do lots of tutoring in the fall, which requires less time, and probably pays more per hour.
Any suggestions?

July 05, 2004

Go Greece Go!
Can you believe it? Greece won the Euro 2004 Football championship in Lisboa, Portugal! They've never won a match in a major tournament (they tied Germany once a long time ago). They had between 80-1 and 100-1 odds going into the tournament, and something like 15-1 odds going into the final match against Portugal.
It's a true underdog story, and I'm glad that they beat France 1-0 earlier in the tournament.

July 04, 2004

My sister has left for Québec City for five weeks. She's going there as part of the Summer Language Bursary Program, which I did in Jonquière, Québec four years ago. I think that she'll have a great time, since I had a blast when I went (even though the city was less than exciting).
Well, her flight left at 6h this morning, which meant that we had to leave at 3h45 to get the the airport early enough. Needless to say, even though I got a bit of sleep when we came home, I'm still dead tired.
I think I'm going back to bed.

July 01, 2004

Happy Canada Day, part 2...
A very Happy Canada Day to everyone (again). It's true that most Canadians are quite patriotic. I went to the Canada Day parade in my town today, but I must admit that the only reason I went was because my sister was playing in the marching band.
I watched a bit of the Ottawa festivities (it's also the 400th anniversary of Acadia this year), the sat out in the warm sun, before listening to some Great Big Sea (a good Neufie group).
Happy Canada Day!

I just thought that I'd say HAPPY CANADA DAY to everyone out there! It's red and white all day.