Sasha's Reality Dial On The Net

Friday, January 03, 2014

Never-ending Snow

Thursday, January 02, 2014

January 2nd

Dreaded trip to Home Depot after work. Not a bad shopping excursion and I even got the new blinds for Cedarbrae to fit into the car :)

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Holy Soaking Boots

Day spent getting Cedarbrae ready for new renters. Boots are soaked!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lazy Night At Work

I'm at work for a few hours tonight doing some coverage. Out back right now smoking and checking out the action in the back alley.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Starting The Juice Fast

Well it is day one. I watched the fat, sick and nearly dead documentary with Crystal and we are both gonna give this a shot. So far so good but I do have a headache! 

I am also mudding and taping the wall to keep myself busy. Here is what it looks like so far :)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Playing around with Apps

Playing Around With AppsBlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Saturday, July 30, 2011



I am lying here SO bored on a Saturday night... I'm old. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Alberta 2010 Budget

So here is the outcome of the 2010 Alberta Government Budget...

Money Government gives themselves: Municipal Affairs- Budgeted program expense for Municipal Affairs is over $1 billion in 2010-11, an increase of $421 million or 69 per cent from the 2009-10 forecast.

Campaign Donors!: Energy- Budgeted program expense for Energy is $456.5 million in 2010-11, a $50-million or 12.3–per-cent increase from the 2009-10 forecast.

More Donors... Finance and Enterprise - Budgeted program expense for Finance and Enterprise is nearly $1.1 billion in 2010-11, an $82-million or 8.2–per-cent increase from the 2009-10 forecast. The increase is mainly due to the costs associated with the Teachers’ Pre-1992 Pension liability.

Students... Advanced Education and Technology - Budgeted program expense for Advanced Education and Technology is over $3.2 billion in 2010-11, a $205-million or 6-per-cent reduction from the 2009-10 forecast.

Workers... Employment and Immigration - Budgeted program expense for Employment and Immigration is $1.1 billion in 2010-11, an $87-million or 7.3-per-cent reduction from the 2009-10 forecast.

Homeless... Housing and Urban Affairs - Budgeted program expense for Housing and Urban Affairs is $490.8 million in 2010-11, a $112-million or 18.6-per-cent reduction from the 2009-10 forecast.

Seriously ... that's not so impressive...


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Cracked Eggs

So I was given this really valuable egg about a year ago to take care of for a while. I'm supposed to watch over it until it is ready to hatch . I was really happy to get this egg cause thats what I do... watch over valuable eggs until they're ready to hatch.

Some of the eggs get a little bit battered up on their journey to get to me but I've got a pretty good set up to put them in and with some care and attention and sometimes a little bit of ointment we can usually get them cleaned up and healthy again before they are ready to hatch and move along. I thought this one was in pretty good shape but after looking at it really closely I noticed that it was cracked in quite a few places.

I figured that was okay cause like I said I have a good set up and lots of ointments and stuff so I thought I could get it cleaned up at least enough to hatch and move along. The eggs pretty much look after themselves but everyday at least one of us on the team will pick up the eggs to clean them up a bit and then we sit them back down and get on with the day.

About six months ago I had to pick up the one little cracked egg cause it's cracks started opening up and well it was basically cracking to pieces. I picked it up and held it carefully in my hand so the pieces all stayed together.

Now don't get me wrong I did not just simply hold it. I tried to put glue in the cracks to hold them together, I taped the outside of the shell to give it more strength, I put sensors on it so I know if the cracks are getting disturbed... My team did everything we could think of to just hold it together and mend it so it could hatch and move on. It became really hard to work and take proper care of all the other eggs with one cracked egg clenched in one hand... some things you need two hands for... somethings you just can't do with a cracked egg in your hand. My team was really happy that I picked up the egg when it first cracked and we did a great job of thinking up ways to fix and reinforce it - but my boss came in and said we need to give the egg back because it was too broken for us... we are an egg hatching facility and not prepared for if an egg were to start cracking and leaking they said we must give the egg back. I cried and fought because I had put a lot of work into the egg and getting it patched up, I had spent a lot of time with the egg and knew just how original and valuable it was and secretly it had become my favorite egg... I really wanted to see this one hatch.

I put the egg down but also got to keep it. It held together pretty good but it also didn't seem to progress... it doesn't seem to want to hatch. Then a few months ago it started to crack again... I picked it back up and started working one handed once again.. my team starting to question why we were holding it again... they say that surely we have put enough measures in place that the egg should be able to be put down... but I am worried about the egg. I am holding it and it doesn't feel very strong at all. The team says that it should be ready to hatch by now since we have had it quite a long time... they think I should put it down or give it back to it's owner cause the other eggs are suffering... I just can't do certain things with one cracked egg in my hand. I do think that logically they have a point but the egg is cracking again new cracks that are developing while I'm holding it in my hand! I clench harder to give it more support but it still cracks more... so I clench harder to really give it more structure but it keeps cracking and I think WAIT am I now cracking it by holding it to tight??? I don't think I can keep this egg anymore... I can't get it to hatch and I can't get it to stop cracking so I think I am going to have to give it back to it's owner before it gets broken.

I pray that my egg is stronger than I think. I pray that the glue and tape and all the ointment I have smothered on it are enough to hold it together until it hatches and has healed it enough for it to hatch well and strong. I ask for a hundred and one angels to go watch over it if I can't anymore... and I just really hope that it doesn't crack and break... cause that would break my heart more than anyone knows.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The strongest earthquake in more than 200 years rocked Haiti on Tuesday, collapsing a hospital where people screamed for help and heavily damaging the National Palace, U.N. peacekeeper headquarters and other buildings. U.S. officials reported bodies in the streets and an aid official described "total disaster and chaos."

United Nations officials said a large number of U.N. personnel were unaccounted for.

Communications were widely disrupted, making it impossible to get a full picture of damage as powerful aftershocks shook a desperately poor country where many buildings are flimsy. Electricity was out in some places.

Karel Zelenka, a Catholic Relief Services representative in Port-au-Prince, told U.S. colleagues before phone service failed that "there must be thousands of people dead," according to a spokeswoman for the aid group, Sara Fajardo.

"He reported that it was just total disaster and chaos, that there were clouds of dust surrounding Port-au-Prince," Fajardo said from the group's offices in Maryland.

"Buildings collapsed all over the place," he said. "We have lives that are destroyed. ... It will take at least two or three days for people to know what's going on."

An Associated Press videographer saw the wrecked hospital in Petionville, a hillside Port-au-Prince district that is home to many diplomats and wealthy Haitians, as well as many poor people. Elsewhere in the capital, a U.S. government official reported seeing houses that had tumbled into a ravine.

With phones down, some of the only communication came from social media such as Twitter. Richard Morse, a well-known musician who manages the famed Olafson Hotel, kept up a stream of dispatches on the aftershocks and damage reports.

The news, based mostly on second-hand reports and photos, was disturbing, with people screaming in fear and roads blocked with debris. Belair, a slum even in the best of times, was said to be "a broken mess."

The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 and was centred about 10 miles (15 kilometres) west of Port-au-Prince at a depth of 5 miles (8 kilometres), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

USGS geophysicist Kristin Marano called it the strongest earthquake since 1770 in what is now Haiti. In 1946, a magnitude-8.1 quake struck the Dominican Republic and also shook Haiti, producing a tsunami that killed 1,790 people.

The temblor appeared to have occurred along a strike-slip fault, where one side of a vertical fault slips horizontally past the other, said earthquake expert Tom Jordan at the University of Southern California. The earthquake's size and proximity to populated Port-au-Prince likely caused widespread casualties and structural damage, he said.

"It's going to be a real killer," he said. "Whenever something like this happens, you just hope for the best."

President Barack Obama ordered U.S. officials to start preparing in case humanitarian assistance was needed.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said his government planned to send a military aircraft carrying canned foods, medicine and drinking water and also would dispatch a team of 50 rescue workers

Haitian musician Wyclef Jean urged his fans to donate to earthquake relief efforts, saying he had received text messages from his homeland reporting that many people had died.

"We must think ahead for the aftershock, the people will need food, medicine, shelter, etc.," Jean said on his Web site.

Brazil's government was trying to re-establish communications with its embassy and military personnel in Haiti late Tuesday, according to the G1 Web site of Globo TV. Brazil leads a 9,000-member U.N. peacekeeping force there.

Felix Augustin, Haiti's consul general in New York, said he was concerned about everyone in Haiti, including his relatives.

"Communication is absolutely impossible," he said. "I've been trying to call my ministry and I cannot get through. ... It's mind-boggling."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Shadbolts Come To Town

Saturday, January 09, 2010


Friday, January 08, 2010

Drinks With Rick The Mechanic

Thursday, January 07, 2010

What Color is Your Bra???

I received this message in my inbox on facebook today from my friend Andrea Stewart:

It says: I'm not normally one to send forward-type emails, but thought this one was kind of fun! Some fun is going on.... just write the color of your bra in your status. Just the color, nothing else. And send this on to ONLY girls no men .... It will be neat to see if this will spread the wings of cancer awareness. It will be fun to see how long it takes before the men will wonder why all the girls have a color in their status... Haha

It spread like wildfire and the one response that made me laugh for about 5 minutes this afternoon was this one from my friend Jeff MacMillan: Oh... I see everyone is playing a color game... Okay... I pick Gold, the color of real wealth and if you are paying attention at all to this world... you would have some. But everyone thinks I'm crazy... here's a nice video that explains just about everything that is wrong with the economy and politics. But none of you will watch it, because it is two hours long and "You don't have time" Gonna have time when it costs $200 for a loaf of bread?

I laughed so hard I almost cried!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Sending Dad To Holland

I took the day off today to drive my dad to the airport. I suspected it would take forever to get through the line up and I was right! The biggest excitement was when some lady showed up after we had been in line for about 45 minutes and was so shocked at the length of the line that she insisted to see a supervisor. The dumb ass supervisor decided to let her skip the whole line to just get her to shut up which ended up pissing the rest of the line up. Not a very smart customer service decision by KLM!

We got him to the security gate after about an hour and a half and said our goodbyes. I really want to see the new AVATAR movie in IMAX 3D so I talked my mom into going for dinner and then going to check out the movie with me. I decided to go pick up tickets before we headed to dinner in case it was still busy and it was SOLD OUT for all the shows tonight! I still went for dinner with my mom and we have a plan to go some time this weekend. I REALLY want to see that movie - I have heard amazing things about it.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Losing Uncle Jan

I got the kind of call at work today that you just never want to get. It was my mom at the other end not sounding very happy at all saying there was bad news. My cousin Arco had just called to let us know that his father, my uncle Jan, had passed away.

They think he had a heart attack... they are not sure when. Jan did not show up for work on Monday or Tuesday and people started to get worried. The police went to check on him and he was found in his apartment. That part makes me sad... I wish he wasn't alone... I wish there was somebody there to call an ambulance. I wonder if they are going to find me like that one day.

Uncle Jan was DEFINITELY my closest relative on my dad's side of the family. My dad moved to Canada from Holland in his early twenties and married my mother in Canada. After the wedding the family went to Holland few times to meeet all of our relatives and cousins, and the family in Holland made a few trips to Canada - but Uncle Jan MOVED to Canada and even moved in with my parents for a few years. I was already out of the house by then but my little brother Kent was still at home and was Jan's roommate in the basement at my parents home.

Jan was a happy, eccentric man when he arrived. There was a joke that you better not go for a walk with Uncle Jan because everyone who did came back "in love" (even if they were related!) it was odd to say the least but still kind of funny. My Uncle Jan eventually married his cousin Joan - it was a memorable ceremony like none I had ever been to before - it was Ba'hai and there was no booze... well at MOST of the tables... at our table me and my dutch cousins had figured out a way to "spice up" our beverages! It was a nice ceremony and a really great day.

The relationship broke down after a few years and as I said Jan decided to stay in Calgary and moved into my parents basement. My brother Kent was in his EARLY twenties at the time and it was funny that he was now sharing his space with his eccentric dutch uncle who had a habit of hanging around the house in his tighty whitey underwear - it was humorous for us (not so much for Kent) when he would bring friends and girls home after the bar. Jan also shared a passion for singing with my dad. I remember walking into my parents home and hearing the two of them downstairs on the organ practicing away (bright and early right outside my brothers bedroom door lol). I saw bits of Jan in my dad and bits of my dad's personality in Jan. They were close brothers and while they disagreed about quite a few things they sure enjoyed each other and you could see and hear the love! Jan was a smart man - he read a lot - he studied SO many things (both practical and spiritual) - he had unique tastes for fancy ports and unfiltered cigars - could be so happy and so grumpy depending on when you caught him - undeniably he was passionate... and we will miss him!

Rest in Peace Uncle Jan... I hope you are somewhere much better than this world... and I hope you are sitting with Oma, Opa, Uncle Pim, and his little sister Alli (1) somewhere enjoying their company and having a beer. You were loved and you will be missed terribly.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Wellington Stars

I am at work today. I came in last night to cover off and agreed to stay until the houseparents get back from their Christmas Holidays at 4pm.

I decided to start taking down the decorations and started with the Christmas Tree Stars. The Christmas Stars was a new idea that I came up with this year and that I absolutely love. At the beginning of December one of the youth at the house moved out into one of our more independent programs which left a bed open at Wellington. The intake process did not end up going well for the open bed and I was predicting the month may get pretty chaotic so we decided to take the opportunity to celebrate the kids and staff at the program and just what a great group we have. I thought that it would be good to boost ourselves and do some team building BEFORE the stress started! We gathered around with cut out stars and christmas trees and wrote down appreciative messages. It was really awesome to be able to randomly pull messages and read them over the holidays and today I read them all over again as I took them off the tree. I think we should do this again next year!

These were my messages from this year:
Sasha, you are a great listener/advice giver and you have a great laugh
Sasha you are such a positive person and always make me laugh
Sasha Thanks for being always willing to help.
Sasha you share a lot of ideas, appreciate your non-ending humor
Sasha Thank you for your help with YAP. Thanks for your rides and spending time with me.
Sasha I love your food prep stories + experiences Tim
Sasha. The greatest schemer ever!

Friday, January 01, 2010


Well it is the first day of a brand new year! I have a new years resolution to get back to journalling so I am going to post - even when I don't feel like I have anything to post about!

I am not working today and am having a really lazy day overall. I was up until about 5am so I had a late start and stayed in bed until about 12:30 when I was awoken to the sound of my cell phone going off. It rang a few times so I thought I should get up to see who was calling. It was my weekend relief staff at the group home wanting permission to go to a movie and by the time I returned the call they had called my boss and got the okay. The stove stopped working two days ago so they also wanted to go to McDonald's today and order a pizza tomorrow... it made me cranky... I told them if my boss already said yes to all their request then whatever but that I really can't understand why no one can figure out how to feed themselves using the microwave and crockpot that they seem to be able to use every other day. And so the year begins :)

I spent most of the rest of the day (as I seem to do most days off) just browsing around on the internet. I watched an interesting documentary on youtube called "Who Killed The Electric Car" about General Motor's EV1 and the way the whole program and the production of electric cars in general was eliminated (not proven but obviously due to pressure from the oil and gas industry). It reminded me of the CF-105 Avro Arrow that the Canadian government abandoned in February 1959 despite it's success and development putting Canada in the lead of the race to space. It just doesn't make sense - it stinks of corruption, greed, and evil - it makes me sad.

I am going to clean the house up a bit and go for a long shower now... and welcome in a bright clean hopeful 2010!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End Of A Decade... and the rebirth of mydial

I have a new years resolution. It is to get back to blogging... to writing... the recording this adventure I call my life.

I wish I had a record to review the last decade cause it sure has been an interesting one! This is my own decade in review... this is what I remember.

I remember December 31st 1999 pretty clearly as I am sure most of you do! It was the millenium and many people were wondering if the lights and all the computers were turning off at midnight! My cousin Ronaye and my godboys were tucked away in Caroline fully stocked and prepared for big changes in the morning - some thought they were crazy but I knew where I was heading in the morning if things went bad! I still think they were the smart ones cause they would have been the most prepared if something had happened and in the end all the food and supplies were used anyways and they were no worse for wear for having been prepared. I remember sitting at home watching broadcasts from around the world as each city celebrated coming into the new millenium... it was absolutely amazing. When it turned midnight in Calgary I was at this strange little party on 11th Avenue Downtown. It was a storefront that was vacant at the time and someone had rented it out to host a 2000 party. It was a magical night because I was surrounded by most of my best friends in the world. It would be one of the last times that we would be all together celebrating and it was kind of a coincidence that we were all even back together for the night! One of the strangest things was that my best friend from high school Patsy Boychuk also just happened to be at the same party. I had not seen her for years and it was so out of the blue - as teenagers we had talked about how we would party for new years 2000 and fate ended up making it so!

January 3, 2000 - I began my job at AADAC Youth Services I was living with Kelly Janzen and Brent Desjarlais in the pool house on 58th Avenue SW Calgary (Brent may have just moved out). Wayne Leontowich was in Calgary staying with us as well while waiting for Lyn to move from Saskatoon to Calgary. I had tried to quit my job at Reliance Technical Recruitment to work at AADAC but they talked me into working nights for them as the night recruitment supervisor. I hired Wayne as my only employee and well we did not get much work done - in fact I think we closed the office and just left most nights shortly after the day staff left. We quit in May 2000.

September 2000 - I moved out of the pool house and moved into Ronaye's basement suite in Rundle with Johnnie (?) after the drama summer from hell. Put my beloved cat Wyckham to sleep and got my new kitten Jaike.

Summer 2001 - Ronaye moved to Saskatoon for like a month and then moved to Kelowna and I moved back into my mom's basement for a few months. I decided I wanted to buy my own place and started to look around. I put an offer in and purchased 9810 26th Avenue and my sister Genitta bought 9820 26th Street!

September 11th 2001 - I woke up at my moms house and watched the planes hit the tower as I got ready for work (it was a Tuesday and I started late that day). I got to work at AADAC and caught some of the news from the tv in the group facilitation room by the kitchen. It was a memorable day. I remember for the next few days when I was driving around I saw so many small acts of kindness everywhere, little things like people letting others into lanes, people just being kind. I remember feeling a lot of sorrow and a lot of peace. The world and life changed over night.

September 2001 - Moved into my new house! I signed my mortgage at 7.75% in August and watched the rates plummet after 9/11 to under 3%... shitty!

Summer 2002 - Things began to change at work. My manager Barb Davis took a promotion and moved to Edmonton, my supervisor Betty took a new job outside AADAC and moved on as well. Sonia Badger, whom I knew and did NOT get along with, was hired as the new supervisor and Silvia Vajushi was hired for the management position. I struggled with the change and things went downhill fast! Ronaye left Anthony and Avery came to stay for the summer. Ronaye came to Calgary by September and moved in with the boys for a few months. Lyn was staying with me as well at the time so it was a VERY full house and Lyn soon left!

December 2002 - AADAC changed my position from contract to permanent and posted the position. I applied for my own job but they chose another candidate :(
I got to stay on contract until the end of the business year (March 2003) in a new position helping out Mark Miyamoto and the Action Program... then I was unemployed.

May 2003 - Took a job at Telus Mobility in the call center. My sister was working there and the call center positions paid pretty good. I was super depressed, had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and had no motivation left to decide or care. I also started volunteering at the Distress Centre in the Public Education Program as a gambling and drug educator as I had learned tons at AADAC and thought this would be an interesting way to share it. I also really wanted to do some front line addictions work and this gave me a chance.

August 2003 - Claudia Canales, the Public Education Program Coordinator at the Distress Centre, had the opportunity to go overseas with her husband for a year and called to ask me if I would be interested in covering her position at the Distress Centre while she was gone. I jumped at the chance and my life changed again. I began at the Distress Centre September 4th 2003.

January 2004 - Shortly after beginning at the Distress Centre I was offered an extended contract. Shama Doyle (now Joynt) who was the Training Coordinator wanted to return to school and I was offered her position while she was away. Shama did not end up returning to the position (POLITICS!) and I was offered the training position permanently. Training volunteers for the crisis lines was amazing and I ended up learning much more than I taught.

May 2004 - Ronaye, Craig, Avery and Jordan move into their own condo that I could see from my back deck. Genitta was living next door and I was surrounded by family.

August 2004 - Ronaye, Craig, and the boys purchased a house in Cedarbrae. I could not see there house from mine anymore but they were still just up the street.

September 2004 - I decided to return to Air Cadets after 10 years and volunteered as a training officer with 604 "Moose" Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

September 16 2004 - My cousin Rob and his girlfriend Becky add Payten Shandler to the family!

July 10 2005 - My sister Genitta got married and became Genitta Freeman. I got a new brother in law named Tavis.

September 10 2005 - My cousin Melissa and her husband James introduce Sophie Kimbell to the family :)

October 8 2005 - My cat Maxx went into cardiac arrest and died... I cried. I adopted a new kitten Benji at the end of the month.

November 2005 - Everyone left. Genitta and Tavis moved to Richmond Road and Ronaye, Craig and the boys put there house up for sale and moved to Saskatoon. It was a lonely time.

September 2005 - Claudia Canales left the Distress Centre to return to school. I jumped at the opportunity to take over the Public Education Coordinator role once again!

February 5 2006 - My niece Tevin Brooke Freeman was born!

March 2006 - I went out to Saskatoon to visit Ronaye and the boys, saw her house in Alvena and the new community centre/barn she bought. This was also the last time I saw my auntie Chantaal.

May 2006 - Kelly moved in for about a month. I was hoping he would be there over the summer so he could watch my cats while I went to Europe but he moved in with Crystal right before I left!

Summer 2006 - Went on my last big family vacation with Mom, Dad, and Kent to Holland. Went to my cousin Iris' wedding. Spent good time and got to know my cousins Laura, Rudy, Sophie, and Eef. Had a beautiful time in Paris.

February 21 2007 - Benjamin Kimball joins the family. He joins mom Melissa (my cousin), dad James, and big sister Sophie!

May 2007 - Went on a back country hike with the cadets on the May long weekend. I was scared I wouldnt make it and it was hard but I did. We couldnt do the whole hike as the higher we went up the mountain the more snow we found. We woke up to a snow blizzard and hiked back down the mountain pretty fast!

June 15 2007 - My nephew Talan Cole Freeman was born!

June 2008 - Went to Kelowna with Genitta, Tavis, Talan, and Tevin to visit Grandma Lil. It was the last visit we were able to have with Grandma Lil.

August 2008- Resigned my position at the Distress Centre. Took a new position with McMan Youth Family and Community Services as the Program Supervisor for the Wellington Place Program. A residential and community support program for homeless youth.

April-March 2008 - Went to Mexico with my mom to visit my godmother Bonnie at her new home in Peurto Vallarta. It was beautiful :)

January 2009 - My aunt Chantaal Shandler passed away after a long courageous battle with breast cancer. I lost a very important person in my life :(

February 2009 - Purchased my second home 3732 Cedarille Drive SW. Moved in and rented out 9810 to my brother Kent. Genitta also purchased a second home in Oakridge and began renovations!

Summer 2009 - Rough time at work. Spent lots of time at the Foothills Hospital with a suicidal youth in my program. At times thought I was going to lose my mind! My grandmother Lillian Leach passed away. A second HUGE loss for me in one year.

Recently: The doctor's suspect that my nephew Talan may be on the autism spectrum and he is going threw many assessments, tests, and diet changes. I am looking at new vehicles and trying to decide if I should purchase one in the new year. My position and program have been refunded for at least 12 more months!

And that's it folks... that is my decade in review!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Visit With Grandma Lil