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Meet Beetle & Bug…


…otherwise known as "’Chris’ lapse of sanity". They are Russian dwarf hamsters, terribly cute, and unusually friendly. Details to follow…

Halloween photos


We had originally planned on dressing all the animals up and getting them into a picture together but didn’t quite get that off the ground. We did get a few pics of Simon, Olive, Lindsy and Mojo in costume, though. And a few of Lauren the blob.

The day the music died

Something very sad happened last week.

When we moved into this house, we decided the living room was too tiny for our giant floor speakers; the light oak color and style of them clashed horribly with the rest of our dark colored furniture, anyway. So, for the first time in either of our adult lives, we bought a set of speakers. After several trips to Best Buy listening to various bookshelf speakers, we bought a pair of mid-priced JBL speakers and a mounting kit to hang them on the wall with. Getting them mounted was a royal pain in the behind, but once that was done we were now in posession of speakers that looked and sounded really good.

Now, our receiver is set up for input from a home theatre system but the unit is a bit old and from before the days of DVDs; I am not sure if that contributed to what happened… I have it set up on one of the VCR inputs and for the most part it works pretty well, we have to switch the receiver from VCR to Aux and the TV mode from Video to TV after watching a DVD and when we did this last time there was this horrendous loud humming/buzzing sound and before we could hit the power button to cut it off, it had blown both of our new speakers. The burnt smell was the first tipoff and the smoke coming from the right one sure didn’t look like a good sign, either.  Yup. Got everything set up right and all we could hear now was a tiny, tinny sound. And the speaker started smoking again

We just sat there in stunned silence. Finally, I unplugged the speaker cables and re-enabled the TV’s internal speaker. For several days I pretended it hadn’t happened. Finally I tested the receiver with one of the behemoth speakers to confirm that yes, it was really the speakers that had died

Never in our lives had either of us blown a speaker before this. And not only had we killed them, but in a very stupid-sounding way. I can remember, in my teenage years, that blowing a set of speakers listening to loud music would have been a kind of badge of honor – sad, but also something to brag about. I can picture how I would have said "dude, I totally fried my speakers last night listening to ‘Sabbath," (looking both bummed and yet somewhat triumphant) and my friends would have commiserated on how much that sucked but been impressed nonetheless. Instead, here I sit, at 36 years old, looking at a couple of hundred dollars worth of still-being-paid-for useless technology, and the most exciting explanation I have is that there was some sort of glitch when we switched it back.

I might at least feel better if we made up a story that sounded better.

So maybe…

…moving back to Canada isn’t such a bad idea, after all.