The Daily EO: July 11th, 2012

Greetings from Wawa, Ontario and the Algoma Motel!

Hours door to door:  10
kms Travelled:  797.4
Money Spent:  $131.92

After a relaxed departure at about noon today, we barely made it 10 minutes out of town when the car (by itself I’m sure) turned into The Windmill Bakery.  It’s a wonderful bakery that is run by a Dutch woman out of her house.  Yes!  Another Dutch Bakery.  In Huntsville! That I had never heard of!  Wow.

We purchased 3 items for $5 and we got a free loaf of “mystery bread” – made with leftover dough.  Emile immediately ate his butter tart and declared it “one of the best he’s ever had”.  I managed to save my “blueberry star” until after dinner.  So Good. Windmill Bakery – We’ll be back.  Especially for mystery bread. (which was torn apart as we ate it in hunks during the day)

The roads are quiet with it being mid week, so it was an easy and relaxing drive.

July 11th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:   (photo credit Emile)

Clouds over water in Lake Superior Provincial Park



The Daily EO: July 10th, 2012

I hit town today with a list of 14 items to get ready for our journey – slowly crossing off items.  It takes a while sometimes – as nothing I needed could all come from the same store.  And after a while I was tired.  Tired of searching through stores and driving to different places.  So, I got everything – except shampoo.  I wanted to purchase organic natural shampoo at a reasonable price and that would require another stop.

Heck.  I’ve got 1/2 a bottle at home.  We aren’t going to the desert – I’ll buy something on the road.  When I got home, I was getting vitamins out to pack and found exactly what I needed – a bottle of shampoo.

It was like a gift from myself.  I am not kidding, I will shout out “I love myself” when things like this happen.  Like when I found pumpkin chocolate chip loaf in the freezer.  Or when I find half done meals in the back of the fridge just when I trying to figure dinner.  Why am I so good to myself? 

July 10th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  A love letter from myself in the form of shampoo.


The Daily EO: July 9th, 2012

My husband is a genius when it comes to computers.   He would be the first to tell you that he doesn’t know everything.   And I would agree.   But back to computers – he may not know everything, but he has a basic inherent understanding of all things technical, electronic and how software interacts with them.  And he has a gift for being able to explain complicated technical things to us mere mortals in a manner which we can process in our tiny brains.

I couple days back he headed to Toronto to take his Comptia Networks+  exam.  He’s been studying for this for a while.  And worrying that he wouldn’t pass.  And studying some more.

July 9th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: He passed with 889/900.   That is like 99% correct.

The Daily EO: July 8th, 2012

I neglected to put photo credit on the photo from yesterday’s entry.  Although I did the post-processing, the photo was taken by my husband Emile. 

There is a bakery in town.  It is called Schat Bakery.  German or something.  It certainly catches your eye as you drive down Main Street.  In English, the name sounds like past tense of poop.  Like all bakeries, I know it is there, but I do not often visit.  They smell terrific but are like having 3 shots of vodka before grocery shopping.  Suddenly you really need a cake a day for desserts.  So with our fitness kick, I stay out of the bakeries.  I can’t physically run as far as I would have to burn off all those calories.

My in-laws are visiting and we decided to do some sight-seeing and shopping downtown.   Looking for a fast and cheap lunch idea, I suggested the hotdog cart.  Nothing like a hotdog or sausage on a beautiful summer day!  My father-in-law looked at me and the cart like I suggested he scrounge for food in the gutters.  Apparently, he has a problem with hot dogs.  Or perhaps he was cranky due to lack of caffeine.  Whatever it was, he wasn’t eating on the street.  He was going to walk the six blocks to the closest Tim Horton’s and get a coffee.

In all the times I have visited with people from Holland, it doesn’t matter how full you are, how sick of food you may be, you always have a sweet treat with your coffee.  Always.  Even if it is stale graham crackers from the back of the pantry.  You have a sweet treat.  And my in-laws are Dutch.  We needed a coffee and a sweet treat.  And no tubes of processed meat.

Hoping to salvage this situation, I looked up and saw Schat Bakery across the street.  On the window it said “Coffee/Tea”.  We entered the cool shop and the lit glass display cases glowed.  The signs for each item were in English and DUTCH!  This isn’t a German bakery, this is a Dutch bakery.  And I never knew.  Not only had I steered my in-laws to wonderful hometown bakery, but a Dutch one!   They even had a Dutch conversation with the proprietor.  I am their favorite daughter-in-law again.

July 8th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  A Dutch Bakery, coffee and a oliebollen for all.

The Daily EO: July 6th, 2012

What an ironic day.  At least I think it was ironic.  It could be Alanis Morrisette ironic.  I am not totally sure.

I was in a toy store shopping for a gift for my nephew’s upcoming birthday when I received a call from a recruiter.  It’s weird to have a conversation like that in a toy store.  It was a recruiter I’d worked with before – he wanted to know if I would be “too angry” to talk to a certain company about a Materials Manager job (in Markham) and the company had asked for my résumé.  Yes, that is a funny question, but here is a back story:

About 6 weeks ago, a job posting come up on Workopolis.  The job requirements matched exactly to my education, experience and skills – with one exception, they prefered a candidate with pharmaceutical background.  But seriously people – I’ll tell you now:  Manufacturing is Manufacturing.   Good practices are the same regardless of what industry you are working in.  Obviously if you are making pacemakers versus inexpensive pens, your levels of quality control, government regulations and testing are adjusted.  But don’t let anyone bamboozle you into thinking the underlying principles are different.

Anyways, I applied to this position.  I got no response – which given how many resumes postings get when on Workopolis, I can understand.  It’s pretty easy to get lost in the crowd.  Later that week I received 2 calls from 2 different recruiters about the same job.  I told you my background matched the description!  Well, when the feedback came back from the company, I was told that I didn’t appear to have any “MRP/MPS experience”.  Huh??  I’m a Materials Manager!  If you are in manufacturing, you know what this is.  So, I’ll give you examples of what this means to say to a Materials Manager.

To a teacher:  You don’t seem to have child interaction experience.
Electrician:  You don’t know how current flows.
IT Technician:  You don’t how to put together a home computer.
Accountant:  You don’t know how use a spreadsheet.

MRP/MPS is the basis of any materials role.  If you have worked manufacturing, you would know that you cannot run your department without it.  MPS = Master Production Schedule.  MRP = Manufacturing Resource Planning.  That sounds fancy pantsy.  But really, it means having a plan, knowing what you need for the plan, and knowing what you’ve got for the plan.  If you have ever planned a dinner party, you have done MPS and MRP.

Anyways, I’m not angry – I just thought it was funny.  Their loss and I moved on.

But now, they are back. (And so you’re back! From outer space!  I just walked in to find you here! With that sad look upon your face!) And the recruiter thought I might be too angry.  Angry??  This is what all Richard Marx listening break-up victims dream of.  Ha ha!  Oh, I’ll interview alright, and you’re going to see I look fabulous, I’m thin and I so do know what MRP/MPS is!   Ha!

Later that afternoon, I got another call from a recruiter for another position (Mississauga).  One that I think they copied requirements directly from my résumé.  They want to know my interview availability.  What??

Why is this ironic?  Several reasons:

  • I haven’t received a call from a recruiter/company in about 6 weeks.
  • Emile has been working on landing a position in Orillia with his former company after deciding that perhaps Toronto is not the place for us.
  • We are leaving on Wednesday (or perhaps Thursday) for a long sojourn across Canada and the USA.  We have so much to do to get ready!
  • Our car needs an oil change and check-up before we head out.  The car will be out of commission in either Monday or Tuesday.
  • Emile is working Monday and Tuesday for a friend.  So he will not be available during the day to assist.

So needless to say, these two calls fly in the face of short and medium plans we have finally been able to put together.   And I’ve had ample time over the last couple of months to do these things – yet now I have to try to perhaps to fit in 2 city interviews and all the prep for being away into a short period of time.

July 6th, 2012  Extra-Ordinary:  Do I really have to say?  2 calls in 1 day?

PS – Yes, we are coming to a city near you, so you west coasters, we’ll be there soon!

The Daily EO: July 5th, 2012

There are 5 ice cream shops in Huntsville – The Nutty Chocolatier, Kawartha Dairies, Yog’s, Belly and The Purple House.

The Nutty is the oldest and most established – it’s been on Main Street for years and draws in the tourists with their huge selection of ice cream, chocolates, and candy.  It’s open until 11 pm in the summer allowing for treats after other events in town.  They carry Nestle Ice Cream.

Yog’s used to be located on the Main Street (across from Nutty) and had every inch of their shop decorated with photos of patrons enjoying their ice cream.  There were 1000s of pictures.  They tehn moved just off Main Street for a fresher look (read: no more pictures).  Yog’s also carries Nestle Ice Cream.

Kawartha Dairies is a recent addition.  They built a huge log cabin-ish building outside of town on Highway 60 (on the way to Algonquin Park or Ottawa).  They are part of Kawartha Dairies (obviously) which is a large dairy in the – you guessed it – Kawartha Lakes area.  Kawartha Lakes is not in Muskoka.  They obviously serve Kawartha Dairies ice cream.

Belly is a new gourmet ice cream shop this season and all of their ice cream is blended in Huntsville.  They are located also on Main Street, but in a small gazebo in a tiny park.  They serve local and seasonal flavours like rhubarb or Tall Trees Butter Tarts.

The Purple House opened after River Mill Park did – it’s now located just off Main Street directly across from the biggest children’s play area in Huntsville and the waterfront.  It is a tiny purple house.  The serve Kawartha Dairies Ice Cream.

So if you are a consumer in Huntsville looking to purchase an ice cream cone – you are in luck, you have lots of choice and a decision to make.

Do you go with Nutty Chocolatier – the original?  Yet the tourist trap?  Do you want the originality and quality of Belly?  Two things that you pay extra for?  What about Kawartha Dairies?  It’s a bit of a drive out to Highway 60 and it drags people away from our downtown core but they have a huge selection.  Or The Purple House?  Across from the park and the waterfront?  Or Yog’s that serves exactly the same ice creams as Nutty just around the block?  Yet also a tradition?

It’s a hard choice. But it is the little things that make the difference to me – I don’t want Kawartha Dairies because they are a new interloper is from Lindsay or the like.  Go back to where you came from with your fancy store away from the centre of town!  And if I am only buying an ice cream cone – I have to stand outside – I can’t purchase in the store.  Telling me as a consumer what to do never bodes well for you.

Yog’s never got past their tiny little dingy store with me.  Even now that they moved, I have to wonder why they aren’t doing something to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Belly – I haven’t been to yet.  It’s next on the list though.  I’ve heard it is very expensive and the portions are small – but isn’t anything that claims to be gourmet?  It will be an occasional treat – but I need to find a less pricey regular place.

The Purple House.  Brilliant location.  Supported the “Band On the Run” by giving two for one ice cream cones to racers on race day.  Kawartha Dairies Ice Cream, but it’s not like Nestle’s is local.  And also a frozen yogurt machine that you can make your own.  So love that.

For years, our choice was The Nutty – but the portions have been shrinking, the prices rises and there is a feeling that perhaps you are not valued as a local consumer as you should be.

The Purple House welcomed us warmly when we returned to support them for supporting us in Band on the Run.  Fair prices, solid selection, excellent service and good portion size.  Sorry Nutty.

July 5th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  A dumped supplier.  A new place.  And another important decision in my life made.