Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Test the Nation

Test the Nation was on CBC on Sunday. Miss it? I did but you can take the test online here:

I got 111. I'm apparently smarter than the average Canadian but not by much! I did very poorly on visual memory and math. The later is embarrassing as I was an accountant but in my defense, we don't use our brain for math - that's what calculators are for! The former, I'll use my old age as an excuse. :P

If you're on Facebook, you can post your results on the wall.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bridal Shower

My Bridal Shower was on Sunday and here is a review that I posted on a couple of boards - pardon my laziness!

My girls planned the whole thing and while it wasn't a surprise, there were some surprise elements and it was planned well.

We had about 30 of my close family and friends in attendance and it was a tropical-themed potluck shower held at my MOH's party room.

My girls had a scrapbook table where everyone got to do a page and if they wished, include the recipe of the dish that they brought.

We played the traditional games but one with a twist. For the trivia game, instead of chewing gum or another penalty, I had to drink a shot of raspberry vodka for every wrong answer! They had some tricky questions too like FH's first school and of course I got them wrong. Thank goodness I got to sip the vodka instead or I would have had to take about 5 shots and be completely wasted at my own shower.

We also played the purse game as well as a game where the guests had to guess what 24 items I would bring on my honeymoon. I tried to keep it PG but my aunts and friends came up with some raunchy answers.

My MOH knew that we had a honeymoon registry and instead of online contributions subject to a service charge, she put together a honeymoon registry package (similar to the setup online) and spread the word to the guests. This worked amazingly well and we can pay off about a third of the honeymoon! I also got some gifts off our registry.

My BM got the cutest shower favours for everyone off http://www.etsy.com - fortune cookie shaped soaps with a "fortune" in it with "Lisa & Shaun" and our wedding date. Overall, it was wonderful and great to have all (if not most of) the ladies I care about in one room.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Watch what's in your chocolate...

A gross story forwarded by my cousin, originally posted here:


Pregnant woman finds maggots in chocolate

Mar 10, 2007

Chris Traber, Staff Writer

(Markham) - How sweet it isn't.

Brian Diamond's pregnant daughter, Nicola, received a couple of boxes of Ferrero Rocher chocolates for Christmas.

After opening her third treat, she noticed the confectionery was covered in an odd web. Closer inspection revealed a live maggot-like grub.

She checked the previous two wrappers and found a similar web-like substance.

She experienced stomach upset and diarrhea and was afraid it could have harmed her baby.

A doctor advised she could have E. coli, possibly botulism or could develop intestinal parasites. Lab tests were ordered and later confirmed she had no long-term health problems.

On Jan. 2, Mr. Diamond spoke to a representative of the candy manufacturer and asked how to determine the product's expiry date.

A complex code indicated both boxes were manufactured in Brazil and had expired in the summer of 2005, almost a year and a half before they were purchased in downtown Toronto.

The Markham computer executive wanted to know how a product so far past its expiry date entered the country and was sold.

In the ensuing weeks, Mr. Diamond engaged in a telephone and e-mail campaign with Ferrero Rocher, Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

To his dismay, he discovered the manufacturer wasn't obligated by law to recommend a "sell-by" date. Health Canada's jurisdiction is focused on food manufactured in Canada.

Both Ferrero Rocher and the federal agency picked up samples of the candy by mid-January.

Tests conducted at Guelph University by the manufacturer confirmed the presence of an Indian meal moth, "a common pantry pest found worldwide".

Agency lab results concluded the product contained moth larvae and feces, web cocoons and both live and dead chrysalis, the pupal stage of the moth.

Ferrero Rocher offered Mr. Diamond coupons for more chocolate. He refused. The company offered him $500, which he also refused.

"I told them the decimal point was in the wrong place," Mr. Diamond said. "I would have settled for $5,000 and to know what checks and balances are in place so that I will know it's safe to buy their candies again.

"It boggles the mind. I've been in consumer products all my life. If a customer complains, you listen and fix it. They were so blasÈ and cavalier. They just don't care."

Several telephone calls to Ferrero Rocher were not returned to the Economist & Sun.

"I want to create public awareness about your exposure to contaminated products like this," he said.

He has kept the product samples at his Unionville home.

If he doesn't get satisfaction, Mr. Diamond said he will create a personal website linked to consumer web bases to share his experience.

"I might put the product on eBay and sell it as a personal maggot farm," he said.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007