The ones that hold messages that should have been delivered in person. Have had someone try and ask me out and apologize after I’d just left them. He tried to avoid the face to face. Not cool.

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Please Check Your Home For Carbon Monoxide

Danger! Carbon Monoxide!

Danger! Carbon Monoxide!

We hear so often how important it is to have a smoke detector to improve your ability to get out of your house if a fire happens. Somewhere in the mix, we are also told to get a carbon monoxide detector, but do we really understand the effects it has on us? Well, I now know… first hand.

I moved into the home that my grandparents bought new in 1962, so this house has always been in our family. I moved in January 1, 2012 and worked out of the house. Near the end of February, I started feeling back pain. I’ve had some issue with it, and it usually lasts two weeks or so and decreases with medication and exercises. It started getting worse and worse to the point where I could barely get out of bed because of the amount of pain I was in. I didn’t have the energy to do anything, partly because of constant pain, partly due to medications. I figured that my energy was going to attempting to heal the body. I went to see an osteopath (by taxi because it was too painful to drive) who said that there was a lot of swelling in my abdominal area as well as around the injury. He did what he could and suggested some changes to my diet over the next week and see if it improved by our next appointment the following week.

When I called in a contractor in early April to give some advice about the layout of the plumbing and HVAC system in our basement that we are renovating, he wasn’t there a few minutes before he said, “Have you had any problems with carbon monoxide? A lot of headaches, or the like?” I replied that we had a detector that was at the top of the stairs that led to the basement and no, I didn’t have any headaches. With all the renovations going on downstairs, there were no outlets to plug the detector into anyway. He said that he was pretty sensitive to it and our HVAC system was leaking it… severely. It was so bad that he said that he had to shut the system down immediately. One of the vents that went up to the chimney had deteriorated and it was a hazard. When I asked how long it would have taken to get like that, he said it could have been as little as one month. He could have a crew in the next day to install a new furnace and hot water tank. Make it so I said!

That night, it got to be quite cold, but I figured that was better than the carbon monoxide! The crew arrived the next morning to replace everything. By noon, I had regular water restored to the house and before the end of business day, I had heat and hot water restored. I also noticed I was able to get up and walk around a little easier. I did a quick search on the internet and found that there could possibly be a connection between the amount of carbon monoxide in the house and my back pain.

Within less than 48 hours, I was up and walking around without much difficulty. I was able to cook my own breakfast, make coffee and… go outside! I got into the car and drove the 20 or so minutes to my osteopath appointment and sat in the waiting room for 30 minutes because I was early, something I thought would be impossible a week ago. There hadn’t been much of a change in diet, but there was a huge improvement in my condition. It wasn’t perfect, but he noticed the reduction in swelling both in the abdominal area as well as around the injury. He was impressed by the change. I’m continuing with the diet as much as possible and expect to return to normal within a week or so.

The lesson today: If you don’t already have a carbon monoxide detector, GET ONE! Put it in the lowest level of the house and close to your HVAC system so that you get notified sooner than me. In addition, if anyone wants the name of the contractor or the osteopath (both of which I highly recommend), please contact me.

Social Media Presentation to Hamilton Networking Group

Here’s the presentation that I gave last night at Hamilton Business Networking  and Entrepreneurs Group’s Networking Mix & Mingle last evening. I got a lot of positive feedback on the presentation and had some great questions. I’ve edited the second to last slide from last night based on my discussions with some people after the presentation. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did delivering it. If you’d like the link to the video where I got the screen shots from, please see my post from yesterday. Happy Tweeting!

Explain the name of your blog and why you chose it

Explain the name of your blog and why you chose it.

I’ve actually created a page just for this reason. Here’s the link: What Is TantienHime?

Looking Back at Post a Day 2011 — How’d You Do?

Looking Back at Post a Day 2011 — How’d You Do?.

I didn’t do very well honestly. But I intend to finish it. Starting now!

I’ve already done a line up over the next week of at least the photo challenges. I’ve really enjoyed doing the photo posts and have even signed up for a website to profile some of my amateur photos.

I did the challenge because I wanted to find things to write about. I did actually find a number of things to write about outside of the challenge, but it also helped me learn how WordPress works. I definitely need to improve on how often I post and how quickly I post things after an event. I have posts still waiting from six months ago that I might just have to let go.

This year, I am going to do better on my other blogs, from ADHD to creative writing. Some of the challenges gave me some material to use in my creative writing, so I’ll try and share that soon!

The biggest lesson I think I learned is that a post doesn’t have to be very long. Just a few paragraphs. As a matter of fact, that’s the best thing. So on that note, I’ll leave you hanging for the next post…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Colorful

Weekly Photo Challenge: Colorful.

These photos were taken on New Year’s Eve 2008 in Hong Kong Harbour where I rang in the new year with many of my new friends while on exchange at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. I had trouble picking just one, so here are two of them. Neither one has fireworks in them, but it shows how colourful it was without them.

Hong Kong Harbour on New Years 2008

Hong Kong Harbour on New Years 2008

Hong Kong Harbour on New Years 2008

Another shot of the Hong Kong Harbour on New Years 2008

Name a food you used to like – what changed?


Soft-boiled eggs

Soft-boiled eggs

Name a food you used to like – what changed?.

Funny I was talking to someone about this just the other day. Soft boiled eggs. I used to love these, especially when I went to my grandmother’s house. But in my early 20’s, I found that every time I had them, I became ill. It didn’t happen (and still doesn’t) with fully cooked eggs, such as scrambled, but if the eggs are only partially cooked, I can’t eat them. This included poached or fried egg if the yolk was left soft. I used to adore eggs benedict, but now, can no longer have them, or my soft boiled eggs. And before you ask, yes, I’ve looked into whether or not it’s an allergy and it isn’t. I still have to get my flu shot every year, but that’s another story…

Assemble your dream dinner guest list

Assemble your dream dinner guest list.

This shows most likely how this dinner party would turn out to be

This shows most likely how this dinner party would turn out to be

The Challenge asked for 6. I’ve decided to go with 12. Here’s my list:

1. Miyamoto Musashi – the best swordsman that ever lived. Much of what I train in was derived from him. Would bring wonderful insight.

2. Jeremy Piven – One of my favourite comedians (and there are a few here). One of my favourite roles was when he played Cupid in a show of the same name. My favourite quote: “Coffee without caffeine? That’s like sex without the spanking!”

3. Gordon Korman – I have always loved his books and his I would never put down. My favourite: No Coins Please.

4. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – One of my favourite characters of all time is Sherlock Holmes, so why not invite his creator. I could see him, Musashi and Christie all chatting over a drink somewhere.

5. John Cusack – I never miss one of his movies. He and Jeremy Piven are like the Fry and Laurie of North America. Can’t invite one without the other.

6. Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple are next to Sherlock in my books (no pun intended). Can’t have a dinner party without her.

7. Stephen Fry – He and Hugh Laurie are geniuses of our era along with Rowan Atkinson in comedy. Putting these three in a room is sure to be a hoot.

8. Hugh Laurie – Been mentioned already, but really adore his comedy with Stephen Fry.

9. Lynda Carter – My female idol from having played my favourite comic book character, Wonder Woman.

10. Simon Pegg – British comedy for the new generation. Rowan, Hugh and Stephen are more my generation if not a little older. Simon brings the new comedy.

11. Rowan Atkinson – Not because he was Mr. Bean, but more for his work in Black Adder and more for his skits in various stage productions such as “We Are Amused”.

12. Zhang Ziyi – A wonderful actress. I never miss one of her performances whether in Chinese or English.

Write a top ten list of your favorite songs

Write a top ten list of your favorite songs.

In no particular order, I’ve done my top five. I really adore the movie, “High Fidelity”, so I felt I should follow that form. Also, when I started going more than five, I started thinking of way too many options. So, here are my Top Five Favourite Songs:

Special Girl by Eddie Schwartz:

Into the Night by The Music:

Hysteria by Def Leppard:

In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel:

Dream Come True by Frozen Ghost:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers

Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers.

Last year I wrote a series of blog posts (starting here)  in which I said that I wanted to get flowers this year… from a man. I had to qualify it since my friend Gwen corrected me and said that she had given me flowers. She did not disappoint.

She told all my guy friends attending my birthday to bring flowers. I received six bunches of them! She gave me a vase big enough to fit them. Here they are:

The six bunches of flowers I got from my guy friends on my birthday last year.
The six bunches of flowers I got from my guy friends on my birthday last year.

I wrote about this event here.