Lemon-Aid is back!

And, I can finally link! After it runs each weekend on CHCH and Bloomberg, I can post entire shows!

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News!

The Lemon Aid Car Show is back for a 6th season, but we’re off cable and onto a network! Starting September 9th, the show will be debuting on CHCH TV and Bloomberg TV Canada. That’s pretty cool, and I’m happy about it. We started taping yesterday at a spanky new studio, the show will have a slightly different format so there will be some growing pains, but it was a great day.

If you still have TV, I hope you’ll tune in. Not sure what time it’s on yet.

Started the show off with the perfect car. If you ask me. Which you didn’t.21055280_10155511005464693_378127952161849563_o

Oh, and Pammy is my wardrobe stylist (pay, credit and everything!) and she LET ME WEAR CAMO! I still can’t believe it. I’m gonna go buy more camo. Sorry, Pamster.

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Meet Paco

We have a new addition to the family. This is Paco. Pammy and Christer got him from a rescue in Georgia. He is a year old, and a total baby. Sooooo darling. Alfie was aloof and a little bewildered at first (“why would you need another one?”) but has settled in nicely. They are buds. I babysat today. Within a few minutes, both were up on my lap as I sat on my hammock swing thing. So much for getting some work done. They are both rat terrier chihuahuas, which means some gene pools can do some crazy things when you get going.

I’ve renamed them A-Pacolypse and Alfiegeddon.

alfie and paco

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My back deck

Had an extra planter.

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Rediscovering the lost art of asking for directions

Modern GPS may be handy, but it can’t match the experience of meeting the locals

Originally published June 26, 2017

It was once just the stereotypical domain of men to never, ever ask for directions. I know this is at least anecdotally true because I had a stubborn father; I know there might be some kind of gender thing at its root because I have a son who can figure out where he is in the middle of a jungle or a desert without a map. I get hopelessly lost in malls.

Google Maps and navigation systems have solved many, many problems. They’ve become incredibly good at saving lost travellers and helping us weave around obstructions and chaos in unfamiliar places. But I was recently reminded of the very real limitations of technology by experiencing the pricelessness of human connection.

I was in a strange place en route to an even stranger concert when I found myself parked in a bar with an hour to kill. Small towns offer up amiable places, where even if you’re new there are always people around who like to bring you up to speed on the locals as you sit in their local. As we sat at the bar pondering the specials, we mentioned we weren’t far away from our final destination. The bartender raised an eyebrow.

“Maybe not in miles, but it’s gonna be crazy trying to get there,” he said. He paused, and I watched him do a calculation in his head. “Okay, when you leave here, head to Erie Street,” he began. By the time he’d reached the third turn and the second traffic circle, he’d lost me. I smiled and asked him to start again. I also realized that Steve, the bartender, was doing what I do at home: telling people to follow the river or look for a famous local marker – in this case, a blue barn – makes perfect sense. If you’re a local. His earnestness at the traffic we would be heading into made me stick with him, though.

The navigation system in the Nissan I was driving had been perfect, I told him, even snaking us precisely down myriad old streets in a town established in the 1600s, when navigation meant looking up at the sky instead of poking buttons on the dashboard. Alternate systems could be consulted should I need to do my usual rock, paper, scissors when faced with competing instructions. We’ve gone from not enough information to way too much. A paper foldout map was tucked somewhere in my bag, though it’s occurred to me the only people likely to still consult them are the ones whose eyesight is too terrible to read them. Like me.

Conversation turned to the locally made beers as the bartender headed to his side of the bench, and I fiddled with my phone contemplating the next best moves. I hoped we’d at least stumble on the blue barn.

Ten minutes later, Steve was back.

“Here,” he said. He handed me two slips of paper, old school bar tabs. On them, he’d written explicit directions to get us out of town and to our destination. Placing them on the bar, he proceeded to run down each line, noting where there was construction.

I don’t need much of a reason to take a road trip to anywhere, at any time. I like to ramble and poke about, and discover instead of fly past. The reason we’d even landed at this bar was because we’d asked the owner of the funky little hotel we’d stayed at where we could grab an early dinner. I looked at the instructions before me, and smiled to myself. This is where the road should lead, I thought. Those cars that make these road trips so easy are simultaneously taking away the very essence of what those trips used to be, and still should be. If I never have to leave my car, if I can order food by shouting into a speaker, dial up directions by scrolling through screens and rarely have to stop for fuel, I am driving a technological marvel but losing out on the human experience.

I’m the first one to tout the significance of how safe I now feel when I travel, especial when I’m alone. But if my parents lamented a generation lost to knowing how to read a paper map, I’m wondering if mine will note the loss of one who doesn’t need the people of the places it passes through.

The scribbled directions spit us out near the entrance to the venue, saving us a lot of time, as promised. Returning that night was a straight shot back, the one all our systems had proposed earlier.

And the blue barn was right where Steve said it would be.

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Wanna read something cool?

Read this.

You’re welcome. Oh, and hi.

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I love this

Some days are just a little tougher to get through than others…I loooove this ten hour ambient noise video from my editor (who is suffering along with me; last week he sent me kitten videos because commenters were being so stoopid, and sometimes, only a kitten video will cure that).

Anyway, I’m finding this mesmerizing. My very favourite thing is to be stranded by a winter storm, and this sounds like that.

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…and back!

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It was amazing. I overwork that word a lot, but it truly was. I’m grateful for all the encouragement I got – even Roz managed to keep her “oh, geez, why is she doing this?” under control, and the offers to post bail. I still have my friend’s phone number Sharpied on my arm, in case we got separated or arrested because a bunch of women wearing pink hats poses a huge threat to national security, right? Instead, well, you’ve seen the reports. Around 4 million people peacefully gather for the largest protest in American history. I had friends at the marches in L.A., Atlanta, Austin, Toronto and with me in Boston.

And this morning, Trump has signed orders cancelling any international funding on abortion, which is actually a dagger to women’s healthcare and we all know it. Harper did in 2010. Wait for Roe v Wade to be reopened; this menace has to be stopped, and watch the crowds get bigger to make sure it happens.

Oh, and if you consistently can’t get a comment on my blog approved? It’s because you’re a troll and I know who you are and though I could report you to my newspaper editors at the time when you came at me there (and I did), I don’t have to allow you on my blog. Move along.

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Boston bound…

…to march.

I wanted to go to Washington, but by the time I realized it, it was too late to secure a bus pass and get close to the heart of the action. So instead, I’m cruising through New Hampshire tomorrow, grabbing three friends and we’re going to the Boston march. I am going to make a sign. I had a Twitter follower offer to make me a pink hat – she actually went and bought the wool and knitted the hat in a day. I’m on my way to pick it up. I mistakenly referred to it as a kitten hat before someone corrected me. The whole point, of course, is to parody Rude Donald’s pussy comment. I will wear a pussy hat.

Nissan has allowed me to take a glorious blue Q60 with me – thank you. On the way back on Sunday, I’m taking a couple hours to detour through the Finger Lakes region for some more research I need to do on another project…and hopefully lots of stories to tell about standing with my American friends in the face of that Fascist they elected south of the border.

Gotta do something.

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My Christmas gift from the kids

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