Random Disgorgements

October 26, 2006

More pith from an unreliable source

Quote of the week:
I remember Grade 10 health class like it was yesterday. Most of us still hadn't been kissed or even winked at. Our entire lexicon of intimacy was having our bra straps snapped by other girls. We weren't sure what "petting" was but it sounded scary. We listened gravely as Miss Carmichael sketched a diagram labeled "the slippery funnel of promiscuity", which demonstrated how (unlike job experience) romantic experience builds momentum until everybody wants you. To avoid the promiscuity funnel, we had to remember that saying "yes" to anyone but the groom was a bad idea. But there are more ways to say yes than no, as I learned after fighting the funnel for a subsequent 20 years before the groom came along. Is it any wonder I got married 3 weeks after our first date? I'd had it with that funnel. – Mag Ruffman on intimacy at Home Envy.com

February 01, 2006

25 Words not to use on a resume

We all need to apply for a job now and then, and sometimes more often than that.  This is a thought-provoking article on how to choose sentences that tell who you really are, while avoiding words that impress almost no one. 

Here's a list of words that apparently hinder your cause rather than help:

·  Aggressive

·  Ambitious

·  Competent

·  Creative

·  Detail-oriented

·  Determined

·  Efficient

·  Experienced

·  Flexible

·  Goal-oriented

·  Hard-working

·  Independent

·  Innovative

·  Knowledgeable

·  Logical

·  Motivated

·  Meticulous

·  People person

·  Professional

·  Reliable

·  Resourceful

·  Self-motivated

·  Successful

·  Team player

·  Well-organized

Ouch.  Why don't these words work?  Because, unless they're associated with actual deeds and accomplisments, they're kind of like stuffing Kleenex into a bra.   

January 09, 2006


Who wouldn't want to print their own message on M&Ms to send the right message on Valentine's Day.   Something sincere, like  " Get me tools. "

May 16, 2005


WARNING:  As web logs go, this one is skinny on emotionally rigorous subjects, so it's less of a log and more of a branch, or even a twig. 

Webtwigging requires less commitment than weblogging.  You don't have to be brimming with vitriol to be a webtwigger.  You just need a new point of view.  Or even a used point of view. 

My point, if I have one, is that there's little hope for drama in DIY reportage.  Unless things go badly wrong.   

More on this later when I file my story on how the starlings got in and pooed all over my writing studio.

May 14, 2005

The return of Prometheus the bat

Batty_cuThe bat came back.  He's clearly looking for a loving home.  That's him hiding under the rock in front of the fireplace.  Remind me to vacuum under there. 

I'm sure he's the same bat who got stuck in the duct tape a few weeks ago (see previous post "Prometheus the Bat).  He's probably even the same bat who got into the house 5 times last summer and kept sleeping in the curtains, all cozy up near the ceiling, leaving streaks of guano as a thank you note. 

Continue reading "The return of Prometheus the bat" »

April 24, 2005

Snow What

Not to be obsessive about this, but freak April snowstorms are losing their appeal.


Undeterred_daffodilThe daffodils bear up bravely, but you can tell they're ticked.

And who ordered the Bud Wite?Bud_wite

April 16, 2005

Prometheus the Bat

I heard a weird noise in the bedroom wall at 10:30 p.m.  It sounded like rodents were splitting a case of beer and making randy advances.   We banged on the wall.  We made threats.  I sang.  Nothing helped.   We moved down the hall and slept in the guestroom where it was quiet and serene.

The next morning we went outside and put a ladder up to the second floor window.  From the ground we could see duct-tape flapping on our bedroom window.  (The window had been taped shut since fall because the hardware is busted, because the window is cheesy, because the Eighties happened and people did egregious remodels). 

Up the ladder we went. 

And there under the window, stuck to the duct tape by his belly fur and one wing, was a little brown bat.  This explained the scuffling sounds we'd heard the night before as he bravely fought to free himself. 

I maturely burst into tears.  Like Prometheus, the bat had borne his troubles bravely, but was now parched and exhausted.  His little mouth was open and he was clicking at us as if we knew where to get a cheap breakfast of mosquitoes-over-easy (bats eat about 500 mosquitoes a night).

I ran for scissors andDaniel cut off the loose tape bearing Bat au Jus (Prometheus had had a bit of diarrhea in reaction to the stress).   I offered frantic suggestions ("I think he's pooing again!") while I continued to weep a wussy frenzy. 

We brought the chunk of tape down the ladder with the bat still firmly adhered, and then took him to our garbage-hutch cum firewood box, hoping he'd grab onto the kindling and pull himself off the sticky stuff.  No hope.  He chattered and bore his teeth and struggled, still mired.   

Daniel then trimmed away ("Careful!  That could be private!") a small clump of the bat's belly fur to free the wee bugger (and I mean that as a compliment).  The papery skin of one wing was still stuck but Daniel managed to pry it gently off the dastardly duct tape. 

Prometheus_freedPrometheus didn't stay long in the wood box, but flew off into the bright light of morning to nosh on bugs and get a drink from the brownish water that had melted on top of the pool cover. 

Bats are charming and misunderstood.  They're not blind, they don't suck necks or get caught in hair, and they have great dental hygeine.   Prometheus needs to be welcomed to the neighborhood and I'm going to build him a house.  Stay tuned to this bat channel. 

April 04, 2005

Why Canadians have so much character


This is what the front yard looks like this morning.  The time of year when the birds are supposed to be feeling frisky and even dating.  Instead they're huddled under bushes looking irritated.  And hungry.  They went through 5 kilos of sunflower seeds this weekend as the snow fell.  And fell.  (Only the robins were left out, because robins don't eat seeds.  Although one of them looked crabby enough to change his evolutionary path.)

Snow can only go on for so long, we tell ourselves optimistically, and keep shovelling.  Some would call this denial.  But Canadians call it character.Giant_lumpy_garage_berm

The path to the garage

March 30, 2005

Respite from the tundra

Why spew luminous prose when luminous photos are at hand?


Of Azure Skies and Lumber

Shooting a commercial for Ram Forest Products with a fantastic Atlanta crew.


Weenie_150_dpi_1 BBQ Hostess Secrets

Mag displays a weenie 'charred' with a black Sharpie.  Makes barbecued items look appealing even when uncooked.

March 19, 2005

Alma matters

Big_armsThis has nothing to do with home repair, unless you know that not one person in the photo has a working knowledge of welding, replacing a toilet, or recalibrating a framing nailer, except me.  I take comfort in this because these are all guys I went to University with and they have all become presidents of large corporations, or executive producers at NBC, or leaders of art and industry.  Whereas I have succeeded in the more esoteric arena of plumbing and masonry.  You can see the jealousy on their faces. 

Photo: Former cast and creators of New Faces, a raucous musical tradition at New College, U of T: (Clockwise from top left: Colin Swift, John Bertram, Alan Gotlib, Jim Betts, Greg Reed, Mag, Mark Lukasiewicz)  - March 14, 2005


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Mag's Books

  • : We're All In This Together

    We're All In This Together
    Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • : How Hard Can It Be?

    How Hard Can It Be?
    Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

Nota Bene

  • It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot (1819-1880)
  • Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought. - My fortune cookie