An unfortunate incident with the microwave

An unfortunate incident with the microwave

“There was an unfortunate incident with the microwave” is not a sentence that inspires confidence in humanity. I’ve been visiting someone in hospital for awhile and often use the communal microwave and kettle. Last week the microwave disappeared. So did the kettle. By the second day of them missing in action my curiosity got the better of me. I asked one of the nurses what happened and she scrunched her face a bit and mumbled something about an unfortunate incident.

Of course my mind went into overdrive wondering what the offending incident was. I’m quite sure the actual offense as quite benign, but I can’t get past the fact both the microwave and kettle were taken away. Hanging around hospital rooms is a bit boring so I latch onto anything that may be mildly entertaining and the AWOL microwave provided a tiny bit of amusement. After talking to staff on the floor, I heard stories that would make anyone despair. Luckily this week a new kettle and microwave appeared in the room. HURRAY – I can make crappy Styrofoam tea again. On Tuesday, I wandered in to heat up some soup and spotted a list of DO NOTS posted on the wall over the shiny new microwave.

The list on the wall

Photo of list of things not to microwave now posted on the wall


Most of the usual suspects are on the list – metal objects, tin foil, Styrofoam and flimsy plastic containers. Someone always pops one of these in, usually because they are distracted and not thinking. But a few of them made me stop and ponder how humanity hasn’t self extinguished already.

Evidently people love to stuff clothing into the microwave to warm them. I’m all for toasty clothing, but no, just no. The previous microwave was very small. Not even big enough to put a bath towel into let alone a blanket. Seems people were always stuffing blankets into the microwave and panicking when they began to burn. 

The hot peppers? Oh man, have you ever been in a room when someone over nukes hot peppers? It’s like being pepper sprayed. Not something that should be done in a hospital. The smell and capsicum drifting in the air could level a rhino in 30 seconds. So yes, people had to be warned not to pepper spray sick people.

The grapes make me believe humanity is truly screwed. Just think of it for a second or two. Grapes are little sacks of soft, fleshy liquid. Super heat them in a microwave and you have itty bitty nuclear bombs ready to explode. If some of them survive the exposure without blowing apart while heating, imagine biting into one. I wonder how severe the burns to lips and tongue would be. I shutter each time. 

For the time we are happy to have access to a kettle and microwave. They’ve been clean for 3 days now. I figure when I go in tomorrow, everything will be back to normal – ah I can almost hear the sounds of eggs exploding in the microwave now.


I know I’ll regret this -> Lifehacks | fail hacks

Lifehack – a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way. Oxford Dictionary

The web is awash with lifehack websites. So many, it’s now hard to make it through a day without one popping up in an ad or post. Some are pretty cool. Most are eye rollingly daft.  I’ve decided to check out some and see if they are real lifehacks or click bait nonsense. The first one I’ve tested turned out to take more time than it was worth.  The first hack involves eggs. Come back in a few days to find out what on earth this is about. 

Have a lifehack you want me to investigate? Drop it into the comments section or wander over to Bitter Grounds Facebook page or Twitter account and leave a suggestion.  


A rock hunting I will go this summer

A rock hunting I will go this summer

Photo of boulders dug out of a construction site in Toronto but too big for rock hunting souvenirs

I’m going to go rock hunting this summer. “What’s that?” I hear you asking, “rock hunting? That sounds random”.  My brain is sometimes like a flea on a mitt – hopping from one interest to another. So many fascinating things to explore and so little time on this world to do it. One can never have too many hobbies. 

Lately I’ve been lurking around rock hound sites, admiring the diversity in … well, the rock world. ‘Rock world’ – not sure if that is a thing, but we’ll stick with it. I’ve been picking up random pebbles and stones for a long time, wondering what they are.  “Oh here’s a grey one. And here’s another grey one. This one has a pink seam. OHH this one is black. No, wait, it’s just muddy”.

I’ve been staggered by how varied rocks are and now I’m eager to learn a bit more about what’s here in Toronto. The ravine system is a short stroll from my place so that should be a good starting point. I can wander for miles poking around the mud and rocks, looking for anything interesting. As a bonus, I can take my camera along and get some decent photos of the ravine. I’ll have to get a pair of gloves though, because I really hate getting my hands dirty. 

Another choice spot might be along Lake Ontario with it’s rocky shores. It might spit up a fossil or two, as well which would be cool. I remember days spent looking for trilobites while growing up.  We called then ‘stone bugs’ because we didn’t’ have a clue what they were. I’ve often wished I’d saved some of the better ones, but we chucked them back out into the water when we finished oohing over them.

If all else fails, I can go to the ROM – their rocks and minerals are all carefully labeled so ID-ing them will be easy.

I’ve been using Mining Matters rock identification guide to spot some of the more common rocks around here.  Fleming College in Lindsay, Ontario has a good YouTube video titled Rock and Mineral Identification that is fun to watch. 

Wow I needed this – awesome Urban Geographer art

A friend sent a link to a couple amazing Toronto subway exit maps and after looking at them, I have the urge to stand on my balcony throwing the maps to everyone in the neighbourhood.  What are exit maps and why am I excited? Graphic artist Daniel Rotsztein, the Urban Geographer, has created 2 info maps (see link below) showing which TTC car is closest to exits for each stop.  Why does it matter? Anyone who’s spent time waiting on an insanely cold or hot Toronto subway platform will understand immediately.   As well, anyone desperate to beat the mad crush of people heading to the stairs at the same time will appreciate a bit of an edge in hitting the exit quickly. 

Lines 1 & 2 are available, showing each stop and which car to hop on. Head on over to his website and snag them. I’m saving the pdf on my smart phone for future references. 

You can find the maps on his website  here

and don’t forget to check out the rest of his art and his Instagram account     You won’t be disappointed.

FYI: TTC stands for Toronto Transit Commission


Finding new ways to avoid work

I’m nothing if not inventive in finding ways to avoid settling down to write. Over the holidays I latched onto the idea that “if I rearranged the room, I might feel more like writing”. How’s that for some fine work avoidance thinking? I spent more time fussing over moving furniture than actually posting to the site. I’m impressed with my continuing devotion to the gods of procrastination. And yes, I did move everything around on New Year’s.  I also changed desks so now I have an awesome amount of space to fill up. The other desk was a too small which meant constantly moving shit around and trying to find a spot to prop my notebook or plop my coffee mug.  As a bonus, I  moved the clutter from the window so now there is awesome air flow cycling through. 

I discovered a small problem with the refit. The floor isn’t level so my chair rolls back towards the window when I’m sitting. ARGG.  I either have to de-wheel this chair or purchase some chocks.   

So, what’s coming in the new year? I now have more time to write. The person I was helping through cancer treatment is doing fine now (fingers crossed for the tests later this month) so I suddenly find myself with much more time on my hands. It’s an odd feeling.  I’m working on a series near and dear to my heart – conspiracy theories. No, no, I don’t buy into them, I enjoy destroying brain cells reading them. So I think I’ll post a few of my favourites under Whackadoodle Wed, where I share my favourite bits of nuttery

I have articles for the philately section ready for proofing so that should be much more consistent. As well, I’m going to retool the patents section. It takes forever to write up some of the articles so I’ll be posting smaller,  not so detailed items to fill the gap.  I had to take a bit of a break from photography (time constraints) and am ready to plunge back in. Part two of the Trip around St Clair is ready for proofing as well. Should be up in a couple of weeks.  

Still working on new ideas, but priority is fixing the damned wheels.