Happy Family Day!! I hope you’re all having a great long weekend and are able to enjoy some down time with your family to celebrate all of the great things in your life! I know much of Ottawa doesn’t celebrate family day, as it’s not a day off for the Public Service, but there are a few of us who aren’t tied to the Feds. It has been pretty frigid this weekend, but I’m sure there are still things you can do with the family aside from just hanging out in front of the TV.
As I’m sure you’ve all heard, the Ottawa area will be partially re-opening on Tuesday. That’s great news for the restaurant and retail industries; although not available yet to add to the events calendar, the reopening of restaurants likely means that you’ll start to see some small-scale concerts popping up around Ottawa at little pubs and craft breweries. If you choose to go out and support local musicians and restaurants, please do so following social distancing rules and all other safety protocols. There’s already talk of a 3rd wave in April, and like I’m sure all of you, I’m tired of the pandemic, so please continue being vigilant!
Winter Jazz Fest
The annual Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival Winter Edition has announced their line up. This year’s event will be held March 4th – 6th at Arts Court, but will be streaming live for all to enjoy! I’ve added this year’s concerts to the events calendar so all the information can be found there!
Virtual World Tours
While searching for events this week, I came across a company called “The Online Event,” which hosts virtual guided tours to some pretty cool places around the planet. This isn’t likely unique, but from what I can see of their events, it looks pretty awesome, and definitely informative. Why not take in some entertainment, and learn something at the same time?
This week, they’ve got tours of Meteora in Greece, Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras in New Orleans, The Vatican, Kyoto Japan, Machu Picchu and an Ancient Egypt Nile Cruise. Most tours are only an hour and a half long and offer the opportunity to visit a part of the world you may not otherwise be able to see! I can’t personally vouch for these yet as I haven’t taken a tour, but they look pretty great to me and I hope to check them out soon!
Bits and Bytes
This is my random story and features section. These topics don’t necessarily have anything to do with Ottawa. It could include stories about current news issues, sports, funny videos, and/or perhaps just random things that I’ve discovered over the previous week. I hope you enjoy!
Yep, yesterday was Valentine’s Day, or as many refer to it, “Singles Awareness Day”. If there ever was a Hallmark Holiday, this is it! I’m pretty sure that out of all the holidays throughout the year, Valentine’s Day holds the most pressure to step up your game and spoil your significant other. I’m actually writing this post on Valentine’s Day, as my wife is off with the Covert Baby to give me some time alone. That’s pretty much the best gift I could ask for!! ? (I’m not sure if she’ll find that funny). I’m purposely limiting my social media exposure today, as I know it’s going to be similar to the first snowfall of the season, but instead of snowmen and snow-filled trees all over the city, it’ll be piles of roses and chocolates. With that being said, I did get spoiled today, and not just with some alone time; I have a very thoughtful and loving wife whose love language is gift-giving.
Now, if you are reading this and just realized that you’ve missed Valentine’s Day, you’re likely in trouble, and should act quickly to remedy the situation! And don’t say I didn’t warn you…I gave you plenty of heads up two weeks ago that this predictable annual event was approaching! If this is the case for you, this may be your reality next year…..
Little Ray’s Nature Centre
This past week, Little Ray’s Nature Centre issued a call for help. As with many industries, they’ve been hurting big time due to the pandemic. The main difference is that they can’t just shut the doors to stop the financial bleeding, they still have hundreds of animals to feed, and they need the staff in place daily to care for these animals. To make their situation even more dire, they are closed to the public, so there’s no revenue coming in. Many people don’t realize that a significant number of their animals are rescues, whom they take in to prevent them being euthanized or otherwise abandoned. In fact, they are the largest exotic animal rescue in North America! Without assistance, this could quickly change and they may have to close down for good. They’ve put out a statement explaining that they’ve exhausted all funds and are reaching a point where they can no longer afford to operate and take care of all of the animals. Their complete closure is imminent without funds, and if this were to happen, the animals would have to be given up, and who knows what their fate would be then. I don’t imagine the humane society can handle receiving hundreds of exotic animals, so these poor creatures may be sentenced to death.
There is a Go Fund Me campaign running for the public to chip in and help out Little Rays. I’m sure almost everyone in Ottawa can recount a time when they’ve interacted with Little Ray’s, and most of us have fond memories of a slimy snake slithering across the back of our neck, or holding a small alligator, or even more recently, petting a sloth or lemur. We need to come together as a city and help out this amazing not for profit business, a true hallmark and treasure of Ottawa! The public can help in one of two ways: by donating to their Go Fund Me campaign, or contributing to their bottle drive! Today, Monday, February 15th is the last day to donate bottles…..and let’s be honest, in these pandemic times, everyone has got some kicking around! All the details can be found here!
The second wave of #pandemic lockdown has put our organization in a catastrophic position. Please donate to our N4P foundation so we can continue to provide care for our animals until our doors reopen. #ontariolockdown #supportsmallbusiness #littlerayshttps://t.co/t2B9T8IjBP
— Little Rays Nature Centre (@LittleRaysNC) February 9, 2021
To see a video with a full situation report, you can click here:
What am I watching this week?
So, I’m not much of a TV-watcher, but with the Covert Baby finally learning to sleep, and the pandemic freeing up some of my time, I’ve been able to indulge in some new shows! I often see people asking on social media for recommendations of what to binge next on Netflix. So I’m going to start adding what I’ve been watching recently, even if it’s an older show; maybe you’ve missed it too! You bring the popcorn, and let’s catch up together!
Where has this show been all my life?? Ever since The Office aired their series finale, the workplace comedy spot in my heart has been empty. It has now been filled again with the ridiculous comedy of Superstore. This show is set in ‘Cloud 9,’ which is a fictional big box/department store in Missouri, representative of any large department store, like Walmart, The Bay or Sears (RIP). I compare it to The Office for two reasons: first, because of the setting and the general plot. Both shows take place in a workspace and highlight the seemingly mundane lives of the employees as they interact with one another and their customers, usually in a hilarious way! The second reason for the comparison is that it’s very easy to draw parallels between the main Superstore characters to counterparts in The Office: Dina is reminiscent of Dwight, Glenn can be likened to Michael (by way of authority), and the chemistry between Jonah and Amy is charmingly similar to Jim and Pam. You could probably even stretch a comparison between Cheyenne and Kelly. Superstore is in its 6th season now, but has been cancelled after this season by NBC. So, now’s the time to binge! I hope you like it as much as I’m enjoying it so far.
“I’m Here Live; I’m Not A Cat”
As usual, I’d like to end this post this week with a funny video. The Little Ray’s segment was a bit sad, and I strive to have readers feeling uplifted about things when they are done reading. I’m sure you’ve seen this video as it went viral last week, it was even featured on the major news networks. It demonstrates the struggles of using Zoom, and virtual meetings in general. They work really well when you’ve got people who know how to use the technology, but for those who don’t, it can be disastrous!! My advice: if you’re using some kind of virtual meeting software, test it out first on a meeting that isn’t actually an important one. And for F-sakes, make sure you don’t use a cat filter.
This version of the video includes an interview with the lawyer and a full explanation of what happened. So funny!!!