Ukrainian Hockey Players

I received a Word file in Ukrainian this morning that started as follows:

It came from a man named Andriy who lives in Kyiv, Ukraine and is writing a book about Ukrainian hockey players, including my cousin Gus Bodnar.

It is alas written in Ukrainian, which I do not read, write or speak. I’ll have to start cultivating some Ukrainian friends. Perhaps my brother Steve who, in Saskatoon, lives in one of the epicentres of Ukrainian-Canadianess.

Tales of the Phantom Mouse

Perfit Mouse About 10 years ago, when my hands started to curl up and die from too much typing in anti-ergonomic positions, I sought solace in the arms of anything that would lessen the impact of 8 hours a day at the keyboard.

A new chair helped, as did adjusting the height of my worksurface, raising the height of my monitor and purchasing a Microsoft Natural Keyboard.

But the real wrist-killer in my life was the computer mouse: I have big hands, and the dainty little smallest common denominators that are standard issue with new computers were killing me.

Thank goodness I found Contour Design, a small New Hampshire company (all good things come from New Hampshire, it seems) that makes eight varieties of the Perfit Mouse, 5 for the right-handed, 3 for the left-handed. Using a sizing chart on their website, you can buy a mouse that’s the closest thing you’ll come to custom-fit. I’m a large.

I’m on my second Perfit Mouse now (the first one was a serial mouse and while it’s still in tip-top shape, I needed a PS/2 mouse, so I bought another one). No single purchase has done more to alleviate my pain and suffering from computer use.

It’s not easy to buy from Contour Design — their website is kind of dorky and confusing, and you must pay gobs of duty and GST if you have a mouse shipped to Canada — but it’s worth it.

Earlybird Tokens

One of the great things about working in the Composing Room of a daily newspaper was that we got to see the classified ads before anyone else did. I snagged both a great apartment and a mediocre accordion this way.

The EarlyBird token is a way for civilians to get the same one-up.

I think this is a good idea.