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Making Your Beer Special

It used to be that if you wanted a beer, you went to the local bar or Brewer’s Retail outlet and chose from a selection of types. These tended be pretty standard; more than sufficient to quench that late night summer first, but not the most creative in taste either.

Fortunately, for those who like a little variety in their suds, craft beer has taken this beverage in a whole new direction. Various microbreweries have given the big boys a run for their money lately by focusing on the specialty market.

These small players don’t have to worry about moving millions of units in order to make ends meet. Instead, they use creativity to gain a small, but highly loyal clientele that comes back again and again. They do this through creative flavours and names, and a special focus on customer service.

It’s a formula that has proven highly effective in recent years, and seems to continue holding great promise for the future. In fact, once you have tasted craft beer and found the brand that really tickles your fancy, it’s really tough to go back to the bland and familiar.

So, you now have that special brew and you need a fridge for craft beer? Check out for bar fridge options that will more than fit the bill. Offered in various colours and designs, Danby’s compact line of fridges are perfect for beer or anything else you would want for your home bar.

Ranging in size from 1.7 cubic feet to 4.4 cubic feet, these fridges are reliable places to store your favourite craft beers so that they are nice and cool when you need one most.

Don’t choose just any old bar fridge for this awesome responsibility. Go with Danby’s proven track record of performance and quality, and let enjoying a cold brew be the least of your worries!

How to Survive the Winter Blues

So, you don’t like winter sports, eh? Just what kind of Canadian do you think you are?! Actually, you’re my kind of Canadian because I am in no way interested in freezing outside to chase a puck around. Or trudge over snow on wooden sticks. There is nothing wrong with sports, but I would much rather be sweating than shivering.

That’s also my attitude to winter in general. I just plain hate being cold, which would make many people laugh, considering where I live. However, since I’m going to assume that many people reading this are also Canadian, we know that this country can actually be nice and toasty warm for almost half of the time. It’s just the other half I would like to lose.

Here are some tips on keeping your sanity this time of year:


OK, this is the obvious one and it will cost you more money since everybody wants to head someplace warm this time of year. However, it’s probably well worth it.


Not outside, obviously, but join a gym or do your favorite summer sport in the climate-controlled comfort of an air-supported dome.

Get a Lightbox

Have you heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D.? It means that the season can negatively impact your emotions and general overall feeling. While there are apparently some people who find summer depressing (please stand up and prove your existence), winter is the time of year when S.A.D. is most prevalent. A good way to fight this is by using a lightbox. Just 30 minutes per day of light therapy can really lift your mood because, cold aside, part of the reason that winter is so oppressive is the reduction of sunlight. We humans need the sun to thrive and survive, but even this artificial light source can fool your brain and make you feel better.

Help! My Cat is Always Sleeping!

Is your cat just a tad on the lazy side? Generally, one does not buy a cat when wanting a pet that is really into playtime. Sure, cats love certain types of play, but it’s always on their terms (just like everything else). In fact, most cats’ favorite activity seems to be sleeping.

Are you distressed over the amount of time your cat spends asleep? Before you panic and pay for an expensive vet visit, know that cats like to sleep – a lot. This is completely normal for them. In fact, most domestic cats spend as much as 16 hours a day in slumber land; most of us humans are happy if we can someone manage to get just eight! Another reason to admire domestic cats’ lives of leisure.

Cats in the wild spend a great deal of time stalking and apprehending food. This requires much energy and concentration, so it makes sense that they need a lot of time to rest and recharge.

But you say you have a house cat that never steps foot outside? Well, this need for rest is ingrained, so your apartment feline is still going to spend most of the day snoozing even though its only hunt for food is where you happened to drop the food bowl this morning. This seems appealing until you do the math and realize that most cats spend 2/3rds of their lives asleep. Talk about missing out on things!

Cats are known to be nocturnal, but if you think that means they are up all-night wreaking havoc, you will be disappointed. Chances are, your feline is displaying the same habits and sleeping patterns that she does during the day. In fact, most cats are busiest in the time before sunrise and before sunset. So, if you are interesting in hanging out, this may be the period where your feline is the most receptive.

Do We Become Used to Bad News?

“If it bleeds, it leads” is a rather infamous expression used in the news media. It reveals that bad news is more likely to attract readers and viewers than lighthearted good news with no element of tragedy. Watching the news nowadays, one wonders if there is any good news left at all. It seems like there is one horrible tragedy after another and no positive stories whatsoever.

Stories like the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas still draw a visceral reaction from most people. However, the fact that there are so many mass shootings in America each year often does not. In fact, some of them receive little or no mention in the media, something that would have been unheard of two decades ago. Are people so steeled to gun violence now that a shooting involving only 4 or 5 people is not going to get the reaction networks demands these days?

The answer would seem to be yes. With all of the problems in the world blasted to us constantly by social media, news sites, and 24/7 cable networks, the population has become inundated with tragedy. That means that because we have come to expect the worst, we are not as easily shocked anymore.

Granted, people naturally pay closer attention to bad news for fear that it could somehow affect their lives. However, one would think that they would also begin to tune out after a while, simply in order to get a break from a relentless barrage of negativity.

How do you feel about this issue? Do you go out of your way to avoid the news these days or do you just accept it as being part and parcel with today’s world? It is always good to be informed, but I wonder if I would be better off not knowing some of the news these days.

Creating a Better Environment in Your Workplace

Many of us spend as much as 40 hours a week at work. In fact, for some it’s essentially a second home. Just like your actual home, things work best on the job when everything is efficient and harmonious, and the employees are happy.

If that is not currently the case at your place of employment, here are a few suggestions on how you can help to get things back on track:

Keep everyone motivated

Knowledge and experience are two keys to success, but engagement is also extremely important. Just because you know how to do a job well, does not mean you necessarily will, if you are not engaged and motivated.

Good communication, incentives, and praise for extraordinary achievement are just a few ways you can help to keep workers enthused and intent on doing the best job possible.

Keep it positive

This goes hand-in-hand with motivation. You need to create and maintain a workplace where the positive is emphasized. That is not to say that the negative should be avoided, but there are ways to deal with such situations that will keep workers’ spirits up and help them understand how to avoid such problems in the future. A workplace where negativity reigns becomes oppressive and one that will soon start to shed employees. Think back on bad job experiences in your past; did you want to stay at a company under those circumstances? We’re guessing no.

On the job training

Workers must have a certain amount of knowledge in order to land the position, but that shouldn’t be where the learning stops. Encourage them to attend seminars or take related courses, offered either on or off site. The more you know about your job, the better you will do. That confidence boosts employee spirit and enthusiasm, resulting in better work and a contented workforce.

The Benefits of Swimming

When people discuss exercises they want to adopt in order to get into shape, swimming is not mentioned that often. That is too bad because swimming has some tremendous advantages and is an excellent overall exercise.

Cardio and Strength Training

Swimming may not be as sexy (or conspicuous) as standing around in the gym pumping iron or jogging down your street in a sleek and colourful track suit, but you will have plenty of time to show off later on when you display the results that swimming provides.

Unlike running, which, of course, concentrates on your lower body, swimming benefits you from top to bottom. Both exercises will help you lose weight, but why not be stronger and more toned all over? Also, water provides a lot more resistance than air, increasing the exercise advantages.

Start with the length of time/number of times in the pool that work for you and gradually increase. The more you practice, the easier it will become.

It’s Low Impact

Some exercises are just too hard on people with certain physical or health issues. Swimming is a good choice for this population because it is low impact; your joints, muscles, and bones do not have to work as hard and are less likely to become injured because of the body’s buoyancy in water.

Good for Blood Pressure

Both your blood pressure and cholesterol levels go down if you swim regularly. If you can get in 90 minutes of swimming per week, your levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) drop, further improving your overall well-being.

Mental Health Benefits

People suffering from depression or anxiety can benefit greatly from swimming as it generates serotonin. This is the “feel good” brain chemical that allows you to feel exhilarated after a good workout. It is also effective at reducing the effects of depression and anxiety.

How to Discover a Hobby in Your Middle Years

Some people develop hobbies in their childhood that stay with them for life, while others happen upon them later on. Oddly enough, retired people, who often have all of the time in the world, struggle to find hobbies that appeal to them.

Are you straining to find something productive to do in your golden years? Here are a few tips that can help you find your passion once again:

Think back

While we all change and mature as people, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the pleasures of childhood are now lost on you as an adult. Think back on what you did for hobbies as a child; do any of these activities hold any appeal for you now? If so, why not try them out again? It could surprise you to discover the joy that, say, stamp collecting still has for you decades later. If nothing else, it might lead to a different aspect of the hobby you were not previously aware of.

Talk to friends

What hobbies do your friends have? Talking to them can give you some idea of what you might find appealing. Just because they enjoy a certain hobby, that does not mean you will, but think about how fun it would be to have the same hobby as your friends? You could get together and pursue it, while benefitting from each other’s company and expertise.

What do you collect?

Do you like to go into pawnshops or dollar stores to buy movies? Chances are you are a movie buff. There are many groups out there where members get together to share their passion for and knowledge of movies, as well as their collections themselves. What do you like to treat yourself to? The answer to a new hobby may be right in front of your face.