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This upsets me, and I really hope it doesn’t happen to somebody else. This blog entry is to warn others about the dangers of these cheaply made light bulbs and hopefully prevent your house from burning down.

As you can see from the pictures below the light bulb pretty much shorted out and quickly started smoking in my light fixture above my kitchen table. Had we not been home I am quite confident that possibly even the smallest spark falling on the wooden table below it would have caught our house on fire. You can see that the bulb burnt from the inside out and not where it’s plugged into the socket. I am sure this is because of the cheaply soddered joints (“made in China”) inside the bulb causing it to short out and start smoking. If anybody more technical out there has more information as to what might have gone wrong with this bulb please comment below and get a hold of me. While I have since removed all Globe brand bulbs in my house I am not sure yet if this is a primary design flaw with this type of bulb in general or if it was just this manufacturer. Ideally I really don’t want to replace all the mini compact fluorescent bulbs back to traditional bulbs since I just made the investment recently to these new ones in the entire house thinking I was saving energy and doing a good thing for the environment.

The model number of this particular bulb is Globe Ultra-Mini 13W BH0106. If you have any of these in your house I HIGHLY recommend you throw them away and replace them IMMEDIATELY!!


iPhone vs. BlackBerry

My Sault Ignite 3 talk recorded for your viewing pleasure

Swenson Family Store

Update 4/13/2010: All proceeds from our Family Store will be used in support of ALS.  The first 50% will be donated to ALS Society of Canada and the other 50% will be used to support our family members with ALS.  Rest assured that each and every purchase you make will go to a good cause.  Please join our Facebook Fan page in support of our efforts and help us find a cure for ALS today!

Our family launched our Family Store tonight for all our fellow Canadian friends/family out there.  We have a list of our of personal recommendations for Books, DVD/Blu-Rays and Music/CD’s and also Amazon recommended products for PS3/XBox 360 Games and Electronics. Check it out and let us know what you think!  If we are missing anything that you would like to see added let us know!

Update 4/12/2010: We have launched our FaceBook Store Page and the USA Store link for all our American family and friends now as well!

The Swenson Family

This is my most absolute favourite BBQ Cedar Plank Salmon recipe and I just had to share.  If it was my choice I think I would eat this every day!  Give it a try and let us know what you think!

  prep time 10 min

total time 4 hr 35 min

makes 8 servings

what you need!

1 untreated cedar plank (14x7x1 inch)

1/2 cup  KRAFT Signature Calorie-Wise Sundried Tomato and Oregano Dressing

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup  oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. oil

1  salmon fillet (2 lb. / 900g), 1 inch thick

make it!

IMMERSE plank in water, placing a weight on top of plank to keep it submerged. Soak at least 4 hours or overnight.

HEAT grill to medium heat. Mix dressing, parsley and tomatoes; set aside. Brush top of plank with oil; top with fish. Place on grill; cover grill with lid.

GRILL 15 min. Brush fish with dressing mixture; grill 10-15 min. or until fish flakes easily with fork.


As many of you might have been aware I have FINALLY been on track and am seeing positive results over the last few months with losing weight.  My body has been paying for and suffering daily as a result from some very bad life-making decisions I have made over the last 7 years and it was time to put them to an end once and for all.

I have been on a “diet” over the last 8 weeks and thought I would share my story with you to hopefully give you the motivation you need to succeed in your own goals.  Using these techniques  below and doing some exercise at the same time I was able to lose 15 lbs in 8 weeks.

My “diet” has been restricted to 2000 calories / day and while I don’t necessarily count every single calorie I try to stay close to this as possible.  I got this specific calorie count from doing a lot of research online and based on information from my naturopath in order to get to my goal body weight.  This is different for everybody, let me know if you need help calculating how much your’s should be and I will try to help out.  I know exactly how many calories are in my breakfast, lunch and snacks.  We don’t track our exact calories for supper but we have a pretty good idea and keep our portions lean and balanced.

Here are some tips and guidelines that I have personally been following over the past 8 weeks:

  • No more pop.  I do drink a ginger ale every once in a while .. but this was one of the biggest changes for me as even though I drank diet I still had quite a few of them every week.  I recommend that if you have to drink pop to actually get regular and stay away from diet.  I know this sounds wrong but believe me, I REALLY don’t like the idea of aspartame and from the research I have done (many hours) it’s really something we should all be avoiding.  I have read many quotes that if you switched from diet pop to reg pop alone you would lose weight.  I don’t claim to say this is 100% true but I wouldn’t doubt it.
  • No more fast food!!!!!!  This is the BIGGEST change for me (and our family).  In fact we RARELY eat out at all anymore in general where we used to at LEAST 4+ times a week.  Making healthy choices with natural whole foods at home is by far one of the best choices you can make in achieving your goal weight.
  • Eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch EVERY day!  I based my choices from examples in the following 2000 calorie meal plan, I don’t follow it exactly but found these to be a good variety of examples and was a great place to start.

    • I generally 9 times out of 10 eat the following for breakfast every day.  It’s a lot of food, and it takes me a while but it really gets my metabolism going in the morning and I feel great.
      • shredded wheat w/ wheat germ sprinkled on top with 1 cup vanilla almond milk
      • Apple
      • 2 slices lean turkey meat
    • I generally eat the following for lunch every day.  I will be honest and say that I don’t eat this everyday, but I try to this is my “ideal lunch”.  Sometimes I chose from other items on the meal plan to mix it up a bit.
      • turkey pita (3oz lean lunch meat turkey)
      • 1 cup apple sauce
      • 1 oz raisins
      • 6 almonds or 10 cashews
  • Buy a food scale.  As you can see most of the items on the menu plan list by weight, if you don’t have a scale how can you know how much you are eating and keep track of your calories?!  Buy one, they are cheap and a good investment.  And use it!
  • Drink 8 cups water per day (Minimum!).  You can’t get rid of all the toxins and bad stuff in your body unless you do this.
  • Have snacks between breakfast – lunch, lunch supper and small snack at 7pm (I eat supper at 5:30).  Rule is don’t eat ANYTHING after 8pm.  PERIOD.  Some of my favourite snack choices are apple sauce, almonds, cashews, raisins, rice cake w/ peanut butter, cottage cheese w/ fresh pineapple, pita with hummas, etc.  Refer to the menu plan examples for other options.
  • Eat lots of fish, chicken and turkey.  Stay away from pork (I won’t eat pork ever again if it’s up to me) and beef (don’t eat it often, generally try and stay away).
  • Replace ground turkey with ground beef  (even if you use lean). Ground turkey is way better for you then beef and it tastes great and is a direct substitute. We had tacos last night with ground turkey instead and they were great! You can even substitute it in meatloaf, homemade pasta meatballs .. lots of things.  It’s not as “sticky” when making those types of things so you may have to use a small amount of ground beef as well but as long as you use majority of ground turkey you are winning the game (mixing them is very easy and they work well together).
  • If you like pasta .. switch from regular (even whole wheat) to rice pasta.  DAMN its GOOD! I am telling you .. we eat pasta a lot .. and my wife is picky .. but rice pasta rocks and it’s way better for you.  Try it.
  • They actually say to stay away from wheat in general (even whole wheat) and go gluten-free but this is by FAR the hardest thing you can do.. and I really don’t like the idea at all myself.  However .. I have been making choices occasionally when I can to go gluten-free, and rice pasta switch is a very good (and EASY) example. In general, Gluten free bread SUCKS!  I tried several different kinds and don’t like it at all.  Try Ezekiel bread or dimpflmeiers rye bread instead .. it’s yummy and still very good for you and an even better alternative to regular brown bread.
  • Switch to Omega 3 eggs
  • As I mentioned in my breakfast, switch from regular milk (even skim) to Almond Milk.  My favorite is vanilla flavoured and I use it on my cereal every morning (only time I drink milk).  It’s actually REALLY GOOD!   It’s just made from almonds, that’s it.  And the best part is that you can buy a box of it (16 containers in a box) and keep it in your cupboard and only put one container of it in your fridge at a time after you open it.  A single container will only last you a couple of days.  The usually go for ~$2 each.
    One of the main reasons why I switched was that I have basically heard is that regular cows milk doesn’t allow the body to absorb the minerals and vitamins that you need.  So if you drink milk with a meal or take supplements around the same time it is basically counter acting them and not allowing your body to absorb them. Since I take most of my vitamins and supplements at breakfast this only made sense for me to switch. Here are some more supportive reasons on why you shouldn’t drink cows milk
  • Stay away from the foods that your body tends to have a reaction to.  A simple test like AcuBase Test will tell you this, click the link to find out more information or talk to your local Naturopath

That’s about all I can think of for now but this definitely covers the major points in what I have been doing and definitely contributes to my success.

I will add more as time goes on or if I can think of anything else I might have missed.