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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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active surplus

Went to a hardware store yesterday called Active Surplus. Anyone familiar with the Queen St. E. area in downtown Toronto will be familiar with this odds-and-ends shop stuffed full of knobs and wires and electronic bits (at present, it's the one with the life-size gorilla figure in front of the store, wearing a rain poncho). I'm not nearly keen about hardware shops as I am about office supply stores, but the two do share a similar appeal for packrats like me...there is just so much cool STUFF, all kinds of interesting items of the "If only I needed one of these!" variety. Most of the store content is typical hardware paraphernalia, but the bins along the main store aisle near the entrance could contain *anything*. Yesterday, items included cardboard Elvises, clock faces, rain ponchos (the kind the gorilla in front wears), square pieces of glass, coloured beads, paperweights, mirrors, and a tub of something called "HaveTaGo" (a disposable, portable toilet!!). Yesterday was also my wedding anniversary (six years!); Jeff and I went for brunch at Movenpick's on York St, then strolled along Queen St W. Re: PalmPilot stuff - I am super-happy with my new PalmPilot! I've already transferred all my addresses and calendarstuff and post-it notes to this small notepad. Site of the day: Excite - my current favourite search engine. I like the feature that enables you to see by website (so you don't have to plow through a ton of listings from the same website).

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