DIARY FROM ONTARIO CANADA DECEMBER 2002

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Sunday 29th December 2002

My movie this afternoon was "Catch Me If You Can". A very exciting, hair-raising life the young man had. He was forced by circumstances to live by his wits. From the age of seventeen society showed him that the only way he would be able to survive was by assuming various roles, which he did amazingly well. He lived by his father's little philosophical story about two mice .. and you will have to see the rest for yourself. It's a really good story and Leonardo di Caprio plays the part to perfection.

I couldn't get over to see my relatives on Christmas Day this year. The weather was quite bad. There were white-out conditions on the cross-country section of the road. Fortunately I had bought some turkey drumsticks, bacon rolls with stuffing, veg and a small Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, so could at least enjoy that. Really disappointed not to be with them tho' .. much prefer to be with family on that day. It is always annoying to have to clear the snow from my house foundation - when I'd much rather be skiing off into the park or making a snowman in the front garden. However, I keep saying to myself "this is my own personal little old house .. and I actually rather like looking after it". That puts things into perspective.

On Christmas Eve I drove around Guelph and enjoyed the light displays. Also visited the Riverside Park, where the Rotary Club and local businesses have set displays, music, kiosks and a horse-drawn trolley ride.

I eventually reached my relatives on Boxing Day - took Tsunami, my dog, with me (as they had asked). She was alright on the elevator, but was highly excited in the apartment. Thank goodness relatives were able to look after her. She's a bit much for me. After tea and muffins we took her for a walk around the local park.

The weather here is quite mild today (about 7C). It's drizzling and I'm bored. Yesterday morning I had to get up at 6:30 to be ready when the men came to clean the central heating ducts. They did a good job and have left the place smelling of mint. Perhaps now I will get some relief from the darned coughing. It cost $365. about 2 1/2 times what the previous man charged. I have no way of knowing whether his job was as good. This time they had cut inspection holes in the ducts, so I could look (with a mirror and light) to see that they were clean. There's no such thing as "affordable housing" is there! There's always something needs fixing. Unfortunately the hissing and spitting of the suction lines frightened my cat so much she tried to jump out of the window, which was closed. I think she stunned herself. Now she won't come in except to snatch some food. It must have been truly traumatic to wake up and find the whole house infested with huge multi-coloured snakes (the pipes for spraying and cleaning out the ducts).

I'm off to the gym now. HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Tuesday 24th December 2002

Quite a pleasant day. We had a bit of snow, so I had to clear around the house foundation this morning after my walk with Tsunami. Met a walking friend who has a golden retriever also, called Sadie, so Su and Sadie were roughhousing together while we talked.

I have not received any email Christmas cards this year, so here's my favourite, which came last year. It is, I think, very large and I seem to remember it does not have a route back to this page.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR


Here is a beautiful Christmas Card. It is quite a large .exe file (486kb) It has the signature Jacquie Lawson 2000. It certainly is a delightful card. I hope Jacquie is happily employed and suitably paid for such creativity: Click here to read Christmas Card.exe

Canadians are being subjected to a really ridiculous rule this year .. checkout clerks are not permitted to wish customers a Happy Christmas! I couldn't believe this stupidity, so have purposely passed the greeting myself. From the look on faces you'd think I had said something terrible. What next! They'll be telling women to wear the veil or go into purdah. As it happens, where I shop there are often new immigrant women. It is so horrible that they have not learned to read. I think we should keep our Christian practices and tolerate others.

Sunday 22nd December 2002

A very unpleasant day. Bitterly cold and windy. This afternoon I went early and was able to get a seat for "The Two Towers" the latest Lord of the Rings movie. It was amazing. As usual, many dark and terrible creatures. Not suitable for little children. I read the book about thirty years ago, so cannot remember whether the movie follows the story accurately. The critics say it does follow the story, but with some alterations: they criticized the elfin leader - because he skateboarded down a flight of stairs. I thought he would have been quite likely to do that and it was not out of place. Also, Gollum has a few schizophrenic conversations with himself. I also thought he might well have done that.

Saturday 21st December 2002

My favourite day .. the sun turns about now and comes back our way. Beginning tomorrow, the days will grow longer again at the rate of two minutes each day. If we were in England we should be out at Stonehenge lighting lights and trying to urge the sun to return, along with all the other Druids. I wonder why they chose to do their ceremonies at the other end of the year. Perhaps they were trying to persuade the sun not to turn away.

Friday 20th December 2002

Had an email from the Weymouth Webmaster today. There are still webcams for Weymouth at: www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=7&svaid=207 so I am pleased about that. (Weymouth is in Dorset, on the south coast of England, about 1/3 of the way along, travelling from west to east.) I also found webcams for Toronto in Canada, London and Bournemouth in England. No doubt there are many others now. They can easily be found on Google. Just type in "webcam" plus the name of the town.

Thursday 12th December 2002

The weather is warmer today - about 3C. That seems quite hot after being below zero for a couple of weeks.

Made an interesting change to my home page this week .. a "mouseover". Have long wondered how that was done. Also a slide-show including a number of split or windowed pages. Unfortunately the html evening class is over now. Enjoyed it very much and certainly recommend it to anyone interested in writing html properly. .. rather than just using a supplied program. Also I have heard that the supplied programs are not flexible. A client called me some time ago to say that he could not adjust his company's pages .. then I found he was trying to adjust pages written in JavaScript by using his FrontPage program, so I guess that's what they mean by not flexible.

Many people cannot understand why I write this diary and my other pages. Well, I enjoy the puzzle and occasionally people write to say they enjoy my stories or find my diet pages useful. Who knows, one day perhaps someone will recognize my natural genius and offer to hire me for a zillion bucks retainer! (I know, "In your dreams Alex"!)

Went to see Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets on Sunday. Now, there's a case of natural genius. .. in fact numerous cases. What an imagination. Horrible monsters though .. not a show for little kiddies. Everything a child can imagine under the bed at night: giant spiders, monster snakes, even a "thumping willow".

Wednesday 4th December 2002

Really horribly cold. Last night was the first severe cold warning: windchill of minus 30C. Many new immigrants are deceived by this kind of unaccustomed cold. Back in 1969 we decided to take skiing lessons in the evenings. I think it was about minus 30 then .. I had only a sweater and a cotton anorak, thin pants and nylon tights, woolen hat and mitts. After about fifteen minutes on the slope I was beginning to get frost-bite. In this weather I long for the relatively warm temperatures in southern England - even if it is raining.

Since I have developed mild osteo, I now wear in-line skate equipment when I walk. A kit of elbow, knee and wrist protection, in a bag, cost me about $25.00.Cdn. from the Play It Again sports shop. I recommend this if you have osteo .. or even if you haven't! The people I met in hospital had found all kinds of ways to break their wrists and ankles. Such "entertainment" is especially easy in this weather, whatever your age.

I probably sound a bit fed up. Due to the pneumonia I had to cancel a nice trip to Niagara Falls area for a couple of days. We were going to see the lights, take in a show and enjoy pleasant companionship. Instead of that, because of the ignorant person who gave me this infection I have been stuck at home.

Sunday 1st December 2002

Our weather is very pretty today. About minus 3C. Took Tsunami for a walk in the snow .. looks like one of those snow scenes in a ball. Met some people with their dogs, so had a nice walk and some companionship. Tsu had a really good run with the other dogs, which obviously pleased her .. happy smile on the face and joyous barking.

Appalled to know that my relatives in U.K. will have to go offline .. due to the silly method of telephone billing they have over there. I shall certainly miss their emails.

We have finished the html course now. Really enjoyed it and learned some interesting new formulae, including a bit of JavaScript and some Java. (Still can't get the concept of the Java class files). If you'd like to see my notes (I'm still writing them up) .. go to (usual ht and www etc.) sentex.net/~oficserv/12Sep02.html.

This afternoon I went to see the new James Bond movie "Die Another Day". Really enjoyed it very much. Lots of action and interesting gadgets. Contrary to opinions of some other critics, I hope "James Bond" never has to retire. I enjoy the various locations, the photography, contrived plots. The ice hotel is magnificent. I would like to see that. The huge waves, clever acrobatic wave balancing... just fascinating. (however do they manage to learn that without getting killed!) Beautiful car .. I want one of those! You can skip the rocket launchers and invisibility. I'd just like the pretty, sleek. trs snob, silver car. (In the meantime I'm very happy with my pretty silver-red wagon; plus I can fit Tsunami and garden shrubs in the back).






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