Wednesday, April 30, 2008

SAM's Marks

The kid must have his Mom's brains !

Monday, April 28, 2008

Spring will be springing soon

We hope spring will be springing soon. Actually a lot of the latest snow has melted and as my daffodils reappeared they looked ready to bloom. The crocuses must have been blooming under the snow.
We went to Red Deer on Saturday night for a sort of reunion of Geoff's SAIT class. One of the guys just decided they should get together and picked a restaurant to meet at. I admit I wasn't all that excited about going and when we got there and they decided to put the guys at one table and wives at the other, my heart sank a little; I only know two of the wives. But it was great and a lot fun. I always think I'm anti-social until I get around people. However a late night is hard on an old girl. Ken and Charlie were there.
Tim for supper last night. He got to sit through me showing all our vacation pics.
Talked to Anne on Saturday. She is coming in June and will be here for the houseboat. Sam wants to come too although has to find out if he can take time off. Tim is supposed to be on call that weekend but is working on getting someone to cover for him.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Spring Has Sprung

So it seems this weekend. I had to work yesterday, why i picked up a shift in the middle of my days off is beyond me, but did get outside for a walk with patients, and it was beautiful. Now I am trying to gather the gumption to go outside weeding. It is not so nice and sunny, but i think it is warmer than it has been and i see that the weeds are full of vigour.
I actually had a dream that the yard was full of all these baskets of flowers. this is not the case in real life, but we do have some things blooming. Tulips, daffodils still, chocolate lily, vinca, flowering Nanking cherry (thoough they got kind of frozen when it got down to -11)
Richard and I went to The Grand for our 15th anniversary. I go another necklace! Sheesh, someone is spoiled. How did Richard get such an amazing wife that he feels he needs to buy me jewellery? Really, I do feel spoiled. Anyway, we had a lovely evening. there was a science teacher convention at The Grand. There is definitely a look...usually male, sweater, glasses, short hair, slacks, perhaps a short sleeve shirt.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Can't stop with funny cat pictures

Plus, picture reminds me of Nick

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sam's home

We got Sam back today. I was planning to drive to the city on Tuesday after work and back here with him on Wednesday but it was still blowing snow so postponed the whole process a day. By yesterday the roads were all fine.
But Jude is not fine. She is very sick. She has felt like this for two weeks. She went to the doctor again but was told it's not anything anyone can do anything about although the doctor sent her for a chest x-ray and gave her an additional inhaler. I commiserated with her for a while then left her to go out for supper with Al. We had a good Thai meal but I barely scratched the surface of reminiscences about our trip. (I did leave some time for her to talk about her life, too.)
And I got to see Al's painted living room. It looks very nice, different than the paint chip she posted.
Geoff went to Calgary this week so took a memory stick of pictures to get printed (a CD wouldn't work, they only hold 700 MB). 334 pictures to be exact. I have posted some on Flickr (ran out of room).
It is still wintery out. Some snow has melted but there is still quite a bit. I suppose we could use the moisture but I would prefer it in a more liquid form. I can only hope the daffodils, crocuses and tulips that were growing were insulated from the cold by the snow.
Jude says she will post when she is feeling better.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Jane Goodall and Kids Today

Sam & I went to see Jane Goodall -- Judith was supposed to go but it was the start of her being so sick. I was excited to be in the third row, so I got a good view of her. She was great -- a very simple speaker (I think I'd expected her to be an 'orator' but it was kind of nice that she was just very straightforward and approachable) -- she talked about how youth get involved in social change, and how important that was. There was also an interesting question from the floor where a student said that the talk was sponsored by this fund on campus that she felt was an attempt to justify the UA's animal testing practices -- asked in quite an emotional way. JG talked about her belief in non-aggressive activism and the need to have conversations across polarized views, rather than confrontations. Very interesting -- she was able to be respectful to the question asker but firm in her own opinion. But then again, when you're Jane Goodall, maybe you don't need to be aggressive because who wouldn't listen to you speak? The only disappointment was that she didn't bring any chimps with her.

And speaking of political youth, my friend Isaac -- Kirsten's son -- has started PODCASTING. This reminds me of making little cassette-tape radio shows when I was a kid -- but I think all I did was include 70s rock music and make up weird skits.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Happy Birthday and All that Jazz

I have been having a good day. Slept in, Richard and I went out for breakfast, came home, read, napped briefly, did some weeding (it is lovely out today), going to go have a bath, then out for supper. Richard gave me a lovely diamond and sapphire (!) necklace. Spoiled! And....I got a message from manager form work saying that I got the permanent parttime (.78=avg 28 hrs/week) position!
Lucky me!
Jude called to say Happy Birthday and I have to confess, it took about 5 minutes to figure out who was calling...she has lost her voice and seems to have that nasty flu/virus that is going around. Get well soon Jaguar.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No News is Bad News

Sooo... last time I updated I was waiting with bated breath as the Bangor Psych Dept committee met to decide whether they were going to accept my supervisor's offer (to pay for half of my funding if the department would stump up the other half).

Eventually my supervisor called. I said, "Did they decide?!" and she said, "They decided... that they can't make a decision on this right now."


So, as it would clearly make no sense to turn down guaranteed funding in Guelph, I had to send my letter in saying yes. And this time my supervisor paid to courier it, so no trips to Llandudno necessary! I'm not sure if Bangor will turn around and make an offer or what I'll do if they do, but for the moment that's how it stands.

Apart from that, not much else new. Working like crazy to get my coursework done (my thesis has now changed as of last week due to technical difficulties, so lots of catching up to do). There's a fencing competition at the weekend to determine the Man at Arms/Lady at Arms for the year, which I've been coerced into attending. Oh, and the weather's gotten sunny and gorgeous suddenly!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

For Annie (in case she stays in Bangor)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

home to good news

When we got back from our trip we found out that Geoff won two prizes in the STARS lottery. Not a house or a million dollars, but a GPS and a Super 7 subscription (whatever that is).
Back into normal life. It was nice to have people at work glad to see me back. Geoff was supposed to go back today but he had a meeting in Nisku so didn't have to go to the plant.
Tim came over last night and showed us his pictures from Cuba, then we showed some of ours. We used the digital picture frame I got for Christmas, worked well, better than huddling around the computer.
I thought I didn't have jet lag but I have been so tired by about 8 o'clock every night.

Not so fast....

Uh, here's why we should reconsider being badgers....


Here is the definitive reason we should be badgers rather than Jaguars or, indeed, mongeese.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Clipping along

April is going quite well, all things considered. Although I had/have eight exams this month altogether, I'm feeling like I can really rock this semester without stupid courses like, for example, calculus to deal with. I have my German oral final exam tomorrow, and then my five regular finals start Monday.
In March, I applied for four jobs for next school year. I didn't get the resident assistant job, which was disappointing, or a job in the Lister mail room, but surprisingly, the two interviews I thought I did worst in were the positions I was offered, and the ones I wanted most as well.
I am next year's Lister Foods Ombudsman. I'm not totally sure what I have to do, but it seems to mostly consist of chairing Lister's food committee meetings and getting lots of student input into the food-service on campus, and act as liason between the students and our despised university restaurant contractor, ARAMARK. I dazzled my interviewers with lots of buzzwords; then, I had a Facebook message from the current FO, who was on the interview team, and she pretty much told me I had the job 24 hours before my official offer came. That was quite interesting, how fast technology is compared to the actual bureaucratic process. Anyway, I'm quite excited about this position and I've got some ideas about how to improve student participation and food-service delivery on campus. This is right up my alley.
The other job is at Career and Placement Services (CAPS) for the U of A. This interview had an interesting format; they have you give a short presentation before the formal interview, highlighting why you should get the job. I ran out of time before I finished, and didn't seem be exactly impressing them during the interview part, so I wrote it off - but I got a call for it today.
Both of these are pretty visible positions and will really look good on my resume. Plus, they pay pretty well too.
However, I still don't have a job for the summer, and am still hoping something comes up from the 9 resumes and personalized cover letters I distributed during Reading Week.
Now that you've nodded off reading all about ME, I'll let you go... But suffice it to say I'm rather pleased with myself at the moment. This feeling probably won't last past my first exam, but for now, Sam is walking on sunshine.

Home Again

And very happy to be back. I had a great time staying with Grace, and hanging out together, but really there is no place like home. The bus trip was fine, roads were a bit slippery, but that is the joy of someone else driving, I could just have a nap, and not worry about it. The walk home was a bit of a slog, lots of snow, and it was the heavy kind, so it kept getting stuck on the wheels of my suitcase.

Had a call from Fred on Sat afternoon, but when I tried to call him back at the hotel, they had no one registered by that name, and even though I had the room number, they would not put me through, or even take a message for me. So did not get a chance to see him. It was too bad, but there is always next time.

Back in the office today, and it feels a little weird to be back here. Not as handy as the Ferrey home office, where I could get up five minutes before I had to start, and still be 2 or 3 minutes early. However there is new carpet here.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


The last two badgers just arrived home. Tim and Grace picked us up, except I had told them the wrong time so they were there 2 hours early. Oops.
The last three weeks seems like a dream.


Photos for real this time

First of all, dad just called and they're safe at the airport with the car handed in. I hope not too exhausted... come visit me again, I promise we can just stay in one spot and not drive anywhere!

I uploaded some photos to Flickr but they turned out to mostly be dad's photos he put on my computer. Hence the million pictures of mom and I. I uploaded them anyway here. They are in backwards order, sorry - the first few are mine of Beaumaris Castle, and the rest are from Dad's camera.

Flickr then stopped letting me upload, so the rest are on Facebook here. Just realised that my photos from Caernarfon and earlier are missing... but that can be a job for another day!


Friday, April 04, 2008

The 2 badgers go it alone

Apologies for not updating sooner, we didn't have internet access till now. We were even looking for internet cafes but no luck.
We are in a hotel at Manchester Airport and they have wireless.
Well, I would not advise anyone to travel here like we did, driving all across the country. Next time we will pick one or two areas and stay there for the whole time. But we did carry out the purpose of this trip which was to see Anne, connect with relatives and go to Cornwall.
It seems like a month since the other badgers left. We had a really good visit with Sue and David in Topshan which is near Exeter. Then we went on to Malden, on the coast east of London, to visit Jo and Peter. They have a really cool house too and a beautiful garden. We walked with them along the river Severn and around a bit of the old (of course) town. The next day they took us out to an old church that was built on Roman ruins, just so neat. Daphne had pictures of that church from when she and Barb were here last, Jo had arranged for a wheelchair so she got to go right up to it. We had to leave that day for Norwich to see Peter and Diane Ferrey, cousins of Aubrey. What a visit that was. They are amazing. Anne, you know what I mean. When Peter met us at the door he was wearing a tie and had one all the time we were there - for all I know he sleeps in one. They are 82, but certainly don't act like it. I felt uncomfortable because they insisted on waiting on us, wouldn't let us help with supper or cleaning up ("we don't let our guests help"). We also met Peter's brother David and his wife Wendy who are also very cool people. Britain has the best seniors ever. We have seen signs around saying "Elderly people crossing" instead of children crossing.
We were there for two nights. Spent an afternoon in Norwich which has a castle and interesting museum and even more interesting shopping area, but we didn't have time to look around much.
The next day we went to Cambridge and met Howard, Anna and Jared for lunch. Howard is another distant cousin who was in Rocky a few years ago. He is a professor at Cambridge. Anne, all the above mentioned people said to give you their regards. They were all quite interested in your situation.
We did have a chance to see King's College Chapel in Cambridge, just beautiful. I wish we could have gone to church in all these places.
After Cambridge we drove to Derby to visit Wendy who was out to see us last summer. They live on the farm where their parents live. Wendy's mom Margaret is Fred Strong's daughter by his second wife, so she is Aileen's half sister. It was really good to meet her, another great 80 something year old. She has been sick but was feeling well enough to talk to us for a bit. She had some old pictures which were very interesting.
This morning we left Derby early and drove to the airport where we booked a room for tonight, then went to Liverpool. I definitely want to go back there. Went to the Albert Dock which has been revived and has museums and restaurants all around it. The Maritime Museum is really good, we were there for 3 hours. Then we went to The Beatles Story, which was kind of pricy but how can you not go.
Geoff has been a great driver and I am managing to navigate adequately. He says driving feels natural now but it is still stressful when we are not sure where we are going, like when we drove into Liverpool. But we are used to being lost or making wrong turns since we do it at least once every leg of the journey, we just figure out how to go around and back, sometimes easier than others.
So that's our last few days. I am looking forward to going home but it has been a really good trip.Geoff is sitting here with a beer decompressing from the Liverpool drive and says hi to everyone.

Photos on their way & Other News!

I created a Flickr account this morning, and uploaded a bunch of photos at random, and they turned out to be mostly dad's photos of mom and I looking cross because he kept posing us in front of street signs. Will go back and sort and label them soon, I promise. Lisa, how do you link to your Flickr photos from the blog?

In other news.... my supervisor called me yesterday (while grocery shopping!) and astounded me by saying she thinks she has funding for me at Bangor! To catch everyone up, I have guaranteed PhD funding at Guelph Uni, but I have to let them know by April 15 whether I'm taking it or not. I had hoped to stay here as Jane's an excellent supervisor, but the money thing did not look like it would work out (ie. there was no funding available). But it looks like Jane may have sorted things once again...

I don't have the paper in my hand and haven't seen how much they're proposing to give me, but things are definitely looking up. And if the Bangor funding doesn't come through, I will go to Guelph with good grace and either way it should work out fine.

Mom and dad, if you're checking this please let me know where you are! Haven't heard a word since Saturday. Hope the travels are going well.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Pictures from our trip

Here are the photos from our trip to the UK. Or most of them.
They are pretty much in order.
I think that Anne and T&G should post their's too.