Saturday, July 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Sam



For those interested in the meeting of fiction and computer analysis:

Friday, July 29, 2011

The other day I stopped by 7-11 for a slurpee on my way back home after a round of visiting parishoners. The clerk, who looked middle eastern and had a slight accent, was giving me this very weird look the whole time I was in line. Finally I got up to the counter, and she says to me very politly "excuse me, I am wondering: what is that thing on your neck?" I didn't know what she meant at first, but then I realized that I was wearing my clerical collar! I guess she had never seen one.

Peter is away on holidays, so I'm in charge, more or less. So far, nothing has collapsed. I did another interment today - and had to dig the hole for the ashes. What made it tricky is that there was already one set of ashes in the hole, and they were not in a container, so I had to be careful not to disturb them. But the service was quite nice.

Other than the odd interment or funeral, things have been going along quite normally. My idea of people's ages is beginning to skew - I see more 90+ year olds in a week than ever before in my life, and 70 is beginng to seem quite spry! I had to do the my first children's time at church - the parable of the kingdom of God being like yeast working it's way through dough. So, I got up that morning and mixed up a batch of pizza dough to show the kids. Then I took it home, and made pizza.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I concur with Judith

in that it was a very good weekend. There turned out to be a lot of visiting, some of it with strangers. That was at Kirsten's going away party. The house it was at is a house I want. It reminded all of us of Baba's somehow even though it is much bigger. Speaking of Baba, Laura said she had a visit with Pearl one day. I could not believe she was still living there.
Wicked was so good. But I was shocked to find out at the intermission that Geoff had never read the book or seen the movie. So he was a little at sea; I had to give him a quick overview so he could follow what was going on a bit better.
A visit to the city often means new shoes. I don't know if Judith did me any favours by taking me to Gravity Pope. A person can't stay away from such a great shoe store. I must at least concentrate on only buying shoes on sale there.
It was good seeing the other Sivaks. Rod said that he and Deanna want to bring George and Kay to Rocky one weekend in the fall for a visit. Before we could drive away from Mary Lynn's, Peter hijacked us and took us to a secret subdivision on the riverbank not far from their place. Some developers bought land from the country club and made a development of mansions overlooking the river. There is even a footbridge across the river that goes to Fort Edmonton.
Then one final adventure, the truck broke down. Started making an unhealthy sounding clunking noise underneath, so we called Tim to pick us up and sent a tow truck out yesterday to get the truck. Looks like a lot of money to fix it. Good thing one of us has been making the big bucks.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Very Good Weekend

It started on Friday night, Theresa Geoff and Grace came into town, and over for supper. Grace left after supper to meet her friends and the remaining Ferreys and I visited. Saturday morning Theresa and I got up and had coffee and then caught the bus and trainto go over to Whyte Ave and visit the knitting shop. Theresa bought a new pattern and wool for a beautiful new sweater. The music store is next door, and we both picked up some new CDs. After that a little walk down Whyte to Gravity Pope, to see what they had. Theresa walked out with two new pairs of sandals. A very successful shopping trip.

Saturday afternoon, it was over to the Jube, to meet Allison and see Wicked, what a fabulous show. The cast was excellent and the costumes were fantastic. A friend of Theresa's from the paper, went to the same show, so it was very nice to meet her. Afterwards, my place again, Laura was also in Edmonton, so she came over as well. We decided to have supper at the Upper Crust. The food there is always good, and did not disappoint. Saturday night, we went to a going away party for Kirsten. Met lots of new librarians, and some of their partners/spouses. It is sad that Kirsten will be leaving, but very nice for her to be going to where her family is.

Sunday we had brunch at my place, Sam and Grace came over, Laura and Allison, and Theresa and Geoff (well they did not come over as they were staying with me). After lunch people dispersed, to shop, sleep, putter etc. Around 4 we left to go over to Marylynn's for a barbque. George and Kay, Deanna and Rod, Cooper and Nate and Lauren (Nate's girlfriend). It was a good visit and a lovely supper. Theresa and Geoff left to go back to Rocky and then Grace and I left as well, she drove me home. Lots of fun.

And for those of you who were wondering my meeting went well, and I still have a job.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Richard

Saturday, July 23, 2011

No rain!

It has been unseasonably cool here this week. Not cold, can still wear shorts, but not warm. plus a lot of rain-I have not watered this year at all! though I see others have, I feel that grass needs to manage its' own life and not become dependent on others.
1st week back at work was kind of tiring-lots going on. A couple stressful things, but generally fine, just busy. Healthcare is an interesting job to work in. I had a discussion with a fairly rude nurse manager on another unit who seemed insistent that I did not know what I was talking about regarding patients' rights under the mental health act, and if she had not heard about it, it did not exist. After this discussion, I found out that it is not just me who does not know what I'm talking about, apparently everyone around her is clueless too, and only she knows what is what. How someone like that became a leader is beyond me. Aren't people skills a necessary requirement for managers?
It is Richard's birthday this weekend-we were thinking about camping, but have decided to go for picnic instead-we just got back from a week.
we went to see last Harry Potter movie. It was vg+
I am taking Monday off, then weekend after that is long weekend, and then to edmonton for folkfest. Yay for time off and seeing family!
I have master's orientation day coming up at end of August. I don't think I need a day to get oriented, as I have already taken 2 courses, but OK, sure. I know the library-and can search in databases quite well but it gives me an excuse to have day off work, so I'll do it. I had a dream last night about some weird course I was taking and had the theme of tests and papers that I had done nothing about and a pop quiz. Somehow I managed to pull off good marks in the papers, but the quiz and test did not fair so well. I don't know if this dream is related to some hidden stress about the upcoming resumption of school in the fall, or related to feeling unprepared for stuff with work.
On another note, while we were away, the cats managed to get food cupboard open. Mom came over to feed them, and they did not come to the door as she opened it-frantically looking for food as usual. She came upstairs to find food bucket on floor, cats looking sated and I suspect, belching. They did not get anymore food that day.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We're safe

I'm glad about this news from England.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

In the summertime when the weather is high

It seems as if summer is here. We have had four days in a row without rain and the last two have been so sunny and warm. And it was the weekend.
A great weekend. Jude came on Thursday and we went to see Fred Eaglesmith at the Grandview Stage. We got all kitted out with a backpack full of raingear, umbrellas and bug spray. Had the buffet supper out there, then over to the concert - they have a stage in a field. But no rain and the mosquitoes were not even that bad. And the concert was so good. Oh Fred.

I was the only one who had to work Friday. On Saturday we went out to the historic site to see the powwow, which I enjoyed so much. It was beautiful out, again not many mosquitoes. I have wanted to go to a powwow for a long time but did not really want to go out to the reserve. And it was so cool to see all those dancers in their gorgeous costumes, people of every age dancing. I bought a pair of beaded teepee earrings from a little girl who made them herself and another pair of earrings from one of the vendors.

After we got home, Jude had a nap and Geoff and I were sitting on the patio enjoying the sun, when Heather showed up. She had felt like going for a drive so went out to lake and stopped to see if we were around. So she stayed for supper and we had a great visit, which is really the only kind you have with Heather. One of her sons is getting married in August and it looks as if it may be a bit of a family reunion so we are looking forward to it. Barb says she will be there.

Jude left after brunch and Geoff and I spent the afternoon out in the yard under the apple tree with our books. I kept looking around and thinking how perfect it all was. Tim came over, all scraped up from a ball tournament. We just kept sitting and visiting, it was so great. If only the whole summer could be like today.


we are back from our camping trip to Tofino. It was a good holiday. The weather was generally cooperative-3 days of sun, 2 days of cloud but with only a shower, and on the final day it was pouring rain, but we were leaving so didn't care, other than having to pack up wet tarps.
We stayed at the Bella Pacifica-which we have stayed at before-our site was perfectly located, close to bathrooms and shower and a 2 minute walk to the beach.
Of note while travelling-on ferry there-saw older woman knitting and watching My Fair Lady on her laptop.
We went to Hotsprings Cove. Well worth doing-we took a boat- and saw grey whales, porpoise, seals, sea otters!!,(see picture-how I wished to take one home) black bear, and sea lions en route. Also, along the islands, all these starfish you could see on the side of rocks as we went along. Bright red, against dark rock. Walked along this boardwalk-which people had carved their names into- in the forest for 1/2 hour, through temperate rain forest to these hotsprings which are on the ocean, with a hotpspring waterfall. It all took about 7 hours-then went out for supper at this great restaurant in Tofino. It was a lovely day-what more could you ask for?
we left Tofino on Friday. We left at 1100-woke up at 0800-listened to rain-thought, maybe it's stopping? We'll keep sleeping-no it did not stop-so gave up, got up and packed up. It was warm though-even with rain, we were warm in shorts. Richard of course, got a burn one day on Long beach. It was warm and sunny, though with clouds and he thought, oh I'll take off my shirt-no need for sunscreen. Yes, for those who are from fair Dutch ancestry-sunscreen is needed. I think I might be browner. Lots of surfers.
There are foxgloves and lupins growing all along the road-wild!
There are also many German tourists (along with lots of other Europeans). Everytime someone was impolite, we said 'Hmphh, Germans'.
After we left-went to see Neil and Marilynne for a coffee and sandwich. we were talking about how we would be seeing Will. Apparently, some guy came into the birding store-had been from Barkerville. Marilynne said, 'Oh Neil's nephew was there-Will' The guy said, 'Oh, Father Will! I know Father Will. We all loved him!'. She didn't know the name though.
we went to Victoria and saw Will-his cottage is super cute and nice. We got lost going there-my direction sense this trip was sadly lacking. He kindly gave us his bed-which was very comfortable. We went out to eat and had a nice meal. He had a wedding to go to the next day, so we caught the 1200 ferry and got home at 7'ish after having to backtrack several times due to my poor navigation skills.

We were thinking that we should have a family holiday in Tofino next year! What do you guys think? There is camping, but also lots of cabins or we could rent a beach house and stuff there too along the ocean-and lots to do. It is amazingly beautiful and enjoyable. Plus some really great restaurants. Thoughts on this? I can arrange stuff and I think it would be so much fun. The downside is distance from Alberta/Northern BC. But Kelowna would be a good stopping point for those who wanted to drive, or fly into Nanaimo or Victoria.

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kittens and the classics

I have seen a couple of these with animals freaking out to music. Someone really knows this music!

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Visa Drama!

I'm sure Mom will want to hear the details.

I'm still down in New Haven on my six-month J-1 visa. It ends on Monday (July 18). After that, I'm supposed to be allowed 30 days to "wrap up my affairs" down here, according to the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS). Which would be great, because due to circumstances, I'm still frantically collecting data and will be right up until the end date.

However, the twist is that the customs officer who stamped my passport at Toronto was not all that... well, charitably, let's just say apparently he didn't know the rules. (Many of them don't seem to - the guy who checked my documents on the way OUT of the country at Hartford grilled me for not having a passport visa entry stamp. You know, the one that's not required for Canadians). Anyway, customs guy put the wrong date on my passport. OISS ignored my first email asking about this, but when I called to follow up they looked at my passport, found it was incorrect, and said they would try to get the error fixed. From what I can tell, if they don't pull it off before Monday I may have to take a quick trip out of the country to come back in as a tourist (but no one will say for sure). I really want to make sure I'm complying with everything so I don't end up on any blacklists, so everyone please keep your fingers crossed. (Also can't really afford a quick trip to Cda... but hey).

I said to the OISS lady, "Should I panic?" She said, "Not yet." Guess I'll be following up today to see if that's still the case!

That said, at least data collection has finally kicked into gear. I had no luck at all in all of June - lots of no-shows, lots of kids who had complicated hair (can't fit the EEG net over braids or weaves very easily) and absolutely no data. However, I've run seven kids in the last four days so it seems like I might get quite close to my target of 29 (currently at 25). I booked one for Monday... only day she could come in, sort of awkward if I'm on a plane, but I might plead with one of the interns to run the visit for me.

At least it's never boring, I guess...


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Going on a bike trip

I am going on a bike trip this summer. I was invited quite a while ago by Jeff Cook - Jeff was one of the brothers who biked from Rocky to Argentina a couple of years ago. I am flying to Ottawa August 6, and will from there bike to Halifax before flying home on August 20. The schedule calls for 150 km of cycling a day on average, which will be tough to achieve consistently. It should be very challenging. Personally I think we should cancel our planned rest day (day 5) and ride shorter distances every day.

In conjunction with the trip, we are raising money for micro-loans to developing countries. This is where people can loan money to entrepreneurs, usually for expansions to, or creation of, their businesses. The organization we are partnering with is called Kiva. The website explains things better than I can, but the idea is that Kiva loans your money to "field partners" in various countries around the world, which in turn lend the money to local entrepreneurs. After the term of the loan is up, the money is repaid, goes back up the chain, and you get your money back. So it is quite a different model than the traditional non-profit organization, but yet helps support international development in a sustainable manner. You can even browse through the various projects and choose the one(s) you would like to support.

If interested, you can read more about the trip here. From that page, you can also (though the "Donate" link) make a loan that will count towards our $1,500 target.

Bike trips aside it has been a really good summer for me. I've attended three weddings (and accompanying bachelor parties) for friends this summer, and all have been a lot of fun. I am working at TELUS finance for an eight-month co-op, finishing in December. In the fall I will also be a lab instructor for an intro management science course, and taking a night class, so that should be good. After that, I have one semester of school left (January - April) and will be teaching again, and then I will graduate.

This fall I will need to decide what to do after graduation. In particular, I need to know if I want to go the Chartered Accountant (CA) route as recruiting happens in September-October for the following calendar year.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cottage Pictures!

I've unpacked and mostly set things up, so here are a few pictures! It's still a little untidy (and let's be serious- its going to stay that way).

Here's the view from the road (note the white picket fence). The taller roof to the right is the church hall - this is regularly rented out to a theater group, and I'm assured that I'll be able to hear every word of the play from my kitchen.

Here is the entryway - first the little porch, then the entryway inside the cottage:

The bathroom:

The kitchen, which came with a washer and dryer. The back door leads out to a little grassy courtyard which is mostly used by the pre-school. I can go out this door and straight into the hall where the main office is.

The living room (with donated furniture)

The entryway to the bedroom and study:

The bedroom

and finally, here is the study! There is a shortage of office space in the hall, so this is my regular place of work.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Staycation is Over

It's Sunday so back to work tomorrow, I have had a nice relaxing time, and I am kind of feeling like I should not have canceled my second week, but only 3 days next week so I am sure I can make it. Besides, this means I can join T&G on the road trip, so something more to look forward to.

For most of the days the weather was great, it has rained the last couple, but what can you do? While I was off, I did a few things. I went downtown on Monday to the Art gallery, but it is closed Mondays. Instead I went over to Churchill Square, bought a cider, and listened to some live music courtesy of the Edmonton Jazz Festival. Then I took in some of the Works. On Tuesday I went back to the gallery and enjoyed the exhibits. They have an Andy Warhol show on right now. Really interesting, not just pictures, but some video, and television shows as well. I was walking along looking at the pics, and found one that looked just like Baba, weird. It was actually a picture of his Mother. I wonder if we are related? I also met some friends for lunch and supper. Good to catch up.

Friday I decided to try and find the record store in Old Strathcona, bought a couple of CD's. Right next door is a knitting store called Urban Knitters, all you knitters out there will have to visit it. Lots of cool patterns and fibers. I also stopped by Gravity Pope, they are having their 21 anniversary sale, and walked out without a purchase.

This weekend I have not done much of anything, which still feels pretty good. I think today I will clean up the place, do laundry etc.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Happy Birthday Grace

What a cutie patootie


Kate in the news

In case you hadn't seen it, I got a bit of a shock when I was reading the news this morning:

ABA and Uncle Greg visited this weekend, and said that Kate is looking for a job. I think this should help her chances considerably!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

New Job

Yesterday was the first official day of my curacy! I didn't actually have to do any work (as it turns out, even clergy get Canada Day off). I used the time to move into my new cottage (pictures on the way soon). The cottage is quite nice - very close to the church hall, but still quite separate. It has two bedrooms (one now a study), and a big living room and huge kitchen. The church has been working over time to fix it up for me, including some new lino in the kitchen and new carpet in my bedroom. They also collected lots of household items, like towels, and non-perishable groceries.

Today was my first day doing any actual work - we had a committal service at at funeral home in the morning (prayers before a cremation), and in the afternoon Peter, who is my supervisor, and I went over how Sunday will work, and a host of details. I'm preaching tomorrow, at all 4 services!

I spent this last week at a clergy conference - all the Anglican clergy of the diocese got together, and the Bishop brought in a husband and wife team to talk about "Worship and Mission after Christendom". It was OK, but I didn't agree with every thing they said. Since I was the new guy, I just kept my mouth shut though.

At the clergy conference different teams of people take turns leading the morning and evening prayers. The Archdeacon had asked Peter and I to do evening prayer on the first day. Peter arranged it, and it was a mostly sung service, which he led. He did, however, make me give the reflection! It turns out that I find it quite nerve wracking to have to give a reflection in front of dozens of new colleagues and the Bishop. I think it went alright though- I did not drop my notes, or repeat myself too much.

The conference was a beach front resort in Parksville, which was nice. The weather has been quite awesome here.

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I have found Angry Birds for the non-ipad users.

Friday, July 01, 2011

90th birthday

We went to Joan's 90th birthday tea this afternoon. As usual I didn't really want to go that much because I thought I wouldn't know many people to talk to but I have also been the organizer of a few of these things and know that it's important for people to attend. And as usual I was wrong, I had a great time, visited with lots of people and it was so nice to see Joan. She is such a lovely lady. Got this picture of all the female line. The fellow here is a friend of Joan's from Nordegg. The tall guy behind on the right is Geoff, not my Geoff obviously. Grace was working today so she popped in for a bit. Geoff R. is engaged and had his fiancee with him; she is very nice and a good sport for being there with all kinds of people she doesn't know and will probably never see again. I had a great visit with cousin Geoff and also with Sue. Also enjoyed listening some of the Nordegg oldtimers talking about the old days. Marilynne said they are all going to go out to Nordegg for a visit later in the weekend.
Apart from that, the big news is that we had two days this past week without rain. We hardly know what to do with all the sun.

Happy Canada Day

Both Richard and I have the day off together, so we are going to go downtown and see the festivities, including fireworks tonight. There is a Folk fest at the arena which has been going on for years, my old teacher in junior high used to organize it-Mr Lee. Lita Prince and her polynesian dancers used to be there, but I don't know if they still are performing. None of them are from the South Seas.
Though right now he is gathering rocks for Jones St. They are for beside the path that we did last year. He has special rock spots that he goes to collect them. It will look quite good when he is done, and less weeding there. Everything there grows well. This property has too much clay soil, things do not grow as well. This makes Richard and I slightly resentful, but on the other hand, there is not too much weeding here, whereas we turn our back on Jones for an afternoon and suddenly there is a jungle. I have (sshh) used Round up there to get rid of a couple particularly nasty weeds-wild morning glory and another creeping thing that spreads insidiously through underground roots.
We have 1 more week of work, then to Tofino and most likely Victoria!
I got an anonymous article on psychologically healthy workplaces in my mailbox at work. What is with passive aggressive nurses who are supposed to specialize in communication?
I initially wrote an angry reply, but wisely thought I should wait until I got additional feedback from others on what to write and also wait until I did not want to flay someone. Richard wisely suggested being nice in email, but pointing out that though I received it, I couldn't do anything without knowing who left it. So I wrote that I received this article, but with no name or information attached and though I like getting information, if I don't know who left it, I don't know what to do about it. If you did leave it, let me know and we can chat about it. I think it was effective.

Happy Canada Day

I just watched the citizenship ceremony from Ottawa, it made me feel really proud to be Canadian. It is the first time I have heard the GG talk, and I was very impressed. And Kate's fascinator had a maple leaf on it. It was also very cute, the GG and his wife held hands as they walked over to the stage.

Last SaturdayI met Sue and Mike at the market, I was just walking along and looked up and there they were. They are planning on going to Rocky for Joan's birthday party. Sue said they managed to get a task and are in charge of balloons, so T&G make sure you comment on how good they are to any of the family you see. They also said that Geoff will be there from Vancouver.

Sam took me out for supper last week, we tried a new restaurant, and it was fabulous. On Saturday I had Allison and Sam over for supper. We had hoped that Laura would be here in time, but she ran a bit late. Laura came to Edmonton, to go to the last S&B for the year. It was a good to catch up with her, but a bit of a flying visit, she was back to GP on Monday.

I am on vacation for the next week, a staycation, going to do some Edmonton stuff, I have not been to the new Art Gallery, so I hope to go there, as well as the museum.

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