Tuesday, October 25, 2011

That Toddlin' Town

Chicago is still a fun city! This has not changed from last year. My hotel is so-so but half a block from the conference venue. However, it's also the home of the longest-lasting strike in the USA. Sob. I leave good tips on the bed and will note on my comment card that I'd like the mgmt to settle.

The conference is a mix of extremely interesting versus over my head versus boring. One very good presentation was by a staff member of the City of Chicago, who talked about how individual programmers created applications using the city's open data -- things like an application that lets you see where there are available parking stalls in the area, or what there is to eat, see and do within 30 minutes of your current position. There was an IBMer talking about corporate research but I didn't understand.

I have eaten several good taco dinners. I don't mind going out for dinner on my own, but I don't like finding new places -- I'd rather go to the same one over & over rather than risk a bad dinner.

The conference site also has very good snacks. It's a Jewish institute, meaning that everything served there is kosher.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

No yardwork here

I was supposed to do it yesterday too, but it rained, so instead I did some knitting and Richard and I walked over to DeBakkers for a snack.
Today looks much better, so I think I will do some cleanup here. Although the idea of napping sounds good too.
Week was ok, but seemed long and Wednesday was ridiculous. I got home at 9 pm after going for drinks after a meeting, and said to Richard, 'I think I need another beer'. Thursday and Friday were improved though.
Jim got here yesterday! He flew in and we had pizza over at Mom's. Mom has a list for him and we had a couple items on it too that he and Richard will look after today as I putter outside.
It is quite beautiful looking outside now-blue sky, some dark pine and spruce trees and other bright yellow and red trees I can see from our window-wind is blowing a little bit, so I can see a leaf dropping occasionally.
we will be going to Nakusp on the Nov long weekend. Anyone wish to meet us? We'll stay the very clean Canyon Court Motel, eat breakfast at the Broadway street deli and supper at the pizza/schnitzel place, and go to the hotsprings. It's quite a nice weekend.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

More sadness. Geoff's cousin Norman died last week. We went to the service yesterday in Camrose. Not a service, he didn't want one, it was a lunch at the funeral home. It was good to see relatives again. Daphne's cousin Lawrence was there. He and Barb are the last cousins of that generation.
We have been having a nice fall. I thought I would have to skip some fall work because of being of holidays but am getting it all done. Spent the afternoon out there enjoying myself.
Geoff just said "this has got to be the life." He's lying on the couch with a book and a beer as the sun goes down.
Will, you are not the only one with delightful visitors. Jovita came over to use our Internet. No Scott, though.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Good Lord

I'm done my 15 page essay on: Discourses Involved in Coerced Care Under the Mental Health Act.
Looking at how we see mandated treatment for people with mental health issues and why we see or accept things as they are.
interesting, but tiring.
Here is a great quote that I couldn't use in the essay, but have on my office wall:

Fourteen years ago I was diagnosed as schizophrenic
Five years ago that was changed to chronic schizophrenia
Three years ago I gave that up and went back to being Ron Coleman.

3 pages of references-how could I cite that many people?

Here's another good quote:

They said I was mad
I said they were mad
Bastards. They outnumbered me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Some News

So today I talked to Sam (my supervisor) and told her that I am leaving IBM at the end of the year. I felt bad, because I really like Sam, and did not want to let her down, but I just feel as though I need to leave. She was great, and totally understood. The HR person is on vacation, so no announcements will be made to the rest of the team right now.

I spent a lot of time thinking about what I was going to do over my vacation time. T&G noticed that I was quite quiet in the back seat. So I am going to take a year off, then either look for a new (part time) job or volunteer or something. I feel good about making the decision and following through on it today.

I knew when I finished vacation, and still felt as though I did not care about work that it was time to go.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy to be Home

The trip was fantastic, and I really enjoyed it, but it is always so nice to sleep in my own bed.

After the trip to Redwoods, we left the next day to drive to Gresham, where we stayed overnight. It is just outside of Portland, not far from the highway we were taking to Coeur d'Alene. The road to Coeur d'Alene had beautiful scenery, lots of variety, some parts looked very much like the land around Drumheller. We also saw lots of farmland, which we did not see much of in Oregon. There was also some parts that were very rocky. We stopped in Spokane Valley, to shop a bit, then over nighted in Idaho. We left kind of early (8:30) and it took around 11 hours to get to Rocky. I had never been through the Crowsnest Pass, and I found it to be very beautiful. then driving along highway 22, with the mountains on the left and the trees a beautiful yellow colour.


Thursday, October 06, 2011

Some Big Trees

We went to the Redwoods yesterday and were in awe of the trees. I just could not believe how tall and straight they are, really amazing. Last night we had supper at a place in Gold Beach and the chef was also from Edmonton. The food was wonderful as has pretty much been the case on this trip. We have only eaten at chain restaurants twice on this trip, Subway and Wendy's. The views of the ocean on the way to see the trees were fantastic, and again today on the way to Portland in between Gold Beach and Reedsport, the sun was shining, blue sky above, which made the water has a blue tinge to it. It has rained a fair amount on our trip but it really has not bothered us that much. Something about being on vacation makes it seem not so bad.

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We heard yesterday that Matthew Bromley was the pilot killed in that crash east of Yellowknife on Tuesday. Just feel sick about it. He was a really great guy, we visited with him when we were up there for Barb's birthday. All he ever wanted to do was be a pilot. I just talked to Barb. That was a hard phone call to make.
We're back by Portland on our way home.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Gold Beach

The fourth lodging place I booked and it is also good. Very large rooms and we are again oceanside, back from the beach just a few minutes' walk. We went for a long walk along the beach this morning.
The weather has turned rainy. It was really coming down today and I spent a lot of time watching the ocean from our room. We were going to go to the redwoods today but decided to wait until tomorrow so just hung around here all day. It's not really a resort town like Cannon Beach or Seaside, but I like it. Jude and I went to the little museum, really gave us a feel for the area.
We drove yesterday from Newport, stopping there to see the aquarium which was great.
Gold Beach is not really a resort town like Cannon Beach or Seaside, but I like it. Jude and I went to the little museum which I enjoyed and which gave us a good feeling of what this area is like. The lady at the museum is from Edmonton!
Although the town doesn't seem like much we have sure eaten at some good restaurants. Clam chowder and more clam chowder.
People in Oregon are very friendly.


I just realized that it's been five years since the blog started. Not exactly, but close.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Delightful Visitors

I had a couple of unexpected but very welcome visitors yesterday. Two of our most faithful blog stalkers, Scott and Jovita, stopped by to say hi. Jovita was in Victoria for a rugby trip, and they were driving by when Grace ordered them, via text, to stop. After a brief confusion about the relation of my cottage to the cemetery, they arrived. We had a nice visit - always nice to see them!

Last week was very busy - we had a clergy conference upisland on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was a conference run by the Red Cross, on creating safe environment - really about abuse free environments. It was a great conference, really helpful, and on point. It was held in Duncan, which is about 45 minutes from Victoria. I drove both days, and brought along a carful of clergy.

Then on Thursday and Friday I filled in at the church office (the secretary is on holiday), and drove Don, our blind priest, on his afternoon visits. All this meant that I didn't get to working on my sermon til Saturday, which I swore I'd never do. So, I lasted about 3 months.

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Saturday, October 01, 2011


We have moved on a couple of times since the last post. We drove into Portland yesterday and had supper with John. Which was a challenge since the restaurant he had in mind is not there any more. Fortunately there were lots of other choices. It was great to see him in his habitat.
Jude was excited when we got to Portland because she saw a Nordstrom's. We were all excited when we got to Powell's book store. I have never seen anything like it. Amazing.
This morning we went to the Saturday market downtown in Portland. It was really good, lots of cool things. Then before we left town we went to the Pittock house, a Victorian house in the hills above the city that has been restored and is just beautiful. When we were still in Cannon Beach we took a day trip to Astoria and saw the Flavell house, another restored Victorian mansion, but the one in Portland was much bigger. We also went to the Maritime museum in Astoria (picture above), very interesting although I was annoyed that there was only one mention of David Thompson in the whole place. Lewis and Clark, big deal, they used DT's maps. Davis Thompson mapped the whole Columbia River watershed.
We are in Newport now, more lodging on the beach. The weather has changed from warm and sunny to still pretty warm but cloudy and a bit rainy. But we are looking right at the ocean and can watch the waves crashing as much as we want. Oh yes, on the way here, another outlet mall. Another mall, another pair of shoes.
So far, my anxiety about choosing the right places to stay has been unfounded. They have all been nice, the one in Portland extra nice.