Our enjoyment of mild temperatures proved to be brief. When Attila jumped out of bed this morning, the outside thermometer read -24 degrees Centigrade. As I write, the sun is shining and the snow sparkles, the way it does on very cold days.
Although winter's grip has definitely tightened, the cabin fever has not yet returned. With any luck, the temperatures will rise before it sets in again.
Last week, our usually quiet routine was pleasantly interrupted by a surprise call. An old friend of Attila's reached out of the past from a telephone, and walked right into our living room. Andy is an interesting fellow, full of personality, with all the accompanying twists and turns. As he stayed the night, we had a wonderful chance to catch up with all his news, and enjoy his good company. Can it really have been more than five years, since we saw him last?
I am spending these sunny days at the pine table by the window; book propped up to a comfortable reading angle. As I have mentioned before the windows here are very high, standing on tiptoe is required to catch the view, or neighboring walls obscure it. This is true of all but one window in the house. That one window affords a view, and admits copious amounts of sunshine, weather permitting.
In front of this one window, we have placed our pine dining table. It is here I often sit to sip a cup of tea, and watch the neighborhood, or read a book. This is where I sit in the sunshine, and feel glad.
I am not surprised that some of the neighbors believe me to be watching everything that goes on in the neighborhood. This perception seems to provide some measure of comfort, as I am the Neighborhood Watch person for this section of our street.
However, as fascinating as they feel their lives are, what draws my attention is the sky, the trees, the weather, and the wind. Actually, that humans occupy the available landscape, somewhat detracts from its appeal. Since our neighbors are very nice people, I am able to overlook this.
Last night we made a trip to the local post office. The tax forms are now on their way to various departments of the government. Attila was hoping I would breath easier once they were safely on their way. I was hoping the same thing. However, as it turns out, I am now anxiously awaiting the results. Were the forms filled in correctly? Will the government decide that mistakes were made? In other words, is it really over for this year?
Perhaps the government will be happy with the submissions, and next years process can be executed with more confidence.
My advice is that if you can afford hundreds and hundreds of dollars for an accountant's fee, pay it. If accountants face the same quality of "customer service" from the government that I have experienced over the last weeks, then they have earned every penny you pay them.
I am beginning to use the 1901 Canadian Census in my genealogy research project. This database is available online, although it is not very accessible for those owning Macintosh computers. The Canadian government is putting this information online using a proprietary format (not JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, etc.) that does not offer support for the Macintosh OS.
Although I have found a work-around to access this public data, it is slow, awkward, and feature-poor. I feel the Canadian government, at least as far as the 1901 Census is concerned, is making it hard for those of us who own Macintosh computers. Perhaps it is difficult for other groups as well, but I will let them speak for themselves. The whole situation reminds me of the "company store" phenomenon. I struggle along though; one must make the best of government "wisdom".
There is some sort of connection here, between the anxieties suffered in correctly filling in tax forms to exacting standards, and paying taxes, and the desire to have fair access to the services these taxes purport to provide.
I have complained, you know. What was the response to my complaint? That "most people" are using "the" other operating system, and that "they" [the government] cannot please everyone. I stated my disagreement; there are many graphic formats accessible to all operating systems. I am afraid my small voice fell on deaf ears, as I have detected no change in the delivery of this public information.
|RECIPES :: Cast
Have a cup of tea...
By the Easy Chair
A Widow for One Year
by John Irving
"Whereas she wished more of the population were better educated, she also believed that education was largely wasted on the majority of people she had met."
from A Widow for One Year
by John Irving
Wind: SE 4 km/h
Barometric: 102.8 kPa
Sunrise 7:05 AM EST
Sunset 6:09 PM EST
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