June 10, 2000

The Ins and Outs of Hot and Humid



Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:
[This is the site I visit to fantasize about living in Toronto again, which is almost every single day during the winter]

Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts
[This is where I visit in the morning, when I need a positive spin on things past, present and future.]

Living Local
[This is where I go to see what Canadians are up to, sometimes I even buy things from the businesses listed there.]

Environment Canada Weather
[This is the site I visit every morning, and before every road trip during the winter]

The peonies are in full bloom. The side table beside me holds a small green vase with one large white bloom. Satiny petals droop sensuously around the neck of the vase. A sweet, heavy scent emanates from the white curves and folds. The smooth whiteness feels cool and soothing to the touch. The full decadence of life sits in a vase, on a table, in a room, in my house.

The weather is hot and humid. It is cooler inside than it is outside. We accomplish this through several, simultaneous strategies. First, we have installed two additional roof vents, for a total of four. Next, we remove the small piece of ceiling board that covers the entrance to the attic. Since hot air rises, it can now easily escape through the opening in the ceiling and the roof vents. During the day we close all the windows, doors, and draw the drapes to prevent the heat of the sun from penetrating into the house. When the evening air cools, we open the windows and doors to allow the cooler air into the house.

This method of keeping the house cool works well, unless we have a prolonged period where the temperature does not fall significantly during the night.

Attila did not have to work today and so we accomplished much around the house. The small front deck desperately needed a paint job, now it is done. The planter in the back yard, and the pine bin where we lock the garbage away from marauding beasts got a nice coat of stain to match the deck. As I write, Attila is building a set of shelves to increase our storage space in the washroom. "The Teenager" is quite excited at this prospect, as she fills all available space with chemicals for modern beauty, as if she needs such things.

I had so much wanted to include a picture of the peonies. As usual, my lack of planning has caught me out. With great enthusiasm I waited for the evening shade to take my photographs. After several shots the batteries died. Currently I have only one set of batteries; batteries take approximately eight hours to recharge. I will be asleep eight hours from now. There will be no picture of peonies in today's journal entry.

I have been thinking about statistics, public opinion, and public sympathy. The media tells us that people on social assistance must struggle to make ends meet. Statistics tell us how many people and families are in this position; or do they? One of the houses, a very nice house, in our neighborhood was purchased by an older couple. Their daughter and two grandchildren moved in and are enjoying a very comfortable existence. The daughter receives social assistance to supplement her small income and support her family. The grandparents have provided a house, new, fashionable clothing, and cell phones for all.

It is not that I begrudge this family these luxuries. After all, the cost is very little in comparison to, say, the alcohol consumed over the course of one evening by the more affluent, absent members of parenting teams. I just do not agree that this family should be counted along with those who actually have to survive on the small amount of money provided by the state. I feel that to include this neighborhood family in the statistics is a disservice to those who truly struggle. The neighborhood family's relatively worry free and affluent lifestyle is not representative of most social service recipients. Public sympathy for the truly unfortunate is sullied by their inclusion.

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Dogwood by Maggie Turner


Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
by Maggie Turner

Canadian Maggie Turner writes and publishes poetry, photography, and a personal journal online. Her work reflects the current way of life in Canada, embracing Canada's past, present, and future in a unique portrayal of everyday life. Maggie's voice is one of the many that actively depict the rich diversity of Canadian culture.

Photography: "a term which comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphos (drawing). A photograph is made with a camera by exposing film to light in order to create a negative. The negative is then used in the darkroom to print a photograph (positive) onto light-sensitive paper.
Source: University of Arizona Glossary

Poetry: "a form of speech or writing that harmonizes the music of its language with its subject. To read a great poem is to bring out the perfect marriage of its sound and thought in a silent or voiced performance. At least from the time of Aristotle's Poetics, drama was conceived of as a species of poetry."
Source: Creative Studios

Journal: " "Though a journal may be many things - a treasury, a storehouse, a jewelry box, a laboratory, a drafting board, a collector's cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue..., a letter to oneself - it has some definable characteristics. It is a record, an entry-book, kept regularly, though not necessarily daily.... Some (entries) will be nearly illegible, written in the dark in the middle of the night.... Not only is it a record for oneself, but of oneself. Every memorable journal, any successful journal, is honest. Nothing sham, phony, false...." (Dorothy Lambert from Ken Macrorie's book, Writing to be Read )
A journal is a way to keep track of your thoughts about what you read... as well as what you did on any given day."
Source: Journal Writing

A Blog is an online journal created by server side software, often hosted by a commercial interest.

"The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[4] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms."

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