July 27, 2000

The Absent Mind



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]

Somehow, I just have not been able to write these last few days.

This might be a good thing as I have been concentrating on developing some healthy habits. I spend a lot of time in front of the computer, probably too much time. The beauty of my situation is that I can get up and walk around any time I feel the urge. This is very unlike the workplaces I have known, where freedom of movement was very much frowned-upon. Because I can follow my urges, I find that working on the computer produces very little strain. Again, unlike the workplaces I have known.

My health seems to be at little risk from repetitive stress and other disorders which computer operators suffer. However, I get little exercise. Simply walking about the house and garden several times an hour does not constitute an adequate physical health regime.

My solution is to go for long walks. This I have done intermittently, but now I have determined that I need a daily stroll to maintain my health. I find routines difficult to establish. I am far too absent minded for my own good sometimes. I get distracted quite easily so that some days I would be ready to go for a walk, have my backpack shouldered, and stop to check my e-mail before I left the house. Hours later I would find myself sitting in front of the computer wondering why I was wearing my backpack.

The challenge is how to establish the routine of walking on a daily basis. I started last week and have been successful to date. I find I must insist with myself that I walk before breakfast. This is early enough in the morning that I have not delved too deeply into one of my many projects. Hunger is also a wonderful motivator and reminder.

Each morning I have arisen, kissed Attila good-bye, dressed, enjoyed my morning coffee, and headed out the door before allowing myself breakfast. This has taken a great deal of discipline and concentration to accomplish. All my efforts have gone into establishing this routine and all other routines have suffered, such as my writing. However, today I think that the routine of the daily walk may be established enough to allow my focus to wander back to the keyboard and my journal.

I am posting this entry early in the day; thunderstorms are broadcast for this afternoon. I have not posted for some time now and I do not want to miss today because of the weather. We also have a smog warning in effect today. That means that fabricated pollutants are mixing with the rays of the sun, resulting in unhealthy air. It is also going to be a hot and humid day. I went for my walk nice and early to avoid the heat. My strategy did not help me with breathing though, the air actually smelled bad.

Attila and I made our way back to Pinery Provincial Park last Sunday. It smelled good there. We will probably try to get there again this summer. I even purchased a bathing suit in case the urge to enter the water struck. I found a nice one on the sale rack and proceeded to the fitting rooms. Looking into the mirror was a shock. I look very different now than I did the last time I wore a bathing suit. It did not take long for me to get used to myself though and I wore the bathing suit at the beach all day Sunday. This aging has its difficult bits, but overall it is much nicer than young.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Stairway to Beach
Stairway to Heaven
Pinery Provincial Park

By the Easy Chair
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

The Best of the Chieftains

From Learning UNIX by James Gardner

"No computing system is perfect, and UNIX has its share of exasperating idiosyncrasies."

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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