October 7, 2000

A Candle for Alison



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 leaves are drifting red and yellow from the trees. Temperatures are low enough to ensure that jackets are worn out of doors. The rain falls steadily. Attila works when there is light in the sky.

The days go, quietly and softly.

Today, for the first time since last June, I have had a relaxing day. I do not feel my life is relaxed unless I have some time to devote to reading journals. I read them slowly, savoring the experience. I start with the latest entry and work into the past, I prefer to read journals in this way. It is like talking to someone you have not seen for some time. They usually fill you in first on the immediate concerns in their lives. If the conversation has time, they will share tasty bits of information from their recent past. I like to give the conversation time.

I have been keeping quite busy with my genealogical pursuits; reading the books that will guide how I record the information that I find. Although data collection is interesting enough, the true pleasure of my research is in spending time with all the people who populated the substance of my inherited value system. These people, whom I will not meet, lived in the places I know and love. We share an experience in space, separated only by time. Their names call to me from the pages of their birth, death, and marriage registrations. As I discover more information about each individual, I begin to feel the distant rhythm of their lives and their community.

The new hard drive is lots of fun. Finally, I am able to organize my presence in the digital world. Since the original drive in my trusty old PowerMac 7300 was only 2 GB (gigabytes), I had been using FTP (file transfer protocol) to transfer and store files to the Windows machine used by "The Teenager". This was not exactly a straightforward operation, as Macintosh files have extra information attached to them called Resource Forks which get lost on a Windows format hard drive. That meant I needed to encrypt all the files I stored to save all the extra bits of information. Today I am slowly moving the hundreds of files back to the Mac and preparing to burn them onto a CD. Not very interesting I am afraid. I am happy to finish and forget about these kinds of task

Backing up files is the bane of my existence; I have yet to develop a workable system to accomplish this task. The term "workable" is highly idiosyncratic. I have tried various ways of regularly backing up my files, most of which become far too elaborate for my absent-minded approach to logical systems. Too add to the challenge, I often misplace the removable storage disks I use to backup my files.

We live in an area where homes are broken into on a regular basis, so I do not store my backup disks near the computer where they might go missing along with the hardware. The backup disks end up "hidden" in various parts of the house, seldom in the same place. The positive side of this situation is that I unexpectedly "find" those disks and experience the delight of recovering things I did not know I had lost.

If some unsuspecting sod steals the computer equipment here, they will be heartily disappointed. The Mac is older and they probably would not even understand how to start it up. The Windows machines are of P100 vintage with old monitors that take a long while to "warm up". We are just one step ahead of the Dumpster as far as technology is concerned. All these old machines suit me just fine. The Mac is fun and does everything I want or need it to do. The Windows machines keep me very busy and are a constant reminder of why the Mac is fun.

Sad news this evening, my dear friend Steve called to say his Mother passed away in her sleep. She was a dear, vivacious person and will be missed by many. Tonight I will light a candle to light her way.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Allison's Candle
Alison's Candle

By the Easy Chair
Genealogy In Ontario:
Searching the Records
by Brenda Dougall Merriman

On the Screen
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

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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