March 27, 2001

On the Rise



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]

This morning dawned blue and gold. Freshly fallen snow covered everything in sight. The air was crisp and cold. Within three hours the temperature had climbed six degrees centigrade, but still remained below freezing. The change, however welcome, was not pleasant.

I first noticed the change through the sudden and inexplicable rise in my blood pressure. I suffer from high blood pressure; it is usually well controlled by medication. Not so this morning. Sitting in front of my computer, I noticed my ears were ringing loudly and I began to feel slightly fatigued. The ringing increased in volume, to the point where it was alarming. Measuring my blood pressure revealed that it had risen considerably.

"What have I eaten that I should not have?" I thought.

While I was pondering the pressure of my blood, "The Teenager", who stayed home sick today, rushed into the bathroom. A heavy nosebleed awoke her from a deep sleep. The panic soon subsided and she managed to get the bleeding under control.

We puzzled over our mutual discomfort and did a quick check of the furnace and air cleaning systems, no problems there. We concluded that neither of us tolerates extreme weather changes easily.

My body has alerted me that spring has arrived, but not in the pleasant way to which I so looked forward.

Marjory is slowly working her way into my routine. Marjory is my new computer, a G4. The new operating system is not as stable as the old one, but then I have only been working with it for a few weeks. Like shoes, operating systems need to be broken in.

One of my favorite things, so far, about Marjory is a program that plays MP3s with visual effects. The program is called iTunes. The visual effects are interesting and varied and quite sophisticated enough for my taste in sound generated colors and shapes. The best part though, is that the music continues to play even while Marjory sleeps, the visual effects continue to display and serve as an interesting screen saver.

I converted several CDs to MP3 format so that Marjory would not get bored. I find that converting CDs to MP3 format with iTunes is extremely easy and fast. My old ears can detect no difference between the sound produced by the MP3s and that produced by the original CD. This is most likely a function of the speakers, perhaps of my ears, most probably both. The new little bowling-ball speakers sound terrific to me.

With a change in the season, comes a change in the number of hours Attila must spend at work. In view of Attila's imminent absence, we decided to take advantage of his day off on Saturday and explore a bit of the countryside together. The Pinery Provincial Park is located in the southwestern part of Ontario and so enjoys the vestiges of spring a little earlier than some of the more northerly parks.

Although a day pass for the car is relatively costly, $8.50 Canadian Dollars, walking about in an undeveloped landscape makes for a priceless experience. The day was lovely and the intensity of the blue sky contrasted sharply with the black tree trunks and white expanses of snow. The only passable roads were those that had been ploughed and none of the roads that led to the waterfront were ploughed. We enjoyed a packed lunch on a picnic table surrounded by whispering pines and a brisk breeze. Hot coffee kept us warm as we enjoyed the sun, the breeze, the birds, and the quiet.

Cold though our outdoor picnic was, it seemed like a small adventure compared to the one brave soul camping at the park. We drove past his abode, where a bonfire burned brightly and he was happily engaged in his domestic pursuits.

Soon crowds of people will replace the brisk breezes. Although prohibitive for some, the high cost of entry limits the number of visitors with little appreciation for the landscape. The park, even when filled with people, is a pleasant, peaceful place to visit. There are far more exciting entertainment centers in Ontario for those seek revelry, war games, and all-terrain racing.

We have heard nothing more about the upcoming wedding. I suspect that come June things are going to get frantic. Both of my offspring subscribe to the philosophy, "what you do not do today, you can always squeeze into tomorrow's schedule", or even worse, "don't worry, Mom will do it later." They both quite enjoy last-minute frenzy. I do not. The summer is shaping up to be quite a busy one.

Attila and I also look forward to attending a family reunion this summer. The reunion is on my maternal grandmother's side. These reunions have been held intermittently for many decades. I have not attended one since my preteen years. There are only a few family members that I have personally met. It will be wonderful to meet those with whom I correspond.

Family history is one of my passionate interests. I look forward to meeting people who for years have populated my databases and my imagination. It will be a challenge to ignore the urge to collect data, to focus on enjoying the people. The laptop, a tape-recorder, and a notebook will come with me of course, just in case I fail. Perhaps both can be accomplished, who knows.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Blue sky, oak trees and snow.
March scene at
Pinery Provincial Park

By the Easy Chair
A letter from my Aunt, which includes a picture of my grandmother as a girl with her parents, ca 1920.

An odd mixture of DeBussy, David Bowie and Blink 182; definitely not recommended.

9:00 PM EST
Temp: -1` C
Humidity: 64%
Wind: W 12 mph
Barometric: 30.25 in

Sunrise 6:07 AM EST
Sunset 6:35 PM ESTSky, oak trees and snow, blue tint.
Sky, oak trees and snow, pink tint.
Sky, oak trees and snow, blue tint.
Sky, oak trees and snow, pink tint.
Sky, oak trees and snow, blue tint.

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 Peterme.com 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."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_blogging

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