April 8, 2003

Interesting Times



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]

SARS [Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome virus], West Nile virus, Tuberculosis, war, and terrorism, rank high among the new equalizers in North American culture. Who will die, who will live?

Death and taxes; two things thought here to be the certainties of human existence.

There is some doubt as to the equitable distribution and application of taxes. Taxes are a human invention, subject entirely to human decision.

Death, on the other hand, is seldom subject to human decision. Yes, the privileged can afford heroic measures and precautions to preserve their lives. However, there has never been any indication that this does anything more than improve the odds of survival. The interesting times in which we now live have greatly decreased the efficacy of privilege in preserving life.

So much for philosophy. My bottom line is that I do not want to die, nor do I want anyone I know or care about to die, ever! The reality is that I, and the human network that I cherish, will eventually move into history. I hope to live in dignity until this comes to pass.

It is warm and pleasant in my living room. Soft light illuminates the book on my lap. Mist sleeps contentedly on the ottoman at my feet.

Meanwhile, a brittle coat of ice accumulates on the surface of the trees, the houses, and everything that can be viewed from the front window of the house. On the ground, there is snow, there is ice, and more ice plummets from the sky.

Screaming "Uncle" does not quite cover the intensity of my frustration with this spring weather. Never have unpleasant atmospheric conditions felt so overwhelming. It is probable that the emotions generated by exposure to media coverage of war and pestilence have been transferred to the relatively safe inconveniences of the weather.

In the last ice storm, in our back yard, a huge branch was brought down by the weight. On its downward journey it caught and carried our cloths line to the ground, ripping it from the side of the house with great force and much noise. Luckily there was no significant damage to the house. In various areas of "The City", power lines were damaged by falling trees and branches. Although many in our area were without electricity for some time, our power flickered occasionally but held fast.

Most of the ice on the trees has been shaken off by the gusty winds, taking weak branches with it. Today the temperatures may not rise above freezing. Tomorrow, it is said, will be partially sunny, and above freezing. Let it be so.

As the world turns uneasily around me, I continue to pursue my interests.

The transcription of the 1871 Census for one Ontario County is but six pages from completion. This County is where my GGG Grandparents were among the first to settle and register Land Grants. Most of the families entered into my files from the 1871 Census, will eventually have one or more members marry into my ancestral blood line.

This past week a copy of the 1881 Canadian Census arrived from Utah, a Family History Resource File, from the CD-ROM Library . This will provide years of entertainment. Just in case that does not keep me well occupied, the Vital Statistics CDs for North America and the British Isles are on their way from the same source.

Confined to the indoors by the inclement weather, my time is spent working on the computer, baking bread and treats for Attila's lunches, counting the stones as I pace five minutes out of every thirty, and entertaining myself with my genealogy database.

Life is good.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Dogwood under ice.

“He knows of no natural force greater than himself... generations gifted with the strength and industry of the ox and with the courage of the lion, but, alas, with the intellect of the former and the self-restraint of the latter.”
from Hereward the Wake
by Charles Kingsley
page 11

On the Screen
Anna and the King
starring Jodie Foster & Chow Yun-Fat

11:02 EST
Temp: -2`C
Humidity: 93%
Wind: E 19 km/h
Barometric: 102.7 kPa

Sunrise 6:55 AM EST
Sunset 7:58 PM EST

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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