Tuesday
November 4, 2003

Studied to Death

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Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:

REALTOR.ca
[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]

Uncle, Aunt, Cousin... Fourth Cousin Twice Removed! I give up!

It is childish, it is futile, and it is counter-productive...

Railing against reality is probably harmful to my health. Today I feel totally overwhelmed by Attila's continued absence. He is wearing down, tired all the time, head down, one foot in front of the other, trudging through these long days. In my opinion no job should require that employees reach and stay at this state of total exhaustion for weeks on end. I worry about Attila every day.

In my opinion, the laws (or absence thereof) protecting Agricultural Labourers in Canada are inadequate, and we should be ashamed of them (or their absence). Farming seems to be the most dangerous occupation in the country:

Farm workers: Each year in Canada, farming injuries cause about 120 deaths and 1,200 medical interventions. Deaths to farmers and farm workers represent 13% of all occupational fatalities in Canada.

Those employed in the Agricultural Industry represent about 2.14% of Canadian Employment. Obviously, 13% of the occupational fatalities is not their fare share.

Something is very wrong.

If I can work these numbers during during a coffee break, why am I not engaged by the Canadian Government as a private consultant? My rates are reasonable, my credentials impeccable. And... I care.

However much I feel that this situation is a national shame; numbers "prove" that it is also a national expense:

Unintentional injuries cost Canadians about $8.7 billion per year. All injuries have one thing in common: they are preventable.

It is not rocket science. All you have to do is watch Attila fall asleep over his dinner plate to realize how accidents happen on farms.

I do not think that farmers need educating, I think the industry needs legislating, and the courts need to uphold efforts to improve conditions.

Even better than hiring me as a consultant to study the issue of accidental deaths in the agricultural industry (which I am professionally well qualified to do); send those tax dollars to Attila. Send those many dollars, spent to study what we already know, to the thousands of workers like him, so they can take a day off to sleep.

Of course, were I hired as a Consutltant to the Canadian Government, Attila could afford to lose wages, to risk losing his job, and take a day off to fall asleep.

Meanwhile, there is a lot to do here. I begin work at 5:30 am. The computer is powered up before I pour my morning coffee. I have moved from web site redesign to developing a business solution for customer tracking and invoicing. I am using an old version of FileMaker Pro, purchased in more affluent days. It still works a treat.

My days are spent teaching myself how to use FileMaker Pro, and cooking. Occasionally I will sit in my easy chair gazing through the window at steady dripping rain, Mist on my lap.

Mist and I, we are uneasy, not happy within ourselves, dissatisfied with all this waiting. We know that in two weeks, the pressure will suddenly evaporate, and Attila will come home to sleep off the nearly three-month nightmare of overwork and absence from his own life.

I am cooking; chili con carne, vegetable soup, bread, applesauce, pumpkin puree, baked beets. The list goes on. I like to cook, but it is no substitute for companionship, not in my world.

Attila and I recently went to get our flu shots. It was wonderful to see him during daylight hours, even if it was in a crowded doctor's office waiting to get a needle. We had to remain in the waiting room for fifteen minutes after receiving the shots, and so we had a nice fifteen-minute holiday together. The down-side was that he felt so pressured to get back to work, that his blood pressure was very high.

Well, enough of all this complaining! In two weeks time the busy season blues will be behind us for another year. Hopefully Attila's health will hold out for another year.

If you can offer two hard working, well-educated, honest people employment, please get in touch.

It is Canada, after all...



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Maple tree trunk and red leaves.
Last Color



By the Easy Chair
Penmarric
by Susan Howarth



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Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
Photography
Poetry
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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