December 1, 2007

Good, Bad, Good, Bad, Good...



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]

Sitting here in front of the keyboard, it occurred to me that this computer is almost an antique. Purchased in the spring of 2001, it has only had one problem and that was fixed within a few days at no cost, as it was covered under the warranty. So for almost seven years this electronic extension of my social existence has been chugging along day after day after day. This is quite impressive when you think about it.

Of course, I make backups regularly, because this computer may decide to retire at any time, as is her prerogative.

I have spent the past week educating myself about the labeling laws in relation to drugs and my allergen. It was exhausting, following up every lead, cold calling government agencies, university professors, clinics and non-profit organizations. Most helpful were the government agencies, federal, who not only offered sound and reliable information on the telephone; they followed up our conversations by sending me email messages with additional information and links to pertinent online versions of Acts and Regulations.

While on this journey of discovery, I also found information that saddened me considerably but will allow me to move on. There is no safe test that can be administered to determine the extent of my allergy, because I have already experienced anaphylaxis. I have held on the fantasy that someday I might be tested and discover the allergy had disappeared. This will not happen. There is closure here. The clinic that I had hoped would help me determine the extent of the problem has replied with a definitive decision that testing is not going to take place. They are going to do what they can for me, and are sending me a custom package of information about drugs and my allergen. This should help me in my struggle to survive.

The days of research have paid off in that I now have the exact name of a freezing that the dentist can use while filling my teeth. The assistant at the dentist office found information online, but I urged him to continue his research. It turned out that the list of ingredients in drugs that you find on the federal government site and on some of the “med” sites LISTS ONLY THE ACTIVE INGREDIENTS. My allergen is a preservative and therefore NOT LISTED. These online lists are not meant to be used in situations where allergens are being considered. The Internet is not a definitive source of information and relying on it exclusively would be most unwise.

The dentist did fix my broken tooth last week without any freezing. I will say that even though the tooth was “dead” due to a root canal, the procedure did involve a considerable amount of pain. I felt sorry for the dentist and the assistant as they had to soldier on with the procedure despite the very obvious fact that I was experiencing considerable pain. We got through it though, and by dinnertime I was a right as rain and my tooth has been fine ever since.

Sad news, an old friend passed away last Sunday night. Norm Hacking was a very talented singer/songwriter based in Toronto, Ontario. For my part, although his musical talent was impressive, his tender heart and personal integrity were his greatest gifts to the world. Norm will be missed by many.

Glad news, this past week friends have been in touch. An email missive from England started a conversation with Annie, which helped me see myself more clearly. Annie is a gem, she doesn’t shy away from hearing the raw side of life, and she doesn’t shy away from telling you exactly what she thinks of it all either. Honest feedback isn’t always what you want to hear, but it is frequently what you need to hear. Thank you Annie, for taking the risk and the time to be a true friend!

This morning the telephone rang, and I was delighted to hear Em on the other end of the line rather than the expected telemarketer. We talked for quite a while, catching up with each other’s news, offering encouragement. Now, Em and I are about as different as two women can be. But, we do have a few things in common, and those things happen to be strong elements of our character. When Em assures me something will be wonderful, that I know will not be wonderful at all, I know she is really saying she wants it to be wonderful, for my sake. That’s what she means and that is what I hear.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Pine bough laden with snow.
Pine boughs just outside the kitchen window.

"The best mirror is an old friend."
George Herbert (1593 - 1633), 1651

"The ghost of a child
Writes the songs I like to sing.
Through his eyes I see blue skies,
I get that first taste of spring.
I feel his wonder now..."
Norm Hacking, from Stubborn Ghost

New Page:
I have decided to add a page listing those who appear in my journal and are identified only by Nicknames.

Temp -12.51°C
Press 103.9 kPa / falling
Visibility 15 km
Humidity 52%
Dew Point -20.3°C

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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