Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Winter's back

As predicted, we had another dump of snow overnight - and it looks pretty.

The granddaughters cavorted in it before they went to school. Fun for the kids. For me it was less so. I was scheduled to do some work for the Whistler public library this morning, but road conditions this morning were such that I postponed that to tomorrow.

The ability to visually check road conditions on stretches of highway of interest is one of the wonderful aspects of the internet. If you're planning to drive in this kind of weather it sure helps.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Getting on

Yesterday, our younger granddaughter reached the ripe old age of 8 years. Of course, in honour of the day, presents had be offered, starting early. So, as grandparents, we did our duty - and, we're glad to say - our offerings were received with gratitude. The family gods are placated.

Of course, that was just the beginning. Great festivities were arranged at the temple of our kids birthdays - the local bowling alley. I got involved in a couple of 5-pin bowling games. My expertise showed immediately; I even exceeded 100 points in one of them (a good score is probably around 250 or so).

Our older niece also had her 27th birthday, and she was also there, along with her parents, her sister, her daughter (who would be our niece niece, I suppose). Many people are amazed by the "birthday coincidence" in their families, but probability theory predicts the chance is more than 50% once the number of family members exceeds 23. Our family and close friends number more than that - even among our family members at this birthday gathering we have two sets of people who share the same birthday.

Great fun was had by all.

The new dress



Two birthday girls (picture by Derek)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A special winter day.

Well, it's another mess outside - it snowed until about 11:30 am, but with the temperature hovering around 0 degrees Celsius (32 Fahrenheit), the streets are slushy, and slippery, and now it's raining. A good thing that it's the weekend; traffic is less problematic. This condition only exists in our immediate area here, because we're slightly elevated (90m - 250ft above sea level); it's enough to make a difference. The main thoroughfares tend be cleared by the city for the buses in any case. All that is not special in any way.

An update: the kids seem to have had some fun, though.

My wife and her two best friends are attending the Canadian figure skating championships every day (and night) and, since the todays performances started early, she got away before most of the snow came down. She is using the tickets which were originally purchased by her childhood friend (and a bridesmaid at our wedding) Sonia, the fourth in their group, who died this past November of a heart attack, and whose birthday is today. In her honour, the three girls are going out to dinner tonight - some months ago they had planned to get together with Sonia on this day and do that. Their birthday get-togethers have been a tradition for many years; no doubt there will be a tinge of sadness and nostalgia tonight. That's why today is special.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Well, we're now into the new year, and the routines are back to what is the new, and we hope temporary, normal for us. Derek's through his latest chemo and the weather actually was a little nicer today than forecast. You take what you can get.

Since I run my own little business, the other routines will also call for attention (bookeeping, pay bills, taxes, invoices and reminders to be sent, etc.). In that sense, you could say that it's business as usual. It's probably just as well that the weather forecast calls for more rain. It wouldn't feel so good to be tied up doing all these things when the sun is shining.

But who's complaining? Most of us usually don't need to worry about the next meal, or how to find shelter; we live in the best country in the world. Just think about what's going on in the Middle East, or Africa, but also think about those people in our country who are not so lucky. We can all help at least a little by contributing to a charity which addresses some of these issues, or volunteering in some way.

Yes, we do have family health concerns - and we're hoping for a good outcome; to some degree, this comes to almost every family. Popular concerns notwithstanding, our family's experience with our health care system has been positive and we have received timely responses when necessary.

So, again, let's take what we can get (and appreciate it).

Friday, January 4, 2008

An improved beginning

Well, New Year's has come and gone, and things are getting back to a "routine" status. My own business is starting to roll along again - because the schools and universities are back to normal next week.

Considering the circumstances, we've had some good news with regard to Derek's cancer fight. He had a CT scan yesterday, and some improvement is evident. You can read the details here: http://www.penmachine.com/2008/01/rollercoaster.

So, we hope that the new year will bring more good news. I also think the comments people leave on Derek's blog in no small measure contribute to his positive mental and physical outlook. To all of you, thanks for caring.