Christmas Gifts

The big and emotional gift we received today was a frame of photos of our family. Our children went through printed photo albums and our digital collection, to find photos, starting with one of Elizabeth and me in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, through with them growing up. It brought a tear to my eye.

One of the humor gifts is that I had an IOU to give my oldest daughter. I created a certificate using a MS Word template. I considered putting it in an envelope, the envelope in a box, and wrapping it. Middle daughter suggested rolling and tying with a ribbon. Next was rolling and putting it in a tube. We had a tube from a paper towel roll. It fit perfectly, but was plain. I put it in a half-used roll, but that seemed odd. I took an unopened roll, slit the bottom, placed the paper inside the tube, and middle daughter, who is an excellent, highly skilled wrapper, wrapped that.

Oldest daughter was excited to see the package, but disappointed upon opening it, since it was just a roll of paper towels, and these rolls are stored outside her door. It seemed an odd gift, and she thought she could put it in her hope chest to start her new home with one roll. It was about an hour before I had her flip the roll over and look in the bottom.

Protected: Dishwasher and a Podcast

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Protected: Cycling to the Legislature

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Renewing a Book

Tried to renew a book through the Greater Victoria Public Library and received this error:

Oh Myyy! image

Oh Myyy!

It is so cute! It is the standard library message, but since the name of the book really is Oh Myyy, by George Takai, it looks great!

Melody Joins Us

A new dog has come to live with us: eight week old Melody, a chocolate lab who came from Shirley.


Her first day with us.

Driver Distractions

Stopped at Country Grocer on my drive back from Duncan this afternoon, as I often do to get a snack. After my purchase I saw a newspaper rack, and the cover story on The Province tabloid newspaper was about distracted driving and how it is killing us. I stopped to read the article.

After that, as I walked towards the exit I saw an acquaintance, Sonja, in the checkout. I stopped to say hello. We had a good talk. Sonja said she had been in a collision earlier that day. She was alright, but her van was a mess. She had been hit in an intersection by an older man who admitted to being distracted while driving.

I helped her with her groceries to her son’s car, which was parked opposite my little green Mazda2 over the median. We talked some more, said our goodbyes, she got in the car and I crossed the median to my car. I put the key in the door, but it would not turn! What? I looked inside. It was the wrong little green Mazda2! My Mazda2 was one row over. I had been distracted!

An Annual Checkup

Every year I accompany a family member to the local hospital for a checkup of one of the body organs. Usually we see a technician who performs an ultrasound for about 20-30 minutes. During this time we wait, wondering and worrying. Then the doctor comes in, does what appears to be the same ultrasound procedure in about half the time, gives us a brief synopsis, then brings us into his office to talk more. So far, fortunately, to tell us everything is alright.

This year, the technician was still on vacation, so the doctor did the ultrasound and all. It was quick, and early on, he explained that  everything is still alright. I much prefer this way of doing it. My impression is that the regular tech is almost redundant. I wonder if it is a ‘hospital policy’ thing that breeds inefficiency?

80/20: Resolution and First Practice

After much thought, and for my own finances, my New Year’s Resolution is to stick to my 20, do the 20% that has the most payoff, or the most profitable, or that allows me to be the most productive. Conversely, try to avoid the other 80%. This is the 80/20 rule, as in the article “The 80/20 Rule of Time Management: Stop Wasting Your Time“.

My first test: a clogged toilet. I plunged and snaked with a coat hanger without success.

My options:

  • Pull the toilet, clean it from below, and snake right into the drain, then put the toilet on, tricky as it is because it requires a double ring of wax because of the height of the tiles. Would probably take almost a full day for me.
  • Call a plumber.

I called a plumber.

First test of the 80/20 rule for me this year.

Cat in My Face

I get a cat in my face. During our hot dry summers we sleep on the deck. It is nice to wake up under the trees. This summer the cat has been beside us. This is a normally aloof cat, but this summer, with his human away, he has been clinging to us, and loves being close to us when we sleep outside. He was upset the night it rained and we stayed in. He purrs more than usual when beside us. The photo is what I wake up to.

The Cat

The Cat

Squished A Slug

I squished a slug today, with my bike. Of course it was unintentional, but could have been avoided. In the park trail on my morning cycling commute there is a steep, winding hill. In cold weather I usually ride down the hill, hard on the brakes the whole time. But in better weather, above 7 degrees, I always cycle barefoot. Usually I get off my bike and walk down this hill, feeling the gravel beneath my bare feet, which is quite enjoyable and stimulating, especially in the rain.

Today I decided not to walk down the hill, but to cycle all the way down. As soon as I was on top of it, I saw it, too late: this big, greenish banana slug partially hidden by leaves. I try so hard to avoid them, often swerving and braking around all the slugs, at least three varieties, and snails, on the bike trail.

I’ll go back to walking down that hill.