This is our Java programmer after hiting the ATM (man with a pocket full of money)—and we are all off to A.N.A.F. Unit #315 for a pizza and beer! Work is over and the holidays have begun. 5 weeks across the pond. Ireland, London, Denmark.

I haven’t been back for 14 years so am really, really looking forward to this. We’ll meetup with a cousin I’ve never met in Kilkenny, auto around Ireland, stay in London with Marjun’s cousin and wife (a fellow Canadian), up to Norfolk to visit a favourite uncle & aunt, and then onto Denmark and our home for a number of years, Nakskov. Some old school friends are planning a get together so I get to see them in their family life instead of the student life. That should be interesting.

Everything is assembled to be packed. Now the proverbial ‘change of mind’ at the last minute. I figure for that going away for that long there is no way I can take what is planned and should just travel light knowing you are going to have to buy something you forgot.

I should be updating this blog whenever I can get internet access. At the same time some of the pictures will get uploaded to Flickr.

It is hot today. I’ve been in the basement most of the time and it hasn’t cooled off yet. Upstairs is an oven. Gotta get to the store, the fridge is empty! It’s ice cream time. At London Drugs today it was empty and the salesman said “The only thing we’ve done lately is answer the phone and tell people – Sorry we are sold out of airconditioners!”

Dentists, garagedoors and mechanics

Today I was back in the chair slated for a 60 minute session. Two inlays to put in and I’m out of there. But the temporaries wouldn’t come out so easily, then the rubber dam (does anyone like those things?) and on and on. If something could go sideways today in that chair it did. That’s when, all said and done, you need a good dentist you can trust. My dentist is the best. That’s why it wasn’t that bad.

Garage doors. Doorworks came out to look over this creaking, intermittent up an down double garage door we have. Complete overhaul. You have to appreciate craftsman who take time, do it right and explain everything to you. It works great now. You can hardly hear it.

And finally got the SUV tuned up. First major tuneup with a change of plugs in 3 years and 114,000 km. Everytime I thought it needed a tune-up our mechanic would say no way it is still good. Something to do with platinum plugs. Anyway the thing is ticking like a dream.

When your day gets filled with good people you can trust and do good work for you then I think it is a pretty good day. Because most of the time it is completely the opposite. The one thing that stands out with these guys — they all have a lot of pride in what they do and they do it right the first time.

Old recipes

When my mother passed away a few years ago we were given all the cookbooks and recipes cut out from magazines and newspapers that she had. They were safely put away in the basement as we didn’t have any other place to put them. When we built some shelving in the kitchen for cookbooks last year we got them out and placed them on the shelves. Over that last year we’ve found some real treasures.

In the early 50’s when Kentucky Fried chicken started with Colonel Saunders, they opened a restaurant in Vancouver featuring this chicken. I remember my mom once saying that she met the Colonel and I never thought anything of it. In amongst all the recipes is a small booklet describing this “new” Kentucky Fried chicken. Neat. But then on the cover in very fine handwriting is a small note and signature of the Colonel. She must have met him to get his autograph.

Then there is the booklet on BC Home Canning put together by the sales agents of the BC Tree Fruits Ltd in Kelowna. This is filled with more information about canning fruit than anything I have ever seen. Jars, methods of canning, fruits with a chart of when they are available and their peak season, every fruit with varieties mentioned and then the recipes.

There is a book put out by the Daily Province (newspaper) called Cooking Clinc. On the last page it says “Just phone PA 4211 and we’ll be pleased to send you The Province immediately.” PA was the old Pacific exchange. Remember the other exchanges?

Then there is something put out by the B.C. Electric Home Service Centre at 970 Burrard Street. B.C. Electric and recipe books? That would now be B.C. Hydro and recipe books.

Amongst all of these pages is the occasional note about an adjusted measurement or “good recipe!” in my mother’s handwriting. She would never have realized what these old recipes mean to us now.

CN, what’s up?

There was a report of yet another derailment by CN, this time leaving two men dead and one in the hospital. Last year the Cheakamaus River was destroyed by a CN derailment. And there are others. I understand that after last year’s mishap they were to keep the number of cars down to a minimum but subsequently applied to have that order lifted.

Now most of us are not train people. The closest we have come to operating a train is the HO gauge in our childhood bedroom. But it doesn’t take an expert to realize something here. BC Rail when it operated the line didn’t have this problem. Now with the new operator there has been nothing but problems. Why does it take the destruction of a river and people loosing their lives to make the authorities wake up? Is the company “too big” to regulate? Or maybe admonishment is the only course some care to choose.

This is not a political process we are talking about. This is the government, who are to be the public’s watchdog in these circumstances, doing what most people would ask– make those that are responsible accountable for their lack of proper judgement. Someone wake up and do something before more mayhem is inflicted.