Saturday, March 31, 2007

Jimmy's 50th birthday

What can I say? I respect no one more on this planet than Jim. And fifty isn't that old really. Jim's only eight in dog years, three in cat years, and two hours old in gerbil years.

And he'd better be in his fifties for twenty or thirty years because when he turns sixty I'm outta here. I will just barely be able to withstand my eight other nieces and nephews turning fifty after Jim in the years to come: "Gail's turning fifty." "whom?" "Gail" "Gail Whom?" "Gail Douvillm" "could you excuse me for a moment?" "certainly, where are you going?" "I'm going to bike to New South Wales, Australia and back, don't wait up".

"Everything's relative, Uncle Don" "I know, Jim's relatively old which means I'm relatively ancient, and there is no relatively about it, one is either ancient or one is not". "Should we not celebrate Jim's 50th birthday Uncle Don, he's alive and doing amazingly well, health-wise". "he hides his pain well and on April 3rd his pancreas will give out along with a few other internal organs" "how can you tell?" "because it almost happened to me" "what prevented it?" "pure, unadulterated luck".

"Uncle Don, as Jimmy looks back on his first fifty years what should he be proud of?" "surviving". "surviving?" "no further words need be spoke". "what does jim have to look forward to in his next fifty years, uncle don?" "really good times I hope, I think for all of us it has been somewhat of a dark period losing Marlene and now maybe Roy, of course overlayed by the ups and downs of getting on with life and enjoying family and friends and work, but for Jim it's been particularly tough with the fire and having to live at either Brenda's moms and a little while at a hotel for so long, it must have been a nightmare" "he survived that pretty good didn't he uncle don?" "he did, and now Roy"

"uncle don?" "yes" "take a deep breath and don't worry about family anymore, they will survive without you, what's with you anyway, get a life". "but..." "they know you love them by now" "..but" "bye"

Friday, March 30, 2007

Two famous virgos

"With an acute attention to detail, the Virgo is the sign in the zodiac most dedicated to serving. Their deep sense of the humanity leads them to caregiving like no other....the Virgo is often gentle and delicate.

"ger?" "what uncle don?" "we are gentle and delicate" "whom?" "us" "and we have a deep sense of humanity" "we have?" "yes, and we are humane" "to whom?" "I don't know, I'd like to shoot something" "I'll aim and you can pull the trigger"

So Donna, Robin, Colleen, Jim, Tyler and Bob are Aries. And Marlene. I'm sure there's more, because I always felt I was an outcast because I wasn't born at this of time year.

I happened to check out a few 'experts' on the subject and noticed that there is absolutely no grounds in thinking that astrology has any foundation in modern scientific knowledge.

Example 1: "Ariens are always overflowing with ideas, schemes and plans to conquer the world, for a well-aspected sun in Aries radiates power and vitality."

Rebuke: I don't see it, although Jimmy and Robin were both overflowing with annoying schemes, plans and ideas.

Example 2: "Ariens are great organisers, full of flair and originality, although usually lacking discipline and the capacity for prolonged effort (minions must be found to do the slog work!)."

Rebuke: I don't know about organizing, but Donna, Jim, Bob, and Robin certainly lacked discipline: maybe they grew into it but they didn't when they were little. I can't talk about Colleen and Tyler of course but as a minion, I do think Bob, Donna, Jim and Robin could have been nicer to me as they were organizing their flair for originality. Colleen and Tyler are just innocent bystanders. Maybe not Tyler, Ill kill him one of these days. I'm thinking of using his body as a launch pad for the next lunar mission. And after it's been fried, I'm going to scatter his ashes on my chrysanthemums.

And then I checked out the compatibility between Virgos and Aries: "Virgo, the Virgin, and Aries, the Ram make a rather odd couple". Hello. "Impulsive Aries makes split-second decisions and acts on them instantly, while you are inclined to agonize over details until the opportune moment has long passed."

Now I'm angst-ridden. My moment has passed. A long time ago apparently. Who brought up this stupid astrology stuff?

Yay hah, I hope Donna had a nice birthday and I hope Robin, Jim, Bob, Tyler, and Colleen will have a nice birthday.

Have a great birthday tomorrow Robin, you still look twenty to me. Well, close. Fairly. Within a decade or three. You probably feel twenty. All the aches and pains are just in your head.
Oh face it you're old.

Have a great one!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

From Robin

E-mail from Robin:

"Neil was hiking around in the wilderness while I was up in Burns Lake with Marcel at the hockey provincials. Our team placed second and got silver medals. We beat Vanderhoof last year, but they were a determined team this year and beat us 4-0 in the final. We were plannin to drive home thru Jasper, but they closed the road for avalanche control and we had to drive home thru ALberta. We went thru one of your old haunts - Rocky Mountain House. You can almost smell the oil money oozing out of the ground there. Really busy with rig trucks, platforms, etc. 14-1/2 hour drive from McBride thru Jasper, Hinton, Edson, Rocky, Caroline, Cochrane, Canmore, Banff, Radium, Fairmont, Cranbrook and Creston."

More of Neil's ski trip

To see more of Neil's pics, go to :

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Neil is cute and he doesn't attach names to his pics often. But he did attach a name to this pic: Outhouse. I kind of feel sorry for Stanley Mitchell having had to plod to this building every morning in the spring.

So the Loafs won but so did everyone else. Again, they are not going to make the playoffs. And no one will get fired. It's beyond me how come they allow modiocrity to reign year after year. I'm not a fan of John Ferguson, Jr. And the 905 (the area code of the suburbs of Toronto) persons just sit in front of their sports bar televisions and let let it happen without complaining. If there is one organization I hate more than life itself, it is Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. They have not a brain. Nil. And of course in the playoffs I'll see nothing but the Ottawa Senators. Never the Canucks, and when the Canucks are on television in the playoffs, the game will start too late for me me to stay up. I don't watch the Senators. Anyone else but not them: I hope they get eliminated early but they won't, they'll win several series, so I won't be seeing much hockey this spring. I'd rather watch Bowling for Dollars than watch Ottawa play. I imagine the expectations are high in Creston regarding the Canucks. For Colin and Robin's sake, I hope the Canucks do well.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

In spite of having a good day yesterday with biking to work and all, I did go through hell once during the day. Yesterday I was conducting surveys on catfood. Everything was moving along nicely and I just needed one more survey to complete the study. Just one more. So I dialled a number at 12:57 pm (three minutes before my lunch break): ringy, ringy, hello? "hi mrs. Hildebrandt, have you got three minutes to spare, I'm conducting a survey on cat food" "yes?" "I have a qualifying question, do you have a cat?" "yes (yay, I'm thinking)" "what brand of cat food do you serve it?" "Well, it depends really, I've got 25 cats and they are all fussy" "can you name any brand of cat food?" "not really, I have the grocery store mix and match".

"But what brand do you buy most often?" "are you asking about holistic or natural?" "I'm asking about cat food". "boxed, tinned or bagged?" "tinned" "I don't normally buy canned cat food except if Fritz is in his take-out mood" "whom?" "Fritz" "I mean what brand?" "you'd have to ask Cleo" "whom?" Cleo" "whom and/or what is Cleo?" "the parakeet (oncoming headache)" "how would Cleo know what brand of cat food Fritz ate?" "because Cleo watches Theo spoon the cat food into the cat food dish" "whom?" "Theo" "is Theo your budgie?" "don't be so silly, she's my meditation instructor" "as in zen?" "no, zen is the name of my turkish angora" "where was I?" "you were asking me about cat food young man, do you have a cat?" "no, I have a migraine" "I only feed my cats certain brands" "(ears perk up) aha, and what brands would those be?" "I import them from the middle east"

"Mrs Hildebrandt could you look at a can and tell me if it's in the Armenian, Kurdish or the Hebrew language, I can finish the survey in those languages" "Coptic" "Coptic?" "Coptic, it's got a picture of a pharaonic temple on it" "Mrs Hildebrandt, that's your priceless art, look for a picture of a cat" "aha here it is, IAMNOT" "whom?" "IAMNOT" "if I said IAMS would that set off bells and whistles?"

"No but IAMNOT is what I feed chu chu" "whom?" "chu chu" "Yayhah, so on a scale where one means yucccchhh and 10 means purrrrrr, how would chu chu rate the texture of the Primo Select IAMNOT cat food?" "actually I've been eating Primo Select lately" "whom?" "meam" "what about chu chu, she's probably starving" "my cook does the Porterhouse pretty good, I don't think chu chu is going to starve". "(sigh) Okay Mrs. Hildebrandt how would you rate IAMNOT Primo Select on taste" "two" "whom?" "two" "may I ask a question mrs hildebrandt?" "certainly" "you are passing up a porterhouse steak for IAMNOT Primo Select cat food and you are giving it a rating of two?" "can I say one?" "how about the texture mrs Hildebrandt, what number?" "ten" "aroma?" "ten" "palette?" "ten" "color?" "ten" "taste?" "one".

Mrs. hildebrandt, if I threatened to hang you from a rafter, upside down, and pour phosphoric acid through your vericose veins would I be able talk you into a "five' for taste, I only get paid if I get at least a five" "two" "hydroflouric acid?" "three" "hexacosanoic acid?" "four" "a double bacon cheeseburger with fries?" "ten"

"Thank you Mrs. Hildebrandt, it's now five o'clock but I wish to thank you for your time, IAMNOT thanks you for your time, by the way we've never interviewed a cat so we will send you our free booklet: Why would you not eat cat food, they like it"

Isn't Laurie cute? And intelligent. The Douvilles are up there in IQ's. It didn't bother me to notice they were far smarter than me when they were kids: "uncle don?" "yes Donna?" "the tractomety is somewhat off tract" "is that important?" "only if one is having a seizure" Let's talk to Gail. "gail?" "yes uncle don?" "do the hospital records indicate that I'm normal?" "there is a blip" "a blip?" "a big blip" "which means?" "pretend you are healthy" On to Neil. "Neil?" "yes uncle don?" "I don't feel well" "I've got sonar and I'll map out your progress and we'll get you back on your feet in no time, where do you want your ashes sent?" "ashes?" "Robin, help" "yes uncle don?" "I'm having a trectotomery, a seizure and my hospital records show a big blip and my ashes may be sent to Siberia" "you came to the right place uncle don, I'll flush them down the water system" "whom?" "don't worry, your ashes won't clog up the system".

Whoever took this picture deserves an award.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday night at last

I'm having my first beer, listening to Allison Krauss and Emmylou Harris, watching an old movie and writing on the blog......and above all relaxing. Today I biked all the way to work for the first time since last November. Surprisingly it wasn't that bad except for my derriere. I guess it's like getting used to playing the guitar again and having to break in ones fingertips, it takes a little practice. I'm sitting on a pillow at the moment. But it's nice to be 'back in the saddle again'. So nice.

"Uncle don?" "yes twin brother, uncle funk?" "you forgot to mention the near-collision at Bay and Bloor" "I was dragged for only half a block before someone noticed, not really serious" "by the way uncle don, there is conspiracy going on" "a whom?" "a conspiracy" "by whom?" "Anita" "Anita?" "how many pristine pairs of socks did you take with you to Calgary/Cranbrook/ Creston in January?" "eight or nine" "how many did you come back with?" "I came back with six lousy pairs of socks and every one of them had holes in them, and I don't wear woollen, black and or any sock that has an emblem on them" "Kev can't afford socks?" "apparently not" "and another thing Uncle Funk, I have a grey pullover that I absolutely love wearing and it's at Kevin's, I'm not unpacking when I get anywhere near Anita anymore". "she's cute uncle don" "I know but she has a crazed sense of proprietorship, she thinks everything nice belongs to Kevin" "It could be a conspiracy, or maybe not"

"Uncle don, I note you are musing about mountains, especially after seeing Neil pics and they are only geological formations that have arisen over trillions of years" "are you talking?" "and what is the big deal, they consist of rock and trees and quite often they have snow on them, you like them don't you?" "yes, long before quads and skiiing, I looked around me in awe. Even biking down to Porthill to get candy with Ron Potts and John Oleshko I always looked around" "how do you remember their names?" "

I love all the pictures I get sent, more than life itself. But no one should be surprised that I enjoy seeing Neil's pics quite a lot. "no pain, no gain" On the other hand I'd love to spend time in Mexico and Hawaii and on a cruise. I just want to get through the next five minutes. Yay.

Pictures from Neil

These are just a few of the pics from his and Devon's last back-country ski trip, March 10th to 14th from Field to Takkakkaw Falls and then to Stanley Mitchell Hut. I will post more pictures in the next few days.
Just look at the beautiful country they were skiing through. I can't even imagine how much I would enjoy doing something like that if I could.

The old man taking it easy in the Stanley Mitchell Hut. Neil looks 'quainter' than the furniture. The stove behind Neil looks awfully comforting after a long trek.

Isn't Devon cute.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I may have jumped the gun a bit yesterday when I biked part way to work. I didn't realize it was -15 with the windchill. And of course the windchill was blowing directly into my face. That is the first time in my lifetime that my eyeballs were cold. I couldn't pry my fingers apart until about noon. And the white spot on the end of my nose didn't return to normal colour (red) until 3pm.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

E-mail from Bob

We're in New York! Cool here, but the sun's shining. We're going out today to see the city. We have a great hotel...morning breakfast, complimentary coffee, and I hear there's free wine in the evening for a couple of hours. Will update you later...we board the boat on Wednesday.

Spring arrives today

It's time to celebrate! Spring arrives this evening. I guess it was appropriate that yesterday, the last full day of winter, it snowed, there was a howling wind, and the subway broke down on my way to work because of ice on the tracks. Today is better (it couldn't be any worse) with a sunny day forecast. I'll ride my bike at least part way to work for the first time since last fall.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Why I drink beer

It has been scientifically proven that if we drink 1 litre of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop. However, we do not run that risk when drinking beer (or rum, whiskey, wine or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.
WATER = Poop
BEER = Health
Therefore: Is it not better to drink beer and talk stupid than to drink water and be full of crap?
There is no need to thank me for this valuable information; I am doing it as a public service.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


There is one thing that happened that I never expected. Ted Turner has bought movies and I'm watching them on his channel. Thank you Mr. Turner because a lot of these I remember watching them when I was a little boy.

Can I say one thing. I've got Jim, Ger and Bob keeping me posted as regards Roy. I could not have survived without them. Thank you so much, it is so appreciated. I owe them and I won't forget it.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I had a rather strange work day yesterday. There may be eighty persons whom work at Market Probe during the day. Everyone was sent home at noon because of lack of work but meem. It's not because I'm special. I assumed Maria, almost the big boss, hated my guts. Apparently not as much I thought. And Joanne, my immediate supervisor and a lesser boss but a cute one, I love more than life itself. A blond with a mind. And Gord, the big boss, I talk to like he's my nephew. We get along.

And I have a new bike in apartment. I steal glances at it every so often. It's a $99 special at Canadian Tire but it is new. And the other bike is at the bike shop and Evan at the bike shop mentioned I shouldn't ride it because the frame is broken, but I rode it all last summer like that and it is a great bike. Now I have two bikes which is what I need.

As one might expect, I'm starting to waiver as regards moving to Creston this year. I have to have disability money coming in and that isn't going to happen anytime soon. I haven't even gone to a Doctor yet. I may be worthy but I hate to think of that path. And I know you are all cute but you'd get tired of me in an instant: "uncle don, why are you annoying?" "I"m just out on the deck reading the New Yorker" "don't you have place to go?" "not really" It won't work, I can tell.

Of course I'm a little pleased that ger and kev stayed at Bob's last weekend. In spite of the fact that Bob was passed out in his chair at 3am and Ger couldn't awaken him and Kev locked himself into a Foothills Hospital staff bathroom because he felt woozy and he needed time to himself and the nurses were pounding on the door. I think we have a good family, I hate to say "I told you so" but I knew this a long, long time ago. And Brandy going up to Calgary, and Julie being there for Roy. I look from afar and see good things. Roy would be pleased and he may not have realized how loved he is. Not bad aye?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sunday, March 11, 2007


It is nice here in Toronto today. Warm and sunny. Unfortunately my bike is in the bike shop getting tuned up but I did go for a walk. No wind which is the most unusual thing of all. Had a nice breakfast, one can't be in a bad mood today.

Although I came close. My neighbour has a Bich-Poo, which is a cross between a Bichon Frise and a Poodle. Cutest little thing in the world but it gnawed on my running shoe while we talked. And it wouldn't let go: "Doug?" "yes don?" "Munchkin seems to like my foot" "yes, it seems to be attracted to running shoes that are made in China, but it's cute isn't it" "how much did you pay for Munchkin?" "triple figures" "more than $99?" "much more, it really has taken a liking to you, Cynthia and I are going to the South of France in a couple of weeks would you like to look after Munchkin while we are gone?" "I'd love to, it would be an honour but I'm going to be admitting myself into the hospital and have a mini gastric bypass and I'm expecting post-nasal drip complications" "who's your physician?" "um, ah, oh Dr. Bloemfontein" "THE Dr. Bloemfontein?" "That's him, yes, it is him, you know of him?" "yes of course, he performed lipo-surgery on Cynthia"

So after I got rid of Munchkin and Doug, I walked down to the Sip and Bite for breakfast (which is near my bike shop, I had to see if my bike was being taken care of properly). The Sip and Bite is owned by two bossy Japanese sisters: Misaki and Mizuki. "Ah Mr. Storm you return for breakfast, where have you been?" "I've been busy, this and that, life marches on" "you will have our special, the Klondike Sunday Brunch?" "I think I'll have something different this time, I feel like pancakes today" "whom?" "I'll have pancakes" "Mizuki doesn't do pancakes" "a cheese omelette?" "we don't have cheese or eggs" "toast with peanut butter?" "you are having Yakisuba Noodles whether you like it or not" "can I get marmalade with it?" "no".

And then after leaving the Sip and Bite, I sat down on the bench outside my barbers to have a cigarette and soak up the sun: "Meester Storm, you don't like Luigi and me?" "I love you and Luigi, Pedro, I'll be in for a haircut next week, but please don't bring up the space/time continuum theory as a topic of discussion, it gets boring after a while" "can we talk about the fundamentals of phycological theories?" "perhaps but Luigi is rather set in his ways about giving me a bad haircut" "he's enrolled in a night-school for barbers"
Hi all,

It's warm here today (-2) relatively speaking. And not a cloud in the sky.


I am not happy with Kevin. He let me down this time. The Storm's are supposed to be special but he makes a mockery of that thought. If I'm down there for the canoe weekend, and if Kevin is alone in the canoe with me, I'm going to drown him. Drowning is too nice a word. His lungs will fill with water and they will collapse and he will gasp for breath, and then I'm going to drown him. And after he's expired I'm going to use his body as deadweight on the front end of the canoe because I'm a better conoeist than him and I will decide where we paddle: "Kev, you are quiet, oh I forgot your dead" "We are conoeing through this maze of thistles and if you were alive you'd be frightened" "I don't see any family, do you think we are lost, Kev?" "I know you are deceased but could you at least paddle a bit?" "why are your knees so knobby, even when you are expired, your knees are knobby" "and it's your and Anita's turn to make lunch, I'm presuming it will be a good one, I'll do the mustard in your absence, you can look after the canoe while the rest of us eat" "and I've solved one thing by drowning you, we'll have enough chicken wings to go around" "and you won't have to hide behind a tire this evening" "if you were alive I would insist you walk to the highway and lay down on the dotted line and wait for a semi to run over you" "maybe I'll carry your bod to the highway, at least you aren't heavy, and have Justin, Ger and Col run over you with their trucks while we wait for a big semi carrying a full load of liquid nitrogen to appear" "and every autum, Jim and Ger and me will stop by the campsite and look for a lost body" "hello, why did we stop and look for Jen's baseball mitt when I knew it was in Colin's truck the whole time?" "Ger, why are we looking for a mitt when we all know that it is in Colin's truck?" "because we are stupid and are members of the Storm clan" "so it's a complete waste of time" "yes but we have to look" "what if we find it?" "ignore it, it's in Colin's truck" "I found Kevin's body, I guess I didn't bury deep enough in July" "oh this is where he is, I wondered, Delorus did mention that she hadn't seen Kevin for a while"

Saturday, March 10, 2007

So I think I will survive, but I just don't do Kevin any more. Don't need it.

Take care everyone else.

So I don't like Kevin at the moment. He's got his reasons but none of them are very good. He will need the family soon but I guess it takes a while for him. I do apologize to Bob, because he was looking forward to seeing Kevin. It's a Storm thing and Kevin thinks he's better than us at the moment. I think we all worry about Kevin a bit, but yet he won't be one of the family.

I'm not going to be moving down there anytime soon If I have to put up with that. I talked to Logan and Ty and that was fun, but I don't do Kevin. I don't have enough energy left to tell him that he erred.

It was rather strange today: "uncle don, what is that odd feeling?" "warmth" "I don't see an icycle hanging from your nose" "it is strange to walk outside and not feel pain" "when are you going to ride your bike uncle don?" "when the twenty-four foot snowbanks disappear which could be in August" "are you going to kill yourself uncle don?" "I hadn't thought about it, should I?" "there are extenuating circumstances which behoove you to jump off a tall building" "and what are those circumstances?" "you are angst-ridden and you look pale" "I always look pale, and by the way, conciousness, you don't look that good yourself" "I won't feel pain though which is a plus" "you mean if I jump, you won't feel a thing?" "nope" "nothing?" "nil" "even if I land on my head?" "sorry"

By the way, I'm moving up to Churchill, Manitoba this summer. "where?" "Churchill" "why?" "I'm as one with polar bears" "the ice is disappearing" "I know I gotta see them soon" "when you grow up what are you going to do?" "be a star explorer" "whom?" "buddy, I mean conciousness, I've read nothing but sci-fi for the last five to seven years, I must have read a thousand books of that genre and not one of them could convince me that there isn't something after death" "why do you think that when your analytical mind knows that is not true?" "I could have not gone out west just before Marlene passed away and I so easily could have not travelled out west in January and hugged Roy" "a coincidence" "perhaps but I don't think so"

And if I may say, Francis Collins, the head of the Human Genome Project, was quoted as saying "the genetic code is the language of God" I think so, that does not mean I believe in the scriptures, I don't, but I believe in "something". I've read every article in the New Yorker and many books on comas. And I don't know. But I did play my guitar once with Max in a trailer at Kevins. His tail was wagging and I had my voice: two individuals whom had the greatest time in the history of mankind for a little while.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Weekend forecast/time change

This is a reminder to everyone in the known universe that this Sunday morning at 2am we should move our clocks ahead by one hour (as if I'm going to be up at 2am). Except if you live in Creston. I presume the people whom decide these things realized it wouldn't work in Creston. For example, can one imagine Kevin having to get up an hour earlier all of a sudden. The grumbling and teeth gnashing that would ensue. I wouldn't want to be around him for about a month after the change.


It looks like we are going to have weather this weekend. It's -6 here in Toronto this morning so I'll only have to wear two layers of clothing to work and not six like I've had to for the past several months (it seems like an eternity). And it's actually getting up to +2 today, with highs of +6 on Saturday and Sunday. There will be celebrations on the street. This is beyond even me: In Calgary, tomorrow will +13 and sunny, Sunday will be +14 and sunny and on Monday it's getting up to +16 with nothing but sun. Well there is obviously going to be a drought on the prairies this summer. Hello. And Cranbrook is getting up to +11 over the weekend with some cloud. And Creston will have a high of +10 on Sunday but at least they can expect a shower or two. Has the Moyie River ever flooded in March? It probably will this year.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Bob's pics

Of course the most important thing it me is seeing the Thames. Although I don't read crimes stories, etc. any more, the Thames was always there. And Bob and Lorraine have shown me pictures of Jordon and so much else. Bob and Lorraine have got the world of travel sewn up. In Jordon, Lorraine somehow managed to sit at the dinner table with all the men which isn't done.
And Bob loves travelling to. I'm hoping they might e-mail me pictures and call me on the cell phone so I could do a running narrative for the National Geographic channel: "yes Lorraine?" "Bob and I are in a laberynth, we are not sure where we should turn" "have you tried left? " "we see mummys" "mummys?" "and an asp" "any sign of Elizabeth Taylor, I mean Cleopatra?" "no, but King Tut is here" "you must be in Egypt" "close, we are in the London Museum of Mummys" "I didn't know there was one" "it just opened" "are there any tombs?" thousands". to be continued.....

More Laurie's pics

I've done a few crosswords in my lifetime: what is a Hawaiian goose, or what is the state bird of Hawaii? Of course it's the Nene, but I did not know they were an endangered species.

Friday, March 02, 2007

As I reflect on the past week, I can only say agh. It was not a good one and it was obviously worse for Jim, Ger, Kev and Julie and it continues.

But if there was one bright side of the week for me was that I felt 'in the loop' even though I'm so far away. Bob was especially good at keeping me up-to-date on Roy's condition and the e-mails from Ger, Julie and Jim were appreciated so much. The one from Julie especially from the I.C.U. waiting room was especially appreciated.

Can I talk about our weather down here for a moment? We got off work early yesterday because of the weather. But I'd planned to go to our local library because I had nothing to read (other than six partially read New Yorker magazines and a few books that are also partially read but weren't turning me on much). And so I still went to the library and it was open! Manna from heaven as I didn't expect it. There was one librarian assistant still on duty and one old guy whom was probably the librarian assistant's father waiting to take her home, since they both glared at me. So I quickly picked out a few books and checked them out and prepared for the seven-block walk home. This library is located next to a huge complex of apartment buildings but I didn't see anyone walking around on the streets. "oh oh" I thought.

So I set out for home and was immediately buffeted by hurricane-force winds. And that is when I was walking with the wind. Then I had to turn against it and walk four loooong walks to get home. I actually heard two persons talking for a bit walking behind me, but I'm sure they were swept away by the wind; gawd knows where they ended up. It's the first time in my life that snow flakes actually hurt when they hit my eyeballs. And I still had a few blocks to go. "Okay, Don, there is no one around, walk backwards for a while into the wind" Obviously that didn't work since I can hardly walk forwards on good days. And the brief time I tried it, I almost walked into my next door neighbour walking her Bluetick Coonhound (rich persons and their 'dogs' don't seem to be affected by whiteouts and blizzard conditions).

But I managed to reach my gate and saw a white house in front of me: "home!" "warmth!" Except the gate was frozen shut because by then the freezing rain had started and there was two inches of ice around the catch. In despair I knocked on someone's door and they unthawed me and offered me a cognac which I drank greedily. Needless to say I went to work hungover this morn.

I might exaggerate a bit but not much.

Laurie and Robert's trip to Hawaii in January 2007

If I needed a lift in spirits (which I did), Laurie certainly provided it. It was tough to choose only three pictures of the ones I perused, but I chose these ones. I will post more in the future.
I have never been to Hawaii but I can see it is amazing, and with the massive storm that swept through Toronto in the last few days it even looks more beautiful.


From Jim:

"they had to have emergency operation yesterday as they found a blood clot, as well his swelling started up again bad, so they rushed him in. He got out of operation about 7:30 pm, seems to be stable now, again back into waiting game"

And after receiving the above e-mail, I talked to Bob and he said Roy opened his eyes a bit and squeezed Julie's hand. So there may be reason for a bit of optimism.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Update as at March 1, 5am

Julie sent me this e-mail from the I.C.U. waiting room at the Foothills Hospital:

"Dad went in for surgery about 3 pm today to remove a blood clot in the front part of his brain, which in turn will hopefully relieve some of the pressure. The sooner they can bring the swelling down, the sooner they can bring him out of the coma, and there will be less chance of developing pneumonia and other complications , because at the moment the machines are breathing for him, and so he's unable to clear his lungs completely. Of course there can be complications from surgery as well (such as infection), and there's no way of knowing just what the outcome will be. All we can do is hope and pray for the best, and I'll be letting my brothers know how the surgery went as soon as I talk to the Neurosurgeon (whom is apparently world-renowned)."

I talked to Bob later last night and the surgery is over of course and it is now 'wait-and-see'. Bob is going to visit him today at noon, so will know more later today from either Julie and/or Bob.