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Avia S-199 in Israeli Air Force Service

Archive for November 2007

Grumble

I thought the whole idea behind skunk spray was that victims would learn to avoid the skunk.

Stupid dog. This is his third time. And right in the ear, too.

OxiClean to the rescue. Again.

Party all the time

Whew! I have a moment, and wireless access, so why not greet you, my adoring public and those of you who arrive as a result of fetish Web searches.

I’m playing the role of stage dad at the moment. Child Two was plucked from acting-class obscurity to spend a day as a supporting character in a Web video project bound for equal obscurity. Still, this skeleton crew did get Telefilm funding, so that’s a solid single up the middle.

I read synopses and pitches and wiggled my fingers and produced notes, for Alex and for Robert the director. I had planned to do that earlier in the week – I had Wednesday afternoon blocked off for this. Something, however brought down a utility pole two streets over. I’m not exactly sure what – I’ve told some people a car hit it, other people that a tree took it down. Regardless, it snapped in half. We lost power for three hours in the afternoon, starting literally as I wrote the first sentence of my notes.

We got power back in time to make supper and for me to meet with the two other head coaches of NDG Novice B hockey – more on that later – to sort the kids into teams.

That done, the power went out again so I went to bed.

The next day, I drove by the fallen pole, which you can’t see here. The pole was between the middle two trees on the northeast (or plain east in Montrealese) side of the little park.

The repair crew installed a new pole, but instead of transferring the wires and insulators and whatnot to the new pole, stapled/strapped/glued the top half of the old pole to the new one.

And people wonder why our streets crumble and our overpasses collapse. I’ll try to get a photo.

Thursday, our friend the Laird Easson came for a visit on his way to his United Kingdom estates. He stopped off chez nous to go to Elvi’s convocation Friday. She received her Master’s of Engineering degree. I couldn’t attend as I taught Friday afternoon, but I went to the party that night.

My Metallurgically Inclined Lady Friend (no one has commented on the abbreviation of that, my recently oft-used phrase) celebrated a wee bit too much and spent most of Saturday in bed. Like a trooper, however, she climbed from the brink of the grave and went with me to Dave’s house. Dave is an old friend who has pretty much nothing in common with me, with the exception of my late uncle and the Hoodoo Gurus – remind me to tell you of our road trip – so we greet each other warmly when we meet and then we don’t speak for years.

We had fun at Dave’s, and I met many faces from the past.

Tonight, I play hockey (yes!). Tomorrow night, I attend a meeting of coaches. Tuesday night, I go out with journalism students. Wednesday I pick up hockey uniforms. Thursday I go out with screenwriters. Friday is a hockey practice and we have our first games Saturday and Sunday.

Party all the time.

Bonus simmering rage:

Yeah, it’s still there. No, it’s not directed at any individual. Yes, it’s going to come out in a rant, but not today.

The power of journalism

Maybe it’s not that much power, but still….

K.G. Schneider wrote an article on Wikipedia culture for CIO.com. It appeared Sept. 26.

As I wrote at the time, she mentioned my particular battle with one self-appointed tyrant named Downwards over the addition of sourced info to the Pace Mannion article. I’m on page two.

On October 3, the Wikipedia contributor Peregrine Fisher restored my info with my sources, and Downwards seems to have accepted it.

Bonus bubbling rage:

No time to rant yet. While some irritants have by now faded into the background, others pop up every day.

Not divorced

For those who don’t know how it works, Facebook allows your contacts to establish how they are connected to you, and it updates all your contacts with any change of status. Any status you approve of is henceforth displayed on your profile page.

A few days ago, Elvi submitted the fact that she and I are married. I approved it, but then it started showing up on my page. There are some things I think should remain private, like personal details, addresses, etc., and which I prefer not to broadcast to the world at large – and besides, advertising my marriage cramps my style with the ladies.

I reset my preferences to hide my relationship status. Facebook interprets that as eliminating the relationship, so when I did that, all my contacts received the status report that Elvi and I no longer had a relationship.

My friend Bram is not on Facebook, but his wife is. Last night, he called me to see how things are going. “Good,” I told him.

“You said ‘good'”?, he asked. “Are you sure?”

“Yes, why?”

“You’re not getting divorced or anything?”

I laughed, understanding the confusion immediately, and explained what happened.

My little brother asked Elvi pretty much the same thing for the same reason.

So, sorry, ladies. I’m not divorced (yet).

The wife’s aunt responds…

…to my inaccurate story about her father:

My father, Johannes Wang Dalgaard (Elvi’s grandfather), was born in 1897 on the west coast of Denmark. At the age of 15, his father died, devastating the family of eight children. Some 50 years later, my aunt described to me the deathbed scene. My grandmother, who had been the wife of a man of influence, suddenly became a widow, struggling to raise the children by herself.

My father was apprenticed to a carpenter and made the chest which is still in the family and I hope his great-grandson, Child Three, will claim it someday. Johannes soon had it with carpentry and wanted to be an engineer. His uncle said he would pay for his education if he would became a Lutheran minister, but Johannes declined the offer and the financial burden fell on his mother.

Since he had already missed two years of high school, he wanted to catch up. He worked very hard and finished the four years in two. This made history in the city. My cousin (his sister’s son) asked me if I knew what my father had accomplished with this feat… 50+ years later.

In 1919, Johannes left his home town of Lemvig, and entered the Polytechnique of the University of Copenhagen to study civil engineering. One summer there was a seamen’s strike and students were hired to take a ship to Rio. I have the “document” given when Johannes passed the equator the first time. One of his teachers was Nils Bohr. My father studied engineering for three years – then he emigrated to Canada. So why didn’t he stay one more year and finish his degree? I don’t know.

In 1923, he landed in Quebec and went straight to Winnipeg. I just found a letter which may give further details. He sent money to his mother every month, duly recorded in a notebook.

Eventually, he came to Montreal and joined the Danish community. He found a Norwegian girlfriend, Alphid Hoeg, who became his fiancee. Somehow, they both ended up working in Arvida, Que. My father was in charge of cutting the stone for the Sun Life building.

Alphid gave Johannes many gifts: a ring; a pair of leather gloves, worn by my mother and now by me; a large heavy silk scarf; a pair of sterling silver and enameled art deco cuff links; and a diamond stick pin in the original Birk’s box. She also gave him an embroidered pillow… after he was married… to my mother. What I would like to know is what he gave to Alphid.

In 1929, my father lost his investments in the stock-market crash and became a poor man with ulcers. That’s the condition he was in when he met my mother, Ida Augusta Jensen, through mutual friends in the Danish community. She had emigrated from Copenhagen three years before, had movie star looks and the mind of a philosopher.

At the time of their meeting, Alphid was visiting her family in Norway. Her father owned an engineering firm there and she wanted Johannes to come settle in Norway, and work at her father’s firm. Ida was well aware of Johannes and Alphid’s engagement to be married and told Johannes thet she wished to be friends and nothing more. But my father was truly smitten and the Danish community could see it. They wrote to Alphid, urging her to return as soon as possible to reclaim her man. My father, an honourable man, could not bring himself to break his engagement – so, after a time, Alphid did it for him. He was grateful and free. In 1933, he and my mother married. Alphid continued to send gifts for years afterward, such as the pillow, until she herself was married.

My mother cured my father’s ulcers. He seldom bought her gifts. He said she had the bankbook and she could buy what she wanted. When my mother was pregnant with her first child (me), he went back to work in Arvida which resulted in eight months of correspondence which is being translated into English. He wrote then that he would never leave her again.

They bought the house I live in in 1942.

The mystery remains. Was the pin in the house already? We’ll never know.

Halloween 2007

To satiate popular demand, may I present Child One:


Child Two:


And Child Three:

And a warning: there’s a rant on the horizon….

Bonus Web site of the hour:

At Scott Wade’s Dirty Car Art Gallery, Scott Wade displays the awesome art he creates on dirty automobiles, using the dirt as his medium.

Quick post-Halloween hit

A gun ammo site has used the sales of silver bullets to determine the spread of lycanthropy in the US.

This is the sort of thing I’d have put in the annual Netsurfer Digest Halloween issues, alas.

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