F 1 D 0 -- 2001 12 22 at 18 30

Thunder Bay is so warm.

Oh, there was some snow on the way
taking the bus out here. Enough to be
blinding, enough to make the trip a
bit scary. But it is gone.

Today was a day for a brunch at Hoito.

It turns out that Thunder Bay has the
world's largest Finnish population living
away from Finnland.  So finding a place
like this was easy. Walking distance!

Their placemat talks a bit about this.

Did you know Hoito (Care) Restaurant
originated as an idea among Finnish 
bushworkers at Kallio's camp near Nipigon?

When in the city, young single men had
no trouble finding a room, but they 
apparently had difficulty obtaining a
decent meal at a fair price.

The founding meeting of HOITO was held
on March 27, 1918. By May 1, the organizing
committee had collected $300 in small loans
from prospective customers, and commenced
operations at the current location.

From its inception, HOITO established a tradition
of hearty food, large portions, low prices, and 
competitive wages.

Until the 1970s the majority of the patrons
purchased meal tickets, or paid the flat rate
for all they could eat at the large communal
dining tables. Each table accomodated up to 
twelve diners. In the 1960s the cost for dinner
at these tables was 1.00, while in the 1930s 
it was 25 cents.

Hoito still strives to maintain the old traditions.

If you're still having trouble imagining
this place, think of an all day breakfast
place.  Think of somewhere people are happy
to line up for 15 minutes waiting for a table.

Yesterday I had a bee in my bonnet, wanting
to make some steel cut oats.  This should be
no big deal, really.  Oats are common, right?
Lots of Scottish people around, right (as 
this is a kind of porridge, I suppose).  

Well, I've not found them here. All of the
oats are the same ones you can get. Rolled.

Quick oats. Minute oats. Large flake oats.

But they've all been rolled. The kind I
wanted were bits of UNrolled oats. I'll
keep you appraised on my luck.

This is an interesting community. There
are three music stores in walking distance
from here.  One of them has a jam every
saturday, between 1-3pm.  I'm going next

I've prepared something for our gathering
tonight. I mashed a third of a one-pound
package of frozen Smoked Salmon Bits with
an entire tile of Philadelphia cheese. It
was thick, so I added a few spoons of 10%
cream until I could whiz it with a hand
blender thing.  It is a lovely mash of
creamcheese and salmon now.  

The weather is warm, but I'm about to go
out and see if the raining has slowed or
stopped.  I could use some physical activity.
Do I say that a lot?

Yesterday I found my way to the Salvation
Army thrift store.  I picked up a lovely
guitar. It has a broken back, and lots 
of other breaks. 

Well, it had a cost of 3.95 plus tax, and
includes a case.  I'm hoping to turn it
into a multi string violinlike thing.

I got to see Ann's studio.  She teaches
art and makes many huge works.  There are
real differences of style over the years.

We were talking about how theatre has
actors, called "players".  And we play

Well, She goes to her studio to play, 
and see what comes up.  Eventually, 
something comes out of the canvas.

That's all I know.