F 1 D 0 - 2003 03 15 at 23 20 Back at home. I'll begin with a rough outline of life recently. The purpose of this list is for my own benefit, to help me recall the events. Sat 15 Sunny day. Relax ride to cheese farm. Fri 14 Student Art Show. Marc's 40th birthday surprise. Thu 13 Bus ride home. Wed 12 Packing Day. Tue 11 English Dance. Mandarin with Tom + Cindy. Mon 10 Irish Dance. Assorted meetings with Dave A. Sun 09 ? Sat 08 Contradance. Day with Tim to Long Branch. Fri 07 ? Thu 06 ? Wed 05 Assorted meetings with Dave A. Tue 04 English Dance. Mon 03 Irish Dance missed. I should have made notes. I know that some of those question marks are for days I spent with Tom trying to learn the way to code ASP to talk to Access databases, using the Microsoft Jet Engine. Today. Saturday March 15th. It's almost over. It began with coffee and me having a delicious chocolate flavoured protein shake. This stuff tastes more like ovaltine than a shake. It was fine. I'm told that if I exercise as much as I'm doing, this stuff should help tell my body to repair torn muscle instead of packing on extra lard. Most of today I've been as I was during my visit south: full all of the time. Eager to eat, but still full full full. That Full Feeling only passed this evening. I had a salad just now. Oops. I'm out of time sequence. The protein stuff doesn't just have liquid nutrition, but is designed to create a sense of fullness. I'll keep you appraised on how effective it is. I got a letter from the Games Complex. It is written by someone. I don't know WHICH someone. Her freemail address is gorjus at something. It talks about a group meeting at the rec centre, and good dates for recertifying our CPR and First Aid. I'm thinking I'll get mine done again soon. The weather here is always sunny, and today, we had spring time all day long. That had some interesting effects on the children around here. They were all scrambling to play with the snow before it all melted. The kids next door were at it, making forts. The children across the street were throwing it around as well. I'm telling you, it was warm and wonderful, but people here really are friends with the snow, and there hasn't been all that much of it, from what I hear. Ann and I decided to go take some bottles to the local recycle area in the north east corner of town. Then we went the other way, to visit the Thunder Oaks cheese farm. This place only makes GOUDA. But they are well loved, and this is deserved. They make it right in front of you, if you care to stand around and watch for long enough. I've been asking each time I go about EXTRA OLD GOUDA. They make two kinds. E-O-gouda, and E-O-Swiss-Gouda. Both are rather firm cheeses, and they seem to be popular. "When will you have it in stock once again?" I chirp. "Maybe for new years?" she answers me. She wasn't kidding. The old cheese sells well, so well, that it doesn't make sense for them to run out of that. So they'll take the stuff earmarked for extra old, and sell it. They are trying to catch up with demand, but it isn't working. Our order for today was one package of garlic curds, a block of Clove and Cumin flavoured, a block of Old, and a small package of Fennel flavoured. The herbs in the cheese are special. I like how you smell it as your teeth touch. We took the long way back home. Along Broadway. In any US town, Broadway would be the main street. I don't know who labelled it here, but it is full of large scale factories. The Abitibi pulp mill, and the Bombardier train factory. Other large business too, but I don't recall their names. I saw a new GO doubledecker passenger car in the lot, and a couple of PCCs from the 1940s too. Winding our way through spacious lots of light industrial firms, we found our way to West Fort. On Frederica Street is a delicatessen for Italian goodies. They always have lots of meat ends for me. Not this time. "You snooze, you lose!" Maybe later on I'll buy a large economy sized tin of anchovies. Chapters Bookstore was next. I was thinking of going into Starbucks there as well, but I've been full full full, so I was happy just for a bathroom stop, and to read some books on ASP, ADO, dotNET, and other alphabet things. I'm eager to learn some new skills which might be of interest to others needing development. Next stop was the Superstore. This place is related to Loblaws or Zehrs, in that they stock President's Choice products. Ann had a hanquering for daffodils. We passed our street, and went to Folino's, a news agent. A big spacious store full of most magazines and newspapers. We came home. I prepared a soup, as that seemed to be the thing I desired most. And only a little while ago, after it all went down, was I interested in also having some salad. Ann pulled that together. - - Friday. There was a major art show for students which opened today. More than a show, it is a juried event, where prizes are awarded, and people get to see everything. The Thunder Bay Art Gallery was full. I'm thinking the official galleries in Toronto wouldn't do this kind of gesture, even for the art schools nearest to them. So making this a city event does a lot for the participants. I'm getting old. All of the students seemed so very, very young. One, their spokesman for the evening, had trouble with "La Dolce Vita Pastries", a sponsor of the event. Oh, not a personal problem, just pronunciation. But I wonder if I did any better when I was that age. I think so, but I don't know so. Some of the artwork was remarkable. I liked a drawing of stones at the water's edge. I wasn't alone. That work received three awards. Some was whimsical, other things smacked of academic assignments. Still, it was well done. After the goodies were all handed out, Ann met with many people and well wishers. We were in a hurry, as we wanted to continue our evening with some fine wine and party food for our next door neighbour's 40th birthday. I found out he suspected something was up. What he didn't expect was where it was arranged. They used Ann's new studio. It makes a great space. Truly. It has tall ceilings, and the art was handpicked for the gallery/studio opening before, so it feels like a party in the hall of a wonderful museum. That will change soon. She's planning on covering the nice wood floors, and then it will become what it was meant for in the first place: a centre where she can create more of these things. A working studio. I had two slices of cake. Big mistake. I went out for a walk right away to clear my mind. Stopped at the local Italian meeting hall, where a wedding reception was winding up. All of the men were in black suits, all of the women were in evening wear. And me? I wasn't in jeans, but I wasn't one of them either. With this big beard, I've been described as a Tasmanian Rabbi. I must have a wildman look. I think I look less wild than that, but I digress. I returned to the party, but my head was still full of sugar. I needed to settle down, and I found the music and everything all too loud. So I found my way into the basement for a nap, and almost as quickly as it happened, my head cleared. A good time was had by all. I hear Alison and Marc got home around 3am. - - Previous Saturday Report. I had a great day. I got up with a headache, and was sluggish, but after a while, kicked my self out the door, and met Tim at 401 Convenience. That is a store open very late hours, which sells pop, cigarettes, and... Trading Cards! He bought a magazine there. We walked south on Yonge Street, an important main street in Toronto. We took ourselves to Queen, where our adventure would begin. But not right away. Tim said he was hungry, so we went into a Pizza Pizza. They had a long line up, so we gave up after 10 minutes there. I took us to Taco Bell, where he had "number one", two tacos, fries and drink. These places are very similar to american Taco Bell, in that the drinks are bottomless, and the quality is reliable and high. I never have a bad Taco Bell experience. (they have a guarantee and an 800 number, and I have never used them) Before leaving for this trip, I packed a lunch too. A very fresh pita, buttered heavily. Two smokies. Three thick slices of fresh pork roast. I had these while Tim had Tacostuff. Onward. He wanted to see the ToysRUs, and I wanted to see the Compu Smart. We used a lot of time in both places, and both were oddly dissatisfying. Not a problem, I was glad to just have good time with him, and agree on the subject. Eventually, we found our way on the westbound streetcar, along Queen Street. This is a VERY long ride. We began our return trip at Long Branch loop at 530, and arrived back at Yonge Street after 700pm. The ride was familiar to me. I liked seeing the districts along Queen and Lakeshore, where the streetcar goes. It runs through old Mimico and "new Toronto". Many of the original historic buildings have been removed for newer yuckier ones. I split up with tim at Yonge Dundas. He went to see Tom and Cindy. I went to a lovely dance. It began with a one-hour waltz workshop. The guy who leads is knows he is a nice guy, knows he is a smart guy, knows he is a good dancer. He's awful just because of that. Otherwise, he's fine. But his workshop was well delivered and sharp. The caller (I forget who it was) was a good teacher and sharp leader. We did a few mixers, many contradances, and a square. All was good. Afterwards, I went out to J J Muggs, a drinking place, and had an order of fries with a few dancers. It was good to do that. I came home to find Tim still here. He ended up staying too late, so he got permission to spend the night here. He's sleeping downstairs. They got a medium pizza each. Tim's was hawaian (?sp), Tom's was pepperoni and pepper, Syn's was chicken and mediterranean vegetable. I had a slice of each. What a nice way to get welcomed home. For some reason, everyone is exhausted, so the house has gone to sleep at 218am. This isn't normal. Yesterday this happened at 530am or so. I'm going to put some time into my new project, and will call it a night when my eyes hurt a little. - - 03 03 07 Friday. Life here starts promptly for me when I wake up, but it doesn't seem to matter whether that happens at noon, or at 930am. I got to see my folks yesterday. I wanted more time with them, but they were only interested in one hour, and that hour was inside their car, at road side. Mom had back trouble and dad was mostly silent. I'm not complaining. I just wanted more, that's all. I went looking at U of T bookstore for my DNA book. They say they need six weeks to get it. And the cost is now 129. Yuck. It is a nice bookstore, never the less. I relaxed and spent much time there. There is a library sort of across the street from that bookstore, where I also spent much time. I realized I'd never gone into it all of these years, so I checked it out. I read the newspaper at Starbucks for an hour yesterday. That was fine. It had a lot of quiet time in it, yesterday. Daybefore. That was a Dave A day. Lots of driving and talking and hearing stories. I met with Gordon C, as he had modem issues. He had a lovely USRobotics modem, external kind. Wow! He went to a computer store, and got a PC to PC cable as they look like universal ones. The cable has four ends; two big ends, two small ends. That should work, shouldn't it? No. Serial connections are almost a lost art. When connecting from a computer to a modem, a straight through cable will suffice. When connecting from a computer to another one, the cable is called a Null Modem, and requires two of the pins exchanged (read for write). Another serial issue is more obvious. There isn't a good standard as to whether the modem plug should be large (with 25 pins) or small (with 9 pins). Also no consensus about which gender (male or female). Add one more confusing thing. The parallel port on the computer is 25 pins female, so if someone is confused, they could plug a serial cable into that, and wonder why nothing is working. Gordon took us out for chinese food, which was very much like going downtown for traditional chinese. Very authentic, very good. It took ages for it to go down. I'm having that trouble with all food of late. It's nice, it's good, but the meal I have at lunch leaves me full and distended until 10pm. That's all I know.