Category Archives: Uncategorized

Two days at the museum

Ottawa does museums very well. My favourite is the Museum of Civilization, over the river in Hull and we were there twice last week. On Friday we spent the day there to review what we have covered so far in Canadian history. Currently we are looking at the development of settlements and the many groups of people involved in those settlements. The museum has a fantastic exhibit called the Canada Hall which traces Canada’s history from the Viking explorers to modern times. Even though we have been through the exhibit many times we only allowed ourselves to get as far as the Coureur de Bois’ shack this time. As we looked in the hospital we noticed it was Jeanne Mance’s Hospital, that we had read and written about the previous week. There were a few other moments where names and locations suddenly meant more than they had on previous visits.

Face to Face, a new exhibit on the top floor features a variety of Canadians from various periods and people groups. We wandered through, pausing the longest at Samuel de Champlain’s display to see what we could recognise from our studies. Our plan is to spend a day at the museum every month or so to reinforce and complement our studies at home. After lunch we went to the library in the museum and were able to choose a couple of videos to watch. Both fitted in perfectly with the topics we have just covered: The Voyageurs and Rendevous Canada 1606 both films from the National Film Board.

The following day we were back at the museum again as Stellae Boreales was performing in association with the new Glenn Gould exhibit. Although the audience was small the concert went well and was a good rehearsal  for their fundraising concert on November 30th.

Kids helping kids

This afternoon L13 is playing a solo at a concert organised by one of her friends to benefit an orphanage in Cambodia. Kids helping kids is the name of the organisation and all the performers are under twenty, the youngest being eleven. It was fun to pick up a paper this week and see a picture of the performers next to an article promoting the concert

Next weekend, as part of the Glenn Gould exhibition at the Museum of Civilisation, the performance group both girls belong to will be giving a concert. As you can imagine there is a lot of practising going on and plenty of rehearsals to attend. We finalised the purchase of A11’s violin a few days ago when the violin seller was back in town. She has kept the one she’s had on trial all these weeks. Now we need a new bow and case.


Twelve days ago I invited everyone who drops by here to leave a comment in celebration of my first blog anniversary. I enjoyed hearing from eleven readers; thanks for humoring me.   One comment came from a reader I did not know and she just happens to have the same name as me. I invited A11 to pick the winners after I had written all the names on scraps of paper and held them above her head. Andrew Nordstrum will receive the Ken Duncan Australia 2008 calendar and Heather (yes, the one with the same name as me) will receive the Canadian Panoramic calendar.

Thanks for your encouragement.

By the way, Katherine, you are the cousin I referred to.  It’s always good to hear from you.  And Julie, thanks for making an exception just this once!

Beyond all measure

How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.

Stuart Townend.
Copyright © 1995 Thankyou Music

Plumbing at knife point

When L12 asked me what time the plumber said he would come I answered, “Between 2 and 3pm, but you have to understand that doesn’t mean he will be here between 2 and 3 pm.” I have a formula for working out what time he will arrive and I outlined it to L12 yesterday. If they say they will come between 2 and 3 you can then expect a phone call around 3 to tell you that they are still at their previous job and will be there soon. After half an hour goes by you might get another phone call letting you know they are five minutes away. Half an hour after that they will be at your door. I got the phone call today at 3:30 and they were here around 4, just when I was expecting them.

As the plumber got started in the kitchen, I began preparing dinner. I needed a knife so I took one from the knife block then stood there with it in my hand while I answered some of his questions and watched what he was doing. He finally stopped what he was doing and said, ” Did you know you’re standing there with a knife in your hand? It’s making me a little uneasy.” I was a tad embarrassed, this is a bad habit of mine to stand and talk to people while I’m cooking, all the while waving a knife in their direction.

He was almost finished when he said, “You haven’t told me yet how much I look like Adam Sandler .” I knew he looked familiar but I hadn’t been able to put my finger on why. But he was right he looked very much like Adam Sandler and was so used to being told so, that I was an oddity for not mentioning it. We did end up having the same conversation that I seem to have with anyone who comes to work on our house. Whether it is a plumber, an electrician or whoever they always end up saying something along the lines of, ” I’ve never seen anything quite like this, I can’t see why anyone would assemble it this way.” There are tell tale signs of home handy man all over the place.

So a few hours later the faucets and pipes are fixed, I have a plumber who looks like Adam Sandler and there is probably a note next to my name on his copy of the invoice reminding him to never come alone to this address.


How can I find out when there is a new post to my favourite blogs? Is there an easier way than visiting all of the sites each day?

This is a technical post to help those new to reading blogs and other information streams. Most blogs (web logs like ) or traditional media outlets ( e.g. ) also have an auxillary web page which contains a specially formatted list of the most recent articles. Depending on the formatting used , this list might be called an RSS or ATOM feed. For the examples above the feeds are at and . A news web site will often have many feeds: one for world news, one for domestic news, one for local news, etc.

A news feed is not meant to be read by humans. You subscribe to the feed by pasting the feed’s web address into an a special program called an “aggregator”. The aggregator checks all the subscribed feeds periodically, and presents a summary of new or unread articles. This can save you a lot of time if you read many sites!

Examples of aggregators:

  1. If you have a free Google Account you can use the Google Reader web interface (My current favourite).
  2. If you use the Firefox web browser there are many options. Recent versions of Firefox display the icon rss icon in firefox in the address bar when a feed is detected. By clicking on this icon, Firefox offers to add this feed to an aggregator, either as a “Live Bookmark” or using another aggregator.
  3. If you install the Firefox “Sage” plugin, place all of your Firefox “feed” bookmarks in a single bookmark folder, and configure Sage to look in this folder for feeds, then Sage will provide a good aggregator in a Firefox side bar(Heather’s current favourite). Below is a Sage screenshot showing feeds and feed articles on the left and the current article on the right.
  4. Install standalone program to check feeds. On a PC there are many free ones like FeedReader or SharpReader. There are many more, but you know how to use google.

I am interested to know how you are keeping up with this blog. Are you using an aggregator? Don’t be afraid to try one if you are not. Many of the aggregators allow you to export and import lists of feeds in OPML format, so it is straight forward to change aggregators,


Sage Firefox Plugin