Archive for December 2003

random photos

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Happy Birthday to me

It’s my birthday today. If I thought it wouldn’t happen if I just pretended not to acknowledge it, I would, but Cory assures me I’m going to be 27 no matter what I do, so I might as well enjoy it. 27 just sounds old… but I do very much like where my life is right now!

We got back from Toronto monday night and read Treefen’s news which made us both stop and realize how silly little things don’t matter. We’re sending Treefen and the Monkey good thoughts constantly – as well as crossing fingers and toes.

On Christmas day my grandmother and I were sitting next to each other and snuggling on the couch (Grandmothers being excellent for cuddling as they tend to be soft and smell nice) and she told me that all she wanted for me was that I’d have as good and as long a marriage as she and my grandfather have had (it’s their 60th in May). Treefen, that’s my wish (and prayer) for you too – that you and Monkey will be as happy and together as long as my grandparents have been.

Now I’m off to try to convince Cory he owes me a birthday backrub…
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submitted

I sent in my paper today to JGR (the Journal of Geophysical Research). After fiddling with the formatting to get the electronic submissions process to work, I pressed “confirm” and sent my paper off to be reviewed. It’s been six long months almost exactly, and honestly, I’m a little let-down, where’s that euphoric relief I was expecting?

We’re going out for pizza and beer at Dockside to celebrate (oh wait, we do that every Tuesday) but I’m guessing it will take until tomorrow morning to sink in. I’d originally planned to treat myself to a massage when I reached this point, but that was before I spent way too much on Christmas presents and I think the massage will have to wait until January.

It’s only 9 days until Christmas, 9 days, and I’ve now finished all of my pre-holiday self-imposed deadlines. It’s like I’m looking up and emotionally realizing what time of year it is – not euphoric relief but re-entry into reality.
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Solitary Skier

The snow and fog muffles all sounds other than the crunch of our snowshoes and the whispers of our breath. We stop to take pictures, under a natural cathedral of snow covered trees. Then, a slight sound, the whoosh of a skier moving across the packed snow behind us. We see him passing as only a dark shape and wait silent until he’s gone and we’re alone again.
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Scotland 2002: Cardhu

Almost a year ago we were staying in the Speyside at the start of our honeymoon and enjoying the crisp winter weather and a few too many drams. Even though we’d said we didn’t want this holiday to be a whiskey trip, or an any-one-thing trip for that matter, I knew Cory really wanted to see at least one distillery. We’d struck out at The Macallan, they were already cleaning the distillery for it’s Christmas shut-down, and we were placated by whiskey cake and free drinks. But Stewart, our B&B host arranged for us to have a tour of the Cardhu distillery the next day.

Upon arrival we chatted pleasantly with the women in the visitor centre who told us that a group of young military trainees up from England on holiday would be joining us. They were young, and desparately hungover, and followed round the tour with glazed eyes. Rather than feeling old in comparison, I felt quite sensible, as I’d hadn’t drunk so much the night before to have to refuse the tasting at the end of the tour. We got drams of 16yr Mortlach, a local distillery also owned by the Johnnie Walker Group that owns Cardhu, and I enjoyed the constituents of Johnnie Walker far more than the final product, although I’ve never tasted the top of the line.

As we left the distillery, the staff pressed a poster upon us, as a wedding present. Thinking it was just a promotional poster for a pub, we accepted without too much enthusiasm. It wasn’t until we unrolled it in the car that we realized it was a signed print of the distillery itself, now framed and gracing our living room. We’ve developed a loyalty to Cardhu because of this, buying a bottle for our anniversary and often enjoying the whisky for sentimental reasons.

However, recent news in the whiskey world has reported that Cardhu is to be re-marketed as a blend, to be callued Cardhu Pure Malt, a term close enough to it’s current name of Cardhu Single Malt to have people up in arms. After much debate it seems that the result will be new packaging of Cardhu to make the distinction clear, but may herald the end of the single malt that has so much sentimental value to us.
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what is it?

The clues are that it’s from Coral Harbour in Nunavut, it may be a toy, and apparently we’re supposed to “master” it. The little part has holes drilled into the bone, but it’s not hollow. The grooves in the larger part fit your hand perfectly, so that’s what we’re assuming it’s for.

We’ll post the answer tomorrow when we hear from Jim/Dad.

The entire package wasn’t so much of a puzzle, Jim also sent earrings and a fabulous handmade Ulu Knife. Very very cool. Now if only we were smart enough to figure out the first part of the gift…
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boiler #2

Sometimes it’s nice to participate in family traditions, my family sang Christmas carols together every night before bed (one choice each) once we’d put the tree up each year. I always chose Good King Wenceslas, because it was long and meant a few more minutes under the glow of the lights and away from the dreaded bedtime of childhood.

Sometimes it’s nice to start new family traditions, ones that are unique to Cory and I. This Saturday we went to the CBC reading of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at St. Mary’s Church in Kerrisdale. At over 100 locations across Canada the CBC organizes these readings of the traditional Christmas story. We listened to ours amid a congregation of grey hairs and warm smiles. I hope that in fifty years we’ll find ourselves doing the same thing.
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