Saturday, 31 January 2009

On the shearing of Daniel, plus niece photos

For reasons that seemed good at the time, I shaved off my beard this evening. I don't remember the last time I was so barren as to face, but it has been at least 15 years, although about 10 years ago, I shaved down to a goatee. I am not sure I like the effect.
...and after. Come to think of it, I definitely don't like it. No more shaving for the next month or so.

I have also posted some Christmas shots on my photo album. Some niece highlights are this one of Désirée siting on a tiki my father made for Stephen...
...and this one of me (with beard) holding Isla in my parents' kitchen. This was her first trip anywhere.

Finally, in early December, I saw a large flock of wild turkeys in a field near Lennoxville. Very surprising and a lot of fun to see these magnificent birds. It was about the first time I have seen these birds in the Eastern Townships. I have heard them on one or two times before, but I had never seen them. I had seen wild turkeys in Ontario.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

On a decent week

Well, it has been a decent week. Last Saturday, I was in North Hatley for my birthday party, where I was given a merino wool cycling jersey among other things. I got a lot of things done at work, despite my batty, Greek co-irker.

I also managed to manage my father's determination to send me off to do his legwork with him having done his homework. He wanted me to get him a pair of liner gloves at MEC like the ones he'd got two years ago. The problem was, I had no idea which gloves he was referring to. Also, my father can be a little picky about gear. I am glad to say that I was quite firm that he should do his homework and talk to the liveware at MEC to determine exactly what he wanted and then send me the precise information. The result of all this is that I now have the gloves waiting to go to North Hatley.

After work on Monday, I dropped by James' to give him his birthday present, (his birthday was on Sunday). I arrived just at the same time as Adam, another friend of James, and his son Anton arrived. It turned out that Monday was Adam's birthday. We ended up having supper together, James, Jennifer, Adam, Anton, Isla and I. That was fun, as I hadn't seen Adam in a while and Anton in ages.

On Tuesday night, I went to see Chadni Chowk to China, a Bollywood comedy/martial arts film, complete with musical interludes and hip-hop influences. Crazy, silly and a lot of fun.

On Thursday night, I got a call from my brother Stephen. This was a little surprising as he doesn't call very often. I was even more surprised when I found out why. It turns out that Margaret (Stephen's wife) is pregnant! Apparently, I was the only one who hadn't guessed this. The child is due in August. I was talking to my mother on the phone yesterday. We were discussing that it would be nice if it was a boy, on the grounds that most of the "next generation" are girls, viz Désirée, Isla, Eowyn, Julianne, Elisabeth, etc. Still, it is very early days and there is a long road ahead for Stephen and Margaret.

So yeah, it's been a very good week despite a continuing throat malady.

Friday, 16 January 2009

On a new year

It has been a while since I last posted. I guess the reason is that I haven't been doing much cycling of late. Or even thinking about cycling. Christmas cycling goodies were a merino wool hoodie for after cycling, 3 bags of cola-favoured Cliff Shot Blocks, a Newfoundland and Labrador bike water-bottle and a deck of mini-playing cards. Nothing very exciting. The hoodie is very warm and welcome this week as the temperature has been hovering below the -20 C mark for much of the week, i.e. fricking cold.The low temperatures caused a water main to break rather spectacularly in Montreal today. I mention this as it seems to have broken at the corner of Peel and St-Jacques. This relevant as when I was biking on a regular basis to McGill, my typical route was along St-Jacques and then up Peel.

I did get to be the very first person to ever wish my niece a happy new year. Her father was very mildly jealous. I also bought a present for her first birthday, namely an Ekkore rocking moose from Ikea. It was so silly and fun, that I couldn't resist even though her birthday is only in April and it will six months later that she will be rated to use it.
It is currently sitting, un-assembled, at my parents' house. I reserve the fun of assembling it.

Margo and Chris set off on their epic trek. Their chance visit to a school in Thailand makes me jealous on a number of levels. For one thing, I am in Quebec during a cold spell suffering from a cold. For another, I am envious of their ability to accept such a warm, chance welcome. I can't help but think that I would have been too shy to really connect like they have.

In other news, on the eve of my 38th birthday, I was tossing and turning in bed unable to sleep when my mind turned to my apartment. When I moved in, a family friend asked if I was going to give it a name such as the Lions' Den on account of my name being Daniel. As I lay in bed I came up with idea of combining my totem animal with the meaning of my last name to create the White Moose. Whether it will be the Lair of the White Moose or the White Moose Flat or something I have yet to decide.

Actually, there was one more semi-biking related present from Christmas. I got Bernard Cornwell's Azincourt for Christmas. As might be guessed, it is about the battle of Agincourt. In the notes at the end, he talks about how well the battlefield is kept today. If I were biking across France with Chris and Margo in August or September, I wouldn't mind paying Azincourt a visit should it be reasonably feasible. The battlefield museum is said to be quite good. It makes me think of a French (from France) colleague of my father's who went to England where he was surprised about all the monuments to infamous defeats, such as Waterloo and Trafalgar. ;-) It sort of makes me wonder why there is a museum at Azincourt. Probably subsidized by the English!