Transatlantic At Last

One thing I’ve always wanted to do is take a sea voyage across the Atlantic. This dream is set to come true this April as I’ve finally convinced Maria she can do this with me – with lots of bonamine packed in her suitcase.We’ll be flying from Ottawa to Miami and then it’s a two ...

Outliers

Thanks to Sarah (who lent me her copy) I was able to read pop sociologist Malcom Gladwell’s latest book on what it takes to be uber-successful.Gladwell is one of the most entertaining writers of non-fiction I’ve ever read. Although I think he does better as a micro-sociologist (examining individual stories) than he does in the ...

Daylight Saving Time (from 2002)

Daylight Saving Time arrived today, and once again this year, a month too early.I get up at 6 AM each day, and I had barely gotten used to a bright hour of rising. Today I was plunged into the gloom of February redux. Not that the extra hour of daylight did me much good. Today ...

Golden Age (from Early 2007)

I believe we are in a golden age of dumpster diving and recycling when it comes to personal computers.Many laptops and desktops built from 1998-2001 have now become technically obsolete as far as Microsoft Windows is concerned. These Pentium III – and even Pentium II – machines are running Windows 98 or Windows Millennium and ...

Philip Gibbs (from April 2002)

I read some gripping prose lately, in spite of the fact that it was written 80 years ago and its author has been dead for 40. The book is called “More That Must Be Told”, by the British war correspondent Philip Gibbs (1877-1962). It is an analysis of the developed countries after World War I, ...

Birdsongs (from April 2002)

A vernal highlight for me is the return of the birds to the big trees in our neighborhood. This morning as I stepped outside the front door, I heard a feathery chorus: “Cheery-Up! Cheery-Up!” from a Robin, “Cooah” from a Mourning Dove, “Dee! Dee! Dee!” from a Chickadee, the fast cheery warble of a Purple ...

Cross of Sacrifice (from April 2002)

Four weeks ago today, my family and I visited the town of Ieper (Ypres) in Belgium.We stared in admiration at the magnificently restored Cloth Hall and St. Martin’s Cathedral. These medieval masterpieces were smoking ruins after the scourge of German artillery in 1915.Later we visited the Menin Gate. It was a deeply emotional moment as ...

Two Great Cats (from 2002)

I’m a cat person. It has my great fortune to be owned by two wonderful yet totally different animals.The first was Brio (1982-1999) , a classic Sealpoint Siamese. Brio was the smartest , noisiest, most intelligent four-footed bundle of love I will ever know. To this day , as I lie on the couch watching ...

Moved to Blogspot

Because I’ve had some issues with publishing posts on my own ISP’s hosting service, I’ve had to move this blog to Blogspot as the host.The new web address will be http://almontage.blogspot.com I deleted the old blog on my ISP so the former link is now dead. Sorry about that, but I think I was running ...

Waiting Game

The crib has been assembled, the baby clothes are in the bureau, the books are in the bookshelf and the nursery room is ready.My daughter has a couple more days of work and then she’s off on her maternity leave.Now it’s the waiting game, and I’m sure she’s anxious to get the show on the ...