I Have Returned
I have neither died or gone into hiding. On January 6 I lost my Internet connection . Since then I have been in an increasingly annoying tussle with AOL. I was told on January 9 the problem would be repaired on January 13. In fact a nice chap phoned to tell me that and I believed him!
Since the 13th came and went without any further explanation I have been a very annoying and annoyed customer. I have been bcoming less and less laid back and long suffering. I have even been pestering the Bell Telephone Company, although it turns out it is not their problem to fix.
I learned that both companies now have their tech help located in Lahore, Pakistan. I was disappointed to learn this as AOL used to be in Moncton, New Brunswick and I always enjoyed chatting with the tech people there, usually comparing the weather.
Of course, the information and tech people in Lahore cannot give you the information you want. I wanted someone to tell me what the problem was and when it would be repaired. I spent a couple of days being passed around from one supervisor to another at AOL in Lahore, likewise with Bell. I kept insisting I wanted to speak to someone in Canada, that knows what is going on.
I even had trouble reaching anyone in Canada connected with Bell.
As my patience was wearing out they kept urging me to be more patient and wait, which just annoyed me even more. I wasn't even sure my problem was being worked on. I was told someone came to my house on January 14 and no one was home. Which is ridiculous as David is a virtual invalid and there is always someone here. The four dogs are more than eager to annouce someone at the door.
Finally, I went to the telephone book and dialed the number for customer service for Bell Telephone. This is located in Canada. While the women here could not solve my problem they certainly informed me more than the Lahore Bell and AOL information services. They were also sympathetic.
I would have been more civil and understanding if someone had called me when the problem was not fixed on January 13 as promised and told me that the problem was greater than they had indicated. The problem for me was I lost faith in them telling me the problem was being worked on. Well, just a couple of hours ago I was sitting at my computer fiddling with the wallpaper and an annoucement popped up for a new version of The Weather Network program. With a quick glance at the modem to see the flashing ready light now steady, I realized I was back on line. I was beginning to think I would have to spend another weekend without the Internet, which has come to be more a part of my life than I care to admit both for the blogging and the constant feeding of my political and intellectual curiosities.
From the beginning of the year until January 6 I fretted to write something for my blog about the Israeli criminal assault on Gaza and the Palestinian people. Sadly, this news is not yet old news. It has just become even a greater war crime. With Canada and the US's unconditional support for whatever Israel does brings shame on us all. Canada, at least, used to have a more even handed policy toward this middle east struggle. I may yet try to write something on this topic. This writing block makes my absence from the Internet seem even longer than it was.
I did manage to ease the withdrawal symptoms. I read the two books I mentioned earlier as being Christmas gifts; Margaret Atwood's Payback (Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth) and Joseph Boyden's Three Day Road. Both interesting books. I look forward to reading the second book on Boyden's trilogy, Through Black Spruce. I particularly enjoyed Boyden's use of Anishanabi spirituality and customs to enrich his story. While living here I have learned a lot about tradition native values and his references to these confirms the truth of what I have learned.
I have been kept amused with Heidi. She got another ball to play with for Christmas. She has been treating these two balls as if they are pups, carrying them around in her mouth and bringing them to bed and laying with them in very maternal ways. She has also been developing milk glands which alarmed me so much I call the vet. I will write another post about this with some pictures.
A real distraction these days has been the frigid weather. We have had several nights when the temperature dropped to -40C and some days when it felt even colder than this when the wind chill factor was accounted for. As romantic as it is to live close to Nature and use older technologies, like heating with wood, It can be a struggle at times. I have had to work hard to keep the house warm enough for David and June and try to care for the animals who are exposed to some of this cold. I have also lost the running water in the house so I am melting snow to get the water we need. I find this preferable to annoying my neighbours, hauling water from their place. Hauling it from the river is very difficult and dangerous, although there have been winters when I have had to do that for 30 head of cattle. I was young and virile back then.
Finally, two days before Christmas my neighbour's youngest son (25) was killed in a car accident
This has filled us all with sadness and worry for him at this difficult time.
(click on photo to enlarge)
The above photo is what it looks like at about 8:00AM when the temperature is somewhere below -35C. This is a ice fog which eventually burns off in the sunlight to reveal a cloudless blue sky.
I am very touched by those blogging friends who have been concerned with my absence from the Internet. Some have left comments of concern or sent emails and a couple, who were able, actually telephoned me. I did not expect this and it is nice to be missed.