agoodwinsmith: (Default)
Was still a member at each board when HOOPP lent the Home Capital Group Inc 2 billion dollars:
http://business.financialpost.com/news/fp-street/home-capital-group-director-keohane-resigns-after-fund-backs-2-billion-loan

The why it is such a supremely bad idea for the pensioners is detailed at Greater Fool, at the post I listed last entry, plus the previous GF post.

Bad bad bad. Even worse.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
In the bad old days, unethical board members "helped themselves" to their employee's pension funds - as loans, of course - often draining them completely before the company tanked.

Can't happen now, you think? Oh boy.
http://www.greaterfool.ca/2017/04/27/conflicted/

If you are pre-retirement, you *must* put your own money away to work for you in retirement. Nothing is safe or sacred. Winning lawsuits after the fact won't actually get you your pension back.

As Detritus said: "Bad bad bad. Even worse."
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
We held Greg's memorial yesterday. It went well. It just seemed wrong that he wasn't there.

Open ID

Apr. 14th, 2017 11:06 pm
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
Okay, oh people who know more than me: what is good about Open ID and what is bad about it?

The latest DW email encourages newbies to get their Open ID before they delete their LJ accounts.

In general I don't like the idea of having one sign in protocol for all my online things. Easy to use, yes, but if compromised, oh dear.

So, for those of you who love Open ID - why? And for those of you who hate Open ID - why?

I suspect I won't change my chicken-hearted little mind, but every now and then someone shares something that gives you a whole new viewpoint to look from. Yay new viewpoints.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
So.

I have been pressuring myself to post something anything as at least grist for the mill of this style of social media - which of course leads to paralysis: is this witty enough deep enough topical enough thoughtful enough enough enough. And the answer is always "no" because this is like suddenly thinking about the process of achieving orgasm while attempting to achieve orgasm - not happening now.

So fine. My fall back position (oh dear) is cooking: posting recipes so that I can find them again. Here, therefore, is my favourite split pea soup recipe:

http://www.pulsecanada.com/food-health/recipes/recipes?mode=details&recipe=120

It is a hassle to puree the soup in batches - but so totally worth it. I cheat by dusting just a bit of cayenne into the soup as I puree (instead of the chillies), or sometimes leaving it out and letting people dust their own at table. But don't leave out the goat cheese crumbles on top of each bowl.

Thank you!

Apr. 10th, 2017 10:34 pm
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
Someone has given me a gift of one month of paid account - how very generous and welcoming! Thank you very much!

I will use it wisely - or at least become wiser from having used it - IYSWIM.

Thank you!
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
It took two days to get every last scrap, but my import from LiveJournal is complete. I am cross posting this entry back to LiveJournal to indicate where I have gone, but I shan't be checking LiveJournal anymore.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
... however, I am flailing magnificently.

So. LiveJournal, yada yada. I read the new non-binding English translation of the new rules, and it didn't seem any more my-bat-my-ball-my-rules than most terms of service, but others who are more knowledgeable pointed out the LGBTQA-negative move to label all such content as Adult+, hence: naughty, with options of sliding into more repressive stances - and (draws breath) it is obviously time to say farewell.

I am in the process of importing all my stuff. I know: only I love my stuff - but I *do* love my stuff, so over it comes.

Once importing is complete, I will do one cross-post for redirection, and then ... and then .... well, I am having to give up a lot this year, so the deletion of the account may have to wait until I can bear it.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
Things are currently amorphous.  Undifferentiated.  Blending one to another randomly.

So.  I retired.  I realize now that I wasn't ready in terms of my work.  I was ready in terms of not having all my time used for the purpose of my work, but I wasn't ready in terms of never doing my work again.  Also, I have lost my desk.  I don't have a desk at home, and since we are in the throes of preparing to move to Salmon Arm when the right place becomes available, I am not going to get a desk for a while.  I need a desk to work through things.  I can't work through things with papers spread out on my lap on the couch - for one thing: the cat keeps wanting to sit wherever I have put the papers.  Yay cat.

So.  Good news about my Mom's cancer:  the chemo therapy seems to have done its job, and there are no longer abnormalities showing in the lymph nodes of the body core.  Unqualified Yay!  Especially since the medical team had been concerned about a compromised lymph node between the kidneys.  However, Mom is now in the radiation therapy part, which is every day, five days a week, for five weeks.  That's a pretty exhausting schedule, but it is done in Kelowna, which is a two hour drive each way from Salmon Arm.  The roads in the Okanagan/Shuswap are severely overburdened with traffic, and people are absolutely insane on them - passing on a blind corner over a double line on the pin kink hanging over a cliff is a run-of-the-mill occurance.  And there has been incessant snow, with the temperature ranging between plus 2 and minus 2, so that it is often both sloppy and icy.  So, currently the biggest exhaustion for Mom regarding the radiation therapy is the drive there and back each day.  Dad is also getting tired, and he is already worn down with worry for Mom.  However, as Mom says: 7 sessions down, only 18 to go.

And: we have been broadsided by something that still has me completely dumbfounded.  My SOGP's older brother has died.  This was completely unexpected.  Granted, he was 71, but his Mom is still going strong at 96, his father lived to 84, other ancestoral beings all lived to 80s and 90s - and he was the most clean living person ever.  No drinking, smoking, drugging; no coffee, tea, junk food.  Lean and whipcord strong.  Careful selection of personal care products (avoiding obscure chemicals).  Never owned a car - walked everywhere.  Strong as a horse with excellent stamina.  The death is natural causes, probably heart or aneurysm.  There won't be an autopsy since 71 is an age for a natural death, so the precise cause won't be definitively known, but I suspect that even if we had a tidy name with a tidy cause - we still would not believe that he is really gone.

The loss of him is having repercussions for his Mom.  After SOGP's father's death, his older brother took on watching over their mother.  In the beginning it was very small stuff - changing a high lightbulb sort of thing - but in the ten year's since SOGP's father's death, his older brother has become more central to her day-to-day life.  In a very light-handed unobtrusive way he made it so she did not need to think about whether or not she could continue to live on her own in her own home.  I mean: she is not an idiot, so she is fully aware that his help made things smoother, but it was all just people enjoying doing things together, and not one person making noble sacrifices for the other person's benefit.

The big issue is: aside from the heavy blow of having lost one of her children, even if she is able to stay in her home and care for herself - she is going to be so lonely.  The place where she lives is a coop, with a strata council, and a central shared room where they hold regular potlucks and other social events.  But most of the couples who were there when she and SOGP's Dad moved in (they were part of the wave of original tenants) are now gone, and new couples with new ideas are there.  People are perfectly friendly - but it is not the same as visiting with your friends.

So.  None of us yet know how to be usefully supportive to her.  We too have all relied on the oldest brother taking her under his wing.

These things will all get sorted out, and better times are coming, but right now I feel a little like one of those old-fashioned wind-up toys, where, if they are overwound, just sit there vibrating impotently.  I haven't achieved sad, yet; I'm still in nonplussed.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
So, I saw this recipe in my travels around the interwebs:
http://porterandcharlesrecipes.ca/recipes/bacon-penne-a-la-vodka-for-a-crowd/
and I thought it looked so tasty.  But my SOGP is a vegetarian, thus the bacon is out, so I wondered whether chestnuts wouldn't be an acceptable substitute.  So I bought the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and fresh basil leaves.

Then I discovered that I had no penne or vodka in the house - so I improvised with these:

(I forgot: I can't upload pictures from my computer at home - and I no longer have access to another computer.  It was a picture of La Molisana 51 Tubettini pasta di semola de grano duro, Dand-D-Organic Chestnuts, and Cirroc distilled grape spirits in a swanky bottle.)

and it was excellent.

Here are the sauce ingredients

butter
1 onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
2 fresh tomatoes chopped
1 tin tomato paste (369 ml)
water
heavy cream (35% mf)
distilled grape spirit
chestnuts chopped
fresh basil leaves chiffonaded (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiffonade)
parmesan cheese grated

Here are the steps

Bring water to a boil.  Once boiling, add the tubettini, stir to prevent sticking, cook 8 to 10 minutes.

At the same time, melt butter in medium heat pan.  Add diced onion and saute until translucent.  Add minced garlic and after 30 seconds add the diced tomatoes.  Saute until softening and juicy, then add tomato paste and enough water to rinse the tin and thin the tomato paste for stirring.  Sauce should be thick and your wooden spoon should leave lines in it when you stir it.  Allow it to heat through until it begins to blup.  Add enough heavy cream to change the colour to your preference.  Allow it to heat through until it is blupping again.  Add distilled grape spirit and return to blup.  Add chopped chestnuts.  Drain the tubettini, stirring the pasta in the strainer to help each little tube dump its water.  Add to tomato mixture and stir to combine well.  Add chiffonaded basil and stir until well combined.  Turn off heat.

Serve immediately with grated parmesan liberally heaped on top.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
Except that I go back tomorrow afternoon for the goodbye party.  Which isn't bad, but I know how much work there is to do, so going back there after people have had a chance to ransack my office and go argh - hmmm.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
Last day is this coming Wednesday.  All I have left to remove from my office is my tea pot, kettle and water jug, plus a pencil case, and a final painting.  It feels odd working in there.

Tuesday is my Mom's third chemo treatment - assuming her blood work says they can go ahead on schedule.

There's still nothing to buy in Salmon Arm.

The new cell phone is a welcome distraction.  I haven't put anything serious on it (such as facebook) because I'd probably never surface.  I'm not going to put any money-related info on it because putting that on something this easy to lose is a bad idea.  I can see why people don't have a password to lock the screen - what a fiddly thing and difficult to use while jolting around on a bus - but I'm gonna perservere.  The message template of opposing bubbles is quite appealing, and I like that conversations are grouped by person (my previous little green phone simply had a historical sequence).  I haven't quite figured out how to always have it with me and have both hands free (hit replay for no-pockets-in-women's-clothes rant).  So far so fun.

An odd thing is that I have to go back to work on Thursday if I want to attend my farewell party.  Peculiar.  Okay, there are two of us leaving the same week, me on Wednesday and she on Friday, but it still feels peculiar.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
Okay.  So, my last day at work will be a week this coming Wednesday.  I'm not going to have everything ready to hand over, and I am also not ready to lose my identity as an employed person - especially employed by this employer.  People always say: Oooo - you work for Employer Name? - wow.  It makes a person feel good.  Oh well, eh?

Mom is in her week of seclusion in this second round of chemo.  The aches and pains lasted longer this time, and even though she is feeling better (as one does at this point in the process), she has a finite amount of energy which runs out before she is ready.

The hardest part of this whole process is the lack of information shared in advance.  We know that after the third cycle of chemo, Mom is going for radiation, and she will have to go to Kelowna (2 hour drive each way) for that.  But we don't know when that will start, how many sessions, how frequently the sessions, etc etc etc.  For people who plan for every contingency, this is way tooooo little information.  That "cross that bridge when we reach it" mantra sounds really good until you realize that if you'd known ahead of time that you were going to go in for radiation every week-day for a month, then you could have arranged some cheaper accommodation to save on driving back and forth.  Cheaper accommodation doesn't get arranged on a whim.

We still haven't seen a place we would like to buy.  We're getting to the point that if we pack any more we won't actually be able to function because (a) there won't be room left for a trail amongst the boxes, and (b) we will have packed all the things we need on a daily basis.  We are already living with some work-arounds because things are packed.

I am going to miss Vancouver because of the excellent (compared) transit, and because I can buy Murchies Teas, mochi rice pie/cake from TNT, beautiful parmesan & Italian pasta sold by the number from Ugo & Joe's, Army & Navy deals, and amazing fabrics and notions from Dressew.

Also, while it has reached very chilly-for-here lows, it has reached argh-levels of low temperatures there.  Poot.  I have all these beautiful brollies and no snow boots.  And my winter jacket is not gonna cut it.  Bum.

However, there is a faint chance that marijuana will be legalized before I die, so we can look forward to growing our own weed plant in our own garden.  Not a bad ambition.  :)


agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
It is an LG X Power, and it is a cute as a button and shiny.  :)
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
Aw.  Livejournal just lost my post with my carefully written heart-revealing bits.  I don't have the spoons to write it again.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
This



(later note: system at work worked)
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
So, first week back after the holiday break (17 days) was a short week, but it went by too fast, and I didn't get everything done that I thought I would since, naturally, there are new things I didn't know to take into account.  I am, so far, maintaining my resolve to bring something home from my office every night (sooooo much stuff - last night it was my CDs).

My Mom's hair has begun to fall out noticeably, so she went into her hairdresser yesterday and had him shave her scalp.  My Mom is never one to let something just sneak up on her - she is always out there, finding the problem, and then throttling it until it cries uncle.

We haven't found a place to buy in Salmon Arm yet, but more and more of our stuff is getting packed into boxes.  We are (a) having to navigate through the maze, and (b) doing a lot of makeshift because so much is already packed.

When we started packing (September) I was pretty good about being able to purge things, but now as I get more anxious, everything seems to be embued with liminal significance and I can't bear to part with it, so into a box it goes.

I am going to miss having an office (space with a desk , really) dedicated to "my stuff" that never gets moved while I am away from it.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
It's actually Christmas Eve here, but it is already Christmas elsewhere.  :)

Lorne arrived safely in Salmon Arm yesterday.  The Coquihala was lousy, and the road from Kamloops to Salmon Arm, although much of it multiple lane highway, was two ruts in the snow, one for each direction.  He went for a nap three hours ago and hasn't surfaced yet.  He brought cat, and now Chuck and Mom & Dad's two girls are determining who is top cat and who gets the best places to sleep.  No fights yet,just hissing.

We are in Salmon Arm for Christmas because my Mom has been diagnosed with cancer.  She had a complete hysterectomy in November, but it didn't get all of the cancer, so she has started chemo therapy.  She had her first treatment this past Tuesday, and I came up on Sunday to attend it, and the information session the day before.

As you may have seen earlier, my parents put their house up for sale in the summer.  It sold the day before my Mom got her diagnosis.  So,while my Mom went down to the coast for her surgery and then came home for recovery, they have been moving house.  In fact, I went up to Salmon Arm before my Mom was out of the hospital because they had people coming to pack up things in their house and someone needed to open the door.  :)

So, this has been a very stressful fall for all of us.  We are at Mom and Dad's new condo in Salmon Arm, and there are still boxes everywhere.  Aaaaand we're having another four people over for Christmas Dinner.  Of which, one pair is my aunt and uncle, and my uncle just had a bout of arrythmetic heart, which took him into hospital two days ago (he's out now), and the other of which are family friends, and the woman just had knee surgery this past Monday.  These dinner parties always seems like a good idea until one gets closer to the day.  :)

The other part of this is that my father's cognitive abilities are starting to be compromised, so he can't do everything on his own anymore.  As long as Mom is around he's fine and you would never know, but he can't pay bills (numbers) or do small repairs (sequences),so my Mom's biggest worry is what will happen if she is gone or even just too unwell to keep an eye out for him.  Therefore, I am retiring early and we are moving to Salmon Arm.  My last day of work will be 01 February 2017.  Again, when I choose that date it seemed so far away.  We currently have the long break at work, so when I get back I will have 20 days to get my job tidied up so that someone can step into my shoes.  Argh.

However, all anxieties aside, we have this Christmas to celebrate together, with family and friends, so that's pretty good!

Best wishes to you and yours!
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
I feel like a good friend has fallen for a get-rich-quick scheme that anyone can see stinks to high heaven - but the good friend can't see it because they are so desperate.  I have pity, but also "*geeze* *looeeeze*" as my basic ground state of being.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
It has been for sale for a while, but I hadn't taken time to go view the listing.  I knew that there was a video, but, you know, I had no idea it would make me nostalgic for the house before it is even sold.  Here's the link to the youtube video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeP8q2C_KZY&feature=youtu.be

My Dad built that house - contracting things like concrete and the roof and serious electrical, plumbing, and gas.  But he framed it and did so much.  The pantry in the laundry room is a beautiful example of his work - as is the sauna downstairs.

It looks a little odd without the cats sprawled all over everything.  :)

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