Saturday, December 30, 2006

who and where and why are...

Too easy, but I thought I'd ask...



Marion Bright?

"....and that says volumes for the Peloponesians..."

I have no idea where this quote comes from; I only know I've been using it for years.

Three thoughts for perhaps our next skype:

- Head of the Line -- following up on Karen's suggestion, this one could be an opportunity for us to interview parents and / or finish our collections/transcriptions of our parents, and collate and annotate more of those old photos while peope even remotely related to them remember who/what/where they are.

- Leaving and Coming Home: a volume I'd be willing to work on, between the Oshawa years (which begin to end in 1976 for me, and 1982 for Dave?) and ... how would you define the transition between that and...

- The Next Generation: a volume already between ten and twenty years old, depending on how one is counting.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing day...

Did stop at Staples to get one of these:

So we'll see if the image quality improves any once I hook it up. Havent' done so yet.

Went to the Science Centre for a couple of hours, then tried to fly Benjmain's new RC Helicopter. Found out that it wouldn't hold a charge, so I've called the Source to get an exchange. They have to courier one in from another city, so it'll be a couple of days.

Susan's making Yorkshire Puddings for to eat with Round II of Turkey Dinner. Yummy!

Speaking of nice things Susan does for me, she also bought me a proper chair for my computer hidey-hole under the stairs, so I don't have to slouch in a badly arranged wooden chair while I'm at the computer. Very nice.

I also received the latest Pratchett book, Wintersmith, which I'm reading.

Susan received a book entitled "Marley & Me", which she's been reading since yesterday. Last night, she was in complete tears from laughing so much, I thought she was going to have to go and have a little lie down. I'm looking forward to reading it after her, just to see what made her laugh so hard. She's been doing more laugh-out-loud laughing than I get out of a good Discworld novel, so it's got to be good.

Speaking of Discworld, the Brits put together a 3-hour adaptation of one of the Pratchett novels, "The Hogfather", which I ripped off the internet and Susan and I have been watching. Not a bad job, considering the complexity of the subject matter, and the richness of the Universe that Terry Pratchett created. Look for it on a torrent near you. Or I can mail a copy if anybody's interested...

A Day of Pugilism

Nobody's fighting, but it IS Boxing Day.

We had a great Christmas here on Woodbine. Skyped with Calgary Christmas Eve and day and with Judy Christmas day. Talked to dad Christmas day. Mom for a very late French christmas eve dinner and another on Christmas day. Karen and clan all came by with Santa on Christmas eve. Simon has been having a great time with all the excitement and people including his little cousin Thomas around.

So today we're off for the traditional boxing day sales!

ps. ok so it's not spelled pugalism. thx judy. I actually googled it to check but there is so much junk on the web now that there's lots of boxing references that include the same misspelling I used.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Santa Drops by

Click on them for the bigger pictures...

Santa with Simon and cousins Fiona and Thomas

The Woolley's of Wonderland

Thomas adjusting to Papa Noel.

Francis, Marie-Laure and Thomas

Guess What I am....

put up the tree before my ... spirits fall again

We need a little christmas, right this very minute
so here is our Dec 23rd tree decor finale
from here, fiona put the candy canes on the tree
then took off the ornaments and candy canes
and put them on
and took them off
and put them on

she's danced around the house
she's hugged the tree
she's called her gifts "my baby"

she's such my christmas kid

Happy Christmas Eve to you all
see some of you tonight
and all of you before the year's up

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's Cold! Drink Booze!

As discussed in an earlier post, here's picture of a most festive holiday sign.

Santa is Irish!

It took the Biovail kid's party have Simon finally get closer to, as he calls him, "Papa O'Nel" (yes, this is the end of the mystery, Santa is Irish!!!!!).

Il a fallu attendre la fête de Noël organisée par Biovail pour que Simon soit d'accord de se laisser approcher par "Papa O'Nel (et oui, c'est la fin d'un long mystère, le Père Noël est Irlandais !!!!!)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Advanced Wishes of the Season:

I suppose these two attachments reflect that we are ready for the Santa Man to get his sleigh on our roof! Thanks to Arlene having all last week off work, we managed to dress the exterior and the inside of the house in just five days.Ge-e-e-e-z-e, but it's a pile of work. It was almost like moving again, what with all of the boxes of decors.

We're looking forward to visiting you on the 31st, as it'll be a lot of fun for all. We're home on Christmas eve. On the 25th and at 7:00 A.M., we are going over to Jerry's where the rest of the Lawlors will be awaiting for the opening of all the gifts. (We have to be there early, so little 2 1/2 year-old John can see that Santa really did arrive!) We will be back here around 2:00 P.M. to get everything ready for the turkey dinner, as we're hosting this year. (I think I'll be looking for a sleep-in on Jan. 1st.;)

'Trust all's well with everyone and I look forward in hearing from Judy and David, during the times when we'll be home on the 25th.

That's about it, for now.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

During the Sermon on Sunday, our pastor spoke about Handel's Messiah, and the beauty of not only the music, but of the word as well. We've listened to it before, but I don't think in it's entirity, so I was inspired to go out and find a copy.

So into HMV I went yesterday. I approached one of the staff, and asked "Do you have a copy of Handel's Messiah?". She gave me the proverbial Chicken Look. "Let's see..." she says, and walks over to the trusty computer to look it up. "OK, how do you spell that?". "H - A - N - D - E - L, " I say. "Not H-A-N-D-L-E?" she says. "No," I say.

"Ok," she says, "and what was his last name?"

I am so saddened by today's youth.

I was subsequently in another store where I decided to describe this experience to that staff, who I presumed would share my disgust. After I tell the tale, they too are giving me Chicken Looks. "You don't know who Handel is, do you?" I inquired. Silence. "He was a composer in the 1700s," I say.

"Oh, no wonder I've never heard of him" is the reply. I hang my head and leave.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

j3 Seasons Greetings are ready online...

All the best to you! We'll see you very soon in Toronto...and hope to see the Calgary Bradts more often in 2007!

Click here for slideshow of 2006 Highlights, otherwise known as the e-version of our holiday card...

I used a program to compact this file, so the zillion images are not high-rez, but most look okay and download MUCH faster. I hope you approve.

Twas the week before Christmas

And whatever you said,
You just weren't avoiding
Playing with Gingerbread.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Once you have read the blog entry from Friday December 15th below, AND viewed this seasons hottest movie trailer (yes there is even a version for dial up in Woolley Wonderland), click the link to EMAIL us and we'll send you a link to the 'Bonus Material'.

Friday, December 15, 2006

THE movie of the season!

With all the new Christmas Season movies coming out, here's a link to THE show not to miss:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Get in the mood !

Something to get everyone going..... as WE are already in the mood after an evening of Christmas carols in the park.
Click here.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A warm day's lights

It was a sunny 9 degrees today. Perfect day to put up some lights. Corinne picked them out and I hung them. Not exactly designer but ya got yer colour and yer symetry. What more can you ask for? The kid likes it. And so do Simon and Corinne. Now that I look at it, maybe we should start a frat house, Alpha Chi Alpha.

Finally done!

It took about a month of messing around with it but I finally finished the cabinet for under the screen. Learned lots of things, mostly things NOT to do when building a cabinet. In the end it turned out ok me thinks.

And thanks to David for his tips and suggestions.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Neige tout blanc! & Our Tree

It was a perfect chilly and slightly snowy and sunny day so we ventured out to Stouffville (where there is still snow on the ground) to find our Christmas tree. The only question is will it fit in the living room.
And once you've seen the trees, click here to see something really fun!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More Firsts

It's Simon's first walk in the snow and his first snowball throw all in 3 min. That's a full day right there...
Yes that's dad in the background with the video camera.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Riding a Cheetah

The weather was very nice in Calgary today. Natalie took a Walk to a meadow. She was wearing her bedroom slippers She met a cheetah named Duma. She climbed on his back. He took off like a shot. And we took a picture...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Last two shots for 2006:

At the Park Entrance.
This particular just colour-exploded itself.

This rock gorge is a roaring torrent, every spring. That's all you'll have to see until possibly 2007. Thanks for viewing these and I loved the enthusiasm from all of us.


Final Fall shots

This was actually a real bear's cave!
This is a shot of the gondola to the upper ski mountain, taken from inside the winch-building.

These pics were in the entrance to a huge ski resort in Vermont.

the Sony Pic

They finally reset the password so here's the Sony people pic from the parade.

Friday, November 24, 2006

BTV Winner!

I spent 2 hours calling Breakfast Television's prize give away this morning. They had all kinds of great prizes; getaway weekends, X boxes, cameras etc.
What do I win when I get through? A gift certificate from Pay Less Shoes. I don't think they even have sports shoes.. Oh well. Better something than nothing.
Baby needs a new pair a' shoooes.

In other news, the parade sony pic isn't available as I didn't enter a correct email address when I went to retrieve it and now they won't allow access again. I emailed support and await a response. sorry folks.

Girls' Night Out

The girls had an outing to see a performance of "Menopause Out Loud", 90 minutes of hilarity. We were all princesses for the event, and had a lot of laughs.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Santa Clause Parade

Sunday was parade day.

Simon and one of his many balloons before the parade

Simon watching the parade. Mom watching Simon.

Fiona waiting to get a handshake from a clown.


Ok so I didn't really get any pictures of the parade because I only took video. somebody must have a pic of santa???

Monday, November 20, 2006

"Merry Christmas. Gimme Presents"

A quote from "Animal" from the Muppet Family Christmas special.

There are some really clever marketing campains at Christmas. However, there are, occasionally, some poor choices made in the marketing departments. Two of the sadder displays of poor ideas:

The local version of Black Creek Pioneer village, here called "Heritage Park" is normally very tasteful with its Christmas treatment. This year, their flyer starts with the large print headline: "What's Christmas Without Shopping?"

And in front of a strip mall (containing a liquor store) not too far outside downtown, a big Florescent Green sign in foot-tall letters declares "ITS COLD. DRINK BOOZE".

Can you top them?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A night offout

It's Santa Clause Parade today!
Since we would be downtown this morning and we wanted to go see a play last night, Simon spent the night with Aunt Karen and Grandma and we had a night out. Corinne and I went to see a play called "Defending the Cave Man". The longest running solo play on broadway they tell us. We both liked it, and dinner afterwards. A night out. What a concept.

Off to the parade!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Playing Hooky in Tucson

Monday, I was moderating a panel at an event in Tucson, and decided that it's important to enjoy some of the latitude that being in business for myself offers (like not having to write a conference report) and so I had decided to hire a guide and explore the mountains above Tucson. This is in an area called Mount Lemmon, in the Coronado National Forest. The weather was a bit chilly by the time we got to the climb start, and a bit windy, but nothing as raw and chill as a couple weeks ago in West Virginia...and I had the right jacket for it. And it warmed up later.

I know that after a while, all the climbing pictures look the same if you weren't actually there: Pictures of rocks. I like pictures of rocks. For those who care about rock and texture, for the record, this stuff was wonderful rock for face climbing (which is to say, stuff that offers only very tiny ledges for toeholds, but when you put your toe there, by gum, it sticks! You have to trust your feetlings, Luke, but this very stable granite did not crumble, and then when you get a handhold that offers more than a tiny crimp to grab, it feels like this huge gift! The texture and cracks and breaks and patterns of the rock are so beautiful. Many patches of this stuff also had amazing gold lichen, too. I am always astonished at the random fractal splendor of the angles and lines and blocks, and it's hard not to think, wow, who designed this? Or, gee, what a great place to put a hold!

My guide, Jeff Fassett, was great! Somehow I am reassured when my guide's visage has as many lines and fissures as the rock we’re climbing, though I've had excellent guides of all ages.

He picked the perfect combination of routes to hit my sweet spot for challenge and hover just below the peg of my fun-o-meter. I enjoyed my first experience of trad climbing on his lead, and thus greatly built my confidence in climbing outdoors, too. He had an exquisite sense of when to let me figure it out for myself and when I was at a point where I was more tired and was just plain going to have a better time with a few ideas on where or how to place a hand or foot. I learned lots, and the hand-and-foot movements became much more natural for me by the end of the day; powerful, elegant, and begging to be used.

I appreciated all the things he shared with me about gear, technique and philosophy of climbing and guiding...and knowing how to take pictures of the client!

So many skills go into first-class guiding that can be nearly invisible or rarely needed; the ability to read a client, gauge a skill level, anticipate the gear they might need, pace the level of challenge and assistance, create rapport, build trust, have in reserve the skills of first-aid, rescue and improvisation, communicate key information at the right time, wait and let them discover things at other times, and pop in the elements of surprise, delight, and pinnacle moments that comprise an extraordinary experience.

As Lorne pointed out, these are also skills common to teachers (and parents, who are each also teachers) in our family, while I think of it. I salute you all!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Just because

This blog entry is here just because having the x-ray of someones feet at the top of the blog was freaking me out!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

x ray special

Miss Fiona had her first Dentist visit today
and all's pretty ok
except she managed a bradt bit of genetics
and has a spare front tooth
that is the reason her little baby tooth fell out 2 years too early.
The exact name for said tooth escapes me
but you can see in the x-ray a tear-drop shaped tooth with the arrow pointing to it.
that's the culprit that had the tooth fairy calling early
and that tooth fairy will be back when that tear drop tooth is extracted sometime later this year or early next.
the teeth with x's are her perm teeth, up where they belong and healthy
the ones with red dots are her baby teeth, down where they belong and also healthy

fun wow
mom and lorne both had extra teeth - Lorne one way up the middle up into the roof of his mouth that needed big time extraction with knocking him out
and mom had one behind her eye tooth and the next molar.
fiona's is definately the earliest and hopefully the easiest to remove.
that's all folks

Monday, November 13, 2006

Recent visit to Ottawa

Ottawa and the Peace Tower look exceptionally nice on a bright day! I was fortunate to be included on a tour of the restored Parliamentary Library, which might look a little familiar to those of you who went there on school tours. The restoration work was beautifully done, and took several years, but they did add an extra basement for storage. It's always moving to see the home of our government.
The new Canadian War Museum is most impressive. The building, the location, the displays....need at least a full day to see.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

When good Pumpkins go bad...

Poor guy lost most of his teeth, one eye and is apparently sporting a beret. But seems happy none the less.

Gone in 60 Seconds

Well maybe 12 hours anyway...
We decided to go for an early walk and go out for breakfast, something we hadn't done since Simon was walking. On the way out we find our garage was robbed last night. They got both bikes (with a baby seat on it for gawds sake!), my new golf clubs in the bag with my new shoes and all the extras a can tire 'inflation station' thingy and something else that we haven't figured out yet (there's a blank spot on the shelf but not sure what it was that we stored there).
So. That sux.

Time for more locks I suppose.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Toronto Leaves

Here is the progress of a downtown Toronto maple tree, dropping its leaves for the winter. Not the lovely red that some varieties contribute to the fall vista, but with its glorious gold, it does say that winter is coming. Looks a lot like trees in Calgary and their last hurrah!

The days will start getting longer again in about 6 weeks, and that's always a good thing in my book.