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Monday, October 31, 2011


Happy Halloween from Duffy and I and our stuffed friend!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hey we can practise weave poles for agility!!!

Hahahaha!! Actually the past couple of weeks have been a little chaotic in the 'hood as the gas lines are being replaced in the lanes and to most people's homes. The job was started last year and several blocks were done down by 118th Ave.  So we expected that sometime this Summer, they would get to this part of the neighborhood.  But we could all see that the progress was really slow and we were thinking the snow would be flying before we saw any action.  Then in September we started getting notices in the mailbox from an outfit called Somerville about the work.  Turns out that the original company hired by ATCO Gas to do the job had been fired because they were doing next to nothing--yay!! Somerville started in early October, and clearly they knew what they were doing.  They systematically progressed from west to east and 2 weekends ago were digging out the holes in people's yards by their meters on this block.  Then they dug up the connection areas in the lane--we have to park in the front and take our garbage out to the front.  I would hate to live in a neighborhood where I had to do that all the time--I like a back alley for garbage!! But lucky for us, a new plastic pipe service had been put in here in the later 1980's when the attachment to the garage had been built.  So no hole and dirt pile here--I was relieved as I hate mess and mud!!!
Holes dug, snow fences in place to keep unwary dogs, cats, and people from falling in!
Monday was the day they shut off the gas--at 8 AM--to hook up the new lines, restore gas service and come in and light the pilot lights. They replaced the regulator in the morning, the lines were purged--you could hear the pressure swooshes throughout the block, and from what Dave told me (he's done this kind of work when he worked for Inland Gas in BC) that we would have gas again shortly. I saw the neighbors getting their service restored at 2 and waited, watching for the guys to come here.  I had to keep Duffy in and when the serviceman would have to be in the house I would have to put Duffy in the bedroom as he would otherwise be a nuisance for the first 10 minutes!! But no one came!!??? I talked to the neighbors, yep they had their pilot lights lit, Gus said he told the supervisor no one had come to my place, and he said they'd be here in 10 minutes. Forty minutes went by, then an hour.  I can see the crews moving more south all the time.  By 4 o'clock I phoned ATCO--it took some time to explain to the guy who was in some place, not Edmonton, that I hadn't scheduled an appointment, this was replacement work being done in the whole neighborhood.  To make a long story and long phone call short, he finally told me that they were still working in the neighborhood and if no one had come by the end of work day to call again.  Well, thanks for that!! I called Dave again, wondering if I had misunderstood and we were supposed to light our own pilot lights. He said no, and suggested I hike down the block and see if I could nab someone to come and do this.  I did just that--found an ATCO tech and he lit the 2 stoves, water heater, and furnace. Hooray!! Time finished 5:20 PM! It had got pretty cool in the house--I was wearing 3 sweaters, then kept my jacket on.  I had a space heater going by the computer, but that didn't do much for the rest of the house.  So I was glad to have heat and hot water again.  It was a boring day without them too, as I couldn't cook, bake, wash clothes, etc.

Holes filled, snow fences gone.
On Tuesday Somerville filled in the holes in the lane and tamped the gravel/dirt down.  We are waiting for them to pave now--guess it will be next week?  Wednesday they filled in the holes in the yards. They are a nice bunch of guys and have clearly been coached about working with the public and in public.  There is no swearing, spitting, scratching, and er 'equipment adjustment' going on!! How refreshing!!

Waiting for asphalt

You can imagine that with all the mechanical equipment (to be distinguished from the above!!) rattling, rolling, banging, and thumping and all the men going back and forth, Duffy lost his little mind with barking!!! I often kept him inside.  He didn't like that!! But the excitment is coming to an end soon and our little neighborhood will return to the usual activities of street people going through the garbage for bottles, the occassional drug deal, and people using our lane as a shortcut and speeding while they are at it.  Maybe I can convince Somerville to put in a couple of speed bumps when they repave???

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A moment of fame?

Yesterday I attended the Covenant Health Community luncheon at the Delta Edmonton South. The luncheon was good--the food was much better that the Amalgamated Transit Union banquet Saturday that my dad and I attended at the Shaw Conference Centre!! The luncheon keynote speaker was David Whyte who holds a degree in Marine Zoology, is a poet, leads expeditions to the Amazon, Andes, the Galapagos Islands, and does workshops and lectures. His mother was Irish and his dad a Yorkshire lad, and David grew up in Yorkshire.  This was an interesting and unusual choice as a keynote speaker for a health care organization and an audience of administrators, board members, staff, and some volunteers. But it was inspired as far as I was concerned.  He read some of his poetry to illustrate his points, told stories from his own life, and was certainly far more entertaining and relevant than the usual choices for speakers!! Bravo Covenant!!

We were all given copies of the Annual Report and herein lies my moment of fame.  Back in August Diane Berge and I were interviewed by Krysta from Covenant Communications--she even taped the interview!  She decided to center the story about SWD around my mother's airplane dream and myself as now co-chair of SWD.  I had an honest to goodness photo shoot in early September, complete with screens, bright lights, multiple shots, fussing with the props, etc.--I felt like a super model!! Well, okay not quite!! Hahaha!! And I engaged in multiple emails with Krysta over the story. As she approaches writing from a journalism perspective--corporate journalism to be precise, and I approach writing from an academic perspective, you can imagine we had some differences!! Like when she ascribed to me a quotation that Diane had made--um, that's plagiarism!! Also I don't like inaccuracies in numbers, dates, stuff like that.  I'm sure she thought I was a real pain, but she graciously made the corrections.

I scanned the page from the report, so it's not great quality, but you will get the gist of it--I hope.  I offered to sign autographs after the meeting, but no one took me up on that!!! Hahahaha!!

I really like the story because fulfilling that dream with my mother will always be something I'll cherish for the rest of my life.