The Trip to Dorval Island

This was reading week. It all started on Tuesday with a car trip to Dorval Island, Quebec. We ran from ominious thunder clouds out of Ottawa, quickly out-distancing them and passing through some heavy rain in Quebec. We arrived at the Dorval Provigo store ahead of the rain. A car full of groceries later, we pulled up at the dock and unloaded. More ominous dark clouds were in the distance, coming down the St. Lawrence river. The ferry won the race with the furious storm front. Groceries loaded, we enjoyed a sound and light and ice show from inside the nice solid steel ferry. Eventually, the storm settled down to strong winds and rain, so we could see the island from the shore, thus the ferry was able to depart.

Lots of Science Fiction Books

The rest of the week was less exciting, as I averaged a paperback SF book a day. It's quite nice being able to read without interruptions. I was pleasantly surprised by Red Dust, a random grab from the shelf telling about a race across a future partially terraformed but decaying Mars during civil war, with good AI and nanotech use. Heavy Weather, about tornado chasing after climactic chaos, was good. Wagers of Sin was a nice time travel type story with excellent plotting. The Widowmaker was good pulp action. Bright Messengers was written by a senile person (like the last Heinlein books) and was the dud in the group (no SF unlike the original Rendezvous with Rama, lecturing about WW2 atrocities and human failings).

Other Activities

Later, I got the TV working and I realised how slow it is - you spend a lot of time watching the TV when nothing much is happening, unlike a book, which doesn't have slow parts. Of course, that could be the fault of the Olympics opening ceremonies - I stopped watching after they got to the letter E. Commercials also seem like a time waster now.

On the computer side, I got the powerbook and modem working and was able to look up a local AOL number for my Mom's work. I was able to use Tymnet to connect to BIX where I could telnet to Achilles and FreeNet. I also did a bit more C++ textbook studying.

Oh, I also successfully smuggled out 7 bottles of caffeine free non-diet Pepsi from Quebec. They don't have that kind of stuff in Ontario any more. It's a demographic effect, Quebecois apparently like sugar more than people in the other provinces.

- Alex

Copyright © 1996 by Alexander G. M. Smith.