Another Busy Week

I was pretty busy all of last week, after getting back from the Shaw Festival.

"New" Laptop Computer

On the Wednesday after returning (yes, just after lunch at the Lone Star Cafe), I got a new used laptop for my mother's birthday.  It's a refurbished Dell Latitude XPi CD P150ST, in other words it is a 1997 vintage Pentium 150 system with built in CD and floppy, and two PCMCIA slots (includes a 33.6 modem in one), 32MB memory (max 48MB) and a 2GB hard drive.

I've installed RedHat 6.2 on it and with several days worth of fiddling and reinstalling and reading manuals, I've gotten almost everything working:

Dorval Island Cottage Closing & Trudeau Funeral Train

This week was the Dorval Island cottage closing week.  The trip from Ottawa to Dorval was more exiting than usual, starting at the train station on Monday morning.  There were lots of taxis and limousines outside and lots of people milling around inside the station, and lots of them were wearing delegate badges - I saw Spain and Brazil on the people ahead of me.  The huge horde of people (a couple of hundred) got on the train, which was twice as long as usual (10 cars, not 3 or 4).  After getting on board (I was one of the first since I knew where to wait), I noticed another train being assembled on the next track, using the older silver streamlined cars.  Later I found that it was Pierre Elliott Trudeau's funeral train, and the hordes were actually a group of wine tasters (someliers?) going to Montreal on the regular train, a short while before Trudeau's train left.

At each station on the way we saw a few people beside the track and always at least one TV truck with a microwave feed dish on a tall pole, setting up.  Later on that evening while watching the CBC news, I felt a bit odd seeing the same scenery going by the funeral train, though from later in the day.  After arriving at Dorval station, I walked down to the ferry and waited.  It took almost an hour since it was lunch time for the ferry crew (just missed the previous ferry due to the train delay).  I had time to watch some welders adding mooring eyelets to the barge, and to read my Analog science fiction magazine.

The next two days were busy, but very nice weather wise.  I did mostly garden cleanup on Monday (pull up plants, turn over earth, clean out flower boxes and so on).  Tuesday was spent mostly putting away things and closing up (it takes longer than you think), then driving back to Ottawa in the late afternoon.  Oh, as for the annual water level report - it was fairly low, leaving grass and seaweed on the beach.

- Alex

Copyright © 2000 by Alexander G. M. Smith.