Friday, 30 April 2021

The Out of Office Notification

Someone said, “Happiness is an empty inbox.” I can’t relate!

But I can say, Woo-Hoo! Finally time to log off for some much needed R&R! Rest, relaxation, and try to de-stress for a bit. That inbox isn’t going anywhere.

13,790 items? Ugh! 😕

There was a time when I would faithfully try and clean up and organize my inbox, but the longer I am in this job, the more I am convinced that to do so is a futile waste of time. No sooner would I file away twenty emails, than I would be greeted by fifty new ones. Double Ugh! So here’s to some much needed vacation time. I can only imagine what the inbox will look like in two weeks when I return to the office ... 15,000 maybe?

Maybe if I return to the office. Maybe I’ll opt to retire instead. Maybe that’s wishful thinking. Maybe I’ll just try and forget the inbox. Maybe it’s time to log off this iPad too and turn off all social media. Maybe, no, nothing maybe about; it IS time to just unplug and chill.

Consider this my Out of Office notification. 😎  

Thursday, 29 April 2021

of Old Books and the Evolution of Language - Part 2

Yesterday I introduced one of two very old books I was pleased to acquire. If you missed it, you can find that post here.

Today I introduce the second book, The Afflicted Man’s Companion. It first appeared in print in 1744 and was authored by John Willison (1680-1750) of the Church of Scotland. It has been said of the author that he was a “prolific writer of practical Christian literature.”

From what I’ve been able to discover thus far, the author’s purpose in this book was to provide a bedside devotional for those sick and dying who would otherwise be unable to meet with the church to hear the pastor’s sermon.

Upon initial examination, a couple things stood out as interesting. First, it would appear that somewhere in this book’s history a former owner had tried to sew part of the cover back on. Secondly, it has a homemade brown paper book cover. I was reminded of doing similar things with my school books back in elementary school. Then the idea was not just to protect the school-owned books, but also to be able to personalize it by doodling harmlessly on the book’s cover. 

The introduction dates the book 5th June, 1741. I don’t know who James (can’t make out the last name) is. Probably he is either the author of of the introduction, or perhaps an early owner who simply chose to sign his name on that page.

This too is a fascinating little fragile book that I am also looking forward to spending some time in.

Happy reading.


Wednesday, 28 April 2021

of Old Books and the Evolution of Language

I have a confession to make. I’m a bookworm. I love books. I love bookstores, and I especially love used bookstores. I could easily spend hours in them, and have done just that a time or ten. There is nothing quite as awesome as finding those hidden treasures. Equally interesting is researching those authors of yesteryear. Who were they? What were they known for? Fascinating stuff!  

A friend of mine owns a used bookstore in the community I live in. Today I received a text message from her about two old books she had. I guess she knows me, because I was promptly in the car and headed to her bookstore. I walked out with my two treasures, plus eight others!

Ah, yes; the life of a bookworm!


Not being familiar with the author, I turned to Google to see what I could learn about the Rev. Charles Drelincourt. Amazing what one can find online today! Reverend Drelincourt was a French Reformed Church pastor who lived between 1595 - 1669. The book begins with a 16-page biography of the author.

I did a little more research online and discovered that modern copies of The Christians Consolations Against the Fears of Death can still be had. 

I wish I knew how old this book was. If we are to go by the Roman numerals on the cover page, MDCCLXXI, then it seems to suggest a date of 1771.

I will definitely read this book, gently and carefully, given its rough shape. To do so I am going to have to retrain my mind to some older ways of writing, such as the two forms of our modern letter “s.” The final “s” is written basically the same as we do today. Anywhere else in the word (other than the last letter), the “s” is written differently.

When I first saw this, I was instantly reminded of ancient Koine Greek which also has two forms for their equivalent of the letter “s.”  I found that fascinating to think of how languages evolved, and in some ways, similarly.

Happy reading. 


Click here for Part 2

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Alberta Weather Illustrated

If you don’t like
the weather,
wait an hour.


I don’t know who coined that, but I like it; it describes my home province of Alberta perfectly!

We’re a province of extremes when it comes to weather, and especially here in the southern part of the province where I live. When those wonderful and infamous Chinook winds cascade over the Rockies, you could be shovelling snow off the driveway before work in the morning, and taking in the golf course on the way home afterwards.

I remember a cold snap we had last winter that saw much of the province under a  -55C windchill. Yes, that was a little cold. I almost had to wear a toque and scarf (Ha, Ha). However a week later my wife and I enjoyed an evening cup of coffee on the back deck under a beautiful windless +15C. That’s a 70-degree increase in temperature!

Welcome to Alberta, where the phrase dressing for the weather doesn’t mean anything!

Photo Source: Unknown

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

The Selfie


have to deal
lot of crop.

Got to love these new smartphone cameras and photo apps! It's really quite amazing what you can do with them! I thought this selfie turned out rather well.

Remember the old days?

We would take what we hoped were good pictures, but then have to wait until we used up the whole roll of film before knowing for sure. Next someone had to venture out to a camera shop or some other specialized photo development store to drop the film off. Sigh!

Unfortunately that wasn't the end of it. Then you had to go back again a few days later, waste more time and burn more gas, just to pick up your pictures. But the good news was, it was like Christmas when you did finally get them back because by then you'd completely forgotten what was on the film in the first place. Surprise!

If you were fortunate, there were more good pictures than bad, and it was worth spending the money to get them developed. Finally when one hour phone service became an option, well, that was just utopic! Ah, those were the days!


Postscript: Yes, the beard is real.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

What Has Four Letters


What has four letters,

occasionally has twelve letters,

always has six letters,

but never has five letters.

Source: Unknown