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The doctor told me my hemoglobin and red blood cell count dipped below normal at my last blood work. I had a colon cancer kit from the hospital that they send out every couple of years to over 50s so she said to do that and send it in. Apparently one common way you can be losing blood is through the stool, especially if you're post-menopausal and not having periods anymore. I had more bloodwork and went back to her. Seh'd had the test results and it's just fine. The second bloodwork showed the offending red blood cell count a little higher, just into the normal range so she thinks i will have to start trying to get more iron in my diet. That's a fair suggestion. I think I've been low-iron in the past because i do have an iron supplement that I always forget to take. I'll have to get back in the habit of that.

Now on to figuring out what foods I can eat. She said things like leafy green veg are good but you have to eat quite a lot of it to make much difference. I had a look online. I hate liver which I mentioned to her but she asked if i liked pate. Oh yes i do like that. She suggested that maybe once a week for a start. Now i'll be looking up pate recipes! Aside from red meats, which we don't eat even on a weekly basis as a rule, I also found out that there are certain beans and nuts and seeds so I bought some trail mix from the dollar store and picked up dollar store stuff, dried apricots, almonds, sunflower seeds, more raisins and things like that. Bought a big plastic container to put it in and I can snack on that at my desk at work. Costco had a large bag of pumpkin seeds so i made some banana muffins also and threw a big handful of them in there. Yummy. All that should help. And try to remember to take the iron supplement pill! I shall be IronWoman!
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Welcome to June! Corrie's been pretty riveting this week. They always pull out all the stops for the week that they also air Britain's Got Talent and since they show it at 9 pm they also make some choices that are more "adult" viewing. Anyway, there were  a few really good storylines peaking and some performances that have to be award winning, if not this year (the awards are actually on tonight) then next year.

I have been struggling with my back most of the week though it was ok enough to go to work on Thursday and Friday. It's still a bit creaky but it will be for a few more days. Went to the chiropractor three days in a row and will likely go again next week though it might have to wait until payday. We'll see. Also have a regular doctor's appointment on Monday night so we shall see how that goes. She was talking about changing my BP meds.

Today, we were going to take a taxi to the grocery store and get some things but a friend called and we ended up going out to lunch with her first and then she took us to the grocery store which made things easier.

when we got back, we got in the elevator with the man that lives next to us. Not sure G. realized who it was because he asked what floor so he could press the button. I said Oh that's our neighbour. I don't know his name but we've exchanged hellos now and then when we've seen each other in the hallway or elevator. He's a chef, I know because usually he's wearing his whites when I see him going to or coming home from work. He was carrying two cakes or loaves and asked if we liked banana bread. Oh yes. He gave us one of them, which was still warm from the oven! Oh my god was it good! There was also chocolate in it and it was fluffy and dense and melty! That's the kind of neighbour you like to have! I bet even if i had the recipe, it wouldn't come out as good as that.

Still enjoying the series The Handmaid's Tale and apparently they're having another season of it. If you are at all familiar with the book, you will know it was left a bit up in the air with the main character so I would imagine they might fill in what happened to her afterwards. Hope so anyway and I hope Margaret Atwood is involved so the "vision" stays on board to what she'd want. It's quite good and you don't have to have read the book first. It keeps to it pretty well and the little changes are not that jarring, plus they've added in and filled in background more than is in the book to flesh it out.
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Literally, a pain in the back. For the first time in about 10 years, my back really spasmed out on me on Sunday. I've had twinges and aches and such but this is the first proper attack in quite some time though not the worst it's ever been I have to say. Stil been bloody uncomfortable. Sunday, doing nothing in particular, just walking to the kitchen it siezed up. Ice, heat, Robaxacet. It wasn't too bad on Monday but worse again on Tuesday so I went over to the chiropractor for an adjustment. My nephew was able to drive me over thankfully. Today, my cousin took me for another one but it's a lot more comfortable today. I think I'll head back to work tomorrow. If i need to go again, he's in the same complex but otherwise I'll go next week for a top off.

Thus, I probably won't get to see wee Bree this week unless we go over on the weekend. Might do that if it's nice. I know one thing, with the extra rest and painkillers, my sore heel has been a lot better, still a little sore but better. I suppose once I get back to normal routine, it will start hurting more again but maybe I can keep on top of it by foot massage and ice. I am pretty sure that's been the major contributing factor to my back problems because I've not been walking right for a couple of months now due to the sore heel.
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 Baby Bree is so tiny! Yet she's bigger than I expected. Not very big of course, still weighs a bit less than birth weight of 3 lb 14 but starting to gain back. The little fingers look incredibly fragile and her arms and legs are so skinny feeling through her jammies. They've taken her out of the main ICU part and taken her to a transitional NICU where it's quieter. It means she's doing very well so that's good. Staci can't wait to take her home but it will be a few weeks yet. 
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 I didn't really do anything on the weekend but rest my foot and my back which has been twinging lately. My back is improving as is, I think, my heel (plantar fascitis) but it's still tender. 

I did get a bunch of hotels/motels booked over the weekend for both our Vancouver leg in November and our Cape Breton road trip in September when Malcom visits. The Vancouver one is a suite hotel and by booking on the hotel website, I could use the government discount which saved us about $150 for the four nights. I just have to remember to bring my work ID card. They didn't say local government wasn't covered so I"m prepared to insist if they give me any grief. I've used it before when I've booked a hotel without any problems. The websites usually say Provincial/Federal which might seem to indicate they don't do the rate for municipal but most times you can talk them round. The hotel site for the one I booked said "Provincial / Government" which, to me, doesn't specify only Federal and that's the argument I'm taking. Anyway, it's called Rosedale on Robson and is in the area of Vancouver near the big stadium and next to the Princess Elizabeth Theatre for any of you that know the city.  Plenty of busses handy and not a far walk to the historic centre and Chinatown.  I have mentioned a milestone birthday and belated honeymoon when booking because you can often get free upgrades. 

For our road trip, it's a lower key, motel kind of trip for the first two stops and in the small city of Sydney, NS, a Comfort Inn, again with government rates. We'll drive to Cape Breton and head around the Cabot Trail. We are hoping to go Whale Watching, weather depending. It's late in the season as far as tourists go and the last time G. and I went, we couldn't get out because there weren't enough booked when we wanted to go in the morning. I think I'll try to book for an afternoon sailing and hope for the best. If I call a few days a head, we might have a good idea of whether they've already got some bookings. Two nights in Sydney after the Trail and we'll drive down to Fortress Louisbourg which is only about an hour away.  Since I'm not sure if I'm taking the whole week off when we get back, I arranged it so we're heading back home on Sunday instead of Monday, just in case I am working on Monday and Tuesday. We may do another overnight trip down the south shore and valley if we can get booked for the night sky observatory at Yarmouth. We tried last year but it was too foggy and got cancelled. 

It will be nice to see Malcom but it will also be a bit of a challenge since he's a vegetarian. We won't mind eating vegetarian with him, that's not the challenge, the challenge is to find some nice recipes. Oh it's not that difficult I know. I just want to make sure everything is nice. He won't mind if we eat meat but I think unless we're in a restaurant, I would prefer we all have the same thing, it's easier for planning meals that way.  Veggie lasagna. Curry. maple curry pasta. I know he likes that. 

I'm planning to go to the hospital after work to see la bebe!!!!! I'll text my niece later to make sure it's still ok to come. Weather's not great with windy showers but I don't care. I really want to meet the wee one. Naturally, I forgot my camera but I have my phone. 
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My tiny great niece is doing well. My niece is busy helping at the neonatal unit, working on pumping milk and helping to look after baby. She's so tiny, like a baby doll! I haven't met her yet but my niece is a bit overwhelmed and quite busy so I'm going to wait and go over after work this week instead. My mother got to go yesterday and was emotional with it. They've called her Bree Alisson. Alisson is daddy Alex's sister and she's thrilled at being name checked. Bree has dark hair, too which her daddy has. If it stays dark. They put little knitted hats on her that look far too big and her diaper, even though it's for preemies, looks enormous!

My sister is over the moon with joy and it's so wonderful to see her so happy. Not that she isnt normally a cheerful person but life has its ups and downs, it's worries and stresses but having a grandchild is such a special gift.

Catch up for books
2017 books )

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 Mom liked her tablet. I know there's going to be a learning curve but I think she'll like using it. We'll have to get her to call her ISP to get her password reset because none of the ones she thought it might be worked and they insist you call technical support to reset it. i can't do it for her because they'll want to talk to her, for security reasons. 

We saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on Saturday and enjoyed it quite a bit. We had to stay for all the credits, right to the end because there are little extra scenes thrown in and this one had extras right to the very last. Easter Eggs they're called. Anything related to Marvel has them apparently. Kurt Russel is in the movie and they had a "flashback" to when StarLord's parents were first in love. I thought that looked like Kurt as it looked back in the old days, big hair, dimples, the lot and I wondered how they did it, cgi obviously but it looked quite good. That's what he looked like back in the later Disney movie days! We saw it in 3D, something we don't usually do but depending on the movie, it works well. 

After the movie, we had a nice Thai meal, the dinner and movie being our anniversary outing. We had borrowed Mom's car and got a load of shopping in earlier as well. All that time on Saturday inside stores and the cinema on a day when the sun finally came out and it was warm and lovely. Back to damp and drizzly on Sunday and will be similar for the next few days. 


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 I don't really mind the rain, at least not in the summer. This time of year, it's dreary and chilly along with the grey skies and dampness so I'm not over fond of it in spring. In winter, it rains sideways and it's icy. Don't like that either. We've had rain for a solid week, rain, drizzle, sprinkles, showers and dull, grey skies. The Inuit have dozens of words for Snow. I think it's telling that we have a lot of words for rain. I think the sun showed for a couple of hours one day this week but mostly it's been hidden. I believe it's going to be nice tomorrow but the skies are going grey again for another few days after that according to Environment Canada's weather site. I wish it was a little warmer. I mind the cold. We're still in single digits much of the time and while 5 degrees in May doesn't feel as cold as 5 in January, it's still not very bleeding warm. 

Mother's day this weekend. We all went together and bought my mother a mini tablet, a Samsung. Not the lowest model but the one up from that. She's not going to be a heavy user so it didn't need to be bells and whistles. Didn't get the micro card for it because it was still more than I thought we'd be paying. She can get one of those herself and I think she should because if she does use it to take photos, it will chew up space quickly. I can also use the card to load her up on ebooks. She's got an ereader but it's not really working all that well, won't stay connected to the computer so it's difficult to put on new books. She can't remember what her email password is so I got a gmail set up for her so I could set up the tablet. She won't use the gmail for email but once we get her password reset, I can set up the tablet email. She'll use it for Facebook and probably email and I want to show her how to borrow ebooks from the library on it. I put her banking app on it, Scrabble, Skype and an epub ereader app. I think I put Kindle on it too in case I find a Kindle book that she can read with it. She didn't do well with a smart phone but since this one isn't a phone, I think she will probably be ok with it. She saw the one her cousin had and thought it was pretty neat so that's why I suggested this to the family. 

My niece is on strict bedrest after a leaking incident last week. She's only 31 weeks along and while the baby might survive, it's better if she can keep it in for awhile longer. They're aiming for 36 weeks, around June 9. So far so good. I don't know if she'll go the full month from now but every week the baby will get bigger and stronger and have much better odds. She feels fine, it's just the amniotic fluid that has been leaking out. Lots of people are in and out to help her and her husband is home every night and weekends. I imagine being bored is going to be her worst enemy at the moment even with her laptop and phone handy. 

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 I'm confused. We had an application that was a little broken, discovered by someone that uses it, though she'd discovered it in the testing environment before she tried to do it in the production side of things. It was related to a different change we made a month ago and didn't realize another part that would need a change with it. Points to her for raising the flat. It partly worked but partly didn't. The problem is that the code is vague and somewhat obscure and I have had a hard time following it and figuring out what it's doing. We were refreshing the test database on the weekend and then doing more testing this week. I thought I had figured out what the problem was in the application, actually quite a minor thing and I thought I deployed it to the test environment server. 

Today, we were doing testing and it still wasn't working so I dug in. Deeper and deeper. For the life of me I couldn't see where it was missing out so I added a couple of comments to be printed out on the logs to try to track down the section where I thought it might be skipping through some of the data. Made the code change for the comments, sent it over to the test server. Tried another test and it frigging well worked. I didn't make any changes to the logic, just added comments. ANd in fact the comments were not printing things properly so that was a bit useless anyway. Never mind. The only thing I can think of is that I didn't actually deploy the initial change last week though I really did think I had. I can't check now because re-deploying it overwrites it so there isn't any way to check the file date. It will show today's date now. The woman in the department that brought it up in the first place did some more testing and left me a message to say it looked good from her side. Now we just need to coordinate how we're going to deploy it in production because we're going to have to reset some data as well. 

I just wish I knew what I had or hadn't done. 
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 Welcome to May. Facebook is littered with those stupid Star Wars Day  memes. Every year, the same damn thing. I'm not going to repeat it so if on the off chance you don't know what that is, go look there :) 

There was supposed to be a baby shower for my niece on Saturday but she's had a bit of a crisis and is in hospital. She started losing amniotic fluid yesterday and my sister took her over to the maternity hospital pronto. They're keeping her for 72 hours and giving her stuff that might prevent her from going into labour and giving her steroids to encourage strong lungs in the baby in case she does. She's 31 weeks along and they say the baby weighs about 3.5 pounds. Her sister-in-law had a preemie even younger than that last year and the little fella made it through. They're going to put her on strict bed rest and hope to keep the baby inside as long as they can. Seems likely she won't go full term to July though. Needless to say the shower has been postponed. The cookies I'd ordered were already made but the woman said she'll feed them to her grandkids and make more later when we do go ahead with it. I thought she could just pop them in the freezer but she prefers to remake fresh which is nice of her. 

Yes we did get the Hawaii package booked and now I'm looking at hotels for Vancouver. Booked the airport one already. My cousin invited us to stay with them so I think what we'll do is stay in a hotel for the first few days in the city and go to her on the last two and maybe she can take us to the airport when we go to Hawaii. Or at least to the skytrain where we can change to the airport line in the city centre. Another friend in Victoria wants us to stay there as well. I can coordinate that with my aunt and uncle's dates, a few with them and then a night or two with my friend. That way, we aren't imposing on any individual too long and we still have some hotel time for our own privacy as well. 

Our second anniversary is next week but as it's a weekday, maybe we will do something on the weekend though I hear we're in for torrential rains so it might be prudent to wait and see. It's gorgeous out today but the forecast shows rain for the next week. Ah, spring. 

The series for The Handmaid's Tale has started. I have seen the first episode but not the second. They broadcast two on the premiere night and it will be once a week after that. So far, so good. I recently reread it and it was all pretty new because it's been decades since I've read it and quite a long time since I saw the movie that was made from it, too. I like the series so far and even G. watched it with me and thought it was ok. Not usually his sort of thing but he was interested enough. But for our mealtime tv watching last night, he was far more interested in the latest Gotham which I do enjoy as well. I saw something yesterday, though, that there was approval for a second series of Handmaid's Tale. Wtf? How they would be doing another series from the one book, unless someone's going to write  a sequel, I don't know. Having said that, I did hear rumours that Margaret Atwood may be doing just that so we'd finally get to know what happened to Offred after the end of the book/movie. 
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We finally have our Hawaii package booked and our honeymoon will finally happen. The whole vacation to Vancouver and Victoria is all part of it of course, but the Hawaii bit is the special part. Took ages to decide on which hotel and package to book, weighing all the costs, the rooms, the reviews. Packages are much cheaper than booking the hotel and flight separately and doing it from Air Canada gives us some extra Aeroplan miles for the next holiday. We're going to stay at the Hilton Gardon Inn Waikiki Beach. It's not right on the beach, it's a couple of blocks back but we aren't going to be spending all that much time laying in the sun on the beach anyway. I do plan to get my feet wet in the Pacific Ocean but we will be busy doing lots of sightseeing. The flights to Vancouver have been booked for awhile, now this is done. I booked an airport hotel for the night after we return from Hawaii and we'll be flying home after that.

The return flight from Oahu is an overnight flight arriving first thing in the morning. I hope we can get into our room early, maybe have breakfast and a nap and then see a bit more of Vancouver. Overnight, check out, get the hotel to hold the bags because our flight home is also overnight to Toronto before changing for Halifax. I'm going to be a wreck by the time I get here! At least the flight to Toronto is business class so we can stretch out and maybe even get a little sleep on the plane.

Now that's done, I need to figure out where we're staying once we hit Vancouver. We'll be staying with my aunt and uncle in Victoria when we arrive in BC for a few days, with possibly an overnight trip up island to see friends. Back to Vancouver for an extra long weekend, again hoping to see family and friends and see the sights. I've been to "Vangroovy" before but G. hasn't. I think this will be a great trip.

After we booked that, we did some shopping around the mall for some things G. wanted. Success on two of the items. By then our feet and backs were killing us, tramping around on that concrete floor. Coffee break and then down to the terminal to go to the post office and to the grocery story which was utterly chaotic. It was crazy. I've never seen it that packed and lined up, not even on Christmas Eve or a storm eve. Someone said they had had a power outage for four hours in the morning so that's what happened. All those people that had to wait to do their shopping all descended on the store at the same time the normal afternoon shoppers were there. Had one more thing to pick up but I'll get G. to do that in the week.

Waiting for a friend to come over for a cuppa tonight. She's going to a metal gig with G. on Tuesday night. I'm not going, gotta work in the morning. So does she but she doesn't mind. She'd rather go out! 

My bruised heel is really sore tonight after being on it all afternoon. I have a doctor's appt. on Monday so I may mention it to her though I don't think she can do anything about it.
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 Catching up on some books. A few good ones this past few weeks. Heading into a month where the Goodreads Canadian lit group is reading classic Canadian books so I have a few lined up including at least one Margaret Atwood, possibly two, Margaret Laurence and a MIchael Ondaatje (he's the one that wrote English Patient though I'm not reading that one) I will be reading a few paper backs that I won in Goodreads giveaways, too, for reviews. 

I must email my former trainer. He offered to give me a free catch up lesson if I put in a number of workouts myself. I thought he said 12 but he thinks he said 20. Anyway, I'm now more than 12 but probably less than 20 and I think he's ok with that. Helps with the motivation. I am supposed to go to the gym today and I see it raining out. Very tempted to not go but I'll try to keep with the program and go. It's not snow, after all, just rain. 

We've been watching this French mini series called 'Beyond the Door' and if you can catch it, you might like it. It's kind of creepy and weird but compelling too. A woman inherits a house from a man that actually died 30 years before. His body was in the house all that time. He left instructions in his will to open the house on a specific date. When they did,they found his body/skeleton and she was designated the legacy of the house. She didn't know him at all. On her first night in the house, she hears something behind the wall, knocks a hole through and goes through and gets lost in a warren of rooms where she finds a man who's been in the house a very long time along with some scary "Others". We've got two episodes watched and need to see the last one to see how it all comes out and if she finds her way out or not. I would hope it addresses how the old man decided to will her the house! I have a bit of an idea but we'll see. Subtitles, btw. 

2017 books )
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 G.'s 7 string electric guitar has arrived and he's one happy chappie. He's going to pick it up today. By bus. My mother had offered to take him but he thinks he'd like to try it out in the store and would feel pressured that he was holding her up waiting for him. Totally his call, I say. Him and guitars. Me and cameras. I get it :) Keep thinking I'd like to upgrade the camera for the trip this fall but we'll see. It's not necessary. The one I have is a very nice one. I won't go SLR because they're larger and bulkier to carry around. A micro 2/3 is nearly the same price but then you have to start carrying extra lenses around and we're right back to the bulk again. That reminds me that I was talking to someone recently about cameras and they knew someone that might be interested in buying a film camera. I told them I had my SLR that I'd be willing to sell, but I can't for the life of me remember who I was talking to! *doh* menopause brain. 


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 Quiet weekend. 
Back to the gym today. 
Still on a minor winning streak on scratch Bingo cards. Now that I've written it, it'll die out. It's due to, anyway. Bought one scratch Bingo for $3.00 and due to winning lots of 3 - 8 dollars in subsequent cards (each time I win, i just get another card or other type of draw ticket), I'm now about to cash in my fourth Bingo for another $3 (which means another free card) and had also got two tickets for other draws (lotto Max and 6/49) both of which didn't give me a cent back. It's just encouraging enough to keep me coming back for more. Well, if you win the exact amount that the scratch card cost, why not get another one for free? I find it amusing to see how far I can get, how many times I win enough for the next free ticket. As I said, I'm had my fourth and it's got a winner so that will be my fifth. *adds up* I think about $20 won for a $3 initial investment. Something like that. If it was $20 on one ticket, I"d have taken the cash, maybe bought one ticket with it and kept the rest. Hardly worth it to put $3 back in my pocket. I figure today's new "free" ticket will likely be the last in the streak. 

Google Earthing around the perimeter of Hawaii and looking at a bit of video of the surfers on the North Shore. Really looking forward to seeing that! I have to make a big effort to get more walking in so I am not puffing and huffing while walking around. 

*note to self* get Mom's email password. I got a few of the family to go in on a 7" tablet for her (Samsung Tab A) after she'd expressed admiration for one her cousin has. I want to get it all set up. She used to have a Gmail address but she's never used it and though I set it up for her, I don't remember the password. Apparently the table can be set up with a non-google email even if it's Android. G. has his android phone set up with his non-gmail though I have mine set up with mine. Anyway i must think of a way to get it from her without her guessing why. Really, she probably wouldn't connect the dots since she doesn't know you'd need one to set up a tablet. I just have to think of an excuse to use to ask her for it. Something like "probably would be a good idea if I have it as a backup" but I don't even know if she remembers what hers is! I know it's changed a couple of times when she's forgotten or had to reset something through her ISP. Oh well, if it comes down to it, I'll start up a new gmail for her and use that. 

Baby shower coming up for my niece. Talking of feeling old! I'm going to be a great-auntie. Am already one by marriage and a great-great-auntie by marriage too but I don't know her. My niece will be 29 by the time the baby comes. How did that happen? 29! Jesus. She was born just before I started working at this job! My manager brought round a student who will be here for a month or so getting experience and I mentioned I started here in 1988. I thought to myself, longer than you've been alive! 

And our second anniversary is also coming up. Wow.... 2 years already though we've only been living together for one of them. He says he's quite happy living here and aside from missing a few family members and friends, the only thing he really misses is the local chippie! He's starting to pick up a few more cartoon commissions, as well. Just delivered one on the weekend. 
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 I think we've decided on the hotel for Hawaii. Well, I've decided. He's quite content to let me do the research and make the arrangements since I really like doing it. I always show him what I'm going to book before I book it, though, to make sure he is ok with it. Haven't booked it yet because I'm trying to do the Air Canada Vacations package and the booking site doesn't appear to let you book the extra leg room seats on top of the basic package so I am going to go to a travel agent to see if they can do that. It's worth the extra money for me. The flight is run by Air Canada Rouge, a not-quite-no-frills airline from Air Canada, kind of like their charter service I think. Apparently a bit less leg room than normal and you pay for pretty much everything including seats, baggage and food. I'm tempted to book the Hawaii package with the business class which is cheaper than regular Air Canada B.C. but still twice the price.

Looking it up, 2 tickets for the basic fare return from Vancouver to Honolulu is a total of $1386. Business class for the same thing is 3432 and that's without the hotel. If we then booked the hotel on it's own, that is, without being in the whole package, 1469 for a king bed room with a bit of extra space. That's booking on the Air Canada site or on Expedia, a sale at the moment. Looking on the hotel's site, with the hotel's points program (which I have already joined) it's 1385 for the same room or maybe that was the basic room. I forget now. That plus the separate flights are 3053. 

An Expedia package, flight and  hotel for that hotel is  and an Air Canada package is 2278 and if i can get the extra legroom seats added on, it's still only 2560.  Save 500 booking AC package so that's a no brainer but it was worth doing the research just to check. 

Also been checking hotel prices for Vancouver but I don't know yet for sure how many nights we'll need. I'll be contacting my cousin and though I won't invite myself, I'll see if she does invite us to stay  for a night or two. I do want a hotel for part of the Vancouver stay but I'd like to stay with them for a couple of nights. I wouldn't impose more than 2 nights if she asks. I did assume I would be staying with my aunt and uncle in Victoria and I believe I did verify it was ok when I saw them last year when they were at my mom's visiting. Again, not more than a few nights. Would like to drive up to Parksville to see my friend Kazza overnight while on Vancouver Island and again, no assuming she'll ask us to stay with them so will ask her about a motel nearby. I hope to be able to drive around the island a bit, either on the way to Parksville or on the way back to Victoria. I've heard that the little town of Tofino is gorgeous!
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I've been a big fan of the Steig Larsson books, the Millennium trilogy (Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo....that series). The author died but a couple of years ago, another Swedish writer took up the mantle. David Lagercrantz released The Girl in the Spider's Web. I read it. I thought it was not *quite* as good or gripping but... not bad either. A Worthy successor and it was popular enough to become a legitimate best seller. Why did they even bother, some might ask? Leave well enough alone. Maybe yes. But why not? There are a lot of books and series that take up the characters in Star Wars, Star Trek etc. Not quite the same thing since they weren't books to start with but authors are still creating new works about well known characters.

There was a sequel written many decades after Gone With the Wind, approved by the estate of Margaret Mitchell called Scarlett. It wasn't bad but it was more of a bodice ripper type historical romance than the original which was very, very good and while did centre on Scarlett O'Hara's loves, was also set in the Civil War and the lives of people in the South during and after. The sequel was more about Scarlett's campaign to get Rhett Butler back. The mini series they made from it was appalling. Even though the author of the sequel wrote the mini series, she still changed the ending which made no sense to me. Why have a different ending from the book you wrote if you figured you'd be selling the filming rights to it anyway? (without looking it up. perhaps she even got the contract to write the book with the knowledge that she'd be writing a filmed version, for all i know).

Never mind that. The Spider's Web book was quite good even if not quite the same treatment of the characters that Larsson created. There's a new sequel coming out this fall called The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye. Oh dear. Not too keen on that title. They tend not to have the same English titles as the Swedish ones. Sure enough, the book is titled in Swedish as Mannen som jagade sin skugga and translates to ”The Man who Chased his Shadow”. Why couldn't they have gone with that? Probably because it's not as identifiable as "The Girl With...." titles. The plot according to this Swedish site (though it's in English) says that Lisbeth is in a harsh women's prison and gets new information about her past. It's about Lisbeth taking revenge. Nothing new about that. That's been a common thread in all of these books. I think the more I look at it, the more I intensely dislike the English title they've chosen for it.

Entertainment Weekly has a short interview with Lagercrantz. He says that the plot will revolve around the history behind the massive dragon tattoo on Lisbeth's back. The author is also contracted for another book after this one.

The next news on this same subject is the films. I saw the original three Swedish films with Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth. They were excellent. Sony made an American version of the first book starring Rooney Mara and it did ok I think. I liked it well enough but the Swedish version had a bit more atmosphere, I think. Sony is going to make another American movie but they're skipping over books 2 and 3 and jumping into Spider's Web but not using the same cast as the first American version. It will be interesting to see who they end up casting. The IMDB placeholder is here but they only have credits for the director and writers so far. The trivia on the IMDB page speaks about the possibility of casting either Natalie Portman or Scarlett Johansson but I wouldn't like either of them in the role. Far too "Hollywood". The first Hollywood version used an actor who was less known and I think it worked better. Another name that's been mentioned is Alicia Vikander who is Swedish and was the robot in Ex Machina. Might have possibilities there. She appears to be filming a new version of Tomb Raider so she will likely have the chops to do action.

I'll be following this with interest and I am pretty sure I'll be buying the book when it comes out in the fall.

tvordlj: (Movies)
We went to the movies today and saw Ghost in the Shell in 3D. Now, I'm not a fan of manga and I have absolutely no familiarity with this story which is apparently a well known one among fans. G. saw the original Japanese manga movie though he's not really into manga either so the movie today, which had a lot of the same elements, made sense to him. Yes, I had a bit of trouble keeping it all straight. Part of that seems to be that I nodded off at one point! Eek! I was drowsy at a few points but was making an effort to stay awake and watch. I think i was just comfy in the dark and there were some slow bits and off i went. And I also think that because I was a bit confused watching it, my attention strayed and that made me drowsy as well.

Anyway, I had thought I would like it, since I often like scifi and I like Scarlet Johansson for the most part. I did find myself questioning things I had no business questioning like why would she be urged to breathe when she first came to after her initial creation. I thought, but she's mostly a machine, wouldn't all that be fired up and running and supplying the brain with the needed oxygen? She wouldn't actually have real lungs. Never mind.

The movie is about a woman who has been turned into a cyborg but with her human brain implanted to give her the best of both worlds, the ability to be a fighting machine but with the reasoning and intelligence of a human rather than AI. And fight she does, very well. She has some funky visions or "glitches" but they are dismissed by the doctor. She's trying to track down an entity that keeps uploading his conscience into others and using their bodies to kill several of the doctors and board members at the corporation that does the cyborg/human thing. Things are not as they seem but she finds out some truths by the end though in the end, nothing really changes for her life. She will continue as she has been which sets things up for possible sequels of course.

The special effects were very good and I figured they would be, which is why I thought we might see it in 3D. That's not something I usually go for but sometimes it does enhance the movie. I like Scar-Jo as I said and the man that played her sidekick was good, too. He's a Danish actor and was also in Game of Thrones as one of the Greyjoys, not Theon, the one that became Reek, one of his uncles.
tvordlj: (Default)
 Hmm Looks like most of my content from Livejournal is nearly here. That's good. I'll keep an eye over there for a bit and cross post until things seem to be running smoothly here. I don't expect it will get busier there than it was over there because that's just the way it was going but I still enjoy writing and keeping a log of anything notable, even if it's just for myself. 

I've cracked. I've broken down and wore my spring coat this morning. Yesterday the temps got up to about 20 or so, spectacular weather. Still wearing a scarf but not a heavy one. I mind the draft on my neck when the morning breeze is still a bit chilly. 

I really need to get back out walking again, even if i can only go to the end of the street and back at first. I don't find it as difficult to walk on a treadmill when I'm at the gym but I don't get to the gym every single day so I am going to make more of an effort to get short walks in on non-gym days now that the weather is better. I have to build up my stamina again or our holiday this fall will be miserable for me if i can't walk very far. My own damn fault for letting myself slack off any exercise at all last year. I've been back at it but not really as much as i should be and that has to change. 

My niece is doing ok, though she's had a lot of heartburn, that's really her only complaint other than being tired. We're having a baby shower in early May for everyone all at once, both sides of her family, friends etc. She hates fuss but she knew she wouldn't get away without having a shower so told her mother in law and her mother that they could plan one all encompassing one. I've bought a stack of children's books for her gift. I should also get a gift card from the bookstore, baby's first Chapters' card! She can bring the baby with her on our next Christmas visit to the shop along with my mother and i. It's been our tradition. I'm so excited to see the baby (girl), my great-niece! My sister is losing her mind with joy at her first grandchild and that's wonderful to see! Not the losing her mind part, but the joy. As happy as she has been being a step-granny to her husband's grandchildren and she loves them all to bits, her own baby having a baby is special. 
tvordlj: (Default)
 I woke up my fella this morning before I left for work. Reminded him of his dentist appointment. He mumbled that he thought it was tomorrow. It's on Wednesday, right? Right, I confirmed. This is Tuesday, he told me. Is it? Oh. 

Go back to sleep. 

Doh. Now I have an extra day to work this week! ;) Well, I"m just glad it's a long weekend with Friday and Monday off. So, in a way, today *was* hump day! 
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Looks like a lot of people are drifting over to Dreamwidth and abandoning ship here. I had a DW account years ago and deleted it so I created a new one. it's tvordlj (L not a number 1) over there. I've added a few of you that I could find. Feel free if you like. I"ll probably cross post for a little while. Nice that you can import all your LJ content, though, which I have done and await it's completion. There's a lot of it to I don't expect it to be done too soon.

It's not like i use this site as frequently as I used to but it's still nice to see if anyone is around and touch base, as well as blog some stuff now and then. I like keeping track of my books, reviewing movies sometimes and generally chatting about life stuff. It's as much for my own sake as anyone reading or not reading. I have my blog for books and reading related stuff and my travel blog both on Wordpress but I like to keep them both on topic.

Anyway, last one here before I make the jump

Weekend was pretty good. Got Mom's car and busted the bank at Costco on Saturday, with a small grocery run as well. G. had a Skype interview with a friend over in Copenhagen, Dave Ingrahm who used to be the singer in a number of well known bands including Bolt Thrower. He wanted to do the interview and put him on his own radio show Autopsy Report. Dave has a net radio show called Metal Breakfast Radio. Saturday night Graham had a guest list invite to a gig at an all ages club that we have here. It wasn't really a hot bed of activity unfortunately. The band he was set up to interview was called Double Experience and we did that outside the venue against the graffitied wall which was bright and colourful. It was too noisy inside. They are from Ottawa and they have developed "nerd metal" because they're very much into sci fi and gaming and things so a lot of their lyrics are long that line.

we stayed for the gig, though the first band that was on was absolute shite. They weren't more than kids, really. The second band was a bit better, they could at least all play the same thing at the same time but they couldn't sing.
Also unfortunately, the sound system wasn't very good. That wouldn't have helped those first two bands much in any case.

Double Experience, though, were really very good. Not really metal, just nice and crunchy and hard. They were only a three piece band with the drummer being a session guy, not their regular one, but they were really good. Lots of enthusiasm even with the 2-3 dozen in the crowd. THey still gave it their all. G. and I stood off to one side because most of the "crowd" were just young, we feeling like granddad and grandma! Never mind. The music was good even with the bad sound system. I'd definitely go see them again. I guess because it was an all ages club they have an early night. We were out of there by 9! I don't think there was another set and the one they did wasn't very long but you have to give them credit. Apparently, they're going to be going to Montreal's Comiccon, too, which is a coup for them.

Sunday night we went out to dinner with a dozen old friends so that was a nice evening, too, if more age-relateable :)

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