database prototype built while getting my blood cleaned in Dialysis run

built a simple prototype database in the first hour or so of my dialysis treatment this afternoon…so built one hand  ed in Microsoft Access 2007….to hold information for an archaeology/heritage inventory for townships in Simcoe County.

I am the “long” guy on my dialysis shift, four and a half hours.  Most patients have their blood cleaned and excess fluid removed for  3.5 to 4 hours.  I go three afternoons per week. I Started dialysis in November of 2008.  Dialysis patients sit in a chair that resembles an easyboy recliner. Patients are given access to individual small television sets with earphones.  Some watch TV, some read, some nap. I use my laptop a couple of times per week.

I dug in on this after a presentation last night to the heritage committee of Springwater Township.   Jamie Hunter, curator of the Huronia Museum, and me, a member of the Huronia Chapter of the Ontario Archaeological Society and a semi-retired technical writer and Access Database systems analyst ( that is a little bit puffed up but not too outrageously), made the presentation which I had built in Powerpoint.  The two of us did wel and the committee seemed sold on the idea of gathering this information about First Nations archaeological sites,  early Euro-Canadian properties and still-standing heritage buildings.  A lot of information has been recorded but it is somewhat scattered.  A database is a good way to gather and share this information.

I am a little rusty in Access and need to brush up on a few things like  one to many relationship table linkage.  Today I built a primary table, one query, one online entry form, and two reports…..with a single test record.

I screen captured the form and the one columnar report and placed them in the revised Powerpoint slide show for use with the next township heritage committee.

It is always best to have a specific project to achieve when trying to learn or relearn software.

new laptop first impressions

Sony Vaio E series

liking it, battery length with no DVD use is about 5 hours, like the case and the white keyboard., texture pattern on the case is also very very nice

with DVD use, charge time drops to near three hours.

my previous laptop was a lower priced Gateway that had a couple of ergonomic features that I never got totally comofortable with….an odd touchpad design, and a shortish battery charge length……but it was inexpensive and worked ok for my kind of software efforts.

probably my favourite laptop is my still running but needing some replacement parts (battery number 3 and the power adapter cable) iBook G3 that I bought back in 2001.

I am considering spending for those parts and using it for word processing, hmmmm

this time around the budget just could not handle the Apple laptop price points and the 13.3 inch screen turned me off.

old Canadian fighter plane

two photos I took at Base Borden Museum, Angus, OntarioCF-5 1968-1995.



The Canadair CF-5 (officially designated the CF-116 Freedom Fighter) was the Canadair licensed-built version of the American Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter aircraft primarily for the Canadian Forces. The CF-5 was upgraded periodically throughout its service career in Canada. The Canadian Forces retired the type in 1995, although CF-5s continued to be used by other countries into the early 21st century.

The CF-5 was ordered by the Royal Canadian Air Force, which became part of the Canadian Forces on 1 February 1968. The new unified force took delivery of the first CF-5s (it was almost universally referred to as the CF-5 except in official documentation) at the end of 1968. Total production by Canadair for Canadian Forces was 89 single-seat aircraft and 46 dual-seat aircraft. Many were also built for the Netherlands and Norway as well, and some surplus aircraft were sold to Venezuela.[


Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office on...

Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office on Air Force One following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just noticed an article in the sports page using LBJ in the title, referring to LeBron James of the NBA.   I am almost 60 years old and for me first and forever, LBJ, refers to Lydon Baines Johnson, once President of the United States.

LBJ is perhaps the most complex politician in the history of America.  I just finished reading volume four of the biography of Johnson  by Robert Caro.  It traces the 1960 election that saw LBJ dither about running for President, the race won by JFK, the odd making of the Democratic ticket, the campaign, the Vice-Presidency of Johnson, the assassination of JFK, and the transition of Johnson from VP to President. Caro describes so very clearly the blocked legislative situation that had stopped JFK’s plans and how Johnson magnificently rose to the challenge of that frozen state and moved key legislation through his astute judgement and long experience with Congress.

In the future and final volume Caro will describe the Voter Registration Act that Johnson drove through and the quagmire of Viet Nam.

Portable typewriter Olympia SM-9

Olympia SM-9 portable manual typewriter made in West Germany

The parental units decided to buy this new in the 1960s and turned my older sister and I loose to type up school materials.  I was the typist of the student kind for my high school newspaper for four years.  I used this piece of German engineering almost all the way through the University of Toronto.  I went electric with the Smith Corona Coronamatic, which used ribbon cartridges.

early workstation

WAR of 1812 Fort York, Toronto, Ontario, Canada – writing desk or secretary

visited there last week with my Nikon D3100 and a Metz 44 flash

organized and simplicity, wonder where the candlestick sat.  For those unfamiliar with the design, the writing surface is a fold down surface.  When writing done, the surface lifts back up and locks securely with a key.  There were also a few secret compartments in desks of this type.

early 19th century time travel always jars when it reminds how much we rely on electricity for absolutely everything.