Senate and residency

The recent controversy over residency in their “home” province by Canadian Senators is a puzzle. Apparently there is no definition of residency.  Senators must be in Ottawa to attend Senate sessions.  I dont know how many days that is per year  There are Senate committee hearings.  Their attendance is judged basically by attending sessions and hearings.  Somehow they have to “live” in Ottawa.  They must also be permanent residents of the province for which they were appointed.  In Saskatchewan one must live 182 days of the year to qualify for a provincial health card.  Senator Wallin seems to have run afoul of that one.  She is in Saskatechewan only some 160 days.  Perhaps the members of the Senate should be selected for their ability to be in two places at the same time.


I have a bad case of the Februaries, an ailment where irritability peaks,  the hope that Spring will show up diminishes, on the plus side I am losing weight exactly according to plan.  I am five pounds heavier than when I was in university back in the 12th century.

Dialysis treatments lately have been quite smooth, although one of the pair of needles that go into my forearm for treatments today hurt like a sonofagun.

Too much dirty snow around.  Too many grey skies.  The only sunny days are usually brutally cold.   We seem to be threatened at least once a week by possible freezing rain.

I deactivated my Facebook account.  Had enough.  My social network digital life can go jump in some digital lake.

Finally figured out a key camera function setting on my Nikon D3100, sometimes I am only about ten per cent as smart as I would like to think I am.

The dog thinks I am crazy.  The cats have forgotten who I am.

I would like Spring to come early.   Trouble is Ontario has a wretched Spring, cold, wet, grey skied days, where snow finally recedes leaving us with grime from the sand thrown on the roads and the mud that has been waiting for the heat to return them to their normal state.  Then just aw we are all about to sell and move south, we get a hot spell, a thunderstorm and everything in the local corner of the universe bursts into bud and then almost too quickly to be imagined, full green leaves and we are saved.

Camera chit chat – my Olympus SZ-14 24x zoom

I bought this about two months ago and have used it enough and in enough situations to have a few observations.

  • price was $129
  • compact to easily fit in a coat pocket
  • I like the pronounced bulged grip
  • not so crazy about the tiny wrist strap, I am looking for a replacement
  • no evf or optical viewfinder, but a nice back panel to take an review photos
  • I shoot mainly in Program mode, more control over settings
  • sometimes use SCN mode as well
  • SD card
  • battery is rechargeable, shoots for a longish time, no problem with it so far.

The SZ14 indoors at night is perhaps a little too confident about its image stabilization ability.  With ISO set to Auto, it often chooses 1/4 of a second, which produces mixed results.  It is possible to chang ISO in Program Mode to ISO HIGH, but the camera is still cocky and only raises shutter speed to a less than quick 1/15th of a second.  Part of the blame is my home is not terribly well illuminated and has lots of dark wood panelling, circa 1970 in it.

To be honest given how well this camera works generally, I am still working out if it isn’t me doing something dumb that is creating this dark at night slow shutter speed problem.

Other than this slight quirk, I like the SZ14 and carry it with me often becasue it is small, compact enough to be pocketable, and takes decent pictures.  It also cost just $129.00




poem – Trust and Time

a poem written and revised today Feb. 1, 2013

 Trust and Time

Sunshine lies about the deep freeze outside.

Trust me says the clear, clean light.

I wonder if I am making the same old mistake.

Makes me worry if summer will find her way back.

My muse is still wandering around out there

and nowhere close enough to help me.

The empty branches sleep under ice cold, snow trim.

I study the tracks – our boots and the dog’s paws,

adding up the rabbits, the squirrels, the full-grown raccoon,

and the mourning doves’ dance marks.

The cedars balance their snow and ice burden.

For a moment I recalI planting those

with my Mother thirty five years ago,

shovel cutting the hard-packed dirt,

gently planting the new trees,

back filling these tiny tree-lets,

patting down the soil with my hands,

the warmth of the air that day,

rising from my annoyed knees,

carefully watering in the new green occupants.

Sharing the easy work, loving the hope and promise

of all the future love of these green gifts.


Today sparrows and chickadees arrive to perch there,

fluttering down from our dark green wall

for the sprinkled seeds, winter sustenance,

our annual winter gift to them. It is all trust and familiar

and the repetition of small joys.