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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Back in Toronto!

After a lengthy Christmas hiatus, I'm back!

Christmas in Newfoundland went well. Got to catch up with my older brother Danny and older sister Susan, got some free meals and cookies, and even managed to interact with the nieces and nephews. This seems to be getting easier as they get older (the oldest of them are both eight now) and we've moved past the "you must pour admiration on them 24-7" phase. It's also now possible to begin to corrupt them, mainly by buying them the right books for Christmas presents (i.e. books their parents won't). Right now that's Diana Wynne Jones, but in a few more years it'll be Philip Pullman (Golden Compass), John Christopher's Tripod books, etc.

Managed to see Treasure Planet and Two Towers again as well, and injected some cash into the local economy with various presents and at my favorite used bookstore in the world, Afterwords.

The only tense moments came on Boxing Day, when Dave and I were to fly out. We show up at St. John's Airport (which after a couple of years of renovations now looks like every other airport in the world, instead of a cargo shed) at 8 AM for our 9 AM flight, only to find out that flight was changed to 6:50AM and they couldn't managed to contact us to tell us. That's the last time I get tickets thru Expedia.ca! Fortunately, they could put us on the 1:30 PM flight, but unfortunately, this was the day of the big Atlantic storm, so we had to sit there for hours watching the weather close in and more and more flights get cancelled. Still, the incoming Toronto direct flight made it (all the ones going thru Halifax were cancelled), so we bordered about a half-hour behind schedule, spent another half-hour de-icing, and where then told we were on a weather hold and might have to go back to the terminal. But, things must have cleared somewhat because we managed to take-off about 25 minutes later, and it was an uneventful flight from there. Thank Gnu.