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My Canadian Experience
March/April/May/June 2008

On March 8th we got a fair bit of snow and not many people venturing out.  In the second picture the snow plough had only just moved through doing a first skim on the road and you can just see it in that picture...

We've actually had more snow this year that the past couple of years.

On 3rd April we had a Scottish Week event in Toronto at the CN Tower which replaced our normal Tartan Day dinner.  At the event was Linda Fabiani MSP and the Provost of Glasgow.

This event was paid for by the Scottish Executive and instead of paying for tickets everyone was given free access but asked for a donation to the Scottish Studies Foundation.  We raised something in the region of $45,000 which was exceptional.

My thanks to Doug and Pat Ross for the above pictures.

(l-r) Neil Fraser (former Tartan Day Dinner Chairman), the Hon Donald S. Macdonald (Scot of the Year 1996), the Hon. Alastair Gillespie (Scot of the Year 2003), Pipe Major John Wakefield.

A Video of the event is being produced and I'll bring you a copy of it when it arrives.

During this time frame I've been working on getting the outside of my house finished by doing a bit of planting...

As it happens as all this was going on various neighbours decided to tidy up their front lawns so all in all the neighbourhood is looking good :-)

And as you can from the above picture we've been getting severe thunderstorms with significant hail thrown in. I think this is the first time I've seen such hail in Chatham of this size anyway.  Quite a lot of damage done in the area.

I decided to get one of these green audits done on my house so a chap called round with all his gear and proceeded to check out the house...

And these last two pictures are the images taken to show air leaks around the windows and doors.

I also took the opportunity to replace my large carpet with a smaller one in my living room to show off more of the wood floor...

Got myself a new mobile phone with a built in 5Mb pixel camera.  It's a Sony Ericsson Cybershot 5.0Megapixel camera and Mobile phone combined...

So on one side you have the phone and on the other the camera. The garden pictures above were taken with this camera. 

Essentially I only have a mobile phone for emergencies so it's rarely switched on but I do take it with me all the time.  I saw a review of this unit on a news program and I thought to myself that for me this would make a great deal of sense.  I only take my big camera with me when I know I'm going to take pictures. That means it's usually not with me when I just go around locally or to an event where I don't intend to take pictures.  I have found that when I don't have the camera with me I do find the odd time when I wished I had it with me as a great opportunity presents itself quite unexpectedly.  So now I have this phone I won't be caught out without a decent camera.

During this time frame I also attended an event at the British Consulates residence to promote the Highland and Islands University and also an event organised by the University of Guelph where we got speakers from Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, the USA and Canada.  It went very well indeed.

As to work... a lot has been achieved over these past few months and it's been decided to move the business from Kentucky to Mitchigan.  With the move we hope to double our bandwidth for just around a 20% increase in fees instead of doubling it. We hope to make the move around August.  We've also made a start at adding a community site and so our forums are now up and we've added some 300 Arcade games.  The forums software also has picture hosting, blogs, rss feeds, radio and TV and live chat. We've more to do as there are other facilities we'd like to offer.

As tomorrow is Canada Day I also read with much interest a substantial article comparing the USA to Canada from MacLean's magazine and thought I'd share it with you. It's not that I'm trying to compare America with Canada but more that the statistics are interesting for both countries.

And so that's it for this period in time. I'm really just continuing these diary events to remind myself of the highlights :-)

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