Archive for February, 2013

Arrowhead Provincial Park and more (Second week in Canada)

February 21, 2013

Feb 11 to 15 was TLG’s first (and only, as yet) full week of school as his first and third weeks both had snow days.  He has settled into school and enjoys it.

We are still working on finding food for him and getting him to try new foods.  He likes ham sandwiches and peanut butter sandwiches and has eaten great amounts at supper but we can’t find much in the way of fruit that he will eat.

The weather has continued interesting with bitter cold followed by thaws, driving snows followed by rain.  Indeed, this week (really our third) there have been two snow days with the latter one entirely justified but the former a poor example of prediction.  The house quickly becomes cramped and boring for a seven year old so he prefers to go to school, nearly as close as the one in Korea and less than ten minutes on foot away.

Penetanguishene’s Winterama was on the weekend and we watched the parade Friday night.  The parade was short as many school teacher unions are recommending against participating in after-school events.  Also, some schools had problems with the theme “The War of 1812″.  In watching the parade, I saw a lot of references to local history but none specific to our War of Kicking US Butt.  I do understand, in a general way, that we shouldn’t glorify war but it is also local (European, and so recorded) history and this region has more of that than much of Ontario.

Anyway, we enjoyed the carnival Saturday morning and TLG saw his first bit of hockey.  Although I am thoroughly Canadian, I was too uncoordinated to enjoy playing the game and so never pushed the sport on him.  I did enjoy the camaraderie and sportsmanship I saw on Saturday, but TLG was non-committal.  He rode a pony, a hay-wagon and a snowmobile and we watched some of the “polar plunge”.  I think the Busan Polar Bear Swim has spoiled me for lesser events.

That afternoon, we went to Bracebridge and visited with friends.

On Sunday, we went to Arrowhead Provincial Park to skate and tube. Good times but would have been great -and still well below freezing – if it had been ten degrees warmer.

We also swam at the fantastic Bracebridge pool, enjoying a slide, a full size pool, a kids pool and warm-tub.

Monday was “Family Day”, a new holiday that allowed us to spend more time with my Bracebridge friends.  We tobogganed at Kerr Park in Bracebridge and loved it although I had a bad landing and really felt it the next day.

Tuesday and Wednesday (today) are snow days here.  Yesterday threatened freezing rain but was only warm and dry.  Today, there is a lot of blowing snow.  I like it.

A rant about rants

February 13, 2013

While in Korea, I listened to a lot of CBC radio and TVO audio news.  Here in Canada, I have been too lazy to search for the local CBC station.  The strongest, clearest station that I don’t mind is 95.7FM from Barrie.  On it is segment called “the Cheap Seats” in which a man rants about various a new thing every day.

This sounds like a  tough gig.  Each day, he has to be angry or upset about something.  Actually, now and then, he goes out of his way to applaud someone’s actions and I admire that although that too would become boring after a few repetitions.

Gosh, I feel like a bad man for admitting that.  I want to hear good things about people every day but I expect I would have to work at it to keep listening after the first week.

Anyway, finding five things to be angry about every week is a tough job.  Rick Mercer does a good job of it, and is usually very funny in the process, but he only does it once a week.

At The Cheap Seats, some recent rants were about Canada Is Cold and Tough, and Cars Don’t Have Cool Shapes Anymore and both bugged me.  Ah, these weren’t consecutive releases, so I am open to the charge of nitpicking.

“Canada is Cold and Tough” discussed how well our country functions with snow while the southern US and other locations are paralyzed by dustings of snow.  This is likely true.  My recent home cities of Busan and Sokcho (both in South Korea) suffered greatly by snowfalls that I found comforting.  On the other hand, they have managed very well with typhoons and moderate water shortages that would terrify and infuriate Canadians respectively.

“Cars Don’t Have Cool Shapes Anymore” was a rant about the boring sameness of cars these days.  He seems uncaring about gas mileage or economy and unaware of the current variety available to buyers.  From Smart Cars to Nissan Cubes to trucks and SUVs, I think there is similar variety to the heyday of the El Camino.

finding things to complain wittily about is tough.  Good luck to The Cheap Seats and pick up your game, man.

Our first week in Canada

February 11, 2013

Here is a brief look at our first week in Penetang, Ontario.  I am on my mother’s computer and don’t want to take too much time on it so a lot of this post will be terse to the point of being cryptic.  I am writing this post more for my memory than for international scrutiny.

Just before coming to Canada, I had one last hike on a small, local mountain and finished the hike in my T-shirt. The day before leaving, The Little Guy (TLG) and I rode our bikes to Eulsookdo.
last mountain

 

Jan 31: Long slow drive home – often terrible visibility.  Went to sleep early, up at 3:30 for the day

Sat Feb 1: Midland winter Carnival.  Candy cannon and dog-sled ride

 

winter carnival saturday (4)

 

Here, re-enactors fire the Candy cannon, much as the originals would have done to fight the Americans in 1812.  Britain had access to sugar cane and so worked to rot the American’s teeth.

Sun Feb 2.  Visited the Wye Marsh where my mother volunteers.

 

feb 3 (10)

 

feb 3 (28)

 

Mon, Feb 3: First day of school, chose a cat

 

big snow (3)

Tues, Feb 4: picked up cat “Colino7” from the SPCA.  Colino7 is a four-year-old neutered cat that apparently lived outside for a month or two before being brought in to the SPCA.  I say apparently because the volunteer at the pound pointed out that she only had the drop-off person’s word to go by and that wasn’t always trustworthy.  The cat is amazingly laid-back and has quickly adjusted to living in our home.  TLG, who loves the number seven, named the cat.

catWed, Feb 5: I drove to Toronto to Korean Consulate, and Barrie Drive Test for Ontario drivers licence

Thurs, Feb 6: Vet checkup for cat. All good

All this week, TLG watched a whole lot of TV – Treehouse channel

Fri, Feb 7: Big snow, buses cancelled but TLG went to school -only 20 students total.  Lots of fun.  We met Alex’s teacher, Mrs D.  She called TLG “Brilliant” regarding math.  She repeated that he helped his classmates on the math problems.  She had started him on Grade one spelling, which he is motoring through.  I thought it strange that he learn those words at a slow rate -I considered pushing him in that regard -but they are the basics of letter sounds and phonics.  I guess she knows what she is doing.  He has a good friend in class, Tyson, but is quiet in speaking to the full class.
skiing feb 7 (4)

feb 3 (1)b

 

 

Saturday, Feb 9: Big tobogganing day at Midland’s little lake park hill.

snow fort (8)

 

  TLG dressed in his hanbok and we recorded a bow and new years greeting in korean for YN and family.

 


lunar new year facebook (2)

 

 Made a snow fort and played inside.

 

Sunday, Feb 10, played in snow fort.  We shopped for Valentine’s Day card stock and a ‘ministick’. This is a tiny hockey stick that the kids use at recess at his school. Full size sticks should not be brought to the school but similar sticks are available for gym class. TLG was surprisingly quiet and cranky at the time.

He is still watching a lot of TV -no friends to visit or evening activities organized yet.  Perhaps due to the move and the changes, Alex needs me to hold him and sing lullabies to put him to sleep.
TLG has been uncomfortably interested in death and pets.  His questions have put my and Nana’s faulty memories on display.  We have told him about the cats Little Man, Blackjack, Tailor and Mums and the dogs Midnight, Misty, Buddy, Kingkong, Mr Mugs and Snoopy and I am happy to relive the good memories of these pets.  Still, he has asked how long these pets lived and how they died.  As I noted in our last visit to Canada, he asks similar questions many times possibly to ensure he knows all the details and understands them clearly.
Now that he has a pet of his own, he seems to be preparing for that time, probably when he enters university, when his cat will pass away.


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