what it is 6 years ago
On Wednesday evening, after another good but long work day followed by dinner out with my Nan, I returned home to find several trays and pots of plants lining my driveway – gifts obviously from my Mom.
I’ll be honest – I was initially a bit annoyed. I know it seems ungrateful to feel that way upon receiving a spontaneous gift, but at first glance, to me it just looked like another CHORE!
In short order, however, I corrected my attitude, found my gratitude, and headed back outside to see what little treasures I’d been gifted. It was close to 8:00 p.m. by then, and I didn’t expect much more daylight, but after I had a look at the tomatoes, peppers, daisies (gerbera AND shasta – yay!), the rouge cardinal clematis, three varieties of delphineum, and this handsome devil:
I couldn’t wait to grab my gloves and spade and get down and dirty.
That was how I spent the remainder of my evening. As the sun set and the solar twinkle lights began to illuminate, I lovingly welcomed all 27 new plants to my garden. I savored the familiar aromas of damp wormy earth, stale garden hose water, and freshly mown grass. I enjoyed the fresh air and exercise. I realized that I had been wanting to spend time puttering in the garden, but that other obligations, as well as not having the money to buy materials, have prevented me. I realized that my Mom had given me an invaluable gift – an excuse to spend time doing what brings me joy. Thanks Mom! 6 years ago
Despite my ever-growing list of stuff that I need to tackle in these busy two weeks off, I jumped at an invitation to see last night’s Twist and Shout: The British Invasion performance at the Grand Theatre. I haven’t been out in ages, and I haven’t been to the theatre in ages plus a week!
We first went for dinner at the best Indian restaurant in London – Massey’s. We shared the most delectable tandoori mahi, as well as garlic naan, palak paneer (spinach and cheese curd) and khumb matar (peas and mushrooms in thick, spicy tomato gravy). Had I been hit by a truck on the way out the door I’d have died happy. But lucky me, I survived the rest of the evening and even luckier me, the show was great too! It was upbeat, humorous and visually dazzling complete with groovy costumes, colourful sets, and BIG hair.
not the greatest photo but the only one I can find online
The stage was designed to look like the set of a 1960’s TV variety show (a la Ed Sullivan). It was four years to the day that The Beatles first landed in America, and “The Roy Solomon Show” was airing a revue to celebrate the many British acts that made that period in music history so toe-tappingly, sing-alongingly unforgettable.
Strung up in both corners were two black and white monitors alternately broadcasting news and film footage from the era, the action on stage, and commercials (really funny nostalgic ones for Alka Seltzer, Dristan, Heinz pickles etc). The host of the show, “Roy Solomon” came out in front of the sparkling stage curtain to introduce the acts, which began and ended with The Beatles, but including so many more such as Dusty Springfield, the Dave Clarke Five, Lulu and Procol Harum. And the dancers accompanying almost every song were incredible too – pure energy in their movement and pure joy in their faces.
I’m tired today, of course, after such a late night, but it was a lovely fun evening out – a real treat for me. 6 years ago
This hasn’t been a great day. Lots of upset and stress right now, and not much life experience in dealing with it in healthy, productive ways. But today, during a moment of feeling really lost, and knowing I was about to cry, I stuffed a handful of Kleenex into my pocket and headed into the small chapel next door to my office.
I have to say, if you MUST cry at work, having a small chapel handy really is lovely. And after I wept a while, and was sufficiently drained of energy to cry any longer, I took off my shoes, folded my legs into a half-lotus, and meditated for a while. Reading “Peace Is Every Step” has taught me a new technique for lightening up, which really did/does help.
I think I’ll try to spend a few minutes in the back of the chapel every day, with my shoes off and my eyes closed, reciting the little verse that brings me back to peace. 6 years ago
I am not only NOT making the most of my time these days, but I am actively, determinedly, frustratingly WASTING my time. I’m feeling under the gun to catch up my reading for school (especially in pharmacology) and start prepping for exams, but the more I think about how much work I have to do, the more I avoid it, and the longer I put it off, the more anxious I become. What frustrates me is that I can see and feel it happening so clearly, as though I’m looking in on the cycle from a place outside it, yet I don’t seem to do, or know how to do, anything to stop it and get on with business! I’m a bit demoralized, but I’ve been here before so MANY exams in the past, I know I’ll be okay and I’ll pull it together in time. I guess I’m feeling sort of sad at myself for not using this time, this experience, to break those old patterns and stay on top of things for once. Sigh.
Don’t know if that made any sense :o\ 6 years ago
Went to the RBG this weekend with my Mom… partly because there were several ‘green’ exhibitors at the show, partly just to get away for a day, and partly just because it was at the RBG!
As always, we had a lovely day. We enjoyed the show – got lots of food for thought (might even use some of the information we gathered in an upcoming school project). And because we were there and couldn’t NOT visit the Mediterranean pavilion, we wandered through the rainforesty room and stopped to make fish faces at the koi.
This time, for the first time, we also went to the ramshackle hot dog joint behind the RBG instead of dining in their fabulous cafe. We’ve always meant to check out the hot dog place though, because it bares our last name! So in we went – I had a ‘Reuben Dog’ and Ma had the ‘Chicago Dog’. Delish!
All in all, a lovely few hours. 6 years ago
After years of waiting, M finally bought himself a drum kit. And for years, he’s insisted we hang on to this silly plaster-cast pedestal so that when the day came that he had drums, he could set the it beside his kit as a beer pedestal (because really, where better to place one’s favorite beverage? ! ? !).
Well, my man’s got his kit, so I painted up his post for him on the weekend. I even gave it a ‘test drive’, with my glass of wine :o)
6 years ago
Quick update … I poured a glass of wine instead of making hot chocolate, but I’m reclined in Marty’s cushy office chair, Christmas lights on, watching The Santa Clause and eating bon bons … yep, this is just what I had in mind! 6 years ago
I have a filthy house, a stack of overdue typing, five boxes of corporate holiday cards to sign, all seasonal decorations still in boxes, and a host of other hobbies, chores and activities I could – and should – be doing… and what did I just spend the last 30 minutes on? Carefully researching when and on which channels I can catch my favorite holiday television specials this year! hahaha.. not my best effort at productivity!
As excited as I am to settle in with hot cups of tea and revisit some of the Christmas classics I remember with love, I’m a bit disappointed that it’s such a sedentary activity. Maybe I could circle the block twice before each show… 6 years ago
Today is my first day back to work after four glorious, fun-filled, all-about-me days off. Ahhh… I’m still enjoying my weekend, and it’s after 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday! hahaha
I can’t remember what we did on Friday night, but I just know I had fun. Saturday I got up early to run with David, then went to Nia and shared hugs and love with my new treasured friends there. When I went home, Miss Anne was waiting on the sidewalk with Marty. She had come to see if I wanted to join her on a visit to the dollarstore and Stamp Art shop. But of course! So off I went after I made the three of us some really yummy peameal bacon “mcmuffins”. I bought way too much stuff on our little outing, but oh well. Got home around noon, puttered around the house cleaning and avoiding my school work. Later I made cheddar-pepper bites to take to the hors d’eurves contest at M’s teammate’s party, and then off we went. My treats didn’t win, but I only lost because I voted for the winner instead of myself. Doh!
Sunday I had a wee bit of hangover so I skipped our scheduled jog, which was probably for the best because I had the fam coming for brunch and needed the time to prepare the house and food. I made a fabulous feast (I’m not tooting my own horn here – I botch plenty of meals, but by the grace of God, on Sunday morning I was serving up some super-tasty eats). We all had a really enjoyable visit – everyone stayed happy and calm and there were only maybe two moments of questionable tension. Otherwise, we felt like a family for the first time in years and years. After they left, I watched football with M for a while, and then I ran a really hot, really bubbly bath. How lucky am I?
Monday I spent the day touring scrapbooking shops all around Ontario with two of my favorite ladies. We enjoyed both breakfast AND lunch out, found lots of exciting supplies for our various projects, and shared lots of laughs. The only thing that might top that day is a day of actually scrappin’ together at one of our homes with a bottle of wine at hand.
Yesterday was all about me. I booked the day off work and went to the Memory Mill in Dorchester where I spent five focused hours making ‘cards for all occasions’ for my Mom’s Christmas present. The woman who runs these ‘crop’ times was generous with her ideas, advice and supplies, and I like the few cards that I was able to (mostly) finish. I thoroughly enjoyed my ‘artist’s date’ and plan to make it a regular gift to myself.
As a perfect wrap up, yesterday evening I went to Nia for a new (to me) routine that I LOVED, and gave and received hugs a plenty. When I got home M decided I was too tired to cook so he ordered in dinner for us. Wow. What a weekend. 6 years ago
- dug in a vegetable garden (and it’s even pretty!)
- reveled in the Beal Art Show
- rode on first-class rail
- built (?) path in front of the shed
- got my passport
- spent a week in Florida/at Disney
- paid down $5000 debt
- dug in a cedar hedge
- obtained a signed photo of a Toronto Blue Jay for my Nana’s 90th birthday
- gave my SO his best birthday gift – ever!!
- hosted a Nana-night on our deck
- grew my first clematis
- mounted hooks (finally!!) for hats, pans & brooms
- took lots of great photos
- played with several photo editing programs
- decluttered over 50 magazines
- undertook vocational counseling
- uploaded all CDs to the computer (well over 100)
- started a garden blog
- saw a hummingbird in my garden for the first time
- tried (and loved!) Nia
- started running regularly again
- visited Niagara Falls for a weekend
but most importantly, I relaxed this summer. I let lots of stuff slide that I would normally stress over. More and more I find that making the most of my time means something completely other than just getting stuff done. 6 years ago
During a pow-wow Monday night with my clinical group, it came up that we have a mandatory physiology class in this course. That was news to me – terrifying, irritating, piss me off news. I’m supposed to be DONE THIS DEGREE IN TWO CREDITS, FOR KRIKEY SAKE!! But rather than panic or begin a rant, I waited until yesterday to call the program coordinater at the U to clarify the matter.
Indeed, there IS a compulsory physiology class, and as an added kick in the gut, while she had my records open she could see that I’m ALSO missing a half-credit elective. Ugh. Shit. Another year of school. Another two grand. Another year to wait before I can realistically do anything with this vocational counseling I’m just completing. Argh.
an e-mail. From the program coordinator. She wanted to mention, in case I care, that if I double up in January and again over the summer intersession, I can actually FINISH my degree by August 2008 instead of April 2009. Well hell… maybe this ain’t so bad after all!
This new option would mean that following Christmas I have to commit eight full months to greater scholastic and clinical demands, but then I’d be done. DONE!!! It means that my summer won’t be the laid back, lounging in the hammock, weekends-away-with-the-ball-team kind of summer that I’ve enjoyed the past three summers, but... I’d have my degree.
It also means that I have to come up with the almost $5000 sooner than expected, but I think my Mom or bro would lend me the money, if only to hear the end of my whining about how little I like these classes.
Strangely, it feels like I have a big decision to make, with many factors to weigh and consider, and yet at the same time, it feels like a complete no-brainer: get the damn thing done and move on!! Hm… what feels like a better way to make the most of my time? An intense but shorter-duration burst of effort for a faster pay off; or a slow and steady approach with more free time to enjoy along the way but a longer journey to the end? 6 years ago
Inspired by Tiisi’s daily lists of what she has done right, I felt the need today to do the same – I’ve been feeling like a real sloth lately, getting down on myself for “never accomplishing anything”, but still managing to feel BUSY ALL THE TIME! Keeping track this morning has really shown me just how much I do right! (Thanks for the idea Tiisi!)
Wrote morning pages (although timed-out after two pages)
Drank a green tea
Submitted water meter reading
Ordered new bank card online
Put organics bin & cheque out
Met D for a jog around the park
Wiped down the bath tiles after shower
Confessed to other-D that I let his secret slip this morning
Fueled up the car
Made it to work a few minutes early
Ate healthy breakfast (including (finally!!) the citrus fruit)
Bookmarked my vocational research sites
E-mailed Nic to apologize for missing her party on Sat night
Researched some vocational possibilities (about 2 hours)
Emailed voc counselor an update of my progress
Looked up how to repair the dryer so it stops marking our clothes – grrrr
Logged in to school for mail/discussion threads & print week 2 outline
Commiserated with other-D about his/our job situations and made him a tea and a bowl of fruit in lieu of a hug which would be disastrously unprofessional and more than a little awkward
Oh, and I did some work-related work at work too! ;o) 6 years ago
I thoroughly enjoyed my first-class train trip last Friday. I felt like a princess, being served lovely food with cloth napkins and glass glasses. I savoured every single second of it. I watched the green and gold countryside whiz by, I wrote about five pages of thoughts and observations, I smiled a lot. When we arrived at our destination, I walked slowly, continuing to look around and notice my surroundings. I felt so content – like I was on vacation! I was so relaxed during the conference, and except for one short panel discussion, I remained attentive to the speakers. And when it was time to return to the train station, I strolled there, watching people bustle about the streets and feeling awe-struck by everything around me. In a way, I felt invisible – like I was just a ghost floating just above the sidewalk. I didn’t feel anxious about how I was going to find my way around, I just strolled and observed and then I was there, boarding the train home, taking my seat next to the window, and waiting for the cool glass of wine that I knew would follow shortly.
I plan to first-class my travels more in the future. For sure. 6 years ago
Some time ago I was asked by work to attend a conference in Toronto, which I really don’t want to do (it’s this coming Friday) but I thought, what the heck, I’ll go and make the best of it (try to learn something) and, to make the most of my (paid) travel time, I’ll go a tad further after the conference and take my friend out for dinner.
We were both all geared up for the upcoming short but sweet visit later this week, only to discover after hours of my attempting to plan the travel, that it will be a huge pain in the ass to drive, and an even greater pain in the ass to take the train. Long story short, I e-mailed Jen to ask if she would mind rescheduling.
Might not seem like much, but I’ve really gotten down on myself in the past for disappointing people, so I try never to cancel unless I have no other choice. Problem with that is, I wind up doing all kinds of things I don’t feel like doing. Anyway, I weighed all of the factors and concluded that to make the most of my time, I’d do better to just skip the visit and come home Friday night. Jen totally understood and said we would find another date to meet up soon.
I’m so pleased, because I believe that this decision will truly help me make the most of my time. I’ll now have two two-hour FIRST CLASS train trips during which I can read, rest, and/or watch the world go by; when Jen & I do finally get together, I won’t be all travel- and conference-worn; and I’ll be home Friday night so I don’t have to cancel my first Nia class that I booked for Saturday morning. All’s well! 7 years ago
I spent the evening at a friend’s place having tea and scrumptious rice pudding and chatting and laughing and admiring her life and how incredibly she has improved it, on her own, against all odds – really.
She is a remarkable person and time with her is always time very well spent. Has been for almost 30 years now. Lucky me. 7 years ago
Last night because I wasn’t indulging in a drink or four, I was actually able to DO STUFF!!! I made a fabulous meal (if you have a barbecue, you must try this smoked turkey breast with spiced apricot-mustard glaze). M had a late ball game to play, so I went down to my ‘puter after I saw him off and at long last began the pain-in-the-ass process of correcting misnamed and misspelled song titles in my iTunes, and creating playlists. I’m not quite done, but who cares?!! I started, and that’s huge. Plus, and more importantly, I had fun doing it, listening to the odd irresistible tune, and generally enjoying my clear head. 7 years ago
I am pleased as punch to report that as of this very moment, I have – for the first time since I found this site – given as many cheers as I have received. Almost right away, I developed a ‘deficit’, receiving more than I was giving. And that’s lovely – I’m not complaining – I LOVE the support and encouragement and warm fuzzies that you all offer, but I want to be able to give that back at LEAST as good as I get. So yay – I’m even or, I was, when I started typing this post… maybe not now!
Thanks everyone!! 7 years ago
Yesterday was a very well-spent day. I deliberately got up and outside early (after doing my Morning Pages & sun salutations) so that I could do a few hours of weeding and yard work before the day got too hot. I accomplished a task that I had been neglecting for months (moving a huge pile of mulch) and weeded a rather large, very over-grown area at the back of the yard. It looks so much better now; I’m tickled. Especially because about an hour after I began, I stood up to survey the area and realized that the difference I’d made in that hour was barely perceptible – honestly, I almost started crying! Anyway, I steadied my trembling chin, gave myself a pep talk, and got back to work. Three hours after that, I felt the sweet reward of accomplishment.
I took it much easier the rest of the day, partly because of the heat, but also because my muscles were pretty spent from all the vigorous yard work. So I had a big yummy lunch with Denny Crane & the gang, snoozed on the couch for half an hour, did a couple hours of scrapbooking, cleaned out the fridge (way overdue!), cleaned the bathroom and washed the dishes, and then ran an apricot-ginger scented bubble bath and crawled in waiting for my honey to come home and praise me for all my good work :+) 7 years ago
Here it is already July and I haven’t once this year played tennis OR been canoeing! So this weekend, when we aren’t working in the yard or partying with the ball team, we’re going to be doing one or the other – or both, if possible! There’s no good reason we can’t play tennis for an hour tomorrow morning, and rent a canoe for a lovely Sunday brunch paddle’n’picnic, now is there?? 7 years ago
Today has been a funny day – I had a terrible night last night, very restless and anxious through the night. So this morning started fitfully, as I was too tired to be awake and too awake to sleep. I lay on the couch for several hours, drifting in and out of sleep, and, as usual, felt guilty for lying there instead of being up and getting things done. Finally though, around 10 a.m., I dragged myself up to finish ripping the remaining CDs. I figured that I could live with myself as long as I did something – anything – reasonably productive. So, I spent a couple hours wrapping up the CD project (yay! All done!). Then, since I was already sitting at the computer, I did an hour’s worth of scanning book reviews for the bookshop. After that I needed to get up (I’d been sitting for about four straight hours!) so I went upstairs into the kitchen and made some luscious cream of celery soup, Asian broccoli salad, and kotopitta filling.
Once up and about and accomplishing things, it was easy to keep on pottering around the house, and I managed to do quite a bit but without any of it feeling like a ‘chore’ – I guess because I only set out to do one thing today; the rest all came to pass spontaneously and in no particular hurry. What I was all ready to accept as a bummer day this morning has actually turned out to be really wonderful. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time alone, and feel refreshed and renewed, despite last night’s restless and anxious night. Lucky me! 7 years ago
pushed through and ripped all 60 of the commercial recordings. Still have about ?20 compilations to rip, but they take longer because I have to type in the song titles manually. Still, this looooong overdue project will be done before the weekend’s over. Yay! 7 years ago
but I won’t play TOO much :+) I’m a bachelorette for the weekend, and woo hoo! I’ve got plans for a cement path project with my Mom tomorrow morning, a barbecue & fireworks party tomorrow night, jogging & brunch with friends on Sunday morning, and lunch at the beach with other friends on Monday afternoon!! How wonderful a weekend could a girl ask for??? But there’ll have to be some productivity too – right now I’m busy cutting through the stacks of CDs I’ve been meaning to burn forever (now ripping #23 of my intended 30 for the day) and skimming through magazines (now on #5 of intended 10 for the day). Later I’m making a giant margarita, running a bubble bath, and going for a nice long walk – don’t yet know in what order I’ll do those things, but it won’t matter, will it? Yay! 7 years ago
Took the day Saturday to drive to Leamington to visit my Dad. He is in the throes of his biennial house cleaning attack so I offered to go down, clean his bathroom for him, and take him out to lunch. That is no small gift – I hate cleaning bathrooms! But it gave me an opportunity to do something of value for him, AND to try out my new enzymatic, organic, non-toxic cleaner in one of the toughest tests EVER! (BTW – it did an amazing job – made the very grimy job almost effortless).
I know my Dad was really touched that I made the trip, and that I was willing to help him out. We had a great time too – shared lots of good laughs, as always. After a vigorous couple of hours cleaning, we enjoyed a hearty lunch and a glass of wine. Then we walked down to the marina for a sit by the lake, and on the stroll home he bought us some ice cream cones.
Even my drive home – which I usually dread – was really lovely. CBC was airing Randy’s Vinyl Tap, hosted by Randy Bachman who was paying tribute to Canadian artists in honour of our upcoming Canada Day holiday. I sang along to every song, reminisced to those that elicited some distant memory, and was home in the easiest two hours I’ve ever driven by myself.
Definitely time well spent. 7 years ago
Maybe not the most romantic way to spend time, but this morning I hopped right out of bed at 5:15 to wash last night’s dinner dishes, clean up last night’s plumbing repair mess, wash out the cupboard under the sink and put away all the products that I keep under there.
Then I went out to the shed to get a pot & some soil for the poor kalanchoe that’s been ignored on the kitchen counter for almost two weeks – got it all potted up and watered.
While in the shed I grabbed up the compost bucket that I hid out there back in the late fall, so I washed it and put it back in service.
Had a few minutes to spare so I balanced my chequing account, put away a bunch of other junk lying around on the coffee & dining room tables, and plugged in the rechargeable SwifferVac for use tonight. Grabbed some snacks, pulled on clean clothes, threw my hair up in a clip & made it to work before 7:00 a.m.
Feels good to accomplish so much before most people are rolling outta bed! 7 years ago
Wow. I went to the Bealart Show last night. It’s an annual exhibit of projects completed by teenagers in the H.B. Beal (secondary school) art program. I’ve attended for the last several years, and it is definitely a tradition I intend to keep up because the art that these kids (kids!!!) produce is amazing.
There’s lithography and linocut, graphite drawing, ceramics, sculptures of wire, clay, and even reclaimed junk; there’s plaster casts, metal work, paper work, bead work. There’s photography, embroidery, silk painting, felting, film, carving, and weaving. No doubt that’s only half the list! And it isn’t just the versatility of media that I enjoy so much, it’s the perspective these kids (KIDS!!) demonstrate – there is such creativity, ingenuity, and insight in their work. I love it – it inspires me and moves me and wakes me up.
Next year, I’m taking my cheque book. I not only want to support both the program and the young artists, but I would love to adorn my home with such fresh, brilliant, imaginative pieces. 7 years ago
I’m blue today – mad at myself for not getting anything productive done around the house or yard this weekend; tired from my all-night anxiety attack that I just couldn’t get a handle on; embarrassed for being such a silly girl in front of M’s friends on the weekend; just generally bummed out.
It occurs to me that perhaps making the most of the time I’ve been given requires the ability to make the most of the time I’ve spent too – to find the positive aspects of even those periods of time that don’t feel were well spent.So, highlights of what I got and gave from this past weekend:
- invested time with M at his favorite place, cheering him on and supporting him in all his sporty glory
- invested time with my dear friend, laughing and chatting and even planning a couple potential vacations (Penn. with Perc; Vegas with the girls; Costa Rica with the team in 2009)
- cut loose from the diet and indulged big time in some of my favorite junk foods
- saw a pleasant, likeable side of someone whom I didn’t much like before this weekend
- saw a fun, warm side of someone with whom I hadn’t developed much of a rel’p in the past
- met someone new whom I liked right away (only to find out that he’s not well-liked by others. That’s okay – I’ve always had a soft-spot for those who need a friend :+)
- got a great tan
- lived through the night, despite the panic and worry that I thought at the time might consume me
- put to rest a long-standing question
- received very thoughtful gifts from Percy :+) 7 years ago
M didn’t think it could be done, but I insisted that there HAD to be a way to barbecue a Delissio (to avoid further heating up the kitchen in our already-sweltering house). Lo, it was not only possible, it was fabulous!! And I think even a bit faster than in the oven! Not to mention that it’s way more fun hanging out on the deck – I even watered the gardens while it cooked! 7 years ago
We did it! My mom came over last night and helped me finish up the veggie bed & plant the few plants I bought for this year (English cucs, cantelope, buttercup squash, jalapenos, lettuces, tomatoes & several more herbs).
The bed itself looks so great – I’m ecstatic! It’s leaps’n’bounds better than I ever hoped. (am I building it up too much??? I’ll post a pic this aft – please don’t be disappointed. It is, after all, just a garden :+)
The best part? The whole thing cost me about $100, and if the veggies produce, we save on groceries, so this little bed could pay for itself in pretty short order! Yay! 7 years ago
Went with my dear Mom to a free Laughter Yoga class at the library on Monday night. It was … interesting. It’s all about breathing, really, combined with the health benefits of laughter. There was a huge turn out (over 50 people, I’d say) so it was pretty easy to get laughing, but basically the leader gave us all ‘exercises’ to do, and we had to mingle about the crowd, making eye contact while executing each exercise (one was to pretend you were walking on hot sand and laughing at it; another was to pretend you were looking at, showing to others & comparing visa statements; another was to pretend you were scolding others angrily while laughing… like that).
I can see that there’d be some benefit to it as a practice, but I think it would be a lot easier to do with friends and family, rather than a huge room full of strangers… I think we were all a bit self-conscious of looking silly.
While it certainly wasn’t a physical work out and isn’t something I would sign up for on a regular basis, I’d say it was a fun and interesting hour – worth a try. 7 years ago