Sunday, May 31, 2015

Flip Flop and dry

The days have been too busy to write much and when I do have some downtime I pretty much crash.

Yesterday was a beautiful, hot day that almost ended in tragedy. Carm and I headed out to do some groceries, leaving the dogs, as we always do, shut in the bedroom with music playing and the fan on. I thought the AC was on too... but when we got back the upstairs was 90F. The dogs were panting but didn't seem in any particular distress, but I got them outside into the shade and gave them a big bowl of water. They drank and drank then lay down to enjoy the day. Within 10 minutes Kabira had moved herself back into the sun. I need a checklist pinned to the door for when we leave without the dogs.

While we were out we stopped at Costco (where else) and ended up talking to a couple much like us (although I won't spend $17,000 on getting one of the dogs a new knee - seriously).

Today is rainy and cold. Flip flop from yesterday! Fresh out of bed, the dogs just wanted to rush to their business and come right back, or maybe that was me that wanted to get back to our (not so) cosy camper. By the time I got back, Carm had the fireplace on trying to get us up to room temperature. After our fingers were warmed by a coffee, we joined some of the rally folk for breakfast, then came back to the camper for a bit of downtime.

Picard's peanuts were niggling at my brain though so we went for a drive. Peanuts with every imaginable kind of coating could be found. Chocolate, bbq spice, honey, cookie... almost anything you could imagine. I couldn't resist a bag of sponge toffee coated in chocolate. Oh sticky tooth heaven I love that stuff.

It seems that my cobbled together solution for doing my blog posts has turned out even better than I hoped. First I write the post in Google Docs. I can write it offline, or online and share it between my tablet and my pc. You may remember that one of the epic fails for my tablet is lack of spell check, this is serious as my spelling is atrocious. By some miracle of technology Google docs has spell check that works on my tablet!!!!! Oh how I love that fine red underlining.

If I'm doing the post on my tablet (which is where I normally write it), the next step is to pull the sd card from my camera to get the photos I want for the post, then format them on my tablet as well. It isn't as fast as doing on my laptop with Live Writer but it is more than acceptable, plus it means I don't have to drag out my laptop just to do a post. Once I have the photos I can edit the document and insert the photos where I want them. Then I copy the whole shebang and post it into a Blogger editor post. Whoosh and it is done :-)

Things have a way of working out don't they!

Friday, May 29, 2015


Do you ever try to find just one word to describe something? Congenial. That's my word for today.

I started out with a medium length walk. Sure some of it was along the road, but there were things to enjoy as well: the locust trees are in bloom and the buds are so fragrant, the grass is healthy and green, there were times with no cars going by, the construction just down the road hadn't started yet.

I had a coffee and some breakfast and then it was time to go to the get together at Jim and Diane's camper. There was a crowd of happy people enjoying the morning sun. After a good long visit I left Carm yakking while I went back to check on the dogs and have some quiet time. I love all the visiting but find it exhausting - I need time to recharge!

The day ebbed and flowed with quiet and conversation, ending with time at the campfire (until the mosquitos sent me running back to the camper - I have a low tolerance!). All in all a good day, even if we didn't experience the wonders of Ripley's believe it or not wax museum!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Getting to the Falls

After an early morning walk the 'on the road again' song played for us this morning - Grace wasn't sure what it meant but the dogs sure did. We did too, although the excitement was well tempered with apprehension. The trip through Toronto loomed ahead of us... I'd heard that there was lots of construction which would turn an already hairy trip into a white knuckle drive.

Starting out we had the weather on our side, and maybe something else was looking out for us as there was no construction and only a few slow bits. The traffic was reasonable (although being passed by transports on both sides is never reasonable!). We made good time and arrived in Niagara Falls before 1pm. We had the pleasure of seeing roads that weren't on our intended route but with some help from Google maps we happily pulled into our site and stood on firm ground. There wasn't much to set up and before we knew it we were visiting with friends.

The campground is small with lots of seasonal campers - there isn't much green space, and there certainly isn't anywhere to business walk the dogs. I ended up walking along the ditch along the highway - big huge gigantic YUCK. The grass is cut, and it is free from garbage, but walking along a busy road is not my idea of a relaxing stroll. One nice thing though, the ditch is lined with some sort of flowering tree that smells fantastic.

Convieniently there are 3 gentleman's clubs - strip clubs - within walking distance of our campground. And a FreshCo.

Supper time came and almost went when we realized we had skipped lunch and were both starving for a hamburger. We set out towards the Falls on the lookout for a burger place. We found a Kelseys right in the thick of the atmosphere of the town. Giant dinasaurs, Frankenstien museums, wax museums roared out their songs. It was a bit like a midway. Tacky. I love it! I would like to say that after a quick burger we went to see the falls, but I'd be lying. I have to say after a really, really long wait for our hamburger (long enough to get cranky even though we were having a good time) we walked down to the falls. Of course they were spectacular and we stook gawking for several minutes. Then turned to climb the hill back up to the truck, through the siren call of cheap souvineers.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Three Eyed Fish

Sleep eluded me last night - road after motion, technical difficulties, and a bit of excitement of the trip kept my eyes staring at the ceiling for hours. I got up at one point and played with the computer trying to get my blog to post. When I gave up on that I then started designing some new tables for my database. The lonely train whistle got louder and louder as the night passed, till the tracks were coming right between the truck and the camper.

One of my favorite things about camping is getting up early(ish) with the dogs and going for a long, peaceful walk. There was no one about when we explored the campground this morning, it was still and quiet with a mist in the air. Perfect. Well... almost. This is the dog's first time away from home for 6 months and they were EXCITED and not very well mannered on the leash. Thankfully, like me, they got tired quickly. It was fun to see them so happy and animated. I think they may have been feeling a little depression from the long winter as well.

Carm was up when I got back so we had a leisurely coffee, showers, another dog walk, and then into the local town for diesel and a lookie loo. First stop was the nuclear power plant. It had a slightly interesting information center, but we both felt that a more detailed look into how it all works would have been interesting.

From there it was a short drive to Bowmanville, a lovely town with a cute downtown core. If the back of the truck hadn't been filled with our camping stuff we (I) would have enjoyed wandering up and down the street browsing the shops.

The afternoon turned sunny but with the breeze coming off Lake Ontario we needed jackets to sit outside. I think I got a sunburn... Nap time then a really long walk with the dogs. We explored part of the campground that isn't open yet - pretty roads going up and down gentle hills. A really pretty setting.

Full circle to last night - I found out that the reason my blog wouldn't post is that Google has changed an API which effectively shuts out Windows Live Writer (on purpose or by accident, the result is the same). Much of my night was thinking about how I'd get around this and I've come up with a barely tolerable cobbled up solution. You'll have to bear with me the next little while as I get some of the details worked out.

On the Road Again

It seems that I have been preparing for our first trip out for over a month – oh wait, I have been – we were supposed to take a short trip at the beginning of May, but for various reasons that fell through.

Where was I? Oh yeah – our first trip out! We were only 1/2 hour late leaving, which was a miracle cause it seems we forgot to do this and that, oh, and don’t forget the milk in the fridge. By 10:30 our wheels were rolling down the road.

The roads were smooth and most of the construction was just a shadow of pylons at the side of the road. Grace’s new carrier was a big hit. She looked happy to be able to see where we were going, and it was only after we’d been on the road for over 3 hours that she got antsy.

The dogs, as usual, were excellent travellers. Spike was on co-pilot duty, keeping a close eye out the window. Kabira and Bella napped.

Our destination for today was Darlington PP. It sits right next to one of Ontario’s big nuke plants – the information center is on the road into the park, but we can’t see the glow from the camper. We’ve never been here and didn’t know what to expect. As we were driving down the road towards the park, the crossing gates came down blocking the train tracks – choo choo and whoosh a train roared past. Hum… that didn’t bode well for the park.

As it turns out, the train is a distant lonesome whistle, and in fact the park is LOVELY. We are in a site backing onto Lake Ontario – a chain-link fence protects us from the steep drop. There are plenty of mature trees, but also lots of open grassy area. And water. An oceanic expanse of water.

Once we had bungled through the setup, we had our customary cold beverage and then headed out for a walk. We found a little path down to the water where we could walk along the pebble beach for quite a distance. Nice. No, not nice, really nice! The campground roads made for a longer walk. There are hardly any campers here so it is quiet and beautiful.

On the road again -Just can't wait to get on the road again. The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again. On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been. Seein' things that I may never see again

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Trouble posting

I have a post about our trip today, including some photos of the lovely park we are in, but unfortunately I'm having trouble posting.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


The other day we found a tiny, stunned hummingbird on the garage floor. It was like picking up a breakable cotton ball, but I got it in my hand and took it outside. Resting my hands on the top of the gravel pile, I opened them so it could escape. Instead of flying away it gripped my finger with its tiny foot.


We weren’t sure what to do, but in the end made the wrong choice. After a few bungled tries it ended up in the grass huddled up to the composter. Carm tried feeding it some sugar water, and it seemed to take some and maybe perk up a bit. Unsure of what else to do, we decided to let nature take its course… the tiny female Ruby-throated hummingbird died. Did she have a mate, and a nest tucked in the lilac bush? I was heart-broken. I felt like I had killed it with my own hands. Why didn’t I bring it into the house so that it would more safely recover?


The days have been rolling by with each footstep a struggle, difficult to break free of the inertia. I haven’t given in though. I keep my self busy with social outings and items from my task lists. Tuesday I went with Trudie to Morrisburg for shopping and lunch. Carm and I had an overnight guest Tuesday night. Wednesday we went to the nursery and bought a few more bedding plants (the front garden looks the best it ever has). Thursday was the potluck lunch for the writing group – farewell for the summer. Friday and Saturday were putzing around the house getting stuff ready for our trip. Sunday is more of the same.

The weather has been sunny, but cold – too  cold for Grace to go outside, but comfortable for working around the place.


I’m expecting my good humour to return any minute now… it has to… we are off to the Titanium rally in a few days and that requires a good amount of hypomania!

I sometimes feel like I’m not trying hard enough, that I’m a loser, but when I think logically, I know that I’m doing everything I can. (I’m taking my meds, I’m having positive self-talk, I’m keeping busy, I’m getting enough sleep) I feel that I am weak for not overcoming, but remind myself that I have an illness that is doing this to me. I’m not weak, but am strong to keep from curling into that ball in the corner hoping the world passes me by. I have a resilience that doesn’t let me give up. Sometimes I do give up, but only for a few moments, as there is a power within me that gets me back on my feet.

Days passed in a grey fog. I was becalmed. Without energy, without hope, with no sight of land, I could remember feeling better but I somehow couldn't believe in it. There was nothing but this.
~Alexis Hall, Glitterland

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sweet honey

I keep reminding myself that it is a beautiful day - it IS, but my mind wants to wander elsewhere. Still, I keep at it. I decided to take a day off from forced activity, so aside from the things I've had to do, I've been relaxing out on the swing. Is there any better way to spend a warm, sunny day? I'm reading 'Stone Orchard' by Timothy Findley (a Cdn author) - it is about his farm in southern Ontario, so it is a very nice read for this sort of day.

The drone of bees reminded me of the honey from NZ that I have tucked in the pantry for special occasions. I suddenly realized that I was starving and so declared this to be an occasion worthy of my stash. I toasted some light rye bread, spread it with butter, and then upon that silken sheet spread a modest amount of thick honey. I brought it out to the swing so that I could share with Grace (she was appreciative). I should have had an icy glass of fresh lemonaid, or perhaps even some sparkling wine, but alas.

After that pleasure, I walked around the property with my camera, my white flesh attracting voracious hordes of mosquitos which then drafted me back to the swing. It didn't take long to smash the intruders and I was left in peace. Till Carm came home!

Yesterday we went to the local nursery to get something for the front of the house, and a few herbs for our travelling pots. Oh my. There were so many beautiful plants it was hard not to get carried away. The ruffled geraniums were almost my undoing, but we really don't have room to bring more plants with us when we go camping! As it is, bringing 3 is borderline obsessive.

While we were in one of the greenhouses a wee female goldfinch crashed into the side. It was clear that she wasn't going to fly right away, but we could see her moving her legs, so there was hope. After a few bungled attempts at capturing something so delicate in my hands, I carried her to a safer location. She sat on my hand for several seconds while she got her bearings then scooted into the cover of nearby plants.

Our afternoon today was topped perfectly by a big scoop of Rolo icecream in a crunchy cone - they always ask if you want it in a cone or dish… my life will be close to ending when I forgo the cone!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

My buds adorned you


The apple trees are humming with the song of flighty workers mining for pollen. "Heigh ho, heigh ho it's off to work we go." seems to carry on the morning breeze. Sleeping Beauty? That's me, at least the sleeping part. We won't mention the beauty part - I've just just gotten out of bed and my hair is standing straight on end - Carm says it looks like a torn biscuit. Not that I'm any better off later in the day, but I digress. If I were truly Sleeping Beauty I'd be singing and twirling and a bird would be sitting on my finger joining in the song. I won't be doing any dancing, that's for sure. I've got big rubber farmer's boots on, the kind for the winter with the heavy soles and thick felt liners. They aren't ballet slippers! I'd trip over my clunky feet (maybe even if I had dancing shoes on!).


Strolling along the lane I drink in the fragrance of thousands of apple blossoms. Deep breath… ahhhh. I can't resist burying my face in some blossoms, checking for the humming workers of course - don't want to inhale a bee! The trees have never been adorned with so many flowers, they look like a wedding florist has gone crazy and glued buds on every possible space. They are magnificent.



I haven't seen the Orioles today, but I think I've heard them. The other day I found a fallen nest, thankfully no eggs yet. There have been some smashed eggs around the place, some with almost ready to hatch chicks. There must be chicks in some of the nests already - it seems early.


This weekend is the first weekend since we got our camper that we haven't been out on the Victoria Day long weekend. I have half the energy required to pack up the rest of the camper and get out there!


If I keep a green bough in my heart, then the singing bird will come. ~Chinese Proverbs

Friday, May 15, 2015

WYL #31b Perseverance

I used part of a previous post to write this for the writing group. It wasn’t exactly on topic, but since we are writing a memoir of our lives I felt that this was appropriate. I ran it past Carm before I read it to the group, but even with his go-ahead it was a bit tough to read. Thankfully the group is very supportive.



A shroud of indifference has lain heavily across my shoulders for the last few weeks. The other day the veil clouding my eyes shifted just enough to reveal tulips in bloom, trees fully leafed, dandelions scattered like suns across the green galaxy, and the apple tree buds emerging from their woolly cloak. I didn't really care. I wanted to, but couldn't. Like a marionette I said all the right things about the miracle of spring, but like that marionette they were just words.

There are two pairs of swallows nesting in the barn. They seem to know one another as they are often together doing their aerial manoeuvres in the sky. Four turkey vultures are hanging around as well - we've seen them on the barn and fence posts, as well as circling lazily in the sky. Robins? They are everywhere. Red-winged blackbirds? Everywhere as well. The Orioles knock themselves against our reflective windows, trying to scare away the mirrored intruder. All these winged creatures welcome the morning with a joyous chorus that lasts through the day. Do they really feel joyous? Or do they feel ordinary or blah and singing is just something they do? An empty laugh to deceive.

People around me hear my morning song, but don't recognize that it is forced. They may not notice that my smile is shallow and my eyes flat. My laugh seems hollow to me, but maybe not to others. I am quiet because words have left me and my mind is dull. I desperately want to be back to normal, to escape the numbness, but even that desire mires me more firmly into the fog. I am a failure.

I can't seem to write lately. My mind is blank. Not a blank canvas waiting to be written upon, that suggests the possibility of something great. It's just blank.

I feel like I am the tinman from the Wizard of Oz and have been left out in the rain to rust. Movement is difficult. It's a bit like walking through water up to your neck, except it isn't as fluid and is more jerky and stiff. I don't stop though, no matter how much I'd rather go back to bed and pull the covers up over my head - stopping is not an option. If I stop I may not start again. A diatribe of negative thoughts has taken up residence in my head. Fat, ugly, stupid, can't, (yes, lots of can'ts) try to anchor themselves in my brain. I have a constant conversation with myself trying to disaffirm the accusations. You'd think it would get easier as the days go by - so much practice - but I feel like I am slowly losing the battle.

Ashamed at my inability to master my emotions, I let my doctor know that I need help. Her kind words remind me that I am not a failure for needing medication and ups my dose. Like a drowning swimmer I grab onto the lifesaver and don't let go.

I keep reminding myself that if I persevere, keep trying, and not give up, I'll get into the sunshine again, just like I have every other time this dreary mood anchors me into the muck. "I can, I can, I can" tries to push out the can'ts. Cheerful mantras like William Shakespeare's "Merrily, merrily shall I live now, Under the blossom that hangs on the bough." force aside depressing diatribes as I start to heal.



Tuesday, May 12, 2015


We had my mom, dad and brother Graham over for lunch on Sunday. It was Mother's Day and I wanted to spend some time with her. I might have preferred a day out on the town with just the two of us (we'll have to plan something in the next few weeks), but having us all together was nice too.


I had planned to make Fettuccini Alfredo - not the regular Alfredo with cream sauce, but one rich with healthy avocado and silken tofu. Alas, my avocados were brown so we had to make do with a simple tomato pesto sauce.

The hot, humid summer weather has broken and been replaced with more normal spring temperatures, along with some cold rain. Carm and I had to make a trip into Costco Monday and since we'd already be in town he convinced me to go see 'Avengers - Age of Ultron' (or some such title). It wasn't bad but at times had too much action for me - we were right near the front of the theatre with the giant 3D screen looming above us - the action seemed to spill off the screen into my lap - I actually faked a trip to the loo to give myself a break. 

The Chapters store next door lured me in with the promise of a book about writing. My head was still dizzy from all the action, but I was able to focus on the rows of books enough to make a selection. It was a hard choice though - I had a few in my hands, juggling them (figuratively) to see which one to chose. I haven't had a chance to crack my treasure open yet as I'm trying to finish another library book before Thursday.

Today was the bi-monthly Edward Scissorhands day. Fur flew for 2 hours as I 'un-puffed' the Poodles, making them tidy for our upcoming trip. Then of course there were baths with Carm manning the hose and shampoo bottle while I waited on the sidelines with towels. The lovely thing about it not being winter is that we can scrub them outside. Yes, yes, we have a laundry tub in the garage that has both cold and hot water. I couldn't even imagine giving them an icy bath - that would be way too cruel.


I hadn't changed my clothes yet (think tiny dog hairs poking into my skin) when the dogs started barking wildly - it was Christina walking down the driveway with a bouquet of flowers in her hand. I got my walking shoes on and we headed down the road with the wild wind beating us forward.

Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.
~W.B. Yeats

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Under the blossom








and of course I can’t forget photos of some pets!




Merrily, merrily shall I live now,
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

~William Shakespeare

Saturday, May 9, 2015


I have been living behind a veil of indifference for the last few weeks. Sure the grass was getting greener, but that's about all I noticed. Today the veil shifted and revealed tulips in bloom, trees fully leafed, dandelions scattered like suns across the green galaxy, lilac blooms forming, and the apple tree buds emerging from their woolly cloak. We've been having unseasonably hot weather which has drawn Nature more quickly out of her sleep.

There are two pairs of swallows nesting in the barn. They seem to know one another as they are often together doing their aerial manoeuvres in the sky. Four turkey vultures are hanging around as well - we've seen them on the barn and fence posts, as well as circling lazily in the sky. Robins? They are everywhere. Red-winged blackbirds? Everywhere as well. They all welcome the morning with a joyous chorus that seems to last through the day. Do they really feel joyous? Or do they feel ordinary or blah and singing is just something they do? An empty laugh to deceive.

I did have a minor excitement this week though - Grace's new carrier arrived. It is an open wire mesh on top rather than solid plastic and I think she will enjoy being able to see what's going on. We did a trial 'carry', just onto the front step - she seemed to adjust to it quickly and appeared rather pleased.

I can't seem to write lately. My mind is blank. Not a blank canvas waiting to be written upon, that suggests the possiblity of something great. It's just blank.

I feel like I am the tinman from the Wizard of Oz and have been left out in the rain to rust. Movement is difficult. It's a bit like walking through water up to your neck, except it isn't as fluid and is more jerky and stiff. I don't stop though, no matter how much I'd rather go back to bed and pull the covers up over my head - stopping is not an option. If I stop I may not start again. A diatribe of negative thoughts take up residence in my head. Fat, ugly, stupid, can't, (yes, lots of can'ts) try to anchor themselves in my brain. I have a constant conversation with myself trying to disaffirm the accusations. You'd think it would get easier as the days go by - lots of practice you know - but I feel like I am slowly losing the battle. I keep reminding myself that if I just perservere I'll get out the other side into the sunshine again, just like I do this time of year every year.

Friday, May 8, 2015

WYL #14b Jobs and Careers

This is my rewrite of Jobs and Careers. I tried to put more emotion into it, as well as hive off some of the technospeak. I’ve been a bit unfair about some of my dealings with the developers and project managers as there were some that were right on board. Collaborating with these people was fun and saved my sanity (oh wait, I did lose my sanity, perhaps there weren’t enough of them!). Anyway, at the end of the day I loved my job – I must have as I was there for almost 30 years.



As the bus lurched through the traffic, I talked and laughed with my dad pretending that this was a day like any other and that I was used to sitting on the express bus to downtown.  A pounding herd of butterflies crashed in my chest, reminding me that with just a summer job at a boarding kennel I was ill prepared for my first day of work with the government. 

Stepping off the bus and bidding my father adieu, my sweaty hand grasped the slip of paper telling me where to find my new workplace. The instructions seemed strange: get on the west side elevator on the lower floor and press 3. What? West? Lower floor? When I saw that the glass fronted elevators were double-decker the instructions started to make sense and I stepped closer to my future. Checking the paper again, I got off the elevator and turned left.

The tension in my stomach loosened a notch when I saw Mr. Jenkins standing at the end of the hall.  He was my friend June's father. A few weeks earlier June and I had been sitting at her kitchen table sipping tea when her father happened to pass through. I was lamenting my indecision about the next year. I had just turned 19 and had planned a gap year but had no idea what I was going to do. Luckily for me he had sharp ears and an opening for a clerk in the contract he was soon to start with Industry, Trade and Commerce. And so there I was, bewildered in an alien world.

Dressed up in an unfamiliar dress and high heels, I tottered after Mr. Jenkins, trying to figure out what he was saying. The acronyms and technical terms were like Greek to me. But I paid close attention and eventually my pretty little blonde head started to put things together. In fact, I learned this new language remarkably fast, and found what it had to say fascinating. A computer geek was born.

Near the end of the contract I was approached by Jack Drawbridge, the government manager that had initiated the work. He needed someone for a permanent contract and thought I would be good for the job, if I took a typing class. My future was being formed, and the gap year was turning into the first of 30 years. By the way, that typing class has proven to be time well spent as the skills helped me through my whole career, and now, almost more so as I've taken to amusing myself by writing.

Discussions with Jack, pen in hand and any handy scrap of paper between us, schooled me in the principals of data management. I learned how important the data in the application was and that it was crucial to structure it correctly, not doing so might corrupt the application and embarrass the department.  I quickly became a passionate believer and by the time I had a few years under my belt I was an expert in my field. My confidence grew when companies from Toronto and Boston tried to lure me away from Ottawa, providing a warm feeling of validation which boosted my self confidence. It was nice to be valued.

Listening, asking questions, reading and flying by the seat of my pants soon had me engrossed on the software side of the business as well. As the technical environment progressed from COBOL computer programming code on the mainframe to JAVA code on a PC I flourished. I got my kicks from writing programs to input data from an excel file, or creating web pages to dynamically display documentation. It was fun.

While I preferred playing with software, my job ensured that a stream of application developers would darken my office door. They'd sit down and lay out their documentation for me to okay. With a discrete sigh I'd review their half-hearted efforts and point out where changes and improvements were required. I'd had these conversations hundreds of times as the turnstile whirled with new developers, but nothing seemed to change. Fresh out of school they'd think they knew everything and fought with me over every change. They'd be angry when I'd point out that the new field they were adding had already been added on another table, a data corruption waiting to happen. Only by giving meaningful documentation would this be caught, possibly saving the department from a black eye.
I had the same discussions countless times over the years (think blue in the face), but never lost my belief that this was the right thing to do, although at times my shoulders slumped at the weight of conflict.

Sometimes the developer would balk at my changes and escalate our argument up the line. Facing the the project manager, or worse still, the director, I'd stick to my guns, frustrated when forced to concede. More than once those concessions came back to haunt the project, but I'd bite back the "I told you so's".  By the time my retirement rolled around I felt I had done my time and more.

Almost 30 years after sitting at that kitchen table I left my job with mixed feelings: while I was happy that the arguments were over, my blood still rushes when the subject of data management comes up (which it doesn't normally!) and I hope that the people replacing me continue with the same passion that I had.