The year 2000 started off well, but a big event happened mid-year which was a very sad time for everyone. My father died August 25, 2000 in Nanaimo Hospital after suffering a fall at home. Dad had been in fragile health for awhile, and Mum was doing extra duty taking care of him. He had fallen several times over the previous year, but no serious injuries resulted. The last fall, although not too serious at first glance, seemed to take him down quickly. It was obvious while visiting him in the hospital that his life was slipping away. He responded to us sometimes, but mostly he was not aware of who was in the room with him. He had celebrated his 90th birthday on January 7th, 2000, and had been married to my mother for 64 years.
Mum is doing her best to continue with her life without Dad, but as I am sure you can imagine, she is missing him terribly after being married for so many years to the same person. Thanks go to my relatives who live in Nanaimo for being very kind to Mum; taking her out for lunches and dinners, and including her in their family activities. This means so much to her (and to me). I have increased the frequency of my visits, and we are planning to have Mum down to Victoria for Christmas this year. Breaking with our tradition of celebrating Christmas in Nanaimo with our relatives seems to be appropriate this year. I think we need a quiet time – our first Christmas without our husband and father. The Obituary: Joseph Cecil Carr, 1910-2000 and My Memories.
Now on to some positive news…
My high school graduating class of 1970 has held reunions every ten years. For a variety of reasons, I chose to not to attend the previous reunions. I was “persuaded” to help out with the arrangements for the 30th reunion held this year in early August. Most of my work for the reunion over the last year has consisted of hosting a website http://Reunion.JoeTourist.net/
Hosting the reunion website turned out to be a great deal of work, but by all accounts it was well used and much appreciated by everyone involved. Yes, I attended this reunion, and I found the two day affair was fun. Meeting so many classmates after 30 years was interesting (to say the least). From the comments of the various grads I had a chance to talk with, it appeared that this reunion was enjoyed the most of all, as compared with the previous events. Perhaps this is due to the more advanced maturity of the people to attended? As everyone knows, reunions can be stressful, but I think it was a credit to all that most of the potential anxiety appeared to have been transformed into a more relaxed and jovial mood.If you remember from my Christmas letter from last year, I was planning a trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon in January 2000. This trip turned out to be a great success. While in Las Vegas, I attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and was very impressed with all the new gadgets and gizmos. The High-Definition TVs (HDTV) seemed to be displayed in every booth, and their pictures were amazingly detailed. Panasonic showed flat (and thin), gas-plasma HDTV displays, and I have decided to aim for one of those units, once the price comes down in a few years.
While in Las Vegas, I rented a car and traveled to the Grand Canyon. Since this trip was in January, there were no crowds. As you can see by the “I was there” photo, the weather was cold and clear (some snow on the ground), so my helicopter ride over the canyon was near perfect. My visit happened to coincide with President Clinton’s visit to dedicate some new national park land, so that added a bit of extra excitement to the adventure. This is the first vacation which I relied exclusively on my Nikon digital camera. It worked very well, and I seriously doubt I will ever use a film-based camera again.
Speaking of websites, I now have new domain names for my websites (the old ones still work). Canada finally changed their very restrictive rules for .ca domain names to allow virtually any Canadian resident to register as many domain names as they wished to pay for. I grabbed JoeTourist.ca, JoeCarr.ca and Carr.ca, and have plans to use them all. As you can see by the URLs I have supplied throughout this letter, the JoeTourist.ca domain name is already in active use. JoeCarr.ca points to my personal website, and I have plans to offer sub-domains off the Carr.ca domain name to any of my relatives who want to establish a website of their own (i.e. Kevin.Carr.ca, Nadine.Carr.ca, etc.). I also plan to use Carr.ca as a website to display the genealogy for the Carr family name.
I finally broke down a few months ago and purchased a new 27” Panasonic Gaoo high quality TV to replace my old 20” RCA Colortrack (which is over 25 years old now!). The RCA still works well, but the new Gaoo has an excellent picture. It is not HDTV, but as mentioned above, I think I will wait a few years for the prices to come down before jumping into that market. The Gaoo complements my other high-tech acquisitions this year – a surround sound audio system, a DVD player, and finally – a subscription to digital cable service. This gives us superb quality movies (and regular broadcast TV stations as well), so we don’t expect to rent video taped movies anymore. Most of our entertainment will come through the digital cable, with an occasional DVD rental, if there is a just-released movie we just have to watch before the movie channels broadcast it.
My other high-tech acquisition this year is a Casio E-125 Pocket PC to replace my Palm Pilot PDA. The Palm Pilot is about three years old, and for PDA technology, that would be considered ancient. The new Pocket PC runs a stripped down version of Windows, and also comes with Pocket versions of Word and Excel (word processor and spreadsheet). It also reads the storage cards which my Nikon digital camera uses, so it all dove-tails nicely – allowing me to see (and show others) my digital photos on a bit bigger screen than the digital camera offers.
As many of you know, I have had a cellular phone for many years. A few months ago I decided to use my cellphone as my main telephone number, and drop my wireline telephone with Telus. So now, you can reach me at (250) 744-9981 anytime. Kirk has his own cellphone and his own private number.
On the personal front, Kirk is doing pretty well. We are both happy and reasonably healthy, so I guess that is pretty good for a couple of 40-somethings! Tucker (our Jack Russell Terrier) continues to try to keep track of us all, and Sylvester (our Manx cat) continues to outfox Tucker at every turn. Tucker gets 3 or 4 walks a day, and tears around the local parks as if he were still a puppy, despite being 3 years old now. He is a real snuggler as well, so if either of us takes a nap, sits in the easy chairs, or goes to bed not feeling well, he is right there to crawl under the covers. He makes a great hot water bottle! Sylvester is more circumspect – preferring to sleep on his own, but nearby. He is a friendly cat, but not a lap cat. His job is to keep track of the birds in the feeder, and also to say “hi” to his neigbourhood buddies, who often sit on the deck and peer in the window at him. We don’t let him outside to make cat-to-cat contact, since there are so many deadly feline diseases going around.
Kirk and I wish you a very happy holiday season…
and may you have a great Year 2001