Being Victoria Day in
Canada (22nd May) I decided to take time out to search the antiquarian
books stores on the web to find some more books for the site. I found a
- James Chalmers of New Guinea. Scottish
Missionary, Pioneer, Martyr.
- JOHN THOMSON OF DUDDINGTON, PASTOR AND
PAINTER: A MEMOIR. This is
apparently a famous Scottish landscape painter.
- The Western Isles of Scotland: Their
History, Traditions and Place-Names
- Skye Pioneers and "The Island" which is
an account of the Scottish Highlanders of the Isle of Skye who emigrated
to Prince Edward Island in Canada.
- ''Scottish Education. School and
University from Early Times to 1908''
- Wild Life In the West Highlands
- From Fox's Earth to Mountain Tarn, Days
Among the Wild Animals of Scotland
- Sketches of the Wild Sports and Natural
History of the Highlands
- BOB SON OF BATTLE
- 'SCOTTY' ALLAN, King of the Dog-Team
There are many reasons for purchasing books
but mostly it's to try and plug gaps in knowledge. For example...
Book 1 is because I hope this will show the
Scots influence in New Guinea where we really have no information at
present. I do in fact still have a book about Stewart of Lovedale
who was an influential Scots missionary in South Africa and again we have
little information about the Scots in South Africa.
Book 2 is to give information on Scots
painters as I have nothing substantial on them and I hope this book will
also refer to other Scottish artists.
Book 3 is simply that while I have some
information on the Western Isles I hope this book will give a lot more
information so that I can then work on other areas of Scotland. I feel
that the folklore is an important aspect of the Western Isles and hence
this book if of particular interest.
Book 4 is hopefully good information on the
early pioneers to Prince Edward Island in Canada where the local
historians all claim that 68% of the islanders have Scottish blood.
Book 5 is I hope a good book to explore
Scottish education which made a big impact on the world. I have no
information on Scottish education other than what might be mentioned in
other publications so this fills an important gap in knowledge.
Books 6 - 8 are to try and complete a
decent section on the wild life of Scotland. And as I am just about to
start on a book "Harvest of the Sea" I figured by the time all these books
were done we'll have a good picture of wild life in Scotland. My intention
is to create a new section on "Wild Life in Scotland" for the site. Like I
have done with other sections I can then draw other material together to
create a new index page for this subject.
Book 9 is apparently an old Scots novel
about a dog which is in the Scots popular writing and I just thought this
might be fun to use on the site. Like other books I buy once I receive it
I may find that it's not something I want on the site. Buying
antiquarian books online means you can't actually eyeball it to see if it
is suitable. You can ask the bookseller a question but that doesn't
guarantee you get what you think you are getting :-) Mind you of all
the books I have purchased I think there have only been 3 that have turned
out not to be suitable.
Book 10 is apparently the book of the
Scotsman that started the famous Alaska dog sleigh race which I thought
might be of interest. However this one is a gamble as it is still in
copyright so if I do like it I'd have to try and trace the copyright
I do from time to time take
most of a day out to search for books that I feel will bring good
knowledge to our visitors. Of late I have been getting the odd email in
from school children that ask what wild animals there are in Scotland and
so I hope in future I can point to a few books where they can learn more.
I am still looking for some
decent books on Scottish agriculture and also the use of plants for crafts
So this might give an idea
of the work I am doing right now for future additions to the web site.
As I am now at the 31st of
May it reminds me that I am still waiting for word on my application for
Permanent Landed Status in Canada and I thought I'd email Larry at
Business Immigration in Toronto to see if he could find out anything.
I mean this is now 1 year I've been waiting and it was suggested that as I
was on a "Fast Track" I should have heard within 9 months.
I thus emailed Larry and he
got back very quickly to tell me that my medical records had just come
back to Buffalo where the application is being processed. He kind of
indicated that it shouldn't be long now before I hear from them. I
understand he can't tell me more although he did indicate that the medical
side of things is somewhat back logged and hence the delay. And so I was
much encouraged by his response so hopefully it won't be too much longer.
And I was also reminded that I should head
down to the local utilities company to seek a refund of my initial 12
months deposit as I've now been in Chatham for a whole year :-)
On 1st June I also visited my accountants to
get the completed forms for the returns needed for my Canadian company. I
have to wait one week or so until I get a letter in confirming my Company
Number and if that agrees with the completed forms I can get them posted
I am still
waiting for my US company accounts to be completed and I do need certain
information from them for the Canadian accountants so I can complete my
first personal tax return. It needs to be in by June 15th so we're getting
rather near that deadline. My accountant did a rough calculation for me
and didn't feel that I would have much tax to pay for the 2005 tax year
but she does need formal figures from the US before she can complete the
I am also
trying to get in contact with people in Bruce County where a lot of Scots
settled which is on Lake Huron. I would like to spend a few days up
there doing some research and doing a bit of a story board like I did with
Elliot Lake and Cape Breton, etc.
And I am also still making
contacts to sell my micro button adverts on the site. I am actually
amazed about how many companies have voice mail. Thing is if I want
to buy something I would expect a phone call back but as I am trying to
sell something to them I wouldn't actually expect them to phone me back.
That said from a customer point of view I'm a touch concerned about
advertising a company where all you seem to ever get is an answering
Mind you... when I think
about it the problem seems to be usual in both the U.K. and Canada.
I haven't actually had that problem phoning companies in the USA. I am
trying to get interesting companies advertising, ones that I would use
myself. In this way I hope our visitors won't just see these as
advertising but also as a useful resource. Currently I am trying to
get companies that sell British food, that sell clan rings and Celtic
jewelry, Scottish sweets, etc. I think we have enough advertisers selling
kilts and tartan so trying to find other good products and services.
Google sent me an email in which they provided
a link to new webmaster resources. So when I explored this I discovered
that I now have over 150,000 web pages indexed by them. Quite
impressive considering I was only claiming 30,000 web pages :-)
I have spent a fair bit of
time trying to get flash files to play on my system. TV Scots got in
touch to say they now had really excellent half hour videos they'd like me
to host in the new flash .flv file formats. The benefit of this format
they tell me is that they don't need a streaming server as they are
"progressive" downloads so even someone on dial up should be able to enjoy
is that despite phoning the Macromedia and Adobe people I still can't get
them to play either on my own notebook or on the web. This is a
total pain. I've given up and passed it back to TV Scots to find out
what I need to do to play them.
On a personal basis we hit over 80 degrees
here in Chatham this last week and I found my work gradually slowing down
as it was getting a bit warm and humid. I then thought... Ah!
air conditioning! I need to switch that on! And so I did but
nothing happened and it climbed to 86 degrees! So I started to think
it wasn't working and I'd need to get a repair man in to look at it.
Anyway... as it started to cool down again I
thought what I'd do is switch it all off and then the next morning I'll
switch it on and see if that will kick start it into action. Well I
did that and at the time it was recording 80 degrees. After around a
couple of hours I wasn't sure I felt much different but when I went to
check on the thermostat it was showing 78 degrees. I then thought to
myself... well is that because it is 78 degrees or is the air conditioning
working now? Anyway later that day I put my hand over the air vents
and detected cold air... I went back and found I was now recording 74
degrees. I had set it for 72 degrees and it is in fact now holding at 72
degrees so I guess it must be working after all.
Of course just to complicate things we've had
several cloudy days so I'm still not really sure if it is working properly
or not. Such is life... looks like I need to get a thermometer to
check things out :-)
I had a longish chat with a mother this week who doesn't live too far away
from where I live. Amongst other things she was saying how concerned
she was for her son who I think is now 18. He hasn't been able to
pass his 12 standard (I think this is the leaving pass from school) and so
he will find it difficult to get a job. It turned out the one thing he is
really good at is fishing. I thus suggested that if he got a web
site and a little training he could like create a knock out web site all
about fishing in the area. Once he'd built the content he could add
loads of pictures of great fishing spots in the area and advice on what
fish you could catch and where and tips on the best way to catch them etc.
Having done all that he could offer to rent himself out to give fishing
lessons, fishing tours, etc. The fact that some of these will also
mean paddling in a canoe I figured anyone liking fishing would probably be
happy to hire his services.
And so... I hope this will bring a new
employment opportunity to a young man in the area :-)
And finally I'm still having to contend with
moving my /alastair directory on ElectricScotland to a new domain of
despite working hard on this I am still finding broken links. I went
to view one of the storyboard I did on a day out in Chatham only to find
all the pictures were missing. And of course they were meant to be in my /alastair
directory which no longer exists. So off I went once more to correct the
path to the pictures. My thanks to the various folk that phone or
email me to tell me of other broken links and so hopefully I've now found
the last of them :-)