My trip to Ottawa -- 10/13/11

Okay, so my Ottawa trip was Thursday Oct 6th thru Sunday Oct 9th, but I've been too busy since I got back to put up an entry. Among the things distracting me from this page has been Tiger. He has been getting weaker -- but this week he seemed to become very weak and to have little interest in food -- then Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning he wouldn't eat anything, not even stuff he usually loves, and to have no interest even in a saucer of milk. I called our vet and got an immediate emergency appointment. The vet did a blood workup. I think we all thought he was heading into kidney failure and would not make it through the week. It turns out that he does not have kidney failure -- he is diabetic! Today Dr. Otis showed me how to give him insulin injections. He is still a very frail elderly cat with arthritis, but we are hoping that a few days of insulin will help bring him back to the way he was a couple of months ago.

I flew on Porter Airlines -- a small Canadian airline whose home is Toronto -- specifically Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport located on an island in Lake Ontario. This picture shows a Porter Airlines airplane -- the very one that had brought me from Boston's Logan Airport to Toronto. (Which is there I connected with their flight to Ottawa.) I love the view of the City of Toronto in the background. Porter only flies this model airplane -- Bombardier Q400 turboprops. Because of weight restrictions due to this airport's short runways, all of Porter's Bombardier's are configured for 70 passengers rather than for the standard 79 or 80. This means fewer rows which means more space and more leg room. Oh, and they not only still serve snacks and small lunches, they serve beer (good beer) and wine (decent wine) and all of it free. (Not only that -- but you know how most airports rip you off with overpriced everything? Their customer waiting area at Toronto has free snacks, free Starbuck's coffee, free water and softdrinks.) Yes, their planes are noisier than jets, but quieter than older turboprops. Yeah, you probably get the impression that I like Porter.

Here is the giant spider that attacked Ottawa.

Okay, actually it is some giant sculpture outside of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Jill and I played tourists and she showed me around Ottawa. Jill and I discovered that we have very similar tastes in art (okay, perhaps not startling news for a father and daughter). The museum has many rooms of beautiful and fascinating works of art (they have two works by Canaletto, one of my favorite artists) and they also have many rooms filled with modern art (but that's okay because they also have so much good art).

This is the Rideau Canal, connecting Ottawa with Lake Ontario (126 miles away) -- that's the Ottawa River -- and that is Gatineau, Quebec, on the other side of the river. This is downtown Ottawa, just a few blocks from the art museum and a short walk to Parliament Hill... (see next picture).

Parliament was not in session (it was Thanksgiving weekend in Canada -- Monday, Oct 10th was the official day)

Looking toward the west along the Ottawa River (standing somewhere behind the various government buildings).

Looking east at Parliament in the glow of the setting sun...

Jill with Meowhammed Ali...

Flowers at the Central Experimental Farm -- an actual experimental farm and plant nursery and agricultural and horticultural research center and a teaching museum and lots of fun for kids and adults -- totally surrounded by the City of Ottawa. Jill and Nancy had visited it when Nancy had come up to Ottawa with Jill back during the summer, but they had both missed the fact that there were acres of flower gardens there. Jill and I enjoyed the (late season) flowers and also the various exhibit barns and displays and demonstrations.

Jill and I also toured the Canadian War Museum. Some guidebook had said to allow three hours to see everything -- we spent three and a half hours and only got through half of the exhibits. We were walking through part of the World War II section when Jill said "Dad, look -- it's Link!" And there it was -- one of the Link Blue Boxes -- the flight simulators invented and manufactured by Edwin Link in Binghamton, NY (using a lot of technology from his father's organ factory) -- Link had invented his first trainer in the late 1920s but it was World War II and the need to train thousand upon thousands of pilots in a short period of time that made Link famous. Jill knew all about Link because not only had she been born and lived in Binghamton until she was in 8th grade, but Nancy and I had both worked for Link Flight Simulation.

That's all I have time for tonight. Jill just showed up a few minutes ago -- drove down from Ottawa when she heard about Tiger being so sick.

Well, my brother and his son and his daughter have have flown off to Death Valley for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation fund-raising ride across Death Valley -- Their ride is on Saturday. If I recall from past years, they start before dawn. They've hit their target amounts, but the links below still work should anyone be inspired to add something...

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