Author Archives: Thelma

Valued Member

We have subscribed to both of PEI’s daily newspapers for as long as I can remember. This morning we only received The Guardian and a letter explaining that the Journal Pioneer has been “combined” with The Guardian. Most of our neighbours only receive the Journal as it has always been the paper for the western end of PEI and The Guardian for eastern areas, so they will be very surprised and possibly upset by this change in routine.

I also found out this morning that I am now a member and not a subscriber, which I suppose is to give me the sense that I was part of this business decision and approve it, rather than being a customer who paid for a service that I’m not going to receive.

In the Saltwire Network CEO’s letter, they say their advertising revenue dropped by nearly two-thirds almost overnight, so they have been forced to temporarily lay off 40% of their workforce, including journalists. Instead of publishing nearly three dozen papers today across Atlantic Canada, they published four.

Other than being quite a thin paper, today’s edition doesn’t really seem much different from recent ones. Both of PEI’s dailies were already carrying heavy amounts of content from the other Saltwire Network papers and the Postmedia Network and were starting to look like each other, save for different local advertising and obituaries (one of the big reasons we kept The Guardian). When you read one, you had almost read the other as much of the local content in each was shared.

We were already seriously considering dropping our subscription to The Guardian this spring because the price for each was closing in on $400 a year. My mother does not use digital technology so receiving the newspaper is a big thing for her, but the content duplication was becoming very obvious and we couldn’t justify spending nearly $800 a year anymore. I think that decision has probably now been made for us, despite the assurance that this is a temporary measure.

When the Journal Pioneer stopped being an afternoon paper many years ago and moved to morning delivery, and since both papers have been owned by the same companies for many decades, I was always amazed they didn’t amalgamate the two publications years ago. This time of crisis could be the time this decision is finally made. I’m sad that other than the concern I feel for those who will lose their jobs, I just don’t care.

Safe In The Past

I find great comfort in looking backwards at times like this when everything seems so scary. History is already written, so it is a safe place to spend some time; there could be surprises or new discoveries, but they have already happened and are, therefore, sterile, clean, orderly.

As a diversion from the overwhelming pandemic news, I spent time this morning nosing around for family news on UPEI’s digital newspaper archive, which has expanded in recent months. My ancestors were pretty humble people, mostly fishers and farmers, not the type of people who usually ended up in newspapers except maybe when they died. A couple of distant relatives were politicians – a great-great uncle was an MLA and my father’s first cousin was a Member of Parliament and later a Senator – but most appear only as entries in census records.

It was lovely, then, to find new items about long gone great-greats in the Examiner archives. I do not have any family stories about these people, so until today they have existed only as names and dates in a database. This evening I feel as though I have pulled them in a bit closer to me, that they are with me somehow, and that is soothing.

My GG Grandparent’s wedding announcement – August 25, 1862 Examiner. I have Robert’s will.
Report about GG Grandfather William Hardy’s lighthouse at Little Channel – March 10, 1879 Examiner
GG Grandfather William Hardy (and his unnamed wife, Ida) involved in saving some sailors – July 10, 1879 Examiner
GG Grandfather George Washington Sharp making big bucks selling pearls in New York – March 21, 1889 Examiner
GG Grandfather George Washington Sharp’s obituary – November 2, 1895 Examiner

The Show Must Go On From My Living Room

Everyone is at home right now, including all the famous and should-be-famous from Broadway, so they are going to do a Judy and Mickey and raise some money!

Rosie O’Donnell is hosting an online fundraiser tonight for The Actors Fund. The fantastic lineup includes musical royalty like Patti LuPone, Ben Vereen, Chita Rivera, Audra MacDonald and Kristin Chenoweth. And it also happens to be Stephen Sondhiem’s 90th birthday today, so expect a nod or two to the great one.

Knock On Wood

The Prince Edward Island government has developed a COVID-19 door knocker (I would call it a door hanger, but never mind) to announce to the world that you are in self-isolation. Not sure what font they have chosen for their COVID-19 messaging, but the capital letter “i” is very very odd – is this a semi-serif font? Ensure you have lots of ink/toner on hand before printing this polite message.

Controlling the Uncontrollable

As I watch all my volunteer and social activities dwindle away due to the COVID-19 situation, I have been trying to find ways to keep busy and not obsess over the news and the break in routine. There are many projects around home I kept saying I would get around to doing if only I wasn’t so busy, so now, alas, I have my wish.

The projects I have been tackling seem to all involve wanting to put things in order, to have a feeling of control at a time when everything seems very out of control. I am cleaning corners of the house that haven’t been touched since we moved in 17 years ago. I emptied a dish that held last year’s beach walk treasures and also some Rescue Remedy I had forgotten that will come in very handy right now!

2019’s bits and pieces.

I’ve started to tackle putting my shop building back in order after a new concrete foundation and floor was added a couple of years ago, which raised everything six inches, often out of easy reach for 5′ 2″ me. Hoes and spades have hung in the same place for 60 years, placed in their spots by my parents, but I have pulled out all the nails and hooks and started again. It’s a big building with a lot of stuff just thrown in after it was emptied for the construction work, so this will be a long project.

This looks good…

…this needs work!

A week ago today the Prince County Hospital Auxiliary reopened our newly-renovated Wishing Well Gift Shop that had been closed for three months of renovations and restructuring. We had a great day, laughing about bumping elbows instead of shaking hands, getting used to the cash register, chatting with the hospital staff who were happy to see us back in business. I made a quick sign for our used book section. It was a busy day in a busy hospital. Beyond remembering to clean my hands more often than usual, I didn’t think much about the coronavirus.

Opening and closing day April 13, 2020
The Book Nook

Today I drove to our veterinary clinic to pick up cat food. I called ahead, told them what I wanted, and paid in advance by credit card. When I arrived, I called them again to say I was oustide and the receptionist unlocked the door, waved at me, and set the bag on the porch. I got out of my car, carefully picked up the bag, put it in my trunk, and used hand sanitizer when I got back in the car. I washed the bag off when I got home; it is drying in the laundry tub.

Sanitized.

255.9 km/h

I was in Summerside yesterday when our Acurite 5-in-1 weather station recorded a 255.9 km/h wind gust just before 2 p.m. Just glad the house is still standing and the chickens didn’t blow away. What powerful spirit could have flown by and gave the anemometer a spin? Maybe the gitpu (eagle) I spoke to earlier this week as she flew over our house checking out our hens. Message received.

Force Favicons to Refresh

Having the wrong favicon on a Safari bookmark isn’t a big deal when facing an almost-pandemic and climate emergency, but a couple of websites I visit frequently both ended up with the YouTube favicon for some reason and it was driving me a bit squirrelly – I wanted to at least fix this one tiny thing!

I tried deleting a bunch of files that I probably shouldn’t have in my library and it didn’t make a bit of difference. A helpful thread on an Apple community forum lead me to this trick of visiting a website in private mode to force its favicon to refresh. I don’t understand why this magic spell works, but all the wonky little favicons are back to normal and I can now worry about stocking up for a pandemic in peace. I hope this helps some other distracted soul.