Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
Our mother, Elizabeth Boise Allwyn, passed away on September 18 from illness. The family invites her friends and neighbours to a celebration of her life.
September 28, 2016 (Weds) 2:00-2:45pm
Dining Room, the Willows
3115 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham [map]
As our mother wished, this will be a simple affair. Family members and friends will speak on different aspects of Elizabeth and what she brought to the world. There will be an open space for participants to share their own feelings and memories.
A short reception will follow.
The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Lydia Place (lydiaplace.org) and to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Illinois Chapter (nationalmssociety.org/Chapters/ILD).
Directions: The Willows is near St Joseph’s hospital and the Sunset Drive exit of I-5. By bus, Whatcom Transit Authority routes 3 and 4 stop right in front of the building. By car, take I-5 to exit 255 (Sunset Drive). Head west on Sunset Drive; after 0.3 mi, right (north) onto Ellis Street; after 0.2 mi, first right onto Squalicum Parkway (St Joseph’s Hospital is straight ahead); after 0.1 mi, at a sign for The Willows, left onto Levin Lane, then forward until you enter the Willows parking lot. There is limited parking in the Willows. You might find it easier to park in the clinic parking lot to the left just before the Willows driveway. Continue Reading »
I’m no longer a foreign troublemaker in Canada. I’m now a Canadian citizen troublemaker!
On 29. January, 2016, Ducky and I affirmed allegiance to the Queen of Canada, and completed our metamorphosis into Canadian citizens. It was a brief ceremony, an hour and a half made up of bureaucracy with a layer of pomp and ceremony. There were 80 new Canadians, from about 15 different countries. The couple next to us were from England and from Scotland — I wonder how they grappled with shifting their allegiance from the Queen of the United Kingdom to the Queen of Canada. We spent our first 45 minutes shuffling up to a counter, where our application was checked one last time. This was a formality; the filter was last November’s citizenship test. We sat in 80 numbered chairs, which ensured we were in the same order as the stack of 80 Certificates of Citizenship. We heard a speech. We recited the Oath (or in my case, Affirmation) of Citizenship, in English, then in French. (Thankfully, our presiding Judge Roy Wong had quite good French, unlike the cringeworthy mangle we heard at a high-profile Canada Day citizenship ceremony a few years ago.) We sang “O Canada”: mostly in English, keener me in the bilingual version. We filed past Judge Wong in our carefully numbered order, and received the correct Certificate of Citizenship. Most people went off to work. A few of us stayed for photos.
Interestingly, we lost our Canadian permanent resident cards in the transaction; we are now citizens, not permanent residents. If we were to visit the US soon, we might not be able to get back in to Canada. So our next task is to apply for Canadian passports. Hopefully, they will be mailed to us within a couple of weeks. Then we tell the NEXUS program about our changed status, and are free to scamper across the border again.
We don’t lose our US citizenship. It used to that 8 U.S.C. § 1481 took away your US citizenship, if you became a naturalized citizen of another country. But the US Supreme Court ruled (in Afroyim vs Rusk (1967), according to Wikipedia at least) that the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution overrules that Congressional statute. So now we stay US citizens until we express a clear intent not to be. And it’s a great situation to have: the privilege to live in a wonderful country like Canada, while still being able to travel and work in the USA. When first we moved to Canada, the cross-border tax expert, the late David Ingram, counseled us to get Canadian citizenship as soon as we could; for born US citizens it was all upside and no downside. He was right. Sure, we get the joy of filing both US and Canadian tax returns. But there are experts who help us with that, and a tax treaty that most of the time means each dollar is taxed by either Canada or the US, not by both.
For our first year as new citizens, we get free admission to thousands of parks and museums nationwide, thanks to the Cultural Access Pass. VIA Rail will give us 50% off a ticket, even a multi-week cross-country sleeper car trip. We are planning our adventures already! And we were touched by the enthusiastic welcome from Canadian friends on Facebook (and warm congratulations from US friends), also this one, and this one, and this one.
Oh, Canada, our home and (naturalised) land!
I won’t be buying Chums eyewear retainers anytime soon.
1000m above the ground in my paraglider is no place for my dark glasses to fall off. My prescription dark glasses, you see, without which I can barely make out anything. So, I relied on my Chums eyewear retainer on my dark glasses. Imagine my dismay when I pulled them out of my helmet bag recently, and saw this: Continue Reading »
Today back in 1998, my uncle Spencer Boise asked me, “Jim and Ducky, do you both recognize the rights and responsibilities inherent in the marriage contract?” and I replied, “I do. I have come here freely to take this woman to be my wife. I promise to love her, comfort her, honor her, and keep her, above all others.”
Continue Reading »
With the year coming to an end, it is the season of making donations to organisations doing good in the world. In both Canada and the USA, this is motivated by a tax deadline; donations to certain charities by December 31 can be tax deductions for that year. It’s an opportunity to lay out here a concept that I helped draft a decade ago: the “Social Justice Tithe”.
The Social Justice Tithe means giving at least 10% of your income to some combination of charities, religious groups, and political groups that enact your values.
This spring my spouse Ducky and I took up paragliding training. The training so far has given us many vivid experiences, and I’m itching to share those stories with you. Let me start by telling you why we wanted to enter the sport.
I’m a big fan of flying, in just about every form. I’m a licensed private pilot. I’ve done skydiving in the past. I go nuts over airplanes and airshows. I have dreams where I’m able to simply leap in the air and swim (wait, so does everyone else). I enjoy scuba diving and swimming in part because they let me move in three dimensions. My beloved spouse, however, isn’t really excited by any of these pastimes. We have gone scuba diving together. But she finds my powered small aircraft to be noisy, cold, and boring. Flying has mostly been a “me” activity, without her participation. She in turn has her “me” activities that don’t involve me. Continue Reading »
I never met Derek Miller. I take that back. I may well have met him, say at the Northern Voice conference, the annual gathering of the B.C. blogging and social media scene. I almost certainly heard him play drums; I’m told his band, The Neurotics, played at the start line of the Vancouver Sun Run, our annual 50,000 person 10k stampede. Certainly we had a lot of friends in common. But I became aware of Derek Miller through one of his intriguing ideas. I then grew to admire his bravery, his unsentimental clarity, his humour, his compassion, as he compellingly narrated his own journey towards death. And as the community, in which he made waves and I bob in the ripples, mourned him, it became clear how many people loved and admired him.
I first came across Derek when researching what people were learning about digital legacies: what happens to one’s online persona and works when one dies. Derek apparently coined the term “digital executor”, the person who has the responsibility to take over all one’s blogs and accounts and presence on the net on one’s death. I think it is a brilliant term. Continue Reading »
This is a personal blog post: a chance to say, for the record, a little of what this wonderful man meant to me, and to us. Those of you who are here for i18n or technology stuff, we’ll get back to that next time.
When we family gathered to pay our respects, it was one of those bittersweet occasions — wonderful to see everyone, terrible about the reason; a sad event, but then, when a good person leads a long and happy life and has a quick and peaceful death, a happier outcome than others we could imagine.
When I was a young child growing up near Cincinnati, Ohio, Spencer and his inseparable wife Marty, and their five children, lived right next door to us. It gave our families a close bond, which persists to this day. In fact, soon after I met Ducky and we took our first road trip together, it was to visit Spence and Marty, and some of their kids, in Santa Barbara.