Just update this, they said. It’ll be easy, they said.

Why yes, we are taking care of some things, aren't we? Windows 8.1 is very perceptive.

Why yes, we are taking care of some things, aren’t we? Windows 8.1 is very perceptive. This was Daphne’s computer last week.

This, my friends, is my new reality at Them Days. Editor, you say? Why no, I am an IT person now!

(The rest of this post is illustrated not with my own photos, but with scenes from Office Space, a movie you must watch if you have ever worked in an office, particularly for a large corporation or government.)

It all started when Daphne’s Simply Accounting program updated itself automatically. Turns out, it’s not compatible with Windows XP (why yes, we are living in the computing Dark Ages–we are called Them Days, after all), and the very act of either installing it or trying to open it rendered not only the 2015 version unusable, it also caused the old version to stop working.

So the only solution was to be brought into the 21st century, kicking and screaming.


Through the lovely folks at TechSoup Canada, we were able to obtain licenses for Windows 8.1 at a cost that was affordable for an organization like Them Days, and we set about backing up the computer and installing the new Windows. It went great, until we realized (too late) that backing up all your files doesn’t actually back up all your files–buh bye emails.

We did Daphne’s first, because it was most important that she get her accounting system back up and running, especially before the new issue of the magazine gets back to us (it’s been at the printers for almost three weeks now). My computers would wait.  Daphne’s computer wasn’t working that great, anyway, so we hoped that the upgrade would get rid of whatever it was that was the problem before (yes, we defragged. yes, we got rid of unnecessary things. yes, there was plenty of empty space–40 gigs worth. yes, we ran virus scans and malware detectors).

So that was last week.

This week, I wasn’t in any particular hurry to install the new Windows. I’d have to re-install many more programs on my computer than the Office Suite and Sage 50, and there were SO MANY EMAILS to think about not losing. But I knew it would have to be done soon.

Well, my home laptop ran an Adobe Flash updater in the morning, so I wasn’t surprised when my work computer ran it as well. So I ran it, installed the update.

Fast forward to the early afternoon, when there were a ton of people in here and it was hopping! (For some reason, it can be quiet here for days, and then all of a sudden, there’s a rush of people all wanting to tell a story, look up a photo, or renew subscriptions.) One of the customers was looking for a particular photo, and I couldn’t find it. I told him to come in my office and he could review the photos if he wanted, as it was possible that the photo wasn’t labelled and he had a better chance of recognizing his relative than I did. He came in, and I set about closing all the programs I had open (I always have a ton of windows open at once) and the computer was suddenly VERRRRYY slow, unusual for my desktop. Adobe Acrobat, in particular, was freezing up and wouldn’t close. Hmm.


Anyway, he looked through the pictures and left, and I went back on my computer. It kept freezing and programs would end…it just wasn’t going well. So I restarted it.

The restart process was SLOW. And things kept going wrong. So I kept restarting. This was the lovely error that would pop up every time Windows restarted.


The instruction at “0x77d0b653″ referenced memory at “0x77d0b653.” The required data was not placed into memory because of an I/O error status of “0xc000009c.”


Doing a bit of research on another computer (well, my phone because Tabea was deeply embroiled in a search for some archival photos for Snowblind and Seal Finger–more on that later) I learned that it was likely caused by an update or installation issue with registry files. I’m guessing that just like the new update of Daphne’s accounting program, the Flash update wasn’t compatible with XP. I did find instructions on how to fix svchost.exe problems, but I figured it was just time to bite the bullet and update Windows. But first–those emails!

Restarting and restarting and restarting wasn’t helping any, so I decided to start it up and let it load overnight when I was gone home. It was really THAT slow. It wasn’t a good day. I definitely had a case of the Mondays.


I wasn’t sure what I would come back to this morning, but things had loaded and it seemed to be doing okay. Mind you, it was still mighty slow–click on a menu and it would react in about a minute, no word of an exaggeration, but it was working.

So I set about backing up all the emails in two email identities, spent hours at it, only to find out that you can’t import them into Outlook 2013. No kidding. Microsoft doesn’t support its own file types. So currently, I am now exporting the files to Outlook, and then from Outlook, I’ll export again, to save it for when I do a clean install and get the new Windows. It’s a LONG process, and I want to backup all the files again before I delete anything. It was backed up recently, but better safe than sorry, right?


So if you need me, I’ll be sitting in front of my computer, waiting for it to do something, getting some reading done or other needed tasks that don’t need a computer.


P.S. Daphne is currently muttering about her stapler, so I’m pretty sure that we are in a scene from Office Space right now.

I’m just thankful nobody has asked for TPS reports yet.

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Very sweet surprise!


I don’t usually get a whole lot of feedback from readers or those we interview, but when I came back from leave this week, I was greeted by a small white envelope on my desk. Inside was a Christmas card with a very nice thank you note from the ladies I worked with on the Our Lady Queen of Peace story in the September issue. (They even included a gift card to Subway–thank you!) I was so happy to hear that they appreciated the work my summer students and I put into that story, because we wanted to do justice to the story of the church’s beginnings in Happy Valley and all the hard work that the parishioners had put into building their church.

One of the women we worked with on the story was Anita Battcock, who passed away recently. :( I am glad I got to meet her, hear her story, and have her see it in the pages of Them Days before she passed. Anita was a pillar of the Our Lady Queen of Church parish, and I know she is greatly missed.

I have a small collection of thank you cards I’ve collected over the past six-and-a-half years on my bulletin board in my office, and you can bet this is going up there too…but I’m going to keep it on my desk for a few days yet! It puts a smile on my face. It’s always nice to know when your work is appreciated!


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Giving Tuesday

I’m currently on leave, but I was watching the news this morning and learned about the Giving Tuesday movement, and I thought I should promote it! Please think of Them Days if you’re planning to participate! Give to us directly, or support Them Days through buying Them Days gifts for your loved ones this Christmas season–it all helps.


PS if you donate through givingtuesday.ca and pay through interac online, your donation will be matched up to $25!

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Lest We Forget


Them Days is closed today, Tuesday, November 11, 2014, in observation of Remembrance Day. We will re-open tomorrow on Wednesday as usual.
In the meantime, some interesting reading:

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Happy Birthday Mr. Massie! (Or: How we surprised the birthday boy.)

This past Saturday, our longtime volunteer and favourite visitor Dave Massie turned 80. His family flew in from all over to help celebrate. We had a little surprise for him too.

The Board had decided at the October board meeting to bestow Mr. Massie with the Isaac Rich Award for Volunteer Service, an honour given out for the first time last year (to John O. Heard). We had a glass mug engraved at Slippers ‘n’ Things, and a his name added to the wall plaque in our lobby. But (silly us) instead of keeping the plaque down, we put it back up. And thus, Daphne ran and took it down when Mr. Massie popped in for a visit. You see, we were trying to keeping it a secret!

Mr. Massie came in on Friday (or maybe it was Thursday) and I said “I saw in the paper it’s your birthday this weekend!” and he said, “Oh yes. You guys should come on down to the Kinsmen Centre on Saturday for the party.” He told me about his family coming in and how he asked for donations to the food bank in lieu of gifts. “Oh yes, I should go!” I said. (Little did he know, I was already planning to attend because Them Days was going to bestow him with the award!)

So Saturday night came around and Theresa and Daphne and I represented Them Days and surprised him with the award. Theresa did the presentation, then I added the story about Daphne running around behind him to take down the plaque. “I wondered why she was running around,” he said later.

Anyway, it was a wonderful party, and the food was delicious!

The cake!

The cake!

The donations to the food bank!

The donations to the food bank!

Partygoers and the cool banner everyone signed

Partygoers and the cool banner everyone signed

The entertainment...good ol' tap-your-toes tunes!

The entertainment…good ol’ tap-your-toes tunes!

Dave Massie, Daphne Fudge, Aimee Chaulk, Theresa Hollett, Hannah Massie (Dave's wife) and little cutie Macie!

Dave Massie, Daphne Fudge, Aimee Chaulk, Theresa Hollett, Hannah Massie (Dave’s wife) and little cutie Macie!

Thank you for all you’ve done for us over the years, Dave! We appreciate it so much.


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Labrador Traditions Craft Fair

This weekend, we had a booth at the Labrador Traditions Craft Fair. Christmas music was playing, baked goods and crafts were everywhere, and we got to meet a bunch of our customers, which is always really nice!

I even live-tweeted from the event…excuse my typo…my BlackBerry’s O button is a little sticky, so I always end up with too many Os and capital Os where I shouldn’t.

Speaking of typing, it’s not really comfortable for me this morning as I burned my right hand pretty bad last night while making supper. Skin started peeling immediately, and the pain last night was unbearable. Absolutely searing pain. I had to sleep with an ice pack on my gauze-wrapped hand. Now I’ve got blisters, and one of them is right on my knuckle…so as long as I keep my hand in a certain position, it’s good, but if I have to move it much, it hurts. So be careful around the stove, folks…I was just lifting a lid off a pot, and the hot steam/water that had collected on the inside rolled off and landed on my hand. I’m just thankful my little girl (who was hanging around, wishing she could help) didn’t get hurt. She certainly got a fright, though, poor thing. And now I’m learning to do everything one-handed! With my left (aka generally useless) hand!


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A Successful Fundraiser!

Saturday night marked another successful fundraiser for Them Days. This one was a bit of an experiment, really, one that we hadn’t tried out before. Instead of having a defined set list of performers, we invited the audience to participate in any way they wanted. In return, we had a variety of performances: riddles, jokes, vocal performances, poem recitations, readings, guitar, banjo and accordion performances…all sorts of entertainment!

NorthMart donated food to the event, so just like a house party, people could get up and serve themselves. I had exactly one piece of pineapple…I never have an appetite when I’m busy at an event. (And then afterwards, I always wish I had eaten some before it was all gone!)

We also had a generous donation of a number of Labrador Songbooks from the ELAA (who had gotten them from the Creative Arts Festival) that we were able to give to our audience members so we could all participate in Labrador song singalongs! That was pretty awesome, thank you!

I didn’t actually take any pictures for once (a couple of years ago, I was told to stop taking pictures at one of our fundraisers, as you’re not allowed to photograph at the O’Brien Arts Centre, so I stopped bringing my camera, even for Them Days events) so the following pictures came to me courtesy of Andrea Procter and Jamie Skidmore. (Thanks!)

I think I'm doing a reading here

I think I’m doing a reading here

Listening to some music courtesty of Richard Neville and his jam partner (sorry, I am totally blanking on your name right now!!!)

Listening to some music courtesty of Richard Neville and Waylon (sorry I don’t know your last name!)

Everyone joined in on a sing-along

Everyone joined in on a sing-along

Kids danced and adults tapped their toes to Bob Mesher's banjo-picking

Kids danced and adults tapped their toes to Bob Mesher’s banjo-picking

The partyin' cuties

The partyin’ cuties – William, Bea, and Leila (Noah not pictured)

The silent auction did very well too. All in all, the total from the door, the auction, and donations came to $1189! We also had a sales table that sold a few calendars and other items, so the total for the evening would have been just over $1200. That is awesome! :)

Thank you all who came out to the event, and all those who also performed! We would also like to thank those who purchased the silent auction items, and those who donated items to the auction–Theresa Hollett, Bill English, Kay Russell, John Joy, Robin McGrath, Jennifer Best, Jillian Larkham, John Gaudi, Aimee Chaulk, Bridget Chaulk, Yerry’s Tents, and John Munro. And of course, thank you to all the volunteers who gave their time in one way or another to get this fundraiser pulled together (especially Fiona Andersen and the Mokami Players and John Heard)…we really appreciate it!


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