Thursday, February 24, 2005
Jason Kottke a well known, on the web anyway, New York blogger recently quit work to blog full time. He is asking people to “pony up a couple of bucks” to support his endeavor. Over 300 people have given him money.
His remaindered links website, a collection of pointers to things he's found on the net and thinks you might be interested in, as well as posts about the minutiae of his daily life is hardly remarkable stuff. His blog is not sufficiently superior to other blogs that I would find myself thinking I needed to pay him for his efforts to continue producing, dare I say, “this drivel.“
Billions of people, including me, produce daily weblogs full of similar drivel. We do not think it necessary or important enough to ask for money.
I enjoy reading drivel. Glimpses into other peoples lives unlike my own, confirm how different we all are but at the same time endorse how people everywhere ultimately share similar concerns, joys and sorrows. Linking to people is the part I find valuable. Other peoples blogrolls are a plethora of links opening up whole new vistas of interesting material. Wanting, needing to be paid refutes the whole premise of the web, that it is free.
As Angie Mckaig points out, he is a highly profiled A list blogger. Almost every weblog, mine included, have his site listed on their blogroll thus he probably will be able to drum up enough cash to live on, so, proves the adage, it is not the product that counts but how it is marketed.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Every February I buy one of those florist Primroses available at grocery stores everywhere. To me yellow is the quintessential spring colour. After they have flowered and when the ground has defrosted and the weather is warm enough I plant them outside. Only after moving to Prince George have I been able to plant them outside. In the Peace it is too cold for polyanthus to over winter, not so for it's hardier cousins. This year I splurged and bought a pink one as well. The purple flower in the background belongs to an African Violet which seems to have been flowering forever.
Monday, February 21, 2005
Hunter S Thompson committed suicide on Sunday. I remember reading, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, about twenty six years ago back in University. Gosh that makes me sound old, anyhow I was young, gullible and naïve, barely understanding much of what I was reading but, enjoying it immensely. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, both my children who are young but neither naïve or gullible have enjoyed watching the movie more than once. I suspect none of it is going over their heads.
Sunday was a beautiful sunny day to get outside. I went Tele skiing, unfortunately forgetting my camera. We drove down towards Barkerville turning off at the Peters Creek road which was ploughed for a change. We spent the day climbing the logged out slopes and skiing down or in my case practicing tele skiing and falling down. At one point I decided the hell with tele skiing. I started hanging out the with the younger members of our group practicing jumps and comparing how much air we were able to get. Apart from the tempoary noise of about twenty snowmobilers, whom we managed to chase off, It was a very relaxing day.
Not surprisingly, like best seller lists, and prize nomination lists, having your book nominated for Canada Reads vastly improves its sale. Two of the books, Leonard Cohen’s, Beautiful Losers and Margaret Atwoods, Oryx And Crake, I have already read. Out of the remaining three the one which appeals to me the most is Volkswagon Blues by Jaques Poulin.
by Jacques Poulin
translated by Sheila Fischman
published in 1984 by Cormorant Books
translated in 1988
Volkswagen Blues is a road story about a writer named Jack, in search of his brother, Théo. Jack picks up a hitchhiker, a young aboriginal woman, La Grande Sauterelle (named for her long, grasshopper-like legs) and her cat, Chop Suey. Together, they cut a circuitous trail from Montreal to San Francisco, and explore the history of European contact with the native people of the Americas. Their journey, written in a prose that has the half-sung and half-said quality of myth, also becomes a metaphor for the history of the French in North America. En route, the reader is introduced to a number of interesting and entertaining characters, including Sam Peckinpah, Saul Bellow, Al Capone and Auguste Renoir. Like many great novels, Volkswagen Blues is the journey of a man struggling to learn more about himself.
Saturday, February 19, 2005
It has been sunny for so long I’m beginning to suspect a bribe. Everyday dawns cold with fresh blue sky imbued with sunlight. I’m not complaining mind you I’m just wondering what it is all leading up too. Whatever it is, it will not happening any time soon, just look at all the suns in the forecast.All this sun is misleading, making me think it is hotter outside than it actually is. I find myself constantly underdressed, minus nine is still cold, especially if it is windy like today it is even colder.
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Last night I took the One Tonne Challenge. Rick Mercier is urging Canadians to reduce their personal green house gases. He wants you to take the challenge to find out how many tones of greenhouse gases you currently use and then reduce it by one tonne.
Since I already walk or bike ride rather than take my car, recycle everything I can, which is not much in this town, have replaced my light bulbs with more efficient ones, turned the heat down and put on a sweater, compost my kitchen wastes, are in the process of replacing my lawn with a xeriscape and a host of other things, I was a little surprised to find out it is not enough.
To see a real change in my energy consumption I would have to replace my aging appliances with energy star compliant ones and buy another car, one that can run on ethanol blended gas.
The recent BC budget allows buyers of these energy star appliances or fuel efficient cars to get back their tax money. But, my fridge and stove work just fine and we do not need a new car. Upgrading these items into energy efficient ones just so we can reduce our personal greenhouse gases is not going to happen in the near future.
The Kyoto Accord came into effect yesterday, Februarty 16. It is an agreement by several countries except the big ones, China, Australia and the USA to decrease green house gases by 5%. Countries get credits for things they do which contribute towards the lessoning of greenhouse gases.
Some scientist say reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not going to work and we should be concentrating our efforts on reforestation. Trees not only act as a carbon sink for greenhouse gases but also end ozone holes, purify water, increase the amount of fresh water, stabilizes the climate and absorb pollution.
My sixteen year old daughter is of the opinion that it doesn’t matter what we do, it is too late anyway. According to her doing all of the above might increase the length of the life of the earth by maybe one year. She talks about the egregiousness of watering our lawn with fresh water while people in other parts of the world barely have enough fresh water to drink.
While politicians, scientists and multinationals argue over the demise of the world the youth, who are our future, have already given up. Their slogan is , Why save for tomorrow when it doesn’t exist.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
The BC Liberals getting re-elected budget was announced yesterday. Their biggest news was increased spending for health and education however, the new money doesn’t even come close to bringing health and education budgets up to the levels they were in 2001 when these budgets were decimated by the newly elected Campbell liberal government.
This morning on CBC Radio’s Day Break North Former NDP Cabinet Minister Paul Ramsey noted, while the budget provides money for Northern BC to fight the Pine beetle infestation, support Oil and Gas infrastructure and reduces taxes for low income British Columbians the Promise of a so called “Golden Decade” by Liberal Finance Minister Colin Hansen is all hype.
After the 2001 election, despite promises to the contrary, Campbell slashed healthcare and education budgets forcing many hospitals and schools in smaller communmities to close and sold BC Rail to the Yanks
Carole James, leader of the BC NDP, and Paul Ramsey warn that Mr. Campbell will say one thing to get elected then turn around and do the exact opposite after he has won. “His record shows that he simply can't be trusted to deliver on the promises he is making in today's budget.”
Monday, February 14, 2005
Friday, February 11, 2005
Last summer while in Edmonton, driving around looking for addresses of shoe stores, the kind which sell skate boarding shoes my sixteen year old daughter might deign cool enough to actually wear, we ended up at some mall. This mall had many stores one of which was a liquor store.
Inside we found many cool products to buy. The best deal was a bottle of Graham’s ten year old tawny port. Which I have written about before in this blog. When we got back home we rushed to the local liquor store, they didn’t have it and neither did the specialty wine stores in Vancouver or Victoria.
Well they finally got it in. Yesterday Robert came home with a bottle of this tasty port and I had a glass immediately. It was everything I remembered, rich, smooth, complex like homemade Christmas cake, perfect for drinking with your Valentines day chocolate.
In case you were wondering the shoe store had the cool shoes coveted by my daugter.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Sewing Bikinis And Planning The Garden
The numbers of people coming to my site to look at pictures of a bikini is truly amazing. In order to satisfy all you gawkers out there I‘m posting another bikini picture. I made these for my daughter. I haven’t made the bikini top yet because I need to buy more elastic.
I should start planning my garden for next year my seeds have arrived.Its time to write up a planting schedule, buy some potting soil and start planting. This year I wanted seeds I could just throw onto the soil, things like poppies, Gaillardia, dimorphoteca and grasses which will grow themselves, given plenty of sun and will reseed for next year. I have the garden bed all ready for them.
I bought some perennial herbs, Greek Oregano and Sorrel to add to my growing collection, most of which I bought as cuttings from home. I was going to get mesclun, I’ve had it before it’s delicious. Instead I decided to add to my salad leef seeds(butterhead, cos and red, spinach and baby beets) from last year, arugula and water cress. I can hardly wait to taste my summer salads.
In my continuing effort to blanket the house in greenery I bought seeds for a vine, C. tangutica. It is a species clematis with small yellow pendulous flowers and lovely delicate, wispy seedheads. I got another morning glory, this one in violent magenta to plant in the boxes on the balcony and of course the inevitable sweetly, scented, Old Spice Mix, sweet peas.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Meals served on the first day are generally vegetarian as serving meat of slaughtered animals is considered bad luck. The use of knives and scissors would mean cutting off good luck, just as the use of brooms would mean sweeping away the good luck.I only saw my Chinese Grandmother once a year in the summer. She would save our angpows for us until we arrived. These little red packets of money are given to children and unmarried couples, increasing luck for both giver and recipient. It is known as lucky money.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
One day, when I was a child, I remember asking my mother what she was making for supper. She said, pancakes. This is not a usual supper time food so I was a bit confused. She explained that today was Shrove Tuesday and it was traditional to eat pancakes and in England they celebrated with pancake races.
The pancake race originated in 1445 when a women, late for church, was still cooking pancakes. She heard the church bell ring. In an effort to be on time she sprinted to the church still carrying her frying pan full of pancakes and still wearing her apron. The most famous race takes place every year at Olney in Buckinghamshire UK.
Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the practice of shriving, a person confesses their sins and receives absolution from a priest. Traditionally Christians would not eat foods such as meat, fish, fats, eggs, and milk during lent. Making pancakes became the means to use up all excess fat, milk and sugar in the house before the next day, Ash Wednesday, the first day of lent.
As luck would have it I satisfied my craving for fats, milk and sugar yesterday when I made a supper of Saskatoon berry pancakes, eggs and bacon. Mardi Gras, fat Tuesday, is the French name given to the practice of using up all the fats before lent.
Monday, February 07, 2005
Thursday, February 03, 2005
The play I saw last night was boring, not just because the subject matter, corporate take over of a small company by a millionaire is mundane but because there was no spark between the actors.
Any subject, no matter how commonplace can be lifted above the pedestrian by the quality of the actor and the way in which the author tells the story. We, the audience were subjected to far too many long winded statements about good versus bad aspects of capitalism, destroying go nowhere company towns in favour of more money buyouts for investors. Who cares.
There was a subplot about the relationship between Larry the liquidator, the millionaire and the young female lawyer hired to protect the company from the buyout. Her charecter was not likable however, despite being a fat, ugly capitalist the actor who played Larry the liquidator had the most spark and did the best job making his role entertaining. To bad the other actors were so uninteresting and uninspiring.
I wouldn’t recommend wasting your money on this play, “Other Peoples Money”. A night spent at home in front of the TV won’t be any less rewarding and besides its cheaper.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
I've been swimming a lot more than usual these past weeks and its not because of the ice all over the sidewalks and trails putting a damper on my usual winter activities. It's because of The Iceman. It's a Winter multi sport event comprised of skiing, skating, running and swimming. A month ago I was invited to join a team. I was asked if I wanted to do one of the runs. "Who me ?" I said, "I don't run, I'll do the swimming."
The swimming is arguably the easiest, for me, leg of the race. It is eight hundred metres of the olympic sized swimming pool, translates into sixteen lengths, approximately half a mile, no problem for me since I'm used to swimming twice that distance.
The Prince George Iceman is an 8K ski, a 10k run, a 5K skate, run 5 more k to the pool and swim half a mile. Some people do the whole race by themselves, others like me form a team.
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Thanks Miriam for the link
It feels like spring. It is relatively warm, plus five and most of the snow and ice around town is gone. In the bush it is not much better.
On Sunday we started walking, wearing snowshoes, up the defunct logging road about one kilometre east of the Viking Ridge trail. This is the same route we took to go to the waterfall last summer The snow was crusty and for the most part stable but every now and again a step forward would result in me crashing through the crust, sometimes up to my knees into re made snow, sort of like breaking through the crust of a meringue if your were walking on top of it.
Our plan was to hike four and a half Killometres up the road then bushwhack up a steep slope, through the logging site, until we hit Caribou meadows. Here the ridge rose up in front of us like the nose on a dog.
It had started to snow and the valley was becoming socked in with cloud. Some of our party were tired after the hard slog on unstable snow. We stopped for lunch and decided not to attempt the ridge.
Our hunger satiated we walked through the meadow keeping our eyes peeled for flagging tape. At last we spied some tied to a tree. It signaled we were on the right track and had found the trail back down to the highway. The trek down the very steep trail was fraught with ice. Despite our walking sticks, which helped keep us on our feet, we were forced to shuffle along like old people. It took us almost as much time to hike down as it did to hike up.