Thursday, March 30, 2006
Figures. . .
Path of Light (Picasa ate my post)
The photo is of the West Morland Bridge in all of its glory.
4 days to iron ring
7 days until the last day of classes
9 days before i can stop doing 18 hours of school a day for a little while
22 days until my last exam
42 days until I turn 30 (YIKES!!!) (I admit to cheating and counting the last 30 minutes of Thursday as a day, just so I could type 42 - but hey, who wouldn't)
So back to ye olde parametric curve assignment, so I can hande ite ine.
Path of Light
4 days to Iron Ring
9 days until I can take a brief break
22 days until my last exam
42 days until I turn 30 (YIKES!!!) (I counted today just so I could type 42 rather than 41 - all the other ones I started from Friday.
So, now I'm going to go back to my crazy parametric curves assignment. . .
Night. . . Jennith
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
So, we drove the Yaris. Not quite as good as I thought it would be, but not bad - and like the Rav4 it has good canoe anchor points. That said, I like the looks of the Echo much better - not to mention the name. However, it should be noted that the Corolla has impressive gas mileage and slightly more horsepower than the Yaris and is not a whole lot more and there are tonnes of them on the used market, so they may even be cheaper than echos... so there is a thought - job first of course, but you have to have dreams and motivations to get through the last weeks of your 4th university degree. Like as not I'll be driving an 86 sunbird - Erin's Dad had one when we were in school, cool car, not as cool as a grand am, but still cool. It was a good break anyways, and I got to drive something, even if I was a bit disappointed in the handling and pep.
I can't believe that Iron ring is only5 days away. My design group was chatting about it today. . ."I've been looking at my finger differently the last few days." said one member. It was agreed that we were all excited, but not sure what to suspect. Some expressed worries that it wouldn't fit. Myself, I feel stunned that this momentus occasion has snuck up on me quickly and noticing belatedly that there are things about Fredericton I'm going to miss - like being able to walk everywhere and the old train bridge and even the look of the houses and buildings downtown. So, I look around at my half empty bookshelves and soon to be blank walls and quasi furnished rooms (the only big thing left to sell is the couch) and it hits home that I'm leaving, moving and starting over again. I'm excited that Geoff is coming up, it'll be neat to show him around and a life-saver to have him move my awkwards and fragiles back to Ontario. I've reverted to thinking of myself as living in Ontario and kind of lookig forward to going back.
I can't seem to find the exact words to describe my anticipation of Iron Ring. The history behind it is certainly a bit intimidating as is the secrecy surrounding it. In some ways, it like the end of a journey I was meant to take, but the beginning of a lot of changes, now that I stand at the cross roads of opportunity. Day dreaming about cars aside (this being a hobby for the last 14 years), I really don't know what is in store for me. I don't even know if I'll be staying in Ontario as I could soon be sucked into Alberta with the rest of the countries job seekers or I could end up in the North. So, the ring represents the key to a door, which I won't get to peak though the window or see very far through for a while, but holding onto the key will be something. The rest of it will come together in a few weeks.
Fare thee well, and any family wool wishers in Ontario should contact me by Friday to place their order for Saturday morning, otherwise, you are sheep out of luck.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Last sunset view from the West Morland Bridge
My walk was mentally refreshing and full of odd twists. While standing on the ramp to the now non-existant Carlton Bridge, I noticed that the yellow stripe was still visible. They must have used some paint back then. THen I met Mary, a young lady who I noticed setting fire to the grass. We ended up having a neat conversation. Cool kid. I ran into Randy and Rhonda randomly at the King's Place as I was cutting through to home. While walking through the grave yard I passed some people involved in some likely sketchy sales, but also got the sense that the dead were restless. I wouldn't give this feeling too much credit, since earlier in the day I'd had the sense for sure that my Tim Horton's cup was a RAV4 winner at least until I rolled up the Rrrrim to not win. I spent 10 minutes talking to a lady who owned a 4 year old Toyota Echo in Impulse Red. She had a lot good to say about it - she even pulls a small trailor with it. Its funny how people love to talk about their cars. I've done the same thing with a few people - all of whom enthusiastically enumerated the excellences of their Echos. I love striking up conversations with random strangers, they often result in crazy and interesting discussions.
I thought of at least a million things that I wanted to post about. . . but I think I'll spare you most of it today - walking is also linked to excessive philosophical musings on topics including idealism, parenting (i.e. you shouldn't let your 12 year wander around Toronto after dark), teaching, cars, canoeing, Doe Lake and Iron Ring (6 days). But I'll spare you for now and return to musing about storm sewer and such.
My group paper is in, so now it is just the rest of the detail. I've attached a link to a neat site - its a video. . . which I can't describe without ruining the suprise. Its just a neat idea.
There is the link again.
Anywho, I"m going to take a walk and bring my camera - hopefully I'll have some pictures to post when I get back.
Monday, March 27, 2006
I stumbled accross a link to this site while wandering briefly on Robin Hobb's News Group! Its a supper close up of a wild bald eagle sitting on her nest.
Final Fundy Foto
The next (as you scroll down) 5 posts are a series of pictures of Fundy National Park and Alma in different seasons and places. This is a special place for me, as it is the first place I went camping in New Brunswick. I visited Alma several times last summer - as Gabe was working in the Fundy General Store. There was a great 14 km looping hike that I did several times. The trail has some steep (worthy of Algonquin) hills and breath-taking views of the ocean and shoreline. It has a delightfully variety of ecosystems from beaver ponds to rocky red spruce woods to mixed woods to shoreline to bare rock to rocky beaches. . . Well, you get the point, there isn't much you can't see there short of mountains. Caribou plains - an easy trail - is my favourite and therefore of course includes several boardwalks traversing swamps and bogs and marshes and fens. I've neglected to include a picture form there at this point, but I'm sure I'll come accross one in the future.
I hope you've enjoy or will enjoy as you scroll down - this rapid Fundy Tour. For some truely spectactular photos of this area you should check out Brian Townsends website (see the LYNX).
Sunday, March 26, 2006
My Soul Longs for a Day in the Wild
The last 3 pictures have been from Martin's Head. Despite spending many hours in Fundy this summer, I didn't actually end up taking many pictures - however, it is beautiful. I'll try and find one the next time I post. The fourth picture back was taken on the Mizzy Lake trail in Algonquin Park.
Fireweed, the purple plant in the forground and also the territorial plant of the Yukon, is one of my favorites. I have to admit I don't know the name of the stunning yellow flower, but cotton grass is the star of the Mizzy Lake shot.
Back to work. . .
Saturday, March 25, 2006
mmmmm... Caffiene and Boo Urns to Vandels.
Other news. . . I found this news group run by Robin Hobb. Its awesome!!! You can get to it from her web site by clicking on the contact button.
As to the vandels. Apparently last night several individuals went on a rampage in Fredericton. It was describe as "no mailbox left standing, garbage everywhere and a fridge in the middle of the road. Now I have to admit that vandalism really irks me. If you want to make it so other people can't use something, at least steal it. Wrecking it doesn't benefit anyone. Not that I'm advocating theft - it too is a form of anti social behaviour, but at least I can see why someone might want to steal something - there's motive. Vandelism on the other hand. . .what do vandels get out of it? A feeling of satisfaction that they've been wreckless (prehaps an ironic term in this context) or destructive? Besides, it automatically gets blamed on university students (especially given the neighbourhood of this incident) and it makes the rest of us look bad. So, boo urns to the vandels, may the police catch them and put something on their record.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Mississing Water Found
The main problem is that the data I started with has several manholes that were double sampled (i.e. they had 2 ore more entries for the same location.) Although, I managed to clean most of these up, I made some quirky error in Excel, that resulted in some of them being missed. So, some of it was hiding in manholes that have 2 different ID number in the same spot with one connected to the system and the other not. The last and most exasperately piece was a pipe that turned the corner missing a manhole by a fraction too small to see unless you blew up the map to a fairly large scale.
Argh for computers . . . or yeah? And I agree with Colin - Douglas Adams knew about engineering.
Why oh why?
However, that said, my current project is proving frustrating owing to the demons and pixies playing pranks in EPA SWMM. It appears that the runoff volume and peak flow rate before development is significantly larger than after development. This is noteably contrary to convential wisdom where paving large areas of land reduces infiltration and quickly shunts the runoff away. So, what is causing this discrpency?
I supect that the "pristine" model is short circuiting and dumping a shocking 82% of its runoff into the pond below compared to 68.5 % of the runoff from building and parking lots conveyed in sewers. So, its back to the land of reading help files for me - I've been doing this alot lately and hopefully I can let you know when I solve the mystery. Of course, in a few hours I may have something to say about the helpfulness of help files that may not be too complementary.
Until then - models may be easier and take into account more factors, but if you don't know them well, they can easily make assumptions for you that you have no way of tracing. And sometimes they are more work and give you results that are no better than the simple, blunt method. . .
Would you believe it?
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Dreams of Summer
We arrived there on a foggy Friday night in August (Me, Gabe and Trevor) and set up camp. The "getting there" part involved me and Trevor coming from Fredericton to Sussex to pick up Gabriel - who was coming up from Alma and then continuing in Trevor's Truck - since there is no way that Gabe's car would have made it on that road. This infamous road is an over utilized logging road with water filled washouts deep enough to loose a small car in. (I suspect that Trevor enjoyed the drive) The going is slow owing to the number of other users - mainly four-wheelers and moter bikes. The last bit of the road is an insanely steep and washed out road - and I say this having spent most of the summer deep in woods on logging roads in areas that were not currently under operation - so its not like a little rut or fallen tree was going to shock me. - that comes rattling out onto an imense (and fog covered in our case) beach.
The pictures we took the next morning as the fog lifted off of the ocean (bay of Funday) are probably some of the best I've ever taken. The tide was low and we were able to walk out to an Island/Isthamus where I took the above picture. The vegetation was facinating to my repressed biologist and the view of the ocean and the rocks was breath-taking. I think that the beach is crown land and sadly has become a party beach for four-wheeling and others much to the detriment of the surrounding environment. We were lucky that there were only 4 other groups that night on the beach and that they were quiet familys for the most part. I'm going to miss the Ocean. There is something about real ocean beaches that freshwater ones can't match. I will have to take Gabe to Wasaga or maybe even singing sands or Lake Superiour Provincial Park as they do have some charm.
As for me, I'm back to designing parking lots and swales until summer comes and I can occasionally escape the city (to the Escarpment at least).
Cheers for now,
Monday, March 20, 2006
Connecting The Dots: Not Just for Kids
This somewhat childish looking snapshot represents about 30 or 40 hours of work (including learning how to do strange things with Arcview). I get to do it all over again for sanitary sewers too, although, it'll take a fraction of the time now that I know what I'm doing.
I'm sure that there are easier ways to do some of the things I've done, and certainly more acurate. Most of the shapes were picked off of a pixally printout of quasi-proposed archichitectural drawings meant to impress rather than be acturate. I had to superimpose the actual NS grid onto this picture and then identify the location of the corners of the buildings. I then literally connected the dots, which explains why some of the buildings are slightly funny shapes, but hey - what can you do ath this time of night other than blog and/or go home an go to bed.
I actually added a whole bunch of new links to this blog, only to have the template editor crash when I saved my edits. Obviously, you'll have to wait until I get around to redoing it (not in the next 2 weeks.
At any rate, I should go to bed or get back to work (seeing as I have lots of it, and Tim Horton's is making me giddy - I won a coffee this time!!!)
Saturday, March 18, 2006
My Spastic Blog
It appears that my blog is on Blogger's bad server and as a result my blog has only been intermittantly available the last few days and prone to errors during posting. So, I'm posting again in the hopes of fixing the current errors on the page. The most recent errors occured when I cancelled the spell checker and picasa crashed halfway through posting as a result my sidebars are missing - although by the time you read this, they will hopefully have reappartated like Azi's legs.
After ranting about discourteousness, I thought I'd put some happy thoughts in.
The first is a quote:
"May you spend the best of your days nuturing beauty and peace in the garden of your soul."
You'll note the cute little car in the upper left corner. Its the sweet and snazzy toyota echo - replacement dream car. Although, I have to admit that I'm not impressed with some of Toyota's recent deciscions like increasing the size of the RAV4 by 21%. The best thing about the RAV4 was that it was made to have a canoe on top and get to Opeongo, but it wasn't a big monster SUV and got gas mileage similar to a sedan and better than some. The other thing they did was to drop the echo for the Yaris in 2006. Although the name is slowly growing on me, I'm really in love with the Echo and I think the name is brilliant.
Lastly, it is 15 days until Iron Ring and just over a month until I finish exams. I've managed to get in touch with James and Trudi and Tricia. Man do I have a lot of packing to do.
At any rate, fare well to thee all, I'll try to keep up my writing and picture posting. I have a few pictures that I took this summer at Martin's Head that I'd like to post, although they are on my msn space - I've pretty much abandoned it for this one.
Be well and find some time for soul gardening.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Happy St. Pat's Day
After a hectic week that is unlikely to end for another 7 days, I find my brain unable to do anything more useful than write a blog, I fear that I'm temporarily school-worked out. . . I have spent most of this week tackling a stack of maps and autocad files, attempting to glean data out of them in a useful form. The process has been slow and frustrating, and I owing to the need for specialized software (like ArcView and AutoCad) I was forced to work in University computer labs.
You might think that these labs - free of distractions like Boggle and online Canasta and Snood and links to all my favorite websites and MSN - might be great places to work. This would be true if it weren't the large number of people using the labs with an utter lack of courtesy for their fellow students.
The university doesn't actually have a quiet space policy in their labs, nor do they enforce their restrictions on gaming, chatting and eating. The result is that it is frequently next to impossible to get any work done in the labs unless you are lucky or willing to be there late at night. I'm not suggesting it is necessary to designate school computer labs as silent zones, most people can tolerate the noise made by people sitting next to each other chatting quietly or intermittantly consulting with each other on a project, however, few people can work when a loud boister conversation is continuing for several hours. One incident, in the AutoCad lab, involved 3 engineering students playing poker and jesting (sometimes in a less than polite manner) for about 2 hours. This makes me sound like a bit of a spoil sport or suck. I wasn't really offended by the content of their comments, I only noted that it wasn't really appropriate because other people may have found their remarks offensive. I was more distressed by the volume of their voices and distracting behavior which made in next to impossible for me to concentrate on my already frustrating assignment.
Unforetunately, events like this one are not at all unique. Those gentlemen were the most eccessively discourtesious folks I had the misfortune to share a lab with, but I encountered this situation repeatedly throughout my stay here. Some people simply aren't aware of the volume of their voice - in my case I have to conciously think in order to be heard at times - and some people don't care. It would be unfortunate if the university had to make a strict policy on behavior in labs and a pain to enforce it, however, for those students who don't have access to their own computers or special software, a lack of reasonably quiet workspaces is a real problem. This situation also differs markedly from my experience using the computer labs at Lakehead. I think part of the explanation is computers have become more and more oriented towards entertainment, and computer access is not longer seen as a privledge owing to the fact that nearly everyone has one. Lakehead also had a quiet policy, which I never saw being enforced, but worked nonetheless.
Certainly, the behavior of those gentlemen would not be accepted in a library, restaurant or a coffee shop. It may have been passable at a party or a bar. It certainly showed a lack of courtesy for the 15-20 other students using that lab that afternoon. Another question one might ask is: why not one of use asked the guys to quiet down? They were kind of intimidating - their behaviour made it clear that their reaction to such a request would likely be unpleasent. Myself, I was busy being frustrated, and simply didn't have the energy to fight another battle. I find in general, people don't assert their right to courtesy. Even proffessors - they rarely will speak out when a couple of students are chatting or being disruptive while they are teaching. I, on the other hand, have frequently given students in my vicentity the teacher look or asked them to stop talking when their was an opportunity. Even in a classroom situation the reaction of those students to my polite request to stop talking was suprisingly negative. I really don't think people take courtesy that seriously any more and unfortunately, it only takes 1 misbehaving student to interfere with the learning environment of the rest and I suppose if the proffessors appear to tolerate, why should they listen to thier fellow students?
So, there is my rant. I think the school could easily improve the learning environment on campus by educating people to the impact of their behavior on others. I think, in the labs anyways, a few posters reminding people that the labs are a workspace first and entertainment 2nd would at least help with the folks that weren't aware that their behavior might make it hard for others to study. In classrooms, Profs should assert their right to a courteous audience and protect the quality of the learning environment for all of their students. As for the rest, well, I suppose human's do worse things to each other than discourtesy - no easy solution there.
I'm frustatingly battling spatial data today. I think I"m almost there - of course I could be wrong -sigh.
School is getting into the crazy phase before the end of term. I have two large projects on the go, so its extra frustrating to keep pounding on a problem and not have it yeild easily. I guess the programmers among you would understand that.
I'm working with maps on ArcView, which is actually a pretty user friendly program (compared to my other choices)
If only my data was user friendly or I knew what i was doing.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
The Many Roads To Procrastinus
I've been up for two hours and have yet to start into the very important stuff that I should have done a week ago and which will make the next few days crazy. I did however discover Google Earth and locate my house and a few other special places before realizing that I should escape before I get too interested. I also added a new link to Gabe's fledgeling blog and emailed a bunch of people whom I haven't talked to in forever. I also added a counter to the bottom of this page.
Our adventures in Sussex continued Wednesday night with a Women's Day Tea where we had the priledge of hearing stories from 3 local war brides who came to the maritimes from Britain with their Canadian soldier husbands. It was pretty neat, and they were all first rate story tellers. I think it would be terrifying to leave Canada to move to the homeland of a foreign soldier. I'm not sure I'm that adventurous. Charlene and Andrea came up from Kingston and had a good time.
Thursday afternoon we spent with Gabe's Dad playing cards and debating a variety of issues. I'm not sure I didn't convince him that I was nuts.
Friday we headed back to Fredericton. The weather, which had be beautiful, took a turn for the worse, but we seem to have come around to fine weather. Tintaglia is back on the road with only minimal fussing for a dragon and we haven't won a RAV4 yet, but we're still hoping.
I got laughed at by my co-worker for having a RAV4 as a dream car, apparently ones dream car should be completely impractical and have an 8 cylinder engine and leather interior. I'm actually leaning more toward the Echo these days. The RAV4 is more car than I need unless I win one.
Anywho, I'm farther down the road to Procrastinus than I intended. I'll try and keep writing and maybe remember to write about those things that pop in my head and I want to write about, but then forget when I actually go to write about them.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Sunset Over The Hills
Wednesday, we went out to Gabe's old place and hiked on some even quieter countries roads. It was a frosty spring morning and the hike was awesome. I wish I'd gotten a picture of the Tree Farmer Grapple Skidder that we saw. We ran into a guy that was buying up and harvesting local wood lots - his son was an FE Grad from UNB.
Another cool place in the Sussex area is "The Soap Works" The owner has been making soap for quite a few years. Some neat soaps, we are trying the "breakfast bar" right now. The web site is oriented to sell, but if you click on the individual product's, she posted a discription of what each soap is good for.
We had a great couple of days hanging out with Gabe's family. I'd also like to speak on behalf of an awesome game called Jaborwackey. We had a blast playing it. Its back to work for us now though. Gabe has his 4th essay to tackle and I am working from 11:30 am to 3 am tommorrow.
I'll continue the story with more pictures in a couple of days. I don't want to use up all of my stock too quickly. Another few notes: I've updated my links on the side bar and I'm homing to figure out how to add a counter. I'll continute to add links as I go. A notable new one is Blaine's site in PEI.
If anyone has a site they want linked, let me know and I'll set you up - assuming I know you and your site is something I'd want to be associated with.
Big Skies on Tuesday Afternoon
Farewell to Noveau Brunswicke
I finally took some new pictures (about 280 of them) so read on for the rest of my March Break adventures.
Monday, March 06, 2006
YEECHCH!!!! BLECK!!! BLAH!! There is something living in my sink!!!!
I have just survived one of the most revolting experiences of my life. Battling the thing that is living in the bathroom sink. I'm not sure what it is? It smells a bit like algae (Yeah... I've been exposed to a bunch of nasty spores) I suppose it could be a fungus or a bacteria or some sick (i.e. non lichen) unholy mixture of the lot. If I die in the next 24 hours you will know the cause. I've scrubbed it with an old tooth brush, comet, q-tips and a lot of hot water. If put it back a bit, but I think it is going to need to a bottle or two of draino, and a man's touch (i.e. - sorry gabe, tag your it, I think I'm going to puke if I have to deal with it again).
Okay, its possible that I've seen grosser - I was a first repsonder at one point. But I'm thinking this is going to give me nightmares. . . so, I think I'm going to stay up a bit longer.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
The Best Snow is in December
It is Sunday evening at the end of a healthy break weekend for me. I've managed to get in touch with half a dozen of the people I've neglected over the last few years. This is a picture of one of the coolest kids I've ever met - who was persistant enough to convince two tired adults to go tobboggening on a bright december day.
One thing that came out of this Johari window/communications excercise is that I realized how anxious I was about moving back to Ontario - heck - the problem is moving back to the Mississauga area (If I were moving back to Thunder Bay or Sudbury, it would just be an adventure.) Up until now I've been focused on how great it will be to be able to spend time with my family or worried about getting a job and looking forward to the opportunity to begin my career. I guess the exercise of sending out that link to as many of the people I know and have functional email addresses for made me realize how many folks I've lost touch with.
This exercise has reminded me sharply of how much I've changed over the last 10 or so years. Not that I regret my highschool years, but I don't recall them as my happiest (that would probably be reserved for Thunder Bay aka the EFRT years - which was the first time I felt part of something bigger, I loved the biology that I was studying, I was doing well in school and I have to admit that I had some pretty awesome friends) I sort of sorted out most of my teenage angst there and I belonged in Thunder Bay - I always felt that I fit into the culture there, sort of outdoorsy, northern, friendly and humble. I know the year I taught in Kashechewan changed me - I grew up a lot and gained a lot of confidence and assertiveness. I'm not sure I've evolved much in Fredericton. I've had some good times, but I've been focused on school more and been less involved in the school than I had been at Lakehead. I know that I'm probably not going to really end up hanging out with my old highschool friends if I move back to Mississauga - they've all got adult lives and other friends - but I'm worried that other than my family there aren't going to be people I fit in with. I don't really identify myself as a city person any more - I like small cities.
Perhaps I've lived outside Toronto long enough to catch some of the negative feelings that towards the big city. I always feel slightly apologetic to admit that I'm not only from Ontario, but from a suburb of Toronto - it makes me feel slightly dirty or at least that I have to make sure that people don't think I think that it makes me think that I'm better then them. (if that isn't a complicated enough sentence for you) I guess it sounds like a Canadian sentiment. Sigh. . . nothing is ever simple is it. The view certainly isn't as nice - my window here overlooks the Saint John river vally (facing west towards the sunset). I'm sure that its harder for Gabe - I'm worrying about ghosts from my past and trying to go back to a place I used to come from where I'll be supported by my family. He is leaving his familiar haunts and people behind to go to a part of the country that he's never really wanted to live. I'm a pretty lucky girl. I'm sure it'll all be fine, and I'm glad Gabe is going to be there. He knows who I am now and that'll keep me grounded as I try hold onto that while tackling my past and a new job at the same time.
I guess it is human to worry, and I feel better having named my fear and faced it. I think its been bouncing around in my brain and colouring my dreams. Its also good to know that there are so many folks who like me well enough. I want to thank everyone who responded to my Johari window link. It helps to know that you have friends out there, I hope that I'll get the chance to visit some of you once I'm back in the same province.