Friday, December 29, 2006
Driving conditions in Perth-Andover on the way home
It seems we were jinx for driving weather with it turning to snow everytime we headed home - the kind of wind driven snow that makes it useless to engage the headlights. Still no snow accumulated here or there - well maybe there by now. I hope to get a bit soon - I'd really like to take a some outings on my cross country skis.
We had a nice afternoon playing Settlers of Catan with Jason and we've plans for more games this week.
Anywho... better get a bit of boogle in.
St. Martin's Lighthouse
GROWLS AT BLOGGER
The picture above was taken at St. Martin's in New Brunswick. There is a really cool lighthouse marking a rocky island off shore of steep cliffs. We drove Gabe's dad down there on a beautiful sunny day and ended up visiting the SJ campus of UNB. It was great fun. The SJ campus isn't nearly as nice as the Fredericton though - the view was amazing though.
I'm going to copy and paste the above text into word, so that eventually I'll get this post up. Then hopefully I'll post up a few more pictures from our trip.
Post Christmas Blog
Here is a picture of Saint Martin's, New Brunswick on a beautiful December Day. We drove down in the morning with Gabe's dad and enjoyed the view. We finished the day in SJ at the University. Which has a nice view, but the Fredericton Campus is way nicer.
Christmas was fun - Colin's kid is as cute in person as he is in photos. We missed my grandparents, but its only fair that we share them with Uncle Freddie's kids. I am still working on getting my christmas cards out, anyone feeling slighted is advised to email me your address, as I have one of my address books missing in action - although I have a number of cards stamped and ready to go as well.
There really isn't much to tell. I'll be extremely busy with school in about a week, and even tomorrow I plan to spend some time on it.
So, thats all for now folks.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
We had a different, but good christmas. Both Gabe and I made it back from New Brunswick in one piece. Gabe flew for the first time ever - and seemed neither impressed or unimpressed. I'm hoping to send out my first major volley of christmas cards shortly, although the current whereabouts of 2/3 of my address books is interfereing with my complete sucess. If you expected a christmas card for me and didn't get one... feel free to email me your address. I'll keep looking (stupid me cleaning my room in a hurry :P)
I should head off to do that... I did have a few news stories I wanted to link to ... I'll try and get them up later.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Back from my blogiday
Today (being the 24th of December) is a busy one (not either of my typos for the word busy - buys then busty - sigh....can't type straight)
The last 24 hours I've been driving and sleeping on old friends driveways :P and so I'm home but a tad drowsy.
I picked this picture - because as I was reminded yesterday by his exgirlfriend - or rather I supposed we discussed this - he really is one of the best guys in the world. Nutty - but sweet and I'm lucky to have him (not to mention photogenic and missed)
Anywho... more tails of 24 hours of driving through snow, ice pellets, rain, fog, mist, downpour, darkness, darkness and fog, (you know its a long trip when Montreal is a treat after the driving conditions you've experienced), unplowed (?? unploughed) roads, coffee, tea in Port Hope and McDonalds in Donacona, singing, moose spotting, a quick trip to the Fredericton Market, a nap in Perth Andover, gas in Millville, Riviere de Loup, Donacona, Riviere Delisle, and Belleville, a bagel in Gananoque??, a bunch of phone calls, another nap near the MacIntosh Inn. And little of that list in that order - its time for a shower and some bedroom cleaning and wrapping and laundry.... and much else...
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
"I cannot imagine a worse idea in a development than to actually authorize and build a pit to hold dirty, slimy, runoff water whose supposed use (to divert water from the sewer system) is far overshadowed by its danger."
Shall we fence natural streams and lakes too? Should we dump street run off contaminated by chemicals we use on our suburban lawns, deposited by our vehicles or otherwise exacerbated by our own inability to take care of our planet into natural waterways untreated or slowed? Shall we raise our children to believe that everyone but they are responsible for their safety?
Actually, here is the quote that makes me really mad:
" A tragedy that could have been averted? Of course.
Most will say the boys should not have gone on the pond. But the real answer is that these "water retention ponds" are nothing more than big holes in the ground used for street run-off in new developments. There should be a public outcry against these "ponds" because of their danger to public safety. In most cases, there is little or no fencing around them. Not only is there this imminent danger of death by drowning, but the ponds, ie. septic pools, represent a danger for the breeding of rodents and insects — many have no movement of the water."
Actually, that would just be the rest of Gary Crosbie's letter to the editor.
I'm sure I've said it before, but their is a cost to this attitude that the world should be perfectly safe and if not, then someone should be sued. The cost is the enjoy of choice to take calculated risks, the cost of reducing risks to as close to zero as you can get and the cult of the victemhood that cripples our society with a sense that its someone elses responsibility to take care of you. The cost of fencing every storm water pond in Ontario is not just the cost of fence, which would perhaps keep people from being casually stupid, but not prevent a determined individual from doing the same, but the loss of those precious quasi wild spaces allowed to us in the suburbs. Here is Guelph most ponds are fenced, but it mostly makes them eye sores, when they could otherwise enhance the landscape. I would argue that people need natural viewscapes to satisfy some part of their soul and maintain sanity in a concrete world. Lets not kid ourselves, the cost of managing storm water in another manner is not small either. The choices would be expensive subsurface infiltration basins, simply polluting and flooding natural waterways (also increasing the risk of drowning in a raging streams), or handling all of that water in our sewage treatment plants. Increasing the capacity of our storm sewers to handle that kind of flooding would result in a noticeable increase in your municipal taxes too.
An further article in the star explaining the purpose of storm sewers in lay terms is found at this link.
I feel great sadness that a child drowned, however, I don't think anyone should be pinning blame on municipalities. This is a tradgedy and the blame should lie on the choices that a 15 year old and 11 year old made. Children should be taught to use common sense, the more you childproof the entire world, the less they learn to be responsible and becoming an adult won't cure that deficiency. If we want to have kids grow up to be responsible, then we need to talk to them and educate them and expect them to be responsible.
P.S. The photo above is of a local park centered on a storm water pond
P.P.S Blogger has once again done strange things to my post and I suppose I should count myself lucky that its only deleted a small part of it and screwed up the links. I can't seem to fix it, so please excuse the errors.
Rock Around the Clock
For those of you who do not read my MSN blog (generally a few lines and a pointer to this blog (because that is where the action is at.) I'll republish a short poem I wrote off the cuff the other day.
As I sip away at my bitter, somewhat burnt Tim Horton's coffee, I find myself wondering at the world and the kind of place my kids will be living in (should I ever get around to having any). Despite these worries, there is a peace to studying for an exam - its something I know who to do, and there is a rhythem to the numbers and problems and set up.
Hopefully soon, I'll be able to spend more time doing stuff other than school soon, well, at least a bit over christmas and maybe by February I'll be able to get a bit of cross country skiing in or hike if there isn't any snow and visit all the people I haven't gotten to yet.
Anywho, study first, day dream later....
P.S. I'm still working on the colour scheme and I've been told more than once that switching the frames from left to right was questionable. Watch for updates, but probably not for a week or two.
Friday, December 08, 2006
The Blog's New Clothes
If you are a regular, you'll note some significant changes to the colour scheme and layout of this blog. Its been an interesting process to get the colours right, since I didn't have a reference palette - so the colours were hit or miss. I think I got them sorted out though.
I would love some feedback on the new layout
- Are the colours hideous?
- Am I missing links to anyone's blog?
- Does it look weird?
- Is the print hard to read?
- Does it fit on your screen?
- Do I have any attrocious spelling errors in the template?
I am celebrating my 5oooth hit today! Although, I'm definately guilty of causing the counter to shoot past that milestone while trying to preview changes to the blog. I still have a few little things to work on. I'd like to add a picture of a pitcher plan in the header and maybe something permenent on the side or a personalized footer. However, I think it'll do for now.
Cheers and thanks,
The choice of a christmas tree picture had more to do with the snowy scene outside my window than the topic of the article.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
If you should happen to be in Montreal this Christmas Season, the Nativity Scene display at St. Joseph's Orotory. There are over 250 displays from around the world from antique, to hand carved and from beautiful to ugly. Definately, worth the fee to get in (a donation technically I believe) and an interesting way to spend a few hours.
Reading and journal hunting continues here, but as I look out my window I see snow :D. I hope I get to ski soon.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Is that snow falling?
It seems to be doing something between snowing and raining right now. I can see flakes, but I hear something that sounds like freezing rain on the front window.
I'm still hoping for a good ski year.
For those of you, whom I generally mail Christmas cards, it may be January or perhaps next December before you get them this year as I'm already about a month behind schedule having only sent 4 rather than 40 by this time this year. There is hope, perhaps...
Other than that. I'm reading papers today, trying to finish up some parts of my Ecological Flow Assessment course and prepare to write my first academic paper. (:D) Its going to be a busy month - so much for Christmas. I'm going to be exhausted!! But the harder I work now, the sooner I finish my masters and get a real job.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
On the lighter side, if not exactly comedic, I had my first chance to test out my new snow tires driving home yesterday. Being a bit tired, I decided to take the back roads over the 401. The trade off was a longer, but nicer drive without worrying about trucks, although i kept my eyes peeled for deer having seen one during the day on that route. The tires worked great - so I owe a great big thank you for the early christmas present from everyone involved and especially Geoff who ocastrated the whole surprise.
I will say, however, that people don't understand about high beams. The number of people who high beamed me yesterday was nearly as bad as the run from SJ to Fredericton. There were even cars in groups were the 2 and/or third car had their lights on and were driving right behind the person in front of them. I had a taste of how annoying that was on Tremaine. I did get to use my own high beams a bit, which was a nice feeling. I'm not overly impressed with my low beams though.
So, now I'm done the hard part, I get to work on some fun stuff for the next two weeks and maybe over the holidays too.
Off the races I go.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Kudos to Gabriel for his amazing photos and hard work - not to mention all his other wonderful and charming characteristics.
Wilmot Creek: The Ongoing Saga
Can Dion find a path through the woods?
As politicians go, these 8 were uncharacteristically admirable. Most were well educated and expressed a love of our country unequalled my many.
Hopefully people will look, not just at the leader, but at the array of other talented people who will also be shaping policy with in the party. I hope that Bob Rae runs, echoing Dion's sentiment, Canada needs his integrity, experience and spirit to get our "Canada Back".
Saturday, December 02, 2006
The third ballot left Rae in third place and the position of being dropped from the final ballot. Voting on the 4th ballot has started as Rae's delegates, set free to follow their conscience are splitting between Dion and Ignatieff. Rae chose not to endorse either, but to allow the final ballot to proceed democratically. Bob Rae photo from the Bob Rae website.
The results on the third ballot:
Dion: 37 %
Ignatieff: 24.5 %
Rae: 28.5 %
Good luck to Dion.
Ignatieff: 30.6 %
Rae: 24.1 %
Rae gained about 160 votes, Ignatieff 70, Dion 130 and Keneddy about 30. While, the race in still undecided. I think Dion may have the best chance, while Rae is still a likely second.
I'll update again after the 3rd ballot.
BTW. The picture of Bob Rae is from his website.
Who would have thought that our embattled NDP premier would be a strong contender in the liberal leadership race. I scammed the picture from his website, hoping that he'd appreciate the publicity (what precious little difference it'll make) and my fond support of his run. The first round votes were supposed to be in by now but, thing seem to be a bit sluggish, so I might have to wait until morning. I've provided a link the results for anyone interested.
I was priviledged to hear Bob Rae speak on his vision of Canada today. It made me feel proud to be one of us and hopeful for the future. He made me smile and hope for the best.
In completely unrelated news, I had a warm fuzzy day due to an enthusiastic thanks from some students I'd helped out. After teaching in Kash, its nice to know that kids don't all hate me. Not that my grade eights hated me, but they weren't always appreciative of how hard I tried or all the work I heaped on them. :D Mind you six years later, I still think of them as my kids and try as best I can to follow up on them and find out how well they are doing. Anywho, it totally made my day that they thought well of me.
Well, I have much to read and write... but I'll update you on the first round of voting as soon as possible.
First Round Results:
Dryden: 4.9 %
Friday, December 01, 2006
Fogland Fields: Another eaten blog posting
I didn't save the content, becuase unlike some of the other posts I've lost, the content really wasn't that exciting, however, the increased frequency of problems is bothering me.
This is a different picture - the last post looked like it went through and sometimes, they just straggle in later - so I'll wait.
If anyone has any advice I'm open.
Conk! Shelf fungi tells story of recent fall
Anywho, conks always grow facing down, so when you see one that appears sideways, you know that the tree has fallen recently. One of the neatest sights is seeing one that grows in one direction, but has a newer part growing at right angles to the one that grew while the tree was alive.
Another Frosted Plant from Rattlesnake Point
So the crunch continues - but I hope one day to make it back to Rattlesnake or another conservation area to do a bit of hiking. I think Kelso or Mountsburg is next on my list. Mountsburg is faily close to Guelph and I haven't been to Kelso in years. That said, Rattlesnake is my favourite and Hilton Falls is nice in the winter.
Actually - Its been a while since I've visited Terra Cotta. But some of the CVC parks are nice as are Glen Haffy and co. in Vaughn. But no hiking for me. Not until I get to NB. Then its Fundy Hiking Time.
Okay.. I'd better get back to reading about ecological flow assessment.