Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cats out of the bag - wait - cat's in the bag

The cat is in tea cozy position and filling an old camera bag. He seemed to hop into every bag he found open.
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Nifty mural in Portcarling

While walking over the lift locks on one of the few lifting roads I know of in Ontario, you are faced with this fantastic mural on the side of what used to be the IGA before they moved up the road to a newer and larger facility. The mural is made up of historical black and white photographs of port carling that have be colourized to create the image depicted here.

Its neat from a distance, but almost cooler up close too see all that history.


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Friday, February 23, 2007

Backroad beauty

Just a pretty view on the backroads as we headed for Port Carling after skiing
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Skiing under scintilating skies

So here is proof photographic that we actually went out skiing - although sadly my hopes of skiing in Halton have been dashed by two days of warm weather that has turned our snow to meyeach. Still - maybe we'l get some new snow and I'll have another chance to learn how to wax my skis evenly so that I don't wipe out trying to go down hills with one gliding and the other sticking - fun, fun... still the rest of the time the sticky ski wasn't too bad. I think next year I may invest in a set of waxless skis with bar bindings, but we'll see. With all this talk of global warming, cross country skis may not be the best investment.

Some of my gaps in posting, as you may have guessed from the new photos, were due to a quick hiatus from city life - and a jaunt into Muskoka. Anyone looking for an excellent place to stay should check out The Manse, Muskoka - a fantastic Bed and Breakfast located in Port Carling. The hosts were fantastic and the food was to die for and for an affordable rate we got as class A bed and a jacuzzi tub. Port Carling was fairly shut down for the winter, but 2 restaurants were open, along with the IGA. Actually I think there was a Sub and Pizza place up the road, and we were only 20 minutes out of Bracebridge. Bracebridge is looking pretty good, and the "Owl's Pen" turned out to be a decent used book store - Gabe found a great book on Karsh's portraits of Canadians and I found 2 more Megan Lindholm books (aka Robin Hobb).

We split our time between being outdoors for my brain and relaxing for Gabe's. Got some good games of Carcasonne in, along with souel, cribbage, and canasta. Watch 3 movies too. Although, "Riding in Cars with Boys" was the only new one. Its kind of a sad movie, but well done. I even made it up to Doe (for the first time in the winter) and said hi to Amanada, Chris and Kaelea. We went for a brief snow shoeing tromp on what was once called the junior side - is it lakeside now? Its funny - I really wish I could spend a week up there this summer. Its a hard place to say good bye too and beautiful in the summer.

I've meant to write a half dozen thinks here, but of course I've forgetten them all by now. There was a neat article on the health impacts of sleep deprivation in McLean's. I finally got through my long tormentous annotating phase and handed it in. I'm not exactly sure yet what the final product of my next project will look like, but so far its been an interesting thought exersize.

Mostly, I've been reading material for my Stream Restoration Course today. Feels nice to have lots of checkmarks on my to do list. My social calander is starting to look cramped - odd since its been quiet for a while. I'm counting down to the release of David Usher's new album - strange birds.

Wow! I'm droning on - and I haven't even got to yammering about any thing political yet.... I guess I'll save that for another time and post a few more pictures


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Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Tree That Put Its Roots Deeply In Our Hearts

For some of you, this tree should twig a memory - granted that you usually see it with leaves. I was once told that the tree attached an invisible bungy cord to everyone who ever sat near its heart and that no matter how far they strayed for how long, they'd always be pulled back there in the end. As I was this weekend.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A quick post of lengthening tree shadows as we skied out of Arrowhead Park. It was the first time I ever skied on cross country skis that required waxing and the results were that one ski had too much wax on it and didn't glide and the other one was okay. I'm hoping to get a bit more skiing in this winter before we lose all our snow. More pics and stories later.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Ponderations of Faith

I just wanted to share a quote from a rabbi that this questing minister spoke with when redressing his own faith.

The rabbi said:

"Jeff, don't worry so much about the faith. Find a community that you feel comfortable in – whether it's because of the music, the minister or the food that's served afterwards.

"Out of that you'll then work through the faith issues."

Toronto Star, Feb. 17th, 2007.

Anywho, back to work.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Irrisistiblely Cute Critter

I really can't imagine that sleeping babies could out cute this critter.
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More Jello

Well, I'm trying once again to blog from Picasa - to get the nice effects that my Jello shots needs to be worth viewing at all. Its seems touch and go, but so far I've only lost one post.
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JELLO, Art thou crazy

Aparently my life is somewhat devoid of excitement that I felt the need to take numerous pictures of the ice that formed on some raspberry jello. Still, it reminds me of a mountainscape as veiwed from a helicopter - if only because I've never experienced this in real life.
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Um... really I was planning for art, not forgetting the jello in the freezer!
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Thursday, February 15, 2007

In support of the "suck-it-up" paradigm of parenting

The term "discipline deficit disorder", used in this star article actually made me grin - as people always think I'm crazy when I suggest that kids should be expected to act like human beings and not be handed everything they want or be so over protected that they don't learn to cope with hardship.

As a former teacher, my opinion is usually considered suspect. Don't all teachers think that kids need more discipline? Don't worry - all these undisciplined kids will sue their parents for spoiling them, like as not in our society.

Anywho, enough tounge and check for me for now.


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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Thoughts on the Oak Ridges Moraine

Well, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to take part in the Oak Ridges Moraine Symposium this week. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and discuss its good points and needs for improvement. I met lots of fantastic people from conservation authorities, universities, municipalities and ENGO's.

I wanted to write a reflection on the experience, bu I find myself feeling a bit tired after getting up at 6 am to shovel the driveway and we didn't even get the worst of the storm. So, I don't think I can do it justice. I got to hear Elizabeth May of the Green Party speak in person. Whether (heck - weather) I agree or not with what she said, I felt more energized about the environment than I had since Lakehead - when believe it or not I was actually the president of a moderate environmental group - which is to say that we put together a vegetarian cookbook and did some educational work and I believe worked on improving the recycling situation on campus - but we weren't exactly being pushy about it - but we did have fun.

So I ended reading a bit of Elizabeth May's blog. There is a nice little piece on her appraisal of Stephan Harpers performance. You might find it good reading at least - even if you disagree.

Yawn!! I should head up to bed I think...

Cheers for now - I'll have to reflect later.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Tears to my eyes

Admittedly, I read the news too often - whether the "teen killed at 16th birthday party" stares me in the face from the floor or I simply am perusing the front section on online version - I find that the news frequently leaves me feeling disappointed in my fellow humans. A few days ago, I found an article that actually brought tears to my eyes - and renewed my faith in humanity. The story was about a little girl who played hockey and went from being healthy to being diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer over the span of a few days. This is naturally a heart breaking story - nice family, nice kid - horrible thing to happen to anyone. What brought tears to my eyes was the overwhelming response of her community to help her and her family get through this. They raised money - other kids shaved their heads (again to raise money) but also to make her feel less bad about loosing hers to chemotherapy drugs. Its too bad it takes a tragedy to bring it out of us sometimes - but its there - the thing that makes us worth saving for all our ugliness and stupid wars - we have the capacity to do great good as well and sometimes the newspapers remember to report it.


As for me, my daydreams lately seem unusually filled with plans for outdoorsy stuff and camping and canoing and hiking. I think Awenda in early may with all the trilliums in bloom would be nice and I really want to do some canoeing in Northern Algonquin Park. I'm not sure I'm in good enough shape the tackle the Cloche Mountains Trail - but I'd like too. Over the past year or so, I've been known to take a few hours and hunt through the provincial and national park system websites looking for new and interesting parks to visit. Maybe I'll get a chance to do Pukasaw (sp?) or Quetico or Sibley .... sigh in the mean time I'm going to work my butt off as much as possible so I can grab a few days here or there between my field work and literature review writing this summer and get some camping in. Any suggestions for good places I should try camping?



P.S. I tried to post some paintings with this blog - no luck, then some spring flowers... still no luck... so blog without picture... sorry

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Posterchild for Pandora

I thought I'd better write something before you all get bored of checking to see if I'd written, and finding - nothing new. The group shot was taken in Baxter State Park, Maine - my favourite place in the states (the only one I've been to twice). Distracting me from my usually exuberant blogging are two things. The first is school - I'm really trying hard to get everything tidied up and done so I can be a bit less stressed. This is of course hopeless, because whenever I get the stuff with deadlines tidied away - there is a tonne of more esoteric, deadlineless tasks awaiting me - but until then I'm hoping. The other problem, of course, is that facebook is sucking up my internet time in a bad/good way. Its kind of a tease - neat idea, but I'm just old enough that there are a lot of people I'd like track down that simply aren't into this kind of thing. The ones I know well enough to have emails for - well, I'm mostly in contact with them to some extent anyways. But still, I've caught up with a few folks that I'd otherwise lost contact with - making the whole thing worthwhile.

I guess, shockingly, my social life may also be interfering with my blogging. I was lucky enough to meet up with Margo to watch a movie, finally meeting the mysterious Ian. That was a blast. Pan's Labyrinth (spanish with English subtitles) was well done, but has left my nerves a bit raw. There are some pretty brutally violent and disturbing scenes in it, mixed with a sort of minor key beauty here and there. The weekend before I attended a party, played cards and visited my grandma's - taking up all three evenings in one weekend and the weekend before that I met up with another up north friend and 2 down souths ones for coffee. I do really need to get my camera out sometime - though it is so cold right now - I suspect the battery would refuse to cooperate... anywho...enough writing for now. Oh, and in unrelated news, my best friends kid turned 2... does that make me feel old or what

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Ground Hog's Day Forgotten

I was suprised that no mention of groundhog's day was immediate obvious from the front page of either the Star or the Globe. Perhaps I should be surprised it was one of the first thoughts I had as the alarm went off this morning given the lack of fanfare leading up to the event. One might posulate that the growing concern about global warming and the strangely warm weather leading up to the current more winterly fare, has made people unsure whether to hope for more winter or its early end. I haven't gotten any skiing in yet, and I can't afford to go out to the rockies; So I have to admit I'm in no rush for the end of winter. Then again, I always liked it better than that deadly heat of summer.

So, who knows. I haven't heard yet what our friend Wiarton Willie has predicted this year. I'm guessing not much in the way of shadows given how overcast it is here. I've made a link to a cbc posting on the event.

Happy Ground Hog's Day,


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