29 Mar 2010, 10:10am
Gnomes Link Dump Photos


Things observed…

A daffodil without the frilly bits.


And on a studded-leather jacket fellow, an Anarchy Care Bear T-shirt

the footwear's last day of active service
On last day of active service, good and noble sock.


Cyclist with Home Depot bag in basket and a car length (or so) of quarter round moulding balanced and bouncing on his shoulder.

rain washed dirt
Most tree buds aren’t thickening with buds yet.


Paying attention is a compliment and a prayer.


If you want to find a picture, can you draw it? retrievr gives you a palette and 3 nib sizes and will match flickr photos to your sketch.

Symphony of Science [via Postcards from the Mothership] features 12 scientists and science enthusiasts, including Michael Shermer, Jacob Bronowski, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins, Jill Tarter, Lawrence Krauss, Richard Feynman, Brian Greene, Stephen Hawking, Carolyn Porco, and PZ Myers, promoting science through words of wisdom.


I think given the choice of reading pretty accounts of seas without salt or exciting oceans tossing only where people are, or else oceanography, I’d prefer the observed.

Light Links: make your own adventure and altered painting. (I guess I’m so used to the 4th wall being broken, I can’t relax until that milestone is past.)

See a bit of unexpected beauty or skill — the noticing, cultivation or creation of which are never superfluous.

Quote: “Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious.” ~ Brendan Gill, New Yorker

26 Mar 2010, 10:15am

Rambling Days

snake rail fence
A snake rail fence and spring melt somewhere near Derry Sideroad and Crooked Sideroad but google maps doesn’t label the one this was on.

Posted in response to Carmi’s Photographic Theme prompt of colorful.

A lot of full days, and good ones, but I was out four nights in a row. I’m bleary-brained again. Or sustainedly. There’s a backlog of notes on poetry panel and architecture lecture that I’d like to synthesize and sort. Hint from body: that’s not happening today either. I need a certain clarity and I could spend two or three days at this energy level or four hours when right energy. This is more of a widget-factory-skill day. So if you need any widgets punched, you know who to contact…Especially if they’re sparkly widgets, so I can be dazzled and entranced.

Writers Festival Volunteer sign up is at Nicholas Hoare Bookstore this evening. Tomorrow is a family funeral. The second this week, but this one I got told about. (Clearly, I need to start buying sympathy cards in bulk. Or get a little in-law suite at the back of the funeral home.) It’s likely all-day thing. Unclear still if I am to do baking for the luncheon.

Tomorrow evening Gary Barwin reads. On the 31st is the launch of the memoir from collected selected letters, Arctic Twilight: Leonard Budgell and Canada’s Changing North, edited by friend Claudia Coutu Radmore. Fallout, a Hagios collection of poetry by Sandra Ridley launches soon.

I suppose hightlights would function like glad game. Tricky to convey the look in the eye, timely word, or simple scene “that gets you right here”. A sense of words being inadequate or it being meaningless to someone not me. And lots of what I’d not be content with making public; a speaking is losing a sacredness. Those seem the majority. I’m penned in by my own inarticulacy. Reading, listening, watching in awe how skilled people are around me.

Consequently silenced. And feeling that if one is to say something, if it displaces the last thing, it should be at least its equal. Which is all wrong-headed I know. One just needs to move, not hold up score cards for each step.

Maybe another few days of fallow and we’ll see what I can say. When my head kicks into another gear I’ll feel more sociable to write. Or maybe my gear is only shifting for talk. I can talk but typing I keep going grave. Que sera.

Quote: “A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.”-Raymond Chandler

23 Mar 2010, 4:24pm
Memes or Quizzes

Have You Ever?

Being chastised once about doing memes instead of “real” content creation, I stopped posting memes. Silly me. Anything in moderation…I like this one that Bev Sykes used, or parts of it. I dropped some. Added one. (Memes too are made to be broken.)

btw, I’ve been blogging at pesbo more heavily than normal lately.

Have you ever…

Screamed during a scary movie?
I remember watching a vampire thriller with a group when I was 12 and being mystified. It seemed to be some sort of coy role playing? What were the cues? Big Ben

But squeak when being startled? Sure. Less than I used to tho. A friend used to jab me in the ribs to make me eep daily for about 3 years and it worked every time.

Been to a professional sporting event?
Hockey and baseball. I do like it when the outfielder scores a goal in the hoops. And I probably watched a horse race live. And maybe a car race once a long time ago. (Picture is of Big Ben.)

Dyed your hair?
In November. I spent my childhood reproaching my mom every time she did a color rinse since it was covering the earthly crown of glory given to her by God. Or maybe I didn’t verbalize all that, at least not more than once. I just squinted at her with meaningful teenage petulance. It was freeing to cross the line of symbolism and not be hit by a meteor.

Been pulled over?
Once that I recall, on the usual road, going the same speed as every day except that day I was wearing a hijab. It was a year after 9/11. I wimped out and pulled it off when the officer came back after checking the plates on his computer. He looked at my hair and gave a warning. I really want to believe in randomness and good intentions. It was easier to believe in unconscious lemming behavior then.

Pulled an all-nighter?
Used to do a few a year starting in primary school running up to my early 30s. The body hardly tolerates an extra hour longer than normal now. I can pay for that for 2 or 3 days of haze.

Baked a cake?
You betcha. And most recently a baked rice pudding

Fallen down in public?
Yes, and alarmed people in the vicinity with the spectacular flip of it. That’s just the tripping. There’s also the braking bicycle too fast and going over handlebars. And the fainting. And the knee slump and sideways drooping with headrush. I can be entertaining without even trying.

Broken a bone?
My mom says each collarbone. (And she who maintains narrative longest, wins the story.) I fell off the couch while asleep as a kid and woke up with one broken. I was sliding on ice and fell against the corner of granny’s house, knocked myself out and came to, broken. I used to remember a third time but that’s faded.

Had braces?
Once I moved out of my parents house, the perpetual no money for dentists became a new person holding purse string priorities, me. Proto-hubby pointed that out. I was 20 when I got braces to bring me from double and triple rows of teeth in some place to uncrowded.

Slept till noon?
Yep. Sometimes I’m awake by 6 — and risk, say, applying toothpaste to my comb, non-aerosol hairspray to clean my glasses — but 10 a.m. would be ideal. I don’t feel fully myself until nearly noon.

Made a Practice of Recharging?
When working out-of-house full time I did 15 minutes of meditation three times per day. The first 8 minutes were usually wriggling excuses of the inner child angling and finangling to not have to abide by bedtime or nap time. Entering breath, the rest of time flew. It more than paid for itself in refreshing time.

Now I typically take 20 to 40 minutes each afternoon to let thoughts coast to a stop, when the mind can run about arms and legs waggling like it’s preschool recess. Like the other way, the mind parents gently, deflects plans and worries for a time not now. No figuring things out. No fret-zone. Only breath and exercise of emptying the head of noise.

Played Scrabble?
It’s a facebook vice. Or voice.

Found Funny: from PWYL,

The woman on the elevator turns to me. “I have a very serious illness you know,” she says.

No. I didn’t know that. But soon I will, and do you know why?

Because I have the face that launches a thousand confessions.

Quote: “For many years I was a self-appointed inspector of snowstorms and rainstorms and did my duty faithfully, though I never received payment for it.” ~ Henry David Thoreau at Quotations Book

22 Mar 2010, 8:08pm
Citizenship Equity Politics
Comments Off on First Nations U

First Nations U

When there’s private or public sector mismanagement, generally those at fault get booted out but the operations aren’t shut down and institution disassembled. FNU was started in 1976 and has undergraduate and graduate degrees in standard programs within an environment of Indian culture and history.

Students at First Nations University are planning a live-in protest of the withdrawal of funding.

The video explains the benefits and advantages that the university has. At the blog, First Nations University Now, there a letter of support that you can send it to your MP, Indian Affairs or the Prime Minister. Ignatieff is in favor of $7 million pledge. The House of Commons tomorrow has a meeting of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.

And in other national news, Dr. Elizabeth Bagshaw was the medical director of Canada’s first birth control clinic in 1932 for 34 years. Are we encouraging staying at levels of a century ago?

Canada’s focus on maternal and child health at the G8 “will not address unsafe abortions in developing countries or support access to family planning and contraception.” [source]

Oh for goodness sakes. How hard is this? Yes, it seems reliably by history that when economics get tighter xenophobia grows and it’s esteemed for women to stay at home, not work except to pop out babies to replace the population to brace for war deaths in the battles for more limited material goods.

When we are so far from success why moves away from education, choice, safe access to options whether condoms, morning after pills or abortions. Options stabilize the greater good. I don’t want to live somewhere where a doctor or pharmacist will only give medical options according to religious conscience and withhold if someone should or shouldn’t have (more) kids.

Quote: “We’ve chosen the path to equality, don’t let them turn us around.” ~ Geraldine Ferraro

P.S. deal reached for funding at Provincial level.

21 Mar 2010, 12:58pm
Arts Ottawa

Steampunk Kymeras

Yesterday was the start of spring and World Storytelling Day. Somewhere around 50 people (most dressed in theme) packed into the downstairs of the Royal Oak on Laurier to be entranced by Sean Zio, Kathryn Hunt, Ruthanne Edward and Marie Bilodeau.

Steampunk Reading in Ottawa
Some members of Steampunk Ottawa went to the 3rd season opening of Kymeras reading series. The theme this time was poetry, short stories and songs of fireborn and steampunk history.

The steampunk costumes were fabulous, some home-tailored, some entirely home made. The set was dressed with candles, antiques, books and swords. (Somewhere before long a video of the whole will surface.) Did you know there’s a steampunk comic called Girl Genius?

Marie, who I believe is also part of Ottawa Storytellers, took us across the Atlantic in a steam-engine dirigible with a watchmaker with a mission for finding the metal worthy of his watch while travelling with a pirate.

Then we were in diesel punk era, in a plane over the Alps, crashes and walks a week to the nearest village.

We went with Ruthanne to a battlefield in old Scotland, and with the good doctor biologist on the job of solving the mystery of the monkeys who excrete diamonds.

Sean took us travelling into a romance and the paradox of time and identity as a man receives a letter that his true love is dead so invents a way to get back to her when they were together.

Kate was reading a poem of a letter of warning to young suitors that although she loves him, she loves her machine more and an attic space, working in secret is fine but the invention is private and must be the prime focus of life. [See that on youtube!]

And the story of a young women strolling in her parasol and long dress who pulls off the long gloves long enough to go bouldering before continuing merrily along. She also sang a song of opium and living far from home, a cover ably plucked on her guitar.

It was a full and fun evening. As the show let out and the top hats, corsets, large skirts and feathered hats rolled upstairs, it was amusing to see the curious looks from the regulars at the bar.

The next one comes in June at summer solstice. Steampunk Ottawa has their one year anniversary party, dance April 10th.

Quote: “If life doesn’t offer a game worth playing, then invent a new one.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

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