May 12, 2013 - 8:56 pm
The old dog for a hard road apparently means experience easily overcomes difficulty. That might be true; I don't know. What I do know is that hiking 20 km over rotten unstable snow, traversing huge hills, scrambling across rockslide washouts, wading through an icy river, and battling gale force winds (all in one day) made me feel a bit like an old dog by the end of it.
Here are more photos that do not even come close to doing justice to the magnificence and harsh, indelible beauty of Gros Morne.
May 11, 2013 - 11:01 pm
We drove the 700+ kilometres right across Newfoundland from Pouch Cove to Corner Brook, where we spent the night. Corner Brook is unexpectedly scenic, a small city set between mountains and ocean.
From Corner Brook, we drove to Gros Morne National Park, where we had rented a cottage in the wee town of Rocky Harbour. The park officially opens May 1, so not much in the way of touristy things or tourists were in evidence in late April. Most of the trails are accessible though, so we spent the next five days doing some incredible day hikes in the park, and feasting on fresh seafood in the evening.
May 10, 2013 - 5:44 pm
In late April we spent a week in Newfoundland, the best country in Canada. The trip started with Steve's opening in Pouch Cove (pronounced pooch cove), about half an hour from St. John's.
Thanks to the terrific, verdantly comic-sans website JoeBattsArm.ca for the Newfoundlander saying in the post headline.
December 13, 2012 - 11:42 pm
November 23, 2012 - 11:18 am
In case there was any doubt, grad school is a tough gig. Case in point, this is my first blog post on this huge life change, and the first term is almost over. (Two more weeks has become my mantra today.) In fact there are no less than three assignments and a program application I should be working on RIGHT NOW. Grad school necessitates All Caps frequently.
Grad school also lends itself to information overload, especially in my chosen program the Masters of Information. As if the name didn’t give it away, I have spent the past three months immersed in studying the ways in which information is disseminated via systems and technology, absorbed by society, manipulated by capitalist forces, embraced and rejected by culture.
Two of my courses have blogs, so if you’re curious about what one studies in order to become a Master of Information (to get the full effect, you have to say that last part in a deep, James Earl Jones-esq voice), check out the blogs for Knowledge Media Design: Fundamental Concepts and Knowledge, Information in Society (some of this content is password protected, sorry). Lots of awesome links on both blogs to a whole range of topics - design, culture, tech and more.
A word about the title of this blog post. It comes from the Internet Engineering Task Force (who do incredibly important work!) to describe its working group process. The term came up in my Info in Society class, and I love the way it sounds; I find it an oddly poetic phrase.
October 29, 2012 - 9:34 pm
- Taking the Blue Ridge Parkway south through the mountains
- Hearing Georgia sung a capella at Preservation Hall, New Orleans
- Contemplating Rothko at the Rothko Chapel, Houston Texas
- Art in the high desert. Marfa, Texas and Donald Judd’s Chinati Foundation
- Hiking Buckskin Gulch, somewhere in Utah
- Attending a rockin’ wedding in Las Vegas
- Savouring the flavours at Chez Panisse in Berkeley
- Exploring North Beach: browsing books at City Lights, drinking to Kerouac at Vesuvio
- Back country adventuring in Yosemite
- The astounding beauty of Big Sur
- Relaxing at Indian Springs Resort in Calistoga
- Living within walking distance of the beach
- Taking Nellie to Fort Funston, a dog walker’s paradise
- The Mission District– fancy restaurants, delicious dive-y tacquerias, delicious ice cream, funky shops
- Bolinas Ridge hike in Marin County
- Sonoma Valley and Russian River wine-tasting (Napa, I’ll get you next time…)
- Marin County – the sun baked hills, picnicking at Point Reyes, exploring Fairfax with friends
- Hearing Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Norah Jones, Santigold, Father John Misty, Metallica and Stevie Wonder (to name a few…) at Outsidelands in Golden Gate Park
- The crazy, verdant plant life of California
- Peering into the earth’s crust in Yellowstone, Wyoming
- Visiting with family in Portland, Sooke, Vancouver, and Minnesota
San Francisco, the Bay Area, California
September 23, 2012 - 10:28 am
The trip eastward flew by. Miles of road unspooled under the tires, and the whole journey became a series of snapshots: blink and you're in a new state. A new geography.
Camping in Montana, we met a hillbilly wizard wearing a homemade robe that had been a Hudson's Bay blanket in its first life. He brought gifts of beer, and shared visions of comets.
Yellowstone was like a breathtaking visit to the underworld. Nature at her strangest and finest: boiling caldrons of mud, spectacular geysers, stinking sulphur pools, bison herds grazing in lush meadows, pristine mountain views.
We drove through long South Dakota days, scenery empty of human habitation. The landscape and people's vowels flattened out. The ocean receded and the Great Lakes drew near.
We saw family - brothers, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins - and I realized there is never enough time to spend with those you love and who live far away. Sometimes it takes a while, years even, to realize that distance is irrevocable.
And now, Toronto.
* with apologies to The Hobbit
August 27, 2012 - 8:02 am
And then it was time to go.
It's been a little over a week since we left our adopted city behind, but already there are some things that I miss about that foggy borough by the sea. The closer the Great Lakes become, the more nostalgic I am for good food, culture, the ocean.
What do I miss? To name a few things, in no particular order: the Sourdough, the coffee (especially Philz and Ritual), Chez Panisse, Alamo Square dog park, the beach, burritos, Tapatio on every table, new friends, Bolinas Ridge, the rolling hills, (OK, make that most of Marin County), Casey's pizza truck, bookstores, hippies, amazing design, funky people. Did I mention burritos?
Not missing: lines for restaurants, up hills, the horrible street parking, traffic, the weather, ticks (ugh), living in someone else's house.
August 1, 2012 - 5:02 pm
There are lots of smart, interesting people out there. Usually, you come across these people online, you read their blog, see if they're pithy and worth following on Twitter, or maybe even sign up for their newsletter if they're really interesting (and well-written) like Stephen Elliott, creator of The Rumpus. (How did I miss The Rumpus until this summer? All kinds of neat things are happening over there, like their Letters to Everyone and their newest endeavour, Letters for Kids, which I love.)
Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to see an interesting person speak live and in person at The Long Now Foundation's Seminars About Long-term Thinking. Cory Doctorow gave a talk on "The Coming Century of War Against Your Computer," although a more accurate title would have been "The War Between Computer Owners and Users That's Happening Right Now." Doctorow spoke for about an hour, and it was heady stuff. Honestly, I had a hard time keeping up. I took notes on my phone, which look nonsensical today.
I'm pretty sure that I did manage to discern the essential nugget of the talk though, which was that the rights and interests of users of computers and the rights and interests of owners of computers will increasingly conflict with one another. If you're using a work computer, does your employer have the right to log and track your activities on Facebook? After all, they own the machine.
Another example Doctorow used, that's clearly more contentious, is in the use of computers outside of the traditional lap top/desk top usage. If you have a prosthetic limb that uses software, and another company releases better software, shouldn't you be allowed to get that? Doctorow also touched on issues of surveillance, conjured up some Orwellian spectres, and shared his newfound love of Burning Man. Although I'm a longtime BoingBoing.net reader, I haven't read any of Doctorow's books - something I plan to remedy shortly, starting with the SF-based Little Brother.
July 24, 2012 - 10:58 pm
Colour-matched weekend. Pantone 179 and Pantone 18-4043. First, Indian Springs Resort in Calistoga - bliss. Then a windy walk across the Golden Gate Bridge and back. We took the dog, ignoring the no animals allowed sign. She enjoyed the view.
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