Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Lessons anyone?

Frustratingly, it has been a common subject on here of late but I'm happy to offer any of you procrastination lessons if you're interested. I am disturbingly good at it. I would like to be asleep right now but I have told myself that I will finish my assignment tonight. That means no sleep 'til Brooklyn.

While work is by no means solely 8:30 to 4:30 I have gotten used to "leaving work at work", for the most part. This course is very much related to my work and as such makes me feel like I leave work for... work. That is definitely part of the challenge. Thankfully, the content is interesting and exciting in the face of the university looking at developing a new strategic plan. Who knew, academic learning that might be practically applicable. ;)

Here's another snap from Arianne and Dave's wedding.

P.S. I started another blog to specifically post photos on (though I doubt I'll stop posting them here). It's all part of learning about how to use technology to my advantage rathern than have it be my enemy. It's called Photos from the Hall.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Not one to let a perfectly good day go by without posting another soon to disappear photo I will leave the typing to a minimum and rather add another picture to the bunch. Speaking of which, look out for another blog where I'll post more pics. Can't get away from the wedding theme.

Monday, November 28, 2005

You're a Strange Animal

You may have noticed in an earlier post I mentioned how a study of people using iTunes over a work network found a lot of them second-guessing their music collection. Well, I may second guess myself but I'm still listening to Gowan so I haven't changed my tastes so much. Oooh, here comes Criminal Mind. Here is much more than you could ever want to know about my man Larry.

Maybe that post title is actually applicable to what I've got to say, in reference to my brain. I found near the end of my undergrad that I was having particular trouble staying focussed on my work. It was particularly frustrating when trying to finish my readings because I found myself reading content over and over and over without actually picking-up what was there. Well, I felt the same way today. That doesn't make me too happy as you might imagine. The important thing is for me to work with it rather than let it dictate my future (ie. Learn strategies to get around it rather than forget about reading when I am having trouble focussing). Of course I'd never forget about reading but you get the idea.

I'm doing an on-line course through UBC and there are assignments each week. It means that I feel like I'm procrastinating any time I post because I "could" be completing the next assignment. I guess that means it's time for today's FPP. Again, brought to you by Arianne and Dave's wedding. You might be able to guess who the two kissers are.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Different is good

Unlike what you may think, I am not talking specifically about my personality (though I'm different enough). Last night I went to see Jason Collett at the Grad Club. Having seen Sarah Harmer in a church the night before it was a bit of a shift of gears. Moving from church pews which necessitate a certain separation of parishoners to the rather cozy confines of a standing room only crowd in a room not much bigger than my living room is a bit of a jump. They were both intimate in their own way though. One was the shared experience of a bedtime story, the other was the feeling of their sweat splashing you from their rocking-out in front of you. (The splashing sweat is more of a descriptor than a reality, I left without sweat stains, mine or otherwise). Either way, they were both great.

Jason is part of Broken Social Scene which is, for me, an eclectic collective of Canadian musicians making some critically acclaimed and interesting music. I was also duly impressed by his opening band Paso Mino. We caught the last third of their performance and they reminded me of yet another band that I'm terribly fond of, Peterborough's Silver Hearts. The earthy vocals tied the two together for me. I do hope the 'Hearts come back this way soon. Anyway, I also have to give credit to Paso Mino for putting on two shows. What we saw of their set was pretty quiet. They then proceeded to play with Jason Collett and took the opportunity to rock-out. Considering I've slept in bed's bigger than the stage they were on I was impressed. Especially as they closed the first set after Jason stepped off-stage for a minute.

While I don't plan to become a concert reviewer or promoter, these couple of shows reminded me how important it is to take part in all the amazing things going on in the community around me. Concerts are a fun part but of course there's plenty more. I don't know that anywhere can ever feel like home if you don't become a part of it yourself.

Today's FPP (flickr purgatory photo) is another from Arianne's wedding. Though you might not be able to tell that's Arianne and Dave holding hands during the ceremony.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Rock and Roll ain't noise pollution... nor is Sarah Harmer

That title may be influenced, just slightly, by the music that I'm listening to at the moment (just be glad I wasn't listening to AC/DC's "Big Balls"). Then again, it is last night's Sarah Harmer concert that I'm most interested in talking about. I've seen her play a number of times and have enjoyed her music since I first saw her open for Blue Rodeo back in Peterborough (I'm still kicking myself for not picking up her indie album then).

Last night's show was at the Sydenham Street United Church. If you'll pardon my language, it's a hell of a venue. Raked flooring, good acoustics and an intimate atmosphere. It doesn't hurt that it's just a few minutes walk from my house. The show was in support of her latest album "I'm a mountain" and of her efforts to protect the Niagara Escarpment. The show, like her new album had a bit of a lullaby tone to it. It wasn't quite like having her (and the band) in your living room but they definitely felt like part of the community. She even was encouraging a little audience interaction. It may have been because everyone was a little quiet (likely due to the fact we were in a church). Being in the church may have been part of what made them seem such a part of the community. It could also be due to the fact that she is from Kingston so she really is a part of the community. I think I'm starting to ramble. Just to say, it was a great show. C'mon, she sang and played completely un-mic'ed at the end of the night. It was amazing to just appreciate her skill and art undiluted.

Photo of the day... Not Sarah Harmer related (not even someone named Sarah, though you'll see Sarah in my last photo of the day).

Kim, Lena and Arianne at Arianne's wedding in October.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Crisis of thought

Ok, crisis is a little strong. Perhaps it's too late to try and explain my thought process after having just submitted another assignment and having work tomorrow. In short, I've skipped posting the past couple of days because I just couldn't bring myself to do so when I should've been working on the assignment. That's not to say I didn't manage to waste (plenty of) time in other ways but I kept myself away from posting.

Just like with flickr, I am learning that blogs can serve many purposes. To some they are less invasive versions of the group e-mail. To others, it is a way to affect change in the world. That may be in their own lives or of those they come into contact with through their blogs. I am still coming to terms with what I hope to accomplish with this. I think that is part of a larger process of coming to terms with what I want to accomplish and who I am in more general terms.

As someone who grew up in a rather non-traditional atmosphere and has studied and been moved by the environment and development (and the many areas where the two intersect) I have many views about the world and our role in it. While I wouldn't hesitate to share my views on these and most any other subject with any of my friends I still can't help but second-guess myself. That's where the coming to terms with myself comes in.

In case you're not familiar iTunes offers the capability to share music over a network. I recall reading an article about someone who researched people's musical habits and tastes and how they changed when their entire playlist was shared across their company. Suddenly, people weren't sure if Milli Vanelli should stay in their collection because "what might other people think?" I can't help but consider that when I think about what to post. I believe that, in both cases, it relates to the lack of context. For the closet Milli Vanelli fans, the associations or the reason that they have it in their collection can't usually be adequately explained to others. Here, there will be some who read this that know nothing about me besides what they read and as a result, can't put things in context with who I am.

I think I'm also having trouble placing myself between the two ends of the blog continuum that I've described (social network v. social change). Putting yourself out there, explaining yourself to others, means explaining yourself to... yourself. It'll likely be an ongoing process.

In the meantime, happy Buy Nothing Day! (Thanks to Amy for the reminder and the internal fodder to chew on).

Here's the obligatory "save me from flickr purgatory" photo post. That is neither me, nor me. Rather a couple of very good friends.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Nothing much of value to say. Instead, another photo from the flickr account. By the way, not all my pictures are of ultimate but it seemed like such a waste not to save this one before I post others. I swear I'll put photos of other stuff up soon.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Maybe it's just me

I admit it, I feel terribly guilty but I was watching a remake of "The Poseidon Adventure" last night on one of the big U.S. networks. Maybe I just needed to get my Steve Guttenberg fix after many years of missing him after Police Academy. Anyway, I don't need to go into any great detail about it (it really doesn't warrant that much of my life) but I did notice something that I found interesting. Somehow, Papa Guttenberg gets himself into a bit of hanky-panky with a masseuse on the cruise ship (this is before it flips upside down). Of course it only happens because his marriage is on the rocks, blah, blah, blah. Mom and the kids feel awkward (fair enough). That isn't worth remarking on. What I found interesting (and yes it may spoil this "made for tv" movie for you) is that the last two people to die before the rescue are the masseuse and a "terrorist". The fact that they die isn't even all that remarkable. What stood out to me was how they died. Both of them fell into this pit of fire. Now maybe you had to be there but the imagery to me smacked of these two "sinners" going straight to hell. This is probably me just reading too much into things but it definitely caught my attention. I haven't seen the original and it might fit just perfectly but, man, don't ever be "the other woman" on that show. They'll burn you to a crisp.

There's another pic from the ulti league this summer. Considering I didn't explain much beyond the beach and bubble bath comment you can rest assured that ultimate falls on my list of likes.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Bubble baths and long walks on the beach...

Ok, the title isn't directly indicative of the content but I have justification. I swear.

Anyway, just like my "obligatory introduction" I thought I should probably give a bit of a frame of who I am or at least what I'm interested in. It also comes from the last post's discussion of photos. I want to link photos from my flickr account before I add new ones and they disappear forever. It just so happens that today's photo is of a couple of friends partaking in an activity that I quite enjoy. No, they are not bathing in bubbles or taking a long walk on the beach. In fact, they're playing ultimate.

I would hate to lose that look of awe as the disc floats away. :) See Kingston Ultimate's website for more on how to join these superstars.

When I was travelling in S.E. Asia, New Zealand, Australia and France in 2003 I started a "Strange Sight/Remark For The Day" or SS/RFTD. I think I might resume that with the understanding that I may just use it to post photos before they float into flickr purgatory. Who knows though, an interesting remark/witty commentary/retort may appear along with.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

How good is free?

Ah, what a combination, free technology. Specifically, well... this blog and flickr.

As far as the blog goes, I'm way too fresh in the field to know the limitations provided with blogger. Who knows? It may be all I've ever hoped for and more. That is, of course, assuming that I've hoped for a free blog. If you made that assumption you'd be making an ass out of... well, you likely understand. I've never felt that I had anything to say that would warrant a blog. I still don't know if I do but here I am.

This is more about flickr. In case you aren't familiar, it is many things to many people (more on that later) but structurally is a way of posting photos to the web. Free accounts offer both a limited upload capacity per month and a limit of 200 photos which are accessible at any one time. That is where we offer the magical melding of these two services. As flickr doesn't actually delete any photos over your 200 photo limit (it just makes them inaccessible) you can have them linked in your blog and they will never dissappear. That is why you will see below, a picture I took in the Empress Hotel in Victoria on a recent trip.

Purty, eh? I think so. If it has worked then it may be the start of a long an beautiful friendship between this blog and my flickr account. As for flickr accounts, I have used mine mainly to post pictures that I thought other people would want to see (friend's wedding pics, ultimate tourney pics, etc.) I'm lucky enough to have friends who recognize that it can be a community building tool and and outlet of artistic expression. It has inspired me to reapproach both my photography and what I post. I guess that's where that specific photo comes from. Hopefully, that also marks the start of a long and (increasingly) beautiful friendship between me and my camera.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Murderball and Procrastination

The title reflects the two topics of the post. The former is the more interesting while the latter may be more insightful as it relates specifically to my personality.

First off, I went to see Murderball with a friend of mine tonight. In case you're not familiar, it's about the U.S. Quad Rugby Team. Quad Rugby is an intense wheelchair-based sport. Sometimes when I see a movie, I just know that I like it. Usually when I think about why I liked it I figure out that it is because the movie changed, in some way, my view of the world. Murderball gave me a new perspective on life in a wheelchair. Granted, I haven't had the thought planted in my head due to circumstances in my life. Nonetheless, when some of the guys in the movie mentioned how people immediately made assumptions about them because they were in wheelchairs I felt guilty, as though I might be one of those people (even though I honestly believe not to the same degree). Anyway, it was an "eye-opening" movie experience. See it if that floats yer boat.

As for the second part of the title. It appears that I'm still a fan of the procrastination. I should be finishing up an assignment for a distance learning course that I'm doing. Clearly, I am not. I'm going to have to get a handle on this personality trait. I haven't yet though because I'm going to cut this off. See, I'm even procrastinating about finishing this pos

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Obligatory Introduction

Hey all,

As someone who reads a few different blogs when I get the chance I have always marvelled that people have (in some cases) so much to write. Perhaps I would if I put my mind to it. While I can't guarantee that, I thought if nothing else, it would be a new way to keep my friends up-to-date on my going's on. I figure that along with my flickr account I should be able to keep a little of interest from my life on the web at any one time. I also have friends to thank as some have recently started their own (enough to make me figure "why not?").

As for the title, I'll explain it another time.

Now I should be adding some content so I can invite people to check it out but dinner is making strange noises in the kitchen and I have some work to do.