sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
 You know when you finish a book and you're sad because you know you won't ever write anything nearly as good?

That.

Home!

Jun. 23rd, 2017 08:28 pm
dagibbs: (Default)
[personal profile] dagibbs
Home again, without any particular delays or problems. I think I get about 3 weeks in Ottawa this time.

YVR -> YUL -> YYZ

Jun. 23rd, 2017 08:24 am
dagibbs: (Default)
[personal profile] dagibbs
I'm on my way home, and not traveling on the weekend for a change. Sadly, the weekend weather does not look good enough for it to matter.

Ada quotes

Jun. 21st, 2017 06:34 pm
metawidget: me, Oscar, Elizabeth with Viv in front (family selfie)
[personal profile] metawidget
Ada is having a good language month:

"Pizza, here [points to mouth]… Papa, here plate!"

"Castle! Bounce bounce bounce. Whee, slide!"

"More orange juice. More orange juice, mummy. More orange juice, now. All done orange juice."

Your evening schadenfreude

Jun. 20th, 2017 07:41 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
GUYS!

Remember that hilarious story about the Parkdale gentrifiers? Did you think that after Jesse Brown tweeted the Parkdale Tinies that the story couldn't possibly get any funnier?

parkdale tinies

How long can Toronto keep a thing going, you might wonder. Surely not this long...

How my family came to be the most hated family in Toronto (at least for 24 hours)

By Julian Humphreys


You owe it to yourself and your lulz to click that link and read the whole thing. It is GLORIOUS. It is 10,383 words long. It quotes ADORNO AND GOETHE and my buddy Todd and I can't breathe through my tears. It is full of not-very-subtle digs at his wife and even worse digs at his editor, who really can't be blamed for not turning down this pile of comedy gold because tbh no one was really reading Toronto Life before and now everyone is in the hopes that there will be more of this kind of thing.

Some choice quotes:

"Back when I was in academia and enamoured by writers like Jacques Derrida and Judith Butler, I was particularly in to the idea of origins, and where exactly we can trace origins back to."


"My mum emigrated to the UK in 1939 from Germany. Yes, that’s right, she was a Jew, or at least somewhat Jewish."


"[My counsellor] then proceeded to give me a lecture on cell biology, including how many bookshelves it would take to hold all the information contained in a single human cell. The lesson being, we are endlessly complex beings, and attempting to oversimplify both ourselves and the world is foolish."


"I did try to clean myself up at one point, attending a 10-day silent retreat in Southern Thailand. But the switch from partying on a Thai beach to sitting quietly for 12 hours a day in a Thai monastery was too dramatic, and I only lasted 5 days before I was back to Bangkok and their opiated grass."


"So let me explain what really went down during our reno from hell. Not that my wife mis-represented the facts – for the most part, she didn’t. But a) she was at home looking after our newborn for most of the year of our reno, so doesn’t know first-hand what really went on; b) she was constrained by a word limit of 4000 words; and c) she was working closely with an editor at Toronto Life, who clearly had his own agenda that overwhelmed her own."


"I had concerns about how I would come across in the piece, but I was prepared to put my ego aside for the sake of a good story and in support of my wife’s career. "


"Looking back on that telephone conversation now, I realize that Malcolm never did assure me that he would look out for my wife’s best interests."


"Although I could see the literary merit of these additions, a mean-spiritedness was entering into the article that was not in the original draft."


"I also didn’t like the photo because in reality my wife is much more attractive than she appears in that photo."


"Criticisms of capitalism presented by the bourgeoisie are nearly always duplicitous, masquerading as in solidarity with the proletariat while cutting off real protest at the knees. And this was exactly what was going on here. By seeming to sympathize with the downtrodden, Malcolm was hoping to humanize us just enough to avoid a revolution, while dehumanizing us enough to garner clicks."


"We could have called an ambulance, I guess, but that, in my mind, would have been a gross invasion of his privacy."


"My wife does, however, say that we were ‘a young family without a lot of money’ and whether this is true or not depends on what you consider ‘money.’"


"[O]n the one hand yes, I made some bad decisions. And yet we came out ahead. Was this luck? Or strategy?"


"It’s better to move forward without all the answers in place than to not move forward at all, an assumption best expressed in this quote attributed to Goethe..."

"His gift substantially changed my life, and I show my gratitude by honoring his generosity as best I can. I could have snorted $100,000 of cocaine, but instead used it to prepare myself, however tangentially, for a career in which I feel I make a positive difference."

Oh, just read the whole thing, trust me.

Bonus: Here is his Twitter.

Do you have summerphobia?

Jun. 19th, 2017 09:06 pm
[personal profile] blogcutter
An article in today's paper (originally from the London Telegraph) asks "Can summer make you sad?"

Hmmm. Well, I guess any season you don't like much can make you sad. Isn't it enough that we already have Seasonal Affective Disorder in the winter months, spring fever in the spring, and... what is it we get in fall - dread of returning to routines and punching a time clock?

Anyway, the article seems to attribute summerphobia (and my less-than-helpful spell-checker seems to have a phobia of the word itself) to a fear of abandonment (when friends head off on vacation), a lack of structure - activities shut down for the summer - and a general need to be busy.

I have to say that the things I dislike about summer are almost the opposite to what this article describes. As a retired person, I relish the fact that my time is essentially my own. I generally prefer to do things when not everyone else is doing them. I'm a bit of a loner and don't cope well with crowds. I have a number of personal projects I'd like to get down to when I have a few uninterrupted hours - or better yet a day or two or three - on end. Some of these are things I'd like to do (in some cases to get them done, in other cases for the pure joy of it) at home; others involve exploring other places (both nearby and more far-flung) on my own. No expectation that I'll be home by a certain time for lunch or whatever.

And yet, I don't live alone. I'm not even sure if I would want to at this stage - certainly I'm aware that those who live alone can be more vulnerable as they get older. I'm not a total hermit - I do like to get out and see friends and family sometimes. But I value opportunities for solitude too.

Virginia Woolf wrote eloquently about a room of one's own. Maybe I just need a woman-cave. I like to think things through and daydream a bit. I like having the luxury of not needing to multitask but rather to just focus on one thing. But unfortunately that's not really the way of the world these days. Murray McLauchlan asked "Where's those quiet places to come home to?" Or, for that matter, to go out to?

Arrived in Coquitlam

Jun. 18th, 2017 10:16 pm
dagibbs: (Default)
[personal profile] dagibbs
I've arrived and about 2 hours early because of my cancelled flight. Best cancelled flight ever.

YOW -> YVR

Jun. 18th, 2017 04:24 pm
dagibbs: (Default)
[personal profile] dagibbs
It was supposed to be YOW->YYZ->YVR, but the YOW->YYZ got cancelled. I ended up re-booked for 6:30am tomorrow, but didn't like that choice... so called and am booked instead on the 5:55pm direct (instead of the 6pm departure), in a better class, with a hope of an upgrade. But, maybe stuck with a middle seat if I don't get the upgrade. Overall, I think an improvement.

Welcome to the new reyl journal!

Jun. 18th, 2017 10:52 am
reylalex: (Default)
[personal profile] reylalex
It's been ages but I feel writing again would be good for me. Most social media is currently not a safe place for having the kinds of discussions I like. And I'd like to talk about life in a place that's less public. You might remember my soul-baring journal back in the reyl days and I don't know if it'll get that far into things. But we'll just have to see! If you think I might not recognize your user name, please send me a message with details when you ask to be added. Here's hoping that this will encourage me to write more, and help me re-connect with some of you. Facebook is intimidating and full of family and other folks that I don't necessarily need reading everything. I'm going to pretend it's 2003 Livejournal here, and hope you do the same!

Full of rage

Jun. 16th, 2017 06:07 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
Apparently I am not completely desensitized to horror, which comes as a relief in a strange way. I'm just full of rage—at the acquittal of Philando Castile's murderer, at the barring of Black Lives Matter activists from testifying about the impact of cops in schools, and, most acutely, at the completely preventable tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire.

The latter is, to me, the starkest depiction of austerity and late-stage capitalism in action. The residents called for repairs. Labour called for tighter safety regulations. Boris Johnson literally told them to go stuff themselves. The cladding, which was probably a major factor in the deaths of 100 or so people, was installed not to protect the building's tenants—low-income, many of them racialized, many of them Syrian refugees—but to hide the unsightly nature of the tower from wealthy neighbours.

I kind of get why people lose their shit over terrorist attacks and mass shootings, but this gets me more. There's a lot we can do as a culture to reduce terrorism and mass shootings, and of course we tend to do the opposite of that, but even in a perfect world, not every act of senseless violence would be preventable. Norway still produced Anders Breivik—even a utopia would have its madmen.

But a situation where you have people saying, "this tragedy is going to happen if you don't fix the thing," and those in charge do not fix the thing, because money is more important than human lives—that is totally preventable and entirely foreseeable. There was an obvious, simple way to prevent those 100 deaths, if our civilization valued people as much as it valued profits.

There are death tolls to tell you how many people died because of communism. There are no tallies of deaths under capitalism, as if starvation because of collectivization is somehow less preferable to starvation because of austerity, or a firing squad is worse than a fire.

This is the very heart of my politics. This is why I fight, even though it doesn't affect me, even though I don't really know how to, even though I'm exhausted. Sometimes fury is the only thing that keeps me going.

Scammer story

Jun. 13th, 2017 06:56 pm
sabotabby: (kitties)
[personal profile] sabotabby
 I took Sabot to the vet for her annual. She was a very good girl, gained some weight but not a worrisome amount, and is in general good health. While I was waiting, there was the most piteous sobbing that turned out to belong to a very large, very sad dog who had just come out of surgery. Her owner came to pick her up (she was wearing the most adorable cone of shame that said "hug me," "love me" and so on) and as we were standing in line to pay our bills—mine reasonable, hers ridiculously high—she told everyone at the vet's a story.

Earlier in the day, she'd received a phone call from an unlisted number. There was a pause when she picked up, and she said it sounded like a call centre in India. The man claimed that he was calling from Windows, and there was something wrong with her computer—could she turn it on for him?

"Do you think I'm an idiot?" she asked.

Another pause.

"Yes," he said. "I think you are an idiot, and a motherfucker, and an asshole." And then he hung up.

She was fucking thrilled and was so excited about it that she had to tell everyone because it was that delightful.

Identifying climbs at Lac Sam

Jun. 12th, 2017 11:35 pm
dagibbs: (Default)
[personal profile] dagibbs
I've been thinking about how to label/identify the climbs at Lac Sam better. At Calabogie, they've been writing names on rocks placed at the base, but I don't like this -- the rocks get moved, the writing fades, etc.

So, I thought I'd try something different -- I just ordered 6 (stainless steel) dog tags, hopefully engraved, with the names of the climbs, and I'm just going to attach them to the first bolt of the climbs.

Ok, this only works for sport climbs -- but if I can identify most of the climbs, it will make finding other climbs nearby a lot easier.

Camp 30 photodump

Jun. 12th, 2017 05:59 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
As promised/threatened, here are a buttload of pictures from the road trip [personal profile] the_axel and [personal profile] the_siobhan and I took to POW Camp 30 in Bowmanville. For reference, this is about an hour's drive from Toronto. It's a former school for delinquent boys that was converted into a POW camp during World War II. It's since fallen to ruin, squatters, and graffiti artists—which tbh makes it approximately 10,000x more awesome from the point-of-view of a photographer or aspiring author of post-apocalyptic fiction—despite being guarded by surveillance cameras and one intimidating as hell pre-recorded loudspeaker message.

There are No Trespassing signs all over the place, but let's be honest; if they wanted to keep people out, they'd put some barbed wire or guards around. We ran into two other people wandering around the premises who had the same idea we did.

Narrowing down which pictures to show you folks was brutal—I hope you appreciate that I got it down to around 20 from over 100. (Okay, so more because Photobucket has ceased to work for me and DW's image hosting is brutal, but also to spare your browsers.

camp 30
+22 )

Adulting win

Jun. 12th, 2017 04:40 pm
dagibbs: (Default)
[personal profile] dagibbs
I always feel like I've won at adulting when I've put away laundry, and having paired up the socks I don't end up with any mismatched socks, or un-paired socks.

GIP

Jun. 12th, 2017 11:46 am
commodorified: Photo of a pin that says "bi-furious" in red letters, with flames. (Bi-furious)
[personal profile] commodorified
Remember GIPs?

This, my friends, my darlings, is a GIP.

With thanks to [personal profile] redbird who is kind enough to share.

Photography teaser

Jun. 12th, 2017 07:23 am
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
I went on an Exciting Photography Adventure yesterday. There are 100 or so photos to go through and edit, but here's a teaser of the incoming photo dump.

looking out a window into...?

Climbing weekend

Jun. 11th, 2017 10:37 pm
dagibbs: (Default)
[personal profile] dagibbs
Finally we had good enough weather, and enough not travel, that I got out climbing both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Ok, Sunday was too warm, but there was enough breeze to keep it tolerable. Also, the black flies appear to be greatly diminished, replaced, of course, by mosquitoes.

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