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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
You go your way / I'll go your way too
— Leonard Cohen, Leonard Cohen
September 27, 2009

Last Days of Summer 2009

Continue reading "Last Days of Summer 2009"

Posted by skooter at 3:02 AM This entry is filed under Camera, Vancouver.
Tags: Heron, Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park, Sunset, Vancouver

September 17, 2009

Sharing The Road

One of the best articles about urban cycling I’ve read in quite a while. the last paragraph of this excerpt does a nice job of summarizing both the solution and the problem. The emphasis is mine.

“We want to encourage a culture in Santa Rosa where people ride their bikes for short trips around the city, but we want to make sure they do it in a safe manner,” said Rafael Rivero, a community outreach specialist with the Santa Rosa Police Department.

Roundabouts where four-way stops used to be, yield signs, and painted outlines of cyclists on the pavement are just a few of the changes aimed at putting cyclists on equal footing with motorists.

But it won’t work unless everyone — cyclists, motorists and pedestrians — respects one another, said Christine Culver, executive director of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition.

Posted by skooter at 8:02 PM This entry is filed under Cycling.
Tags: America, Cycling, Safety, Transportation

September 15, 2009

Wildrose Alliance wins Calgary-Glenmore byelection

This probably doesn’t mean much nationally: it’s neither a comment on the Harper Tories nor an implied endorsement of the federal LIberal party under Michael Ignatieff but this quote from the CBC’s article covering the Wildrose Alliance’s victory just made me laugh. The emphasis is mine.

“I’ve been a strong Conservative all my life like any normal Albertan,” voter Ellie Lucille Scott told CBC News. “But I think that people do need to be put on their toes a little bit and I think that’s the message I would like to see them get at this time.”

Posted by skooter at 1:14 PM This entry is filed under Politics.
Tags: Alberta, Michael Ignatieff, Stephen Harper

September 14, 2009

Dr. Leo Spacemen, M.D.

Posted by skooter at 3:19 PM This entry is filed under Entertainment.
Tags: 30 Rock, Tina Fey

Live Every Week Like it’s Shark Week

When the time comes for my personal day or reckoning—when the reaper is at my door just waiting for that last breath of air to come through my lips, and I’m looking back on my life and it’s highlights the weekend past is going to, without a shadow of a doubt, make the list of Top 10 Weekends Ever. Along with that first taste of freedom at the end of high school (marking the beginning of that liminal period between youth and full-fledged adulthood) and a spectacular birthday weekend sitting on the shore of Vancouver Island’s Long Beach this weekend will be there.

The weather was sunny and warm and glorious—rare for Vancouver at this time of year. Toronto was warmer, and some will point that out; to these naysayers I have only to say “Pacific Ocean.” I’ll take our slightly lower temperatures with that any day. This weekend—the first after Labour Day—marks the closing of Kitsilano Pool so it was time to get outside.

So, without further ado, from Friday to Sunday night a partial but reasonably complete list of what makes this weekend epic.

Friday night post work swim at Kits Pool; dinner at Go Fish; sitting outside at Stanley Park listening to the Skydiggers sing I Will Give You Everything; Saturday morning errand running at Granville Island; Saturday evening back to the Skydiggers at Stanley Park; Neil Young at Ambleside Beach; Immaculate Machine at the Biltmore Cabaret (including an awesome rendition of The Boys are Back in Town they claimed to have learned the night before at a Chilliwack karaoke bar); Sunday morning breakfast on the patio at Honey’s Doughnuts in Deep Cove; an afternoon hanging out with the always awesome Elizabeth & Benjamin Rogers (and their mother); a final, 12 lap, strong swim at Kits Pool with the sun’s rays getting longer with each lap; dinner at Moderne Burger.

It really doesn’t get much better than that. At the end of that last leisurely lap heading east in Kitsilano Pool I paused, and the thought crossed my mind that perhaps—just perhaps—-if all of us just decided to never get out of that pool…to just stay in forever we could, through shear force of will, make this summer last forever.

Out I crawled though, and up the hill to Moderne Burger. There may be another weekend like this one, but I suspect it won’t be for about another 12 months or so.

Posted by skooter at 3:40 AM This entry is filed under Food, Music, Vancouver.
Tags: Granville Island, Immaculate Machine, Music, Neil Young, Skydiggers, Stanley Park, Vancouver

September 11, 2009

Dan Mangan: The Indie Queens are Waiting

I’m a bit late to the Dan Mangan bandwagon, but I’m making up for it in enthusiasm. It’s hardly a surprise that this year’s been a Wilco and Neko year for me—new albums from both, plus my little road trip to Oregon have conspired to make it so—but Dan just knocked me flat when I first heard him on CBC Radio One. The funny thing is it was in my car, on one of these exceedingly rare days that I drove to work. The album’s brilliant—I just paused Bob Dylan to watch the video above. Buy it. You won’t regret it.

Posted by skooter at 6:37 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Bob Dylan, Dan Mangan, Neko Case, Wilco

September 10, 2009

Alan Turing: Father of Modern Computer Science

“Alan Turing” is the father of modern computer science, and a pioneer in thinking on the concept of artificial intelligence. He was also famously gay, at a time when such a thing was not allowed.

Great Britan has finally chosen to apologize to one of its most notable citizens.

“Treatment of Alan Turing was “appalling” - PM”:http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page20571

Number 10 door: PA copyrightThe Prime Minister has released a statement on the Second World War code-breaker, Alan Turing, recognising the “appalling” way he was treated for being gay.

Alan Turing, a mathematician most famous for his work on breaking the German Enigma codes, was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ in 1952 and sentenced to chemical castration.

Posted by skooter at 11:27 PM This entry is filed under Politics, Technology.
Tags: Alan Turing, Artificial Intelligence, Human Rights, Technology

September 9, 2009

Beatles Reissues

Chuck Klosterman’s review of today’s Beatles reissues makes for a pretty funny read.

The Beatles
by Chuck Klosterman, September 8, 2009

Like most people, I was initially confused by EMI’s decision to release remastered versions of all 13 albums by the Liverpool pop group Beatles, a 1960s band so obscure that their music is not even available on iTunes.

Posted by skooter at 8:34 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Beatles, iTunes, Music

Cormac McCarthy: The Road

Any praise I have to heap upon Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is pointless: it’s received heaps of it, not the least of which is being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. It’s a great novel, and if you haven’t read it you should. I did last year while I was on a kayak trip last year. It was bracing, and definitely different than what my co-paddlers were reading.

It’s been made into a movie, the production of which was famously troubled with a release date that shifted many times. The final trailer is out and it doesn’t look promising. I doubt I’ll be seeing it.

The novel has a cold open: the events that lead up to the novel’s setting aren’t explained or expanded upon. The reader is thrust into the middle of an unknown scenario already underway. It looks as if the movie has needlessly added background and expository information.

That’s not the worst of it though. By far the worst moment of the trailer is that moment when the words An Epic Journey flash across the screen. The beauty of The Road is precisely that the journey is not epic and there are no heroes. It’s a novel about survival, and necessity, and the basest of human needs. No one is glorified, though there is a cold nobility in the lead character’s persistent attempts to save and provide the child in the story against all odds.

There’s nothing epic about it and that is exactly what makes it such a compelling novel. Read it. Don’t see it.

Posted by skooter at 6:40 AM This entry is filed under Books.
Tags: Books, Cormac McCarthy, Movies

September 2, 2009

I Can’t Do Any of This

Posted by skooter at 1:38 AM This entry is filed under Cycling, Sports.
Tags: Cycling, German