easily amused

I’m in Cambridge, at the Mill Race Folk Festival. The weather’s great, it’s a good event (just saw Enoch Kent [!]), but what’s really holding my attention are a number of big fish with orange tails rootling about on the riverbed of the Grand. They’re leaving pleasing silt trails.

avec wings and beer

so we met last night; including Rannie, Eva (happy birthday today!), Arieh, Graham, and a bunch of other good folks (hey, I’m bad with names). We had beer and wings.

Rannie taught us a nifty prefocus trick for quick portrait grabs. I shall be sure to use it.

nostalgia for something that never existed

The Verbatim FlashDisc seems to be a solution without a problem to solve.

verbatim flashdisc

It’s a cheap ($4) but very tiny (16MB) USB memory key in the vague form of some kind of magnetic media. There are problems:

  • $0.25/MB may seem cheap, but it would mean that a 1GB key at this price was $256
  • It neatly blocks most of the USB ports on a machine
  • Just what kind of media is it supposed to be? It looks closest to an old spool of mag-tape, but folks buying this wouldn’t remember that.

all the stars came crashing down

Saw the Decemberists at the awful barn that is the Kool Haus last night. The place was fairly busy, but not full. A scalper offered me a derisory price for a spare ticket, so I don’t think they sold out.
They were pretty good; great in parts, kind of tired and meh in others. Naughty Chris Funk lit up on stage; that’ll mean a fine for the venue. That’ll teach him not to play banjo on stage.
Sensitive wee Scottish folkie Alasdair Roberts supported. He was good enough for me to buy the CD.

people are stupid

There’s going to be some ranting here, so I advise folks to look at this nice picture of a monarch butterfly I took at Bluffer’s Park today, and move along:

monarch butterfly - spotty!

In the park there was a gull that wasn’t moving like the others. I got close to it, and discovered there was a large fishing lure lodged through its beak. I had no way of helping it, and a nearby parks crew couldn’t do anything either. It could fly, just, but the big lure slowed it down, and the trailing fishing line mad it stumble.
I know gulls are often seen as nuisance birds, but no animal deserved
this fate. There’s no fishing and no kite flying in this park because there are so many birds. I’m angry that someone could be so thoughtless.

There’s a picture below the fold. You probably don’t want to see it.

Continue reading “people are stupid”

National Convenience Store Day

So, did you US folks celebrate National Convenience Store Day today by grabbing a slurpee and a preserved meat treat? (We celebrate it on 7 November here.)

Sadly, and rather worryingly, I’m not the only person to think of this.

i saw saws

You have got to see these folks! The Singing Saw Shadow Show were amazing the other night; wild raucous lo-fi that had me on the edge of my seat. I must get the old saw out and rosin the bow.

The support were interesting. Pyramid Culture, while better than Better Than Everyone, are okay if you want to learn about the perils of artificial sweeteners, face transplants and parasitic foetal twins. Faun Fables produced their art-rock pantomime The Transit Rider; fun, and with a fab rendition of The House Carpenter, too.

But go and see this Singing Saw Shadow Show if and when you can. They will blow you away.

now that’s what I call shoulder pads

Rather too busy gardening and stuff this weekend to blog. I did see this rather unusual flying thing in the garden; a T-shaped bug.

T-Shaped Bug

It’s a plume moth, say the good folks at What’s That Bug?

Ontario SOC is here!

Standard Offer Renewable Energy contracts were announced in Ontario today. I’m reserving my third cheer for when I see the pricing and terms.

… Third cheer is definitely go. I’ve been having a think about this, and some words with the folks at the OSEA reception, and I think it’s good. Very good. There are still some details to work out, but this is pretty much exactly what I could hope for.

blog entry for dad

My folks have been visiting for the last couple of weeks (we’re just about to leave for the airport), and Dad asked for some links we discussed. The following will probably make little or no sense to other readers:

windfarm or wind farm?

So how do you write it?

I use the former. Some people might say that the latter is more correct (one doesn’t refer to a pigfarm, after all), but we’re not really farming wind here. That we leave to the bean farmers (hohoho; I do believe that was the very same joke that Lord McAlpine used to use when showing bigwigs through the RES Ltd office in Hemel Hempstead).

I’d really prefer to use the term windpark, using the original meaning of park for an enclosed field. I guess it’s a bit European for most folks here, so it’s windfarm for me.

(One shouldn’t confuse a windfarm with WindFarm, the toolbox of choice for the leet wind haxx0r).

my wind-powered PC

As a thank-you for speaking at the ESC/EWB Power Shift lecture series, I was given a Pembina Institute Wind Powered PC tag. That means that the energy equivalent of three years of PC usage has been bought for me from a windfarm.

I’d like to thank the folks at UofT for putting up with me for the evening, and buying me dinner at the (in)famous Peel Pub (would that be innfamous?). I enjoyed it, and I hope they did too.

Winsome Newsom

On several people’s recommendation, I bought Joanna Newsom’s The Milk-Eyed Mender CD. It is quite remarkable. Her lyrics remind me of Mervyn Peake‘s nonsense poems (… Even mollusks have weddings, / though solemn and leaden / but you dirge for the dead, / take no jam on your bread …). She sings of catenaries and dirigibles, rephrasing words into unfamiliar shapes. It’s not the most common act, a harpist with a fey wee voice who can also raise up a real backwoods caterwaul, but it works for me.

Here’s a video of one of her songs: Sprout and the Bean.

(Norvin, you’d hate it. In fact, you’d hate it so much that I’d advise you listen to it, just so folks around you can experience the ‘neitzen’ effect.)