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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Matthew is a month old today


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Naguib Mahfouz 94, 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Authors Aloud

Canadian author and journalist Trevor Cole has a fantastic new web site up and running that provides audio content of several Canadian authors reading from their work. Trevor will be in Ottawa as part of the upcoming Ottawa International Writers Festival.

More local Layton news

Got this email from a Montreal writer with whom I frequently converse, especially about Irving Layton related news:

Here's a link to an article involving the Montreal suburb of Côte St. Luc, which has decided to name a street after Irving Layton (a former resident). His last wife and an old friend are unhappy about a cartoon the Gazette's Aislin did lampooning it.

Here's the link to the Aislin cartoon.


-Martin C. Barry, Montreal-

Saturday, August 26, 2006

music to feed to at 3am

We want the milk
Give us the milk
We need the milk
You Gotta have the milk

Friday, August 25, 2006


Matthew's reading is progressing. He's currently deconstructing Dr. Suess' oeuvre.

Diana Brebner Prize for Poetry

Arc: Canada's National Poetry Magazine invites emerging Ottawa writers to be recognized for their talent through a special award for poets who have not yet been published in book form. The prize is named in honour of the late Diana Brebner, an award-winning, Ottawa-based poet who was devoted to fostering literary talent among new local writers. Entry fee is $14 for up to two poems and includes a one-year subscription to Arc. Length of each poem must not exceed 30 lines (including spaces). All cheques or money orders should be made out to the Arc Poetry Society.

See our website for full details:

For queries, email:

Judge: rob mclennan
Deadline: received by September 30, 2006
Prize: $500

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hook Shot

Dad's having a little fun with Photoshop.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Frank Lennon dies

poet photo

poet labels

Monday, August 21, 2006 video

this vid's good for a laugh. go directly to the web site for a larger view and the story behind "net neutrality" - whatever that means. i bet you can't watch this only once.

Ottawa Writers Festival Sneek Peak

MONDAY, October 2
8:30 PM: Writing Life #1
Randy Boyagoda, Leo Brent Robillard and Anita Rau Badami

TUESDAY, October 3
8:30 PM : Criminal Minds
Louise Penny, David Hewson and Rick Mofina

WEDNESDAY, October 4
8:30 pm Writing Life #2
Steven Heighton, Trevor Cole and Kenneth J. Harvey

THURSDAY, October 5
8:30 pm Writing Life #3
Bill Gaston, Richard Teleky and Michael Redhill

FRIDAY, October 6
8:30 pm Writing Life #4
Maureen Lennon, Mark Foss and Dennis Bock

SATURDAY, October 7
6:00 pm Writing Life #5
Paul William Roberts, Jean McNeil and Simon Ings

Joe Rosenthal

Photographer who shot Iwo Jima flag-raising dies at 94.

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima (Feb. 23, 1945) by Joe Rosenthal / Associated Press. More info here in the wikipedia entry.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Pearl Portrait

Humanyms blogger (which I read daily) Pearl Pirie sits for an impromptu photo while enjoying rob mclennan's launch party Friday evening. Pearl and I observed the event from the top floor of the Mercury Lounge along with jwcurry, max middle and Charles Earl.

Poet rob mclennan launched his latest book of poetry, aubade, published by Broken Jaw Press. I have had the good fortune of taking the photos of David Cation's aNGELS ON baNK sTREET which appear on the covers of his book.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Animator vs. Animation by alan becker

Friday, August 18, 2006

Events seem to be ordered into an ominous logic

-Thomas Pynchon

Apparently I do not even know what day it is. I did verify that today is, indeed, Friday. Last evening I showed up around 8:10pm at the Mercury Lounge to an empty bar. Where was everyone? Wasn't rob mclennan having a party? I quickly called Julie and asked her to boot up the computer to log onto and relay to me when the event was to be held: she said, "Friday". "Isn't today Friday?", I responded."

I left the bar as quietly as I entered it.

On my way home, not to waste a perfectly good evening out, I stopped in for some take out spring rolls at the Golden Turtle Restaurant on Booth. I ran into jwcurry on Somerset and stopped by to chat. Of course, being a visitor to his apartment/bookstore I had to inscribe a line, "Events seem to be ordered into an ominous logic" for his upcoming mystery project. I went home and showered Julie in spring rolls and peanut sauce (not literally) and she flatly said she was going to bed - just in time for me to change and feed little Matthew - from 10 to 11:30pm. He was hungry again at 12am. And we stayed up together till 3am. Julie's shift started again (thankfully) at 3am. Today is Friday. The newspaper says so. I checked twice.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Against the Day

$5=cheap date

the above/ground press thirteenth anniversary party/launch

Time and Place: August 18 at 8:00 pm. The Mercury Lounge, 56 Byward Street,
Phil Hall, Jesse Ferguson, Wanda O'Connor, Jennifer Mulligan, Stephen Brockwell & Anita Dolman; $5 at the door (includes a free chapbook); lovingly hosted by rob mclennan

Fall-Winter Collection Part 2

Yesterday, Matthew got this blue-knitted outfit in the mail from one of Julie's friends:

Mommy said I put the booties on backwards but then you wouldn't see the bows.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2006 Longlist

Noteworthy, to me anyway, is the possibility of a conflict of interest in that Nadine Gordimer is also one of the judges in the Man Booker International Prize 2007. This prize, however, is only awarded every second year, so there's probably nothing to worry about. David Mitchell is also on the list (again) and I am favouring him to take the prize this year. I do have several signed copies I want to auction off eventually, so I am biased.

Here's the press release:

The judging panel for the 2006 Man Booker Prize for Fiction today (Monday 14th August) announces the longlist of books for this year.

The longlist of 19 books was chosen from 112 entries; 95 were submitted for the prize and 17 were called in by the panel of judges.

The judging panel for the 2006 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is: Hermione Lee (Chair); Simon Armitage, poet and novelist; Candia McWilliam, award winning novelist; critic Anthony Quinn and actor Fiona Shaw.
The 2006 shortlist will be announced on Thursday 14th September at a press conference at Man Group’s London office. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 10th October at an awards ceremony at Guildhall, London.

The longlist for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2006 is as follows;

Carey, Peter Theft: A Love Story (Faber & Faber)
Desai, Kiran The Inheritance of Loss (Hamish Hamilton) [winner]
Edric, Robert Gathering the Water (Doubleday)
Gordimer, Nadine Get a Life (Bloomsbury)
Grenville, Kate The Secret River (Canongate)
Hyland, M.J. Carry Me Down (Canongate)
Jacobson, Howard Kalooki Nights (Jonathan Cape)
Lasdun, James Seven Lies (Jonathan Cape)
Lawson, Mary The Other Side of the Bridge (Chatto & Windus)
McGregor, Jon So Many Ways to Begin (Bloomsbury)
Matar, Hisham In the Country of Men (Viking)
Messud, Claire The Emperor’s Children (Picador)
Mitchell, David Black Swan Green (Sceptre)
Murr, Naeem The Perfect Man (William Heinemann)
O’Hagan, Andrew Be Near Me (Faber & Faber)
Robertson, James The Testament of Gideon Mack (Hamish Hamilton)
St Aubyn, Edward Mother’s Milk (Picador)
Unsworth, Barry The Ruby in her Navel (Hamish Hamilton)
Waters, Sarah The Night Watch (Virago)

Monday, August 14, 2006

American Suburb launched

"The simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which gives that event its proper expression... . In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little human detail can become a leitmotif."
— Henri Cartier-Bresson

With a plethora of photo gallery websites on the net there are many talented amature photographers slugging away with their hobby. There only a few of them that I follow religiously. One photographer I follow on a regular basis goes by the username of 'Luminous', aka 'dR'.

I first encountered Doug Rickard's photographs on last year. I was hooked immediately and have been a regular browser of his gallery of sublime black and white photographs. Most of the photos in his portfolio are of his family and immediate friends taken in his home state of California. The photos, however, transcend mere family snap shots. They are utterly compelling and are in the realm of art. Doug recently launched his own website recently (and finally I might add). I am sure you won't be disappointed when you take a trip to his photographic world. Simply amazing portraits inspired by the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson but you'll recognize that his style is uniquely identifiably to only Doug Rickard.


Someone on asked about the default wallpaper that Windows XP displays on your monitor. You know, the bright green rolling hills and cloudy blue sky landscape. Those who have macs may ignore this posting, of course. The online query was about finding who took the photo an its location. Turns out someone posted the answer and I thought you might be interested:

This Just In


"People Banned from Flying"

Just kidding. But banning all people from flying would be the ultimate solution to fighting terrorism in the skies, wouldn't it? 'Throwing out the baby with the bath water' comes to mind as does 'cutting off your nose to spite your face'. I shan't be surprised if this headline would see the light of day in the near future. I can clearly envision cargo being the only items in the sky, exclusively loaded by robots, flying in unmanned drone planes to their strictly controlled destinations. One day.

Julie and I flew out to Las Vegas in October 2001 - she for a business conference and me on vacation. It was mere four weeks after 9-11 and we landed in a desolate Vegas with near empty streets and hotels. It seemed we had the city to ourselves. So many people afraid to fly and thus cancelled their travel plans in the wake of the then recent tragedy. Her then employer did give her the opportunity to back out of her travel plans. We discussed it for about 10 seconds. The decision was easy for us. We both took it in stride then, without any fear, and we will continue to fly without fear. Fear is one thing, but travelling with odd, inconsistent restrictions with renewed scrutiny by security does appear to me to border on the breach of civil liberties once taken for granted. How far will the list of banned items go? The television sound bytes portray travellers like sheep bleating, "Well, if it's for our safety then I completely agree with the government." Wowsers. Wondering if they will sing the same tune when there are mandatory anal cavity checks for frequent fliers? In any case, here is some recent real news from Air Canada:

"The Canadian Government has announced increased security measures at all Canadian airports. Following is important information that will help you prepare for travel on Air Canada and Jazz flights during the next 30 days

* Check-in & Security: Allow extra time for check-in and security clearance. Air Canada recommends that you check-in 90 minutes before departure for flights within Canada, 120 minutes before departure for flights to/from the USA, and 180 minutes before flights to/from other international destinations. It is also recommended that you reduce carry-on baggage as much as possible.

* Liquids on board: Effective immediately, liquids or gels (i.e. shampoo, hair gel, all types of beverages) in containers of any size will not be permitted onboard any flight. The only exceptions will be for prescription medications (the name on the prescription must match that on the boarding card), essential non-prescription medicines and for passengers travelling with a baby or infant; baby milk or formula.

* Flights to the USA and U.K.: Transport Canada will be performing random searches in the gate area for flights to the USA and to the U.K.

* Go Discount: Customers travelling on a Tango fare with a Go discount who have opted out of their checked baggage allowance may check in their carry-on baggage free of charge until August 17, 2006. The bag must conform to Air Canada carry-on weight and size limitations."

from boing-boing...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

fesitval of lights

Jason Sonier, Anne Davison and Max Middle performed a few shows on a beautiful Saturday evening in the park.

From the Fall-Winter 2007 Collection

for your viewing pleasure (and mine):

Friday, August 11, 2006

Birth Announcement

FYI. We put a birth announcement in today and tomorrow's Ottawa Citizen newspaper for little Matthew.
The count so far: been peed on three four times and pooed on once. Lesson learned: never pick up a naked baby.

fhole # 9 fphoto

I have a photo published on the inside front page of dfb's fhole #9.
Order the magazine from here -> Hurry, as they sell out fast. The photo is of the audience of the BookThug Storms the Capital reading event this past spring.

books and newspapers?

I was gobsmacked to hear about UK airport authorities banning toothpaste in carry-on luggage due to the recent 'terrorist' event - which was prevented by the way - but banning books and newspapers, too? The terrorists have truly won, I'm afraid.

However, one day, common sense will prevail.

Le sens commun n'est pas si commun (Common sense is not so common)
--Voltaire [Francois-Marie Arouet]

Lumière Festival
Saturday August 12th 6-9 pm Max Middle Sound Project 2006 Lumière Festival Stanley Park
Ottawa on the banks of the Rideau River in New Edinburgh with Anne Davison, Max Middle & Jason Sonier

Pack your patience?

HARRIS: And if -- let's get you some of the tips that you have for your readers and for everyone watching this morning. First of all you say.
DOYLE: Pack your patience.
HARRIS: Pack your patience.
DOYLE: When in doubt, leave it out.
HARRIS: Leave it out. Right, right, right.
DOYLE: Also follow the rules. Just because you know that your favorite perfume or face cream poses no danger, doesn't mean that you should try to sneak it on because you're only going to create problems for yourself and for everyone behind you in line
HARRIS: So the protocols are changing and there are some steps in the right direction as you see it?
DOYLE: Yes, definitely.
HARRIS: Kevin, thanks. Kevin Doyle, news editor for "Conde Nast Traveler." Thanks for being with us.
DOYLE: Thank you.

(CNN Transcript from 11 August 2006)

Just "follow the rules", the say. Yikes! Makes you want to become a hermit and live off the land away from civilization, eh? It is 'frightening', to me anyway, to think that one day it may take just as long to hitchhike across the country as it will to fly across it. But this will never ever happen, right? That's just crazy talk. Oh, yes, I forgot: "Hitchhiking is not permitted on major highways" in Canada.

We'll just wait to see what all the liquor and perfume conglomerates have to say about these new policies and how they affect their duty-free shopping outlets.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

CanLit This Week on eBay

Teacher? Hugh MacLennan-o-phile? Like large collections of books of the same title? Then this ebay sale may be for you for only US $22.99 or if your real lucky, $0.99: "Class set (23) Return of the Sphinx by MacLennan, Hugh" Place them all on one shelf for full effect or space out copies in several rooms, or give them out as Christmas presents to your office mates. You're sure to be a hit.

Twenty-three copies of previously owned MacLennan not enough for you? Then you may find "Hugh MacLennan A Writer's Life Book Biography Cameron"- a treasured addition to your bookshelf. US $18.00 seems a tad high for this title, however.

I've always found the idea of signed letters of my favourite authors quite appealing. However, to be honest, I am not quite enamored with collecting Marshall McLuhan and probably would not go out of my way to shell out money on him - but maybe you would. Try this listing: MARSHALL McLUHAN - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 01/30/1974. Yes, it's a little steep at US $299.00 but for you it may be a pittance to have this puppy displayed on your wall to display to your friends and colleagues. Show off...

For something else you may (or may not) want to put on your wall, take a look at this listing. A Margaret Atwood photo with a bad case of dandruff, err, I mean snow on her head: Margaret Atwood signed 4x6 photo W/COA. At US $6.99, this is a steal. Hurry! Hurry! This scurfy auction item ends soon!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Matthew's first poem

Stephen Rowntree wrote a poem in honour of little Matthew's birth last week. Click here to read it. Thanks Stephen!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

eating curry is healthy


(photo of jwcurry)
Popular curry spice is a brain booster (from New Scientist News) :

Call it yellow ginger, haldi, turmeric or E100, the yellow root of Curcuma longa, a staple ingredient in curry, is turning out to be gratifyingly healthy. Now Tze-Pin Ng and colleagues at the National University of Singapore have discovered that curry eating seems to boost brain power in elderly people.

Curcumin, a constituent of turmeric, is an antioxidant, and reports have suggested that it inhibits the build-up of amyloid plaques in people with Alzheimer's. Those people who consumed curry "occasionally" (once or more in 6 months but less than once a month) and "often" (more than once a month) had better MMSE results than those who only ate curry "never or rarely" (American Journal of Epidemiology, DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwj267).

"What is remarkable is that apparently one needs only to consume curry once in a while for the better cognitive performance to be evidenced," says Ng, who says he wants to confirm the results, possibly in a controlled clinical trial comparing curcumin and a placebo.

Friday, August 04, 2006

ahhhh sleep

Matthew takes a nap and dreams of Tori Spelling who showed up at the Ottawa Civic to take care of her husband, Dean McDermott, who ended up in the ER. She was shooting in Ottawa (and co-starring with hubby McDermott) in a suspense thriller titled, The House Sitter. Matthew did not have is camera with him so he missed the shot.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Introducing Matthew

When everyone tells you "say goodbye to sleep", they're not joking -- even when they say it with a laugh.