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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Librarian Trading Cards Are Cool

Monday, January 29, 2007

Matthew Turns 6 Months

His first six months will be celebrated with lots of hugs and kisses this Wednesday the 31st of January. It's also his grandmother's birthday, too.

Ottawater Issue 3

Wanda O'Connor formerly of Ottawa /presently of Montreal, read to a receptive audience and was part of a large contingent of poets and novelists reading in Byward Market's Mercury Lounge last Friday the 26th of January. Miss Wanda was slated to read earlier in 2006 at another reading event but was unable to attend. You can read the magazine for free on the Ottawater website.

See Amanda Earl's review of this evening's reading on her blog. Charles Earl also snapped at pic of Gantineau's Jim Larwill who informed me that he will partake in an All-Star lineup of poets in CBC Radio's slam poetry competition coming up the 20th of February. Fan and local poetry supporter Pearl Pirie, fresh with a revamped webpage, also made note of the Ottawater launch.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Extra! Extra!

According to stats, my weblog is a couple's destination:

Referring URL:
Search Words: cheap date for fun couples in ottawa
Visit Entry Page:

But seriously, if you took your date for an online tour here, it's no wonder you're still single. All the best, however. What ever turns your crank. Live and let live I say. Uh... enjoy the tour? Hey! Keep your hands in full view - this is a family weblog.

(I saw that)

Online Canadian Writers

Canadian Writers' Blog: This is a project in progress to explore the internet presence of Canadian Writers through their blogs and other online writing outlets.

One question: What the heck am I doing on this list?

A New Record

A new record in newspaper delivery distance achieved this week.

The Ottawa Citizen newspaper is barely visible (see inside red circle), and sits street-side rather than near my door. The paper used to end up on my front stoop when I first became a subscriber - infrequently at that - but lately I have had to go on a chilly 220 foot round-trip hike for my morning read. I finally called subscriber services today to put in a polite request to have it delivered on my balcony once again. We'll see how it works out.
UPDATE: 30 January 2007

Well, the next day the paper got a little closer to the balcony. About 20 feet away. It's not like it's hard to miss the baclony. There's 168 square feet of it. It's a pretty large target in my opintion. I waited four days to see if the paper would land in the general vicinity but it has not. Today, I called again to request the paper be delivered on the requested mark. Again, I will wait to see what happens tomorrow.

I hate to play the role of a curmudgeon but why do they ask where you want the paper be delivered and then not do it? Take the case of the 11 year old boy who delivers the (free) local paper; he even puts his paper in the front door's handle without any trouble. Long, long gone are the days of young newspaper delivery boys and girls... today they are grown-ups with cars and vans, and they certainly get paid a lot more than an 11 year old.

The irony of it all - and there is some irony in this - is that the regular newspaper carrier was away for three weeks. During those three weeks my paper was delivered on the balcony near the door and on time, every day. I was so happy I woke up at 6am one day to thank her for the great service...only to find out it wasn't the regular person. As he rolled down the window to hear my praises he then informed me that it was his last day and the the regular person would be back the next day. Oh yeah, the irony part: This past Sunday she inserted a letter in the paper apologizing for the "disrupted service" during her absence the last three weeks and concludes her letter, "Thank you for your understanding during these past few weeks and I'm happy to tell you that I am back now."


UPDATE: 1 February 2007
After 7 days after my initial call to request the paper (again) to be delivered on my balcony - the paper made it to its destination. Yay!

UPDATE: 5 February 2007
I don't know why I am still updating this post. I guess perhaps that you're still reading it. I am sad to announce that the four day long streak has come to an end. The paper missed the balcony again this morning. Just thought you might be interested. Old habits are hard to break I guess.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Falun Gong

more info on wiki.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Annex Books Closes Doors Saturday

photo op

Matthew - just in case you missed him. He's proud that his daddy made it into Quill & Quire's blog with a photo of Vincent Lam.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Poetry In News...Twice

In today's Ottawa Citizen:

Editorial agrees with rob mclennan's assessment, "The Transpoetry program doesn't have to cost a lot of money to have a positive effect on Ottawa's transit system. It's also an easy way to support local writers. It should continue."

Also poetry in Arts Section with a lovely colour photo by Jean Levac of Capital Slam Collective co-director Danielle Gregoire that accompanies an article by William Lin. Lin also describes "Stephen Brockwell, 43, a sturdy man with greying hair."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Giller Winner Vincent Lam

Vincent Lam reads at Library and Archives Canada - tonight 7:30 p.m.

Vincent Lam is the 2006 Giller Prize winner for his collection of short stories Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures. Dr. Vincent Lam read from his book to a standing room only audience of over 200 at the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, 17 January 2007.

Additionally, you may see a couple of other photos of the author on a new group on Flickr created by Quill & Quire Magazine art director, Gary Campbell (and talented photographer in his own right). The group is yet another vehicle for the magazine to promote Canadian authors at reading events such as this one and in moments of celebration. I believe it's a public group so all (aspiring) author photogs are welcome to join and submit your best photos. Who knows - you may even get published in their magazine. Details are in the discussion thread on the website. You also may want to check out their frequently updated and cleverly written Quillblog.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Seamus Heaney wins TS Eliot poetry prize

To celebrate, I feel like cutting some peat out of a bog.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Long Awkward Pose

Now, this is cruel - yet hilarious at the same time. The mission of is simple:

"People look foolish when posing for a picture. So tell your loved ones you would like to take their photo... then secretly videotape them the whole time."

One of the most hilarious sites on the interweb...and I've seen a few. [Don't worry, I would never do this to you.]

Monday, January 08, 2007

Featured Comment

I don't usually direct people to read comments left on my weblog posts - but I'll make an exception this time. (<-- Click preceding link and scroll to bottom for those that need direction. Not you, of course.)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

RIP Momofuku Ando

Is there anyone who hasn't, at least once in their lives, been on a "ramen diet" in order to save a little money? I give my proper respect to Mr. Ando:

via wiki:
Momofuku Ando (March 5, 1910 – January 5, 2007), was the founder and chairman of Nissin Food Products Co., Ltd., and the inventor of world's first instant noodle and cup noodle. He died on January 5, 2007 of heart failure in Osaka Prefecture at the age of 96.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Great Picture Hunt

The bad thing about being laid off is, well, being laid off. I've been on severance since September, formerly with a big consulting company. My role there was made redundant after eight years. Same story for a lot of tech people in Ottawa. I just happened to endure the effects of the technological bubble burst several years longer than most of my colleagues. Personnel in India, Spain or Manila can do what I was doing for a fraction of the cost. So it goes.

The good thing is that I have precious time to spend with my amazing son. (Time is precious ain't it?) And recently, I have been reading a lot of photography and photojournalism-related material. Among them, there's one inspiring book I bought in the fall of 2005, The Great Picture Hunt 2 by Dave LaBelle. He is a distinguished photojournalist and professor based out of the University of Kentucky. It's a cliché but I go back to this book every now and then to draw upon his experience and seek fresh approaches to taking photos.

The message is simple for aspiring photojournalists - it is encapsulated in the book's title, get out and hunt for that photo. That's what I have been doing all along, and it paid off today as I went on an afternoon stroll with the baby (and my other baby, the Nikon). After I installed Matthew in his car seat, I spied Mr. Dion walking back to the Hill. Out came the camera and I snapped a few quick frames and immediately his colleague asked if I wanted to be in the photo, so I agreed and handed over my camera.

(The next Prime Minister of Canada) and current Liberal Party leader, Stéphane Dion, and John W. MacDonald shake hands in front of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Librarian Wanna-be in Me

Now you can create your own virtual library catalog card easy as pie. Go on - I know you want one for yourself.

(linked originally via

8 degrees + 4 January = sweetness

Monday, January 01, 2007

In Beechwood Cemetery

It was an unseasonably warm sunny day for January 1st. Taking advantage of this, we went for a walk in Ottawa's most beautiful and historic cemetery today. I posted an abstract photo of a tree from this afternoon's amble on TaKinG thE BriM__ TooK thE BrOoM blog. I have also uploaded the same image with a lot less digital manipulation, but still post-processed all the same with some blur and color modifications. You can view it here.

Reading Photos

To the detriment of my own blog posts (and caring for a five month old son) over the last month I've been engrossed with a couple of fantastic photo-related blogs:

Also, recently discovered that Ottawa photographer, Tony Fouhse, whose photos I really admire, has a photo blog:

Happy New Year!