Saturday, May 30, 2009

every drop of rain turns to crystal...

It's a big storm. I can see lightning, and dark clouds cover the sky.


But while it's raining, the clouds are rolling east. It continues to pour relentlessly in front of the window while the full face of the sun shines in the cloudless sky behind it.



(all these pictures are from today during the storm...)

We're finishing up cleaning. We made pizza on the barbecue, and we're listening to some good loud music. I can't believe Haste the Day is still around. I saw them a few weeks after they got signed, and most other bands from that era are long gone or morphed into other entities.


Bucky, however, has decided not to participate. She's done her part of spring cleaning, as she's been brushed and combed till her winter coat's almost gone. She even put in overtime to contribute some extra hairballs all by herself this morning.

So we struck a beggar's agreement with B-Katt:

She can stare at the invisible shadows on the wall while we have 10.7 minutes to do whatever we want, and then we'd better come right back to finish watching a movie and lavish our attention on her.


and perhaps in the 10.6 minutes I have left, I'll put on a little Blindside next...

(the Swedish doesn't always translate well, but this song works for me)

When I remember...

A cloud moves in, rain falls, thunder strikes
And sunshine breaks through the clouds
I can cry out of sorrow and joy
Every drop of rain turns to crystal in the sun

So wash my eyes, my clothes
My skin, my bones
My soul, my feet, my love

I'm not forgotten...


Sunday, May 24, 2009

for an unofficial video, this is incredible

done by a currently unemployed filmmaker/photographer, it took him 2 weeks and about $75 in supplies. it's creative, it's different, and it's done well. good job, Ross.

Death Cab for Cutie - Little Bribes from Ross Ching on Vimeo.

(if the video doesn't work, click the photo below to be taken directly to his website).

Saturday, May 23, 2009

and for winners like me, all four are true!

heh heh heh...

today i helped to cut down/cut up/dispose of three big trees, and that was pretty fantastic too!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

today could have been terribly unproductive and awful, but it was great!

it was very, very productive.

- i woke up this morning and talked with a temp agency. ended up filling out a lot of forms for them.

- went down to mcmaster and dropped off something

- stopped in at the gas station i'm doing a fundraiser at in June, picked up a form i needed from them, everything's still on there.

- got coffee and headed back to work

- installed dreamweaver. successfully set it up and got some directories ready/different sites' basics set up.

- got the last loose ends ready for tonight (didn't get to doing a project i need done this weekend but i'll do it tomorrow).

- went home

- ran into someone waiting for the bus: a girl in grade 11 whose family i know. she has a focus in life i really admire. we talked for a while about jobs and college and goals. that was good

- ate, relaxed for a half hour or so

- helped someone clean a house they recently purchased. good conversation and great to get to know them a bit more. and to get the house a little cleaner!

- then i got a Slurpee - a little thing, but good on a boiling-hot day like today!

- walked up to King for the walk home, on the way saw some folks i've just met (and their dog!)

- and there was significant shade on the King route home, which was great!

- came home, made seafood alfredo - and even the scallops, which i've never cooked before in my life, turned out well and it tasted awesome

- went to youth tonight, did our preparing-for-cornerstone meeting, no complaints, lots of excitement and enthusiasm. and then at the end when we prayed a couple teens who don't usually pray out loud in a group setting did so. awesome for them to take that step.

- and got home in good time.

now if only there was something good on TV... :) but i really can't complain. it's been a good day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

although possibly accompanied by the worst amateurish graphic ever on the site... perhaps intentionally/ironically?

i am particularly excited about the theme of Imaginarium this year at Cornerstone Festival, especially Watchmen and Ubermensch and Heroes and/or Villains. They have better/more well known speakers at the general seminars, but not a lot can beat this for full geek points :D

Except um, maybe how I'm going to THIS in August. And yes, Jarod will get to see Bruce Campbell. That's full geek points and a half, even without dressing up.

It'll be a good summer either way.

stories, textbooks, and iambic pentameter

Whatever you read, chances are there's a genre you like and a genre you don't.

For me, I love a good story, especially if it's set in the past or the future. I have to admit, I also love reading textbooks that neatly arrange concepts in a logical way (Yes, yes I do!). These two facts are probably why studying theology (so much history, so many concepts) appeals to me so much. I even enjoy reading recipes, if not always making them.

But poetry's often escaped me. There's a few poets I like (ee cummings and Leonard Cohen for instance). However, as a whole there's not too much in iambic pentameter or other rhythms that floor me.

And as it does for many, this transfers into how I find myself reading the varios books and many genres of the Bible. Historical narrative? Good stuff. Letters? I can enjoy those. Even Leviticus, the ancient law code of the Hebrew peoples, is fascinating to me - both in how it mimics other law codes and shows significant moral progression (the value it places on women, for one). I LOVE that stuff. Wisdom literature? Bring it. Even the fairly-new genre of apocalypse found in Daniel and Revelation... I can sift through that and understand it as a genre and as a book.

But not being a poetry person, Psalms often falls right off my radar. And I know... how could it? So many people find Psalms amazing. But for some reason, this beautiful example of Hebrew poetry, by turns didactic and lyric, filled with beautiful craft and complex structure, metaphor and imagery... it often leaves me cold.

But as I've done a few times before, I gave it a go this past month. Generally I read in whole books - all of Ephesians, or all of Proverbs, etc. a few chapters at a time. I read five chapters a day on the way to work, and I gave it a break last week then finished it off today. I read it mostly in the NIV translation (a good balance of word-for-word and thought-for-thought translation), and partially in the Message which was undertaken as a paraphrase, though translated directly from Hebrew and Greek (and the bits of Aramaic scattered through some books).

And I find myself starting to get it. Not that it often elicits an emotional response, or that I really find myself studying the exact structure. I've done that in the past and appreciated the craft put into it. But I think I've let it speak to me a little more than in the past. And using the Message paraphrase allows me to break away from the familiar words and see it in different terms.. and it's been good. I've also been listening to Jess Cantelon, and many of his songs are based on the Psalms, which has been helpful as well.

Being able to finish with Psalm 146 was excellent, especially given some of the things I like. On the one hand, I see the need and value of building up concrete things and making good investments, building good cities and environments. As always though, investing in people will invariable give results that outlast any of those.

Hallelujah! O my soul, praise God!
All my life long I'll praise God,
singing songs to my God as long as I live.

Don't put your life in the hands of experts who know nothing of life, of salvation life.
Mere humans don't have what it takes;
when they die, their projects die with them.
Instead, get help from the God of Jacob, put your hope in God and know real blessing!
God made sky and soil, sea and all the fish in it.

He always does what he says—
he defends the wronged, he feeds the hungry.
God frees prisoners— he gives sight to the blind, he lifts up the fallen.
God loves good people, protects strangers,
takes the side of orphans and widows, but makes short work of the wicked.

God's in charge—always.
Zion's God is God for good! Hallelujah!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

so often i want to show others the dance

so often i want to show others the dance

and pretend like i had the soul of a poet
or an artist
or a musician

that i was able to do anything but point with clumsy steps and stuttering mouth

to pretend that anything but this accounting soul lives in me
this soul of precision and terminology
this black and white soul that wouldn't know a dance from a seizure
this soul yelling out "synapse" right now at jeopardy on tv

part is my gifts
part is my heart

and which part is which
is what i often get confused about

which part is my personality?
and which part is my heart needing to be changed?
which part is my anemia and which part is my apathy?

i still don't know but i'm still looking
and i know that counts for something in His eyes.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"Howdy, neighbour!"

i added someone from high school on facebook.

they had a link to LovelyListing (aka "It's Lovely! I'll Take It!") on their profile.
(The best part? They're REAL real estate listings!)

this one's my favorite so far:

"Howdy, neighbour! You might not get to know them, but your neighbors will certainly get to know you!"

Then again, you don't see this every day either:


I guess if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, easy access is a plus... (and it goes without saying... no offense to anyone who actually has IBS).

And here's one for the kids! (Thanks, Mom and Dad... now I will have sweet dreams.)

I was very impressed today

Today Jarod and I were walking home from our neighbourhood grocery store. My brother's been staying over the last couple days, so we needed to replenish our meat stores.

Mmmm.. meat.

On our way back, we realized we forgot two very important things: Q-tips, and a nail brush. And as anyone who relies on those things knows... they're necessary. Yes, we routinely break the "DO NOT PUT IN EARS!!!!" warning on the Q-Tips box. I know, my role-model-dom is slipping away.

And with Jarod and Ken both doing landscaping, the nail brush was essential. All to keep in good form.

So we stopped in at the neighbourhood pharmacy on the way back.

Our neighbourhood pharmacy has been there for decades, and it looks it. The signs are all handwritten, the "specials" aren't in any flyer, and the store is named for the pharmacist. But they're always neat and clean, and I often see their Smart Car delivering prescriptions to the seniors' building across the street. They've got a sign for the neighbourhood association in the window, and their displays change regularly.

But we'd never actually been inside. Mostly because of habit. Shoppers Drug Mart knows their automated, dial-in prescription refills will get ya. And we generally only get Slurpees from the 7-11 across the street if we have to go to Shoppers for a prescription, and a Slurpee's usually pretty good motivation, at least for me.

But today we figured it was on our way - we'd stop in here. And going in, we were greeted by an unfamiliar store layout - and a cheerful cashier in her late teens/early twenties. When we asked where things were, she not only pointed to the aisles, she actually walked down the aisles with Jarod and helped find everything and then went back to doing her job. And when we were done, she came and rang it up for us.

It sounds so typical, but try to get any service besides "Um, I think it's in aisle 4 or 5" at Shoppers Drug Mart, much less actually helping out with some courtesy.

And nobody was watching her or "making sure" she did a good job. The pharmacist was helping someone else, the other cashier was engaged in conversation, and she still did her job and did it well. And the fact its in our neighbourhood makes it all the better.

Next time I need a prescription, I'll gladly pay an extra couple bucks on my prescription (if the price even is any different) for that kind of service. Even without the Slurpee.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I do read a LOT of science fiction...


And it's probably why I find this kind of thing so interesting, but it is still amazing how this Grade 12 student won in his age category for an annual NASA competition to design a space colony. His actual design is here - complete not only with tech specs, but proposed education, taxation, government systems as well. And even better, he used free Google software to do most of the sketches.

Conceptually, that's pretty impressive, especially for a 17-year-old.

I know most of the "space exploration" stuff has fizzled out in favour of us taking care of this planet, though we're still doing a lousy job at that. But projects like this -- in relatively close orbit, set up for specific tasks - may be feasible and even necessary someday. Who knows?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

done and done.

it was a very long day. a good one, but long. from six a.m. to nine p.m.

i finally got to observe some echos (they're very similar to the ultrasound used on unborn babies, just used to take a picture of one's heart instead) today. It's now more clear to me how interesting this field is, and that I will take the extra year to study echo on top of all the other stuff..

(this picture is a still image, but an echo takes a video-like image at various angles, then it's used to make various "snapshots" and take various measurements).


(aaannndd... for fun, you can also imagine all sorts of monsters, faces, and other images in the ultrasound. it's like watching clouds.... errr, or not, because it's often depicts some pretty serious stuff ;))

there's also a doctor at St. Michael's who is also a programmer, so he writes his own programs that he uses for certain cardiac tests. talk about integrating different areas of knowledge. i found that impressive. He also took the time to explain one program to me last week. From what I've seen, the time it saved and records it made were light-years ahead from the systems that are used otherwise. Truly impressive. I like meeting people who not only know something well (there's lots of those) but use it creatively - especially when they are still down-to-earth and willing to explain it to even people like me, a student in the department for a few weeks.

so it was a good month
and a good day

nevertheless, at the end the tiredness and tension was creeping in
reminding me (yet again) that i am still a small and angry person

but getting bigger (not just horizontally, either) and kinder slowly.
staying the course: trajectory is of the most importance.

today i'm still quite tired and grumpy ;) (watching Becker helps, as usual.)
today also means i am back in Hamilton, no more commutes.

and given today, i
came back clutching a giant cup of Starbucks (and some things from Smart Set i picked up on my lunch break.) Typical things. small and selfish to pick them up perhaps. they made me feel that way anyhow. on the other hand, it was good to get some small reward at the end of a span of work, and especially nice to get them both without making a special trip for either.

(i did, however, easily avoid the temptation posed by the doorcrasher sale on the KitchenAid stand mixer at the Bay today ;))

Pretty though, ain't she?

Monday, May 4, 2009

One of the best documents regarding potential LRT (light rail transit) in Hamilton to date


As many who live in Hamilton know, the provincial transit agency is funding either Bus Rapid Transit or Light Rail Rapid Transit for Hamilton: we find out which this July. Given the full benefits analysis of light rail (much, much more benefit than bus rapid transit - case study after case study - it's just mind-boggling) and the momentum given to light rail already, I hope (and pray) that's what goes through. I truly hope this isn't another squandered opportunity.

Lots of good info in this report, but it's great to see the section on locally manufactured light rail components and cars, especially given the work of the citizens' group Hamilton Light Rail on that topic (and many others).

I'm glad to see there's discussion taking place at a City level (or at least information gathered for eventual use at that level) on that specifically, and overall to have a concise report as well done as that one.