Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Avoidance

I hate Halloween.
Yeah, it was fun dressing up when we were kids and didn't know any better. We're not kids anymore though. Does this mean I'm against 'fun'? Now adays it seems Halloween is all about getting dressed up in super slutty costumes and getting tanked. Not my idea of fun. It's all about spending money on crap for your house and crap for your closet and crap to eat. It teaches kids to value materialism and candy (which rots their teeth and makes 'em fat). And don't even get me started on the whole devil worship stuff. The world is evil enough, we don't need a day designated for teenagers to vandalize the neighbourhood.
A lot of this comes from my four years in England where they don't 'do' halloween. It's shocking to me now. I got on the train this morning and there were people in costume. It's just shocking for me to see, and honestly makes me uncomfortable.
Maybe I am against 'fun'. Maybe I am a miserable cynic. Maybe I am a grumpy old woman. (Well duh!)
I suppose I'm going to find dried eggs or pumpkin guts on my car tomorrow, eh?
(pic)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wikis

I've noticed that lately I've been linking to Wikipedia a lot. Mostly it's because we just learned how to use wikis in our technology class. We have to do a stupid huge project on it too (Interlibrary Loan Technology - will the excitement ever end).
Did you know you can create your own wiki? They're pretty cool tools actually. Check out this 'how-to' video from commoncraft:
And now go make your own...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Do I Have To?

I just came across a blog post titled "The Cult of The Couple" that is like a word for word utterance of my own thoughts. It was also interesting to read the comments and hear a guy's point of view. 
Sometimes society is stupid.
'Course I'm a cynical pessimist, who also happens to be perpetually single. What do I know.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Remember What Is Important

Life is busy. Sometimes life sucks.
Today, our library school was hit with some shocking news. 
It got me thinking though. What is really important? What are my priorities?
My conclusion: there is more to life than being stressed out to the max because of school and work. Sometimes it takes something drastic to point this out.
(pics 1, 2

Monday, October 27, 2008

Links of the Day

A few links to distract you from whatever you happen to be doing...
Mutlicolr - A program that lets you choose up to ten colours, then composes a collage using flickr photos. Very clever! (You will spent too much time on here...just a warning.)
Books and Beyond - the new promotion from Alberta's libraries. Definitely check out the commercials, they're pretty funny.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Webcomic Discovery



I found a new webcomic to add to my rss reader. Not like that's a bad thing; I already read a few webcomics and I really enjoy them. My webcomic reading list can be grouped into the following categories:
Library Stuff: turn the page, Unshelved
Geek Stuff: PhD, xkcd
Firefly Stuff: Mosquito, Save Haitus
Notice my pathetic geeky theme? Anyways, I just discovered PhD (which has supplied today's awesome images), but now (because I hate starting things halfway through, blame it on the OCD or whatever) I have to slog through the entire archive. Yeah, I'm pathetic. I'm sure I'll enjoy that but really, when will I find the time (and yes, it will bother me until I finish).
If you've any other webcomic suggestions, comments are most welcome.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

No Nano This Year

Sadly, I will not be participating in Nanowrimo this year. 
Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) is an annual novel writing challenge whereby a 100,000 people all over the world try to write a 50,000 word novel during the 30 days of November only. It's always good fun. I've finished the challenge the past two years ("In the Key of Zed" and "A Place Like Home", which are crap but I'm proud of my accomplishments nonetheless - and no, you can't read them). 
This year however, I just don't have time. I really tried to get ahead with my school work, but alas, last week I was ready to snap from the stress of it all. It's been so bad my old friend Bob the Ulcer has started acting up again. I just can't handle grad school full time (we have a ton of big assignments due next month), two part time jobs, curling weekly, and seeing friends once in awhile (so they don't forget who I am, I've been busy lately) AND writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. 
Damn it, I even had a good idea! It would've been fun, since it's the 10th anniversary of Nanowrimo, plus the Edmonton crew are doing a Harry Potter theme with house competitions and everything. Ah! It sucks I don't have time!! I really want to participate!
School first though. Work second (one day I might have enough for a mortgage). Not going crazy third. You should consider doing Nanowrimo though, it's great fun!
(*sob* I want to do Nano this year!! Stupid school...*sob*)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Google Takes Creepy Pictures

Is Google taking over the internet? The world? Is this a good thing? Pure evil? I'm not sure, but I do know that it's taking over my bookmarks bar. I use iGoogle, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Reader, Blogger, and Google Analytics on a daily basis. I also use Google Map, Google Earth and Google Docs when the need arises. Google is just so...easy to use and convenient.
Anyways, this isn't a post about the goodness/evils of Google, I just wanted to share a cool link. Environmental Graffiti compiled a list of 30 Giant Figures Seen From Google Earth. Also check out 30 Creepiest Clouds. Pretty crazy, though I don't discount the possible use of photoshop.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Walkin' a scary "Road" to nowhere...

Have you read "The Road" by Cormac Mcarthy yet? It's the most depressingly terrifying book I've ever read. I finished it months ago, yet I still sometimes wake up with those images in my head. It's a good book actually, a thought provoking look at the end of the world, but we all know that when bad guys go bad...well let's just say the bad guys in the book are psychologically terrifying.
I'm only bringing up these repressed nightmares because Unshelved posted a comic of it today that is spot on:
Well, spot on minus the bad guys (they're very Reaver-esque). Notice how I added a link to that without a picture, that's right, I'm saving you a sleepless night. See how nice I am?!
The movie comes out soon. It's got Viggo...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Passchendaele

The library girls and I saw 'Passchendaele' tonight. If you haven't heard about it yet, it's Paul Gross' latest film: a love story set during World War I. It was actually really good, and very beautiful. Though there were a couple cheesy bits, mostly it was very well filmed. I hope it teaches people about a little known battle, or at least raises awareness (Remembrance Day isn't too far away). The official movie website has a great resource page about The Great War, well worth checking out.
And hey, it's Paul Gross!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 08 - Poverty

Well I'm a bit slow off the mark (blame it on grad school + two jobs + a social life), but today is Blog Action Day 08. It's basically an event that unites bloggers, and creates discussion and awareness about a global issue - poverty.
I'm not eloquent. I don't use fancy words or construct long, well written, posts where I back up my opinions with evidence or well thought out rhetoric. No, I'm just practical and honest. Can one person with one piddly little blog that no one reads actually help solve a world problem?
Yes.
Blog Action Day 08 have put together an excellent page with tons of ideas for small scale action. We can speak up, shop ethically, communicate with our political leaders (this means actually writing a letter to your MP, not just thinking about it), or get involved with something in our community (once again, actually volunteering, not just thinking about it). Personally, for the past couple years I've been selecting and donating to a different charity each month. A little goes a long way, honestly.
One of my favourite M*A*S*H quotes goes something like this:
Nasty Army Pilot: "You don't honestly think you can change the world?"
Hawkeye: "No... just my little corner of it."
If we are going to fix something so huge, so global, so destructive, we've all got to do something. We've got to start somewhere. We've got to stop thinking and start doing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Turkey and Pumpkin Pie Day!
Canadian Thanksgiving Day traces it's history all the way back to 1578 (that's 43 years before the American pilgrims) and is celebrated the second Monday of October (unlike the American pilgrims who choose the fourth Thursday in November). Similarly though, it's still a day full of turkey, pie and family.
What are you thankful for?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

XHTML?

I learned all about XHTML today.
Why is it that as soon as I figure out something (i.e. HTML), someone invents something better, which I then have to learn all over again? It's not like I don't appreciate the new improved version, it's just that I'm a busy person.
Please, someone tell society to refrain from created awesome new stuff until I'm done school (or at least summer holidays when I'll have a few months of free time...).

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Read In 2008

Today I went to my old elementary school to read to some classes as part of 'Read In 2008'. I loved my elementary school, and this isn't the first time I've found my way back. Plus, when I was a teacher, my favourite part of the day was the 15mins I read aloud to the kids. I miss that. 
Actually, I've found I miss being in a school. I don't miss being a teacher, but I miss the staffroom camaraderie and the kids, and especially reading to them. No, I'm not on the children's librarian route either, but am actually considering volunteering at my old school. Right, because I have the time. It would be worth it though.
'Read-In' week runs until Friday, so if you're in Edmonton it's not too late to take part. Visit your local library, offer to read at a school, or read with your family, because hey, it all counts!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Pumpkin Time

I love Fall. I love everything about it (except the diminishing daylight hours). The multi coloured leaves are just gorgeous, the air is fresh and cool and I get to wear all my favourite jackets/sweaters/hoodies.
And I love the flavour of spiced pumpkin!
Check out Tim Horton's new product description: "This month, enjoy the great taste of Pumpkin Spice at Tim Hortons. Try our Pumpkin Spice donut or muffin, baked fresh throughout the day. You can also try our delicious Pumpkin Spice Herbal tea."
As if that doesn't make your mouth water. The muffins are pretty good, but the doughnuts are amazing!
Oh, and pumpkin pie. I LOVE pumpkin pie. I used to buy overpriced cans of the pumpkin filling from the Canada Shop in London, and then forget the crust and just bake it in a casserole dish to eat with a spoon! I love pumpkin pie. So far I reckon Sobey's is the best.
Bring it on...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Our River Valley Rocks!

I went on my first hike today with the Edmonton Outdoor Club. It was fun, everyone was nice.
It was also my first visit to Edmonton's river valley. I know, I know, I've lived in Etown most of my life yet it took 28 years to get me into the river valley. It's shameful actually.

Edmonton's river valley is absolutely gorgeous. I can't wait to go back...


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Trouble on the Train

Today, for the first time in my entire life, the Edmonton train system was in chaos. Someone was hit, and the whole thing fell apart. I was delayed for 40 minutes. Everyone was hot and mad because no one knew what was going on.
It was just interesting for me to compare this experience to my London years, when stuff like this happened on the tube all the time. A major difference was that in London they would announce exactly what was going on, for example "body on the tracks", "someone jumped in front of the train", "leaves on the line" (stupidest excuse ever!). At least we knew what was happening and had some sympathy. It was routine to have mass chaos (like Blackout '03, good grief!)
It's also interesting to note that Edmonton has 1 line with 11 stops, while London has 11 lines with 268 stations. That's depressing (poor city planning actually). Someone has created a wicked 'fantasy Edmonton transit system'. It's so beautiful. Too bad it's only a dream. 
I miss the tube.
(And I promise this is the last time I will ever link to the trash that is the Edmonton Sun. Photos 1, 2)