Archive for Canadiana
This is probably the most historically accurate comic about Confederation ever.
Happy Belated Canada Day! (I am wearing a Canada shirt today, so it counts.)
July 4th Addition! Also, Happy America Day! Today I am wearing a faux-Hawaiin shirt (polyesther, made in Mexico) I bought at the drugstore in Davis, and what could be more American than that, I asks ya?
I haven’t lived in Maple Ridge for close to a decade now, when I packed all my worldlies into a small red Ford Aspire and drove to Ottawa for grad school. Until then I lived in the same house my whole life. It wasn’t long after I left on my Cross-Canada Science Adventure that my parents retired, sold the ancestral rancher and moved to the Okanagan, BC’s northern-California-with-snow wine country inland. Neither of my two older sisters have lived in Maple Ridge since they left home and got married. Though I still have a few friends there, I haven’t had any ties to the place in years.
But it still looms large in my subconscious – as I suspect any place would, where you’d spent your 23 most formative years. I spent almost five years delivering pizza, imitation Chinese food and then pizza again to fund my B.Sc., so the geography of the whole area is imprinted firmly in my mind. My occaisionally hyperactive imagination has overlayed it as the place where Weird Things Happen, as the setting of The Files of Hydrogen Guy and pretty much every other bit of fiction I’ve ever written.
And, you know, while there’s never actually been any ramapaging cyborgs, centaurs or badger-wendigos in the real Maple Ridge – that I’m aware of – it always has been a bit off-kilter. First of all, there’s the Beast. Secondly, there’s always been a strange parochialism to Maple Ridge – it’s a town of 50,000 inhabitants (probably much more by now) that truly, deeply believes itself to be a hick “small town”. That’s possibly an attitude fostered by the fact that there’s really only one major highway running through it, and seperated from the rest of Vancouver’s bedroom communities by a couple rivers and (until recently, anyway) a belt of farmland (which has now been replaced by yet even more strip malls).
And then, for a few years when I was living in Ottawa, I would periodically hear about some grisly murder that had happened in Maple Ridge. I shuddered to think what my fellow Ontarians though of the place.
Now that I’m back in the Lower Mainland, I’ve only been back to Maple Ridge a couple times. There’s not much to draw me back, frankly. Luckily, there’s been no dismemberments or immolations for a while.
Today’s news had a touch of that good old Maple Ridge joie d’vivre, almost Hydrogenesque. Early this morning, a half-naked man – reports as to his degree of nakedness vary – walked into a farm and stole a five tonne tractor-trailer and a pair of overalls. He then led police on a rollicking chase down the Lougheed Highway, demolishing one RCMP cruiser (unoccupied), after declaring his intention to blow up a bridge. Police finally got him pulled over and nabbed him on foot. No word on whether the alleged bomb actually existed, but I suspect not. Thankfully, there were no deaths or serious injuries, though there very likely could have been.
(Coincidentally, as I write this I’m watching a rerun of Mythbusters where they smash two tractor trailers togather. Must be something in those Pacific ocean currents today.)
Maple Ridge, it’s good to know you’ve still got it. Now cut it out.
As I write this, I’m sitting in the Sacramento airport, enjoying the miracle of free Internet air-waves on my work laptop. Seriously, wireless still amazes me. But then, luddite-at-heart that I am, I’m still amazed that I now own a memory stick that has 26 times the memory of my first hard-drive and is probably 1/26th the size. Anyway, I’m flying back to the good Canadian homeland, the Undisclosed Christmas Facility, for a couple weeks of yuletide bonhomie. Man, do I need it.
It’s been a rough few months, but I finally finished the rough draft of a paper on my Davis work last week, and the persistent headaches I’d been having the previous week vanished the same day. Even more miraculous, reading the thing over afterwards did not make me want to throw up, so maybe it’s not so bad. Excelsior!
I’m bringing the laptop home to work on a long-neglected final paper from my PhD; it’s already half-written, so with luck I should be able to make some progress on that and still get all that rejuvenation in that I’m planning on.
s to thing s of interest!
LibraryThing – catalogue your library online? With a dash of the social networking that’s big with the kids these days? Heck, yeah, I’m trying this out. My book collection is one of the sexiest things about me and it’s about time I found a way to show it off. Although… maybe some of you already know about it?
Oops, boarding time.
I’m now in Seattle, Vancouver’s Yankee doppelganger. It’s misty and there are mountains and it’s reminding me how much I miss the Lower Mainland.
My flight from Sacramento landed at two, and the one to Kelowna (from whence I will travel to the Undisclosed Christmas Facility) leaves at five, so I’ve got some time to kill.
Did you know that you have to pay for Internet air-waves at SeaTac? Fascist AT&T. But hey, three hours is three hours, and I’d probably spend the eight bucks on food anyway.
Resume random linking!
Here is my LibraryThing catalog, so far containing only the stuff in my carry-on. I’m pleased to see that so far I’m the only one on LibraryThing to have both those books.
Absurd Christmas-themed YouTube videos: Gunther may well be the sexiest man alive, and clearly understands the important things in life: looking like a German pornstar, making sexually ambiguous ladies do all the hard work, and half-naked dancing midgets. That may be one of the awesomist videos ever. Elsewhere, Twisted Sister wants all the faithful to come. I think he’s the anti-Gunther.
Speaking of awesome, I think this picture embodies the pure spirit of most of P.G. Wodehouse’s oeuvre.
And speaking of Wikipedia, as of this writing the article on Doublespeak warns that it appears to contradict itself. Doubleplusgoodly!
… as to when someone tries this same stunt over Québec.
I give it a couple months.