October 26, 2010
Although the photo took a long time (in notably coldish temperatures of the Alberta Rockies), the Canadian Water Innovation Lab was well worth it. Being able to connect to people that are doing great things, many of which who really know their stuff.
While respecting the passionate ideology of some, the most valuable part of the “unconference” was a presentation by Top 40 under 40 venture capitalist Dave Henderson. His presentation gave major perspective on global water use and where the largest gaps exist for water sustainability.
I hope to keep in touch with many who attended, especially a select group of facilitators and participants who I’m sure I’ll see and work with down the road.
October 20, 2010
An organization called Waterlution is hosting the very first Canadian Water Innovation Lab in Exshaw, Alberta (just outside of Canmore). October 21-24 on the eastern edge of the Rockiieeeeeeees. So glad to get my big mountain fix, you need it every year or two. Vermont doesn’t count. Blue Mountain (especially) does not count.
After a lengthy application process, I was lucky to be one of 200 young Canadian leaders to be selected. It’s an “unconference” – not too fond of the word, but I like its premise. Unstructured dialogue that has a general theme, unrestrained by time and naggy moderators. We’re covering it all – discussions on a national water policy, applying systems theory with the understanding that water affects dozens of other crucial sectors – energy, agriculture, health, economics, technology, politics, you name it.
Plus I’m probably sleeping in a teepee (tipi).
I plan on bringing the ruckus. I may play devil’s advocate a lot just to give our conversations some context as I have a feeling that we are all fairly like-minded. I kind of hope I’m wrong. I will post back in a week or so utterly inspired and equipped to get my real advocacy boots on. Right. Wish me luck.
July 1, 2010
Dominion Day, Canada Day, birthday! I am a happy Canadian camper. We just need a couple of small things. Stephen Harper needs a haircut, some public speaking lessons, and some smile tutorials. Stephen, I’m sure you can go on YouTube for some smile tutorials. Less 8 year old boy, more international leader. You’re a smart man, you’re an economics geek. I can get behind most of that. Just don’t hold dissenters in contempt, and don’t give me the creeps everytime I see you shake hands with honourable people. It’s a petty request, but it matters.
To my fellow Canadians – care more about your country, learn more about your country. Canadians can act like whiny teenagers, sulking while inheriting a social and political system that (still) takes blood sweat and tears to uphold. Just count your blessings, be grateful, be even-handed, be nice.
Take a worthwhile Canada quiz c/o the National Post. History, landscape, politics, etc. If you pass, I’ll give you 10 spacebucks.
April 24, 2010
In Montreal spring is like an autopsy. Everyone wants to see the inside of the frozen mammoth. Girls rip off their sleeves and the flesh is sweet and white, like wood under green bark. From the streets a sexual manifesto rises like an inflating tire, ‘the winter has not killed us again!
Leonard Cohen, from Beautiful Losers (1966).
Care of a nice psychogeography (puke) article in this week’s Eye Weekly.
April 10, 2010
If/when I have investments and feel sustained, I want to be a lawn punk.
It’s definitely my lawn longing as an apartment dweller. Grass is always greener joke ___here__ . I can handle controlling my backyard with the regular chlorofluorogreenness grass lawn. My kids gotta play. But front lawn is going wild. Native species, low maintenance choices, lots of local rocks. My neighbours will hate me. I’ll just bbq some burgers for them and have Sol in the summertime, and all will be well.
January 24, 2010
After many hours of research, guilt, uncertainty, pressure, and realizing when two people work full time that we can afford one car, we took the dirty plunge. I work in the sticks, Cara works in the sticks (plus Hamilton one to two days a week). It takes me about 60 minutes one way, Cara about 75 on transit. I now need wheels for field work and getting to some remote locations, Cara wants to feel safe on the busiest highway in the world (better reason).
As for our Mother Earth, the jury is out. It’s not a fully robust argument, but I defend myself with the advantage of always going used:
“Making a Prius consumes 113 million BTUs, according to sustainability engineer Pablo Paster. A single gallon of gas contains about 113,000 Btus, so Toyota’s green wonder guzzles the equivalent of 1,000 gallons before it clocks its first mile. A used car, on the other hand, starts with a significant advantage: The first owner has already paid off its carbon debt”.
Meaning do some full cost accounting on your car (production, distribution, operation, disposal) and realize that used cars can cut down on two (and potentially all) of these things. Production would account for 10-15% of total emissions so we’re already good there. But hey, down the rabbit holes we go.
December 29, 2009
No cavities. It had been a year without a dentist visit. Before that it was about 5 years. It brings major anxiety for fear of the classic no-floss verbal embarassment, or the dreaded sugarspot cavity in those back molars. Now I can sit back, eat my candy corn, and feel the crisp ridges that divide my bottom teeth. Almost feels like I just got my braces off. Sweet relief.
December 27, 2009
Hope you’re breathing, hope you’re eating great food, hope you’re having those warm family feelings, hope you’re having those awkward family feelings, hope you didn’t get too much, hope you ate too much, hope you’re sleeping in your childhood beds in cold rooms, hope you had some whiskey, hope you partied with your cool uncle, hope you felt grateful for your fortunes, hope you sang some songs, hope you didn’t listen to shitty soulless Christmas music, hope this year was better than last year, hope you have solid and weird love in your life that only you fully understand, hope you get your “you” time, hope you got your beauty sleep, hope you got respite from waking up in the dark to go to work, hope you feel lucky to be alive. Love you guys, thanks for reading my utter shit.
November 11, 2009
Glad you took a moment or two today. We are very fortunate people. Remember remember.
October 28, 2009
I am an unnnncle !! Maryn Cameron Christie – 7 lbs, 5 oz. Off to see the new niece today and hopefully cook the fam a beautiful meal. She was actually an adorable baby. No bias, I swear. No oblonged misshapen heads, just pure babycute. We are fam-i-ly!
September 21, 2009
No blorg today, cause I’m so important. No idea what we’re doing today, but hoping we end up at Cava.
August 20, 2009
I can’t believe Coors pulled this ad because a small number of crazies were upset about it. It’s funnnnnnny.
3 x obvious – People don’t have a sense of humour. It’s a banner for crappy beer. It’s funny. Breathing helps. Also, Coors has no spine. British Columbians love to hate Toronto, as do Albertans and everyone else. You made a funny banner, you should stand by the harmless jab as good marketing.
Finally, most people in big cities are cold, and Toronto has been an overly easy target for decades. Toronto is no different than Montreal is no different than Calgary is no different than Van. Cities are cities. If you look at someone you don’t know in the eyes you’re considered a creep. It’s infuriating. How about when you’re on the subway, instead of looking everywhere but someone’s eyes, you move your eyes anywhere you want, and smile. God forbid a small and innocent conversation. Maybe you’ll learn something? I do all the time. Tough.
Smiling, eye contact, chats, harmless interaction. Do you ever feel more confident/happy/secure/unified/just damn better when you smile at someone on the street and they smile back and may even exchange a “Good morning”? I feel urban dwellers are continually denying many valuable human experiences every day. When I try to assimilate to the perpetual iPod wearers, the shoe gazers, the ceiling tile aficionados – I just think it’s dumb, and I refuse to do it. Of course I know I’m an extroverted ENFP, some people don’t want to interact with me. More of course, we all have awkward elevator moments with strangers with little to offer each other. Totally fair, but I know there’s a lot of you out there that can handle it. So nice to meet you.
June 18, 2009
Bloor and Ossington to Long and McQuade. Queen St for Steve’s, Moog Audio, and Capsule. Yonge and Wellesley to Saved by Technology.
Gear day! Maybe I’ll bring an acoustic home.