because the world needs more lime green.


but is it quaker?

Originally uploaded by essey rawr.
a little bit redundant, no?


Northern Voice Reflections

How annoying, I had to log in to Blogger because ecto is being silly :(

So, I actually went to that blogging conference today. I feel like such a geek. But while I was there, I actually felt quite low tech, because approximately half of the people there had brought laptops with them. And I realised that I had NO electronic devices with me at all... oh, except my camera. But no laptop, no cell phone, no music player... hell, no watch even! Hi, geeks. Meet the luddite!

Oh, and while I've quite definitively decided that multitasking is the root of all evil, there were a lot of people there doing it. And it actually pissed me off in some ways because they weren't giving their attention to whoever was speaking. There was a guy sitting in front of me who, while taking notes in TextEdit, was also checking his email, posting to his blog, looking at photos, and having a conversation on iChat with someone. Really, how much could he have been getting out of any of those things while also trying to do three other things at once?

This conference definitely increased my interest in blogging and I've got some better ideas now about where I want my blog to go, what I want my blog to do. Write about what you know, Tim Bray stressed that right at the beginning of the conference and it's so true. And what do I know? Geography and photography. And I do have some interesting insights because of that, so I will share them! Rawr!

Oh! and speaking of multitasking, there was also a lady sitting there knitting socks. Like, wtf?

Robert Scoble and a few others talked about RSS. I had heard of RSS, I had some clue what it did, but until today I really didn't know how useful it could be. Things like this are great for picking up techniques and tools and ideas.

In general the conference was quite well run. Julie Leung sounded very scripted and like she was on the verge of tears, but whether or not that was a bad thing is subjective, I guess. Most of the other speakers were great. As there always are at any kind of conference/talk/etc where the speakers ask if anyone has any questions, there were a few loud-mouthed, obnoxious, and annoying people who used the opportunity to make their own statements under the guise of questions... "Well, do you think that...?". Sorry dear, I'm here to listen to the speakers and so is everybody else, if you've got a real question, go for it, otherwise keep it on your blog and shut the fuck up. Oh, and I did feel bad for Julie because a couple people asked questions that were quite clearly designed to question some of her decisions regarding parenting. Don't they realise that it's (a) none of their business and (b) she doesn't give a shit if Mrs Jane Doe thinks that she's a bad mother?

It ended around 5:00 and the light was beautiful. I don't think I ever noticed the golden glow around sunset until I started learning about photography and heard people say it was a great time to take photos, but it was definitely there today. It has to be clear (at least in the line of the sun) for that golden light to happen, so Vancouver actually doesn't get that good light all that often. But wow. I walked from the conference to the water and then up to just past Burrard Street Bridge, then backtracked to Granville Street Bridge and took some pictures from there around dusk.

I subsititue a nice horizontal ledge for my tripod whenever I can because the tripod is a hassle and conspicuous, and Granville Street Bridge has a nice flat surface as part of its railing. Unfortunately some of my shots are blurry because the bridge shakes. But a bunch of them turned out well, and I'm even going to post one!

The railing that I put the camera on managed to sneak into the shot, but I like the lines it creates.


In Praise of Slow.

Picked this book up from the library, and so far I've just read the first 20 or so pages, but it seems to have some good insights. We multitask. We hurry. We stress. Who was it who said "To do two things at once is to do neither"? And I'm definitely guilty of that too... I usually have at least four browser tabs open, when I was playing my stupid online text based game I would also often be talking to several people at once on IRC or ICQ and I could tell that the quality of my conversations really dropped when I did that, and I could only have a good convo with someone if I cut out the other things and just focused on it. But did that realization stop me from multitasking? Nope!

But I am a fairly patient person. Road rage, for example, is not an issue for me. I'm a calm driver, and I really don't mind sitting in the car, so traffic doesn't bother me much. If I have to be somewhere and I'm late then it might miff me a little bit, but really, what can you do?

And I just watched Fight Club again last night... "the ability to let that which does not matter truly slide".

It all fits in.

Slow in the context of the book is really more a state of mind than an actual method of doing things. It is good to do some things slowly, and really take the time to fully understand and appreciate them. And slow equates to calm and relaxed in many ways. Slow means doing things when you want to and not being tied to a clock.

While I've been writing this, my mouse has headed over to my browser to check a forum, or to check DeviantArt, and I've stopped myself. Am I missing anything by focusing on writing this instead of refreshing those pages? Of course not. Computers really encourage multitasking. You can have 12 applications open at once, switching back and forth. and do you get more done because of it? haha, yeah right.

I haven't watched TV in three or four years, but back when I did watch it, I often tried to multitask with it. I'd do homework in front of the TV, or read. And why? It just slowed me down. If I'd done the homework without interruptions, I'd have had more time to do things other than the homework. Instead, combining homework with watching TV just dragged out the task.


so, let's go back 65 million years.

there are both coniferous and deciduous trees. plants have flowers. there are birds chirping in the trees. many mountain ranges exist in similar forms as they do today, although they might be a little bit less eroded. but in general the landscape looks pretty similar. maybe everything isn't in the right place, but the general gist of it all is the same.

except there's these huge dinosaurs roaming around like they own the place.

doesn't anyone else find that kinda trippy?

we watched a film in historical geology about the extinction of the dinosaurs the other day, and it just hit me how... constant it makes everything seem that so many things could have been the same, except for a few major changes.

i mean, sure, the flowers and trees and such wouldn't have been any species that exist today, but who, outside of botanists or gardening freaks, would be able to tell? we might recognize something as unfamiliar, but would probably assume that it could just be a species from a different region, not from 65 million years in the past.

the (last) mass extinction of the dinosaurs was only one of many mass extinctions in earth's history, but it was the end of something that we really consider a dynasty. there are times when 70% of the earth's species went extinct, but they were primitive species so those events really don't grab our attention. but the dinosaurs... if something could kill the dinosaurs, it could kill us, and we realize that. and maybe, 65 million years later, there would be a species that would study our bones and our remains and the fossils of our cities in the exact same way that we study the dinosaurs.


it's 10 pm on Friday night. I think it's cold out. Should I go out and try to meditate?

"Your environment includes people. Figure out who in your life isn't good for you, whose presence tears you down more than it builds you up, whose nearness is poison to you — and get rid of them. Get them out of your life. I don't care if it's your best friend, your boss, your mother, your lover — if they are harming you, if they are doing nothing but reinforce everything bad you tell yourself about yourself, then your relationship with them needs to radically alter or it needs to end."

That's from this article. And it's telling me to move out. I sat down and cried with my mom and then I thought things would be better. But already, there's tension again, and she's doing things that are getting on my nerves and weighing me down. She's bad energy, dude!


Added a site meter to see if anyone actually reads this (not counting on it) and submitted it to google to index. I'm not going to bother trying to get reciprolinks and what not until I've got a bit more of a post base - right now, I could still be one of those who writes for two weeks and then loses interest. Which, come to think of it, could still happen.

There's a Vancouver blogging conference that I've registered for, happening on Feb 19th. I'm still quite new to blogging so I figured I could pick up some useful ideas, howtos, and general blogging etiquette that I may have somehow missed.

But I know that this needs a theme. right now it's pretty random, and likely rather uninteresting. I think I might want to make it motorcycle-themed (biker chick specifically) but that has to wait until after I get my license and learn how to ride and all that :D


Where's the Generation Y blog scene?

Here is the best article I was able to find about Generation Y. Also called the echo boom (consisting mainly of the kids of baby boomers) or the millenium generation, Generation Yers were born from 1980 to 1995 (or so, the dates are fuzzy and subject to debate). And it's a very large generation that is already very influential in terms of retailing and the economy despite its young age.

So, where's the Gen Y influence on the blog scene? Most of the big name bloggers are in their 30s, 40s, or maybe late 20s. So, why is that? Because younger people don't have blogs? Oh hell no. But it seems that a lot of the blogs written by younger people r mebbe no popular becuz they r wrote like this kekeke ya? Also, it seems many younger bloggers start writing but then get bored of it quickly, perhaps because they aren't used to routine? But this is true for most older blogs too, I'm sure, yet the good, consistent bloggers are still able to gain popularity and readers.

There's certainly the angsty emo blog scene. But I guess that doesn't have much appeal to readers (and why would it?). But given the demographics of the Internet, I think it's only a matter of time before Gen Y blogs start making it big.


you know those little one liners that seem so deep and profound and perfect?

i wish i could write those.

they're in a lot of the books i read. douglas coupland, chuck palahniuk (shampoo planet and fight club, respectively, being the best examples i can think of). not kingsolver so much but there's still some very keen insight in her books. books aren't about plot, they're about those little one liners.

Interesting article from Wired. Revenge of the right brain! the premise is that a lot of left brain jobs (accounting, computer programming, etc) can be outsourced, is being outsourced, and will continue to be outsourced, while right brain jobs that rely on creativity and a sense of the big picture will not. interesting idea, and it does kind of ring true until you wonder why the right brain jobs can't be outsourced too. is the article implying that people from India and China can't be creative? yeah, there's certainly some right brain type that deals with actual human interaction that couldn't be (well, it couldn't be as long as people prefer talking to white people instead of anyone else) but a lot of design and what not is just as outsourceable as any left brain job.

i wasn't sure how to spell outsourceable - if it's that or outsourcable, so i googled them. the first came up with 996, the second with 622. i guess it's not a word. whoda thunk it, eh? i'll stick with outsourceable because the other looks like out sour cable.

now, a couple things about vancouverites.

we don't whine about the rain until we've had at least 7 days of it in a row with no sun.

we don't use umbrellas, because those are for wimps and tourists.

and besides, we've got hoods on our waterproof breathable goretex jackets from our favourite outdoor outfitter.

but we do use it as an excuse to stay inside (soccer players excluded), which means non-soccer playing vancouverites don't get out all that much in winter.

we don't, for example, go for walks in the rain. or jog, or have picnics, or go outside to take pictures of it. and yet i've heard people from other cities that are slightly less waterclogged say that they love taking pictures in the rain. so i'm going to have to give it a try one of these days. but not today, because it's raining.


a few things that turn me away from a site or blog, no questions asked:

embedded music
flashy things (no, i'm not epileptic, but this isn't 1999)
scroll bars (beyond one normal scroll bar at the right side of the page)

sometimes when bored i browse through blogger using the next blog thing, and soooo many of the sites use little iframes or whatever with scroll bars - all over the page! i don't even read them, just carry on to the next page. and then they like to tell me that my browser is not Win32 compatible. oh i'm so heartbroken.

i applied to uvic. they're going to hate me, i have so many questions for them. first, there's the question of transferring courses, from both langara and u of a. and i've heard that uvic is pretty bad about transfer credit, so i might have to fight them a bit. then, there's co-op. i'd like to do it, but the timing might be odd because of the courses i've already done. then, there's the actual program. bc has an association of professional engineers and geologists (APEG) that you have to be a member of to do certain work in bc. there's the regular geologist designation as well as environmental geoscientist. environmental geoscientist sounds most interesting right now. there's a list of courses required for that designation on the apeg website as well as a page on the bc transfer website giving specifics of what courses to take at different institutions, including uvic. but the uvic website only discusses the geologist designation, and there is no mention whatsoever about the environmental geoscientist thing.

sound complicated?

yeah i'm looking forward to getting this all sorted out.


i cannot live here anymore.

okay, the situation:

moved out to go to university in edmonton at 16, lived there for two years (on my own and with roommates)

returned to vancouver in mid october of 2003, moved back in with my mom. i was away at umpire school for all of january and she went to cuba for three weeks in february, but october - december was tough, so i got my own place and moved out in march 2004, when she got back

she went to cuba again, planning to stay for two months, in dec 2004. i moved back "home" in december to housesit for her. she ended up coming back two weeks early, mid january.

and now, already, i can't stand this anymore. we're both accustomed to living on our own so we're having a lot of trouble coexisting. she made a big deal about one incident - going so far as to say she could never trust me again because of this one thing, and she didn't say that immediately afterward while tempers were high, she said it two days later.

so what happened? she had a friend of hers over and asked me in advance if i could make dinner. i reluctantly agreed, because i don't trust my cooking skills as everything i make is experimental. when the day came, i wasn't hungry when she asked me if i would make something. i asked her friend if she was hungry, and she said no. my mom was hungry, but there were leftovers from the night before in the fridge that she could warm up easily. so i didn't make dinner. i was nervous about my cooking anyway and i think my mom had done something the day before to piss me off and i wasn't hungry and her friend said she wasn't hungry. and there were leftovers. so okay, i fell back on my word. but isn't saying she can never trust me again just a little bit of an overreaction?


and then she brought up the issue of rent. she wanted me to pay rent while she was in cuba and i was housesitting - i refused. you're supposed to pay people to housesit, not the other way around, right? she was planning to move to victoria soon after she got back, so we agreed that if she moved to victoria while i was still living here, i would pay her rent. that was it. and now she's saying i should pay her rent. why would i possibly pay rent to live here when i could pay rent to live anywhere else where i would be way happier?

so i have to get out of here. but it's february, and i'm planning to move to victoria in may. so wherever i moved to, i'd only be there for 2-2.5 months. seems silly to me, but it seems like it might be necessary :/


There are two instances where I hate myself and when I feel like crying:

when I break things
when I can't find things.

i broke a tripod just now. not a really good tripod - just a small old one that i found hanging around my mom's house and that i adopted as my backup tripod - it was probably slightly better quality than mine, but a bit bulkier and does not fit in my camera bag (small fabric purse).

i had put the legs up and i was twisting the top to try to get it lined up better - when i realised that it didn't twist and one of the legs snapped off. it's metal, and it just snapped - not at a joint or anything, just in the middle of the connecting piece. as i said, it's old, but still.

and because i'm so messy there are so many instances where i can't find things. at those times i'm so mad at myself for being messy and for not being more organised, but does that translate to improved organisation and decreased messiness? of course not. my place firmly believe in entropy - tendency to disorder.

while i'm throwing out the big words... i think i have a new favourite - topophilia. discovered it in my cultural geography textbook. coined by a chinese american geographer whose name i don't feel like looking up, it means love of a certain place. i've experienced that driving through bc and admiring the vastness and beauty of the province, and i've experienced that hiking or sightseeing and just being surrounded by nature.

and speaking of cultural geography... there are some interesting topics, but in general this course is way too artsy for me. It's essentially Archaeology: Special Editon - now with MAPS!. it doesn't seem all that relevant. Good fucking luck getting work as a cultural geographer.

But the textbook did raise an interesting (if possibly not 100% accurate) point: "we all must belong somewhere to be complete persons".

The average length of time that an American lives in any specific place is five years. Now, that number is probably lower for most other countries, but that was the stat that I happened on. That's a lot of moving. How can you belong somewhere if you move that much? Or would they change the scale and think that while they may have moved a lot, they've lived in the US for all their life, and that's what matters?

Maybe that's the source of American patriotism. I realise there is regional pride and certainly the north-south split in the US, but I'd think that if people move a lot, the importance of regions lessens and that sense of belonging gets transferred to the country as a whole.


In my new place, I don't want clutter.

I tell myself that I don't mind mess, that it doesn't bug me so therefore why bother not being messy, why bother cleaning it up, but it's really not true. I don't like clutter.

I want to get rid of all the stuff I don't need and go minimalist.

I want to be able to take pictures in my place without having to search out a spot that's free of clutter. I want enough space on my floor to be able to work out and to dance and to juggle.

I'm not a big buyer - not a big consumer - but I am a packrat, meaning I've collected so much shit that I don't need, and that I haven't given away.

But it's my duty to myself to get rid of the clutter, because I don't like it. Being messy is laziness, and it hurts me.

But this would be an extremely radical change for me. I have never been clean and tidy. I think the first step might be to confine the clutter to one area, and then I'd grow fond of the unclutteredness of the other spaces. We'll see.

Questionable Content is the only webcomic I have found that I like.

I'm open to other suggestions, but from what I've seen, the rest all suck. QC on the other hand is very good.