Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Reality beats sci-fi any day

I just stumbled across the Boston Globe's Advent collection of photos taken from the Hubble Space telescope. This fantastic photo above is of the NGC 6302 nebula, view the others in the Globe's advent collection and tour around the Hubble site to see more beautiful and amazing imagery in their galleries and learn more about discoveries they've made and about modern astronomy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

At long last...but not quite

To any friends and family who check back in here now and then to see if I'm still posting -I'm working on it and am trying to decide if the blog will continue in the new year. (Obviously this past year hasn't been great for blogging.) It's not that I've not had bloggable events over the year, it's been a matter of making the time for a blog with, perhaps, diminishing returns.

At any rate, today I came across a great video of animals doing cool things and wanted to share the video. Also see this link (and especially the link in its first paragraph, if you enjoy a bit of Monty Python) for more details.

Monday, October 13, 2008

On the serious side of things.

To date, I’ve avoided political discussion on my blog. Today however, I am making a minor exception. As most of you should know, Canadians are voting in a federal election tomorrow. In my opinion, other than by paying our taxes or serving in the military, voting is one of the most patriotic things we can do as citizens. To be sure that I’m fully informed before casting my ballot tomorrow, I’ve spent some time comparing party platforms by way of the internet and party websites. This has been helpful and informative, both in assisting me to make my choice and happily, in giving me some light-hearted blog fodder. I bring this up, not to criticise any particular party or out of any partisan bias, but simply out of curiosity and desire for reader feedback on a serious matter in federal politics:

Punctuation and grammar
in a federal election campaign!

Here are some screen shots clipped straight from party websites:

The Green Party of Canada believes in punctuating headlines. And sentence fragments.

The Conservative Party of Canada agrees (occasionally).

The New Democratic Party of Canada does without such punctuation and prefers contractions usually reserved for colloquial speech
while the Bloc Québécois is thrilled to have you reading their website, en français!

The Liberal Party of Canada challenges you to comment on these grammatical styles.
Please, have at 'er!
(Or perhaps that should be: Blogger invites comments. Now!)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Winter? Yep, it REALLY is already

We now interrupt this irregularly scheduled appearance of vacation photos to bring you....

a photo of our balcony this morning.
Just in case you didn't really believe me when I said that our fall is done and we've begun winter, I've now given you proof in all its glorious fluffy cold whiteness in a 2 dimensional electronic voyeuristic sort of way. So, um, there!

In other breaking news in Northern Town, ManNorth and I were astonished to have been awarded the Green Thumb award, meaning that of those who voted over at our community greenhouse, most of them thought our garden was the best. Now, I've no idea how "best" is defined for although we had a pretty garden, that was quite bushy and green with willow bird and sweet pea accents, we didn't think it was terribly prolific. However, we are pleased as punch to have the Thumb, replete with its dirty nail and all, to display in our garden next year as next year's garden is going to be even better!
Apparently our tomato harvest was more than most people were able to grow this year. We're just pleased to have fresh tomatoes that don't cost $1 each or more!
Now that the mercury has dropped below zero, the temperature inside the greenhouse has likewise fallen and most plants have frozen, died or are in the process of doing so. We spent a few hours yesterday helping to clean up before winter lock-up and to bring home a few of our potted plants that were in need of some attention and/or eating.

Some of those potted plants look admittedly scrawny and it was due in part, to my forgetting to water them and then to massively over water them. The huge bouquet is made up of the last of our parsely and the final few blooms from our sweet peas. I'll make some tabouli with the parsley and just enjoy the scent of the sweet pea flowers, more so now that we've moved into winter.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vacation photos the first

A few weeks ago my folks came waaay up North and West for a visit and we ventured south to meet them. Along the way back, we decided that since we were so close we might as well pop over to Alaska and visit the small town of Chicken (named chicken apparently, as the residents couldn't spell ptarmigan). That there is Alaska (and the wee border crossing over at the green buildings on the right):

Just as we approached the border the engine light of our rental vehicle came on and as ManNorth and I had already been stranded just a few days earlier by our first rental vehicle we decided that we would cross the border but leave Chicken for another visit. The quizzical look on the border guard's face was rather amusing when we answered the question "How long will you be in the United States?" with "About 3 minutes." (To answer your obvious question: We had a problem with our first rental while making the long drive south to meet my folks. That vehicle was replaced 24 hrs later after we'd slept in it 100 kilometers from the nearest service station and about 300 kilometers from the nearest town. The ever so understanding operator of the rental company considered that to be a cheap hotel room. At least the scenery was nice.)

Looking back on the return to Canada from Alaska on this highway, one will see this:

Do be safe though, if you navigate this particular road. There are some steep parts and some sharp curves. No one was in this vehicle when we stopped to check but it was a sobering reminder to have a ready foot on the brake and a sharp eye on the road.

Along the way we also encountered this wonderful sign which I very nearly sent to The Grammar Vandal or to the Grammarphile but then selfishly kept it here for my blog.
Amusingly, someone else had noticed the apostrophe error and decided to write a bit about it. Unfortunately, they made much less sense than the sign did:

Some one must have taken note however, as by the time we actually reached the ferry the next sign looked like this.

Below is the ferry we were using to cross the mighty Yukon river. I think this particular passenger is comfortable with a higher level of risk than me.
More photos to come...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Good-bye fall, hello winter

I admit it.
I’ve become a terrible blogger, posting one day and not again for months. (Has it been quite that long?)
I've no idea how busy people can still find time to keep up a blog in addition to all their activities. I'm not managing this blog particularly well but it's not time to call it quits just yet.

For any of you who still bother to check in (and I really don’t know why), life goes on in Northern Town with some happy new developments for yours truly. My job has become permanent and I’m now an ‘ologist in the full sense of the (um, truncated) term. Whoo hoo!

Occasional field activities have kept me busy this fall and now that winter is beginning, plans for the spring are already in order. I don’t know yet what all that will entail, as it will as always, be determined by the funds I can raise for the various projects we have in mind.

What’s that you say, YESTERDAY was the first day of fall? Heh. Yes, maybe for those of you in the south, but up here in Northern Town the majority of the leaves have fallen and the last day of technical summer was celebrated by an 18hour or so snow fall, which has since melted and been replaced by the occasional snowflake determined to be all it can be among a crowd of raindrops.

Other than winging my way through the skies around Northern Town by helicopter (although I’m grounded by all the clouds this week), and watching my to-do list of office activities grow larger than I could fit on my whiteboard, ManNorth and I also took a week off in order to properly celebrate a visit by my parents who ventured north just in time to see a final spectacular display of the north’s fall colours and enjoy the last week of mild temperatures along with the odd caribou and grizzly sighting. (Mom & Dad, it was wonderful to have you visit. Next time, come in February!!)

That’s it for today. More stories to come...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

He's SSSSSSuper!

I think that I may have forgotten to mention ManNorth's superhero status to all of you.

Hmm. Yes. I think I have, owing to it being secret and all. (Of course, this is no surprise to those of you who have met him, but we don't speak about it much publicly, owing to the superhero secrecy oath he had to take, which is itself secret. SHHHhhhhhhhhh.)

I really can't explain further as I'd completely give it all away but I can share this wee little bit about one aspect of his superhero pursuits: they involve fire...and the coordinated putting out of really really big ones.

Like this one depicted below by unknown and unnamed hapless citizens who now have the good fortune to have ManNorth (da da da dum) on their side.. or at least between them and the fire. (Er, actually, he has minions to do that for him, but I'm getting a bit sidetracked here.)
I'd give photo credits to the photographers if I knew who they were...but they arrived by secret post along with super secret messages that couldn't be decoded.

Yep. I'm feeling rather proud of him today and missing him no small amount. I'm also hoping that he's taking lots of photos too before he jets off back to me here in Northern Town (hopefully) next week.