A Tree Grows in Edmonton, Then Another

Posted in Random Thoughts, What? on May 31st 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: My head seems to be in the clouds somewhere. I’ve had a quiet day, except for the morning (see below). Earlier this week, my neighbour, while I was at work, planted a bur oak tree in my front yard.

The new bur oak tree in my front yard

Growing up in Winnipeg in the late 50s/early 60s, we were surrounded by oak trees, and planting this little tree reminds me of that time, and gives me a good feeling. In my backyard, a Manitoba maple is growing, having seeded itself four years ago. I noticed its little trunk poking up through the large wood chips in the area where my Juniper pines are housed. I was amazed that this could happen – how could a seed make its way into the soil through those wood chips? In any event, I’ve let it grow, and it’s now well over six feet tall.

:: I always feel a bit odd this time of year. It’s the literal calm before the storm. Today is May 31st, already one-quarter of the summer months is over. Next week at this time I’ll be in NYC, and the next few days will move at light speed until I leave.

The Manitoba maple tree in my back yard that self-seeded

Part of me wishes I could escape and find peace and calm waters. My house is a complete, disastrous mess, and needs to be industrially vacuumed! The left side of my neck is almost 100% locked up, despite having seen the chiropractor on Thursday and Friday. I am never sure why my mood is subdued at this time of the year. I wonder if it is because the next few weeks will fly by, and it will suddenly be July and we will be preparing for the fall. It’s as if the May-Aug time period, when the sun is warm and the days are long, are too compressed. Regardless, I am feeling melancholy and nostalgic, and I know there are other reasons contributing to this.

NYC will be exciting, exhilarating, overwhelming, draining. It is not the usual NYC trip I take – as I’ve mentioned, I’ll be attending a conference for the first five days. I will see many people I like a lot, and meet new ones, and have the pleasure of introducing Geoff to SLA and NYC concurrently.

:: This morning I had my hair cut, and afterwards, having contemplated it for years, had my hair streaked the colour of copper red. Yes, you read that correctly. Call it a momentary lapse of mental coordination, or the least damaging thing I can do to my body in honour of my impending half-century birthday.

Copper Head Boy

(The other options include a body piercing and a tattoo.) Now I will face the public, and gauge others’ reactions. Will my friends and colleagues be truthful? Really, what does it matter? I did it, I like it, that’s all that matters. And I’ll fit right in when I get to NYC.

Stuff 03.05.30

Posted in Film on May 30th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Two good film recommendations, both based on true stories: Evelyn, starring Pierce Brosnan, Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea, Julianna Margulies and Alan Bates, and Nowhere in Africa, the brilliant German film that won the 2003 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Evelyn features Brosnan’s best performance by far, and is the story of Desmond Doyle, who battled the Catholic Church and the Irish Constitution in 1954 in order to win back his children from government appointed custody. Nowhere in Africa tells the story of a Jewish German family who fled Germany in 1938, before the Nazis took full control, and moved to Kenya. It is a rich, moving film, the best I’ve seen so far in 2003.

:: It seems minor, but today I emptied my savings account into my chequing account, and will permanently close my savings account tomorrow. It will be the first time since 1968 that I don’t have a savings account. CIBC, bless ’em, have initiated new user fees that makes it cost prohibitive to maintain the savings account.

:: Should I buy a digital camera before I go to NYC on June 7?

Take a Blogiday?

Posted in Blogging on May 27th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Dave Weinberger, author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined, has suggested that we take a break from blogging during the first two weeks of August. Do you agree? Discuss.

Am I the only blogperson growing blogtired of the blogixon of words with prefixes beginning with or suffixes ending with a version of the word “blog”?

Updated NYTimes Movie Section

Posted in Film on May 27th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Great news for movie lovers. The New York Times has significantly beefed up its online movie site. Below is the generic e-mail I received describing the new features, including all reviews from 1983-present, and selected reviews from 1929. In addition, you can select any or all of the five current critics (Stephen Holden, AO Scott, Elvis Mitchell, Dave Kehr, Lawrence Van Gelder), and see a complete list of their reviews. Reviews designated with a critics_pick.gif indicates a New York Times Critic’s Pick. (Remember that you need to register for access, but that registration is free.)
Read more »

Crunch Time

Posted in Random Thoughts on May 27th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: It’s crunch time. Also the time when the weeks start to appear to me as if they are moving faster than normal. Next week (June 7), Geoff and I fly to NYC for SLA. Before that, we’re attending (and are helping organize) the EBL conference. I’m making minor revisions to my presentation on engineering libraries for the SLA conference. I haven’t begun to consider other events in NYC, like theatre, movies, music, etc. I’ll be there for seven days after the conference to do whatever, whenever – this means visiting good friends as well, and showing Geoff some of the town (and some of my friends, too.) I return home on June 19th, leaving me a few days to ruminate about being alive for half a century.

Summer just seems to happen too fast.

Photoblogs Gaining Respectibility

Posted in Blogging on May 25th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: More evidence seems to appear weekly that suggests blogs are swiftly moving into the mainstream. Today’s NYTimes Arts & Leisure section’s cover story is titled, “Prospecting for Gold Among the Photo Blogs.” (NYT ID& PW: podbay)

:: I attended my Pilates class tonight for the first time in two weeks, since I started coughing and hacking. Tough class, hard to get back into it. Tomorrow I’ll try a regular workout.
:: This weekend was a scorcher: 31oC on Saturday and 26oC today. Hard to believe that we had this weather only three weeks ago.

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