Tuesday, December 31, 2013

To Old Friends on a New Year


Sister Salvation by Gary Jewell. It's a cold cold New Year's here in Montreal and that reminds me of Gary...I spent many a New Year's partying with Gary and other friends and one especially cold year during college he went home early only to fall into a snow bank outside our door.

We discovered him a short time after. We thought it was funny. Silly kids!

He died in 2002 and I later found some only tapes of his that contained some of his work ; he had given them to me in a shoebox after transferring them. I remember what he said, "Maybe your kids would want to use these."

He didn't have kids: he didn't know that children wanted only the NEW technologies.

Last year I put them behind Nicholson videos on YouTube, since I didn't know how to put MP3's on the cloud... I guess itunes...

Gary would have had so much fun with the new technologies, he was so talented. He could write and sing and create music and cartoons...

Happy New Year.. When Old Acquaintance.. be forgot.. How does it go??

Blair and I are thinking of you, Gary...

 Somewhere on a CD  I have a video of us in Nova Scotia with other high school friends. But I've got so many hours, I have to go through them all. I must before CD's become obsolete.

Another song on Youtube by Gary Jewell

The Presentation of Landscape in Everyday Life

Yesterday I took down the Christmas decorations. I like them, but for a short time only. Too much clutter.

And then I went into overdrive, removing knick knacks from the mantlepieces... and I put them on this table and then, instead of  putting them away in cupboards, I started moving them around.. and I realized that I was trying to create a landscape.

I've been playing this game geoguessr lately, and looking at a lot of landscapes on the planet, most of them ugly, some beautiful, some awe-inspiring..

So my napkin holder became a Nevada mountain  and that crystal what-ever-it-is became a bute.. and my little Mermaid trinket, well..a rock, because that was, I think, the point in the first place.

I landed here on Geoguessr and got my full 5,000 points. Cochrane, in Northern Ontario, where my husband's great grandfather was sent in 1911, to work on the Canadian Transcontinental Railway. It is still a very remote place. Read Threshold Girl.

As I do this I am listening to a Harvard lecture on Philosophy and the three major religious orientations that claims that we are not Hindus or Buddhists, (believing this world to be a illusion) or Christians, Jews or Muslims, believing this world is a struggle between good and evil, but bad Confucionists.. living our lives out performing rituals and roles - and doing a terrible job at that.... because a Confucionist is supposed to be aware of what he is doing, and supposed to be working at improving this role-playing, to improve his relationships with his fellow men, to improve the world.


This reminded me of  a book I read in College (it took me a while to remember the title) the Presentation of Self in Every day Life. I can't remember if I read it for sociology or theatre. The author Irving Goffman says we play roles in life, on stage roles and back stage roles. (See, I remember.)

Anyway, Wikepedia claims this book was voted one of the best sociology books of the century. It's nice to know some of the authors I read in college (and who influenced my thinking) are still in vogue. So many aren't apparently.

And that includes Freud...

So the reason I had the urge to unclutter my living room yesterday has no bearing on my psychology state. Yea, right!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Strange Travels in Cyberspace

Ok. I'm fed up with Geoguessr because it is 80 percent outback or prairie or tundra...or highway through leafy mountains and not enough venues of interest.

Here is the weirdest thing I fell upon: a woman in a hammock... but I think these 'shots are set up'

On the coast in Northern Australia.

It's like a little 'advert' but if this Geoguessr is random, then it won't come up often. Indeed, I can play the rest of my life and never see it.. so???

Here are some other weird things I landed upon..A Last Supper in sand.. somewhere...

Somewhere off Portugal.. look like Native Indians?

 Google in the Great Barrier Reef...hmm I guessed right, except I got the side of Australia wrong..

 Maybe Bulgaria.. Strange little houses.

I got this one. The prison at Kingston Ontario. I met my husband in Kingston... All Canadian towns have a Tim Horton's and a Subway and a Shopper's Drug Mart. Easy to guess..but it could be the Yukon or Newfoundland.

One of the Sand Saints.. Looks like Neptune..
A kind of creepy place, like a deserted dilapidated amusement park, but it's a town in Brazil. Run down Eastern Church in Russia.

Alaska, or Yukon store.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

More Games with Google Earth

Genie Bouchard doing the weather on CTV Montreal back in December, I think. My husband works there and didn't get her autograph. I said "Why didn't you. She may end up being one of the most famous Canadian athletes?  And you are used to tall women. She's the same height as I am."

Obviously Genie has no trouble finding clothes that fit her, like I did when I was 19.

Genie's in hot Australia, right now for the start of the 2014 tennis season. My son was there the same time last year. He found Melbourne too hot in the summer, for his tastes.

Technology changes us. Before I got my smartphone I didn't care too much about the long term forecast... but now I obsess. Yes, it get's cold in Canada in January. Surprise! But something this cold winter is getting to me more.

I started obsessing last June, say. That's because my son was getting married July 20 and I wanted the wedding to be peachy.

But the weather in early spring here was dreadful. Colder than usual. Rain. Rain. Rain.

I got this smartphone just about then and started to watch the long term forecast. They were predicting that the wet weather would stop, right around July 20th and that the summer would turn around and be hot and sunny.

The weather forecast for July 20th kept changing from stormy to sunny, stormy to sunny.

By the final week they predicted that day before the wedding, the day of my rehearsal dinner, would see a HUGE storm at four o'clock, when the visitors were slated to arrive. And then the next day would be nice.

Guess what? A HUGE storm happened, at 4 pm. We lost our electricity. The visitors crowded in the dark dining room.

And then the next morning it rained and then it cleared up, just in time for the Wedding. It was PERFECT weather for the wedding, right into the wee hours of the morning.People sat on the terrace until 2 am... when they HAD to leave.

So I now believe weather predictions...and the prediction is for FREEZING weather New Year's Eve. Luckily, my husband and I are staying at home. Unluckily, it may be too cold to get into the hot tub at midnight.

25 below... too cold.

Technology changes us:  Yesterday, with little to do, I watched the Hopman Cup tennis and Canada's Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard in particular and relaxed. Tennis is back. All is well with the world.

And while watching tennis, without sound, and listening to a Berkeley lecture on Theories of Law, Durkheim, Marx etc.. I played Geoguesser again.

It's addictive, although a little annoying, since Alaska, Middle North America, Australia and Scandinavia and Brazil come up the most, by far, tundra and desert...

That's because, I guess most of the world is covered by tundra and desert and not by adorable towns...

And if I think it's in Australia, it's in the American Midwest and if I think it's in the American Midwest, it's in Australia.

Anyway, sometimes the camera stops at an interesting place... Here are some. Let's see if I can recall where they are.

 The Google guys get around. It's cold in Montreal, but this place scared me when it popped up. So desolate, it made me sad.

So I pressed on the most Northern Reaches of Alaska.. and guess where this was? In the most northern reaches of Alaska.

 This fairy-scape forest was beautiful. I think I  picked Connecticut. It's Germany. Hansel and Gretel?

A beautiful wasteland, somewhere. Tundra in bloom.

Latvia? Lithuania. Forget exactly. A little grouping of these amazing cabins.. It's as if they took a typical Canadian hunting shack of 1900 era and dressed it up for a party.

The first time I got one of these signs, I guessed wrong. It is in Croatia. As in "You are leaving Und." The second time I fell upon such a sign, I got its location right. Cute idea. It saves long sentences on signs.

The Google car got on Google Earth! Brazil somewhere. A huge green castle on the beachfront. How did this happen?

I saw these rocks and thought they looked like mini Mount Rushmores... But then I turned the view to see this is called Balanced Rock. It's a landmark.. literally speaking! In the US somewhere in the middle.

The camera landed right on this sign.. Bienvenue Saint Louis de Ha Ha... I got my full 5000 points. It's on the St. Lawrence near Quebec City and I believe St. Louis de Ha Ha is a Native Indian Saint.

I thought this was Asia, but it's Eastern Europe ( I think.) I might be wrong though.

The Camera landed right on these 'bedrooms" overlooking Alps or Tyrol.. whatever. I guessed pretty good. Near Baden-Baden.

England...Liked the architecture.

Those Intrepid Google Drivers! This is Australia.

And Google didn't blank out this woman's face. But the funny thing is, she is sitting alone in the middle of a tropical wilderness at the top of a mountain in I think Honduras!

The world is a place full of wonders, but mostly tundra and desert...

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Camels in Norseman

Gee, I don't know if the Geoguesser game is random, but I suspect it is. 70 percent of the pictures are either of 1)arctic tundra (so you can't tell if you are in Alaska or Yukon or Northern Norway Sweden) or 2)desert (so you can't tell if you are in Botswana, Western Australia or the Western US).

One time I was plunked right in front of Catherine the Great's palace, so that was an easy 5000 points or more.

And I am SO STUPID. I landed on a highway where the roadsign was in French and English and I asked myself "What place on earth has both French and English?" because Quebec signs are only French.. so I chose Switzerland - but it was in New Brunswick, DUH!

Here are some random pics of pretty things and interesting sites. Let's see if I can remember where they are.. This is Norwayish..

Above is someone airing his dirty linen in France, I think.. Manna Hill below is Australia..They don't beat around the bush...well, they do..
Eastern Europe.. Not Vegas, anyway.
France I think... so pretty
That's Russiaish above...
This above are camels in a place called Norseman in Australia.
A boney horse in Brazil.
These two pics, above and below are New Mexico. Around. I guessed right of course.. it's not hard.

And England of course. I picked Farnborough, cause there's a swan's in there. It's a little further West near Stratford on Avon.

More Travels in Cyberspace

This is a ramshackle place I was sent to on Geoguesser. I guessed sort of 'ball park" right, Bulgaria.

It seems if you find a suburb that looks like it was once quite respectable, with bus routes and such, but now looks like a slumburb, it is likely Eastern Europe.

(Of course, Geoguesser has not yet sent me to Detroit.)

This lovely unusual home was somewhere in the US...

 THe above was Hong Kong, looking like those huge Russian complexes but much newer and cleaner.

France Maybe. Can't remember.

 Brazil..I think
 Who knows. Scandinavia?
 If I land on a place I WANT TO GO LIVE, it is likely Italy or France. If I land on a place I would not want to live, it is likely Ontario :) where, ironically,  I will end up retiring.

 Except for those 'resorts' on the great lakes... I was given a highway about 20 miles east of here, towards Ottawa but guessed Australia. Way off..I thought the dashy lines on the road were on the wrong side. And I can only tell my own province, Quebec, if I see a sign, especially a road sign.

Google Earth isn't in some countries, of course.

I didn't take a screen shot but I found a really run down place (Roumania) and the funny thing was on one of the buildings, it said "tourist bureau."

My son travelled in Roumania, outside of beautiful Bukarest.(I've forgotten how to spell this morning.)

Very poor, he said. All the little kids running up to him to see his 'gadgets' like iPod.