Veneza

07/12/05 | by Nimble | Categories: Journal

After Geneva, our travel plans were somewhat open; I had asked for an extra week in the middle, and they gave it to us. I had in mind some sort of lazy ellipse around Europe, either around to the north (through France, maybe Holland... though that was a bit of a stretch), or around south through Italy. Italy sounded the most appealing - I´d never been there, I know a few words of Italian, and Armando, my best man, has family that hails from there.

There were so many choices of destination... every major Italian city has so much history in it... Bologna, Trieste, Milano... but Dena hit upon the idea of going to Venice, or Veneza in the local tongue. We only had a few pictures in our minds and the escapades of Sylvester the Cat around the canals to go on, but it sounded pretty exciting.

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Geneva and Lyon

07/08/05 | by Nimble | Categories: Journal

The first part of our trip is going extremely well so far. Garnier paid for 7 nights of accomodations and the flights to and from Switzerland, so we took four nights in Geneva to get our feet, and spent the time planning the spare unpaid-for week in the middle. (Thank you for allowing us the time, Lara!)

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Mouse Races

07/02/05 | by Nimble | Categories: Distractions

I was changing the mice cages just yesterday, and thought I'd try the movie feature of the Fuji Finepix 440 (a tiny camera; great for travel).

I had just put the female mice in a new terrarium, and had moved over their wheel. This sole piece of furnishing was just irresistable, apparently...

...well, a movie is worth many words and pixels... :)

See the mice in action...

 

Colloquial Hindi : Tej K. Bhatia

06/15/05 | by Nimble | Categories: Announcements [A]

Link: http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0415110874/thecerealkill-20

I have always found books on the Indian/Pakistani language to be close to insufferable. They always take the training wheels off too fast, leaving you spinning in mid-air wondering in Chapter 4 what all these words are supposed to be. In short, they seldom feel like they were written for English speakers actually learning Hindi. I have six or so books (mostly on Hindi, but one on Panjabi and another on Bengali), and they're all like that.

This was the book that finally got me past whatever mental block it was preventing me from getting past the beginnings of these books. As a matter of fact, I managed to get all the way to the end of the book, which is something I can claim for maybe one or two language books.

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Fragrant Perennial Nursery & Nature's Studio Raku Pottery

06/06/05 | by Nimble | Categories: Reviews, Gardening

Link: http://www.boomtowntrail.com/treasurehunting/display_merch.php?cat_id=4

We were going back out to D'n'A Gardens for to get Dena some more Martagon Lilies. However, despite our best efforts on the road, we made it in time, technically speaking, before closing time, but at a mere eight minutes before closing - I surmise they'd packed up early on a slow day.

So, we went into town in Elnora and ate at the small café, and asked where the Raku Pottery and perennials place was (we had looked for it last time we were up in the area, but couldn't see it). After a good chat with Louise (and her husband?), and finding out that they knew Dena's great aunt and uncle (you can always count on that everyone-knows-everyone phenomenon in a small town), we made our way over to the pottery and perennial place, a mere block and a half away.

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Non-Construction Zones

06/05/05 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Common Sense

Just a small rant this time.

Construction speed zone signs. Definitely saw, this weekend, an utter lack of respect for them.

Was it, however, a deserved lack of respect?

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For We Are Living... In An Empirical World

05/28/05 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts

I've wanted to spill my personal philosophy for some time now. It's made a little harder in that, not having taken Philosophy of any sort, I lack some of the spot-on philosophy - I wouldn't know Logical Positivism from a hole in the ground.

That said, I think in many ways, Empiricism is as good a label as any, but even Empiricism casts a pretty wide net, so I'm going to have to chip at the sides of the stone to get the shape I wish to convey.

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The Great GuZoo

05/23/05 | by Nimble | Categories: Reviews, Attractions

Gustafson's zoo, a.k.a. the "GuZoo", just north of Three Hills, Alberta, has had more than its share of controversy. It has been accused of neglect, inadequate shelter, and the like. It's still on the dirty side in a number of spots, but in general feels more like a farm. It didn't seem all that bad in person, though certain not comparable to the Calgary Zoo, and it's much more hands-on than any other zoo is likely to be, so I'll just report on my experience there.

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D'n'A Gardens

05/23/05 | by Nimble | Categories: Reviews, Gardening

Link: http://www.dnagardens.com/

We set out early on Saturday, dropped the doggles off with Dena's parents, and headed north on Highway 21 to Elnora. Our destination: D'n'A Gardens, purveyors of prairie-hardy fruit trees.

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Coke of the Clones

05/23/05 | by Nimble | Categories: Distractions

Just a little something that always creeps me out in movie theaters...

They often have slides of trivia, ads and the like before the movie starts...

...but watch. Look at the cups of pop. Now wait. Look at the next cups of pop you see. See the splash? It's the same splash. They've been using the same splash on their cups of cola for years. Oooooo, scary!

How hard could it be to make cola do a cool splash? Why is it the same one (they even edit the darned cup, but not the splash!) after all these years?

 

Low Carb Mistakes

05/06/05 | by Nimble | Categories: Low-Carb

I've been noticing some low-carb products disappearing, some becoming harder to find, although there's still a trickle of new products.

Now, low-carb eating is still a mighty effective way to lose or maintain weight. So why aren't we seeing low-carb products win out the same way low-fat products did?

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Freakonomics

05/06/05 | by Nimble | Categories: Reviews, Books, Economics

Link: http://www.freakonomics.com/

I really like the cover on this book. Apples to oranges - cute, I get it :) (NOTE: The paperbacks I saw overseas don't have this mutated-fruit cover)

This marks the first time that I've bought a book because I saw the author on The Daily Show. Sosumi; it sounded pretty interesting.

This isn't a book about capital-E dollar-sign-instead-of-an-S ol' boring Economic$, this is a book about the human side of economics, the economies of cheating, incentive, fear and information.

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Vanishing Rabbit

05/02/05 | by Nimble | Categories: Reviews, Stores

Link: http://vanishingrabbit.com/

My fiancé was giving me a ride down Centre Street N, which has a hodgepodge of old stores, small businesses and restaurants along its length, when I spotted what appeared to be a magic store. "A magic store," I effused as we passed it, after already noting a number of cool spots along Centre during our driver, "we will have to remember to come back along here."

Dena paused, then made the next right, and smiled, and we went around the block. Indeed, would we otherwise remember to come back?

It was, indeed, a magic store. Entirely dedicated to magic.

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Language Learning Books

04/26/05 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Languages

I love languages. I love learning languages. So it will come as no surprise that I own quite a few language-learning books.

It's a very uneven field of quality and helpfulness out there. Sometimes you can weed them out by thumbing through them in the stores, sometimes it's a book-and-tape-only combination that you have to take a chance on, and sometimes, you only find out about the problems when you've gone a few chapters into the books.

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No Work Garden : Bob Flowerdew

04/20/05 | by Nimble | Categories: Reviews, Books, Gardening

I picked this up on sale; a quick flip through the book gave me an inkling is was a good book. Indeed, it is.

Bob Flowerdew, with his all-too-appropriate-sounding name (though a web search turns out other people with the same last name) is a popular organic gardener in the UK. The title, as you might figure, is a misnomer; the only 'no-work' garden is one you completely ignore. That said, he certainly focuses on ways out of the back-breaking labour gardens sometimes entail.

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