Monday, 30 March 2009

snacking around stratford

Beautiful lunch @ the Westover Inn @ St. Mary's.

Buns that look like eggs @ the Westover Inn @ St. Mary's. Sorry for the blurry pic, but aren't they great?

Largest latte EVER @ Café Ten @ Stratford.

bettie and joan

Chatting @ Café Ten @ Stratford.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

happy 50th (!) anniversary Mum and Dad

Sunday, 15 March 2009

chocolate sprinkles

I don't really want to write about Facebook on this blog too much because, well, who cares? But I do like to think about communication and community development. FB can be quite irritating and I wonder if the irritation can be instructive.

The best opportunities to communicate and develop communities are kind of like hanging out with those cool family friends who are about 10 years younger than your folks, have no kids of their own, drive a red sports car, play guitar, tell you ghost stories and introduce you to all kinds of cool stuff even if some of it is a little bit bad-4-U. They are like the time your Grandma comes to look after you and lets you and your friends have a huge water fight all over the yard and doesn't get mad when you drop a water-filled balloon in the front hall and EVERYthing gets soaked. They are like the first time someone makes you a chocolate sprinkle sandwich and you are shocked into delighted silence because you didn't know you were even allowed to do that that. They help you feel free, amazed and unafraid.

Facebook is more like an Angry Dad. Not my Dad. Or your Dad. But one of those teevee Dads who is always calling everybody a jackass.

When the novelty of just being on FB started to wear off, people started making up games -- there were hamsters, cowbells, jetgirls and boys, zombies, gardens, hatching eggs, seasonal decorations, quizzes, riddles, pets, puzzles, insults, cocktails, food fights, mixed tapes and so on. Apparently it was all about eyes-on-the-page advertising revenue for the developers but it was still fun.

One day FB got sick of all the frivolity and sent us all to our rooms. FB said, "I have had enough of all this mucking about. Where do you think you are, My Space?"

FB decreed that from now on, if we wanted to stay, we must settle down. We could make presentations. We could join clubs and teams. If we were good we could watch teevee and, occasionally, we would be invited downstairs to see a slideshow of a neighbour's vacation photos. If we insisted on larking about we could still visit the toy boxes, but all that nonsense was to be kept out of sight from now on.

We were pretty mad at first. We shouted and slammed doors. We stayed out all night and didn't tell FB where we were. "You just don't understand us," we cried. "We are not kids, you can't treat us like this," we pleaded.

"As long as you are in my house, you will play by my rules," FB replied sharply. And that was that. We learned to live with the new restrictions. It was a much quieter existence and we mostly stayed in our rooms.

Last week, FB stopped by to admonish us again: "Get up out of this fetid sinkhole* right now. Stop lolling about and DO something. You are wasting your life away shut up in here."

So now we are in the stream. We have been given some incomprehensible advice on how to control the stream but, so far, the stream is barely a trickle and controlling it does not seem to be much of a worry. On the other hand, the idea of stream control has been the source of many terribly clever puns that are keeping some of us amused until we figure out the new order of things.

I guess a controllable trickle is okay sometimes but I like the internet better when it feels like a DELUGE, when there are chocolate sprinkles showing up in all kinds of unexpected places and nobody gets mad when you spill water in the hallway.

*My Dad actually used to call our rooms fetid sinkholes when we were teenagers, especially when he was trying to get us to come out to play frisbee or go for a bike ride on a weekend morning. Silly Dad, everyone knows weekends are for sleeping. He was kind of joking (I think!) and he may have had a point, but still...

Sunday, 8 March 2009

baseball classic

Our friend from Ottawa arrived on Friday with wine, baseball tickets and the usual large dose of joie de vivre. He took my Dad, my sis and me to the World Baseball Classic Canada versus USA game. You can see him here re-enacting a moment from the game with a baguette. For me, a good visit with a longterm friend is a fine balance between basking in beloved memories and creating new ones that will keep us warm through future winters. This was great visit.

And the game was great too. We had the best seats. We were right behind the Canada bench on the third base side in row 13. It ended USA 6 : Can 5. Even though Canada did not win I do not think even the Canadian fans left disappointed. I do not follow baseball these days. The Skydome is a super-irritating place to be and at some point I lost interest in watching games on tv. This game took me back to the days before the Blue Jays won a World Series. They would leave hundreds of men on base every game but we were happy to spend much of the game anticipating great rallies. For me, it is good baseball when we can joyfully anticipate rallies, joyfully appreciate each beautiful moment as it floats by, and leave joyful regardless the final outcome. Saturday's game was good baseball.

The next game was to be Venezuela v. Italy (Venezuela won 7 : 0). We sat near a group of Venezuelan fans. We saw the Venezuelan team warming up as we were leaving.

The friend-from-Ottawa wrote this about Stubby Clap for the Toronto Star - Stubby: a one-of-a-kind Canuck

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