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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Neil's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
3:40 pm
In Calgary, Exploring the Cultural Side of ‘Cowtown’ (link is to The New York Times)

Pretty good article, although I've never seen Calgarians standing in line for poutine.
Saturday, September 13th, 2014
12:05 pm
Broken trees
A few examples of trees broken by the accumulation of snow, as mentioned in my last post. The snow is gone, but the damage remains.

With a car2go in the background

In front of the IBM building
4:04 am
I drove around town today and was shocked at the number of trees that had been damaged by the heavy snowfall earlier in the week. It's too early in the season for the trees to have lost their leaves, so the snow was able to build up and the weight was enough, in many cases, to break off branches or even topple entire trees. I wonder how farms in southern Alberta are doing? They wouldn't have done their harvesting yet.
Wednesday, January 1st, 2014
9:31 am
LibraryThing poll
I posted a list of books I read in 2013 to the librarything community. The post is here, if you are interested.
Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
7:16 pm
Solar Flare

This is a new (and temporary) interactive art installation on the Stephen Avenue Walk, called Solar Flare. When people pass by, a motion detector is triggered and the light shimmers at various speeds. It's kind of a cool addition to downtown for the holiday season.

I took the picture this morning while going for a coffee (which I didn't get, because there was a long line at Starbucks and I was running late).
Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
8:45 am

Just before sunset yesterday evening, taken from my apartment. The actual colours were much richer than shown here. I don't know why digital cameras can't capture that. I used the HDR mode on my little Panasonic camera, which worked well to make the street more visible and to reduce (but not eliminate) the blown out highlights in the sky.
Monday, September 23rd, 2013
6:32 am

Beehives near a place called Michelsen's Marsh, south of Lethbridge. I don't recall ever seeing any of these before, but I saw quite a few of them driving around southern Alberta last week.

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Saturday, August 10th, 2013
2:27 pm
I've been meaning to tidy up the photos in my LJ ScrapBook for quite a while (probably five years or more). In the meantime, LJ made some changes to ScrapBook. Among other things, they removed tags and the ability to have a photo in more than one album. In their reorganization, my photos got scrambled a bit (probably because they used to be linked to multiple albums) and some thumbnails disappeared. I have 878 photos, so trying to clean all this up through the Scrapbook menus would be quite a chore. There doesn't seem to be a decent external client (and I don't have time to write one).

The good news is that all the photo links in my journal still work, as far as I can tell. So ScrapBook is still useful as a photo host for LJ. But it would be nice to have everything organized into albums. Other things I don't like about ScrapBook: thumbnails are randomly cropped to 100x100 pixels from the original image, and there is no way to change the display order of albums or thumbnails.
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
12:59 pm
World's coolest apartment?
I saw a piece on HGTV about this apartment in the pyramid atop Seattle's Smith Tower. Very impressive! I particularly like the spiral stairs going up to the glass globe at the top.
Saturday, February 9th, 2013
4:18 pm
The big giant head

This is a recently unveiled statue called Wonderland, by the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. It is located in front of The Bow, the tallest office tower in Calgary (and the tallest in Canada, outside of Toronto). The statue itself is about 40 feet tall. If you look carefully, you can see someone walking around inside it.
Friday, February 1st, 2013
9:12 am

Looking to the southwest from my front window early this morning. This is about a 10x zoom -- the building is maybe a mile away and the mountains 50 miles or more.

It's hard to take a picture in downtown Calgary without getting at least one crane in the shot.
Tuesday, January 1st, 2013
8:23 am
2012 book poll
At year end, members of the librarything community post lists of books they have read, in the form of a poll. Others are invited to check off the items they have read.

These are the books I read during 2012:


Robertson Davies, Murther and Walking Spirits (1991)
Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man (1994)
Patrick DeWitt, The Sisters Brothers (2011)
Penelope Fitzgerald, Offshore (1979)
Penelope Fitzgerald, The Gate of Angels (1990)
Penelope Fitzgerald, The Blue Flower (1995)
David Gilmour, The Perfect Order of Things (2011)
Mark Helprin, A Soldier of the Great War (1991)
Mark Helprin, Memoir from Antproof Case (1995)
Robert Holdstock, Mythago Wood (1984)
Robert Irwin, Exquisite Corpse (1995)
Robert Irwin, Prayer-Cushions of the Flesh (1997)
Howard Jacobson, Zoo Time (2012)
R. A. Lafferty, Archipelago (1979)
R. A. Lafferty, The Devil Is Dead (1971)
R.A. Lafferty, More Than Melchisedech (1992)
David Madsen, Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf (1997)
Hilary Mantel, Bring Up The Bodies (2012)
Iris Murdoch, Flight from the Enchanter (1956)
Iris Murdoch, The Sandcastle (1957)
Iris Murdoch, A Severed Head (1961)
Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green (1965)
Orhan Pamuk, The White Castle (1991)
John Cowper Powys, Wood and Stone (1915)
John Cowper Powys, Rodmoor (1916)
John Cowper Powys, Ducdame (1925)
Josephine Tey, The Man in the Queue (1929)
Josephine Tey, The Franchise Affair (1948)
Josephine Tey, The Privateer (1952)
Don Winslow, Savages (2010)
Don Winslow, The Kings of Cool: A Prequel to Savages (2012)
Tom Wolfe, Back to Blood (2012)

Short story collections

Penelope Fitzgerald, The Means of Escape (2000)
George MacDonald, The Complete Fairy Tales (1999)
Brian McNaughton, The Throne of Bones (1997)
Robert Louis Stevenson, New Arabian Nights (1882)
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Dynamiter: More New Arabian Nights (1885)

Ancient & medieval literature

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations (2nd century)
Ted Hughes, Tales from Ovid (1999)
Christopher Logue, War Music: An Account of Books 1-4 and 16-19 of Homer's Iliad (2003)
Christopher Logue, All Day Permanent Red (2004)
Christopher Logue, Cold Calls: War Music Continued (2005)


Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierney, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength (2011)
Eva Brann, Homeric Moments: Clues to Delight in Reading the Odyssey and the Iliad (2002)
M.I. Finley, The World of Odysseus (1978)
Charlotte Gill, Eating Dirt (2011)
Frederic Morton, A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888-1889 (1980)
Frater Shiva, Inside Solar Lodge - Behind the Veil (2012)
Friday, October 19th, 2012
7:15 pm
Inglewood Wildlands

I went for a walk through the Inglewood Wildlands this afternoon. This was formerly the site of an oil refinery, but has been restored to a wildland park. The office towers of downtown Calgary are visible in the distance. The tallest is The Bow, a recently completed 58 story skyscraper. Last time I visited this park, a few years back, there was a wetland with ducks and other birds. This time it was dry, with no birds other than a few magpies. I hope that is just a seasonal thing. My previous visit was probably in the spring or summer.
Friday, October 12th, 2012
10:10 pm
Peace Bridge

I finally walked over to take a look at the Peace Bridge, which opened in March. It crosses the Bow River just west of Prince's Island. There was plenty of controversy surrounding its construction (see the linked Wikipedia page).

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Saturday, September 15th, 2012
2:28 pm
Moby Dick Big Read: "an online version of Melville’s magisterial tome: each of its 135 chapters read out aloud, by a mixture of the celebrated and the unknown, to be broadcast online, one new chapter each day, in a sequence of 135 downloads, publicly and freely accessible."

Starts September 16th. I'll be listening. For an online text to read while you listen, click here.
Sunday, September 9th, 2012
8:08 pm
Recently, I spent a few days in the Drumheller area, using up some vacation time and finding a few geocaches (about 60). Stayed in a motel in Three Hills, which is a smaller town about 20 miles from Drumheller, and a very nice and prosperous community.

Windmills on the prairie, on the way to Drumheller. It was very windy here, unsurprisingly.

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Monday, August 6th, 2012
2:59 pm
Show your colours
Stephen Avenue Mall
Stephen Avenue Mall, Calgary
Saturday, July 21st, 2012
9:59 am
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
Larry Eats a Pancake [13:22 video]

Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David and a 1952 VW bug.
Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
12:28 pm
The Relative Sizes of the World’s Largest Photo Libraries

Interesting, in light of Facebook's recent purchase of Instagram.

I wonder how large LJ's Scrapbook is?
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
10:46 am
Canadians, are you opposed to the proposed Bills C-11 and C-30? Online petitions against them are here:

No Internet Lockdown

Stop Online Spying
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