Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sunrise Over the City

We went out this morning and took some pictures of the gorgeous sunrise.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Some Changes around the Office

Last week Brent decided that the office should be reorganized, particularly in anticipation of his new dueling dual monitors. Being the autocad-technodork that he is(this is a good thing;) ), he quickly sketched up a master-plan design of the new office to show me and I agreed to the move.

So here's some shots of our new, and I must say muchly improved, office:

Kirstin's work space, which doesn't do justice to the mountain of books with which I am surrounded.

Our cute new printer, that even tells us when it's sleeping.

Brent's desk, which I must say, looks abnormally clean organized. ;)

Snow and Coffee & S'Cream

Last night as we went to bed we noticed a lovely surprise out our window: it was snowing and the whole world was cast the soft glow that falling snow renders the streetlights in the dark.

We woke up this morning excited to take some pictures (particularly to show Rach and Trev). We were just going to take pictures and then have breakfast and get to work...and then we remembered that we were out of milk and so we would have to either get milk (and bread)...or go to Coffee & Scream. Guess what we chose. ;)

Since we already had the camera, we decided to take some pictures of the place which most of you will already know as our favourite coffee place. We even took pictures of our favourite drinks (Kirstin's vanilla latte, Brent's toffee-nut latte). Finally, two of the staff, Karen and Carson, who are always very friendly to us (probably because we go there way too often). :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Eighty Years of CKUA

This fall, our all time favourite radio station is eighty years old. Eighty years of public radio broadcasted from Alberta. Some reasons we like CKUA - Big Band with the Old Disc Jockey. - Royyyyyyy's Record Room! You really have to hear him to understand. Really. - World Music from allllll over, Cuba, Africa, Quebec, you name it. - Local artists--must I remind you again of John Wort Hannam (see funeral blog) - David Ward--afternoon show broadcasted out of Calgary gives us a real local perspective - Wade Kozak from CIBC Wood Gundy with the morning business report. - Call of the Land--update on farming in Alberta every week day at twelve thirty - free tickets to concerts and shows. We've won twice this past year! - Lionel's Vinyls (now called Baba's grooves). Often could also be called Kirstin's vinyls, because he plays my kind of music spot on.Well, we like Lionel Rault (he plays Leonard Cohen) and he now hosts The Nine til Noon show. - They play Leonard all times of day. I can't argue with that. - The Road Home with Bob Chelmick (Kirstin's absolute favourite announcer). Broadcast live from his cabin north east of Edmonton by solar power. And he has a composting toilet. And he plays live nature from the goings-on around his house. And he plays Leonard Cohen. :) - Peaceful classical evenings and weekends. Most of all, the musical education we receive. The variety of music is endless. Pretty much anything except mainstream, and the morning guy Tony King even plays mainstream from time to time (but to be honest, he's our least favourite announcer). We highly highly recommend the station if you're up for something new. Jazz, blues, world, electronica (late at night), classical from all eras, indie, folk, country, it's all there! So go have a listen at and if you already listen, go give them a little money to help them keep it going for many many more years. We did.

Monday, October 15, 2007


GO VOTE Today is election day. Do you like Bronconnier? Does Alnoor seem like a good alternative to you? I can't answer these questions for you, but here's our personal favourite candidate: Sandy Jenkins You decide, but whatever you do, don't do nothing... ...and then complain when the city isn't run the way you think it should be. (Really, go read Jenkins' blog and such. He's the way to go AND he wants curbside recycling including plastics). This is me giving you my stern teacher face. VOTE.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Rankin Family = Fall Music

It is Thanksgiving Monday and therefore most definitely fall around here. And my sister-in-law and I have concluded, independently of each other but in concurrence, that the Rankin Family is fall music. Here's a mere sampling of their talent. Yet another crappy music video but the best sound recording I could find. However, Youtube has many really good music videos of the Rankins...they just can't be embedded in a blog. If you're a fan and you don't have any music, search "Rankin Family" at Youtube....any entries by lbrankinfiles are stellar.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

New Vehicle: The Aptera

So I've found our next vehicle! Or so I wish it could be our next vehicle. The company that produces (or has yet to produce) this car is called Aptera.

There are two package options available. First option is fully electrical. You plug your car in at night, and the next day you are ready to cruise around for 120 miles or so (according to the website). The second option is a hybrid combination of fuel and electrical. According to the website, this option will travel 300 miles on a single gallon of fuel. This is probably in the most ideal conditions (windless, flat highway) but with this figure I calculated it would cost us $2.66 to drive to our parent's houses and back, a far cry from the amount it costs now! So Dad and Mom, wanna help pitch in for our next vehicle and maybe see us a bit more often? :) Just kidding of course!

Not only am I really impressed with this car, I though the companies website was fantastic. Take a look at it here, Or just take a look at this picture of the site.

Friday, October 05, 2007


"Onward" is the motto of the King's Own Calgary Regiment, where Nathan Hornburg trained.
It was also a word brought up repeatedly at the funeral yesterday.

A whole bunch of grad students and professors from U of C trooped down to support Rachel and the family, including Brent and I. There were many many people there, and Rachel probably didn't even realize we were all there, but that's ok. I'm so glad we went. I cried through the whole thing, for the loss of a brother, of a good man, of a human being who died while he still had so much potential for life.

I'm sure I've mentioned before, that we are huge fans of a singer/songwriter from Fort Macleod named John Wort Hannam. We saw him live in Nanton, actually, with Rachel and Tyler. He sang yesterday at the funeral. He sang two of my favourite songs of his--well, I have a lot of favourite songs of his--but these are two real heart-wrenchers. The second song, "Church of the Long Grass" to me epitomizes Rachel's family and the connection to the Albertan landscape that I too feel. The first one, the lyrics of which are printed below, made me cry before, but now it has a real personal meaning.

My boy came home from the war today
I stood by as his plane touched down
An infantry man on foreign shores
coming on back to his home town
and it seems so long
since he's been gone
I stand before him now and I gaze in disbelief
My boy came home from the war today draped in the Maple Leaf

My boy came home from the war today
With a medal for valour in combat
They hoisted him high on their shoulders
and everyman gathered there clutched his hat
but no fanfare played
and no speeches were made
no pretty young maids waved a handkerchief
My boy came home from the war today draped in the Maple Leaf

When my boy came home from the war today he was draped in the Maple Leaf
My boy came home from the war today now my heart is filled with grief.

Please go have a listen on John Wort Hannam's website (or directly linked to here--just click on the audio button at the top). And photographs and articles from the funeral can be seen on the Calgary Herald website...much better than the Calgary Sun articles.

The death still lies heavily on our hearts today but this morning I woke up with this song in my head for some reason, and as usual music heals many hurts for me. The song's subject matter is not really related but Joni's voice is lovely. Here's a Youtube video of it...don't watch the slideshow if it's too distracting:

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tight Spaces

Right now I am working on a sixteen foot wide house and am having a terrible time trying to get everything to fit into such a narrow footprint. I've been searching on the internet for ideas on how other people have designed such narrow houses, but have come up with very little. I frequently visit and found an interesting article on North Americans obsession with separating cars from pedestrians. If I think I have it bad trying to design a narrow house, at least I am not designing it for conditions like these.

From our good friends, Calvin and Hobbes

Brent likes to make pancakes frequently, every Saturday if he can. (Although Saturday past we had waffles instead).

He's actually very good at making them from scratch, but this Calvin and Hobbes reminded me of him...and of my brothers' various cooking expeditions over the years. (Note that Calvin is throwing the eggs in whole).

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Two insights into Grad School

Just wanted to share a couple of all-too-true ways of understanding my present situation:

If you don't know who or what Foucault is, lucky you! I'm sure there's a good Wikipedia article out there if you're rrrreallly interested.

One of the foundations of the history grad school program is the seminar class wherein students do reading and then come prepared to discuss the documents. Sometimes this can be a very helpful way of learning material and developing one's own ideas, but sometimes it can look an awful lot like this "news report":