autumn crept in while I was away

I’ve mentioned before that one of the best parts of going away is coming home and realizing it’s just as nifty here as anyplace. Usually I’m driving home from points south — Manchester or Boston — and there is a part of the trip where I come around a corner and all of Vermont is just laid out in front of me all hilly and empty and I get a little giddy knowing that it’s my life and not my vacation. Anyhow, it was Summer when I left and Autumn when I came back and the usually green hills were going a little golden and all the way to reds and oranges by the time I got back. My inbox was full of people coming to visit and the lawn needs raking not mowing at the moment.

The rest of the trip was just grand. I put up my Nova Scotia photoset on Flickr which includes a few more shots of the caboose, many more photos of Kate (I have pix of her, she has pix of me) and some more librarians. I wrapped up my trip with a few talks in New Hampshire and got home late last night. You can also read the “What I did on my work vacation” part of the story if you’re interested in that.

I think my favorite parts of the trip were just lazily driving around Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton in a sort of aimless way. Nova Scotia has these “trail” systems where you can follow a scenic travelway that has a specific theme and you can download maps, learn more, etc. As we got further north the language of the radio stations changed from English to French and finally to Gaelic. When we stopped in Baddeck — home to the first British Flight by a British Subject — there was a wedding going on. So, all of our travels through town, to the wool festival, to the public library, to the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, were accompanied by bagpipe music. It just seemed like that was the way Cape Breton was supposed, to be, you know? Between that and the huge preponderance of redheads I find myself wanting to go back and I’ve only just left.

@maritimes til further notice

gone canoeing

Kate and I are in Halifax this evening. Last night we were in Tatamagouche, sleeping in a very very cold caboose. Yesterday I drove across the most expensive toll bridge I have ever been on. Coincidentally, I had read about this bridge a few months before in a book by Henry Petroski about bridge design. It never occurred to me that one day I might drive over the bridge that has been described as one of “the last really heroic constructions of the twentieth century.” So yes we went to Prince Edward Isle for dinner and managed to cut through New Brunswick in the process making this a three-province trip so far. When I went into my computer’s “date & time” settings to adjust the time zone I managed to click on the weird half-hour time zone that is a little bit over from here — a few pixels on the screen but oh what a difference — and Kate and I spent a chunk of the day not sure if it was now or a half hour from now. I’m sure you’ve been there.

Today we walked and walked. Saw the waterfront and went to the library and had some oat cakes which were really hard-to-explain delicious. Saw the Old Burying Ground (12,000 people buried, just a few hundred headstones) peeked in store windows, drank coffee and had something tasty and turkish for dinner while watching some tv show about tornadoes. Called it a day pretty early. Too much sun and walking and currency conversion. We’ll be here and up in Antigonish for the rest of the week and uploading photos as we go (Kate’s latest are here). I get home Monday late sometime.

what I meant to say was this…

The last post was maybe too many words which could be summed up thusly: the next time someone asks you how you keep it all together so well, just grin at them and say “magic!” and keep all your fussy lists and habits and routines to yourself, for yourself. I’m a little more impressed at the people that make it seem effortless, is what I’m saying. And with that, how about this weather huh?

L'Shanah Tovah!

my driveway, june 20th

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taken by jessamyn.

I wasn’t having the best day, then I walked outside. I thought you might like this picture.

hi jessamyn

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taken by drunkenass.

Message in my inbox today, not at all about Ubuntu.

Hi Jessamyn,

As a teacher in China sometimes you get to name children. Well, give them English names. So tonight at a restaurant a young girl was drawn to me at the prodding of her English speaking aunt. I asked if she had an English name. When the answer was negative I then asked if she’d like me to giver her one. When she replied, “yes!” I quickly came to the decision to name her Jessamyn. I told her it was a special name and that it wouldn’t be common. I assured that it was a good name for lovely, smart girls. BTW, she is 5.

I give you, Jessamyn.

out, about, around, over the equator

I called Kate today to make plans for the long Australia trip. She’s like “Where are we meeting tomorrow?” I said “WTF, you know we leave on Tuesday!” she said “Hey dork are you looking at the itinerary, because I am. We leave TOMORROW.” (all quotations approximate.)

Sure enough, what I had typed into iCal did not match what the email said, and I am leaving 24 hours before I thought I was going to. Fortunately, this is only a minor inconvenience. This also means I’m getting back a day early which is actually sort of helpful.

So I have to finalize three talks, find a way to print some stuff, read up on Perth and find something half decent to READ all before getting into the car tomorrow, to drive to the bus, to get to the plane to LAX, to the other plane to Melbourne, to the other plane to Perth where it will be 2 in the afternoon and I will be going to sleep. I travel pretty well actually. I can stay up for a good long while. I’m short so I fit in seats. I don’t need to eat a meal every three hours. It will be fine.

Travelling with Kate is also exceptionally fun, or has been in the past and I see no reason why it would be different now. I have also been reading up on the wave of flight delays and cancellations over the past week or two and am prepared for the absolute worst. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if this turns out as planned, and otherwise I’m loaded with energy bars, benadryl, digital and non-digital hobby projects, books and my wacky sense of humor which should get me through most trials with ease. Fewer updates for a few weeks, but hey with RSS who cares?

,, ,

senorita dorkus

I’m generally pleasantly amused at my dorky nerdishness, or my nerdy geekishness, or perhaps just my all around avuncular spazzitude. However, sometimes I’d just like to have normal-people concerns. I saved packing for this most recent trip to Kansas until pretty much the last minute. I had a talk to give and was bringing my own laptop. I have the old laptop and the new one. They have different video dongles for plugging them in to projectors. I have the dongle for the old laptop and needed to buy one for the new laptop. My day off last week was unfortunately also Blizzard Day and you can see on Flickr just what the dongle-buying place looked like. So, no dongle.

So, I decided I’d bring my old laptop. For various reasons I had been sleeping sort of poorly again. So, it came down to the day before I left and I had all the work I’d been doing on the new laptop. I like the new laptop. It has a bigger screen. The battery lasts a while. It has all my stuff on it. The old laptop has a version of my digital stuff that looks like my stuff, but is not my stuff. I’ve resorted to using it on occasion — like when I left my power cord at Kate’s in January — and always wind up adding things, like friends to my address book, where they disappear as if I never had them once I revert to the new laptop. In any case, I was tired and forgetful, and didn’t trust myself to transfer every file I needed for this trip so I said “Screw it, I’m only gone for 72 hours, I’ll bring BOTH laptops instead of an extra pair of jeans!”

This turned out to be an okay idea, all things considered. It was, that is, except for one part of the trip: the airport part. I already have a shoulder bag and a clothing bag. I have to take off my belt and my jacket and my shoes. Then there’s the little plastic bag of liquid/oil grooming crap. Now add to that not one but two laptops. That’s me in my orange socks herding six grey plastic tubs into the x-ray machine and the x-ray guy saying “are BOTH of these yours?” I just smiled and said yes, dorkily.

The talk went really well, you can read it here: Web 2.0, Library 2.0, Librarian 2.0, and why it’s no big deal, seriously.