dewline: (Weapons)
Okay, some progress here. Shawn Micallef's Frontier City: Toronto on the Verge of Greatness is done. It's a snapshot of his perceptions of recent Toronto history, particularly in the wake of the Ford years. The phrase "too soon to tell" sticks in the mind where his opinion is concerned.

Hidden Universe: the Klingon Empire by Dayton Ward takes the travel guide idea and applies it to...well, mostly Qo'noS. The Empire's a big place, as he notes himself (and perhaps larger than the text implies), but it does focus mainly on the homeworld.

By accident, I discovered Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit. You've read mentions of her work pulling together historical atlases on New York, San Francisco and New Orleans here in this weblog over the years, and this book is a collection of her essays reminding us that hope is a realistic option even in horrific times. Originally published in 2004, it was revised and reprinted as yet another consequence of DT-45's election to the American presidency.

Still trying to make time for The Revenge of Analog by David Sax.
dewline: (Default)
Frontier City by Shawn Micallef, one of the regulars contributing to Spacing's Toronto office.

The Revenge of Analog by David Sax. A discussion of the renewed value of actual, physical artifacts. Tapes, vinyl LPs, CDs, books, actual maps on actual get the idea.
dewline: (Default)
As I type this, I'm listening to some rumbling from outdoors, and also to Writers and Company on CBC Radio One. It's an interesting combination.
dewline: (Default)
...of my very disorganized personal library, I rediscovered my copy of Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine. I suspected as much, and my memory didn't betray me. Chapters 11 and 12 are devoted to what might be called an inquest or autopsy into some of the other root causes of Grazhdanin Putin's rise to political dominance in Moskva.

And from there, I think I'll spend part of the afternoon watching Agents of SHIELD as I catch up on my e-mail.

More on other matters as the day wears on.
dewline: (Ten)

On my way to workshop last night, I stopped in at a second-hand bookstore. Picked up two books that seem apropos to the times:

  1. The Corporation: the Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan. Yes, this is the one that documentary was based on.
  2. The Age of Fallibility by George Soros. Why that one? When I saw the author's name, I remembered the several times I saw it invoked by various neo-Nazis, wannabe-fascists and other likeminded malcontents as a supposed villain. Usually, it would be on a Facebook forum organized by a truly legitimate news service. CBC, The Guardian, NPR, Dan Rather's News and Guts, or the like. As if by slander-chanting their ritual villifications often enough, they can override the truth with their worldview. And it's true that their like succeeded in several countries over the decades, but never permanently. Put in comic-book terms, there's a Batman: Year One quote that comes to mind: "All the right people seem to hate him."

Speaking of comics, you might want to look at these series: The Unstoppable Wasp, Spider-Woman, The Mighty Thor, and Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat. I'm having fun with all of them. More on other titles later.

Also, re-reading Sara Paretsky's Writing in an Age of Silence. It seems pertinent once more to me. Plus, I've enjoyed her mystery novels over the last decade or so.

More later.

dewline: (Ten)
Based on a friend's recommendation, I've borrowed Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice from the library. It's slow going, but I'm expecting it'll be worth the time.
dewline: (Default)

..and I'm still alive. I'm still in Ottawa-Gatineau, which still exists in a still-independent Canada. For now.

I can make no guarantees about the future of myself, my cities and my country, of course. Not at the moment. But if there's a way for me to contribute to the survival of all three, I hope to be able to act on knowing it. If that reads as needlessly apocalyptic, I apologize in hope to everyone reading these words past at least 2018.

I note with some continuing interest in labour issues an interview with Unifor President Jerry Dias in yesterday's Toronto Star. Interest, and some hope, as I think we're not done with the issues Dias refers to just yet, in Canada or elsewhere. There are improvements that can be made to increase the satisfaction of workers and shareholders alike.

Also from the same newspaper, an article on the state of books and bookstores, in Canada and elsewhere that leaves me with some hope for the future of that business. I would be somewhat content to find myself as a staff person in a bookstore in the near future. I doubt that I'd like everything the work involves, but that's a peril of any line work. I could still console myself easily with being a productive person by helping others learn and be entertained. And if anyone wants to make the attempt in Ottawa east of the Greenbelt, let me know? The bus connections within this part of the city aren't perfect, but the price of bus passes is getting better for me.

Today's plans involve laundry, listening to The Sunday Edition and Cross-Country Checkup on CBC Radio One, and maybe some other chores as well. More as it develops, I'm sure.

dewline: (canadian media)

Listening to this show was a steadying influence this afteroon for me. Hadfield and Jackson were large part of that. So was the host Shelagh Rogers.

dewline: (Sketching)
I went to the event described in this article:

I couldn't not go. Not with the news of acts of vandalism across the city, and the ongoing concerns about the US political situation that many see as one of the triggers of these crimes. It helped me with my anxiety issues for several good hours.

I hope that I was of help to others by being there.

Something I was reminded of this morning, via the CBC's Sunday Edition. You won't agree with all the choices of the authors on that list and that's right and proper, but maybe it'll start a discussion of equally helpful alternatives or additions.
dewline: (Sketching)
I'm adding Ricochet Media to my "Canadian News/Opinions" bookmark list. Seems like a good choice alongside, iPolitics, and so on.

Books I'm working on reading: 100 Days of Cree by Neal McLeod with Arok Wolvengrey, for indigenous language studies. The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron, Ph. D for psychological self-awareness and ability to get along with others.

Elizabeth May on an "Age of Consequences":

dewline: (edutainment)
...although the decompression after each work day isn't helping me stay talkative even in this venue. And Facebook doesn't help me focus on writing here overmuch, does it?

Anyway...keeping an eye out for new reading material, and several of you have been kind enough to help out with recommendations of your own over the last few weeks. Merci beaucoup for that to those responsible.

A couple of titles I am trying to make time for:

1. The Ward: the Life and Loss of Toronto's First Immigrant Neighbourhood, edited by John Lorinc, Michael McClelland, Ellen Scheinberg and Tatum Taylor. Recommended by Spacing Magazine's print edition, and since several of their Toronto contributors - such as Mr. Lorinc - are involved here...well, I need to get a look. We're talking about early Toronto history here, and a lot of Canadian history in general is still terra incognita - but never terra nullius! - to me.

2. Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit. Since I've been interested in her writings thanks to the historical atlases she's edited, this seems like a good thematic fit.
dewline: (irony)
Such is the case, now that I've read Rebecca Eckler's essay for the National Post, "What happened when my publisher ceased to exist".

Had I thought sooner than I did that the procedures Eckler outlines therein might be an option for me to pursue, there might be far more copies of The Daily Planet Guide to Gotham City still "in the wild".

My apologies to everyone for that mistake.
dewline: (canadian media)

If you want to see where I was last night, there's some pix I took of the event under discussion, taken at Library and Archives Canada's main building on Wellington. Some old friends of mine were there in different roles, and some new friends stood to be acquired. Also, the book in question is worth the money.

dewline: (compliment)
Specifically Windswept by Adam Rakunas. Thanks to [ profile] james_nicoll for drawing my attention to it by reviewing its sequel and suggesting to start with Windswept and go to Like a Boss from there. Turns out the Ottawa Library has a couple of copies of Windswept in the circulating collection, so I was able to get a look for myself. Glad I did.

FYI: The reason I include "labour dispute" and "human rights" among the tags for this entry is because of themes in both novels.
dewline: (Sketching)
According to CTV's Atlantic News web service, today is National Superhero Day.

Speaking of celebrations: tomorrow will be a big day for independent bookstores in Canada and the USA.

The Intercept reports on...interventions in the communications of convicts' families on social media. The potential consequences for all involved seem Problematic at best to my eyes. That the examples under discussion are in Texas does not make the matter less relevant.

On mapping the now and the possible future, there is a book that I now want: Connectography.
dewline: (Canada)
If you're interested in literary-format SF - novels, comics, e-books! - there's a convention in Ottawa-Gatineau that wants to see you this September!

Keep that website bookmarked, okay? Because there's lots of news to come between now and September...
dewline: (Books)
With the help of Delicious Library v. 2.8.5, I've been slowly cataloguing my personal library's contents. Very slowly.

Reached a minor milestone this morning: book # 500 was catalogued: The Microphone Wars - A History of Triumph and Betrayal at the CBC by Knowlton Nash.

The collection doesn't and won't stop at that point, of course. But it seemed worth some small attention.
dewline: (compliment)
Rain. In January. Again.

So I still got stuff done today.

Driveway shovelled.
New external hard drive.
New (used) cleverphone.
Groceries bought.
Library business squared away.

Oh, and I finally got the Hadfield autobiography today. Since I got it at the used bookstore attached to my local public library, that might count as a "cheat"...?
dewline: (Books)
When you’re doing a review for a book that’s mainly about the artwork of a movie, things become a bit difficult. Not impossible, mind you. Just difficult. The reason for this is partly because you may not know how much of your audience has seen the movie in question at the point your review is expected to see print or “go live”. It’s an unavoidable issue.

So before I continue, good manners require this question: is there anyone in this audience who (a) hasn’t seen Star Wars VII yet, and (b) cares to see it without being spoiled about plot details?

(((waits for audience to respond to these questions)))
Possibly Spoilers After the Cut )


dewline: (Default)
On the DEWLine 2.0: Dwight Williams

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