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The trip did me some good. It got me out of the house, seeing some small part of the world, talking with and listening to other people. Perhaps that last, not so well as I ought to.
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Ville de Québec
Anywhere in Newfoundland and Labrador
Anywhere in Yukon, the NW Territories, or Nunavut
Red Deer
Haida Gwaii

That's an incomplete list. Horribly incomplete.
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...and the workshop's off. Weather issues, as expected. The Rideau Branch of the library's got its winter break retrofitting done and it looks okay enough for visiting.
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For some reason as yet unclear to me, I'm getting notices from Delta Air Lines addressed to a Trudy Ann Williams. No relation so far as I know, but the e-mails continue to reach my GMail inbox anyway.

Hopefully, this gets the lady's attention and she can remedy the situation. Assuming honest error on either her part or the airline's, of course.
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Filed an application for a different job before I left the day-job office today. Seemed like the thing to do when I came across that particular ad on the website this morning. Especially after having to turn down another offer from a place where I'd really like to be working even in the face of a slight pay cut because of transit logistics and sleep issue aggravation resulting therefrom.

"Transit logistics"...a polite way of saying that buses can't handle everywhere I'd like to go in the region, for reasons of physics, budgets and physical safety of staff and passengers alike. And our light rail component isn't yet as far-reaching as the most ambitious of us in such matters would like yet. Ottawa-Gatineau has one line right now, with a second under construction. That second needs two more years before they'll certify it as safe enough for passengers to use on a daily basis. Track is still in the process of being delivered and laid down. Since the winter hasn't completely freed us from its grip yet, there's a lot of preparations yet to be made to resume the process.

And that's just for the Ottawa side's "Phase One" projects. Never mind our "Phase Two" still on the drawing boards. Gatineau is still playing catch-up on the "bus-rapid-transit" front. Their STO service just opened up a dedicated "Rapibus" roadway a year or two ago, and while there's a way to connect the O-Train network to the Rapibus line, there's a lot of paperwork and haggling between city halls, and the feds and provinces, before it can be done.

We're making progress and people can see that progress as it happens. But it's still not as fast as a lot of people need it to become. Employment, commerce, governmental logistics, recreation, family connections, a lot of stuff could become easier...but we have to wait. And persist in pushing for things to move.    
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Went for a walk this morning to pick up the Toronto Star at the closest open convenience store. A long, roundabout walk. Grateful for the transit system being up and running, for the people working on clearing out the accumulated mountains of snow in assorted parking lots across town(despite not owning or driving a car myself)...and for the good weather of the morning.
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About that pro-CBC rally here in Ottawa-Gatineau today? I went. On foot, from parc Jacques-Cartier to Parliament Hill. Across the Alexandra Bridge, which I once would've been ready to swear would never happen.

Then I got reminded that others present at the rally had walked all the way from Montréal.

Let that sink in for a minute.

I got nothin' on those Montréalais.

(Noting also, some of those walking tours by various First Nations' groups in support of their own causes who walked further from more isolated places...)

Glad I got the exercise, though...
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My trophies include photos of street name signs from Lansdowne Road South to Minto Place!
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This morning, I noticed one of those traffic-tracking gadgets strapped to a light standard near the corner of Apollo and Merkley in middle Fallingbrook in Orléans. Not sure what the city's transportation planners and builders have in mind for the data it's gathering, but the consequences might be useful.

Has anyone among the Ottawans reading this weblog spotted similar gadgets elsewhere across town in recent days?
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...before I rejoin the ranks of the un(der)employed again.

Yes, again.

It's become somewhat damaging to what peace of mind there is in this skull of mine, never mind the financials over the years. But it seems that a great many of us across the planet are still Expected to bear such burdens as part of the Price of Employability.


Anyway, the weekend was good in several senses: educational, entertaining, with a fair bit of travelling involved. Three Jane's Walk-affiliated tours of as many neighbourhoods: ByWard Market, Old Ottawa South and New Edinburgh. Roughly 350 photos of varying levels of quality taken in the course of those, from which I hope to cull a sufficient number to be of help on Flickr and possibly to a couple of publications as well. We'll see how that goes over the course of the next week.

The resumption of allergic reactions made enjoying the walking tours a bit more difficult than would have been preferred. But it should be over and done in a couple of additional weeks, if everything sticks to established patterns.

Speaking of travel plans: over on, I've got movie dates set for the Ottawa SF Society re: Iron Man 3 (this upcoming Friday) and Star Trek 12 (two Fridays thereafter). Hoping to lock in a 2D-format showing as close to 7 PM as humanly possible, and keeping an eye on both the Silver City Gloucester and World Exchange Empire theatre complexes to that end. The dates are officially set for Silver City, but that's subject to amendment.

More as it comes to mind...
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Maybe it's because I spend so much time exploring both the real city I live in and the fictional ones I've written about and read other peoples' writings about...but it strikes me that Cities Without Ground, this book on the networks of underground and elevated walking pathways established in Hong Kong - or (among other names) Xiānggǎng - might be worth a look-see. At the very least, perhaps a recommendation to our local public libraries might be in order?

The Atlantic Cities profile of the book:

The authors' website:
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In case you wondered:

Yesterday took me out to Shawville - about an hour's drive west of Gatineau on the Québec side of the Ottawa River - for a "Canada Day for Introverts" party. Transportation by fellow invitees was provided and gladly accepted, and the ride out to Shawville was fun. Also, the landscape reminded me of the Qu'Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan, but with some actual hills added in for good measure and bilingual and more than occasional "français seulement, SVP" signage for flavouring.

Shawville's one of those anglophone - possibly gaelophonic(1) as well? - enclaves that still - from what little I personally saw and heard - don't take well to intrusions from the "tongue troopers" from the Québec provincial government, complete with a still-active, though shrunken, branch of the Orange Order on Centre Street. Businesses from as far off as Pembroke, Ontario will send vehicles and drivers to participate in the town's Canada Day parade, and the mayor is usually right there in person with a workload small enough - but vital enough - for him to make time to chat with visitors on the spur of the moment. I've lived in and visited a few towns like that across the country, and there's definitely a positive value to this. You cannot possibly underestimate how good a thing that can be for a town to have.

I like the design of the street name signs. It's as modern as it is heritage-minded, and I hope to post a sample of one of them later in the week over on Flickr.

The food was good, the weather was fine if slightly overheated. The latter, of course, is beyond any one person's ability to control.

My thanks again to my hosts, my transportation-providers, friends and friendly acquaintances one and all.

(1) - Is that the right word for Gaelic-speaking people?
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Just got in the door about half an hour ago. Spent an hour with the gang at the Flickr Ottawa meet, the better part of another hour walking from Hog's Back Park to Carleton O-Train Station, and it took about an hour and a half to get the rest of the way home.

We need an expanded LRT network to go with our buses. I have no doubt of this.

I also probably stink to high heaven from the weather leading up to our thunder'n'lightning show this past hour.

Good to be home.

Got photos from the walking trip, too. Hoping to upload some of those to Flickr later on in the weekend.
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Submitted resumés to several prospective employers.
Researched street name stuff for future Spacing Ottawa essays.
Checked in on stuff at the library downtown.
Met with friends and acquaintances from OSFS, USS Magellan and the local Klingon fan club, as well as fellow organizers of CAN-CON 2012 for dinner at Colonnade Pizza. Good food, good chatter, stuff got done and people got entertained and learned stuff.
Picked up a used copy of Martin Caidin's novel Cyborg at a book sale at Elgin Street Public School afterwards.
Went home again.

A good day and evening, overall.
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So...I went, saw one or two familiar faces - mostly [ profile] tom_leroux promoting his new web-series Scream All You Want - and wandered around.

The crowd...was crowded. The line was so long by the time I got there - getting off the bus was simple enough, thankfully - that it took 30-45 minutes to get from the back of the line as of my arrival to the doors of the CE Centre. (It's a ballpark estimate, and I can't nail it down much better than that.)

The wait in the procession line wasn't boring, though. Lots of costumes put together with a wide range of skill levels. Some of the results suggest that perhaps CAN-CON ought to be tracking these people down to teach at masquerade "how to" panels if they haven't already come forward on their own. Hopefully, I'll be able to post pictures later over the next week.

I missed being able to say "hello" to [ profile] fajrdrako and [ profile] deakat (among many others!), and I'm sorry about that. Having familiar faces to talk with would've been a good thing.

Did not take in any of the panels. See "the crowd was...crowded" for why. Between that and the weather-induced exhaustion, the idea of just buying one or two key things and getting out and away got locked into the brain.

One of those Key Things was the Art of the Avengers production/concept art book devoted to that movie we've all been chattering about across the Net. Hardcover in slipcover case, and yes, worth every penny spent on it. I got a lot of stuff on their version of the Helicarrier that I was hoping for. Thinking that there's enough stuff that I saw on screen that could fit into a second volume if Marvel's so inclined.

The food court...was not well organized to my eyes. Plus I was tired and that will have aggravated my food paranoia.

Getting back downtown - or anywhere else - from the CE Centre by public transit needs work. And lots of it. I ended up climbing a grassy hill and was more than a little scared about stumbling and falling back down onto the traffic of the cross street running under the northbound # 97 bus route. And if you wanted to get to that bus shelter safely, you needed a far more roundabout route on foot. City Hall could stand to get an earful, even though it's probable that they already know about these issues.

Next year, I am considering renting a half-table for my own stuff. If the rates set for this year - $ 100 - still hold for next year. Should I dare hope for, much less count on that? At all?
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Taken from an e-mail to a friend:

Today was something different. Instead of going to the Hill like most of the rest today, I decided to go to Quincy and Ogilvie in the Beacon Hill neighbourhood to pick up where I left off on my walking tour of the riverfront bike pathways.

I did manage to get from there to the Aviation Museum. On foot. With a side trip to the yacht club and flying club uphill from there at Rockcliffe Airport. Took me about an hour or more on foot. Took pictures, too, some of which I hope to post at Flickr someday.

My stomach's been making me pay a bit for it in the last few hours since then, though. A sense of bloat, with a mild side of pain that comes and goes. Maybe I shouldn't have punctuated the walking trip with a sudden dose of chocolate milk wolfed down in a minute, hm?

Still, it was a good trip. I saw parts of town I'd never seen before. Got a better sense of the scale of the city. Of the wilderness refuges right in the middle of it, preserved in spite of everything.

Worth it.
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Or rather, the lack of them is what I'm trying to figure a solution to.

I'm not going downtown to Parliament Hill (again) this year. Anything with a British Royal is going to make things just too crazy for me.

But I'd like to get out of the house to do something to mark the occasion.

The only thing I can think of right now is doing another instalment of one of my long-term "miscellaneous" goals: crossing the entire distance of the Ottawa urban area's riverfront via the bike/walking paths. I've done Centretown from Scott Street to the Rideau Canal and from Voyageur Drive in Orléans to Ogilvie Road in Beacon Hill so far. Next up, methinks, is from Ogilvie to Rockcliffe Airport and the Aviation Museum next door to it.

Any alternative suggestions that wouldn't involve being in the downtown core?

Geography sidebar: "Hello!" to newcomers from the following neighbourhoods:

Spring Grove, Illinois!
Astoria, Oregon!
Utica, Michigan!
Anaheim, California!

Good to "see" you and I hope we get to talk someday!
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I've been thinking there's a way to string parts of the content of each of these postings together for a Spacing Ottawa piece(assuming that someone else among the contributors hasn't gotten the same content worked out already):

I know that I'm not at all happy with the way traffic signals at major intersections across Ottawa seem programmed in favour of car-drivers over everyone else at the moment, that's for sure...
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Namely this...soup passing itself off as "weather" today. The streets are halfway to becoming smallish brooks in many places I've visited from Orléans to Centretown this afternoon. Despite the expected temperature drop set for tonight, I would not be surprised to see these conditions continue tomorrow as well. Bleh.

Didn't do the lungs much good, either.


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On the DEWLine 2.0: Dwight Williams

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