Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas has come and gone....on to the New Years Party

Here are some of my pictures from this years holiday season thus far.

The main building I am currently working on in Brockville.

Sunset through the rain droplets on the windshield.

I don't know where Lawren gets those killer tendencies.

We are having a fondue because we are fond of you!

My parents house on Christmas Day - where is the snow?

Smoking with my Oma.

Walking with my wife.

Checking out 100 small towns in France.

The mini sens jersey for my new nephew/neice who is behind schedule on the whole being born thing.

Monday, December 25, 2006

A Sufjan Stevens type of Christmas

Currently Listening To:
Sigur Ros

A couple months ago when Sufjan Stevens released his latest compilation I was immediately interested. Several reviews said some good things and the clincher was when I read the record label's review. His label, asthmatic kitty records, has the best name for a record label. Anyway, the review stated somewhere that Stevens started the Christmas collection out of his inherent aversion to christmas carols and the frill and excess that almost always accompanies them. That sounded perfect for me.
So I bought it.

A month later and it is pretty much the only cd (or cds) Irene and I listen too. Now I find out that pretty much everyone else has already heard the cd and thinks its awesome. My brother Lawren actually bought it too.
Oh well, so much for being new and cool. Looks like the cool kids are right there behind me. Actually it is encouraging that there is so much good musical taste out there.
Anyway the other cool thing about the compilation is the packaging that comes with essays, short stories, guitar chords, poster, comic and stickers among other things. Definitely good times and with that great Sufjan touch on every song this music is hard to beat.
Only one question: How Christian is he?

Here I am with Sufjan and his 'family' and my favourite poinsettia.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Barcelona: The Great Enchantress

Currently wanting to listen to:
The Dears
Gang of Losers

Lately I have been reading a book by Robert Hughes about Barcelona. Ever since I learned about the incredible architecture there from my History teacher in Mohawk I have dreamed of going there. Next year, the Lord willing, I will be there (sadly for only one day). Barcelona is probably best known for Antoni Gaudi the architect of the Sagrada Familia, Casa Milo and Casa Battlo. Seriously amazing stuff. The more I read about the guy, the more I like him. He was fiercely conservative and a very pious Catholic. He was intensely deep and I am sure many people couldn't understand him. Like many famous architects he was not rich and cared nothing for money. He would only take a commission if he had full artistic control (sounds like an indie band). His work influenced many modern architects like Frank Gehry.

So I want to post this quote from this book which is quoting another architect from Barcelona with the same independent Catalan spirit.
"Only societies without firm fixed ideas, which fluctuate between todays thinking and yesterdays, without firm faith in tomorrow's - only those societies fail to inscribe their history in durable monuments"
Domenech i Montaner (1849-1923)
Looking back on that statement in our americanized world it seems all the more true. North Americans know relatively little about architecture and history. It seems so sad to me. I hope I can gain something culturally by visiting Europe and seeing all that history with my own eyes.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I'm back.......sort of

Currently Reading:
Barcelona: The Great Enchantress
By: Robert Hughes

The funny thing is when you go on vacation and don't do any work you get home and realize that, strangely enough, no work got done.

Blogging has become one of the victims of a busy life. Working and then leaving early so you can get more done on your other job doesn't leave much time for fun and recreation aka blogging. But I am taking a lunch break and its Friday so why not. Most consultants leave early on Fridays anyway.

Anyway, anybody who has followed the latest technology in Blu-Ray and HD DVD knows that there is a battle of technology going on that rivals the Beta to VHS insanity of years gone by. As in all conflicts many people simply must jump on one side or the other. One of my favorite sites has been on this issue like a fat kid on a smarty since before day one. According to someone there the latest news in the tech world is that Sony is done and Toshiba will win with its HD DVD system. And while I am inclined to agree I still can't picture Sony getting knocked around too easily with all these other companies supporting them. Sure they have taken a few blunders in the past while but come on.

Either way if I was going to call it, I'd say Sony will lose out (they certainly are right now - stupid PS3) but it really doesn't matter because I can't afford either of the systems.