This flight tonight tomorrow morning

It’s hard to believe the trip we began planning and booking and researching so long ago begins tomorrow. Early tomorrow too; our flight’s at 7 AM. We wanted to salvage the afternoon and do more than just check in to our hotel. The plan is to pick up our rental car at the airport, drive through Banff to Moraine Lake (near Lake Louise) and check in at our hotel. We’ll then jump back in the car and drive west across Kicking Horse Pass into BC and see Emerald Lake before it gets dark, and then we’ll stop in the closest town — Field, BC — for dinner.

The next day — Monday — is pretty much set out for us. We’ll get up early to look around Moraine Lake itself, then drive to the bus that takes people into Lake O’Hara and the surrounding trails. We’re there until late afternoon and will then head back into Lake Louise and/or our hotel. From that point on the plan loosens up somewhat.

Whatever happens, you can follow along here. I’ll be posting when I can; wireless access is spotty, and one of our hotels doesn’t even phones in the rooms, let alone ethernet connections. I’ll also try to upload a few pictures to flickr when the opportunity presents itself.

[tags]rockies, banff, moraine lake, lake louise, jasper[/tags]


The Canadiens have traded Mike Ribeiro for…well, who cares? What’s important is that they traded Mike Ribeiro. The fact that Saku Koivu’s eye appears to be ok, combined with a rather pressing need for blueline help prompted the move (it was Janne Niinimaa coming the other way) allowed them to make the move. This frees up some space at center for guys like Tomas Plekanec and Steve Begin.

I just never liked Ribeiro. Nothing against him personally, I just don’t like watching guys who’re too cute with the puck and seem to float a lot of the time. But hey, good luck to him in Dallas.

[tags]canadiens, mike ribeiro, janne niinimaa[/tags]

Going where many, many men have gone before

Two more sleeps, as my wife would say.


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I don’t know how I booked travel before the internet. Actually, I suppose I didn’t really; by the time I started flying anywhere or paying for a hotel the internet was in full bloom. I think the last time I spoke (voluntarily) to a travel agent was in 1997, right after I moved here and needed to book a flight home for my brother’s wedding.

Now, with web 2.0 / social software / whatever geeky term you want to use, it’s gotten even better. TripAdvisor helped us pick hotels in Lake Louise (Moraine Lake, actually) and Jasper that we never would have heard of, though they were both ranked #1 and were far cheaper than the Fairmont options. We did book a stay at the Banff Springs, though; I dare say we’ll need some extravagance at the end of the trip. Flickr gave us an advance taste of places like Emerald Lake and Lake O’Hara, and Chowhound pointed us to to some interesting restaurants that we’d have never considered otherwise.


By the way, the title is a line from Almost Famous that has nothing whatsoever to do with travel research.

[tags]banff, lake louise, jasper, tripadvisor, flickr, chowhound, fairmont, emerald lake, lake o’hara[/tags]

Well hello there, Google Reader

Colin told me about the new & improved Google news reader last night. I tried it out and after five minutes I was in lurve. I grabbed my OPML file and, one quick import later, I have a new home. I didn’t like the first incarnation of the Google reader, and kept going back to the FeedDemon/NewsGator combo. Recently, I had to ditch FeedDemon because of sync problems I couldn’t resolve, though I kept using NewsGator. However, NewsGator’s web reader is clunky and Google reader actually feels as fluid as a desktop app, so I’m sold.

For now.


It’s time to catch up on the random MP3s I’ve been throwing onto my Nomad in the last few months. Here’s today’s lineup:

  • be your own pet . “thresher’s flail”
  • be your own pet . “we will vacation, you can be my parasol”
  • belafea . “tara”
  • bob dylan . “someday baby”
  • bob dylan . “the levee’s gonna break”
  • bob dylan . “thunder on the mountain”
  • bonnie prince billy . “the seedling”
  • califone . “the orchids”
  • cold war kids . “hang me out to dry”
  • cold war kids . “hospital beds”
  • cold war kids . “saint john”
  • darker my love . “what’s a man’s paris”
  • dears . “ticket to immortality”
  • editors . “munich”
  • jennifer o’connor . “exeter”
  • jennifer o’connor . “exeter, rhode island”
  • jesu . “dead eyes”
  • jesu . “silver”
  • john frusciante . “communique”
  • john frusciante . “sphere”
  • john frusciante . “walls”
  • johnny cash . “god’s gonna cut you down”
  • ladyhawk . “long ’til the morning”
  • ladyhawk . “sad eyes, blue eyes”
  • ladyhawk . “the dugout”
  • ladyhawk . “war”
  • long winters . “ultimatum”
  • mendoza line . “catch a collapsing star”
  • mike doughty . “i hear the bells”
  • mike doughty . “tremendous brunettes”
  • mischa . “cubicle”
  • mission of burma . “2wice”
  • murder by death . “boy decide”
  • my latest novel . “sister sneaker sister soul”
  • ox . “1913”
  • polyphonic spree . “lithium”
  • primal scream . “country girl”
  • primal scream . “dolls”
  • primal scream . “the 99th floor”
  • richard buckner . “town”
  • sissy . “so long”
  • spangle call lilli line . “b”
  • spangle call lilli line . “piano”
  • spoon . “idiot driver”
  • spoon . “mountain to sound”
  • sunset rubdown . “stadiums and shrines ii”
  • swan lake . “all fires”
  • yo la tengo . “pass the hatchet”
  • yo la tengo . “the room got heavy”
  • zero 7 . “this fine social scene”

[tags]google reader, newsgator, newsgator[/tags]


OK, I had to remove the Google Map from the sidebar ’cause Internet Explorer is retarded.


My poor mother. She’ll have to keep up with both my brother and I as we traipse through Turkey and the Rockies respectively. And on dialup, no less…

[tags]internet explorer sucks, rockies, turkey[/tags]

Once again, an Onion headline becomes reality

Of all the reprehensible things the Bush administration has done, this is one of the most terrifying: in an article titled Forget Nuremberg: How Bush’s new torture bill eviscerates the promise of Nuremberg, Slate explains how the President has granted himself the authority to “interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions.”

The court system is now emasculated regarding the issue of torture. The executive branch has subverted the judicial branch, and has the legislative branch by the throat. The checks and balances set out by the forefathers Republicans claim to hold so dear are being chipped away, bit by bit.

I fear America is sliding into a period which, not too many years hence, they’ll view as one of the darkest in their history.


On a lighter note, and in preparation for our trip, I’ve added a little Google Map to the sidebar. It’ll show you where we are, so long as I can get enough signal to update our location on the blackberry.

[tags]bush, torture, nuremberg, geneva conventions, google maps[/tags]

Oil, fat and hyacinth

At lunch today I finished watching another Werner Herzog documentary: Lessons Of Darkness (imdb | rotten tomatoes). Essentially 50 minutes of aerial film from Kuwait, taken just after the first gulf war, set to a Wagner score or to Herzog himself reading passages from Revelations, it’s enough to boggle the mind and drop the jaw. Fountains of fire spewing from sand, rivers and lakes of oil stretching for miles, racks of crude torture paraphenalia, burned & rusted skeletons of old vehicles, blackened men trying desperately to regain control over the exploding landscape…it’s just incredible stuff.

Herzog’s a freaking genius.


It’s natural that a conservative government would cut social programs. That’s what they do; it’s the basis for conservative politics: you lessen the role (and spending) of government, thereby reducing the short-term tax burden on the public. So it comes as no surprise that the Tory government is cutting $1 billion from human rights lawyers, students, museum-goers, etc.

What does surprise me is that they cut the programs on the same day they announced a $13 billion surplus.

While I agree with their decision to use the surplus to pay down the debt, couldn’t they have paid down $12 billion and left the social programs intact? It would’ve been a good PR move, certainly, and it would have been a non-dickish thing to do.

Weighing in with their (predictably opposing) viewpoints: the Toronto Star and National Post.


While piddling about on my computer tonight I put ye olde Windows Media Player on random. These were the first ten songs served up. Apparently my PC likes the instrumental post-rock; I didn’t hear a single word for about 22 minutes starting at song #6…

  • radiohead . “backdrifts”
  • blink 182 . “i miss you”
  • hank williams iii . “atlantic city”
  • flogging molly . “light of a fading star”
  • bjork . “army of me”
  • mono . “the flames beyond the cold mountain”
  • mogwai . “you don’t know jesus”
  • explosions in the sky . “first breath after coma”
  • constantines . “hyacinth”
  • ani difranco . “willing to fight”

I should have kept writing them down. It just played The Cooper Temple Clause, Sleater-Kinney and Iggy Pop all in a row.

[tags]werner herzog, lessons of darkness, conservative spending cuts, budget surplus, random music[/tags]

You snooze, you lose; well I have snost and lost.

You know, it’s all fun and games ’til someone…umm…ooh. Yikes.


Sports Illustrated thinks the Canadiens might be a dark horse this year. I hope so, but their 0-4 preseason record isn’t a great sign.

Ooh…but they’re leading the Senators 4-2 in the 3rd.


We watched episode one of the fourth season of The Wire, and I’m hooked already. Sooooooo hooked. I love that show.


By the way, that line up there in the subject is from “I Hear The Bells” by Mike Doughty, known to my wife as the song playing at the alternaprom in the last season of Veronica Mars. I just love the lyric.
[tags]sports illustrated, canadiens, senators, the wire[/tags]

My body dislikes me…

…when I run for the first time in two weeks. The film festival and courses away from home (especially when the gym is off limits all six days) don’t allow much time for exercise, and there’s an abundance of rich desserts, ice cream bars and brownie-shaped objects at the training centre, so…yeah. All that adds up to about five pounds, so I’ve undone all the good (which equalled precisely that amount) I’d done in the weeks prior.

[tags]a waist is a terrible thing to mind[/tags]