small houses

every now and again the pineapples and i talk about owning property.  this is mostly blue-sky dreaming since we’re both up to our ears in student debt, but now that at least one of us has landed a half-way decent job – even though it’s only a 1-year contract, likely non-renewable – the discussion comes up more and more.

today the idea of owning a small cabin or cottage an hour outside of town happened again. a friend of mine has done just this, and she and her partner spend a lot of time at the property tearing it apart and putting it back together again, presumably.  oh, the lure of adulthood!

the pineapples and i both like the idea of owning a shack where we can leave the din of towns and cities and shake off mind-forged manacles and whatnot(*).  there’s a certain lure to owning a crumbling piece of property that could force me to use a hammer.  there’s also a certain lure to turning it into a small writing shed as alistair macleod has done for so many years in Inverness, too.  the neatest thing about this idea is that the cost of crumbling sheds is almost affordable enough for us to buy in to.  notwithstanding the student loans, the need to own wheels to make this happen, and the inevitable mortgage as well as Rent Within The City, this seems almost doable – a neat way to Get ‘Yer Ocean! and to invest in a property before something better comes along.

Actions items to turn these pies in the sky into something almost manageable:

  1. find a real-like permanent contract somewhere.  this will force our hand when it comes to Figuring Out If We’re Actually Going To Live (t)Here
  2. own wheels to necessitate The Weekend Life
  3. commit to learning how to use a hammer and nails from time to time
  4. get over the fact that creepy-crawly insects are sometimes a fact of life

(* – I make no apology for the Wordsworth and Blake references that smacked you upside the head in this post.)



This summer I bought a roadbike from a friend.  Targo is his name (the bike, not the friend), and he helps me zip around Halifax.  I’ve become one of those bike nerds chasing an imaginary something down Agricola and Windsor Streets as I make my way toward work on the Dalhousie Campus.  The commute is only about 3-4 km each way each day, so it isn’t exactly strenuous, but it has been enough to make me real excited about biking.

i used to hate biking.  Hate with a Capital 8, so to speak.  But this time around, things are different.  I think things are different because of the moustache-handlebars.  Cycling up and down Halifax roads doesn’t feel so horrible now that the bike frame allows me to lean into the wind I’m making for myself.

All this cycling has given given me a Wicked Cool Biking Idea.  Last weekend, I was waiting on a bus to take me to a friend’s house.  The bus came around and I saw the bike rack and I realized I could take the bus to God Knows Where, HRM, Nova Scotia, and then I could spend the day biking to various Cool Places.  How fun that would be!  And then the Wicked Cool Biking Idea hit me.  The next time I’m in SoCal (which is about once a year – blessed at the in-laws), I’m going to bike from one end of Joshua Tree National Park to the other.

Although JTNP doesn’t have an steep hills (it’s two desert plateaus), this is not going to be any pleasure ride.  It’ll be a 90km trek, which is pretty damn long for some one like me.  I’m reasonably fit, and I can run 90+ minutes without feeling too rough the next day, but I don’t know what a 90km ride feels like when you’re in the saddle at km-85, let alone when you’re resting the next day.

This means that serious training is in order.  I haven’t figured out exactly what the training is going to be, but it’ll likely begin next weekend with a journey somewhere to Outer Reaches, HRM (see also: God Knows Where, HRM), followed by other week-end rides of increasing lengths before the weather sends me inside until Spring 2011.

I’ll keep ya posted if anything comes of this.


so i think i decided to start posting again, wildly.   my life has changed in a way that may give me some time to do so.  i’m not sure where to post anymore.  The Great Fragmentation Project of 2004 (or was it ’03?) was so successful that I actually don’t know *where* to blog.  Having systemically destroyed the online community I built around myself back then, I don’t know where to post this content.  It may be BlogSpot.  It may be Livejournal.  It may be wordpress.  It remains to be seen.

Hastings Gets Shorn, +1 Week

Last week I took Hasting the cat to the vet to be shaved.  He had some knots in his fur which he didn’t like, and neither did we.

One week later, we’re beginning to see the bronze colour in his coat return.

Interestingly, Hastings, who was always HUGE, is more gigantico than we ever imagined.  His legs are the size of tree trunks, and I still contend that he looks and walks a bit like an AT-AT. He is more frigging adorable and cute than we ever realized on account of all this.  Without his long-haired coat, it’s easy to see how disproportionate the handsome man is – the clown has a really small head but a monstrously large, over-grown body.

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I’ve never owned a kitten before, but I wonder if this is part of their charm.  Hastings appears to have had one growth spurt too many on the vertical.  I’ll try to get some better photographs to show this – it will take two people because as soon as he realizes I’m focusing my attention on him, he walks directly toward the camera, thereby ruining any good picture of the tree trunks.


I start a new job next week.   I decided I may want a bike to get to and from work.  So my friend, Greg, has loaned me this roadbike to try out, and it’s *awesome*.  It’s a CCM Targa, circa-1975-around there, and it has moustache handlebars and a crankshaft that basically can’t be replaced because it’s not made anymore.  wicked!

Greg (or his dad, maybe) even tricked it out with a mirror.  Awesome.

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i feel both 35 years younger and older when I get on this machine.  love it.

also, i think the pineapples’s dad would get a kick out of these wheels  for his own roadbike-loving ways.


Some of you have asked what I’m going to name the bike.  That might be premature because I haven’t bought it yet.  But I admit some names have been going through my head, including César or Julio, in honour of the month of July.  Or maybe Larry.

Comparing Hastings to an AT-AT

Some of you are privately asking me what an AT-AT is.  To get an answer, you’ll have to either watch Empire Strikes Back or look at the photos of my recently shorn cat, Hastings.

The full slideshow is here, but I’ll draw your attention to a few photos so you can see what I’m talking about when I say he’s equal parts kitten, rat, and AT-AT.

Perhaps the resemblance isn’t as noticeable as I’d like it to be with still images.  I’ll try to get some video of the handsome man (that the cat, not the AT-AT) while he’s strutting about the house with his Gigantico legs so you can see what i’m talking about.

Stolen from LucasArts, presumably

(the AT-AT photo was found on the young manhattanite via google image search.  i’m sure he stole it from LucasArts and we’re all about to get DMCA’d on account of it.)

Halifax Gay Pride Parade 2010

Some photos of Halifax’s 2010 Gay Pride Parade, starring a few people I know, including @hellopineapples and @disasternat

Two thoughts came to mind when I was standing at the corner of Barrington Street and Blowers and waiting for the parade to come my way.  First, that this section of Barrington is marked by Venus Pizza and Venus Envy.  and second, that I’m probably not the first to realize that.

Once things got going, I got to thinking about the differences between parades and marches.  There were people marching in the parade, that’s for sure, but I’m guessing that things are a little more jovial today than they were twenty years ago.

The highlight of the parade, I think, had to have been The Coast’s parade float.  I don’t know who the band is but think it was Windom Earle. Anyway, they were rocking Barrington St’s socks the entire time.  The saxophonist (below) stole the show, for sure:

The Coast at Gay Pride 2010

The Coast at Gay Pride 2010: the saxophonist's energy stole the show

I’m a big fan of social justice and of political activism. So, some other highlights of the event were the number of unions who marched.  Supporters of the Liberal Party marched completely in Grit Red, while NDP supporters took on full roller derby regalia and came to play as the MP Hammers.  I didn’t see anyone from the Conservative Party of Canada, though, which might have been a missed opportunity..  Just sayin’…

Megan Leslie's Roller Derby team: the MP Hammers

NDP MP Megan Leslie and friends dressed up in total roller derby regalia, as the MP Hammers.

Finally, there were no bag pipers at this parade.  Bagpipers are normally a sine quon non at parades in Nova Scotia.  I did see some kilts, but that’s as far as it got.

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