26 June 2008

What will we do without oil?

I saw a story on The National the last night called "Running on Empty" and much of it rang true for me. Escalating gas prices, environmental damage, unsustainable suburbs; just a few reasons I won't be replacing my car any time soon. Or buying a house an hour from where I work just so I can have a yard of my own.

Still, most people don't want to talk about tough changes and sacrifices within the plans we've all made and the goals we've set for ourselves - even as our collective grasp is continually too short.

More seriously (and I don't personally know anyone who fits this category) I think a large part of what James Howard Kunstler addresses in his commentary in "Running on Empty" is a tenacious sense of entitlement among many materialistic, high-earning, high-achievers.

It seems that some people believe that because their parents had it and they've worked for it, they're going to have their SUVs, overseas vacation villas, boats, and whatever else - consequences be damned.

Every time I bring up lifestyle revision in social conversation with people I do know, the reaction is either that I'm a downer or I get lip service in return. (Although for the former, I expect there may be a correlation between reluctance towards self-examination, a distaste for intellectual conversation, and/or disbelief in punctuated equilibrium. Fortunately, I expect these acquaintances also don't read my blog.)

That said, I'm not innocent either. As I watched "Running on Empty", part of me fretted for my yet-to-be-decided tropical honeymoon, an upcoming writing retreat in Kenya, and any other travels I might want to take up this year. After all, I work for a resort developer and we sell vacations.

We may be looking at a world where guilt and worry over our carbon footprints become moot. If you have a few minutes, I highly recommend watching the clip below.

23 June 2008

Turkey Vulture!

Above Lone Tree Hill, off Millstream Road

On a hike at Lone Tree Hill yesterday, we bumped into what we thought were a couple of hawks of some sort. It wasn't until we got home and looked at the pictures, in combination with the park web site, that we realized this rather unattractive bird is called a Turkey Vulture.

19 June 2008

To quote a redhead...

"Please explain to me the scientific nature of 'the whammy'."
- Dana Scully

You've got to love dispassionate professional women who never smile or have fun in their working hours. Personally, I think Scully had her 'serious face' on because she wanted her predominantly male co-workers to take her seriously, in addition to conveying her scientific background.

Any X-Files fan will tell you, Scully regularly, either through rank never clearly illustrated or her own personality, regularly subordinated herself - subtly, but noticeably - to Mulder.

What I'm wondering today is, if Scully's character had been the lead, would she have had the chance to sling the witty comic relief instead of her partner?

17 June 2008

Launch and Vancouver pictures

I've got a few new pictures today; a shot from the book launch and a few pics from my last trip to Vancouver.

    Reading at the Flipside Teen Lounge
    Photo by Dani Boynton

    For the Vancouver pics, visit my deviantART account or check out the side bar on the right.

    09 June 2008

    Post launch thoughts and thanks

    It's been a over a week since the launch of Watching July and the good wishes are still pouring in. Thank you to everyone for all your support and encouragement.

    A big huge thank you to everyone at Sumach Press for all their work in helping to bring July into the world. Thanks to my editor Jennifer, publisher Lois and publicist Dayle.

    Thanks also to everyone who came out to the launch. Although I'd planned to share the live reading here (which Jeff was kind enough to record with his mp3 player) the sound quality just wasn't post-worthy.

    So although it's not live, here is the first chapter:

    Salmon River Ranch

    The first review is in too - excerpt and link below.
      "...the descriptive flowing style of the work invites the reader right into the life of July MacKenzie to the extent that it feels as if she is a friend.

      ...a cunningly written book, with strong and vivid characters, plot twists and turns."

      - A 'n' E Vibe Magazine
    Read the full review at:

    05 June 2008

    The Happening and Facebook

    I came across two interesting items today: Adbusters discussing Facebook privacy issues, and the trailer for the next M. Night Shyamalan film The Happening.

    As cautious as I am about using Facebook, I think this article is a little extremist - and that's saying something coming from me.

    Facebook Suicide

    On the latter, I'm a pretty serious Shyamalan fan, so I felt kind of silly to be hearing about his next movie so close to the release (June 13). Well, at least it's not like finding out CAKE had a new album out months afterwards.