Image stealing, but the girl can’t help herself…

July 27, 2008 at 6:29 pm | In scenes_victoria, victoria | 1 Comment

Ok, so I’m not supposed to “rip” images from directly, but this one is so great, it would be a shame just to point to it:

Isn’t that a beauty? (I mean everything: the cars, the photo, the framing of the shot…)  It’s by  Maple Musketeer, and the shot is from this page.

Note, by the way, that it was taken yesterday (7/26).  It looks old, but it’s simply one (correction: two) of the many vintage cars you’ll see in this climate (they don’t rust, they just eventually fade away…), and the photographer has toned it (sepia?) to suggest age.  Across the street you can make out the sign for “Westbank,” which is the presentation centre for a development corporation.  The building it’s in used to house Ballantyne Florists, the building itself is by John di Castri, a local mid- to late-20th century architect of some (local) renown.

Is “balance” enough?

February 26, 2008 at 11:48 am | In crime, ideas, scenes_victoria, social_critique | 2 Comments

Just a quick post, as I’m still in catch-up mode. This morning I read an article in the local paper about a man who has 250 charges against him for public drunkenness, causing disturbances, aggressive panhandling, harassing people, and so on. “Red,” as he’s called in the article, is not homeless, according to police, and they do not believe that he has a mental health problem (although that’s debatable, given his behavior). See Persistent panhandler gets summons under a section of community charter.

Now the city will use a new community charter bylaw to haul this individual before court, where they hope the judge will sentence him to stay away from the downtown core. The intent is to ban Red from panhandling and from “socializing” downtown.

One city council member, quoted in the article, says, “There’s always got to be a balanced approach in dealing with all the issues.”

This bothers me, maybe because we hear too much about “balance” these days. The councilor is concerned that Red’s rights to be downtown on the street to panhandle (which isn’t illegal as such) aren’t infringed upon, and that the way to address the problems caused by the behaviors of people like Red is to seek balance. It somehow makes me think that balance is starting to become a sort of mantra which doesn’t allow valuation. And if that’s the case, you have to ask: Is “balance” stasis? If so, it’s death.

What about judgement? Are we (especially in Canada) so afraid of judging (as my daughter pointed out to me a couple of years ago, in Canada judges need to take workshops to learn how to be non-judgemental…) that we opt for balance (stasis), versus embracing quick, nimble, intellectually aware and alert change? And besides, isn’t our supposed balance often enough just an appearance of balance? All sorts of stuff is still out of whack beneath the surface and in other domains, and the fervent wish for balance is …well, just a wish. Perhaps a wish to get out of making judgements and decisions?

It’s ironic that the US should be full of religious evangelists, whose mantra on the Christian side of the register is not to judge, lest ye be judged, and yet it’s we in Canada, supposedly secular, who are holier than thou in being non-judgemental.

So here’s the deal: I have a problem with being non-judgemental, especially since I’m not a Christian or religious. Being non-judgemental might work fine in your spiritual life, but it sucks when it comes to ethics and politics and economics and policy. You know, it’s like that old shibboleth about rendering unto Caesar what’s Caesar’s and onto god what’s god’s.

Which finally makes me wonder if politicians, when they talk about “seeking balance,” are refusing to judge, …which makes me wonder whether focusing on “balance” is replacing decision-making. I also wonder whether balance in the spiritual sense was ever intended to be a sort of placeholder for anything, whether painful or pleasurable.

As an atheist, I object to any strategy or philosophy that introduces religion into politics. When people talk about “balance,” they usually mean something quasi-religious (or at least “spiritual,” whatever that horse of a different color means to all the riders out there).  Whether the councilor in question is religious or not is moot for me at this point.  I’m concerned with the discourse of “balance,” which is starting to sound like religion.  I object to religion whenever and wherever it worms its way into places where it doesn’t belong.

Victoria: turning into everywhere else? It’s creativity unleashed

February 16, 2008 at 1:19 pm | In creativity, DemoCampVictoria, democampvictoria01, local_not_global, northernvoice, scenes_victoria, victoria | 8 Comments

Perhaps Victoria is “turning into everywhere else,” and that’s a good thing? It is when it means that modern creativity is unleashed, on the streets, and in our coffee houses.

This morning I was cataloging my books on LibraryThing while my husband went out for breakfast to meet Rod O. from Magic Kite at the Cook Street Village Starbucks, which is just one of 4 coffee shops (soon to be 5) in this 2-block area.

As they’re drinking their lattes, they’re surrounded by scads of folks from the neighbourhood, who have come in to check out the people or read books or have business meetings or work wirelessly on their laptops. The crowd includes a man working on a Ruby on Rails application, using the Flock browser. Since the husband and Rod had just been talking about building a little business app on Rails, they chat with the other chap for a while. When the spouse returns home (where I’m still busily cataloging away, trying not to sneeze from all the dust), he tells me about the Flockstar fellow on Rails.

Hmm, I think, Can’t be, can it? The world’s not that small?

Was he quite distinctly hairless as regards the scalp?, I ask. Yes, came the answer. Was his name Rick?, I inquired. Yes, again.

Coincidence? Or an element of localized spikiness? I’ve never met Rick, but it so happened that I used a photo of “Rick on Rails” pulled from Flickr (and uploaded by quaelin on Jan.22/07) next to a photo of a Roland Brener work, “Sculpture” (also posted to Flickr, by striatic), for two talks I presented to local Victoria business / community groups this winter.

The slide I made, which juxtaposed “Sculpture” (above) and “Rick on Rails” (below) includes this bit of text:

The Creative City

“…creativity is revolutionizing the global economy…”

Richard Florida

The juxtaposition was part of my larger point — that creativity needs to be unleashed: it can’t be restricted to areas of fine art, it also has to permeate technology and entrepreneurship. Brener’s Sculpture represented a multi-faceted aspect of “traditional” creativity (and is located where one conventionally expects to find it – in a gallery setting). Rick represents the creativity of technology and entrepreneurship, which you can casually stumble upon at your neighbourhood coffee shop.

(With thanks to “Rick on Rails” for having his picture on Flickr and being a “shining beacon” of technological creativity in Victoria! I hope he doesn’t mind that I’ve reposted this likeness here to make a point!)

And so, let’s hope that Victoria gets spikier and more creative all the time — unleashing creativity is the best way to ensure that it will be “like everywhere else” (that is, one of those places that’s buzzing with goodness & spikiness), while also developing a distinctive, spiky edge of its own. “Becoming like everywhere else” sometimes just means that a place changes for the better and finds its creative groove.

Edit: I’ve added the tags DemoCampVictoria, democampvictoria01, and northernvoice to this entry as it relates directly to DemoCamp Victoria01’s genesis.

How Victoria’s Monday Magazine gets it wrong

February 2, 2008 at 10:16 pm | In free_press, homelessness, local_not_global, media, newspapers, NIMBYism, scenes_victoria, victoria, writing | Comments Off on How Victoria’s Monday Magazine gets it wrong

Victoria has a weekly tabloid newspaper called Monday Magazine, which, starting as an alternative publication ~35 years ago, has somehow managed to stay mired in the worst sort of “us and them” thinking that feeds into (and off) the roiling Schadenfreude of the perpetually resentful.

Lately, one of their old writers from some many years ago, Sid Tafler, returned to roost. He is riding the resentment wave, in particular with an article published a week ago Wednesday (Jan.23), when the Jan.24-30/08 edition hit the street, with Tafler’s “Faulty Towers; Empty condos a tragedy of urban planning failure.” The article — full of errors and shoddy thinking, was promptly posted to Victoria’s best online forum for urbanism, Vibrant Victoria, where it received both a thread of its own, Monday Article – Faulty Towers – by Sid Tafler, as well as lengthy critiques.

Some Monday Magazine articles are online, while others aren’t. Tafler’s wasn’t, but the forumer who started the thread posted a scanned version to the thread — if anyone wants to read the article, click through to the thread. Note that the columns of text in the scans run vertically, and you have to finish the first column on the first scan in the first column on the second scan, and so on…

In the next issue of Monday, the magazine printed 3 letters strongly in support and 1 conditionally in support of Tafler’s junk analysis, with one by former architect Roger Smeeth taking the prize for suggesting silly and impossible things. (Again, see the forum thread for really incisive critiques of Smeeth’s letter.)

I too sent a letter to Monday Magazine, dated Jan.26, but since I was critical of Tafler’s odious column, the editors perhaps didn’t see fit to publish it. And so I’m publishing it here on my blog — because I want to make sure that a record of the opposition and criticism that Tafler’s cheap shot provoked never fades from the Google record.

Here’s my letter:

Dear Editor:

I sincerely hope that Sid Tafler’s ears started burning on Thursday Jan.24, when he, with “Faulty Towers” freshly published, attended Charles Campbell‘s UVic lecture on conglomeration in the Canadian press and heard Campbell specifically and vigorously castigate Canadian journalists for their slovenly habits of retailing untruths. “Faulty Towers” is certainly and thoroughly corrupted by untruth and exaggeration, to the point that one wonders whether Tafler’s exercise in demagoguery veiled another purpose. But maybe he is just being jejune.

It’s difficult to know where to begin setting Mr. Tafler straight, because of course he’s just clever enough to appeal to legitimate concerns around affordability, which breathe enough life into his straw man (or is “Condoria” a woman?) for his article to appeal to the credulous.

But let’s just remember that practically all the condos he so abhors sit on what used to be surface parking lots, and they didn’t displace anybody’s “comfortable single-family home with a back yard.” Really, Mr. Tafler: you appear to be concerned about social and environmental ills, yet advocate a hackneyed suburban vision.

Mr. Tafler writes that “the city of Victoria approved 3,000 condo units in the last five years — 800 in 2007 alone, more than any other year” — as if that were a bad thing. I’d argue it’s a great thing: that’s 3,000 fewer “units” going to suburban sprawl; that’s 3,000 more “units” contributing to the city’s tax base (even if some of the owners are absent some of the time, they’re still paying property taxes, which happen to fund a vast part of the city’s budget); and that’s 3,000 potential “units” of people downtown, shopping, recreating, adding life to those streets.

Believe it or not, there are people living in many of those “units.” Good friends of mine live in Shutters, although, since they travelled for the past 2 months, their “unit” is dark. Likewise, you’ll find many empty-nesters who leave Victoria at this time of year to catch some sun. Their “units,” too, will be dark. In the lower price range, you will find investors buying “units,” but guess what? They rent them out, which helps alleviate Victoria’s rental crunch.

What would Mr. Tafler do instead? Have all these “units” to move to Bear Mountain? Would that be preferable? Incredible as it may seem, some of us cheer every time we can wrest some “units” back to our downtown.

Nor did these projects derail some magical solution to homelessness or affordability. It’s not the case that anyone was willing to step up to donate a building to that cause, nor is it the case that city councils can somehow magically wave a wand and make affordable housing appear.

Which brings me to my last point: you have to love the armchair quarterback, second-guessing all those lazy, incompetent city councilors, don’t you? Really, judging from Mr. Tafler’s grasp of economics (a simultaneously shallow and flaccid grasp it is), I’d hate to see him in a councilor’s seat, because I’m sure he’d go mad at the workload and the demands on his attention by every citizen who knows everything about anything better than he, the councilor, does. Those folks, as Mr. Tafler’s own example shows, are a dime a dozen, and when you’re in that seat, they’ll have you for breakfast. I wonder how Sid Tafler would like being made a meal of.

Yule Heibel

Tafler was at the Charles Campbell lecture (about which I’ll have more to blog later), and my use of the word “jejune” specifically points to a rather acid comment Campbell was making about Conrad Black v. the Asper family.

Deadlines — mirages for control freaks prior to hitting the caravansarai

September 9, 2007 at 9:38 pm | In housekeeping, just_so, scenes_victoria | Comments Off on Deadlines — mirages for control freaks prior to hitting the caravansarai

I guess I’m happy — in that slightly dazed, exhausted kind of way. I missed my usual deadline for my FOCUS Magazine article, juggled half a dozen balls while writing when my hands were free, and now finished at last. But the article turned out to be about something I hadn’t expected to write about, which somewhat accounts for the deadline extension, and I’m now pretty certain I can’t leave it where it is, and that what I wrote is really just Part One of what has to be a two-part series. I have no idea if the editor will agree, and so I’m not really sure if I’m actually done.

Does this make sense?

On another note: I have a hot new garden! It isn’t finished yet — that’s another deadline that came & went without being met — but it’s so gorgeous already, I can hardly believe it. Our miserably overcast, sometimes rainy summer was a blessing in disguise as it prevented my old garden from dying of drought (drought being the typical pattern here in summer), and now summer seems to be returning in some late guise, ready to drench my new garden with sun.

If I ever get a laptop again, I can take it to that new garden and make my personal caravansarai right there.

Extended surreality…

August 10, 2007 at 8:47 pm | In homelessness, just_so, scenes_victoria | Comments Off on Extended surreality…

I had a very strange experience today, lasting over the course of about an hour or two. I don’t normally ride the buses here — either I walk, or I walk, or sometimes I walk. When that doesn’t work, I will drive. Today I had to ride the bus to pick up the car from a regularly scheduled service so that I could drive it home.

As I wait by the bus stop — downtown, at the Fort and Douglas intersection — I see a girl I just know I’ve seen in a TV show. That is, she looks exactly like someone I’ve seen in a TV show …and never mind that I don’t get TV. But you know, …there’re video rental places, right?

A million buses go by, and finally “my” bus arrives. As I board, I see this guy get on who I swear is the 200% double of Rudy on Shop Around the Corner. Spitting image, total body double. A short while later, another guy gets on who is the double of a peculiarly crazed character on The Avengers. I think. (In this episode — he played the maniacal homocidal blacksmith.)

And so it went.

Everyone looked like someone else. Very very bizarre.

The guy who looked like the fellow on The Avengers especially spooked me. Why? I had seen him yesterday. He was in front of me at the Bottle Depot, where I had gone (driving, yes, in my car) to drop off two or three or more weeks worth of “empties,” including Tropicana OJ containers, many wine bottles, and several Tetrapaks of apple juice.

An aside: In BC, we pay a $0.05 to $0.20 deposit on all returnable/ recyclable containers, excepting milk products — the Milk Board made sure they were exempt. This deposit is returned if/ when we return the containers either to the store where we bought the item in the first place, or to a generic Bottle Depot. The latter have become magnets for the increasingly large army of “binners,” marginal or a-social people who pick through other people’s cast-offs, looking for “returnables.” The binners are often homeless, often drug- and/or alcohol-dependent, and they typically use (stolen) shopping carts to wheel their goods to the Depot. In some ways they perform a useful function since they do salvage returnables that some people simply throw out, although people typically throw these items into the curbside recycling bins. And if they’re in recycling bins, they get recycled. If they’re taken to Bottle Depots, they get recycled. The only difference is that the Bottle Depot pays you for the empties (or, more factually, reimburses you your deposit, which you paid at purchase), while the recycling service doesn’t pay you. When the binners snag returnables that you’ve decided you’re not going to redeem because it’s too much bother, they “earn” the refund money.
Many people are fed up with standing in line to redeem their empties’ deposit, and after yesterday’s experience, I’m one of them. I returned $13.65 worth of stuff — it was a trolley full of bottles and plastics. I thought it was a significant amount of change. But the guy in front of me — the one who looked like he had been on a bender for the past ten years and had washed perhaps once in all that time: the same guy who got on the bus with me today looking like the mad blacksmith in “The Town of No Return” — he returned over $80 worth of scavenged returnables. He hauled an incredible amount of stuff into the Depot, which on top of everything was swarming with wasps trying to feed off the rims of soda cans and wine bottles. Everyone and everything seemed to be feeding off something else: the great chain of garbage, nature at its finest. And yes, this is natural.

My plan has always been never to stand in line at the Bottle Depot again: I plan to build a small recycling station next to my garage where the binners can scavenge the empties. They can have the $0.10 per bottle, and I don’t have to take them to the Bottle Depot (or return them to the grocery or liquor store). But after seeing this guy yesterday, with his $80.65 in scavenged bottles, I wonder what exactly I’m supporting if I do that.

Meanwhile, as the bus continued, the whole Felliniesque circus played on. Everyone had at least two roles, some had three or more.

My service bill for the car was also surreal: $500.

But hey, I can drive to the Bottle Depot…

Red Fish Blue Fish

August 6, 2007 at 5:58 pm | In architecture, business, facebook, heritage, local_not_global, scenes_victoria, victoria | 3 Comments

It’s a holiday today in British Columbia, and I managed to take full advantage of the fact (well, aside from doing the usual Monday laundry-loads , food-preps, dog-walks, and other normal family life stuff…). But around mid-day all five of us (that’s counting the dog) walked over to Red Fish Blue Fish to have lunch.

The food was really delicious (a scallop sandwich to die for, for example), and the only drawback was that the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has forbidden Red Fish Blue Fish to set up any tables or chairs on the pier. So we parked ourselves on the pier’s edge, which wasn’t quite as comfy as sitting at a proper table. The irony is that “safety issues” are Harbour Authority’s excuse for not allowing table set-up — perhaps they feel the tables might be wobbly on the old pier? Whatever the reason, “safety issues” is a hilarious objection since perching on the edge of the pier is risky. You could topple over the edge and land 15 feet below on some gangway (if you’re lucky) or fall right into the harbour waters (if you’re outta luck), or you could get some serious splinters in your bum from the old wood (if you just want to be sublimely distressed). (Did I mention that the pier is old?)

Speaking of sublime, do take a look at the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority front page — they have an impressive banner photo (currently, anyway) that shows Ogden Point with two docked cruise ships, and part of downtown to the north, past the trees of James Bay, the residential neighbourhood between downtown and Ogdon Point.

I uploaded photos of Red Fish Blue Fish’s facility to my Facebook account, which you can view if you have an account. Their idea isn’t new, but it’s great nonetheless: the entire operation is housed in a converted shipping container, which the partners creatively remodeled into a charming piece of ex-industrial humdrum hunk-of-steel qua architectural trendiness. They planted the roof with drought-resistant plants (sedums and grasses — typically, our summers are extremely dry), which very fetchingly sets off the space-age style chimney and vent, and pierced the container with openings that serve both a useful function (air, ventilation) and make for a pretty cool “look,” too.

In addition, the restaurant is situated right below “Malahat Building,” also known as the Old Customs House, on a pier that could well deserve the “heritage” designation. While the Inner Harbour has silted up somewhat, it used to be a deep water harbour all the way up the rock edge at the foot of the Customs House. Embedded into the rock are three iron rings (one of which, under water whenever the tide is up, is mightily corroded while the others — above the tide line — are still in good shape). These were the rings that Sir James Douglas’s men attached to the rock to tie up their ship after they sailed to Vancouver Island in the 1840s — they’re effectively what remains of the decision by the initial European explorers — James Douglas, actually — to make this particular place the birthplace of what would become British Columbia.

In recent years, that particular spot became a favoured locale for drunks and junkies to congregate and watch the sun setting over the harbour behind the Sooke Hills. After they finished drinking and shooting up, they smashed their bottles on to the rocks and chucked their needles into the shrubs that cling to the edge. When Red Fish Blue Fish was building its facility, that activity continued every evening. Since they opened three days ago, however, those folks have moved on because the pier is now frequented in the evenings by other people coming to enjoy a meal.

Simon, one of the partners in the restaurant, hopes that the Harbour Authority will eventually build some stairs down to the water’s edge — as he pointed out, it’s the only place all along the city’s Inner Harbour where you can actually touch the water, play in it — and if they do, he and his people will pitch in to clean up the broken glass, clear the debris that accumulated over years of neglect, and let people know that right there, below the “heritage” pier, is Victoria’s equivalent of Plymouth Rock. Well ok, not a rock, exactly: three stout rings, one of which is massively corroded. Thanks to Simon and Red Fish Blue Fish, the corroded ring has been treated to retard or prevent further corrosion. It’s interesting that it took a business owner to make sure that this bit of history doesn’t keep slipping further into the sea…

Quick followup: I noticed that RFBF has a “press” page, which only links, however, to an already disappeared story in the local paper. Not to worry, however, as vibrant Victorians have been following this story on the Vibrant Victoria forum since last December. So, if you’re interested in how this has wound its way through city hall etc., read more on the forum…


August 4, 2007 at 11:02 pm | In local_not_global, scenes_victoria, web | Comments Off on Testing…?

For months now, I’ve had an account with, and for months I’ve wondered whether they’d ever include Canadian sites & blogs in the network.

A couple of days ago,’s Crysanthe Tenentes sent around an email to let members know that it’s easier than ever to get your blog posts about your neighbourhood, your places, your spaces listed, so here’s a bit of guerilla testing on my part. According to the email, all I have to do is embed the Google maps code (“link to this page”) into my blog post, and submit that post to I can also use a zip code tag — well, actually, I can’t, since we have postal codes (not zips) in Canada. Or I can use the “where” tag (also no good since it relies on zip code). And I could use the GeoRSS feed, but that takes a bit of looking into on my part.

I’ll just test the google maps embedded link first. So here goes:

I had lunch at Zambri’s Restaurant today. We arrived just after one, when the lunch crush had already abated. It was a simple meal, but quite good: all four of us had pasta dishes, some with squid, some with gorgonzola sauce, some with sausage, some with …something else. No wine today — alas, we felt abstemious.

Afterward, the kids walked home and W. & I looked at men’s suits at Hughes on Yates. Didn’t find anything, though.

Later that afternoon, we went to Pic-a-Flic in Cook Street Village before heading down to Dallas Road so that our dog Jigger could have a nice romp in the late afternoon sun. We had that typical west coast sun today: the kind that’s all golden and brings a certain glow into the shadows, which are rich, deep, and long late in the afternoon. The breeze picked up and I almost wished I had brought a sweater. We have the best summers here.

…Well, so now my readers can get an idea of how I spent part of my Saturday. But I have the feeling that’s ability to register Canadian locations is still in the R&D stage. The search box won’t allow searches for places that aren’t in the US. It’s too bad — the application is (imo) extremely interesting in terms of how it aggregates web-based/ blog-based information that relates to actual locales.

UPDATE, 8/5/07: It works! Here’s my map on for this entry… Now I just need some neighbours — other Victoria bloggers, in other words!

ONE MORE UPDATE: I just left a comment on’s blog, asking for more information. My map is visible, but I can’t “find” Victoria from the start page. I hope that’ll change soon, and Canadian bloggers can use this app to share information about their local places…

“Where are you?”

July 29, 2007 at 10:32 pm | In just_so, scenes_victoria, victoria, virtually | 2 Comments

I just came across an article by Kate Greene in the MIT Technology Review, Marking Your Territory, about web-based services that let you keep your friends up-to-date on where you currently are. In particular, the article describes Plazes, a Swiss start-up, which Greene says “lets you leave electronic bread crumbs for friends.” It sounds interesting.

As it happens, I went to the Inner Harbour today to see a display of over 750 Deuce Coupes, part of Northwest Deuce Day, and noticed that many people were on cell phones telling other people where they were.

At one point, I passed one woman walking south on Government Street in front of the Empress, telling someone that she was half-way past the lawn and nearly at the Royal BC Museum, while another woman passed by heading north, telling whoever was on the line that she was heading toward the Information Booth. Both women were literally less than a foot apart, and both were saying essentially the same thing to people they were speaking to on the phone.

Greene quotes a researcher at Yahoo:

“There is a sense that it’s important to find friends and share location with each other,” says Mor Naaman, a research scientist at Yahoo. Indeed, an increasingly common opening question in cell-phone conversations is “Where are you?”

“Where are you?”

“I’m here.”

…You’re sure about that, are you?

I tried this idea out on my offspring, as the women walked past us. I said, “It’s funny, it’s as though the technology is putting us back into place or something.” They looked at me funny. “?” “Well,” I stumbled, “it’s as though all this digital stuff allowed us to have ultra-mobility, but now it’s also tethering us again, sort of like a Post-It or something, sticking us into place. You’re on your phone telling people where you are. You’re stuck.”

They thought this was excessively cerebral and told me so. We continued to look at cars, marvelling at their faces. You could take off in a car like that, and not tell anyone where you are or where you’re going…

PS/Update: It occurs to me that an affair with urban policy‘s recent entry on Bruce Katz’s Washington Post editorial, A Much More Urban America, is apropos here (the link here goes directly to the Brookings Institute source). The blog quotes from Katz’s text:

Thirty years ago, some futurists predicted that the restructuring of the American economy and our technological advances would free and un-anchor us from place, precipitating a mass de-urbanization throughout the nation.

Well, they were wrong. Far from being dead, cities are experiencing a second life, fueled, in part, by their distinctive physical assets: mixed-use downtowns, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, adjoining rivers and lakes, historic buildings and distinctive architecture.

And one person comments on the blog, thus:

“technological advances would free and un-anchor us from place”

Sounds great! I want to be un-anchored from my suburban office job such that I can live in Minneapolis and telecommute.

That speaks to the topic I started with, somehow. Technology is — and isn’t — “un-anchoring” us from place. In a way, it’s placing us very tightly, if somehow differently.

Well, I’m placing myself in sleep mode (I hope). Recently, I had my eyes checked and as the ophthamologist used some sort of gadget to look into my eyeballs, he remarked, “You haven’t been getting much sleep, have you?” Some places are more bloodshot than they should be, I guess!

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