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Friday, December 18, 2009

Killer Rabbits, Copenhagen and Bhutan

I've been a busy boy heading into the holiday season. I'm thrilled that some of my creative writing ventures will soon see the light of day. Two short literary stories of mine will be published next fall, one in Descant and one (about a vengeful rabbit) in the Nashwaak Review, both excellent literary journals.

On the journalisty side I've been blogging for The Coast on the current climate change conference in Copenhagen---quite a feat from here in Halifax. I have more than a dozen posts up there so far, which you can read by clicking the picture below:

I've also been doing some work for fellow writer Silver Donald Cameron, putting together some briefing notes on prominent environmental people who are meeting in Bhutan right now. They are looking at Bhutan's innovative Gross National Happiness index, and determining how a national education system could conform to GNH prinicples.

It was so interesting I did a column on it, which you can see by clicking on this picture:

I find it an inspiring example but as you'll see in the comments on that story, Bhutan is no angel. I'd welcome any thoughts you might have about it.


Saturday, December 05, 2009

STILL more pics!

Back at work week #4 behind me now. Not unlike most times, it was busy but somehow felt harder than usual. Chris says I have a crazy job. I tend to agree, even though I love it. Still, there are times when it just gets me and my heart.

Being an "administrator" means all those regular things like HR, management, finances and budget. But being an administrator at an NGO that works with homeless youth means a whole lot of stuff that probably doesn't apply if, for example, I worked at a bank. Youth struggling to make ends meet, struggling to keep families together.

We had a session on integrated mental health services for homeless youth with our local children's hospital, health centre and mental health and/or homeless NGOs. Six youth participated. I learned afterward that three of them had spent the previous night on the streets and came to a 9am session with powerpoints and presentations. None of us "professionals" had spent the previous night trying to keep warm or find some food. There is a righteous rage that threatens to consume me at times.

In any case, I write this after uploading all these pictures. They stand in stark contrast, evidence of the beauty and joy of friends, family, home, good food, nature, this city.

Peace out, Miia

Moon can peer into souls.
Neighbours and friends Silas and Louise cooking up a storm for American Thanksgiving.
A cat's tongue is faster than a camera's shutter.
Lise and David pondering Settlers strategy...
Voila! The organic happy chicken from NS Valley donated to our household by our energy auditor. (Long story there.)
Much fun chez the park.
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Apple cheeks.
This makes me so happy.
More birthday party. Good friends and mentors Jen and Jackson, David and Tim, Fiona
Dylan nearing the end - chocolate face and shirt untucked... a boy who had a blast.

Our neighbours came too with their kiddies.
Dylan welcomes Grandpa to the party.
Aunt Pam.
Cousin Tawnya and baby cousin Calla. Also neighbours!

Lots and lots of pictures

Lots of pics from late. Dylan's birthday combined with the great new camera that I recently bought equals a bit of a picture volume issue.

Here are some birthday shots...

Alexis, Sofia and Ria.
Iain and Jackson.
The train birthday cake, lovingly assembled by Lise and David.
Papa wearing the shirt he wore when we first met.
Lise preparty in the sunny kitchen. Those are NS Valley apples on the stool.
Dylan LOVES "watering" the plants.
A rare picture of Dyl's happy nose scruntch (he had a bit of a scrape at daycare).
Vulcan mind meld.

Baby yoga?
Blue steel look.
"I will kkkkill those bbbirds!"
The cake was a hit.
Kidsies galore at the par-tay.

People galore at the par-tay.
Choochoocake. (The #1 candle has already been recylced to another baby.)
Ice cream = nirvana.
Dylan's walker - ready to be 80.
Grammy and Dyldyl off for a walk up our street.
Great-grandma B on Remembrance Day. She lived the war firsthand.