Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Monday, 29 August 2011
Through the summer friends often stay over for dinner or even all night and once its dark this is a typical scene at the computer station.
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
BITE THIS operates seasonally out of a trailer across the street from my office. It is owner, Donna, is a lovely woman who is a veteran of the street cart food business. Her motto is 'Fresh Food with Attitude'. The fare is eclectic fusion and includes greek, asian, steak in pita and this being Ottawa, Poutine. (Poutine is a gooey mess of cheese curds and gravy on french fried potatoes.) The vibe is funky in a sohisticated, non-pretentious kind of way.
I give it my 5 star rating. Tell Donna, John sent you!
Saturday, 20 August 2011
As a club dinghy 420's are great and perhaps more important, durable. While 29er's are increasingly popular with racers, they would be a nightmare to maintain in a sailing school situation.
As a man Mackenzie King lead Canada through most of the depression and the Second World War. He got on with Churchill and Roosevelt, in part through the guidance of his dead mother as channeled to him by his faithful Irish terrier, 'Pat'. He was also responsible for instigating the major planning and urban design initiatives that have made Ottawa such a distinctive Capital. I also enjoy visiting his estate, now part of Gatineau Park, where he built faux ruins incorporating some stone elements from the bombed House of Parliament. Legend has it, that he asked his friend Winston Churchill for a few pieces and they were shipped here by submarine.
As a sculpture, the figure is boldly abstracted and stands apart from the realistic style of the neighbouring works. I just wish the sculptor had added Pat, for company. After all FDR, at his fantastic Washington monument has his Scottie, Fala, with him.
Oh, and an obscure note - some of the roofs on Centre Block are green and others are bronze in colour. They are all copper, but the more recently replaced portions have not yet oxidized to the beautiful green patina of the Peace Tower. As for Mr. Mackenzie King, he's bronze, and as long as the birds stay off likely to stay that colour.
Sunday, 14 August 2011
It seems a waste to demolish the building, but there are many technical constraints, such as floor to floor heights and seismic ( earthquake) structural stiffening that make it more practical to construct a new building.
So - another architectural anatomy lesson for me to draw.
Monday, 8 August 2011
I took my son, Tommy, and his pal Leandro to Toronto this weekend for a skateboard competition. It was held at a new plaza in the Beaches neighbourhood. Plazas, as opposed to "parks" are the new thing in skateboarding as they appeal to "street" riders who launch themselves off steps, slide down handrails and flip their boards in all manner of acrobatic ways. There were about 100 participants and a really high level of competition.
Monday, 1 August 2011
Another double pager. I found a nice shady spot to get out of the heat for a while on Victoria Island beside the Ottawa River.
On Saturday evening two bridge decks were replaced on on overpass on the major highway which runs through Ottawa. A conventional approach would take the best part of two years, complete with the associated disruption to traffic. This new 'switch out' process was done in just 17 hours. This was made possible by using drivable hydraulic lifting machines to remove the old bridge decks and then place new decks which had been built nearby. The sketch was earlier in the day when the crews were positioning the lifting machine. I was disappointed to not be able to get close to the machine, which would have been a more interesting subject on its own.