A Decades-Old Mystery/Annoyance Solved?


Dear Person who donated their Dune three book set to a library in Eastern Ontario,

I have found your missing puzzle piece. It was hidden behind Dune Messiah in the back of the box.

I can only imagine how frustrated you were, 15 years ago or more, when you were missing this one small piece and thereby could not finish your puzzle.

Whether by accident or some sinister plan to upset your other pastime besides reading science fiction, the puzzle piece was hidden in the box of this 1977 printing of three of the Dune series books, and thereby lost to you.

I just wanted to put it out there, as I finally got around to reading these books, which I bought at least 15 years ago from the Friends of the Library for hopefully more than 50 cents, but I wouldn’t count on it. Hopefully, you have overcome the frustration of that unfinished puzzle, and these words being sent out over the Internet will somehow soothe that last sharp edge of uncertainty because now, you know.

As for the puzzle piece – a piece separated from the collective, its purpose lost and its dharma unrealized because of its secret passage to other hands, perhaps I will try to soothe its unrealized potential by incorporating it into a multimedia art piece commenting on the facility of failure when one’s path or destiny are too closely defined.

But until then, know that I found your puzzle piece and I’m sorry your puzzle contains a blank spot about that size and shape.

All the best,

Snapshot Saturday

Flying in to Anchorage over glacier topped mountains.

Two gigantic bears mounted in my colleague’s hotel lobby. The polar bear was 10 feet tall and 1200 pounds, and the brown bear was slightly shorter (though still close to 10 feet tall) and probably closer to 1500 pounds.

Looking back to Anchorage from the Coastal Trail.

A golden eagle sitting in a tree.

Catching up – Alaska post

I promised a better Alaska post, so I’d best get on that before I forget *everything*.

One of the reasons why I haven’t been doing an Alaska post is that I’m pretty irritated by my photos on the last day. I took a lot of photos, and some that I was quite interested in seeing on my computer. But when I did, I was disappointed. I really should have thoroughly cleaned my camera before I set out on my last day. I have a consistent dust smudge ¬†on the top left quadrant of all my photos. Grrr.

The first few days of my work trip were all work, which is good for a work trip, really. We got to Alaska and I tried the taco restaurant just down the street from my hotel, and then I went for a walk around the dog park and saw some angry beavers. Despite the clear signs saying that people should leash their dogs when going near the beaver lodge because the beavers are protecting their young at that time of year, well, people didn’t. But I didn’t see any beaver-dog fights while I wandered so that was okay. And I got “greeted” by one happy dog who had just been swimming in the beaver pond, but I was on my way back to the hotel, so I didn’t mind the wet face mark on my chest so much…

Anchorage is breathtaking, really. The city is perched on a delta/inlet and is backed by mountains. Yes, you have to worry about interacting with bears in the city, and moose. As I was walking anywhere, people were really friendly and said hi to you on the street. It was very odd, especially since people think you’re creepy, crazy, or trying to pick up if you do that in Ottawa.

We went to Orso for dinner on one night, and to our colleague’s house for dinner on the other night (when I saw the moose – three posts ago). Orso was lovely and the food was really delicious, and my colleague was able to find the red wine he liked, and it was quite good as well.

On the last day, when everyone was flying out, I had to stay because all the flights were full. So I spent the day rambling around Anchorage. I did the Coastal Trail walk from downtown to Earthquake Park, which was quite a hike, and I was in the wrong shoes for it. But it was a great walk, and there were planes everywhere. There were a couple of fighter jets (or more than a couple) doing exercises over the inlet. And there were bush planes taking off from the smaller airport, as well as passenger jets taking off from Anchorage airport.

I was able to see some sandhill cranes, a bald eagle sitting on a treetop, and two golden eagles – one flying and one sitting in a tree as well. That was quite exciting.

The information at Earthquake Park was really good, and definitely put the point across that the earthquake was terrifying. I can only imagine. Major land shifting, widespread destruction, loss of life. And then the aftermath of being without power, entirely cut off from aid and desperately in need.

When I got back to Anchorage from my walk, I went to Glacier Brewhouse, which was alright. It wasn’t exactly what I had wanted for food, but at that point, I was extremely hungry so I was okay with whatever. The beer was good though.

I’d like to go back for a vacation type visit – maybe do an Alaskan cruise and then go up to visit Denali National Park. And wear the right type of shoes for walking so far. My feet were really sore that night. :) Luckily, my hotel had a hot tub. ;)


Flighty thoughts


I really did have a pretty awesome idea for a blog post, not once, but twice this week. It was the same idea, and I was thankful that it drifted back into my head the day after it occurred to me and then disappeared.

And then it disappeared again.

If it hasn’t been obvious by my lack of posts, I have been quite busy lately. Sometimes I’ve been busy doing things, going places, seeing people. Sometimes, I’ve been busy trying to recover from being busy. Which is why that idea has fled my mind.

We did our annual pilgrimage to Stratford last weekend and saw King Lear, with Colm Feore as King Lear, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with a lot of the same actors. King Lear was amazing, and I felt so heartsick at the end of it because it really was such an immense tragedy. Another one of those plays where just a little bit of calm communication would have… well, saved lives. But Colm Feore performed King Lear so absolutely well. I’m sorry if you intended to go and didn’t make it this year – it was so worth it.

The production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that we watched was not the chamber play (as they put on two productions this season) but the one that was performed on the main theatre stage. In it, they had played with some of the genders of the characters, such that Hermia was refusing a heterosexual marriage to Demetrius in favour of a homosexual marriage to Lysander, who was played by a great woman actor. Also, both Oberon and Titania were played by men, but Titania was still in a dress. The setting was a backyard wedding reception where the wedding guests put on this play in honour of the same-sex couple who had just been married. It was really interesting and I appreciated the creativity and the thought-provoking aspects they brought to the fore. I didn’t enjoy Titania’s performance as much, because at a certain point, it felt a bit too clownish. Oberon did a very good job, and was the only actor who was addressing the wider audience. Also, interestingly, they had one actor who was signing his lines, with a verbal narrator from one of the other actors for the audience’s benefit. It was really quite interesting.

Also, it is October, which is a bit of a shock to the system. Next month is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), whereby you dedicate all your not-working-not-eating-not-sleeping time to writing a novel during the month of November. While I was eagerly planning in years past at around this time, I shan’t be participating this year. If you haven’t tried it, I really recommend it. It’s hard work if you don’t take vacation to do it, but it’s really satisfying to try to pound out a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

More things are coming up, including more pottery classes, an art-business one day conference, and various celebrations. I was just updating my daytimer (yes, I still use a paper calendar…) and I’m a little worried. I sent a picture to my sister of the state of my wall calendar, and I have more things happening this month than days where nothing is planned. Yoga and meditation and breathing will need to happen.

So, because we have passed the Autumn Equinox, and our nights are now longer than days, here is Vivaldi’s Autumn to make us feel good about crisp, autumn breezes, colourful leaves and dressing in layers.