Monthly Archives: August 2009

High Park Pool

We went to the public pool today and it was even more empty than yesterday. In fact, we were the only people there, other than the lifeguards. I suppose this is because of the weather in part, but also because the strike kept Toronto pools closed for the majority of the summer people just didn’t get into the habit of going. It was very cold at first, but I got used to it pretty fast. The lifeguards are kind of obnoxious about pushing the rules, so I had to stay close by the girls even in shallow water, and they yelled at me for taking photos, even though the only people there were us.


The other unfortunate casualty from the short summer is that they haven’t done the required maintenance on the water slide, so we were not able to enjoy that. In the end the visit was cut a little short (maybe forty-five minutes in the pool) because of a perceived wasp attack.

As I expected, when we got back to the truck there were people around it taking photos, something I imagine will become a regular occurance and I look forward to finding it on flickr pages, and once we arrived, asking lots of questions…


Then off to the playground for ice cream and hot dogs, and while they played I read William Little’s “The Psychic Tourist“, which has been an enjoyable read although he’s far too soft on psychics for my liking. As well as my stack of sailing books, I also picked up “Map Addict” by Mike Marker, which is great, and a new copy of Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet“, which I’ve read much of before but decided to read again (you can read it for free in many places online, including the previous link here, but I like reading physical books).

There were a bunch of events today at the park… some sort of AIDS-oriented walk-a-thon, and lots of end-of-summer parties, including this one that had kids doing some sort of LARP-like battle with foam swords and giant hammers and other faux weapons. Other than that, when we got home, a surprise visit from friends.


DIY “junk” rafts and floating islands

I was reading about the “Swimming Cities” project, DIY rafts, two of which are in the photo below. They’re taking these on a tour around the northen end of the Adriatic Sea as an art project. Not only is it a fun piece of performance art, but it’s inspiring thinking about people taking junk and turning it into floating living spaces that they can travel the world in.


It got me thinking a bit about similar projects, like the various rafts built by Floating Neutrinos. The one below is “Son of Town Hall”, one of many that they’ve built or inspired, which they credit as the first scrap raft to cross the North Atlantic, an adventure that seems remarkably brave to undertake.


Another group that have been quite ambitious in their journey is the DIY raft below which looks a lot like a catamaran sailboat (but has a raft-type pontoons rather than a normal sailboat hull) called, appropriately, “Junk“. They’re sailing it across the Pacific right now. Check out their blog for many disturbing comments on plastic garbage they’ve pulled out of the ocean.


Finally, I think I must also mention the largely stationary “Spiral Island” project, which is a raft that serves as more of a DIY floating island off the coast of Mexico. Richi’s site is actually a Ning community not just promoting his own islands, but encouraging others to do the same.


Toronto Department of Zombie Disposal

Completely inspired by Eve‘s car which got featured on BBG a while back, I had a lot of fun stenciling my truck with a similar text and logo, made permanent with red spray paint over the truck’s matte black base. You can click the photos for much bigger versions.



PS. I’m sure you remember the winged skull on the driver’s side, and my long gone camo Porsche.

Quick update… Nefarious took this picture of me doing the work, so I snagged it off her camera.


Edit: Hello Digg, Hello BBG!

Shelly Larratt

As you may recall, Nefarious has been begging me for a pet, and is always trying to sneak home frogs and other things that she catches. I finally let her get one, and her little turtle has joined Caitlin’s fish in our pond. Hopefully they get along and don’t eat each others food. Nefarious originally called the turtle “Turty” (sounds a little too much like “Turdy”), and then changed the name to “Shelly”, and has been waffling between them… Although she also considered more heroic names — “if it’s a boy, I’m calling him Superman, and if it’s a girl, I’m calling her Wonder Woman.” Personally I’m happy with “Shelly”, although I am sure that it is a very common name for turtles.


Edible? That’s debatable.

I got this nice big order of bugs and creepy creatures to eat from Edible — their prices are high, with their only real competitor in insect eating that I know of being Thailand Unique, but their service is very fast and to my surprise I received my order within a week of placing it. I also got some scorpions, some chocolate covered, and some that I will use in a stir fry… I don’t know if scorpions are a “bug” or not. The ants are nice too, and I used what I learned to update the Wiki page on Atta with a note on the flavor. I ate most of it myself, with a couple presents for friends and family. Nefarious’s cousins told me that they’d recently fried up some ants, so I will see if they are brave enough to eat the tarantula — the instructions suggest that they legs are yummy, but tell you to wash down the body with an ice cold beer, so I have my suspicions that it’s an acquired taste. Acquired by extreme poverty and necessity, that is.