Okay, (warning: little rant)
I listen to various radio stations sometimes when I work and today I am listening to CBC Radio 1 in Montreal. All day they have been providing apple with free advertising about Ipad. Give me a break — it’s a computer, it’s flat, it’s sold out…
Everytime someone buys an IPad, the store staff can be heard cheering in the background and the excitement of the other suckers (I mean shoppers) can be heard in the background.
I am not a Luddite, but nor am I a sheep. Do I want to be fully controlled by Apple. I don’t want to be restricted to Apple programs. I kind of like open source – something that was explained to me once that makes total sense. So, to answer my own question: Uh, let me think.
Until I see how the whole touchscreen thing performs, I will wait and even then, I might not bite at all.
And apparently it sucks as a reader…
It was a grim week for coastal Louisiana and Mississippi, as what has now been assessed as the largest oil spill in U.S. history washed up on beaches and filtered into sensitive wetlands, including seven of Audubon’s Important Bird Areas. The USFWS tally of oiled birds rose to 400, as Audubon volunteers continued to help shuttle victims to rehabilitation centers. Other Audubon volunteers throughout the gulf region provided the information that will be needed to assess the spill’s impacts and plan for the region’s recovery by observing birds in their backyards and communities and submitting their findings to eBird.org.
But Thursday morning dawned somewhat brighter. There was news that efforts to plug the 37-day leak were promising though the proof will be in the final cementing and sealing. And President Obama provided a critical reprieve for another sensitive area by suspending plans for exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean — a decision that thousands of Audubon Activists helped to spur on. Many thanks to all of you who were among them your voices helped make a difference!
Meanwhile, the devastating toll of the oil spill continues — and the challenges of recovery grow with every gallon. As we all fervently hope that the gusher has spewed its last toxic plume, we must not lose sight of the inevitable long-term impacts on birds, wildlife, sensitive habitat and Gulf communities.
That is why Audubon is so grateful for our volunteers, and for your commitment to both the speedy rescue of the birds already suffering from contact with the oil, and the protection and restoration of Gulf habitat for those who have so far been spared. As the recovery effort moves forward over the months ahead, so will your opportunity to put your passion for wildlife into action.
Audubon continues to deploy volunteers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, and efforts to ramp up volunteer monitoring and other activities are expanding throughout the region. These efforts include students who helped Audubon’s Pascagoula River Audubon Center staff assess water quality to provide a pre-oil baseline measure in anticipation of possible oil impact. Watch the video of their work.
Audubon magazine photographer Kim Hubbard joined Audubon Mississippi and Louisiana staff in Louisiana this week, and her photos, along with blog posts from the rest of the team, tell a compelling story.
I flew into Montreal on Wednesday. May 26th, my birthday. I ate an fab gallette on Rue St. Catherine before catching the bus to Val David (about an hour out of the city and in the heart of the Laurentians. It has taken me a few days to get my bearings and I’m still not settled into any sort of a writing regime, but that’s okay – I’m exploring, speaking French whenever I can and gleaning information from Flavia, the lovely Toronto/Romanian host of the Residence, and an accomplished poet in her own right. There is a large Romanian population here and a pretty piece of property on the Riviere Nord with a little house where Montreal/Romanians picnic on the weekends.
Val David in the woods
My bright, pretty room
Residence at Val David
The actual village of Val David is a ten minute walk and does not disappoint — cafes, shops, antique stores and many artisans and creative types — as yet unexplored — today I bought a loaf of wonderful, fresh bread and a CD by Daniel Belanger because he sings slowly and I can understand him.
There is a very Euro flavour here and most people speak only a few words of English, (I'm happy about that) and they understand me (I am even happier about that). This is a huge biking/kayaking,canoing centre and I wish I had someone to play outside with. Outside my windows, the Ravens scold and play reminding me of Dawson City. It is a good memory.
As the days go by and I fall into a routine, I will continue to report on this experience, but so far I recommend that those of you looking for a really peaceful place to write might want to consider and application. The beds are really comfy and even though it seems the house is in the middle of the woods, that is not the case at all.
There are bugs here, but apparently nobody else notices this!