Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Crux

Location: Barlow Trail and 16th Ave NE, Calgary, AB, Canada
Local Time: Noon, Sunday, March 18, 2007

Danny and I went bouldering at the Crux. We were bouldering at the Stronghold last week. The Stronghold is much cheaper for bouldering. The Crux has the same price for bouldering as for climbing.

The bouldering was good at both places. We were there for about 4 hours at the Crux. We met a guy named Al and worked on an overhang problem. Danny almost got it done, but was tired by the time he had it worked out. I lack necessary strength. It's a work in progress.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Calgary Public Library

Location: Central Branch, Calgary Public Library, Calgary, AB, Canada
Local Time: Saturday, March 10, 2007

I think the Calgary Public Library is such an extra-ordinary place, I just want to comment on it.

So far I have only been to the Central Branch so far, so my observations can not be considered universal.

The librarians as so friendly, and helpful. I lived in Vancouver, British Columbia before coming here. The librarians there really manage to make you feel that you are only permitted in the building at their sufferance. Here, they like to help you, they take an interest. It's pretty extra-ordinary.

Of course they are also friendly people, but I'm beginning to realize that is just Calgary. The people here are so darn friendly.

The central branch is stocked with 6 glorious floors of fabulous, wondrous books. There is a small DVD section, but a significant music section. I'm starting to work my way through the classical guitar section. First Andres Segovia, not John Williams.

When you reserve a book, they tell you of it's arrival in the requested pickup branch, then you go there and all the reserves are on a shelf off to the side near the checkout counter. You can find your name and pickup your book. Much better than going up to a counter, waiting in line, then dealing with someone who looks at you like you really shouldn't be wasting their time.

My only complaint so far is they close at 5 on Friday night. 9 would be much nicer. However, since downtown Calgary only has 4-5 people in it, total, after 8pm, I can understand why they wouldn't have late hours.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Straw Bale House Building

Location: Near Sundry, Alberta, Canada
Local Time: Sunday, March 4, 2007

Sundry is a little far afield for this blog, but it was an interesting day.

There is a company here in Alberta, Living Design Systems, which builds houses out of straw bales. I went out with my buddy Wayne to see a building going up. We spent the day out there, looking around seeing how things worked and helping install rafters.

Straw bales are cheap building material, locally produced (less transport costs and energy consumption to receive them) as well as good insulation. The final product is coated in stucco, so it does not look like you live in a haystack, it looks like you live in a cement building, without the cold cement feeling.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Calgary Philharmonic

Location: Epcor Center, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Local Time: Thursday Evening, March 1, 2007

Val and I went out for dinner at a recommended restaurant, The Blue House Cafe, 19th St. NW. Not impressed. The ambiance and decor were lovely, the service was good, but the food was very mediocre.

After that we went to see the King Arthur presentation by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. That was quite nice. A two and a half hour performance. We arrived a few minutes late but were able to seat ourselves quietly as there were many extra seats at the back.