Saturday, 28 December 2019

Saturday Photo: Concrete Really Is the Rock of Ages, until It Isn't

This is what Montreal's Turcot Interchange looked in late 2018, when it was being torn down.

The design of this elevated stretch of highway probably wasn't the best to begin with, but with time, road de-icing salt, and our weather, it was in very bad shape.  Almost all of it has been replaced after years of work.  What remains is a bad memory of how wrong and careless we can be with what we build.

I include the photo today because after several days of intense family and feasting, I'm back to work on my next book, Rock of Ages: How Concrete Built the World as We Know It, which the University of Regina Press will bring out next fall. My task is to update the manuscript before January 6, but, as usual, I've found a whole lot of ways to make it better... Must get back to work.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Saturday Photo: Natural Trees....

This photo shows why I chose this tree for a Christmas tree:  the pine cones.

Of course, I wasn't the only one doing the choosing, but nobody objected to what seems to me this delightful bit of nature.

We've always bought natural trees, which the David Suzuki Foundation says are more environmentally friendly than artificial ones, particularly when they're bought from local producers. 

The city of Montreal will pick them up for composting on Monday, Jan.13, 2020 in our neighborhood, which also is pretty good too. 

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Saturday Photo: The Morning Rush Hour in Outremont, Version One

The photo was taken about 8 a.m. last Thursday, when folks were cutting through Parc St-Viateur near our house on their way to where ever.  No crowds, but they were hurrying through the snow-bedecked park anyway.

When we went looking for a house, decades ago, I decided that we shouldn't buy anything that would require a commute for my old man by any other means than foot.  Too stressful, not good for his health for many reasons.  These folks seem to think the same.  A good strategy!

PS At the moment it is raining, and the snow is just about all gone.  Still not bad walking, though.

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Saturday Photo: Sunny Winter Day...

Yes, I know, I've posted this before  but it fits today perfectly--sunny, some snow, and people outside enjoying themselves.

This winter has started out with a lot of energy but the current forecast is for a milder than usual one, in part because of global climate trends.  That's not good news in the long run, although those of us who've had snow on the ground for a month may give a self-centred cheer. 

"Snowmobiling, skiing, it’s more pick your time, don’t procrastinate when you get some good conditions. Go for it—because you never know when the next warm front is coming your way to take that away," says David Phillips, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s senior climatologist.  

Remains to be seen of course, but when I came home from running errands a bit ago, there was a pile of sleds and snowboards outside a shop that specializes in hot chocolate and soup on days like today.  The folks inside must have decided to take Phillips' advice.