#sigh .. I just realized with the st. performers fest. over and taste of #yeg still a few days away, I need to eat food court food today.
strolled thru the #yeg street performers festival at lunch in churchill square. nice weather, great food, lively shows. #loveSummer
You’ve heard of TED, right? Y’know, those ten minute inspirational videos that people forward you all the time, post on Facebook and tell you “dude! you’ve gotta see this… so inspiring!”
Pecha Kucha is not TED, but I think the model springs from the same fountain of inspired speaking: give the stage to someone –anyone– with an idea. That idea could be bubbling passion for civic-public engagement, honeybees, public art, or being a good global citizen. The topic might be light and funny or deep and serious. The only real rule is that every presenter gets twenty slides and those slides flip, automatically, after twenty seconds each.
Add a beer tent and a hot dog stand, throw in some hipster organizers, and host it out in the middle of the square in front of City Hall and you’ve got an evening event that draws a few hundred (mostly twenty to thirty-somethings) to sit in the chilly June air and listen.
Because there is such an overlap between some of interesting young leader-types I’ve encountered through work, the committee that organizes this here in Edmonton, and the swirl of it all, I’d heard about the series but had never gone: fully intending to at some point. The stars aligned last night, and I stayed late after work, hung out downtown until the event began, and parked my sore butt on a picnic bench for the three hour show.
It was pretty great and my only question is: Who’s coming along next time?
I finally have a chance to hang out tonight for #pechakucha in #yegdt and see what all the chatter is about. Pics and/or some kind of blog post will likely follow tomorrow.
Lunch: Churchill Square, Sunshine, and a Fat Franks Bratwurst with sauerkraut and curry mustard. Doesn’t get much better than that.
#100happydays #dailyhappy (26/100) …first lunch of the year outside, in Churchill Square, thirteen Celsius! Woot!
I usually do my best to keep my head down as the holiday season approaches each year. I know some folks embrace the sudden wash of holiday decorations and music that flood the senses shortly after Halloween vanishes in the rear view mirror, but with a very small handful of exceptions, I’ve lately attempted to avert my gaze and ignore it all until mid-December.
For the second year in a row we made our way downtown to Sir Winston Churchill Square for the downtown business association‘s annual lighting of the holiday tree replete with an appearance by the red-suited jolly one himself. And where last year we froze our toes standing around waiting for Santa to arrive in the minus thirty chill, this year the mere slight chill, a gentle two degrees below zero, brought out the big crowds, livened up the evening and made the event much more tolerable.
Ok, more than tolerable. Pretty awesome, actually.
Claire quickly spied the gush of activity — the roving carollers, the balloon animal artists, the popcorn cart, and the furry mascots patrolling the crowds — and her eyes grew to the size of dinner plates as we ventured deeper into the flurry of people. She’d been anticipating this for a week, since I’d suggested we attend after I spied an advertisement a work one day.
The deal is this: Churchill Square, filled with family-friendly entertainment, food, fun, and pre-holiday cheer, all leading into the six o’clock debut of Santa (joined by some local teevee celebrities and the Mayor) on stage, counting down to the lighting of the massive tree that will adorn the space in front of City Hall for the rest of the holiday season. It’s all capped off by an impressive fireworks display.
Last year, Claire and I took the train downtown and joined a crowd about one-tenth as large to shiver our way through a cold-snap version of the tree-lighting.
This year, we meandered our way into the square, stopping to buy a family-sized back of kettle corn popcorn, slip-and-slide across the not-yet-iced but still slippery fountain bed in front of City Hall, then sitting for a short spell to people watch on the steps in front of the Council chambers while we nibbled at some of that aforementioned popcorn under the snowflake decorations hanging inside the iconic glass pyramid.
But Claire was eager to check out some of the entertainment, so it was only a few minutes later that we walked back towards the outdoor stage to watch a smattering of acts, including a choir and a cheer group before continuing our trek throughout the milling crowds.
My daughter being my daughter naturally got it into her head that she wanted hot chocolate.
This sounds like a simple enough proposition. But the same thought had occurred to a goodly portion of the present crowd, so not only were the vendors sold out of hot bevies, but the nearby Second Cup was lined up (literally) into the streets, a queue sixty people long, with little hope of drinks before the big show was to start.
Instead, we wandered over towards the mall and hit up the local Starbucks where the line was merely a half-dozen thirsty souls. I enjoyed my salted caramel hot chocolate as we wandered back to the square.
The evening ended with a heavier-than-I-remember daughter on my shoulders: the mayor was singing and dancing on stage as Santa arrived to count-down the lighting of the tree. The fireworks sprung in an impressive five minute show, and for the first time in my memory Claire did not recoil at the explosions of light and colour (she’s always kinda hated fireworks) instead squirmily announcing from my shoulders how cools they were and twisting my skull around like a screw-cap as she gloried in the fun.
She was positively giddy as we walked back to the car. A Saturday evening well spent…
I’ve been playing around with some basic jQuery stuff at home and at work these days, looking into new ways of interacting with imagery. A few days ago you might have seen the xkcd comic with the massive drag-and-pan image (take an hour and explore!) and it coincidentally has been connected with something similar I’d been looking at.
That same afternoon I was out taking 360 degree pics with my phone and thought it was a cool example of how you might create large imagery in an explorable interface and in a small space.
This is one of the quirky little tools that I’ve adapted. I’m thinking of piecing it together for a WordPress plugin — when I have a spare couple of hours — but for now it’s basically a brute-force code-job.
The idea is simply that sometimes you have images — big images, panoramic images, etc — with details that get lost when you shrink them down for display. Alternatively, while just having a link to download the full image might be fine, it means pulling users out of the context of the site and creating a disconnect between the content and the imagery. Solutions are complex, but I think iterative improvements will eventually get us to a useful solution.
This is test code, by the way… so if it doesn’t quite work you might need a newer browser or whatever. Let me know if it’s brokez or just what you think. I’m interested in how this stuff works… and it’s kinda important for my work, too.
Here we are in the last weeks of June… Summer has officially arrived, school is out for the season, the days grow a little more lazy and for the second year in a row I continue partaking in my daily blogging exercise, marginally focused along a question-and-answer theme I’ve simply called Those 30 posts in June. Still no planning. Still no writing of these words days in advance. Still just this: each day a meanderingly vague prompt drives a meanderingly vague post… and today that post just happens to be:
June 25th // Something You Want To Taste
Apparently I’ve ill-timed my holidays this year.
Karin and I coordinate our lives a few weeks ago and planned out some summer break time in the soon-to-be July warmth. The notion was that even if it turned into a week of stay-cation and we didn’t make it out of the city, we could pepper that one glorious week with some local family fun-times and — at the very least — have some quality time with Claire.
It was a good plan. It still is. There is just one glitch…
It turns out that one of my favorite downtown festivals is running concurrently with our planned vacation time. Taste of Edmonton the “dazzling array of tastes and sounds that fill Churchill Square” each summer, is nothing short of an epic, outdoor, downtown food fair that feeds the masses with (slightly) over-priced — but exceedingly delicious — fare from close to what seems like a hundred local restaurants. Usually — or last summer and one of the highlights of now working downtown — this festival is a hop, skip and a jump from my office. I could cavort through the food stalls, pick from an array of tasty and delicious mini-meals, and savour the summer with something more interesting than the standard food fair fare.
But now? Nine of those ten days coincide directly with the days I was planning on specifically NOT going downtown. Nine of those ten days the festival — while not out of reach — is not as convenient as I’d been anticipating.
So… perhaps a plan? When life tosses you lemons — as the saying (sorta) goes — make a delicious frozen lemonade beverage treat. Assuming we don’t disappear from town for too many of those hot July days, I’m thinking we might just need to take this opportunity to make a family-focused trip downtown. Transit? Driving? Who cares. We’ve got no where else to be. We need to pick a nice sunny day. We need to let Claire wear her swimsuit so she can frolick in the City Hall fountain. We need to buy a heaping wad of food tickets. And we need to have a family food-cation… an afternoon of tastes, as it were.
And that’s what I want to taste this summer.