Now in Toronto!

May 25th, 2011

Don’t have any pix to upload yet, but I’ve arrived in Toronto, ON & am unpacking now.

Factoids:

  1. It takes about 10 hrs to drive from NoVA to Toronto in perfect weather & with very little road construction.
  2. CH has an amazing spatial sense & can fit an amazing amount of stuff into a car.
  3. For an aspiring minimalist, I have an amazing amount of STUFF.

OK, off to do more laundry. Did you know that in Toronto, electricity costs less after 7 PM & on wkends? Me neither…

Backyard Chickens

May 11th, 2011
 

IMG_0497, originally uploaded by sbmilagros.

Well, I’m at Sea-Tac airport waiting for the flight to take me to Virginia… It’s been a great visit to the PNW.

I got to visit with family & friends, found a great new home for my Prius, got to see my older son receive his MA, lived in an anarchist intentional community and discovered Ethiopian food- in Spokane of all places. Also alienated the affections of several cats & dogs.

Chickens seemed to be a strange theme on this visit. Two of the homes I stayed at had backyard chickens & I also attended a “chicken talk” in Pt Townsend.

I feel so fortunate to have the sort of friends & family who “get it” & are so welcoming when my travels take me to their area. Thank you all!

Now, it’s off to Virginia  to check in with the farm. It sounds as if there’s been a lot going on out there!

Hasta luego!

Geekish in Seattle

April 28th, 2011
 

Spring garden II, originally uploaded by sbmilagros.

Spring in Seattle means lots of flowering shrubs & trees, and days alternating rapidly between grey/wet and shining blue. In fact, the only day this yr that I’ve needed the down jacket I’ve been dragging with me was yesterday. And I was grateful to have it!

I stayed a few days with my older son & his wife in West Seattle. They bought a house last yr & have been working hard on fixing it up. I’m absolutely amazed by all the projects they’ve completed. I stayed in West Seattle last yr for a while, so it felt a bit like home. (That is, I know where to shop, eat, buy gas & park.)

Now I’m staying on Capitol Hill with my other son & his friends, and this is a new n’hood for me. It’s full of old mansions, and twee shoppes, and hipsters. Just down the street is the Episcopal cathedral & Bishop’s manse.

But in the middle of all this is a growing geek/hacker subculture… Two related shops, Metrix Create:Space and Ada’s Technical Books have located here, and their clientele is following.

I toured Metrix Create:Space a couple days ago. It is absolutely amazing. They are building & creating kits for 3D printers. What that means is (my understanding…) the printer takes a 3D file, created with a program like Blender. It then melts plastic & sprays it in the pattern of that 3D object. And viola, you have a plastic 3D object. There is also a laser burner, and user-members can buy time to use the machines. Take a look @ their website, b/c I’ve barely touched the surface.

This is the closest I’ve seen to a living version of the world Cory Doctorow describes, especially in Makers. If you haven’t read Makers, go down  to Ada’s Technical Books about a block away, and buy it. Or a book (new or used) in just about any scientific or math-related field. Or a gift for your favorite geekish person.

Check out the photos

So here I am in Seattle…

April 26th, 2011

View from the window, originally uploaded by sbmilagros.

Yes, I know it’s been a while! And it’s becoming apparent that 1) I need to write and 2) if I don’t, no one, including myself, knows what I’ve been up to.

I’m spending the next couple weeks in Seattle and Port Townsend, reconnecting with family & friends, revisiting my storage unit to swap things out, and selling my car.

That’s right… Max, the wunder-Prius is most likely going to be sold. The way I’m living, having a car is nearly as silly as having a pet (which I don’t.) It’s funny, but somehow not owning a car (even if it’s not in the same country or time zone) is a tough call. One of my sons has NEVER owned a car. It’s a lifestyle choice. And as an American, it’s a pretty radical one.

But I’m thinking that for my needs, zipcar (with branches in DC, Seattle, Toronto & SF) and renting the occasional car makes a lot of sense.

Anyway, I’m having a great time in the PNW. I’ve been staying with each of my sons (we’re not talking couch-surfing… they have real guest rooms!) and my former landlords in PT have offered me a guest room as well. And I hope to be seeing lots of friends in the area. Life is good!

(Next stop, VA May 11. VA friends… get ready!)