The Rants of Issachar

Monday, January 31, 2005

So what else has happened since I got back?

Well my addiction to reading in coffee shops has come back with a vengeance. Sometimes I think I'd be happiest reading, writing & chatting with people I meet in coffee shops. (And sushi bars, if you're in Coquitlam I strongly recommend trying the Dragon Roll at Nagano sushi). But it might be difficult to pay the rent if I did that...

I did find a new coffee shop the other day. A little place called "The Mayan Art Cafe" on the border between Coquitlam & Poco. Dave found an article about it in the local paper and passed it on to me. Very nice place. Two guys from southern Mexico opened it up just recently and they've got some very nice decor with a Mayan theme. There's a model of an ancient Mayan city the name of which I can't remember, and a whole stack of books on the subject. Mostly in spanish I think, but the pictures are beautiful and the guys running the cafe are very happy to tell me all about the culture.

But the most important thing is that they've got delicious coffee, real hot chocolate and good food. For those of you who are interested, they do Fair Trade Coffee and I think I read something about them roasting daily on site. The whole fair trade thing is a bit new to me, but Kevin has managed to stick the idea into my consciousness. It's good in theory, but I still wonder how the whole thing will stand up to the nasty rigours of an open market. On the other hand, since I'm mostly paying for the atmosphere in a coffee shop, do I mind if the coffee is a little more expensive? Maybe it'll stand up if I keep buying the coffee. The Mayan doesn't have wireless net access, but the guys running the place seem to be open to the idea. :)

They've got a web address on their business cards, but the site isn't up apparently. (Actually the domain name still appears to be unregistered). I'll have to ask them about that. If you're in the area though, check the place out. (22-2755 Lougheed Hwy. In the same strip mall as the iHop & Pier 1 Imports). Try the "Mexican Coffee" or the hot chocolate.

:: posted by issachar, 11:44 PM | Permalink | 9 comments | Links to this post
Time to post again...

Well I've been back from New York for almost two weeks now, but I've lived been far more offline since I got home. So the blog posting has suffered somewhat. Hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things. A lot's happened since New York, and I think I'll separate my thoughts into a few different posts so as to keep things somewhat orderly.

New York... I loved it. I could never afford to live there, and it might drive me nuts after a while, but I loved it and if I could afford to I think I'd live in Manhattan. (At least for a little while). On the other hand, I didn't really get a good sense of what real-life in the city was like. New York as a tourist was great. Working there is probably entirely different. The best description I heard of the city was "New York is like America. Only more so". Indeed.

Apparently I'm a complete failure as a photographer, so I've only got one picture worth posting. I'm asking around to see if anyone has got some photos they'll share, so we'll see. This wasn't posed or anything, I'm actually just trying to shade my eyes before getting my picture taken in another shot. (Which looks worse than this one). The view is over central park right near the Great Lawn.

I'm not going to go on and on about all the sights. They were great. You should go.

As for Carnegie Hall... It was excellent. The choir director was really really good, (not a big surprise I guess), and I'm told we were quite good. As for myself, I couldn't hear much beyond the tenors and the altos, so I can't really comment. Laurie said she enjoyed the concert, and she knows her stuff on the subject. One thing I hadn't realized is that we were actually invited (or rather Wes was invited to bring his choirs) while the other choirs that were involved had to try out. That's quite a comment on Wes' results. All told I think we brought about 80 voices to sing including the Pacific Menonite Children's choir which Wes & Kim direct as well.

The whole evening of the concert was amazing. We rehearsed that afternoon and afterwards I went out for dinner with Laurie & Mum. (Mum was visiting Laurie out in Ottawa and they came down for the weekend). We did the first half of the concert and then we got to sit in the audience while another choir did a piece by Mozart which I really enjoyed. I really should go listen to concerts more often. It may not be New York, but Vancouver does have a lot of good concerts. After the concert the whole choir group went out on a cruise around the statue of liberty. (Gorgeous at night). The night was bitterly cold, so we spent most of the cruise inside. I got to dance too. :) Then a late night talking & dancing in a bar in the city with some friends. Fun evening. :)

It's going to be hard to top singing in Carnegie Hall. On the other hand, I probably think I preferred the requim we sang in the Chan Centre just before Christmas. (That is now an annual event). We also just finished a short concert for Missions Fest on Saturday. So we've had three concerts in about a month. The next concert is Hadyn's Creation at the end of April.

:: posted by issachar, 11:23 PM | Permalink | 0 comments | Links to this post

Thursday, January 13, 2005

I'm packing for New York at the moment. Hopefully I'll have some nice photos when I get back. Nothing much to say. Work continues.

Although you should watch Wimbledon if you haven't already. Paul Bettany & Kirsten Dunst have fantastic chemistry! I also wouldn't have thought that the Tennis scenes would be as great as they were.

:: posted by issachar, 8:10 PM | Permalink | 4 comments | Links to this post

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Phew... Long day. There was a fair bit of snow coming down as I left the school which made the drive back from work and in to TWU for choir rehearsal even longer. Then I get back and answer JohnnyCannuk on Kuro5hin. Didn't I have something else to do?

I think it's time for bed. But if anyone remembers Rikk Watt's lamblight lecture on Genesis from way back and you have a link to the text please post it. The Geneva Society used to have it online, but I can't even find their website any more. And if anyone's around on January 29th, the choir is singing at CreationFest. It should be good.

Good night.

:: posted by issachar, 11:57 PM | Permalink | 0 comments | Links to this post

Monday, January 10, 2005

New York approaches steadily... I'm guessing it will seem 100% real right about the time I start packing my bags.

Life is odd right now. I'm not sure how to describe it. I found myself really compelled to keep this thread on Kuro5hin. Maybe discussions on K5 don't do anything, but I'd like to think they do. Obviously there are a few trolls out there who just want to fight, but it would be nice to think you could produce something useful out of an online discussion. Probably a crazy idea...

On a different note, I made one of the best Green Thai curry's I've made in a very long time. :)

:: posted by issachar, 11:25 PM | Permalink | 2 comments | Links to this post

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Weekends are great. The wine & cheese retro party at Nicole & Anya's place went very well. Got to dance which I haven't done in ages. I got back around 2, so it's a good thing I go to the evening service at NLV. The service was pretty neat as well. Dave's in Sri Lanka as I mentioned, so the service got a bit of a fast-forward to February's plan. Got to hear how the different groups are going these days.

All in all a very good weekend, in a nice can't/won't describe it sort of way.

:: posted by issachar, 11:52 PM | Permalink | 1 comments | Links to this post

Friday, January 07, 2005

No school cancellation today. And no snowball fights either. :( I did get to teach English 8 though. With the near cancellation Edward wasn't able to make it to first class so I got to cover his class. Fun to do once, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't make a good English teacher. At least not to Grade 8's. I had a student try to use the "word" liger in a poem. First of all, it's a made up word from Napoleon Dynamite, and second of all they were supposed to be creating their own words as a means to learning prefixes, suffixes & root words. Plagiarizing post-modern movies? Not so much. And they do whine a fair bit. I can imagine what my own teachers must have thought some times. :P

I also made the mistake of posting on slashdot today. Wow... It's worse than Kuro5hin for getting sucked into arguments with ranting people. But I did get accused of wearing a tin-foil hat so that's something.

Had an interesting conversation with Kevin Kennedy at work about politics and faith. Specifically why some issues (say abortion or gay marriage for instance) get painted by the Christian community as "moral" issues while other issues that have a moral dimension (like how we treat the poor etc.) are somehow not treated as moral issues. Too bad he's not writing a blog. The Christian community issue just keeps coming up. At church, at work... Might be something to this. :P

:: posted by issachar, 10:42 PM | Permalink | 1 comments | Links to this post

Thursday, January 06, 2005

What a beautiful day. I woke up to snow coming down but I didn't notice until I left for work. The roads weren't too bad and by mid-morning we were getting big thick flakes coming down. Of course it's completely essential that I go out and help supervise the elementary school recess. I got paid to go have a snowball fight with kids. What a tough life. At this point it's looking like school may be cancelled tomorow. A three day week? That would just be way too slack this close to Christmas break. :P

Early night tonight. These late nights staying up reading & posting just take too much out of me. g'night.

:: posted by issachar, 8:23 PM | Permalink | 0 comments | Links to this post

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Good day today. I went to my first small-group meeting at my Church. I'm glad I went. I should have done this ages ago. It turns out Dave Keeper is leaving for Sri Lanka tomorow to help out with relief efforts there. The whole Tsunami thing seems a lot more real now then it did on Boxing Day.

I also heard a new CD that I think I'll pick up. Lounge Worship. It's horrible title. It makes me think of that dingy lounge next to the bowling alley in Westbank, but it's really good music.


:: posted by issachar, 11:51 PM | Permalink | 0 comments | Links to this post

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

And from the ain't that a kick in the pants department... It seems the quality of my story was so great, that Gauntlet has gone offline rather than display it. Either that Caleb actually followed through on his promises to troll it with digs on Canada and decided to hack the site while he was at it. I wonder if the site is off for good. (again)

:: posted by issachar, 11:18 PM | Permalink | 1 comments | Links to this post
We had our first choir rehearsal of the year tonight. Only a little over a week until we leave for New York. It still doesn't seem real yet that I'm going to be singing in Carnegie Hall. :)

The first day back at work was fairly typical. Apparently our student information software, (which I despise), is designed to force an update on January 15th every year. Not that anything gets update mind you, just that they want to check your license compliance. You'd think that a software company that markets exclusively to schools and sells software licenses in line with the school year would do something like that... ooo say in July or August, not less than 2 weeks after the Christmas break. But then that might actually make sense. The other fiasco is that the remains of the old "ethernet" wiring in the school which I'm forced to use in the elementary wing is giving us more trouble. Does anyone else think running ethernet over phone wire 2 pairs of copper is a bad idea? /shudder. I'll be glad when I get to lay down some replacement cat5 cables.

So a fairly typical day at mrcs, but still a good one. :)

:: posted by issachar, 11:16 PM | Permalink | 0 comments | Links to this post
Quote of the day...

Since the dawn of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun. -Charles Montgomery Burns

:: posted by issachar, 11:14 PM | Permalink | 0 comments | Links to this post

Monday, January 03, 2005

Surprise, surprise... The story I wrote, (such as it is), about Canadian Copyright actually got posted to the frontpage on Gauntlet. I guess now I'll see if there's any discussion. The story really isn't that great, but I wanted to see some discussion of this on a Canadian site.

Anyway... Time for bed. I have to get up in a little over 6 hours and it's my first day back at work post-Christmas holidays. At least I don't teach any classes tomorow.

:: posted by issachar, 11:45 PM | Permalink | 0 comments | Links to this post

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year ! (and goodnight)

:: posted by issachar, 4:37 AM | Permalink | 0 comments | Links to this post