Talking Ham Radio on CBC Spark with Nora · 2 April 2012 by colin newell
Social media and its evolution – where did it begin? And where is it going?
We enjoy a spectrum of social media tools and experiences in the 21st Century – and rightfully so. We have the tools and the technology to make great things happen. But how did we get to where we are today?
Humans have been communicating, somewhat inefficiently, I might suggest, for thousands and thousands of years – with foot messengers, smoke signals and simple (if you would permit) peer to peer links… one on one… through the chapters of human history.
It is only with the advent of the telegraph and, soon after, the radio that we can reach a lot of people, reliably and over great distances. And it was radio, in the form of amateur or ham radio, that facilitated the instantaneous and often random social connections that would become the World’s first social media medium.
I talked at length with Nora Young on CBC Spark. The entire show was around 55 minutes and covered some of the history of early social media and its links to amateur radio technology and popular music. Feel free to enjoy the entire episode over here
Or, if you are short for time, have a listen to our near-5 minute chat with Nora on the subject so dear to my heart – Amateur or Ham Radio… and its relationship to the modern social media we enjoy today. – if you cannot see the audio thingie below, click here for the mp3.
Thanksgiving 2011 - so much to be thankful for · 10 October 2011 by colin newell
Just spent a wonderful 3 day weekend at Point no Point cabins – Andrea’s and my primary get-away.
Timely escape as it is Thanksgiving weekend – and true to form, we never do anything within the realm of ordinary. This is Canadian Thanksgiving weekend – yes, I think it is earlier than our American counterpart… all about seasons and all. We harvest earlier.
Anyway – this weekend we had our favorite cabin (it is a secret…) – packed in some wine, some food and some radio equipment (to keep station VA7WWV on the air – kind of a civil defense priority!)
Dinner on Friday night was a quickie of gourmet kosher all beef hot dogs, beer and potato chips – the beer was Blue Buck. We arrive around 4 or 5 normally on one of these weekends and the sooner that we get into the outdoor hot-tub the better!
Saturday morning included a road trip into Sooke, B.C. for lunch at “The EdGe” – I had the kitchen sink bowl and Andrea had their classic burger served on an in-house triangle shaped bun. The Kitchen sink includes a bit of beef, white fish, shell fish, some pasta in a spicy Thai style broth.
Afterward we had a quick coffee at “The Stick” in Sooke.
On our way back through Otter Point, we stopped at the Tugwell Creek meadery – for those unfamiliar with mead, look it up. Oddly, I have around 8 bottles of Tugwell mead in my wine rack that are untouched – good thing some of them will last upwards of 1000 years! Yes, we bought two more bottles!
Saturday evening dinner was at “The Point” restaurant – and for a change we ordered all appetizers; Frisee salad featuring pork belly and soft boiled egg on frisee lettuce, seared scallops on a marmalade biscuit, a duck confit treatment, and an in house “tortilla chip” salsa thing… cannot remember what the protein on it was.
We had a bottle of an Argentinian Malbec with this collection.
We tend to avoid the mains at the Point no Point restaurant because they tend to be somewhat over the top, not so much with the quality (which is great) but the quantity – I avoid mains that have too much on the plate.
Dessert. For a change, we ordered two: the Creme Brulee and their awesome chocolate mousse.
Getting away from the grid gives us a great opportunity to count all of our blessings – and there are lots of them; great health, wonderful marriage (15+ years and every day is part of a remarkable honeymoon!), steady work, awesome friends and on and on and on. I am sure my readers have their own stories – love to hear them in the comment field of course!
The Sun was out the entire weekend – which is a little odd for this time of the year. The Sunday was spectacular – and we sat at the Beach House at Point no point, completely alone and undisturbed while a brilliant Sun blazed down – we imagine the temperature rose to around 20 degrees © for a while.
As I mentioned on my twitter and facebook feeds, I am kind of off the grid for a while I study for my Apple Technician certification (and it is a lot of study…) – I will be blogging and posting the blog URLs on twitter and facebook — just no random musing on the social network sites – at least for the time being.
Hoping you all have your own version of a great Canadian (and coming up… American thanksgiving!)
Good bye to Jack Layton · 22 August 2011 by colin newell
All our prayers and thoughts go out to Jack Layton’s wife, family and extended family.
Summer about Victoria 2011 On the water around Vancouver Island · 13 August 2011 by colin newell
Heading out on the water tomorrow – not walking on it mind you…
But going out for a ride on a 43’ Hanse
I spent four years in the 80’s (as a civilian) trundling around on everything from destroyer escorts (battleships) to mine-sweepers, gate vessels, tugs and the occasional submarine… learning how to be an marine electronics expert.
This will be fun. Sailing the old way… the better way… with the wind.
Click on the pic at left for the big view…
And relaxing while someone who really knows what they are doing takes the wheel. My brother-in-law is a ships pilot, instructor and all around great mariner – and his wife (my sister) knows her stuff too.
A bit more on the Hanse 43 over here
Summer meeting and non-guided meditation flash mob for Jack Layton · 27 July 2011 by colin newell
Imagine a 3 minute non-guided meditation.
It will be marked to begin with the ringing of a gong.
Beacon Hill Park – Saturday July 30th – 1 PM Pacific Time – Just below the parking lot there is a stone circle.
At around 12:30 to 12:40 pm coordinators will arrive to place a bamboo pole with a gauzy piece of fabric at the top to blow in the wind as a central marker.
People can just come and sit and be still and send their thoughts – spread out over the hill and just feel one with the purpose. Find your private space. This is entirely not about us – this is about Jack.
The Meditation Mob For Jack Click on image at left for map.
1:00 pm to 1:03 pm Pacific Time
Gather on the slope of Beacon Hill Park below the
parking lot that looks out over Dallas Road.
If you are joining us across Canada, note the following meditation times: 2:00PM to 2:03 PM Mountain Time, 3:00PM to 3:03PM Central, 4:00PM to 4:03PM Eastern, 5:00 to 5:03PM Atlantic Time and 5:30PM to 5:33PM in Newfoundland.
Help Jack Layton fight that cancer. Zap it with our love. Think about Jack for 3 minutes.
Listen for the gong to start together. Where ever you might be in Canada, schedule the 3 minutes. Plan a few minutes ahead. Center and ground yourself. Clear your mind. Send a positive stream of energy to Jack.
Updates – July 28, 2011 – Alternate locations: Cannot make it to Beacon Hill Park? Safe gathering areas include Centennial Square in Victoria and others… Create your own event. If you are shopping in the Bay Center downtown or one of Victoria’s many fine retail venues, consider putting down your shopping bags (if it is safe to do so) for 1 – 3 minutes commencing at 1300 hours Pacific time.
Currently looking for an incidental percussionist with a large bell or gong. Failing that, I will find something suitable.
Joan Athey and Colin Newell met at the Friends of the Empress Wine and Bubble event on July 26th and came up with this idea. Join us for 3 minutes of quiet meditation for Jack Layton. We encourage other groups to join us in meditation across Canada in your respective time zones. Our motto: “Think about Jack!”
Victoria Summer 2001 Under the Sea with Brennan Storr · 25 July 2011 by colin newell
Under the Sea We Off the Hook, or Why I Want to be a Hermit Crab
By Brennan Storr…
I have a pet theory, one that I dreamed up during moments of great reflection –usually while sitting on the toilet or waiting for traffic lights to change. My theory is that this world is the spiritual equivalent of a rock tumbler. The rough, jagged gemstones are new souls: immature, wild and unaware of the damage they do to others.
Through the love and hardship of a thousand lifetimes the rough edges are worn smooth and we emerge from the other end as wiser, kinder old souls – polished gems – and we make our exit. I haven’t gotten as far as figuring out where the stones come from or go to but if you’re looking for hints I always recommend the “Three B’s” – Bible/Bhagavad Gita/Battlefield Earth.
The reason I mention this is because I recently moved apartments and with the hassle involved in moving this middle-class circus from one fairground to another I have decided that in my next life I want to be a Hermit Crab.