Archive for March, 2012

Funny the things you didn’t realize you enjoyed – reading serendipity

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

When we were on our trip, I often found it difficult to get my hands on English books. When they were available in bookstores, they were horribly expensive (I paid 20 Euro or $30 CAD for a paperback book!). This was in the time before kindle, so there were limited options for eBooks – Scott had a bunch of eBooks of varying sorts on his Nokia handheld (mostly classics and fan-fiction sci-fi), but I didn’t have an eBook reader and the types of books I normally read were not available as eBooks at that time. Its actually hard to imagine life before Kindle!

In planning for our vacation to Africa this spring, I’m finding that what I long for most is the opportunity to sit on a beach (or by a pools or someplace quite) with no time pressures and read a book or two, just for fun. Interestingly, when I look back our trip, I have the fondest memories of the random books I read– the books of opportunity – ones that I likely would not have picked out on my own, but that I read because they were the only think available at the time.

Now that I have an eReader (iPad and Kindle), I can bring whatever books I want. But I find that I am missing the serendipity of the random books. The choice of books is paralyzing me – I can have any book, so how can I possibly choose! To help me recover the serendipity, I’ve decided to limit my vacation books to free eBooks. I’ve subscribes to pixelofink and free books for kindle, and over the next few weeks I’ll scan the free options and download some random books to read. From those, I’ll still have lots of choice, but I’ll be choosing from about 100 books rather than the 100s of thousands that are available on amazon. Who knows what I’ll find!

Early Summer

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Seems that this year (or at least this week) we completely skipped over spring and launched directly from winter to summer. As I write this it is already 15 degrees and today’s high is expected to reach the high 20s. For those that are unfamiliar with Ottawa, our normal temperatures at this time of year are usually around or below 0. We should be skiing, not biking, but alas, the snow is gone (although there is still some ice on the river). Next week, with highs of about 10 is going to feel cold, but in reality it is still unseasonably warm.

Here are a few pictures of our first days out riding this year.

March 7 – see all the snow (notice the mountain bike handle bars):

March 18 – so warm I’m wearing a T-shirt. You can’t really see it in this picture, but I’ve pulled out my road bike.

March 19 – And finally, I brought out the bent! Notice the ice on the river. According to my bike computer, the temperature dropped a full 7 degrees near the river because of the wind blowing over the ice!