Today was supposed to be a “Political Protest” day. However, the government was dumb and now it’s not. Here is a podcast of the four other people who showed up and me ranting about the silly teachers, the silly government, and silly extracurricular bans.
There are four empty lots on the west harbour end of Hamilton that lie between Barton and Tiffany Street. Once, they hosted an array of houses; these houses, however, were torn down with the promise of a Pan Am stadium. However, since Hamilton was denied hosting of the Games, these lots have sat, empty; many members of the community have and are debating as to what to do with them. In this essay, I will argue that these lots are ideal places for two blocks of residential buildings and two lots of park space. I will argue this point using the five themes of geography; Place, Region, Interaction, Movement, and Environment, and prove that converting these barren lots will be beneficial for the West Harbour, Hamilton, and the community.
As many of us have noticed, all through Hamilton green spaces are being torn up to make way for new residences. I say, why tear up these green spaces when you have four empty lots just sitting there? These houses would be highly valued because of their proximity to the lake and Bayfront Park. As well, many of the previous residents of the houses were cheated out of them with the promise of a Pan Am Stadium are looking for homes, and they would very much like to move back in.
Here is where Barton and Tiffany is located. You can see Bayfront Park up at the top of the screen, and the four lots in the bottom middle are those four empty lots.
Barton and Tiffany is located in a relatively poor neighborhood. The majority of residents there are families, with lots of children; and although Bayfront and Central Park are both nearby, neither of them has a soccer/football field or a shady place for hot days. Speaking as a kid myself, these are two things that would be very nice to have close to your home; as kids in this neighborhood probably can’t afford to play in a soccer league, I am sure they would appreciate a good field so close to their home.
The land is an ideal place for both the parks AND the houses because of its flatness. The soccer/football field needs to be flat to get the ball rolling; houses are more easily built on flat land. It is also very sturdy land, which makes for good foundations in the houses. With Bayfront so close by, the two park lots could even be considered an expansion of Bayfront. I believe that putting up the green spaces and housing will have an immediate and positive effect on the surrounding community; as stated above, the poorer children in the neighborhood will revel in this chance to play sports with each other. The houses will bring back previous residents to the area as well as preserve other green spaces throughout the rest of Hamilton.
In conclusion, I believe that residential housing and parks would be the ideal way to use these four empty lots. It preserves green space, helps the residents cheated out of their homes, and lets kids in the neighborhood hang out and play sports. Ultimately it will improve the community, West Harbour, and Hamilton.
In class this week, we did this thing where we research a topic, and then we do a podcast where one of us is the expert and one of us the interviewer. Michael and I did Tropical Storms: Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones. Using the iPad as a recording device, and a stairwell as our “private studio”, we recorded Cushnie with Me- the show where I’m Cushnie, and… I’m me! I had a fun time interviewing Mike, be sure to check out his blog here.
And, thanks to the magic of SoundCloud, you can listen to our first podcast right here!
So for Halloween, my teacher asked us to write a scary story; it was fun, but far from my forté. As it was a Halloween thing, I thought I’d include numnums as a major part of the story. And so, without further ado:
Lars and the Skyping Something or Other
Lars was bored. He lay in bed, thinking about the three things that made his life worthwhile: computers, food, and girls.
His mom had died when Lars was two, which sucked, but since he had no memories of her, Lars was content to move past it. So with his mom dead and his dad at a conference, Lars was left with his finicky old grandmother (who was terrified of computers) as a guardian.
Lars was interrupted from his thoughts by the shrill cry of someone over eighty: “Lars! I’m going grocery shopping! GOODBYE!”
That was his grandmother. Lars smiled an evil smile; he knew that his grandmother didn’t trust any of the local grocery stores and would drive the hour-and-a-half trek to the ones she was familiar with. Lars was on his own.
Lars jumped up. Snatching some chips from his counter, he did the three flights of stairs in two steps and in thirty seconds had his computer up and running.
Logging into Skype, Lars was surprised to find that he had a ‘talk’ request. As the Mystery Skyper’s profile pic was of a rather good-looking girl, Lars hurriedly ran a comb through his hair and clicked ACCEPT.
It was not, as Lars expected, a girl. Or perhaps it was; it was difficult to tell, as the figure on the other end was encompassed in a swirling mist; not to mention that the connection was pretty terrible.
“um… Hi?”, asked Lars.
LARS, implied the figure. I HAVE GROWN DESPERATE.
“Um… What?”, said Lars.
I HAVE NOT TASTED THE SWEET FLAVOUR OF CHOCOLATE IN TWELVE YEARS. I HAVE NOT FELT IT MELT ON MY TONGUE, I HAVE NOT FELT IT COME TO REST IN MY BELLY. I NEEDED TO. I NEED TO. I ASSUMED THAT YOUR DENTIST FATHER WOULD BURN YOUR CHOCOLATE LIKE HE BURNED MINE, BUT YOU REMIND HIM OF ME TOO MUCH. YOU MUST KNOW, I AM TAKING A GREAT RISK. BUT YOU MUST BURN CHOCOLATE, BURN IT HOT AND BRIGHT; ALREADY THE ELDERS KNOW OF MY CONTACT, AND ARE ENRAGED; IT IS MERE HOURS UNTIL I AM EXCREATED. BURN CHOCOLATE, SO THIS IS NOT FOR NOTHING.
“no way”, said Lars in a small voice, but growing stronger. “No way! I’m not burning perfectly good chocolate because some strange Skyper tells me to! I want to eat it too!”
The Mystery Skyper let out an enraged, animal howl, and Lars suddenly regretted buying such good quality speakers. YOU WILL BE PUNISHED, it howled at Lars. WITH WHATEVER REMAINS OF MY LIFE FORCE, I WILL DENY YOU CHOCOLATE LIKE YOU DENIED IT OF ME! I WILL TAKE AWAY ALL YOU LOVE, I WILLBEEeeeoooop.
Lars stood, taking short, shaky breaths, with the plug in his trembling hands.
Months passed. Lars got absorbed in his new girlfriend, his new redstone calculator, and his new chicken casserole recipe. He had almost forgotten about the MS- he had long since started calling them the MS- and life was good. Obviously all their threats were empty. Yes.
But one day, as Lars was about to walk into his favourite candy store, he had a sinking feeling. Scoffing at himself that it was nothing, Lars wrapped his hand around the door handle-
THE SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKY END!
So that’s that. Kinda silly, but like I said, not my forté. I do, however, like Lars as a character; possibly maybe expect some more stories on him in the future. Happy Halloween!
Ah, the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. From the time I asked my mom if I could try her violin, that was my goal. She took me to see concerts occasionally, and I loved to just relax and let the music wash over me. The HPO’s music was too deep for my three-year-old self; plus, although the HPYO was full of big kids, the HPO was comprised of REALLY big kids. So that was my goal. In the seemingly infinite amount of time it would take to be a Big Kid, I would achieve enough awesomeness to become a member.
I asked mom to try her violin. She laughed and said that it was waaaaaaay too big for me. I persisted. I was horrid. Mom said that she’d ask her friend Nadeen, who had three children going through violin lessons, and that she would try to find me lessons within the month.
I remember that we almost got lost on the way to the first lesson. I was giddy with exitement; in my three-year-oldness, I was sure I’d just start dancing and playing perfectly without any kind of instruction whatsoever. But Bethany didn’t let me try the violin at first. She had me try a cardboard box with a paint stirrer glued.
My first major accomplishment was when I was permitted to use the real deal. Mom and Bethany were confident from the cardboard box that I wouldn’t drop it, and so they let me try it. By the end of the lesson, I could play three notes relatively in tune; and I was as happy in that delirious, hyper way that only three-year-olds can be.
My mom had me practicing all week. Soon I could play Twinkle Twinkle Little star, and impressed my grandparents by singing and playing at the same time. I steadily progressed through the Suzuki method, coming to what I believed to be a climax, at the final piece in book one: Gavotte by Gossic. It was about ten times more difficult than anything I’d ever played; after months working on it, I finally mastered it to perform in consert for all of Burlington Suzuki. I will remember that day forever.
Book 2 came and went, challenging me, and although it was plenty difficult, nothing as satisfactory as Gossic Gavotte came along. Early in book 3, Bethany moved to Oakville, and that was too much of a drive for us. I switched to Hamilton Suzuki, and at first I resented my new teacher, Lorainne, for the simple fact that she was not Bethany. But by book 4 I had recognised her as a quality teacher, and was learning well.
I was, by that time, a pretty skilled musician. So I was ready to tackle the next Gossic Gavotte: The Bach Double, known formally as Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, violin two. Once that is conquered, the conqueror is considered a real musician: that they haven’t given up, that they’re serious about playing the violin, that they can, in fact, make a pleasant soud.
It took me six months. I cried, I whined, I punched my pillow, but I practiced over and over and by March, my fingers knew their stuff. At my graduation, my fingers flew as mom struggled to keep up; but we had rehearsed countless times and we got through with only one minor error on each part. I grinned madly as I was given my certificate; I felt that I had been sparring with a more-than-worthy opponent, and that, after hours of fighting, had finally knocked him down.
It was a year later last April, when I was working on the Bach Double, violin ONE, (the last piece in in book five),when it happened. Up until then, I hadn’t been noticing real improvement; but violin one took me less than a month. I was awestruck. That such a great challenge had, a year ago, tested me so thoroughly, could be completed in such a short time now… I shook my head. My mom commented that it was the time of year that the HPYO was holding tryouts, and that I stood a good chance of getting in. By this time thoughts of joining the HPYO had all but faded from my head; but still, the thought made me ecstatic. We were emailed music of the level of difficulty needed to join; they were challenging, but I mastered them. I also polished up the piece I had just learned: The Gigue by Verachinni.
I was more nervous than I’d ever been when I played. I played Gigue at breakneck speed, and shifted to 7th position when I had to shift to 6th in one of my pieces. But I calmly named all of my mistakes, and, seeing that I knew what to practice, a week later I recieved an email that I was in.
YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is a historically accurate record of what I was thinking for the week afterwards. All summer I practiced, and I greatly improved after a week at the Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute, or SOSI. By the first rehearsal, I was pumped and ready for anything they threw at me.
The music was inSANELY difficult, but I didn’t sighn up to play Twinkle Twinkle. Everyone was very nice, and I practised all week. Laurainne had plenty of tips for me, and I quickly improved. Two weeks of sectionals had a huge effect on the whole orchestra; we sounded great on week four.
By now, we’ve been through tons together; we’ve eaten frozen pancakes with 5-months-past expiry syrup; we’ve laughed at Die Fladermaus; and in may we’re going to New Orleans.
With our first consert less than a month away, I couldn’t be more frantic or exited. After nine long years of continus effort…
…the HPYO has been UPGRADED.
He emerges from
The snowy swirls
As he does
A slender girl
With a kiss on each cheek
And half a twirl
They’re pooped on
A flying squirrel.
My teacher just showed me this, and HOLY MACARONI. It is AWESOMEPANTS. In like 1950 or some other time a hundred billion years ago, Mr. Fermi Person created way to estimate ridiculous problems -such as how many piano tuners there are in chicago- using estimated powers of ten. The theory is that the high estimates balance out the low ones, to produce a reliable-ish answer to within one power.
It’s really cool, definately check it out.
Last night, mom made epictastical soup, and for some reason, it inspired a poem in me…
It’s pretty darn nutricious
And maybe a bit malicious
My sisters are suspicious
But oh, it smells delicious!
Hello, loyal readers. Jimmy here. As a first post I thought I’d write a short story that’s been bubbling around in my head for a while…
Borin was considered the town hero, a real man. He had slain many monsters, had saved many maidens. He was always ready to help the townsfolk- as long as there was something in it for him.
Borin had just been awarded a medal for bravery- he had won a gunfight with Blasphemous Blaze, a nefarious villain that had tried to rob the town on various occasions. Borin had shot him because he was heading for the bank, and all of Borin’s savings were in that bank.
Borin was celebrating his new medal down at the pub. There was a man on the stool beside him, already far past drunk, but Borin didn’t tell him to stop because it was none of his concern.
Suddenly the drunkard turned to Borin. “Heyza, Borin, howzabout that Bladey guy you’s shot?”
Borin looked at the drunkard with distain. He had no medals across his chest, so he spoke down to him. “He is dead”, he said curtly.
The drunkard was oblivious to Borin’s inhospitality. “you knows, Borin, youshould go conquer the big dungeon thing and things”, said the drunkard, his words slurring together.
Borin was intrigued. “Big dungeon thing?”, he asked.
“oh yeah”, slurred the drunkard. “There’s this really tough dungeon and things, with lots of big monsters and it’s reallyreally hard. They says only a real man canna dooz it. And the only one’s ever done it right is that guy over theres”. The drunkard guestured to a small, frail and smiling man over at a table with a soda.
“ well if that man can do it, of course I can”, thought Borin. “Plus, I will officially be a man”.
Out loud he said: “can you take me to the dungeon?”
“oh yes, soonzI’ve finished me rum”.
Borin was not happy with this. “you will take me now”, he said coldly.
“Ah yes, of course, anything for such a hero”, said the drunkard as quickly as he could, and they set off.
As they walked through the forest, Borin could sense many eyes on him, eyes of monsters. They daren’t reveal themselves for fear of Borin, but once he was safely in the dungeon, they would pounce on the drunkard.
They walked for a long time, and Borin was getting impatient, when the drunkard finally stopped. “We’s is here”, he said.
“thank you”, said Borin unconvincingly. He knew that the drunkard would either freeze or get killed by monsters, but he left him alone, because it was none of his concern.
When he entered the Dungeon, the walls closed behind him. Cursing, he wandered blindly through the darkness until he saw a light up ahead, and strolled towards it.
The light was a lone torch, nearby a more standard dungeon. Cracked stone lay in a cold, bare room. In the room was a woman, of about fifteen, lying down in the fetal position while an older male kicked her. Borin strolled through the room because it was none of his concern.
After about twenty minutes, Borin heard a racked coughing. Slowly walking towards the sound, he discovered an old man, dehydrated and starving. The old man racked out two words:
Borin had food and water on him, but he didn’t offer it as the last speck of life left the old man’s eyes.
Borin was annoyed that he had not met any challenges yet. To prove his manliness, shouldn’t he have to battle monsters or something?
Borin was thinking this when a skeletal cloaked figure with a battleaxe appeared several feet in front of him. Quickly he drew his sword, and they both fought beautifully, but Borin was winning. Finally he drove his sword through the skeleton’s rib cage, and it collapsed into a pile of dust.
Then the skeleton materialized about seven feet away from where he was standing. This man had flesh on his bones, but Borin had the eerie feeling that it was the same person.
“you lose”, said the Person
“But how? I beat you! I win!”, cried Borin, outraged.
“oh no, Borin. You are no man, and certainly no hero. You’ve fallen for the same presumption that so many others have; it is not strength, trophies or money that makes a man. Oh no. It is compassion, sympathy, and love. Yes, Borin. Don’t look so startled. You have failed. Goodbye.”
The Person disappeared.
Borin walked slowly through the darkness, very shaken. He did not meet anything on the way to the door.
He looked sadly at the cold corpse of the drunkard. He picked it up and carried it gently the seven miles to the village. Twenty minutes later, the drunkard’s family were standing around Borin as he lowered the drunkard into the grave he had dug.
The next morning Borin helped a shepherd heard his sheep to the market. Because Borin recognized that his life was not what he wanted it to be.
And he knew what needed to be changed.
There you have it. “The Greatest Man”, I think I’ll call it. You can tell me what you think in the comments below.