Monthly Archives: November 2010

Working Hard

I was just doing some work on my paper on urban greening when I realized I needed to check facebook, skype people, and listen to clips of old Jackson 5 songs on itunes.  Damn you internet!  I also finally downloaded Spotify (the European version of Pandora….kind of……).  That’s where the Michael Jackson and Jackson 5 thing came from.  I’m listening to “Got to Be There” and it has a very Wings-y feel to it.  It could be because I was listening to Wings 15 minutes ago, but Michael’s vocals has a stark resemblance to Sir Paul’s on this track.

Yes, I am spending my Friday in the cold library.  I have two big papers due in two weeks, which really need to be worked on before the night before.  Maybe even more than 2 nights before.  I am still adjusting my writing to the Masters level and I want to make sure it’s up to speed by the time I finish these two assignments and head into Winter break.

Can’t believe Winter break will be here in two weeks!  It should be an interesting month “break.”  And by break I need to finish two assignments and get really cracking on my dissertation.  I will be enjoying a futbol match at Anfield (Fulham v. Liverpool!) and a week or so in London with Mum.  So far that’s the only stuff in cement.  I may be taking a couple other trips out and about.  If I have to sit here in Preston for more than a few days, I do think I will go crazy.  So escaping will be necessary even if I will have school work to do.

I am finishing my night off with some Billie Jean as remixed by Kanye West.  Tight.   I would be listening to Kanye’s new album on repeat right now, but iTunes has decided not to accept my debit card as an acceptable form of payment.  Don’t know but I am a bit fussed about it.

It’s 12:30 AM and I need to eat dinner.  Time to check out some books and take this party back to the semi-detatched.  Peace out kids.

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#41 Longitude

I never thought about how hard it would be to establish longitude when sailing without a watch.  Apparently, it’s really hard.  And very deadly when you have no clue how far you are from seeing land again.  Luckily there was a big contest with a big prize (₤20,000!) in the 18th century for someone to figure out a reliable system to establish longitude.  And someone one it (well, mostly). This book was the story of that.  Nice.

Apparently it was also a movie with Michael Gambon (Dumbledore) and Jeremy Irons.  It was billed as a thriller on the cover, but I’m not sure how thrilling it was.  The story is great, but not on the edge of your seat enthralling.  How could someone sitting in their shop making a watch be that riveting?  Oh well.  It was worth a read.  Now if I can only get 9 more books like that, I’ll be able to read 50 by December 31st.

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#40 Hops and Glory

This has to be quick.  I’m supposed to be reading an article for class right now.  Last night I finished Hops and Glory, a really good book about the history of IPA and one man (Pete Brown) recreating the journey from England to India.  Well, as best he could.  I can’t believe it’s taken this long for me to hear of Pete Brown.  Really a good read.  I have ordered his other books about beer and I look forward to reading them in the near future.  If you like beer and history, you’ll like this one.

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Kenya and concerts

Ok, so I said yesterday that I bought my ticket to Kenya for February.  I’ll elaborate on it a bit.  My main goal while in Kenya is to get poor unassuming people to fill out surveys I’ve created.  These surveys will be about tree projects happening.  My dissertation topic is about international aid to urban forests in Kenya.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  International aid to urban forests in Kenya.  I can’t wait for people to make it to this blog because they googled something along those lines.  Any ways, I will hopefully be pairing up with some int’l groups and looking at some projects happening in a few cities in Kenya.  I’ll be quite honest in admitting I don’t know much about Kenya at all.  But I have the next 3 months to really learn as much as I can.  Though all the reading in the world won’t prepare me for actually being in the country, but it will help.  I’m pretty pumped about the whole thing and I hope it will lead me to doing something along these lines for a future job.  Not the surveying thing, but the helping to work on tree planting projects in developing countries.

More imperative though, I have two concerts to go to this weekend in Manchester. As I write, I have Gorillaz on to prepare myself to hear them live in about 8 hours.  I wish my buddies T-dawg and Bam were going to the concert with me again, but I guess they are busy living in Bend.  Too bad for them.  It will be neat to see Gorillaz in a bigger arena to see how different the show is.  Last time in London was a very intimiate show.  And not everyone will be at the show that was at it last time.  It should still be outstanding though.  Gorillaz will not let me down.

Tomorrow night I go back to Manchester and go see MIA as part of the Warehouse Project.  I’m imagining it being along the lines of seeing Fatboy Slim in London 6 years ago.  If it’s even half that, the price of admission will be well worth it.

Yup, so things are good.  After all this fun with the concerts, reality is coming back full force and I will need to get cracking on doing school work full time once again.  Less than a month and I’ll be done with my first semester!  Time is flying by.  I hope I’m getting smart enough to deserve that MSc come August.

Hope you all have a good weekend.  I’ll be sure to take loads of pictures this weekend and keep you all happily living vicariously through my life.

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#39 Wollemi Pine

This is not the tree book I planned on reading next.  In fact I started another non-tree book in the middle of all of the tree books.  But this one was a quick read, so I figured I’d get it out of the way.  This book is the story about the discovery of the Wollemi pine in the Wollemi Wilderness area just outside of Sydney, Australia.  It’s a pretty remarkable story of discovery and follow up research afterwards.  There are only 3 stands of Wollemi pines in Australia and they used to cover huge swaths of land millions of years ago.  They are a living fossil as mentioned in the book.  Good read.

Also, you can now buy your own Wollemi Pine for only 50 quid.

Now I’ve got to get back to looking out the window for the postman.   I believe he’s going to have lots of books to deliver me today.  Woot!

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#38 Forest Gardening

I’m pretty certain Forest Gardening just became an instant favorite.  I read that other Forest garden book, but it was more a guide on how to do it.  This one was more the philosophy and possible societal changes which could occur if we were to institute agroforestry on a world-wide scale.  Lots of talk about a post-industrial society and such.  And this is coming from a book written in 1991.  It may as well have been written last week as we have still yet to apply these amazing techniques of agriculture on a large scale.  Well, at least in the West.

If you’re at all interested in Permaculture or the power of trees and plants as the answer to so many of our major problems in the world or the opportunities we’re missing out on by having industrial farming read this.   Robert Hart should be talked about more.  Now onto some more tree books.  Well, at least one.

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Oh hey

Kebab time

It’s been a while, folks, hasn’t it?  I just browsed my blog and it’s been well over a month since I published any thoughts outside of book reviews.  I’ve barely written anything outside of papers, which is a strange thing for me.  Some reason just not feeling inspired much to write.  I’m going to say it’s because I’m too busy adjusting to a new way of life in a different country.

Things are moving along here in P-town quite well though.  Tonight actually I feel like I can completely relax my brain.  The last few weeks have been busy with 3 papers, a presentation and lots of researching. Whew.  It’s great though.  I’m enjoying going to class and inundating my brain with more tree and tree related topics than I ever could imagine. It’s such a fantastic field to be involved in right now.  The field of urban forestry has a very big future and will be affecting the way we live in cities more than you have ever dreamed.  Yes, trees are the answer!

Any ways, besides class I’ve been drinking beer a couple times a week.  That’s fun.  Unicorn bitter is my new drink of choice here in the UK with scrumpy (i’m open to different kinds)  being a solid 2nd.  So, although I don’t have the beer selection I may have had a few months ago, I’m not complaining.  I also get to drink in one of the most beautiful drinking holes ever created, The Black Horse.  Please, come have a pint with me.

Been trying to work out some traveling, but so far I haven’t been able to make any decisions.  I would like to go down to London sometime soon and see it in the day light.  A few weeks ago, I made an impromptu trip to LDN to say hi to Eric and procrastinate on my school work.  I got in to Euston station at 9pm and was back in Preston by 8am.  The ride back to Preston was a bit rough to say the least as we drank some beers and cider quickly and then spent the rest of the night aimlessly wandering the streets until we could catch a train back to P-town.  That picture above was me eating a kebab at 2:30 in the morning.  Manic.  So, yes, I would like to go back to London and see it in the daylight and maybe stay for more than 8 hours this time.  Besides that, I went to Manchester for the day last Friday and that’s all the traveling I’ve done so far!  Pitiful.  Next weekend I do have 2 concerts (Gorillaz and MIA) in Manchester to attend so that’ll be a crackin’ good time. I hope to get away somewhere else in the next couple weeks if only for the weekend.  Will keep you posted.

Besides that, just floating around.  Trying to make some friends and experience some new stuff.  That’s about it.  If anyone wants to come visit, just check in with me.  We’ll work something out.  TTYL

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