Friday, July 28, 2006

Second Semester

Nothing incredibly exciting to report as I'm back at it for second semester. I'm full time again but it doesn't seem like it, yet. Half of my semester is dedicated to independent research which is slowly solidifying and besides that I'm now doing a course called Greening of Business. The other course I'll do as a block course in the spring (Nov-Dec) and it will be International Environmental Policy. So the only course I actually have to go to at the moment is Greening of Business from 4-7 on Wednesday evenings. I'm working on coming up with a schedule for research so I don't whittle my days away doing nothing.

I think I've also managed to transfer programs from a Master of Resources, Environment and Society to a Master of Environmental Science. The requirements are very similar and I only switched because Environmental Science is a bit more self explanatory and mainstream.

As for other bureaucratic business, I've only just discovered that I have to go through the university ethics committee for approval to do research (interviews) on humans. Talk about red tape. I have to complete this horrendous document of fifteen pages detailing my plan for participant recruitment, consent, interview questions, legal considerations, confidentiality, and you get the idea. Then I have to make fifteen copies of it! Wouldn't be such a problem if I had more than a day to think all that through. As you can see I've decided it would be much nicer to update my blog than dive into that project...

Back to work.

Friday, July 21, 2006


First, I want to say thanks for all of your kind words and thoughts after the bike incident. Bruises are healing and I'm feeling better though the wrists and knees are not yet one hundred percent. Back in school now after the holiday (and back on the bike) so I'm just trying to take it easy and keep the typing to a minimum. Not easy considering I'm to start writing a 15,000 word essay now!

Had a lovely evening earlier this week at the Rotary club of Ginninderra where I spoke about myself and my studies. Played a bit of Rotary trivia to see how much they knew about Cleveland and Arch Klumph and the Rotary Foundation...quite a bit actually. And I gave away Cleveland Rotary pins as prizes. When asked what they knew about Cleveland, answers included the Indians, home of a Ford motors plant, home of a president of Rotary International, it's on a big lake, and that Medina is 45 minutes southwest of Cleveland.

Jenn and President Sandra exchanging club banners

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Had to share the cuteness...this is my niece Teagan and she is coming to visit in September!



Well my week was going quite well until Thursday. I got excellent marks in all of my courses and was enjoying my time off. So Thursday I was off to get groceries and had an afternoon of baking cookies planned. Did my shopping and loaded up my backpack and panniers and was on my way home when I had my first bike accident.

I was riding along a short stretch of sidewalk to get on the bike path when a giant black SUV came out of a parking garage and smack! I only saw the vehicle when I was right in front of it and I remember thinking, "oh, they'll see me" and swerving and then realizing they weren't going to stop in time. Next thing I know I'm face down on the drive seeing my bike tires spinning a few feet away and milk pouring out of the panniers. The woman driving (a little Asian woman who had to sit up straight to see over the dash) was very distraught. Another cyclist appeared on the scene and spent the rest of the day with me as I was toted around by the woman who hit me to no less than four separate clinics to see a doctor who sent me to get my wrist x-rayed, then back to the doctor. I would have bet money that my wrist was broken but it's just sprained and is now wrapped in a bandage and hurts like crazy. Other than that just scrapes and bruises. And Buck the bike is a steel tank...almost no damage.

So our trip to Sydney for the weekend is off and I'm operating with one hand. I have one more week of holidays to recover and am fine all in all. It could have been so much worse. Thank goodness I don't have to go into writing my thesis with a cast!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Brian's Buddy

Kangaroos at the campsite in Jervis Bay were very friendly and would eat out of your hand. This one was Brian's favorite.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Weekend at the Beach

Had a lovely weekend getaway to Jervis Bay on the southeastern coast. Here are a few photos.

Sophie, Jenn and Sarah

I've been trying to get a good Kookaburra photo for a while now. I like this one. It's known as a Laughing Kookaburra and people say it sounds like human laughter, though I think they sound like monkeys. The birds raise a wild chorus of crazy laughter as they go to roost in the treetops at dusk and wake everyone just as dawn breaks, so regularly that in the hinterlands of Australia they are know as the "bushman's clock."

Does anyone else remember the children's Kookaburra song?

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Merry, merry king of the bush is he,
Laugh, Kookaburra, Laugh, Kookaburra
Gay your life must be.

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Eating all the gumdrops he can see,
Stop, Kookaburra, Stop, Kookaburra
Leave some there for me.

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Counting all the monkeys he can see,
Stop, Kookaburra! Stop, Kookaburra!
That's not a monkey, that's me.

Laughing Kookaburra

Crimson Rosella

Sunset on Murray's Beach

Monday, July 03, 2006

Sustainability and Ohio Cities

A recent, nation-wide study ranked Cleveland 28th and Columbus 50th out of the 50 largest U.S. cities on sustainability. The study, completed by SustainLane, a media and research organization based in San Francisco, ranked cities based on 15 criteria, including public transit, city parks, planning, farmers markets, and air and water quality.

The study highlighted Cleveland’s well-developed public transportation and revitalization and historic preservation efforts as important assets to sustainability. Also, Cleveland was the least traffic-congested city in the study.

However, Cleveland ranked below average in air quality, tap water quality, parks, and local food and agriculture. The city’s tap water was found to have 19 contaminants, with four over recommended EPA levels.

The study credits the City of Cleveland’s “Sustainability Program” and suggests that to complement historic downtown redevelopment, Cleveland should encourage the development of more parks, farmers markets, and clean technology. Since the study has been done, Cleveland has added another farmers market.