August 18th, 2008

Labyrinth - Maze

Rowing

I've been thinking about Kiran this week. If he were still alive, he might well be rowing in Beijing this week. I hope he would be. The Canadian men's eight scullers who took gold will certainly have included some of his friends. He was a PhD student in my department in Toronto and an Olympic-level rower. He was immensely fit, but his heart gave out in the middle of practice, out on the water. By the time anyone could get to him, it was too late. (G&M Obituary; RowingNews Obituary)

He was kind, quiet, and funny, quirky and dedicated. At his memorial service, "Au fond du temple saint" was played; I had had no idea he was an opera fan. Now, I associate the duet, in part, with him. Even several years later (how can it be several years later already?), it's hard to believe he's not still around somewhere; and that he could never make it to Beijing.
Vanitas desk

Library observations

I went to get my new public library card today at my new local library. Decadently and civilizedly, the local public library is within easy walking distance.

  • Essex libraries do not require proof of ID or proof of address in order to get a library card. (They do require proof of ID in case of a lost card, however.)

  • The works of Geoff Ryman and Jasper Fforde were filed under "Modern Fiction", not Science Fiction or Fantasy.

  • They've a large section labeled "Sagas", larger than any genre fiction section, but smaller than "Modern Fiction". I didn't recognize a single author in the section on superficial viewing. If it was just a synonym for "Series", I would have thought a superficial scan would have be recognizing more of them.

  • I had no problem at all finding out where the library was, since it's not called an "Idea Store".
Feast

The Omnivore's List

Memetically, this list has been in intensive circulation this week. Looking over it, what struck me most about the list is that I'm not sure if I've eaten at a three-star Michelin restaurant. Given my weakness for the occasional extravagant meal at highly-rated restaurants and a lifetime of generally good eating, I feel sure I must have along the way; but since I haven't been buying Michelin Guides or tracking stars, I can't tell you for certain that I have.

(Counting quickly, there are 26 items on the list I don't know for certain I've eaten.)