My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

4 Articles in October 2007

  1. Holidays: paradgim shift or just lazy?

    For a moment today, I was almost able to forget that it was Halloween. Not that I have anything against Halloween. In its present incarnation it's a charming way for kids to dress up, express their imagination, and of course, collect as much Canada as they can. And really, if you can't count on candy in a democratic society, then what is my government doing with all those tax dollars?

    Somewhere between this year and last, however, I've lost my connection to the Halloween spirit. It might have fallen between the couch cushions--I'll check when I get home. I haven't trick-or-treated in a couple of years, and I don't do the party thing. So there's not a lot for me to do for Halloween. I'd dress up, but I don't have many costume ideas, and I'm too lazy to put effort into creating an excellent costume. I do admire those who take the time. On campus here we've got someone dressed up like Waldo (as in Where's Waldo?) and a pair of carebears. ^_^ Occasionally I worry that this lack of Halloween participation is a sign I'm losing my will to be imaginative and expressive and am slowly turning…

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  2. Our Canadian identity

    Often the question arises: what is Canadian? How do Canadians identify themselves as Canadians? How do non-Canadians identify Canadians? What represents Canadian culture?

    The answer usually boils down to the commonly held view that we are "not American". And it's true. We Canadians love to distinguish ourselves from their counterparts south of the border. But that can't be all we are--call me crazy, but I suspect there are other countries who also see themselves as "not American". Pretty much the only countries that wouldn't would be the United States (because they are America) and Tony Blair (because he wants to be). So there has to be more to our identity than that.

    The trouble comes from the fact that Canada encourages multiculturalism (or at least, we say we do). This leads to strong cultural diversity across the country--a country which is rather big. Even so, there's bound to be things in common from coast to coast. The CBC, for one.

    Yesterday I went to see Stuart McLean and The Vinyl Cafe at our local auditorium. For those of you not familiar with it, The Vinyl Cafe is what Wikipedia calls a "variety show" on CBC radio. It has musical talent…

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  3. Oh Internet, how I miss you so!

    Although it's only been two days since we moved into the new house, and we had Internet by 1 PM on Friday, I still feel so disconnected. This really puts my online activities into perspective: I spend most of my waking hours online. If I'm at home, I'm basically online. I may be doing something else, either on the computer or something completely different, but I'm still online if people want to talk to me. For the past two days, however, we've been busy unpacking, cleaning, and organizing. I've spent so much of my "free" time offline that I feel disconnected. :D

    So yes, I have no life. I don't want one, but it's good to know for sure. I miss you guys terribly. Yes, all of you, including the people who IM me for tech support (darn you) and the people who send me spam that tell me how to get free copies of products I don't want. And I guess I miss those of you who like to talk to me, poke me to do things, or tolerate me in general.

    As soon as my offline activities return to some sort of "normal" operations, I will be back.…

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  4. Just sort of disconnected

    Not in the literal sense (yet), but in a metaphysical, vaguely sort of philosophical manner of speaking. So many little things have intruded upon the scope of my life that I find myself adrift without a schedule, without priorities, attending to tasks as they pop up or as they flag me down with little urgent signs that threaten to bludgeon me if I don't take care of them.

    We're moving into a new house across on Friday, so the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of the cardboard box variety. The primary inhabitants of our house are now cardboard cubes that contain stuff from the soon-to-be former occupants. So tomorrow we finish everything up and then Friday the chaos continues. Hopefully we should be installed and connected to the Internet the same day, so I will only be absent for the time it takes to move boxes, unpack, and then collapse in the heap of empty cardboard and sleep for a few days.

    Unfortunately, university has not provided the satisfaction of which I dreamed four months ago. Most of it is...easy. There are some hard parts, of course, and it is bound to get harder. Second year will be…

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About Me

I’m a 27-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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