Magic windows.

Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Cam.

I’ve never been to Vegas, and I’m not sure if this photo of the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens done up for Christmas makes me want to go or want to stay very far away. But I love that I can look in on it, live, and feel wildly ambivalent half a world away.

It’s been a while since my webcam was in regular operation, but I still peek in on webcams around the world, especially when I am feeling homesick. Here are some of my haunts.

[caption id=“attachment_10635” align=“aligncenter” width=“460”]Chicago skyline at dawn. Chicago skyline at dawn.[/caption]

[caption id=“attachment_10637” align=“aligncenter” width=“460”]Live cam on my old undergrad campus. Live cam on my old undergrad campus.[/caption]

[caption id=“attachment_10639” align=“aligncenter” width=“460”]Fog and the Golden Gate Bridge. Fog and the Golden Gate Bridge.[/caption]

[caption id=“attachment_10641” align=“aligncenter” width=“460”]Portmeirion Village. Because, well, it's The Village. Portmeirion Village. Because, well, it’s The Village.[/caption]

Did you know you can watch Andy Warhol’s gravesite live 24/7? Or dolphins frolicking in a Japanese aquarium? How about Icelandic glaciers or Transylvanian festivals? I found these and a lot more on EarthCam’s list of the 25 most interesting webcams of 2013.

This didn’t make the list, but I’ve been amusing myself by controlling Alek’s Christmas lights for Celiac Disease. (Really. I couldn’t make that up.)

Writing from: bed. Listening to: Macklemore, on Sharks’ recommendation, and really liking it.

Friendly friends of friendliness.

As we entered the chippy, Angie was leaning a little on the counter, in intense conversation with the owner. I was startled to see her, and pleased, because here was someone I had met in Edinburgh who wasn't part of my volunteer work or introduced to me by FunkyPlaid! Someone I met on my very own. She was a captive audience in a grocery store, but I'll take it.

I greeted her and we had a nice conversation -- of which I got about 70%, "nae" and "tae" being the least of my difficulties -- and then as we parted, she hugged me, and she hugged and kissed FunkyPlaid.

We left, and I was exhilarated.

._.-.

On a whim, I logged into a mush I hadn't visited in a while, and met someone new. That is uncommon, since the same people have been in the same places for at least a decade, if not two. What is even more uncommon is our intersection of experiences and interests. And she lives … about a hundred miles away from where I grew up.

._.-.

Living five to eight hours ahead of my closest friends and family is inconvenient when it comes to connecting in real-time. Right about the time most people are free for a video chat is when I'm headed to bed, or at least hesitant to chat online out of respect for our neighbors.

(As I wrote that yesterday evening, Hawk appeared online and we had a nice, albeit brief, chat.)

Thinking about this, I remembered how useful I found webcams when I just wanted to peek in on how a friend was doing. We have Twitter for sharing little snippets and snaps, but oftentimes while I'm at the computer I am immersed in something I don't want to narrate. And there are times when it is enough to glance over instead of engaging someone in a conversation. So I decided to turn on the nestcam, and will have it on when I think of it.

A throwback to 1999 that maybe makes the world a little smaller.

Goodbye, books.

All of my books are packed. Such a relief! Everything left at this point is either going to purchases, swaps, or donations.

I turned the nestcam on for a little while today, just to break up the monotony. It amuses me to open a little window into my chaotic world.

[vimeo www.vimeo.com/27997765 w=451&h=338]

Our friend Eric picked up his mountain bike today, and also left with a few games and a tea set I was going to bring to Goodwill. Knowing that he has some of my well-loved possessions makes me happy.

I was bummed to give away my VHS tapes of “The Maxx” and “Hey Vern! It’s My Family Album”, until I found out that they had been released on DVD. Onto the wish list they went! Although honestly I cannot imagine acquiring anything else at this point. The urge to toss everything I own is very strong just now.

Among other bizarre things, I found a wooden box containing coins totaling CAD$3.24, €4.07, £7.52, and 500mk, the no-longer-legal currency of Finland.

The last four days of FunkyPlaid’s preparations for leaving will be intense, so intense that I am avoiding thinking about it. There will still be a bunch of things for me to do after he leaves, plus my semester starts in a couple of weeks, but nothing will compare to this frenetic pace. Leaving the country! It’s a big deal! Who knew?

Everyone did. I was just pretending it wasn’t, nose in my books. Now the books are gone and I have to look at everything just as it is, big and raw and more than a little uncertain.

Virtual Birthday Party!

It is my birthday today, and I would like to spend it in the company of my friends. Current technology can only go so far, but I am leveraging that little bit of it to celebrate it virtually with as many folks as possible.

Since I am old, this is going to be old-school: starting at 14:00 PST, my webcam will be streaming and I will be in my IRC channel, #cygcam on irc.freenode.net. Hop on over to my birthday page (and give it a while to load) to join in the fun.

An IndieWeb Webring 🕸💍

I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.