Casa Mia Gift Certificates

I spent the afternoon printing a new round of gift certificates for Casa Mia Café, to feed the demand for the holidays. They’ll be on sale as soon as the ink is dry.

Casa Mia Gift Certificate Samples along with the type used to print them

They are printed on Indian cotton rag paper from Khadi Papers on my now-99-year-old Golding Jobber № 8 letterpress in Futura 30 pt. and 24 pt. and Bodini 14 pt. They’re available in $20 and $50 denominations.

12 minutes and 29 seconds later in Charlottetown

I have become diverted by an interest in the history of time on Prince Edward Island. To this end, ably aided by Simon Lloyd at Robertson Library, I have begun to explore the relevant legislation.

Here, for example, is a snippet from The Interpretation Act of 1939:

Let’s do some checking on the math.

There are 360 degrees of longitude, and 24 hours in a day, so each degree of longitude represents 4 minutes of time.

That means the a difference in time of 12 minutes and 29 seconds, which is the figure in the Act for the difference between the Provincial Clock in Charlottetown and 60 degrees west, would be 3.125 degrees of longitude.

Which, in theory, places the Provincial Clock at 63.125 degrees west.

And, sure enough, if I go to and navigate to the Coles Building – the contemporary name for the Law Courts Building – it is, indeed, at -63.125º.

The Coles Building Location

You can see this better-illustrated on the Atlas of Canada, with the NTS grid (National Topographic System) turned on. The major divisions on the NTS grid are spaced at 2º of longitude apart, and the minor divisions are spaced at 0.5º of longitude, so moving 3.125º east of Charlottetown you reach 60º west, which runs through the tip of Cape Breton:

NTS Grid

Another approach to this would be to compare the time of the sunrise in Charlottetown to the time of the sunrise in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia (which sits almost right on top of the 60th meridian). And sure enough, the sun rose in Glace Bay this morning at 7:36 a.m. and in here in Charlottetown at 7:49 a.m., 13 minutes later.

Or, like The Interpretation Act says, 12 minutes and 29 seconds later.

The time in the Atlantic Time Zone is based on the time at the 60th meridian, which is interesting to note because that meridian runs along the very eastern side of the time zone’s boundaries.  This means that although they are in the same time zone, though the sun rose today at 7:36 a.m. in Glace Bay, it didn’t rise until almost a half hour later, at 8:14 a.m., in Edmundston, NB.

Alex Campbell in a Tiny Box

My colleagues at Robertson Library have been hard at work in recent weeks publishing the audiobook and ebook versions of the Alex B. Campbell biography by Wade MacLauchlan.

Librarians are nothing if not keen to innovate, and so among the various ways you can buy the audiobook is pre-loaded on its very own MP3 player.

It’s Alex Campbell, in a tiny plastic box:

Alex B. Campell Audiobook on a USB Player

If you’re looking for a more conventional audiobook format, the book is available as a download, on a USB stick, and in a massive CD set.

My small contribution to the effort has been to work to put the ebook and audiobook on sale in iTunes, on Google Play and on Audible. This has turned out to be akin to opening a hornet’s nest full of complicated paperwork and technical requirements, so it’s slow-going. It has born some fruit, however: you can now purchase the eBook from Google Play. Others to follow.

If it can't be found in Canadian Tire, try the 3D printer...

I’m coming up on the end of a 14 year program of resuscitating the old metal window blinds that were in our house when we bought it in 2000. They’re generally in good shape structurally, but the cords have been chewed up by time, and so they need to be taken apart, the old cord extracted, new cord wound through, and new “blind cones” stuck on the end of the cord that hands down and allows them to be raised and lowered.

Which is how Oliver and I ended up roaming up and down aisle 17 and aisle 18 at the new Canadian Tire store in Charlottetown, where we were directly by comically unhelpful staff, looking for cord and cones.

I was looking for 1/8” cotton cord, but they had none, so I had to settle for nylon. That’s fine.

As to blind cones, none were evident, and, returning to other members of the comically unhelpful staff for additional help, the reaction was close to indignation that anyone would ask for directions to such an unusual product: “I know we don’t sell blinds… you could try aisle 18.” Where we’d just been roaming. We left the store.

What to do?

Fortunately, at this exact moment I remembered that there is a Ditto 3D printer sitting here in the office, on loan from Robertson Library at the University of PEI for a “Minecraft Party” at Birchwood Intermediate School on Monday afternoon where we’ll use it to take Printcraft out for a ride.

So why not, I reasoned to myself, simply fabricate my own blind cones, Canadian Tire be damned.

And so that’s what we did.

Thingiverse to the rescue: we found a ready-to-print Window Blinds Pull Cone, free for the taking. We grabbed the STL file, ran it through Tinkerine Suite (the software used to “slice” the STL file and make it ready for sending to the Ditto 3D printer) and copied the object 3 times so we could print 4 cones at once. We copied the resulting “.g” file to an SD card, slid the SD card into the printer, hit “print” and we were off.

And the result, 37 minutes later:

3D Printed Window Blind Cones

Score one for the awesome power of personal fabrication!

2015 Charlottetown Area Levee Schedule

Printable 2015 Charlottetown Area Levee ScheduleHere’s is the 2015 levee schedule for January 1, 2015 for Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and area. This is the 10th year (wow!) I’ve been collating and confirming this information. If you’re new to all of this and want to give it a try, read How to Levee. If you have additional levees to add, or changes to the information below, please drop me a line. Confirmed times and locations in bold: everything else is tentative and awaiting confirmation.

Campbell Webster Timothy’s World Coffee 9:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m.
Lieutenant Governor Fanningbank (Government House) 10:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m.
City of Charlottetown Charlottetown City Hall 10:30 a.m. 12:00 Noon
Polar Bear Swim Foot of Pownal Street 10:30 a.m. 11:00 a.m.
Women’s Institute / Farm Centre Farm Centre, 420 University Ave. 10:30 a.m. 12:00 Noon
Haviland Club 2 Haviland Street 11:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m.
Canoe Cove Old Canoe Cove Schoolhouse 11:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m.
The Guild 111 Queen Street 11:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m.
University of PEI Schurman Market Square, McDougall Hall 11:30 a.m. 1:00 p.m.
HMCS Queen Charlotte 10 Water Street Parkway 11:30 a.m. 1:00 p.m.
Town of Stratford Stratford Town Centre 12:00 Noon 1:30 p.m.
Prince Edward Island Regiment Queen Charlotte Armoury 12:00 Noon 1:00 p.m.
PEI Brewing Company 96 Kensington Road 12:00 Noon 2:00 p.m.
Seniors Active Living Centre CARI Complex, UPEI Campus 12:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m.
Water St. Fish & Chips 73 Water Street 1:00 p.m. 2:30 p.m.
Masonic Temple 204 Hillsborough St. 1:00 p.m. 2:30 p.m.
Reverend Richard Grecco SDU Place (Bishop’s Palace) 1:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m.
Town of Cornwall Cornwall Town Hall 1:30 p.m. 3:00 p.m.
Garden Home 310 North River Road 2:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m.
Royal Canadian Legion 99 Pownal Street (Clover Club) 2:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.
Benevolent Irish Society 582 North River Road 3:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m.
Premier Robert Ghiz Confederation Centre of the Arts 3:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.
Charlottetown Curling Club 241 Euston Street 4:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.
Sport Page Club 236 Kent Street 4:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

Changes from 2014:

  • No levee at Engineers PEI this year; they’re taking the year off.
  • Premier’s levee ends at 4:30 p.m. instead of 5:00 p.m.
  • Royal Canadian Legion levee runs to 6:00 p.m. this year, and includes entertainment from “Incognito”.
  • No levee at Trinity-Clifton United Church this year: it was a one-time-only levee last year to celebrate their anniversary.
  • No levee at the The Caledonian Club of PEI this year; they hope to return in 2016.
  • Added a new levee at The Guild