Mount Royal University library, Calgary

I’m a library aficionado visiting many around the world every year. My own city — Calgary — has offered some of the crappiest.

The University of Calgary modernized long after I’d finished my degree. I’ve only been there a few times. And the new Calgary Downtown Library will not open until  November 2018.

Happily the library most walkable for me has just gone ultra-modern. I love it.

The Riddell Library and Learning Centre (RLLC)  opened Sept 7th, 2017.

From treadmill desks to cubbies for catnaps, everything a student needs to feel learning-ready will be available …

Soundproofed project rooms allow users to record, edit and manipulate sound and video to create podcasts, music and media-rich presentations.

Visitors can take a break from research or end the day in the café or fireplace lounge. Group-use rooms will increase from three to 34. The number of student stations (or seats) will nearly triple from 650 to 1,800.

Currently, the library’s holdings include twice as many eBooks as print, and its collection of eJournals outnumbers print journals by about 80 to one. Balancing the collections is a matter of establishing a long-term strategy, says Shepstone. …


External community members may book Group Rooms in-person at the Service Desk.

I grabbed this one with a view of the Taylor Centre for Performing Arts.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Cool as it is, I actually prefer to work in an empty classroom. With blackboard for brainstorming. Most Universities lock them up when not in use, but MRU leaves them open.

Surprisingly every classroom still has an overhead projector. And they seem to be well used.

related – Rocky Ridge Library at Shane Homes YMCA opened January 15.


my Prana Vargas pants

Just purchased my second pair of Vargas pants for CAD $55 at MEC.

All my travel clothing needs be light, durable and multi-function.

No Velcro. Excellent side zipper pocket.

  • Lightweight, quick drying fabric is perfect for any activity
  • Elastic waist with drawcord for a comfortable and secure fit
  • Zippered pocket for secure storage
  • 87% Recycled Polyester / 13% Spandex
    • Moisture wicking
    • UPF 50 +
    • Quick Dry

    Prana Vargas 

my new NOMATIC Travel Bag

Andrew sent me a link to the kickstarter page of two guys trying to revolutionize backpack design.

I ordered one instantly. $189.93 USD delivered to Canada. (That’s the minimum package. They have other bundles with more accessories.)

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

It arrived in time for Christmas.

I’m happy.

Quality is superb. These guys cut no corners. It includes a TSA lock. Classy touch.

VERY waterproof. VERY durable. … But heavier than I would like.

To save weight I’ll probably cut off the sternum strap as I rarely use it on my other packs.

I immediately went to cut off the duffel back handles (as backpack is my preferred carry) but they are integrated into the design of the shoulder straps.

By mistake they sent me two waist belts.

Nomatic has many other products. I’m assuming all their gear is great.

I got the 3-7 day Travel Pack. Their Backpack is optimized for 1-3 days.

Wirecutter recommends excellent competitors to this bag.

I’d love to be able to roll it through airports. Perhaps I’ll bring along a portable folding Luggage Cart on some trips.

This bag will replace my National Geographic Appalachian 20 Inch Upright Rolling Suitcase which does have wheels.

NEW – The Adventure Podcast

Dave Adlard and Kraig Becker have launched an audiocast called The Adventure Podcast.

For years Kraig has been my main source of news on outdoor adventure on his site called The Adventure Blog.

He and Dave are co-hosting an extension of that site with a weekly online radio show.

Both are gear nuts. From episode 1 they’ve already convinced me I NEED two products:

The new Omni smart helmet. Indegogo.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

And a Dji spark drone.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Check out the podcast here.