106 episodes

The personal podcast of Peter Rukavina, a Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada-based printer, writer and developer.

Peter Rukavina's Podcast Peter Rukavina

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The personal podcast of Peter Rukavina, a Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada-based printer, writer and developer.

    Get off my lawn!

    Get off my lawn!

    Back in the day, when it seemed like Nickelback was playing at the Charlottetown waterfront every second weekend, I developed the reputation of being something of a curmudgeon. Truth be told my protests were always rooted in a feeling that public land should remain public, not given over to concert prompters, but the subtlety was often lost on the readership.


    As such, I celebrate the sweet sounds coming out of the third floor apartment next door unreservedly: if I can’t revel in the vigorous music-making of the young, what’s the point of being alive?

    Sounds of the beach at Wood Islands

    Sounds of the beach at Wood Islands

    When Oliver and I were on the beach at Wood Islands Provincial Park on Sunday, I recorded just under two minutes of the same of the water lapping against the rocks. You’ll hear birdsong in the background if you listen carefully.


    An interesting project in these pandemic times would be to stick a permanent microphone at the shore to broadcast sounds of the PEI surf 24/7 to those unable to be on the beach in person.

    Remembering Wilbur Macdonald

    Remembering Wilbur Macdonald

    I was saddened to read of the death of former Member of Parliament, Member of the Legislative Assembly, and Speaker Wilbur Macdonald this morning.


    I could not help but think back to the warm summer afternoon of June 27, 2006 when, from the public gallery in Province House, I witnessed him hold forth at some length so as to keep the Legislative Assembly busy while, behind the scenes, the Pat Binns government sought to put the finishing touches on its electoral redistricting plan, An Act to Amend the Electoral Boundaries Act (the “Cletus Dunn map,” as it had come to be known).


    With the introduction from the Speaker, “The hon. Member from Belfast-Pownal Bay,” he began (you can follow along in the day’s Hansard, starting on page 3,304):



    I rise to speak on the budget which we had brought in in the spring. It’s an opportunity for me to talk about my riding and about what is taking place in the province.


    One of the things that has really happened in this province in the last number of years is the expansion of the economy. I think it all started with the industrial malls a number of years ago and is continuing over the last number of years. The federal government has also contributed to that in Charlottetown and in Summerside.



    At this point he departed from his prepared notes to address the issue of the lawnmower making noise outside, clearly audible in the background, something that had been on my mind as well:



    I must say every time that this House opens that lawn mower seems to be going outside. Is the guy going over and over the lawn or what is he doing out there? If it’s under the department of public works, I wish the minister would tell him to take off. Go someplace else. He can cut the grass in the morning, then we can hear one another. But he’s been going for the last two hours and I don’t know where the lawn is. But anyway.



    From there he continued for more than 4,200 words and 30 minutes, covered topics ranging from the lobster fishery to the Northumberland Strait to Lord Selkirk to wind power to the quality of the roads in his district to the life expectancy of males and females.


    Eventually the Act to Amend the Electoral Boundaries Act was ready for introduction, and so Macdonald got the nod and finished off with the same good humour he started with:



    Mr. Speaker, I could go on for a little longer, but I think I have spoke long enough. I will adjourn the debate.



    While Macdonald was simply doing his loyal best to keep the puck in play, his speech, looking back 14 years, is a thorough survey of Prince Edward Island through his eyes, and we are the better for it, and for his years of service as a legislator.


    (Audio from the Legislative Assembly of PEI Video Archive).

    The Oral History of a Blog Post

    The Oral History of a Blog Post

    My friend Dave Atkinson mused that an oral history of how I learned the things I learned the other day came to be learned.


    So I recorded one.

    How can I get Better Sound for Videoconferences?

    How can I get Better Sound for Videoconferences?

    In this brave new world we’re all jacked into Zoom (or, maybe, Jitsi) all day long. We’ve been at this for a month, and it’s remarkable how little most of us continue to pay attention to video and audio, as if living the Dick Tracy future is enough, and we don’t really need to be concerned with seeing and hearing other clearly.


    Here in my office I mostly use the “Display Audio” microphone built into the front of my Apple Cinema Display. It’s always been good enough. But, I wondered, could I do better.


    So I dug the old Live from the Formosa Tea House audio setup (Apex 435 microphone, Behringer 802 mixer) out of storage, bought myself a line-to-USB cable, and set everything up beside my computer to see if that would prove the audio quality.


    If you listen to the same here, I think you’ll agree that it did.


    I’m taking it out for a real ride in 15 minutes on my weekly conference call with my colleagues in New Hampshire.


    I’m also using the opportunity to promote the brand (get your Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook by The Old Farmer’s Almanac today!):

    The Peter and Oliver Podcast: World Under Quarantine Edition

    The Peter and Oliver Podcast: World Under Quarantine Edition

    Recorded eight days ago (8 months in quarantine years) on the Charlottetown waterfront at the end of a drive in the countryside on a sunny Sunday.

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