Sunday, December 28, 2008

xkcd

I have made a discovery of magnitude.

xkcd
A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

Some time was spent browsing the archives and below are some of my favorites. However, I encourage you to do some of your own browsing. The site gets updated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Who is your role model?

Follow the instructions:
  1. Pick any number between 1 and 9
  2. Multiply your number by 3
  3. Add 3, then again multiply by 3
  4. You'll get a 2 digit number
  5. Add the digits together
Now scroll down...








With your final number, find your role model:
  1. Albert Einstein
  2. David Suzuki
  3. Zeus
  4. Tom Cruise
  5. Mats Sundin
  6. Mahatma Ghandi
  7. Britney Spears
  8. Bill Gates
  9. Robert Aubertin
  10. Barack Obama
  11. Fox Mulder
  12. Steven Spielberg
  13. Rick Campanelli
  14. Dana Murzyn
  15. Pierre Trudeau
  16. Bono
  17. Mr. Rogers
  18. Mother Theresa

Saturday, November 29, 2008

jokes, folks

From a Georgia Straight article written by Guy MacPherson about comic Stewart Francis..

He’s an economical writer, too. There’s not a word of fat in his act. Take this brilliantly simple joke: “I love blind dates,” he says, leading us down one path, “because you can stare at their tits.” Such precision. The gag is easy enough to parse, but try coming up with something so beautifully funny. That takes talent. Like this one: “My impression of a lazy porn star: ‘Don’t make me come over there.’”

And he’ll often give you two or three laughs per joke. “I don’t think it’s fair to judge people on their looks,” he’ll tell us earnestly. “Especially the ugly ones.” Great punchline, but wait, there’s more. “They probably have feelings.” He goes from good guy to jerk to soulless asshole in three quick steps.


Same with this one: “My wife and I have decided we don’t want children.” Fair enough. “If anyone does, we can drop them off tomorrow.” Ouch. “The fat one has asthma.” Not only does he not want his own offspring, but he offhandedly dehumanizes one completely.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Noone and Stella

I've been meaning to write this post for a while. Now here it is. Not much time for blogging now that I'm no longer a bum. Working full-time for once in my life means being more selective of how spare time is spent. What I'm wondering is, come February, will there be any spare time at all?

A little over a month ago my grandma passed away. Her given name was Muriel, but she was known affectionately as Noone. She was my last living grandparent and the only one that I had ever met. She lived in New Zealand and had visited us here in Canada several times when I was younger. At least once, when I was elementary school age, she slept in my bed and I slept on the floor. Those visits stopped a while ago as her health got worse. I had also been to New Zealand a few times, living with her for a month in 1992 and visiting her in 1999.

Anyway, I wasn't that close to her, due mostly to the distance between us. But it's still been a tough go, as that generation of my family has now passed. My mom was over there for the final couple of weeks of Noone's life as they knew her passing was imminent. Soon after my mom arrived back, Stella, one of her dogs, passed away. What was shocking about that was that of her three dogs Stella was thought to be the youngest and healthiest. She was adopted from a friend of the family and, in hindsight, hid her ailments well. Too well.

I don't really have much else to say about any of this. I just wanted to put it on here as a way of honoring. I know it's not much, but it's more than nothing.

"Let's let nature take its course."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's now 3-2!

The BoSox came back! After being down 7-0 they chipped away and won it 8-7 on a bottom-of-the-ninth RBI single.

They now trail the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 in the best-of-seven ALCS.

Our perfect record remains intact.

BoSox - NoSox?

What's going on? The BoSox should have had the ALCS versus the Tampa Rays wrapped up already and be preparing for the poorly-named World Series. Biscotti and I saw the BoSox in person for the first time in 2004 at Fenway Park in Boston. Later that season, the BoSox won their first World Series since 1918. The next time Biscotti and I saw the BoSox was in 2007 at Safeco Field in Seattle. Later that season, the BoSox won their first World Series since 2004. The next time Biscotti and I saw the BoSox was in 2008 at Safeco Field in Seattle. Later that season....

The Rays are leading the ALCS three games to one and lead game five 7-0 in the bottom of the seventh. BoSox have runners on first and third with two outs and there's a 2-2 count on Dustin Pedroia.

Go, BoSox, Go!

Monday, October 06, 2008

...and Justice was done.

This cartoon by Geoff Olson appeared in The Vancouver Courier on November 21, 2007 - a month and a week after Robert Dziekański was tasered and died at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). I clipped it, saved it, and now that we have a scanner I'm posting it here. Click it to enlarge it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A hidden five o'clock shadow

click image to enlarge

From The Georgia Straight's Best of Vancouver 2008 issue, out Thursday September 18, 2008. Click here for the above, and click here for the Best of overview page.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Look ma, no hands

Wendy's on Cambie Street just north of Broadway was closed for a spell. The Canada Line construction had turned that intersection into chaos and getting to their off-8th parking lot was a very difficult task. Consequently, business had slowed. I don't know this firsthand, but had been to neighboring Mongolie Grill and they reported a business slowdown. So sure, why not turn that negative into a positive and close for renos? They recently reopened, and on my first visit post-renos I had reason to use the restroom. I then had reason to be disappointed. Many public restrooms - in malls, in restaurants, in my pants - have been converting their restrooms to a hands-free experience, meaning that after doing your bizness, you are able to wash your hands, dry your hands, and exit the restroom without having to physically touch anything.

In the Wendy's restroom, I had to..
  • use my hands to flush
  • use my hands to turn on the faucet
  • use my hands to get soap
  • use my hands to turn off the faucet
  • use my hands to open the door
As a result, my hands were probably dirtier after washing my hands and exiting the room than immediately prior to washing my hands. It's simple simple simple to make a restroom hands-free. You've likely been to several in your life.

Whether using a urinal or a toilet, there are sensors on the back which detect when someone is in front and gets engaged. Upon person leaving, flussssssh. Then, the faucets are motion sensor; glide your hand under the tap, and presto, you've got water. Soap I think has to be hand-operated, but that's okay because at get-soap time your hands are still pre-clean. The faucet turns off after a set time, or when it no longer senses motion. Not only does this mean not having to use your hands to turn off the water by touching a dirty handle, it also avoids pranksters from clogging the sink, leaving the water running, and exiting, thereby creating a flooded restroom. The last requirement is being able to exit without having to touch a door handle. At metrotown, the entrances to the restrooms are sort of like S-shaped paths with no doors at all, preventing the other sex from peering in with their curious eyes.

Wendy's had ample time to make their restrooms hands-free while renovating their dining-room area (which remains remarkably unchanged), but failed to do so. As well, their exterior doors still have the handles on the wrong side, despite repeated comments for change made over ten years ago.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Probable name: Delicious

Oversight. That's all I'll say about the delay. Biscotti is pregnant. She's at nineteen weeks and baby-to-be is currently the size of "a six-inch turkey sub". For those of you keeping score at home, that's turkey sub - not meatball, not cold cut trio, not lobster. Turkey. Due date is late-January/early-February.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Working hard, or hardly working?

Working hard. And long. Forty-nine hours and forty-five minutes this week. A new personal best. But my PB couldn't bring home the first Canadian medal - my heat score was just shy of claiming a spot in the final. Ah well, there's always next year four years from now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'd rather be...

Summer's encore; it's hot. Today I put more than double the amount of ice cubes into my water bottle to try to keep the water colder than usual during the first half of my work shift. I put so many in that I thought some would still be left in the bottle for a long while. Even though no solid water remained when I went for my first drink an hour in, it was still refreshingly cold. As I drank I closed my eyes and was taken to a few places at which I have also had a refreshingly cold drink from a water bottle:
  • On a tennis court
  • Next to a Mexican pyramid
  • Biking around Stanley Park
  • In the Surrey Indians dugout
  • On the trail towards Upper Joffre Lake

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Straight's PemFest Review

The Pemberton Festival has come and gone and I never left Vancouver. Had I travelled north, I probably would have gone just for Saturday's incredible lineup of acts. The Tragically Hip alone was tempting, and then I found out that also performing on Saturday were Sam Roberts, Buck 65, and Tom Petty. Those four plus a bunch of other acts all in one day - tell me again why I didn't go? Damn. Festival organizers: Next year, give me the all of the same acts on the same day, throw in Los Campesinos! and Clumsy Lovers, and I'll pay double whatever you were charging this year. I promise.

In the issue of Georgia Straight issue the Thursday following the festival, three writers each reviewed, extensively, a different day. My favorite part:

Buck 65 could be heard on the Lillooet Stage, meanwhile, prefacing "The Centaur" by accusing either Sam Roberts or Gord Downie of taking a huge and hideous shit in the backstage area.

When Downie himself mounted the Mount Currie Stage for the Tragically Hip's occasionally stiff and unwieldy set, he seemed even more hell-bent than usual on deconstructing his own music, whether it meant turning "Grace, Too" into a red-faced catharsis, or generally playing out an incomprehensible—although incredibly entertaining—private pantomime. Only Gord Downie will ever really know why he spent most of "Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)" spinning around on his ass with a hanky covering his face.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

My run of no run is done

Before running the half marathon on May 4th, I told myself and my better half that I would take a break from running to allow some recovery. Well, the recovery dragged on. And on. And on and on. So much so that today I finally went for my first run since May 4th. My break lasted three months less a day.

Today's run route
In Pacific Spirit Park, start at Sasamat Reservoir, down Sasamat, right at Council, right at Salish, turn around at 16th, right at Sword Fern, left at Council, left at Sasamat, end at Sasamat Reservoir.
Today's run time
39 minutes 1 second

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The new X-Files movie

Saw the new X-Files movie. Liked it during. Didn't like it after. More to follow..

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

When going to see a new movie, I tend either to not have expectations or to have low ones. This helps me to avoid disappointment. However, my expectations for the new X-Files movie were high. During its run it was my number one show to watch, and I would say my favorite television show of all-time. I was present during the filming of the opening scene of the final Vancouver-shot episode.

It was great to see Mulder and Scully again. The movie progressed and I was pretty content, if only because I was seeing Mulder and Scully again. As usual, Mulder believes the psychic who is helping solve a mystery, and Scully has her doubts. If the plot came anywhere near one of the better episodes of years past, then it would've been an above-average, possibly great, movie. But the plot was crap.

While it was great, sort of, to see Mulder and Scully again, where were all the others? Sure, it's been a long time since the series wrapped, but I expected to see some familiar faces. All we got was Skinner and he was barely present. Also, where were the aliens and the supernatural aspects? A review I read after seeing the movie said the whole thing played out like an extended CSI episode, which I agree with even though I'm only partially familiar with CSI. It was basically a missings person(s) case. Back to Mulder and Scully, I felt that the chemistry between them was completely gone. There was no closeness, no bond, no nothing.

The FBI agents played by Amanda Peet and Xzibit REALLY annoyed me. Horrible characters. They seemed really dumb (Peet) and uninterested (Xzibit) for FBI agents. Any new clues and the guy always wanted to give up on it right away. And in Peet's death scene (I told you there'd be spoilers), she's chasing the bad guy, knows he's close by, and yet she stands near a drop-off looking up at Mulder for a lonnng time. Whoa, hey, now the guy is standing right in front of her and pushie-pushie and buh-bye. Dumb.

Speaking of dumb, Scully doing medical/surgical research by googling?!? Ummm, how about medical journals and the like? I'm upset because I wanted the movie to be so great and it so wasn't. Damn.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Seattle: Hotwire, BoSox, and more..

Once upon a time, on a Tuesday, a boy (J) and his wife (B) and his mother (M) drove to Seattle. All three were going to a night game between the Mariners and the Red Sox, and then the married couple were attending the following day's matinee while the mother explored Seattle's underground.

Driving towards the border, J & B debated whether the Peace Arch or the Truck crossing would be faster. Voices on the radio declared there to be minimal waits at all border crossings, so the Peace Arch it was. As they neared the border, the digital sign had the Truck crossing as a fifteen minute wait and the Peace Arch as N/A. Sweet. Easy peasy. All other times, N/A has meant less than five minutes. Not this time. One hour and thirty minutes later they entered the states. Holy frickin' crapola. Not fun. But they were through and had Tulalip on their minds. Lunch buffet, baby!

While the buffet was busier than expected, the wait wasn't too long. The reason for the busyness was discovered when paying the entrance fee: Tuesday is Seniors day. Seniors get three bucks off. That would explain why there were a lot more older people than usually seen there. And M barely qualified to get the discount! The buffet was partially under construction; it seems a Mongolie Grill is on the way and is to be included in the general price. J & B are excited at this prospect.

After eating, the married couple wanted to show M the one and only machine gambling game they enjoy playing: Multi-Game Game King. Wouldn't you know it, M, who was tentative from the get-go, doubled her money. She walked out of there a full dollar richer. Attagirl. J & B each lost a dollar rather quickly thanks to the damn quarter minimum.

Getting into Seattle and finding the hotel - Sheraton - was something J wasn't very excited about. J & B have passable knowledge of downtown Seattle, but driving into town during rush hour and not knowing exactly where to go or how to access the hotel - Sheraton - for parking was weighing on the mind. In the end, it all went incredibly smooth. It truly could not have gone better. Off the highway, circle the block kitty corner to the hotel - Sheraton - because of one-way streets, pull into the driveway, and they're there. Valet takes the car, and into the hotel - Sheraton - they walk. It was after the ensemble had checked in and received their room cards that the trip became pretty crappy.

Have you ever used Hotwire.com? It's a website that gets you a hotel room at a discounted price. Hotels would rather book rooms at a discount than have rooms sit empty, so booking through hotwire matches your stay dates with certain hotels' availability and pairs you up. After you've selected certain criteria - general area, amenities such as swimming pools, etc - you get told what type of hotel to expect (Holiday Inn, Sheraton, etc), and the cost. Once you confirm, you get an email telling you the exact hotel and you're set.

J & B had used Hotwire on their last trip to Seattle and had been happy enough with it that they used it for this trip. Last time they hadn't cared for a swimming pool, and had saved money because of it. This time, though, they wanted to swim, so paid extra for it - an extra $100 or so. Well, upon entering their room, B took a look at the guest book and read that the gym was closed for the summer. Those that wanted to use the gym could use a neighboring hotel's gym at no charge. The swimming pool was within the gym area, so we wondered if we would have to go to a neighboring hotel to swim. B called guest services and inquired. The pool was closed, she was told. Do we get a pass or something to use a different pool? No, the guy answered. You don't get anything. So we paid extra for a swimming pool and you're screwing over your guests like this? Well if you had read the website.. Kthanxbi.

You'd think that if a major amenity like that was unavailable for such a long time, they'd take that off their Hotwire availability. J & B quickly decided that in the future they'd stick with a certain hotel that they've stayed at many times that is affordable and with swimming pool. Stupid Hotwire.

Heading downstairs to leave for the baseball game, the three amigos asked guest services if there was a shuttle for the baseball games. They were told there wasn't because of the free bus system. Along 1st and 4th Ave in the downtown core you can get on the bus for free. The free zone ends just a couple of blocks before the stadium. J & B have been to and stayed in Seattle many times, and up to then had never known about this feature. The three of them walked to 1st (baseball pun!) to use it, but the traffic was miserable, so they quickly decided to walk it and got there much, much faster than the first bus would have.

And then it was baseball time! BoSox, baby, BoSox! The night before the Sox had shutout the M's four-zip and in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game the score was four-zip in favor of the Sox. Say it ain't so. In the bottom of the eighth the M's scored two, and the final was 4-2. When the BoSox play at Safeco it's a fun time. Throughout the city all day you see people wearing BoSox hats and shirts. Boston will get a run-scoring hit and there will be a loud cheer, and then the cheer fades as loud booing takes over. In the top of the first the first two Boston batters were retired, but then Drew spanked one to deep right, Ichiro's territory. Ichiro went, back, back, back, jumped with his arm stretched well above the wall and from the centrefield seats it looked like he had it. After he returning to turf the whole stadium was quiet, waiting for him to grab the ball out of his glove. He never did. Homerun it was.

The next morning began with checking the bags with the bellhop and asking how long the car could be valeted for. Answer: until 6pm. Cool beans. J & B and M walked to Pike Place Market for brekky. There is a smallish place there that J & B had been to once before. It serves good food for cheap and has a stellar view. Don't know the name of the place, but from the famous fish-throwing place just head down the corrider in the direction of the water. M was smitten with the place. She ordered tea and loved how the server brought her her very own teapot, instead of just a cup with a tea bag in it, which is the norm elsewhere.

From there they headed to Pioneer Square, where the Underground Tour office and starting point is located. M secured the last ticket remaining for an upcoming tour start time and J & B headed to the stadium once again.

It was a much more captivating game, which was announced early on as the 5000th regular season affair for the Mariners. Cool. Yesterday's play where Ichiro jumped and just missed robbing a BoSox player of a homerun was almost identically repeated. The key difference was this time he caught that ball! It was an awesome catch! The BoSox scored two in the third, the M's scored one in the fourth. The BoSox scored one in the sixth, the M's immediately scored two of their own to tie the game.

It had crossed J's mind that if either of the games went to extra innings - which would be great! - it'd be better if it was Tuesday's night game, because Wednesday was get-back-home day (and the car had to be gotten by 6, remember). But it was only the sixth, plenty of time for the tie to be broken. No runs in the seventh. No runs in the eighth. No runs in the ninth. Extra innings...(!) With an eye on the time, options were considered. At twenty to six B (& J?) would leave and speedwalk to the hotel. Phone contact was kept with M who was keeping herself busy at the predetermined Starbucks meeting place. J & B cursed each pitching change that slowed the game down. Neither of them wanted to leave the game before it was over. It was the BoSox in extra innings for crying out loud! Just before twenty to six the BoSox rallied and scored three runs in the twelfth. YES! Of course, in the bottom of the inning the M's just couldn't go quietly. They sparked a rally of their own and got two men on base. J pointed out to B that a homerun would tie the game. She gave the dirtiest of dirty looks. The bases were now loaded. A homerun would now end the game. Ditto an out. Get on with it dammit! But no hits other than a homerun - please. It was an out. Game over.

J & B booked it to the Starbucks, collected M, and the three of them booked it to the hotel. They arrived less than ten minutes past six and if hotel staff had said anything about extra charges for late car pick-up they would have faced three extremely angry people with foam at their mouths and ranting unintelligibly except for the words "swimming pool". The posse figured the hotel would be lenient, due to extra innings if nothing else. Fortunately, not a word was said.

They drove north to Bellis Fair, shopped a little, ate a little, and then crossed the border - minimal wait - and returned home. Actually, a quick word about the border northbound. There were two lanes, equal length, of cars. They chose the righthand lane, which was fortunate as it moved significantly faster. They eventually figured out why: as the lanes approached the border gates, the righthand lane separated into three different lanes, while the lefthand lane remained as one. You'd think with four gates open the two lanes would separate two and two, but no, the lefthand lane got screwed.

Two Detected Errors from the trip: Access Prohibitied and SORRY FOR ANY ANY INCONVINIENCE.

J & B each released two books during the trip and one of J's has already been journalled!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dance Monkeys Dance

Hi. And bye.

Not much written stuff on this blog lately. Been busy. Work busy and life busy. Will try to do better. I promise. Tomorrow Biscotti, my mama, and I are off to Seattle (we'll say "hi" to Attle for you, Guder!) for an overnighter. M's versus the BoSox! Twice! Hot diggity!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Eight Belles to this post

In the Sports Illustrated that came out on May 26, 2008, the Point After department on the last page was written by Selena Roberts and was an argument for abolishing the whip in horse racing.

From the article:

  • Fair or not, someone had to be to blame for the chilling end at Churchill Downs on May 3, when Eight Belles broke her two front legs after finishing second in the Kentucky Derby and had to be euthanized on the track. So PETA fixed on [jockey Gabriel] Saez, accusing him of whipping the filly mercilessly – he struck her at least eight times down the stretch – and calling for his suspension.
  • But just when my inner Mister Ed started to go sweet on Saez, he defended himself with loopy logic. "The whip is half a pound, and the horse is 1,200 pounds," he explained. "It doesn't do anything to the horse."
  • Who knows the pain tolerance of a horse? And why beat its hide at all?
  • Take the whip away and vanquish a symbol of cruelty. This wouldn't merely be a sop to PETA - it's a move industry types from legendary jockey Jerry Bailey to race caller Trevor Denman support if it can help restore credibility to every owner and trainer who proclaims that the horse's health is a priority.
  • "I keep getting told the jockey needs the whip for control," says Dr. Wayne McIlwraith, an equine orthopedic researcher at Colorado State. "I think we've got reins to do that."
  • [Trainer Larry] Jones counters with the New Coke approach: "If they want to go to a lighter whip, where the horse would still hear the popping sound, I'd be great with that." But lighter is still visible. It's public perception that empowers the PETA point of view[...]"
  • Perception?" Jones said with a smile [...] "I know it's about perception. But I also know some people who say they use whips in the bedroom. Now to me that wouldn't be good. But hey, it's what they like."
  • Eight Belles didn't have a choice.
Three weeks later, in SI's June 16, 2008 issue, the Letters page featured this letter:
If Selena Roberts feels that horse racing is cruel because jockeys often resort to a half-pound whip, perhaps she should turn on mixed martial arts and see humans beating the snot out of each other.
Did the letter writer not read the last six words of the piece? Eight Belles didn't have a choice. Humans - when engaging in mixed martial arts - have chosen to give and take abuse.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

...I need park for a rest

On Monday afternoon Biscotti and I were walking the dogs on various trails in Pacific Spirit Park. Usually when we do this, there are many other trail users, mainly professional dog-walkers and bikers. This time, however, the spotting of other people was a rarity, unusual for such a nice afternoon. At one point, walking north on Salish north of Council, there was eerie silence. No passersby talking, no dogs barking, not even birds chirping. And the closest road was miles away, keeping the rumble of cars out of our ears. So, naturally, surrounded by nature and with nary a sound or onlooker around, you can probably guess what I was able to talk Biscotti into doing. That's right: nothing. We both stopped walking, stood still, and just listened. Listened to nothing. It was so very quiet. Not a sound. Calming.

It made me think of Saturday morning. After yet another week of "phone calls" and early mornings and obnoxiously loud and intermittent sounds and hard labour, I had been looking forward to a nice long sleep. Well, the house directly west of us recently got demolished and on Saturday morning, no later than eight-thirty, there was heavy machinery making obnoxiously loud and consistent sounds (*CRASH* *KLUNK* *BANG* *SMASH*). My head, laying on my pillow less than a foot from the west side of our house, was closer than anyone's head should've been to the source, attempting to sleep or not. Sleep was impossible. They kept up the work deep into the afternoon, and for the rest of the day I was a zombie as we were out and about.

To avoid a repeat early wake-up situation this Saturday morning, I'm considering hauling my bed to Salish Trail - just north of Council - on Friday evening and bunking down for a good night's sleep. What? Yeah, maybe you're right, it's a stupid idea. Best to just take a sleeping bag and therm-a-rest.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Overheard in Vancouver

[Two France fans have just watched and listened as all the Italy fans stood up and sang Italy's national anthem as it played on the television. The France anthem is now playing and the Italy fans are razzing the two France fans for neither standing nor singing.]

One of the France fans: Shhhhh, we're listening.

-- Caffe Roma, 17.06.2008

overheard by: me

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Quick Question

The Happening: Crappy movie, or the crappiest movie?

[Silvercity Riverport needs to make their washroom faucets no-touch. The door was no-touch (propped open) and the hand dryer was no-touch, so making the faucets no-touch will make it a perfect sanitization experience.]

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Watch jPod

Friends, family, and passersby, here's the thing.

In January, CBC unveiled jPod, an amazing new TV show based on Douglas Coupland's novel. No doubt due to lack of advertising, not many people watched the premiere, but, mostly via word of mouth, more and more people were tuning in each week, despite its move from Tuesdays to kiss-of-death Fridays.

Unfortunately, CBC canceled jPod partway through the first season. However, the rest of the season still aired, and a fan campaign was launched to save jPod. After the first season ended, jPod was nominated for 15 Leo Awards and walked away with 4 wins!. (The Leo Awards honour the best in British Columbian television and film production.) CBC is now re-airing jPod's first season in a better timeslot: Thursdays at 8pm, starting June 19th. This is a perfect opportunity to save this unique show!

If you haven’t seen jPod yet, it’s a humourous Canadian TV show set in Vancouver. It follows a group of videogame designers at work, set upon a backdrop of hilarious and over-the-top events — for example, Carol Jarlewski is a mother and wife who is involved in grow-ops, drug dealing and murders, and Kam Fong is a Chinese mafia kingpin who traffics humans. Alan Thicke is fantastic as Jim Jarlewski, a father character quite different from Growing Pains' Jason Seaver.

Two videos to whet your appetite: Snart and Jim's Crisis.

If you've already seen jPod, enjoy it again for the first time and help make a second (and third, and fourth) season a reality.

Whether you're a jPod newbie or veteran, you should definitely be tuning in to watch this awesome show on CBC in its new timeslot: Thursdays at 8pm, starting June 19th.

New to jPod? Check out this link.

*Disclaimer* -- The first episode of jPod, like many pilots, doesn’t do justice to the rest of the series. jPod gets better with each episode thereafter and truly hits a fantastic stride. So stay tuned beyond the first episode - you’ll be glad you did!


This post's content was supplied by savejpod.ca, with some tweaking here and there.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Pud & Haus

Who else was totally enthralled with the two-hour season finale of Lost on Thursday? Hot diggity was that a suspenseful episode. But that's not why I'm here. I'm offering you an opportunity to discover your Sawyer nickname. You know, the nickname that "His Seaside Surliness" would give you if you were one of the Oceanic Flight 815 survivors. Ta git yer nick, go to this page of the official Lost website on ABC. It takes about 20 seconds. I'm Pud and Biscotti is Haus.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Overheard in Vancouver

Bystander to friends as Critical Mass rolls by: I don't wear a helmet, I get a ticket. That's not fair.

-- Downtown Eastside, 30.05.2008

overheard by: me

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It was 4am

Activated the house alarm. Exited through the back door. Remembered that the back stairs are temporarily absent. Returned inside. Headed down the stairs to the basement. Halfway down, remembered that the car is parked in front. Returned upstairs. Waited for the alarm to reach the end of its countdown. Deactivated the house alarm. Reactivated the house alarm. Exited through the front door. Went to work.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Larissa & Demetri & Griffey

I have a prediction: On Jeopardy!, Larissa Kelly will beat Ken Jennings's record of seventy-four wins. Or at least shatter the women's record. Anyone know what the women's record is?

I saw comedian Demetri Martin on television recently. He made me laugh with this: She was amazing. I never met a woman like this before. She showed me to the dressing room. She said: “If you need anything, I’m Jill.” I was like, “Oh, my God! I never met a woman before with a conditional identity. What if I don’t need anything? Who are you?” — “If you don’t need anything, I’m Eugene.”

I've heard that Ken Griffey Jr. may return to play for the Seattle Mariners in the near future. This would be fantastic. The Biscot and I are going to see the Ms play the Boston Red Sox on back-to-back days in July. Please make it so before then.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bill's Samples

12PM Time to Consult the Oracle?

Office West Virginian: I need more samples! Does anyone know when Bill is making more samples?!
Office wise guy: Uh, Bill, maybe?
Office West Virginian: No, I already asked him and he doesn't know.

W. Market Street
Greensboro, North Carolina
via
Overheard in the Office, May 22, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Shipping Details

Here's the thing. When you're shipping something, do you check and double check that the address you're shipping to is complete and correct, including the postal code (or zip code)? I have recently started a new job and have discovered that a lot of people don't care to check addresses, or their checking and double checking is very substandard.

Here is a list of streets with some misspellings I have seen:
  • Arbutus Street - Abutus, Arutus, Anbutus, Arvutus, Arbustus
  • Balaclava Street - Balaca
  • Broadway Avenue - Braodway, Brodway
  • Burrard Street - Burrand, Burrad, Burnard, Bunnard, or Bunnand.
  • Cornwall Avenue - Cortwall, Kornwall
  • Cranberry Drive - Chanverry
  • Dumfries Street - Bumfries (Dumfries is pronounced Dum-freeze, but pronounce Bumfries however you wish!)
  • Duranleau Street - Duranaelu, Duranieav
  • Granville Street - Grandvile, Grandvil, Grantville, Grainville, Grancille, Greenville
  • Johnston Street - Johndton, Johnton
  • Marstrand Avenue - Marstarad
  • Shaughnessy Street - Shawnessy, nor Seanessy.
  • Vine Street/Pine Street - Oine (likely Pine, based on o and p being keyboard neighbors)
Some other things:

  • It's Burnaby, not Burnbury.
  • Make sure the postal code is correct - Main Street is not V6K and Lougheed Mall (in Burnaby!) is not V6J.
  • [address number deleted] WEST LLTH AVENUE - what the L?
  • John Doe, West 6th Ave is not sufficient - what is the address number?!
  • Secure the package - 'nuff said.
  • [name deleted]; Vancouver, BC; [address number deleted] West 110th Avenue; V6J 2B5 - which is exactly what I saw today - is incomprehensible. Were you trying for 10th or 11th Ave?
  • Check out this one: [address number deleted] W. 3rd Ave; Ontarria, BC, Canada; V6J 1K4. Ontarria?! WTF?
  • The Molson Brewery at 1550 Burrard Street is not in Vanderhoof and does not have a postal code beginning with V0J

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes

This coming Sunday I'm taking part in the Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes. I started a new job in late March and this fundrasing event seems to be kind of a big deal - much like Ron Burgundy. After gaining the ability to walk way back in my toddler days I've done some walking every single day of my life. With all that walking experience, I figure it's about time I used it to do some good.

[Added this paragraph on May 22, 2008, with apologies to Jax who has read it already.] I've done a lot of walking in my life, so I should be okay. There was the disastrous right-foot-toes clipping left-foot-heel tumble-and-fall of 1993 that catapulted me down the high school stairs and into grade 9 infamy, but I've walked like a champ since then, other than a few minor walking-into-a-street-pole accidents.

So to pledge me, click here. According to a message from the official website, You can pledge quickly, efficiently and safely through our secure online pledge option. An electronic tax receipt will be emailed directly to you for donations over $20. You can tell the pledge page is secure because of the s in https in the web page's address.

Juvenile (type 1) Diabetes is the most severe form of diabetes as it is unpreventable and strikes infants, children, teens and young adults, leaving them insulin-dependant for life and facing a future of uncertainty due to the threat of developing devastating complications.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friday May 16 2008

My days of late haven't been terribly exciting. I work, I eat, I sleep. Throw in some television watching, dog walking, and a weekly Settlers of Catan game and that's my life. Yesterday, though, I had a very full and varied day. Here's how it went down, in chronological order..

  1. Wake.
  2. Perform four hours of physical labor - I was all ups in your face and may have handled your package.
  3. Four hours of hiking Norvan Falls with Biscotti and the fat donkeys. A beautiful, beautiful day.
  4. Fifth Ave Cinemas with Biscotti to see Young @ Heart - a superb movie. An abundance of energy and sadness.
  5. River Rock Casino with Biscotti for dinner at the buffet, followed by a li'l bit of poker slots.
  6. Sleep.

A fantastically great day to start the long weekend, as long as this morning's two o'clock phone call is ignored - and for the purposes of this post it can be, since it happened after yesterday.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ninjas: They're Everywhere

Four motivational posters received from my cousin...

Traffic Light District

On Thursday, after many years of driving through the intersection of Sophia Street & E 12th Avenue, I had to stop at a red light at said intersection for the very first time. Hundreds of times I've driven through that intersection and not once have I had to come to a stop at it. Wow, what good luck you've got, you may be thinking. Well, no. Sometime within the past fortnight, brand new pedestrian-controlled traffic lights were activated at that location. There are already traffic lights one block west, at busy Main Street and E 12th Avenue, and one block east, at busy Kingsway & E 12th Avenue.

Six or seven years ago I remember reading that the city of Vancouver reviews several dozen potential locations for new traffic lights (likely all pedestrian-controlled), based on amount of use and safety, and that about a dozen new traffic lights are installed yearly. The area surrounding the aforementioned new traffic lights has seen, and is still seeing, much development which will see a higher population in the area, so maybe the lights are a good idea. Though I wonder why people can't just walk one block east or west to one of the intersections with already-existing traffic lights.

What I'd like to know is, Are any traffic lights being removed? Or is it just a matter of a few more years before every single intersection in the city includes traffic lights?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Family and Norfolk

New Zealand is too far away. Ditto, Norfolk Island. Many years ago, my parents left their respective families and traveled together from Aotearoa to Canada to start life anew. Soon after, I was born. Growing up on Canada's west coast, the only family I socialized with regularly were my immediate family members: my parents and my siblings. All aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents were an expensive eighteen hour plane ride away.

My mom's mom made the long flight here a couple of times, and vice versa. I was taken to New Zealand as a young'un, and again when I was thirteen as my family visited relatives. During the summer of 21 a friend and I journeyed down and spent two and a half weeks going down and back up the length of the country visiting various family members of mine. We then spent a month as Australian tourists.

Biscotti, meanwhile, has grown up surrounded by an immensely large extended family. It seems like every weekend there was a big family gathering to celebrate someone's milestone - birthday, high school graduation, baptism, wedding, etc. In addition, portuguese dinner & dances were frequent events.

Last weekend, an aunt of mine - whom I've never met - was in Vancouver with a friend. The few times I've been in New Zealand she has been living on Norfolk Island. She and a friend were spending the weekend here before heading down to Seattle to embark on an Alaskan cruise. Most of her time was spent with her brother (my dad), who showed her around town. Biscotti and I were able to meet up with them for lunch on Saturday afternoon. It was great talking to her. She had celbrated her seventieth birthday a couple of months back, for which approximately 30 family members had flown to Norfolk Island. There was photographic evidence, which we gobbled up. It's been a decade since I've seen my extended family; I think it's time for a jaunt to the north island. At this time, I don't think I have any family on the southern island.

After parting ways after lunch, I looked up Norfolk Island. It is much, much smaller than I had thought. Located directly north of New Zealand (almost a straight line from Queenstown) and directly east of Australia (almost a straight line from Brisbane), it's one part of one of Australia's external territories. Reading the immigration and citizenship section on wikipedia was mind-boggling. In July 2003 the population was estimated to be 1,853. My favorite sentence of the ones I read on about the island is this: There are 80 km (50 mi) of roads on the island, "little more than country lanes", but local law gives cows the right of way. Read more about Norfolk Island here.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A bpNichol Poem


A LAKE A LANE A LINE A LONE
Originally uploaded by Duchamp
I was introduced to bpNichol's work about seventeen months ago and was immediately smitten. This poem of his is carved into the pavement of bpNichol Lane in Toronto and - while I haven't seen this in person - the photographer appears to have captured the image magnificently. Here's your homework: look up some of bpNichol's work and let me know what you think. Some of his collected works are now on my to-get list. I'd like to read more poetry by more writers. Therefore, who are some of your favorite writers of poetry and fiction?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I've Done a Half

On Sunday I ran the Vancouver half marathon (see the course map here). Very grueling, that morning was. My official time was two hours, seven minutes and thirty-nine seconds - a personal best! My place: 2659. At first I was a tad disappointed with my time, but in the fifty hours that have passed since crossing the finish line a growing sense of accomplishment has been setting in. I'm already looking forward to completing my second half (date and location tbd), for which I will be more adequately prepared.

By all accounts, mine included, I did a poor job in supplying my body with appropriate amounts of fuel, especially during the race. (Note to self: a bedtime snack and a heartier breakfast are musts.) During the race, my intake consisted of a little bit of water at most water stations and a tiny bit of gatorade at one of the later stations. My brother-in-law, who crossed the finish line thirty-two minutes ahead of me, had consumed three power gels during the race, in addition to whatever fluids he ingested. My sister crossed the line twenty minutes before me, but I don't know how what she had during the race. Anyway, congrats to you both! A couple more days rest and I'll be back at 'er, pounding the pavement in the name of fitness - and new personal bests.

[See three marathon-related Detected Errors by clicking here and here and here.]

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Paula Abdul's Gaffe

I'm not an American Idol viewer, but it's difficult to live one's life without hearing about certain happenings on that ubiquitous show. Mostly I tune out (for the second time, I suppose), but yesterday I came across a story that is so great that I'm now here blogging about it. So you know it's gotta be great.

American Idol’s loopiest judge made the biggest and most cringeworthy gaffe in the show’s history.

Since the Top 5 had two songs to sing, the judges were going to critique them after their second performance. OK, makes sense. But at the midway point, after each contender performed their first song, Ryan brought the five on stage and asked the judges what they thought so far.

After Randy gave his thoughts, Paula began. “Jason, the first song, I loved hearing your lower register, which we never really hear. The second song, I felt like your usual charm wasn’t… it was missing for me, it kind of left me a little empty. And the two songs made me feel like you’re not fighting hard enough to get into the Top 4.”

Um, whaaaaaaaaaaat!?!

Randy immediately jumped in and laughingly reminded Paula that the contestants had only performed one song, which she then gasped, red-faced and blathered, “Oh my God, I thought you sang twice!” Even Simon, who would have normally been making fun of her, attempted to rescue her.

It’s easy to chalk up the blunder to confusion on Paula's part but as far as I’m concerned, it can only be perceived in two ways: either Paula took notes during the contestants’ dress rehearsals and used them; or, Paula was reading notes given to her by the show’s producers.

Either way you cut it, it’s pretty damaging. And while the conspiracy theorist that I am may be reading too much into this, doesn’t it make you scratch your head a little? The judges should have no access to the contestants during rehearsals, and should only be giving feedback based on what the viewing public sees. But if her comments – which she stutters through, night after night – are written by someone other than her, then the show’s got a whole other mess to clean up.


For the full article, click here.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Today's Run Route and Time

Seven more sleeps until the half. Bring it on.

Today's run route
Start at E King Edward Ave & Inverness St, west on E King Edward Ave, right at Windsor St, left at E 10th Ave, left at Heather St, left at W 37th Ave, left at Windsor St, right at E King Edward Ave, end at Inverness St.
Today's run time
1 hour 2 minutes 36 seconds

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Survey Says!...

A new feature (aka Page Element) on this blog: Poll. It can be found on the sidebar directly under the fluid flickr photos and will be updated fortnightly or so. I'm thinking the questions will likely reflect current events in my life, with the odd stray thought converted into question form.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Today's Run Route and Time

Today's run route
In Pacific Spirit Park, start at Sasamat Reservoir, down Sasamat, right at Council, left at Sword Fern, left at Long, left at Salish, left at Council, left at Sword Fern, left at Long, right at Salish, left at Clinton, left at Sasamat, end at Sasamat Reservoir.
Today's run time
59 minutes 32 seconds

Me, too

Miss Manners Says as Long as You Ask First, It's Okay

Queer: That guy sooo just checked you out.
Hot chick: Should I go over there and ask to sit on his face?
Queer: Bianca.
Hot chick: What? I'm horny!
Queer: Me, too, now that I think of it.

--Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia


via Overheard at the Beach, Apr 17, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Get a Grip

Googled my name yesterday. Found out I was a grip for the 1992 film, The Favour, the Watch, and the Very Big Fish. Yahoo! Movies gives this synopsis: After being released from prison, a pianist with delusions about his identity poses as Jesus for a photographer and becomes a celebrity. Hey, don't laugh - it had Bob Hoskins and Jeff Goldblum in it.

Today's run route
In Pacific Spirit Park, start at Sasamat Reservoir, down Sasamat, right at Council, right at Sword Fern, right at Salish, left at Hemlock, right at Salish, left at Council, left at Sasamat, end at Sasamat Reservoir.
Today's run time
34 minutes 45 seconds

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Running in a Half

I've been running regularly since last August. At the end of February I started to keep track of the location and duration of each run. By posting each run's route and time on my blog I'm motivated to keep running, both in the general lifestyle sense and in the specific not-feeling-so-great-today sense. Today, for the first time in years, I went for a run on city sidewalks, instead of the woodsy trails of Pacific Spirit Park.

While running the park's trails is great for a variety of reasons (don't have to stop for red lights and cars; the freshest air in town; soft-ish ground surface for the feet; the dogs tag along and get a lot of exercise), I need to run city sidewalks more often and here's why: in less than three weeks I'm running a half-marathon. There. It's out there. The Vancouver Half-Marathon on May 4th will be my first half-marathon. To prepare my body, my training runs should be similar to what I'll experience on that fateful Sunday. It means leaving the dogs at home, which sucks, but it's what's best for me.

Today's run route
Start at E King Edward Ave & Inverness St, south on Inverness St, right at E 31st Ave, left at Windsor St, right at E 37th Ave, right at Kersland Dr, cross W 33rd Ave, follow an unnamed Queen Elizabeth Park road clockwise, right at sidewalk next to pitch and putt golf course, follow path counterclockwise to the parking lot, through the parking lot, left at W 37th Ave, left at Windsor St, right at E King Edward Ave, end at Inverness St.
Today's run time
53 minutes 21 seconds

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Raiders: The Adaptation

On Friday May 2nd at the Park Theatre, watch Raiders: The Adaptation for $12. Screening in Vancouver for the first time, it's a shot-for-shot remake of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Made by three teens in the 1980s, the reviews I've read and heard have been nothing but positive. On top of it being a fun event, it's also a charity screening to benefit the Canadian Cancer Society. My friend Jason is hosting/organizing - check out his blog for more info, including a video that shows some movie clips. Biscotti and I (and Jason) hope to see you there! Click the pic to enlarge it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

mailover7 and I were BFF

From: -
(1/2) Hey, I got your number from a friend of mine, but I bet you can't guess who I am! My name's mailover7, if you wanna come see if yo
7:12pm 3/30/08

From: -
(2/2) u recognize me online, at mailover7.love-jump.net Well hope to see you soon!
7:12pm 3/30/08

On Sunday March 30th Biscotti and I drove down to the states for the day; our cell phones were turned off to prevent roaming charges. That evening, after crossing the border back into Canada, I turned my cell on and was subsequently alerted to at least one text message. In fact, I was blessed with two text messages, seen above. (Note that I didn't delete the from info; the texts came in exactly as shown above.) Then, last week, we had just walked through the doors of River Rock Casino in Richmond when Biscotti got text alerted. Same theme, different wording. Neither of us had received text spam before it hit my inbox on March 30th - indeed, up until then we hadn't even been aware of its existence.

I'd like it to be known that I hate hate hate the text messaging system on my cell phone. If you ever feel the need to text me, please keep it very short so I don't have to scroll. Otherwise I'll only read what is visible without scrolling. Telus - the future is (not user) friendly.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Paradise, Baby, Paradise

I learned something very interesting yesterday. While uploading Vegas pics (and now vids!) to flickr, I was googling various Vegas sites and somehow found myself on the wikipedia page for the city of Paradise, Nevada. According to said webpage, Paradise contains McCarran International Airport and most of the Las Vegas Strip, including well-known hotels such as Caesars Palace and MGM Grand. Therefore, many tourists visiting "Las Vegas" actually spend most of their time in Paradise, not Las Vegas proper. How many of you were aware of that? Yeah, I thought so. To see pics and vids of our Vegas/Paradise trip, click here.

Today's run route
In Pacific Spirit Park, start at Sasamat Reservoir, down Sasamat, right at Council, left at Sword Fern, left at Long, left at Salish, turn around at 16th, right at Sword Fern, left at Long, left at Salish, left at Hemlock, right at Salish, turn around at 16th, right at Sword Fern, left at Council, left at Sasamat, end at Sasamat Reservoir.
Today's run time
1 hour 10 minutes 39 seconds

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Vegas -Lights

It's been over two weeks since Biscotti and I got back from Las Vegas, Nevada, so a Vegas post is overdue. First time there for both of us and it was a grand four-day/three-night stay. The night before our flight out of Bellingham, minimal trip preparation had been done, but there was a Canucks game on PPV and I wanted to watch it at The Cottage [Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood Pub - editor]. Yes, this was back when their games held importance.

Heading out the front door to begin our short walk, Biscotti shut the door before asking, "got your keys?", prompting me to pat my pockets and get nervous. I didn't have mine and Biscotti didn't have hers and we were now locked out of our house. So we began our walk and I phoned my mother who graciously agreed to drive over to The Cottage with her copy of our house key sometime in the next two and a half hours.

In the end the Canucks won, we got back into our house, and the packing didn't take too long so a good amount of sleep was had. Here now, is a recap of our Vegas trip, in the form of a highlights and lowlights list.

  • Packing too many clothing items - a Vegas run? Ha!
  • Plethora of activities with our money-saving Power Pass
  • Getting to our first-night show on Fremont
  • Our first-night show (I'm a Chippendale?)
  • The River Pool at MGM Grand (1,000 feet or 8,000 feet)
  • Long walk from our room to the River Pool
  • Star Trek Experience
  • Biscotti riding Sahara's Speed: The Ride (post loop, coaster "accelerates from 35 mph to 70 mph in just two seconds")
  • Rim Runner and Canyon Blaster at Circus Circus's Adventuredome Theme Park
  • Biscotti riding The Roller Coaster at New York-New York
  • Playing a slot game we actually enjoy
  • Playing blackjack at a table for the first time ever
  • Releasing four books - one journaled already
  • Two buffet meals a day - except for a midnight meal at Studio Cafe and a meal at Planet Hollywood
  • Having our midnight meal next to newlyweds who had been married four hours
  • Finding Planet Hollywood, and their grill being broken
  • Riding public transit to the outlets and back
  • A leaking bottle of apple juice in our bag
  • The busyness and excitement of March Madness
  • "Touring" King Tut Museum at Luxor
  • Stand-up comedy at Tropicana's The Comedy Stop
  • Taking Pete Rose's picture

Today's Run Route and Time

Today's run route
In Pacific Spirit Park, start at Sasamat Reservoir, down Sasamat, right at Council, left at Sword Fern, left at Long, left at Salish, left at Hemlock, right at Salish, turn around at 16th, right at Sword Fern, left at Long, left at Sasamat, end at Sasamat Reservoir.
Today's run time
49 minutes 22 seconds

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Me in Courier's k&k

In response to a detected error, regarding usage of the phrase "begs the question", I sent an email to The Vancouver Courier. Specifically, to the writers (or, maybe, writer) of the kudos & kvetches column. In the very next issue, the writers address the usage. The kudos & kvetches column is here and my Detected Errors post about it is here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Books, and Errors

Hey you. Yeah, you. Guess what? Changed my mind - listen, don't guess. Please listen, don't just guess. I have started two new blogs and am hopeful that you'll pay them a visit now and then. They're located on the sidebar's blogroll for your convenience. One is called jblue's Blog o' Books, and the other one is a blog o' errors called Detected Errors.

Today's run route
In Pacific Spirit Park, start at Sasamat Reservoir, down Sasamat, right at Council, left at Sword Fern, left at Long, left at Salish, left at Hemlock, right at Salish, turn around at 16th, right at Sword Fern, left at Long, left at Salish, left at Council, left at Sword Fern, left at Long, left at Sasamat, end at Sasamat Reservoir.
Today's run time
1 hour 2 minutes 39 seconds

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Today's Run Route and Time

Today's run route
In Pacific Spirit Park, start at Sasamat Reservoir, down Sasamat, right at Council, left at Sword Fern, left at Long, left at Salish, left at Hemlock, right at Salish, turn around at 16th, right at Sword Fern, left at Long, left at Sasamat, end at Sasamat Reservoir.
Today's run time
53 minutes 19 seconds

Very briefly saw B&S (Bephanie?) running the other way. The lightning-quick exchange - "Hey!" "Hey!" - had me smiling for the rest of the run. Nay, day.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Jackie's Three Things

On Jackie's My Three Things blog, her latest post is my favorite thus far. I urge you to drink in that post in particular and her blog in general. The photos themselves can stand alone, and Jackie always adds succinct and insightful commentary.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wave Swinger included

In a previous post I said I'd let you know, so here you go. The Managing Editor for Schmap Guides sent the email last night and I read the email this morning; my photo has been included in the newly released second edition of the Schmap Canada Guide. To see it in action go to this page, scroll down and place the mouse's arrow on the Playland category.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sporting Street Names

In the most recent Vancouver Courier (March 14, 2008), writer Bob Mackin uses the possible renaming of the Strait of Georgia (to Salish Sea) to make - with an eye to the impending Olympics - "10 proposals to bring sports to the streets". These are the ones I like best..
  • Old name: Denman Street. New name: Millionaires Mile. Denman Street's north foot marks the western edge of Coal Harbour's high-rent district. It once led to the Patricks' Denman Arena where the Vancouver Millionaires were crowned Stanley Cup champions on March 26, 1915.
  • Old: Ontario Street. New: Bob Brown Boulevard. Why does Ontario Street in Vancouver go through such a pleasant neighbourhood when British Columbia Road in Toronto is on the Canadian National Exhibition site where nobody lives? Nat Bailey Stadium wouldn't be here without Bob Brown, the Scranton, Penn., native who became the father of baseball in Vancouver.
  • Old: James Street. New: Jims Street. Conveniently located near Nat Bailey Stadium, James Street should go colloquial to honour sports radio legends Robson and Cox and spectacular sports scribes Coleman, Kearney and Taylor. All Jims. All great.
  • Old: West 41st Avenue. New: Rick Hansen Way. He was just a wheelchair athlete when he left Oakridge Mall on Feb. 21, 1985. But he was a national hero when he returned there on May 22, 1987 after rolling 40,075 kilometres around the world to champion access for the disabled and raise money for spinal cord research.
  • Old: McGill and Bridgeway streets. New: Miracle Mile. Empire Stadium is long gone and the famous Roger Bannister/John Landy statue was moved to the geographically incorrect Renfrew Gate. Part of McGill and all of Bridgeway could be dubbed Miracle Mile for the famous Aug. 7, 1954 race in which two men ran a mile in less than four minutes for the first time. It would also please punters at the nearby Hastings Racecourse where a miracle happens whenever a longshot pony pays off.
  • Old: East Fifth Avenue. New: Passaglia-Lenarduzzi Piazza. Soccer's Lenarduzzi wore number five during his Vancouver Whitecaps and 86ers career. Passaglia had the same number with the B.C. Lions while becoming pro football's greatest kicker. They're the Eastside's most famous Italian-Canadian sons. Magnifico!
  • Finally, Terry Fox Way. It exists, almost unknown, by B.C. Place Stadium's west airlock but should actually encircle the entire stadium. The most important venue of the 2010 Games should've been named for the late cancer fighter when it opened 25 years ago this June.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Today's Run Route and Time

Today's run route
In Pacific Spirit Park, start at Sasamat Reservoir, down Sasamat, right at Imperial, right at Salish, left at Council, left at Sword Fern, left at Long, left at Salish, right at Council, left at Sasamat, end at Sasamat Reservoir. A dangling figure-eight.
Today's run time
36 minutes 23 seconds

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bikes on Burrard Bridge

Right now, on both sides of the Burrard Bridge, cyclists and pedestrians share a narrow sidewalk that has no barrier to the adjacent high-speed motor traffic. This has been the situation for many many years. For a long time, the city has wondered how to improve the situation. In the March 6-13 2008 issue of The Georgia Straight an article by Matthew Burrows, Urban cyclists still face unfriendly terrain in Vancouver, discussed this topic..

On July 19, 2005, [Fred] Bass, then the chair of the city’s transportation and traffic committee, sought closure on the 15-year-old Burrard Bridge issue. He proposed that staff look into the lane widening, but that a six-month trial be started in April 2006, in which two lanes of car traffic would be given over to cyclists and in-line skaters, creating a much-needed segregation that would guarantee the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, who still have to share the narrow sidewalks. Bass convinced all COPE councillors to vote in favour, along with then–NPA councillor Peter Ladner. Mayor Sam Sullivan is the sole dissenting vote, though Ladner—now seeking the NPA mayoral nomination—announced later on that he had changed his position. He was derided at the WERA [West End Residents Association] event for doing this.

“I can’t win that one,” Ladner said by phone. “Will I repent? No. If you are a cycling advocate, nothing I did should make you concerned. We are widening the sidewalks. There will be better issues for cyclists. So what’s the issue? It is the anticar advocates who are pissed off at me.”

The Straight asked Ladner how he would react to being called a cycling flip-flopper at election time. “I have always been consistent that cyclists need more space,” he said. “It is just a question of where to put it.”

What's the issue? The issue is that widening the sidewalks will be very costly, both financially and in terms of heritage. I don't think two lanes are needed for cyclists and pedestrians; giving just one lane would suffice. Lane allocation instead of sidewalk widening would be much cheaper and wouldn't damage the bridge's heritage. The people against lane allocation argue that whenever they drive across the bridge they rarely see enough people using the sidewalks to warrant such a move. That's because it's dangerous! I believe there is a large number of people who may be considering cycling as transportation, and who would cross Burrard Bridge, but they don't do it because they either know how dangerous it is, or they keep hearing how dangerous it is.

As mentioned, there was going to be a trial of two lanes given to cyclists. As soon as Sam Sullivan and the NPA gained power, it got scrapped before it even began.

Lane allocation: if you do it, they will come.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Carts of Darkness



Carts of Darkness is about a couple guys from Vancouver who turn bottle-picking, their primary source of income, into the extreme sport of shopping cart racing. The film takes a look into the lives of the men who race carts, the adversity they face, and the appeal of cart racing despite the risk. Source.

Today's Run Route and Time

Today's run route
In
Pacific Spirit Park, start at Sasamat Reservoir, down Sasamat, right at Council, left at Salish, left at Imperial, left at Sasamat, left at Council, left at Salish, left at Imperial, left at Sasamat, end at Sasamat Reservoir.
Today's run time
36 minutes 50 seconds

Monday, March 10, 2008

Wave Swinger short-listed


Wave Swinger
Originally uploaded by jblueafterglow
I received an email last week via flickr. According to Emma Williams, Managing Editor of Schmap Guides, this picture of mine "has been short-listed for inclusion in the second edition of [the] Schmap Canada Guide, to be published at the end of this month". They say they will send me a message when the guide is released to let me know whether or not it has been included. When I know, I'll let you know.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Best Actress on 9/11

Actress Marion Cotillard won the award for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the Oscars last month; she portrays Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. In the days following the ceremony, some things she said in an interview in France one year ago started to spread like wildfire.

"I think we’re lied to about a number of things," she said, singling out September 11. Referring to the two passenger jets flown into the World Trade Centre, Miss Cotillard said: "We see other towers of the same kind being hit by planes, are they burned? There was a tower, I believe it was in Spain, which burned for 24 hours. It never collapsed. None of these towers collapsed. And there [New York], in a few minutes, the whole thing collapsed." Miss Cotillard suggested that the towers, planned in the early 1960s, were an outdated "money sucker" which would have cost so much to modernise that it was easier to destroy them.
-- Source: Marion Cotillard's 9/11 conspiracy theory

Today's run route
In Pacific Spirit Park, start at Sasamat Reservoir, down Sasamat, right at Council, left at Sword Fern, left at Long, left at Salish, left at Council, left at Sword Fern, left at Long, left at Sasamat, left at Council, left at Sword Fern, left at Long, left at Salish, left at Council, left at Sword Fern, left at Long, left at Sasamat, end at Sasamat Reservoir.
Today's run time
1 hour 15 minutes 58 seconds