Archive for April, 2006

Literary Tour on Main Street

What a great evening. I decided at the last minute to attend the 2006 Literary Tour on Main Street on the recommendation of James Sherrett. The Association of Book Publishers of BC and the BC Association of Magazine Publishers put together a varied program that invoked at least a quorum of Greek muses…

First, there was Thalia, muse of comedy, represented by Marcus Youssef and Caymar Chai doing a reading from their biting play about two Middle Eastern men and their stage performance.

Then Terpsichore and Euterpe, hovering over a scheduled impromptu (oxymoron?) dance put on by Dance International. I took photos, but forgot the names of the dancer and musician.


MEC Gear Swap this weekend

Aw yeah. MEC’s annual Gear Swap is on Saturday. Like the police auction, this event is a major hassle. Unlike the police auctions, it’s worth it.

Relationship Blog Death

With Spring having finally arriven (having been at last arrived?) — with Spring here, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in Vancouver blogs.

Yes, I’m talking about Relationship Blog Death (distantly related to Lesbian bed death).

This insidious disease usually starts out with a number of posts about people wanting to find a certain special someone, interspersed with interesting blog items about things they’ve done, adventures they’ve had, and of course, the best blog post of all: bad date debriefings. (These are very different from good date debriefings.)

Then, a sudden quiet period. Perhaps pictures of cats, nothing more.

Then, The Post. Sometimes it’s not as obvious, except in retrospect. Sure, it can make you really happy for the other person, but it’s really the beginning of the long slump, the dark quiet time.

This is inevitably followed by: The Apology, which is often rather funny, and sometimes includes nice flattering lists about that special person. Or sometimes it’s real short.

So for those of you about to find happiness and true love with the man/woman of your dreams — pause for a minute and think about your poor readers! Pretty soon it’s going to be all reruns on TV, and we need your posts to keep us entertained!

Canucks GM grows spine and balls all at once!

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Todd Bertuzzi, originally uploaded by alientologist.

So Nonis finally decided that not making the playoffs was a bad thing. Thanks for coming out skippy, next you’ll tell us scoring goals is how you accumilate points which count towards victory.

Anyway after waking up and deciding that blowing chunks over the course of an entire NHL season was a bad thing the Canucks let go head coach Mark Crawford [cbc]. Sort of makes you wonder why they said they weren’t going to fire him oh so recently. I mean it’s not like he’s lost any more games since the season ended.

Maybe he beat Nonis at Tiger Woods golf for the XBox and that ended their friendship. It’s happened to me.

Anyway the best part of the whole craptastic debacle was when Nonis said, “I want to make it clear that this does not absolve the players. In no way does this mean there will be no further changes – no way.”

Seriously, bring back Quinn.

Foodie : City of Excess II

Sometimes you want itty-bitty portions of izakaya artfully plated on japonaiserie in a darkened setting with servers dressed in all black. And sometimes you want so much fish you think you might die.

After repeat and satisfied visits, my favourite budget sushi spot is Samurai Sushi which has locations near Oakridge and downtown (on Davie). It is also the shop where I have learned many an important lesson since their awesome prices allow you to experiments without bounds….

Playing Ultimate Again aka I Ain’t in College Any More

Last night, I went to a practice with the East Van Halen ultimate team at North China Park.

You know how it feels when you run after the school bus and you run as hard as you can but you can’t catch it?

Yeah, it felt kinda like that.

But the practice was fun, the folks were welcoming, and despite the rain — well, I called it rain, the other people there called it “slightly spitting” — I had a good time. Even with my inability to stop making wise cracks, I did get props for having a multi-colored, recycled disc that turned heads.

And I surprised myself by finding my cleats, which were buried in a box at the bottom of many other boxes of “sports stuff I never use.” Which was very exciting until the left one disintegrated on the playing field, thereby saving my lungs from further injury.

Signing up for an ultimate team here hasn’t been easy. The Vancouver League is very large, very well organized, and very much assumes you know what you’re doing already. If I hadn’t had a blog to post on, and a bunch of friends who know a zillion people to help me find a team in need of players, I might be in the same boat I was in last year, when I wasn’t able to find a team. This year, I’m lucky enough to be able to choose from two. I’m still trying to decide what night works best for my schedule, and which team I fit in with the best. There’s one other team that I’m going to go “try on” and then we’ll see which one actually wants me.

Hybrids in HOV

.: News1130 : ALL NEWS RADIO :. – Hybrid vehicles in HOV lanes?

I’ve seen some lashback about this happening in California, where they’re currently testing the idea of letting Hybrid Vehicles in HOV lanes. According to some, the hybrid drivers generally keep to the speed limit, where they apparently have the highest fuel efficiency. This, naturally, really annoys the people in the HOV lane who prefer to go faster. It breaks the ‘slower vehicles keep right’ etiquette, and may well add to an already serious road rage problem.

Would this happen in Vancouver? This is the only city I’ve lived in where angry drivers show their rage by swerving into the drivers who have pissed them off – not once, but on three separate occasions I have witnessed this. There is no shortage of road rage in Vancouver.

Not that I don’t think going hybrid is a fantastic idea – if I were buying a new car, I would be looking in to it for sure. And incentives are a great way to convert people – no one will bother with switching to Hybrid just for that disconnected ‘save the environment’ concept (forgetting the fact that we’re as much part of this environment as the trees, the birds, the oceans, and so on,) without other incentives – be it tax breaks or cheap gas expenditures.

I’ll just continue my bike commuting for now.

There’s *How Many* Cafes Near Here?

delocator_logo.gifLiving in Vancouver, you’ve probably noticed the smell of coffee wafting your way from one of the zillions of cafes, coffee shops and other fine dining establishments in the area.

But it wasn’t until I found that I realized just how many there were. Within 3 km of my place: 45 cafes. And 13 Starbucks. is based on, a U.S. effort to encourage people to visit non-megacorp giant coffee places.

I really like what is trying to do, but some improvements are necessary. For example, it took me 5 tries to figure out that you HAVE to leave the space in your postal code or no dice. And why can’t I link to a result page? That’s just silly. A master map of results based on Google maps would be sweet, too — like this one. They make the source code for the U.S. version available, but not the Canadian one or I’d leap in and improve it myself.

OK, I’m done complaining. I just haven’t had my cup of coffee yet.

Switching to Shaw Digital Telephone Service

Goodbye Telus! Two weeks ago, I switched to Shaw’s new digital phone service and I’m happy to report, things have been great.


This picture is a shot of my new phone modem. It’s different from the Internet cable modem I still have from Shaw. It’s big and bulky, and it barely fits behind the bookshelf, but since I haven’t needed to touch it in two weeks, that’s fine.

I kept my Telus number. There was no downtime when I had no phone service. (Well, maybe ten minutes or so, but that’s it.) They didn’t have to re-wire any jacks or anything — though if you need a cable line pulled to anywhere in particular, that can take some effort.

Now I’ve got free long distance anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, any time. I’ve got 1,000 free minutes to a bunch of foreign countries – great for prank-calling the French. Free voice mail (I don’t like the Shaw voicemail lady as much. She’s kinda mean.) And, I just got the bill in the mail and I’m saving money, for what amounts to more services, and better customer service.

Which is not to say that Shaw’s my new number one best friend company. But compared to how Telus was — I hated getting charged to call 411, for example — I’m happy with Shaw. Now, if I could just get points for referring my friends, because I’ve already talked someone else into switching. I guess he wants to prank-call France, too.

Free Parking on the Granville Mall?

You heard that right. Now that the Granville Mall has been closed to bus traffic (and to all other traffic as well, for that matter), as of this morning light poles along Granville’s East curb now bear 2 Hour Parking signs.

In your car and need to stop by Golden Age Collectables for a couple of minutes? No problem. Or to meet a friend for dinner at Kitto Sushi? That’s okay too.

Oddly enough, by the time I left for work this morning, not a single person had yet been brave enough to test out the new parking policy. Perhaps they’re not even aware they’re now allowed to turn onto those blocks of Granville St in the first place.

Either way, now you know. Knock yourself out.

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