Archive for May, 2007

“No photos”

I’m sure this has come up before, but maybe someone reading this can explain why an employee of a local coffee shop would tell a customer not to take photos in the shop where he works. I honestly don’t understand why such a policy exists in this situation. I took a photo of a very nice display of pastries. Why would someone care about whether or not their merchandise has been photographed? In some circumstances, I clearly understand this – taking pictures of sensitive security-type areas (i.e. the Law Court building downtown), taking pictures of strangers without their permission and/or sneaking around taking pictures of people you don’t know deliberately. I also know clothing designers don’t want their designs ripped off and taking photos is an easy way to copy their clothes. Those things make sense to me, but I’m not sure how this is a threat to anyone:

No photos

Anyone can see nicer displays than this in a cookbook or a magazine cover. I can’t see anyone being able to take away any secrets from this. I did do a little bit of research, and found the following information in regards to taking photos in Canada:

This made me a little nervous.

I have to admit seeing these workers in their Hazmat suits on Granville Street made me a little nervous yesterday. I’m sure it’s just a precaution and everything, but, it is a little eerie in the middle of the day.

Something else on Granville Street that I’m finding myself a bit leery of? The high-end shops and services that have opened up (and continue to open up) all around the office building where I work. I felt a twinge of concern when I saw the big chrome “Shore Club” sign right on Dunsmuir in February. When the new Luis Vuitton sign showed up on the Holt Renfrew building a couple of weeks ago, I got the feeling that the Loony Store across the street from the office where I work probably won’t be there much longer. I have to admit I’m not really the target market for these swank shops – especially when I read that the new diner in Holt Renfrew will be selling bread flown in from France. It all just seems a bit much.

The livable city

Atlantans (that’s people from Atlanta, not to be confused with the extinct and water-logged Atlanteans) are learning from Vancouver about how to plan their city as a pedestrian-friendly urban utopia.

Unfortunately for the visitors, their big freeways are already built, just like in virtually every other city in North America, so they’re kind of stuck with them. Best of luck tearing them down, though.

Speaking of pedestrian-friendly, I took a jaunt from Granville Island to Kitsilano beach along the seawall recently. Best walk in the city, period.

Well, if you’re not a flesh-eating zombie.

Too many PCs means Hydro might think you’re a grow-op

Remember last year when that live EagleCam drew huge numbers from around the world?  It turns out that the company that did a lot of work on that project was flagged by BC Hydro recently as being a potential grow-op due to “excessive power consumption”.  All this because they were running 14 PCs as part of a business that has been licenced in Pitt Meadows since 1993. 

Richard Pitt, who founded, Canada’s first commercial ISP, opened the door of his home last week to an RCMP officer and the head of Pitt Meadows’ bylaw enforcement department.  Evidently BC Hydro had alerted them to the fact that the home was drawing above average amounts of power, and might be a grow-op.

Pitt was told that inspectors would be back in 24 hours to inspect the home looking for signs of a grow-op.  When he offered to show them the PCs in the home that were drawing the excessive power, the police refused.  Upon returning the next day, they were apparently satisfied that there was no illegal activity in the home.

All of this begs a couple of questions (in my mind, at least):

  1. Why didn’t someone just check with the city to see if this was actually a legitimate business?
  2. If they really thought it was a grow-op, why would they give someone 24 hours to at least make an attempt to sanitize the site? 

Pitt summarizes the whole experience on his blog.

So for those of you who might run a small data center from your home, maybe let Hydro know, so that you don’t get flagged as well, eh?

For the brave souls out there:


I’ve heard of this event, but I didn’t think Vancouver was a participating city. I stand corrected. I took a picture of this poster while waiting for a bus just to see if it was legit. Turns out our city’s been participating in this since 2004. I had no idea. I will not be attending this event as I am not that courageous. Not even for the photo opportunities. Not even for the picnic afterward. But for those of you who do ride naked, have fun!

Stanley Park Storm Damage Almost 6 Months Later

My husband and I walk through Stanley Park a lot. By a lot, I don’t mean we stroll along the seawall during a lovely afternoon while sipping a chai latte (…okay sometimes we do). We go off the beaten path, explore, climb, hike and have come to know our urban oasis very well. We went out on a trek today, and I took some photos to compare the “progress” of the restoration so far – a public/private/government multi-million dollar funded effort after being devastated by a storm almost 6 months ago. The thing is… trees are still covering paths, trails are still closed, the seawall is still closed around the north end, and we really haven’t noticed much development aside from perimeter road traffic being restored, which makes me wonder where all the money is going – or at least when we’ll start seeing some improvements.


Documentary Film Festival

The Documentary Film Festival is on. I suppose it’s long past time once more to fill up my brain with enough stuff to make me interesting at parties again.

I do like this one comment from audience member Helen Kuk about the docs on right now that gets straight to the point: “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen films as entertaining, eclectic and smart as DOXA’s, and it’s not because I don’t have cable”.

Helen, I’m glad you enjoyed the show. But who the hell doesn’t have cable? I’m pretty sure that’s just what people say when they want other people to think they read more. No proof. Just a strong suspicion…

Wreck Beach on Google Earth zoom

Here’s our favorite real-time mapping program zooming in on our West Coast metropolis’ nudist paradise, Wreck Beach. Sadly, it doesn’t quite zoom in far enough for those with more voyeuristic intentions. When the satellite image gets that good, they can probably change the name from Google to Ogle.

In all the years I’ve lived here, I’ve never ventured to our beach for people who like to literally throw off society’s conventions. Perhaps it’s all the second-hand reports I’ve gotten of sun-burned middle-aged men with paunches and binoculars taking up so much of the prime real estate on the sand. One of these days, I’ll have to check it out for myself, though. Time to start getting into shape again…

Due to weather conditions, this long weekend will include movies.

I’m all for a long weekend home. At least there will be no worries about traffic and other nuisances. We’ve just started using the movie rental service at so we have a couple of movies to watch for the rainy days predicted on the weather network. The service is working out great so far. We picked Videomatica because of their selection. They seem to have the more obscure stuff. Ever since we watched Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, we’ve been watching Russ Meyer movies non-stop. They have a good selection of many different types of movies – foreign, old school, martial arts movies, etc. We’ve only had one DVD come to us damaged, but I’m sure that’s bound to happen from time to time – just wear and tear in the mail. We were not charged for it and they sent us another one right away.

Other activities for me this weekend include a visit to the Trout Lake Farmers Market on Saturday, taking photos of anything I like and seeing an old buddy from high school on Sunday. There will be plenty of knitting involved as I picked up a kit at the Fibrefestival last weekend and I’ve been pretty preoccupied with that little project all week. I’ve been sneaking stitches in anywhere I can find the time.

Turn it Off Wednesday May 16th

Refrain from using the toaster AND the microwave tomorrow at the same time, not only will you save power but you’ll avoid tripping a breaker (as it turns out).

As a part of our Province’s pledge to 30 Days of Sustainability, Wednesday May 16th has been dedicated to “Turn it Off”.

…we’re asking British Columbians to join global leaders like Paris and Sydney in using designated “lights out” times as a way of bringing attention to energy use. Let’s show the world that British Columbians stand behind our commitment to sustainability – by turning off our lights and other electrical devices on the evening of Wednesday, May 16th. [30Days]

I'm turning off on May 16 - you can too!

According to the Now Newspaper, “…in addition to individual efforts, landmarks such as the legislature, Lion’s Gate Bridge and the PNE will have their lights off and restaurants around the Lower Mainland will hold candlelight dinners to conserve energy.”

I can just see it now, people freaking out because lights are out on the Lions Gate – ya know I bet the park would be an interesting place in nothing but darkness… but I digress.

The momentum seems to be building though, including a Facebook group started by Rob Cottingham in support of the eco-friendly day which is bursting at the seems with over 700 new members.

Do your part, fire up the BBQ and eat on the patio with lanterns a’ blaring. Unless of course you live in a building like mine and you’re not allowed to grill outside, then… how about some making sushi by candlelight?

Click here for more info on participating municipalities, businesses and restaurants and get ready to unplug.

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