Friday, July 30, 2004

The count, Friday night:


Thursday, July 29, 2004

Another of my travel articles was published today in Vancouver's Georgia Straight.

To read it, click here:!


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Ok, 5 a.m. shifts suck.

Going to bed at 10 or 11 and then having the bastard alarm clock interrupt the slumber channel is bad if it happens once. But day after day? Christ on a bike! (just heard that one today!)

I've been working at CTV on the weekends... and Sunday I walked out of the studio at 11 p.m., walked 5 blocks to CBC and slept on the couch until my shift started at 5. Fun!

I've been sleeping at home for the last few days, however. And the pain ends next Tuesday (yes, that's 14 or 15 days straight)... and then I have 5 off.

What to do? What to do?

I think I will hire a car and drive to Calgary. I could use the scenery, the adventure, the escape.

The noise here at home is still brutal, and the next step is noise cancelling headphones. Burning the lease seems to be a bit of a problem. Oh well, May 15, 2005 isn't far off.

I've been captivated by the Democratic National Convention. I have always held American politics in great distain. Zero interest... until Bush stole the election in 2000...

Now, I am glued to the television watching speaker after speaker. Bill Clinton was amazing. As I watched him the other night, I wondered why he wasn't President. Stupid two term law.

And Gore was pretty good. Funny, but a bit stiff.

I finally caught Michael Moore vs. Fox "News" Channel's Bill O'Reilly. Go to to find it. It is a great example of how screwed up the right and the Republicans are. God help us if they win again.

Good news on the money front -- the 2001 tax refund arrived, which means Daddy is gettin' a Nikon D70. Not just yet... but very soon.

I see that Edwards is on... so its time to watch that... then try to sleep.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

It has started poorly, this quest of mine.

As readers of this site are aware, my current living arrangements leave a lot to be desired. Noise, ants, and distance from my favourite Cheryl are the main issues.

Today, I approached my landlord with the news that it was time for me to go.

He did not take this well.

The lease I have signed is the sticking point. He expects me to stay for the term. I'm doubting that will happen.

I have called the fine folks at the Tenancy Branch to see if I have a leg to stand on in terms of breaking the lease.

The other option that both the landlord and I have agreed to is that I can sublet should I want.

Having been a landlord in the past, I recoil from this option as it could be a much worse situation.

That said, I also could charge more for this place than I pay (as much as $200) and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

So we shall see. The last communique from Mr. Landlord was a terse statement that he will be on holidays until Aug 7. I reckon that means he has no plans to install the towel racks, fix the broken door, and deal with a big green stain on the carpet.

Perhaps this is good as it might tip the odds in my favour in terms of breaking the lease.

Luckily I have not handed over a bunch of post-dated cheques. And I have little motivation to do that now.

Also, there is always the option of being a bad (read: noisy) tenant. But that is a road I would rather not stroll down. What goes around comes around...

The weather in Vancouver is kooky hot. There are even heat warnings being issued for the weekend. Temperatures in the 30s are expected. It seems like its been like this since February.

I really don't recall what rain is. And I live in the rain shadow of the North Shore mountains.

It's time for sangria...


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

6:10 - 6:11 - 2
6:11 - 6:12 - 2
6:12 - 6:13 - 5
6:13 - 6:14 - 1
6:14 - 6:15 - 1

Monday, July 19, 2004

Well, my fears of no work in August have vanished. CBC called and offered 11 new days (10 of them doing the Sask. site. That makes 19 for the month. And I am happy with 20... but 19 is close enough.

Any dreams of Belize are moved ahead until September.

After work today, I went for beers with my favourite Cheryl, my favourite Lisa (it's a tie!), my favourite Tom, and my new favourite Val.

Of course I couldn't talk to Cheryl about anything, as she reads the fodder of my life here.

She should stop reading!!

So there.

Time for sleepy byes...


And it begins early too...

6:15:52 (bus)
- taking mouthful of Corn Flakes -
- hey! silence -

06:34:17 (bus)
06:36:40 (big frigging truck)

Even at one a minute, that's 60 an hour -- and increasing with each passing minute... and when I don't have to be up this early, this is what wakes me.

Well, off to work downtown for some peace and quiet...


Sunday, July 18, 2004

How much traffic is there at night? Well...


So, after 11pm on a Sunday night, the volume still averages 16 cars/10 minutes or 96 an hour. Remember -- this is in a wee village far off the beaten track.

What gives??

Yours in obsession...
An eerily appropriate horoscope from Georgia Nichols:

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
The time has come the walrus said to speak of many things, of salesmanship
and - oops. The time has definitely come for you to address home, family
and real estate in a proactive way. Don't put things off any longer. Clear
up foggy, confusing situations. Make serious plans, and establish your
priorities. Tackle repairs and make commitments to your home scene; or
alternatively, make plans to move. Talk to family members, and state your
case. Define your boundaries. You're practical and easy going when others
are aboveboard and decent. (Wise ones keep you as a friend.)

Car count: 3:24 - 3:25: 16 including 1 bus

This is fun!

3:25 - 3:26 - 7! (traffic jam)
3:26 - 3:27 - 9
3:27 - 3:28 - 16
3:30 - 3:31 - 18

Let's play with the calculator!
15 cars a minute equals:
900 an hour or...
10800 in 12 hours or...
in a week of 12 hour days (it wouldn't be fair to count night):

Now, I wonder how much CO2 and other toxins are floating into my lungs?

Yes, we love DC!

*cough hack cough*

My wifi connection has been very spotty the last few days.

I am currently sitting on the deck overlooking the Deep Cove 500. Trying like hell to enjoy the noise, the exhaust, and the relentless coming and going of thousands of cars.

It sucks beyond belief.

Sunday afternoon -- between 3:05 and 3:06pm, 18 vehicles passed in one minute.

Let's try again 3:07-3:08 -- 16 vehicles including a bus and 2 Harleys.

One last timeL 3:09-3:10pm: 15 vehicles including *another* bus.

Granted, it is the weekend, but believe it or not, weekends are less busy! In fact, this morning, the traffic didn't start until well after 7. It was very nice.

It's hot again too.

Saturday was my first full day in Deep Cove since moving here May 23. Amazing.

I did some shopping at Lonsdale Quay -- picking up all sorts of cool stuff -- from Goulash paste to garlic olives to dolmathes. And then I stopped at the Crab Shack on the way home for some salmon burger patties, and a couple of crab burgers. The salmon burgers -- which I cooked up on the George Foreman Grille last night -- were out of this world.

I love the salmon!

I ended up having a few sangria with Randy at the Arm's Reach Bistro, only 2 blocks away. This is the Deep Cove I like. After that, it was time for a wade in the ocean. Niiice.

There was even a territorial arguement between 2 ice cream trucks. Very funny.

Today I was going to go buy an inner tube for the water, but haven't gotten around to it. This is my second and last day off before working 14 straight. Exciting life.

I did the hike this morning around 7:30 -- the first time in several weeks. I didn't bother timing it, as there is no real reason. And with the heat, it would have been slower that previous hikes. Following that, I spent an hour or more reading yesterday's Globe and Mail at Honey's. I broke down and had a muffin. They're just so good!

I am starting to feel guilty for being at home, even though I'm on the deck. I think its time to go check out the water...


Friday, July 16, 2004

And another week comes to a close.
It was a good one... with two days off... and enough CBC work to keep me smiling.
The car overheated again -- so into the garage it went.  My pal Ted lent me his wheels, which was cool.
I picked up my car last night -- and was doing the dance of joy when the bill totalled less than $100.  My previous visit to the Deep Cove garage (Central Motors, I believe) set me back a mere $60. 
It's rare to escape a garage for less than several hundred clams.
However, this morning the car overheated again.  When I parked at the CBC, I noticed that it was steaming.  Popping the hood revealed steam spewing from an upper rad hose.
Hopefully the problem is limited to a new clamp.  Methinks I will stop by CanTi for a clamp before making the attempt to drive home tonight.
I finished another article for the Georgia Straight.  It was originally scheduled for this week -- but has been moved back a couple of weeks (or less).  I'll post the link when it hits the paper.  It's all about a divided community in the Netherlands called Baarle-Nassau/Baarle-Hertog.
22 bits of land within the Dutch town are actually Belgian -- making for a weird quilt of two nations in one community.
August continues to look lean, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  Some time off would be nice, and I seem to be doing ok this month.  After this weekend - I will work 14 staight.
The apartment is no better.  The constant passing of cars still annoys and wakes me up on mornings when I don't have to get up early.  I'm trying to deal.  Still -- I haven't bothered unpacking much stuff because a) lack of time  and b) no motivation.
There are some other places for rent in the area -- and I will take a look at them over the weekend. Still, moving back to Vancouver is probably the best idea -- just in case the car decided to up and die.
Not much to bitch about...  things seem to be going ok.  I bought a George Foreman grille last weekend, and it has made a total difference in what I eat and the amount of times I eat out.  5 minutes for grilled salmon?  Hello!
I'm still itching for a journey.  Although money is tight, I might be able to do a road trip to Calgary in August.  Rent a car, get the hell outta dodge.
Not a bad idea...

Sunday, July 11, 2004

It's over. All the planning, all the spending, all the running around.

Last night was the Night of Artists show. I was one of 10 visual artists... and after a hard day of setting things up... and feeling out of place and not confident at all in my work... it was time to face the music -- or the crowds.

There were 300+ people there... and over 5 hours, I had to stand there, and chat (sell) my photography.

It was a weird experience eavesdropping on people -- and hearing what they thought of my work, my eye, my style.

I had a selection of images -- vancouver, sarajevo and borders. And the borders were a hit! I know I am onto something. And the comments were pretty much all very positive. Apparently I *am* a good photographer!

At one point, people were lined up 5 deep.

At the end of the day, I sold about $800 worth of stuff. Some to friends, some to strangers. But I know a book is not a pie-in-the-sky dream. The stumbling blocks continue to be money and time.

Big news today that Brent is now married. And with Lorne's wedding a few weeks ago -- I am rapidly becoming the last one. Again. Not to dismiss their happy unions -- I think they're great and I couldn't be more pleased.

But this stuff alludes me. So much so, that I have resigned myself to the fact that I will always be a one. Not the end of the world, of course. Just disappointing. After 41 years... you'd think...

Perhaps I am a little introspective tonight because Night of Artists is over, and things mellow out a bit for the next week -- before 14 days straight.

And the music I'm listening too isn't helping. A sample:

And still this emptiness persists
Perhaps this is as good as it gets
When you’ve given up the drink and those nasty cigarettes
Now I leave the party early at least with no regrets
I watch the sun as it comes up I watch it as it sets
Yeah this is as good as it gets.

Ha ha ha...

Anyway, it's time to get to bed. I am back at CBC at 5am. Returning the rental car. Taking the bus home. And hopefully getting my car fixed tomorrow.

And writing an article that is to be published on Thursday.


Saturday, July 10, 2004

Boy, I could use some sleep.

Today was like most of the others this week:

Get up at 4 to be at work for 5.
Work until 2.
Run around all afternoon (in rental car) getting ready for Night of Artists.
Come home, frame 20 images.
Sort out tickets and other stuff.
Write blog. Go to be at 1:20am.

Tomorrow is Night of Artists. I am very excited and very hopeful.

But it will be another long one. Up at 5 (3.5 hours sleep):
- write bio
- make price list
- set prices
- create big portfolio
- create small portfolio
- pack car, drive to Yaletown, unload, set up -- by 10:30am
- come home, change, go back to Yaletown until midnight!
- Sunday we have to do clean up at the gallery (The Roundhouse)
- Then I have to write an article
- and go to bed early, so I can be ready to leave at 4:30 Monday morning.

Good night@

Thursday, July 08, 2004

The double shifts done, I was all ready for a big long sleep last night.

I dove under the covers just after 1am (I worked until midnight)... and was awoken:

at 5 -- with calf cramps
at 6 -- by traffic noise
at 7 -- by the neighbours hammering

Let's see... I moved why?

I had a ton of running around to do -- mattes, frames, etc. All for the Night of Artists show on Saturday. I dropped another few hundred.

The car also overheated today, and I barely made it home tonight. I had to stop about 2km from home (after midnight) and let the thing cool. All the water was gone, and it steamed like hell when I added water. I managed to limp home.

With the art show this weekend, I must have a car. And considering all the running around that needs to be done tomorrow and Friday (including working at 6:30 tomorrow, 5am Friday),,, I have no options. Good thing I'm working all the time.

It is now 2:18am. I must get up in 3 hours... so... goodnight!



PS: Why did I move here??

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Home? What's that?

Work is my life. The whine starts here:

Sunday I slogged it out until Midnight.
Monday I had to be at work at 6am, I finished at midnight.
After three hours sleep:
Tuesday I had to be at work for 6am and I will finish at midnight.

The rest of the week is single shifts mixed with all sorts of work for Night of Artists.

Light is at the end of the tunnel and soon I will get to use my George Foreman Grille.


Saturday, July 03, 2004

I've noticed that, since I moved, my eating habits have been poor.

Much of this is schedule based. But much is also due to having broken my George Foreman Grille.

You see, it is the best way to cook stuff like poultry, meat and even seafood. No muss, no fuss. Cleans up like a charm.

The big thing is being able to make some chicken breasts in only a few minutes. Thus, a quick way to eat well.

Today, Canadian Tire had the bigger version on sale for $35 off. It now sits on my counter.

It is now time to start a sustained plan of exercise and good eating. With Night of Artists done as of next Saturday, and a light schedule in August... the time is ripe.

13:03 Pacific... Saturday... and yes... work again beckons...



The 18 hour day ended 2 hours ago, yet I am still up.

This makes no sense. Especially since I had hoped to get up first thing.

That's doubtful.

Working Saturday. And Sunday.

However, the Euro 2004 final is at 11am or so. So I hope to see Portugal stomp Greece.


Friday, July 02, 2004

Went to see Keb' Mo' at the Vancouver International Jazz Fest, this Canada Day.

Awesome, tight band. Great R&B... sample it... here....

Back to work in 4 hours... double shifting tomorrow. Bah.

Canada Day was pretty decent -- nice and warm. Spent most of the day in the Cove enjoying a day off. Next one is in 7 days.