Friday, October 29, 2004

Capsule Review:

Xavier Rudd & Spearhead
Commodore Ballroom
Vancouver, BC
Oct 28, 2004

Change of tap means only shitty beer available... very disappointing! Russell Cream Ale becoming very hard to find. Okanagan Spring is crap. Forced to pay exorbitant prices for Sleemans.

Still... the Commodore is the best place on the planet to see a band!

Crowd was made up of short lesbians who can't dance. Actually, the general height of the crowd was surprisingly and noticeably short.

Sounds was ok.

Xavier cooked, thanks to lots of Aussies in the crowd.

Spearhead had the place jumping... especially the bad lesbian dancers.

Not a mallard to be seen.

It's bedtime....

Thursday, October 28, 2004


Well... it's turned wet.

The battle with setting up my room continues. Too much stuff!!

Instead of creating my own costume this year, I decided to buy. Hit the racks at Value Village and $50 later I am the King of Evil.

And no, its not a George Bush mask.

Tonight I finally get to see Xavier Rudd and Spearhead. Free tickets courtesy of CTV. They are playing two sold out concerts at the Commodore. This is the second night.

Xavier is from Oz, and all my Aussie friends rave. I have some of his music, and he's truly original. And they say he's awesome live.

Spearhead will be a gas too: funkified hip hop doesn't come close to defining them.

Tomorrow the gloom continues. On my agenda: GST. Barf.

It's nice to have some time to chill and not even *think* about the news.


Second day off in a row.

I had a list of things to do that was as long as my arm. The sun forced me to disregard.

After spending last night building shelves and moving and removing boxes in my new abode, it was obvious I needed at least one more shelving unit.

So I hit Ikea, and then because it was so nice I went to Steveston for a several KM walk. Amazing place, this. Lots of blooming flowers, blue sky, warm sun, and snow on the mountains.

On the way home I went via the university (UBC) and spotted eagles hanging out in a tree...

And then I stopped again at Spanish Banks for a walk along the beach. Too nice.

Later in the night we were treated to the big lunar eclipse. Summed up as Ho Hum.

It's a great place to live...


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Wheee! I have 5 days off!!

So I did the only thing one should do at the head end of a break: I went shopping!

Bought some crap at Ikea. Bought some crap at Futureshop.

I like crap.

And the crap was necessary. Shelves and a chair for my room.
A media card reader for my iPod ( so I can clear my memory card on from the digital camera by dumping directly to my iPod - no computer needed).

The sun was shining, and the last thing I wanted to do was put up shelves. But the shelves won.
And its done. And my hovel is less hovely.

Finally found the party for the Washington State Democrats in Bellingham... and it happens to be at a hotel where there is room at the inn. Perfect!

It's going to be a kooky day!

Anyway, I think I'll go have a beer in the warm sun... before heading off to another SPOL meeting.

Yes... it continues...


Monday, October 25, 2004

This is from a friend of mine who is currently living the dream (so to speak) and building a radio station in Afghanistan...

From: Leslie Knott
Date: Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:08:27 AM Canada/Pacific
Subject: Chicken Street Blast
Attachments: There are 5 attachments

You may have heard that there was a suicide bomb in Kabul on Saturday. Just to let you know - I am safe. And still living far far away from Kabul.

I am in Maimana. It is a small village in the northern region of Afghanistan...It's 1 hour and 45 minutes by plane from Kabul, and probably 24 hours driving from Kabul. It is peaceful and quiet. There have been no reports of violence or danger. Think Little House on the Prairie - Afghan style. The weather has changed, it is biting cold, and we're stocking our cold storage with potatoes, carrots and onions for the coming winter. Each morning we have fresh milk from a local cow.
There is no cell phone coverage. When you want to talk to someone you really have to go knocking on their door...It's kind of nice though...

And I am working on this radio station that IMPACS is building from scratch. It is a HUGE task. Especially for me, who just recently graduated from broadcasting school. I must admit I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the prospect of it..and I am just taking it day by day. Because if I think about the enormity of the task - I get freaked out.

There is so much to do. We are doing massive renovations on a building that was being held together by tattered straw and mud plaster. It is an exciting project to be involved in. And I feel the anticipation of creating something from nothing. Seven women are working with me as the founding journalists of '88.5 Radio Quyaash' - Maimana's new music mix..Well - actually I will take a couple of steps back. So far we're on the air for three hours a day...and that is just the women playing around with Cool Edit, playing music and recording their voices. The equipment is supplied through another NGO - and for all of you reading this from BCIT - it surpasses our equipment by leaps and bounds.

Today we started planning our programs. This Sunday we will launch two two hour programs: Matters of Women for one hour - and Youth Voice for the other hour. I spent the afternoon breaking down the segments that should be a part of each show...intro, music, interviews, poetry reading, and community announcements. We're installing mailboxes around the village so people in the community can have their voice heard as well.

Radio is huge in Maimana. With an 80% illiteracy rate - it is the medium of choice for entertainment. Small handheld radios are everywhere. But right now there is only one state run station to listen to. And they only broadcast for two hours a day. So Radio Quyaash really is the buzz of the town. Or village....

This morning we woke early to attend the Monday bazaar. The people I am living with are looking for a certain type of cow to distribute to widows who need some sort of income generation project. We didn't find any of them..but we did see a whole bunch of other animals...I have enclosed in the first batch of photos Market Day this morning. I will send another bunch of pictures from what life in Maimana looks like.

Hope you are doing well. Thinking of you often...but feeling like my time here is passing by quickly! Also the election period went by peacefully, except for this latest blast in Kabul...The ballots are still being counted - but the US has already declared the winner. - Funny how they are able to do that?

Take care, miss you,



Sunday, October 24, 2004

Still enjoying The Drive and happy as hell to be out of Deep Cove!

Not much going on to report. Working a lot, although I have 5 days off in a row beginning Tuesday. Lots of stuff to do, however. Buy a D70, put together my border calendar, and a multitude of other odds and ends.

I still have a 5 week work hole coming up, but that hopefully will change.

I sold another piece to the Georgia Straight... on the American Museum of Radio and Electricity in Bellingham, Wa. I intend to do the interviews and shoot the stills on Nov 2, U.S. election day.

I had planned to go to the U.S. regardless, but now, I can double the fun - and make a few bucks.

A vacation would be nice right about now, but February isn't that far off. And then there is May. I've already been planning that trip and preparing the story pitches.

Next week I will finally check out Australian music god Xavier Rudd. He's playing with Hip Hop funk-soul artists Spearhead. Can't wait!

So life is good. And it will be infinitely better when I am clutching my D70 next week....


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Busy working at CBC this week. Still need to set up my room, but its a long week and I am little time for such things... maybe on the weekend.

I still have a 5 week hole in Nov/Dec with no work. I'm sure that'll change, but if not, I will see if I can find a cheap charter to somewhere warm and sandy.

I also need to write more here... but that won't happen tonight!


Busy working at CBC this week. Still need to set up my room, but its a long week and I am little time for such things... maybe on the weekend.

I still have a 5 week hole in Nov/Dec with no work. I'm sure that'll change, but if not, I will see if I can find a cheap charter to somewhere warm and sandy.

I also need to write more here... but that won't happen tonight!


Friday, October 15, 2004

It's Good to be Home

Last night I hit the sack around 11pm. It was a long day of moving and cleaning and wanting to get this whole episode behind me.

It is.

Today I woke up to the sound of silence at 8:30am. First time in a very long time that I have had that much sleep at once. I did wake up a few times, but this is probably due to the new surroundings.

The whole exercise yesterday went well. The landlord gave me back half the rent for October - so I now have more thab 2/3 of the cash needed for the Nikon digitial camera I am drooling over. I am expecting 100% of the damage deposit too. That will push me over the edge of saving for the camera.

The Ahsoeasy people took my stuff away. And I left the place as I found it - empty.

The carpet cleaner came in the afternoon. Originally from Halifax, we had a long chat about following your passion...

Today, my first day back home was spent following absolutely no schedule.

I read a bit this morning, then wandered off to Cafe Deux Soliel for my "Eggs in the Hole." Then to Magpie for the Globe, The Times, and Vanity Fair (don't laugh - there is some great Anti-bush stuff in it this month). Then I wandered to a used bookstore and chatted with the owner, played with her dog, and bought a pre-1989 road atlas of Europe.

Then to Continental for a double Americano and a window seat to watch the Commercial Drive freaks parade by.

Then home to read some more.

Tonight (Friday) I am house sitting at Lisa's place -- tomorrow too. Then back here for the long haul.

I am certainly happier to be on this side of the world again. Deep Cove is nice, but it's just not me. I'm more of a bohemian than a soccer mom!

It's good to be home.


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

This was the last morning where the Deep Cove Expressway will wake me up.

For the past several days, I have been preparing to vamoose. The hard part is over. The stuff is boxed. And tonight, my storage unit gets loaded... and the Deep Cove experiment ends.

It's another beautiful day here... but I have to clean and make a run or two to the new place to drop off stuff.

I technically have possession of the suite until Friday... but I just wanna go.

More updates from back on the Drive.


Friday, October 08, 2004


Moving continues. Big stuff out tomorrow. Everything else into storage on the14th. Home in the new place that night.


Sunday, October 03, 2004

Gettin' Closer

The weather has been so nice that I am actually a little sad to be leaving the paradise that is Deep Cove. But, as we all know, the paraside ends at my front door - where there is a long drop to the pit-of-hell apartment I live in.

The landlord, being a really nice guy, is showing the place while I work today (Sunday) at CTV. My hope is that someone has taken it - and for the 15th - meaning I can get half my rent back for the month.

We'll see.

In other news, Border Freak #1, Peter Hering has issued the latest itinerary for the Great Southeastern European Border Expedition (GSEEBE) -- the fourth one. It is scheduled for May 8 - 21, 2005. Which means I will be planning to take the entire month of May off to travel to my beloved Euroland!!

The highights:

- The adventure begins and ends in Vienna. I will probably fly to London, Dublin, or Copenhagen first - and then to Vienna. This will be the most expensive part of the trip. But I already have 500 Euro kicking around and I will start buying 100 more per payday. They're only $1.56 each. Yikes.

- From Austria we head to Slovakia and Hungary (Gyor, Budapest Szeged).

- Then Romania (Arad, Timisoara)
- Serbia (Belgrade)
- Nice drive along the Danube in Bulgaria (Vidin, Stara Zagora)
- Edirne, Turkey
- Kavala, Greece
- Skjopje, Macedonia
- Triana, Albania
- Podgorica, Montenegro
- The Adriatic Coast
- Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Rural Bosnia (4th visit!)
- Trieste, Italy
- Nova Gorica, Slovenia
and back to Vienna.

The stats:
12 or 13 countries depending on time. 5 or 6 tri-points (places where 3 countries touch), 16 border crossings and visits, and 4500 km of driving.

And for me, it will mean that I'll be adding some new countries to my hitlist:

#40 - Serbia and Montenegro (I was there when it was Yugoslavia)
#41 - Bulgaria
#42 - Greece
#43 - Turkey
#44 - Macedonia
#45 - Albania

Which will mean that by age 42, I will have visited 45 nations. Yay!

This reduction in rent also means that I can count on go on my Guatemala and Belize adventure in February.

It's a busy week ahead: lots of work, lots of packing. If I move on the 15th, there is a crapload of stuff to get at. I almost hope its not until the end of the month... but saving $600 is a good thing too.

Back to the local news grind...