Friday, June 30, 2006

Show me the Money!

Show me the Money!
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).


Everything seems to be going along swimmingly and then suddenly there's a dam in the river.

After initial excitement over two big projects, I am very disappointed, disillusioned and in disbelief over the rates of pay.

I won't go into specifics, but I'm not thrilled at the prospect of working my ass off, with my considerable experience, for what amounts to little more than minimum wage.

It makes me wonder if I have made a ghastly error in my career choice. Sure, it's been fun and exciting – but fun and exciting doesn't pay the bills. And working for peanuts doesn't either.

I'm tired of trying to make the numbers add up at the end of the month only to find that they don't. And I am further away from reaching even the smallest fiscal goal.

Follow your dreams and the money will follow? I'm beginning to think that's a big load of bullshit. Follow the money and the happiness will follow!

It's too bad I'm learning as I'm in the middle of middle age.


Thursday, June 29, 2006


Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

The weekend is a close of as those mountains, yonder.

Slow blog-news day. More to come.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

from the "souvlaki central" dept.

Souvlaki Central
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

My mini-holiday is almost over! Sigh!

As mentioned previously, the weekend was busy. I've posted a few pictures from Greek Day. Nothing special, as I didn't arrive until towards the end of the event.

Monday I spent preparing paperwork for the taxman. Tuesday was much the same.

Wednesday I have to sort through everything and start making it make sense.

Then it's back to work Thursday and Friday. And then -- can it be?! -- the Canada Day long weekend. Wow!!

Little else to add... but lots of things swirling around.

It's darn hot too!


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Portuguese Pride

World Cup video #1

World Cup!

The Queen
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

I love World Cup -- especially on Commercial Drive.

I headed down to Stormin' Norman's on The Drive Sunday with Brennan and Karris. We were lucky to snag a table at the back with a reasonable view of the tele.

It was tough to be inside as it was sunny and 30C outside. Not normal for Vancouver, let me tell you.

After the game, we headed outside to join in the party. Police closed down one block of Commercial and let people go nuts. Great spirit and lots of fun!

Elsewhere, I still have tons of business work to attend too... back to CTV Next Thurday... housesitting for Lorne and Katrina (and their 5 cats)...

As I type this, Greek Day is happening just blocks away. I will head over there armed with my camera and capture some Hellenic images, sample some food and avoid the Efes!


Friday, June 23, 2006

from the "fun with colour (or lack thereof)" dept.

So Sue Me
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

And this is Sue!

from the "bad day" dept.

Bad Day
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

Friday June 23, 2006 will be a memorable day for my buddy Randy.

Randy, Sue B. and I were planning to meet for breakfast at Slickety Jims on Main Street this morning.

I was heading north on Main, near 50th St. when my mobile rang. I checked the time. 9:15am. I was early.

It was Randy... calling to tell me he'd just been involved in a two car crash at the corner of Main Street and East 2nd. This is a dangerous corner, and I have witnessed many a smash there.

Apparently he was turning left, someone appeared to be turning right and then decided to go straight.

And that was it. Randy's little Miata connected corner to corner with a delivery van. The Miata, as you can see in the photo from the impound lot, didn't fare very well.

I drove down, collected the accident victim and after waiting for the cops to take the accident report, finally were on our way to meet Sue.

The status of the car is not good. And, after some sudden pain, Randy is now at hospital being treated for rib injuries. These didn't make themselves known until nearly 8 hours later!

It makes you think about the little things that delay our departures. If he'd left a minute earlier or later, none of this would have happened.

Cue the Twilight Zone music...


from the "half empty" dept.

New Year
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

It's hard to believe that the year is nearly half over.

Many things are swiriling and the latest is a small chance of travelling to Armenia and India this fall. This was discussed last year, but the project was put on hold.

The super secret project is no longer on hold and appears to be gathering steam.

Elsewhere, I'm still shellshocked from the Lonely Planet news. The assessment was so glowing that I almost can't believe they were talking about me.

But when I go back over my "test" piece for them, I am still happy with it. There are little things I might tinker with -- but all in all, it was a cracker jack effort.

It's nice to be filled with confidence -- now if I could only make heaps of money!

More dispatches to come...


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

from the "direction unknown" dept.

Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

Big news today: I have been accepted as a freelance author for Lonely Planet Guidebooks.

Most of you know this has been in the works for some time, and several months ago I worked on a very challenging written "test."

It was tough, but the payoff is here.

More to come!


Sunday, June 18, 2006

from the "kooky ol' Drive" dept.

Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

The weekend has come and gone... and the harsh reality of Monday morning is but hours away.

It was a spectacular weekend. It started with a BBQ on Friday night. It was a chance for the weekend crew to get together and hang out.

It was a darn fine time until the wine kicked into overdrive and hit me hard. While you may say it's an excuse, I say there is something allergy related to blame.

Saturday started out rough. Boy, did I feel rotten. Damn tannins.

I knew I had to get outside and get exercise. So I headed down to Commercial Drive to watch the crowds watching World Cup. This has become almost a daily activity.

Following that, I met up with Cheryl and Bob to watch the last half of the ITALY-USA match (ended with a TIE!).

And following that, we went strolling The Drive -- though there wasn't as much madness as if Italy had won the game. Still, lots of people, smiles and a good vibe.

Saturday night was understandably muted. I bought groceries.

Today (Sunday) started with an early morning stroll around the 'hood. Then Cheryl and Cathy came over. Cathy gave me some good advice regarding a project in the works. And Cheryl looked through boxes. Fun!

Then it was off to meet Lorne at Cafe du Soliel on The Drive. We watched the Brazil defeat France whilst hoisting coffee.

The Drive was packed afterward as it was no-car day. The street was absolutely packed with thousands of people enjoying a sunny day and goofy entertainment in the form of thousands of people!

Music and the smell of pot filled the air and many restaurants were grilling up tasty fare outdoors.

Lorne and I shot pictures until his battery died. And then it was off to Costco. As I don't have a membership, I thought it might be an idea to go check it out. Two seconds after entering, I realized this was a mistake.

Eventually I made it back home. I sorted though the days pictures and posted them on Flickr.

Then, just as I was thinking I should go for a bike ride, Bryan said he was going for a bike ride. So we went for a cruise around the massive and oh-so-boring monster homes line the streets of South Vancouver. Barf.

But the ride was good.

And now, it is late Sunday. Nearly 10pm. I'm not looking foward to Monday because:

- I have negotiations to complete regarding an upcoming project. I am worried about selling myself short as it is hard to quantify what I should be paid.

- I am dealing with tax issues and need to hire an accounting firm -- I've had it with the stress of taxes.

- I have a secondary tax issue relating to two departments not talking to each other. Sigh. It's amazing government functions.

- And I have a bunch of running around to do. And possible work at the Corp. on Tuesday (remote training on a new web publishing system).

Blah. I wish it was the weekend again!

Well, I suppose it is. And I have two hours left... better go enjoy them!


Friday, June 16, 2006

From the "stop smelling the flowers" dept.

Galiano Flora
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

It's Friday morning, just after 8am as I write this at Grand Central on Galiano Island.

It's been a good creative break, although less work was accomplished than I had hoped.

I've just finished my "Meatless Wonder" breakfast (eggs, fried tomatoes $5.95) and I am about to race for the wonder of a BC Ferry back to the mainland.

The day will be filled with catching up on whatever transpired in my absence (fun!). Tonight I have a BBQ to attend to on the North Shore. A bunch of my weekend collegues from the CTV weekend news team are getting together to hoist points and flap gums.

As there is precious little to report this early in the morning, I will take my leave. More interesting stuff to come, I hope!


Thursday, June 15, 2006

from the "Island Time" dept.

Hula Girl at Galiano
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

Both Hula Girl and I are enjoying our visit to Galiano Island.

However, it is winding down quickly. The ferry back to reality departs tomorrow (Friday) early in the morning. Sigh.

It is about 11:30am as I write this from the Grand Central eatery in Sturdies Bay (the main village). So far I've had a toasty soak in the hot tub back at the cottage... (pic of Hula floating to come)... listened to England defeat T&T... and chowed down on a damn fine Greek omlette.

More work awaits this afternoon -- and then another soaking followed by finishing off the various left over liquors.

And so it goes...


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Fallen apple

Fallen apple
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

Wednesday on Galiano...

Only a few days remain before I return to real life. It's been a good experience out here -- getting projects squared, thinking about new ideas, enjoying peace and quiet.

Very little news to report...

However, I did find a nice little eatery -- Grand Central -- with wireless internet. And footie on a big screen!

Much better than poaching internet while sitting in my car outside of a resort.

More pictures to come!


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Greetings from Galiano Island

Galiano Island Sunset
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

Day two on Galiano.

I don't have access to internet at the cottage -- only parked in my car at the side of the road in town, 19km away.

It's very relaxing... and I like it this way!

There are more photos on my Flickr site.



Thursday, June 08, 2006

From the "looking for a place to happen" dept.

Antler Apartments
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

Thursday already. Yikes! The week off is fast becoming history.

Wednesday was another dandy day -- lots of sun and perfect for driving a convertable around Washington State (well, Bellingham, Edison and La Conner).

Discovered a cool beer store in Bellingham, as well as a good pizza joint.

Armed with my cameras, I snapped away most of the day before stopping to buy some lime-soaked polenta cake (!) in Edison.

The day ended late with a hassle free border crossing - even after admitting I had eggs, cheese and milk in the trunk.

Today it rained and the forecast is for more, so I thought it wise to return the rental car early and save a few bucks.

Friday is business around the house time. Then it's back to work for two days. And then off to Galiano Island for work and brainstorming sessions.

More on that soon.

Regular excuses apply for the short entry. Plus I'm knackered.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

from the "winsday" dept.

Midweek already. Tempus fugit.

Today is my 5th day off in a row, but it really feels like the first. I think I've finally caught up on my sleep and having a dependable car at hand (a 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser convertable - red), has been a blessing.

I've done a lot of exploring around the Lower Mainland, trying to fight the guilt of having time off. I have *no* idea where that comes from - solo-mind games, I reckon.

On Tuesday I headed east almost as far as Princeton, BC - about 250km from Vancouver. It was a great day - hot and sunny. The top was down, my face slathered with +30 sun block, the tank full of gas and no agenda.

And I burned the crap out of my scalp. Can't wait for that to peel!

Regardless of the 3rd degree burn ala tete it was a fantatic drive through deep valleys and snow capped peaks. I even ran across a burned out gas station, which provided a photo opportunity.

Never open


What's so funny?

Ex-gas station

The ruins of the station are about 25km southeast of Hope. I recall seeing a news story on the fire a week or two ago. Apparently it was arson and if not for passers-by, guests in the hotel part would have been overcome by the smoke and fire.

There are lots of things swirling around in life these days. An upcoming move (blah!), work (harrumph!) and dealing with the taxman (sigh). All part of being a small business of one.

But, at least it's not raining!

On today's agenda: head down to the USA and explore NW Washington State. Lunch at the La Conner Brewing Company. They have an awesome cranberry, pine nut and spinach salad. I can taste it now.

And then I'll head hither and yon in search of photographic subjects. Probably not much in the way of decrepit old factories, but one never knows.

A ghost town or old silo would be interesting too.

Thursday it's time to start pre-work on a bunch of things (see above). And I'm back to the news game Saturday and Sunday.

So far, so good.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

from the "brain break" dept.

The long haul has ended and the rewards are here. After 11 or 12 straight -- I forget -- I now have 7 days off in a row.

At least that's the plan. These things always change on a dime when the phone rings.

I used to worry about long breaks, but no more. My schedule is pretty much set through the fall, so I know I won't be on the streets anytime soon!

The question is: what to do with 7 days off.

Sure, there are a bunch of business related tax demanding my attention. But they can wait. This is all about me.

I've rented a car for the next 7 days -- for $200! -- which will allow me to journey out of the city with my camera.

Plan "A" is to drive to Calgary tomorrow (Sunday) for a few days. But the more I think about it, the less I feel up to a 12 hour drive. Twice.

Plan "B" is to grab a map of B.C. and set out on day trips to explore my home. I've spent zero time in the Okanagan, so it might be an idea to head out there. However, I balk at having to spend money on hotel rooms. Bah!

Calgary is a nice option because there are many couches that await. Read: cheap.

Regardless, it was nice to sleep in this morning past 5:30 -- even though my internal alarm woke me up. But it was a brief interruption.

The day awaits....


Thursday, June 01, 2006

from the "break" dept.

The long haul at work is nearly over. One more day stands between me and a substantial break.

However, the substantial break probably won't be as substantial as it appears.

I currently have 4 days of work booked in June. There are other things on the horizon, though. So I doubt I'll actually have the entire month off.

And if I do... great!

More words from the other side of Friday.