Friday, January 30, 2004

Still alive. Working tons. Shooting an ice climber on Sunday...

Must go to work...


Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Update - Briefly:

Looks like Stockphotosonline has a new lease on life. Some dates have been picked for launch, and the work has begun on the redesign. We had a very productive meeting last night, and the results should be well worth the 5 year wait. Ha ha.

Shot a CBC story yesterday on a filmmaker -- that went well. May be shooting another story on Sunday.

Getting close to finishing the radio story on radio for CBC radio... I will post it soon.

Still have the Border Expedition story to do for the Straight...

Working at CTV on Friday and Saturday.

Hell of a busy week!


Sunday, January 25, 2004

Sunday Night in Vancouver.

Random thoughts will be the order of the day, I reckon.

The weekend was filled with working on various projects and trying to hang out a bit and do some reading. I find it necessary to schedule time for that... and I think I have an appointment with a book in about 20 minutes.

Today I was feeling trapped, so in the middle of the afternoon, I hopped in my car and headed to the ferry terminal. Then I took the 20 minute ferry ride to Bowen Island where I went for a coffee and did some work on my computer. I am currently putting together the CBC Radio piece on shortwave radio and I've spent the last couple of mornings transcribing. I almost finished on Bowen today. Almost, but not quite. And then I have to write the story... but it should come together well. And I'm going to have fun with the editing.

The weather has been chilly, relatively speaking. Nothing brutal, but not super nice.

I am facing a conundrum this week: to move or not to move. Here's the deal: both my roommates are moving out as of March 1. I've posted that I'm looking for a roommate but I have not found any takers, yet. Although its still early in the game.

I am wondering if I should just move into another place... my own place. It will cost more, but it might make sense. If I select this option, I have to give notice by the end of January.

But it will also mean extra costs: hiring movers, utilities changes, and a new damage deposit. Though I will get the one from here back.

The thing is, I like this place. Except for the bongos. And maybe the bongos *are* too much to deal with. Maybe I should just pull the pin. But I hate to lose my neighbourhood. I like having everything - and I mean everything - within walking distance. From music to food to books - it is all right out my front door.

I worry too, at a new place, having to deal with things like noisy neighbours and the like.

But then again, I worry about everything...

Tomorrow is a day off... sort of. I want to get my taxes in to the accountant. And start writing the shortwave piece. And the border piece for the paper.

On Tuesday I have a shoot for CBC Kids... not high paying, but money none-the-less. This will be the second last item I do for them. This is because of the drop in compensation. $1200 to $500.

Tuesday night is another StockPhotosOnline meeting. Changes are happening!

I have some meetings mid-week. And then I work at CTV on Friday and Saturday. And then... its February!

I hope to have more entertaining stuff posted soon. Until then...


Friday, January 23, 2004

It's been a while since I've posted... pretty much because I've been so busy. This week saw me survive 3 days training at CBC, a shift at CTV, a Stockphotosonline meeting, and, last night, the first meeting of the Fractal group.

What is the Fractal Group? We're not even sure -- but its a bunch of us media types who have decided that we have ideas that need to get pushed forward. We all do different things, but we all have great ideas that should see the light of day. We're not a production company. We're a collective. We think. The second meeting should cover the definition.

The Taste Belize DVD arrived from Brent in Belize today. Dandy stuff. It was cool to see the final results of all the hard work. And nice to see my pics on the cover. Brent also sent a copy of the Grandmaster CD -- I had a demo, but this is the final version with artwork. Nice stuff. And lastly, he enclosed a copy of the Grandmaster video for the song "Pressure." He did an outstanding job, especially considering the budget was $0. And the cool thing is that the concept came from too many Rum and Mango drinks at Ivan's (the record producer) place last fall. It was an inspirational day.

Still, there is much to do: GST reports, other financial stuff, one more article for the Straight, and the editing of the next radio piece. I dumped all the interviews into my computer today and I will begin building the story this weekend. On Tuesday I have a shoot -- a story for CBC POV Sports on an extreme filmmaker.

And the pictures are still up at Caffe Barney, but I have yet to see if anything has sold. I don't want to jinx myself.

At 23:52 on Friday, that is my report.


Monday, January 19, 2004

Day one was a success.

I didn't write much, but I did learn a lot about the CBC systems for Canada Now. There are multiple deadlines and lots of work. But the place seems calm, and very professional. The people are friendly and I hope to get more hours there.

The fun continues tomorrow and Wednesday. Actually writing/vetting/etc will be the interesting part.

In other news, I entered the Pandy piece (Georgia Straight, Nov 20th, 2003) in the Canadian National Magazine Awards. The editor of the Straight told me I should, so this morning at 8am, I was FedExing my entry to Toronto.

That's about all I have time for now. It certainly feels like all I do is work. Good thing, because if this keeps up -- ie, more work at CBC -- I hope that I might be able to afford some kind of trip this year. Like EUROPE! Hahahaha.


First day at the CBC working on Canada Now today. A little nervous... but it should be a blast. More details to come in about 10 hours.

The Georgia Straight editor suggested I enter the Pandy story in the National Magazine Awards... so I got that sent out this morning at 8am... the deadline was extended enough for me to make it.

I must be off...


Friday, January 16, 2004

From the archives:


It’s just another day in my electronic hell.

For almost as long as I can remember, the electronic gizmos that are supposed to make my life easier do anything but. Most of the time they barely function.

Computers, cell phones, radios, televisions, VCR’s, DVD’s, MP3’s, you name the acronym and I can name the problem. All these new technologies and toys haven’t created a brave new world for me. In fact, I would like them to all go away. Call me Ned Ludd.

My problems with electronics can be well documented. My new cell phone, bought to replace an old cell phone that rarely worked, didn’t work. It would spontaneously turn off. When it stayed on, the software would crash. Or it couldn’t find a signal – in downtown Vancouver. I ordered a replacement and… it didn’t work. And the replacements replacement didn’t work. I’ve given up. I accept. I am now only sporadically available on my 4th new phone.

The computer that I bought last year is completely wonky. It reboots itself at the most inopportune times. Blue screens of death are an hourly occurrence. Streaming audio is but a dream. Burn a CD? Curing cancer would be less frustrating. I’ve given up. I accept.

My satellite receiver and TV have little quirks that replacing them did not solve. I accept. Radios don’t work. DVDs skip. And my cordless phone calls Nigeria on its own, which is funny until you get the bill. The least it could do is call collect. I accept, I accept, I accept!!!

It is not just my own personal electronic devices that seem to go on the fritz. Recently, I was picking up a few things at my neighbourhood grocery store. As my bag of organic nacho chips was passed over the scanner, the cash register froze. The cashier pushed a few buttons and the till was up and running in no time. I thought nothing of it until the next night when the same scene was repeated. Hey, I like nachos.

About a week later, I was back at the same store and as I stood in line, the entire cash register system went down. Every single till! The store was forced to shut its doors. I’m not sure if they ever got their system up and running again as I am afraid to go back and hurt their business any more.

The next time I needed nacho chips, I went to the big Safeway up the street. About half of my hundred or so items had been scanned when – you guessed it – zap! The till went down. The cashier apologized profusely and offered me a $20 credit for my inconvenience. I giggled to myself.

Just last week I was on my way to a party. Not wanting to drive, I decided to take the bus. Vancouver’s transit system now employs fancy electronic fare boxes that are about 50% slower than the old manual system. I dropped my Twoonie into the box and waited for my printed transfer/receipt to pop out. And I waited. And I waited.

“I’ve never seen that before,” said the bus driver.
“What?” I asked.
“The darn thing has locked up.” she replied.
“Wow, strange, I’ve never seen that before either,” I said, as I took my seat, filled with guilt. Everyone who got on the bus after me got a free ride. You’re welcome!

Over these decades of frustration and grudging acceptance, I have always wondered why it is that I have these problems. Is this payback for something I did in a previous life?

I decided to do some research on the Internet. And just a few crashes later, a website offered up the reason for the electro-hell I have been experiencing all these years: It turns out that I am something called a SLIder. I have SLI.

SLI is Street Lamp Interference. It is so named because many people with the condition are able to make street lamps flicker or blow by simply walking by. According to webmaster “Eel” (how cute) at SLIders disrupt many other things, like TV's, VCR's, and computers. Sounds familiar.

Those with SLI find that their power is more disruptive when they are in a bad mood. This is not good, as the just having SLI puts me in a bad mood. So, the more I stress, the more oddly the device will act. It’s like a snowball rolling downhill.

Personally, have never really noticed streetlights going out when I walk by, but I’ll be damned if I’ve ever had a light bulb last more than a couple of weeks.

There is a warning on an SLI website that warns those of us with this electro-mojo to use it only for the causes of good.

“Treat others with respect, strive for peace, and don't allow anyone to corrupt your mind or soul with evil or hatred. Be careful, any form of electrical energy CAN be dangerous if handled recklessly or without concern for other people.”

Yikes. Could George Bush classify me as a weapon of mass destruction? Perhaps I could offer my destructive services. Just stick me in a patriot missile and send me towards one of the axis of evil lands. That’ll put a stop to Saddam’s late night nacho chip buying at the Baghdad 7-11.

I promise that when I’m in a foul mood, I will, for the good of society and your personal safety, do my best to avoid hospitals and air traffic control towers.

Perhaps there are some other benefits of having SLI. With this power, could I not save time during rush hour by changing traffic lights to favour me? This dream was soon dashed as I continued to read Eel’s website:

“One other note...please do not try to change traffic lights. You could accidentally cause serious harm, or even kill someone.”

What a spoilsport.

I read on in the hopes of finding a solution to this disorder. A way to cleanse myself. A way to de-electro-curse my body. Eel offers this helpful advice:

“Being a SLIder myself, I must say IT SUCKS! However, we can adapt to it. Try hypnosis, whether self-hypnosis, or the traditional method. In fact, anything that puts you in a relaxed trance will probably help, whether it's meditation, yoga, or even simply taking ten deep breaths when you get stressed out.”

Great, I’m a self-employed TV producer and I have to reduce my stress? How about a nice bottle of Scotch. I wonder if medicare would cover it?

For now, I will live with SLI and try to remain calm. So far, it seems to be working. I’ve actually made it to the end of my story without the dreaded “blue screen of death” destroying my document. Zaaap.


Thursday, January 15, 2004

The following was submitted to the Globe following our week long brush with winter here. Read on and comment!

Winter in Vancouver

Judging from the television coverage, you would have thought it was the end of the world. The blanched faces of concerned reporters looking skyward live in horror. Big puffy clumps of snowflakes descending, splatting triumphantly on the upturned noses of these hardened journalists.

And then came the pictures: line-ups in stores to get one of the last shovels or remaining bags of salt. Summer tires spinning in a futile attempt to push 2000 kilos of truck-a-saurus up a two percent grade. Piles of white building up on the ground, at least a centimeter thick.

And then came the reporters again: delivering the worst news ever for the people of this Winter Olympic burg. More snow. And in case we didn’t hear, a big red banner was flashing SNOW WARNING! Gather the children! Load up the wagons! Let’s get outta Dodge!

Welcome to the end of the world. Welcome to winter in Vancouver.

This makes no sense. This is a city where, on a recent morning commute on the bus, I counted more snowboards than briefcases. This is a city where limos sport ski racks. This is the city that is hosting the winter Olympics, for heaven’s sake.

Now, before I get slammed for my thoughts, a little background: I have lived in Vancouver for six years. And before that I have lived through brutal winters in Halifax, Winnipeg and Thunder Bay. I am not new at this winter thing.

But, it appears, much of the lower mainland is.

Not that snow is a stranger to Vancouver. From practically anywhere in the city you can gaze north and see snow for much of the year. But that snow is in the mountains. And while it is handy - only 20 minutes away - it is also non-threatening. Like a polar bear in a zoo, we can gawk at it, but are safe in the knowledge that it won’t come rumbling down the hill to spill our vanilla soy lattes.

I call it “winter on demand.” You want snow? Just drive that way -and before your sushi gets warm you can be chucking snowballs towards the golf courses thousands of feet below.

In fairness, there are several things that make Vancouver a poor candidate for a winter city: no snow tires, no plows, and no 100km gusts across the prairie. In fact, no prairie!

Luckily, it rarely snows here. And it rarely freezes. These are two meteorological factors of which I was completely unaware of when I moved here in 1997.

ME: It’s January, where is the snow?
Vancouverite: Snow? Up there!
ME: No, in the city?
Vancouverite: Bumpkin! Fancy a Chai tea?

But this year was different. Boy, was it different. It began just before New Years. Big blobs of snow begin to fall. And then they began to accumulate.

Then it turned cold.

Then it turned wet.

So in the space of a week, we experienced the full Canadian climate. Before the snow fell it was warm enough to golf. And with only some trees devoid of leaves, it looked fall-like. Then came winter. And now it is turning into a slushy spring. There still is lots of snow on the ground, but I swear on all that is Holy that there are cherry blossoms on a tree across the street.

But back to the television coverage. During the “WEEK OF DOOM” the media was in a lather. And that became a frenzy. Every newscast filled their first segment with team storm coverage. 5 stories or more - and charts, graphs and experts. Every story had a reporter reporting live out in the snow, The awful, terrible, dangerous, hideous, beautiful snow. One station had a reporter actually driving in the snowy rush hour live on camera. I actually thought that was pretty cool and was secretly hoping for a 360.

Every weather presenter was calm and collected, presenting the facts slowly, so as not to throw the entire population into a panic. But despite their relaxed demeanor, you could tell that inside they were screaming, “Oh my God! It’s going to be –4. We’re all going to DIE!!!! “ I think they even shied away from showing the “Double Doppler” images for fear of possible riots and/or to prevent the hoarding of survival essentials like green tea ice cream.

I giggled.

It is so easy to make fun of the terror a bit of snow brings to the population of Vancouver. Especially having satellite delivered television. I can flip from the stories of white death locally to places experiencing real winter like Winnipeg. I stand in awe of a reporter standing out in the bitter Manitoba wind telling the audience that in the current conditions exposed skin will freeze in less than a, ho hum, minute. And the reporter is wearing neither a toque nor mitts. That’s guts.

But there may be hope. There has been snow on the ground for over a week. If I gaze out my window to the park across the street, I can see snowmen, toboggans, dogs in coats and kids having a blast. There are smiles aplenty. And for a moment, Vancouver is just like the rest of Canada in the winter.

Except it’s going to rain tonight and I’m going golfing tomorrow.



Tuesday, January 13, 2004

*Rant Alert*

What is the deal with printers? You spend a little, you get crap. You spend a lot, you get crap. All I need is a dependable printer to print text. That's it. Not some disposable junk that I end up tossing out every year.

*Rant over*

The Hockey in Belize item aired last Saturday on CBC in Canada. It is now archived at Go there this week, load all the selections, and then drag the 7th item to the playback line. And hit play! Magic!! After a week, you'll have to dive into the archives.

I've been doing some more writing... here is a first draft of a tome on Coffee in my neighbourhood. Please excuse any grammatical errors.

Los Angeles is the City of Angels. Vancouver is the City of Beans. Coffee beans. Proof?
Vancouver is the home of the street corner with two Starbucks outlets on opposite
corners. And there are a dozen more within a few city blocks. If you don’t like coffee,
welcome to latte hell!

If the growth of downtown coffee shops keeps growing like it has, there soon will be
entire city blocks of Robson Street with nothing but Starbucks and Seattle’s Best. And
there will be the niche versions too: Starbucks Kids (Bubblegum Latte) and Baby Blenz
(strained carrot cappuccino).

But a short distance from the golden sidewalks of Robson Street sits a street known to
locals. A street with more coffee shops than I have pairs of underwear. An eclectic street
that is the ultimate melting pot of have and have not. Commercial Drive.

When I first moved to Vancouver, I lived in Kitsilano. But not being buff or owning 13
fleece vests, I moved east. Good thing I didn’t buy all that fleece – it seems yoga wear is
the new fleece in Kits.

I now live is a much poorer postal code, though by Vancouver standards this means a
nice house is only worth $500,000. Think I’m kidding? There are homeless people
sleeping in the park across the street while I pay over $1500 a month in rent. My park
neighbours may be on to something.

The Drive, as its known here, features the best and worst of the city. Since moving to
this part of the city a couple of years ago, I have a love-hate relationship with the
neighbourhood. I love the stores that sell food products from around the world. I hate
the faux-hippies and their bongo drums. I love the fact that you can be yourself. I hate
the panhandlers. I love the different languages I hear while walking around. I hate the
street corner drug dealers.

More than anything I am fascinated with the vast selection of coffee shops and their
clientele. On The Drive, the place you choose for your Joe says a lot about who you are.

The coffee retailers on "The Drive" run the gamut. For the past while I have been looking
more closely at the coffee joints in my neighbourhood and the people who frequent them.
Here’s a short guide:

The Original: It may not be the most traditional, but it is the most authentic feeling –
Joe’s. Joe’s sits there on the corner, massive Portuguese flag on the awning, serving up
what is commonly known as the best cappuccino in the city. Fact or urban myth, it’s
hard to tell – but it is good. And it is always served by Joe, because Joe is always there.
In fact, this could be why we call a cup of Joe a cup of Joe.

Sometimes Joe smiles. Sometimes he’s gruff. But the product is tasty and the shop has a
decor that comes straight out of the 50’s. Joe’s is the type of coffee bar that will be here
long after the others have come and gone. Joe’s is a true original.

The Italian: On one block, two Italian heavyweights square off. On the east side, Café
Amici. On the west side, Abruzzo Cappuccino Bar. Abruzzo has Italian football on the
tele. Amici has old Italian men hanging outside talking football. Abruzzo has tables
outside, usually taken by people with dogs. Amici has old Italian men talking about

I wonder if there is a division of loyalties regarding what coffee bar to go to. Especially
amongst the old Italian men. Do they sneer at each other across the street? I get the
feeling they do. The coffee in these places is as traditional as it gets.

The Funky: These are my favourites. They’re not as traditional as the Italian. But they
serve up great brews. They have cool art on the walls (that changes monthly), and a
varied, but constant clientele of repeat customers. I have spent much time within the
walls of Turk’s chatting with people or working. The music is eclectic and they call you
by your first name. The furniture, however, is of abandoned house quality. Maybe it’s to
keep folks from staying too long. Four hours is about all I can manage.

Another similar spot is JJ Bean, a few blocks away. Great selection of coffee and snacks.
Muffins that have been poured haphazardly into pans so that dozen have become one.
All kinds of sweet stuff temps the buyer as well, especially when waiting for that quad-
shot Americano Misto to come up.

And there is Continental Coffee as well. It seems to have the corner on the most travel
worn folks, and the faux-hippies. I’m not sure why, because it seems to be similar to
many other places. But I guess you just fall into a groove. It could be that the hemp store
is only a few blocks away. Another great feature of Continental is that there is a
Starbucks across the street. You can sit and gaze at those evil corporate bastards who
oppress us all by drinking their eggnog lattes. Or, that’s what one of the faux-hippies
suggested one day.

The Corporate: Just one word here: Starbucks. And I am surprised that there are two
outlets on The Drive. And a Blenz has opened up as well, between the two ‘Bucks.
I snicker when I walk by Starbucks and peer in the window. Not because I’m being a
snot (ok, I am), but because I want to grab the people inside as say, "Don’t play it safe!!
Expand your horizons! Try one a real coffee bar!! Live on the wild side!!" But I don’t, I
just feel sorry that they are missing a real organic experience.

The Get-In-On-This-Coffee-Thing: These are the many, many small shops that have
elected to sell coffee in addition to groceries, rolling papers and cigarettes. This coffee is
of the same quality found in any gas station, 100km from the nearest espresso machine.
It is low-grade caffeine for emergency use only. I think some of it must be months old.
Probably useful for stripping floors and warding off evil spirits.

The Newcomers: Not just the chains have noticed the brown sea of The Drive. There are
new independent coffee retailers opening up all the time. They are ok, I guess, but don’t
really have the flavour of The Drive. I think most are owned by people who woke up one
morning as said, "Let’s open a coffee shop."

So, despite all the media accounts that portray the east side of Vancouver as nothing more
than a collection of heroin addicts and prostitutes, there is more to the east side. It’s home
to those addicted to caffeine, like me.

I’ve been thinking, if Hollywood has its maps of star’s homes, perhaps its time to sell a
map of Commercial Drive coffee houses. I might be able to make enough money to keep
me in beans.




Saturday, January 10, 2004

Point form today!

- The work scene looks good. I've finished up my spell at CTV, though there will be more hours in the future, no doubt. I confirmed training days (3) at CBC Vancouver (News) and then I am on the list there. It's good coin, so between the two, I should have a pretty good income.

- Another CBC Radio piece airs on Radio 1 today (Jan 10). If you are near a radio, listen shortly after 4pm. This piece is on Hockey Night in Belize. It is also available on the CBC website -- streamed. And archived (

- I love renting foreign films, because often you have no idea what you're going to get. Last night I rented a Czech film called Babí léto (Autumn Spring). What a masterpiece! It's all about age and marriage and life and death. GO RENT IT! It is one of the most heartwarming films I have ever seen. I even cried. Several times. And laughed a lot as well. SEE IT!

- My photos are up at Caffe Barney in Vancouver and today at 4 (Sat Jan 10), I am having a little get together of friends. It was my favourite Cheryl's idea...

- I locked another photo show as well... Turks on Commercial Drive in April and May.

Things are rolling....


Thursday, January 08, 2004

So George Bush is finally realizing there is a problem with 8-10 million undocumented foreign workers in the USA? All those migrants who have risked life and limb to pick lettuce for peanuts. And Geo finally gets it?

I find it funny how there is little concern about how this huge mass of undocumented people could be a threat to the Fatherland... er, Motherland... er, Homeland. Let's see, if I was a nasty terrorist, how would I enter the states? Driving across the Ambassador Bridge or sneaking across with a few dozen Guatemalans.

It is truly a unique experience to be living next to a country that is scared shitless of something under the bed -- yet does little to stop it, except for curtailing civil rights. Don't get me started on the finger printing of foreigners.

But kudos to Brazil for doing a tit-for-tat to American "foreigners" entering Brazil.


PS: Can't tell Hugo from Oliver? CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

I love television.

Today I was reminded why I got into this field in the first place: the cool technology. Sure, the creative aspect is what I am into now -- but I have always had a soft spot for the gear.

The snow and cold continued in Vancouver today, and this morning I got called into work. It was the standard writing shift. But as the day unfolded, it was decided that we were going to go all out with our live coverage.

We have a number of live trucks (4), plus a satellite truck. In order to use a live truck, you have to be able to transmit the signal from the truck to a receive point. In Vancouver we transmit to one of the north shore mountains. This has to be line-of-sight -- and, that means that the truck raises a tall mast and cannot move. The same goes for the satellite truck, though you've got to be line-of-sight to the satellite.

There is a technology called COFDM that is used to transmit live signals. It uses an omni-directional sort of antenna that allows movement. So, a COFDM transmitter can broadcast live signals from helicopter or a news truck.

CTV Vancouver doesn't have a COFDM equipped truck. But the multi-lingual station Channel M, has such a truck. CTV and Channel M have some sort of news sharing agreement -- and this extends to us being able to use their live truck.

Today we had 4 live signals off the top of the show -- and we used a quad-box to show them all at once. The viewer could see the storm from 4 different sources at once. Live.

But -- this is the cool thing -- one of the shots, which we then took full screen -- was a live shot of driving in rush hour traffic. The reporter was able (the camera panned to her, then back out the windshield) to report on the traffic as the truck driver was driving through it.

Sure, the news value of such a live "hit" is somewhat limited, but the coolness factor was off the scale. And we looked a billion times better (and covered the story better) than Global.

Anyway... it was a cool day to play TV.


Monday, January 05, 2004

Ok, everything is back and working.

If you want to hear the audio blog, click on the red icon in the previous posting.

I discovered an interesting site yesterday: a shortwave radio station that sells airtime at US$40 an hour -- including a repeat.

I, along with some friends, are conspiring to do something... we're not sure what. But it would be fun do do a monthly show that broadcasts to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa... wouldn't it.

Ideas so far: Scotch Radio, Border Radio, A Bunch of Guys Babbling About Current Events Radio...

Think of the fun!!!

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I don't know if Roadspill has become roadkill, but for some reason, I can't access it on the web. The behind the scenes stuff (archives) are all still accessible -- but nothing on the web. Odd.

Today, Monday, is the first real day off in a while. CTV work has come to an end, sadly. But it will allow me to turn my attention to other things. I have lots to do. But today is a no-work day. That said, I am meeting with a guy I'm interviewing for CBC Kids and I applied for a 3 month gig with a CTV show as a researcher -- thing is... it probably pays squat. It might be below the threshold of being worth it, believe it or not.

My photos are now up at Caffe Barney (2675 Granville Street, Vancouver). I am doing a show with another photographer and we each have about 15 images up. They'll be there for a month... and, with luck, they will sell. I decided to put up more than the original 8 that I had framed. So I ended up spending another $500 or so on another 9 -- that's cheaper framing, printing, and custom mattes. My prices are a bit on the high side (average $225), but I think that its smart not to undercut one's self. And as they're up for a month, if there are no buyers, I can adjust the prices. Worst case scenario is that I have lots of stuff framed for the Night of Artists show this summer.

Winter continues here. Or, as the locals while, "bitter cold." Bah! -4 is bitter cold? Try the prairies, baby. It is a lot of fun watching people try to drive on the extremely icy side streets -- especially the hilly ones.

I've noticed that there is a free test of using blogger's audio posting service. I thing I'll give it a try.



Friday, January 02, 2004

2004. Here it is. So far so good.

After being comfortably perched on my couch New Years Eve, I felt like staying put. However my friends Steve and Heidi had invited me to their place in Burnaby. So, around 11pm, I dragged by butt off the couch and drove the icy roads to their place. And had a great time. We rung in the new year with champagne and sushi. I left around 1am... mostly because I was sober and had to work in the morning.
Nothing like a small house party for NYE.

New Years Day was spent writing news at CTV. And then the next day, today was also spent writing news. Lots of American fear and Canadian celebration. What a huge difference between our two countries. We welcome the new year, they fear obliteration at any moment. Mellow, people, mellow.

The snow continues to fall too. And its cold. -5 tonight. Sure, its not like -30 that Calgary will get tonight, but for a place where 0 is cold -- its brutal. And who has moon-boots in Vancouver? I'm lucky to have a pair of gloves (that I bought for the cold weather when last I was in Toronto). I don't think I've ever seen it snow for so many days. There's been at least another inch since I got home from work.

Tonight I am relaxing, watching the snow & Apollo 13.

The weekend will be filled with errands all morning and work 2-11pm. I have to get my photos into Caffe Barney Sunday night (Lorne is doing this for me, as I will be at work earning time and a half). But I have to pick up some prints and get them framed tomorrow. And write a bio, And make a list of the photos. And make price cards. And so on and so forth. And then on Monday -- nothing.

Well, not really, I am meeting with a guy I am doing a CBC kids piece on... he makes extreme sports videos. I'll be shooting that in the next week or so. And then I have another interview to do for my piece on shortwave. And then write two more travel articles.

Go go go!

If I get all that done, I might hop a cheap flight to Calgary for a few days rest. But we'll see about that.

Nothing yet from CBC Television regarding writing for Canada Now. I was tentatively supposed to go in for training next week, but we've not yet set the rate or times... so it might be the following week. And even though CTV dries up as of Sunday, I know that there will be many call ins.

One of the reporters at CTV said I should be reporting myself. I agree, but because the station is big on doing live hits, it would mean that I would have to do those too. Crafting a story is no problem. But doing live? Yikes. However, it would probably be a good thing for me to do... so might raise the idea with the news director. It would certainly mean more work... and who knows where it might lead.

Odd to think that as much as I want to produce a series, it looks more and more like I am destined to be a journalist. National radio, local print -- and perhaps -- reporting for CTV in Vancouver. Strange days...

Until the next post...