Wednesday, July 27, 2005

POD: July 28, 2005 - Celebration of Light

Celebration of Light
Originally uploaded by

A great shot of the Celebration of Light, courtesy:

POD: July 27, 2005 - New vs Old

New vs Old
Originally uploaded by

This shot if from the CBC Plaza in downtown Vancouver. It shows the giant totem pole on the CBC grounds facing the tower part of the Vancouver library across the street. Who's on first?


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

from the "Cheesed Danish" dept.

Another night away from my Mac, which means no new POD images. So this will have to do. It's a picture of those dastardly Danes invading Canada. First they take Hans Island, then they Oshawa!


Monday, July 25, 2005

POD: July 25, 2005 - Hans Island

I'm housesitting, and don't have the ability to upload some pictures of my own (and I have plenty), however... here's a shot of the island that Canada and Denmark are rattling their sabres over.

A good headline for the story: Cheesed Danish. Another: Hans Job.


Saturday, July 23, 2005

POD: July 23, 2005 - Hope Gloats

As seen on Main Street, Vancouver.

from the "dinner's ready" dept.

The U.S. Government is looking at new devices to quell dissent and suppress rowdy folks. The answer is as close as your microwave. Check out the latest in people control:

Details of US microwave-weapon tests revealed.

Another article, with more pictures:

Riot control ray gun worries scientists.

Man, the future's so bright, I gotta hide under a rock.


Friday, July 22, 2005

from the "not again" dept.

Fresh off the wires:

VANCOUVER -- Passengers riding Vancouver's rapid transit system tonight may get a bit if a fright when they hear a big ``boom'' that sounds like an explosion.

But SkyTrain officials say not to worry -- it's just the film crew from the hit T-V show, Smallville using special effects that sound like explosions.

The series, which follows Superman as a youngster, will be shooting in Burnaby between 10 p-m and midnight.

Officials say the boom will likely be heard between the Edmonds and Royal Oak stations.

SkyTrain says the filming poses no risk to travellers, but given the recent terrorist attacks in London, the company felt it was prudent to warn its customers.

POD: July 22, 2005 - Don's big lens

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Rock Star Shoot

Rock Star Shoot
Originally uploaded by

Another day at work, with a little photoshoot on the roof. Future rock stars: The Cranstons.

POD: July 20, 2005 - Control Room

The end of the night in the control room. Fade to black.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Misty Moooooo

Misty Moooooo
Originally uploaded by

Can I jump in the pool now?

from the "dude, where's my brain?" dept.

The following is from the BC RCMP media relations website:

File: 2005 - 38127
Location: 6355 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby, British Columbia.
Date of Release : July 18, 2005
Time of Release : 7:30 am

What Part of “RCMP Detachment” Did You Not See ?

A 17 year old Vancouver male was somewhat surprised, confused and embarrassed all at the same time when an Burnaby RCMP officer walked up to him recently. The young man and a friend were quite preoccupied smoking marihuana with great passion......right in front of the Burnaby Detachment.

The two were hanging around a movie set that is being shot at the Shadbolt Center, and they had no idea that the RCMP detachment was there, even though the building is clearly identified with a big sign on Deer Lake Avenue. As well the Emergency Command Vehicle visible to all the public with it’s bold identification decals identifying it as a police vehicle it would be very difficult not to “see” that the police are there. This will add to the debate that smoking marihuana can dull the senses.


POD July 19, 2005: Big Wiener in Seattle


Monday, July 18, 2005

from the "if you can't beat 'em, fire 'em" dept.

FROM THE BBC 7/18/05: Ukraine traffic police abolished

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is to disband the country's traffic police because it has proved impossible to stamp out corruption.

He has ordered a decree to be drawn up abolishing the department, which employs 23,000 people.

Mr Yushchenko said his government's efforts at reforming the traffic police had proved unsuccessful.

Traffic police are said to be unpopular with motorists as they impose on the spot fines and often demand bribes.

Mr Yushchenko said the traffic police had "discredited themselves".

He said he had warned senior traffic police officials "three times that if they only keep on hiding in bushes... and do nothing else, they will no longer exist".

The interior ministry says the new "patrol service" will be up to "top European standards" and will be monitored carefully for bribe-taking.

Mr Yushchenko, who came to power in January after the disputed presidential elections and Orange Revolution, is also trying to stamp out swearing.

Interfax reports that he told law enforcement officials: "Let's agree: you should leave foul language at home.

"Actually, it would be better if you didn't use it at home either. You are servants of the state. Try to talk without swearing. If anyone can't learn to do this, then write a letter of resignation."

POD: July 18, 2005: Wrong Number

As seen on Main Street in Vancouver.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Friday, July 15, 2005

Wide Eye Library

Wide Eye Library
Originally uploaded by

Doug and Kate

Doug and Kate
Originally uploaded by

Wide Eye CBC

Wide Eye CBC
Originally uploaded by

CTV Control Room

CTV Control Room
Originally uploaded by

Mmmm! India's Flavour!

Mmmm! India's Flavour!
Originally uploaded by

Deep Cove Traffic Jam

Deep Cove Traffic Jam
Originally uploaded by

POD July 15, 2005 (2)

POD July 15, 2005 (2)
Originally uploaded by

Today's second Picture of the Day is looking out of Continental Coffee, with a 10.5mm lens. SWEET!


POD: July 15, 2005: Ship Shape

Ship Shape
Originally uploaded by

Shipmaking in North Vancouver... the POD.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

POD July 14, 2005: Table for one

POD July 14, 2005
Originally uploaded by
Small table, big yard.

from the "no longer the big kid on the block" dept.

The war of words (and economies) is heating up between Liberty inventors Americaland and the pesky reds in Chinaland.

I wonder who will fill the superpower vacuum left after the Soviet Union imploded. Hmmm. Dim Sum anyone?

The Financial Times is running a story that should make Americaland think twice... or pour more money into military spending.

Click here: Top Chinese general warns US over attack


Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Hmmm. I don't like the looks of this. Projected path of Hurricane Emily is pointing towards one of my favourite places on earth.

POD July 13, 2005: Espresso Visions

Espresso Visions
Originally uploaded by

Relfecting on the joy of a $1.85 double Americano at Continental Coffee on Vancouver's Commercial Drive.

POD - July 12, 2005

Not really the sun rising
Originally uploaded by

Lots of interesting things happened today in the newsroom. However, the best Picture of the Day seemed to be a big red light shining on the news set. For a moment, I felt like I was in a planetarium.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

from the "life long learning lives on longly" dept.

This is fun: Random Wikipedia!

from the "how bad is this OS" dept.

Over the last few days I've had the opportunity (?) to use Windows. At work and at a friend's place that I've been looking in on. In fact, that's where I am now: Surrey.

Despite a crisis while trying to burn DVDs on my Mac (tantrums notwithstanding), I can't belive how difficult Windows is. The crashes, the hangs and the general annoyance. I feel for people who haven't a clue as to how to deal with the daily (hourly) issues that crop up when using Windows.

That said, I am as pleased as punch that I am getting a FREE PC. CTV is clearing them out, and I'm getting one. That means I can work from home for the CBC. Which is ironic.

Also: started a new discussion group on Yahoo. If you're at all interested in border related issues, click here:


Crap! Got to run to work. I wonder if I can make if from Surrey to Downtown via Continental Coffee in 54 minutes. Let's find out...


Monday, July 11, 2005

from the "are you up yet?" dept.

Up yet?!
Originally uploaded by

These are the little dears who steal my sleep!

Oh oh!

Oh oh!
Originally uploaded by
On Saturday, Ted and I went on a little photo safari. It almost went bad.

POD JULY 11 2005

POD June 11 2005
Originally uploaded by
Photo of the day. It's nice to live in Vancouver and have a pool. It's a drag when it rains all summer.

from the "footloose 2" dept.

The following appeared on the CBC BC website today:

Internet cafes draw complaints in Coquitlam

POSTED: Jul 11 2005 08:33 AM PDT

A Coquitlam city councillor wants to ban all internet cafés in the city because of complaints about drugs and alcohol.

Mae Reid said people are also complaining about fighting in the cafés.

She wants the city's planning department to investigate the situation and report back to council within a month.

Reid said she suspects most of the cafés are doing more than just serving drinks and providing internet service.

"They also have music. They operate late, late, late into the night," she said.

"There were too many by-law infractions. And when it comes to the drugs and the weapons, it's time to shut them down."

The manager of one of the internet cafés disagrees.

Angela Chase of the Eight Ball Café said that while there have been a few problems, most of the internet cafés operate peacefully.

"I honestly don't think necessarily it's proven that it's a fact," she said. "I've never had a problem in my establishment."


Quick! Let's ban some books while we're at it!


Sunday, July 10, 2005

Distant Tall Ship

Distant Tall Ship
Originally uploaded by
Sunday July 10th photo of the day. Taken at Kits Beach, looking at a Russian tall ship off in the distance.

Double Rainbow

Double Rainbow
Originally uploaded by
Saturday's photo of the day. After a big dump of rain, a double rainbow came out. The shot is taken from the Second Narrows Bridge, looking east.

from the "what is to be done?" dept.

The facts are this:

My neighbours were busted in the spring for owning a grow-op.

My neighbours own two dogs that live outside 24 hours a day.

These large beasts bark at everything. The result of which is that I cannot sleep in my bedroom because of the barking. I now sleep on a pull out couch in the basement.

Lord knows I am not the most tolerant person.

But is it fair that someone (criminals, no less!) allow their beasts to disturb me (us?) at 1am, 3am, 5am, etc. etc.?

It amazes me how people who go against society's rules (and by-laws) seem to have more rights than the people who are affected.

This is a fine case in point: the people with the dogs have more right to disrupt my sleep than I have not to be disturbed. And we're talking in the middle of the night, not the middle of the afternoon.

So what is to be done?

Hopefully I can get some answers from the city tomorrow. I've had it with this blatant disregard that some neighbours have for others.

Other than that, it's a darn nice Sunday morning. My illicit XM Radio is pumping out the sixties tunes... the sun is shining... and I'll soon be off to find some herring in mustard sauce at the (former?) Yugoslavian deli on Commercial Drive.

The rest of the day is wide open.


Saturday, July 09, 2005

from the "weekends rule" dept.

The alarm did its thing at 7am this Saturday morning. Far from being cracked, I have a legit reason for getting up so early on a weekend: to maximize it.

This is my on weekend in July when I am not working. Despite ranting last year about pissing my summer away by working (heh, that sounds funny!), I was determined to have some more free time this summer. And I blew it. Big time.

Though, there is more travel ahead, and as my roommate Bryan says, I'll have money for it. True enough.

This was a good Saturday.

After the early rise -- which was not as early as I'd hoped due to repeated smacks of the "snooze" button -- I met up with TV & film goddess Sue Biely for brunch.

We chatted about a million things, plus the "Christa" project -- the documentary about the buried valuables of Holocaust victims/survivors.

Sue also expressed interest in road-tripping around the Balkans. Hello! You had me at Belgrade...

After our tasty meal at The Whip, we parted ways and I blasted across the Lion's Gate to do a little photo safari with Ted Schredd of fame.

We played with his new Powerbook -- especially Garage Band. Holy doodle, what a program. Anyone can make music with that. I feel like going to by it... tomorrow.

Then we headed to some semi-off-limit areas to North Vancouver to snap pictures. We found some great industrial areas and a film set that looked like the old west.

Photos to come tomorrow (Sunday).

I came home and did something I have yet to do here: go for a swim in our pool. The summer has been less that toasty, and even today was average. And then it rained. But around dinner time, the sun was out and the water was warm. And in I went. Sweet.

Looking at my work schedule, I shake my head.

Beginning Monday, I work 9 straight. 2 off. 6 on. 1 off. 3 on. And then its Aug 1. At least I have that off.

Then in Aug, I have one weekend (13-14)... and work 2 on, 2 off, 7 on, 2 off, 2 on, 1 off, 5 on, 3 off, 4 on, 2 off, and it's Sept. 1.

And then Janis Pethybridge arrives! And all will be right in the world again. A few days after that, Brent and Roh will probably arrive from Belize. And then, mid-Sept, you know who will probably go back with them to Mexico and Belize.

Or, off to former-Yugoslavia with Sue.

Methinks its bedtime...


HulaGirl and Big Ben

HulaGirl and Big Ben
Originally uploaded by

Roaaar! Trafalgar Square

Roaaar! Trafalgar Square
Originally uploaded by

Ben Tube

Ben Tube
Originally uploaded by
From May/05. Fond memories and solidarity...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

from the "here we go again" dept.

They've already started to refer to today's terrible bombings in London as 7/7. Egads. Please don't follow their lead!

Like most people in North America, I woke this morning to the news of the bombings. Another sad day. And, to think I riding the tube just a few weeks ago.

At work today, people in the newsroom were saying things like: "good thing we didn't take part in the Iraq war" and "it won't happen here."

I think this thinking is wrong.

The terror campaign is against the West... the US and UK happen to be the figure heads. But I think we in Canada are just as likely to experience terrorist acts.

Remember, Ahmed Ressam? He's the terrorist who was going to drive to LA and blow up the airport. Guess where he was working on his little project? Vancouver. Good thing he got snagged at the US border.

I hate to say it, but I think it will happen here. And within 24 months. I hope I'm wrong.

But think about it: if the object is terror, that what better way to scare people: bomb here and there. And not big targets. Small ones too. Wait until it starts happening in small towns.

Is there an answer? No. But one thing that might help is to look at the root causes.

A big one: Palestine. Whether you are for or against creating an independent Palestinian state, you have to admit that this is one of the biggest reasons for the growth of terrorism. Not to mentions the foreign policy of some countries.

A colleague pointed me to a letter Osama himself wrote to the American people. It's been translated to English, and makes for important reading. Large amounts of it are pure crap. But there are some answers too...

Read it here.

I hope it's a better tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

from the "talk, talk, talk" dept.

So $200 later the $400 car has new cables and a new battery. And the government made some nice tax money.

Guess I won't be leasing anything just yet.

Late night tonight, trying to get the next Straight piece put to bed. Of course it's due today. But at 1:06am, I am done. I'll re-read it in the morning, and email it off.

Back to CTV in just 9 hours -- which is where I am now. That's gonna be fun!


Sunday, July 03, 2005

from the "cheap cheap cheap" dept.

Ok. So having a $500 car -- wait -- that was my last one. Let me start again.

Ok. So having a $400 car is great. It's cheap. The insurance is low. And despite the high cost of fuel, it's still a good deal.

When it runs.

My new old car is having battery problems. And it actually be more of an engine aneurysm.

The first hint of trouble was before I went to Europa and it wouldn't start. The car. Not Europa. I fixed this by pretending to be MacGyver: the battery terminal was crusty and rusty so I used a pair of vice-grips and fastened the cable onto the battery's post. Worked like a charm.

Until the corrosion hit the vice-grips. Now the who electric system is like a game of chance. Will it start? Will tinkering by me another chance? Will I be late?

Will I lease a 2005 Mazda 3?

Well, no. Not yet, anyway.

This is the beauty of a $400 car. Even though I can't drive to far away places like Surrey with confidence, I don't have massive payments.

Beauty, eh? Hmmmm.

Well, I do have my bus pass.

Yeah. And a 40 minute ride with disease carrying weirdos.


Ok. I have to go beat the shit out of my conscience and lease a new car. Be right back.


Saturday, July 02, 2005

from the "almost rich" dept.

I'd been using the same Lotto 6/49 numbers since -- good Lord -- something like 1982. Well, that's not totally true. I'd been using one six-digit set since '82. A combination of my Mom's, my uncles and my birthdates:


These numbers came close to making me "rich" whilst at college. I had 4 out of 6 and was one off on each of the remaining two digits.

It happened again in April 2001. I was using the same numbers for the BC 49 draw. And I had 5 out of 6, with the final number being only a few off. My bad statistical averaging tells me that I had a 1:11 chance of either pocketing $50k or a cool $1 million. I walked away with $500. Not bad, but if it had been the 6/49, I would have won a few grand.

A few years ago, I added a second set of numbers:


This was a combination of my birthdate, the birthdate of a woman from Toronto, and our ages when we met.

These numbers did squat.

But I still played them, once or twice a week, thinking that the one time I failed to play, they would come up.

Boy, has British Columbia lotteries ever got me hooked.

Anyway, when I went galavanting around Serbia this past May, I bought plays for those two numbers for each draw I was gone. It cost me $56, and I won something like $10.

Nice return on investment.

So I decided to stop. No, not stop playing (and paying the stupid tax), but to stop playing those numbers. They rarely paid anything, not even the $10 minimum "keep you hooked prize".

I know I have no luck gambling. That has been proved in Vegas. There is zero chance I will become a VLT addict.

Several weeks ago I started playing random numbers... generated by the lottery machine. And guess what? I started winning. Not a lot: but $10 here and $20 there. More than I was paying out. Which is as it should be.

Today, I busted my ass to get tickets (I was working and running behind schedule as usual).

I just checked them and... I won squat in the 6/49, but I had 4 out of 6 in the BC 49. That equals a gift of $75. Not a ton, but a good return on a $2 investment.

What's ahead? Probably not much. But who knows. As the brain washing commercials say "everybody's got a dream..."


from the "words fail me" dept.

Another weekend... and another week gone by. Also, it's Canada Day (or was).

The week flew by, as they usually do. I've been housesitting for my friends Don & Linda. It's a nice escape... in a cool location. I can walk to work... or wander up and down Main St. Which is like wandering up and down Commercial Drive, without the heroin addicts to step over.

There was more positive movement with the "Christa" documentary. We're doing up the legal stuff and once that is done, things should really speed up. We hope, anyway.

The Georgia Straight has decided to take my Roadtrip Across Albania story, though it isn't slated for publication until September! I still have to write my map story, which is due July 6... and will appear the following week.

I've been back in the news grind for the last 3 days, and many more follow. Next day off I belive is next weekend. Paying the piper, as it were.

Sunday I move back to home, and with any luck the sun will be out and the pool will be heated.

Live 8 starts Saturday... I can't believe its been 20 years since Live Aid. I can remember sitting in the Marigold on Portage Ave. in Winnipeg watching it... I might even have it on tape! Although 20 year oxide might be a little flakey.

That's about it... got to work in 10 hours. But it will be nice being off at 6:30pm on a Saturday for once!