Join me on Twitter or My site

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April Was A Busy Month

April 4th / 5th - Emptied our storage locker. We started filling it when Mitt Romney was the frontrunner for the Republican ticket-- Mitt... I don't why a German looking and sounding guy didn't get the nod. Germans and power go together like PB and J. At least I have my shorts back for this summer.
April 10th -
The crosshairs. In a 20 minute span:
  • unloaded the truck of sod. Kneel before Sod!
  • worked on the Yoga site. Namaste Motherfrakkers.
  • did a conference call
  • picked up helmets for a painting project. One of them had scuff marks from where the helmet did it's job (funny).
April 11th - Worked on the e-commerce for a Yoga site. If you doubt that offshore development is lousy, try editing some of it. We also separated that truck full of sod from its soil. What a fruitless and stupid venture-- but at least we made these awesome white trash potato planters out of tires and sod. Sod!
April 12th - Easter Sunday-- Kiddo's egg hunt followed by dinner at my Mom's. Lots of food, as usual. This time she didn't stubbornly continue cooking as she sometimes does.
April 18th - The garage sale. By NOT advertising with the Times-Colonist, but using signage and Facebook, we had a moron free garage sale. I am starting to get a real sense of the digital divide. There is a difficult irony in play: I hate computers and suspect the Internet; but I also have no interest in associating with the digital have-nots. By shunning old, dying media, we left out the idiots who usually show up. Maybe there should be an IQ test: "click a mouse to recieve your paycheque."
April 23rd - We had five yards of soil dumped in our driveway. That's a frakking huge amount of soil. Wifey and I moved it in less than two days. Thursday night we went to see the Killers. I didn't participate in the herd mentality-- sorry, I'm the herder and that's hardwired.
April 25th
- A misguided tour up to Nanaimo in search of lawn ornaments. Part of the directions to the recycling plant destination were "near the Island Farms dairy farm by the incinerator"-- funny tip, as most of the farms with dairy cows supply Island Farms. We eventually found some at Jysk and I bought a prohibitively large number of them (they are sitting primed in the backyard).
April 26th - My birthday and the ensuing party. Happy birthday, Jet Li. Our galley-like kitchen proved to be a choke point between the front of the house and the rear. Yay. Of course, we're only going to be living here for approximately 4 years, 5 months and 11 days, so I can live with that. I still think the party house on 1886 Quamichan would have been awesome for, well, parties, but it was expensive, creaky and is still tied up in an estate tangle.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Why are Zombies Hot?

IMG_3415 Wifey asked "Why are Zombies so hot these days." Here's my theory: Drugs and The Internet.

The Internet

In the 1960s in North America people would protest and scrap for anything. I qualify the 1960s and North America-- because protesting and fighting is alive and well everywhere else. Here, we are now quiet-- things happen through mobs that are crowdsourced: opinion surveys, flash mobs and "public opinion". The faceless crowd rules but the passion and humanity is washed out of the equation. We don't take things into our own hands. When a drug addict harasses you or menaces you, you're more likely to move out of harm's way instead of dealing with the offense head-on. In my last confrontation with one of them, I said, "WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM!" and it backed off. Direct confrontation is now the exception to the rule.

Crack-heads, stoners and those who are pumped full of anti-depressants to the point where life is a montone. Swap hunger for a flesh for crack and you have the zombie dynamic in most cities nowadays. Slow moving, shabby and beaten: drug addicts are our real world zombies. Instead of being bitten and becoming a zombie, you can get hooked on drugs: lured in by their appeal.

The interest in zombies is a fantasy echo of the mundane world.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Death of a Newspaper

We are having a garage sale this weekend! The traditional rigamorole for doing a garage sale is to prep your stuff and then go down to the newspaper (the Times-Colonist). You are supposed to stand in a line-up of advertisers and wait for the first available window. Place your ad and people will come in droves. Hooray!
Today, I went to the Classifieds department of the TC. There are two wickets for classifieds-- one was closed. The other one had the only other customer there: an elderly woman showing off pictures of her cats. Eventually, she figured out that I was waiting and she took her cat pictures home. I stepped up. I wanted my ad to simply read the address, what we're selling and the hours. Nope. They gave me three lines to say what I wanted, but they insisted-- INSISTED-- that the ad starts with "Victoria." The "Victoria" ads are all lumped under a sub-heading of "Victoria", so why have line-after-line repeat the same phrase? I said, "That's fine-- I'll just post it on UsedVictoria and Craigslist and save myself the $20." The poor girl behind the counter sheepishly nodded and said, "Sure, that's understandable." Tonight, as I write this, I thought: let's check if I can place the ad I want via the online version of the TC. Bing! Yes, I can with a few twists:
  • I can place the ad for free.
  • If I pay $30 or $40, I have to put my neighbourhood at the start; if I do not pay for it, I do not have this limitation.
  • It has to run for 14 day (so we will have a garage sale ad lingering for 11 days after the sale.) Keep that in mind, the next time you go to the TC for an ad: there's a cluster dead ads and a couple live soldiers hiding amongst the bodies.
  • They send you a username/password for a account.
  • You can change your password, but you cannot login with the account and password.
Part of me is sad that new media is killing off old media. Part of me thinks it has it coming.

Monday, April 13, 2009

House Fire at 1110 Finlayson

Tonight we were finishing up gardening in the front yard (re-purposing some tires into raised beds, but I digress). Kiddo noticed some plumes of black smoke coming from a couple blocks over. I grabbed a camcorder and headed out. Pandemonium-- people on the street and police/fire trucks closing in. Eventually the old media people showed up and started rolling their cameras. It's kind of sad that this fire caught up (almost all house fires are sad, but this one had all of these funky add-ons and metal work, so it was a unique part of the neighbourhood). I was a little sheepish about shooting this video as I was standing beside the mortified and now homeless people from the fire.

I was reminded of a fire that hit my extended family several years back. That was an overall messy affair. The fire originated in the room of a careless smoker who said that it couldn't be her. After the fire, the landlady came in later and planted evidence-- it was rich: there whole room was a black charcoal and the photo they took showed a pristine package of cigarettes, but it wasn't the brand used by the smoker in question. The woman who reported the fire was standing outside when it started, then she promptly booked herself into the mental institution. That matter eventually got to the Residential Tenancy Branch. The landlady (aka evidence planter), assured my family to just come as it was a formality-- she said nothing else needed to be done. Why? They are going to land a $14,000 suit on my family courtesy of the RTB arbitration process; but by couching it as casual or routine, it meant my family wouldn't involve their household insurance who would defend my family and pay for the damages. Then, they'd be saddled with a $14,000 debt and have to accept eviction. I was happy to learn later that the landlady's husband sucked every last dime out of their bank account, took off and sent her into a nervous breakdown. But I digres...

Metal folk sculpture
Originally uploaded by ngawangchodron
No word as to the extent of the damages, but given the intensity of the flames and the smoke seeping from the front of the house (the opposite side from the flames), means that the damage will be extensive. Kiddo is freaked out by all of this. At the same time she spotted the fire, thunderclaps rolled in and freaked her out further. It was a mini-version of the Apocalypse-- but at least we planted potatoes and pumpkins.

Contact me!