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Showing posts from November, 2010

Five Elves No Waiting

Mayfair Mall -- No Riff-Raff Please

A friend told me a rumour: Mayfair Mall is booting some of its tenants. I was curious why and popped to the mall to check out what's up. I had to drive by the wrap-up of a SWAT team take down two blocks away. In the mall, police were prevalent looking at all of the shoppers searching for someone. Later came word that they were serving a warrant at the Traveller's Inn and it's unclear why they were combing over the mall.
35+ year old Mayfair Mall is the nearest mall to the troubled Rock Bay industrial area. It used to have a wide mix of stores: a meat shop, kitchenware, bookstores, toy stores, Woodwards and its food floor, pharmacies and clothing stores. That variety appears to be dwindling.
By January, Mayfair will have kissed good-bye to Build-A-Bear, Spencer Gifts and Blue Notes. Mayfair is opting to not renew their leases. Fans of Spencers Gifts have started a Facebook group. Mayfair Mall appears to be narrowing its focus to being a "fashion" mall of clothing st…

Congrats Justin Bieber

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Bieber wins big at the American Music Awards

Hey, Victoria, What's Important?

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Vote Yes Or No?

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I am biased in favour of Voting "No" for the bridge project loan. Here's what the Yes and No vote says to me about the decisions being made when you go to the polling booth:

Vote No
Maybe you just want to see the bridge repaired.
It's not that you want to keep the old bridge, you just don't want to green light a $50 million loan because of its implications.
The replacement isn't costing $50-million. That's just the loan amount. It's budgeted at $77-million. Budget overruns are a given. This bridge could be $90-million or more. If you let them take out the loan, the City Council will take the in-for-a-penny approach. The extra millions will come from your pockets.This is your money and the City's decisions. Remember when they urged people to vote on the bridge design? Three viable candidate designs were foisted on us-- they purposefully omitted the repair option. The people spoke: they selected an option. Council took the second most popular option ins…

Yes: Victoria is Bridge Happy

Victoria is bridge happy. In its 150 years (since the Fort Victoria days), we've gone through 4 downtown bridges. Two (Johnson St. and Point Ellice) are still standing. One bridge is critical for our infrastructure (the Point Ellice Bridge aka Bay Street Bridge) and we're not talking about it. The Bay St. Bridge funnels natural gas, electrical, communications and industrial traffic. Johnson Street Bridge is the kitschy bridge that can rise or lower. It funnels traffic between the low-rent part of town and the downtown core. With one bridge key to the functionality of our city and one that's visible when you're a tourist-- we're zeroing in on the Blue Bridge.
For a long time I have involuntarily been helping the "Yes" campaign. All of the those bus shelter ads; and flyers and media blitzes-- I paid for those. As a taxpayer, I have been obliged to pay for the tens of thousands of dollars wasted on making the "Yes" side prominent and the defacto cho…

Yeah, We've Forgotten

Let's not forget our governments' long history of screwing veterans. In 1932 disenfranchised veterans from World War I marched on Washington in a ground dubbed "The Bonus Army."
While MacArthur, Patton and Eisenhower played roles in the drama, and this contributed to the political sunset of Hoover, FDR wanted to screw the veterans. When in office, Roosevelt turned them into workhorses as part of his overall New Deal plan to put people back to work. When 258 of the veterans-turned-workers died in a September 1936 hurricane, public sentiment shifted. This eventually resulted in the GI Bill of Right by 1944 (luckily passed in time for WWII veterans who were coming home). The effective reward for service resulted in the Boomer generation. World War II veterans were given education and home loans. This caused a bulge of post-labour workers with homes and it effectively created the "middle class". The Cold War sustained the military industrial complex and m…

Ask What You Can Do For Your City

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Of all people, Gordo's brother, Michael Campbell put our social dilemma into sharp relief. In a recent radio column, he referenced JFK. Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"-- in other words: the government isn't a rich uncle; you have a duty to your fellow man, the people around you and by extension your society and country. Kennedy saw that our gimme culture was breeding well fed, selfish people who wanted to take.
We expect sympathy and civility but we need do that for others. People are driving a mile a minute in a ton of metal and plastic. When you're standing on a wide sidewalk, you expect that a motorist shouldn't take a shortcut over a meaty speed bump (you). That expectation is a network-- it's only as likely to be received as it is to be given.
But instead, we are a consumer culture. The politicians who give us more get elected. Those who say that they will give you more for less, get el…

Gordon Campbell was Blackmailed

Harken back to when privateer Gordon Campbell solidified his commandeering of the Liberal party. When Campbell talks about vicious personal attacks on those near and dear to politicians, he knows first hand how it's done. He used Gordon Wilson's affair with Judy Tyabji to ouster the centrist Liberal leader and tarnish Tyabji. Campbell knows how much damage personal attacks can bring because he has waged decades of attacks on people in the province: politicians, business people who have stood in his way, and individuals who made the mistake of being too poor or in just in the way of the Liberal NeoCon agenda.
Campbell is a selfish micro-manager who does what he wants when he wants. Any decent politician would have resigned after being caught drunk driving. When he drove up to announce that the Coquilhalla toll booths were being shut down, the Ministry of Transportation and Highways had no idea this was coming-- even the toll booth workers in the background of his announcement di…

Who is trying to buy Britain?

This comes from Charlie Stross' site, but that site is crashing under heavy load, so I've reposted it here.
Did somebody just try to buy the British government? By Charlie Stross (Hat tip to [REDACTED] over on LJ for spotting this one ...)(DUE TO THE HEAVY LOAD WE'RE CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING, I'm going to disable comments for a couple of hours. Normal service will be resumed as and when the load drops below 50,000 readers/hour — cs.)Hansard is the official printed transcript of the proceedings of the houses of parliament — in other words, the working log of the British government. It is an authoritative primary source, and records every speech made in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Interestingly, it also records words spoken under parliamentary privilege.So when an eminent member of the House of Lords stands up six hours into a debate and blows the gaff on a shadowy foreign Foundation making a bid to buy the British state, and this is recorde…

Is NaNoWriMo Important to you?

I have written three unsalable novels, two unsalable screenplays and one unsalable non-fiction book (Web development). I don't know how to write well, but I know how to write a lot.
Every year I angst for about 30 seconds that I am not diving into the NaNoWriMo. Maxwell Grant (one of my writing heroes) used to lap the NaNoWriMo by turning out two 60,000 word Shadow novels every month.
If you were an aspiring writer, what is more important to you? Accomplishing the goal of NaNoWriMo and completing a novel; or seeing what your friends are doing on Friday night via Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is worse than murder. The 500 million users expending a median of 10 minutes per day expend 126 lifetimes of time each day. If a car model used up 46,000 lives per year the CEO for that car company would be up on criminal charges.
To turn out 60,000 words, you need 60,000 "keeper" words-- words after typos and rethinks. When I write, I type at about 80 words per minute of which I end …