Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's a quiet Halloween evening. Or, it would be if not for the fireworks. This was a new thing for me when I first moved to Vancouver. Fireworks? Halloween? Who put those two things together?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Wow! Winter arrived today. It's cold outside!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

What can I say? Sure, it's a cliche. But, the things are everywhere thanks to a major wind last night.


A beautiful sunny day, an extra hour of sleep...What more could one ask?
I tried! Really I did! But, Blogger, for whatever reason, wasn't in the mood to accept new photos. They seem to have been doing that a lot lately. Hmmm.......

Friday, October 27, 2006

What do you think? Time for some more book shelves?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

So many interpretations, so little time.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hmmmmm....O.K., first, my apologies to Al Franken for stealing some of his material, but..."Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot". Truer words were never spoken. Here's the proof. Yep, Michael J. Fox is faking! It's all an evil, left-wing, Liberal, Democratic plot! And, Franken's words are applicable to pretty much the entire Republican party. For example, this story.

Ah, well. On an up note, my copy of Richard Ford's latest novel arrived today. That's cause for celebration. On my part, at least. This guy is one of the best writers working today. Frank Bascombe probably wouldn't think much of the real estate shown in the picture above, but he'd probably be willing to see if he couldn't find an interested buyer. After all, stranger things have happened.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Meanwhile, deep in the forest...

Monday, October 23, 2006

I don't know exactly what, but it says something, doesn't it?

This part of town, East Hastings, is in the midst of big-time changes (as these gigantic condo towers attest), and none of them are going to be good for the people who've lived there for years. Yep, they're the dregs of society, but is that any reason to make their lives worse (if that's possible) than they already are? They're now being squeezed out of this area as condos to both the south and north of their neighbourhood continue to go up and press toward each other. It's just a tad jarring to go from looking at the flash crowd sitting outside of Starbuck's to the definitely non-flash crowd slumped in the doorways of derelict stores just a hundred feet away. The view from a table outside of Starbuck's, of course, faces the other way.

And, speaking of justice, 24 years for Jeffy Skilling - couldn't happen to a nicer guy. He and Dead Ken ruined the lives of hundreds, maybe thousands, of people. My dream would be to be there when a conversation something like this takes place, "Jeffy, meet Snooky. Snooky's going to be your new bestest friend."

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Took a little photo-venture down to my favourite part of town today - East Hastings. Home to drunks, junkies, pimps, hookers and the generally not so well off. Oddly enough, there wasn't anyone around from whom I might purchase a ticket.

It's the old buildings that attract me, not the poor folks who live there. These days, people who haul their thousands of dollars worth of camera gear to places like this so that they can take pictures of people who could eat (or, let's face it, drink) for a week just on the money their camera bag alone cost strike me as the worst kind of vultures.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

O.K., I didn't make it out today. I spent most of the day recuperating from "Just Call Me Her Hero II". Fridays, you see, usually end with myself and my fellow professional pedagogues going off somewhere for food and drink. Which we did this Friday. Wonderfully, we wound up at a restaurant in my neighbourhood. Hooray! No matter how things went, I'd be a two-minute walk from home. Unfortunately, one of our company wasn't. A two-minute walk from her home, that is. Oh, no - completely the other side of town. And she was on a bicycle. As was I. Uh-oh. Midnight arrived. Everybody in the group lived in my neighbourhood. They were all on foot. You can pretty much see what had to happen here, right? Sooooooo, three-quarters of an hour later, having seen her safely home to the bosom of her family (husband and daughter, both undoubtedly sound asleep), I started the ride home again. Mostly uphill. Two a.m., finally home.

Not that I didn't have fun, mind you.

Another sunny day in town. Time to get out and get more photos.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The pasta sauce is burbling away on the stove, the glass of wine is within reach, Mr. Melmotte seems about to get his comeuppance...the day is winding down as it should.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Boy! Pretty impressive for a flower shop, eh? The place used to be a bank. Never would have guessed, would you.

Today was "Big Fun with the Dentist" day. Again. Yep, got two caps installed and one filling (small) replaced. The caps needed to have their colour altered slightly, so, while that was happening we figured, what the heck, let's change that old filling while we wait. The "we" being me and the dentist, of course. Then, since there was still a little time to kill, I got in a little reading. "Dolly," by Anita Brookner (whom, I believe, I've mentioned before). Good darn writer.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Photography really brings out one's flaws. Being shy tends to restrict one's photographs to inanimate objects. You're not going to find me doing street photography. And digital photography quickly highlights (I assume) the fact that I'm colour blind. I love deep, rich colours. It's just that the colours I see might not be the same ones people with normal colour vision see. Film used to hide that (I think). With Kodachrome I could just go out, photograph whatever caught my eye (and, funnily enough, that's almost always based on colour) and rely on Kodak to process the film. With Kodachrome 25 there was no question. Expose the film properly - that was my sole worry. But, now, with complete colour control being in my hands...uh-oh.

Speaking of things bringing out flaws - folks do realize that Christopher Hitchens is flat-out nuts, right? One too many G&Ts during the day? If not, you might read his latest "essay" in Slate, in which he, with his usual "missing the point" style, attacks a recent article in the "Lancet" regarding Iraqi deaths due to Bush's fabulous little war. He doesn't actually suggest that there might be a flaw in the methods (fairly standard epidemiology), but does slag the Lancet's editor by pointing out that he's "...a full-throated speaker at rallies of the Islamist-Leftist alliance that makes up the British Stop the War Coalition.", as if the gentleman in question might not actually regard the Iraq war as genuinely morally repugnant (not to mention pointless). Good on ya, Chris! That'll show that weasel. Damn the science! The man's a Commie sympathiser! (Oops, make that an Islamic-Leftist sympathiser.). Gees, what a dork Chris has become. Or, for all I know, always was. The profile of him in "The New Yorker" (Oct. 16th issue) certainly suggests the latter.

Oh, well. Sure is fun, huh?

Monday, October 16, 2006

I'm not entirely sure why this trolley exists, but...it does. I suppose the key word is "tourists".

Sunday, October 15, 2006

You might remember that when I began this whole "leaf" thing, I mentioned that within a couple of weeks, rain would come to knock them all down. Well, as you can see, it's here.

And, on the "Just Call Me Her Hero," front...I woke up last night around 3:30. Groggy as I was, I wasn't so groggy that I couldn't figure out that 3:30 on a Sunday morning was no time to be getting up, so I promptly rolled over and set off back down the path to Dreamland. There was just one problem - an intermittent, persistent "brrrrrrrrrriiiiiiinnnnggggggg!" Now, that I was too groggy to process. At least, at first. Gradually it dawned on me that it might be the elevator alarm. Someone is stuck in our elevator at 3:30 a.m.? Isn't anybody going to answer the thing? Evidently not. So, out of bed, get dressed, stumble out to the hallway, listen...yep, someone's stuck in the elevator. Focusing all my brilliant technoligical powers on the problem, I pushed the elevator call button. It moved. The door opened to reveal a very relieved young Chinese woman. She'd been ringing, apparently, for half an hour. She thanked me, hit the button for the first floor, and was gone. I had to admire her courage. If I'd just spent an unscheduled half hour in an elevator, I'd have taken the stairs at that point. I went back to bed.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Hmmmmm, I may have to go out for a little sushi tonight.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A nice little cottage to come home to. But, nobody actually lives here. It's a part of Nitobe Garden. Years ago, the outer doors were all open, allowing a view of the interior. Inside, the main room was set up as though a tea ceremony was just about to begin. Unfortunately, Vancouver being the somewhat damp place that it is, the cottage had to be closed due to accumulating weather damage.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Assuming it's Friday when you see this, Happy Birthday, Stac!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

So, listening to the news this morning, Dumbya provided me with my "Start Your Day with a Smile" quote. Apparently, some uppity reporter asked Dumbya why he'd started a war with a country that was obviously no threat to the U.S. (i.e. Iraq), while ignoring the growing and very real threat from another country (i.e. North Korea). Dumbya, proving once again that he really is just a twelve year old boy, tried to throw the blame on the Clinton administration. "Well, they signed a treaty in 1994 with North Korea, in which North Korea promised not to pursue nuclear weapons research. Well, when I took office in 2000, we found that they'd lied!" Aaaaaannnd, so...? You decided that ignoring them was the best plan? You decided that if Bill couldn't control them, there was no way a cretin like you could? You figured that if you attacked an essentially harmless country, you'd still look like a big, brave soldier-boy?

Really, I love this man. That someone so incredibly stupid, so incredibly worthless, so incredibly smug in his total ignorance could become the president of the United States - well, how can you not love him? Really.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

November's coming. Make of that comment what you will.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Well, it was Thanksgiving up here in the Far North today. Food was eaten. Beverages were consumed. As per tradition.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Well, my fall leaf hunt today was a total bust. I spent the morning marking since the weather was cold, gray and rainy. But, the weather forecast called for an end to the rain as the day progressed, so I figured I'd take a trip to Nitobe Garden once the rain stopped. It's a little slice of old Japan out on the U.B.C. campus with, as you can see, lots of trees. I was thinking about how overcast skys would help bring up the colours and keep the contrast levels low. As you can see, I thought wrong. Blazing sunshine! Killer contrast! And nothin' as far as colourful leaves go. Rats.

Nice quiet place, though. Zen, anyone?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Ah, now, were you the yachting type, this might be your entrance to Vancouver. Sailing out of the west, through English Bay, into False Creek.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Did I mention I have a cold? Did I mention how much I hate having a cold?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Well, that's the introductory biology exam down. On to intro. patho. And then, a fabulous fun weekend of marking.

With, with any luck, a small trip to Nitobe Garden for some "leafy" pix.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

So, no idea what to watch this weekend? Rent "Prime Suspect", a British TV series starring Helen Mirren. Darn good. And, it's been going since 1991, so there'll be lots of shows to watch.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Do you think perhaps Speaker Hastert should have paid more attention to signs like this last spring?

The next big question, of course, is do you think the American electorate will finally express some disgust with these Republican hypocrites and send them packing come November? Do you think they'll finally hold the Republicans (and that great Republican War President), the folks who screamed about how important it was to balance the budget and then ran up a level of debt for America that has never been seen for any country in human history, responsible for the fact that all Americans now owe their homes to China? Or for the fact that America is sinking deeper and deeper into a war that should never have started in the first place and that can't now, with any kind of moral credibility, be abandoned? Or, consider health care...

November. What an interesting month that's going to be.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Sunday, October 01, 2006

From the front, these are very up-market condos. Which is why you always want to take a stroll round back. Maybe that's what the woman on the balcony about halfway up the right edge of the frame is thinking.

I know - I said I was going to go out and get some nice "fall foliage" shots this weekend, but I have a cold. Poor me, huh? Anyway, next weekend. Fer shure.