Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday Massacre!

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Royalties and The Social Web

Billy Bragg, apart from a great songster, is a bright light in the battle for rights for musicians.
He's written a nice clear commentary on why royalties are important and how we (musicians and fans) are building the power of social networks by participating but not reaping any financial rewards for our contribution.

Check check check it out.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

No Fun!

No-fun closing times are turning the clock back towards Hicksville

"Vancouver has quietly adopted a policy where senior bureaucrats -- and it's these folks who really run the city -- have decided most restaurants, bar and grills, cafe/lounges and pubs that serve beer, wine and spirits will have to close at midnight, even on Friday and Saturday nights."

For serious?

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Victoria, Music, and Drinking Well

Smith Woodhouse ports are fantastic.
I discovered the ’88 (my new object of desire) at the Oak Bay Marina Restaurant on Sunday. I actually dreamt about it last night, which was a nice break from the terrible swimming club nightmare where I'm forced into a 8-billion meter fly race.

I’ve been thinking a lot about growing up and it has occurred to me that, at least in western culture, alcohol consumption habits are good indicators of one’s grownupedness.

  • · Do you own – and use - a beer bong? Not grown up.
  • · Do you own a tumbler you prefer to use for the good scotch? Grown up.
  • · At a party are you drinking alcohol you “found” in your parent’s closet? Not grown up.
  • · Considering that expensive bottle of wine? Starting to grow up.
  • · Holding off on opening that nice bottle of white until spotted prawn season? Grown up.
For all of these I should really add "over-privileged" because expensive booze is pretty much the most terrible of things to measure anything other than privilege with. I've just been spoiling myself and ignoring the fact that retirement may some day exist in my world so drinking well has been more top-of-mind for me.

A more realistic measure these days is probably what forces one to be late with bills or rent. It still involves spending on booze, but is inverted compared to the list above. It would go something like:
You were late on rent because:
  1. Spent it all on booze for parties.
  2. Spent it all on booze at the club
  3. Spent it all on natural gas to avoid freezing to death.

I didn’t mean for it to happen, I even consciously tried to stop it from happening to me. I suppose youth, like all things, must pass.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Robert Bateman - Not a Pretty Picture

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Workman @ St. Andrews-Wesley in Vancouver

Hawksley Workman played an amazing show last night at St. Andrews-Wesley United Church in Vancouver. For not 1, 2, but right around 3 hours he held the attention of a packed church.

It was a great show in a great venue.

Click away at the songs below and enjoy yourself some Workman.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Consumption meter

I like the looks of this EWGECO meter.
It's still all "ewgeco will be able to..." so it's not like anyone can actually go out and get one, but I'm really looking forward to the day when I can monitor in real time my consumption rates for power and water without having to break into my condo's meter room in the basement.
Ewgeco Utility Meter Gas Electricity Water Meter - EWGECO HOME
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Sun Tower to change

One of Vancouver's most recognizable buildings to get a makeover
CKNW News Talk 980 - CKNWAM

Does this mean thetyee is homeless?
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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

China, Tibet, and the Olympics

China Cracking Down On Tibet

Via The Onion

Weren't there sanctions when peaceful protesters in Burma were cracked-down upon?

I guess we just don't like Tibetans as much as we do the Burmese. More than likely it all comes down to the shady deal we have with this oppressive regieme, the one I like to call "you give us cheap shit we ignore your crimes agains humanity."

I'm glad the guardian exists and prints real articles. If only we had a strong voice in Canada to help pressure our leadership into growing a pair. That might be the wrong way to put it though, it's pretty balsy to ignore your partners' abuses of human rights.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Good TV goes away

Intelligence, jPod, and MVP cancelled

Intelligence was/is/might in the future remain a great show.
jPod, well I don't dig Coupland. The best thing about jPod were only's jPod watch posts.
MVP, wait wasn't that the show with Pamela Anderson?

I want to quote a comment from's post:
  1. LeonT Says:

    Some fine commentary on the blog for this important story, so I’ll keep my comments to the point.

    Under the Stursberg regime, CBC Television has lost a Design department, Costume department, Props department, International Sales department [as of March 31st], and a Communications department. By closing these sections of the production wing, it no longer became a producer and became a buyer. Therefore, there was no personal and artistic commitment behind the creators of CBC programs.

    This created a disposable environment where an unsuccessful program is quickly dropped, due exclusively to ratings, in order to try something else.  In my opinion, until the CBC makes a real commitment to Drama, much like they did with a Drama Department years ago, this is how it’s going to be until they pursue ideas and not ratings.

I'm definitely not an insider so I can't say LeonT is on the money. My only first-hand experience at the CBC comes from interning for 3 weeks with their amazing news crew. What I will say is CBC television swings between "only worth watching for news and current affairs" to "What? A new canadian show that isn't reality TV? Maybe I don't have to gouge my eyes out."

At least CBC radio is top notch. Hey CBC2, Thanks for this:
  • Mornings (6-10): Less classical, more light contemporary like Diana Krall and Joni Mitchell. About half of the music will be Canadian. No decision yet on who the host will be.
*gouges ears out, considers whether a fork or a knife is better for the eyes*

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Under the weather

It's gray and rainy. Thanks to the timechange I woke up to darkeness. And I feel like dirt, well, a bleary-eyed and exhausted dirt.

The rain and morning-darkness I can't blame on anyone in particular.
The other stuff falls squarely on the shoulders of Michael Ondaatje.

Dear Michael. Ondaatje,
Divisadero ruined my Sunday night in the same way In the Skin of a Lion, Anil's Ghost, and The English Patient ruined Sunday nights in my past. Your books are too good.
"Just a little reading before bed." I tell myself.
Then wham, it's two in the morning and I have to force myself to sleep.


Seriously, what's up with Canadian authors? I've discovered (and re-discovered) more great poets, playwrights, and authors this year than I ever thought possible.
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Friday, March 07, 2008

Led Zeppelin

This should help.
Bustle in your Hedgerow - Travelling Riverside Blues
Found at

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008


I found this sitting right outside the door to our office building.
It's one of those beautiful coincidences that make me smile. In the fall just before the flowers started loosing their colour I was picking them and pressing them in my dictionary. They turned this same gray-brown, but are nice and flat for sticking to something crafty.

I've been holding off on taking a whole flowerhead, but as luck would have it someone (or possibly the wind) placed one just outside the door.

I got in the habit of collecting plants - living or otherwise - in my first year of university. I was studying fine arts under the fantastic direction of Laine Dahlen. The living flowers, leaves, and whatever else I pick up I usually press, the dried stuff like this flowerhead I try to keep intact.

In Laine's classes the majority of our illustration lessons involved the beautiful decay found in plants found drying in their natural environment. He helped me find inspiration in stains on walls and dead plants. I came to love them as much as any painting or drawing and now keep an ever expanding collection in a dry-vase in my home.

Some crumble over time, some become elements in mixed media pieces, others gather dust in their vase and become even more lovely with age. Hydrangeas are one of my favourites because they seem to last forever and their form seems suggestive or supportive to my abstraction and ideation.

Such a globe perched atop a delicate stem.

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Facebook Adblock Followup

With the first afternoon and night of testing over with let's get to the results.

Just over 4,000 impressions and 2 clicks - Who was that? You cost me a good 50 cents jerk.

I haven't received any emails reporting ads other than our own. As for myself, I am seeing other ads but that's probably because facebook won't show me my own ad.

Afternoon and night 1 was a success. I'll continue to monitor this over the next few days, but my first impression is that it sort of works.

With the vast majority of ads we see now under our control at a very low cost how can we better use them?

The adspace could be a fantastically intrusive status update, or I could setup some sort of mystery where hints are given out each day in the adspace. My problem now is that if the ad becomes more interesting in any way the click-throughs will rise and I'll see a bill.

hrm.....Any Ideas?

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Facebook adblock?

I'm just thinking out loud here but couldn't I block competitors ads on facebook by creating an ad that people are extremely unlikely to click and bidding high on the cost per click?

The high bid on CPC would mean my ad would be displayed over a competitors because I've priced them out of the market - but if nobody clicks the ad it all happens at no cost to me.

Where I'm going with this is, should my friends and I decide for some reason we don't want to see advertising on facebook we could create a dummy organization for ourselves. Some brave soul then creates an ad we don't intend to click, and bids high to ensure "our" ad is the one we are served.

Someone tell me I'm wrong about this. Actually, I'll just go ahead and try this out.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Grandma Rules

I'm a sucker for old games. Cribbage, crokinole, chess; All way more fun than any of the latest  first person shooter, and they involve real interaction and smack-talk instead of the terrible "pwn!pwn!" and "gg!" of the after game lobby.

I picked up a bargain cribbage board about a month ago and I've been sucking my friends and family into playing every chance I get. What I've noticed is we've all developed our own standard set of rules. I was calling them "house rules" until last night, when, in the middle of adding an extra point to an already stellar hand for holding a jack of the same suit as the starter card a friend of mine piped up, "Your grandma rules are a little different than my grandma rules."

That's my term for rules in these games now and forever more. Learning grandma rules for games like cribbage and crazy eights is what made them fun. I was always amazed growing-up at the regional (or can that be grandmarial) variations. Wild cards, switching direction-of-play, countdown; The games became rich and varied and I developed great friendships at cafe's and coffee shops on a foundation of simple old games and grandma rules.

While I've discovered that my "one for the jack" is legit I should be calling it a nob. Check it out.

Also, in *ahem* researching this post I came across Cribbage Inc.'s home page, ON GEOCITIES! YES!

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