Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bad Show Good Music

I love the soundtrack to *shudder* the Vampire Diaries.

The show is just below watching paint dry on my list of things to do with about an hour of free time, but while she who must be obeyed has control over the TV I've heard Neko Case, The Stars, MGMT, and Peaches.

It's ridiculous.

Why juxtapose ($10 dollar word alert) quality music against drivel-drama?

I'm tempted to actually watch an episode just to see if I catch a Destroyer track or maybe some They Shoot Horses Don't They in the background whilst some broody dark twenty something dude chats up some random tart.

Good on whatever must-be-a-Canadian producer is slipping solid gold into a smeg production.


I like cooking, a lot. Really, I like it more than lots of other things like cleaning, accounting, roofing, contract negotiations, and being in malls... that kind of stuff doesn't do it for me like making a good meal from scratch.

I'll shirk other responsibilities by spending time cooking. Like this weekend, when I could have been running around finding the last few things we need to finish off the baby-room, I cooked.

Cooking without recipes is something I'm happy to have gotten a handle (should that be ladel?) of, because finding great recipes can be a bit of a chore. allrecipes and the foodnetwork are alright, but hating malls and grocery stores so much generally means I don't have some of the ingredients, so I generally wind up just winging things anyway.

In the spirit of successful food-winging-it is my latest foodernet find:

Cookthing - how to cook anything.

It's an awesome tool for picking the things you have to cook, and finding inspiration on what to cook with them.

Go make something tasty.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Running, and running, and running, and...

Eddie Izzard's just finishing off 43 marathons in 51 days.

Not that it's a world record, but he's a comedian not an athlete. And in 51 days his marathon time dropped from 10 hours (more of a walk really) to 5.


Not the study-in-college kind, but a nice set of factoids brought to you by google's new internet statistics site.


"1 in 3 YouTube users are DIYers." - TGI Net, April 2007-March 2008

"On March 23rd 2009, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) predicted that global trade will plunge by 9% this year - the steepest drop since the second world war.Economist, March 2009" - Economist, March 2009"

"According to a study done by OTX, 33% of young people (12 - 24 year olds) globally (UK, US, Germany, India and Japan) are contactable at all times, even in their sleep." - OTX Research, March 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Things ain't looking good FROM HERE

UBC has this thing going on.

I really just want to save some of the responses I find funny because who knows how long they'll last.

To be fair, the first 50 or so are all quite complimentary, but things seem to have headed downhill quickly.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I Love Lego

screwit, no response to request to use an image, then a complaint, blech.
I don't post enough about lego - check out ArchDaily for a writeup and photos of a lego house. Hollow blocks... I wonder what the R rating is...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Libraries, literacy, and community

Crossposting from the Daily Gumboot where this article originally appeared, only because I know a different group of people read my blog and it's an important issue. If you have thoughts to share why not check out the original post on dailgumboot.ca and comment.

Literacy, both reading-and-writing and community literacy, are critical components of a strong community.

Informed discussion, enlightened imagination, and literal comprehension are the pillars of an active and engaged people. They enable organization, planning, and debate; all of which are critical to a healthy and functioning society.

Public Domain - Vancouver Public Library 04CC -publicdomainarts on flickr

It is difficult to overstate the importance of libraries and literacy.

While it is true that communication tools have led to improved access to information, the effectiveness of that access in terms of promoting local community development and community literacy is greatly diminished by the quest for monetization and the decentralized and isolated nature in which we receive it.

One of the great defining aspects of libraries, beyond providing access to a wealth of information, is that they are communal in nature. Scan the offerings at your local library and you will find activities, courses, support, services, and events that help build strong communities at a grassroots level.

Helping parents raise literate and informed children, helping students and teachers with research and access to information, and opening our eyes to publications from around the globe that provide insight into every aspect of our lives. All provided not for profit, but for our collective good.

Libraries serve as a critical grounding during a time where we are all-to-easily distracted by links of the day, explosions on television, and celebrity gossip publications.

They reveal and support the best in us all. The loss of any of these services would be detrimental to our communities, yet at the moment we find that loss a very real possibility.
BC provincial public libraries have not yet received their 2009 annual operating grants from the provincial government, nor have they been told how much money they will be receiving – both of which usually happen earlier in the fiscal year. There have been strong indications that the Province has decided to stop funding libraries and that this funding may be cut from the current and subsequent budgets.


With articles in community publications across the province, the reaction to this holdback by media points to the importance of libraries to our communities.

Hopefully that coverage leads to informed debate and action that results in a long-term plan to support libraries and the communities of British Columbia.

It’s our chance to support those that support us, to bring positivity to a political debate that is all-too-often debased with uninformed comment, and to steer our representatives towards a very real way they can support the communities from whence they came.

You can find out more about what funding means to British Columbia’s libraries, and how you can become engaged through the British Columbia Library Association. If you're interested they have an official response and list of other resources as well.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Toronto, we really do love you...

Coors pulling B.C. billboards as frosty mugs from Toronto call new beer ads tasteless.

"colder than most people from Toronto."

The billboard, which was part of Molson Coors' "Colder than . . ." summer beer campaign, went largely unnoticed by anyone east of the Rockies until a Toronto newspaper carried a complaint from a Toronto resident who saw the ad while on vacation.

Within hours of the story, Molson Coors backtracked and cancelled the campaign after it received complaints from people who thought the ads offended residents of Canada's largest city.

Via Vancouver Sun

If only the ad was for a beer worth drinking.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eastside Culture Crawl

Last night I had the great pleasure to meet a bunch of artists involved in the Eastside Culture Crawl to talk social media and how they might use these tools for promotion.

WendyD and the promotions/advertising board are already doing a good job maintaining a website and using twitter to connect the community to artists and the Crawl. Some of the artists are onboard with social media and self-promotion too, and are maintaining blogs and personal websites.

I had a good time and wanted to give a shout-out to the cool people I met last night. Obviously a group who work hard on creative pursuits, they brought great questions and an insight into what matters for artists.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

RIP Les Paul

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Les Paul, the guitarist and inventor who changed the course of music with the electric guitar and multitrack recording and had a string of hits, many with wife Mary Ford, died on Thursday. He was 94.

Les Paul was one of the most influential and important figures in modern music and recording.

Take a minute today to think about music.

Monday, August 10, 2009

First anniversary lessons

Things I have learned in my 1 year of marriage:
  1. I’m a pretty lucky guy.
  2. There is nothing I hate to watch more than movies in the romcom genre. I even hate the name, romcom... ugh.
  3. Having someone around to remember things for you is great.
  4. If you get your spouse’s birthdate wrong on 1 extended medical form because of the whole mmddyy or ddmmyy thing you will have to battle for months to convince them that yes that is your wife and yes they should update that field so that you can actually claim something.
  5. A bird in the hand is worth about $20 if you adopt it from the bird-rescue, but it might crap in your hand. (this has nothing to do with marriage...)
  6. Having friends is more important than you think.
  7. Having family isn’t important, having supportive and accepting family is.
  8. Sharing a bank account makes you more fiscally responsible.
  9. Good wine can solve any problem other than needing to sober up.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Final Fantasy Onstage in a Storm

Came across this via CBCradio3.

Just watch, it's worth it. He's a great musician and the energy he has for what he does really comes across in the performance.

Monday, July 27, 2009

It's basically all about me...

Well, it's really about the way my "crafts" turn out.


Come by, have coffee, witness my hand-quilted bodum-cozy - you'll see.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Love Winter, I Love Summer

Free Videos - Videos About Being Free

These snowboard, ski, skate, and surf videos help me love life and remember that being outside is better than being inside - which is where I see them. Then, I go outside and enjoy living life.

(int) Factor Films presents THEY CAME FROM... from factor films on Vimeo.

Nike Debacle from mike on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Canadian Privacy Laws & Online Networking

A report form the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has found that facebook breaches Canadian privacy law. The report responds to 24 complaints, and while most were unfounded or resolved there are four cases that are of concern.

Here's a bit from the executive summary (bolding by me):

On the remaining subjects of third-party applications, account deactivation and deletion, accounts of deceased users, and non-users’ personal information, the Assistant Commissioner likewise found Facebook to be in contravention of the Act and concluded that the allegations were well-founded. In these four cases, there remain unresolved issues where Facebook has not yet agreed to adopt her recommendations. Most notably, regarding third-party applications, the Assistant Commissioner determined that Facebook did not have adequate safeguards in place to prevent unauthorized access by application developers to users’ personal information, and furthermore was not doing enough to ensure that meaningful consent was obtained from individuals for the disclosure of their personal information to application developers.
It's something I rarely think about as I generally avoid apps, but it makes me wonder how many third-party applications are created just to harvest users' information.

CBC has a good quote from Jordan Plener, the UOttawa student who filed the complaint on behalf of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic.

"For a hangman application, for example, there is no use for the developer to know where the person lives or have their personal email address."
That sounds on the money to me - but really, should we have any expectation of privacy at all on facebook? Our Minister Van Loan doesn't think so.

What do you think? Is it time we give up on protecting our personal information online?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Letting go of What you Know to Progress

Last night Wachtel on the Arts took over Ideas on CBC1, and her interview with Milton Glaser was pretty awesome.

American Graphic Design
Glaser is an artist - I say that because he is beyond being a designer. It can take a lot to get past design when you work in a commercial business, but Glasser's work has consistently been right at the front of the pack.

He and Wachtel discussed the approach and philosophies of Giorgio Morandi (under whom he studied) and Picasso.

Giorgio Morandi
Morandi's body of work is cohesive and well tied together, in stark contrast to Picasso's progression and variation through approaches and movements.

Glaser described really clearly what I find so fantastic about Picasso - and I'm sorry I can't find the exact quote - by praising his drive to abandon a style or pursuit once accomplished, and move on to something new.

He said "Once you've learned something, and you can do it, it's time to let it go and move on to the next thing."

I like that.

It's not the way to become a specialist, but it's a fantastic way to become an excellent generalist specialized in adaptation.

Adaptation, it makes us human.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Burrard Bridge and Cringeworthy Comments

Disclaimer: This isn't about the issue. It's an issue the issue raises that has to do with discussion, communication, and community.

The Burrard bridge bicycle lane trial has begun.

I'm not from Vancouver, I don't bike across the bridge, and I'm not really entitled to much of an opinion as I haven't examined the plans, read the council minutes, or really paid much attention at all - until today.

You see, every local-news outlet has a story on the bike-lane'd bridge. And in today's everybody-has-a-voice web2.0 social media mad world, that means every story has a comment thread a mile long.

In theory, enabling comments and discussion fosters debate and communication.

In practice, comment-sections quickly degenerate into useless strings of spin and vitriol only occasionally related to the originating article.

Insults are flung with wild abandon, key-messages drown out discussion, and somehow (I really don't understand it yet) the least intelligent among us manage to find their way onto the internet and whip out angry diatribes that only occasionally make sense.

It's depressing to think that those posting are actually the listening/watching/reading public. So, rather than be depressed I imagine this:

Massive banks of computers in a smoke-filled room, cigarette buts dangling from ashtrays on the corners of redbull-strewn desks. Each computer is staffed by a moron with a script, shit-posting to beat hell, while a balding man with dark circles under his eyes paces circles in front of a giant set of monitors looking for news to hijack.

It's like a telethon to save PBS, but instead of red-dwarf reruns we get the daily news. And instead of saving PBS the point is this is an intricate plot to degrade public dialogue to the point where it doesn't make sense to have a public dialogue at all.

I like to think this intricate plan is funded by the military-industrial-complex (do we even call it that now that it's really the everything-complex?) to weaken the public's role in any sort of policy development or implementation.

I then like to use that vision to get really pissed off, curse the lack of public spaces where debate and discussion occur in Canada, and then I do my best to either:

A. Write a coherent post engaging with the few people actually participating in some sort of discussion, then vote-up our posts with a host of fake accounts.

B. Respond to comments in earnest, with sourced arguments, but in the wrong comment thread.

Option B is way more fun, but usually just gets ignored.

The moral of the story is this, "The internet is too easy."

Or it isn't.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Photos I've Found

I love photography. The still image catches me more than video ever does, leaving space to explore beyond the image.

Here are a few of the choice photos I've stumbled across this week:

Look at me I'm Tony Hawk!

Stéfan's stormtrooper-a-day set on flickr is gold.

This cat, I don't know what to say really...

Salt Ponds (Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge)
Jerry Ting's photos are really well done, this one is a few years old but it a cool look at the SF Salt Ponds.

Marketing madness here, feels more like social commentary...

And finally,


Because I like how some of these turned out. It's always fun playing with old camera equipment.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

New Video from Shad

Even if hiphop isn't your thing, Shad's flow is so good and he's got this down to earth vibe that's refreshing.

Ironlak Paint - for writers and arteests

How cool is this - a paint 'n marker company that sponsors and celebrates streetart.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Graphically Grammatical Gumboot

That might not make sense, but captain John "no blower" Horn plugged my favorite blog into Wordle. What came out is a great thing:

 Wordle: The Weekly Gumboot's Wordle

Monday, June 22, 2009

Studying what you Loath

This one goes out to everyone hating on their studies, especially those in distance courses with no imposed structure other than a big nasty deadline at the end.

I'm the kind of guy who needs structure to my studies or I veer off-course pretty darn quickly. It doesn't help that I don't impose structure on my choice of studies – I pretty much just choose things I'm either:

A. Interested in (broadcasting)


B. Not any good at (geology)

This tactic has landed me certificates and diplomas in tangentially-related fields, but without a career-focus I have yet to complete a degree despite having racked up 6 years of full-time post-secondary and 3 more part-time while I work.

Cost of studying would be a concern, but now that I work in the educational sector my employer foots the bill as long as I don't abuse the system too much.

In any case, I love me some learning, so I tend to sign up for at least one part-time course per term.

This term I thought I'd go for a B choice, something I should know but don't - financial management. And heck, why not start with the intro course and take the second level all at once.

Big mistake, I hate it.

More than that, I loath it. I'd rather eat broken glass than work with T-accounts and journal entries. I'd rather volunteer at a be-punched-in-the-face centre than adjust a trial balance. Don't even get me started on closing entries and the accounting cycle or I'll puke all over this keyboard. I hate it with wasp-stings to the eyeballs kind of hate, that jerk that just cut me off while I rush to the checkout kind of hate, that parent yelling at their cute-as-hell baby kind of hate.

You get the picture.

The result of all this hate is that I've put off the assignments to the point where I'm freaking out a little about how the hell I'm going to complete them in time to schedule my exam before the deadline.

The moral of the story? As far as I can figure is that if you're about to invest a significant amount of time and energy into something it should damn well be something you don't hate.

And, trust the nice lady in Student Information and Enrolment Services when she says you're overdoing it.

And and, lyryx sucks unless managed well. Transposing a textbook into an awkward online format isn't “enabling e-learning” it's a waste of time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Walking in Burnaby

The weather has been great and I've been working on not working during my spare time. I guess that would be actually keeping my spare time spare.

What it's really meant is I've been able to really squeeze the most out of spring with a bunch of walks with my wonderful wife.

My favourite place for a wander in Burnaby right now is Burnaby Lake. It's a great place, and a perfect time of year, to become lost in wonder and to just be, and be cool with nature.

This gosling, he’s just being, and he’s cool with nature.

Be like the gosling.

Take some time to enjoy the beauty of the world. The real world, not all that stuff we do to justify or escape our lives. Be aware. Properly aware.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Wind Power on the way to Dawson Creek

The turbines are on their way via our waterways - check the MAXIMA on the link to see where they are - thanks Seaway System.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

009 Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown

Found a link to a musical about ski life->

More entries in the related vids on youtube.

Friday, April 24, 2009

too many songs, not enough music

I had to wake up to post this.

And a more explainy one


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Canadians would rather save money than the environment: polls

We all wanna do something good, just so long as it doesn't involve any actual effort or cost.

Canadians would rather save money than the environment: ~viaCBC

How To Spend More During the Downturn

This is "For Realz?!?" kind of news to me.

Step one, secure a deal.
Step two, break deal to renegotiate once prices start falling.
Step three, pay more despite falling prices.

3 ships to house 2010 Olympics security staff in new $76M deal

I must be looking at this the wrong way because I can't make sense of it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Twittering Tuesday

OK, I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for net-fads.

I'll hop on whatever private/public-alpha-beta-whatever service that promises to connect me to some sort of something or be the great leap towards a semantic web.

This year the big one for me has been twitter.

Less overwhelming than facebook, nobody has yet tried to sell me to a zombie via tiwtter.

They have, however, tried to sell my attention, buy my attention, or sell me someone else's attention.

This whole social-web scenario is overrun with marketers in search of monetization. Am I the only one finding that it's starting to drownd out real conversation?

By real I mean nonviralmarkety, like, an actual discussion rather than "RT @wannabefameous this great event/cause needs support. #followthursday #fameball #needsattention #noactualskillsotherthansmarm"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sold Out or Smart Move?

I'm trying really hard not to think this is just a move to buy the Liberal party time to measure support before launching into another election.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Protest Music

Not like Pete Seeger, I mean protest music being played.

Check it out:
Parents' group protests Britney Spears song
Parents' group protests Britney Spears song | Entertainment | Music | Reuters

I think we should petition that the song not be played because it's vulgar, but because it's crap.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Listen to more Shad

For hiphop he's head and shoulders above the crowd.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Metallica is my new favourite band!

Oh Macleans, Oh You...

What happens when the most entitled generation ever hits a recession?
Macleans.ca - Dude, where’s my job?

I'm trying not to hate on Macleans, but they make it so hard.

The article is worth a read though, it'll make you laugh at the Boomers staring down the barrel of the recessiongun and doing their best to deflect attention.


Blogged with the Flock Browser

Monday, January 19, 2009

Confusing Citizenship Changes

Proposed federal regulations unveiled in mid-December seek to prevent children born to or adopted by Canadians outside the country from passing citizenship on to their children if they are also born abroad.
Citizenship changes could create 'inferior' citizens-via thevancouversun

Ok, but isn't this is the same government that has allowed children adopted/born abroad to automatically become citizens? It's just weird, I didn't know we were so freaked out about citizens of convenience that we would allow a sort of tier system. Shouldn't we be a bit more concerned with creating a class of stateless people than with the potential that some might not have the strongest loyalty to our flag and queen PM?
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why Ameria Scares Me

Minimum amount that religious groups received in congressional earmarks from 2003 to 2006: $209,000,000Amount such groups received during the previous fourteen years: $107,000,000
Harper’s Index: A retrospective of the Bush era (Harper's Magazine)
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Friday, January 09, 2009

You're not the Boss of me!

Gaza offensive will continue despite UN call for ceasefire: Israel
via the CBC

How often does a member state continue an invasion/offensive/whateveryouwanttocallit?