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Do You Love Any Dead People? · I think most of us do, so if you’re in Van­cou­ver around Hallowe’en, you should go vis­it A Night For All Souls. Even if ev­ery­one you love is still alive, you should go any­how be­cause it’s full of ex­treme ethe­re­al dark-hued beau­ty ...
 
Urbanity · Ci­ties are our rule now, any­thing else the ex­cep­tion. I’m bik­ing most work­days, on con­crete over the ocean in­to the stone heart of a small big city, get­ting ten dozen chan­nels of non­stop ur­ban in­put and ev­ery day I won­der where we’re all go­ing. The fu­ture is dis­tribut­ed un­even­ly and cities con­cen­trate the un­even­ness ...
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Christmas Decorations · I hope that lots of you are hav­ing an ex­cel­lent Christ­mas; I am. Here’s an il­lus­trat­ed card fea­tur­ing Van­cou­ver Christ­mas vi­su­al­s ...
 
Cranes · What hap­pened was, Shane & Al­ly asked us to a rooftop bar­be­cue with views in ev­ery di­rec­tion. Most of them fea­tured cranes, and I don’t mean bird­s. And it would be un­fair to omit the moon ...
 
The Only Sane Transit Vote · Van­cou­ver is hav­ing a Trans­porta­tion & Tran­sit Ref­er­en­dum this spring: Yes or No on a 0.5% lo­cal sales-tax hike to pay for tran­sit in­fras­truc­ture, most­ly public-transit train lines. The on­ly sane vote is Yes; here’s why ...
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Vancouver Election · It hap­pens Satur­day, Novem­ber 15th, 2014. Here’s how I’m vot­ing ...
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Vancouver Photowalk · Oc­to­ber 11th was World Pho­towalk Day. I at­tend­ed the Van­cou­ver edi­tion, which was in a place I’d nev­er go look­ing for pic­tures; but I got some any­how ...
 
Festival Firetruck · There was a par­ty in the lo­cal park; food-stands, mu­sic, a movie. We pic­nicked there with fam­i­ly and friend­s. And a firetruck came! ...
 
Chinese Garden, Right Side Up · Ear­lier, in Chi­nese Gar­den Re­flec­tions I ran some pic­tures of green­ery re­flect­ed in the ponds of Vancouver’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Clas­si­cal Chi­nese Gar­den. Here are are more pho­to­s, un­re­flect­ed ...
 
Spring on the Main · Which is to say on Vancouver’s Main Street, nev­er ac­tu­al­ly been Main as such and isn’t as cool as it thinks, but it’s my ’hood and full of life, and when the sun in­ter­rupts the long grey Pa­cif­ic North­west off-season, you can feel it in the side­walks and the build­ings that are too old and shit­ty to gen­tri­fy, and even the hip­ster beards have bet­ter curl and loft ...
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Vancouveriana · Two pairs of pic­tures that could on­ly have been tak­en right here in my home­town ...
 
Choose the Right Fish · We had in­for­mal Satur­day brunch with fam­i­lies of kids in our second-grader’s class in Old Chi­na­town at The Emer­ald, once a dim-sum join­t, now a hip­ster sup­per club. The old-Chinatowners are ag­ing out and some of the peo­ple mov­ing in look Chi­nese be­cause hey, this is Van­cou­ver, but they’re younger and single-er and prob­a­bly don’t speak much 廣州話. What­ev­er it’s be­com­ing will prob­a­bly be in­ter­est­ing, but not the same ...
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Parading · The na­tions that mat­ter are those that ex­port cul­ture; Chi­na is one of those. Par­tic­u­lar­ly this time of year and around the Pa­cif­ic Rim; be­cause it’s Chi­nese New Year. On Sun­day, I marched in the big Van­cou­ver pa­rade ...
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N5-cam I: Low Light · I hear that pock­et cams are over be­cause phonecams have eat­en that space; so let’s see if my Nexus 5 can con­vince me one way or an­oth­er ...
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Bike Fixers · Im­plic­it in the Mak­er move­ment is a Fix­er move­men­t, and that’s what Our Com­mu­ni­ty Bikes is. They’re right round the cor­ner from us, and my 14-year goes there to patch up his com­muter ve­hi­cle ...
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Fresh From the Graveyard · What hap­pened was, I vis­it­ed Vancouver’s Moun­tain View Ceme­tery, my 7-year-old daugh­ter in tow. It was wet and grey. She was bored so I gave her a cam­era ...
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At the Market · Granville Is­land mar­ket I mean, a nice place in Van­cou­ver, par­tic­u­lar­ly on a sun­ny Sun­day in Oc­to­ber, Canadian-Thanksgiving week­end ...
 
Main Street Photo Fun · In which I take some or­di­nary street shots and over­pro­cess them for fun ...
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City of Trees and Cranes · Van­cou­ver I mean, of course. We’re big on trees, and grow­ing, so it’s hard to take a pic­ture with­out one or the oth­er ...
 
Civilization · I’m writ­ing this in the li­brary at Ren­frew Park Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­tre, wait­ing while my son’s at a martial-arts class. Just walk­ing in here, I got all choked up ...
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Polyglot · Or in ful­l, the Van­cou­ver Poly­glot {un} Con­fer­ence. I saw it com­ing, thought it looked cool and that I’d go, then I got copied on an in­ter­nal con­ver­sa­tion where some­one sug­gest­ed we should spon­sor it. D’oh, good idea, why didn’t I think of it? So we are. So I’ll not on­ly go, I’ll sug­gest an un­con­fer­ence ses­sion on my cur­rent Iden­ti­ty ob­ses­sion­s. It’s a cool lo­ca­tion and they look like cool peo­ple; come on down!
 
Voices of Northern Women · Last month I had the im­mense plea­sure of at­tend­ing North­ern Voice 2012. This is the eighth year of Vancouver’s own lit­tle blogging-and-social-media con­fer­ence, dis­tin­guished by a res­o­lute re­fusal to con­sid­er the busi­ness (or any oth­er non-personal) di­men­sions of the thing. It got me think­ing about gen­der is­sues, so here are thoughts on those. With pic­tures ...
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Port Mann · Greater Vancouver’s ge­og­ra­phy in­cludes in­lets of the vast Pa­cif­ic and the delta of the mighty Fraser; thus a lot of bridges. The Port Mann is one of the biggest and it’s get­ting a big­ger re­place­men­t; I have pic­tures ...
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Otaku with Vintage Marbles · It was a Satur­day af­ter­noon with child-care du­ties and noth­ing planned; the Straight’s event list­ings turned up a “Pop Cul­ture Col­lectibles Fair and Com­put­er Swap Meet” said to in­clude toys and com­ic book­s, so I grabbed a near­by kid and took of­f ...
 
Opening Day · I’ve writ­ten be­fore about our Lit­tle League’s open­ing day, but this is prob­a­bly the last time; my 12-year-old son is grad­u­at­ing and my daugh­ter shows no in­ter­est ...
 
Nocturnes · Three dark­ish pho­tos tak­en on a Van­cou­ver Sun­day evening ...
 
Purple Place · Not just any place, but BC Place, our lo­cal foot­ball sta­di­um, which got a wel­come re­fresh last year and is lit up in col­ors that change from night to night; it’s nes­tled among build­ings and there are very few (any?) places where you can see the whole thing. But af­ter dark, you keep get­ting sur­prised by bits of it from here and there around town ...
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Illuminate Yaletown · This is an even­t, a new idea I be­lieve, an after-dark thing in an old now-fashionable brick-warehouse neigh­bor­hood. We went down to check it out, and be­fore we got to the ac­tu­al il­lu­mi­na­tion­s, ran across a hat shop par­ty. [Up­date: The band was Maria in the Show­er.] ...
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Street · Over on Google+, there are a lot of pho­tog­ra­pher­s. I mean, re­al­ly a lot. And not just nerd-with-an-OK-camera dab­blers like me; we’re talk­ing pros, big-name pros some of them. Or­ga­nized in cir­cles, of course; go have a look ...
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Photos of Wata of Boris · I can’t re­mem­ber how I first heard Boris, but I fell in love right away. They’re from Ja­pan and play very loud, very deep, very beau­ti­ful mu­sic; some of it on Tues­day evening in Van­cou­ver, and I was there ...
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Post Sunset · Part of the pub­lic pier by the Jeri­cho Sail­ing Cen­tre, one of the nicest things about warm Van­cou­ver evenings ...
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Hula Hoops and Shoelaces · Wel­l, those seem at the cen­ter of her show ...
 
MOA Portraits · That stands for Mu­se­um of An­thro­pol­o­gy and I’ve been be­fore. I took pic­tures of a bunch of faces ...
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The Drive by Night · In Van­cou­ver, “the Drive” means Com­mer­cial Drive; Hey look, a street with its own Web site! We took some vis­it­ing rel­a­tives out for gelati on a re­cent qui­et Mon­day evening, and I brought the cam­era along ...
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Good Afternoon · We of­ten use the In­ter­net as a ve­hi­cle for bitch­ing and com­plain­ing, and I sup­pose that’s OK. But some­times things go well, and we should talk about that too. With a hair­dress­er anec­dote and pasta-sauce recipe ...
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Opening Day! · I mean our son’s lit­tle league, Vancouver’s own Lit­tle Moun­tain Base­bal­l, Canada’s old­est Lit­tle League and, with 600+ play­ers up through the age of 12, quite the go­ing con­cern. The Lit­tle Moun­tain in ques­tion is a pret­ty big hill in the mid­dle of Van­cou­ver whose name con­sti­tutes part of my neighborhood’s ...
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100mm of the Day: Election! · The new lens may have “MACRO” in its name but it’s good fun out on the street too. Oh, and we’re hav­ing an elec­tion! So let’s wrap some Cana­di­an pol­i­tics around the pic­ture ...
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Stadium Sun · This is BC Place, where the Cana­di­an Foot­ball team plays and the re­al­ly big con­certs hap­pen. It’s nev­er been very nice un­der the vast dingy in­flat­ed roof, and the con­cert sound is re­li­ably pu­trid. So they’re mak­ing the roof re­tractable, and I went by while the sun was set­ting be­hind the pro­jec­t ...
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The Drive at Dusk · In Van­cou­ver, “the Drive” means Com­mer­cial Drive. [Note: That Wikipedia en­try needs some ed­i­to­ri­al at­ten­tion and pic­tures.] On im­pulse, and be­cause it was sun­ny, we went over there for gela­to af­ter din­ner and I took my cam­er­a ...
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The Main, Transpacifically · I can hon­est­ly say “I liked Main Street be­fore it was hip”; but on­ly be­cause we hap­pened to buy a house 2½ blocks away in 1996 and were in­tro­duced to its mot­ley charms back then ...
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Fish and Baubles · Lau­ren was hav­ing eleven knit­ting friends over Sun­day so I took the 4½-year-old girl out for an out­ing. She and I both like trains and boat­s, so we took the Cana­da Line to the Se­abus to Lons­dale Quay, where there’s a nice lit­tle pub­lic mar­ket with things for kids to do ...
 
Impure Geometry · The boy had a soc­cer game to­day down at Andy Liv­ingston turf which is right up against Vancouver’s in­fa­mous Down­town East­side; I end­ed up in a park­ing lot down an al­ley that seemed to have just an un­rea­son­able amount of ge­om­e­try wher­ev­er I looked ...
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SAD Therapy · Maybe this is a lousy au­tum­n, or maybe my tol­er­ance for light star­va­tion is ebbing as I age, but I seem to be work­ing up an ear­ly case of Sea­son­al Af­fec­tive Disor­der, in­flict­ing dark moods on my loved ones in a rhythm that echoes that of the storms and rain ...
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A—1 Cycle · I was walk­ing down Main Street and there was a gen­tle­man re­paint­ing on a lad­der.
 
Three Pictures of Illuminares · For many years, Vancouver’s Public Dreams So­ci­ety has pre­sent­ed Il­lu­minares, a summer-evening fes­ti­val built around a lantern pro­ces­sion. Typ­i­cal­ly held out­side, around Trout Lake, it’s a nicely-hippie-flavored ex­plo­sion of fire and noise and en­er­gy. This year, be­cause Trout Lake park is un­der con­struc­tion, they held it in­side and it was still fun, if not quite as much. I got some pic­tures which are sort of pret­ty and rep­re­sent a new fron­tier I think in my cur­rent low-light-photography ob­ses­sion ...
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Unfinished, With Clouds · What hap­pened was, we went to a par­ty at Shane and Ally’s place on East First Ave at a mixed residential-commercial de­vel­op­ment with a com­mon rooftop gar­den. We bar­be­cued up there, shar­ing the space am­i­ca­bly with a cou­ple of oth­er par­ties. The view was com­pelling and the clouds were in­ter­est­ing ...
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Tree Shopping · Our pear tree died, a vic­tim of old age, root pathol­o­gy, and a high wind. Here­with con­se­quences bu­reau­crat­ic and pho­to­graph­ic ...
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Those Olympics · It start­ed a cou­ple weeks ear­ly for me with a gen­tle wel­com­ing in­vo­ca­tion by an el­der of the Musqueam Na­tion. It’s done, fi­nal­ly. What hap­pens on the morn­ing af­ter? Maybe we can all wear less red ...
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Pacific Spirit · That’s the name of a pret­ty nice park on Vancouver’s Univer­si­ty En­dow­ment Lands, which sort-of be­long to UBC but can’t for the mo­ment be cov­ered with con­do tow­er­s, which is a Good Thing. Ob­serv­ing in the Satur­day morn­ing fore­cast the heavy rain I now hear on Sun­day evening as I write this, I de­ter­mined that force-marching the urchins in­to the Pa­cif­ic Spir­it woods would be a good idea. Plus, I brought my cam­er­a ...
 
Oddball Beet Salad · Last week­end, friends were about and we went to the mar­ket and I made lurid bi­coloured sal­ad for the ball­game and it was all good. With pic­tures and a recipe ...
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Vision Hackers · It wor­ries me that, as a res­i­dent of Van­cou­ver off-and-on since 1983, I am en­gaged so much on the In­ter­net and so lit­tle in my home-town. My lo­cal out­ings have been lim­it­ed to mu­sic, children’s sport­s, and din­ing out with friend­s. I’m at­tempt­ing to be­come more lo­cal and have thus re­cent­ly be­come a mem­ber of two or­ga­ni­za­tion­s: the Van­cou­ver Hack Space (Mot­to: Down with Be­ta­max! <snicker>) and Vi­sion Van­cou­ver. They aren’t like each oth­er at al­l ...
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Not Driving · Re­cent­ly, I’ve been tak­ing pub­lic tran­sit around town more and more. The ad­vent of the Cana­da Line is one rea­son, and an­oth­er is that since I’ve been car­ry­ing the Android-flavored In­ter­net in my pock­et, trav­el time isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly down­time. Plus, as I steer thou­sands of pounds of steel and glass and so on around town, the pro­por­tion of my mind that’s think­ing about carbon-loading keeps in­creas­ing un­nerv­ing­ly ...
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That Market · I mean Granville Is­land mar­ket of course. If you live in the main part of Van­cou­ver, it’s hard to avoid, par­tic­u­lar­ly on a rainy week­end ...
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21mm Fight Dance · I had two ten-year-old boys with me; they said “Fight dancing!” Real­ly it was Capoeira, some­where be­tween a mar­tial art and dance for­m, in­vent­ed by African slaves in Brazil. There are a cou­ple of sto­ries but let’s start with the pic­ture ...
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Take the Train to Tokyo · Be­ing an il­lus­trat­ed mini-travelogue on tak­ing the new Cana­da Line train to Van­cou­ver air­port. Al­most cer­tain­ly of in­ter­est on­ly to peo­ple who might do such a thing ...
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Hector and the Gulls · We were walk­ing along Jeri­cho Beach around sup­per­time of a re­cent week­end when the clouds and light per­formed a summer-afternoon dance for us. I was shoot­ing in ev­ery di­rec­tion and present for your en­ter­tain­ment one ma­rine ves­sel and two feath­ered scav­enger­s; noth­ing you can’t see there ev­ery day ...
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Night Out on The Main · Vancouver’s Main Street has enough places to eat and drink that a per­son like me with a wife and fam­i­ly and job will to­tal­ly nev­er get to all of them. But the oth­er night we got to Zakkushi and Sweet Re­venge, in good com­pa­ny. With pix ...
 
Junepix 11: Minor League · On the last day of June we went to a Van­cou­ver Cana­di­ans minor-league game, with fire­work­s. I seem to doc­u­ment such an ex­pe­di­tion once a year, which is un­sur­pris­ing as it’s a treat for the eye­s ...
 
Junepix 10: Green and Red · This is brick build­ing with green trim; a gar­ment fac­to­ry I sus­pec­t ...
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Junepix 1: Car-Free · I was edit­ing some pic­tures (which I or­ga­nize per-month) and re­al­ized that there were a ton in the June fold­er that I’d been mean­ing to run, and now it’s not June. So let’s pop­u­late the first few days of Ju­ly with some of ’em. First, mu­si­cal faces of Car-Free Van­cou­ver Day ...
 
“Hello World” for Open Data · Re­cent­ly, Vancouver’s Ci­ty Coun­cil passed an “Open Data, Open Source” mo­tion. I was too busy at the time to pay much at­ten­tion, which I’ve re­gret­ted. Now I’ve start­ed pok­ing around a bit, and turned up an in­ter­est­ing per­son and an out­stand­ing ex­am­ple ...
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Justice · Here’s a lit­tle news sto­ry of di­rect in­ter­est on­ly to peo­ple in Van­cou­ver, but it’s pleas­ant and up­lift­ing; made me smile and might please oth­ers too. And it gives me a chance to gloat a lit­tle bit ...
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Dark-Morning Market Lights · On a lousy spring week­end day, which this was one of, you can do way worse than go­ing to the Granville Is­land Mar­ket ...
 
Sunday at the Seaside · If you’re for­tu­nate enough to live in a city by the sea, you should bloody well go vis­it it some­times. This last week­end I was on single-Dad du­ty, so Sun­day morn­ing I ig­nored the low­er­ing sky and gen­er­al damp­ness, bun­dled the protest­ing urchins in­to the van, and took them to the beach ...
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$1,000,000,000 Theatre · While, like many, I’m am­biva­lent about the Olympic­s, I lean to the pos­i­tive side, and was mod­er­ate­ly hap­py when Van­cou­ver scored the 2010 Win­ter Games. Since then, the in­fras­truc­ture prepa­ra­tions have ripped the shit out of our city, the fi­nan­cial ar­range­ments have gone side­ways, and I failed to get any of the tick­ets I signed up for ...
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Snow Bitching · Vancouver’s weath­er has been suf­fi­cient­ly bad this win­ter to have made the na­tion­al news a few times, and if you fol­low any lo­cal on­line voic­es, you may be grow­ing tired of our whin­ing about the weath­er. Wel­l, I’m go­ing to pub­lish a few pic­tures of the car­nage any­how ...
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Vote Matt in New West · This is not of the re­motest in­ter­est to any­one who doesn’t live in New West­min­ster, a small city near Van­cou­ver that doesn’t think of it­self as a sub­ur­b ...
 
That Parade · Of the Lost Souls I mean. It was so much fun it shouldn’t be legal. This post is here so I can post a fun­ny pic­ture of my­self and med­i­tate, once again, on the pro­fu­sion of dig­i­tal record­ings of, well, ev­ery­thing ...
 
Join the Parade · I mean Pa­rade of the Lost Souls, which hap­pens next Satur­day Oc­to­ber 25th on Com­mer­cial Drive here in Van­cou­ver. I’ve pa­rad­ed be­fore; once again I’ll be part of Rus­sell Shumsky’s West-African drum en­sem­ble, layin’ down the dance beat­s. As­sum­ing the weath­er co-operates, it’s a blast; come on out and boo­gie.
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Container Cranes · On a re­cent week­end we took the Se­abus over to Lons­dale Quay. The Se­abus is both ro­man­tic and re­li­able, a rare enough com­bi­na­tion in this world. On the way back, I took a pho­to of the big container-handling cranes ...
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Canteen Mitra · It’s on Main Street near 14th Ave. They make a damn fine chick­en Shawar­ma ...
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Car-Free · Its full name is Car-Free Van­cou­ver Day and it hap­pened last Sun­day. We hadn’t been plan­ning to go but stum­bled in more or less ac­ci­den­tal­ly and it was good fun. It gave me an ex­cuse to take pic­tures of peo­ple; some­thing I’m too shy to do ex­cept in a crowd ...
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Not Much · Two pho­tos of not much in par­tic­u­lar, but with ex­pla­na­tion­s ...
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Propeller · Be­ing a pic­ture of one, with some oth­er things ...
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April 18, 2008 · I had a lit­tle slack in the sched­ule head­ing for the air­port, so when I left work, I stopped on to pho­to­graph a marsh ...
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Upcoming Gig: BCnet · Hey, two con­fer­ences in my home-town in one mon­th, April 22-23. The full name is Light­ing the Path: Con­nec­tions for the Fu­ture but ev­ery­one just says “BCnet”. I’ll be wear­ing my Sun hat for this one, and hop­ing to see some of the home­town folk.
 
Upcoming Gig: Open Web · Right here in town, as the name sug­gest­s: Open Web Van­cou­ver 2008, April 14-15. This is put on by the Van­cou­ver PHP Users As­so­ci­a­tion; it’s great to see the Web re­li­gions open­ing up to each oth­er like this.
 
Granville Island · In single-Dad mode on this bril­liant Sun­day morn­ing, I de­cid­ed to pack the urchins up af­ter break­fast and take them down to Granville Is­land. It’s one of Vancouver’s nicest things and too of­ten we aban­don it to the tourists (In fac­t, on this oc­ca­sion I helped a posse of Ger­mans fig­ure out the parking-ticket ma­chine). Wel­l, and I had a new cam­era burn­ing a hole in my pock­et ...
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Launch Party Vancouver Jan. 25 · There’ll be geek­s, VCs, hangers-on, and good times, all at the Launch Par­ty Van­cou­ver 3 this Fri­day at the no­to­ri­ous Lamp­lighter. And there re­al­ly is go­ing to be a launch: Sun’s Start­up Essen­tials will be do­ing its Cana­di­an launch. That’s a pro­gram that’s easy to un­der­stand. Be less than four years old. Have less than 150 em­ploy­ees. Get cheap hard­ware. I’ve got a gig in Austin that day and even though I free up in the morn­ing, will have trou­ble get­ting home for the par­ty. Pfui.
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Sin and a Tiger · When­ev­er I walk around, I have the lit­tle Canon in my pock­et. Since I’m shoot­ing JPG and have a 2G card in there, it holds a more or less in­fi­nite num­ber of pic­tures, and I have to re­mind my­self to un­load ’em ev­ery cou­ple of weeks to see what’s there. Often I’m sur­prised ...
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Uncommon Light · Three pho­tos on bright De­cem­ber days; not com­mon in Van­cou­ver, so this is a qual­i­ty of light you don’t of­ten see ...
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Mountain Chimney · A pic­ture of snow-covered moun­tains from our bed­room win­dow ...
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Across False Creek · This is just to cel­e­brate be­ing able to run Light­room again; a pho­to look­ing south across Vancouver’s False Creek at night, from Bill and Trish’s place ...
 
Northern Voice 2008 · In Van­cou­ver, Fe­b. 22-23, the North­ern Voice “personal blog­ging and so­cial media” con­fer­ence. Lau­ren has more de­tails. My fa­vorite lit­tle blog­ger con­clave.
 
BlackBox in Vancouver · Hey, I’m help­ing out the lo­cal Sun mar­ket­ing peo­ple; thus this note for geeks here in Van­cou­ver. We’re do­ing a world tour with the Black­Box and it’s com­ing here Nov. 20th (scroll down). If you vis­it, yes, you will be mar­ket­ed at, but I’ve been in one of these pup­pies and it’s a se­ri­ous­ly funky piece of gear and hey, it’s free. I’ll try to drop by.
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Urban Sunset · There haven’t been enough pic­tures here late­ly ...
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Seasons Change · Van­cou­ver has all four. Less in­tense per­haps than oth­er parts of Cana­da where the snow ex­tends in­to April and spring is life af­ter death; here it’s life af­ter bore­dom. It’s a fash­ion­able town, our changes are most­ly what we wear ...
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Summer’s End · It wasn’t that great; there was some good weath­er but not enough, and much of that while we were off in Ber­lin or Saskatchewan. But there were com­pen­sa­tion­s, fam­i­ly things ...
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Bragging · Wel­l, The Economist has pub­lished a study of the liv­abil­i­ty of cities. That point­er is ac­tu­al­ly to the sum­ma­ry, not the ac­tu­al re­port, which will cost you $200. Any­how, in the #1 po­si­tion is Van­cou­ver, and in #2 is Mel­bourne, which I’m start­ing to think of as my sec­ond home.
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Tab Sweep — The World · This time we have jour­nal­is­m, civic pol­i­tic­s, and a rare on­go­ing side-trip in­to, well, sex ...
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AFS × 3 · I be­lieve it’s been a cou­ple of years since I’ve in­flict­ed a Van­cou­ver sun­set on on­go­ing read­er­s, so here are three. What hap­pened was, Eve Maler and her hus­band were here; we had din­ner to­geth­er and went for walk in the dusk west from Kit­si­lano beach. I was itch­ing for a chance to work out the new wide-angle lens, and the moun­tains and the ocean are just the tick­et ...
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Going, Going, Gone · In Toronto’s Globe and Mail, a Wil­liam Gib­son el­e­gy (prob­a­bly to van­ish be­hind the pay­wal­l), lament­ing cities’ crush­ing their his­to­ry and our mem­o­ries with­out even notic­ing. Right here in Van­cou­ver we’re see­ing it hap­pen in re­al time, in months not decades. The Cana­da Line project is dig­ging a seven-storey-deep ditch down the mid­dle of what once was a thriv­ing com­mer­cial street that runs more or less up and down the city’s prime merid­i­an. While we crack bit­ter jokes about spe­ci­a­tion set­ting in among the ro­dents ei­ther side of the Big Ditch, and mutually-incomprehensible di­alects among the hu­man­s, the mer­chants aren’t laugh­ing at al­l. Read The Vil­lage a Train Ate in The Ty­ee (an ex­cel­lent pub­li­ca­tion). That’s my vil­lage, and we’ve been reg­u­lars at the restau­rant in the pic­ture; Si­mon has cleaned up more than one bowl of miso soup spilled by our kid­s. The lo­cals say no­body told us what we were let­ting our­selves in for, and that’s true, but it seems ir­rel­e­vant now. So sad.
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Home Town(s) Rule! · The BBC re­ports that the Economist In­tel­li­gence Unit re­ports that the two best places in the world to live are Van­cou­ver and Mel­bourne. The ac­com­pa­ny­ing pic­ture, fea­tur­ing for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Paul Mart­in, who’s from Québec, with a dorky-looking Moun­tie, is pret­ty lame. But stil­l, there­by hangs a tale ...
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Rain · Our win­ter is now suf­fi­cient­ly bad to be a na­tion­al news sto­ry. It’s rained 19 of the last 23 days, and there’s a heavy-downpour warn­ing over at En­vi­ron­ment Canada. To make things more in­ter­est­ing, the snow­pack on the moun­tains is melt­ing, so the rivers are ris­ing. The sce­nario that no­body wants to think about is when you get a mon­ster rain­storm at the same time as a re­al­ly big snow­pack runoff crest and then that co­in­cides with a big high tide. There are some parts of Van­cou­ver you re­al­ly wouldn’t want to be in were that to hap­pen. But we don’t live in one and any­how, Spring has be al­most here... right?
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Travel Pix · I broke down and got a Canon A710 IS and, like the re­view­ers say, it doesn’t weigh much, it didn’t cost much, it has a great big zoom and seems to take OK pic­tures. There’s noth­ing very in­spir­ing about it and I would prob­a­bly have been will­ing to pay twice as much for some­thing with RAW and more in­ter­est­ing glass and so on, but ap­par­ent­ly the cam­era biz has walked away from the high-end com­pact ...
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Characters in Grey · The grey is the sky, all we’ve had for some week­s, and the char­ac­ters are a closed shop’s sign be­com­ing a palimpses­t ...
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Winter Streetlights · It’s been an in­cred­i­bly nasty win­ter so far, but this last week has been cold/bright, what Van­cou­ver gives you when it’s not grey/mild ...
 
Café · My lo­cal, in fac­t, where, if I added up all the cash spent on cof­fees in the course of a year, I’d prob­a­bly be shocked. Which is prob­a­bly why there are so many of them ...
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Damage · The tree doc­tor came by this morn­ing and gave us the bad news; the wounds were fa­tal. So the plum tree, the one Maryam said grew the best plums she’d ev­er eat­en, pic­tured here and here, will be fire­wood ear­ly next year ...
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The Colours of Snow · We’ve had a lot of snow and and a long freeze to keep it on the ground. All those shades of white and grey pulled the cam­era out of my pock­et as much as any sum­mer day’s flow­er­s, this year ...
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Brutal · That bad weath­er I wrote about a cou­ple weeks ago is still bad, the ba­by and I are both sick; things could be lots worse but com­plain­ing is a sa­cred hu­man right. With pic­tures ...
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Bad Weather · You don’t re­al­ly ex­pect much from the weath­er up here in the Novem­ber Pa­cif­ic North­west, but boy, it’s been bru­tal. We’re way past the av­er­age rain­fall for the month and we’ll prob­a­bly set a record; enough Wed­nes­day to dump land­slides in­to the reser­voirs and now we’re all drink­ing boiled wa­ter. Trees down in the wind, and a four-story steel-frame build­ing un­der con­struc­tion. No­body hurt on that one—it was at night—but you got­ta feel sor­ry for the guys who showed up to work on the site in the morn­ing. I took a pic­ture out­side my of­fice ...
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Lost Souls, Documented · On Satur­day night I marched in the Pa­rade of the Lost Souls. It was a thrilling evening; I came home ex­haust­ed, sore, and hap­py. It was al­so ex­treme­ly well-documented. [Up­date: Another write-up.] ...
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Join the Parade · The Pa­rade of the Lost Souls, that is, this Satur­day Oc­t. 28th. I’ve known about this event for years and want­ed to go, but some­thing al­ways got in the way. This year, I have to go, be­cause I’m one of the per­form­er­s. If you’re in Van­cou­ver, drop by and check it out.
 
Pilings · On the week­end, we vis­it­ed Steve­ston, a touristy lit­tle wa­ter­front town in the south sub­urb­s. It’s got some mildly-interesting shop­ping and a lot of good food. Some of the restau­rants are el­e­gan­t, but we pre­fer Pajo’s; fish & chips on a float­ing dock at the west end of town. Good fish & chips are not that easy to find. The wa­ter­front was for­mer­ly in­dus­tri­al (fish-canning most­ly) and is be­com­ing recre­ation­al/res­i­den­tial. But there are a lot of old wood­en pil­ings left in in the wa­ter ...
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Portobello West Colours · What hap­pened was, I was lis­ten­ing to the pod­cast from CBC ra­dio 3 and there was this great track from some­thing called Lo­la Dutron­ic (@ MyS­pace); I emailed the dis­trib­u­tor and all the record stores they sent me to were sold out, but he said they’d have a stand at Vancouver’s new-ish Por­to­bel­lo West mar­ket, so I dropped by and they were sold out there too, but I to­tal­ly rec­om­mend the mar­ket. There were some deeply cool clothes and oth­er odd­ments; I bought some can­dles and just avoid­ed a cou­ple of shirt­s. And al­so cap­tured some se­ri­ous colour with the cam­er­a ...
 
White Rock Dock · Cen­tral Van­cou­ver is about 50km north of the U.S. bor­der. Down at the bor­der, on the seaside, is the town of White Rock, which has a beach ex­tend­ing right to the edge of Amer­i­ca, a tra­di­tion­al pier, and a whole lot of restau­rants. I’ve been liv­ing here most­ly for over twen­ty years and nev­er vis­it­ed it, so we did, and I took some pic­tures off the pier. There ac­tu­al­ly is a White Rock; I have no pic­tures of that, but I do have an international-boundary shot ...
 
Spring Pix · Three pic­tures around Van­cou­ver; one of a fresh green spring­time tree, two of rot­ten old build­ings be­ing torn down ...
 
Botanical Garden: Textures · We vis­it­ed the UBC Botan­i­cal Gar­den to­day be­cause we had a vis­i­tor in town—more on that anon—and I got, among oth­er things, two in­ter­est­ing tex­ture shot­s ...
 
Football, Beans, Sunshine, Sex · What hap­pened was, we had some friends over for the Sun­day foot­ball games, and the day turned out very pleas­ant­ly in a bunch of ways; here­with an il­lus­trat­ed nar­ra­tive ...
 
A Damn Fine Cup of Coffee · A lat­te ac­tu­al­ly, at Braz­za, on Lons­dale Road, in North Van­cou­ver. Pic­tured, with a fun­ny cof­fee sto­ry ...
 
Old Chinatown · This morn­ing took us down to old Chi­na­town on a shop­ping mis­sion. We don’t live that far away but it’d been a while; I’d for­got­ten its cheer­ful grub­by in­ten­si­ty, and you can get some bar­gain­s. With a Cantonese-food lamen­t ...
 
Vancouver Blogs · This no­tion of re­gion­al blog­ging is start­ing to get trac­tion; right here in Van­cou­ver, which is a pret­ty wired place, we now have three dif­fer­ent pre­tenders to the “Vancouver Ci­ty Blog” throne: Ur­ban Van­cou­ver, The Van­cou­verite, and Metroblog­ging Van­cou­ver, the lat­ter part of the Metroblog­ging em­pire. I’ve sub­scribed be­cause, you know, I live here; maybe this will make me a bit hip­per and cool­er, be­cause they’re al­ways talk­ing about events that I’m not clued-in enough to know about; if we start go­ing to a few, that would be a good sign. A good thing hap­pened al­ready: one of the above linked to stat­ic pho­tog­ra­phy, a very nice and thought­ful lo­cal pho­to­blog, check it out.
 
Vancouver Politics — Good · We’re hav­ing an elec­tion here in Van­cou­ver on Nov. 19th. We have four par­ties in con­tention: the NPA, gen­er­al­ly re­gard­ed as rep­re­sent­ing the in­ter­ests of the West-siders who live in big hous­es, and sym­pa­thet­ic to the provin­cial gov­ern­ment as long as it’s right-wing, which it cur­rent­ly is. Then there’s COPE, usu­al­ly seen as a bunch of old-fashioned Lefties, the Greens, and a new thingie called Vi­sion Van­cou­ver. There are two can­di­dates for may­or, the NPA’s Sam Sul­li­van and Jim Green from Vi­sion. What hap­pened was, we had a pret­ty good may­or called Lar­ry Camp­bel­l, who ran on the COPE tick­et but was nev­er very com­fy with its left­ward fringes. He re­tired and COPE split, spin­ning off Vi­sion; and Jim Green, who was kind of Larry’s side­kick, is run­ning on that tick­et. It’s un­clear whether Vi­sion is any­thing more than a one-time plat­form for Green; but COPE and Vi­sion and the Greens are co-operating, some­what. This is kind of a cheery elec­tion; both Sul­li­van and Green look like pret­ty plau­si­ble can­di­dates for may­or, and they’re be­ing rea­son­ably civ­i­lized about it; their at­tacks on each oth­er seem pret­ty well fact-based. I think we’ll do OK, who­ev­er win­s.
 
Novemberlight · We’ve had bru­tal fall weath­er, re­peat­ed heavy rain & wind warn­ings, have had to shov­el rather than rake the fall­en leaves. But to­day that slant­ing win­ter sun came out and tempt­ed the photographer’s eye. Very Van­cou­ver. [Up­date: the next morn­ing, it’s pour­ing and grey. So if I snarl at you in an email or over the phone or what­ev­er, it’s early-onset Sea­son­al Af­fec­tive Disor­der at work.] ...
 
Extreme Low Tide · A cou­ple of week­ends back, we took a walk on the beach when the tide was way, way out and the sun clear and slant­ing ...
 
Don’t Feed the Bears · Just some pret­ty pic­tures, that’s all folk­s, noth­ing here to think about, move right along. In­clud­ing, along with the ti­tle shot, one AFS, one AFSF, and a plum in a dishrack ...
 
Crane on Hastings · I took this weeks ago and liked the ge­om­e­try, but the pic­ture was still a lit­tle on the bor­ing side. So I aban­doned pho­toin­tegri­ty and jammed the Pho­toShop con­trols all the way over. Which, among oth­er things, cov­ers up the col­lat­er­al dam­age from the War on Drugs ...
 
Summer Things · Ear­ly sum­mer has been so undis­tin­guished­ly grey that I was con­sid­er­ing declar­ing a uni­lat­er­al case of SAD in Ju­ly, but fi­nal­ly we’re see­ing some re­al light and feel­ing some re­al warmth. Here­with some pic­tures of the sum­mer things that peo­ple do ...
 
Harmless Family Fun · First, you have three glass­es of wine with din­ner. Then, you look at some pic­tures that are kind of in­ter­est­ing but not re­al­ly up to scratch. Then, you go berserk with Pho­toShop ...
 
Arms Reach · A friend had an open­ing in a gallery out in Deep Cove and it was my birth­day, so we drove out and went look­ing for din­ner af­ter. At the gallery, the jazz trio (com­bined age well over 200) played old-fashioned clar­inet tunes, so weird­ly slow that the fla­vor was more Twin Peaks than Ben­ny Good­man. Down at the end of the road the Arms Reach Bistro over­looks the cov­e, and I’d rec­om­mend it to any­one who doesn’t mind the trip. With two high-pressure jobs in the fam­i­ly we eat out once or twice most week­s: Ja­pane­se, Malaysian, In­done­sian, Thai, In­di­an, uh, can you spot a pat­tern? Very Van­cou­ver, but we re­al­ized that it had been a long time since we’d dined out à la round-eye. The carpac­cio ap­pe­tiz­er was very good and my chick­en penne with aioli was maybe the best dish I’ve eat­en this year. The room was nice, the view beau­ti­ful, they had a very fine lo­cal Pale Ale on tap, and the bill was rea­son­able. The jazz trio (com­bined age maybe 75) cov­ered Fred­dy Freeload­er with re­al grace, stretch­ing it out and even play­ing gen­tly out­side; what a nice evening.
 
FSS: Chinese New Year · Fri­day Slide Scan #7 is from when­ev­er Chi­nese New Year was in 1984, in Vancouver’s Old Chi­na­town. It is egre­gious­ly Pho­toShopped ...
 
Worst March Ever · I’ve been liv­ing here in­ter­mit­tent­ly since 1983 and I haven’t seen a spring­time like it. Sad ...
 
Melliodendron · What hap­pened was, an un­ex­pect­ed email from Quentin Cronk led us to a feast of flow­er­s, which may spill slight­ly on­to the Net. This gig comes with fringe ben­e­fit­s, you betcha. While over-long, this frag­ment has a pic­ture of a very beau­ti­ful flow­er that al­most nobody’s ev­er seen ...
 
Geometries On Main · My “Home Office” isn’t ac­tu­al­ly at home, it’s over a store near 21st and Main in Van­cou­ver. Main Street is in­ter­est­ing; at heart still pret­ty grungy and low-rent, it’s try­ing to gen­tri­fy. It’s hard to tel­l, look­ing for­ward, whether it’ll re­tain its es­sen­tial grub­bi­ness or van­ish un­der a wave of mall stores and Star­buck­s. For the mo­men­t, it’s vi­su­al­ly fetch­ing ...
 
FSS: Japanese Garden Bridge · Fri­day Slide Scan #2 is from the late Eight­ies; a re­flect­ed bridge in Vancouver’s Ni­tobe Me­mo­ri­al Gar­den ...
 
Michael Klassen · This gen­tle­man has just launched a kind-of-Vancouverish kind-of-Canadian kind-of-pop-cultural on­line pres­ence, which looks pret­ty good so far; a lit­tle more weight on the top left cor­ner of the bl­o­go­sphere can’t hurt.
 
Wintry · Last week, we had one of our rare Van­cou­ver snow­storm­s. But the stuff’s still on the ground ...
 
Vancouver Winterbeach · Week­ends here at 49°N lat­i­tude in the short-day month­s, if the sun shows you re­al­ly need to get out in­to it. We favour the beach, in par­tic­u­lar the Point Grey Fore­shore, which is nice­ly rough and scram­bly and un­crowd­ed. Here­with some win­ter­beach pic­tures ...
 
Floatplane! · A day trip to­day, Van­cou­ver to Vic­to­ria and back; some might not find it self-evident that Vic­to­ria is on Van­cou­ver is­land but Van­cou­ver isn’t. There are a bunch of ways to get there; here­with a lit­tle photo-essay on the best ...
 
The Last Warm Weekend · The fore­cast says rain set­ting in to­mor­row then a few days of mixed grey; which in Van­cou­ver, this time of year, could stretch for weeks. So let’s share some sunny-weekend eye can­dy ...
 
Late Summer · Vancouver’s sum­mer was good but end­ed, more or less, Au­gust 10th, so when on this last week­end the Sun man­i­fest­ed, we felt rec­om­pensed a lit­tle. Here­with some il­lus­trat­ed words on flow­ers that end in -ia, learn­ing about the world, Jeri­cho, har­vest­ing and fish­ing ...
 
Vancouver Candid · The re­cent Start­up Can­did piece re­flect­ed the lovably-scruffy ethos of a com­pa­ny just get­ting off the ground. But it’s not al­ways like that, and I have the pic­tures to prove it ...
 
Hometown Winterlight · This one’s pret­ty well content-free, just some Van­cou­ver pix, and yes, one of ’em def­i­nite­ly has a fla­vor of “put it on a post­card to at­tract the tourists.” That’s OK, we get tons ev­ery year (a mil­lion just to do the cruise-ship thing) and gen­er­al­ly like our vis­i­tors ...
 
The Tiger and the Skateboard Punk · So I said to the ori­en­tal guy, the one with the cru­el mus­tache and spiked hair, “Get me a tiger.” His eyes widened: “A Tiger?” But then “OK.” Out­side, the skate­board ca­reened down­hill, death and the law wait­ing ...
 
Seaweedshadow · Just more beach pix, but I used the number-one tech­nique of pro­fes­sion­al pho­tog­ra­phers and one or two of ’em are sur­pris­ing ...
 
Serious Rain · Last week, we al­most set a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent records for rain­fal­l, and there was se­ri­ous flood­ing not too far from the city. Real Pa­cif­ic rain isn’t like a Mid­west­ern buck­et­ing or a trop­i­cal mon­soon; days-long wa­ter­drum­ming, nev­er vi­o­lent but nev­er stop­ping. On the sec­ond day of this, the lo­cal pa­per dis­tin­guished it­self with the head­line “Drought Of­fi­cial­ly Over” (they weren’t be­ing iron­ic, we re­al­ly did have a drought) ...
 
Decent Week · We end­ed a very nice week very nice­ly at the beach, you don’t re­al­ly ex­pect to en­joy balmy tem­per­a­tures in crys­tal sun­shine late in­to Septem­ber up here, so the beach was busy as the cit­i­zens drank it in. I took a mil­lion pic­tures while I thought about good things that hap­pened this week, many of which are the usu­al “Vancouver nes­tled in the moun­tains in the slant­ing sun” thing, but I didn’t put any of those in here. Ques­tion: what do the chil­dren of ur­ban fish­er­peo­ple do? ...
 
Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown · We moved Antarc­ti­ca from funky fash­ion­able Yale­town to smack in the mid­dle of Vancouver’s down­town core. We got more space, bet­ter space, es­caped our bubble-era lease, saved big buck­s, so the move was a no-brainer. The down­town ex­pe­ri­ence is way dif­fer­en­t; among oth­er things we have front-row seats at a hot flash­point in the cof­fee cul­ture wars. Plus, I fi­nal­ly got a pic­ture that shows how Van­cou­ver re­al­ly look­s ...
 
Water Squatters · Quot­ing Gib­son: ... an eight-hour black­out that end­ed on a con­crete ledge two me­ters above mid­night. False Creek wa­ter. Ci­ty light­s, that same grey bowl of sky small­er now, il­lu­mi­nat­ed by neon and mercury-vapor arc­s. And it was snow­ing, big flakes but not many, and when they touched black wa­ter they were gone, no trace at al­l. Here­with some pic­tures of that same wa­ter and a Gib­so­ni­an kind of thing hap­pen­ing there ...
 
Big, Small, and More · Today’s weath­er went grey but stayed warm and we de­cid­ed on a Sunday-afternoon out­ing to the beach, where a touch of soft rain on­ly sweet­ened the waves’ wel­come. This was balm to the eyes and af­ter a bit the soul. Which was in or­der; it’s been a stress­ful week­end on the pro­fes­sion­al front and the sturm und drang seems to have mo­men­tum, so per­haps I can share a bit of that balm with the world via a tiny photo-essay. (Plus a prac­ti­cal undiscovered-Vancouver hin­t.) ...
 
Show Biz Kids · On Thurs­day a strange­ly sur­re­al evening; the kid had his first-ever pub­lic per­for­mance; a thou­sand peo­ple came, ter­abytes were burn­t, and the evening pro­gressed through sushi to Stephen King in the twi­light, and now I can't get this Steely Dan tune out of my head ...
 
Alleys and Lanes and Their People · Here in the Western part of Canada, the blocks in res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hoods are laid out with a lane be­tween each two street­s. From whence notes on words’ se­man­tic spread, and on those los­ing the fight against their cities ...
 
I, Robot · So I'm on the plane for many hours, Or­lan­do to Van­cou­ver, mid­dle seat in econ­o­my class (didn't trav­el much last year, lost all my spe­cial sta­tus), hot, cramped, hun­gry. Hooray, we're here! As you walk out of the cus­toms hall at Van­cou­ver air­port, there's this place where all the drivers stand hold­ing up lit­tle signs say­ing Mr. Jones, Ms. Chang, and so on. To­day one of them said I, Robot. Follow-up: Room­ba, and you too can be a cinéaste ...
 
A Perfect Spring Afternoon · A gold­en af­ter­noon here, some of it cap­tured pho­to­graph­i­cal­ly by de­feat­ing the wiles of my camera-nemesis. The first in the col­lec­tion be­low is, I claim, the sin­gle canon­i­cal, defini­tive pic­ture of Spring in Canada. A cou­ple of 'em are well worth the click to en­large ...
 
Drive 46 · “Forty-six days it's been raining.” said Shan­non when she came to work this morn­ing; that sun­ny day was just a teas­er I guess. Let's as­sume that who­ev­er wrote this was right about that promise in the last verse. But the car is dry in­side and the mu­sic is on ...
 
On Drugs · Van­cou­ver, where I live, has one of the world's worst street-drugs prob­lem­s. I vis­it­ed Zürich sev­er­al times dur­ing the fa­mous “Needle Park” days, and grew up in Le­banon, where much of the ru­ral econ­o­my was hashish-fueled, and went to uni­ver­si­ty in the Seven­ties (and we all know about that decade), and now here I am in Van­cou­ver, fa­mous not on­ly for that street scene but for ex­port­ing mega-quantities of “BC Bud” to our south­ern neigh­bor. Drugs seem to have been fol­low­ing me around. You might want to read this even if you're not from Van­cou­ver, be­cause we just might be the fu­ture, and you could be deal­ing with it in your own town pret­ty soon ...
 
What the Rain Leaves Behind · It's been rain­ing re­al­ly a tremen­dous amount re­cent­ly, if we didn't like it we wouldn't live here, right? A cou­ple of after-the-rain pho­to­s ...
 
Rain · Warn­ing to the rest of the con­ti­nen­t: the Pa­cif­ic North­west, fol­low­ing what seems like sev­en con­sec­u­tive weeks of rain, will short­ly be dis­solv­ing and slid­ing be­neath the briny waves of the ocean ...
 
Towerhang Raintinsel Elevatorsaint · Walk­ing from one meet­ing to an­oth­er through Yale­town, a nice part of Van­cou­ver, the city kept throw­ing these weird rain­soaked scenes at me, or maybe it's just that I'm semilu­cid in the grip of a se­vere cold and suf­fer­ing from a vi­ral­ly al­tered state of con­scious­ness ...
 
February Commute, with Sunset · My com­mute route is via a bridge that I once cy­cled over in a snow­storm. This af­ter­noon on the way home the sun was set­ting.
 
February Beach Walk · Van­cou­ver has a nice stretch of un­de­vel­oped beach called the Point Grey Fore­shore, went for a mid­win­ter ex­cur­sion down there. This is the rea­son that peo­ple want to live here ...
 
YVR Geometry · Was killing time in YVR (Vancouver's air­port, reg­u­lar­ly se­lect­ed by trav­el mag­a­zines as the world's best, don't know if I'd go that far but it's OK), get­ting my shoes shined in fac­t, and I no­ticed the grace­ful ge­ome­tries hov­er­ing un­der the ceil­ing ...
 
Bicycling Over the Ocean in a Snowstorm · I am for­tu­nate in that I am able to bi­cy­cle to work. Vancouver's weath­er, while of­ten rainy, rarely gets in the way of a rea­son­ably de­ter­mined cy­clist ...
 
Buddhist Hardware · Bud­dhist Hard­ware I was in Home De­pot, which is an in­tense kind of place. Peo­ple look at the shelves in­tense­ly, they talk to each oth­er in­tense­ly, and they talk to the or­ange aprons re­al­ly in­tense­ly, with di­rect eye con­tac­t ...
 
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