For you, the dress code is casual.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Some Pictures from Today

I left work early to snap a few shots on what's probably the last real day of summer, albeit the forecast is nice tomorrow, too. But that's October. Today's September. :)

This tree is right as you exit the girl's washroom on Queen Elizabeth Park/Little Mountain. And I've always, always, always loved it, and I've shot it before, but something worked today.

I left before sunset, but the sky's changing hue ever so slightly, and I loved the moody look on the horizon from Little Mountain/QE Park.

[Non-locals: QE Park is an old, old park on a little mountain (hence why locals call it Little Mountain... since all the mountains off to the right are 4,000 feet or so and this one's paltry, but offers some of the best sunset views of the city, which is to the right and out of view, with about 2 million people around.]

This one's closer to home, where I live on the Fraser River. I love it when clouds part ever so slightly and light dances on water.

My scooter, not-so-hidden on a not-so-off-the-beaten-path, parked for convenience out of the troublesome eye of parking enforcement, looking fantastic with all those fall colours.

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I'm older and allegedly wiser after having had my 35th birthday yesterday.

I at once confirmed yet resisted the "wiser" thing by sacrificing yet another hour's pay to better enjoy this, the last real day of summer.

And I'm fucking thrilled I did.

I'll post a few pictures sometime this week. Nothing spectacular, but hey.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Smattering

My scooter is HAPPY for the first time in a long time. Let's hope it stays that way.

By long time, I think I mean about two years. I'm so goddamned relieved. You don't know how unpleasant it is to know every time you're on your scooter that someone's going to get pissed you're going so slow. In a world of road rage, that's not fun.

Now I have power again and all the old speed. With power comes safety, because I can react faster and better to dangerous situations. Fantastic.

So. Much. Relief. About. That.

It's been harrowing at times. It's been summer, so I've opted to cycle a lot partly for that reason. I have not been "leisure riding" my scooter at all this year. It's been too dangerous, really, at times. Not any more!

My favourite aunt is visiting me this weekend. A birthday thing, I guess? :)

Whatever, just seeing her will be nice. And my uncle, of course!


And I couldn't help but share this incredibly tasteless but funny line from the Huffington Post in a great piece that writes of a trend in the NYT's crossword of having "Obama" as an answer to questions.
But how is it that "John McCain" has never found it's way into a Times puzzle even once? "McCain" looks right at home inside tiny boxes! Fred Thompson tells me McCain spent five and a half years in a tiny box!
Heh, heh. Of course I would find that funny. I'm both tasteless and funny myself.

But I wear it well.


Today I feel like the clouds parted on what's been a tough couple of months. It never really got me down, though. I was tired, I was annoyed, I was even exasperated, but I was never depressed. So, this is good.

And now it seems like everything has suddenly started getting simpler as of yesterday. Can't explain it. Just did. Does.

Take it when you can get it, man, 'cause you ain't gonna get it often, right?

I suspect my sleep will be sound tonight.

Except for the small matter of traffic court early in the morning. But hey. Fingers crossed the karmic payout continues for another day or month or so. :)

Fucking McPalin. WHAT?

As an outsider, the American election is becoming almost comical . Like what the fuck is in the water McCain's drinking?

He's SUSPENDING his campaign? Now Palin will, too? WHAT?

Yeah, the war hero's running from a fight. That's what this looks like. Come on, dude, learn to multitask.

Add into that the speculation that his left eye's doing something wonky, he's blowing words and saying the wrong thing too often, and was planning to soup up for the debate by taking naps, and things go from not so comical to downright alarming. Is this guy 80? No, just 73. And a four-time survivor of cancer. Right.

It's especially alarming the more we hear Palin speak.

I mean, the more she says, the stupider and less informed the woman says. She can't answer questions, she doesn't know how to "wing it", and she sounds like an intellectually-challenged parrot with zero insight and nothing to contribute to any debates.

Which is probably why they're already trying to delay her debate.

Unbelievable. PANIES MUCH, you Republican bitches? Come on! MAN UP. Fight your fights! An election is for DECIDING issues, not RUNNING from them. COWARDS.

I think it's very unlikely McCain's going to back down from his position here. And what I think will happen is, Obama's going to get himself a couple hours of free airtime on Friday night. On CNN. His polls will go up at least another 3-6% I bet.

He's going to show up, no McCain will be there (unless he gets whipped by public opinion), and Obama will get to take the questions unfettered by an opponent, and they might give regular joes a chance to ask unscripted questions. I mean, CNN has airtime to fill, dudes, and giving it to the guy they probably think DESERVES to be president at this point probably warms the network's heart a little.

We'll see. That's how I think it'll play out.

I mean, half of me keeps wanting to crack up, this is just so surreal and laughable. But these are people's LIVES these fucking AMATEURS, McPalin, are toying with. This JOKE of a woman could be running the free world. McCain's seeming like the curmudgeonly old grandpa everyone humours for being an annoying asshole because they know he's only on borrowed time, right?

Thing thing's wrong in just so many ways.

And the world deserves better. At least BUSH finished his campaign. At least BUSH didn't run from fights. At least BUSH was marginally more ethical with ads.

When you're looking like a fucking hack next to George Bush, things are just a little worrisome.

I said in JANUARY I was starting to hate McCain. I thought he'd changed back then, and I felt badly for saying so because I'd always liked him.

I just had no idea I'd be this validated for hating the guy. Because the more time that passes, the more I'm aware of how much I really, really do hate him.

A lot. Muchos.

God help us all.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More on Politics: Rezko versus Keating

McCain's made a big mistake bringing up Obama's nebulous ties to the Rezko scandal. They've released this ad this week, and I think it could be their big undoing.

Because McCain's scandal-skeletons are big. And they're tied into the economy.

And the Obama campaign went on the record when the primaries ended, sometime around June or July, when the McCain camp brought up the Rezko thing and said, more or less, "He wants to bring that up? Go for it. We'll bring up the Keating Five incident. It's his call."

McCain's an arrogant fuck if he doesn't think the Keating Five thing can break this campaign wide open. A scandal about the deregulation of the S&Ls and his role in it? Hmm. Yeah, the timing on that, with only five weeks to recover, could cripple the fucker.

And since he's just given the Obama campaign the green light to bring it up... three days before a newly looser-structured debate goes to air?

I'd be somewhat surprised if Obama lobbed a hardball like that in the debate, but I'd also be pretty happy if he did. I think the gloves can, and should, come off. More importantly, the way that McCain bristled on The View as he faced their allegations of flat-out lying means that pushing him into a corner where he needs to speak the truth on the Keating Five Scandal may just leave him looking like the weasel he is.

McCain isn't fighting fair. It's as dirty a campaign as any national one we've seen. Karl Rove thinks they've overstepped the bounds, for God's sake. I think the Obama campaign would be absolutely right in the using of this issue to cripple McCain's attempt to look like a golden boy here.

One of Obama's campaign strategists spoke of the Keating Five affair and said that, as it's "relevant" to people's choice-making, they're not sure how the topic can remain unmentioned.

And given the dire happenstance in the economy, it should not remain unmentioned.

Methinks the biggest October surprise might not be that big of a surprise after all. Yay.

Jesus Christ, these next 45 days are going to be the most tortuous ever. When will it end? Right, November. Thank god.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hey, Look, It's a Bail-out!

Okay, quickie political rant here!

Ironing my shirt, listening to the partisan bullshit on CNN about the whole 700-billion-bailout thingie. Apparently the Democrats are being evil by demanding safeguards in the bailout package.

Here's the thing: Bush comes out, says, "DIRE TIMES! FEED WALL STREET MONEY, OR WE ALL GO BOOM!"

Now, I'm no dummy. I'm watching the economic system come apart at the seams, which I've been expecting to happen for ten years now. I studied history, I know the Depression happened because of rampant speculation, stock-buying on credit, and no regulatory powers really overseeing things. The more our economy began mirroring those times, the more I thought we had a date with dire happenings.

I am NOT surprised to see this shit coming down the pipe.

I am, however, highly dubious of Bush and the fuckwits he's put in charge having blank-cheque powers over $700 billion earmarked to save fuckwits who didn't even understand the ramifications of the system they were creating by way of credit-buying and bad-loan-giving. I mean, hello?

I mean, Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac have been bailed out, and their bigwigs REWARDED with sexy severence packages after the taxpayers of the US have been gouged, what, $250 billion for that package? Hello? I think I saw one estimate that one of the bigwigs was making roughly, as it worked out, $17,000 an HOUR?

When *I* fuck up at work, I don't get raises. I get shame and guilt, like ANY FUCK-UP DESERVES.

Democrats demanding that no severence packages are paid, and that shareholders are not reimbursed, with these packages are NOT excessive demands.

It is pragmatism in a time that demands nothing less than the most exacting pragmatism and the greatest penny-pinching. We are in unprecedented times, times that are spreading globally.

We took George Bush's word once. It led us to Iraq. The weapons of mass destruction we were vowed were the cause of the invasion? Never existed.

When the boy who cries wolf cries "wolf" again, it's not unexpected that we should be wanting to take a look around before loading the guns.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quickie Thoughts of a Year Ago

A year ago today I was a week away from returning to my old job, and hanging on by the thinnest of threads.

Jesus Christ, did I hate that job. I was so negative and toxic by the time I left there that it took me until January to stop being a complainer. It was horrible. I'm still negative more than I'd like to be, but holy shit did that job condition me into a bad place.

Some environments should come with biohazard labels: "Taking this job will be a disaster for you emotionally. Run like the wind. Don't let the door hit you. Enter with extreme caution!"

Leaving's the best thing you can do sometimes. Funny people are so scared to do it.

It's been a good year. A lot has happened. I'm enjoying this bit of reflection this morning.

I'm almost off to cycle to work. Now that I'm getting back on page fit-wise, I expect that food will soon follow. I kinda work like that.

I'm about to make more changes in my life as I continue this "Steff in Progress" year of mine -- working on social life and finishing getting all the things I "need" so that I can one day start thinking instead of things I "want". 'Cause "wants" have been a long way off.

I've had a lot of financial catching up to do, and I'm still not done. BOY, does it blow. But I'm broke all the time because I'm making the right priorities. It sucks, but that's life. Progress is constantly had, so there's that. Could be worse. :)

But soon I'll have caught up and I'll have some spending money so I can have a life again. I miss having a life. I remember what it was like. Ha. Oh well.

But it's been a good year. The next year, my 35th year, is going to fucking rock. I like this know-thyself journey toward middle age. Beats the shit out being Young and Wrong.

I have a bike that needs riding. And what a day for it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On Housecleaning and Politics

I should be outside enjoying the sun but I'm deep in my cleaning frenzy. I keep taking breaks to watch movies in between, bits here and there, but I'm doing the whole place as best I can, after having seen my first bugs that have moved in as a result of the guy who lived on the first floor who turned out to be a dumpster diver carting garbage home to his apartment all the time.

Like, a really dirty, dirty dumpster diver. They carted off huge container bins full of trash after he was evicted. The place is empty going on the second month now. It's been fumigated, but not the rest of the building.

Therein lies the problem. So I've seen about five or six bugs this weekend, and I usually go weeks or even months between viewings. Other apartments report cockroaches. I'm concerned. Every day is another day the bugs have motive and opportunity, so instead of putting this off for a week until the rain's due to come, I'm attacking. And how!

I've gone through an entire bottle of Lysol. I've hand-washed every dish I own and scrubbed out every single cupboard before putting them back. Like, so thorough. You have no idea.

After I get paid I'll be picking up some caulking and some of the bio-friendly safe-for-humans Raid and pulling everything out again, spraying, and caulking perimeters. Yes, overkill perhaps, but "overkill" sounds like a good success percentage for me when it comes to the insect world. I'll be my own private bug gas chamber if it means I get rid of them.

If my building won't protect me, then I will.

I've done some decent writing this weekend, too, which is good. A variety. That's important. Feels good.

I'll cycle the rest of the month. It's not the end of the world. Just the end of a season. I played outside a lot this year.

I'm cleaning deeper, better, than it was done when I paid two ladies more than $250 for housecleaning one day last year. So, it's a pretty accomplished weekend, even if I'm sacrificing some sun.

I had been keeping my place clean in late June/July, then I got sick for three weeks, exercised a lot one week, got insomnia for two weeks, worked a lot the next week... so things were a little out of control, and it feels nice to be controlling my universe again.

I have several hours more work as I finish the rest of the apartment, but I'll have weeks to enjoy the rewards of my labours.

And fall's here almost. I've had plenty of time outdoors this year, the idea of fall's appealing to me for the first time ever. It's nice.


Karl Rove's calling McCain's ads over the line. That's pretty fucking shocking. Love that.

Palin terrifies me more every single day. She's continuing to say her lies. She's perfected the answer-by-not-answering technique that exemplifies Donald Rumsfeld and his ilk.

Obama's beginning to fight back. Toeing the line between justified angst and egregious rage is a tough one. I think he'll pull it off.

The thing that reassures me at night is this: The polls cannot, will not, and do not account for the new voters who will emerge as this campaign continues, nor does it account for those who have already turned out in record numbers since the amazing Iowa Primary. They do not, as far as I know, call those without landlines. What are the percentage of cellular users who vote Democrat? Who knows.

And, ultimately, the Swift Boat politicking might just wear thin if it perpetuates for the next 55 days. McCain and Palin are skating on thin ice. If there's anything playing to Obama's favour in the weeks to come, it's his incredible consistency on the majority of his issues, the consistency in his solid fighting and his ethical approach.

But, most importantly: The debates are yet to come.

If there's anywhere a massive favour extends to Obama-Biden, it's in verbal sparring.

Watching the match between Biden and Palin should be better than sex. Dude's gonna clean the floor with her, man. Talk about your wax jobs.

NB: I started this post a few hours ago, I'm about 45 minutes from completely done with the best cleaning job I've done in a couple years. Yay. :)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Back to the Polls Again

Here in Canada, our Prime Minister can call an election at the fuckin' drop of a hat. Five weeks from now, we're at the polls.

The trouble is, the Conservatives are in power. I hate their leader. Fiscally, things have improved for the most part because the economic hell down south has been slow to catch up here. Things are changing, and I suspect that's imminent.

But the leader of the Conservatives, Stephen Harper, our Prime Minister, is a fucking piece of work. Loves George Bush.

Here's what was said in the Globe and Mail about Harper today, by Gerald Caplan, who was an NDP campaign manager a world ago:
Mr. Harper, as we keep being reminded, is very, very smart. He smartly learned the twin lessons of politics a la Karl Rove south of the border, where he'd really rather be. Those two lessons are be as dirty as you need to be and never to stop.

Mr. Harper has taken the low road to new depths in the past few years. He's the man who allowed his staff to accuse Paul Martin of being soft on child porn. He's the man who accused Mr. Dion of caring more for Taliban prisoners than Canadian soldiers. He's the one who's suggested that those who disagree with his Afghanistan policy are "traitors." This is the man who smeared a Liberal MP by insinuating his family was linked to terrorism.

Mr. Harper, like Richard Nixon and George W. Bush, harbours deep, unfathomable resentments that lead him to lash out in ways that are far beyond the usual Canadian standards of dirty play. This barely-constrained fury leads him to believe he's justified in saying anything to mortally wound his enemies - and in his eyes, he has enemies, not opponents.

He is indeed smart. Brilliant at toeing the line. Hence he's still in power. Not good.

I mean, when the Conservatives first won, they didn't win a single seat in any large Canadian city. Every gain they made was in rural regions. Nothing in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa. Nada.

In the hicks? Sho 'nuff.

NOT looking forward to our election. If they win, then things go south, you're damned right they'll stay in office the full five years, if they can, whereas they have three years left of the present term.

Sometimes our political system pisses me off.

Monday, September 08, 2008

So HOW Was My Monday, You Ask?

Let's see. Fell asleep at 10 Sunday night, awoke at 6am on the dot without an alarm.

Got up, washed all my dishes, semi-cleaned my kitchen, took out all the recycling and garbage, washed and folded two loads of laundry, caught up on all my written news, wrote a 750+ word product review loaded with hyperlinks that kept screwing up, had a nice breakfast and an hour-long break, all by 10:00 am.

Cycled to work.

Beat fastest time ever by 2 minutes.

Got all my work done and a start on tomorrow but still shorted my shift by 30 minutes.

Cycled home.

Beat my fastest time ever by almost 4 minutes.

In short?

My Monday?


How was yours?

If you need me, I'll be over there... dead. :) But in a good way...

At One With The Fear

The clouds have burned off, it's 10:35, and in 10 minutes I'll rush off to work on a Monday morning after a busy weekend.

You'd think I'd have had a slack and lazy morning leaving at this time, but you'd be wrong. I've been up since six. I've done two loads of laundry, washed my mountain of dishes from my "cooking night" on Saturday, tidied up most of my kitchen (still needs work), deep-conditioned my hair, and wrote a product review for the other blog that might net me some sales commissions.

All in all, it's been a productive four hours. Hell, I even stretched for 30 minutes.

Now I'm about to cycle to work, which might prove to be a bit much, but since I'm taking my lunch to work I can afford a big fucking coffee (since someone hasn't given me any coupons for drinks for a while, nudge nudge).

It's already been a long day and I've 90 minutes of cardio and seven hours work ahead of me.

But I had eight hours sleep, and I've taken my vitamins. I shall rock this. (And that's what I'll keep telling myself!)

Tomorrow I am SO sleeping in.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Yay, Clean Offices and Bike Rides

It's Friday. Do you know where your mind is? Mine's still asleep, in bed, pissed at my body for crawling away from it before 7am. I got up at 6:15. What's WRONG with me?

You poor bastards, you NEED to get up early. Me, I wander in when I want, thanks to my skookum arrangement at work.

However... daylight is a tricky fickle bitch, and if I aim to ride my bike over the next few months, my schedule needs to bend to Mother Nature's. And today's day one of the bending.

Last night I rode home and had a blast. Today will be a second day in a row, which'll be the first time in a while I've done back to back rides.

The rest of the month is supposed to be sunny, so I aim to try and go hard, and spend it the right way. Must get back into my rhythm of success here!


In other news, I almost want to weep with glee:

Work has had cleaners arranged to come in this morning. For the first time in NINE weeks!

It's been SO FUCKING FILTHY I've been getting acne! I look like I'm 17! Holy fucking breakout. Jesus.

But when there's that much construction disruption, why waste cash on cleaners, right? So, I get it. But I'm GRATEFUL it will be clean. Hell, I'm ECSTATIC.

A great way to end a tough work week, I tell ya. And the bike ride helps.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Hi, I'll Be Your Blogger,
the Labour Day Week Edition

Irony, and then some.

Goes to show you, never dismiss a negative as being no opportunity for positive, huh?

What a strange little world.

It's a four-day week, and it feels longer. Ha! At least the office is coming together. I feel like the hell we've had has been a nice little bonding experiment in some ways. Nothing like something to endure as a team, huh?

But it's nice to see it coming together.

Tomorrow I'm going to do a much-needed steaming-blowing-off by way of cycling to work for, what, only the third time since July 17th?

That's when I got bronchitis. Then I took three weeks to get over that, and then cycled to work twice the next week (so, second week of August). THEN I had insomnia two weeks and just didn't have the fuel in me to make it happen.

Now summer's about over, but I figure I can keep it going a little more...

I've cycled a few non-work trips, but not a hell of a lot. I just want a last final two or three-week hard push at work, see what happens, then get back to yoga and stairs.

I'll get some scooter rally pictures up in the next few days. Great stuff. If you're a scooter geek, that is.

Here's a couple. Click on the scooter pic for a MASSIVE 2000-pixels-wide image for cool resolution. :)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I hate construction.
I hate filth.
I hate chaos.
I hate having a lack of control.
I hate feeling like I have to be reactionary towards my surroundings.
I hate disruption.
I hate being around people who ooze stress (because that's sometimes all you can do... that's why they call it "stressful").

I'm so fucking glad the floors are finished at work. And I'm so glad that I will probably never have another day like today at the company. (It's why we went with tile in the first place. "Never again," the new company motto, I suspect.)

And I'm very glad we all dealt with it like fucking champions. After, what, 10 weeks or so of being strung along by duplicitous guys who hand out excuses like a politician doles out handshakes?

And now I'm going to bed.

Yawn. Yawn, I say.


Just saw this on the way to bed and think it's fucking brilliant. What better way to win a campaign than with advertisements designed for the people by the people?

Obama's campaign just keeps getting smarter and smarter. Let's see what the Tired White Part-- err, Republicans-- make of this one:
OhBoyObama! is a new website that allows you to submit your ideas for the campaign and vote on ideas submitted by other Obama supporters. It's like Digg for campaign strategy - the best ideas get voted to the top.

Just go to , register as a new user, and start voting or submit your own idea, called a "scoop." Be sure to bookmark the site so you can check it regularly for new content. We can't wait to see what you guys come up with!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Stupid Palin, and a Status Report on Me

Oh, I take it back. Maybe Hillary Clinton won't have to be the attack dog against Sarah Palin.

The media's doing just fine.

Did you see this? Holy shit, Batman.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure almost $27 million in federal earmarks for a town of 6,700 residents while she was its mayor, according to an analysis by an independent government watchdog group.

Oh, but keep reading. It just gets better.


Me: Tired as hell! Spent a good chunk of the weekend playing with the scooter crowd. They're fun, always are. Annual Vancouver rally. It was awesome fun.

Tiring, too. Helped someone move today, all stiff. But okay.

Bought a cool new cell phone that has this wicked-ass clamshell design with visuals. The Motorokr U9. Oh, got it for free, actually, since I had $95 credit and opted to lock my four-year-old unlimited free eve/wknd, incoming texts/calls package ($25/mo) in for another 3 years. Phone's got a camera, got 4 gigs space for music (I can go to 8 when I've got the cash...), and all that schwag. The music aspect, though, it's supposed to be one of the best music phones and the sound quality's just awesome, even for calls.

I'm sick of carrying X amount of shit. I want a new iPod, and even need one PRONTO, but I can't afford the big-ass 80 gig one, and it's what I want next. This is a great temporary fix and it's light and easy to carry. Temp and light and easy is good.

It's a beautiful phone. Sleek and light and fantastic display both inside and on the clamshell. (The clamshell top acts as a black video screen... cool images play on there, messages, who's calling, the time, moving graphics, and more. It's sexy as hell.)

Also bought a new land phone, after having CRAP ones the last three years I've finally thrown down a paltry $30 for a DECT (6.0 mghz) phone that's designed beautifully as well. Looking forward to that.

I guess my theme for September is getting social and communicative again. It's already off to a good start. This is nice, though. My cell's about as expensive as a plain MP3 phone gets, and I think I'm going to love it! Yay.

Aside from that, I need to clean my place, catch up on sleep, and start cycling to work as of Weds. (Moving today, dancing yesterday, I'm good for my weekend!)

My whole body hurts. Wah.