For you, the dress code is casual.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fraser River Images

HEY, I TOOK PICTURES! Holy shit! A lot of them! And a bunch were good! Shazam.

I've been dying to hit the river since the fog rolled in a few days ago and picked the perfect timing 'cos I got a schwack of different fog densities, thus a whole range of moods. It feels nice to know I got some nice shots for a change.

This is just a few of the 80 or so I took. There's still some pictures to sort through, too.

I cycled 26 km along the river, which was awesome. I was dying by the end, but got it done. I was freezing, couldn't feel my toes, and was completely spent. My back, however, felt fine. Everything else? I can handle it!

It was SO worth it. I've ALWAYS wanted to do this foggy bike ride and never got around to it until now. I've lived here 9 years! It was great! Was completely frozen when I got home, but fucking thrilled I went.

So... along the Fraser River, South Vancouver.

I've lived here almost a decade and never tire of the tugboats:

You really think I should stop? You sure it's necessary? Bright guys.

Yet another unprotected piece of our industrial heritage on the Fraser, ready to fall down any day now:

Dude, I love the fog for the mood it lends. A little sunshine for conflicting emotions? Gold.

Pilings! We loves pilings. I'm always taking photos of pilings.

Nothing special, but it's pretty enough.

Looks a bit washed out, but another moody pier shot:

Fishing boats. Awesome ones.

Same stretch:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oh, Morning, You Fickle Wench, You!

First off, hearing aids are fine, better than ever. They were able to clean out the mic/receiver and all is good. Holy stunning change of luck, Batman!

But then this morning my scoot sputtered out on the way to work. I got it back home. Have had another coffee. Have to cancel my appointment after work. WHATEVER. Not the end of the world. I have a bus pass, and I also know this is a pre-existing condition I've already bought the parts for, it just needs some fixing.

It'll all sort out. Interesting morning thus far, though. Quel entertaining. It is what it is. I'm filing it under "better to live an interesting life than the otherwise".

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Seriously? At 4am? Thanks for that.

So I fall asleep on the couch, get four or five hours sleep, wake up, go to bed, can't sleep, get back up, go to start watching a movie at 4am, put my hearing aids on, and one's broken.

Fabulous. That's always good 4am news.

So, again with the "Heh, heh, by the way, the suckage continues" week that keeps on rolling. But it's taken all of 18 minutes for me to put a positive spin on spending $250 that could really go out on better things right now.

I've been meaning for some time now to talk to a non-profit here in town about getting new hearing aids. This will spur me into action. I never should have bought these hearing aids. I should have bought behind-the-ear ones. I am confident in the fact that, because these are not nearly as good for my particular brand and intensity of hearing loss, this has majorly cut into my desire to be social. I find myself wondering often if I could hear better, would I be better at my wittiness in conversation, therefore more comfortable in crowds again?

I mean, THIS is the year to find out. I've had these for five years now. New ones are $5,000. So, I'm thinking outside the box on how I can attain some.

I recommended my brother try to get government help with new hearing aids last year, and he got new ones for free as a result. I suspect my argument is good, that I literally require them for my job of closed captioning. And I'm broke off my ass in the grand scheme of things right now, too. We'll see. I hear it's a recession, so.

But either way, at least it'll be fixed. It's been going for a month or so now. I can't say this is a big surprise. You just want to believe, though, that what you fear's coming isn't really on the way. Bah. It was.

However, if I wind up getting free hearing aids and this $250 expenditure was the catalyst that made that happen, then it's safe to say by years' end this $250 will have become some of the best money I've ever spent. And that's how I'm going to try to look at this right now.

Hey, I might even succeed!


Tuesday, January 06, 2009


My father's in the hospital again, has been since last Thursday, will be for a couple weeks. It's lame. He should survive, we hope. Big scare yesterday that turned out to be pneumonia. Sigh.

That's my reality, but I don't want to write about it right now, I've already done that on the other blog, since this blog's one my dad reads when he's well. So I'm keeping that writing over there.

Meanwhile: It's pouring rain.

The snow that has been on the ground since Dec. 13th is now melting. We'll have floods by the time the day is through. I'm leaving early to go buy very much needed boots before The Great Melt goes haywire.

I figure I'm 6 to 8 weeks away from true travel freedom again. I feel like I have been imprisoned at home since September, thanks to back injuries followed by hard rehab/coping and then the hell of snow.

For those who DON'T know, more snow has fallen in THREE WEEKS than Vancouver gets in TWO YEARS. And, usually in Vancouver, our snow melts in a day. This more-snow-on-more-snow-on-more-snow thing is FUCKED UP. Weird.

And as someone who's been trying to rehab a back injury and having trouble getting around, and I'm only 35, I've been fucking LIVID at the city of Vancouver. Way to fail to enforce clearing laws. Way to fail to prevent chaos, city. Way to not be on top of a goddamned thing.

If this happens in the Olympics? We'll be fucked! We'll be the laughingstocks of the world! A guy from Toronto was on the news last night looking around the city and he goes, "If this happened in Toronto, there'd be riots in the street."

YES. But here? We bend over and take it.

Sunday I visited my father in the hospital in Surrey. WHOOPS. Took me FIVE HOURS TO GET HOME IN THE SNOW. Yeah, I was pissed. It's 25-30 kilometres!!! Here's how THAT unfolded:

Surrey to New West, got off the skytrain, after waiting for 10-15 minutes for a bus parked across the station, the driver comes over to say, "No chance buses are getting out of 22nd Street, so--" and I was told to go to Joyce Station and bus across town from there.

I get to Joyce, get off, there's 150+ people in line for a bus. There's no evidence they're even running.

Back on the skytrain. We pass Nanaimo -- buses are stuck and abandoned all the way up the hill.

Get off at Broadway. Finally get onto the BLine bus, where there's about 150 people waiting but I luck out again. It's now been nearly 2 hours, and I should be home.

Half-way across the city, it spins out and banks into snow, stuck. We're all kicked off. "Another bus will come, the driver says."

"Not fucking likely," I think. Pushing three hours into my travels, armed with 20+ pounds groceries, I begin the long trek to where there's only one bus that might get me to the south side of Vancouver, the OTHER B-Line. It's a 25-30 block walk.

Not a single bus passed me. Nor, more importantly, a single plow.

Finally, I get there, and there's more than 200 people waiting. Worse? The Granville Street rise, up from the bridge (out of downtown) is littered with buses who have failed to make the grade. No fewer than a pile-up of 10 buses made that ascent hell.

Here's where you need to understand the geography of Vancouver to understand the unique physiology of Hell that happens when snow falls: Downtown is basically an island you have to travel one of five bridges (or take ONE ground route to), but every single route then leads to a hill. Once you're out of downtown, you pretty much get into the Avenues that cross the city east/west. From First to 41st, it's all ascent. First to Broadway is REALLY steep, then it settles, then after 16th the real fun begins. But when it's snow, you have to get up 41 blocks of snow.

You throw Pacific moisture into that mix, and the right conditions, this city shuts completely down.

After you hit 41st, you'd think you were clear, right? Wrong, because then it goes downhill for another 30 blocks. If you live somewhere on that side of town, like I do, then when snow falls, you're in about the worst part of Vancouver you can live in, because to believe in buses reaching your house is sort of like saying you believe in Santa.

Anyhow. I was now at the one bus stop that might-- MIGHT-- get me home. I looked around at the 200+ people waiting, and I took a few minutes to talk to people. They'd all been standing there for forever.

"Fuck it," I thought, and for the first time in my life, I stuck out my thumb.

30 seconds later, an Egyptian man pulled over to pick me up. He shouted his destination and three others leapt at the chance.

A drive that can be 10 minutes on a good night became 100 minutes.

Along the way, we saw cars abandoned, whole groups of people trying to pull cars out of banks, or push them uphill. Every single hill had buses out of commission. One street had a bus that gloriously managed to not only spin out and get stuck, but managed to veer out of control and block FOUR lanes of traffic on one of the city's largest thoroughfares.

Thank god Mr. Samaritan had an SUV. I left Surrey at 3:45. I got home at 9:01pm.

Yeah, flood? I can handle flood. Fuck snow.