Thursday, February 28, 2008 is Down

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Analytics, Stories, and the Dark Side of Earth

First and foremost, I'd like to give a friendly shoutout to all my readers. I was checking my google analytics this morning and I'm amazed at how many of you there are, (and how many of you are craftily avoiding the commenting system) it was a pleasant surprise, and I'm glad I decided to return to a regular blogging regime and that people are enjoying my tales.

Secondly - once more, those of you that haven't delved into the deep dark dinosaur-like depths of my sidebar, please feel welcome! I must in particular draw your attention to Ashton X, which may soon begin drawing to a close. If you haven't jumped on the proverbial large wooden literary bandwagon, I encourage you to hop over and spend a good half hour perusing the entries, start at the beginning mind you, I'd hate you to spoil things for yourself.
I mention this in particular now because Luke Van Troubadier III (the author) has said he feels himself that things may soon tie up, (if I'm wrong on that I guess I'll find out soon enough) but it's been quite a ride so far, and like so many addictive weekly installments of a certain TV series, I find the anticipation waiting for the next is almost as much fun as reading the entries themselves.

Finally, (and admittedly this is a short entry because once again I'm rather busy with... things.) tomorrow night something rather spectacular will take place around the globe. Yes, at 7:00pm we'll witness the first of four celestial eclipses to take place in 2008. This time it's a lunar eclipse, admittedly not as spectacular in my opinion as a solar eclipse, but who's complaining - it's still just darn cool. Apparently people in Canada, East Asia, the Pacific, North and Central America and Alaska will see this occurrence, so perhaps my claim of 'global' is a little excessive. Nevertheless if you're in a region you think will be able to catch a glimpse of the moon itself sliding into Earth's Umbral shadow, check out what time each phase is scheduled & get the lowdown on the whole shebang here.
Yes I'm a geek, I also have numerous granola bars in my cupboard...

Until next week, stay funky-fresh people!

Jimzip :D

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sweden, Roomies and Valentines Day

Ah, Valentine's Day. The scent of roses fills the air, happiness floods through the streets like an obtrusive teenager's stereo system floods his parents' house with heavy rock music - nobody can ignore it, and retail store owners everywhere grin sneakily as people flock to their shops looking for a last-minute gift to please their sweetheart with.
I am so glad I'm single right now.
Don't get me wrong. I love the idea of Valentine's Day (despite the fact that I knew a guy named Valentine who was, to say the least, most unpleasant..). I find it romantic, and somewhat intriguing. I'm just glad I'm not being pulled in by the commercials. "No!" I shout, "For the last time, my honey ain't getting diamonds on the 14th!".

Truth be told I don't own a TV, so the commercials don't get to me that much. But even if they did, and even if I was dating someone, it'd be a pretty cheap gift this year let me tell you. Probably an empty box of chocolates with a piece of recycled paper inside masquerading as an 'I wuv woo' Hallmark card... - drawn in pencil.
Why have the Ebeneezer floodgates been flung open (or frugally been bolted shut, depending on the way you look at it) you ask? Well on the 5th of next month I head to Sveeden with a friend of mine for two weeks. (Yes! Almost as long as I was home for over Christmas.. ;) ) To say I'm super excited would be an understatement. I've never been to Europe, so visiting Stockholm - the land of Blondes, and London - the land of.. (- I'll leave that to your imagination) will be two big check-marks off my international to-do list. Plus, any vacation is a good vacation.

But the big question of course, is why Troy and I are heading there at all? Well we're off to go attend Melodifestivalen 2008 (Fig A - Right). Indeed, only once a year is this many European popstars, groupies and wind-machine-loving vocalists smooshed into an oversized golf-ball (Fig B). I don't actually mind that fact really. From what I've seen the sets on this show are going to be pretty epic, and the music and performances will be hella fun. The only possible downside is the repeated beating my bank account will suffer during the time abroad, thus the frugality. (I did not know that was a word until I looked it up just now..)
Troy I know will be great fun. He has this ability to make anything entertaining, which is a wonderful gift to have in any case, he basically arranged everything (I chose the tea-cosy we're using in the backpacker's I might add) which is another big plus.

Anyway, as I gear up to leave, I've also got to be gearing up for someone to stay. At my place that is. Yes, I'd love to find a room-mate before I leave. Someone who can watch the place while I'm off shakin' my ya-ya's (which is *not* a vulgar term thank you..), someone who can sweep, and take phonecalls, and get groceries. Actually I think I'm thinking of a monkey, but a roommate will certainly be well received in any case.
So, who will answer the call? Seriously my cell is ringing, who's gonna answer that - I'm blogging..
Oh right, no roommate yet. Cheers all!

Jimzip :D

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Peace n' Love

Vancouver is a city of hippies - just an observation I've made. Whether I'm glancing quizzically at a bunch of colourful, flower-filled paintings at the local cafe, sitting next to a 50-something guy with orange glasses and a leather jacket on the bus, or walking past one of the many community garden projects in the city, I can't help feel that this place was built on good old peace n' love - and of course, that's not a bad thing. I think there's many factors as to why this city feels so relaxing and the people are so friendly, (even if those laughably antiquated notions are gone) the scenery is one of them, hippies is another.

Unfortunately, as will happen with all big cities, as they get bigger, so do their problems. From the outside Vancouver looks especially inviting. The snowfields, parks, beaches and the social lifestyle would appeal to anyone, and these things are certainly a part of why I love this place so much, they're all very much a reality. The problems include poverty, so bad that the downtown eastside is basically a no-go zone for anyone not wishing to be swamped by homeless people, the minimum wage, and a distinct lack of hair net wearing-17 year old Spanish flamenco dancers.
As the Olympics in 2010 creep closer, I can't help but wonder what's going to happen to all these people who live on the streets of the city. Most came here either to escape the brutal cold of the Canadian interior, or were put here by third parties needing more space to build condos or empty psychiatric hospitals. I'm not even joking there, a good deal of the homeless people here were booted out of the local psych hospital around 6-7 years ago when the provincial government decided it needed to save some cash. Owie.

The city therefore has two very distinct faces. Like the comic-book villain, one side is friendly enough, the other side is distorted and just plain creepy, but also quite melancholy. If Gotham wasn't as... gothic, and was a lot smaller, and was basically a completely different city, it would be Vancouver. Ok bad analogy.. But I'm honestly not sure how the city will go about fixing this problem. I suppose in time these things are rectified, but it's painful to watch. Like many things you wish were fixed, you just don't find the time to step in, or you feel that even if you did, nothing would be done. For now I'm quite busy enough with my search for the aforementioned Spanish flamenco dancers, but from an outsider's perspective, one who's now living in this city, it feels to me like what's missing is nothing more then good ole peace n' love.

Jimzip :D

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