Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Arrrr... Ye be marooned. Kinda.
It seems so easy to become a pirate these days. Torrent some music, you're a pirate. Say that you enjoy booty, you're a pirate. Steal an tanker loaded with over $100m worth of oil and threaten to plough it into a city, you're a pirate.

In actuality, the latter happened last week, when some Somalian swashbucklers took control of a Saudi Arabian vessel about 800km off the coast of Kenya.

This is not the first act of this kind. Anyone who believes piracy (actual piracy that is, not the 'OMG you totally stole music ZOMGWTF!!!' kind) died off with the last spice merchant trading routes in the 1800's should think again. Pirates are very much alive, well, and causing quite a raucus.

Don't worry though. Music piracy is much more prevalent than that of the nautical variety. In fact, while the world waits to see how that little doozy clears itself up, I'm busy listening to some old jazz records I torrented. I mentioned previously that I sometimes avoid using headphones so I notice the sounds happening around me, but there's also nothing better to clear your head than losing yourself in the beautiful sounds of Les Baxter or Xavier Cugat. They have that incredible ability to whisk you away from the real world, if only for an hour or so. It's easy to imagine yourself somewhere else, be it back home or marooned on some deserted island.

Actually, lately I've been wondering how I'd go if I were stuck on a deserted island.

A little strange I know, but I assume it's partially because I'm stressed, it's cold, Lost comes back in January, I'm currently reading Robinson Crusoe, and my apartment is adorned with palm leaves in every conceivable square foot.

That'd do it I guess, and I'd be pretty screwed to tell the truth. But remember, there's always a chance that just past that next cluster of palm trees, there's a Starbucks.

As for everything else, things are steaming along like a hussy-laden showboat. I was going to make a more intimate post about my recent doings, but dissing the recent episodes of Heroes and talking about country-western nights at the Roxy (and the booty therein) is - although great fun - not really my shtick. I thought instead, that seeing as Sony BMG, Warner Music and Universal have just started offering DRM free tracks on iTunes, I'd make mention of piracy. Because we could be hearing less about that kind now.

Jimzip :D

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The village bus is the bus for us, it takes all shapes and sizes."Last one in buys coffee" I wrote clumsily, sending the message off as I crossed the street to the stop where my bus was just pulling up.

The door swung open as an electronic voice garbled: "Seven", and I flashed my pass while bee-lining for the a seat next to the back window.

Staring out at the cheerful sunlight splashing across the underside of a totally grey sky, I realised how much shorter the days are now, so much so that it's completely dark when I leave work every day - and in that area, you don't really want to be wandering around after dark.

Presently we pulled up to a stop before the bridge, and a sweet looking girl wearing a white fleeced-jacket quietly wandered on and sat opposite me. She looked down and started pawing through her handbag, and I was just about to get back to ignoring everyone again when someone else slipped into the seat on my right, flicked his phone open and started a conversation with someone.

Across the bridge and into the downtown core, the ride was quick. It was also quiet, as it was most mornings, but that would change in about fifty-eight words' time.

The guy next to me was confirming a date with his friend on the phone, and the conversation was - as mobile conversations on public transport go - pretty quiet. Just as he was trying to finish his agreement however, the girl in the white fleeced jacket turns to him, and in some unwarranted spasm of rage, tells him to "F**k off!" between gritted teeth.

The phone guy is shocked for no more than a second, tells his friend "I'll call you back." and closes his phone, turning to the girl with a very controlled and genuinely confused "Pardon me?".

Again, the girl sneers at him, and informs him that he should do something rather unsavoury with his cellular device. Now I can hear her voice, I instantly realised my mistake at thinking her a 'sweet girl'. She's got that voice, that etched audible blemish that betrays her appearance and gives her away as being a certain type of person the second you hear it. It's shaky, a nasal bitterness that comes with one too many highs and lows in East Side alleys.

Instantly I feel adrenaline kick in, my stomach lurching as I wait for some kind of battle to begin, I've seen this before and usually it ends in the same way. Both yelling over the other as the junkie tries to prove something to the world, usually attempting to best the record for most swear-words in a sentence.

Instead, the guy pulls the bell, stands up, and heads for the exit at the next stop. As he passes by her, he looks down and says quietly: "You should try acting like a lady.". At which, to my surprise, she looks shocked ... -but then fires back with what I assume was her tagline: "It's woman bitch!".

You could probably find it on a t-shirt.

Now the guy turns back around, and with narrowed eyes is about to answer her again, when something totally unexpected happens.

A girl sitting next to the junkie, a totally normal, high-school 'yay!' girl with blonde hair and her earphones in, removes them and casually tells him to "F**k off" as well.

Instantly I realise what's happened. She thinks the guy is harassing a woman for no reason. Blondie has had her earphones in and has missed the battle so far, and to her defence, the guy doesn't look like the sweetest bloke. He's about 200lbs and has a slightly pockmarked face that coupled with his current look of distaste, makes him look a little threatening.

He glances at blondie, and in despair, says "No, hey ... she started it!", but Blondie holds her hand up to him. She actually holds her hand up, turns her head away, and relocates to the front of the bus.

The junkie looks triumphant as the guy, confused and defeated, gets off at the next stop, and yells a mocking "Yeah! How d'ya like that bitch!" after him.

The door closes, the bus takes off again. Nobody batts an eyelid.

The horrible unfairness at what just happened stays with me, Junkie chuckles to herself and goes back to fossicking through her handbag. I feel my face start smouldering, and if she'd looked up she'd probably have seen my eyes burning through her.

But she doesn't. A couple of stops later she hops off, and disappears into an alley for breakfast.

I'm sickened. I'm furious. I ... may get heated up too easily sometimes. But even so, it feels awful to have seen what I just did - something that small, but that unkind. This place has to be cleaned up. Eyes are on the city as the Olympics approach, and this is just a single instance of the malignant decay that taints Vancouver. It's the one of the few things that really kills my love of this city. It makes me want to do something, but where do you start?

I get to work, and I'm buying coffee today.

Jimzip :D

Saturday, November 1, 2008

... and the winner is:

Jimzip's Rocktober iPod Nano Giveaway!

Well, 12 names went into a hat, 1 name was picked out of the hat. (Good odds really!)

With that in mind, I'm happy to announce that the lucky recipient of Jimzip's Rocktober* iPod Nano giveaway, is non other than fantabulous commenter Amy!

I'll be contacting you shortly to get some details!

A big thanks to everyone who left a comment (either to enter, or just 'cause). With eleven peeps (and one anonymous poster) that didn't have the lady luck on their side this time let's just say there'll be more random giveaways coming up, and because only 12 people entered this one, I'd say you have a pretty good shot at grabbing something toe•tal•ee wicked at some point!

Cheers all, & keep rockin!

We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Jimzip :D

* Formerly 'Septober' :p

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