30 June 2007

Another Year Older....

There were no candles... no cake (well, no official cake... we had a cheesecake at home later...), but plenty of family and friends. Nice. Breakfast was at Dennys.... it was less than spectacular... but at least came at a discount with one adult meal free thanks to their birthday promo. Lunch was at Azuma Sushi which was great though I think the size of the group was a challenge for them to manage.


I also got to wander about... take photos... shop... and relax. I bought lots of beads for future projects, and some books (I finally picked up a copy of Eats Shoots & Leaves).

Now I am watching a ridiculous relic of a film -- Pufnstuf. Yep, as in H.R. Pufnstuf of Sid & Marty Krofft fame.... seems someone thought a feature film was a good idea back in 1970.

29 June 2007

Morning of Dissapointments

First day of 10 off for me... and my only big break through the summer. Started with two minor disappointments...

1. We went out this morning to tour the "bioregional" school where kiddo will be spending two weeks in their summer school program. Overall, I love the concept ("open schooling" that includes gardening, hands-on science, writing, reading, akido, community exploration ... plus a few things I'm less thrilled about) and now that I've seen inside the building... I'm no longer sold on sending her there full time. Suffice to say, I'd be happy to spend more money on the camp if it were to go toward maintenance of the building itself. Two weeks should be enough of an experience for her.

This means she'll have activities a-plenty through July and more hang-time in August.

2. After the tour, I went downtown to stand in line to file our passport paperwork. I showed up just after 10:00 and soon got told that it was not gonna happen. Apparently they now hand out numbers to the first people to line up, then the rest of the people just have to hope someone doesn't come back. The security guys said usually about another half dozen (maybe up to a dozen) get through the line after all the numbers are gone; there were about 25 ahead of me. So... I walked across the street to the nearest post office and mailed them. Fingers crossed...

I had a couple more errands to run, then I mostly wandered here and there through town until I got to Chinatown where I grabbed lunch for myself and hubby and hopped the next bus home.

Now the weather has turned to crap (pelting down rain under very grey skies..) so it's just as well I'm inside.

In the meantime... here's some public poetry:


27 June 2007

To Do or Not To Do....

OK... so Monday night, hubby and I had a look at our Big List O' Unfinished Projects. It's still big, and that's a problem because we got to a point where we looked at it and glazed over. So we tried another attack. Inspired by a blog post at Agile Development, we used a quadrant grid with axes of importance (high/low) and difficulty (easy/hard) we tossed each project into the appropriate quarter. What we found were 10 no-brainers, 10 difficult but important, and the ... chaff. Though mostly the chaff was still important, just less likely to make money. Anyway, this is what our table looked like:


Incidentally, I crossed one item off already; one of the "No Brainers" (easy/important) that I had just been ignoring.

Meanwhile, I read an interesting piece at LifeHacker on separating your to-dos from your email (you know, those Action items that you forget to follow up? You never forget? Well, congrats on being the only perfect person I know.) Me, I forget about half of them whether I add a star, a flag, or even a reminder -- especially since you can "snooze" reminders infinitely.

Of course I have also found keeping a little to-do list on the front of my Google Homepage iGoogle home tab is helpful, as long as I keep it to under 10 items (more than that and I start to ignore it).

25 June 2007

Tis the season...

It seems in our family, late June- late August is Birthday Season. We just spent Saturday inVancouver for my nephew's 5th birthday (thus missing a milestone birthday of a Victoria friend -- doh!); my own annual rollover is fast approaching and that is followed by my brother's a week later.

Through the summer there are celebrations for my mother-in-law, hubby's nephew, my mother, my aunt, and a whole lot of other friends. And don't get me started trying to list anniversaries.


The Digital Class System

Apparently, there is one.

(I mean, aside from those able to afford regular/any computer access versus those who cannot.)

Social scientist Danah Boyd proposes that Facebook is the upper/upper-middle class counterpart to middle/lower class and marginalized Myspace.

I'm not sure I agree completely, but one thing is for sure: Facebook is the equivalent to a country-club or gated community -- you cannot even search others' profiles until you join. Myspace on the other hand is a garish strip mall, or maybe even a carnival complete with hucksters and garish lures. I don't like Myspace primarily because of its in-your-face crappy design ethic; it's as though the creators learned HTML back in 1997 and built in the capacity requirement for clashing text, ugly background tiles, and inflexible table widths.

Perhaps what is more telling is that libraries are embracing Facebook and are enhancing it to allow students to interact with library catalogs and library staff.

22 June 2007

No wonder it was cancelled...

I would have blogged angry last night, but I was too tired. Why blog angry? Because I now understand why Studio 60 was cancelled.

Consider this... it was sucking in the ratings... NBC was debating where they could safely tuck it away to die a quiet death (you, know, like the Friday night at 10 timeslot...) then they took another look at the scripts for the upcoming episodes and thoughtfully pulled the plug.

I'm all for story arcs, but so far the episode K&R has been split into three parts, with a fourth to hopefully finish it the hell off. Not only is it ridiculously longwinded, but it bounces back and forth in the timeline from the present to 2001 plus the whole plot is a GREAT BIG BUMMER. There are actually two arcs in the mega-sized "episode" -- one related to soldiers being kidnapped in Kandahar (one of whom is the brother of one of the Studio 60 stars) and the other is the oh-so-soaptacular pregnant-woman-in-peril thread. Give me a break!!!!

Someone find me Mr. Sorkin's email address; I'd like to give him a few pointers on how not to piss off his fan base. At any rate, next week is apparently the last episode. That's it. Curtains closed. I'll be watching... but odds are I won't care.

21 June 2007

Summer Rain and Summer Concert

First day of summer and the smell of fresh rain greeted me.... after some clearing through the day, it seems to be ending the same way. I don't mind as it was getting too warm for me (mid 20s... too difficult to sleep, yes I am a sissy). When I arrived at work this morning, crews were tearing down the walls on the southwest corner of the library... very odd.

more_walls_down (365:46)

The construction and renovations are now going on all around the existing building, making it difficult to avoid all the noise that accompanies such activity. To compensate, I find myself more often wearing headphones. Last.fm was not working for me today, alas, so I dug through my drawer of CDs and pulled out an 80s compilation and found myself bopping merrily along to 88 Lines about 44 Women. I enjoyed it so much, I replayed the track. Twice. :)

Hubby met me for lunch and stuck around to work from the library this afternoon; he even joined me for "walkies" around the ring in lieu of afternoon coffee.

After work, we grabbed some sushi from Fujiya, gathered kiddo, had a quick dinner, and went back to her school for her summer concert. She was, as always, cute -- even though she was in the back row. Unfortunately, we were too far back and my photos ended up blurry. Sigh. Hubby did manage to get some video... but at least now we know to get there earlier next year.

Litigious Bastards....

I never thought I'd say this but, "Poor Gordon Ramsay." If you don't recognize his name, you probably don't watch the Food Network or his prime time network show, Hell's Kitchen. At first, I couldn't stand him -- I thought he was just a soccer hooligan turned kitchen hooligan. After watching him in action though, his passion for cooking shines through his, well, "rough" personna.

So... what went wrong? He tried to bring his show, Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, to the U.S.

Kitchen Nightmares is a little like Restaurant Makeover, but with Ramsay bellowing at head chefs, kitchen help, waiters and owners alike. He frequently makes people cry, and more than once has suggested owners fire people who are not working in the best interest of the restaurant.

That's exactly what happened in one of the restaurants to be featured in the American show, and now Martin R. Hyde, a former general manager at Dillons in Manhattan, is suing Gordon Ramsay.

Hyde "claimed Ramsay, known for foul-mouthed outbursts as the star of Fox's reality competition "Hell's Kitchen," humiliated him and forced him to quit his job to avoid further abuse."

He asked for millions of dollars in damages and a court order to stop the show from airing.

Hyde is also claiming that much of the reality show is "faked" or at least exaggerated, which seems like sour grapes and is pretty much irrelevant since the show's goal is primarily to entertain viewers.

I really hope the judge throws this one out... but just in case, I also hope that Ramsay's producers had good legal advice to begin with and can produce whatever waiver Hyde may have signed.

18 June 2007

Dealing with other people....

Sometimes, dealing with people is difficult. Sometimes, all you can do is laugh.

My favourite amusing library encounter took place many years ago, when I was working in stacks. I was holding an armful of heavy journals, shifting them a few bays over and I was in the middle of a row of shelving. A library user approached me and asked,

"Where do you keep the books?"

Somehow, I managed to control myself and neither laugh in his face nor call him names. Instead, I asked him if he meant novels. "Yeah," he said, "regular books." I started to explain the way fiction was catalogued in a Library of Congress system, but, faced with a blank stare, instead directed him to the reference desk. Naturally, he went the opposite direction and I suspect spent some time wandering the stacks until frustration overtook him.


Want to read about other people dealing with difficult people? Read through the tales at Clientcopia and CustomersSuck.

Feel like listening instead? Go download Neil Gaiman's award-winning short story, How to Talk to Girls at Parties (read by the author).

16 June 2007

Too Much Stuff.

Ugh. As crazy as it seems, we emptied and re-arranged this storage locker... then we attacked our other storage area with somewhat less enthusiasm.

The chair you can see in this shot is now gone -- I posted it on craigslist and it was sold within half an hour. Astounding, since it has been in storage for about 4 years. Happily, only the stuff on the back shelving is staying, the rest is earmarked for a future garage sale (August).

Believe it or not, we removed a LOT of stuff... three or four trips to the recycle bins and a bag or maybe two of garbage. It looked pretty good until we added the 6 or 8 boxes of garage sale fodder from the upstairs storage area.

I also cleared out a full bag of coats and shoes from our hall closet.

Seriously... I think I could clear out two thirds of everything in this house and it would still look cluttered. Sigh.


Lazy Friday.

Originally uploaded by triviaqueen
I had a very nice, relaxing day off yesterday, most of it spent downtown. I wandered through Value Village then meandered about taking photos. Lots of photos.

Of course, I forgot to do two things I had planned to do while I was downtown (doh!) but neither was critical.

I did remember to meet hubby at 12:30 for lunch; we went to The Temple, which was quiet, but the food was oh, so good! The menu was small -- soup of the day (tomato spinach), two salad options, three paninis and three burgers. I had the lentil-pecan burger with fries and it was incredibly yummy! The burger had a mild curry flavour and the fries were shoestring-cut, which is something of a rarity these days. Hubby had the vegetarian panini with soup. I also had coffee which was actually a small americano, I think, and subsequently strong and tasty.

At value vilage, I picked up a bunch of stuff for kiddo and a few things for me. For kiddo, I got two books -- The Stinky Cheese Man and Mr. Bump -- plus stickers and some Barbie magnetic paper dolls. For me, I found a small messenger-bag, a book on photography, a new wallet, a pair of winter hiking boots (with Thinsulate™!) and another pair of sneakers.

Oh, I also got kiddo a plain white t-shirt which she needs for her end-of-school performance next week (they're dressing in a 50's "rock and roll" style, which apparently means jeans and white t-shirts).

After lunch, hubby and I wandered through town a bit more, then went our separate ways for a while. We met up around 4:00 again, grabbed a HUGE sum of groceries then gathered kiddo from daycare.

There's more, but I feel like I am rambling... so tune in later for more.

13 June 2007

Grid Article....

I almost forgot! The Victoria Grid Project was featured on page B3 of yesterday's paper. The article, Seeing the city with new eyes, is also online. I wasn't quoted, but hubby was, and neither of us showed up in the accompanying photographs. I do love the opening line:

"Far from Victoria's most photographed landmarks, seven shutterbugs scattered like insects living under a lifted rock."

It's good press and now that the project is 6 months old, I think the timing was good; we've found our footing for the most part and can easily explain to others what it's all about. I'm very proud to have been in on it from the beginning.


12 June 2007

This is not a Journalist.

Remember how the Vancouver Police pretended to be the press in order to arrest an Olympics protester?

I was thinking about it while reading this article about Palestinian militants pretending to be the press to lead attacks in Gaza.

Now... I'm not saying there's a link... but if the press pass fits.....

10 June 2007


This morning several photographers from the Victoria Grid Project met with a reporter from the Times-Colonist to tell him what the heck it was we did. We met at Camosun College's Lansdowne campus which is in this month's grid. Later we met with a T-C photographer for group and "action" photos to accompany the piece. I'm not sure which edition it'll run in... so if you get a subscription, let me know if you see an article (if I find out first, I'll let you know).

Camosun College: Young Building (1913-14)

We spent about an hour this morning doing the interview and some photos in the pouring rain, then picked up kiddo from my mom's, had lunch, and went back to Camosun and ended up taking more photos. The fun part was that after lunch, everyone brought their kids, so kiddo had new friends to play with. They played well together, and we got to thinking that we should get together more often to take photos with the kids in tow.


09 June 2007

Today's creative "done" list

1. Took over 200 photos of Bucanneer Day festivities; posted a bunch on Flickr.

2. Tweaked the template and added new designs to our CafePress store (hubby added a new design too!)

3. Uploaded two videos from the parade to YouTube.

4. Wrote a pithy poem:

Rain should not fall
on June parades
but perhaps there was a
funeral nearby
in need of sobriety.


day of a pirate....

Originally uploaded by triviaqueen
Kiddo had a busy morning... she dressed up in pirate garb (the Sally costume from two Halloweens ago served well alongside some earrings and an eyepatch) and hubby accompanied her on her march in the Bucaneer Days parade with her classmates.

I got the quiet side of things, waiting at the other end of the parade.It was smaller this year, and fewer people came out thanks to a whole lotta rain... but she totally enjoyed herself.

Later, we hit the midway where she burned through $30 in rides (including the poor choice of the Hurricane) and one game where she won the pirate hat in the photo.

After deciding that we'd rather be indoors, we went out for lunch then came home to lounge about.

08 June 2007

Avast, all Ye Bucaneers!

It's Esquimalt's annual Bucaneer Days this weekend, with pirates a-plenty plundering the municipality. Tomorrow morning we'll be treated to "Wakey Wakey" as a firetruck and town crier cruise through the streets calling everyone to the pancake breakfast (five bucks! What a bargain!). The parade will start at 10:30 winding from Dominion Street along Esquimalt Road, just past the Plaza. Kiddo will be in the parade for the first time, with her schoolmates.


Esquimalt float from 2005 parade

Unfortunately, the fate of the event is in the air for next year. Esquimalt council has said that the Archie Browning Centre, which is at the heart of the celebrations, will be closed later this year, as the upkeep is becoming too expensive. This saddens me, though in theory it will be replaced with an extension of the Town Square that they began with the new City Hall and Library a few years ago.

07 June 2007

Chalk one up for the Fans

After a huge campaign (and many nuts), fans have convinced CBS to renew Jericho as a 7 episode mid-season replacement. I just hope they re-run the original episodes (at least the critical ones) before the new ones so that viewers aren't totally lost.


04 June 2007

The things you learn....

You know, I've never actually been to Bamberton. Friends of ours regularly camp there and kiddo is headed there for a field trip tomorrow, so I was checking it out. In the course of reading about the park and the programs and everything else, I stumbled on the fact that you can purchase an anual parking pass for unlimited day parking at 40 BC parks. Coolness.

Basically, if you plan to make more than 8 day trips in a year (one year from date of purchase), it's worth buying a pass for $25. Naturally, I added the tip to FrugalVictoria, in time for summer family getaways. I expect to buy and make use of one this year; I'll let you know how it works out.

Virtual vs. real life....

Up until yesterday I had many profiles online. It became very obvious that something had to go, and so I started deleting journal profiles. Now it all comes back here, to my first blog. I still have some personal issues to work out, but likely you won't hear about them here.

The bottom line is that I'll be stepping away from the keyboard more often and perhaps that will translate into more adventures to write about here.