Sunday, July 29, 2007

Not a pretty picture

Vancouver is in the middle of a civic workers strike which means there is no garbage collection. Thankfully the non-recyclable waste - the really stinky stuff - is picked up by a private contractor for our apartment so we're covered there. Recyclables (tins, bottles, plastics, newspapers, magazines, cardboard, etc.) won't be picked up until the strike is over. Unfortunately my apartment complex houses a plethora of morons who, under normal circumstances, throw various and sundry trash onto the parking lot and their recyclables into the wrong bins. They're too lazy to wash their cans and bottles before throwing them in the [wrong] bins and enjoy dumping their unwanted furnishings and other personal stuff [like broken computers, keyboards, stereos, bed frames, etc.] near the garbage bins hoping someone will take them away.

The few of us left who care knew the garbage situation would become untenable during the strike so we posted pointed and threatening notices in key places. The first listed suggestions from the City about how to handle garbage during the strike [good cop]. The second, in big bold inflammatory type warned that anyone observed littering the parking lot and disposing of their garbage inappropriately would be reported to the landlord (who happens to be useless, but you work with what you have). The third featured a photograph of the disgusting mess created the first week of the strike accompanied by more inflammatory bold large type [bad cop].

Here's how the garbage looked the first week of the strike. The bins went from orderly to this in five days.

Here's that same photo with a cartoon image of the building manager. (Thanks Simpsons Avatar creator!. The resemblance is astounding.)

Click for the large version.

Ever since the posters went up, the garbage condition has improved 100%. Shame and the fear of eviction in a low vacancy rental market works wonders.

Monday, July 23, 2007

My funny valentine, Sweet comic valentine...

You make me smile with my heart.

Friday, July 20, 2007

In remembrance of Joanna Burke and Tina

Joanna gives Tina (a pachyderm I will always hold near and dear) some tender loving care at The Elephant Sanctuary near Hohenwald Tennessee.

They both passed on the same day in different years. Tina in 2004. Joanna in 2006.

A special memorial is planned to mark the anniversary of their deaths on July 21st at The Elephant Sanctuary.

May you together be in the happiest of places with all of the beings you both love and hold dear, those who have come and gone and are free. Know your work goes on and...we miss you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

cucumber pecking order

Saturday, July 14, 2007

World's tallest man weds (very sweet, this)

71% humidity and holding isn't helping...

...the prickly periomenopausal creature who sits at her computer like a limp rag with hag etched on her face. (Breaking out in inexplicable extra sweat! grouch grouch grouch.)

But Enough of barely tolerable me.

On the elecam just now a wild deer galloped a few yards in front of Frieda and Billie who were tossing back Timothy hay in one of the pastures. They didn't bat an eyelash.

Speaking of elephants, there was a news story yesterday about two circus elephants escaping from their pen "at the Ray Twinney recreational complex in Newmarket" late one night and walking around town casually munching trees and bushes. The police were called, of course, and "Bunny and Suzi" were escorted back to their cell to prepare for another night's performance.

The article was written to be amusing and cute and elicit chuckles but it made me sad. All captive wild mammals must dream of escape from their cages, electrified pens, and swimming pools but they are doomed creatures. (Suzy and Bunny were able to bust out only because the electricity on their fence was accidentally turned off.)

Shame on Newmarket for still allowing animal acts. Progressive districts, recognizing the cruelty of circuses, have banned them outright. I'm pleased to live in such a place. There will be no more caged elephants here.

Video of the escapees here.

video of Suzy and Bunny inside the circus (the swaying and bobbing is characteristic behaviour of elephants in circus and zoo environments. It is unnatural behaviour, a neurotic response to stress. Elephants should not be in circuses.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It's like trying to sleep in a dry sauna

I'm not used to daytime temperatures at night. Tomorrow (now today) it's supposed to be 37 degrees Celsius here which is unheard of. That's a desert temperature. I'm reaaaally not looking forward to it.

My building managers on vacation.

It's amazing how you can create spitting images of the Homer-like individuals in your life using the Simpsons-movie avatar creation gadget.

Slowly going nuts here, but at least I can work from home.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Discovering something new every day

Lafarge Eco Systems has received a Pangolin.

The Ground Pangolin (Manis temminckii), also known as Temminck's Pangolin or the Cape Pangolin, is one of four species of pangolin which can be found in Africa and the only one in southern and eastern Africa. Although it is present over quite a large area, it is rare throughout it and notoriously difficult to spot. Its scarcity is partly because it is hunted by humans for its scales, which are used in love charms, and partly because it is often burnt in bush fires. It is designated an endangered species by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service,[3] although the IUCN only lists it as "near threatened" on its Redlist.[2]

With the exception of the underside, it is covered in extremely hard scales. When threatened, it usually will roll up into a ball to protect the vulnerable belly. The scales on the tail can also be used as blades to slash at attackers.


1. Alan Dershowitz, advice columnist to the wingnuts (Considering I am new to wingnut photoshopping, this isn't a bad effort.)

2. My building manager as a Simpsons character

3. His hapless wife.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Contractors too cheap to buy real toothpaste

Who's surprised that hospitals, prisons and institutions for the mentally ill bought poison toothpaste?

After federal health officials discovered last month that tainted Chinese toothpaste had entered the United States, they warned that it would most likely be found in discount stores.

In fact, the toothpaste has been distributed much more widely. Roughly 900,000 tubes containing a poison used in some antifreeze products have turned up in hospitals for the mentally ill, prisons, juvenile detention centers and even some hospitals serving the general population.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


To update this post:

In June, lawyers for the defendants made a settlement offer (to avoid court) that I considered generous and I told my lawyer I was inclined to accept. My lawyer thought he could get more and we argued back and forth about this. I hemmed and hawed and finally told him to do whatever he thought was best. (I hired him to look after my interests, he's done a standup job, so why would I start micromanaging the process now?).

My lawyer scheduled a mediation hearing for June 29th at which all the lawyers and insurance whatevers would convene and hash out a final settlement. This meeting ended up being cancelled because an agreement was reached in advance. (Law suits are about money and mitigating costs, not justice, and in the end if the losing side can avoid incurring more costs they will. Like court, mediation hearings cost money. It's cheaper to settle without going through all that.)

As I mentioned, whimsically, in a previous post, my June horoscope said, The month ends with an emphasis on money. You may come into quite a bit of cash at this time. You may be paid a substantial sum for a commission, insurance payout, or bonus. It may be money owed to you or an outright gift or prize.

Since the settlement offer, my lawyer discovered he can get another 5 grand on a technicality so he's going for it. This will delay me receiving the money but I've already waited nearly 4 years; another few weeks won't make a difference.

Here's what my July horoscope says (and I know this is totally flaky but it's just so much fun...)

On the last day of June, just hours before the start of July, a full moon arrived in your house of joint finances. You may have been told about a generous commission, court settlement, licensing fee, signing bonus, or other windfall at the time, but if not, that news may still arrive in the first days of July. Indeed, the universe is about to financially reward you in a big, obvious way, dear Gemini.
Please and thank you, universe.