Current Affairs

When advertising jumps the shark

<rant on>I get it. Generating a news paper costs money, and advertising pays for it. But paying for the paper does too, doesn’t it?

Why, oh why, when I buy a news paper, do I have to break through ads to get to two, not one, but two of the sections to get to the news; one of which, I might add, is the front page of the damn paper. Grrrr.

Wikipedia definition: “use some type of “gimmick” in an attempt to keep viewers’ interest, and which is taken as a sign of desperation”.<rant off>


Above: the paper today in Victoria – on the left, section C1; on the right, the ‘front’ page. The ads had to be removed to get to the news.


You know you’re getting old when

you’ve outlived a bridge ;-(

I just realized that crews have been blasting away the remnants of the old Port Mann Bridge that used to crossed the Fraser River.

The new one, under construction on the left in the photo below, opened in 2012 and is quite a 10 lane marvel. The old one, seen on the right below, opened in 1964.

Guess I’ll have a few years on either side of the old one. Amazing how time flies when you’re having fun.

Just Past Half Way

Remembrance Day eve

Old guns stand guard

These preserved guns, and other older canon installations at Ft Rodd Hill Park in Esquimalt BC, are a reminder that the west coast of North America has faced it share of wartime threats.

In the second world war, for instance, these guns were used in combination with submarine nets to regulate traffic in and out of Esquimalt harbour. The nets went from about the Fisgard Lighthouse (seen in the upper right) across to another fortified installation.

For a while, Japanese submarines plied the west coast, looking to disrupt shipping. In fact, there are reports of at least one submarine (I-26) attacking a west coast lighthouse at Estevan Pt. on Vancouver Island.

There was never the death and destruction felt elsewhere during the war(s), but men and women still had to be there to stand on guard.

I’m thinking about this now, because my dad was one of those people. He flew the east and west coast of Canada in a Canso aircraft as gunner/observer, looking for submarines and other enemy shipping. Luckily, he said that on the west coast, most of the time they were just spotting whales.

Just remembering my dad on this Remembrance Day eve.

Cha cha cha changes

A Coastal Experience_DSC6867

After a couple of weeks house/cat sitting over on Vancouver Island, I’m back. My sister, her husband, my nephew and his partner all headed off to Europe for a family holiday together. Nice, and I’m glad I could help out while they were gone.

I also did some house hunting, and found myself an apartment in Victoria’s James Bay neighbourhood. I’ve heard good things about the area, so I’m looking forward to moving there over the next few weeks.

Yes, it’s time for a change. And yes, in the future, I guess I’ll see more ferry stacks, like the one in the photo above of BC Ferries’ vessel, Coastal Experience.

I’m looking forward to some photography around the western most coast of Canada, and to exploring a more mediterranean climate around Victoria. According to Wikipedia, the area gets around 25 in of rain a year, compared to Surrey’s 55 in. Victoria is a little warmer too.

Mind you, just up the west (wet?) coast on Vancouver Island, Henderson Lake (the wettest place in North America) gets 261 in/year. A big difference across a small area.

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, this has been and still is a big project. I’ve actually spent a lot of time over the last few months getting rid of stuff so I wouldn’t have to move it. It’s truly amazing how much you can accumulate over 20 years in the same apartment, so it’s well past time to downsize and become more of a minimalist. Ha, like that’s ever going to happen ;-), but the load is lighter now.

Still lots to do, but the big hurdle of finding a new home is over. Just a few more balls to juggle and we’re done.

Sometimes politics just gets scary

So Obama won the US election last night. I’m glad, if for no other reason than what seems to be the prevailing republican attitude.

In an article by Mark Gollom on CBC News this morning called, Republicans do some soul-searching after Romney loss, he noted that many republican supporters “rejected the claim that the party must change, and said the electorate needs to open its eyes.” 

Yep, it’s our way or the highway. Scary.

It’s going to be another hard fightin’ 4-year session with the Republican congress, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic President. I hope the American people can send a strong message that there needs to be some compromise to get America back on track. it ain’t going to happen without it.

Winding Down for the Holidays

Pretty much everything is set for Xmas, and I seem to be entering ‘holiday mode’.

I went out to finish off a couple of errands today, but after that, things disintegrated to an afternoon of gaming with Call of Duty – World at War and then Angry Birds.

I’m going to try and keep the entries up here over the holidays, but there may be a day or two where I’m remiss. But you know what, that’s ok.

As an old friend and coworker once said, “It just doesn’t matter”. in the big picture, that’s so true of most things if you think about it.

So if I miss it on the day – Merry Christmas all. See you on the other side.

Oh My

The SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) could be passed soon down in the states, and, according to reports, end the internet as we know it. It’s scary that the folks in charge of passing it freely admit knowing nothing about the internet. Some seem rather proud of that fact. Sick, don’t you think?

Dear Leader has died in Korea and his son, a total unknown, is now in power, getting guidance from who knows who in the army. Oh well, what’s to worry. It’s just another rogue nation (with a nuclear bomb) trying to find itself in the world.

And last but not least, the angry birds are losing out to the pigs in this house lately, causing no end of angst. Those three star levels are getting harder and harder, and two stars just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore.

Hopefully we can change things around to where saner folks are heard and the pig resistance isn’t quite so strong.

In the meantime, I really need to get out and take some pictures soon. #listeningtotoomuchnews

Taxing Dilemma

Patullo Bridge From Browsville Park

This is a photo of the Pattullo Bridge that connects Surrey to New Westminster BC. It was build in the 1930’s and has served the connection well. It’s narrow by today’s standards, but at least it has 4 lanes, unlike the Lions Gate from Vancouver to North Vancouver which has 3.

Wikipedia has a nice page on the Pattullo Bridge here

There is a plan in progress to replace this bridge in the not too distant future. It handles an incredible amount of traffic in and out of Surrey, so it will be interesting to see how they handle that during the construction/destruction when it happens.

There are rumours that they’ll decide to toll the new bridge. That’s not sitting well with folks that live south of the Fraser River in Surrey, White Rock, Delta, Langley, Aldergrove, etc. As it is we’ll have tolls on the Golden Ears and Port Mann bridges by the end of next year and if those crossings are used, it will cost close to $1200-$1500 a year more for a daily commute into Vancouver, New Westminster, Burnaby, Coquitlam, etc. That’s a lot for a struggling family that has to commute to survive.

Not sure that’s really fair either, given that we’ve all contributed to the lovely rapid transit and bridges north of the Fraser. Now the only ones getting dinged extra to get around are the folks south of the Fraser, and they don’t have adequate transit either.

Matter of fact, they managed to re-built the entire highway up to Whistler and didn’t toll that. So…from my perspective, where there is a will there is a way. I’m just glad it’s not me making the decisions 😉