30 July 2009


Vancouver registers hottest day on record as BC is hit with heat wave
By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER, B.C. - The city of Vancouver has registered its hottest day on record.

Environment Canada says a temperature of 33.8 C was recorded at Vancouver airport on Wednesday, shattering the previous high of 33.3 C that was set in 1960. "A very strong ridge of high pressure is currently dominating all of B.C.," said Gary Dickinson, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

"The ridge of high pressure also brought up from the south very warm air, which was responsible for the record-breaking temperatures."

And Dickinson says Vancouver wasn't the only city to record its hottest day ever.

"Abbotsford beat their all-time record as well. The previous record was 37.9 C and they reached 38.0 C," he said.

A number of municipalities throughout the province set daily records.

Victoria reached 35.0 C, besting the old mark of 31.1 C.

Port Alberni hit 40.0 C, with the previous record being 37.8 C.

And Bella Coola reached 41.2 C, bettering the previous high of 34.3 C that was set in 1898.

Dickinson says the sweltering weather is something British Columbians, some of whom are uncharacteristically hoping for rain, will have to get used to over the coming days.

"The ridge of high pressure responsible for the warm temperatures will continue to hold over the province for the remainder of the week and going into the weekend," he said.

"The temperatures will gradually cool over the course of the weekend."

The high temperatures have brought with them an air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

27 July 2009

"Oh, they're just that way"

Here's a strange Canadian phenomenon that needs discussing - Torontonianism. It's the strange affliction any native or former Torontonians have with their intense need and desire to frame the reference of ANY topic of conversation into such a way that Toronto is involved and whatever it is you're discussing happens more profoundly there.

The most recent example of this was on Saturday evening. The lightning storms were sweeping into the Lower Mainland. The conversation obviously went to the rarity of lightning storms on the West Coast, however the former Torontonian of the group had to pipe up how much more intense the storms are in Toronto. I had to channel all the power in me to bite my lip. First of all, this guy's been in Vancouver for 15 years -- give up the Torontonianism already! Secondly, has he ever seen Prairie storms before? Oh yeah, right, no. Toronto is the only place in the country that gets intense summer storms, I guess.

I think we need to start up a foundation that will help all these hapless Torontonians to break their addiction to Toronto. It's there and by christ it's awesome! We get it, okay?

23 July 2009

Celebration of Light: Night One

Crowds cheer fireworks wizardry at Celebration of Light

By David Karp, Vancouver Sun
July 23, 2009 8:31 AM

VANCOUVER — Spectators whistled and cheered, aiming their cellphones and digital cameras at the sky as Canada launched this year’s fireworks competition with a spectacular burst of colour and pyrotechnics over English Bay.

“It’s awesome — bright colours — it’s mesmerizing. It just gives you a good feeling,” said Cathy Cardoza, who was visiting from San Francisco. “It’s longer and fuller [than Fourth of July] fireworks in San Francisco. There is more fullness in these fireworks. It’s not just one at a time.”

Overall, she said: “It made our vacation.”

An enormous crowd turned out for the show, and Davie Street was jammed with people trying to work their way toward the beach just before it began.

Canada, which is trying for a third straight victory in the annual HSBC Celebration of Light event, put on a Wizard of Oz-themed show titled No Place Like Home.

The music accompanying the show was from the Wizard of Oz, with the finale song Somewhere Over the Rainbow, accompanied by a spectacular rainbow of fireworks.

Earlier, the president of Winnipeg’s Archangel Fireworks Inc., which put on Canada’s show, said he was saving the best for the 12-second finale.

“The finale’s a nice size this year,” said Kelly Guille. “I don’t really want to ruin it.”

As for the rest of the show: “I’m shooting to the Wizard of Oz original soundtrack, trying to evoke the emotion of the story in the scenes of the fireworks.”

Guille said he has been preparing for the show since November. It took 12 people three days just to set up the 25-minute performance, which included roughly 3,000 fireworks.

Many people staked out spots on the beach hours before the fireworks began.

Among them was Vancouverite Darren Childs, a fireworks aficionado who has missed only three performances since the annual Vancouver event began.

Childs, who uses a wheelchair, arrived at 5 p.m. to claim a place by the inukshuk on English Bay, bypassing his normal spot in the wheelchair seating area on top of the English Bay bathhouse.

“I kind of like it because you are part of the people,” said Childs. “It’s a lot more fun being part of the festivities right on the beach.”

The next fireworks event is Saturday, when South Africa puts on a show, followed by the United Kingdom next Wednesday and China on Aug. 1.


20 July 2009


The vid for Basement Jaxx' new single, "Raindrops" is out now. I love it. Erotic art-- music made into moving images.

17 July 2009

Since it came up in conversation...

The worst interview and resume mistakes
by Tara Weiss, Forbes.com
Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A few minutes into an interview with a promising advertising sales representative, the candidate's cellphone rang. Instead of being embarrassed that he forgot to shut it off, he asked the recruiter, Debra Wheatman, "Do you mind if I grab this for one quick sec?"

Of course she minded.

That he answered the phone spoke volumes about him. His résumé went straight into the trash. It didn't matter how qualified he was; Wheatman wasn't hiring someone who valued a cellphone call over a job opportunity.

"I was flabbergasted," she says. Wheatman was an in-house recruiter at Condé Nast when this awkward incident occurred. She is now a career counsellor for the job Web site Vault.com.

Answering your phone during a job interview is obviously inappropriate. But there are many much more subtle mistakes job seekers make on their résumés and during interviews. With so much competition for jobs, don't let one of these faux pas hurt your chances.

Your résumé is your first chance to make a positive impression. Make sure there aren't any typos, grammatical errors or spelling mistakes in it. You must do more than just spell check it. Print it out. It's easier to detect errors on paper than after your eyes glaze over from staring at a computer screen. Also, have a friend or mentor proofread it.

One version of your résumé won't be right for all the jobs you apply for. It's better to tailor it to a handful of openings that directly relate to your experience rather than to write one and spam dozens of hiring managers with it. Also, use the keywords that appear in the job ad to describe your skills.

"The biggest mistake people make on a résumé is they think everything they've ever done needs to be in there," says Rich Thompson, vice president of training and development for the staffing firm Adecco Group North America. "The résumé is the bait to get you the interview."

Managers are more likely to take that bait if you describe your accomplishments instead of listing your daily responsibilities. This will set you apart from the competition. Quantify those accomplishments when possible. Describe what you made, saved and achieved for the firm.

Once you get the interview, dress professionally. Men should wear a suit and tie and women a nice top with either slacks or a skirt. It doesn't matter if the company's typical attire is business casual. "You're there to make an impression," Debra Wheatman says.

Nothing frustrates recruiters more than when a candidate doesn't know enough about their company. Before the interview, learn all you can about the company's products, services and competition. Check out the press room on the firm's Web site to see what the latest news is.

All this information will come in handy when the hiring manager asks why you want the job. That's the perfect opportunity to explain how you'll be an ideal fit for the position.

Joan McGrail, human resources manager at the footwear company New Balance, sees many avoidable mistakes when she conducts interviews. Among the most common: asking about vacation policy before you've landed the job, long answers that never really address the question, trying to dominate the interview and failing to show respect for all interviewers and company personnel, like the receptionist and security person.

Among the silliest errors she's seen: A job candidate wore a competitor's sneakers to the interview.

McGrail recommends being prepared to discuss specifics. For example, many managers will ask questions like, "Tell me about a time when you had to overcome a challenge on the job."

Always come prepared with questions. Wheatman recommends asking, "Can you tell me about the characteristics of a person who held this job who was very successful? What about someone who held the job before who wasn't successful?"

Many interviewees get tongue-tied when asked the open-ended question, "Tell me about yourself." "People often start babbling," Wheatman says. "It's meant to get you to open up and talk about something not on your résumé."

She recommends discussing something interesting you've done that illustrates your character. Typical good options: having recently trained for and run a marathon or recent volunteer work.

As for salary, don't discuss it until you've been offered the job. If you toss out a number before the interview, it may be higher than they wanted and you'll take yourself out of the running. Show them during the interview why they can't live without you. Then they'll be more likely to give you the pay you deserve.

Many recruiters create an uncomfortable situation by asking what your current salary is. That shouldn't have a bearing on what you'll make in your next job. The company should pay you the market rate for your unique skills set.

If this comes up, respond by explaining that you're really excited about this opportunity and you're sure you can arrive at a salary you both feel comfortable with. If that doesn't work, Wheatman suggests, ask how much the position is budgeted for.

Don't underestimate the power of a good interview. "We find the overwhelming percentage of people who get the job are not necessarily the ones most qualified," Thompson says. "They're the ones who do the best in the interview."

Whatever you do, don't forget to shut off your cellphone.

08 July 2009

Craiglist post from the Bike Shop

A few things from the bike shop.
Date: 2009-05-27, 4:05PM PDT

Whoo-hoo Seattle, the sun is out! Let's discuss a few things before you fumble with swapping the unused ski rack for the unused bike rack on the Subaru.

So yes, you've noticed the sun is out, and hey!- maybe it would be cool to to some bike riding. Let's keep in mind that the sun came out of all 600,000 of us, so for the most part, you're not the only one who noticed. Please remember that when you walk into my shop on a bright, sunny Saturday morning. It will save you from looking like a complete twat that huffs "Why are there so many people here?"

Are we all on the same page now about it being sunny outside? Have we all figured out that we're not the only clever people that feel sunny days are good for bike riding? Great. I want to kiss all of you on your forehead for sharing this moment with me. Put your vitamin D starved fingers in mine, and we'll move on together to some pointers that will make life easier.


- I don't know what size of bike you need. The only thing that I can tell over the phone is that you sound fat. I don't care how tall you are. I don't care how long your inseam is. Don't complain to me that you don't want to come ALL THE WAY down to the bike shop to get fitted for a bike. I have two hundred bikes in my inventory. I will find one that fits you. Whether you come from the north or the south, my shop is downhill. Pretend you're going to smell a fart, ball up, and roll your fat ass down here.

- Don't get high and call me. Write it down, call me later. When I have four phone lines ringing, and a herdlet
of people waiting for help, I can't deal with you sitting there "uuuuhhh"-ing and "uuummm"-ing while your brain tries to put together some cheeto-xbox-fixie conundrum. We didn't get disconnected, I left you on hold to figure your shit out.

-I really do need to see your bike to know what is wrong with it. You've already figured out that when you car makes a noise, the mechanic needs to see it. When your TV goes blank, a technician needs to see it. I can tell you, if there is one thing I've learned from you fucking squirrels, it's that "doesn't shift right" means your bike could need a slight cable adjustment, or you might just need to stop backing into it with the Subaru. Bring it in, I'll let you know for sure.

- No, I don't know how much a good bike costs. For some, spending $500 dollars is a kingly sum. For others, $500 won't buy you one good wheel. You really need to have an idea of what you want, because every one of you raccoons "doesn't want to spend too much".


- Just because you think is should exist, doesn't mean that it does. I know that to you, a 14 inch quill stem makes perfect sense, but what makes more sense is buying a bike that fits you, not trying to make your mountain bike that was too small for you to begin with into a comfort bike.

- If some twat on some message board somewhere says that you can use the lockring from your bottom bracket as a lockring for a fixie conversion doesn't mean that A: you can, or B: you should. Please listen to me on this stuff, I really do have your best interests at heart.

- I love that you have the enthusiasm to build yourself a recumbent in the off season. That does not mean however, that I share your enthusiasm; ergo I won't do the "final tweaks" for you. You figure out why that Sram shifter and that Shimano rear derailleur don't work together. While we're at it, you recumbent people scare me a little. Don't bring that lumbering fucking thing anywhere near me.


-If you shitheads had any money, you wouldn't NEED a vintage Poo-zhow to get laid. Go have an ironic mustache growing contest in front of American Apparel, so that I can continue selling $300 bikes to fatties, which is what keeps the lights on.

- Being made in the 80's may make something cool, but that doesn't automatically make something good. The reason that no one has ridden that "vintage" Murray is because it's shit. It was shit in the 80's, a trend it carried proudly through the 90's, and rallied with into the '00's. What I mean to say is, no, I can't make it work better. It's still shit, even with more air in the tires.


Good for you! Biking is awesome. It's easy, it's fun, it's good for you. I want you to bike, I really do. To that end, I am here to help you.

-Your co-worker that's "really into biking" knows fuck all. Stop asking for his advice. He could care less about you having the right bike. He wants to validate his bike purchase(s) through you. He also wants to sleep with you, and wear matching bike shorts with you.

- You're not a triathlete. You're not. If you were, you wouldn't be here, and we both know it.

- You're not a racer. If you were, I'd know you already, and you wouldn't be here, and we both know it.

- So you want a bike that you can ride to work, goes really fast, is good for that triathlon you're doing this summer (snicker), is good on trails and mud, and costs less than $300. Yeah. Listen, I want a car that can go 200 miles an hour, tow a boat, has room for five adults, is easy to parallel park but can carry plywood, gets 60mpg, and only costs $3,000. I also want a unicorn to blow me. What are we even talking about here? Oh yeah. Listen, bikes can be fast, light, cheap and comfortable. Pick two, and we're all good.


Your kids are amazing. Sure are. No one else has kids as smart, able, funny or as good looking as you. Nope. Never see THAT around here.

- I have no idea how long you kid will be able to use this bike. As it seems to me, your precious is a little retarded, and can't even use the damn thing now. More likely, your budding genius is going to leave the bike in the driveway where you will Subaru the bike to death LONG before the nose picker outgrows the bike.

- Stop being so jumpy. I am not a molester. You people REALLY watch too much TV. When I hold the back of the bike while your kid is on it, it's not because I get a thrill from *almost* having my hand on kid butt, it's because kids are unpredictable, and generally take off whenever possible, usually not in the direction you think they might go. Listen, if I were going to do anything bad to your kids, I'd feed them to sharks, because sharks are FUCKING AWESOME.

I hope this helps, and have fun this summer riding your kick-ass bike!

Ross posted this one on FB. Priceless!