Protests are fun

I go downtown today and as the bus is being re-routed down Hastings due to more work on our $2 billion sinkhole, er, <em>subway </em>to Richmond, I notice a rather sizable crowd gathered at the corner before my stop. Turns out to be a protest against Scientology, whose, uh, “church”, is on the corner opposite the protesters. Lots of people waving signs about “killers” and generally how evil those Scientology folks are. My favorite was a guy wearing a cream-colored (and expressionless) mask with a sign that read “I for one welcome our galactic overlords”.

Don’t tell Tom Cruise I made this post.

And speaking of protests, there is a local ad campaign currently running on bus shelters with the theme of “Trivial problem vs. 250,000 baby seals about to get slaughtered. Get angry for the right reasons.” Some examples are the price of gas rising 3 cents a liter, your cellphone signal not working or your shoes being the wrong color. I’ve never found such ads to be effective (for me at least) because guilt is too blatantly manipulative. “You materialistic consumer-driven scumbag, stop worrying about the irrelevant details of your daily life and start frothing at the mouth over the annual seal hunt. Grr!” Yeah, well, what if I was a doctor and that wonky cell signal meant I missed a call that could have saved a life? What if I was a member of Greenpeace and the call I missed could have saved a baby harp seal’s life? Hmm? Your ads aren’t so clever now, are they?

For the record, I am opposed to the seal hunt.

Morrissey refused to tour Canada because of the hunt. There’s another great thing — celebrities and artists picking and choosing what offends them from a buffet of choices then deciding they’ll make their stand over Issue A by boycotting Country B. We miss you, Morrissey. Really. How’s the British campaign going in Iraq? You’ve canceled all your UK dates to register your opposition, yes? No? Do as I do and scrap your fey ways, dial-a-cliche.

I wanted a muffin, I got a cookie

There’s a new bakery that sells absolutely decadent double chocolate muffins a few blocks from where I work. I actually have to walk past another bakery to get there. Then there is another bakery across from the double chocolate muffin one. The neighborhood around here is pretty much bakeries and sushi places. But today I went to get a muffin at the new bakery and they had none. I settled for a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie. It was good but not as good. Maybe it’s a sign to stick to my New Year’s resolution and eat carrot sticks or something.

Also, it turns out the version of Rasputin I bought was the truncated single, not the full song from the, uh, classic album Nightflight to Venus. The entire verse about chopping off his head was missing. So I had to spend another 99 cents to get the full version. Perhaps I’ll look for some iTunes complaint site to express my outage over this. Hopefully it will have a simple form with multiple choices to check off, because I like my complaining to be easy and convenient!

I should have my next short story added to the site soon and a shocking announcement about my next novel, too. :O!

I’d buy that for a dollar (or 99 cents)

When I listen to music I still mainly do it the old-fashioned way, buying CDs and listening to them on my stereo. I rip all the tracks and copy them over into iTunes so I can also listen to them on my PC and iPod. When it comes to buying songs over iTunes, I never buy full albums because I’d rather get the CD and rip the tracks at my preferred bitrate (which is higher than what Apple offers on their DRM-protected songs). So mostly I’ll buy a few individual songs here and there. And I’ve noticed a trend.

I use iTunes to buy kitsch.

I could never bring myself to buy a full Boney M album (although I did when I was 14 but hey, I was 14). I can, however, bring myself to buy their cornball classic “Rasputin” for 99 cents.  Also see: “Venus” by Bananarama (is it possible to buy this song, be male and not gay?), Loverboy’s “Turn Me Loose” or even The Mama and Pappas’ “California Dreamin'” which may not be kitsch unless you also watch film footage of them in concert from 1967.

So I’d like to thank Apple for providing me the opportunity to indulge my horrible taste in music and nostalgia for mere pennies! I’m still not buying one of your iMacs, though. Sorry!

Goodbye docs, hello cow

I’ve done a wee bit of tidying up by removing all of the .doc versions of my short stories. I figure for a .pdf is good enough for reading and I’m the boss here, so that’s that! I recommend Foxit for viewing .pdf files.

I’ve finally added Stop That Cow!, a story I originally wrote in five installments on the Martian Cartel forum. I’ve converted the text file to something a little more readable for a .pdf but have otherwise not changed it. It could probably do with another pass but it’s not exactly heavy reading. Enjoy!

Wish you were here

Because if you were here, you might update this dang blog once in awhile, something I’ve been curiously unmotivated to do.

But I will have a few updates soon — for real!

Three new (old) stories and a new year, too

Between the last entry in October and this one written in March 2007 some 29,000 trees in Vancouver have been knocked down by storms carrying typhoon-strength winds. Once again, Green Revolution appears meek and conservative next to reality.

But enough of reality, I finally have three more stories ready. Learning to Die, Noises and The Big Green Monster That Sat on Cleveland are all self-explanatory titles. There’s no attempt to be ironic, edgy or hip, each story is really about what the title says.

I’ll be back to post again in six months!

A Pod With a View and a lazy blog guy

I started a full-time job back in July, hence the lack of updates here. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

As I write this the song “Seasons in the Sun” has just started playing on iTunes. This is truly one of the worst songs of all time and yet I am strangely fascinated by it. I plug my nose and sing along. Fun fact: for three years I worked with Craig Jacks, the brother of Terry Jacks (the songmeister responsible for this classic). Craig was the head lifeguard at Locarno Beach where I slung fries and hot dogs of dubious nutritional value from 1996 to 98. He and the other ‘guards would groove out 70s-style late into the warm summer nights. He never really talked about Terry as I recall. Ah, how I look back fondly on my days at Locarno. We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun. But the stars we could reach were just starfish on the beach…

I’ve included the latest addition to the short story collection, A Pod With a View. This one is from an actual school assignment and I’ve provided the instructor’s comments as a special bonus.

Last week I picked up a cheapie Canon scanner (this one, to be exact) and will begin scanning in older stories and other creative endeavors from years past. The quality of my work varies as wildly as my mood after an all-night Tequila bender, so consider yourself warned.

Seasons in the Sun courtesy of Planet Pop 70s (this was the first link Google coughed up).

Keeping it fsimple

I’ve looked over a number of themes for WP and have settled on fsimple for now because it’s simple and I’m all about being simple.

I’ve adjusted the type, color scheme and formatting a bit and will continue to plink away at the general site design. Then I shall dazzle with content.