Purely psychic

March 31, 2006

At lunch a voice in my head said, “Go to Stock Exchangers, they have a Dan-Echo for less than half-price,” so I went and they did. How freaky is that?

Online reviews say some of these have a problem with faulty wiring “that looked like it was done by a monkey” causing noise. So I’m wonder if that’s why it was there. I’ll find out I guess.


New product profile

March 31, 2006

There’s something slightly disturbing about this hydroponics product profile:

“Its putting 15% more body fat on cows when fed to the grass on dairy farms. Imagine what it will do to your crop!
Beneficials Bio-Link Plus is HydroGardens way of re-introducing a wide range of naturally occurring beneficial microbes and fungi that have long since largely disappeared from the environment. These naturally occurring organisms aid in the natural process of plant growth and development. Beneficials Bio-Link Plus is made using a unique sophisticated brewing process that helps maximise the microbe colonisation and shelf life of the product which offers the maximum benefit to growers and their crops. As well as increasing plant growth and quality, Beneficials Bio-Link Plus strengthens plants making them more able to withstand insect attack.”


Need batteries for my pedals, batteries for my head

March 31, 2006

Final Navigator weekend. Looking forward to being done with that. Not that it hasn’t been enjoyable, but you can only take so much of that kind of enjoyable.

Also looking forward to having all my Sundays open for League practices. Though, of course, I have to invent some kind of imaginary gig for Ken to be interested. When I was at Arbutus buying a mic stand, some kid said he saw my “ambient band” at the Cambie. I thought he had me confused with someone else, someone actually playing ambient music, then I realized he meant League.

Forgot my travel mug here at the office last night so I have only a half cup of cold coffee in a ceramic cup in from of me. I’ll be asleep by noon.


Ghosts?

March 29, 2006

Strange thing: we set our alarms last night but when I woke this morning, at 7:34, both were turned off.


Oh, Moz

March 28, 2006

“I fully realize that the absence of any Morrissey concerts in Canada is unlikely to bring the Canadian economy to its knees, but it is our small protest against this horrific slaughter,” he said.

Morrissey also alleges that Harper “states that the slaughter is necessary because it provides jobs for local communities.”

“Construction of German gas chambers also provided work for someone – this is not a moral or sound reason for allowing suffering,” he said.

The 46-year-old singer concludes his message by calling for his fans to boycott Canadian goods, saying that Canada has “placed itself alongside China as the cruelest and most self-serving nation.”


Drowning in appurtenances

March 27, 2006

Divestment is going less swimmingly than I’d envisioned.


Divesting in the future

March 27, 2006

Giving serious thought to a major divestment of bric-a-brac. I wonder if Helen’s still going to run a thrift shop out of their apartment… I could set her up with half her start-up stock I’m sure.

I also have a tub full of graphic design crap (er, tools and equipment) I haven’t even looked at since graduating. Time for that to go.

I bet there’s stuff in various closets to been done away with too.

And the kitchen.

Everything must go!


Lava

March 24, 2006

Made Lava Cakes and much to my surprise, they worked. Though perhaps not as perfectly as on the commercial.


Theftery

March 22, 2006

Can you belive that Wal*Mart ad that totally rips off the Zellers ads? I bet you didn’t even notice because you assumed it was a Zellers ad. I must say, the Wal*Mart ad is actually executed better.


Exerpted from the Globe and Mail

March 21, 2006

NANAIMO, B.C. — It looks like it could have been made by a bomb. And in some ways the gigantic hole that you now find smack dab in the middle of this hard-luck city’s historic downtown core did set off reverberations that can still be felt today.

“Quite a sight isn’t it?” says Don Stone, a college professor, pointing at the Nanaimo construction site. “It’s madness, absolute madness. But in many ways, I guess, it’s typical of the kind of decision making that has been a hallmark of this city. It’s a shame. A crying shame.”

The centerpiece of Mr. Korpan’s dream for a revitalized city centre is something being called the New Nanaimo Centre. The entire development is a joint project of the city and Suro, the U.S. real estate giant based in Stamford, Conn.

The Americans swung a pretty sweet deal. As part of the agreement, the city will pay $3.5-million to replace parking for a nearby park, $1.3-million for a new road to the condos and the park and the costs of hooking up sewer and water services to the site.

Beyond that, the city will also be on the hook for the costs associated with soil cleanup, which could end up being huge. The site was the location of an old foundry for many years, as well as a battery plant and lumber mill.

“The mayor thought he was playing in the big leagues with these guys, but they knew they were dealing with a total rube,” Mr. Stone said.

Beyond the conference centre and the condo towers being built by Suro, two other condo towers are going up right on the harbour. One of them is being erected at the site of the once-famous Malispina Hotel, the concrete carcass of which has sat vacant for nearly 15 years, to the embarrassment of everyone.

The proliferation of condo towers is also part of Mr. Korpan’s overarching plan to bring the city’s battered and depressed downtown core back to life.

You could trace the city’s reputation as a dusty, blue-collar repository for the likes of groups such as the Hells Angels, whose Nanaimo chapter has been one of the most visible and controversial over the years, way back to 1849 when coal was found in the area. It turned Nanaimo into one gigantic industrial site. Half the current city is built on top of mine shafts. On top of generations of hard-working labourers, lumberjacks and fishermen too.

In modern times, the 1970s to be precise, giant malls began popping up on the outskirts of town, dealing a severe blow to the downtown core (and leading one anonymous poet to declare: “Nanaimo is an Indian word meaning too many malls.”) Despite a major recession in the area in the 80s, the downtown retail sector, as recently as 1996, comprised 34 per cent of the city’s total commercial tax base. By 2003, that was down to 15 per cent.

Skyrocketing construction costs, as well as additional expenditures for things like site cleanup, have already pushed the costs to the up to $72.2-million.

And they’re climbing.

Mr. Korpan, however, has no intention of backing off. No intention of filling in the big hole in the middle of town and starting over. But if he doesn’t exactly sound desperate, there is something in the mayor’s voice that suggests the city’s time is now, that it doesn’t have to continue being the butt of everyone’s jokes. It has a spectacular harbour, agreeable year-round weather and a great, commerce-friendly position on the island.

Time will tell.


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