Category: Observations

My tags visualized

By , 14 June 2008 22:14

"Wordle is a toy for generating "word clouds" from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like."


Here are my tags as seen in Wordle:



Guerilla Gardener news from Vancouver, the UK and in the land of Oz

By , 29 May 2008 15:50

This is a post about a news article about Guerilla gardeners that showed up in the Asian Pacific Post a few weeks ago. I mentioned it in some Twitter posts when I found that they had used some of my images without my permission. This has been corrected.

The same article appeared yesterday in the Sydney Morning Herald. It is ephemera of the news cycle that I find interesting. The story is a filler that editors can add when they need more content. The Asian Pacific Post added a local angle which they were not required to do but I’m glad they did. I’m surprised the Sydney Morning Herald could not do the same [from their own publication!]


Pink snow in Vancouver

By , 11 May 2008 18:50

Here’s the view in my neighbourhood this morning:

Pink snow in Vancouver

It is surreal and beautiful too.

Snow Petals

A tweet: Love watching the falling petals of cherry blossoms; snow that doesn’t melt. The wind blows them down the street like confetti. Slippery too.

Real snow on April 19 -  No one I know remembers it snowing so late in the year

snow in april - tfw

But snow at the end of March is normal – it did that last year too.

Snow in Vancouver on March 28

Snow and cherry blossoms

Snow & Cherry Blossoms

First post with Windows Live Writer – positive reviews on Lifehacker. I agree.

Outside Superstore / Home Depot

By , 7 April 2008 23:14

Look closely. I see a water channel between the mountain ranges on this air vent cover outside the new Superstore / Home Depot store at Cambie at 7th

Mountain Ranges Sound Waves 2

At this angle it looks like a VU meter gone crazy:

Mountain Ranges Sound Waves

The air vent is both beautiful and cold at same time. It was probably designed to make it impossible for skateboarders to use it while evoking elements of our natural landscape.

Wild and Crazy Hats

By , 6 April 2008 21:05

From work

A Wild & Crazy Guy

J. H. didn’t even know that what he put on that morning would be a throwback to the weird and wonderful 80’s

Bev the Hat Lady

Bev wears hats like these all year long. As the seasons change, so do the hats. Halloween and Xmas are the best!

From Green LA Girl: Successful apartment composting stories wanted

By , 6 April 2008 10:27

Los Angeles apartment dwellers could probably make use of a community composting initiative.

Successful apartment composting stories wanted

If you have a lawn or garden, you can easily transform food scraps into healthy, eco-friendly, compost. All you need to compost is basically a bin with holes at the bottom. But apartment-dwellers who don’t want to send fruit peels and veggie pieces to the landfill have a harder go of it. You need more involved equipment — and have to get more involved yourself.

This is why I haven’t started composting yet.

In fact, none of my local green, apartment-dwelling friends compost. And it’s not cuz we’re lazy!

It’s just tough to compost indoors. Jenn of Tiny Choices wrote a great post about the 4 ways to compost indoors. Guess what: Jenn doesn’t compost herself.

Are you a successful apartment composter? Share your story [] to encourage us all, and I’ll include them in a future post. In the meantime, I’m going to figure out how I can push Santa Monica, the city I live in, to give us green bins we can put our food scraps in for city composting. Homeowners get these green bins, but not apartment dwellers.

Composting indoors is a challenge but if you have no outside compost bin, then a combination of using bokashi and a worm bin* may do the job.



Daily zeitgeist and our amazing brain

By , 13 March 2008 22:21

My Firefox homepage is Delicious’ Popular links page. Every day I get to look at things that people on the web think are important. One time, one the links was for someone that I knew [a flickr contact] before they made the popular list.

Most times, a link stays up for a day, sometimes two, as the critical mass of the web adds to its staying power. I don’t click on every link, but many do end up on my own page [which are added to my Feedburner RSS feed]

This video was on the popular list for three days. Take a look at it and you will know why. “Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor tells an amazing story of had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke….”

Spoiler alert: Taylor presents a compelling argument that religious ecstatic experience is simply a function of the brain’s anatomy. But if those experiences can bring about universal peace, I don’t care how it happens.

Being part of the solution in Abbotsford, BC

By , 12 March 2008 20:29

I found this on Vancouver Craigslist today:

Date: 2008-03-11, 9:16PM PDT

The average household sends 500lbs of kitchen waste to the landfill or down the drain each year. Be part of the solution! Let me do the work.
For only $5.00 per week I supply the pail and pick it up each week.


I think this is great idea and I wrote an email to tell them so. I also invited them to explore possible solutions for both customers and them that Biosa and Bokashi could provide.

Even if I hear nothing back, I am happy to see that it is happening in the region where I live.

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Sparrow Party

By , 26 January 2008 21:05

Sparrow Party

I heard the birds chirping from across the street, then went closer for a better view.

Public photography: It could have been a lot worse.

By , 16 December 2007 13:53

A few weeks ago, I was travelling the city by public transit. I got into a snit about some uncivil behaviour and decided to take some action.

This is my story:

I boarded the bus at Broadway & Cambie heading south. I walk to the back and notice some papers strewn around two of the side seats. I don’t think anything of it, its a Saturday night. I sit down on the third and as soon as I do, I notice that there is a mess on the floor too. I get up just as the bus driver says: “If you don’t want to smell like what’s on the seat, you better move.” I moved the temporary bus stop sign so all three seats are now covered.

Bus#1 - 24Nov07

What peeved me is that there were five people sitting in the vicinity of this seat. So, I expressed my frustration and said out loud: “No one could have told me about this? Thank you for your consideration.” I sit down on the opposite side.

We’ve travelled to 12th Avenue.

Between 12th and 16th Ave, I get my camera out. Usually, I turn my flash off in public places but this time I did not. I take a picture of the mess above and two more. The third shot is of a couple sitting in the area [who said nothing] getting off the bus at 16th Avenue.

Bus#2 - 24Nov07

Here is where things get interesting. When I take the second picture, I hear a man’s voice expressing surprise. After the third picture is taken, I feel the camera being grabbed from my hand and the wrist strap breaking. As he is doing this, he is saying something like “Some people don’t like their picture being taken and this what happens when you do that.”

Okay. The man is standing there with my camera is in one hand, a paper bag in the other. I can tell he wants me to grab for the camera, so we can have a scuffle and he can smash it. I take the opposite approach and say loudly and clearly:

“Give me back my camera and I will erase the image.” He freezes. What can he do? I have given him exactly what he wants.

I repeat my request three times – even guy beside me says to give my camera back. The bus driver is saying “Whatever is happening between you two, take it outside.” Finally, he says “I don’t believe you.” then “Get off the bus” His stop is also my stop. As I look down to make sure I have everything, I noticed the syringes on my lap and on the floor. They weren’t there before. Great.

We’re at 19th Avenue.

We get off the bus and he hands me my camera and I try to turn it on. The lens is extended and there is no power.

“It’s not turning on. If you broke it, there’s nothing I can do.”
“I didn’t break it.”
“I’m checking the batteries. I’ll take them out and put them back in.”

The battery case is empty and I say: “When you grabbed the camera from me the batteries fell out. There is nothing I can do” and I put the camera in my pocket.

There are a few more words and he walks away.

Most disturbing to me: other people got off the bus at the same time we did and no one stopped to watch how it would resolve.

I get home and have a drink. The next day I look at the image and laugh.

Bus#3 - 24Nov07

He is behind the pole. Would he recognize himself?

Yes, I am very lucky. People have been killed for less.

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