Richmond Learns to Park

22 07 2015

Some time ago, my kids told me of a web site dedicated to poor examples of parking in Richmond, BC. I never bothered to look into it, as it smacked more than a little of racism. Today though, in research for this posting, I looked and the Facebook page does document some spectacular examples:

Facebook: Richmond Learns to Park

All this went unremembered until I returned to my car yesterday lunchtime. I’d driven a couple of colleagues for dim sum at Cambie and 5th, and returned to find a signpost embedded in my front grille:

Precision Parking

Precision Parking

Takes some mad skills

Takes some mad skills

Now – credit where it’s due: unlike myself the driver of the Ford F150 truck had reversed into the parking place. I was taught on my advanced driving courses that this is preferable to allow for more options when leaving the parking place. Furthermore, the driver had positioned it very accurately side-to-side in the spot. So accurately in fact that when he/she underestimated the length of their truck (even without towing hitch they were over the yellow curb), the hitch lined up exactly with the signpost between the separating curbstones. An inch or so either way and the hitch would have missed. Now THAT is accuracy.

I must however comment on Richmond City. Aware, no doubt, of the low regard its residents occasionally have for lines, boundaries and other parking expectations… they’d actually installed the signs on springs. Yup – they EXPECT them to be knocked over, and instead of paying for them to be repaired regularly had simply taken the hit of a more expensive initial installation, and mounted them all on flexible springs.

Thankfully there was no physical damage to my car, so it all got brushed off as “one of those things”. If you see a silver F150 with BC plate 8126 YR though, take my advice… don’t stand behind it!

Showing off the Family Silver

28 03 2013

Today I was most honoured when kalyrical offered me a blogging award. The Sunshine Award, no less. And here it is, all shiny and freshly polished.

The Sunshine Award

The Sunshine Award

I’d be interested to trace where this one originated. Looks like a marigold (not the rubber gloves).

When I first began blogging back in 2011, I was a bit non-plussed when I started to get these things. To the point where I actually stopped displaying them on my blog. It’s not why I wrote my pieces and lobbed them into the ether. Not for “rewards” or recognition. I’m not even sure now why I do it.

Certainly to begin with it was to get things off my chest. Occasionally it still serves that purpose. More often though it’s simply to share cool stuff I’ve stumbled across one way or another. I do like to share things I’ve learned though, so it’s a particular pleasure when I get comments indicating that a reader has found something of interest to them on these pages, or has perhaps even been inpired (presumably by stimulation of the “I could do better than that rubbish” gene). It’s also fun writing inflammatory things occasionally, just to see if anyone’s awake and paying enough attention to notice. 😀

So – thanks kalyrical, and what do I have to do to keep this lovely trinket? Ah – the usual “10 questions” plus “pass it on”.

Here goes then…

1. Who is your favourite philosopher?

Hm – start with the easy ones then, I see!

I did consider Lennon. He’s definitely up there with the deep thinkers: “Woman, I know you understand the little child inside your man.” A little more tangible I think you’d agree than “I am the eggman, they are the eggmen. I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob“.

In the end though, I settled on Charles M. Schulz. If you don’t know who he is… all I can say is “good grief”.

2. What is your favourite number?

Oo – now this one is more fun. I almost said π, but in the end I settled on Avogadro’s number. He didn’t seem to mind sharing it though, so it’s not really just his any more. I remember learning about it in Chemistry class when I was about 14. I loved the way his name ran over the tongue (leaving tyre tracks if you weren’t careful). 6.022×1023. The number of something-or-others in a thingy. Very important stuff at the time, I can tell you! I didn’t get where I am today by not knowing how many thingies in a doodah.

I also vaguely remember it had something to do with moles…Talpa europaea MHNT.jpg

3. What is your favourite animal?

Obviously human beings! They’re so much fun to watch rushing around their little cages trying to get somewhere.

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter  identities?

Don’t have Facebook, and I’m not telling you my Twitter. So there! 😛

5. What is your favourite time of day?

Now. It is informed by all the times before it, and the ones to come might not. Come that is. (It’s a more common problem than you think.)

6. What is your favourite holiday?

Public holiday? None of them really. I do like Pancake Day, but it’s not a holiday really.

7. What is your favourite physical activity?

I was going to say “sex”, but that’s more of a mental activity these days. Recently, I’d have to say snowshoeing, though hiking generally is lots of fun.

8. What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink?

Tea of course. I’m from Yorkshire!

9. What is your favourite flower?

The White Rose of Yorkshire. These questions are getting too easy. Actually, I’m quite fond of the heady scent from freesias and daffodils. I find them very intoxicating.

10. What is your passion?

Depends. I’m a very obsessive person, so I tend to have a passion du jour. There are a few constants/frequent returns though.

Scouting is one. Reading is another. Making people laugh. Correcting English people who say sked-yule instead of shed-u-al for schedule. Americans may be excused – as a country they’re still in short pants at a mere 400+ years old – but English people have no valid reason to be so lazy…  😉

It’s almost as bad as cutting your food with a knife and fork, putting the knife down and swapping your fork into the other hand to eat it. I mean… come on! How can that make sense in anyone’s book?!

OK then, that wasn’t too bad. I’m supposed to “pass it on” now. Like an STD or something, I suppose. So – who have I been reading a lot recently?

  1. Sheriji, of course, at Just Sayin’ and more recently at A Day in the Life of Really Not a Guru Always supportive and with a sly humour that comes out occasionally. She also turns a blind eye to my many gentle digs at Americania.
  2. samferdafolk Some amazing sketches from the Maritimes and Iceland.
  3. the zero vector A newcomer to the blogosphere. lea im netz is from Spain and/or Germany via Norway to study in Vancouver. Nothing unusual there really.
  4. Questionable Evolution Erin Zimmerman is studying in Montréal and tells us about some of the weirder results of evolution. weirder than us, even!
  5. Lance’s Travels Ah, now I always enjoy reading about Lance’s travels. He’s been around the block, and tells a good yarn about the journey to-boot.

So… that’s it then. Job done. With a disturbing sound of the snap of rubber gloves, I get to keep the coveted marigold: The Sunshine Award.

Just for old times sake, I’ve dusted off the the other awards I’ve been offered over the last couple of years, just to remind myself…

The Versatile Blogger: offered by Sarah Alice on The Adventures of an English Student

Reader Appreciation Award: offered by sheriji

The HUG Award: offered by kianys who sadly seems to have left our giddy little party

The following were a bit more vague… I didn’t actually do anything to get them, since the rules had been lost in the mist of time. Or packets on the interwebs. Or soup. Or something.

7×7 Links Award: offered by Kianys

Kreativ Blogger: offered by Kianys

Tell me about yourself: offered by Kianys

ABC Award: offered by Kianys

Patricia Piccinini

2 12 2012

I’ve been thinking about “social networking” recently. I went to a marketing seminar on Tuesday, and that was much of the focus. But it bothers me. The more social media we use, it seems the less truly social we become.

We share inane minutiae about ourselves on Twitter, Facebook (or Twitbook as I once heard them collectively called) to a world that couldn’t care less. Because we can, we do. Yawn. But I think it’s worse than just irrelevant. I actually think it’s negative.

A relationship, be it romantic or friendship (or both, or somewhere in the middle, or neither, or…), waxes and wanes over its lifespan. It gets little pulses of renewal when some new facet is uncovered. “I never knew you had six toes!” It’s not that these little things are secrets per se – they just weren’t worthy of explicit mention. When they do pop up in a conversation, they’re surprising and renewing to the bond that was formed. You realise then that no matter how well you thought you knew the person, there’s an infinite number of layers and facets within them. They’re interesting.

Real people are fascinating.

Online people – less so.

It’s a manufactured persona. A marketing effort. Usually we ourselves are the marketing department and typically suck at it, but “celebrities” really do have other people paid to manage their online “social” persona. I am under no illusions whatsoever that Obama is REALLY checking his LinkedIn connection to humble ol’ Quieter Elephant… especially as I can’t vote in the US! Lloyd Cole on the other hand is (and I say this respectfully) past his creative prime, and I’m a little more confident that he himself creates the tweets I read from @Lloyd_Cole. Especially as he is looking to fund his next album through pre-orders.

So, having said all that – it’s not without its uses either. As with a hammer – it’s a tool that can’t be used for solving every problem, but it does have a place when used appropriately. A big one for me is learning. We never stop learning. If we do – we die. Maybe not physically, but practically. Young people think old people are worthless because they find it harder to learn and adapt. Kids, eh? I think “getting old” is just another way of saying “full!”. The elderly have learned so much in their lives. The young could benefit from tapping into that hard won knowledge and experience. Then the old could learn how to mentor. Win-win!

So I enjoy the opportunities the interwebs (as Bunbury would call them) offer to access new-to-me ideas, opinions and stuff generally. I enjoy StumbleUpon because of its randomness within the scope of my selected interests. (Though “Babes” does seem to come up more often than most. Just sayin’…)

And this very morning my computer, via software written after I arrogantly left the profession claiming “there are no new interesting problems to solve”, delivered to me the work of Patricia Piccinini.

Wikipedia: The Young Family; Patricia Piccinini

Wikipedia: The Young Family; Patricia Piccinini

Born in Sierra Leone, she’s an Australian artist, specialising in “hyper-realistic” sculptures. Typically fibre-glass, silicone, human hair, real clothes. Though her work is varied, a common theme is “what if?” Particularly that emotional space where we question what it is to be human.

I encourage you to check out her website. There’s some amazing work. Thought-provoking as well as technically brilliant. I suspect some readers will be repulsed, others fascinated.