January 24, 2002

Residential Tenancy Act Review

This morning while listening to the radio, I heard that the government was preparing to complete their Modernization of Residential Tenancy Legislation and is seeking suggestions and opinions until January 31st, 2002.

Perhaps the biggest issue is the legality of landlords imposing blanket 'No Pets' clauses. A group called the Pets of BC Residents (formerly 'POWER') has been actively lobbying the government to change the legislation to make 'No Pets' restrictions unenforceable. Their site contains lots of information, including guidelines for tenants, letters of support from people like Dr. David Suzuki, and their proposed amendment to the Residential Tenancy Act:
“A clause in a tenancy agreement that arbitrarily or unreasonably prohibits the occupation of pets in or about the residential premises and/or property is void”.
What you should do:

If you would like to see the legislation changed to be more pet-friendly, please write the government and tell them so. Remember, the deadline is January 31, 2002 so don't delay!
  1. Email your comments the Residential Tenancy Office: rto-feedback@ag.gov.bc.ca

  2. Write your MLA.
    Don't know your MLA's e-mail address (or your MLA)? Some useful links:
  3. Write the Premier: premier@gov.bc.ca

  4. If you prefer to fax or mail your information:
    • FAX: 250-953-4072

    • MAIL: Solicitor General
      PO Box 9296 Stn Prov Govt
      Victoria, BC V8W 9J8

  5. Don't stop there. Tell your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to contact the government as well.

January 22, 2002

Headline: Vancouverites Panic as Strange White Substance Descends!

Having lived a few years in the Canadian Shield, I have experienced winters that people from warmer climes can simply not appreciate. I remember wearing my snowsuit to school bursting at the seams from 4 layers of wool tucked underneath. Our school looked like a junior terrorist camp, with everyone wearing balaclavas and ski goggles to prevent the -40° C temeratures from freezing our heads off.

That was back in the late 70's when my family made a home in Northern Ontario during our seemingly never-ending journey across Canada, following my father's rise in the Pulp and Paper industry. Coming from coastal BC, just north of Vancouver, I had never experienced the incredible deep-freeze that happens throughout most of Canada during the winter season. The snow would come every year around Hallowe'en and stay sometimes until May, where it would cling to shaded curbs like scruffy collars. Most years it would get so deep, you had to excavate your car if, on the odd chance, the roads had been cleared.

After a few more moves, we found out way back to Vancouver, a city that experiences much more rain than snow. Every year produces 1 or 2 days of snowfall, amounting to nothing more than a thin layer of white that is usually gone by mid-day.

With each snowfall, the panic sets in. Drivers who are normally confident and wise on the road are reduced to fear-stricken bug-eyed zombies, white-knuckling the steering wheel and slamming on the brakes for even the tinyest patch of slush.

Today, my normal 15 minute commute took almost an hour as a 6 block stretch of Willingdon Avenue was slammed with cars whose drivers were so panicked by the snow, they likely lost a few years off their life just looking at it.

If you are scared to drive in the snow, take the bus. If you want to learn how to drive in the snow, move to Northern Ontario.

January 18, 2002

Happy Birthday, Ratbastard

Don Bruns is a Ratbastard.

I've been reading his rants for a few years now and, except for a brief hiatus, he's been consistently angry in a most humourous way.

Don, I wish you all the best. My present to you is this fancy E chord:

His web site says he's 30. Guess he'll have to change that.

January 17, 2002

More Transit Losers

After I posted a wee article about Transit Losers a month or so ago, I had a number of responses adding some favorites.
  • Hermit Drivers - They pull up to their spot in a bus loop and just sit there. They don't open the door to let us in from the cold, or rain or miserable weather. No, they just sit and read the newspaper, pretend to check the seats for leftover wallets, or simply avoid eye contact until just before their scheduled departure time. At that point, they open the doors and make irritated 'Hurry up' noises as people shuffle on the bus.

  • Ghost Stops - People who stand right at the bus stop, toes over the edge of the curb, expectant look on their face, right against the 'Bus Stops Here Only' sign, ostensibly waiting for the bus. But no! As the bus stops and the doors open, they furrow their brow, crumple their face into an angry 'What?!' and wave the bus off.

  • Ass Stapled to the Seat - Similar to the Aisle Sitter, this loser won't get up when it's your stop. They just primly swivel their knees to one side, allowing you a generous 1/4-inch space in which to squeeze by. All the while, maintaining a petulant frown as you insult their personal space.
If you have more, let me know. Ask your friends, neighbours, arresting officers. I want to compile a list and publish it here.

January 16, 2002

Future of Human Transportation

When I saw the Segway Human Transporter, I thought it lived up to all the hype that had whirled around it for a year or so.

Then, I saw the Megway.

January 14, 2002


As a followup to yesterday's message: the edge has worn off the Acute Bursitis after repeated applications of frozen peas and large quantities of Advil. I can move my arm a little better now, but I'm far from jumping jacks.

Not sure why that last entry shows as January 7th. I wrote it yesterday, January the 13th.

January 7, 2002

Older and More In Pain

I just returned from the local clinic with a diagnosis of Acute Bursitis.

Now, I don't know if it's strictly an old person problem, but it certainly makes me feel old.

And it hurts like a whip-crack if I move my arm up more than 10 degrees from my side.

January 4, 2002

Mmmm, Cake

January 3, 2002

More Mirror

Two more pictures added to the Mirror Project: One and Two.

January 2, 2002

Resolution Time

Everyone makes resolutions for the new year and I'm no different. Here are some of mine:
  1. Lose some weight

  2. Eat better. Not starving myself thin, no watercress salads 3 times a day, not the 'Zone Diet', nothing like that. Simply choose better foods and eat regularly.

  3. Get more exercise. In any form, but I must increase my level of physical activity. Having a desk job is murder on your physique.

  4. Learn everything in this book I got myself for Christmas.

  5. Take a photography class. Okay, this might be a ringer as I already signed up for one. But I've always wanted to refine my knowledge of the finer details. This year, I shall.

  6. Try to be less critical of others. I'll admit, this may be difficult.

  7. Try to be less critical of myself. This will be the hardest by far.
Good luck to you all in this new year!