Saturday, September 30, 2006

WOTS happening!

Last Sunday's Word on the Street was yet another sunny, perfect day. Here are a few glimpses of my favourite spot (where else), Poet's Corner.

That's Sandy Shreve proudly announcing the 10th Anniversary of Vancouver's Poetry in Transit series. The head in the front row belongs to Rhona McAdam, who read from her wonderful book Cartography.

All the poets at this particular reading were ones whose poems have been selected for this year's TransLink program. All those poems riding around on the buses and SkyTrains, wheee! I still get the occasional email or discover someone else who first read my poem, "Promises, Promises" because they were taking transit.

Great program -- both for writers and riders!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Travesty? Tragedy? Whichever, it's ugly.

Development, at least in my neighbourhood, seems to equate with ecological tyranny.

Walking in my neighbourhood yet again today, I came across the latest of these logged-off sites.

I thought our bylaw protects trees that aren't within a new building's potential 'footprint' -- that those around the edges are supposed to be spared. Yet the bulk of the stumps on this lot run right along the fenceline, hardly the spot where any building could go. Take a look at those windows in the apartments next door. Can you imagine how thrilled those people must be at the thought of having their very own third-storey Peeping Toms living next door?

These weren't little saplings that were removed. Again, I'd like to ask those people next door how having these big trees cut down has affected them.

My only wish now is that the bylaw officer gets there in time -- not only to fine the people responsible for this, but also to seize the timber before they can make any money by selling it to a mill.

I'll post again when I find out what, if anything, happens with this. It looks like a good test for the supposedly new and tougher bylaw.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

There's No Hype Like It

So much for thinking of the Canadian Forces as peacekeepers. New recruiting ads turn that sort of thinking on its bayonet.

The somewhat ambivalent There's No Life Like It has been replaced with Fight Fear, Fight Distress, and Fight Chaos: Fight with the Canadian Forces. It's enough to make me want to have a fight with the Forces.

This seems contrary to everything our Armed Forces have stood for -- and in direct contradiction to what our troops purportedly went to Afghanistan for. Weren't we initially told it was to build schools and other infrastructure that would enable people to lead better lives?

I don't remember being promised that our soldiers would be kicking in the doors of civilians' homes. Yet that's one of the scenes depicted in these new ads.

Still, I guess we're supposed to be grateful that focus groups at least convinced them to drop the phrase Fight Terror from the ads.

And they wonder why they're having such a hard time recruiting nurses and doctors...

Monday, September 11, 2006

This is news??

I feel like I'm having a bad case of deja-vu.

There's a news story about a different sort of hybrid vehicle: a plane with wings that fold upward so it can be driven like a car. Or, to look at it another way, it's a car that looks something like an old Bricklin, but those weird doors fold down to become functioning wings so you can fly it.

I am positive I saw the identical invention (except it was red or blue, not industrial grey) on the cover of Popular Mechanics about a gazillion years ago.

Here's something I think is easily more newsworthy for this day. Sixty years ago today (gasp!) my parents got married. Too bad my dad's not around to celebrate it with my mother. Still, it sounds like a good excuse for any of us to lift a toast to them.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Whoa say can you see...

Reports indicate that federal government communications are going out under a different banner. Rather than saying ‘Government of Canada,’ announcements are to be presented with the words, ‘Canada’s New Government.’

I noticed this phrase a few weeks ago in a radio report. Even then I thought, Haven’t they been around for too long to call themselves ‘new’ anymore? But no, apparently not.

What they seem to be talking about is indeed a new form of government. Fixed election dates sound like only one small part of the changes they’re making.

The adjective ‘new’ rings other alarm bells for me. It’s one of those words that’s been so absorbed into the lingo of advertising, I wonder how long will it be until they throw in an ‘improved’ too. I’m bracing myself for terms like ‘buy now’ and ‘sale price’ to pop up on government stationery any day now – as if there’s much of anything left that hasn’t been bargained away already.

Just another sunny day in September.