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    Purging Weekend

    2012 - 07.20

    Whoa…Karin here. I can’t remember the last time I posted. Hi!! *waves*

    The best laid plans… After having a LOT of stuff we want to get rid of lying around our condo for months, we’ve FINALLY booked a time for the diabetes association to do a pick up. At the moment, we’ve got literally a dozen garbage bags filled with clothes, books, household items, blankets and more ready to be donated when the truck comes this Sunday. If you think you may want something that we might be getting rid of, or if you want to come check out the free stuff, tomorrow (Saturday) is your last chance for this particular load. Let us know! :)

    The Problem with Crows…

    2012 - 06.04

    My sister has a problem with crows, and in truth it’s not that many, it’s not like it’s a murder.  But she’s had a bad experience where they were aggressive and attacked her.  You would think that after something like that it would be easy to get the powers that be to take action.  Sadly not so much.  The evil masked arch-nemesis known only as “Strata Council” has been totally ineffectual, and incommunicado.

    Some people are wrongly under the belief that you can’t mess with birds, and that’s simply not true.  It is true that birds fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment (here in BC anyway), so your local city is unlikely (and in some cases unable) to do anything about them.

    Here’s the quick summary:


    • All birds are considered wildlife and are afforded full protection under the BC Wildlife Act.  A person commits an offence if the person except as provided by regulation or by an issued permit, possesses, takes, injures, molests or destroys a bird or its eggs.
    • Under the Wildlife Act Designation and Exemption Regulation 253/2000 Schedule C, point 2, the following species of birds and their nests or eggs can be destroyed without a permit: crows (except common ravens), black-billed magpies, European starlings, house sparrows, rock doves and brown-headed cowbirds.
    • Some species of birds are classified as game birds.  Hunting seasons and bag limits for game birds are published in the annual Hunting Regulation Synopsis.  This synopsis is available via a link on the Ministry of Environment’s website.
    • For injured birds phone the nearest animal rehabilitation centre.

    If you want to read more you can read the actual Wildlife Act: Designation and Exemption Regulation or just Schedule C.

    It’s always important to know the rules…

    So what do these exempt species look like?

    Crows except for the common raven:

    Wikipedia: Common Raven

    Wikipedia: Common Raven

    So this one you can’t touch, but all other “crows” are ok.

    The Black-billed Magpie:

    Wikipedia: Black-billed Magpie

    Wikipedia: Black-billed Magpie

    The Common Starling/European Starling:

    Wikipedia: Common Starling/European Starling

    Wikipedia: Common Starling/European Starling

    The House Sparrow:

    Wikipedia: House Sparrow

    Wikipedia: House Sparrow by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos under the GFDL

    The Rock Dove (aka: pigeon):

    Wikipedia: Blue Rock Pigeon

    Wikipedia: Blue Rock Pigeon

    And finally the Brown-headed Cowbird (not to be confused with the brown-haired Cowbel [which would be me]):

    Wikipedia: Brown-headed Cowbird (Male)

    Wikipedia: Brown-headed Cowbird (Male)

    Best make sure you double check the regulations before doing anything about the birds, but as of this writing it was legal to destroy their nests or eggs without a permit in BC.

    Busy Day

    2012 - 03.09

    We both had quite the full day today.  I met Karin after school and we did some organizing of her classroom so that it’ll be more pleasant to come back to after spring break!  Karin did most of the work, but I got most of the checkmarks (maintaining the to do list has it’s advantages).  We dealt with a lot of stuff, and I think that she’s going to be really happy when she walks in on that Monday morning 17 days from now.  I think we dealt with 5 boxes and two aquariums.

    We took a break and had dinner at Red Robin, dinner was nice although they seemed a little understaffed.

    We then made a quick trip over to Ikea to see if we could pick up some extra shelf pins for the Ivar shelves that Karin has in her classroom.  They didn’t have any in the spare parts vending machine, so we looked around a bit then took a number to ask if they had any extra ones that we could buy.  They gave us the 20 pins that we needed no charge.  So that was nice.  Thanks to the nice lady at the returns/exchanges desk.

    Back to the school to finish putting the shelves together and deal with a few more things.  Then finally heading home.

    Oh, also finished the first phase of the eSub System for Abandoned Towers (subject to Karin’s final acceptance testing) which allows for contest submissions.

    Wireless Access

    2012 - 03.06

    Last week we had a bit of an internet outage, called in to troubleshoot it, and just after they had me do the factory reset it came up that there was a network outage on there end.  Lucky me, I got to reconfigure our wireless network.

    On the bright side I got to reconfigure our wireless network, so I changed a bunch of things.  So if you’ve got a wireless device that was previously paired with our wireless network, you’ll need to set it up again next time you’re over, just an FYI.

    Vancouver Reclaimed

    2012 - 03.03

    This is a business owned by a friend of a friend, and thought we’d give it a shout out (do people still say that?).  Much of the work looks really cool, and the owner’s a nice guy.  We’re not currently in the market for new furniture, but doesn’t mean that we don’t want some of the pieces.  So go and take a look at Vancouver Reclaimed to see great pieces like:

    Industrial Coffee Table by Vancouver Reclaimed

    Industrial Coffee Table by Vancouver Reclaimed

    Valentine’s Post-Game

    2012 - 02.16

    Valentine’s Day was a little strange this year, I actually spent much of the evening chatting with a friend over hot chocolate at Starbucks.  I was gone for nearly two hours.  When I got back, the apartment was very very clean, laundry was put away, it was all pretty spectacular.

    I think that while I was gone someone ordered a lot of pizza and became the ‘Za Lady, and a bunch of faeries cleaned the apartment… it’s a working hypothesis…

    I’m pretty lucky to know someone who would enlist faeries just to do something nice for me ;-)

    Smart Meter

    2011 - 10.02

    Friday was actually a day of TWO power outages, on in my car and the other in our house.  This week, Monday-Friday from 8-5pm we were to expect a potential power outage of less than a minute as our meters were changed to Smart Meters.  Well at 12:15 Friday afternoon our power went out for about 20 seconds, which I can only assume means that we’ve been upgraded.  Now if only the meter was smart enough to tell me that my car battery was dead…

    Earthquake?! Really?

    2011 - 09.09

    I guess I was out today during the earthquake and really could have gone all day without noticing it, almost.  I was out getting field permits and other errands and returned home to do some other things only to find that the elevator didn’t seem to be working.  I went to the lobby, and found that they stopped working after the earthquake.

    To this I replied: “There was an earthquake?!” while the inner monologue supplied a properly inflected: “Whaaaaaaaaa?”

    Don’t know if they’re back up yet or not, but I really hadn’t planned to do the 15 flight climb today in this heat.  Having serious difficulty cooling down after that.

    The Classroom

    2011 - 09.03

    Duh Duh Dugh!  Definitely the storyline for the week has been unpacking Karin’s classroom and getting it ready for students next week.  Normally you wouldn’t think this would be a big deal, but last year Karin’s school underwent seismic upgrading which means that her classroom needed to be packed up to be moved to a new school/classroom, and this time last year unpacked and setup, then at the end of the year (June) packed up and moved back to her old school (but a new classroom).  That’s probably a little hard to follow, here’s the timeline:

    • June 2010: old class packed up for moving to new school/class
    • August/September 2010: unpacking at new school/class
    • June 2011: packing at formerly new school/class
    • August/September 2011: unpacking at old school in new classroom while construction is still ongoing to finish the seismic upgrades

    So she’s back at the old school, in a new classroom, HER classroom.  She’s organized, and it shows.  Here are some “after” shots of the classroom setup (there’s still a bit of work to be done, but the heavy lifting is finished).  Perhaps Karin will post the “before” pictures in the next couple of days.



    Her desk and area:



    The pop machine last year’s class made for her:



    View out the windows near her desk:



    View out the windows at the other side of the classroom:



    The bulletin board on the cloakroom (I did the papering):



    Another bulletin board, and are those expertly assembled Ikea Ivar shelves?  Why yes they are:



    Another bulletin board, and are those expertly connected computers?  Why yes they are:



    Rolling cubbies with books in front of the radiator:



    Full room shots:





    So it took a lot of work this week, most of it by Karin, with help from her mom, and minor contributions by yours truly.  The results thus far are very impressive and satisfying, should be a great year!

    The downside is that Karin has a very sore back from all the work she’s been doing, so hopefully that will pass quickly, hopefully.

    Return of the Queen

    2011 - 08.12

    Ok, so it’s not really quite that epic, but I felt the need to use a literary pun.  Yup, hate me because I’m brilliant AND funny.

    Karin got home today just after 3pm (local time), which means that the whole long list of things I had hoped to get done were not.  That said, the lack of completion really has more to do with having a cold than with Karin arriving a few hours earlier than I had expected.  That said she appears to have been quite pleased with what was accomplished in her absence.

    Despite the fact that it was quite warm today, we ended up with a lasagna from Costco for dinner tonight (the frozen one) because that’s what Karin wanted.  It was pretty delicious, but the company was better.

    We watched Going the Distance tonight as well, Drew Barrymore and Justin Long.  I thought the movie looked funny when it first came out, but we never got around to seeing it.  In watching it, it exceeded my expectations of hilarity, and we both enjoyed it quite a lot.  “Mia statue!”  It could be that we’re in the unique position of being reunited after an extended period of time apart (the movie is about a long distance relationship) which made the movie more apropo.  Regardless, much laughter ensued, and it will be remembered fondly.  So on that note: “Dan, take me to Berlin!”