Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Bikes Not Bombs: Nude War Protest

Forgot to mention we had a nude war protest the other day, just down the street from my apartment building, on the grassy slope in the shape of a peace sign. Ramon told me on Saturday that the GlobalTV people tipped him off. It was a sunny day, but there was a stiff breeze, and I had a sweater coat on, so I can just imagine what it was like to have *nothing* on.

Nude war protest.

The group was called "Bikes Not Bombs" and they were continuing a series of protests that originated somewhere else (?); Ramon showed me links to similar protests in California in January.

Peace sign in... skin!

Monday, February 24, 2003

Ramon is hitching to Squamish today

He left about quarter to one this afternoon, in the brilliant sunshine illuminating Vancouver on post-plebiscite Olympic bid 2010 Monday. I voted yesterday "NO", as everyone who is a reader of Ramon's website reports has been made well aware, but he didn't expand a great deal on why I voted this way. It wasn't just for the reasons he stated in the reports, but I can tell you he was opposed to the bid, too, so by virtue of that fact maybe was not inclined to list all my various arguments against Vancouver hosting the Olympics. Well, now that my vote has been cast as part of the 36% NO versus the 64% YES of the 46% turnout of registered voters for the City of Vancouver, there is nothing more I can do now but to wait for July 2, when the IOC decide who will host the Winter Olympics in 2010. Maybe my rent won't increase on January 1, 2004, but I am certain over the next 7 years I will be priced right off Beach Avenue.

More reports on the past few days will be posted later.

Ramon on his way to Squamish.

Flashback to Thursday

We headed down Davie Street and I introduced Ramon to our local, Samurai, for some sushi and other delectables. There he got his regular phone call from a morning radio show guy in the Netherlands, who does a running report on Ramon's whereabouts. The radio guy was suprised Ramon would be having sushi, since there it is more like fine dining and not the casual meal it is here. Then we did a loop from Davie to Denman to Robson to Granville, stopping at Mondo Gelati (yum yum!), and a trip up to Cloud 9 revolving restaurant at the top of Robson's Empire Landmark Hotel (views were magnificent!), where May joined us, then rounded the evening off at the Nelson Cafe. May showed us the location of the Vancouver English Centre before picking up her car, and dropped us off at Supervalu on Davie for some provisions. Ramon phoned home, where people were amazed that he could be at a supermarket at the crazy hour of 1:30am. Ramon himself was amazed one could go shopping at any hour, plus the selection of, say, breakfast cereal.

Ramon Arrives at Hotel Gail

Ramon rolled up Thursday morning at Hotel Gail and I gave him a bit of a tour of the West End in the evening. He taped The Vicki Gabereau Show on Friday at 1pm, and it will air on Friday, February 28. They even sent a taxi down here to pick him up and drop him off, even though it's a straight line from my apartment to the studios and he could walk it in 15 minutes. Ramon won't get the Vicki Gabereau tape until after it airs, but he says she thought he was a "darling". I would've gone down there to watch the show, except I had to go to the office.

Ramon was also on the noon show on GlobalTV on Saturday afternoon... we watched that tape, which I thought was pretty decent seeing as we found the studios a bit late... basically, I sped up to the curb and he ran in.

Ramon at Hotel Gail

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

World Travel Projects

The Savage Files
Steve Savage is nearly ready to head off on his world peace trip... click on his banner above to see what it's all about...

Ramon Stoppelenburg, of Let-Me-Stay-For-a-Day will probably stay here this weekend starting tomorrow. He arrived in Vancouver on Monday, and has been staying somewhere far out near SE Marine Drive.

Friday, February 14, 2003

My Europe Itinerary

Finally, after weeks and weeks of searching, last Friday I found a cheap flight to London pre-Easter weekend for $689! I am so relieved! I was loathe to break my $1,000 barrier for a plane ticket ... I have never paid $1,000 for any flight, and last week I had this sinking feeling I would have to, since the next-cheapest flight available to Europe was $925, Vancouver to Frankfurt on Lufthansa, but the weekend surcharges and taxes sent it over the top.

How's this for an itinerary:

April 16-17 - Vancouver/Calgary-London (Air Transat)
April 17 - London-Dublin (Ryanair)
April 17-22 - Dublin/Cork/Shannon
April 22 - Shannon-Brussels (Ryanair)
April 22-25 - Brussels/Amsterdam
April 25 - Brussels-(Milan) Bergamo (Ryanair)
April 25-29 - Italian lakes district with Lucy, John, Joe, Christa and possibly Iris!
April 29-May 2 - Bergamo and north to Switzerland - Ticino to St. Gallen with Christa
May 2 - Zurich-London (Easyjet)
May 3 - London-Vancouver (Air Transat)

The European flights were SO CHEAP... London-Dublin was GBP 35, Shannon-Brussels EURO 60, Brussels-Bergamo EURO 30, Zurich-London was the cheapest at CHF 17.50. It doesn't even add up to the difference that I saved by flying Air Transat!

Friday, February 07, 2003

My Telus Lesson: You Can Negotiate Anything

The last couple of days have been a bit nutty:

I lost Tyrone's (Calgary) library book -- which is also a book I'm reading for English class -- and then recovered it on Tuesday, when I called the Aquatic Centre on the outside chance somebody might have turned it in, which is exactly what happened!

After the joy of getting the library book back (Gertrude Stein: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas), I received my Telus Mobility bill, which was a whopping $787. I was in shock! Then I phoned Telus and managed to get out of all the roaming charges for the week I was in New York ($530.55), plus all the long distance on that entire bill ($134 or so). I was in shock again! Certainly a lesson in negotiation.

Then on Wednesday, in the space of about half an hour, a woman in my building offered to be my part-time roommate (and pay half my rent) so she can socialize outside of the two-bedroom (23rd floor) she currently shares with a partner she has just separated from, but who is still best friends with. She's in limbo while she closes a business deal (she self-employed and works from home), and will know in the next couple of months whether she is moving to San Diego or not. It just might work out, but she'll find out once her deal is finalized. I told her if her ex- moves out, and she moves to San Diego, I'd be interested in taking her apartment... the views are amazing up there, plus I would have more space to work!

While showing her my apartment, I picked up a parcel pickup notice from the post office ... Christa's package of cheese, chocolate, and meat had finally arrived, after a full month in transit! Needless to say, I had to bin the meat, but 95% of the cheese is OK, and the chocolate is still very edible!

Monday, February 03, 2003


Listening to a Morcheeba song while I work away at Verle's graphs, and there's this lyric that I think is great: "Why can't I stop truth decay?"