Category Archives: Give Me a Break

Rants and Raves, Complaints and Injustices

Kitty Moffat Strikes Back with Vengeance!

This morning, Kitty Moffat went in to the vet to get her yearly check up and vaccinations. Kitty hates the vet, as much as I detest my dental visits, and I understand her fear and loathing. Unfortunately, I did not go with her; Pete did and he didn’t realize how important it is to get her in and out of there as quickly as possible, instead, chatting amicably with the vet, while she planned her revenge. Now, those of you who are friends with KM, know she is a princess and quite sweet, at least in appearance. For those of you who don’t know her, here is her picture:

Kitty’s nephew, Little Sheilagh, unlike her father, Pete, has a healthy respect for Kitty and knows that when she is stressed, it is better to keep her distance.

The vet some how managed to weigh Kitty, (she’s half a pound lighter), check out her vitals (all good) and give her one of her three shots before she decided she’d had enough, at which point, she lost her temper and sunk her small and pointed feline teeth into the most tender part of Pete’s hand. Here is the text I got: Where are you? Need to go to emerg. Kitty bit me. Badly!

I wasn’t far and I raced to the vet, grabbed Kitty and brought her home – her new white knight. Next we drove to the UBC ER where Pete was bandaged up, given a prescription for antibiotics and told to watch for infection. Apparently, Sweet Kitty has a dirty mouth.

Now, they are both fine, although it will be a long time before Kitty forgives Pete and maybe allows him to rub her head or pet her. She’s sitting beside me as I write this, after a treat meal and lots of loving. She seems fine and I’m not sure if we shouldn’t just skip the next appointment at the vet altogether and chase butterflies in the garden.

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Arg… When Tecnology Doesn’t Work: My Other Blog on Blogger.com

For a little while now, my other blog is just not working. All I get are the little spinning wheels, spinning round…
Blogger.com does not have the support offered by wordpress – it’s all forum, and nobody has answered my question. This is super frustrating and damaging my page views, which have sunk to a big zero per day.
So, Building a Laneway House in Vancouver, is not online.
If anyone can help me out, please do – it’s driving me crazy and I’ve wasted valuable time not writing, trying to fix this.

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Book Warehouse Closing after 32 Years in Vancouver :(

I was sorry this morning to get a message in my inbox informing me that Book Warehouse is closing – another bookseller unable to thrive in Vancouver.

I have a special place in my heart for Book Warehouse, as I worked in the Tenth Avenue store for a couple of years. The pay was pretty bad, but it was a wonderful place for a writer to spend eight hours a day. By the end of most pay periods, I owed the store money for all the books I bought, so I look at that time as working to read, as opposed to working to eat!

The Book Warehouse on Tenth Avenue, where I worked, had a very community feel about it. People usually arrived on foot, perhaps after a meal to browse the many books and magazines. We welcomed dogs and kept a bag of dog treats behind the counter for our four-legged, book loving friends. We knew everyone’s name – human and canine.

Everyone I worked with shared in common a love of books and literature. We loved nothing better than to read the latest arrivals, write reviews and talk to customers about our thoughts and opinions on whether a book was worth the purchase price or not.

Sometimes harried parents would leave their little ones in the kid’s books section while they did errands, or elderly people would pull up a chair and read for hours, happy for the company and warmth of the store.

We played music to read by, encouraging people to feel comfortable and welcomed. That is the beauty of a bookstore. Sure, ordering online is so convenient and ereaders ensure a thousand books in our hands, but the thing they can’t give us is the human F2F interaction, the opinions, the atmosphere and sense of belonging to a community.

Those are the things that I will miss about Book Warehouse and all of the other bookstores that have closed over the years.

Below is the email I received in my inbox: 50% off everything!

Thank you to all our customers and staff for 32 great years of books and friendship.

For many years we’ve had a fantastic time bookselling. We’re leaving with no regrets

and many, many happy memories of customers, books and colleagues.

Our closing sale will go on for several weeks as we empty our warehouse,

so please check back for more great bargains!

book warehouse | 632 West Broadway | Vancouver | BC | V5Z 1G1 | Canada

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Thanks for Nothing Christie Clark: Budget Promises BC Will Remain Last In Arts Funding

From the Alliance for Arts and Culture to my inbox:

“The BC government is making a long-term commitment to keep our province dead last in per-capita arts funding” said Alliance for Arts and Culture executive director Rob Gloor in response to today’s budget announcement.

“BC trails every other province in per capita funding of the arts,” said Mr. Gloor, “and the current budget, which projects a multi-year freeze in arts funding, is a promise to remain last in Canada.”

Budget details reveal frozen funding for arts and culture over the next three years, in spite of overall budget increases.

“With inflation, a frozen budget for the arts is equivalent to a multi-year decrease,” continued Mr. Gloor. “This results in a gradual decline in the capacity of the arts and culture sector to serve the community.”

One new tax credit appears to provide relief for families in the form of a $500 credit for enrollment in children’s arts programs. However, Mr. Gloor points out, the actual maximum benefit is just five percent of that figure — a mere $25 per child per year — and does nothing to facilitate participation among lower income families.

“Overall, a disappointing budget for the arts, cultural and heritage sectors” concluded Mr. Gloor. After so much work by so many in the arts community in recent years to raise public and political awareness of the importance of a healthy cultural sector, we had hoped for better.”

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Tell Amazon to Stop Selling Whale Meat! Get in Touch With Jeff Bezos (CEO)

Amazon.com claims on its website that it’s “always looking for ways to further reduce environmental impact.” What’s not environmentally, or animal, friendly is selling hundreds of whale products — from endangered fin whales and whales killed in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary — on Amazon.jp, its Japanese subsidiary.

Clearly, killing endangered whales doesn’t serve conservation, but it’s also terribly inhumane: These enormous animals can suffer for up to an hour or more after being struck with an exploding harpoon before finally dying.

You can help! Tell Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to do the right thing now: Ban the sale of all whale products on Amazon.jp, and stop profiting from the cruel slaughter of whales!

There’s more. Whaling also undermines international treaties, AND it’s proven that many of these whale meat products contain levels of mercury higher than Japanese national limits — a danger to human health.

Enough is enough. As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon and its subsidiaries have a significant impact, both in terms of the amount of goods sold and through influence on consumers and other businesses. A change in its policy on this issue could make a real difference.

Please take action today and help save whales! Tell Amazon.com to make the humane — and right — choice.
Thank you so much for caring about animals.

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Andrew Rowan, President & CEO, Humane Society International

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E-Reader Guilt? Get Rid of It and Enjoy the Story

I saw this on Twitter and wanted to pass it on: Humans Have the Need to Read, from the Guardian.

I think there is a lot of e-reader guilt going around these days. In some circles, having an e-reader feels a bit like pulling out a pack of smokes in a British Columbia – bad.

I love books, but I love my e-reader too. When I’m travelling, I’d rather not fill up my already over-stuffed suitcase with books, and I really like that I can make notes about passages or highlight interesting quotes without worrying about folding over pages or damaging the book.

I like my e-reader in the tub, too. So far. I have dropped many books in bathwater, but not the kindle, not yet 🙂

When I was a kid, I read anything I could get my hands on: cereal boxes, books, magazines, road signs – if it had text, I read it. Except for comics. My parents didn’t think much of comic books, but I had a secret stash of Archie which I was allowed to look at in the summers only. Perhaps if comics had been marketed as ‘Graphic Novels,’ things would have been different in our house.

Anyway, those comic books never did me any harm. When I’m speaking to kids or teachers or parents, I encourage the kids to read in any format that interests them and ask the parents and teachers to act, not as censors, but as advisers.

And now, I encourage readers to read in any format. Drop the e-reader guilt, if you’ve got it and enjoy the story – that’s what stimulates our brains and keeps us thinking.

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No Pipeline Through Paradise: Are You Listening BC Liberals?

The BC Liberal Party has been calling me lately. Mostly I just don’t pick up the phone, but I did last night, because they used a bogus cell phone number instead of a true caller ID – I guess I am not the only person who has been avoiding their calls.

Anyway, they wanted to know if I would support them in the next election. I said no. Before I could begin to explain why, the caller got into a big rant about how things were under the NDP all of those years ago. He sort of skipped over the whole Campbell era without a blink.

When he’d finished, I explained that I wouldn’t vote for anybody who was too cowardly to say no to the Endbridge Northern Gateway Project. He didn’t have much to say about that besides, “Thank you and Goodnight.” He may have flipped me the finger – that’s the feeling I got.

If you feel the same way, please sign the online petition, write to your local MP and talk to your friends.

This is a worldwide petition, because this is a global issue. Bears and whales and other wild things can’t fight the big oil companies, but we can on their behalf.

This threat is nothing new: Check this out: Anti-Kitimat pipeline 1977 letter from Tommy Douglas goes viral . It’s from Nov, 2011, but it’s worth reposting in case someone missed it.

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