Wednesday, April 27

I am the Saint of SGC

310° 40' NET

This is going to be a long entry. I am back from Vancouver and I have some things to put down.

I'll just start from the beginning.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comMy first day on Canadian soil was spoiled a little by a bounding headache and by an overly helpfull cab driver who told that the area where my hotel was situated is full of drug addicts. Nice going, I thought. The weather was great, sunshine and a blue sky so at least that was something.

First impressions? It was kind of weird thing, because the place - Vancouver - turned out to be both what I expected and what I didn't. My hotel was right next to the Chinatown so it was easy to pop out and so some cheap shopping...which I didn't really do. But it was possible.
Anyway, being in that area it also meant that I was a bit off the downtown area which meant - as predicted by my cab driver - that there were people with problems around. With problems I mean no job, no money, no roof over your head. The police station was just a block away, but that didn't prevent people from sleeping on the street. Or dealing with little packages.
It all felt even more weird, because I only had to walk for 10 minutes and I was in the middle of Robson street, surrounded by tourists, students and normal people. Or I could have gone to Gastown as easily. The change happens almost in one block, suddenly most of these weird characters are just gone and after another block it feels like you are in a totally another city.
And what about Chinatown? Well, I found it to be a pretty nice area actually. Didn't really see these street characters in there.
Downtown area is also nice, it's clean and peacefull even, and I noticed that drivers are very polite towards pedestrians. That's something you don't see very much in the Netherlands.

One thing I noticed and which also was a bit annoying yet funny were all those guys walking around with their baby-style coffee cups. Or what ever was inside, I prefer to think it was coffee.
And I guess it is easy to start doing that since there is a freaking Starbucks at every freaking corner of the city. I only saw two or three McDonald's and around gazillion Starbucks. Though I have to admit they have a great service in there. They even shouted after you when you were leaving the place - and no, I didn't run out without paying, they were just saying 'thanks for visiting, come again' or something like that.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comOne of the nicest things was going up in Harbour Center. You get a nice view out of the lift and once you are up you can eat well and enjoy the view while the whole thing turns around slowly. I think it took one hour to make a full circle.

You could also eat downstairs, in the 'basement' of the building. From Texas BBQ stuff to Vietnamese cuisine, only the prices were way cheaper than if you went upstairs. Well, of course a restaurant is a restaurant and also one with a great view, so I didn't mind paying. And the salmon was nice.

I did eat also downstairs since there was a nice little 'salad bar'. I could make up my own salad mix with a lot of different choices, throw some pasta in the mix, and finish it off with fruits. It was enough to hold off hunger for half a day. Maybe that nice tasty salad dressing had something to do with that...

I also walked down to the Canada Place which is kind of a big white tent by the water. Didn't take any photo's of it. What I would have wanted to get on my memory card was a bald headed eagle flying there.
Image hosted by Photobucket.comI didn't have my camera ready, so I could only watch as it was flying slowly away, being chased by seagulls. It didn't really seem to be bothered by them, but flew away anyway. It was outnumbered so I can't really blame him.

So since I couldn't get eagles I instead took a snapshot of those other guys. They were flying almost constantly around and around. Some of them were sitting on the railing and seeing if someone was going to throw bread pieces at them.

In the city I didn't really spot any other animals than seagulls and pigeons. However in Stanley Park it was naturally a different story. There I of course saw a bushy-tailed rodent of the family Sciuridae, also known as a squirrel.

They were all over the place and once they noticed that you had stuff to eat they were coming right at you.

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Not so very bravely at first, they were not stupid, but after sniffing around and going back and forth and all around you they finally got more bold and came to get some chow.
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It was kind of funny to see how they were eyeballing you and trying to figure out how to get the goods. But they weren't beyond bribery and the more you gave the more you had to give and for a bigger crowd.

I don't know how they were spreading the word but once you started feeding one it didn't take too long before others started to arrive. At one point I was surrounded by a squirrel squad.

There was a lot to see in Stanley Park and they had some weird places there too.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comLike for example this elevating and somewhat whacky Hallelujah Point. Now, I didn't even bother to read that little plate which probably explained the whole thing, I just drove past it and shook my head. Oh, well, I made a little stop to get this photo with my phone, but that was it.

I was looking for a Amen Point, but couldn't find one.
IF there is one, please, don't tell me.

Another specialty of Stanley Park is of course - and everybody should go there, though it's a little wet there and you could end up in a hairy situation - this.

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I think that pretty much says it all.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAquarium was also nice to visit. I don't know what happened to the killer whale which used to be there, but it was nowhere to be seen.

Taking photo's in aquarium is not so easy since there is a limited amount of light in there and those damn fishes are moving all the time.

I managed to snap one off the jelly thingy floating around. There was a little more light in this showcase and these fellows are not exactly the most fastest of swimmers so it was relatively easy thing to do.

I just had to wait until all the eager school kids got tired of watching it float around to get a clear shot at it. I think a local school was on a field trip - screaming kids all over.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThis one was also easy to take, since like jelly thingy this tube thingy was not very active.

Those little tentacle like things were moving with the water flow, but that was about it.

I like the colors and I think it turned out pretty nice. This small version doesn't show all, my bigger version looks a bit better.

Once I got enough of the wild life I started to head out of the building and that's when I saw it. There was a water tank which was holding this huge slowly moving marine animal. It was yellow, black and purple and had this big hump in it's back.

It was clearly looking for something from the bottom of the tank - I don't know what. Maybe food or place where to crash for the night. Or maybe it was simply looking for a spot to lay her eggs since I'm pretty sure it was a female.

I don't know. What do you think?

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I got some nice photo's also in the city. I noticed that all those tall buildings make nice backgrounds for reflections.

This one was taken in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery...I think. There were some water fountains in front of it. I also got a pretty trippy photo of one of the fountains.

They did have a 'make pot legal' party at that spot later, so I guess those nice shifting lights in the water make a nice topic for conversation while sharing a joint together.

This is of course something I wouldn't know since I don't do that stuff. Anyway, it was kind of funny go all the way in Vancouver to smell that smell again. Over here you come across it every once in a while. I can't say yet which blend it is, I'm not so sophisticated - yet.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAnyway, it's a nice photo.

"We've got rocks and trees and trees and rocks and rocks and trees and trees and rocks and rocks and trees and trees and rocks and rocks and trees and trees and rocks and - wateeeeeeeeerrr!!!"

Yeah, had to get that out of my system.

Well, I think that was it for this first entry. I was going to do more, write about the Stargate SG-1 weekend, but that I have to do later, because I'm out of time.

With this teaser,

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I'll quit and go to bed.

Vector at Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Comments 3

Saturday, April 9

Take off

I'll be going tomorrow...well, actually today since it's past midnight.

Two weeks in 'sunny' Vancouver. Great! I can work on my tan.

Well, at least it's a great city with a lot of nature around and things to photograph. And I am trying to send some stuff in here while on the move. No pics, but some text.

That's it. I better go to bed and have some Z's.

Vector at Saturday, April 09, 2005

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Tuesday, April 5

I'm mobile!

Oh, I'm wireless! This is kind of cool, I can just post when I want. Now I should be able to post while on the road in Vancouver. Though if I'm going to write longer pieces, I think I have to get a bluetooth keyboard.
Well, anyway this works. Cool.

Vector at Tuesday, April 05, 2005

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Test 2

A quick test with clutter removal.

Vector at Tuesday, April 05, 2005

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Sunday, April 3

New phone

344° 14' NET

After a few days of thinking and surfing through countless webpages, I finally decided which cell/mobile phone I would get.

I went for Siemens SX1 and I have to say I am pretty happy with it. It has most of the things I was looking for:

-big color screen
-MP3 stereo player
-expandable memory
-triple band

and it works just great!

I have two MultiMediaCards (tm) for it, one of 128 Mb and one for 512 Mb. That half meg card is filled with music files and I put also three episodes of Stargate SG-1 in it. Sure the screen is not very big, but with the headphones on it works pretty well. Basically it's the same as watching TV. Also there are programs which you can help to flip the picture on the screen so that you can use all the space up. Have to get one of those later, at the moment Helix player is a great replacement for Real Player.

Music files I converted from MP3's to ogg's. That saves a lot of space with out quality problems. I'm not a hi-fi perfectionist, so what I heard after conversion was good enough. It's all crystal clear and works beautifully.

I also ordered a screen protector from Martin Fields and I have to say, it is such a good product that I really didn't believe everything I read or heard about it. But now I can see it myself. It goes on so perfectly that I hardly can see there is something there. I mean, you see the protector is there from the sides since it is an extra plastic layer on top of your screen, but it sticks on it's place so good that it hardly changes how the graphics looks on your screen. It is amazing.
And if you get some shit under it, you can just pull the whole thing off, clean it and stick it right back on! Amazing, like I said!
If you need a protector for your device, try Martin Fields. Their service works fast and the product is absolutely fantastic.
There, enough praising for one post.

Vector at Sunday, April 03, 2005

Comments 4