Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Snowed In

We can now consider ourselves as being snowed in. The VW Beetle can no longer leave or enter the parking garage, due to all the snow. And as for the Suzuki GSXR, heh heh... it would be a stunt worthy of airing on the jack ass show.

The first photo shows our apt building as viewed from the Burrard bridge. I marked our apt with a yellow arrow. The second photo shows the entrance at Beach Avenue. It's tricky to keep the apt warm, as it is electrically heated. I think I will add some insulation.

Also, Robbert's Xmas gift arrived today: a Digital Versatile Disc containing spoofs on Star Wars. That is pretty awesome Robbert... Thanks!

Monday, December 22, 2008

White Christmas

I am pretty sure that Vancouver will see a White Christmas this year. The roads are clogged with snow, and day-time temperatures are below zero. It makes driving in the city a tricky business. There are a lot of steep hills down town, and cars are struggling with it. Driving on the highway is easy, but all smaller roads are treacherous. The picture was taken with my iPhone around the corner by our office.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Beat the system: pre-paid iPhone 3G

I consider myself a Libertarian, yet some government laws I can only applaud. In Italy it is illegal to sell a cell-phone that is locked to a provider. In Canada, there is no such law protecting the consumers. This means that if you want an iPhone in Canada, you end up paying more than 3000 dollars in fees to Rogers in 3 years. And that is the best case scenario. It may end up being much much more.

Well, I am happy to announce: I beat the system! I got my iPhone from ebay, imported to the US from Italy. This means that my iPhone (the fancy white one with 3G) will work with any GSM provider. I now have a rare commodity in Canada: an iPhone that works on pre-paid vouchers.

I Sincerely hope that Rogers is punished severely as soon as possible for their nasty business practices. I did my part. I hope the rest of Canada will follow.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The bastardization of Saint Nicholas

Today, the downtown area was closed off by police for the parade of Santa Claus. Santa Claus is a big thing, also in Vancouver. Santa Claus has his origin in the Dutch culture, and is derived from Holland's Saint Nicholas. It found its way into American popular culture through the Dutch Immigrants in New York (or New Amsterdam).

It's a bit sad to see Black Pete replaced by an elf, and the white horse replaced by reindeer. Some interesting trivia: pre-war Holland only had one Black Pete. The Canadian liberators wanted to reinstate the festivities for the Dutch kids. When doing so, they decided to have multiple Black Petes, which is how the festivity is celebrated today.

I guess Dutch culture is a fluid concept. The quick assimilation of the Dutch abroad probably helped in replacing the Saint with Santa.

And on an unrelated subject: I am finally officially licensed to operate a motorcycle on the public roads of British Columbia. My third road-test was successful.