space explorer

And you want HOW MUCH for it?

Introducing the new blog category: hobocoaster!

Regular readers will be familiar with the story to this point; for the rest, we present a short recap.

About eight weeks or more ago, I made contact with a landlord in a beautiful small town in the BC wine country, a place I’d been spending many weeks a year already, and had developed a circle of friends. One of those friends knew a woman who was moving out of her place April 1, and the place was, quite frankly and without my typical exaggeration (moi? NEVER) absolutely perfect for me. The grounds were 14 acres of vineyards with horse pens and a flat riding arena, about three blocks from the community INDOOR riding arena (necessary in Canuckistan winters). The view? It was stunning. The house? It was immaculate. The horse pens? Profitable, since every horse on the property would basically lower my rent by $150 a month, and there was room for six horses; in other words, free rent plus cash.

The landlord? As it turned out, ambivalent.

He dodged the issue of emailing me a lease agreement. He waited till I got to town to even ask for references (he’d pooh-poohed them earlier).

Oh, ask the Queen of Social Media for references? Okay. I gave him references from:

  • The ex-president of the local riding club attesting to my ability to handle horses
  • The former head of the local Farmer’s Market and current head of the Children’s Festival
  • My ex-boss
  • A banker
  • A Justice of the Peace
  • A Judge
  • An internet millionaire
  • The Heir to a Fucking Kingdom if he’d bothered to google the man
  • A Blind Widow.
  • and more

Top that, bitches.

It was not what he wanted. What he wanted, apparently, was a way out. Seven days before I was supposed to move in, he emailed me saying he wanted to finish the renovations on the house without anyone inside. Okay. Fine. I get that. Nobody wants the house to slide down into the lake because you didn’t reinforce the foundation or deal with the erosion problem.

But more than a week’s notice would have been handy.

My last two emails have gone unanswered, and they were actually far more polite than you imagine: they were along the lines of “oh, so should I sign on a different place for April 1?” “Uh, should I sign on a different place for May 1 or, like, what?” And no, not being one to hold my breath on those, noppers.

Which brings us to the situation I was in a few days: Paying ten bucks a day for storage in Vancouver, with no home in sight, either in Vangroover or Pentikistan, thanks to SOMEONE leaving things rather to the last minute.

Which brings us to the League of Superheroes:

  • Ted volunteered to drive my stuff from Vancouver to Penticton, find the cheapest prices on everything and make all the reservations and carry things on his credit card. I tell ya, thank GOD for kind-hearted friends who are also easily manipulated. Where would I in particular be without them?
  • Ava showed up at 9:30am despite arm injury to do her level best to help, and not only pushed about a metric ton worth of trolleys but also kept everyone’s spirits up.
  • Cathy hucked aforesaid ton of old paperbacks and Vanity Fairs with the occasional case of Starbucks mugs and a vampire carved of human bone here and there onto the dollies, working like a goddam longshoreman despite being a petite, middle-aged blind widow. Parse that, Vancouverites who didn’t show up: a blind widow moved approximately a ton of boxes, and because of later developments with the truck I am relatively sure that’s an accurate weight, too. I think Cathy is about 130 by the way.
  • Bruce M. Campbell, no NOT the Bruce Campbell you’re thinking of. The other one, but every bit as much a hero. Soldiered on despite pulling some unspecified muscle I didn’t even hear about till later, and it must be said I truly appreciate a man who is willing to work up an actual sweat prior to having a client meeting. Not everyone has that level of comfort with themselves.

They showed up on a holiday Monday to huck boxes into the truck, which we SERIOUSLY overloaded as it turned out, and that at the ungodly hour of 9:30am no less. And I hadn’t been paid, so I didn’t even buy them coffee or beer, although if I win this thirty million in the 6/49 it’ll be espresso champagne cocktails I’ll be buying them instead of coffee and beer, I tell ya.

After a harrowing journey (it’s a cliche, but given the amount of time the truck’s undercarriage spent in contact with the asphalt not without literal accuracy) down a Blackcomb-like slope to Highway 1 and a long, slow, wallowing journey up to Penticton, then a bus the next day back to Vancouver, making my weekly road miles something around 1400, things appear to have stabilized.

So, the stuff is in a storage locker in Penticton now, at less than half the price of Vancouver storage.. I’m in Vancouver, since I volunteered to house and cat sit for a friend who’s flying East to deal with family drama for the month of April. After that, presuming my passport’s come through (Ron, that’s your cue to Contact the Authoritahs) I’ve been invited down to Portland, my absolute favorite American city, to stay with Lorelle, a god of the WordPressosphere. Lorelle and I met at WordCamp Whistler, when she, the keynote speaker, walked up to me, said, “You don’t look like you’re phased by much,” to which I assented, and then explained she had a shoulder injury and couldn’t reach her back, so would I mind reaching up under her shirt and pulling down her bra band.

Some women, I tell ya, know how to make an entrance.

And, she assures me, the rural confines of the property are not so uncivilized as to fail to contain a hot tub and a junker car for my own use. Well, that’s a relief: I was losing sleep, I tell ya.

So, since I’m hoping to volunteer at Hollyhock for September, that takes care of April (house-sitting), May/June perhaps July in Portland, August can be spent annoying and sponging off friends on Vancouver Island or even backpacking in Europe since if I do get a passport it’ll be an EU one thanks to being born in France, September is for Hollyhock on Cortez Island (and looking for Brother 12’s treasure!), and that leaves me at loose ends in October.

In October, average rents in Penticton fall by about a hundred dollars a month or more, because The Season is over. Which means an opportunity for moi, coming off the high of the opportunity of not paying rent all summer.

So far: so good?

The Towlift of Tiny Town Unicorn Chaser Links

Yes, it’s still Wednesday, at least in my world (isn’t it ALL my world?) even though it’s 2:25am “on Thursday,” because I woke up on Wednesday and haven’t gone to bed yet, so there. See? Perfectly logical.


And if it’s Wednesday, what does that mean, boys and girls? That’s right, it’s Hump Day Unicorn Chaser Time! So today we present your delightful visual, auditory, and mental refreshment as a lovely picture:

coffee with the unicorn unicorn chaser

coffee with the unicorn unicorn chaser

There, doesn’t that feel better? Now your eyeballs and mind are all refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the week. Remember, today is the first blog entry of the rest of your digital footprint, or something like that.

[ Yeah, this “raincoaster blogging sober” thing sucks. Don’t think you’re the only one who noticed it. ]

As if that weren’t enough, here is the cutest little tilt-shift video you’ve ever seen. Whistler, BC, normally looks something like Toy Town, although not as much as Silver Star does. This is what Silver Star looks like:


Silver Star is not exactly "Badass"

Silver Star is not exactly "Badass"

Seriously, it looks Just Like That. This is what Whistler looks like:


And yes, Whistler looks just like this. Also, I hear there are ski runs somewhere around.

And yes, Whistler looks just like this. Also, I hear there are ski runs somewhere around.

So, really, you paid for ONE Unicorn Chaser and if you’re a unicorn, architecture, or ski buff, you’re getting like four of them in this post, so don’t forget to hit the tip jar on your way out.

If your sphincters are still in a knot from the Monday-Humpday grind, we have that video I was talking about earlier. Now, have you seen a lot of skiing/snowboarding/surfing videos? Sure, it’s technically an “extreme” sport, but it’s a sport. Taking place in nature. Without mechanical engines. And sounding nothing at all like the Cobalt at 3 in the morning.

Skiing/snowboarding/surfing videos do not recognize this fact. They endeavour, in fact, to cover it up by every means known to cheap-ass extreme sport video producers, which is a bag of tricks that comes down to, essentially, picking the least-untalented person featured in the video and letting his neo-post-apocalyptic-metal-country-punk band do the soundtrack. For free.

And overpriced at twice that.

You doubt me? Watch one of these puppies. And then watch it again, with the sound turned off. Better my way, eh? Everything is.

Never. Forget. That.

So where was I? Oh yes, about to show you the video. This is the antidote to all those snow videos that sound as if they were scored by just laying electric guitars end to end across the floor of a mosh pit and recording the noise hobnailed boots make when they do the pogo on them. It’s that gimmicky tilt-shift photography that people who don’t know how to make street scenes interesting always use instead of learning how to take inherently interesting shots, but in this case it IS interesting, well-done, and entirely, 1000% awesome.

Viewing full-screen would be kind of ironic, but then if you were a hipster, wouldn’t you be Googling for “instagram” and not “Tilt shift?”

And now, in case you STILL can’t face Thursday, here are your gossip links:

Anger Management, with Kirk and Spock (raincoaster)

Why Gnott? Because it’s a CRAZY IDEA, DUDE! (ManoloFood)

Makeover vs Makeover (Ayyyy)

The literary world got Snooki’d (AgentBedhead)

Happy Feet, live (BusyBeeBlogger)

Messing with The Great American Novel is F—– up! (CelebDirtyLaundry)

JayLor broke up (CelebritySmack)

Cheeto-Rama! (CityRag)

Video proof Goopy CAN TOO sing (DListed)

Vanity Fair ran out of dead women to cover (GossipTeen)

Josh Groban’s new single is amazing (HaveUHeard)

Britney wants butt hair? (INeedMyFix)

Britney rocks the “chemo headband” look (PoorBritney)

She’s in, she’s out, she’s in, she’s out, she’s a Lohan (PopBytes)



Operation Global Media Domination: The Sleep-Deprived Situation

Because it is late/early and I have been up for 30 straight hours and I am somewhat punchy (and, you might have noticed, somewhat crabby lately), I am going to do a lightning round of Operation Global Media Domination.

Look at the searches that brought people to my blog! Mother would be so proud:

Search Engine Terms

These are terms people used to find your blog.


Search Views
my first cthulhu 1 More stats
what does a classy whore look like 1 More stats
ovaltine shirts 1 More stats
britney spears handwriting 1 More stats
goatse 1 More stats
fairy 1 More stats


Search Views
fairy 85 More stats
britney sex tape 62 More stats
cthulhu 41 More stats
britney spears sex tape sex tape 28 More stats
audrey hepburn 27 More stats
steve jobs 20 More stats
christian bale remix 14 More stats
siegfried and roy 14 More stats
winona ryder sex 12 More stats
porn slideshow 12

And, yay, I got in the Vancouver Sun’s Digital Life blog with Fearless City. A couple of times, actually, but I’m too lazy/tired to find the Wordcamp Whistler entry. Oh, here I am; wow, even I am impressed my self-promotional instincts outrank my instinct for sleep right now.

WordCamp Whistler Somewhat Scrambled Liveblog/Livestream

Wordcamp Whistler is indeed live! See the stream at http://livecast.mobilemuse.ca/mobile/live/?FearlessCity. Whoops, looks like we’ve run out of storage again, we’ll be back live as soon as we register yet another user account. UPDATE: We’ve got our third account today on Livecast: http://livecast.mobilemuse.ca/mobile/live/?Fearless

WordCamp Whistler A Team

(image courtesy Miss604)

April, Peter and I are up at the beautiful (no, really it is) Fairmont Chateau Whistler, preparing to livestream the presentations. You can see pictures from the unconference here on Flickr.

WordCamp Whistler is a full day of workshops about WordPress, a leading blog platform. We’re here courtesy of the organizers, Duane and Rebecca, who’ve kindly waived the registration fee. And we got some excellent swag: WordCamp Whistler toques FTW!

Tris Hussey has loaned us his flipcam, for regular video, and we’ve got an HTC Touch phone to do livestreaming, once the presentations begin.

Livestreamed video is available once now at http://livecast.mobilemuse.ca/live/?w1662 thanks to our Whistler partners, who left the phone signed in to their account!

UPDATE: our second livestream is up, here:


Since the internet wasn’t working for the conference room until a few minutes ago, this saved us enormous amounts of time.

If you’ve got a question for one of the WordCamp speakers, put it in the comments here:


We’ve brought a bit of the Downtown Eastside improv style with us, as you can see. Also, April used Scotch tape to connect the HTC Touch to the tripod; Lorelle complimented us on “keeping it real.”

We will be adding pictures and more video as the day goes on, so keep checking this post for updates. See you in about an hour?

Here is Rebecca’s post about our workshops today.

Right now, Lorelle is doing her presentation on power tools for WordPress. Good stuff! I wish some of this stuff worked in Drupal, too!

Lorelle’s presentation has finished, and we’re setting up for Dale’s preso next, so the livestream is interrupted because, well, nothing is going on live right now.

Oops, here we go again. Check the above link for more livestreaming.

We got a little livestream vid of Dave Olson over lunch, just as he requested. Follow the discussion live on Twitter: FearlessCity on Twitter.

Now Tris Hussey is teaching us how to build a WordPress blog in a day or less.

Now on our third user account at Livecast, we’re livestreaming a presentaton from 6s Marketing on SEO, talking about plugins and optimization.

Our own April won the WordPress tattoo contest for Most Creative Placement of a Free WordPress Tattoo. Egged on by Lorelle, who ruled out only pastie-placement, April left the competition in the dust with the triad of back of the neck, cleavage, and boobies. Yes, boobies. If there’d been three prizes, I think she would have won all three.