laura mitic at cabin 12

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Bare with me here, I’m going to get nerdy. The Canon 5D Mark 2 at ISO6400 with a 50mm at F1.4 is basically night vision. This photo is brighter than it actually was there by a wide margin. Though it’s not grain-free, it’s completely usable and I am rather impressed by the whole deal.
Likewise I was impressed by Laura at Cabin 12 who sang a show at the new spot on Monday night.

caycuse bell

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This is Caycuse Bell in Lake Cowichan. The town of Caycuse has an interesting history as a floating village on the south west end of Lake Cowichan. Caycuse had 400 loggers/residents at its peak in the 1900s. Not yet a ghost town, 13 people currently live on the land in that area, though I’ve seen other numbers that say 65 people do. The town has a closed school and a 2 lane bowling alley called the MULTIPLEX. It also has an active firehall. You can access Caycuse on a gravel road from Honeymoon Bay.

The bell itself is in front of the musem in “downtown” Lake Cowichan near the Weir. The museum is normally south and behind the bell, but the light from the south was better, as was the backdrop, so I went behind the bell and took the photo, and then mirrored it horizontally to make it look un-backwards again.

I have no idea what the bell was used for. The museum was closed so we couldn’t find out any official info on the weekend. In my head, I am imagining that it was rung when the waffles were ready for the lumberjacks to eat. Do you know anything about Caycuse? Have you been there? Have you heard of it until now?

if this really goes sideways

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I am not usually one to give much attention to celebrities or any of the inconsequential things that seem to surround them. But today I am taking exception to one.
Earlier today I had the displeasure of listening to one of the worst interviews I have ever heard. It wasn’t because the interviewer was bad – it was the interviewee. This time it was on CBC’s “Q” hosted by Jian Ghomeshi of Moxy Fruvous – a show I had known about but, oddly enough, never checked out until yesterday – before I knew of any of the bizzarro behavior that was about to happen when the Billy Bob Thornton band “The Boxmasters” came on this morning.
Basically Billy Bob had a hissy fit when he was introduced with mention of his career. Pretty standard stuff. Billy Bob should expect this – it’s the media, and the media is doing their job by creating context for the listener. Both myself and DaveyB noticed the note on the Jian’s laptop above – presumably from the shows produce. “If this really goes sideways – I have new Neil, new Metric standing by.”
Billy Bob says in the interview that Jian was instructed not to talk about his career, but Billy Bob’s publicist denies this:

Robinson confirms that while it’s true Thornton does not like to be asked about his movie career while he’s out promoting his band, Ghomeshi was never “instructed” to avoid the topic. “Bottom line: We don’t tell people what questions they can or cannot ask,” Robinson says.

If anyone is thinking that any press is good press, this may be a chance to see that some press can be bad. Also, if Billy Bob wanted to downplay his movie career, it’s safe to say that it didn’t quite work out.
Here’s an excerpt from the hosts blog:

Today, we were visited by country pop band, The Boxmasters. The Boxmasters biggest claim to fame is that their singer is Oscar-winning screenwriter/actor/director Billy Bob Thornton. If you were listening, you heard what could best be described as a ‘showdown at the Q corral’ when Mr. Thornton took offense to our mention of his cinematic accomplishments.

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As you can see from the video capture above, Billy Bob was looking a bit messed up – some have suggested Billy Bob was under the influence, and as shown in the top capture, his band was looking pretty uncomfortable.
A tame but telling quote from the interview:

“Canadian audiences seem to be very reserved,” said Billy Bob Thornton. “We tend to play places where people throw things at each other. Here, they just sort of sit there. And it doesn’t matter what you say to ’em. … It’s mashed potatoes but no gravy.”

As someone who has done around a hundred live, on air interviews, I can attest to the fact that Jian ended up in a really, really awkward spot and he did a really good job considering he was faced with a spoiled brat grown older. He could have kicked the band out the door at any time but he carried it through. Good sport. I’ll leave the rest for the video below:

Homelessness Discussion in Victoria

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This week I went to a discussion on homelessness facilitated by the Downtown Residents Association. The new police chief Jamie Graham spoke, as did Jill Clements and Charlayne Thorton-Joe from the homelessness coalition, and Ken Kelly from the DVBA. A summary of the talk can be found on Robert Randall‘s website.
Update: Read more on this topic from Yule Heibel‘s blog.
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The two representing the coalition – Jill and Charlayne – identified the most systemic breakdowns in support for homeless people. It’s pretty clear that the support system is broken and needs fixing at a high level before it can be effective at a ground level. Another well-documented point that was made last night is that Victoria tends to attract homeless people from all over the province and country due to our climate. This said, it is a relatively small municipality that is paying for a provincial and national issue. The numbers are nowhere close to working, even if the system wasn’t broken down. Anyway, I wont get too deep into the issues as I’m not an expert, but my feeling is that the important cards are not entirely in our hands, yet.
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The new Police Chief was really well-spoken. I felt he communicated the challenges that the police face fairly well and in a way that felt appropriately transparent. He was handing out personal business cards and engaging in quite a bit of two-way discussion which is refreshing to see. Clearly the police have their work cut out for them in this city. A city with homeless from across greater Victoria, across the province, and across the nation. And a city where police are divided into various municipality forces. There is multiplication of issues and division of resources. It is a losing combination and Victoria has been losing.
The DVBA representative spoke for a while about the business owners in the area and what they have at stake. I didn’t get much of a point from him beyond that. He spent the remainder talking about parking passes. This is puzzling in two regards – he is talking to people who live downtown, and homeless people generally aren’t looking for a place to park cars so that they can go shopping. I felt that this particular part of the evening did not contribute anything significant to the discussion.
Overall the talk was interesting and the dialogue needed to happen. It was also nice to see the new police chief speak at length about his views and philosophy on policing and the homeless situation in downtown Victoria. I don’t know how to find out what progress the coalition is making, but I’d be interested in keeping up with their findings, recommendations and any actions that local resources are undertaking to change the way the various silos of support work.