The miscellaneous Sunday

This morning Marjun and I decided to head down to Commercial Drive. For those that don’t know Commercial Drive it used to be an Italian community when I grew up, well it still is, but it has changed to a very eclectic type of neighbourhood. It had the Fringe Festival years ago and is made up of small, unique, independent businesses. The Starbuck and Subways of the world may exist but wouldn’t thrive in this community.

We took the Skytrain down and had brunch at Wazubees. A great little, well not so little, restaurant that serves good food. Your coffee always comes with a small glass of water on a metal tray. Replenish the fluids you know. After brunch we headed dow to the Fair Trade Shop to pick up a kilo of raw sugar. I’ve become addicted to this stuff over the years. It is brown and not granulated. Marjun picked up a set of the World Community cookbooks there. It is a set of three cookbooks which includes our old favourite “More with-Less”. As we headed back to the Skytrain we ran into the Azaroff and Cottingham families. It was great to see them and we had an ever too brief visit. That is what makes the Drive so different, the people you see down there and usually the people you run into down there.

We said goodbye to William, Amy and Ivan and headed into the Audiophile (used CDs and LPs). This is one of my favourite places to find hard to find music. (Zulu being the other one). Within 5 minutes I had three great finds.

• Sid n Susie Under the Covers – a Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs compendium of some 60’s pop music. They keep the memory of the music in a new age pop style.
• Elliot Smith’s – Figure 8
• 10,000 Maniacs – Campfire Songs

Back to the Skytrain, heading home, we stopped at the Rupert Station and a bicyclist was just getting in the door when it started closing in on his front wheel. There was an attendant standing at the other door who stuck her foot in the door to keep it open. He politely asked if he could get in. She shouted out “No, get the next one.” I figured it must have been the end of her shift and she wanted to get home or she was pissed off at someone and this poor guy was going to be her target. If the Skytrain was a commercial enterprise I would stop buying its product. Free market principle. But this is a public transit system so what is the alternative? Funny there was a small poster on the train that said “Please keep the Skytrain clean, it is your Skytrain.” Yeah sure.


Rush hour

My commute to and from work is roughly 40 minutes each way. I go against the rush hour traffic and most of the drive is freeway. There usually isn’t much stop and go traffic so it is relatively easy. But you do get to spend 40 minutes to think about a lot of things. Over that last 15 years of commuting you realize that by driving in the fast lane you might get there 3-4 minutes earlier, you are stressed out to a high degree and you burn more fuel. By just staying in the slow lane you arrive much more relaxed. But there are limits on how slow one goes. Sometimes you have to pass the guy going 80 kmh and then get back in the slow lane. My ritual is pretty simple and it works. Stay in the slow lane, make phone calls if you have to (with the built in hands free unit) listen to the radio, mostly news and maybe the sports radio chanel until the commercials start, and the rest of the time listen to music from the iPod. The iPod also has podcasts on it. I will listen to those if I get stuck in a long line up. And that is the key. Once you start listening to something pretty good, that you have been saving to listen to, you won’t mind the line up. You listen intently and watch the cars in the other lane go by and it really doesn’t matter. You’ll end up a little late but you have used the time to do something you wanted to. I can’t say I look to the line-up at rush hour, it is just they don’t have that big a negative effect anymore.