Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Stubbing in McCauley

A stubbing took place early this evening in McCauley. The incident happened at about 5:10 p.m. on 95 Street near the corner of 106 Avenue. The victim, a woman in her mid-thirties, experienced pain, loss of balance, and extreme embarassment when the big toe on her right foot hit a crack in the sidewalk. The woman, who works as the Editor of area's community newspaper, was reportedly on her way to Padmanadi to meet family members for supper. As of this evening, she is still experiencing discomfort, numbness, and difficulty walking. The sidewalk was unavailable for comment. No charges have been laid.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


  One of the things I most enjoy about hanging out in McCauley, is taking long walks through the neighbourhood and gazing at the incredible landscapes and flowers that many of the properties have. The residents of this area take great pride in gardening and the result are some colourful and beautiful displays, like these tiger lillies.

  There was a hard rain right before I took this one. I think you can see some of the raindrops on the flowers.

  I don't think I have ever seen this flower with this particular colour.

  A simpler approach by using bedding plants in planters.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

McCauley Clean Up - I Really Did Help

  I really believe in immersing myself in a story. That is exactly what I did in late May when I covered the McCauley annual clean up. I was on site for most of the day taking photos. However, sometimes my camera got away from me, and I ended up the centre of attention. Someone dropped off a skateboard that I decided to try out, while Diana took a shot of me. Cowabunga, dudes!

  Then, I went out in one of the trucks with Tim and Andre to scour the neighbourhood for discarded items. Yes, that is right -- dirtaphobic me actually handled garbage. Tim felt this moment should actually be captured for posterity, so here I am with a community member, enthusiastically cleaning up.

  This is the colour shot of the main photo in the spread on the clean up that appeared in the July/August issue. That's Tim in the foreground, as well as a very full trash bin. I was amazed at how much these bins could actually hold.

  Here I am again, at the clean up site unloading the trees I had gathered. All in all it was a very fun day. It was great to be a part of such a well-organized and worthwhile community event.
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Paula at Heart of the City

  This is for those of you who asked why there was no photo of me included in our multi-page spread about the 2008 Heart of the City Festival in the July/August issue. We had so many great photos of all the performers, that it was a struggle to get in as many as we could. I was not about to take space away from another act or artist. Besides, my photo appears in every issue along with my Editorial. I am not a *complete* narcissist, after all!
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

One Year of Proofing

  The June issue marked one year that my mother has been doing the proofreading for the paper. To honour her contribution as a volunteer, we got her a thank-you card and a bouquet of flowers from Zocalo. She really appreciated the gesture.
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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Non-Home Computing

I am on a wireless connection in a coffee shop. I sometimes need to get away from my desk for a while and work in a different atmosphere. September's issue is already coming together even though I haven't even sent out the assignment list yet. Already articles are coming in. This week, I will spend some time writing a restaurant review and getting a jump start on what will likely be a central feature for September (hint: it has to do with Father Jim, the park beside Sacred Heart Church, and some signs that were hung there).

Friday, July 11, 2008

Substitute Carrier

A few days ago I found out that one of our carriers was away and won't be back until the end of July. This afternoon I delivered to his route. I've never delivered to a route before, so it was quite an interesting and fun experience. The block in question was in an area of the McCauley neighbourhood I usually only pass through, as it is a distance away from most of the people I know and places where I hang out. I saw some houses and businesses I was not previously aware of, met a few dogs, and chatted with some residents. I finished up right before the big rain hit, which cut short my bike riding adventures through the neighbourhood.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


The storm on Saturday right after Colleen and I did our rounds dropping off paper to the carriers did have some ill effects. I heard from two carriers whose papers got totally ruined. So, on Monday, I loaded about 200 papers on my bike to re-distribute, as well as drop off at some of the businesses we missed the first time around. It's amazing how much you can actually carry on a bicycle if you are creative (and careful. Plus, a rack and some bungee cords help.).

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Internet Problems

Sometimes I feel more like a computer technician than an editor/writer. Today was one such time. This morning, I downloaded a Windows update and installed it onto my computer, as I do routinely. Immediately thereafter, I lost my Internet connection entirely. After spending an hour on the phone with tech support from my ISP, I was told it was a hardware problem. I switched to my laptop and connected via dial up. The same update downloaded and installed and -- you guessed it -- I lost my connection on that machine as well. At this point, I began to think that the problem had something to do with the update so I did a System Restore to yesterday and behold, my Internet was working once again. Apparently, there is a compatibility issue between the update and the ZoneAlarm firewall, which I have installed on both computers. We don't have ZoneAlarm on the office computer, so when I did the update on our computer this afternoon, there was no problem at all. All in all, I basically did little productive at all today except deal with computer issues.

Monday, July 7, 2008

July/August Online

The July/August issue of the paper is now online. We have readers literally from around the world, simply because we offer a free, downloadable PDF file.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Distribution Day

Distribution is the most physical process of producing the paper. Sorting, bagging, and delivering the papers to our carriers often leaves me exhausted, and sometimes with a few cuts and bruises. Colleen and I delivered yesterday in the beautiful sunshine, which lasted just long enough for us to finish. Then, the skies opened up and it started to pour. I pulled the last few stacks of papers from the back of Colleen's car and ran down with them into the office, narrowly avoiding them getting wrecked by moisture. So far, I have only heard from one carrier whose papers got soaked and am likely going to have to do another distribution run this week.

The best part about doing distribution on a sunny, warm weekend is that we get to run into a lot of people. Some of our carriers were outside or saw me coming up to their doors, and came outside to chat for a bit. When we got to John & Kim's, we got invited to watch the cob fence building workshop that was in progress. A cob fence is an ancient, environmentally sustainable way of building, using clay mixed with straw. People were dancing around in the wet clay, getting it to the right consistency before balling it up and adding it to the growing fence. I took some pictures for the September issue.

We stopped for lunch at a new restaurant in Chinatown, Longan. It is a family business, and our servers were some of the younger family members. Service was very friendly, and the food was impressive. Look for a review in the September issue.

I hid out in the office during the storm, then came back up when the sun returned. I had to go for a walk to take some pictures of the incredible flowers blooming in the gardens and alleys of McCauley, in particular Caroline's front yard (I have never seen so many colourful flowers before on a private property) and Tim's flowerboxes that were very simple, but had excellent composition in terms of the arrangements.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

We Picked It Up!

The July/August issue was ready for pickup, so Colleen and I drove out to the distribution centre, filled up the back seat and trunk of her car with papers, and headed to the post office downtown to mail out to Boyle Street. This was the first time I had ever been to the distribution centre. Basically, a very strong woman brought the papers over to the vehicle on a dolly, and helped load them in. At the post office, a friend of mine was working the loading dock, so she helped us get them into the Canada Post bin. Next? Getting the papers into the hands of our volunteer carriers in the McCauley area.