Darren Barefoot
Darren Barefoot


Thinking Chaos, Thinking Fences

This is for those who descend into the code
and make their room a fridge for Superman

August 20, 2003

On the weekend Julie and I went for a walk along the seawall in West Vancouver. For my out-of-town readers, you should know that West Vancouver (where I grew up, so I can disparage it with pride) is an enclave of the aging, often-idle rich. We're walking along this broad, smooth seawall, and I notice that (in their idle wisdom) they've prohibited the following activies:

  • Skateboarding
  • Rollerblading
  • Cycling
  • Dog-walking

Clearly they're a sedentary and draconian lot. They have developed an interesting alternative for the canine issue, though. On the shore-side of the seawall, there's a low fence and a narrow path that runs paralell to the seawall. This is where the dogs go. The owner walks along the seawall, and the dog trots along on the other side of the fence.

I can't decide if this is a good arrangement or not. I'm sure the dog enjoys the false sense of freedom, but I still think they should just be allowed on the main path. After all, we all know that the average dog-size in West Van is slightly smaller than, what, a bread box?

10:57:47 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []   

The sidewalks in my neighbourhood have a curious and downright Disney-esque feature. Much of the pavement has little leaf patterns intentionally embossed into it. Where there are trees in the sidewalk, there are more leafs on the pavement, and they fade as you move away from the tree. Cute, I know. I always imagine the public works guys who were tasked with completing this process:

BOB: Have you got the leaf stick?
DOUG: Yeah.
BOB: Put some leaves there.
DOUG: Okay.
BOB: Dude! What're you doing? Those are Japanese maple leaves when this is clearly a dwarf dogwood tree!
DOUG: Oh, sorry man.

And so on. In truth, I expect they brought in some kind of leaf-making specialist. I'll take a photo of these leaves next time I get a chance.

10:51:09 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []   

Interesting article on Kuro5hin on exploring abandoned buildings:

It's the dead of night, and I'm stumbling through dense undergrowth, a weak pen torch lighting the way. Brambles tear at my clothes and bare arms. Ahead, Monty navigates with a stronger beam, and leads me and Pi up a steep incline. I give up all pretence of looking after my clothes and scramble up on my hands and knees, the torch held in my mouth. I slide down the other side on my arse into a broad trench. "Watch your step, it's along here somewhere," says Monty. We walk slowly, scanning the floor with our torches, and there it is - a featureless black hole in the leaf litter, just three feet across. With apprehension I realise that now I've come all this way, I'm going to have to climb inside.

This kind of appeals to the archaeologist in me, but I think these buildings would mostly be dirty, scummy and empty.

10:47:13 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    The Arts

I've just made my very own hell. In truth, I didn't give it much thought, so don't diss my levels of hell selections.

I don't actually know who Trixies or Riceboys are, but I'm going to find out. Hmmm...my 40 second Internet search produced no joy on Trixies, but I did learn what a Riceboy was. I should have known, as I grew up with a bunch of them. Mind you, we just called them 'rich Asian kids with money to burn.'

Trixies, Scientologists
Circle I Limbo

Libertarians, Rednecks
Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind

Osama bin Laden, Bill Gates
Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow

Circle IV Rolling Weights

General asshats, The New York Yankees
Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled

River Styx

Militant Vegans, Republicans
Circle VI Buried for Eternity

River Phlegyas

Parents who bring squalling brats to R-rated movies
Circle VII Burning Sands

DMV Employees
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement

New York Rangers
Circle IX Frozen in Ice

Design your own hell

10:42:53 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Internet

I've started writing a technology column for the Yaletown View. It's a nascent bi-weekly neighbourhood magazine that covers the usual mix of cuisine, entertainment, sex, etc. Despite the fact that Yaletown is something of a nerdistan, I'm going to keep the writing pretty lightweight and (where possible) humourous. I've written for the Web for so long, it's a little strange to have permanent deadlines and to see your work on the deadtree stuff.

My first column is on finding wireless access. The issue it's in comes out tomorrow, but you can get a preview here. Let me know if you've got any requests or ideas for columns.

10:29:29 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Internet Technology Vancouver