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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Strike - Day 34

BBQ @ Britannia Branch



I know that many people seem to believe that life on the picket line is just one big party. But trust me, we would rather be working.

It's very stressful being on strike. We don't know when we will be going back and it's shows. We all try to keep positive and cheerful but it's not fun not knowing if or when you can pay the rent / mortgage among other bills that we all have. Never mind that it pains us that our many, many library users are unable to take advantage of all the wonderful, free services that we have to offer.

So yesterday after a five minute conversation we decided to have a bar-be-cue at Britannia Branch. Gail - bless her heart - brought her little Webber grill and several kinds of hot dogs. And everyone else brought finger food so we wouldn't have to deal with paper plates and create any more garbage than necessary.


As usual in the morning the Flying Bicycle Picketers started their bike trek around the city spreading the good word of CUPE. Its fun watching them prepare by decorating their bikes. It reminds me of sports-day in my elementary school. At Carnarvon Community School we all decorated our bikes and had a parade. I have no idea if that was common practice in other Vancouver schools in the 1970's.

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

Cooper is a regular pooch picketer at Britannia. This is the perky poodle in a rare quiet moment. He's a real doll!

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

Prepping our hot dogs. A big thank you to whomever brought sauerkraut. I love 'kraut on my hot dog.

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

'Please sir, I'm a starving dog whose masters never feed me' Ya, right! Brat & Russ joined us on the picket line today and with all the stuff on the ground Brat did very well for herself. Don't you love the picket signs that Russ made for her? That's the CUPE 391 emblem @ the top

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

After lunch the bargaining committee came out to cover some of the details of where we are going (or not as the case may be) with out negotiations.

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

A little rest and time to chew on a tennis ball

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

Russell joined us for a couple of reasons. 1. Hot dog love. 2. To bring us FOUR boxes of Krispy Kreme and immediately become half the strikers fantasy lover. 3. As a welcome representative of the Canadian Merchant Service Guild. I think it's great that we are getting so much support from other locals and unions from all over. Group Hug to all.

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

We CUPE members may be serious about what we want and need in a contract, but it's just about impossible to get our canine friends to take any of this boring strike stuff seriously. Alas Brat & Cooper have better things to do. Fuzzy hearted little traitors.

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Apple Smapple

You gotta admit that the iPhone is a pretty sweet toy, But I'm not likely to ever own one.

For one thing, if and when it comes to Canada, it's not likely that Fido will be the provider. More likely it's going to be Rogers. Although with a little ingenuity you can hack the phone to work on any network. New Jersey teenager George Holtz provides instructions on his blog.

My second big issue with the iPhone is the size. I haven't seen one in person, but all the video footage makes it seem a bit too big for my hands. I have short fingers and holding something the size of a Palm Pilot against my ear for any length of time would probably be uncomfortable. The (discontinued) Z200 I have now is a piece of shite, but I do like the size.

Third problem: $$$$$$$. I can't justify spending the $500-$600 price tag for a phone. Of course that's the price in the U.S. - god knows what it'll go for here.

But it doesn't matter anymore. Remember the Zune? No? Well it's the Microsoft equivalent of the iPod, only cheaper and (so I've heard), crappier. Well now Microsoft has come up with their own version of the iPhone called the zunePhone. It is a thing of beauty and I'm sure to get one if and when they are available here.

I introduce to you - the zunePhone:

Friday, August 24, 2007

Strike - Day 30

Here it is folks, pathetic strike hat number two.


A.k.a - Brat in a hat

Brat in a hat

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Strike - Day 28

Striking @ Britannia Branch.

We like to start out our day with a coffee, tea or cocoa from Tony's Deli It's a friendly place with really good bevys and a pretty good selection of sandwiches, salads & pasta. Everything seems to be made on-site in their cavernous kitchen. I recommend the Caprese: tomatoes, bocconcini, spinach, basil with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

This is the peaceful & pretty pocket park that leads from the Drive to the library / community centre / school complex. It seems to be very popular in the afternoons.

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

I really like the lamp standards in the complex.

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

Denise has cocoa and is very, very happy!

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

we are a very, very active bunch here @ Britannia. Knitting and bitching about strike press coverage are a couple of favourite activities.

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

Speaking of knitting. Here is hat number two, a bit over halfway done. Isn't it a thing of beauty! I'm using up a bunch of leftover bits 'o yarn to create this wonder.

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

Deanne is working on an outfit for her little boy's teddy bear.

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

And here is his outfit so far. Gotta love the hat!

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

The local has starting "Flying Bicycle Pickets" this week. People bring their bikes to Brit, decorate them and then drive around the city informing the public about the issues we are striking for.

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

Here is a short vid of them going on their way.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Century In Video - 1908

A fascinating early cartoon. The YouTube poster ClassicCartoon has this to say about the process:

"To make this film, Cohl placed each drawing on an illuminated glass plate and then traced the next drawing-with variations-on top of it until he had some 700 drawings." read more...




From the same filmmaker in a similar style. This one...
"illustrate the surealistic [sic] visions of a man under the influence of alcohol"




Ya that happens to me every time I have a drink.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Strike - Day 23

We are still in talks, and that is good.

I finished my first Knitting in Solidarity! hat. I was told it wasn't too ugly. Well we'll see if anyone wants it.

Knitting in Solidarity is a group of knitters on the line that are making hats and blankies for people on the Downtown Eastside. Also strikers have the opportunity to buy a hat with a $20 donation to the strike fund. I've seen the hats and (with perhaps one singular exception) they are beautiful. If I get a change I'll take (or hunt down) a picture.

Here are some of the hard core knitters with their signage

Pic courtesy of James & Annie

Deanne lent me her son's little chair to use for a while. It's tiny, and therefor lighter to carry on the train.

I brought it home and opened it to show a friend and Brat instantly jumped into it and tried to claim it as her own.

Brat & the little, little chair

This photo better illustrates exactly how tiny this chair is.

Brat & the little, little chair & Mom

One more time with feeling!

Brat & the little, little chair & Mom

The first person to compare the size of the chair to the size of my ass is in deep, deep, trouble!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Strike - Day 21

A quick update:

Offer from City:

City offers library workers 5-year deal

We will respond on Friday:

A short update

C'est la guerre

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Strike - Day 19

Feel way too shitty today to picket (wonderful summer head cold), so this tiny post features a couple of great pictures that Denise took last week @ Britannia Branch. Thanks for the use of them Denise!

For taking my picture I give you the look of death!
CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

Wow, that really is some tail isn't it?
CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

Resistance. Is. Futile!
CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

Also here is a link to the CUPE BC Rally photos.

And finally a video of the bulk of the rally from the Working TV site. Thanks to Dana for the heads up on this video.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to soak my head in a cuppa tea.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Strike - Day 16 (Updated)

Crap, crap, crappity, crap!

No news is bad news

Talks break down in Vancouver's civic strike

Oh, and did I mention? CRAP!

~~~~ UPDATE ~~~~

There was a very well attended and rousing rally for CUPE 15, 1004 & 391 at City Hall today. It gave us all a chance to enjoy a hotdog or two, share notes and experiences with other CUPE members and hear some great music and fantastic speeches. I couldn't stay for the whole shebang, but what I did experience was pretty awsome. I tivo'd the Global 6:00 pm news and here is the coverage:

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Strike - Day 14

Check out this new Flickr group: Vancouver Civic Workers Strike 2007

A collection of photos by different Flickr members (including yours truly) taken during this ongoing dispute.

I like this one by Techno Chick

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Strike - Day 13

7:50 am - It's August. Why are there so many people on the train? At this time of year I expect to get a seat. Shouldn't everyone be on vacation? Maybe if I stand in the middle of the train and announce "I have new socks!"...







8:30 am - Coffeeeeeeeeeee!










9:20 am - Everyone is signing up for their picketing shifts this week - chaos reigns.














9:40 am - Overheard in the (smelly) loo "As a taxpayer I think they should shut down all the libraries because everything is on the Internet". I noticed that this gem came from one of our regular Internet patrons.









10:40 am - Deanne entertained us for five minutes when she gets tangled in her yarn. Knitting is very popular on the line. I'm working on a pathetic blanket.









11:15 am - Walkie, walkie, knitty, knitty, drizzle, drizzle. brrrrrrrrr.










12:20 pm - Well I was going to try for eight hours today, but it's still raining and my feet are too cold... Fuck it, I'm going home. Tomorrow I'll wear socks, (but not new socks!)

Monday, August 06, 2007

A Century In Video - 1907

Just to reassure you, no you're not having acid flashbacks.

I present to you a dancing pig. Not a real dancing pig but a terrifically realist costume.

The description from IMDb has this to say:


This utterly delightful Pathé short must have produced a chorus of giggles from younger Parisian moviegoers. Released in 1907, the four-minute film presents nothing more than two dancers, passing through a curtain to perform on stage. One happens to be a pretty young girl dressed in the style of the Folies Bergère. The other is wearing an enormous tuxedoed pig costume, complete with large rolling eyes and protruding tongue... (read more)


I have no idea why this film was made, but I suspect that movies were still such a new idea in 1907 that anything that could be filmed (and viewed by an audience) was. Sorta like when I got my first scanner, I scanned everything in the house that would stay still long enough. Please note: Dogs do NOT like being scanned!

Well I hope you all enjoy this delightful little short film:

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Strike - Day 7

Talks were resumed today with the employer. A new proposal was presented by the union and the employer will respond next Thursday (August 9). So we will be on strike until then at least. For more details see this CUPE 391 blog entry

On the picketing front. I wanted to share some wonderful strike pictures with everyone. These were taken by a couple of co-workers of mine, and I think they are gorgeous. Here are a couple of my favourites:


"Who ordered the pastrami with coleslaw?"


My front peg is so far ahead, it's on the north plaza..

Thanks muchly to James & Annie for allowing me to post these wonderful pictures.

For the rest of their strike pics please visit this page

I myself spent the morning at Champlain Branch. I've never worked at this branch, but I thought it would be nice for a change of pace. Got to meet a few new people and some enjoyable conversations.

Here's a few pics:

Outside the library
CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

Happy, smiling, strikers
CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

Setting up camp
CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

The afternoon was spent back at Central. There were less people than I've been getting used to seeing, but that could be because the morning picketing shift is more popular.

However the turnout wasn't bad.
CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

Except for the bird that attacked us (I supplied baby wipes for cleanup)
CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

And we had a fair showing in the small mammal category
CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

And lastly but certainly not leastly. Here is a clip from the channel M 9:00 news last Thursday (July 26). It took me this long to edit the clip down from the one hour broadcast. I spent a couple of hours on the computer last night looking for (free) software that would convert dvr-ms files to avi files, only to discover that my ^%$%$#%$ computer already had software that would do that for me. So here it is. Quite short (1:42) and mostly in Mandarin, but with a few English sound bites.

I'm actually on it (I'm famous, I'm famous!) and the screen grab I posted a couple of posts ago proves it. I post it again just to be annoying:

CUPE 391 Strike - 2007

And here is the video clip in all its fascinating glory