Nablopomo – Day 25 – Warm clothing donations

Once again, snow is falling in the Lower Mainland. As fun as it is for some, please try to remember those that are less fortunate. It’s all too often that we only think of this during the holiday season. The reality is that the need is always there for many many individuals and families.

Rebecca Bollwitt has a great post on where you can make warm clothing donations in Vancouver:

As well, if you’d like to make a donation elsewhere around the province, the Salvation Army in British Columbia has many locations around the Lower Mainland.

Please take some time to remember those in need. It will definitely go a long way.

Nablopomo – Day 24 – My first site

It’s always interesting to see the humble beginnings of a career. Here’s the very first site I actually got paid to do: Ryz Wrestling.

As this was done 10 years ago, I’m not going to beat myself up too bad. However, here’s the lowlights for your amusement:

  • HTML 4.0 Transitional Document Type.
  • Absolutely no metadata.
  • Table-based layout, complete with <table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" MARGINHEIGHT="0" MARGINWIDTH="0" LEFTMARGIN="0" TOPMARGIN="0" border="0"> and a fixed width of ‘683’ for all of those 800 by 600 resolutions.
  • Designed to display consistently with Netscape 4.0 and above.
  • There’s <font size="-2">, wrapped in a <div>, wrapped in table cells. Like a crazy HTML Turducken.
  • The good old CSS scrollbar property.
  • Non-breaking spaces used for padding the navigation items, of course.
  • The content of the site consisted of "This site is currently under construction".
  • Great use of red, salmon and dark jaundice. Complete with lame Photoshop effects.
  • Lovingly hand coded with HomeSite

I could keep listing things, but let’s end the suffering there.

Regardless, this is my dollar bill framed on my wall, so to speak. As dated as this is, it’s still a reminder of how far I’ve come.

Nablopomo – Day 23 – Flashback: Close shave day

Taking you back to an original post from 13 January 2005, this was a day from hell that could have been much worse.

You ever have one of those days where something could have happened to you that would have ruined your whole day?

I had such a day today.

6:18 A.M.

The morning started off with a bang when I was late for the bus. What does this mean? Super elastic rush hour happy road rage fun.

7:43 A.M.

Unaware of the recent change in parking regulations, I am left to park in a two hour parking spot. More fun will ensue as I run back and forth playing parking spot shuffle for the rest of the day. At least the regulations start at 9:00 A.M., so it ain’t all bad.

11:04 A.M.

I get in my car to move about two spots down. As I grab my keys, I notice that ‘The Club’ key is broken!

Realizing this is quite catastrophic, I play back to when I locked The Club up in the morning. Knowing that the key was still in tact when I first parked, I checked my pocket where my keys were. The broken end of the key is in my pocket.

From this point, I went through the possible scenarios;

  • I can leave my car where it is, go home, get the spare key, and unlock the club. I knew this was a sure fix, but my day and night would be ruined.
  • I can try to pick the lock. I’m not an expert in this and I failed miserably.
  • I can try to stick in the broken end of key with the other part and try to open The Club. This was obviously the most riskiest as I knew that if this didn’t work, I would then have to probably call a locksmith to bust the Club open while trying to explain to onlookers that It’s my car, really! On the other hand, if it works, then there’s no problem. I’ll have no Club for the car, but at least I’ll be able to get home.

After pondering for about five more minutes, I think to myself:

Well, no guts, no glory. God help me…

Marco Battilana

I proceed to stick the broken end of the key in the hole, and then proceed with the rest of the key. Take a breath. Turn the lock.

It opened.

I do my happy dance, proceed to remove The Club and move the car. I figure that was a close shave. But wait, there’s more.

11:20 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.

I tell my coworkers about what happened. I’m sure they were sick of hearing it after the third time, but what can I say? I don’t gamble very often.

5:23 P.M.

On the way home, I notice a burning smell in the car. I also notice that the car seems to be running a little funny. Do I pull off the road before I get on that long bridge? Hell no. I push my luck again.

I figured that since I was a good 20 minutes from home, I would get as far as I could. If something happened then so be it. The gamble worked for me once, why not one more time?

5:48 P.M.

After about 15 prayers, I make it home. I officially declare this day ‘Close Shave Day’, eat some chicken and watch ‘The Sixth Sense’.

10:38 P.M.

I’m posting this message as an example to all. Embrace your ‘Close Shave Day’.

So, I figured my good luck is used up for a while. I’ll be watching my back until Valentine’s Day.

Happy Close Shave Day everyone. Go walk under a ladder now.

Nablopomo – Day 22 – Flashback: Nina Hagen

Taking you back to an original post from 15 January 2005, this was our Nina Hagen experience. Cue the Wayne’s World wavy flashback camera effect…

Me and my wife attended the Nina Hagen show last night at the Commodore. For anyone else who attended, perhaps you can relate to some of the events of last night.

Here’s how the night went for us:

8:15 PM

We arrived at the Commodore.

As we walked in, we noticed about 60 to 80 people were already there utilizing all the prime tables and seats. So, we found a decent small round table seat for two to the left of the stage by the bar.

The first thing I noticed was the crowd. I noticed that the majority of people were a little more ‘mature’. By ‘mature’ I mean that most people were around the same age as myself; around 33 and part of the 80s generation.

As the night went on, the crowd started to get interesting. Here’s some of the highlights that I remember;

  • A guy from Cleveland that, ironically, had a ‘Cleveland Rocks’ shirt on.
  • A big balding guy that stood in the middle of the dance floor reading a book. I don’t know what he was reading, but he had people coming up to him all curious like.
  • A guy who looked like ‘Bubbles’ from Trailer Park Boys. With the exception of the orange and Yellow mohawk.
  • Two guys with very bad, black wigs. One wig looked like Marge Simpson’s hair.

What was really interesting was this gentleman who was sitting beside us. He claimed that he phoned up Nardwuar when Nina was on the show and was proud of the fact that he stumped someone with a question.

I was curious what he meant, but I didn’t want any elaboration as this gentleman spend most of the night writing down a list of single words on a notebook. Whatever was going on in this man’s head was apparently too deep for me.

9:30 P M

The first band comes on. Sorry, I didn’t catch their name.

It’s a basic electronica type of group with two guys on synthesizers switching places after every song. When I first heard them, my initial reaction was that it sounded something like Ross Geller would be playing on ‘Friends’. To their credit though, as they played a little more, they did improve. They were on for only 20 minutes, though. No encore.

As the night went on, the crowd increased. Some more highlights;

  • A guy dressed as a female sailor
  • A collared woman connected to a collared woman
  • A woman wearing a black poodle skirt, pink jacket, Mickey Mouse ears and a black painted face


10:45 P M

Nina comes on the stage making a grand entrance. Twirling around in a black a white cloak with her usual black hair in pink flowered berets, black swirly top, black and white leggings, and sparkly thick purple lipstick.

I have to say that being a fan of Nina from the 80s and knowing of her obvious North American hits of ‘New York, New York’ and ‘Universal Radio’, I was quite surprised at the selection of music that was played.

She opened with ‘Return of the Mother’. In addition, I also recall;

  • ‘New York, New York’
  • A cover of ‘All Apologies’
  • About three songs that sounded like Country and Western tunes
  • ‘Zero’, I believe. I thought it was a cover of the ‘Spacehog’ tune, but I don’t think so
  • ‘White Punks on Dope’
  • Other various songs typical of Nina. Sorry, I’m going by my foggy memory
  • Three encores

I can honestly say that I didn’t expect to hear most of the music that I did, and I was genuinely impressed. I didn’t expect such diverse music. As well, I didn’t expect such a receiving crowd either. Must have been the most loyal fan base I have ever seen. Good atmosphere, definitely!

12:45 A M

As the performance came to a conclusion, we decided to go to the stage door to see if we could get to see Nina after the show. During the performance, we got the hint from a woman who told us that the silk screened poster we had bought would be signed by Nina herself. It turned out that this woman was her manager. Cool.

1:10 A M

Being the gracious woman that she is, she indeed came out and was nice enough to chat with the line up of about 20 to 30 fans that had gathered. When she came out this time, she was all decked out in a black mini bomber jacket, black and pink polka dotted skirt, black leggings and some serious high heels. It made her look about 6 feet tall!

My wife basically said to her that we thought the show was a lot of fun and we had enjoyed the performance. Nina thanked her for the compliment and signed our poster. I was going to say something to her, but Nina went between us, looked out the window of the Commodore and said;

Oooh, look. Real people.

Nina Hagen

Then, she moved on. All I had time to say was…


Marco Battilana

Oh well. It was still cool to meet her.

Anyways, that’s about it. I think I can honestly say that was one of the most interesting shows that I have been to.