All posts by Paul Cipywnyk

Volunteering Professional Time

I was recently contacted out of the blue (the email writer likely found me through the Editors’ Association of Canada database) and asked to do some free proofreading for a charity.  One that I had never heard of, and that was way across the country.

I politely replied that I was busy, and that I already volunteer (not editing, but plenty of board and on-the-ground community hours) with several organizations. Of course I occasionally write/edit stuff gratis for groups that I volunteer with, but it’s the first time to be “cold-called” for such volunteer work.

I posted my experience to the “Editors of the World” group on Facebook, and several editors wrote that yes, they do volunteer on occasion, but as with me, it’s nearly always for some group that they are already a member of, or have some other personal connection with.

So a bit of advice for folks seeking free, aka volunteer, professional assistance. Do your homework. Find someone who already volunteers in your geographical area, and your subject area. Find a friend, or a friend of a friend. Or contact your local community college or university and see if a student studying toward the craft or profession that you’re targeting needs work that they can put on a resume.

But I do not recommend cold emailing or calling, and asking folks to work for you for free.

Kodo Delivers Superb Concert Again

Yumi and I went to the Kodo concert in Vancouver this evening. We’ve seen them several times, and this show was another fantastic event.

While they used to focus on the sheer stamina and physicality of extreme, marathon taiko drumming, this tour is more nuanced with more story-telling.

It worked well. Close enough to their ripped roots to satisfy hard-core fans, and different enough to demonstrate that they are not creatively stagnating.

Also a bit more humor, which is fun.

Good show!

Trusty Subaru Keeps Chugging Along

Was fooling around with Blue Book/Black Book values for our trusty ’98 Subaru Outback with 270,000+ km on it. No answer — either too old or mileage too high for the online databases.

But based on the closest results I could get, it looks like we’d be lucky to get C$1,000-1,500 for it in trade-in value. That’s less than the annual insurance fee!

So seeing as it’s near “worthless” now, and it’ll continue to be worthless going forward, I think our ongoing strategy of keeping it well-maintained and running for as long as possible is a no-brainer.

At the rate that we put on mileage, we’ve got a good year, or even 18 months before the next major service, which will likely run $1,500+. That’s when a decision will have to be made.

Bye-Bye Christmas Tree, I’m Going to Miss You, Meow

Yumi “undressed” the tree nearly two weeks ago, but we were loath to let it go. It still looked and smelled wonderful, but today we finally wrapped it in a canvas drop sheet, and took it down into the garage.

Choco the cat finds the garage spooky, but she sat by the door and cried, so I let her out. She went directly to the tree, sniffed around, meowked a couple of times, and then trotted back to me.

I guess in her own way, she needed a minute.

City of Burnaby Adopts Progressive, Green Design Standards for Town Centre Streets

The City of Burnaby’s new design standards for streets in its four town centres look interesting. Lots of green including rain gardens. Hope this progresses quickly, as we need all the rainwater infiltration that we can get to keep our urban streams as healthy as possible. Infiltration naturally filters pollution and reduces peak flows.

See the document here.

National Energy Board Shoots Self in Foot Before Taking a Step

You can’t make this stuff up.

Business in Vancouver reported in an article today:

The staff at the NEB’s new regional office will focus on communications work, community engagement and assist with operations, according to a press release.

The NEB did not respond to multiple requests for interviews.

Boy, that’s a great start for an operation tasked with communication and community engagement!

Thanks, Anonymous Grandad

Was on Skytrain today coming home from a meeting, and at one station a little girl and her mom were dashing for the doors when a mini-tragedy struck. The girl made it onto the train, and mom didn’t.

The giggling girl turned around, saw mom beyond the closed doors, and burst into tears as the train pulled away.

A grandfatherly looking gentleman immediately stood up, went to the girl and said “It’s OK, I’ll get off at the next station with you, and your mom will catch up.”

I had two thoughts: admiration at the quick response, followed, unfortunately, by “even grandfatherly types….”

So I unobtrusively got off with them. I don’t think the gentleman even noticed that I was following.  There was a Skytrain security guy nearby, and “grandad” walked the girl over, and jumped back on the train.

The next train mom arrived, and I left. Thank you “grandad” and Skytrain guy!