May 29, 2006

My wife...

... she's passionate, she's fiery, she's gorgeous, she's mine. She's the only thing that keeps me from blowing up ICBC buildings for revenge. Here's a picture of her near Hume Park in New Westminster -- we stopped a few metres away from my parents' house so she could get pictures of the cherry blossoms for her family in Mexico.

May 27, 2006

I'm being sued by ICBC!


About eight years ago, I was hit by a truck driver while commuting on my bike. ICBC refused to pay my wages during the first three months I was unable to work, which forced me to a) collect EI and b) ignore my doctors' advice and return to work before being fully recovered. Not only did ICBC use their teams of attack dogs to quite literally add insult to injury, they then used my Employment Insurance claim and early return to work against me in court.

That's right -- their offers of settlement throughout this process sat between $1,000 and $3,000. Period. No expenses, no costs, no disbursements. I had lost more than ten grand in wages alone, and spent another three or four on physiotherapy appointments in BC's lovely opt-out medical plan. If I had accepted the $3K, my own lawyer would have tagged me for an additional $2K. I had no choice but to go to court.

By law, either the plaintiff or defendant in any Supreme Court case -- which this had to be based on the amounts of money involved -- can elect a jury. ICBC's lawyers always request a jury for cycling cases because, statistically, a jury hates cyclists. While the truck driver admitted in court that he hadn't checked his blindspot before turning into me, the jury proved this point by deciding I was 2/3 at fault.

I have permanent shoulder damage, often wake up in pain, and haven't been able to play tennis, volleyball or, understandably I think, cycle -- for the last eight years. My credit was shot by the time off work, leaving my wife and me unable to even sniff at a house in this or any other market. And now, ICBC is suing ME for upwards of $40K. The truck driver didn't even have his rates affected, and if I even call the guy on the phone I'll be cited in contempt of court.

Forget Gordon Campbell's drunk driving conviction in Hawaii; soulless agencies like ICBC -- WCB, from anecdotal evidence, is at least as bad -- are a scourge on the face of BC.

May 25, 2006

Pulp classics

Slate Magazine has done something brilliant: they've asked graphic designers to come up with mock pulp fiction covers for classic literature.

My favourite is this cover for the Iliad, below. I plan to print one and slap it on one of the copies I've had to buy in my pursuit of a Classical Studies degree.

Check 'em out!

It takes money to...

I've been salivating at the real estate market for nigh on 15 years now, but have never had the finances or the credit rating to play the game. My wife and I are slowly building a nest egg to make a down payment, but prices have gone through so many roofs that if we ever buy, we'll have to commute to our downtown Vancouver jobs from oh, somewhere in central Russia.

For any of you who aren't laughed at by banks, the CBC has a good real estate primer on their website.

Enjoy, and please, when you flip your property for a 50% profit, think of us!