Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for the ‘blog update’ Category

What’s in a name

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In the Guardian yesterday was an article about a writer who has brought out a new book only to be confused with another with the same name.

There are lots of people who share the same name as me. One of them tried to hijack my gmail address a while back, but the spam filters now seem to have worked well enough that it is no longer in my inbox all the time.

What was in my inbox was a reminder from WordPress that I was about to lose – which a while back did not seem to be so important to me, but then so did the whole idea of blogging. But in the absence of FaceBook and Instagram I seem to be blogging more often. And this year we have not spent anything like what we usually do on travel. We haven’t been anywhere since January – and there has not been any concerts, plays or even eating out. So the amount to renew did not seem significant.

So will still be the best way to keep up – unless you might prefer to use the RSS feed. I have also added in the right hand column a link to an explanation of how RSS works. I got NetNewsWire as my RSS reader (because it works on a Mac) – which comes already populated with feeds – and that has also been interesting. I was going to delete them and add my own, but it turned out to be a nice change from my routine.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 13, 2020 at 1:53 pm

Posted in blog update

2013 in review

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The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 67,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you to my readers and those who take the time to comment. While I expect to continue to blog here and on my other blog (which is not about transport or planning and gets many fewer visitors) I do not try to write frequently. I will only post here when I think I have something worth saying, and I am trying to reduce the amount of repetition as I have no wish to bore anyone. There will probably be more on twitter or Facebook.

Please accept my best wishes for 2014. For myself I am keenly looking forward to a month in Italy in the spring.

Written by Stephen Rees

December 31, 2013 at 8:44 am

Posted in blog update, blogging

Tagged with


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This post is addressed to all my readers. I knew that in order to have a free blog on WordPress that there would sometimes be ads that some readers would see. I don’t, of course, and if you are logged in you won’t either. What I did not know until now is that these ads can be very intrusive and annoying – and I do not like advertising.

All of this started due to a tweet from one of my readers Robert J Ballantyne

Timethief is correct in this forum: It is in our ToS. OK, but I expected discreet and context sensitive.

So that lead me to consider that I might upgrade to the no ads service – which is ~US$30 a year. However, since I am retired and my income is not only limited but to an extent dependent on the changing relationship between the Canadian dollar and pounds sterling, it is not a commitment I can enter into lightly.

I have not run a poll on the blog for a while, so the question is framed in a way that tries to determine the extent to which ads have intruded. If there is a real need, then the result will be taken seriously. But since I haven’t seen any ads or heard any complaints to date, I was unaware of the issue and, had I not seen the tweet, would continue as I have done. Which, until I am persuaded otherwise, remains the default.

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October 5, 2011 at 11:22 am

Posted in blog update, blogging

What I have been doing this morning

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I have gone back into the SFU posts and added photographs by Jason Vanderhill (with his permission of course). I am trying to ensure that posts here have a balance between words and pictures – or rather illustrations (“For what good is a book without pictures or conversations” thought Alice) and I really appreciate his blanket approval. Jason is not only a better photographer than I, but he also uses a Sony Cybershot which seems to get images that my Nikon 4800ED can’t manage.

I have been reading John Taplin’s blog about the American economy, and he seems to back up my worst fears.

And, by the way, if you have been thinking we are doing well becuase our dollar is at par to theirs, think again. This graph shows how many of our dollars it takes to buy a Euro.

And that is not good news either. (This is not one of those charts where up is positive) I find the Sauder School UBC Currency Trends service very useful. As Taplin points out since oil is priced in dollars, the apparent rise in fuel cost is not hitting them. And they also do not have to worry about a flood of cheap US imports of goods – since the US does not make make nearly so much these days, and what they do make does not fit all that well into a European lifestyle. Although Tony Blair did drive a Dodge Caravan (which says a lot in itself).

And also I have been reading Erika Rathje’s suburban observations. She didn’t like my suggestion of using Google image search but for some reason I found this appealing

I have also been avoiding the news about the property price crash in the UK

I am joining the ranks of the hopeful – that continued overseas interest in Vancouver and the chance of a quick Canuck buck off the Olympics will keep our market bouyant. Not that I intend to move again after this one.

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April 13, 2008 at 1:01 pm

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The City Programme Videos

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The SFU City Programme has been making videos of these free public lectures. I have now inserted links into the first four lectures for this year Andres Duany, Mike Meyers, James Sallis and Douglas Farr. You can find the complete list at the SFU video page.

Instead of a new post I simply inserted a brief report of yesterday’s Green Party’s “Free Transit” panel into the earlier post. There was video, but I am not sure when it will be available as the camera operator was off to that “Inconvenient Truth” boot camp.

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April 2, 2008 at 7:20 pm

Posted in blog update

Blog Stats

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The crack addicted gerbil strikes again


We did not break through 20,000 views, but the growth is still impressive.

One reason for publishing this data is to blow an electronic raspberry at a few people who have been trying to post negative comments here – apparently someone thinks I am a “waste of electrons”.

On March 18 the blog had its best day ever at just under a thousand views, and since it started there have been well over 100,000 views. And over 2,00 comments (and 20,000 spam comments trapped by Akismet). I did find out one reason why that post about the Port Moody campaign for SkyTrain is so popular. At least one reader has used that as a bookmark rather than the home page or an RSS feed. I am also puzzled why people put the entire blog name into Google rather than the address window.

But I am very glad that so many people find this blog useful and interesting. Thank you for reading.

Written by Stephen Rees

March 31, 2008 at 4:11 pm

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Northern Voice

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On Friday and Saturday I am at a conference for bloggers at UBC. Moderated comments may not appear until later – depending on how busy I get.

It is a high energy, fun place already – and there is to be another transit camp session and one on using blogs for social change. Interesting!

Northern Voice making a human graph

Lunchtime update

I got props from the CBC lady ( Lisa Johnson editor of Your Voice) – and from a real economist I think half the people here have ADD or as they probably like to think of “multi-tasking ability”. Their lap tops are open, but very few are blogging or making notes on what is going on. It is a bit like a party where people who are talking to you are also looking over your shoulder to see if there is someone more interesting just coming in. Though the people I have talked to have been all very polite and good company

Last time I looked there were over 1,000 photos of this event on flickr

Northern Voice standing around

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February 22, 2008 at 10:50 am

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Blogging about blogging

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This post is not important for what it says so much as for what it does. I spend too much time at home at my computer. I need to get out more. And I also need to have more variety in how I blog, as I have a painful case of “blogger’s shoulder” – repetitive strain injury from mouse use.

Tai Chi

So this post is being created at the Library using a wi-fi hot spot and my new notebook. In future I am going to try live blogging. Maybe I should also learn tai chi too.

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February 10, 2008 at 1:32 pm

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Posts updated this morning

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Written by Stephen Rees

February 9, 2008 at 11:13 am

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Blog Updates

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I have updated the Cambie Street piece with photographs. This was inspired by a comment which included a link to a very well done virtual tour. My original instinct to avoid the area because of the traffic congestion was misplaced. It was almost empty yesterday lunchtime. South Cambie up to 41st was almost car free.

Also this morning the SFU web page has the podcasts of the “City Making in Paradise” talks so I have updated (and added to) the links in that piece. Similarly updated are the Price and Munnich lectures in the SFU City series which are also now available from their web page.

The bit about Randall O’Toole has not changed but the comments and rebuttals keep growing

If you are looking at this web page with Internet Explorer 6, it screws up the formatting, especially when I put in my own photographs. I am sorry but the only way I know at present to overcome this issue is to suggest you use IE7 or, preferably, Firefox 2.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 22, 2007 at 7:40 am

Posted in blog update