Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The Federal Election is today. Results should start rolling in at any moment. This matters because now I won't have to lecture you on politics as it is too late to have any effect.

I was sitting around a few weeks ago bitching about politics. Things really have me worried and I was saying this to my friend. So, she said "That's what's wrong with our generation. We bitch about stuff but we never do anything about it." So I decided to do something about it.

I've never thought of myself political. But I am informed. I like to read. I like to know what is going on. I don't really see myself as supporting any one party, but I have definite ideas of what our ruling party should do and look like. None of them come across as "the best" option. But clearly one stands out as "the worst". So, getting involved with a specific party didn't seem to be a good option.

The next thing I thought of was motivating people to learn more, get informed and go vote. Then I thought of NSMB, mountain bikers, young people, etc. I decided that the best thing I could do would be to use my contacts and "journalism skills" to put together some sort of story on the election for NSMB. This is the result.

It was very interesting talking with the candidates. I was blown away by my ability to look up a number on the Internet, make a phone call and get the campaign manager on the phone. And, with only one exception, the parties all seemed to recognize a chance to get their ideas out there and were more than willing to answer my questions. The glaring exception being the Conservatives, of course.

What's with this party? First up, the campaign manager was barely civil on the phone. I felt like I was pretty unimportant and I needed to apologize for taking his time. I realize that I am fairly unimportant, but you'd think a campaign manager would be able to talk to people on the phone in a respectful manner. As well, he only offered to read our questions and then decide if they wanted to answer. I guess this is fair enough, but all the other candidates committed without knowing the questions.

I gave each party a week to look at the questions and provide answers. The day before they were due, I sent out a reminder e-mail to all parties. On the due date, I got two sets of answers (NDP and Greens), a frantic phone call promising the questions by the end of the weekend (Liberals) and...nothing (Conservatives). No "We're working on them." No "We don't want to do them." No "Go fuck yourself." Nothing.

I gave it a few days, phoned the Liberals, phoned the Conservatives and got more of the same. The Liberals were committed and just needed some time, the Conservatives didn't write me back. I gave them both one final deadline, got my answers from the Liberals and was forced to move forward without the Conservatives. I still can't believe that they wouldn't even write me an e-mail telling me that they wouldn't participate. I guess no answer at least gives them the chance to deny that they got the questions or something.

So, I hope everybody voted. Time to see how screwed up things are going to be for the future. Or how great. Who knows.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Another shirt.

This whole thing has taken FOREVER. The latest delay is the Rampage, but I look at this shot...

...and I'm okay with it.

Oh. Before we get into it, check this thing out too (youtube if that isn't working). Transworld has some great ideas. I know things like this have been attempted with bikes, but it's just not the same. No bike crew would ever create something around a Dodos song.

Oh. I also found it pretty funny that these dickfaces ripped off my design and made bumper stickers with it. With the original graphic with the wrong font as they ripped it off some photo that Cam posted.

So, on to the next shirt. The NSMB article talks about it a bit, but I'll expand some more. Cam approached me to do another batch of the old shirt and I wouldn't have it. I don't like that shirt. I had one waiting in the wings that I really liked, but nobody else did. I wanted something a bit more generic as it seemed like everybody outside of Vancouver wanted one and a lot of them didn't even really get the concept. Lots of people asked me if it was San Francisco. So I came up with something generic and nobody liked it.

It took me a long time to create that graphic and I was bummed that nobody liked it. I was talking to Cam one night about how much he didn't like it and this new concept sprang into my head. I jumped into Illustrator and I had the new design in about half an hour. I spent a few more hours working on the bridge and stuff, but the basic concept came really quickly and it was so obviously better than my original idea. I was happy.

From there, I got the shirts made, wrote the story and then Margus and I went up and took some photos. He wasn't too happy with them and I thought I looked like a tool, so I just decided to spruce it up with something over my face and a critter added to the surroundings. We had hiked up Family Guy for the shot as it seemed fitting as this is what we're fighting for.

We sat there for half an hour and nobody rode the rock face. 20 people rode by and nobody rode the rock face. I'd just come back from Whistler so I had hiked my bike in, just so it wouldn't get stolen. We thought about making this the shirt shot but knew everybody would freak out about the lack of...anything.

Anyway. That's it. The new shirt. Oh. There will be some similarly themed kitchenware coming out in a year or so. I'm not even joking.