BCAA – a must have for drivers in BC

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So for almost 2.5 years of getting a vehicle, I wasn’t a member of the BCAA. I ran into a couple of problems (tore my tires once, but a auto shop was likely only a couple blocks away, my starter wouldn’t start up, etc). It wasn’t until I had a flat tire at work and all the auto shop were closed for the day. I called some close by auto service places like Canadian Tires, but they didn’t tow, so it meant I would actually have to get the car there somehow…I could see dollars flying out of my wallet…I started to panic.

My coworker told me to wait till morning, and become a member of the BCAA. I went home that night by public transit (luckily in an area that is conveniently located by the train station) and called them up the next day.

I was happy to know that when I called them up, they were able to come fix the tire half an hour or so after becoming a member. That cost like $25 extra, but I needed it, and it wasn’t much. I got the basic plan for $87.25 which includes 4 emergency roadside calls, towing of up to 5km free or to nearest garage, battery boost, delivery gas (at cost), open locked doors, up to $50 in locksmith, bike assistance, safe ride home and up to $250 in roadtrip interruption benefits. I thought that was very worth the membership!

I’m really glad that I did, since this week, I had another flat tire. Again! Vancouver roads must be terrible! Could be because I drive through several construction areas to and back from home and work. But the fix was included in the membership, so no further loss of money there. Even if you have a brand new car, you never know what you might run into. You can easily forget your keys inside. I also feel safer knowing that I can call them anytime, in case I need assistance.

I definitely recommend BCAA if you drive! It’s a must have!! Safe Driving!

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Twitter

So I’m sure you’ve heard of Twitter by now. And like Facebook, there are hard core users, some who uses it lightly, and others who feel its a waste of time.

But if you do business online, or are big brand name companies, it’s hard not to get into all the social media hype. Business wise, it’s used a promotional tool. So it’s a good idea to start your Twitter account as early as possible to start accumulating followers. Although some people feel that the followers count is important, if the tweets that the account is tweeting is invalid or they never tweet, then the followers count doesn’t mean anything.

You may not become a hard-core user, but more and more companies are asking about whether a new potential employee knows about social media when applying for a job – especially if you work in a field where it’s relevant to have them. So here are some basic things about Twitter that might come handy to know.

  • One tweet allows you to type up to 140 characters
  • use @UserName: In your tweet, this is how you can reply to that user, or if you want to announce something that is relevant for that user to see.
  • MT: modified tweet
    PRT = please retweet, a plea to put at the end of a tweet – this is great if someone who has a large number of followers retweet your tweet.
    RT = retweet. If you want to tweet the entire tweet by another user. There is a button that allows you to retweet, but many like to still copy the tweet and tweet it themselves using RT @OriginalUserName and commenting a bit before their original tweet.
  • Hastags: by placing # symbol infront of a work (without and spaces ie. #dogs) that makes that word a ‘keyword’ so that if someone is searching for someone  tweeting about ie. dogs, then your tweet will come up. This doesn’t mean that you should hashtag every word in your tweet. It’s a good idea to keep it to 3 or less in one tweet.

To learn more, click on the link: http://ontheweb.kimvallee.com/2009/01/twitter-101-basic-commands/

New Pet Betta Fish at Office~

So I got myself a fish. It may come as a shock to a lot of people but this is officially my first pet of any kind! Before I dive into getting something like a dog or cat, I thought I’d start of small to see how things go.

So, I’ve heard that betta fish were the most easiest fish to look after. I got a blue one from a pet store (Pet Habitat) in Metrotown mall. I didn’t know if it was a male or female, but later on, I realized that it was a male after I had seen some bubbles always floating on the surface in a clump. When I googled what that might be, it turned out the male will build a bubble nest for the eggs from a female.

Things you’ll need:

  • betta fish (only one in the tank, as putting another one will make them fight till death!) $7
  • tank (do NOT put them in a little cup as they do at the pet store! this is not ideal – they only do this at the store because of space shortage)
  • frozen bloodworms
  • real plants (do not get plastic ones that can tear the fins!) $4
  • gravel (no sharp ones as this can rip the fins/tails) $8
  • calcium block
  • water treatment
  • heater $15

I didn’t think a fish would be as interesting as it has been. Usually, I see fish in tanks just swimming around minding its own business. But Mina (the name for my betta fish: origin of the name in German means ‘love – it also has meanings of ”small’ ‘fish’ and ‘sky’ in other languages) has quite a character. When I arrive at to the office every morning, it will start swimming against the glass, twitching is body back and forth happy to see me, like a dog would wag it’s tail when they see their owner return. I feed him frozen blood worms, as apparently, these betta fish are from Thailand, and aren’t trained or use to eating pellet food. The blood worms need to be thawed, and I leave it by the tank. Sometimes I see Mina by the food, just staring at it hehe. Once it’s thawed, I come over. I feed it using chopsticks and he goes crazy just seeing them. He gets super excited.

For a little fish, he’s got some power. I’ll sometimes hold onto the worms with the chopsticks and we’ll play a little tug-of-war. If I hold the worm above the surface of the water, he’ll make the effort to jump out and snatch it, kind of like a dolphin. I feed him about 5-7 worms in the morning, and another at 4pm. I was worried in how I would be able to feed him over the weekend, but it turns out that they can go on without food for a week or two.

The tank needs to be cleaned out once every week. You need to keep about half or so of the old water, and add new water that’s been treated. Normal water coming out of the tap may not do anything to us humans, but it can be deadly to our little fishy. Also, don’t use cleaning products like soap or detergents! If you ever do, remember to wash it thoroughly before placing it back into the tank. Any small traces can be poisonous!

At first, the tank was sitting by the window. Shortly after, some algae started to grow in the corners. I quickly cleaned them out and moved it away from sunlight. Later, Mina started suffering some fin infections. They were starting to rot, and it was annoying him to the point that he would bite and tear it off. By next day, the tails and fins had considerably receded, so I went to the pet store to get some remedy for the water to help with the infection.  It helped for a while, but now I noticed some holes. I just hope the treatments work. I’m finding that it’s not easy to take care of a pet – even a pet like a fish! However, even though you can’t take it for walks, or cuddle with it on the couch, it’s been pretty rewarding and happy to have a pet like Mina 🙂

IDEA: Illustration and Design- Elements and Applications

The IDEA program is where I (IDEA Rabbit) was born 🙂

It’s a very intensive, three year diplma program at Capilano University in North Vancouver, BC. The first year is focused on traditional mediums, great for those who are illustrators, using acrylic, watercolours, gouache, oil, etc. Second year is getting introduced to digital stuff. You get a digital camera, a new imac computer with all the software needed, plus a wacom tablet! These are all included in the tuition, which isn’t that much differnt from UofC tuition (roughly $2800-3300 per semester).
In your final third year, it’s all about preparing your portfolio and grad show!!

The teachers are all professionals who work in the industry. You might have seen my earlier posts, but founders of Hangar 18 both work as teachers. St. Bernadine, Elevator Strategy, Wasserman + Partners and Advertising, and so on. There are also illustrators like Si Huynh and Ben Tour that teaches too. The program also has a lot of connection with the local design firms which is great to get your foot in the door! Get lots of exposure.

Check out their official site at http://www2.capilanou.ca/programs/idea.html

You can also check out our grad page and see what kind of designers and illustrators are born after three years!
http://www.idea10.ca/

Or you can email me at idearabbit@yahoo.com if you have any questions from someone that actually took the program.