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I remember Wednesday’s sunset like it was yesterday!

Wednesday’s sunset at 8:44 p.m., as seen from an alley off West Broadway Ave. and Hemlock St.

Wednesday (May 22nd) saw the perfect late spring evening—mild and with a sky untroubled by wind. Only a few motionless clouds could be seen grazing in the otherwise empty field of light blue.

Looking east toward an old, wood frame car port, back in the day (yesterday at 8:44 p.m.), in the alley southeast of Broadway and Hemlock.

And when the sunset finally arrived—in the minutes just before 9 p.m.—it cast a warm light the colour of old memories over the entire South Granville area. Read more…

Microsoft issues Windows XP patch to prevent massive ransomware attack—again

After all these years Microsoft is still forced to patch up Windows XP’s boo-boos.

A major networking vulnerability has been discovered in the following pre-Windows 8 versions of the Windows operating system: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003 and (of course) Windows XP.

Designated as CVE-2019-0708, the remote code execution vulnerability is in a Windows networking protocol called Remote Desktop Services and allows malicious code to be remotely installed in a system without the knowledge of users. Furthermore it allows the malicious code to then be spread to any other vulnerable systems that are accessible over a network.

On May 14th Microsoft rushed out patches to fix this serious security flaw in all vulnerable versions of windows—including Windows XP.

Users of vulnerable Windows versions are being urged to install the fix ASAP, as malicious coders are expected to quickly reverse engineer the Microsoft patches to produce malware—particularly ransomware—that exploits the vulnerability.

According to Microsoft’s Technet blog, the following vulnerable systems are still supported and can therefore be patched through the Windows Update Control Panel: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2008.

Vulnerable “out-of-support systems” include Windows 2003 and Windows XP. Users of these superannuated versions of Windows need to manually download the patch directly from Microsoft. Read more…

Car crashes into 24-hour Mac’s on Hemlock—store may have to close a few hours

A woman seen talking to Fire and Rescue personnel at 10.38 a.m.

The Mac’s convenience store at 2515 Hemlock Street had an unexpected door-crasher special this morning (May 15th) in the form of a speeding Buick.

At this point there are no indications of injures after the white sedan crashed through the store’s front entrance, some time around 10 a.m.

At 10:30 a.m. the car could be seen with its front end inside the store. It hit the plate glass window to the left of the entrance, taking out both the window and one of the entrance doors. Read more…

Exodus from 1489 West Broadway begins as most staff move to new East Van office

After 62 years, The RBC Royal Bank building at 1489 West Broadway Ave. may have finally outlived its usefulness.

The future of the old RBC Royal Bank building at 1489 West Broadway Avenue is in doubt.

The only part of the 1957-vintage office building, located on the northeast corner of West Broadway and South Granville, still occupied is the RBC bank branch on the ground floor and bank staff expect that will close in five months.

After that, who knows? RBC’s media relations isn’t saying.

Read more…

This chalk drawing is so pretty cool!

The wonderfully positive tone embodied in a chalk drawing I saw on a Kitsilano sidewalk Wednesday afternoon (May 9th) could perhaps be chalked up to the rosy outlook of youth. But that just makes it all the more special in my eyes.

I’m referring to a sort of “chalk talk” between two happy young women, depicted in white, pink and blue, on a sidewalk of the 2500 block of Balsam Street, just on the south side of West Broadway Avenue. Read more…

Is urban wildlife in Fairview going, going, gone to the dogs?

One of my first (and worst) squirrel photos of 2019; taken in an alley off Birch St. and 10th Ave.

For this, my first Fairview critter post of 2019, I have to again complain about the ongoing scarcity of four-legged urban fauna, such as skunks, raccoons and (to a lesser degree) squirrels, across the neighbourhood. Excluding dogs of course, which are, if anything, too plentiful.

And again, for lack of any better explanation, I blame the visibly shrinking number of the former on the growing abundance of the latter.

When raccoons roamed the alleys of Fairview. A photo from June of 2013.

As recently as four years ago skunks and raccoons were quite a regular sight across the Fairview neighbourhood—at least after the sun had gone down. Squirrels, for their part, were likewise abundantly visible during the day shift, as it were.

Things have changed. More than a year has gone by since I last saw a raccoon anywhere near the South Granville area and about six months since I crossed paths with a skunk. Read more…