The Quantum Pontiff

To the jerk, or jerks, who broke into my car and stole my laptop and passport while parked in downtown Vancouver. Pfffft! You stink! And just what do you think you’re going to do with all those LaTeX files? Maybe you should try to sell them to D-wave! (For the humor impaired: that’s a joke.)


  1. #1 Carl Brannen
    March 18, 2008

    Sorry to hear this. I’ve got a bunch of LaTeX files on a laptop and I am paranoid about getting it stolen out of my car. Hearing this doesn’t calm me down any.

    I back up stuff, and I now keep copies of the latest changes on the web.

    At least Tex is free. And you get to buy a new laptop!

    By the way, I loved Eater by Benford, but I knew him when I was a grad student at U. Cal., Irvine and that may be a bit of a bias. I just picked up one of his early Ace paperbacks at the price of $0.30 at the local 1/2 price books and am planning on blogging the book when I get properly bored.

    One of Benford’s best unheralded books is Foundation’s Fear, if I recall.

    Anyway, sorry to hear of the destruction and loss. Crime is an expensive way to make a living. Is that Vancouver, WA or BC?

  2. #2 Travis
    March 18, 2008

    As a former resident of Vancouver, BC, I can only say that I’m not surprised. Vancouver apparently has the highest property crime rate of any major city in Canada or the US. Car break-ins are particularly common. Don’t waste your time talking to the police unless you (a) need a police report for insurance purposes or (b) have the perpetrator on video breaking into your car. Anything less and the police won’t bother checking it out (Hard to believe, but it’s true–it happened to my parents. They even had the guy on video walking through their “high security” building’s parking garage towards their car and elevator logs to prove it couldn’t have been anyone else, but because the camera wasn’t angled directly at their car, the police didn’t care)

    It’s really too bad about the crime, because Vancouver is otherwise a wonderful city.

    I do hope you have a good backup system. If not, and you’re looking to start, I recommend JungleDisk. Also, if you’re looking for LaTeX-friendly laptops, go Mac. You won’t go back.

  3. #3 mick
    March 19, 2008

    Oh, dude that’s really not cool.

    At least now you have a good reason to get a shiny new laptop…

  4. #4 Tom
    March 19, 2008

    Another former Vancouver resident here. Three separate car break-ins in the first six months of living there, which stopped after getting BC plates on my car to replace the Oregon plates.

    (Then I had another break-in with the BC plates on my car when I was in Syracuse, NY, in the process of moving to the east coast. Damn hippies.)

  5. #5 Dave Bacon
    March 19, 2008

    I should also mention that the hotel where I stayed, the Metropolitan Hotel, which is NOT where I parked my car, was absolutely awesome in helping me out, including vacuuming up the glass, and constructing a very nice plastic barrier for the window. Highly recommended.

  6. #6 Eric Lund
    March 19, 2008

    A pity about your laptop and passport. I hope the latter isn’t too much of a problem. If it is, at least there is a US consulate in Vancouver.

    I’ve never lived in the Pacific Northwest, but as a frequent visitor to the region (my mother and sister both live in the Seattle area) I agree with the ex-Vancouverites that Vancouver is a lovely city.

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