Frequently Asked Questions (Seriously)
If you have a question not answered here, contact me.
Where is your last name from? How do you pronounce it?
Kurjata is a family name of Eastern European origin. In my family, it seems to have its roots in Poland, although I’m told it’s fairly common in Greenland. It is definitely not Japanese, though I will agree it certainly sounds as if it could be.
It is pronounced Ker • yaa • ta.
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Are you related to….?
If their last name is Kurjata and they are in North America, then probably. If you met them in Dawson Creek, Edmonton, Calgary, Prince George, or Vancouver, then almost certainly. Most of them are direct relatives (cousins, uncles, aunts)– my Dad had a very large family. As you move towards Saskatchewan, you get into more indirect relatives, but only inasmuch as the descendants of your great great uncle are indirect.
If they deny knowing me, I accept that and I hope you will, too.
Hey, I’m in a band and we have a concert/I have an arts event coming up/I have a public service announcement I want to make. Can you put it on the radio?
If by the radio you mean the CBC, then you’re going to have to go through the CBC. For local (read: northern) events you have to either email or call the Listener Line. The process for doing this is at the bottom of this page.
If you mean CFUR, then it’s a little more fair to direct this question to me, though I prefer it come to email@example.com. I’m attempting to build a process for getting community events publicized on CFUR, but as a volunteer-run station, it is difficult. We can, however, accomodate some commercial interests. You’re looking at at least $200 for this. If you have the cash and you’re looking to target a university-aged audience, let’s talk.
Hey, I’m in a band. Can you play me on the radio?
If you’re talking the CBC, once again I direct you to the Daybreak North website. I will say it increases your odds if you have an event coming up in northern BC and you have a way for people to easily access your music (free downloads, a CBC Radio 3 artist profile page, a MySpace, etc).
If you’re talking CFUR, submit requests to the music director at firstname.lastname@example.org or
University of Northern BC
Prince George, BC
We try to support local musicians, but we also have a format– think indie rock, hip-hop, electronic, etc, for the main music plays. However, being community radio we have individual DJs that specialize in formats like folk, dubstep, metal, etc, so you may want to address your requests directly to the show that you think your music would fit on. In that case, submit your requests to the show name, c/o CFUR Radio, using the address above.
Hey, I have a great idea for a radio show. Can I be on CFUR?
Sure! Just go to cfur.ca/volunteer to get the volunteer application form. If you are a UNBC student, you are already a member of the society that governs CFUR, so you’re all good– if you aren’t a student, you’ll need $20 a year to become a member.
We ask that volunteers put in about 6-10 volunteer hours prior to getting their own show. This is a way for us to train you for being on the air and a way of weeding out the people who would do two episodes then quit– a problem CFUR had in the past. There’s a few boring tasks, but then you learn to record, produce, and be live on the air. It’s pretty fun after that.
You may also want to look into joining one of our legacy shows, like the Top 30, the Fresh Sheet (new music), hip-hop, country, or joining a pre-existing show as a producer/co-host.
You have ferrets?
As I write this, 8. We run a ferret rescue.
What are they like?
Ferrets are like puppies or kittens that never grow up, are better climbers, and are better at fitting into small spaces. As such, you have to ferret proof your home, which is like baby-proofing only for something that can fit into much smaller spaces.
Where do you keep them?
We have a room dedicated to them, they stay in there when we aren’t home and at night, and we try to give them more run room as often as possible– the upper level of the house minus a few rooms for at least two hours a day, preferably more.
Do you walk them?
We occasionally walk them on harnesses, because it tires them out, we have a dog who we walk anyways, and we’ve found that if they escape (it does happen, unfortunately) it seems to help them recognize the way home.
Don’t they smell?
Ferrets do have an odour, and it will get on things they sleep in often if you don’t wash the items. I won’t lie, their room has an odour, but the rest of the house doesn’t seem to have it– at least according to our guests. If you wash them too often, they will produce more oils, thus making them smell more. Ultimately, everything has a smell from a type of cooking to cats or dogs to your floor. The question is, is it an overwhelming or bad smell? I find it isn’t, and it doesn’t seem to bother our visitors. I have been to houses with ferrets that stink, though– though I can say the same of houses with dogs, cats, or kids, so take from that what you will.
Can they be litter-trained?
They can be litter-trained, but never with 100% accuracy. Fortunately, it’s small, not especially smelly (compared to cats or dogs), and pretty easy to clean, especially if you don’t have a carpet.
Are they affectionate?
Yes. Like cats or dogs, they can recognize individual people and will bond to them. They have personalities (to the extreme) and will show both affection and displeasure with you, as the occasion warrants. They are a lot of work, I won’t lie, but they have their rewards.
Further ferret questions should be addressed at blog.ferretsnorth.org.
I like a photo you took? Can I use it for my poster/website/cd cover/etc?
Probably, unless it has people as the primary subject (ie family/friend shots). Most of my photos are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada License. You can get full details at andrewkurjata.ca/copyright.
Of all the social media services I’m on, this one seems to get the most questions. Essentially, Twitter is a communication tool that can be completely useless or incredibly valuable, depending on how you use it and your particular needs. I will say that as a way of keeping in touch with friends/family it’s pretty useless, at least in my own experience. But as a method of keeping tabs on a particular subject area, monitoring and increasing awareness of a brand, finding industry contacts, or networking with people who aren’t your ‘friends’, per se, but share similar interests, it’s pretty cool. I will probably write a blog post about it one day.
Like Twitter, except instead of “what are you doing?” it says “where are you?” Seems stupid, right? Well, it has a fun game aspect, and it actually has some useful uses, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Will you make my website/Facebook page/podcast?
Maybe. I’m willing to work fairly cheap, especially if you have a project that interests me. Contact me with details and we’ll try to work something out.
How do I get a job?
In my own experience, grades are good, but relevant experience is the cutting edge. How do you get it? Volunteer. I did student newspaper and radio, but really, find an organization you think could use the skills you want to develop and come to them with how you can help them. It goes a long way.
How do I….?
Check out this website.
You lived in China?
Yes, in Wuhan, to be exact. We spent seven months there teaching English and travelling. We chose Wuhan because it was described as “real China” (not cosmopolitan like Hong Kong, Shanghai, or Beijing) and it was a night train ride away from cosmopolitan places like Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing.
I will just say that it was an experience, and a better one the further away I get from it. We made some really good friends, got some great pets, learned a lot, and got in great travelling. On the other hand, China has some real problems that need to be dealt with. I’m not saying anything against the people or the culture as a whole, just that there is room for improvement. I’ve met people since, some of whom come home with similar conclusions, some who think it’s the best place ever, and others who absolutely detest it. Ultimately, it’s a big country with a whole myriad of experiences and the small slice of what I saw is hardly indicative of what you might see and shouldn’t be taken as the gospel truth by any means.
Wait, you got pets in China? Did you bring them home?
A lot of work, mostly on the part of my significant other. There’s a bunch of forms and red stamps to get in in order to prove they have the proper shots, etc. But once you get the ability to get them out of China, getting them into Canada is actually pretty easy– “anything to declare?” “Yes, these live animals.” “Do you have the forms?” “Here they are.” “Alright, welcome to Canada.”
If you are a person attempting to get your pets from China to Canada, please contact us if you need help– we’re willing to offer support however we can.
You play dodgeball?
Yep, Wednesday nights at the YMCA in Prince George. If you haven’t played since elementary school, specialized dodgeballs have now been developed that allow you to throw as hard as you can but without hurting the person on the receiving end– I don’t know how the technology works, but as the victim of more than a few headshots, I can testify that it works. If you’re in Prince George and want to play, we’re always looking for new teammates.
Seriously, where was that picture of you with the goat taken?