Archive for March, 2006

Things I won’t be doing this weekend

bicycle race in Aldergrove
Photo: Gordon Ross

Sick at home for four straight days, I’m mostly feeling sorry for myself. But that’s boring.

What I was planning to do this weekend was to be in a bike race in Langley. Most of you probably don’t know about it, but there’s a pretty active road racing culture in Vancouver. The Spring Series Classic, put on (ahem) by my bike club’s youth division. You have to like a young-riders squad called dEVo, don’t you? Anyway, this race is the culmination of the local bike-racing pre-season, and there’s some other bike events (both races and non-races) coming up in the next week that are worth knowing about.
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What I like about Vancouver #1

I like the sudden burst of silve light that the tram busses give off from where they connect to the overhead wires.

I like driving by the Chapters on the corner of Broadway and Granville at night and seeing a young Asian couple kissing while going up the escalator to the second floor. What sort of books are they looking for? It will remain a mystery.

I like taking the elevator up from the Burrard Skytrain station and standing still as the city reveals itself to you, especially at night as the neon comes into view.

I like driving over the Granville Street Bridge at night and feeling like I’m in Blade Runner because of the high rises that reach up towards the sky.

You need RSS? We’ve got RSS: Metroblogging’s new All City Feed!

I tend to like to trumpet the fact that Metroblogging Vancouver is part of a large network of city sites, a network that connects Vancouver to a world of other cities allowing readers to find out something more about the world than what makes the CBC. It’s a way to find out what life is like in other cities, and other cultures.

Now for the first time Metroblogging is offering an all cities feed. Yup just subscribe to this feed [mb] and you’ll be recieving the latest posts from every Metroblogging city right to your RSS reader.

Sexy? Me thinks so.

Canstruction: Art made from lots and lots and lots of cans

ibc_cat.gifI’m looking forward to seeing more photos of the winners of the 2006 Canstruction competition. Held annually in Vancouver, the event…

showcases the considerable talent and generosity of our creative communities in the fight against hunger. Now in its 4th year, this international design/build competition, which benefits local food banks, brings together teams of architects, engineers, graphic artists and students to build amazing sculptures using only canned food and other non-perishables.

For the second year, Legends Memorabilia and Industrial Brand Creative won the Juror’s Favorite prize. Last year, it was a dog-based structure, this year it was a cat watching a mouse hole (see a “Making of” movie here). My money’s on a rat for 2007.

The other categories are “Structural Ingenuity,” “Best Meal,” “Best Use of Labels,” “AIBC Architects Choice,” “Can-Do” (groan!), “Best Theme” and “Best Rookie Team.” I believe the cans used in the structure are then donated to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, but I couldn’t see anything that said exactly that. What the site says is that the competition “has resulted in 455,000 cans of food donated since 2003.”

Open until 1 am

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HMV Megastore, originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

I like the fact that the HMV is open until 1 am on Monday (or Tuesday I suppose) in order to let you buy the new CD or DVD release early. I also hate the fact that it’s an HMV that’s doing it, since HMV is almost always $5 more than Future Shop or A&B Sound.

Also my desire to wander around Robson Street at 1 am to buy a new CD isn’t as strong as it once was now that I can get it all from the comfort of my bedroom from the iTunes store.

Running around and stuff

On one of my way too infrequent runs around the Seawall, I saw people congregating, stretching, and jogging about before Dragonboat practicing would begin at the east end of False Creek near the Telus World of Science — all to get good and strong and fast for the Dragonboat Festival in mid-June. I might attend this year but have never done so before as a spectator. Dragonboaters are fun, generally fit, fairly good-looking people. ;-)

Around the bend a short distance away, in a parking lot east of B.C. Place, runners, bikers, and parents walking with small kids were treated to an unusual sight of the VPD Motorcycle Drill Team tentatively practicing some of their tricks. I wonder if this is a regular thing, Tuesdays around 5:30….?

In addition to the usual dogs happily socializing in the various off-/leashed areas, these two sights provided welcome additional distraction. If only every run were so fun….

Behind the Bald Eagle Video

Ever since I saw the bald eagle with Matt on Sunday, I’ve been obsessed with the birds. Then I came across the live video feed of the bald eagle in its nest last night. This afternoon when I watched the eagles, I noticed who made the video possible: Hancock House Publishing.

That name might not mean anything to you, but for the people of Port Moody it should mean something. One of the only books on Port Moody history, the out-of-print Early History of Port Moody was published by this Surrey business. Hancock House Publishing remains one of only two places in the world where you can even buy copies of the book (along with the Port Moody Station Museum).

But I thought Hancock specialized in Western history books. I scrounged around and found a few biographical tidbits on publisher David Hancock: he’s also a wildlife biologist and a documentary filmmaker.

The “forum” – essentially the company’s blog – shows the range of Hancock’s passions for the bald eagle. We just missed, for example, the first bald eagle festival in Campbell River (March 5, 2006). Hancock states that Vancouver is now the urban eagle capital of world: from the 1960s when only three nesting pairs hung out in the Lower Mainland to the “over 150 pairs nest and raise young in the same Greater Vancouver area—-many nesting no more than 50 feet (16 metres) above busy streets and beside occupied houses.”

Most interesting is background behind this project. While I thought I was watching the live feed last night, Hancock simply replays that day’s footage. The eagles laid the first egg on March 21 (last Tuesday) and the second on the 24th (last Friday). The projected hatching date, after a 36-day incubation period, is between April 26-30. Over 30,000 people had viewed the video as of last week.

Those interested in adding a bald eagle nest to their backyards – screw the bat boxes! – can contact David Hancock.

Ravens challenge Eagles in downtown Vancouver

Eagle and Two Ravens

Sounds like a football story, doesn’t it?

Two ravens were pursuing a bald eagle around Coal Harbour on Sunday afternoon.

When doing some research online trying to figure out what was going on, I discovered that ravens usually travel in pairs (unlike crows, which move in large flocks), and are often found harrassing eagles and owls and other predatory birds. These observations seem supported quite well by the evidence so far. . . .

Will the Canucks make the playoffs? Money on the table.

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If the NHL seaon ended right now the Vancouver Canucks would not be in the Stanley Cup playoffs [nhl]. For a team that started the season being considered one of the favorites for the Cup that’s shameful.

The team is right on the line now, tied with the San Jose Sharks who would make the playoffs today. The Sharks have two games in hand on the Canucks, so they’re in control of their own fate.

Vancouver meanwhile has to stop losing and hope that the other teams don’t. The Oilers are only two spots above them, but I don’t see them dropping points.

Which I suppose is my way of saying that I don’t think the Canucks will be in the playoffs. What do you think?

James Cameron to film movie about Queen of the North

Titantic director James Cameron has just announced that he will be filming the undersea exploration of the recently sunk BC Ferry Queen of the North. The director, who aside from the Oscar winning Titantic has also directed deep-sea exploration films featuring real life footage of the watery graves of the Titantic and the Bizmark.

“The Queen of the North is a part of maritime history,” Cameron said in a press conferenced yesterday, “and filming it, exploring it and exploting its memory is important, important work that I’m proud to be a part of.”

Meanwhile in an attempt to monitize the Ferry sinking the B.C. Liberal government are making their own film, which they plan to exhibit at IMAX theatres around the world [cbc].

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