Archive for May, 2006

What’s with the camels?

Here be camels

On the long weekend I had the opportunity to get out of the city on a road trip through the Fraser Valley. We did a loop driving east from Vancouver through places like Chilliwack and Hope, with many small towns in between, and came back through Pemberton, Squamish and Whistler. I loved getting out of the city to see the mountains and valley we live on the edge of, without a city in the way. My gosh, it’s HUGE!

One of the places I’m glad we made a rest stop in was the town of Lillooet. It led to a memorable encounter with an elderly gentleman named Bill Fowler, and revealed an interesting piece of local history I’d previously been unaware of.

Sick and busy

Sorry for not posting much, apologies all around. I was sick for a bit more than a week, and I didn’t think the city of Vancovuer needed to be informed of my cough because last time I checked the city doesn’t revolve around me. Then I got back to work and it’s been a hassle trying to get that under control and running well after being out for so long.

However I do intend to blog soon, but an upcoming move at the end of the month might set me back some more. Anyway hope you’re staying classy Vancouver.

First Papers, Now Granola Bars

It seems some other companies have hopped onto the “give people stuff as they get on the SkyTrain” bandwagon, and intermittently for about a week now I’ve been handed a sample breakfast bar of one type or another as I neared the steps to the Granville SkyTrain station.

I have to admit — this could actually soften me up a bit towards the horde of foot-traffic-blocking goods-distributors who otherwise hover only a small personal space infraction away from getting punched in the stomach by this, and probably hundreds of other, non-morning people. Foist onto me a newspaper containing Britney Spears’ latest unflattering pregnancy photo, and you’re probably not on my good side. But smile and hand me a granola bar to assuage my plummeting morning blood sugar levels, and you might actually receive a smile in return.

I hope this trend lasts as long as the newspaper one has. What a nice perk of commuting via transit.

So, How was your long weekend?

Aston Martin DB6
Photo: Judy B. I encourage you to read the comments on this pic

On a long weekend where the biggest local story was that this town’s least-favourite field-goal kicker misplaced himself for a few days, It seems everyone out there did about the same thing as I did: nothing.

Now, some of you must have done something, right? What did you do?

New Westminster gets a little drier

The old brewery

What you see in this photo is the old Labatt’s Brewery at Columbia and Brunette in New Westminster, which is currently under destruction.

Cutie Bee

Among the best things in Europe and Japan are the super-cute cartoon characters that infiltrate the landscape. Everything worthwhile had an illustrated mascot that made you go awww. The Qoo cat in Japan and a plethora of European cuties from the Moomins to Cheburashka, Jeremy/Colargol and Tintin come to mind.

Canada and the US have always lagged in the cute department, ever since Mickey Mouse changed his eye shape. Now, thanks to the Japanese craze gripping North America, we’re finally getting some homegrown cuties.

Check out the new banners that adorn Hastings Street in Burnaby, the Lower Mainland’s up and coming coolest neighbourhood:

Cutie Bee

An adorable bee, jolly flowers and a sun spewing out rays fashioned on Japan’s notorious imperialist flag – aside from the psychedelic writing, what an hommage to its Japanese inspiration!

The rest of the Lower Mainland: take heed!

Over: Dose


Dose, my third-favourite free daily paper, is going away. Why did it end? I think that article in 24 gets the key reason right: it wasn’t really a local paper. The other parts are that the paper looked incredibly ugly, and the articles were largely stupid: short and badly written. The website will live on, but who cares?

Bye Dose. Be sure to remove your newspaper boxes by the end of the month, okay?

Sidewalk Mosaic Scavenger Hunt

Orpheum Mosaic

If you’ve spent any time in the last week wandering around downtown, you may have noticed a new addition: a set of mosaics created at various street corners. Having endured the plagues of orcas and spirit bears over the last couple of years, I was at first skeptical about this arts initiative, but having seen the mosaic this morning at Seymour and Smithe, in front of the Orpheum Theatre, I can definitely say that they’re attractive and interesting.

I haven’t had a chance to see the others yet, but thought I’d ask for help in doing so. Comment here with links to your photos (Flickr or elsewhere) of at least one of the mosaics, and in a followup post, I’ll include the best photos in a mosaic of mosaics, crediting each person involved.

To save everyone some wandering around, here are the locations of the 8 mosaics so far, courtesy of 24 Hours.

  • Seymour and Cordova
  • Robson and Burrard
  • 700 Seymour
  • 401 W. Georgia at Homer
  • 925 W. Georgia at Hornby
  • Orpheum Theatre at Seymour and Smithe
  • Vancouver Art Gallery near Georgia and Howe
  • Burrard and Dunsmuir
  • May’s Interesting Vancouver Sites

    Thanks for all the suggestions about ways to encourage commenting. I said I’d reciprocate by calling attention to the Web sites of some of those who shared ideas. It was such a success that I think I’ll post interesting Web site monthly. So without further ado, here are May’s handful of Vancouver-y (Vancouver-ish?) links.

    Allen Pike runs The site is a dog’s breakfast of interesting shared quotes, online games, quirky links, satirical news arti cles and a lively forum.

    Jen is the brains and brawn and beauty behind, a personal blog that expresses the humor and adventures of a typical 20-something life-long Vancouverite. She’s currently in Seoul.

    Miss 604 ( is a completely different typical 20-something life-long Vancouverite woman. I personally think we should have these two battle in a cage match to determine who will be Queen604!

    Jonathon Narvey blogs at and has several handfuls of opinions about Vancouver-related issues: road-building, big box stores, comic book movies and Vancouver’s Storyeum. He writes at Urban Vancouver as well.

    Rob Cottingham’s epynomous personal blog is also a not-infrequently updated source of Web politics, issue summaries and tech pointers.

    Vancouver Canucks Oped, a top tier hockey blog, still has lots to say, even in the (for us in Vancouver) off-season:

    Look, we’ve all suffered the pain and disappointment of The Great 2006 Failure and maybe we just need a reminder that a new season awaits us in only, uh, 5 months. (“omg, kill me now!”) Ooops, sorry…

    Ariane, a Burnaby resident, sells organic cotton designs via her City Girl Designs Web site and also a storefront in Vernon.

    Finally, Scott posts at Overheard in Vancouver which is a really cool idea for a Web site that I’m going to post about separately.

    Downtown football pub

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    IMG_0226, originally uploaded by Lanesra.

    I’m wanting to watch the Champions League final this week against Arsenal and Barcelona and get completely ill on beer. Drinking alone has its appeal, but I’d perfer to watch the game with fellow football (soccer) fans.

    Anyone have any ideas of a good pub downtown that’ll be showing the game, and by showing it I mean where it’ll be the centre of attention and not just on as background action like hockey highlights?

    There’s an English pub on Denman not far from my apartment that I’m thinking of going, but is there another place?

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