Archive for October, 2006

Halloween Night in Vancouver

Well, Halloween is wasting away in Vancouver. Nothing like in my day: we trick-or-treated from 5 pm until almost 11 pm and hauled in four pillowcases’ worth of loot. And we wore costumes in those days. It took the whole of October to come up with the perfect outfit.

Sadly, kids these days are missing out the best holiday of the year. Six trick-or-treaters this year, down from last year’s fifteen. It didn’t matter that I had the front door light on, lined up three pumpkins by my door and lit up the orange lights. More candy for me, I suppose. And my costume – mine! the mere candy-hand-outer! – was better than any of the kids’!

Is it just my neighbourhood? How did the rest of the GVRD fare?

PS Tonight was not all a waste. Along with my candy haul, I was also privy to this conversation:

Maktaaq: Here’s some nice expensive chocolate and a cute little spider ring to go with your princess costume.
Little Girl’s Mom: What do we say?
Little Girl: Um…Itsy bitsy spider went crawling up……?

Blogging in Vancouver

Darren Barefoot’s blog is 1,535 days old.

I happened to notice this as I was scanning through the blogs on my home page’s blogroll – a reminder that as far as I’ve gotten with the whole blogging thing, I’m still pretty new at this.

I received a piece of advice early on when I started blogging about eight months ago: long blogrolls look bad, and they pretty much defeat the primary purpose of having one – convenient access to blogs that you actually read. I suspect that people with lists of more than twenty or so blogs never actually get around to reading each one more than a few times a year.

Which brings me back to the purpose of this post: telling the world about some Vancouver bloggers to watch.
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Is there anyone else in Whistler aside from the Australians?


Whistler

Originally uploaded by CharlieBrown.

Dear Australia [mbm]:

I don’t know who might be reading this letter, since it appears that your entire population leaves the country each year to come and work at Canada’s ski resorts. Living in Kelowna we always knew when Big White was going to re-open soon when the French Canadiens that filled the town to pick fruit during the summer made way for the Australians who came to operate the ski lifts and chat up our women. However I did not realize the scope of the exodus until I came to work downtown Vancouver.

We get a lot of tourists throughout the summer. Sure we get some Australians but it’s not really any more than any of the other nationalities. Japanese, Chinese, English, German and more, they all love Vancouver during the summer. They like our steam clock, they like our beer and sometimes they like our women, but once September rolls around most of them head home to their jobs and their own weather. You, you all take it up a few notches.

I’ve only ever been to Whistler during the summer, but my imagination tells me that during the winter it’s one long party filled only with Australians. You like your beer, and hopefully you like our beer, so it’s probably a good party but come on don’t you want to meet people who aren’t Australians? You’re to our ski resorts as Mexicans are to LA’s [mbla] mansions, except I suspect you’re having more fun.

I like Canada, but I was born here. Why do you like it? Are you all just ski junkies looking for a fix? Do all resort towns see this Aussie influx every time snow threatens to hit the ground? Do you let the New Zelanders come too, or do they have to stay at home and work on special effects for Peter Jackson?

I hope one of you are home to answer this. Maybe your Prime Minister could get back to me on this one. It’s been on my mind for awhile.

Thank you.


– Jeffery Simpson
Concerned Canadian


P.S. Stay away from our women.

The Ghost Train through a B-movie history


skeleton house

Originally uploaded by the little b.

I had blogged about trying to go to the Stanley Park Ghost Train [mbv] but turning back because I didn’t want to brave wandering through the park in the dark, well the next day we actually got to go. I just haven’t had the chance to blog about it for awhile but since there’s still a few more days left of it [vpb] I thought I’d give it a plug.

The theme this year is B-Movies and on the train ride you get to go through a wide range of classic B-movie horror gems, or at least take-offs on the classics. From King Kong to space invaders and things that creep and crawl out of the swamp the train winds its way through the park and past some wonderfully inventive takes on the classic films. With more than a little owed to Ed Wood the actors ham it up, and it’s actually really fun. The director of the “movie” that greets you as you get in the train seems to be playing another Johnny Deep role as he’s more Hunter S. Thompson than Ed Wood, but it’s still a fun performance.

The last night to catch the train is November 1st. Then they’ll take it down and I guess turn it into a Christmas train. I’ve never done the Christmas train, but I have to say that the Halloween one is well worth the trip to the park and the price of admission.

Nothing but a Pumpkin

While browsing the Vancouver blog circuit this afternoon, I came across Gus’ post about a Naked Pumpkin Run. We all know this city likes to have fun naked, protest naked and ride bikes naked – now Vancouverites can run around on Halloween night with nothing on but a smile pumpkin.

Rumour (aka somewhere on craigslist) has it that the run will take place at 8:00pm on the sea wall. I have not yet been able to confirm sources or exact locations. Perhaps enough people will read this and take it upon themselves to just create the event. Who knows ;)

Parade of the Lost Souls 2006

Skull-head puppet, Parade of Lost Souls 2006
Skull-head puppet
(Parade of the Lost Souls 2006)

The Parade of the Lost Souls returned to Vancouver, after disappearing last year. This is a hard-to-define-succinctly, hybrid remembrance of the dead/parade/costume street party put on by Public Dreams Society.

Peeking Through the Veil…a Celebration of the Cycle of Life.

Begin at the end of life. The start is a reflection of death. No movement. Static displays.
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Gorgonzola cheese gelato, anyone?

http://vancouver.metblogs.com/archives/images/2006/10/ice%20cream-thumb.jpgOkay, it’s not my favorite, but there must be someone out there who likes it or they wouldn’t sell it. Same goes for balsamic vinegar, garlic, curry and a whole whack of other flavors that they make at La Casa Gelato. With 218 flavors, I guess Vancouver’s premier (well, one of them, at least) gelato joints has more than a few options for those that prefer their dessert counter-intuitive.

On my very first visit to La Casa Gelato the other day, I actually tried the porcini mushroom. Unfortunately, the gelato tasted exactly like porcini mushrooms. Who knew?

Fortunately, there was also a large selection of flavors for those with more traditional taste buds.
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The Joys of a Liquor Monopoly

I found this quite amusing: the BC Government loves you so much, they’re offering you a $1.93 discount on a $200 bottle of scotch! I’m sure this was probably default behaviour for the inventory management and pricing software, but I still wonder if advertising a discount of less than 1% is actually counter-productive.

Halloween Costume Shopping Round-up

One Value Village, three dollar store and one Walmart trips later, my cheapie, quickie Halloween costume ratings put Walmart at the top of the Halloween food chain. The methodology? Buy three each of a cheap witch hat and good cape, preferably fabric, good fit and able to withstand years of use.

Here’s how the stores panned out:
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Vancouver Electric Trolley, Unearthed

trolley1.jpgThe other night we were watching Global News and at the end of the hour, there’s always a cutesy, heartwarming, human interest story. That day, it was about some City of Vancouver construction workers who were digging a trench along Kingsway to put in a median. They had come across wood over a foot down, under the road and concrete. The human interest story dude shows up, says – WOW this is a part of the old Interurban route of the Lower Mainland, and a history lesson begins.

In 1891, Tramway Co. car #13 made the inaugural run between Vancouver and New Westminster on what is widely recognized as North America’s first true railway of this type. [VancouverHistory]. Until February, 1958 the BC Electric Railway had an inter-urban trolley that went from downtown Vancouver, South Vancouver, Richmond or through Burnaby, New Westminster, over to Surrey, Langley and all the way out to Chilliwack.
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