Archive for July, 2007

Aboot

This short film by Vancouver Film School student Ryan Johnston is pretty funny, and worth a watch on the YouTube. Warning there are a few foul words used, and the depiction of Americans is not very flattering but it made me laugh. What can I say, I’m a sucker for Americans not being able to say Saskatchewan comedy.

How to survive the fireworks


Symphony of Fire 2006

Originally uploaded by BastArd StarFiSh.

The HSBC Celebration of Light is about to get underway for another year [hcl]. Having attended some of evenings in Coal Harbour last year I’m trying to avoid the area altogether this year because I’m not fond of a) large crowds, b) being stabbed [mbv].

Still it’s a popular thing to do, and though I won’t be there I’m sure a number of other people will be. So a few tips if you are going to be heading out to see the fire in the sky.

– get there early: at least an hour if you want to get a good seat on the grass or sand
– go before you go: trust me if you need to line up for one of the few washrooms you’re not going to be happy about it
– bring food and water: restaurants are full on the fireworks nights, so if you want to eat or even get a drink it’s probably better for you to bring your own
– don’t make plans afterwards: traffic, both in cars and on foot, is a bit hairy afterwards so don’t make definite plans to be anyplace for at least an hour after the end of the fireworks. It’s far less frustrating to just stay sitting where you are and wait for things to clear out a bit, rather than trying to push your way through the crowds.

– bring a blanket or towel: reader Paul [phb] pointed out that having a blanket or towel will be very handy for when you’re sitting on the ground

Top 10 Crash Sites

ICBC has announced the Top 10 Crash Sites in the greater Vancouver area. My nemesis, the Pattullo Bridge rounds out the list while danger zones in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta and are all highlighted.

By highlighting high-crash locations, ICBC hopes to draw attention to the larger issues of high-risk driving behaviour and how driver behaviour impacts the cost of insurance. ICBC says there is a strong link between certain high-risk driving behaviours and crashes. [News1130]

  • 1 Trans-Canada Hwy & Willingdon Ave, Burnaby
  • 2 Knight St & SE Marine Dr, Vancouver
  • 3 Knight St Bridge, Vancouver/Richmond
  • 4 Brunette Ave & Trans-Canada Hwy, Coquitlam
  • 5 Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver/North Vancouver
  • 6 Alex Fraser Bridge, Delta
  • 7 152nd St & Trans-Canada Hwy, Surrey
  • 8 Gaglardi Way & Trans-Canada Hwy, Burnaby
  • 9 88th Ave & King George Hwy, Surrey
  • 10 Pattullo Bridge, Surrey

Crashes.jpg

I’ve made a Google Map of all locations and while putting this together I realized most are on either Hwy 1 or a bridge, which seem to be places people tend to speed. Please slow down and drive with caution – I don’t want to be putting up any more posts about the Bridge of Death… well unless they’re actually ever going to DO something about it…

Reifel Bird Sanctuary: A Hidden Gem

DSC_2084.JPG

Despite the hit or miss weather lately, there have still been than a handful of pleasant days, and what better way to spend a lazy weekend afternoon than by getting in touch with nature?

One of the Vancouver area’s great spots for getting away from it all is the Reifel Bird Sanctuary on Westham Island [link].

Previously known primarily by bird watchers and other bird enthusiasts, each year loads of others are finding what it has to offer: a beautiful tranquil walk through the coastal wetlands, more waterfowl and other birds than you can shake a camera at, and occasionally the chance to spot some other interesting critters as well.

I’m no bird expert, but on my last visit, I spotted loads of geese and ducks (including a lot of baby ones), a huge sandhill crane, a nest of baby barn swallows, some bald eagles circling far overhead, and even a furry little marten scampering down the trail. If you’re into the more serious birdwatching, the front office keeps a list of bird species recently spotted onsite so you can round out your collection of photos, or challenge a group of friends to an afternoon game of birdwatching bingo.

The trails are kid-friendly, and you can even by duck food onsite to let your little ones (or your own inner child) find out what it’s like to be surrounded by a quacking mob of hungry feathery friends.

The park is open during the day from 9am – 4pm daily, and admission is only $4 for adults and $2 for children.

We’re on strike?


On Strike

Originally uploaded by techno_chic.

The strike is a really good example of how frustrating it can be in this city to get accurate and up-to-date information on what’s going on in Vancouver news wise from the internet. The two major dailies in town have websites that are complete crap, and generally at least a day behind the times because they’re terrified of cannibalizing their print editions. Check The Province to see what I mean [vp].

As always the CBC is a by far the best source of information online [cbc] and have a few new stories and updates on the strike as it enters its second day. From environmentalists who hope that this will be what you might call a teaching moment, about recycling, reducing and reusing [cbc]. They also have the story on the unions’ are targeting community centres making locals have to find other people to care for their kids instead of the city run daycares. They also have a handy update on what is affected by the strike [cbc].

Which begs the question why can’t anyone else run a website as good for local news as the Ceeb? It’s something I’ve harped on before, especially when Metroblogging Vancouver managed to inform readers of the impending water boil advisory a full day before any other online source [mbv], we’ve got a real shortage of news sources. Local blogs like Beyond Robson [br], Urban Vancouver [uv] and us mainly aggregate the news since we lack the resources for full time reporters, or even part time ones.

Where is Vancouver’s great online news source? If even cities like Kelowna can manage to support an online news outlet [cn] why can’t we? If you want to point to the Tyee [tt] then please note that their main page doesn’t even mention the strike and really they’re brilliant but it’s a features site and not a news site.

NBA in Vancouver: please no


Shareef Abdur-Rahim

Originally uploaded by Fashionable Male.

Beyond Robson has a really good post up about a recent attempt to bring back the National Basketball Association to Vancouver [br]. It seems with the recent success of Steve Nash’s charity game talk of Vancouver once again being home to the NBA surfaced. Team 1040 the local sports talk station even had a poll where according to BR blogger Keith “60 percent said yay, 40 percent said nay, though another permanent franchise in this city is not currently on the NBA’s radar.”

Definitely check out Keith’s post, he makes some key points including the fact that players just don’t want to play in Canada. For more examples of that see the Edmonton Oilers’ recent troubles getting premier players to come to, and stay, in Edmonton and that’s hockey.

I personally found the NBA dull, and the one game I went to I fell asleep during the third quarter. Of course we shouldn’t base our bid on whether or not I find the sport interesting, otherwise we’ll never have that Professional Mime Squad that the Mayor is so keen to get from Seattle, but I do feel it might be my goal in life to ensure that the NBA never returns to set up shop in Vancouver.

If we’ve all forgotten how it feels to have a franchise ripped from us and sent packing to somewhere else then please head over to Metroblogging Nashville and read their post on a recent rally to keep the Predators in town [mbn]. With some in town already upset about the Olympics are we going to be wanting to play Tax Break Santa to a new NBA franchise?

Blogathon 2007

Remember when you were in elementary school and you used to have “spell-a-thons” or “walk-a-thons”? Going around to friends, family and neighbours asking them to sponsor you to raise money for a cause, a new basketball hoop for the gym or that French class trip to Quebec? Blogathon is kinda like that.

Every 30 minutes for 24 hours on July 28th participating bloggers are asked to post content and gather pledges and donations for the charity of their choice. Last year I heard about this on Metblogs and a couple other sites so for 2007 I am participating on my own blog and my donations will be going straight from the donor to the Surrey Food Bank. I won’t be handling any of the money, although I will be chugging back coffee and trying to stay awake all night at the computer.

I decided to look up any more Vancouver area bloggers who will be participating and so far I’ve found this blog here called “Open Up” who will be blogging for the Vancouver Rabbit Rescue Agency.

If you have a local blog and are participating in Blogathon please leave your details in the comments section. I’ll add you to a little list here on Metblogs in order to get you some more traffic for your cause.

I’d love to check out what others will be doing during that time as well. For more Blogathon blogs, check out their blogroll. Best of luck everyone!

UPDATE: Hummingbird604 is also participating for A Loving Spoonful.

Posts like this

It’s posts like this that keep metroblogging Vancouver as the joke that it is.
Posted by: Stephane at July 23, 2007 09:55 PM

There are a lot off different ways I can respond to this, and I’ve gone back and forth on it for awhile. I did feel like I should say something, because other authors have mentioned to me that the sometimes hostile comments they get makes posting less enjoyable for them, so I figured I’d use the quip aimed at me to illustrate a point.

To see the post that keeps Metroblogging Vancouver a joke please click here [mbv]. Is it the greatest post in the world? Nah, probably not. Will it be up for any awards at the end of the year? I doubt it. Did it waste five minutes of Stephane’s day? Maybe if it was read really slowly. Did it have a cool video of Matthew Good playing a new song? Yes, and it was a nice excuse to post that video wasn’t it?

Currently we have nine active authors on Metroblogging Vancouver. None of us are paid, we are all doing this because we hope that some people read it and enjoy it. None of us are forcing anyone to read this, that I know of, and so if you don’t enjoy it you’re free never to type in our URL again. Hopefully if you think I’m a shithead you can still enjoy Rebecca’s or Maktaaq’s or one of the other authors posts. If not I’m sorry, that’s the way things work out sometimes.

That’s not to say we don’t like getting some negative feedback. I love getting into debates with readers, and if you don’t agree with something one of us has blogged then the comments are open for you to rebut and voice your opinion. We’re not just looking for sycophantic love. But at least have a point other than, to paraphrase Stephane, “You suck”.
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Slocan Valley: Marketing Backwards


organic urinal

Originally uploaded by ‘daisies.

While gadget loving Vancouverites are lusting after the iPhone being sold just across the border, the interior town of Slocan Valley is thinking of banning cell phones altogether. Which is sort of like myself declaring that I won’t play centre for the New Jersey Devils no matter how much they offer me, because right now there’s not actually any service in the town from any company. Telus is starting to examine bringing service there, but not if the city’s latest marketing plan takes off.

From the CBC [cbc]:

Bill Roberts, with the Slocan Valley Economic Development Commission, thinks becoming a cellphone dead-zone will attract tourists and new residents to the rural community in B.C.’s Southern Interior.

“We see this as being a tremendous competitive advantage that allows us to set ourselves apart from other areas that are practising the ‘me too’ form of development, saying, ‘Well, they’ve got a bigger airport. They’ve got cellphones,’ and following blindly down the same path,” Roberts said Thursday.

I really do think that development is a “me too” thing. I mean open heart surgery, indoor plumbing, not living in caves are all things that we probably really did not need but because the Jones next door got them we had to rush in and now where are we with our iPods and sanitized drinking water?

Not in Slocan Valley that’s for sure. Anyway Roberts is planning on spinning the possible Telus decision not to bring cellular service to the town into a positive by declaring it a Ring Tone Free Zone. And people ask why I moved out of the interior.

Wanna sell your Matthew Good tickets?

Garrr… Matthew Good is sold out, and I’ve once again not got tickets. So if you’ve got tickets that you’re looking to sell, either now or closer to the show, keep me in mind. I won’t pay the crazy eBay prices, I just can’t afford to sell out $259 Buy It Now price that tickets are going for online, but I would be fine with adding ten dollars onto face value.

Hopefully he’ll add another Vancouver show, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen for awhile anyway since his September looks pretty booked. Maybe a trip to Victoria is in order.

But email me if you do need to get rid of your tickets, and I’ll find a home for them.

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