Archive for October, 2007

Google Transit Vancouver

It seems like Translink is finally coming up with some new ways of implementing time-saving technology to help with the growing transit-induced frustration in the region.

They have the recently-launched, but what I find most helpful are MyBus, TextBus etc. – apps and services that give you the info so you can plan your trip and get going. Things might be changing soon as Google took Translink by the hand and is introducing a brand spankin’ new Google Transit for Vancouver. Here’s an early review:


It turns out that Google Transit Vancouver is live: if you visit and type in directions for two points in Vancouver, you’ll get reasonably good routes. Some are reasonable, like getting from Port Moody to Waterfront Station (it recommends the 160 in the afternoon, and the West Coast Express in the morning, though it shows it as a straight line hovering over Burnaby and Vancouver). Some aren’t so great: getting from my work to UBC they recommend taking the #4 or the #8 all the way, when I would have suggested getting to Broadway and Granville via the multiple ways to do that, then take the #99 B-Line express bus to the university campus. But still, did you see that? I can now directly link to transit directions so that I can share it online. [Just a Gwailo]

All skepticism aside, this is a step in the right direction. They do have system maps in PDF form tucked away on their site but those are hardly precise and barely informative. We’ll see how it goes and what will happen on November 1, when it is officially launched.

Nash to buy all of England, or at least the football part

Steve Nash Canucks ad

Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

I like it when I get to blog about soccer, and since I’m going to be in Toronto when David Beckham rolls into town with the LA Galaxy next week I guess I’m going to have to take every chance I can get. So when Victoria native Steve Nash started talking about buying the English Premier League Club Tottenham Hospurs [lg] I got kind of excited. I mean arguably the most famous non-Celine Dion Canadian is going to buy a football team, how cool is that?

It’s not because I like Tottenham that I’m excited, as a Gunner I can’t stand them, but because as much as we might think Beckham’s famous in North America Steve Nash actually is famous in North America. I mean people on the streets of Vancouver, Calgary, LA, Havana and New York understand what Nash does. And having a famous basketball star owning, or co-owning, a football club just might help with football’s popularity in Canada. I mean the man opens a gym in Vancouver and we think it’s the greatest thing since bread slicing first began [snsc].

I feel bad for the guy, being a Tottenham fan must be hard and he’s always seemed so nice and non-crazy. Still I guess there’s no accounting for taste. Ah well, it’ll give him something to do when he retires aside from modeling Canucks jerseys.

Take That Vancouver, Love the Suburbs

As a suburbanite who’s only managed to snaggle four years of living in Vancouver proper out of my 22 total years of living in the Metro Vancouver region, I rather resent Vancouverites whining about how far or how boring Port Moody, Surrey or even Burnaby are. I don’t live in the boonies, you know, I’m only 20 minutes by Skytrain from downtown, dammit! And the snickering when I remind people that Port Moody is the City of the Arts or that Surrey is a cultural capital…enough already!

Though I don’t know if agree with Global BC’s chief political reporter Keith Baldrey on other issues, I do agree that Vancouver is not quite the primadonna it used to be anymore. Just like no one is paying any more attention to Paris Hilton, Baldrey pointed out in last week’s Record* editorial (links to article not available):

The fact is the population explosion to the east and to the south of the city has shifted the focus away from Vancouver, with the result that communities such as Surrey, Langley and Richmond are increasingly much more dominant in the political arena.

The CUPE strike in Vancouver was irrelevant to the vast majority of Lower Mainland residents. The dispute did not receive intense media coverage, as even Vancouver-based news outlets are increasingly cognizant of the fact that most of their audience lives outside their city borders.


New Local Museum Blog

Photo by permission of Maple Ridge Daily Photo.

The Maple Ridge Museum started a blog on September 7, with a series of posts about their fair municipality, including the trivia behind the name Haney. Good work!

Our other local museum blogs to check out are:

Spotlight Vancouverite : Trevor Shea

There are some pretty darned cool people in Vancouver who many never hear of. In an effort to inform and expand, I’ve decided to try to start a new regular series putting the spotlight on a Vancouverite you all may find interesting or cool. If you know of someone you think is deserving feel free to use the “Suggest a Story” over on the right there -> to let me know and I might pick up on it.

Without further ado…the who? Trevor Shea

I met Trevor a few years back when researching Tattoo Artists for getting my first tatt which brought me to the amazing tattoo work and art work (other than tattoos) that he produces. I immediately wanted his calibre of work to adorn my body permanently.

Local Author – Kim Werker’s book launch


I was able to attend the book launch for Crochet Me at Urban Yarns last night in Point Grey. This is the first time I’ve heard her speak and she’s a very enthusiastic speaker. She loves what she does and she just can’t hide her excitement about her website and now her new book. Kim spoke for about an hour and talked at length about the designers who contributed to the book. She compiled the patterns from crochet designers around North America and from Europe.

Kim has created a satisfying career for herself with a lot of hard work. That’s pretty inspiring in itself. But now, I think I’ll bust out some crochet hooks and crochet a cute little circle rug.

Here are a few photos from the event here.
And bonus for me – I won a door prize! Thanks Urban Yarns! I’ll be back again to buy some beautiful yarn.

The literate pay for our strong dollar

And more Comics!!!

Originally uploaded by ELFSAR COMICS.

One of the draw backs of having our dollar pass the American one is that suddenly we’re paying quite a bit more for printed material than they are south of the border. Books, magazines and comic books have always had higher Canadian pricing to compensate for our lower dollar, but now that the equation has reversed we’re still paying the higher cover price. During a recent trip to Bellingham I stopped in at a comic shop and with the dollars at par, was surprised how much I could buy.

I’ve heard this issue covered on CBC radio, specifically focusing on books. For comic books the issue was raised by a listen question on the comicbook podcast iFanboy during an an interview with Marvel Comics’ PR guy Jim McCann [if]. Since Quebecor [wp] is one of the largest printers of comics (and other stuff too) in North America, it’s sort of ironic that we’re getting screwed on pricing.

With no change on the horizon local comic book shop Elfsar is offering most of their new comics and graphic novels at a discount to help compensate for the strong dollar [efb].

What else are we now paying too much for in this Bizzaro world we live in now where white is black, people ride cows and milk horses and the Loonie is stronger than the American dollar?

What the Hell is That?!? – The Empty Lot

Stairs into a big puddle

It’s hard to spend more than a day in Vancouver without noticing the eyesore that is the empty lot at Davie and Howe. It’s even become a bit of a landmark, with its artificial Christmas tree branches strung through the chainlink fence to hide the giant muddy pit within from the eyes of passing pedestrians and drivers.

But what’s the story, really? Isn’t the property worth millions? Could it be the disputed estate of a deceased property mogul? A crime scene? A sinkhole, like in Garden State?

It’s a great day when THIS postcard arrives in your mailbox


Hooray! It’s the Circle Craft Christmas Market reminder postcard. However, this will be the last year they’ll be sending out a printed postcard. Yay for going green! Can you imagine how many of these get returned or tossed out every year? To get an email reminder and the $2 discount for the entry fee, you can register at their website –

I’ll be going to the Christmas Market during the week as I work right downtown and it’s quick to run over there on my lunch hour. I made the mistake of going on the weekend once and had to stand in line in front of Canada Place for ages – the line up was really long. Also, bring a bottle of water to keep hydrated (but there are some food kiosks there in a pinch) and some reusable bags for all your stuff. Me? I’ll be looking at those bags made of old bike tires (they are very cool) and the scarves made from pantyhose. I look forward to the decorations for sale and the big Christmas trees. The room is all warm and smells like cinnamon and really gets me into the Christmas spirit.

Plane crash in Richmond

Turn on your television or radio because news departments all over the city are leaping into action to cover something other than Roberto Luongo. A two person plane that took off from Vancouver International Airport this afternoon has crashed into the ninth floor of a Richmond apartment building. So far the CBC is reporting two elderly people injuried, but there does not as of yet seem to be any fatalities [cbc].

Since this is going to make good televison, what with the image of a plan crashed into the side of an apartment building being a pretty compelling image, it’ll be all over the news for the rest of the day. Probably will make the National as well, so if like me you’ve been trying to win Peter Mansbridge’s heart I’d dress up in your sexy best and head down to catch the camera’s eye.

Update: The pilot of the plane has died and two others remain injured. Nobody’s name has been released to the public yet, and the plane is still inside the now evacuated building [cbc].

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