Archive for March, 2008

Game day Canucks train

Skytrain :: The Spirit of Kelowna

Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson

I tend to finish work at around 6 on Sunday nights, so I’m always on the Skytrain just as people are packing into the train to get down to the Canucks game. Though the cars are always crowded by the time I board at Metrotown Station, I always enjoy those rides packed with jerseys.

I find that people are a bit more open then, and though I’m certainly not outgoing enough to talk to anyone, I enjoy listening in as people discuss the team’s recent form. Last night before the game against the Flames [vc], there were a few Flames fans dotting the car that I was in. Each time a red jersey would board the car high fives would be exchanged and the Canucks fans would grumble under their breath.

With the weekend death of an Italian football fan in sporting related violence in Italy [sh] it’s good to see that we can enjoy sporting rivarlies without anyone taking it too seriously. I mean, you know, except for the riots.

The English are coming for our video games

NHL08x360SCRNpitVan2, originally uploaded by gamertagradio.

There could be trouble on the horizon for the local video game industry. Like our movie industry software developers get pretty good tax breaks for bringing their studios to Canada, and Vancouver along with Montreal have been the big winners. Electronic Arts is the major studio in town, but there’s quite a few other ones that have been drawn here by tax credits.

The British are taking a closer look into these sorts of government incentives, and thinking of bringing a case against Canada up in the WTO.

From Wired’s Game\Life blog [wgl]:

The Brits are up in arms over the numerous tax breaks and financial incentives that are offered to game developers in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. As Paul Jackson, head of the ELSPA put it, “The Canadians have driven a tank over the French Citroen and have now parked on our lawn. It is becoming very challenging to keep core development studios here.”

The new investigation is meant to determine whether Canada’s financial breaks for game developers is compatible with World Trade Organization principles.

You know what I say? I say fuck off limeys, we totally beat you at negotiating our Confederation and then Trudeau totally patriated the Constitution from your/our Queen.  Why don’t you go cry in your tea?  Suckers.

Not Overheard in Vancouver

Well, I guess we have to take up the slack since the nice people at Overheard in Vancouver have stopped updating.

I was at Kobe Steak House on the weekend when one of the nice women sitting beside me told this anecdote to her friend:

“So we were in France, and I ordered the lasagna, and my friend ordered the cheeseburger…”

The story had a conclusion, but I think we’re done here.

As for Kobe? It was opened in 1968, and I believe the experience today, in terms of both decor and cooking, is as close as possible to opening day. If you can stomach spending $38 for a steak that isn’t actually Kobe beef, and if you are prepared for an exceedingly retro experience, you will have an excellent time, as did I.

One gentleman who came into the restaurant was wearing a burgundy velvet lounge jacket. I believe, paired with a ruffled dress shirt and no tie, that this is exactly what you should wear. Serious retro-heads will either go Mambo dancing or head over the Commodore bowling lanes afterwards.

The Submarines & Bell X1 live in Vancouver

Sing sing, originally uploaded by louder.

It’s a bit odd to be ushered out of a concert so that hip hop night can start and it’s also a change of pace for a concert to end by ten. A 7:30 pm start was not that odd, but the fact that a 7:30 start meant a 7:30 start is nearly unheard of.

I went to The Plaza to see The Submarines play [wp]. I’d enjoyed their first album Declare A New State and was keen to see how the sound translated live. Sadly because of the early start time by the time I got into the venue twenty minutes after doors open, The Submarines were already on their last song of the set. It was a good performance, and it translated their studio sound well. If you’re into indie rock, checking out Declare A New State is well worth a trip to iTunes.

I might have come to see the opening act but it was Bell X1 that blew me away.


It has been a strange week in Vancouver


and I don’t just mean the weather. Quite unexpectedly, after an overcrowded protest meeting in Pitt Meadows, BC Environment Minister Barry Penner announced that there would be no transmission lines in Pinecone Burke Provincial Park. This put paid to a series of proposed run of the river hydro projects on the Upper Pitt river, and was widely applauded, except, of course, by its proponent. But if you thought that might indicate a change of direction in Victoria, you would be wrong. Equally controversial, and almost as unpopular was the province’s decision to use park land to settle an aboriginal land claim. Though this was a regional park and not a provincial park, the Metro Vancouver directors were not pleased to learn that they could do nothing. And not because the use of park land seemed to violate an earlier promise by the premier (we have all given up expecting him to keep his word) but the absence of any compensation.

We also learned this week that the Ministry of Transportation has responded to all those comments on the Environmental Assessment of the Port Mann twinning Highway #1 expansion. They did that in December, but kept quiet about it. No doubt because they had actually not responded at all, simply repeated stuff from the original submission. But the whole premise of the Gateway now seems to be in doubt as the US economy has tipped into recession, and railways, truckers and ports are all reporting a decline trade. Not in BC of course. In the US – whose trade we were supposed to be taking a bigger share of in the future. I don’t think so, Kevin

10 am March 28 2008 Richmond BC

I looked out at the back garden this morning and saw this. It is not supposed to be like this. Not at sea level anyway. What is the point of putting up with the highest real estate prices in Canada if we cannot crow about the weather to those unfortunate enough to live in Toronto

Vancouver’s Earth Hour

Earth Hour Logo

On March 29, between 8-9pm, Vancouver will demonstrate our commitment to action on climate change to the world by powering down for Earth Hour. Already, people and businesses are getting excited about this opportunity and participation in the city is growing by the day.

All City of Vancouver, BC Hydro, and Vancity buildings have already committed to powering down for Earth Hour.

BC Hydro will measure the drop of the collective electricity use during the event.

Here in Canada, Earth Hour is part of an effort that lasts more than one hour. WWF-Canada has launched The Good Life (, a community of concerned Canadians who want to start taking personal action today to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change. When you join The Good Life, you are able to track actions you are taking for the planet and see how your actions add up to help fight climate change.

WWF-Canada, City of Vancouver, and The Vancouver Sun are the Earth Hour partners that have brought Earth Hour to Vancouver.

All Vancouverites and Canadians are encouraged to participate in Earth Hour and The Good Life and to be part of this united, global message about the need for action on climate change.

Participation is easy: sign up at and commit to fighting climate change and turning off your lights at 8 p.m. on March 29.

Are you joining the cause?

I know it might surprise some people who know me as a supporter of the WWF, but I am not. I will be posting my reasons for not joining in, on my blog on Saturday. If you are or are not joining in, I would love to hear your reasons either way.

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Nelson Trees
[ Nelson Street -March 2006 – photo by Barbara Doduk ]

Welcome to Spring 2008.

Every year in Spring there is the annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (March 25 to April 20). This time of the year our city gets covered in PINK. As a child I remember collecting endless bunches of cherry blooms and being covered in pink pedals. I find it so beautiful.

Tree Talk Walk will be held March 29, 2008 1:00pm to 2:30pm @ Queen Elizabeth Park or March 30, 2008 1:00pm to 2:30pm @ Stanley Park or April 12th, 10:00am to 11:30am @ UBC.

There is a Pink Tie Affair, for $75 a ticket held on April 2, 2008 featuring The Cherry Blossom Martini.

There are also Trolley Tours every Sunday from 10:00 am – 12 pm for $25 or $20 for seniors.

This year the event partnered with Slow Food Vancouver to create the Slow cycle tour event, Bike the Blossoms during the 4 week long festival. SATURDAY APRIL 19, 2008 9 am – 4 pm (this is not a race – start & finish when you like) (prior online registration recommended) START PLACE: VANDUSEN BOTANICAL GARDEN, 5251 Oak St. west parking lot (parking on Oak & 37th streets only) FREE TO ALL.

[ Image from the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival web site. ]

Further information and lovely pictures can be seen on their web site. Enjoy Spril 2008 and the pink.

Cappucino jjbean Homer and Davie 2008_0325

I do like coffee. A lot. I own a cappuccino machine and I buy expensive shade grown, organic beans. This means that when I leave my home and buy a cuppa java I am often less than satisfied with what I drink.

jjbean don’t just sell cups of coffee – they are small scale roasters. Which means the beans with which the coffee has been made have been roasted a very short time before they were ground for your coffee. And you can taste the difference. There used to be an expression in restaurant reviews started by the Michelin guide. “Vaux le voyage”
If you care about really good coffee, jjbean at Homer and Davie is worth the trip.

I have no relationship with this company and this was my first visit

Vancouver win tickets to The Submarines and Bell X1

The Submarines - Press Photo

Who: The Submarines & Bell X1

Where: The Plaza

When: Saturday the 29th of March, 2008

Do you want a pair of free tickets to see The Submarines and Bell X1 this Saturday at The Plaza? Here’s what you do, you comment on this thread answering a simple trivia question and if you are the first person to answer it correctly you win.

What’s the catch? There isn’t any. Tickets will be ready at the door for you and a friend and you’ll get a night of some good music.

Just answer the following question correctly in the comments. If you need help see this Wikipedia entry on The Submarines [wp].

Question: What are the names of the members of The Submarines?

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