Archive for March, 2008

Vancouver Five: crazy things we’re buying

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With city council about to spend half a million dollars on new software that will cut down on gang violence and after hours bar incidents [cbc].  While software might stop people being drunk assholes, World of Warcraft stopped me from having a social life for about six months, it’s hardly going to cut down on gang activity at places that aren’t clubs or bars where most of the shootings have occurred.

Here are five other things we could be spending our money on:

5. Turning Robson Street into a Pedestrian Mall ::The Fremont Street Experience is one of the major tourist draws in Las Vegas [wp].  What would be better for the Olympic tourists than being able to experience the same thing on Robson Street?  Granted it would cost more than half a million, but boy would the tourists love it. 

4. Robots, Zombies, Pirates, Ninjas, and Sad Feist ::What just randomly using those words isn’t funny as of itself?  Dammit.  Ah well, at least our SEO went up like 2000%.

3. Destroy Beyond Robson :: Let’s face it Beyond Robson [br] is not only unpatriotic they’re probably all some sort of communists.  I’d say they’re zombies or pirates on top of that, but I’ve already been to that comedy well once today.  Either way I’m sure City Council would be far happier if they bought BR and put someone really really really excited about Vancouver in charge.  Someone uncritical who doesn’t really notice the homeless issue.  Someone like Kent Hurl [tv]. 

2. Buy the Cancuks a goal scorer :: Years, and years go by and we always are short a goal scorer once we get in the playoffs.  Why they figured it would be different this year I have no idea, unless the plan was simply not making the playoffs in which case we’re on track.

1. Inter-dimensional portal technology ::I was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and there’s an episode at the start of the third season where she runs away from home and lives in LA where an evil demon dimension is grabbing homeless and directionless youth off the streets of LA and using them as slave labour in their demon dimension.  I would bet good money that Sam Sullivan is trying to find an evil Wiccan right now to start teleporting the Downtown East Side residents to said dimension.  Sound far fetched?  Well now explain how Mayor Wilkins Sullivan got elected again [wp]?

Well that ended up being far more super nerdy than I had hoped.

CelticFest is on NOW (and has been since Wednesday, incidentally.)

Stephanie Cadman
I have to say, being able to attend two free concerts on my lunch hour from the day job was really a nice treat. On Thursday I saw Stephanie Cadman and yesterday it was Kinship. These free concerts are part of CelticFest Vancouver and it is happening right through the weekend. Looks like tonight’s going to be packed with all kinds of great musical entertainment. Tomorrow is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade with all the bagpipes you could ever want. My co-worker, Terry, will be there playing the pipes starting at 11:00 on Davie & Howe and hiking all the way down to Granville and Drake. But don’t take my word for it, check out the parade map here. I’m not so good with reading directions and street maps. Yikes.

Sadly, tomorrow I’m going to be part of a Diva Race that I haven’t even trained for. Hence, I’ll be walking. Slowly. I doubt I’ll make it in time from Jericho to the parade. But, I will be there if some kind of fitness miracle takes place for me in the next 24 hours.

Also, I learned from Kinship yesterday that “Oh ye cannae shove yer grannie aff the bus”. So please don’t. You’re brother’s okay, but not your grannie. Please enjoy the Celtic Fest and the bus responsibly.

Vancouver Metblogs we also blog

Hipsters are fail

Everyone of the authors here at Vancouver Metblogs have their own blogs where they also blog.  Every so often I like to go through the blogs of some of my fellow Metblogs authors [mbv] and highlight a few of their recent great posts.

  • Carol Brown – carolbrowne.com ::Carol writes about attending one of the series of free concerts that have been held at Canada Place over the last few Wednesdays where she saw Kelowna band Kinship [cb].
  • Ghosty – Reverb ::Ghosty has begun to take public transit and has noticed how isolated everyone seems to be as they travel to and fro [rvb].  Is it just that our iPods and mobile phones keep us from connecting to people, or is there something more to this isolation?
  • Rebecca Bollwitt – Miss604.com ::Rebecca has a lot of good guest blogging up from SXSW, but to highlight a post by her I’m pointing out her list of songs that she’s listening to [m604].  I agree with her on Hospital Musicbeing the best of 2007, but Nada Surf haven’t done anything for me since I was all emo about not being cool and they released “Popular”.
  • Rod – rodtempleton.net :: Rod’s got an article about The Guardian’s list of the world’s 50 most powerful blogs [rt], which apparently include the lolcats meme.  Rod notes that most of the blogs listed aren’t tech blogs.
  • Jeffery Simpson – That ring of confidence :: Hey that’s me.    Picking a post to highlight is like picking one of my own children to feed to the wolves.  Sadly I’m not allowed to have children due to my ideas on the role of wolves in childcare.  My most recent post is about how my life is too dull to blog about [jks].  Doesn’t that just make you want to click that link?

Pemberton Festival to make Pemberton cool for a few days

Doesn’t It Make You Feel Better…, originally uploaded by Nicola T.

From the CBC [cbc]:

…the inaugural festival will feature a host of headliners that include Coldplay, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jay-Z and Nine Inch Nails.

Canadians slated to take part include The Tragically Hip, Sam Roberts Band, Metric, Buck 65, MSTRKRFT and Wintersleep.

The bill will also feature many newer and emerging acts, including Death Cab for Cutie, Interpol, The Flaming Lips, Vampire Weekend, MGMT and The Airborne Toxic Event.

Excuse me? I believe I can hear my mind melting inside my head. Typcially we’ve always had to travel if we’ve wanted to see a decent music festival. EdgeFest was fun though it generally focused on one big band and a number of smaller acts. For example do you remember Econoline Crush? I do because I saw them at EdgeFest.

Having said that a concert on this level rarely happens in Canada, and when it does it’s generally in Barrie Ontario. So this is somewhat massive. The acts are wide ranging enough that there’s nearly something for everyone.

Tickets will be onsale, and probably sold out, on March 28th.  The festival will run from July 25th to the 27th.  More information can be found at the festival’s website [pmf].

Vancouver Five: to be renamed

The West Coast Express

With the Strait of Georgia could be possibly being renamed Salish Sea [cbc] here’s a few more possible name changes.

5) Downtown East Side renamed Kamloops: in the rest of the province the main method of dealing with the homeless is to “encourage” them to move along to Vancouver.  Instead of trying to solve the problem the city could just make it another town’s problem.  Passing the buck will surely solve the problem.

4) Mayor Sam Sullivan renamed Former Mayor Sam Sullivan: Mandatory Sullivan bashing, check!

3) Vancouver renamed Fat City: An idea stolen from Hunter S. Thompson’s attempt to have Aspen renamed the same thing to scare off investors.  Perhaps with the world a bit more vulgar than it was in Thompson’s day we could substitute Fat for a four letter curse word.  Ideally this would leave the beautiful Vancouver to the people who live here, and not to property speculators who drive up housing costs without actually living here.

2) Canucks renamed to Winnipeg Jets: Let’s face it they lose and we turn on them like a drunk on an empty bottle of beer, always expecting more.  Winnipeg would appreciate the team, and like the Grizzlies we’d learn how to live without them.  Plus maybe we as a city are just cursed.

1) Cambie Street renamed to Kamloops: I was being sarcastic when I said that if we ignore the DTES homeless problem it would just go away.  The problem of Cambie Street merchants being inconvienced by the construction along the busy road is a problem that we can ignore and it will go away.   Eventually all the businesses there will be closed, which is great because maybe then we can build some new condos.  As you know housing demand in Fat City is high.

Vancouver hit by rental scams

Night Life, originally uploaded by *Sherry*.

My girlfriend [ls] works at a hostel in town, so she meets a lot of people who are first moving to Vancouver and looking for places to rent. It’s a hard thing to do, finding a rental in this city, with rents getting out of hand across the lower mainland this is not a renters’ market. Even if you don’t have a good chunk of money stolen from you it’s a troubling and often perverse situation

Craigslist [cl] is a useful tool for home hunters, but it’s also a tool for con artists who have been renting properties that either don’t exist or aren’t for rent. After collecting as much money as they can, usually the first month’s rent and security deposit, they vanish for a bit and then post a new ad for a new property. The annominity of Craigslist lets them post multiple listings, with no way to track them.

You’ve probably heard a version of this story, especially if you’ve been hunting for a place to live and the CBC recently picked it up [cbc]. The trouble is that in this market it has become increasingly common to pay for a rental sight unseen, and though the police are advising against it if you’ve been looking for a place to rent for awhile sometimes it can feel like you don’t have much choice. I’ve known people who have gone to view a property and been told that it’s already rented because someone showed up twenty minutes before them with a security deposit, first and last months’ rent all in cash.

Things to look for when renting through Craigslist:

– owners are out of the country and can not show the property: Being prepared with a deposit and rent when you go to look at the place is smart, but paying money to someone who is unable to show you the place is looking for trouble.

– the deal that’s too good to be true: Vancouver is expensive. If you see a rental posted that’s quite a bit cheaper than anything else be suspicious. That’s not to say that there aren’t deals out there, but be wary.

– make sure the address exists: it’s not impossible to fake a rental with a real address but if you can’t be bothered to see if there’s actually an apartment building where you’re going to be renting then maybe you deserve to be stolen from

Vancouver goes south for Matthew Good at the Tractor Tavern

Matthew Good in Seattle

A short post about Matthew Good’s Seattle show below the jump.  You can find a longer one over at my own blog [jks].

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This weekend in Abbotsford – the annual Fibrefestival

I attended last year and the year before and the year before, so I’ll be there again this weekend. Actually, it’s on right now until 8:00 pm. It’s two days long this year and ends tomorrow at 5 pm.

I’d better run over there pronto to get all the fibre my heart desires. And yes, I had to explain to a confused coworker today that it’s not food festival of oat bran and the like. For those that don’t engage in crafty activities, they don’t automatically associate fibre with yarn and wools and bunnies. Also, I had to explain to another coworker that they don’t kill and skin the angora bunnies for their fur, they comb each rabbit carefully and collect the hair that way. And it takes a lot of bunnies and a lot of combing to make a sweater, let me tell you. My coworker was relieved by this news.

Llamas!

The event is great for barnyard animal photo opportunities. It’s full of llamas, goats, bunnies and lambs. That’s a big part of why I keep going, even though they canceled my favourite part – the fashion show where they brought the animals on the runway.Maybe I’ll see you there tomorrow. I’m going to meet my new friend and crafty blogger, Denise, for lunch there. Look at me networking!

Gone Bunburying to Seattle

Matthew Good, Belleville

, originally uploaded by shannon steele

Like so many other cross boarder scavengers this weekend I’ll be away to Seattle. The only difference is that rather than going down to take advantage of the good Canadian dollar and the cheap smokes and drinks on the other side of the world’s longest undefended border I’ll be at the Matthew Good show [mg].

It might bit odd, traveling to Seattle to see a Vancouver artist, but I keep missing his shows in Vancouver due to the fact that they sell out way too fast. Besides I need to do some Bunburying anyway [wp].

An update on the update

As Travis noted there’s still a few things going a bit wonky around here following the move from Moveable Type to WordPress.  Add to that the fact that we did a minor redesign and things are going a bit sideways at the moment.  After the jump I’ll talk a bit about the issues we know about, and what the status on them is. If you’re not interested in the nuts and bolts of how a blog runs then feel free to not read any further.   (more…)

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