Miss604.com Featured Series

Shaw WideOpen Internet 150: How We Stay Connected


Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 — 1:40pm PDT
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“Are you two texting each other?” a server might playfully ask John and I as we enjoy a dinner out at a local restaurant. We are a very connected couple, however when we’re together and on our phones we’re usually fact checking our conversations, adding to our in-person interaction by briefly referencing an online source. The internet is a huge part of our lives, especially at home where my office is based.

WordCamp Fraser Valley 2008

How We Stay Connected

Work

I built my first website when I was still in high school (before the turn of the last millennium) and the internet has been a vital part of my existence ever since.

Photo editing, website development and coding, video streaming, graphic design, copywriting, audio recording and transcription, online billing, and social media management make up the first hour of my morning — and if I’m lucky I already have a coffee in me with another brewing.

Working for myself, and working from home, the internet is crucial to my entire process. We’ve been with Shaw since moving to the West End 11 years ago and with Shaw’s WideOpen Internet 150, users like us have 1 terabyte of data per month and no charges for data overages so they’re never in any danger of surprise charges.

I have co-owned sixty4media, a WordPress website development firm, since 2008 and since 2004, I have published the online behemoth of Vancouver events, travel, history, and happenings that is Miss604.com.

From my home office, I write thousands of words in half a dozen articles every day, correspond with major international corporations, promote local non-profits, research the history of Vancouver, and make time to Skype with John throughout the day to stay grounded. I edit photos and upload them to Flickr or Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Then there’s HootSuite, which is open all day, every day, to help me schedule all of my social media publishing.

My online bookkeeping app is where I manage my business, and expenses, like what we pay to have all of this connectivity. Shaw’s WideOpen Internet 150 starts as low as $49.90 per month for the first 12 months on a two-year rate-guaranteed plan.

Lately I’ve also been obsessed with tracking the local bike share program, Mobi, for which I registered last week. I’m determined to take a bike to a meeting one of these days to try out the service. In the meantime, I check my taxi app or Translink‘s realtime mobile schedule if I need to leave the office.

Devonian Harbour Park Bollwitts

Play

When you think of the internet, many people think of play. Gaming, apps, reading articles, posting photos, and chatting with friends. In our downtime, we’ve also been known to binge watch a series or four. Being connected doesn’t mean working all the time, or more importantly ignoring who you are with in the room. We do have days where John will be streaming an MLS Live soccer match on our TV PC while I’m catching up on a Netflix series on my iPad. Other days, John will be playing a game on his iPad Mini and I’ll be catching up on my recorded episodes of the Great British Baking Show.

150 Mbps speeds with Shaw WideOpen Internet 150 through Shaw’s advanced WiFi modem means that there is more than enough bandwidth to facilitate both of our screen time, so nobody has to deal with buffering issues.

We’ll both come together again to FaceTime with his family in Iowa after we cook a meal using a recipe — you guessed it — that we found online.

rebecca-john-08

We also have days when we’ll put a YouTube playlist up on the TV PC and stream songs we want the other to hear. Like that time I had never heard 38 Specials’ “Hold On Loosely” and then I was thoroughly introduced to their entire catalogue in one evening.

To enable us to have fun outside of the home, I make reservations for restaurants online from my computer using Open Table or Bookenda, and follow up with Yelp reviews. While we’re out we can check on our Nest thermostat, and at the end of the day, we even use the internet to manage the lighting in our house with Philips Hue.

All of these tools, websites, and apps help us stay connected in a way that enriches and empowers our lives. For more information about Shaw WideOpen Internet 150 speed and pricing can be found here.

Disclosure: Sponsored Post
This post is sponsored by Shaw WideOpen Internet 150

Custom Growlers in Vancouver


Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 — 9:28am PDT
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It’s always tough to come up with unique gift ideas, whether you’re looking to provide a keepsake for a wedding party, a gift for clients, or surprise a friend with something that’s totally their own – made just for them. Sigil & Growler is a local company in Vancouver that creates custom, laser engraved growlers for exactly those occasions, and more.

Custom Growlers from Sigil & Growler

Custom Growlers

I’ve seen the Miss604 logo in many places over the years, but etched on the bottom of a custom growler was a new and exciting sight to behold. The good folks at Sigil & Growler invited me to browse their pre-made designs, then they added my logo to the creation:

A photo posted by Rebecca Bollwitt (@miss604) on

When I picked up my growler from the studio on Industrial Ave I also got to meet passionate co-founders Tarlan & Addel, and browse some beautiful original designs from their artist Tom van der Lee.

They offer 64oz growlers, 32oz mini growlers, or 32oz Boston rounds. They’re the perfect vessel for your favourite craft beer, or your custom home brew, and even if you don’t drink alcohol I would think they make pretty slick water bottles too.

Get to Know Growlers

So what’s the deal with growlers? The short answer is that they are glass bottles that you can fill up at a brewery. For a better answer, with some clout and expertise backing it up, I asked Chris Bjerrisgaard for some tips. He’s the Co-Founder of Vancouver Craft Beer Week and Marketing Director for Vancouver Island Brewery.

Custom Growlers from Sigil & Growler

“There are a number of benefits,” Chris told me when I asked about the advantages of bringing your own growler to a brewery.

“I would say the thing that attracts most people is the environmental aspect. Both in the fact that they are going to the brewery environment to get the growler filled, so there’s that experience, and that they are lowering the environmental impact their beer consumption has by bringing their own reusable vessel for filling.”

If you’re not sure if a craft brewery does growler fills, just give them a shout before you arrive. If you’ve been to their tap room before, and seen growlers on display, that’s always a good sign too. When you’re ready to fill up, there are a few key growler etiquette points to remember. Chris says the number one thing is to give your growler a hot water rinse after you’ve used it.

“If you do not do this it’s going to get stinky. Once it’s stinky you’re going to need to not only hit it with super hot water, but also some bleach or PBW from a home-brew shop to kill the bacteria / mould that will have started to grow by leaving beer residue in the growler. If you don’t do this some breweries will refuse to fill your growler because it could easily make the beer they put in the growler taste bad, or even worse, make you sick if you have a weaker stomach. Both of those things they clearly wouldn’t want you blaming on them.”

Brassneck Brewery Growler

To get the very best tasting, fresh from the brewery beer out of your nice, clean, custom growler, the key is also to consume it ASAP.

“It will depend on the technology the brewery uses to fill a growler. For those using a c02 purging system like Parallel 49, Brassneck, they can last two weeks in the fridge as long as they have not been opened.” Chris advises that for those filling off the taps with no c02 purge, the oxygen pickup will mean the beer will only be good for a few days unopened. “In either case you’ve only got a day, maybe two from when you crack it as the c02 will then start to leech out of the beer, similar to opening a 2L pop bottle. Expect it to last about as long as that.”

Start Shopping for Custom Growlers

If you would like to try out Sigil & Growler, use promo code MISS604 when you check out to receive a discount. Follow them on Instagram for all of their posts and start feeling that #GrowlerEnvy until you get your hands on your own.

Vancouver International Tap Festival Giveaway


Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 — 3:07pm PDT
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The 17th Vancouver International Tap Festival (“VITF”) is coming up in September, celebrating, showcasing, and exploring the hot, enduring art of tap dance. From September 1-4, 2016, internationally recognized as one the premier events of its kind, unique and ambitious programs have become VITF’s trademark.

Vancouver International Tap Festival

vantapfestival-dancer
Dancer Derick K. Grant

The festival’s opening reception will be on Thursday, September 1st at the Scotiabank Dance Centre (677 Davie St, Vancouver). The following two days of performances will be at the Norman Rothstein Theatre (950 W 41st Ave, Vancouver). The TAP Summit will run September 2nd to 4th with nightly panels, roundtables, and discussions from 4:30pm to 6:30pm.

Classes will also run each day at the Scotiabank Dance Centre.

This year raises the bar with features that include our presentations of two spectacular shows. The first, “And Still You Must Swing” is a Canadian premier that stars Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards, Derick K. Grant, and Jason Samuels Smith – who quite simply are the world’s most inspiring and influential global ambassadors of tap. Together they will set the Norman Rothstein Theatre stage on fire Friday, September 2nd at 8:00pm. This highly acclaimed show captures both the heart and legacy of tap dance.

Register for classes here »
Purchase performance tickets here »

The following evening, Saturday, September 3rd at 8:00pm, the festival busts out with an unprecedented roster of innovative soloists – “Tap Masters!”- highly regarded for their live feel and groove includes the richest of talent that includes: Ted Levy, Billy Siegenfeld, Terry Brock, Joel Hanna, Travis Knights and Claudia Rahardjanoto and Andre Prashard. Both shows are electrifying and memorable productions with the best tap dancers, bar none, in dynamic choreography, and stunning improvisation, with the go-to Michael Creber Trio.

Win Tickets

I have a pair of tickets to give away to the performance on September 2nd at the Norman Rothstein Theatre. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to the Vancouver Int’l Tap Dance Festival @vantapdance from @Miss604 http://owl.li/biPV303wkdF

Follow the Vancouver Tap Dance Society on Facebook and Twitter for more information. I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Tuesday, August 30, 2016.

Beach Volleyball in Vancouver


Monday, August 22nd, 2016 — 5:03pm PDT
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Here in the “Great White North” many out-of-towners might expect hockey, ice skating, and skiing to be our primary sports. However, throughout our gloriously warm summer days (and adequately warm spring and fall afternoons) Vancouverites take to the sea shore to bump, set, and spike playing beach volleyball.

Beach Volleyball in Vancouver

Sundown Volleyball

On Vancouver’s public beaches, you can book court times between Victoria Day in May to Labour Day in September, 11:30am to 8:30pm. Locations include: English Bay; Jericho Beach; Kitsilano Beach; Locarno Beach; Shaughnessy St (by the Fraser River); Spanish Banks East; Spanish Banks West; and Sunset Beach.

If you would like to be social and join a team or league, there are several resources:

6Pack Indoor Beach also offers weekly specials and clinics. There’s Hump Day Bump drop-in every Wednesday, and Ladies Nights on Thursdays.

Follow the Vancouver Park Board for public play information and Volleyball BC for sport-specific event information and news.

Vancity Member Day at the PNE Giveaway


Monday, August 22nd, 2016 — 2:05pm PDT
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The Fair at the PNE returns for the season from August 20th to September 5th and Vancity Savings Credit Union is proud to sponsor the annual Vancity Member Day on September 1st. Vancity members and a guest can enjoy a fun-filled day at the Fair for only $5 each.

Vancity Member Day at the PNE

To receive the discounted admission, present your Vancity MEMBER CARD® debit card or Vancity enviro™ Visa, (or another form of membership verification), at any Fair at the PNE ticket booth on Thursday, September 1, 2016. Gates open at 11:00am.

VancityMemberDayPNE-Site

Zero Waste

With Vancity’s support, the PNE is working towards creating a zero waste Fair for the 15 days. This year, Vancity’s Zero-Waste Events initiative includes 50 waste diversion stations have been installed throughout fairgrounds to help PNE improve its waste reduction, recycling and composting activities. Throughout The Fair, each station will be staffed to help sort waste and share recycling tips.

At last year’s Vancity Member Day, a total of 74.3% of event waste was diverted from the landfill. That’s equivalent to nearly 300 garbage bags full of waste!

How can you be more green at the PNE?

  • Ride your bike to the PNE
  • Bring your own water bottles
  • Dispose your waste responsibly

Vancity Member Day at the PNE

Once again, this year have a Vancity Member Day at the PNE prize package available, and it’s worth over $200! The prize includes a pair of gate passes and Playland ride passes, a Vancity swag bag, and Sidesaddle Bikes gift certificates.

VancityMemberDayPNE

Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment naming one way you’ve ‘gone green’ this summer (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a $200+ @Vancity #VancityMemberDay PNE prize pack from @Miss604 http://owl.li/zjzY303tOZQ

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 9:00pm on Sunday, August 28, 2016.Gates open at 11:00am on PNE Vancity Member Day. Follow the event on Facebook, and on Twitter using the tag #VancityMemberDay for more information. Check out the full PNE Concert Lineup for nightly entertainment at The Fair as well.

West Coast Longines FEI World Cup at Thunderbird Show Park


Monday, August 22nd, 2016 — 1:26pm PDT
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Thunderbird Show Park will hold the first West Coast Longines FEI World Cup event in 2016, bringing Olympic caliber horse jumping to the Fraser Valley on August 28th. This event kicks off an international series of prestigious show jumping competitions and brings some of North America’s greatest equestrian athletes to BC.

ThunderbirdShowPark

West Coast Longines FEI World Cup

Where: Thunderbird Show Park (6975 248th St, Langley)
When: Sunday, August 28th, 2016 at 2:00pm
Tickets: Available online now for $20

Show jumping is one of the only sports where men and women compete equally. It is a sport that requires exceptional skill and coordination between horse and rider. They must work together to clear difficult series of jumps all within an allotted time.

In the Longines International Series, riders compete in the events and accumulate points to qualify for a final competition. Only two Canadians can qualify for the World Cup Final for the chance to compete for over 1.5 million dollars.

The August 28th qualifying event will feature top international riders from USA, Mexico, Ireland, Egypt, Germany, Holland, and New Zealand as they all race for the chance to compete for that final prize. The high stakes create an amazing atmosphere of intense and exciting competition. This event is an opportunity to see Olympic level competition right here in the outskirts of Vancouver.

Your day out at Thunderbird Show Park will also include live music from a local band, pony rides and face painting for kids, stadium seating for great views of the whole course, meet & greets with horses and riders, food trucks, a beer garden, and more!

Follow Thunderbird Show Park on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for more information about this event.

Disclosure: Sponsored Post
This post is sponsored by Thunderbird Show Park