Ice Cream for a Good Cause

August 9th, 2009 @ 10:09pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I decided to treat myself tonight and give into the cold, silky, smooth temptation of ice cream. While doing so I was reminded of two dessert-related campaigns for good causes that are currently running…

If I had a million flavours If I had a million flavours If I had a million flavours

Being the first-ever Canadian flavour for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, the Barenaked Ladies‘ “If I had 1,000,000 Flavours” truly doesn’t disappoint. However it’s not the chocolate and vanilla ice cream that makes this so wonderful, nor is it the chocolate-coated nuts, toffee bits or peanut butter up chunks. It’s the fact that proceeds from every tub sold support ABC Canada.

“ABC Canada Literacy Foundation is Canada’s private-sector voice championing adult literacy. Launched in 1990 – International Literacy Year – by a group of business, labour and education leaders concerned about the social and economic effects of wide-spread literacy challenges among Canadian adults, the national charity raises public awareness of literacy issues.

Working with influential Canadians from a cross-section of disciplines and business sectors, ABC CANADA fosters an environment where all adults have access to opportunities that increase their literacy skills and prepare them to realize their full potential at work, at home and in the community.”

Photo credit: Keira-Anne

In case you like to shake things up a bit, you can also purchase a Dairy Queen Blizzard treat on August 13th for Miracle Treat Day. $1 or more from each Blizzard sold that day will go to the Childrens Miracle Network partner in your area, in this case the BC Childrens Hospital Foundation.

“Miracle Treat Day encourages the support of many communities who work together for local kids who may, someday, require the care they can only receive at a children’s hospital.

On this special day in August, proceeds from the sale of their popular Blizzard® treats will be donated to Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. They have even incorporated the use of the Internet to pre-sell Blizzards® to businesses in cities and towns across Canada.”

So go ahead, indulge, cave in to the sweet silky chocolate and the fresh blast of the Girl Scout Thin Mint Blizzard knowing that even though that sugar’s probably going straight to your thighs, funds are also going straight to some deserving causes as well. At least that’s how I’m justifying the ice cream kick I’ll be on until August 14th.

AirBand at Movies Under the Stars in Surrey

August 7th, 2009 @ 2:00pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Surrey’s Holland Park is the site of several free outdoor movies this summer. In conjunction with their screening of the Mamma Mia movie this Saturday, there will also be a special AirBand competition open to youth and children.

Photo credit: apotheker on Flickr

All kids, 16 and younger, can enter the Movies Under the Stars Long & McQuade AirBand Extravaganza prior to the free screening of the film on August 8th. Each contestant will be able to perform their favourite track with instruments supplied by Long & McQuade if needed. There is a super secret mystery prize for the winner as well.

Registration must take place ahead of time and you can do so by calling (604) 580-2321 or emailing joyce [at] downtownsurreybia [dot] com.

The AirBand competition runs from 5:00pm – 7:00pm and the North Surrey Lions Club will be hosting a BBQ in the park with proceeds going to local charities. The film will begin at dusk.

Wineries on Twitter

August 7th, 2009 @ 9:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

wineries on twitterWith VinoCamp CheeseCamp happening tomorrow, I’m in a wine kind of mood.

This morning I went searching for a list of wineries on Twitter and I found the motherload here.

Despite the list being very long, a few local wineries were not represented so since the site is a wiki, I was able to log in and add some entries. Here are just a few BC wineries that are on Twitter (some from the wiki and some I added):

  • @Black Cloud Wine
  • @Herder Winery
  • @Nk’Mip Cellars
  • @Road 13 Vineyards
  • @Sumac Ridge Wine
  • @Tinhorn Creek
  • @Township 7
  • @Stags Hollow
  • From Vancouver Island to the Okanagan Valley, BC is home to some of the world’s best wine produced by hundreds of vineyards big and small. If you know of any of them who are on Twitter, but not on this wiki, feel free to add them or let me know in the comments. You can follow @VinoCampVan for updates during VinoCamp tomorrow and tickets are still available if you’d like to attend this premiere event.

    Great Rides with Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition and MEC Contest

    August 6th, 2009 @ 3:30pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    This summer the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition and Mountain Equipment Co-op have been presenting the Great Rides bike series.

    Photo credit: chris5aw on Flickr

    The goal is to invite riders from across the Lower Mainland to take park in group rides and discover new routes and outing destinations along the way. According to the VACC, the ride markings remain in place for future riders as well.

    The next Great Ride is taking place in Pitt Meadows is particularly special as it coincides with the Honeyland Bees & Blueberry Festival. The Great Ride participants will have a chance to stop by and enjoy a picnic along the way. You can register online today for the August 15th ride.

    I have a family pass to give away for this event which includes ride registration for one reader, their spouse (guest) and as many children under 16 as they can handle.

    To enter, leave a comment on this post to express your interest in the ride or re-tweet this link. The winner will be announced Monday August 10th and please make sure that if you enter, you are free to use this prize and participate on the 15th.

    Robson 5 Bus Route Changes

    August 6th, 2009 @ 2:52pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    This morning as the #5 Robson/Downtown bus turned right onto Thurlow, instead of heading straight towards Seymour, I obviously knew something was up. Usually when there are temporary route changes they take the trolley buses out of comission but this bus was following the lines down Thurlow, left on Smithe, and left on Burrard. The bus driver explained that due to paving and the completion of the Granville Street revitalization they aren’t able to cross Granville at Robson until further notice (or what he estimated to be a month). When I got home the first thing I did, of course, was to tweet this information and that’s when the trusty Buzzer Blog chimed in with the pertinent details of this route change.

    Robson Bus Robson Bus
    (Left) Normal Robson #5 Route Map (Right) Robson #5 Re-route Map

    “Owing to construction at Granville and Robson, there will be reroutes for the 5, 17 and N6 for about a month: Monday August 3 to Sunday September 6.” You can read more, including updates for the bus lines, over on the Buzzer Blog.

    Twitter is Down, What to do?

    August 6th, 2009 @ 8:02am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    What does the population do when Twitter goes down? I’m not sure but hopefully they turn to blogs. This morning the microblogging service used by millions across the globe went down, and I’m not taking “Fail Whale” down.

    The entire site is unavailable (as well as services that connect to it) so the best place to go at a time like this is the Twitter Status Blog:

  • Update (9:46a): As we recover, users will experience some longer load times and slowness. This includes timeouts to API clients. We’re working to get back to 100% as quickly as we can.
  • Update: the site is back up, but we are continuing to defend against and recover from this attack.
  • Thursday August 6th: “Ongoing denial-of-service attack – We are defending against a denial-of-service attack, and will update status again shortly.” Update: the site is back up, but we are continuing to defend against and recover from this attack.
  • Thursday August 6th: “Site is down – We are determining the cause and will provide an update shortly. Update: we are defending against a denial-of-service attack.”
  • Once they have the time to publish to the regular Twitter blog, updates will appear there as well.

    The morning hours on Twitter are usually rich with hot news topics of the day, and many just getting into work and publishing updates such as “why did I even come in today” or “the line up at Starbucks is huge this morning”. In case you’re missing Twitter, try watching “Real Life Twitter” once again. It’ll still make you giggle and ease of pain of not being able to Tweet at this time (and maybe commenting on a blog post will scratch that itch).

    Update: Here’s a bit more of an explanation about the nature of the outage (attack).

    A denial of service attack means that somewhere, somehow, an overload of computers is massively bombarding Twitter — making it impossible for them to manage regular traffic on top of this overload. This is similar to the attack notorious Canadian hacker Mafiaboy used to cripple and Yahoo years ago. Twitter is back up and running however services and programs that use its API (application programming interface) such as Tweetdeck, are having a hard time connecting. With the DEFCON hackers’ conference going on right now (and with Gawker, Facebook and Media Temple being other recent targets) fingers are pointing in all directions.

    BC Lions Tickets and Dinner – Quick Giveaway

    August 5th, 2009 @ 4:34pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    If you don’t already have something planned for this Friday night, consider taking in a BC Lions game as I have two tickets as well as $25 to spend at the Kingston to give away.

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    To enter to win this combo (and to see the Lions stomp the Roughriders) leave a comment on this post or re-tweet this link. For a bonus entry into the draw you can donate a minimum $5 to my Blogathon campaign, which is still running online.

    Thanks to the folks at KidSport BC and also John Biehler who supported my Blogathon campaign by donating a prize.

    Twitter entries

    Winner will be drawn by 3:00pm on Thursday August 7th. If the winner does not claim the prize by 7:00pm that day, a new winner will be drawn.

    Update: The winner has been drawn and it’s Kevin. Thanks for entering the contest everyone!

    Where Will Winebard Wed

    August 5th, 2009 @ 2:30pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Social media experiments are popping up all over the place, from sales initiatives, to fundraisers and even selling houses through Twitter. Karen, a local wine blogger known to those on Twitter as Winebard, is conducting her own experiment for one of the most important days of her life.

    “I am inviting vineyards in Napa and Sonoma to consider hosting our entourage of four on August 18, 2009 for our vows. We seek a very intimate setting surrounded by the glorious beauty of vines so alive and ripe with symbolism.” – Where Will Winebard Wed

    Photo credit: miheco on Flickr

    She and her fiancé will be in Napa along with her dress, shoes, photographer, and all the wedding basics except for a venue. She’s started up this website to see if it can reach out to wineries and vineyards in the area and have them host her nuptials on their land.

    On her wish list she’s included the following required elements from the host location (although she is flexible):

    1. Rose bushes at the end of the rows of vines
    2. Picturesque location for Wedding photos
    3. Can accommodate four people for about one hour on Aug 18th
    4. No staff, or event space required from the vineyard
    5. BONUS: Will hold a video camera for 10 mins or be our witness

    If you are in the wine business in the Napa Valley and can accommodate this, be sure to contact Karen before August 14th. I’m certain your online exposure will grow (both on websites and Twitter) should you be able to host this event. Also, if you read about this campaign on, please be sure to let her know as I’d love to play a small part in making this happy day happen.