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Mac Tune Up Giveaway

August 24th, 2009 @ 9:35am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I was converted from PC to a Mac in 2007 and I haven’t looked back. The transition took a bit of time (mostly because of my nerves and I was paranoid I’d lose all data in a big fiery mess) and I’m not sure I would have taken the plunge if not for the support and patience of my husband. Having that extra bit of motivation, or knowing you have a bit of a safety net, makes taking that leap that much easier.

How John learned to use a Mac

I was recently approached by Macinhome to do a contest involving their services and I thought it would be a great idea. I have not used their services, nor have they paid me to write this post however I sincerely appreciate “going to the pros” when there’s an issue or if you need help. Macs are incredibly user-friendly but if coming from a Windows background there is a learning curve. I’m just hoping to pass on a bit of assistance to a reader so that they can avoid some of the headaches I endured.

Macinhome is listed on the official Certified Apple Consultants list and is locally owned and operated. They also have an arsenal of Windows pros so they’re no stranger to multiple operating systems.

They offer several services including everything from iCal tutorials, to setting you up on your Mac (going from the box, to everyday use) and helping you convert from a PC to an Apple computer.

disk mode

I’m sure you could spend time trying to figure things out for yourself but having some help is always beneficial — which is why I even created a full category on my site for Mac vs PC.

The contest is for a Macinhome consultation, which will go to one reader who needs some Mac support.

Prize description:
Two hour spa treatment for your Mac, with some tutoring on getting the most from your setup – (valued at $190). An Apple-certified Macinhome consultant will visit your home to basically perform a tune up on your Mac, doing the computer equivalent of an oil change & tire rotation.

How to enter:
If you have a story about how you switched from a PC to a Mac, about why you love using a Mac, or even some of your frustrations, please share it in the comments to enter. I’ll draw a winner on Thursday, August 27th.

Ambleside Dog Park Photo Walk

August 23rd, 2009 @ 9:48am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We decided to do an impromptu photo walk last night and ended up at the Ambleside Dog Park. I love being over at Ambleside as you get a different perspective of the city and it’s just such a nice walk through the trees, which ends up right along the beach.

Ambleside Photowalk

Ambleside Photowalk

Loving the change in seasons, I was excited to see orange on leaves although I’m not sure if it was a sign of autumn, or a scar from the heat wave a few weeks ago. Regardless, summer was definitely in full swing yesterday as we took our sunny stroll.

Ambleside Photowalk Ambleside Photowalk

Ambleside Photowalk

Ambleside Photowalk Ambleside Photowalk

Ambleside Photowalk

Ambleside Photowalk

Ambleside Photowalk Ambleside Photowalk

Ambleside Photowalk Ambleside Photowalk

Ambleside Photowalk

It was good to get more Vancouver photos into my Flickr stream since I’ve been away from the Lower Mainland so much lately. On top of that, it was really nice to slow the pace down a bit and take a leisurely evening stroll with friends.

WordCamp Fraser Valley in Surrey Today

August 22nd, 2009 @ 9:26am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

WordCamp Fraser Valley is happening today at SFU Surrey and I’ll be giving a talk about how WordPress can go beyond being simply a blogging platform. In 1998 I worked in Surrey Place Mall, and now I’m speaking at a conference in the University that sits atop it — it’s pretty surreal.

Winterfest 2009 in Surrey

I’m really looking forward to hearing some of the other speakers who have been scheduled in beginner, intermediate, and Twitter-related tracks. In particular, the inspirational and insighful Glenda Watson Hyatt.

WordCamp Fraser Valley WordCamp Fraser Valley

WordCamp Fraser Valley

I’ll be updating throughout the day (in what a call a “Day Blog” style) so photos and updates will appear on this post as we carry on.

Twitter Feed

I did a quick interview with Gary Jones of Bluefur who is the organizer of WordCamp Fraser Valley.

He does mention that we’re running behind but I think that’s probably a good problem to have as the sessions, speakers and conversations are all really informative and positive.

I also did a quick interview with Kimm Mitchell who is @paddlinggeek on Twitter.

She’s a self-proclaimed geek (hence the name) and organized H20 Geeks, a team of dragon boaters in the Paddling for Kids fundraising campaign.

Should YVR be renamed Terry Fox International

August 21st, 2009 @ 7:24am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Toronto has Pearson, Paris has de Gaulle, New York has JFK, and Liverpool has John Lennon while we have Vancouver International Airport or simply, YVR.

terry fox
Photo source: wiki

Over the years many have been tossing around the idea that the three airport code letters “YVR” don’t do our region justice and recently this school of thought has been gaining momentum. It would seem the popular choice for renaming Vancouver International would be after Terry Fox — our local hero who made a big impact on the world.

Terry was born in Manitoba but he grew up in Vancouver before moving to Port Coquitlam. In 1980 Terry Fox set out to cross Canada on foot as a part of his Marathon of Hope to raise funds and awareness for Cancer research. “Terry was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) and forced to have his right leg amputated 15 centimetres (six inches) above the knee in 1977.” – [source]

He wanted to bring hope to inspire a nation by going across the country — 8,000 kms from St John’s Newfoundland to Victoria, BC. He dipped his toe in the Atlantic and set out on the journey. When he reached Thunder Bay, Ontario about 143 days in (and over 5,000 kms through) he had to stop for medical reasons. He was brought back to BC and shortly after he passed away.

Each year, to honor his legacy, Canadians participate in the Terry Fox Run to raise funds for his cause. Recently he was named one of the single Greatest Canadians who ever lived.

A website has been setup to get online signature for a petition and a Facebook group is gaining support in favour of Terry Fox International Airport.

Although he never got to dip his toe in the Pacific Ocean, his mission is legendary and lives on through education, research, and each man, woman and child who participates in the Terry Fox Run around the world.

“It occurs very rarely in the life of a nation that the courageous spirit of one person unites all people in the celebration of his life and in the mourning of his death….We do not think of him as one who was defeated by misfortune but as one who inspired us with the example of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.” – Pierre Trudeau to the House of Commons about Terry Fox.

Despite all of this, many still feel the airport would lose an international identity without the word “Vancouver” in the name. Toronto International was renamed Lester B. Pearson International Airport (known to many as Toronto Pearson) in 1984, after our 14th Prime Minister and many others have also been renamed. However, the debate is not out of a lack of respect or honor for Terry’s legacy, but many simply see it as a poor business move when it comes to identifying Vancouver on the world stage.

Should YVR be ranamed "Terry Fox International"

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Update October 7, 2010: This is in the new again as online petitions grow. “Vancouver Liberal MP Hedy Fry said Wednesday she thinks it’s an excellent idea and said she’s looking to present a motion in the House of Commons calling for the name change.” – CBC

Cowichan Bay Village

August 20th, 2009 @ 6:18pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I went on a mini photowalk in Cowichan Bay Village, which was one of our stops during this trip.


The journey so far – View Larger Map

The village is really cute, with floating homes, pubs, shops, and spectacular views.

Cowichan Bay Village

Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre Cowichan Bay Village

Cowichan Bay Village Reflection

DSCF1878

I was guided over to the maritime centre to get some shots and it just so happens that it’s a place I linked to in my history post.

Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre

Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre

Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre

We had some lunch at Hilary’s Cheese & Deli and had our nostrils teased by the aroma of fresh-baked bread at True Grain.

Hilary's Cheese

Hilary’s wife Patty gave us a tasting of their Valley Blue, Red Dawn and You Boo Blue. We learned a bit about the blue cheese making process and the differences between cow and goat’s milk. We also sampled some delicious goat cheese curds. Hilary’s deli is open for lunch daily with homemade soup and sandwich specials as well as a nice selection of local products for sale in the shop portion.

Hilary's Cheese

Cowichan Bay Village is a where all from the valley is showcased, from the mountains across the bay to the blue goat cheese on our plates.

Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre

Stop in for some oysters, a glass of wine, or just to hang out on the dock with an ice cream enjoying the scenery.

I recently toured the South East portion of Vancouver Island with Tourism BC. You can read all of my posts from the trip under the tag: ‘Cowichan‘.

Thursday Morning Link Fest: Weekend Events

August 20th, 2009 @ 8:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The month of August is flying by but there has been no shortage of events, festivals, and activities across the Lower Mainland this summer. Here’s quick Link Fest for what’s coming up this weekend.


Photo credit: rbostyle on Flickr
  • Friday August 21st is Community Fun Day over at Renfrew Park from 1:30pm – 4:30pm. It’s a free event with activities for all ages.
  • It’s Movie Night in Connaught Park in Kitsilano on Friday as well with an outdoor screening of the film, Up. The film is free however if you’d like to come early a chef will be preparing fresh pizzas on demand ($23-$29)
  • Another outdoor movie series film is being shown at Holland Park in Surrey. Alert your daughters because it will be the Hannah Montana Movie.
  • The West End Dog Show is this Saturday at Nelson Park.
  • It’s the Slow Food Cycle Tour in Agassiz this weekend. All you need is $10, a bike, and an appetite for fresh local ingredients and cuisine.
  • The Bowen Summer Market takes over the Boardwalk in Snug Cove on Saturday starting at 10:00am. You can hop a quick ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Bowen Island explore for the afternoon.
  • Many other local farmers markets are still in full swing including Burnaby, and Gastown.
  • This Saturday is the 3rd annual Quayside Festival and Sale at Quayside Park in New Westminster. Collectibles will be for sale from 100s of locals and vendors along with entertainment on the Boardwalk.
  • Spend on a Trend is August 21, 22 and 23 at the Scotiabank Dance Centre celebrating independent Canadian designers and their fall fashions. Thanks to Steve for the comment about this.
  • Multiples More Fun is happening in Ladner on Saturday. If you have a multiple birth family, come and join the festivities at Memorial Park.
  • Sunday August 22nd is opening day of the PNE’s 99th season and tomorrow I’ll do my draw for the family pack of tickets. One special note is that the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society is going to be setting up a mini Canstruction display. Look for their tent and if you can, bring by any non-perishable food items to donate during this summer season.

    Cowichan Bay History

    August 19th, 2009 @ 8:03am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    A young Keira
    in her Cowichan sweater

    The last time I was in the Cowichan Bay area, I was playing high school rugby. Since I’m spending so much time here this week I thought it would be neat to share some of the history of this area.

    The Cowichan Valley is between Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. You can get here by taking a ferry, or plane to either and driving over. The resort where we’re currently also has a heli-pad in case you’d want to explore in rockstar fashion.

    Aside from their prime rugby talent, Cowichan is also world-famous for their sweaters made by the Cowichan band of the Coast Salish First Nation.

    The town of Duncan is pretty much the hub of the Cowichan valley. It was the last stop south on a trail from Nanaimo after which people would take a boat over to Victoria [source]. In 1886 when the railway was completed between Nanaimo and Esquilmalt, a Mr Duncan was asked to if they could put a stop on his farmland. The site of this farm and stop are now a part of downtown Duncan. [source]


    Cowichan River delta – Photo credit: GerryT on Flickr

    Quick facts:

  • Rugby truly is huge here and dare I say this is probably the rugby capital of Canada.
  • Cowichan is home to the second oldest grass tennis courts, the oldest aside from Wimbledon.
  • The original mission is a stone structure called “Butter Church” built in 1870. Its construction was financed by the local farm that produced butter, hence the name. There’s a neat blog about the building along with old and modern photos here.
  • There are a few museums to check out, from the Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives to the really neat-looking Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre.
  • I learned last night that the historic Kinsol Trestle (below) was named after King Solomon.
  • Cowichan Bay was recently named North America’s first “Slow Food” (or “Cittaslow”) city. [source] [source]
  • White Rock, south of Surrey, has a connection to the Cowichan, “According to romantic legend, the boulder was tossed onto the beach by the son of a Salish sea-god who fell in love with a Cowichan princess.” [source]

  • Photo credit: gdbate on Flickr

    From salmon fishing, hiking, resorts and B&Bs to fertile farmlands and a strong agricultural past, this area is definitely worth exploring. I’ll be heading out to a cidery today along with a few wineries and then stopping in with a cheese maker. The whole idea of a Tourism BC trip is so that they can introduce us to people and places in the hopes that we’ll tell their stories. I’m looking forward to all that is in store.

    I recently toured the South East portion of Vancouver Island with Tourism BC. You can read all of my posts from the trip under the tag: ‘Cowichan‘.

    Vancouver Island Getaway with Tourism BC

    August 18th, 2009 @ 6:06pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    This morning I took a Harbour Air plane over to Victoria to spend a few days exploring the Island and all of its wonderful offerings alongside Tourism BC.

    Saltspring Island from the air

    If you haven’t done the sea-plane thing to the Island I highly recommend it. The Harbour Air flight was great (and they have wifi in both terminals) but there’s also Westcoast Air (with whom I had a quick tour earlier this summer), as well as a few others like Saltspring Air and HeliJet.

    Houseboats

    Arriving on in Victoria’s inner harbour we took a water taxi with Holly from Tourism Victoria to Fisherman’s Wharf. The pier was packed with families and folks on their lunch breaks enjoying some fish & chips in the sunshine.

    Fisherman's Wharf - Victoria Fisherman's Wharf - Victoria

    The next stop was Spinnakers where our small group ate. I’ve been to Spinnakers before but I’ll have a post up about our particular menu later on this week.

    From there we hopped in a van and ended up at the Aerie Resort, which is along the Malahat Highway between Victoria and Nanaimo. We’ll be here for two nights before heading up to Courtenay and Comox (a few places I’ve explored a bit before with Keira).

    Best Jacuzzi View Ever

    I’ve never really visited this particular region (the Cowichan Valley) so I’m really looking forward to learning more about the wineries, farmers, and artisans that we’ll be visiting.

    Vancouver Island - Malahat

    I hope to share information with my readers about BC-fresh products as well as a few ideas for weekend getaways. The itinerary says we’re even going to see some water buffalo before they get milked — can’t wait.

    You can read all of my posts from the trip under the tag: ‘Cowichan‘.