Eagles in the City

April 8th, 2008 @ 8:31am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Two years ago Vancouver was overrun with Spirit Bears on almost ever street corner.

Photo credit: RightAntler on Flickr

Batman, Darth Vader, and Brent Butt were some of the themes for these posed monuments that, once auctioned off at the end of the campaign, helped raise over half a million dollars for the BC Lions Society Easter Seals.

They were removed from their stations throughout the city and then placed wherever the highest bidder deemed worthy – in front of an office building or even GM Place. Before there were bears we had the orcas… that sort of looked more like dolphins.

baseballart on Flickr

Coming next year from April 2009 until April 2010 the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and Price George will have Eagles in the City.

Local artists, in partnership with sponsoring individuals or organizations, will create a unique design and apply it to the surface of a 7.5 foot custom formed fibreglass Bald Eagle. The Bald Eagle becomes the artist’s canvas. Once the work is complete, the Bald Eagle will be displayed in prominent public spaces around the participating cities. A ‘Bald Eagle Flight Path Map’ will be created and distributed throughout participating communities showing the location, sponsor and artist of every bald eagle. [Eagles in the City]

Despite the fact that many people became annoyed with the orcas and moreso the bears, the money raised does go to a good cause. Eagles in the city will benefit the BC Lions Society Easter Seals as well at the Canucks for Kids Fund. You can also check out a list of artists who will be painting and decorating the eagle, on the Eagles in the City website.

How the Smoking Ban is Affecting Vancouverites

April 7th, 2008 @ 10:15am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

As a follow up to my follow up post about the new smoking regulations in BC, I thought I would focus on the direct impact this is having on Vancouverites.

A new province-wide regulation, effective March 31, bans smoking within three metres of those doorways, open windows and air intakes, so people who work in office towers, retail outlets and other buildings will have to go outside and walk farther away from the door to light up legally.

A City of Vancouver smoking bylaw that also comes into force at the end of the month creates a much larger no-smoking zone: smoking is prohibited within six metres of an entryway, openable window or air intake of a building. [The Vancouver Sun]

What this all means is that even if you’re walking down Robson street smoking a cigarette, you are breaking the law as you’re passing countless entryways to establishments.

You may have also noticed the display cases for tobacco products are missing from your neighbourhood store, grocery store and even London Drugs. All items are now behind closet doors, curtains or under counters that cannot contain any kind of tobacco advertising.

At the final Canucks game of the season, they also had a sign outside GM Place stating as of the beginning of the 08-09 season GM Place would no longer offer a smoking area for fans.

We are a non-smoking facility in accordance with the Vancouver City Health By-law. Areas for smoking during events are outside of Gates 2, 3, 7and 8.

Effective September 15, 2008 the outside designated smoking areas will no longer be in effect. Once a guest enters General Motors Place, they will not be granted in and out privileges at any gate. [GM Place]

Also, the other night while entering the Commodore for a concert we were told by two separate staff members that should we be smokers, there would be no in-and-out privileges whatsoever, as they have completely removed their outdoor smoking area.

So if you’re a smoker planning on going to a public event in Vancouver, whatever the venue, you should get all your puffs in at home because you won’t be able to have another until you get back.

Happy 31st Birthday Duane

April 7th, 2008 @ 6:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

An ode to Duane.

Over the last year he’s been an outstanding friend to John and I, from geeky nights in on the couch coding sites, to taking us up to the woods and feeding us too much wine for our own good.

Duane and John

Even though the last few years weren’t the smoothest for him, he’s always willing to share a laugh, help out, have a good time, and support his friends – and for that I think he’s a pretty stand up individual.

Long lost Launch Party Photo

I wish all the best in the coming year to a person who is more than just a developer, software engineer, WordPress guru, photographer, blogger, and the king of nachos.

Duane and Rebecca at Fogg n Suds © Duane Storey on Flickr

Happy birthday to a guy that we’re pretty darn lucky to call a good friend. Cheers buddy!

The Black Keys Rock the Commodore

April 6th, 2008 @ 11:52pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

What’s better than watching a completely rockin’ band at the Commodore for $20? Not much at all really. Despite the fact that I felt out of place with out a fedora, horn-rimmed glasses, a beard, or a jean jacket, I thoroughly enjoyed The Black Keys.

The volume and caliber of nostril-tickling sound that those two men produce is beyond compare in rock today. Boy am I sure glad John introduced me to them a few years ago.

The Black Keys @ The Commodore

Update: The Black Keys website has a fan photo gallery where they’re aggregating in photos with the appropriate tags from Flickr. The photo in this post (above) is now on there. Awesome.

Stanley Park Restoration Update April 2008

April 6th, 2008 @ 6:51pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Mr. Bollwitt and I cherish our multi-hour treks off the tourist-beaten paths through our city’s crown jewel – Stanley Park. We’ve been keeping a close eye on it throughout the years and especially since the big storm of 2006.

Still busted

Yesterday after being disappointed about seeing the same piece of the Seawall I documented a year ago was still not repaired, we came across some pleasant surprises.

Siwash Rock trail is unrecognizable

Heading down from Hollow Tree we turned onto the Merilees trail. About half way down Merilees we made a right turn onto the Siwash Rock trail – one we hadn’t ventured down in over a year. [See Stanley Park Trail Map]

Road? What the...?

The old path down below

To our amazement there was regrowth, plant pots, streams, creek beds, widened paths, a new metal railing and the whole trail was pushed back about 20 feet from its original route.


Geek in the mist

Leaning Hollow Tree

Also, good news for 88% of folks who participated in my poll will be pleased to know that the Hollow Tree will be laid to rest instead of going even more bionic. Head over to John’s blog for his update and to view a quick video.

Canucks Fan Appreciation 2008

April 6th, 2008 @ 9:58am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Update: Read my thoughts on page A6 of today’s Province newspaper.

Update: I’ll also be on the CBC’s Early Edition with Rick Cluff Wednesday morning (April 9th) talking about Trevor Linden and more specifically, the petition to rename a street after him.

Sunday Province, Page A6

Did anyone even notice the score last night? I’m sure Flames fans did but all eyes in Vancouver were on #16, Trevor Linden (with brief kudos to Iginla for his 50th goal of the season).

Captain Canuck is the second in all time scoring, he holds almost every playoff records for the team and despite the four dark years when he wasn’t on our team, he’s still played more games than any other for Vancouver. He’s all heart, all class (on and off the ice), and although he hasn’t yet officially announced his retirement, we were all pretty certain last night was his final game as a Canuck.

The team awards were also announced last night and thanks to JJ I was able to sit in on this momentous occasion – here are some photos:



mom and dad

#1 in our hearts

My iPhone doesn’t take the best “on ice” shots hence all the overheads but I’m glad I was able to experience this in person… and get choked up… and have my eyes well up with tears during that impromptu fan tribute to Trev at the beginning of the 3rd.

Pauline Johnson Memorial in Stanley Park

April 5th, 2008 @ 5:00pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

During one of our most recent treks through a muddy Stanley Park we finally made it over to the Pauline Johnson memorial. [See: The Lions - The Two Sisters, Pauline Johnson Opera]

At the entance to the Sequoia Grill parking lot

Important woman in Vancouver historyStill standing

Hidden monument

Important woman in Vancouver history

You can find the memorial between The Teahouse and Third Beach, just off the side of Stanley Park Drive.

Vancouver Blogger Profile: Pat Zaph

April 5th, 2008 @ 10:10am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This time around (since I tried this about a year ago) my Vancouver Blogger Profile series, about bloggers that may or may not be from Vancouver, is really taking off. Next up is someone you may know from such things as my comment thread, Flickr Group, or blogroll as “PatZ“.

Who are you? By day, a mild mannered, tired graduate student of Public Policy who stalks the halls of SFU Vancouver with poise and determination ready to tackle the problems of the world with grit and hard work. By night, a disillusioned, even more tired, eyes wide and sore from too much time staring at words on a screen who wants nothing more than to watch Mythbusters while inventing some new way to cook perogies, everyday superhero. Really. I can fly. Look.

Call me Chris Angel
Photo Credit: PatZ on Flickr

Where do you blog (which sites)? Shithawks!..on parade. Originally it went under the moniker of Cheese? and then Cheese by Patz. And somehow it went from a dairy product to a seagull. I actually started on another one way before this one, but that one has since been locked away for the benefit of humanity and because I got bored with it and wanted to start one over again.

Are you originally from Vancouver? I’m originally from just outside of Edmonton. Then I moved to Ottawa for my first two years of my undergrad, and then transferred out to SFU and I’ve called the Vancouver area home for the last several years. I got to live on top of a mountain for my undergrad. You can’t argue with that.

Photo Credit: PatZ on Flickr

Why do you blog? I got into this mock philosophical debate with a friend the other day about ‘why do we do anything why do we need anything’ but it was kind of not exciting enough to be repeated here. So. Well, I guess because why not? Way back when I started blogging (in the not so distant past of 2004) I felt it necessary to provide some inane contribution to political and cultural observations. Then a friend of mine showed me his personal blog that had very little to do with politics and culture and I figured, “that looks more fun” and the current one was born. That didn’t really answer why did it. Here’s the simplest answer I can give: I enjoy it. It’s good for venting, making no sense, and anything else you want.

What’s your favourite thing to write about? I don’t think I have a favourite topic. There’s a bit of everything in there. When the Oiler’s are kicking ass then there’s that. When the Oilers don’t make the playoffs but end the season by dragging down a division rival, there’s that. When school is kicking my ass there’s that. So, in the end, the answer to this is Barney Stinson. (now everyone go google him and find out why)

What is the BEST part of blogging… or if you prefer, the worst? The worst part is that, given the amount of time I need for assignments and papers, there’s always a bit of temptation to not do any work and just do something like picture taking and then posting them.

Photo Credit: PatZ on Flickr

The best part is easy. It’s the other bloggers. I’ve downed cans of Pilsner in pink plastic cups in the AQ courtyard at SFU Burnaby with them, flown to Barrie to hang with them on Canada Day, had poutine at 3am on Davie St. with them, gone to concerts with them, jammed in shacks in Aldergrove with them, and on it goes. I like meeting new people, I like getting to know people, and blogging is pretty much a mother load of that.

Do you write for yourself, your readers, for Google, for a living? Mostly I write for myself. Sometimes I write at other people.

Would you ever censor yourself/Do you feel the need to censor yourself? I don’t feel the need to censor myself, but there are certain things that don’t go on there. I don’t really go into my personal life, and I try to keep my family off of it. The only reason I would actually do some hard and fast censoring is if I had to worry about applying for jobs for Coop this summer. But, since I wrangled myself a sweet job in Dhaka, Bangladesh for the whole summer through a prof at school, I don’t have to worry about that.

Photo Credit: PatZ on Flickr

PC, Mac or Speak n’ Spell? I used to hate Macs with a passion. Now it’s almost the reverse. I love my MacBook (yeah, the black one, it’s suave), which I have named Leonard Katsu, and any and all subsequent external devices are named after Star Trek characters. Really the reason for the switch came from a Children and Media class I did during my undergrad during which seven of us were drafted by our prof to do a special video documentary project for the semester and our media lab only used Macs. I never had a Speak n’ Spell. I never had a magic 8 ball either. If someone invented a computer made out of LEGO, I’d be an expert.

Blogs you read or would recommend? A lot. I have a list of about thirty I read daily. Christina, Chad, Danielle, Matt Good, Yours, Jen, Tony, Meg, Fil and Raymi. I could go on, but I have to go finish one paper and then redo another for Monday.