WTS – What the Surrey #32: Bus Service

September 5th, 2008 @ 5:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I’ve written about the aggravation I have felt trying to catch a bus in Surrey, one that only comes every 45 minutes. I used to have to deal with that every day (during the work week) but somehow it seems even more annoying now that I know the difference in service between regions.

Surrey Central

When I was at Surrey Central last I noticed the service improvements to weekend and holiday schedules so I’ve decided to look up the rest.

314 Sunbury/Scott Road Station/Surrey Central Station
Route revised near Surrey Central Station; service on Old Yale Road and 134A Street discontinued.
323, 324, 325 Surrey Central Station/Newton Exchange
Weekend/holiday service improved to run every 30 minutes along each of the three routes.
329 Surrey Central Station/Scottsdale
Route revised near Surrey Central Station; service on Old Yale Road and 134A Street discontinued.
345 White Rock Centre/King George Station
Monday – Friday service improved to run every 30 minutes, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Also, schedule adjustments will create better service coordination with the improved 375 service.
375 White Rock South/Guildford
Service improved to run every 30 minutes, Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. and weekends/holidays 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. Also, schedule adjustments will create better service coordination with the improved 345 service.

Surrey Central

Also of note, Surrey Central bus loop has reassigned its bays so check out the new map on the Translink website before you form a queue for the wrong bus [PDF]

Although these improvements are a step in the right direction I still don’t feel as though commuters are getting fair and frequent service. If I miss a bus on Robson Street I can either wait for the next one in 5 minutes or simply walk to my destination downtown. If I miss one at Surrey Central it would take me hours to get where I need to go or 30-90 minutes for another bus. Given that there are pretty much as many people living in Whalley as the downtown core of Vancouver (roughly 80,000 each), this just doesn’t seem balanced to me.

The Crazy Canucks Season Preview

September 4th, 2008 @ 7:08pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Yesterday John wrote a great warm up post for the 2008-2009 season of the Vancouver Canucks. If that wasn’t enough to get you riled up (in a good or bad way) this also just so happens to be season 3 of The Crazy Canucks podcast.


We have quite a bit brewing for our faithful listeners, and for those who have yet to discover our roundtable hockey podcast by fans, for fans.

The girls of The Crazy Canucks podcast

Richard Loat, the creator of the Vancouver Canucks Fan Facebook application, was with us Crazy Canucks at GM Place today.

JJ, Richard (of Facebook Fame) and Dave

The reason for this photoshoot will be revealed at a later day, and we’re all pretty pleased with the plans for this season.

Johnny Canuck

As for The Crazy Canucks, we’ll also be launching a new theme for the website, built by sixty4media. Check for exciting news and updates in the coming weeks. The puck drops on our first episode September 23rd.

IKON Russian Vodka Taste Test

September 4th, 2008 @ 12:21pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last month I was one of three judges in the Grey Goose Vodka Arbiter of Cool mixology contest. After writing two posts about the event I was contacted by a different vodka company that asked if I would like to sample their product. Who was I to pass up an opportunity to use the martini set John got for Christmas two years ago?

IKONIKON True Russian Vodka was definitely a departure from the Orange Grey Goose from France that we polished off that week however we made the best of it, mixing it up several different ways.

I think John’s favourite recipe included some fresh raspberries we picked up.

Thanks to IKON for the sample bottle, I’m not usually a vodka drinker, but it’s nice to know there are other choices out there when it comes to these sorts of libations and also that they’re paying attention to what bloggers (and their customers) are saying.

WordCamp at BarCamp 2008: Your Input Needed

September 4th, 2008 @ 7:04am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Duane Storey on Flickr

BarCamp Vancouver is fast-approaching and while organizers have set the dates and locations (September 25th on Granville Island), Duane and I need your input with regards to the WordCamp programme.

This WordPress specific track will be all about, you guessed it, WordPress – the world’s number on blogging platform.

WordCamp @ BarCamp will have its own venue (the Playwright’s Theatre), split with PhotoCamp, and will take the morning spot from 10:00am until 11:30am.

As is this an unconference, topics and speakers are decided the day-of the event. However, to make sure we have the right resources or can get an idea of what folks want to learn, feel free to submit questions ahead of time.

Theming tips? What is WordPress? Security issues (*cough*Kulpreet*cough*)?, Using photos with WordPress? Favourite Plugins? WordPress as a CMS? Thoughts on WordPress 2.7? etc.?

You can do so on Duane’s post, in the comments of this post, or preferably on the BarCamp wiki page (scroll down).

WordPress Screencast tutorial – Adding photo captions

WordPress will also be sending over some goodies that we can share with the attendees as well. We look forward to seeing you there!

Vancouver Restaurant Directories

September 4th, 2008 @ 4:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Living in this regions means that you can probably walk out your door to find a place to eat dinner and have your choice of sushi, curry, pad thai, burgers or yam fries. However when you don’t have a favourite eatery or are looking for something new, where do you look? I’ve put together a small list of directories that you can sort through for ratings, locations and reviews of restaurants around the Lower Mainland.

Dine Here – This is usually the directory that comes up first whenever I do a search, often ahead of the restaurant’s own website. The reviews can be pretty blunt (like most other review sites) but in general it’s pretty useful and cover all of the region, not just Vancouver.

Urban Spoon – Harnessing the power of social media, Urban Spoon encourages bloggers to share their reviews, embed badges, rank restaurants and provides great mashup maps sorted by food type or neighbourhood. They even have an iPhone app that you can use on the go. Diner reviews are as simple as a click of the mouse. They certainly have grown leaps and bounds over the last year.

Food Vancouver – All about food in Vancouver, not just restaurant reviews. From wine to events and recipes. They also have a focus on special dietary needs, “cholesterol and heart health, diabetes, gluten free, high blood pressure, high fibre, inflammatory bowel, lactose intolerant, vegetarian, and weight loss.”

Tasting Vancouver – Nice, clean-looking site and it’s built with WordPress. They only cover Vancouver neighbourhoods so far, but this new kid on the block looks very promising – they just need your help to get more reviews on there.

HockeyStars Blog is Now Live

September 3rd, 2008 @ 1:00pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Not only can you find some posts I’ve written on Techvibes and E!Online, but I’ve now added amateur hockey to my portfolio.

Last month HockeyStars was launched, with a focus on minor hockey in Canada they offer games, money solutions for teams, and an online community for teams.

HockeyStars.com is a website devoted to the amateur hockey community. It’s free to join and it has tools to help coaches and managers run their teams online. Players can post profiles and connect with their teammates and the rest of the hockey community.

My first post, “Gearing up for the Season”, where I talk about hockey gear and the funky smells which radiate from it, is now up on the Hockey Stars Blog.

Social Media for Change: Team Diabetes, Run in Fun Places and Raise Funds for a Good Cause

September 3rd, 2008 @ 8:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Gold Coast, Easter Island, Prague, Dublin and Honolulu; these are all locations of the Team Diabetes marathons, which aim to raise money for the Canadian Diabetes Association.

I went to high school with Candice Chamberland and although it had been ten years since we last spoke she came back on my radar through Facebook and also my blog. She informed me of her Team Diabetes fundraising effort and since then I’ve noticed participants have been sprouting up all over the place to raise funds for this excellent cause. I had the chance to sit down with Candice a few months ago to discuss her campaign and find out more about these Team Diabetes adventures.

Participant: Candice Chamberland – (Check out her new Run Blog)
Marathon Date: July 5, 2009
Marathon Distance: 42kms Full marathon (Half and 10km options)
Location: Gold Coast, Australia (the flattest course)
Reason for running: “My mom was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 6 years ago. I only recently just learned that my great-great-grandmother had lost her life to this disease. Recently a close family friend lost his father to his diabetes.”

Struggles so far: The training, it’s basically a lifestyle change you also commit to make in order to get you to the run and complete it.
Fundraising ideas: Have a BBQ or pub night and charge a base admission fee. This would work best if you can get a food sponsor.

While I’m at it, Tanya Davis signed up for the Disney World run in recent months as well.

Participant: Tanya Davis (NetChick.ca)
Marathon Date: January 10 & 11, 2009
Marathon Distance: Half Marathon (Full Marathon, Half Marathon & Goofy Challenge options)
Location: Disney World, Florida
Fundraising ideas: Tanya is running a contest for cash that you can enter by writing a blog post or pledging. She’s also got corporate sponsorship up for grabs: “Not only do the corporate sponsors get a logo in my sidebar for 6 months (worth $500 on it’s own), and a blog entry to recognize their sponsorship, but they’ve also got a great chance to win their entire donation back, with 21 entries towards the contest.” [NetChick].

Tanya is also going to be organizing a hip bachelorette auction so if you’re a single gal in Vancouver or Victoria be sure to let her know if you’re interested. The guys who donate during this event will also be entered in the cash contest for their pledge.

Her latest incentive is sponsored by Nutrisystem, where you can enter to win 2 months of their product.

All in all, runners (or walkers, as they are allowed on some of the courses) have pledge goals that are tiered in the months leading up to the event. You can pledge a participant here, just enter their first and last name.

Proceeds from the pledges go to support the Canadian Diabetes Association. It’s a phenomenal global effort to get people out and about on this epic journey for the cause.

90210, New and Improved?

September 2nd, 2008 @ 9:09pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I don’t usually watch much prime time television (and I’m still saving myself for the new season of Rescue Me) however growing up in the 90s I was obviously curious about the new 90210 so I have compiled some notes below.

Photo credit: maktaaq on Flickr

– The morning news reporter at the high school has the hyphenated last name of Zuckerman, I can only assume that’s Andrea’s daughter.

– “Aunt Becky” Katsopolis is the new Cindy Walsh.

– “Silver” is Erin Silver, the half sister of Kelly Taylor and Brian Silver whose mother and father had a child in the original series.

– “How many times are we going to talk about this blog of yours? All it does is cause problems,” says Kelly to her little half sister. “That is what a blog is supposed to do,” the edgy Silver replies.