Tuesday Afternoon Link Fest: Random BBQ Edition

March 11th, 2008 @ 1:54pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I think I’ve been seeing “BBQ” more times daily in the last week then I have over the last five summers. All those lucky folks down at SXSW are eating their fair share of roasted meats and goodies… I hear even for breakfast.


Photo Credit: John Biehler on Flickr
  • I’ve signed up for SocialThing thanks to TrevorO. I’m not sure what it does, aside from organize multiple social networking sites.
  • Thoughts from a SXSW first-timer. [MapleLeaf 2.0]
  • The Canadian’s party at SXSW, “SxNW” hosted by my pals at Raincity Studios was apparently THE party of SXSWi.
  • According to sources, Strutta is a hot topic and being very well received at SXSW.
  • Joey deVilla will from now on be known as “Accordion Guy”
  • Non-SXSW in case you’re sick of hearing about it:

  • There’s some fun looking, open-air cooked meats in Maktaaq’s post about her home country of Romania – it’s actually quite an interesting read as she’s pretty much the only person I know who is from there.
  • And to show how poor my taste is… onto the potty talk: The washroom features that have been the reason the Cactus Club was voted “best restrooms in town” numerous times are front page news this morning. Despite having the nifty auto-seat covers and floor flush buttons and no-touch soap dispensers, you still have to open the restroom door by touching the handle, ick.
  • Jim Hughson signs for six years full time with the CBC (leaving Sportsnet Pacific), meanwhile Morrison is back in the Canucks line up and bandwagon jumpers must be getting really tired.
  • And just because some people are still not aware, my husband has a blog and a new URL. He’s been doing this longer than I have, and I think it’s pretty great.

    I can haz Fail Dogz

    March 11th, 2008 @ 11:12am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    A recent Twitter from John Biehler about how “FAIL” seems to be one of the most popular words at SXSW reminded me of the following.

    When poking around the new Metroblogging Vancouver website, powered by the lovely and capable WordPress MU, I came across a “coming soon” page. Instead of a “whoops! page not found” note, it had an image of a dog with the caption, “FAIL”. Turns out it came from FailDogs, are these pups the new lolcatz?


    From: FailDogs – Original Source Credited on FailDogs

    From: FailDogs – Original Source Credited on FailDogs

    From: FailDogs – Original Source Credited on FailDogs

    Sure, they don’t have snappy captions like the lolcatz (I mean geez it’s such an empire they even re-did the bible in lolcatz-speak), but FailDogs say it all with just one word. It’s puppies and silliness, and a great navel-gazer of a website that helps pass the time or put a smile on an otherwise frowny face. So now who’s coming up with the “FTW” site?

    Food Bank and Surrey Love

    March 10th, 2008 @ 9:50pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Checking in this evening on some local non-profits, I found out about the following event coming up this month that will help raise funds for the Surrey Food Bank:

    Universal Cultural Society of Canada is hosting their second annual Holi Festival of Colours to Eliminate Racism. “Celebrating the colours of life for the elimination of racial discrimination”. Saturday, March 22, 2008 from 4pm – 10pm at the Pearl Banquet Hall, 201-13030 76 Avenue, Surrey.


    Photo Credit: Carol Browne on Flickr

    Quick reminder that the Surrey Food Bank does not fall under the Greater Vancouver Food Bank realm so if you’d like to donate make sure to visit their headquarters or website.

    However, speaking of the GVFB, Bruce Springsteen is known as an avid contributor to local food banks around the world and his stop in Vancouver will be no exception. The Greater Vancouver Food Bank has been given two prize packs to auction off for his upcoming concert, March 31st. If you’d like to place a bid you can call 604-876-3601 and ask for Cindy. The bidding ends March 26th.

    One more non-Food Bank related event is the Surrey Museum’s Easter Fair, taking place Saturday March 22nd from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Bonnet making, egg hunting and snuggles from all sorts of rescue animals will be taking place.

    Mental Auto-Complete and Shortcuts

    March 10th, 2008 @ 1:57pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I sometimes find that my fingers go faster on he keyboard than my brain can spew out thoughts. I’m often auto-completing words that begin the same as a frequently typed word I’m thinking about, but in the end – they end up as typos. Example: Chick Flick becomes Chick Flickr, Dance becomes Duane. Such a thing could make for an amusing post, if left unaltered.

    On a similar note, I sat down at my mother’s PC the other day and realized that over the last year my fingers had been completely retrained to use Macs. I would normally place them a certain way to open another tab in Firefox, however my left ring finger now had to extend a little further to press the CTRL button, with the “T” following it. If this isn’t the proper finger positioning per grade school keyboarding, I have no excuse aside from the fact that I taught myself to type expediently before such a class was taken.


    Photo Credit: John Biehler on Flickr

    Indulge my geekiness here while I share my top five basic/fave keyboard shortcuts that are conducive to speedy computing:

  • Command (open Apple) + T: Opens a new browsing tab in Firefox or Safari
  • Command + 2: Automatically inserts the “@” when replying to someone on Twitter, using Twitterific
  • Ctrl + A: When composing a blog post in WordPress it pops up the link box for easy pasting of a link (not working with F3B3)
  • Command + Shift + T: Re-opens a recently closed browser tab (thanks to Tod for showing me this at BarCamp)
  • Command + C or X or V: Copy, Cut or Paste. It may seem simple but man, it makes life easier
  • Command + Z: Undo. Need I say more about the importance of Undo?
  • Function + Delete: Backspace… in reverse
  • Okay, that was more than five, but feel free to share if you have any of your own – for Mac or PC.

    Guildford Mall Facelift, Is an Apple Store on the Horizon for Surrey

    March 10th, 2008 @ 10:34am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Being one of the best new blogs around, Paul’s Civic Surrey has been capturing and detailing several new development and construction projects in the city. One post that recently caught my attention was the major overhaul and facelift for Guildford Town Centre:

    The Mall is going to get a 414,100 sq. ft. retail expansion – 212,000 sq. ft. of which will be a new Wal-Mart Supercentre. There will be rooftop parking above the Wal-Mart, along with two new parkades featuring 5,870 parking stalls.

    The other 212,000 sq. ft. of expansion will be in the south end of the mall, home to a new food court and high-end retail tenants (just like the Metrotown refurb!!). [CivicSurrey]

    The Metrotown comparison seems pretty spot on, but toss in the outdoor eliments of Alderwood and you get the overall idea.


    Photo Credit: BuckyHermit on Flickr

    The mall has had the same hideous brown tiles and dark glass pyramid ceilings since before I was born. There really hasn’t been much change since the cascading waterfall that was removed to make room for a children’s play zone, and an Old Navy was introduced on the East wing. Wolco is now Wal-Mart (and it still has that flat, incline escalator) and Santa’s Castle is always right outside The Bay (which used to be Woodwards), except for that year the styrofoam in the castle caught fire overnight and they had to keep the mall closed for several hours.

    The new plans include a “village”, a “terrace”, polished stone and bistro cafes, wowsa! Guildford is definitely in need of an overhaul and honestly, I’m pretty excited about the new plans. Also, from the looks of the sketches Paul’s posted one image in particular stands out:


    Photo Credit: Paul Hillsdon on Flickr

    Note the Apple iPod posted on the left. It could be a tease, but perhaps it’s a sign of the type of stores they expect to attract at the new mall.

    High end retail, promenades and who knows maybe even a Cheesecake Factory or PF Chang’s China Bistro. Whatever it is, I’m glad they’re using their existing mall land/parking space and not taking over some salmon habitat as seems to be the norm with developments in Surrey these days.

    Sunday Night Link Fest: Registration Edition

    March 9th, 2008 @ 8:33pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The cherry blossoms are already revealing themselves around the city, and it’s only March. Vancouverites are also gearing up early for the many events, relays and fundraisers that will be taking place this spring and summer. The following is a special Sunday night link fest, although I assume most will find this in their feeds Monday morning…. especially all you SXSW‘ers… busy with all your BBQs and such.


    South by Southwest Interactive – Photo by: John Biehler on Flickr
  • Registrations and donations are now being accepted for the BC Cancer Society’s Underwear Affair this summer. [Uncover the Cure]
  • The 24 Hour Easter Seals Relay will also be underway June 14-15 at Swanguard Stadium, but also June 7-8 in Kelowna and May 31-June 1 in Victoria. [24 Hour Relay]
  • Social media maven Megan Cole is co-hosting the Bridging Media one-day conference: “Bridging media is an event designed to open the channels of communication between the broadcast and digital media communities.” The event is aimed at producers/filmmakers, screenwriters, directors, camera operators, broadcasters, animators/visual effects experts, digital technology community, investors. Find out more about the event, registration, and sponsorship opportunities.
  • Registration for the Young Women in Business Beyond Pink conference has been extended to March 13th at 11:59pm.
  • Next weekend Team Blogger straps on velcro rental sandals and Bowls for Big Brothers. It’s not too late to help our team’s fundraising efforts.
  • And for a twist and unexpected conclusion to this post, I learned today that the swans in Stanley Park do not fly because their wings have been pinioned, and therefore shall never… ever leave. [Stanley Park Ecology].

    The Style Spy's Fabulous Life Event

    March 9th, 2008 @ 7:39pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I’ve never been a girlie girl by any means. I know designers, what’s “trendy” etc. but mostly due to my own personal style, attitude and honestly – budget – I’ve never been on the cutting edge. Over the last few years that best I could do was learn to dress for my body type. It’s like what Stacy and Clinton say – ignore the size numbers and get things that fit your body. I’ve also been able to find things that shape the top of my torso without ballooning out and way from my waist, making me look as though I’m in my second trimester. Long story short, I’m far from being an authority on fashion like the women who contribute to The Style Spy — who just so happen to be hosting an event this Friday.

    stylespy.gifThe Style Spy is a group blog where you can find cosmetic tips, trends, latest looks, and enter contests. Last week I received an email notifying me of the Fabulous Life Event, which upon first inspection wouldn’t normally be my scene, but when I saw that it was taking place at The Bay downtown – I was sold.

    What: The Style Spy’s Fabulous Life Event – Lounge, Red Carpet, Hollywood Snapshots, Cocktails & Appies, Perfume Bar, Jewelery Bar, Door Prizes, Swag Bags & sketches.
    When: Friday March 14, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
    Where: The Bay Downtown, 674 Granville Street, Vancouver
    More Info: The Style Spy

    The Bay is definitely where I find the best clothing and everything is usually discounted when you get to the till, which is always a treat. (Latest purchase: Pink, silk, Nine West tunic for $29).

    Aside from the location, I thought it would a great opportunity to meet Erica, founder of The Style Spy, with whom I’ve shared the occasional blogosphere correspondence.

    I also knew someone who would immediately appreciate an event like this would be Keira-Anne so I enlisted her as my date. Through the magic of Facebook I discovered another blogger with a keen sense of what’s chic will be attending so it will be nice to meet her as well.

    If you’d like to attend sign up to be a Style Spy member by visiting the site, then be sure to RSVP by emailing party [at] thestylespy.com and who knows, maybe I’ll learn a thing or two.

    No More Lab With Leo

    March 8th, 2008 @ 10:27am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Although my involvement with The Lab was brief and only just a few days ago, I can still appreciate what they’ve done over the years.


    Source: Wiki

    I had the pleasure of meeting Amber Mac a few months ago when we were both members of Team Blogger on CBC’s Test the Nation (which makes some of my co-workers insanely jealous). However, I was first introduced to Amber’s work through the TV show “Call for Help“, which was a previous iteration of “The Lab with Leo“.

    Leo Laporte is known for TWiT, the “This Week in Tech” collection of podcasts and his involvement with technology-centric TV shows over the last decade. Most recently he hosted “The Lab with Leo which welcomed questions about technology, and showcased the latest gadgets and social media tools. Although Leo was based out of California, he would come up to Vancouver to record episodes from a studio in Gastown. His show was interactive with its audience and many of the guests were friends of mine from the Vancouver blogging and new media scene. Want to learn about Twitter? Facebook? Making money from Google AdSense? Podcasting? This was all addressed through this television show that was also available online once aired.

    bringing people together

    Most recently, I was a guest on The Lab, talking about some of the podcasts I co-host and some basic mobile podcasting tricks. While waiting in the green room I Twittered about being nervous. About 20 seconds later Leo shuffled off the set, through the door and introduced himself, saying he had no idea “Miss604″ was sitting right there. It was great to finally meet Leo in person, and to hear him sing a little song about the pronunciation of my last name.

    Lab with Leo

    On Twitter last week I noticed a message come through from Leo saying that his show had been canceled. Episodes already recorded will still be released this spring (mine included) but after such time the show will simply have re-runs. You can still find some episodes online, and Leo will be more active once again with TWiT.

    dave's lab

    My good friend Dave Olson also has an unreleased episode so when this latest slot airs (on G4TechTV Canada) I’ll be sure to let everyone know and grab a copy from Google Video although mostly I just need to warn my mom so that she can set the VCR.