Miss604 728X90

Updated Theme for Summer 2008

June 30th, 2008 @ 4:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Nursing our bronzed (and slightly pink) skin after a full morning and afternoon at the beach, we sat down to hammer out some final touches on the updated Miss604.com WordPress theme.

New Miss604.com Logo

Over the last week or so John has done the bulk of the leg work to give the site a fresh new look for the summer, adding in some fun elements, softening the look and feel and even managing (somehow) to get me away from my beloved Verdana font.

Hollering PHP language at each other from across the living room we hashed out the final details of this theme that was truly inspired by the lovely header and logo that Raincity Studios created for me this past year.

We hope to have another social media-related announcement coming this week, stay tuned.

Vancouver History: Nat Bailey

June 29th, 2008 @ 9:35am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s a pretty rare thing these days to have a sporting venue named after an actual person and not a car manufacturer, internet company or soft drink, but what makes Nat Bailey more than a baseball stadium and the namesake of a Pale Ale at White Spot?


1956 President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce presenting an award for the cleanest kitchen to Nat Bailey for the White Spot. VPL Number: 83008. Photographer: Vic Spooner.

In 1924 Nathaniel Bailey (originally of St Paul, Minnesota) drove around to local baseball games in Vancouver, selling peanuts and refreshments to the crowds. He, “transformed his 1918 Model T truck into a travelling lunch counter, parking every Sunday at Lookout Point on SW Marine Drive… …a dime for a hot dog, a nickel for an ice cream.” [VancouverHistory]

Four years later Bailey opened the first White Spot Barbecue with its main feature – the car hop service located at 67th and Granville. Nine years later he replaced it with the White Spot Restaurant and Drive-in.


Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Unfortunately in 1986 this original location burned down, “One of the city’s most beloved buildings, White Spot #1 was more than a restaurant to the people who had grown up with it. As it burned beyond repair, crowds stood on the street with tears in their eyes. Rush-hour traffic in south Vancouver came to a halt, and for a month afterwards, a solemn procession of cars passed through the deserted parking lot.” [WhiteSpotFAQ]

The Vancouver Mounties, who played at Capilano Stadium built in 1951 (on the edge of Queen Elizabeth Park) were sold to local businessmen in 1956, Nat Bailey being one of them. “The Mounties played in the Pacific Coast League from 1956 through 1962 as the relocated Oakland Oaks franchise, and from 1965 through 1969 when the Dallas Rangers moved back to Canada.” [wiki]

In 1978 Cap Stadium, with its new PCL team the Vancouver Canadians, was renamed in Nat’s honor after his passing that year.

Nat Bailey’s contributions to the city in terms of sport and business have been profound. I know that John and I still go to White Spot and although we’re not big into burgers (despite the tempting Triple O) “Nat’s Hearty Brunch” is a tough one to beat.

Metro Vancouver Park Series: Quayside Park New Westminster

June 28th, 2008 @ 9:00am (PT) by Guest Author

As I started walking along the pier of Westminster Quay, the first thought that came to my mind was “I *have* to take photos here for Rebecca’s series on Metro Vancouver Park Series“. This park has just about everything – playground, beautiful urban views, and gorgeous river/forest views too.


Photo credit: Raul on Flickr

History While New Westminster was originally the capital of British Columbia, with time its relevance shifted as Victoria became the capital of BC. In the mid 1980s, a new development was created (Westminster Quay), apparently to revitalize the development of New Westminster during Expo.

Those who visited the area for Expo ’86 can relive the experience by taking a “dive” on the submarine from Highway ’86 in Quayside Park, or playing captain at the Expo Tugger near the Public Market. [Tourism New Westminster]

How to Get There The easiest way is Skytrain to New Westminster Station. The next easiest way is driving east along Marine Drive. There is a lot of heavy traffic (trailers and trucks) so public transit makes most sense. [Editor's note: You can also take Hwy 1 to the Canada Way exit and ride that all the way down to the waterfront, or take the Brunette Exit and take Columbia. Coming from the East hang a right on Royal Ave from the Pattullo]


Photo credit: Raul on Flickr

Fun Tidbits While there is a sign that clearly says this park is called “Quayside Park”, New Westminster’s parks page calls it “Waterfront Esplanade”

Water-based play features such as a submarine, a tugboat and a cargo net unite the theme. Benches were made to look like parts of an old dock and heritage monuments explain the City’s history and give the area a quaint feel. Flower beds and creative landscaping help to separate, but meet the needs of, bikers and strollers.[New Westminster Community Parks]

You can read more from Raul on his blog, Hummingbird604.

Dana Carvey Surrey Girl Joke on Leno

June 27th, 2008 @ 12:55pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Surrey‘s made its way onto popular American late night television before, I hear there was even a reference to Surrey Girls on one of David Letterman’s “Top Ten” lists although I can’t seem to find it in the archives. My sister informed me today that a few days ago Dana Carvey gave us (and hundreds of thousands of others) a shout out on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Click here to view the video clip, embedding the player is not working at this time.

He then tells of getting some heat from legendary Vancouver radio personality Red Robinson, which seemed kinda fun. Keep watching til the end of the clip as he really plays out the Surrey joke. Me, I’m not offended (mostly because I Love Surrey) and although the joke isn’t all that funny I still find his usage of it on the Tonight Show pretty amusing. Maybe next time Dana Carvey is in town he’ll have to play the Wheelhouse instead.

Update: I was going to close comments on this post since people cannot refrain from insulting me and my family (since we’re all from Surrey) and launching out wretched, intolerant and hateful statements. No, I won’t close the comments for the simple fact that I think people should be able to know that you like to make a fool out of yourself with short-sighted and prejudicial statements on a blog that promotes community and harmony in our beloved region.

Update: This was featured on CBC News, July 3 2008 – You can view the video here.

Friday Morning Link Fest: Power Blogging Edition

June 27th, 2008 @ 9:48am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Yes, that’s me on the cover of the 24 Hours, “right above the shirtless man with a hose,” as my husband stated.

Blogathon 2008

Even though Blogathon 2008 will not officially be happening, the good folks at Day of Blogs have picked up the reigns and I have decided to spearhead the Vancouver effort. If you are a blogger interested in writing for 24 hours straight for a good cause, please sign up on the wiki. On July 26 keep your eyes on the internets for some entertaining content from a bunch of great causes (mine will be announced soon). Feel free to contact me for more information or questions about donating.

Coming up July 16th we have WordCamp Fraser Valley, which will feature several speakers (myself included) with topics ranging from community blogging, switching platforms, and code.

Raul Pacheco – I Switched to WordPress, and So Can You!
Kerry Sauriol
– Building a Community Blog the Simple WordPress Way.
Kulpreet Singh – Secure your WordPress Blog from Hackers.
Rebecca Bollwitt – Custom Page and Sidebar Templates for WordPress.
John Chow – Evil Ways to Increase Traffic to your Blog.

Now for some quick links from this morning’s headlines:

  • Rogers iPhone Data Plans = Epic FAIL or see also…
  • Rogers iPhone 3G Pricing: Lube Not Included
  • Life-size statue stolen from Vancouver park
  • Zipline course opens tomorrow on Grouse Mountain
  • Unique Video Training with Special Guest GaryV (I had the chance to attend this weekend in Seattle but it’s my nephew’s 4th birthday… and he’s a little more special to me :-P)
  • Finally, it’s not often enough we get to take time for ourselves. I’ve been told by several people lately that I need to take more “me” time especially when I get a wicked cold like the one I’m currently battling. As a result I’m going to fully enjoy the sunny weekend outdoors and spend time with family (getting in some quality Surrey time) – have a great weekend everyone!

    Matthew Good at the Orpheum Tonight

    June 26th, 2008 @ 4:02pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Tonight there is a pre-show meetup at the Kingston (everyone is invited) then it’s off to the Orpheum to see Matthew Good play a hometown gig. He’s never played the Orpheum before so he said it will be a pretty special event. Although I have written about the venue before, I haven’t been there since I saw Les Miserables and before that it was for my graduation commencement ceremony for high school in 1998.

    Matt Good's Acoustic Show in his Home

    It should be a really great show and I’m just as excited to see him play the venue as he is to perform for Metro Vancouver. I’ve seen him play at The Vogue, The Pacific Coliseum, SFU, SE False Creek, Commodore, The Centre, twice in a living room, and twice in studio. True, over the last year we’ve spent more time with his boys Benji and Casey than we have hanging out with him (you know cause of that whole tour thing) but nevertheless we still consider Matt a good friend and wish him a great show.

    You can still scoop up single tickets for tonight, the concert starts at 7:30pm.

    Update: Duane took some great photos of the show, here are a few that can be found on his Flickr.


    Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr

    Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr

    Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr

    Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr

    It was also great to see so many people out at the pre-show meetup, including familiar faces like Amy and Kim, Phaedra, Dan, Jennifer, and Ariane and Scott afterward.

    Blogathon Vancouver 2008

    June 25th, 2008 @ 1:27pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    It’s official, there will be a Blogathon in Vancouver this year (and by official, I mean that I created a wiki page with useful information and a sign up sheet).

    Based on the Blogathon of the past, which is not in operation this year, bloggers are encouraged to sign up, pick a non-profit of choice, collect pledges (which can be a flat donation, or a certain amount for every hour the blogger manages to stay awake), and blog every 30 minutes for 24 hours straight. No excessive post-dating entries, no making money (except for the charity) just purely and simply donating 24 hours of your time for a cause in hopes that your readers will pledge to keep you going.

    Last year my amazing readers raised over $400 for the Surrey Food Bank. I’m hoping to shatter that record this year… [Read my 2007 Blogathon Posts]

    I put the call out earlier this month and the response was quite positive so I have setup the wiki and we’re all systems GO for the weekend of July 26-27.

  • Sunshine Shift: 7/26/08 0500 GMT
    (10:00pm PT Friday until 10:00pm PT Saturday)
  • Swing Shift: 7/26/08 1200 GMT
    (5:00am PT Saturday until 5:00am PT Sunday)
  • Moonlight Shift: 7/27/08 0400 GMT
    (9:00pm PT Saturday until 9:00pm PT Sunday)
  • The wiki is there to get an idea of how many people are interested, and it’s also one big link-love blogroll. If you are not in Vancouver, you can still sign up and participate – this is simply the Vancouver initiative for the Day of Blogs a spin off of the original Blogathon which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities all across North America.

    I encourage all bloggers to save the date and make this effort to make a difference, especially at a time of year when charitable donations are at their lowest. You’ll have a support system of everyone else who is participating, lots of link love and many warm fuzzies.

    Sign up here

    Save the Hollow Tree in Stanley Park

    June 25th, 2008 @ 10:38am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    A few months ago the Park Board met to discuss the fate of the Hollow Tree in Stanley Park as it began to lean – becoming a safety hazard for visitors to its site. The results of this meeting in March had the Park Board come to the conclusion that there were only two options, the first would be to build a quarter-million dollar cage around the tree to prop it up, and the second would be to knock it down.

    Leaning Hollow Tree

    I had a poll on my blog regarding the 40ft tall red cedar and many were in favour of whatever was most natural given the options at the time.

    On Monday I picked up the Georgia Straight and found a small blurb about a group from SaveTheHollowTree.com who believed that the Park Board did not explore every possible solution. They brought in experts, arborists, consultants, engineers and produced an extensive report as they were unsure the Park Board considered every option possible when they came to their conclusion.


    Photo: SqueakyMarmot on Flickr

    The Hollow Tree is listed on the Vancouver Heritage Registry (like those plaques you can spot on the side of old building downtown). This is not just a tree but actually a protected piece of nature and as such for any significant changes a meeting must be held with the Heritage Committee. The goal of the report would be to find an option that best preserves the historic value of the tree as this step was overlooked by the Park Board.

    A report was presented to the Park Board on June 9th which contained a safe, upright, and practically invisible way to keep the Hollow Tree in its place using some degree of reinforcement – something that would be far more secure and pleasing to the eye than the current Frankenstein-like mess supporting it right now. They even looked into moving it if they no longer wants it in Stanley Park however, the report was ultimately shot down.

    Yesterday I had the chance to speak with Lorne Whitehead, Leader of Education Innovation at the University of British Columbia. Lorne, who helped coordinate the team of experts for the report, gave me background on the tree, and the Park Board meetings. “We don’t see a reason not to keep it up,” he said. The report shows that it can remain as-is safely, while being cost-effective, and so that we can all continue to marvel at this wonder of nature.


    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    Lorne said the form of support right now would be to visit the website and read up on the matter (and download the report in PDF). There’s no way to tell the next time this will come up on the Park Board meeting agenda but from independent surveys and public interest, it seems most cherish its heritage value and natural majesty and believe the Hollow Tree should not be tossed into the chipper.

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    Update: The UBC Botanical Gardens put an offer into the Park Board to take the tree and display it upright. The Park Board (or members at least since I don’t believe there was a meeting) rejected the offer this afternoon and would still like to keep it in the park in “one or two pieces” to use for ecological and educational purposes (Report from the CBC)