Asian Heritage Month: Hockey Pioneer Larry Kwong

April 30th, 2008 @ 12:01pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s no secret that we have a strong and proud Asian Heritage in Vancouver, which is one of the reasons why May has been named Asian Heritage Month.

This acknowledges the long and rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to Canada. Canada’s cultural diversity strengthens the country socially, politically and economically in innumerable ways. Asian Heritage Month is an ideal occasion for all to celebrate the beauty and wisdom of various Asian cultures. Canadians are invited to take part in the festivities that commemorate the legacy of Asian Canadians and their many contributions which have helped Canada to become the multicultural and diverse nation it is today. [City of Vancouver]

Two years ago John and I met David Suzuki during the ExplorASIAN festivities and I’ll be posting a bit more about upcoming events around town.

The first installment of this month’s series (even though it’s still only April 30th) comes from a link sent to me over by our globe-trotting friend Henry Lee. It’s about the first Chinese-Canadian to play in the NHL: Larry Kwong.

Born in Vernon, BC, Kwong played for the Trail Smoke Eaters then when noticed by NHL scouts touring BC in the mid 1940s he was picked up by the New York Rovers.

Seizing the opportunity to play in New York, Kwong registered 19 goals and 37 points in 47 games with the Rovers in 1946-47. In the process, he helped the team nicknamed the Red Shirts win its first Eastern Hockey League title since the pre-World War II era…

…Kwong had been dominating with the Rovers that season and was averaging well over a point per game. This had already made him a popular figure among New York’s Chinese community and his call-up to the NHL made headlines, particularly in Western Canada where he was already something of a folk hero…

…Kwong would play his only game for a Rangers team that barely qualified for the 1948 Stanley Cup playoffs against an even weaker team at the Montreal Forum… …Kwong’s moment on the ice was brief and fleeting — not much longer than one minute — but it was also historic and remains noteworthy 60 years later. [New York Rangers Website]

As much as I’ve never liked the Rangers (mostly since 1994), this story reminds me of Moonlight Graham. Larry Kwong opened the door for countless players of Asian decent (and of any other ethnic background, really) and is remembered to this day as a valuable member of the Rangers alumni.

“His career might have lasted for only a New York minute, but Larry Kwong’s role in hockey history will never be forgotten.”

Update August 2010: Larry Kwong was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame this summer. I just found a Globe & Mail article via Gung Haggis Fat Choy.

NOFX and No Use For A Name Play the Commodore

April 29th, 2008 @ 11:51pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Okay, seriously, how come no one told me about this show? It’s happening in just under two weeks and I just stumbled upon it while browsing upcoming events at the Commodore.

What: NOFX with No Use For A Name and American Steel
When: May 9, 2008
Where: Commodore Ballroom

Hm, perhaps no one knew I liked these bands? I suppose that’s a viable excuse, however I was a teenager growing up in Surrey, frequenting skate parks and going to shows at Seylynn Hall and the Langley Civic Centre before I was old enough to get into those fancy downtown concert at places like The Starfish Room. I’ve been to my fair share of punk shows although unfortunately I think the last one I attended of the sort was Me First and the Gimme Gimmes in 2004 at Richards on Richards.

Regardless of my history, varying musical tastes, and my weakness for anything involving Fat Mike, I’m truly bummed that I found out about this so late in the game as the concert is sold out. However… stay tuned for a related announcement.

Stanley Park Domain Name Battle

April 29th, 2008 @ 2:31pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We’ve all heard of people registering potentially popular domain names in the early ages of the internet, one in particular that comes to mind is Rogers Video, whose “dot com” was a place where you could see videos alright, but they were completely unrelated to the actual video rental chain… and not suitable for children. Then there’s Vancouver’s own Kevin Ham, who bought up domains that ended in “.cm” that would cover those inevitable typos.

However, when it comes to valuable cyber space real estate in Vancouver the Parks Board is not after someone who is using a domain for clicks and giggles, their target is as it is not currently in their possession:

Vancouver entrepreneur Gerry O’Neil owns something the Vancouver park board wants badly — the domain name

He bought it for a couple of hundred dollars in 1997, and two and a half years ago, the board sent him a letter asking him to turn it over. But he refused. [TheVancouverSun]

Photo credit: unwritten on Flickr

O’Neil (who also owns doesn’t seem to want to part with the domain any time soon, and who could blame him. I know I’ve scooped up some domains (albeit far less valuable) just for the sake of having them in case there was ever a need to build a site. What he has there is pretty much a gold mine in terms of tourism in this town and unfortunately it seems as though the Parks Board wants it so much, they’re willing to throw their weight around – according to the Vancouver Sun article:

Conflict over the domain name kicked into high gear in November 2005 when the park board sent O’Neil a letter asking him to relinquish control of The letter also noted his lease was up for renewal in 2008.

“This [domain-name issue] is consistent with our policy of registering all key domain names that specifically identify an important park site within the park board system,” the letter states.

“We are aware that your current licence agreement with the board expires on April 30, 2008, and that you will likely wish to negotiate a renewal term in the near future.” [TheVancouverSun]

What gets me is that I’ve done ten “WHOIS” lookups on popular and random park names in Vancouver and so far all I can see is that someone has grabbed That’s 1 out of 10, for those playing along at home, and 30% of them were not owned by anyone. Also, in the Sun article it states someone else owns, and to their knowledge the Parks Board is not currently pursuing the owner of that web space.

Still busted

Over the last few years I’ve had my problems with the Parks Board, from the lack of restoration in Stanley Park, to the preposterous idea of giant mechanized dinosaurs roaming the woods.

As a Vancouverite who enjoys all the Park has to offer and can see the benefit in horse-drawn tours (even over the exhaust-pumping trolleys) I sincerely hope they will renew this company’s lease. I can fully understand the appeal for the domain name, but I don’t blame O’Neil one bit for hanging on to it for dear life.

WordPress 2.5.1 Screencast Teaser for WordCamp Vancouver

April 29th, 2008 @ 12:07am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I just upgraded my WordPress to 2.5.1 and to celebrate as well as promote WordCamp Vancouver this week, I’ve recorded a quick little screencast.

This video has been edited for time on Flickr.
A full version it can be viewed on Viddler.

I just used my MacBook’s internal mic so I know some folks will be cringing at the audio quality (and the sound of my keyboard strokes) but hey, it’s more “organic” that way…. isn’t it?.

The super cool plugin in the video that John and I have been using for the last year or so is called “Flickr Photo Album“. This is the latest version and works beautifully with WP 2.5 and up. More to come at Wedneday’s WordCamp.

Vancouver Social Media Scene: WordCamp, DrupalCamp, NetSquared, Launch Party 4

April 28th, 2008 @ 1:40pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Hustling and bustling with all sorts of social media, web, and internetty activity Vancouver’s Social Media dance card is rather full for the month of May. Here’s what will be happening around town (and what will more than likely be live blogged).

What: WordPress Camp Vancouver
When: Wednesday April 30th, from 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: The Network Hub
More Info: Facebook Event, Official Blog – I’ll be speaking about adding photos to your blog posts ie. captions, CSS tricks, plugins, Flickr usage etc.

Photo credit: Boris Mann on Flickr

What: NetSquared, Remixing the Web for Social Change
When: Tuesday May 6th, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Where: Workspace
More Info: Meetup Event, Facebook Event

What: DrupalCamp Vancouver, Vancouver’s first ever Drupal Camp
When: Friday May 9th at 10:00am running until Saturday May 10th at 5:00pm
Where: Workspace
More Info: Website, Facebook Event

Two of Vancouver’s Tech Women to Watch in 2008 at LPV3 although who are THEY watching?
Photo credit: Ianiv and Arieanna on Flickr

What: Launch Party Vancouver 4 (LPV4) – follow up to the super fun LPV3
When: Wednesday May 21st from 5:30pm to 9:00pm
Where: Republic, 958 Granville Street
More Info: Website, Facebook Event.

Metro Vancouver Park Series: Grandview Park

April 28th, 2008 @ 10:31am (PT) by Guest Author

The Park Series is still going strong with this next listing submitted and written by Raul.

Grandview Park

View Larger Map

How to get there on transit: 1657 Charles Street (@ Commercial Drive). You can get to Grandview Park on the bus (20 Victoria or 20 Downtown) or taking the Skytrain to either Commercial Drive station or Broadway station (both stations are within a few steps from each other).

Size: 0.89 Hectares (it sounds tiny, but this park really gets totally crowded!). Source: Vancouver Park Board.

Features: Sitting in one of the most vibrant neighbourhoods in Vancouver. Grandview Park is one of the landmarks for anyone who walks around Commercial Drive. Equipped with playground, an amazing view of the city and close to just about every business you may need, Grandview Park offers you and your family numerous activities.

Photo credit: Raul on Flickr.

Grandview Park houses 3 tennis courts, and it is within walking distance from the Britannia Community Centre. It also features several family-oriented amenities, including a water/spray park and a field house, as well as playgrounds.

Photo credit: Raul on Flickr

History: “Originally the site of the Irish Fusiliers Drill Hall, it was purchased by the Department of Militia and Defense between 1911 and 1913. Following World War I the military’s needs changed and the site was abandoned. The area was leased to the City in 1929 and named for the Grandview neighbourhood. A memorial cairn was located on Grandview Park until its replacement by a new war memorial on November 11, 1959.” [Vancouver Parks Board website]

Notes: Grandview Park plays host to numerous events, including the Parade of Lost Souls, organized by the Public Dreams Society.

Photo credit: Raul on Flickr.

Grandview Park is particularly family-oriented, as can be seen in the photo above.

Read more from Raul on his blog, and if you have a park you’d like to write about in the Metro Vancouver area, feel free to contact

WPtouch Theme Preview, WordPress on the iPhone

April 28th, 2008 @ 12:18am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The good folks at Brave New Code, specifically Dale Mugford and Duane Storey (or “D Squared” as I have just this minute decided to call them) have been working on a theme for mobile viewing of your WordPress blog.

Here’s how it works:

  • Coming this Wednesday WPtouch will be released to the world
  • Head to BraveNewCode to download and install like you would any other WP plugin
  • In your dashboard, edit the plugin by going to Options > WPtouch
  • Select which pages you’d like to be added to your menu
  • Chose an icon for each page or upload your own
  • Grab an iPhone or iPod Touch and check out how hot your blog looks to mobile users
  • I’ve had a chance to poke around the beta version this evening, here’s a look at my site on the iPhone with WPtouch installed:

    photo.jpgWPtouch theme preview

    I have to say it’s pretty slick. Duane also got me to add a page called “Photos” which was then immediately populated with thumbnails of my recent Flickr photos. Keep an eye out for WPtouch this week and also check out Brave New Code cause these innovative guys are mighty good at what they do.

    Update: Brave New Code just launched! WPtouch is now available for your mobile WordPressing pleasure!

    What's Your Road Trip Soundtrack?

    April 27th, 2008 @ 9:24pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Old Road Trip PhotosNothing beats cruising the open road with the windows down, sun beaming in giving you a farmer tan on your driving arm, and the sound of rockin’ tunes to soundtrack your venture.

    I’ve been road tripping since I could drive; I’ve traveled the highways of our Provinces and the Pacific Coast countless times and on every occasion there has been music to inspire my mission to that holidayland destination.

  • My all-time best road trip album to listen to front to back: Fully Completely, The Tragically Hip
  • Band that reminds of me driving the Crownest through Manning Park: Hum
  • Tunes for driving anywhere in the sunshine: The (International) Noise Conspiracy
  • Album that reminds me of driving the #1 from Salmon Arm to Revelstoke: Anthems, Less Than Jake
  • Song that makes you feel like you’re actually driving in Rad Racer: Map of the Problematique, Muse
  • New additions to the playlist this year include Shiny Toy Guns and Against Me! both equally fun in their own right when twisting and turning through those mountain passes and sun-kissed valleys.

    Our mini vacations may come to an end but the next time I hear certain tunes it always reminds me of carefree afternoons on the road away from the daily grind and hopefully toward a beach with my man.