Palin on Foreign Policy and Tina Fey on SNL

October 4th, 2008 @ 7:49pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I was just talking to John about Halloween costume themes this and I have a hunch that “The Palin” might just be the frontrunner for women this year.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on SNL

Sarah Palin and Katie Couric

Gibson's Finest Iron Bar Competition at Players Chophouse

October 4th, 2008 @ 10:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Thanks to Kevin from FoodVancouver, I attended the Gibson’s Finest Iron Bar Competition at Players Chophouse yesterday afternoon.

Gibson's Finest

I admit, I’m not a big whisky drinker but I knew I couldn’t pass up this event (especially since I had such a good time at the Grey Goose Arbiter of Cool earlier this summer).

Canadian Whisky

After a quick education in Canadian whisky, the four mixologists / bartenders that were vying for the title and a spot at the Canadian championships took their places for the competition.

Sophie and "The Sophie"

Sophie Taverner of The Cascade Room


Frank Plater of the Fairmont Waterfront


Ryan Cheverie of Hamilton Street Grill

Judges with Justin

Justin Tisdall of Boneta

The judges were Raj Taneja of Urban Mixer (it was great to finally meet him in person), Jay Durant from Global TV, and Michael Schratter from 24 Hours.

Judges and Contestants

The idea was to do a sort of “Iron Chef” competition; there were three rounds with three different mystery ingredients which ended up being ginger (candied, fresh or ale), orange (fresh, marmalade, or juice) and lemon (fresh, soda, or juice).

Mystery Ingredient #2

Ryan and Sophie


Each contestant also had their own signature drink so we got to sample “The Justin”, “The Sophie”, “The Ryan”, and “The Frank”.

"THE" drinks

Justin ended up being the champion, receiving an oversized novelty cheque, a trip to Montreal for the Grey Cup and a spot at the national finals. His signature drink contained: 2oz Gibson’s Rye, 1/5th oz Amaretto, 2oz apple cider infused with orange dulce tea, and a chopped bird’s eye pepper.

Thanks to Gibson’s for the successful event and to Players for the delicious pairings. My photos are available in my Flickr set and Raj was also taking photos which will be up on his Flickr as well.

Handi Mobility Launches Next Bus for Translink

October 3rd, 2008 @ 12:52pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Local mobile technology company, Handi Mobility, just launched Translink‘s new “Next Bus” service for the iPhone.

“Every second person coming to TransLink’s mobile site uses the iPhone, so we had to create an amazing experience for these early adopters. Our goal is to make commuting even better – by providing complete schedule information, alerts, GMail-style favourites and transit maps.

The next release will provide additional features – we’re going to add the Buzzer, rider feedback and location-based functionality.” [From Igor at Handi Mobility]

I’ve known of Handi Mobility since DemoCamp in May of 2007 and since then have regularly used their MyBus Facebook application.

NextBus is a free download for the iPhone that will be available in the iTunes app store at the end of the month and you can also access features by going to m.translink.ca from your mobile device (that URL also appears when you use Translink’s text service).

TweetDeck is Your All-in-One Twitter Manager

October 3rd, 2008 @ 11:58am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

A few months ago I wrote a post about some useful Twitter apps. I still use Twitteriffic however when traveling to Blog World a few weeks ago Tris introduced me to TweetDeck. Ideal for following conversations and topics (perfect for a big conference like Blog World Expo) it’s a great all-in-one device.

Tweet Deck for Twitter

It’s a dock that you can customize with various panels; follow specific conversations with search, have all of your replies visible alongside direct messages, shorten URLs and add Twitpics on the fly and of course, update your status.

TweetDeck is a little overwhelming for regular use but it’s a great when you need to follow conversations and topics such as the debates in Canada or the US or if you have a business and you’d like to follow industry updates.

This Adobe Air desktop app is available for PC or Mac from TweetDeck.com.

When Bears Attack

October 2nd, 2008 @ 1:26pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Each year housing developments in the greater Vancouver region creep higher and higher up the side of the mountains, encroaching on wild animal habitats. Combine that with global warming and every other element under the sun and we have a clash.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

The 25-year old Australian was bitten in the leg by a black bear as people crowded around the animal to get pictures. The tourist was lucky, according to the Province newspaper, because his injury was minor. The bear wasn’t so lucky. It managed to escape, but was shot the next day when it came back into the village. [News1130]

Nature and climates are changing and I’m certainly not the person to offer any expertise as to what solutions, alternatives and options there way be. However, I know bears are being shot and killed because of their contact with humans, and people are getting hurt. In many instances, common sense comes into play; don’t feed the bears, don’t leave your garbage out overnight, and don’t approach bears for cutesy photo opportunities.

Granville Construction Jeopardizes VIFF

October 2nd, 2008 @ 12:33pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Ready to go - VIFF08Every year hundreds of thousands of locals and guests from around the world enjoy the Vancouver International Film Festival. I’ve had the pleasure of covering the events so far for my weekly E!Online column and am just beginning to comprehend the months of planning, scheduling, and hard work that goes into making this event take place each year.

Unfortunately the City of Vancouver’s utility construction on Granville Street, that was supposed to wrap up at the end of summer, is currently obstructing filmgoers and causing a major disturbance to this festival that will only last until October 10th.

The management of Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is doing everything in its power to avert a serious disruption of our event by construction work just now beginning outside the Empire Granville 7 Cinemas at 855 Granville Street. The noise generated from this work could well mean the cancellation of many of the 200 screenings remaining at this venue… .

..We have received sympathetic counsel from everyone we spoken to at City Hall and at B.C. Hydro, but nothing has so far averted this extremely serious blow to the Festival.

According to the City of Vancouver’s website, the utilities road work on Granville (from Cordova to Drake) should have been over with July 31, 2008 with a few exceptions surrounding the Canada Line.

City waterworks crews have begun a significant upgrade to the water supply system on Granville. Watermain construction is expected to be completed by Sept with the exception of water distribution pipes which will be installed after the Canada Line stations are completed.

The VIFF is important to a city in which the film industry is so vital. It’s not only a chance to celebrate those who create local productions, but also invite the world into our backyard that is often portrayed as some place else on screen.

It is understood that construction is also a crucial element to keeping this city functioning, however it is a shame that this project (that has long overrun its completion date) is standing in the way of the festival. Screenings have not yet been canceled yet the sound of jackhammers and asphalt sawing is affecting theatres 3, 4, 5, and 6 as well as outside communications (you’ll notice there are a few tents setup for ticket purchase and general information). Hopefully something can be worked out since rescheduling and shuffling the 200 screenings set to take place at this venue seems like an impossible, at best daunting, task.

Update 2:25pm From the VIFF: “Our director, Alan Franey, finally visited the site this morning, spoke to the supervisor who said it was a Hydro project and Alan connected him with a Hydro boss, who had the construction shut down until after the end of the Festival on October 10th.”

Warner Bros Holiday Release Preview

October 2nd, 2008 @ 12:00pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last night we headed to an event hosted by Warner Bros to celebrate their upcoming releases. With Christmas trees laced with DVDs it was pretty clear the objective was to give us all some stocking stuffer ideas, and I admit that it worked.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

The evening had a Dark Knight theme that saw several people dressed up as characters from the film, and I had the chance to pose in front of a green screen and get my photo taken with Batman himself.

Found in Zipcar

October 2nd, 2008 @ 9:45am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Ever since I used Zipcar’s service for National Digital Media Day I’ve been hooked. I still walk where I need to go, take the bus etc. but it’s great to have that option. Last Sunday we were supposed to head out to Surrey so that my family could celebrate John‘s birthday with him however, that morning while running, his calf muscle seized up and caused him excruciating pain for hours. We didn’t want to miss seeing my family but he knew he wasn’t going to be able to walk, bus, then Skytrain all the way out there. I hopped on Zipcar.com, booked a peppy little Nissan Versa, and we were off to Surrey for the afternoon.