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Too Much Information Meme

June 4th, 2008 @ 3:17pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I admit I don’t get passed many blog-related memes much anymore but when I noticed an incoming link from Yatter Matters I had to check it out. When I saw that he referred to me as, “the best, most consistent social blogger I’ve met,” well that just sealed the deal.

Photo credit: Dan Lilly on Flickr

So here I bring you the Too Much Information Meme, things you may or may not already know about Miss604.

1. Who is your favorite musical artist?

I like all different kinds of music but since he’s currently on tour, is local, is my friend, and was one of my inspirations for blogging to begin with: Matthew Good.

2. Who is your favorite artist?

Van Gogh or Renoir. Although truth be told, we replaced the Starry Night print in our hallway with a Dave Olson original.

My mom like this one too
it reminds her of Jen and Me
Photo: AllPosters

3. Who is your favourite blogger?

Too many to choose from, I simply love reading my friend’s blogs on a daily basis everything else is a bonus.

4. If you could meet anyone (alive or dead), who would it be and what is the most interesting thing about them?

I’d hang out with my Opa in his carpentry shop and build a bookcase or something, cause the Cabbage Patch kids have all grown up and no longer need mini bunkbeds.

5. What did you want to be when you grew up?

My sister bet be $50 in 1984 that I wouldn’t grow up to be a doctor. I wanted to prove her wrong. Now I guess I owe her that money.

Dave's AWESOME Finished Piece
A Dave Olson Original

6. What is the most interesting piece of trivia you know?

I know lots of things so I share them on my blog daily, but I particularly enjoy history tidbits. Did you know False Creek actually used to be a creek? It was filled in by the railway companies to make room for their engine yards and terminals.

7. If you could live in any point in history when would it be and why?

1950s. I want to go to a sock hop, then go split a malt with Johnny. One glass two straws.

8. What is the most interesting job you have ever held?

Humble bloggers unite!
Photo credit: Raul on Flickr

The gig that took me to Boston being the production manager for the world’s largest webcaster of financial information. The financial information part wasn’t too interesting but it got me my start in professional geekdom.

Of course this wouldn’t be a meme without the inevitable “tagging” of others but I’ll leave it up to anyone who reads this to decide if they would like to continue… or I could just tag everyone on my blogroll, but I’m not that cruel.

Wednesday Morning Link Fest: Rooting Out Evil

June 4th, 2008 @ 8:06am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Welcome to Wednesday, the day before the day before Friday…. yes! Here’s what’s making headlines around Vancouver and the blogosphere:

– Today is National Clean Air Day. Here’s a list of what you can do to contribute and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.

– Meanwhile, GM is reconsidering the Hummer brand.

Photo credit: Kris Krug on Flickr – View his entire FU H2 set

– Come September, High Schools in BC will have a junk food ban in effect. I know in Junior High our cafeteria sold cookies for a quarter… I have no idea what else was on the menu. In Senior High everyone’s favourite was the fries n’ gravy for $1. Vending machines were located directly outside the gym so Powerade and Doritos were the popular post-practice snack.

– Since Jim Hughson has moved on from Sportsnet to CBC for hockey coverage, it was announced yesterday that radio play-by-play announcer John Shorthouse will be taking his place on the small screen.

Photo credit: Tripleman on Flickr

– The Device to Root our Evil is no longer located at the foot of Broughton Street in Harbour Green Park. “In one of the more notable, myopic and politically correct blunders in memory, the Park Board has managed to lose an internationally recognized piece of public art.” – [Vancouver Sun]. The sculpture of the upside-down church received many complaints for being blasphemous, “…An even smaller group of condo owners in Coal Harbour thought the six-metre sculpture blocked their view.” After one final blow, it has now been dismantled and will head over the Rockies to be displayed in Calgary.

– The Stanley Park Ecology Society is looking for EcoRangers to lead tours and assist visitors to the park this summer.

Finally, our friend DaveO was on The Lab with Leo and his episode recently aired. It features one of my personal favourite works of Dave’s, The Pig Express and takes a journey along his publishing past while giving some great shout outs to Surrey.

Dreaming of Blogathon 2008

June 3rd, 2008 @ 12:08pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last year I participated in Blogathon, which is an organized event for a charity of the author’s choice which involves said blog author to post every 30 minutes for 24 hours.

48 blog posts in 24 hours is quite the feat but with the encouragement of the entire Blogathon community, your readers, friends who bring you coffee, and a husband that wraps a blanket around you while you stare at your MacBook at 2am… it’s not half-bad. I even got some nice press. The big thing is that it’s all for a good cause. You get to put in the effort and produce bucket-loads of content for your readers in hopes they will pledge and donate to keep you going.

– Read my 2007 Blogathon posts
– Raul’s 2007 Blogathon Posts
– Alanah’s 2006 Blogathon Posts
– Barbara’s 2006 Blogathon Posts

Unfortunately while looking up information on Blogathon 2008 I discovered that the official website (and pledge tracking system) will not be in operation this year. I’ve decided to take it upon myself to initiate a Blogathon on my own. I don’t have a fancy site that can track donations with a fun little thermometer but I’m working on setting something up with a local non-profit.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

With that being said… would anyone be interested in joining me for such an event? Not literally joining me on my couch at 3:00am… and 3:30am.. and 4:00am, but putting in a similar effort on their site. The logistics need to be worked out, pledges need to be tracked, and you will have to blog for 24 hours straight at one point this summer. However, the warm fuzzies will abound and we’ll be able to use our blogging powers for good.

Last year my amazing readers raised over $400 for the Surrey Food Bank. I’m hoping to shatter that record this year… you know once I figure absolutely everything else out.

When would you like to see, read, or write a Blogathon this summer?

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Update: So I was thinking since it’s just pledges I need to handle, I could create like pledge AT Miss604.com, then once the Blogathon is over I’d follow up with folks and provide the link to the online donation page of the non-profit of my choice. However, I’m not sure how this would work for *everyone* as then we’d all have to manage our pledges this way/create an email account. Hmm…

Update: Some people have picked up the ball and are going ahead with Day of Blogs on what would have been the same day as Blogathon 2008, July 26th.

What's the Deal with Advertising These Days

June 3rd, 2008 @ 11:15am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Photo credit: 604Photos on Flickr

Real estate blogger Matthew Collinge first brought this ad (left) to my attention. He asked on his blog, “what is this picture selling?”

As Matthew points out in his post, the photo is an ad for a development in Surrey.

I’ve noticed this a lot around town lately. The seemingly totally unrelated advertisements that don’t even feature the product they’re selling. Must be a new trend.

Here’s an add for Aldo, the shoe store (right) that you can find on bus stops downtown. It seems they’re selling the fun and playful lifestyle more than shoes although if you didn’t know what an “Aldo” was it could even be for cosmetics, clothing, some type of pill that makes you dance and be happy or a condo in Yaletown.

On that note, back to the real estate…

There’s a development on Davie and Howe called “Alto“, which boasts roomy 10 foot ceilings and a comfy downtown location. On the main Davie street-facing sign there’s a photo of a dog chasing a ball. What that has to do with the condos is beyond me. Better yet, on their website they have a photo of some of the promo buttons.

Again, these don’t quite get me thinking real estate. I suppose the idea is to get your attention and make you visit the website.

I remember in high school for Student Council elections one candidate’s campaign included a huge hand-painted sign hanging over the main stairwell. In big bold letters it said SEX and below it in fine print it said, “now that I have your attention, vote so-and-so for Student Council.”

I admit that I love a clever ad campaign (diamond Shreddies anyone?) as just yesterday I Twittered about the E-trade baby and the clown version of that series of commercials. At least we know what he’s selling eh.

Am I requesting that all ads be literal? Not really, but however witty and clever I think sometimes the silliness just gets taken a little too far. Do people like not knowing what the product is about when they see an ad? Does a photo of a woman in a bathing suit floating in a pool of tranquil water make you want a buy a home? I guess so, I mean at least the bloggers are talking about it so if the goal was to create a buzz in that manner, it’s working.

Vancouver Restaurant Health Standards

June 3rd, 2008 @ 12:10am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

On Saturday night before taking in the Von Bondies show at Richards on Richards, we walked down into Yaletown for a quick pint. Milestones looked packed so we walked about 200 yards past it and stopped it at another restaurant.

As the waitress was pouring John’s Guinness into his glass I noticed something and couldn’t get out the words, “ugh lipstick marks!” until it was too late. His glass indeed had lip imprints caked on by the dishwasher (at least we hope).

Not exactly John's shade

Henry sent me a link through del.icio.us to this CBC story on Friday, “49 Metro Vancouver restaurants have violated health standards since January.” Sure enough, I checked the attached PDF and Saturday’s restaurant was on there for “Pest infestation, Failure to maintain premises, equipment and utensils in sanitary conditions.” I wish we would have seen this before the weekend but I’m also pretty glad all we did was have a pint.

The PDF contains 48 more establishments around Metro Vancouver that have failed to comply to health standards over the last few months. It also lists the dates that these places were closed and reopened although unfortunately I think Saturday’s restaurant hasn’t quite learned their lesson yet. I suggest you take a quick look before planning your next dine-out experience.

Local and Vancouver Pitch and Putt Golf Guide

June 2nd, 2008 @ 10:16am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

A while back our friend DaveO suggested a grand tour of local and city-run par three golf courses in and around Vancouver. Seeing as how I’ve only played courses in Surrey, and one pitch and putt in Vancouver, I figured this would be an excellent opportunity to play and tell as we go.

Here’s a quick list of some local Pitch and Putts, all of which are low-dough (under $12 to play 18 holes).

  • Queen Elizabeth Park Pitch and Putt
  • Rupert Park Pitch and Putt
  • Stanley Park Pitch and Putt
  • Also of note, there are also two city pitch and putts in Burnaby, located at Kensington and in Central Park and they’re both under $10 to play.

    Yesterday the Olson/Bollwitt teams headed to Ambleside to play what has to be the most scenic pitch and putt course around.

    Ambleside Par 3

    Ambleside Par 3

    Ambleside Par 3

    Ambleside Par 3

    Dave’s #1 golf rule: “Fuck scores, make golf”. Dave’s #2 golf rule: Wear your best Hunter S. Thompson outfit (John needs to work on that one).

    Sunshine, fresh air, a lovely walk, a friendly game, what could be better on a Sunday afternoon? Stay tuned for more recaps this summer.

    Metro Vancouver Park Series: Central Park

    June 2nd, 2008 @ 8:49am (PT) by Guest Author

    The ongoing parks series continues with another generous contribution from Raul who decided to take on Burnaby’s Central Park.

    View Larger Map

    Metrics Central Park’s size is 90 hectares.

    How to get there Easily accessibly by car going south-east on Kingsway, or by Skytrain at Patterson Station.

    Photo credit: Raul on Flickr

    Park Use Clearly marked trails make for nice long walks. Central Park also offers children playground and a great pitch-and-putt for those of you who love golf. If you are a nature lover, this urban forest will give you lots of trees to enjoy a relaxing afternoon.

    Photo credit: Raul on Flickr

    History “According to The Greater Vancouver Book (Editor in Chief: Chuck Davis)1, it was once a naval reserve set aside as a source of masts and spars for ships of the Royal Navy. The park was named to honour Mrs. David Oppenheimer, the wife of Vancouver’s second mayor, who was born in New York City.” [Central Park, Burnaby Wikipedia]

    Photo credit: Raul on Flickr

    Notes I normally would only swing by Central Park whenever I visit my Burnaby-based friends. I expected it to be incredibly busy. However, I found that it was really nice to just walk around with my friend and spend a leisurely evening without all the hordes of people that flock to Stanley Park or Queen Elizabeth Park.

    Summer Road Closures in Vancouver, June 2008

    May 31st, 2008 @ 4:19pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    If you’re a driver in downtown Vancouver the beginning of June might cause you a few headaches. Aside from the “usual” Canada Line or water main construction, June is “Bike Month” in the city and several events will be taking place that involve some major road closures.

    Triathlon Vancouver: The Triathlon events will cause a few disruptions along some major arteries from June 1st until the 9th. On Thursday June 5th things kick off with the Parade of Nations along Beach Avenue, starting at the Inukshuk at English Bay. Access to Stanley Park by vehicle will be either limited or completely cut off during the week as well. One Sunday June 8th Davie street will also be closed from Denman to Burrard.

    Photo credit: Stephen Rees on Flickr

    List of Road Closures Triathlon Site, City of Vancouver, PDF
    Triathlon Vancouver website (includes transit re-routing information)

    Car Free Day Vancouver: This year’s Car Free Day involves several communities across the city simultaneously: Cambie Street, Kitsilano, Main Street, Marpole, and the West End. As you can probably deduce, roads in those areas will be closed.

    Something that doesn’t involve road closures but still encourages alternate forms of transport is the Commuter Challenge: “The Commuter Challenge is a nation-wide event that promotes friendly competition among organizations and cities to see who can get the highest percentage of employees out of single occupancy vehicles and into healthier and cleaner modes of commuting such as walking, cycling, transit, carpooling, vanpooling and teleworking. This year the Commuter Challenge runs from June 2-June 6.” The Commuter Challenge is in honor of Canadian Environment Week, June 1-7, 2008 and Clean Air Day on June 4th.

    For anyone making the change from gas guzzler to pedal power, the City of Vancouver issued a handy Bike Route Map in 2007 that should prove to be pretty useful.