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Victoria Times – The Delta Ocean Pointe

March 5th, 2007 @ 8:15pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Every year we come to Victoria and every time we stay at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort. Originally we would get treatments at the spa, but it then just turned into our main hub for the weekend.

Location wise, you can walk across the Johnson Street bridge or take a water taxi and you’re in the heart of downtown.

Delta Ocean Pointe - Best Hotel in Victoria

It’s comparable with any other full service hotel you’ll find when it comes to price. It also has a pool, fitness room and restaurant/lounge. But where it really takes the cake, is the customer service. There’s all those little things you come to appreciate, especially how much a big ol’ resort like that caters to the young’uns. There was a wee-sized robe in the closet when we got into our room and every night at 8:00pm they have a story time for the kids, complete with milk and cookies. There’s also a free shuttle that will take you out on the town or bring you home safely. You can even knock on the door of your mom’s room then run down the hall with your 6 year old niece giggling… and no one will say a word.

It was nice to see familiar faces and to make it back for another girls weekend – we missed last year because I had that whole “getting married” thing. But I did take John to the OPR in November of 2005, and we had just as good a time. It’s always a pleasure.

Feeling Disconnected

March 5th, 2007 @ 7:16pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

What was old will be new I started my new job on Monday and it’s a complete 180 from anything I’ve ever done. I’m not at a computer all day, there is a LOT of paperwork and hardly anyone I work with probably knows what a) a blog is b) computers can be used for more than typing memos and keeping spreadsheets. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic company with really nice people, it’s just leaving me feeling really… disconnected.

I went into the IT room this afternoon and I felt like I was “with my people” for the first time all day. I’ve made such a transition lately on top of going away for the weekend and starting a new career – it’s all a little too much to take in right now.

Update: May 1st, 2007 I started an even better job where I’m at a computer 24/7 and work with like minded people who talk and think geek all the time, just like me!!

Back from Victoria

March 4th, 2007 @ 6:15pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Back from Victoria and now in North Vancouver watching the Canucks on PPV. I have TONS of pics for Flickr and a couple vids that maybe John will let me produce for RadioZoom. Much more later once I get everything downloaded & uploaded. For now… enjoy Darth Vader playing the violin.

Discollection Sale This Weekend

March 1st, 2007 @ 7:26pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Thanks to Northern Voice, we’ve been lurking on the back channel all week. Enjoying the conversation, getting tips, advice, sharing links and just sometimes forgetting we’re still logged in, oops. But thanks to this lovely portal into the world of a Vancouver social media chat, I learned about a sale this weekend at Discollection.

Come to Discollection this Saturday at 12pm and be ready to shop till you drop. We are offering four sizes of bags ranging in price from $20 – $175.. You get to fill the bag with as much stuff as you can squish in.. so be creative, get rolling, folding and practice packing, so on Saturday you can get the best bargain in town [discollection.ca]

Photo credit: KK+ on Flickr

Discollection is run by Kim (Kdon) – stylist and shop keeping woman extraodinaire. If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because with her help that Kris Krug (local photography guru) has put together some captivating and unique shots, as featured on Flickr. It was he who tipped us off about this not-to-be-missed sale this weekend.

Unfortunately, I’m leaving bright and early tomorrow for Victoria for a girls weekend with my mom, sister and niece. It’s a shame I’m missing out on the event, especially since I just started a new job and REALLY need some new clothes (I haven’t gone clothes shopping in years… yeah, no joke).

There’s no better time to ‘shop local’ so be sure to check it out. There are some great vintage items (including accessories, shoes, boots) and the fill-a-bag style of sale means you’ll leave with a huge haul of goods and your bank account won’t hurt. Discollection is located at 324 W. Hastings Vancouver, BC (across from Dressew) [GoogleMap].

The Crazy Canucks – Episode #23

March 1st, 2007 @ 6:46pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I’m back for an episode of win-streak snappage and trade deadline frenzies.

Dave was a healthy scratch for this episode, but the rest of us gather to take on the past three games against L.A.(W), Dallas(OTL), and St. Louis(L). Also, we dive into the excitement of the NHL trade deadline, look at what the Canucks got, and examine how other teams in the division made out.

Record as of this episode: 36-22-5
Northwest Division: 1st
Western Conference: 3rd

Ryan Smyth going to the Islanders took a bulk of that attention in terms of the trade deadline, but that doesn’t make us Oilers fans by any means. Also, Bertuzzi going to Detroit means that we still might see him back in Vancouver before the season is over. We also look into some listener feedback, especially about the topic of the Canucks playing a game next season in the U.K.(Note: NHL confirmed that the Kings and Ducks would be doing this next season as of today, not the Canucks as our European friends might have hoped.) Additionally, we were given a scoop to a rumor on the new uniforms for next season, fueling the fire for a potential change to the logo.

* Alanah on Kukla’s Korner: Ducks and Kings Heading to London
* Buzz Bishop’s Website – New Canucks Uniforms
* Our blog posts about the jersey rumor: J.J., Alanah, Rebecca, John

Run Time 61:44, visit website for Episode 23 show notes and links.

Transit Pass Tax Credit

February 28th, 2007 @ 11:40pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

post-003.jpgSince moving downtown I haven’t had much of a commute to work. Being that I’m starting a fancy new job tomorrow, I had to buy a monthly bus pass that will enable me to get to and from work. My future employer is across the bridge, I will need to hop on a bus. I can either walk to the far bus stop or get on a bus near my house and transfer to the other one. Whichever way I choose, I will be needing a pass.

On July 1, 2006, the Government of Canada began its program to offer individual Canadians a non-refundable tax credit to help cover the cost of monthly or longer duration public transit passes. Because it is a non-refundable tax credit, anyone who applies does not receive the money in the form of a refund. Instead, the amount claimed is multiplied by the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15.25% in 2006) and then is deducted from the amount of tax owed for that year [TransitPass.ca]

I purchased a monthly 1-Zone pass from my local fare dealer and recently learned about the tax credits I can receive on my 2007 taxes next year. My mother’s known about this since the system first started last summer, so she’ll be adding them to her 2006 taxes. Although it’s not technically a “rebate”, I suppose the credit does help, along with warm fuzzies you’ll feel by knowing you’ve made the clean, environmentally conscious choice of riding public transit.

If you’ve been purchasing monthly bus passes just make sure you keep a) the receipt and b) the pass to make sure you can get your tax credit – every bit helps.

Amazing Race 11 – Episode 2

February 28th, 2007 @ 6:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

During the pit stop Drew experienced altitude sickness, which would seem to impede him for the rest of the race. The teams take off 12 hours later in the order in which they checked in. Rob comments on how he wants people to be preoccupied with him and Amber, because they’ll just end up being distracted from the goal.

When the clue is ripped open it instructs teams to drive to the airport and catch a flight to Santiago, Chile. The drive TO the airport proves to be a rather tricky one, with uneven ground and giant mud puddles. Kentucky (Dave & Mary) even stop at one point to tow Charla & Mirna’s car out of the muck. Sheesh, aren’t they nice.

Once at the airport there are a couple flights to choose from. One will go through Guayaquil and Lima, Peru and arrive at 1:05am and the other will take a different connection to Lima, then arrive in Santiago at 2:30am. The ONLY teams on the 1:05 flight (and who even knew about it) are Rob & Amber, and Oswald & Danny. Unfortunately for them, their first connection is delayed so their big head start is nullified when they arrive at the second connection and even up with everyone else.

I just realized when they were getting on the plane that David is wearing a Cho brothers shirt. Too cute.

Once all the teams’ planes touch down they must take a taxi to the head office of a mining company, where they come across a Road Block. One member (who has great detail) must walk around a boardroom and spot letters placed on various items e.g. the tie of an executive, a note pad, a pen, etc. What teams didn’t know was that on the wall of the boardroom there were pictures of mines, with their names underneath. So instead of just making note of a the letters and unscrambling them, team members could actually observe the writing on the wall.

The first team to clue into this was the Beauty Queens. They passed all those that were there trying to decipher the letters long before them. Eric (frat boy) and Joyce took a very long time, while teams came, clued in and left ahead of them. Once again Mary helps out Charla and Mirna – telling them exactly what the word is and pointing at the photo on the wall. Kevin eavesdrops and follows. Eric saw the mine name on the wall and had ALL the letters except an “H”. He ruled it out because he couldn’t find an “H” around the table. I mean in that case, wouldn’t you just go for it anyway? About 6 teams passed him in the meantime.

They then had to hop on a plane and fly to the next destination, where the mine (with the name they deciphered) was located. At the airport, Eric skips ahead of the line when a new counter opens up. Rob vocalizes his discontent and Amber defends Eric saying, it’s just something Rob would do anyway, as well.

Once they land, teams drive to the mine where there was a DETOUR: By hand or by Machine.

By hand: align bolts on a gigantic 2 tonne mining truck tire and tighten them all up. By Machine: drive a front loader and dump rock/dirt up to a certain height. Both team members must take turns.

The only teams that did “by machine” were Joe & Bill and Rob & Amber – they were all done very quickly as “by hand” proved to be a lot more painstaking and tedious.

Once complete, teams had to drive to the pit stop. During a certain portion through a sensitive ecosystem, they could only drive max 40km/h but after that, they could go the regular speed limit. Teams raced on the road, got turned around and Drew & Kevin thought it was 40km/h EVERYWHERE. Kentucky got annoyed with their “friends” Charla & Mirna because they kept passing them on the road. Mary’s blood gets boiling.

Charla and Mirna pay a taxi driver to lead them where they need to go. The Beauty Queens pull up behind them and wanted info from the driver as well. Essentially, BQs were saying – why do you need to pay him all your money? Just have him draw us all a map. But Charla and Mirna were hellbent on sending the BQs away with no information and disgusted at the fact that they would want to share the driver THEY were giving ALL their money too. This is where is gets a little weird. The BQs give up and just take off meanwhile Charla and Mirna are freaking out at the cab driver saying “TAKE ALL MY MONEY!” and literally begging him to continue to help them. Seriously, it made me uncomfortable to watch this. They get in their car and rant about the nerve of the Beauty Queens. Uh huh… yeah….

At the mat in the Valley of the Dead, Chile, Rob & Amber cross first. Oswald & Danny come in 2nd with Joe and Bill following up in 3rd.

4th, Eric & Danielle, 5th Uchenna and Joyce, 6th the Beauty Queens and 7th, Terri and Ian.

8th, Charla and Mirna with Kentucky close behind. Mary is seriously pissed off, which is odd to see since she’s such a sweetheart. She holds her tongue and doesn’t say what’s pissing her off but later in the interview she says basically, no more being nice and helping people out.

The final team to arrive is Kevin & Drew, who get eliminated.

(Original Post by Rebecca Bollwitt on the Amazing Race 11 blog)

Is There Anything They Can't Do?

February 27th, 2007 @ 10:49pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I just stopped on a channel showing a movie that’s pretty dear to me: The Wedding Singer. It’s made to be 80s, it’s hokey and I used to watch it with my sister (over and over again) before she got married, cause it made us giggle. There’s a part where they briefly show a television and the Dunkin DonutsTime to Make the Donuts” commercial is on. This reminded me of something I heard this morning: Krispy Kreme is coming out with a new whole wheat donut.

The 100 percent whole wheat doughnut — with only 180 calories — has a caramel flavoring and is covered with the doughnut-maker’s original glaze [BusinessWeek]

This is fantastic because the “original glaze” is 200 calories, according to online nutritional info. Thank goodness we can save on 20 of ‘em with this new product. But really, if you’re watching your figure/weight, what are you doing in a doughnut shop in the first place?

If a nice scrumptious Tim Horton’s donut plain glazed is your poison, you’ll be ingesting 260 calories. For something less artery-clogging, try a maple, chocolate or honey dip – they are only 210 per serving [TimHorton's].

Photo credit: Audihertz on Flickr

A ginormous doughnutty event is happening right now in this fair country: Roll Up the Rim to Win at Tim Ho. Here in BC we get the shaft. Although you may spot a free cookie or coffee when you roll up your rim, chances are if you’re in Ontario you’re far more likely to win that iPod, TV or car. If you take a look at the official rules and regulations, you’ll find that our stores have only received 18,164 cases of 1,000 contest cups. Compare that to 152,402 in Ontario. Yeah, they like their Tim Ho back East. Home of the fabled… “Gretzky“…

Dunkin Donuts served its purpose for me in Boston. It supplied me with a morning bolt of caffeine and added a lovely sugary smell to subway stations, capping off the scent of oil, metal and urine. Double D’s also has the fewest calories in their original plain glazed donut, with only 180 [DunkinDonuts].

On the other end of the spectrum, the Tim Ho Walnut Crunch (360 calories), the DD Chocolate Iced Bismark (340), and the KK Cookies n’ Kreme (400), are the top artery-cloggers at each establishment. And don’t go thinking about Tim Bits or Munchkins as alternatives, they start at 60 calories each – and with a pack of 20 you’re not doing yourself any favours.

Regardless of the calories, fat, sodium, carbs etc. the main reason most people visit these establishments is the coffee. The sweet, sweet nectar of the Gods that keeps us coming back for more.

So whose coffee / baked goods do you prefer? (and don’t get me started on Starbucks and their oat bar downsizing ways).