Vancouver Giants Day and HockeyNW

May 30th, 2007 @ 3:36pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Dave – the Canucks Outsider – was able to attend the hoopla and joyous festivities over at City Hall yesterday where Sam Sullivan proclaimed Tuesday May 29th “Vancouver Giants Day”. He was sure to record audio for his podcast and with his citizen journalism super skills, interviewed Giants players and owners and ex-coaches.

Topics include Gordie Howe’s happiness and sadness, next year’s Giants captain, best way to develop young hockey players, future Mem Cups in Vancouver, Pat Quinn’s next job, Don Hay’s secrets to success and predictions on future success.[HockeyNW]

Visit Hockey Northwest to listen, for show notes and more of Dave’s hockey hijinks.

Top O the Muffin to Ya

May 30th, 2007 @ 9:43am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Aside from worrying about not being tan enough, or having the right summer outfit, there’s a new front for non-anorexic-sized women to battle this summer.


Photo credit: kk+ on Flickr

In the series Seinfeld, muffin tops were coveted items [wiki]. They were sold alone and not with the actual muffin itself because they’re the tastiest part. Tony linked to an article on the LAist yesterday about a different kind of muffin top:

I must ask you Los Angeles: how can we eliminate the social pressure to compress the entirety of one’s belly fat into a sausage-like ring around one’s waist? What sort of protest must we organize to free the spare tires and allow them to disperse in their appropriate locations (i.e. inside the pants)? Which government office should we alert to the rising of the muffin tops over the waistline? [LAist]

Before we hop on the jump to conclusions mat, what the author is really trying to say is that it’s a pet peeve, more than anything. Similar to bra straps showing and thongs visible from the top of the pants.

This is not about being overweight or having a BMI over 30 or society’s pressures to be thin or eating disorders. This is about what the hell were you thinking when you left the house in that outfit with your gut hanging over your belt like that and why did you think that was okay? [LAist]

It happens to everyone and it’s very hard to avoid. The simple solution is to buy clothes that actually fit your body. You can be larger, have an hourglass figure, be bodacious and voluptuous and still not look like the Michelin man. It’s about proportions, sizes, flattering shapes and textures. I am no spring chicken myself but I try my darndest not to cram alls I got into something 3 sizes too small or tiny just because it’s trendy. I’d rather look good and be comfortable than conform to what Robson tells me I should wear – for the sake of it being in fashion.

Oh and if you’re wondering, Tony put his money where his mouth is and posted a pic of his rubenesque muffin top of his blog today as well.

Streaming Presentation Apps for Mac

May 29th, 2007 @ 12:36pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I put the question out in the tech-o-sphere last week and haven’t been able to find any answers until today. Basically, we were looking for a desktop-sharing, online web conferencing application or service (e.g. Webex) that would work with a Mac. Everyone I asked seemed to think it was something that’s needed, and would be nice, but simply doesn’t exist.

I did a few more searches this morning and in the comments section of a blog I found Yugma.

yugma.jpgYugma is a free web collaboration service that enables people to instantly connect over the internet to communicate and share content and ideas using any application or software. Whether you using a Windows, Mac or Linux computer, you can connect on-demand and real-time with co-workers, clients, friends and family — regardless of whether they are across the city, nation or even the globe.

We had a few issues right off the bat, and the free version seems to meet all of our requirements but we’re still testing it out. A little pain in the butt was that when you invite someone to a chat and they log in/create a username that is not stored so they cannot start their own session after that using those credentials. They just have to initial their own session and sign up that way. The same user/email can be used but you have to input it twice [Yugma Features]

We’ll keep looking at it today but for more information on conferencing apps, check out Troy Angrignon’s summary blog post (thanks for the tip, Boris!)

What Troy says about Yugma: “What about some of the new, lightweight conferencing applications? Yugma crashed when I tried it too.”

Summer Playlists and Todbits.tv

May 29th, 2007 @ 12:05am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I admit, I’m bad with playlists. John has running playlists (up tempo and low impact), songs for happy times, and rainy days. I basically abuse my “On-The-Go” which turns into “On-The-Go2″ to “On-The-Go6″ whenever I plug my ipod into my computer for juice (pause for shudders here).

I try to make and maintain playlists, really I do but I just don’t keep them up to date. Currently I have “summer”, “november”, “‘mallow” and “winturr”. Yes, original I know but seriously I’m still listening to songs I was hooked on about 18 months ago. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with re-visiting favourite beach tunes such as The (International) Noise Conspiracy, The Black Keys, Aberdeen City, Mates of State, and The Dandy Warhols (who are @ the Commodore this weekend), but it’s time I broadened my horizons.

To get a taste of what we’re into or going to be into, check out the RadioZoom podcast – other than that… I have a few favourite artists [Matt][Holly] with albums dropping this summer and am always on the look out for some killer new tunes. Great sources are Promonet, podsafe music network and well, John.

Speaking of podcasting and media, local CBC insider, radio and podcasting guru Tod Maffin is launching Todbits.tv this week.

Well, it’s been a long time in the making, but I’m finally pleased to announce that I’ve inked a deal with Alliance Atlantis to do a six-month season of Todbits on video! The show, called Todbits.tv, will include my visits to some tech companies around Canada, showing off the latest cool gadgets, and 45 minutes of your tech questions, answered live (with you on video, if you have a web cam too).


Music in the promo video is by Derek Miller

We’ll have a bit more to say on the topic when the next episode of RadioZoom is released but in the meantime, but first Todbits.tv goes to air Friday night at 10ET/7PT.

Hockey Happiness

May 27th, 2007 @ 10:02pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Vancouver Giants won the Memorial Cup [wiki] this afternoon – it’s fantastic to have a championship hockey team in this city, not to belittle the efforts of the other(s) but man, does this ever feel great. Congratulations guys!

For the first time in franchise history, the Vancouver Giants can be claimed as the top team in Canadian junior hockey. Sunday afternoon, the Giants defeated the Medicine Hat Tigers 3-1 to capture the 89th annual MasterCard Memorial Cup Tournament. [Vancouver Giants]

And for all of those still following the quest for the Stanley Cup, the Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Ducks face off tomorrow at 8:00pm ET

Canadian teams have reached the last three Stanley Cup Finals, but that hockey-loving nation is still looking for its first championship since the Montreal Canadiens won it all in 1993.[NHL.com]

Blogging to a Job

May 27th, 2007 @ 12:03pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

“On-line journals have become hot tool for those looking to land a position or ferret out new opportunities” – Mary Gooderham [Globe & Mail]

I was sitting at work the other day and someone handed me the Careers page of the Globe and Mail – not being immediately insulted I noticed the headline he was pointing to at the top of the page “Blogging to a Job”. I scoured the urls noted to see if it was anyone I knew or anyone from the local community and continued to read….

As a high-tech marketing executive, Darryl Praill learned the value of blogs for establishing a Web presence and branding companies and their products. So, when he lost his job last year, he turned the value of blog branding on himself [Globe & Mail]

It’s an interesting story but peppered throughout they offer advice and suggestions for those who blog, why to blog and what you should be blogging about. I agree that when I was first on the job hunt all of my blogger friends suggested right away “you should blog that you’re looking for work”. Some of the quotes and advice listed in the Globe article however, are a little less helpful.

  • “A blog is a wonderful investment in your career,” says Mr. Praill, who lost his earlier job because of a merger. “If you truly believe you are qualified for a job, it pays to convey your abilities and your opinions online so you stand out.”
  • For sure, it’s first and foremost about self-promotion. But some really don’t want their blog to have anything to do with their “real” life let alone their professional life. It took me almost 3 years to open up in this regard – and about 2 hours until I had my life posted up on Facebook as well. But once I opened up and even posted my URL on my resume, the offers came pouring in (by pouring I mean I got 2 offers right off the bat). I gather the theme of this article is when you do open up and put yourself out there on your blog, beware.


    Photo credit: duane storey on Flickr
  • “As a job-seeker, one of the key things you want is to have stickiness,” Mr. Murray says. “You want people to remember you.”
  • Definitely.

  • “the secret to leveraging your blog for job-hunting purposes is to blog on the area you want to become designated as the expert in, and then get people to connect to and read your blog.”
  • Helpful.

  • “Most people can’t write resumes; how are they going to write a blog?”
  • Writing a resume is far different from writing a blog. I know of people who use basic, bland, MS Word template resumes but have the most exciting and interesting blogs. There is the separation of personal and professional and if you do want to mix the two and promote your professional side on your blog then there are always interesting ways to go about it.

  • “If you’re looking for a job and your blog’s full of typos, it doesn’t look good.”
  • Well yes, but that’s what Firefox spell checker is for, eh?

    Toward the end of the article there is a laundry list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts” if you want to blog for or about, getting a job. Again, it all depends on your personality and the career you are building. The “Do’s” are handy tips, making your blog searchable, linking to others, being active on your site, write regularly etc. Those are all pretty basic rules of thumb for any blog. When I originally sent the Globe & Mail link with some friends and got some instant comments, with which I couldn’t agree more, but I believe it was some of the “Don’ts” that just rubbed some people the wrong way.

  • DON’T: Link to any questionable Web sites or blogs of a religious, political or sexual nature, which could label you an extremist or offend readers.
  • Hmm so basically your blog must be dry :-P Well…not really, I can understand what they’re trying to say about being professional but do you want to work for an employer that would censor you or judge you based on a blog you linked to?

    And although they encourage you to be searchable and hip to the current ways of your industry they also advise…

  • DON’T: Resort to folksy or cute writing. Using annoying acronyms or buzzwords, can be a turn-off. But do make sure your blog reflects you.
  • Eep! I write how I speak, most of the time, and I think there’s something to be said about being real on your blog. Some of the most popular blogs (that make money) are real people, with real quirks.

    The reason why this article hits close to home is because my current employer hired me, more or less, based on my blog and podcasts. I’m not sure if my Surrey posts affected their judgment or dissing Dan Cloutier on the Canucks podcast had a hand in it, regardless I’m pretty sure they knew exactly what they were getting.

    Vancouver Summer Events Guide Pt. 1

    May 26th, 2007 @ 5:23pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Last summer we spent most of our time going for walks, down at the pool, and trudging through Stanley Park to get to our beloved Third Beach. Aside from the cheap, free, and simple activities that you can do outdoors in the City here are a few more organized affairs to mark on your calendar.


    Photo credit: freedryk on Flickr

    Bard on the Beach

    A beautiful natural setting, Vanier Park, is once again home to 4 Shakespearian masterpieces with the return of Bard on the Beach this summer.

  • THE TAMING OF THE SHREW: May 31 to September 23, 2007
  • ROMEO AND JULIET: June 13 to September 22, 2007
  • JULIUS CAESAR: June 28 to September 21, 2007
  • TIMON OF ATHENS: July 11 to September 20, 2007
  • Dragon Boat Festival

  • June 16 & 17 at the Plaza of Nations
  • “Dragon Boat racing has its roots in ancient myths and legends. It began more than 2,000 years ago in the valleys of southern China as a fertility rite to ensure bountiful crops.”

    dragonboats.jpg
    Photo credit: sillygwailo on Flickr

    Aside from the competition, on dry land there will be cuisine from Italy to Japan, demos at a Cooking Stage, samples, teas and music. [Alcan Dragon Boat Festival]

    Vancouver International Jazz Festival

  • June 23 to July 1 – all over Vancouver
  • Big and small names from all over the globe head into Vancouver for this event which takes place at 40 venues across town. This year, there will also be a free “New Orleans-style street festival is held in historic Gastown and at the Roundhouse Community Centre.” [presented by Coastal Jazz]


    Photo credit: dbarefoot on Flickr

    Scotiabank Marathon & 5km

  • June 24 – Stanley Park
  • It being prime running season in Vancouver, the 8th annual Scotiabank half-marathon and 5km comes to town for “Canada’s easiest scenic Half-Marathon—running past beaches, mountains in the background and finishing in Stanley Park—a net drop of 250 feet.” [Canada Running Series]

    More event updates to come, especially the best kind of all – post-event recaps, meaning I actually get out and about.

    1st Sunburn of the Season and Floorball Action

    May 25th, 2007 @ 10:46pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    DemoCamp VancouverIt being Friday, and a sunny Friday at that, we decided to have lunch on a patio this afternoon. So the work boys and I headed to Chill Winston. The benefits of Chill Winston are that it is extremely close to the office and it has a massive patio, the drawbacks being… exceptionally slow service. I got my first sunburn of the season on my right forearm but I’m hardly complaining – summer is here.

    We just had a great evening, hanging out with the likes of Duane and DaveO – having drinks, talking life and tech. A big shout out to Floorball tomorrow, as I’ve heard SO much about it from Dave and especially Right Antler.

    floorball.jpgTomorrow at Mulgrave School in West Vancouver [Google Maps] there will be a floorball tournament – what is floorball you ask? Well…. “Floorball is an exciting, fast-paced hockey evolution focused on highly skilled play. The sport is played on an oval-shaped rink with five players and a goalie on at a time. Floorball is one of the fastest growing sports in the world today because it is low-cost, safe and extremely exciting to play and watch [Floorball.com]”.

    Basically, 3 x 20 minute periods, players in t-shirts, plastic sticks, whiffle ball, but so much more than your PE floor hockey. Tomorrow morning the first annual BCFF international floorball challenge begins. If you’re needing some local hockey action, especially since the Memorial Cup takes a day off tomorrow, head over to West Van to check it out for yourself – read the poster for more details.