Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wow - the Sun actually shined November 27, 2009

After rain on 22 of the last 26 days there was finally a good old west coast sunny and crisp day and you should know what means - a chance to get out and enjoy the scenery - since I had pre-scheduled to take my truck in for a long overdue oil and maintenance service check and also a 2PM meeting with my Y connections person it would either be on the bike or on foot and when the Big One asked me to drop off some product info for a possible new client in Yaletown I decided to a walk.

So after dropping off the truck at a nearby service center I walked down to the seawall - most of the times that I am through this area is on bike so walking it came me an opportunity to checkout more of the street art and definitely the scenic views that were in abundance today.

After I finished the walk it was on to Pacific Center for a bite to each and a little more Xmas shopping.

Except for gifts for myself I am pretty well finished for the others on my list.

It is also interesting to note how some of the large and in particular American owned chains are having there own Black Friday sales on this side of the border.

Then it was a little party at night.

Today the rain has returned and after finishing this post I will be putting up the lights and tree.

More of that in another post.



Thursday, November 26, 2009

Olympic Mitts at last November 26, 2009

As I mentioned I was finally able to get a pair of the Olympic red mittens today at the downtown Bay Store.

When the Bay won the rights to be the official clothing sponsor for the Games away from Roots there were lots of skeptics who didn't think they would be able to match the success of the Roots merchandise from the last couple of winter games.

Looks like the skeptics are wrong.

As part of its commitment to the Games the Bay made a $4 million pledge to help Canadian athletes come to the Games here in Vancouver by donating $4.00 per pair of gloves to the Games. Quick math will tell you that they would need to sell one million pairs to reach that commitment - to date they have sold about 600,00 and most of the Bay and Zellers stores can't keep the adult sizes in stock. Another shipment of one million pairs is on ordered and is starting to arrive. Judging by the panic buying today they better order several million more because the Christmas rush is just getting started.

The popularity of the mitts appears to be across the country as the Vancouver Bay store has been getting calls from other Bay stores to see if they have any to spare.

More later - heading out for a coffee or beer with a friend.



A new look on Granville Street November 26, 2009

I have commented on a couple of occasions about how long it has taken the city to get Granville Street back up and fully functioning after it's closure for the construction of the Canada Line.

Well things are finally starting to happen - the street lights are being installed and so are these new blue solar parking stations - instead of individual meters there will be two or three of these each block - you enter your license plate # and pay by cash, credit card etc and continue on your merry way.

According to the City the project is suppose to be finished this weekend but there are still a number of street corners that need rebuilding and require concrete to be poured and with all the wet weather I suspect that will delay the completion.

I finally did get a pair of the red hot Olympic mitts - was in the Bay today and they had just got a shipment and were selling like hotcakes - people had 4 - 6 pairs and a number of us commented to the lady trying to stock the shelves that she should just stand a entrance and ask each person how many they want and not bother with trying to stock them. Will post a picture later.


Good to see the Canucks get a win and even better that Alec Burrows finally got a goal - he has been playing well but without Daniel Sedin on the wing hasn't been nearly as prolific as last year and while he got an empty netter Kyle Wellwood - who is a streaky goal scorer - finally got his first of the season. The game was pay per view and the bars and restaurants on the Granville entertainment strip were packed watching that game or the Giants - Broncos game.



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What is this or more zany street art Nov 24, 2009

I know that is a little different title but as the images show if one was to see this for the first time they probably would think that Vancouver has gone completely nuts - well we haven't - it's more of the street art displays that are happening throughout the city.

I had first noticed this one the other day while out for a walk but didn't catch any pictures of it so with a bike ride scheduled for a dry morning I set out to get some images of it - but wait - after riding the short distant to the display by the Vancouver Aquatic Center I can't find my camera which I was sure that I had put into my jacket pocket so I retraced my steps back to the apartment and there it was exactly where I usually leave it when I am intending to shoot some photos.

So I head back down to the display but I can't get the camera to work - I had purposely changed the batteries that morning to ensure that I would be okay - can only assume that the ones I selected I must have forgotten to recharge but when all else fails pull out the trusty Blackberry and grabbed these images.

I then continued my ride through Stanley Park - exploring some of the inner trails and then returning home before a light rain started failing.

Then it was off to lunch and a gym workout but I also stopped at the cell shop in Pacific Center to see why my phone has no ring tone - I thought in the process of upgrading the data program that I might have done something stupid but the cell guys says the problem was at there end.

Struck out in trying to get a pair of the Olympic red gloves that are a runaway best seller - they are harder to get than a Toronto Maple Leafs win.

I then phoned my travel agent to book my next cruise - a 15 day repo from Boston to New Orleans in Oct 2010.

Finally I finished up a busy day with coffee with Jim and then a meeting with some of the other cyclists on the Vancouver Marathon escort team.

As I am typing this on Wednesday morning it is once again teaming down with rain - will it ever end.



Monday, November 23, 2009

A couple of old things return after a lengthy absence Nov 23, 2009

Reopening of the Robson square Ice Skating Rink.

Since 2000 the old ice skating rink beneath Robson Square has been idle but now thanks to the Olympics and GE - one of the corporate sponsors of the Games - it has been fixed up, expanded and re-opened to the public today - it is free to use and skate rentals are only $3.00.

There were a few people using it today but I expect it to get much busier as the winter season approaches - there is also a stage for entertainment - one of the events that will use this new Plaza is the Santa Claus Parade where Santa will make his appearance available to all those who want to give him a list of things to be put under the tree.

I am impressed with the job they have done in rehabbing this Vancouver attraction.

Hope you enjoy the photo essay of my time there.

Now I just have to decide whether to buy skates or just rent them.

I got my first pair when I was about 8 years old and Dad took me and my brother to Kerrisdale Arena for our first skate.

For a good number of years I was a regular at the Tuesday night teen and then adult skates and even dabbled in a little bit of pick up hockey.

Reinstalling of the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame plaques along the 800 and 900 block of Granville St.

For the past two or three years one of the main items along Granville Street - aka- Theater Row - aka Entertainment District - has been missing because of the Canada Line construction and the reconstruction of the entire length of Granville Street.

For years the 800 and 900 Block of Granville have been the focal point of our downtown entertainment district in various forms - from neon signs and Theaters to the current mix of restaurants, funky shopping stores, bars and lounges - the area is the home of the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and similar to the walk of stars in Hollywood those inducted here have had their named bronzed and put into the sidewalk.

They were all removed during construction and are slowly being re-installed as the project finally nears completions.

The ones shown here are for the most part some of the better known ones in the entertainment industry here in BC.



Rice Lake Loop Hike November 22, 2009

Headed out on Sunday to the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve in North Vancouver for a short hike around Rice Lake.

This is an area that was considered part of the watershed area for Greater Vancouver and was off limits to public use until the 80's when nature provided an opportunity to change the status of the area.

A series of rain and wind storms early in the 80's destroyed part of the intake pipes in the Rice Lake - Lynn Creek area which was use by North Vancouver for its water supply - after that damage North Vancouver decided to join the main GVRD water system and the lands status could then be change to recreational.

As a delegate to an outdoor recreation organization in the 80's I remember attending a couple of planning meetings on just how the area should be managed.

The area around Rice Lake was to become a high use recreation area while others part of adjacent Lynn Headwaters would be kept to more of a wilderness theme. A multi purpose trail circles the lake and a special area has been set aside for handicap use.

The Lower Seymour is called a reserve because technically it is not Park land but water district property and if another dam is ever needed for the region it would be located on the lower Seymour.

This is an education center and also use for group activities.

A short way up the trail is this display of an old logging flume which was popular in the old days.

Most of the Seymour Valley is 2ND growth timber although there are still some stands of old growth forest still left which are protected from logging.

After the hike it was off for lunch and some grocery shopping and then home.

Didn't miss much by not watching the football game as the Lions got creamed by Montreal and it was a frustrating hockey game - Canucks losing 1-0 in a game where they had many a chance to score but a hot goalie stymied them.

Today I am heading out with the camera to take a look a the re-opening of a favorite Vancouver winter attraction.

More on that later.