Playland Throwback

Comments 4 by Rebecca Bollwitt

I was checking out Beyond Robson the other morning, and for some strange reason I decided to look at the rest of the site and not just Morning Brew. I came across a post about the best not-so-secret locations in the city to get cheeky with your sweetheart, in this edition they tackled Playland.

The Scrambler, The Enterprise, and The Wild Mouse are great choices, but there are many other options!… …While you’re on the rides (though you may not be able to kiss) you’ve always got your hands free! And after you get off, you can find a quiet spot behind the food and games stalls to get a little closer. [BeyondRobson]

Those are all great choices except the last suggestion because everyone knows that every hidden corner, flower box and bench at Playland reeks of vomit.

The note about the Wild Mouse got me thinking about how Playland used to be. We went last year for the first time in a while and it was quite different. So here are a couple things I miss about the Playland and the PNE.

  • The lumberjack competitions – nothing says outdoor summer fun like log rolling.
  • The HUGE relief map of BC – this was in the BC building which I think is now a mini-lake in the middle of the grounds. That building has awesome little stalls where a nerdy kid like me could get buttons, stickers, visit the stamp collectors’ tables, learn about BC, and watch mini boats race around mini pools.
  • The Big Gulp – this roller coaster was awesome, my brother and sister always went on it and I was always too short so I think I only got one season with it before it disappeared.
  • The buttons – I have PNE buttons dating back to 1980, they just don’t seem to hand them out anymore so my collection is incomplete, stopping at around 1998. “Come Fun With Us!” Ya know… I never really got that saying.
  • Day at the PNE So there are a few things I miss about Playland and the PNE, some things I could do without are all the video games and that march of overly happy tweens dancing around to a 1 minute song on loop that they call a parade.

    However, the kids still have fun, and I suppose that’s the purpose eh? My sister told me that the other day my nephew loved some of the rides so much, he just wouldn’t get off when they stopped. Luckily it was a slow evening so they allowed him to keep riding the boats and little cars to his heart’s content.

    We’ll see if Playland can do it for me this year, its saving grace being the old wooden roller coaster, the Enterprise, a couple of the new ‘flip you upside down and give you whiplash’ rides, and the pig races – hehe pig races!

    WTS – What The Surrey #7 – Anti-Car Theft Capital

    Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Local news was all over the story when Surrey was announced as the “Car Theft Capital of North America” a few years back. If anything bad happens in Surrey you know it’s going to make the cover of The Province. It’s really lovely to get the attention and although it’s negative 90% of the time, Surreyites have come to expect this from those who just don’t know any better about the City of Parks (and Canada’s 2008 Cultural Capital City).

    The good news here is that the GVRD’s little scapegoat has managed to shake its bad wrap when it comes to auto-crime.


    Photo credit: News 1130

    Auto theft has dropped by 35 per cent across the province and 43 per cent across Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley…

    …Surrey, which police five years ago dubbed the “auto theft capital of North America,” has had the biggest drop. At the peak in 2003, 5,500 vehicles were stolen there. Last year, that number dropped 47 per cent to 2,900. [The Province]

    To top it off, it’s becoming a shining example for the rest of North America, with accolades galore.

    The International Association of Chiefs of Police has honoured [Surrey’s] auto and property crime target teams with its 2007 Vehicle Theft Award of Merit for outstanding success during 2006…

    …Created in 2004, the teams cut auto theft by 31 per cent that year and saw significant reductions in burglaries, too. In 2006, the year for which they received the award, auto theft in Surrey was down 22 per cent compared to 2005 and the strong downward trend continues this year. [The Now]

    The IACP is the world’s oldest and largest non-profit membership organization of police executives, with more than 20,000 members from 89 countries [The Leader]

    All communities in the Lower Mainland reduced their car theft rates, and in BC those numbers have been reduced from 26,000 a year to 17,000 – thanks to the Bait Car program. Of course there are larger issues in Surrey, but they are rarely reported on since I suppose they lack the glitz and glamour of a good old fashioned car chase.

    Overall, the drop in auto-crime is good news if you own a car, except if it’s a Nissan and you live in Vancouver, Burnaby or Richmond [CBC].

    Transforming Missing Cat Footballers

    Comments 3 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    What a weekend! John and I have been so busy but everything seems to involve down time in the sun so we’re not complaining one bit. With a few words and pictures I’ll now walk you through our weekend, starting with Thursday and ending as I’m cooking some salmon and asparagus as we ‘speak’.

    I’ve already blogged about the beach times on Thursday night but I’ll go back that far in case any Matthew Good fans are not aware, pre-sale tickets for his upcoming solo/acoustic tour shows across Canada went on sale that morning.


    Video thumbnail. Click to play
    Click To Play Suburbia captured by Jennie Roth @ Vegas/Bday show

    Friday at 10am the general sale opened up for concerts ranging from Victoria, BC to Thunder Bay, ON all happening throughout September. Check out the ‘Shows‘ page for more info and to purchase your tickets.

    Up to the Minute Piper Status Friday night John worked late so we went out for a small bite to eat when he got home. On our return trip from the restaurant I came across a sign I’ve been seeing a lot of in the West End about a missing cat. Several weeks ago the first signs started appearing, taped to telephone poles announcing that a grey cat, Piper, had gone missing. A few weeks later there were new signs with new photos and a ‘we’re still looking for Piper’ message. In the last few days, the Piper posters have changed yet again to ‘we’re not giving up on Piper’. So folks, if you live downtown and have seen Piper, please give this person a call (/end PSA)

    Yesterday we met up with a group of people, thanks to Duane‘s facebook group call out, and attended Transformers. It was an enjoyable film, I wasn’t upset or annoyed, and left with a smile on my face. As Travis Smith pointed out there were some *serious* plot holes and flaws but all in all, I had a good time.

    Following that, we headed out to Burnaby to catch some FIFA U-20 World Cup action. We took in the Scotland/Costa Rica game and within the span of 45 minutes saw a goal scored by bicycle kick, a fight, and a streaker.


    Photo credit: audihertz on Flickr

    Today we headed out to Surrey and boy do I ever miss having a back yard. Catch, frisbee, and sprinkler fun followed by eating a popcicle on the lawn. Good times & Happy Belated Birthday Cam!

    Not entirely looking forward to heading back to work tomorrow but what can you do. Another week and another grind, followed by another well-deserved weekend.

    New Friends and Beach Times

    Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    When I look back to a year ago I think of everything that has happened and how far John and I have come. Last year was monumental in terms of us getting married and spending the following twelve months on an incredibly tough roller coaster. 2006 was certainly a challenge, emotionally and physically but we’ve been able to grow so much from that experience – of course I say that now

    Thanks to an event last August, I have met some amazing people and had the pleasure of getting more acquainted with them over the last couple of months. One of which is Keira, whom I’ve been able to hang out with a bit more recently – I am very thankful to have a new female friend in town.


    Photo Credit: John on Flickr

    Tonight Keira, John and I decided to drop by Duane’s to hang out a bit since he’s been sick and we haven’t seen him for the last couple days. After some food we picked up ‘the boys’ and headed out to Spanish Banks, as ‘the boys’ need a good dog-friendly off-leash park to play in. I haven’t been over to that side of town in over a year as John and I usually walk to our favourite beach. Planning entire day trips across town and looking up bus routes takes a little more time to put together.

    Sunset Keira & Casey
    Sunset Keira & Casey

    We had fun along at the beach, wading in the crashing waves of the incoming tide and throwing little sticks for Casey and Benji to chase after. Casey being the stick-master and Benji being the ‘guard dog on duty’ barking and confronting any other animal (usually 3 times his size) that would come near our little group.

    Good food with friends followed by beach times and a sunset is a fantastic way to spend an evening, this is something I could really get used to.

    How to Live Blog

    Comments 9 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    This should really be called, Liveblogging: Explained or how Miss604 does it – cause I’m sure there are numerous methods, but although I am no expert or professional, over the last year I’ve done a handful of live blogs at events and conferences. One question that always comes up is “how does it work?” so I suppose I’ll take a minute here to explain just how a live blog works.

    Basically a live blog is someone posting content in real time on their blog. No you cannot see the text appear before your eyes as they’re typing, but if the reader refreshes periodically, more text will appear. This happens by the author creating a post, hitting publish, and then going back into the same post and editing/saving sporadically throughout the duration of the event.

    Authors: Advertise days in advance so readers know to tune in.
    Readers: Show up, refresh x repeat.
    Authors: Publish Once + Edit/Save as necessary.

    The first live blog I ever followed was probably Alanah’s, when she ran Vancouver Canucks Op Ed (predecessor to Canucks and Beyond). Alanah would live blog Canucks games, making time stamps based on the time left in the period or separating sections of the post by period. She would comment on the game, give stats, and provide a forum for other watchers, fans and readers to comment and discuss what was going on at ice level. Live blogging is just that much more fun when you know you have an audience and you leave comments wide open, getting a dialog going is a fantastic way to communicate your experience to the readers.

    My first live blog was last August at Matthew Good‘s apartment when he had an intimate invite-only mini-concert for fans before leaving on a trip [Miss604]. I applied the same concept, I kept one browser window open displaying my site, opened up the comments and kept another browser open with my editor so I could type and publish on the fly. I used actual timestamps to make my place and shared quotes, jokes, the playlist and various other tidbits with the readers. I was also able to connect my camera to my laptop and have John take photos. I would then upload them to Flickr and include them in my post. Readers would then be able to see exactly why I was talking about, while it was happening. At that time Matt also asked me to read out some questions directed at him in the comments, and I would type out the answers for his fans.

    Live Blog Begins

    Since then, I’ve blogged events while attending, such as Barcamp (which was actually the same weekend as the living room show) and Northern Voice. Those were not truly live blogs but more like… 15 minutes after the fact, recaps. The next true live blog was SuperHappyDevHouse, followed by DemoCamp01. I have also previously published a post entitled “Liveblogging, Is It Worth it?” in response to something I read on Seth Godin’s blog.

    It’s definitely difficult to relay information on the go, it’s basically rapid-fire note taking. I find that I type a lot of inside jokes when I’m liveblogging, things that could either be better explained with a post-mortem or left out entirely in a recap. What I find most valuable about liveblogging is the instant feedback and interaction with readers – Miss604

    Most recently, this past weekend I found myself almost a year later, live blogging another private show of Matt Good’s. This time it was in Las Vegas [Miss604], and I had some more help with the photos [Flickr].

    “i got to meet miss604 who liveblogged the event perfectly and gracefully and far better than i imagined. she took pictures and was later relived from that duty by the totally capable duane storey who had a sweet camera and was uploading them to flickr within minutes of taking the pics.” [Tony Pierce]

    The best part is being able to provide some kind of portal for those who cannot attend these events. Even when I do not get any comments or interaction, I still get to archive a blog post about something I experienced. If I get to share that with thousands people live, or five several months later, it makes it all worthwhile.

    Photo of the Day – Vans Warped Tour

    Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I’m not really going to start doing a photo of the day, although I think Duane should with all the super shots he’s been taking lately (portraits, scenery, Vancouver captures and HDRs). I just needed to share this photo that Dan took at Warped Tour yesterday.


    Photo credit: zonaboy on Flickr – “I wonder if Rebecca Bollwitt knows this dude”

    I haven’t actually been to a Warped Tour in years but John got to go, albeit as a working boy for CFOX on location. Seems like there was a lot of fun in the sun, mohawks and screaming people wearing black. Man… am I getting old or what?