Welcome to Winter in Iowa

Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

When John and I landed in Iowa I was surprised to see less snow on the ground than there was back in Vancouver. I’m so used to telling his relatives that we don’t get much snow back where we’re from in Canada, which usually results in incredulous looks, however this time around things are different. With the Lower Mainland being pelted with yet another layer of white powder, here in Iowa last night we had a mild ice storm.

Vancouver Snow – Photo credit: Keira on Flickr

It looked like it was raining outside, which to me (being a local West Coast gal) means that the snow is going to melt away and the streets will be covered in slush, boy was I wrong though. This certainly is a different climate than on the coast as when it’s -10C and the rain showers down in sheets in Iowa, it forms an instant layer of translucent and dangerously slick ice that coats every surface outdoors.

That's not shiny pavement, it's ice.
After the mild ice storm. That’s not shiny pavement, that’s pure ice.

We just took a walk down to the store and while it’s pretty much perfect road hockey conditions, I almost slipped and fell about 6 times. Coming back in the house I checked the temperature and it is -18C outside (with the wind). Rain in the winter is not to be taken lightly in these parts… and now I know.

The True Power of Social Media: eComm's Challenge

Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

The other day I was contacted by Lee, who is behind the eComm Conference in San Francisco., because he’s decided to start an initiative that will hopefully have a ripple effect, creating some truly positive change.

Let’s have a public test of the effectiveness of social media. Let’s do it with the aim of measuring the reach and usage of social media (and hopefully with some serendipity regarding the results). Let’s do it in a way that helps us understand the role and significance of social media on the emerging communications landscape. [eComm Blog]

How it will be done: Continue reading this post ⟩⟩

Taking in a Quad City Flames Game

Comments 7 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Yesterday after many more family good times, we piled into the car and drove over to the Quad Cities (which consist of Davenport, Rock Island, Moline, and Bettendorf) to catch my first-ever AHL game.


Driving through the countryside from Iowa to Illinois we followed a breathtaking sunset that made the entire sky glow from orange to pink. Farmers’ fields spanned for miles while barns the colour of the ripest apples were perched next to veranda-wrapped homes. I also got my first view of the mighty Mississippi River as we crossed over it to reach the arena.

The Quad City Flames (formerly the UHL’s Quad City Mallards) play out of the iWireless Centre in Moline, Illinois. Last night they played the Milwaukee Admirals who are affiliated with the Nashville Predators.

Me and "Firestorm"

No matter how much I cheered for the home team, that actually consisted of many good BC boys, I couldn’t bring myself to chant “Let’s go Flames”, being the true and loyal Canucks fan that I am.

For John‘s nephews, mom, and brother it was our way of exposing them to our favourite sport and in some way, a little piece of where we’re from. John really enjoyed teaching them all about the calls, the plays, and a little more about what he does as a part of that ‘day job’ of his.

QC Flames Bench

Home of John Deere

QC Flames vs Milwaukee Admirals

I enjoy a good hockey game on any level and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. The Flames had speed, a phenomenal goalie, and the boys were pretty happy to see a fight only few minutes into the game. In QC the fans were pretty die-hard and everyone deserved that OT win by the Flames. They had chants, slogans, horns, cowbells, and they pretty much had a “sea of red” with all those sporting jerseys in attendance although unfortunately I was also reminded of this article:

Abbotsford is actively pursuing an American Hockey League franchise, and is negotiating with the Calgary Flames and others to get a deal signed before the 2009-2010 season.

Local businessman Lane Sweeting confirmed in an exclusive interview with the Abbotsford News yesterday that the Quad City Flames, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, is just one of the teams being sought to fill the 7,000 entertainment and sports centre when it is completed in spring 2009. [Abbotsford News]

If more hockey came to our region we’d have the WHL Vancouver Giants, NHL Vancouver Canucks, WHL Chilliwack Bruins and AHL Flames — I must admit it felt pretty good to be so far away from home and still be among people who loved their home-town team and loved the game and I’m not even sure Canucks fans in Abbotsford would support the “Flames”… or would they?

[poll id=”23″]

QC Flames vs Milwaukee Admirals

You can follow QC Flames news through their Twitter account, which I discovered after they added us both after the game last night.

Update March 12, 2009: Calgary has signed a deal with Abbotsford and the QC Flames will be moving.

“The Calgary Flames farm team in Quad Cities, Illinois is set to flicker into oblivion at the end of the season. After months of speculation, the Flames released the Quad City ownership group Thursday from the remaining three years of their minor-league affiliate agreement with the NHL club.” [Calgary Herald]

CanadaHelps Contest Winners Announced

Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Earlier this week I launched my last contest of 2008/my first contest of 2009 where I encouraged all to share the name and cause of a charity they truly believe in. In exchange I am drawing two winners e-gift cards so they can each put $25 towards those charities through the CanadaHelps service.

I usually do draws either over video or by randomly picking a number (Twitter usually helps with this) so since I’m miles away from home I thought I would go the video route.

Congratulations to the winners: Colleen (supporting the CKNW Oprhan’s Fund and Rob (who suggested Science World)!

I’ll email you but if I don’t get the chance first, please send me your first and last name plus email address via my contact form and I’ll have your e-gift card send as soon as possible. Thank you to everyone who shared and participated.

Breakfast with Jeff Pulver in Vancouver January 2009

Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Breakfast with PulverIn June of 2008 I stopped by Subeez on Smithe to check out a breakfast event with Jeff Pulver. I didn’t know what to expect aside from a hot meal and “real time tagging” (in true social media meetup form) however I ended up walking away with a whole lot more.

“Jeff Pulver is the Chairman and Founder of pulver.com, and one of the true pioneers of the VoIP industry and a leader in the emerging TV on the Net industry. Leveraging well over a decade of hands-on experience in Internet/IP communications and innovation, Mr. Pulver is a globally renowned thought leader, author and entrepreneur… …Additionally, Mr. Pulver is the founder of FWD, the VON Coalition, PrimeTimeRewind.TV, Vivox and is the co-founder of VoIP provider, Vonage.” [Jeff Pulver – About]

Jeff Pulver is also one amazing person; after knowing me for mere minutes he seemed to understand what I was going through at the time and offered immediate encouragement, reassurance, and insights that pretty much blew me away. He contributed to the Vancouver Blogathon campaign and was also responsible for getting me on the bill at CES even though I’m unable to make it (since we’re in the middle of an Iowa visit).

I would encourage all those able to come and join us for Jeff’s next breakfast in Vancouver that will take place January 11th. Please RSVP on the Facebook event in case we need to make reservations or for people like Raul (who tipped me off about this event) who are not on Facebook, leave a comment and he’ll add you to the reservation number.

Also if you have a suggestion for a great breakfast spot for a big group of people, let us know.

If you are not in Vancouver you can meet up with Jeff in the following cities in early 2009: Jan 13 – Los Angeles, Jan 14 – San Francisco, Jan 21 – New York City, Jan 22 – Boston, Jan 28 – London, Feb 4 – Philadelphia, Feb 5 – Washington, D.C.