Tourist in Your Hometown

Comments 7 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Victoria Last year we were on hiatus (mostly due to my whole ‘getting married’ thing) but the family girls weekend is a go in a couple of weeks. For several years my mother, sister, aunt, niece and I have ferried over to Victoria for a 3-4 day weekend of Hotel pampering, spa sessions, shopping and touring about the city. It just so happens that our little trip coincides with the city’s annual “Be a Tourist in Your own Hometown” event. Basically, townies are invited to purchase a pass which includes anything from free admission to museums and attractions, free coffees or half price discounts for over 30 places around town.

It allows us to have a little getaway and see a lot more than we would normally because a) it saves a lot of money b) it gives you ideas about what exactly you can do in Victoria. I know we’re not from town but they usually give us a break at the Tourist Infocentre when we pop in every year.

Vancouver could really use something like this, sure we’re inundated with tourists daily but I’ve never been up Grouse Mountain and never gone up the Harbour Centre tower. Does this make me a bad local? I don’t really find a need to check out our tourist spots but I’d like to be able to play host when my in-law family comes to town. I’m sure they’d rather like to see the Vancouver John and I experience though, and not what’s plastered on the front of brochures and in promotional videos. For me, that view of Victoria works just fine when I experience it every 360 days, but I’m certain there’s much more to the city than an Undersea Garden and Miniature World.

A Poor Man's Food

Comments 9 by Rebecca Bollwitt

smoochiesI used to call it Valentimes when I was little, I’m sure most other kids did too, until they were 6.

John and I got married around this time last year (Feb. 25), so due to budget constraints this month we had to choose between a mid-week Hallmark celebration or a weekend-long 1st anniversary extravaganza. The latter won out.

There won’t be any flowers or heart-shaped boxes exchanged this Wednesday in our house. Aside from moving the lovey dovey day’s festivities to our anniversary weekend, it’s also the day before payday. We’ll probably hang out and watch the Canucks game and do a little making out.

We’re going to apply any romantic ideas that we come up with for Valentine’s, on the 25th instead. We’re thinking of a restaurant that we’ve never been to or doing something fancy and fun in this city, but I can’t for the life of me think of what that might be. Although passing by Science World on the Skytrain this weekend I saw the banners for the chocolate exhibit mmm I wonder if it’s edible [ScienceWorld].

Although some of those plans seem fine and dandy, realistically an ideal day with my husband would include a walk in the park, making some dinner together (after grocery shopping at the market), and getting some good ‘ol cranberry Slurpees, which would of course be spiked. I’m also pretty sure that if we could do all of the above naked, then it would be his ideal day.

The Paralancer

Comments 5 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Petting BenjiLast night I had 2 glasses of wine, a burger from Deighton’s Well (which was named after Jack Deighton, who was Gassy Jack, who is the namesake for Gastown…) topped off with a paralancer.

This morning I got up, did an adventure race, ate a bowl full of sashimi and drank 4 beers (really fast).

I’m not feeling the best today.

John‘s going to head to the Canucks game tonight and I think I’ll spend the evening try to detox.

Update: I just realized this is his first “guys night out” since we got married. I also just realized that the Canucks won every game he’s attended. Maybe I should send him out to games more often…

Spam Taunts

Comments 4 by Rebecca Bollwitt

When John set me up with WordPress he installed a helpful little plugin that sorts through comments and tosses aside anything deemed ‘spam‘. I can then browse through the comments later and dump them all in one click of a button. Sometimes the numbers are painfully high but the benefit is that, I don’t really have to filter anything myself, it’s all done for me. Occasionally I’ll pass through the spam just to check and see if anything of value was misplaced. Honestly, I get a kick lately out of some of the comments and what they say, here’s a sample of what I see as I scroll through:


  • No more spam, man!
  • Delete this spam!
  • I hate spammers!
  • Spammers suck a lot
  • You have so much spam in here

They just sit there, taunting me, (and cracking me up), until my all-powerful finger hits the appropriate key and ZAP! They’re all deleted. I’ve shared this with John every now and then and it seems as though I don’t have it too bad. These types of spam comments sure do beat the ones he gets about products to help improve his “performance”.

Being Social

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Yesterday John sent me this link to Boing Boing where they mentioned this YouTube video about Web 2.0.

In an effort to sort through what I personally know about being a part of this whole weebernet of information, I started browsing a couple topics. I found one site that pretty much sums up how I feel about a couple things, and the fact that he’s quoted an 80s movie not only makes me giggle but keeps my focus.

Scott Karp on “social”:

There is way too much hype, way too much ideology, way too much orthodoxy, and way too many hopes, dreams, and expectations packed into this poor overused word. There are many good intentions, and real revolutions, all enabled by technology. But the discussion of everything “social” in media is starting to feel, well…maybe The Breakfast Club, that fountain of mid-80s wisdom, said it best:

Claire: So academic clubs aren’t the same as other kinds of clubs.
John: Ah… but to dorks like him, they are. What do you guys do in your club?
Brian: Well, in physics we… we talk about physics, properties of physics.
John: So it’s sorta social, demented and sad, but social.
[Publishing 2.0]

The whole geek inheriting the earth thing rings true but you no longer have to be Poindexter to blog or participate in social networking (see my post about the lonely bloggers). But this isn’t just about blogging, that’s the just part of this whole thing that I’m most familiar with.

How does all this “social media” fit into the big business world or how does it apply in the 9-5 scheme of things? I’m not really the one to ask, but hopping on the “social media” bandwagon on a whim, putting Digg and links on your website and trying to sell SEO to clients without knowing what you’re getting into can have negative repercussions. Although hearts may be in the right places, it seems like some companies are that older guy at a party wearing obvious pop culture trends trying to be hip ‘yo but clearly out of place. So they need help, they need to ‘get with the times’ but perhaps they’re really not sure how.

Stowe Boyd on “social” PR (via Scott Karp)

School your clients to do the right thing, not just wrap themselves in a bunch of psychobabble about social interaction with their “communities” without actually adopting a new mindset.

Knowing what you’re getting into is key as well as understanding what you’ll get out of this, and how your clients will ultimately benefit. You can’t go out and put a googofluxcapometer in your car purely because that’s a term you heard people using around the water cooler. You actually need to know what these tools are, how you can effectively use them, and explain exactly what they are to your clients.

If you have no idea where to start (or have no idea what I’m talking about right now) you can do Google searches (e.g “blogging for __” or “how to __”), find a forum in which to discuss “social media” for newbies or if all else fails, browse the wikis back to front. We’re in a new phase of the “information super highway” both personally and in the business world. I’m no expert, but I am a part of it all.