The Doodle Pad

Happy Anniversary Granville Island Brewery

Granville Island BreweryGranville Island Brewery (GIB) is one of the first things you see entering Granville Island and the first microbrewery in Canada. Last Wednesday was "twitter follower appreciation night" at GIB and I was there!

The night was a lot of fun but the real highlight was, no surprise, the beer. This is GIB's 25th year of brewing, and they've marked the occasion by creating a new beer: Brockton IPA — It's delicious!

Brewmaster Vern Lambourne has created a wonderful beer. If you like mild beers this isn't for you. Brockton IPA has an attitude and I like it, especially the little aftertaste tingle.

And to top the evening off, I won a door prize!

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View from a Bridge: Golden Ears Bridge Opening

Today a couple of friends and I checked out the Golden Ears Bridge event. Given most of the bridges in Vancouver have interesting views I wanted to check out the lower mainland's latest infrastructure addition. And the thought of being able to do it without cars zooming by had an appeal.

Golden Ears Bridge Span

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Sins of the City - 2009

Jail time for DaleLast night I was a very pleased guest at the "Sins of the City" Tweetup at the Vancouver Police Museum. Don't know what "tweetup" means? Don't worry, it's not important. What is important is sex, drugs, illegal weapons, and the stories that surround them!

"Sins of the City" is a historical walking tour run by the Vancouver Police Museum. Some 30 of us were guests of Chris Mathieson, the museum's Executive Director, for a museum open house and preview of 2009's tour (the tour changes every year).

During the open house we got to check out the museum. The items and displays were interesting, but not exciting. That is, until Mathieson started circulating and telling us the stories behind them. The items and their history came alive! Some stories were cute, like the police robot formally known as Expo Earnie, and some poingnant, like the police service revolver that, by fluke of circumstance, was in a desk drawer when its owner was shot and killed in the line of duty.

We were treated to a viewing of museum holdings not currently on display, which included white-gold "brass" knuckles in a dragon motif, a number of knives straight out of the movies (but confiscated elsewhere), and an autographed ping pong ball used in a performance of the infamous Ping-Pong Queen, Mitzi Dupree! The novelty of the items — how often do you get to see stuff that would get you arrested — combined with Mathieson's knowledge and storytelling skills had me totally engaged. I'm sure I was smiling like a little kid. There's some pictures later in the post.

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Boundary Bay/Centennial Beach - May 2009

Tucked away in literally the most southwest corner of continental Canada is Boundary Bay Regional Park and Centennial Beach [ Google Map ]. Last Saturday, after living in Vancouver for many years, I finally made it out to Boundary Bay for the first time. Some fellow SciFi fans and I were having some fun on a mini-road trip exploring Battlestar Galactica filming locations.

Boundary Bay does not fall under my definition of beautiful, but I was intrigued by the grassy low rolling landscape. It calls out to be explored with a promise of something interesting just over the next rise. The constant breeze coming off the ocean made it especially pleasant being there on a warm day. Bird watchers apparently love this place. Birding isn't my thing, but it was fun watching a pair of heron fly past. My visit there was far too short. I'd like to go back one day and walk some of the trails.

Here are the pictures from my visit. Clicking on the thumbnail gets you an enlarged version. In a couple pictures you'll notice some unnatural purples, there were no strange atmospheric happenings, just my insta-point-and-shoot camera getting confused.

Boundary Bay - Regional Park Entrance Sign Boundary Bay - Information Sign Boundary Bay - Entering a trail head from parking lot Boundary Bay - Raised trail Boundary Bay - Leafy tree Boundary Bay - Trail and field

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Bette Davis Stamps

I recently received a package from the US with these cool Bette Davis stamps. It seems like a shame to throw them away, but I don't know any stamp collectors and don't know what I'd do with them if I kept them. Posting a picture here seems like the next best thing!

Bette Davis stamps

And if you're wondering who she was:

BSG Location Scouting: Boundary Bay - Our Poor Dead Earth

Boundary Bay Park Entrance SignOne of the kicks being a Battlestar Galactica fan in Vancouver is recognizing the local locations. Among the different events organized by the local BSG fan group, The 13th Colony, are location scouting road trips. It's the BSG fan version of geocashing, and a nice way to get outside. Yesterday we did a road trip to Earth, otherwise known as Boundary Bay Regional Park [ Google Map ], and checked out spots where some key scenes took place. As always, our magnificent President Val had everything organized, including screen-shots so we could match the landscape.

We were scouting three primary shots. Val already had two of the three nailed. The third? The episodes were shot two years ago in the fall or winter. Everything has grown and, being late spring, is green and leafy! I'm positive we're close but couldn't say for sure.

So here's the recon report.

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A Fistful of Cubits

Val (aka Space Pug, aka Madam President), organizer of The 13th Colony (Vancouver's Battlestar Galactica Fan Club) semi-regularly shows up with the coolest things. At the BSG event today — a location scouting road trip to Boundary Bay, pictures coming soon — she came packing a wad of Caprican cubits! Although I'm not sure I can name the source (don't want any Taurans coming after me) I can say the drinks are on Val if we ever get to Caprica!

Val holding cubits

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Moja Coffee

Moja Coffee LogoEven with Vancouver's thriving coffee culture it isn't always easy finding great coffee. A place serving coffee is never too far away, but quality isn't a given. This problem seems doubly bad with coffee beans. In my experience, buying beans from a coffee shop where I've enjoyed the coffee is no guarantee that the same coffee will taste as good at home. And if you live in North Vancouver, the places recommended by the coffee gurus mean some form of commute ... until now.

Enter Moja Coffee — We of the North Shore no longer have to cross Burrard Inlet for great coffee or great coffee beans!

Moja Coffee

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"lost in a moment" Video

While cleaning up some bookmarks I re-discovered this video. I can't recall when I first came across it, or who to give the hat tip too, but I bookmarked it because I wanted to post it here. Somewhat delayed, but no less enjoyable: lost in a moment.

I'm not entirely fond of the music, though I don't hate it. What I really like about the piece is, as the videographer puts it, the space that the camera was able to enter.. extremely personal and scrutinising but not too lingering. Follow the link to the original for the thevideographer 's comments on the piece. They're quite interesting.

Cat Food Meals ... But Please, Not in Public

Cat looking up from rice bowlOne of the nicer things that's happened to me this year is meeting Seth and Vickie. Items on their life accomplishment list include teaching English in Japan. Besides hearing some great stories, it's fun talking with them about Japanese culture from a western perspective. Blog posts from Sarah Marchildon's Hollywood North Report are a common starting off point.

During one of these conversations (which started at a Malaysian restaurant as I ladled a tasty curry onto my rice) I was told how evil it is to adulterate your rice in Japan. Soy sauce on rice = ketchup on steak. But — and this is a big but — the Japanese are not without a white rice guilty pleasure . . . there's this thing called "cat food meals".

Compliments of Vickie, a pointer to this explanation from Blue Lotus Blog: Back to food:

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