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Coquitlam to Jingle All the Way

Posted by Stacey on December 17, 2014 in Community Events |

You can be a part of Coquitlam history as the community aims to break the record for the largest group of people singing Jingle Bells together.

Evergreen Cultural Centre

LaFarge Lake Lights

Join Coquitlam’s Park Spark team on Monday, December 22nd at 7:00 p.m. at the Innovation Centre (located right beside the Evergreen Cultural Centre). The singing will take place outdoors on the plaza between the Innovation Centre and the Evergreen Cultural Centre. Look for the Park Spark tent and flags.

The first 100 participants will receive a free jingle bell.

The current record for the largest group singing Jingle Bells while ringing bells is 488 people, held by Albany, New York (according to Recordsetter.com).

Coquitlam’s Jingle Bells record attempt will take place rain or shine, and participants are encouraged to wear festive attire including holiday hats, ugly sweaters, and jingle bells.

While the singing is expected to last approximately 30 minutes, the event provides a great opportunity to visit the holiday lights display around Lafarge Lake and City Hall.

For more information about the Jingle Bell record-setting attempt, visit www.coquitlam.ca/parkspark.

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The Odd Couple at the Evergreen Cultural Centre

Posted by Stacey on December 5, 2014 in Theatre with Comments closed |

While I was down at the Evergreen Cultural Centre this evening looking at the light display, I saw a poster in the theatre box office for one of my favourite plays – The Odd Couple.

The Odd Couple

The Odd Couple

This is another of the Arts Club Theatre’s traveling shows which makes me happy. I don’t have to drive to Granville Island or the Stanley Theatre to see a quality theatre performance. I love it!

Other than the fact that it will be on the Evergreen stage from January 27th to 31st I don’t know much about this performance. So as soon as I get a chance to chat with the Evergreen Cultural Centre staff I will add more details about this upcoming performance.

If you want to buy tickets to this performance you can always check in with the Evergreen box office yourself.

Stay and Play in Coquitlam

Posted by Stacey on December 5, 2014 in Community Events with Comments closed |

Rather than doing too much driving this holiday season, consider staying local and enjoying everything the season has to offer right in your home community. If Coquitlam is local for you, their holiday programs and special events, as well as drop-in recreation activities will keep everyone healthy and on track.

LaFarge Lake Lights

LaFarge Lake Lights

Kids can go for a swim, watch a movie and enjoy some pizza while parents take a well-deserved break or finish some shopping or wrapping. There’s also Christmas crafts, drop-in volleyball, swimming, badminton, skating and more.

You can find all the programs and details at www.coquitlam.ca/stayandplay or pick up the guide at a recreation facility.

In its fourth year, the City continues with popular light displays at City Hall, Spirit Square, Town Centre Park’s Lafarge Lake and the Inspiration Garden. The free displays are sure to delight with their dazzling, whimsical and beautiful themes. You can also join a fun workshop on December 7 to create your own plastic bottle tulip to add to the light display at Lafarge Lake. To get a sampling of what you can expect, go to www.coquitlam.ca/light.

Or if you are the singing sort and you want to sing some traditional carols there are several events in December with a special theme on December 22 to form the largest group singing of Jingle Bells – the first 100 people to show up will receive a free set of jingle bells—interested carolers meet at the patio behind the Coquitlam Innovation Centre, weather dependent. Details on these events are available at www.coquitlam.ca/parkspark.

There’s no need for stress this season, stay local and have a safe and happy holiday!

 

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A New Take on Age Groupings

Posted by Stacey on December 3, 2014 in Life Musings with Comments closed |

For no really good reason other than the fact that I like the idea that I am able to influence public policy, I get many emails with surveys in them asking me important public policy questions like “do you own or rent the home you live in and how many toilets are there in your home.” You know, the important scientific-like stuff that shapes public policy.

'Please, Ma'am — I'm running out of paper!'

‘Please, Ma’am — I’m running out of paper!’

Anyway, I noticed as I was filling out one of my recent surveys that many of the surveys begin with a “demographics” questions – what is your gender and your age. This got me to thinking about how we could add some character to the numerical age questions and this is what I came up with:

 

12 – 17 years old – these are the years that you know that you know everything. You know everything about everything and you know that your parents could never possibly understand your life and they have NEVER had to go through anything like what you are going through at this point in your life.

18 – 24 years – you’ve graduated from high school, screwed around at college for a bit and not accomplished much of anything other than moving from the bedroom you lived in as a child in the upstairs of your mom’s house to your her basement. Your knowledge base now includes which pizza places have which specials on any given night.

25 – 34 years old – you realize that the big move to your mom’s basement was really not that big a move. Especially seeing as the laundry facilities for your mom and younger siblings are in the basement on the opposite side of the wall as the head of your bed. Time to get a real job – you become a barista. Not the power career you were dreaming of.

35 – 44 years old – with perseverance you have become an assistant to the assistant manger of your coffee shop. Yeah. And the people who collect student loans – don’t kid yourself, they will find you, after all, it is an urban legend that the US Special Forces found Osama bin Laden – it was actually the people who collect student loans who found him. Yeah, those same people have now found you and they want their money back. The money you borrowed to screw around in college when you were 20-something.

45 – 54 years old – you have hit your best before date. You now realize that your parents knew all that shit that you thought you knew so much about and that they didn’t know anything about. You also wish that you had listened to them.

55 – 64 years old – the age when you have to be sure to clench your ass cheeks really tight when you cough. When you are out with your buddies you are often heard to say, “Did I ever tell you about the time when…” Your buddies all shout at you that you have told that same story countless times and that they do not want to hear it again. But you tell it anyway.

65 – 74 years old – getting lucky means walking into a room and remembering why you walked into the room. When out with your cronies (your buddies have become your cronies now) you preface your favourite story with, “Did I tell you about the time that I…” and all your friends laugh uproariously at your story without realizing they have heard the story countless times before.

75 – and up – your mouth is running without the control of the brakes; when out in public you tell random people exactly what you think of them and their kids. You are often heard muttering things like, “Kids these days…”

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Shave of the Day – the Unkown Shave Soap

Posted by Stacey on November 22, 2014 in Shaving with Comments closed |

Last week I used up the last of my Shaving Yetis Shore Leave shave soap so I needed to grab a new soap off the shelf of my shave cave.

The funny thing is, I can’t remember who made the shave soap that I grabbed this morning! Which is too bad because, in every way it is an excellent soap.

The scent of the soap is very nice mild. I don’t know how to describe it because it’s not overly citrusy or mentholated or any of the usual types of scents I have previously sampled. It is just a soothing and pleasing to the nose scent.

Shave of the Day

Shave of the Day

As for the soap’s performance, I am very pleased to report that the new shave soap did not lather up into a light, airy form like many other soaps do. This soap worked into a very thick and rich lather that went on the skin beautifully – I will say it lathers like a creamy icing that adheres and holds to the beard ready for the blade. The more I worked the soapy brush on my beard the richer and creamier the lather became. A winner.

As you can see in the photo, there are two razors. I typically use the Aristocrat with a Lord blade for shaving my head. Today I switched out the Lord blade for a Pol Silver blade.

Pol Silver Blades

Pol Silver Blades

The Pol Silver Super Iridium blade was one of the nicest and smoothest blades I have used ever. The blade glided across my head without any issues; no bumps, scratches or knicks. Simply put, it was absolutely the finest blade I have ever used on my head ever.

To shave my face this morning I used my Merkur 1904 with my usual Lord blade. All good.

However, after trying the Pol Silver on my head, next time I shave my face I am going to switch out the Lord for a Pol Silver blade.

I used my usual pre-shave and aftershave treatment – my Handsome Rob pre-shave and aftershave. I like the way the oil softens up the beard and today I used a spot about the size of a dime and applied it to the back of my head. This is a change from my normal shave routine and I’m not sure if it was part of what made today’s shave so smooth. Whatever, it was it was an awesome shave.

So to wrap up, the mystery shave soap, the pre-shave oil, the new Pol Silver blades and the soothing aftershave made for a premium shave today. Now to try and figure out what kind of shave soap that it is I was using!!

 

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Batteries Not Included

Posted by Stacey on November 18, 2014 in Life Musings with Comments closed |

Not much of a blog post today, more of a little rant. So here it is – at what point did some marketing asshat decide that the simple toothbrush needs to have batteries?

Electric Toothbrush

Electric Toothbrush

The simple and straight forward act of brushing your teeth now requires a device that requires batteries? What a stupid idea.

What is wrong with the tooth brush that you waggle around in your mouth with your hand?

Thinking about the battery powered toothbrush, what happens when the batteries inevitably die in the toothbrush? Do people realize that they can take a tiny little screwdriver and open up the bottom of the toothbrush to replace the batteries?

And further, if they do know that they can change out the batteries, where do the dead batteries go? What about the people who do not know you can change the batteries?

You can bet they just throw the entire piece of plastic, batteries still inside, all in the garbage.

What a ridiculous idea. I’m always reminded of the age old advice – KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid.

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The Value of Artisan Produced Goods

Posted by Stacey on November 16, 2014 in Luxuries with Comments closed |

There is a movement, a resurgence of manufacturing taking place in North America. The resurgence is taking place with small mom and pop type shops. This is a movement away from massive factories with hundreds of workers chained (figuratively speaking, of course) to machines.

People like Railcar Fine Goods – makers of fine denim wear.

Railcar Fine Goods

Railcar Fine Goods

The amazing thing about these jeans, made from what I understand is raw selvedge denim is that you do not wash them very often and you NEVER put them in a machine dryer.

The pair pictured to the right have been worn 384 times! With one cycle through a washing machine!

The thing that makes these jeans even more attractive as they age are the creases that develop in them. I believe it is called “fade”. The deeper the fade, the more street cred you have.

About the jeans pictured here, they are owned by Suzy, a Facebook friend of mine who lives in Texas. Suzy is also part of that resurgence of creating goods. She owns and runs an Etsy shop called The Lazy Leatherworker. In her shop she sells wallets and small leather goods like Field Notes covers, leather bookmarks and other interesting things.

The belt in her jeans is from Sweet Trade, another one of those small, owner operated studio workshops. In their “about” page they talk about working with American sourced goods and how it costs them a little more and takes a little longer but they feel it is the “right” thing to do.

Before you go all “why the promotion of American made goods,” another denim worker I follow is Naked and Famous Denim. These people use only the most unique and rare denim fabrics from Japan. The prestigious mills in Japan, from which they import all their fabric, are committed to producing only the best (and most expensive) denim in the world. Even though they use the finest denims they can get their hands on and everything they produce is made in Canada, you can still get a pair of awesome jeans for $150 or so.

Levi 501s

Levi 501s

Some might think that is a lot of cash for a pair of jeans. But keep in mind these are produced right here in Canada using premium quality denim.

Compare the $150ish price to the internet price of $60 I paid for my raw denim Levi 501s (pictured to the left) and I see the value in supporting the smaller, home grown artisan-like people who are producing goods.

The cool thing is that the internet has made it so that artisans are available and accessible to a much larger marketplace making their chances of success that much greater.

Anyway, enough rambling away by me. All I am really saying is, before going to a mall and buying mass produced goods, consider buying from a small shop. It may cost a little more but typically you are receiving premium quality goods and equally important, you are putting your money into the hands of the person who made the goods and that is just all-round good for society.

Oh one last thing, my Levi 501s in the picture above have been worn since May, about six months ago without once being machine washed. I sat in my kids’ pool one hot summer day with them on but that is it. They are developing a beauty of a set of fades.

One more last thing, the belt in my 501s is from the guys at A Simple Leather Belt (I love their belts and the story behind how they are made!).

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VAG Forbidden City Exhibit

Posted by Stacey on November 6, 2014 in Community Events with Comments closed |

Last weekend I went with the family to downtown Vancouver to visit the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The display that is currently being featured is called The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors. It is a display all about a secret city somewhere in China. The exhibition offers a glimpse into the iconic and long-hidden era of Chinese cultural history. For five centuries Chinese emperors called the Forbidden City (1416–1911), located in the heart of Beijing, their home.

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City

I’m not exactly sure where in Beijing the Forbidden City is located because, well it’s secret and forbidden for me to tell you that.

I have to admit that the Forbidden City exhibition really did not work for me. I just did not feel engaged to the exhibition.

Unfortunately I was unable to get any photographs because there was a sign saying no photography.

Taicu Bell

Taicu Bell

I did manage to take one photo though. It was of the Taco Bell. I was very surprised to see though they made a typing or spelling error and they spelled Taicu Bell wrong.

My girls were excited about going to see the art gallery because they know that the food trucks frequent the Vancouver Art Gallery.

For this trip to the VAG they chose to have a sandwich from the food truck called Mom’s Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.The sandwich  was very good.

At least it looked good. I can’t really say because the kids ate it all up before I could even get a chance to have a bite.

More of my style of art is the exhibition about to open at the Art Gallery at the Evergreen.

The exhibition of Erin McSavaney’s work will feature a series of paintings and audio works that show familiar but rarely remarked upon landscapes, carved out by privately-owned cars across cities. These are places where the cold concrete geometry of highway corridors and thoroughfares intersect with the unrestrained, organic forms of nature.

In McSavaney’s paintings, the division between the varying shades of grey hard-edge walls and asphalt roads is frequently ruptured by the encroachment of overhanging green trees and the eccentric dark shadows that they cast.

In each of his audio compositions, McSavaney has created pieces that at once, with eyes closed, create aural landscapes on their own while also, with eyes open, provide a soundtrack to the collection of paintings.

The McSavaney exhibition opens at 2pm on Saturday, November 8th at the Art Gallery at the Evergreen in Coquitlam. I may be heading over there on Saturday (opening day) so if you see me, be sure to say hello.

  • Evergreen Cultural Centre
  • 1205 Pinetree Way
  • Coquitlam

 

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Prostate Cancer – not Prostrate Cancer

Posted by Stacey on October 27, 2014 in Community Events with Comments closed |

This year alone, 26,500 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. One in seven men in British Columbia will develop the disease and 4000 men across the country will die from it.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of British Columbia is coming to Dogwood Pavilion on Friday, November 14 at 1:00 p.m. to help people learn more about this disease. The community is encouraged to come to this free presentation to find out what prostate cancer is, forms of prevention, and the signs and symptoms of it.

The presentation will also cover the foundations research, community resources and support groups. This presentation is free, however; pre-registration is required. To register and for more information, please call 604-927-4386.

As a side note, there will be no actual testing of men’s prostate glands at the presentation on November 14th.

The Dogwood Pavilion is a City of Coquitlam recreation centre for adults 50 and older, located at 624 Poirier Street, entrance off of Winslow Avenue.

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Coquitlam Improving Waste Diversion

Posted by Stacey on October 22, 2014 in Life Musings with Comments closed |

Although the people of Coquitlam are just three months into the new solid waste collection program, it is already yielding positive results in waste diversion.

Waste Diversion

Waste Diversion

One of the major goals of the new solid waste collection program was to increase participation in the City’s green waste program thereby reducing the amount of compostable trash going to landfills.

To provide an early indication of the effectiveness of changing to the automated bi-weekly garbage collection, city staff compared the amount of garbage and green waste collected curbside in July and August, 2013 with the same two months in 2014.

The 2014 months showed approximately 39 per cent less garbage collected while the 2014 green waste collection increased by nearly 40 per cent.

If you have questions or concerns about the new program you can call the City’s Engineering Customer Service at 604-927-3500.

Additionally, the Curbside Collection Schedule & Reminder service is available to provide a weekly reminder by phone, email, text message or Twitter. Learn more and sign up at www.coquitlam.ca/curbsidecollection.

Something to note, cart size exchanges – with no cart exchange fees – will continue until the end of December, 2014. Starting in 2015, a fee will be charged for any cart exchanges.

For more information about solid waste collection in Coquitlam, visit www.coquitlam.ca/curbsidecollection.

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