Bulb Planting at Como Lake Park

Posted by Stacey on October 20, 2014 in Community Events |

Coquitlam’s Park Spark program is hosting a community bulb planting event at Como Lake Park on Thursday, October 23 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Neighbours, school groups and local businesses are encouraged to stop by Como Lake Park to help plant flower bulbs around the park. Volunteers will be able to work alongside City gardening staff and other community members to create a beautiful spring-blooming display.

All necessary equipment and bulbs will be supplied. All you have to do is arrive at the south parking lot, off Gatensbury Street and be ready to get your hands dirty and ready to do some planting.

All those who are interested are welcome to participate.

For more information about the Park Spark volunteer program visit www.coquitlam.ca/parkspark.

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Chimugukuru: Japan Benefit Concert

Posted by Stacey on October 17, 2014 in Theatre |

Last night I had the very good fortune of attending a Taiko drumming event in Burnaby at the Michael J Fox theater. The drumming event was a fundraiser to support children in Japan who became orphans after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Taiko Drumming

Taiko Drumming

The drumming was an amazing display of not only musical talent but also an awesome display of athleticism.

Seeing the drumming in real life was truly mind blowing – I loved it, absolutely loved it.

One of the highlights of the show for me was the Dragon dance. The two dragons were unbelievably realistic in the way that they could move and dance. More “WOW” moments in fact they actually frightened me a little bit – I suppose it was not really frightening but it was just so realistic that it was, well, exciting, exhilarating? Overall, this was a truly mind blowing experience. So fantastic.

Aside from the awesome and amazing drumming, dancing and singing, the most amusing part of the show was watching the theatre ushers continuously moving around the theatre telling people that they were not allowed to take pictures.

The ushers were poised at the top of the theater and as soon as they saw a little light come on from someone’s phone/camera they would come running in a crouched over position down the theater aisle and quickly tell the people “no photos allowed.”

You will notice that I do not have any photos of the performance to go with this blog post.

I chose to not take a picture, after all we weren’t allowed to.

However I do wonder what would be the harm in a few pictures being taken of this performance? Would it not serve to publicize or better make aware the public about the amazing performances that these that these groups put on?

I understand the whole copyright type thing. I do understand the desire to protect your artistic performances. But I’m wondering if there would be more benefit to some of the lesser known organizations to actually allow audience members to take some photos and share through their social media channels.

Just food for thought.

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Haunted Halloween Events in Coquitlam

Posted by Stacey on October 15, 2014 in Community Events |

Coquitlam has Halloween events for everyone in the family, from preschoolers to teens. Celebrate this ghoulish holiday at one of these fun events:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Haunted Howlawe’en at Poirier Community Centre

On Friday, October 24 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Poirier Community Centre (630 Poirier St) is hosting a Haunted Howlawe’en party for preschoolers (1 – 5 yrs). Be prepared for creepy arts and crafts, spooky activities and a ghoulicious dinner. All family members who will be attending must register. Adult participation is mandatory. For more information about the event call 604-927-6041. The fee is $5.00 per child and $6.00 per adult. Register online or over the phone using barcode 481845.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Spooktacular at Victoria Community Hall

Calling all goblins, ghosts and creatures of the night! On Thursday, October 30 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Victoria Community Hall (3435 Victoria Drive) will be transformed for a spooktacular evening full of halloween activities for kids 6 – 12 years old. There will be Halloween games, pumpkin carving and prizes for the best costume. Hot dogs and light refreshments will be served. Cost to participate is $6.00 per person. Please pre-register online or over the phone using barcode 490069. If you don’t get the chance to register beforehand, don’t worry—all are welcome! Just show up to enjoy the fun.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Preschool Halloween Howl at Pinetree Community Centre

On Friday, October 31 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Pinetree Community Centre (1260 Pinetree Way) is hosting a Halloween Howl for kids 2 – 5 years old and their caregivers. Gather up your little one and get your costume on for a morning of creepy crafts, spooky games and more! Cost to participate in this Halloween adventure is $5.00 for one caregiver and one child. Register online or over the phone using barcode 490067.

Pinetree Youth Centre Halloween Party

Youth 11 – 18 years old are encouraged to drop by the Pinetree Youth Centre (1260 Pinetree Way) for a Halloween Party on Friday, October 31 from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. There will be pumpkin carving, haunted dodgeball tournaments and zombie face painting. This is a free event, so just drop by!



Marlondo Leather Weekend Duffel Bag

Posted by Stacey on October 7, 2014 in Toys and Luxuries |

Now that I am back to work at my day job and getting paid, I felt safe about adding a new leather bag to my collection for the family weekends-away that we occasionally enjoy.

Marlondo Leather Weekended Duffel

Marlondo Leather Weekended Duffel

I have grown tired of seeing plastic bins loaded in the family wagon when we travel so I decided to get a new Marlondo Leather Weekend Duffel Bag.

As usual, I will be upfront about my overall impressions of this product and say that although I have a couple suggestions for improvement, this is an excellent quality bag, especially for the price of $400.

This new Marlondo Leather bag is a very versatile bag. As soon as my five year old daughters saw the bag they opened it up and climbed inside it. Although with 45 pounds of child inside it was difficult for me to carry, the straps felt strong enough to hold the weight.

Once my daughter was out of it I loaded it up with clothes and – this thing is voluminous. I mean I can fit a ton of clothing into it! This is definitely a very practical bag for a long weekend away with the family.

The leather and the pigs skin lining have a lovely feel. The leather is thick and waxy and provides me with the confidence my investment in this bag will be a long term one.

End View

End View

I like the feeling of the pig skin lining as well. It has no plastic or synthetic feel to it all. It feels organic.

All the stitching is very nicely done with top quality nylon thread. The evenly placed stitches and rivets at all stress points add to the feeling of quality that this new bag carries with it. The seams are all stitched with straight lines where appropriate and where the stitching follows the contours of the bag it does so perfectly. Impressive.

Top View

Top View

One of the leather bag companies that many smaller leather workers look up to is Saddleback Leather. A key piece of the Saddleback Leather philosophy is that they make bags, as much as possible, by using one piece of leather. The idea being that a single hide is significantly stronger than having a seam along a potential stress point.

The fact is though, this is a very expensive way to make leather bags. It takes a larger portion of a hide to cut single out large single pieces.

To avoid that increased production cost, Marlondo Leather does not use the single piece of leather production method. As you can see in the photo below, there is clearly a seam running the length of the duffle bag.

Bottom View

Bottom View

I sincerely doubt that the seam along the bottom of this bag will ever let go or weaken in anyway. That there is a seam on the bottom of the bag is a non-issue for me. The fact is, the Marlondo bag is significantly less expensive than the Saddleback bags primarily because of simple cost saving measures like this one.

Wrinkled Leather

Wrinkled Leather

If Marlondo Leather is trying to take on Saddleback Leather as a top quality leather bag maker, he will need to be a little more judicious in the leather he chooses to use. As you can see in the photo above, there are a significant number of wrinkles on the leather that this bag is made from. That is because this is a piece of leather from further down the hide – closer to the cow’s belly or leg where stretches and wrinkles will naturally occur.

To be clear, these wrinkles are not going to have an impact on the life span of the leather bag but I know that when people buy a bag like this one they expect closer to perfection than this piece of leather.

The wrinkles do not bother me in the least, but I know that others would not be as accepting of this piece of leather. What I do is mentally compare the price of this bag to the Saddleback Leather bags.

To the bottom line – this is an excellent quality item that could use more attention to detail. I love the feel of the leather and I have every confidence that it will last me as long as I want to use it. The nylon stitching is as near perfect as anyone would expect and the hardware, including all the d-rings and the dog-leash style clasps on the shoulder strap are very substantial.

I like this bag. I really like it. I also like the comments I get when I carry it around town. People gravitate to it, like they do to many of the leather bags I carry, and they want to know more about it.

After I actually load my new Marlondo Leather Weekend Duffel bag with clothing and gear and head out of town to the mountains I will do a follow up report. For now, I am just going to enjoy looking at this beautiful new addition to my leather bag collection.






From Pedestrian to Bicycle Riding

Posted by Stacey on October 3, 2014 in Life Musings |

As I may or may not have mentioned before, once I get home from work I become a pedestrian. If I need something from the grocery store, I walk to our local market. If somebody in the house needs a bottle of wine, I walk to the wine store. Time for a coffee break? I walk up to the coffee shop. I walk to most places in our neighbourhood.

In the old days, rather than walking I was often on my bicycle. But after having kids, I kind of quit riding my bicycle. This summer, I made a change to my local transportation habit. I became a bicyclist again.

Bicycle Riding

Bicycle Riding

However, I have to admit, while I was not a bicyclist, I became quite judgmental of cyclists.

When I saw a cyclist on a very busy main street, I would wonder “why is that person riding on this very busy street when just a few blocks up there is a bike lane built right along the street?”

If I saw a cyclist riding along a bike route and they did not come to a full stop at a stop sign, I would judge them by saying to myself or to the passenger in my car, “Wow, maybe they don’t know that a stop sign means to actually stop moving? That was not really a stop now, was it. Why do they think the rules of the road do not apply to them?”

If I saw a cyclist riding on the sidewalk, I would comment, “Bikes are like cars, what is he/she doing riding on the sidewalk where people are trying to walk?”

As I said, I was quite judgmental of cyclists for their behaviour on the road.

Now that I’m a cyclist again, my attitude has shifted.

Now when I see a cyclist on a busy main street I think to myself, “Perhaps they have just left a shop on this busy street and they are working their way back to the bike route. Just like I frequently do.”

Now when I’m riding along and I come to a stop sign and I see that there are no other cars approaching the stop sign, sometimes I just slow down or make a very slow stop and then keep rolling through the intersection. Perhaps it is time for more jurisdictions to adopt the Idaho Stop Sign law?

I better understand why cyclists do this. See, once a cyclist makes a full stop, it takes significantly more effort to get rolling again. Sure, a stop sign means “stop”. But why is it necessary to come to a complete stop if it is going to be the cyclist’s turn to roll out next?

And yes, sometimes I even ride on the sidewalk. Yes, in the old days I would judge cyclists for doing this. However, the reality is that if I am trying to get the half block along a main street to a shop, yes sometimes I do ride that half block along the sidewalk rather than slowing down the car traffic and risking my life and limb by riding along the main street.

It is interesting to have switched positions. You know the old cliché about walk a mile in a man’s shoes before judging him? I suppose the same cliche applies to cycling – You should roll a few kilometres in a cyclist’s shoes before judging them. It has certainly changed my point of view.

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How to Avoid a Bathroom Renovation

Posted by Stacey on September 28, 2014 in Life Musings with Comments closed |

Anybody who lives in a home that is more than a year old will be able to relate to this little story.

It began when I went upstairs to get a shower. I turned on the taps, reached to pull the little thingy to make the water switch from the faucet to the shower and that is when it all began.

The Faucet

The Faucet

As I pulled the shiny little knob it came off in my hands. As it came off I saw the tiniest little screw/bolt thingy pop off, hit the bottom of the tub, bounce and then disappear without even a good bye gesture down the drain. Never to be seen again.

Seems relatively simple. Go to the local hardware store, show the plumbing department person the part and get a replacement. Right. Actually, wrong.

When you show the part to the plumbing department person they look at it like it is something you have brought back from the middle ages of Earth’s history and typically say something like, “Wow, they haven’t made that style since…You know you might consider replacing the faucets with this new style.”

Except I have already gone down that road. Rather than being able to replace the faucets, because they were installed in some arcane way not seen since at least the 1990s, I would also need to replace the tub. And the shower surround.

And then Sweetheart gets involved and suggests we replace the toilet, the vanity, the exhaust fan and…

I see a $20,000 bathroom renovation looming on the horizon.

Seriously. I am looking for what I now know is a machine screw. A tiny one. Preferably brass or stainless steel. But really, I don’t care anymore. I am just trying to fend off a massive reno project that will consume my soul.

So I go to the next big bow hardware store retailer, wander down into the plumbing area and grab the first guy I see. I tell him that failure is not an option because I will not be leaving the store without a solution to the problem I have.

He understands. Finally, someone who gets it.

The Machine Screw

The Machine Screw

He suggests two things, get a magnet on an extension handle that I can lower into the drain and see if the original screw is still lurking in the shadows.

He also suggests going to aisle 19 and looking at the fasteners (fancy pants word for screws, bolts and nails) and see if I can find one there that fits.

I find a rack of brass screws and bolts and find a selection that look like they might fit. I buy two of each size from what appear way too big to way too small and I return home.

And believe it or not, the littlest one fits perfectly! A 21 cent screw saves me from a $20,000 bathroom renovation. This is almost as cheap as the paper clip I used to piece the inner workings of our toilet back together.

Yep, keeping it simple.

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Mundy Park Forest Management Discussions

Posted by Stacey on September 23, 2014 in Community Events with Comments closed |

After what can only be described as a brutal summer, I am back behind the keyboard and blogging again. One of the places that I spent significant time to calm my mind and spirit during my brutal summer months was walking and cycling in Coquitlam’s Mundy Park.

Now the City of Coquitlam is looking to engage with the community to hear feedback on the Draft Forest Management Plan. You can join the discussion at one of the following on location information sessions:

An information tent will also be setup on six different days in Mundy Park:

  • Thursday, Sept. 25,  4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Mundy Park – Hillcrest gravel parking lot
  • Saturday, Sept. 27,  8:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m.  Mundy Park – Chilko Blvd parking lot
  • Monday, Sept. 29,  9:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m. Mundy Park – Hillcrest gravel parking lot
  • Wednesday, Oct. 1,  8:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m. Mundy Park – Chilko Blvd parking lot
  • Saturday, Oct. 4,  10:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m. Mundy Park – Spani Pool parking lot
  • Monday, Oct. 6,  4:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m. Mundy Park – Spani Pool parking lot

If you are not interested in joining the discussion in a parking lot and are more comfortable at your desk, you can also contribute to the discussion via this link that the City of Coquitlam has provided.


Diamond Bar Moustache Wax Review

Posted by Stacey on September 1, 2014 in Toys and Luxuries with Comments closed |

As you may have noticed (or not) I have been out of town and not posting content to my blog much over the last couple of weeks. However, today I have fresh new, and truly cool content for your viewing pleasure.

My friend and fellow blogger Steven Schwartz, blogger at Raincity Badger has done a video review of the Diamond Bar moustache wax. I had Steven do the video review because, as he points out in the video, he has a fabulous handlebar moustache and I do not. Yet.

Here it is –

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September Day Camps for Kids

Posted by Stacey on August 22, 2014 in Community Events with Comments closed |

In the event that schools do not reopen as scheduled on Tuesday, September 2nd, the City of Coquitlam is planning day camps to keep kids busy. Programs are available at Poirier Community Centre, Pinetree Community Centre and Victoria Community Hall.

Camps At the Poirier Community Centre (630 Poirier Street)

Camps run weekdays beginning Tuesday, September 2 to Friday, September 12, 2014 from  9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Youth On The Go (10 – 14 yrs)

A day filled with sport activities, entertaining games, fun and challenging outdoor adventures, and much more!

Kids On The Go (5 – 6/7 – 10 yrs)

Join us for a day filled with sport activities, fun, games, outdoor adventures, and much more.

Victoria Park Hall (3435 Victoria Drive)

Camp runs weekdays beginning Tuesday, September 2 to Friday, September 12, 2014 from  9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Victoria Hall Day Camp (6 – 12 yrs)

Join us for a day filled with sport activities, crafts, entertaining games and challenging outdoor adventures!

Camps at the Pinetree Community Centre (1260 Pinetree Way)

Ready for Kindergarten | 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

This extended day program offers a fun and safe environment for future kindergarteners to learn and develop. Instructors will emphasize cooperative skills, problem solving and independence in preparation for full day kindergarten. This program is only open to children who will be starting kindergarten in September 2014 and who were born in 2009.

Pinetree Full Day Camp (6 – 8/9 – 12 years)

This classic camp offers something for everyone, from healthy cooking, creative arts, and wacky science to gym games and outdoor play. Program runs weekdays beginning Tuesday, September 2 to Friday, September 12, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

For more information and to register online visit www.coquitlam.ca/featuredprograms.

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Diamond Bar Shaving Dapper Soap

Posted by Stacey on August 11, 2014 in Shave of the Day with Comments closed |

The shave of the day today was a trial run of my newest shave soap – Diamond Bar Shaving Company’s Dapper. From their website, the Dapper has, “sophisticated notes of black peppercorn and leather are carefully crafted with warm woods, patchouli, musk and citrus”.

To me it just smells great and has a lovely lather that adheres to the beard perfectly.

Diamond Bar Shaving

Diamond Bar Shaving

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