School Board One Step Closer to Selling Forest

The school board here on the North Shore wants to sell ‘surplus land’ in order to find money for capital projects.

One of the pieces of land is the Cleveland Forest, and area that for generations kids at Cleveland Elementary have used as a playground. It’s a magic place for them, and they’re incredulous that the board is even thinking of selling it.

Unfortunately, the board seems intent on moving forward with this, despite an overwhelming public response against the idea.

There’s a long way to go yet in the process, but parents are trying their best to keep drawing attention to the issue.

You can help by commenting on the story at NowPublic – and by visiting and commenting on the ClevelandForest blog.


Mama Mia the ABBA Museum

A museum dedicated to Swedish pop group Abba is to open in Stockholm in 2008, organisers have said.

Outfits and instruments used by the band will be on display along with handwritten song lyrics.

“It is nice someone feels compelled to take on our musical history,” the group said in a statement.

full story here

Work-Life Balance Podcast

Last week I was on a panel discussion on Work-Life Balance, hosted by New Media BC at the Vancouver Film School.

I managed to stick my Compact Flash recorder in the sound booth and captured the session for a podcast.

The discussion was sponsored by New Media BC in Vancouver and held at the Vancouver Film School.

Work/Life Balance: Empty Promise or Key to Happiness?

W. G. Arndt (“Wil”), creative director and founding principal of
Gordon Ross, Vice President and partner, Open Road Communications Ltd


Mark Busse, Partner and Design Director, Industrial Brand Creative

Stephen Beck,Principal,  Engine Digital

Ron Bignell, Senior Art Director, Electronic Arts

Lisa Vogt, Managing Partner, McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Robert Ouimet, Partner, At Large Media

Jer Thorpe, Freelance Designer

Eric Karjaluoto, Principal, smashLAB


Runs 1:21:43     37 meg    download 

A while ago I posted a pie chart of my current work-life-balance.

Warm Clothes Needed by Union Gospel Mission

It takes about 10 minutes to go through your closet and find all the old sweaters and warm clothes you no longer need.  How ’bout that sock drawer ?  The snow and cold may be pretty, but not if you’re living out there. 

Put the stuff in a bag, jump into the SUV and head over to UGM at 616 E. Cordova.  You’ll find a lot of very thankful people there. 

The Union Gospel Mission in Vancouver urgently needs warm winter coats, boots, and blankets.

Over the weekend, UGM gave away hundreds of blankets and coats, and people will continue to come to UGM for winter clothing while this cold weather lasts. UGM is in desperate need of warm winter coats, boots, and blankets to give out to those in need.

Please drop off your donations to:
616 East Cordova
Vancouver, BC
** Please mark your bags and boxes with “Warm clothing/ blankets”

What We Do When It Rains In Vancouver

Cypress Mountain was a total delight this morning. The sun was shining on the drive up, but the cloud moved in pretty quickly.

For the last few seasons I’ve only shot a few pics on the mountain. I don’t like taking my D70 into the snow and screen caps from my small video camera aren’t good.

Solution: on a recommendation from a guy at named Elias at London Drugs in West Van, I bought a Pentax Optio W20. The camera doesn’t look like much and I certainly wouldn’t have picked it out of a lineup, so I’m happy Elias was on the ball. It’s a waterproof point and shoot digital camera, and I’m thrilled with it.

It’s small and light, I just tuck it into the pocket of my jacket, the lense doesn’t extend out of the body even on zoom, and the controls are recessed in such a way that it is impossible to turn the camera on accidentally (like when I fall, which is often).

Its a bit slow to react, but for the job at hand, it’s pretty much perfect. These were all shot in idiot proof mode – auto everything – and it handled the bright snow really well.

I may not look like it, but I’m super happy with my new piece of snowboarding gear !

BBC to Pay Citizen Reporters

via Steve Rubel’s Micropersuasion:

Hear hear. The BBC is now going to pay for citizen journalist reports, the Editor’s Weblog reports. The BBC’s staff has been authorized to pay for cell phone footage and/or digital images. Before you send in that photo or the accident you saw on the highway, note that they caution they are going to be very selective.

Podcast Influenced Radio Ad Creative

I’ve been hearing a lot of the ads on News 1130. They’re done in the style of Ricky Gervais’ podcasts – a rip on the riffs between Ricky and Stephen Merchant.

They’re bad of course, but it struck me as a sign of podcasting’s power that it has started influencing ad campaigns.

Work Life Balance – A Discussion

I’ll be part of a group discussion Thursday in Vancouver at VFS- presented by New Media BC and mod7:

Join us for a round-table discussion with top-notch service professionals from Vancouver as we dive into what “balance” means, share personal experiences, and explore the many sides of this issue. Whether you’re a design student, an employee struggling to balance a career and a family, or a seasoned pro, this is a critical issue for all new media professionals working within today’s highly competitive market.

Registration is at 4:30, with the discussion running from 5-7pm. Details here. Thanks to Wil at mod7 for the invite and organizing this one.

Eat Their Young

Exit with class.  From the Globe & Mail:

In another change in CBC Television’s senior management, the regional director for CBC-TV in British Columbia, Rae Hull, is leaving the broadcaster.  Speaking to staff Wednesday, Hull said, “sometimes you pick the moment, sometimes the moment picks you.”


A Fitting Tribute

There was a wonderful article about my friend and mentor Susan in the Globe on Wednesday:

On the journey from producer to senior management, Ms. Englebert touched people profoundly and possessed a gift for spotting and nurturing new talent that changed the course of many lives. She was that rare thing: a manager respected and loved in equal measure.

Local Boarding Starts This Week

Cypress opens on Thursday !!!!

The Downhill Area will be open on November 16, 2006 from 9 am to 4 pm, with the Easy Rider Quad Chair and the High Speed Eagle Express Quad Chair in operation. We will continue to open more terrain as the snow accumulates. Our Cross Country Area will also be open from 9 am to 4 pm.

I’ll be wearing my pass full-time starting now…

Katy Hutchinson podcast for Raincoast Books

We’ve just posted the latest Raincoast Books podcast with author Katy Hutchinson.

Katy’s book is called Walking After Midnight: One Woman’s Journey through Murder, Justice and Forgiveness.

This is one of the most inspiring stories I’ve read in a long time, and getting to meet and talk with Katy has been a highlight of the season. 

You can get the podcast from the Raincoast Books RSS feed.   Or if you prefer, here’s the direct iTunes link.

For more information on Katy visit her web site.

User Generated Lego

My two kids have been going nuts creating Lego sets for themselves with the Lego Digital Designer.


It’s a great idea. They use the software to design their dream Lego creation, just be clicking and dragging pieces onto the stage. They can even rotate around like any good design software.

Then when they’re done, Lego calculates a price, boxes it, and sends it out complete with assembly instructions.

Totally user-generated made-to-order, and great use of the web.

CBC.CA Finally Finds the Perfect Design ?

Ok. Fess up. Who broke CBC.CA ? Huh ? Huh ?

NOTE: is experiencing technical difficulties, and we’re currently working to restore the site to normal. Until that happens, in an effort to offer a basic level of service, we are providing this scaled-back version of the site, featuring today’s top news stories. We’re sorry for any inconvenience, and we hope to have the site back to normal soon.

Actually, the ‘scaled back’ version of CBC.CA is delightfully easier to use than the real thing.

I say if this is broken, don’t fix it !

cbc ca, this is broken?

The Oggmonster – taller than your average Brit

If you’re a fan, like me, of the original UK show The Office, and you loyally listened to the Ricky Gervais podcasts, you know who Stephen Merchant is. You’ll love this article in the Observer.

Obsessed with comedy from a young age, one person Merchant admired was John Cleese, also tall, and from nearby Weston-Super-Mare. It was because of Cleese that Merchant wanted to go to Cambridge and join Footlights. However, in retrospect, he feels ‘lucky’ that Footlights didn’t work out. ‘I would probably have tried to be something I wasn’t – arch, erudite, wordy, pretentious, in a way I’m not.’