Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Duck Tale

Ducks Take On The Millstone River

Out for a walk through Bowen Park today and paused on a bridge that crossed the Millstone River to take in the view.

What do I see at the start of the rapids? Two ducks and they're aiming to swim down the Millstone River.  

Don't mind the sway at the beginning.  It was just me taking a step back when I realized I had my $600 phone leaning over the river.  Yikes!

I'd be willing to be that they've done that before.


Saturday, 30 March 2013

Spring in the Harbour City


Went out for a walk last night and was bombarded... by beautiful flowers!

They're everywhere!

Spring is definitely here in Nanaimo, and we're just getting started.  Give it a few more weeks and this city will be in full bloom.  

Nanaimo in the Spring, you're the best.  

My apartment is looking pretty nice these days, too... even if the beauty of these cut flowers is a little more fleeting.  

Share some of your pictures of Nanaimo's flowers in the comments below, or send them at me via Twitter, and I'll make sure plenty of people see them!  Perfect chance to show your garden (and your green thumb).

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Tis the Chocolate Season

Easter, I have questions.

Easter is easily one of the funnest holidays of the year.  It has some of the wonder of Christmas, without the overwhelming urge to run up your credit card to make it the best day ever.

It has the chocolate of Halloween, but you don't need to dress up like a zombie or a sexy nurse and walk door to door to get it.

It's far enough from the year end holidays that you're ready for it, and it comes late enough in the year that you're starting to put away your winter clothing when you celebrate.

But there are plenty of things about Easter that make me scratch my head.  The more I think about the holiday, the less sense it makes... and I've been thinking about it all week.

So, here are my questions about Easter!

1.  Why does the Easter Bunny get all of the credit?

At Christmastime, Santa is the big man on campus.  Kids write letters to him, people leave him milk and cookies by the chimney, and parents even get their kids to sit on his lap at the mall.

But we also know that he doesn't do it alone.  We know he has the elves to help him make all those toys, the reindeer to get him to every house in a single night, and Mrs. Claus to tend to his big red suit and to rub Santa's shoulders.  There's even been movies about all of them to some extent.

The same can't be said for the Easter Bunny.  This guy is perceived as a one man show.

Never mind the fact that he's delivering eggs which clearly come from some kind of fowl.  And never mind the fact that he's not just putting them under a tree but taking the time to hide them everywhere.

Nope, according to most people, he's doing it all on his own.


I don't buy it.

There are clearly chickens of some kind involved in this.

2. If there are chickens doing the work, then why don't they get any credit?

Sure, you see little yellow baby chicks on some packaging, and there are those marshmallow peeps which are more delicious than they have any business being.

But no one is saying, "Thanks Easter Chickens for making all those eggs!"

And that's just wrong.

Have you ever shopped at Lush?  They're a cosmetics store, and on every product sold you'll find a sticker. On it you'll find the likeness of the person who made your soap, along with his or her name.  That way you not only know who sold the soap to you, you know who put the effort into creating it.

And I think that's pretty awesome.

We all deserve a little recognition.

So, I think that the chickens who make the eggs should also get a little sticker that they can put on any of the chocolate eggs they lay.  That way you can take a moment to think about who made that delicious treat.

3. If the Easter Bunny delivers Kinder Surprises to kids in the US, is he transporting contraband?

Kinder Surprises are illegal in the US, but they're also chocolate eggs, so one would think that the Easter Bunny would deal with them from time to time.

But if the F.B.I. (Federal Bunny Inspector) caught him delivering Kinder Surprises, how much trouble could the Easter Bunny get into?  Are we talking about a fine, or could the Bunny be behind bars?

That's a scary thought... although if he wanted to get away from the police he probably could.  I mean he is a magic bunny. I would hope that speed would be one of his powers.

4. How many Easter Bunnies are there?

Santa does all the delivering himself with his magic sleigh, but is there only one Easter Bunny?

If there's only one, how does he get all the eggs hidden?  If there's more than one, how many are there?  How do they decide who works what area?  Are there Easter Bunny unions?  Are they getting paid?  How would one sign up to become an Easter Bunny?

I think there's more than one.  I think there's one per province at least.  Maybe Nanaimo even has it's own Easter Bunny.  I wonder what his name is?

5. Who gives Easter greeting cards?

I was at the store this week and noticed that they have gift cards just for Easter.  Who's giving these out instead of chocolate?  Even if you're giving them out with chocolate, you're only spending money that would be better spent on more chocolate.

If someone were to call out to me on the street and say, "Hey! I have an Easter present for you!" and then when they caught up with me they handed me a card, I'd be happy they made the effort, but disappointed that they didn't realize that chocolate is obviously the superior Easter gift.

All I know is that if your kids wake up on Easter Sunday to a gift card, you are gonna get some tears.  Even if that gift card contained $100 cash, they're gonna be asking, "Where's the candy, eh?"


If you have answers to any of these questions, I'd love to hear them! If I can scratch a few of these questions off my list it'll give me more time to ponder other wonders - such as, Does the Easter Bunny vacation with Santa Claus during the summer?

Post your answers below and I'll share them on The Wave over the long weekend!  www.1023thewave.com

Friday, 22 March 2013

Beer and Organized Crime

Working Class/Weapon Rock

We've got a few emerging artists being featured on Fresh Tracks this weekend, so I'm going to take a moment here and tell you about 2 bands you can catch on the show this Sunday at 6!

The Stanfields

The Stanfields are an eastern Canadian group that describe themselves as a "working class band and proud of it".  A band that is known for the raucous live show and pride themselves on delivering a great performance every night.

They've been together since 2008, and even won an East Coast Music Award in 2012...

...but it was only recently that they have really started getting attention nationwide with the release of their new album "Death & Taxes".

While the group describes their first album "Vanguard" as being a bit all over the place, they say that Death & Taxes really focuses on their rock influences.

The albums lead single, Run on the Banks, is about organized crime and the impact that it can have on families.  It's been getting some airplay right across the country too, enough for them to take on a cross-Canada tour playing a couple of stops in each province.

They came through Nanaimo on tour with Gloryhound playing a show at the Cambie last October and
they'll be back in B.C. again for shows in Vancouver at Venue on March 28th, and in Victoria at Club 919 on March 29th.  There are still some tickets for both shows, and I would definitely recommend checking them out.


Wildlife are a 4 piece group out of Ontario that define their sound as "weapon rock" and describe their band as "fun" with lots of "pop pop pop".

Wildlife are a band with a lot going on all at once.  They had an appearance at SXSW in Texas this year, they just finished up their new album On The Heart which is in stores now, and have even had one of their songs, Lightning Tent, featured in a Corona commercial.

It'll be their latest single, Born To Ruin, on Fresh Tracks this Sunday.

It's got a pretty cool video to go along with it, too.

They're planning a cross-Canada tour this year, so watch for them to come out this way sometime in 2013. 

These two and four other great bands on Fresh Tracks this Sunday at 6 with Mike Lang.

Be sure to tune in at www.1069thewolf.com

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Rock the Shores 2013

Makes My Canadian Smile

The Sheepdogs

It's hard to resist the line up of artists the organizers of Rock the Shores have put together this year.

Simply by looking at the 6 biggest names over the two day event you can tell that they get it. 

Matt Good

They get what the average western Canadian music fan wants and put it together for a ticket price that costs less than when Bon Jovi rolls through Vancouver. 

90 bucks to see Weezer, Sam Roberts Band and the Sheepdogs would be a great ticket...


...but add Matthew Good, Mother Mother, Awolnation, Jimmy Eat World, 54-40 and more to the bill.

You can bet that this is a ticket that'll go fast.

Jimmy Eat World

Tickets go on sale tomorrow, March 22nd, at 10am, and you can find out all you need to know about tickets over at www.rocktheshores.com

I'll be back tomorrow with a full post on one of the bands you'll hear on Fresh Tracks this Sunday at 6!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A kinder Kinder surprise?

Surprise! (for girls)

Kinder Surprise has had it's share of controversy, which is funny when you consider that it's candy with a toy inside.

We all know that the US banned the toy because fun is illegal there but recently Kinder released a line of chocolate eggs that feature prizes exclusively for girls that has also received some negative press.

Some people don't like the idea of telling girls what toys they should or shouldn't be playing with, and complained that the toys can be sexist.

I'm not so sure about that, but I am curious as to what toys Kinder considers "for girls".

So I bought 3 of them to get to the bottom of it.  (also, chocolate, mmm.)


The only real difference in the packaging is a slight pink hue at the top of the egg.  Side by side with the regular Kinder eggs it's noticeable, but in this lighting you can barely tell.


Still the same as the original!  And delicious!  Moving on.

The Egg

Remember the original dark orange plastic egg that used to be inside of these things?  They were the worst.  So difficult to open, especially for kids with little hands.  They've definitely improved it.

But what's inside...?

The Prize

A cute little raccoon!  Look, he wants to say hello.  I'm not sure he's entire trustworthy, though.

I knew it.  He just wanted some of our food.  Well, I guess we can spare some sweet and sour pork.

It's funny, this toy seems fairly gender neutral to me, especially if you're buying for younger children.  It's all one piece, nothing to put together, and while cute, I wouldn't call it particularly "girly".

The Next Day

Out of curiosity, I bought 2 more of them today to see what other prizes Kinder had thought up.

And one of them was more what I had originally expected.

Is it my colour?
The other was a puzzle.  I'm not sure puzzles count as prizes, but Melissa enjoyed putting it together.

So, in the end, here's what Kinder has as prizes for girls.

Not really all that different from what you'd find in the pink coloured aisle of any toy store.

That raccoon is pretty cute, though.

He'll probably get a new home on our bookshelf.

What do you think about chocolate egg prizes made just for girls?

It makes me want there to be a line of prizes just for boys.  I can always use an extra toy race car around the house.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Shave and a Hair Cut

Two Bits

Dropped off my wife at work this morning and on the drive home caught a glimpse of my hair in the rear view mirror.

It must be the end of winter, because it's looking pretty shaggy.


Here's the thing about my hair.  I do a ton of public events in the Spring, Fall and Summer, so I keep it in check.  Get it trimmed every 4 or 5 weeks.  But in the winter time, my radio shows are where I spend a lot of my time.  I'm in studios more than anywhere else, so I kinda just let it go.

But then a sunny spring day like today comes along, and you realize that you have to go and tidy up.

Time to get a haircut.

That's 50s Barbershop!

I've been Tweeting with Dave of That 50's Barbershop quite a bit lately.  Guy has a got a great sense of humor; we even shared in a zombie haircut apocalypse joke a couple weeks back.   So, where I'm going today is no question.

It's a beautiful day out so I'm going to walk.  It's been a while since I've seen downtown on foot, so it'll be nice to reconnect with that part of the city.

Let's go!

Caledonia Field

The field is looking good!  I wonder if the VI Raiders can win it all this year? 

You know they'll tear it up in the regular season either way.

Best Train Track Crossing Spot in the City.

I come this way as often as I can because it's the most classic looking spot to cross the tracks in Nanaimo.  When Spring really gets here and everything is green, it's majestic.

Metal Foot Bridge near Barsby Park

Always worth stopping and looking over the edge of the bridge for a second.  The water is particularly impressive when it's been raining a lot.  

Barsby Park

I would classify Barsby Park as a hidden gem.  People know about it, but not many people visit it.

It's worth stopping by once in a while, just wear sensible walking shoes.  It can be slippery in places, even near the entrance.

This staircase intersection is an impressive piece of craftsmanship.

And you get a spectacular river view, too.

I love the bramble archway someone made.  It's been here forever.
Really is something, isn't it?

Here's 10 seconds of it in motion.

Alright, that's enough lolly-gagging!  Places to be!  Hairs to cut!

Huff huff, steeper leaving than it was walking in.

Skate Boarding

I've been playing a skate boarding video game lately.

All I can think of when I see this is how many points I could get by grinding that rail.

At least 10,000 points, I would think. 

Maffeo Sutton Park

One of the best destinations in the entire city.  I love how it's put together, making it a great multi-use space. I can't wait until all the summer events start popping up here again this year.

The Cannons (well, where they normally are)

Once we get back into tourist season you'll be hearing those cannons go off all the time.  Try to imagine them... or better yet, go watch a noon firing this year.  There's even bagpipes!

I Made It!

Ah, I can see it in my mind already.  Down Commercial Street, across Terminal Avenue, and the a left on Victoria Crescent, right beside Mambo's Pizza.

"Gonna get a hair cut, gonna be great, gonna get this hair right off of my face!"


What's that?

You've gotta be kidding me.


Guess I should have called ahead and found out their hours.

Can I really do a two part blog about a hair cut?

Sure looks that way.

The exciting conclusion tomorrow!

But Wait There's More!

I stopped off and got some water, and at the till they had one of those new Kinder Eggs For Girls.

Melissa and I saw them on TV and I promised her that the next time I saw one I'd pick it up.

I hear that some people aren't too happy with the whole "toys for boys, toys for girls" distinction being made here, so Melissa and I are going to open it up and see what a "toy for a girl" looks like according to Kinder.

Should be fun!  So check back in for that tomorrow, too.

Update March 19, 2013

Saw Dave at That 50's Barbershop today, got an awesome haircut and now I feel like a new man!

Thanks, Dave!