CBC British Columbia
Bob's Blog

Field of Dreams

bc-hammer-nixon-net.jpgThis is a story that fulls under that "things you stumble across when you're just wandering around in the rain" category.  Zac, my cameraman, and I were out in Richmond futilely pursuing some imagined hot story when we saw a couple of fellows acting strangely in a field.  What are they doing? I wondered.  We drove around the block and it all became clear.  Or rather as clear as a rainy day in Richmond can be.  One of them in full storm gear, the other in sweatpant.  A story about youthful perserverance and a dedicated coach.  Hammer Throw icon_video.gif

Beach Canoe

bc-carving-nixon-net.jpgNow here's a bit of detective work for you to work on.  B.C.'s Lieutenant-Governor, Steven Point, was walking along a Victoria beach last year when he came across an old log.   Someone had obviously been working on it - trying to carve it into a canoe.  But from all the wear and tear and rocks embedded in it, the job had clearly been abandoned decades ago.

Point's friend Tony Hunt - who knows his canoes - suspects it has been bouncing about from beach to beach for 50 years.   Together, they are making an amazing carved canoe from the old relic and that is the subject of this story. 

But, it makes you wonder who worked on the old log first?  50 years is a long time, and probably the only people who would have had the skill to make a cedar canoe back then were First Nations carvers.  But which one?  And how did it get lost?


Christmas Camping

bc-christmas-nixon-net.jpgI confess this is my second kick at this story.  Last year, when Vancouver was digging out from all the snow, I decided that some souls must have seen opportunity in all the white stuff and decided to head to Porteau Cove, the nearest provincial campsite.  I was wrong, it was completely empty even though it was a very romantic looking spot - though bloody cold. 

So this year I headed up there once again, and discovered that yes - a few adventurous souls did think a waterfront campsite is the perfect place to spend the Christmas weekend.  Watch this story and tell me if you'll be doing the same thing next year.  Winter at Porteau icon_video.gif

Christian Bookstore

bc-christian-nixon-net.jpgA visit to Pilgrim Book and Bible in Vancouver where the last minute shopping rush is on even as people reflect on the meaning of Christmas.  I must say I have rarely been to so friendly a place.  Holy Day Sales  icon_video.gif

Swan Release

bc-flock-nixon-net.jpgMost people like wildlife.  Nobody wants a bear or cougar to attack them, but the idea of bears or cougars wandering about in the wilderness is usually a pleasing thought.  We like to live in harmony with our fellow creatures.  We often travel long distances to see them. 

That connection to wildlife often becomes an emotional one when we come across animals in distress.  We know all about it being a jungle out there, survival of the fittest and all that - creatures get injured and die in all kinds of natural ways. 


Winter Solstice

bc-solstice-nixon-n36.jpgHere's something I did not know.  Solstice comes from a Latin phrase meaning Sun Stands Still.  It refers to the week or so twice a year when the sun appears to follow the same path on the horizon as the earth finishes one wobble and begins to wobble the other way, giving us our seasons.   Of course, the actual moment of solstice - 9:12 a.m. on December 21 in Vancouver this year - comes when the sun appears to rise higher in the sky each day, thankfully bringing us longer days. 

So armed with this information, I ventured out on what began as very cloudy day to view Vancouver's winter solstice 2009 (and do a story about it).  Sun Stands Still icon_video.gif

Crossing Guard

bc-guard-nixon-091218.jpgLike most of you, I'm one of those pedestrians who prefers only the briefest engagement with traffic.  At crossing signals, I wait for the pedestrian light to come on, make sure all the cars and trucks are stopped and then dash across the road.  If there's no signal, I make sure the cars have gone past me or remain a fair distance off before I dash across the road.  Dashing across roads is part of the routine, along with look both ways, and so on.  Never failed me yet. 

I say all this because it's one thing to briefly pick one's spots in the uneven contest between my beefcake and a few tons of metal and quite another to be responsible for taking on that traffic two hours every day as a school crossing guard.   Particularly on a busy street with no reduced speed signs.   After watching one such guard in action, I came away with a renewed respect for the valuable work these folk do,  and the dangers they face in ensuring kids get to class.  No wonder she received accolades that day.   Award Winner icon_video.gif

Sexy Seniors

bc-seniors-nixon-091217.jpgYou just have to love people who go out on a limb for a good cause.  In this story, it's a group of seniors at a Langley retirement home.  Each one was willing, rather almost willing, to bare all, or bare almost all, for a fundraising calendar.  Who doesn't need a calendar?  Who doesn't need to see half dressed seniors all year long?  A great bunch.  Calendar Girls icon_video.gif

Olympic Mittens

bc-mittens-nixon-091215.jpgAfter this story ran on TV, people started coming up with all kinds of conspiracy theories as to why shoppers have trouble getting their hands on these popular Olympic souvenir - and darn warm winter wear too.  Sure everybody wants to buy some for their Grannies in Florida.  But the theorists speculate that maybe the Bay has deliberately kept them off the shelves so that anyone coming looking for them will buy some other Olympic bauble instead. 

Swan Rescue

OK, here's the back story.  The swan's plane was late, which meant everything else got put back - the arrival at the rescue centre, their examination of the poor thing, and the time when they would show to us.  Wouldn't you know it, we ran out of time.  It was a question of getting the pics of the swan OR getting the story on the air that night.  Couldn't have both.   So with that caveat - watch away!  Swan Love icon_video.gif

Doggie Blood

Over the years, I've done plenty of story about appeals from the blood bank for more donors.  Over the years, I've done plenty of stories about pet health too.  Pet ambulances, doggie dental surgery and the like.  It was only a matter of time before I combined both stories into one.

CBC Open House

Five thousand people came to the CBC Vancouver open house.   Luckily, they did not arrive all at once.  So as they filed through the newsroom and the control rooms and the studios, the idea was to give them a behind the scenes look at how we create the news each day.  I decided to make a story about exactly that - how I make a story - about CBC's Open House.  A Day in the Life icon_video.gif

Food Runners

Have you ever gone to a steam tray buffet and wondered what happens to all the leftover food?  It never occurred to me that there's a rather simple means to deal with it.  Send somebody out to pick up such perishable food, take it to where people need it and give it to them.  All because of BC Foodbanks, and a guy named Juan.  icon_video.gif

Giving Back

It's a truism that tough times often bring out the best in people.  That's certainly what happened with a woman I met during my foodbank series.  She went through a tough spell herself, met people whose needs were far greater than her own and decided to help out, and help out and help out.  Deb's Story

School Breakfast

It's foodbank week here at the CBC and I got the pleasure of doing a number of stories about this vital service.  Here's the first - most people know how foodbanks work - people donate food, the food gets collected at the warehouse and then given to needy people.  But as I discovered, that's not all there is to it.