CBC British Columbia
Bob's Blog

Let's Make a Deal

bc-combo-nixon-100127.jpgRemember the good old days when people spent hours on their computers trying to get their hands on Olympic tickets in the hopes of flipping them like so much Vancouver real estate?   The idea was that those tickets were gold, and big premiums to actual ticket prices were guaranteed.  Even Vanoc has got into the act, offering ticket holders a website where they can sell them.  Go to Craiglist and you will see thousands and thousands of tickets available.  And then there are the folks who have apartments and houses to rent, hoping for cash in during the games.  I'm sure some people are buying some of the tickets and renting some of the homes.  I'm no realtor, but it looks like an awful lot of supply is out there - and the clock is ticking down.  Then there's this guy pictured above - who thinks he's got the right package that just might find a buyer before the games. Combo Play icon_video.gif

Zipline Test Pilot

bc-zip-line-nixon-100126.jpgZiplines have been strung out all through old growth forests over the past decade, delighting and occasionally terrifying eco-warriors who get a thrill as they zing through the woods.  So it makes sense that a province that wants to showcase its assets would come up with a way to bring this tourist attraction to the thousands of visitors expected to swarm Vancouver during the Olympics.  Sure enough, a zipline has been constructed right in the heart of the city and no doubt this will be a popular attraction.  But as the crew stringing the 164 metre (not 52 metres as I said in the story - a mathematical miscalculation for which I offer profuse appologies) line finished the job, I began to wonder who would be its very first rider? Zipline Right Stuff icon_video.gif

Olympic Facelift

Thumbnail image for bc-welcome-nixon-100125.jpgI confess that this Olympic welcoming of the world thing is turning out to be much more comprehensive an operation that I expected.  It is not just all the temporary pavilions popping up on every parking lot.  That did not surprise me.  It's the smaller changes.  Stuff disappears - like garbage bins (remember the Atlanta '96 bombing?) - and stuff appears - like clear plastic garbage bags.  Pizza sized round country flags are appearing on sidewalks, and signs directing people to venues make their way to lamp posts.  In the eternal construction site that is Vancouver, changes to the city might no longer surprise.  But it can sometimes confuse.  Witness the guy whose job is to put up some of those new signs on Vancouver streets.  Welcome Guy icon_video.gif

Pizzazz Teaching

bc-science-nixon-100124.jpgScience World may be closed until March the eighth - but the show must go on for its annual Iron Science Teacher competition.  If you, like me, did not know there have been previous contests to choose the most informative and entertaining science teaching team in B.C., then have no fear!  Because - our top camera crews here at CBC managed to track down this year's event, not through deductive reasoning or wild guesswork.  No folks, we simply followed the instructions on the press release which directed us to the MacMillan Space Centre - also known as the planetarium.  Iron Science Teacher icon_video.gif

Dance Limits

bc-streb-nixon-100122.jpgI have never admitted this to anyone in the past decade or so, but I may as well come clean for the sake of a blog intro.  Back in the 1970s, when I was just a wee jasper, I really liked slam dancing.  When the Damned were playing over the speakers, there was nothing quite like bashing into some other fellas on the dance floor who also did not know any real moves.  It satisfied some inner need to avoid the humiliation that I believed would ensue when a woman turned down my invitation to dance.  Ahh, youth.  Such fond memories!

If only the Streb Extreme Action Company existed back then.  I could have bashed my body for art, and maybe been a better man for it.  30 years on, this still looks like fun. 

Streb Extreme icon_video.gif

Fan Support

bc-sledge-nixon-b-100118.jpgI know it was only an exhibition game, played on a Monday afternoon in a rink that did not have many seats.  But some might find it surprising how few people came out to see Canada's gold medal men's sledge hockey team take on Korea's national team.  Those who did show up watched one heck of a match - and one can see why Canada is the class of the world at this remarkably fast and skillful game.  By the way, the Canadians swept all three games against Korea. 

Sledge Hockey icon_video.gif

Frozen Paint

bc-ice-nixon-100117.jpgWhat Canadian has not made at least one snowman during their lifetime?  Even if you live in Vancouver, the winter generally provides ample opportunities to play with snow and ice.  Not so much this year, but as the Olympic folk keep reminding us, the snow is not over yet.  But one group of folk have been working in sub-zero temperatures for more than a month - right here in the lower mainland - creating a unique Olympic display.  It about coloured ice for a giant painting at Richmond City Hall.  I did not understand it either, so I headed down to see what was going on.  Ice Art icon_video.gif

Bike Valets

No doubt you have heard all the warnings about the traffic schmozzle Vancouver expects during the Olympics.  Road closures, tons of tourists, oh it can make a commuter's blood boil just thinking about it.  The solution?  Well, there is none.  But the city of Vancouver is spending 100-thousand bucks on metal bike parking racks and offering a free valet service to cyclists during the games.  Think of the luxury, folks, when you drop that two wheelers off, dust off the tuxedo and head off to the Gold Medal game.  Olympic Bike Service icon_video.gif

Teaching Old Dogs ...

bc-dog-nixon-net.jpgWe've all heard about how a dog year is equal to seven human years.  They just age faster than us, they die sooner than us.  People who love dogs keep replacing them one after the other, sometimes giving the new one the same name as the old one.  But what happens when an old dog just keeps getting older?  Well, that's the focus of this story.  And I should mention - that I wrote the story on a Wednesday and it ran on TV on a Thursday.  Why is that important?  Because - in the strange coincidence department (see next story) - Otto the World's Oldest Dog - died on the same day we showed this story on TV.  (We only learned of it on the Friday)  Oldest Dog? icon_video.gif

Olympic Coincidence

bc-street-nixon-net.jpgI'm not going to give away the punchline on this one.  But let's just say it's in the same vein as the story about a fellow who leaves his town, travels half way around the world, moves into a house and discovers his next door neighbour used to be his next door neighbour in the first town.  I'm talking about coincidences, friends.  Strange little symmetries that make us scratch our heads and say "hmmm, that's odd".  Or "My, what a remarkable coincidence."  Usually it means nothing - and that's certainly the case here.  But still, I find coincidences fascinating all the same.   Don't you?  Odd and Fascinating icon_video.gif

Birks Clock

bc-clock-nixon-net.jpgWho would have thought that a trip to watch a historic clock's return to Granville Street could turn into a lesson in the art of punning.  In this case, it's the Birk's Clock, that was removed several years ago when the Canada Line subway construction began and the venerable jewellry company decided to refurbish its giant time piece for the first time in almost 100 years.  They called in the best - and he delivered ... and then some.  A who really knows when the clock is ticking. Time Flies icon_video.gif

Olympic Hosts

bc-olympic-nixon-net.jpgVancouver's Tourist Board has issued a 10 point list suggesting how people can become good hosts to the tens of thousands of tourists who will arrive for the Olympics next month.  It's a good idea, since many of those tourists will have no idea where anything is, so helping them out is a very friendly thing to do.  That is providing we know more about the Olympics than they do.  I went to find out just how Olympic informed our citizens are.  The results - well what do you think?  Venue Confusion? icon_video.gif 

It's Blooming January

bc-blossoms-nixon-net.jpgIt's happened before because this is the west coast, but some plants are once again fooled by a January mild spell.  Of course, when the temperatures rise well above zero and the sun comes out, we can be excused for being fooled ourselves.  But surely, after a few hundred million years of evolution, a cherry tree would know that a couple of nice days does not mean it should pretend that spring has sprung, that winter - or what little we have had this year - is over and it's time to turn a lovely shade of pink.  But who knows the mind of a tree?  Cherry Blossoms icon_video.gif

Y2K Plus 10

bc-decade-nixon-net.jpgLet me see.  As the 20th century ended, I had this idea that within ten years I would cash in my stock options from the San Francisco internet company I worked for and lead a life canoeing every river in Canada.  Oh, so, so, so naive.  Last time I looked, about 2003, those options were worth 63 bucks.  But at least I have canoed two of those rivers, and one creek besides.  And I got to spend the day asking other people, young and old, whether their own Y2K dreams came true.  The idea was to spark a conversation amongst viewers over your own experiences, hopes and dreams over the first decade of the 21st Century.  What say you?  Reflection 2010 icon_video.gif

Pressure Washer

bc-cleaning-nixon-net.jpgI wonder how many of us had New Year's resolutions that included pressure washing the mould and muck off the back fence.  That's some big job.   But not nearly as big as the one a fellow I ran into had.  Cleaning the entire side of a building of decades worth of grime, all because of one night's worth of grafitti.  But this was no garden variety tagging.  It was Olympic sized.  Graffiti Be Gone icon_video.gif