Good Advice; Never Read the Comments

At her recent talk in Vancouver Michelle Obama said something like, “Never read the comments on social media.”

I recently engaged in a Twitter “conversation” around the issue of White Privilege. The conversation started after a disgruntled parent went to social media with her complaints about a Gold Trail School District campaign to raise awareness about systemic racism in our society.

Full disclosure, I do have connections to the Gold Trail School District; I was once a student in the district and many years after being a student there I was a teacher in the district.

This morning I read Patti Bacchus’ column in the Georgia Straight on the fiasco that developed around the well intentioned campaign. It is a good read.

However, this line from Patti’s column quite accurately summarizes the experience I endured after I spoke up in favour of acknowledging systemic racism:

“Reading the social-media comments on stories about racism is often akin to looking down the hole in an outhouse. It’s a dark and fetid experience, featuring an abundance of human waste, some so vile and infectious that it poses a serious threat to our collective public health.”

Yep. I looked down the outhouse hole and it is indeed and dark and fetid experience.

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R.I.P. Stephen Hawking

I pulled up two of my favourite quotes from the recently deceased Stephen Hawking, the first one;

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

How wonderful is that?

And then there is this dandy,

I have noticed even people who claim everything is pre-destined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.

Rest In Peace Stephen Hawking.

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A Day On Grouse Mountain

I summarized my afternoon on Grouse Mountain into just over four minutes of video. I included a pretty epic “technical failure” into the video. Enjoy.

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Red Light Cameras and Speeding

Yesterday I followed an interesting twitter “conversation” about the possibility of implementing red light cameras that not only catch people driving through red lights but also catch drivers who are speeding while driving through red lights.

One person commented that the process “wasn’t very transparent” because there wasn’t a publicly available list of which intersections the red light cameras will be implemented at.

Huh? We need a list of intersections where we shouldn’t go through the light at a high rate of speed, particularly when the light is red?

This actually reminds me of another story I saw on Twitter yesterday. The police in West Van put up one of those large portable signs telling drivers that 100m ahead the police were checking for drivers using their mobile phones.

Almost unbelievably, the police still caught a couple dozen people using their mobile phones while driving!

But back to the red light camera story – for the record, there actually is a list of the 140 intersections in Metro Vancouver that have significantly higher rates of collisions. Those are the locations that it is most likely a red light camera will be installed.

But really, shouldn’t the standard practice be that when you are approaching an intersection and the light turns yellow, you slow down and stop? Do we really need a public list of which intersections we should follow the law at?

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Thursday Thoughts

What you say is important.

What your listener hears you say is arguably more important.

Think about what you are saying and think about what your listener is hearing from you. They are not always the same thing. Is that okay with you?

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Going to the Sushi Well

I tried Sushi Well in uptown New West for lunch the other day. I’m not sure if is actually new, or maybe it is just a rebranded Okonomi Sushi, the previous tenant in that location.

Either way, I was pleased. The sushi was cut nicely to a perfect size – not the massive slabs of fish do many places do these days. Just perfect bites.

And one of the reasons I’m wondering if this is a “rebranding” is because as you can see in the image above, they have the same pink sushi rice that Okonomi had.

I’ll be trying Sushi Well again.

  • Sushi Well is located at 620 6th Street in New West.
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Making Biscuits

I continue to struggle with my biscuit making skills. I just can’t get them to be as light and tender as the biscuits I remember eating when I was a kid.

Today I used grated frozen butter instead of oil. It was more complicated measuring out the 5 tablespoons so I kind of guesstimated what 5 tablespoons should be.

I also stopped at Superstore and bought a sieve so I can sift the flour. Maybe that’ll help make them lighter?

I’ll keep trying – the fact is, the biscuits I’m getting are always pretty tasty!

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A Dad in the Burbs Visits Monster Jam Vancouver

We did it. We went to the Monster Jam event in the Pacific Coliseum on Friday night and you know what, it was actually a really, really fun family event.

Sure there were more guys with beards and neck tattoos than I’ve ever seen in one place, but there were also tons of families there as well. There were even some families with dads with beards and neck tattoos. There were also many moms and dads there with little boys and girls. And they were all having fun!

One thing I found really cool was the fact that the people running the show and the men and women in the show all know they are in the entertainment business and they all worked really hard at being entertaining.

After the show was over all the drivers set up at tables in the lobby of the Coliseum to greet any and every fan who wanted to say hi and get an autograph.

And if you were like me, and you wanted a picture of your kid with the driver of the Wildflower monster truck, the drivers were more than happy to smile and pose for a photo. Honestly, they were a class act!

I think that Sunday is the final day for the show in Vancouver. If you get a chance, check out the show. It is a lot of fun. Oh, if you do go…take hearing protection!

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Monster Jam® Vancouver

While I drive around the city with my kids in one of the smallest cars on the road, my daughters have taken a fancy to trucks.

Not just trucks like your regular SUV. Nope. They are wild about monster trucks like the kind we are going to see at the Vancouver Monster Jam®.

Monster Jam

So what did I do to satisfy their interest in trucks? I got tickets to take them to see Monster Jam®, the most action-packed motorsports experience there is for families!

Watch for me at the Monster Jam®. I’ll be the guy in jeans, faded black t-shirt, and boots with two little girls wearing their best party dresses while trying to get inside the Monster Jam® trucks.

Ive told the kids to expect the Monster Jam® this weekend to be a bigger, faster and louder experience than anything they’ve ever seen or heard before. Possibly even louder than the our normal bedtime routine of screaming and crying.

Although they don’t know the names of the trucks, I’ve been describing the trucks that they’ll be seeing at this high-octane weekend event at the PNE’s Pacific Coliseum.

This year’s exciting truck lineup features Monster Jam super-truck icons and World Finals Champions Grave Digger®, MAX-DTM (driven by 11-time champ Tom Meents) and El Toro Loco®.

Monster Jam

Perhaps most exciting to my kids is the Vancouver debut appearance of the Team Hot Wheels truck plus featuring the youngest ever female driver, 20 year old Rosalee Ramer driving Wild Flower. Who doesn’t love a monster sized Hot Wheels truck AND the idea of female drivers behind the wheel of these over-sized monsters? My kids are over the moon excited about that!

Monster Jam® is one of the only sports where male and female world-class drivers, some generational rivals, are equals competing for the same championship on the same track.

Monster Jam

And you know how when you go to a theatre they begin the show by telling you to turn off your phone? Not at the Monster Jam®! Fans in every city will have the chance to vote for the truck winner in the donut, wheelie and freestyle competitions by real-time, in-arena fan voting on their smartphones.

In addition to the world-class racing and freestyle competition action, fans can come to the stadium early on Saturday to enjoy the Monster Jam® Pit Party pre-show experience – which gives fans unparalleled access to view their favorite trucks up-close and meet the star drivers for autographs & photos.

So if you are at the Monster Jam® on Friday night, look for me and say hello. And have fun!

The event details: 

Where: Pacific Coliseum at the PNE – 2901 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC
When: Friday, March 2, 2018 – Event Time: 7:00 PM
Saturday, March 3, 2018 – Event Times: 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM
Pit Party open from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
(Sat. 1PM ticket & Pit Pass required for entry; Pit Passes available to purchase for $10 each)
Sunday, March 4, 2018 – Event Time: 1:00 PM
Tickets: Now available for purchase online at or charge by phone at 604-252-3700. Tickets are affordably priced for the whole family with some seats starting at just $15 each.

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Making Biscuits

I’ve been working on making biscuits for quite some time now and today I had my best results yet.

It was like I heard a voice from my past this morning, “Don’t work them so hard! Just gently introduce the ingredients!”

So today, I quickly stirred the dry ingredients together in my mixing bowl and then I added the cooking oil.

Once the oil was in with the dry ingredients I used two knives and “cut” the oil into the dry so that they formed pea sized chunks of biscuit dough.

Then I poured in the milk and used a rubber spatula (or as some call it, a rubber scraper) to mix the milk into the dough. I gently mixed the milk in within about 20-30 seconds and then rolled the ball of dough onto the board.

I flattened it out to about 3/4″ thick and then used a glass to cut the dough into little circles.

Into the preheated to 450° oven for precisely 20 minutes and then bingo, biscuit perfection. Sort of.

The ingredients:

  • 2 cups of unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 3/4 cup of milk.

I also had about 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar I stirred in right after mixing the dry ingredients.

I ended up with 8 small biscuits. Just enough for breakfast for me and the kids.

The best part? The kids ate them and declared them “the best biscuits yet”. A parenting win.

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