Virgin Radio Launch

Posted in Around Vancouver, Events

On Friday, Vancouver welcomed it’s newest radio station! 95.3 (previously Z then Crave) is now Virgin Radio (@virgin953). Buzz Bishop posted about the launch party on twitter and was kind enough to extend and invitation to Ianiv & I.

As Buzz notes:

Virgin 953 is all about doing things differently. Pushing your boundaries. Getting you through the boredom of life, over the edge and into the goosebumpy goodness. You might even call it a popgasm.

Virgin 953 is very similar to how the radio station has always been, with the same demographic and music styles. There is a fancy new schedule, some new programming, but overall it’s still the same great radio station.

The launch party on Thursday was over the top crazy! If you can imagine a naked man (yes, naked, and flown in from LA), a tattoo artist, a woman with a snake, servers in crazy tutus, and people being set on fire… well, that was the long and short of it. Toss in some food and an open bar, and it was quite the party!

Check out our photo set here.

Farmstead Wines Tasting

Posted in Around Vancouver, wine

This morning I noticed on Twitter that Anthony from Farmstead Wines was doing a wine tasting not too far from where we live. I’ve been wanting to meet Anthony for a while and I’ve heard only good things about the wine so we went to try them for ourselves.

The tasting was done at Everything Wine, a very large wine store in North Vancouver. It’s a nice large space and the number of wines they have in stock is a bit overwhelming. They have daily wine tastings from 2pm to 6pm and they described Farmstead’s as:

This portfolio of wines is one of the best we’ve tasted since the store opened!  Well worth the trip to taste wines from producers devoted to organic and sustainable agriculture!

Farmstead Wine Tasting

Anthony was offering 4 different wines and answering questions from the clientele. We tasted all four of them and asked him to give a short description of each one.

The first wine we tried was a Gruner Veltliner from Martin Arndorfer.

Then we tried a 2001 Barbera from Agricola Marrone.

The next wine was a 2007 Dolcetto from Renato Fenocchio who inspired Anthony to start importing wine.

And lastly, a Minervois from Domaine de Courbissac.

I also caught Anthony explaining the meaning behind Farmstead Wines.

We enjoyed all four wines and they were all very different. The Barbera, in particular, caught my attention, I don’t think I’ve tried anything quite like it before. In the end we brought a couple of bottles of the Minervois home.

The bottom line is that if you want to try wines that are hand-made by the farmers, who really care about what they do and do it in a sustainable and natural way, you must give Farmstead Wines a try.

Farmstead Wine TastingFarmstead Wine Tasting
Farmstead Wine TastingFarmstead Wine Tasting

New Toys for Christmas

Posted in Cooking, Gadgets & Gizmos, Home Decor

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas?? We did!!


It was a great Christmas, I do have to say. All around fantastic. I spent 5 days in Toronto in early December to have an early Christmas with my mom and family, and had a quiet, if snowy, Christmas at home with Ianiv and my family here. Ianiv and I, without knowing it, each got each other a fun ‘big’ gadget for Christmas. Nothing camera related this time around (shocking, isn’t it?).

I got Ianiv the Cuisinart Griddler and Ianiv got me the Dyson Handheld Vacuum Cleaner.

My intention was to buy an upgraded version of the George Foreman Grill for Ianiv – something with grill plates that could be removed to clean or go in the dishwasher. We hated that our old model couldn’t do that. However, when shopping around I fell in love with the Cuisinart model. It came with 2 grill panels (grooved and flat) and could be used as a press or could open and lie flat for pancakes or something of that nature. It works with far better results than our previous indoor grill, and we have used it quite a lot already.

The little Dyson handheld was on my list for this year after I stumbled across it on their website. Earlier in the year we replaced our vacuum with the Dyson Canister vacuum. It’s lighter, quieter, easier to maneuver on the stairs, and gets up a really incredible amount of dirt and dust. Far more than anything we were getting up before. I love it, but even with its light size shouldn’t really be carrying it up and down the stairs with my injuries.

So, in steps the new handheld. If there’s some cat hair or something really bugging me on another floor of the house, I can grab the little handheld and clean it up. It has the same power as the canister vacuum, but is easier to use. Primarily I wanted it because it promises 5 minutes of full power work. Our previous handheld did about 30 seconds of “sort of” cleaning. Not picking up everything, but kind of helping. Drove me nuts.

So, those are our new gadgets. What did you get??

Living with Vampires

Posted in Books, TV

This post deals with the two series that started my reading frenzy of the past few weeks.

I recently got sucked into the whole craze surrounding the
Twilight Saga. I started the book series just to understand what all the buzz was about surrounding the movie. I knew that teenagers, and girls of all ages, were devouring the books and were salivating for the movie. I figured I’d give the series a shot – if it helped me understand the entertainment buzz an no more, that’d be fine. But I got sucked in. I believe I even termed it a “sickness” on Twitter.

The Twilight books were written by Stephenie Meyer and involve a love story between young Bella Swan and teenage vampire Edward Cullen. The first book was made into a movie, with star Robert Pattinson becoming an instant teen idol. It’s quite crazy. But back to the books. I really was sucked in.

I started reading while I was sick, so I had plenty of time to devour all four books in a matter of less than a week. I can’t explain the series better than this: it’s like being a teenager in love all over again. Vampires and supernatural worlds aside (the series goes into more than just vampires), the series has the crazy emotional pull of being a teenager. Plus, it’s written in a way that keeps you going and going, with very few natural breaks to stop. It’s more of a romance series than a Sci Fi series, and it’s quite far from pretentious. But it nonetheless has the power to come to life as you read it.

The first book was my favorite, with perhaps the fourth winning me over again. I was at first a little annoyed at the introduction of other supernatural creatures, and the flippant play of emotions and obvious easy “outs” that are built into the plot. But I enjoyed it quite a good deal anyway. There is a fifth book in the series that was started and was leaked online. Author Stephenie Meyer was disappointed with this and chose to put the novel on hold, but released the partial draft on her website. It was my favorite of the series, by far. It’s essentially the first book re-told from Edward’s perspective, which was fascinating.

Keeping in the theme of vampires, I decided to pursue the series that inspired the HBO drama True Blood, which was my favorite new series of 2008 (and that’s saying something). The Southern Vampire Mysteries, now known mostly as the Sookie Stackhouse Series was written by Charlaine Harris and involves 8 books so far, with another slated for release in May of 2009. This story follows Sookie Stackhouse, a barmaid telepath living in a small town in Louisiana. She has the reputation of being a little crazy, but is a lovable spunky character. Her whole world changes once a vampire, Bill Compton, comes to town (in this series, a synthetic blood product allowed them to ‘come out’ in society a few years ago) and she finds that she cannot read his mind. Drawn to his peace, she has a relationship with him, and becomes quite involved in his world. Read the rest of this entry »

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