26 February 2010

2010 Olympics, part 2

Mens’ Curling, Day 8
Ed and I went to see mens’ curling on Feb 19. We both took the day off work because the event started at 2:00pm. There were four games going on at the same time - Germany vs Switzerland, Denmark vs Canada, France vs USA, and Norway vs China. With four simultaneous games, I actually found it hard to focus on anything. Too much stuff going on. Ed told me to just watch the Denmark/Canada game but I felt I was missing out on the other games. Denmark made a major mistake in the 4th end which game Canada a big 7-2 lead. Canada scored 3 more points in the 6th end. That finished up the game with the score of 10-3 for Canada. Interestingly, I found it a lot easier to watch three simultaneous games. Who knew one game would make such a difference. Anyway, the three remaining games were all nail-biters, with the outcome coming down to the last rock in the last end. Switzerland had a chance to tie with the last throw but the rock came up just a little short of the target. And the USA skip threw a brilliant last rock to score 1 point and win the game. All very entertaining games!

The highlights include the pants of the Norway team. They look like jesters! And the Swiss contingent in the stands with their big (and loud) cow bells.
Norway's fancy pants

Figure skating practice session, Day 9
Yvette and I were back at the Pacific Coliseum. This time around, the women skaters and the pairs ice dancers were practicing. The women were on first and we were excited to see Yu-na Kim from Korea and Joannie Rochette from Canada. They didn’t disappoint. They were both really good. Yvette explained the different jumps to me and how to spot which was which, but it went over my head. I know there are toe jumps and there are edge jumps. But to spot a toe loop from a lutz from a flip, well, I’ll leave that to Yvette.

I took a video of Yu-na Kim practicing her program.

The ice dancing pairs went out next and it was like a dress rehearsal. The women skaters wore work-out clothes but the ice dancers were in their full costume, complete with make-up and hair-do. It was entertaining to see all the blingy and the weird-looking costumes. Unfortunately, the skaters came out according to the standings from the compulsary dance, from lowest to highest, and we didn’t get to see Moir and Virtue from Canada. The actual practice session went on past 1pm but the audience was kicked out of the Coliseum at that time. Boo!
German pair

Victory Ceremony, Day 9
I went home to nap, then it was go-go-go again. We were heading downtown for that day’s Victory Cermony at BC Place. We parked the car at Navarik (just a short walk away) and walked along the sea wall to BC Place. Our seats sucked but the usher said we can move to better seats once the ceremony started. There were no medal events that day in Vancouver but there were a few in Whistler. We watched the video feed from Whistler and celebrated as Jon Montgomery of Canada got his gold medal for men’s skeleton. After the medals were handed out, Stereophonics put on a show for about an hour. I wasn’t familiar with their music but I liked what I heard. They rocked it and it was a good show!

Victory Ceremony, Day 10
The next evening, Ed and I were back at BC Place for another Victory Ceremony. We were pros at this now and we knew that we can pretty much just sit anywhere. So we picked our seats and hoped that nobody would come later to claim it. Thankfully, no one did! This evening, there were medal events in Cypress and Vancouver and we got to see it live. Vancouver and Whistler alternated handing out medals. I forget which events had medals handed out in Whistler but I do remember Bode Miller from the US getting a bronze medal for something. In Vancouver, medals were handed out to the winners of the 1500m men’s long track speed skating, 1500m women’s short track, 1000m men’s short track, and the men’s ski cross. It was very cool to see these athletes get their medals, their faces just beaming with pride and happiness. It didn’t matter which country they were from, I couldn’t help but feel so happy for them for winning an Olympic medal.
Speed Skating - Men's 1500 m

After the medal ceremonies were done, it was time to rock on. Trooper and Loverboy each played for 45 mins each. They may be older but these guys can still deliver a good show. Both bands sounded great. People were on their feet, dancing and singing along. We had a great time!

I took a video of Loverboy belting out "Turn Me Loose".

18 February 2010

2010 Olympics, part 1

Torch relay on Day 1
On Feb 12, the Olympic torch relay passed along our office building. This was Day 1 of the Olympics and we are all pretty excited in the office. Some staffs’ family and friends came, too. We wore red and whatever Canada gear we owned. At around noon, we all headed down to the street to line up and secure a good viewing spot. The Coke truck passed by and they handed out cans of Coke Zero. Then the security cars passed by, followed by the security people who were on foot. We then saw the flame approaching and we started cheering and clapping. Everyone snapped away hoping for that perfect picture. The torch was carried by a lady whom I didn’t recognize. She was pretty pumped, as were we. But as quickly as she came, she was gone.

It was then time for some lunch (Navarik brought in sandwiches and salads for lunch) and the Navarik Wii Olympics. There were two “events” - ski slalom and ski jump. The top finishers were awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals. It was a very festive atmosphere in Navarik and it was a great way to start off the Olympics.

Figure skating practice session, Day 2
Yvette and I attended the practice session for the pairs and men on Feb 13. It started at 7am (we arrived at 8am) with the pairs going first. I haven’t been following figure skating that closely in recent years so I who was who but it was easy to tell who the really good ones were. The Chinese pairs were impressive!

The men started their practice at around 10am. Patrick Chan is the Canadian champion (I knew who he was) and it was exciting to watch him skate. He’s very good. There was one Japanese dude (don’t know his name) who was really good and Lysacek from USA was really good too. The audience got kicked out at 1pm which was good because we were pretty hungry. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the practice sessions but it was a lot of fun and you get to watch the skaters for much longer than during actual competitions. Thumbs up for that!

Hockey game Sweden vs Germany, Day 6
I was so excited for this! Navarik rented two suites for the staff to watch the game. The celebration started off at 1pm in the office when we had hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Some ex-staff members were coming to watch the game and it was great to catch up with them. Everyone mingled. Some watched the men’s halfpipe competition in the boardroom. Some just sat and enjoyed their beer. At 3:15pm, we made our way to GM Place which is now named Canada Hockey Place. The sun was shining and it was a perfect day for a walk along the seawall.

Inside GM Place, the suites were sweet! Great vantage point. I made myself comfortable, got my camera ready, and waited for the game to start. Sweden is the stronger team but I thought Germany put up a good fight. It was 0-0 at the end of the first period. Mattias Ohlund scored a goal in the second period to put Sweden ahead 1-0. Then Eriksson scored in the third period to give Sweden a two-goal lead. The crowd was really into the game, which was pretty entertaining. I cheered for both teams which confused Remick, my coworker who was sitting next to me. Whoever had the puck, i cheered for. I was just in a cheering mood.

After the game, we went to the Irish House for a little bit of partying. It’s really a big tent and inside, an enormous amount of alcohol is consumed by revellers as they enjoy the live music and watch the Olympic coverage on numerous, huge TVs. Yeah, it was pretty fun.

At 10pm, my friend Yvette and I headed out but before going home, we made a detour to the Japadog hotdog stand on Burrard St. We shared an Okonomi and it was pretty yummy. We walked to the SkyTrain station, feeling like tourists in our own town. Downtown was alive and the energy was infectious. That was an awesome day!

Check out my Flickr site for more pics.

10 February 2010


There’s a woodpecker that is pecking away at our house. I have woken up to a knocking sound a few times already and finally, last weekend, I ran outside to see where it was coming from. I saw a bird on a small perch, tucked away in a corner just under the roof, heartily pecking the side of our house. It stopped when it heard my voice but didn’t fly away. I threw a pebble towards it. The pebble hit our house, close enough to the bird to scare it away. I saw that there is bird poop cascading down our house under the perch and that the wall right under the roof has been damaged. Our house was just painted last summer! Darn bird!

The complex caretaker, Theresa, came by this morning to check out the damage. She said the woodpeckers have been terrorizing a few of the units. There are many trees all over our neighbourhood. I wonder why they like our houses better. Anyway, Theresa’s on it and hopefully, she finds a way to keep the bird away. Otherwise, does anybody have a BB gun?