Beerfest 2017: Coriander Edition

This was the first festival I attended in the rain — the rain was very welcome after an extensive dry spell so I wasn’t about to complain and I came mostly prepared; next time I will wear boots if it is wet though as my feet ended up very wet and chilled. Last year, the secret ingredient was mango — this year, it seemed to be coriander in many of the brews on offer. I Continue Reading →

What is it about Mango?

Maybe I am showing my age, but when I hear whispers of “Mango…,” a part of my brain leaps to the SNL character played by Chris Kattan, the running gag being that the ambiguous character was irresistible to virtually everyone. The rest of my brain is simply saying “Eww,” because mango is not a fruit I enjoy. So when every other cask at this year’s Great Candadian Beer Festival turned out to be mango-something-or-other, I Continue Reading →

More Words, Better Balance

Week two of NaNoWriMo didn’t get me very far ahead. As writing goes, I had one “good” day and a bunch of “almost enough” days but I still wrote every day. My current word count is just below the halfway mark at 23,585 for the month of November. Added to my existing word count my manuscript is already at 47,942! And man, do I need to write these characters out of the mess they are Continue Reading →

Victoria: home of architectural hoarding

I have lived in this city for most of my life. I am used to it, the way it is, or sometimes was. I am one of those people who will wax on about long-demolished buildings (e.g. the former Eatons Department store, above) and who oohs-and-ahhs when an “important” building is salvaged and given new life. But sometimes I have to agree with the friend who posted on a recent thread about a local landmark Continue Reading →

Shop Local This Season

I realized recently to my horror, that I have barely begun Christmas shopping… as usual, I had grand ideas of handmade gifts and I may still try to do a few of those, but for the rest of my gifts I will be doing everything possible to shop locally. This is not as easy as it sounds though because several family members have requested gift cards to chain stores and I would prefer to give Continue Reading →

Buyer’s Market

Housing sales have tanked in BC lately — down 25% over last year. There is so much on the market that prices are dropping almost weekly. Honestly, if we had $30K to spare, we’d buy another house and rent/reno this one. The house next door sold last week — for about $40K under asking price which was already $40K below assessed value. One of the reasons it was reduced was that there were a lot Continue Reading →

Cost Overruns are to be Expected

City Councillor Ben Isitt noted  on Facebook today, “Major cost overruns are projected for the new Johnson Street Bridge — from $77-million to $93-million. Should Council opt for a simpler, more functional, more cost-effective design (that is strong enough to survive a major quake and accommodate light rail)? Let us know between now and Thursday:” I decided I did have an opinion, and I started to draft a quick letter. The more I wrote, Continue Reading →

Starting from Zero

One of the domains I own, and have for a long time, is (here’s a 2001 screenshot — man that page looks positively Jurassic now). Currently, subsites include my Unofficial Guide to Victoria and my new companion site, Around Victoria’s Inner Harbour. It’s also where Frugal Victoria started (as and since that site has now been sold, I am feeling a little… not quite empty… but I imagine it’s a bit like watching Continue Reading →

New and notable

While I am getting ready for WordCamp and trying to keep all the other balls in the air, I have been trying to procrastinate in a creative way — still producing stuff that is useful. Here’s what I did while avoiding other stuff this weekend: After watching Hobo with a Shotgun late Friday night, I was reminded of Machine Girl which we found thanks to Netflix last fall. I wrote a combined review for both, since Continue Reading →

Ballot Cast

Mike and I took the opportunity today to vote in the advanced polls (election day is officially Saturday). I don’t think I’ve ever done the advance polls before and I can’t say I was terribly impressed with the security guard trying to “manage the bottleneck” (of three people including us) by insisting we “STAY BEHIND THE GREEN LINE” (Mike was two inches over the line) and was clearly lacking in knowledge about the actual process Continue Reading →