So much bubbling up

March 30, 2009 at 12:47 am | In just_so | 7 Comments

As we work on MetroCascade, I continue to be amazed by all the bloggers, events, and sources that we uncover (ok, that I uncover!).

One twenty-something dude told me that he didn’t think there was any value in uncovering the cool stuff in Victoria. He didn’t think there was cool stuff in Victoria.

Whatever. I’m nearly 3 decades older than he is, and I remember all the cool stuff that I enjoyed in Victoria BC when I was 14, 15, 16, 17 years old: the Churchill pub (ok, I was underage/ drinking illegally: bite me), now reincarnated as the Jellyfish Lounge (and still troublesome!); Sappho’s (an early 1970s private gay bar in Victoria, unlicensed, where you could dance till 4 a.m. and then go to a 24-hour cafe – Scott’s! – for a butter tart and cup of tea, before heading home at dawn); the Quee Queg Cafe in Bastion Square (oh, scan thru this comments thread for more info on Valdy – Valdy? Jesus, I completely forgot about that darned old hippie!); amazing events at local music venues; the list goes on…

And the point is that it’s still going on. What I saw in my underage degeneracy wasn’t a fluke. It was normal for here.

You know, it’s like that Magritte painting:

Rene Magritte, Ceci n'est pas une pipe

Ceci n’est pas une pipe.

This is not Victoria.

(….Oh yes it is.)

(PS: I was never a Valdy fan, by the way. I wasn’t a folkie. Still don’t like the style. Just saying. I do remember that one time, when I was 14 or 15, I was hitchhiking on Hillside Avenue with my friend, and we got picked up by Mose Allison and his band. They were in town to play a concert at UVic. We told Mose in the most sage tones we could muster that UVic was out in the sticks, and that he and the band really should go downtown instead. True.)

The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

March 29, 2009 at 11:24 pm | In links | 1 Comment

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Posting elsewhere

March 29, 2009 at 8:58 pm | In housekeeping | 3 Comments

Even though there’s not much activity here, that doesn’t mean I’ve been sitting on my hands. As we continue to get MetroCascade up and running, I’m not just curating content on that site (by bookmarking local mainstream news items to a separate Diigo feed, for example) or by hunting for additional Victoria, BC online sources. I’m also posting occasional updates to the MetroCascade blog, and I post unusual event notices to the MetroCascade Events blog.

Checking in

March 29, 2009 at 8:50 pm | In housekeeping, just_so | 1 Comment

I’m “neglecting” my blog lately (tho’ I hate using that word, as it makes me sound like neglect is optional).

(The give-away was that for a couple of weeks running, I don’t even have a Diigo linkroll update, except for today’s single entry…)

Earlier this month, I blogged What’s my domain?, where I wondered whether I should break away from the brand and stake out my own. So far, I have achieved no practical progress on that front, although I did secure my domain name. In the comments thread to my post, Harvard’s Daniel Collis-Puro pointed out that I benefit from association with the Harvard brand. True, but I need to weigh benefits and negatives, which I haven’t done so far.

The problem is this: I get caught up in different projects that require my attention, and I like to have plenty of time when I’m not “on.” In total, it means I’m not sure I could maintain the kind of daily and persistent output that all things “brand” require. If I don’t bother maintaining my “brand,” however, there’s no point in starting it.

So…, still figuring this one out.

February and March FOCUS articles up on Scribd

March 20, 2009 at 8:01 pm | In FOCUS_Magazine, victoria, writing | 4 Comments

As the title says, I just scanned and uploaded (finally…) my February and March articles to Scribd.

I’ll have a more detailed post later, but for now you can find the February article here and the March one here.

A modest proposal to stimulate local economy

March 18, 2009 at 11:48 pm | In politics, victoria | 2 Comments

I just read Reid tops list of municipal election spenders, an article in my local newspaper about candidates’ campaign spending in our city’s November 2008 municipal election.

This caught my attention:

Collectively, Victoria’s councillors and mayor spent $120,422.47 on their campaigns.

Admittedly, it’s peanuts. But consider that municipal elections were held not just in our tight little municipality of the City of Victoria, but in all the twelve surrounding municipalities that constitute the Capital Regional District (CRD), or Victoria proper. (Canada Post calls it all Victoria; we should, too. All hail the Post Office.)

Imagine these amounts multiplied – even if not 13 times over, since the candidates in some of the smaller municipalities will have spent less, then at least four or five times over. That’s the sort of change that adds up, right?

So my modest proposal is to have annual municipal elections.

Currently they’re held every three years. But if we held them annually, we could really grease the wheels. With some smart marketing and leveraging of the socnets plus a YouTube channel or two, we could turn this into a “reality show” and get sponsored advertising!

At last, the process could be redeemed as something useful.

Oz, BC

March 17, 2009 at 7:53 pm | In local_not_global, scenes_victoria, victoria | Comments Off on Oz, BC

Oh my.

I got my hair cut at a new place today, and it turned out the two stylists working there knew all my old places (and faces): more or less my age, they had attended the same schools and we knew all the same fools. Good fools, fun fools: places to hang out, to dance, and the right foolish people to do it with.

Turns out some of us grew up to become rather interesting people.

I got my hair cut by Michael Farrell, who also writes and directs films. You can see a trailer of his latest “short” (17 minutes), Lions, Tigers, Bears (shot entirely in Victoria) on YouTube here.

It’s an action-suspense thriller about the organized crime underworld and one man’s quest for power. The film was produced by Coast to Coast Films, directed by Michael Farrell and written by Michael Farrell and Teri Robinson. Michael and Teri are recent award winners for best dramatic writing at the 2008 Action on Film Festival International in Los Angeles. (source)

The star, Christopher Mackie, played the “bad cop” in Theatre Inconnu’s The Pillowman last March – he was fantastic.

There’s an interesting Behind-the-scenes video that chronicles the making of the film. The all-white stark-ish bar scene was, I bet, filmed in the Jelly Fish Lounge, which used to be a grungy biker and stoner and poet bar called The Churchill: another favorite haunt from old skool days…

Speaking of schools, Michael Farrell’s Lions, Tigers, Bears will be showing at St. Ann’s Academy on Thursday night, part of a festival of shorts: Special one-time only Victoria, BC screening of shorts on March 19! 7:30 PM at St. Ann’s Academy Auditorium, 835 Humboldt St., admission $5.

The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

March 16, 2009 at 12:51 am | In links | Comments Off on The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Victoria’s Susan Low to host Young Business Leaders’ Summit

March 14, 2009 at 6:26 pm | In business, victoria | 2 Comments

Normally, I would just re-tweet a local news item on my Twitter stream, but what Susan Low proposes is so important (and so in synch with my thinking) that I’m re-blogging it, the whole darn announcement, A to Z.

In her own words:

Young Business Leaders’ Summit

Join me in this special event to explore how to make Victoria’s business economy more resilient and diversified.

Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
–Margaret Mead
Victoria’s a great place to live. We have the weather, the natural environment, and the people to make this a world-class city. However, we seem to be overly reliant on the public sector and tourism to keep our economy alive. When there is a public sector cutback, or events abroad harm our tourism sector, Victoria hits the “panic button” and begins to take on an air of doom and gloom.

Young people grow up in Victoria and then leave to pursue careers because there are few opportunities to make it big here. Despite our highly educated population and desirable quality of life, Victoria has very few corporate headquarters – meaning that to “make it big” our best and brightest leave the city for Vancouver, Calgary and further afield.

What Can We Do About It?
I’m bringing together young professionals and business leaders from a variety of sectors to participate in a discussion about Victoria’s economy. I want to create real, actionable solutions for how we can bring about change in our city.

During the event I’ll be using graphic facilitation to capture our ideas and make the discussion fresh, creative and productive. What’s graphic facilitation? As our discussion progresses, I’ll be capturing the key ideas and energy of the moment by creating a mural in real-time using colored markers and pastels, drawing on 4’x8′ chart paper taped to the wall. See my blog, for more about this amazing way to transform meetings!

Who should come?
I’m targeting young business people (under 40) from all sectors as participants in the session – we have the most to gain from transforming Victoria’s economy as we are the ones who will take leadership roles in the coming years. If you have an interest in this topic and want to throw in your two cents (even if you’re over the “recommended playing age”), feel free to join us!

Observers are quite welcome – perhaps you’re curious about what’s going to come out of this, or you’d like to see graphic facilitation in action! You don’t need to speak up – just come along!

The Details

Date: March 31, 2009
Time: 8:30am to 11am
Place: Maximum Furniture Showroom, 3-576 Hillside Ave
RSVP: By email or phone (250-479-8303) by March 24, please.

Please feel free to invite others who you think would be interested!

Yours in action,

Susan Low
Directis Consulting Group

Please pass this on to other Victoria-area folks – it’s a great idea that deserves a great turnout.

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