Left Coast By Design

Category: Slash Rant (page 2 of 3)

Vancouver 2010 Victory Ceremonies

Maybe I’m simply being greedy, or inconsiderate, or picky. Or maybe a combination of the three. But I almost feel let down when the victory ceremony and medal presentation is held the following day.

BC Place Victory Ceremony

Victory Ceremony Stage – courtesy of Chris Reddy

Why you ask? Well…

“Here I am, all psyched up from the euphoria of watching Canadian athletes tear it up. I’m shouting, pumping my fists in the air, and getting my voice tuned to do a little Canadian anthem karaoke. But wait, there isn’t anything like that taking place. I have to wait. And then.. I’ve lost the groove.”

Now I still get amped watching the gold medal get handed off. And I do sing along any chance I get when the Canadian anthem is concerned, but it’s not as exciting or enthusiastic as it would have been live. You know?

What do y’all think?

Slash rant.

Death to Wooo!


No Wooo! Allowed – courtesy of VancityAllie

For those of you who follow me on twitter, or listen to me rant in the Canucks FanZone LiveBlog, you’ll likely know a few pet peeves of mine:

  1. I hate Chris Pronger.
  2. I hate Shane O’Brien.
  3. For effect, I hate Chris Pronger twice.
  4. I poke quite a bit of fun at Sami Salo.
  5. And I ain’t down with this “Wooo!” phenomenon after every Canucks goal.

What’s got my Canucks jersey in a knot is the fifth point.

It seems that DJ Dave, who’s usually spot on as the Canucks official game-day DJ, decided to play a David Lee Roth sound clip after a goal. Seeing the “allegedly” instant appeal from the “lower bowl” fans, he has played it after every Canucks goal since. I will admit that I thought it was a nice idea at first, but then spent a few seconds thinking and found myself completely against it.

First, Carolina already has the “Wooo!” chant going for them and I can’t support anything that comes from a non-traditional US hockey market. Second, it has spawned a chorus from the “Wooo!”-birds who think that simply shouting it out at any moment in the game is actually a good thing. Seriously – it goes like this:

  • Canucks score – Wooo!
  • Canucks touch the puck – Wooo!
  • The referee blows his whistle – Wooo!
  • Someone wins the 50/50 – Wooo!
  • The guy at the hotdog stand roasts a mean frank – Wooo!
  • There’s still paper towel in the washroom – Wooo!

See why I hate it?

Now it appears that support of the anti-“Wooo!” movement is pretty thin. Brian has expressed his dislike, and a few people in the twitterverse are also in favour of culling the “Wooo!”-birds, but for every one of us, there’s a Trevor or Derek who drink the Kool-aid and support the “Wooo!”

So I urge you – fight the establishment and bring down the “Wooo!” Talk to your MLA or MP. Sign a petition. Picket outside GM Place. Remember, it’s for a better and just cause!

Slash rant.

Nazzy’s Nineteen Flying High?

With a year left on his contract with the New York Rangers, Markus Naslund announced his retirement today. And with the announcement, the discussion began as to whether or not Nazzy should have his jersey retired in Vancouver.

Vancouver Canucks Unveil New Sweaters

Markus Naslund – courtesy of Stephen Dyrgas

Much like his (in my strong opinion, wrongly maligned) career here in Vancouver, the debate on whether or not the Canucks should send the number 19 up to join 12 and 16 is split right down the middle. There are those that state that Nazzy has no business joining TL or the Steamer in the rafters due to his lack of playoff success. Others say that he wasn’t a true leader and should have never received the captaincy, therefore spoiling the good name of the captains that preceded him. More often or not, these people also felt that Naslund was never a true Canuck, with some even hoping that he would be driven to the airport a la Trent Klatt .

Then there are those like me who see no reason why the man who happens to be the all-time points leader for the franchise, let alone the owner of single season records for goals, assists, and points by a left winger having any reason to prove anything more. True he was never the type of player who wore his emotions on his sleeve, but he went about his business and did his job well – in fact did his job extremely well regardless of the abnormally high expectations placed upon him.

What’s that you say? Where was his success in the post-season when it counted?

Well I ask you this, why did we not retire Kirk McLean’s number then? Up until Louie arrived, we never had a keeper like Captain Kirk – if it wasn’t for the “save” against Calgary in Game 7, the run in 1994 would have been nothing more than a false start. If we simply measured a player by his role with the team, contribution come playoff time, and how he excelled in his particular position, Kirk would have been in the same category as Trevor. But he is not and that’s not a knock against Kirk. He was good, but not “that” good.

Having survived the Keenan years (I hear that medieval serfs got it easier than he did), he began to flourish under the Crawford system of “we’ll score more goals than the other team does” and benefited from players who complemented his style of play. After the organization found that it was far more difficult to score more goals than the opposition in the postseason, especially when the opposition was putting them in from centre ice, they committed themselves to a defensive system that would make Jacques Lemaire smile, but would reduce Nazzy’s ability to contribute. His stats began to tail off and the phone lines on talk radio throughout Vancouver lit up. Trade him some would shout! Send him to the minors others would exclaim! Yet through this, Markus simply plugged away and contributed offensively to a defensive minded team.

And here you tell me, the guy wasn’t worth the hockey tape he put on the blade of his stick. Give me a freaking break (and I’m not talking about a Kit Kat Bar).

So here I proclaim, rightly or wrongly, that Nazzy should be given the same honour and decorum that Trevor and Stan have received. We should see 19 rise up with all the glory that 16 and 12 were provided and we as Canucks fans should be proud. Although it may not happen next year or the year after that, it should happen – if only to honour a man who has contributed much to the team and re-written the record books in ways that many of those who had preceded him could not.

Okay, I feel better now.

Slash rant.

Starbucks No More

Having worked at Starbucks in a previous life, it had always occurred to me that it seemed the market was somewhat over-saturated. Here on the left coast, there was nearly a Starbucks on every corner and when you add in all the other locations you could get some fine java from, such as Cafe Artigiano, Blenz, Tim Horton’s and the like, the competition is fierce.

Starbucks Sign

Starbucks Sign – courtesy of Darren Larson

Therefore, I’m not surprised that the current economic downswing has resulted in Starbucks closing stores here in Canada. It does shock me that the first one is here in Richmond.

As reported on cbc.ca the Starbucks located at Aberdeen Mall will close on Wednesday. Based on the article, staff were only advised of the closure within the past week and I can’t imagine what it must feel like for them. That being said, I’ve heard from a couple of former colleagues that the “partners” (as staff at Starbucks are called) have been offered positions in other locations throughout the district if it suits them.

If I were to be a guessing man, this will likely be the first of a number of closures throughout the Lower Mainland – let alone Canada. I’ve always been a fan of the coffee, but would point out that the service you get today is far different than the Starbucks experience back in the day. I strongly feel that the company went the wrong direction by focusing on consistency instead of the experience. The old bar partners used to pull shots not only added character to the experience, but the drinks were far better than the “cleaner” consistent shot that one gets out of the automated versions. And don’t get me started on how milk is steamed as the automated thermometer and shutoff on these new bars makes it too easy for the barista to not care about what’s going on – resulting in a poor tasting beverage that has little to no good foam.

I think as a whole, Starbucks needs to re-evaluate it’s true purpose in the market and look to make the experience more like the “third place” it once was, as opposed to the place that just happens to serve a typical caffeine fix.

Okay. I feel better now.

The Express Bus

Many years ago, the powers that be at Translink (or Coast Mountain Bus Company – I’m never too sure who thinks these things up) decided that Richmond would be better served by having the 98 B-Line and a number of peak hour commuter buses deliver the masses to and from Vancouver instead of a number of suburban (or would that be interurban) routes. With this change, the powers that be also decided to allow both the pick-up and drop-off of passengers, albeit through a limited stop service, throughout Vancouver to assist with ridership in the city. However, two routes were left as express routes and therefore would “typically” be drop-off/pick-up only in and out of town.

And that’s what has me ranting tonight.

On your marks - get set -

On your marks, get set… – courtesy of Stephen Rees

For as long as I have taken either the 488 Burrard Station/Garden City and 492 Burrard Station/Two Road buses there have always been people who get on the bus in Vancouver thinking that the bus will stop and let them off before we reach Richmond. Although I feel for many as they simply have grown accustomed to most buses in Vancouver taking them as close to their front door as the yellow lines on the road allow, it causes quite a bit of conflict with the transit operators, the transit schedules and people like me who avoided the other choices to Richmond in the hope that we might get home a touch quicker. It doesn’t seem to matter that the bus will have “Express” flash on the front display, nor does it seem to matter when the operator mentions the matter to those boarding. There just always seems to be the one guy who “didn’t know,” and pulls the cord to get off at the “next stop.”

Now maybe it’s the cold I have talking at this point, but there is always a part of me that just wishes the bus kept going. Teach the person a lesson and give them a discounted tour of South Vancouver and North Richmond. How dare they slow me down on my regular commute home from work! I’ve never really counted, but how many different options did this person have to get where they were going in Vancouver, but chose the “quicker” option of a suburban bus? It’s not like it wasn’t going in their direction in the first place, right?

That’s just the problem.

It used to be a common understanding that if the bus was going to Richmond and you didn’t want to get there, you didn’t get on it. There was always that odd exception where someone who truly didn’t know the system or how it worked got on by mistake, but it was so infrequent that it didn’t bother a soul. But now it’s nearly every day. People see that the bus heads down Oak St. and think that it’s okay to inconvenience the majority. Courtesy is tossed to the side of the road. And if the bus doesn’t stop, heaven have mercy on the operator who gets and earful from the person who feels they have a right to do whatever they want.

And Chris sits there. Pissed off and motion sick.

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