Cold and Wet Month
Skating At Robson Square Skating Rink
New Years Day was a bit boring so the kids
decided they wanted to go skating. I figured Robson Square
Skating rink was either going to be empty or the busiest places in
Downtown. Turns out it was the latter - the wait to rent
skates was about 20 minutes. We got the skates on just
before the Zamboni came out.
Yes, the rink was crowded, but not as bad as you might
think. Everyone goes in the same direction and slower people
are generally on the edges so you could pick a track that was
reasonable. Claira is getting pretty confident skating so
she doesn't need a box.
We skated for about 45 minutes (until the
Zamboni came out again) and then it was time to go home and get
Skiing at Grouse Mountain
Grouse has a nice package for learning
skiers - four days of drop off at 8am, pick up at 11am and you
keep the rentals for the whole time. Parents can pick up the
kids at the top of the mountain so you can make it a full day if
Last year, the kids were keen on the harder terrain, but this year
they wanted to do the cut the and the Side Cut so they could work
on their parallel turns.
Their second day was canceled (book again later) because of high
wind. The third day the kids had Chinese class in the afternoon so
we couldn't stay late. The fourth day was terrible
conditions (only one lift was open, sharp hail and strong wind) so
we only got one more run in. We'll get that makeup day
Vancouver doesn't normally get a lot of
snow so our infrastructure isn't really setup to handle a big
snowfall event. It doesn't take much before the roads become
clogged with cars without snow tires and the sky trains lose
connections to the power rails and stop running. The
Vancouver School Board apparently seriously considers any closure
but on this day, they decided closure was the right call.
School might be closed, but Helen and I both have to work.
It makes more sense (but just barely) for the kids to come to my
work than to go hang out in the hospital. We live at
the bottom of a hill that the buses can't get up when it's covered
in snow so going to work means walking.
Vancouver doesn't have a lot of snow
plows, but amazingly, they do seem to have one that clears the
side walks on bridges. One slushy days, the bridges are
terrible because the cars splash you as they drive by but today
the snow was cold enough that it stayed down when the cars drove
by. We were far from alone walking over the bridge.
We have lots of choices of how to walk through downtown. I
can only walk on Granville Street for so long so we took some of
the quieter streets on the way to work. The Law Courts were
particularly funny because they were so empty.
The kids had a great day at work. We have a snack wall that
the kids thought was amazing. Mom packed them lunches
(Macaroni and Cheese) and they got some veggies from the snack
wall. We left work around 4:30 and took a bus home.
East Van Science and Maker Jamboree
Wet winter days can be a bit hard to
fill. There are the usual indoor suspects - the Blodel
Conservatory, Science world or the Vancouver Aquarium, but each of
these have admission fees and sometimes parking challenges.
If you do some digging, it's amazing what is else is
available. I stumbled onto the East Van Science and Maker
Jamboree running in one of the Gym's at the Britannia Community
Center. There were a number of presenters - Vancouver Hack
Space had a bunch of tables. Science World had a demo area
and chairs setup at one end. The port of Vancouver was
showing how hard it is separate plastics from soil. Metro
Vancouver had a demo table for bio-solid applications. SFU
Forensic Studies had an art station where kids could use House Fly
Larvae to make very cool art cards. The kids don't have a
lot of values around maggots so they were fine with picking the up
with tweezers and covering them in paint and they really liked the
A second big attraction for the kids was
the Vancouver Hack Space flashing LED soldering project. It
was a small kit where the kids solder components to the printer
circuit board and make themselves a button with flashing LED's on
it. This is my kids first experience with a soldering iron
but they really seemed to enjoy the experience.
The process is pretty reasonable.
First they match the components (everything is in pairs - 4
resistors, 2 capacitors, 2 LED's, 2 transistors) to the board and
then push the wires through. They then spread the wires a
bit so the components don't fall out. Then they solder the
components in place and use a cutter to remove the extra
wire. Repeat a few times and all the components are
And just like that, the kids had working
buttons! The person guiding the project did help debug it a
bit (a few weak solder joints needed touching up), but the kids
mostly built it themselves!
We have been going to the Chinatown parade
for years - 2019
At this point we have procedure down - where to park (2 hour
parking near science world), when to arrive (about an hour before
the parade starts) and where to sit (first block or two if you
want the most red packets).
This year, Claira wanted to be in the
parade. I don't know what put that in her head, but that was
her goal. Nara wasn't at all interested in giving out red
packets but she did want to watch. The kids are in Chinese
class at the Chinese Cultural Center so she could have gone with
them, but we got a better offer! Claira's uncle works in the
political circles and was able to get Claira a spot on a MLA team
giving out red packets! What a day!
This year the Novel Coronavirus is things challenging in
China. While the parade was still on, attendance was
down. The blocks above Main street were nearly empty -
meters of curb had no one sitting on them. The Chinese
Cultural Center decided to no go in the parade. I can
understand the sensitivity - even though only 2 people in Canada
had the virus at the time, people want to be cautious.
While we were walking, Nara was in her seat taking videos using he
camera she got for Christmas. Nara took a lot of video so I made a
little 30 second best of video using her material.
After Claira was done hading out red packets, we walked back to
the start area and met up with the family. We still caught
about 1/3rd of parade and Claira did get some red packets.
It was a great day for everyone. Thanks!
Tags: snow(5), Vancouver(5), Robson Square Skating Rink(4), Grouse Mountain(3), skiing(3), skating(3)
People: Claira(16), Nara(11), Janet(2), Lloyd(2), John(1)
Last Modified Sunday, February 2nd, 2020 at 17:11:41 Edit
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