WFLBC Goes To New Zealand – A Mirrorless Adventure

Ya, I made a logo and a hashtag for my trip...

Ya, I made a logo and a hashtag for my trip…

As most of you know I’m off to New Zealand in November. As a photography enthusiast I’ve been having a hard time deciding what kind of gear I want to bring along. Film was out right away because that’s too much work. It was down to my Pentax DSLRs or my Fujifilm X-series mirrorless cameras. When I really thought about what I wanted to accomplish in New Zealand the choice was easy, mirrorless all the way.

What's in my bag?

What’s in my bag?

My X-series cameras offer the same sensor size and resolution as my DSLRs but take up a lot less space which is a big consideration for air travel. A DSLR body, a prime and a zoom lens take up the same space as 2 mirrorless bodies, a prime, and 2 zooms. That means a smaller camera bag that can be your secondary piece of carry-on baggage. My editing/sharing tools are an iPad mini and a Chromebook. Both are light and compact and if they get lost, stolen, or damaged they’re not worth a ton of money.

The Fujifilm X-series is a fantastic camera platform. My little X-A1 (now replaced by the X-A2), the black camera pictured above, is a perfect starter camera for anyone who wants to get better shots than a smartphone or a point and shoot can produce. My X-E1 (now replaced by the X-E2) is aimed at more advanced shooters with greater manual control and a slick electronic viewfinder. I have 3 X-series lenses. A 35mm prime lens for portraits or street photography, a 16-50mm zoom for wide angle and general shooting, and a 50-230mm zoom for wildlife and telephoto shots.

Most days I’ll just carry the X-E1 with either the 35mm or the 16-50mm on it. I don’t want to pack a bag around unless I think I’ll want more options depending on my destination. I’ll pack a tripod in my checked bag just incase. Taking 2 bodies isn’t 100% necessary but if one body breaks of malfunctions I have a backup.

Mirrorless in New Zealand, That’s what’s for lunch.

Scott.

Editors note – My flag logo will be out of date soon as New Zealand is currently in the public consultation phase of picking a new flag.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

LG G4 Review

gsmarena_001

Photo – GSMArena

My month long test of the LG G4 Smartphone officially came to an end this morning as I packed up my demo phone and shipped it back to LG Canada. As a current LG G3 owner I was more than a little currious to see what was improved from a phone that was quite good to begin with. I won’t bore you with specs, you can find them on LG Canada’s website. What I will say is the Android 5.1 powered G4 is fast, powerful, has an amazing 4k screen, the battery lasts all day, and the cameras (both front and back) are outstanding.

Photo - Forbes.com

Photo – Forbes.com

The camera is a very important feature of any new smartphone and the G4 has a shooter with some interesting features for the hobbyist photographer. The rear sensor is 16mp and you get 8mp out front. The rear facing camera also has an f1.8 lens which means it’s good in low light. There’s a full manual mode along with 2 auto modes. The front camera has the same resolution as an iPhone’s rear camera so if you’re into selfies you’re going to be a happy camper. It has gesture control and different modes to light up your face and smooth your skin. A narcissist’s dream come true.

The biggest issue I have with the G3’s camera is the cheap plastic that covers the rear camera lens. It gets scratches on it that ruin low light shots with even the greatest of care and bulkiest of cases. Thankfully the G4 has replaced the plastic lens flare generator with hardened glass that showed no signs of scratching after a month in my pocket with no case.

I’m going to miss the G4, it’s quite a phone. Maybe LG Canada is looking for a product rep? I wouldn’t say no… Here are some sample images from my G4 test unit.

20150610_223944 20150609_090802_HDR 20150611_120601_HDR 20150611_160726_HDR 20150612_140435_HDR 20150617_082852 IMG_1661 IMG_1665 20150625_221659 20150626_133625

 

Thanks to LG Canada for the opportunity to test this phone!

Scott.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nosh by the Glowbal Group. First Impressions

Telus Garden, the sparkling new headquarters of the Canadian telecommunications giant, is nearly complete. Tenants have already started moving in and Nosh, a new cafe from the Glowbal Group, opened up this week in the wood and glass arched lobby. I had a chance to swing by incognito this morning to see what Nosh was all about.

20150626_114702_HDR

Tucked away beside the elevator lobby, you have to cross the main lobby to find Nosh. If you enter at the corner of Georgia and Richards you might miss it. Once found you may have a hard time figuring out where to line up and/or order your food or coffee. The layout is awkward and it isn’t clear where you should go. I just sort of stood near the pastries until someone talked to me, which took more than a few minutes. I’m sure the customer service bump will be ironed out in time but the layout is something that will be hard to improve without proper signage.

IMG_1673

I’m happy to see Driftwood Brewing on tap here. Draught beer at a cafe in the lobby of an office tower is not common and I wonder how much will be sold during weekday business hours. A bold move, and I like it.

Chorizo breakfast wrap

Chorizo breakfast wrap

I grabbed a drip coffee and a chorizo breakfast wrap. The coffee is good, nothing mind blowing but for drip it’ll do. The wrap… I’m conflicted. Egg, chorizo, sundried tomatoes, goats cheese (I think?). The flavours were great, the ingredients top quality, but it was ice cold in the middle. I don’t know why coffee shops/cafes can’t figure out that YOU CAN’T COOK A BREAKFAST WRAP ON A PANINI PRESS. I expect multi-chain coffee shops to not know how to cook stuff. I expect Glowbal Group restaurants to know how to cook stuff and that includes Nosh. You can’t tell me that this didn’t come up in pre-launch testing? What a letdown.

IMG_1674

I’ll give Nosh another try soon, I work in the building so I’ll have ample opportunities. But please, PLEASE, figure out how to make that wrap hot all the way through. It’s not a one off, it’s a procedural problem. The panini press doesn’t cut it.

Scott.

Tagged , , , ,

Quick Bite – Brunch at Kove Kitchen

Kove Kitchen, it’s one of my go to spots in Steveston for burgers, Belgian style beers, and waterfront views. I found out a while back that Kove does brunch, giggity! Brunch service runs weekends from 11am-3pm and features Kove’s awesome burgers along with breakfast dishes, small share plates and even a few salads ( what’s a salad?).

Fried Chicken and French Toast

Fried Chicken and French Toast

Kove does Fried Chicken and French Toast, a twist on the ever trendy fried chicken and waffles. You know what? French toast is better than waffles and I don’t care what you think about it. They soak up more syrup, they have a bit of cinnamon in the egg wash, and those 2 things send waffles crying to their mama. The fried chicken is made to order so you have to wait a bit but it’s worth it. tender, fresh, hot, well seasoned, good crunch. Really good fried chicken.

Kove Kitchen is located at 3900 Bayview street, right on the water tucked behind Hog Shack Cook House, in Richmond’s Steveston Village.

Twitter – @KoveKitchen

Facebook – thekovekitchen

Instagram – @kove_kitchen

I need to write more…

Scott.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Zealand, here I come.

Today is the 5 year anniversary of this blog, I honestly had no idea until I fired up the Chromebook to write this post. 5 years ago my micro preemie daughter had just come home from the hospital and now she’s a few months from kindergarten and I’m planning a trip to New Zealand. Time flies.

I don’t know what it is about New Zealand that intrigues me. I’m not a Lord Of The Rings guy or an Extreme Sports fan, probably the 2 most common reasons to visit. I’m also not very interested in the South Island, everyone says it looks exactly like BC and I live here so… North Island only for me. My flights and hotels are booked, I’ll give you a quick rundown of my journey.

Photo - Tourism New Zealand

Auckland Skyline. Photo – Tourism New Zealand

I’m flying to Auckland from YVR with a quick stop in San Francisco. 16+ hours including the stopover. I leave Vancouver early Saturday afternoon and arrive in Auckland just before 6am on Monday. Time zones are crazy. I’m there in mid November which is late Spring and the weather is pretty similar to Vancouver. I’ll be staying 9 nights at The Albion of Auckland, a 4 story walk up built in 1873. It’s cheap, the location is awesome, and it sounds like it’s a little rough around the edges, which suits me just fine.

Silo Park. Photo - newzealand-ryugaku.com

Silo Park. Photo – newzealand-ryugaku.com

Mount Eden. Photo - Wikipedia

Mount Eden. Photo – Wikipedia

Silo Park, a section of reclaimed industrial waterfront, and Mount Eden are 2 places that I plan to photograph. Photographic opportunities seem to be everywhere you look in Auckland, I’m excited to hit the streets, meet some people, and burn through some megapixels.

Downtown Wellington - Photo - Andy Radka

Downtown Wellington – Photo – Andy Radka

I’ll be flying to Wellington, which is at the south end of the North Island, for 3 nights. A return flight with a carry-on AND a checked bag was just over $200CAD. I’m staying at The Setup On Manners, a hotel that used to be an office building. It too is cheap, located right downtown, and looks pretty cool. I’m too old for hostels, but if you’re into it they are plentiful and very affordable in Wellington as well as Auckland. I’m planning to take in a soccer game while I’m in New Zealand, I’m even bringing my Whitecaps kit and a Southsiders scarf. I haven’t decided if it’ll be Auckland City FC or Wellington Phoenix.

Takapuna Beach. Photo - mymidnightmoon.com

Takapuna Beach. Photo – mymidnightmoon.com

I fly back to Auckland for 1 night before I head back to Vancouver. I decided to spoil myself a little so I booked 4.5 star hotel in Takapuna, a swanky suburb of North Shore City which sits just north of Auckland. The Spencer On Byron Hotel is one of the tallest buildings in Takapuna and has some great views. Fun Fact, Shania Twain’s “When You Kiss Me” video was filmed on Takapuna Beach. Thanks Wikipedia! My flight home is non-stop. I leave at 8pm on a Sunday and arrive at lunchtime on the same Sunday in Vancouver. It’s time travel, pretty much.

There are a ton of craft breweries in New Zealand, a country known for its beautiful hop varieties. I’ll be using the Beer Tourist New Zealand interactive maps a lot.

Have any tips? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram @wflbc or you can email me at wflbcscott@gmail.com.

Five and a half months until I take off, I can’t wait to share my journey with you!

Scott.

Tagged , , , ,

Jam Cafe – WFLBC in Victoria

There are few people who’s opinion on food I trust more than Steffani Cameron (@SnarkySteff). She recommended I check out Jam Cafe while I’m in Victoria this week so I did. Guess what, it’s awesome. Located in the Old Town area of downtown Victoria, Jam Cafe is a breakfast/lunch only place that closes everyday at 3pm. There’s almost always a wait to get a table so plan on an extra 20 minutes if you’re paying for parking.

The Jam.

The Jam.

Luckily I showed up right when a table was available. The menu is made up of unique, locally sourced dishes that fall squarely into the “comfort food” category. I ordered the Harrison Fernando, a buttermilk biscuit topped with chorizo, house made sausage gravy, and 2 sunny side eggs served with hashbrowns. If I was a religious man I would thank the good lord above for this breakfast. Rich, decadent, filling, complex yet somehow simple. If you come to Victoria this place has to be on your list. Also, you HAVE to try their sugar cured bacon.

The Harrison Fernando

The Harrison Fernando

Location – 542 Herald Street, Victoria BC.

Twitter – @jamcafevictoria

Facebook – Jam Cafe Victoria

Interwebz – jamcafevictoria.com

Scott.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Quick Bite – Chihuahua’s Mexican Grill

Tacos are great. Do any of you dislike tacos? Of course not. Earlier this year a new Mexican place opened up in the back of Malone’s on Seymour at Pender in Vancouver. The place caught my eye as I drove by late last week. Chihuahua’s has a quasi authentic Mexican menu offering up everything you’d expect to see in a north of the Mexican boarder Mexican joint. Tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and taco salad all with your choice of shredded beef, pulled pork, or chicken.

Tacos!

Tacos!

I opted for 3 tacos which set me back $9. One beef, one pork, one chicken. They were all fairly mediocre, generally under seasoned, and all 3 meats were quite dry. For $9 they were very filling so you shouldn’t leave hungry. Overall a fairly forgettable meal and not a place I’m in a hurry to revisit.

Walk a few blocks to La Taqueria and thank me later.

Twitter – @chihuahuasmex

Facebook – Chihuahua’s Mexican Grill

Web – chihuahuasmexicangrill.com

Scott.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Contest! Win a sweet hat from Nine O’clock Gun Co!

Back in September of 2013 I ordered a hat from a start up in Vancouver called the Nine O’clock Gun Company. The hat was a tribute to the Vancouver Beavers, a baseball team that played in the Northwest League in the early 20th century.

My first bucket

My first bucket

I wore that hat everywhere and everyone wanted to know what it was and where I got it. I took selfies with my hat, I hate selfies.

1173207_687482464616612_540617402_n 90c41c3618dd11e3896922000a1fbe1a_7

I took my hat to sporting events.

1389069_1419781351587267_1603106988_n

I wore it until it was completely trashed. I’ve never had a hat last as long as my beloved Beavers hat. Sadly I had to retire it early this year. Last month the fine folks at Nine O’clock Gun Co. reached out to me to do a give away. They let me pick any hat in their collection to replace my Beavers lid, and I picked the 1911 Vancouver Lacrosse Club hat. I played lacrosse growing up and I still beleive it is the best game on earth.

My new baby

My new baby

Now you can have Nine O’clock Gun Co. hat of your very own! Simply follow @wflbc on Instagram and LIKE THIS PICTURE to enter. A winner will be chosen at random Friday, April 10th and that lucky person can pick their favourite hat from the NOGC line up!

Thanks to the boys at Nine O’clock Gun Co. for the hat, it’s perfect!

Check them out on Twitter @nineoclockgun, on Instagram @nineoclockgun and on the web at nineoclockgun.com. You can also find their hats in the wild by searching for the #boomcitybuckets hashtag.

Scott.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

First Look – 12 Kings Pub

Ah The Biltmore Hotel… It has been many things over the years. It currently serves as a social housing facility and is home to the Biltmore Cabaret and its newest tenant, 12 Kings Pub. 12 Kings is the love child of a bunch of Craft Beer fans who wanted to watch sports in a pub that had their favourite local breweries on tap. I remember drinking at The Locker Room, the bar that lived here prior to 12 Kings, while I was building the elevators across the street back in 2007. That place was a dump. After the Whitecaps disappointing home opener I headed over to 12 Kings to drown my sorrows.

12 Kings Pub

12 Kings Pub

The beer list is exactly what you would expect from a place run by former CAMRA Vancouver executives. They have 12 constantly changing taps pouring all things local and delicious. The also have 311 Helles Lager and a shot of Jameson on special from time to time if you like to walk in wobbly lines back to the Skytrain, at least that’s how I remember it.

The Hammer Burger

The Hammer Burger

To counteract the copious amounts of alcohol it takes to forget a loss to TFC I ordered The Hammer Burger. Nice house made patty, bacon, smoked Gouda, crispy onions, drunken mushrooms (whatever that means?) and the usual fixings. I don’t know what I was expecting from the food at 12 Kings but this was a tasty burger. It really surprised me to be honest. Yes, those are tater tots on the side, I highly recommend them. The only complaint I had was that the crispy onions were a little chewy and didn’t seem fresh.

The renovations have erased all signs of The Locker Room. The place is almost unrecognisable, in a good way.

12 Kings runs a shuttle bus to and from BC Place on Whitecaps game days, they offer a Southsiders discount, and they show all of the Whitecaps away games as well as Canucks, Lions, and whatever other sport you’re into.

Well done boys, you’ve found exactly what Vancouver was missing.

Twitter – @12KingsPub

Facebook – 12 Kings Pub

Web – 12kingspub.com

Scott.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Win Tickets To Meat, Beer, and Cheese Night At The Portside Pub from WFLBC!

Event Logo

 

Meat, beer, and cheese. These are three of my favourite things. On February 26th The Portside Pub in Gastown is having an event and you can win your way in with WFLBC!

image2

THE EVENT:​ The Portside Pub Presents… A Meat, Beer & Cheese Night Vol. 2
THE DATE: ​Thursday, February 26th – 8-9pm
THE LOCATION:​ The Portside Pub, 7 Alexander Street
THE EXPERIENCE: ​Hosted by Cheese Mongers & Parallel 49 at the “friendliest bar in
Vancouver”’, your ticket to the Meat, Beer & Cheese Night Vol. 2 includes a flight of 4
sample craft beers paired with a variety of cheeses and meats for your enjoyment.
SOCIAL MEDIA​: For more information, please follow: @ThePortsidePub on Twitter,
@ThePortsidePub on Instagram, The Portside Pub on Facebook and use hashtag
#PortsideMBC
RSVP:​on The Portside Pub’s Facebook Event Page
WEBSITE: ​www.theportsidepub.com
TICKETS:​$20 each through Ticketzone at http://goo.gl/Ku1kbU. $25 at the door
SPONSORS: ​Benton Brothers Fine Cheese, ​Parallel 49 Brewing Company, ​D Original
Sausage Company and Cheese Mongers.

IMG_4193

How do you win your way in? Simply tweet the following “I want meat, beer, and cheese @ThePortsidePub with @wflbc! #PortsideMBC” You can also post a picture of meat, beer, and cheese on Instagram. Make sure you tag @wflbc and @theportsidepub and use the hashtag #PortsideMBC so I can find it!

image1 (1)

The winner will be chosen on Wednesday, February 25th and your tickets will be waiting for you at the event. Portside is planning on making this a regular event. I’m going to get gout!

Scott.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,467 other followers