Starbucks Pokémon Frappuccino is Really Nothing Special

poke-ed

Out in a night in Seattle, sipping a Pokémon Frap’

When visiting the United States, folks still playing Pokémon GO might want to try the game-inspired Frappuccino Starbucks Coffee is offering for a limited time. Curious in what the fuss is about when I was down in Seattle for Emerald City Comicon last weekend, and there was a sign advertising it, I knew I had to try it out. Admittedly, the lighting does skew how it looks like — since all I had was my backup cell phone (it can take reasonably lit pictures well) — but in what the drink looked like went from blackberry to pineapple colour in a quick instant when I stepped outside. Not all cell phone cameras are created equally.

Perhaps the outlet I went to was out of all the necessary portion of ingredients. I tasted more pineapple chunks than berry and thought about how this pick-me-up should have been crafted instead of the recipe posted online.

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Cherry Bomb Toys to Expand, or Explode with Party Room Goodness

Cherry Bomb Toys

Cherry Bomb Toys in Victoria, BC is expanding. Not only do they have the National Toy Museum of Canada, on the second floor, which showcases approximately 80 years of love for childhood knickknacks, but soon, they will be opening their basement for people to use on a by appointment basis. The official opening is tentatively set for the end of March.

This area will not be limited to families wishing to celebrate their child’s birthdays (or an adult’s) in a venue that does not have to be their home. B Woodword, manager of the store, explained that not everyone has the space, especially if they live downtown, and cleanup for a whole home can be a chore. This operation’s idea is to offer a safe space so people can have fun in. There’s an arcade area filled with classic gaming consoles (Nintendo and SEGA were spotted) and four separate television screens so anyone can game with. People can bring their own next-gen consoles, but the purpose of this space is to stay retro. A dining room type area (with a few basic kitchen essentials) exists so people can mingle in. Of course, washroom facilities is down the hall.

Included in the rental party package ($200 for 2 hours) includes LEGO product promotions. Anyone celebrating a birthday here gets a build-a-fig product to take home. The honouree gets a $20 gift certificate and lots of bricks to play with while here.

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[VFF’17] Theatre of Life Gives Hope to the Less Fortunate

theatre-of-life_pub207-5x7_5_7220dpi20accPlays Feb 10, 6:15pm
at Silvercity Tillicum

Feb 11, 6:30pm
at The Vic Theatre
Victoria, BC

Feeding the planet and the less fortunate anywhere is potentially difficult. To explore this situation is the documentary Theatre of Life, which is playing during this year’s Victoria Film Festival. This movie shows the task in a small-scale is doable, but it takes a concentrated effort to make it work and a continued commitment to make a difference. Chef Massimo Bottura deserves praise for taking the surplus and expired food meant for the 2015 Milan Expo’s many concession and diner operations and prepare simple original meals at the Refettorio Ambrosiano. This food kitchen still operates, and it does more than to feed the lower-class; it gives them a sense of community.

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“Playing” Attention to VR at the 2017 Victoria Film Festival, Reviews & Beyond

victoria-film-festivalUpdated: Mon 11:30pm, Feb 6

Virtual Reality is poised to become a viable medium to work in for many an artist (cinema or otherwise) and at the 2017 Victoria Film Festival, I spent a part of my weekend at Fort Tectoria playing these types of games and attending the last discussion of Springboard talking about it. This medium is a challenge to work in; Derek Jacoby, Maureen Bradley and Kate McCallum are people with a tremendous interest in this tech and they presented a fascinating look into how to work with and filming in virtual space is at now. The challenges to make it mainstream was also looked at.

Jacoby is aware of what other companies are doing. He’s the head of Victoria Makerspace, a collective tool workshop at the Vancouver Island Technology Park, where they get to play, if not create items, that will get used in the future. Whether that’s with video games (which they all agree is the driving force now) or in rehabilitation (where VR can make a huge difference to those with disabilities and can not get out in the world), as long as interest is high, then it will happen. Unlike 3DTV’s and how it fizzled, Jacoby also noted there’s the potential of mainstream not accepting it. Bradley focussed on the challenges of filming in this space and showed how video editing (where my interest is) is done. Software stitches the varying layers of 2D images onto a 3D like map, and rendering is not a perfect science. McCallum talked about the work she’s doing now and which types of businesses are taking interest in this new medium.

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Day One Musings from the 2017 Victoria Film Festival

victoria-film-festival

The 2017 Victoria Film Festival‘s Gala film certainly painted the night a pretty shade of pink with its opening film Window Horses to kick off the night. I thought the heroine Rosie Ming was wearing this event’s colours before putting on the black chādor, before arriving in Persia. Intentional or not, the first day was certainly fun, bright and cheerful. The morning and afternoon were wrought with continuous snowfall, and some of the organizers worried that it might cause problems since social media was on fire with reports of icy conditions and accidents already happening.

Thankfully, the troublesome weather faded away by evening so filmgoers can safely drive instead of slide to and fro from home. But for those who want an early start, Fort Tectoria is running virtual reality demos during this 10-day event to show off this technology as the coming thing. Eventually, some futurists predict it will integrate with cinema to create enhanced experiences. By the time I arrived downtown, I had a tough call to make: to go see Journey to the West 2: The Demons Strike Back at Cineplex Odeon or play video games. Very rarely, does a film festival offer this kind of opportunity for nerds like me!

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Driving Far? There’s No Need to Park’s Kitchen

img_20160906_134103283Park’s Kitchen
606 Trounce Alley
Victoria, BC
(778) 265-2227

ES: I wish the Izakaya in Trounce Alley stayed longer. Actually known as So-Ya, they had a classy environment to fashion some trendy and nouveau Japanese style food. People can read our review here and I truly miss them. Park’s Kitchen replaces this operation. They had a soft opening and not many people noticed.

I have to wonder if the servers even have an eye for what’s good here. When James and I had our empty glasses of water just sitting on the table, no one bothered to glance to see if we needed a refill. I saw where the decanters were and had to help myself.

JS: Although the shell of So-Ya remains, the spirit within had long since passed on. What has replaced it is not very impressive. I was willing to be pleased but Park’s rarely shined when it came to either customer service, the kitchen staff or their lunch specials.

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But I’m going to give a bad sounding critique and the reason is the not-so-good outweighed what was best about this place. But to start, their sunomono salad was very creative if not refreshing.

The lettuce threw me off but the carrots were most welcome. The vinaigrette was sweet and cool. I have to say I finally found a sunomono that may have beaten Sushi Plus. But perhaps to put something else to replace the lettuce will improve on this creation.

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