Soitsfun Capture


"Chasing one's dream" is a quick catch phrase only bandied about in inspirational conversation. "Lostleblanc" has become a reality for Surrey's own Christian Leblanc and an adventure many of us only envy.

Flights of imagination are great, and British Columbia real estate prices will get you there eventually … but what can beat a cruise around the world short of a Saturday night in Blaine, Washington?

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Photo:Soitsfun File


Running is one of the best cardio workouts you can get. However, it can also get repetitive and boring doing the same thing over and over. Runners in White Rock B.C. warm-up and get ready to leave from Peninsula Runners.

Nick Trenciansky and Clive Rozdeba of the Kindersley Klippers have been named Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League players of the week in their respective positions.

The Eagles hit the ice


The South Surrey, British Columbia Arena came alive when the Surrey Eagle's faced off against the Prince George Spruce King's in a scheduled Thursday game at the South Surrey Arena.

Now experts say they have unravelled the mystery of why laces come undone. A pair of forces interact like an invisible hand, first loosening the knot and then tugging until the laces trail on the ground.

Using a slow-motion camera, scientists have revealed how knot-failure happens in seconds, triggered by a complex interaction of forces.

Lead researcher Christopher Daily-Diamond, from the University of California at Berkeley, said: ‘This is the first step toward understanding why certain knots are better than others, which no one has really done.’

OK, so it's annoying your laces keep coming untied, but why should science care? The researchers say understanding the mechanics of knots and how they fail could be useful far beyond simply taking the dog for a jog.

"When you talk about knotted structures, if you can start to understand the shoelace, then you can apply it to other things, like DNA or micro structures, that fail under dynamic forces," said Christopher Daily-Diamond, a graduate student at Berkeley and co-author of a study that will appear Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A. "This is the first step toward understanding why certain knots are better than others, which no one has really done."

The study began with co-author and graduate student Christine Gregg lacing up a pair of running shoes and jogging on a treadmill while a colleague filmed what happened next.

Here's how shoelace knots come undone, according to the paper. When you run, your foot hits the ground with a force seven times harder than the force of gravity alone. All that impact makes the knot in your laces stretch and then relax while the action of swinging your leg pulls on the end of your laces. In other words, the very action you lace up for also conspires to untie them. As the knot loosens, the swinging leg applies an inertial force on the free ends of the laces, leading to rapid unravelling in as little as two strides.

Of course, we don't all have to re-tie our shoelaces every three steps. The researchers found that different knot-tying techniques, types of laces and levels of knot tightness all factor into how long it takes shoelaces to come undone. A really tight double knot usually gets me through a run, for example.

Sooner or later, things -- or at least the knot in our shoelaces -- fall apart, the researchers seem to be saying. But I have one pair of shoes I slip on and off without ever touching the knot in the laces that's been there for many months now. Have I found, uh, a loophole in the forces that inevitably act to untie my shoes?

Probably not, it seems, because I use those shoes almost solely for biking, which means they don't get that ground-stomping action seen while running.

"You really need both the impulsive force at the base of the knot and you need the pulling forces of the free ends and the loops," Daily-Diamond said. "You can't seem to get knot failure without both."

By: Andy Marken

A few weeks ago, I had to visit my friendly smartphone store. I could do everything – send/receive texts, send/receive emails, access/use business and social media apps – everything but make a phone call.

Have you watched as techie's demonstrate an ATM machine spewing out cash? 

Photo: Soitsfun


I stop most mornings for my cup of “Joe” at the Alder Crossing Starbucks in South Surrey, British Columbia. It is not so much an addicted habit (OK it is), but a break from routine, to touch base with friends, a search for fun, or to work quietly on Soitsfun.  It is a great job traveling around discovering where, and for what, people come together for social.

There also is the added pleasurable side effect of “people watching” as they come and go from places unknown. Some stop longer than others creating cultural mini-worlds that embraces a widening circle as nods become acquaintances, or friends, in the daily ritual of tea, coffee and food.

The shop is small by some standards but it’s glass walls provide a transparent interior as well as a window on the huge outdoor patio. The patio provides an urban space and haven to stop for a casual break or business networking. It is free from the maddening life of pedestrian traffic and main street sidewalks.

Novelists, tutors, students, presidents, vloggers and job interviewers continue to use their inexpensive offices (the technical term is rental in perpetuity, or Gold Card). It is a place for the loved as well as the lovelorn. Those frustrated at their inability to get a seat have little choice but to remain patient. Stand in line long enough and you will meet other kindred souls in front or behind you. Drinking decaf after may help a bit too - Soitsfun.

It is almost like Trafalgar Square in it’s round-about of daily life represented by different backgrounds and cultures. No wars here; only conversation and community. After all, we live or pass through communities many times, but life only once. It reminds me that we are all palatable neighbor’s in our search for that communal coffee break.

Everyone who walks through the door is happily greeted, and often by first name if it is your second time. cp kelly 100087Barista Kelly’s smile is always a big winner. Her "fifties-sixties" flowered headbands, a reminder of happy days and simpler times, make Alder Crossing Starbucks a place to relax and enjoy.

The pleasant, professional and efficient approach of Barista Sayomie instantly builds a customer rapport that speaks to the expectation of that perfect pour.Starbucks Barista Sayomie

There are many more team members, full and part time, who help make this eclectic neighbourhood by day or night and contribute to the community spirit as well as the perfect pour.

It leaves little doubt in my mind of the personalized training that goes in to preparing a barista for the personalized service required for each and every customer. It does require immense skill, training, and ability to adapt to the nuance of each batch of coffee for day's weather, drinker's preferences, etc. It is more than just machines that are "super-automatic," requiring no more than the loading of whole beans and the push of a button. It is here that knowing your community and applying Howard Schultz’s brainwave in making the café a home-away-from-home was an enlightened moment.

On this day I lucked out with staff training. Tables were laid with tasting cups lined up beside timers and various brewing pots. Store manager Cho guan Ng was conducting a training session for food pairing with different coffees. It was an opportune time to listen and learn as he explained the sensory process and methods of tasting coffee.

"I think what we really focus on is trying to bring out the inherent qualities of the palette, letting the coffees and food express themselves," Cho said. “From there it is no secret why the British and Italians dunked their cookies and Biscotti in their hot drinks.” Today it was with vanilla and chocolate biscuits.

Like any community, it was not long before customers were invited to join him with staff in learning of the Hario Coffee Siphon, Press, Expresso, and Clover brewing methods. The feature coffee here was the introduction to samples of Willow Blend coffee.Willow Blend coffee sampling with a coffee press Willow Blend is Starbucks new Blond coffee which means “Light” roasted and produces a mellower, easy drinking coffee.

Cho first gave a background to the types of beans, roasting and blending, as well as brewing methods to be used in the different pots. It was not left without the importance of a four minute timer, placed front and center, was to play in this event.  He said, "It's not really about actual preparation technique. You can make good coffee on most of them, you just need good beans, a grinder and to learn how.”

  • Light roast reveals more of a coffee's aromas, he explains, and is best served black and slightly cooled, so that "the sweetness comes through."
  • Medium roasted coffees are medium brown in color with more body than light roasts. Like the lighter roasts, they have no oil on the bean surfaces. However, medium roasts lack the grainy taste of the light roasts, exhibiting more balanced flavor, aroma, and acidity.
  • Dark roasted coffees are dark brown in color, like chocolate, or sometimes almost black. They have a sheen of oil on the surface, which is usually evident in the cup when the dark roast coffee is brewed. The coffee will generally have a bitter and smoky or even burnt taste. The amount of caffeine is substantially decreased.

So there you have it — a short guide to the common coffee roasts from light to dark. To summarize the differences, in addition to the color gradations:

As coffee roasts get darker, they lose the origin flavors of the beans and take on more flavor from the roasting process.

  1. The body of the coffee gets heavier, until the second crack, where the body again thins.
  2. Lighter roasts have more acidity than darker roasts.
  3. Light roasted beans are dry, while darker roasts develop oil on the bean surface.
  4. The caffeine level decreases as the roast gets darker.

"We're learning more and more about what it is that makes coffee smell good and taste good and feel good in our mouths,"Cho said. "And because we have so much focus on making it smell, taste and feel great, we're experimenting more, taking more risks, paying more attention to the details."

Ultimately, it’s all about the taste, the flavor, the aroma. You may prefer a lighter roast in the morning (with more caffeine) and a darker one later in the day. Coffee, including the optimal roast level, is a personal preference. What’s yours?  Just ask your Barista for guidance.

There are all kinds of supplements out there that claim to build muscle faster, with nitric oxide supplements gaining a lot of attention in particular. Thankfully, there are also safer and natural ways to boost nitric oxide for better workouts and heart health.

Nitric oxide and heart disease

Nitric oxide has gotten the most attention due to its cardiovascular benefits. Heart and system circulationAlfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Prize, was prescribed nitroglycerin over 100 years ago by his doctor to help with his heart problems.

He was skeptical, knowing nitroglycerin was used in dynamite, but this chemical helped with his heart condition. Little did he know nitroglycerin acts by releasing nitric oxide which relaxes narrowed blood vessels, increasing oxygen and blood flow.The interior surface (endothelium) of your arteries produce nitric oxide. When plaque builds up in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, you reduce your capacity to produce nitric oxide, which is why physicians prescribe nitroglycerin for heart and stroke patients.

How to increase nitric oxide in your body
The most common way to increase nitric oxide is through exercise. When you run or lift weights, your muscles need more oxygen which is supplied by the blood. As the heart pumps with more pressure to supply the muscles with blood, the lining in your arteries releases nitric oxide into the blood, which relaxes and widens the vessel wall, allowing for more blood to pass though. As we age, our blood vessels and nitric oxide system become less efficient due to free radical damage, inactivity, and poor diet, causing our veins and arteries to deteriorate. Think of a fire hose as water rushes through it to put out a fire - it needs to expand enough to handle the pressure, still keeping enough force to put out the fire. Athletes and youth have the most optimal nitric oxide systems, reflecting their energy and resilience.

Another way to increase nitric oxide is through diet, most notably by consuming the amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline. Arginine, which can be found in nuts, fruits, meats and dairy, and directly creates nitric oxide and citrulline inside the cell. Citrulline is then recycled back into arginine, making even more nitric oxide. Enzymes that convert arginine to citrulline, and citrulline to arginine need to function optimally for efficient nitric oxide production. We can protect those enzymes and nitric oxide by consuming healthy foods and antioxidants, like fruit, beetroot injestion, garlic, soy, vitamins C and E, Co-Q10, and alpha lipoic acid, allowing you to produce more nitric oxide. Nitric oxide only lasts a few seconds in the body, so the more antioxidant protection we provide, the more stable it will be and the longer it will last. Doctors are utilizing this science by coating stents (mesh tubes that prop open arteries after surgery) with drugs that produce nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide for athletes and bodybuilders
Increasing nitric oxide has become the new secret weapon for athletes and bodybuilders. Athletes are now taking supplements with L-arginine and L-citrulline to support the flow of blood and oxygen to the skeletal muscle. They also use them to facilitate the removal of exercise-induced lactic acid build-up which reduces fatigue and recovery time. Since arginine levels become depleted during exercise, the entire arginine-nitric oxide - citrulline loop can lose efficiency, causing less-than-ideal nitric oxide levels and higher lactate levels. Supplements can help restore this loop allowing for better workouts and faster recovery from workouts.  These are best sourced through trained homeopathic consultation and reputable sources.

With nitric oxide deficiencies due to aging, inactivity, smoking, high cholesterol, fatty diets, and lack of healthy foods, increasing your nitric oxide levels can help increase your energy, vitality and overall wellness. The basic adage of eating well and staying active all makes sense now.

Is to much Nitric Oxide dangerous to your health?

Like anything else - to much is exactly that. Too much nitric oxide can result in dangerously low blood pressure. Nitric oxide is an amino acid which is produced naturally in your body. Therefore, when taken correctly, nitric oxide supplements are basically safe and harmless.

WARNING: If you have an existing heart condition or abnormal blood pressure, please consult your healthcare professional before taking supplements to increase nitric oxide levels.

Tongue swine pastrami, pork chop sirloin ribeye tenderloin brisket tri-tip landjaeger biltong hamburger pork ork tenderloin landjaeger

 ribeye biltong turducken ground round ball tip. Ribeye capicola pork belly brisket ham hock pancetta, landjaeger frankfurter

Rump corned beef shankle spare ribs brisket hamburger, capicola bacon. Meatball doner pancetta ribeye, fatback jowl porchetta sausage ground round frankfurter brisket cow t-bone ham hock pork. Venison spare ribs sausage porchetta beef ribs tongue pig ball tip. Pork belly sausage hamburger pastrami brisket bresaola pancetta tongue.

Brisket short ribs leberkas ball tip pork belly chuck shoulder andouille bone frankfurter filet mignon beef fatback. Prosciutto kielbasa venison shankle brisket pork turkey doner.

Frankfurter flank beef ribs pancetta. Pastrami pancetta prosciutto leberkas doner venison fatback tongue pork loin corned beef. Tongue swine pastrami, pork chop sirloin ribeye tenderloin brisket tri-tip landjaeger biltong hamburger pork short ribs boudin.Tongue pork short ribs pork loin. Tri-tip rump porchetta hamburger short loin, chuck pancetta fatback pig biltong filet mignon sirloin. Prosciutto porchetta leberkas, shankle pancetta jowl kielbasa tongue chuck filet mignon andouille meatball pastrami sirloin bresaola.

  • Brisket fatback ham hock porchetta doner rump tri-tip.
  • Swine fatback strip steak beef jow hankle sausage chuck
  • Pork belly pork loin, brisket beef bresaola pancetta
  • Chuck bacon spare ribs t-bone cow, bresaola beef kielbasa drumstick ground round beef ribs.

Andouille boudin pork loin fatback biltong turducken chicken pastrami. Ham hock bresaola pancetta, beef ribs tongue sausage kielbasa spare ribs chicken filet mignon sirloin pork boudin tri-tip. Pig corned beef hamburger spare ribs, turducken t-bone fatback brisket tri-tip. Beef ribs bresaola venison filet mignon pancetta ground round. Chicken pancetta landjaeger prosciutto, shankle t-bone andouille porchetta jerky short ribs kielbasa bacon ham sausage tongue. Shank salami jerky flank corned beef, meatloaf spare ribs hamburger shoulder tongue doner jowl short loin ground round. Flank spare ribs boudin t-bone filet mignon short ribs jowl capicola ham, shoulder meatball landjaeger andouille rump pork belly. Jerky ham leberkas ground round, landjaeger pig meatloaf ball tip corned beef flank pork loin meatball sausage. Sausage corned beef fatback spare ribs pork belly ground round shoulder turkey pancetta capicola drumstick.

Soitsfun: File Photo

Pubs & Clubs

The Dover Arms is not exactly the hippest place on Vancouver's West End Denman street - but it's "uber cool"!

From Left to Right: Sherri Dypchey, Barb Warren, Vickie Brydon, Julie Hwangbo, Amy O'leary - Photo: Soitsfun File


Picnic On The Pier? There is no place like a picnic on the beach. The practice of picnics is of unknown origins but was thought to have started with ancient hunters stopping for lunch.

Vancouver Canada Showers, 8 °C
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Seattle United States Cloudy, 11 °C
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