Monday, June 6, 2016

Good morning, Stanley

Today is actually a work day, for me, so I was up early for a run around Stanley Park before the opening keynote speaker. Apparently I wasn't up early enough, as Mindy and I managed only 12k (partway around the park and back) before time was running out. Later in the day we managed another run; this time we completed the Stanley Park circumnavigation, which actually wasn't much farther than 12k.

The opening keynote was...interesting. It started with the usual banter between the hosts, and then the lead host introduced a native speaker who would bless the conference - in keeping with tradition of the natives in this region.  The host called down Mr. Bob Barker! Bob walked on to the stage, looked up at his name printed in bold lettering across two twenty foot screens at the front of the room, and commented: "It's Baker.  Bob Baker." Whoops!  Awkward moment....

As I have learned, the native tradition when addressing an audience is first to explain yourself - your heritage and your background.  Bob explained his family background on both sides, and the background of the tribe from which he hails. A branch of cedar was used to figuratively sweep negativity out of the conference, and then Bob launched into a song accompanied by drumming on a hand-held drum. The back of the drum held various tribal medicines - likely including tobacco and other plants from the nearby forests. When he concluded, a small number of the audience bounced up for a standing ovation, which was probably not warranted.  It was a very interesting opening, but I can't say that anything about it struck me as fantastic, except perhaps Bob's restraint at being compared to the host of The Price is Right.

Working through the day was entertaining and hopefully useful - to me in the form of education, and to OntarioMD in the form of the information I could impart to the curious people who visited our booth. By the time the wine and cheese was rolled out as part of the welcome reception, we had less traffic at the booth.  Apparently my smiling face doesn't compare with a glass of red.

While I was working, Mindy was checking out the local restaurant scene with some treats from Medina (highly recommended!) and a forgettable bistro for lunch. In keeping with that theme, Mindy made plans for our dinner at a Lebanese restaurant in Gastown - Nuba. What a treat! I recognized some of the lawyers from one of the big Toronto firms (also here in Vancouver for the eHealth conference) at a neighboring table when we arrived.  I took that as a good sign.  Generally speaking, one assumes that a corporate lawyer knows where to eat out. The dinner was magnificent and plentiful! I love the cuisines that embrace vegetarianism! The walk through Gastown was an adventure in itself.  Not only did we witness the latest response to the sticky-note art war:

(Note that is the same window as is in the Vancouver Sun article in the link above.)

...we also witnessed a drug deal.  Apparently whatever she was selling would give you a high like you've never had before! Call me naive, but I don't normally picture drug dealers as young, healthy-looking, attractive women. I suppose that broadens the potential audience.  I mean, who really wants to buy it from the sickly-looking thug? (There were some sickly-looking bums nearby, who might have been selling, too.  I didn't ask around to find out.)

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