Category Archives: Networking

Parties, events, and networking!

Getting Connected With The BlinkMedia Crew

This past Thursday, members of the Dot Com Pho Crew went down to hang out with the BlinkMedia Works Crew, makers of the Canadian Tech TV show, GetConnected TV. In addition to the TV show, they also run business technology conferences, workshops and exclusive exhibitions. The event was a chance for the principals, AJ Vickery, Lindsay Smith & Mike Agerbo, to show off their studio and their operation.

They took care of all their guests with food, drinks and prizes throughout the night and the event was generally packed through the evening. Joining me was John Chow, Greg Morgan, Gary Ng and even our long lost friend, Ian Lee, who decided he owed me a ride downtown. We also bumped into Jeff Kee down there.

It looked like everyone was at the party except for missing in Deadmonton, Michael Kwan, and for some reason, even with the food and beautiful girls, Ed Lau was nowhere to be seen. We were concerned that he might have been kidnapped by Yakuza and tossed into an underground SUMO Wrestling ring. I think Leo Chiang was banging chicks or something.

They were also giving tours of their studio and doing interviews with guests onsite. Gary got interviewed by Mike Agerbo about his favourite topic: The iPhone of course! The interview went well and you can see it right here

Unfortunatley, John Chow tried to take over the show and that's when things got really ugly. We've always known that John liked balls and jamming to Rick Astley, but things just got worse from there...

With enough drinks in him, he then started hitting on men with handlebar moustaches under the disco ball. In a sick twisted way, it was for a good cause because this brings attention to the Movember Fundraising Event for Prostate Cancer. More pictures from this event after the jump...

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Dot Com Pho - Lemon Glass...Grass...Edition

This past Saturday another Dot Com Pho took place. This week, we invaded the Lemon Grass Restaurant in Richmond, based on Greg Morgan's recommendation. If you remember, Greg Morgan suggested that we check out a restaurant called Cuu Long in Vancouver, which we thought was mediocre at best. However, the "Big Cock Marketer" showed up this week so let's see if it stacks up. Upon entering, I deja vu feeling and I was right: It used to be a greek restaurant. Apparently they moved up the street and the new owners turned it into a Vietnamese Restaurant, though I think Lemon Grass is more of a Thai ingredient.

In addition to Greg Morgan, we of course had John Chow, Ray, Wolfgang and picking up the video producing duties this week, Ed Lau. Also joining us this week were Rory Hansen, Heather, who owns the longest URL in existence, Crystal, and Timothy Sykes, author of An American Hedge Fund along with Adarsh who is, coincidentally, Greg's neighbour.

This week's episode of Dot Com Pho includes our commentary on how much the new MacBook sucks, our first Dot Com Booze of the week (thanks Buzz!), a rich Zinfandel from California called Cellar#8, our gadget of the week, which, unfortunately, we have no clue who gave it to us, and the joys of Motorboating in BC. Also featured this week is our continued Twitter shout outs. Enjoy!

I think that next week, it's Dot Com Bachelor Party for iPhone Gary as he's decided to throw the shackles on and pitch himself into the bottom less pit of marital bliss. But before that, he's gonna go out with a bang complete with stripper poles, debauchery and paintball.

The Phall Season Premiere of Dot Com Pho

People have been getting lives lately. I've decided to go back to school and throw a few weights over my head. Leo has been obsessed with skin jobs. Ed has been trying to show Greg Morgan how to be a real boy by taking him on a date in the park. Our friend Michael "Kwanye" Kwan has been trying to associate freelancing with good driving habits, which isn't such a good idea considering he crashed a segway which, according to an engineer, is impossible to do. I think iPhone Gary has an audio (the video part is fail) somewhere.

Finally, John Chow has been out feeding his ego at events where he is considered a celebrity. Hey, if people were willing to stroke me all day long and give me a MacBook Air, I'd go too. But then again, going to an event about blogging, to me, is like going to a convention about going to the bathroom. Everyone does it. Do you really need to setup an EXPO for it?

At any rate, today we got together for a Phall Premiere to the new Dot Com Pho Season. This week's episode ends up being a "John Chow Pho - John Chow...and some other people too" edition because somebody forgot to bring their camera (*COUGH*...ED). I don't *think* John tries to do that on purpose, but it's even possible he doesn't even know he's promoting himself anymore. John talks a lot, then there is something about Twitter and iPhones, and then we hand out a bunch of limited edition Dot Com Pho Pens (comment here to get some) courtesy of Tej at 1234PENS...and you might catch the rest of us in there somewhere...briefly...of course.  Ray and Wolfgang were also here this week while Kwanye is stuck in Deadmonton and Leo doesn't use twitter and I forgot to phone him...

I really wonder if that's better than a 10 minute video with mainly walking and the sound of Ed's voice in various monologues with rambling explanations of things. At least it "seems" like he tries to put some care into the "Never Ending Walking Sequences". But then again, John did make an effort this changing some of the WHITE FONT to a YELLOW FONT. Baby steps.

Mirch Masala - The Most Kick Ass Indian Food in the Lower Mainland

When one goes to an ethnic restaurant, it's often a good sign when the staff are of the same ethnic background. No, it does not count when Chinese People run a Fake Pho Restaurant and speak Mandarin or Cantonese in the background. Just because we all look alike doesn't mean we are. Even the most angry Chinese Person isn't as angry as a true Vietnamese like Mr. General Lan (or as happy as Pho Brian and his harem of beautiful girls). I guess the only exception would be when Rob Feenie covers his ass and makes a California roll and calls it "Fusion" instead of calling it Sushi. Although this is a good rule of thumb, it sometimes doesn't tell the whole food quality story.

The other way of telling if an ethnic restaurant is good or not, is by observing the clientelle that it keeps. Last Saturday, Ed Lau, Leo Chaing, and I went down to All India Sweets Restaurant. Located in the heart of "Little India" in Vancouver, you would swear that it'd be a pretty authentic and good place to eat. Well apparently not, and we should've clued in when we noticed that the majority of people in there were Caucasian.

The place also has a bad reputation with the East Indian community as being somewhat unsanitary. Tej Singh of 1234pens felt so bad for me that he had to show me what a real East Indian Meal tasted like. He invited me out to Mirch Masala, located in Surrey, BC, for a taste of what the East Indian Community deem as the best food in all of the Lower Mainland.

You Mean It's Not Supposed to be Oily and Overspiced?

Most of the places that I've been to in the past seemed OK. The stuff tasted fine to me, but that was because I'd never had the best. I left Tej to order up some of his favourite items and boy was I surprsied at what I saw...

We started off with two dishes: A tandori chicken and a tandori fish dish. Both dishes tasted clean and fresh and weren't oily or overpowered by the spices as I've often tasted in the past at other eateries. The ingredients were simple and the smell of the smoke and sizzle from the cast iron plate was intoxicating. I stopped taking pictures and just went to town. Following this was probably the best Butter Chicken and Garlic Naan that I had ever tasted. The sauce of the butter chicken was full bodied and rich and you could literally taste the different spices and the texture of the ingredients. The Garlic Naan was absolutely to die for. You could see the pieces of minced garlic sticking out of this heavenly flat bread. I've got to get my own brick oven one day so I can make this at home.

The Aftermath...

Tej ordered so much food that it almost defeated me. This is coming from the guy that finished two Wally Burgers and a TOPS Super Sirloin Burger back to back, in the same day. He told me that he's tried every place in the Lower Mainland and that this was the best place he's been. Tej has a large family (500 strong) and because of that, he's eaten at every place at least once so I don't take his declaration lightly. He also told me that on certain days of the week, Mirch Masala has lineups out the door and around the building. Believe me, it's that good and the next time you're in Surrey, you have to try this place.

Oh...and One More Thing...

Before I could get away, Tej insisted that I have dessert. This is like an East Indian take on the TimBit drenched in a sugary syrup. It was really good. I never knew a TimBit could be turned into something so decadent.

Afterewards, Tej asked the staff to pack everything that was leftover and handed me the Doggie Bag. Twist my arm huh?

What? More Fee Stuff?

I was already floored that Tej took me out and showed me what real Indian Food was all about after our Indian Food Fail. Before this, we've really only met a couple times in person and communicated mainly over Facebook messages. We had a great time talking about all sorts of stuff and it's pretty amazing how much the two of us have in common. He's truly an all around great guy that is genuinely passionate about his business and about the people he works with.

Before we parted ways, Tej had one more thing to give to me... 

Tej prepared a huge box of DotComPho pens for the Dot Com Crew to give out at the next event. I'm thinking this weekend. Location anyone? Tej has personally tested most of the pens in this box so he's pretty sure they are all good. He took our feedback to heart when the first batch he sent out had some issues.

These pens are all from his BicPromoPens division that turns out custom pens from the high quality Bic catalogue. If your business is looking to create a little buzz, the gift of a pen goes a long way. Afterall, everyone likes a free pen. There is a reason why people steal them all the time. Not to mention, Tej is a real straight up guy and will take good care of you and make sure you're satisfied with your order. Speaking of pens, if you're from out of town, and unable to attend a Dot Com Pho in the foreseeable future, please comment on this post and I'll send you some. Tej's generosity is truly contagious. Offer good while quantities last. I have to save the other half for Dot Com Pho LIVE edition. Kwanye is going to get a bunch too so he can randomly pass them out to strangers at Pho Restaurants and make friends.

Thanks again for the awesome pens Tej and don't forget 1234PENS or BicPromoPens for all your custom pen needs.

Dot Com Pho - The Telecommuting Edition

With Kwanye stuck in Edmonton with Landals, we thought we'd never be able to have a Pho together again. Not so. With the power of the Interwebs, we were able to have simultaneous Pho not only at the same time, but also at the same restaurants. Nha Trang exists in both Vancouver and Edmonton and as a result, gives us the feeling that we're having Pho together...sort of. Next time I think we'll take it up a notch and have laptops simultaneously broadcasting the two meets so that we can still talk and still see each other, but not like BobTV because that's boring.

This week, we've ordered the smaller size of Pho with a side of spring rolls as only myself, Ed Lau, who has officially rejoined Canada after spending time as an ex-pat in Japan for months, and Ray who, like Cher or Prince, uses one name, was in attendance. Everyone else apparently has a life. Funny enough, another Chow was at the same restaurant, but not the Evil One. John's brother drove all the way from Chilliwack to have Pho in Vancouver. Apparently, he does this on a weekly basis and has to drive over an hour whereas John won't drive 15 minutes to come out to Vancouver. They are truly two different brothers from the same mother. Here's this week's combined Edmonton and Vancouver Edition...

John just posted his video of the Dot Com Pho Toronto meet up, but it seems like there is a whole lot of John Chow, and maybe that one real shot of the guy who ordered the Hai Nam Chicken Rice. It's more like the John Chow Meet Up featuring Pho, and some other people too. The others appear briefly in the video as well, but less than the dude that keeps looking over his shoulder in the background.

Dot Com Pho will take a hiatus till September 13th so that we can have some me time and a Summer Vacation. See you then!