The Pain and Agony of Discontent


April 24, 2015

Extreme disappointment. Disgust. Anger. Defeated. Enraged. Belligerent. Fucking depressed!

These are just some of the emotions I am feeling right now.

Eight weeks ago a red sludge poured from my hot water taps as it did in several of my neighbors. Later our darling property manager Donna Kloc ensured us this was safe to consume, but rendered the hot water unusable and unavailable for 12 of the 47 units in our building.

We knew our building required re-piping and had set up a special assessment to raise funds to have this project done. We ran out time.

C & C Electrical Mechanical is the company that our strata had been using recently. After the first two weeks of this debacle we found ourselves in a meeting with our backs against the wall.

If we held off and got quotes from other companies the process would be further delayed. In desperation we opted to go with C & C.

They’ve had the contract for six weeks now. I have hot water in my bathroom basin only now for 2 weeks. Doesn’t get very hot and still has the red epoxy is in it.

I cannot shower. My ceiling has been ripped out. There is no hot water in the shower or the kitchen.

A lighting fixture dangles above my bathtub. The fan is not working. They’ve cut the power.

The bathroom floor and front hall have been covered in cardboard which has been taped down.

It feels dirty and gritty to walk on it now.

I am fortunate that my office has shower facilities. So these days I roll out of bed and jump in my car and drive to work to prepare for work.

Last weekend my back was giving me major grief. I was rear-ended at high speed three months ago.

Filling up some forty plastic basins of water to dump into the tub so I could bathe was just not an option so I sat depressed and feeling incredibly unclean last Sunday.

I’ve ensured myself that there are those who don’t have access to water at all. I’ve tried to tame the extreme rage that has at times threatened to over take me.

And now we are almost two months into this. I pay taxes….high taxes, dammit! I checked out New Westminster’s by-laws regarding water service and well, they were quick to say they weren’t responsible for fuck all.

No water service is guaranteed.

My local Starbucks knows of this saga. They look at me hopefully each morning when I go into get my coffee fix.

My local Boston Pizza is well aware of my dilemma as are a few other establishments in my community.

At my work place it has become a running joke that the shower room is fast becoming my home.

How fucking pathetic is this?

I’m trying to keep my humour about this, trying to remain…

And I want to hurt someone. And I hate feeling like this.

At this point I wish we’d taken the time to get quotes. The service we’ve had to date has been incompetent at best.

Home isn’t feeling all that homey these days.

I was heading out to the store about a week ago and found the hallways being prowled by the local fire department. I enquired as to why they were there.

All the smoke alarms have been rendered useless. Ziploc bags covered them as they dangled from the cut out ceiling. They are not working. The City of New Westminster deemed it necessary to have a security guard posted 24 hours a day.

And Circle Construction and C&C Electrical Mechanical are the professional organizations that have done this work to date.

I can ensure that is doesn’t appear all that professional at all. Even the fucking signs they put up with their information on them keep falling off.

I didn’t particularly like them at our emergency meeting six weeks ago and my opinion of them has deteriorated exponentially.

I work in the industry and I’ve watched eyes drop from sockets when I tell them I am still unable to bathe in my own home.

And I know the prick weeds (a.k.a. C & C Electrical Mechanical) will come up with some pathetic excuse about unforeseen obstacles regarding the delay in getting full service back to all twelve units.

This is how you learn about companies though and work ethic. I have a personal policy that I will always honour the job…not the fucking dollar.

These guys that are working on our building really don’t give a rats ass. This scares me. This is my investment as it is my neighbors.

I want quality work done to protect my investment. I want people who care about what they do working there. Not some assholes who’ve treated all of us like 2nd class citizens in there.

I’ll be lodging service complaints.   Big time to the BBB.

At the emergency meeting C & C was defending our property management company. How dare they!

There are so many things now that I wish I’d not felt so desperate about, but hell, you make your choices and you have to live with them.

But I won’t be quiet about it.

The people above me have two young children. They don’t have the option of showering at work. There are those who’ve retired that have health issues. Hell, I’ve got health issues.

And does our property management company or these so called professionals give a rat’s ass

I’m mad as hell and I really don’t know what to do about it.

Transformation…A City Grows Up, Literally!


 

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Springtime in the lower mainland finds us in the pink

Last week I began doing research on Vancouver for an article that I was working regarding the recent oil spill. It really is quite remarkable how Vancouver has in fact changed.  The thing now is the height of the buildings they are erecting in the downtown core.

Having worked in the architectural world for eight years the term ‘densification’ has been tossed about and embraced by cities throughout the lower mainland.  There is really nowhere to go but up.  At one time Vancouver had height restrictions regarding the view of the mountains.  As you will see the Vancouver skyline is being dominated by high-rise condo towers.  This is trickling into the suburbs as well.  I live in New Westminster and there are two 19 storey buildings going up.  One is on the corner from my building and the other is right next door. They are planning on building three towers down on the New West Quay which sits right on the water.  I’ve seen signs up in front of automotive shops over on Carnarvon Street indicating that application for rezoning has been made with the image of yet another tower to be built.

New Westminster has held onto many of her historical buildings.  And I am now wondering what is to become of this place?  Is New West going to follow in the footsteps of Vancouver with condo towers obliterating the river view?

The following photo essay is a then and now expose.

11.1  DT Van w Stanley Park 1970s11.  Burrard & Cambie Bridge 2015

Downtown Vancouver in the 1970’s and today

As you can see industry once ruled the waterfront.

2.1.  Quebec & Terminal 1970s

This location now houses Science World.  This vantage point shows the Georgia Viaduct at the top of the photo and we are looking at Quebec St. northbound

2.  Science World 20154. Science World 2

This is Science World today as it sits at the mouth of False Creek. 

Industry no longer exists on this part of the waterfront and a seawall has been built along the shore line.  You can now walk from Kitsilano Beach over to Coal Harbour.  Might take you a few hours.

10.  Burrard & Cambie St. Bridge

Above the Burrard Street Bridge with the Granville St. Bridge to your right looking at the downtown core in the 1970’s

6.1  DT Van 2015 312.  Cambie Bridge today 2015

The Cambie Street bridge which was built and opened in 1983 and the view of the downtown core now.  As you can see the difference over just a 20 year span is quite dramatic.

9.  DT VAn looking north 2015

8.1  DT VAN 2015 2

The Vancouver Skyline today is slowly obliterating the mountain view 

37.  Burrard St Bridge 2015

View of Burrard Street Bridge from Granville Island

1.  2nd & Cambie 1970s

Image of the old Cambie Street Bridge.  You can see the waterfront was used primarily for industry.  This would begin to change in the late 1970’s when the city began to buy back the land and redevelop  False Creek area West of the Cambie Bridge

Granville Island 1971

Granville Island 1971 was a rough area at that time. 

Granville Isle 2Ferry Terminal

Granville Island today is a tourist hot spot. 

the old island

A shantytown was set up on Granville Island when the sawmills began to struggle during the Great Depression

Granville Island at nightMarket shote

The marina now hosts houseboats and a yachts galore 

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The Mansion sits at Davie St. & Cardero St. just a few blocks up from English Bay.  It was built by Rogers who also built the Sugar Refinery.  This grand dame has served as a restaurant for many years and is currently sitting empty.  It is a heritage house though.  It is believed to be haunted.

Science world and BC Place 201516.  DTES, False Cr, Georgia Viaduct at Quebec & Main street

Quite the change to False Creek. 

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DT Granville Bridge 201533.  FC looking East

Some views of the City.  Top Left:  Downtown view from Granville Bridge circa 1970’s

Bottom Left: Aerial view of Granville Bridge circa 1990’s

Top Right: View from Hotel Vancouver looking North circa 1930’s

Bottom Right:  Science World looking East circa 2000’s

Beaches 2015grey whale

Sunset Beach was developed back in 1977 and a photo of the Grey Whale that returned to False Creek in 2010

PC & Hotel Georgia 2015New Hotel Georgia 2015

The Hotel Georgia 

Hotel Vancouver 2 2015Hotel Vancouver 2015

Hotel Vancouver

The Hotel Vancouver, downtown Vancouver

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8th & Columbia in New Westminster

Commercial & napier thne and now

Commercial Dr. & Napier Street, Vancovuer

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1st & Clark Street in Vancouver

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Commercial & Broadway looking west

32.  False Creek, Fairview & Granville Island at Lamey's Mill Rd.21.  Downtown 1970

Industry in the City circa 1970’s

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The Blue Horizon Hotel on Robson St. 

Ocean Concrete

This is one of the few industries that still remains on Granville Island.  They have worked very hard, however, to conform to keeping their business practices environmentally sound.

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Commercial Dr. & 1st Ave looking East & West

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Granville Street Bridge heading North into the downtown core.

Well I do hope you’ve enjoyed this little photographic essay.  As stated I personally would like to see them slow down on the building. Vancouver’s transformation and her surrounding suburbs has been quite remarkable.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

The Body Temple


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As I drove in to work today at 6:00 AM to have my morning shower the radio station spoke of 12 senior students at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary in Surrey who have been charged with ‘sexting’.

It is a new thing regarding youth who take pictures or have photos taken of them in sexually provocative and/or naked postures then post them on to the internet.

The 12 students were in fact circulating these images through online social media; some of the images from 13 year old students having just entered the 8th Grade.

What happened here? What did we forget to pass along to our youth in this insanity?

From the Eaton's Room in the old bldg on Hastings

We have men and women on shows such at The Bachelor & The Bachelorette who are becoming ‘celebrities’?  Am I missing something here?

These days I see toddlers with mini iPads in hand playing ‘games’?  Is this a good thing?

Apparently these games will make them smart? Can’t say that I can really comment on this but what I do know is that because of technology, because of computers they are no longer teaching cursive writing in schools.

And that is just wrong!  You have now idea how much this saddens me.

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Youth today are being robbed in oh so many ways. Flashed with images of what some obscene bastard thinks we all should look like.

They pile into a restaurant booth then pull out their iPhones and begin to ‘chat’ without uttering a word.

Lost in translation.

Kids these days seem to go from toddler to highly sexualized being in the blink of an eye.

What happened to the growing up part? The life unfolding part? The mystery part?

Now is seems youth are obsessed with appearance, with gadgets, with sex?

And where, pray tell, did the little darlings get these ideas from? Hmmm.

I also heard on the news today that a town in Montana wants to pass a law that any women wearing ‘leggings and/or Yoga pants’ in public 3 times in a row be confined to prison for 5 years.

This was a total ‘WTF’ moment for me.

paranoid

We have our babies taking selfies of their selfies and then some and posting on the internet for the world to digest never considering the consequence of their actions.

Let me ask parents this. Did you sit with your child and tell them how beautiful it is to discover their sexual self on their own terms?  To explore the body temple, revere in its mysteries and hold sacred to their sexuality as it is revealed to them.

I’m guessing that you didn’t.

Does an image of a vagina or a penis define your sexual self?  No.

And sex isn’t just about having an orgasm either.

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But if you are 13 years old and taking selfies of your ‘private’ parts…what may I ask are you actually trying to convey in your photographic essay?  Or weren’t you told to consider this aspect.

As females, we all have vaginas and a clitoris and we all have breasts.  How these parts of being operate really is determined by each of us and our individual preferences.

A little overwhelming, yes?  Not really.  Listen to the body temple.  It will guide you.

Boys all have penis’. They are expected to be quite proud of them.

The mystery of your body though is your own journey. It will define and carry you into adulthood and help shape who you are.

Respect not just the body but the unique aspects of it that make you…you.

Now ‘Game of Thrones’ may have us all believe that everyone shaved their nether regions and their chests, and their legs, and their pits….

It’s just a show people. A good one…but just a show.

The hairless phenomenon, the beauty debacle and of course the skinny business.

We’ve convinced our children that to get anywhere in this world they have to look good.

Then through the most fucked up ad campaigns, we’ve convinced them that if extreme measures are necessary…then do it.

Boob jobs, nips, tucks…

Bleached out hair, botox and collegen shots.

Size Zero.

puzzle

Diet supplements dominate the market; this obsession with appearance on one side of the coin and on the other side is the indulgence that youth today are being assured they deserve.

Just where do think this will take you?

Beauty fades. All the plastic/cosmetic surgery in the world will not change this fact.

But keep in mind that beauty is subjective. It’s mysterious, evocative and it really is in the eye of the beholder.

I’m 57 years of age, gorgeous and fat as hell at the moment.

Would I undergo a tummy tuck to rid myself of the pot belly I currently have?

HELL NO!

depression

Surgery is no laughing matter. I just want to get well enough to start kicking it at the gym again, to run again. These days the restrictions of my physical body as a result of the car accident and the accumulation of all the other shit I’ve endured over the last few years (i.e. cancer) has me feeling rather frail.  And I appreciate the

Ah but youth…it teases you into believing that you’ll always be just as you are.

Sorry kids.

And to the parents out there, teach your children…teach them well.

Some life lessons are tough but in my mind…no preschooler should be playing with a technology that has unfortunately been so corrupted.

If seeing boobs and cocks rocks your world…then I must say I have sympathy for you. Not empathy…just a pause of why you’re not looking past the 2 dimensional world you find yourself in.

And kiddies…if you think photos of boobies, vaginas and cocks and their hosts is the epitome of sexuality then you are sadly mistaken.  Respect yourself first and foremost.

Put down the iPhones and talk to one another.

 

 

 

 

 

Oil and Water…They Just Don’t Mix


duck 4Whales 1

 A duck covered in oil  and a pod of Killer Whales photographed a couple of weeks ago in English Bay, Vancouver, BC

I am fortunate to live in an area that is naturally beautiful with the benefit of rivers, lakes and the ocean within close proximity to my home.  We are sheltered by mountains here on the coast as well.  They too are easily accessible.

When the news broke that an oil spill had occurred in English Bay, I, along with everyone who lives here, became incredibly concerned regarding the environmental impact this would have.

The question has still not been answered, however, as to why this happened in the first place.  After all, it is a grain ship that is anchored in Vancouver’s harbor.  And bunker fuel was spilled?  How?

Heron 1

We’ve recently been enjoying the return of marine life such as whales and sea lions to this area.  Otters can be seen quite often as well.  And we have ducks, geese, herons, kingfishers, gulls and an abundance of other marine bird life in all shapes and sizes calling these waters home.

Whales 3Whales 4Whales 2

The whales drew quite a crowd and hung out in the bay for a few days

Still, upon reflection the explosion of technology in this industrial age of ours is concerning.  We have an oil company Kinder Morgan that wants to build an additional pipeline so that they can transport the stuff being pulled out of the oil sands in Alberta and transport it to places such as China.

Otterduck 3Duck 2

Over the last hundred years the changes to this world have been incredible.  And the impact that oil has had on us, well it has been a little more than frightening for this gal.  Considering that there are so many other clean ways by which to generate power, ideas and practices that have been in existence for a very long time as well, I know one of the reasons that oil and its subsequent affiliates have had the success they have is simply that in the beginning oil was not very expensive.  It was a cheap form of power and a dirty one.

Bulk Carrier

At the beginning of the industrial revolution we were wasteful as well.

Yet when I hear that the oil sands will produce enough energy and whatever else we use oil for over the next 100 years, it is concerning.  Hadn’t we best begin to look at some tried and true methods to produce energy such as wind and water and develop these on a large scale and sustainable one?

Gulf Coast Struggles With Oil Spill And Its Economic Costs

oil

And it is imperative that we keep our water as clean as possible.

We’ve had an incredibly mild winter here on the south coast of British Columbia which won’t bode well for the salmon run.  With no snow pack all we can only hope for is a lot of rain this year to keep the water levels high enough.

Politicians are laying blame and pointing fingers. Then they raise taxes to  stop global warming but in truth I believe this world moves in cycles.  Oddly enough the east coast of North America was hit incredibly hard this year and they had a brutally cold winter with enormous amounts of snow accumulating.

Weather patterns are not really something we can change.  Perhaps we should study more of ice samples that are being taken from Antarctica. We can adjust how we live in this world, how we function and how we interact with this organic planet of ours as this is within our control.

By all counts, this planet can be a violent place.  It is the nature of the beast.

I saw images of Paris, France on the news the other day where the pollution hung thick in the air and was a major concern to the city officials.  Something to do with allowing free parking in the downtown portion of Paris, though having never been there,  I cannot say where that may be.  Still the images of the Eiffel Tower shrouded in air thick with pollutants is disturbing.

Was the cheap alternative of oil offered at the beginning worth it?

Here in Vancouver we at one time clouded the waterfront with any number of industries that polluted the waters to the point that they were something of a dead zone.  Marine life will not venture into such water channels as they will not survive.

Paris-Pollution

Beijing

Think of Paris and Beijing and how you feel breathing in these places then think of fish swimming through clouds of oil.  And like trees that die as a result of air born pollutants being caught in the rain that falls to feed them, hence the term acid rain, is it any wonder that barnacles and coral reefs are fast disappearing.

Politicians express outrage while the federal minister stands up and says ‘We dealt swiftly and effectively with this.’   Still no answer as to why it happened at all.

And it was just a small spill after all.  A few ducks and geese, a sea lion or two.  Somehow I feel like they are missing the point and the big picture all together.

This should not happen…ever…anywhere!  We have the technology, yet we don’t use it.

And today I feel such a deep sadness because despite the advances that we’ve made in so many areas, we still suffer from our own inhumanity on so many levels.

A host of isms still cloud our thinking.  When are we going to learn its not about us.

Vancouver is my birth place.  She has listened when I’ve screamed about indignities that were awarded me.  She has caught my tears on her sidewalks, in her grassy fields and on her beaches.  She has shared her quiet beauty with me time and again reminding me when I was in the depths of sorrow all I had to do is look around me to see the wonder of this world.

I’ve stood at the break of dawn being bathed is morning light watching the silhouettes of this city come alive.  I’ve sat naked on her beaches well past midnight letting a summer’s breeze kiss my skin.  I’ve run through her streets and parkways.

She is and has always has been a gracious and beautiful lay of land.

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The thing is this whole oil thing is a global issue.  The spill in English Bay could have happened anywhere.  If it happened out at sea would there be concern?  Would we know?

I would like to share a few images and history of Vancouver, particularly the waterfront.

Some poor decisions were made back in the day born more of need than anything else.  And I get it.  We do know better now and collectively we need to recognize and adhere to this.

Last weekend of summer 2014 028

The following is an excerpt taken from historical accounts of Vancouver.  It is quite remarkable that city officials bought back much of the waterfront that was dominated by industry, converted it to shops and housing and began the slow process of restoring the water ways.

Archival photos were obtained from Flckr.

The following is in regard to False Creek:

‘During World War 1,  the easternmost part of False Creek, which formerly ran to Clark Drive, was filled in by the Great Northern Railway and Canadian National Railway to create new land for their yards and terminals.    For many years there was talk of draining and filling the inlet to Granville Street throughout the 1950s, but this never occurred.

The False Creek area was the industrial heartland of Vancouver through to the 1950s. It was home to many sawmills and small port operations, as well as the western terminus of the major Canadian railways. As industry shifted to other areas, the vicinity around False Creek started to deteriorate. In 1960, BC Forest Products plant and lumber storage facility on the south side of False Creek caught fire in Vancouver’s first-ever five-alarm blaze. Every piece of firefighting equipment and all of Vancouver’s firefighters fought the blaze for hours, but the facility was totally destroyed.

The future of False Creek south was subsequently shaped by debates on freeways, urban renewal, and the rise of citizen participation in urban planning. Through the 60s, the ruling NPA (Non-Partisan Association) city government and senior city bureaucrats had hatched a plan – with little or no public consultation – to run freeways through the city. In the same period, the City razed large portions of Strathcona under the aegis of urban renewal. A group of influential citizens formed The Electors Action Movement (TEAM) to oppose the freeway and to radically change the way decisions were made on land use. A key figure amongst these people was Walter Hardwick a Geography professor at UBC who envisioned the retrofit of this brownfield industrial site into a vibrant waterfront mixed-use community.

The North Shore of False Creek (NFC) was further transformed in the 1980s, as it took centre stage during Expo ’86. Following the Expo, the Province sold the NFC site to Li-Kai Shing who brought ideas of a higher density waterfront community to the downtown peninsula. Vancouver’s experience with South False Creek and the public participation that shaped it was key to developing NFC as a livable high-density community. For example, Ka-shing’s company wanted to develop “islands” of market condos on the waterfront but was soundly rebuffed by the public and by planners who favoured the extension of a 100% publicly accessible waterfront and seawall. The 1991 Official Development Plan enabled significant new density commensurate with the provision of significant public amenities including streetfront shops and services, parks, school sites, community centres, daycares, co-op and low-income housing. Since then, most of the north shore has become a new neighbourhood of dense housing (about 100 units/acre), adding some 50,000 new residents to Vancouver’s downtown peninsula.

On December 1, 1998, Vancouver City Council adopted a set of Blueways policies and guidelines stating the vision of a waterfront city where land and water combine to meet the environmental, cultural and economic needs of the City and its people in a sustainable, equitable, high quality manner.

Several decades following the suspension of industrial activity in the area, a number of shore and seabirds such as cormorants, ducks, herons, kingfishers, owls, geese, crows, and gulls have returned, as well as harbor seals. In an unusual sighting, in May 2010 a grey whale entered False Creek and traversed its length before returning to the open waters of the Strait of Georgia.

Factors working against the further return of wildlife include residual industrial contaminants, spillage from the sewer overflow system into the creek, and the seawall that constrains much of the shoreline with little habitat value. The city has attempted to recreate the natural shoreline in some areas and is working to phase out the antiquated sewer overflow system.’

I wanted to share this history with you because at one time Vancouver’s waterfront wasn’t particularly attractive over in the False Creek area.  English Bay has always been a jewel of sorts.  It sits next to Stanley Park and the area around the park has been protected over the years.  Vancouver’s Main Street runs from it’s northern most point south almost to the Fraser River.  In the downtown core of the street this was and still is a hub of industrial activity.

I want to look after what we have.  Let’s preserve it.  Oil and water do not mix.  And do we need more condo towers?  I have put together photo montage of Vancouver.  Enjoy.

Enlish Bay 19096085430331_d2a9022335_z6077703925_85dcff26e6_z

English Bay over the last 100 years…the gazebo still stands as does the Sylvia Hotel.  The Pier was removed in 1938.

Vancouver Courthouse 1930Vancouver Courthouse (VAG)Vag 2

 The Vancouver Art Gallery began has the city jail.  It still has cells in its bowels with brick walls a few feet thick.  It later became the courthouse and in 1983 has been the Art Gallery.
Vancouver Opera House (now Orpheum)orpheum-granville
The Vancouver Opera House and its subsequent transformation to the Orpheum Theatre.
Kitsilano Beach 1960kits 2
Kitsilano Beach and Pool then and now
Vancouver AirportVancouver Airport 1965Vancouver Airport 1950VIA
The Vancouver International Airport is growing every year.
Victory SquareVictory Square looking north 1913Victory SquareVictory 2
Victory Square through the years where all Remembrance Day ceremonies are held.
Hastings St., looking westHastings at CambieHastings at Cambie2
Looking west on Hastings Street from Cambie Street.  The Marine Building was at one time the tallest building in Vancouver.
Second Narrows Bridge No 1"Yamahide Maru" under both RR Bridges at 2nd Narrows6475192929_f2fb850bb8_z
The Second Narrows (Iron Workers Memorial) Bridge and its many transformations.  19 men were killed in a tragic accident during the construction of the newest model back in 1958. 
Granville St. Bridge looking north6407149829_be1c8929d5_zGranville b 2Granville b 1
The Granville Street Bridge in her many transformations.
Burrard st. 3Burrard st2Burrard st. 4Burrard st 1
The Burrard Street Bridge under construction and on opening day on July 1, 1939 and today.  It has remained largely unchanged. 
Fire Station at Nelson & Nicola in West End.Davie St. looking toward Denman St.Davie to English
The Fire Hall No. 6 still stands and is pretty much the same at Nelson & Nicola.  The view on Davie St. toward English Bay then and now. 
Davie Street looking south from Denman St.Denman & Davie2
Looking up Davie Street from Denman then and now.
I hope you have enjoyed this.  I will offer up more but for the time being I must have some dinner.  Cheers!

 

Life


 

Queeens Park April 2015 099

She sits in the Rose Garden at Queen’s Park…a vision of peace and solitude

Just breathe.  Think of all the good things that are to come.

Just breathe.  Know that the current series of events being experienced are temporary.

I’ve not written a blog post in a couple of weeks now.  In the 3 1/2 years since beginning in this forum, this is the longest I’ve gone without expressing what’s been in my head.  I’ve been writing though.  Make no mistake.

I’ve even written a few posts that upon review were abandoned.

Queeens Park April 2015 029

A gift from a friend

Just breathe.   The pain will pass.

It has been four weeks now since I’ve had hot water in my home.  Tonight hot water was restored to my bathroom sink only.  All of this has thrown me into a quagmire of sorts.  Still, I adjusted my schedule and just made do.

And the posts I found myself tossing onto the page were more rants than anything else.  There was at times a rather petulant attitude dripping from the words that I felt didn’t serve the purpose of this blog at all.

I’ll muscle through.  I always do.

heart

I need to bring my focus back to marketing the book and returning to good health.  Much more advantageous to focus on these avenues.

Last weekend I took my daughter to see the Fleetwood Mac concert at Rogers Arena here in Vancouver.  It was truly a spectacular show.  Stevie and Lindsay shared a few memories with us.  Mick was crazy on the drums and Christine was back in the fold!

This band now ranges in age from 65 to 71 years of age.  And they played without an intermission for over 2 1/2 hours.  We were beside the stage in the 10th row.  Fabulous seats!

Aging really is all in your head.  Keep moving  and doing the things you love and are passionate about and you’ll barley notice when the skin begins to sag a bit.

I’m working through the pain of the car accident.  It’ll be tough…but I’ll get there.

I went out for a walk on Easter Sunday and grabbed my camera.  I’ve not done this in a good long while.  An eagle soared above me and the trees look lovely in their spring green foliage.

These darker emotions that I’ve been experiencing I’ve channeled into the beginnings of a murder mystery.  I penned the first few chapters last weekend.  I think I’ve covered all the genres now.

In any case, here are few photos from last Sunday.  Enjoy!

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Queen’s Park on Easter Sunday…the cherry blossoms are bloomin’ and everything just seems to be set to rights.

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Simple and enduring beauty everywhere.

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Namaste!

 

 

 

 

It’s Been a Week…


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I wrote a post on March 17, 2015, St. Patrick’s Day.  It is still in draft and will likely be disposed of as it sounded a little too much like a whine-fest!

Now like everyone on this planet…I confess that I bitch and complain about any number of things.  But at this moment I’m feeling determined.

A week ago the hot water kicked out in twelve units in our building, mine being among them.

The plumber was in my suite today and you guessed it, still no hot water.

I am fortunate that there are shower facilities at my workplace.  I can and usually do come up with a back-up plan when it’s necessary.  Hell, my hair actually looked half ways decent today considering I’ve been drying it without benefit of a mirror.

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All kidding aside, tonight as I stepped into my apartment and turned on the taps expectantly, my hopes were quickly dashed.  Still no hot water.

I spoke with Kathy the strata council president then called a plumbing company that had been recommended.

Next I drafted a letter to our property manager.

I want this corrected once and for all as I’m certain that everyone in the building does.  Re-piping a building will cost money and a lot of it.

Still, buying a condo is an investment like any other.  We knew this was an issue having had a depreciation report completed a few years back.  The purpose of the report was to begin to set up an adequate contingency fund to oversee the maintenance and repair of the major projects that should be done over the next few years.

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Last Saturday we ran out of time on the one most expensive project being the re-piping of the building.

I’m feeling rather agitated as the powers that be are dragging their heels.

Politics!

Our annual AGM is scheduled for April 27, 2015.  It was suggested that this problem of twelve suites without hot water could wait until such time as it could be discussed by everyone.

Seriously?!

Over a month?

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There are 47 units in my building so 35 are still blessed with hot water. I don’t understand the why’s or wherefores of such things. What I do know is that we need to remedy this, and we need to do this now.

Patch jobs end up being far more costly at the end of the day.

I’m not on council, though I’ve been invited.  I’ve so many other things on the go that committing time to this is just not feasible.  Still, when something requires my attention and assistance then yes, I’m in 100%.

Once the letter is sent, I wonder, will I be ignored?  This property management company hasn’t exactly been very responsive as of late.

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The pit bull in me is coming out. We need to have the building re-piped.  Let’s get on with it.  Let’s get quotes and references and of course do due diligence and check out those references.  Ask pertinent questions and make no apology.  Then go to the bank and with our finances in order and tell them this is what we need. .

At this point we go the rest of the  tenants and tell them. This is what we need to do and this is what it will cost us.

My suite is one of the biggest in the complex.  I’m having to pony up more than most. In my mind it is the cost of owning.  Sometimes shit happens.

We knew this was an issue, hence the special assessment.  We need to do the same $96,000 commitment that we did last year.  The bank will be encouraged by this.

It’s been a week though.

I’m a little numb.  Much to do and I am but one person.   I’m trying to focus on a several things. And I’ll get them all done.

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But tonight as I finished up my conversations and completed the rough draft of the letter I’m going send to the property manager, tears stung the back of my eyes.

I’m not someone who will bitch about falling out of bed at 5:45 AM to go to work to shower and prepare for the day,

In fact, I feel blessed that I have this option.

I switched phone services for my sister and myself last Sunday and it’s been a week of discovering what works and what doesn’t.

I’ve been hell bent at work to prepare an adequate budget.  This gets a check mark.

I finally got the all the journal entries put in to close the year.  Now I just have to close it.

I am looking forward to a year of bank reconciliations.

I’ve got an office to set up and a filing system to implement.

It’s in my head.

I know it will work.

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I finished up and headed over to by worked over by Physio John.

I’ve improved incredibly.

Then why I wondered did I just feel like a piece of shit?

I’ve written a book and all those that I know that have been kind enough to purchase a copy have said nothing.

Have they read it?  What was their opinion?

I’m interested.   And I know, more than anyone how tough it will be for those who do know me to read this.

Yet I’m feeling so incredibly emotional currently and it might well be attributed any number of events that have occurred as of late.

I’m not superhuman.  While my mind is buzzing along at light speed yet my physical self is crashing and screaming.  Then the optimist kicks in.

“You’ll be just fine.”

Who am I trying to convince?”

The physical inabilities are weighing heavy.  Now there’s a pun if I ever heard one.

I’ll manage.  I always do. Whatever these inconsistencies are, I get through.

Right now I’m pushing into warrior mode.  I’m tired of the politics.  They show up on every level.  It is this procrastination that has in fact cost us big time.

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For example, Translink wants more money.  In my mind they need to prove they can manage these funds.  To date, not so much.  The whole Compass program is a fiasco that still sits idle and the cost to taxpayers, well lets not go there as I’ll go for the juggler in a heart beat.

I guess what perturbs me more than anything is that residents will come to the meeting regarding the issues and insist that they shouldn’t have to pay that kind of money.

A friend of mine needs a new roof on her home.  She has been quoted that the cost will be in the $17,000 range.  Ouch!

If I have to pay $7,500 in costs for major projects over the next three years, then I can adjust my budget and do this.

And life goes on.

There are no guarantee’s, no promises.

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I can recall pulling into an Esso Gas Station some 15 odd years ago at Hastings St. & Cassiar.

A woman was standing beside her Maserati crying.

I was just finishing up my newspaper route all those years ago.

I asked her what was wrong.

She was going through a nasty divorce.  All her charge cards had been cancelled and she had no idea now how to put fuel in her car.

I smiled at her and showed her how to do this task.  At the end I told her “It will get better.  You’ll get stronger.”

Then I gave her a hug and left.

I don’t know what happened in her case but I do understand human frailty.

I’ve  been feeling this a bit too much as of late.

And I do know that life will continue on inevitably.

So I’ll wipe the tears the from eyes and get on with it.

The Delicate Balance of a Book Review


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For those who’ve followed me for any length of time on here, you’ll know I share pretty much whatever happens to be playing out in this head of mine at any given time.

And I am entering the realm of a published author now trying to determine how I let the rest of world know that I’ve written a book.  They may want to read it….then again…they may not.

I’ve written letters as of late to ‘promote’ my product.  I’ve set them aside for a week then went back to see if the brainstorming session that had been initiated still held appeal.

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In the last few weeks nothing has been promoted as I’ve recoiled from first few attempts to try to ‘win’ attention of a media person of interest to review my book.  I’ve got this damn weird sense of humour that tries to slip in between the sheets  and (wow) the recipient of a letter just may feel violated!

Mind you, I did send that letter to Ellen…..hmmmmmmmmm!

Some of what I’ve written has been quite good.  However, closing the letter by saying things like…”my friends will tell you I am a good and dependable person.  They will also tell you I’m a little bat-shit crazy at times with a smile on their face in the telling.”

I then challenge the recipient of the letter (who has never met me…never heard of me) to read the book and decide for themselves who I am.  And this book isn’t really an introduction per se of who I am.  It is telling you the nasty business of how I got here.

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Oye!

So having pondered the best approach and a starting point I began to look for book reviewers online. Find someone who appreciates and/or has a preference for memoir and submit the book for an honest review.  The other aspect of this is to find credible reviewers.  I mean I want to garner more traffic and interest in my book.

That’s the point of the marketing.

One of the best ways to create interest is by word of mouth.  Get the buzz happening and people will check you out.  Hopefully the product will then entice you to purchase and read.

I’m wearing a different hat these days.  I’ve gone from being the ‘creative genius’ to being the ‘business mastermind’.

Am I not humble? (Insert a glaringly funny and obscene smiley face here).

In all honesty what I’m finding is that due diligence in this area is extremely necessary.

Many sites request a fee for their time and I can certainly appreciate this.  So far I’ve found sites that request $30 for their services and others that ask for $500 and up.

Then I got to wondering…if you paid the $500 then the $30…what type of reviews would you get? Money can be such an influential thing, can it not?

If I paid $500 for a book review wouldn’t I expect it to be decent and favourable?  And I don’t really have that kind of cash to toss into the arena.  The sum of $500 may well be the entire budget I want to invest in publicizing this book.  I’ve already spent $90 approximately on copies to send out for promotion.  The dilemma at this moment is who to send it to.  Who will have the most impact and do they appreciate this form of literature?

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I read one site that guaranteed honesty in their review.  And I wondered how I would react to someone not liking what I’ve written, not understanding and completely trashing me.

Indeed it would hurt.

But not for long.  I’d have to be pragmatic and ask the reviewer where I lost them and what they found so unappealing.  After all there is the business aspect to this.

And besides, what I’ve lived can no longer hurt me. There will be the odd sting or two no doubt.  And I’m not out to convince this world of anything.

I just am who I am.  No more.  No less.

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As I venture into the wide and wild world of publishing and marketing let me assure you in many ways it’s like seeing the sun rise for the first time even though you know you’ve watched it a hundred thousand times before.

There is a beauty that I just love.  And an innocence that,  damn, I wish I could hold onto forever, and a boatload of desire and passion to expose all that is in this heart of mine

And that’s what I must use as a compass point in this venture.

Take nothing for granted, appreciate any and all comments.

And always remember that I’m only human after all.

Peace out!