Another Year…


 

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My birthday is fast approaching.  Next Wednesday I’ll celebrate fifty-nine years!

In a conversation with my daughter last night we discussed age.  While some may say that 59 years of age is old…it doesn’t ‘feel’ that way.  What an odd way to describe our age though as how we feel?

I will always feel the wonder of this world that I inhabit.  Despite all the mess currently going on regarding the politics of our time, this planet of ours is so much bigger and wondrous than we’ll every be.

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We are not all that nice to each other or to our Earth at times, are we?

On Wednesday here in BC we will celebrate not only someone’s birthday but also Pink Shirt Day which is an initiative against bullying.

The theme this year “Make Nice”.

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I’d like to take that challenge a bit further and just ask everyone to practice kindness on a daily basis.

It isn’t easy.

Still the benefits so outweigh the difficulty of dealing with our anger and not projecting it elsewhere.   And if someone is hurting ask if they’d like to talk.

Listening is one the best skills any of us can have.  I have been working on this in a big way.

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Since joining a local Toastmasters chapter a year and half ago my listening skills have increased ten fold.  Still, there is always room for improvement and always will be.

We just passed Valentines Day.  At our Toastmasters meeting we were all asked to say one word that describes what love  means to  us.

After the fact I thought about this quite a bit.  How could one word define love?

And this is what struck me just before falling to sleep a few nights back.

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Love = Freedom

 

coyote

Hate = Fear

Freedom is expansive…it encompasses so much!  Embrace freedom and surrender to a loving heart!

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Kindness matters…always!

 

 

 

 

 

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Happiness Is A Warm Gun? Trump That!


Obama

Several weeks ago I watched as President Obama tearfully laid out a plan to curb the gun violence that occurs in the United States on a daily basis.  I noted his frustration as he once again spoke of the need to regulate and implement tougher standards for buying or selling guns in America.

Within a nanosecond after this had aired, Republican representatives and gun enthusiasts were quite literally up in arms holding the Constitution over the President’s head like a guillotine.

This Canadian gal just doesn’t understand her American counterparts desire to obtain and have guns.

Americans have this enshrined in their Bill of Rights.  It is the 2nd Amendment in their Constitution.

Curious I pulled up this document and read it through.  I wonder if the forefathers knew what they were putting in place back in 1789?

Six Shooter 1800's

Classic Six Shooter

The thing is there have been amendments made and added to change, adjust or update previous Amendments and articles of the laws that govern.  From the information available one of the last adjustments made was in 1992.

That’s fine.  You want the right to bare arms.  But why the fuck do you need an assault rifle that can discharge 800 rounds per minute or even a semi-automatic rifle that can discharge 180 rounds per minute?

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Semi-Automatic Rifle

This just makes no sense to me at all.

There are now more guns in America than there are people.  I find this fact a little scary.

Back in 2011 I went to New York for the first time.  I loved it, however, I remember coming through the Lincoln Tunnel at 6:30 AM and seeing armed soldiers with some very intimidating weapons on their person.  The 10th anniversary of 911 had just passed and the UN was hosting a major event.  The Occupy movement was in full force as well.  I understood the need to step up security.

Still everywhere we went our purses were checked and often we’d have to pass through metal detectors and the like.  It never occurred to me that perhaps many Americans could well have firearms on their person.

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Occupy New York Sept 2011

What is even more confounding is when tragedies such as the thirteen killed at Columbine back in 1999 to the 26 killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 and immediately thereafter the sale of guns increased exponentially.   Particularly after the Sandy Hook tragedy.  More guns were sold over a six week cycle than had been sold over the last 20 years!  Utter the words ‘gun control’ and suddenly its like Black Friday down in the U.S.  as citizens line up to stock up on their fire arms.

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Times Square at 1:00 AM Sept 2011

I’ve been watching the election campaigns for the run up to the Presidential election later this year and truth be told it is beginning to get a little scary on the Republican side of things.  The fact that Trump leading is so appalling on so many levels.  Out of every republican candidate’s mouth has come the statement “WE WILL KILL ALL TERRORISTS!”

For the record, terrorism is a global issue.  In order to stop terrorism, we need to first understand how and why it exists.  Will going in and blowing up a country solve the issue?

I believe it will only make matters worse.

Trump is going to build a wall to keep the Mexicans out. That is quite frankly, so fucked up!  There is already  a wall there.  This to me is tragic.

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Sadly some of these ‘walls’ already exist

I am a member of Toastmasters International.  When new members join we mentor them.  I met with Luis after our club meeting last Tuesday as I will be mentoring him.  The role of mentor is to let the new member know how the system is set up and to discuss the first two manuals so they understand their responsibilities.  We are also available should they have any questions during the first three speeches that they prepare or deliver.

I love the opportunity to assist any one wanting to improve who they are.

Luis is 30 years old.  He was born in Mexico City.  At 15 years of age he went to Los Angeles to begin a new life.  He had nothing and was on his own. At 17 years of age he came to Vancouver, BC up here in Canada.  He has worked two, sometimes three jobs to bring his mother and brother up from Mexico as well.  He has started his own company and is now married and expecting his first child.

Luis is now a citizen of Canada and what a stellar young man!

Yet according to Mr. Trump, all Mexicans are ‘thugs and rapists.’

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Current snapshot of the U.S. – Mexican border

I am very proud of Canada’s ability to build on its multiculturalism.  We are proof it can work.  I’m not saying we’re perfect.  Far from it.  Sadly we’ve been very slow at dealing with our issues regarding  First Nations people.

And I’m more than a little pissed off that our governments continue to sell off our resources and residential property to offshore buyers.  That, however, is another rant for another day.

I am confused by my neighbors to the south.  Confused and concerned.  The intolerance that I see at some of these political rallies is genuinely frightening.  Trump apparently didn’t know who David Duke was.   Hell, I’m a little Canadian gal and I know who once was the head of the KKK.

When ‘black lives matter’ protesters showed up at the next rally, Trump quite handily demanded, ‘Get them outta here!’ And it was as if he was inciting the crowd to a level of intolerance that was becoming aggressive.

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Eagle photographed in Harrison Mills, BC  Canada

And security moved in fast to do his bidding.  The fact that Trump is as hateful and ego driven as he, well I don’t even want to think about the possibility of him running the show down there.

Finding a really good head of state is an arduous task but some the qualities that are inherent are as follows.

Patience, tolerance, exceptional listening and negotiation skills, emotionally and intellectually sound and balanced.  The person needs to be objective and be able to reason.

Trump has none of this.  He is a bully.  If you don’t agree with him, he’ll sue you.  In many ways he is childlike, pouting and having tantrums whenever he doesn’t get his way.

Between the gun issues and this Trump fellow, America the beautiful is losing her luster.  Trump says he wants to make America great again.

Not too certain of what his definition of ‘great’ is and I hope we never discover this.

To my neighbors in the south be well.  We are all on this planet together and we need to learn to live together and share in the responsibility of keeping this world of ours in good working order.

Peace.

 

 

 

Back Story


JS & elmo

 

I had a good day.   It was a laid back one with no pressure.

Got out and about and went down to the Quay in New West to visit some friends who had set up for a flea market.

I grabbed a nibble then came home.  I watched the remainder of the hockey game and happily Montreal won.

CBC was paying homage to ‘Just for Laughs’ and celebrating 30 years on T.V.  I enjoyed it. Clips were shown from 1985 and onward.

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A young and oh so beautiful Jon Stewart reminded me why I love his humour as did many other comedians that I don’t see much of these days.  And the political landscape from Regan to Obama…from Mulroney to Harper.  What I appreciated about how this special was put together was the categories.

The following clips are from both Jon Stewart and David Letterman after the 9-11.

They covered everything and it was being hosted by my boy George Strombopolous also known as Canada’s boyfriend.

  • Racism
  • Gay marriage
  • War
  • Politics
  • Global warming
  • Healthcare
  • Law, etc.

Several of the comics were from the U.S. and many from other parts of the globe.

Funny how it still seemed so relevant today something that was performed some 30 years ago.

There is this hysteria over global warming. Yet no one really has done anything. And while we get up in arms about this and drive our six cylinder luxury vehicle to the protest to show our support, is there any of us who will freely admit to our hypocrisy in this matter?

I’m now into week 12 without the beneft of hot water in my suite…well, that is not entirely true. I now have it in my bathroom sink only.

Today’s bath required 28 basins of water to fill it enough for a decent scrub down.

There are certain things we just expect these days. The memory of developing the technology and infrastructure to accommodate these simple pleasures has been forgotten or ignored.

Last week I watched the news and a piece was done on the desirability of purchasing waterfront properties in the Victoria, BC area by the Chinese.  A Chinese realtor stood before the camera and stated that Chinese expected the best and wanted safe communities that were quiet.

This bothered me.

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One of Vancouver’s most expensive neighborhoods

Don’t we all want the best for our dollar? Don’t we all want to live in beautiful homes that are in safe and quiet communities?

The thing is that the property values are something I would never even begin to consider. Not even remotely as I could never afford them. In Vancouver the Chinese would pay $6-$8 million for such a property. In Victoria they get it at the bargain price of $3-$4 million.

house sold on 2 27 2015 for 1.9 million

This home sold in the 2700 block of King Edward for $1,900,000.00 on Feb 27, 2015

Sounds a bit elitist does it not?  And it creates a sense of animosity when foreigners are coming over and buying up our properties and forcing those who live and work here further out into the suburbs.  This fault, however, lies with the government and their ridiculous lust for tax dollars to feed their ever increasing pensions.

Vancouver_skyline4 average home price 1.27 million

The average price to purchase a detached home on the East side of Vancouver is now $1.27 million

I do know in China you can make a ridiculous amount of money. .

I do the accounting for an engineer who I’ve known for the last 15 years of so. He is Chinese and has told me on several occasions how much money could be made by moving there. He has family there. He has been offered jobs starting at a paltry $300,000 per year.

His small company that he runs here averages $500,000 per year.

I asked him once why he didn’t take the offers. He smiled thoughtfully then told me that ‘…in China you must live to work. It will consume you. Over here I can just live.”

And as the comedians weighed in on racism I could not help but smile. Yes, it is a serious subject matter, but Russell Peters explanation as to why black men have bigger penis’ than Indian people was stellar.

We have so many things that we’ve just ignore. We play these vicious war games then just change the players.

Politicians it would seem have short term memories in this regard.

War happens and the why’s and wherefores are often rather diluted these days.

Some of the comedians stepped up and offered their take on the infamous ‘weapons of mass destruction’.

War 1 war 3

I looked at my toenails then and realized that soon if I don’t get them manicured they could well cause serious damage and be classified as lethal weapons.

All kidding aside, convincing the world that Sadam was sitting on an arsenal that could blow us all to smithereens was actually quite brilliant considering George W’s quest to wipe out Sadam was a vendetta to appease the fact that Sadam had tried to kill his daddy when he was President.

Oh…the plot thickens, doesn’t it?

Look a little deeper and you’ll find out who put Sadam in power. It was a U.S. initiative to remove Khomeini as he wasn’t playing nice any longer. And the U.S. had assisted him back in the day to gain power after throwing out the Shah of Iran.

war 2

Destroying a Dictator

It’s a game of smoke and mirrors really.

Of course we here in Canada have our moments. The jokes were fast and furious.

Canada’s war offering had us giving out Tim Horton donuts and telling everyone to have a good day and then apologizing.

When the financial crisis of 2008 happened Steven Harper looked into the camera and advised Canadians to buy stocks stating how ideal the conditions were. Curious.

Wanda Sykes spoke of Viagra and how the quest to find a remedy for a limp biscuit had helped find cures for oh so many other illnesses.

One comic spoke of HIV and the search for a cure.

“We built a sheep from another sheep. We can duplicate a species. We can shoot botox into our faces and have no wrinkles….but cure AIDS?   No. Not yet.”

And as they parlayed throught their routines I was reminded once again of the duplicity of human kind.

The misunderstanding and misue of power.

The most frightening thing to me is the mind that is closed. Not open to any type of linear thinking.

Having ideas and with no allowance for failure. No compromise…nuthin!  That is frightening to me.

Life isn’t a series of headlines. While there may well be markers on this journey we call life, there is always a back story. And if you don’t feel it important to look beyond the headlines, then know you do yourself a disservice my not absorbing the full measure of the knowledge that has been offered.

And the sense of assessing what truly is important may well be lost to you.

the once and

Read ‘The Once and Future King’. It is the Arthurian tale at its finest.

I love that story and all that is stands for. The gifts we are given at birth…unique to each of us. Will we find our calling or will it find us?  Or will we waste it?

It’s all back story, baby.

Here is a link to a write up regarding the aforementioned book.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2006/jun/03/featuresreviews.guardianreview4

Peace.

 

 

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.

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?

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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.

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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!

 

Trailers……You Lost Me at Please!


It has been absolutely beautiful weather wise here in Vancouver!  Summer has settled in quite nicely and the temperature is rising.

Nights are spent with a sheet covering me at most.  Even then it is often too hot.  I have one fan that is a good size that I lug from room to room.  I think I will head out this weekend and get a smaller one for my bedroom.

Last year I had taken the fan apart and cleaned it. (They can get quite dusty)

I put it together forgetting to screw the butterfly nut onto the propeller.  Propped it up in my room, turned it on and went to sleep.

A thunderous crash about an hour later had me leaping scared as hell from my bed.

You guessed it.  The propellor inside its cage had come off because someone we know (and love) (hey, I’m gonna milk it, okay?) forgot to put the screw on to hold it in place!

 fan 1

I can assure you it took quite some time to fall back into a blissful slumber after that little incident.

I am babbling though.  Gee. Haven’t done that in while, now have I?

So, yes, I need a smaller fan.  Not one that if it fell apart could potentially kill me.  That fan has never graced my bedroom since this occurrence. I have a far too active an imagination.  Visions of propellers flying through the night air slicing and dicing me like a kitchen chopper doesn’t induce one into the realm of relaxing nirvana.

As I drove into the office today I greeted the morning and cranked the radio up and rocked out to a few good tunes.

Lately the radio has been running ads for up coming TV summer series.  One is for ‘Extant’ that features Halle Berry.

The premise of the show is that she is an astronaught and goes out into space….alone…for a year. She is doing a bunch of strange experiments and somehow she manages to get knocked up though she has no memory of this.

(What did they put in her Tang?)

A line from the trailer played on the radio has Halle asking this question. Not too certain who she is talking to either.

“Please, just tell me what you did to me?”  Halle beseeches. 

And I couldn’t help myself and just burst into laughter.  it just had such a strange connotation to it.

Truth be told, I really don’t know if I’ll check it out.  The premise for it sounds ‘odd’?

Thing is I like Spielberg’s body of work, so it may be worth a gander.  There are a few things though that don’t add up right off.  First, I don’t think they would ever send just one person out into space.

Too expensive. 

The craft that she’s on appears to be quite big too.  That’s alot of work for one gal.

It seems to have the premise of the creepy old abanodoned house feel to it  that we see in horror flicks but it’s a few hundred thousand miles away floating about in space.  Hmmm.

(Halle… just don’t go into the ‘basement’ of the ship, ‘kay?)

Then of course she does go into the ‘basement’ and wakes up not knowing what the hell happened and pregnant to boot. 

I wonder why they always make aliens look so creepy in Sci-Fi movies?  Quite often their appearance is lizard-like. I’ve always liked the aliens in Star Trek and Star Wars.  They were what we affectionatley refer to as ‘humanoid’.  They resembled us but had distinctive attributes that dictated what area of the galaxy they were from.  Better not be from the Eastside of intergalactic hood.

alien 3Kirk & Co

The wise ones and Cap. Kirk’s battle buddy.

As we well know, life forms can take on a multitude of images and they might well not be in a state that we would recognize.  

Still something to be said for our collective imagination.  

etalien 2

Careful, ET, my friend. An Alien dude from the Eastside is stirring up shit.  Ate the teacher and left the apple.

If I were to put together a sci-fi outer space series, I would want to explore the big picture.  Really get into the meat of other ‘civilizations’.  Whether they are civilized by our definition of this term, well, that would be a shrouded mystery, now wouldn’t it? 

Next Generation was my favorite in the Star Trek series.  They explored a lot of psychological aspects that were really cool.  

Next genborg 2

I would want to put together a series that took it even deeper than that.  One thing I would explore is the idea of ownership in space.  

Kind of like how we, as humans, section off not only the land we thrive upon but the deep blue sea that surrounds us as well.  A portion  ‘belongs’ to Canada, to the USA, to Europe, to Africa, to Asia, etc.  The thing is, what one country does to their ‘piece of the ocean’ affects us all.  Just as what happens in another country on the other side of world does have an impact. It always will  Yet we have this NIMBY attitude.  Outta sight, outta mind as long as it doesn’t appear in my neck of the woods…I’m cool. 

We are kind of like an ostrich with our head in the proverbial sand at times.  

I would also want to explore the idea of intelligence.  The concept of it.  This really fascinates me. How we actually measure intelligence and decide who and what are bestowed with this gift of sorts. 

I recently watched a documentary on ‘The Nature of Things’.  The show followed the migration of the Monarch butterfly and how its migration was discovered and mapped.  

Such delicate creatures that undertake an amazing journey!  Why?  Don’t know. And they are equipped with sensors that are just incredible!   Is all that they do based upon instinct alone? 

I would want to explore the crop circles as a language and turn them into 3D images.  (And yes, I do believe they are a language)

And maybe one day I will have the opportunity to develop such a show.  

I wonder sometimes what would result if shows were created theoretically.  If ratings and advertising dollars weren’t an issue. 

What would it be like to create…just because.

What would it be like to live….just because. 

What would it be like to have no borders?

What would it be like to collaborate collectively on a global scale just because we are human.

The good of the people.  The respect and earnest interest in our well being…everywhere.  The desire to share knowledge freely.

We’ve put a price tag on so many things in this life.  Lebron James, for example plays basketball.  Yet the dude is worth multiple millions of dollars. Why?

I played basketball in high school.

Okay, I wasn’t very good and I’m a girl but I had fun! And I’m nice dammit! 

My point being that what if the challenge wasn’t monetary?

What if the challenge wasn’t power and control?

What if the challenge was…just because.   Hmmmm.

In any case, I will toddle off now.  Enjoy your day and as Mr. Spock so fondly states,

“Live long and prosper.”

 

Remember the Fallen


In Canada and many countries around the world November 11th is a day to remember those who have fallen in wartime.

Personally I cannot imagine living through the carnage that is witnessed during combat.  I think about my grandfather and father.  Both served.  My grandfather during World War 1 and my father during World War 2.

I didn’t know my grandfather very well. He passed away when I was just six years old.  And in truth, I didn’t know my father very well either.  I don’t know the man he was prior to going to war, or should I say boy.  He was just eighteen years old when he signed up.  I do know the man he became.

He wasn’t a very kind man.  In fact, he could be incredibly cruel and abusive.  Still, there were times when I glimpsed a man who could make so many laugh, who had charm and ready smile.

He never talked about the war.  That was a topic never open to discussion.  There were many times when he would have a look in his eyes that was terrifying.  It was feral and cold in nature.  Anger would take hold and it was as if all that made him human simply drained away.

I have often wondered if this behavior resulted from his time in the war.

Perhaps I was looking for an excuse to explain the punishments that seems to always be so extreme.  My young mind couldn’t comprehend that he was just like this or that I was go God awful that the beatings were warranted.

After all, my entire family suffered at his hands in some manner.

Always on this day I reflect on those who have fallen. Thinking about the wars that have been waged and that so many young men and women still to this day are subject  to the darkest and most vial side of humanity.

I asked my dad once, and only once, if he had killed anyone in the war.  Seems a silly question.  I was thirteen or fourteen at the time.  Not sure why that question slipped from my lips.

He didn’t answer.  The coldness in his eyes and the change in his demeanor told me that he had.  Whatever demons he inherited during wartime stayed with him all the days of his life there after and died with him.

And I will never know if he was like that because of war.

Many men came home and were able, to some degree, to put it behind them and carry on to become loving husbands and fathers.

I hope that we will one day learn to resolve our issues without the use of force or weapons.  Perhaps if we could just understand that we do not own this planet. We never will.  We simply inhabit it, as millions of other life forms do, and we have a responsibility to respect and preserve this home of ours.

Fighting over land, resources, technology, etc. that are being pillaged at a disgusting rate seems barbaric at times.  Yet our appetite and consumption of these resources seems to fuel this ideology.  We have the technology to create clean energy and develop a sustainable resource base.

Many of you are just as aware of this as I am so I won’t dwell on this topic today.

I just hope that there will come a time when we can learn the lessons from the sacrifice of the fallen and live in peace.

They fought for freedom, for choice, for democracy, for a life full of possibilities.

I will not forget.  And I will try to honour their sacrifice by living my life with open and loving heart.

Peace.