25 May 2017

The warmth of Italy

I'm still in love with Sicily and at this very moment I would love to be there. Mind you Vancouver, BC has just had spring arrive in full force so perhaps I will stay put for a few more weeks. Checkout this bike - it is simple, charming and uncomplicated. The way I think life should be.

22 January 2015

The wonders of nature in the Galapagos Islands.

There is just something magical about exploring Islands. I did a 7 day tour on a small boat with several American families (identified by the fact that each and every one of then had a small patch at the side of their necks - I guess they were all concerned about motion sickness. They talked about the side effects - frankly I won't use them unless I knew that I suffered from motion sickness). The best part was getting onto the various islands and seeing the animals, the reptiles, the birds, the insects and the flora and fauna. https://flic.kr/s/aHsjzKZAwF

Check out more images here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjzKZAwF

02 December 2014

Item disposed of according to Canada Post Corporation Act

How does this happen? I called Canada Post 1.800.267.1177 and actually, after a few push this button, push that button I got a real person.  He didn't know what happened but managed to get me a new tracking number - new revised date is Dec 8th - I'm a Venture 1 customer and really do I need to do this much work to get a parcel returned (and will it be returned undamaged - I'm beginning to suspect it will have been opened)? And do I get reimbursed for my postage (can't even remember how much it was at this stage). And just where do these items get disposed to?

25 November 2014

Tom Jones in Toronto

While there are construction cranes everywhere and the fast buildings of condo towers - especially down by the Ontario Food Terminal is mind blowing - I love finding spots like the Tom Jones restaurant and PJ OBrien's.  It is like the are bearing up to their inevitable tear down refusing to budge and allowing us to have their visual rough beauty.

24 November 2014

Babies grow fast Canada Post

Hello - it has been over 2 months since I put this package in the care of Canada Post. It was dropped off at Canada Post in BC and has been in your internal system since that date. Please tell me when I can expect to see my package again.

Am I going to receive a package that has been opened with items missing because your machinery malfunctioned? Is there internal stealing going on? Is that why this package is gone missing? If your system of tracking packages off kilter?

Perhaps it would have been better if your crew wasn't so quick to return a package from New Brunswick all the way back to Vancouver without allowing a little extra time for that person to pick it up. I would like to know how long it sat at the NB post office before it was returned to me.  The baby, who this gift is aimed for, will be 3 months older or maybe even 4 months older before they receive it. Do you have any idea of how quickly babies grow and how quickly certain things outgrow them?

You are putting yourself in the package delivery system. Seriously this is what a Canadian can expect?

On 07/11/2014 7:13 AM, SACQBC1@CANADAPOST.CA wrote:

Dear Customer,

We have been assigned to continue the investigation you initiated for the item mentioned below. 

Service Ticket Number: 112312xxx
Tracking Number: 010080400027xxxx
Submitted: 2014/11/03
*Expected Resolution Date: 2014/11/27

We understand that the item is important to you and apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.  In rare cases, a delivery scan is entered into our system before the item is delivered.

As part of the investigation, we will contact the addressee to confirm delivery.  If you become aware that the item is delivered, please let us know by replying to this e-mail.

We will continue to monitor the status of your item and will be contacting you as soon as  further information becomes available.  You may also wish to monitor the status of your item online at www.canadapost.ca.  Should the outcome of our inquiry remain inconclusive by the *Expected Resolution Date, we will contact you again to confirm next steps. 

Canada Post Customer Service Team


02 July 2014

Getting to and from Mayne Island in Vancouver BC

Flash back to July 2014.  Check out the the photos by clicking onto the read more button below. Girlfriends and I had just returned from a four day weekend on Mayne island off the coast of Vancouver.  We were lucky enough to get on a BC ferry where Mayne Island was the first stop. It's been a long time since I have been on one of the BC ferries and sometimes the journey can take a long time.  BC ferries now have terminals where you can insert your credit card and get your one-way ticket.  For some reason they  will not actually sell you a return ticket to the Island which I found interesting. Not sure if that is still the case in 2017. Maybe I'll try to get to one of the island this year and find out what the differences are. 

Renewing my Canadian passport

I have some exotic travel up and coming and remembered, again, that I need to renew my passport.  I do say that everything is much easier when you can have easy access to information. All the info you could want or need is on the Canadian Passport site.  http://www.passport.gc.ca/index.aspx?lang=eng

I've got the photos taken now I just need to actually fill in the paperwork and submit it. As soon as I find it in the mess of my office. Oh dear.

Update: Wow, I stopped in at a local BCAA office and was given a simplified passport application form to fill out.  It took about ten minutes, did not require me to get anyone's signature but I did have to mail in my current passport - and then, voila, less then 10 days later my 10 year Canadian passport arrived. How fabulous! Plus they returned my now expired passport which I will keep. They are small treasure books of past travel.

30 June 2014

What happens when you don't empty to compost

Nothing better than staring our morning off then opening up the back
door and finding your compost has been cheerily spread about.
Even Sophie decided it wasn't worth checking out the compost.

12 June 2014

Sakura Gala Opening

My friend Judy emailed me from Toronto and suggested that we check out this Asian event.  

This was a very fun evening of pink cocktails, boutique beers, tidbits of food.

04 June 2014

Breathing and the Calgary Flood

Isn't this something we take for granted - breathing. Yet is is so essential. I was in Calgary last year after the flooding and I stayed downtown at the Sheraton Hotel. They had this great amazing rate on the hotel room but the $40 parking put me off somewhat. Too much oil expense report money in that town. I didn't realize how close the hotel was to the river that had overflown. So I went out exploring with my camera when I came across this very tempting staircase that screamed "grouse grind" Calgary-style to me.  The staircase wasn't as extreme as our natural version in Vancouver but I rarely Grind these days.

Starting June 28, 2010 hikers will pay $10—instead of the current $5—if they want to take the Skyride down the mountain after hiking up. “By adjusting the single download price (for the first time in 13 years) hopefully we will cause inexperienced hikers to reconsider how they access the mountain,” the Grouse Mountain Web site stated. 

Now if that isn't mumble jumble I don't know what is. I do know that I used to hike it regularly (barely breaking the 1 hour mark if you must know) and then would have food and drink at top. Ever since the up-charge I haven't been back with my lot. Part of it was the doubling of the cost (it is $40 if you want to go both up and down in 2014 prices).  

To see my photos which are hosted on SmugMug please check out this link:

Like the lightbox version instead then try this link:

If the link is broken please let me know - maybe you could stand on a tall building and call my name out or you could just comment and tell me the After the Flood link is dead.

Don't forget: Every minute is just a minute. Once lived it is gone forever. 

Rant: Keep Vancouver beautiful

There are just so many beautiful flowers (if you click on that beautiful flowers you will be taken to a Flickr album that showcases those flowers) in Vancouver. Just a casual walk around a few blocks can give you sensory overload. It is beautiful and I want to keep it that way. So my rant today....

I was working my office and happened to glance out the window when I saw a young guy, maybe in his 30s, casually toss an empty cup from his car to the ground. I watched it slid underneath his vehicle. And for whatever reason I just thought, that is so wrong what are you doing? This is a residential street. And forget if it was residential or commercial or anywhere for that matter. Your garbage is your garbage. Please, what were you thinking tossing it out casually onto the street? Perhaps you thought the next person who walked by pick up your garbage or maybe you just think that the planet is one big garbage pail. To my amazement, I got up my computer, went down tmy staircase through my front door and then went through the gate out onto the sidewalk and very casually I shout out that it seems the cup have rolled underneath his car. And I walked away up, towards my own car which was parked several houses down from where I live. I was pretending I was on a mission. He grumbled a little bit and I didn’t say anything else. He looked like a nice enough guy dressed in some sports gear, more like somebody off to play rugby or football. I came back to my place and didn’t say anything else but went to work on some flowers that were on my staircase. A short while after, I looked across and he was no longer at his vehicle and the cup that had rolled underneath his car was gone. I’m grateful that he decide to pick it up because he could’ve been a total jerk about it but also astonished that he would do it in the first place. But he knows maybe the cup is still there, and he just moved it to another part of the street to be a jerk. I hope not that’s my rant for the day. Please don’t toss your garbage out. Better yet bring your own cup stop buying all the waste. Yes I know it’s convenient, but be kind to yourself and be kind to the planet.

05 May 2014

FUSE Vancouver 2014

Several times a year the Vancouver Art Gallery hosts Fuse - a late night gathering that is a brilliant way to spend a few hours enjoying art, being art, handing out and taking advantage of what this city gives you. The cost is reasonable - around $17 (Free if you are a member) - and better than the cost of a movie with popcorn.
We stopped it at FUSE at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Sandy became part of the art by sitting in the chair. Watching herself on the video monitor. Moving into another room and lounging. Is this street art in a formal setting or is this live art enjoyed for the moment we are there? 

26 March 2014

Vancouver FleaMarket - spring beckons!

There is something about spring that gets me thinking about yard sales
and flea markets!
Here is one in Vancouver that I've visited just once:

Now the previous post I created a collage and sent it via email to blogger.
This time I'm sending four separate files to blogger to see how they

Spring and fleamarkets

There is something about spring that gets me thinking about yard sales
and flea markets!
Here is one in Vancouver that I've visited just once:

19 March 2014

How much waste?

I'm taking a flight from Seattle to Kelowna, BC and I decided I would have one last morning cup of coffee. (Cut-off time for me is noon - not sure what you do but after that hour I'm pretty useless with caffeine). I'm got a lot of trash happening on my tray - plastic containers using half and half; some foil wrapping on the cinnamon bagel chips and pretzels (which I'm giving back as a quick look at the ingredients showed partially hydrogenated oils, canola oil and corn syrup all being used - I avoid these) and a plastic like cup - "the white cup is now green" - made from fully recycled and recyclable materials. It might be better than styrofoam (which Air Canada serves their coffee in) but hot coffee in plastic (or whatever this material is) is well just not my cup of tea. I'm not sure what elements are being pulled out of this cup into my coffee but I do know heat doesn't play nicely with plastic.

16 March 2014

No wrecking ball soon at 63 year old theatre

I'm trying to do a tidy up in my office and I came across a piece in the
Vancouver Courier dated Friday, March 16, 2012 dated with the title of
this post. I guess sooner came sooner than I thought. We are now one
year since that article was published. The theatre, bowling alley,
restaurants, book, insurance, yoga and hardware businesses are now all
gone and in its place will be 55 two to three bedroom condos and a
22,000 square foot commercial space that they are hoping will be filled
by a grocer. Which I find odd as the various formats from low discount
grocers to high end ones haven't worked in the past - and with a
Safeway, IGA, Choices and Greens all within reasonable distances I'm not
so sure if they can have a successful operation move in there - maybe if
they figured out the flow of traffic - parking was never a problem but
trying to get in and out of that lot with the lights, turning
restrictions, road barriers made it virtually impossible to get to the
business unless you were very adept at remembering the correct way in
and out.

Anyhow I ramble - I wonder what happened to the Ridge Neon sign -
perhaps it was sold or maybe it will show up at the MOV. It is always
with a bit of sadness when I see distinct elements erased from my
neighbourhood. Cressey is redeveloping the area and the article states
they have done hundreds of projects throughout the lower mainland. I
don't know if I have noticed their work before but I do know that there
is a sameness creeping into Vanccouver - kinda like lego land without
the cool little features.

19 February 2014

Hitting the ski slopes at Whistler

Okay have you ever wondered where time has gone. Here we are already
mid-way through Feb 2014 and I'm looking for photos to post. What do I
find? That last year I had already been skiing - and this year - well
maybe this weekend as it seems that there finally is a base. The weather
in Vancouver has been pretty darn great - in the past we've faced days
and days and days of rain. Yes we have had rain this year but not like
in past seasons. And when it is sunny in Vancouver well that just means
that weather isn't being so great in the mountains nearby.

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18 February 2014

Glow education - unexpected

Just recently I was in Calgary with no firm evening plans when I walked by a kitchen design store which I now know is Poggenpohl Kitchens Calgary.. I could see that there was some sort of class going on and it looks like food. So I struck up my courage and decided to go in and find out what it was all about.

Turns out the workshop was just starting and they were doing edible products like massage lube, air freshener and raw chocolates. The instructors - Lisa Scheffelmaier and Ashley Rodriguez of Glow were delightful. The cost was nominal. And the time was well spent.

Kitty with birds on screen

04 February 2014

My stay at Hotel Ă„ndra Feb 2014

Hotel Ändra - http://www.hotelandra.com/

There is something luxurious about sliding into a tightly made bed where
the sheets just seem to caress your skin. You stretch out and just take
over the square footage of your sleeping spot. The room is simple,
almost stark with the essentials.

And I love the Tivoli radio - it was intuitive and took me minute to
figure it out. Plus better yet, no major digital glow, an analog face
)(I'm sure there are people out there right now who cannot tell time
that way - please prove me wrong) and great sound.

The room is small but it feels roomy for one. Sleek shower heads and a
tub (room 416, lights that gradually turn on and off so very gentle, all
the basics covered off for me including a robe, a firm but soft bed,
plenty of pillows (even though I just sleep with one).

They offered to upgrade me but I'm here for just one night and the
$135.00 rate I got doesn't include all the taxes. For the actual 8 hours
that I will spent in here that rate is just fine. Plus the totally over
the top insane parking fee of $40 (could I just sleep in my car) so no
thanks. As for the parking it seems that it is attack the car driver in
downtown Seattle - even the parking lot wanted $40.00 and street parking
is limited to 2 hours.

I also have to include the exchange rate as our loonie continues to head

They have some nice green touches - full size containers of shampoo,
conditioner and soap with travel size soap at the sink; no plastic bag
in the garbage container, the typical note about keeping the same
bedsheets for the duration of your visit. Ditto on the towels.

The Voss water, at $3.50 a bottle, was at least in a glass container.
Now I just noticed that this bottle of water has a nutritional label on
it - seriously does the USA (or maybe even Canada) require one to put a
nutrition label on water??

It is embossed directly on - but big bonus points for using glass. More
expensive to transport but nothing nasty leaching out of the plastic
into my water which then gets drunk by my body and enters into one of
the millions of cells that I have. Ah what the heck - I'm going to drink
tap water anyway. Seattle seems pretty safe in that regards.

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