…of wheeling & dealing, dance & good times!…

dazzleballetarbutusaquatic

Be it railway corridors or Granville Bridge North area lands, Vancouver is ripe for wheeling & dealing in the buy/sell of real estate—a ‘developing’ story for a more prosperous city in this year of a civic election.

Surprisingly, our city’s popular (all-be-it 40 yr old & requiring upgrading) Aquatic Centre lands are under consideration to be put up for sale & proposals are being entertained with developers for area lands to incorporate a new facility.

Interesting times! Wonderful city!

Cheers to consultation & community—spirited, open & transparent!

Vancouverites are shouting BRAVO! to news that two 15 yr old dancers with our dance community’s beloved Goh Ballet have won silver & gold in Vienna’s Wein Welt Wettbewerb Ballet Competition in Vienna, Austria.

This is the first time two Canadian dancers have won both prizes in the competition’s seven year history!

Cheers to 1st time participation in international competition that spins–dance dance wherever you may be!…

By all accounts, last night’s second night in this year’s Celebration of Light fireworks at English Bay was a dazzling spectacle put on by France!

Salut sings Ohayo! & Subarashii! to Saturday night’s finale spectacle to be choreographed by Japan!!!

As it’s ‘out with July’ today and tomorrow brings ‘in with August’ cheers to a month end magnifique!!!

May August have y’all smiling with new beginnings that dance ‘good times!!!

Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.

If we live good lives, the times are also good. As we are, such are the times.-St. Augustine

…of perks & runner beans…

lighthouserunnerbeansgoog

“17 Companies with awesome perks that will make you jealous”

Morning ambience–as the coffee brews, what better topic than perks to start the day!…

Studies show consistently, money isn’t the only thing that makes people happy at work!

How do some of these sound?!!!…

5 year employess GIVEN a month long vacation; choose to go to a country you’ve never visited & the employer picks up the travel costs tab for 2!

- free food, a bowling alley, bocce courts (Google)

- gyms with physical therapy & acupuncture (Cisco)

- a gift basket to every new employee (Smuckers)

- paid time off for kid’s school trips (Mattel)

A favourite media publication asks readers questions “on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific concepts.”

Fun to note today’s question: “Do runner beans always curl around their poles counter-clockwise?”…

Cheers to profundity!!!…

Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse while all the others were making ships. ~Charles Simic

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning. ~Ivy Baker Priest

People who look through keyholes are apt to get the idea that most things are keyhole shaped. ~Author Unknown

I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the years’. ~Henry Moore

Someone said, “The dead writers are remote from us because we know so much more than they did.” Precisely, and they are that which we know. ~T.S. Eliot

Don’t think of organ donations as giving up part of yourself to keep a total stranger alive. It’s really a total stranger giving up almost all of themselves to keep part of you alive. ~Author Unknown

When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute — and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity. ~Albert Einstein

If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. ~Carl Sagan

Feast, n. A festival. A religious celebration usually signalized by gluttony and drunkenness, frequently in honor of some holy person distinguished for abstemiousness. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

Is the glass half empty, half full, or twice as large as it needs to be? ~Author Unknown

Cheers to Wednesday fine perspectives!!!…

& a fine city view!…

…of tigers & tiger in your tank!…

thairomaniatigerintanktigers

Well it’s the 210th day of the year with 155 remaining in 2014!

It was on this day in 2005 that astronomers announced the discovery of the dwarf planet Eris!

Speaking of July 29th, Thailand celebrates National Thai Language Day while in Romania people are celebrating in song to honour their National Anthem Day.

All that can be “tied” together around the fact (bet you didn’t know), it’s also International Tiger Day!

Those of a certain vintage will remember the advertising slogan/campaign that used to say give your car a boost—“put a tiger in your tank!”

If your energy is as boundless as your ambition, total commitment may be a way of life you should consider. – Dr. Joyce Brothers

Energy and persistence alter all things. – Benjamin Franklin

There are two ways of spreading light–to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.- Edith Wharton

And what is man without energy? Nothing. Nothing at all.- Mark Twain

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan. – Thomas Edison

You can have anything you want if you want it desperately enough. You must want it with an inner exuberance that erupts through the skin and joins the energy that created the world. – Sheilah Graham

Love the moment and the energy of the moment will spread beyond all boundaries. – Corita Kent

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
-William Blake

In the mania of wherever you may roam this fine final July Tuesday the 29th, cheers to be energized!!!

Harken back to younger days when you’d hear energizingly—“that’s my gal(guy)!!…she’s(he’s) a tiger!!!

…rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroar!!!

…of corridors & spellbound…

unicyclemagicarbutus

“Is the Arbutus corridor worth $100 million?”…”Metro Vancouver couple take their magic to the world”…”Unicyclist finds it safer falling off one wheel than two”…

All in a day’s headlines!….

Controversy continues to swirl over an 11-km path of railway track (unused-for-many-years) through one of the “creme-de-la-creme” neighbourhoods on Vancouver’s “westside”.

One thing that’s certain is “the hodgepodge of gardens along CP Rail’s Arbutus corridor are charming and homeowners prefer leafy gardens over trains.”

Apparently, $100 million is what CP Rail wants for the 66 foot-wide right-of-way that runs from the Fraser River almost to False Creek.

In the midst of upcoming civic elections, the saga continues. “In a utopian world, every neighbourhood would be spared the messy stuff of industry and urban life whether it’s freight trains, training trains or SkyTrains. But this is the real world where often it’s less about fairness and quality of life than it is about politics and money.”

Cheers to the GPS on this topic that indicates—-tracking!

On a lighter note, fun to see that a Metro Vancouver couple waving their magic wands were crowned North American Champions of Stage Magic earlier this month, winning them a place in the 2015 World Championships in Rimini, Italy, of all places.

Cheers to illusions!!!….my how that dovetails with the on-track topic!…delusions/illusions of grandeur!

I never knew it, but death-defying unicycling on Vancouver’s North Shore mountain trails is a serious sport so it seems!…

“Q: Can anyone ride unicycles in the mountains? A: If you can ride 50 metres you can do anything. It just takes a couple weeks of pretty hard effort and after that it’s just like a bike–you’d wonder why you never knew how to do it before. The Vancouver Unicycle Club is a good resource.”

Cheers to alrighty then—of course!…

Not quite sure how to tie this all together other than to say—-cheers to a singularly sensational summer Monday!!!

May the corridor that’s your day have you singing—mesmerized! exceptional!

“Spellbound”

“bound”–b o u n d

…of common wealth, drones & scratch-NOT!…

mosquitoceleblightglasgow2014.

It’s Day 2 of the Commonwealth Games & TeamScotland wristbands are flying off the shelves at the Games Giftshop!
Go TeamScotland Go and of course, most certainly Go TeamCanada Go too!!!

How ironic it is, with thoughts of “common wealth” in this ‘host’ year, Scotland will vote in less than two months time whether to become independent—a change from what we’ve all known for so long as the United Kingdom.

Cheers to common wealth & staying kingdom united!!!…episcopal rc presbyterian anglican etc etc too! : )

If you’ve ever been to Edinburgh, perhaps like me, you’ll want to believe rather than Scots being certain of their vote for change, there are still many on the fringe!…

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….as the familiar drone of the bagpipes fills the Scottish air, across the pond to Vancouver & the first Celebration of Light fireworks is set for Saturday!

In our world of sometimes seemingly incessant whining & complaining, drone on in a different context is apparently becoming a safety/hazard issue.
Huh, you say?….
A new one to me for sure!—the fact that camera equipped “unmanned aerial vehicles-drones” are becoming so cheap and popular, they present risks to fireworks organizers and potential dangers to viewing crowds.

Cheers to safety first before camera ready!…take flight drones-NOT!!!

Can you believe it’s already the final Friday of July??!!…..how summertime seems to fly!!!

Hummingbirds—mosquitoes—bees—buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

Mosquito is out,
it’s the end of the day;
she’s humming and hunting
her evening away.
Who knows why such hunger
arrives on such wings
at sundown? I guess
it’s the nature of things.”
– N. M. Boedecker, Midsummer Night Itch

“What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.”
– Andrew Marvell, Thoughts in a Garden

“August rushes by like desert rainfall,
A flood of frenzied upheaval,
Expected,
But still catching me unprepared.
Like a matchflame
Bursting on the scene,
Heat and haze of crimson sunsets.
Like a dream
Of moon and dark barely recalled,
A moment,
Shadows caught in a blink.
Like a quick kiss;
One wishes for more
But it suddenly turns to leave,
Dragging summer away.”
- Elizabeth Maua Taylor

“In summer, the song sings itself.”
– William Carlos Williams

Cheers to a grand July summer Friday & weekend!!!

Scratch-NOT sings—yes Mom!!!

…of stand tall, swell well & deliver…

strawberryblueberrymeringuebellyuscitizen

…”Vancouver woman joins movement to drop US Citizenship”…”BC Midwives Threaten Job Action”…”Make the Most of Summer with Meringue”…

As odd as it might seem, some dual US-Canadian citizens are scared and angry.

The culprit is the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), that now requires the
Canadian government to hand over to US tax authorities the information of every client
with US citizenship.
The long arm of the Internal Revenue Service is creating fear and bitterness as folks with modest incomes feel caught in a quagmire that’s meant to really target rich people hiding billions in offshore bank accounts and tax havens.
Options: renounce your US citizenship? -to do so puts you on an FBI monitoring list dubbed the “list of shame”. (not to mention the fees to do so)

There’s disappointment that Canada’s government “succumbed” to FATCA, and (like dozens of other countries) signed an agreement forcing its banks to cooperate or suffer severe penalties.

As for the dual citizens, they aren’t surprised: “The U.S. is a threatening country, both militarily and economically. I think it’s pretty scary for any country to stand up to the United States.”

And so it goes…..one can only wonder…Americans can you stand tall?…..perhaps we citizens of the world must ALL…..or see much more fall…

A pregnant pause & it’s amazing the headlines one can stumble upon…

British Columbia’s 220 registered midwives have apparently issued notice that they will “unilaterally terminate their agreement with the provincial government within 90 days.”

A bellygram’s been sent to the Premier http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW8RfFajB4I&feature=youtu.be ……doesn’t that just sing swell well–special delivery?!!!!!…

Speaking of meringue making the most of summer–’tis the season of peaches, pears & cherries & a picture is worth a thousand words…so much beyond Dad’s favourite lemon meringue pie…

Raspberry rose meringue torte. The base of the cake pictured here is called the forgotten torte, named for the fact that it is left in the oven overnight to bake….a half baked idea or what?!….then there’s …Blueberry lavender meringue pie & Strawberry pistachio pavlova…

Cheers to summer smiles–dessert often delivers!…

As the accentuating the positive, eliminating the negative, latching onto the affirmative office to office couriers of our day like to say to “How’s business?”…

“Always picking up!”

Cheers to a day full of pick-me-ups!!!

Lovely! Lively!

…on a roll…

lawn-bowlingbreweryandthebeastsalmonclydehobbitgoogledoodle

Cheers & a skirl of ‘Bonnie Dundee’ as today’s google doodle alerts us to the kick off to Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games!

GO TeamCanada GO and GO GO GO to all participating countries & to Commonwealth Hobbit mascot– “Clyde”!! He’s pictured here—‘doing the lightning bolt!’…

Thoughts of celebrate!….”yes,’Gram’, a wee dram!”…

As Vancouver’s Ned Bell, Executive Chef at Howe Street’s Four Seasons, cycle continues across Canada from east coast to west to raise awareness about sustainable seafood with #chefsforoceans,(now he’s just about to Quebec), a headline in today’s news shouts “Hyper-abundant pink salmon are outcompeting wild sockeye.”

“There is consensus among fishery scientists that pink salmon are climate change winners, that rising ocean and river temperatures, ocean physics and plankton production have changed in their favour. Hatcheries pump about five billion salmon of all species into the Pacific each year. There are twice as many salmon in the Pacific Ocean now as there were in the 1950s, so many they are straining the ocean’s ability to support them.”

Cheers to sustainable seafood & Chefs for Oceans http://chefsforoceans.com/ Go NED Go!!!

Vancouver’s 2nd annual “Brewery & the Beast dining extravaganza” featuring 49 chefs from Vancouver & Whistler takes place on July 27th and is apparently already sold-out!…A beastly celebration of meat & beer!…

Summer shouts enjoy the tap dance!!!…pour on!…

Ever thought of a picturesque refuge from citylife??!!

Images of “silver-haired players puttering through snail-paced matches” may be what comes to mind when thinking about lawn bowling, but at Vancouver’s Stanley Park, apparently that’s far from the reality. The younger set are catching on to its popularity and camraderie and enjoying the sunshine, the setting, the socializing with each other & saying “lawn bowling can really be quite addictive!”

Cheers to a mid-week summer Wednesday that sings—–“I’m on a roll!”….

Sushi anyone?!

…of one & home & icing on the cake…

icingonthecakehaidacharacterhomeprincegeo

Cheers to a ‘princely sum’ that all adds up to 1 and shouts-Happy Birthday!

That’s right, heir apparentX3 in the game of thrones and great-grandson of a doting Her Majesty, celebrates his 1st birthday today!

No doubt there’ll be a royally good party at the palace that smiles “King of Kensington” for the day! Scattered clouds whisper–rain NOT!…

Meanwhile, in Vancouver & BC, apparently, “Second Skytrain meltdown in a week leaves commuters fuming”…”Heritage Watchdog points to loss of entire neighbourhoods on Vancouver’s westside”…”British Columbians more likely to vacation in their home province-study finds”…

And so it goes–computer glitches turn commuters into ‘witches’…

Sadly, high real-estate values on Vancouver’s westside are resulting in older homes being
purchased for lot value, demoished & larger homes being rebuilt, “with established landscaping and the essential character of the neighbourhood being forever altered.”

A group calling themselves “Vancouver Vanishes” is working with the City of Vancouver to raise awareness and to save some of Vancouver’s character homes.
Likely we’ll hear more about this as civic election campaigns get into high gear this coming autumn.

A recent survey reveals the high price of gas and accommodations is responsible for keeping many Briish Columbians stay- or va-cationing in their home province!

Of those British Columbians “planning to head out to enjoy what remains of summer, 48% will stay in BC, 28% will camp & just 22% will head south of the border”…

Interesting to note that Albertans surveyed suggested 53% of them will stay in ‘wild rose country’, their home province!

Whatever’s on your roster this fourth Tuesday in July, cheers to a hitting a home run kinda day!!

Batter up!

It might be!….It could be!….It is!!!

Icing on the cake!

…of community, belonging—YES!

alonewildfirescareer

“Seven BC Jobs That Redefine What Hard Work Really Is”…”Wildfires dying down in BC thanks to cool weather & rainfall”…”Loneliness: a silent plague that is hurting young people the most”…

Talk about “workforce” & energy and I think anyone who takes their job seriously, will say that no matter what the job, every one has its challenges.
Stress, professional joys, growth & rewards and at the same time recurring disappointments in a variety of ways but all hopefully outweighed, for the most part, by a sense of enjoyment in what one’s gainfully doing and growing as a person in collegiality with others….

Apparently, difficulty and hard work redefined can be seen most predominantly with its accompanying mental, physical, and emotional challenges in the labours of paramedics, deep sea divers, tree fallers, pest controllers, trauma nurses, camp cooks, and diamond drillers in our fine province of British Columbia!…

No doubt you can think of a few other occupations where you find yourself too!….

Cheers to “dyb dyb dyb dob dob dob”—do your best! do our best!
(a cheer to Akela in Canada’s Cub Scouting movement)

May you always think your job grand & may it always have you howling! …. : )

It’s good news to hear that some of those displaced from their homes by wildfires raging around British Columbia have been able to return, although still cautioned to be ready to
evacuate again, if necessary.

Cheers to cooler weather and rainfall continuing to quell the flames and assist the many firefighters deployed to contain some very serious fire risks!…

Interesting to note that a recent research study reveals loneliness is in fact a greater concern among young people than the elderly.

“Social media and the internet can be both a boon and a problem”, say the researchers, “beneficial when they allow contact with distant loved ones, but not when they replace face-to-face contact”.

Cheers to well-being & interactions and feelings–isolation-free!…

Man loves company even if it is only that of a small burning candle. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. ~Henry David Thoreau, 1854

We live in a very tense society. We are pulled apart… and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together…. I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude. ~Helen Hayes

The great omission in American life is solitude; not loneliness, for this is an alienation that thrives most in the midst of crowds, but that zone of time and space, free from the outside pressures, which is the incubator of the spirit. ~Marya Mannes

No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength. ~Jack Kerouac

We visit others as a matter of social obligation. How long has it been since we have visited with ourselves? ~Morris Adler

Everyone’s alone — or so it seems to me.
They make noises, and think they are talking to each other;
They make faces, and think they understand each other.
And I’m sure they don’t. Is that a delusion?
T. S. ELIOT, The Cocktail Party

We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say — and to feel — “Yes, that’s the way it is, or at least that’s the way I feel it. You’re not as alone as you thought.”
JOHN STEINBECK, “In Awe of Words”

Confronted by too much emptiness … the brain invents. Loneliness creates company as thirst creates water. How many sailors have been wrecked in pursuit of islands that were merely a shimmering?
MARGARET ATWOOD, The Year of the Flood

May there be community & collegiality in your day!

You do belong!

YES!

…of anew, love & peace…

butterfly3butterfly2butterfly1

Sometimes the news for the day makes one wish they could bury their head in the sand and not know it.

Be it downed planes, Gaza invasions, questionable politics, missing Albertans or wildfire evacuations, there are many in turmoil and far removed from carefree lazy days of summer…

In acknowledging that, perhaps the fact that our world and all life, in reality, is all about “energy”, we can find some grounding…

I can remember in my youth being told “think positive thoughts and all shall be well”…

On some levels there is truth to that, but at the same time, when the unwanted, the unwelcome and the unexpected happen, the unfamiliar can mean much despair and angst.

Somehow, we have to “re-energize” ourselves to face things head on. Parts of ourselves that we often times didn’t even realize existed can be awakened anew.

“This too shall pass” say some who’ve experienced fears along life’s path that you or I can’t possibly fully imagine.

Words that can be a beacon of hope, for all, for sure. Too simplistic maybe, but they do recognize that “to everything, there is a time”….

There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it. ~Elizabeth A. Behnke

Surely a man needs a closed place wherein he may strike root and, like the seed, become. But also he needs the great Milky Way above him and the vast sea spaces, though neither stars nor ocean serve his daily needs. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Wisdom of the Sands, translated from French by Stuart Gilbert

To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another. ~Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved

Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth. ~Benjamin Disraeli

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ~Henry Stanley Haskins, Meditations in Wall Street, 1940

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. ~Edmund Hillary

Up to a point a man’s life is shaped by environment, heredity, and movements and changes in the world about him. Then there comes a time when it lies within his grasp to shape the clay of his life into the sort of thing he wishes to be. Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune, or the quirks of fate. Everyone has it within his power to say, “This I am today; that I will be tomorrow.” ~Louis L’Amour

A baby is born with a need to be loved – and never outgrows it. ~Frank A. Clark

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity. ~Henry Van Dyke

A bell is no bell ’til you ring it,
A song is no song ’til you sing it,
And love in your heart
Wasn’t put there to stay -
Love isn’t love
‘Til you give it away.
~Oscar Hammerstein, Sound of Music, “You Are Sixteen (Reprise)”

I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace. Helen Keller

Cheers to a loving Friday & weekend!

Peace.