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

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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…

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…”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…

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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…

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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!

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“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…

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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.

…of gondolas & wine…

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“Gondola numbers soar as tourists go from Sea to Sky”

British Columbia’s ‘on-the-way-to-Whistler’ newest tourist attraction, the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, BC is delighting visitors while operators are thrilled that visits are up 40% over projections for the first year of operations.

“The gondola is located two kilometres south of Squamish on the Sea to Sky Highway. At the crest, there’s a 9,000-square-foot summit lodge with a 6,000 square-foot-deck, restaurant and gift shop, along with the Sky Pilot suspension bridge, and access to 30 kilometres of trails including two kilometres of “stroller-ready” trails leading to several viewing decks and lookouts. There’s also the Sea to Summit Trail from the base of the gondola to the crest (a three- to four-hour hike).”

Scenic beauty beckons—-check it out!!

As the sun continues to shine, Vancover’s Convention Centre welcomes the Epicurean Selections Conference-”Serve it Forward”, “where wine industry professionals will gather to network, interact, gain insight and strategies on how to enhance their business opportunities.”

The Conference runs today & tomorrow–to all attendees a fine Vancouver welcome!!!…

Wine is bottled poetry. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

This is one of the disadvantages of wine: it makes a man mistake words for thought. ~Samuel Johnson

Wine gives a man nothing… it only puts in motion what had been locked up in frost. ~Samuel Johnson

Wine is sunlight, held together by water. ~Galileo

I’d prefer to have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy. ~Frank Nicholson, attributed

My grandmother is over eighty and still doesn’t need glasses. Drinks right out of the bottle. ~Henny Youngman

[O]ne sip of this
Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight
Beyond the bliss of dreams.
~John Milton

Thrive this July summer Thursday sings salut!!!….

…of vacancies & fruits…

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“Metro Vancouver’s office vacancy rates hit highest levels since 2005″…”Fruits of the season: How to tell if they’re ripe for the picking”…

One only needs to take a stroll along Vancouver’s Robson, Denman, & Davie Streets to get a sense that “all is not well” in the retail business at the moment. Vacant storefronts abound, often where long-time tenants occupied spaces and seemed to thrive.

It seems that “a slowdown in the mining industry, lease terms up for renewal, wait and see attitudes, and an increase in space inventory” are all responsible for a slowdown in office leasing as well. “Value, unique space, & location” are the buzzwords for office tenants of the day. Smaller spaces and more efficient layouts especially for professional firms are the order of the day, according to leasing agents.

Some good news is that the city’s recently updated West End plan allowing for additional density in the downtown core is keeping demand firm in the office properties investment market.

Barometers for our times indicate—-unoccupied. Does that spell opportunity?!…

Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, apricots, plums, peaches are ready to be had!
Keyword seems to be ‘firmness’. If the fruit looks “too ripe” avoid its purchase…

Cheers to BC’s Okanagan Valley, farmers’ markets & fruits of the season in abundance–Indulge!!

Summer corn-on-the-cob is just a few weeks away!! Fire up the barbies! Without question ’tis the time for a good grilling!! Steaks! Chicken! Fish!

The man in the wilderness asked of me
How many strawberries grew in the sea.
I answered him as I thought good,
As many as red herrings grow in the wood.
-Anonymous

Cheers to a summer Wednesday that sings taste & see!!!

May goodness abound!

…of useless, impersonation & cutting-the-cord…

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“Teachers strike gong show to simmer all summer”…”Top Ten Locations in Vancouver where Hollywood crews love to make their movies”…”The Ultimate Guide to Cord-cutting and Ditching Your Cable”…

There you have it! The profundities of a mid-month Tuesday in July!…

School’s out in British Columbia and the teacher/government talks are on and off on and off and seemingly mostly off. Kind of pathetic when a Supreme Court judge concludes from “exploratory discussions” that any mediation effort would be useless.

That old familiar melody–”See you in September!”….not such a sure thing…some might say, turn up the heat!

As recently as the new release movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, North Vancouver’s Capilano River Regional Park and Maple Ridge’s Golden Ears Provincial Park have found themselves doubling as fictional forests outside San Francisco!

Vancouver’s known “to impersonate cities from Seattle to Mumbai.”

Interestingly enough, the most popular top ten BC/Vancouver location shoots range from UBC’s campus and the Chan Centre to the historic Marine Building & the Orpheum, Gastown’s Hotel Europe, SFU’s campus, the Riverview hospital campus, The Thompson-Nicola Valley, Terminal City Ironworks, the Britannia Mine Museum, & Victoria’s Hatley Castle…

Cheers to where APPlicable–enable location!!!
Great for BC’s economy!…

Proponents of “cut the cord” to your landline telephone or to a cable-tv connection are gaining attention.

It seems for big city dwellers OTA (Over The Air) television is regaining popularity with the use of an HD antenna or wifi enabled devices. Apparently an APP called the Roku 3 is the secret to “getting rid of your pesky cable connection once and for all”…

For old school me, the technicalites around all that, for the time being shall remain N/A…

More innovative types might be tempted to shout—-get with the program!…

Mid-month July—how time flies!—glimpses of useless, impersonation & cutting-the-cord!

Cheers to a Tuesday full of sensational snippets!

May the buffet table that’s your life dish up a little bit of everything that delights!

Indulge!

…heatwaves, wildfires & pair pondering…

pairsBetter in pairs … Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardianheatwave

As a heatwave continues across British Columbia, BC Wildfire Management is at the ready and mobilizing with 45 wildfires requiring their efforts and several expected to take days to put out.

Hot dry weather shouts care and concern—cheers to be wise in it, campers, smokers, & those out and about in BC’s splendid parks & wilderness!!

“BC will need 25,000 nurses by 2022″…”Vancouver targets housing speculation”…

And so go the headlines, hinting of career considerations for young peoples’ future, Vancouver launching an agency to help figure out how to limit speculation in the housing indurstry-a controversial issue to be debated in the upcoming fall municipal elections.

And on a much more serious note, a headline quips—where do all those single socks disappear to??….

The question of the day, one might say, for your ‘prePONDERance!’

Summer sings great pairings!!—

Sunrise sunset!

Flip flops!

Wine & cheese!

Burgers & fries!

Ketchup & mustard!

Salt & pepper!

Bread & butter!

Fish & chips!

Rest & relaxation!

You & me!

Cheers to a fine summer Monday that harmonizes—-TOGETHER!!!