Tuesday, July 31, 2012

And more cool ideas

Thin Streets: From Asphalt to Affordable Housing Submission #23: $1000 - The City has an enormous land resource in the form of underutilized streets. We propose dividing 66’ wide north/south street right-of-ways into equal parts, creating two new 33’ residential lots and a narrower 33’ street right-of-way. The new lots would be developed for afford¬able housing. A conservative estimate is that over 10,000 homes could be created, tapping into over $2 billion in land value.
Photograph by: Screengrab, www.rethinkhousing.ca

Thin houses. Thinner streets. Long houses built down lanes. Elevated housing built in the unused air spaces of commercial buildings. Housing made out of cargo containers.
These are some of the ideas that have emerged as the winners of an ideas competition the City of Vancouver held to come up with solutions for its seemingly intractable housing affordability problem.
On Monday the city announced seven winners and six honourable mentions of its re: THINK Housing contest. Those ideas will be included in a final report by the city’s affordable housing task force, which will be submitted to city council in late September or early October.

This is so cool!

Window washers at a children's hospital in London dress up like Super Heros to lift the children's spirits.  I love simple ideas that can bring such joy to people.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lots of exercise today

Played pitch and putt,  went for a (rather chilly) swim, and walked to Cardero's in Coal Harbour and had Mussel Mania there....always a cheap enjoyable meal.

 I love the contrast of these funky houseboats in Coal Harbour with all the yachts and fancy glass towers.

 Smaller mussels today but reminded us of the south of France since the mussels you get there are usually smaller than the ones here.  Always love this meal!

 I love the open kitchen at Cardero's....just a part of it photographed here.

On our walk back we saw that the Mongolian Bar b q has now opened and it does look rather enticing from this photo.  Probably give it a pass as it's getting very bad reviews for just about everything.  Too bad.  I do hate to see businesses fail.  Maybe they'll get their act together.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

First gazpacho this year...

This was pretty good and improved of course by sitting outside in the sunshine and looking at the ocean,  our new garden with palms.... but I still dream of a gazpacho I had in the south of France.  Possibly the best food experience I've had in my life.  It had a lot to do with being in a restaurant with a renowned chef and tomatoes from the sun drenched soil of the region.

Our new garden....

An amazing day...

Great fireworks display from Vietnam....

and Jim cooked dinner!

 Watch the video...Don,  this is for you!  (Don's been trying to get Jim to cook for years)


Saturday, July 28, 2012

French rudeness

French fed up with Gallic rudeness, seek to promote civility

It's a July evening on the terrace of the legendary Café Flore. A coiffed woman sips chilled wine, another savours her chocolate eclair.
The one thing to complete a perfect picture of Parisian life? A dash of French rudeness.
It comes from the waiter, who snootily turns away a group of tourists: "There's no point waiting," he shrugs, even though there are many empty tables. "No space outside."
Such rituals of rudeness have long been accepted by visitors as part of the price of enjoying such a beautiful city as Paris. But it seems the French themselves, who over centuries have turned rudeness into an art form, have become fed up with their own incivility, according to recent polls and publicity campaigns.


 I remember many years ago the government had a similar campaign according to Monique and her view was that the campaign would have the opposite effect because that's just how the French are.  In such cases, they will do the opposite of what they're told.  So,  I find the poll results rather interesting in that it seems the French themselves are fed up with their rudeness.

Actually,  I've felt the French have become less rude over the years and have attributed that to the fact that they are travelling more and experiencing being "lost and confused" themselves in foreign places so I was a little surprised by this article.

Some of the posters:

Thunderstorms all week in NYC

Richard arrived in NYC yesterday just in time for a week of thunderstorms it seems.  Guess he isn't missing the fireworks displays in Vancouver this week after all. 

Hey,  take care, Richard and Emily!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ian comes to town

Ian came over from Victoria today and we began with a drive around Stanley Park then out around Kits and the university area ending up seeing their old house on 2923 West 35th around  McKenzie.  Amazingly,  the house is pretty much as it was when Ian and Jim lived in it.  Most of the other houses have been expanded or torn down.  Beautiful chestnut trees and a lovely area.  Then to Tanpoco for lunch basking in the sun and a swim, of course.  Ian joined us on the beach for a bit then headed back to Victoria.

Ian brought over some great photos of Thanksgiving last year with Richard and Don and Elaine and a copy of the TC.....merci beaucoup!

A beautiful evening and we sat out on our balcony for most of it then decided we just needed a small snack after a big lunch so headed to Cloud 9 to see the sunset,  have a beer, and their dry ribs which we love.

 Jim and Ian in front of their old family home.

 Most houses aren't "original"

 Beer, sunshine, great food...

From Cloud 9, a rather funny cloud formation....almost looks like a volcano!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Name that firework

 Fences are up around the gardens....can the fireworks be far behind?

Celebration of Light begins this Saturday with Vietnam performing first.  Here's a couple of fireworks primers.



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Congratulations, Emily!

 Richard told us that Emily has been accepted into the International Reporting Program of UBC's Master of Journalism program.   It sounds like a very innovative and interesting program and I see UBC is also establishing a Global Reporting Centre. 



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Good times with old friends....

We had lunch today with Roger and Kerry at the Cactus Club and I can't believe I didn't take any photos....too busy catching up!  Anyway,  Kerry will be here for a month and Roger will also come back in a few weeks to see his new grandchild.  

Very impressed with the food as alway and we also had a very good bottle of a French Syrah wine.  I had a burger....excellent with cheese, bacon, mushrooms etc,  Jim, a cajun chicken sandwich, Roger, the short rib sandwich, and Kerry had a fabulous squash ravioli with prawns.  Picked up a couple of photos of the food...

Monday, July 23, 2012

B.C. Sports Hall of Fame

Richard, Jim, and I had a lot of fun at the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame at B.C. place.  Great displays for Terry Fox and Rick Hansen and fun things to do like bubble hockey and loads of other things for kids for birthday parties.  We all had fun doing the soccer and I got the first goal...not bad considering I had actually never kicked a soccer ball in my life.  Girls didn't play soccer at school when I was growing up and while I played touch football and baseball with the boys in the neighbourhood,  soccer wasn't a neighbourhood game. 

Not much of a day for swimming so we played pitch and putt...Richard was off to a wedding in Richmond and a 12 course Chinese meal.

 Jim and Richard is front of the statue of Percy Williams.  My Dad was at school with him and ran in the school track meet with him.

 A tie game in bubble hockey.

 They had a viewing window for the field in B.C. Place.  Amazing huge TV screens with fabulous quality.

B.C. Place

Sunday, July 22, 2012


From John today:

"I  just noticed this photograph on your blog. It's actually a very nice picture. I enlarged it a bit and put a painterish filter on it to clear up the artifacts. I'll bring a print over."

I posted this old photo on by blog recently, taken at the Hotel Splendid in France in 1976 at breakfast on the terasse with Jim, Robert (Monique's father), Monique, and Jacqueline Monique's mother).  This was taken with a half frame slide camera, the slide converted (rather poorly) to a photo print, then the print scanned and posted into my blog.  Quite a few unprofessional transformations.

I love what John has done to it!  Perhaps this is a new profession for people....transforming old fuzzy photos into "paintings"...

* I look forward to seeing John's print as it isn't showing as well on my blog.

 Old photo.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A gorgeous day in the end

The day didn't start out too well weather wise but ended up beautifully.  We began by going to the Kits days on 4th and Jim got 30 more free minutes with Car2Go, then decided to go to Tanpoco for lunch since it was now sunny and they do have a great outdoor area.   We got their $11.95 "All you can Eat" and tried not to eat too much...fairly successful but no need for dinner that's for sure.   I will never understand how they can make money serving up all this sushi and wide selection of  hot dishes (really loved the smelt tempura today) and sell Sapporo beer for $3.50.   At least we buy beer but many people just have the free tea. 

And of course ended the day with a very refreshing swim.

This classic ambulance was at the Kits days...brings back memories.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Leaving Juneau

Linda posted this photo on Facebook:

"This is why we love the Alaska cruises."

Wow...pretty amazing...must be better weather than we're having at the moment.  Saw a good movie this pm at our Denman Cinema..."Girl From the 5th Arrondissement".  Made up chili today while Jim was at UBC...rainy day program.

What a difference a day makes....

Woke up to this today but at least we can look at our palm trees and tropical plants in our new garden...heavy rain is tropical, isn't it?  I notice they're setting up the Celebration of Light barge or I think it's that.  Good thing we had a long lunch with rosé wine on our balcony yesterday,  an especially warm swim,  and finally dinner at the Sylvia.  It was a beautiful evening but some folks came in from a recent swim and were cold so the restaurant provided them with blankets...nice touch.

 While  I was waiting for Jim to pick up a book at the library at UBC the other day I went for a little walk and came across the Ponderosa building where I used to often eat lunch when I was at UBC.  The pine tree is still fabulous and obviously even taller and there were lots of pine cones around so picked up some....a nice souvenir of UBC. I took this photo at the dining table so you can see a bit more of our new garden out the window.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Great day at the Hubbard Glacier for Linda and Cec!



We were at John's, our old university friend, place the other day in Kits....wonderful sitting out on the patio...ah summer... and he mentioned he and his partner just bought a Volkswagon Eos convertible.  They were taking delivery the next day so we didn't see it but we were quite intrigued since we didn't know anything about this car.   It's a great concept...permanent hard top with built-in sunroof and seating for four people.  We took a test drive  on Tuesday and were very impressed.  Certainly something to keep in mind if we buy a convertible again.

 Just touch a button and the top folds in.  And the front seats push forward easily and far so no big hassle getting into the back seat.  We found the Mustang terrible for that.

But I still don't think there is a more beautiful car than the 1957 Belair Convertible (Don sent me a bunch of great photos of old cars lately).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Richard brings dinner

Richard christened his new slow cooker with a mashed potato dish and chicken provençale which he brought over for dinner last night.  We were very impressed!  The cookbook was also impressive.  I was particularly impressed by all the "tips" they had for various things.

And I also scored a Granville Island Public Market shopping bag that he brought the food in.  I hadn't seen these at Granville Island and I'm always on the lookout for bags.

Merci beaucoup, Richard!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bubbles, rubies, and diamonds....

I was thrilled to get this message from Elaine today.  They both deserve it since they've had such a rough year and I know Don got as much pleasure out of giving Elaine a new engagement ring as she had getting it.   Way to go, Guys!

From Elaine today:

"We did go to the Empress Hotel’s champagne event held last Thursday on the flag deck (the deck above the verandah). The weather was perfect (sunglasses were definitely needed) and the food accompanying each champagne was divine. We went by taxi with another couple and as we were leaving – we had reached the area of the shops – Marguerite realized she had left her shawl (which wasn’t needed) up on the flag deck. Her husband went back to retrieve it and Don, Marguerite and I went into a jewelry store. Within 20 seconds Don was buying me a new engagement ring (rubies and diamonds)! and Marguerite must never forget another article of clothing ever!"

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hubbard Glacier

We had lunch with Monique yesterday before she took the helijet back to Victoria after her Alaska cruise.  She had great weather which is not that usual and had a breath taking experience seeing the Hubbard Glacier since conditions were perfect for viewing and the ship could get very close.

Linda and Cec boarded the ship she just left and are off on the same cruise this week.  Hope they have good weather too but I know they've been many times before.

Our sunset walk

Just a beautiful sunset the other day.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A perfect B day for Jim

It started to cloud over so we went to an early matinee of the new Woody Allen movie, "To Rome with Love"...lots of fun.  Beautiful day in the end so went for our afternoon swim (water just fabulous) then out to Cloud 9 for dinner.  We had their 3 course menu...salad, duck breast, and mango cheesecake.  Jim's dinner was free since it was his birthday....great deal.

We were enjoying the entertainer, Clyde Harvey, so much we had special coffees...Irish for me and Spanish for Jim.

It was  such a beautiful night we went for a sunset swim and the light, clouds, ocean, trees, sky....were just amazing.  I hope I can remember enough to do a painting.  Being out on the ocean captured a certain angle I really loved.  Guess we'll have to go for many more sunset swims until I get the picture in my mind. 

Walking back we met Bill and Elaine,  these folks from Boston who lived in the penthouse (before Hollyburn kicked them out so a family member could live there).  They are really missing being in our building.  It was a special day for them since they just got their Permanent Residency for Canada.  Elaine is now teaching at UBC and they want to immigrate to Canada.  So we had a celebratory drink at our place.

And there were even some distant fireworks aka lightning put on specially for his birthday I guess.  A perfect ending.

 I don't think there could be a more perfect dessert for Jim than mango cheesecake (except perhaps ice cream....)

 Our favourite server who didn't sing Happy Birthday as a present to us....

"Piano entertainer, Clyde Harvey, has toured with Ike and Tina Turner, The Guess Who, and even Janis Joplin. Since 1978 he has been a popular performer in first class piano lounges in the US and Canada, and around the world. Some of Clyde's international engagements include Morocco, Korea, Japan and the Caribbean."

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jim!

Major Events of 1947

Aviator, Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier in the X-1.

Greek Civil War (1947-1949).

India and Pakistan independent from Britain.

Newfoundland and Labrador joins Canada.

Invention of transistor.

Marshall Plan for reconstruction in Europe.

Jackie Robinson is the first African-American to play in modern major league baseball.

Japan's post-war constitution comes into effect.

Some people claim that a UFO crashed at Roswell, New Mexico.

Roswell UFO Crash

Tennessee Williams' play, "A Streetcar Named Desire", opens on Broadway.

Howdy Doody makes its TV debut.