Sunday, July 31, 2016

Great fun at Donna and Neil's tonight...

Linda and Cec joined us as well and really great to see everyone and a super meal.

Well,  I just snapped a few photos at the beginning and then,  of course,  promptly forgot to take any more.  Having too much fun talking!

 P.S.  A very quiet Pride Parade today...didn't hear a thing!

I try to keep my blog free of politics but...

My blog readers know that every once in a while I really feel I need to get political.  This is that time.  Very, very powerful story in The Washington Post today.  And as a mother I can completely understand why she just barely held it together.  All mothers everywhere didn't have to ask why she didn't speak.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Fireworks, wow, wow!

It was an amazing show.  Jim was very tired and when we went up for Holland last Sat it was pretty pathetic but I went up for 15 minutes  in the middle to avoid all the elevator hassle…Jim was enjoying the baseball game.  It was amazing…wow!  I think probably the best but it’s a different view from the observation deck but definitely awesome.   It just wasn’t the same on TV when I came down.  I’m glad all the folks who came out got good weather and a great show.  It’s wonderful not to have half million people (that's what they estimated the crowd tonight)  in our front yard.  

This photo was posted by the Vancouver police and urging people to be patient getting out.  I've never seen crowds like this in the 5 years we were on Beach Ave.  The cops have their hands full tonight!

My photos from the observation deck.

Lion's Gate Bridge is so cool all lit up!

Public Art

Carol's blog on Public Art in Vancouver and on Saltspring makes interesting reading and viewing.

 I agree much of public art in Vancouver leaves much to be desired with the wonderful exception of The Laughing Men that bring so much joy to locals and visitors alike.  And there are the fabulous murals recently done on the Ocean Cement tanks.

And there is the Statue of Liberty which just might be one of the best examples of public art ever.  Good on the USA and France.  It was a thrilling site to see when taking a cruise in the NYC  Harbour and of course,  we see a replica when taking a Seine cruise on the Bateaux Mouches in Paris.  Guess I'm a little prejudiced about the best of example of public art...mea culpa

The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York City, in the United States. The copper statue, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a French sculptor, was built by Gustave Eiffel and dedicated on October 28, 1886. It was a gift to the United States from the people of France. The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States, and was a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad.

Palm Springs and the various desert communities have a lot of good public art that works so it can happen.

And just as I was working on this blog post I got a note on Facebook that Marilyn may just come back to PS.   Where she should be!

 Soon to be back in PS let's hope!

Friday, July 29, 2016

A man of many talents...the French Chef aka James

This came up as a memory on Facebook today....too funny!

Jim is such a wonderful teacher!

Jim's evaluations from his most recent SFU course.  I'm glad that Jim keeps inspiring students  and also glad he has agreed to do a "moderate" amount of teaching.  I'll be holding him to it!

Respondent 01: I enjoyed the passion that James brought to the course and all the materials he posted on Canvas. I did find myself having some difficulties relating to some of the short stories that were chosen. I do like dark subjects, but I also appreciate uplifting and empowering stories as well, so perhaps for future courses, there could be more of a balance in that regard. * Also there were some minor time management issues: running late, running out of time to cover the week's material.

Respondent 02: For me, it was a very good introduction to short story "masters" that I had not read in the past. For that alone it was worthwhile. Mr. Sexton worked hard to give in-depth information both in the class and on his course website. He was very respectful and patient to all students.

Respondent 03: Learned a lot. Dr. Sexton provides extra materials/Internet – Canvas/ songs, videotapes and films. Goes beyond the usual requirements.

Respondent 04: A large class for a discussion format. Probably appropriate for a seminar, rather than one in lecture approach. Although I would prefer a smaller class and more discussion around themes – i.e., structure, imagery, internal consistency, point of view.

Respondent 05: Jim Sexton is probably one of the most entertaining and knowledgeable teachers I've had the pleasure to encounter – and I have an extensive background in creative writing classes. I would recommend a course with him any time.

Respondent 06: Instructor very knowledgeable and approachable. I enjoyed the course.

Respondent 07: It was a treat having James again! He has excellent presentation skills and is very passionate about his material. A pleasure!

Respondent 08: Mr. Sexton is very knowledge. It is a delight and pleasure to be in his class. Discussions were stimulating and humorous.

Respondent 09: Enjoyed the course. Discussed writers I was not familiar with and now am interested in continuing to read. Too much course content to cover in time allowed. Instructor encourages participation which I think is good.

Respondent 10: Very disappointed with reading materials. My package did not include all that was covered.

Respondent 11: An excellent course covering the important writers of our time. Excellent instructor who teaches with energy and enthusiasm. Very personable and tried to know students individually. Thanks.

Respondent 12: The selection of material was excellent – a broad variety of themes, settings, and particularly the characters. Also the instructor encouraged class participation and varying interpretation so the classes were lively and stimulating and very enlightening – a very satisfactory course - well worth the time, effort and $.

Respondent 13: Jim is a very experienced lecturer and he also makes sure everyone can participate if they wish. He takes great care to learn everyone's names and this lends a personal touch to the course and material.

Respondent 14: James put in a lot of work preparing the text obviously, which was appreciated. I enjoyed the course immensely. Let's hope for return engagement.

Respondent 15: Jim is a knowledgeable, inspiring and enthusiastic teacher of the short story. I learned what to look for in a short story in order to read it on a deeper level. His choices of stories were really interesting. Loved his classes. They were alive with his own analysis and intelligent discussions that arose. I would definitely take another class with him.

Respondent 16: The discussions and readings were very interesting and fun. What I learned also helps me appreciate literature more but movies as well. Thank you, Jim!

Respondent 17: Instructor very inspiring.

Respondent 18: Instructor let the class set an appropriate level of discussion, when we’re very involved, whilst still providing a stimulating, thought-provoking course.

Respondent 19: This is my first course in the program. I have enjoyed the instruction from both Mr. 
Sexton and the other students – such a wealth of knowledge!

Respondent 20: Really enjoyed this class. I appreciated Jim's depth of knowledge of his subject and his enthusiasm. Excellent instructor!

Humour is the best medicine....LOL!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Just back from a wonderful lunch at The Lift Bar and Grill

We love this restaurant and the halibut fish and chips is much halibut and so wonderfully cooked.  And we saw a couple of young harbour seals frolicking just beside us but couldn't get my phone out in time to take a photo.

My photos turned out rather badly so here are some others...not mine.

 So many wonderful viewing aspects over Coal Harbour. We often take that top corner view is it's available.

We were sitting in a table like this in the lower part outside and in the shade.   On a day like yesterday,  this is the way we like it.

The Good Life France

Lovely view over the Luberon fom Gordes, Provence, one of the officially prettiest villages in France...

Gordes....such a wonderful village....just magical.   And we met local merchants that talking in such a strong Provencale accent you thought they were speaking another language...charming.  But it is in the hills and I almost felt tired driving up.  A woman in a bookclub of mine was telling me of her upcoming "moderate level"  cycling trip in France and the first day they were riding up to Gordes.  Well,  I guess for France, home of Le Tour de France,  that is moderate.   When she returned I asked her how that first day was and she said it was pretty gruelling especially for some members.

Baguette vending machine now in LA as well...

Now,  the only question it like the wonderful bread of Carqueiranne?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Celebration of Light....Wednesday

Well,  it's not worth even going up in the elevator tonight.  Linda reminded me that she always watched it on local Shaw.   So,  that's what we're doing tonight because we hear the wretched things anyway even more so than on Beach Avenue.  We may go up Saturday since it's going to be so called spectacular.   Wonderful not to have 400 thousand people in our front yard.

Not my photos...

Well,  now can't beat our view at the Flamingo.  An Naomi said last year "Tt's like they are coming just for me!"

First online course in the SFU 55+ program

I registered for my Standup Comedy course beginning in Sept and for the first online course they have offered beginning Oct. 17.  This works out perfectly for me as we leave for Palm Springs Oct. 26.

Sounds like great fun!

LIB131 - Light Your Creative Fire: Creative Thinking Through the Arts (Online Course)
Embark on a journey of creativity, kick-start a change or find a new way of making and being. No matter where you are, physically or metaphorically, creative thinking and practice can make your life richer and more fully engaged with the world.
Creative thinking requires practice, so each week you can choose Creativity Challenges—activities in visual art, writing and music to develop your facility with the creative impulse. Since creativity also involves critical thinking, you’ll engage your ability to analyze your own work and that of others; you’ll learn methods for balancing analysis with imagination and creativity.
We will create a virtual community with online activities. Creative people understand that collaboration gives us ideas and insights we might not come up with in isolation. That’s why you will have the opportunity to post your ideas, exercises and questions to discussion forums and receive feedback from the instructor and your peers. And from your peers, you’ll see many different creative responses to the Creativity Challenges.

P.S.  My favourite teacher,  Lealle Ruhl,  is only offering the same course I took last September.  There were 75 seats available and 2 hours after registration began there were only 4 seats left.  You have  to act fast if you want to be in her classes!

Twa corbies...

Two crows usually are perched on this tree outside our front window.  One flew off when I went to take the photo.  They are very quiet crows and fit into this very calm and peaceful neighbourhood perfectly.

Now, this is very cool!

Stairs that can sing Ode to Joy!

I love this sign just a couple of blocks from us on Haro.

Text on the sign:

Slow and scruffy-looking, usually seen in daytime with another racoon close by,  who may be acting as his "guide dog".  Please don't chase, approach, stress them out by taking photos, or separate them.
Dogs should be on leash in this area.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

This is the America I know and love.

Last week I was horrified by what I saw of the Republican convention.   Wonderful speeches by everyone last night and especially Michelle Obama.

Monday, July 25, 2016

I've been saying this all every which way foreign buyers.

We need to get money to provide affordable housing for ordinary families.  I hope this isn't a fake report because government rarely does anything sensible.

Linda and I are going to find our funny....

Well,  Linda is already very funny.  We all enjoy her jokes and sense of humour.  This is a course being offered in the SFU 55+ program this Sept/Oct and seemed like a fun thing to do and Linda was game.   I think it will be a blast taking it with her!

Course name:  Finding Your Funny:  Discover Standup Comedy.  Prof:  Janice Bannister  

Standup comedy is considered one of the most difficult performance art forms.  Yet getting a laugh can be one of the most exhilarating of feelings.  You’ll participate in this course by telling parts of your life story and adding the punchlines in the right places.  You’ll learn to be your authentic self and to get smiles and downright belly laughs.  And don’t worry; you get to pick the parts of your life you want to share.

We will discuss comedy’s role in our lives and how nearly every subject can be developed into a comedy skit.  We’ll work collaboratively to generate jokes and develop your performance style.  Depending on interest,  we may end with a showcase performance.

Linda and I have known each other since we were four years old.  We got up to lots of hi jinx (well,  they were mostly Linda;s ideas...I was a goody goody at the time...)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Stanley Park Ecology Society

Well, this was a real find yesterday!   The Nature House is just across the street housed in the old boathouse on Lost Lagoon.  They have a lot of very cool events.  I just got tickets for the History,  Tea, and Tour.  And we found out why the lovely fountain at Lost Lagoon isn't working.  We were surprised not to see it working because we knew there was a bit refit lately.  Seems there was a flood in the mechanism and it needs major repairs which they are going to do but it will be a while before it is functioning again.

Now,  we had heard that the beavers in Lost Lagoon had been relocated because their dams were causing problems but it seems that two beavers are back and there are also some turtles.  They had a telescope focused on the turtles but they didn't appear when we were there.

As kids,  we used to ride our bikes all over Stanley Park but haven't really explored it since other than driving through.  One of the first things we'll do is walk to Beaver Lake.  And I have my Vancouver Tree Book to help identify trees.  Its a fabulous pocket guide!

History, Tea, and Tour

August 7 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

| $5/10
Gather at the Nature House for refreshments to recall the British High Tea society of old Vancouver during pre-WWI era. We’ll trace their route to the Park’s former “Entertainment Hub” to visit monuments, memorials, plaques, historic gardens and have an inside tour of the historic Stanley Park Pavilion, once the site of dancing and opulent dining.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Experiencing the mediocre tonight.

While waiting for the fireworks we decided to listen to a bit of the Tragically Hip...well,  not so great...had to listen to the Rolling Stones to get it out of our head.

Then,  Holland tonight with with fireworks.  Well,  it's not just in front of us but it is an amazing viewpoint from our observation deck.  There were only about 50 people there...guess most people in the building are like us who have been there,  done that.  Well,  not very impressive....perhaps the worst we've seen.   But we can't really judge since our viewpoint is entirely different than before.  Next Saturday Disney does it and apparently it will set a whole new level.  We'll see.

What wasn't mediocre tonight was Jim's wonderful steak dinner!

It is an amazing view from the observation deck.  Lion's Gate Bridge is all wonderfully lit up but that photo was very blurry as were lots of them.  Here's a few that sort of turned out.

The puzzle is complete...

Well,  moving into a smaller space has been a puzzle but in the end we do have more and better storage and everything fits in well.  Jim figured out a way to get my file cabinet into his closet and so the dresser that was perched on another dresser is now in its place and fits quite well and that frees up  lots of surface space for my painting.

Each suite has one of these beside it....they were for the milkman to put the milk in.  Times have changed!

6 parking places for guests...a real bonus.

Ah.....peaceful weekend mornings without cyclists...a delight

One of the things that annoyed us quite a lot starting from about 6am on weekends were cyclists going along Beach Ave speaking in very loud voices to each other.  Yeah....I'm sure they worked hard all week and were enjoying a social ride with a friend but....

- John Denniston photo

Friday, July 22, 2016

Susan's into the wacky these days....doing her own wacky colouring pages

Well,  I'm into the "wacky" but not exactly by choice.  Trying to change our address online for our CPP and OAS,  I was informed that my Social Insurance Number did not exist....gee,  does this mean I don't have to pay taxes anymore.

Then trying to change the address for my MSP (Medical Services Plan),  I was told that my Personal Health Number did not match any account holder.   In the mix up with Jim's benefits with Camosun and now on our own since he officially retired June 30,  we are actually paying double premiums at the moment.  Ah will all sort out in the end,  I guess.

For Grace and Richard....

I hope this brings back great memories of your time in Joshua Tree Park last New Year's!

Love,  Mom

P.S.  I guess I should explain why I posted just came up today on my Facebook feed for some reason...probably only known to Facebook!

Photo of the Joshua Tree National Park taken by Tanya Elizabeth Anne Hertel, 7/20.