Monday, July 31, 2006

China's Fireworks Display

Saturday it was China's turn in the international Celebration of Light competition. Personally, I much preferred Italy's presentation as it included more colors and superior choreography to the music. Everyone is entitled to an opinion I suppose . . . . . Thanks to the Numinous Numeriques webcam located on Kitsilano Beach you can judge for yourself here as there is a slide show available for all the shows. Enjoy!!

Spectators line the Burrard Bridge Saturday night to see China’s fireworks presentation.

Clever Bumper Sticker

While web-surfing I happened to come across
this image and thought it was quite clever, not
to mention very true . . . . .

Thursday, July 27, 2006

One of the many reasons to move to Vancouver

Last night was the first of four for the Vancouver International fireworks competition - It was beautiful and I am lucky enough to be here for all four - Italy, China, Czech Republic and Mexico . . . . ."drf" will get to experience the last two shows. After Italy's spectacular show last night, the other countries have their work cut out for them!!


The 2006 edition of the HSBC Celebration of Lights kicked off Wednesday with a display of fireworks put on by Italy. About 400,000 crowded vantage points on land and water. The show continues on Saturday with China.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Back in Vancouver II

Arrived back "home" two days ago . . . How nice it is to be in a multicultural city again!

Haven't been doing anything particularly exciting - just absorbing everything that makes us want to move here on a permanent basis: Long walks around the seawall in Stanley Park, evenings on English Bay Beach, dining in local ethnic restaurants and enjoying the activities of the West End. Ahhh, "Life is Good" in Vancouver!!

The "Other Half" of our family - excluding the Baby JoJo - will join me in about 10 days. We will get to share the world fireworks competition (Celebration of Lights which this year includes: Italy, China, Czech Republic and Mexico) and Gay Pride week together. It's a wonderful time of the year to be up here, although we are experiencing abnormally warm weather - no doubt due to global warming although some people (wonder who???) continue to deny the existence of the problem . . .
Last night our next door neighbor invited me to join her for an outing with a group she socializes with. It was a "potluck" patio dinner in a fantastic home in West Vancouver overlooking Burrard Inlet, Lion's Gate Bridge and the city skyline . . . Incredible setting, and I was glad to have been included. One of the best parts of the evening was the discussion during dinner. Out of ten people I think only three were native Canadians. Folks from Germany, Italy, Australia, Great Britain, and Venezuela-by-way-of-Hungary were in attendance. When the talk turned to politics and the current Israel/Lebanon situation, it was comforting to find out that all except one were: Adamantly anti-bush, thoroughly disenchanted with mr. harper, opposed to the US letting Israel do it's "dirty work" in the Middle East only to facilitate future US interference, etc., etc., etc. It is a refreshing change from the part of the world we currently reside in. Just being around rational, thoughtful people is a welcome change and I look forward to it being a permanent situation.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Conservatives Without Conscience

This interview gives a good insight into the right wing mentality. It is not a comforting thought that the movement appears to be crossing the border . . . .

Friday, July 07, 2006

"Kingdom Coming" by Michelle Goldberg

Just finished reading this book . . . It is a wake up call to citizens on both sides of the 49th Parallel as to how radical thought can pervade society.

Most of us are well aware of the evangelical christian influence on the current political scene. The extent of policy-making power that has been achieved may, however, surprise you. People and programs already in place in our government - and funded by our tax dollars - are intent on determining the future course of all aspects of society.

The author does an excellent job of chronicling the rise of and current levels of government involvement by the christian nationalists . . . . A good read and highly recommended to both believers and nonbelievers as a wake up call to rational thought.

The following review is from and is a good synopsis of the book:

Make no mistake about it, there are millions of passionate conservative Christians intent on taking over America and Goldberg does a darn good job explaining exactly how they plan to do it. Mobilize the Churches, home school the kids, create Think Tanks, buy media, own publishing companies, find Evangelical Colleges, takeover local government, obsess about abortion and gay marriage. This isn't a book about political theory--this is book about on-the-ground tactics. Goldberg has done her homework--attended the conferences, toured the campuses, interviewed dozens of Christian nationalists. But don't expect a cool nuanced presentation, Goldberg is mighty offended and plenty worried and not the least bit afraid to let it show.

Reviewer: TLynnW (Venice, CA USA)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Wishful Thinking . . . .

Since today is between two celebrations - Canada Day and The Fourth of July - my wish was an updated CIC application status on E-Cas. Alas, it was not to be found. Maybe next time . . . . .

On-Line Services

Application for Permanent Residence for Family Class Members Living Outside Canada
This diagram explains each step in the application process. Please contact us for more information about Application Processing Times.

Status of your application: IN PROCESS
(A decision has not been made yet.)

Application Received by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
We have received your application and will review it in order of receipt. We will send you an acknowledgement letter.

Documentation Verified by CIC
We are reviewing your application to make sure it is complete and that no documents are missing. We will return incomplete applications for resubmission.

An Interview May be Required
We will review the application and decide if an interview is necessary. If so, we will inform you in writing of the date, time and location of the interview.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

139th Birthday Report


Barbara Yaffe - Vancouver Sun

Being 139 years old is nothing to sneeze at. So let’s mark the occasion by simply surveying, and savouring, the state of our realm.
Canada has been blessed with a peaceful history, obtaining independence from the United Kingdom in an orderly, gradual process between 1867 and 1982.
Since 1982, anyone whose toe has touched Canadian soil has been privy to a virtual waterfall of freedoms and personal protections, encompassed by the much-appreciated Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
We have an incredibly long, undefended border with the U.S., a neighbour with which we continue to experience border quibbles in remote areas. The only other territorial dispute we have is with the good people of Denmark over a bit of rock known as Hans Island.
We don’t really have enemies and so, we spend a penny on the dollar for military stuff. The one government we cannot countenance is that of Iran, but few other peaceful countries get along with the zanies who run the show over there, either.
We are positively filthy rich relative to other countries, with the second-largest reserves of oil after the Saudis.
We’re the world’s No. 1 producer of zinc and uranium, and one of the world’s most important suppliers of agricultural products. We produce so much hydro power and natural gas we have loads left over to sell to the Yanks.
Since the Second World War our economy has modernized and transformed itself from a largely rural to a primarily industrial urban one. The jobless rate is just over per six percent — lowest since 1974.
In fact, we boast the best economic performance of the G-8 nations and have been enjoying budget surpluses for years. We to happen to live alongside the world’s most well off nation, which conveniently buys up 85 percent of our exports.
Our per capita GDP is $34,000, our growth rate nearly three per cent. By our own unique measure — “the low income cutoff” — Canada considers 16 per cent of our residents poor. That figure would be less if we used other countries’ measures.
Importantly, if you’re born into a poor family in Canada, that doesn’t mean you’ always be poor.
A 2001 paper by Canadian statistician Miles Corak showed our labour market boasts lots of “intergenerational income mobility.” Translation: Adult earnings incomes of children are only loosely tied to parental incomes.
In this regard, Canada falls in the same fortunate category as generationally mobile countries like Sweden and Finland, faring much better than, say, the U.S. or U.K.
And we share. While in the U.S. the richest one per cent of households owns 38 per of all wealth, in Canada the top 10 per cent own 24 per cent.
We have room to grow, with a population density — 3.5 people — per square kilometer that’s among the lowest on Earth.
We have the most lakes in the world, by far, and a relatively large amount of fresh water. We boast more than 1,000 airports.
Canada’s adult literacy rate is 99 per cent — same for males and females — and, among 25- to 34-year-olds, more than half are university educated. Two-thirds of us use the Internet.
In accordance with personal preference, women can wear burkas and hijabs, or alternatively sunbathe nude on Wreck Beach.
Other countries are aware of how good we have it here. In a 35-nation survey last year of 26,000 people — known as the Anholt Brand Index — Canada ranked behind Switzerland and the U.K. as best in show, based on global perceptions.
The UN in 2005 ranked Canada fifth-best place to live, of 177 countries on the planet, in terms of indicators such as life expectancy, education and income. We’re behind Norway, Iceland, Australia and Luxembourg
And get this — we’re rather modest. In a 2004 international poll of national pride, Canadians ranked sixth of 34 countries.
None of the above is to deny that Canada has its problems. Our health care system is not living up to expectations; we do not have a handle on our environmental problems; child and aboriginal poverty is deplorable in a nation so well endowed; thousands live on the streets; Canada doesn’t pull its weight in terms of foreign aid, and recent events have shown that our public service is not as corruption-free as it ought to be.
But, at 139, Canada is more diverse, peaceful, healthy and wealthy than ever. May this glorious country continue to just get better with age.

Happy Canada Day 2006!!

My partner had this display and greeting awaiting me in front of the laptop this morning!! Isn't he thoughtful?? Maybe I'll keep him around for a while . . . . . That's Nova Scotia's flag on the left and British Columbia's on the right . . . . The one in the middle I think you can figure out . . . .

In honor of Canada Day we are flying the Maple Leaf over our "dock on the bay" here in Florida . . . . Our hope is to be flying it in Vancouver next Canada Day!!

Cheers and Happy Holiday to you all . . . . .