Monthly Archives: May 2010

Lane Homes in Vancouver – Improving Density

Visit my Blog on Building a Lane Home in Vancouver – a step by guide

In the last year, we’ve been tossing around the idea of somehow changing our living arrangements to better suit our goals of smaller spaces, travelling and lesser carbon footprint. This afternoon, we spent a few hours with a company in Vancouver that specializes in the construction of “Lane or Coach Homes.” They take the project from start to completion, and build the homes off site so as to reduce the impact of turning one’s property into a full-blown work site.

I quite liked the idea, especially since we live in a neighbourhood where, at a guess, over three-quarters of the homes have basement suites and still it is difficult to find rental properties, We would be able to build a tasteful, minimalist lane house and rent it out (thereby covering the cost) and eventually move into it in time, rent out our main house and travel the world.

Choosing the Right Guys to Build Your House is Important

The name of the company we most like is: LaneCraft and they are quite new.

If we go ahead with this, I will be actively blogging and writing the experience and our journey will be on Youtube and everywhere else so that other’s like us can learn from the experience. In the meantime, if you have any comments, suggestions…let me know.

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Oil Spill Update – From Audubon (including Youtube vid)

One month after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, oil continues to spew into the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It is now being seen from Louisiana to Mississippi, and there are fears that the loop current will carry it up the Atlantic Coast. Read more.

While immediate impacts on birds and wildlife have not yet been as dramatic as many recall from oil spills like the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, fears of long term effects on birds, marine life, and Gulf coast communities are mounting—and Audubon president Frank Gill urged speedy Congressional authorization of necessary funding earlier this week (read statement). It’s clear that response and recovery will require long-term commitment—and that’s why we are so grateful to all of you who have volunteered to channel your concern, expertise and time into the recovery response.

This week, we continued to mobilize volunteers in the gulf coast states to help transport birds and provide other vital emergency services. We also engaged additional volunteers in bird and habitat monitoring activities. One of our Mississippi volunteer monitors put together a video report so that we could share his experience on a Mississippi barrier island with you.

YouTube Video

Be an advocate! The oil spill is a wake-up call about the need for sound energy policy that protects our natural resources, and your letters, comments and voice can be a powerful force for change.

* Urge President Obama to stop new oil drilling in the fragile Arctic Ocean. You can send a letter directly to the President at the Audubon Action Center.
* Meet with your Members of Congress while they are on Memorial Day recess. Let them know you want BP to be held accountable for the spill—and that you expect their leadership and support for policy that will encourage clean energy and prevent another spill.

Create healthy habitat for birds wherever you are. Many of the birds that migrate through the Gulf Coast nest and raise their young further north—and throughout the US.

* Audubon At Home offers many ways you can make your backyard bird friendly.
* Volunteer with your local Audubon Chapter.

Thank you for your continued support!

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Book Club – May – Ebenezer Le Page (Loved this book)

The Book of Ebenezer Le Page by Gerald Basil Edwards. The best thing about Book Club is that every so often we get to read a book we normally would never come across. One of our ‘textettes’ read a review of this book in the London Book Review and decided to give it a shot. A slow start for me, but eventually I could not put it down. It was Edward’s first and only book and he wrote it very late in life and it was published posthumously. It’s set on Guernsey during the WW II when the Nazis occupied that island and when one reads the book, one is there.

A long, dense but very readable and engaging story. Recommended.

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Cold Reach by Gary Gillespie – Dyslexia Celebrated

Last night I went to Vancouver’s Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island to see Cold Reach, a comedy/musical put on by the Senior Students at Fraser Academy – a private school for LD (Learning Different) kids. Here is the synopsis:

A group of students who met at a school for dyslexics make a promise that when they graduate, they will support each other in their pursuit of creative fulfillment. Along the way, they discover that in life, it’s not about the part you get but how well you play it. For all of us, life is one big cold read. This honest and witty look at life with a learning difference is presented by actors who face their own unique challenges and hope to open people’s eyes to the myths and ‘mythunderstandings’ about life with dyslexia.


Cold Reach a Hit!

This was brilliant – and as a ‘successful dyslexic’ I could so relate to the material. The cast included the incredibly talented Claire Stewart, a teen I have know since she was knee high to a grasshopper, hence my invite. Although I knew about her ability to sing, (We are in Rock Band Together) I had no idea that she and her classmates could pull off such a funny, poignant and gripping play (in the form of linked vignettes). I’d option it if I was of that ilk…)

Stars are Born

And yes! Thank the universe and open source and all computer developers for spell check, otherwise where would we all bee? Here’s to success and Dyslexia all in one sentence and I tip my hat to Fraser Academy.

Fav lines:
“Hi, I’m dyslexic.”
“How do you spell that?”
“I don’t know. I’m dyslexic.”

Fav Song:
A-D-D (What can it be?)

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La Residence (VAL-DAVID) -heading to Quebec next week!


Festival de poésie des mots du monde organisé par la Résidence internationale des écrivains et artistes de Val-David

le samedi 22 mai de 15 h 00 a 19 h 00 a la Résidence

1045, rue du Renard et du Corbeau


Lectures et rencontres avec des poètes de Roumanie, d’Italie, de Toronto, de Montreal et des Laurentides

Un après-midi poétique multilingue.

Cristina Montescu, Nancy R. Lange, Blossom Thom, Michael Mirolla, Flavia Cosma, Mel Sarnese, Benedetta I. Pignataro, Adrian Erbiceanu, Yvon Boutin, Ionut Caragea, Miruna Tarcau, Gilles Matte

Art display: Benedetta I. Pignataro

Avec la participation de la Ligue des poètes canadiens et la collaboration de l’Association des auteurs des Laurentides

Entrée libre

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G-FAD Gay for a Day

Please Pass On: Background Actors Needed!!

Gay for a Day

Oh Boy Productions, who have most generously sponsored and produced all the videos for the Playhouse’s “Raising the Curtain” Annual Event for the past 3 years, is filming a G-FAD video on Friday, May 21st in downtown Vancouver.

Come on out and show your support of an all-inclusive community! And remember you don’t have to be gay to be gay for a day!

G-FAD stands for “Gay for a Day” and they’ll be handing out free pink T-shirts that say …“Gay for A Day” on them and then they’ll be taking a gigantic group photo/film footage. Lots of background people needed to come on down to Georgia and Granville in Vancouver this Friday (May 21st) at 12 noon ‘til 1.30pm to volunteer for this very important awareness video. (…And, yes, you can keep the T-Shirt!)

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Since It’s Play Off Time, I Want to Brag About My Brush With Hockey Fame

Back in the day when it seemed only a dream to be a writer and the kids were small, I worked all sorts of jobs to make cash, but my very favourite one and the one where I got to chat with Don Cherry, Doug Gilmour and other hockey greats was my two seasons working as a waitress at the Maple Leaf Garden’s Hot Stove Club. (1992, 1993). I also worked at the Sky Dome the year the Blue Jays won World Series, but I’m not really a baseball fan and that was really more about money.

Sometimes when I am talking to kids in school about being a writer, I tell them about my “Celebrity Job.” God, I wasn’t a very good waitress but I still made great tips when the Leafs were winning, and thank God, even when they weren’t. We used to sneak out and watch the game when our drink orders and food orders were in.

Truth be told, I grew up in Vancouver with a father who was a die-hard Habs fan. Last night’s game was impossible to watch. Poor Montreal! Still, rest assured Montreal Fans that there are some West Coasters, probably lots, who are routing for you.

I’m a fair-whether fan — Playoffs only, unless I get to go to a game here in Van and I love that for lots or reasons: beer, singing, green men, cheering, Player’s Chop House post game…just going out and having fun.

It's the Best Game in the World

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