Metro Vancouver recently moved into stage 3 water restrictions. That means that even though it rained a little this weekend, you are not allowed to water your lawn or wash your car.
Our little drought may actually be much more serious than many realize. Nevermind the lack of rain, the fact is that due to climate change, or whatever you want to call it, we are seeing less and less snow on the North Shore Mountains.
It may rain significantly during the spring, fall and winter, however, the fact is that the water reservoir can only contain a limited amount of water that falls from rain.
The secondary source of water that feeds our water reservoirs comes from the snowpack that accumulates during the winter. As the snowpack melts during the spring and summer months feeds into the water reservoirs, supplying us in the city with water all summer long.
The water contained in the reservoir is the primary source of water for the city, but more importantly, the snowpack that usually accumulates in the North Shore mountains over the winter months is the secondary source that continues to feed the reservoir during the long and dry summer months.
Part of the reason we are in a drought-like situation now is that no snowpack accumulated over this past winter in the North Shore Mountains. Further, we cannot assume that there will be a snow back again this winter. It’s probable that there will be a snow pack but based on what happened (or didn’t happen) last winter, a snowpack is not guaranteed.
And then, if there is no snowpack that accumulates this coming winter, these drought-like conditions that we are currently in might start to look like child’s play.
This may require a fundamental shift in the way we live our lives here on the West Coast; no more hosing off driveways and letting sprinklers run for hours on sidewalks and streets. No more lush green lawns. We are used to it being wet and rainy and having unlimited supplies of water. It may be time to change our attitudes around water.
The first winning number in the Marlondo Leather bi-fold wallet giveaway was 65.
I often blog about the events that are taking place in around our city. Festivals like the RibFest that just took place in Port Moody, or in the winter there was the Candy Festival in Yaletown or everyone’s favourite, the Christmas Market near the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
There are other festivals like the Pemberton Music Festival or the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. In fact, there are endless festivals going on around Metro Vancouver.
These events are amazing and fun.
However, the fact is, even though I write about these festivals I choose not to go to the vast majority of these events. Let me explain.
In the early 1990s for a couple of years, around Christmas time there was an event that was billed as the “world’s largest office party”. If memory serves me correctly, the event was held in some convention centre or some big ballroom in Vancouver.
A friend of mine went to this “world’s largest office party” and reported back to me that it could’ve been more accurately billed as the “world’s longest line up to use the washroom”.
That is my experience with most festivals and large gatherings. MASSIVE line-ups.
Last winter I went with my wife and our two kids to the Candy Festival in Yaletown in Vancouver. That wonderful event attracted thousands of Vancouverites. One of the giveaways at the Festival was from Lindt Chocolates.
Almost unbelievably, there was a lineup of 80 to 100 people – to get one free chocolate!
Seriously? You’re going to stand in line with a hundred people to get one free chocolate? Seriously?
Another time I went to a barbecue competition in Langley. Fortunately for me I was part of the media team covering the event and so I actually had access to sample and taste some of the different ribs and barbecue stuff that the participants were creating.
At the same time I saw lineups of people who had paid five dollars each to gain access to the event.
That $5 gave them access to the scorching hot parking lot that had no shade and all sorts of wonderful barbecue smells – ribs and burgers and bacon and all the wonderful things that the participants were cooking.
Every couple of hours the competition participants would offer up samples to the people who had lined up and were waiting for a sample.
Just like the most recent barbecue competition – Rib Fest in Port Moody some people waited in line for 40 minutes to get a sample of a rib and when they got to the front of the line the guy said “sorry I’m all out of samples”.
Too many times that has been my experience. Massive line-ups for little reward. No thanks. I will happily report on them beforehand but it is the rare event you will actually see me at.
A dear friend of mine is living with Stage 4 cancer and I asked him to write a guest post about his life with cancer. Here is what he had to say. It is not all sunshine and roses I am afraid. I will get more of a bio from my friend later.
Cancer is isolating, it pushes it’s prey even with large families into isolation, as the effects of the disease and the treatment for the disease slowly kills more than the cancer or it’s host. Both work to destroy one’s sense of belonging because it removes us from normal social life.
Now add in being a only child with no family left and that isolation and pain becomes much more profound. Throw in poverty, like really poverty and things get worse fast. And how do I know these things?
Well I have stage 4 lung and bone cancer which is responding poorly to all treatments. So as anyone who wants to live will do, I and my medical team went aggressive, two infusions a week until my body can’t take it. Sounds like fun huh? I also lost my last family member 3 years ago, and that basically leaves me with zero family. Fighting and living with cancer is difficult enough, pain, days too sick to really care for yourself and to face this alone is soul crushing.
Friends help when they can, but they have their own lives, and troubles and I understand that fully. Helping a non family member deal with all the crap that comes with intensive cancer treatment is hard. It is emotionally exhausting to them. I have drastic mood swings, I already suffer from depression so I got that going on as well. Isolation has zero fucks to give, it is a rot or an invasive plant like kudzu, quickly taking over every aspect of your life. You feel guilty asking for help or sharing your experiences because frankly you do not want to drive your remaining non family support away.
Isolation is my reality brought on by the above with financial collapse thrown in for good measure. You cannot make plans either for health or money reasons and soon when you can’t hang with your friends you become less and less social, more and more isolated. The extreme psycho/social effects of the isolation from cancer and it’s treatments are profound and devastating, leaving one questioning everything and if the treatment is worth it, if life is worth it and if I come out the other side, how emotionally damaged will one be?
If you are on the other side of the isolation and emotional pain cocktail please attempt to be understanding. So many people never get as much as a ribbon. The infusion rooms are full of people like me who go every week alone and leave alone returning to their homes alone. We would all like to think every Cancer Patient is surrounded by ribbons and people. This is not true and the image of every cancer patient being emotionally supported through run and walk teams and other stuff just makes people not feel worse about cancer. It is an image we carry to keep our own pain away. But the reality is those isolated and suffering cannot gloss this over as we live in it every day.
I am pleased to announce that we have another GIVEAWAY to do!!
We have been through the giveaway routine before, however, this time there are a couple of things to be aware of. First, this giveaway is a little different because it is a giveaway of TWO Marlondo Leather bi-fold wallets.
To be clear, that means there will be two winners in this giveaway.
To enter my giveaway all you need to do is make a comment on this blog post saying which of the two bi-fold wallets you prefer (vertical or horizontal) AND a number of your choice from between one (1) and one hundred (100).
On Wednesday, July 22nd 2015 shortly after 6pm PST I will use an iPad app that generates random numbers to draw TWO numbers. The person with the number closest to the first number generated (higher or lower) will be provided the choice of which of the two wallets they want.
The second number the iPad generates will be given the other of the two Marlondo Leather bi-fold wallets.
It is up to you to scan or read the comments before you choose a number to make sure you have not chosen a number that somebody has already chosen ahead of you. If two or more people enter with the same number and that number is the winning number, then the person who entered first will be declared the winner.
I will limit this contest-giveaway to one entry per email address.
This contest will close on Wednesday July 22nd 2015 at 6 PM Pacific Standard Time.
After a winner has been decided I will contact the winner through the email address that they have provided me.
The winner will be required to answer a skill-testing question.
If you want to enter a sandcastle competition but you don’t want to travel to White Rock or Harrison Hotsprings, you can pop over to Coquitlam’s Pop-up Beach at Blue Mountain Park (south side off of 975 King Albert Street) between 11 and 1pm. There will be a sand castle competition, free freezies for participants, and a good time for all who attend.
A sandcastle competition at Blue Mountain Park? You may be saying, but there is no beach at Blue Mountain Park! Well, the city of Coquitlam is actually creating a temporary beach at Blue Mountain Park, right in the middle of the city!
You are invited to bury your toes in the sand and join in the fun at a temporary sandy beach. The Pop-up Beach will remain in place until August 21 and will feature beach-themed elements and activities every week including Adirondack chairs, beach toys, flags, seashell digs and sand castle displays. Residents are encouraged to bring their pails and shovels and build a sand castle.
Those visiting the Pop-up Beach are reminded to take advantage of the Coquitlam Selfies Contest, which runs until July 26. Snap a selfie and enter the contest for a chance to win a $50 Canadian Tire gift card. Contest details at www.coquitlam.ca/CiB
Due to the ongoing heatwave and lack of any meaningful precipitation, Metro Vancouver has put the region on Stage 2 water restrictions.
This means that you can only water your lawn once a week. It also means you should NOT be washing your driveway with a hose. Any day of the week.
On a related note, some people are calling attention to the fact that water usage in Metro Vancouver is at record high levels.
However, there is no mention of the fact that the population of Metro Vancouver has increased over the last few years. This goes back to the quote about lies, damned lies and then there being statistics.
And then on another note, people are posting their outrage to Facebook and Twitter about the fact that Nestle is still allowed to bottle and sell BC water even though we are headed for drought conditions. Leaving aside the mind-blowingly low rate that nestle pays for the water they sell ($2.25 for a million litres) Nestle is NOT selling water that comes from the reservoirs set aside for Metro Vancouver residents. Nestle have their own wells from which they draw the water they sell.
Bottom line, the fact that Nestle is being given water for $2.25 for a million litres needs to be addressed. However, part of the problem with our water system is that the water reservoir-supply system has not kept up with population growth. For now, do not water your lawn, wash your car or hose your driveway.
Good news for people who are, or who have already moved to Burke Mountain – planning is underway for two new parks – Princeton and Sheffield Parks. These two parks are currently undeveloped neighbourhood parks.
Princeton Park (1399 Marguerite Street) is 1.61 acres in the Upper Hyde Creek neighbourhood, while Sheffield Park (3510 Sheffield Avenue) is 4.70 acres in the Smiling Creek Neighbourhood.
Programming and design for both parks will complement existing parks and future school sites within these neighbourhoods. The goal will be to provide a variety of amenities for local residents that reflect the community’s needs.
This could include a range of offerings such as activity and play areas for children and youth, informal grassy areas for outdoor play or picnicking, seating and social gathering spaces, pathways and landscaped areas.
Water play facilities, washrooms and other amenities may be considered for Sheffield Park due to its larger size and prominence within the neighbourhood.
The design process for both parks will begin in late summer and early fall 2015 with the goal of providing draft concept plans to Council in late 2015 for Princeton Park and early 2016 for Sheffield Park. Public consultation will also be part of the planning and design process.
It is anticipated that construction for Princeton Park will take place over summer 2016, and for Sheffield Park over spring and summer 2017.
Council has already approved preliminary funding for both parks in the amount of $100,000 and $661,000 for Princeton Park and Sheffield Park respectively. Final budgets for both parks will be completed once the detailed plans are approved by Council in the future.
Here is a link to my video review of the Marlondo Leather wallets I recently received from Ma. He sent these wallets to me with the hope that I would do a video review during which I could give my viewers, and him some honest feedback.
As I say in the video, I will be arranging a giveaway of some of these wallets in the coming days.
When I filmed the video it was focused very clearly on the wallets and then when I did the editing process I found it had cut off the bottom of my screen so the wallets are not shown as well as I would like them to be.
Also, my editing is a bit choppy – I had to cut about ten minutes of me blabbing on and on out of the video to get it to a reasonable length.
I may do a follow review of the big wallets and a video of the bi-folds. It is just trying to find a few minutes of quiet time to do that!!
Thanks for your patience as I try to develop my video skills!!
What better time than during an ongoing heatwave is there to put my Yeti Snot Shave Soap back into rotation?
For those who do not know, Yeti Snot Shaving Soap is a super mentholated shave soap that puts an instant freeze on the face.
Before going to sleep in the evening it feels great to lather up with the Yeti Snot. Super-freeze face!
Of course before applying my shave soap I soften up my beard with my Handsome Rob pre-shave oil. The pre-shave oil softens up the beard before applying the Yeti Snot.
The best part? The first shave pass is nicely cooling. The second and third pass puts an awesome freeze onto the face! Even though I don’t need a third pass I do it just for the extra face-freeze.
After my third pass I splash rinse my face with cold water – feel the freeze explode!
To finish off I splash Lucky Tiger on my face. Done.