Bloedel Floral Conservatory

So, today I embarked on a journey to the center of Vancouver to the Bloedel Floral Conservatory in Queen Elisabeth Park at Cambie and 33rd St. I, of course, brought my camera, and took a tonne of great shots. Got so many good pics of beautiful flowers and plants as well as the resident parrots and birds they had around.

I love when you walk into a room and you can just feel the moisture seeping into you. I always loved that about Vancouver when I was a kid coming here, I remember it very vividly. I think it comes back in the summer time. But, thats what it was like in here. Must be just a heaven to live in for a plant, not like the light deprived ones of my bedroom…

I brought a sandwich to share, but turned out I was the only one hungry. Its easy to relax and sit and enjoy whats going on around you when you have something to do. I find its hard to just sit and enjoy things sometimes, maybe thats a fault of mine.

I ran into an old couple with a video camera there. They seemed to just walk around, enjoying everything. They told me that one of the parrots was the comedian of the bunch, so apparently they spend a lot of time there. I’m curious how many hours of footage he has of the birds there. I, myself, in the two hours I spent there managed to get around 400 pics taken, of which I widdled it down to 60 or so.

I overheard one of the ladies talking about how the conservatory might have to sell some of the things to raise some money for it. That to me is just plain old sad news. I did some research on it, and found out that due to city budget cuts, they were going to close down the conservatory. This to me is horrific, to shut down something as beautiful as this, and promote something as… ?fruitful? as the Olympics is beyond me. Just across the street from the Park was a giant brand new facility for Curling for the Olympics.

Question: How many millions of dollars did they spend on that facility, and how many millions of dollars would it take for the conservatory to stay open for another 10 years giving students to elders alike a sense of what beautiful things nature can provide for us if we let her flourish.

I think something is very skewed when we tear down and disregard parks and forest for the sake of business. Actually, it sickens me.

Caribbean Cruise Line Scam

Caribbean Cruise Line onboard the SS (MS) Bahamas Celebration is a Hoax

Recently I was contacted by a survey firm, and the reward for the survey was a free cruise. I know, this sounds oddly like a too good to be true story, and I should have realized this as soon as it happened, but the lesson was yet to be learnt.

After completing this quick survey, I gave them my email address where they forwarded me a sample voucher of the free cruise: all things ok so far. I was told that I would be contacted within 72hrs with further details on the cruise and thanked for my time.

So, about 4 days later or so, I got a call from this firm Caribbean Cruise Lines. Again, I should have suspected something was odd when first off, when I was talking with this guy, he would sometimes, right in the middle of me explaining something he asked me the question to, go talk to somebody else, and I would have to repeat myself.

Ok, I can handle that. I asked him all the questions in the world, hummed and hawed, and was told that this offer wouldn’t be available to me in the future, and that I couldn’t think about it and phone them back, I had to put the money down, they quoted me $59.00 for the first two passengers to reserve, and for two it was $118.00 total. They put a limit saying I must have at least 2 passengers, and no more than 4. Ohhhk, this was all fair, I guess, since I was planning on doing this anyways. The money, I was told, was to pay for the port taxes and to reserve a space on the vessel, and also that I had three days to get my money back.  Ok, whatever, they didn’t stipulate this when I was told it was going to be a free cruise. The odd thing, I felt, was that I had to put the money down right then and there. I looked on their webpage: ( and ok, they claimed Carmen Electra was their spokes person. Does that make things legitimate then? Shame on Miss. Electra.

I viewed the page, looked at the privacy policy and checked out everything, things seemed to be official. One line I clearly missed “5. Recipient is responsible for actual port charges and government taxes of $59 per person at time of booking. These charges are non-refundable. “ – now started the fun.

So, I put down the money, and they took my visa and address and email and phone number and told me that I would receive my package within three days, and also that I’d get an email with more information on how to book my seat. They told me that there was no black-out dates, except between a few weeks in April that were of no concern to me since I would be using it within a month or so (February).

Three days later, I hadn’t received even a confirmation email, no nothing, so I phoned the number they had given me and tried to see what I could get. They told me when I told them the time I wanted to go, without any hesitation, that the dates I wanted to go were not available for the price class of room I won, and paid for already (not much of a free winning is it?). My only options for the time would be to upgrade for $350.00 to either a better room, or a 4 day cruise package… Right.

I was now getting mad, and disturbed, which further elevated my previous skepticism about this company or ‘sweet deal’ as they kept trying to tell me.

I asked for my refund “please”. They told me the only way to get my money was to a) resell the package to a friend, or b) they could extend the voucher for another 24 months, so I’d have 3 years to give them $350.00.

Needless to say, I didn’t approve of either of these options, was furious at the scam that I had been dragged through, but glad that I wasn’t out the full $500.00 it would have taken me for this FREE CRUISE package. I am hoping that what I write here today will open any one’s eyes up to similar situations, or even other deals that this company tries to offer. I suspect they get enough suckers like me to employ about 6 people, for I was in contact with probably all of them.

By the way, it has been about a week now, and I still haven’t received this package they promised me would be emailed as well as mailed to me.


This may or may not be related, but I’ve been getting calls from an unknown number, when I answer, they hang up and call me repeatedly. So, I did a bit of research and found that this company has a history, and its from a Imperial Majesty Cruise Lines, so I thought I’d link you all to this website that explains a bit more: 19543510087 .

God these guys are annoying. Just keep feeding the fire.

Homemade Gravy

Well, tonight I had some of my left over Roast Beef from last night, which was delicious then, and just as delicious tonight. But, I decided tonight, I needed to add some liquid or extra sauce to it, just to make it off the hook.

To start off, i boiled about a half cup of water. I also took about a half a cup of hot tap water, and put it into a cup with a cap for shaking along with two heaping teaspoons of regular flour. I shook this, in order to mix the flour in with the water (no clumps) and when the pot of water boiled, I poured the mix in. I then added about 1/4 cup of coconut milk, stirring it all together.

Once this was all in, I turned the heat down, so the mixture just barely simmered, and started adding my spices, which all were about 1/2 a teaspoon each:

  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • garlic powder
  • oregano
  • tumeric
  • savory
  • coriander

Once those were in, I added 1 chopped into little pieces mushroom, and 1 ring of an onion.

I kept this simmering for 10 minutes or so, stirring the whole time as I steamed my veges and the result was amazing!

I wish I had a picture, but good luck!

Charlotte Gainsbourg

So, I just recently read a SPIN article on Charlotte Gainsbourg, and instantly got on my horse to go get her albums.

Apparently she just did her first ever live show in USA I think?

I’m listening to it now, and I’m a fan. She rocks with electronics just enough to make it funky, and yet still folky, with a silent ambient sort of flavor to it as well, and I’m only three songs in!

I’ve been a giant fan of hers for a while, but the one role that is creeping into my mind right now is her role in I’m Not There, a Bob Dylan movie of sorts… you have to watch it to understand. She plays in a scene with Heath Ledger. Love it. Her style is amazing.

Find her here:

Beautiful Day in Vancouver: List, Lists, Lists!

Today, as yesterday promised late in the day, is a beautiful day. I look out my window an the sun is shining brightly, I have my window open letting in some much needed fresh air, and life feels good.

I’ve decided today is going to be productive, so I’m going to get alot of things done that I have been waiting a while to do. I usually end up making lists for all sorts of things, lists are my best friend, but today it just seems different.

I heard an angel last night, and it answered all my questions. Life is a happy time, this is what were here to do.

I will not bore you with the exact details of my list, but I will share with you how I make my lists. First off, I sit and think to myself: “What do I need to get done, what do I want to do, and what can I do.” It doesn’t matter to me whether its remedial, tricky, expensive, or laborious, I still write it down. I have, in my bedroom/office, a white board (or rather clear board) I got from IKEA, where I scribble down my list. I take as long as it takes to write the list down, If need be I write in the corners and tiny open spaces, but I find that I usually stay on top of things. Its really hard sometimes to come up with a full list. Sometimes I just put reminders of ongoing things that I have to do, like do homework, or write, but I write it all down on the list so that I can have it there in front of me.

In this way, I can look at the board for things to do. Everybody, I’m sure, has had bouts where they knew they had something they wanted to do, but then forget what it is that they wanted to do. This is why the list is handy! When I finish doing something, and I’m just klunking down onto my chair, I can look over and say, hmm, what can I cross of now.

The fun of it all is that as you accomplish more and more, you get to cross off more and more. And when you started the day with a full board of things to do, and you look and its 1 or 2 in the afternoon and your whole list is clear, trust me: this makes you feel like you accomplished a lot.

Fighting the Flu

A recent study has shown that giving yourself regular exercise will give you a stronger chance of fighting nasty flus or colds ( This makes sense, keeping your health levels up by exercise isn’t something new, although I did find it interesting they did it in mice…. I guess you cannot give this kind of test (infect humans with the flu) without major repercussions.

As anybody that follows what I write will know, I am a very big advocate of keeping healthy through regular exercise. This not only fights short term colds and flus, but it also works over the long term that stretches into your old age and promotes a long life. If your like me and am nervous about getting old, I use this as motivation.

St. Paul’s Hospital, Burrard St. Vancouver, BC

So, I just took a nice evening drive to the wet Vancouver core, to enjoy the lights at St. Paul’s Hospital. It was amazing as ever. The lights are beautiful. To check out more pics go to: (’m curious though, not to ruin the mood or anything, but I couldn’t help think about the fact that BC’s (and maybe more of Canada?) having quite the problems with lack of health care professionals to fully serve the patients due to cutbacks in the government budget. Seems they put it into the lights…. But, anyways…

I was just setting up my tripod when a fellow came by with a hotdog and started telling me how his life has been on the crazy train for the past little while, and he wanted to know if he was going to live to see tomorrow.  I told him if he keeps eating those hotdogs maybe not. haha. jk.

I told the fellow that I guarantee he will live to see tomorrow, and that hard work is what pays off. I think I provided him my patience and time, and talked to him in a kind manner. My only regret is that I did not get his picture..

I’m not sure if it’s just this time of season, or if its just the weather, or what ever, but…. it’s kind of a sad time for a lot of people. I wonder in times before we had Jesus to celebrate the life of, or Santa to wish for, if the middle of the winter was a very sad and thoughtful time of the year for people. 

I know that in many cultures it was a time where everybody was held indoors because snow removal wasn’t a thing trucks did, and it was a time for story telling, for traditional practice to really shine through. Often these things are seeped in memories and facts from the past.

I was listening to some Megadeth, and they had a Dave Mustane interview. They asked him why all his songs have a morbid approach to them. He responded that death is a part of everybodies life, some people just try to ignore it. To him it is very relevant and not something he needs to ignore… in a nutshell.