Sunday, 26 February 2012

It must be time for another vacation, How about Hawaii?

It is trying to snow here again, and I am not enjoying helping my parents move, and the newspaper has the whole travel section devoted to HAWAII!

Yes, it is definitely time to book another vacation!  We had a great time in Waikiki, last September and we used to go to Maui every year, when my kids were younger, but we changed that after we discovered the weather and the lower prices in Mexico.

Pros and Cons of the Hawaii Vacation:


  • Weather     My research has found that the driest weather in Hawaii is April, May, and September, October.  These are also the most likely times you will find travel bargains.  (Note I am not saying you won't find good weather at almost any time of the year in Hawaii, just that the 4 months I mentioned are usually the driest)        
  • The trip we took to Waikiki last September was perfect, kids were back at school, the weather was great, although there were a few clouds and a couple times we were sprinkled with rain on the beach.  The kind of rain you welcome, because you are so hot anyway, throw a towel on your head for 5 minutes and it's over, you're cooled down a bit, and back to suntanning.  
  • Amazing restaurants, Roy's Waikiki is my favorite
  • Warm ocean water & white sand beaches
  • 51/2 -6 hours by air, many airline options,  watch for sales, and Alaskaair from bellingham.
  • No need for a car in Waikiki, you can walk everywhere.
  • low crime rate, (but you can still get robbed if you don't protect your belongings)
  • No snakes anywhere in Hawaii  (I hate snakes)


  • Rain        Hawaii can get a lot of rain in the winter, it is still 70-75F in the rain, but I expect sunshine on my vacations.  There was one year (Dec 2004?) that it rained for 7 days straight, roads were flooded, the kids still swam, and surfed but for the cost of that vacation, we felt ripped off.  (The next year we went to Club Med in Ixtapa, for Xmas vacation, the weather was perfect, and the cost included all the food, which you never find in Hawaii.)  
  • Cost of the food, restaurants and drinks  (No All inclusives in Hawaii)
  • You need to rent a car, (unless you stay right in Waikiki) Maui, Kauai, Big Island.  Without a car you won't be going out to restaurants, or shopping, or sight seeing, everything is too spread out.  (rental cars are a target for thieves, don't leave anything in it)
  • Sharks.....don't go swimming in murky water especially after a storm (well there has to be a predator of some kind anywhere you go)

If you want to go to Hawaii, you will just have to accept that it is going to cost more than Mexico, mostly because of the cost of food and drinks.  If you go at the right time of year you can find good deals on accommodation.

For comparison sake, 2 of us could easily live for $100 per day (food and drinks only) in Puerto Vallarta, but in Waikiki we spent more than $100 on just dinner & drinks most nights.

The Hawaiian tourism website, states that the average for daily spending for each tourist is $192.00 per day.  That would be $1344.00 per week per person......without airfare.  So add $600 p.p. for a reasonable airfare, you are at $2000.00 per person.  I still think this may be a little light, as Mi tai's can cost $12 ea., beer $5-6 and groceries and restaurants are much more expensive than at home.  (that $192.00 average probably includes kids that don't pay for hotels or drinks)  So it depends on your budget, where you stay, how often you eat out, taxi's, busses or rental cars? Your Hawaii vacation can be very expensive or average out at $192 a day.

Now I think I'll see what kind of deal I can find for May.......

Friday, 24 February 2012

More on Tolls and Translink

If you read my post from Oct 25/11 called Tolls and Translink, you will understand my pleasure in seeing this article in the newspaper.

EXCLUSIVE: Road tolls recommended for Metro Vancouver

Now if they will just continue to listen to the public, give us some benefit for accepting change, like reducing the gas tax, maybe we could have some progress here.

Today's theme

I just got home from my yoga class, and I wanted to share today's theme.... "let go of your negative thoughts" It can be a little thing, like the weather (why is it trying to snow today?) or something bigger, like an illness or your parents downsizing, moving, renovation (grrrrr)...whatever it is just let it go.

Maybe I should back up a bit.  I do yoga once a week, because of this really great instructor, Lauren.  She is quite young, and very accepting.  Her class can be very hard, but she stresses that we should just accept where we are today, be happy with where you are right now.  Don't compare yourself to your neighbor, if this is as far as you can stretch today, accept that, feel your own accomplishment.   Of course she and several others in the class are amazingly flexible, so Lauren gives us 3 levels of difficulty so you can challenge yourself, or just "accept this is where you are today".

I know it sounds corny, I am still not comfortable with the "Ohmmm" thing, but it is all in how she says it, her calming voice, when you are there it is so easy to just accept it.

Lauren's class is the only reason I am still a member at the Steve Nash gym, it is the only class worth going to, which is easy to tell because of the over 40 people who attend every Friday morning.  It is the only class that is that full all year, not just in January.  

Anyway, every yoga class starts with a little story, and a theme.  I can easily adopt her little theme while I am there for an hour, and surprisingly it can last all day.  All you have to do is accept it, so today just try it, you have nothing to lose.  Let go of all you negative thoughts!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Don't you just love a sunny day!

Finally a Sunny Day!  Seeing the sun after a week of grey skies and rain, is almost like a vacation, well maybe not, but I am sure I was dreaming about going back to Mexico last night as I lay in my bed listening to the rain, again!

I woke up grumpy this morning, frustrated with a few things that are just not going my way.  I tried talking about these things for awhile, that always helps a bit.  Basically I think I am trying to make things easier for my parents, I offer to help as much as I can, but I am not feeling any accomplishment.

My frustration centers around downsizing, my parents are moving in 2 1/2 weeks, and very little has been packed or sorted.  This great idea of buying them a smaller house and renovating it before they move in, seemed like a great plan, but my parents are tired now, the reno is still not finished (but should be in a couple weeks) and now they have a house full of old stuff they have to sort through.  Making it harder is the fact that nothing can go to the dump, someone must have a use for this stuff, so they want to sell it or donate it or recycle it.....  I want to just go over there and get it done, but only they can do the sorting, did I mention they are has been 4 months of making decisions about what the new place should look like, kitchen, flooring, lighting, paint, many decisions, we just did not realize how much it would take out of them, and how frustrating it would be for us.

So I went for a walk in the sunshine this morning, and I swear I just feel better!  I have been taking my vitamin D (when I remember), I do believe that helps too.  I am new to this vitamin thing, but everyone I know is taking vitamin D in the winter now, if you aren't you should try it, I notice a difference in my mood if I miss a day. 

I am obviously a sunshine person, my mood is just cheerier when the sun is out! I am going to take the day off from helping my parents, and enjoy the sunshine, maybe plan where I can move to for more sunshine.  

PROMISE TO MY FAMILY ( I am putting this in writing so you can use it to remind me if needed)

I promise I will downsize my home, and get rid of anything I do not use, before I am 65.   

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Politicians are so frustrating!

It has just been in the last few years that I have really started paying attention to politics, I am not sure if it is because of more media coverage, or because politics seems to be affecting my life more, or maybe I just watch the news too much!
Anyway, I am finding Politicians is so frustrating!

Christy Clark obviously did not read my blog a few days ago, (LOL I think I will start forwarding it to her)
she is still spending too much time blaming other people for todays problems.  In the legislature yesterday she was sparing with the NDP about who is blame for the problems with the justice system.  She stood up to say that there has been problems since the NDP was in power in the 1990's!

Why isn't she just standing up to say, "I know there are problems with the justice system, that stem back over 20 yrs, I am reviewing all the expert opinions expressed since then, and I will be implementing change  when my research is complete"

Yes, they have hired some new judges, but what about help for the Prosecutors, and doing away with some of the bureaucracy....I am sure there is much more to it, and it does not involve, TV's in the court room.....we have more than enough media coverage now.  The people just want to see results, charges and convictions, and reasonable sentences, in a reasonable time!

Then there was her announcement back in October, over 100 million would be spent on new schools in the province, mostly in Surrey.  Yet Surrey has not seen any of the money yet?  Where is it?  Was it just another smile and a promise?  Christy these are your big chances to make change, gain respect and you are not following through!

You have the power, you cannot change the past but you have every opportunity to change the future!  Move on, learn from the past, use your power while you have it, and you will earn our respect!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Note to Christy Clark

I did not get a chance to listen to the whole online radio show on CKNW with Bill Good and Christy Clark, but the reviews I have seen, disappoint me.  Here she is the Premiere of British Columbia, a women with power, why isn't she using it to her advantage?  

I think I was expecting her to be like Diane Watts, the mayor of Surrey, she had a bit of a rough start, trying to get her council on her side, but she was able to make very positive changes in her first year, and in the 6 years she has been Mayor so far, she has earned great respect.

Don't you find yourself thinking......If I had the power I would.........that's where I stop myself because I really don't want that power.

I really like Barack Obama, he is a great speaker and had such great vision for the United States, such promise, but without the support of his cabinet he cannot get anything accomplished.  If I had the power in the US, Barack Obama and his party, would have the majority votes.  I would get rid at least half of the government's bureaucrats, there are just too many levels of government, senators, congressmen, etc....the money they would save on the salaries of elected or appointed officials, could be used for welfare for the citizens without jobs, (and maybe much more) and then Obama could get something done.

Back to Christy Clark, I wish she would use her power to make change, stop blaming her lack of progress on the previous administration, just change it.  If you believe there is a better way to toll bridges and Highways, just say so, tell us why.

I like the way she did this when she talked about the teachers strike, she made it clear she was not going to be agreeing to any union salary increases this year, and she said it with authority.  She needs to keep that same attitude with every issue.  When she was a talk show host she told us her opinions, what she liked and what she didn't and why.  Don't stop now Christy, you have the power, use it!

Please learn from the previous administration's mistakes, tell us why you want to make changes, educate us so we know why change is good, before you make the change.  Communicate with us, but don't buy TV ads during superbowl, or mail us a shiny brochure, the media can get your message out for free.

You can't make everyone like you so stop trying, make some change for the better and earn some respect while you have the power.

Friday, 10 February 2012

We can all use a safety reminder

I did not write this, it was emailed to me, maybe you have seen it before, but it is a good reminder. I had not heard about the wasp spray.

There are some really great tips here:
The best are near the end.
Common sense applied in a vigorous way.


1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste... and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house.. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom - and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door - understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)

10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Here's a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.

12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at http://www.faketv/.com/)


  1.  Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook. 
  2.  The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors. 
  3.  I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature. 
  4. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it? 
  5.  I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets. 
  6.  Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address. 
  7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.
  8.  If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina , Oregon , California , and Kentucky ; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job. Protection for you and your home: If you don't have a gun, here's a more humane way to wreck someone's evil plans for you.


A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area was concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were counting the collection. She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp sprayinstead.

The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn't attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection.. Thought this was interesting and might be of use.


On the heels of a break-in and beating that left an elderly woman in Toledo dead, self-defense experts have a tip that could save your life.

Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania Southview High School . For decades, he's suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed.
Glinka says, "This is better than anything I can teach them."
Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says, "spray the culprit in the eyes". It's a tip he's given to students for decades. It's also one he wants everyone to hear. If you're looking for protection, Glinka says look to the spray.

"That's going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get out." Maybe even save a life.

Put your car keys beside your bed at night.
Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr.'s office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night.

If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won't stick around. After a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.

I am sending this to everyone I know because I think it is fantastic. Would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can't reach a phone. My Mom has suggested to my Dad that he carry his car keys with him in case he falls outside and she doesn't hear him. He can activate the car alarm and then she'll know there's a problem.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Smart Meters, Another miscommunication by our Government

I am sure you have heard about smart meters by now, there is so much in the news lately I thought I would do a little research to see why so many people are against them. BC Hydro is planning to install these meters on every house in BC, I can see the owners/renters of houses used for Marijuana grow ups getting upset,(cause they are likely to get caught) but it seems there are an awful lot of ordinary citizens concerned with the wireless signal as well.

In my google search for the facts, I found mostly opinions, mostly unsupported by facts. 
So be careful what you are reading, or who are listening to on this topic. It is going to take many more
searches to find what I need to make the most informed decision.

The best information I have come up so far, is from the World Health Organization website, I have added a couple quotes below from 2 of their fact sheets, on EMF"s or
Electromagnetic fields, so you know where I got my facts.

It is my understanding that The W.H.O. is unable to find a connection between EMF's and cancer or brain tumors or other health problems, because the technology or the EMF's have not been around long enough to know for sure. But they can say for sure that Brain tumors and cancer were around before cell phones and the rates of people getting cancer have not increased significantly enough to blame EMF's or cell phones.   However, they are continuing to study this because time will tell!

So it is my conclusion that smart meters have also not been around long enough to know if there is a health risk, but they do have safe levels of EMF's according to health Canada, and W.H.O.

You probably have other devices in your house with these safe levels of EMF's

  • Radio
  • Television 
  • microwave
  • cordless phone
  • wireless internet
  • cell phones
I think the main reason people are mad about the smart meters is because they are mandatory, not like the items listed above.  If you have those in your house it was your choice.  This is a voluntary risk, not a mandatory one.

Does this not remind you of the HST?  Has the government not learned that we like to have the education first, before they force things on us.  

I love this quote from W.H.O. May 2006, Public perception of risk, (how can I get politicians to read and understand this?)

Electromagnetic fields and public health

Base stations and wireless technologies

Fact sheet N°304
May 2006

"Public perception of risk"
"Some people perceive risks from RF exposure as likely and even possibly severe. Several reasons for public fear include media announcements of new and unconfirmed scientific studies, leading to a feeling of uncertainty and a perception that there may be unknown or undiscovered hazards. Other factors are aesthetic concerns and a feeling of a lack of control or input to the process of determining the location of new base stations. Experience shows that education programmes as well as effective communications and involvement of the public and other stakeholders at appropriate stages of the decision process before installing RF sources can enhance public confidence and acceptability."

Considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak RF signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects."

Electromagnetic fields and public health: mobile phones

Fact sheet N°193
June 2011
"While an increased risk of brain tumors is not established, the increasing use of mobile phones and the lack of data for mobile phone use over time periods longer than 15 years warrant further research of mobile phone use and brain cancer risk. In particular, with the recent popularity of mobile phone use among younger people, and therefore a potentially longer lifetime of exposure, WHO has promoted further research on this group. Several studies investigating potential health effects in children and adolescents are underway."

P.S.  the number one cause of cancer is still smoking, poor diet, and lack of exercise, so if you are still smoking, over weight and like to eat at McDonalds, you are wasting your time complaining about smart meters!