strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /mnt/Target01/339293/369602/www.ronfriesen.ca/web/content/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 0.

Good posture is essential to our long-term health. Look it up, and believe it. If you're reading this I have to wonder if you've already adjusted your spine to sit up just a little bit straighter.

Good posture encourages better fitness and health. But in our world of technology and convenience many of us spend an inordinate amount of time sitting (slouching?) upon furniture unsuitable to long-term physical form and health.

I was struck recently by something I heard on the 2013 Canadian Walk of Fame television broadcast. One of the presenters, while introducing an award winner spoke of his own experience while traveling to a foreign country. He met an older man, possibly a priest or monk.

I advise everyone who is, or is contemplating becoming a home owner to visit open houses in their neighbourhood. You do not need to be ready to sell or buy. You only need to be interested in what is happening with real estate in your community. What is selling? For how much? How many days does it take to sell a home? How do other homes compare with ours?

As a Realtor I learn more from speaking with neighbours at my open houses than statistics can ever show me. While speaking with neighbours I hear about the good and the concerns of the community.

The more we carry on the better we feel. Physical activity and socializing contribute to feeling younger than we are, and as we get older everything helps.

The next time you have a chance to attend "The Company Picnic" think about it. These are a great way to get out, have fun and be a part of your team.

Thank you to all the participants, supporters, sponsors and organizers of the first Rolling Thunder Against Cancer drive held September 14, 2013. We raised over $54,000 net for the BC Cancer Foundation.

The event involved four groups of cars driving throughout parts of Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, following four routes and each group of cars making car-show stops at four sponsor locations. It was a rolling car show.

Participants drove hot-rods, muscle cars, classics from the forties, fifties and sixties, and custom modified vehicles.

It is a cliché. It is true. The three most influential factors affecting the value of real estate are, in no particular order, location, location and location. So, how might each of us influence our neighbourhood to improve the value of our property?

Those who read my BLOG regularly hear me talk about the joy and benefits of getting out into the community, everything from going for walks to volunteering and supporting community events.

The more time we spend with family and friends outside our homes the more we get to know others in the community.

Before I begin this blog piece, let me encourage my readers to volunteer to be a participant in community events in their community.

Every Spring more people are getting out into their communities to attend more events. I just got in from spending the morning with one of my grandsons at Canyon Heights Elementary. They were having their Fun Day.

OK. Winter is over. Really. It's time to take a look around your home and make a list.

Have you noticed new cracks in your driveway? Are there fallen leaves & twigs stuck in your eave troughs? How's the lawn mower running?

I'm not writing this to annoy anyone, but to remind myself and my readers how important it is to keep up with home maintenance. It's less expensive to maintain than repair, and things like pride of ownership, being a good neighbor and comfort for the whole family are great benefits from our efforts.

Where do we begin?

Smiling all the while.

Long ago (more than 20 years) and far away I once met a man who smiled broadly and sincerely. We met at some business meeting we were both a part of, and in spite of the serious nature of the meeting, the differing opinions and our sometimes polarizing positions this guy was all smiles all the time.

Afterwards as we were leaving the meeting he & I got to talking outside the building and I asked if he always smiled so much.

The newer economy will continue to emerge from the older models as it has throughout history. As one system reaches its apex, then declines under its own weight and complexity a new system will emerge.

Many believe current economic growth will depend more than ever on the efforts, ideas and productivity generated by small business. In order for this to happen, small business leaders and entrepreneurs will need to adapt to the new realities of less available liquidity and slower growth expectations.

Christmas light displays on our homes is a wonderful barometer indicating the level of community spirit in a neighbourhood. While some displays are over the top (non-the-less enjoyable), many others are tasteful and add meaning to the season. When nature adds her wonder of white the effect is heightened.

Why do people make this sometimes enormous effort to beautify and excite their neighbourhood? Who cares. We love it and many of us pack up in our car with a thermos of warm refreshment and tour those streets where we know we can enjoy our annual dose of Christmas.

Every year we get to this place. Winter is coming and we need to prepare our property for the coming weather. The most important and valuable investment for most of us is our home, and it requires diligent maintenance to retain its value.

I could make another "to-do" list here, but all you need to do is web-search 'prepare home for winter' and you'll find lots of good advice.

Just do it. Especially the furnace, plumbing, garden, gutters and a thorough exterior inspection to insure those chilly rodents don't have easy access to your walls and soffits.

It doesn't matter how you spell hot rod - Saturday, August 18 at Village in Park Royal south there were 171 hot rods, race cars, customs and vintage on display as the public was treated to the 7th Annual Hot Rod Saturday car show put on by the BCHRA (BC Hot Rod Association, visit BCHRA on the Internet).

The cars at this show are excellent examples of memories, passion and craftsmanship. Many are world-class show winners.

In the interest of keeping up with the pulse of the community I attended a town hall meeting in Burnaby recently. The meeting was conducted at the Confederation Seniors Centre. The topic - the proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline through Burnaby. The meeting was packed.

Traveling through the landscape on two wheels puts one 'in' their environment. The senses are heightened (this may have something to do with the increased risk to physical safety). The sights, sounds and aromas of the immediate surroundings are vivid.

In Spring and early Summer I enjoy the blossoms in the air. There's nothing quite like the sweet fragrance of a blooming purple lilac bush as we walk, run or cycle past. How often do you stop and inhale a fragrant bloom?