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The 7th annual Vancouver Santa Claus Parade was good fun and enjoyed by an unofficial estimate of 300,000 people. Is that possible? The streets were crowded all along the route. When I think back to my childhood in Winnipeg it seems astonishing the Santa Clause Parade in Vancouver is only in its 7th year. Vancouver suffered (or enjoyed, depending on one's perspective) a lack of snowy groundcover for the parade.

The participation by community and special interest groups, and volunteer organizations really pays off. The sponsorship is a little overplayed, but it pays for the event.

There is a 200lb ships bell on display at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Whitefish Point, Michigan about 17 miles from the position in Lake Superior where the SS Edmund Fitzgerald broke in two and sank to the bottom in Canadian waters with all 29 seamen lost. None have been recovered, but the ship's bell was recovered during the Summer of 1995 and is tolled 30 times on the anniversary of the tragedy.

Yasuji Ohagi, Kazunori Seo and Gentaro Kagitomi are three extraordinary musicians from Japan who entertained a sold out audience at the Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby on October 25, 2010. I was fortunate to be there.

I found out about the concert from an advertisement in the Burnaby News Leader. I am currently studying the Grade 8 Royal Conservatory of Music as a classical guitarist, so my interest was piqued by this trio. Mr. Ohagi is a talented guitarist with extensive credentials for his years.

Here is a story from before even I was born. On October 14, 1947, Capt. Charles (Chuck as history will remember him) Yeager officially breaks the sound barrier for the first time in history. He did so in the Bell X-1 aeronautic research bird which he named "Glamorous Glennis".

I remember hearing the 'sonic booms' when I was a kid. It was quite a thing, shaking the windows throughout the house. A sharp, loud, low-frequency 'boom' from the sky.

HALLOWEEN is not for everyone, I've been told. But no matter the eve's origins or history, it holds a special place in my life. When I was growing up on the prairies Halloween marked the coming of Winter, often with a seasonal weather exclamation point. Snow and wind come to mind. I saw my first horror film, "The Blob",

Yes, it sold.

The real estate market entered a period of uncertainty (speaking for myself, and for many if not most or all of my industry peers) in the market during mid-to-late-May 2010. While not knowing what to expect I can say I am delighted at the level of interest we saw on this Burnaby South listing, which listed on August 23, 2010.

Without going into the details, we had four good showings in three days and an offer on day two.

This year the annual H.O.G. Burn Camp ride staged out to Hayward Lake, just below Stave Falls. Three buses full of kids on their first day of camp led over 100 motorcycles and a few hot rods out of the Trev Deeley Motorcycles parking lot and out to the Hayward Lake area. Once there it was as usual. The Burnaby Fire Department supplied and cooked the burgers and hot dogs and the eating began in earnest. The camp kids really enjoy this day each year. After the eating, any boy or girl can take a ride on the back of a bike, or in a hot rod.

I arrived in Edgemont Village at 7:00am Sunday morning. I rode in on the bike and it was the first time I had been cool in over a week after near record temperatures on the lower mainland. Gerry and a few other volunteers were already there and others continued to come. Then, by 8:00am the cars began to show up. By 10:00am about 125 custom cars, vintage, rods, classics, imports, novelty, you name it...excellent specimen collectible cars of most every description lined Edgemont Boulevard from Queens to Ridgewood.

On Saturday, June 12, 2010 - 9:30am the 3rd Canadian Army Veterans Motorcycle Unit led thousands of motorcyclists from Trev Deeley Motorcycles in Vancouver, out onto Hwy 1 with the assistance of Vancouver's Police, and under the salute of Vancouver Firefighters who had hoisted a huge Canadian flag from their QUINT from hall No. 14. An inspiring way to start the ride, and to emphasize the purpose of the ride.

Deciding to sell your home, or to purchase another home does bring certain emotions and stresses to the surface. We are human. Almost every aspect of our human condition is affected when we consider moving from one home to another. It touches us inside, and in almost every aspect of our relationship with our family and community.

Perhaps it is due to the fact each municipality creates its own set of bylaws to regulate secondary suites in their jurisdiction. Whatever the reason there is often more than one opinion on the subject among any given group. A homeowner who is contemplating, or has already created a separate, secondary residence in their home needs to be clear on the rules regulating the action. In West Vancouver the bylaws require home owners be licensed before opening their home to secondary accommodation.

Here is a partial list of some of the summary requirements for Secondary Suite licensing:

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I do not know who wrote the following words, or when they were written. I found the passage on line without credit. If you know the original source I would like to hear from you. I found the writing thought-provoking. It speaks to a sense of superior quality of living together, improved community and social grace. Many of these ideas taken together on an individual basis would contribute, I believe, to stronger neighborhoods and happier times.

I came across a video trailer from a company which designs and builds custom motorcycles inspired by warplanes. Most of us who ride are also inspired by flying machines, especially powerful warplanes. The cheers of the crowds at the annual Abbotsford Airshow attest to people's interest and enjoyment of the winged machines. Even though most riders, like me have never piloted an aircraft, the passion is similar. Riding a motorcycle is one of the closest experiences to flying without actually leaving the ground.

The painting represented on this blog is from a calendar featuring the artwork of handicap artists, this one titled "Winter Mill" created by Stanislaw Kmiecik using his mouth and foot. The feeling captured in these paintings is remarkable. A Japanese proverb accompanies this painting on the calendar..."One kind word can warm three winter months."

With the 2010 Winter Olympics about to begin tomorrow the serenity and appeal of both the painting and the proverb became gravity for me this morning. The games seem to attract so much negative competition within society.

I enjoy coffee table books. In our home there were several, and my mother would change them out every so often from the book case to the coffee table and end tables in the living room. They usually were books of master artists, cathedrals or other classical themes. They reflected who my mother was, and I enjoyed leafing through them from time to time, while they added a subtle flavour to the rooms decor...an intellectual dimension to our home's character for visitors to enjoy.