Spring Gillard

Feast Table

feasttableI’m going to this on Thursday. Can’t wait.

Chefs from UBC and the Alma Mater Society will prepare a sustainable, family-style community dinner on Main Mall using some locally sourced UBC Farm items. White linen, tableware, glassware, and candles will be set for tables of 14 and music will be performed by students from the UBC School of Music. Vegan and vegetarian options will be available and bottles of wine can be purchased (cash only; must be 19+). Please note that the Harvest Feast will take place rain or shine, and no refunds will be given. More info here.

Date: September 25
Time: 4:30 – 7 p.m.
Place: Main Mall between Martha Piper Plaza and the Great Trek Cairn
Info: Purchase tickets here ($18 students/$22 others/$308 table of 14)

Open Doors

NatNalwksydThe City is putting on this great event again this year when you can get an insider’s look at some of the civic buildings. The National Works Yard is a LEED Gold building.

Get a sneak peek at the behind-the-scenes action inside some of Vancouver’s most popular buildings during Doors Open Vancouver on October 3. Attend this one-day event to meet the Bright Green Summer team and check out some of the best in Vancouver’s architecture, design, engineering, civic and cultural heritage.

Connect with the City through this entertaining, family-friendly experience! Participating buildings include Vancouver City Hall (also open on October 2), Vancouver Public Library, Stanley Park Train Yard, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, National Works Yards, Woodward’s, and many more. Use your bike to do a city-wide tour and park it with the bike-valet at select locations.

The Best

momdadpoolI am very lucky to have two wonderful, eternally young parents. The quote below has always reminded me of my father. You are the best Dad – happy birthday! The commentary after the quote is from Eknath Easwaran’s Thought for the Day.

The best, like water, benefit all and do not compete.
They dwell in lowly spots that everyone else scorns.
Putting others before themselves, they find themselves in the foremost place
And come very near to the Tao.

   – Lao Tzu

In today’s competitive climate, often those who are aggressive about imposing their will on others are labeled “successful.” But the accomplishments of such people are often sadly short-lived, while the damage they do themselves and others can be far-reaching. When competitiveness is excessive, we end up offending others, feeling offended, and lashing back, and that undoes everything worthwhile we might achieve.

People who do not compete, on the other hand, seldom get upset when life goes against them. They do not try to impose their way on others, or get agitated or depressed or defensive when people hold different views.

Gandhi was an excellent example of this. It is said that he was at his best when he was criticized; it made him even more respectful and compassionate, and made him reach deeper into himself to find new ways of explaining his stand.

–Eknath Easwaran, Thought for the Day


Twin-AmethystsI’ve been visiting Crystalworks for years now. Picking up beautiful gemstones as gifts for friends and for myself. I say visiting, because each time I go I spend time with Susan and her daughters, the owners. Sometimes a couple hours pass, browsing and learning. They have taught me about many of the colourful spheres, flames, eggs, hearts, fossils and polished treasures in the wall of drawers. They’ve walked with me around the gallery explaining the large dramatic specimens and the rare sculptural forms. My nephew is a bit of a rock hound too and over the years I’ve picked up a few pieces for him. One Christmas, I bought him a very special book from Crystalworks, a kind of starter kit for the budding gemologist. He doesn’t live in Vancouver, but I have been promising that I would take him to the gallery one day. It finally happened this weekend, thanks to Susan and her generous adjustment of the store hours. She mesmerized my nephews when she showed them a polished segment of a palm tree trunk, pointing to the holes where the roots had been. If you haven’t visited this beautiful, sustainably designed gallery yet, put it on your shopping list. There are gems in store, especially the owners.

Pier to Peace

longpathcabinGet away from it all. Island House Living, Finland. Thanks to Green Renaissance.

Fire Powered

phonechargerThe Power Pot: A Fire Powered USB Charger. Seriously?

Floating Cabin

floatingcabinSaw this on Green Renaissance’s Facebook page. It’s on Kinbasket Lake in the Kootenays, British Columbia. Wonder if they have a compost toilet on board.

Limiting Principles

This was yesterday’s thought for the day. I am using systems theory for my thesis, and E.F. Schumacher (Small is Beautiful, 1973) was one of the early systems thinkers. So was EE. The book Words to Live by, from which the Thought for the Day are excerpted, was first published in 1990.

An attitude to life which seeks fulfillment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth – in short, materialism – does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.
– E.F. Schumacher

The very air we breathe is not inexhaustible. If we love our children as we profess to, we should remember that the air is limited, exhaustible, a perishable member of the family of life. Treat it gently. Treat it with care. Don’t blow fumes into the air or dump poisons into the rivers and oceans just because it increases profits. Don’t fan overconsumption by buying things you do not need. It is not only corporations who carry the responsibility for pollution. Insofar as we tell them, “Produce all you want! We’ll buy whatever you make,” the rest of us are responsible too.

It is a wise commentator on today’s world who points out that we do not inherit from our parents: we borrow from our children. Let us do all we can from today onwards to ensure that our children’s children will live in a world unthreatened by radioactive waste and chemical pollution. – Eknath Easwaran, Thought for the Day

Clicking in to Housing

TinyhouseThere’s a showcase of tiny houses at the North Van Shipyard Market on Friday nights. The homes are by CLICK modular. The City of North Van is promoting tiny homes as well as other smaller housing such as coach homes and secondary suites.

Mattress Money

alleycarsMy back alley is a parking lot, for more than cars. Guess people are trying to avoid the very minimal residential parking permit fee (under $40/yr). Maybe it’s time to charge for alley parking too. Then the city would have a little more money to haul away the old couches and mattresses.