060: I am grateful for free parking

As you might have guessed, parking in downtown Vancouver can be tricky and expensive. Not as excessive as Calgary for some reason, but costly all the same. We parked in the Cinemark Tinseltown Mall as the neighborhood is kind of sketchy and it is covered.

We were fully expecting to pay at least $10 for the two hours we were there. We put our money into the machine and tried to pay, but the machine spat our first $20 bill. The machine ate the second $20 bill and told us we owed another $9 when the bill was onl$10 to begin with.


Carol quickly hit the “cancel” and out came our $20 with a second parking stub.

So we thought, let’s try the credit card. We stuck the ticket stub in and a message saying “no charge” popped up on the screen.


So, we hopped into the car with two parking stubs in tow, now expecting a discussion with a parking attendant at the exit.

We waited in the line up of cars slowly making their way out of the underground, chatting about this weird experience. As we pulled up, the gate was wide open and the attendants were waving people through. Hooray!

I don’t believe in angels, no. But I do have a wee parking angel. It’s on my dashboard and you wind it up. The wings flap and it’s supposed to give you a parking space. It’s worked so far. ~ Billy Connolly

Carol and I just say, “Cah Pahk!” If you have ever watched The Secret you know what we mean. It actually works like a hot damn. It did tonight.

What is free parking?

Free parking is a parking space that you don’t have to pay for and also a spot on a Monopoly board that causes arguments between game purists and those who play by other rules. No need for quotes tonight.

We are becoming full time philanthropists. We went out to another fundraising event this evening. Tonight it was RENDEZVOUS: 6TH ANNUAL DOXA FUNDRAISER for my new gig with the Documentary Film Festival here in town. Although I don’t start until November 30th, it was a no brainer to show up and shoot a little video and get some stills of the event.

The people I’ll be working with are so nice! What a great group. I am so happy I get to put some of my skills to work and help them out. I am very much looking forward to this new adventure.

It sure is nice being taken care of by the Universe. Thanks!

Photo by Thomas Hawk on Flickr

059: I am grateful for lightning

This evening there was a huge lightning storm over Vancouver. The flashes lit up the sky and the thunder rolled (I love the sound too). Lightning and subsequent thunder reminds me of standing out in the backyard as a boy with Dad watching the sky light up and his describing the different kinds of lighting and explaining the speed of sound by using the age old flash count to thunder technique. I can even remember the smell of ozone in the air after a few particularly close strikes.

A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning. ~ James Dickey

I am also reminded of my first flight back to Nova Scotia, three years after I came to British Columbia, every time I see lightning. It was summer and there were lightning storms from Manitoba through to Toronto. From my window seat I had a perfect view of the storm, miles away, from above the clouds. It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in nature. You don’t get that perspective every day. I watched for at least an hour non-stop. It was better than the movie, A River Runs Through It.

A few people, like forest fire fighters, may not share my love of lightning so much. I know it can be destructive. I remember a church steeple stricken by lightning outside of my home town in Nova Scotia was scorched pretty good. The congregation did not have the money to fix it right away and it stood as a reminder of the power of a lightning bolt.

I am in awe of lightning ever time I see it.

What is lightning?

Lightning is “an atmospheric discharge of electricity accompanied by thunder, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms. In the atmospheric electrical discharge, a leader of a bolt of lightning can travel at speeds of 60,000 m/s (130,000 mph), and can reach temperatures approaching 30,000 °C (54,000 °F), hot enough to fuse silica sand into glass channels known as fulgurites which are normally hollow and can extend some distance into the ground. There are some 16 million lightning storms in the world every year.” [source]

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058: I am grateful for a job

We are back on the road, that’s for sure. Today I got a job. Yes, a J-O-B. Big deal, right? Well it certainly is to me. I am very much looking forward to helping out with the DOXA Documentary Film Festival this year as the Blogger/Social Media Coordinator.

Things seem to have turned around and are finally headed in the right direction. I was genuinely worried there for a while. I have not been working full-time since the spring. My body was sending me all kinds of stress related messages — my eye has been twitching, my tinnitus has been very loud and I went through a string of illnesses. Frankly, it has kind of sucked.

But when I heard the news today I felt a huge wave of relief go through me. One I am still basking in. Ahh!

What is a job?

A job is “a regular activity performed in exchange for payment, usually as one’s occupation. A person usually begins a job by becoming an employee, volunteering, or starting a business. The duration of a job may range from an hour (in the case of odd jobs) to a lifetime (in the case of some judges). If a person is trained for a certain type of job, they may have a profession. The series of jobs a person holds in their life is their career.” [source]
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057: I am grateful for water

Today I woke up grateful for water. I didn’t really have to think about it at all. It could be because there’s so much of it falling from the sky today, but I’m not sure. It’s raining cats and dogs out there tonight as well. The wind and rain a wreaking havoc around town and BC Hydro is reporting multiple power outages according to their outage map.

I haven’t always liked water, I was terrified of it as a kid. It took me a long time to learn to swim, and I never did become a strong swimmer, but I did lose my fear. That happened when, fishing rod in hand, I fell off the side of Dad’s cabin cruiser and whacked my head on the gunwale on the way into the water, stunning myself. I found myself underwater looking up at the bottom of the boat and made my way back to the surface where I cried only, “I love my fishing rod!” Not sure why, but after that I wasn’t afraid of water any more.

What is water?

Water or H2O is “the most abundant molecule on Earth’s surface, constituting about 70% of the planet’s surface. In nature it exists in liquid, solid, and gaseous states. It is in dynamic equilibrium between the liquid and gas states at standard temperature and pressure. At room temperature, it is a nearly colorless with a hint of blue, tasteless, and odorless liquid.” [source]
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056: I am grateful for socks

With the chill in the air this morning it was a little cold in my office. I pulled on some warm socks to keep my tootsies warm. The socks in today’s picture sure do look warm. If you’re interested in knitting me a pair you can get the pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks.

I won’t hold my breath, but thanks for considering it for even a moment.

When I was a kid, if I opened a Christmas present and saw socks my heart sank. I was hoping for another Star Wars action figure and got socks instead. Today I love the feel of a new pair of socks. Priorities change I guess.

What are socks?

Socks are “hosiery consisting of a cloth covering for the foot; worn inside the shoe; reaches to between the ankle and the knee.” [source]

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055: I am grateful for cereal

I was in a huge panic this morning. I was out of cereal. Thankfully, after my job interview today, I had my wits about me enough to actually hit the grocery store and my beloved cereal aisle. I could hear my Mom’s voice telling me, “no junk cereal”, meaning the sugary sweet stuff I like to treat myself with now again. I looked around, and, realizing she is really 4300 miles away, I picked up some Cap’n Crunch and some Honey Bunches of Oats.

Hey, I had Multi-grain Cheerios last week.

What is cereal?

Cereal is “part of your nutritious breakfast” and “a packaged breakfast food. It is eaten cold, usually mixed with milk or water, but sometimes eaten dry. Some cereals, such as oatmeal, may be served hot as porridge. Some companies promote their products for the health benefits from eating oat-based and high-fiber cereals. Cereals may be fortified with vitamins. Some cereals are made with high sugar content.” [source]

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054: I am grateful for Sundays

I am not sure what it is about Sundays in western culture, but they always seem a little lazier than any other day of the week. It seems like there are fewer people on the planet; like it’s not as loud or boisterous; as though it’s a little more comfortable.

Maybe everyone is at church or something… Not me. I am a heathen.

What is Sunday?

Sunday is “considered the first day of the week in some countries, including the United States and Japan, although today many countries such as the United Kingdom regard Sunday as the seventh day, at least in the working week and the civil week.”

Carol came into my office while I was reading this morning and asked if it was OK that we, “do nothing” today. Sunday is a perfect do nothing day. A day to charge batteries and prep for the week ahead. I have a job interview in the morning that I am very much looking forward too, so I for one, was grateful not to be frantically rushing about today.
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053: I am grateful for diversity

Canada, and Vancouver in particular, celebrate cultural and individual diversity. Those values are another reason that I am grateful that I live where I do. Just on this block alone are people from nearly every corner of the Earth.

We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same. ~ Anne Frank

We are all the same but each of us are unique; different. What a boring world it would be if everything were uniform; we all looked the same; liked the same music; spoke the same language; dressed the same; loved the same.

What is diversity?

This is the best definition of diversity I found:

The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect.
It means understanding that each individual is unique,
and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along
the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs,
political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration
of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment.
It is about understanding each other and moving beyond
simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the
rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.

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052: I am grateful for fun

Holy smokes! Today went by really went by fast. I was a busy little bee doing my own thing. I had fun. You all know the old cliché about time and fun. It does not require repeating, I am sure.

Today I did a lot of writing, tweeting, emailing and facebooking with friends and family, some research and planning, tinkered with a few creative projects and posted a contest for Movember on my blog. All in all a great day.

Fun is good. ~ Theodor Geisel a.k.a. Dr. Seuss

What is fun?

According to wikipedia fun “is the expenditure of time in a manner designed for therapeutic refreshment of one’s body or mind. While leisure is more likely a form of entertainment or sleep, recreation is active for the participant but in a refreshing and diverting manner.” I actually do not agree with this definition, as what I was doing today would be considered work by some.

People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing. ~ Dale Carnegie

Could it be? Could work really be fun? Yes it can. Especially if you like what you’re doing.

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051: I am grateful for credit

Oscar is at home and resting comfortably. Having to have emergency veterinary care on a holiday is very expensive. If we didn’t have credit I shudder to think of how yesterday would have turned out.

Rather than being the concerned cat owners we are today, we would have had to make a horrific decision. I am extremely grateful that decision was not forced upon us by circumstance, or poor money management (even though that is our bent).

What is credit?

Credit “is the provision of resources (such as granting a loan) by one party to another party where that second party does not reimburse the first party immediately, thereby generating a debt, and instead arranges either to repay or return those resources (or material(s) of equal value) at a later date. It is any form of deferred payment. The first party is called a creditor, also known as a lender, while the second party is called a debtor, also known as a borrower.”

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