Dining in Vancouver

I recently came across an article on Vancity Buzz about the most romantic restaurants in Vancouver.  In looking over the list, I realized that they had listed a variety of choices, mostly the hipster restaurants downtown. I have nothing against this, and part of the reason I’m posting this, is so that I can keep a record of the article.  However, I’ve eaten at some of the restaurants listed, and I have to wonder how one makes the list.  I don’t know that a small, poorly lit restaurant strikes me as romantic.  I think of romantic as white table cloths and candles, where people are far from each other and whispering in hushed tones, but I digress.

The other night I finally had the chance to eat at Ask For Luigi  It’s a very small restaurant, that opens at 5:30pm on weekends.  We were there very early (4:30 pm), so we went around the corner to the Vancouver Urban Winery/Belgard Kitchen for a drink beforehand.  Another hipster place in a very interesting building.  While we were there, some kind of filming was going on and we saw men walking around with cameras on their shoulders.  The building has this most amazing, HUGE door at the entry way.  There were a couple of other people in there who were obviously also killing time before going to Ask for Luigi.  We left the Settlement Building, and headed for the restaurant, taking the long way around the block.

Railtown is always interesting and the walk, while only a block, meant talking to people and marvelling at the old buildings.  We got to the restaurant at 5:10 and there was already a line up.  We were the last couple given a table!  I couldn’t believe that we almost missed the first seating!  The locals know, that if you have a party of four or five, you arrive at 5pm or earlier.  Although we had the first seating, we weren’t seated for almost twenty minutes after the restaurant opened.  It was well worth the wait.  The food was amazing, I had the “special” which was gnocchi in a spicy pork and lamb ragu.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven while eating it.

We had visited the restaurant in it’s last incarnation, and it was interesting to see how such a small space, could be transformed into something completely different.  I think this was a great restaurant and I look forward to going there again.  As for the other restaurants on the list (this wasn’t one of them), I have eaten at several of them (without realizing that they were the most romantic in Vancouver), and I have walked by some of them – thinking I need to visit there.

It’s Been a While

I have been putting off updating this blog for months.  It’s not that I didn’t have anything to say or to share, I was lazy.  I couldn’t remember all the details to log in, and I didn’t want to put my brain in gear to figure it out and call my support.  Bluehost is an amazing host and when I finally did call, everything was resolved within 15 minutes and I’m on my way.

So, now that it’s all resolved, you can expect to see more on here than there has been!

Things You Didn’t Know Vinegar Was Good For

Things You Didn’t Know Vinegar Was Good For


1. Freshen up the fridge. Clean the shelves and walls with a solution of half water and half vinegar.

2. Brighten coffee cups and teacups. Gently scrub stains with equal parts vinegar and salt (or baking soda).

3. Eliminate odors. Swab plastic containers with a cloth dampened with vinegar.

4. Kill bathroom germs. Spray full-strength vinegar around the sink and tub. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

5. Save a garment. To remove light scorch marks on fabrics, rub gently with vinegar. Wipe with a clean cloth. This technique also works on antiperspirant stains.

6. Tidy up a toilet. Pour a cup or more of diluted white distilled vinegar into the bowl. Let sit several hours or overnight. Scrub well with a toilet brush and flush.

7. Lose the carpet stain. Make a paste of 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and ¼ cup salt or baking soda. Rub into the stain and let dry. Vacuum the residue the next day. (Always test an out-of-sight part of the carpet first.)

8. Renew paint brushes. To remove old paint, place brushes in a pot with vinegar. Soak for an hour, then turn on the stove and bring the vinegar to a simmer. Drain and rinse clean.

9. Wipe off a dirty faucet. To get rid of lime buildup, make a paste of 1 teaspoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt. Apply to sink fixtures and rub with a cloth.

10. Stop static cling. Add ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to your wash cycle. The acid reduces static and keeps dryer lint from sticking to your clothes.

11. Make old socks look new. Get the stains out of old socks and sweaty gym clothes by soaking them in a vinegar solution. Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water, bring to a boil and drop in the stained clothes. Let them soak overnight, and in the morning stained clothes are fresh and bright.

12. Restore handbags and shoes. Wipe white distilled vinegar on scuffed leather bags and shoes. It will restore their shine and help hide the marks.

13. Banish weeds. Pour white distilled vinegar on the weeds growing in the cracks of your walkway and driveway. Saturate the plant so the vinegar reaches the roots.

14. Liven droopy flowers. Don’t throw out cut flowers once they start to wilt. Instead, add two tablespoons of white vinegar and one teaspoon of sugar to a quart of water. Pour the solution into your vase, and the flowers will perk up.

15. Put an end to itching. Dab a cotton ball soaked in white vinegar on mosquito bites and insect stings. It will stop them from itching and help disinfect the area so they heal faster.

16. Whiten your teeth. Brush your teeth once a week with white distilled vinegar. Dip your toothbrush into the vinegar and brush thoroughly. It will help prevent bad breath, too.

17. Make nail polish last longer. Before you apply your favorite polish, wipe your nails with a cotton ball soaked in white distilled vinegar. The clean surface will help your manicure last.

18. Keep car windows frost-free. Prevent windows from frosting over in a storm by coating them with a solution of three parts white distilled vinegar to one part water. The acidity hinders ice, so you won’t have to wake up early to scrape off your car.

19. Let your dog shine. Spray your dog with one cup white distilled vinegar mixed with one quart water. The solution is a cheap alternative to expensive pet-care products, plus the vinegar will help repel pests like fleas and ticks.

20. Battle litter-box odor. Cat litter can leave behind an unwelcome smell. Eliminate it by pouring a half-inch of white distilled vinegar into the empty litter box. Let stand for 20 minutes, then rinse with cold water.

21. Kill bacteria in meat. Marinating in vinegar knocks out bacteria and tenderizes the meat. Create a marinade by adding ¼ cup balsamic vinegar for every 2 pounds of meat to your own blend of herbs and spices. Let the meat sit anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours, depending on how strong you want the flavor, then cook it in the morning without rinsing.

22. Prevent cracked eggs. Prevent eggs from cracking as they hard-boil by adding two tablespoons of white vinegar to the water. The eggs will stay intact, and the shells will peel off more easily when you’re ready to eat them.

23. Steam away a microwave mess. Fill a small bowl with equal parts hot water and vinegar, and place it in the microwave on high for 5 minutes. As the steam fills the microwave, it loosens the mess, making clean up a breeze.

24. Repair DVDs. If you have a worn DVD that skips or freezes, wipe it down with white distilled vinegar applied to a soft cloth. Make sure the DVD is completely dry before reinserting it into the player.

25. Get those last drops. If you can’t get that final bit of mayonnaise or salad dressing out of the jar, dribble in a few drops of vinegar. Put the cap on tightly and shake. The remaining condiments will slide out.

26. Rinse fruits and vegetables. Add 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar to one pint water. Use the mixture to wash fresh fruits and vegetables, then rinse thoroughly. The solution kills more pesticide residue than does pure water.

27. Brighter Easter eggs. Before your kids dye Easter eggs, mix 1 teaspoon of vinegar with ½ cup of hot water, then add food coloring. The vinegar keeps the dye bright and prevents the color from streaking.

28. Loosen a rusted screw. Pour vinegar onto the screw, and it will easily unstick.

29. Remove gum. To remove gum from fabric or hair, heat a small bowl of vinegar in the microwave. Pour the warm vinegar over the gum, saturating the area. The gum will dissolve.

30. Keep cheese from molding. Wrap cheese in a vinegar-soaked cloth, then place in an airtight container and refrigerate.

31. Renew a loofah. Soak your loofah in equal parts vinegar and water for 24 hours to dissolve soap residue, then rinse in cold water.

32. Remove wax. If you get melted candle wax on your wood furniture or floors, gently wipe it away with a cloth soaked in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water.

33. Take a relaxing bath. Add ½ cup of vinegar to warm bath water for a cheap spa session at home. The vinegar removes dead skin, leaving you feeling soft and smooth.

34. Brighten your hair. Remove hair product buildup by rinsing a tablespoon of vinegar through your hair once a month.

35. Freshen fabrics. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spritz your home to neutralize odors in fabrics, carpets, shoes or any sprayable surface.

36. Erase crayon. If your kids get crayon marks on the walls or floor, dip a toothbrush in white vinegar and gently scrub. The vinegar breaks down the wax, making for an inexpensive, nontoxic way to clean up after children.

37. Sticky stickers. Don’t scratch at the residue left by stickers or price tags. Instead, apply vinegar to the gunk, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe the glue away.

38. Clean the dishwasher and coffee pot. Reduce soap buildup and food residue by pouring a cup of vinegar into your empty dishwasher or coffee pot once a month and letting it run a full cycle.

39. Sanitize pet accidents. You can remove the stain―and smell―of your pet’s accident by mixing ¼ cup vinegar with a quart of water and blotting the mixture onto the mess with a washcloth. Continue dabbing until the spot is gone.

40. Prep for summer grilling. To remove charcoal buildup from your grill, spray white distilled vinegar on balled up aluminum foil and scrub the grate thoroughly.

41. Restore showerhead pressure. If your showerhead gets clogged with mineral deposits, soak it for 15 minutes in a mixture of ½ cup vinegar and 1 quart water.

42. Clean your scissors. When your scissor blades get sticky, wipe them down with a cloth dipped in full-strength white vinegar. Unlike soap and water, vinegar won’t ruin the blades or rust the metal.

43. Unclog drains. For a natural, nontoxic way to clean clogged pipes, pour one cup of baking soda, followed by one cup of white vinegar, down the drain. Let the products bubble and foam, then flush the pipes with a pot of boiling water.

44. Eliminate dandruff. If your scalp is feeling dry or flaky, vinegar can be a simple at-home remedy. Once a week, pour one cup of apple cider vinegar over your scalp, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cool water.

45. Soften your feet. Summer sandals leaving you with cracked heals and calluses? Soak your feet for 20 minutes a day in one part vinegar to two parts warm water. The vinegar removes dead skin, leaving your feet soft and smooth.

When Healthy Isn’t Healthy

When Healthy Isn’t Healthy

PB2-C2It’s very difficult to navigate around the health food market these days.  Things that sound healthy often aren’t.  Manufacturer’s are trying their hardest to convince us that their product is the best, healthiest, most organic product.  One of the latest products to catch my eye is called PB2.  It is a powdered peanut butter.  Looking at the packaging, you get the impression that it is healthy and would be good for you.  Howeve, there is something that makes you ponder it in the back of your mind.

PB2 is made by pressing all the fat out of peanuts. What you’re left with is a peanut flavored powder that can be used in smoothies or other recipes. PB2 is much lower in fat and calories—about 45 calories per 2 tablespoons, compared with 180 calories for 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Peanut butter, however, will give you more protein (8g vs. 5g) and fiber (3g vs 2g) per serving. Peanut butter is also a decent source of vitamin E and, although PB2 doesn’t specify its vitamin E content, it’s probable that you lose most of the vitamin E along with the fat.

The fact is that PB2 is NOT real whole food.  The beauty of a peanut is that it contains all of the nutrients nature intended. It has a healthy dose of fat, protein and vitamins.  PB2 extracts almost all of the essential monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, leaching the vitamin E content which is fat soluble, therefore reducing the nutritional content of the whole food. The fat is what keeps you satisfied and reduces cravings making just a tablespoon of real peanut butter so satisfying. This powdered form looks pretty clean when you review the ingredients, but it’s just another way for manufacturers to trick you into thinking less calories is better for you. They have to add a mixture of sugar and salt into the powder to make it taste better without the fat.

PB2 has added sugar.  If you are trying to avoid sugar, why would you choose a product that has added it?  Natural peanut butter does not contain refined sugar.

I LOVE peanut butter and will often eat a tablespoon of it by itself as a source of protein.  I love it on toast and I love it in cookies.  However, I choose the healthy brands from the grocery store.


Union – Yes

Union – Yes


Is It Friday Yet?

So, I came to work at my usual time this morning.  In my mailbox my boss was once again telling me “thanks for playing, but we’ll let you know if anything comes up.  No doubt, the same person as usual will be given the opportunity.  It’s getting a little boring actually.  I feel like I have been trapped in a bad dream that I can’t wake up from.  No matter what I do to “better” myself, and position myself to be open to opportunities, the answer is always the same.  No doubt, in a few months the complaints will start coming in because the chosen person is totally inept and can’t do their job.  Well, if there are five steps and you’ve done your job by doing the first three, then the person does their job.  They don’t know how to finish the job once the boring stuff comes up.  Oh well.

Last week at this time, all I wanted to do was quit.  I was convincing myself that I could do this.  I have less than five years to go until my pension kicks in….it’s getting harder and harder to keep going.  Working here was always a bit of a challenge, but it has never been as bad as it has been in the last five years.  A lot of that has to do with the constant attack by government and the demoralization of the public service, but a lot of it has to do with the promotion (with no training) of sociopathic managers.

I know I know, I should be grateful I have a job blah blah blah.  I am grateful.  This job has made it possible for me to have the life I have had and allowed me to live where I live, however, it is clear now that it is a soul sucking entity that is taking away life rather than making life better.  I just continue to do what I do, working on my businesses on the side and enjoying the other aspects of life.  It’s just too bad that 70% of my life is taken up with this hell.

Welcome Back!

This was the first website I ever owned.  It was me, it was my world, it was all things internet, all things I found interesting, and just a general web site for fun.  A funny thing happened on my travels on the internet….it started with my page getting hacked.  After that I didn’t rebuild it quickly as I was so upset about losing everything, and then the backup didn’t work and then and then…. you get the picture.

Then my isp didn’t renew my ownership of the domain, even though I paid them.

Somebody grabbed it right away and parked it.  I didn’t want to pay $300 to get it back.

So I forgot about it.

I just happened to look it up two days ago and it had come free literally a few days before I looked.  I grabbed it back.  I found a new provider who absolutely rocks and we are back in business.

So….stay tuned to this space.

I’m back….

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