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What parent isn't proud when their kid takes the stage for the first time? Alex's school put on a Christmas Pageant and the kindergarten classes all joined in to do a reindeer "Hokey Pokey" dance. (Video included)
Alex Takes the Stage for a "Reindeer Hokey Pokey" Dance
Alex loves to perform at home, taking over the living room, doing her modern, "interpretive" dancing (and sometimes singing). So I figured she'd be all over her Christmas pageant like a dirty shirt, but I was a little surprised she wasn't more "into it" than she was.
Woodbank Primary School put on their annual Christmas Pageant the other night. They had an afternoon performance (rehearsal with the other grades) and a 6:30 PM performance, for the parents. Each class did one (or more) songs on a temporary, elevated stage in the gymnasium. It was pretty cute, watching all the kids perform. Some were really into it and others weren't, but a fun time was had by all, I think.
We sat next to our family doctor, Neil Rogers, who has twin boys starting school next year and another son in 2nd grade. (You know you live in a small town when you go to the "school play" and see your doctor!)
Unfortunately, my camera battery was dead, but Rachel came to the rescue and caught video of "the Oop" doing her Hokey Pokey thing! (They were supposed to be "reindeer" and each kindergartner had a red nose and a head band with cut-out hands as "antlers". Both the morning and afternoon kindergarten classes were combined, which is why there's so many kids.)
Alex is wearing a blue dress and is - pretty much - the kid in the center of the video. Her teacher, Mrs. Pettit, is the one you see in front, waving her arms and shaking her head, giving directions to the kids.
OKAY ... I'll shut up now. Head to the next page to see the unedited, raw footage. (Pasted in a relative hurry for eager grandparent's pleasure)!
The U.S. Economy. If you're worried about all the doom and gloom about the U.S. Economy, tired of watching your investments decline in value, worried about your job ... then this video outlining the government's plan to get back to prosperity is sure to cheer you up!
Good News About the U.S. Economy
It seems that every time you watch the news, there is doom and gloom about the U.S. economy. First the sub-prime lending fiasco, then housing prices take a nose-dive, then the government $700 billion dollar bail-out and the financial markets are dropping like a stone. Everyone is worried, not about a recession, but an out-and-out depression. Long-standing companies are folding, the automobile manufacturers are asking the government for help, unemployment is climbing, foreclosures right and left, no-one is building homes, which means more unemployment ... will it ever end?
Anywone who thinks they're immune from the effects of this economic downturn is kidding themselves. This crisis will touch everyone, in some way, at some point.
Fred Thompson, a former actor (of Law and Order fame), U.S. Senator (Republican; Tennessee Senator from 1994-2003) and candidate for the 2008 Republican nomination for President of the United States, has some good news to share, about the U.S. economy. In the 8-minute video on the next page, he summarizes the government's plan for getting the economy back on track. In plain English, he cuts through the chatter and presents the plan in a completely understandable way.
The video is a "must-see" for anyone worried about the economy, the future of their jobs, potential bankruptcy of Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, their retirement investments or pension, or the financial future of their children! By the end of the video, you'll have a complete understanding of the current plan, faith that the government is doing the right things and peace of mind.
The U.S. economy will be heading for prosperity in the new year ... watch the video and relax ...
We've experienced over a week's worth of poor customer service and technical support, courtesy of our phone and high-speed internet provider - Telus. In the past 7 days, we'e been "off-line" for over 96 hours and had so much static on our basic phone service, that we were worried about contacting 911 should the need arise.
Telus Customer Service: Not helpful, not prompt, not reliable, not honest ... and well, not a lot of very good things.
Two separate phone problems last week left us without an Internet connection for more than 96 hours and with a static-filled (essentially unusable for voice or Internet) line for 48 hours. Calls to Customer Service and Technical Support resulted in a run-around where we were put on "hold" for extended periods of time, disconnected, told placating lies, asked to perform silly "tests", or given wrong information ... all of which left us frustrated and without timely resolutions. Aaargh!
A week ago last Thursday, there was an Internet service outage in our rural neighborhood. It started about dinner time. As it turned out, a "Stinger Card" had to be replaced. It was no big deal, as these things happen from time to time. What was unusual, however, was when the "Stinger Card" was replaced - around noon the next day - Internet service was restored to everyone - except us.
Were we unlucky or was there some other problem? It took another day and a half of frustrating telephone calls to Telus customer support and technical support to answer that question ... and to get our broadband Internet connection functioning again.
Then, on the following Tuesday - after only two full, trouble-free days - our phone line suddenly became static-filled. The Internet was up & down more times than Paris Hilton on a Friday night and the voice quality so horrid, we couldn't communicate on the phone. We worried what might happen if we had an emergency! (FYI - We live rurally, so going "next door" takes a great deal of time and there's also no cell-phone service here ... we rely on our phone.)
On an unseasonably warm & sunny November day, Rachel & Scott paddled their new sea kayaks to DeCourcy Island, 6-kilometer offshore Vancouver Island. DeCourcy Island is home to Pirates Cove Marine Park and has a rich history, including buried treasure! (DeCourcy Island maps, photos and tales "Brother Twelve", Canada's notorious cult leader)
Blue Heron Park to Pirate's Cove Marine Park, on DeCourcy Island
After two years of living in Yellow Point, we finally bit the bullet and bought two ocean-touring kayaks. They are both used kayaks, obtained from a 2008 rental fleet sale at local outfitter (Alberni Outpost). They're both bomb-proof, made of tough, durable roto-molded plastic. We haven't acquired all the accompanying gear (we still need spray-skirts, for example), but were eager to plunk them in the water for a test paddle.
A week ago, the stars and planets aligned, so we took a 12-kilometer round-trip paddle from Yellow Point (putting in at Blue Heron Park), paddling 6 kilometers across the Stuart Channel, to explore Pirate's Cove Marine Park, on DeCourcy Island. Alex was in day-care and kindergarten for the day. Rachel was scheduled to attend a B.C. Nurses Union meeting, but it was canceled at the last minute. Even the weather cooperated; after four days of rain, the skies cleared and it was a sunny, unseasonably warm November day. Wow! We just had to get out of the house before the November rain and drizzle returned.
It took us a while to get organized, tossing Rachel's blue Necky "Elaho HV" Necky "Elaho HV" Kayak Rachel's Necky "Elaho HV" kayak. The "HV" means "High Volume". Necky added 3 inches to the length and width of the cockpit of a regular "Elaho", making entering and exiting easier. This roto-molded plastic touring kayak is made by Necky (in Washington State). It offers outstanding turn response, good leaning & solid edging. It's narrower than most touring boats, which lowers its initial stability, but increases handling and performance. (Necky no longer manufactures the Elaho line). The Elaho HV is 17-feet long, 22.5-inches wide, weighs 63 pounds and can carry 325 pounds. The metal rudder is standard. kayak and Scott's mango Current Designs "Storm" Current Designs "Storm" Kayak Scott's Current Designs "Storm" kayak. The "Storm" is a lively, rugged & affordable touring kayak. It's designed to handle tremendous abuse. Built by Current Designs, the Storm is a roto-molded polyethylene kayak. The model underwent a major design fine-tuning in 2004 and sports a new hatch system & rudder controls. The deck fittings are recessed and have full perimeter deck lines. It's a very stable and rugged performing touring kayak. The Storm is 17-feet long, 24-inches wide, weighs 63 pounds and can carry up to 400 pounds. Click the link for the Current Designs website & more about the Storm kayak. kayak onto the roof rack of the Honda Accord. We packed a lunch and drove three or four kilometers, from our house, along Yellow Point Road, to Blue Heron Park, where we dunked the boats in the water and began our paddle over to DeCourcy Island and Pirates Cove Marine Park.
To find out more about DeCourcy Island, our kayak trip and Pirates Cove Park (with maps) .... carry on ...
OKAY ... It's not as important as voting for the President of the United States, but there's a local election that will expand the Fire Protection Boundaries in our area. Even though I can't vote, I'm urging residents to vote "YES". Find out why
North Cedar Improvement District Voting on Nov 15th
Cedar and Yellow Point residents will be voting to elect an RDN Area "A" Director on November 15th. Some property owners will also be voting on a referendum to expand the NCID/NCFD fire protection and emergency response boundaries.
Voting will be held at the North Cedar Intermediate School (2215 Gould Road, in Cedar) on Saturday, November 15th, from 8 AM till 8 PM.
I can't vote because I'm a permanent resident (not a Canadian citizen), but I can urge you to vote for your choice of Directors and "YES" to the referendum question:
Are you in favour of the North Cedar Improvement District extending its fire protection boundaries in order to provide fire and emergency response services to properties in the Yellow Point - South Cedar area at an estimated cost of $70 per year plus $66 per $100k of assessed property value?
There's not much information on the Internet about this fire protection expansion, so I thought I'd put some out there.
Residents who vote "YES will be closer to their fire hall (receive faster fire and emergency service), they'll actually have ownership of both their fire hall and the equipment, they'll also gain voting rights and they may save money through lower homeowner insurance premiums. It just makes sense to vote "YES".
For more about the referendum, a comparison chart that clearly shows why a "YES" vote is the right vote and a map of the affected areas ... carry on ...