In 2020, The spring equinox (also called the March Equinox or vernal equinox) falls next Thursday, March 19th, which is earlier than it's been for over a century! This event marks the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
For much of the last century, the spring equinox has occurred on March 20 or 21. This year, however, the equinox happens on the 19th, making it the earliest spring we'll have seen in our lives (so far). The last time spring arrived this early was in 1896 - a whopping 124 years ago.
Problem: If you store your photos and videos on your computer or 'the cloud' then you know the risks that come with it: Computer crashes, viruses, and power surges that could wipe out 1,000's of your digital memories in seconds.
Solution: The PhotoStick
The PhotoStick is a clever new device designed to protect your photo and video memories and be super easy to use. It's one of the most in-demand gadgets in 2020, selling over 1,000 units per day.
Using the PhotoStick is easy, just connect this small thumb-sized drive to your PC or Mac, press 'Go' and it will automatically sync your pictures and videos onto the stick. It even finds and removes duplicates so you don't spend hours deleting them manually.
No technical knowledge or computer expertise is required and all your photos are stored safely offline where only you have access to them. The PhotoStick is perfect for anyone who wants to safeguard their digital memories and doesn't trust 'the cloud'.
Once again we have found 3 nice properties in Richmond, one in each category, condo, townhouse and detached house.
The condo this week is a 19+ age limit unit in Park Towers. This fine home features 2 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms over 1,024 square feet of living space. In a great location within Richmond's downtown core. Fresh on the market at $398,000.
This week we are featuring a totally updated 2 level townhome in the Saunders area.
This unit features 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms over 1,279 square feet of living space. Updates include a gourmet kitchen, new flooring, upgraded bathrooms and more. A nice value at $599,000.
Our detached house is a 3 bedroom 2.5 bathroom home in the Hamilton area. It's only 14 years old and boasts some very nice upgrades.
The home features granite countertops, updated bathrooms and outdoor wooden deck. This 2,066 square foot home is new to the market, asking $998,000.
Contact me anytime for more information about these fine home or for a list of the 'best values' that would fit your criteria.
As the world crumbles around us, we can all take comfort in pizza.
If you, like 99% of people like pizza then you've got to know about the pizza box pizza from Vinnie's Pizzeria. It is exactly what it sounds like. It's a pizza box made out of pizza and inside the 'box' there is, you guessed it, a pizza.
One of the owners created this contraption a few years ago when he noticed that customers would order a pizza to go, eat in the restaurant, and then clog up the trash can with the paper pizza boxes.
First, the base or bottom of the box is made. It's a Sicilian dough slathered in a zesty marinara sauce. Then comes parmesan, mozzarella, and oregano.
Next is the pizza that's packed into the box. It's a classic pepperoni pizza. Last the lid. There's no sauce on this one because it's basically a giant garlic bread that's closed over the pizza. (And yes, it fits into a paper pizza box. It's a glorious thing!
Once again, Delta is demonstrating many great real estate values. Some of the best choices are:
This beautifully updated 2 bedroom / 2 bathroom Condo in the Annievelle area with over 1,150 square feet of living space, in a worry-free concrete high-rise with newer elevators, roof, boiler and plumbing. Great amenities. Fresh on the market at $400,000.
This weeks townhouse features 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms spread out over 1,329 square feet, again in Annieville. Perfect for a young family with loads of updates. Pet-friendly and family-oriented. This one won't last. Asking $520,000.
And finally our detached house this week is in the Nordel area of North Delta. It's a 2,556 square foot rancher with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and a full walkout basement. Large 9,360 square foot lot with 2 car garage and room for an RV. Asking $848,000.
Please contact me anytime for more information on any of these properties and for a list of the better valued of homes that fit your criteria.
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, is inspired by Ford's unmistakable pony car and powered exclusively by electricity. While this car shares the name and familiar styling cues with the Mustang, the all-electric crossover otherwise is completely different.
It will be available with two different battery sizes, either the standard range 75.7KwH battery or an extended ranged 98.8 KwH pack, that will provide up to 480 kilometres of driving range. The batteries will feed and an electric motor mounted on the rear or both axels, depending on if you want a rear or all-wheel drive.
The latter combination creates an all-wheel-drive on the sporty GT model, where the motors combine to make 459 horsepower and 612 lb-ft of torque. Ford claims this will send the Mach-E from zero to 96 kph in less than four seconds. While purists might call an electric Mustang crossover sacrilegious, Ford expects the name and design to increase interest and help sell the cars when they go on sale late this year.
This 91-year-old man has not only become a role model for his entire gym, but also to thousands of people on the internet.
Lloyd Black resolved to join the Anytime Fitness gym in Semmes, Alabama last year after he found himself struggling to accomplish simple household tasks. He hoped that joining a gym might strengthen some of his muscles and help with the random aches and pains in his body.
Over the course of a year, Black has been diligently working out at the gym three times a week. Despite how his outfits garner plenty of attention, he says that he prefers to wear overalls and coveralls during his workouts because they are warm, comfortable, and he has “trouble keeping his pants up” otherwise.
When Black first joined Anytime Fitness, gym manager Ashley Seaman says he could barely last 10 minutes on the treadmill without becoming winded. Now, however, the senior can effortlessly breeze through half an hour of power-walking before moving on to his workout routine.
He also takes time to help other seniors new to the gym learn how to use the weightlifting machines.
“He’s just a friendly soul,” Seaman told TODAY. “It’s cute because he will go to the other silver sneakers—the elderly members—and he’ll show them how to use the machines.”
As a means of praising Black for his progress, Seaman recently named Black “Member of the Month”.
“Mr Black became a part of our Anytime family 1 year ago and we have seen nothing but motivation and inspiration from him since he started,” the gym wrote on Facebook. “He says he is 91 years young and brags about how much his workout routine has helped him in his daily routines.
“Seeing someone like him inspires others to keep it up and incorporate fitness into their life,” they added. “Seeing him in the gym 3 times a week working out in his overalls brightens our day and we hope to have him many more years to come!”
Black’s photos have now been shared thousands of times across social media, with internet users praising Black for being such a positive role model.
“He says that, even before his feet hit the floor, he will do his bicycle (exercises) in the bed and it helps them to get up and do things in the morning,” Seaman told TODAY. “[He shows] that age is just a number, it doesn’t mean you can’t get into the gym, and it’s never too late.”
The number of condo presale units released for sale in 2019 fell sharply in Metro Vancouver, as developers respond to demand that fell off.
Developers put 7,588 units up for presale, less than half the 18,998 released in 2018.
The drop was more pronounced for more expensive, concrete condos in high-rise towers than for wood-frame units in smaller, low-rise developments.
It is much harder to presale towers that are 40 to 50 storeys and have some 400 to 500 units than it is for a less-expensive, low-rise or townhome developments of only 80 units. Lenders typically expect developers to lock up presales for 60 to 70 per cent of units before providing money for construction.
Developers warn that if this slower period lasts for several years, it might mean that projects could get cancelled after tying up buyers' deposits for too long. However, with presales taking longer to sell, lengthening the marketing period to, perhaps, 18 months might be a middle ground that allows developers to get to the construction phase.
Developers are also grappling with having paid peak prices for land, adjusting to rising construction costs and navigating increasing bureaucratic hurdles and taxes. They are also warning that there could be a shortage of new housing and a jump in prices in a few years as the population grows and demand returns.
This kind of sounds like a threat to me - let's see how this plays out!
An anonymous benefactor who secretly placed a $100 bill and an unabashed message of positivity in a Nova Scotia park has delighted and intrigued the town's residents.
The bill was taped to a New Glasgow, N. S., gazebo in a Ziploc bag with a note encouraging the finder to spend the money on something that brings them happiness and to remember the good in the world.
It was found by town employee Doug Miller while setting up for a funding announcement over the weekend.
Geralyn MacDonald, the town's director of community development, arrived at Carmichael Park shortly after Miller found the money and shared the heartwarming story on Facebook.
MacDonald said the random act of kindness has been the talk of the town, with nearly 1,000 comments and hundreds of shares commenting on the great community.
Sean Fraser, MP for Central Nova, shared the story on his Facebook page noticing he was with Miller after he discovered the money, applauding the 'terrific gesture', and a terrific guy!
Most of us are aware that 'best-by dates' often come and go long before the food product has begun to spoil inside in any way. We also understand that food could go bad in ways which we can neither notice nor anticipate.
What if the packaging containing a fresh food product could detect and warn you when spoilage occurs?
An intrepid nonprofit is currently developing such packaging that incorporates sensing material that will change its colour, or give a sign in some way, to the handler or buyer when it detects the presence of harmful or unwanted bacteria or other chemicals.
Along with their spoiling-sensing technology, this company is developing a compostable version of this sort of plastic as its flagship effort - a plastic that can be composted in your own garden by simply burying it.
No word yet on when these products will be ready for market.
BC Housing Markets Off to a Strong Start in 2020
|Vancouver, BC – February 13, 2020. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 4,426 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January 2020, an increase of 23.7 per cent from the 3,579 units sold in January 2019. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $725,370, a 9.1 per cent increase from $664,633 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume in January was $3.2 billion, a 35 per cent increase over 2019.
“Housing markets in BC are off to a strong start in 2020,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “We expect a much more typical year of home sales in 2020 as markets recover from the policy-induced slowdown of the past two years.”
Total MLS® residential active listings fell 12.6 per cent to 25,790 units compared to the same month last year. The ratio of sales to active residential listings increased to 17.2 per cent from just 12.1 per cent last January.
“While many markets are showing strong signs of recovery, the struggling forestry sector is having a clear impact on housing demand, particularly in the North and parts of Vancouver Island,” added Ogmundson.
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The awning outside of Sarge's Deli proudly proclaims that it opened in 1964, the Manhattan delicatessen is decidedly not stuck in the last century: It recently started offering plant-based sandwiches.
If you walked up to the counter you may wonder if you were in the right place. There is no signage announcing the new menu item or branding for Unreal Deli, the company behind this deli's particular meatless meat option. In fact, it looks like the type of old school New York deli that would rail against the non-traditional ways of meatless meat.
But it is the right place. The plant-based corned beef sandwich cost just over $15. If you asked the cashier if the order was popular, especially with what seems like little marketing should we give you an enthusiastic affirmation, saying people were ordering in-store and online after seeing the new choice on the deli's website?
You can actually find Mrs Goldfarb's Unreal Deli online, offering the same corned "beef" that is sold in the deli. It comes with an encouraging note that says this cold-cut choice has a six-month shelf life.
The rise of Unreal, Beyond Meat, Impossible Burger and other plant-based meat purveyors marks a turning point in dietary restrictions and choices. Vegetarians, vegans, or anyone else looking to cut down on meat aren't doing it because they don't like eating meat. Health and ethical choices push people to make the change or even to consider the change. For those struggling or find themselves missing their favourite dishes, it could be just the thing that lets everything fall into place.
Welcome to this week's best buys in Richmond. This week were are featuring a 2 bedroom condo with 1.5 bathrooms in a fully rain screened building. This southern exposed ground floor unit facing into the courtyard and swimming pool has everything done! A great value in a great building for just $369,900.
This weeks townhouse features 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms spread out over almost 1,300 square feet. Great floor plan surrounded by green space, with newer kitchen, bathroom, floor and windows. All for just $588,000.
The detached house this week is Richmond's only detached home under $1,000,000. This 3 bedroom newly renovated home has brand new quartz countertops and new white cabinetry. New flooring and new windows throughout. Situated in one of Richmond's popular areas close to shopping, parks and transit. Move-in ready!
Call me anytime if you have any interest in any of these valued properties or would like your own tailored list of best buys that fit your criteria.
This week we are featuring 3 hot properties, 2 in the North Delta, Annieville area and 1 in Ladner's Holly Subarea.
Our house this week is in Ladner and is approximately 22 years old featuring 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms over just under 2200 square feet of living space.
Beautifully maintained with radiant hot water heat, open living room with fireplace and large master with full ensuite. This ideal home is located close to a desirable Elementary School, very easy access to the freeway and only a 5 minute walk to transit and recreation. Currently listed for $839,900
We are also featuring a 4 bedroom 1879 square foot townhouse in North Delta's popular Annieville neighbourhood. This updated townhome feels like a house with a great floorplan. Functional updated kitchen that looks onto a huge living room and dining area with newer flooring. Private yard featuring a large covered deck. Recently listed for $509,000.
Our Condo of the Week, also in Annieville, features 2 bedrooms spread over 896 square feet. It is a fully renovated corning unit in the heart of Delta. One of the very few 2 bedroom condos in this area under $300,000 - currently listed at $287,000.
Please let me know if you are interested in any of This Weeks Best Pick in Delta, or if you would like a complete list of the better buys that fit your criteria.
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If you are interested in helping the dwindling honeybee populations you should learn to love weeds and leave the dandelions alone this coming spring.
Working to live in harmony with nature can be as simple as keeping your lawn pollinator-friendly.
It's probably best that you mow around the dandelions and buttercups when cutting your grass because as you can't really help tigers, whales and elephants from home, you can really do something for the insects, birds, and plants that are local to you.
Think about what you had for breakfast. The marmalade on your toast, or even the coffee beans and tea leaves that make your morning cup - all of these products rely on pollinators to survive and thrive.
The whole business of keeping your lawn clipped and pulling the weeds out is part of our obsession with tidiness.
Whether you have a community allotment, a balcony garden, a front or back garden and lawn, or simply a potted plant, the choice of plants you make can have an impact on your local ecology.
A trailblazing Canadian company in Halifax, Nova Scotia is building a new standard for sustainability since they started recycling the bulk of their municipal plastic waste into lumber.
Roughly 80% of the plastic recyclables collected are now being processed by Goodwood Plastic Products Ltd so they can be turned into building blocks.
The plastic lumber can be drilled, nailed, glued, and handled the same way as wooden lumber - but without any of the same deterioration.
The other 20% of municipal plastic are reportedly being sent to other Canadian recycling markets.
Goodwood also made a name for themselves back in December when they partnered with a Sobeys grocery store in order to create one of the nations first parking lots made entirely out of post-consumer plastics saved from local landfills.
So far the lumber has been used to make everything from picnic tables and park benches to agricultural posting and guardrail structures.
SFU professor Majid Bahrami has created a machine that turns air into water.
'People are really struggling with water so water has become a major issue,' says Bahrami who explains the prototype took three years to create after years of research.
Unlike air conditioners, which can also similarly create condensation, he explains this prototype can create water under any weather conditions.
The prototype works by enhancing the humidity in the air, and it can create between 19 to 40 litres a day.
He explains he built it with a goal in mind: to make drinking water more available to those who need it most.
'There is no secret that water has become a scarce commodity, especially freshwater', he adds.
He says this is not only true in places like North Africa, but also in the Canadian prairies that suffer from water shortages.
Bahrami says the technology is scalable, and in the future, machines can be as small as a coffee maker or as large as necessary.
He explains a few large corporations have approached him about his inventions, but he says his main goal is to give this technology to the people who need it most.
'I personally think we need to focus on more on the humanitarian and sustainable aspect of it'.
So what's next? He says his next project involves solar energy to help reduce electricity consumption.
Exercises like yoga or weightlifting teach us the different ways in which muscles work and recover - but our body is full of hundreds of muscles, some of which are very small. Many people won't know that just like hamstrings, abs, or biceps, the small collection of muscles around the eyes function the same way. Tight hamstrings can be stretched to relieve pain and promote blood circulation and recovery, and so tight eyes need a similar treatment.
If you are experiencing discomfort in your eyes, there are simple actions like yawning, blinking, and exposing your eyes to natural light which you can do to keep your eyes in good shape and prevent strain during the workday.
Yawning and blinking create moisture and keep your eyes lubricated while natural light exposes your eyes to relaxing colour spectrums and offers a break from the stress of the blue light field experienced when we look at screens.
If these don't provide enough relief, you can try three common ocular stretches to help relieve the tension from working on a computer screen for long periods.
1) Directional eye stretch. Without moving your head, start by looking up, down, left, and right, fixing your eyes in that position for the duration of a breath. Inhale look up, exhale look down, etc.
2) Focusing stretch. The human eye has four fields of vision, from our peripheral to our most forward-focused point. Keep your eyes fixed in one direction, cycle through focusing on each field of vision for the duration of a breath. Afterwards, adjust the focus of your eyes to a point far in the distance back to something close to your face - and repeat.
3) Stretching around the eyes. This is where most of the tension and cramps in achy eyes are stored. Closing your eyes, take the pads of your fingers and gently massage the areas below your eyes, just between your eyebrows and eyelids, and your temples.
4) Palming. Palming acts a little like cupping in that you're putting a little pressure via suction onto your eye sockets. To do so, place your elbows on your desk and cup your hands over your eyes, before gently leaning forward. Breathe slowly and hold for 30-40 seconds.
If your eyes are crying out for a bit of eyeball yoga - listen to them! You only get one pair, and these stretches will help you keep them in shape as long as nature allows.
Many of us have bought or sold a home that has been nicely staged, in which a seller brings in new, sometimes expensive, furniture and decor on a temporary basis in order to cast their home in the best possible light.
Does home staging really work? Will it help a home sell more quickly or at a higher price?
Most Realtors believe staging works. However, independent research on the subject is hard to find, and the available evidence is inconclusive.
In many cases, sellers just need to make cosmetic changes to their home before it is listed. This can include everything from removing clutter to hiding excess furniture to replacing personal artifacts and can extend to repainting the walls.
It is somewhat clear, that a cluttered home is not only unattractive, but could be interpreted as a signal of inattention to house maintenance on the part of the owner. Simply put - buyers are attracted to neatness, and simply cleaning up a home, display pride of ownership will almost always sell the home more quickly, and for more money.
A full staging involves replacing the owner's furniture with rented items while the home is listed, with the living room, kitchen and master bedroom the most likely to be upgraded.
Staging can last from a minimum of 2 months up to 6 months or longer for expensive homes, with costs ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 per month, depending on how extensive the changes are.
While a full staging, no doubt enables a home to show at it's very best, it is unclear that the added expense will net out a higher dollar volume for the seller.
According to a recent poll, visiting the library remains the most common cultural activity we engage in, by far.
The average 10.5 trips to the library that adults reported taking in 2019 exceeds their participation in 8 other common leisure activities.
We attend live music or theatrical events and visit national and historic parks about 4 times a year on average and visit museums and gambling casinos 2.5 times annually. Trips to amusement or theme parks (1.5) and zoos (.9) are the least common activities on the list.
The data was collected last month - and update from a December 2001 survey. The overall rankings at the beginning of the millennium remain the same today, but a small decrease has occurred in reported trips to the movie theatre.
It was also found that women report visiting the library nearly twice as frequently as men do and that libraries are visited most by adults in low-income households and least by adults in high-income households.
The highest average activity rates are among the 30-49 age group, while the lowest is among those 65 and older.
Conclusion: Despite the proliferation of digital-based activities over the past 2 decades - including digital books, podcasts, streaming entertainment services and advanced gaming - libraries continue to endure.