Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Confirmed losses on B.C.’s Olympic Village $230-million and rising

I was intrigued to read this story in today's Globe and Mail by Gary Mason. Given all the numbers now floating around, I hope the city will respond and clarify what the outstanding loan is; how much is owed on the land; what is the sales projection is for the condos; what is the sales projection for the rental building and retail space; what is the projected loss/subsidy for the social/rental housing; what will the loss be on the condos that have now been rented out; what are the estimated carrying costs during the sales period; and what are the fees being paid to the lawyers and receivers. As I wrote in previous posts, I just couldn't believe that the losses would only be $40 to $50 million, notwithstanding the 'heroic efforts' by the current administration.

Lead image

The athletes' village for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games is pictured as construction continues at the site in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday October 9, 2009. (Lyle Stafford for the Globe and Mail)

When reporters left a briefing with City of Vancouver officials last week on the troubled Olympic Village project, there was unanimous agreement on the storyline: losses were now estimated to be in the neighbourhood of $40-million to $50-million.

While still bad, it was a far cry from the dire and pessimistic predictions that had been made in some corners, including this one, that the city’s Village-related deficit could exceed $150-million. But thanks to the heroic efforts of the governing Vision Vancouver party, it looked like the hit taxpayers were going to take wouldn’t be nearly as bad.

As it turns out, the city’s losses will be far worse than many forecast. Because, while officials were telling the media that the city expected to recover all but $50-million of the $579-million owed by defunct Millennium Development Corp. on its construction loan, it forget to mention the nearly $180-million the developer hadn’t paid Vancouver taxpayers for the land it purchased.

So, in fact, the losses on the project will total at least $230-million – that is, if the city is lucky and the stars align just right for the sale of the 340 or so remaining condos.

And that is far from a sure bet. Plus, there are other costs that don’t seem to be calculated into the accounting provided to reporters last Friday, such as strata fees that are accruing on rental units that aren’t yet occupied. There is very likely interest charges that need to be taken into account too, plus fees that need to be paid to the receiver that is managing the project.

But that wasn’t the message the city wanted to deliver on Friday. Instead, city manager Penny Ballem took reporters through a power-point presentation that highlighted the many actions that the Vision-controlled council had taken to mitigate some of the losses on the development.

I have no problem with outlining some of the decisions made to help cushion the blow to taxpayers. But at least be honest about what the final tally is instead of trying to deceive people.

When all is said and done, the Olympic Village will likely represent the biggest financial disaster in the city’s recent history. A responsible government would be completely up front with its citizens about where things stand rather than trying to sweep a nearly $180-million land loss under the mayor’s carpet.

And as I say, the final amount could be much higher yet. Just look at the numbers.

Of the $579-million Millennium owed on its construction loan (which was separate from the $178-million it owed for the land), the city is saying it expects to lose up to $50-million. So let’s round it off and say it anticipates recouping $530-million of the total loan amount.

Of that, it hopes to reap about $70-million from the sale of assets seized from Millennium Development Corp. Olympic Village marketer Bob Rennie recently sold 118 condos for an undetermined amount. But they were smaller units, not luxury ones. Let’s say the average price was $700,000. That would provide another $80-million or so. So now your loan amount is down to about $380-million.

Mr. Rennie has 340 units left to sell to make up the $380-million left. That is more than $1-million a unit. Not a chance in the current market, even if some go for a few million each. And Mr. Rennie is having to sell these units amid dreadful publicity generated by a class-action lawsuit launched by earlier buyers who want out of the Village because of what they insist is horrible workmanship and shoddy design.

And as mentioned, we haven’t factored in ancillary costs such as the receiver’s fees, estimated to be $8-million by some, and other accrued interest costs that could well be in the millions. And we also haven’t mentioned the $65-million in overruns on the social housing at the Village, which many feel should be calculated into any final accounting.

That would push the Olympic Village-related losses close to $300-million.

It will likely be a couple of years before we know how much Vancouver taxpayers got soaked on the Village. But it is far, far more than $40-million to $50-million. And it will likely be north still of the $230-million the losses are now confirmed to be.

It’s too bad the current city government is so insistent on playing politics with the project instead of just giving people the straight goods. There’s no way to sugar-coat this debacle. So why even try?

Monday, April 11, 2011

ram navami sms, ram navami, ram navami sms in hindi

ram navami sms, ram navami, ram navami sms in hindi

Below are few ram navami sms, ram navami sms in hindi, ram navami SMS messages to wish your loved ones:

Ram jinka naam hai,
Ayodhya jinka dhaam hai,
Aise Raghunandan ko,
Hamara pranam hai.

Aapko aur apke Ramnavami Ki hardik subhkaamnaaye

Ram ji ki jyoti se noor milta hai
Sabke dilo ko shurur milta hai
Jo bhi jata hai ram ji ke dwar
Kuch na kuch jarur milta hai.
"Happy Ram Navami".

Sita maa ka dhairya
Lakshmana ji ka tej aur Bharat ji ka tyaag hum
sabko jeevan ki seekh deta rahey
Happy Ramnavmi.

Let us pray sacred mantras, in the praise of eternal savior:
Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram.
Wish you be accompanied with auspiciousness and blessings of Rama Navami

Ram jinka naam hai, Ayodhya jinka dhaam hai,
Aise raghunandan ko, hamara pranam hai
Aapko aur apke parivaar ko Ram Navami ki haardik shubhkaamnaye.
Bajre ki roti, aam ka achar,
Suraj ki kirne, khushiyo ki bahar,
Chanda ki chandni,apano ka pyar,
Mubarak ho aapko
Ramanavami ka tyohar.

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1. Don't compare your life to
others'. You have no idea what
their journey is all about.
2. Don't have negative thoughts
of things you cannot control.
Instead invest your energy in
the positive present moment.
3. Don't over do; keep your
4. Don't take yourself so
seriously; no one else does.
5. Don't waste your precious
energy on gossip.
6. Dream more while you are
7. Envy is a waste of time. You
already have all you need..
8. Forget issues of the past. Don't
remind your partner of his/her
mistakes of the past. That will
ruin your present happiness.
9. Life is too short to waste time
hating anyone. Don't hate
10. Make peace with your past so
it won't spoil the present.
11. No one is in charge of your
happiness except you.
12. Realize that life is a school
and you are here to learn.
Problems are simply part of the
curriculum that appear and fade
away like algebra class but the
lessons you learn will last a
13. Smile and laugh more.
14. You don't have to win every
argument. Agree to disagree.

15. Call your family often
16. Each day give something
good to others
17. Forgive everyone for
18. Spend time with people over
the age of 70 & under the age of
19. Try to make at least three
people smile each day
20. What other people think of
you is none of your business
21. Your job will not take care of
you when you are sick. Your
family and friends will. Stay in

22. Do the right things.
23. However good or bad a
situation is, it will change.
24. No matter how you feel, get
up, dress up and show up.
25. The best is yet to come.
26. Get rid of anything that isn't
useful, beautiful or joyful.
While you practice all of the
above, share this knowledge
with the people you love, people
you school with,
people you play with, people
you work with and people you
live with.
Not only will it enrich YOUR life,
but also that of those around

ram navami sms

ram navami sms
Ram Navami SMS
• Here is the Hoping that your
Life be brighten with the Devine
blessing of Lord Ram
Happy Ram Navami

• I wish Joy, Harmony and
Prosperity on Ram Navami
for you and your Family...
Wishes on Ram Navami

• Wish you be accompanied with
Auspiciousness and blessings
of Ram Navami...

• This day may bring
you Success and Happiness
Wish you a Very Happy
Ram Navami

• May Lord Ram Shower
his blessings on you
and your Family
Happy Ram Navami

• Let us pray sacred mantras
Shri Ram
Jai Ram
Jai Jai Ram
Blessings of Rama Navami
Happy Rama Navami

ram navami sms in hindi - http://hindi.webdunia.com/religion/occasion/ramnavmi/
ram navami greetings - http://greetings.webdunia.com/english/ram_navmi.html

Tags - ram navami, ram navami sms, ram navami 2011, ram navmi, ramnavami, ram navami sms in hindi

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Further information on the City's OV loss calculation

I have just received a few answers to yesterday's questions re: estimated Olympic Village losses.

1. The loss calculation apparently ignores the outstanding land payment of $178 million. However, it does include repayment of a pro-rata portion of the city's costs associated with servicing the OV portion of the larger Southeast false Creek property.

2. It is not clear how the revenues from the condominium sales are calculated. Presumably they are based on the numbers provided by the appraisers. However, I now read that 20 condominium units that were to be sold, have been rented. It will be interesting to see how the losses associated with these units are being calculated. There are going to be losses since the rents will not cover the unit costs. (They may be offset by increased sales prices five or ten years from now, but this remains to be seen.) Furthermore, the fact is, notwithstanding the initial weekend's sales success, there are fewer sales today than announced after the opening weekend. Notwithstanding the appraisals, it may be that prices may have to be further reduced on some of the unsold units if the project's adverse publicity continues; also although there are some very good units in the two waterfront buildings designed by Arthur Erickson, many of the remaining units have less than desirable plans and outlooks.

3. The loss calculation does not include any losses associated with the social housing. So far, the city has committed approximately $64 million in subsidies, and given that 144 of the 252 units remain empty, additional subsidies will be required.

4. It will be interesting to know what provision is being made for the holding costs, and other related costs.

So will losses be restricted to $40 to 50 million? I don't think we are going to know for quite a while...certainly not before November 2011! However, I do hope the city will share the financial information that was used to calculate its projections so that knowledgeable real estate people can asses what is continuing to be a very political matter!

"Morella" Published 1835

"Morella" is a short story by 19th century American author and critic Edgar Allan Poe.

Plot summary

An unnamed narrator marries Morella, a woman who delves into "forbidden pages" of mysticism. As a result of her experimentations her soul can never die, but her physical form continues to deteriorate. She spends her time in bed and teaches her husband the black arts. Realizing her curse, her husband, the narrator, becomes frightened and wishes for his wife's death and eternal peace. She dies in childbirth but her soul passes into the new baby. As the daughter gets older the narrator notices she bears an uncanny resemblance to her mother, but he refuses to give the child a name. By her tenth birthday the resemblance to Morella is frightening. Her father decides to have her baptized to release any evil from her, but this event brings the mother's soul back into her daughter. At the ceremony, the priest asks the daughter's name, to which the narrator replies, "Morella." Immediately, the daughter replies, "I am here!" and dies. The narrator himself bears her body to the tomb and finds no trace of the first Morella where he lays the second.


The narrator's decision to name his daughter Morella implies his subconscious desire for her death, just as he had for her mother.[1] Morella's rebirth may be her becoming a vampire to wreak vengeance on the narrator.[2]

Poe explores the idea of what happens to identity after death, suggesting that if identity survived death it could exist outside the human body and return to new bodies.[3] He was influenced in part by the theories of identity by Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, who he mentions in the story.[4]

There are a number of possible origins for the name "Morella." It is the name of the Venerable Mother Juliana Morell (1595–1653), who was the fourth Grace and tenth Muse in a poem by poet Lope de Vega.[3] "Morel" is the name of black nightshade, a poisonous weed related to one from which the drug belladonna is derived. It occurs in Presburg, a home of black magic.[3]

Major themes

Poe features dead or dying wives in many of his tales (see also "Berenice," "Ligeia") and resurrection or communication from beyond the grave (see "Eleonora," "The Fall of the House of Usher")."

Publication history

"Morella" was first published in the April 1835 issue of the Southern Literary Messenger, and a revised version was re-printed in the November 1839 issue of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. The first publication included a 16-line poem of Poe's called "Hymn" sung by Morella, later published as a stand-alone poem "A Catholic Hymn."


"Morella" is the title of one segment of Roger Corman's 1962 film Tales of Terror. The film stars Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, and Basil Rathbone. The film has two other segments named after "The Black Cat" and "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar."

A film of the same name is currently being produced in Oklahoma and Hollywood by Executive Producers Adam Ropp and Ford Austin with the screenplay by Adam Ropp. The cast includes Indie film star Ford Austin, Golgen Globe nominee Tom Sizemore, Academy Award winner Margaret O'Brien, film star Randal Malone, indie icon Marc Wasserman, and the beautiful and talented Jennifer Arcuri. Release date is said to be December 2011.[5]


Sova, Dawn B. Edgar Allan Poe: A to Z. Checkmark Books, 2001.

1.^ Kennedy, J. Gerald. "Poe, 'Ligeia,' and the Problem of Dying Women" collected in New Essays on Poe's Major Tales, edited by Kenneth Silverman. Cambridge University Press, 1993. p. 119. ISBN 0521422434
2.^ Tate, Allen. "Our Cousin, Mr. Poe," collected in Poe: A Collection of Critical Essays, Robert Regan, editor. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1967. p. 39
3.^ Morella
4.^ Campbell, Killis. The Mind of Poe and Other Studies. New York: Russell and Russell, Inc., 1962: 13.
5.^ http://morella.wonderhowto.com/

Haunting of MorellaMorella's All-Nite Spooktacular-Morella's Graveyard TheaterTales of Terror (Edgar Allan Poe's)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Olympic Village shortfall estimated at $40 - 50 million.

Yesterday, I had a call from Global TV asking me to explain why the city is getting 32 properties from Millennium, and what it means for taxpayers. Global sent along some reports that the city had released which are set out below.



Today, I read a story by Jeff Lee in the Vancouver Sun which was somewhat perplexing, so I sent him a note urging him to seek further clarification from the receiver and city. Below is the substance of my note to him.


Let me say I appreciate the fact that the city is providing information to the public through the media and would be pleased if the losses are as low as being reported. However, I think we need further information in order to determine just how likely the $40 to $50 million loss will be, and how it is calculated. More specifically:

Here's the wire copy that was provided to me by Global TV

officials estimated Friday the Olympic village will have a shortfall of between $40-50 million after all the units are sold and the construction loan paid off. That shortfall is the first concrete confirmation that the city will likely not recover all of the $578 million it is still owed by the former owner, Millennium Developments. But it is far better than initial estimates by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson that the city could be "on the hook" for the entire cost of the $1 billion village. And it is better still than the potential $150 million shortfall estimated by some council members and development experts after the city forced Millennium into "voluntary" receivership.

Jeff appears to have copied this wire copy in his story. However, I would like to know where does the $578 million figure come from? Using other information in his story, I calculate the amount owed to taxpayers at $657.9 million ($479.5 for the loan and $178.4 for the outstanding payment on the land.)

1. Jeff's story states the city has sold 118 of the 737 units, implying there are 519 units remaining unsold. In fact, the receiver's report states the city has now sold a total of 403 units (including 118 units sold since the rebranding and launch) leaving 334 sales to partially offset the $657.9 outstanding. In order to know what the real losses might be, we need to ask the city and receiver a few more questions:

1. What is the total revenue estimated from these 334 units based on the total saleable square footage and the estimated average sales price per square foot for the different buildings?

2. What revenues are attributed to the 119 unit rental building and the retail space? (In the past, I have heard a number in the order of $60 to $70 million for both.)

3. What are the estimated holding costs during the sales period which has been estimated at 2 years or longer. I note the city's interest rate is a relatively low 2.5%. However, there are also strata fees, and other costs. As an aside, do the holding costs include any provision for property taxes which otherwise would be payable?

4. I note $5 million is being set aside as a deficiency reserve. How much other money is estimated to be spent to repair deficiencies?

5. How are the social housing units being accounted for? It does not appear that they are included in any of these numbers. However, the cost of these units rose from $65 million to $110 million. The rents are not sufficient to cover the costs. Furthermore, approximately 144 of the 252 units still remain empty. Will any of the social housing costs be included in the calculation of the potential city losses? They should be.

6. Finally, CBC reported that the receiver's fees (including related studies, etc.) will be in the order of $8 million. Is this included in the estimated total loss? It too should be.

While I note the city is now expecting anywhere between $45 million and $67 million from disposal of the other Millennium assets, and I agree that a $40 to $50 million loss would be much better than what I previously estimated, I still suspect that when one looks at the likely revenues from the 334 unsold units, holding costs, the losses on the social/rental housing, and other ancillary costs, the losses to the city will in fact be much more than $40 to $50 million...indeed, they will likely be much more than my earlier $150 million estimate. I hope I might be proven wrong, so it would be helpful if the city can share further information as set out above.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I know you don't like me to complain about the bike lanes, but...

A while ago, I upset some people by posting a photo of an empty Dunsmuir Bike Lane beside a very congested street, that was sent to me by a number of my friends who thought I was a bit too sympathetic towards improved cycling infrastructure. However, many cyclists were upset with me for posting the photo since they thought it was unfair...that one could take a photo of any street at a particular time and it might be devoid of cars...Are we going to get rid of roads? Why pick on the bike lanes?

However, the fact is, at least up until now, the bike lanes are being used much less than most people expected, whether supporters of bike lanes or not. Moreover, they are causing havoc for many drivers, because of the reduced road width and contorted lane patterns, and also the restrictions on right hand turns. I must say, the latter is perhaps my major concern and something that definitely needs to be reviewed.

It seems that counting cyclists and complaining about bike lanes has become a new Vancouver pastime, along with discussing the price of real estate, and gloating about being able to golf year round. Perhaps that is why so many people have sent me this video over the past week. I must confess, I found myself laughing out loud...I suspect you will too.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Roger Corman's THE TERROR (1963) - Starring Jack Nicholson

The Terror (1963) is an American horror film produced by Roger Corman, and famous for being filmed on leftover film sets from other AIP productions, including The Haunted Palace. The movie was also released as Lady of the Shadows, The Castle of Terror and The Haunting, and was later featured as an episode of Cinema Insomnia and of Elvira's Movie Macabre.


Although credited to Corman, parts of the film were shot by Francis Ford Coppola, Monte Hellman, Jack Hill, and Jack Nicholson. Corman shot footage of Karloff and other actors walking across the sets and downstairs with the belief that he would be able to make sense of them later. In the next three days Coppola, Helman and Hill all tried to do something. Nicholson, who was keen to get directing experience himself, also took a turn behind the camera.

In the early 1990s, actor Dick Miller, who plays Karloff's major domo, was hired to shoot new scenes to use as a framing sequence for an overseas version of The Terror. Under this scheme, the main action of the film is presented in flashback. Today, the film is in the public domain since there is no copyright notice in the credits for the film.

Leftover sets from other AIP films were used when shooting the film, notably those from The Haunted Palace, a Vincent Price horror film made the same year. The tree against which Sandra Knight expires was the same one Price was tied to and burned in Palace.

Clips from the film were used years later in the Peter Bogdanovich movie Targets (1968), also starring Karloff. In 2010, the film was featured in the second episode of the revived, syndicated TV series, Elvira's Movie Macabre.


Set in 1806, the film tells the story of a lost French soldier named Andre Duvalier (Jack Nicholson) saved by a strange young woman named Helene (Sandra Knight). She looks like Ilsa, the baron's (Boris Karloff) wife, who died 20 years before.

Andre begins an investigation to uncover who the woman really is, and stumbles upon a hidden secret of the Baron: he had found Ilsa sleeping with another man named Eric, and in his rage the Baron killed the two of them. Or so he explained.

All the while, the phantom of Ilsa remained under the control of a peasant witch (Dorothy Neumann), who has commanded the ghost to torment the Baron for the previous two years. Over the course of the film, Ilsa's ghost beseeches the Baron to kill himself, so they could be together. After much hesitation, the Baron decides to do so, perhaps to atone for his crimes.

During the climactic scenes, Andre, as well as the Baron's butler Stefan (Dick Miller), try to stop him, eventually forcing the witch into compliance. Here it is revealed that the witch Katrina is in fact the mother of Eric, who was allegedly killed by the Baron twenty years before, and that is why she has tried to make him commit suicide and damn his soul to hell in the process. In a stunning revelation, Stefan reveals that Eric never died, that it was the Baron who was killed. Eric then took the Baron's place, living his life until he deluded himself into thinking he was the Baron.

Katrina, realizing her folly only too late, goes with the two men to stop Eric from flooding the castle crypt and killing himself. However, she is unable to go into the mausoleum, being a witch and therefore of evil association, and ends up being struck by lightning and burning to death outside the gate.

In the climax of the film, Ilsa's ghost attempts to kill Eric while the crypt floods, and Stefan joins the struggle. However, by the time Andre gains access to the crypt, it is already flooding and crumbling, and is only able to carry Helene's body away. The two share a touching moment together outside, only to have Helene begin to rapidly decompose and melt. Katrina's familiar hawk flies away as Helene turns to nothing, and there the film ends.

Happy Birthday Roger Corman!

Roger William Corman (born April 5, 1926) is an American film producer and director. Sometimes nicknamed "King of the B-movies" for his output of B-movies (though he himself rejects this as inaccurate), Corman has mostly worked on low-budget films. Some of his work has an established critical reputation, such as his cycle of films derived from the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, and he has also won an Academy Award for his work. Corman is also an occasional actor, taking minor roles in such films as The Silence of the Lambs, The Godfather Part II, Apollo 13 and Philadelphia.

Corman has served as a mentor to many famous directors early in their careers, stressing the importance of budgeting and resourcefulness; Corman once joked he could make a film about the fall of the Roman Empire with two extras and a sagebrush.

Early life

Corman was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Anne and William Corman, an engineer. His brother Gene Corman has also produced numerous films, sometimes in collaboration with Roger. Roger Corman received an industrial engineering degree from Stanford University, beginning his film career in 1953 as a producer and screenwriter. Corman started directing films in 1955.


In Corman's most active period, he would produce up to seven movies a year. His fastest film was perhaps The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), which was reputedly shot in two days and one night. Supposedly, he had made a bet that he could shoot an entire feature film in less than three days. Another version of the story claims that he had a set rented for a month, and finished using it with three days to spare, thus pushing him to use the set to make a new film (These claims are disputed by others who worked on the film, who have called it part of Corman's own myth-building). Although highly cost-effective, Corman's parsimonious approach to filmmaking was not without its critics; Charles B. Griffith, who wrote the original screenplay for Little Shop, later remarked that "[Corman] uses half his genius to degrade his own work, and the rest to degrade the artists who work for him."

Corman is probably best known for his filmings of various Edgar Allan Poe stories at American International Pictures, mostly in collaboration with writer/scenarist Richard Matheson, including House of Usher (1960), The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), The Premature Burial (1962), Tales of Terror (1962), The Raven (1963), The Haunted Palace (1963), The Masque of the Red Death (1964), and The Tomb of Ligeia (1964). All but The Premature Burial starred Vincent Price. After the film version of The Raven was completed, he reportedly realized he still had some shooting days left before the sets were torn down and so made another film; The Terror (1963) on the spot with the remaining cast, crew and sets.

How I Made A Hundred Movies In Hollywood And Never Lost A DimeRoger Corman: Metaphysics on a ShoestringRoger Corman (Pocket Essential series)Mind Warp!: The Fantastic True Story of Roger Corman's New World PicturesHow I made a hundred movies in Hollywood and never lost a dime / Roger Corman with Jim JeromeThe Pit and the PendulumThe Fall of the House of Usher /The Pit and the PendulumThe Haunted Palace / The Tower of LondonThe Tomb of Ligeia / An Evening of Edgar Allan PoeVisions of Death: Richard Matheson's Edgar Allan Poe Scripts (House of Usher & Pit and the Pendulum)The Comedy of Terrors/The RavenThe Masque of the Red Death / The Premature BurialBurning Down the House: The Poe Films of Roger Corman. David del Valle and Sam UmlandTales of Terror (Edgar Allan Poe's)Tales of Terror/Twice Told Tales (Midnite Movies Double Feature)The Fall of the House of Usher

Monday, April 4, 2011

A few things I notice about girls

A few things I notice about girls:

- girls act like we're the only shallow ones, but the truth is they're the same way. The difference is, we don't deny it.

- girls refuse to tell us when we've done something wrong, as if we're supposed to read their minds.

- girls make you re-take a picture of them if they don't like the photo.

- girls talk s**t and then get mad at other girls for doing the same thing.

- girls sulk over their ex boyfriends. Like for chrissake get over him, live life.

- girls are spoiled, they want what they want when they want it.

- girls legit go insane over celebrities that they don't know. It's like complete infatuation. This is particularily ironic, because how many guys do u know that do the same over hot female celebs? Not half as much.

- girls care so much about their feelings. This is why many of the people reading this are girls. They love to look for insightful quotes that accurately portray how they feel.
And then put it in their facebook status.

15 things you probably never knew or thought about....

15 things you probably never knew or thought about....

1. At least five people in this world love you so much they would die for you.
2. At least fifteen people in this world love you in some way.
3. The only reason anyones would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.
4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.
5. Every night, someone thinks about you before they go to sleep.
6. You mean the world to someone.
7. If not for you, someone may not be living.
8. You are special and unique.
9. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.
10. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.
11. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you most likely turned your back on the world.
12. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won't get it, but if you believe in yourself, probably, sooner or later, you will get it.
13. Always remember the compliments you recieved. Forget the rude remarks.
14. Always tell soemone how you feel about them; you will feel much better when they know.
15. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great.

At age 4 success is not peeing in your pants

At age 4 success is not peeing in your pants.
At age 12 success is having friends.
At age 16 success is having a drivers license.
At age 20 success is having sex.
At age 35 success is having money.
At age 50 success is having money.
At age 60 success is having sex.
At age 70 success is having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is having friends.
At age 80 success is not peeing in your pants.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Real Estate Forum 2011: Building higher density mixed use around transit

I'm delighted to be participating at this year's Real Estate Forum, being held on Thursday April 7th at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre. I hope our panel will address how best to realize more mixed-use, higher density development around new transit stations and in conjunction with other transit improvements.

Below is the program

Session A2: 10:30 am


The panel discussion will examine the market fundamentals and dynamics driving land acquisition and development in the region. Where are current land values heading for 2011 and beyond? The panel will also debate the pros and cons of TOD (Transit oriented development) as well as the Metro Vancouver land policy. What impact does transportation and the ALR have on land values? Who are the current buyers and sellers of land today? What are the future trends for mixed use development and what are the main complexities of developing mixed use space?


Sandra Cawley, Principal, Burgess Cawley Sullivan & Associates


Phil Christie, Vice President, Real Estate, TransLink
John Conicella, Vice President, Development Strategy and Business Development, Wesgroup Properties
Michael Geller, B. Arch, MAIBC, FCIP, The Geller Group
Stephen Knight, President, Sitings Realty Group Ltd.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Phantom of the Rue Morgue (1954) - Starring Karl Malden

Phantom of the Rue Morgue is a 1954 film directed by Roy Del Ruth. It stars Karl Malden and Claude Dauphin.


Karl Malden as Dr. Marais
Claude Dauphin as Insp. Bonnard
Patricia Medina as Jeanette
Steve Forrest as Prof. Paul Dupin
Allyn Ann McLerie as Yvonne

Some of the best all time April Fool Day's Pranks

It's April Fool's Day

It's April 1st. Over the years I have undertaken a number of pranks, but my two favourites were tied to the marketing of Elm Park Place, a condominium project I built in the 90's at Larch and West 41st in Kerrisdale.

About 12 years ago, tied in with a visit by Prince Charles to the city, I arranged for a report in the Courier that the Prince was rumoured to have purchased a Kerrisdale condominium near a park. A number of excited purchasers contacted me to ask whether he had bought at Elm Park place. However, my favourite call was from a purchaser who was furious that I would sell to a member of the royal family without consulting with other purchasers. "How are we going to manage with all the extra security?" she wanted to know.

The following year I wrote an 'advertorial' that the provincial government had secretly approved a SkyTrain extension along West 41st with a station at Larch and West 41st. A surprising number of people were fooled, including one of my daughter's Crofton House classmates who brought in a copy of the Courier as her 'show and tell' story. "There's going to be a SkyTrain to Crofton House" she exclaimed. My daughter had to explain that it was just one of her dad's April Fools' Day jokes. Unfortunately, the girl had never heard of April Fools' Day.While some people get quite upset about April Fools' Day pranks, I think they can be wonderful. Below are excerpts from the list of 100 pranks on the museumofhoaxes.com website:

3: Instant Color TV

1962: In 1962 there was only one tv channel in Sweden, and it broadcast in black and white. The station's technical expert, Kjell Stensson, appeared on the news to announce that, thanks to a new technology, viewers could convert their existing sets to display color reception. All they had to do was pull a nylon stocking over their tv screen. Stensson proceeded to demonstrate the process. Thousands of people were taken in. Regular color broadcasts only commenced in Sweden on April 1, 1970.

10: Planetary Alignment Decreases Gravity

1976: The British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 AM a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur that listeners could experience in their very own homes. The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would counteract and lessen the Earth's own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment that this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation. When 9:47 AM arrived, BBC2 began to receive hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman even reported that she and her eleven friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.

20: The 26-Day Marathon

1981: The Daily Mail ran a story about an unfortunate Japanese long-distance runner, Kimo Nakajimi, who had entered the London Marathon but, on account of a translation error, thought that he had to run for 26 days, not 26 miles. Reportedly Nakajimi was now somewhere out on the roads of England, still running, determined to finish the race. Various people had spotted him, though they were unable to flag him down. The translation error was attributed to Timothy Bryant, an import director, who said, "I translated the rules and sent them off to him. But I have only been learning Japanese for two years, and I must have made a mistake. He seems to be taking this marathon to be something like the very long races they have over there."

#38: Operation Parallax

1979: London's Capital Radio announced that Operation Parallax would soon go into effect. This was a government plan to resynchronize the British calendar with the rest of the world. It was explained that ever since 1945 Britain had gradually become 48 hours ahead of all other countries because of the constant switching back and forth from British Summer Time. To remedy this situation, the British government had decided to cancel April 5 and 12 that year. Capital Radio received numerous calls as a result of this announcement. One employer wanted to know if she had to pay her employees for the missing days. Another woman was curious about what would happen to her birthday, which fell on one of the cancelled days.

#43: An Interview with President Carter

2001: Michael Enright, host of the Sunday Edition of the Canadian Broadcasting Corpation's radio program This Morning, interviewed former President Jimmy Carter on the air. The interview concerned Canada's heavily subsidized softwood lumber industry, about which Carter had recently written an editorial piece in The New York Times. The interview took a turn for the worse when Enright began telling Carter to speed up his answers. Then Enright asked, "I think the question on everyone's mind is, how did a washed-up peanut farmer from Hicksville such as yourself get involved in such a sophisticated bilateral trade argument?" Carter seemed stunned by the insult. Finally he replied, "Excuse me? A washed-up peanut farmer? You're one to talk, sir. Didn't you used to be on the air five times a week?" The tone of the interview did not improve from there. Carter ended up calling Enright a "rude person" before he hung up. Enright then revealed that the interview had been fake. The Toronto comedian Ray Landry had been impersonating Carter's voice. The interview generated a number of angry calls from listeners who didn't find the joke funny. But the next day the controversy reached even larger proportions when the Globe and Mail reported the interview as fact on their front pages. The editor of the Globe and Mail later explained that he hadn't realized the interview was a hoax because it was "a fairly strange issue and a strange person to choose as a spoof."

#58: Portable Zip Codes

2004: National Public Radio's All Things Considered announced that the post office had begun a new 'portable zip codes' program. This program, inspired by an FCC ruling that allowed phone users to take their phone number with them when they moved, would allow people to also take their zip code with them when they moved, no matter where they moved to. It was hoped that with this new program zip codes would come to symbolize "a citizen's place in the demographic, rather than geographic, landscape." Assistant Postmaster General Lester Crandall was quoted as saying, "Every year millions of Americans are on the go: People who must relocate for work or other reasons. Those people may have been quite attached to their original homes or an adopted town or city of residence. For them this innovative measure will serve as an umbilical cord to the place they love best."

#93: Eiffel Tower Moves

The Parisien stunned French citizens in 1986 when it reported that an agreement had been signed to dismantle the Eiffle Tower. The international symbol of French culture would then be reconstructed in the new Euro Disney theme park going up east of Paris. In the space where the Tower used to stand, a 35,000 seat stadium would be built for use during the 1992 Olympic Games.

#95: Chunnel Blunder

In 1990 the News of the World reported that the Chunnel project, which was already suffering from huge cost overruns, would face another big additional expense caused by a colossal engineering blunder. Apparently the two halves of the tunnel, being built simultaneously from the coasts of France and England, would miss each other by 14 feet. The error was attributed to the fact that French engineers had insisted on using metric specifications in their blueprints. The mistake would reportedly cost $14 billion to fix.

100: The British Postal Address Turnabout

In 1977 the BBC gave airtime to Tom Jackson, General Secretary of the British Union of Post Office Workers. Mr. Jackson was up in arms about a recent proposal that the British mail adopt the German method of addressing envelopes in which the house number is written after the name of the road, not before it (i.e. Downing Street 10, instead of 10 Downing Street). Jackson spoke at great length about the enormous burden this change would place upon postal employees, insisting that "Postal workers would be furious because it would turn upside-down the way we have learned to sort." His comments elicited an immediate reaction from the audience, many of whom phoned up to voice their support for Jackson's campaign. What the audience didn't realize was that there were no plans to change the way the British addressed their mail. Mr. Jackson's diatribe was an elaborate April Fool's Day joke.

Next year, I will try and come up with something!