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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Light Up The World

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 21, 2008

A couple of days after writing the previous post I was walking through Bankers Hall on my lunch break when I came across a little booth. On the table I saw a small solar panel attached to what looked like a tiny car battery and some lights. I had almost passed the booth when I brought myself up short and backed up to have a look. The posters on the wall told me the topic of this display was EXACTLY what I had just written about!

I stopped to chat with a cheerful and enthusiastic fellow who I later found out is Dr. Dave Irvine-Halliday, the man behind Light Up The World. We talked a bit about LUTW, about Scotland, and about how to get this project onto the radar screen of big players who could help (yes, I will be writing to Oprah). I spent so much time chatting I used up my lunch break and had to forgo my errands for the day and get back to work, but I didn’t mind. It just seemed like more than coincidence that I was there talking to this sincere fellow with the beautiful dreams.

I got paid today, Dr. Dave. I’m heading right over to your site to make a donation!

Free energy

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 14, 2008

A friend of mine wrote an interesting blog post about an exciting new technological trend of the future – electricity.  Free (or nearly free) electricity, that is.  I’ve read and thought about the endless possibilities before, but today I realized that not everyone has awakened to this concept.  So let me elaborate.

I believe free energy is going to be what levels the playing field for us all.

Imagine if we had no more electricity or gas bills. Ever. I don’t know what you’re paying, but that’d be an extra $400 per month for me.  Four hundred dollars that I could do other, more worthwhile things with. Why, that’s $4800 per year!  I could get that laser eye surgery I’ve been thinking about.  I could pay off my credit card.  I could give more to my favourite charities – you name it.

And for folks in developing countries – imagine.  If they could cook a meal without having to breathe toxic fumes from burning cow dung; or could stay up past dark to read or study; or power a water pump or power tools or whatever… Don’t you think THAT would change the future for millions of people in Africa and India and South America?  The possibilities are endless.

Most folks haven’t caught on to this yet, but here is one innovative company that is on the cutting edge.  I have been watching these guys for a couple of years now (mostly wishing they would HURRY UP and bring their product to market).  They have invented a remarkable generator that runs perpetually, using the natural attraction/repulsion of magnets.  They’re called Lutec and as soon as they start selling, I plan to be one of their first buyers.  I’ll pop one of these babies into our garage, hook it up, and the rest will be history.

Hubby will be relieved when I quit nagging about leaving the lights on…

I paid it forward

Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 25, 2008

If you read my story called Pay $5 forward, you’ll know that I’ve been carrying a crumpled $5 bill around in my coat pocket for a while. I’ve been waiting for just the right opportunity to pay it forward since the day it was given to me by a dear little Native woman on the train. Well, you’ll be glad to know it went out yesterday. I was waiting on the street corner downtown at lunch time, when another little Native woman walked through crowds of people, directly to me in a bee-line, as if she’d spotted me from a mile away. I watched her approach and somehow I knew. Sure enough, she asked if I had some change for a cup of coffee. Without hesitation I said, “I sure do,” and dug the bill out of my pocket and placed it in her hand. Her eyes glowed with gratitude and last I saw her, she was heading to the nearby McDonalds for some lunch. It warmed my heart.

My dad said his auntie, also a little half-Native woman, would have said my experience on the train was a visit from the Elders. He said perhaps it was a visit from Aunt Alice, who always carried wads of $5 bills around with her (she liked to bet on the horses). He said maybe she was passing along her gift of second sight to me. Thank you, Aunt Alice. I am truly grateful.

Tattooed Jedi

Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 18, 2008

Telling my story about meeting the lady on my commute home the other day (Pay $5 forward) made me think of another cool experience I had on the train. I think this commuting thing may wind up being kind of fun, after all. I may learn some stuff. Anyway…

I got on the train after work one night and found a seat next to a tattooed young fellow, who was chatting with his friend sitting facing us. I could tell from their conversation they were returning home from college or something and when the tattooed fellow wondered aloud about where to eat in Chinook I said, “Joey Tomato’s is always a good bet.” They enthusiastically agreed and the decision was made.

Since the ice had been broken with such sound advice, I was henceforth included in their conversation. We talked and talked about movies and Star Trek, Star Wars and George Lucas, and captains and kings. We discussed the age old question of which captain was best – Kirk or Picard? (As an older female Trekkie, I made the observation that they all had their strengths and that I personally liked Janeway – then had to briefly endure their derision.) I even offered a word of wisdom on a matter of the heart that blew them away. “I’m going to remember that and quote it,” said the Mr. Tattoo.

Too soon, it was time for them to get off and leave me musing. How often do you see young fellows like that, who are so open to talking to a middle-aged lady on a train? I thought how some folks might have been turned off by all the tattoos the one young man was sporting and what a pleasurable conversation I’d have missed out on if I’d been one of those folks. I thought about how humour and smarts and advanced thought can come in all kinds of packages and that even we “mature” ones can learn a thing or two from the young. Hanging out with these two young fellows gave me hope for the future.

Pay $5 forward

Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 16, 2008

I had the most unusual experience on the train home tonight. I was sitting there gazing out the window, my mind a million miles away, when I heard a voice beside me say, “Excuse me. Do you drink coffee?” I looked over and saw a Native woman about my age. I said yes I do drink coffee – in the mornings when I’m trying to wake up. With that, she slipped a $5 bill from her pocket into my hand. I sensed an importance to what she was doing and held the crumpled bill, waiting.

With a soft voice she launched into a story about how someone had given her five fives today and she felt that she couldn’t keep them all; that it was in some way bad luck. I didn’t understand much of what she was saying. She talked around in circles, embarrassed, yet seeming compelled to carry on. Her words kept tumbling out; then she’d laugh and make a self-deprecating comment.

I kept watching her while she talked, maintaining eye contact. Something about this interaction held me spellbound and I wanted to show the utmost respect to her. Finally I said, “I think I understand.” She laughed. She thought I meant I understand you’re nuts, Lady. But I said, “No really. It’s like giving back in a way.” She looked me dead in the eye, a small smile playing around her lips, grateful that I’d caught on. “That’s it exactly,” she said.

At that moment we arrived at my station and I got up to leave. “Have a wonderful evening,” I told her. She smiled and returned the greeting, her happiness making her face beautiful. All the way home I thought of her and wondered if I’d ever see her again. Something happened there tonight, some kind of graced moment that I’ll remember for a long time. I decided to keep the bill in my coat pocket, ready to pay forward to someone else when the right moment presents itself.

Summiting Jumping Pound Mountain

Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 5, 2008

The surprise birthday party would have made my weekend complete in itself. However, the next day I decided to join Holly and Isaac (#2 and #4 offspring) hiking in Kananaskis. It was a stunningly beautiful fall day and I figured I’d better get out there while the getting was good.

Trudging ever upward

Holly and her friend planned to summit TWO mountains that day. I’m not sure what Isaac had in mind, but I planned to only go as far as I felt comfortable, then hang out communing with nature until everyone came back. However, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and eventually there came a point where I said to myself, “I’m going to go for it.”

It took me hours and hours (far longer than it took Holly), as I had to stop to catch my wind at times, but eventually I made it. Isaac, bless his heart, stuck with me the whole way and we summited! Somehow, I thought it was the perfectly fitting way to finish off the first half century of my life. If I can climb a mountain at 50, there is nothing I can’t do!

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman

Posted by Dawn-Ann on July 31, 2008

Okay, I love the idea of living in the country again. And I love to read good stories that include lots of purty pictures – especially if said stories are well written with spelling and grammar checked. That’s why I adore this site. If you haven’t seen it, you really should have a look. It is jam packed with beautiful photography, engaging stories and I guarantee you’ll often find yourself laughing and crying at the same time. While you’re there, don’t forget to read the chapter story Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. Should be published as a book, I’d say…

[Visit Confessions of a Pioneer Woman here.]

From One Man’s Blog – 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Business

Posted by Dawn-Ann on July 26, 2008

John at has a pretty interesting website. Sometimes his entries are techie, sometimes funny, and occasionally very profound – like this morning’s post.

This article, 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Business, was written in response to an event he is attending, at which he will be mentoring young people. I think it’s just about some of the best advice I have seen on the subject. [Check out John's blog entry here.]