Category Archives: News

A piece of advice for any Canadian.

Two recent events in my life have to lead me to remind everyone that when you travel:

Buy Good Travel

Health Insurance.

A friend’s mother who was in perfect health was going to visit friends overnight in Washington State. She accidentally tripped and fractured hip ending up in a multi-day hospital stay in the US without comprehensive health insurance. This touch of forgetfulness resulted in a huge cost (USD 20,000 a day) of the family. This issue could have happened to them anywhere in the world.

Remember that even in a single-payer healthcare doesn’t mean that healthcare is free it just means that the citizen of that country pay into the system if you’re outside of that system you’re still going to pay for your health care in that country.

I recently had to have emergency care that required three trips to the local ER, a travel ambulance from Sechelt to North Vancouver and emergency surgery on a holiday weekend, all of which was covered under our health care system. All of this could’ve happened at any time any where in the world, it was just when the kidney stone decided to become problematic.

So get a good coverage travel insurance. I purchase mine through Travel Masters in Sechelt, BC. They offer the Manulife World Travel Insurance.  I don’t purchase it online. I see someone who knows what kind of insurance I need to travel to where I am going. You can easily purchase insurance that doesn’t cover you properly. Since I go to Seattle a couple of times a year, I purchased mine for seven days of continuous travel a year at the estimated cost of $79 Canadian Dollars in 2017 for a normal healthy 40-year-old male.

You could easily bankrupt yourself your family. We are lucky to live in a country that has single payer health care. But we have to remember that we don’t have this coverage when we leave our beloved country.

bus logo black on white

The Bus Shirt Story

Good friend Rebecca Coleman invited me to do some co-hosting for her youtube channel on Aquafaba and her cookbook Aquafabulous. While we were filming I thought it was a great idea to wear my famous Bus Shirts. Rebecca decided to make a trailer of my our conversation and how the Bus Shirt came to be.

Thanks to Pacific Speciality Brands for letting us film in their awesome showroom.

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Money Grandma

Cute Story about my youngest nephew, a twenty dollar bill and The Queen. It happened on the on Christmas Morning when my nephew got a 20 dollar bill for spending money from his grandparents. It was so funny I had to write The Queen about it. We’ll pick from that point:

Dear Madam

On Christmas, I heard a story that was too priceless not to share with you.

Canadian National Vimy Memorial with The Queen on the Twenty Dollar Bill

My 7-year-old nephew, Oxford Andony was given a 20 Canadian dollar bill amongst other gifts.

He came to me, and I pointed at the Vimy Ridge Memorial that is on one side and said, “That’s Vimy Ridge, Uncle Robert saw that when he was in Europe, so did Grandma and Grand-dad when they visited last year.”

My nephew Oxford then turned over the 20 Dollar Bill and said:

“Do you know who that is?”

I replied, “Who?” trying to get him to answer.

He pointed at your portrait on our money and said:

“That’s Money Grandma.”

“Who?” I replied.

“Money Grandma… She’s a grandma, and she’s on the money. She is Money Grandma.”

The Canadian Dollar Coin Obverse side showing The Queen

He said this in the most endearing way as a sign of affection.

I gave a little chuckle and then he said:

“Money Grandma is rad.”

He then saw a Canadian Dollar coin, affectionately called a Loonie to us Canadians, and said,

“look, more Money Grandma.”

So the saying goes “Out of the mouth of babes”  We all thought it was very cute. I am sure this will be remembered in our family for years to come and thought you would enjoy this anecdote as well.


I’ve never sent a letter to The Queen. I wonder how you do that? … Well, it’s pretty easy. But it has to be a written letter.

I sent it off wondering if the story would get to her, being a grandparent and great grandparent she must have had similar experiences… I  wonder if she would find it funny. I wonder if it even made it… Three months went by and then while my nephews were visiting. My mother said,

“Did you ever hear from Buckingham Palace?”

Royal Cypher and Post Mark to Buckingham Palace

I said no I haven’t, not yet, maybe it was lost in the mail. But it’s a cute story I may blog about if I never hear back.

The day the nephews left I check the mail and BOOM I  find a letter in the mail post marked EIIR Buckingham Palace.

I thought it would be a form letter or something thanking me for my letter. But no it was a personalized letter from her Lady-in-Waiting Philippa de Pass. Spelling mistake and all, (the spelling mistake makes it more authentic), see below for full copy.

I am going save this letter and present it to Oxford next time I see him. I really do hope The Queen had a good laugh as we did, and this will just one of many family stories for years to come.

Letter from Philippa de Pass Lady-in-Waiting on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II (click for larger version)

The Bus Shirt

TLDR: I made a shirt for me and buddy, everyone loved it. Now you can have one too.

It started as most things do with a conversation. This one was via text with Ben Lobaugh and started with:

“I just saw a guy wearing a VW Bus shirt with a Canadian maple leaf in place of the VW logo. You should find it and get us a matching pair!”
~ A text from Ben

We searched high and low for this, but we couldn’t find any evidence of the t-shirt online, so we decided to make one ourselves, knowing a crack illustrator expert we gave him a sketch drawing of what we wanted then let him create.

Maple Leaf Bus Logo
Maple Leaf VW Bus Logo

What he came up with was pretty awesome! we have the design. Next where to get the shirt made? I never made a t-shirt before!

Luckily a client of mine Uprising Breads Bakery had just made some shirts from a local retailer. Blue Sky T-Shirts and Don highly recommend them. So I called them up asked what they needed in terms of a graphic and two weeks later I picked up the shirts for trip down to the Emerald City.

Since I was going to be on a sail boat and in US for Canada Day. I though it would be great idea for us to have them on Canada Day.

I met Sam and Dave at the Liberty Bay raft up and they wanted to make some shirts for a group trip they were up to Desolation sound. They made the shirts in all different colours.

Sam and Dave with their crew of colour t-shirts before heading up Desolation Sound.

The Rio 2016 Olympics rolled around and I was watching the Nacra 17 and saw two Canadian’s in the mix during the start. One of things I really like about social media is that many Olympians have there own Facebook or twitter account. So you can congratulate or console the olympian. When I saw Nikola Girke and Luke Ramsay and their letters falling off the side of there boat. I left them this funny tweet.

I then saw she was a huge fan of the vw buses. So I said when you get back let me give you a shirt. I met up with Nikola in September and heard about her Olympic Experiences and gave her the women’s short sleeve version of the shirt.

Also after meeting Nikola One dollar from every original asphalt shirt will be donated to the Canadian Olympic Foundation¹

2017 Donation made

Since then Ben and I have a number of comments and how do you get this shirt.

While Blue Sky was awesome and super helpful making these shirts as a one off and hand delivering them was not really the best idea. But after read about how Chris Lema made a Drop Shipping T-Shirt Store using Printful I decided to install WooCommerce on my own site and give it a go.

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¹Robert is Not affiliated with the Canadian Olympic Committee or the Canadian Olympic Foundation. Just think it would be something nice to support our athletes after meeting Nikola.

RIP David Bowie

I like to make a short post and say rest in peace David Bowie we were better to have you creating art in our lives. From your style, to your music, to your the movie characters most of which I remember from the labyrinth and I just wanted to say farewell.

I think it would be fitting for this Canadian to share another Canadian’s passion for David Bowie’s music by a embedding Chris Hatfield version of Space Odyssey which was recorded and performed on the International Space Station and went on to critical acclaim around the world. I hope the licensing powers that be find compassion in hearts to allow Chris Hatfield’s version on to play opened everyone on YouTube for many many years to come as a memorial to Mr. Bowie.

The Real Bansky is not Banksy

This guy has been parading around twitter for years as “The Real Bansky”. He until recently still linked to Bansky’s website and posted Banky’s art work as his own claiming we own nothing shared. He is nothing but a “fan” or imposter account and this latest image the imposter claimed as the work of Bansky when it fact it was artist Lucille Clerc.

To set the record straight.

Banksy is not represented by an art gallery, is not on Facebook and has never used Twitter. ~ Banksy

via the only thing he has ever claimed to own… his website.


Don’t get me wrong I love a good parody account on twitter as much as the next person. the9oclockgun and BCferrys are some of my personal favorites.

But I absolutely hate Internet hoaxes who are out to miss lead and profiteer from ill gotten gains. I hate when other people take credit for another persons work so I also invite you to check out this awesome podcast from On The Media’s TLDR on the subject.

Backslash no More

A WordPress aficionado and CBC radio listener Kathryn Presner (aka. zoonini on twitter ) posted a great article on the miss use of Backslash by CBC Radio. Although I doubt they are the only culprit.

Read the full article on her blog.

Andy Clark shoots The Patricia Theatre

Photographer friend Andy Clark of Reuters News Pictures visited the Patricia Theatre after I told him about my recent visit and he shot this amazing photo story.

He also wrote about his time in Powell River on the Reuters Photographers Blog.

Truly amazing what happens when you scratch the surface and look at the history of a community. I was just happy to help get this little gem of a theatre some much deserved recognition and hope it has many more years of opening nights and afternoon matinees.

Cheers Andy!

Steve Jobs Headshot from his memorial tribute on

RIP Steve Jobs

I was sad to hear of the passing of Steve Jobs. Ever since I was three we have had a Apple Computer in our house.

From the Apple //+, Macintosh Plus, iMac, iBook and the MacBook Pro I am currently writing this post on, Steve certainly had a direct effect on most of my life and currently provides a conduit to my lively hood as a web designer / developer.

And while I know we will survive after his passing. I can’t imagine what our tech life would be without his influence.  I will certainly be wearing my black turtleneck tomorrow (I own three).

I recently listen to a NPR fresh air interview from 1996 while he was still the CEO of NEXT and PIXAR and well before the big comeback of Apple with Steve at the helm. He talked about how the mouse was brought to the Macintosh and the graphical interface that we all think is common place. I’ll leave you with this quote from the interview…

“Our goal was to bring a liberal arts perspective and a liberal arts audience to what had traditional been a very geeky technology and a very geeky audience.”
~ Steve Jobs speaking about the invention of the Macintosh

RIP STEVE JOBS 1955 – 2011 Home Page on October 5, 2011
Will miss you Steve

Putting Sechelt back where it belongs

Update! Google has fixed the location of Sechelt after Rebecca Bollwitt posted the problem and 40-ish retweeters! Thanks to all who helped out! It took Social Media one day to fix what a community has tried to do for over a year!

Thanks to Rebecca Mrs. 604 for writing this article on putting Sechelt back on the map.

I was first told about this Google Map mishap at WordCamp last week. Local web designer Robert Dall explained that over the last few years members of the community have tried pretty much everything to get their town listed. These efforts include hundreds of people reporting the issue to Google, tweeting about it @GoogleMaps on Twitter, and the Mayor of Sechelt, Darren Inkster, has even written an official letter to Google – all to no avail.

You can help out the cause by tweeting  @GoogleMaps with the tag #PutSecheltOnTheMap And hopefully we can get Sechelt, BC put back where it belongs.

Google Map Location of Sechelt BC
Sechelt is actually located where the black arrow is pointing.