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Showing posts from March, 2010

Living Minimal in a Toronto condo - there is a Zen to reducing possessions

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Zen and Now. Designing for nothing at all!
Minimalist movement takes root in urban centres
By Stephen Weir

I recently pitched the Toronto Star on an update of this story which I wrote for the PDRA magazine in the US 5-years ago. After digging the story out archives I decided to post it, story is as relevant then as it is now
It’s a designer’s worst nightmare -- a wealthy client with no possessions and no desire to acquire any. But, wait, as both Seinfield and Sheila Doris know, there is real money to be made when comes to the Zen of nothing!
“North Americans are over-run with stuff,” exclaimed
Sheila Doris “ We are junkies for stimulation, we don’t lightly give up on our toys.”
But, as the Canadian educator and decorator told a large group of interior decorators, the times are changing! Speaking at a standing-room-only PDRA sponsored series lecture in Toronto, Ontario during the Canadian Hardware and Building Materials Show (CHS) she said that many urban centres are simply running out o…

Stephen Weir Writes a Story so that he can get a Guinness Book of World Records' Listing (most scuba record stories by a writer in an attic on a Mac)

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.... For writing about the things that divers do to get publicity for their causes (and themselves). PART ONE

How to generate press for a non-event? Set a world’s record. Build the world’s first or the world’s biggest. Do something that no one has done before, or set a record for doing it over and over again. Hold your breath. Hold all your neighbours' toes. You can even make the world’s smelliest Taleggio (stinky cheese) and attract reporters willing to take a sniff.
No one knows this better than scuba and skin divers. There is a certain amount of implied danger in anything you do underwater and as result the media sits up and takes note when there is a potential underwater accident. Hold your breath for 10 minutes and no one will care. Do it underwater? CNN will be knocking on your door. Play bad billiards in the rec room and no one, not even your family will watch. Do it underwater? Headline news.
No matter how obscure your record is, announcing it generates publicity in print…

And the Beat Goes On: Part Two of Recent Underwater Records

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Stephen Weir Writes a Story so that he can get a Guinness Book of World Records' Listing (most scuba record stories by a writer in an attic on a Mac) PART TWO

Dive Record Story continues from http://stephenweirarticles.blogspot.com/2010/03/stephen-weir-writes-story-so-that-he.html
I have been writing on a casual basis about underwater records for Diver Magazine, divermag.com and this website. A colleague of mine at Diver Magazine, Quebec based diver/explorer/film maker/ record keeper Jeffrey Gallant, has set up a website to keep track of the many underwater records set – some are Guinness records, others are simply proclaimed by individuals (who may have had a record amount of Guinness).
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30587750&id=1090578941#!/pages/Drummondville-QC/The-Diving-Almanac-Book-of-Records/303917838845?ref=ss
Since I last wrote about underwater record attempts in 2008 I have received emails and clippings about over 30 new underwater feats of daring and foolishn…

Canadian Queen City (Toronto Island) sailors compete in Miami - Bacardi Cup

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Good ship(s) Canada sail in the week long Bacardi Cup. Queen City Star Class boat finishes 73rd, another Canadian team finishes 4th

A pair of sailors from the Queen City Yacht Club took part in 5-days of Star Class races in the Miami's Bacardi Cup. Skipper Greg Poole and crew Jeff Imai took part in the 83rd running of the venerable regatta.
Poole and Imai were not the only Canadians in the race, according to our correspondent/photographer Pat Whetung (and commodore of the QCYC) reported from the races that " there are boats from the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club in Ontario, and entries from Quebec and British Columbia."
"There were 84 entries in total this year." she continued. "That makes for a very long start line filled with skilled boatmen. There were 10-12 Canadians on the start line each day."
The race schedule was hampered by bad weather, organizers called it a "vicious storm system which lurked north of Miami." As a result some races were …

SUN TRAVEL STORY: 5-STAR HOUSEBOATING ON LAKE POWELL

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Vacationing Large in a Five Star Houseboat
Canadian boats let Lake Powell visitors put on the Ritz
TORONTO SUN FEATURE ARTICLE. NEXT STORY IS A FEATURE ON THE SAME SUBJECT (BUT WITH A BOAT BUILDING INDUSTRY SLANT)
First class on Lake Powell
Posh pampering on board Canadian-built luxury houseboats

By STEPHEN WEIR, TORONTO SUN
Sun, June 4 / 06 If the plush deep padding of the houseboat sofa wasn't already absorbing your Speedo covered derriere; you'd probably be on your keester anyway. The shocking beauty of the sword-edge cliffs that line the famous Utah/Arizona watercourse will stagger even the most jaded holiday boater.
There are places along the Lake Powell Canyon system that are so narrow you can lean out from either side of the upper deck of the rented five-star houseboat and touch the smooth 200 metre tall walls. So abrupt are the sandstone cliffs it is only at noon that the sun will light the flybridge of your $10,000 US a-week-floating condo.
A super-sized Bald Eagle lazily…

Living Large on Lake Powell - World's Number One Houseboat Destination

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HOUSEBOAT IN NAME ONLY
Living Large on Lake Powell aboard a Canadian built mini-cruise ship

By Stephen Weir

BOATING BUSINESS MAGAZINE 3.24.06… There are sections of canyon lining Arizona’s Lake Powell where the direct light of day only reaches the deck of passing luxury built Canadian houseboats at high noon. Looking like Mother Nature’s T-square, the sandstone walls soar 200 feet straight up from the blue cool waters of the waterway.
Situated at the top of the Grand Canyon system, the man-made lake, with its 2,000 mile coastline, is the world’s number one houseboat destination. In fact, the breath-taking beauty and the relative ease of boating on Lake Powell are credited with kick starting both the concept of five-star American house boating vacations and the luxury houseboat building industry in British Columbia.
Imagine an on-the-water vacation aboard a 75 ft long houseboat that comes complete with central air, a corporate sized hot tub, a wine cellar and a theatre-style entertain…

What you need to know about Canadian Houseboating on Lake Powell

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SIDEBAR TO LAKE POWELL HOUSEBOAT BUILDING AND CRUISING STORY PUBLISHED ABOVE

Contact Information for companies mentioned in this houseboat feature

Orca Houseboats Ltd.
304-1488 Hornby St.
Vancouver, BC
V6Z 1X3
Phone: 604.646.0484
Fax: 604.646.0408
Email: info@orcahouseboats.com

Twin Anchors Marine
675 Old Town Road,
P.O. Box 318
Sicamous, BC
V0E 2V0,
Phone: 250.836-3028
Fax: 250.836-3038
Website: www.twinanchors.com

Waterway Houseboat Builders Ltd.
Box 728,
Sicamous, BC,
V0E 2V0
Phone: 250.836.2595
Fax: 250.836.2535
Email: builders@waterwayhouseboats.com

Lake Powell Resorts & Marina
Aramark Region Office
2233 Dunlap Ave #400
Phoenix AZ
USA 85021
Phone: 602.331.5200
Fax: 602.331.5294
Website: www.visitlakepowell.com


Selected Ontario Houseboat Builders

TIECO
(custom built steel hulled houseboats)
511 1000 Island Parkway
Lansdowne,ON,
K0E 1L0
Attn: David Williams
Phone: 613.659.3159
Fax: 613.659.3183

U-Fab Boats
(houseboat kits)
459 Highway 29, R.R. #4
Smiths Falls,ON,
K7A 4S5
Tel: 613.283.1888
Fa…