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Live to be 300, the Direct Energy way

Calculate time the way Direct Energy does and it stretches marvellously! “We will get back to you within 48 hours” gets an add-on; “that’s actually 48 to 72 business hours”.  So, in Direct Energy’s universe, it takes 3 Earth days for 24 hours to pass. Time stands still on weekends, so 72 business hours will always take 9 Earth days to pass plus two weekend days. Seventy-two hours equals at least 11 days … more if a there’s statutory holiday  in the calculation.


This is our seventh month of wrestling for our refunds for Direct Energy overbilling. We had them remove their cursed water heater in January, but the charges kept coming. It’s July now, and we still aren’t done with this awful company.

My advice is to avoid ever doing business with Direct Energy in the first place. If you are already in their tentacles, escape IS possible, with perseverance. Cut them off and you will save a lot of money.

Tomato Soup Cake? Really?

Some readers will already have sampled Danica’s Tomato Soup Cake. The recipe has been around at least since the 1940s when rationing made eggs unavailable. Campbell’s printed it on the can for years.

Danica substitutes Becel for the original shortening and adds some extra nuts, which I think are important. This one has icing sugar on top. Cream cheese icing is good, too.


Tomato Soup Cake

1/3 cup Becel
1 cup (or less) white or brown sugar
1 can tomato soup
1 teaspoon soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves, ground
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cream the Becel and sugar, dissolve soda in tomato soup and add to sugar mixture. Add flour, spices, raisins, nuts and beat well. Bake one hour in moderate oven of 325 degrees.


“It’s good to eat any time after baking, but the longer you keep it, the better – that is if you can keep it! – and it will not taste of tomato soup,” writes Mrs. M.M. Morgan, 646 East Cordova St., winner of today’s prize of one dollar. Our readers tell us that this Tomato Soup Cake is ideal for sending away in soldiers’ boxes. If you have a good recipe for present times, please send it to Edith Adams, The Vancouver Sun, and, who knows, perhaps it will win a prize!

Budapest: Utility frustration

Sign up, gas still down. The “experts” goofed on critical calculations, leaving Lori and Edit with a big bill for installation changes and more delay before they can open for business.

The men pictured didn’t make the mistake, they are correcting it.

On the bright side, the Beach Hill Facebook page has been logging a lot of pent up demand for Hungarian food. Many, many supporters are waiting with their bibs on.

Invasive species needs killing

dog-strangling-vineA message has been circulated by Eleanor Nielsen of Greening Ward 32:

Dog-strangling vine

This weed is as bad as it sounds and is appearing throughout Beach Hill. It is the main infestation of the Beach Hill Garden on Woodbine, and is proving itself a formidable foe:

  • I see it in most gardens as I walk the streets.
  • It is approaching maturation for this year and will be releasing many seeds if present in your garden.
  • It is a foe of Monarch Butterflies
  • Please remove any you find on your property.

Here’s how you can get rid of it …


Little ups, little downs.
A snippet of conversation heard today drew my attention with “There is a poem by William Blake …”

“… in which he speaks of the road not taken.”

Positively negative about so much


I was downtown today for NO JETS T.O. Others were there to STOP HARPER, say NO to Line 9, STOP murdering aboriginal women, STOP polluting air and water, STOP causing climate change, END Wars on Terror, REJECT the politics of fear and STOP eating other animals.


The theme was Jobs, Justice and Climate. Good company and plenty of it. We marched down University Avenue to Dundas, past Dundas Square. Everything wrapped up at Allan Gardens.


Looked like a big success to us

Danica and I attended Andrew Horne’s crowded opening at Andrew’s Flying Pony Gallery Café on Saturday evening.


The place was quite packed with animated, appreciative attendees, the offerings of fresh-baked savouries and sweets were excellent and, most of all, the 7 brand new Horne paintings showed VERY well.

Andrew very practically judges success by sales. He should do well. His paintings were priced in the 2000 to 5000 dollar range, which seems right, especially considering the size and workmanship that has gone into into them, not to mention the spirited imagination.

His most recent piece, Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be is bright and dynamic, filled with instantly recognizable iconography. Provocative juxtapositions of imagery keep emerging, the longer one looks. Word play and typography are also engaging, often smile-inducing.


I have taken the liberty of showing a small detail from the lower left area of the painting. You can see whole images here.

She’s a beauty, alright

Yes, Sylvie, you too, but I’m talking about Kathy’s newly-completed deck.


My business partner Paul Royko built the original deck before his death in 1998. He anchored it with with enough sonotube foundations to hold up a helipad, but wood is wood and doesn’t last forever. Paul’s wife Kathy just sent photos of the gorgeous new replacement, still supported, I’m sure, by Paul’s original underpinnings.

Sylvie and Kathy have lots of beautiful summer left to enjoy the new amenities. Kathy has turned her West side home into a real gem. Sylvie’s standards are VERY high.