Archive for the ‘August 6th’ Category

If you haven’t read the Twilight book series, you probably won’t have much of a reason to visit Forks, Washington. 

Oh, you may drive through Forks on the 101 if you make the wise decision to tour the perimeter of Olympic State Park, but you likely wouldn’t list Forks as your destination.

This city in Clallam County records a population of 3,175 and was nicknamed the logging capital of the world. When the lumber industry began to wane, the residents of Forks started to depend more on the nearby corrections centre to help keep the city afloat financially.

In 1995 a woman named Stephenie Meyer published a book called Twilight, an event that would change life in Forks forever. Twilight is a story about a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire. Well, that’s the extremely condensed summary. 

The book is set in Forks, and the following that has helped the book sell 17 million copies worldwide now has this humble city on their list of places to visit. The Forks Chamber of Commerce embraced this phenomenon and is certainly thrilled that tourism has increased an
estimated 600 per cent since the book was released.

There is evidence of Twilight (which was followed by three books to complete the saga) throughout the city. A sign on the visitors’ centre says Entering Forks, Population 3,175, Vampires 8.5. 

Local restaurants serve items named after characters, such as Cullen’s Clam Chowder, Bella Berry Pie and a Werewolf Burger. Yes, there are also werewolves in the stories, but we won’t be sucked into too many plot details here. A fuel station just outside Forks put up a sign that welcomes visitors to the Twilight zone. 

There are Twilight tour buses rolling down the streets, and a huge store called Dazzled by Twilight is the city’s hot spot. The Twilight goodies for sale ranged from chocolates and bumper stickers to jewelry and water bottles. There were no vacancies at any of the city’s motels and a crowd gathered at the Welcome to Forks sign, with everyone eager for a photo.

About 20 kilometres from Forks is the community of La Push, home to the Quileute Tribe and another setting for the Twilight books. It’s a place of raw, natural beauty with a breathtaking beach and rich cultural heritage. 

In the books, the werewolves are from La Push and the vampires live in Forks, and some tourists even choose where they travel to depending if they are on what Twi-Hards (avid Twilight fans) call Team Edward (the vampire) or Team Jacob (the werewolf). And it’s not an exaggeration to say that Twilight fans range in age from youths to great-grandparents, as evidenced by the white-haired trio of women buying “Edward prefers brunettes” coffee mugs in the souvenir shop.

If you decide to continue past Forks and around Olympic State Park, you will be rewarded with some of the most inspiring sites you’ll find in nature. The topography of the Olympic peninsula is ethereally beautiful, with saltwater waves crashing onto driftwood and thick rainforest with towering trees and lush ferns. You forget where you are as you drive the winding road through the park.

There are a few different ways to reach Forks and the park, but they all involve ferries. When you’re on the ferry, you’ll likely know which groups are the Twi-Hards heading to Forks. A minivan full of various-aged females is a dead giveaway. If you’d like to take a tour of the Forks area from home, the website (www.forkswa.com) has photo galleries, webcams and even an online store. 

Now you don’t have to actually travel to Washington to get your I Kissed A Vampire And I Liked It bumper sticker.


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2 tbsp mayonnaise 

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp paprika

½ lb ground dark and white turkey meat

1 small white onion finely chopped

2 carrots shredded

1 green pepper chopped

3 heaping tbsp grated parmesan cheese

½ cup chopped cilantro leaves

1 tbsp paprika 

½ tsp cayenne pepper

¼ tsp powder ginger

¼ tsp curry powder

Pinch salt and pepper

1 large egg 

Olive oil as needed

4 slices provolone 

4 onion buns or plain 

1 avocado halved peeled and sliced

Combine the mayonnaise, mustard and paprika in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Preheat a grill medium high heat. Combine the ground turkey, onion, carrot, bell pepper, parmesan and all of the seasoning in a large bowl. Lightly whisk the egg separately and then fold it in to the mixture. Form the turkey into patties. 

Lightly brush grill grates with olive oil, arrange the patties and close the lid. Cook while making sure the patties obtain grill marks, about 10 to 12 minutes. Gently flip the burgers over and continue grilling. Add the provolone after three minutes and shut the lid once more to melt the cheese an additional two minutes. Remove the patties from heat and keep them warm by casually tenting in foil. 

Reduce the grill’s heat and brush with oil and arrange the buns on the grill to toast. Brush on the paprika sauce on the bun add the burger and slices of avocado and tomatoes. Makes six patties.

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Soames is a sweet-natured, sensitive dog who was unclaimed at the Pound, having been picked up as a stray. He has spent some weeks at the Pound where everyone fell in love with his quiet, gentle, friendly personality and his happy nature. 

Soames appears to have been unkindly dealt with in the past because he is a little timid and hand shy. He has gained in confidence whilst at the Pound, having been shown kindness and affection and been taken out for walks on a leash, something he knew nothing about. 

He has been neutered and had his shots and is now enjoying his first days in his foster home. He is looking for a new home where he can feel wanted and loved. Soames does okay with other dogs but doesn’t necessarily require a canine buddy to be happy. 

If you value a dog who is the epitome of what man’s best friend should be, then please consider Soames for your new companion. He is in a NASAP foster home and his foster mom will be more than happy to tell you all about him. 

You can call 780-922-0250 and leave a message or you can go to http://www.nasap.ca and click the Adopt Me link underneath Soames’ picture.

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I feed my pet dry food. How come his teeth are covered in yellowish brown calculus and my veterinarian has informed me that he has gingivitis?


It has been scientifically proven as true that dogs – and by the principles of comparative medicine we think it is the same for cats – who eat dry kibble accumulate less plaque on their teeth compared to those that eat wet canned food. In fact, there are even some kibbles that have been specially formed to further reduce this accumulation such as Science Diet’s Oral Care or Hill’s t/d. However, the reduced plaque accumulation doesn’t make an exponential difference. 

Let’s compare your pet to your neighbour’s pet to see why.
In order for this comparison to work, we’ll assume that you adopted pets from the same litter and that the two are nearly genetic twins. They have the same health status, the same dental arcade conformation, the same microbes growing in their mouths, the same toys on which to chew, the same treats, the same pet food, and neither of you brush their teeth. You feed your pet the specially formulated kibble. Your neighbour feeds the canned equivalent. 

Applying the truths learned from scientific studies, your pet will accumulate one unit of plaque on their teeth after one day. Your neighbour’s pet will have accumulated about two units. After two or three days when that plaque mineralizes and becomes tartar, your pet will have half as much.  

After a year, you may even notice that your neighbour’s pet has more yellowish brown calculus on its teeth compared to your pet. You can see that you are really doing a great thing for your pet’s oral health by feeding them this special kibble and are even thinking about recommending it to your neighbour. Hold on though, your pet still has calculus on its teeth and it takes very little of it under the gum line to incite gingivitis (infection of the gums). Infection is infection and once it’s in the gums it no longer matters how fast plaque accumulates – it doesn’t change the fact that your pet has gingivitis.

Though it’s true that feeding specially formulated or even just plain kibble will reduce plaque accumulation when compared to feeding the canned equivalent, it’s unrealistic to rely on kibble to maintain your pet’s oral health.

Dr. Jeffrey Person practices at the Delton Veterinary Hospital and co-hosts the listener call-in show Pet Talk, heard every Sunday morning at 7 a.m. on AM630 CHED.

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Clear skies

August is upon us and we are amidst lengthening dark nights and warm observing temperatures. This month we are blessed with optimum conditions for viewing the Perseid Meteor Shower due to the absence of the moon during the peak of the shower activity. 

When you look due south at night this month from a dark sky location, you will be gazing into the very heart of our own Milky Way Galaxy. This is truly where we all live, our galactic address.

Looking south when you see the wide, bright clouds of the Milky Way extending up from the horizon and arching overhead, the very brightest portion down toward the south and southwestern horizon contains the constellation Sagittarius the Archer. Many people identify this constellation as a teapot-shaped group of stars with cloudy wisps of smoke located just above the spout. 

A closer examination of these supposed smoke wisps will reveal the closest trio to be two nebulae and an open star cluster. Nebulae, the plural of nebula, refer to what looks like hazy cloud-like objects that contain various gasses and dust lanes. An open star cluster is a closely grouped pattern of many stars that appear together. 

If you sweep upward from the horizon to the zenith (a point directly overhead) with a visual aid such as binoculars, you’ll see stars, nebulae and star clusters throughout the rich field of the Sagittarius Arm within our own Milky Way Galaxy. 

Conjunctions (When two or more celestial objects appear close together in the night sky)

Aug. 7

Three planets! About half an hour past sunset, look near the western horizon for a Venus-Saturn-Mars conjunction. Using binoculars will enhance this observation. Venus will be the brightest planet and you may also spot tiny, star-like Mercury 18 degrees away to the lower right of Venus. About one hour past sunset look for the ringed planet Saturn only three degrees above. Mars will appear five degrees to the upper left of bright Venus.

Aug. 12

The peak of a meteor shower and four celestial bodies gathered together? Tonight is the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower and only 15 minutes past sunset look westward for an eventual Mars-Moon-Venus-Saturn conjunction. The crescent moon will be down near the horizon with bright Venus only six degrees to the upper left. (For measuring degrees in the night sky, try holding a closed fist at arm’s length: that would approximate 10 degrees. A little more than half of your fist, three or four fingers, will represent six degrees.) About half an hour later as the sky darkens, look for the red planet Mars only three degrees to the upper left of Venus and then Saturn to the upper right of Venus. Don’t forget to watch for Perseid meteors tonight!

Aug. 18

I recommend using binoculars to catch tonight’s conjunction of Venus and Mars near the west-southwest horizon. If you do, both planets will visually appear within the same binocular field. One hour after sunset, Mars will be located only two degrees above Venus.

Aug. 26

For our last conjunction for this month, try a Jupiter-Moon pairing. Look west-southwest about one hour after sunset and you’ll be able to locate the bright planet Jupiter less than six degrees below the crescent Moon.            

Meteor shower (possibly the best of 2010!) 

This year, the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower occurs during a span of moonless nights. Often, the presence of our bright moon thwarts good observing opportunities – but not this year.

The shower will peak late Thursday, Aug. 12 into Friday, Aug. 13, but be sure to have a look on the previous evening as well. A couple of days prior and after a peak period will probably still yield results. 

What exactly is a meteor shower?

Meteor showers occur monthly as seen from our planet. A meteor shower is a time when Earth passes through the tail of a comet. Comet tails are debris fields left behind as the comet travels through space. The American astronomer Fred Whipple coined the term “dirty snowball” as the definition of a comet – an apt term since comets have a rocky core covered by layers of ice that become ingrained with rocks and space debris during the comet’s orbit. The parent comet for this shower is Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.       

Meteor showers are a free gift. No optical equipment is required. Optimum viewing will be found in a dark location away from the light pollution of a big city. Summer nights can prove cool over several hours of darkness so be sure to have a blanket or sleeping bag on hand. Chairs or lounge chairs are an asset. Make sure you’re comfortable. And unfortunately, bug spray may also be an asset.  

Don’t feel you only have to look in one direction. The radiant point (referring to point of origin) for this shower is the northeast sky, but meteors may be found travelling in any direction. 

You will find the host constellation Perseus in the northeast and hence the shower is named in recognition of the host constellation. Expect to see up to 60 meteors per hour.   

…to be continued in Country Asides Friday, August 13th.

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Celebrating Latin American culture

The Gabriela Mistral Latin American School is an accredited Heritage Language School that was founded in 1987 with the objective of preserving and promoting Spanish and the Latin American culture.

We believe that you cannot teach a new language if you do not teach the culture behind that language. That is why our Spanish classes are different from other schools: our students, while learning Spanish, are exposed to our rich culture through dance, music (music teacher comes 20 minutes to your classroom every session) and craft classes. We also offer several cultural events during the school year (exhibits, dances, sampling ethnic food from different Latin American countries, music) and many other social events.

We have an excellent, dynamic and enthusiastic group of dedicated teachers. 

Our teachers are university graduates and have vast teaching experiences.  

Spanish for children

We offer Spanish for children from Pre-Kinder, Kinder to Grade 9. 

Spanish 10, 20, 30 classes 

The school is offering Spanish 10 to 30 for high school students. In these courses, students obtain five high school credits (per course) approved by Alberta Education. 

Spanish for Adults

Learning Spanish at the Gabriela Mistral Latin American School means having a wonderful experience learning the Latin American culture and making friends. Small classes make it easy to meet other students and make new friends. 

We offer four levels of Spanish for adults with 25 hours of instruction per term. Classes are offered Saturdays (from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) or Tuesdays (from 6:30 to 9 p.m.). Seniors (over 65) pay only $115 for their adult classes.

Our school is  located at 9359 – 67 A St. (Braemar School). It offers ample free parking,  comfy cafeteria and a safe environment.

to find out more  click here

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Starting out or slowing down

Jolene Sinclair graduated from high school a few years ago and started her family right away. 

The idea of a career didn’t interest her too much at that time, but now her children are growing up.

Next year her youngest will start kindergarten, and Jolene is looking for a full-time job that will suit her. Her part-time job at the local convenience store doesn’t pay well and does not make use of her intelligence and skills. 

Nursing has always appealed to her and her local hospital is always looking for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, but she doesn’t have the entry requirements to get into the program. As a mature student, she needs Bio 30 and Chem 30 to enter the LPN program at the nearest college – courses she did not take when she graduated from high school. 

With kids at home, she can’t afford daycare to attend a full-time upgrading program, so she approached the Alberta Distance Learning Centre for advice. She is taking bio and chem at her own pace, and getting back into the habit of studying and completing assignments. 

“I couldn’t have done this on my own,” admits Jolene. “My study skills were rusty and I had forgotten a few things. But my teachers were always there for me, so kind and patient. My grades today are better than anything I ever got in high school, and when I start college next month, I know I’ll be ready.”

Michael Cook quit school at age 17 to work in the oil patch job in northern Alberta. For 10 years, the money was good and he didn’t mind the hard labour or isolation. But then a freak accident disabled him. He knew his days as a rig hand were over. Six months of rehab gave him plenty of time to think, and during that time he decided he wanted a different life – a home and family and a job that he could call his own. 

He always wanted to start up a small business, and while he worked through a vigorous program of physiotherapy for his body, he also began to exercise his mind. He registered in a full program of studies, both print and online, with the Alberta Distance Learning Centre.

He was able to complete his high school and improve his computer skills, and he also took courses in financial management and entrepreneurship and innovation. His small business is up and running and he has set some clear goals for his future.

“I should have done this years ago,” says Michael. “Now I am in control of my own future and I know I can do it.”

To find out how Alberta Distance Learning Centre can help you achieve your educational goals go to http://www.adlc.ca or call toll-free at 1-866-774-5333.

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