Hiking The Grouse Grind (Intermediate)

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In this episode I just have a conversation with Jill, one of our Linguist tutors, about our weekend’s activities. In particular, Jill talks about the renowned Vancouver hike, “the Grouse Grind”.

Mark: Hello again.

Welcome back to the English Lingq podcast. Mark Kaufmann here. Today we have a different kind of a show. Jill has joined us. Jill is one of the tutors for The Linguist amongst other things. You can introduce yourself.

Jill: Hi, my name is Jill.

As Mark said, I am a Linguist tutor and I do customer service as well for the Linguist and most likely if you ever send an email I will answer you and I think today Mark and I will probably discuss the outdoors, outdoor activities. We are both quite interested in being outside.

Mark: I thought actually you were telling me earlier you were hiking yesterday, or not really hiking, doing the Grouse grind which I would assume most of our listeners would not be familiar with. We, for those of you who don’t know, we’re in Vancouver and in Vancouver the Grouse grind is quite a popular activity, at least for those who are physically active. Maybe, Jill you can explain a bit about what the Grouse grind is.

Jill: The Grouse grind is a hike from basically the base of one of our local mountains, a ski mountain, a ski hill and so you can park at the base and normally you would take a tram up the mountain if you are to go skiing but there is also a trail so you can walk from the base to the top of the mountain, you hike. It’s quite steep and I can’t remember quite how long it is but it’s actually not that great of a distance but it’s very steep so it’s quite difficult. It’s not a mellow stroll in the park kind of, you know, I’m going to go out for some fun and an easy walk kind of thing.

But, it’s hard work and there are lots of people who are trying to do it in a certain time or better than their time, there are races on it and because it is quite a challenging hike, I think there is quite a lot of competition around it so people are always kind of trying to beat each other. Mark: Yeah, for sure. You hear people around town talking about how I went and did the grind yesterday and what was you time and this sort of thing. I don’t know how long it’s sort of been a popular thing to do.

I assume that the trail has been there forever, not forever, but for a long time, but as far as people talking about doing the grind and talking about their times and it becoming popular for a lot of people actually, maybe in the last ten years it’s become that. I know you were telling me you got a pretty good time yesterday. Jill was telling me how she did it in 45 minutes yesterday which is an excellent time and I’m not sure if you told Steve.

Jill: No I didn’t tell Steve yet and actually Steve is in great shape for those of you who don’t know he exercises very regularly and so he can do something like the grind generally quicker than most people who are twenty or thirty years younger than him.

He can do it in, I guess the first time out this year, the first time he did it this year he also did it in 45 minutes. But I think he has done it quicker than that in the past, in 42 minutes or something I think is his best time. Yesterday at 45 was definitely my best time. I don’t know that I can do it a lot quicker, it was pretty hard.

Mark: Yeah, he says he’s been up it 42 and I’m sure he has, but I mean the difference in those times is huge actually. It is very steep. I know that when I do it my feet start to fall asleep because they are bent, there is such an incline that they are constantly bent and I guess the blood flow, the circulation starts to get cut off.

I don’t like doing it so I don’t go very often. Jill: I don’t think many people really like doing the grind. It’s more, it has the name the Grouse grind because it’s a grind. It’s difficult. I think most people who do it, who seriously do it are fairly avid outdoors people or people who like to exercise and so they do it as more of a workout and the people on it who are not that way I think are usually, don’t really know what they are getting themselves into. You see a lot of people, a lot of tourists busses go to Grouse Mountain.

It’s a very popular tourist place in Vancouver and so a lot of those tourists decide I’m going to go on this little hike so they are not dressed properly, they are not in very good shape or they just have no experience with hiking and this is quite a grueling hike. So, there are people every year who have to be rescued off of the trail because they just can’t make it or they have an asthma attack or they get lost. They somehow get off the trail and get lost, so it’s not just something that should be done and taken lightly, it is difficult. Mark: Yeah, for sure. Because it’s difficult is again, why I haven’t probably done it in a while.

Although I should mention that when I did do it, I can’t remember what my time was but, I beat my dad. Yeah, something like that, 36 or something like that. Anyway I will do it soon because everybody else here seems to be on the Grouse grind doing fast times.

Jill: The record for doing it is, a guy from New Zealand did it in, I think it was 27 minutes, 26 or 27 minutes and that is the quickest anybody has ever done it. That is somebody who can basically run up the whole hill and that’s very unlikely for most people. Mark: 27 minutes. That is fast you know. I know the few times I tried it I started out trying to run almost and I mean, after ten minutes of that you are just dead.

You kind of have to start off a little more slowly and then hope you pick up some time at the end. It’s more being able to hold a constant pace up rather than running but 27 minutes. That is fast. New Zealand eh? Never, I don’t trust them. Jill: They have lots of mountains there too so I guess it makes sense. But I ever do it faster than 45 minutes I’d be very happy. I can’t imagine. I think the average time, they average it out, is actually it’s an hour and a half or an hour and fifteen minutes when they aver it out over all the people who do it.

So you know, the average person I think, even people who are in decent shape, who exercise on a fairly regular basis but maybe don’t do a lot of hiking or running or that kind of thing. It still takes them usually about an hour and ten or an hour and twenty minutes. Anybody really under an hour is a good time for the grind.

Mark: Yeah, I think for sure that’s the case. I know, getting back to what you were saying earlier about people not being prepared, I mean you see people on there that they are a quarter of the way up and they are there in their loafers and jeans and they have no idea what they were doing and saw some people heading up the trail and thought oh, that looks like fun, yeah, let’s walk up the mountain.

And it’s not a walk, it’s not a walk. It’s definitely strenuous physical activity unlike what I was doing last night. You were on the grind working hard and I was playing mixed slow pitch softball which is a different kettle of fish. What do you mean old man sport?

Jill: No, I just say that because I know my step dad when I was younger, he played on a slow pitch team so I kind of associate it with a dad thing to do but of course that was twenty years ago when I was only ten years old. So he seemed old to me at the time.

Mark: Well I am a dad, however I never thought I’d be on a slow pitch team because really that’s not my speed of game in general, but I did play baseball for a few years as a kid and actually how we ended up having a team, a bunch of the parents at the school we were good friends with, at the kids school, a few guys decided we should have a slow pitch baseball team. It’s mixed so that the wives play as well and you know it’s, I mean it’s slow but actually because it’s slow pitch everybody hits. There are not a lot of strike outs and walks so there’s a fair amount of activity in the field and it mostly is just a social event.

Jill: Yeah, in my experience I know my brother has several friends who play slow pitch and have played for a number of years in their twenties so it’s not just an old person sport. They do it, I think, definitely more for the social aspect. A bunch of guys, their team is all guys and a bunch of them are friends and have been friends for twenty years and they get together and hang out and girlfriends or wives come and watch and I think there is always some beer and other things or sometimes going out afterwards to a pub is a very popular thing to do too. I think that it is mostly a social activity and like you say, because it’s slow pitch you don’t have to be a superstar to be able to play and have fun.

The ball is not coming at your very fast so you can usually hit it which makes the game more fun.

Mark: By the way when we, when I call it slow pitch, slow pitch is soft ball but it’s like a lobbing pitch, it’s like a moon ball we call it as opposed to real baseball where the ball comes in over hand or fast pitch soft ball where it’s under hand but it’s very hard. Slow pitch is a lobbing pitch that’s easy to connect with. Sometimes it’s easy to pop up the ball or hit grounders, whatever, but at any rate, there’s a lot of action for the defensive team as well so as you said, everybody gets into the game and as you also said a big part of it is the social aspect.

There are not many games you can play just about while drinking beer, not to down play the athletic aspect of what we’re doing but if there was no beer allowed I’m not so sure we’d be playing, which I wouldn’t say about any of the other games I play. Part of it is in the spring and summer and the weather is nice and friends get together and the kids are out playing at the playground next door and it’s just a fun thing to do. But certainly not as strenuous as the Grouse grind.

I think with that we’ll probably wrap things up.

I hope you all enjoyed hearing about what we did last night and we’ll try to talk about different things, different aspects of our lives and a variety of topics going forward with the English LingQ podcast and we’ll sort of intersperse these conversations with our regular podcasts and if you have any comments of course, please let us know through our website. Most importantly to get more from this podcast an dread the transcript and save words and phrases that you want to learn and use our learning tools to really learn this material please visit our website at englishlingq.com. Sign up and try out our learning tools.

French Restaurateur

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Here is an interview in which Steve speaks with Brigitte. Brigitte shares some secrets to her French restaurant’s success, along with some tips on French cooking. This is an advanced podcast partly because Brigitte does have a French accent and there is the noise of the restaurant in the background.

STEVE: Good morning Brigitte.

We are sitting in La Regalade which is a very popular French restaurant in West Vancouver at the corner of 22nd and Marine Drive. La Regalade is a project of two very experienced people in the world of French cuisine; a couple Brigitte and Alain Raye. Brigitte how long have you had this restaurant?

BRIGITTE: Only three months.

STEVE: You have been very successful?

BRIGITTE: So far so good. We are really excited about it.

STEVE: What is the secret to success in the restaurant business?

BRIGITTE: There is no secret. It’s a lot of work and a lot of experience. We have been in this business now for over 20 years. So we still learn, but it’s the experience, the secret of it.

STEVE: Should I say, as a customer, that a big part of it is the good food?

BRIGITTE: You can say it, yes! My husband would like that.

STEVE: And also the very pleasant and warm welcome that the customers get when they come here.

BRIGITTE: That is very important. It’s the atmosphere, the French touch that people like also.

STEVE: What would you say, from the point of view of someone who is not so familiar with French Cuisine, can we talk about the cuisine here? What are some of the principals in terms of ingredients?

BRIGITTE: We use first only fresh products, and my husband and Steve, I should mention my son is working with us, they are making a lot of preparation in the morning with a lot of fresh ingredients that are cooked slowly. It takes a lot of time to make all the preparation for the cuisine, but also for the pastry.

STEVE: You also make your own pastry here?

BRIGITTE: We do. We have a selection of about 10 different desserts, freshly made every day and people can see them on the counter when they come in so that’s a little something on the top also.

STEVE: I must say the pastry here is absolutely spectacular! But a question: you have to make a certain number of pastry items and what if they are not consumed, not eaten, do you take them home and eat them yourselves?

BRIGITTE: Yes, every night we have a lovely staff meal! And we eat what is not sold.

STEVE: Now, in terms of the ingredients. When we talk about French cuisine we talk about sauces. What are some of the tastes or spices?

BRIGITTE: So we first always work with stocks which is the base of the sauces, so chicken, veal and fish stock.

STEVE: These are prepared ahead of time?

BRIGITTE: Yes. Cook slowly for about 4 hours each. And after we use cream and spices.

We use different spices; we use curry, we use cumin which are not French spices but that brings a little touch that people like. And cream, and wine. A lot of the sauces have wine in them.

STEVE: Yesterday I had the veal kidneys with mustard sauce, which was unbelievably delicious. Does that sauce also have wine in it?

BRIGITTE: No, it’s veal stock, cream, mustard, salt and pepper.

STEVE: And with that there was some hot stock with some cheese and white wine.

BRIGITTE: Cream, sour cream. Salt and pepper.

STEVE: And would your cuisine here be northern or southern France?

BRIGITTE: Actually it is from Lyon, which is in the centre of France. It’s bistro cuisine, which our grandmother and mother used to do.

Very warm dishes, but a lot of preparation. Most of them are cooked slowly, for at least 2 hours.

STEVE: Lyon is also known as the centre of French cuisine.

BRIGITTE: That is where the famous chef Bocuse is and the name of the restaurants they are called .. Little bistros where you can have brain, intestines and funny food that people over here don’t really appreciate.

STEVE: And of course, with French food, one must drink wine.

BRIGITTE: Of course! White and red. We have a nice selection of not expensive wine; most of them are under $30. And we serve also by carafe.

STEVE: So typically if someone is not familiar with ordering in a French restaurant, how does one choose?

BRIGITTE: You should trust the waiter.

We recommend you have an appetizer, then a main course and dessert. The portions are quite big here so it’s good to have an appetizer, a main course and the dessert. Select the specials of the day. That’s something of the day, so that’s a good way to choose.

STEVE: Sometimes with Asian food, people share the dishes as they come in. Is that done at all?

BRIGITTE: Yes it is. People who know how it works here now, they know they can have an appetizer and share it, then have a main course and share dessert.

STEVE: Is your clientele mostly from around the neighbourhood, or are you attracting people from elsewhere?

BRIGITTE: Oh no!

Actually we have people from Vancouver across the bridge now, because we have had nice reviews in the Vancouver Sun that brought us clientele not only from West Vancouver. Actually the first week we had people from the neighbourhood and they talked a lot about us, and so we have people all over Vancouver now.

STEVE: Now tell me, champagne is also associated very much with France. How does one drink the champagne? Do you drink that with the meal?

BRIGITTE: Actually here it’s quite difficult to sell champagne. But in France people have it to start with, as a cocktail. They have it plain or with a touch of black currant or raspberry.

STEVE: But if you open a bottle of champagne, you have to finish the whole thing because you can’t put the cork back in?

BRIGITTE: We do.

We keep the bottle with the cork on for a few days.

STEVE: Oh really. So it is possible to serve a glass of champagne.

BRIGITTE: Yes, we do serve it by the glass for $10, which is a good deal.

STEVE: Again, getting back to the ingredients, what would be the typical spices?

BRIGITTE: Spices. We use a lot of thyme, bay leaf, and what else, rosemary, tarragon, small fresh herbs and spices.

STEVE: Do you use the bouquet garni?

BRIGITTE: Absolutely. With the stock we put onions, carrots, bouquet garni? which is the leeks, parsley, a little bit of thyme.

STEVE: Perhaps you could explain exactly what a bouquet garni is.

BRIGITTE: It’s tied with a little string. So it’s leeks, thyme, parsley – just put that in your stock and it gives a lot of flavour.

STEVE: And what kinds of vegetables do you use?

BRIGITTE: Oh we use a lot of carrots for sure, mushrooms, potatoes, and zucchini, eggplant. That’s it.

STEVE: And of course onions.

BRIGITTE: Of course, onions, shallots, and the garlic – don’t forget the garlic!

STEVE: And of course other than that it’s fish and all meat and also you mentioned sweetbreads and kidneys.

BRIGITTE: Not a lot of fish, actually, we just serve tuna and mussels for the seafood. We have a spring salad and calamari.

STEVE: Have you had many customers of Asian origin?

BRIGITTE: Not enough!

STEVE: Thank you very much.

BRIGITTE: Merci beaucoup.

Stanley Park, Vancouver (Intermediate)

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In this podcast, we will hear about Stanley Park in Vancouver, Canada. Stanley Park is considered by many to be the most beautiful park in North America. It may also be the largest urban park as well. At 1000 acres in size, Stanley Park is larger than New York City’s celebrated Central Park.

n 1863 the Coal Harbour peninsula, which makes up most of today’s Stanley Park, became a military reserve.

Surveyed by Colonel Moody’s Royal Engineers, the thick timbered region commanded a view of the First Narrows entrance to Burrard Inlet. Americans had made the colony nervous with a military occupation of the San Juan Islands in the Gulf of Georgia only four years earlier. To ensure British control of the harbor entrance, a similar military reserve was established directly across the inlet on the north shore.

Natives had hunted and gathered for centuries in what is now Stanley Park.

Coal Harbour once teemed with herring, its beaches rich with clams. Whales entered the bight to feed. Cougars roamed the forests. The peninsula’s first roads were paved in 1888 with seashells from the Salish peoples’ middens. These mounds of cultural debris covered almost two hectares and were up to 2.5 metres deep. One was a seasonal campsite for one of the largest Squamish villages. It later lay abandoned after a smallpox epidemic broke out between 1888 and 1892. Deadman’s Island became an isolation site and burial ground for disease victims. The island’s Douglas firs and red cedars also held Squamish and Musqueam bentwood boxes which contained their dead.

The area’s first white settler, a Scottish calico printer named Jimmy Sievewright, set up a camp in 1858 with friends at the site of today’s Second Beach.

Portuguese ship-jumper Peter Smith, who settled at Brockton Point, used the island to render blubber from whales caught in the harbor. In 1859 Francis Brockton, chief engineer on HMS Plumper, discovered coal nearby. Plumper’s captain, George Henry Richards, named the waters Coal Harbour.

In the early 1860s a Squamish village of four homes and a lodge-called Whoi-Whoi, meaning “masks” or “great village”-stood at the site of today’s Lumberman’s Arch. It hosted huge potlatches, attended by thousands of native people.

In May 1868 John “Gassy Jack” Deighton applied unsuccessfully to lease land to start a fishery in what is now Stanley Park. Five logging companies operated in the forests of the park-to-be.

(Large stumps in today’s park still bear the notches from loggers’ springboards used for standing support while wielding a crosscut saw.) Most of today’s trails in Stanley Park owe their start to logging, where they began as skid roads. Even before the area was declared a park, Lauchlan A. Hamilton, land agent for the Canadian Pacific Railway, and a Vancouver alderman, surveyed its first roads. The perimeter road of today’s park is virtually identical to Hamilton’s original routing.

Vancouver newspapers began to discuss the future of the military reserve, which was no longer needed for defence, as a park. But the major initiative for the transformation came from a powerful land speculator, Arthur Wellington Ross. A park of untouched forest offered a valuable drawing card for realtors whose property was near.

Ross co-owned adjacent property with H.F Ceperley, head of one of Vancouver’s most successful real estate companies, Ross and Ceperley.

Ross pitched his vision for a park to his friend, the influential William Van Horne of the CPR, even boating him around the reserve for a first-hand look. Van Horne agreed to speak to well- placed people in Ottawa, and he and Ross then talked to Alderman Hamilton, who speedily brought the idea before the city council.

The first resolution of Vancouver’s first city council was a request to the federal government on May 12, 1886, to grant the First Narrows Military Reserve to the city as a park. A year later, the federal government established Stanley Park on a leasehold basis.

Mayor David Oppenheimer officially opened the park on September 17, 1888, declaring it a place where Vancouver’s 6,000 inhabitants could “spend some time amid the beauties of nature away from the busy haunts of men.” Several weeks earlier Oppenheimer had written to the CPR’s Sir Donald Smith in Montreal asking him to name the park on behalf of Vancouver. Smith asked Governor General Lord Stanley to allow the park to be called by his family name and he agreed. Lord Stanley dedicated the park on October 29, 1883, during the first visit to Vancouver as a Governor General. An observer wrote: “Lord Stanley threw his arms to the heavens, as though embracing within them the whole of one thousand acres of primeval forest, and dedicated it to the use and enjoyment of peoples of all colours, creeds, and customs, for all time. “

Personal Finance (Advanced)

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In today’s episode, we present a conversation in which Steve speaks with Art and Art shares his understanding and knowledge of personal finance.

Hi Art.

Hi Steve.

How are you this morning?

I’m great.

And yourself?

Not to bad. I guess we’re what, just about past the RRSP deadline?

We are just past the RRSP deadline.

That was February 28th.

And of course in the life of most Canadians that’s a hectic time of year. Do most people not plan early enough? Or what happens?

I suspect a lot of people just do not have the funds to put into RRSP’s. And like, personally, I just budget it and I have the money come out, a thousand dollars a month, out of my account so that it’s just taken out and it’s more painless that way. So it’s not like come February you’re scrounging around trying to find the money for the RRSP.

What does that mean? Does that mean that you instruct your bank to put the money into a separate account, or do you yourself?

Actually the bank takes it out of my account: just like a pre-approved withdrawal like you would for the cable company or the Visa card or whatever. It’s just a standard thousand dollars the first of the month comes out of my account.

And where does it go?

It goes into my self-directed RRSP.

Oh, so you are putting money into your self-directed RRSP every month of the year?

That’s right.

And of course you know ahead of time what your maximum is and that determines how much goes into that.

That’s correct. Yes.

And I guess you’re a believer in people putting money aside every year. Should people take full advantage of the RRSP?

I certainly do and to the extent that you have the money I would say “yes”.

It’s I guess the concept of The Wealthy Barber: pay yourself first.

Oh yes, pay yourself first. Now of course not everyone can afford to put that much money into an RRSP every month.

Well, that’s right, it will also depend on their tax situation how much the government would allow them to deduct. But having said that, the government tells you, when you file your tax return, how much you can put in the following year. So, it’s always a year behind so you should always, sort of, be fairly close to knowing what that number is.

And do you think most people’s savings are limited to the RRSP? Is that basically kind of the extent to which most people do put money aside?

I wouldn’t say most people. I think it just varies so much on individual circumstances.

Yeah, because if you put money into an RRSP that is for your retirement, but you still need to put money aside to save up for a house or for another major purchase.

Well, that’s right, although there are some things now with RRSP’s that you can actually use some of that money to make a down payment on a house. There’s a whole list of technical ramifications, but it can be done to a certain extent.

I know you used to be in the car business. People who buy cars, do they tend to put money aside towards a car, or do they tend to buy on credit? Or how does that work?

Well?Let’s say?The big thing right now is leasing. A lot of people lease cars.

Leasing years ago, used to be what companies did, but now more and more individuals do leasing as well.

What’s the advantage to the individual?

Well, they get to drive a more expensive car than they could probably afford to if they paid cash.

But they’re paying for that privilege?

Oh they do pay for that privilege. Yes, to the extent that you can put some money into this car then that makes sense to do that.

So leasing is not necessarily a most cost-effective way of owning a car?

Not necessarily. Again it depends on your circumstances. I guess it depends if you can write part of the cost of your car off for tax purposes if, say, you’re self- employed or whatever.

But for the person who just tends to drive for their own personal pleasure, being a conservative individual, I think you should be trying to pay for your car as much as you can up front. Because let’s face it: cars are depreciable assets. They don’t become more valuable over time, they become less valuable over time.

But then if it is a depreciable asset that you are owning, I guess to some extent the attraction of a lease is that you don’t own this asset.

You don’t own the asset, but you pay for it. Because part of the lease calculation is allowing that they are also depreciating the value of the car. I guess to the extent that you have a car that is not going down in value or you take care of it then you can come out even on the lease.

But most lease clauses have mileage clauses in them or value clauses in them so that if you beat up the car or you drive it a lot more than the average based on how they have depreciated it, then you can have this ugly looking little bill facing you at the end of the lease if you say have very high mileage. And they want to get some of their money back. Because let’s face it, a lease payment has to cover the cost of the car or i.e. the amount it depreciated during your ownership. They also have to pay interest on their money which is being passed on to you the customer, plus they have an administration fee for administering the lease and of course their normal profit.

So you think a potential person who wants to lease a car should be very careful and read the lease agreement very carefully?

Oh definitely read their lease agreement and just understand it’s like any long-term contract, understand what you’re signing and what it’s really going to cost you. And for a lot of people it’s the only way to go because they don’t save up the money, or they can’t save up the money but yet they can make the normal monthly payment. And a lot of car dealers see it this way: just look at their advertising. They don’t tell you how much it costs anymore – it’s so much a month. I guess caveat emptor: buyer beware.

Does this tend to encourage people to live beyond their means?

I guess it depends on the individual but yeah I think there is.

If you look at the stats and how much debt there is per person in Canada and, or the United States. There are a lot of people living very ratcheted-up lifestyles.

Right, OK, thank you very much, nice chatting.

Take care, Steve.

Life in a Northern Town (Beginner)

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In this episode, Steve speaks with Al Wardale who is from a small community in Northern Alberta, in Canada. Al describes life in the North.

Hello Al.

Hello Steve.

Today I’m talking with Al Wardale who is from Northern Alberta and I’m going to maybe exchange some reminiscences about Northern Alberta, but Al is down visiting in Vancouver. How often do you come down to Vancouver?

Perhaps twice a year.

Twice a year. You live in which town?

Manning, Alberta.

And how many people in Manning, Alberta?

It supports about 2,500 people.

When you say it supports 2500 people, how many people actually live in the town?

There may be 1,400 living in town and then several small farming communities without a proper town centre, that Manning supports.

And what is the main activity up there?

Work-wise, forestry and oil and gas exploration .

And farming?

And farming, right.

Would most of the people be involved in farming, or not necessarily?

Probably would be something like a third. Most families have an interest in farming that are long-time residents.

And now where is this located?

How far are you from Edmonton?

Six hundred kilometres northwest.

Okay. And I gather that today, on May the 2nd, it’s 15 below and snowing.

It is minus 15, snow, quite different from the day before where it was plus 20.

So you get violent swings of climate up there?

Particularly at this time of year.

Now you work in the sawmills.

Correct.

Right, and what is your job there?

I work in the sales department. We’re selling North American products to North American customers.

How are you affected by the recent softwood lumber ruling by the United States?

Its impact hasn’t been felt, but we definitely understand that it poses a huge burden on our industry and the effects we’ll hope to try to limit in our area.

When you’re not selling lumber, what do you like to do up in Manning, Alberta?

I love to hunt big game and birds and fish, whatever, outdoors.

And what are the good seasons for doing that?

The fall is the finest time of year in that country. September and October are unquestionably the best months.

And what do you like to do? How do you take advantage of the environment of nature up there?

I like to get out into the bush either walking or in different vehicles to hunt and to fish – in the winter time using snowmobiles to get into areas that you can’t get to in the summer months because it’s too wet. The ground freezes and access? you can go anywhere and see anything up there.

What kinds of animals do you see when you go into the forest?

There’s moose, elk, white-tail and mule deer, black bear, grizzly bear, any kind of bird anywhere, just about, and then lots of fish as well.

And when you go into the bush do you just go in for the day, or do you pitch a tent and stay, or? It all depends, you know?

everybody enjoys a nice day trip, but when we go after moose, the biggest of the big game, we’ll go in for 5, 7, 8 days at a time.

And where do you sleep?

We sleep on the ground, underneath a piece of plastic with a fire in front of us and just enjoy. It can be often 10-15 kilometres away from the end of the road where our trucks are parked.

And you sleep with a fire. Always a fire on while you’re sleeping?

Mostly.

Why is that? To keep you warm?

Warmth and to keep animals away too that may come and visit in the middle of the night, like the black bear.

I see. And just a plastic little roof on top, and that’s good enough?

Just enough to keep the rain off, or the snow off as it comes, and both have happened in times when we’ve been out.

Okay. And what do you sleep on? Just on the ground?

We’ll break off the branches of the spruce trees that are out there, the white spruce and lay them down in a mat that gives kind of a springy mattress below our sleeping bags.

And how cold is it when you wake up in the morning?

Usually there’s frost. It may be a few degrees below zero. That’s in October. But that makes for the best times out there. It warms up nicely through the day, but it can be quite cool.

And so typically what do you hunt?

Have you bagged the odd moose in your day?

I have taken some small moose and some enormous moose. They’re all big in that? the one last year that myself and my friends got would have been about 600 kilograms on the hoof, so quite an enormous animal, that’s for sure.

And what do you do with it?

Oh, there’s nothing (that) gets wasted. All the meat is taken back and goes into the freezers and all of us eat well for the rest of the year.

One moose can look after a whole family for the whole year?

A moose of that size could take care of a family of five for a full twelve months, I’m sure.

Eating meat everyday?

Eating meat certainly 4 or 5 times a week. And that’s fairly common for the people in that country.

What’s another popular game animal?

Deer. White-tailed deer probably is a very common animal, and it’s common throughout North America, but it is enjoyed up there as well.

And is it good to eat?

Oh yes, yes it is. But it’s kind of hunted in the farmland areas that are surrounding Manning more than the deep bush and woodlands that the moose are in.

And what about the farming? What do they farm up there?

Lots of crops. Canola and wheat, hay for the animals that they sometimes raise. Lots of different crops, pea crops and stuff that are a little more specialized. The people that are living there farm the staples that have always been?

and also some types of crops that are for export markets specifically I guess. I don’t know a great deal about what they do, but I know that they’re on the cutting edge of the agriculture industry, they’re not? because they’re very remote, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t with the times.

Right .

They’re very caught up and in-touch.

A typical farmer up there would have a major investment in equipment?

Oh yeah, typically a farmer will be running, probably, somewhere in the neighbourhood of 600 to 1,000 acres of land and their investment, just equipment alone, would be a half million dollars plus?

Really.

to do that. And that doesn’t include all the? they spread fertilizer, they use herbicides?and all that’s an additional cost. ?or most do.

There are some that do without herbicides but. Yes, it’s quite a costly venture. There’s a lot of money spent by people that don’t make enough of it anymore. It’s too bad.

Right.

And of course they have to be up on the latest developments in terms of seeds and techniques and so forth.

Yeah, I think that community of people, the agricultural community, is very well in tune with what’s required, and what’s new and available for increased yields and decreasing costs. Because it’s competitive, they have to be well in tune and try to make money because years ago the family farm? they could farm a very small area of land and make enough money off of it, but now the machinery is anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars to nearly a million dollars in costs.

They have to farm huge areas of land to be able to make any money at all.

And now the forest industry is a big part of the country up there. I mean, you’re surrounded by the Boreal Forest, other than what has already been converted to farmland. What is the attitude of the people up there towards the forest industry?

I think that they are certainly very supportive. It’s a year-round industry in our area, whereas farming really is only the summer months and people that make money farming have to do things as well, so many people that farm in the summertime will run equipment in logging operations in the winter time, so they’re supplementing their farm income with working off the farm. So they are, of course, quite supportive.

But even those that aren’t, it’s an industry that’s done a lot better for the environment in the last number of years.

Right.

So I think it’s well regarded anyways as an industry.

Now Manning Diversified, I think, has been operating since 1994?

Right.

Have you been into some of the areas that Manning harvested say 7 years ago?

Yes, I have.

How are those areas regenerating?

They’ve done very well. Manning Diversified has put a lot of time and money and research into not just the replanting of areas that they’ve harvested, but to make sure how well they re-grow following. Some of this is required by the government, but MDFP is doing far more than expected.

MDFP is Manning Diversified Forest Products – that’s the company where you work.

Right, MDFP. It’s going the extra yard necessary to make it better and to be able to grow trees faster, but not so much for themselves, just to make sure the survival rate is far higher than what necessarily is expected. Some of the trees that I’ve seen that are six and seven years old are far, farther ahead than other areas that I’ve seen logged by other companies that have been 10 or 15 years old. We’ve had quite good success in reforestation in our area.

And this you attribute to a greater care in planting, or techniques that are used?

I think techniques for preparing the site is one, using the best of seeds to grow seedlings to be planted as well.

Proper quality control on the planting of the seedlings themselves, and then follow-up by the company afterward, is checking survival rates and understanding the competition that is growing against the seedlings on the same cut blocks.

A cut block is one little area that’s cut by the forest products company.

A block, that’s right, they call it a block, but it was just a stand of trees where we had taken.

Which is typically what, 10 hectares, or 15 hectares?

The average I think is under that even, maybe 7, but some can be quite large, upwards of 15 to 20.

And I gather that they cannot go back into that area and cut until the first area has grown back to two metres or something like that?

I’m not sure the exact age that it has to be, but they can’t go into adjacent stands of timber until that whole block has reached a degree where there is no concern that you’ll lose, or that anything can happen to that growing area of trees before you remove any additional areas around it.

And, of course the other big industry there is the oil and gas, and is that pretty active these days?

That’s quite active. Yet, it’s an industry that kind of has years of growth and years of decline and I think that it’s a well-regarded industry as well. It again, much like farming, is quite seasonal though, which makes it difficult on the town because you’re here today and you’re gone tomorrow.

Forestry, at least, is there year-round and the mill has its investment year-round and the people have a position with the company that lasts 12 months of the year. But the oil and gas industry is a solid foundation for the town.

Now, how old is the town of Manning?

It had its 50th birthday in 1998, I believe it was, so we’re talking 54 years now.

And I know when you look through a phone book there, you see names that are Slavic, German, French, gosh, I don’t know, every possible kind of origin.

There seems to be a hodgepodge of all kinds of nationalities of years ago, and it began with advertisements in newspapers across Europe for land that could be claimed. And I went to a birthday 2 weeks ago for a fellow.

It was a ninety-ninth birthday and he was living in Germany and saw in a paper “land if you’ll work it” and he bought a ticket on a boat and came across and made his way across the country and walked up the same road that I drive home on to claim his property that the land office, a hundred kilometres away, said you can have if you get there. Now, how many of his descendants are still living in Manning?

I was the photographer for that party and there were thirty-five people in the group picture that were all direct descendants from him and his wife who had several children, they had several more and they’re on to a fourth generation.

And they all stayed in Manning?

Some still are, most actually still are. Some have moved further away.

But not any further than the nearest hub which is Edmonton, 600 kilometres, and I believe that they’re still all fairly well in contact. It was kind of inspiring.

Right.

Everyone in Manning has a strong sense of belonging to Manning, wouldn’t you say?

I would say very much so. If you live in Alberta, but in Southern Alberta, you would consider yourself an Albertan, but if you live in Northern Alberta, then you are a Northern Albertan. I’ve never found that, other than in that area of the country. It’s not unlike other towns around Manning, but we stick to that adage (that) “We’re Northern Albertans”. Yeah. I’ve certainly sensed that when I go up there.

I’m a Southerner and I mean it doesn’t matter, even French Canadians who are from up there, they’re Northern Albertans. So that’s a very strong sort of local identification.

Yeah. There is a kinship that people feel for having lived there year round that’s for sure.

And faced hardships up there and I think that identification always strikes me as being much stronger than any identification with their original countries of origin or ancestry, or whatever.

That’s true, they don’t seem to say that they’re of German ancestry or Ukrainian. Many of them still speak, the older ones, still speak their language, but they consider themselves Canadians and Northern Albertans.

Which doesn’t prevent the fact that for your Christmas parties you get very good perogies.

That’s the staple of many tables around.

There’s a strong Ukrainian contingent living in that part of the country.

I always enjoy going up there and of course I know right away, as soon as I arrive, everybody in town knows I’m there and who I am. And I go into any store and everybody knows. Like everybody knows everything that’s happening to everybody in Manning at all times.

And people, as you come into town, people, everyone knows you long before you know who they are, because word spreads so fast. Hey, there’s a new fellow from here or there, and they will know your life story before you even know their first name. I found that many times over, moving to Manning.

And you, yourself are from Southern Alberta originally?

Right.

And from Calgary, I believe?

Exactly, yeah.

So, as a city boy, how have you found your experience living in a somewhat remote Northern Alberta community?

I really enjoy it. I wanted to, growing up in Calgary, I knew it was a wonderful city to live in, but I? there were things that interested me more and I didn’t need to have as much available to me because I thought I could make my own fun and to appreciate the outdoors. And specifically the ruggedness of some untamed wilderness versus the areas in the southern areas of Alberta that are quite well documented, and you know trails are set to hike on and don’t go off of them. You can do what you want in that country and people will respect you for that versus looking down on you for your impact on nature.

One last subject.

There are a lot of First Nations people up in that area as well, in the town as well as on reserves?

Yeah, there is a reserve about 125 kilometres north of Manning that’s a Metis settlement, actually. But a lot of residents of Manning have native ancestry as well.

I think the mill superintendent, Sheldon, is partial, or at least, is it his father or his mother that’s native? It’s his mother. He’s from Fort Vermillion, another northern community that’s on the banks of the Peace River, northeast of us.

Right.

Yeah, there is a strong group? a number of people living certainly that are of native ancestry and that have succeeded in their area of endeavours either, you know, in spite of it, or because of it, you know.

Right.

They’ve done well.

And, are a lot of the natives involved in trapping, and that kind of activity? Hunting, or whatever their main? are they working oil and gas or the forest industry or what sorts of things?

You know, you have to do pretty much what is available to you and those that live? typically, it’s kind of, it’s a worker or a labourer sort of attitude and? which is fine by them, because they most of the fellows don’t want to work all the time.

They want to be able to run a trap line and actually take fur off of the land for a few months in the winter time, and then they’ll run equipment in the bush for the oil field, you know, for the remainder of the winter and then they may be involved in farming through the summer months as well. So, their life isn’t like most. They do a lot of different things throughout the year. And certainly, it works for them. And looking at it, it might not be all that bad. Many of us want to do different things all the time anyway.

Right.

They seem to be making a life of it.

Well, I mean, it’s been a very, very interesting discussion and I thank you very much for taking the time.

Oh, I appreciate it.

Thank you.

Understanding Numbers in English

Study this episode and any others from the LingQ English Podcast on LingQ! Check it out.

Many of you have been asking for content about the numbers in English. Here is a podcast to help you better pronounce and understand numbers.

Understanding the pronunciation of numbers in all forms is a problem for nearly every English student.

What’s more, this is a problem that is often left unaddressed.

Quickly spoken telephone numbers, giving or receiving change at a food market or department store, being offered directions by a well-meaning but fast-talking native English speaker-these are all time that are particularly difficult to comprehend the numbers quickly being tossed at you.

“Understanding Numbers” addresses this problem with numbers, and will help you to hear those quickly-spoken numbers the first time-clearly and confidently understood.

As a way of understanding studying numbers, we’ve chosen a financial record that you will surely find helpful.

Understanding the proper pronunciation of numbers is absolutely essential in your complete understanding of the English language.

At The Linguist, we want you to be confident with all forms of English speaking; and that includes confidence with numbers.

This item, though not particularly dynamic or exciting, is absolutely essential studying material for every Linguist student.

Here is a suggested method for using this item effectively:

Read the text of this item and listen closely to the pronunciation of each number.

Read and listen again while saying each number after that number is spoken.

Once you have listened to this feature many times, read this article aloud and compare your own pronunciation with the pronunciation provided in the audio file.

Continue this until you see definite improvement.

Good luck, Linguist Student, now let’s get started!

State Farm Bank Rates as of 12/15/2004 at 10:00 A.M.

Interest Checking

$0 – $2499 0% 0%

$2500+ 1.34% 1.35%

Savings

$0 – $49,999.99 1.49% 1.5%

$50,000+ 1.73% 1.75%

Money Market

$0 – $99 0% 0%

$100 – $999 1.04% 1.05%

$1,000 – $4,999 1.39% 1.40%

$5,000 – $24,999 1.49% 1.50%

$25,000+ 1.64% 1.65%

Health Savings Account

$0 – $2,499 1.49% 1.50%

$2,500 – $9,999 1.98% 2%

$10,000+ 2.47% 2.50%

Certificates of Deposit less than $100,000

90 days 1.73% 1.75%

180 days 2.37% 02.4%

1 year 2.47% 2.50%

2 years 3.20% 0.25%

3 years 3.34% 3.40%

4 years 3.59% 3.66%

5 years 3.92% 4.0%

Credit Card Products Rates effective 12/01/04 10:00 A.M.

Visa Platinum Rewards Card: 11.90% $25,000

Good Neighbor Visa Credit Card: 8.99% $25,000

Student Visa Credit Card: 13.99% $2,500

Home Mortgage Loan Products Rates effective 12/17/2004 10:00 A.M.

Home Mortgage Loan

State Farm Bank offers a variety of Home Mortgage Loans, including affordable housing loans.

Below is an indication of our current rates for a purchase transaction, based on the assumptions specified.

Note: “ARM” is an acronym for “Adjustable-Rate Mortgage.”

An Adjustable-Rate Mortgage is a mortgage where interest rates are tied directly to the economy so your monthly payment could rise or fall.

Because you’re essentially sharing the market risks with the lender, you are compensated with an introductory rate that is lower than the going fixed rate.

30 Year Fixed Rate Conforming 5.875% -0.250% 0.000% 5.945%

15 Year Fixed Rate Conforming 5.375% -0.250% 0.000% 5.491%

1 Year ARM Conforming 4.500% 0.000% 0.000% 5.606%

3/1 ARM Conforming 5.000% 0.000% 0.000% 5.362%

3/1 ARM Jumbo 4.875% 0.000% 0.000% 5.332%

5/1 ARM Conforming 5.625% 0.000% 0.000% 5.550%

Pricing and Annual Percentage Rate Assumptions:

Location: Pricing could vary based on the state where the property is located.

Loan amount: $200,000 for conforming products; $400,000 for JUMBO products.

Loan-to-value ratio: 80% or lower.

Property type: Single Family Primary Residence.

Loan purpose: Purchase only.

Escrow: Customer escrows for taxes, insurance, etc.

as part of monthly payment.

Closing Costs/Prepaids: Estimated at 1% of the purchase price or value of the home.

Lock period: 30 days.

Income Documentation: All income used to qualify for a loan is documented.

Additional Notes:

Mortgage rates change on a daily basis and have the ability to change within the day depending on market conditions.

Your rate at loan approval may be different based on underwriting considerations and your individual financing request.

Fees and closing costs vary by geographic area and the type of loan.

All loans are considered as either a conforming loan or a JUMBO loan (also known as a non-conforming loan).

A conforming loan is a loan with a mortgage amount that does not exceed eligibility limits for purchase by the secondary mortgage market (i.e.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc.

A JUMBO loan is a loan with mortgage amount that exceeds the eligibility limits for purchase by the secondary mortgage market.

The APR and payments on Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) Loan Products are subject to change after the loan is closed due to the product’s variable-rate feature.

Home Equity Products Rates effective 12/6/2004 Home Equity Loans (Single Family, 1 to 4 units; Condominiums; Townhouses)

12-60 Months 5.74% 8.49% $5,000 – $500,000 61-120 Months 6.24% 8.99% $15,000 – $500,000 121-180 Months 7.49% 7.99% $15,000 – $500,000

Home Equity Lines of Credit (Single Family, 1 to 4 units; Condominiums; Townhouses)

84 Months 5.50% $5,000 – $500,000

Vehicle Loan Products Rates effective 12/6/2004

2005, 2004, 2003

12-36 Months 4.99% 13.50%

37-48 Months 4.99% 13.50%

49-60 Months 5.24% 13.50%

61-72 Months 6.24% 13.50%

Boats and RVs only 73-180 Months 7.74% 9.49%

2002, 2001, 2000

12-36 Months 5.49% 13.50%

37-48 Months 5.74% 13.50%

49-60 Months 6.49% 13.50%

Boats and RVs only 61-180 Months 7.99% 9.74%

1999, 1998

12-36 Months 6.74% 13.50%

37-48 Months 7.24% 13.50%

49-60 Months 7.74% 13.50%

Boats and RVs only 61-180 Months 8.24% 9.99%

1997 and older

12-36 Months 7.74% 13.50%

37-48 Months 8.24% 13.50%

A Special Birthday Surprise (Intermediate)

Want to study this episode as a lesson on LingQ? Give it a try!

Listen in as David chats with his Mom, Lorna Avender, about her birthday; and one surprise in particular that only her daughter could have given her.

David: So, Mom, Friday, the twenty-second of October was a very special day-it was your birthday.

How was your birthday?

Lorna: It was a great day. I had the family over, I got some very nice gifts, and we ordered pizza.

David That’s right. Very good pizza.

Tell me about your gifts. There were some very nice gifts, but there was a special gift. So, tell me about those gifts, and the special one in particular.

Lorna: Well, I’ll tell you all of them. Your dad bought me two very nice nighties, and a very pretty blouse. He’s got very good taste. And, my terrific son bought me a VCR/DVD player, so that I can watch some movies that I like.

When Dad’s watching, you know, war movies or ‘This Old House,’ or ‘Fix Up This Old House,’ I can watch Barry Manilow or ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ DVDs. So that was very special. Then my daughter and my son-in-law, Kathy and Jamie, came over and I sat down and opened one of their gifts. One was a novel, a mystery novel, which I really enjoy. And then I got busy doing other things, and there were two presents remaining. My daughter was pacing up and down, and I’m thinking to myself, “She seems awfully nervous.”

I said, “Sit down, Kathy.” She said, “I just want you to open your gifts.” So anyway, I sat down and opened the next gift. It was a little book, and on the front of it, it said, “Grandma’s Brag Book.” It went through my head, “Oh, this is something for the future.” She said, “Open it, Mom,” and it said, “Coming 2005.” And I was speechless. I didn’t say a word! I said, “It’s not, you’re not!”

She’s just shaking her head and her eyes were filled with tears. That was the news, it was wonderful.

David Yeah, wonderful for everyone. And this is your very first, so Dad’s going to be a grandpa, and you’re going to be a grandma, and Dave’s going to be an uncle, which is exciting as well. How do you feel about this?

I mean, you know, for me, it’s exciting thinking of having a little kid I can play with once in a while. How do you feel? You’ve been through this, this is your own daughter having a child.

How do you feel about this?

Lorna: It’s exactly what you said. It’s your baby is having a baby, and there’s nothing that can compare to that. Nothing. I always wanted to be a grandmother, but I always felt that was their decision and there’s no need to be saying, “When are you starting a family?” The only thing my daughter said to me one time is that, “It doesn’t seem like the right time.” I said, “Well, if you’re looking for the right time, it’ll probably never be the right time. There will always be something.”

But that was all. This is a whole new chapter in our lives, it’s really exciting.

David I imagine she’s going to be asking advice, all kinds of advice, over the next nine months and probably for the rest of her life. “What do I do with my sixteen-year-old son? I can’t control him, he’s out of control, his hair is too long.” What has she asked you up until now? Has she asked you any funny anecdotes, does she have any questions for you yet?

Lorna: Well, I guess the most important one at this point is, “How much weight did you gain,” [laughter] and, “How did you feel?” I said, “Well, I gained twenty to twenty-five pounds, and actually it was the healthiest time of my life. I didn’t have any morning sickness, I just felt terrific.” And it’s going the same way with her, she can’t believe it because she feels so great.

David What are you looking forward to?

I’ve heard Judge Judy and others have said that the job of a grandparent is to spoil the kids rotten, because that’s what grandparents do. Grandparents have fun because they’re not disciplinarians. They’re the ones who spoil the kids, sneak them the candies, sneak them the dollar here, dollar there. What are you looking forward to most, as being a grandparent?

Lorna: Well, just having that little hand to hold, to have that little person say “Grandma.”

But as far as spoiling them, you can give them maybe a little bit of candy or something like that, but you don’t spoil them as far as discipline. You have the same rules that the parents have, and you just want them to be respectable children with respect for people.

David Last question: Tonight’s game-Red Sox and St. Louis. Who would you like to win, and why would you like them to win?

Lorna: Well, most people would probably disagree with me, but I’ve always been a St. Louis fan. I really like Tony LaRussa, the manager.

I think he’s a good guy, he’s very knowledgeable. I’d like to see him have a win, and also because Walker, one of the players, is from Maple Ridge, British Columbia. So he’s a hometown guy. But, unfortunately, I think the Boston team’s on a roll, so good luck to them.

David Thanks a lot, Mom. Okay, take care and thank you very much. That was Lorna Avender-my mom.

A Special Birthday Surprise

Want to study this episode as a lesson on LingQ? Give it a try!

Listen in as David chats with his Mom, Lorna Avender, about her birthday; and one surprise in particular that only her daughter could have given her.

David: So, Mom, Friday, the twenty-second of October was a very special day-it was your birthday.

How was your birthday?

Lorna: It was a great day.

I had the family over, I got some very nice gifts, and we ordered pizza.

David That’s right.

Very good pizza.

Tell me about your gifts.

There were some very nice gifts, but there was a special gift.

So, tell me about those gifts, and the special one in particular.

Lorna: Well, I’ll tell you all of them.

Your dad bought me two very nice nighties, and a very pretty blouse.

He’s got very good taste.

And, my terrific son bought me a VCR/DVD player, so that I can watch some movies that I like.

When Dad’s watching, you know, war movies or ‘This Old House,’ or ‘Fix Up This Old House,’ I can watch Barry Manilow or ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ DVDs.

So that was very special.

Then my daughter and my son-in-law, Kathy and Jamie, came over and I sat down and opened one of their gifts.

One was a novel, a mystery novel, which I really enjoy.

And then I got busy doing other things, and there were two presents remaining.

My daughter was pacing up and down, and I’m thinking to myself, “She seems awfully nervous.”

I said, “Sit down, Kathy.”

She said, “I just want you to open your gifts.”

So anyway, I sat down and opened the next gift.

It was a little book, and on the front of it, it said, “Grandma’s Brag Book.”

It went through my head, “Oh, this is something for the future.”

She said, “Open it, Mom,” and it said, “Coming 2005.”

And I was speechless.

I didn’t say a word!

I said, “It’s not, you’re not!”

She’s just shaking her head and her eyes were filled with tears.

That was the news, it was wonderful.

David Yeah, wonderful for everyone.

And this is your very first, so Dad’s going to be a grandpa, and you’re going to be a grandma, and Dave’s going to be an uncle, which is exciting as well.

How do you feel about this?

I mean, you know, for me, it’s exciting thinking of having a little kid I can play with once in a while.

How do you feel?

You’ve been through this, this is your own daughter having a child.

How do you feel about this?

Lorna: It’s exactly what you said.

It’s your baby is having a baby, and there’s nothing that can compare to that. Nothing.

I always wanted to be a grandmother, but I always felt that was their decision and there’s no need to be saying, “When are you starting a family?”

The only thing my daughter said to me one time is that, “It doesn’t seem like the right time.”

I said, “Well, if you’re looking for the right time, it’ll probably never be the right time.

There will always be something.”

But that was all.

This is a whole new chapter in our lives, it’s really exciting.

David I imagine she’s going to be asking advice, all kinds of advice, over the next nine months and probably for the rest of her life.

“What do I do with my sixteen-year-old son?

I can’t control him, he’s out of control, his hair is too long.”

What has she asked you up until now?

Has she asked you any funny anecdotes, does she have any questions for you yet?

Lorna: Well, I guess the most important one at this point is, “How much weight did you gain,” [laughter] and, “How did you feel?”

I said, “Well, I gained twenty to twenty-five pounds, and actually it was the healthiest time of my life.

I didn’t have any morning sickness, I just felt terrific.”

And it’s going the same way with her, she can’t believe it because she feels so great.

David What are you looking forward to?

I’ve heard Judge Judy and others have said that the job of a grandparent is to spoil the kids rotten, because that’s what grandparents do.

Grandparents have fun because they’re not disciplinarians.

They’re the ones who spoil the kids, sneak them the candies, sneak them the dollar here, dollar there.

What are you looking forward to most, as being a grandparent?

Lorna: Well, just having that little hand to hold, to have that little person say “Grandma.”

But as far as spoiling them, you can give them maybe a little bit of candy or something like that, but you don’t spoil them as far as discipline.

You have the same rules that the parents have, and you just want them to be respectable children with respect for people.

David Last question: Tonight’s game-Red Sox and St. Louis.

Who would you like to win, and why would you like them to win?

Lorna: Well, most people would probably disagree with me, but I’ve always been a St.

Louis fan.

I really like Tony LaRussa, the manager.

I think he’s a good guy, he’s very knowledgeable.

I’d like to see him have a win, and also because Walker, one of the players, is from Maple Ridge, British Columbia.

So he’s a hometown guy.

But, unfortunately, I think the Boston team’s on a roll, so good luck to them.

David Thanks a lot, Mom.

Okay, take care and thank you very much.

That was Lorna Avender-my mom.

Leaders of Tomorrow (Advanced)

Want to study this episode as a lesson on LingQ? Give it a try!

In this conversation, Steve speaks with Rebecca about networking and mentorship opportunities available to members of the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Leaders of Tomorrow program.

Hello.

My name is Rebecca Clapperton, and I work with the Vancouver Board of Trade`s “Leaders of Tomorrow” program. Good morning. Very nice of you to spend the time.

Thank you.

I`ve been very interested in your program, because first of all it`s new, it didn`t exist before … And I should first of all apologize for the noise because we`re in a public area here. In fact some people are walking by and we`ll wait `til they get by here.

But basically what you have done is you have gotten students to become interested in the Board of Trade.

Um hmm.

And the program introduces them to the activities of the Board of Trade but the students are in charge , is that correct?

With … It is a very student driven program, yes that`s correct.

Okay.

Tempered with business advice and expertise.

I see. Student driven. So in fact how do they drive the program?

They drive the program by being a part of the development of the program. It`s a program which services their development so they are responsible for evaluating the program to see that it meets the objectives that they hope to accomplish.

And what are their objectives?

Well, on an individual basis they may come in for three different reasons. One they want to learn how to network and be connected to the greater community. So …

Meaning the greater business community?

The greater business community.

Right.

And this is where the business mentors really do assist them in their own personal development. They`re partnered with an individual from the business community. They meet once a month over coffee or at a luncheon or a breakfast function which then introduces them to a number of other people. They`re able to model and reflect the acumen or the expertise of the business person at that very session. So that would be one way that they`re learning how to build their own personal networks.

Let me ask you a question.

Are these students typically business students?

Typically. Right now two-thirds of the students are business students.

Business students.

Yeah.

We have more of a focus this year on recruiting those under-represented areas because the Arts and the Science and the Engineering students have as much to learn from business community contacts and access as the Business students. And often times you`ll see the Commerce and Business Faculties actually have the supportive relationships and the resources to do something similar or they`ve already had access to it.

But at the present time it`s heavy to business students and the objective, number one was networking. And you provide them with mentors, who are business people, who spend one … meet with them once a month in an informal environment.

Right, two hours. Right.

Two hours.

Right.

And provide them advice .

Right.

And talk to them about their business. And so that would be the networking aspect. What would be the second objective? You said there were three objectives, I think.

Yeah.

Really, students come in and they`re very interested in developing their own career plan. So they may want an industry-specific partnership. Where previously we mentioned networking as a goal, or interpersonal skill development, building confidence in the business environment, the … that could have been a partnership or a mentor match which was cross-discipline. So, you`ve got a student that`s maybe in film, studying in film, and you have a mentor that`s maybe a banker, but very well versed in networking .

So, because the objective in that partnership is networking we could cross-discipline. Now if you`ve got a student in film that would like to explore the industry of film and the realities of industry here in Vancouver, well then you would look specifically for a business mentor that has been in industry and has knowledge of industry.

That`s very interesting. You used the term “partnership”. So therefore the mentor and the mentoree, they form a partnership .

I think so.

And how long is that partnership for?

Eight months.

For eight months.

That`s right.

I see and then you specifically either, depending on the desire or the needs of the student, you either match them with someone that reinforces their background or someone from a different background.

Precisely.

To cross … what did you call that? Cross-ventilate ?

It`s almost. Yeah, cross-pollinate, yeah exactly.

Cross-pollinate. Okay.

Taking off the blinders . Imagine a horse with some blinders. Right.

A student may be on a career path as a result of their academic study. A PhD in Chemistry was one of our very famous examples. So, had gone through seven years of chemistry work in a lab and realized that was not the career.

They did not want to remain in the laboratory experience. So partnered with a management consultant, he learned that many of the skills, through volunteers, and that he had developed, they were transferable. And he could be a Project Manager outside of the laboratory experience in a number of different settings.

Very interesting. Now was there a third objective? Or have we more or less covered …

A small number of students come into the program to explore some entrepreneurial aspirations. So we may specifically partner them with a business mentor that`s run a few small businesses, or been there, done that.

Okay.

You know, it`s interesting, I was reading in the Vancouver Sun the other day that a high percentage of business graduates from UBC, and Commerce graduates, are finding employment today.

Okay.

Whereas I know the job market for recent graduates has been difficult in some sectors.

That`s right.

Yes.

But it`s interesting that business graduates are getting jobs.

Um hmm.

The other interesting thing was a study that the Board … or no, I think it was the BC Business Council did, showing what employers are looking for in employees.

Okay.

And number one was the ability to communicate.

Okay.

Absolutely.

And I think this relates to your experience here. I guess some of these students who might have an academic background, need to learn how to communicate with business people.

Absolutely.

Yeah, and it`s a confidence building exercise. Because initially, they are … the students are asking of themselves, “Well, why would a business member want to communicate with me? Why would a business member wish to speak to me? What do I have to offer?” And so there`s a personal learning exercise in coming to know what value you bring to the conversation and what you bring to that exchange through a networking environment.

Are some of the students … I mean in a university environment, people tend to be a little bit cynical, often, about the business community.

Sure. Absolutely it is yeah.

They`re radical, they`re manning the barricades , fighting or whatever.

You bet, part of the exercise, yeah.

And so then they come here and what sort of … do some of them come in with a bit of an attitude?

You bet. You bet. Not as many. Many students that might have those dispositions have self-selected not to participate. And so that`s part of our public relations exercise, is connecting with those students, so that they understand. Part of what we hope to accomplish is to break down those stereotypes.

Right.

Absolutely we have some … we have a Community Affairs Committee at the Vancouver Board of Trade that is the “conscience” of the Board of Trade, so they like to say.

They are out there in the community talking about transportation issues, health, education, they`re very vested, they have a very vested interest in supporting the greater community objective, so … and you can actually connect with one person as a business person that works in a larger organization and find out that they have a family, and they have other volunteer commitments, and they make decisions on a day-to-day basis that support their business, yes, but they do them from an individual and a global perspective that is very ethical, and you bet we`re trying to breakdown some of those stereotypes .

Do the students themselves come with some experience in volunteering as well?

Oh yes.

Or do they get involved in volunteering when they`re on the program?

They do.

Volunteering is very important to us. We believe that there`s a very positive type of learning that happens when you offer your service to the greater community . So, many of the students already … they`ve taken the initiative to apply for the program, so many of them have also taken the initiative to volunteer through their careers. But we also see this as an opportunity to begin building that volunteer experience, because often times employers will look at your volunteer experience just as heavily as they`ll look at your previous work experience. You may not have had a chance to develop strategy for a greater business, but you may have had a chance to develop strategy for a fundraising committee on a student club for example. So there are ways for you to explore some of your talents and skills.

And we put those student talents and skills, absolutely, to work, in the greater work we have to do with the program.

Now let`s get back, if we can, to a point that you made at the beginning, about how the students manage or drive the program. Obviously the mentors, the members of the Board of Trade, who take the time once a month to meet with the students, they don`t want to be involved in organizing and running this program. So it really comes back to the students running it. Although you are an employee of the Board of Trade.

That`s right.

And so you provide a sort of a coordinating function. But what kinds of things, and how … do the students do, and how do they organize themselves to do it?

Just like any other campus club, the students develop objectives and goals. So, for example, they would like to increase the profile of the program. Let`s take a look at media relations and let`s develop a plan for how to receive exposure through the greater media. Develop relationships with specific reporters. Write press releases. Get coverage in our own local newspaper, the Sounding Board, which is the Vancouver Board of Trade`s paper. That would be media relations. Another would be event management, which everyone loves to do. Right.

Which includes everything from fundraising to logistical planning to hosting and public speaking. There`s a lot of fun ways to get involved with event planning, and students carry that through, depending on what their greater objectives are that year.

You know, you may be aware that we, in developing this language learning material, in English, were also, obviously, in contact with many of the recent immigrants here to Vancouver, many of whom are professionals, and looking at ways that they might be able to better network with the business community. And some of the things you described, I think, could also have application for that group as well. But then they would have to take the initiative.

Yes.

To organize, to perhaps, in committee, decide on events that they wanted to have, perhaps publicize the fact that they are here, they do exist …

Yeah, absolutely.

… they want to connect with the broader community. And yeah, I see some real parallels there.

I guess it would be a matter of getting some “keeners”. Like, how important is it … like obviously you cannot pull these students if they aren`t coming with you.

Umm.

So there have to be some very motivated people in the student group. Is that the case? Do you have some very keen people, or are you having to kind of orchestrate this thing for them?

No, when I say student-driven, I do mean that I have the pleasure to work with people that are personally very driven to develop their career paths, to develop their own skills, and they do so by committing themselves to greater community initiatives. So we`ve had the fortune to involve them in our activities or they see benefit in their personal commitment .

So they see benefit in, (1) developing their network through the work that they`re doing, (2) having some practical experiences to apply to their resume. And it just grows and builds from there.

I know that you`ve indicated a willingness to spend some time with a … you know if we do get a group of these recent professional immigrants who want to develop a similar program that you would be willing to provide some advice.

Right.

Darcy Rezac, who is the Managing Director, has also indicated that he would support such an effort and make some special memberships available to some of these immigrant professionals. Obviously a big obstacle is language.

Okay.

Because all of the students of course are … most of them would be native speakers of English?

Absolutely, yeah.

Even if they were immigrants themselves, they`d been in the school system for 10 years or whatever.

Or so. Yeah.

Or so, yeah. So therefore that would be one of the obstacles. Hopefully though, if our group can improve their English skills, then they could organize something similar, tailored to their specific needs. And some of the things you said are quite interesting. For example, someone with an IT background might be partnered with someone in a totally unrelated background, which would help, perhaps, broaden their perspective .

Absolutely.

One question, of course, is how does one best recruit the mentors? Because obviously you have to find people that are going to spend the time.

Um hmm.

Because … oh, and maybe I should ask this question. What is the commitment from the mentor? He has to spend … he or she has to spend the two hours a month.

Um hmm.

Is there anything beyond that, or is it just the two hours a month of time?

Right now that`s the basics.

Right.

That`s the basics.

And what is the motivation on the part of the mentor? Why are they willing to do this?

Well, you`re a business person.

Um hmm.

You`ve run several successful companies. You`re an entrepreneur. From your perspective what would attract you to participating in this program?

I guess … that`s a good question, for you to turn the tables on me . I think there`s always the sort of human interest thing to meet someone. I mean, if I were, as a business person, to meet rather a recent immigrant, or a young student, to see what their perspective on life is, you know it`s always … it`s broadening and interesting from a human interest point of view.

Second of all, you never know, you might find someone there that could be helpful to your business …Um hmm.

… it`s a … I would say a way, without any commitment …

Um hmm.

… that you can meet people.

And the third thing, I think, is if you think genuinely that you`re helping someone, then that`s always gratifying, to feel that you`re doing something to help someone else. So I mean just right off the bat …

Exactly.

… I can think of three reasons. Exactly.

… that it would interest me to do something …

And those three …

Yeah.

… reasons are really key to our recruitment exercise. I think that the period of transition , whether you`re working with recent immigrants or whether you`re working with recent graduates, transition is a very exciting time to assist people through, and to have the greatest impact on their personal development.

So how do you recruit mentors then?

Do you …

We`ve had …

… mail everybody in the Board of Trade? Or …?

No, no.

No.

We`ve had the fortune to be a program established as a Vancouver Board of Trade program, and I would say for the most part, a trend among other mentoring programs is that their greatest challenge is recruiting mentors, and we haven`t had that challenge, because we`ve built up credibility in being a Board of Trade program. We had the fortune to develop relationships with business members.

Um hmm.

So it`s been relationship driven and referral driven, and each year retention gets higher and higher, and certainly ” word of mouth ” has been fabulous for us.

Now, is it very important, then that the, I don`t know if the term is “mentorees”, but the students then, perform … Mentee.

Mentee.

That they perform well.

Should.

In other words, if you have a lot of students who are, to use the word “duds”, in other words, they`re not interested, they`re not interesting, they`re not … they don`t … because to some extent they have to give something …Yeah. … to the mentor.

Right.

And so, what is normally … what is expected of the mentee, of the student, what … do you give them some advice on how to make this “partnership”, as you call it, successful? Um hmm.

We hope that they, at the very beginning of the year, can articulate what they wish to get out of the program. That way, both student and mentor can evaluate to see whether they`ve achieved those established goals as a partnership.

I guess it`s important, too, that the student not have the approach that somehow he`s going to get a job out of this, because it`s very much not that way, it`s …

It`s not the objective of the program.

Okay.

And so I guess in terms of the recent immigrants, I guess, the big thing is to make sure that their English, those that we do select for the program, that their English skills are up to the mark.

Um hmm.

Otherwise there could be some frustration, or dissatisfaction, or disappointment on the part of the mentor. Have you … let me ask you this, have you had some comments from mentors, where they have not been happy with their mentee, and if so, what are some of the criticisms?

I think that happens in any interpersonal development program. Evaluation is key to your continuous improvement. So you will find that in our first year – we`re headed into our fourth year now – and in our first year of programming, the selection process for students wasn`t as honed as it might be now, nor was the demand for the program.

So now we have a greater number of students to pull from, or to select from, whereas initially, in building the program, it was almost an … each applicant that came forward was accepted into the program.

But, what would, just … I mean perhaps this could be our final point. What are the things to watch to for ? What kind of people make poor mentees? What kinds of problems would be … you know, would impact on the reaction of the mentors?

Expectation levels of what is … what the program will deliver, and certainly commitment level to what they can accomplish.

Um hmm.

Or commitment level to their personal goals.

Um hmm.

Their personal goals need to be within what we promise.

Right.

And if they wish to meet the most senior level people within the business community, we can`t promise that to each and every individual in our program.

Yeah.

So we need to bring it back to the individual goals of the student, but within our global programming, and then support them through that. And then they need to have the personal initiative to make it happen , because we will not monitor to the point, or provide specific support. You need to know how to tap into the insight of your mentor , and you need to volunteer to build your networks .

So therefore the … it`s very important that the mentee, the student, or if it`s a recent immigrant, be interested in the mentor.

You can`t go there with the attitude as, “Here I am”, you know, “Do something for me”. It has to be one of “I`m a person, you`re a person, here`s what I … my background. What is your background? What are your interests?” And there has to be a two-way level of communication there.

Two-way is quite key, I think.

It`s been interesting for us to note that mentors learn as much from the program as the students do, but both members do need to be committed to the relationship, which means that we, as a program, need to facilitate proper fit and rapport building, and if the fit isn`t there very early on, we need to re-establish a new relationship.

Right, okay. Well, you know, we`ve covered a lot of ground.

Yeah.

I think it`s been very, very interesting, and I thank you very much for taking the time.

Thanks very much.

The Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver

Want to study this episode as a lesson on LingQ? Give it a try!

It was more than 100 years ago that George Grant Mackay discovered the spot where Capilano Suspension Bridge now stands.

Impressed by the beauty of the land, he built a cabin for himself and his wife.

Then, with the help of the local Indians, August Jack and Willie Khahtsahlano and a team of horses, he pulled taut the first hemp rope and cedar plank bridge 450 feet across the Capilano River.

Mackay’s friends began their journey to the bridge by crossing Burrard Inlet aboard the S.S.

Senator.

A long trek up the rough trail that is now Capilano Road led to their being dubbed The Capilano Tramps.

The encumbrances of their dress did little to deter the spirited adventurers who steadily visited the bridge.

It was such a popular attraction that a second, and more secure, wire bridge was built in 1903.

Another wire bridge, with cable ends firmly encased in concrete, was built in 1914.

It is the ultimate tourist attraction: wilderness a few minutes from downtown, a hair-raising sense of danger when you walk 70 meters (more than 200 feet) above the yawning chasm of the Capilano River on a 450-foot bridge that seems to respond to every step you make, photo stops, a souvenir shop, teahouse, native carving displays, etc.

The sheer granite cliffs of the Capilano Canyon were carved out more than a hundred centuries ago by natural water courses left behind by glacial action.

Visitors from all over the world now flock to Capilano Suspension Bridge.

In 1911, the Tea House (now the trading post) was built on the edge of Capilano Canyon.

Later, during the 1930s, bridge owner Mac MacEachran initiated the tradition of inviting local Indians to place their totem poles on the grounds.

The totems now present are those originals poles, maintained in the exact condition in which they were received more than 60 years ago.

In 1956 the present suspension bridge was built.

This time the pre-stressed wire cables were encased in 13 tons of concrete at either end.

Capilano Suspension Bridge is conveniently located 10 minutes from downtown Vancouver through Stanley Park over Lions Gate Bridge and north 1 mile on Capilano Road.

From the Trans-Canada Highway take the Capilano Road exit and travel north half a mile.

The Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park is open every day except Christmas Day.