Son of Five Rivers Blog

For the advancement of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability & the Ecology of Everyday Life

Water Efficient Irrigation

Water Efficient Irrigation Covers 7 Basic Steps:

  1. Planning & Design
  2. Preparing the Soil
  3. Creating Practical Turf Areas
  4. Water Efficient Plants
  5. Using Mulch
  6. Efficient Irrigation
  7. Proper Maintenance


October 31, 2009 Posted by | LEED | | Leave a comment

Stormwater Management

Stormwater runoff from urban development projects has become a greater issues and has started to take a forefront in the development process.   The average person fails to see the environmental benefits of understanding stormwater runoff.


  • Pollutant Removal
  • Ground Water Recharge
  • Stream Channel Protection

Storm Water Control Measures are typically dived into two categories:

  1. Structural,  Example Ponds & Filters (Things that are engineered)
  2. Non-Structural Ex:  Grass Buffers & Tree Save areas.

October 31, 2009 Posted by | Water | | Leave a comment

What is Brownfield Redevelopment?


Brownfield redevelopment is a form of sustainable development, offering opportunities to revitalize older neighbourhoods, lower municipal infrastructure costs, increase municipal property tax revenues and lessen urban sprawl. Despite the obstacles facing this type of development, successful redevelopment projects have been built across Canada. These case studies are successful examples of residential projects that have overcome the barriers to brownfield redevelopment

Case Study:

October 30, 2009 Posted by | Community Economic Development (CED), Construction, LEED, Sustainable Community Development | | Leave a comment

Problem: Excel & Word Open Slowly

I had the same problems with Excel either opening XLS and XLSX files
slowly or not at all. I just fixed the file associations for both of
them. Here is what I did.

1) Open an Explorer window and click Folder Option, then File Types.
Scoll down to either XLS or XLSX file type (you need to do the same
for both of them)

2) Once you has XLS (or XLSX) selected, then click Advanced.

3) Click on the OPEN action and then click Edit.

4) Under the Application to use box it probably says “….Microsoft
Office\Office12\EXCEL.EXE” /e” or something similar. Replace the /e
with “%1” (including the quotes). so it should now look like this:

“…Microsoft Office\Office12\EXCEL.EXE” “%1”

5) You can uncheck the “Use DDE” also.

Once that is done close out of all those screen and try to open the
XLS (or XLSX depending on what which one you changed) and it would
open right up in Excel. This fixed the problems I was having.

Have questions, leave a comment:

October 30, 2009 Posted by | Information Technology (I.T.) | | Leave a comment

Excellent Open Source Telephony Application

From the AsteriskNOW Web site:

Asterisk is the world’s leading open source telephony engine and tool kit. Offering flexibility unheard of in the world of proprietary communications, Asterisk empowers developers and integrators to create advanced communication solutions…for free.

What this means is that small (and large) businesses can reduce their telephone PBX (Private Branch eXchange) costs significantly by implementing the AsteriskNOW software appliance instead of investing in a proprietary PBX. In practical terms, a small business can set up a software PBX using an old PC as the server and by making use of IP telephone handsets (i.e. the handsets connect to your data network), can have a working telephone system for a small investment.

The PBX can be connected to the regular telephone network (often referred to as “POTS”, for Plain Old Telephone System) by the installation of a card in one of the PC’s expansion slots. These cards support multiple phone lines, so that, if you have a large amount of telephone traffic, it can be managed smoothly. Another option is to use your existing Internet connection and contract with a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service provider, thus bypassing the telephone company entirely.

All this is well and good – but what about managing people and extensions, external phone lines and voicemail (yes, it comes with voicemail, too)? I have been running an Asterisk server for a couple of years now – in fact, my office number is a VoIP line (or “trunk” in telephony jargon) that connects to the Asterisk box and then over my office network to my telephone handset. To be blunt, the original set up process was quite a challenge – it is a complex and very flexible environment, so can be difficult to configure. Enter AsteriskNOW – this is known as a software appliance, a specialized configuration that is burned to CD and then loaded on to the PC or server that will host the appliance. AsteriskNOW has a Web-based configuration interface:

FreePBX screenshot
Screenshot of the AsteriskNOW graphical interface, FreePBX.

In this partial screen image, you can see on the left side the various menu options that are configured to the requirements of your office – Extensions, Trunks and Outbound Routes, IVR, Voicemail (part of the Extensions configuration) and so on. IVR (Interactive Voice Response) is the feature which allows an Automated Attendant to be set up (as in “Press 1 for Sales, Press 2 for Support”). Other features of note include the ability to have an interactive voicemail message – if someone needs to get hold of you urgently, you can set up the voicemail so that when your “Away from my desk” message is played, pressing “1” can forward the call to your cell phone (or home office, or wherever you might be). This feature can be set up, too, in such a way that it’s hidden from general callers and only those you inform can use it.

AsteriskNOW also supports Queues (e.g. to a support line), Ring Groups (sometimes called hunt groups), the recording of Announcements and the ability to handle out-of-hours calls differently than calls received during business hours.

In other words, AsteriskNOW does pretty much everything a costly proprietary phone system will do – at a fraction of the cost


October 30, 2009 Posted by | Business Development, Information Technology (I.T.), Open Source | , , | Leave a comment

Free Alternative to Microsoft Office

called Open Office, it works great.  The only problem is it doesn’t have the Outlook feature everyone is used too.  You’ll have to use something like Thunderbird.  That’s where it loses the main stream users.

On the technical side of things, the file format used by OpenOffice is called ODF – Open Document Format. This format is an international standard (ISO 26300) for document interoperability, which means that documents stored in this format wil be accessible in the future as the file format will not change from version to version as has happened with proprietary file formats in the past, thus making them challenging to read if the format is no longer supported by a more recent version of the software used to create the file.

Bottom line – if you’re tired of paying hundreds of dollars for your office productivity software, give a try.


October 30, 2009 Posted by | Business, Open Source | Leave a comment

Great Deal on Business Cards

The company is Juke Box Print Shop, They offer a killer deal where you get 1250 Full Color 2 sided business cards for $99.00 Canadian.  Plus Free shipping to anywhere in Canada. (I hope everyone can learn from this example, even if they break even at the end of it.  Imagine how many people have refered these folks or ordered their products.

Another piece of advice since I’m giving it… Never use Vista Print, which offers free business cards.  how they work is they put their  logo and website on the back of your card and charge you an arm and a leg in shipping and handling.   So my advice is if you can’t afford the extra $10 on  business cards, don’t start a business!  Go back to work for someone else…


October 30, 2009 Posted by | Business Development, Entrepreneurship | , , , | 1 Comment

How to Get your site picked up by Search Engines

You finally have a domain now, and your site is up and running… follow this links to directly submit your URL to the top search engines.

October 30, 2009 Posted by | Business, Information Technology (I.T.), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Website | , , | Leave a comment

Advice to Eentrepreneurs (38years, 100+ Franchises)

Here’s a quick read you all might enjoy, it is a presentation from George Moen, President, Blenz, The Canadian Coffee Company.  This presentation was done during small business month, presented during entrepreneurship showcase during at Small Business BC.

These are the lessons I’ve learned (so far) in my 38 years of entrepreneurship:

Pursue Your Passion

  • Work at something you’re passionate about.
  • Don’t do something just because you can.
  • There’s no point in doing something if you don’t love it.
  • Become an expert.Work to a Plan
  • Think big, but …
    – Develop a detailed plan and a budget.


  • Avoid overwhelming yourself.
    – Focus on 3 to 4 specific goals for a year.


  • Monitor your results quarterly.
  • Once one goal is complete, add the nextHave a Mission
  • You need to have a Mission Statement to be “On Mission”.
  • Act out your Mission Statement.
  • “On Time, On Budget, On Spec”
  • If you say you will, you’d better.Fail Forward
  • Do it rough until you do it well.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail.
  • Businesses fail … People don’t.Pursue a Debt-Free Life
  • Debt is an anchor.
  • Put away the chequebook.
  • If you knew how it felt to be debt-free, you’d work harder!Diversify
  • Develop multiple streams of income.Always Be A Student
  • Read.
  • Network.
  • Be a great listener.
  • Embrace Change.
    – The only constant is change.
    – Only pursue change if there’s a clear and obvious benefit.


  • Develop discipline.Network
  • Find genuine support.
    – No one can win alone.


  • Team with like-minded people
    …to amplify your efforts.


  • Surround yourself with a great virtual team.
    – Virtual Teams are the structure of the future.


  • Network without expectation
    – Your Network is your Net Worth.


  • Don’t grow a hero complex.Mentor
  • Give some of your time and effort to someone else.
  • You’re only as good as what you give.
  • This is something you can do just because you can.Protect Yourself and Your Family
    ………………’Nuff said.

    Never, Never, Never Quit

  • October 30, 2009 Posted by | Business, Business Development, Entrepreneurship | , , , , | Leave a comment

    The Age of Stupid (2009)

    If your a first time visitor to the blog, you’ll find some really cool full length videos.   This is another one, but I just couldn’t find the full version to share.   Its worth checking out if you enjoy the trailer.

    Host your own Age of Stupid screening

    After a successful global premiere on September 21st and 22nd, the Age of Stupid – Franny Armstrong’s chilling film about global warming – continues to be seen all around the world, thanks to Indie screenings! You can now arrange to screen the film whenever and wherever you like – the film is already available in 31 languages.

    Plan your own Age of Stupid screening .

    October 28, 2009 Posted by | Sustainability, Videos | | Leave a comment