These are eight, random "Daily Photographs" from my personal Flickr collection.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Weather Outside is Frightful

2017_11_19Had to drive the truck somewhere as its insurance runs out today!

I discovered that our provincial insurance company will not write a policy of under three months in length. We do not leave for the winter until the evening of the 28th. However, I'm not going to waste a large amount of money for a mere nine days. Fortunately, we have plenty of transit and car-share options here.

We're in the middle of the third major storm this week. Rainfall warnings are in effect. It's hard to tell what time it is outside because there's been no hint of sun today. So, it was nice to get to the mall just to see the bright lights.

Santa was already at Metrotown but I think he gets around and we'll undoubtedly be able to catch up with him later in one of the major malls in Penang too.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Turn It Up

Our natural gas isn't metered. Our monthly maintenance fees include the costs incurred by the building. This makes me happy because I don't like cold rooms. The gas fireplace is running on setting '3'. It's pretty hot in here now because I realize we won't be using any gas this winter when away.

Being wasteful but a little sweaty is okay, I think.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Daily December Temperatures

The rain of the last few days has stopped. However, there are still dark clouds hovering overhead and the temperatures are quite nippy. They have reminded me that it'll be December in a couple of weeks.

Of course, I also remembered that we'll not be here. For December through February, we'll be in Penang, Malaysia; and following that, we will spend six weeks in Cambodia. We've visited both areas. In fact, had Jay not needed heart surgery, they are the very places we would have spent last winter.

Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia

George Town, Penang
George Town, Penang

I copied this information from the website. Yup, it looks like I'll be happier in the tropics during December.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Lunch at VCC


What a good idea, Tim!

I'd like to thank him for thinking to invite us to a lunch at The Bistro. I wish I'd taken a picture before we started eating.

Without Tim's foresight, we might not have had a chance to meet these gents before heading off for the winter. The SkyTrain made it easy to get to downtown Vancouver. Coming back occurred well before commuting rush hour. Jay and I walked through the International Village Mall and the T&T before heading back to New Westminster.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Seventy Cents Worth of Trouble

I got a replacement band when I got my Mi Band 2. I didn't want to be caught without one as I have come to rely on the device. I like checking how far I walk each day. I've also come to accept its information on how well I slept.

However, I'm just about out of juice. I cannot find the little USB charger cable. I can almost remember packing it somewhere special when we were on the MS Noordam in Auckland. I didn't consider how precious the cable was. The cost of the missing part is less than a buck but I don't know how quickly I can get hold of a replacement

Now, I feel naked without the device on my wrist.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Six Weeks of Posts Added

Blog PostI knew it was very likely that I'd not post blog entries during our six-week cruise from Vancouver to Auckland. I did take along a netbook, so that I could write out a journal for each and every day. I started putting all my photos on Flickr too.

Upon getting home, I started the process of uploading the text and eventually, all 1100+ photos hit the cloud too. I'm a bit surprised it took me a whole week to finish. I did today.

I can now review our cruise to New Zealand in the future because I pasted my text and photos onto my blog. Lots of pictures! It is best read one page at a time for all 42 pages. In order to progress forward, one can select the 'Newer Post' option under each entry.

When viewing on a mobile screen, choose the arrow facing left under the text on the left side.

Here's the starting post -

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Soggy Monday


I could hear the rain hitting the windows well before we got up this morning. I was reminded of how water can be driven sideways by the wind. We must have a very clean south-facing facade on these buildings!

We did a little shopping uptown during a short reprieve, but as evening approached, the pelting began and is continuing. In mid-November, it seems to get dark early whatever the weather. When I went to the swimming pool earlier in the afternoon and passed the front door, a cyclone of air was lifting spent, decaying maple leaves in a funnel of frustration.

I am glad I get a chance to see this situation. I have a better reminder of why we'll be re-packing bags soon. If many birds and even whales venture toward sunnier climes this season, why not us?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Beers Old and Current


We drove over the bridge today to pick up a new travel laptop at the Best Buy at Surrey Central. The little device is a little awesome. Then, a quick stop at Central City Brewing Company was necessary. I went to fill up a couple of two-litre growlers, but instead bought a 12-pack as the beer per dollar worked out a bit cheaper. I did sort of long for some vastly over-hopped brew. Thank you, Red Racer.

I expect that I will be sipping far more traditional lagers during the winter. It won't be long before we're in Malaysia for three months and Cambodia for a month and a half.

A beer from my past on a previous visit in Siem Reap.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

There's Always Something Better

I wasn't intending to buy a new electronic device. Yet, that is exactly what I'm about to do. Today's blog post is just self-justification.

Time for an Upgrade

It's been ages since I bought a computer or a tablet. Well, perhaps not. I did have to get rid of my trusty, aging Nexus 7 tablet a year ago after I dropped it on the floor and cracked the screen. The Asus Zenpad 8 has been a perfect, sturdy replacement. Prior to this, I'd have to check to find when we purchased a Windows machine.

Firstly, my frustration with an underpowered Acer One V5 is a major reason I'm prompted to make a new purchase. It was perfect for my final year teaching as I needed something light to plug into LED screens in BCIT classrooms. It has just an 11" screen and travels well. I've been retired three years this month, so it is getting long in the tooth. The old netbook came with Win8 installed. It now runs Win10 abet slowly; in fact, too slowly to constructively get much work done. The Acer is not especially light for such a small device either.

Secondly, our current laptop has a big 17.3" screen and generally sits on the dining table. In fact, I'm writing this entry on the Toshiba Satellite now. It's much more productive than trying to use a tablet or phone. This computer, bought in 2013, travelled to both Mexico and Egypt for our winters away. It is nice to have a large screen, but it is like trying to carry around a small boat anchor. I just can't picture lugging it to Malaysia and Cambodia during the next four and a half months.

For these two reasons, I have decided to get an Asus 13.3" Zenbook Flip. As a new UX370 has been released, the older UX360 model is coming on sale. I think it may work for me, although there are cheaper, options. It would be nice to have a little SSD HD rather than a larger, more fragile hard disk. (The only one I ever had to replace in the last thirty years was on the laptop I'm using now. It got banged when going to and coming from Mexico.) Also, I'm willing to pay a bit of a premium to get its touchscreen functionality. The keyboard can be flipped and the screen used like a tablet. Even though I am perfectly happy with Android screens, I may get more use out of a combo device.

So it's time to visit BestBuy. I haven't been in one in years, but writing this message has convinced me ... I might as well.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Adding Some Dates to My Calendar

I stopped to wonder how life might've been different if Google Calendar had been available when I was in college.

Calendar App

I do remember initial PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants, not Public Displays of Affection). I thought it was amazing one could put all one's addresses and contacts into a little Casio device. Oh my, I'm glad I got to live both an analog and a digital life. The generations on both sides are a little clueless.

Thursday, November 09, 2017


I took early retirement from teaching exactly three years ago this month.

Sydney Harbour
Jay and I were at Sydney Harbour in October.

We just got off a 6-week cruise which ended in New Zealand. This was immediately preceded by our 24-days on the MS Westerdam in the Adriatic and Mediterranean. Now, just today, I put a winter 'snowbird' vacation stop on our Internet and TV services from the end of this month. We won't need them during our upcoming four and a half months in SE Asia.

I love my life.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

A Good Month for Bitcoin

It's nice to see that markets operate even when I'm away and without Internet access. It looks as though Bitcoin did pretty well in October even without my chronic preoccupation.

Today's prices on Bitcoin Exchanges

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

We're Home for Three Weeks

Up today at 9:15 AM. I blame jetlag. We got the fireplace running last night, so by this evening, the place is finally warm enough. (We like it hot.)

Today involved doing a lot of the little things, things such as emptying suitcases. (Now about six more washer loads of clothes are sitting around.)

Of course, we needed to get some food too, so we drove up to our Langley Farm Market and the local Walmart. (The truck got very dirty parked downstairs.)

Now, most of the Internet devices are finally up-to-date with software and app updates. (It seems very nice to have fast Internet all the time, again.)

Finally, I just have to figure out why it is so damned dark at 5:00 in the afternoon. (Everything seemed fine south of the equator.)

Really, 5:00 PM?

Monday, November 06, 2017

Back Before We Left

Day 42 - We're home! Crossing the Pacific was much faster by plane than on our cruise ship. In fact, we got to New Westminster before we even left Auckland, but let me explain.

November 6, 2017 Monday

Today was our last morning on the MS Noordam. We got up at our usual time, but we'd already heard announcements for those who had early departures. We had planned to walk around Auckland for a second day, but we needed to get off the ship at 9:15 AM. Even though there was absolutely no rush as we had a late night departure, we found that the idea of sitting in an airport wasn't so bad. The weather was nice in the city, but we'd have to pay to store the bags and then we really felt as if we no longer had a home in the city.

We got to the airport by taking the SkyBus service on our own, from very near Wharf 10 downtown. We spent a lot of the day there, right through sundown. Not a very good selection of food, I must say.

November 6, 2017 Monday

November 6, 2017 Monday

At about 11:10 PM on November 6th, our wheels left the tarmac. We left a little later than scheduled as the wind was in our favour and the pilot didn't want to get us into busy LAX too early. Air New Zeland crammed us into economy on a brand-new 777. Our scheduled flight of 12 hours, worked out to be only around 11. Yah, then LAX.

Los Angeles is still a zoo for transiting passengers. We queued, scanned our passports, queued again, talked to the Homeland Security agent, rolled to the luggage carousels, picked up our bags, queued some more to recheck our bags, went outside, waited for the free airport terminal shuttle bus, got our at terminal 6, waited for an elevator, queued some more for security, had a patdown, and rolled to the gate at the very end of the terminal. The wonderful process took about an hour and a half.

We had more time to wait as the Air Canada flight didn't load until 5:50. We got off the plane at YVR at around 9:10. By the time we got out of the airport it was after 10:00 and damned cold outside. We took the SkyTrain all the way to downtown and then the other line to New Westminster.

Was it 10:45 PM already? It is still November 6th, so we got back before we left.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Auckland, New Zealand

Day 41 - We awoke in the final destination of our 42-day cruise. I love a city which puts its cruise ship port right in the center of the downtown. The nose of the MS Noordam is nearly touching Quay Street.

November 5, 2017

We usually don't try to do tourist things when visiting. I mean, for example, tourists come to Vancouver and flock to Capilano Suspension Bridge, we haven't visited it in 21 years. So, we think it is better just seeing how the streets are set up and walking a lot. We did. Walking all the way up Queen Street takes a while. We even forwent an elevator ride up 'Sky Tower' but did go into the basement where the tickets are sold.

We walked about 7 kilometers returning to the ship for lunch. It was definitely time for our last short nap on a Holland America Lines mattress. I do not know when we'll take another cruise. I do know that this is a nice city to end our extended trip here!

After, a bit of something to eat, we took a hop and skip down the Waterfront area.

November 5, 2017

November 5, 2017

November 5, 2017

November 5, 2017

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