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

Friday, August 17, 2018

It Lasted a Whole Week and a Half!

Humm...It has seemed difficult lately making sure I get an entry posted here. Perhaps that's an alright thing.

Pretty soon, I'll be bragging about completing fifteen years of daily blog entries. My written content varies a lot. For example, I may write to remember the details of our travels or make comments about items I've bought. Sometimes, life is not stressful and there's not as much to share at all. That's definitely not a bad situation!

Today, I guess I could comment on something I bought, considering I have an interesting photo to go along with it. The device shown here is the wifi interface to the LED strip I recently installed on our balcony. Last night, when I asked Google Home to turn on the LED Strip, he insisted the lights were offline. I went outside to check and found the controller had melted although it had worked fine for a week and a half.

I'm sort of glad it wasn't installed in a flammable, inside location! Its short circuit could be a one-off for the cheap, Chinese component. However, it gives one hesitation about a similar replacement, doesn't it?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Saya Makan Epal.

Hotspot Shield can help my computer, tablet, or phone appear to be in one of many, many different countries. This is great for location-snooping websites.

I'm really limited to the languages I can read on those screens though. Even after working overseas for more than a dozen years and spending three winters abroad, my language skills are limited to a bit of swearing in Arabic and saying, "The cat is in the garden," in Spanish. I know, it's a real shame.

Still, I do understand that it feels good to know some simple vocabulary when away. Now that we've committed to spending the upcoming winter back in SE Asia, I figure learning some additional vocabulary will be useful and fun. From grocery shopping in Malaysia last winter, I know the only the names of some food items.

Screenshot 2018-08-16 18.57.46

I got an email from the folks at Duolingo saying that their Indonesian lessons are now online. It hasn't been updated in their apps yet, but I dusted off an old login and added the new language course today. I hope the dialects of Malay spoken in Bali and Kuala Lumpur really aren't too different.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Just Blending In. Sigh.

The world has seemingly turned toward customizing ordinary consumer products. Everyone wants everything mass-produced especially for them, although that sounds like an enormous contradiction.

The colours of new vehicles seem like one glaring exception to this customization-run-rampant trend. Many car models are released in only a handful of specific hues. One would think that by 2018, a person could go to the dealership with any favourite object, have it scanned, and take delivery of a matching-coloured, new vehicle.

I was recently presented with a selection of black, white, and three other somewhat staid colours for a Hyundai Kona Electric. We're not interested in delivery until next spring. However, my choice was telling. I went with totally ugly-ass grey. Actually, I think it is called, 'Lake Silver'. I really don't think one could possibly get less inspiring without really working at it.

2019 Kona Electric

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A Year for Ears

One bonus of being in British Columbia during summers is the availability of fresh. local produce. Okanagan fruit such as the peaches make summertime eating a pleasure. We still seem to have a copious supply of cherries this year. This seems unusually long.

However, I would have to declare this the summer which will be remembered for its great corn. I don't think we've ever eaten as much corn on the cob as during the past few months. The supply started out from California but the local supply hit early. We have consumed dozens of ears of corn. Of course, the days of a dollar a dozen are long gone. Though the prices, at about US $3.40 for twelve, have remained cheaper than during recent years.


Sunday, August 12, 2018

King of the Hill (A Goat on a Rock)

It was a cool Sunday, in the literal sense. I suppose the temperature reached 22°C but after the warmer weather we experienced in July, it seemed cool. The summer will come to a close soon enough. The department stores have positioned the back-to-school items on their shelves. Jay, just now, in fact, pointed to a line of geese flying over the river.

It won't be long before the Labour Day long weekend and the official, unofficial end to summer. With that, the animals of the Queen's Park petting zoo will leave. The pampered goats will have a whole lot less individual attention. We went to check on them today.


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Our Buildings' Barbeque

Last year we were away for our strata's summer BBQ. We're celebrating our 20th summer in this building but I don't much remember these events in our initial years. The building posters said today's was the 22nd annual!

Today was the first cold day in weeks. I haven't had on long pants for ever-so-long but this evening it was too cold for shorts.

Every item except the watermelon is on the bad-food list. I started with a large sausage and hamburger with copious snack food. Later, I ate at least three of the Costco, hydrogenated-palm-oil cookies too. I won't see these items again for a year if we're in town!

Strata BBQ
Strata BBQ
Strata BBQ

Friday, August 10, 2018

Smoke Covered the Entire Region

When I pulled back the curtains in the bedroom this morning I could see it was smokey. "Oh," I thought, "the wildfires are really affecting air quality today." Then, on the TV news we heard a barge was burning near Bridge View on the Surrey side of the Fraser River. I took a few steps onto the balcony and sure enough, a blaze of old crushed autos and metal was only a kilometer away.


It took the better part of the day for them to extinguish the fire completely. Initially, the fire trucks from Surrey were pretty ineffective. Finally, after a number of hours, a fireboat made it from Vancouver Harbour. I'm surprised there's nothing stationed here next to the Surrey Commerical Docks. I find it appalling that the relevant authorities were so unprepared for this simple situation.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

30°C is Perfect!

The weather in this part of British Columbia is glorious. It's been a long, hot summer. The temperature was comfortably over 30°C in New Westminster today. In fact, now, even after seven o'clock, it's still over that magic number!

We've been doing pretty well in our plan to stay much of the year in this range of daily temperatures. We do not leave for winter until mid-November and it'll no longer be so warm in these parts at that time.

However, I expect we'll be in the magic numbers as soon as we start off our winter. We'll go to Bali first. The seismic activity should have settled down by then. At least, I hope so.

Bali 1992
We haven't spent time in Bali since visiting in 1992.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

We'd Still Not Become 4-Star Mariners

A Cruise Itinerary

This would make for an interesting cruise, wouldn't it? Ships plying the summer, Alaskan cruise route must leave for warmer climes each autumn. We could roll our suitcases onto a SkyTrain and then directly onto a ship at Vancouver's Waterfront terminal.

It'd not be entirely without precedent. We boarded one last year which eventually put us in Auckland, New Zealand.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Crowds: Outside or Inside?

Closer to 30°

The weather is as close to perfection as it can get. It's a fantastic time of the year to call British Columbia home. Yesterday was BC Day and many employees had a three-day weekend. Today, apparently most went back to work. There was hardly a soul in Pier Park around noon.

However, selecting an indoor wifi channel on the 2.4 GHz band was trickier. I suppose interference isn't a concern in a single-family dwelling, but in an urban condo, it can be. I moved to channel 3.

Crowded 2.4 GHz

Monday, August 06, 2018

Selective Reviews on Amazon

I get several Amazon deliveries a month, usually.

Once I bought underwear online as I saved a buck over the uptown Walmart price by having Amazon deliver it. Of course, I didn't bother to write a product review. There's hardly a need to do so for common, everyday purchases. Yet, many of the things I buy from Amazon are not available at a local store or shop. For example, on Saturday, I added a photo of some LED strip lighting which was delivered.

I sometimes find myself scouring the reviews in order to find technical aspects of the product. At times, that is the only place where I can decide whether I should go ahead and buy the item. When this happens, I feel obligated to write up a short review. My comments might help the next guy decide if he wants to make the purchase. Click the image to see it on Amazon.

Amazon Review

Sunday, August 05, 2018

The 40th Annual Vancouver Pride Parade

Vancouver Pride 2018
Vancouver Pride 2018
Vancouver Pride 2018
Vancouver Pride 2018
Vancouver Pride 2018
Vancouver Pride 2018

We are still a land that values diversity and inclusion. We might not agree on all the details but, as a general rule, Canada is open and free. What a great way to spend such a lovely, warm day! We've now been in Vancouver long enough to have seen about half of its Pride Parades. Doing so should never grow old, especially when so very many places in the world have yet to achieve this degree of tolerance and equality.

Vancouver Pride 2018

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Change to Teal

There's continuing fine weather for the first weekend in August, although it is considerably cooler than last week with present highs of about 23C. Of course, this is a busy weekend for all sorts of activities around the area.

We didn't go to see the dyke festivities on Commercial Drive, but do have the main, Vancouver Pride Parade tomorrow. We didn't even walk to the Brazilfest over at Pier Park. That's mainly because with the balcony doors open or closed, we can still hear pretty much everything the way their PA system is pointed! I like the colour and having a vibrant downtown; however, I'm secretly waiting for it and the noise to finish at 8 o'clock.


Today was a regular grocery-shopping, Saturday morning. Before we left the apartment through, the Amazon delivery guy brought us a package. It was a wifi-enabled, LED light strip. I bought it for evening balcony lighting, I think. Really, I bought it because calling on Google Home to turn things off and off has become a bit of an addiction. I look forward to requesting that Google change the strip's colour to ...
... blue, crimson, cyan, fuchsia, gold, green, lavender, lime, magenta, orange, purple, red, salmon, sky, blue, teal, turquoise, violet, or yellow.

Friday, August 03, 2018

My Mane

I don't waste much money on haircuts, perhaps four or five per year. Right after I retired from teaching, I reckoned I needn't keep it short anymore. I chose early retirement back in late 2014 and I've not seen many barbers since that time.


It wasn't until last winter in Malaysia that I started toying with an undercut. The sides had started growing out too much since my last visit to a barbershop in May. Today, I walked to Amir Baghdadi's up on Sixth Street. I like the flexibility of this style of cut. If I don't tie anything back, I look a bit like a 1970's rock band member.

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