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

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Umami and Me

If I spend just a few minutes in front of the TV after selecting something to view in the BBC iPlayer app, I learn something new. Why is it I can't say this with other television networks?

I just discovered The Secrets of Food. I started watching episode 2, but I think I should probably watch them in order. I had never heard of of the word umami, although Jay often talks about some foods as having a savory taste. I didn't know that our tongue can differentiate only five basic tastes. Wikipedia does mention there are ten other sensations a tongue can detect. That's a lot of sensory input. It's no wonder I enjoy eating so much!


I do realize how spoiled I am. With kitchen cupboards full of exotic spices and Jay creating the meals, I get many more tastes than an average guy here. Our basic lunch plates always looks like the one in this picture, although the precise combinations on the plate are different every single day!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Computing 30 Years Ago

I heard a familiar sound coming from the laptop today. Jay was watching a YouTube video. It was his favourite game on our original IBM PC from mid-1980's and he was watching a video clip of the game-play. I knew I must've mentioned Moon Bugs here before and sure enough, that had occurred several times more than a decade ago.

YouTube Video of Moon Bugs by Mindmill Software

There's also a playable copy of it in some Internet, old-DOS-game archives. However, the online emulator runs much faster than a Intel 8088 clocked at 4.77 MHz. So it is impossible to play the game anymore on modern hardware. Still, this video is a suitable reminder.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Is 4K a Noticeable Improvement?


I guess I need to visit a retailer to see if 4K television is noticeably better. I don't know if London Drugs has some actual 4K feeds to compare with ordinary HD. I will go and see.

This question was prompted because I see that our local company, Telus, is starting to get a little more aggressive with the pricing of the 50 Mbps Internet packages. That is the minimum necessary for UHD.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What a Platform for Travel and Education!

I use their email and mobile phone ecosystem. I'd not live a day without their search. I think of all the millions of amazing things that Google can do. Yet I am most constantly impressed with improvements to Street Views.

I appreciate your work, Google. You are awesome for bringing the world to me even though I'm presently sitting half naked on my couch.

On today's morning news, I saw clips of Google trekkers walking around with camera backpacks taking photos of places in British Columbia that most of us will never go. You've captured that same spirit for the folks who used to wait patiently for their next copy of the National Geographic Magazine back when.

Google Street View

I've happened to have seen these few places in person, but Google offers glimpses of places I'll surely never get to experience any other way. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hurry Up and Wait!

2013_03_21We haven't had a finch family on our balcony since I killed the last cedar tree by neglect. Just the other day, a male came around scouting. He spent a few minutes on the railing and, seeing nothing, moved on.

So when we were uptown today and noticed this little bird house, we thought it might be worth a try.

All the news from today wasn't welcome. At around 11:30, we got a call from the hospital saying that Jay's scheduled surgery time was cancelled. We'd sort of got all prepared mentally to head to registration tomorrow morning at 9:00 am. It seems as if emergencies have bumped around the schedule for the semi-elective procedures with Jay's surgeon.

It's not a problem really. We have no personal schedules to change while we wait to hear of a new date. I am not sure when the surgeon's office will get back to us with an updated time. It was disappointing as we'd had gotten all set emotionally. Honestly though, waiting really isn't that bad.

Monday, March 20, 2017


Screenshot 2017-03-20 16.41.06

I love charts and graphs. This pie chart could be of just about anything as I deliberately cut off the legend before pasting here. It happens to be my actual, cash net worth. Each slice is a unique account or investment.

Of course, it all adds up to 100%. I just wish the whole thing were a bit larger.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

To Scrobble

About a year ago, I lamented that it was pretty hard to keep up with what to watch nowadays. Television produces some petty amazing stories. There are more movies available than time to watch them. It's all about picking and choosing in 2017. Today, I quit an app called TVShow Time as I found I really didn't keep up entering what we'd seen and where in a series we were.

When we binge a series, it is pretty easy to remember. For example, I know that we completed just six episodes of the season four of Black Sails. We'll finish up soon by watching a couple of episodes a night. Sometimes, it gets confusing though.

I thought I'd try I think it may keep keeping track a little easier. At least I can supposedly try automatic scrobbling from Terrarium TV.

Screen Capture for Blog

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Little Saturday Afternoon Reading

Jay's always been a quick study. We've had sufficient materials and training available well in advance of this medical procedure. I pity the poor folks who get picked up after having a heart attack and get rushed into a hospital totally unprepared! Dealing with this as a semi-elective surgery, must surely provide short and longer term benefits. Knowing what to expect is always preferred.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Biding Our Time

This is a rather quiet time as we slowly approach the date of Jay's heart surgery in the middle of next week. We walked across Columbia Street to the department store. Jay didn't have an adequate robe to use in the hospital. He found a fine, blue one. He's probably going to probably be in Royal Columbian Hospital for four or five nights.


I pulled back the living room TV in order to position the replacement, little Android TV Box. I had to get out the vacuum cleaner as it was a bit dusty back there! I've pretty much got it set up now. I've stayed with the Leelbox home launcher for now. It allows for zero modification to many of the tiles. I could go back to a launcher I used previously called, Top TV. Yet, it'd take at least 45 minutes to start from scratch with that, so it can wait.

Anyway, I've had no surprises when spending hands-on time with the Leelbox M9S Pro. I like it.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Finally Joining New West's Demographic

This picture was taken a few days ago, but it stands in well for today. We seem to hit the uptown mall nearly every day of the week now. I thought mall rats were kids, but that is not the major demographic of New Westminster. Our city has always skewed towards antiquity. Nowadays, I feel as though we are racing headlong and with open arms into the seniors' crowd.

Uptown Mall

We were not there for coffee nor a food-court lunch. We generally find a reason to be there in order to pick something up. Today, I needed at least four AAA batteries for a remote control and Jay's red-laser pen light. I should have included them in my Amazon order the other day as I have always had good luck with their basic brand of NiMH ones. Rather I ended up with alkalines today.

I do like the proximity of the uptown Walmart. It seems we always have a half dozen credit card charges pending at any one moment. Some changes are as little as $1.90. I'm sure that the fees incurred take a bite from their profit on our meager purchases.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Total Control

I'd never paid more for next day delivery. However, it was only a few bucks so I figured, why not?


I get to celebrate my nerdiness fairly infrequently nowadays. Back in the old days of old Windows, one could spend endless hours fiddling and fuddling. Now I never notice any Win 10 maintenance going on, except on those few occasions when logging on in the morning takes longer because the system had to reboot in its dark lonesomeness.

Screen Capture

So I am finding it very fulfilling to go through the new TV Box, busily deleting unnecessary programs and adding those I require. Who'd want to do Facebook on their television screen, honestly?

I don't know whether I should go with the stock home menuing from a third-party app as I did on the old Minix. So many decisions to get the device exactly as I want it. Perhaps, that is why I've always liked computers. One can create an exactly customized experience matching one's own wants, needs, or peculiarities. There is little else in life where I can exercise such complete domination and total control. Such is a terrible pity for the world in general, I guess.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Streaming Showbox to the Living Room TV

Back in 2014 I wanted a good-quality Android streaming box. At the time that sort of meant buying a Minix. I had to wait a bit for an X8-H to come from Hong Kong. It was supposedly a powerful beast. I was never terribly impressed, although it did have 2/16 GB ram and did some things exceedingly well. I waited and waited for the company to come up with some system updates, but Minix never did. It wasn't long before new models became the focus of their attention.

My box travelled with us to Luxor, Egypt last winter where it was attached to an old tube TV. We ended up streaming more on the big laptop but it did work. We depend on several apps for keeping up on current TV shows and movies. Yet last night, it didn't make it past the beginning splash screen. When I tried this morning, I couldn't get any result out of the HDMI port.


So, I was easily convinced to order something new on today. I figure a new Leelbox M9S Pro will fun to learn and play with. In actuality, my very old Chromecast is probably enough to make my TV smart. This is especially true since I figured out this afternoon how to use allcast to stream showbox to it. Either my Android tablet or phone could have sufficed. I do so like un-boxing little electronic gadgets though.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Here It Is!

This is the winter weather we didn't have. It arrived. For some reason the weather we've ended up with to this point was misplaced and from northern BC or Alberta!

We went uptown fairly early in morning with help of windshield wipers in action. I do admit liking the coziness when it get's to around 10°C and the humidity is close to 100%. I cannot remember if I saw sun at all last week.

I know the moisture good for my skin. Residents who stay here during winters are a little pasty but often look ten years younger than they are. We sometimes spend winters away, but I'm no exception!


Sunday, March 12, 2017


Who needs an E.T.F. for a digital asset?

One Bitcoin Today

Saturday, March 11, 2017

My Home Near the Fraser River

After adding a Wikipedia photograph from France to yesterday's blog entry, I realized it'd been a long time since I saw an aerial view of my own city. New Westminster, British Columbia is just west of the location where the Fraser River separates into two branches. This fact, indeed, is the reason for the city's historic location as the first capital of the British Colonies of Vancouver and Vancouver Island from 1859 to 1866.

I didn't have access to a recent aerial photo although I have seen our place from great heights. When flying into YVR, the international airport for Vancouver, flights often line up at around New Westminster for the final approach. Most often when we fly in from the US or Europe, and many times when we fly in from the Asia, we get a Fraser river approach. We always look out of the window if we're on the right hand side of the plane to see our apartment buildings and the whole area.

I did a Google search and found quite a number of interesting images. I used a screen capture to include one here. It shows downtown only. I tried to find the original photo in order to give credit. Apparently this picture has been edited. The closest image I could match was from Waite Air Photos in Mission BC.

Screen Capture

Our apartment is close to where the barge is headed upriver to pass beneath the bridges. Click it to view an enlarged copy.

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