These images are 8 random "Daily Pics" from my Flickr collection dating back to 2005.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Feed Me - Day 123

Mentioning that today's weather was perfect no longer seems necessary. When it is nice on Sundays, we do generally try to get take a little trip. For example, last week we went to Sayulita, and at the beginning of the month we took a bus to El Tuito.

Today was a perfect time to hit the zoo again. We'd sort of been saving the short trip if we had visitors this winter. It was not our first time; in fact, we had already been twice on previous visits. Still, it is a bit of an outing that requires a fair degree of effort. An entire hillside, a bit up the river, in Mismaloya is dedicated to the Puerto Vallarta Zoo. One has to hike up a well constructed walkways up the hill and back. To get to the area, it's possible to take the bus to the Barceló Resort and walk down the road on the opposite side of the highway.

Zoo Day, Mismaloya
Zoo Day, Mismaloya

There are a number of wild cats from different regions and more ordinary zoo members like ostriches, peccary, birds, and monkeys. I'm very fond of capybara. Also, everyone ends up loving the giraffe. We love the zoo. Although tickets for the people are only around $8, the zoo sells pouches of food so guests can feed the animals. One small bag cost $4 but it's so worth it as animals get up close and personal. It contained peanuts, pellets, asparagus, carrot sticks, corn, and bread. The bag is marked with which treats are best for which animals. Who knew that a camel would eat asparagus!

Zoo Day, Mismaloya
Zoo Day, Mismaloya
Zoo Day, Mismaloya

We'd brought along a picnic lunch but didn't end up eating anywhere near the animals. We walked back across the main road and to Playa Mismaloya. Any picnic is fun. Yet, a picnic with a view is ever so much more delicious.

Zoo Day, Mismaloya
Zoo Day, Mismaloya


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Beam Me Aboard, Scotty - Day 122

No, I'm not talking about THAT type of beaming.

I read that the 'travel zoom' Nikon camera, which I'm contemplating, has NFC. Near Field Communication is the technology that allows two devices to communicate after physical contact is made. The beauty of this, with my future camera, will be transferring images without handling any memory cards or cables.

Wait, I thought, I have two NFC devices in my two Nexus devices! I'd never tried sharing between my phone and tablet. Hearing the chime when touched back to back was a delight. Let's be honest, Bluetooth is a major hassle and the devices need to be paired. Most apps on Android can share data when two devices are bumped via Android Beam which is baked right into the operating system.

New Editor
I needed a file with which to play. This is the scene looking up the hill from our balcony in Puerto Vallarta.

There's not a single photograph that cannot be improved with a little editing. This may involve slight cropping or something more drastic such as a filter. As I've been using my phone as my only camera for some time, I have become used to modifying my photos and uploading directly to Flickr. That is my big photo storage location. Of course, I can also share in a multitude of different ways; for example, by uploading to Facebook or sending directly by email.

I've been managing all my editing on the little 5" screen. Now that I can bump my images to my tablet, it makes more sense to install a more robust editor on the larger screen. The same methods of sharing will exist. I'm going to see if Aviary meets my needs. If it does then even when shooting on my Nikon, I can make use of the same software. First, I'll NFC directly from the Nikon COOLPIX S9900 to my Nexus 7. From there, the images will escape out into the world.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Comparing January Temps - Day 121

(All graphs used in today's entry were copied directly from weathersparks.com. They are an amazing source of information on global climate and weather. I encourage you to check them out if you are interested in this sort of data.)

Like a Broken Record

We still have nearly a month left of our first retirement winter away. We chose Puerto Vallarta this year and by our departure date, Mexico will have been a delightful place to spend five months. Honestly, we wanted to run away from the typical weather of New Westminster, BC. It's not that our part of Canada has extremely cold weather, it is generally just a bit gloomy and wet during the winter.

I decided to look at just temperatures today though. I will use the month of January for comparison. Here are average daily high and low temperatures for
Vancouver, BC and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

januarytemps_vancouver januarytemps_puertovallarta

januarytemps_concordClearly, it has been a quite a bit warmer here than if we'd stayed home. We are much further south. Yet although at the same latitude as Hawaii, Puerto Vallarta's weather is not exactly tropical. I have spent many winters in places warmer than this. I also spent most of my initial winters in places that were colder. For comparison sake, I wanted to add a cooler city. Take a look to the right. These are the January temperature details for Concord, New Hampshire, USA.

Tropical weather looks much more like the first image found below as the details from Colombo, Sri Lanka are shown on the bottom left. The weather barely changes at all during the year as the country lies between 6 and 10 degrees north of the equator. Somehow, I was thinking that sort of weather is a perfect type of location to spend our upcoming winters. Destinations such as this include: Malaysia, Cambodia, Central America, and Southern India. However, we are very keen on spending next winter in Luxor, Egypt. The information on the graph to the right was a little surprising to me. Days are five degrees cooler than where we are now. And look how cold it gets at night in Egypt! I suppose as long as there's no need to get up early, we can sleep well at night under a few blankets. We would, at least, be guaranteed there'd be very little rain in the desert.

januarytemps_colombo januarytemps_luxor


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Looking for a Nikon Product Here - Day 120

This morning I wanted to check inside two stores nearer the other end of downtown Puerto Vallarta. There's a large Lans Department Store and another smaller brand nearby. I was looking to see if either store had received shipments of the new Nikon camera I'm looking to purchase. I could wait until I get back to Canada, but Nikon isn't making my camera of choice available in silver in the Canadian market. It is a poor business decision to not offer Canadians the same products as sold in the rest of the continent! In fact, I think I shall continue with a personal campaign on Twitter until I hear a suitable justification.


It was another spectacular day in Puerto Vallarta. Walking down the malecon was a great experience as I listened to new music via my phone and headphones.

Can't Beat the Weather
Can't Beat the Weather Can't Beat the Weather
Can't Beat the Weather


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ships, a Movie, and Los Gorditos - Day 119

Today, we wanted to see Insurgent (2015) in 3D. The most convenient 3D showing was at the Galerias Vallarta Shopping Mall at noon. So, we went to the cruise ship terminal area and noticed that two ships were in port.

Movie Day for El Gordo
Movie Day for El Gordo

I guess the movie was okay although it started out a little slowly. In fact, I initially had a bit of trouble distinguishing this franchise from The Hunger Games. By the end, I was pleased that we went to see it.

After, as it was 2:15 pm, we were hungry. The big Sirloin Stockade Buffet is in that mall. We thought we'd make it a special day by going in for a huge, leisurely meal. Upon leaving, I tweeted this statement: Just 'cause it said "All you can eat" really did not mean I had to make sure! We took pictures of the plates as we brought them back to the table. I neglected to take at least two, but we left the establishment with nine photographs between us.

For brevity's sake, I'll just include three. Seeing less of what I ate may also prevent me from getting a little ill. Why did I consume so much I couldn't evenm enjoy all the desserts? Ridiculous.

Movie Day for El Gordo
Movie Day for El Gordo
Movie Day for El Gordo


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

We Interrupt the Present - Day 118

I started my morning with coffee and Timehop. I saw our visit to Washington, DC on today's date in 2009 via my Android App. The entry was interesting enough to post to Facebook with this comment:
I have been adding my own crap to the Internet for years. Now, apps like Timehop let me go back and reminisce. This was six years ago today.
My blog is nearly twice as old as that, however.

originaldesign
A 2003 page copy from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

I am sort of proud of the longevity of my blog and my sheer tenacity. I often find access to the years of data as a valuable tool in remembering when we did something or another. I have entered stories from prior to the start of the blog itself, so it really does act as a sort of ongoing, personal life history. I can search for a term, and see if I ever mentioned it.

I am amazing, yada yada.

For many years, I'm not exactly sure how many, I have been using Flickr for the actual storage of all of my photos. The ones I use really sit there and I just include to embed the images. Today, I noticed that the picture in the 2009 entry was still being hosted on my domain. I hadn't shifted over to Flickr for my eJournal and images. I cannot see www.dennissylvesterhurd.com existing forever. If I fail to renew the domain, for whatever reason, my words would remain intact here but I would lose all the photos stored at my old address. Truly, I should make it a goal to move over all those images to Flickr too.

december2003
Entries from that former era, formatted in today's copy.

Today, I worked on getting a few weeks' worth switched over. I have faith that Flickr and Google can keep my story active until the big thermonuclear holocaust or the great asteroid collision. Hopefully, by then we'll have backed up the whole Internet for safe keeping to a multitude of interstellar probes headed into the universe in all directions.

A future, alien race will eventually be able to see when Jay and I took a Greyhound bus to Calgary. I will sleep easier tonight, I think.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Pure Drudgery - Day 117

I ran errands by slipping on sandals and going for a walk.

Our building uses LP gas for hot water and cooking, and everyone here shares the bill after it has been delivered. Today, I walked to the office of our property manager and handed over 400 Mexican pesos. I thought I might get a little more cash at our close ATM too. These sound like errands, but I've often said life is comprised of ordinary chores. Rather than considering errands as exasperating or time-consuming tasks, I try to take joy in them. The little things in life are, after all, life. There's really no reason to go through one's limited time on earth while wishing any of it away.

Of course, even going to pay bills takes on added joy when accomplished in a beautiful environment and fantastic weather.

Nothing to See Here
Nothing to See Here

I couldn't seem to prevent my feet from taking me to the Puerto Vallarta pier. It has now become some type of entrenched, homing instinct. The structure at Los Muertos was only an additional three minute hike. After, I walked by some of the park by the River Cuale. Somehow none of today felt like drudgery.