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

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Dinner in Richmond, BC

Richmond Duck 8/27/16
Richmond Duck 8/27/16

It was that time again! This was a Richmond, BC 'duck party' with the gang. First, we had appetizers and special mojitos on the grass. Then, after some sangria or other options, we went for a walk along the dyke.

Richmond Duck 8/27/16
Richmond Duck 8/27/16
Richmond Duck 8/27/16

We walked along the river to the Richmond Oval, a legacy from the 2010 Olympics held in Vancouver. When coming back to their home, of course, we were able to witness a few feral rabbits for which the city is so well known. Finally, dinner of lamb was served and devoured. A dessert of lemon cake topped off the evening.

Richmond Duck 8/27/16
Richmond Duck 8/27/16

The rubber duckies were ceremoniously passed to the West End guys. We, most probably, we meet up downtown in September. We dropped off Tim and Jiwan at the SkyTrain Station and drove back along the Westminster Highway. The only unusual sighting along the road was a hesitant raccoon which decided not to pass in front of the vehicle. We were home about quarter to eleven.


Friday, August 26, 2016

That Don't Impress Me Much

Today marks the end of the second week that there has been absolutely nothing in our mailbox. Nada. Zero.

This situation didn't happen by accident. In fact, we have had to work hard to eliminate all reliance on Canada Post. In Canada we've become, what is respectively if not lovingly, known as 'snow birds'. Since we began early retirement in 2014, we spend months away from Canada, even though in an average January, we're much more likely to be rained upon than snowed on. For this reason, we walk away from our Lower Mainland apartment for five months a year.

Canada Post does not offer regular, mail forwarding. We never plan on heading due south and probably wouldn't want anything to try to catch up with us anyway. So, we simply empty our mailbox on the day we leave and hope for the best. The first year, after a winter in Mexico, it'd have been nearly impossible to shoehorn one more postcard in our box when we returned. We immediately took a number of steps mentioned in my previous blog post entitled, Post Mortem.

2016_08_26

So, now we find our box empty most every day. It seems a bit ironic that there's currently a countdown to a strike by Canada Post. We've been through this before, but now no longer count on their services much at all. I hope the union and management are able to keep postal workers more relevant than an AT&T telephone operator is nowadays.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ramp Your Wittiness Up a Notch

The world often seems far too serious.

It doesn't take much extra effort to be a bit quirky, but a majority of the population just doesn't make the effort! Perhaps we often act in certain ways under the guise of being 'mature' or 'professional'. Or maybe, it is just that most of my friends and acquaintances are inherently boring. (Not those who regularly read my blog, though.)

I was trying to think of ways to demonstrate these thoughts in an everyday circumstance. All right, for example, I've found Google to be slightly more fun than Microsoft. I don't mean as an employee, as I haven't a clue about working at either. Yet, as a user if one wants to clear browsing data from Chrome, it is easy to select to: Obliterate the following items from: the beginning of time. In Microsoft Edge, selecting to clear browsing data offers just the chance to choose what to clear.

To me it doesn't seem as though it's any harder to be clever and it surely doesn't cost more. Lighten up a little. (I admit to having harboured a sneaking suspicion that intelligent people may find it way easier to be funny; myself, totally included.) In fact, being anything but boring may be a difficult option for most of you. If you look in the mirror and find you're not very humourous, that is probably something you should work on.

Start small but right away. Eat well and get plenty of exercise for those funny bones. Great journeys start with a few steps. Oh, and if you're having trouble sleeping make sure you get hold of pillow cases where you don't have to rely on simply your imagination to count sheep.

2016_08_25
Today's whole blogging effort was simply so that I could include this picture of my new pillowcases.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Conundrum for Parks & Recreation

I generally enjoy seeing healthy, green bushes. I love a view, especially of the Fraser River. Apparently, it's sometimes hard to have both.

Bench With No View
Is it time to do some cutting and clearing at the Westminster Pier Park?


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Change is the Constant

I like running around capturing photos of my surroundings. After a dozen years of snapping digital photos, I could demonstrate great changes which have occurred my neighbourhood. Many large areas no longer look like when we came to live in downtown New Westminster. Documenting a moment in time is an amazing power.

Renewal
Lots of Future Homes

Most interestingly, these type of changes do not stop. Just a few blocks from my front door, former low density housing is changing. People who can remember the location of the former St. Mary's Hospital would have difficulty recognizing much of the area today.

Changing Neighbourhood


Monday, August 22, 2016

About 137 Years of Cleanliness

Brands come and go. After all, companies and markets change. Technology sometimes changes everything and commerce is never static.

Most probably, ソニー is one of the best-known Japanese words in the world as in Romanized letters it spells S-O-N-Y. I suppose public adoption of products from companies like Huawei proves that we may eventually all learn a little Chinese too. That there can be value in a name alone is quite intriguing.

2016_08_22

I bought some soap the other day and there's nothing special about that. Yet, the fact I've probably not washed with a bar of Ivory soap since 1980 made doing so little special. (I have washed, many times, in case you were wondering. I have simply been using differing brands.) I guess some people contend that it is too drying, but I like its smell and the squeaky clean feeling it leaves. I can't vouch that it floats as I shower rather than bathe. I will probably buy more, though. I like having been reacquainted and, after all, people have been using the brand since 1879.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Distant Destinations in a Few Clicks

A few days ago, I mentioned that we had about three months to complete all the necessary planning for our third winter of early retirement. Unlike the previous two winters spent in Mexico and Egypt respectively, we will be dividing our five months between two countries. Three months in the first and the remaining two in another.

Figuring out about a place before arriving is so much easier than during the decades we started travelling. Honestly, I can remember obtaining travel brochures from foreign embassies and consulates. If not that, then one of the only other options was to request tourist publications using the post office. It'd sometimes take weeks or even months for the information to arrive!

Before the Internet for example, one could book a hotel through a travel agent but we never did. A huge advantage of international travel in the 80's was that it was pretty easy to just get to the destination and figure things out once there. It didn't seem scary as that is how everybody else was doing it too.

Screenshot 2016-08-21 17.19.56

Sigh. I guess being able to plan most everything in advance is better than discovering nasty surprises in the 'analog old days'. We will revisit and stay in this city from the end of February to the last part of April 2017. Finding and sharing information is so easy nowadays. If you click the image above, you may also read the brochure right now on Issuu.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Personal Quotes

"When my down pillow pokes me in the face at night with its tiny quills, I'm told it's the revenge of dead geese."
Dennis Sylvester Hurd (1959- )

Feather Pillow


Friday, August 19, 2016

Seaspan Sightings

I could sit in one of the brown, plastic Adirondack chairs all day long. The Fraser River is busy on the stretch which runs through downtown New Westminster. Countless things pass my view from the balcony. Not many fishing boats are out though as the salmon runs were pretty messily this year. I think I see a first-nations vessel parked along the Surrey side of the river right now. Native people are allowed special, ceremonial catches. Also tug boats are constantly pulling things up and down the river.

2016_08_19

Today might well have been the hottest of the year. We were pretty low key just driving to Kingsway to pick up fruits and vegetables at the Langley Farm Market. Oh, and the bottles and cans returned to the deposit place netted nearly $6. After a short nap, a dip in the swimming pool cooled me down.

This weather, being so close to the start of school, means we have lots of planning before we take off for winter in just three months. Unlike during our initial years of travel, we can fully research possibilities on the Internet before our arrival somewhere far away.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Ridge of High Pressure

I think it's funny that I keep hearing people say it's too hot. I get a kick out of the fact local media keeps telling us how to stay safe during this 'heat wave'. It is some of the hottest we've had this summer but I doubt any mercury will have topped the 32C mark, even in areas away from the sea. I love days of non-stop, clear blue skies when the weather pattern sets up like this.

It can make even running errands a great experience. I took this Fraser River picture when I drove over to Queensborough today to return a part to Lowe's. I have found the traffic is best if I try to cross that bridge at about ten in the morning.

The Queensborough Bridge
Looking east from Queensborough Landing at the bridge.

Now add the fact, it cools down to 18C or lower every night and I'd have to consider this time of year, in this part of British Columbia, as being nearly P-E-R-F-E-C-T!

Full
Last night's full moon from my balcony.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Dancers and Elephants Wearing Swag

2016_08_17

We watch a lot of TV via the little Android box. It uses our broadband Internet connection. Actually, in fact, we watch all television over IP as our regular programming also comes via Telus, our Internet provider.

So, it no longer strikes me as unusual that we were able to watch the Kandy Perahera live this morning directly from one of the main Sri Lankan television channels. As the time there is 12 1/2 hours ahead of Vancouver, we caught the night time celebration at 9 AM.

It might be worth noting that when we got to British Columbia twenty years ago, we rocked a 56K dial-up fax/modem.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Consumers and Communities

2016_08_16

Buying locally doesn't necessarily pertain to summer squash and radishes only.

I do buy Red Racer beers primarily because I like them. The company knows how to make an awesome, tongue-curling IPA. Yet, knowing that my money is going ultimately to Central City Brewing is also a consideration. The original brewery, in a Surrey pub, is only three stops away on the SkyTrain. Now, however, the products are produced at a 65,000 square-foot brewing facility just across the river and a bit east from where I'm sitting. It's good knowing that some of the money I spend will be going into neighbours' pockets. For that reason alone, I think I should have another!


Monday, August 15, 2016

Do You Love Where You Live?

I'd venture that when asked, most people would respond by saying they are very happy where they are. That sort of goes against logic because I've often passed through towns and cities where I thought, "Who in their right mind would want to live here?" Then, there are those millions of people who never left the area in which they grew up. Again, I'd be unsure about trusting their opinion simply because they've known nothing else.

Columbia Street

I don't know. I am about as happy with my little city as I could imagine being. Yet, this will not prevent us from venturing out to spend five months a year somewhere else in the world. I guess New Westminster, BC is, sort of, our permanent home base.


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Dash Buttons?

How'd I miss out on knowing about these, Amazon?

There's a big part of me which cannot help but deride these as the ultimate in sloth and torpescence. Yet, a tiny bit of me marvels at the rapid technological progress that has made them possible. And how nice for the elderly, for example!

You do have to remember that I'm the guy who smirks at the idea of power windows on an automobile. I claim that if one cannot physically crank open or shut a window then one probably shouldn't be allowed behind the wheel.

Dash Buttons
Click this image to load the page in your browser.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

If You Like Piña Coladas ...

Crowds

Today was New West's 7th annual Pride and 3rd annual Street Party on Columbia. It would be a perfect day to have some friends over in the afternoon. All arrived at around 3 PM.

Street Guys
Columbia Closed!

It was a fantastically warm day, clearly the warmest of the summer thus far. We walked the street and came back upstairs for refreshments. I really do not remember drinking a pina colada much less mixing any. Yet, I can fully appreciate any sort of blender drink during the summertime. The concoctions turned out okay, but the second batch was a bit better as I added heaps of brown sugar. The pineapple juice was unsweetened and the extra spoonfuls seemed to make all the difference. Or was it the extra three shots of white rum thrown into the mixture?

Jay had cooked a simple meal of fried rice and chicken curry. That with salad, and later dessert of coconut cake, mango salad, and berry frozen yoghurt was surely enough food! We retraced the step down to Begbie in the evening and hanged around Pier Park on a bench overlooking the Fraser River for a while.

Old Guys on a Bench

It was a nice to share the day with friends.


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