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

Saturday, July 22, 2017

'EVO Car Share' in My City

They arrived in New Westminster in a big enough way so that even I noticed. I'm not the most likely candidate for a car share program as my rusty, old Ranger sits ready in my apartment's underground parking space.

Yet, I'm a little intrigued. In fact, I was interested enough to sign up with them. That included requesting an instantaneously-forwarded copy of my driving record from ICBC's online site. Oh, of course, it meant adding my data and a credit card too. I should hear back from them next week.

Screenshot 2017-07-22 16.54.09

EVO has a minimal, annual $2 fee for membership. They assure everyone that it is only required for legal reasons and the funds are donated to charity. I cannot imagine needing to borrow one of their hundreds of vehicles unless an unforeseen event left me without wheels. We use SkyTrain for most all trips to downtown Vancouver, as well. EVO seems a little pricey but would be useful in a pinch. At least, the minute, hourly, or daily fees are inclusive of gas and insurance.

Mostly though, I want a chance to drive a little Prius without visiting a dealer and pretending I'm in the market for one.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Let's Try 5.4356° N

Possible Penang Rental

I have noticed that local big-box stores are putting out school supplies. I guess that means it's time to start getting serious preparing for winter. Recently, we've been focused on the more immediate several months on board cruise ships.

So many plans to make! So lucky to be able to!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Plastered All Over the Internet

Narcissus should have been born at a time when cameras, glass, and the Internet were practically everywhere.


I happened to be passing along the antique shops on Front Street and came across a most magnificent reflection in the window.

It's no secret I've always considered myself astonishingly clever, nearly always right, and quite a gem to look at. I've been trying to convince everyone else about these attributes since I gained the ability to communicate. Sadly, I've discovered others can be slow to accept copious proof even when it's rather painfully obvious.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Knowledge (and Hash Rate) is Power!

Although every month is an interesting month for Bitcoin, this one is ever more so. In occasional posts, I generally focus on the increasing value. Today each bitcoin is the equivalent to about $US 2315.00 but I'm focused on another aspect of the technology.


The field of cryptocurrency seems like something dropped on earth by aliens. It is a fantastic, nearly otherworldly, use of mathematics. Yet, human factors play just as important a role as with any other human endeavor. Bitcoin has been an ultimate test in technology and human interaction.

For a few years, there have been disputes on how to best scale the system. Having no centralized control means that changes must be agreed upon by participants. Of course, you know how very, very wrong an election can go! This one is not turning out how I'd like either.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Shopping Should Be Easy

I find myself shopping for sandals, again. That really doesn't make me very happy as I bought a pair less than a year ago uptown. I really hadn't heard of the Khombu brand but they looked fine and the price was right. As it turns out, they are crap. I've resorted to a whole stick of glue and the glue-gun to keep them together temporarily. They probably represent the worst experience with footwear I've ever had. However, sandals are important to me for we often spend a lot of a typical year in places suitable for their use. I will soon need a good pair while traversing Greek islands.

I know exactly what I want. Let me buy a pair of Keen Men's Orroyo II, size 8, in black olive and Bombay brown, please.

Keen Arroyo II Men's Sandals

Shopping should be easier here. My only option is to cough up list price on the Keen Canada site. I simply cannot find a cheaper option on this side of the border. The local SportsChek doesn't seem to carry my desired model of Keens. Mountain Equipment Coop doesn't carry the colours I want. The Canadian version of Amazon doesn't have any bargains at all and, unfortunately, there are few other viable, online shoe-store options here.

I've never had to spend the equivalent of over $US 100 for a pair of sandals before. Yet, it looks as though I am probably going to have to.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sometimes Normal is Fantastic

It always feels good to do well on a test. In today's case, Jay got a chance to receive the results of his blood work when he visited the family doctor. This was the first set of results since his open heart surgery. Back when he met with his cardiologist, five weeks after the procedure, he had instructions to go to the lab in July.


At the time, July sounded so far away. The month seemed to arrive quickly though. About fifteen weeks have passed since he underwent surgery. Today's report appeared large with many more tests than the ordinary hematology panel. It spilled onto three full pages of paper and part of a fourth. There were lots and lots of numbers!

Everything is perfectly normal.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Planning V2.0

We have a lot of vacation days on cruises coming up soon. Yet, that hasn't prevented us from starting to think about plans for the winter.

It must have been the rather abrupt cancellation of last winter's plans, that've renewed Jay's determination. We did spend a whole lot of time last year planning for winter in Penang, Malaysia and Siem Reap, Cambodia. In fact, I was surprised that 16 days of blog entries were tagged with the topic. Yet, because of the necessity for Jay to schedule and undergo bypass surgery, we were forced to abandon our plans during the last possible week. I'm sure this must have added to the stress we felt.

Penang, Malaysia

Perhaps, this is why Jay seems determined to replay some of those plans. He's again been searching for chances of going to the same two locations. We get back from our cruise to Auckland during the first week of November. I guess it'd be easy for us to take off for next winter at the beginning December. This also allows me to reuse these two Facebook covers from last year!

I often post in future tense.

Posted by Dennis Sylvester Hurd on Friday, September 16, 2016

Last winter I spent time near my guys, the Colossi of Memnon in Luxor, Egypt. This upcoming winter, during two months of five, I be chillin' face-to-face with these dudes..

Posted by Dennis Sylvester Hurd on Friday, September 2, 2016

Saturday, July 15, 2017

No Partially Hydrogenated Palm Oil

Peanut butter was a favourite when I was a kid. You know, it still is.

However, most peanut butter is not especially healthy. In order to achieve the creamy consistency people like, manufacturers most always add hydrogenated oils, especially palm oil. That is just about the most unhealthy oil one can consume. Years ago, I migrated to Kraft All Natural. The product is a little inconvenient as it contains peanuts and peanut oil only. That means the oil separates during shipping and sits on top.


I've found these 750 ml plastic jars easily fit into a one-liter, glass jar. I remove all the contents into the larger container and plug in a stick blender. When all it smooth and creamy, I pop it right on a shelf in the refrigerator. It's not all that difficult!

Today, I went to pick up some and noticed a section with different, blue labels. I probably don't need the extra salt, but I do have to admit I like the new type a whole lot.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Washing the Old Truck by Hand

It's strange that the main 'event' of the day didn't merit a picture.

Three Cheers for Local Cherries

After doing the fruit and vegetable shopping up at Langley Farm Market on Kingsway, we came home to a power outage. I wondered why when coming up Columbia Street the first set of traffic lights were out. Wait, the second and third nearer our apartment building were also not functioning. As soon as we pulled into our parking garage, we realized the building was running off of generator power. Luckily the batteries keep the elevators going for hours in case of an outage. It seems, at a nearby construction site, some wires hit against the metallic streetlight pole and shorted out much of the area. People who were around at the time described the sound as an explosion. I missed seeing all the sparks!

So, we were without power. It was a perfect time to wash our truck. That was today's major accomplishment. I used to be fairly religious in washing and waxing each spring. Probably that is why it still looks better than most 21-year-old vehicles on the road. I am pretty sure we did neither task last summer. Perhaps we were under drought warnings not to wash vehicles. Although the old Ranger sits inside most of the time, it somehow collects a lot of dirt and grime. Jay and I attacked it with a bucket, some rags, and a bottle of dish detergent. It looks much better but I might feel a tiny bit stiff tomorrow for all the effort.

Look, Something's Missing!

By the time we came inside the power was back on. So, we decided to do another task. Tomorrow is our building's trash day. During these quarter-year occasions, we can dispose of items not allowed in the normal garbage. It's a good time to get rid of bulky items such as furniture. We got rid of our extra toilet. After replacing ours, we set the old one on the balcony. I avoided the temptation to plant flowers in it. From this afternoon, the balcony seems bigger.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Amazing H2O2!

You probably have a little brown bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide somewhere in your house. I think of the one in our bathroom closet as a little bottle of magic. Not that much different from water, it can be used as an oxidizer, bleaching agent or disinfectant. I started using the standard pharmacy type as a mouthwash years ago and my dental hygienist noticed immediately. She asked what I was doing to keep away plaque. I think it probably concerned her because of the decrease in billable hours.

Last night, I noticed that my ear stud was a little too tight. I removed the ruby from my ear. I had not taken it off since I bought the stone and had a setting made in Sri Lanka in January of 2013. Perhaps it was time to clean it. The back part was a bit dark and discoloured.

I popped the piece in a shot glass with a little hydrogen peroxide. It started bubbling immediately.


It's still going strong six hours later. I guess I'll replace the special liquid and leave it in overnight.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Instantly Recognizable Colosseum

The Eternal City

I was describing our summer and fall travel plans for a friend today. I realized that next month on the 12th we'll be in the Rome!

Since owning a digital camera, I have been pretty good about making sure all images get online. Flickr has, of course, immensely helped me with this goal. This is why there are more than 19,000 images on my account. The only time I may have not saved precious pictures of a trip might have been from our trip to Italy in 2008. I remember that as one of the only recent journeys where I could find no reliable, free Internet access. I also recall procrastinating for weeks and weeks when returning home.

Just moments ago, I couldn't find any folders containing those missing images on the cloud services I use. I did manage to keep 334 on Flickr, so they'll have to be enough, I guess.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Our Rewards Visa Card

Some places on the Net today were all agog about Amazon's primeday. You'd think it was, well, Christmas or something.

I carry an Amazon Canada Rewards Visa card primarily because it does not impose any foreign transaction fees on foreign purchases. Having one is very handy for us. For example, I recently added the Amazon card to our Holland America shipboard accounts as they're are always kept in US dollars. I won't get dinged an extra 2.5% as with most every other Canadian credit card.

Is this 1990?

But I can think of one place where the technically savvy behemoth could concentrate. Well, I guess, in actuality, it is Chase Canada which much move into the modern era. Although I love the card there is no way to turn off paper billing! This is no longer 1987, guys. Get your act together.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Conserving Heart Beats

I've always thought of myself a bit 'chill', at least under ordinary circumstances. Now I have irrefutable proof.

I bought my upgraded fitness tracker in February. My old Mi Band could not track heart-rate data. With this newer one, I discovered that checking my pulse is interesting. Of course, as expected, the number of beats per minute is very dependent on activity, exercise, and emotion. When I am at rest and really try to 'get into the zone', I can sometimes achieve readings under 60 bmp.


I actually physically feel much more at ease when my heart rate is slow. I've always known I have a propensity to be naturally lazy and I like it that way.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Beautiful Things in Queen's Park

Which item doesn't belong in this set?

Duckling Heads






I Never Promise You ...

Saturday, July 08, 2017

On the Water for 66 Days

I once had a theory that people who live in seaport cities are more open-minded. After all, those residents have a greater exposure to differing cultures and values. Now, I'm not so sure about my theory as people with differing cultures and values can fly into an inland area most anywhere on the earth's surface. Still, I have an attraction to cities situated on a sea or an ocean.

MS Westerdam

For around two and a half months, from the middle of next month, we have planned an enormous number of days on the high seas. For you see, we have scheduled two, really large cruises with just a few weeks at home between them. Both are on ships of Holland America Lines. The first is round trip from Rome called, the Adriatic & Mediterranean Dream, and the second is a one-way voyage from home to New Zealand called the South Pacific, Australia, & New Zealand Collector. As I like compiling data, I found that we will be visiting the following port cities and areas from cruises in 2017:
Akaroa Bay, New Zealand
Argostoli, Cephalonia, Greece
Auckland, New Zealand
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Hilo, Hawaii
Hobart, Australia
Honolulu, Hawaii
Isle of Pines, New Caledonia
Katakolon (Olympia), Greece
Kerkira, Nisos Kerkira (Corfu), Greece
Kotor, Montenegro
Lautoka, Fiji
Lifou, New Caledonia
Melbourne, Australia
Messina, Italy
Mgarr (Victoria), Gozo, Malta
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Mykonos, Greece
Nafplion, Greece
Napier, New Zealand
Naples (Pompeii), Italy
Noumea, New Caledonia
Pago Pago, American Samoa
Picton, New Zealand
Piraeus (Athens), Greece
Port Chalmers, New Zealand
Rhodes, Greece
San Francisco, California
Sarande, Albania
Seattle, Washington
Split, Croatia
Suva, Fiji
Sydney, Australia
Tauranga, New Zealand
Thira (Santorini), Greece
Valletta, Malta
Vancouver, British Columbia
Venice, Italy
Wellington, New Zealand

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