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

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hovering Over the Fraser

We awoke this morning to the first serious display of river fog this season. It is practical proof that autumn has now arrived.

Autumn Morning

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


It was one of those September days where the weather made people happy to be alive. Is this really the same month that I discovered the size and variety of the local craft beer scene?

Commercial Drive

I realized, for example, that it might be hard to have enough empty growlers. (Actually, I suppose I learned that it's harder when one doesn't have enough full growlers.)

I told Tim earlier in the week my goal was to pick up another 64 fl oz. with an interesting logo. Off the RailWe settled on today, and we certainly chose the right day for a tour of a few breweries near Vancouver's Commercial Drive. We met at the SkyTrain station at 1:00 PM.

We started at St. Augustine's primarily so Tim could get something to eat. By the time we finally got back out to the Drive, we figured that our 90 minutes transit tickets had probably expired. It was such a beautiful day, we walked to our first brewery, Off the Rail. It is down by the Adanac Street bike lanes. It was also where we first learned that it happened to be National Drink Beer Day. What luck, eh?

Nearly across the street, at Bomber Brewery, I had my very first official beer flight. (Actually, two.) I'd recommend the set up of their tasting room, variety of beers of tap, and their reasonable, growler-fill prices.

My First Flight Ever

However, I was not ready to commit to the purchase of my needed brown glass. So we continued to walk down, past East Hastings. The guys at Storm Brewing are hardcore beer brewers. No fancy tasting room here! Just all sorts of interesting beverages to try. The ambiance is a bit like an auto shop, but even more fun! One can try up to six 200 ml of any brew offered in a disposable, plastic cup. Each was free although we threw lots of tips into the container. I think we only did five with names like Apple Pie Ale, Black Plague Stout, Pineapple Paradise Pilsner, and Imperial Flanders Sour Ale (with 11% ABV). I don't think I managed any of the beer labeled Spicy Mango Salsa.


I do remember I walked out with a new Growler full of 100% James. It is freshly hopped. As that happens only once a year, I couldn't really pass it up. By the time, we got to the corner of East Hastings and Commercial, it was almost 6:00 PM. Wow, where did THAT afternoon go?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Take Two

2016_09_27I don't mind having to get a new passport before my old one expires. I've run out of pages in my current one, you see. However, this will be the very first time that I will be able to ask for a ten-year one. Previous passports used to be valid for a mere five. As well, the system has been streamlined and a renewal requires a bit less work. It does require a substantial fee and, of course, special photographs. I had planned on renewing it later next month.

Earlier today I picked up some things uptown. When I was in London Drugs, I noticed the in-store advertisement for photos and thought, "Why not, right now?"

Go, HuskiesThe new passport-photo system is really fast and within seconds after taking the shot, the clerk showed me the results. I had forgotten I was wearing a U of WA Huskies t-shirt. I picked it up in a local thrift store because it reminded me one I had in the 1980's when attending classes there.

The clear, bold W-A-S-H-I-N-G-T-O-N printed along the top of the shirt was very obvious in the photos. I felt it would be more than strange to have that inside my passport! (I'll show you by including a selfie.)

The employee was able to retake the photo immediately for free. They had a black shirt hanging nearby just for this purpose. It seems that biometric photos may not contain white clothing, but often shoppers come in that way. I wonder how many passports have people wearing the same shirt.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The "In-Front-Of" Series 2

We've been travelling the world well before the term, selfie was coined. Yet, it's always been our custom to stand in front of famous landmarks for a photo. We have got hundreds. I last worked on a group of five blog posts entitled the 'in-front-of-series' in the spring of 2014. Therefore, it is obviously time for a refresher posting.

Although we were in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, for five months of our first retirement winter, I didn't select any of those pictures to include today.

The 17 photos of the original series were randomly selected from years of travelling the globe. Today, I'm adding an addendum, so it contains only recent pictures.

The Dead Sea, Israel - 2014
Both Together

Abu Simbel, Aswan, Egypt - 2014
Both Together

The Regal Princess, Oslo, Norway - 2016
June 4th Oslo

The Treasury, Petra, Jordan - 2014
Both Together

The Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE - 2015
Dubai Mall Dubai Mall

The Red Sea, Hurghada, Egypt - 2015

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Start of the Ganges

When I was a youngster at our dinner table, my parents would ask what I'd learned that day in school. This wasn't on a rare occasion, but rather quite frequently. I hated the question and always maintained that I had not learned a thing. Of course, that could not have been true.

Though now, as a retired educator I would like to think people continue to learn throughout their lives. I've never really convinced myself of the truth of that premise for some I've met, but it makes for a nice, tidy philosophy.

In fact much like my parents' annoying mealtime banter, I should probably set aside time each day to think of the concrete, new things I've learned. Our world is enormous and it's all right here in front of our collective faces. Perhaps you should close this page in your Internet browser (as soon as you finish this post) and think of a question you've never asked. With a tiny bit of effort, we all can end our day with a few new insights.

We were watching a documentary on the wildlife of India last night. Hardly a show about the geography of India could be produced without the mention of the Ganges River. I was not a stranger to information on that sacred river and have, in fact, seen it, on a long-ago trip, flowing through the city of Varanasi. I also knew that its headwaters were in the north of India in the western Himalayas. I did not know, however, at what point it took on its name.

Now I do. Look at the photos! Damn, here's a new place to which I want to say I've been.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Recent Facebook Covers

I got a little ahead of myself back on September 3rd when I changed my Facebook cover photo. It was not a picture I took but it was a location we'd visited. I included it as a way to highlight and mentally prepare for this winter. We will spend several months in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We have visited Cambodia several times but haven't been to the area near Angkor Wat since October of 2009.

You see, I was getting ahead of myself as we will first stay at another location in SE Asia. In fact, two months from today we will be landing at the Penang International Airport. As we're there for three months, it not only occurs first, but will make for the majority of our time away. So, last week I scrounged around for an online photo taken on Penang Island to use as another Facebook cover. We will be staying in the hills of Air Itam near George Town. Yet this photo of Tanjung Bungah is a good, representative picture for our upcoming winter.

I often post in future tense.

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

Friday, September 23, 2016

Mandarina Bavaria Hops

Satsuma - 2 Quarts

See. I am more than just a dark-ale kind of guy.

This special edition Satsuma for sale at my brewery caught my eye. There can be no harm in deciding to give a dry-hopped, pale lager a try. I bought a half gallon; therefore, I hope I find it enjoyable.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Vehicle Provides the Potential of Freedom

We had Bulk Barn coupons worth $6 so we drove over to Queensborough to use them. That store is so awesome that it's very easy to spend more money than planned. On the way back over the bridge, we went up Sixth Avenue and stopped off at the library. A Lonely Planet guide to Cambodia was on hold and I knew about it as I got an email from my library this morning.


I have to put on a few more miles on the old Ranger so that I can do an oil change before we leave for the winter. I have religiously changed the oil every 3,000 miles. (I bought this truck down in Belleview, WA so its odometer shows miles rather than kilometers.) All vehicles, even from that era, show the speed on a KPH scale as well as in MPH. Anyway, converting distances back and forth in one's head is pretty easy.

I still have about 350 miles before the Ranger hits the 99,000-mile mark and necessitates new oil. Can you imagine! This means, I've averaged less than 5,000 miles per year. Being classed as snow birds, I now register my 'green machine' for just seven months per year. Consequently, there's no obvious reason that I can't keep running this truck until self-driving autos become a reality. Whatever the next vehicle is, it could very well be my final automotive purchase.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hard to Understand

Screenshot 2016-09-21 15.14.57Early on, I decided there was really nothing that I could do today which couldn't wait for tomorrow. So, I was happy to sit around waiting for my FedEx delivery. The vague update from their site promises that my package will be delivered before the end of today. I'm not sure when their days end, however. It's 3:25 PM and I've seen no delivery.

So, I've had time to think a lot about the affairs of the world. I still find it absolutely tragic that someone such as Donald with tons of hand-me-down money but with no actual, discernible skills or workable policies could go so far towards being a president of the United States. Obviously those who have got him this far have no critical thinking skills, or live in a reality that is 100% alien to mine. Hardly a day goes by when the grandstanding demagogue doesn't disqualify himself with the rubbish he spouts. Furthermore, the fact that New Hampshire, early on in the primaries, did not send him packing with his tail between his legs leaves me sad, very sad.

I hope that on US election day, this all turns out to be just a terrifyingly close flirtation with disaster. Something else: I've never been prouder to be a Canadian than during this horrific US election cycle.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Old Enough to be Historical

The downtown New Westminster Parkade has featured in this blog many times over the years. Happily the entire western end is now history. Refurbishing work has been progressing on the remaining section. Just today, I saw some of the ratty river-side railings being removed. I watched for many minutes from Pier Park and the shiny new, Fourth Street pedestrian elevator.

The scene is going to be a whole lot more interesting as a new 'mural' of public art will be part of the revision. I looked online and noticed that final approval went to a design called, Birds on a Branch. I was unable to find a copy of what it will look like. Surprises can be nice, I guess. This is an old picture from February of 2007.


Wait. I can do better than that. Here's a picture of Pier Park before there WAS a Pier Park. This was taken in December of that same year.

The Parkade Series

Monday, September 19, 2016

Personal Quotes

"I have never understood why some people are resistant to change. The process is enviable and, of course, it's so much harder to try to go against the flow."
Dennis Sylvester Hurd (1959- )

Change of Ethnicity

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Born on This Day in 1932

I just got off the phone with my dad. It's his birthday today. He's 84 and seemed quite happy with that.

I haven't got a lot of pictures of my father. I think this is one from the early 70's he'd probably like. He has a muzzleloader and an eight-point buck. He won't see it here as he doesn't use the Internet nowadays. Perhaps, I should have it printed on a mug. That'd make a good Christmas present.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Out with the CFL's

It's bleak and dreary this morning and I'd almost forgotten what it's like to drive in the rain. We did our regular shopping at the Coquitlam Canadian Superstore.


I was annoyed last week when one of the four compact florescent light bulbs over the bathroom vanity burnt out. So much for the promises of years and years of useful life! I had a bunch of spares sitting around. Yet, the four Philips CFL's over the mirror were most annoying because they took much too long to warm up to complete brightness. Their short life span in that location is due to the fact these lights are switched off and on really frequently.

Anyway, I noticed that 60 watt equivalent, LED light bulbs were on sale in our store's online flyer. They did even better than Walmart on the price, although the two giants battle it out for one's grocery dollars by price matching. As well as the bulbs costing just $2.95 each, today was no tax day at our Superstore. In addition, Sylvania Canada is offering a $2 rebate on each store receipt. Being the misers that we are, we checked out on two receipts today, so we will be able to get a total of $4 back.

Brushing my teeth is a little scary now. So much brightness for a combined total of 34 watts! It's so bright at the bathroom sink I have to keep a handy set of sunglasses next to the toothpaste.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Our Lemongrass Supply

Using fresh lemongrass in a dish imparts a particular taste. If you eat much Thai food, it might ring familiar.

Lemon Grass Harvesting

In fact, it is commonly used in many South and South East Asian cuisines. In Mexico it is even used as a tea. It grows in warm places. For some reason it grows like crazy on our balcony too. The plant goes dormant when un-watered during our winters away. Then, it seems to spring right back when things get warm again. Jay cut a bunch this week.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Our Itinerary for the 2016/17 Winter

After taking early retirement in the autumn of 2014, we spent our first winter in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico staying for five months. Likewise, last year, we were in Luxor, Egypt for a similar amount of time.

However, we plan on dividing our upcoming winter between two different locations in SE Asia:
Penang, Malaysia
November 24, 2016 to February 20, 2017

Siem Reap, Cambodia
February 21, 2017 to April 18, 2017


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