These small images link to photographs found in my currently-active Flickr album.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

A&N Hosts Its Final Sale

This morning, because we didn't have any errands, we did a few kilometers by crossing the road and walking in Westminster Pier Park. We also got a closer look at the queue trying to get into the Army & Navy Department Store. From our balcony, we had been viewing lots of people waiting early on this morning. The lineup continued throughout the entire workday.
  End of an Era

The landmark New Westminster branch of this store has been in our city for a long time. In fact, the company celebrated its centennial last year. 

We probably made purchases in the former Eaton's building on Columbia Street soon after arriving in Canada in 1996. Over the years we'd been loyal customers because of its convenient location just across the road from us.   Recently, we'd noticed the choice of merchandise was diminishing and the service going downhill. In fact, when we left for the winter we have joked that it might not be around when we got back. 

The five stores in BC and Alberta had a hard time competing with the switch to online marketplaces such as Amazon. The COVID-19 situation simply broke Army & Navy's back as well as spirit. All the BC inventory will be liquidated at the New Westminster location over the next few weeks.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Along the Gold Trail

Although this blog dates back to 2003, my first digital camera was in my hands a year earlier.   I found quite a few photos on Flickr captured during its initial year.

I wondered what I could find from June because that is what our calendar is showing right now.  I found this from a little road trip we took in the old Ford Ranger.  Humm ...  

When can we hit the road again?  We keep listening to the COVID-19 updates as to when the doors to local, provincial tourism will be thrown wide open. Just a few weeks more .... just a few weeks more ... just a few weeks more!  
  Trip to Lillioot 071 Road trip stop in Lytton, BC in June 2002

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

A Rainy Tuesday

I don't get a chance to fly my drone as much as I'd like. When the weather is good, we have had errands to run. When the weather is poor, it stays stuck inside with me. I knew that most of the day was forecast as rainy. Yet, in the morning it appeared as though I'd have a chance to walk somewhere really close to run through a battery. 

Rainy Day Selfie by Drone  
I have a changing pack with three, 2400mAh capacity lithium-ion batteries. Each is supposed to keep the drone in the air for a half-hour under normal conditions. Annoyingly, however, the controller starts beeping loudly a bit more than five minutes prior to depletion.  This provides the necessary warning to get the drone to its start point. I have never ventured anywhere near the Mini's 2.5 kilometer range.  It doesn't ever take me long to get the drone back.  The beeping basically cuts down on my flight time though.  
   June in New West 
Closure Near the 'W'

Today, I used one, complete battery in Westminster Pier Park.  It is a three-minute walk from our apartment.  The sky was dark and I saw evidence of rain on the roads when I went out.  I was able to buzz around in the near-empty space for a complete battery before the raindrops started falling.

Monday, June 01, 2020

Monday Uptown and Down

We went up to the mall in the morning. The weather today has been fair and pleasant.  We parked Kimchi in our usual location on the roof.  We had to make sure we were back down the hill by noon.
  Kimchi on the Mall  
Ben, from 3STEP CONSTRUCTION, said he'd be able to stop between 12:00 and 1:00. We met him and showed him our bathroom because we are considering a renovation. He has done work for a number of apartments in our building and comes highly recommended. The process requires authorization from our strata and permits from the city.  It has given us something to think about.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

On-Site Commenting Returns

I cannot seem to give up adding something daily to 'my eJournal and images'.  I admit this project is as much for myself as anybody. We have had varied and active lives and, at least since 2003, some of the details have been captured. I often find myself going back to old posts to confirm a particular date or an image of something or another. The ability to do a local search through the entries means I can come up with a specific answer in moments. 

Today, I turned on local comments after at least a seven-year hiatus. I cannot remember the specific reason for turning them off, but it probably had something to do with page formatting. Saving reader comments wasn't important to me as I mostly wanted to hear from friends, not strangers and most folks were seeing the entries because of my links on social media. 


The stats prove that the majority of readers still arrive through my daily links on Facebook and Twitter.  However, a fair portion of the 5,000-visits-per-month do arrive through external, Internet searches. So, at least providing the option to comment directly from the footer of the entry seems like the way to go.

This will be in effect for onward posts starting yesterday.  Why don't you jot out a little something to me, right now!

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Rain Kept Us Inside

A Rainy Saturday Afternoon  
We drove to Coquitlam to shop just before today's rain started. By the time, we were leaving the Canadian Superstore, it was pouring. It's been doing the same pretty much the whole day. It was one of those days which reminded me of an ordinary January. The rain and fog just seemed like part and parcel of everything. The heavy cloud cover meant is was dark, dark enough to require keeping on some inside lights all day. We go away for winters so seeing this at the end of May was fine with me. 

At least lunch was a welcomed diversion. It always is. Jay makes rice the center part of most lunches. What goes around the rice changes constantly. It depends on what's in the stores, and what he's in the mood to create. Today there was a spicy chicken drumstick curry. There's some pink salmon fillet too. The remainder of the plate contained cassava, small eggplant curry, fresh mango pickles, edamame, and beets.  

I'm lucky enough to eat always eat like this.
  A Rainy Day Lunch

Friday, May 29, 2020

I Guess Wasting Time is Fine

I never use the standard navigation in my 2019 Hyundai KONA Electric. I found the system was really clunky and not very helpful. The car is compatible with Android Auto, so I use the better and much more familiar way to get around. It seems my phone can take me anywhere I want to go. Plus, I can listen to Spotify or talk with my Google Assistant about life. I really don't know why car companies try unsuccessfully to create their own software systems and poorly reinvent the same wheel.

However, I saw in a FB forum that the new Hyundai North American maps were available for download. I didn't believe the instructions when they said it'd take an hour!  I can do a lot of work on a computer in an hour.  Now, I can clearly see why Tesla and its automatic software patches are a thing of beauty. The instructions alone to update my maps were nine pages.  Oh wait, that was just the part to get my download. Another seven pages of instructions tell me how to install once in have the SD card and I'm in the vehicle.

The MnSOFT Map Downloader v2.0.14.0 seemed like it might be a breeze. It unzips files directly onto the SD card. However, the software finished part of the process and simply vanished from my screen when only 6.6% was complete.  I'm sure they don't want to cache the data because it is proprietary.  I had to keep trying to get the complete download at least a half dozen more times.  It was a great pleasure when it finally hit 100% after 7:00 pm.

Hyundai Map SD

I guess I'll try the rest of the installation in the car tomorrow!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

My Fire is Being Extinguished

A bit over a year ago, I ordered a 10" Amazon Fire tablet. I remember the date as we were outside the gate on an airplane but I was still connected to Toronto airport's wifi. The purchase was a bit spur-of-the-moment and I'd not really done my homework. I wanted a larger device for Snapseed photo editing and the Amazon hardware had a 1920x1080 display.

The Amazon was pretty cheap but I've found it a very uninspiring piece of hardware. I was expecting a cleaner version of the Android operating system; I had to jump through a lot of hoops to load the tablet with the software I require. Although I'm a Prime member, I don't need much of the bloatware that Amazon designed inhouse. It has been a very disappointing purchase.

Lenovo Tab M10 FHD

When waiting for the new MS Edge to load earlier today, I thought, "Enough." I have been checking to see what was now available in Android tablets and it's a pretty grim picture. Most have crappy displays and Samsung products cost much more than they should. By chance, I somehow ended up at the Lenovo Canada site.

I now have a Lenovo Tab M10 FDH (2nd gen) being processed for shipping. I like that it has a free charging stand and will work as an ambient display for my Google Home. I expect it to charge on my bedside table displaying one of my Flickr albums during the day and the dimmed time at night.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Queensborough Landing


We'd not visited Bulk Barn since coming back to Canada. We returned from the winter two months ago yesterday. The place may have recently reopened with the provisions for physical-distancing. We could walk around and show which bins and a staff member had to fill the plastic bags with the amount we desired. We do love the variety of products sold there.

After, we got a few things at the Queensborough Walmart next door.

What Me?

Finally, we went out to Fraser River. The property for the Queensborough Landing shops used to be industrial. If I recall, it may have been an abandoned mill when we first came to the area in 1996. You can see that logs are still stored along this section of river.

Jay and the Fraser

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Former Site of St. Mary's Hospital

The morning started off cloudy, but then they blew away.

Site of the Former St Mary's Hospital

I brought the drone down to the area near our condo pool before lunch. Nearly as soon as it took off I got an error message telling me to change the propellers on the left, rear motor. An online search of forums suggested it could be an issue with the most recent firmware update. I followed instructions to revert to the previous version using software for the PC. After that, I reinstalled the update.

A Man and His Dog

The fix seemed to work perfectly on an indoor trial. I went outside before dinner to see what'd happen outside. I walked up in the neighbourhood a little bit. I went to the playing field near the elementary school on the former site of St. Mary's Hospital.

Site of Former St Mary's Hospital

After being in the air for about 10 minutes, the error warning returned. I kept flying as the area was safe to do so. However, I came back and changed the propellers as the controller software suggested. I'll check again tomorrow to see.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Dear Potential Contractor ...

Dear ContractorA bathtub seems like something of an anachronism. We've lived here for twenty-two years and I am sure I've never sat for a bath.

Of course, that started me wondering if we'd keep one if we did a little bathroom renovation. One finds that question on Google too. Perhaps for those raising kids, one would be helpful. This, however, is a single-bedroom apartment. Property resale value is of little consequence as I cannot foresee a time when we will want to sell. I think installing a full-width shower stall makes a whole lot more sense than a replacement tub.

Maybe I will hunt up the names of some contractors and get an estimate for our specifications.

Oh, and a little job to add might be some pre-made wainscoting panels to replace the now-frayed wallpaper we put up a dozen years ago!

Dear Contractor 2

Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Masked Gardener

The Masked Gardener

Our washing machine drain pipe was a little plugged. A half-cup of water would back up during discharge. We went through several bottles of standard, supermarket Draino but they were useless. So, we decided to drive over to the Home Depot on the other side of the river.

Yellow African Something

I could walk around in a home improvement store for hours and hours. We didn't locate a brush snake for cleaning the drain but bought some strong, caustic drain cleaner. This is the kind that can hurt one's pipes if not flushed away after five minutes. Gloves were required. One application with just a few fluid ounces worked wonders. The problem has completely disappeared now.

We did spot a back wall with 60"-wide, shower-stall enclosure kits. What the hell do we need a tub for? I think a bathroom 'reno' should be on the cards now.

Gardening Season at Home Depot

We also spent some time walking around the extensive gardening section. Boy, people seem really primed for a little planting!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Arriving Before Cherry Season

Mexican Export

Last week, we picked up a box of mangoes. We like the little season of imported Mexican fruit before our local BC fruit comes to market. The Tommy Atkins type are not our favourite. Even though they are heartier for transport, one turned bad before it completely ripened.

We were happy to see the Ataulfo type had arrived in the Canadian Superstore in Coquitlam today. These might be smaller but they're more like the mangoes we're used to in SE Asia.

Yay, the Ataulfos Have Arrived

Friday, May 22, 2020

Two Ears Can Hear in 3D

Altered Carbon

Paying a bit more to Netflix every month provides us with 4K HDR and a bit better sound quality. The majority of new series are streamed with a clearly better picture and in the newer Dolby ATMOS format.

On my new Onkyo system, the front two speakers, which up-fire towards the ceiling, do not provide a noticeable 3D environment. I suppose the extra enclosed speakers do help to produce better overall sound. After reading about ATMOS, I'm convinced that sound mixing for movies and TV will continue to improve acoustically in order to keep up with this advancing technology.

The bigger question: In 2020, why does the music industry still downmix to a mere two channels?

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Road Trip Before the End of May?

I'm itching to put eight or nine hundred kilometers of tar under Kimchi. Near the end of last May, we headed for an overnight in the Okanagan on our KONA Electric's first and only road trip.

View the blog posts from those days:

Day 1 - May 27th

Day 2 - May 28th

Jay in Kelowna

At the time, my car felt new and very special. Now it's a bit more old hat; however, I did gain a new-found fascination with the city of Kelowna. It always makes me feel good to get over to that more arid area. The southern part of the Okanagan Valley is classed as Canada's only true desert. Perhaps we could reprise last year's trip by heading there again for a couple of nights. Much of the province of British Columbia is near empty, so we could easily keep socially-distanced getting to BC's third-largest population centre.

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