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

Thursday, June 30, 2016


Today Jay received the news of the death of his brother-in-law.

Instagram photo taken in early 2013.

I first met Lal around 25 years ago, not long after he married Jay's sister. He was the 'life-of-the-party' type of guy. He was generous and enjoyed making a big deal whenever we were in Sri Lanka. He was about my age. His health had been poor recently but his demise was, of course, much too early. On the island, I will miss my happy, loyal, drinking buddy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

They Deserve Cremation

I loved my original pair of Caterpillar™ sandals. I'm going to feel a fair bit disrespectful wrapping these in a plastic bag and throwing 'em down the garbage chute.

It surely seems as though I should start a little bonfire on the balcony and place them deeply within the flames and embers. That would be a more honorary disposal.

My Old Catipullars

This pair of footwear has been with me, nay nearly a part of me, for four summers. They were on my feet along the sandy beaches of Puerto Vallarta. These protected my toes when walking through tea plantation in mountainous Sri Lanka. They've felt the streets of Bangkok, the trails amongst the Began Temples of Burma, and thoroughfares in Saigon. These Capitillars helped me tread the banks of the Nile, the ancient pavement of Petra, and the cobblestone paths in Jerusalem.

I tried replacing them with new ones once already, but it just didn't work out.

It is with heartfelt sadness today, I paid for a new pair of Khombu sandals. The impostors feel cheap and insignificant on my feet and in my heart. I know, however, I must move on.

In Memoriam:

In the store on the date of purchase on July 27, 2012.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I'm Baskin', Robin!

To Robin or Whomever,

I absolutely love it when the weather catches up to the time of year here. Thankfully, we get compensation for putting up with nine cloudy months a year by the having the bluest of blue skies you've ever seen! The sun is just glorious.

Actually, we now escape winters during five months of the very greyest, but that doesn't diminish the joy when these days arrive. You might say I simply glow.

The End of June
Which Face for Facebook?
The End of June

Monday, June 27, 2016

Almost Like Clockwork

It is officially summer for us in New Westminster, BC.

Jay spotted them this morning and I watched as the mother regurgitated some food for them this afternoon. I'm presently without a zoom as I broke my Nikon in Copenhagen. You can see last year's brood at my June 30th blog entry.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

20 Years Here!

On June 26, 1996 at about 1:15 PM a Cathay Pacific flight touched down at YVR with us aboard. That means we have now been here for two decades. That's quite of a celebratory milestone, isn't it? We stayed close to home, going uptown to visit Queen's Park as well as the closer Tipperary Park.

Today, this peacock displayed its congratulations.

Hitting #NewWest Parks

The sun shone brightly to make a stunning day to remind us we've come to one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Hitting #NewWest Parks

Even the animals bowed down before us.

Hitting #NewWest Parks

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Duck Gang

This time we had to host as the ducks were in our possession.


After appetizers such as beer and currywurst, a walk in Pier Park, the actual dinner of Jay's kabsa, and an hour watching video from our Baltic cruise, we were able to pass the rubber creatures to the Richmond guys. Therefore, we are free and will be expecting an invitation from them when all of our schedules permit.

Friday, June 24, 2016

It's Online for Our Perusal

It takes forever to get video out of our camcorder and onto YouTube. First our new camera saves in mp4 format but each scene is an independent file; therefore, first they have to be 'stitched' together with a special program on my laptop. Next, I generally upload long videos in several 'chunks' so they can be joined online and have a title page created. From home it takes hours and hours to upload to the YouTube servers. Also, in most every situation now, their software finds some copyrighted music in the mix and won't let me edit. So, I need to let them 'cleanse' the offending song or music. If you ask me it is silly as I never am trying to profit from my personal videos. These are just my little way to preserve real life! Lastly, I have to organize the resulting file on my YouTube page.

Screenshot 2016-06-24 16.00.22

Let me warn you about these videos. They are just a way for us to augment memories. Generally, Jay is the one with the camera and we put the resulting thing onscreen in it's entirely. There's no editing. There are no fancy transitions. Even the goof-ups remain. I know if I posted relevant clips, the scenes might be interesting to others. That is not what I do this for. This is just a way to get the videos off my original media (first cassettes and now SD cards) and into the cloud for safekeeping.

We seldom sit through an entire showing as it'd be pretty boring even though we remember the situations. We can use these files to show a part of particular vacation to friends or relatives. We display via our living room TV and skip through to specific parts. You'd definitely not like watching an entire two hours of any of these videos. If you stop by the house though and we'd like to show you something, we can!

Mexico in 2014/15 was already there. I just wanted to add that today, I got our second winter of early retirement up too. As a result, Egypt in 2015/16 is online, ready to go.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Being Prepared

My yearly home insurance bill comes due in the summer.

I noticed that for the upcoming year my earthquake damage rider went up by one third. It sort of makes me wonder if my insurance company knows something that should know! I guess, we ALL know that when living on the west coast, it is not a matter of if but when.

2016_06_23Once in a while we think about being ready for the 'Big One'. It's overdue. There are eight gallons of water on the kitchen cupboards. The camp stove has a few extra propane bottles. Yada, yada.

A thing which isn't often discussed is ensuring one has a bit of old-fashioned paper money available. We swipe just about everything for the card bonus points. However, if there were an interruption to electricity or networks, no ATMs or POS terminals would be be working, perhaps for days. I keep a $20 bill in my wallet in case of a little emergency. It sometimes takes months before I spend it. We should probably think about keeping 500 bucks around though.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

My Travel Map

We've pretty much already planned our winter of 2016/17. We started early retirement in 2014 with a broad plan to spend five months of each year somewhere where it is a bit warmer or brighter than home. First was Mexico, and we spent last winter in Egypt.

Over our lives, we've travelled a lot, but there are still a whole lot of un-visited destinations in our world. It seems as though we will probably not be marking off any new countries after our summer and fall in British Columbia.

Dennis Sylvester Hurd’s Travel Map

Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Belize, Cambodia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Luxembourg, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vatican, Vietnam.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

For Eileen and Barbara

There was something quite comforting about sliding physical photographs into actual envelopes for mailing.


Last night, I uploaded a photo in order to have several 5x7's made at London Drugs. I can hardly remember when I last printed photos there or anywhere. The copies are of one picture used in this blog on June 7th. The third picture from the bottom on that page shows the two couples we met during the 8:00 PM standard dining on our recent cruise.

The photograph is a suitable memento of our fine dining experience. We were able to send email to Bob and Megan, a father and daughter from NY. Eileen and Barbara, also from NY, were friends who had much cruising experience together. As both of the lovely ladies had long ago sworn-off email and technology, we now find ourselves needing to become reacquainted with the post office.

Writing out cards and addressing envelopes reminded me a little of school work, but in a good way.

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Little Light

This is the worst flu I've had in quite a while. Jay is equally sick and about a day behind me in symptoms. I felt a bit better in the afternoon and was anxious to get out of the apartment. I drove uptown just for the fresh air and a chance to walk around and stretch my legs. Earlier when looking online, I noticed this item was for sale at London Drugs. Today, I picked one up.


We have had a little, rechargeable LED flashlight in the front closet for years. Although handy in an emergency, we primarily leave it plugged into an outlet there so we don't have to hunt around for a light when needed. The former device must be more than a decade old. Yesterday I noticed it wasn't working well. All batteries do have a finite life expectancy even if rarely used. I unscrewed the yellowing battery cover to discover three AA cells. I could have replaced them by buying a set of four new ones for about $CA 12 or get a whole new flashlight for $CA 14.

What a throw-away society we have become.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Needing Empty Pages

2016_06_19The Russians stamped my only remaining, empty page. This can be a problem as some countries require a completely blank page when issuing a visa.

I realize I will need to get a new passport this summer although this one doesn't run out until August of 2017. I have found it is no longer possible to add pages to an existing passport. I got this document in August of 2012. My previous one expired a few months before Canada started offering 10-year passports. So, I paid for five years but will get only four out of it.

Getting a passport which will be valid until 2026 sounds great. Yet, a 10-year adult passport costs C$160 which doesn't sound so great.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

We Can Review Our Cruise

I'm glad I didn't catch or feel the effects of this cold until after we got back from our recent Baltic cruise. I guess my sloth was okay as I didn't feel it was necessary to accomplish much today. I did take the time to post all the missing blog entries from our recent cruise. I did not buy expensive Internet onboard the boat and just typed out some text each night. It took more work than I anticipated simply pasting it all in here and adding the photos.

Rather than doing any new significant entry today, I will point to the day before boarding in Copenhagen. I don't know why you might wish to recount our journey, but it is possible to step through the days until our return.

At bottom of each entry one can press the "NEWER POST" text to advance to the next day. (On the mobile version of the website, it is a little left-facing arrow.)

Click the image below, to start at June 2, 2016.

Screenshot 2016-06-18 18.50.12

Friday, June 17, 2016

It's a Readjustment

I was watching the local news on TV. I was squinting a bit. It must have been a while since I adjusted this television's settings. The performance of a modern flat-screen depends a great deal on its settings.

Make It Bright!

When we replaced the old Toshiba with this LG model I was initially disappointed. The standard manufacturer's settings were atrocious. Perhaps, as it was unplugged over the winter when we were in Egypt, it forget my choices.

I just cranked up the colour intensity, and contrast a lot. I want the screen to practically scratch my eyeballs. It needn't be authentic looking. If I wanted to watch real life, I'd look out the window instead.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Different Kinds of Stats

Screenshot 2016-06-16

I made this comment as a status update on Facebook and Twitter:

It's nice to see Bitcoin on such a tear after an expensive vacation.

Posted by Dennis Sylvester Hurd on Wednesday, June 15, 2016

It surely has been a while since I mentioned Bitcoin in a blog posting. This is perhaps because their value has been languishing since the beginning of 2014. Things are picking up a bit, obviously. A single bitcoin briefly approached $1000 in Canadian funds. Although that may sound impressive, one has to remember back when I became interested in the crypto-currency, our paper dollars were on par with those from the United States. Presently, the Canadian buck is only worth about 77 cents.

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