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

Monday, May 02, 2016

Less of an Eyesore

River Front
River Front

We were away when the west end of the New Westminster Parkade was finally removed. It will be nice when Front Street reopens and much of the truck traffic is again diverted off Columbia Street. I am looking forward to see what parking will be added and what landscaping will be done in this area.


Sunday, May 01, 2016

Quick Visit to Chinatown

The day was too pretty to stay around the house, so we grabbed a SkyTrain and headed to Chinatown.

Quick Chonatown
Quick Chonatown
Quick Chonatown

Jay picked up a few packages of dried sprats in the old section but we didn't find much in the way of vegetable shops anymore. We walked along Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and back to the T & T Supermarket near the stadium. We were back in New Westminster by noon. The day could've provided more sightseeing opportunities in the spectacular weather. I'm not troubled though. For us, everyday is now like a Saturday!


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Picture-Perfect Pier Park

Just across Columbia Street, Pier Park sits along the Fraser River. We can admire the greenery from the balcony, but it is a lot better to walk down to visit in person.

We left for the winter before two new aspects of our nearest park. First, we can now take an elevator from the parkade. Last summer that was being completed. It makes access much easier than a few years ago when we had to walk the length of downtown, use Begbie Street and walk through the quay parking lot. Secondly, we missed the installation of a big W from shipping containers. This is public art and an interesting addition to the boring, unfinished east end of the park.

Pier Park
Pier Park
2016_04_30
Pier Park


Friday, April 29, 2016

Including Hemp Blonde Ale

Over the winter, I found Al Ahram Beverages Company's Stella a perfectly acceptable Egyptian beer. Yet, it is quite nice getting back to British Columbia's wide selection of local beers, even the ones in a can.

2016_04_29


Thursday, April 28, 2016

We'd Better Get a 'Lonely Planet' Guide

We have a sketchy history in preparing for trips by watching entertainment on screen. An American in Paris (1951), of course, did little to prepare us for that city. Similarity, Roman Holiday (1953) wasn't useful when visiting the Eternal City. Watching the Sharks and the Jets in West Side Story (1961) was really not good preparation for NYC either.

BBC War and Peace 2016

Even if we aim for more recent productions, I can't say that BBC's miniseries, War and Peace (2016) will be helpful in getting us ready for St. Petersburg in June. We are on episode 5 of 6. Still, it is fun doing this research this way. I think I will download the Anna Karenina (2012) now.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Why Run When One Can Walk?

I look forward to errands a lot now.

Early retirement is awesome as nothing ever requires rushing around. I love having enough time to do whatever whenever. I'm sure this total lack of stress is good for our health.

The Library

We drove to both Queensborough and uptown today. The uptown Walmart Superstore opened when we were away. It is really big and now if I want a little exercise I can buy nearly anything without needing to get in the truck. There was room to park at the library and I had remembered to put my card back into my wallet.

A few people probed when they heard I was going to stop teaching. They asked incredulously what I going to do with all my time. I answered, "Live." I will wholeheartedly stick with that answer.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Coffee's a Favourite Too

2016_04_26It was a really nice morning although cool. I forgot how much I enjoy walking around downtown New Westminster.

First, I noticed that the waterfall fountain at the provincial courts is already operating. Some years the water isn't even running during the heat of July and August. In addition, I saw that the New West SkyTrain Station is still in the middle of construction upgrades. I don't know what they're doing, but it is taking forever. Lastly, the downtown Civic Center looked as empty and unwelcoming as ever. Yet, the walk was fantastic and made me happy that we call New Westminster home.

I snapped the accompanying picture when I read the word, 'breakfast', and saw the photo of a pint of beer.


Monday, April 25, 2016

A Tiny New Keyboard

Thanks, Amazon Prime. You are able to get things in my mailbox so quickly that you're easier than making a trip to a physical store.

I had been using a standard, wireless Microsoft keyboard and mouse with my Android TV Box last summer. When in Egypt for the winter I brought only the mouse for navigation and used the on-screen, software keyboard. However, the little USB fob got bent in my luggage last week. As it stopped working, I can no longer use the same arrangement as I did last summer. I used to keep the keyboard on the bottom shelf of the coffee table where it was both convenient and easy. I wondered about the best way to replace the setup.

Petite

This weekend, I saw this backlit Rii® i8 Mini Handheld Keyboard online. I ordered it on Saturday and Canada Post put it in my box this afternoon.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

I Think My Dad Wore One of Them


I was checking my closet. I found a couple of sports coats which may be useful someday. I used to have more as it was once my habit to wear one when I taught classes at BCIT. More recently, I wore sweaters but donated a whole load to the thrift store when I retired. If I'm always getting rid of clothes, how come my closet's always full of stuff I never wear?

2016_04_24

Inside one of the vest pockets of a suit, I found these SkyTrain tickets issued by the Greater Vancouver Transit Authority. When was the last time I wore THAT suit? TransLink, the current name, came into effect on April 1, 1999!


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Free is a Good Price

There seems to be many new residents in our building. We can't figure out who's missing though. Today, our strata had one of its little traditions.

It was one of the days where anyone can bring down larger junk generally not allowed in the garbage. A removal company comes to our parkade, then sorts and correctly disposes of the goods. For example, paint ordinarily should not be put into the garbage but getting rid of it today is allowed. Many people wait to get rid of old computer equipment or even appliances. We have this event four times a year.

2016_04_23

It is always fun to see what has been thrown away. Sometimes it turns into a sort of free swap-meet. I brought down old speaker stands which were holding odds and ends in the bedroom. We brought up an end-table to replace our old, hamster shelf in the living room. We cannot own hamsters now that we plan on being here for just seven months a year. The table is heavy and real furniture when compared to the stuff sold at IKEA. It doesn't perfectly match the colours of our existing wood, but can't be beat for the price.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Continuing Errands

We keep doing things but the list of things to do doesn't seem to be getting any smaller. I'm sure it is though. Here are a few of the things accomplished today.
  • Setup the Android TV box and Chomecast on the living room television and home theatre system.
  • Dropped off some clothes donations at the thirft store.
  • Noticed the far-end of the parkade was demolished while we were away.
  • 2016_04_22
  • Realized that we absolutely won't miss it in the slightest.
  • Discovered that yesterday's plumbing was fine but found a new leak when running the dishwasher.
  • Drove across to Home Depot to buy a rubber, disposal to dishwasher hose reducer.
  • Verified and filed Canadian taxes for 2015.
  • Printed out upcoming travel itinerary documents.
  • Napped.
  • Took a dip in the hot tub.
  • Blogged about doing mundane little tasks.


  • Thursday, April 21, 2016

    Today's Little Project

    There's a lot to do when coming back home after five and a half months away. For example, there was an empty fridge to fill. We did some of that last night, and bought $26 of fruit and vegetables today. (I am sure it would have been quite impossible to spend that much on produce in Luxor.) Other little errands included tasks such as getting a new annual visitors' parking pass for when folks visit and park down on Carnarvon Street.

    One thing we hadn't counted on needing to do involved playing with pipes. In the apartment everything worked after our time away, but the kitchen sink.

    Well, it was the faucet that was misbehaving, actually. A blue moon ago, I replaced its washer and gasket set because it leaked. That was probably a decade ago though. The faucet had not really been a bother when we left in November. Yet yesterday, when trying to get water, it flowed from every spot except the end of the tap. So today involved a trip to pick up a replacement and try our hands at plumbing.

    2016_04_21
    Mr. Fix it

    Success! It's especially surprising how simple home maintenance has become. The copper sections removed were all carefully hand soldiered. Today only a wrench and a little elbow grease were necessary.


    Wednesday, April 20, 2016

    Home Is, As They Say, Sweet!

    We connected in Dubai getting to the airport a few hours before today started. Several months ago, the flight in from Tunis had been rescheduled to stop in Malta to pick up passengers. We had to wait in the airplane for an hour and a half. So the six hour flight became eight putting us into Dubai at about 11:30 PM.

    There was plenty of time as our flight didn't depart local time until 3:20 AM. I'm sure passengers through DXB are given sufficient time to hit duty free. We didn't. Oh, we had to circle for over twenty minutes before touching down due to congestion in Dubai.

    Getting Home
    Getting Home

    The DXB to SEA run was fine. The cabin staff were all such pretty, young things. They actually looked as though they were doing something fun as well. We had dinner as soon as we were in the air and I made sure to have three individual-serving bottles of white wine, so I'd sleep. It worked. I was awake for the pizza snack time and breakfast though. The flight time was only 13 hours and 24 minutes. (In order to get home we flew almost directly north until north became almost directly due south near the pole.)

    After, we had to get off a Boeing Dreamliner and after a wait of about three hours an Alaskan Air Bombardier with propellers to retrace the 120 miles to YVR. That was sort of the opposite sides of the aircraft spectrum. It was a beautiful day so flying up over the sound and viewing of all the mountains was truly awe-inspiring.

    Getting Home
    Getting Home

    That set the mood for today. We SkyTrained home going through downtown so we'd not have to lift the bags once from the baggage carousal to our living room floor. Lots of things were to be done. I managed to re-register my truck for the summer and we made it to the Superstore to start to stock up on groceries. $120 bucks surely doesn't go very far nowadays.

    Getting Home
    From the SkyTrain window at Commercial Drive Station

    I'm beat.


    Tuesday, April 19, 2016

    At 39,000 Feet

    This is a day half spent in an airplane. Inshallah, we will get back to New Westminster tomorrow morning. Right about now, we are just flying back to Dubai to catch a fourteen and a half hour flight to Seattle. That will provide plenty of time to get on board and then bored en route.

    So for today's blog entry, I will just post a few pictures taken yesterday in Tunis. They were taken as we enjoyed time at a cafe the Avenue Habib Bourguiba.

    Final Day in Tunis
    Final Day in Tunis
    Final Day in Tunis
    Final Day in Tunis
    Final Day in Tunis


    Monday, April 18, 2016

    Our Final Day in Tunis

    I feel cheated that this is our last full day in Tunis. I guess being able to visit was a gift. I really ended up liking this country. I hope with all my heart that the political situation here works out well for the friendly people we've met. In that past, I worked with colleagues who used to spend time here and now I know why. It has been an interesting and welcoming place to see.

    Final Day in Tunis
    Final Day in Tunis
    Final Day in Tunis

    Tomorrow we head back home. We don't have to get to the airport early as our flight will be at noon. After five and a half months, it will be a welcomed time. We are taking Emirates and therefore need to fly back three time zones, stopping in Malta, in order to catch a direct Dubai/Seattle flight. Then, a short Alaskan Air hop will put us into YVR in the morning on Wednesday. I guess I can't say much here during the flights.

    It has been a really interesting winter. We are so damned lucky!


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