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

Monday, April 22, 2019

Taking 'Kimchi' for a Spin

The weather at this time of year in British Columbia is the definition of fickle. The last few days have been superb but today was another story altogether! It is cold, grey, and has not stopped raining until now.

It seemed the only way we'd get our Mi band 'steps' up to the daily minimum would be to do some indoor walking. We combined that chore with a short trip in our new EV, lovingly referred to as Kimchi, and a trip to pick up some Asian groceries.

In particular, Jay wanted to buy a slab of diced, frozen lemongrass. The T&T chain is the best bet for what we needed. There's a large one in the mall in Central Surrey. While in the fresh vegetable section, we spotted fruit familiar because of our winter in SE Asia, namely: jackfruit, durian, and rambutan. We couldn't afford the Canadian prices on those items today!

T&T Supermarket
This section of the T&T changed from cafeteria style to self-serve.

We put on a few extra steps by walking around the mall and through the Walmart Supercenter. We rediscovered how much larger that store is than the one uptown in New Westminster. We crossed back over the Fraser River on the Pattullo. Driving the Hyundai KONA would best be described as a blast. I think I will eventually press the button to switch from Normal to Sport mode to really feel the ultimate torque of its 100% electric drivetrain.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Thoughts and Activities of the Day

It's a sad day because of Easter day violence in Sri Lanka. Just when things were really looking up for the island nation, well-financed and organized suicide bombers demonstrated hate for humanity by targeting Christians in places of worship and innocent tourists in hotels. Jay's immediate family and friends were not affected but now must live under curfews, restrictions, and fear.

As I've been talking about the change over from our old pickup to the new mini-crossover for the whole week, I will continue.

Jay and I took a trip uptown so I could buy some floor mats for Kimchi, the nickname for our new KONA EV. We frequently pick up food at the Walmart Supercenter at the mall. Jumping in and out of the vehicle is becoming more familiar. Many old habits are hard to break. For example, leaving the fob in my pocket is not yet second nature. I'm replacing my previous gear-shifting habits by actively modifying brake regeneration. New Westminster happens to be basically one large hill, you see. Craning my neck when backing up instead of watching the display is becoming less common.

The new universal mats don't fit perfectly but are okay. I went through the garbage bag of the contents from the old Ranger and put a few things in Kimchi. A few Loonies, a flashlight, a tire-pressure gauge, and driving gloves were among the things that made the cut. I nearly saved a loyalty card from the Flying J truck stop. It is near Ferndale between the US border and Bellingham, Washington. Gas there was always a few cents cheaper than at any surrounding station and substantially cheaper than in Canada.

Gasoline Loyalty

I guess as I won't be buying gasoline again, I can toss this card.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

EV Charging? Think Giant Cell Phone.

Today's blue sky and sunshine was exactly the type of BC weather we were expecting after our return from a SE Asian winter. All the trees are greening up nicely and the white peaks of the mountains created a beautiful backdrop for most every view.

We are finally getting used to this time zone but still found ourselves awake at 5 AM. Saturdays used to be grocery-shopping days and we continued with that tradition this morning. Our Canadian Superstore isn't far away in the city of Coquitlam. On our way to the store, we had the chance to stop at Lougheed Hyundai, the dealer at which I bought my KONA Electric. It seems someone had neglected to include the SD card containing Hyundai's North American map for my vehicle's GPS. Our salesman, Sid, graciously removed the one from their loaner/test-drive KONA EV. Later, we got food for the week and applied some of our credit card rewards to today's bill.

Sort of a Selfie

Quiet on Weekends

The City Vehicle Wasn't Charging

In the afternoon, after a nap, I took Kimchi up to New Westminster's City Hall. Kimchi may become the nickname for our vehicle. For years, there are been several EV charging stations next to the building's entrance. When I first arrived, a Mitsubishi PHEV was charging and a city Leaf, although not charging, was hoarding the other space. I tried Android Auto and asked for directions to Queen's Park. I didn't need the help but testing under real-world conditions was easy. When I returned to City Hall after 15 minutes, the PHEV was gone. After discovering the charging door unlocks with the key fob, I plugged in the KONA and received some Level-2 power.

This charging is free and open for 24 hours on weekends. It is a pleasant place right next to one of my favourite parks in New Westminster. I noticed there are tables which much be used by staff for good-weather bag lunches. The area has wifi. I can imagine topping up here frequently although I may rely on Level-3 DC fast charging at the Superstore we were at this morning. Even if near empty, I could be 80% charged every week during the time we take inside. By the end of the summer our condo should have some available options for me.

This afternoon, I stayed plugged in a half hour and only moved from 80% to 83% but charging slows after getting over the 80% point to ensure longer battery life. These spots can be utalized for two hours. The extra few kilowatts of electricity will move us around this city for a number of errands. Thank you, New Westminster!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Hamming It Up

Hamming It Up

We had a fantastic dinner tonight. We've been back in BC for less than a week and we already had a chance to meet up with friends. Because we began tonight in Richmond, we know that the next dinner will take place in the West End. After that, it'll be our time to host out in New Westminster. Following that, the circle route will repeat.

Our group has been meeting like this for fourteen years, many of them have been chronicled here in my eJournal and images. A physical reminder moves to the home of those who must host next. Two rubber duckies in a bag and a notebook to keep track of the dates and particulars of each event.

Group Photo

Thursday, April 18, 2019


Today, we left behind a dependable assistant with nearly 23 years of service. I felt a bit sad, but Jay said that, as our old pickup truck was being recycled, it may live a completely new life after processing. Perhaps it will bring joy as someone's new refrigerator or even as a vehicle in a new form.

We got up really early again as is often the case after getting back from a winter in Indochina. There's not a lot of activity at 5:00 am. However, it gave us plenty of time to get going on accomplishing our British Columbia 'Scrap-It' funding on the 1996 Ford Ranger. The main provincial incentive on a 100% electric vehicle is $5,000 and that is taken off the price before purchase. I paid for my new Kona Electric on Tuesday but knew that I'd get an additional $CA 6,000 for giving up the Ranger for scrap.

The Lower Mainland drop-off location is not far from where we live. It's just across and a few kilometers up the Fraser River. First, we had to clear out the truck which had also doubled as a storage area. For example, our big picnic cooler used to ride around in the back. Also, some camping equipment was stored under the pickup canopy. Some items had to be moved to a dumpster at our building.

Preparing for Its Funeral.

The company called, Schnitzer Steel, was really hard to find. Along the river, a new highway cuts off easy access. We had to take a meandering route and it took at least twice as long as needed, perhaps a half hour. When we got there, a little sign said to go to the scale. We drove through several times before stopping and entering the public end of the building. It seems we needed to stop at the dump truck service window although it was a few meters higher than we required.

Just 101,422 Miles

Damn. I didn't have all the paperwork required. I was supposed to bring along an emailed approval for BC Scrap-It. We needed to drive back across the Pattullo Bridge to get home to print a copy. We found a preferred route which was much quicker. At our building, I temporarily used a neighbour's parking space as it had no car.

Two Vehicles, One Space

We repeated the process and found everything in order this time. I was instructed to go to an area near the entrance so my vehicle plates could be removed. They provided them to me and I went back in the public office for the final paperwork. It took only a few minutes. We then had to park in a designated area. I remembered all the times it had got us places. In the slight drizzle, my Ranger looked much too good to be scrap.

Abandoned for Crushing

We then had to wait for a free taxi ride to get us back to the Scott Road SkyTrain station. Unfortuantely, it took a half an hour for one to show up. The first SkyTrain stop, on one short trip back over the river, got us home. I had the plates which I needed to request the rebate on my seven months of auto insurance. We did this chore in the late afternoon too. So, now my truck is only a memory.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Meet Kim

The parking spot in my condo building is not a very picturesque location for a photograph. However, I want to show that we got our KONA Electric home!

It's Home!

Compared to my ancient, stripped-down pickup truck, a whole lot of bright screens broadcast information when behind the wheel. I was too tired from jetlag to go on an extended run in it. We got up at about 4 o'clock this morning when we woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. Eventually, we will adjust to being back on Pacific Daylight Savings time. And I'll save the EV-driving learning-curve for a time more conducive to some errands or a pleasure trip.

A few minutes ago, I told Jay that I wanted to give our mini-crossover a name, though. I was thinking of Kevin the KONA. "Go put this box in Kevin for me."

I told Jay about these thoughts and he suggested that, as it's a Hyundai, perhaps something Korean would be better.

So, our new vehicle's name is Kimchi or Kim for short. "Does Kim need to be fast-charged before we go to Seattle?"

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

We're Baaaaaack!

We decided to splurge on an airport taxi to New Westminster last night. That allowed us to get here at 8:50 PM because the driver went a bit faster than felt safe. Everything in our apartment was fine. I switched on the power supply and everything came to life as expected, wifi and all.

We sort of stumbled around in a daze before getting to bed at around 10:30 PM. Some things were removed from the suitcases but nothing much got organized in a methodical way. Still, on a time zone fifteen hours ahead of Vancouver, we slept horribly and were wide awake at 5:30 AM when we decided we might as well get up.

We had nothing in the way of food as the refrigerator has been off for our five months away. The old truck started right up but needed a bit of a wash at the hose by our underground parking entrance. It was pretty grimy. We made the trip to the uptown Walmart a bit after 8:00 AM to get a few staples. We went back uptown for a second time at 10:00 so I could pick up a bank draft. It was the remainder of cash due for my new Hyundai KONA Electric.

We drove right to the dealership in Coquitlam and handed over the cheque. I didn't realize it'd take so long for us to complete all the other paperwork. There were a whole lot of things to officially decline, such as an extended warranty. Of course, I got the chance to register and insure the EV right at the dealer. We also did the final step in procuring my BC Scrap-It funding for my old Ranger. I can drop off the 23-year-old pickup for crushing anytime now and then the provincial program will send the big cheque!

How Sexy!  Nice Car Too!

I'll Never Be This Clean Again

I didn't want to drive away in it today. Actually, I am so numb from being 15 hours ahead of myself I couldn't drive safely. However, that didn't stop us from doing proper grocery shopping at the Coquitlam Superstore which is just across the highway. The afternoon did allow time for a nap. Also, most things are in their places and luggage stored away in the closet. Oh, the TV app on our box required a call to the technician to coax it into action.

I think this was a successful day and I look forward to having the sales guy pick us up at 10:00 AM tomorrow to actually cruise home in my new KONA Electric. Yay! So much new technology with which to play!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Tricks of the International Date Line


Day 155 - This is going to be a very long day. We got up at about 7:30 AM and started out by eating our last leisurely breakfast in Kuala Lumpur. Around 10:30, I used my Grab phone app and arranged for a car to KUL, Kuala Lumpur's main international airport.

777 Cabin
My photo from aboard a 777 flight five years ago.

We checked in and had time for a quick lunch. Our first plane boarded at 4:00 and we travelled nearly five hours to Taipei, Taiwan. We had to wait around for our connecting flight for nearly three and a half hours. We didn't need to buy dinner because we ate on the previous flight and will again soon on the net. As all went well, we finally got on the Vancouver bound at 11:55 PM today.

The interesting part is that after ten and a half more hours in the air we landed at YVR at approximately 7:30 PM. This means the second flight took minus 4 hours and 30 minutes. Flights arriving before they leave have always prompted me to think we were somehow involved in time-travelling science fiction.

Anyway, we plan to go to bed in New Westminster at a normal-sounding time on the same day we got up. Somehow the 15 hours in the air and transfers didn't take as long as they actually did. As I rest my head on my own pillow, I will think we've won a tiny lottery and have managed cheat time by living little longer than was predetermined.

(My blog will resume tomorrow completely on New Westminster, BC time and in New Westminster, BC space.)

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Nothing's Really Final Yet

Happy New Year!
A Hindu Temple beside our hotel had special comemorations.

Day 154 - Today is a new month and the beginning of a new year in many parts of South Asia and Indochina. Well, it's April 14th everywhere, of course, but today marks an annual beginning point in many ancient religious and agricultural calendars. From today, Sri Lankans celebrate several days called the Sinhalese or Tamil New Year, but in Thailand, these days are called Songkran. Wherever you are, and whether currently celebrating or not, I hope you are having a safe and prosperous day.

Only Bits
Near KL Indian Mosque

Today also marks our last full day in Kuala Lumpur in 2019. We did some packing yesterday but continued getting everything ready for smooth exit tomorrow morning. We will take a Grab car to the airport in the late morning. Our initial flight to Taipei takes off at 3:30 PM. This afternoon, we walked around our part of the city a bit. I wanted to buy a local, batiq-design shirt but couldn't find anything that'd fit. Their XXL would have been about an M in Canadian clothes sizes!

Jay ended up buying a new shirt though! That guy also insists on leaving our studio apartment spotlessly clean. I think he's leaving it better than it was when we arrived. I told him he's being selfish and not thinking of the bored staff who will come after we leave and have nothing to do.

Canada, here we come! Almost. Well soon, anyways.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Annual Seasonal Migration

Day 153 - Okay, it is time to start packing!

Readying for Our Seasonal Migration

Hey, I've heard that birds do it but bees do not. I know we have been doing it since 2015. We are readying for our annual spring return to Canada. We've started throwing odds and ends into our suitcases in preparation for Monday's flights home.

In Kuala Lumpur at the moment, it's 3:30 PM and it's getting strangely very dark outside. I'm going to switch on the kitchen lights now, in fact. We have now heard thunder and seen an occasional flash from bolts of lightning. The storm's audio bass is turned up and even the windows are shuddering. This is going to be a big one! They're not unusual at this time of year. SE Asian thunderstorms are not kids' play. We've noticed that rain on Saturday evenings isn't unusual. As a huge, Asian-style night-market occurs in our neighbourhood on Saturdays, perhaps we simply notice the threat and occurrence of rain more.

I uploaded the following three pictures to Facebook this morning. These will become the very first photos of our car, ever. Sid at Lougheed Hyundai was kind enough to email them to me. Of course, as you can tell, the dealer hasn't finished prepping the 2019 KONA Electric yet. However, they will have the EV locked and loaded for us on our first full day back in British Columbia.

It's a Hyundai KONA Electric
It's My New Car from Next Week
The Dealer's Getting It Ready

Friday, April 12, 2019

Obituary for Richard John Hurd

Dad_Deer_Muzzle_Loader_1970'sSeptember 18, 1932 to April 5, 2019
(Age 86)

Richard (Dick) Hurd passed away after a short stay at the Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont, New Hampshire. He had been an active resident at the McCoy Home for the Elderly in Newport, New Hampshire for the past seven years.

Richard was born in Newport, NH on September 18, 1932.  He was an only son to Burt and Ina Hurd. He attended training at the Vocational Tech College majoring in Auto Mechanics and specializing in Auto-Body repair. After completing school, he served in the US Army in Ft. Benning, GA. Upon returning from his Enlistment, he used his training in auto-body repair working with his father, Burt, at Sunapee Auto until obtaining a different position at Avery's Auto-Body in Newport in the mid-1960s. However, the majority of his working career was as a set-up machinist at Sturm, Ruger & Co. He retired at 55 years of age, to enjoy his time both travelling and volunteering as a missionary worker at different locations across the United States.

Richard married Martha Ann Osgood of Sunapee, NH in 1959 and was a devoted husband and quickly became the proud father of a son and daughter. Richard loved the outdoors spending many weekends camping in the White Mountains of NH with his family and friends. He also liked to slip into the wilderness with one of his muzzleloaders during deer season.  He was successful only a few times but said he liked being in the woods and his time spent there.

Richard Hurd was self-reliant, practical, and a bit of a collector.  Even after selling the Wendell home, he kept property with a large, old shed he called, "his barn". For many years it contained either entire or parts for snowmobiles, Volkswagens, tools and test equipment, campers, motorcycles, wind generators, and antique engines. Occasionally he would find something or other which surprised even him!  He enjoyed, as he put it, "tinkering on different projects."

As a consequence of his automotive and mechanical knowledge, he was able to keep dozens and dozens of different vehicles on the road throughout the years in New England’s fickle weather. Some were also used on a few long-distance road trips to locations such as Nova Scotia, Alaska, California, and Florida. Dick was interested in the diversity and variety of the United States and felt as though there were always new places in our country worthy of seeing. Though, he remained an ardent New Hampshirite in thought and spirit.

Richard (Dick) Hurd is survived by his son, Dennis S. Hurd of New Westminster, BC, and daughter, Laurie Wilcox, Le Claire Iowa, along with his grandchildren, Christopher and Elizabeth, and great-grandchild, Tyler, all of Le Claire, Iowa

He was preceded in death by his parents, Burt Hurd and Ina Hurd and his wife of 23 years, Martha Osgood Hurd.

Honoring Richard's wishes, there will not be any calling hours. The family will gather at a later time to privately scatter his ashes.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

So Long, Soursop!

Day 151 - Our time in Malaysia feels limited now. We have just tomorrow, the weekend and then we're off. We have been slowly wrapping things up. There are many little details to consider such as ensuring our refrigerator will be empty by next Monday. We have completed most of our last minute shopping. We've been saying goodbye to some things which have become familar over the course of our winter.

Say Bye, Bye to Soursop!
We'll say so-long to soursop until next winter!

Being away for five months a year is nearly perfect. We can now anxiously anticipiate our return home. I'm quite excited by the prospects for a fun summer and fall in British Columbia. Having a new set of wheels will probably mean we put on more miles than we've been doing in recent years. As they'll be powered by electricity rather than fossil fuels, the cost of driving will be much less and the impact much greener.

We can take dozens of picnic and day trips to places such as Whistler, the Fraser Valley, or in northern Washington State. An immediate example comes to mind, Jay and I have lived in New Westminster, BC for 23 years but we've never been to Point Roberts, WA, a pene-exclave of the US. It is surrounded by water and Canada and we've no excuse for such lethargy, really. There are so many cool and interesting places within three or four hours of our home in Beautiful BC.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Do It Yourself

Day 150 - When I was in college that term, DIY, would have been used to describe a business selling home improvement and hardware supplies. I was thinking just how much more we do ourselves today.

For example today, I used the Internet from Malaysia to complete a number of tasks which simply would have been inconceivable 40 years ago. Of course, things such as blog posts weren't possible at all. However, my purpose today is to point out how the Net has simplified things which other people used to have to do for us. Here are four things I easily accomplished via a PC today:

1) We moved money between a few bank accounts in sums that are rather astonishing. We didn't have to visit a branch, speak to a teller, or fill out any forms. Of course, the transactions didn't involve physical cash but the funds were instantly in their respective accounts.

2) Jay and I purchased airline tickets to visit the US for a few days during the beginning of May. We are working with my sister, who's not on the east coast, to plan the logistics of spreading our recently deceased father's ashes. We didn't have to go to a travel agency, sit with an agent for options or wait to complete the transaction. We are all set to travel on May 3rd.

3) I applied to start receiving my Canadian Pension Plan this summer because I turn 60 years old in July. I am opting to receive about half the benefit I'd get if I waited, but will have an extra five years to collect it. I didn't have to find a government office, fill out paperwork, and hand to a civil servant. I'll be kept up-to-date on the process via email.

4) Lastly, moments ago, I photographed our 'travel computer' to post in this entry. I didn't need to take a roll of film to a store, wait for chemical developing, and eventually receive a paper photograph. Instead, I can share it with you right now, wherever in the world you are viewing this from.

The 'Travel PC' Has a SSD and Easily Fits in My Backpack
Our 'travel PC' has a sold-state drive and fits in my backpack. There are times when a phone or tablet is just not sufficient.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Just When You Thought It Was Safe

to go back into the ... supermarket!

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back into the ... Supermarket

(If the theme from the movie, Jaws, the 'DAH-dah, DAH-dah, DAH-dah' just went through your head, then you're probably quite old!)

Day 149 - It didn't feel like a Tuesday today. I don't know what it felt like, actually. We haven't done a whole lot. The supermarket is just across the street, so that is not really an outing. We will undoubtedly venture out a bit later as long as a huge, tropical thunderstorm doesn't suddenly crop up. We do try to get in our daily number of steps as counted by my Mi band. At the moment the number sits at just 2566!

I spent a bit of the afternoon writing an obituary for my dad. That is a much harder task than I thought. There are just a few rules but the writing should capture something about the person rather than being a glorified resume with a few dates. Everyone should practice writing their own and keeping a copy to share with loved ones.

Oh my, I say that yet Jay and I do not even legal wills yet! Why is it so easy to put off these things?

Monday, April 08, 2019

Anticipating My New-Car Smell

Day 148 - I first wrote a blog post mentioning a Hyundai KONA Electric in mid-July last year. Subsequently and just occasionally, fifteen posts have followed. So, today is the seventeenth time the groundbreaking, totally-electric, mini-crossover has been mentioned in my eJournal and images.

I fear that over the next several weeks, this blog may include a tsunami of new photos and comments on my own 2019 KONA Electric. We're flying back to Vancouver on the evening of April 15th. The very next morning, although my body is not likely to yet be functioning optimally on Pacific time, I will visit the dealership to make the final payment towards the purchase of my new one.

Unless you have a particular interest in electric vehicles, at nearly eight minutes, you may find Hyundai Canada's promotional video a little boring. Of course, as I have a new one waiting for me at a Coquitlam dealership, I've watched it more than a few times!

Car buying is not something which I frequently do. In fact, the last time I bought a vehicle was in 1996. It is my current Ford Ranger and it would have served us well for 23 years come June. However, by then it should be just memories and a slab of crushed metal. For you see, I am participating in a BC provincial program called, Scrap-It. It provides additional funding for EV buyers to get rid of old, polluting, gas-powered vehicles.

I've been a big proponent for electric vehicle technologies for a long time. I kept watching and waiting. And waiting. I am happy that the situation has finally matured enough for me to jump in. I really believe that in the next decade the automotive industry is going to look a whole lot different than today. I am very happy to be able to participate in this transformation.

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