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

Saturday, May 20, 2017

On the Road to Damascus

My new multifunction printer has a scanner. I don't know if I like it as well as my very old flatbed Canon. However, I was able to drop a really poor-quality print from the 1980's onto the glass and scan it directly from my tablet in another room. It was easy to crop in the tablet's software with which I'm now familiar.

On the Road to Damascus

For some reason this photo was sitting un-scanned on the glass of my older scanner. The shot was taken in 1982 or 1983 when I worked in an elementary school in Kuwait. We were on a road trip during our spring break. I crossed Saudi Arabia with Trevor; however, the girls had to fly to meet us in Jordan. In those days it was not a problem to cross into Syria and we all made a visit to Damascus in Trev's GMC (Jimse). The trip, obviously, wasn't completely 'smooth sailing'.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Yeah, Baby!

(The title must be read in the voice of Austin Powers.)

We generally go shopping on Saturdays, but decided to try today. We consider the closest Canadian Superstore in Coquitlam to be ours. I always make sure to visit the newer-type blood pressure machine near the pharmacy. One needs to log on to it with an email address. It's much worth the extra bother. All prior results can be shown from home with personalized graphs and averages too. I do like following my numbers and was very happy with today's.

Keeping Track

Excellent. (This time try imagining the voice of Monty Burns.)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Money to Burn

On Facebook, I commented on a recent posting about not having the need to buy a new printer. It read,
"Ah, I gave up on my own reluctance. The online price for a printer was half of what I could buy at London Drugs or Walmart. I don't need a new printer, but want to play with a wireless one which will print from my devices (wherever I happen to be through the Net). Just too geeky to pass up."

Brother DCP-L2540DW

Moments ago, I completed the process to buy this Brother DCP-L2540DW online for $129. Oh, and those are Canadian bucks meaning the price across the border would look even 25% cheaper!

I ended up justifying doing so for a number of reasons: 1) Perhaps due to the model's clearance, it seems really cheap. 2) Unlike my previous printer, it can duplex and save a lot of paper. 3) I have had my present printer for nine years. 4) The new model doesn't need to be attached by USB and will connect to wifi from our bedroom. 5) This should also be able to print from my phone and tablet seamlessly, and is Google Cloud Printer ready. 6) Most of the online reviews are positive.

With all those benefits, I'd be crazy NOT to have bought it. Right? The only caveat is I hardly have a real need to print anything. Sigh.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Let's Not Rush Recovery

Jay's open heart surgery was a day more than six weeks ago. Apparently, many new mileposts are reached at about this point in time. He can be a bit less careful about this breastbone as it should adequately healed for an increasing number of activities. Also, all the medical staff and the literature say that he is finally fit to drive and should be allowed to hit the road now.


I'm not so sure about that though. He doesn't have a driver's licence and has never driven here.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Oh, Brother!

Most people do not really need a traditional computer printer anymore. I know this. Still, I have some rough edges which haven't kept up with the times. For example, when going to an airport, although paper tickets have gone the way of the dinosaur, I still like carrying printed confirmations with me. It is my security blanket from times when we didn't have to get half naked entering the airport along with pat-downs by staff in any locations still covered. I am perfectly aware I could verify data with my phone.

During vacation planning, we find 8 1/2" x 11" print-outs helpful too. A lot of research goes into learning about areas to which we travel. Somehow PDFs just don't seem sufficient. So, I have recently become aware that our old, HL-2140 Brother printer was not running at 100%. I could see small random specks of toner on blank areas of every printed sheet. I knew I got the device a long time ago, but was surprised by how very long ago by searching here.


I got a little excited about being able to look online at newer devices. I found, compared, and chose a suitable replacement. Then, my conservative self decided just to open it up and clean the old one. I took the printer out on the balcony and blew it out with a hair drier. Now it prints perfectly again. Damn. I cannot justify a purchase now. Perhaps, if I drop it from a height ...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Aromas from the Kitchen

The balcony doors are tightly shut today. The entire day has been more akin to what we see during a normal winter. The intensity of the rain varied, but hardly ever ceased completely. The temperature probably did not get above 10C.

Yet, I think I'm lucky. Our apartment always smells great. Here's an example of why it does right now.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Nothing's Certain Except ...

I think my city's property tax bills are generally sent out at the end of this month with payment due at the beginning of July. Yet, I have already applied for our BC homeowner's grant and know what the exact payment will be.

I clicked online to see when our next power bill would come. For historical reasons, we pay the city of New Westminster bi-monthly for our electrical consumption. The department had recently done a switch over to a new, online system. However, the old one is still set up for property taxes. I clicked there and noticed that although we owe more than last year it is surely within reason. I had hoped for this despite how drastically our last assessment had risen. There's been talk of a housing bubble in the Vancouver area for years and years.

Most people don't stop to figure out how property taxes really work. Just because the value of one's own property increases doesn't mean that their taxes should. A city basically divides a budget by the total assessed value of property under its jurisdiction. When everyone's value rises uniformly, and city spending remains the same, then the tax should remain constant. Moreover, should there be an increase in taxable property with similar municipal spending, then one's own taxes could actually decrease. Due to inflation, this scenario seldom happens.

Sunny Place

I guess it's good to know how much we'll be forking over.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Roman Holiday

Today on Expedia, we booked a hotel for a stay in Rome in August. We'll travel there three days prior to beginning our scheduled cruise.

I remember seeing Roman Holiday (1953) years ago. Finding an online copy today wasn't easy, but it was worth it. Audrey Hepburn was such a cutie.

Roman Holiday 1953

Friday, May 12, 2017

Ensuring Flexibility

PlaylistI make a conscious effort. It's too easy, when getting older, to stick with things one already knows. Unfortunately, that absolutely ensures that one turns old. I can see this in small ways taking place in friends by their reluctance to embrace different ways of doing things. Those 'stuck in their ways' get left behind.

On the other hand, if we embrace new things, we exercise our minds and broaden our outlooks. If there's one thing that the majority of humanity, regardless of age, needs to do, it is to broaden collective outlooks.

This applies to music as well. Of course, not everyone deliberately listens to music. For some, it's just part of the background noise of life. I do however enjoy wearing headphones occasionally. Thanks to streaming, vast quantities of sonic experience are available and generally free. My playlists are very eclectic. There are indeed ones filled with oldies from my youth. Yet, I try to keep up on some of the sounds being produced nowadays. Much of what I hear is quite amazing.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Personal Quote #122

"Entropy continues to win. Damn."
Dennis Sylvester Hurd (1959- )


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Whole Lot of Dams

The last and only time we were on the Holland America Line was in 2006. Of course, that meant our membership reward numbers were long from being accessible to us. However, as we're in the middle of planning a rather lengthy cruise on the Westerdam later in the summer, we thought finding those old numbers might be useful.

A Day in Victoria, BC 01/09

The picture shows a coastal trip from San Diego to home. We were on a brief 5-night cruise north. The re-positioning cruises start prior to the Alaskan cruise season, so it was during the month of May. I was able to locate the exact days because of this blog.

We couldn't locate the numbers through the regular HAL web portal. However, my number came up when we were investigating our upcoming itinerary with an agent. I used it when calling the toll free number and explained the situation. I really wasn't sure if 11-year-old bookings would still be valid. They are and the Mariner Club representative added those former five days to my number. He found Jay's number for us as well.

Yikes, it takes an entire '30 days at sea' to get one's second Mariner star. We'll still be a single day shy, even after our upcoming Adriatic / Mediterranean itinerary.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Five Weeks after Surgery


At 9:30 this morning Jay went off by himself to meet with his cardiologist for the first time since his surgery. Surely it is positive news that he needn't go back for an appointment for another six months. His beta blocker was renewed at half the strength he'd been taking and this will be his final month on it. It was very effective in reducing his pulse after surgery but it does cause him to get more easily fatigued. Five weeks ago today, he was under the knife for a quintuple bypass. Modern medicine is amazing!

When he came home, we walked next door to vote in the provincial elections. Then, we drove uptown to pick up his prescription at the uptown Walmart.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Seeing with Our Own Eyes

One advantage of continuing to add stuff online for fourteen years in a row, is being able to search years back through things which one cannot completely remember. What was it I had for dinner last night, again?

I sort of recalled playing with a photo editor back in the days of bulky desktop computers. I cannot accurately say what prompted me to create the image but I used it right here in my eJournal and images in May of 2004. Was it simply due to a discussion at Bret's house about a movie? Obviously, in the faked shot Joel, Lynne, and I wouldn't have been very appropriately attired.

Photo: Totally imaginary shot thanks for photo editing.

However, Jay and I went uptown this morning. We met again with Arleen at CruiseShipCenters. I hope to take much better photos of him and me on Corfu toward the end of the summer. In 2017, our trip should not require the aid of any cumbersome photo editing.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Not Available at Safeway



You Don't Know Jack

Fresh is Better

It was a delightfully sunny day, not the 100% sunshine that was promised, but sunny enough nevertheless.

Being a Sunday with fewer drivers on the roads, we ventured across the Pattullo Bridge and up to the T & T Supermarket in the mall at Surrey Central. We were out of some of Jay's staple ingredients which are not carried at our usual supermarket. I love the fresh produce of this market chain as we can pick up things seemingly a little more exotic.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

A Slice of Life

I did a bit of 'secret' shopping yesterday. The thing is: I wasn't covertly buying something for myself! My online order was for some basic household tools that definitely need replacing. We eat only freshly cooked food because Jay is quite a chef. In fact, I just checked and found only three cans in our kitchen cupboards. Several cans of coconut milk were sitting on the second shelf and a larger can of Folgers Classic Roast was on the top.

knifesetThat means all the food we eat is 'processed' by Jay. He has culinary skills but is a tad too pragmatic. He can sort of be defined by his be-happy-for-what-you-have attitude. He believes in walking softly on the earth and avoiding blatant consumerism. He practices the ultimate in 'make-do-ism'.

I helped out with the cooking after his surgery last month. It was at that time when I realized his make-do attitude extended to our knife collection. He does all his culinary magic with several ratty, old, mismatched kitchen knives which he's been using for decades!

I discovered a small J.A. Henckels Forged Contour Knife Set online. We should get a good set as they'll be used constantly and probably never be replaced during our lifetimes. Actually, they're not the company's best, but I assumed cheap Henckels are probably better quality than any higher-end department store brand.

Now I've got to slowly prepare Jay for the knife set's arrival. It'll be a little too early to call it a Victoria-Day gift. What about an early happy birthday? Nah, four months is too far away for that. I'll just settle by calling it a get-well gift after his heart surgery.


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