Category Archives: Technology

Small Wins. . .

I am so proud of myself.

I had two watches that needed new batteries, and I drove to Crystal Mall in Burnaby and had them replaced.

I drove into the underground parking, I parked, I walked up several floors, I walked around and around the mall (it’s circular so you can do laps) while I waited for my watches.

I walked back down into the underground parking — and my car was RIGHT THERE! I didn’t need to go looking for it. SCORE! 

Love My Old Subaru When it Comes to Bits of Home Repair

Amazing how synchronized replacing parts can be. Over the last month I’ve replaced first, one headlight; next, one turn signal bulb; and today, another headlight.

Thank goodness our pushing-20-years-old Subaru is of an age when that sort of stuff is easy to access for the home mechanic.

I know folks with “modern” vehicles who’ve had to have headlights replaced by dealers at $300 a pop because of the way they’re assembled.

Checking Out the Q to Q Ferry Trial

We took a ride on the Q to Q ferry service in New Westminster, BC, today. It’s a trial on for a couple of months. It was fun, and we also enjoyed rambling around Port Royal, where we’d never been before.

https://www.newwestcity.ca/qtoqferry

Q to Q Ferry Trial New Westminster
New Westminster waterfront


Running on weekends now


High-tech fare box works great!


The Fraser lives up to its moniker as a “working river.”


Even on a warm summer day it can be breezy and cool on the river


Ran across the fireworks barge


The old Samson V is looking rather rough. Wonder what its preservation status is?

Got My Eager Fingers on My New Canon 720HS

Despite being a Nikon SLR/DSLR user for over 40 years, I’ve always been partial to Canon point-and-shoots, particularly the Elph series for their teeny size and good quality.

I carry a camera 99% of the time, and the Elph series is shirt pocketable, if that’s a word. Yeah, yeah, I know the world has moved on to cell phones, but I still like a quality optical zoom and the ability to use various exposure modes.

My last Elph series, a 520HS, has been carried daily for several years, and has been battered and bruised. The nail in its coffin was a scratch on the lens that’s become an irritant.

So I’ve upgraded to a Canon SX720HS that was on sale for $110 off through the Canon Canada website. I got my eager fingers on it today, and am impressed, though a bit disappointed in how much larger it is. More like a cargo-pant pocket camera, or I could put the included case on my belt and look even more the nerd : -).

But then again, the 720’s capabilities are a fair jump beyond the 520’s, so it’s a more than fair trade-off.

The retiring 520 and the new 720:

Canon 520HS Canon 720HS

Subaru Outback Hits 300,000

Our trusty ’98 Subaru Outback hit 300,000 kilometers today, or just over 185,000 miles. As you can see, at nearly 20 years old, we don’t put a lot of mileage on it annually. Never used it for commuting until about six months ago, and that commute is only a couple of klicks.

Our mechanic says he regularly services an Outback with over 500,000 kilometers on it. Doubt if we’ll keep ours that long — while still reliable, it’s becoming increasingly expensive to maintain. And we’d also like a hybrid. . .

Outback 300,000

Yay! Found the Udderly Smooth Cream

Yes, this really is udder cream, but it’s great for dry, cracking human skin, too. I knew we had a jar around, but had not seen it in a year or two. Cracking, bleeding skin on both thumbs and forefingers (partly due to my recent PT job unboxing and shelving books) led us on a cream search through the bathrooms and first-aid kits… Success!

Udderly Smooth cream

Ode to a Knife

OK, let’s get one thing clear off the top. I love this knife, but I’m not homicidal. I just have a long history with this sturdy implement, and I admire its durability.

It’s a US Boy Scouts sheath knife circa 1970. I bought it when I was living in New York City, and was active with the local troop in my ‘hood, so it’s at least 45 years old.

It’s all original, including the leather sheath.

It has been much used, and, for a knife, abused. As you can surmise in the scars in the detailed photos below, it’s pounded nails, stripped 14/2  wiring, split kindling when an axe was not available and a rock was used to pound the blade into the wood. . . In addition to more “knifely” duties such as cleaning fish.

And it’s still solid, still takes a good edge, and will long outlive me. I may ask to have it buried with me when I depart, just in case there are zombies on the other side :-).

If you check the BSA online store, it appears nothing like this is available anymore.

I still take it hiking and camping, though I’ve retired it from streamkeeping — I have an excellent, inexpensive, plastic-handled stainless-steel knife from MEC for that duty now.

Beauty, eh?

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1960s US Boy Scouts Sheath Knife