Category Archives: Technology

Dangerous Driving Getting Out of Hand in BC’s Lower Mainland

I’d like to add a few observations and experiences to the recent conversation about pedestrian deaths and dangerous driving. More people are driving badly in BC’s lower mainland, and we need significantly stepped-up education and enforcement to modify behaviour.

In the last year or two I’ve experienced the following:

  • Nearly getting T-boned, not once, but twice, at T intersections in south Burnaby, when drivers blew stop signs. In both cases, they didn’t even slow down.
  • Nearly getting rear-ended on a regular basis all over the lower mainland because I am apparently one of the few drivers left who actually stops at stop signs.
  • In a follow-up to the above comment, I estimate that over 90% of drivers who approach the stop sign on Rumble St. in south Burnaby at the intersection with Griffiths Dr. do not come to a complete stop.
  • Coming to a complete stop before turning right on a red light? Oh, please, might spill the coffee, eh?
  • In the only accident that I’ve been involved in in the last 40 years, I was rear-ended when I stopped at a crosswalk for a pedestrian. The driver who hit me had time to blow her horn, but strangely not enough time to hit her brakes, though the pedestrian was well off the curb and onto the road.
  • I have been passed several times in school zones during school hours when I had the temerity to slow to the 30km/hour zone limit.
  • I have had folks honk at me when I have stopped and clearly indicated with my turn signal that I am going to parallel park.
  • What about speed limits? What speed limits?! I’d say the average speed in some 50km/hour zones in Burnaby like the Royal Oak hill, the Southridge hill, etc., is likely around 75km/hour. If you do less than 65km/hour, you’re a hazard.

Some time ago I noted in a FB post that I used to enjoy driving, but it’s becoming stressful. I’ve driven Canada from coast to coast, I’ve driven much of the US, I’ve driven in major metropolises like Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Toronto, Madrid,  Barcelona, Sydney, Melbourne. . . And never felt as unsafe as I now do here at home.

I wish folks would wake up, wise up, take responsibility, and realize that driving is a privilege that requires practice, skill, and concentration.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Update Bricks my Computer – Again!

Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update has bricked my main computer twice. I am fortunate to keep regular images of my C: drive, but still, each time it’s taken hours to swap drives and restore everything.

I keep clicking on the postpone update message, hoping they’ll get their act together and release something stable. I’ve gone into update preferences and attempted to shut down updates. Yet it appears that the second time MS went ahead and overrode my preferences.

This is extremely aggravating, time-consuming, and costly. And I’m not the only one. Sharing my experiences on social media has turned up plenty of folks, some in major institutions complete with IT departments, who have had the same problem.

Yes, I have Mac and Linux boxes, too, but my workflow has been Windows based for decades, with various utilities and such that I’m loath to give up, or find equivalents for on other OSes.

Meanwhile, today I bought another HD, so that I can keep multiple images of my C: drive. At least having imaged drives reduces the aggravation somewhat, in addition to regular data backups on NAS devices for additional insurance.

Year-End Digital Data Backup

I back up regularly, but I also make a point of making sure I have fresh images of my main computer hard drive, and backups of all data drives, at the end of the year.

There’s no such thing as having too many backups — both onsite and offsite.

Yes, make sure you also have a backup stored with a relative, or at a trusted friend’s place. Or in a safety deposit box.

My project for this cold and rainy afternoon was to check my drives and backups.

My 3TB D: drive, which is dedicated to photos, was near capacity, while my 2TB C: drive was 80% free. I’d been contemplating upgrading to 4TB-plus on D:, but ended up moving several hundred GB of old photos from D: to C:, giving me enough room on D: to keep me going well into the new year.

Now setting up backups of the new configuration to my NAS (network attached storage) RAID drives.

Again: there is no such thing as too many backups!

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