September 26, 2010

Burnaby Board of Trade Proclaims Support for Rivers Day

The Burnaby Board of Trade is the first chamber in Canada to proclaim its support for World Rivers Day. Chair Dick Kouwenhoven read out the proclamation at the Rivers Day event in Burnaby, BC, today, shaking hands with Rivers Day founder Mark Angelo.

This is way cool! The BBOT is one of the most progressive boards in Canada, and I am proud to sit on its Environmental Sustainability Committee.

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Rivers Day founder Mark Angelo, left, and Dick Kouwenhoven, BBOT chair.

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Posted by Paul at 04:27 PM

September 24, 2010

Bye Ge-Ge-Ge No Nyobo

Japan's NHK (somewhat equivalent to Canada's CBC or Britain's BBC) has finished another of its 15-minute-per-day serial family dramas. I never watched these during my 14-year stay in Japan, but since we moved to Canada some 10 years ago, we signed up for TV Japan on cable and these serials have become a staple of our lives - a small thing that connects us to our previous lives in Japan.

They conveniently show at 6:45 p.m. our time, just toward the end of the local news, and because they're in 15-minutes bites, they're very digestible. . . and immersive.

In these drama series, NHK still lives in a world of extended families, hard-working men, long-suffering women, and all sorts of trials and tribulations that are modestly overcome through hard work and persistence. It's a combo of idyllic fantasy, and vestiges of WWII-era government-promulgated "sacrifice for the nation" exhortation.

It's a world in which the husband in a couple who have been married for several decades can hesitantly place his hand on his wife's shoulder, only to elicit an awed, loving response of "father!"

When the long-married couple in this last drama actually held hands in the final episode, my wife and I swooned - well, we giggled - but then the tears welled up for it just felt right in the context. . .

Somehow it all works, and makes for tear-jerking, compelling drama. Six days a week, for 15 minutes at a time, you get to know granddad and/or grandma, dad and mom, and siblings, kids, etc. There's no shying away from death and conflict and the changing of the years. . . If you can understand some Japanese, you almost feel like an extended member of the family.

I must admit I've shed a few tears over the last several years during several iterations of these dramas.

Now it's time to get to know a new family, and become immersed in their lives. . .

Posted by Paul at 08:33 PM

September 17, 2010

When I Grow Up I’ll Wear Shoes Like Mommy’s

Choco the cat has recently taken to playing with Yumi's slippers. This photo was not faked or posed in any way, it's all Choco's doing.

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Posted by Paul at 10:29 AM

September 15, 2010

Paint in Burnaby’s Byrne Creek?

A Byrne Creek Streamkeeper noticed a paint-like discoloration in the creek at Susan's Pond at 18th Ave. just east of Griffith's Drive around 2:15 p.m. today, and left me a message. I got the message around 3:00 p.m., and zipped over and checked, and sure enough it did look like paint. I called the City of Burnaby, and they had already received a report and were looking for the source.

Remember: All Drains Lead to Fish Habitat!

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I checked another pond further downstream, and as of 3:30 there was no discoloration and no fish to be seen, alive or dead. With luck the amount of pollutant was not sufficient to kill.

UPDATE: As of 6:45 p.m. Griffith's Pond (near Choices in the Park), downstream of the original pollutant site, was full of a milky white substance:

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And to add to the creek's woes, I ran across another, separate inflow of some sort of oily substance coming from a drainage that leads from the townhouse complex at 6770 Rumble St.:

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UPDATE 2: Checked several areas of the creek Thursday morning Sept. 16 with another streamkeeper and the substance appears to have been diluted and washed away. Fortunately we did not find any dead fish, and did see several live ones.

Posted by Paul at 03:55 PM

September 14, 2010

Dreamfish Gala to Support Stream of Dreams Murals Society

It's coming fast! Just a couple of weeks to go, so get your tickets soon! The Stream of Dreams Murals Society is hosting a Dreamfish Gala on Saturday, Sept. 25 in Burnaby, BC.

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Artwork by Stream of Dreams Artistic Director Louise Towell

Fantastic live music by  Holly Arntzen, Kevin Wright and the Dream Band. Yowza!

Silent auction, "fish pond", appies, deserts, wine. . .

Don't miss it!

(Disclaimer: I'm prez of the society's board of directors : - )

Posted by Paul at 09:53 PM

September 10, 2010

A Few Sample Shots

I've been so busy, but I've also shot some great photos recently. Here are a couple, more to come as I have time.

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White Rock Crescent Beach Sunset

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Stanley Park Seawall

Posted by Paul at 09:55 PM

Hard Disk Cloning Adventures with Windows 7

Close to a year ago I bought a new tower computer with a 640GB HD and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. A year later, due to prolific photo shooting, free space on the HD was down to less than 30GB. So I bought a new 1.5TB drive, with the aim of cloning the old drive onto the new one.

First I tried my Acronis True Image software, which worked great on upgrading the HD in my IBM notebook computer awhile back. When the copy was done - the new HD wouldn't boot. Mutter mutter.

So I tried cloning the drive with Terabyte's CopyWipe. Still wouldn't boot. And each of these cloning operations took many hours. Grrrrr..

I kept getting messages from Windows 7 that something or other was missing, and that I should try the Windows 7 Recovery Disc. Duh. It often helps to follow error messages :-).

After several whacks with the Windows 7 Recovery Disk, interspersed with some playing around with boot order in the computer's BIOS, I now have a beautifully cloned system with 812GB of free space.

That ought to hold me for a couple more years of photo shooting! :-)

Posted by Paul at 08:50 PM

September 09, 2010

Come Celebrate World Rivers Day in Burnaby, BC!

World Rivers Day in Burnaby on Sunday, Sept. 26, will be held in Fraser Foreshore Park near Byrne Creek. This fun-filled family event will run from noon to 4:00 p.m. Details here.

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The above is a portion of the event poster created by the City of Burnaby

Posted by Paul at 05:52 PM

September 01, 2010

Early Autumn Colours, Inquisitive Snail

A quick morning loop of Byrne Creek Ravine Park found autumn colours progressing, and a cute snail.

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Posted by Paul at 10:35 AM