December 29, 2013

Give Yourself Freedom for New Year's

My New Year wish for myself and for everyone is to be more creative, exploratory and non-judgmental of self.

Set aside fear of looking silly, or fear of failure. Pick up a crayon and scribble something, doodle with a pencil, sing a song, play a tune on whatever instrument is at hand, write a love letter -- even if you've been with the same partner for years or decades. Make that -- particularly if you've been with someone for a long good time (yes, I reversed the usual order of "good long" on purpose).

Write an essay (no I'm not making this homework -- just write a page or two about something that moves you, and why). Carry a camera with you all day long from sunrise to sunset and take 10 or more photos an hour no matter where you go, trying to make each one different -- and your cell phone or point-and-shoot is fine. Cook something without using a recipe, something that you've never tried before.

Let yourself be a child again, and be as curious and flexible and bold as children are. Our lives are limited, but we have infinite possibilities within the time that we have.

Posted by Paul at 06:07 PM

December 27, 2013

My Pictures Folder Surpasses 1 TB

The "My Photos" folder on my main Win7 box has surpassed 1TB. As of today, it has 132,414 images in it, in 1,983 folders, for a total of 1.05 TB. Yikes!

I always do a quick review whenever I import images from an SD or CF card and delete on the fly any shots that are out of focus, unflattering to individuals, poorly exposed, and poorly framed. I also have gone back on occasion and purged hundreds of shots in marathon review sessions. Yet, there it is: 1.05 TB. 130,000+ photos.

That's about three times as many photos and five times the disk space (higher megapixel cameras over time) as I had in this post just over four years ago.

Posted by Paul at 08:56 PM

December 26, 2013

Gulls Chow Down on Salmon at Tenderfoot Hatchery

Yumi and I celebrated Boxing Day by driving up to Squamish BC to look for eagles and spawning salmon. Saw only a couple of eagles, but there were hordes of gulls chowing down on expired salmon that had returned to spawn near the Tenderfoot Creek Hatchery.

On our way back home we stopped and explored some of the Squamish estuary.

Posted by Paul at 06:25 PM

December 25, 2013

'My Girls' Play with Xmas Stocking Stuffers

Choco the Cat got a laser toy in her stocking, while Yumi got a whirly thingy : -).

Yes, Midori got some presents, too, calcium blocks for her tank, but she pretty much sleeps all day on top of a hot-water bottle in a basket in the winter.

Posted by Paul at 11:30 AM

December 24, 2013

Pre-Xmas Walk Around Icy Rice Lake

Yumi and I took a walk around a frozen Rice Lake in North Vancouver today. The foggy atmosphere made for some interesting shots.

Posted by Paul at 05:20 PM

December 15, 2013

1998 Subaru Chugging Along

I love this.

Subaru has published maintenance schedules for its vehicles out to the 500,000 km mark.

Our '98 Outback is around 260,000 km, we just had some major servicing done, and the mechanic said it looks good to go for at least another 100K (with continued regular servicing). Says he's seen plenty of Subarus with over 300K on them, and one client is driving one with over 500K.

Posted by Paul at 10:25 PM

December 13, 2013

Shaw on Demand Warns of 'Course Language'

My wife and I like to watch HGTV home reno shows, one of which is Leave it to Bryan.

Recently we've noticed that when we use Shaw on Demand to watch episodes that we've missed, a "nudity, violence and coarse language" warning always pops up, which is weird to begin with. This is a family show. Ain't never been none nudity, violence or coarse language on it that I'm aware of...

But weirder still is that the last part of that warning on Shaw on Demand is spelled "course language." :-)

Posted by Paul at 10:19 PM

December 12, 2013

Language Lanterns Year-End Book Sale!

Year-End Sale!

Award-winning Language Lanterns translates and publishes Ukrainian literature in English

From now through the end of the year, all Language Lanterns books ordered directly from the publisher are on sale. Regularly $19.95, buy 1 for $15, 2 for $25, 3 or more for $10 each! That's half price if you order 3 or more! Plus shipping.

Order Direct

Note that A Hunger Most Cruel is sold out and we are considering a third print run in 2014.

Copies of some other volumes are limited, so order now!

Posted by Paul at 12:19 PM

December 09, 2013

Angry? Take a Moment to Check for Misunderstanding

If you're angry with someone, take a breath, think it through and check why. Chances are it may be a misunderstanding.

Getting the car serviced for the first time at a shop highly recommended by a good friend. The shop phoned early afternoon to say they'd started work at 1:00 and things were going well. Near 5:00 pm I wondered why they hadn't called yet to tell me to pick it up, so I phoned, and was told it wasn't going to be done until 1:00 tomorrow. Tomorrow! I didn't say anything nasty, but I was certainly rather frosty.

Then an hour or so later it hit me that perhaps I'd misinterpreted the first call, that it wasn't about 1:00 today, but 1:00 tomorrow, so perhaps they *had* covered the bases. I hastily called the garage at 6:30 and fortunately the owner was still there. I told him I wanted to apologize for sounding cranky, and explained how I thought I'd misheard... We both ended up laughing, and I felt relieved -- relieved that neither of us would spend an evening with a sour taste...

It never hurts to double-check when you feel the righteous gorge rising, and an apology can make everyone feel better, including the one doing the apologizing - in this case, me.

Posted by Paul at 08:12 PM

December 08, 2013

Icy Byrne Creek

Ice forms amazing patterns in flowing water. A few shots taken in Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby as I was checking for spawning salmon.

Posted by Paul at 12:36 PM

December 07, 2013

Vancouver Philharmonic with Robert Silverman

Wonderful evening at the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra with pianist Robert Silverman. The Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 was masterful, with an extended standing ovation for Silverman. The program began with Donizetti's Don Pasquale Overture, followed by the Brahms, and ending with Stravinsky's Firebird Suite. With a suggested adult ticket "donation" of $15, I keep saying the VPO is an amazing live classical music bargain.

Posted by Paul at 10:54 PM

December 05, 2013

Nightingale Urges Scientists to Engage, Amaze, Inspire

I attended the public lecture tonight at SFU's Wosk Centre for Dialogue presented by the Vancouver Aquarium's President and CEO John Nightingale.

The topic was "Collaboration and Communication: Two Keys to Our Ocean's Future."

My favourite quotation of the evening?

(Scientists must) "engage, amaze and inspire" to get the public interested and onside, and make governments sit up and listen.

I think


are superb words/actions to live by for all stewardship groups.

As Nightingale also pointed out, folks respond to the positive and ignore the negative. Good to be reminded of this, too.

Posted by Paul at 10:01 PM