Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The roofing continues....

It's another nice day for working on a roof, and there they are....


If you use Avast Anti-virus......

The latest program update is version number 5.0.594 available today.

This is free for personal use, and it includes automatic database updates, and email scanning along with the usual protections. If you land on a website that contains malware, it will warn you before that is downloaded to your PC. It's a very good program. You can spend more, but you can't get much better protection than this provides.


Monday, June 28, 2010

The clouds will soon roll by..... we hope!


Looking at the neighbours....

Those roofers are still hard at it.

The Foxgloves are almost finished, and gone to seed.

And over on the other street, the Hydrangeas are looking very nice.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Just a reminder for PC users....

Today's 'Question Everything' is - "When is the last time you popped the side cover off your computer tower, and vacuumed out the dust from the fans and the boards inside it?"

There are kits of miniature vacuum tools designed for this job, and they are very handy when you need to clean out the fins of a heat sink on a fan, for example. I got one a couple of years ago at a vacuum cleaner repair shop, and it is very handy. It's also well worth it, compared to the cost of replacing a fried CPU, and while I'm on the subject, here's the software to monitor your computer.


If eBooks are your thing.....

Then you probably should have this very handy management program for them. It works with about 30 different readers, and it can convert from one format to another, or display an ebook in its own reader, as long as that ebook isn't protected by DRM. So if you're collecting ebooks, you should find this program very useful. Did I mention it's another 'freebie' ? It has an on-line Users Manual and comes with built-in Help. Check it out.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Viewing this blog.....

I've been told by a friend that this blog isn't displaying properly on some computers, with problems of the text being displayed beyond its normal area.

If you are having such problems, please leave me a comment by clicking on the word 'Comments' beneath any of these posts. I'd like to know more about this.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Afterglow 9:40 p.m.


Another new roof

Another new roof in the condos across the street. I hope the weather co-operates.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A useful free security program....

I've just discovered this on MajorGeeks.com and installed it on both my PCs, and then ran it on each of them, and it found a couple of insecure programs on one and three on the other. When it finds one, it also provides you with a link to the program provider's home page where you can download the patch or the update to cure the insecurity in it, so as you go through the process of scanning, looking at the results, and downloading the fixes and installing them, and lastly doing a final confirmation scan to make sure everything is fixed, you've solved the security problems found by this little program. The ones found by its simple version anyway. There's an advanced interface for those who want to dig deeper. For now, however, I suggest you get this and try it, because it will tell you if you have out-of-date programs on your computer which are the most vulnerable to attack by hackers and malware.

Most of us have between 50 and 70 or 80 programs installed on our computers and how many of us think to review each of those regularly to make sure we have the latest updated versions of them? - Exactly - None of us do that! So this little program is a must-have, because it does a quick scan and lists any programs that need updating, or are at the end of their life-cycle and need to be replaced. It does what we never think of doing for ourselves. So if you have this, and use it periodically, it keeps you more secure than you are now.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The webcam is fixed!

This is one of the Seabuses coming into its terminal. It will dock in that right-hand slot in the building (bottom center) which looks a little like a letter 'W'. Thanks again to the folks at Vancouver.com and Reinvent.com for the picture, and for fixing the webcam.


Monday, June 21, 2010

First day of Summer....

.....and it looks like this - Blah! Thanks to Katkam for the image above.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Today's webcam picture

This is from the webcam at Katkam.ca and shows English Bay beyond the Burrard Street bridge. The other webcam, showing the inner harbour, has been displaying the same picture since Friday afternoon, and we've already seen that one below.


Friday, June 18, 2010

The harbour this evening

This is the Radiance of the Seas, leaving Canada Place, with a Seabus in its wake.


At last, a nice afternoon

For a change, it's a nice afternoon here. A little cool, but we'll take it.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Today's (ugh!) weather....

It's a nice mild winter we're having this summer. My little Canon Ixus 30 stills works, although its spare battery pack is now puffed up so much it won't fit into the camera. Time to toss it, I guess. The camera itself is still taking nice pictures though, as we see here.

On the 15th, I filled up the 'new' car for the first time.  I got it on the 4th of May, and already it needs gas! (Just kidding!) Actually, I think the guys at the dealership were right when they said it will be better on gas than my Neon was.  The Neon used to give me between 21 and 22 MPG in town, and this one, if I used the right numbers, looks like it is doing about 24 MPG in city driving. That doesn't hurt my feelings a bit.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Today's 'Question Everything' is:

Why is the weather really crappy all day, and then clears up so nicely for about an hour right at sunset, when it's all over but the shouting? (This was yesterday's, but tonight's is similar.)

Surfing the web's latest news, in case this qualifies, I see that I'm two years younger than the famous 'Captain Kirk',  William Shatner.  I'm not as well preserved, because I'm not as rich and famous, and can't afford the same kinds of embalming fluids, perhaps. Or maybe I've spent too much time in the real world, as opposed to living a fantasy life pretending I'm what I'm not.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Our weather.....

It's half-past June, but it feels more like half-past March today.


Monday, June 14, 2010

A 'Superzoom' camera in action....

The first two pictures are using zoom, somewhere above the limit of the 24X optical. I say "somewhere" because from there on up into the digital, it's very difficult to put an exact number to it, because the scale is compressed. The third picture is without zoom, and the numbers (1) and (2) show the spots where the
first two were located.

                                             Picture (1)
                                                                 Picture (2)
Click inside the picture to enlarge it for better viewing.  This isn't your old-time Kodak.


Ah! Summer - Isn't it lovely?

This is the Island Princess at Canada Place today. In the center of the picture, a Seabus is either entering or leaving its terminal, and nearby, a helicopter sits on its floating landing pad. Thanks again to Vancouver.com and Reinvent.com for this picture. Don't forget to click inside it if you would like to see the enlarged version.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Today's look at the harbour

The Celebrity Mercury is at Canada Place today, and the weather's very nice.  Once again, my thanks to the folks at Vancouver.com and Reinvent.com for the picture. If you click inside it, it gets much bigger.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's a lovely day in the neighbourhood....

Today looks much better than yesterday. I think that's the Coral Princess at Canada Place. There's two ships on the schedule for today and the other is the Zuiderdam, so there's a fifty percent chance I'm right.  Once again, my thanks to Vancouver.com and Reinvent.com for the picture.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Update on the Foxgloves across the street...

There's even more of them now, and they're looking good.


The harbour this morning....

This is the Celebrity Millennium at Canada Place this morning, and that container ship appears to be loaded at the other dock. Our cloudy weather continues. Again, my thanks to Vancouver.com and the folks at Reinvent.com for the above webcam picture.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Superantispyware Program Updates....

If you are using Superantispyware, (and if not, why not?) and you are having a problem getting the program updates to install (not the regular database updates) and your operating system is either Windows Vista or Windows 7, and especially if it is a 64-bit system, there's a special little routine you may need to use, to enable the Administrator mode for the installation process to proceed.

Here's what to do:-

(1.) Right-click the icon (the little bug) in the system tray, and select "exit".
(2.) Right-click the desktop icon and select "Run as Administrator".
(3.) Close the Superantispyware main menu if it opens.
(4.) Right-click the icon in the system tray again and select "Check for updates".
(5.) After the update is installed, reboot Windows.

The latest program update was released today, and is version 4.39.1002.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Today in the harbour...

Today, there's a little more to see. That's the Volendam tied up on the far side of the Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal (far left) and there's a container ship at the container terminal, and in between, one of the Seabuses is heading in toward its terminal, center along the bottom of the picture. Once again, my thanks to the nice folks at Vancouver.com and Reinvent.com for letting me show you this picture. Their webcam takes better pictures than I do, with a better view too. 


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

That oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

There's a website that uses Google Maps to let you project that oil spill over a map of another area, more familiar to you perhaps, and show what it might cover if it was in that other location. You can find it here.


Yesterday's technology still works

Today, I had  a reason to dust off the 15-year-old Canon Starwriter 30, and the 14-year-old Sanyo fax machine, and use them to send a fax to Toronto, to the people who are managing the pension plan for my former employer, B.C. Hydro.

I'm pleased to report that both of those machines are still working just fine. Proof that "they don't make them like they used to" for sure. But we wish....


Monday, June 7, 2010

The inner harbour....

This is looking across the inner harbour (Burrard Inlet) from an office tower on the waterfront in downtown Vancouver near the north end of Seymour Street. The structure sticking out into the water from the left-hand edge is the outer end of the Cruise Ship Terminal at Canada Place, and near the center along the bottom that roof which looks a bit like a 'W' is the downtown terminal for the Seabuses which run between it and a terminal near the foot of Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver. That wide little ship off the end of the Cruise Ship Terminal in one of the Seabuses on its way to North Vancouver.  If there was a cruise ship docked today, it would likely be on the near side of that Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal, between it and the Seabus Terminal. That's a look at the harbour from a webcam downtown, thanks to Reinvent.com.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Replacing the blocked view with.....

.....Another view blocker, in the form of this soon-to-be-installed hedge. So I was wrong in assuming they removed that big clump of mature rhodos because they couldn't see past them. That wasn't it - they just wanted a change of scenery, I guess. Or maybe the household budget had too much money left in it last month.... Personally, I think I'd prefer the rhodos, now that I've seen the other choice. This will be neater for sure, but less visually interesting. The birds and the bees also give it a 'thumbs down'


Saturday, June 5, 2010

It must be Hell.....

....Trying to cut a lawn that's hardly big enough to turn the lawnmower around.  But in this neighbourhood,  we're tough, and there isn't a lawn around that we can't find ways to cut.

Actually, I'm surprised by this flagrant display of do-it-yourself, because these good people  have a regular landscaping service which comes around and trims the hedge, and prunes the shrubs, and could presumably cut the lawn too. Would you believe? There's a built-in irrigation system for those flowers beds and that vast acreage of lawn. No wonder it needs to be cut often - on a good day it can probably grow a quarter of an inch an hour!


Friday, June 4, 2010

My TV came back.... looking good !

Just over a week ago, I returned my 27-inch Toshiba CRT television set to Future Shop in the mall, because the picture on about half the channels was jumping up and down rapidly, as if it had lost its Vertical Hold. That set was only 3 years old, and fortunately for me, I had purchased their 5-year Service Plan with it.

A nice young lady from Future Shop called me last evening at suppertime to say that my TV had come back from the service center, and it was not repairable, so I should come over and bring back the remote for it, and pick up my new TV.

After we got the paperwork taken care of, she called over a salesman from the TV department, and he said, "Follow me, and I'll find you a TV. We don't have any tube-type TVs any longer, so this will be a flat-screen LCD." It sure is! The one he chose for me is a 32-inch Dynex which can also be used as computer monitor if desired, because it has all the features and connections for that, as well as its TV functions.

The little girl at the Service Counter asked, "How do you like your new TV so far?" I said, " I brought in a big old CRT 27-inch that I could barely lift, because it weighed over 88 pounds, and this one is a nice LCD and it only weighs about 26 pounds, and I can easily move it around by myself - so I think this is just wonderful! I love doing business with you guys. Now - May I have another Service Plan for this new one, please?" She said, "You certainly may! There's a 4-year plan at $120 or a 3-year plan at $100 and another less but you probably want 3 or 4 years." I gave her my credit card, and said, " The 3-year plan, please." She finished the paperwork, and said, "Enjoy your new TV!" I replied, "I certainly will, and thank you very much." 


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Update on my continuing Brachytherapy story....

There's no picture with this, because none of us wants to see a prostate I'm sure. Nor the other stuff nearby, which is mostly all X-rated.

I went for my first visit to the Cancer Center this morning, exactly 50 days after the radioactive implants were installed. I'm getting to know my way around in there now, but the coffee in the cafeteria, being from a Starbucks blend, leaves a hell of a lot to be desired, in my humble opinion. To me, it tastes like three days old and overcooked. But I digress...

The purpose of the visit was for a blood sample to check my PSA level to see how the radioactivity is working on the cancerous spots. Although it's officially a bit too soon for a test of that, we did one anyway, and it shows a reading of 8.2 which is down from 15.0 before the brachytherapy was done. The nice lady doctor who did the procedure for me says this is very good, and my next test will not be for six months. 

I mentioned about talking to my family doctor about the procedure, and him saying "Well, you can forget about dying from prostate cancer now - we will have to find you something else to go on." - and she said, "Actually, he's right!"

She asked how I felt as I was recovering from the procedure and I said that it was a lot less messy and less painful than the two prostate biopsies I had before being referred to her clinic. She seemed pleased with that. Me too! I said that I'm recommending this procedure to anyone who might qualify for it, because it's the best solution to a nasty problem.

I just hope I live long enough to repay them at least part of the cost of that whole thing. I know I likely won't be around long enough to pay off the whole cost of that procedure, which is somewhere in the $20,000 range, but I do want to try to pay them back for the seed implants anyway, and since there's 125 of those, and each one costs between $50 and $60 (yes that's right!) even that will take me a few years of monthly donations. At last I'm putting some of my former cigarette money to good use. That nice doctor thanked me for my donation, and I said "It's the least I can do - Thank You for saving my hide!"



Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Update on the Foxgloves for Tommy

They're still doing very nicely. More flowers showing now. (Click inside the image to enlarge it to full size.)


Curbing their enthusiasm....

Was it too easy to drive and park in there? Didn't they have enough obstacles to avoid?  We will never know what was going through the management's heads as they reached the decision to add these curbs and subtract from the already-limited space in there.  The good news is that we are assured of our supply of village idiots for some time to come, apparently.