Saturday, December 14, 2019

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Monday, October 28, 2019

I've wondered how George himself might have felt about this version

Gershwin's 'Summertime' has always haunted me...

May we have a little George Gershwin, Please ?

One of my favorites ......

Let's listen to Ruth Etting for a couple of minutes....

The older I get, the faster it goes.... October's almost history.

The best of our autumn colors are over now, after that windy weather
we had over the past weekend. In two days, a couple of trees across
the street lost about 90% of their leaves. It was almost shocking.

And the last cruise ship of the season is here and gone again this week.

The sports store at the mall is switching over from bikes to skiing stuff,
and Mountain Equipment Co-op is advertising its warm jackets and undies.

And my spies tell me we may not get a great snowy winter here, because of
those 'blobs' of warmer water forming out in the Pacific Ocean just offshore,
due to - you guessed it - Climate Change.

The "top one percent" in the good old USA won't accept the reality of any such Climate Change until they find their semi-tropical asses in four meters of frozen snow and ice as the next Ice Age descends upon us with raging winds, biting cold, and shortages of everything but stupidity and unpreparedness.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

A little walk down Memory Lane....

Today's Top Ten.....

Кто-нибудь знает, кто такая неизвестная территория?
(Does anyone know who the unknown territory is?)

It's October already! Time tramples everything underfoot. Fish gotta swim, and birds gotta fly.

I sent these pictures today to my chronic respiratory care nurse, to show her what I did to the oxygen tank cart they gave me. She replied, "You're so innovative. Good job!"

Friday, September 27, 2019

A little music on an autumn night...

Teddy Wilson playing 'As Time Goes By' made famous in the movie 'Casablanca'.

All I really need to know....

Robert Fulghum wrote something that is timeless, and still worth reading. It goes like this:-

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.
These are the things I learned:
  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don't hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don't take things that aren't yours.
  • Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Time Flies! It's September once again....

Here it is, almost the end of another summer again. Wow!

When you're my age - and you know from my using those words that I'm definitely older than most would like to be - at this point in my life, when calculating things, I've now lived for over seven years of every month on the calendar. Image..... seven solid years of June, or July, or August, or the February skiing season.... And now that I've had all that practice, here I am

too pooped to puff! It just ain't fair! To which, my expert old motorcycle mechanic would ask, "Who promised you life was going to be fair, Ray?"

Nobody, unfortunately. Or maybe that should be 'fortunately'. It could have

been a whole bunch worse.

Lately, I'm on Facebook probably too much. The thing is addictive, especially

if, like me, you enjoy a lively exchange on the subject of politics, or politicians,
or 'The stupidest bastards I've ever seen or heard of'.....  And then deal with the
howls of disagreement from their wretched supporters.

Today, as I do regularly, I scanned in a slice of the morning paper, for others to

enjoy. And then I feel entitled to comment on it, whether I ought to or not.
The one I chose for today is about Boris Johnson, the Brit PM, busy over there shooting himself in the foot, or wherever. Seems he's missing the vital spots. And making a hell of a mess, completely unnecessarily, as most politicos do. The Camel was probably the result of a government committee trying to design a better horse. The committee was composed of several jackasses.

Those Brits have always been an insufferable lot, ever since the days of old Queen Victoria, and Sir Francis Drake, and 'Rule Britannia' and all that rot. They convinced themselves, being successful pirates on the seas, that they ought to rule the world. History buffs, they weren't. The Persians, and the Egyptians and the Romans, and various and sundry others all had a try at it, and eventually came to the realization that it just doesn't work out very well unless everyone is on your side, and that's never happened yet.

But Boris Johnson, emulating Donald J. Trump The Last, and Xi Jinping, still tries
to re-invent his empire. Without a clue how to do it. He likes surprises, obviously. And he's getting them..... His hordes of know-it-all ignoramuses are seeing to that, and more power to them. If the pompous Boris of Eton and Oxford and such places had one more active brain cell, it would be terribly lonely....... but maybe with better hair. If he and Donald opened a hair-styling salon, it would be called "Entanglements".

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Another month goes by....

The older we get, the faster it goes by....

I meant to be out riding one of my bicycles more often this past month, but somehow, something else kept getting in the way. A doctor's appointment, a review of my oxygen requirements, daily chores, getting a leaking tire fixed, catching up on the laundry, getting re-acquainted with my Pfaff sewing machine and doing some work with it..... things like that.

But hope springs eternally, and so this month, I still hope to do more biking. And to that end, I've now got a nice little backpack just the right size for one of those smallest little oxygen tanks, with the extra spaces around it packed with scraps of extra-dense foam, so it can't move around in there. With that, I hope to be able to ride the bike and still have my oxygen on, which will give me a lot more peace of mind, and most likely more range. And I won't have to stop so

often to huff and puff and practice my special breathing to get my blood oxygen readings back up into the acceptable range. Having the oxygen while on the bike should solve those problems. I haven't actually tested this yet, but I hope to do that today, if the rain that's forecast holds off long enough.

My Respiratory Disease Nurse says, "You can't ride your bike with an oxygen tank on it, because if you fall or crash, then the tank could become a rocket that goes anywhere it likes, and that could injure or kill someone."

That's all quite true, I'm sure. But I still want to find out if my system works. And if it works, and I don't see why not, then I'm going to go riding in the park

with it, and get some good pictures while I'm there. Because why? Because it
is still better to burn out than rust away, and I burn better than I rust. Any questions?


Sunday, June 30, 2019

Here's a nicely coordinated desktop background.

And I took the picture myself, last week,
about half a mile from home, along the river here.

The 'top ten' today....

The thing about blogging is that it's a daily grind. If you take a day off to enjoy your old age, your ratings drop like a stone. "O ye of little faith!" And I see China is still calling itself 'Unknown Region'. They are partly right. It's hard to get to know a nation that insists on cutting its options and pretending it doesn't want to connect to the rest of the planet. We know that's not true, because they have spies all over. And I'd still like to be able to watch their Bluecat cartoons, or see what's new at that amazing Three Gorges Dam and shipping locks on the big river there. Maybe they are missing out on a good thing - who knows? My Chinese neighbor across the street said "You should learn Mandarin!" - And I replied, "I have enough trouble with 26 characters, never mind 600, or 3,000."
I believe in 'KISS' - "Keep It Simple Stupid".

Pictures from Thursday, in another city park, closer to home....

A 'greenhouse' at the Nursery nearby.

Zoomed into the doorway, to see what's growing...

The sign on their gate says it all...

The two towers behind the trees are two of our six here.

A Hydrangea filling out its blooms outside their fence.

Close-up of one of its blooms.

The north face of the 4-lane Highway One bridge over the Capilano River.

More inclusive view of it. You can't see its patchy potholes from down here.

The bridge makes a good carport.

Beyond the bridge, on a forest access road along the river, I saw these.

This is a closer look. I have no idea what these are, but they are pretty.

This is a typical view of the forest access road along the west side of the river.

A 'stone's throw' from my building, at the corner of Keith Road, which runs on east to that bridge shown earlier, and 3rd Street (N to S). This used to be a small 2-bedroom farmhouse on an empty lot that once was a small farm owned by this resident's father. A big old Western Hemlock stood just between the wall of the present house and that (new) power pole on the street's edge. Just before the old homestead was demolished to make way for this magnificent spread, I took a picture of it from my balcony, and gave it to them. They said they would never cut down his father's big tree. A few months ago, I heard the chainsaws of a tree-trimmer over there, and sure enough, the big tree is gone!
There's nothing sacred any more....

Here's a panorama composite of it from the driveway of this smaller additional place they now have in what once was 'the back yard' where the kids played. This guy has obviously parlayed the old man's little farm into a fortune in real estate, and good on him! Around at the front, which fronts on 3rd Street at the intersection, there's a two-car garage entrance, and beside it, something that looks like either a tour bus or a fancy big motor home. It's nice to have money, especially when you don't have to work for it. 

This is up the hill on 3rd Street, so I could get a couple of pictures of my own digs here from beyond the tall timber. And that's it, center left, beyond the trees.

And this is a closer look at the north end of this 20-storey building, built in 1972/3/4 approximately.

And I'm here, someplace. This is the third apartment I've rented in this building since 1981, in addition to two others in the adjoining building just east of this one. I probably should have bought one of them. When these first were converted by the original builder, Daon Developments, from all rentals to self-owned, in 1981/2, I could have had a one bedroom here, then only 7 or 8 years old, for about $35,900. Right now, this little studio is priced at around $300,000 and it's 46 or 47 years old, and needing a reno. I obviously don't understand the real estate game. It's the only game in town where 'old' is worth more than 'new', and that makes no sense to me at all. If this was a car, you couldn't give the damned thing away! You'd have to pay someone to haul it to the junkyard. But I'm not complaining. This has been home now since October 1st, 1996, and with any luck at all, it will continue to be, as long as I need one. At 86, after all, nothing's forever. But I'm still riding my bike in the park, and chasing pretty girls on theirs, so it's not all bad... As they say, "It's better to burn out than rust."