Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Canadian Liberal Leadership Campaign

Background: The race is on! The Liberal Party of Canada now has 10 candidates vying for the top job. You can read more about them here. All of them are white. Most of them come from Toronto. And all of them strongly feel that they know how to spend your hard-earned wages better than you do. Cynical, racially divisive, and hypocritcal are 3 words that come to mind when I think of these folks.

Is it just my imagination or does the growing Liberal leadership campaign have a strong resemblance to "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"? There are some differences of course. Envision what would happen if our merry Liberal crusaders encountered that murderous white rabbit. They would never actually attack the rabbit but instead would setup countless focus groups to find out why the rabbit felt the way it did, what had gone wrong in its past to set it on its murderous path, and how many millions of dollars they could spend to manage its lifestyle in the future. The fact that it would never stop murdering is irrelevant, as long as a program was setup to help it, and countless bureaucrats in the Ottawa-Hull region were perpetually employed.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

40 Things You'd Love To Say Out Loud At Work

1. I can see your point, but I still think you're full of shit.
2. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.
3. How about never? Is never good for you?
4. I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
5. I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.
6. I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.
7. I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.
8. I don't work here. I'm a consultant.
9. It sounds like English, but I can't understand a damn word you're saying.
10. Ahhh...I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again.
11. I like you. You remind me of myself when I was young and stupid.
12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
13. I have plenty of talent and vision; I just don't give a damn.
14. I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.
15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.
16. Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.
17. The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.
18. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.
19. What am I? Flypaper for freaks!?
20. I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant.
21. It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off.
22. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.
23. And your crybaby whiny-assed opinion would be...?
24. Do I look like a people person?
25. This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.
26. I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.
27. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
28. If I throw a stick, will you leave?
29. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
30. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
31. I'm trying to imagine you with a personality.
32. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
33. Can I trade this job for what's behind door #1?
34. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
35. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?
36. Chaos, panic, & disorder--my work here is done.
37. How do I set a laser printer to stun?
38. I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted a salary.
39. Who lit the fuse on your tampon? :-)
40. Oh I get it... like humor... but different.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


If you're going to faced with someone sending you an acronym, would you prefer an FYI over an ASAP? Do you take less offence to a BTW over a PDQ? Does an ROFL put a bigger smile on your face than an LOL?

Two Early Mornings

For the second morning in a row my alarm woke me at 6am. Not by accident in any way. I had it set so I'd get up, caffeinate my brain, and be semi-conscious by 6:45am. Why? Because I was invited to appear on Roy Green's show on %L[]CHML%L* to talk about the Caledonia, Ontario Native Blockade.

As I'd mentioned previously, the first day I was bumped by an MP. Today I was moved from 6:45am to 8:45am. When I finally went on, Roy let me read these two quotes:

"Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action, and we have trusted only to rhetoric. If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk; we must act big." - Theodore Roosevelt

"You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing." - Thomas Sowell

The rest of the discussion went very well. Roy's a very enjoyable person to talk with. I finished up by offering this solution:

  • Cooling off period until early September
  • Then a 6 month period to work out the issues, run by a mediator
  • Media silence but once a month the mediator will issue issue a detailed press release of how things are going - to apply some pressure on both parties
  • If, after 6 months, there's no agreement then one will be imposed by a judge
One big benefit of this getting up early is that I've become highly productive in the morning. The light is gentle and the ambient noise is minimal. But it's only 6pm now and I'm pooped!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tour of Vancouver's Traffic Control Division

My engineering association offered a tour of the control room in Vancouver City Hall that controls the 750 traffic lights around throughout the city. It was very interesting. About 15 engineers and engineering studentsattended. I rarely miss these because I'm fascinated with technology and how it is applied to improve processes. I also love to see the internal workings of any operation.

I learned several things from the presentation and subequent question & answer session:

  • The city has 11 cameras located in strategic areas to monitor the traffic patterns.

  • The images being observed at City Hall are specifically shown less sharp than they could be in order to maintain the privacy of those vehicles being shown.
  • No record of the images is being stored.
  • They can theoretically control every traffic light from that control room, but don't.
  • The introduction of sophisticated algorithms to improve traffic flow is being considered but has not as of yet.
  • City Hall employee observations of the traffic control room at Turino during the recent Olympics revealed that any tinkering had little to no positive effect. It may just be that the number of cars on the roads during such events is so far beyond the tipping point, that congestion is unavoidable.
  • Some major traffic intersections in Vancouver have both a sensor for the first car in the left turn lane, as well as the third car. If only two cars are lined up then they will not get the early free left turn. So some astute drivers have taken to pulling up where the third car normally is to beat the system. The traffic engineer giving us the presentation was intrigued by this and may implement some extra logic to stop it!

Curried Shrimp Revelation!

When I was a kid, one of my mom's recipes that I loved the most was Curried Shrimp. So as an adult, I naturally started making this on my own. Sometimes it was spectacular, sometimes not so much.

I've never been good at making my own soups. They always turn out too watery. The other day I had a bunch of celery and searched online for a "Celery Soup" recipe. I found one that looked quite simple and made it. It was amazing, and consisted of just celery and a few other ingredients. One of the keys to its success was its creamy texture. To achieve this, the recipe explained how to make a "roux", which is a paste of sorts created simply from flour & butter and then eventually milk. The result is wonderfully thick sauce.

So I put 2 + 2 together and surmised that I might be able to get a thicker, creamier curried shrimp if I first made a roux, rather than just throwing all the milk directly in the shrimp & vegetable mixture. Boy was I right!

I must say that curried shrimp dinners will never be the same!

VT Visitors from the U.S.

This morning I had breakfast with a visiting VT member, Pete from Raleigh, North Carolina and his friend, Joe, from Annapolis, Maryland. Joining us was another local VT member, Dave, mon amie, Laurence, and my mom. They were both very interestingfellows and seemed to be enjoying their first visit to Vancouver. The weather was sure cooperating!

Pete's in I.T. like me. Joe used to be but now owns & operates with his brother. It's combination coffee bar / dog wash. Quite a novel idea, and one that I'm convinced would be a huge success here in Yuppie-central Vancouver!

The Caledonia Blockade

I had been invited to appear on CHML radio to talk about the native blockade with host, Roy Green. But I was preempted by the Federal MP for the region, Diane Finley. I have many thoughts on the subject and some of them are these:

The modus operandi of most Canadian politicians over at least the past 15 years has been to govern by not making any decisions of importance. Paramount in this regard have been the much needed decisions to reform health care, the justice system, and the status of natives in Canada. But instead of standing up on principles and making decisions that stem from these principles, most politicians have chosen to do NOTHING. This has clearly been the safe political route but eventually such unresolved frustrations reach a tipping point and then all hell breaks loose. This is why there are natives blocking a road in rural Ontario.

The likely road ahead will almost certainly follow the familiar path of sporadic violence, ever increasing police and eventually military presence, arrests, and eventual removal of the blockade. Politicians will pat themselves on the back for resolving the problem. In point of fact, absolutely nothing will have been resolved, other than the confrontation timer being reset. Rest assured that it will start ticking again the very next day.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Strange Sighting

Yesterday I was walking in a retail area of Vancouver when I saw a fellow walking across the major street at a crosswalk. He seemed to be fiddling with his wallet and suddenly most everything fell out. He didn't seem rattled by this and started slowly putting everything back in. But lo and behold some bills started flying away. I could tell from the colour that one was a fifty (red) and one was a five (blue). He was listening to music via large headphones on his head and seemed oblivious to this.

A street person, begging at a local shop, saw what was happening and darted out onto the street - at great risk to his own safety - to fetch the $50 and the $5. The owner was oblivious to this too so I motioned to him that the fellow was retrieving his money. He casually walked over and got the money from the fellow. He didn't give the guy a cent for his troubles.

If you were in my shoes, what would you have thought about all this?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Colourful Vancouver

I took this photo yesterday. It's from mid-way up on the Yew Street hill, looking north. I love the contrast in colours!

Hedy, Hedy, Hedy ! ! !

Hedy Fry, Vancouver Centre's answer to pathetic representation, is apparently seriously considering running for the leadership of the Federal Liberal Party.

I sincerely and vehemently hope she wins! For it'll be the best thing that ever happens to Canada. Why? Because it'll spell imminent disaster for the crooked Liberals and keep them in the political doghouse for years & years to come! Which is great for Canada because it'll keep their slimey hands off of the financial coffers of Canadians.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Interesting Discussion on the Future of Advertising

Here's an interview on RocketBoom discussing the future (or lack thereof) of advertising. The guest, Dave Winer, is a smart guy. It'll be interesting to see if his prediction, that advertising as we know it, will disappear within 5 years. I find this difficult to believe but he brings up some great points nonetheless.

Suri Cruise - Poor Kid!

I just heard that the first photo of the new baby of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes will fetch between $3 - $5 Million. Excuse me?!? Does this factoid make you want to vomit as much as it did when I heard it?

Imagine a group of aliens travelling trillions of miles across the universe to visit Planet Earth. And when they report back to Alien HQ what this new species called "humans" had achieved over several thousand years of evolution, the answer would be: "Two vain, mindless actors with a questionable relationship had a baby and this has become the primary topic of conversation amongst many in their civilization." Undoubtedly the response from HQ would be: "Destroy Planet Useless!"

For those of you who haven't heard, the name of this poor kid is "Suri". This provides an extra source of amusement for those of us in Vancouver. There's a suburb here called "Surrey" that has a ... shall we say "less than positive reputation".

God bless all little babies, but only a team of psychologists is going to help lil' Suri achieve any semblance of a normal life.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Platinum Plated Compensation for BCTF Officials & Staff

My teacher friends in Vancouver have long complained to me about the excessive union dues they have to pay each month. I don't have an exact figure but they're often reported as the highest union dues in Canada.

A scandal is now brewing about the outrageous salaries and benefits packages being paid to staff and officials at their union, the BCTF. Here are some highlights:

  • Admin staff start at $80,000 per year. Yes, that's EIGHTY thousand dollars!
  • After 5 years this salary jumps to over $99,000 per year.
  • Anyone working there can claim up to $500 per year for Viagra.
I've forwarded this information to my teacher friends and am eager to hear what they have to say. These facts all support the notion that we truly have our very own Communist Cabal here in B.C. The next thing we know, the union leader, Jinny Simms, et co will be demanding a special center lane be added to all major roads, on which only Communist Party officials ... errrr BCTF officials will be allowed to drive!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

What's The Difference Between China and Nazi Germany?

A provactive question, I know, but simply a question at this point. I've been carefully following the coverage of the current visit to America by [the unelected] Chinese President Hu Jintao. Today there was a protester, journalist Wenyi Wang, who screamed at him that he was a murderer. And she's right.

Under the reign of Hu Jintao, and others before him, countless thousands of completely innocent Chinese citizens have been tortured and murdered. Recent reports suggest that their internal organs are being harvested for sale. You can read more about this here.

In 1936, just three short years before World War 2 started, the Olympics were held in Berlin, the headquarters of Nazi Germany. In 2008 the Olympics will be held in Beijing, the headquarters of the dictatorship that runs China. Is history going to repeat itself?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A GREAT Day for BCDD!!!

One of my fellow volunteers at BC Digital Divide, Bob Rogers, did some amazing work today. He was instrumental in delivering 27 computers to 3 elementary schools and 1 high school in East Vancouver. I joined him when he was headed to the third school. This model of getting computers to the schools and then having them distribute them from there is a new idea we're trying out. Contrast it with our previous method: Groups of two heading out in cars, delivering 3 computers per 4 hour shift. On a weekend, we had four of these shifts scheduled. With two supply people, this meant 16 people involved to distribute 21 computers - not a very effective ratio! Ultimately, I think we always will need to deliver computers to those who otherwise couldn't pick one up, but the new model is a whole lot more productive one for us.

We also received a number of monitors from one of our corporate donors. On the way there we got stuck in a traffic jam caused by a bunch of truckers. They were apparently protesting fuel prices or possibly extended port hours as described here. What was so surreal was that many of them had covered up their company names with cheaply taped paper. It wasted the time (& fuel) of a great many people. And all for what?!

In any case, it was a small aberration on an otherwise spectacular day! And one other thing: Today's donations pushed BCDD well over the 100 computer system milestone! I know that doesn't sound like much in the big scheme of things, but making it happen has involved a lot of work by a lot of people.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Stroll Through Shaughnessy

For Easter Dinner this evening my mom invited over her brother, me, and a friend of mine. Mon amie, a relative newcomer to Vancouver, had never been through nearby Shaughnessy.

The neighbourhood of Shaughnessy was given to the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885 but was pretty much unused for over 20 years. Then in 1907 it was announced that this area would be developed as the most exclusive neighbourhood in the city. Work commenced in 1909, with over a thousand workers developing the lots and streets.

Today it sits pretty much in the center of the city and still contains the majority of Vancouver's largest homes.

We stopped at one particularly glorious home, now known as Canuck Place, a children's hospice that opened in 1995.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A Little Insight Into Software Programming

As my friends & family know, I'm in the final stages of completing Version 1.0 of Pocket Pollster, a product that has consumed my life for some time now. Discussions on the topic of software programming are ones I don't engage in very often. Most people are not conversant in the work I do, nor would they be particularly interested. Yet everyday is one full of new inventions, inspiration, and yes, some frustration at times too.

But I just implemented an improvement that everyone can appreciate. The first screenshot shown was an original panel, with a plain background. I did some research and discovered a way to apply a linear gradient background that is much more visually appealing. Though this doesn't functionally change anything in the software, it makes it look more professional, which is a key aspect of getitng more people to use it.

If you happen to be a developer and would like the code behind this implementation, then do know that you can download it here and use it in your WinForms applications.

Rainy Day Walk

The theme of this weekend seems to be one of walking. My friend, Dennis, came over at noon and we strolled down to Granville Island. It wasn't very warm and the skies were on the verge of letting go of their plethora of water droplets, but there were still quite a few
people out & about. We bought some lunch and ate it outside. There was a great vocalist with a guitar providing a nice ambience for everyone around. He often sings in French but today he was providing a variety of songs from different genres.
We then decided to walk west, over to Kits Beach. This is what I frequently call the "million dollar walk" because the views are absolutely breathtaking ... and I'm not just talking about the constant parade of female joggers! Stopping at the famous dog beach, we saw a variety of pooches. I don't know if it was just a coincidence, but the smaller dogs and larger dogs seemed to separate themselves into two distinct groups.

This last shot is my favourite. The bright red tulips provide an interesting contrast against the cloudy North Shore.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Interesting Easter Friday

My day started off quite differently than most. At 9am mi amigo and fellow engineer, Rodolfo, came by to pick up me and 2 computer monitors. We drove to the home of a Colombian family that also attend his church. The family is relatively new to Vancouver, have lots of kids, and could really use some computer technology.

Rodolfo lives quite close to there so I told him I didn't need a ride home. He dropped me off in the middle of an interesting ethnic shopping area (49th & Fraser). Most of the stores were closed, since it was a holiday. I continued on down to 41st Avenue where I thought I'd get a bus. But none were visible so I just started walking west. And walking ... and walking. When I got to Oakridge Mall I went in and headed directly to the Food Fair. I had a Wonton soup and two very tasty eggrolls.

By this point I was still quite far from home, but I decided to walk the rest of the way. I walked throug the grounds of my old high-school, Eric Hamber, at 33rd & Oak, and then entered the beautiful Shaughnessy neighbourhood. The further north I went, the larger the houses grew. Along the way I saw these magnificent magnolias.

Just before I got home I saw this beautiful pink flower. It was a long walk but a great way to start the day!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

On A More Serious Note: The Problem with Iran

I just finished reading a long but extremely written essay about Iran by Mark Steyn. Given the insanity of the current regime over there, it's clear what should be done but should the U.S. or Israel or Britain or anyone else do it, they will be condemned by the usual defeatist crowd. Iran right now parallels Nazi Germany in the early 1930's and yet I fear that we are about to make the same mistakes all over again. This time however the Nuts Have Nukes so the consequence of doing nothing will be far, far worse.

Monday, April 10, 2006

West vs. Middle East

These days people often speculate whether democracy can ever take hold in Afghanistan and Iraq. This got me thinking about what are some of the big differences between here and there. In the Middle East, the biggest nutbars become terrorists. Over here they become radio talk show hosts!

{Tongue firmly in cheek!}

Saturday, April 08, 2006

More Dogs ... And A Few Other Things

Continuing with the dog theme of my previous posting, I thought you might enjoying seeing this homemade dog. One might think that his owner is a big, burly auto mechanic. Good guess, but you'd be wrong!

I didn't catch this fellow in time to give you the full effect of dog & man. But do you know that expression of how some dog owners look a lot like their dog? Nuff said!

I loved this elegant flower and just had to get a close-up of it!

Here's a view of something old, in contrast with the relatively new skyline of Vancouver in the background.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

My Walking Buddy!

I'm allergic to all animals with fur so I cannot own a dog in my current circumstances. But my wonderful neighbours from South Carolina let me take their black lab, Toby, out for walks. He's the smartest, most well behaved dog I've met in a long time ... and he loves retrieving balls!!!

Beautiful Day

The day started out quite cloudy and grey but by 11am the sun started peeking out from behind the clouds. I had lunch with a colleague from BCDD down at Granville Island. It was really nice by this point in the day. I captured this flower on my way back home.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Corus Is Not Living Up To Their Responsibilities

Corus is a multimedia conglomerate in Canada. They own radio stations across the country, including CKNW 980 here in Vancouver. They just let go 12 staff members, some of them who had been there a long time, plus David Berner, who I consider to be the best talkshow radio host in Western Canada. And I often disagree with him!

Looking at their new schedule, it's chalk full of shows from other jurisdictions, as well as prepaid shows that are essentially multi-hour infomercials. What a slap in the face to Vancouver and our important local issues here.

I've always had this crazy notion that a company's use of the private airwaves was a privilege and one that held great responsibility. Clearly Corus is not living up to their end of the social contract. Our city is entering a time of important social and civic change, concerning the Olympics and beyond. The fact that readily available avenues for public discussion are decreasing is a great tragedy.

It would serve Corus right if another private company would approach the CRTC and demand that Corus be forced to give up the CKNW license to them, on the promise that more local programming would be broadcast. I suppose that is crazy of me to think that the CRTC would do something positive for a change!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Scenes from around Vancouver: April 3, 2006

This past day was an interesting and diverse one. I went out on several different walking trips. Since it's often said that a picture is worth a thousand words, I therefore have 5,000 words to share with you.

Here's a very interesting website showing the dark side of professionals immigrating to Canada. I have long heard stories like this but this website makes it very clear how many obstacles are put up to stop professionals from working in their trained professions. Before you say that maybe their qualifications and experience aren't suitable for Canada then how come many of them can almost instantly find work in the U.S. in their profession? No, there's something terribly wrong with the way things are setup here in Canada but clearly there are forces at work that don't want them competing with homegrown Canadians. Sad, extremely sad.

Important Words

There's no way for me to link to this letter, but it's too important not to be posted somewhere permanently. Kudos to John Beloeil, a rare sane voice in my country.

If the generally perceived concept of "sovereignty" is not a myth, well then it should be. It should be exposed as such ...and as soon as possible. Problem is, of course, a lot of good, well-intentioned people have a lot invested in perpetuating the myth. Some bad dudes do, as well.

Remember when the good guys (Bush41, Powell, & pals) kicked Saddam out of Kuwait a decade and a half ago? They pushed Saddam and his plundering army back very efficiently, but, out of this misplaced respect for the mythical concept of "sovereignty", did not destroy Saddam and his regime. They left him in power, trusting he'd understand this unspoken but very CLEAR message: " Look...we know you and your regime like to murder , pillage, and rape ..and all that stuff...BUT DAMMIT..YOU'RE GONNA DO IT WITHIN YOUR OWN BORDERS!!! ". That is what respect-for-sovereignty is all about, n'est ce pas? . PAS, of course, but that is sure what it looks like.

That is what the argument over the "U.S." invasion of Iraq boils down to, really - a dispute over the concept of "sovereignty". Opponents of the war say, "we invaded a sovereign nation for no valid reasons". We reply, "whaddya mean, no valid reasons?..Saddam Hussein used WMD against his own people, was seeking to develop nuclear weapons", and so on. Some less passionate people in the middle settle on "Yeah, but a sovereign nation can do as she pleases within her own borders". Really?

So how do we (or do we??) "deal" with "sovereign nations" who chop off an arm of a citizen for stealing a loaf of bread? Does a leader of a "sovereign nation", and his sons, have automatic rape-rights to every young woman in the land? Do we wait until those nations get so twisted as to chop the head of a citizen who has adopted a "different" religion? Well, we've arrived there it appears. So how should we in the civilized world react to all this? Career sages like George Will and Pat Buchanan would have us believe it's none of our business. That is whistling past the graveyard, and surely is not the best that civilized humanity can come up with. Leave it to the UN? Hah! Should George W Bush be ridiculed for trying to improve the lives of millions of shackled people? Nope. Should we be trying to impose "our" values on those regimes? As Mark Steyn might say... Well, yes.

Suppose Hitler had never invaded any neighbor, but in the 1940s it was learned that he was secretely and methodically "eliminating" the Jewish people of Germany. Would the countries of the "anglosphere" (who else?) have been justified in doing something about maybe by invading Germany?? If the answer is yes, then the invasion of Iraq was justified on its face. All the other reasons - as valid as they are - are merely ...more dust on Saddam's horizontal statue.

It is true that we cannot fix every society in the world at the same time. But if all civilized nations joined the US and others, maybe they could improve things needy regime at a time, and fairly quickly.

John Gross
Beloeil, Quebec

Automated License Plate Reader

This story caught my attention. It deals with a project in the Baltimore-Washington area where cameras mounted on police-cars constantly take photos of car license plates and then compare these with sought after license plates in a database. It's a great idea ... and one I thought of several years ago!

In fact, my idea would be to scan license plate numbers into a large geographic database and then compare this data with criminal activity mapped in a similar way. I believe that a data mining application could quickly correlate the two and provide statistical probabilities of what vehicles were involved in what crimes.

But I don't like the "Big Brother" aspect of it and is one of the primary reasons I never pursued it. Still, used properly, it's a very useful tool!

The Pathetic Canadian Media

This morning I heard a bunch of journalists whining about some new rule changes put in effect in the press gallery in Ottawa. These are the same people who fell asleep during the 12-year long reign of the completely corrupt Liberal party. It was clear from the type of questions asked to the Liberals and the Conservatives, especially during election campaigns, that there was a deeply incestuous relationship between the Ottawa press corp and the Liberal ministers. Now they're complaining about a lack of accountability toward the Canadian people. What hypocrisy!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Intelligent American Talk Radio

I know that might sound like an oxymoron to some but there are a few exceptions. My most favourite is the John Batchelor show out of WABC in New York City. Some call the show "intellectual". I just call it interesting!

Here's the text of an interesting NY Times article on Mr. Batchelor.

The show airs from 10pm - 1am ET (7pm - 10pm PT). If you live outside the U.S. you can no longer listen to it online via the source station, but you can hear it here.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Strange Phenomenon

Here's a simple thing to try:

  1. Start spinning clockwise circles with your right foot.
  2. Now hold up your right hand in front of you and try to draw the number "6" in the air.
When you do this can you keep your foot moving in the same clockwise direction or does the simple movement of your hand mess up what you're trying to do with your foot?

I can't and anecdotal evidence has revealed that most people can't either. I'd LOVE to hear a definitive scientific answer about why this occurs!

Yellow Daffodils

I'm not very good at remembering the names of flowers but I can spot daffodils from far away. These ones happen to grace a fairly non-descript building on West Broadway in Vancouver.

Friendly Goose

I went out for a walk this morning with a lovely woman. We strolled down to Granville Island and explored around the perimeter. As we were almost off the island we came across this Canada Goose, standing by himself. I'm not sure if he was lost or just taking a break from the flock, but when I stopped to take his photo, he decided to waddle over toward us.
Maybe he was looking for food or maybe he just wanted to show off his magnificence, but I appreciated his cooperation. I'm using the pronoun "he" quite loosely of course. If you know how to distinguish between a male and female goose then please let me know!

Flower Closeups

There's an old adage that you only get one chance to make a first impression. Well, in a similar way, often you only get once chance to capture an impression. In September 2004 I received a little Nikon digital camera for my 40th birthday (thanks, Deenu et al!). Ever since, I carry it almost everywhere I go. For you just never know what amazing scenes might bless your path. Sometimes it's an expansive panorama, complete with a beautiful sunset. Other times it's a tiny little flower that has the sun striking it just so.

Yesterday I was just walking out to do some shopping when I came across these magnificent flowers. I pulled out my camera, put it in close-up focus mode and captured these lovely photos.