Friday, August 31, 2007

Funny Mobility Website

Microsoft has created a website called "Untamed Workforce" that takes a few humorous jabs at users of mobile technology. It's made to look like it was made many, many decades ago!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words

Rich Ralph has almost made it ... read more here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Feeling of Canadian Pride

For many years I've been ashamed at many of the words and actions of some Canadians.

What does it mean to be a true "Canadian"? In my mind, it's a quiet, soft spoken pride about the great prosperity of our nation, as well as the positive values that Canada purportedly stands for.

The shame occurs when I see people not living up to these values or taking for granted all the benefits that they have. This always seems to occur from:

  • Permanent victims who seem intent on living a life of perpetual helplessness
  • All NDP and many Liberal politicians who encourage this victimhood
  • These same politicians who frequently play the race card to get votes
  • Politicians and judges who demand no accountability of anyone
  • All lazy people who refuse to work to support themselves
  • Overly aggressive people who are act anything but Canadian
  • Anarchists, who take advantage of our generosity and lax judicial system
  • Those who dismiss the right of others to enjoy freedom and are adamantly against helping them to get it
  • All hypocrites
Take away these twits and I'd have few rants on my blog or anywhere else!

Today I was calling a number of prospective BC Digital Divide recipients and found that many in this current batch are very new immigrants - from China, from Northern Africa, and from Portugal. Each of them came here with little money but certainly with big dreams about a better, brighter future.

In the course of the conversations I put myself in their shoes. How absolutely wonderful/insane/incredible it must be to come to this new country called Canada and have a complete stranger calling them, arranging to give them a perfectly functioning, refurbished computer. No fees, no obligations. Just our hope that in some small way the technology will help them improve their lives. You can almost imagine them writing (probably via e-mail!) their relatives back home.

On a very personal note, I hope they don't become one of those aforementioned twits later on in their lives!! Maybe I should request a signed commitment before handing over the computer?! :-)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Rich is on the Home Stretch!

My friend, Rich Ralph, is on the final week of his amazing journey! He arrived at the east end of the Fraser Valley this evening and will be making it back to Vancouver on September 8th.

Here's his final itinerary:

Chilliwack - Monday August 27 (Earls at 6:00 pm)

Abbotsford - Tuesday August 28 (Boston Pizza on Sumas Ave at 6:00 pm)

Mission - Wednesday August 29 (Boston Pizza at 6:00 pm)

Langley - Thursday August 30

White Rock - Friday August 31

Surrey - Saturday September 1

Victoria - Wednesday September 5

Duncan - Thursday September 6

Nanaimo - Friday September 7

Vancouver Finale - September 8th (English Bay at 12:00 pm)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Oregon Sand Dunes

Visiting the Sand Dunes was one of the main highlights of our trip to the U.S. I had been telling Danny for weeks about all the fun I had had renting dune buggies 20 years ago and I know he wanted to try it too.

Arriving at the second rental location south of Florence (the first only had group tours) we discovered that they were heavily booked and we'd have to wait a few hours.

Also, there were no longer any actual dune buggies available, only ATVs. This later turned out to be a good thing because the ATVs gave us more flexibility and lots of power.

We went through a 15-minute safety orientation and then went for lunch. Arriving back, we suited up with helmets and goggles. Here's Danny just seconds after he got on his vehicle for the first time.

Half a dozen of us then ventured out onto the dunes, accompanied by a guide. At first we both kept on getting stuck in the sand. This happened because we were reluctant to give it too much gas. Also, we quickly learned that if you're going to stop your machine, it's best to do so on a slight decline. Danny later put it very well: "The first hour wasn't so good but the second was great!"

This was actually shot earlier in the day but gives a good perspective of the size of the dunes. They actually are quite steep but if you go down straight, you'll do alright.

Here are 3 videos that give a great perspective of what it was like to be out there. The one of me trying to follow Danny was shot with my right hand on the gas and my left hand holding the handlebar as well as trying to video. I'm actually quite surprised that I captured anything!

Danny & I rented the ATVs for 2 hours. There wasn't enough fuel for this length of time so we had to come back in the middle. It was a good break for me to ingest some water to parch my thirst, as well as to put a little creme on my leg which I had burned when lifting Danny's machine out of the sand one time.

The dunes truly are a spectacular sight. It's fascinating how nature deposited all of that sand as it did, in one particular region of the West Coast.

The Firehouse Restaurant - Florence, Oregon

Danny and I spent the morning driving down the [beautiful] coast of Oregon so that we could go dune buggying on the famous sand dunes. After reserving our vehicles we had a few hours to kill so we decided to grab some lunch. We chose the Firehouse Restaurant, located at the south end of town, just east of the historic bridge. The service was friendly and the portions were plentiful.

Mount Rainier

Mt. Rainier is a breathtaking sight, when it's visible. These photos were taken by Danny as we were leaving Tacoma, heading north to Seattle.

Booking A Hotel While On The Road

This looks like a tranquil downtown street, doesn't it?

Not much going on, but what exactly is Danny up to?

Hmmm, what IS he up to?

Most cities have all kinds of free WiFi signals bouncing around. Portland, Oregon is supposed to have a great abundance of the free variety. So with me driving and Danny running my laptop, it didn't take too long to find one. Fortunately I found a parking spot that had a strong signal available. With it he checked his e-mail and checked out a few electronics' prices. I then got him to book our hotel room at SeaTac, just south of Seattle.

Otto's Sausage Kitchen

Whenever I visit Portland I ALWAYS stop in to Otto's Sausage Kitchen, a small, local delicatessen in Southeast Portland (near Reed College) that just happens to make one of the finest hot dogs in the United States. Yum, Yum Yum!!!

While we were here, Danny had two and I had three. Shhhh, it's a secret. Don't tell anyone!

Will Iraq be Vietnam #2 ?

In posing that question as I have, you're almost certainly thinking one thing. Mark Steyn, in a new brilliant piece, has a very different way of looking at it.

Leading Democrats want short term gain at the expense of irreparable long term harm. Of course, in this new world where anyone under 40 seems to have the attention span of a gnat, the Democrat message may be exactly what the electorate wants. That would be tragic.

Late August Fun

The summer started with a sputter but seems to be going out like a lion. Is that last sentence a textbook case of mixed metaphors? Anyhow, here are some photos I took today that'll hopefully make up for it!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Seaside, Oregon Videos

I took these 2 videos soon after Danny & I arrived in Seaside. Blogger has a new feature to upload videos directly to one's blog. This pair gives me the opportunity to test it!

Ooops, only one of the two videos would upload. There was no specific error message about the other but it may have been too large.

On my system the single video runs in a very "clunky" manner. I'd appreciate you leaving me a comment about how it runs on yours.

Oregon Coast Redux

I've been a bit slow in sorting through my recent trip photos but here are some taken along the Oregon Coast. It's so beautiful down there, I really could see myself living in that region one day ... at least for part of the year!

A Late Summer Sunset

Last night in Vancouver was absolutely perfect! I was down at the beach with my volleyball friends and it was a glorious, warm evening.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Vancouver in Late August

Whenever my head is cluttered I like to get outside and get some fresh air. Yesterday I did so via a bicycle ride down to Stanley Park. Here are a few photos I took on the way back.

Laptop Closeup

This is a closeup of the power outlet of my friend's new computer. I took it for technical reasons but like the way the colours and lighting turned out!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

John Pinette

I learned that this fellow is the favourite comedian of my California friend, Joanne. I think he's quite hilarious too!

You can find more videos of him here.

Great Bumper Sticker

I just heard about the following bumper sticker appearing on some Canadian automobiles:

If you can't stand behind our troops,
feel free to stand in front of them.

Madonna ... At Her Worst

A comedic BMW ad:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Boeing Tour

One of the most amazing parts of our trip was to go on the Boeing Tour, just south of Everett, Washington. This is one experience you won't forget anytime soon. You actually tour through the actual manufacturing facility though far away from the plant floor. Cameras are not allowed so memories will have to suffice. But it's well worth the $15 admission fee!