Sunday, July 3, 2016

Canada Day

Happy 149th Birthday, Canada!










The VSO performed in Whistler.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sun Run 2016

I took a week off from running post-SunRun but I hadn't meant to delay blogging about the experience by a week. However, the week got the better of me.

I liked the uniformity of the Blue Wave this year. A technical event t-shirt was a welcome change.
All in all it was a good event, as usual, and my time was alright. To be honest, by the end of January I didn't think I'd be able to participate at all due to a knee injury. I rested it for about 3 weeks, then decided to take a stab at it. My training schedule had lots of holes in it (it's really the least I've ever trained for this event) but I persevered and ended up jogging the 10K in one second less than 61 minutes. My usual elapsed time is about 59-1/2 minutes so that's actually quite good (for me) considering the number of practice sessions I missed.

Shauna ended up walking the course too. It was kind of a last-minute decision, but the weather was perfect and she felt up to the challenge. I was done first so I managed to get  a pretty good photo of her as she approached the finish line. Wasn't that good advice I gave her to wear the pink shirt?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Aerials

As I've said before, one of the things I like best about this job is the travel. On Friday I was sent to Kelowna again. So far in 2016 I've been there 4 times. I like the flight, especially in winter (although technically now it's Spring) for the majestic views of the snow-capped Rockies. Early morning flights are best for the photogenic morning light.
Looks like a sizable snow pack this year.
When weather and available daylight permit I like to try to identify the plane's location from the air. I'm getting reasonably good at, but this time the return flightpath was new to me. I couldn't readily identify where we were until I saw the new Pitt River bridge at Port Coquitlam.

The Pitt River Bridge and adjacent train yard in Port Coquitlam.
SFU Mountain and beyond to Vancouver.
The old Port Mann structure is now completely gone.
The cranberry fields of East Richmond.
A few years ago we were walking along Jericho Beach and I noticed the largest car carrying freighter I've ever seen anchored in English Bay. On the flight home from Kelowna I'm pretty sure I spotted the same one from above, although it certainly looks different from this perspective.
New cars storage lot in south Richmond near Silver City Cinemas.

Weekend Walks

Today we took Tannah on a hike down the hill through Pacific Spirit Park to the Spanish Banks beachfront trail, then to the dog beach at the west end of the parking lot. She played with a Vizsla puppy for a bit, then found a new place to dwell...in a hollowed out log.
Tannah's new beach house.
Last weekend we walked along the Fraser River in south Vancouver along what is now known as the River District. This heron was fishing, gingerly stepping through the shallows in search of his next meal. A few ducks were paddling a short distance away and I stopped and waited until one drifted into my viewfinder.
Birds of dissimilar feather don't generally hang out together...or do they?

FSJ snowclearing vs YVR

It seems incredible that its already April. I was in Fort St. John just before mid-March. There was half a foot of snow on the ground that I was told had just fallen the previous weekend and was the largest single accumulation so far this winter. Not exactly the greatest news for a review of a building and its site. For reporting purposes I got a lot of use of the statements, "Due to existing snow cover inspection of the (roof, parking area, landscaped areas) was not possible. Conduct relevant inspections when weather permits." Timing is everything I guess.

Once thing that always fascinates me in the northern regions (actually anywhere outside the Fraser Valley) is the ratio of Ravens to Crows. It seems to be the reverse of what it is in Vancouver. Here it's rare to see a Raven. In Fort St. John it rare to see a Crow. On this trip I came across 5 Ravens hanging out in the same tree.

Caw-cus meeting.
And here's something you definitely wouldn't see often in Vancouver: snow clearing equipment on the airport runway. I don't remember the last time we had enough snow at YVR that would have required anything more that a blade attached to the front of a dump truck. This machine in FSJ must have been flinging snow about 40 feet in the air. Pretty impressive. The winter low sun angle made for an interesting shot too.

Cherry Blossom Season in Vancouver

We're in the middle of the cherry blossom festival in Vancouver.


A wide variety of blossom colours are on display at varying dates throughout the cherry blossom season.

The magnolia trees aren't as plentiful as the cherry blossoms but they're no less spectacular.

Reversals

On April Fool's Day one really has to learn to filter sensory input, especially that related to the media. It's generally a fun morning however, remembering that officially this annual prank day ends at noon.

I happened to be walking through YVR that morning and out of the corner of my eye caught one of those scrolling headlines at the bottom of a video screen . It read, "...study says moderate amounts of alcohol not great after all."

If it hadn't been April Fool's Day I'd be starting to get a little annoyed. Not to go off on a rant or anything but doesn't it just seem sometimes that things you think you've learned over time get reversed on a pretty regular basis? I seem to remember hearing reversals on eggs, butter, cholesterol and now alcohol. Whatever happened to a glass of red wine once in awhile being accepted?

Next thing ya know some joker will be given airtime for declaring his study has now proven that "Mad Men" had the right idea after all, that smoking is now OK.