Thursday, June 19, 2014

Looooowwww Tide

Last year we missed it, but this year I expressly noted when the lowest tides occur this season. We took our dog to Spanish Banks two years ago and she absolutely loved it! Leash free, a (seemingly) boundless expanse of compacted sand. What's not to love?

This is the recent photo in the Vancouver Courier that reminded me to check the tide charts.

I'll post photos in two batches because I still want to photoshop a couple. I just need to level out the horizon on a few action shots of Tannah. She moved so fast that I focused on her motion rather than the level horizon.

The freighters looked like they were grounded. I must admit I had the occasional eerie thought of them really being beached, recalling the Japanese tsunami. Good thing I had a frolicking Spaniel to divert me back to reality!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day Storm Cell

After an impressive introductory crack of thunder, we just witnessed a severe storm cell that lasted probably 20-25 minutes. It was, I think, the most intense prolonged hail event that I've ever witnessed in this Vancouver region. No visible accumulations of hail remained after the cell passed and the pellets were only pea-sized, but they surely came down "with intensity"! (That phrase always plays in my my mind with a thick Japanese accent from that scene in Lost in Translation.)

2014-06-16 update: Apparently that storm system wasn't finished with us. At about 1:30 a.m. I was jolted awake with what can only be described as a ferocious blast of thunder. It induced a panic that one might expect if a tree crashed through the roof without notice. With my adrenaline now pumping it took another hour or so to fall back asleep.

It would be interesting for me to have experienced an Asian monsoon rain event to enable me to fairly compare the intensity (there's that word again) of rainfall that accompanied the vicious thunder clap. Allowing for the fact that I've never traveled to Asia, in my humble opinion last night's rain certainly qualified as torrential.

Father's Day Beach Attendance in Vancouver

Vancouver residents flocked to the beach (well OK, it was Lost Lagoon) this drizzly Father's Day weekend.

Fortunately a life guard was on duty.

By contrast, this was English Bay beach on Saturday near noon. This is a weekend with an extra low tide predicted. The most beach was expected to be exposed by 1:29 p.m.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cherry Blossom Season

Tannah is quite the poser when confronted with cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Things that make ya go, "Huh?"

I got on the bus yesterday afternoon, walked to the back and slid into my accustomed seat in the back row beside the window. I was reaching into my backpack for my latest guilty pleasure (volume 5 of the Game of Thrones series) when I glanced at the graffiti adorning the aluminum seatback in front of me, fully expecting it to be some expletive-laced drivel from a booze-fueled night of debauchery.

But no. This one actually made me half-think about it.

If you do stop and think about it, it's actually not bad advice.

Monday, March 10, 2014


I've been scanning Craigslist lately for Lego. And not just any Lego either. I re-discovered my old Lego train a while back but I only had enough track for an oval with a small siding. So I thought, why not keep an eye open for more blue Lego track. It's probably been about a year now and the only blue track I've run across is a simple circle layout packaged with one of the first trains that was released; without an engine. I didn't really want the push-powered train, and the track layout was uninspiring.

Then this morning I happened across the mother load! The ad said it was a box half full of blue track.

When I went to see it, it turned out it was a reasonably sized box too. Plus it even included a motor from a Lego train! The battery box is a bit corroded, but there are Youtube videos out there that show how to make a new switchable battery box from Lego pieces and copper wire. There really is no end to the usefulness of Youtube.

There was even a pre-fab tunnel thrown in the deal. It's not Lego, but I bet a Lego train will still fit through.

My wife was laughing at me as I unpacked my treasure on the dining room table, sorted the components, and carefully repacked it. Unfortunately my job tomorrow will interfere with the important work of creating a huge new track layout so that my Lego train can take to the rails again after its 35-year hiatus.

"All aboard! Next stop; Legoland!"

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lego Trucks

It’s been a Lego Christmas this year. I took a 30 year break, but lately it’s as if I never stopped building. Every time my nephews come over Lego is the first thing they ask for. I thought it about time I documented the evolution of my truck designs. It’s a good thing I photographed them last time. When I got home from work the other day my nephews had almost completely de-constructed my most recent fleet. They had been over to spend the day with their Auntie Shauna.

First generation trucks.
I’ve been experimenting recently with bigger wheels. I guess I’m trying for the monster truck look. Also, I remember a series of Hot Wheels cars that came out when I was a kid that featured super-sized engines that would fully obscure one's vision from the cockpit were the cars to be constructed life-size for street use. I’m sure I still have a couple of those cars downstairs somewhere.

I've incorporated an engine that orignally came with a Lego go-cart kit into my monster truck build-up. The funny thing about it is that the engine is completely out of scale with the truck. The engine is patterned after a single cylinder internal combustion engine, typically the style used for a small dirt bike or a lawnmower. My intent now is to combine the big wheels with a super-sized version of a lawnmower powerplant. The engineer in me is having a good laugh over that one. Does that officially brand me a "Lego Nerd"?

I hope so.