A UX Guy in Vancouver

I run, cycle, write, take pictures, and do other things with varying degrees of success.

Bali Travel Refugees

Much like our surprise week in Perth, we didn't expect to go to Bali, or Indonesia at all, on this trip. What we experienced we loved, even if it ended up too brief and far too stressful. Before I get into chronicling our short stay on this beautiful island, it may ...

Perth & Rottnest Island

Not originally on our itinerary, we ended up in Perth for a week when we began to change our travel plans due to COVID-19. It's a really nice place, and was much lower key and warmer than Sydney or Melbourne. I was kind of stupid to wait this long to write ...

Phillip Island, Great Ocean Road & The Grampians

After a week in Melbourne, this four day road trip was the sixth leg of our 2020 Australia trip. Copious wildlife and epic scenery were the order of the day. Whereas getting out of Canberra for Melbourne couldn't happen fast enough, I was almost reticent to leave the latter for this ...

Melbourne

A week in Melbourne was the fifth leg of our 2020 COVID19-shortened trip to Australia and Asia. I think Melbourne was actually our favourite city in Oz. To be honest, four days in Canberra was plenty for us, and we couldn't wait to leave for Melbourne. A few years ago my ...

Canberra

We got through an abridged version of our first trip to Australia and Asia before our government ordered everyone home. This post highlights our four night stay in the national capital of Canberra. Overall Impressions I'll say upfront that Canberra was our least-favourite stop on the whole trip. We still managed to ...

Brisbane, Bundaberg & Noosa

Our second week in Australia was spent in Brisbane, Bundaberg and Noosa. A real study in contrasts, this leg of the trip saw a river city, sub-tropical beaches, turtles, Great Barrier Reef and snorkelling. Flying from Sydney to Brisbane was a nice short 90 minute zip up the coast from New ...

Blue Mountains & Newcastle

A week in the Sydney area was our first stop for a month in Australia. This is the two-day road trip we took to end that week. After five nights in Sydney, we decided we'd take a car and drive up to the beautiful Blue Mountains, then take a road less-travelled ...

Sydney

Pre-COVID, 2020 was to be a year of long overdue travel. A week in the Sydney area was to be our first stop for a month in Australia and nearly as long in southeast Asia. This is the first of several journal posts about our Australia 2020. Click any photo in ...

A Year in Victoria, a Brief Review

At the beginning of 2019 I wrote about our decision to move to Victoria. While we hoped this was going to be a permanent thing, we also knew we were testing the water to some degree. Life has a habit of handing you surprises and, as I wrote in October ...

Wandering

When you come to a fork in the road, take it. -- Yogi Berra A little under a year ago we undertook a pretty sizeable life change. Around Christmas I was offered a job with the provincial government and in January we moved across the Strait of Georgia to live in Victoria, ...

When Human Vanity Endangers Dogs

Cropping ears and docking tails is not only unnecessary for a dog's health, but may even put them in danger. This Cane Corso appeared in my Instagram feed a few weeks ago because I follow the #dogsofinstagram hashtag. Whomever posted it asked for comments to caption the photo. My response was ...

A Personal Philosophy

Philosophy: the beliefs you have about how you should behave in particular situations in life. I've tried to live with a few simple guidelines for some time now. I'm not really one for manifestos or rigid creeds, but recently I've been trying to think of my values in terms of ...

Entitlement

The belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. The news is full of stories about American exceptionalism, international bullying and racist immigration policies. Daily, we see able-bodied people using handicapped parking spots and cars parking in dedicated bike lanes. People demand special privileges all the time, for ...

Island Hopping Part 2: Salt Spring & Galiano Islands

In my previous post about our little island hopping adventure, I wrote about a few days on the Pacific Rim, between Ucluelet and Tofino. That post was reasonably light on words and very heavy on photos. I'm hoping this will be a shorter and lighter weight post. After our time on ...

Island Hopping Part 1: The Pacific Rim

This post will likely be of little interest to anyone other than us, since it's strictly to document part one of our week-long vacation up Vancouver Island to the Pacific Rim. Mind you, there are a couple decent pics, so if you'll be hitting Ucluelet-Tofino you may want to have ...

Building Better Habits

I've written about my desire to do more of this or less of that many times. I tend to get a little melancholy about the change I don't make but strongly desire. My formula for doing so usually follows a pattern. Develop a goal, somewhat broad or vague in nature ...

The only thing 4/20 Vancouver is protesting is paying their way

Tomorrow will be April 20th, and that can mean only one thing. Weed. Or, more accurately, the celebration of weed known around the world as 4/20. In Vancouver, the 2019 version takes on greater significance than in the past. It's the first year that marijuana is legal in Canada, it's ...

A new chapter, part 2

In my last post about moving to Victoria, I outlined the process of getting a new job and renting a place in James Bay. I'm happy to now report, we've concluded things. In truth, the Victoria relocation went about as well as it could have. After finding a pet-friendly rental on ...

A new chapter

I didn't bother doing a year-end wrap up blog post for 2018. I haven't been journalling much at all, and it was a pretty quiet year for the most part. Plus, those kinds of posts have always felt forced, as if I should have something profound to say as the ...

Animal Arbitrariness

The past couple of weeks has been interesting to me, in that a few seemingly unrelated stories highlight just how arbitrary our feelings about animals can be. Puppy Love I was quite taken with a short documentary I watched during a trainer ride earlier this week. It's not so much the subject ...

Should Pit Bulls be banned?

With recent media coverage of dog attacks, municipalities such as Surrey are considering revisions to their dangerous dog bylaws. A June 20th attack on a senior there was the latest high profile incident. In this particular case, the owner took off after his dog caused serious injury, forcing the police to hunt him ...

Blogging renovation part 4; Contractor

It's between a little over eight months since we finished substantial kitchen and bath renovations. I waited this long to post my thoughts on the contractor, to remove (most of) the emotional component. We hired Aero Kitchen and Bath in spring 2015 to do the work, plus some additional tile ...

Blogging renovation part 3: Revelation

This post is long overdue. In fact, other than a couple small things being taken care of presently, our renovations have been finished for over a month and a half. We waited for ages for the final invoice and are now working through some final billing issues with the contractor, ...

Blogging renovation part 2: Middle

In my first post about our renovations on May 24th, I wrote about the scope of the job and included a few pics of the areas to be renovated, the weekend before they were to begin. Generally, things have progressed quite well so far. There have been a few small ...

Blogging renovation part 1: Genesis

I'm really doing this series of posts for my own benefit, so anyone else reading these may not get much out of them. It was a bit of a long road finding a contractor, so I'm not going to bother documenting that process here, as I have a different type ...

Off-leash

If there's one unfortunate byproduct of Vancouver's off-leash dog parks, it's clueless owners. Don't get me wrong. I love seeing a couple pooches hamming it up, running around like lunatics and generally getting their dawg on - when the owners have both purposely come to an off-leash park for this ...

The awkward relationship between the BC SPCA and meat

I've always had difficulty with the relationship our society has with animals. Most people I know feel real compassion when companion or wild animals are treated badly or hurt. We donate, run, walk, cycle, and do any number of things to help rescue them, and often go to our local ...

Darby; a dog’s life in pictures

I've been grappling with something for ten months. It was August of last year when Darby was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, and only a couple short weeks later when we put her down. I had intended to write a retrospective post about her life, and started to do so a few ...

2014 Victoria Granfondo; riding ugly

Don't let the title of this post fool you. On most any count that matters, it was a great day. The ugly was pretty much all me and my legs. I can't really complain because the weather was great, the course was beautiful, the on-course volunteers killed it, and I ...

Brody the rescue dog

After Darby left us in the fall of 2013, it was really hard thinking of adopting another dog for some time. We felt robbed of time we expected to have with her, and given that we confer people-like status to furry friends in our house, the thought of another dog ...

The way she probably wanted to go

The most shocking thing was simply the suddenness of it all. A month ago, as far as we could tell, we had a healthy dog closing in on 11 years old. By all outward signs, Darby might buck the big dog trend and live to 13 or more. Then she ...

Devastating news far too soon

As friends and acquaintances have asked, I've had to tell this story too many times now, and we're not yet at the final chapter. I'm writing this partly as reference for further requests, and partly to get the words down just as I want them. I probably still won't get ...

Ride2Survive

I tried typing with a sore, swollen wrist with Naproxen and Tylenol 3s in my system the day after the event - not the most effective way of writing. As such I had to get my thoughts down while this amazing event was a little less fresh in my mind, ...

Roger Waters breathes new life into 33 year old Wall

I've been a Pink Floyd fan since I was 16. At one point in my teens, I owned 17 albums and probably listened to Floyd more than any other band for a few years. It might have had something to do with my hobbies at the time, through the late ...

Why anti-cyclists have it wrong

As someone who both cycles and drives a fair bit, I've got no axe to grind with either side of the bicycle-automobile debate. I'm an equal opportunity hater when I see a member of either fraternity doing something stupid. I lament the helmetless nimrod zipping his bike through stop signs ...

Expedia provides customer experience from hell

Expedia has horrific customer service.  My last experience with Expedia (which will truly be my LAST experience) began almost a year ago, on April 20, 2010.  I was closing in on the end of my Masters journey and we booked a family vacation to Honolulu for August 2010 to celebrate ...

Sled dog cull outrage reveals our complicated relationship with animals

Reaction to the Whistler sled dog massacre has been swift and strong. In case you are not up on your BC or Canadian news, it recently came to light that in April 2010, 100 sled dogs were killed during an economic lull after the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Winter Olympics. ...