Saturday, May 29, 2010

Changing a few things

As you must know by now, I'm a fan of the local graffiti artists. They tend to spray intelligent messages that comment on society, as witnessed with all the interesting Olympic themed renditions. I saw today's photo opportunity and laughed out loud at the perfect juxtaposition.

I really should photograph more of them though, as they never seem to last all that long. Anyway, this is my way of showing props, even though the chances of the persons responsible for this art seeing this blog is very remote. (Okay, a virtual impossibility - happy now?)

Anyway, I've decided to make another 'subtle' change to the old blog format. The template I use is old and brittle so it often requires careful massaging of raw HTML in order to get things looking the way I hoped. Today's edit involved widening the text area so that when I link youtube videos I can use a 640x480 resolution instead of having to scale it down to something so small as to be unusable. Anyhow, this involved quite a bit of restructuring, including new banner photos, as the entire blog had to widen by about 100 pixels.

That's right, I run a fixed width show here.

Anyhow, the thing I am noticing now is that when I compose a blog post, my edit window no longer lines up with what the finished product looks like. This is only an issue when dealing with multiple photos, as they don't easily line up anymore. This might not be that big a deal though, as the preview function seems to account for the width, meaning I can arrange the photos as I need to.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Some people head off to an 'ivory tower' for learning. In my case, it was more of a glassy affair, with a silver look to it. I spent a couple days getting certified as a Scrum Master, which for those not in the industry, is a fancy way of saying I learned another way to do the same job. Hopefully a faster, less risky way, but still nothing more than that.

Now that I've downplayed it, I will also say that I was really excited to take this course and felt I got quite a bit out of it. Of course I will still have to follow it up with further reading but it's interesting to now see the why behind how certain things we do at work actually achieve their purpose. Most of the time. I suppose if everything was working fantastic there would have been no need for me to go for further study.

I also learned last night that my sister in law broke her arm and elbow in a rather nasty fall from a ladder. Darlene, I really hope your recovery goes well - I broke my elbow last year while training for my ride to conquer cancer and remember how long it took to regain full mobility.

In happier news, I heard from Dallas: he has met his fund raising goals for his ride! Now he can focus on the physical training. Since my back injury I haven't been out riding with him (not from a lack of his trying to get me out on the road) and I do hope I can get out there at least a few times before his ride. My physio appointment yesterday was interesting - they used some machine to stimulate the muscles in my back. It felt great at the time, but wow, is my back sore today! At least it's Friday.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Always A Day Behind

I'm really liking the experience of getting my news via podcast these days. About the only drawback I have with it is that due to the delayed nature of a podcast, I'm getting my timely news in a later-than-timely fashion. Still, this is acceptable for me because I'm usually able to keep caught up with the podcasts I listen to during my commute to and from the office. If it's been a busy day then I can finish listening to the extra podcasts while walking the dog.

So for the most part, it works well for me. About the only time it catches up with me is when I say to my wife 'so hey, did you hear about...' and her response is usually along the lines of 'um, yeah - I saw that yesterday when it was on the news.'

So the net result is that I tend to be a day late in breaking news unless I go look it up in a browser. But I guess that's ok because my daily walks are a lot more entertaining this way.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Coast Guard Rescue

It was such a nice day outside that Holly and I decided to take Louise down to the beach yesterday. It's always fun to let her run into the water and well, the place was pretty crowded. Seems like just about everybody had a similar idea. At least, the going to the beach part, if not the 'bring your dog' part. Anyway, we had just arrived at the section for dogs when this massive Coast Guard hovercraft comes racing into False Creek. It was quite an impressive site but the odd thing is that our first guess wasn't that it was actually responding to some emergency call, but that it must have been doing sea trials or something.

The next time this happens, I'm going to assume the Coast Guard is doing it's job. This morning I did a quick google search and came up with this piece of tragic news. The hovercraft was responding to a call after all and it looks like the young man drowned before they could get to him.

Still, this hovercraft is pretty serious business. The thing is huge. I also took a quick video clip of it racing by and you can see how it dwarfs most of the other boats in the creek. Take a look for yourselves:

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Back on my feet

Earlier this week I returned to the office. I quickly took this photo on my way in that morning - seeing a police car (there were several, complete with police tape surrounding the building) is a little unusual in this part of the neighborhood and I didn't really hang around to find out the details. Really I was just hoping that the bright lights would transfer nicely into the photograph.

It is good to be moving around again but I find that Holly has to caution me again and again about overdoing it. She's right of course - and she has threatened to come to my physio appointment next week to ensure the doctor doesn't get the 'nice' version of my story but the full extent of what I have and haven't done for my back lately. I guess it's ok since no matter what I really need to take preventative steps going forward.

PS - a big thank you to all those mac users who have been super helpful over the past few weeks. I have pestered quite a few of you on how to do this or that and have picked up quite a bit - overall I am really liking this platform!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I missed the sun. I was able to get outside this evening briefly to walk the dog, but it was during the first period of the hockey game so it had to be brief. Still, I caught some of the last of the afternoon rays before it was too late and it felt good.

The hockey game is about half over now and honestly, I'm losing interest. The Canucks aren't playing well, doing their same old skate around. I'm still hopeful but at times it's too painful to watch this slow spiral toward as the clock runs out. Maybe someone will wake up in the third period.

It's hard to believe that I have been indoors since Thursday afternoon. It's even harder for me to accept that my back has been too sore to move comfortably for this long. I definitely have cabin fever and well, Holly is probably eager for me to get back to work as well. She's been very patient with my extended home stay and helped to keep me off my feet instead of letting me get up too soon. Thanks hon.

By the way, I hurt my back again by putting the pictured flowers on the patio table. This was a couple days ago, when I was trying to move around too soon, re-injuring myself.

Saturday, May 01, 2010


I've been off work the past day and a bit and if things continue like they have this weekend, I'll be off a while longer yet. Even with medication to help cope with the pain, I am not very good at taking it easy.

It's not all bad though. With Holly's help I was escorted from the bed to the sofa so that I could watch the hockey game. Everything was going well until I sneezed and really wrenched things badly. It took a little while to calm down from that one and it was a good thing I was already on the sofa so I didn't have to move.

Somehow it seemed worth the effort though, as the Canucks pulled off a strong win for the series opener against Chicago. By the time I was feeling better we were already ahead by a couple goals. It seemed that as the game went on I was feeling better and the Canucks were playing stronger. For my part, the truth of the matter was that my pain medication was starting to kick in.

So the first photo in today's post was taken on my way to the doctor as I was leaving the office. This is one of the really good things we have left as a legacy from the Olympics. Of course, I'm talking about the digital display that informs riders when the next bus will arrive. We have it on the new Skytrain line too and it's very helpful.

Following that are a few photos taken at English bay a couple days ago, when I really should have been taking it easier instead of thinking I was still okay to walk the dog. Anyhow, the last one is of one of my favorite condos in Vancouver. Great view and great gardening sense. I almost don't want to see what it looks like inside for fear of it not living up to my romanticized view of the exterior.