Saturday, November 14, 2009

A very blustery walk to English Bay November 13, 2009

Friday turned out to be one of those days where the weather forecast was quite what was forecast - it was supposed to rain for the better part of the day and then clear off in the later afternoon - well as has occurred frequently during our current monsoon season the storm abated earlier than expected and I awoke to cloudy but clearing skies.
With the clearing came very strong south westerly winds gusting up to 50 kmh. But being the trooper that I am I decided to go for a walk along the seawall to English Bay.
It was very blustery and almost no one was out for a walk or a bike ride - can't say that I blame them - it wasn't long before I felt like I was up in the Arctic - I was getting chilled to the bone.
Well I made it as far as the entrance to Stanley Park where I turned around and headed for some warmth and lunch.
Hope you enjoy this little photo essay of that blustery day walk.



Exploring some new Vancouver bike routes November 12, 2009

The sun is starting to shine so I take this opportunity to get out on the bike and do some exploring.

Vancouver has been adding to its list of bike routes - most are connectors to the main east- west or north - south ones but I decided to check them out - they provided a nice loop and by the time I was finished I had about 23 KM on the odometer.

I started by heading over the Burrard Bridge on the dedicated bike lane and then followed the Seaside route along Cornwall and Point Grey Road until I got to Balaclava.

I turned left here and followed this route until it came to 16th Avenue - here the route winds it way up towards Dunbar but that is not the way that I want to go today - so I turn left again and head for the new Valley ride at short distance away.

As the Valley route approaches the Arbutus shopping area it splits in two - one follows 29th Ave and the other continues along Valley and finally joins the Cypress route around 33rd.

I follow the 29th route - as with the other east - west routes across the City it involves about a five block uphill climb to get into Shaughnessy - it crosses the Cypress, Heather, Yukon and finally ends at the Ontario route by Queen Elizabeth Park

Along the way there are lingering signs of autumn colors some of which are reflected in this photo essay.

At Ontario I turn left again and start the northbound trip home but I may one detour along the way and that is at Broadway and Main where a major fire has wiped out 5 businesses and created traffic chaos.

This is my old neighbourhood where I lived for more than 30 years before moving downtown - While I didn't frequent the businesses it is still a shock to see the damage done - the site is being cleared so I guess that mean that a three to four storey condo complex will rise from the ashes.

Next it was into Burger King for lunch and then a quick look at the latest at the Olympic village - it is coming along fine.

Finally my last stop is at David Lam Park in Yaletown which is under re-construction as one of the two free entertainment sites during the Games with entertainment and fun events for every one.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Remembrance Day Nov 11, 2009

Remembrance Day was a special day for me while I was growing up - while my father was unable to serve in the military during the war because of health issues he was able to join the militia after the war and spent many years in a Service Corp - he also in later years became the Chief Bar Steward at one of the messes and I often spent Remembrance helping him and my mother sling the liquor to all of the thirsty vets.

After his passing I remained active in the Army Navy and Air Force Veterans Club 100 on Kingsway in Vancouver and would join some of my friends and my mother there for a great fun filled day of memories and songs.

After Mom's passing and my move downtown I hadn't been back to the club for several years.

Today after watching both the National Service from Ottawa and the local service on TV I headed up to the club where some friends and their family we also there.

The club provides some free Chili and Baron Of Beef sandwiches as well as some free beer.

The Pipe band from one of the other Legions was playing when I arrived so I snapped these images with my Blackberry.

We also had three members of the Canadian forces who have served a stint in Afghanistan come to the club and I had a chance to talk to them. While they are reservists they still are playing a major role in that part of the world.

It was a very interesting afternoon.

Tomorrow if the weather is okay I hope to get out on the bike and get some serious exercise as the long range forecast is WET, WET, WET !!!! for the next week.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A morning of lab tests and signs that Santa is coming Monday November 9, 2009

I spend the better part of Monday morning at a medical lab taking a complete glucose test for diabetes - my level has been on the edge for a number of years and the doctor at the walk in clinic felt it was time to take a more detailed exam - it required an overnight fast - normal for some tests but what I wasn't aware of was the need to stay at the lab for two hours.

After puncturing my arm and drawing a blood sample I am then given a orange flavor drink laced with glucose and given five minutes to drink in the waiting room - done and then its wait for the urine need to become pressing and fill the sample jar - with the outbreak of the flu all of the reading materials have been removed - this is where if I knew I would have to wait I would have brought a book from home to read - well finally the wait is over and it's time for the second blood sample - then it was off to Tim Horton's for breakfast.

Later in the day I headed off to the gym and was reminded that Christmas must be coming because the annual Lights of Hope campaign at St Paul's is getting underway - check it out here at - St Paul's is where I was born and is still my favorite hospital being only three blocks from my condo.

Images are from my Blackberry on a cloudy and wet afternoon so the quality isn't all that great.

If it stops raining for a little while today I might head out for a short ride along False Creek - want to see if the section of the route by the Olympic Village is still opened - it is due to be close for games preparations this month - also want to check out what the detour route will be.



Sunday, November 8, 2009

Japanese dinner and birthday party Nov 6, 2009

Lately it seems like every weekend brings another birthday party to attend and Friday night was no exception - this time it was for one of Jim's Japanese room mates - Ayano - it was held at Zakkushi Japanese Restaurant on Denman near Robson - while not a big fan of sushi this restaurant had a good selection of meals to choose from as the images below will should.

It was a fun evening - after dinner we went back to Jim's and celebrated some more.

Ayano (middle) and two of her closest friends - our waitress was also a friend of hers.

A few of us gave her gifts - mine is the red Olympic mitts which have been a smash hit here in Vancouver.

Some of the food that we ordered.

What's a Japanese meal without a Sapporo beer.

A cake was presented - she took it home and shared it with us back at the apartment.

A good evening was had by all despite a Lions and Canucks losses.