Monday, March 31, 2008

Close to getting an apartment

I was in New Westminster Saturday afternoon to look at a one bedroom apartment with the option of upgrading to a two bedroom unit in the near future. The Canada Games pool and Queens Park nearby. If I understand it correctly, there is exercise equipment on the main floor. This would allow Brad to continue his training for arm wrestling on this end of the continent. Shopping is also handy, so getting groceries should not be an issue. Buses are also handy with a quick connection to the SkyTrain into Vancouver. The credit check is in progress, so I should know for certain Tuesday. Then the real work of arranging for telephone and internet services begins plus contacting the movers to arrange transfer of my belongings from storage. More on this later. - Volker

New hard drive

Well, I bought a new hard drive on Saturday morning, so all I have to do is install it and download the software to get back to normal. The new HD is 100 GB as opposed to the old that was 40 GB. More memory and faster. I hope to be back to normal very soon. - Volker

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Internal hard drive died

Well, last evening it finally happened, my internal hard drive on the laptop computer died. I was inquiring about a replacement today (Saturday) but likely won't find one until Monday when I go to HP in Richmond. So for now it's phone call and emails (I can read those at work) but msn chats are out for now until the hard drive has been replace and the programs restored.

So with all the stress and such, I went for a walk around the seawall at Stanley Park this afternoon (all the way around). Long walks seem to relieve the stress that has built up over time. It was overcast with the sun trying to reveal itself through the cloud cover. The temperature today was sitting at 12 degrees Celsius. Rain is expected tomorrow.

There are definitely signs of spring in the lower mainland. Azaleas, forsythia, cherry trees, some saucer magnolias and all sorts of spring flowers such as hyacinths, daffodils, pansies, english daisies and others are in full bloom. So while the rest of Canada is still deep in the throws of winter, we are enjoying warm weather that comes with spring. Enjoy yours when spring does come. - Volker

Friday, March 21, 2008

Signs of warmer weather to come


With warmer weather coming our way, at least here in BC's lower mainland, we may encounter scenes such as the guy with the ice cream cone above when we head to the parks or beaches this summer.  Whether you're male or female, gay or straight, if you can appreciate the male human form, you may love this one!  Looking at this guy's physique objectively, the definition didn't happen without some effort on his part and certainly shows.  Wouldn't you just love to help him with that cone since its dipping all over his fingers?  It's a welcomed diversion from all the work I've been doing lately.  So, are you looking forward to summer and all it has to offer?  I know I am!  How about you?  -  Volker

Check out: and other Pixdaus photos.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Apartment hunting

Well, I've been apartment hunting in earnest since early February looking for a decent two bedroom apartment for Brad and I.  Yesterday after work I went to look at a 2 bedroom apartment on Kingsway near Joyce Street in east Vancouver.  I could have saved myself the trouble.  At 750 square feet it was definitely too small even for one and lacked enough closets and storage space.  The master bedroom was small and the second was of such a size that I've seen walk-in closets that were larger.  It probably took me less than five minutes to decide this was definitely not the one.  At $1000 per month it was no bargain, so I told the lady thanks but I'll keep looking.

I did send out an email to get more information on a 2 bedroom apartment in "downtown" Vancouver asking for the rough location (i.e. downtown Eastside or Westside) and the square footage.  The reply had none of that and gave me information I didn't ask for.  Besides, it turned out that the unit was furnished, something the Craig's List article didn't say.  I asked for a straight answer and got something other than what I asked for.  So, I sent a reply that I would continue looking.

Now I've found a two bedroom apartment at a complex in Coquitlam.  Two bedroom units of up to 1000 square feet have rent up to $915 per month.  More reasonable!  In order to compare, a two bedroom unit I saw in north Burnaby was renting at $1130 per month.  As you get closer to Vancouver, the rent go up and the further away from the city you get the lower the rents get but then transportation costs rise the further out one gets.  So I sent out an inquiry regarding the one in Coquitlam and hope to see a unit soon.  The complex is close to a major mall and the SkyTrain and there are plenty of buses, including ones to Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby.  This complex seems very promising.  By the way, I didn't find this one in Craig's List but in a bi-monthly rental guide.  I've pretty well given up on Craig's List for now at least until there are some improvements, like more photos.  Very few have them.

Today I heard the results of a loan application.  It was approved but not for the amount I was asking for.  A thousand dollars will help though.  Between that and what I have (including what I'm getting pay-wise) that will help cover the first month's rent and deposit.  Let you know more as this search continues.  -  Volker

Monday, March 17, 2008

Arm wrestling practice on YouTube

This is a video clip found on YouTube and contributed by 902king.  The same clip from YouTube is also found on a Spanish language and Chinese language site.  Now I'll leave it up to you to guess who we have here.  I'll tell you soon enough after some time has passed.  Arm wrestling is something I remember doing in public and secondary school but years have passed since then.  Comments anyone???  -  Volker

No six-pack but no beer gut either

Well, you know what a well-defined 19 year old looks like (abs and six-pack from yesterday), and you have some idea what Brad looks like as a result but here is a video of me at the computer (laptop) during an msn chat with a friend in North Carolina. I don't have a six-pack or well developed abs but I don't have a beer gut or grey hair either. Now those of you that don't know my age, can you guess how old I am just by looking at the video clip?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Toned, muscled and good-looking


Having a well toned, lean-muscled and good-looking physique gets noticed.  Then a charming personality and intelligence helps too.  The nineteen year old flexing his muscles in the YouTube video above give us some idea what Brad's muscle definition looks like.  After all that training for the arm wrestling tournaments his definition is showing.  Although the video is not Brad, this will suffice for now.  I am planning to get a good camcorder soon to take some excellent videos of Brad exercising and flexing HIS muscles, so look for them.  Personally, I think Brad is way hotter than this guy above but perhaps I'm biased.  You'll be able to see for yourself at some point.

Overcast and rainy with some sun during the week...

It's been one of those weeks with dull, overcast and rainy weather though the sun made the odd appearance to brighten things up.  The temperatures have been around 9 or 10 degrees during the day with them hovering about 4 degrees Celsius during the night.  As might be expected, the spring flowers such as snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and some trees and shrubs are in bloom.  We are truly ready for spring while the rest of the country is still in the grips of winter.

Aside from working full-time at my job as a concierge, I have been apartment hunting for two.  Brad will be joining me as my roommate once he is able to leave the east coast to come here.  Meantime, it's a challenge to work and apartment hunt and do all the other things that need doing as well.  Currently I am living in a room on Hastings Street in north Burnaby where I have lived since October of 2007.  I gave up my old apartment because it was too expensive for me, put my stuff in storage when I got the room and decided to put off apartment hunting until after New Year's Day.  Now I am back at it.  I had a look at a place with a two-bedroom unit downstairs in a renovated home in Vancouver but it was too small for our needs.  The realtor that owns and lives in the house has offered to help me look for a place.  He will let me know if he finds anything suitable in Burnaby which is cheaper rent-wise than Vancouver.  Then Craig's list was also mentioned as a source to find apartments.  I plan to have a look online Sunday to see what is available.  My preference would be to get a 2-bedroom apartment but as a back-up plan, there is the option of getting a one bedroom apartment for a short while and then upgrading to a two bedroom apartment later once were settled, have taken stock of what we have and how much space is necessary plus work locations, shopping area, schools, etc.  So much to think about in a move and not as simple as it might appear at first.  Such is life!

Meantime, I've caught a cold in all this.  Now it's going into its third week as of Monday.  This past Monday evening going into Tuesday I was passing tiny kidney stones all night with runs to the washroom every ten minutes or so only to pass a bit of urine along with some blood and mucus.  The pain would cause me to double over.  It seems the cold virus had spread to my left kidney, another week spot for the virus to take hold.  As a result, I had to take Tuesday off work to rest and recuperate.  I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy!  So, it looks like this cold will hang on for a while until I manage to shake it off.  I am trying to build up the body's resistance by eating better and making good choices as far as food and drink.  This means more water, herb teas and hot lemonades.  Fresh cranberry tea is good for this too using the berries to which boiling hot water is added to them in a mug.  The cranberries are then crushed with honey added to taste.  This has been a bad winter for colds with the temperatures going up and down plus all the rain we've had added to the mix.

Stay warm and well.  Even before Easter is upon us, spring is definitely here!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Another scene in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Here is another scene of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Main Street. The image is taken from the Wikipedia commons.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Scene in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Image of the fishing boats in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia is taken from the Wikipedia commons. Google Yarmouth to find out more about this town of over 7,000 people in the southeastern part of this maritime province on Canada's east coast.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cloud and rain on the east coast and soon on the west with snow in between

Here on the west coast we had a bit of rain during the night but Saturday was excellent with partly cloudy skies and a warm temperature of 10 degrees Celsius.  I was at Vancouver's Stanley Park during the mid afternoon and could see the cloud moving in from the west.  Vancouver Island to the west was shrouded in cloud as it often is during the cooler months of the year.  Rain is expected for the rest of the coming week but this is good for the spring flowers currently blooming and those yet to come.  Some of the trees are just coming into bloom now.  Good things are yet to come with better, milder weather.


So my friend and I went for a walk from the main beach at English Bay to the second beach and returned.  He was in the midst of a cold and I was just getting over mine.  The fresh sea air was good though to clear out the lungs.  The exercise was good too.  This has been my third trip to Stanley Park over the last few weekends.  During the first, I walked the entire seawall from the entrance at West Georgia Street to English Bay's 1st beach, stopped for tea and a sandwich (Italian antipasto) at Starbucks at Davie and Thurlow Streets and then continued on to Burrard to catch the 135 bus just south of West Georgia for the trip back along Hastings Street east to north Burnaby.


However, on this most recent foray into Vancouver's West End my friend and I stopped to sit on a bench overlooking the beach after I went to get a tea (blossom white) and a banana loaf at the nearby Starbucks at Denman and Davie Street and he went to Delaney's on Denman to get his favourite drink.  Then it was a drive back to north Burnaby (he had the car with him).


So the week looks like rain but we did have some nice temperatures during the week with 13 degrees in Osoyoos just north of the US border in the British Columbia interior.  The east coast has its rain, freezing rain and frozen pellets and a snowstorm in southern Ontario where I lived most of my life until I moved out to the west coast in February 2006.  This snowstorm affects Quebec as well.  So its a case of rain on both coasts and snow between.  After years of having to shovel the white stuff its certainly good not to have to do it for now.  Why do I say that?  Well, my friend with me on this recent visit to Vancouver mentioned that there had been a snowstorm in Florida (that melted of course).  Shows the unpredictable nature of our weather these days.  The reasons are many as far as global warming is concerned but these factors are influencing the weather around the globe.  As far as I've been able to determine, its part man's doing and also part of a natural cycle.  Either way, we just have to accept what comes and live with it.  And cycles don't last for ever, so expect at another change in due time.  When is the only question ("the more things change, the more they stay the same" as the saying goes).


Feel free to comment when the mood strikes.    - Volker

Friday, March 7, 2008

Grand Banks

While this blog is based in Burnaby, British Columbia, Brad is currently still back east at sea on the Grand Banks, his ship coming from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. As a mariner, I am certain that he has seen all sorts of weather conditions on the high seas. The weather forecast from Environment Canada for the Southeastern Grand Banks below will give you an idea of what this weekend is going to be like. He is to be joining me here on the west coast soon but until he does this will give you an idea of the conditions at sea. I hope to have some first-hand accounts from Brad on his experiences at sea soon as only he can tell it best.  - Volker

Environment Canada Weather Forecast

Marine Forecast issued for Southeastern Grand Banks. Issued: 8.00 PM NST on Friday 07 March 2008.

Synopsis: An area of high pressure over eastern Newfoundland will move east of the district overnight. Light to moderate winds near the high will shift to moderate to strong southerly over most waters in its wake. On Saturday a low pressure system will approach from the southwest and cross Newfoundland late in the day. Strong southwesterly winds are forecast south of the low's track while strong to gale force northerlies can be expected to it's north.Marine interests are advised that gale warnings are continued for Belle Isle.. Northeast coast and Belle Isle Bank. Freezing spray Warnings are in effect for Belle Isle.. Northeast gulf.. Gulf-port au Port.. Northeast coast.. Belle Isle Bank and the Funk Island Bank northern half.

Forecast: Winds northeast 15 knots veering to southeast 15 overnight then increasing to southerly 25 Saturday afternoon. Winds veering to southwest 30 Saturday evening. Occasional rain beginning Saturday afternoon. Fog patches forming Saturday morning. Visibility fair In rain and poor in fog. Turning milder on Saturday. Outlook for Sunday...Strong to gale force southwesterlies.

Copyright © 2008 Environment Canada All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

More images of Gibson's Landing

Here are a few more scenes of Gibson's Landing taken in September 2007. Gibson's was the scene of the shooting of the tv series called the Beach Combers starring Bruno Gerussi amongst others. Check out a forthcoming post on Haliaeetus for more details.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Today (Monday) was a dull, rainy, overcast day, a typical day in Vancouver during the winter months. A good things is that the daylight hours are getting longer, the rain less frequent and the temperatures warmer. As signs of spring go, various spring flowers are in bloom such as the snowdrops and crocuses, even some daffodils in places. We have something to look forward to but are mindful that the rest of Canada is still deep in the throws of winter.

While on an afternoon break at work, I was looking at the newspaper (The Province) when the current day's horoscope caught my attention. Since I'm a Leo, I had a look at the entry that pertained to that sign in today's paper (March 3rd).

Leo (July 23 - August 22)

You're keen to experience life at a deeper level. You don't want to merely talk about it or observe it. You want to live it fully! You want to reach out like Keats and grab life fully with both hands. "Beauty is truth, truth is beauty - that is all ye know on Earth, and all ye need to know."

What do you think? I tried to have a look at the Gemini entry but someone had cut out something on the next page, so a large part of that entry was missing. My friend Brad is a Gemini, the young salty is am referring to in the blog header description. He's also my co-author, so we hope to hear plenty from Brad over time. There are no accidents in life for all has meaning and a reason for being so. Any thoughts on this from your own perspective?

On another matter, working as a concierge at an administrative centre has its excitement and boring periods when very little happens. Most of the day is spent signing in visitors, issuing cards to visitors and also employees who've forgotten their own cards. There is accepting mail and sending it out plus other duties. It's mostly dull, routine stuff really with a few interesting moments (99 % dull, 1% excitement, and not always of the good kind). More to say on my life, my interests, interactions with others and the adventure to come in forthcoming posts but this is a start.

Not much of a post but a start for this new blog about the experiences, thoughts, perspectives and such of two friends. We're due to learn plenty about each other, ourselves and how others feel about us in the process. Perhaps you'll even learn something about yourselves too! Surely this will enrichs each of us and others as well. There will be a few photos thrown in from time to time to keep it interesting. Feel free to comment when the mood strikes!