Powell River to Sechelt

Road trip. :-)

Yvonne picked up a rent-a-car. We left Parksville 8am for our long planned circuit via the Sunshine Coast.


ferry #1 – Comox to Powell River

Powell River is a virtual island on the mainland, accessible only by water.

… Powell River was at one time the largest pulp and paper mill in the world. In its prime, one in every 25 newspapers in the world was printed on paper from the Powell River mill. However, since then it has significantly cut back on production …

We turned north to Lund, the end of Highway 101, mile zero.


Lunch at Nancy’s Bakery.




Ferry #2 – Saltery Bay to Earl’s Cove was the highlight of the day for Mom. Gorgeous weather. It reminded her of the fjords of Norway.



The highlight of my day was learning of the Sunshine Coast Trail.


… a 180-kilometre trail that stretches from Sarah Point in Desolation Sound to Saltery Bay. …

… this epic trail now boasts seven huts with two more planned this year, making it the only free hut-to-hut hiking experience in Canada. …


No fees. No registration. Easy access from multiple trailheads means you can resupply en route. Next year. :-)


We’d decided in advance not to plan our road trip, but make it up as we went along. One B&B had a weird vibe. We ended up instead drinking wine at sunset outside the Driftwood Motel in Sechelt.

… known for its natural beauty, being a popular destination for those interested in kayaking, diving, snowshoeing and skiing, hiking and backpacking, camping, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities. …


We enjoyed a terrific dinner at the Driftwood.


more photos

Pro American sport DEAD to me

I don’t watch much Pro American sport in any case. But news in recent weeks motivates quitting NFL, NBA and MLB completely. There’s too much monopoly, money and “tradition” for Pro sport to evolve for the better. Pro sport is DEAD to ME. :(

Devaluing of women by big-time sports must stop

boycott-nfl-model-with-black-eye-ray-rice-controversy-the-jasmine-brandNFL BOYCOTT

Sadly, revoking the NFL Tax Exemption wouldn’t bring in much revenue. The NFL has  plenty of lobbyists buying off Congress.

I’m going to end up supporting only athletes who are underpaid, none who are overpaid. :-(

Even as the league is under fire for its handling of domestic abuse, one of its biggest problems remains on the field. New NFL estimates project that up to a third of all retired players could develop some form of long-term cognitive problem — such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia — due to head injuries suffered in games.

Frontline -The NFL’s Concussion Problem Still Has Not Gone Away

NHL is Pro Canadian sport, of course. :)



Rebus – Saints of the Shadow Bible

Saints of the Shadow Bible (2014) is 19th in the Inspector Rebus series. More evocative Scottish intrigue.


Rebus is back on the force, albeit with a demotion and a chip on his shoulder. He is investigating a car accident when news arrives that a case from 30 years ago is being reopened. Rebus’s team from those days is suspected of helping a murderer escape justice to further their own ends.

Malcolm Fox, in what will be his last case as an internal affairs cop, is tasked with finding out the truth. …



Good. But not as good. More complicated than the plot deserved.

book review – Daemon

I’ve decided to read this book again, something I do not often do.

It’s stayed with me, frequently coming to mind. We need this kind of technology in the future in conjunction with hardware like Google Glass.

___ original post Aug 2010:

A daemon (pronounced /ˈdeɪmən/ or /ˈdiːmən/) is a computer program that runs in the background, rather than under the direct control of a user.

Daemon (2006), the book, by Daniel Suarez, has a cult following amongst geeks. It was recommended by Leo.

Matthew Sobol was a legendary computer game designer–the architect behind half a dozen popular online games. His premature death from brain cancer depressed both gamers and his company’s stock price. But Sobol’s fans weren’t the only ones to note his passing. He left behind something that was scanning Internet obituaries, too–something that put in motion a whole series of programs upon his death. Programs that moved money. Programs that recruited people. Programs that killed.

Confronted with a killer from beyond the grave, Detective Peter Sebeck comes face-to-face with the full implications of our increasingly complex and interconnected world–one where the dead can read headlines, steal identities, and carry out far-reaching plans without fear of retribution. Sebeck must find a way to stop Sobol’s web of programs–his Daemon–before it achieves its ultimate purpose. And to do so, he must uncover what that purpose is . . .


Loved it.

I guess I’m a geek. It’s dense, complicated and has a plot line that kept me guessing from cover to cover.

Gymnastics TRIP to southern Africa

updated September 15, 2014

If interested in taking part on this tour June 2015, you’ll need to decide soon. I ask for a verbal commitment by October 12th. I’ll email each person who’s expressed interest personally by that date.

So far I have only 2 people committed:

Rick McCharles – organizer
Wesley Chirima – coach at Calgary Gymnastics Centre

estimated BUDGET (each person pays their own costs)

I’m certain that CDN $4000 would be more than enough for 2-3 weeks. As we’ll be hosted by Gym Clubs en route, we’ll have opportunities to save money by billeting with families, if we wish.

$1600 flight Ottawa JoBurg return
$150 flight JoBurg to Capetown
$200 flight Capetown to Windhoek
$200 flight to Windhoek to JoBurg

$200 for 3 nights hotel Capetown

$500 for 3 day tour of Kruger Nat Park (we’ll get a good deal)

Opt-in Etosha or Skeleton Coast trips would cost less than $500 each. We’ll take a big African camping truck.


Questions? Suggestions?

Gymnastics is a great excuse to travel. I’m hoping to organize a gymnastics holiday in Namibia and South Africa for gymnasts, parents and coaches.

• training in Johannesburg, South Africa
• training in Swakopmund, Namibia

• big game safari to  Kruger

lions Kruger

• optional or Etosha or Skeleton Coast side trip to see the desert elephants


•  side trip to Capetown

Two weeks minimum, your trip could easily be extended.

Accommodation with gymnastics families or hotel.

One good window for the trip is the month of June 2015:


wk 1 – fly to Johannesburg
… transport directly to Kruger National Park for 3 day safari (while jetlagged)
… 4 days training / sightseeing at Visions Gymnastics, Johannesburg

wk 2 – fly from Lansaria Airport, close to the gym, to Cape Town
… 3 nights sightseeing
… fly to Windhoek, Namibia
… transport to Swakopmund on the coast
… 4 days training / sightseeing at Swakopmund Gymnastics


wk 3 options include:

• desert elephant safari
• safari to Etosha National Park

One of the gymnastics families in Swakopmund runs Ondjamba Safaris. I’ll be doing one or both of those tours.

Stay on longer, if you like. Or travel earlier and meet us in Johannesburg. I’ll be doing that myself, most likely hiking Fish River Canyon in Namibia. Possibly Blyde Canyon near JoBurg.

___ Notes:

There’s a low risk of malaria in Namibia and southern South Africa, but check with your local travel clinic for “official” advice.

June is winter in southern Africa. Johannesburg will be temperate. Cape Town most probably windy and blustery.


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