farewell Montreal

Three weeks in Montreal. World Gymnastics Championships 2017 and a week relaxing.

M Hostel gave me a deal. C$500 for 30 nights. It costs more than that for 14 nights at the usual rate. Two giant hot tubs on the roof.

Many mornings I ran old Montreal.

After my first stop of the day.

Slowest and least efficient Timmies in Canada, I’d say.

Mostly I wandered the downtown.

Mount Royal park is fantastic. I hadn’t been there for decades.


Gabriel Allon – Israeli assassin

Gabriel Allon is the main protagonist in Daniel Silva‘s thriller and espionage series that focuses on Israeli intelligence. …

I’ve just finished the final two books in the series to date.

Black Widow is the 16th book. I’m sorry to have to wait for #17 later this year.

In general the books have gotten better and better. Black Widow revolves around ISIS terrorist attacks on western targets.

On the other hand the blatant Pro-Israel bias has become more annoying.

The Allon story has gone on so long that Silva plagiarizes from himself. (Is that a thing?)

He cuts and pastes phrases, sentences and possibly paragraphs from earlier books.

I’ve read all 16 books since Oct 2016.






my new Vixia HF R700 camcorder

I bought an older model camcorder (February 2016) because of the price. Around $200.

I want zoom. 57x is more than I’ll ever need.

Photos at 2.07 Megapixels (1920 x 1080).

No Wi-Fi.

It’s tiny. I can carry it on my hip. And on the trail. 

Canon – VIXIA HF R700

I’m just now debating whether to video in AVCHD 60fps or MP4 60fps?

I want slow motion for Gymnastics.
Or … does it matter if later being uploaded to YouTube anyway?
Watch a VIDEO review.

Cluj, Romania

I traveled to Cluj (pop 300,000) because I’d never been to Romania. And I’d never been to the European Gymnastics Championships. I stayed at the excellent, inexpensive Retro Hostel.

Cluj-Napoca, commonly known as Cluj, is the second most populous city in Romania …

Today, the city is one of the most important academic, cultural, industrial and business centres in Romania. Among other institutions, it hosts the country’s largest university, Babeș-Bolyai University, with its famous botanical garden …

Romanian friends told me I’d like Cluj. And I did. Very light traffic. Easy to walk.

A University city full of funky Bars and Coffee Shops.

The green spaces are excellent. Especially along the river. Every day I walked Central Park to and from the arena. Walking the banks of the Someșul Mic River also excellent.

It was snowing when I arrived. And snowing when I left a week later.

I’d hoped to go hiking in the nearby Apuseni Mountains but it was still too early in the season.

The main graveyard was close to my hostel. Remind me to be cremated.

European architecture still impresses me. And statuary.

The prettiest Church I saw.

I was sick with some sort of lung congestion all week so did not do much aside from Gymnastics and walking the City.

With very little appetite my only local food was this massive fresh baked street bread. Walnut and sugar.