my travel medical insurance

I travel a lot.

Currently I’m buying coverage from my bankTD Canada Trust.

I can take multiple trips / year up to 30 days at a time. Cost is about CAD $200. It jumps over $400 for maximum 60 day trips.

For my policy you must be under age-65 and have no serious pre-conditions.

Cancellation / trip interruption is NO LONGER covered. Everything else looks good.


New Balance 1260 running shoes

UPDATE — Durability is not all that great. I wore through my first pair already.

Still … since I love the shoe I ordered two more pairs from New Balance Canada.

9 1/2 4E and 9 4E. CAD — $224 each in the wide size.

I’ll see which length fits better.

___ original post from October 2017:

Having once again misplaced my indoor Gymnastics coaching shoes, I bought another pair at New Balance Montreal.

Ex$pen$ive at over C$200 including tax.

But I love New Balance 4E. It’s the widest I’ve found from any brand.

These days I want as much cushioning as I can get. This shoe is good for road and trail running. So far I’m happy with the purchase.


Samsonite MVS Spinner Backpack

In 2014 I bought a laptop backpack. I’d been looking for one that both wheels AND has backpack shoulder straps.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

$103.99 on Amazon. I got it on sale for CAD $103 at an Airport shop.

Within a year the wheels were already getting bad. I finally junked it March 2018.

On the road I had to replace it. Best I could find in Miami was exactly the SAME Spinner Backpack. This time it cost me US $126 + tax.

Though it’s not very durable, there are many features I really do like about the Spinner. It’s lightweight. The elevated laptop cannot hit the ground. And four wheels truly are better than two.


my miggo splat flexible camera tripod

Over the years I’ve tried a number of GorillaPods.

Cheap ones break quickly. Higher quality versions are a bit heavy and bulky.

A salesman at the Camera Store in Calgary recommended this alternative. I love it. Cheaper than a GorillaPod and far more durable. It’s light and compact for travel.

I’m using it with my Elf camera and Vixia camcorder. It wraps around either in their travel cases on my hip.

Click PLAY or watch how it can be used on YouTube. That’s the very similar Octopod.

Mount Royal University library, Calgary

I’m a library aficionado visiting many around the world every year. My own city — Calgary — has offered some of the crappiest.

The University of Calgary modernized long after I’d finished my degree. I’ve only been there a few times. And the new Calgary Downtown Library will not open until  November 2018.

Happily the library most walkable for me has just gone ultra-modern. I love it.

The Riddell Library and Learning Centre (RLLC)  opened Sept 7th, 2017.

From treadmill desks to cubbies for catnaps, everything a student needs to feel learning-ready will be available …

Soundproofed project rooms allow users to record, edit and manipulate sound and video to create podcasts, music and media-rich presentations.

Visitors can take a break from research or end the day in the café or fireplace lounge. Group-use rooms will increase from three to 34. The number of student stations (or seats) will nearly triple from 650 to 1,800.

Currently, the library’s holdings include twice as many eBooks as print, and its collection of eJournals outnumbers print journals by about 80 to one. Balancing the collections is a matter of establishing a long-term strategy, says Shepstone. …


External community members may book Group Rooms in-person at the Service Desk.

I grabbed this one with a view of the Taylor Centre for Performing Arts.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Cool as it is, I actually prefer to work in an empty classroom. With blackboard for brainstorming. Most Universities lock them up when not in use, but MRU leaves them open.

Surprisingly every classroom still has an overhead projector. And they seem to be well used.

related – Rocky Ridge Library at Shane Homes YMCA opened January 15.

my Prana Vargas pants

Just purchased my second pair of Vargas pants for CAD $55 at MEC.

All my travel clothing needs be light, durable and multi-function.

No Velcro. Excellent side zipper pocket.

  • Lightweight, quick drying fabric is perfect for any activity
  • Elastic waist with drawcord for a comfortable and secure fit
  • Zippered pocket for secure storage
  • 87% Recycled Polyester / 13% Spandex
    • Moisture wicking
    • UPF 50 +
    • Quick Dry

    Prana Vargas