hiking Choquequirao to Machu Picchu

I just posted a new website describing the trekking route to Machu Picchu via the little visited ruined Inca city of Choquequirao. We were the only people in Choquequirao when we visited June 2005.

Click on the link below to see the new site. Then PHOTOS.

Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu – Hiking Peru

mule and guide photo

Pack mule and our female guide.


Do you use Wikipedia?

logoWikipedia, a free online encyclopedia started only in 2001, is my favourite reference site. It is amazingly accurate and up-to-date, especially on technology topics.


Anyone can edit the articles — I have made dozens of improvements and additions myself.

One study by Nature found Wikipedia nearly as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica.

USATODAY.com – ‘Nature’: Wikipedia is accurate

Cougar Ridge photos 2005

I have been living with friends in Cougar Ridge in the hills west of Calgary.


For more photos like this, click the link below. Check the slideshow. (I am still searching for the ideal format for presenting photos.)

Cougar Ridge photos

The rest of my photos, by the way, are linked from the navigation menu on the right.

Want to become a podcaster?

Rockin’ Ronnie dreams of becoming a podcaster. Perhaps even a video podcaster. Always ahead of the trends, Ron posted a video clip last spring — called BSTV (Barbecue Secrets TV)

photo of AmandaAs another example, Ron bragged on AMANDA CONGDON, the anchor of a mock TV news report shot on a camcorder, edited on a laptop and posted on a blog called ROCKETBOOM, which now reaches more than 100,000 fans a day. Yowser!

I subscribed to her video podcast (vlog — video weblog) from the iTunes store immediately. Quite good, I thought.

One day everyone will have a blog. Everyone will be able to publish photos, music, video as easily as we can download them now.

Personalized content will be king.

TV Stardom on $20 a Day – New York Times

Free membership required to view NY Times articles.

Is Canada the least racist country?


People ask me about Canada when I travel. I always tell them that Canada is the least racist country I know.

More than half the citizens of Toronto and Vancouver are foreign born.

These days the economy is thriving so we need not look for someone to blame.

Canada is the only big industrialised country to notch up consistent surpluses both in its federal budgets and in its trade and current accounts. For five years it has had the G8’s fastest growth.

Canada now has the world’s second-biggest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia.

More in a recent Economist magazine article:

Peace, order and rocky government | Economist.com

the extended warranty debate

Should you pay for an extended warranty? – CNET reviews

The short answer? Almost never.

But yes if there is a good chance you might actually claim on the so-called extended warranty. For a high use must-have like a laptop computer, for example. Apple offers a fantastic extended warranty service. It ain’t cheap, but it is good.

On a Canon camcorder, however, beware.

Firstly, the Canon 1-year warranty is terrible. In Canada, at least, the service departments cannot keep up with the high volume of broken Canon products. They kept a camcorder of mine for 3-months, for example, without expressly extending the warranty.

A friend bought the extended warranty at London Drugs. When he made a claim, London Drugs told him he had to ship his Canon camcorder at his expense to a shop in Victoria, B.C. — the nearest authorized repair shop — over 1000 miles away.

Lessons learned:

  • do not buy extended warranties
  • if you must, get the manufacturers extended warranty, not a third party.
  • do not buy a Canon Elura camcorder