2018 Tour de Victoria

I am having trouble choosing where to start. I could tell the story about my ride and what I know about everyone else’s ride, but that would be missing the forest for the trees.

The most important thing about yesterday was that everyone participated. It was an unlooked-for thing and yet makes me so proud I could burst. Ian rode 30 km, Miranda and Tammy rode 60 km and I rode 140 km.

It was a culmination of different stories. We each got there in different ways. I got here by Tammy kicking my butt six years ago to get onto my bike because I’d hurt my foot in karate and I wasn’t exercising and I was gaining weight. Now I am strong and fit. This was my fourth TdV, and I consider it a regular date on the calendar. Tammy got here by declaring when we moved to Calgary that she and the kids were going to take advantage of all of the bike paths near our new house. That led to a new bike, commuting to work, and joining the Bow Cyclists ladies rides. It was her second participation. With the changes this year to the TdV, the 45 km distance that she did last year wasn’t available, and she took a big step up to 60 km. Miranda had the quietest path: she always was a good bike rider (once we shipped her off to Pedalheads, anyways), and when Tammy got her new bike we almost sold her Specialized, except Miranda quietly asked if she could have it. A week later she registered with the club, and she has been riding twice a week since. I thought the 60 would be a challenge, until two of the club rides ended up over 60 km this year. Those didn’t bug her at all. And then there is Ian. The little one, with short legs struggling to keep up but refusing to give up, waiting until he was big enough. Tara sold us her son’s old road bike because he had outgrown it this winter. Ian was so tentative on his first ride this spring, but has taken to it with massive enthusiasm, with two rides per week plus he started riding on his own. He wanted to ride with everyone else at the TdV, but he was anxious about it. I extended our rides to the same length and amount of elevation gain to prove to him that he could do it, and with our encouragement he signed up.

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Alleged Scenery

Never before has one family driven so far and seen so little on the road from Calgary to Vancouver.

Yesterday, we made the trip to Victoria to begin our summer vacation. It was the typical early morning start, but the kids were excited to be on their way.

We had four bikes to take with us this year. Ian’s bike was strapped to the roof, and Miranda’s, Tammy’s and mine on the rear. The air quality in Calgary has been horrible due to forest fires in BC, and even through there was no cloud cover last night, there were no stars visible when we left. Just a blanket of smoke.

Even though we went through Banff and Yoho National Parks, we only saw the vaguest outlines of mountains.

The view on the highway

The traffic was less, and the construction resulted in a few slowdowns but nothing more. We made great time, getting to Tsawwassen by 4:00. Figures, that this is the year that we made a BC Ferries reservation for the 7 pm. We were checking the status on the ferries throughout the day, and there were consistent two-sailing waits.

Given that, when we got to Tsawwassen, we elected to stop and have dinner and do a bit of beer shopping before making our way to the terminal. Tammy and I had been listening to The Incomparable episode Tastes Like College, wherein a panel was tasting a selection of brews, provided by a California microbrewery brewmaster. It is an entertaining episode, with lots of interesting information about how beer is made and how it changes the way beer tastes. So Tammy was on the hunt for a sour, a saison and a milk stout.

Our ferry ride was very nice. Ian was thilled, of course. We were on the Spirit of British Columbia, and got to see the Queen of New Westminster and the Coastal Inspiration leave their births.

We made it to Dad’s a little after 9:30, and were hitting the hay by 10:30. It was a long day, but very good.

Today was the day to prepare for the Tour de Victoria. It was a bunch of little things, but made for a busy morning. Tammy and I kicked it off by walking to Tim Hortons for coffee while everyone else was asleep. After breakfast, I went over the bikes and everybody test-rode their bikes. Then we all got in the car. Danny the barber wasn’t busy so I got a haircut while everyone else went for a short walk. Then we drove downtown and drove the outbound leg of Ian’s ride so that he could see it. Then it was going to Trek Bicycles for the checkin. It was busy there, but in 40 minutes we were all ready.

The numbers are on the jerseys and bikes. Time to relax and visualize tomorrow’s ride.

COUGH, COUGH! I can’t breathe! – My 2nd post

It was fine yesterday with our rain storm that happened a few days ago, but I wasn’t expecting the smoke that we would get today. today’s smoke is terrible! for example;


and at noon, the smoke gets worse, my reaction was:

“COUGH, COUGH, I can’t breathe…”

I don’t know what it’s going to be like this evening, but, I know it’s going to look basically the same.

out our stairwell window


PS: I know I don’t need to say this but, these would be one of the days when I can’t see

I can’t see ahh!” 😣

By the way, these two photos tell you how smoky it is today, I was totally not expecting this kind of day to come.

Somewhere over there are the mountains.







and today.

this is a normal view


OMG. I don’t recall it ever getting up to 36 degrees here. We went for our ride this morning, and I’m glad we did it then, when it was only about 24 or so. We went out to get the Golf back from the repair shop, and the kids and I went to Bow Cycle so that they could get their prizes (earbuds!), but we felt like we were melting walking between the air conditioned car and the store.

Other than that, we’ve been inside, keeping cool. I hope this weather breaks. It’s too hot.


There’s a reason I can’t recall it being this hot: it has never been. We’re setting a record today, folks.


Hi, it’s Ian here and today is kind of a special day because today, it is my fist post and I am so happy 😄 ! so yah. the reason why I have decided to do my first post is because sometimes, I just want to talk to you when I’m not where you are right now and I do miss you all so much and I’ll be happy to see you all when we get to Victoria, even though, we do Skype together at some points of time, but it nice to be meeting you all in person, so yah that’s all I’m here for is to say it’s my first post and saying that I’ll be glad to see you all again at least in a week from now and goodbye!

Me on halloween 2015

Have a nice day everyone 🙂








Now… Memory

You may have noticed a few 503 – Unable to establish a database connection errors in the past few days. On top of all that has been going on with our Internet connection, it seems that one of the memory modules in our 2013 Mac mini is failing. When we bought the mini in 2013, it came with 4 GB of memory in two modules. Later that year, I upgraded the memory. I intended to bump it to 16 GB (2 x 8GB modules), but one of the modules I bought was bad, so I returned it. That left me with 10 GB (1 x 8GB and 1 x 2GB) which has been more than enough.

When the memory module returns bad information, it can cause a kernel panic, which forces the Mac to restart. When it restarts, the MySQL database doesn’t start automatically, hence the error message.

It is the 8GB module that is failing, so I need to replace it. How did I figure that out? The Apple Hardware Test tool can be reached by restarting with the D key held down. It found a memory error. Since it could have been either of the modules, I took one out, re-ran the test, then took the other out and re-ran the test.

I can’t make the computer limp along with only 2GB of memory, so it is running with the bad module in it. Hopefully it won’t crash again before I can replace it. Memory Express opens later this morning.


We’ve been to Memory Express, along with dropping off the Golf at Knibbe and coffee at Starbucks. Back home just in time: it’s getting hot out there already.

Enjoying coffee before MemEx opens

Put in the memory, and the diagnostic showed no errors. We should be good and reliable again.

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Recent Arts & Crafts

I haven’t done a post in quite a while so I’m showing you a few of the projects I’ve been working on.

Bead Related Art:

Bead Pattern

Bead Pattern (I haven’t turned it into anything yet)

Beaded Kumihimo Charm

Perler Bead Rainbow Paw

Wire Ring

Wire Ring

Bead Ring

Bead Ring


Raven/Crow Bookmark


Lotus Flower

Origami Pagoda


Map Practice

Map Practice/Planning


(Amber-woods & Sandalwood)

And the one I just finished this morning:

Canvas Collage
(Manga: One Piece)

With painted edges and a layer of Mod Podge for a professional look.

That’s all the crafts for now. Bye!

At Least It Was A Productive IT Weekend

Every once in a while, it information technology at our house takes a leap forward. Sometimes, it’s forced, like when the hard drive in our old Mac Mini started to pack it in, threatening to take our photo collection with it, or it’s just overdue, like the upgrade of our WiFi this past winter.

I’d like to think that this time, I was proactive. I identified that while our external media drive wasn’t full or showing age, it was getting older. At the same time, my backup drive at work was full and was six and a half years old. So I ordered a new Western Digital MyBook 6TB drive and replaced the one at home, and I have taken the old one from home (WD 3TB) and brought it to work to replace the old drive here. I toyed with the idea of setting up a RAID array or getting a NAS (network attached storage), but those options were more expensive for incremental returns.

I also have unified my network cabinet with the addition of a 8-port gigabit switch, taking the load off of the Shaw Hitron cable modem and the cheap 5-port switch I had in there previously.

Mean time between failure (MTBF): over 1.2 million hours… starting now

The Internet seems to be more stable, but I fully expect to see Shaw back. Collin (senior technician) came over Monday at 10 and was at our house for an hour and a half. When he left (having set up a replacement cable modem) all was fine. But then someone on the back end at Shaw made one more change… They were supposed to disable the WiFi on my modem (bridged mode), but I think they ended up disabling my ethernet ports instead. Another four hours of texting with Collin later, the Internet is back up. So that killed holiday Monday.

But on the bright side (very, very bright side), when hanging around with Ian in the basement, he sat down at the drums and I showed him how to play a standard “four on the floor beat”. It took a bit to coordinate his hands and feet, but in short order he had it. I let him play against “Night Prowler” by AC/DC, and then I played a 12-bar blues riff with him, and then we played “Summer of ’69 together, with him drumming and me playing my Strat and singing. It was awesome.

Ian Made Up His Mind: He’s Riding the Tour de Victoria

It was months ago that we discovered that kids were allowed to ride unaccompanied in the 30 km distance of the Tour de Victoria, as long as they were 11 years old. I mean, it’s a closed road, with police officers at every corner. Safer than when Ian goes for rides on his own around here…

We gave him the option to ride, but he didn’t make up his mind. He wanted to, but:

  • He was worried that he would have to ride in a peloton like in the Tour de France. Not an issue: the ride isn’t like that.
  • He wanted to spend time with Grandpa. Not an issue: they will be together in the morning and then Grandpa will be taking him to the starting line.
  • He was worried about the distance and the hill to climb. Not an issue: Ian and I have ridden 30 km each of the last two weeks, and climbed more on those rides than you do on the Tour de Victoria route.

So we finally had to corner him, because if we were taking his bike to Victoria, that would be four bikes on the car, and they wouldn’t all fit on the rack. We needed to get a roof carrier as well.

So he said yes, and we now have a Thule Up Ride car roof rack.

Thule rack installed

It wasn’t too hard, and we put Ian’s road bike on and went for a test drive. It worked well.

In other news, today was the Tour de Bowness Hill Climb. I led the Bow Cyclist ride this morning, and ended it at Mackay Road, where the race was going on. Tammy rode down with Ian, and back with Miranda, and Ian and I checked out the racing. It’s a 500 m drag race up the hill. There was a lane for riding up and down the hill (not a racing lane), so Ian and I rode down from the top to the starting line and then back up. He got some cheers from the onlookers for climbing the hill.

Ian making it to the top