Sunday, April 29, 2007

Self Portrait in the Park

For day trips, it can often be inconvenient to lug around a digital SLR. So quite a while back I bought a Canon Powershot G2 (for Karen) on the used market for a very good price. It takes great pictures, has a wide array of manual controls and takes the same flash and battery attachments as my SLR. As such, it makes and ideal point and shoot companion as I can interchange parts with the EOS system.

One feature I really like about it is the ability to take self portraits using a remote. Shown here - Erich and I having fun in the park while Karen attends Renee's baby shower. :-) Erich sure makes me smile!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Beautiful Sunsets

We had a beautiful sunset the other day. Seeing as Vancouver hasn't seen much sunshine of late, I made sure I captured it. It was also a great time to practice my flash/natural light mixing skills. :-)

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Flower Power

It was a nice spring day, so we decided to take some photos by the flowers. By the way, the best time to take photos of spring flowers is just after a rain shower. The clouds diffuse the light nicely and the water left on the flowers give it a nice crisp feel.

Erich evidently enjoyed the flowers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Go Canucks Go!

I am by no means an avid hockey fan. But now that the Vancouver Canucks are in the playoffs with a decent chance of winning, I have, well, sort of jumped on the bandwagon and watched a game or two. The other night, I was watching Game 4 of the first round in the Western conference between the Vancouver Canucks and the Dallas Stars. As Linden scored the winning goal, I cheered with a loud "Yay!" and raised both my arms in the air. Erich, who was playing with his Lego at the time stopped, and looked at me inquisitively. I explained that we had just won the hockey game. He smiled and proceeded to lift both his arms in the air. Now whenever we say "Yay!" he lifts both his arms in the air. :-)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Fun at Brentwood Mall!

Isn't this just the cutest picture? We brought Erich to one of his favorite indoor playgrounds today at Brentwood Mall in Burnaby. After returning the rented truck (to move all of the baby stuff), we took our Mazda5 in for its one-year servicing. It was close to Brentwood, so the Karen, Erich and I got a chance to hang out at the mall playground. Erich loves this playground - there are so many interesting shapes to play with! Mommy and Daddy love it too because it is very soft, so no bumps on the head to contend with.

On a slightly different note, I was less than impressed with the car servicing. Because we knew that we were going to need to be in Burnaby today, instead of going to our normal dealership (Morrey Mazda of Vancouver), we had arranged to have our vehicle serviced at a sister dealership (Morrey Nissan of Burnaby). We were told they would be just as capable of servicing our vehicle for the minor tuneup we required.

As part of the so-called VIP package that we purchased along with the vehicle, we get "free" lifetime oil changes and car washes so long as we own the vehicle. Therefore, we requested that the car be washed with the servicing. We were horribly disappointed with the lack luster (pun intended) job that was done. As you can see in the picture (taken shortly after the service when the vehicle had enough time to dry off), there are huge spots of dirt still present on the vehicle. Furthermore, brush marks can be seen in the dirt where they had superficially attempted to clean.

Such inattention to detail makes one question whether they put the same amount of effort into actually servicing the engine of your car. I can understand if they don't have time to do it, but then why bother even trying to do it? I'd much rather they told me that I'd have to bring it back in order to get it done well rather than a very poor job done indeed.

Back when I owned my Acura, customers were never treated this poorly. Whenever I brought the car in for servicing, the car was serviced, washed, AND vacuumed, as part of their standard service - and I wasn't even the original owner! No "VIP" package necessary - and they always did it with the utmost quality.

Needless to say, Morrey Nissan's servicing department falls short, and will likely be receiving a letter to that effect from yours truly.

Baby Crazy!

Be careful what you pray for, because sometimes, it just might come the old saying goes.

Karen and I (mostly Karen :) has gone a bit baby crazy over the last week. An opportunity came up to purchase the entire inventory of a baby store kiosk! I spent most of the morning moving the stuff from its previous owner to our house. (Thanks John for helping unload!)

Karen is really excited about the potential business opportunities this may bring about, but right now, we're just a little overwhelmed by all of this stuff in our bedroom! (And what you see here in this picture is only about 3/4 of it!) We're going to be spending the next little while taking inventory of it all, then we will start trying to booking places to sell.

So, if you're expecting or if you are looking for gifts for someone who has children ages 0 to 4, come on down and shop! Have we got a deal for you! :-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Where's Daddy? Where's Mommy? Where's Erich?

Karen and I have been having lots of fun with Erich these past two days. We have discovered recently that he has developed quite a sizable command of the English, German and Cantonese languages. For instance, I took him to the park the other day and asked him where he wanted to go next in English. He pointed at one of the slides and said guo do (Cantonese for "over there").

Yesterday, I asked him "Where's daddy?"

He pointed his finger straight at me and said "Daddy". I then asked him, "Where's mommy?". He pointed his finger at mommy and said "Momma". Impressed by this, I asked him "Where's Erich?". He tapped his finger to himself and said Ewick.

Finally, I thought I'd ask him a trick question: Where's Opa? (Opa is 'grandpa' in German). Grandpa wasn't there at the time. He thought for a moment, pointed at the door and said "Obah".

How cute. :)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Congratulations Patrick, Mr. & Mrs. Ching and others ...

We had the opportunity to attend an Easter baptism service at CCCC this past Sunday. Because CCCC is currently under a building expansion, the church has been meeting at a lecture hall in Simon Fraser University lately. Well, SFU doesn't have any baptism tanks (except perhaps the pond...). So, the church met at Coquitlam Chinese Evangelical Free Church this past Sunday at 2:30pm. CCEFC does have a baptismal tank... sort of.

In a twist of irony, it turns out that a recent leak in CCEFC tank prevented it from being used. It was too late to postpone the service however, so the five baptismal candidates had to be baptized ceremonially instead by sprinkling. (This is not a general practice at CCCC for any able bodied person, but permitted under rare circumstances.) I later jokingly suggested to the pastor's wife that they really ought to come use the Bridge's baptismal tank next time. It never leaks, never needs refilling and doesn't require cleaning. (This is the advantage of going to a church next to a beach!)

Plumbing leaks aside, it was nevertheless great to hear the testimonies of the candidates. It was particularly touching to see Patrick (who attends the English congregation and is the lead singer in the band "One Arm Bear") give his testimony and get baptized. It was also deeply moving to see how God had touched the lives of a couple (Mr. and Mrs. Ching). Karen and I had the privilege of teaching their daughter Jolli while we were at CCCC, so their public confession of faith in Christ had that much more of an impact on us.

Congratulations all. May God continue to bless you as you take this step of obedience in faith.