Melaka Morning Memory

Today I am trying something just a bit different as I experiment more during the building of my wee Internet Empire. I am using this blog to show you a couple of videos and using the audio from them on my podcast. Both will be referenced in my newsletter. We’ll see how it goes.

Three years ago I traveled to our place in Melaka, Malaysia, this time for a three month stay. This morning, up popped one of my memories of awakening on my first day there. I had taken a couple of videos during my early morning coffee, and they were quite poignant considering how the world has been the last couple of years.

Of course, not being able to travel to Malaysia and spend time with our daughters, grandchildren and friends, due to Covid, provides the type of unhappiness that millions of people around the globe are feeling.

As well, another aspect of being at our place in Melaka is that I miss the mornings, having my coffee, watching the sun rise, and listening to the sounds.

That is the memory which I am highlighting today.

This first video is taken about 5:50am, it is still dark and you can hear the frogs, crickets and the praying at the local mosque. As a country boy at heart, I really enjoy these sounds.

Melaka Apartment Pre-Dawn

The second video is taken just after 7:30am, the sun is just above the horizon and you can hear the birds as their activities increase.

Melaka Apartment – Sun Rise

Thank you for allowing me to share these memories with you today. It is my hope that soon we will all be able to once again actually experience these types of moments instead of simply reviewing memories of them.

Want to follow me on my journey as I develop my wee Internet Empire? You can do so by subscribing to my newsletter, Old Guy, New Tricks, and be notified of new posts and updated on what’s happening. You will find the link to today’s podcast there.

Your comments are always welcome. Please have a safe and healthy day.

To The Unvaccinated

A friend of mine posted this on his social media today. After reading it, I asked him if I could use it for a blog post, and he gave me his permission. Thank you to Matthew Rogers.


I’m fully vaccinated and done with my booster shot.

No, I don’t know “what’s in it”. Neither this vaccine nor the ones I had as a child. Nor do I know what’s in the 11 secret herbs and spices at KFC. I also don’t know exactly what’s in Ibuprofen or any other painkiller– they just treat my headaches & my pains. I don’t know what’s in tattoo ink, botox and fillers, or every ingredient in my soap, shampoo or deodorants. I don’t know the long term effect of mobile phone use, or whether or not that restaurant I just ate at REALLY used clean foods and washed their hands.

There’s a lot of things I don’t know.

I do know one thing: life is short. Very short. And I, personally, still want to do things. I want to travel and hug people without fear, and find a little feeling of life “before”. Throughout my life I’ve been vaccinated against many diseases: measles, mumps, rubella, polio, chickenpox, hepatitis, influenza, tetanus, rabies. We trusted the science, and never had to suffer through or transmit any of those said diseases.

I’m vaccinated.

Not because I’m a sheep or to please the government. Not to make other people do it.

But I don’t want to:

  • die from Covid-19
  • clutter a hospital bed if I get sick
  • not be able to hug my loved ones
  • not be able to travel & enjoy events
  • live my life in fear

Can’t say it any clearer. I’m vaccinated for me and I wear a mask for you!!!

Do the same and knock some sense into people.


As is regularly the case, your comments are always welcome.

Melaka Home – High Waters

As I spoke about in my podcast earlier this evening (link here), our second home is in Melaka, Malaysia. I am retired and my wife is close to retirement, but still, since 2015 we have been spending part of each winter there, except for the last two years (thanks to Covid). With children and grandchildren in Malaysia, it is a natural place for us to go, not to mention all our friends, and oh yes, the food. This photo is a selfie of me standing on our balcony in 2020. Behind you can see the small farm I talked about and in the distance are the buildings of downtown Melaka.

Recently, Melaka, along with much of Malaysia, has been receiving a great deal of rain, very much more than they have seen for many years, particularly when one considers that January is typically one of the driest months of the year, whereas November can be one of the wettest.

What I have done here is to provide you with a number of photos taken around Melaka and posted on the Melaka Facebook Page, so that you can see the impact that the flooding has had.

While many in Canada or the US would typically experience vicious storm conditions associated with flooding, that is not always the case here. The flooding comes from a large amount of rain, causing the rivers to overflow their banks. As well, Melaka is a coastal community, hence ocean tides can have an impact also. The lunar new year is approaching, and generally this is the time of the year’s highest tides.

Regardless of whether the water comes from a storm surge or constantly rising levels, it manages to do a considerable amount of damage and create many issues. The photos in the gallery below will certainly give you an idea of that.

I know a number of the areas shown very well, and am hopeful that our family and friends will not be greatly affected.

With Covid still playing it’s games, we have no idea when we will be able to return to our second home, however we have been assured by our daughter that all is well there up to this point.

Thanks for reading this blog post. I do appreciate any thoughts or comments you may have, so please do share them. I also invite you to visit my web page and check out some to the other sites that I share.

My Internet Empire – Yeah Right!

I have been active online in some fashion for many years, beginning in the mid ’80s with an IBM PC (Intel 8088 @ 4.77mhz, 16KB memory, 5MB hard drive) and a 1200 baud modem. Pretty impressive at the time but Stone Age when compared to today.

Now, being a Old Fart, it seems I have experienced numerous different events, and taken a large number of photos as well as quite a few videos.

The result is many stories, in my head, and photos/videos, on my computer, that I could share with anyone who may be interested. If they remain in my head, or on the computer, they are not doing much for anyone.

So… it occurred to me to create an Internet Empire, a vehicle to share with all who may see, read or listen as I post on a number of different platforms. Now, to be clear, I have no expectations of having a large following, however I would be quite pleased if I have folks who enjoy what I produce and share.

Now I have a blog, a podcast, accounts with Flickr, YouTube, and Vimeo, in addition to my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Just recently I have added Tik Tok and SnapChat, just for fun. They are all tied together by my website and LinkTree.

Some of these things have been in place for many years, Facebook and Twitter since 2007, blog since 2009, while others have been more recent. As many of you may have found with your own internet activity, some things tend to be a bit sporadic, often with various gaps in activity, some quite large.

As I am trying to build my Internet Empire, reducing these gaps is something that I feel I need to accomplish. Which leads me to my latest podcast.

Last evening, for the first time in well over a month, I put together a podcast, the title of which was “Nothing”. I talk about doing nothing, not by deliberate choice, but rather by lack of action. To listen, just click the graphic to the right.

With all of this in mind, my plan of action is to involve, if possible, you, my audience, in the process by sharing my empire building progress. My thought is, that by doing this, I will also press myself to help avoid these doing nothing times.

To this end, I welcome any feedback you would care to pass along. The only way that I can know if you like something, or you don’t, is if you tell me. I may be an Old Fart, but I have still been able to learn new tricks.

Thank you. May you all have a safe, healthy and happy Christmas, followed by a hopefully much better 2022.

Farewell My Friend

Just over two weeks ago I did a blog post and a podcast about attending a special Remembrance Day Ceremony for Mike, a friend and fellow veteran, suffering from Stage 4 prostate cancer. It was a very special event.

Today I got the sad news that he passed away this morning.

Mike was a loving husband and father, a caring friend, a distinguished soldier, a proud veteran and a patriotic Canadian.

He will be greatly missed by all. Condolences and love to his family.

Bravo Zulu Mike, for a life well lived.

Crash of BOXTOP 22

It has been suggested by friends that I write and podcast about my military career, and I have decided to do just that from time to time moving forward.

First however, I am writing about something that happened shortly after I retired, but not to me.

As part of my time in the Canadian Armed Forces, I had four tours of duty at Canadian Forces Station Alert, in Canada’s Far North. We would travel there by CC130 Hercules aircraft, flying from Trenton, Ontario, quite often via Thule, Greenland.

Later in the year that I retired, such a flight, callsign “BOXTOP 22”, crashed on approach to Alert. There were eighteen passengers and crew on board, and almost miraculously, thirteen survived.

Earlier today on Facebook I posted an article from the Canadian Military Family Magazine remembering the crash, as well as a photo of the aircraft wreckage on the ground in Alert now. Here is the link to that article.

Shortly after I had posted the article, a fellow trade member, and a crash survivor, posted a short video about the event. He kindly sent it to me and I shared it on Facebook and also share it here.

Although I had retired from the military by then, when I watched the video this morning I found myself to be quite emotional. Knowing people who were on that aircraft, and actually having flown on that particular plane, CC130 – 130322, a couple of occasions previously, it struck very close to home.

Below is the video and then the photo of the plane as it is currently.

Roll Call (courtesy of Monty Montgomery)
Here is the aircraft as it is today. (Courtesy of veterans.gc.ca)

My thanks to Monty for sharing the video.

Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.

Pain – A Personal Perspective

Today, I thought that I would write about pain. Not in a technical, medical or scientific fashion. Rather in personal thoughts, opinions, experiences and observations.

To me, pain manifests itself physically, mentally and emotionally, at times all three simultaneously. A prime example of this would be Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Being a member of a military veterans group, I have a number of friends who suffer from varying amounts of PTSD, which they are usually able to deal with it in a number of different ways. They may use some combination of a cautious and guarded lifestyle, or utilize medicines and cannabis products, or have supporting service animals. One thing all have is a cadre of brothers and sisters who make themselves available when needed.

Personally I am fortunate suffering only slightly from PTSD as a consequence of a couple events in my past.

So what prompted me to decide to write about pain today.

Well, partially because I suffer from pain myself, and some of my observations of others in pain, much of which is complicated by our current Covid-19 pandemic.

My personal aspect is that I have severely arthritic hip and am on the list for a total hip replacement. Due to the Covid Delta variant filling hospital ICUs basically all scheduled elective surgeries in Alberta have been cancelled or seriously delayed. My brother recently asked about my hip and I told him I was lucky that my surgery had not been postponed or cancelled, however that was most likely because it wasn’t scheduled yet.

So, because of my hip, I have pretty much daily pain. How much varies with my activities, the weather, and quite possibly, the whim of the pain gods. I am like any number of folks with a similar ailment, and do the same as most must do, which is just put up with it as best I can. I know there are many people awaiting various surgeries whose circumstances are much more difficult than mine.

At times, the physical pain is not the primary issue. The mental/emotional pain is. The frustration of not being able to do any number of routine tasks is.

I was unable to ride my motorcycle as the pain would not allow to mount the machine. So, eventually the remedy was to replace my cruiser with a trike, which I was then able to ride. However, as my hip changes, even riding the trike is difficult. Now it is put away for the winter so who knows what spring’s arrival will hold.

Fortunately I am still able to walk, with a cane, but stairs definitely slow me down. I am still able to drive my car, but getting in and out is definitely not a speedy operation. The bathroom is now fitted with mobility assist devices. Getting dressed meant developing new techniques, particularly putting on socks. There is a specific procedure for sitting down and standing up, and not all chairs are suitable.

I don’t say these things to complain. They are part of the process. They are, however, indications of the frustrations I have experienced. Now add to this, the aspect of the Covid pandemic, which has curtailed physical contact with friends and colleagues, and almost eliminated many of the volunteer activities I was used to doing with both my local Kiwanis club and my veterans group. Even with my hip pain I was able to do some of these things as well as travel with my wife to visit our children and grandchildren in Malaysia. Now all on hold.

I would be lying if these situations didn’t lead to some degree of mental/emotional pain. I like to be involved in things and have found that when I do nothing, then I do nothing, almost like withdrawing. Unfortunately my wife, God love her, is the one who has to deal with me. Honestly, I would be in much worse shape if not for her.

With her kicking my ass, in a manner of speaking, I am making an effort to be more active, hence an increased blog post activity, beginning a podcast and a few other things. As well, I have a friend in Nova Scotia, his name is Rob, who has been stirring up some of my creative juices as well, so we’ll see how things go. There will be more about both these two in future blogs and podcasts.

Most people know that pain is a challenge. A challenge which, with support, although we may not be able to overcome it, we can adjust to deal with it to a large degree.

Thank you for reading. As always, your comments are welcome.

Autumn Is Showing It’s Hand

Looking out of my home office window this morning, I saw a sight that is totally representative of this time of year in Alberta.

The mid-morning sun removing the evidence of our first frost from the roof across the street, which in itself is the precursor of colder weather to come. Behind we can see two trees, one decked out in it’s autumn colours, and the other not yet ready to do so.

At my location, on the south side of Edmonton, this morning we awoke to a temperature of -2C, hence the frost on the roofs in the neighbourhood. You will note the clear blue sky, which, while nice, can in our climes can lead to lower temperatures during the cooler months of the year as clouds tend to hold any warm air down, particularly over cities.

Trees, like people, come in many different versions, where Alberta’s changing weather is concerned. Some people will grab a sweater at the slightest indication of cooler autumn weather, whereas some trees will seemingly instantly have their leaves change colour. Other people just carry on for much longer, perhaps even staying in shorts and t-shirt, not unlike the trees which retain their normal foliage for a while longer. Eventually, they as well will don their sweater, or change their leaves. And, like people’s sweaters, when the time comes, some trees will display a simple shade of leaves, whereas others will offer up a vivid potpourri of crimson, gold and brown.

Autumn is showing it’s hand, giving us a warning, and reminding us, that it’s time to consider any preparations we need to make prior to the inevitable arrival of autumn’s nastier relative, winter.

As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome. Thank you.

Put Down Your #&%#$ Phone!

The Blinky Thing

Whilst on the World Wide Web today I came across this image. I shared it as a bit of humour on a Canada veterans group to which I belong, applying the remark “This could really work if more drivers got their face out of their phones.”

I had typed that remark because many of my fellow veterans are, like myself, motorcycle riders, and vehicle driver phone use is a sore point with us. Not only us actually, but all bikers. As I posted the photo my mind said, “Hmm, there could be a blog post about this”, and sure enough, here we are.

Like many bikers, I started riding long before cellphones were a thing. In the ’40s and ’50s, what was perhaps the cell phone’s predecessor, existed for many of us in the form of Dick Tracy’s wrist radio.

As a person who rides a motorcycle, there are few things that upset me more than those who use their cellphones in anything other than hands-free mode. They are doing something that seriously takes their attention away from their driving and becomes a major danger to other vehicles on the road, particularly motorcycles as many drivers don’t notice us all that well at the best of times.

Unfortunately, I, like many in the motorcycle community, know fellow riders who have been killed or seriously injured as a result of improper cellphone use. These events cut very close to home, and I have narrowly avoided a very bad situation a couple of times myself.

If a text, or any other cellphone related activity, is so important to risk a person’s life, then bloody well pull off to the side of the road, stop, and stay there until you are done. Otherwise, as the title of this blog says, “Put Down Your #&%#$ Phone!”

Please don’t use your phone. The possible tragedy which can result is something that you will have to live with the rest of your life. Unfortunately we may not.

As always, comments and feedback are always welcome.

Thoughts About Family

Aging is an interesting process, and of course there is only one thing that can stop it, seeing as how nobody has discovered the Fountain of Youth, or if they have, they are certainly not sharing that information.

As I am continuing to age, I have become increasingly interested in knowing more about my family history. To this end I have been doing research using a number of genealogy and family history archive sites and have constructed a family tree using Ancestry, having been a member since 2014.

For me, delving into family history runs in spurts, at times on the front burner with the heat on high, and other times on the back burner with the heat turned off. One thing though, it’s always on a burner somewhere, not put away in storage and forgotten.

Yet, with all this interest in family history, I have had very little contact with my cousins or their families, either in real life or social media (which is only a shadow of real life). Not for any specific reason, just that life happens and we were all on different roads.

Recently however, my sister forwarded an email to my brother and I from our oldest cousin, that he had just become a grandfather. As I am a grandfather of seven, this struck a note with me, and I sent him an email of congratulations, along with a little blurb of happenings with me. In return he sent along a recent family update that he produces each year, and a blurb of happenings with him.

A few days later I received an email from another of my cousins. It seems that my email had been forwarded to all the cousins. Lo and behold, this particular cousin also had an interest in family history and soon we were exchanging information and we look forward to further collaboration.

Not long after that I heard from yet another cousin and we corresponded as well.

As I continue to age, I have been the family patriarch for a number of years, and am known by some family members as the Old Guy In Edmonton, or by some folks simply as the Old Fart (which is okay).

That being said however, I am excited and very happy to be connecting with my cousins and their families, yes, their families as well. I am reasonably active on social media and, since sending congratulations to my cousin, I am now connected with not only him, but a couple of his siblings, and several of their children. It is so interesting learning things about all of them, and sharing things from Kim and I as well as our children and grandchildren.

Maybe that is all part of what aging is about. Life, learning and family. Certainly much better than some of the other things we have to deal with in our daily lives.

Thoughts about family are important, because family is important.

In this world we are all different, and it would be most interesting to hear your thoughts about family.

Comments and thoughts are always welcome.