Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday 16th August 2017...how does your garden grow and a survey!!!!

Well my garden or to be more exact plant is growing!!!!!!!


From about 1971 till 1985 I had long black hair and a black beard....then one fateful evening I had a bet on my hockey team the Edmonton Oilers and they happened to lose the game and I had to shave my beard off!!!!

Right away I did not like my face and so I immediately started to grow it back again except in came in grey!!!!!!!!  So I became clean shaven...

That is until 10 days ago!!!!!!!




So join the survey..what do you think stay or go!!!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday 14th August 2017...I need to eat humble pie!!!

It was time I took a long hike and today was a perfect day for it..sunny and warm and clear skies.....

First I walked up past the big grocery store La Commer and along to my old hunting grounds, Los Fralies and then down to the railway tracks...

I walked on the side of the tracks past some lovely homes and a wonderful stable with this what I think is a very young horse...


 This shot is from the top of the cliff looking down where I had climbed up...
 All was going well until I went through a stretch where I had to shove aside some bushes and I did not see what was under foot and I tripped over what I know now was a very strong branch and before you could say Jack Robinson(that is an English  thing) I was flat on my belly face into the dirt...it all happened so quickly.......I got really lucky with two things...firstly my reactions which I think were very fast to put out my hands and break my fall which I did and secondly I always carry my camera on these kind of hikes with a strap which I put my wrist through and the camera in my hand in case I need to take a really quick shot..do not ask me why but today I put the camera in my side pocket of my back pack and a good job other wise it would have been smashed.....

I have a bruised and bloody finger, small abrasions on my hands and legs and I feel a little jolted...I got lucky, again, and thankful I was not hurt and thankful I had my cell phone and thankful I wear an ID bracelet with my blood group on and a contact number for emergencies!!!

The cross on the summit!!

 Panoramic view!!!
 Great views in all directions!!!!

This is looking towards the Railway station...


 This view towards town!!

It was a great hike I did close to ten miles and I wish I could soak in a hot tub......

So why do I need to eat humble pie???

I think most of you know I am a sports nut and love tennis both playing and watching.....

I predicted a year ago that Rafa was over the hill...the pounding his body takes must take it's toll and I said he was done with the top flight and would never win another Slam title!!!!

What do I know he is an amazing athlete and has since gone on to win another slam and now soon to be number one in the world!!!

Rafael Nadal to return to number one after Roger Federer's Cincinnati withdrawal




Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have won 34 Grand Slam titles between them

Rafael Nadal will be the new world number one from next Monday after Roger Federer withdrew from the Cincinnati Masters with a back injury.
The Swiss 19-time Grand Slam winner was the only player who could have denied Spain's Nadal taking the top spot in the rankings from Andy Murray.
Federer was injured in Sunday's Rogers Cup final defeat by Alexander Zverev.
Briton Murray pulled out of Cincinnati last week as he continues to recover from a hip problem.
Reigning French Open champion Nadal returns to the top of the rankings for the first time since July 2014.
The 31-year-old went out of the Rogers Cup in the last 16 against wildcard Denis Shapovalov.
Federer went all the way to the final before losing to 20-year-old German Zverev in Montreal - the Swiss' first tournament since winning Wimbledon for the eighth time in July.
"I am very sorry to pull out," said the world number three. "Cincinnati has some of the best fans in the world and I am sorry I will miss them.
"Unfortunately, I tweaked my back in Montreal and I need to rest this week."
The Cincinnati Master leads up to the the US Open, the final Grand Slam of the year, which begins on 28 August.
Federer, 36, joins fellow top 10 players Murray, Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic in withdrawing, while 2016 US Open winner Stan Wawrinka and 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic will miss the rest of the season.

Yashi Kochi!!!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday 13th August 2017........a winner!!!

Most of my long time readers know of my second "family" in Nanaimo....Heather and Kirby and their three sons...we have known each other for many great years and I have been privileged to see the boys, Ben, Alex and Zach mature from kids to fine adult men.....

I want to tell you about their youngest son Zach......he is about to enter his fourth and final year of a golf scholarship education at Washington State University where he is the star of the golf team......

As long as I have known Zach he has eat breathed and known only golf...when he was about 9 years old Heather and Kirby got him a membership at the local Nanaimo golf and country club and he has spent literally thousands of hours on those fairways and greens.......

Yesterday it all came around and he was crowned the 2017 Nanaimo golf club champion!!!!

He leaves to go back to school on Wednesday and I await seeing him on the professional tour....

Way to go Zach!!!!



Yashi Kochi!!!!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday 11th August 2017...my very first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A few weeks ago I planted some seeds that I had brought with me from Nanaimo...I had been faithfully watering and watching the what look like weeds grow.........

Before I left on this last trip they were about 10 inches high but to me they just looked like weeds!!!

So imagine my surprise yesterday when I went out on my patio and saw this!!!!!






At the same time I also planted seeds in this planter the red flowers were already there ...now some lovely blue flowers the name of which I do not know!!!



I am very proud of myself!!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Wednesday 9th August 2017....home sweet home!!!

So here goes with a codensed trip report..........

We left San Miguel Fruday morning and the trip to Leon airport was easy with a shuttle..the 2.5 hour flight was on time and we arrived in Cancun and was met by the shuttle and driven to the ferry terminal where we boarded this boat for 20 minutes....

We were staying in a private residence that I had booked on Booing.com and the owner had a restaurant in the small town centre and that is where we went and met Silvia, we had dinner there and afterwards she drove us to the condo.....
There was a little confusuion as the place did not seem to look the same as the advert on the Booking site but we opted to stay there it was not perfect but it was OK.....

It was about 8km from the town centre so the next morning we got a ride back ito town.....this is the beach that belongs to a beach club next door to the condo which we are allowed to use till 5pm.


As the Isla is only very small this is the main means of transportation for tourists and we hired the cart for two days and it was a fun way to get around also a delight as it was breezy...we knew when we booked that August is the hottest month but it was the only time the whale sharks appear in the waters off shore and that was the main reason for coming.....it was over 100 degrees so most of the time was spent in the water and drinking loads of water!!!
This is Playa Norte one of the nicest beaches in the Yucatan and the water was bath warm!!!!

A sunset on the west coast...
The Caribbean side of the Isla is quite rocky!!!


Gracie taking in the sunset...



Garrafon Natural Reef Park Overview

An exotic destination for nature lovers

At the southern tip of Isla Mujeres - a picturesque beautiful island 30 minutes by boat from Cancun- Garrafon Natural Reef Park emerges from the Mexican Caribbean waters as the perfect vacation destination for relaxation and adventure.
Garrafon is a gorgeous natural park highlighted by reefs, cliffs and beautiful ocean landscapes that will captivate your senses and free the very essence of your soul. You will enjoy water activities like kayaking and snorkeling, adventure activities like hiking, biking and flying over the turquoise waters on a zip line, and of course live moments or hours of relaxation on hammocks, lounge chairs or our tropical bar.
The park also has direct access to a beautiful cliff area called Punta Sur where you will admire a Sculpture garden, a lighthouse, a Mayan temple and the breathless path by the sea that will lead you to the first spot on Mexican soil touched by the sunrise light every morning.

This is where we spent most of the day and it was fun we got a VIP pass that included everything, the snorkeling was lovely as was the Zip line altho it pales in comparison to the best zip line I did a few years ago through the Copper Canyon!!!!
The food was not bad and I also did a kayak trip and then we rested in the pools a fun day!!!!
This is another view of the beach near to our apartment....
Monday was the big day we had reservations for 8 am to go whale shark swimming but Tropical Storm Franklin had other ideas!!!!!



Tropical Storm Franklin Develops in NW Caribbean

August 7, 2017, 4:07 AM
Above:  Satellite image of Tropical Storm Franklin late Sunday night, August 6, 2017.
The sixth tropical storm of the 2017 Atlantic season was gaining strength late Sunday as it headed toward a landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula late Monday. Tropical storm warnings were in effect for most of the Yucatan Peninsula coastline of Mexico, with a tropical storm watch southward on either side of the peninsula, including the northern Belize coast.

Franklin was designated a tropical storm by the NOAA/NWS National Hurricane Center at 11 pm EDT Sunday, when the storm was located only about 100 miles north of the northeast tip of Honduras. A NOAA buoy northeast of the center reported sustained winds of minimal tropical storm strength, 35 knots (40 mph). Showers and thunderstorms (convection) were blossoming around Franklin’s newly consolidated center late Sunday, and an increasing amount of spin was evident in satellite loops. The center of Franklin is far enough north of the Honduras coast to minimize land interactions as the storm continues on its west-northwest course, moving at about 13 mph. Computer forecast models are in strong agreement on Franklin’s path, which should curve gently to the left as the storm moves across the Yucatan peninsula and into the Bay of Campeche.
WU 5-day tracking map for TS Franklin, 3Z 8/7/2017
Figure 1.  WU depiction of NHC tracking map for Tropical Storm Franklin as of 11 pm EDT Sunday, August 4, 2017. There is potential for Franklin to reach hurricane strength between the 12 AM Thursday and 12 AM Friday positions, as discussed below.

Intensity outlook for Franklin

The intensity outlook for Franklin has changed little from our detailed report on Sunday afternoon. Franklin will likely reach the Yucatan as a strong tropical storm. An intensification to Category 1 hurricane strength just prior to landfall cannot be ruled out, given the very warm waters east of the Yucutan, the high oceanic heat content there, and the expected lessening of wind shear around Franklin on Monday. A Hurricane Hunter flight into Franklin has been scheduled for midday Monday. On its expected track, the highest winds from Franklin would most likely affect the sparsely populated southern part of Mexico’s Quintana Roo state, but gales may extend well northward along the coast. Torrential rains of 3” - 6” or more can be expected across the region.
Franklin’s trek across the flat terrain of the Yucatan should have only a minor dampening effect, and the storm is liable to intensify further when it reaches the warm waters of the Bay of Campeche. The official NHC forecast at 11 pm EDT Sunday called for Franklin to arrive at the northeast coast of Mexico on Thursday morning. Our best model for intensity forecasts, the HWRF, has been consistent in projecting that Franklin could be a Category 2 hurricane by the time of this second landfall, and the 0Z Sunday SHIPS model output indicates a 58% chance that Franklin will become a 100-knot hurricane (Category 3) while in the Bay of Campeche. Because the official NHC forecast provides intensities at 72- and 96-hour intervals, it does not include a predicted strength for the 12 hours on either side of Franklin’s second landfall (which is expected around the 84-hour point). Overall, it appears that odds favor at least a Category 1 landfall in northeast Mexico on Thursday.

So it was not to be as Tuesday the storm also persisted and we unable to cross this off our Bucket lists....

I did not get any good shots of the storm but there was high winds and thunder and pelting rain for two days...we really managed to get out for a short time at the beach club but most of the time spent in the room with Gracie beating me every game at cards!!!

The last night we went into town for a nice dinner and a view of the square where there was some folk lore entertainment....

The journey home was a repeat of getting there except in reverse and it all went really well and arrived home around 3 pm.

We both feel that we will not go back to the Isla and will have to look for those whale sharks in other waters!!!!


Yashi Kochi!!!

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Thursday 3rd August 2017...the beach awaits!!!

Gracie and I are taking off tomorrow for 5 day here....

Isla Mujeres The Island of Women

Where time passes slowly and your dream vacation becomes a reality. Located just eight miles across the Bahia de Mujeres (Bay of Women) from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is only 5 miles long and half a mile wide at its widest point. The colorful downtown area, known as ‘Centro’ is four by six blocks – perfect for exploring by foot. The town square, vibrant homes, and many shops and restaurants add to its appeal. The average temperature is between 24 and 30 celsius (74 - 84 degrees) with 60% humidity and the hottest months are June thru September.

For hundreds of years Isla Mujeres was a fishing village and though its now thoroughly discovered by tourists it still retains it's charming and tranquil atmosphere. As you explore the island and stroll through the streets, you’ll see families gathered together in Caribbean styled homes, tucked between small hotels, shops and restaurants, giving Isla a small town feeling very different from the high-rise hotels and designer stores of Cancun.

Isla’s diversity, from the fisherman, artists and musicians to divers, chefs and ex-pats, make up a community unlike any other. With the beauty of the Caribbean, the heritage of the Mayans, and the friendly charm of the people, Isla has become a haven for people from all over the world

One of the main reasons for the visit is to do this....

Swim with the Whale Sharks

If you are lucky enough to visit Isla Mujeres during the summer months (June to mid-September), you’ll have the opportunity to participate in an incredible event - swimming with Whale Sharks in their natural habitat! Although massive, Whale Sharks are docile and harmless, happily doing their own thing as snorkels float around them. To be in their presence is a privilege and an experience you will never forget.

These gentle giants are the world’s largest fish reaching lengths of 46 feet (14 meters) and weighing up to 15 tons. The average size is 25 feet (7.5 meters) and the females are larger than the males like most other sharks. They reach maturity at 30 years and it has been estimated that they can live up to 150 years. Whale sharks are filter-feeders, swimming with their wide mouths open, collecting plankton algae, krill, and sometimes small squid or small fish. The are usually solitary creatures, another reason that the yearly gathering near Isla is a very special event.

The peek times of the whale shark season is July and August with the Annual Whale Shark Festival taking place in July.

The official price set by the official regulating bodies is $125 USD minimum per person and usually includes: a light breakfast, water and soda, ceviche lunch or sandwiches, snorkel gear and life vest and some additional snorkeling at a reef near Isla on the way back. Some tours that offer additional amenities might charge more.

The rules and regulations guiding Whale Shark tourism are in place to protect the participants and the Whale Sharks themselves. Only trained and licensed tour operators are allowed to take people in small boats, boats over 33 feet are not permitted to enter the area and only 2 people plus a guide are allowed in the water at a time (per boat).

Beware of anyone who offers you a lower price or who claims they will allow you to violate the rules. The Mexican Army is charged with enforcing rules and can detain boats who are not in compliance or violating the rules. Your day will be wasted and its doubtful you'll get your money back.

In brief the rules are:

  •  A trained guide with SECTUR permit is mandatory
  •  Enter the water slowly - no jumping from the boat
  •  Lifevest is mandatory
  •  Snorkeling only - no scuba diving
  •  Boats must stay at least 10 meters from the whale sharks
  •  Swimmers must stay at least 2 meters from the whale sharks
  •  Touching the whales sharks is prohibited
  •  Follow the instructions of your guide at all times.
  •  Only wear bio-degradable sunscreen.
I am not taking my computer so no blog till next Thursday.....

Happy Birthday today to great nephew TOM in England ..hope you had a great day.

Also happy Birthday to Peter hope you had a great day too....

Take care be safe and happy.....les

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Wednesday 2nd August 2017...it is almost unbelievable!!!!!!!



What can I buy for the price of one Neymar?


Neymar Jr. of FC Barcelona reacts during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at Camp Nou stadium on December 3, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Brazilian footballer Neymar wants to leave his Spanish club Barcelona to move to France's Paris St-Germain - but the move is set to cost a record-breaking €222m fee.
At today's prices, one Neymar is worth £198m, or $262m, which could buy...

A plane (or three)


A scale model of the Gulfstream G650 is seen at the European business aviation show EBACE on May 19, 2014Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionPrivate jet? A bargain at just one-quarter of a Neymar

One Neymar could buy three Boeing 737-700 passenger planes, which cost $82.4m each.
If you wanted to upgrade to the snazzier 737-800 - the type of plane that makes up a large chunk of Ryanair's European fleet - you'd only be able to afford two, with about $65m left over for bells and whistles.
Alternatively, you could exchange your Neymar for a private jet - ranging up to about $100m - and then spend the rest on the (insanely high) running costs every year.

Enough spaghetti to cover Barcelona

Our colleagues over on the BBC Sport live page were crunching #NeymarMaths all day, with the help of our diligent readers. Some gems from the submissions:

A fighter jet (or 10)


A F-35 fighter jet take-offs for a training mission at Hill Air Force Base on March 15, 2017 in Ogden, Utah.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionA brand spanking new F-35: just 0.36 Neymars

In the market for a different kind of striker?
Take your pick: an F-35 Lightning, the current darling of the US Air Force, would set you back $94m, and the (no longer available) F-22 Raptor was some $150m when it stopped production.
And for the more budget-conscious shopper, one Neymar could be traded for about 10 Russian SU-24s - a formidable strike force.

The entire payroll of the New York Yankees


Aroldis Chapman #54 of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch in the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers on July 31, 2017 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionAroldis Chapman - a mere $21m salary

Or in the US, skip the soccer, as they say, and switch to the great American pastime: baseball. You could pay for a year's play from the whole New York Yankees main team - a bargain at just $155m for the active squad, according to player valuation database Spotrac.
And with the leftover cash, why not pay for the injured players, retained contracts, and minor squad, too? It will still only total $223m.

The winners of the other "football"

The entire New England Patriots team - Super Bowl winners, 2017 - has a payroll that is even cheaper, at $171,705,615. Bargain.

The entire GDP of six countries

If you have one Neymar, you would be able to match the entire economic output of one of six of the world's smaller nations.
Take your pick from Tuvalu, Montserrat, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru and Palau - all have a GDP output ranging from about $33m to $258m, according to United Nations data from 2015.

The national debt of a small island nation

(or a teeny, tiny fraction of the US debt)

A graphic shows the rising current US national debt as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, November 4, 2015Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

If you were feeling philanthropic, Neymar's mammoth fee could wipe out the national debt of a small nation … like Tonga ($28.3m), Fiji ($72.4m) or Vanuatu ($82m) - or, stretching a bit, even Haiti ($234m).
Those countries, of course, just have low debt. They don't have the highest debt-to-GDP ratios, arguably a better sign that a nation has a debt problem.
So, if you wanted to help, say, the United States with its massive debt problem, a Neymar would knock off just 0.001% of the US national debt (which is almost $20 trillion at the time of writing).

Fine, I'll just take Neymar…

Congratulations!
If you save $1,000 a day, every day, you should be able to make your payment for one genuine Neymar in… 718 years.
Get saving.



Returned to my winning ways at poker with a paltry 30 pesos win...........

Yashi Kochi!!!!!

Wednesday 16th August 2017...how does your garden grow and a survey!!!!

Well my garden or to be more exact plant is growing!!!!!!! From about 1971 till 1985 I had long black hair and a black beard....then on...