As the ship approached Vancouver a beautiful sunrise!
The majority of the ships passengers were Canadian. Most whom I became acquainted with suggested the ferry to Victoria instead of spending three days in Vancouver. For less than $20 total, I took a train to a bus to the ferry to another bus, and finally arrived in Victoria. While the scenery on the ferry was very pretty, it was mostly the same… for three hours, which excluded the train and buses. I didn’t book any hotel in advance figuring I’d find an area I liked, and just wander in to one: I learned several years ago that hotels would rather get some money for a room versus having it empty. The scenery in Victoria was spectacular, I took long walks, wandered through their parliament building, museums, and really enjoyed myself.
I spend my last day exploring Vancouver, found a really nice water-front park, did some light shopping, and a ton of walking.
Early this month I traveled to Chicago for the Chordoma Foundation Community Conference. It was great seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I flew in a day early and spent Friday exploring, went to a fantastic museum/art gallery, then to a blues festival that was just ramping up. The main stage is pictured below, but there were other bands and dozens of booths on the side. The 2019 Chordoma Conference was great, and key takeaways are at this link. The main takeaway for me was something I already know: chordoma is a solvable problem and there is a significant amount of progress being made: Looking at Pubmed, I'm amazed there are so many recent chordoma papers being published. #Recent, versus what we saw published even just a few short years ago. While I no longer officially have a dog in this fight, I will see it through. Researchers have determined that when they break brachyury, the Achilles' heel of chordoma and interestingly a few other rare cancers, the tumors basically wither away.
It's a good time to be a mouse.
Something old and beautiful next to something new and well, no so much.
Chicago is very a noisy city, unlike Simi Valley. Chicago has magnificent skylines and is rich with architectural history, unlike Simi Valley.
Last week I attended an XMO summer camp dinner: it was wonderful seeing the trainers and athletes, as well as my sister Shannon who volunteered this year. XMO leadership presented an award to Pastor Simon (from Madison and Colleen’s church) for his commitment and excellence. As Bryan was announcing the award, I’d be fibbing if I didn’t say I was choking back the tears. Madison’s mom Colleen was next to me, so trying to appear casual I asked her how it was even possible that she’s holding it together. It turns out same as me, just barely! It’s not that we were hurting, but at least for me beauty and goodness often brings joy in the form of tears. Note in the bottom left corner of the picture below; the name of the award.
Overall June has been a busy month. We bought the PPV SUV, and I finally sold Madison’s car a couple of weeks ago. She’s smiling: rather than me settling for under-powered sensibility, I have something that’s all dressed up like a US Marshall’s SUV. Wait! It was a US Marshall’s SUV, so in Blue’s Brothers lingo, the cop horn, light bars, and siren… oh my! From the rear, it looks like a Chevy Tahoe with dark windows. From the front, cop push-bar, cop-tires, and 3’ light bar (inside the windshield behind the rearview mirror), a spotlight, and ludicrously loud P.A. I know what you’re thinking and have been asked the same numerous times; how can this even be legal? The official answer is that none of it cool stuff has power connected, as far as you know. I removed and sold the weapons locker/drawers from the rear of the SUV, so it now actually functions an actual SUV, so we can load dozens of load bags of soil, mulch, bicycles, trays of plants, etc.
In the SUV I’m actually more amazed that I expected to be with how courteous people drive around me. I’m not tailgated, not cut me off just ahead of a freeway off-ramps, etc. While I certainly haven’t earned nor do I deserve the respect of our anyone in law enforcement, the presence of the SUV does slow people down, dramatically reduces the selfish stupidity of impatient drivers, which makes the areas I drive much safer for everyone around me.
Yea, I’m going with that.