My most recent trip to Montréal was a year ago this week for PyCon 2015,
following another trip there two years ago this week for PyCon 2014.
My first trip to Montréal was a very long business trip in 1995.
Four colleagues and I spent five or six weeks in Montréal,
just before the Quebec independence referendum,
working onsite for our client,
integrating the UI we had written into the rest of their software.
We had to bring our own computers, as they declined to provide us with any equipment.
In 1995, this meant shipping our desktop systems and our heavy CRT monitors.
Through Canadian Customs.
And back through US …continue.
Apparently, there's no standard for writing dates in Canada.
I assumed that Canada used the annoying US-style convention of MM/DD/YYYY.
I didn't realize that the British-style DD/MM/YYYY is also widespread.
Personally, I always write YYYY-MM-DD whenever I can get away with it,
as God and ISO 8601 intended.
A bill is before the Canadian parliament aiming at standardizing on year-month-day formats.
We're spending a few days in Vancouver.
The Canadian city in British Columbia.
Not to be confused with the large Canadian island,
Vancouver Island, just a few miles away,
or the American city of Vancouver, Washington,
which is a suburb of Portland, Oregon.
We like to come up to Vancouver a couple of times a year.
It's only 140 miles from Seattle,
but you have to cross the U.S.–Canadian border
and the highway runs out about ten miles from downtown Vancouver,
so it always takes at least three hours to drive up.
This time, we're staying on the edge of
one of Vancouver's greatest assets.
Stanley Park comprises the western half …continue.
We came up to Vancouver, BC for the weekend.
This morning, we visited the Van Dusen Botanical Garden for the first time.
In a relatively small area, they've put together many specialized gardens:
rhododendrons, a maze, heathers, redwoods, roses, gingkos, and more.
In Seattle terms, it has elements of the Arboretum and the
Well worth a visit, especially on a beautiful May morning.
This afternoon, we drove down to Ladner to visit
my great-uncle Dick and his wife Margaret.
They moved into a retirement home in March.
Dick has visibly failed since we last saw him in September.
Margaret remains remarkably spry and fit, but is nearly blind.
Tonight we …continue.
We drove up to Vancouver today.
We'll be here until Tuesday.
It's my birthday tomorrow and
I have two days of vacation that I have to use by the end of March or lose them,
so why not.
I always like Vancouver.
It's unequivocally a major city.
Vancouver feels more urban than Seattle,
where people have only been moving into high-density
downtown condos and apartments for a few years.
We're staying at the Sunset Inn and Suites in the West End.
We stayed here before.
It's relatively cheap, clean, and centrally located.
No particular charm either.
Tomorrow, we see my great-uncle Dick and his wife Margaret.
They're both 92 and about to move into a …continue.
I don't, as a rule, pay a great deal of attention to Canadian politics.
I was vaguely aware that something unusual is going on there this week.
Then Emma pointed me to the Yarn Harlot's explanation
of what's happened.
In brief, for the last two years,
Stephen Harper's minority government has been playing
a high-stakes game, repeatedly forcing the opposition parties
to either vote with him or force an election, which they
would likely lose.
Last week, as soon as Parliament resumed after October's general election,
Harper put forth an "economic strategy", which included removing
federal election subsidies to all parties—effectively hobbling the opposition.
The opposition were deeply unhappy about that,
and also …continue.