Les falaises d’Etretat

Les falaises d'Etretat on the coast of Normandy
I stopped briefly at the town of Étretat on September 21st to see the cliff Monet had once painted. Since it was a cloudy day I thought the B&W version was a nice touch to the scene.

Thanks to BBC show Coast for giving me the idea to visit this amazing little town and it’s famous rock cliffs.

Sunrise through the fog on Juno Beach in Courseulles Sur Mer, France

Visiting Courseulles Sur Mer

The TLDR version of this post. I went to Courseulles Sur Mer in France, It was awesome you should go too (Image gallery at the end of the post).
I came to Courseulles Sur Mer because I wanted to visit  the beaches of Normandy. I felt it was important to see sacrifices Canadians had made for my freedom.

Arriving in Courseulles Sur Mer late due to the cheezies tornado I didn’t get to see much that first night. (Use the jet lag to your advantage and watch the sun rise over June Beach, I was not disappointed ) After breakfast the next morning a walk around the community. It’s a small coastal community (much like home) and to a tourist / foreigner it’s like everything you would expect to see in a small seaside fishing village of the coast of northern France.

Close up of fish from the fish mongers / poissonniers in Courseulles Sur Mer, France
Close up of fish from the fish mongers / poissonniers in Courseulles Sur Mer, France.

From the fish mongers / poissonniers selling fresh seafood on the dock, to the farmers market on the weekend to Chipie Plage, a cute little shack that lets you rent a bike for 8 euro’s a day.

I had heard before my trip that the people of Normandy wanted to leave the war behind that they didn’t want to remember everything that was the war they wanted to return to their lives on the small coastal villages.

Well after visiting I can only say well that’s why Canadians landed here so many years ago! To help return the French to there way of life.

To completely forget the war had ever happened and not remember the past, I really don’t think so and didn’t see any evidence of that in any of my travels along the coast. I saw as many french and I did foreigners taking in the historic lessons of the area.

Like may other tourists I spilt my time between studying the history of the D-Day landing and enjoying the beach and relaxation of this amazing resort area.

I even met a fellow laser sailor who allowed me to sail his laser for about half an hour just off beach. That never would have happened without google translator.

Language Barrier

I’ve barely spoke a word of French since grade 9 in high school ( 25 years ago) and their are very few residents of the community who speak English. But after day three it was amazing what I was able to pick up. Even if it was only meaning and not the words.


I stayed at La Pecherie and would highly suggest this hotel to anyone. They were awesome to deal with and attended to my every need. Read my trip advisor review for more info.

The wonderful La Pecherie Hotel is perfectly situation in Courseulles Sur Mer, France and was a great place to enjoy my Normandy vacation.
The wonderful La Pecherie Hotel is perfectly situation in Courseulles Sur Mer, France and was a great place to stay and enjoy my Normandy vacation.

Places you should visit in the area:

In conclusion if you were looking to experience a small French coastal town that amazing seafood and great cuisine I would come to Courseulles Sur Mer.


Juno Beach

Photo of the English Channel from Juno Beach

Awe Stuck by the beauty of the Normandy Coast and the English Channel from shores of Juno Beach in Courseulles Sur Mer, France.


The great cheezies tornado of 2015

My friend Ernest wanted to know of my adventures or mis-adventures during my European Trip. Well It didn’t take long for the action to start.

I waiting for my baggage to arrive at CDG and I see this blob of clothing cheezies dust and the last  remains of my bag.

My niece wanted some cheezies that she couldn’t get in Germany. So I got two bags and then double wrapped them just incase:

Destroyed luggage covered in cheezie dust
The Great Cheezie Tornado of 2015

Whatever monster inside the bowels of YVR Or Pearson ate my bag I’ve never seen such destruction taken out on a bag.

Funny enough the lock which prevent everything from being stolen was still completely intact and “working perfectly”

I couldn’t even leave CGC airport without a buy a new bag.

New Travel Bag
Meet Bag 2.0

The staff at the luggage storage and sales places couldn’t have been more helpful though. Now it’s off to find a laundry mat in Courseulles sur mer.

ps. Yes I am submitting a claim to the airline, yes I purchased extra insurance for damage on my trip. But for now it just a funny story.


A boy and man scale a climbing wall in the sun.
I like the contrast between my nephew on the left and climber on the right. Both were climbing a wall at the recent Canada Day celebration in Coquitlam.
Robert Dall standing infront of a Columbia 21 at the Footloose Disabled Sailing Association

Footloose and fancy free

I was invited to Seattle by Ben Lobaugh for what I called a Super Sailing Weekend in Seattle.

Ben had told me he volunteers at the Footloose Disabled Sailing Club and if I wanted I could come down to help out as well. The entire venture sounded great so I packed my bag  and came down for the weekend.

Sailboat used by the Footloose called a Access Dinghy
Access Dinghy / Photo Footloose

The thing I really liked about the association was they really made it accessible to everyone possible no matter what your disability and each sailboat is slightly different configuration but all were completely accessible and very stable and unable to tip over (or in sailing terms turtling).

The Access dinghies were similar to lasers just much LESS tippy and the participant sat side by side with the skipper.

The 2 Martin 16 other boats the participants and skipper sit front and back of each other.

Martin 16 sailboat with electric winch of the footloose sailing club
Martin 16 sailboat with electric winch / Photo Footloose

The skipper is a volunteer with the association and is completely experienced with the boat. They are there to assist the participant, whether that be teaching them how to sail, co-piloting the boat or just along for the ride while the participant  controls everything.

Paraplegics easily operate Access dinghies with a joystick. While quadriplegic can operate the Martin 16 which are equipped with electric winches and can be operated by either a hand joystick, neck joystick or the or a sip and puff method commonly used by quadriplegics.

The two Colombia 21 that are part of the fleet are larger boats and can hold up to six people. They also have a skipper and at least one crew member to help rig the boat. My job was to helping the participants get on and off the boat along with grinding the winch on the jib.

For those with limited mobility Footloose has two davit hoist system with a hoyer sling to transfer participants from wheelchair to boat and back.

It was a real pleasure to volunteer on a beautiful sunny saturday out on Lake Washington. I I didn’t know but from the water  you can see Mt Rainier to the south and Baker to the North. It was beautiful!

It felt great to give back and learnt a little bit more about sailing slightly larger boats as well I hope I can do it again on my next trip to Seattle.

For the love of Flags

Roman Mars of 99% Invisible spoke about city flags at the 2015 Ted Conference in Vancouver. It’s awesome, brilliant and speaks to the urbanization of our culture and our love of design. Give it a watch it is certainly worth you time.

oh ps. I asked Roman about Vancouver Canada’s Flag and he gave it a thumbs up.

WordPress logo and Horse Emoji as a graphic

Emoji in WordPress = 🐴🚨🚫👍

I wanted to post quickly about what Brian Krogsgard coined The Trojan Emoji.

This seemed to many as frivolous, unimportant and most useless feature ever. (These comments were three months old at the time of this posting May 10, 2015)

What a lot of people didn’t realize even at that time was that the 4-byte unicode characters in WordPress that makes those fun emoji’s happened also allows for Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters is important to making WordPress more global.

I had even played around with the development plugin Gary Pendergast was creating to solve this problem it was affectionately called x1f4a9 or 💩, I though this is cool, can I make this work on my local installation running trunk and oh my that Gary Pendergast is one funny dude.

Little did I know… Little did we all know…

Except for a couple people on the WordPress security team. No one really knew how important enabling emoji support were going to be to fixing the security with in WordPress until Andrew Nacin spoke at the recent Loop Conf.

I wasn’t able to attend Loop Conf in person but they had an amazing live stream which was  completely free (major props organizers) and Nacin walks us through the Anatomy of a Critical Software Bug.

I had a hard time following the code in Nacin’s talk it was well over my head. Ryan D Sullivan tweet exemplifies this completely. But instead I tried following the story. As Nacin walks us through a two year journey to fix a vulnerability and it was a fascinating story.

A lot of patches in WordPress aren’t this hard… but they are similar rabbit holes of problem solving to make something better.

Confessions of Trac Ticket Lobbyist

I recently had a guest post on the WPTavern on lobbying trac tickets, IPTC captions and photography. Check it out.

Foss 300

Foss 300 derrick, The last steam crane still operating on the West Coast of North America. Leaves the Ballard Locks
Foss 300 derrick, The last steam crane still operating on the West Coast of North America. Leaves the Ballard Locks in Seattle Wash.