Saturday Snippets: 22.April.2017

We’re in Victoria for the weekend, and hopefully the weather is going to hold! We’ve got our bikes walking shoes and our climbing gear and our growlers 😉

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 22.April.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • For the most part, I’m not good at stretching. It’s not in my daily routine, so I forget. Perhaps it should be my goal to incorporate at least one of these stretches into my day.
  • Whether you climb or not, this sweet potato and avocado burrito should satisfy all taste buds.
  • The science of weird food pairings. This was definitely not one of my physics courses offered at university.
  • At first, I was drawn to the gorgeous colour of this green sauce. Adding miso? Colour me intrigued!
  • Sometimes, you just need a good piece of really-dark-chocolate cake. Simple and unpretentious. This looks to be that cake.
  • It’s everyone’s favourite season in Vancouver – Attack-of-the-Crow Season! Yup, we’re entering those magical few months when you feel like you’re being followed, tormented and dive-bombed by those avian creatures. I wish I could find something nice to say about them (because I know they’re just protecting their young) but I can’t. They follow me and freak me out. Jonty thinks my fear is irrational, but I beg to differ!

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

The Electrical:

  • For whatever reason, it felt like a slow week on the van conversion. Well, only in that I was working most of the week and Jonty was updating some of our electrical schematics, and doing a bit more prototyping. So it was a bit of a computer week. | Sprinter van conversion - electrical diagrams

The Fridge:

  • We did get the fridge fully installed and secured to the L-track and 80-20, so that is good. That sucker is solid!!
  • Jonty cnc’d one more mount for under the middle of the fridge, finishing that part of the set-up. | Sprinter van conversion - fridge mounts for L-track

The black fridge mounts are bolted to the L-track (through the van floor) and then connected to the 80-20 extrusion on the top. The fridge is then connected to the 80-20. | Sprinter van conversion - fridge mounts for L-track

Having a bit of a laugh while installing the fridge mounts. These three mounts will connect the 80-20 to the L-track. The fridge is then connected to the 80-20, and thus to the van floor. Solid!

The Galley:

  • Yesterday we found out that our sink (which was supposed to be delivered last week … then Tuesday… then Thursday….) has officially gone missing. Big bummer. Some employee must really love RV-sized double sinks! At least Amazon recognized the unfortunate disappearing package was not our doing, we’ve been refunded the price already. But we still need to order another one, which will probably take another 3 or 4 weeks (because they weren’t in stock). Again, bummer.

Pictures during the week of 22.April.2017:

We’re in Victoria this weekend for a bit of a getaway. The weather was absolutely glorious on the ferry ride over, and you better believe we tried to soak up as much Vitamin D as possible! We’ll need it, as the weather is supposed to turn rainy again today (hence, no bikes). But we’re used to this; it will just be nice to enjoy the new scenery.

So, next week there should hopefully be a few pictures from our weekend away. For today, you get ferry pictures 🙂 | BC Ferry ride to Victoria BC | BC Ferry ride to Victoria BC | BC Ferry ride to Victoria BC | BC Ferry ride to Victoria BC | BC Ferry ride to Victoria BC

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 15.April.2017

Happy Easter Long Weekend! Do you have any plans? We’re hoping the weather will hold for us to get a few good bike rides in, probably some van work, and definitely some good food!

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Our Saturday Snippets for 15.April.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

The Awning:

  • Check out the automatic awning – it just works! Just ignore my barking orders 🙂
  • We had a lot of rain since we cut the hole in the roof, and so far, no leaks. Always a bonus.

The Galley:

  • We finally started working on the galley this week. Which means we have at long last moved the fridge out of the living room in our apartment and into the van. Our apartment feels so spacious now!
  • The first big question was how to attach the fridge to the 80-20 frame and then attach that to the L-track in the floor. The second question was how we were going to thermally isolate the (metal) 80-20 frame from the (metal) L-track on the floor. We’ve got a plan, which we think is going to be pretty bomber.
  • Jonty spent the next few days prototyping fixtures and fittings, using the CNC to cut out the pieces we need. So far so good! We needed a few more parts (correct length screws, etc) but should have it all together by the end of the weekend. | Sprinter conversion - installing the fridge

The NovaKool fridge framed into the 80-20 galley. There will be enough room to place a shallow drawer above the fridge (and below the counter). | Sprinter conversion - installing the fridge

The fridge is attached to the 80-20 frame with a simple aluminum attachment (CNC-milled in aluminum by Jonty, specifically for this purpose). | Sprinter conversion - installing the fridge

The wooden mount fits under the fridge. It will be bolted through the L-Track in the floor (centre) and through the 80-20 (side holes).

Next up:

  • Our sink should arrive shortly, so we’re hoping to start prototyping the counter top out of cheap MDF. We’ll be able to play around with the fit of our induction cooktop and sink, and figure out if we need any additions to the 80-20 frame at all.
  • Then it’s probably more wiring and electrical work. It’s been quite time-consuming for Jonty, but he’s done such an amazing job!!

Pictures from the week of 15.April.2017:

The weather has still been a mixed bag. We had one nice day last weekend and were able to get out for a quick 15 km cycle. Then the other nice day was spent working on the van… which was glorious. We had the side door open, and only had to wear 2 layers, and I squinted into the sunshine for most of the afternoon. Bliss! | Vancouver cherry blossoms | Vancouver Maker Labs murals - blue sky

The other few days at MakerLabs have been grey and soggy. On one of the grey days, I snapped a few pictures of the area. If you know Vancouver at all, you’re probably aware of the Strathcona area, which borders onto the Downtown Eastside. We park the van inside the locked gate at Maker Labs, but can see what’s going down in “the hood” throughout the day. | Vancouver murals at Maker Labs | Vancouver murals at Maker Labs

Most days, we see a minimum of 2 or 3 ambulance call-outs (dealing with the drug overdoses), a variety of people spaced out on something, and far too many people who are generally just trying to get by.

But if you look past some of the dark corners, you see the brightness, too. Murals cover many buildings in the area, and a local community garden (run, in part by some of the homeless people in the neighbourhood) is right across the back alley. Many artists live and work in the area, and there are great coffee shops and cafes everywhere.

It’s an interesting area and, I hope Vancouver will be able to find a way to help those people who need it, without forcing them out of their community. | Vancouver murals at Maker Labs | Vancouver murals at Maker Labs | Vancouver murals at Maker Labs

For better or for worse, there’s never a dull moment when we’re at work 🙂

Happy Long Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 08.April.2017

This felt like a really busy week, what with a few site visits + tax season + van work… Suddenly we’re back at Saturday again! I had a few other posts in the queue to publish this past week, but it was not meant to be. So here’s to next week 🙂

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 08.April.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • We finished our power training last week – we changed up some of our campus routine and tried to maintain a two-day rest in between campus sessions. I think both changes were a success, and our last session ended on a high note! Now we’re onto a round of power-endurance – bring on the forearm pump!
  • I love Lara Bars – these homemade cashew cookie dough versions look like the perfect climbing fuel.
  • Do you have a favourite donut? I’ve got a major soft-spot for Boston Creme donuts, which is why these cupcakes caught my eye!
  • Are you getting enough protein?
  • Does anyone have any good book recommendations? I’m in a blah phase at the moment, so I’m always on the hunt!
  • Photographers document how quickly some of the worlds biggest glaciers have been receding over the recent years. It’s quite a stark contrast (use the slider bar in the middle of each picture).

On Moby News (aka Sprinter Van Conversion):


  • We had two dry days this past week, so we made use of them and finished hooking up the awning motor. This required drilling another hole in the roof of the van, so a dry day was key.
  • The cables go from the awning motor, through a waterproof cable clam that, and then down into the inside of the van. We’ve wrapped cable conduit around the wires that are exposed on the roof. So far so good – no leaking roof!
  • Yesterday, Jonty wired connected the wires to the awning controller, and we now have an electrically extending and retracting awning! Very exciting 🙂 | Sprinter van conversion - installing a Fiamma awning motor | Sprinter van conversion - installing a Fiamma awning motor

More electrical:

  • Jonty has been prototyping boards that will house all of our electronic controls and displays. He thinks he’s nearing a version that has all the parts we’ve installed so far. The finished product will eventually be mounted above our inverter and electrical panels.
  • Tidying up all the wires and cabling, tucking everything into flexible cable conduit. There’s something very satisfying about seeing all the clutter disappear 🙂
  • An electrical part returned from being re-programmed. Now it reports values consistent with other components and the multimeter – finally it all works as expected!! | Sprinter van conversion - control panel board

More wall panels:

  • This time for finished the sliding door (top and bottom) as well as the thin panels in between the back windows. I’m not going to lie – some of the covering is tedious, requiring me to use spray adhesive and a good old needle-and-thread, but we’ve been extremely happy with the end result! | Sprinter van conversion - covering wall panels | Sprinter van conversion - covering wall panels

Pictures from the week of 08.April.2017:

I spent a day over in Sechelt last week, for a site visit. I love taking the early morning ferry – the clouds were starting to burn off, and the short 40 minute hop over to the Sunshine Coast was gave me enough time to snap a few pictures. There were only a handful of people on the outer deck, which made it nice and quiet for me to sit and enjoy the view. | Travel to Sechelt BC

I was near the front of the ferry for off-loading – it’s quite fun to see the doors of the berth opening, to reveal your destination. | Travel to Sechelt BC

It was mid-afternoon when I finished my site visit, and I had a few hours to kill before my afternoon ferry was scheduled to head back to Vancouver. There’s a long straight road heading into Sechelt that runs right along the ocean, and it’s a great place to walk along the beach and enjoy the view.

Blue skies or grey skies, I find something so peaceful and mesmerizing about staring out into the ocean. I’m pretty sure many West Coasters feel this way, too! | Travel to Sechelt BC | Travel to Sechelt BC | Travel to Sechelt BC | Travel to Sechelt BC | Travel to Sechelt BC

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 01.April.2017

It’s the weekend, and we’re officially into April! If photography’s your thing, check out my new Monthly Photo Challenge word I posted yesterday. I feel like I’m continually wittering on about the weather, but it was a doozy this week.

We broke a 61-year-old rainfall record on Tuesday, with nearly 30 mm of rain (and that didn’t include the rain the day before AND after). After surviving 27 of the last 31 days of rain, it’s safe to say that all “wet” coasters are ready for some sunshine. Let’s hope April brings a lot of it! 🙂

Here’s a few things that caught our eye online this week. Our Saturday Snippets for 01.April.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter Van Conversion):


  • Before the rain started on Monday afternoon, we installed the motor on the awning. Previously, it only had the manual wind-out attachment on it, and the other parts have been in the living room since last summer. Once we get a nice dry day, we can route the cables inside and finish the job. | Sprinter conversion awning motor 02 | Sprinter conversion awning motor 01

Shore Power Plug:

  • Jonty fabricated a mount for our shore power plug. He cut the aluminum pieces using a plasma CNC, and tig welded the parts together. It turned out really well! He was able to get under the van late this past week to install it.
  • We didn’t want to cut a hole in the side of our van, so the shore power plug is mounted underneath the van, on one of the existing struts. | Sprinter van conversion -shore power mounted under the van | Sprinter conversion shore power mount 02

Shore power mount mounted under the van (looking towards the front driver side).

Kitchen galley:

  • We’re still trying to figure out a good counter top option for the galley. We’ve ordered a sink, and it should be here mid to late April, so we still have some time to figure things out.
  • We’re back and forth between solid surface (like Corian or Formica) or, more likely, solid wood. We’ll see!

Pictures from the week of 01.April.2017:

I had to head into Gastown for a hair cut this week. I think it’s one of my favourite areas in downtown Vancouver. I love the old, restored brick buildings and cobbled streets. Even in the pouring rain, dodging all the tourists and their big umbrellas, I think Gastown always looks good 🙂 | Vancouver - Gastown on a rainy day | Vancouver - Gastown on a rainy day

I had a site visit in Sechelt yesterday too, and snapped a few pictures from the ferry. I’ll have a few more to share next week, once I download them off the camera. I always love heading over to the Sunshine Coast. It’s a quick 40 minute ferry ride away, and travelling there always makes me feel like it’s the start of a vacation, even though I’m actually working 🙂 While it was a long day, it was a good way to end the week (and the month)! | BC Ferries - Sunshine Coast ferry views | BC Ferries - Sunshine Coast ferry views

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 25.March.2017

We’re entering the last week of March, how the heck did that happen already? I think I’ve finally gotten used to the time change, and the 6 am wake-up calls don’t feel as bad as they did the last week, and it’s been nice to have brighter evenings.

Here’s what caught our eye online during the week of 25.March.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • Royal Robbins, one of the big-name American Yosemite climbers back in the 50’s and 60’s, passed away this week. If you’ve never seen Valley Uprising (it’s on Netflix), be sure to give it a watch. It provides a good history of North American climbing over the last 50 years. Quite interesting, even if you’re not a climber!
  • These marinated white beans looks like a great keep-in-the-fridge-to-eat-all-week kind of dish. I’m down with that!
  • I feel like these cookies might be in my weekend plans…
  • We’ve been off to a slow start, on the springtime weather. Jonty and I figure the cherry blossoms are around 2 weeks late. If you’re in Vancouver, here’s the interactive map, to show you where all the trees are blooming currently. So grab your umbrella and take a walk!
  • This book popped up on my library “to borrow” list last week, and I finished it a few days after I started it. I knew it was popular, but didn’t read the synopsis, thus didn’t really understand the first few chapters. Then I got completely absorbed, and stayed up waaay past my bedtime to finish it!

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

Electrical work and in-floor heating:

  • We tried to time the weather this past week so that any under-the-van work could be done on the dry days. Jonty’s been working at adding more electrical components (like wiring up the fans) and tidying up the wiring.
  • The main job was adding in the hydronic-heating component and associated wiring. We got it working on Monday, which meant we could enjoy nice warm feet, with in-floor heating all week. In-floor heating in a Sprinter conversion? Yup, when we go in, we go ALL in 😉 After dealing with cold, wet weather, being able to work in a warm van (without running the engine) feels like a luxury!
  • Unfortunately, another central battery-management component is not working correctly and needs sending back to the supplier… sigh. | Sprinter van conversion - electrical work | 20170325-Sprinter-conversion-in-floor-heating

Yup, these floors in the Sprinter Van are warm, thanks to the in-floor heating!

Wall panelling:

  • We finished CNC’ing and covering a few more wall panels at the back of the van, including the sections around the windows. It feels so much brighter in there now. | Sprinter van conversion - hanging wall panels | Sprinter van conversion - hanging wall panels

Next up:

  • Our True Induction two-burner induction cooktop arrived in the mail last week (thanks, Mom and Dad!!), and we’ve been testing it out in the apartment. It works like a charm! Hopefully in the coming weeks, we’ll start figuring out the kitchen galley.
  • We still have more wall panels to cover, but that will happen in due time.
  • Jonty is finishing his last welding class today, and now he’s thinking of all the things that he could weld, will a platform bed-frame be an upcoming project? | Sprinter van conversion - True Induction cooktop

Pictures for 25.March.2017:

Monday was a dry day for us, and we decided to make the most of it and get out for a quick bike ride in the morning! We had to pick up a few electrical wires from a store just around the corner from Granville Island. With coffee mugs in tow, we enjoyed a quiet, and slightly cool, breakfast along the water. We’re really hoping the weather is much better than last year, because we miss our early morning cycling + breakfast dates! | Granville Island - Vancouver BC | Granville Island - Vancouver BC | Architecture in downtown Vancouver BC | Architecture in downtown Vancouver BC

Happy Weekend!