It's snowing in Northwestern Ontario. Like, a metric buttload. So, after being sent home from work because of the potentially-harrowing 35km drive home, I fire up the snowblower. For the second time in 16 hours.
Here's the side door, after two shovellings:
Three-quarters of the way through snowblowing our driveway-which-goes-on-forever-or-so-it-seems...
...I hear *THUNK* and watch as I send this:
...sailing into the neighbour's back yard. Thank goodness their house is a goodly distance away; it just bounced off the skeletal frame of their backyard trampoline.
I spent last week in San Francisco, doing a Video Documentary course with DV Workshops.
It was amazing.
Aron Ranen was the instructor, and he is one hell of an instructor. (Aron is an award-winning documentary writer, editor, shooter and producer) The course was six nine-hour days (which were usually longer than that), and it flew by. The coursework covered technical aspects of lighting, camera, shot composition, Final Cut Pro editing, and, of course, the documentary storytelling process.
Anyways, the piece I produced at the end of it was is below:
I loved the process -- except for the "finding the story" portion of it. I'm innately introverted in unknown situations, and being put in the space of "finding a story" by approaching people (usually working), and asking if I can do a piece on them = my own personal hell.
All in all, I was pretty happy with the results, though I'd recut the audio (and use a wind sock on the mic) if I had the chance to do it again.
Basically, we're negotiating with the Federal government for the area First Nations to take over jurisdiction (responsibility for/ability to make laws and regs) over education for their children. It would create a relationship between a central education office and the Treasury Board directly, rather than working with Indian Affairs, who currently has jurisdiction.
It's a good thing, because it means more control over how funding is allocated, the ability to negotiate with the school boards, and (hopefully) more money for new and innovative, cultural-specific programs.
And me? I'm the guy trying to sell the concept to First Nations members.
Wow. 18 years ago today, SRV was killed in a helicopter crash. His death was one of those "Where were you when you heard" moments for me. I was in the middle of getting ready to go away to University to room with Darren and Kevin Barefoot, had already finished working at my summer job, making hot dogs at the Olympic Fine Meats factory in Vancouver. A regular stop for our crew was the 7-Eleven on Marine Drive in West Vancouver; I was in the parking lot about noon, and heard on the news about the crash and the confirmed death of Stevie Ray Vaughan. I'd been listening for news all day after hearing an unconfirmed report that it was Eric Clapton who was killed (Clapton, SRV and Robert Cray played a triple bill the night before in Alpine Valley, WI).
Here's Little Wing, which, in the studio version on "The Sky is Crying," has one of the eeriest, coolest moments in it, when you can hear just the buzz of his amp in the background:
I got a little obsessed with Stevie after that for a while, and there are likely a few embarrassing photos floating around of me in a cowboy hat, boots and a trenchcoat. Sort of this era of Stevie's look (not the Liberace-frill days of SRV's outfits, thank Odin):
Exciting news in Emo world. No, Fugazi isn't touring again.
Frances and I, as of the beginning of April, became homeowners for the first time in our lives. We bought the house that used to belong to good friends of ours who moved to Red Deer. If you want to get the virtual tour, go here.
It's a 77-year-old home that has been almost completely redone, 2000 square feet plus 1000 sq. ft. basement, a paved driveway (my gosh, we're so rural), and a great yard.
We move in on the 19th of April, so if anyone wants to come and help us move 500 metres, please do. You know what they say -- the only thing better than a best friend is a best friend with a truck.
"They launch into 'Nobody's Fault But Mine' and Zep are smiling at each other, only occupying about six foot of the enormous stage. You wouldn't believe this is a band who haven't played together for so long.
They do No Quarter' and they're locked in as tight as if it were the 1970s. Only the close ups on the screen at the back give away their advanced years.
Launched into a version of 'Dazed And Confused' that seems to last forever but every last second is enthralling.
Led Zeppelin are one of the few bands that I fell in love with as a 14-year-old, and still really think the world of (the Doors would be one that I, well, don't, any more). Sadly, I'm probably at least 10 hours away from anywhere they might come. Hope, however, does not fade....
If you've been watching updates on my Facebook profile in the last two weeks, you likely know that I am gainfully employed -- again.
As of today, I started as the Communications Officer for the Fort Frances Chiefs Secretariat, which is the political arm of the Pwi-Di-Goo-Zing Ne-Yaa-Zhing Advisory Services. The negotiation team (which, according to my coworker Patrick, I am now a member of) is negotiating the terms of an Agreement-In-Principle for the eight member reserves to take over jurisdiction for educating their children.
So, what that all means is I'll be doing a bunch of travelling to the reserves, as well as off to Ottawa, Winnipeg and/or Thunder Bay for negotiation head table meetings, as well as training and networking trips as part of the chiefs' team. Day one was cool (as was the fact that they ordered me a new MacBook Pro), and I think it's going to be both a great place to work, as well as a great learning experience.
By the way, school continues to suck. Exams suck. I write one in two weeks, and fly to Ottawa for meetings two days later. Argh.....
After the wedding in Denver, we zipped off to Las Vegas for 2.5 days, courtesy of cheap accommodations man (thanks, Lerrin) and cheap flights via Ted.
It was a hoot -- even if we had terrible luck on the tables.
We had pretty much figured out ahead of time what shows and activities we wanted to see/do while we were there. We arrived fairly late Sunday night, and stayed at the Planet Hollywood (otherwise known as the Aladdin).
The first of two shows we had tickets for ahead of time was Cirque du Soleil's Love, a Beatles homage show. It was almost indescribable -- a cavalcade of talented acrobats, dancers, artists coupled with stunning sound, gorgeous, dynamic set work and intense technology. Neither of us has ever seen a Cirque show before, but I would love to see more, if the quality is similar. I especially liked the portrayals of Father Mackenzie and Eleanor Rigby. We chuckled, however, at what a fitting focus for a show it is, marketing-wise. It's like an arrow straight at the heart of the boomers with the disposable income -- and the crowd demographic reflected that.
Regardless of their target market, if you are at all a Beatles fan, this show is amazing, and will not disappoint. And, there isn't a bad seat in the theatre, so cheap tickets would be fine, though better seats are, well, better.
The second day, we attempted to catch the free shuttle to the Liberace museum. We saw the ass end of the bus and, over an hour later, had not seen it again. So, we scrapped the museum and instead went to the Bodies exhibit at the Tropicana (one of the few casinos to have all-day/night $5 Blackjack tables available, for those interested). Bodies is a presentation of cadavers that have gone through an amazing plastination process, which removes the water from flesh and replaces it with a liquid silicone rubber. The bodies have been dissected, posed, and used in a wide variety of displays. Not for the really squeamish, but is a fascinating look at just how complex the human body is. No photography allowed (which, for $26 a ticket, is crap), but *cough* someone was able to *cough* find a picture of one of the bodies:
There has apparently been some controversy about the acquisition of the cadavers for the exhibit, but the presentation was unbelievably respectful and tasteful -- even the section on fetal and neonate physiology, which included specimens of different stages of fetal development.
Finally, Tuesday night, we had tickets to see Lucky Cheng's "All That Drag" dinner and show, at the Krave Theatre just off Las Vegas Blvd. It was hilarious. The girls in the show, who are also the servers are funny, rude, blunt and a hoot -- and pretty damn good looking (mostly), for someone tucking their twig and berries out of sight. The funniest point was when they grabbed a 71-year-old woman there for her birthday, groped the heck out of her, and then made her participate in a pole dancing competition with three other dinner guests. Mondo fun, and exquisite food -- almost worth the price of admission in and of itself. Make sure and bring dollar bills for the dancers, and your camera. Hopefully, you can take better pictures than we managed:
Oh, and try booking your tickets through Gold Star Events -- we saved 50% off the ticket price when we bought them from Gold Star.
The Blackjack tables were a disaster for us. Frances did better on the penny slots than either of us managed at the tables the entire time. Damn you, Four Queens Casino....
Arrived in Denver this evening for our friend's wedding (Kathryn Matousek, if you need to know), on a mostly uneventful trip. One part of it stood out, and if I could have found a way to take a picture without looking like a complete douche, I would have.
We got on the bus to the car rental farm out in the dreary brown grass surrounding Denver, and this couple sat down beside us moments later. Her: Farrah Fawcett hair, purple, pinstriped shirt with a butterfly collar, tight Jordache-style jeans, and beige zip-up, square-toed leather boots (inside said pantlegs). Massively awesome. Him: Yellow t-shirt, beige khakis, glasses with neck strap, and white running shoes with VELCRO straps.
I'm no fashion plate by any stretch, and I'm not usually this shallow, but these two totally, fully rocked my world for the rest of the day.
A slightly-more-insightful aside to the couple in question: I noticed that she had a substantial diamond on her engagement ring/wedding band combo, and was truly struck by the universality of the "rock" concept. Here's a couple who are obviously not big spenders, judging by the wardrobes, but there's no question he/they dropped several thousand dollars on that ring. I'm *so* glad Frances isn't a traditionalist; we'd still be paying for a ring.
By the way, if you ask about how badly lost we got in Denver on the way home from dinner, you will get beaten. Think "Big Ben, Parliament" -- a la European Vacation, but involving a Target store and a ridiculously-designed interstate highway.
We've been deluged by, well, life, the last little while. Things are, however, looking up.
Starting with tomorrow.
We (and I mean the couple "we," not the familial "we") are off to Littleton, CO tomorrow for a friend's wedding, and then down to Las Vegas for three days. Frances promises not to gamble. I, however, make no such promises. We're so lucky that Ma and Pa are here looking after the kidlets for the week -- and that they gave us tickets to see Cirque de Soleil's "Love" Beatles show. We'll also be hitting Lucky Cheng's for the "All That Drag" show.
Suggestions of other places to hit -- we've got a list, but it's always up for modification -- are always welcome.
If we have a chance, I'll post some pics while we're there. Internet access is, apparently, expensive and/or sketchy, so we'll see how successful that is.
I've not spent a lot of effort doing any movie reviews on here, despite the fact that I am a massive movie nut -- and a bit of a movie whore. I'll honestly watch anything -- hell, with the magic of Zip.ca, combined with the The Pirate Bay, I really can. *Earth to movie distributors: As soon as you un-DRM these movies, and sell them for less than the physical copy costs -- and make them in a format that isn't just for iPod -- I'm sooooo your bitch.
Anyways, I finally got around to watching "Borat" on DVD, and was prepared to be overwhelmed by the biting social commentary of today's USA.
I didn't find it.
Bluntly, "Borat" sucks. It's "Jackass" for those who were too movie-snooty to watch "Jackass."
How in God's green earth did this "scripted" film get nominated for best screenplay? I enjoyed watching JA far more than than this mediocre assimilation, with perhaps two or three commentaries on American society. Whoopty-doo -- I could have gotten those kind of sentiments from crossing the border into International Falls, MN, with little effort. The rest is silly.
Don't get me wrong, I'm okay with silly. Heck, I just watched Beerfest (which was pretty funny, BTW). However, this was not the high-handed, biting social commentary that I thought I was going to see. I felt like the disappointment I felt when seeing "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," as well.
(Again, BTW, in that vein, "Fearless" was excellent -- Jet Li was fantastic, compared to the disaster that was CTHD.)
I'm planning -- tentatively -- to play shinny hockey next year for the first time in, oh, 16 years. Helping Gareth's team out this year has given me the bug again -- to play, not to coach (I'm not that stupid). Doing some research into equipment -- since I have skates, and gloves that are completely trashed, and that's it -- I found this handy guide to fitting hockey gear, from the Tuck Dartmouth intramural hockey league. reprinted without their permission -- but I link, so, hey, take what you can get. Oh, and good luck printing that bad boy -- it crashed all manner of apps and operating systems in my house trying to get it out:
Fitting Notes for Hockey Gear
• Bauer and CCM have different fit – CCM is closer fit...little more streamlined – many women like it
• Helmet should fit just above the eyebrows
• Chin should fit comfortably into cup of facemask
• Should not have any pressure points from pads. Foam pads can be shaped to a limited extent
• Adjustable even within sizes with screwdriver
• Clear shields are available, but tend to fog and price would be more
• Both lines were selected for lack of bulkiness, important in a non-check league
• Shoulders should fit directly into shoulder caps without adjustments or straps
• When lifting arms, pads should not dig into the neck of the player as this may cause injury.
• Arm pads should extend to just above the elbow to ensure full protection
• With elbow in cup of pad, bottom should extend to top of glove cuff
• Check that straps do not cut off circulation
• 452 is basic and will be sufficient to protect against falls, but has soft shell vs. hard plastic of 652
• 652 line is designed a little more ergonomically – strap positions mean that you will have less chafing from the elastic
• Try a pair out while gripping a stick
• Fingers shouldn’t swim, but shouldn’t be snug either (hey you want to be able to throw them off and start swinging!)
• Padding on the back of the glove should absorb all shock. Check this by pressing on the back of the glove. The player should not feel any pressure on the backside of the hand.
• Proper height of stick after being cut down is when end of stick is at nose height in street shoes or at chin height when player stands on tiptoes (to simulate skates) Toe of stick should be on ground and stick is vertical.
• Sherwood is a solid stick with firm flex good for intermediates and strong players. Solid core, but lighter than most wood sticks at that price point. Shaved handle for easier gripping when taped
• Need to be able to flex stick to get rebound for slap shot
• Koho Jr model is only good for people up to about 5’5”; softer flexing, fiberglass construction means it’s a little more durable
• Specify Right or left models
• Fit according to waist size; should not be tight
• Bottom of leg should extend over shin guard by 1 or 2”
• When fitting pants for females, fit hips first, then check the length of the pant.
• If possible, wear loosely fitting skates in order to get the proper length of the shin pad.
• The cap of the shin pad should be centered on the kneecap.
• The bottom of the pad should meet top of skate.
• If the pad is too short, it leaves an unprotected area above the skate will be exposed.
• If the pad is too long, it will restrict movement and create discomfort for the player.
• 12” – 4’4” to 5’0
• 13” – 5’0 to 5’4”
• 14” – 5’4” to 5’9”
• 15” – 5’9 to 6’2”
Garter & Supporters:
• Men need this. Women generally do not need cup but some do to have pelvic protection
• Jock shorts are great – well worth it in terms of time savings. Keep cup in shorts; just slip shorts on and off. More comfortable and also allow Velcro garters which are much quicker than regular hook and button.
• Lot of guys switch and buy the shorts during the season
• Sizing is according to waist size
• Estimate large – if possible, try on with shoulder pads, elbow pads and gloves
• Fitting sizes – S, L, XXL, but actually 5 sizes available (XS-XXL)
• Material is breathable mesh – no shrinkage
• Players shorter than about 5’6” may want to consider Jr size (only Bruins avlb)
• Very little shrinkage with the material
• Fitting sizes: Jr, Sr
• Bags are good – don’t be one of those guys that shows up at practice with a ripped garbage bag
• At $25, Supreme 1000 is good basic bag – Cordura rip stop nylon material
• Step up to Supreme 3000 for side and end pockets good so not everything gets lost in main compartment
• Throat protector: Not necessary – but adds extra protection. Soft, doesn’t really get in the way. Jr and Sr sizes
• Mouthpiece – Very important in not only protecting against injuries to the mouth and teeth, but head injuries such as concussions. Soften with boiling water and mold to your teeth. One size
• White tape - good for general equipment repairs and wrapping end of your stick
• Black friction tape – protect hockey stick blade and makes it stickier to control puck a little easier. Beginning players tend to lean on their sticks and need to replace the tape or else the blade starts wearing down
• Blade covers – Keeps your skate blades from ripping up your bag and other gear and also absorbs water to keep blades from rusting. Terry cloth, green or black.
• Pucks – always good to have a few pucks available for pond hockey, open-stick sessions, or just practicing on the lawn. Official 6 oz weight
...my triumphant stock market win that I finally cashed out on last week. It's especially important to note since I'm the financial equivalent of a New Orleans-style hurricane, sucking up everything in proximity with little regard for those around me.
I bought Akamai Technologies six years ago, at $9.53 USD/share. I watched it dwindle to under a dollar in that time (and bemoaned being too poor to buy more stock -- stupid lazy self-employed knob), as the market performed a falling-on-the-sword en masse. Akamai was, even then, in the aftermath of the dot-com bust, a smart buy, IMHO. They spent scads of money developing their infrastructure in the early years, when they could burn money non-stop, and no one apparently cared.
But, in 2001, there were a few things that happened that twigged me, and made me hold on to the stock; firstly, CEO Paul Sagan took a pay cut. Sounds inconsequential, but in an era of excesses and proverbial rats abandoning ship, this was a strong indicator that this guy wanted to stay there, regardless of what it took. Second was the securing of major customers, and the triumph of Akamai on Sept. 11, 2001. When sites around the globe crumbled under the weight of the lust for information that day, sites hosted by Akamai stood tall, because of the basis of their business model of distributed content.
The ultimate in tragic irony is that the man who developed the concept for the company, which was what kept information flowing that day, was one of the passengers on AA flight 11, which hit the WTC.
Anyways, for the purpose of shortsighted provincial child care funding, we needed to sell our shares in Akamai. I sold Monday at $50.13 a share. For the math challenged, including me, is a profit of $40.60 USD a share.
Now, if only SIRI would get their butts in shape.....
Two weeks ago, a fellow by the name of Bill Michl ran across the Rainy River District (where I live) in one day, to help kick off the local fundraiser to put a CT scanner in our hospital. Distance? 60-some miles -- over 2.5 marathons, from 7:00 in the morning, to 5:30 in the evening. Crikey.
Runners from across the district volunteered to run sections of it with him, including one woman who ran over halfway. I jumped at the chance to run in to Emo with him from about 7.5km out of town. The Fort Frances Times covered the story, and Heather (longtime friend and former co-worker) shot pix of the runners in action, including me -- or so I thought. Here's the pic from the dead-tree edition of the Times that day:
Bill Michl, third from right, got some help from local runners Kimberly Chorney, right, Dan Loney, Vince Sheppard, Gaydonna Baker, and Lincoln Dunn (hidden) as they neared Emo on Friday afternoon. Michl ran the 60 miles from Rainy River to Fort Frances to kick off the “Just Imagine” campaign. —Heather Ogilvie photo
I chuckled when I saw it. Serves me right for not being able to keep up the guy who ran the whole distance. I even endured the ribbing from my pal Kendall when he phoned and asked me who I paid to get my name in the paper. But then he sent me this:
I found an awesome program that enabled me to unhide you from the running picture in the Times. The program is so powerful that it also revealed your thoughts as you ran beside Bill. I've enclosed the photo for you to peruse. If you like, I can send you the powerful program!!
For the record, here's some actual documentation of me running -- and holy crap, is Bill a machine. I felt like a supreme lightweight joining him, for such a small distance comparatively, and it almost killing me as much as it did.
In two weeks, I'll be running in the CIBC Run for the Cure in Emo, an event to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. I'll be running in honor of a good friend, Susan, who has been diagnosed with started as breast cancer and has gotten a lot worse. It's a 5K, so nothing too serious, but if anyone is interested in making a donation to fill up my pledge card, send me an email, or Paypal it to me at ebay [at]vitaluna.net.
More to come soon -- school is starting up hard-core, and I'm juggling many balls at the moment. Blogging with more regularity is on the horizon, however.
A dearth of blogging (partially because of a dearth of internet access, partially because of a dearth of time) means a large summary today and/or of the salient points in several blog entries in a row.
In Biblical style, the last will be first – and man, was the last a doozy.
We left Sunday morning from a great couple of days in Edmonton, visiting sis and brother Susan and Andrew and their kids. All had a good time, and Andrew sent me home with about a pound of frozen hops for beermaking, of four different varieties. In this picture right, you’ll see why, with these on board, we decided that taking the usual, slightly-faster route across the U.S. border and back into Canada would be ill-advised:
Frances was humored enough herself, just by opening the cooler. I’d hear a snigger every time we needed anything out of the cooler. “Do you have any rolling papers?” was the standing joke of the evening.
The terrible part of the day, however, happened about 15 minutes after Frances uttered the deadly phrase, “We’re making really good time today!”
Observe the picture below:
This picture was taken, somewhat lightheartedly, when we noticed the dog had climbed up from her perch in the back of the van, on top of the camping gear and the suitcases in the back.
“Indy, get down!” everybody yelled at her, mostly in fun.
Seconds later, she did. And seconds after that, a horrendous smell emanated from the back of the van. A smell of the “What foul depths of fecal hell unleashed that stench, and where can we drop the napalm to eliminate it?” variety.
Indy had, if you’ll pardon the foul language, shit everywhere.
Apparently, the bison rib we gave her the night before had cataclysmic repercussions.
We stopped as quickly as we could, and, with both children sitting in their seats, holding their noses, we opened the back of the van.
Oh. My. God.
Now, anyone who knows Frances and I, knows that we complement each other well. Frances handles bodily waste issues well, and I’m a pro at dealing with blood and guts. Both of us shun the other’s respective, uh, ability, however. For the first time, I can honestly say that my gorge rose as I was visually assaulted by the scene before us.
Without going into more detail than anyone can possibly need, Indy had somehow managed to hit, in no particular order, three suitcases, one cardboard wine box, thankfully sealed, two plastic containers of camping gear, one seatbelt, two pieces of carpet, one package of marshmallows, one beach towel, and an appalling amount of the van interior plastic.
One hour, six garbage bags, two dishtowels, one beach towel, half a package of diaper wipes and a $9 bottle of Febreze later, we were back on the road – and no longer making good time.
I forgot how amazing it is to drive through the mountains.
After the ridiculously-early start to the day yesterday, we flew through Montana, thanks to the 70MPH speed limit state-wide. No road construction, no cops and lead-foot Frances meant a 750km day, with still getting to the campground by 6:30. We traveled through Glacier National Park, stopped and again did the requisite photo at the Teddy Roosevelt National Forest monument, and introduced Naomi to pit toilets. I was honestly terrified of dropping her. The visual that conjured up was almost enough for me to *not* put her on.
By the way, the McGregor Lake National Forest campground? Worst. Campground. Ever. It’s only redeeming features were that it had trees, and that it was $8. Thank God for air mattresses – first-sized boulders make for an uncomfortable night’s sleep. I don’t mind rough camping, but when you’re travel-camping, as opposed to hiking-camping, and have two little kids, a half-decent campsite is a blessing. We also celebrated Naomi’s third birthday with fancy cupcakes, and a new CareBear. It sings. A lot. Who let her pick that toy? I see a batteryless future for that toy.
Up this morning at 6:15, and packed and ready to roll by just after 7:00, we’re crossing into Canada in about 15 minutes, after a 25-minute jump through Idaho. Creston here we come, and Osoyoos about three hours later. Then, I’ll actually get to upload all these entries, back-dated, of course.
Monday was…a challenge. From about 9:30 onward, Naomi was in a bad mood; no solution of food, drink, toy or otherwise would fix things. We stopped to do the requisite pic of the family at the geographical center of North America in Rugby, North Dakota. A highlight of the trip, let me tell you.
The temperature soared over the course of the day’s travel, to 39 degrees C as we got to close to Glasgow. The trip continued through the rest of North Dakota and into Montana, with the continuation of bad-mood Naomi’s travails. In hindsight, we think that a combination of not enough to drink, not enough to eat ( not for lack of trying, however) caused a minor case of heatstroke, which manifested itself in a high temperature by the time we got to the campsite in Glasgow.
We found the campground easily enough, and though the owner was a nice fellow, it could only be charitably referred to as rustic, and I would define it as tenement camping, complete with side-by-side, treeless slots, coincidentally just big enough for an RV. Oh, and yesterday’s Ontario RV travelers with the satellite dish showed up shortly after us, but abstained from hooking up the dish this time around.
If you ask Gareth about the trip, and his night in Glasgow, he would likely tell you that he “almost drowned.” While Frances started getting an evening meal together, the slackers in the family swam. Gareth decided to swim from one end of the pool to the other. Unfortunately, when Gareth loses his momentum while swimming, he gets stuck vertical, and…well, exhibits his Frances side, and panics. So, instead of jumping in and “saving” him, I coached him to swim over to me, which he managed to do, and then proceeded to wail for several minutes about how the horrendous danger he had endured. Life’s hard when you’re six.
It was *hot* until the sun was mostly set, and then the wind began shortly before the kids went to bed. Frances and I frantically packed up everything, in case the ominous clouds decided to open up on us in the night, and the tent was whipped around like a flag in the wind, but the rain failed to materialize, and the wind finally died down about 10:30, while I sat in the van drinking beer and reading my Canadian law textbook. Indy, as usual, slept in the van. Again.
This morning, we got up at 6:30, ate, packed, showered, and were on the road by 8:00. Except, when we got in the van, Frances realized that she had forgotten to change the time on her handheld, and that we had actually gotten up at 5:30. Much abuse from the first driver ensued. The upside is, however, that by 10:45 this morning, we’ve traveled almost 300 kilometers. Man, is Montana flat. That’ll change by this afternoon, when we hit the Rockies. Gareth is already excited by the mountains, which we just realized neither child has ever driven through. Good times ahead….
We departed from Emo just after 1:00 on Sunday, having accomplished a million different tasks (one of which was NOT packing the card reader for the computer – argh) before; lettuce and beans planted in the garden, house cleaned, van packed. Pictured is the van as packed. Damn, that’s a sweet packing job, if I do say so myself. You would too, if I could actually attach the camera to the computer. Room for the dog to do her crazy-ass car watching without anything falling on her, and everything has a home. Yes, I’m a little obsessed. Read on for more of day one, if you’re so inclined….
We’ve got four bottles of wine for Mom and Dad from East Dell Vineyards, and we attempted to get them marked as being in our possession before crossing the border. No dice. Note to self: keep wine receipts in the future. Further note to self: count on Canada Customs to be as useless as tits on a bull at…well, anything.
This being the first trip with the iBook and a wireless card, I’m having a ton of fun wardriving for open networks, but, sadly, when I’m wardriving, Frances is vandriving, and not nearly as interested in trying to get connected as I am. I think I’ve got her convinced to at least let me try to check email today.
The troupe made it to Turtle River State Park last night without incident. The kids’ bikes are tied on the roof; fuel economy is teh suck as a result. I’m going to make sure they ride the damn things every time we stop. Can you guess whose idea it was to bring them?
Turtle River was pretty, and really quiet; the park ranger wondered why we were coming on a Sunday evening. One more sign that the concept of tenting on a traveling trip is a withering ideal. Our site was near several RVs, mostly older couples. As we were doing dinner dishes, I glanced over at the only other “younger” (read: mid forties) couple RVing with their daughter, and in disbelief I watched them screwing around with a portable satellite dish for the next hour, trying to aim it so they could get cable in their RV. Kill…me…now. I thought I needed to unplug, but that’s insane. You can see the ridiculousness in the pic that I’ll upload when I actually have a camera card reader (moron).
The evening was otherwise uneventful, other than cooling off dramatically, probably south of 10 degrees C., and Gareth successfully – thought without contact – identifying the poison ivy scattered everywhere in the campground. Oh, and the dog sleeping in the van. Talk about roughing it. We’re off today for Glasgow, Montana, and a private campground.
Saturday, July 1, I ran a 5k race with about 100 other people in Baudette, Minnesota, celebrating their centennial, or somesuch. There's more than a little irony in running a US race in on Canada Day, I figure. The race was great, especially since I hadn't particularly geared up for it -- just the usual 5k two to three times a week -- and still managed to shave a full minute off my last race time of 27:34 or so. Anyways, the friend who ran the race with me is a *much* faster runner than I, so we stuck around for the award presentation afterwards. As they're working through the age categories, they got to the 30-39, and I hear, "Third place, Lincoln Dunn."
What the hell?!?!
Anyways, the medal in the pic was the result. it was pretty gratifying, though I know it was more because of the number of runners (or lack thereof) in my age category than anything else. I'm sure that the primary reason for the time difference was the fact that I've lost 20 pounds since April, when I ran a 10k race.
I also managed to win a $15 GC for Ben Franklin craft supplies that I'm sure Frances will have no problem burning through.
Live light enough to see the humour, and long enough to see some change
..and the change is what it's all about this summer.
After a lot of soul searching, arguing, number crunching and reflection, I have given my letter of resignation at the Fort Frances Times, as of June 15 of this year.
As a lot of my friends and family know, I've spent the last four-and-a-half years trying to complete my bachelorus interruptus, begun so many moons ago at the University of Victoria. I've managed thus far to complete a diploma in marketing, and am now transitioning my program to completing a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing. But, at my current rate of completion, which is essentially 6 courses a year, it's going to take me almost four years to get it done. And I'm burning out.
In January, Frances and I started talking about what made the most sense; at the current completion rate, I'd be 37 by the time I was finished, which isn't an ideal age to be pursuing a new career or vocation. As well, while I have great staff and employers and the Fort Frances Times, I don't have a lot of growth opportunities in the future.
And I'm sick of doing web development.
Don't get me wrong; I'm still enjoying building online marketing collateral for customers, but I want to get strategic. Code jockey I can do, but I'd rather be a bigger picture guy, and I'm not gonna do that for my customers at $90 a month.
The personal side of this is really exciting, though. Frances has been incredibly brave to let me pursue this; financial stability is really important to her, and this is a vast departure from that for the next two years.
We're going to be traversing the country for my little sis's wedding in Whistler this summer, so I'll have a bit of a break before jumping in full-time. If you're a West Coaster, or an in-betweener, and we haven't talked yet, let me know if you want to hook up on this trip, and we'll see what's happening.
October 30 -- 2 miles, roadwork
November 1 -- 2.5 miles treadmill, 2.5 deg. incline
November 2 -- 2.75 treadmill, 2.5 deg. incline
From Digg, I found Map My Run, a way to create a map of your running distances. Very cool -- for me, the most useful extension of Google Maps I've seen so far.
A venerated sage with vast power and knowledge, you gently guide forces around you while serving as a champion of the light.
And yet -- that picture makes my ears look big. I don't usually do the "What XXX are you?" thing, but this one humoured me.
Judge me by my size, do you? And well you should not - for my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life greets it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us, and binds us. Luminescent beings are we, not this crude matter! You must feel the Force around you, everywhere.
It's all Star Wars, all the time around our place these days -- this morning, Naomi, while getting dressed, was clutching the ESB Princess Leia, and the ANH Luke (who happened to be wearing Darth Maul's cloak). Frances said she was a little worried, since she had seen Naomi putting Luke and Leia under a pillow together.
And from the G-man, overheard at hockey last night:
Parker Orchard: "Gareth, you're the smartest kid in our class!"
2.5 Miles, 2.5 incline, 6.5mph.
With the 2006 Freeze Your Gizzard Blizzard 10K scheduled for January 20th this year, I'm setting up my schedule again to get up to 10K (again). Ever since my beermaking injury in the summer, I've been a major slacker, but after talking to a fellow runner at the gym today, I'm ready to start getting serious again. And, I'm still looking to get my weight under 200lbs before then -- stupid home brewing goodness. I've determined that half of the battle for me running is the fact that I'm carrying 20lbs more than I need to -- shave that off, and I'll be in fighting form.
Well, breathing form, anyways.
So, running days, walking nights, and serious cutback on pain-go-away juice.
I got to be the official spokesperson for the United Church camp at Sunnycove that was sadly cut short on Thursday last week. Flu bug. Sucked mightily, since the kids were having a great time until they started with the vomiting and diarrhea. Good times, I tell you.
20 litres of beer on the floor, 20 litres of beer...
My brother-in-law Andrew, the brewer extraordinaire, has been warning me to get rid of my glass carboys for beer making, and move to plastic. After mixing a full batch of beer and half a pint of blood from the shattered glass on my cement floor last night, I'm convinced.
On a brighter note, I now have an up-to-date tetanus shot. Yay me!
Not bad for my first 10K, if I do say so.
It was chilly this morning – about 7C – but nowhere near the temperatures from the last race I ran. There were about 60 or so running the 5K/10K in total, and the whole race was pretty casual and low-key on the part of the organizers. I didn't finish last, though it was fairly close -- only four behind me. Overall, I was pretty pleased with the result (completing, not competing, was the order of the day). I did have two grumbly moments, however:
- Having not one, but TWO iPods die on me in the race (my battery kaffed out 10 minutes into the race, and Frances' locked up hard 10 minutes later, and refused to respond to any efforts to reboot it). I swear, I'm destined not to be able to use an MP3 player in any race. I think I'm going to be in the market soon for a Shuffle soon.
-Watching the 75-year-old guy pass me at the 6km mark, and stretch out his lead to about 300m by the end. I wasn't competing, but it did make me feel a little pathetic.
And, I'm a little sore this evening. I'm really, really not looking forward to tomorrow. I may be immobile -- and I've got a 20x20 garden to dig up and move.
This weekend, the four of us (minus the dog) are overnighting in Bemidji, MN so that I have a cheering squad as I run the Stride into Spring 10k. After the disappointment of only being able to run the 5k race at the Freeze Your Gizzard race in January, and the subsequent two months of physio to try and get my calf back in shape, I need to do this run. Did 8k on Wednesday, and I'm feeling good -- haven't actually done a full 10k, but felt so good after the 8k, I know it won't be a problem (thighs are sore though, ouch). Besides, for me, it's about completion, not competition.
As we were packing a bag last night for the trip, Frances asked the funniest question:
"So, how long will the run be? Half an hour?"
I looked at her and said, with incredulity, "Half an hour?"
"What? Fifteen minutes?" she responded quickly.
"FIFTEEN MINUTES??? Frances, it's 10k!"
I find that etymology, especially as it pertains to names and naming conventions, is a fascinating subject. I find it moderately interesting that you and I share a commonality in our name. It is, after all, somewhat unique.
What I don't find much interest in is receiving your correspondence.
Whether it's about your search for a used Lexus, your speaking schedule, or something you've ordered online – I really don't want to receive it. It's your stuff, not mine, and I get enough of my own to deal with daily.
So for the love of Pete, stop using my email address when you fill out forms.
Now, back to our regular infrequent programming...
So, yesterday sucked.
As many of my friends know, I'm a member of the Emo Walleye Classic organizing committee, which, with the schedule I'm working and schooling right now, is about all the volunteer time I have. Yesterday, Sam Visser, who was the co-chair of the committee, and a good friend, died after battling pancreatic cancer for the last six months. He was 55.
Sam and I didn't really get to know each other very well until he joined the committee in 2003, but we had chatted on quite a few occasions. And, they were always about technology.
Sam owned part of Visser Automotive, an auto parts supply store in Emo. The place is like every other parts shop -- shelves stuffed with boxes and junk, and stacks of parts everywhere else. But Sam was a big technology junkie. We'd be chatting, and it would go something like this:
Lincoln: So, I was looking at those 17" LCDs from Samsung. The image is pretty sharp on them.
Sam: Yeah, I've got one in the store right now.
Lincoln: Did you hear about that high-speed satellite connection? Sounds like it's got potential for some of the camp owners around here.
Sam: Yeah, it works pretty well -- I put one in at the shop.
You get the point.
And Sam was never bragging -- he just saw something he thought was neat, and added it to his setup.
And he was a good guy. He loved his grandkids tons, and he loved his community almost as much. Gareth and Rachel are in the same class at school, and played T-ball together last spring, and Sam was over there several times to watch Rachel.
If you want to see a little more about Sam, his web site is at www.svisser.com.
Goodbye, Sam. Clear skies.
New semester in what seems like my endless quest for a BA in IT Management from BC Open University. Two courses this term: "Open Communication" and "e-Business in a Competitive Environment" (which, so far, isn't as silly as its title).
Doing some research for one of the discussion questions in the e-Biz course led me to a 1999 transcription of a conversation between Paul Solman and Jeff Bezos (of Amazon.com fame) that had a creepy intro:
PAUL SOLMAN: What is this?
JEFFREY BEZOS, CEO, Amazon.com: This is my World Trade Center escape kit. It's a --
PAUL SOLMAN: World Trade Center escape kit?
JEFFREY BEZOS: -- a flashlight and, you know, a honking Swiss Army knife. It even has pliers.
PAUL SOLMAN: He keeps it on hand because when New York's World Trade Center was bombed a few years ago, folks were stuck in the elevators.
JEFFREY BEZOS: And it turned out if you'd had this simple tool you could have carved your way out of those elevators.
PAUL SOLMAN: Carved your way out of the elevators?
JEFFREY BEZOS: Yes. No Problem. So I got my whole family these World Trade Center escape kits.
I successfully finished the 5K Freeze Your Gizzard Blizzard Run on Saturday. Time? 32:06, which is almost bang-on my indoor pace of 6km/h, and faster than my outdoor pace has been, usually (about 5-ish). I was 19th out of 58 participants.
It was a *really* cold morning when I got up at 7:00, at -35C, but, thankfully, the wind that had been howling through the district the day before had virtually disappeared. By the time I got across the border to International Falls at 8:45, it had warmed up to about -30C. Balmy, I tell you, balmy!
It was a fascinating experience for me in my first timed run, other than when I ran cross-country eons ago in high school. Driving into Fort Frances, I had to remind myself several times, "It's only a 5K run. You've done this before, and you've done longer in colder weather. Relax." I felt pretty wound up, nonetheless.
When I got the Rainy River Community College, where the race started and finished, and went in to register, I was staggered by the number of participants. There were about 58 people registered for the 5K, but over 120 running the 10K. I hooked up with Bob Tkachuk, who's a marathon runner from Fort Frances, and we chatted while I got my tag (runner #60) and my bag o' crap from the sponsors. The sense of cameraderie was palpable in the room. We all were there to run versus the elements, and the friendly competitiveness was pretty low-key. As the cold constricts your blood vessels, so it also seemed with the participants. It was ironic to see how the caste system existed, however -- you'd meet someone, shake hands, and look at their pinned-on tag, to see if they were running the 5K or 10K.
After stretching and warming up, they called out the 5K participants to the starting area. It involved going outside, across a courtyard, and in another set of doors -- and then down a long hallway, that seemed more like part of an airport than a college, with doors and windows on both sides. I kept waiting to find a Mesaba Air Dash-8 parked outside.
At the starting line, they had starting guns. That's right, guns. Rifles, actually, in true Lake of the Woods-area fashion -- three guys with .308 rifles and hunting caps, waiting to start the race. It felt like a bizarre, backwoods salute -- or maybe they were there as motivation for the runners. Either way, it humoured the hell out of me.
The run was fun, mostly. In point form, my observations:
Thank jeebus for packing two balaclavas -- especially when it turns out I only packed one, leaving the other on the floor at home.
Plug the headphones in on the iPod *before* the guns go off. That way, you're not the last one to leave.
Wear the iPod closer to the body thank under the windjacket, so the battery doesn't die fifteen minutes in from exposure.
It would be useful to have sunglasses made out of copper or some other highly-conductive metal, so that the lenses could be defrosted by your own body heat. I ran the last 700 metres with my head tilted back, because my lenses were so frosted up.
Aggressive-tread shoes rule on packed-snow roads.
I have to thank Tyler for being my virtual coach via MSN. He kept at me to keep my training schedule up, and to not do anything stupid like keep running on an injured leg. Now I'm making plans to run the 10K in Bemidji in April.
Crap. Last week, I did 1.5 miles on the road, and had my calf start aching and seizing up -- on the advice of a fellow runner, I got off it, iced it, ibuprofen'd it, and have been waiting for healing.
I went to the physiotherapist yesterday, and he told me that I've strained the Soleus muscle in my calf, and that, point-blank, he doesn't recommend I run the 10K next week. Colour me seriously discouraged.
My plan at this point is to continue to evaluate my recovery until next Friday, and, if I'm pain-free at that point, run the 5K race -- I've been too long off my pace to try and make up the difference in current distance (4.5 miles) and target distance (6.2 miles), while still trying to recover from the strain.
Any advice to heal *really* quickly is greatly appreciated.
December 18 -- Off, sick
December 19 -- Off
December 20 -- 4 miles, road run, -8C
December 21 -- 4.5 miles, treadmill
December 22 -- Off
Still fighting off the cold, but I'm struggling on. Mom and Dad are in Emo now for Christmas, after a brief, harrowing and RETARDED side trip to Toronto for Alexis's baptism (spawn of Lerrin and Kim). Today, I have to do four miles -- and it's -34C, plus wind chill.
In the spirit of the commercial bonanza of the holidays for toy makers, courtesy of Slashdot we have TV Cream's Top 100 Toys, an awesome flashback to my childhood. Anyone in the 27-34 age range will recognize many of these artifacts of the 70s and 80s. Fun to look through while you're waiting for the last half-day of work before the holidays kick in.
I've got a backlog of training to get up, and, with Christmas, Gareth's birthday today, and suffering from both sleep deprivation and a nasty headcold after picking mom and dad up in Winnipeg yesterday, I'm done:
December 10 -- 3.5 miles, road run, -8C
December 11 -- 3 miles, road run, -12C (morning running sucks)
December 12 -- Off (slightly tight around the eyes after Fort Frances Times Christmas Party)
December 13 -- 4 miles, treadmill
December 14 -- 3.5 miles, road run, -8C
December 15 -- Off
December 16 -- Off
December 17 -- Off, sick
Gareth turned five today, as noted above. New hockey skates awaited him when he got up this morning (what five-year-old needs $100 skates? Sheesh...).
After opening them up and trying them on, what was his response? "You should have gotten me a toy."
Ahh, the honesty of a five-year-old. I've got to try that at work sometime.
Ahh, the beauty of living in the country. I forget, sometimes, how much of what we see living in Emo would be considered amusing, quaint, archaic or even bizarre, by city standards. Last night was just plain funny -- and pretty nice. Keep in mind that Emo is about 1500 people, so it's not a completely tiny outpost of civilization.
As I was out running last night, I got about a mile into it, and got stopped by the train. Three minutes later, train is gone, and I stumble across the track, and keep going. A few minutes later, a car passes me. I keep running, and finish at home about 25 minutes later.
Total number of trains I saw on my run? One.
Total number of cars I saw on my run? One.
I was amused, anyways.
Well, this last week has sucked -- Typhoid Naomi has had everyone sick, and this week was my turn. No running for the last five days, which has been a real bummer, after how well last week went. Ah, well, back at it today. Frances was laughing her posterior off at me yesterday when I bought a pair of polyester mid-layer running pants. It really does your ego good when your partner looks at you in the pants, starts howling, and says, "Men shouldn't wear spandex." Geep.
On a brighter (and much less frightening) note, while I was off sick on Thursday, after a 3-hour nap, I felt well enough to start my next batch -- I call it Truancy Ale:
6lbs Dark Dried Malt Extract
1.5 lbs Corn Sugar
1 cup coffee
48g Cluster Hops (Boiling)
24g Fuggles Hops (Finishing)
Boiled wort for 55 minutes, added Fuggles for an additional 10 minutes. Starting relative density: 1.054
November 22 -- 3 miles, treadmill 3 degree incline
Today's three miles was a little tougher, since I'm fighting off this week's ailment brought home by Typhoid Naomi. Tomorrow is a day off, because of workload.
On a brighter note, I finally finished Halo 2 tonight. Great game. Not as good as the first one, but great. Now if Bell would just pony up and install my DSL...
November 20 -- 3.0 miles, road training
I hate to use such a cliché, but I finally reached the running "zone" today.
My last road work on my 3-mile route in Emo was terrible. I stopped twice, and felt like I'd ad the crap beat out of me by the end. Today, it's cold (-2-ish), wet and windy, so I was not looking forward to it. But the run was great.
I did the full three, and could have done more. My legs are sore tonight, but I finally got heavily into the anaerobic zone, where I stopped spending all my time worrying about the stitch in my side, or how much oxygen I was pushing in and out of lungs -- I just ran.
Next week will be the move to 3.5, and maybe a slide into four on the treadmill. Tomorrow's a day off, partially because I have to babysit our migration team moving our web hosting to a new box. Can't wait, to be honest, but I'm going to have a *lot* of cleanup to do in the next few days. Wish me luck...
Thursday, November 18 -- Day Off
Friday, November 19 -- 3.5 miles, 3 degree incline, treadmill
MY pal Tyler has put in a brew request for when he comes back to visit at Christmas, and I'm happily starting my first Honey Brown Ale tomorrow. Modified recipe is below, original courtesy of SueBee Honey:
HONEY NUT BROWN ALE
6 pounds light malt extract
2 pounds Pure Honey
250g crystal malt (20L)
250g chocolate malt
125g dark brown sugar
50g East Kent Golding hops (bittering)
12.5g Willamette hops (flavoring)
1/2 tsp. Irish Moss
1 package Munton's Ale Yeast
Procedure: Steep grains until wort begins to boil. Remove grains. Add extract, brown sugar and East Kent Golding hops. Boil for 1 hour. Add Honey and Willamette hops in last 15 minutes of boil. Cool wort, and pitch yeast. Primary for 7 to 10 days, secondary for 17-21 days.
Seems a little ironic to have an entry that combines running and beer. Doesn't get any better than that.
I've been from Emo to Osoyoos, BC, and back in the last three weeks, as well as training n00bs on Mac OS X for a week, and installing the OS all over the office, for the last two weeks. Hence the lack of updates.
I've got a new daily to keep me on track -- both in blogging, and in training. I'm working up to a new goal in my running, the Freeze Your Gizzard 10K road race. January 15, 2005. To keep me on-track, I'm logging my daily distances here. I've got some catch-up to do, however. (Please note I have done training before these days...) Monday, Nov. 15 -- 3.0 miles, treadmill, 3 deg. incline Tuesday, Nov. 16 -- 3.0 miles, treadmill, 3 deg. incline Wednesday, Nov. 17 -- 3.1 miles, road work
Too much happening in the last month to blog, and none of it interesting enough to blog about.
Mental note: taking two marketing courses at the same time that have similar structures? Recipe for disaster. And one of my instructors wickedly going through the motions -- making individualized comments on assignments is apparently tiresome. I won't say which one.
On a different note, I'm training for the Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run 10K in International Falls, MN (three minutes from my office) in January. I'm currently running 2.5 miles on average. 10 weeks to crank it up -- and my road run last Sunday just about killed me. I figure it's a pretty good goal for an ex-smoker (almost three years! yay!) with exercise-induced asthma. Oh, the agony, though...
The four of us spent the weekend in Kenora (2.5 hours north of Emo) for the biannual Cambrian Presbytery meetings. As usual, I was a part of the youth event. We spent the weekend creating a piece as part of worship on Sunday that was amazing. The group started with the outline of a script and pumped it up to involve dance, drama, music and audio effects. We had planned to add visual effects with an LCD projector, but what the teens created was so visually stunning that it would have detracted from the piece.
One of the funniest parts of the weekend was the audio clip that we created and never used. I was working with three of the teens to create the sound effects for the piece, and an (eventually discarded) effect that we needed was a run through the radio dial. As Reid ran through the radio dial, however, he captured this clip that humoured the heck out of all of us for the weekend.
Pictures to come, and a QT copy of the worship piece, when I have a chance.
My good friend Tyler went and saw Lisa Loeb last night in Toronto last night, after taunting me mercilessly all day yesterday. Since I know he won't put the picture up anywhere, I figured I would. So, to get even, I just went and bought her new album from the iTunes Music Store. Boy o boy, is that one-click purchasing evil. I like so far.
Last night, after listening to me rant about how disgusted I was with Tyler for having the audacity to go and see her without me, Frances and I also discussed Lisa's position on my list of celebrities I'm allowed to sleep with, given the opportunity.
It's okay, she's got a few on her list too.
...ripped from the collection of over 500 CDs, and I ain't done yet.
An interesting factoid that I had never realized before, is that speed of ripping from CDs is constrained not as much by your drive speed, but more by the distance from the center of the disc, and, hence, the spin speed at that point on the disc. Further distance from center, faster speed spinning, apparently.
I guess that's the result of bailing on as much science as possible at grade 11. (Thank you, Biology 11. All I remember is fighting with the teacher over her use of a "Far Side" comic on the exam to identify a paramecium.)
Through a monumentally-stupid episode of "using-the-left-channel-speaker-for-a-non-approved-purpose," I'm now looking for a left channel midrange 3" driver (and possibly the tweeter too) of a set of Altec Lansing ACS48 speakers. Anyone who reads this and has one moldering in their closet, let me know. I love this speaker set, and can't really afford to replace the whole damn thing right now.
(Note to self: Never use good speakers to test a powered mixing board from a garage sale.)
So long in updating, it's painful. But there's a good reason. Really.
The whole "Server nuked, lost data, etc." portion of the previous post has a deeper impact than I thought would be felt. Since the beginning of December, I was making a concerted effort to update more frequently, and was really beginning to enjoy the blogging bug. When I lost all my posting for the previous year, I was supremely discouraged. Top that off with the fact that I had just completed a major update to the site design (which, with the Movable Type software I'm using, is a fairly involved process, especially when you're adding/editing/deleting categories, and I've done a lot of customizing of the layout control), and apparently can't locate my source file for the graphic redesign, left me very bummed out.
Time for a new leaf. Look for some major changes in the next few weeks, and for a clambering back on the horse of blogging for me. In the meantime, some news:
1) Great News: Lerrin and his fiancée Kim have been blessed by the arrival of Alexis Hope Dunn, via caesarean section. She's crazily cute, and doing great. Email them at lerrin-at-dunncomm-dot-com to get them.
2) Sad News: My mother and father (and many others, including me) have lost an incredible friend, Noelle Cooper. She was one of the most cheerful, fun, positive and loving people I've ever known, and, even though my contact with her has been scarce over the last decade, I'm going to miss her more terribly than I ever imagined. The saddest part of her death is that we don't know the details, or the specifics -- Mom was in contact with her via email after Alexis was born, but since Noelle was single, and never had children, we only discovered by chance that she had died. When I feel up to it, I plan to write more about the phenomenon, and how I think technology can make a difference, but for now, I'm just missing Noelle. Goodbye, and thanks for the baseball -- and so much more.
Sorry for the lack of updates (although, for all I know, the only person I have to apologize to is myself). Busy last little while in Emo, with visits by John Androsky from Vancouver (who manages the Havana on Commercial Drive -- excellent Cuban cuisine if you're in the area). John and I managed to annihilate a few cases of beer during his visit, and almost finish Max Payne and Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the XBox.
Right now, Mom and Dad Dunn are on the scene (watching the 10-14 INCHES of snow fall today...yikes) playing with Gareth and such.
On a related note, three of the five of us consumed a bottle of Eastdell Black Cab that was excellent. Highly recommended by all.
Apologies for the lack of updates. Cambrian Presbytery had their semi-annual meeting last month, and the three of us were heavily involved in the youth event portion of it. Well, Gareth was more comic relief than anything else.
In the meantime, I've been laid low by a cold, and Frances is busy being (a) a minister, (b) a mom and (c) pregnant, which can combine to take up the lion's share of the day.
In other news, I've heard rumor of a pirated DVD of "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" wandering around the area, for those of us who can't wait for the opportunity to buy it in August (and then again in November, if you're like me and have issues). I'm greedily rubbing my hands together right now...
...and, I'm working on a way to get pictures up more easily. Note to self: actually owning a digital camera would fix that, dork.
More to come soon...
Gareth and Lincoln just got back from a week of doing training in Vancouver on Mac OS X Server at Apple's training centre. Course was excellent, and we had a great visit with family and such. Apologies to anyone who reads this and we weren't able to see -- it *was* a work trip after all.
Spent most of Saturday walking the space between two holes in the ice with a couple of short, cheap fishing rods in my hands, to no avail. I did have one 5-pounder on the line, until he got to the hole. I suspect that by this time next year, he'll have been a 10-pounder...
In a vain attempt to prove my position in the food chain, I'm off to go ice fishing on Saturday, with fellow employee Cory Westover. It's a bit absurd that I've lived in one of the premier fishing areas in North America, and have never been ice fishing before...
Allaying Frances's fears, Cory informed me that there's approximately 16" of ice on the lake (vehicles can safely traverse the ice with 12"). The only chance of going through would involve falling into a 8" round hole, which, judging from my waistline, won't be an issue.
The most humorous part of it all is the method that we are apparently going to use to fish. Cory calls it "ice trolling." It involves the following:
two ice fishing poles with appropriate lines, jigs, and bait
two holes in the ice approximately 100 ft. apart
walking back and forth between the two holes holding the two sticks, thereby making the bait bounce (slowly) up and down in 120 ft. of water
Watch this space for an update on what exactly the results are on Saturday.
News for nerds. Be afraid. As the Apple Turns
News from the Mac universe with a twist. MacSlash
News for (Mac) nerds. Be more afraid. Plastic
If it's a bizarre news story, it's here. For nerds and non-nerds alike.
Tech news from the other side of the pond.