As anyone within about 100 miles of burns bog could tell you, it's damn
smokey. Depending on the wind direction the smokiness comes and goes, but
I seem to have had a perma-sore throat since Monday.
On a semi-but-not-really-related note, I was just reading an article on the CBC, Montreal bar owners to challenge
Quebec smoking ban. From the article:
Two bar owners in Montreal are launching a legal battle against
Quebec's anti-smoking legislation. They say the law will cause job
losses because more patrons will stay home.
Talk about Deja Vu. Do these people honestly think it will hurt their
business? There are plenty of real world examples proving just the opposite. If
someone wants to smoke, they don't go to a restaurant or bar to do it. They
go to restaurants or bars when they want to eat or drink, and that ain't about
Things have been pretty crazy at work the past few weeks. A lot of changes
right now... including me finally having my own office! The first time I've
ever had my own office. It's pretty spacious, now I just have to
get some plants and other decorations (and attach my keyboard tray
(my wrists!!)). Don't worry, I'll be sure it follows Feng Shui ;).
Bliss and I went on an overnight hike this weekend to Garibaldi Lake. It was
a pretty good hike, 9km with a 900m vertical climb. It took 3 hours in, 2.5
out, but we were stopping a lot on the way out for pics. We almost didn't
get a site though. Once we had climbed most of the way we passed a ranger who
told us the campsite was full. We were like wtf? And started hustling, we
passed to groups of people and managed to score the last site that was
pretty well hidden.
All in all, it was a great trip, I'm gonna be sore tomorrow. The weather
was wicked too. Pretty hot, but nothing we couldn't handle. Sorry Bliss,
I just decided to post my own album. I needed to post this freaky
picture that you'll see below.
Alright, here are my best photos (except for this first one), but feel free
to check out the album:
Just your average afternoon photo of a mountain with a reflection in the lake,
Now take a look at the sideways view, I only noticed this because this is
the actual angle that he photo was taken, but I didn't catch it until it was
on my computer screen.
Does that not look like an evil ass face to you? Damn, it's freaking me out
right now. I wonder if that's like a bad omen or something.
Post on a scale of one to ten how freaky you think that picture is.
Ok, I think this one is my best photo that I took:
Well, something actually funny to write about for once. This past Saturday a bunch of us went downtown to go to the Yaletown car show for the afternoon and to the fireworks ("celebration of light" or something like) later that evening. Those two events, however, were the least interesting of the day.
After a few drinks at Parv's place (on the 14th floor) we headed out for the fireworks. The elevator said max 9 people (or 1500 lbs), we had 10 smaller people, so what the hey. We all piled in and made our way down. Some of us figured that jumping would be fun. Apparently it was just enough increase in weight to push us over the 1500lb limit (our total weight, which we added while waiting was 1485 lbs).
Anyway, long story short, after much crazyness, trying to pry the outer door to the second floor open, having a lady on the outside tell us that we were jerks, and the repairman having to come from Burnaby (which would take him >1h), we managed to make it out in 35 minutes (I guess the elevator had a timeout and started moving again) and catch the start of the firewords. We also had to split so the people who were "helping" us (by calling us jerks), wouldn't get Parveen evicted.
So I think I'm finally about ready to get an mp3 player. Right now I'm looking
the iriver and the ipod. I'd probably get the iriver 799 or an ipod mini, as I
want something that's not going to be too clunky when I go running or to the
The iriver is $229 and 1GB, the ipod mini starts at $249 and has 4GB. Right
now I'd say I'm leaning towards the iriver as I can just strap it to my arm
or whatever. And it can play ogg vorbis
files :-)! Oh yeah, the iriver also plays FM radio and lasts approx. 40 hrs. I
think you have to pay extra to get radio on an ipod (if possible) and it only
lasts up to 18 hours.
Anyone got any recommendations? Perhaps other mp3 players that are good?
Oh yeah, and some links:
Apparently the Defend Marriage Coalition has been registering a bunch of .ca domains with the names of MPs who support same sex marriage and there's a bit of contraversy over it in the House of Commons. I almost couldn't stop laughing through the entire article.
We started our short trek into the Kootneys on Tuesday after deciding to spend an extra night in Vernon Monday night. We ended up driving for about 5 hours to Ainsworth. The highway there was absolutely beautiful and there was next to no traffic. I think we were fortunate that I decided to take this week off, as summer vacation begins next week for high school and elementary school, so things are still pretty quiet. There was a neat little ferry that we had to take across Arrow lakes to get to Nakusp.
Nakusp is known for it's hot springs. It has two developed ones, which are pretty much just hot/warm pools and there's about 6 or so known, but undeveloped, hot springs only a short hike off the road. Unfortunately, due to our extra night in Vernon we didn't have time to check any out. It might be nice to check out some of the undeveloped hot springs in that area sometime.
Our next stop was Kaslo. A fairly small town with some nice beaches along Kootney Lake. There wasn't much there, but the main street downtown was really nice, many shops with the backdrop of mountains. There was one wicked little takeout place with like dogs/burgers/fries that also baked a lot of their own bread, some yeast free bread too, so Ariane was able to get some.
We stayed in Ainsworth that night. Meh... nothing in Ainsworth but the hotel and hot springs, we stayed in the hotel. The cool thing about these hot springs was that they're developed around a natural cave that you can walk right into. It's sort of like a combination steam bath/hottub at the very back of the cave... really relaxing once you get over the not being able to breath stuff.
We drove to Nelson the next morning. Nelson is really cool... surrounded by steep mountains and the Kootney Lake, it's very scenic. Though it was raining when we first arrived (yesterday), today is awesome weather. I went riding on one of their mountains today, it was a lot of climbing but also some wicked rides back down. I only did intermediate rides and they were slightly above my skill level, with a ton of ladder rides and jumps Nelson's tracks are definately on par with the Vancouver north shore.
The main street in Nelson is about 8 blocks long with a ton of shops and pubs and even a few places where Ariane can get food. We tried to do a tour of the NBC (Nelson Brewing Company), but they only run tours on Fridays, so we'll have to skip that one unfortunatly. Though I've sampled a few of their beers since we've been here and I must say, it's quite nice.
I can't believe how much live music they have here. Tonight we're going to see Luther Wright at a club across the street. Hopefully it won't be too country.
Last weekend was Graham and Itsuki's wedding at Lake Okanagan Resort near Kelowna. Their second one in two weeks, actually. It was a really fun time, great to see Graham again, though, I think he's mellowed down a fair bit since he first left Canada.
The resort was quite nice, though not the best place to buy food, mostly because it was still off-season. On the first day their Ariane and I, and a few other wedding goers did a tour of the Grey Monk winery followed by 18 holes of mini-golf at Scandia with about 30 other people who were also going to the wedding. It was all a pretty good time. We just chilled in our room that night (which by the way came complete with a jacuzzi in the living room, damn!).
On Sunday was the wedding, the ceremony was outside, and thankfully the rain stopped that day, and it was very nice. The reception/dinner was fun, great food, and a great speach by MacBitch. Thankfully I was recording it and will be using an identical speach next month at Bliss and Deb's wedding ;-).
Between the highway and the resort they were blasting the cliff side (apparently to get rock for the new bridge), this delayed traffic a lot as they only let cars through for 10 minutes each hour. But at around 10pm at the reception we were notified that they blew off about half the cliff face and covered the road, as well as the foremans pickup, with rock. It cut the reception short for most people unfortunately as it turned a 20 minute drive into a 2.5h drive as the only way back into Kelowna was through Vernon. Fortunately for us the rock was mostly cleared by morning and we were able to make it to brunch/present opening and Grahams parents' house.
So I think I'm going to come back from my blogging hiatus as Ariane and I are
heading to the Kootneys next week, and I'm sure you all want to know what
I'll be eating for breakfast. Besides, it's time I rejoined the sorority of spam
that is blogging.
My comment system has become bombarded with asshat spammers, so the other day
I finally got it together and wrote a script to help me manage my comments and
remove the odd 1500 spam comments that were so graciously placed on my blog,
most of them completely blank entries (wtf?).
I'll also hopefully be throwing some more pics up on my photoblog so that all
can bask in my poor photography skills :-).
We finally had our long awaited house warming party this weekend, sorry if you missed out on it (for those of you who did miss out on it, because, perhaps, you don't live within 1000 miles of here, we will be posting pics of our new place sometime, honest). It was pretty good, we had pizza (homemade), hot wings, roasted garlic and brie, and a fruit pizza that Deb made. I was actually kinda worried that there wasn't going to be enough food, but we were all stuffed by the end of it. Hancock was in town too, on his way back from a conference in Portland, he was with Petra, a girl who works in his lab. She was pretty cool, from Germany, and she introduced us to 'Diesel', a German drink made up of about half beer (preferably something light like a weisen, I think) and half coke. It was surprisingly good.
After like three hours of eating we played poker for the rest of the night. Honc also brought a Microsoft rubix cube for me (because he know how much I adore MS). I spent practically half the weekend working on it got it about half way before I messed the whole thing up with a rank move.
Saturday was tux shopping day. Bliss and I, and the "ladies" went to pick out tuxedo's for Bliss and Deb's wedding. It was pretty wild, I think we were there for like 2.5 hours just picking out each part of the tux. It was a good thing that Ariane and Deb came too, I think guys are just naturally not as good as girls at things like this.
We watched Sideways on Saturday night. It was actually quite good. I also got out and "hit the slopes" on Sunday afternoon. It's probably been about 1.5 years since I last had a good ride, but hopefully now that I'm living up on the hill again I'll start getting a lot more riding in. Would anyone be interested in doing a "Brunch n' Bike"? Have a brunch up here and then go for a ride on Mel's or Nicole's?
We bought a new BBQ on Sunday afternoon too, and christened it with some beef tenderloin and potatoes, mmmmm. It's the Weber baby Q. Pretty sweet.
Oh and we also watched Closer. It has Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Julia Roberts, and Clive Owen, as the main characters. I'm
not certain that I understood the movie at all. It was definately different. If you want to see Natalie Portman get as close to naked as you'll probably see her in a movie than I guess I'd recommend it, otherwise not. It seemed like it was like a play that was turned into a movie or something. I dunno?
Oh yeah, I was also looking at some of Leslie's photo's after Bliss made me look at this one (EDIT: Sorry, the photo's no longer there!). They're totally awesome. I think looking at them has inspired me to start taking more photo's again :-).
If you've ever played Crib before, you probably won't believe this, but don't
worry, I still don't believe it myself. Ariane and I were playing Crib
tonight and the game ended with her getting a 28 hand! That's right, a 28
Maybe I'm not emphasizing this quite enough... but it's not as if we play crib
all the time, in fact, we rarely play. For a quick background overview of the
game, in two player crib each person is dealt 6 cards, two of which go into
the dealers "crib", an extra hand that gets counted at the end of the hand.
So each person is holding 4 cards, at this point the deck is cut, and a fifth
card is flipped over, both players can use this card to add to their hand.
Points are obtained by adding cards to 15 (i.e. 7 and 8 will give you 2
points), making pairs, runs, or flushes. When a person goes to count their
cards, they have five cards to work with, their four and the flipped card.
If you've forgotten MACM 101 already, the total possible number of different
hands you can have with this is (52 choose 4) * 48 = 12,994,800. To get a
28 hand you have to have four 5's and a face card (or ten). Only 78 possible
hands will get you that, which means that the probability of getting a 28 hand
is just over 1 in 170,984. Now that's ridiculous!
I think we might have to go buy some lotto tickets...
btw, Ariane had the Jack of clubs, 5 of clubs, 5 of spades, 5 of diamonds,
and the cut card was the 5 of hearts.
Ariane and I volunteered to look after my Boss's (sumo's) dogs for the week
while she's on a ski trip to Big White. They're both pretty hyper dogs but
I think they'll be ok here for a bit. Here's a picture I snapped of them
in one of their rare calm moments: