Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Bayfield Trio trip

So, Rory gets a call a while back from Jerry (sp?) from the Rittenhouse in Bayfield that a couple would like to get married in Bayfield and wouldl ike to have pipers.  Rory throws some figures at him, and lo' and behold  Steve, Rory and I are heading down to the states for a wedding.

The first 'fun' comes from the fact that we leave at like 8am.  Have I told you all before that I'm not a morning person?  I'm not.  So, I'm ready for 8am, on the other hand, Steve is ready for 8am.  Rory is ready for 8am... Bain time.  So about near 9 Rory picks me up.  After a quick McDick's breakfast we're off to south of the border.

The second 'fun' happens at the border.  The border guys aren't believing us that we weren't getting paid [go figure] for this wedding.  We go in and are questioned for a while.  Finally we are let go, and we're off to the races.  We stop (typically) at Hacienda del Sol.  Yum, some good Mexican food.  Then we visit downtown Duluth and head on out.  Fast forward a few more hours and we're in Bayfield.  We visit the Rittenhouse and told some of the general specifics and we scope out the landscape and head to our room.  We're told our 'room' is attached to somebody's house.  Ermm... doesn't sound good.  Ever heard the expression, don't judge a book by it's cover?  Well, this room attached to a house turns out to be a small condo-like apartment, and is quite spacious for the 3 of us [we later find out it is $150/night].  We head down to the Rum Line for a refreshment and meet a new bartender there.  Amaris.  Hot!

We have a quick change and we do the first of the gig.  The first part is we do is for the reception [kinda backwards].  We play while people mill, and then play the bride and groom in.  Turns out the family is authentically Scottish.  From Aberdeen!

Now we have about 3 hours to kill before the actual ceremony.  We pick up beer, and groceries and head off for the 2nd gig.

The second part is at the actual wedding ceremony outside, and it's starting to get a little dark out.  Rory and Steve pipe down the bridesmaids and I pipe down the bride.  We wait for the bride and talk with the family for a bit.  After a pretty cermony we beat them all down to the Paviillion for the dance portion.

Final part of the gig.  We pipe the newly pronounced couple into the Pavillion and they do the normal wedding cake ceremony.  We play a little more [and faster too] while waiting for their DJ.  We hang outside after with soem refreshments and cake.  Chat up the family some more [it's always neat to hear the accent of authentic Scottish people].  Rory collects our fee and we head off to the hotel for a fun night.  The Rum Line is dead, Morty's is (as always) a hick bar, so we call it an early bar night and decide to party it up ourselves.  That doesn't last very long as we're VERY tired.

Morning wakes us up pretty early and we pack up and go, reflecting on how old we've all gotten [not having had a PARTY night].  We drive blearily on past most of the normal stops until Rory needs coffee, finally about Two Harbours.  We drive more until Grand Marais [lasting almost 700km on a single tank of gas].  We stop and visit the town for a bit, going down to the waterfront and Trading post.  Fast forward through driving and talking about band direction and tunes until we're home.  Another gig done.


Friday, August 26, 2005

Readying for the trip

Blimey it's warm in this basement apt when the windows are closed.  Damn rory and his tea late at night.  So we're leaving for Bayfield in about 6 hours.  I have yet to sleep and pack yet.  At least my mom has a ton of cookies for me to pick up.  MMmmm... cookies.  Apparently Peanut Butter with chocolate chips and Chocolate with Peanut Butter chips.  Hmmm...  Well, the weekend shoudl be good, with Rory and Jessome, and there's the possibility to pick up a few bucks... As long as the gas prices are ok, we could make some money.  Just not too enthused about the drive.

I'll report back when I get home.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Being sick sucks! - thank you brian

Okay, so last night I came home and thought I wasn't feeling 100%, so I went to bed early.  Brian had complained of some cold on the weekend.  I didn't wake up until almost too late.  I woke up early enough to drive Mandy to work and call Pete and cancel my chiropractic appointment.  But I went back and woke up roughly around 12, I had to work for 1.  I debated about calling in sick, but with recent developments at work, I thought it would be mean of me to do so.  So, I go in, late, and I barely lasted 3 hours before I got to pull to plug.

Then there was the bad news at work.  Ok, now I'm not sure that Cameron would want me to go into the details, but my previous MSN nickname made me seem like a total jerk.  It wasn't about him, but could be construed the wrong way.  I apologize Cam.  Our department is falling apart.

I tried to get some more sleep, but can't, so I'm just taking tons of drugs to keep me alive ... and now I have to debate about calling in sick tomorrow.  I could, but there's NOBODY to cover the shift, so I kinda feel bad.  But I'm sick... not much I can do.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


just a side note - this was written AFTER the canoe trip while I still had some memories fresh.



Started out at a place called Madelaine Lake [met some nice TO guy who's been going there for 50 years he said.  Gave us some shelter from the rain before we headed out] and we paddled through to Icarus.  Couldn't find the right portage at the end of the lake, so after searching ALOT of ground (and one canoe tipping by me!) we find a great portage (super easy road) leading to what we think leads to a lake that'll take us AROUND the one we wanted to get into.  This leads us actually to areas of swamp, HUGE bushwacking portages (one had 4 stages in it, really fun!) and a general feeling of unsureness of where we were.  As light fades we try to find a last portage & decide against it and camp for the night.  We find an "ok" spot on a bit of a high rock.  Very narrow, TONS of bus (literally it hummed so loud you thought there was a plane or something), no light.  Jarron and Regan ended up taking a spot a few feet away which was about a 30-40 degree slope.  We all beat a hasty retreat into the tents and get some sleep.  According to Jarron and Regan this was a VERY rough day, VERY out of the norm for them.


The day starts out realizing that the previous day wasn't a bad dream (and then seeing Todd and his naked ass).  I'm trying to vote that we head back, take 2 days to do so and come back a day earlier.  No takers .  Jarron and Regan said the portage they found last night [but was too dark to use] should work, just it'll be tricky [like anything vs. last day would be considered tricky].  So we give it a go.  Dry socks go into semi-dried shoes & within seconds they're soaked again!  The first portage is a KILLER.  Not as bad as the previous day, but it'll rank up there.  Just swampy areas.  This leads to an area that we're still unsure about, but we meet a Wisconsin who tells us we're the first to come through the way we did, and how he came through Icarus (the portage that WE couldn't find - apparently we didn't look hard enough).  He also tells us that if we had been there the previous day, another set of campers might have given US a case of beer that they gave to him.  BURN.  We take lunch on a rock with chicken fajitas which were supposed to be last night's dinner - if we had the time.  We paddle on through what seems to be endless kilometres of swampy beaver areas and small low water rapids.  As we're just about to give out from exhaustion, we come out on Granite Lake.  A BEAUTIFUL pristine calm lake.  We find THE campsite.  nice beach, log benches around the fire pit, a cooking table, plenty of tenting sites, even a place to actually sit down to crap!  Just a bit of garbage and lots of quad tracks.  The night is nice, we make some sausages over the fire.  Have a nice swim, Rory tips over in the canoe [trying to pump water from the lake].  The bugs get SUPER insane and we make an early night of it.

Day 3

Probably the best sleep of all the trip.  Tho', I realized that my 'muscle shirt' (read, wife beater) was a bad call for eysterday as my shoulders are a nice shade of RED.  Sleeping kinda irritated it.  We head out for the best day of all.  Nice amount of paddling, broken up really well with nice portages.  Apparently we covered ~20km!  We had some nice rapids, then some strong winds at our back.  Jarron rigged up the tent fly with a pole and we SAILED pretty well for about an hour.  Then a nice little rest by some rapids while Regan and Todd fish (we swim) and Regan breaks his rod.  Then we get to more paddling.  WE stopped for a quick lunch @ what I call "Joshua Tree Island."  The wind is still strong so we go and sit side by side in canoes so that the wind pushes us better.  Works sort of like a catamaran.  We find some guys DRIVER'S LICENSE & then we finally land in NORTHERN LIGHT LAKES.  We try to camp @ the falls but some Americans already have it.  They blocked the landing with 2 canoes (one had a dead fish tied to it), and a few beer cans, and 3 more canoes on the lane up to the site.  We decided to push through their site to on on the other side.  We start to paddle through some rough waves.  A bit leery actually, but we eventually come out to an AWESOME camp ste.  Again a little dirty [coffe cups, and other litter].  There's a lean to, that helps block the wind around the fire spot, with a shelf for cooking, and they have a toilet as well!  The wind really starts to pick up.  Rory sets up a clothesline to dry everything out.  We take a good swim and set up camp.  Todd & Regan go fishing.  The wind definitely helps keep the bugs away!  Strong wind really starts to turn into a "storm brew," and with no sign from Todd or Regan we start getting concertned.  It gets a little worse out.  Heavy winds, little spots of rain.  We start dinner without the 2 fishers and as we start they appear with 2 catches.  It rains almost immediately thereafter.  I eat my 2 sausages and head to bed (i hate getting wet).  Just as I turned on my MP3 player the rain stops so we all get out and watch the storm.  A bunch of huge FORKS of lightening strike pretty close by.  But it looks like the storm just went all aorund the island, but nothing ON the island.  Todd decides to jump out and scare Jarron [it's really dark now].  He does so, but it was Regan instead, and I thought Regan was gonna kill him.  Rory & Todd decide to do a midnight naked swim, I bow out and fall asleep listening to tunes.


Woke up from the worst sleep (sun burn and a MILLION bug bites can do that).  We have a quick breakfast and off we go in VERY choppy weather.  We were warned to wear our life jackets.  Good idea.  If Jarron and Regan suggest to do so, i say we do so.  Nothing happened, mind you, but it was good reassurance.  I can see how some people can get sea sickness.  So we paddled a ton of open water.  NO PORTAGES!  Which made for really boring paddling.  The wind was mostly @ our backs, but still some very choppy waves.  A few close scrapes with some power boaters (jerks - Todd really had to wave at one of them so they wouldn't get so close).  Rory was really getting concerned.  And Jarron decided to use the sail trick again. Gave him the edge, beat us by ~20minutes but we were dead tired of paddling all that way, and he just sat back.  The last 10 minutes it rained HARD, but we were so close & we were glad we didn't tip.  To top the weekend off Regan's tire was flat!  Then we headed for home - only stopping at the Stanly for a STANLEY BURGER, of course.



White River & a lesson in maturity

So it's a day late [white river was yesterday], but i was busy putting the final touches on the DVD from the Canoe Trip.  I'll post stuff about that later.

Well... White River.  Good times.  Bad drive.  The whole long route up Jarron and Brian just got obliterated.  Actually, Jarron held his own.  It was Brian who ended up calling God on the big white porcelain phone.  That was funny.  Loud too.  A good night none the less of just hanging out with some buds from the band.  Middle part was a little 'iffy' as the bottle cap wars escalated when somebody found out that I was collecting them.  I won't get into it, but I ended up hurting Erin.  I'm REALLY sorry  about that Erin.  Almost that alone caused me to call it off.  What did end it for me was the little prank/joke thing we had going rose [or fell is a better description] to outright theft.  Not of my stuff, but of Jarron's too.  And the manipulation to make people do the stealing too.  To me that seemed really childish and that coupled with the accidental hurting of Erin caused me to just call it quits.  I guess it was my lesson in maturity.  For that I'm grateful, and if all it cost me was my skull [that I had since I was 8], then so be it.  What else I enjoyed about the trip was that I got to use my Aztek tent again.  That thing is SOO comfy [when there's only one person in it].

What else.  Oh, the viewing of the DVD was today.  Went pretty good, the guys seemed to enjoy it.  A few weeks back I went on a canoe trip with Jarron, Regan, Todd and Rory.  It was  agood time.  I think I might post my 'post journal' [I wrote it when i came home] on here.  So I put together a DVD of all the pictures and put some music and made a whole DVD of the thing.  It was a lot of fun.


Well, that's about it for now... Not much else is sticking in my head.  Mandy wants me to go see off her sister at the airport.. her flight's at 7.  Mandy has to be at work for 7.  Which means a SUPER early wake up call for me.  GRRR... seeing as it's past midnight now, not sure I'm too pumped about it.  Definitely not pumped about me going to work tomorrow.  Grr..  But I'm going to go see if I can get into PACI, which will be good, 'cuz it'll sorta start off my teaching career for the fall.  that should help keep me in a good mood.


Ciao for now.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Another Harry Potter book down - and I'm single again

So... in keeping witht eh I've lost my ring... I'm not "bach"ing it again.  Girls, don't get too excited, Mnady's just dog sitting at her parent's.  In the mean time, I'm learning too cook and clean by myself.  As well, I've finished the last Harry Potter book.  Not bad, definitely an improvement from the last book.  But overall not as 'mysterious' or stuff like that like the first few were, where there were clues that could be tied in.  There were some, but it was more or less tacked on I feel.  What to read next?  I'm looking at either The DARK TOWER 05 [wolves of calla] or the 3rd in the Chronicles of Narnia book.  If only the Narnia books weren't so childish. OR, if only Robert Jordan would get off his ass and finish the next book.  Been waiting forever for that one.

What else to say... not much has happened.  Dinner with the folks for our anniversary and theirs as well at the Neebing.

My DVD production is finishing up and readying for final viewing, just need  ascan of the map.  I should call Todd so I can get that AND I need to getfrom him stuff for the math class next semester.  I can't believe I'm gonna be teaching.  It's gonna be so awesome!

Monday, August 8, 2005

A camping trip with NOTHING, STRANGE and WHAT

So we decide that we need to go camping some weekend.  Mandy thinks that inviting the Howie girls would be a good idea. I agree.  Just because i need any excuse to get out and enjoy the out doors.

So the day comes up and we head out.  MAN they packed alot of 'stuff'.  Well Jen did.  Apparently tehre was a miscommunication about what they were to bring.

So we get to the Sleeping Giant park and find our spot.  Apparently, just MISSING all the fun of the weekend stuff.  But we digress and set up camp.  Well "I" set up camp.  So we spend a pretty good time... uncomfortable night, good swim, me losing my ring, getting sunburnt, hiding in the shade, etc...

Oh, that's right -- LOST MY RING.  I know, totally STUPID of me to wear it in the lake.  It has NEVER fallen off before.  I guess all the sunscreen caused it to be a bit slippery [it was okay the first time we went to the lake].  Anyways, an EXPENSIVE trip to say the least.  So anybody who wants to help me find a new ring... by all means.  Or if you think you could find my old one... by all means.  Grr..

Other than that, it was a great trip.  I hope the girls [which, btw I've renamed NOTHING, STRANGE and WHAT - basically by what they said the most throughout the first day] enjoyed themselves.  We definitely want to go again!

Monday, August 1, 2005

A pipe band trip and an anniversary - all rolled into one weekend

So, since I've last added...

We went on, what will now be referred to as the NUTBURN trip.  The trip was to a town called washburn and then on to Butternut.  It was a good trip.  Just felt all guilty all weekend because it was on my 1st anniversary.  It's a long story, but I was given permission to go.  [Mandy had used up her vacation time, so we couldn't go anyplace, so I went].  It was a good time.  Pics to come.

Started out by a LONG [or at least felt like it] car ride.  Actually it was preceded by the fastest packing I had ever done.  [I told Jeff I'd meet him at 11... I woke up at 11:10 and hadn't packed yet]  And when we got to Washburn we couldn't get into the EMT spot because of some sort of social gathering, so we tail-gated in the parking lot for a few hours.  It was fun.  We got to hang out a fair bit this trip, and have some good 'bonding times'.  I have a few new nicknames, a few new bruises and a few new drinking games.  [Names now include:  Granpa, Shark, Great White Granpa and the Albino Rhino... don't ask, you had to be there].

Now I get back LATE on Sunday evening [my anniversary] and Mandy points out that the flowers I had delivered are old looking and I should get my money back.  We held our 'night' tonight [Monday] with the eating of the cake... 1 year old cake.  Not so good an idea as you would think.

So now it's all kind of a gross feeling.. and I'm going to bed.  Hopefully I can change my car service appointment, because they might be going on strike.  Cross your fingers for me.