Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I'm no longer unemployed...

Ok... right off the bat, I just have to apologize to Rain.  This entry may seem like I dont' want the job or something, but that's hardly the case.  Really, Rain, thanks alot.  I know you didn't probably have to.


Right, that aside.

So, I'm employed part time with www.ptcnorth.ca where Rory's girlfriend Rain works.  I guess they hit the magic number of 'students' where a TA can be allotted.  And, thanks to Rain, I am that TA.  From what I can figure out about this place from overhearing Rain and Rory talk, this is a place where peopel who are injured and can't return to their normal job come to be retrained.  It works sort of through the WSIB.


Talking with Rain it looks like the training being done will be mostly the computer type.  Learning how to use the various MS products.  Excel / Word / Outlook, etc...  My job will be to sort of 'wander' around and help out where needed.  Now, I'm just saying that because it really hasn't been said what my job is.  I do know that I start tomorrow morning.  (did i mention I'm not a morning person?)


That's right, I'm working again... real working, with a schedule and everything.  Not that it's a hectic schedule, mostly 9-1, and it works around my vacation time.  She asked when I was leaving town, when's the parades and canoe trips.  So, it's flexible enough.


I was kinda looking forward to having the days off and going camping sometime... now that's kind of out of the picture.  Hrmm...  Maybe just weekends or something we can take off.  And seeing that I'll be done at 1pm I can take off a Friday afternoon for half of Fri, then Sat-Sun.


I really do want to get out a few more times.  How many weekends do I have left:

  • JULY

  • 29-30:  Butternute parade


  • 5-6:  I'm in Toronto

  • 12-13:  free!

  • 19-20:  White River parade

  • 26-27:  boy's canoe trip


  • 2-3: free!

and no more after that.. after that school's in and I probably shouldn't be heading camping about that...


oh, well... I guess I should get ready for work tomorrow... later all

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A surreal funeral.

Having participated to a minor degree in Anthony Boneca's funeral recently I think I should write something [despite it being my 3rd blog entry today].


It's just hit home.  Alot.  He was a close friend of Rob's.  And when Lindsay described how Rob sounded when he called after it had happened I can tell that he is taking it hard.  When Rob's taking it hard it really means something.  Seeing his picture on the news and the video of him carrying the casket in Kandahar you could see that he was upset.  Rough...


Then when we, as a massed band, were asked to play at the funeral I was more than glad to do my part.  It was a privelege / honour to do it.  We didn't do much really.  As the ceremony became HUGE it got a bit congested and confusing as to what was going on, so in the beginning we played as the hearse came to the steps of the church.  Then we played after the casket was brought out.


The most predominant thing that stuck in my head as it was happening was the fact that this was... REAL.  Honestly.  I've seen the flag draped caskets in the news before, but being no more than 20' away from one, and from somebody, tho' I haven't met, was close to those who are close to me made the whole thing much much more real than anything I had expected.  It was tough to not be affected by the thought of it.


Talking with a few people we all realized how close this has affected us all.  And hopefully it will have an impact for the better.  The Rememberance Day events will have much more gravity for us all.  Maybe the Legions will become more populated and have more meaning.


Mandy's great uncle Bert remarked that it was nice that the body would be buried at home.  Unlike many of his friends who were laid to rest over seas.  Thank god it has not gotten that bad.


I was glad... it's rough to say the word glad at such a somber event... to have partaken in the event and done something to show my personal (tho' through a massed band) gratitude to Anthony.


May his family find peace.


[just a note of correction that it was not JUST our pipe band, but it was a massed pipe band of Thunder Bay, and we did not play Flowers of the Forest]

Starting the summer of Moore

As been dubbed by Nick this is the 'summer of moore'


What that means exactly, I'm not sure.  Hopefully it's the summer of all good things for me.  Maybe I'll get around to losing some weight.  As the bastard of a scale tells me, it hasn't happened yet.


Not that I'm going stir crazy here, but close to it.  I dont' have much to fill my time these days in between any of my outings.  2 more piping trips, 1 more canoe trip (hopefully more), one anniversary trip... what else?  Hopefully some hiking or camping.


This past weekend was good as Kelly (Mandy's sister) has come in town with Adam.  Pretty cool guy.  We got to play host to him and it was fun getting to do a bunch of 'thunder bay touristy' things.  We checked out the Fort, Kakabeka, the marina, etc...  Kinda funny when you go to these places because you haven't been there yourself in X number of years.  Refreshing we'll say.


Other than that... the days are filled with me trying to time kill.  I want to do things outdoors, but I'm relinquishing the truck to Mandy and that limits my options alot.  I walk alot more... well not alot.  I walked today.  And I walked a bit when taking Adam to the touristy things.  I'm going to walk more as the weeks progress.


Anybody got anything they want to do for the next while?  Call me... I'll be bored!



Hibbing '06

Okay, been meaning to do this for a while, but .. not much to really say.  Read one blog about a band trip, and you've read them all.


This one had a few differences:

  • my bad foot made it EXCRUCIATING to do the parade.  But I made it.  I stuck myself in the back rank just so that when I screwed up the marching not many people would notice.

  • The parade was forgiving in the fact that it was FAST.  I don't think I've ever been in a parade that moved that quickly.  We only stopped once!  And that was just because we were almost at the judge's booth.  I think we finished the parade in about 30 minutes once we started moving.  Awesome!

  • Pete had to be carried to bed.  The 2nd night he fell asleep on the floor [after Jarron kissed him... ewww!]  So teh boys asked him if he was going to get to bed and he said "carry me,' so they rolled him onto a blanket and lifted it over to his mattress.  Apparently the giggling he made while being carried was hilarious.

  • on the way out of the trip I thought I'd take the main road out.  Okay, I don't know what I was thinking, but I thought it was the right way.  Instead it took us along parallel to 169... and I guess being on that wrong road got me nervous that I didn't follow it long enough to 53, so we turned off on 27.  27 looks pretty good until it turns into a dirt road.  Hmm... We eventually saw a sign that said somethign about a furniture store, so we figured there must be somebody who can tell us where we were [the only map i had didn't even have 27 on it] and there was this 'market' that put us on the right path.

  • Chris picked up a wackin' stick!

Pretty much look at the pics I've posted and they say all that's needed to be said.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Quetico 2006 descriptions

Ok, it's a few days overdue, but better late than never.  Dont' forget to check out the pics in my photo area


Day 1 - setting out

On the first day we set out we had to set out kinda late because I had a job interview at Hammarskjold.  So we reached Quetico's put in point [French lake] around 5pm or so.  But we set in and head on out across French L. into this windy area (saw an otter in there) that eventually leads out into the very tip of Pickerel L. and we put in at the Pines.  The wind was getting really choppy so my dad suggested we stay there for th enightg and not try to go any further.  Which was ok.  We ate our tuna fish wraps [yes, I know, we had cans of tuna in the park... that's a no-no - my bad.  So we set up our tent, hung out some wet stuff to dry and hung around the beach.  We saw a tiny beaver in this little lake at the end, but otherwise pretty uneventful.  The amount of blowdown at the Pines was amazing.  It almost looked like it had been clear cut.  Dad let me try some stern work, and I sucked, so I won't be doing that again.  After waiting what seemed like forever for the stars to come out we just decided to go to bed and get an early start in the morning.  [it was like 12:30 and there was maybe 1 or 2 stars only]  Getting any sleep was pretty hard, as my dad kept telling me to 'stop snoring' about every hour or so.  So I guess it was hard for him as well.


Day 2 - off to Sturgeon Lake

So we set off very early (6:30am), the lake was very calm so it made it easier to get across.  Pickerel was huge!  After about 2 hours or so we finally start heading into Bisk L after making our first portage (~700m) over this dam.  We go through Bisk into Beg and then into Bud then Fern and another killer portage (1.2km) into Olifaunt.  After this one I'm pretty much dead, but we're not licked yet.  Across Olifaunt and another portage brings us to Sturgeon.  By this point I'm just pooped.  It's been about 10+ hours of just portaging and canoeing and I'm ready to put in somewhere and just swim and sleep.  Dad suggests heading down to Blueberry Island... but from where we are it looks FOREVER away.  I'm suggesting spots left right and center (all close) to go instead.  He eventually acquiesces and we take a spot on the big island in Sturgeon.  For those of you who know Quetico, this is the most eaternly Sturgeon L, the smaller one, there's a much bigger Sturgeon Lake that's somehow connected to this one.  We set up tent on what will be now called "ant island" and I immediately get ready to go swimming.  I NEED this cooling down.  IT's been too long a day.  We have travelled easily 20+ km today.   I guess in my over-eagerness and somewhat sun stroked mind this is where I make my mistake.  I stand on the rock deciding where I should jump in.  I try to see, but the sun is glaring right off the lake.  I can see a large rock just about under the water to my right, and I figure as long as I jump to the left of it I should be safe [right in the sun glare].  I just give 'er and jump.  The water is fantastic... for a few seconds.  Then my left foot lands and suddenly there's pain.  I realize it wasn't near as deep as I hoped and prepare to have my cocyx broken any second.  Eventually I stop the falling and my other foot lands as well tho' not as painful and I try to steady myself so I can stand.  I can tell nothing's broken, but my one foot is cut up pretty bad.  Dad just shakes his head as he gets the first aid kit.  Pretty dumb.  So I spend the rest of the night just sulking and went to bed early.


Day 3 - a rough trip home

We wake up not as early as the previous day and we have some breakfast amidst our new friends the squirrels and ants.  The squirrels are fearless as they wait for us to drop food for them.  We find even some of them have goten into our packs and nibbled at anythign that resembled food.  Well we decide to set out after we take my bandages off and notice that it had bled into the gauze so it reopens and starts to bleed some more.  Dad does a good job bandaging it up tight again, and we head off.  We go through Sturgeon L and head into Twin Lakes.  We're now in Twin lakes and it's winding and we end up slathering ourselves in bug dope, but it was little help against the horse flies.  After 4 beaver dams and 1 moose we search for the portage.  This was apparently hard to find because dad's old map showed it to the right of a tiny river.  The new map shows it to the left.  We had just discussed how he was saying that the old route used to be very swampy and how they've changed it to higher ground... so it took a few minutes to find the right spot.  Roughly 760m this was really painful.  Turns out that the tight bandaging helpful as it is to stop bleeding (it really didn't bleed much all day) make my foot so tight that it was kinda like cramping up.  So every step was slow and steady.    We meet some nice Americans heading into Twin Lakes and warn them of the swampiness.  In Dore it's much nicer and calmer.  We start seeing a few more people and eventually we take the last portage out and end up in Portage Bay and this eventually leads back into Pickerel.  We take lunch on somethign like Watasi Island and try to get some energy to make it across the big lake.  Hopefully the wind will be with us.  We start off and just keep going ad nauseum.  After a while I decide to rig up a sail.  It's a pathetic failure.  Not enough wind to bother with it almost, but seeing as I'm just already pooped I keep trying.  After seeing many 'mirages' of what we think is the Pines we eventually make it to the real Pines.  That was one long canoe ride. Another hour of going back through French we make it to the put in point.  Man, I am done.


On the route back we start just snacking on whatever was left over.  One of which was a bag of trail mix.  Part way through the trip home I notice taht there's an ant in the bag.  I hope that there was only one.  From that point on we start looking at what is in our hand before we eat it.  I never saw that ant again, and I'm gonna go with the fact that he eventually crawled out of the bag.


I spend the rest of the night getting unpacked and then 2.5 hours in emergency, just to have them look at my foot.


Lessons learned on this trip:

 - bring some sort of reading material or distractions - there are some downtimes you just need to be doing something or there's nothing to do

 - bring some tape or somethign for my hands as there's blisters all over them

 - look before you leap

 - the "J" stroke

 - horse flies don't mind DEET

 - dad can't measure distance on a map... that 2nd day of paddling was 22.2km as the crow flies according to GoogleEarth, so it must have been more like 25 or so by lake.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

I survived

Ok... I survived the canoe trip with dad.  I'm going to bed now...  It's been a long few days.


Quick recap - to help remind me of what i need to talk about:


 - job interview

 - French => Pickerel - camp @ Pines

 - Pickerel => Bisk => Beg => Bud => Fern => (1200m portage) Olifaunt => Sturgeon - camp @ some Island

 - stupid injury

 - friendly squirrels

 - Sturgeon => Twin Lakes (plenty of beaver dams) => Dore => Pickerel (lunch @ watasi I.) => French => home

 - no job

 - emergency

 - hibbing?


ok... sounds cryptic, but those who know should know what I'm talking about... and if not... well tomorrow when i have more energy I'll explain in detail [probably with pics too]

Monday, July 3, 2006

Bayfield Trio II

Ok, this is long overdue, but better late than never I say.


Bayfield Trip - the second coming.


Last year rory, jessome and I went and played for somebody's wedding.  I have blogged that already.

This year, Jeff arranged for myself and Joe to play in Bayfield for another wedding.  This one was sweet.


We left Saturady around 8am and started driving.  We figured we'd have trouble at the border like last year - but the border guard just said "hey, didn't you do this last year?" and then let us through no problem.  We arrived at Superior Rentals in Bayfield ( www.portsuperiorrentals.com ) and the lady tried to apologize to us about the fact that she could only put us up in hte room (The Bell Tower) with 3 beds (a queen, a double futon and a double pull out).  When we told her where we stay during Applefest she said it's ok where we were.


We went down for a bite to eat and a bit of visiting in the town.  They changed the Pier entirely to be more of a pub style environment.  We look at some Monkey Business shirts and saw the gnome.  Then we went and practiced some and got "Longueval" ready.  Took a few seconds, but it sounded nice.  Then we had to change and play the waiting game at the Pickled Herring (new Pier) and hide so that nobody saw us.  See, we were a surprise for the bride.


After a bit of hiding we came out and played at the hall after the bride and groom were in.  It was a great!  It was a surprise to everybody so they were just up off their feet.  Amazing.  We played a few tunes and then they invited us to sit and eat... and eat... and eat.  And free drinks and stogies etc...  Later on in the night we played a few more tunes for them and headed on home back to the Bell Tower.  But not after talkign to a bunch of guests (one of which was a friend of Jodie... heh funny story).


The next day we had a glass of chocolate mud (partially frozen chocolate milk) and drive back to Duluth for some Blackwood's brunch and head on home.  We did have to stop in Duluth at the Last Place on Earth and in Grand Marais for The Lake Superior Trading Post ( www.lstp.com ).  Pretty easy weekend in all.  Netted me a few dollars, easily paid for gas and some extra change.


It was just good - seeing a wedding and seeing all that family really gets ya thinking about your own family.

I guess I should have gotten some of the pictures for us playing or at least practicing - but that's kinda thing about these trips, you remember not so much about playing but about all the stuff around us.


Summer's officially started.

So, it's official.  I'm unemployed.  I sorta get to sleep in and I have no responsibilities.


Well not 100% true.  Tomorrow is the canoe trip.  Plus I have an interview at Hammarskjold (cross your fingers).  So I'm gonna do the interview, and change clothes right after and head out.  Because of the late start we've decided to change routes and do the Quetico trip.  I can't remember exactly.  Start at French L. and end up around Blueberry I. is what I remember.


I've been lazing about lately... just helping dad with the fence, packing for the trip, buying new gadgets and whatnot for the canoe trip.


Oh, did the Bayfield Trio Trip II.

I should do some pics up about that.  I'll do that after.


Ran into Don.  He was looking good.  tanned.  He's apparently been in town for 10 days.  Well, not exactly TOWN, but he went out to Pay's Platt and did some kayaking with his mom and then did some sailing.  He heads out tomorrow, so he gave me the obligatory breakfast.  It was good seeing him.  Don's really refreshing - he's a real 'free spirit' to sport a crappy euphamism.  But really, he does what he likes.  And if he doesn't like it that much he does something else.


So, anyways, my pack's all packed and ready, the canoe's on the truck, maps are cased away and I think I'm ready to begin this summer.  So long as my allergies don't kill me...