Saturday, December 6, 2008

Coordinated coordinates

So, I can officially say I'm landing on my feet.  Well... we'll see.  What I'm trying to say is that I have been officially hired for a real job.  Not that Scholars was a 'fake' job, just ... well this is full time, and although it's contract, it feels like it could be permanent.  Who knows?

I just went in to check out the 'digs' and it's pretty sweet.  I'll put pics up shortly.  I get a cell phone, a laptop, there's a budget for driving around town, alot of swag, and I might even get a trip to Hamilton with rental car priveleges... so what is this job?


It's a branch, or wing ... essentially overseen by the North Superior Training Board.  It's a great job thus far.  Tho' I haven't done anything.  The majority of the job seems to help coordinate the setup of the Regional Career Fair by contacting local businesses and getting them to register with the employer registry program so that students can have opportunities for appropriate training.  I'll find out on Monday more specifically what are my duties.

Kinda feel bad, the board (nstb) just had a press conference dealio yesterday and I missed it, and then missed seeing it on TV ... probably shoulda so I could brown-nose with the boss for her media presentation.

Anything else?  Well Mandy put some new videos of Dean up on the web over at  Go check 'em out.  He's getting to be a real handful, now that he's crawling everywhere.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Semi Employed

So, yeah, I'm not exactly a bum anymore... well, I wasn't EXACTLY a bum earlier... just with no days supplying I get pretty lazy.  But that's over with now.

I have some work lined up now with Scholars.  Pretty much what I was doing over at PTC in the days of yore, but still somewhat different.  There's kids from highschool, there's kids who just need math help in general as well as adults who need tutoring as well.  Kinda good to keep practicing the 'art'.

Only, I wish it were more hours, but I'm the new guy... so just be patient.

I do have my interview with TD tomorrow...  'if' I get the job that'll mean 2 p/t jobs... ugh.  Plus supplying... but with that kinda schedule I'll doubt I'll get, or be able to do, any supply work.  Hrmm... keep applying I guess.

 On other notes - the Celtic Kitchen Party wasn't not too bad.  Sure wish we coulda had more people there... but the Dust Rhinos really do a good show.

Doug enjoyed himself,


Mandy got to have Prozz fries,


Crystal said she had a good time, accented with a nice Wendy's burger after -- I enjoyed our BK burgers.  Mmmm...  The band wasn't too bad.  I think we played very well; we sounded amazing I thought.  The quartet I thought we'd try a new tack and start with a slow tune together, then do solo tag offs with a culminating set after... it was good despite Rory's gaff and Dylan and Jessome's slower set.  Let's just hope everybody who came enjoyed it enough to make it profitable for us all.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The great hunt

So my hunt continues -- same as always.  Check the job bank and other sundry websites.  Compile custom resumes and cover letters and apply.

I did have one interview at Fastenal.  And a phone interview with TD, which was followed with an online psych test.  The Fastenal one kinda interested me, so I did some research on them before I went.  Company sounded interesting, but none too fond reviews... albeit they were from ex-employees.  When I went to the interview anyways.  I've never had an interviewer convince me that this would be a company I would not want to work for.  Within the 45 minute interview he informed me that the job would be a huge challenge as they've experienced huge losses in the area and it would be my job to turn that around; that they've had huge turnover in the past few years (3 in the position for the past few years and no employee with no more than a year); that I was continually "wrong" as I answered the questions.  And when it came time for my second interview by phone with them I was supposed to call long distance.  What kind of company does that?

Anyhow... still many irons in the fire, another interview coming and more closing dates coming - just crossing my fingers.  EI still hasn't kicked in... but ah well.

I do need, however, to start really pumping my name around the highschools... I haven't had any for a while.  Which will be kinda rough come mortgage day...

But still, this is viewed as a positive event all around.  I will not look back with regrets or even any sort of vindictiveness.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Blog errata

Okay, so I have some errata to clear up.

  1. Derek's kids are Tia and Ivy (I have no idea where Mia came from - I still am unsure how to spell Tia tho')
  2. My parents have taken a picture of us all together back in July 30.  Still waiting to get the photo emailed to me (I have seen it - my mom made a point of finding it for me when she saw my last blog post).

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dean's First Hallowe'en

So Dean had a great first Hallowe'en... I was a bit late getting home from teaching so I get home around 4 and hoping to get out and do some trick-or-treating with the kid and family.  I get home and Mandy's parents have already stopped by and given Dean his treats.  My parents had the visit the day previously and he got some gifts there too.

So I get home ready to go ... and Dean's just started his nap... it's already 4, and he could sleep up to 2 hours, which means he'll miss trick or treating (if we don't want to get back home and dish out some treats of our own).  So do I wake him up, or just let him sleep?  Well a bit of both, I move him a little just to see if he'll wake up... no go, he's ultra limped.  He eventually starts to wake and then I put my outfit on and we go.  It was then I realize that my outfit isn't exactly as comfortable as I thought.  Mandy cut the bottom hem a little longer, so I am wearing a type of miniskirt -- getting into the car is a bit of a trick.

Anyhow, we get out to visit Cookie, Sandi, Jeff & Jenn (and all the Howie girls), Margaret and Burt.  We want to go home as Dean is now super upset and has missed a dinner and we were out way longer than we thought.  By the time we get near home Dean's a little settled so we stop in to quickly visit with Rory, Rain and Anna (a cute frog costume).

Well we get home and unpack and hand out some treats.  It's at that point we realize there's a message on the machine of a voice not identifying themselves saying that there is a gift of treats for Dean at her parent's house.  It took us like 10x listening to the message and then finally having the person IM us to determine who it was... Brandy, who then came by for a visit.

All in all... a good first Hallowe'en for Dean.  Jeff learned that it was indeed the Rubbles who had BammBamm (the Flintstones had Pebbles), I learned what it's like to wear a miniskirt and Mandy learns how to handout candy to some greedy and adolescent kids ("can we have lots?").  Oh, and Sophie and Jerry get to see Dean dressed up too.

So, Dean's Loot:

    • Baby food, Rice Krispies a card and some college fund donations (My parents)
    • Graduation cereal treats (Mandys parents)
    • Stacking blocks with numbers and animals (Cookie)
    • A Newfoundland shirt (Sandi) & probably the first ever full Moore Family photo (see below)
    • Halloween bag with teething cookies, juicy fruit treats, and sippy cup (Howies)
    • Animal crackers, fruit, puding (Brandy's mom)

Dean at Halloween 002

photo from Sandi

Friday, October 31, 2008

Another day writing my blog at a highschool

So, another day goes by -- the job searching goes through its paces.  Things are starting to look up, but I don't want to get too positive sounding, else I set myself up for a fall.

Do want to say thanks to the relative who has been really helpful... shouldn't say who as it might jinx it all (not that I'm a superstitious type) - but you know who you are.  Thanks a bunch I hope it plays out well.

The days at home with Dean are great I must say.  I will treasure this time being able to be spent with him.  Watching him slowly develop.  However, he has been most needy lately.  I hate to just prop him up with some Pocoyo or In the Night Garden, but at times it's the only thing that keeps him from that baby's whine.  I know he's a baby, and they do cry, but the really pathetic whine rubs against me in the way that fingernails do on a chalkboard.

That and I'm finding the days home doing almost nothing driving me insane.  I have to get out to go biking or something just to DO something.... not playing video games, writing cover letters, scouring job sites or watching infant television or worrying about my financial future.  So I've been taking to getting the bike out -- haven't biked much since the layoff.  I just absently cruise around.  Dropped by Robin's house, but he wasn't there the one time.

Anyhow, it's Hallowe'en and Dean's costume is ready for showing off to the family.  Seeing as it's themed it means that finally there'll be some family shots (it was pointed out that there really isn't a shot with Mandy, Dean and myself).  So we had sent the email out to go and trick-or-treat.  But as with all best laid plans they go awry -- I get called for supply.  Not that that's a bad thing - heck it's easy money.  Just I would have liked to go out the day with my kid for his first Hallowe'en day.

Oh, well - pay the mortgage - that's the first priority right?  I'll be home soon enough to do some trick-or-treating and then hand out some candy (which reminds me I should go and get some more... just in case right?)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My latest news

So it has been a while since I have been on here.  I did however post some pics of Dean at Gammondale's.  Did you see them?  Dean's so cute.  It was a good day with Justin, Karen, Parker, Derek, Mia and Tia.  It coulda been an expensive day... however, Dean is under 2, therefore, he's free and doesn't really want to do anything that costs tickets.  There were several different types of mazes, a straw pyramid for climbing, horse rides ponies, barrel rides.  Lots for any kid.

That day was a great day for the family actually.  We went to the farmer's market in the morning, and bought some good food, and then went to the other farmer's market in the victoria ville down town area (in the old George's Furniture).

Map image

It was a great time.  We found my steamed buns... mmm... After, we went to my parents' house to visit, but somehow after telling both my parents the day previously, mom went out and missed the whole thing, and dad was missed out on a shower.  Then we headed out to Gammondale's and then the Gold Rush Days at some church (I forget which one -- but we met a nice old lady and bought the best cookies ever:  ROOT BEER COOKIES).

What a day -- helped me take my mind of the turning of events of the week.  For those of you just turning in - I was laid off from PTC.  I had written previously about how the numbers were low, and we figured that somebody would get the axe - and well, it was me.  At least I can still supply teach.

Well I've done over like 25 resumes and set up profiles on a ton of sites - but so far nothing yet.  I've had a phone interview which seemed promising, but ... we'll see.  I'm still waiting my ROE... hopefully it comes soon.

Apparently by writing an email to Tony trying to get some answers was a bad idea.  I just think that he needed to know that there's been some wrong decisions made in the past while.  I really don't mind at all, or feel slighted in any way.  I've been meaning to say something about Ally's direction but while I was employed there was thge scare I would have been fired.  She tends to go through people quickly, making sure she only looks in the best of lights herself.

Anyhow, I'm not there anymore, so I don't have to worry about that anymore -- yeehaw.  Now just to find something better.... know anything?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Various - Bayfield / Old Moore Folks / Dean

Yeah, it's been a while I know... I've been meaning to write -- but I'm busy lately.  It's been so hectic.  Rob's been home for some time now - and I haven't even had a moment to give him a shout.  Well I did once but it was late and then I was putting Dean down and then when I had a second Rob was putting Ben down... oh the joys of fatherhood.

So what do I need to catch you up on?  Bayfield obviously... my folks... Dean (of course - there's always Dean stories).

So Dean stories... Mandy's parents snagged him an "Iggle Piggle" toy that makes noises when you squeeze him from Toronto.  He wore it out in a day!  He just loves that show "In the Night Garden".  This makes 2 characters he has, the other is "Makka Pakka".He's so constantly happy it seems these days.  His bath times are awesome!  Just loves to splash and play with the toys... I get drenched.  The only down side is that he just loves to stand nowadays... he can do it assisted easily, but I get concerned about standing in the tub... pretty slippery and lotsa hard things to land on.  He'll learn eventually.  Just so much fun watching him learn.

Mom & Dad are getting on well.  Dad's adjusting to his recovery process quite well.  He's driving mom a bit nuts, but I think that's just dad and not the recovery that's doing it.  Somebody needs to find him a part time job as soon as he's better.  Mom felt how was on the other side of the table as she just came home from her angiogram.  She was forced to stay in bed for 24 hours.  They asked that somebody stay with her, and not just her husband who came back from surgery himself - so that meant I was home overnight with them.  Weird going back to your old room.  I guess it's the joy of being the only kiddo in town with them still.  Maybe Charm will move back!  heh Just kidding mom & dad.

Bayfield is always my favourite parade.  I think it's the favourite of anybody in the pipeband as well as people come out of the woodwork for this one.  Too bad Andrew couldn't come.  I think near the end he was really hoping he could go (Stupid Eric for mentioning that there would be a possibility he might get a drink... our band NEVER tolerates that!).  I picked up a few things for Dean:  a book "the old woman who swallowed the spider"; and 2 onesies (an "I *heart* Bayfield" and a skull and crossbones with a bear skull - I wanted to get the "I moose have a hug"  but they were out of stock in his size).


I also picked up a wackload of apple butters (2 caramel, 1 rum, 1 plain, 1 blueberry jam, and 1 strawberry daiquiri).  Yumm -- maybe this will last longer than last years'.  It was nice weather the whole weekend, with the exception of that night on the pier... oh man that was chilly.

After years and years of playing there and seeing people with cameras etc... I've always scoured youtube for videos of us in these city parades and nothing.  Well we  finally got video from a guy who saw us in Bayfield.

What else to discuss?  Not much I guess really... work's slow.  Starting to do some supply days ... but I think it's time I marched on.  Know any good jobs?  I gotta keep applying.

Notice the new font I'm using (if you can tell...) it's the new DROID font from Google that's built into their Android phone... HINT HINT - i so want one for Christmas.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dad's home now - somebody tell him to relax

So, we were wrong.  Talking with mom and dad while they were at the hospital and they were saying they would be turfed sooner than later.  Sure he's been feeling better and handled stairs and everything, but he just had 5 bypasses done.  We thought they would keep him for at LEAST A WEEK.

So when we talked to them on Sunday they figured they'd be coming home the next day.  Well we thought if they hadn't said anything to him about going home, that they would probably give him a days' notice so he can get things in order.  Nope - he got the notice Monday morning that he would be out and had to arrange for his Westjet flight home that night.

Thanks goes to auntie Linda for picking them up and taking them to the airport.

So, 1023pm they come off the airplane.  Dad in this double wide wheelchair - which was kinda funny.  Dan Wigg was there and he was saying how this will probably be a difficult time for him as dad's never been the kinda guy to sit back and take it easy.  We got him downstairs and were waiting for the suitcases and he gets up out of his wheel chair and WALKS all the way to the bathroom across the floor.  YOU HAVE A WHEEL CHAIR - USE IT.  yeesh... Dan walked down there with teh chair and dad still refused it when he came out.

Well then it was time to come on out... I had to get the car and pull it around, and got in behind this crazy yank who couldn' figure out the gate thing, kept going up to it and having to reverse as the gate wouldn't go up.  Felt like forever behind him.

Anywho... we then went to the only all night pharmacy 'cuz by this time it was after 11... which meant Shoppers by Intercity.  Yoiks... you can sure meet some interesting people.  Dad had a lot to get refilled so it took a while.  He relaxed in the car, and mom tried to be polite to the wackos.

We finally get him home and I set up his bed on the pull out couch.  He went straight to bed pretty much... well after I had to change his dressings.  Let me tell you -- staples are the grossest things I've ever seen.

A few days have gone by now and dad's still doing good.  Each day is better than the last he says.  But he still tries to push his boundaries, which is good, but I know dad.  "Double Duty Dave" as he used to be known.  He's gonna try to run before he should.

So, yay to me, the kid left at home.  Not that I ever EVER begrudge helping my folks out... just it might have been easier had I moved away like everybody else.

Well, just sitting in the staff room at westgate today.  First day REALLY supplying this year.  Phew... this will truly help out with getting my name back on the board.  Just gotta wait for Rory to finish my business cards so I can really start promoting.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dad's good

So, after almost 5 hours of surgery, dad's come out the other end a-ok.  The doctor's said that there was no complication, no hitches or anything.  They did 5 bypasses in total apparently.  Now they said from the angiogram there were 4 blockages (although I do remember something about how there was a minor one or something...).

So, all's fixed, he just has some recovery time to go through.  Which we hear is typically 2 months.  Now the tricky part is he'll have to stay in ICU till probably tomorrow, which then he'll be transferred to a room.  And, apparently Hamilton General does not have any available single rooms... which is making my dad livid.  He can barely sleep when mom's in the room, let alone some complete stranger.  He got only a few moments when he was back at the hospital at home when he had to share a room ... apparently the guy had a colonoscopy and was up all night farting.

Good time thus far for all involved... dad's fixed, we're all reassured, and Auntie Sharron showed up to help hang out with mom.  Thanks auntie Sharron.

If you've noticed, I've linked alot to the wikipedia site.  This comes from the fact I just watched professor wikipedia on  Watch it... and enjoy, ... it's a good break from something serious.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A weekend

Typically when I've tried to catch up on my 'blogging' in a while, I mention how not much has really happened.  I give the 'typical weekend' kinda stuff.

Not this weekend report.  So much has happened this past week, that I've just got to take a min or 2 here to determine exactly what so I don't forget anything.

First is, I'm exhausted.  I've been biking to work all summer, and for the longest time I really enjoyed it, but I haven't been losing any weight.  Though, I did noticed that my clothes felt better.  Anyways, I weighed myself and it turns out I had lost 15lbs so far.  Not bad.  Only 7 more to get me to my first goal.  Doubt I'll hit it, but I doubted I'd get this far.  Good motivation to keep going as long as possible.  Until there's snow on the ground I guess.  Now the whole point here is that I'm exhausted.  When I started biking I noticed it got easier, and it felt better as I went on and on.  Now, maybe it's because the mornings feel cooler, and the afternoons have more wind, but I'm coming home in just buckets of sweat and sore as heck.  My legs ache, etc... maybe I'm not getting enough sleep or something, but I'm definitely having to soothe my legs when I get home.  Could be my tires, I've gone and filled it with air a few times each week... maybe it's time to look for something new -- next year tho'.  No point now.

Band welcoming back came this week.  We had only 5 new students come out to the info session.  We'll see how many stick around in a few months' time.  Means I've got to go and get the modules worked on so it looks very good when I start next week.  And I should probably find my chanter.  Hrmm... I checked at LU... nothing at the Elk's... where could it be?  The band also held a general meeting to help get a picture of where we all stand and what's in the offing for the upcoming season.  Part of it was to hold a statement from the pipemajors... and Ror and I worked together for a while to get it right... and then the day of Rory forgot his speech... so he got all upset... and then got somebody to pick it up for him.  And then, when it came time to give the speech it turs out I had forgot mine.  Luckily I decided to bring my laptop ... and I had the speech on there... so mine just looked horrible.  Ah, well... point got across I think.  It was really nice to see the band members come out and wear the green shirts.  Makes it really look like we're together.  And Andrew now standing in the circle has been reat.  He's coming along well.

What else.. well, obviously, lots of work stuff.  Sometimes I just have to shake my head.  Anywhoo, next topic.

My dad has his date picked.  They let him know like Wednesday that it'd be the Tuesday.  Mom and him have their tickets booked, and hotel reserved... so I think they're set.  They keep saying they don't need anything, but I hope they realize that it will be ok to ask for it.  I mea I have done the lawn mowing, but I'm sure they could use more.  I'll just have to keep bringing Dean over.  I think he'll be a key component in my dad recovering.  Now to ensure that Charmane stays at bay... not saying that her coming is a BAD thing, just as mom and dad have said that it's unnecessary.

Oh, Mandy's gone off to her parents.  They decided to go to Minneapolis at pretty much the last minute.  That's good... they love to travel... not far, but travel still.  So Mandy's watching Kasey, and decided I can look after Dean all myself.  I think this is the first time it's just Dean and I (Mandy says there was one other, but this would be the first WEEKEND).  Just as I said earlier, I'm exhausted after each day, and now having to handle Dean 24hrs a day makes it that much more tiring.  But we've enjoyed ourselves.  A guys' weekend.  We I've been watching UFC's ultimate fighter marathon for season 1.  Can't believe that's like over 6 years ago.  Like where Forrest Griffin got his start.  Pretty cool!

Well that's enough I think.  I'm tired, it's late... just the Shamrock v. Franklin fight to go... I know who wins, so should I wait, or just get a start on sleep now?

Oh, last bit... I've been finishing the Wheel of Time #11 book (Knife of Dreams).  Disappointing how part way through I find out that Robert Jordan passed away.  I didn't know!!!  So research has shown that it's being passed on to somebody else to finish book 12... but not until like September of NEXT YEAR.  oi... I guess I can read the series again.  I've been starting to cheat in this book, using various wiki to get some hints at what could happen.  But 11 is a much better book than the middle books.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Hilarious...  people never cease to amaze me.  As much as I've known that some misinformed people were wary of the new LHC, I had no idea to what extent.

Funny, my last post was just all about how people ignorant of a fact can be so stubborn and refusing listen to reason.  But the brew-ha over this LHC is waay over the top.

Here we are, on the cusp of a scientific breakthrough that will help us discover more about the world around us, and people are going nuts.  The reason why?  'micro black holes'   Among many other things that the LHC will hopefully shine some light on, one will be the production of micro black holes.   Now, people are mistaking a micro blackhole, for a full size black hole.  That these blackholes will consume the world.  Yeesh... people are really scared.  Scientists at CERN have even received DEATH THREATS.

It just reminds me of that joke about the 8 monkeys:

*Put eight monkeys in a room. In the middle of the room is a ladder, leading to a bunch of bananas hanging from a hook on the ceiling.*
*Each time a monkey tries to climb the ladder, all the monkeys are sprayed with ice water, which makes them miserable.*
*Soon enough, whenever a monkey attempts to climb the ladder, all of the other monkeys, not wanting to be sprayed, set upon him and beat him up.
Soon, none of the eight monkeys ever attempts to climb the ladder.*
*One of the original monkeys is then removed, and a new monkey is put in the room. Seeing the bananas and the ladder, he wonders why none of the other monkeys are doing the obvious. But undaunted, he immediately begins to climb the ladder.*
*All the other monkeys fall upon him and beat him silly. He has no idea why.
However, he no longer attempts to climb the ladder.*
*A second original monkey is removed and replaced.
The newcomer again attempts to climb the ladder, but all the other monkeys hammer the crap out of him. This includes the previous new monkey, who is grateful that he's not on the receiving end this time, participates in the beating because all the other monkeys are doing it. However, he has no idea why he's attacking the new monkey.
*One by one, all the original monkeys are replaced. Eight new monkeys are now in the room. None of them have ever been sprayed by ice water. None of them attempt to climb the ladder. All of them will enthusiastically beat up any new monkey who tries, without having any idea why.*
*This is how any company's policies get Establish.***

The best we can hope for is it to fail, at least according to Stephen Hawking.  What can we, as enlightened people, do about this inane hysteria?  Well, Kate McAlpine (great last name btw!!) has done her part.  Check it out.

on behalf of scientists everywhere Kate, thank you!

Friday, September 5, 2008


So, as my list below states I have several things that bother me.  I don't know if that's a sign of me getting older or just discovering my personality.  Who knows...

Anyways, I'm pretty sure that I've listed 'ignorance' down there as something that annoys me.  People who make statements about how much they hate this or that without any real reasoning or research.

There's plenty of these cases to talk about - 'chemicals' (ie. BPA), food, Dixie Chicks, math, etc...

My most recent addition is the smack about VISTA.  Seriously, many people have not even seen how it works and yet they'll swear they saw it eat a kitten, blow up their printer and rob that bank. I had a client buy a new computer who said that she just bought and yet Vista (preloaded) broke it... not the fat that this person enjoyed going to all those online gaming sites.

But I digress... or not, I still want to talk about Vista.  As a nice turn of fair play I've recently come across an ad by Microsoft (no, not those Seinfeld / Bill Gates disasters) called the Mojave Experiment.  Very reminiscent of the Whopper Freakout, where a group of unsuspecting individuals are put on camera to help make a point.

The point is that you can't make rash accusations based on the say-so of a friend of a friends nephew's dog sitter's brother, or timid tongue-in-cheek tv ads (I sooo hate those ads).

Watch the video, I think it speaks for itself.  No matter what the people say the stats are, Mac has done a good job on scaring people off of Vista before anybody gives it a chance.  I won't even describe what happens in the video, I'll let you watch.  You will need Microsoft's new version of FLASH (called SilverLight) to watch it, or you can do a video search for it on Youtube or Google.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Watch your fingers

So for a while now Dean's been the drool monster.  Literally emptying buckets of drool, especially when he's happy.  (once we put a plastic bib on him that had pockets, they were nearly full)

This is a sign that he's starting to teethe, or so the books say.  This has been going on for some time with very little indication... sure you saw ridges where the teeth might be, but still, no hard evidence (pun intended).

Well the other day I noticed what might be called a flap on the top of his 'ridge' of gums.  And then today I looked at it and there were white marks... looked like plaque or something.  I put my finger on his bottom gum, and by gar, thar be a tooth! 

I'd have taken a picture, but
a) hard to see
b) he doesn't sit still long enough, let alone his tongue moves like crazy

I'll have to send something later on if we can get it.

So on to the next step in Dean's growing up.  On his 7th month birthday he has 1 tooth (or would you say he has the tooth when it's fully out?... hrmmm).


Okay, I'm a bandwagon jumper.  But I just think GOOGLE has really got some talent over there.  That and I love the name... (you know it's taken from a math term... googol is 10^100).

Anywho... So I downloaded CHROME after reading the comic book on it (you gotta love a company that instead of a press release or manual, they release a comic).  So, it looked really appealing, and while I had a bit of a slow day at work, I decided to install it.  It took less time to install than firefox (but it was bigger) and I was using it in minutes.  Now, keep in mind I do my work on my asus eeePC, and the performance of Chrome was very slow... I chalked it up to I had done some heavier work that moment and the eeePC is pretty slow near the end of the day, no matter how much I tweak it (still haven't monkeyed with any ramdisk yet).

A little disappointing, seeing as it looked so promising - but I decided to give it another shot on the PC at home.  WOW, what a difference.  Pages were loading lightening fast, the tabs were super easy to navigate and no slowing down.  There were some pauses when you'd load a page with a youtube setting on it... but other than that it worked amazingly.  I got rid of Safari off the PC and FireFox off the eeePC.  I'd take off IE, but I still like it, and it's what I'm used to, plus Windows won't like it if it's gone.  Hmm.. oh, well.

So, browsing in a different browser yet again... but it's good.  Hopefully since this is day one, there'll be some improvements (like for some reason I can't scroll UP pages with the touchpad on my laptop).

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dad's heart

So dad's results showed he had 4 blockages.  Which was kinda shocking, but after talking to the specialist it looks to be something he would have inherited.  See, dad's family has a history of having heart attacks and not living past the age of 50.

Well he's a candidate for open heart surgery.  They might not do all 4 (apparently the blockage with 95% isn't of much concern)., but they'll determine that when they open him up.  Which might be anywhere from 2 - 4 weeks.

I think he's taking it all much better now - the shock is worn off, and he's talked to his sister who's had the same surgery a few years back now.  There's even talk of letting him go home.  But this morning he was saying the only person to be able to sign him out is out for the weekend... so it's pretty good for him I think.  Getting a chance to just relax for a few more days.  He'd probably get home and want to go up and down stairs and work in the garden etc..... which he shouldn't be doing any of that.

Still can't believe Charmane wanted to come down... that'd help get dad's heart racing.  heh... rest easy Charm, he's in good hands.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How my dad's doing

Okay, so first I just want to say THANKS to all those who have called and extended their best wishes and concerns.  And extra thanks to those who've visited or helped out my mom as well.

Dad's doing ok... could be a lot better, but I think the better part of it is himself.  See, he's always taken great care of himself... maybe due to the history in his family.  Anyways, I think that this has made him feel that his body let him down, or that it was a waste of his time or something.

So, on to 'what happened'

Sunday morning he went to church feeling a little sore, pains in the arm, but dad being dad, he worked through it.  Monday he felt just as crappy and went in.  Mom was so sure things will be fine she even went home.  Turns out the tests showed he did have a slight heart attack.  So he's been in for a few days and had his angiogram yesterday.  The results showed that he has 4 blockages, one of which is 95%.  Something about diffuse / tubular / tortuous etc... he's had pretty good timing as the cardio specialist is in town just right after he's had his angio.  This guy will tell him for sure what the scenario is.  The one doc has said that he is a good candidate for the open heart surgery.

That's pretty much it in a nutshell.  He's been in the hospital since Monday.  He's starting to 'perk up' lately, but is still pretty down about the whole thing.  Something about hearing your father say "it's been a good life" can be really shaking to a son.  Realizing that everybody is fallable and mortal.  Don't get me wrong, I didn't think dad would live forever; just never figured it'd be soon.  I guess it reminds us that we're all human and ... as my aunt Anita said, this is just part of the human experience.  It's a good wake up call to me, this looks like it was something genetic wise... otherwise for the amount of blockage he has, and he was still fine is pretty amazing... and scary.  Gotta watch my diet i guess.

On a positive note; I picked up some RAM for my asus... 2GB for only $35!!  FS also had 4GB usb keys for $10, so I had to pick up 2 of those.

New pics of dean will be available shortly.

How my dad's doing

Okay, so first I just want to say THANKS to all those who have called and extended their best wishes and concerns.  And extra thanks to those who've visited or helped out my mom as well.

Dad's doing ok... could be a lot better, but I think the better part of it is himself.  See, he's always taken great care of himself... maybe due to the history in his family.  Anyways, I think that this has made him feel that his body let him down, or that it was a waste of his time or something.

So, on to 'what happened'

Sunday morning he went to church feeling a little sore, pains in the arm, but dad being dad, he worked through it.  Monday he felt just as crappy and went in.  Mom was so sure things will be fine she even went home.  Turns out the tests showed he did have a slight heart attack.  So he's been in for a few days and had his angiogram yesterday.  The results showed that he has 4 blockages, one of which is 95%.  Something about diffuse / tubular / tortuous etc... he's had pretty good timing as the cardio specialist is in town just right after he's had his angio.  This guy will tell him for sure what the scenario is.  The one doc has said that he is a good candidate for the open heart surgery.

That's pretty much it in a nutshell.  He's been in the hospital since Monday.  He's starting to 'perk up' lately, but is still pretty down about the whole thing.  Something about hearing your father say "it's been a good life" can be really shaking to a son.  Realizing that everybody is fallable and mortal.  Don't get me wrong, I didn't think dad would live forever; just never figured it'd be soon.  I guess it reminds us that we're all human and ... as my aunt Anita said, this is just part of the human experience.  It's a good wake up call to me, this looks like it was something genetic wise... otherwise for the amount of blockage he has, and he was still fine is pretty amazing... and scary.  Gotta watch my diet i guess.

On a positive note; I picked up some RAM for my asus... 2GB for only $35!!  FS also had 4GB usb keys for $10, so I had to pick up 2 of those.

New pics of dean will be available shortly.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Slowest week ever

So, here I sit at work, kinda bored.  Really, this has been a slow week.  Of my 7 clients, 3 are on vacation for the full week, 1 is on for half the week, and 1 of them is on a sort of 'hiatus' currently.  So that leaves me currently with 1 in the am, who was at a doctor's appointment, and my pm guy hasn't shown up yet... so... what am I doing?

Not much... yesterday I made a paper rocket (got the idea from Gizmodo - I do alot of browsing of their site when I have little to do).  Took me some time to cut it all out.  The bellows was the hardest.  But I didn't have the right paper, or proper glue to ensure that it was airtight, so I didn't test it.  Crystal's right... glue woulda been much better.  At least I can say I did something useful yesterday.

21-08-08_1316 21-08-08_1317

I also had that interview at Activation Labs.

Map image

That went quite well.   It's pretty near the house, so wouldn't be far for me to go... just there might be a few hangups.  I'll find out soon tho'.  Essentially it'll boil down to a money thing.

We took Dean to the Summer in the Parks.  It was the last one of the summer.  The pipe band played last week and Mandy and Dean and Rain and Anna all came and it really made us want to go this week.  Except after going to the interview, then shopping for a new TV with Greg and then eating dinner, it took us a while to get there.  We watched the last song of the Potvin band, and as the last band was coming on we started to meander some more and make our way to the car.  Thunder Bay is notoriously bad for getting out of events in orderly fashions.  Stopped at Dairy Works on the way home for some icecream.  Not bad... not great tho'.  Not like the ice cream we've been having recently.  Mandy bought some new flavours of Ben & Jerry's (brownie cheesecake, and banana split).  I also bought Cookie Jar ice cream, which I had to hide in our downstairs freezer.

So, all in all... not much has really happened.  This afternoon picked up at work... but more so socially than any work wise.  I'm done all my reports... could do something as an extra project, but I'm done doing those when they're not appreciated.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

36 hour canoe trip (NLL)

So,  this short canoe trip starts actually a day early as my dad finally caves in and decides to buy a new canoe.  This involved him and I going over to Wild Waters.  We looked over several canoes and even got to test drive them in the river.  The carbon-fibre / kevlar Bell model looked promising, but it was more expensive and pretty tippy... so my dad went for the typical DAD CHOICE ... a sleek, fancy model:  a We-no-nah Jensen (17.5', 36lbs).  Very nice model.  Then it was time to strap it to my roof, and the sales guy installed some new loops on my car for the bow line.  Apparently not only should the bow line be loose (it's only meant to be a safety measure, a 'just-in-case') but you shouldn't put a stern line on when you tie it down, it could ruin the canoe.

Anyhoo... the trip starts with a morning call at 5am... yay... super early.  I needed to stop by a Tim's and pick up a great Breakfast sandwich.  Mmmm...

Map image

We head out to Northern Lights Lake.  The plan is to find the portage to Hand lake, then from Hand, do several portages into Koss and do the Weikwabinow river and come back through Northern Lights Lake.  That's the plan.  Eventually we find the Hand road, which cuts the portage in half,  and then I drive the car back to the public launch and walk on back.  We tour around Hand Lake for quite some time.  The portage we're looking for is on the middle finger (how fitting).  But the area all around is so overgrown that it's hard to find.  The area has become a big swamp and the only way to it is like a tiny little channel somebody has cut through... but it ends in a blow down crossing it.  There's no way my dad is taking his new canoe over that.  So we cut to plan B.

Plan B

Map image

Bring all the gear back and boot around Northern Lights Lake...  so we bring all the gear back.. and my dad runs off to get the car to pick the gear and drive it to the public launch.  I hate having to strap the canoe up only to unstrap it 2 km away... so I walk it all the way to the launch.  Which is cool, 'cuz 36lbs is super light compared to my dads old 75lb one.  Although it was lighter, the yoke isn't nearly as comfortable.  Apparently on the road I missed a bear... too bad.  So we start out and head up the NE coast of NLL, and see some of the nice camps along the way.  We find the portage to Trafalgar Bay and it's a virtual highway compared to some of them we've done.  Like 120m and wide as heck.  It was time to have some lunch.  After lunch the wind really picks up from the NORTH, which means that we've got some heavy upwind paddling to do.  The new canoe does well ... I'm not paddling that hard and it's still moving easily.  It's so different being on this 'public' lake, versus the interior of Quetico.. you see alot of motor boats.  Which is ok, seeing as you can't hear them, but just one thing that reminds you you're in a public area.   We did see a few eagles.  A couple of them circling, but we couldn't figure out why -- then we saw a dead fish... or dying (because it was still moving) laying on the top of the water. 

We start debating where we'll camp tonight, and I don't want to go too far...  I say that we look at this little island just slightly off the bend from the portage.  My dad says to go up a few more km until Eagle Nest Island.  So we look around, and see a few places, but we keep pressing on... inching ever closer (into the wind mind you) to the island my dad wants to go to.  There actually was something pretty nice i the middle of a few islands, but I guess we're being picky or my dad is just  not happy only going roughly 15km, so he keeps wanting to explore.  Eventually we find a nice island to the east of Eagle Nest which is pretty high up and a little drafty.  This is nice because it'll keep the bugs off.  Actually the entire time so far we haven't had much problems with bugs, except for that first portage by Hand.  I guess it was all the paddling into the wind.

So when we start setting up camp it's time to learn ho to work my dad's new tent.  He hasn't tried it out previous to the trip, so it could have left us i a very bad spot.  It's a different shape... it's pentagonal (weird, typically they're square or hexagonal domes... not this one).  My dad busily reads the manual and eventually we have a place to sleep that night.  With that accomplished I decide to go get some fishing in... I lose 2 lures in 2 casts, so it's time to switch spots.  Pretty much any spot on the island isn't very good... so I decide to put it away and start some relaxing.  At this point my dad wants to go swimming.  So off one point he decides to go looking for the spot to dive off of, and there's nothing really 'safe' so he decides to do a shallow dive off ... he invites me to try, but it's just a) too cold, and b) nothing looks deep enough for me to swim off.  Not that I'm afraid of injuring myself again...but just want a secure spot that I can get off of and then come back easily on.  Eventually I do, and let me tell you -- it's FREEZING.  Which is why we didn't stay too long in the water.  Now it's time for dinner.

Dinner, for my dad are those HOT PACKS and I've got to admit... they make for light packing.  So we set about heating some up.  We figure, use up the oldest ones first... they can't go bad right?  Well the packs we get said they expired sometime in '05... hrmm.. the food's precooked, and sealed, so it can't be bad.  Well the food wasn't bad, the activating chemical which heats the food is a little slow, it doesn't get BOILING or even steamy, so the food is a bit of luke warm.   Dad gets concerned about the garbage... tsk... let's just make the fire and burn it all.  Everything burns.  I do a few more lines off the island, and then we go in the canoe to do some more fishing and viewing.  By that time the sun's going down and it's time to make a fire.  Dad thinks his small pile will be enough.  And if it's anything I've learned from Les Stroud - it's make a pile you think you'll need, and then multiply it by 4.  Sure enough we need more wood... luckily there's a ton left over from the guys before.  Soon the stars start to come out and the fire roars and it's time for bed.

Sleeping was no hell... that was some uncomfortable  tossing and turning.  Getting too used to the inflatable mattress when I'm not in a bed.  But I do get some sleep obviously and I miss the early morning fish.  By the time I get out they've stopped jumping.  So we have a quick breakfast of some cereal with powdered milk, which isn't half as bad as you'd think.  The we let some of the wet stuff air dry some more and we explore the northern arm of the trafalgar channel.  Nothing that exciting... we see some more Eagles and loons (eat your heart out Kathy Kolstad) and head back to pack everything up.

Everything put away we decide to head on down the bay and take a look for some good camping spots.  We figure that if we camp somewhere about half way it just means that it'll be a super easy day to come back the day after.  We think we saw a great spot on the way up that looked really good... so we head for that.  Meanwhile I drop my big lure in and troll around for some lake trout, it's a really big lake, so it's probably deep too.  Seeing as I hadn't caught anything the previous day, I didn't have ay big dreams for that day.  But eventually I hear the 'whirr' and tug and so I go and reel it in... sure enough the darn fish had taken the spoon.  Ah, well.  As Regan says "that's why they call it FISHING, not CATCHING".  So we continue on.  We find a spot that looks like the one we wanted to stop at, but there's no good place to put the canoe, and it doesn't look quite the same.  So we continue on.

As we keep pushing on we keep getting closer to the portage, and hence the landing... so we decide to go around Paradise Island in an attempt to go further and delay getting closer to the landing.  We find nothing at all attractive... with the canoe we definitely are choosier about where we put in (has to be less rocks).  Eventually dad finds a beach... and we debate about putting camp on the beach... but I'm a fan of going into the tree line a bit and the tent would be wet.  So I convince my dad to keep going.

As we round that point we can  now see the landing, and a big cloud off down wind.  That cloud looks gloomy... and suddenly we hear a loud clap of thunder.  Hrmm... at least it's down wind... or I think when I start getting wet.  The wind changed and there we are in the middle of NLL and it's downpouring.  Ugh... so we figure we can make land, dry out and possibly go to Madeline for the last night.  It pours and stops and pors and stops a few times before we FINALLY make the landing.  It was very wet.  Eventually the sun comes out and we hastily lay everything over the car in hopes it'd dry out (wouldn't want to get the INSIDE of my car wet).  Things are pretty well dry, but not 100% but with another large cloud looming we figure it's long enough and get everything in just in time for another rain.

We're no driving away from NLL... we get near Madeline, but notice it's PACKED... so we collectively decide it's time to just head on home.  Only 36hrs after we left my house, we're back.  All in all, it was still a good time.  Dad got some paddling and exploring in, I got some fishing, mom got some blueberries and Mandy got me home a day earlier.  We'll just have to go out again sometime.

I'll post pictures soon.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Minni trip errata

okay, so I know I have to work on the blog for the camping trip... I'll get to that.  Just thought I'd quickly do this up before I forgot some things.  I meant to do this before I went away for the canoe trip, but I was busy.

image The first I think is that (and I'm not sure if I've already updated the page), but the restaurant we went to was called CHULA VISTA - not Chesa Vulpa... not sure where that came from.  I know the book I'm reading has a character named Chesa, but vulpa is entirely weirdly 'out there'.

Secondly, while playing at Mandy's grandma's home, there was a lot of excitement, and this excitement was 'almost as good as when the ducks were here'.  That's right, I was compared to DUCKS.  *sigh*  Apparently, somehow a mommy duck found it's way to the grounds and somebody put in a wading pool, with a little plank to walk in.  Eventually there were ducklings and it was talk of the town.  Somehow I come in a close 2nd... C'mon... even Beatrice loved me.  Imagine and older woman, with one of those walkers, step away and try to dance a highland fling.  Not FUNNY, but unexpected haha kinda funny.

While we were on one of our breaks in a way side rest, Mandy found another pamphlet (apparently we like pamphlets) about the shuttle services for the hiking tours down from Grand Portage to like Two Harbors.

Oh, not sure if I had mentioned it earlier, but this trip was our 4th year anniversary present to Mandy.  Yay... 4 years.

Hmm... I had more than this when I thought it up...

Those in attendance at the reunion:

  • Mandy, Me, Dean
  • Kelly, Adam
  • aunt Kathy, cousin Michael
  • aunt Janet, cousin Aaron and his girlfriend Stescha (sp?)
  • grandma Eileen
  • second cousin Linda and her husband Kerry
  • great aunt Betty

While at the the reuinion we picked up WWII food stamps.  We asked Eileen how they worked, but she said she couldn't remember, as her mom did all the shopping, yet we found one with her name on it.

I found out that Adam is very agreeable.

St. Paul used to be called Pig's Eye, and there's also a funny story about how a railway bridge was built and an old guy caused it to swing unevenly.  For those answers you'll have to do the tour on the Mississippi.

Apparently, I missed out on getting the chance to ride the Millenium Falcon... or a sort of simulator.  Probably the coolest thig at the exhibit, and I missed it.  Oh, and the movie on special effects was over 11 years old.  Imax is cool, but they coulda showed something more recent.

Oh, I met a guy in the APPLE store (sorry, I'm weak, I thought I'd check it out).  He saw my PACI shirt, and asked me when I graduated - which I told him, I just worked there, and then he told me how he graduated in 93.  Weird.  I mean it was a small logo, how could he see that it was PACI... and I think it really just said REDMEN... who knows.

can't think of anything else, so I'll leave it here...  time to do the canoe trip coverage

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Minni Trip - the route home (day 6)

Okay, so we're up a bit later than we liked (830ish) and we start readying to go home.  Well first we have to go to the cemetery.  So Mandy does some research, and get this: the hotel has a print service available.  How cool is that?  Talk about a hotel... you download whatever you want to print (webpage, pdf, etc...) and go to a website, tell it to print - give it a code number and then you go to the lobby, punch in this code number and the printer spits it out right then and there... neato!

Map image

So we find out approximately where the cemetery is, and the section we'd be looking for... after a brief nod to Mandy's boss in the lobby (what a coincidence) we head out.  We've exchanged all the bottles, and we have just enough to get us home.  After some GPS-ing we make it to the cemetery and we do some searching.  Eventually we find the gravesite for Raleigh and Kathleen Blake.  No stone for Jean, so Mandy has to go and inquire.  It turns out that apparently there never was a site for her.  We take some pictures so we know how to find it at another date and feed Dean then head out.  A gas fill up later and we're ready for the highway... unfortunately some nice man lets us know that we're driving without our gas cap screwed back on.  Mandy sees it as some sort of Urban Warfare warning (oh my ryan, you've angered a black man!!).  Mandy's hardly a racist, but it was funny.

cold stone creamery
cold stone creamery
We make it as far as Forest Park, where we stop for a Culvers brunch.  Dean is also not the happiest camper this leg of the trip.  It's a long road.  We stop at another place to feed/change Dean.  It's roughly about every 1-2 hours we have to stop.  We eventually make it to Duluth, and we meander on down to Canal Park to get our Cold Stone Creamery ice cream.  Man, it never ceases to amaze me how busy Canal Park is.  We park illegally for a while to feed Dean and then do some strolling around.  The ice cream was great... I hope Mandy enjoyed it... she had to get over Dean throwing up on her in public.  She got a "like it" sized banana ice cream with strawberries and pineapples.  I had the "love it" size signature "Cheesecake Fantasy" (eat your heart out dad).  It had cheesecake ice cream with graham crumbs, blueberries and strawberries.  I don't know what it is, but I've grown to LOVE blueberries lately.

We wander around a little bit more, and we get to a store I kinda like, but Dean throws up some more, and I figure it's time to move on out.  But we stick our idea of coming back there at some point and doing some real visiting.  This time we'll invite the grandparents to help babysit!

We dared stopping at Culvers again, but we just had ice cream, so we were ok.  We did have to stop a few more times for Dean before getting Canadian side.  He was not happy.. I guess he figured he was never going to get 'home' and his routine would be ruined forever.  By the time we hit the border, Mandy and I are both exhausted.  We get to the customs official and he can hear Dean crying, the looks on our faces and just lets us go on through (he did ask the questions, mind you).

A short half hour later, and we're home.  Not unpacked, not nearly yet... but we're home.  Took some cajoling to get Dean to bed... we have a lot of bottles to clean... but thankfully we're home.  YAY... I think the next family trip will either be:

a) shorter

b) not for a while

People we'd like to thank that helped make this trip possible (this is in no particular order):

My folks the granola was a good treat while driving (something had to keep me awake - mandy slept most of the way) - saved me having to buy Mike&Ikes (although I still did)
Mandy's folks the GPS worked out great!
Kathy & George the stay was amazing - you guys put on a great breakfast spread
aunt Kathy for arranging a great luncheon / family reunion (and Dean loved his toys - we got the most usage out of the CD)
aunt Cookie Dean loves the toys/outfits he bought with his spending money
aunt & uncle John lunch at the fisherman's picnic was a good way to start the trip
grandma Eileen lunch is always great at your place - I hope the concert was good for you (really brings the term 'playing for your supper' to life)
my brother Adam for the few spending dollars i used to buy my Mike&Ikes
Kelly & Adam to help keep Dean preoccupied - Kelly for having a good 'ride buddy' - Adam for having another male with me to deal with the Knauff females (heh)

If there's anybody I missed, I'm sorry... it's just really late.  I'll post more pictures tomorrow.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Day 5 of our First Family Trip

Day 5 already... feels like forever.  I guess travelling with a wee'un can weigh on you.  Ah well.. it's worth it for him.  And Mandy... it is HER trip after all!  :)

So, we had grandiose plans to wake up early and head out to iHOP or something like that and meet Mary & Dick for lunch and still get in time for MOA fun stuff.  That was not to be.  Dean woke up at 6am and set us all off our schedule.  We got as much stuffed into the car as we could, said our goodbyes to Kathy (I hope you can make use of the book) and were on our way around 10ish.

We started at the MOA, and went straight for the under the water tour.  It wasn't too bad actually.  Adam said it was his favourite part of the WHOLE trip... awww... Dean really enjoyed it.  It was hard holding him as he kept craning his neck to see the fish swim over the top of the tube.  Doubt he'll remember it at all... and stupid me, I left the camera in the car.  Luckily, Aunt Kelly and Adam have take alot of pictures and videos.  When they're available I'll point you to 'em.

All sharked out, we decided to head on to further MOA excursions as we did some of the fun rides.  I got to be Kelly's ride buddy for the 'funner' ones.  We decided first would have to be the SPONGEBOB SQUARE PANTS ROCK BOTTOM PLUNGE.  Now I haven't been on a real rollercoaster in years, but I used to love crazy ones.  This one looked nuts... nothing extravagant, just a fun ride up, then straight down and some curves.  So Kelly and I went in with some high hopes.  Apparently Adam doesn't like fast things that are above the ground.  Anywho - the ride was well above anything I expected.  The ride went up... vertically - so you felt like you were going to fall backwards out of your seat, and then you were thrust forward really REALLY fast.  The did a loop, and then some fast curves ad then a spiral... yoiks.  I'm defiitely too old... I was left almost woozy.  Not that I was ever afraid, but it left you on edge and wondering how locked in you really were.  We did a long wait for the Fairly Odd Coaster.  That one was a roller coaster where teh seat spins... it was like a tilt-a-whirl + a roller coaster all in one.  The neat thing about this was that there was a mounted camera in the seat... and when you're done, for $10 you could have had a DVD of your trip.  We would have got it, but we figured there was no audio, or at least nothing audible probably... that would have been the funniest part ("this angle feels like it's only 45 degrees", "my back hurts", "this isn't helping my nervous disorder" - again, we're getting old.)

Then Adam decided to go on A ride, and then Dean puked up on me.  I had asked Mandy for a bib, but it was 'already put away'... a few minutes later i really coulda used it.  Ah well... the joys of being a dad.  After that we had pretty much toured all of the mall we were going to, so we did lunch at the Kokomo's Island Cafe. Mandy thought it was going to be loud, but it wasn't - they even had a place to park your stroller.

Lunch eaten, we figured it was time we got the toront-ites onto the plane.  It took some figuring out where exactly we were to drop them off at the airport.  We EVENTUALLY figured it out - and the decided we have to go to our hotel to nap.  This hotel, the Cambria, is apparently new.  Talk about SWANK.  I'll post pictures later.  It was teh kinda place that I walked into, holding a baby, a little spit up still on my shirt, that I felt that I don't belong.  Ah, well.  We setllted in well.  There are 2 flat panel tvs.  We then went to Babies R Us to get some new stuff for Dean.  At Kathy & George's, they had a well for water, and it has higher Iron content.  Which means that eventually the bottles we were making up would have that orange/brown precipitate.  It's totally fine, but just looked odd.  So at the store we bought BABY WATER.  So we refilled his bottles with this... and it's 100x the amount we'll ever need.

We also went to Culvers... new favourite place.  We went looking for Cold Stone Creamery (which we've been meaning to go to since Duluth on the way down).  The GPS (and I'm surprised how easily I'm deferring to it already in a few days) said it was right next to the Baby store, but we couldn't see it.  So we went to Culvers... and they have a system where ... although it's fast food, you can order your meal, and dessert ad get your dessert to come later.  How innovative!

After all that... we brought the upset Dean home (hotel) and fed him and put him to bed... he's up way past his bedtime.  At least he's asleep now... for now.  Hopefully no middle of the night wakings.  We want to do the cemetary tomorrow, Cold Stone Creamery in Duluth, and then Culvers (again) in Two Harbors.  I'm thinking we should be home roughly like 10-11pm.  grrr...

later all...

Minni trip day 4

So.. day 4 is it? (let me count... Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday... yup 4)

For today’s activities, we woke up around 9ish... well Mandy and Dean woke up at 6... ouch. And puttered around long enough to get ourselves motivated to go and visit Mandy’s grandma. We got there a little later than we expected – 1140 or so. We had an excellent brunch of pork ribs and turtle ice cream sundae. Mmmm. After which, I put my little ‘concert’ on in the courtyard. It turned out to be a perfect day to play, as it was overcast and that meant it wasn’t too hot or humid. I intended to play only for about 10-20 minutes, but as people heard they kept wanting to come down and see. Which normally isn’t a problem; however the mean age of the people wanting to see was about 90. So it took them a while to get there. So I ended up playing for approximately 30 minutes or so. I enjoyed it tho. I enjoy playing for people who appreciate it. Even when my reed isn’t quite up to snuff. It’s really going, this has been a busy summer.

After playing, the crowd enjoyed Dean and how he met a new girl – Mackenzie. She was 10 months old, and was keenly interested in Dean (I’ll say ‘dean’ and not just the most likely answer – somebody her own age category). After that there was some discussions with the residents – like how they’re from Hamilton, or where Kelly’s from (this one lady must have informed us she was from Hamilton about a dozen times a minute – each time prefaced by asking Kelly “where you from?”)

At that point it was time to get dean back to the Kolstad’s where we got more bottles for our excursion to the Mall of America (take 2). This was much longer than the previous days’ adventure. But near the end of it, we were all pretty tired and we decided it was time to head home... we got another bottle for dean – just in case – and the tried to find a restaurant. At a certain point, Adam had to have a white castle burger. So, Kelly allowed him to buy one. And if he was buying 1 – I suggested he also buy me one. He came out with 4. SOOOoo greasy.

We stumbled upon a SUPER Target, and thought we better check it out before it closes... which we found out was at 9, so that left only like 20 minutes – not enough time, so we went to Chula Vista, a very nice Mexican restaurant. We have never had faster service! They even apologized it was slow... crazy. Not until part way through our dinners did Mandy start to wonder if by the ‘nobody else is here’ clue if they had closed. Sure enough, they had closed at 9. So we were THOSE PEOPLE.. the kind of people who show up 5 minutes to closure and expect full service. I felt so guilty.

By the end of the meal we were all too tired to care... Adam practically bolted towards George’s comfy chairs. An hour’s worth of vegging time, and putting dean to sleep and here I am on the futon typing this story up. Hopefully the Windows Update will finish soon, so I can upload it. Stupid SSD, takes forever to do any sort of update. Ah well...

I realized earlier that I didn’t take any pictures from the day’s travels – at some point tomorrow I’ll abscond with Kelly’s/Adam’s digital camera and get theirs.

We’ll see how tonight’s rest goes – which should be a good preamble towards what day 5 holds in store.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Minni trip

Okay so I forgot a few things.  First off - I missed out on Day 2 entirely... I'll cover it now.  And I mssed on Day 2 - the fact that Mandy and Dean and I went to Denny's for dinner.  Really it's not missing much.  We got there and apparently we had a slow waitress that took forever to seat.  But at least we got seated quick, and I was able to order smothered fries (essentially fries with 2 types of melted cheese, and bacon).  We didn't spend much time in there, but we hoped to go for a swim after, but we were pretty pooped.  So went to bed.


Day 2

We thought we could have made the typical checkout time (11) but as it turns out, it took a long time to get the boy ready.  So we had to get a little extra time.  From there we decided to hike o down to the Kolstead's.  We got there roughly 1230sh, which we figure should have been enough time for Kelly to get picked up and brought from the airport.  But, as it turns out, not quite, so we decided to walk around the park across the street, which involved walkig to the closest shady spot and watching every car turn onto the street.  Eventually they came in.  We got to have a quick visit with Kathy and Adam and Kelly before Kathy decided to go looking for her gas cap.  After a bit, we decided to go visit Mandy's grandma.  That too was a short visit, as we have plans to see her each day for the next 2 days.  We went and did a lap of the 3rd floor of the Mall of America.  When we got back to the Kolstead's it was just time to go and see the STARWARS exhibit at the Science Museum.  That was pretty neat... not sure if it's worth the $30 tho'... I almost picked up a Dean a Hallowe'en outfit (Darth Vader).  But ... meh.  After the exhibit, we got back to find that Mandy and Kelly instead of going to see stuf about Star Wars that they preferrred Target shopping.  pfft.  After it was time for some frozen pizzas, enjoy some of the George's recliners then head to bed.


Day 3

After sleeping in, we enjoyed a nice breakfast in the Kolstead's breakfast room - we decided to head on out.  We decided on going on a paddle boat ride down the Mississippi.  It was't too bad.  The best part, I think, was getting to o to Mickey's Diner which we decided on the spur of the moment.  A piece of Americana I think.  Then we went to a great lunch at Mandy's aunt Kathy's where alot of her relatives came to visit.  A nice time to visit with the relatives and see old pictures.  Dean was very laughy during that event.  Not so laughy on the way home.  But he went straight to bed... so the crazy group went for a crazy night out at Cub's.  We bout groceries.. wooohooo.  Now we're all sitting in the recliners again, debating about going to bed.  Tomorrow is goig to be another full packed day.  Lunch at Grandma's, where I'll put on a small concert and then go to Mall of America where I'll get my Cold Stone Creamery ice cream.  mmmm...


enjoy the pics

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Trip to Minni

Day 1

Woke up around 8ish to seeing Mandy running around like crazy.  Good thing it doesn't take long for me to pack.  Soon enough we were on the road.  Dean fell asleep right quick!  Poor guy missed most of the car ride 'cuz of that.  He even missed out the sign by Neebing that says "Fresh Eggs & Kittens".  Only thing that would have made that sign better woulda been to offer fresh kitten eggs.

Probably the easiest time through the border.  Gave the guard the ids, and in under a minute we were through.   We had to stop in Grand Portage as Dean needed a bottle... and I needed some breakfast juice.  They had blueberry and pomegranate.  Mmmm...  After he was finished we went back on teh road and got as far as Grand Marais.

We had arranged earlier to meet with Cookie, John and Sandy at GM due to the Fisherman's Picnic.  But Cookie was feeling under the weather (hope you feel better) so it was just John and Sandy.  We told them to meet at 1230, 'cuz Mandy doesn't know how long it takes to get there.  we got there roughly 30 minutes early, and still met up with them.  It was a nice little fair going on.  Lots of neat booths.  Should have checked the LSTP benches more... Merrell's woulda been a nice find.  Anyways, we all had lunch at the Blue Water cafe.  Even Dean.  He had apples.  Mmmm.  It was a nice visit.  Thanks John & Sandy.  Good thing we didn't go to that 'foo foo' place Kris likes (foo foo kris food).  :)

What next... long driving.  Finally make Duluth... and the hope was to go to that Cold Creek Creamery... but it's in Canal Park... and those tall ships are in, so Duluth is a mad house.  Pretty much all of Superior St. was backed up... all of 21st street is lined up.  We almost could'nt get out.  So we decide to retreat to a McD's parking lot, feed Dean and head on out.  We're going on instinct at this point as the GPS has decided it does'nt want to talk to the satellites anymore.  No worries.  When we get to Minni, it finally works and takes us for a wild spin around St. Paul.  Oh, well... we made it.

It's late, I'm tired now, and I'll talk more about it tomorrow... hopefully with pictures.


Friday, July 25, 2008

It's been a loong time a' runnin'

Okay, I knw.  I haven't written here in a while (probably the biggest gap yet), hence the tragically hip song title...


But hey, I've just had a kid, my life is hectic.  Band's ben hectic.  We've done alot of parades recently:


  • 3 graduations
  • church celebration
  • shelter house relay
  • hibbing
  • minocqua (which was 3 parades in a day!!)

plus there's Buternut this weekend


Dean's been great lately too... he loves his jollly-jumper (tahnks rain and rory).. he's really getting independant.  Hes starting on the thicker pablum stuff too.

The house steps was pretty fun.  Thanks greg for the help.  MG-Krete worked pretty well.  Just have to find what kind of sealant I want on the steps beore deciding on a paint fo it.

AND, i picked up my new toy finally.  I got my ASUS eeePC.  The 4G version.  It's been great.  playing with it all... but I took of Linux, 'cuz I just coudn't figure it out at all.  So i put Windows XP on it.  Took almost 48 hours to put on.  Still fiddling... space is a premium with only 4gb of room.  I'll let you nkow how it all goes out.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ow, my ears hurt.

Okay... wow... brutal performance yesterday.


It was Westgate's graduation and we had the band all tuned up and ready to go.  I'm at the tail end and as we get on stage and start forming the U, I forget my place and stop while trying to maneouver around a piano.  Apparently that (or something to that effect) caused nearly all of my side of the pipers to stop and play something different.  I literally had to tug at the sleeve of the guy next to me to get him to stop.  ugh... hideous.



anywhoo... what else is new and positive.


the pipes scenario sounds interesting, apparently they might be pretty old.  Just need to find an appropriate chanter to work with them.  Maybe I'll get Dylan to bring his small pipes chanter some night.


Dean had his first swimming lesson on Monday.  That was kinda neat.  Got to see the Lockyer kids again (well, Mac and Emma at least).  Dean didn't cry or anything during it - so hopefully it's a positive thing for him.


Rain's back!  So I'm gettingused to not being in the office anymore.  Kinda feel lost for a bit here.   Hard to let go I guess.


Oh, well, I'll keep you all posted - I'll be putting up pics of Dean in the water soon... hopefully.  So many small projects to go over lately that i'm slowly finding out where to start... weeds / lawn / steps / pipes measuring / painting / vacation time / etc...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Visiting the cheiftains

So Dean hadn't had the real opportunity to meet the band chieftains yet, so Mandy and I made it a point last sunday to do just that.


The hope was get out early, before lunch, then visit Rod & Louise, then Al & Muriel after lunch... Dean had other arrangements set up.  It must have been roughly 1:30 or so before we were out the door to visit Al.  And probably after 6 or so by the time we left Rod's.


It was a great visit.  Al showed me a set of 'small pipes' in his basement, and said if I could get 'em working I could have 'em (still havn't quite figured them out -  check the photos and tell me what you think).  I was able to get Al his copy of Edinburgh's 2007 video back, and borrowed the 2006 that Rod lent him.  Rod and Louise had a whole spread out for us as well - excellent sticky buns Louise.  And Dean got a new book... as well as 2 poopy diapers.


It was a great visit, and good to see the chieftains looking so well.  They ain't spring chickens.  Really helped me to appreciate the band's heritage more.  Keeps me motivated to keep teaching the students.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

May long = days of blisters

So here I am on the "may 2-4" and what am I spending my time doing?


well, so far I've:


    • staked in the solar patio lights (thanks Greg!)
    • edged the garden
    • mixed in the composted manure
    • mowed the lawn
    • finished the patio furniture
    • hooked up the hose

I'm tired already and it's only Saturday afternoon.  Thankfully there's a relaxing barbecue tomorrow at Kartanson's.  Cindy's in town too, so she can get to visit everybody.

Mandy still wants to paint... dunno about this weekend.  We'll see.  Then the new blinds come in, which means we can install the A/C unit... not that we even come close to needing to use it yet - the temp hasn't really raised above 10 lately.  We had some AWESOME weather a few weeks back, then really bad, now it's just windy and almost rainy. 

So long as it isn't snowing, I'm happy, and then I can bike to work.

Pictures of the garden are forthcoming.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

playing ketchup... it's all i seem to do.

So much more to catch everybody up on.  (get it... ketchup / catch up)


Since when did weekends become 'extra work days'?  Last weekend I spent several hours just doing house stuff.  The garden needed to be extended, the patio set put together, more laundry sorting and dishes...  I have to use these days Mandy's house sitting to relax.  Now we've got more stuff to do for this weekend, and I still haven't even started to make calls about the front steps.  Having a house is fun.


Oh, well.


Biking's been really good.  Really tiring though.  Burger barn's open, so I definitely need to kick the biking up a notch.  Stupid good fries.  And to further tempt me to not drive is my dad.  He means the best, I know... but now I have 2 of his old vehicles at my house.  The truck hiding in the back lane, and now the car advertising in the front driveway.  I drove the truck once, then kinda remembered dad didn't keep the insurance on it... woopsie.  Now I have the car... and it's just taunting me to drive to work.  I shouldn't, but on the other hand it would give the car more exposure, and hopefully help him sell it... mmm the dilemnas.


Okay, back to my wild and crazy party.  It's the last day of my bach-ing it.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My boy truly is growing

It's really awe inspiring.  Just scrolling through some of the pics of dean thus far.

As much as I know he's growing, it's amazing to see how much he's grown really when you compare.

It's hard to look at some of the first pics when he came home and not be moved by it all.

mama and li'l-unhe's holding my fingerat home in his cribat home lounging on the futon like his old mananother stylish outfitbig eyes1st St. Patty's day outfit (kathy)superbaby (can't remember who now)he's really filling that outfittrying to stick his tongue out!