Sunday, December 31, 2006

Out with the old in with the New!

It's here, the last day of 2006. It's really snuck up on me this year, but looking forward to 2007 and all the opportunities and adventures it will present.

I typically do not make any Resolutions, at least in the past but I have seen a need to change much of how I do things. The atypical diet and activity being very high on the list. I have not been taking advantage of this wonderful area in which we live. I have fallen into this "sit at home" rut, and in falling into that rut all other issues that surround inactivity have also caught up with me. The usual weight and strength loss, a reduction in the amount I read/study and learn, the drive that has taken me so far both personally and in my interests has faltered. I know that forcing myself out of this comfort zone that I am in will not be easy but will bring many unseen benefits to me.

The past year has not all been a rut, with many fantastic visitors to us, many good times and memories. We also had some great trips...
  • Camping on Queen Charlotte's Islands
  • Spending a fabulous week on Quadra Island
  • Visiting friends and family in Prince George, Hazelton, and Terrace
  • Many day trips to Duncan, Nanaimo, and other points here on the Island
We have spent much time working on improving our house, as many of you have seen either in person on through previous Blog updates. The three biggest improvements being the installation of the Blaze King wood stove in January 06. 90% completion of full wall-to-wall ceramic tile, and the removal and rebuilding of our back deck. It has been a very busy year and very productive in addition to these we also fully Tiger'ized our bathroom (T -I -double Grrr'd  ;-) ) as well as redoing our laundry room.  While this has taken a big step forward in Home improvements, as any of you homeowners know there is always more to do. 
2007 list as it stands now...
  • Final Tiling
  • Lose the textured 1970's walls  fill, sand, prep and paint
  • Molding, both floor and crown
  • Lighting in hallway, Kitchen, living room and dining room
  • Pot hanger install in kitchen
  • Sunroom expansion off dining room
  • Possible skylight in living room
  • Front Fence and Gate replacement
  • Expansion of Driveway to allow cars to park near the front yard (this will lead to maybe building a garage/workshop in 08)
  • Re-Roof the house and Sunroom, (needs soffit, and everstrough replacement too)
  • Landscaping back yard
The other big activity I will be focusing on is improving my Skill-set in the technology field with focus on Security, OS integration, Linux, and several applications that have my interest. I see that there seems to finally be a drive to recruit staff to focus on the security side, I guess the Corporation and Governments have finally seen their bottom dollars getting hit by these breaches. It has always interested me and I have been able to gain much insight and experience in this via web resources. I do need to further my skills on the Server-side of the house, or rather to continue to develop them.  I have many ongoing projects that will utilize these types of skills and will be a work in progress.

Since we now have the Canon DSLR I am scheduling many hikes, starting with Day hikes around the Southern part of the Island, of course this will allow me to get out there as well as increasing my Photography skills. As well as using my software to edit the pictures when complete. I have already printed out several pictures that I am impressed with, mostly the composition has grabbed me. As usual my primary interest with the camera is wildlife and scenery type shots. I will need to invest in a decent Mono-pod and perhaps a better/bigger camera bag, (the one I purchased is already full with the 70mm-300mm lens, hood and filters.), I suppose I could try to get a lens case to attach to the bag to create space. I will need to carry both the tripod and mono-pod though, as once you are doing any tightly composed shots the camera shake is always more pronounced on these shots. I was shooting some deer in the field yesterday there was 5-7 of them but with the zoom I could not get a clear shot.

I am also playing with the idea of selling my FJ1200, I am very interested in getting a BMW F650 GS Dakar , of course every time I get back on my FJ I have so much fun on it that I then question why I would sell. We will see though.  How about one of these instead?

Wishing you all, Friends, Family and anyone who reads my Blog, the best Health, Happiness, and future in 2007!


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas wishes

"Joy, Joy. May God shower joy upon us. Christmas brings us all good things. God give us grace to see the New Year; and if we do not increase in numbers may we at all events not decrease."
Traditional Scottish Christmas Toast.

Well it's here! Christmas Eve, it's so hard to believe that the year is almost gone, but so great that it is this time of season. I was up the Malahat and into Duncan yesterday picking up our Farm Turkey and it was snowing up near the turn off for Shawnigan Lake. It was really Christmas'y. This is our first Christmas not using a mass-produced, and drug filled Turkey. yes it cost a bit more than our usual "Stupor Store" one. I expect though that it is going to be a much higher quality tasting bird, as all the other meats we have purchased have been. They have local farmers, that do not use the typical growth drugs, the only drugs they do use are ones that would be needed to look after  the animal should they become sick, (or prevention of course), they are grain or naturally fed, and are free ranging animals. The steaks, Chicken and Pork products have been fantastic. They have better than 20 different types of sausages too. It is called "The Meat Market" and is located on the right side of highway(heading North) just as you enter Duncan. Just past The Old Farmers Market, a great spot for fruit and produce. So the bird goes in today just after noon, although I spent a good deal of time doing the prep work yesterday. We are really looking forward to our Christmas dinner, the Wife is working through the holiday's this year but her Sister is over to spend the season with us.

We've purchased ourselves an early gift a new Camera. We bought the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi, as well as a 70mm -300mm lens in addition to the 18mm-55mm that came with the kit. I also picked up a couple of filters. There is a lot to learn about using it properly, it is going to be quite fun taking this new stuff in and getting good at it. I have already been out with the camera trying various styles of shots, spent a couple of hours at Hatley Castle shooting both the wildlife and the castle itself.  During the Turkey run yesterday I took a few shots around Shawnigan Lake. I have also been learning a lot about different photo editing applications. All in all it has been fun, even printed off some 8 X 10 and 4 X 6's of some of the shots to see how well they print off. Very impressed. Will need to get some of them posted.

You don't have to send money or anything else, just some Christmas thoughts.
Write the Troops, ( here  They do really like to hear from us all, they get printed out and posted to a board so all can read them!), let them know that they are missed and that their and their families sacrifices are appreciated and recognized, no matter your political views let's remember these folks sign up and go where they are told to, they have been presented with a monumental task (especially in Afghanistan) they have not shirked their duty and neither complain, nor hesitate to do their best in their role.

Let's make sure that those of us here who live our days in relative peacefulness surrounded by our friend and families, not left wanting for for any item, with opportunities that many citizens of less fortunate countries do not even dare dream of, show our support for those who put it all on the line, to assist others.

Seems lately like the Media likes to focus on the armed response that Canada has provided yet does not give the troops their due when it comes to the humanitarian activities, whether it be rebuilding the soccer stadium for the kids to play safely, rebuilding/restocking classrooms, encouraging the reopening of schools for all children and the removal of threats against those teachers/instructors who put their lives at risk by teaching classrooms of mixed sexes.

A Scottish Christmas; Linking to tradition:

Just some links to traditions form my cultural heritage. Some interesting reading.

Scottish Traditional Christmas 1

Scottish Traditional Christmas 2

Some Scottish Christmas Music:

Wishing all of you the very best wishes for the Christmas Season, hoping you all are healthy, happy and have everything you need.

May the best you've ever seen
Be the worst you'll ever see;
May a moose ne'er leave yer girnal
Wi' a teardrop in his e'e.
May ye aye keep hale and hearty
Till ye're auld enough tae dee,
May ye aye be just as happy
As I wish ye aye tae be.

by Allan Ramsay of Ayr
Merry Christmas!


MSN Spaces

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Burn Weekend

Well thankfully the first full blown rain storm of the Fall/Winter has broken enough for me to get some scrap wood and trimmings onto the fire. It is the Burn Weekend for November, missed it last month and was hoping I was going to get a break to get it done. There was so much scrap from this summer's projects as well as stuff that keeps getting missed on the various landfill runs. Just be nice to get it out of here, as it makes the yard look like a rental.

It has been a busy few months since we returned from out holidays in the North. We brought the Brother-in-law back with us to get us started tiling the house. Between the three of us we had all of the house with the exception of the two Bedrooms, Computer room and Laundry room done. We really appreciated the help he gave us would have been so much more work without his assistance. We still have a lot to do, but these are our winter projects and will keep us busy until the spring. The laundry room was tiled and painted ( see here) as well we bought a replacement freezer (a stand up one) make better use of the room. We still need to do our baseboard and Crown-molding but will do the whole house in one shot instead of room by room.

We still need to begin the painting as well as lighting updates. As stated the laundry room was painted, but still needs some final touches. I have tried a few different things to get rid of the textured walls, seems the best way to approach it without re-drywalling is to smooth coat it with some Lite Line. I tested this out in the computer room and it seems to work quite well. Looking forward to getting the walls completed and then painted, it will really finish the house off nicely. Looking at the "modern British" colors, bright and warm, reds, oranges, greens etc then finish the rooms off with moldings, and frames and they will be fantastic.

Look to see updated pictures including the home improvements on the flickr site

Looking forward to the upcoming holiday season. We have changed out the way we have been consumerising (hmmm??) the fact that
we have been supporting these big box meat processing/sales outfits, rather than supporting the local ranchers, and farmers. After experiencing life in a smaller community and learning first hand how important it is to buy local and support local we have finally got our stuff together and found the resources to help us change the way we shop.  Two sites The Meatrix and Sustainable Table have instrumental in helping us change. We bought a really nice freezer package from the Butcher in Duncan. The meat is incredible and tastes so much different than what we have experienced up till now (with the exception of wild meat). So in keeping with the upcoming holiday I am going to get a free range turkey, tried one before back in the early 90's. I am looking forward to trying out my usual receive on this new meat.

One other exciting thing is getting back in touch with someone very close that I have not "seen" in a long time. Someone I thought was gone for good, and glad to see I was wrong about that.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Only hours to go

In less than two hours we will be on the road back to Victoria. Going to stop off in Hazelton to visit SD for an hour or so and then stop off to pick up our meat in Prince George, this comes directly from the Rancher. I am looking forward to trying some of those steaks as I am sure the quality will be far superior to anything you can buy in the local Store.

There are three of us in the van driving back down so we should be able to swap off and drive straight through, expecting to arrive in Vancouver early Saturday, then ferry to Victoria and home by Noon or so.

It has been a fantastic holiday, as usual not enough time to visit everyone or do everything I had hoped, but there is always next year ;-).

I will have a more detailed update when we get settled in and further picture updates then.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Get Some!

What would you rather be doing on a wet and cold Sunday afternoon?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Last day on Haida Gwaii.

This has been an incredible visit to a place I had considered not spending the time to do so. As typical with holiday time it flies back and I had thought that the nearly 6 days out of the time would have been better spent around the Terrace area. I am very glad that I had decided to do it. The beaches here are unbelievable, they go on forever, and you can walk for miles without seeing another soul. The weather has been beautiful although the speed with which it can change and that the clouds move through this territory, (it would be hard to convince anyone who has not seen this that it actually occurs,) always keeps you on your toes as you never wants to be caught without the right gear. I really need to thank FD for convincing us to come over with him and explore these Islands an experience that we will be able to look back on for a long time.


Gotta wonder why they do not change the name of the Area back to the traditional Haida Gwaii, and away from the Queen Charlotte Islands (Graham and Moresby Islands). Does anyone even know who she was, this Queen Charlotte. Hey No Googling!!! You see my point though, I am sure she had never even made it to the Island. Besides Haida Gwaii, sounds so much more representative of the area, as well as adding a mysterious allure to the Island. The map on our kitchen wall here in Masset has a little history of the area, and it states the first white settler to reach the Island was Roderick Dodd, (how's about that Margaret?) going to have to look a little deeper into the history as it might be interesting to find out a little about him and where he came from and why.


We spent yesterday on North Beach and hiking Tow Hill. Upon reaching the beach we drove up to the shipwreck (driving the Westy on the beach was very different and exciting) about 2.5 miles up. As we approached the wreck there were a couple of guys on dual-sports who had toured up from Vancouver. As we passed them they were snapping pictures of us driving by, (I returned the favour when they left.) we got a little way from the wreck where we stopped and walked back to talk to them. I guess they transported their bike and gear on their truck which they parked in Port Hardy, took the ferry to Rupert then over to QCI. It would be a nice little tour. Tow hill was a good little hike the trail-building that that had done was amazing, I can only imagine how much work was put into this trail. The views from the observation decks were unbelievable, so much beach so few people just my kind of place. We also hiked to the blowhole, although tide was out so this was not doing its thing. The beach area below Tow Hill, was very other-worldly, it was (as is the hill) an ancient lava flow beaten down by centuries of ocean flow. There were tidal pools nearly four feet across (circular) and so deep that I could not see the bottom, although Bexley came close to assisting me in find out how deep they are as he bumped me on his way past.


I have many pictures that I am going to upload with this posting when we get back to Terrace around midnight (ferry departs at 15:30 arrives in Prince Rupert about 21:30). I will try to order them somewhat as there are so many.


We had a fantastic homemade pasta dinner for our last dinner with a nice bottle of Naked Grape. Heading out this morning to a local place called "Bloom n Boot" for some touristy things and going to hit a local pottery place that does some really nice coffee mugs, MS has one and the design is ingenious.


Oh last note I tore the van apart trying to get it to start, after many issues. I need to get some plugs, Distributor cap and two V belts although none of these caused the issues but need to be replaced. I took off the second skid plate behind the fuel tank, checking fuel lines and connections. Then checked the Fuel pump and found a loose connection (electrical) to it, using my best Red Green training I have re-secured it and have not had a repeat of the issue. Woo Hoo!


Ferry to Queen Charlotte Islands

Gray Bay Rec Site (26 KM past Sandspit)

Queen Charlotte City and the Purple Onion

Graham Island (Skidegate and Masset)

Masset and North Beach

North Beach and Tow Hill



Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Backlog 2

September 11, 2006


Masset, Haida Gwaii


As you can tell with this double upload to the Blog (perhaps it might be more than these two?) we never stopped in Queen Charlotte City but went right through to Skidegate so never got a chance to go live. We stopped into a little Gift shop there, came back to the van and it would not start. Looking at the mileage there a lack of gas was the most likely cause, so pulled out the reserve Jerry can filled it with that. Waited a bit for the gas to cycle through then it started and we hit the next station and filled the both of them back up. We headed to Masset, stopping off at the Balancing Rock a 96 KM trip, then 4 clicks out of Masset the beast lost all power, started to bleed of power and RPMs. Stepping on the gas seemed to make no difference. The engine's Rev would not increase.   I ended up having to unload much of our gear just to access the engine and my tools. I removed each of the spark plugs (a little wet and dirty) Air cleaner box (some moisture, oily and dirty – not the filter which was in good shape), and the Distributor cap, none of these seemed to make a difference. The entire time it seemed like either it was not getting fuel or a spark, by the time I had replaced all the items I removed it then started up no problem. It almost seems as though there is an overheating issue, but that being the case the thermostat should have alerted us to this before hand. The coolant level is within range. I am also wondering about the fuel pump, but again it should be consistent rather than these out behaviours occurring, as we had already drove from Victoria to Prince George without issue. Hey but we are here, just not sure if this is going to effect my trip further north next Friday, we may instead need to visit our old mechanic in Terrace.


OK enough of that. We are really enjoying our visit here, I could not believe the amount of deer that we have seen on our trip to the Northern part of this Island. We have also passed over the 54 Parallel although it was not marked anywhere physically, I did note it on the map before head this way. The place we are staying in is a duplex, that used to be family quarters for the military before they pulled out. You can tell that the area and may of it's buildings were built by the military especially the local Rec Centre and hospital. After a couple of days camping it was really nice to come here and have a hot shower as well as kicking back watching a little football. Well more to come and hopefully both the internet issue and the van issues are not an entry in the next post. ;-)



backlog 1

September 10, 2006


From Gray Bay, 21 KM from Sandspit on Queen Charlotte Islands


We arrived on the Island yesterday the BC ferries hold quite the schedule. We needed to leave Terrace at 2AM arrive at the Ferry terminal in Prince Rupert at 4 AM for the 6 AM sailing. We picked FD up enroute to Prince Rupert. The ferry itself is so much smaller than we are used to down south. The loading of the vehicles is quite the operation, and include things like Container Trailers without the trucks to save cost and space.


The trip over was very nice the ocean was quite calm, the time to cross was about 6 ½ hours. We had a cabin, and both my wife and her Bro we snoozing for a good part of the trip. I went down for breakfast then found a good spot out on deck out of the wind to sit and watch the waves go by. We saw several pods of porpoise as well as a group of whales.


I am about 25 feet from the incoming tide at our campsite at Gray Bay. I am just sitting here listening and watching the crashing waves around me. It is just as advertised, miles and miles of unoccupied beaches. Got up this morning coffee in hand and walked and walked , the tide was quite the ways out and took advantage of this to explore a couple of the smaller outcrops that were reachable with the tide out. Many species of Seabirds also took advantage of the outgoing tide to pick the beach and tidal pools for their morning meal. Every pool I nosed through was teaming with various types of life from hermit crabs to fish. After doing a run back to town for a few necessities I walked back down the road from camp to hike into Secret Cove, we have the brother-in-law's dog, Bexley with us, and both he and Andre and myself went on the hike.   Well Bexley is still a young pup, not really sure of how strong he is or how fast, of course everything is play play play. He was doing his best gazelle manoeuvres chasing down a chipmunk or squirrel, bouncing through the high grass. Then he gets so far ahead you can no longer see him. All of a sudden you hear low growls and crashing bush, thinking it is a bear you prepare yourself, well if it isn't Bexley again. Bugger!   He will also get ahead of you , far ahead, then sit and raise his shoulders, looking intently behind me. Who says dogs don't have a sense of humor? At least I hope they can enjoy these games they play on us. ;-)


I believe we are heading up to the North Side of the Islands tomorrow. I am hoping to hit "The Purple Onion" in Queen Charlotte City since not only do they have the best coffee on the Island but they also have internet there so I can upload this and perhaps my pictures so far.


If you ever get a chance to come to this Island make sure you take it, it really is something to experience. From Hiking, camping, fishing (Coho right now), hunting (Deer are abundant here and your total limit is 6 deer.). Just so much to do and such a beautiful place and I have seen so little of it so far.



Thursday, September 07, 2006

More fun than a ....

It's been a lot of fun over the last few days. We went out with good friends of ours to a local restaurant, The Golden Flame. They do a great Lamb Dinner. The meal as always was fabulous, and the company of course was as enjoyable as it always is. It was great to see JM and PV, they are the salt of the earth.

I was supposed to be heading out with JM and doing some bush crashing in the ATV, but got a bit impatient and ended up heading off myself today. The weather was alright but the skies did open up on me a few times. I went up the Copper Forestry Road, then unloaded the ATV on the Clore. I was very surprised to see active logging on this road, (surprised due to the local mill still being closed up.), nothing like riding an ATV then coming head to head with a loaded Logging truck to remind you how small you are. ;-) After the encounter I decided to stay on the deactivated roads as much as possible. I was out there for about 5 1/2 hours and made it up into two different ranges. An incredible view! I came across one log blocking the road and needed to build a ramp of sorts to get over it. I saw lots of evidence of Bears, Moose and deer, (droppings and scat) but I think with the noise of the ATV it scared most them out of the open. I did however see many grouse. I took quite a few pictures as always and also had my GPS on hand I will need to download the way points when I get back home as I forgot my cable for it.

Will need to have an early night tomorrow, we are getting up at 2AM Saturday for the drive to Prince Rupert. We have to be at the Ferry Terminal by 4AM for the check-in. The Ferry leaves for the Charlotte's at 6AM and arrives in Skidegate at 12:30 PM. We are both looking forward to the Visit to the area.



Monday, September 04, 2006

Terrace Update

Sad news upon our return from the campsite today, about Steve Irwin (Crocodile Hunter) dying after a freak accident with a Stingray. We really enjoyed his show, as well as being very impressed with the work he and his wife did to rescue many animals, and his efforts to educate and promote wildlife conservatory works. A loss for us all. :-(

We have been busy over the past few days here in Terrace, visiting many we have not seen for a few days. The weather has been fantastic with bright blue skies, lots of sun and many stars at night.

Last night we went over to a very good friends and were spoiled with many treats. From a fantastic home-made dip (Yum) that disappeared as quick as you would expect for something that tasted so very good, to handmade Salsa, hot wings, bacon wrapped Steaks, BBQ'ed Stir fry veggies, baked potatoes, Prawns (massive ones!) with Garlic butter, Cesar Salad, well you get the idea both J and K put together a very impressive spread and spoiled us rotten. It had been quite a while since I had been able to sit around with my bud, hang out around the fire, shoot the breeze and have a night filled with laughs. This was our first meeting (face to face) with his woman, K. She's a great person and really brings out the best in J. Very smart, funny and a real person through and through. we had a blast. Slightly hung this morning - Par for the course LOL.

Saturday was spent out at 26 mile camping with a group of folks that we had camped with a few time before. It was very nice to see them again, (and to hear C's cutting and dry sense of humor he is always good for  a chuckle). J brought out a few ATV's from his Polaris 500, a Polaris 450 and a Yamaha 700. Had a lot of fun bombing around the Gravel pit on each of them, the Yamaha goes like stink, but the best one and all around work horse was still J's 500.

Back to school for the Kiddies tomorrow, and many of our friends are back to work too, Going to pop out and get together with JM tomorrow, (might try to sneak in an ATV trip up the Copper this week with him). Will also get together with The Reids, hopefully. Looks like this Saturday we will be heading to the Charlotte's and returning on Thursday the 14. I will try to continue uploading to both this Blog and my Flickr sites while there. Upon my return I will head up to Watson Lake and Liard Hotsprings,just me and Andre.

Liard Hot Spings
Jason and Kitti's BBQ
Camping at 26 Mile


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Back Home - in Terrace ;-)

We arrived back in Terrace mid-afternoon Yesterday. The drive from Prince George was fantastic, a beautiful day to cruise The Yellowhead, as Highway 16 is known. Not too much road destruction, but loads of wind. In a Westy this is not a great thing as you get pushed all over the road, hmm  interactive Driving.

Was nice to count down through all the little towns as we knew we were getting closer. The Skeena river is a fantastic shade of green with no traces of muddiness. Must not have had a lot of rain.

My Flickr Site - Pictures from our trip so far -

Wonderful to be back in Terrace. :-)


Friday, September 01, 2006

From the Geographic Center of the Province

We arrived in Prince George day on the 29th. The drive from Victoria was really nice. The weather was fantastic, with only a little rain in Cache Creek, some thunder. Being a Tuesday the roads were very empty, we made some great time. AC was sleeping through the majority of the trip as she had just finished a graveyard shift. Most the drive I had my iPod and headphones on. I tripped across this great metal site a few days before we left. They had just started a podcast. The site was Metal Observer, the podcast was fantastic. Different styles of metal from all over the world. Most I had not heard before and really enjoyed the introduction to. Driving and listening to those kinds of tunes, drinking lots of Timmy's coffees and taking in all the sites, Does it get any better than this?


We have been spending a few quality days with a good friend of ours here in Prince George. Lots of laughs, good food, beer, and other treats. Its great to be back here, lots has changed. Mr PG has a huge Casino behind him. There are many new developments, housing prices are on their way back up, much of this is based on new developments in the Pipeline and Gas industry. I am really glad to see some positive economic developments for the region, they had been hit very hard with Lumber and mining cut backs over the years.


We sampled some fresh Kokanee that MB's Parents had just smoked. Wow! Forget how nice fresh fish can taste. MB's Dad is very intelligent and inventive, while giving us the tour of his green house he showed us the root cellar he put in under his greenhouse. He also has a red wriggler worm ranch, guess these little guys are in huge demand in gardens everywhere. His garlic was incredible big cloves, he gave us some tips on planting them, and I think I am going to try it out in my cleared potato patch when we get home. He also had some solid tips for many of our plants in our garden. MB also knows much about these things as well and gave us many tips about what we "newbies" should do and most importantly to keep a garden journal so we have what works and what does not year to year.


Hard to believe that our visit here to Prince is almost over, we are heading to Terrace tomorrow and expect to arrive tomorrow night. More great people to visit and see again, more great places to see too.  :)



Sunday, August 20, 2006

Writely, trip, repairs and Improvements

Reading about Google's newest release. An Online Word Processor (plus more) called Writely. Very easy to sign up for and it could be a useful online application and collaboration tools for many road warriors or those who are touring and using Internet Cafe's and cannot or do not wish to install yet another bloated tool for word processing. As I have just started using it I am not sure of what limitations are on it, this is a Beta so I am sure that it is not going to be a cakewalk just yet. There are file upload limitations, as there must be. May ask a buddy of mine to sign up and try some of the collaboration options. The auto save function seems to be timed much like Gmail, and yes that has saved me some recreation time ;-). As I have a road trip coming up it might be the perfect opportunity to try it out.

Speaking of ... 8 Days and counting! damn I am looking forward to getting back up North. Looking forward to hitting all of my favorite places. We are going to start by spending some time with a good friend in
Prince George . She's a blast, so very positive and a lot of fun to hang out with. From there we will go straight through to Terrace , (ah nice to be home again). We are going to be heading to the Queen Charlotte Islands for a few days as well, it will be our first trip over. I was originally hesitant about going there, we have a limited time to spend, but after my Mother-in-law went over and told us about it we have to take the opportunity to experience it. Supposedly mile and miles of sandy beaches with no one around. It will be a bit cold for any swimming, but we are hoping to get our fill of seafood. Speaking of I think I will be able to get some fishing in, our timing should be good for some salmon and trout. Any of you who know me know that I do not get very excited about much, but I am starting to get that "Kid on Christmas eve" feeling. During the whole trip I will be posting to the Blog(s) so stay tuned. It also appears that my father-in-Law will be in Watson Lake , (In the Yukon) for much of our trip. I have never been, and am always looking to explore more of the North I love, so may take a few days to make it up there to a point further North than I have been so far (record now is Dease Lake ).

As the schedule is getting tight before we leave I am a little anxious about some parts for our Westy I am awaiting. The little van has been up on blocks for about 2+ weeks, as we discovered a fuel leak when we filled up. After pulling the tank I found a couple of small holes on the top end of the tank as well as much corrosion inside. Pulled a favor in with a good friend on the mainland who works in the automotive industry and was able to get a new tank and a good price. I needed to replace the venting tube, two plastic valves and three grommets (Dealer got better than $70 for bugger!). I replaced all fuel hose and fuel filter, did not do the charcoal one, (after visiting the
Westy Owners site I am rethinking this and since it is still up on blocks I will do this. Hoping I can get it from Bow-Wow Automotive and do not have to see the Dealer),re-zapped strapped everything. The expansion tank on the Passenger side was very brittle, ended up breaking both the lower nipple and the Expansion Valve Cap Nipple off, and of course the only place carry the part was the Dealer. So another $120, and now I play the waiting game. It was supposed to come from Toronto and be in on Thursday, but nothing so far. Dealer says it should have come in Friday (this past) or tomorrow (Monday). I am hoping so as I need a good week to test it on the road and ensure that it will run fine. I also bought a new Oxygen Sensor, but as it is located in the exhaust I will hold off on installing that until I get to Terrace.

Around the house I have been very busy. I should have some new pictures to post as I expect to be completing the deck install today. Just doing the railing over the past days as well as the gate. Still have the stairs to do, and with the Wife working graves I am trying to keep it down to just nailing and no power tools until late in the afternoon. I was out racing the sun last night trying to get all the wood facing slats cut, and got it done just as the sun went down. Ended up putting tools away in the dark and then doing my Hot wings on the BBQ by the Sensor light. :-0
So stay tuned, I think I am going to like the way it finished off.

Met the neighbour last evening, over the fence. Turns out he also works for TELUS too, in an I&R position. Seems like a pleasant fellow. Was asking if he could pop over to trim his grape vine on our side.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Watch "Troops (Star Wars COPS Parody)" on Google Video

Your friend at the Imperial Stormtroopers, has sent you the following video from Google Video:

Troops (Star Wars COPS Parody)

Troops (Star Wars COPS Parody)

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Strange days indeed

An amazing start to the day yesterday, to find yourself in the early hours, in the shower with the window open to suddenly hear what you take to be the sound of horse hooves striding along the road that our house is located on. Firstly let me point out that the road, Sooke Road also referred to as " Le Mans Sooke" during the tourist season is anything but a quite countryside route, it is instead a full-fledged 4 lane (plus a centre left turn lane) primary route from View Royal, through Langford, Colwood, Metchosin etc.. At that time of day it is usually one way traffic heading to the Downtown core for the beginning of another workday. So anyways, I digress, upon hearing the click-clack of the hooves I had to stick my head out the window to find out what it was, we are in an area frequented by many Deer, sure enough this horse goes flying by, not looking panicked but looking as though he is enjoying the freedom of the road, must have been a biker in a past life. It was a truly a most unique way to start the day off, at least bringing a chuckle to my face. ;-)

Well swapped out the Mainboard in my system, as in the previous post, good to be back on my machine, just thankful that it was only the board, not the additional expense of the CPU or worse hard Disk and Data loss. GAAK!

Big countdown beginning soon to the start of the vacation, it will be so excellent to have almost a full month off. To be able to kick back and re-explore some areas I have not seen in a long time. We are really looking forward to it.

30th anniversary of the Viking Landers touching down on Mars, NASA has put together some great multimedia products at, including a video capturing the landing day drama, as the team saw the first pictures of the Martian surface, and a Flash slide show featuring Viking highlights. From those landers came the ability for us to have the current presence on the planet with the hope that I will see a fulltime human presence on both Mars and the Moon, as they have state they wished to do. Amazing how far the technology in Space Exploration has come. Leap and bounds.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Danger Will Robinson!!

Looks like an Astoroid hit my Soutbridge! Grrr! Should have gone with Regan's SDI plan and this could have been prevented ;-)


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy 139th Birthday

Hey its Canada Day!!  Woo Hoo! This is my first one actually being a Canadian so I am very excited to be a part of the best Country in the world! We have some fantastic weather to celebrate the day, usually I would do a big BBQ up for the day but with our deck in process the BBQ is awkward to use so I have decided instead to do my barely hot chili. OK those who know me, or those who have ever tried it know that it is a collection of 17 chili peppers, (Yes Habaneros too  evil grin ) and that even if you try the left overs out of the fridge cold you are guaranteed to get hot real fast. Should be a good meal to celebrate the day. Hope you all are also having a great day to celebrate this event.

The week before last my Wife's Brother came down with his Kids to spend some time with us as well as picking up our old westy off of us. We cruised up to Campbell River with both Westy's and spent the first night in Elk Falls. I think the kids really enjoyed the first night of camping.  The berries are in season right now as well so there was lots of nibbling going on. Blueberries, Salmon Berries and Huckleberries were everywhere. The next day we were wondering where we should head to, so we decided off the cuff to take the ferry over to Quadra Island. That was a great decision, as the reminder of our trip was spent there, camping right on the beach near Rebecca Spit. The campsite is run by the local Native band the site is called We Wai Kai. We could not believe how nice it was where we were staying. I have uploaded many (not kidding here as I did not get to edit them but just uploaded them) of the pictures to my Flickr website. Hope you all enjoy them. Picture here

It was a great mini vacation, sort of a primer for the longer one coming up at the end of August. It will be nice to head back up to Terrace for such an extended period.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Nick "Can I look yet?"

On a long hot drive the best way to cool off is a cold damp cloth over your eyes, I read that somewhere. ;-)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Red Spider

IMG_0005, originally uploaded by Logantech.

Found this guy under the deck as I was clearing the wood away. Still trying to ID him, Big bugger the size of my thumb, blood red legs and a very interesting pattern on his back

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Two wheels Good...Four Wheels Bad

Three Bikes 04, originally uploaded by Logantech.

Last picture of the three machines, 1981 Yamaha XS-650, 1986 Yamaha FJ1200, 2003 Honda Rebel. I sold the 650 yesterday, it has been a great bike, I am sure the new owner will have a blast on it.

Friday, June 02, 2006

New Addition to the Family

The Wife bought herself a new (or nearly new) Motorcycle day before last, as she is in training for her Motorcycle License. She has had the restrictions removed from her learners and is good to go for gaining further road experience. She had my Older (1981) Yamaha XS-650 Special, but we both felt it may be safer and easier for her to learn on a newer, lighter and more dependable bike. We had quite the time trying to find one though, seems that many of the lighter cruiser style bikes ranging from 250-750 cc are in great demand now. The papers are full of Sport bikes and MX ones, but smaller and newer cruisers are sold very quickly.We got this one from Cedar, (just south of Nanaimo) from a lady who used it for the same purpose that "AC" is going to use it, just to gain experience for a year or so. I rode it back, but my planing side of my brain must have been absent. I should have brought the pick-up and we could have loaded it on board, or should have brought full gear. Well I didn't, just my helmet, glove and Joe Rocket Jacket, I was wearing jeans and light weight boots. Of course it rained very very heavy. I was drenched by Ladysmith, snickering at the amount of liquid in my boots. We pulled into Duncan for gas for the van, and I was just totally wet. At least it was semi-warm, looking for the positive in it comes from all that winter riding I have done. ;-) . The bike itself ran like a top reaching Highway cruising speeds without any issue at all.

More of the pictures of her 2003 Honda CMX250C Rebel on my Flickr Site of course.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sunrise in Parksville, BC

IMG_0043, originally uploaded by Logantech.

An incredible Sunrise.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Campbell River Early Morning

IMG_0025, originally uploaded by Logantech.

Beautiful Place

Sitting on the balcony over the ocean:

Just in Parksville on Vancouver Island tonight staying at the Quality Inn on the Ocean. Pictures coming soon. My balcony is about 45 feet from the beach; the view is something else, unlike the Mrs Richards exchange ;-)

Mrs. Richards: When I pay for a view I expect to see something more interesting than that.
Basil: That is Torquay, Madam.
Mrs Richards: Well, it's not good enough.
Basil: Well, may I ask what you were hoping to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom-window? Sidney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest? sweeping majestically?
Mrs Richards: Don't be silly. I expect to be able to see the sea.
Basil: You can see the sea. It's over there between the land and the sky.


I have been a bit of a road trip both last week and this, mostly work-related but it has also allowed me to tour around after hours. Last week was Campbell River, Port Hardy and Courtenay. I was very lucky on the weather. Not thrilled about the hotel in Campbell River but the City is a great place. This week is Parksville and Port Alberni, We camp in China Creek South of Port Alberni every fall.

I then drove up to Port Hardy, met one of my old friends on the way up. The hotel there was incredible, right on the fisherman's marina (mostly commercial ships) and was facing east so the sunset was great.

It was then back to Courtenay, this hotel had the most professional staff and conference room set-up. As well they were quite sympathetic when I locked myself out, putting the food tray in the hall. Just as well the only thing I was missing was my boots; it was a long walk to the Front Desk.

I have spent some time loading most of the pictures on my Flickr site if you would like to sneak a peak.

The Road trip has been a lot of fun; I wish I could travel up this way a little more often. Port Hardy and area really is similar to the Terrace area, it is probably part of the pull.

Time to get some grub – more to come.



Saturday, April 29, 2006

Our New Westy

Our New Westy, originally uploaded by Logantech.

Just picked it up last night, our new 1985 Westy. Feel the need, not for speed (come on this is a Westy!) but for camping.

Friday, April 28, 2006

St Nick on the beach

IMG_0002, originally uploaded by Logantech.

King Nick masterfully watches over his domain.
Flikr test 2


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

March 28, 2006

I have become really hooked on a couple of reality shows lately, no nothing like Temptation Island or Big Brother or whatever... Real reality shows, ones like " Pioneer's Quest" that I used to watch. 
I was introduced to "Long Way Round" with Ewen McGregor and Charley Boorman saddling up on a couple of BMW R1150GS Adventure's and heading east from London England touring through some of the most challenging terrain, Kazakhstan, Mongolia,Siberia, Ukraine, Russia, The Road of Bones, Alaska, BC (Woo Hoo), with New York City as the final destination. I think the best thing about the series is the people that they meet, the friendliness and hospitality no matter which country they were in. An awesome show!!   On Outdoor network
Survivorman with Les Stroud - simple concept... drop this guy in the middle of some remote area with a bunch of camera equipment , the clothes on his back and not much else and tell him to survive for 7 days, sometimes having to find his own way out. Les Stroud is phenomenal in displaying real life situations where you may get yourself into, and entertains you with both his humor and his knowledge of the skills to survive. He is also a producer, and musician with many other shows coming soon. One of them is called "Off the Grid" where he takes his families new house and lives literally off the grid. Looking forward to that. On Outdoor network
Canada's Worst Handyman - No matter how handy you are or not, you should watch this show. I cannot believe these people are allowed to own tools. Much of what they seem to do wrong is just basically not listen to the instructor and plod along as they had before the show. With the exception of Darryl, Who's wife's constant belittling of him cause the handyman errors the others are in a very tight race for the title "Canada's Worst Handyman".  On Discovery Channel
Things ongoing around the house
Just organizing things to go and pick up our tiles for the house. It took us some time to finally decide on a tile color and pattern. I think it is the usual problem I have when presented with too many choices. There are some fantastic types, thicknesses and patterns, not to mention manufacturers and countries, then prices ranging from less than a buck per s.f., and way way higher. We were looking for either a green or terracotta color, something that would go with all of our furniture, but also something that will brighten the house up.
Only the plywood flooring (yeah can you believe it plywood flooring...great for soaking up water) left and of course the trusses or supports.  Going to have to level them all off, (As you can see in the previous pictures there is a large sagging occurring)and then strengthen them.  This is to provide the extra support required for the room expansion this year. Should be a lot of fun and will give us a really nice rec/dining sunroom.
Well time to get off my duff and get that started, need to have the rooms done before the tile of course. Particular rooms like the Kitchen need not only paint, but light fixtures updated as well. I have a Fluorescent for the Laundry room. We will have to do some research at Home depot or Canadian Tire, I like to "research"   ;-)
Big improvements there with several truckloads of yard waste and old lumber carted away. Now that I have my truck back (needed to get the Front brakes done) I can continue with transporting to the landfill, and bringing back clean fill to get the yard leveled.
Gotta love spring.  more on that later...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Snow in March? In Victoria? WTF?

Yes indeed, not huge volumes like out East or up North but surprisingly enough to turn the lawns white for a little while, very unusual for March in Victoria. We have this very pink sunrise this morning , "Red in Morning sailors take warning".

Will have some loads to take to the landfill today, spent a lot of time taking down that sad rear deck of ours in preparation of one of the summer projects. De-construction is always fun, great for releasing built up stress. This also really improved the looks of our place, as much as removing that old shed did. Pictures below.

Speaking of pictures I have reordered most of them on Flickr, it was pointed out that they were showing in reverse order so when the slide show was played it was a little odd. Sorry about that.

X-Men fans unite, the trailer for the upcoming last installment of the series is on Apple's site here, it looks to be faithful to the comics with war brewing between the humans and the mutants. Looks awesome and has some surprises in store I am sure. The article on it can be found on the Hollywood North site. All the favorite X-Men are back plus some new ones including Kelsey Grammer playing Beast, other than the voice it's hard to believe it's him.

Some great news yesterday from JPL, with the success of the insertion of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) into orbit around the God of war. This is the most advanced orbiter to be sent to the planet with a very high chance of discoveries to be found by the MRO that may reshape our view of both the planet and our solar system. This was the second great space story in the week with the announcement of the possible discovery of water in a geyser-type flow on Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, this discovery by the Cassini probe seems to have taken all the science teams by surprise, that liquid water should be found on such a small and cold satellite so near the surface was completely unexpected and so far unexplained. The full story on it can be found on JPL's site here

The sound in my deck in my Westy had started to oscillate (whether the engine was on or off), it was about 5 years old and was a present from the Wife so was hoping to fix it but that was just not going to happen. I replaced it on Thursday evening, (going to use the old one in the Pick-up) with a Sony Xplōd CDX-GT200 Deck that plays CD, MP3, WMA, 100dB+ EQ, and a front Auxiliary plug, (for my iPod). It was a very reasonable price and so I was going to get an amp installed as well. The Rep at FutureShop was very helpful, she took the time to go to their installation Department and came back advising me not to bother with the amp until I am ready to update my speakers or add a sub-woofer, (heh heh not a chance of that in the Westy unless I decide to never use it for camping - just no room.), which was both honest and surprising considering the store. Futureshop seems to be changing it modus operandi, before when you walked in the door you felt like a piece of meat that had just been dropped at the feet of a flock of Buzzards, now you always get a greeting but not a constant barrage, wonder if the influence of their parent company BestBuy is starting the change. Anyways I diverge, since I never shelled out for the amp, I decided to buy a Sirius Satellite radio, the Starmate and sign up for the one year subscription, (wanted to do the lifetime deal but $550 is way more than I have to spend) and asked them to install both. I also have the home kit for it. It is fantastic, 24 hour uninterrupted no commercials, 100 channels including some awesome rock and metal, plus Canadian news and music BBC world report. It's like having digital cable for your tunes. The deck is fantastic as well the output is crisp, clear and very loud, the speakers I had in the van were Sony Xplōd's as well so they tie in very nicely. It will be a lot of fun on our next camping trip to have capability for great quality sound, and a selection from Satellite to iPod, purchased Cd's or our own mp3/WMA creations. When we do our long road trip should be fantastic.

Doing the bach' thing now, as Madam has joined her Mum and Sister for a trip to NYC, Her sister's Choir will be performing in Carnegie Hall!! Can't tell you how happy we all are for her Sister, as well its great that the three ladies get a chance to take off together for a trip to the Clothing shopping capital of North America. I hope to hear from her while she is there, maybe an email or something, if I do I will post it here.

Going to be some busy times coming, I really need to knuckle down and get my Certifications done. Gotta get the Security+ under the belt then move forward with the MS stuff. Just been so busy at work, with so much overflow (take home stuff - yes unpaid - but politically the only way to maintain an upper hand.). I really hope that several things get sorted at work to alleviate these issues, stop the turf wars and in-fighting that is causing us to lose the relationships that had been built, pay equity/title matching roles and responsibilities which would go far to improving morale and self-worth. I imagine many large firms may be the same but I think it sad that while you are being patted on the back for performance that is considered "above and beyond" there is no will from above to provide proper wages to enforce that pat on the back.

Anyways, as stated have a full schedule today got a date with the local landfill. ;-)


Saturday, February 25, 2006

More Vegas Pictures

Jeeze! Where does the time go? Forgive me for I have sinned, it has been 12 days since the last Blog update. ;-)

OK as promised the other two batches of pictures from our Vegas trip.

World of Concrete - Las Vegas

Harrah's Car Collection - Las Vegas

After using Flickr for the past months I dove in to the Pro account. I have been very very pleased with the online storage and editing capability of their site so I thought it was a good investment going forward. So I think I will most likely have the majority of the pictures hosted through them from now on.

I am very serious about the time thing though, I am not sure if I just need to better organize my time or if I have way too much on the go but as I try to get much done I am running out of time daily. I am getting things done, but seem to be adding more and more to the plate all the time. Ah well at least it is good stuff being added.

I am enjoying this book recommended by a good friend in Prince , the book is called "A Short History of Progress" By Ronald Wright and is part of the CBC Massey lectures 2004 series, a great overview can be found here. I love these kinds of thought-provoking books, ones that you have a tendency of reviewing again and again (either through your head or by picking up the actual book and re-reading chapters). I do now wonder about the other lecture series books, wondering if they will also attract me as strongly as this book did. It is just one of the books that forces you to re look at our past and present, and to clearly reassess the defining moments of our race as well as those that have continually brought each great "civilizations" both to power and eventually to destruction. It forces you to apply those same presets in action to the future by seeing the patterns in our past. I very very good read I would recommend to anyone who likes to think through a book.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Our Las Vegas Pictures

As promised here is the first batch of pictures we took while in Vegas last month.

Click here

I have seperated them into three different groups, General (this first load), World Of Concrete and Harrahs. I have tried to whittle them down a bit, do not want to appear to be like the guy who comes back from from vacation and force feeds his friends with a 4 hour slide show. ;-)

Hope you enjoy some of these, there were some interesting shots, but of course that is the way Vegas has been designed I beleive. The ones of Paris, are very deciving.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Heat wonderful heat!

Just a quick update here as we have company. We have spent the last little while completing one major project for our house and I wanted to share with you all. Especially with those of you who like to see what improvements we are working on. You know who you are!  ;-)

Pictures of the complete project here - BlazeKing

It is so very nice to get rid of the old fireplace. It was very inefficient, expensive in fuel and really looked it's age. The new wood stove is fantastic. We ran it for the first time last night and awoke to a very warm house. It ran all night on a partial load, and then I added a couple of logs this morning at 5. I am sitting in the room the furthest from the living room and can feel the heat even in here. The face and pad that Joe put in, with his two helpers (Me and Margaret) adds a very nice touch to our living room and will accentuate the tile we install very nicely. I really like the choice of Brick that we choose, called Newcastle used, it is so much nicer than the old brick that was in there.

Added note I spent quite a bit of time editing, separating and sorting the Las Vegas pictures out and will get them uploaded tonight with an additional post to the blog. Please stay tuned.

One other tidbit, I was sent this supposedly used to test reaction and thought process of pilots in the military. 18 Seconds is fantastic but they are expected to handle it for two full minutes, RedSquare. Good luck.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Last day.

Well it's here already. Last few hours in Vegas. Our plane is out of here at 18:45 so we have to be at the Airport by 4PM. Then a short two hour flight and we are back in Vancouver,  we will not make it back to Victoria until tomorrow morning due to the ferry schedule. We have had a lot of fun here, the weather has been great. Some of the prices here are crazy though, pretty much dollar for dollar.  Starbucks for instance is the same price, except in American Dollars. Most of the fast food places are the same or more than what you would pay there. You really have to shop around to get the best value for your money.
We went to Freemont Street last night, took in the prime rib dinner down there. It was a awesome dinner. We also caught the light show on Freemont too. Very cool and I hope the pictures turn out. I found a Micro Brewery down there, was really nice to have a home brew with some body.  I have been getting spoiled though drinking mostly Corona or Heinikens hey for $1.75 not too hard to do.
They really need to address the smoking thing down here, everything stinks of cigarettes. We are so used to not having to breathe that in or to smell it. Really gets on the nerves sometimes.  
One last thing price of pop or water is outrageous!  Cheaper  to drink beer, yes terrible  isn't it.   Kiosk is running out so better sign off.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Hello from the Strip!

OK Technically our Fourth day here in Las Vegas. Having a great time! Weather is down to about 1-2 degrees at night but over 16 during the day. Bright blue skies, something I have really missed at home with all the rain and grey clouds.  I have been taking pictures left and right and should have a lot of great snaps to share. We have been walking between 10 and 12 hours a day and my legs feel like they have been beat by a bat. It will be a good start to getting back into the routine and losing this excess weight off my gut. We went for the banquet in Circus Circus on Monday night, unbelievable spread. The quality of food was top notch, yes we all ate too much and soon all headed off to our individual rooms to sleep. I don't know how anyone would gain weight here though.  We went down the strip last night to the Luxlor and walked back checking all the casinos out. Speaking of, you are looking at a Big winner.  Ok only in nickels.. LOL  $27.20 in a nickel slot.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Hello thought since the opportunity presented itself. the quick and cheap Airport Kiosk  $1/10 Minutes ... very handy....
A quick update from YVR (Vancouver International Airport)
Awaiting the arrival of the family From Terrace. Should be here at 11:45.  Check in by 12:15... Depart at 14:15..... Awesome.
More to come...


Saturday, January 14, 2006

A short update - for a change

Woo Hoo!!   Less than 24 hours until we touch down in "Lost Wages"!   The City of Sin, The Adult Disneyland... Yes folks Elvi-ville, Official home of the flying Elvi!  maybe the only place that will have them?

Man it's been so long since I have had break, some time away. So looking forward to it.

Flying out tomorrow from YVR on a Philippine Airlines Airbus A340-300. No! it is a direct flight and does not go via Manila ;-). I have never been on an Airbus before so it should be a fun experience as well.
Picked up a new 1GB flashcard for the camera so going to take a hoard of Pictures, may be posting some of them from Vegas, but at the very least I hope to update the blog from a Kiosk.

Anyways gotta keep this short - no false advertising.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

One Wet January

Its hard to comprehend how much rain we have had over the past fours weeks, with very few breaks from it. Surviving on stolen glimpses of the sun and the occasional flash hinting that the bright blue hue still exists behind the continuous cloak of greys. I feel that creeping pull away from positiveness, being drug unwillingly towards the darkness. It is a proof to me how much we rely and require the brightness of the Sun. The so called Winter Depression, being enabled by the lack of this light, having to subsist on feedings of fluorescent and artificial light for long periods.  I have not felt it so much before outside of the Lower Mainland. Just a rare slump that will be over soon.

We are heading to Vegas, a week from today. Talk about a way to snap out of this greyness, eh? It really is amazing that we are getting to go, many components of this trip needed to be in place to make it possible and in such a short time frame as well. Awesome! Found some really great sites as well, from coupon less meal deals to a Gun Store that allows you to rent a variety of weapons to shoot on their range, everything from Glocks to Uzi's. We have been to Vegas before with the in laws, it was a lot of fun. We are looking forward to this get away as well as being able to spend some time with the folks we never got a chance to visit in Terrace last year. Woo Hoo.

We have arranged a buddy to look after the house and the Hounds, this of course was the biggest stumbler of the planning. Our hounds are spoiled and would not take well to kenneling, so we needed someone to stay at our place full time. With several of our other friends either being out of the country or having moved to the Mainland we were lucky that we had KE accept to do this. It's great knowing that you are leaving your home and all that important to you in someones hands that you can trust. Going to make it easier for us to enjoy ourselves without worrying.

We received our Boxing Day Special purchase on Friday. One Huge box, really glad we never had to pay for shipping, whew. We now have a JVC Surround sound system, it really is fantastic with very rich sounds. I have tested it out with a few different movies and the sound quality if fantastic. We went with this one as it had the Editors Recommendation from several Surround sound Review sites, and was the best rated for the "out of the Box Theatre systems". The set up was straightforward, but the one thing I may have to do is to rewire everything through it so that we can take advantage of the setup with all of our components. Going to be really nice when it is fully configured.

I also purchased an X-Box, (Classic one not the 360) from a local X-Box tweaking expert. Talk about addictive! Playing all these FPS's, got it for a fair price and think I am going to get a lot of use out of it. Its so much fun escaping into my shooter world on a large screen.