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. ;-)