Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!! Nollaig Chridheil!!

You better have a Merry one or Odin is coming after you.

More pictures of our Christmas Day can be found here....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I heard the Owl call my name.... need more coffee

This Barred Owl was on our power line when I opened the door for the dogs this morning. He must be eying up his Christmas Meal (Roast Rodent)...Don't typically see owls in our yard...



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hard to believe this is not Northern BC

Driving to Nanaimo today for work, some beautiful scenery with all the white stuff....

More of the pictures here....


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Last Ink for 2008

Well here are the photo's from the last of my Tattooing for this year. Almost there. I have one patch of un-inked skin (under arm  - going to be fun!). It has been a long time and lot's of work to complete the Sleeve, My artist is Colin Wiley from Tattoo Zoo, here in Victoria. He really does some fantastic and detailed work. He does not want to rush through and end up with an inferior quality work. I am very pleased with all that has been done and think I have the "Final" tattoo picked, but will need to mod it somewhat. Oh by the way, "Final" is meant only to decribe the completion of the Sleeve, not likely to be my final tattoo ever...  ;-)


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lest we forget

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

September Holidays

Just mid-way through a few weeks holidays I decided to take. It's been a while since my January time off (when I was in Vegas) and really needed some time to de-stress. My Mother-in-law was down for some surgery so came over to visit us after that procedure. She is from Terrace (Northern BC) and unfortunately they have had a crappy summer up that way. While she was here we had fantastic weather, I was really happy that it was so nice for her. We took her to the Butchart Gardens, something we have been meaning to do for ourselves for the past 5 years, it was a beautiful place, made my rose garden look pretty petty. It's amazing what the Gardeners and staff have done out there. We are looking forward to taking in all 5 seasons, with a membership.

We then loaded the "Caddy-Wagon" up with our gear and headed off to camp for a few days. This was a bit of a nail-biter for me, considering the track record of our Westfallia, (Last October we blew the engine, as well as not one trip where the machine did not break down.) Well the Caddy-wagon performed flawlessly, ran like a top, no issue at all.

This was also our first camping trip without Andre, and was in our thoughts frequently as he had camped with us so many times. It was also our new Pup's first camping trip and his first long drive. Odin was incredible and is going to be a great camping and hiking dog, he also travels well. When it is just us (him and I)  in the van he usually is sitting in the passenger chair, but when the chair is taken he then sits/lays on the cover for the Sink behind the Drivers seat.  A lot of 1st's.

We took off on Monday and went as far as Parksville where we stayed at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. This was an incredible place, even for those who are not big on camping, as the facilities included flush toilets and free showers... it was also right on the beach with many trails and long walks out to the water when the tide was out. Very reasonably priced at $24 /night. They have big campsites so you have lots of privacy too.

The next day we were heading for Quadra Island off the coast of Campbell River, we had camped at We Wai Kai Campsite near Rebecca Spit Provincial a few years back, unfortunately though they had closed for the season the day before we had arrived. The other two campsites on Quadra were not to my liking, so we decided to head to Cortes Island, where we had heard of Smelt Bay Provincial Campsite. It is a very secluded Island, but something right up my alley. We spent two nights there, and it was well worth the trip up and cost of the ferries (we had thought the ferry to Cortes was free but it turned out to be an additional $30+ dollars... Still worth every penny though).

So my Mother-in-law left this morning, her flight left at 05:30  man what a crazy time to have to be at the Airport, and should be back home in Terrace by the time this gets posted. It was a fantastic time!

Pictures posted on my Flickr site here.

EOF  ----   LC

Sunday, September 07, 2008

2008 Great Canadian Beer Fest Survivors...

What makes this the Best Beerfest?  Good Friends, Good Brews, a well organized event, and of course the fantastic crowds that show up and come with a positive spirit to enjoy themselves.

Can't wait for the 09 event.


EOF ---- LC

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Odin - Day 3


I am so impressed with this new hound of ours. Hard to believe how young he is, and yet how quick he picks things up. He comes to me when I call, He has only had a couple of mistakes in the house, he seems to adapt to all the different situations I have had him in, and he is viewing the kennel in our bedroom as his domain and goes to bed himself in it. I just got back from taking him on his second leashed walk this time to the Gorge. He did not pull very much, stayed close to me, when we were done we sat on the grass and had quite a few people and dogs come up to greet him. He seems to be great meeting other dogs or people, no aggression showing, just normally curious of course. The Gorge is a great place as I was able to see how intentive he is, He was tracking both Kayaks and Geese a a very good distance, as well as people and dogs walking towards us. His hearing seems very good too, and he spent much time listening first before turning towards the sound. He settled right into the truck, and found a couple of blankets in the back for him to sleep on, while I ran into the library. No noise out of him he simply watched me close the door then went back to sleep. I came back out and he was still snoozing. I think he is going to be a great traveller.

Our other two seem to be doing a good jub of accepting him, Emma has settled into the notion. Nick is doing well considering he never had to do this before. Think he still wants to make sure he is the boss...

Got a lot of training I want to do with him, and socializing. Going to start taking him to all the "dog parks" I think it could only do him good to meet othr dogs, and people. As with all of our dogs I want him to be good with people, kids (not that they are not people but just some important differences on top of the height) and with other animals. So since this is a long weekend I am able to spend it getting him aclimatized to our house. Then later this month I am on holidays and will be able to spend a ot more time working with him.

EOF   --- LC

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hello world - welcome Odin

Our new Pup, Odin has joined the pack.  All the pictures here.

I have been looking for a Lab pup, feeling a bit out of sorts since losing the big guy nearly three months ago. It has been really hard to find any pups, a good thing I think, maybe all the work the SPCA and Vets have been doing is working in reducing the numbers of unwanted or mass bred for profit dogs. I hope so. In visiting the shelters though heard some really terrible stories of how our species have treated some of these guys...

Today though I was in the Victoria SPCA,  they had just rescued 5 puppies, three female (all golden lab looking ) and their two brothers, (check the picture out). Well this guy picked me, he basically forced his way to the front of the crowd while I was sitting in the cage, then parked himself right in front of my, facing the others seeming to say "keep back he's mine"    :-)

I brought Odin home, and our two Boston's were less than impressed, "what he's staying?"  lol  but they have all settled in now. Guess the training begins... just cleaning out the Kennel for our room. Figure we start right this time and kennel train him. Going to be great (yes and hard I know) having a puppy, but as we are heading into a long weekend then soon to take some time off work I figure it is the best time to take on a new dog when I have so much time to focus on him.

EOF   ---   LC

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Call to Irons Tattoo

Main Character Done - Background later this year

Monday, August 04, 2008

Happy 150th Birthday British Columbia!!

You don't look a day over a hundred Dear! This Monday is our Province's Birthday, the 150th. Our Latin Motto says it all  "Splendor sine occasu"  (Splendour without Sunset (Diminishment)). The current TV campaign lead line is "The Best Place on Earth" and while I do not believe in the politicalization that the commercials are used for, that lead line is very true. We have it all here, some quick facts from the BC Gov factoid page,

  • Spirit Bear
    Spirit Bear - Provincial Mammal  The Spirit Bear (also known as the Kermode Bear) was added to the list of B.C.'s official symbols in April 2006
  • Western Red CedarWestern Red Cedar - Provincial Tree  The western red cedar (Thuja plicata Donn) was adopted as the official tree of the province on February 18, 1988

  • British Columbia is Canada's third-largest generator of hydro electricity, providing some of the lowest power costs in North America. The province is also Canada's second-largest natural gas producer, and the oil and gas industry continues to see tremendous growth, particularly in north-eastern B.C.

  • B.C.'s total land and freshwater area is 95 million hectares, larger than France and Germany combined. Only 30 countries are larger. British Columbia occupies about 10 per cent of Canada's land surface.

Why is the Monday closes to August 1 known as BC Day...
From the B.C. Debates, 4th Session, 30th Parliament, May 1, 1974, the Hon. Hall states, "August 1, or the closest working day to it, is a statutory holiday in every other province in Canada. By coincidence, an Act to provide to the Government of British Columbia, which changed us from the Colony of British Columbia, was passed by Parliament in the United Kingdom on August 2, 1858.

We have many varied climactic zones, from rain forest, to Alpine to Desert, from the very cold temperatures of the Northern Areas like Stewart and Dease Lake in the winters, to the very warm summers in the Okanagan (Osoyoos raching record highs as well as Lytton in the Canyon being known for thier high temeratures in the summer), typically warm and wet winters on the southern-coast areas like Vancouver, and here in Victoria, Our summers though are usually very nice (with avg temperatures ranging between low to high 20's C).

We should be thankful for living in such a great place, in a wonderful country, yup we have issues we need to work on, but one only needs to turn on the evening news to see how others have to live, to be grateful for being a citizen here in British Columbia. I can't not mention my Favourite place in the Province, while there are so many other beautiful areas to live in each with their own Natural beauty, for me Terrace is still the best (with access to everything outdoors that you could ever want, rivers, Lakes, Ocean, HIking , camping , fishing,  an incredible place for sure.)


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Judas Priest - Testament Concert last night

It was one hell of a show last night, my first in SOF Memorial Centre (That's Save on Foods, not Soldier of Fortune) here in Victoria. The stadium at first glance is a bit small, compared to some of the places I have been, but then considering the local population the size is understandable, but there does not seem to be a bad seat in the place (remind me to tell you about the New Stadium in Warsaw. Poland!). The turn-out for Testament was pretty small, maybe about a quarter of those who showed up for Halford and Priest. Testament was raw and intense, only sad thing was they seemed to have an issue with Chuck Billy's Mic as a lot of his vocals were muted or distorted. Skolnick and Peterson's guitar's were blazing, and powerful, really got he crowd pulled into the rhythm. Think they only played for about 45 minutes but was great for getting everyone's blood racing for the main act.

Then the stage was set up for Judas Priest with two pillars and the drums on the centre 1/4 pillar. Halford Appeared on the Left hand upper pillar, geared out as Nostradamus himself, creeping green laser lights searched him out as they started the show off with Dawn of Creation/Prophecy from the new Album (if you have not heard it or bought it, ya gotta, Wicked Priest reminiscent of the 90's power hits). They played a couple of other songs off the new album, will not share the spoilers, but was great to see so many of the classics thrown in. Think it was about 23 songs total... He did not talk much to the crowd, not his style, but got everyone stoked. I awoke this morning still mumbling the words to some of my favorites. It was a great show, so glad I went. Many cool metal heads all there for the same reason, to enjoy some Kick @ss Metal, get all that frustration out of their systems, and gather the clan. Hope to see many other Metal acts come to town, heck of a lot easier than me heading to the mainland for them. Although I see Amon Amarth (some of the best Viking Metal around today) is coming to the Croatian Cultural Centre in East Van in October... hmmmm.....All I can say is I am hungry for the next one!!

The Bears are coming to Seattle to play the Seahawks in August. Being a big Bears fan (for a long time through tough times and sweet times) and never seeing a NFL game live, I am considering nipping down for the game. Well me and my Bears Jersey, hope they don't turn me back at the border. Was thinking of riding the KLR on the Ferry from Sidney to Washington State. Gotta check with a buddy on the Mainland see if he is into meeting me down there for a football weekend, ya know, Football, Beer, Food.. all good. Just be next best thing to being at Soldier's Field watching them, (some day :-) ).

Off the Rock (not off my rock) this weekend helping some family to move, and an opportunity to get together with some friends. Looks like a cool weekend not a hot one, should be ok for moving. Damn ferries going up again too, we get no break over here part of the the highway system we subsidize but pay over and over again for, I digress... sorry. It is great to be able to help out the family though, many times they are there for me and if I was somewhere else maybe not so easy to chip in. Always nice to give back to those who have given you so much too. Hey plus it is more time on two-wheels.. any time on the KLR is good, even the winter when its wet and cold... BAAAAAA TWO WHEELS GOOD - FOUR WHEELS BAAAAAAAD! Apologies to Mr Orwell.

Speaking of the KLR, been focusing a lot on some farkles including Wiring Improvements, Switched Fuse block, two Lighter Plugs, toggle switch for H-Vest plug, Thermobob, SS lines, 340MM Front Disk, GPS RAM Mount, etc.. plus have SS Skid Plate, Aggressive Foot Pegs, non-tamper Oil Plug on it's way. I think I should start building a separate page for the KLR, start celebrating it. ;-)

Coming up on nearly two months without Andre, still missing him and hoping he will be there then the reality sinks in. Much more retrospective though, as time goes on, just remembering little things in our time together, things I have not thought of for a long time, and looking at them with much more happiness than I could have imagined a few weeks ago. It was really a great 12+ years together, with so many positive memories. Going to get a Thomas Lipton (on the advice of my Mother In Law) rose and build a little memorial garden out front for myself, and spread some of his ashes there. Maybe some brick work as well since I still have some surplus from the Wood Stove install. Should be nice. Somewhere to hang out with his spirit.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Andre has passed on....

My Dog, best friend, constant companion, source of constant happiness, cheerful greeter, shadow, fellow hiker and camper.

Andre was born in September 1995, and came into our lives in December of that same year. Both the wife (girlfriend at that time) and I were not able to sleep for the first three days he was in our lives. We think looking back he was a lot younger than he was advertised as, he was really out of sorts with us, crying, and upset, sick and missing his mother. We tried many supposed cures, ticking clock, medicinal cures to get him to sleep, finally we ended up taking travel tabs ourselves, in shifts just to get some rest. His name came from the movie at the time called "Andre" about a seal and the girl and Family who adopts him, as our Andre was Black head to tail except the tip of his tail was white, the name stuck. From Andre the seal to Andre the Gentle Giant. As he grew and adapted to us, he went through his puppy stage, I remember one time, where I came to the girlfriend's house, and Andre had gotten into the potting soil on the deck, he had brought it into the house and shaken it every where inside the living room. Guess he wanted to bring the outside in? ;-) . I took the G.F. for a few drinks before I let her see what he had done. He got into a lot of trouble as a pup, I think most of them with any character and spirit do. As he grew he became my shadow, and companion. We used to go for 8 - 10 hour hikes together, he loved roaming the wilderness as much as I did, always wanting to see what was over the next hill, never tiring. This was the way it was to be for his entire life, as we moved around from the Lower Mainland to Nanaimo, then to Terrace (where I found out how mush he disliked bears - our first few days there we had a black bear come into the backyard and before I could stop him, Andre was on the chase. Right down the bank, he was gone for half an hour or so, thought he was gone for good, but he returned soaking wet (must have gotten down to the creek in the ravine), Then moving to Coquitlam and to our present location here in Victoria. We spent much time in Terrace hiking alone, and camping. The night of a planetary alignment in the Sky, him and I (and the others) were camping on Kalum Lake opposite Ackerman's point, another time after we had moved back to Coquitlam he and I had headed out to a campsite south of Hope near the Skadgit River to catch the Pernod meteor Shower, it was so cold his water froze in the dish in a very short period, the shower did not start until 3AM, when I got up in the camper to go out and watch the show, he refused to get up out of his nice warm bed, smart guy as I was frozen in a few minutes...Only touching on a few of the many Special memories I will always have of him.

Unfortunately his quality of life diminished over the past year with his year's of constant use of Prednesone (required to prevent the swelling in the scar tissue of his lungs (scars from a parasite that damaged them in 97 or 98), finally breaking down and causing near-crippling arthritis, our last camping trip together a few weeks ago to Lake Cowichan proved to me that it was time. He could not even explore the campsite, walk to the water (a mere 30 feet away), and when we decided to walk the campground we needed to tie him up and leave him behind for our short walk, he was quite upset but did not understand that he would just not be able to make the walk with us anymore. He was euthanized last night at 16:40 and passed at 17:00.

Will miss you buddy!!! Already do, as you would normally be sitting here beside me as I type.

Andre (1995 - 2008) Rest now my Friend.


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Last few hours in Vegas

Sitting here in the Las Vegas Airport. A wierd day as the low hanging
clouds are blocking off many of the tops of the casinos as well as
causing a few flight delays. Vegas looks very different when it's grey
and wet. So glad that this is the end of the trip, weather wise I
mean we have had some great weather and. a great time. I never got the
time to go shoot but did make it out to the King of Cars dealership
and also to the Henderson Harley Davidson dealership. It has been a
wonderful holiday but back to reality tomorrow or tonight for the
wife. Be glad to get home as it always is. Just heard our flight is
delayed by 2.5 hours. YIPES

Logan C

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nellis Air Force Base

Just a quick update on this afternoon's activities. We picked up the
rental van a little afternoon and cruised up the I-15 to the base.
Damn their highways here are huge, multi lane, quick-moving and great
to drive, wish I had the FJ1200! Arrived at the AFB and they are
flying the 23's dfamn fine planes wish I had the camera ready. I did
however get some great shots of F16, F18, C17 and even some aggresor
squadron painted fighters. I also caught a. glimpse of the AWACS
coming in to land. What a blast it was!!!!
Heading to freemont tonight then out of town tomorrow AM. Will try to
update from Laughlin.


Logan C

Mid-week in SinCity

Continuing to have a great time in Vegas. Went to Ellis Island, a
little known off-strip Casino with on-site brewery. The restaurant
(Yes it is really called "Restaurant") with it's off menu 10 oz steak
special and fantastic beer is worth the walk down from Bally's. The
steak was perfect hoping to head there again tonight. "A" beat the
house and left EI 165 bucks richer in blackjack. I was playing the
nickle slots and came away 38 bucks up. The waitress was by every 10 -
15 minutes and I was enjoying that. Just heading back to the concrete
show (on the bus now) to track down the folks, then off to the Airport
to pick up a mini van for the trip to Hoover Dam and Laughlin
tomorrow. Hoping to head out to Nellis AFB today and maybe to the Gun
Store to get my Full-Auto fix. :-)


Logan C

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Living it up in Las Vegas

Arrived here on Sunday afternoon, it's great to see blue skies and
sun. There is even heat off the sun in January. The nights here dip
down from 2 to -2 but as the time you are outside you are always
moving it is not too bad. We spent yesterday going out to East Las
Vegas and then on to Henderson. Henderson appears to be the land of
Malls and big box stores. Vegas is a very cool place and each year we
are here I like to venture more and more off the strip. The folks we
have met here, the locals on the buses or at the different off-strip
stores, are very friendly and welcomingn part of the charm of Vegas.
I am heading to the World of Concrete convention this morning with the
gang. This will be our fourth one (For A and I ) it is always worth a
look to see what is going on in the industry, and with my
Father-in-law being in the business for so long he is able to expain
the changes and technology to me.
Things on the list to do yet...
Rent some military hardware (Two different gun shops 1 we did last
year the other you can rent a M209 grenade launcher)
Rent a car and drive out to Laughlin, Hoover Dam, King of Cars
dealership and maybe Nellis AFB.
Check out the Atomic Testing Museum
Check out the Bodies exhibit
Oh so much to see......


Logan C