Friday, July 30, 2004

Yesterday: Ferryspotting and House Construction

Horseshoe Bay

Langdale Ferry docking
I went to the office Thursday, and it's a good thing I did, because I realised in the morning that it's a long weekend and Friday's ferry situation would be horrendous. As it was, Thursday was a hell of a lot busier than I'd ever expected. I'd missed the 8:04 bus, and thought I might be able to get a co-op car if I was really, really lucky. I managed to find one in the West End that was available for the entire day, but it wasn't due back until 9:00am. The ferry I was supposed to take left Horseshoe Bay at 9:30, so only if the car was returned before 9:00 would I be able to make it, and even then it would definitely require speeding.

8:50: In the alley, waiting impatiently for the car at its empty parking spot.
8:57: Getting anxious. I phone the car co-op to inform them the car still wasn't back.
9:00: Phone the office, leave a message, telling them that I was trying to get a co-op car, but it would take a miracle to make the ferry.
9:07: Red Ford Focus wagon finally cruises up the alley. The guy apologises, and I try to hurry him up. I call the co-op to tell them I want the car the entire day, 'till 11pm.

I zoomed off to to Horseshoe Bay, but the traffic was typical of a long weekend -- heavy and filled with vehicles laden down with bikes and all manner of weekend gear. It made for slow going, especially because there are probably more of the less-experienced drivers and tourists out there, hogging the fast lane and looking at the scenery. When I arrived at Horseshoe Bay terminal, the lady at the toll booth said there is a possibility I might be able to catch the 9:30 ferry, but it wasn't looking good...

The ferry queues were incredible, but I was hopeful, since the ferry was still docked. The lane beside me was moving quickly, but mine was at a total standstill, so hope faded... finally, the ferry pulled away HALF AN HOUR late, so that meant the next ferry would be half an hour late, too: 11:45. Since I've been doing this Sunshine Coast run for five years (wow), I'm a specialist in time-killing. As long as I have my phone, a fully-charged battery, and my Jabba earphone for comfort and noise reduction, I'm all set.

The first person I reached was Jorgen, who was at the (*pun alert*) tail end of his cat-sitting stint in Copenhagen. His daughter and son-in-law have two cats who amuse each other and sleep all day, so it was a piece of cake in comparison to his gig looking after Miss Hortense -- high-maintenance kitty princess. We discussed his progress on trying to capture a night photo of the neon Carlsberg sign, visible from the balcony of his daughter's apartment. My favourite photos are night shots, so I have experimented with settings and household items that stand in for tripods.

My ferry was approaching, so I took some photos while it was pulling in. Egads, have I turned into a ferry-spotter???

Made a couple more phone calls on the ferry -- several attempts to reach Claire in Orléans (south of Paris), but I couldn't reach her on her mobile, and I confused her mother when I tried to ring Claire at home... I managed to get through to Manu in Paris, and we had a nice long chat while I watched boats and islands go by in Jervis Inlet. Seems we're both in need of some venting about the state of our lives. Manu wants to move to Vancouver, and he's overworked at his current job. We only had time to hang out in Paris together for the afternoon a few months ago, before I had to race to catch the train to Etaples to meet Jerome, but I had this feeling of familiarity right after I met him. I hope he does make it here, so we can hang out more often, but -- truth be told -- if he stays in Paris I won't complain about visiting him there!!

This is the current state of the multiplex.

I call it the multiplex because the building is multi-purpose -- this photo shows the front of the office, facing the ocean. The tall section is a clocktower, as the first owner originally intended, before he died (yes, rather morbid -- he built this house for his two daughters, then died when it was not much more than a frame). The clock itself is made especially for this tower, but it cost thousands, so Kevin decided to give it a miss... we joked that we would paint a clock face ourselves and somebody would have to manually turn the hour and minute hands!

I saw the downstairs suite for the first time, and it's HUGE. It's a fully self-contained suite that would be suitable to rent out as holiday accommodation, but it's large enough to be an in-law suite, as well. In Australia I remember them being called granny suites.

Thing is, most lower-floor suites don't have a view like this.

It has its own entrance, a large kitchen (that's the size of my living room), and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that face the ocean.

The house will take some time (and money) to complete, but it's an exciting project to watch unfold. I know Carol and Kevin are ready to tear their hair out over the complications, but in a few years, once they're settled in and can enjoy the fruits of their labour, they will be glad they made the choice to buy this house. It's gorgeous.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Fireworks: China

HSBC Celebration of Light

For the first time in six years, I went to a friend's place to watch the fireworks instead of viewing them from my place. She lives west of Denman beside Stanley Park, and her apartment has a rooftop patio, so we all headed up there. What a view!

Fireworks Photos in Ofoto

Bear in mind, these are all handheld shots... I stood on a bench the whole time. I shot a lot of video, as well, but I will have to edit the clips, as they're each 3 minutes in length.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Another Brilliant Sunset

Last night... oooh... ahhhh... click on the pic for more ooohs and ahhhs...

Yesterday: of Pain and Heat

It has "skin" on it... good enough for me.
I woke up at 5:30am with probably the second-worst cramp I have ever had, in my left calf. It was excruciating, and even though I tried to massage it out, it was so debilitating I could barely get out of bed to see if I could find something for it. The pain just kept coming in waves... I managed to locate a tube of some German stuff called Perskindol that either Christa or Iris or Daniela left... The only words on it in English are "Classic Gel" -- which tells me absolutely squat about what it's for. I get by with the French on it well enough, but I don't know anything about the effectiveness of the product. I didn't have anything else to try, so I gave it a go. It has these colourful flames on the tube, how can I go wrong? Ha!

It did make somewhat of a difference, and the scent wasn't too nauseating. I managed to hobble over to the optometrist's and back, then later last night I took to the pool for a while to tread water and get the leg moving without putting too much weight on it. By 10pm, it was good enough to walk across the Burrard Street Bridge to catch (speaking of heat) Fahrenheit 9/11 with Eliza. I was going to blog about it when I got home last night, but instead I discussed it with Socar and decided that was enough... there's enough political commentary about it on the blogosphere.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Remember SLR?

I'm not going to talk about today, although it's ending with another lovely sunset. Instead, here's a pic from my photo archives.

Camping at Harrison Lake, Labour Day weekend, 1998. Best camping trip ever. I took this photo with my old point-and-shoot Pentax Espio, which I still have. Keeps a lickin' and keeps on tickin'.

The camping trip was gorgeous, but where we ended up was unplanned. Some of the best experiences are like that. We left after work, so by the time we reached Chilliwack Lake, we discovered too late that they'd declared the area a fire hazard. We stopped on the road, blocked by a helicopter, discussing our next move. It was probably the busiest weekend of the year for camping, but I suggested we try Harrison Lake. I drove to the provincial campground on the eastern side, which was overrun with people, so I drove all the way south to cross over to the western side. My trusty old '83 Volvo wagon took a beating on the forest service roads (the biggest windshield dings were from that trip), but we managed to find a cracker of a camping spot, with its own cove. Heaven!! We spent the whole weekend swimming, eating, and drinking. Lillian and I were the ladies of leisure, while Marc was our whipped man-slave. (I wonder how many kinky Google searches will end up here for "whipped man-slave"? haha!) As the resident gourmand, he made us coffee in the morning, fresh orange juice, fire-baked salmon with lemon and dill sauce for dinner, smoked mussels and oysters on crispbread in the afternoon... PARADISE!

These two photos were taken by Marc Baril, who was the chef for le weekend.

Summer Sunset over Sunset Beach

Look at this!

Wow! I was having a conversation with Dax, and turned left to see this out my window... I grabbed the camera to capture it, and sent him the photos. Gotta love technology, to be able to share a moment in a moment, with people thousands of miles away.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Cat Naps

I thought it would be most fitting to post a photo of a sleeping cat just before I hit the hay.

Meet Mademoiselle Hortense de Beauharnais. She's named after Napoléon's mother-in-law, Joséphine's mother, Hortense de Beauharnais. I'm told her favourite place for an afternoon nap is in the kitchen in a plastic dishwashing bowl...

Jorgen sent me this in a batch of photos of Miss Hortense, to show me how cute pure evil can be... he's been catsitting her for the last couple of weeks, out of the kindness of his cat-loving heart. In exchange for his cat-care, Miss Hortense has been tormenting him day and night by biting his feet, knocking things over, and generally making a nuisance of herself. Now that his two-week stint is over, Jorgen's cat-sitting yet again, this time in Copenhagen, looking after his daughter's two cats. He reports that they're well-behaved, but I secretly suspect all cats have an innate sense that they're the ones in charge, never vice versa.

Now, time to get in a cat-nap, meself!

Saturday, July 24, 2004

A New Development

So, last night I was chatting with Karl on MSN, discussing the idea of the Seattle-ites coming up to view a night of the annual fireworks competition in Vancouver - HSBC Celebration of Light.

Karl and me at Steamworks in Vancouver last month and with Eliza at SoHo (courtesy of Francesca's website).

I was trying to get in a weekend in Seattle, but it looked like the only available weekend was the 14th. My plan next month is to go to Montreal around the weekend of the 21st, and then the following weekend, the 28th, is Erich's wedding. Then Karl mentioned he was spectating an Ironman Canada competition in Penticton on Sunday the 29th, so I thought --well hey, come to the wedding! Why not? It all works out quite nicely, since he isn't planning to drive to Penticton to see the whole thing, just one segment -- the end! He says he's not going to sign up for it, but we shall see... with the triathlons he's been in, he might just take it further... all the way! As for me, I admire anyone who would train for an event like that, as it's brutal:

Swim - 2.4 miles/3.86 kms
Bike - 112 miles/180.2 kms
Run - 26.2 miles/42.2 kms

Ummm.... no, thanks. I'll just watch.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Yesterday: of Bucks and Studs

Yesterday was long. Long. Long... Did I mention that yesterday was long?

I won't bore you all with the details, but suffice to say, it's work-related. That said, I cannot truly complain. Look at this view! These pics are to remind me that there are proverbial roses to stop and smell. Plenty of them.

I walked to the office from the ferry terminal yesterday morning, this time remembering to bring a water bottle. If I hadn't, I would've melted somewhere on the steep road leading up to the office, cos it was HOT -- dang hot! The iPod is a lifesaver, too, since it distracts me from the heat while I trudge up the hill... this time Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child" in all its extended rock-out glory kept me company.

I nearly always take my camera with me everywhere I go, and there were clusters of daisies at the edge of somebody's driveway that begged to be captured on digi-image. But the direct heat was making them close up, and I felt a bit like a tresspasser, even though they were right beside the road and I was in full view of the house. Another time.

On the way back up the driveway to catch the ferry home, I had a nature moment, as the resident deer in this area seem unperturbed by human interlopers. This young buck didn't seem to mind having his picture taken. Aren't most "young bucks" this way? Rampant egos. :)

Speaking of Young Bucks... Back to Studs...

Last night I spoke to Erich, of Erich & Caroline's August Wedding, the wedding to which I was invited to bring a stud. Erich was following up on the wedding invitation, forgetting that the RSVP wasn't until August 7. So, I'm officially stalling.

"So, are you bringing a stud?" Erich asks, his voice expectant.

I hum and I haw. "Naw, I don't know of any to bring," I said, wracking my brain for friends or acquaintances of studly virtue.

"What about whathisname? The bodybuilder?" (For the record, he's not a bodybuilder, he's a guy with a corporate job that happens to love the gym.) Erich has been teasing me about this friend at every opportunity. One night in December I went out with Erich and his crowd to Elixir, the French bistro in the boutique Opus Hotel. This friend happened to be there that night, and when I mentioned to Erich that my friend was there, his inner prankster took hold and he followed my friend to the washroom and blurted out his name while they were next to each other at the urinals. Of course, my friend had no idea who Erich was, so you can imagine the reaction...

Erich was lucky he didn't get a lickin', put it that way. My friend has won bodybuilding competitions as an all-natural. But anyway, he's since moved to Toronto, so he's not a wedding standby unless I fly him out here. But that's not the point -- I don't want to make anyone feel like a wedding standby, or any kind of social event standby.

"There will be loads of single people at the wedding,"Erich said, rattling off names of people he knew who were single... AVAILABLE, as he puts it.

"Available! Makes it sound like we're talking about rental units!" I griped. Is that what humanity boils down to? Real estate? Argh! And the way Erich described some of his friends -- "Doug, yeah, he's single... and looking... so-and-so's single and looking, too..." -- brought to mind images of colonial-style hunting helmets and khakis.

"Erich, is this a wedding, or a safari?" I grumbled. "I can just see swarms of women clamoring over each other to grab Caroline's bouquet." I pointed Erich to my blog to show him that I have, indeed, taken this wedding thing seriously and am not just poking fun. I directed him to previous posts. "See? The stud thing went to tender, haha... actually, it went to a VOTE."

Erich seemed quite impressed with the comments. "Well, I bought a videocamera, so if you feel like taking some video..." -- ah, finally! Something sensible! I told him I would be perfectly happy taking photos of the guests or operating a videocamera, interviewing his drunken friends and making them tell embarrassing stories about him. "Plus," I said, "it would keep me from getting drunk from boredom and doing stupid things."

Actually, if I ever want to blackmail Erich, I've got plenty of embarrassing stories about him that I had best not start telling people in a drunken moment, so it's in his own best interests that I stay busy documenting the event, haha!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Argh! Singleton Angst Strikes Again!

Here's another post with an exclamation mark. I just showered after a dip in the pool while it was deserted, so I could burn off some steam.

Steam? Yes. Earlier this evening I got a phone call from a timeshare in Birch Bay, Washington. Apparently, I was given their number by a woman who does some work for me, whose intentions, I'm sure, were to see if she could get me a free holiday. She'd gone there today to view a presentation by the timeshare, and probably as part of the pitch was asked if she could list anyone who might be interested in the presentation and receive a free trip to either Reno or some other short-haul destination. Normally I would be peeved to know after that fact that my mobile number had been given out to some marketing company, but I didn't mind so much this time, since I could see why she would give them the number -- it was for free travel, something she knows is right up my alley.

Thing is, I know how these timeshare presentations work -- you have to be part of a couple before being eligible to view a presentation. I remember 14 years ago, in Banff, when my crazy Aussie friend Neville wangled a female co-worker to attend a presentation with him, and they pretended to be a couple. I don't think they were very convincing, because when it came down to signing the attendant paperwork for the holiday, they couldn't get their stories straight, and were rejected.

Knowing this, I still answered the woman's questions, and waited for the inevitable -- for her to ask if I was married or had a significant other. The way they approach the question is by saying that the free trip is for two people, and qualify this by then asking if I have a significant other who will be joining me on this excursion. Part of me wanted to lie and say yes, just to go on the trip, since it's available for a whole year... I considered saying yes, thinking to myself -- surely I can find someone to go with me within a year? But another part of me was pissed off, thinking -- Why the hell must I have a significant other to qualify for a bleeding timeshare, anyway?!?! This is so discriminatory!

These points sprung immediately to mind:

1) This is #$^!@# 2004 -- it is entirely feasible in this day and age for a woman to pull the kind of income to afford a timeshare on her own!
2) A couple is no less of a financial liability these days for a commitment such as a timeshare. Romantic commitments are not as stable as they used to be.
3) Why do I feel the need to rummage around for a fake partner just to view a stinking timeshare presentation, anyway? Stuff the holiday!

I was totally calm on the phone, but the more the woman kept talking, the less inclined I felt to pretend I had a mate... do I really want to go through the hassle of finding someone to accompany me to this presentation? Be all lovey-dovey? Rehearse what we're going to say, how we'll act? Then there's the matter of finances. I'm certain they ask questions about each other's income, and weed out the fakesters by posing questions that only couples would be able to answer.

I decided, it's not flipping worth it. They can keep their holiday. If I do meet someone and fall in love and want a free holiday as a bonus, I will call them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Indoor Skydiving!

I was reading Karl's blog during his business trip in Florida, and yesterday's entry looks like SO MUCH FUN!

Read about Karl's adventures in Indoor Skydiving...

It's obvious I'm in dire need of some adventures, myself. All this work and no play makes Gail a dull girl. It's my own fault, really, I could be much better in the time-management department. But I know this will change -- life is cyclical that way.

I've written before about some of the stuff I've done in the past, such as bungy-jumping, blackwater (cave) rafting, river rafting, river surfing, and the like, but it's been a good long while since I've done any of that. Except for Tosca's stagette rafting trip near Squamish last August, it's been a few years since I've done anything more daring than hiking. I think the last major hike I've done was the Grouse Grind -- it is a grind, though... Mother Nature's Stairmaster, as they say.

Hehe -- I just noticed several of my post titles of late have exclamation marks! Whatswiththat?

Monday, July 19, 2004


It happened at 1:01am, and I was working, but didn't feel a thing. Danielle, who lives in northern BC, posted it immediately in the Vancouver Orkut community, but I couldn't respond as I was in Orkut jail...

Earthquake in BC - Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland

I've felt two earthquakes since I moved to Vancouver in 1996. There have been others, but I was out of town when they occurred. The last time I felt one was during the day -- I was working at my computer, and stuff was rattling on the shelves. Only one thing fell off, but I live on the fourth floor of a 32-storey building, so I'm certain the neighbours upstairs felt a bigger rattle. I think it was the earthquake that hit the Seattle area a few years ago -- early 2001? The one I experienced before that happened in the middle of the night, and it felt like a light aircraft slammed into the side of my building... the bed vibrated so much on the parquet flooring that it moved a few inches... with me in it! I was just dozing off to sleep, and I had never felt an earthquake before, so I was spooked!

Sunday, July 18, 2004


Is it ever humid... humidity just kills me! I just checked the weather online, and the humidity is sitting at 51%! When I was living in Cairns in the far north of Australia, the humidity in the summer (northern hemisphere winter) was typically around 80%, but I just got used to it. But here, this is so unusual. It's the first time in I can't remember how long that I've actually used my air conditioning. I'm not a fan of A/C, but faced with a choice between humidity and A/C, I'll take A/C.
I decided today that I am going to have to take drastic measures to get myself back to feeling as good physically as I did when I returned from Europe. There, I was out every single day, walking and moving constantly.... practically running up steps of stone ruins, steep hillsides, metro stairways with baggage in tow. In the two months or so since, I've slowly slid right back into my lethargic ways and spend too much time in front of the computer. Time to arrest the slide.
On a completely different note, the other day I made a small attempt to re-post some of the photos prior to May that were previously hosted on my Telus webspace. Since the Telus snafu, I've been conscious of the fact that nearly all my archives have broken photo links, but the task is so large I don't think now is the time to tackle it. Especially since I'm so behind on my SFU coursework -- the end of the term is less than two weeks away, and I'm going to have to scramble like crazy to finish on time.

Saturday, July 17, 2004


Here's another random photo from my spring Eurotrip. I'm working away, here, so thought I'd post a pic that I'd taken one night off La Ramblas, in Barcelona. Some of these shoes are too hideous for words! I took the photo and made it into a postcard for my friend Eliza, who loves shoes and has "given them up for Lent", shall we say, until December. I printed it off in Barcelona with my portable photo printer, and mailed it before I left. Here we are, two and a half months later, and she still hasn't received the postcard!!

My Current Sleeping Schedule

... is that I don't have a sleeping schedule. In fact, it's hard to tell these days which is night and which is day for me. Day runs into night, and night runs into day. How I can usually distinguish the two is by how much is going on outside -- everyone else's night means it's quieter, and that's probably when I get the most work done. Most people have a sleeping pattern, and I can't remember the last time I had one. This is probably not good for me, but I can think of afflictions much worse than this.
EDIT: Since Karl commented on the Sam Roberts' song No Sleep that I posted on Orkut to describe how this week has been, I'll post the link here, too. (It's got an .m4a extension... associate it with your media player if your computer doesn't recognise it.)
Sam Roberts - No Sleep (3.7MB)

Friday, July 16, 2004

The Great Orca Auction

I was at Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal earlier this evening, waiting for the #250 bus to take me into downtown, when I noticed one of the auction orcas that have been cropping up all around Vancouver.

Some people find them downright ugly, but most people don't know what they're for. I think they're great, especially because they're for charity. The artist who painted this orca put in a tiny ferry on the belly. It's really small, so I took a photo closer so the details are more visible.

BC Ferry on the belly
The #250 bus has got to be the most scenic bus ride in the whole city. It goes from Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal along the winding curves of Marine Drive, passing houses on cliffsides, the West Vancouver Yacht Club, Thunderbird Marina, along the ocean to Park Royal shopping centre before crossing the Lion's Gate Bridge to downtown Vancouver. I think this is the first time I've taken either the 250 or 257 buses during the day before. Whenever I've returned from the office on transit (and it's only been a few times), it's been dark, and I could never see the houses or even the ocean.

All I can say is WOW! Many of the houses facing the ocean along Marine Drive are posh mansions, with a fleet of vehicles in the driveway and impeccable landscaping. I was fantasising what it would be like to live in one of those gorgeous waterfront homes, entertaining friends on the patio and throwing lots and lots of BBQs during the summer. We'd head down to the water in the heat of the day, take the boat out, and find a hidden cove somewhere to go swimming...


Anybody read life lines?

I was in the mood for a little digicam experimentation while at Horseshoe Bay earlier, so I fooled around a bit with some of the manual features.

I love macro photos, so I used it with the setting for the greatest depth of field, and this is the first pic I took. A bit blurry as I wasn't really shooting anything in particular, but there's something about it I find quite appealing.

I experimented with the macro setting to see how close I could shoot to my subject, and this is it. The detail of my thumb is quite good for the Canon lens I've got (A80), which is equivalent to 38–114mm in a 35mm film camera. I'm tempted to go out and buy more lenses for it, but it seems a bit frivolous and I'm trying to conserve money for upcoming travels. Maybe I'll just get a couple of filters instead: UV and polarising. I haven't looked at the prices of filters and lenses for so long that I'm probably way out of touch with their current prices. Mind you, that was pre-digital, as well... that means I'm WAY off.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Overnighting at the Office Again

It's like camping. I've got a Thermarest (actually, two, I just noticed), a pillow, and a sleeping bag. Me, I can sleep pretty much anywhere, as long as the temperature is held at a comfortable setting by clothing or a thermostat.

It's also very much UNLIKE camping. I've got a fridge with food and drinks, I'm surrounded by computers of both the Mac and PC variety with broadband connectivity, there's a TV with cable. And the bathroom just down the hall!

OK, I'm delirious with fatigue, so I'd better publish this now before I keel over the keyboard.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

To Stud or Not to Stud

Got your attention, didn't I???? Well, that is the question.

As I sit here, working away here at nearly 11pm and chatting to Breigh on MSN, I wonder whether I should go to this wedding alone or drag someone along.

See, it's the dragging part I don't want to bother with. It's easier to go by myself than start searching around for someone to accompany me. But I think Erich and Caroline might actually want me to bring someone for company... jeez, I don't know. I think I've met a grand total of two of Erich's friends (oh, maybe three), so everyone will be a total stranger. This is fine. If I decide to play photographer, then I can mill around amongst the strangers, which is what I prefer to do rather than sit at a table and force conversation there like a bump on a log.

Am going to the office for two days, so I'd best be getting this work cleared off...

Monday, July 12, 2004

From My Mad Mates

Got a bunch of stuff in the post recently, and being the photo junkie that I am, had to post them here. These days receiving any real mail through the post is a joy indeed!

From my #1 Mad Mate, Lucy, whose wedding I attended May 1 in England. I have to say, I was curious to find a soft, lumpy envelope come through the letterslot. I found a tiny t-shirt and a card... I don't have any wine bottles at the moment, so I found a milk bottle and put the t-shirt on that. I found the note at the back of the shirt rather amusing: WARNING: THIS IS NOT A GARMENT.

I received a wedding invitation a week ago Friday from my friends Erich and Caroline, who are getting married next month. The invitation was addressed to "Gail & Stud". I jokingly made an appeal in one of my Orkut communities for stud applications, which prompted some funny responses. I think one was even genuine. I think I would rather go alone and face the silly singleton questions than bring a stud along as a trophy companion, although the stud interviewing process in itself would be fun...

From my friend Claire, who visited Morocco recently. She says, "Things have changed, it's getting better..." I've never been to Morocco, the closest I've been is Malaga, in the south of Spain, on my trip a couple of months ago, but it was always one of those places that seemed enchanting. I don't know exactly where she went, but it would've been funny if she'd bumped into Steve Savage.

I'm not the only one who likes receiving postcards. Karl, who is one of the Orkut FCFGG Seattle-ites I met recently, also has a thing for postcards. I've got them all over my kitchen. It's one of those little dead-end apartment kitchens, but with an amazing amount of storage and cupboard space, so I've covered them with postcards from friends and some I've accumulated over the years.

Tako the Arboreal Cat

Arboreal Tako

Tako loves shoulders.

Tako is Eliza's psycho cat. He ate a pair of earplugs once, and I think it just made him worse. As you can see here, he thinks he's arboreal, even though Eliza had to put him up there. We almost forgot about him, too, but luckily Eliza remembered and brought him back down.

Timmy Ho's

They live among us. Beware!
Red alert! Vancouver has been invaded by giant cups of Tim Horton's coffee!

Eliza lives in the swanky building to the right of the cup. I think her suite is close to the froth. She and Kristin lament over the gigantic inflatables that sit atop the Esso station. I prefer the giant Esso tiger, myself.

It's only been in the past few years that Tim Horton's penetrated the downtown Vancouver market of coffee and light fare. They've been ubiquitous in the rest of the country for years, and now they're becoming that way in Vancouver as well. Is this a good thing? Well, I think a healthier alternative to McDonald's and other fast food outlets can only be a good thing.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Melissa turns 5

It was Melissa's birthday on Friday, but we celebrated yesterday... all day. No longer can I say that my brother has five kids under five, but the information still blows people away:

"Your brother has five kids under six??? That's crazy!" -- the reaction won't change.

Crazy, indeed! Anyway, Melissa is the Queen Bee, and exercises her self-entitlement at any opportunity. The younger kidlets -- Michael, 3, and Maddy, 2 -- receive orders regularly from Miss Melissa, and won't find reprieve once Melissa goes to school. The kidlettes -- the twins -- might have to band together if they find themselves oppressed.

Meanwhile, Melissa enjoyed celebrating all day yesterday, with lots of ice cream and cake at Granny's yesterday, then another round a couple of hours later with Gumpa and Grandma. Even Uncle Alvin is in town for the weekend, which, to a five-year old, translates into: MORE PRESENTS!

Uncle Alvin with Megan (L) and Maribeth (R).



Friday, July 09, 2004

Zoo Animals Escape!

I'm still working away, here. I've got so many windows open I think a crash is imminent... or, at least a warning.

I'm also still endeavouring to catch up on the past week or so, but for now I will post pics from last Sunday. The kidlets went to the waterpark near their house, and upon their return to the backyard, informed me that they were all jaguars. Then elephants. Then tigers. My brother was working, so I took the three older Ms to Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver. The animals made a temporary escape from the zoo!

There's a videoclip, too, but I'm going to have to edit it as it's long... later, alligator.

The Lion and the Elephant? The Tiger and the Lion and the Elephant? Posted by Hello

The zoo animals doth protest! Or sing! Or sing in protest! Posted by Hello

Ambleside Beach construction site. Are those workers unionised? Posted by Hello

I'm taking the photo and bouncing the kids at the same time! And trying not to fall off! Posted by Hello

Mr. Michael at the helm of the SS Edwin. Posted by Hello

It's a toothy grin contest! Posted by Hello

The twinnies! That's Megan on the left, and Maribeth on the right. Posted by Hello