A Brief Stop

Backyard Bomber

The calendar is running my life these days.

Sonja's relatives made a brief stopover and we did our best to show them a good time. Hitting up some tourist destinations and a few places to look over some views of Calgary, it seems like they had just arrived and they were leaving.

The week in the middle collapsed into catching up around the house, getting some stuff set up, and of course the fiftyish hours a week I spend at the hands of TheManĀ®. It felt like the day after our guests left, we were packing up for a May Long Weekend camping trip

We had a nice car camping trip out to Handhills Highcountry Hideaway. The weather was very nice and sunny save for a freak thundershower with gusting winds on Sunday. The storm came and went on the inside of two hours, but those two hours happened to straddle the time we were making dinner. On Saturday, a group of us went out Geocaching and had a very productive day finding a grand total of six geocaches around the badlands. I forced myself to spend some time, laying on the grass, thinking about the present. Trying not to let the usual cacophony of thoughts roll about in my head, I watched my friends engage in several games of testie-toss. Sooner than anyone wished, our time spent sitting in the sun, and chit chatting by the fire had come to and end.

The hump day for my three day work week is only hours away, and on Thursday straight after work, we're going to make the long trek to a resort by Osoyoos for a wedding. It's going to be a very fun time, and I'm sure I'll have a yarn to spin upon my return.

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Where’s Wes?

By the Firelight

It has been quite some time since I have found time to sit and write. Quite a bit has happened, since I last dumped myself to the internet. As a result, this is going to be all over the place, and very shallow

  • Auntie Nene, and Uncle Ed came by the abode on either end of their vacation. It was a nice visit, and either they enjoyed themselves, or they faked it very well. I'll be able to tell if they ever come back
  • The yard looks completely different. We finished the raised garden and have it planted. Furthermore, the three yards of loam that we picked up is either in the garden, or is spread around the yard. It was about as much fun as...well spreading around three cubic yards of loam can be. We have seeded the grass a couple times, and how have a million green little spear heads poking out of the ground. Soon the lawn will be thick and green and I'll be sick of cutting it.
  • I purchased a motorcycle. I purchased a 2003 Buell XB9S, and am absolutely loving it. I got the bike at a great deal considering how rare it is, and all it needs was a little love. I've already changed out the motor and fork oil, I'm equipped to change out the transmission oil, and all that will be remaining is a new set of tires. I managed to survive all the "I'm going to buy a black dress and wait for the police to call" jokes from the women in my family, and now have rekindled the love I have for riding.
  • I'm nearing the end of my MCPM course. We just finished the eighth session, and only have the final session and the simulation remaining. I've learned a boat load, and wished that I had taken the course before I was given actual projects to manage, but I'm still very glad that I'm taking it now. Although it will be very nice to once again take control of my weekends and not have to sacrifice a half here and a half there.
  • Changes are brewing professionally. One of my secondary incomes has changed some of the rules, thus making it much less appealing. After much internal debate, I'm moving more effort into the third, ditching the second, and adding a new one. If you know me well, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, why not pick up the phone now and again?
  • We went out camping to Old Man River on the long weekend. As is usual with car-camping, a lot of time was spent in setting up camp (which I termed: Tarp City by weekend's end), and way-way-WAY too much time cooking and eating food next to the campfire. The weather was really co-operative, and I'm getting excited to do more camping and backpacking throughout the summer.
  • I picked up a Water Rower and have been rowing odd morning to get back into a better shape. I'm in shape, but right now it's more 'tube-steak' than 'chiselled-rock'. I managed to get a discount from the sales guy, but Fed-Ex evened the score with the largest shipping bill I've ever had. It wasn't a heavy package, but the rails are seven feet long, and I guess that's hard to stack up. So far, I love it. It's quiet, sturdy, and quite a nice looking piece of hardware.

The next few days are looking to be hectic as well: Another MCPM session, a Smashening, motorcycle maintenance, yard work and a 'sales meeting' have to slide in around the day job, sleeping and eating before the next weekend is finished.

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A Weekend in 3 Parts, Part III: The Finale

Winter Camping

Part I: here
Part II: here

Saturday was forcasting some nice weather, but there wasn't a sign of it in Calgary. Furthermore, being the nut bag I can sometimes be, I agreed to a 'Crazy Canuck' camping trip for Easter Weekend. For the first camping trip in of the year, we decided on a nice'n easy car camping trip out at Lundbreck Falls. We started out of town about mid day. We were socked in, but as we drove further south cracks in the cloud cover could be spotted. When we finally reached our destination, the sky was dominated by blue and a few lazy clouds couldn't do anything to stop the sun.

We set up camp, and then went on a couple of missions to get some firewood, before settling down for some dinner. It was a nice evening, and we stoked up the fire to fight off the evening chills. Jeremy and Jen were great company, although I have never seen anyone burn wood at the rate that they do.

After the sun went down, Jen pulled out The Camp Cooker and started making grill cheese sandwiches. I have never before had a campfire cooked cheese sandwich before, but it was delicious. I know that I will find one of these bad boys before heading out on my next car camping adventure. We had our fill of cheese and bread and before long, we were long into the night. We crept into our layers of protection from the cold for the night, and fell asleep.

The morning started with some sort of a goose fight on the opposite side of the river. I was the last to drag my lazy self out of the tent and was greeted by a nice cup of coffee. We lazed about the river for the morning, and we generally put off the tear down of our camp. The day was determined to be amazing as the sun shone down on us, and the sky remained blue. I got so much sun I even got a sunburn. A great deal of time was spent taking photographs before packing up and heading out to Frank's Slide for a little sight seeing. The giant rocks are pretty neat, but it only takes a couple minutes to reach the 'Yup, it's a bunch of rocks' point and we climbed back into the car and enjoyed a nice, windows down, drive back to Calgary. It was the perfect ending to a crazy weekend.

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Semi-Weekend Update

Derelict Fence

My weekend was shorter than most, but still, productivity was high and a lot was taken off the to-do list. On Friday night Sonja and I went out for a bite of sushi at Sakana Grill in the north. The place was packed and we had to wait before being seated. Despite the wait, the food was spectacular, and before long the salmon, tuna and various imitation meats were all gone, and I was happy with my distended belly. After the meal in nice ambiance, we strolled over to the Cineplex to take in the film rendition of Frank Miller's 300

The movie, plainly put, was excellent. I somewhat knew the storyline, and had an idea of what to expect. The thing, I believe, that set this movie apart was the cinematography. As a photographer, I have a bit of an understanding of light and shadow and how it plays on three dimensional bodies, and this movie is just excellent scene after excellent scene. You could stop the movie at any point and have an excellent candidate for a photograph or poster. The movie also make you feel good, and I have been geeking out about it since I've seen it. The one scene where Queen Gordo "gets even" actually made me scream out a 'Hell Yah!' right in the theatre. The visuals along with the wicked story make 300 a movie I would recommend to anyone who is old enough to watch it.

Saturday was a day to get stuff done. The first order of business was to get caught up on sleep, which is something I have been meaning to do for quite some time. Afterwards yard work sucked up the remainder of the day. We managed to pull six bags of leaves, grass and garbage along with three garbage cans full of branches out of the yard. Now there is no piles of fall leaves blown against the buildings, and my crab apple tree in the back yard is under control. I was surprised at the stuff that I found buried in the hedge. The stranger being a mug from the City of Calgary, a comb, a empty box for Huggies and spike for tying a dog to a particular spot. Even though the weather is sure to turn more winterish, I'm glad that the majority of the spring cleanup is done.

Today, I had to make a sacrifice in order to attend classes for my Master's Certificate in Project Management. The class was entertaining, and definitely full of useful information, but being indoors, on a Sunday when it was over sixteen degrees outside was a tough haul. It didn't take much convincing for the class for us to sacrifice a couple breaks and cut our lunch in half so that we could get out almost 45 minutes early. My extra free time was spent on a nice leisurely walk out to the 1127 hectare Nose Hill Park. The weather was nice and there were plenty of people out enjoying the sunshine. On the walk out I came across the fence pictured above. It reminded me of the shambles my own fence used to be in, although; I think with the effort taken to secure all those boards in place with twine probably could have been better used with a hammer and nails.

Tomorrow, I have the second class in this week's module, and then into a four day work week before St. Patrick's Day.

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Short Weekend

Hands

It has almost become expected for me to complain about the weekend being over, and I wouldn't want to disappoint. This weekend was especially short, being that the restful portion of the weekend was only a single day.

I've been attending classes for a Master's Certificate in Project Management which is put on by the University of Lethbridge. The course is very enlightening, and after only two sessions I have already learned a great deal about how to properly run a project. The difficulty around the course is that to accommodate working professionals and weekend lovers, the course straddles weekdays and weekends. So until June, every second weekend is going to be a little shorter.

The course didn't stop me from getting out and enjoying myself. On Friday night, the usual crew attended the Roughnecks game at the Saddledome. We were hosting the Toronto Rock, and they beat us down quite bad at the start, and our come-back wasn't there resulting in a 12-9 score in their favor. At the time I was quite dissapointed, but it turns out that we beat them on their home turf to a final score of 17-13.

Saturday night Sonja and I attended a fund raising benefit for a young man who has been found to have terminal cancer. His wish is to take an Alaskan cruise with his family, so the benefit was to raise funds to have the best damn cruise ever. A silent auction, a long drive contest some appetizers and a Flames game on the big screen all come together at Schank's north for a rather nice evening.

Sunday was my only day off, and I spent most of it getting through my list of things to do. I fixed the house's downspouts so my backyard will no longer be a skating rink, I changed my oil, and replaced some bulbs in the Buick. If you think that changing bulbs is a trivial task, try changing the rear low beams on a 2000 Buick. I wish you all the best. After the outdoors stuff was done, I had Sonja help me out with some Photography, then I edited some pictures while plowing through a massive chunk of laundry. After everything was completed, it was almost time for bed. Just enough time to squeeze in a viewing of Office Space

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