Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Bus Rider

I've been taking the bus and/or skytrain for four months now. It's been mostly uneventful, although I've formed some opinions about it.

First, buses were not designed for any amount of comfort. The seats are small, there's little leg room, and the temperature can never be just right. In the summer, it's like you're in a large toaster oven. In the winter, the windows are all closed and if you sit on the sides near the heaters, you're just about as hot as you are in the summer because you have a thick jacket on.

Second is that when you get on a bus, you're traveling with a certain type of people you might not normally share a seat with. Let's be honest, anyone who has money or resources is driving their car to work, happily polluting the air, and sitting in their cozy space with air conditioning and radio. Instead, bus riders have to contend with much jostling, musical chairs, and other riders who can't stop talking to you even though you keep looking down into your book.

On the positive side, it's the cheapest form of vehicular transportation, and the flexibility is second only to cars. You can catch a bus any time of day or night, and go to nearly anywhere with only some difficulty.

Uh oh, is it possible I can come up with only one positive thing about taking the bus? I guess so!

Looking forward to my ride home today. I plan to take the skytrain and meet Natasha on the other end. No bus!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Days Until Federal Election: 55

As widely expected, the Canadian government fell yesterday to a vote of non-confidence. The Parliament was dissolved today and an election called for January 23, 2006... 55 days from today.

What will happen in that time? Hard to say but it should be very interesting! Will Canadians stick with the same old, or vote for change?

I hope to be able to see a few candidates as they pass through the area, and if I'm able to get some good shots, I'll be posting them (of course).

Merry Campaigning and a Happy Election everyone!


First Major Snowfall

We got some snow a few days ago but last night was what I would consider a major snowfall. It's not major compared to other places, but we don't get much snow around here, so when it piled up even an inch deep it's worth noting.

The bus ride to work today was long. Traffic was backed up, the bus was packed. I wonder how many accidents there were this morning... probably a ton.

Well, we can enjoy while it lasts because it'll probably be gone within a days time.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Weekend Highlights

I had a pretty good weekend. Relatively busy, decent amount of sleep (although I can always use more), and did some interesting things. Here's a couple of highlights:
  1. FOOD - Went to IKEA for their $1 breakfast. Yes, it exists! You get scrambled eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, and a croissant. But is it good? Yeah it's actually pretty decent, although the eggs are obviously made from a mix. Still, for one dollar, you can't go wrong.
  2. SHOPPING - Natasha introduced me to a new concept... the self-checkout! I'd heard of these in stores but hadn't actually seen nor used one before. I was buying some small finishing nails at Home Depot and we tried it out. Works great. Rather impersonal, but convenient. What's next? Go to the doctors office and there's no person there, just a machine that poked and prods you, then spits out a ticket to tell you what prescription to pick up.
  3. WEATHER - It snowed a tiny bit! Sunday morning it was coming down but not sticking. This morning, there was a light dusting on the cars but nothing major. A couple of cars, probably from up higher on the mountain, were driving around with an inch or two of snow on their cars so there must be a lot more there. The roads aren't great though. As I walked out of the house, there was a car that had slid up to the sidewalk and was sitting there on an angle. I think they started to slide and panicked (as they should have, on these steep roads) and swerved to the side.

Back to work now, and hoping for an exciting week!

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Fog Report

Update: November 25, 2005

Day 6. Very little fog, which seems to have disappeared quickly. Replaced by higher clouds, and some rain.

Update: November 24, 2005

Day 5. Yesterday afternoon, the sun actually peeked out and it looked like it was going to clear. But I think it was just in a small area and only temporary. This morning it's back. Can't see more than about three buildings away.

It cleared off later in the afternoon and was replaced by showers.

Update: November 23, 2005

Day 4 has arrived, and the fog is as thick as ever.

Original Post: November 22, 2005

The entire area from Vancouver to Langley at least, has been covered by a fog for three days straight. Day and night... it doesn't burn off in the day like regular fog.

I'm not sure what causes it but it's kind of neat. Natasha and I drove up the mountain into some of the higher residential areas nearby and found that if you get high enough, you get above the fog and it's sunny and clear. Then you look down over the valley and it looks really weird, just a blanket of white as far as you can see.

Last time this happened it stuck around for about a week. I have a picture and will add it on here later.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Days Until Government Collapse: 5

The Conservative party of Canada will table a non-confidence motion tomorrow in the House of Commons. The vote won't actually happen until Monday, but if it passes, an election call will be made on November 29th.

The motion states:

"The House condemns the government for its arrogance in refusing to compromise with the opposition parties over the timing of the next general election and for its 'culture of entitlement,' corruption, scandal and gross abuse of public funds for political purposes and, consequently, the government no longer has the confidence of the House."

Full story here: Harper unveils no-confidence motion

Note: My last post regarding this said 7 days and it's been more than two days since then. However, I was counting down until the day the motion was brought to the house, and now I'm counting down to a more appropriate date... the day the actual vote will occur.


Terrorism Not Impossible In Canada

Terrorism as we know it is not something limited to certain countries. It's happening all over the world and it's only a matter of time before it comes back to North America... Canada included.

There's a report that the bombers in Spain held detailed information on the subway system in Montreal:

Police downplay report that Madrid bombings suspect had Montreal info

Local police are downplaying it, but read on to the other sections of the article.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Ultimate Christmas Lighting

Think your neighbours down the road have the best Christmas lights? Are they synchronized to music??



Back To The Old Landlord

Not like we really switched... but we just found out that the deal on the house fell through and the original owners still own the place.

This is good news because we've had a couple of problems that have went unresolved for three weeks because we didn't know who to turn to.

My wish has come true... we get to keep the same owners. I really like them a lot and they're the best when it comes to fixing things and dealing with issues.

It's likely they'll sell the house again in a while, so we'll have to start putting up with visitors to the house. But for now things are all good!

Past Related Stories:
We Have No Landlord
House Sold
House Sale Update

Fall Photos By The River

We went for a walk by the river with my parents on the weekend. There were still some really nice spots so we took advantage of the situation and got some good pictures.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

"I Love This Company"

I don't know how old this is, but it's a video clip of Steve Ballmer (CEO of Microsoft) at the start of a company rally, or a seminar or whatever.

I Love This Company

While I find this totally hillarious and can't stop watching it, I am deeply concerned that someone of his age and position would behave in this manner. It just seems a little out of place if you ask me...

Can't get enough? Click Here

Days Until Government Collapse: 7

As always, the federal political scene turns out to be so interesting (local politics on the other hand, *snore*). All of the opposition parties in the Canadian government have come together and introduce a non-confidence motion next Thursday.

This will surely mean an end to the current Liberal minority government, but what result an election will bring is uncertain.

As far as the timing of the election goes, I don't think it will make any difference whether it's in early January, or in February. As far as I'm concerned, if there is any question about support for the government, an election should be held as soon as possible.

Whatever happens in the end, it'll create much entertainment for everyone!

Reference reading: Opposition eyeing Christmas campaign (


Friday, November 11, 2005

Pumpkin Cutting

We've had this pumpkin in our kitchen since we got married and have been saying we're going to cut it up but we never do. Today we decided we'd better do it before it goes bad, and just get it out of the way.

This is the pumpkin while it was still at my parents' place. I can't remember how much it weighed but it turned out to be pretty large.

What does one find when cutting open a pumpkin of this sort?

Wow check this thing out! The walls are super thick! And if you look closely, you'll see some of the seeds actually started to sprout. Whether this is because it was getting old, or because it was being kept warm inside, I'm not sure, but I've never seen anything quite like it.

I took the job of slicing the pumpkin and used the chefs knife we were given as a wedding gift along with a knife set and block. Came in handy for sure. I always love cooking and making food with large knives.

Natasha took the sliced and peeled pieces and chopped them smaller, and put them into the sink.

If you're wondering why there are no pictures of us, it's because it was a very lazy day and we didn't get out of our PJ's until about 6pm. *gasp*

The chopping continued for over an hour and the entire sink was full of pumpkin chunks. The entire process took approximately two hours.

The final step was putting the pumpkin into freezer bags. We ended up with six freezer bags full. We'll probably share it with others because it's really a lot of pumpkin.

And into the freezer they went! Right beside the Delissio pizza which we had for supper afterwards. Mmmm pepperoni!

We highly recommend this as opposed to the usual tradition of carving the pumpkin. It's less scary, and makes for better eating!


Remembrance Day

Today was a holiday and I got to spend the day with Natasha. We got some things done, relaxed, ate good food, and generally had a great day off.

I didn't do anything special for Remembrance Day. But I support the troops and the ongoing struggle for a peaceful world on an ongoing basis... my support is not just restricted to a single day, nor just the memory of a war that took place last century.

Hope you all had a good day, whether it was a holiday or not in your area.

If you did anything to commemorate the day, tell me about it in the comments.

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Dinner At The Keg

Natasha and I went out to The Keg to celebrate my birthday (and also our one month anniversary). We splurged a bit, but it was really quite tasty.

Me with the Cajun Snapper and Tequila Salsa Shrimp

Natasha went with a Teriyaki Sirloin Steak

The food was really delicious, although I do have to say, I think the steak was the better choice of the two. If you go to The Keg only rarely, it's best to stick with their specialty... steak!

Oh and don't even get me started on the garlic mashed potatoes... so good!


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Food Makes Life More Satisfying

You bet it does! We've been having some really tasty food lately, and here's just a sample of it:

Ahh, a delicious cherry pie, compliments of Natasha. We may end up fat, but we'll be happy and will definitely have enjoyed the trip!

This is my ultimate sandwich which we ate yesterday for supper (only half of it pictured here). I think this is the best sandwich I've ever had.

Someday when we open a cafe/bakery, we'll be including these two recipes on our menu...


Friday, November 04, 2005

We Have No Landlord

I reported a while ago that the house I live in has been purchased and we have new owners. However, there was some miscommunication and we were unsure who and how to pay our rent to, etc. Natasha had a few other issues and went to visit the house where the new owners live.

Well, come to find out there's a bit of a delay in the money transfer or something, and the new owners don't even have keys to the place yet. Unbelievable! So, they can't help us with too much. And the previous owners aren't around anymore, although possibly available by phone. Whether or not they would help is another questions since the new owners were supposed to take control of the building on November 1st.

So right now we have nobody to turn to, and nobody to pay the rent to... too bad interest is so low, the money is hardly making me anything sitting on the bank.

Update: November 7, 2005

I've put my money to good use! I took my rent money and paid it on my VISA. I'll pay the rent from VISA when we actually find out who we're paying. So I won't be gaining or losing any money, but in the meantime I'm saving interest on that amount.