Friday, April 28, 2006

Weather Patterns

From the Ipso Facto cartoon blog

Anyone recognize this weather patttern?

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Monday, April 24, 2006

April Updates

We're into the last week of April. If you haven't done your taxes already, you're either late, or will be late soon. I got ahead of the game this year and they've been in the mail for a few weeks.

Natasha went to New Brunswick today to spend some time there, visit her family, and participate in her best friend's wedding.

That leaves me home alone for two weeks. What am I going to do with myself?! I guess I'll figure something out. There's a few mini-projects I want to work on. I'll likely play a lot of Chess. And since the weather is really nice, I want to get out for a few walks if I can. I thought I was going to tonight but I got home late, and did a few other things instead.

Done anything interesting this month? Post a comment, tell us all about it.

Oh let's talk about gas for a bit. The prices, outrageous! And yet, I caught myself saying that gas at $1.08/litre was a "good" deal. I guess it's all relative. Once it's high, people get used to it. It's very discouraging to think that gas has doubled in price in the last 4 years or so. Guess we all should have enjoyed 60 cents / litre more! Burned twice as much gas!

Well, that's the update for now. Going to take a shower, have a few cookies and milk (woo hoo!) and then off to bed at a reasonable hour.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Eagle Cam

A friend sent this link to me yesterday. It's a live, streaming webcam that's pointed right up close to a Bald Eagle nest.

See the Eagle Cam!

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Hacked!

My web server got hacked sometime in the past couple of days. Natasha was browsing a few bookmarks and came to one of my smaller sites that was messed up. I checked a few others and they had the same thing.

Fortunately, the damage is minimal, and had I kept better back-ups, they'd all be back to normal now. Since I don't have back-ups of everything, it will take a little longer to fix but not much.

I'm going to take down my computer next week and revamp the entire thing from the ground up. It's been acting up lately, and could really use a few updates. And I need to figure out how to make my computer more secure.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Garden Is In

On Monday, we dug up our small garden and pulled out all the weeds. Yesterday, we went to the store, bought all our seeds, plants, and supplies, and spent a few hours planting everything. Interestingly, planting was about half the work it took to dig the garden, and a lot more fun.

As we were digging out another section, we discovered two onions which were already grown quite tall, and we moved them into our section.

The list of things we planted:

PlantHow Many
Carrots3 rows
Lettuce3 rows
RadishesSmall section
OnionsAbout 40
Bell Peppers2 Plants
Cucumbers3 Plants
Tomatos3 Plants

No pictures yet, because it's mostly just dirt. As things grow, we'll post again.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Chess Tournament: 2nd Place!

Okay, I completed my final match and ended up with 2nd place. Until the final match I thought I was headed for first for sure, but I played a few really poor games, and lost the 4th game reasonably. Had I played better in game 2 and 3, I'd likely have won at least one of them and evened things out.

As it is, I'm taking 2nd place and am fairly pleased about it. Everyone had a lot of fun, learned more about chess, and generally just had a good time.

Once summer is over and people stop going outdoors as much, I'm going to see if I can fire up interest in another tournament, perhaps even bigger than this one!

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Receipt Security

At our local Superstore a few days ago, we spotted a shady looking guy ahead of us but it wasn't his shadiness that caught our attention... it was what he was doing. On the way up the ramp, he picked up what looked like a receipt on the ground and kept walking.

Further on, he came to a garbage can, and before grabbing a used cigarette, he grabbed another receipt on top.

Now, what might he be doing with the receipts?

Take a look at the receipts from your recent purchases, especially ones made with a credit card. There's a fairly good chance you'll notice the entire credit card number and expiry date right on the receipt.

If you throw this in the garbage or anywhere else, someone can find it and use your credit card number freely. I read in an article a few months ago that one receipt of this kind can get someone $25 by selling it on the street.

So don't throw your receipts away! Shred them, burn them, or store them... just do something to make them go away without letting anyone else get to them!

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Curling

Yesterday evening, Natasha and I played Curling with a group of people from work. It turned out to be an absolute blast. I've watched Curling many times, during the Olympics for example, and thought it was really interesting.

Playing it myself really took it to a whole new level and I realized why it's gained such popularity. It's a game that involves skill and strategy, and it's a pretty good amount of work as well.


Here's a couple of pictures of us on the Curling rink. After a couple of falls, we all managed to keep our balance most of the time. I'm sure most of our technique needs serious work, but you can't really expect much for a first try.




And sweeping! Now that's a job. Sweeping actually melts the top layer of ice just slightly and makes the rock go straighter and keep its speed. Unlike most people think, sweeping does not affect the curl (indeed, it makes it go straighter). The curl comes from the spin put on the rock.


Andrew and Brian sweeping. "HARD!"

Our team came together well, formed a basic strategy, and we did some really good playing. We were team 'E' and came up with the name 'Excalibur' to match. Below is a picture of our team members.


Team 'Excalibur': Brian, Andrew, Natasha, Donald

Now we're looking forward to the next time we can play!

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Saturday, April 08, 2006

New Milestone: Half A Year!

We celebrated being married for six months today! It's been a great six months and we've come a long way, and look forward to going a lot further together.

We slept in a bit, and lounged around the house for a while. Shortly after noon we headed out to find a place to bike. We couldn't get access to one lake, so we tried another and found it to be really great.

We went for a 8km trip, to the other side of the lake and back. The following picture is one from the opposite end. As far as you can see the lake on the other side is where we started.


There was a suspension bridge which we stopped at and went across by foot. There are a ton of hiking trails in the area, but they're not bike friendly so we couldn't go very far. This place is within 30 minutes driving of our place, so we hope to go back for many more biking and hiking trips.


As promised, we got pictures of us and our new bikes:



Anyway, we had a really great time... the only thing missing was a picnic lunch, but we won't forget that next time!


Later in the evening, we went down to a really tiny Italian restaurant where we had to wait in a line outside for tables to clear. The place was so small there was no waiting area... tables filled every available spot.

But the food was delicious, the service was good, and the prices not bad. It was a good meal, and we will very likely go back there again!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Biking, The Fair, No Work!

Today marked the end of Natasha's parents' trip, and we took them to the airport this morning. We really had a great time together. Time flew by as we had plans every day of the week, and had to turn down a number of people who wanted to visit with us.

My intention was to go to work, but I've been fairly worn out from working and running around after work, that I decided to call in and take the day off. I'm not sick (and didn't use that excuse either), I just needed a day to take it easy. Had I gone to work, I'd have been tired and likely unproductive.

So, we came home and relaxed for a couple of hours. Had a bite to eat, finished off my taxes (they've been worked out, I just needed to arrange and put them in envelopes), and pumped up the tires on our new bikes.

In the afternoon, we drove down to the local park, a nice 440 acre forested area, and biked about 4km. After a long period of no exercise, it was a big job, but we hope to do more biking this summer and get in a little better shape. We are thinking about going biking tomorrow, and will get some pictures then.

After that, we dropped by a fair that just set up this week in the mall parking lot.


We took a tour around the fair to see all the rides. It's nothing like some of the large ones... this one took only a fraction of the parking lot. Perhaps 20 rides, half of them for the kids. When we came to one of the rides, I spotted this sign and couldn't resist taking a picture for the blog.


Yikes, wouldn't that be embarassing! Sorry, you're to "large" to ride this ride. I wonder what their criteria is for that.

After a trip around the fair, and a look at the ticket booth, we figured that $16 was too pricey to go on the ferris wheel and bumper cars, so we settled for a bag of mini donuts, and a game of darts to try to win a stuffed kitten on a pillow.

Where is Andrew's Tilley?

I did my best but didn't win anything. You can see at the left side, my dart actually touched the pink balloon... perhaps an inch over and we'd have had a new pet!

We're back home and settling down for a quiet evening. Watch for more pictures tomorrow if we get a chance!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Chess: Rough Ride At The Top

I've made it to the top in our tournament, playing for 1st / 2nd place. I came out in the first game and won, but have lost the second and third games. What that means is that I absolutely need to win the next game to push the match into overtime.

I'll be playing again early next week... hopefully time enough to rest and regroup over the weekend and make a good shot at the game.

To see the stats for the tournament, click on the Chess picture at the top right!

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Day Trip To Washington


Natasha and I at a Daffodil field

On Saturday, we made a trip to Washington with both my parents and Natasha's parents. Our first stop was to see a couple we know who own a small business specializing in skirts, particularly ones which are hard to find in regular stores. These are sought after items these days, and I can see why... they look great.

Lunch was at Red Robin, and the rest of the day was spent looking at fields of flowers and visiting one place that had a number of gardens set up.

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Weekend Daffodils


We did some more sight-seeing on Friday and went to Harrison. Saw the place where we got engaged, and walked around to the side of the lake where the hot spring water pours out into a pool.

Photo opportunities galore, and Natasha took the best one, seen above.