Monday, October 31, 2005

Had a little vacaction

Holly and I took off for Victoria over the weekend, for a much needed weekend away. We checked the dog into the kennel, (which she thoroughly enjoyed, by the way), stocked up the cat's food, locked the door and ran away for a few days.

One nice thing about this trip was that we flew, as opposed to driving and taking the ferry. Probably would have cost about the same anyway, what with the price of gas these days. I refrained from taking dozens of pictures of the airplanes.

Our first destination is pictured here. It's the English Inn and Resort. It was very scenic, with manicured grounds and Victorian architecture. Instead of one building, there were a collection of smaller buidings, each with several rooms in them. Our biggest complaint was that these are older buildings that suffer from older buiding problems like single pane glass, older grouting in the bathroom tiles (yuck) and little in the way of sound proofing. It sounded like a gang of about eight (half being children) were staying in the room next to us, and we woke up to their loud conversation in the parking lot the next morning. But it is what it is, and I am sure there are people who just love this sort of place.

We did a lot of exploring in Victoria, including a drive along Oak Bay and a stop at Cattle Point Scenic Loop. This is the kind of shoreline that I like, probably because it reminds me of where I am from. We did other tourist activities, like have afternoon tea, but basically spent most of our time exploring the city.

Late that afternoon we headed north to Sidney, where we were booked to spend a night at Miraloma on the Cove. Simply put, this place was fantastic. Freshly renovated, it was luxurious, clean and had all the extras like included high speed internet, a kitchenette, continental breakfast and a DVD player in the room. And we were staying in the smallest room! We were given the chance to upgrade for a minimal fee, but since we were only going to be there one night, we stayed in our originally booked suite. We ended up eating at a local sushi restaurant, which was packed. (always a good sign). We ate light, having had many snacks earlier in the day, plus the hotel we were staying at had free hot chocolate and cookies after 9:00 pm. But what we did have was superb, and the staff were very competent and polite. Eating here reminded us what we were missing back in Vernon. The sushi at home just doesn't compare.

Sunday was basically spent travelling back home, collecting up the dog and settling in early. We had a layover at Vancouver International, so my cousins came over to visit with us for a few hours, which was nice. Another whirlwind vacation completed, another week of work yet to begin. Ugh, makes me want to go on vacation just thinking about it.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Happy Halloween

They had a pumpkin carving contest at work today, and here is a shot of several choice ones. Sadly, I was in a meeting at the time, so I missed out on the festivities. But I was there in spirit!

Halloween is one of those interesting holidays that is only fun when everybody is on board and decides to participate. Throwing a costume party is no fun if half the people decide not to dress up at all. Giving candy to the kids is no fun when their parents truck them around to the 'hot spots' in town and only 4 or 5 kids actually arrive at your door.

Halloween is a chance for people to get a little crazy, have some fun and have a good time. I'm sure there is a deeper meaning behind the holiday, but like most people, I don't take it that far. Halloween is not my religion. Let me take that one a step further: my religion is not threatened by the concept of Halloween either. My God is one who enjoys greeting little kids at the door all night long, not one who prohibits me from participating because of some obscure pagan heritage. If that were the case, there would be a lot more holidays than just Halloween that would be off the list.

Anyway, once again I got off task. All I was really supposed to do was say 'have a happy halloween' to the one or two people who still read this. See you in November.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Dang, my blog is worthless

So over at Business Opportunities they have a web application that determines the worth of your blog. I thought to myself: 'hmm... this could be interesting.' I'll save you the effort of entering my blog address into the calculator:

'Your blog,, is worth $0.00'

I then decided to try entering the Business Opportunities page, and discovered that they too were worthless. Suddenly I'm not feeling so bad. Even Groklaw came up with no value, which surprised me somewhat since it was in CNet's Top 100 Blogs list. By this point I was sure I had missed something in how value was determined. I figured I should at least read past the title of the article. And sure enough, the app is only concerned with sites that link back to Weblogs Inc. as referenced by the AOL deal. So I tried one of those sites, and voila, I got the pie-in-the-sky results I was looking for:

'Your blog,, is worth $7,708,229.16'

The biggest problem with this number is that while AOL might be willing to pay this number to Weblogs Inc., I seriously doubt that the engadget posters get to see any of this coin. Which means the money is still in the hosting/providing/publishing end of the buisness and not in the writing/creating end. At least, not for anybody using these free blogging services who chooses not to bombard the reader with advertising.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Why we don't have a mosquito problem

On returning home last night after work, I discovered this personable creature on my walkway. While not the largest spider I have seen around here, it certainly wasn't a small one.

Suddenly, I'm glad I don't live on the ground floor.

However, because it is getting colder around here, this little fella wasn't very responsive. Oh I nudged him to see if he was alive (yes) but his movements were slow. So naturally, I decide to take his picture. Captive audience, meet captive subject.

Anyway, judging by his size, I figured he has already done this community a huge service by eating the mosquitoes, hornets and other insects that are in the area, so I let him live.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Try palmreading this

Okay, so this is what my hand looked like after assembling some Ikea furniture. I started out thinking that a regular screwdriver would be fine for the job, and that using a drill to set the screws would be overkill. By the time my hand got sore, I was 'mostly done' and it didn't seem worth it to break out the drill. The next day I noticed a bruise running across my palm, from the handle of the screwdriver.

I guess it's pretty obvious that these hands don't see a lot of manual labour.

We were able to start some tiling work in the kitchen as well. I think I like tiling, at least on the walls. It's like drywall without the excessive sanding. Of course, I'm saying this before we apply any of the grout, so I could have a change of heart later on. Of course, this neccessitated another trip to the hardware store, which is always fun for me. I had an excuse to purchase yet another bit for my dremel (to cut tiles) and also got some clamps that were on sale in addition to the needed supplies for the tile project.

Reader exercise: Give a palm reading based on the image in this post. Points will be awarded for creativity. Oh, and if you are going to give a 'legitimate' reading, please indicate as much, so I don't assume you are writing fiction.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

New Look

Well it was time for a change. I'm not sure if I am entirely happy with the new look for this site, but it is probably an improvement over the generic template from before. At least the formatting is mostly out of the way, making it easier for me to update the background image in the future. This of course assumes I come up with a suitable idea for a background. Feel free to make suggestions.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Desk with a view

Oct 04-2005
Originally uploaded by iTripped.
Yes, the leaves are starting to turn colour. And the clouds are rolling in more frequently these days. Walking the dog is a brisk affair now, and is starting to require gloves at night. I looked out my window at work, noticed a rainbow, and took a picture.

And yes, it's not the best rainbow ever, I already know that.

Lately I have been playing Pepsi's contest to win an Xbox 360. Coke could stand to learn a few things from Pepsi when it comes to contests. I hesitate to share the link, because I'm greedy and want to win an Xbox for myself first. What? At least I'm honest about it. Hopefully I'll win early so I don't start dreaming about the repetitive surveys Pepsi makes you fill out in order to play. Oh well, if that's the price, I'm buying.

As soon as I posted this, I noticed I already had a comment. A spam comment. Blogger spam is really starting to suck.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Still off Caffeine

So this is week two of my non-caffeine trip. I am now back to waking up normally, and able to function, but find I am just a little sluggish throughout the day. No more headaches though, so I'm happy about that.

Yesterday I chipped my front tooth while eating. Not very noticeable to others, but very bothersome for me. So I guess I'll be calling the dentist yet again. (I was there 3 times last month, for a cleaning and two cavities.) And no, it wasn't the wife's cooking to blame. I bit my fork. Don't ask me how it happened, I was probably groggy from not having a good cup of coffee.

Oh yeah - and is it just me, or is it colder around here all of a sudden? I just hate the way summer ends in Vernon - it's like jumping off a cliff. One day it's beach weather, and the next you need a fleece just to walk the dog. Whatever happened to gradual changes in the weather?