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Monday, September 17, 2007

October already!

It's called neglect people. I haven't had a chance to blog for a while. Sorry about that. I know - excuses are lame.

Well the Snuze and I had a gay ole time in Hong Kong. It was, as predicted, extremely hot but we enjoyed ourselves a great deal. Hong Kong was much cleaner, safer and tourist friendly than I imagined. We prepared ourselves well for the heat and the crowds. We were so impressed with the city's efficiency and modernness. Cheap food was everywhere and there was soo much to see and do. Our hotel, The YMCA Salisbury (yes, it was a HOTEL), was wonderful too! It had an AMAZING view of the Hong Kong harbour from the Kowloon side. A great bargain in a fantastic location. Highly recommend it.

Being the Disney fanatic that I am, we went off to Hong Kong Disneyland of course. On our way there, we were on the train with a bunch of other people. I thought we would take an early train to beat the crowds but I guess I was wrong. When we got off the train, everyone was turning right when it clearly showed that the park was straight ahead. On closer examination, I noticed that all these people were the park employees. We had almost beaten the staff to the park! Okay, so we were in fact quite early.

I must say that I've never seen so many Disney staff members educating/disciplining/yelling at so many people before. I think most of this was directed at the many mainland Chinese tourists which, in my stuck up North American opinion, are a few years away from being "good" tourists. I get that they live in a place with 2 billion other people. I get that. They have to push and be assertive or they get nothing. I get it. But why do some people feel the need to budge and push when there is clearly a well delineated queue? Case in point. We were next in line to take a picture with Mickey and the people behind us kept pushing us like we were being packed into a Japanese subway car. I turned around to see the crush of people behind us but there were only 10 other people behind us. So...why were we being pushed again? I mean we couldn't go any further; we just had to wait for one more couple to get their photo taken with the Mickster and then it was our turn. Why shove? It's too hot to shove! So we clearly explained to them that they should be patient that we couldn't move up any further without being in the couple's photo ahead of us and they should respect our personal space. Well, I hope that's the message they got as we actually just started swinging our backpacks to brush them off our backs. A tad immature, but there was a language barrier so we had to do something that was universally understood - thus the swinging of backpacks.

I don't mind crowds at all. I mean for 10 days there I was probably one of the biggest people in Hong Kong so I realize I take up a lot more space than the average Hong Konger. Go ahead and stand real close. You can even touch me but if there's no need to shove, then don't shove me. I admit there are times when it's every person for themselves but standing in line for a picture with Mickey is not one of them.

Sorry for the rant. Where was I?So yeah, Hong Kong was a great trip. Oasis (the new low cost carrier to HK) was great. Flew business class there and economy on the way back. For less than $500 each, I had nothing to complain about.

Since our trip, we've been trying to enjoy the last vestiges of summer. We won our year-end softball tourney and went 18-0 or something like that for the season. Good group of people to play with.

We headed out to the Vancouver Aquarium last weekend, had a picnic lunch and then biked around the seawall. Good times. You know this summer has been so cool, I don't think I've worn shorts once (except when I'm playing some sort of sport). I honestly think that our vacations to tropical climates in the dead of summer have totally increased my heat tolerance. Nothing seems hot to me. It's like a superpower. I didn't even turn on the air conditioning in the car once this summer. I didn't use the fan in the house once. I know it was pretty cool but there were a few days of heat, weren't there? Please tell me I have a superpower and it just wasn't a cold summer...

On Tuesday we start up our indoor volleyball league again. The Half Dozen have reunited! We've won the championship two out of three years so we're hoping to win again after a one year hiatus.

This Saturday we're off on a one night cruise from Seattle to Vancouver on board the Norwegian Star. We're going with a bunch of friends so it should be enjoyable - albeit short.

Susan has been keeping busy at school with her new role as Vice-principal. Her boss seems like a good guy. She's been stressed out but frankly she's kinda always stressed out during school. What can you do? I just complain and make life difficult for her. That's my role.

Alright so that's it for now. All is well on Moresby Drive. Hope you're having a good day!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

September? October? No, wait. It's July.

What is with this weather? Bah, I was hoping to acclimatize myself before our trip to Hong Kong with a nice string of hot humid days so I could wear my jacket in the car without rolling down the windows. The last time I checked on weather.com the temperature in Hong Kong was 33-34 degrees. But it appears that the humidity is adding on about 6-7 more degrees. So on the day we arrive, it is forecasted to be 34 degrees or about 41 degrees with the humidity! 41? Are you kiding me?

Ummm...should I be concerned? Well I've been to Florida in the middle of the summer. It can't be all that different, can it? After consulting weather.com once again and it looks like the temperature is about the same but the humidity isn't quite as bad - it only adds about 3-4 degrees. Well how about Honolulu? I've been there in the summer too. Nuts. It's a tad cooler and only adds 1-2 degrees due to the humidity.

So basically we're in trouble. I'm not sure what manner of skin rash or heat related illness we'll get but I can't wait to find out. Nine more days to acclimatize. This isn't going to be pretty people. I can stand to lose a few pounds so I guess walking around in an outdoor sauna for 9 days should help.

Actually a sauna ranges from 60-100 degrees so it's not quite that bad. But seriously, should I even have to make that kind of comparison?

Enjoy the gray.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Finally, a sunny weekend!

We had another busy weekend but it was oddly movie-free. On Friday night we went out with the parental units on both sides and headed to Runway 26 Buffet at the Riverrock Casino. Seafood and prime rib. MMmmmmmmmmmmmm. It was only okay actually. It's not Las Vegas afterall.

On Saturday, we headed out to Spanish Banks to soak up some sun and get some much needed sun-induced vitamins. We set up some bbqs, played a lot of volleyball and ate until the sun went down. Suffice it to say I'm browner than I was last week. Oh and I also have a bad tank-top tan. But I guess that's better than a farmer's tan - although I'm not sure if that's not the same thing.

Yesterday, we hosted a bbq at our place for our church choir. Good times were had by all. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that we had 4 types of pasta salad. Not the most carb friendly meal on earth but I never believed in that anyway. We played a lot of bocce. Surprisingly fun considering we have huge tree roots all over the backyard. It makes for a challenging course.

This morning I returned 3 bags of cans to the recycling depot and collected a whopping $7.90. Dinner is on me tonight! Then I had to take the car in to get fixed as we have a little dent that needs to get smoothed out.

I shall round out today's festivities by getting a much-needed haircut. It's reached the "it's kind of puffy, isn't it?" stage.

That is all.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

OH Canada!

Due to overwhelming demand, I've decide to continue blogging. Okay, it was only one person who mentioned it in passing. I realize it's been like 7 weeks since I've posted anything but it's not because I haven't been doing anything interesting. That's only partly true. I've been too busy in fact! Please feel free to add your own excuses here: __________________

Susan and I had a great Canada Day weekend. We watched Live Free or Die Hard on Friday night (thought it was a great flick - just what a summer movie should be). Then on Saturday we watched Ratatouille. Very funny. The animation was spectacular and frankly all that beautifully drawn food made us hungry so we went to No. 9 afterwards. Not quite Parisian fine dining but satsifying nonetheless.

On Canada Day, I played in a grass v-ball tourney in Steveston. I haven't played v-ball in 14 months and I've NEVER played with the other three team members nor have I ever played reverse 4s. Suffice it to say, we got slaughtered. We had a little impromptu BBQ that night - because really, what's Canada Day without a BBQ?

On Monday, I rested my incredibly sore feet and watched Sicko, the new Michael Moore documentary. Eye opening, thought provoking, and anti-American. A good watch if you happen to like docs.

Last night we played softball and continued our undefeated season with a 16-4 win. Our runs against average has dropped below 5.0. Not bad for a softball team where scores usually look like football scores.

Tonight, we are heading back to the theatre to watch the highly anticipated movie - TRANSFORMERS. I've been waiting for this movie for a couple decades so I'm quite excited. Annoyingly excited as Susan might say. I've read the book already and I've visited every possible site and have seen every possible clip so I've basically screwed myself. I have insulated Susan from all of that so I think she'll enjoy it. I hope I haven't ruined it for myself. Nah!

Susan and I are off to Hong Kong in less than 22 days! We're getting plenty excited for that! The first flight came into Vancouver last Thursday so I went on board to check out the plane. Not bad. Not great. But for $500 each, what did I expect?

Lastly, in the annual battle with the pavement ants, I have been winning on some fronts but losing on others. I think I have found their headquarters though so now I am figuring out how to best destroy them for good. I don't want to return from Hong Kong and find them all over the place so now is the time for decisive action. Thursday night will be ant killing night! Feel free to come and help and please bring the toxic chemical of your choice. MUWHAHAHAHA...

Speaking of Thursday, it's Susan's birthday! And it's my work's annual summer party to be held in the new West Wing of the international terminal building. I think I get my new leather jacket tomorrow too! Cool gift from YVR for our 15th anniversary. Not sure when I'll get to wear it though. It's kinda hot for leather.

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll try to blog more regularly. Seriously. I have to keep me reader happy.

Happy belated Canada Day all!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Blinds, Auctions and Rent

Woo hoo - we got our new blinds installed on Saturday morning! The house looks much more modern now!

Saturday night I emceed our church school's Gala Auction. It went pretty well. Not sure how much we raised but it was a fun night. Kristin, my co-emcee, and I started off the evening with our rendition of "Hey Big Spender" to kick off the festivities. I think it went over pretty well.

On Sunday morning, Susan and I drove down to Seattle to watch Rent. We've never seen it before but we were very pleased to say that it was EXCELLENT. Everyone was very good. The performer who played Roger had a bit of a British accent that sometimes made it difficult to understand him - he sounded very much like Sting. Overall, a very powerful show with some great performances.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Asia's World City

It's Tuesday so it mush be rash-vacation-booking day!!

Yes, that's right, we have booked another trip. We are going to....HONG KONG!

Susan and I booked a flight to Hong Kong on the new budget carrier Oasis. We are leaving at the end of July for 8 days. It should be hot hot hot but we've been to Orlando in August so how bad could it be? We actually took advantage of Oasis' "free ticket giveaway." So you get a free one-way ticket but you have to pay the taxes and fees. Anyway, the bottom line is we are flying to Hong Kong for less than $500 per person all-in. Ridiculously cheap. You can't even fly to Toronto for that much.

I've only visited HK once in my life when I was 8 years old. Susan has never been so we figured this would be a good way to spend our anniversary.

Of course, we'll be visiting Hong Kong Disneyland, which I've heard isn't all that great - but frankly who cares?

There are only 1000 tickets to giveaway so act quickly if you want to go to Hong Kong!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Spiders and raccoons

We went to watch Spider-man 3 over the weekend.

My quick review (WARNING SPOILERS):

Overall I liked the movie, although I don't think it was nearly as good as the first 2 Spider-man flicks. They just tried to cram too much into this one. There were way too many bad guys. Sandman didn't get enough time. The new Goblin got too much time. Venom was an afterthought and was squeezed in purely to please the fans. I don't think they did justice to any of these characters. And by killing off Venom so quickly, they obviously closed the door on any sequel with Venom. Here's hoping for Carnage in Spidey 4, if there is one.

What the heck was up with the Peter Parker corniness? That was just painful to watch. You're telling me that once you reveal Peter Parker's dark side all you get is a dancing fool? Oh man, that was really awful. It's cuteness wore out within 10 seconds. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Should have been left on the cutting room floor.

Jk Simmons as J Jonah Jameson was great again and Bryce Dallas Howard was a refreshing new face as Gwen Stacy. Despite not being a huge new Goblin fan, I did find James Franco's acting to be quite captivating. He really does look like James Dean! Touching death scene. Sad to see him die but glad that story arc has played out. Rosemarry Harris as Aunt May practically steals every scene she's in. As for Kirsten Dunst - sad to say it but she was getting a little bit on my nerves and that's saying a lot from this Bring It On fan. Not her fault - they just didn't really develop her character at all and I think I'm just getting tired of her being the damsel in distress.

Overall I'd give it 7.8/10. Not great but certainly not a bad kick-off to the summer movie season.


So after we cleaned the house on Saturday, we saw a large male raccoon wander into our backyard. No big deal - it has happened before. Burt (yes, we named him) climbed up our Norwegian fir and then promptly climbed down a few minutes later and then scampered over our fence and into the neighbour's yard. A few minutes later a female raccoon (named Roxy) came into the yard. She scampered up our birch tree. She probably went up 6 or 7 stories and then found a comfortable, if not highly precarious, place to sleep! It was hard to see the ball of fur but we think she stayed there for a couple of hours. We assume she has left.

Here is my ode to Burt and Roxy:

Oh Burt and Roxy! Why do you visit us so?
No place to sleep? No place to go?
Has someone left garbage for you to dig through?
I'll have to find them and teach them a thing or two.
I know you are cute but you do have rabies
I have a feeling it won't be long, until we see little raccoon babies.
I can't have a zoo in my backyard, I can't!
Raccoons go away! Here ends my short rant.