Friday, September 13, 2013

As summer wanes

As summer heads into fall I have to wonder where it went. Every year it seems to go so fast and when I look back on it I never seem to have done all the things I wanted to. Mind you the early part of summer was not very good this year with way too much rain and not enough sun to be able to get out and enjoy life. I did manage to get in a trip to Hawaii with my girlfriend and a really neat dive with manta rays while I was there. that was an experience I'll never forget. The rest of the trip was just as good, we got to see a lot of the Big Island and went snorkeling with a sea turtle. Hawaii is a great place to visit but it's darned expensive. One thing I have managed to do to the fullest extent is get out on my bike. Unfortunately I haven't been able to squeeze in any long distance trips yet. There always seems to be something in my life that gets in the way. That's the way it seems to be with my life. I can look back and never seem to have done anything exciting but there is always something to occupy my time in one way or another. And the older I get the more I want to squeeze into the time I have. One of these days I'll get things sorted out and nothing will get in the way of the stuff I really want to do.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The last few days have reinforced the power of Mother Nature in my mind. When she makes up her mind to piss on us there's not a darn thing we can do about it. The city along the river and all of downtown have been evacuated due to flooding and estimates are that about 100,000 people or more have been evacuated. That's about 10% of the total population of the city. It's going to be interesting to see how long it take them to clean up and repair all the damage after the waters go do. I've heard upwards of $400,000,000 dollars so far. The insurance companies are going to be busy. One of the things that really gets me is the number of people who had houses along the river, that are now underwater, bitching about why didn't the city do anything to prevent this. Since any land along the rivers around here is extremely expensive, I'm guessing the people that live in them are all fairly well off. I'm not sure what they expected the city to do. It seems to me that building your house next to a river that is known to flood occasionally is just inviting trouble when it does. Some people are never happy i guess. One thing about all the rain is that it really makes it hard to get out and do anything outside without coming back looking like a soggy tshirt. I'm not adverse to water but it would be nice to see the sun once in a while and have some dry land to play on. I have vacation coming up and I'm at a total loss as to what to do with it. I was thinking about going out to see my son but apparently he is going to be away at a ball tourney for a few days. I'm thinking a camping trip would be a good idea. A bit of rest and relaxation in the wilderness and the possibility of a fresh caught fish dinner sounds very appealing at this point in time. I haven't been out in ages and it would be nice to get away from the city for a while. I'll have to give that more thought and see how the weather shapes up in the next few days.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

It was recently pointed out to me that it's been almost a year since the last entry in my blog. I know I tend to forget things now and then but I didn't realize it had been that long. So here I am to recitfy the situation. I am of the firm opinion that in order to be a politician you must be lacking something in the areas of morals and common sense while at the same time having an overwhelming sense of righteousness and the desire to make sure everyone thinks like you do and believes what you do. More and more I see some of the most nonsensical and/or hypocritical garbage coming out of the mouths of politicians. Maybe it's just me but I really wonder what happened to common sense and caring. Apparently it went out with the dodo bird. I'm not sure what's up with the weather around here but I'm not liking it. A couple of weeks ago I was out riding my bike and enjoying the sunshine. I woke up this morning to a foot of snow on my car. Needless to say I didn't ride the bike into work. I did however get a boot full of snow while trying to clear the car off so I could get out of the driveway. I knew there was a reason I kept my winter tires on this long. I am really looking forward to my vacation this year. My girlfriend and I are heading off to Hawaii for a week. It's the first time either of us have ever been there so it should be an experience. One of the highlights of the trip will be a dive that I am doing. It is going to be a night dive to watch the manta rays feeding. I guess they get a bunch of divers on the bottom with lights that they all shine upward to attract the phytoplankton. The concentration of plankton attracts the manta rays who proceed to chow down on the organic buffet. If it's as I expect it to be it should be an amazing dive and I hope to be able to get some video of it with my gopro. So with another day alone at work, anyone feel like bringing me some donuts? I'll take you for a ride in the sim. :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A night at work

So here I am on night shift. The guy who is supposed to be on shift with me called in sick before I got here so it looks like i'm going to be alone tonight. Some people might think me strange but I actually prefer it this way. And not because I can slack off or something, I actually get more accomplished on a night shift when I'm alone than when I have a crew with me. Less babysitting and more actual work I guess. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do tonight though. All the usual work has been taken care off and other than some bureaucratic paperwork there isn't a whole lot of actual required work to take care of. I guess it means I'll be doing some research tonight. My son arrived from Victoria just before supper tonight. I immediately dragged him over to my brothers place for supper where the family was gathered to celebrate my moms and nieces birthdays. Neither of which are actually on this date but hey, whats a few days among family. It will be good to spend a couple of days with him before he has to head out again. We are planning a couple of rounds of golf which should be fun. The boys will take care of him tonight while I'm at work. The radio station has just played the same song I've already heard twice today. It often amazes me that with all the possible songs out there they tend to play the same ones again and again with the odd new one tossed in there somewhere. The stations that play todays music are the worst offenders but even the ones that play odler music are guilty. What happened to variety??

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Almost there

Well it's now almost mid March and how time has flown. I'm really looking forward to my upcoming trip. For those who don't know I am heading off to Okinawa at the end of the month to visit my daughter and her husband. I've never been to Japan before so this will be an interesting experience.

As a christmas present last year they offered to pay for me to get my Scuba certification so I could go diving with them while I was there. I only have 2 more dives to go and I'll be finished that. I have to make my way out to Victoria on Thursday to get the last couple of dives in. So far it's been a hoot and I can see why they like it so much.

The weather is warming up nicely around here and I can see spring is just around the corner. It's making me anxious to get my bike on the road. Last year sucked because summer came so late so I'm hoping this year will be better and I can get out riding earlier. I have a couple of good trips planned that will be fun if I can pull them off. It would be nice to have someone to ride with but if not I'll go alone.

This daylight savings thing screwed me up this morning. I set my alarm for the time I thought I would have to get up and sure enough the alarm went off just when I figured it would. The only problem was that I didn't know my alarm clock would automatically adjust for DST and I ended up awake an hour earlier than I needed to be. Of course there is no chance that I will remember this next year and I'll do the same thing. I did manage to get all the other clocks in the house switched over though so I won't be confused when I get home tonight.

I need a cup of tea now. All this typing has amde me thirsty. ;)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I made a bet

I made a bet with myself that I could remember to post something on my blog for 7 days in a row. While I'm at work today can easily remember every time I visit the MOH forum it won't be so easy when i'm at home and tend to forget about such things.

The hard part here is going to be finding something worthwhile to talk about as I generally consider life to be rather uninteresting. However here goes.

I have a trip booked to visit my daughter in Okinawa at the end of March. Nikki and her husband have recently taken up scuba diving and have liked it so much that they have started to invest in all the necessary equipment, which is not cheap. I have always wanted to give it a try but never really been in a position to do so. One of my childhood ambitions was to become a Marine Biologist because I thought I would get to make like Jacques Cousteau.

So while I was chatting with my daughters husband a while back he told me that he had an idea for a christmas present for to surprise Nikki. He offered to pay for scuba lessons for me so I could get qualified before I went over for my visit so I could surprise her and go diving with them. Now that sounds like a great idea to me and I am now in the process of taking the course to become a certified open water scuba diver. I haven't yet made it into the pool as I have to do the study and classroom work first but I am really looking forward to it. Once I complete the portion of the course here I'll be heading out to Victoria before my trip to Japan to complete the open water portion and get my certification.

This should open up a whole new area for exploration and may make a vacation to the Carribean a bit more likely.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Alive and kicking

I have a habit of forgetting about things like blogs and email and such. I finally logged in here after my last visit in July and found 2 comments that needed to be moderated. Go figure. Better late than never I guess. I need to stop in here more often. I could never make it a serious blogger at this rate.

Christmas is getting closer and I am in a quandry as to what to get a couple of members of my family for presents. This is a struggle every year. I do not have a creative mind and coming up with ideas for presents is akin to trying to understand the formulas behind quantem mechanics. I also have to fill a stocking for my brother, which should be fun. Stockings are eay though and I have some truely evil ideas. I'll have to think about the presents while I sit here at work today.

I did see one item at Canadian Tire that I almost picked up for someone. A gift package containing a can of WD-40 and roll of duct tape. Someone finally figured out the ultimate fixit present for every handyman.

I have always gotten a kick out of watching American politics any time an election is coming up. This time around is no different. It amazes me how political figures can spend more time disparaging their opponents instead of focusing on the issues and trying to find solutions to the problems facing the country. I guess though, considering the publics fascination with scandals and such, they are just catering to the people that are going to be voting. I suspect an honest, ethical politician would never get elected. It's going to be interesting to watch the rhetoric ramp up as the election gets closer.

Winter in Calgary is always a scary time for a driver. A little bit of snow and people forget how to drive. While the majority of people slow down and take it easy there are always those who continue on like it's a nice summer day. The other day it had snowed overnight and I passed one spot where there were 4 cars in the ditch within a 200 meter stretch of road. From look of things none of them were related to each other. I'm not sure what these people were doing to end up in the ditch because the road wasn't in bad condition.

And on the subject of drivers, why is it so hard to understand the concept of a merge lane? Every day I end up behind someone who is trying to merge onto a busy major highway where the traffic is moving at about 100 kph. These people usually try and merge onto the highway at a speed about 20 kph lower than the traffic and end up almost causing accidents as a result. I have even had people stop dead at the end of the merge lane waiting for a break in the traffic before they would move. Do these people understand how much danger they are placing themselves and other people in? Apparently not because they still do it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Another day

Here I am at work, another weekend sitting at my desk. Today was a bit different though in that I had the pleasure of a visit from from an online friend of mine, Transfrmr as he is known to denizens of the Museum of Hoaxes forum.

As he had some time off and I had some spare time in the simulator I had invited him in for the opportunity to go for a ride. Being the self-professed alpha geek that he is he jumped at the chance. So I took him in and we flew around for over an hour getting the experience of what it is like to be a pilot in a B-737 aircraft. Going from the smile on his face afterward I'm pretty sure he enjoyed the experience.

It was great to finally meet up with someone from the forum as it is my goal to one day meet up with as many of my online friends as I possibly can. Sometimes I find the friendships I make online are in some ways stronger than the friendships I have offline. Maybe it's in getting the chance to chat with people and interact without the visual cues but there is something different. One of these days I'll sit down and give it some serious though.

For now though here are a couple of pictures from his visit. Proof that Gray really does exist. :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall again

This summer has been somewhat eventful for me and somewhat nondescript at the same time. I managed to have a great vacation in Gatlinburg , TN and completed my mission of visiting every state park in Kentucky. Actually that one was my girlfriends mission, I just accompanied her during her travels, it was a lot of fun nonetheless.

I also bought a new motorcycle which, I am hoping will offer me the opportunity to pack up and do some long distance cruising when the urge strikes me. I really enjoy the bike and it's a whole different feeling when I'm heading down the road to somewhere.

On the other hand the summer has been rather blah, mainly because of the weather. This seemed like one of those summers where it just never got to the point where I could call it a proper summer. It was more like a warmer than usual spring, complete with an overabundance of rain. The rather persistant rain really put a damper on a lot of outdoor stuff that I had planned to do this year. No camping for this kid.

Fortunately fall has arrived and the weather has been gorgeous for most of September and October. It really makes me wonder about the weather patterns around this place.

So my daughter is getting married in December before christmas. She sprung this one on me back in July and I have been wondering about her sanity ever since. I have to admit I do like the guy she is marrying and she certainly could have done a lot worse. The thing that gets me is that this is a girl who always swore that she would never get married and had no desire to have kids. Now she is telling me that she is feeling the urge and wants a family of her own. I have always wanted grandkids and since my son doesn't seem to be inclined to do anything about it I have pinned my hopes on my daughter. Now that she is getting married I guess I might have something to look forward to in the future.

I do have some trepidation about her marriage though. While she adamantly states that she is sure that this is what she wants the rest of us wonder about it. It just seems to unlike her so I suppose it's only natural to wonder a bit. I am happy for her though and since she is my baby, will always be behind her.

Last weekend my son and I went down to Palm Springs on a golf getaway. He has never been down to the States and had no idea what to expect. I had told him that I would take him down one day so we could do some male bonding and have a couple of rounds of golf at the time. In the end we had a wonderful trip. The golf was a lot of fun and we spent a lot of time exploring the place and taking in the sights. By the end of the trip Steve was ready to move down there. I guess that means he enjoyed himself. I told him we would probably do it again sometime if all went well.

Now christmas is sneaking up on me and I have to start considering presents for the family. As usual I have no idea what to get anyone. This is the part I hate about the holiday season. l never have any good ideas. It's going to be a lot of last minute shopping again. I'm open to suggestions. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Work and more

Once again vacation is over for the time being and I'm back at work. Not that I want to be but until I find someone to pay the bills or win the lottery I'm stuck with it. The job presents some unique challenges for me, such as how to motivate myself to stay awake when everything is running smoothly and there is nothing to do. I've found that one can only stare at a computer screen for so long before ones head approaches terminal velocity immediately prior to it making contact with the keyboard. Good thing it's the weekend and there's no one else around.

I'm still waiting for summer to appear in this area. It has been teasing me for a couple of months now but hasn't fully made an entrance. It seems every time I'm off shift the weather is more fall or spring like than summer. Of course when I'm on shift and stuck inside for 12 hrs a day the weather is beautiful outside. Conversely during the winter I love my job because I never have to step outside while I'm at work.

It never fails to amaze me how everyone complains about politicians but every election the same ones seem to get back into power. If you don't like them don't vote for them. Seems simple to me. If you don't have enough choices then make your own, form a new party. If you make sense to people they might actually have the guts to vote for you.