Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Feed regularly

My Mom was concerned that the cat wouldn't have enough foods with all the mousies sleeping, so she put food in a dish that's nearly the size of the litter box. The dish in front is the normal foods bowl.

The cat just sat there and looked at it with an *aroo?*. I'm sure she was thinking something along the lines of:

"What the heck am I supposed to do with that?!?" or...
"Buffet? I do not eat buffet... I order!" or...
"I hope this isn't my human's way of telling me they are bringing a cheetah home... cause if so, we're gonna to need a bigger litter box too!"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I've had the hiccups three times in the last two days. Not just cute little ones either, no... these were like an upset to the delicate inter-dimensional pressure balance, via a tear in the space time continuum... and by space time continuum I mean diaphragm.

Mom laughed at me, because she's sensitive like that. I don't think she fully grasped the seriousness of the situation... what if I'd been hungry!?!

Looking forward

I don't know what it is, but I just feel "mer"... with a half-hearted shoulder shrug.

I've just got that end of a visit type feeling, like when it's been so great visiting a friend that you're sad knowing you have to leave soon. The kind where you don't enjoy Sunday as much because you know you're going to have to get up early on Monday...

I think maybe too it's that end of the year time when you look back, and forget all the things you filled your year up with and go "*sigh* I didn't accomplish anything this year..."

I say this only because it recently happened to me. I was lamenting all the things I didn't do this year. Like become president, take over the world... or launch my stuntman career... Until it was pointed out to me that "Dude you've been on a boat for three months". And prior to that I was getting ready to be on a boat... so yes 'Go sailing and live on a boat - check!'

This lack of accomplishment is similar to but not to be confused with tax season, when you see how much the government thinks you made compared with your bank account balance... and wonder idly what exactly you spent all that money on?

So as the New Year is symbolic of adventures waiting just around the corner, I am putting down my suitcase of guilt for things left undone and I am going to put all my energy into doing cool things again this year. I want to focus a little bit more on my creative side, with any luck I'll something worthy of posting... to be honest you'll probably see it all anyways whether it's worthy or not ;)

I must say though it has been a great incentive keeping our recent sailing adventures updated on here and I am honored by how many of you have taken the time to respond to me via comments and emails.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Everyone has their Christmas traditions, sometimes you do something one year... and then again, until one Christmas you can't remember not doing it like that. This year is the first year that all the kids haven't been home... it was a lot quieter for lack of a better word, and I almost don't want to admit it, but I missed my middle brother ;o)

So just in case you were thinking you might miss us a little bit too, I've compiled some of the crazy family traditions that we do every year that are both a comfort and a curse... like eating too much turkey, it tastes soooo good until your fat pants don't fit... I never learn.

Well Ben and I set up the tree, and managed not to lose any blood or eyeballs to the vindictive branches. As usual we forgot to put the tinsel and beads on after the lights and had to squish it in and around the decorations already on the tree...

The majority of the wrapping was done the night before
Mom and I both settled in on the floor
"a little somthin' somethin' " some giggles and laughs

its amazing how quickly that makes the time pass

Wrapping paper has always been reused
favorite patterns looking slightly abused

they've been wrapped and reopened so many times
its hard to tell which presents are mine

All the stockings are hung by the chimney with care...
then delivered to our bedside when we're not aware
When we woke at five, we all had to wait
till we'd solved all our puzzles or it turned eight!

Now that we're older it's not so bad
the only one getting up early is Dad
Ben, Mom and I have been staying up late
So it was okay not starting till after eight

Then we have to wake Mom up, and wait while she pees
get a pictures on the stairs, in our jammies
we all used to fit, stockings and all on one stair
now its a squish to get two of us in there

After the presents come pancakes, made by Dad
There is bacon, peaches and whip cream to be had
Special yummy syrups warmed up of course
by the time we get started we could eat a horse

Traditional puzzle, a wizard this year
Ben hid the last piece so I flicked his ear
Watching the Grinch after turkey on the couch
We all nodded off with nary a belch

So if you think you missed the excitement, have no fear
Nobody bled on the carpet... this year ;)

Friday, December 24, 2010

I've been dreaming of a white Christmas...

But it looks like it will be another damp Christmas with a chance of flooding here on the Wet Coast... in fact I'm starting to think it's a really good idea that we have a boat in the front yard.

It's been raining for the 12 days of Christmas, not particularly hard but it's been relentless. There are whirlpools forming. Seriously.

This is how it starts... first a little whirlpool and then next thing you know half of Saskatchewan is under water!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are safe and sound, surrounded by loved one and warm fuzzies!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Because that's what I've always done...


I'm sorting through and purging 10+ years worth of credit card and bank statements and assorted pieces of associated papers because I was under the impression you should keep them... the trouble is I had no idea *what* you were supposed to keep them for.

This evening my Mom helped me figure out what's important(ish) and what I don't need at all... I'm in the process of purging, it's tedious, but surprisingly uplifting!


My Mom has amazingly wonderful girlfriends, I can't imagine what it would be like to lose any of my best friends. I hope that they know, they're not allowed to leave my life just yet.

Over the past week I've been there in the background for my Mom, and occasionally in the spotlight... but it's given me a unique place from which to watch the coming and goings.

It has been incredible to watch the group of women some of whom were friends through my Auntie Helen, support each other, and come together. There have been so many phone calls, words of comfort and support and offers for help with all kinds of skill sets.

Although I will not be able to stay long after Christmas, it's good to know I'll be leaving her with many helping hands.


Meet Meg and Meg, they're both nuts!

Hehe I didn't know this is what Nutmeg looked like on the outside, let alone that it looks like brains on the inside how cool is that?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nom nom nom

In Soviet Russia you don't eat cheese... cheese eats you!

RAWWWRR! Dinosaur cheese! Aren't these wicked?!?! *grins* Kids these days have no idea how good they've got it... ;)

(My Aunt Shirly gave me these though, she's cool like that)

Merry Christmas to me!

Ben just brought me Timmy's!

Monday, December 20, 2010

My good deed for the day Christmas

I went for a run this morning, and somehow or other I ended up running down to the old boat ramp rather than down the trail behind our house... it wasn't exactly a conscious decision.

As usual I had impeccable timing. I arrived at the boat ramp just after an older fellow had parked on it, boat on trailer. There was driftwood all over the place, but of course there was one waterlogged log completely spanning the road and totally in the way.

We started chatting as I caught my breath and he told me he was trying to get to Mudge Is. to pick up Christmas decorations. I began to help him clear the driftwood out of the way. Now I know I'm not exactly huge, but why is it that everyone thinks I'm going to hurt myself if I even think about doing anything physical? Do I look like a maiden in distress?!?! Sheesh! ;)

The small stuff was easy, but the long log proved to be much more difficult... But somehow between the two of us chatting and levering, the ocean drift caught it and with one final push it was off the ramp and swinging out of the way.

We introduced ourselves, and my new friend John thanked me for my help saying he would never have managed it on his own... but as I jogged home I thought to myself how easy it had seemed with both of us.

It's kinda cool how much easier things like that seem to go when you're working on it with someone else.

Epic roadtrip

Kentucky... far enough south they have a cool accent, where they can teach you the proper use of "y'all" and "all y'all" and well yeah...this sign says some of it, I was told it was too cold to go catfish noodling... maybe next time.

Where toques are called toboggans... and yes they are aware that a toboggan is a sled... *shrugs* Go figure. The land of Wildcat blue where basketball is as sacred as hockey is to Canadians... Where the game-time rituals would get you committed in most places, and the outcome is totally dependent on how many fans are giving the right advice amongst the cheers and the curses. This is where I was introduced to Ale8 a sparkling addictive pop with higher consumption stats than 'fridge beer'... It ranks right up there as one of the first things requested when being picked up from the airport.

Road trip to Columbus... where the skies opened up, and the angels sang... THEY HAVE TIMMY'S!!!!! *happy dance* <--- This doesn't even begin to describe how excited I was after not having Timmy's for 3 months. In fact on the way to Columbus *somebody* reset Trixie (the gps) for the nearest Timmy's... Leaving Timmy's with my medium double double (the equivalent of our large) a Canadian Maple with a huge grin on my face, I was described as a six year old leaving the candy store.

Roadtrip to St. Louis, the Gateway to the West. Land of the super huge "Ooooh SHINY!" arch *smiles*

Do you know what was even better than the arch though?!? My new friends took us to the City Museum... now I know you're thinking "Dude... Seriously? Another museum?" Well let me tell you, this isn't any ordinary museum... this is the *coolest* museum I've ever been to in my entire life! For real. It's like non-nightmarish Tim Burton cool!

It's so wicked you can touch practically everything... none of this walking around just reading, you can climb on stuff! There's an entire floor with different bits of stonework like the gargoyles from old buildings that were being torn down...

There's a 10 story slide, which I tested of course, and it was awesome! (I was a little dizzy at the bottom though) It's one of those spirally chutes you can see...

And an enchanted caves section *grins* with lights and water fountains and tunnels... oooh and basically giant welded slinkys you can climb through!

Everywhere you look large quantities of parts that were going to be scrapped have been turned into something cool, and worked into the surroundings in an artistic way. There are columns covered in tiny gears, filled with marbles... hanging scraps of fiberglass cloth, wall paneling that upon closer inspection are old printing plates!

A huge playground indoors and outdoors that is the perfect size for big kids AND little kids, with a bonfire for the parents... so even when it's minus 3, you can still play outside! There are slides, an airplane, a really for real tower... like from a castle! There's even more stuff on the roof, including a bus that HANGS OVER THE EDGE!

Unfortunately the roof and the aquarium were closed... so I'm going to have to go back and check it out in the summertime, I'm pretty sure there are some sections I missed too ;)

Sporadic spontaneous roadtrip!

*smiles* so I got a few "Kentucky?!?" type emails ranging from pointing out my lack of geography skills (I now know that Kentucky most certainly is *not* on the coast) to asking if I'd finally jumped ship and abandoned my father. I'm not going to lie, the thought occurred to me.

But seriously, I had so much fun. I can fully admit to this now that I'm home, but I flew half way across the *another* country to meet up with some people I met... on 'the internet'. I uh, told my father before he flew home that I was visiting some friends I met at University... Heh sorry Dad, I just didn't want you to have a stroke in the States, health-care is expensive down there ;)

It was the coolest thing, I actually met people in 3 different states, and it was like I was meeting up with old friends I hadn't seen in year. I will not bore you with the details of our visits, but I found myself in comfortable company... talking and dancing in the living-room into the wee hours of the morning.

There are people who cross our paths, who against all odds, catch our attention... Each of them enriching our lives, leaving us a little better than when they found us... if we let them.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Stop that truck!

Nothing says "Holiday Spirit" like a giant candle stuck to the front of your truck, especially when it looks like it's trying to slow your truck down.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

In Honor of an Incredible Woman

I read the following at the memorial service for one of my Mom's best friends today. I made it all the way through *proud smile* even if everyone else didn't ;)

"We all have families that we are born into, but sometimes families change, and we have to build our own."

Helen has always been 'Auntie Helen' in my life.

In fact she's been a part of our lives so long, that when my little brother was still smaller than me (I don't even outweigh him anymore) he lost a pair of brand new, itty bitty socks at her house... we'd only been there for a quick visit and so we finally blamed it on the dog... Keeley would eat *anything*...

Last week, my Mom found one of those socks in the record collection.

Auntie Helen taught me many things, among them:

The importance of tea time with friends, with honey of course.

That cats are people too, and that they choose their owners and that dogs, even when they lick the walls and eat egg shells need to be loved.

That even though you may not be able to *do* something to fix a problem, you must never underestimate the power of your voice.

That you need to fight for what you believe in, be it human rights, the environment, or the potential in someone the world has overlooked.

That you're never too old to dress up like a clown and give away smiles... dressed up or not, she always had free smiles and the best hugs.

Somehow she taught me the healing properties in music, even if you know you're not very good at it.
I sing because its good for the soul.
Not because it's good for anyone around me.

The neatest thing I learned about music though, is that even when a single voice is silenced in a harmony... although the resulting chorus will never be the same again...

Each of the remaining voices can come together in a new harmony honoring all those that have come before them by never being silenced.


People change, friends grow together and apart, 'forever friends' meet that special someone... grow up... get married... have kids. There is nothing to mark the end of an era... but at some point it just happens. One day you find you can't call them up at 3am with a scraped heart, because you need someone to sit in the waiting room with you while it mends.

Then you find out that they're in the inner waiting room, and they've been there all along... and they couldn't find the words to tell you that they needed you to sit with them.

Stuff with a capital *uff*

December 16th

I find it interesting, that many of the things we guard so closely as private in our living lives are bared wide open in death. Intimate details are written up honoring our accomplishments, and yet one would hope that our closest friends already knew our accomplishments before we died.

What would you want to be able to change, if you knew that tomorrow your closest friends would be up to their waist in your internal affairs? Cleaning... trying to figure out what's worth keeping and what isn't, going through everything you've kept, sorting it into garbage, keepsakes and stuff that might be worth something on ebay.

How many things do we keep that really, aren't worth the investment. Okay sure there are clothes, those keep you from getting arrested. And there's sports equipment... I'll admit I'm a little biased in this department. But then there are books, and CD's and just stuff. Okay really, it's all just stuff... Sometimes it seems we keep it because that's what you're supposed to do. Your stuff starts to define who you are, and before you know it you need your stuff to tell people about you.

What you have, the things in your life aren't nearly as important as what you take from them, and how you put it all back together. I want to be the collection of things that make me a better person, without having to carry everything around with me, ever in fear of losing myself.

Don't wear red

December 15th

We've taken up the time honored, tradition known as the waving of the death certificate. Now we watch the bulls dance, and while keeping time... do our best to weave amongst them, with the sole purpose of making it out the other side unscathed.

Catching up

I need to apologize for my lack of posts this week... I'm still working on compiling the wicked time I had on my sporadic side trip to Kentucky, Columbus and St. Louis. Unfortunately upon arriving home I found out that one of my Mom's best friends had passed away.

My youngest brother was finishing up exams this week, and to not distract him with something he can't change we didn't tell him. This meant that I couldn't post anything about it... I had no idea how hard it would be... here they are, they have been distracting me from finishing my road trip awesomness.

December 13th - It was a 4 house seagull day today, don't leave the house without an umbrella.

I chauferred my Mom around today while she attempted to unravel the tangled mess of executorship. Being an innocent bystander gave me a chance to observe the proceedings... and all I could think the entire time was, that there has got to be a better way to do this.

I mean of all the things in life, only death and taxes are certain. So why on earth is it so damn complicated when someone dies? This should practically be an art form by now.

We met with a nice lady at the funeral home, and pre-filled some of the paperwork out. Discovered that not only do you pay extra on flights if you are over-wide, you also have to pay extra to be cremated. Seriously go figure. Apparently they have to order the cardboard tray in special from Nigeria, and each one is hand made by monkeys that were trained as astronauts. They must be, because what else would account for a cardboard tray costing $400 more for the supersize?

After that we talked to the bank and effectively established that we're stuck in a holding pattern until the cause of death has been declared by the coroner... who it sounds like is avoiding the autopsy and checking with her doctor to establish if there is reasonable assumption that it could be 'natural causes'.

Basically it goes like this, the funeral place wants to cremate asap... however they also want to be paid up front. While they can bill the deceased person's bank directly, the executor still needs to check that there are enough funds to cover the expenses. The bank will not tell you yea or nay until they have an officially dead dead certificate, and the funeral place can't give you the officially dead dead certificate until the coroner has confirmed that the person is dead dead, not just mostly dead... and declared the time and cause of death.

So "hurry up and wait".

Friday, December 17, 2010

The k is silent

My friend and I were chatting the other night, and well this is what happens when I'm tired... my fingers type faster than I can think.

Her: sheesh..i cant even type tonight..who confuses no and know? lol
Me: I didn't knowtice
Her: ass lol

Apparently my subconscious typing committee has some sharp witty writers on staff.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Days since the last injury?

Don't worry, we haven't had to reset the days since last injury *yet*

If we were a job site, we would have been shut down, or our union would have gone on strike. Luckily though, we are responsible for our own decisions, and we are still free to make our own mistakes.

We added two more sections to the HAM radio antenna tower today! Yay us! *happy dance*

The view from up top was wicked, I could see practically the whole property! (can't wait to put up the next section ;) Don't worry I was wearing a harness... okay, SO it wasn't always clipped on to something, but I was being careful. While I didn't need any of the extra bolts Dad gave me, he did put a hardhat on after I dropped the 3/4" wrench... although he was giving the base of the tower a fairly wide berth.

It was pretty neat though, each stable section of the tower is used along with a gin pole to raise the next section of the tower to where it can be bolted into place. Then you slide the gin pole up and wash, rinse, repeat. It's almost like picking yourself up by your own bootstraps... only not quite. The whole process is rather ingenious though, allowing two people to put up a fairly huge tower using mostly rope, without anything complicated like a crane or helicopter. Although using a helicopter would be at least +10 awesomesauce.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baby snuggles

So I'm almost a full month behind on this one, but Congratulations to two dear friends of mine on their new baby girl Adelaide.

The other day I got some quality baby snuggle time... the sweet smell of brand new baby, her chubby little cheek squishing itself, those perfect little fingers a fraction of the size of mine that wrapped around my thumb and squeezed my heart.

There's something wonderful about holding a baby asleep in your arms, thanks for letting me borrow a little bit of that.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sounds like home

Just listening to the sound of torrential downpour on the skylight... there's nothing else in the world that sounds like that.

Monday, December 13, 2010

How to stress out Mom 101

While talking to Dad on the phone, cause him to say: "The car did what?!?" with a horrified look on his face.

I'd just like to note that he was not talking to me this time *smug look*


Okay so while I'm one of those people that feels if you are going to eat something, eat the good stuff... no fat free syrup, or light mayo... but then there are label designers like this:

So I know what the little icon means... but is it a fat free food or not? I'm so confused...

Betcha didn't know...

There is a subtle difference between naked, and nekkid.

Naked means you have no clothes on...
Nekkid means you have no clothes on... and you's up to somethin'!

Just one of the many things I learned in Kentucky ;)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Taking the long way home

Choosing the lesser of multiple evils, I made it home safe and sound... I swear that do-do-doodle-doodle-do-do-do-do is the sound track to my life sometimes...

I had enough time in between flights to find my next departure gate without having to run, I even had time to eat a couple times - which is always important in my world ;)

Most of the terminals looked the same, but Vegas had to be distinctive, it had slot machines in the airport!

Riddle me this

Why is it that no matter how you pack, whatever it is that you're looking for is the last thing you find?!?!

Way better than airing the dirty laundry

Coming back from 3 months at sea and a week of roadtripping around the states I have to do laundry worse than a student with a full course load during exams before Christmas. Oh that's right, it is before Christmas...

Not having to do laundry right away... and having clean socks and panties waiting for me at home cause Mom did the remnants of my dirty laundry before I left?

Totally rocks, thanks Mom!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Wrap up take 3

"There's no thrill in easy sailing when the skies are clear and blue. There's no joy in merely doing things which anyone can do. But there is some satisfaction that is mighty sweet to take. When you reach a destination that you never thought you'd make"

Although we've reached the end of this trip, and we've certainly reached a destination we never thought we'd make... especially since we weren't intending on heading this way... I find myself not even the least bit disappointed. I know it sounds a little crazy, and maybe I am... okay I'm sure you know that I am by now. But I know that the next adventure is just around the corner, and whether it comes around as a continuation of this trip... or something completely unexpected, I'm ready to try it!

I didn't know what to expect when I started this trip 4 months ago. But really the awesomness of it all has blown every preconceived idea I had out of the water. I've met so many wonderfully kind people, that they've restored my faith in humankind, and that all in all people are good.

I've seen some of the amazing things that old sailors tell tall tales about... and enough to remind me how little I really am in this beautiful universe of ours. But you know what's best of all? I got to do it all with my Dad. Because the further you go from home, the more I can see it's people that make my life special.

Thanks Dad it's been a blast!

Just to make it interesting

Things are always so boring in my life *rolls eyes* but just to make it interesting booking my flight to Kentucky sure pulled out all the stops.

I ended up drinking Coke in McDonalds to use the wifis...

Found a flight with United, and made it as far as the billing address... you see I have a Canadian credit card, which really wouldn't make any difference in the world except that it is associated with a Canadian address. Besides having a postal code instead of a zip code my province doesn't show up in the list of states.

No big deal, I'll just phone it in... oh right, automated voice activated system... pretty cool actually... Oh you want the 5 digits for my zip code? I know you're sorry that doesn't match what you're expecting... you're going to transfer me to a reservations associate? That would be great thanks.

Hi Cody, yes I'm trying to book a flight... yes those are the correct details... (wow your phone system *actually* transfers the details?!?) I'm trying to book it with a Canadian credit card. No, no it's okay it's not your fault your program wont do international bookings... You can transfer me to the international reservations? Great, thanks.

Hello, yes I'm trying to book a flight... from San Diego to Lexington Kentucky. On December 3rd. Yep, that's fine. Sorry you're going to have to charge me an admin fee for booking with your airline even though I can't do it online?

She says: Have you tried booking on our Canadian site?

Me: Even though I'm flying between two American cities?

I do need to interject here, that she was very nice and absolutely brilliant. She even offered to connect me to the internet reservations department so I could ask them. I declined figuring that if I couldn't find the United airways canadian site I deserved to go through the whole ordeal again.

One guessed url later I was filling in my flight plan details for the umpteenth time, only to have my laptop battery warning pop up. Luckily by this point I already knew what to fill in, and had all my details handy. With two percent remaining before my laptop goes into automatic hibernation I got the confirmation email. Boo yah!

*phew* Who needs sky diving when you can have this much excitement booking a plane ticket?!?! You don't even have to leave the comfort of McDonalds.

PS McDonalds, if you're going to advertise the free wifis you need more electrical outlets. One is not enough, luckily there was a nice lady who shared her table with me so I could sit close enough to plug in. I returned the favour, and helped her out with nerd advice on increasing the font size of her hotel confirmation number.

See, us nerds come in handy from time to time... just keep that in mind.

Wrap up take 2

Continuing from take 1, Dad found a marina with relatively decent moorage fees. Translation: he didn't have to leave his first born as a collateral *phew*. We headed over, and went through the song and dance of paperwork and the approval process to be able to park the boat here for a few months, and started packing.

It was such an oddly disjointed feeling, to go from full ahead to Mexico... to Stop. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. I felt like I'd been driving, forgot to gear down and was suddenly headed down a steep hill rapidly approaching freefall velocity... suddenly I was floating and I'd forgotten how to drive a spaceship.

There were so many things to do, and too many things to pack... and while we knew there were decently priced flights for Dad to get home, I still hadn't found and booked my flight, there was just enough internet connection to get my email, but not enough to load an airline reservations page. Oh right and the cell phone was out of minutes again.

For the first time in a very long time I questioned my own conviction that "It'll all work out, it always does... One way or another, even if it's not the way you thought it will. It'll work out."

Slowly the jigsaw puzzle we've been living in was taken apart, things migrated from one end of the boat to the other... some to be stored, others to be packed... Then everything started to fall into place, kachink, kachink... *kachunk*

I entered the mental space usually reserved for the brief period of time right before exams, one I affectionately refer to as the calm before the storm. The space reserved for doing, when all the clutter and inconsequential things have been swept aside. When anything you have no control over is ignored, and you decide that you're going to try your best.


Note to self: Don't read/respond to email while cooking...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wrap up take 1

Little did I realize how hard this would be to articulate, I promised I'd let you know... so I'm going to do my best. Bear with me.

A mere few days ago, as in Sunday we were getting everything wrapped up to depart down to Mexico. When suddenly Dad hit the bottom of his boat spending bank account. It is slightly ironic that the joke thusfar has been "So you're not coming home until you run out of money?" Heh. We laughed at that a few times, but apparenlty yes, this is somewhat the case. ;)

At that point we sat down and evaluated all the options. Ha surely I jest! Yeah you're right... it was more like a Roman noble's son who just learned how to drive his sport chariot Omg! Gallop gallop screech... "Outta my way!" direction change Omg! Gallop gallop JUMP! *clatter*...

We called Mom on Skype and talked, concluding it with her giving Dad a cash transfusion asap and us heading to La Paz Mexico. By the time we'd gotten off Skype with her things had changed again.

From that point on everything was a blur of ideas, should do's and don't wanna's, with a well balanced murcurial plan on the side. We took into consideration that to get there and then leave before Christmas flights got crazy expensive we'd have two weeks... and with something in the engine/transmission sounding kind of funny, we decided that realistically it just wasn't going to happen.

We trudged off in search of a Starbucks, with their free wifis and went to it... Numerous plans flew in, and out the window, but eventually we concluded that we should moor the boat here... Getting down to Mexico would take time and money, and if we were only going as far as La Paz we might as well hold off for now.

Somewhere along the way I got this crazy whispering spark of an idea. Since I'm already down here, and I still have some time before I'm supposed to be back at work again... I should go visit my friends on the east coast of the United States and twist their arm into doing a roadtrip. I'm not exactly sure the moment it happened, but that was that, I decided I was going to Kentucky!

Goddess of the Wifis

I swear there must be a floating Google map bubble over my head that says:

Yes, I can fix your computer.

I'm not even kidding you, I was sitting in Starbucks feverishly hunched over my computer searching for flight info, transit info and marina numbers... and this guy comes over and says something along the lines of:

"Excuse me? Do you know how to set up the wifis?"

*gopher under an eagle shadow* ... train thought track DERAILED ... smooth switch to IT train ... "Yes I probably can, do you have it turned on?"

New computer, fresh out of the box, luckily for me it was preconfigured to detect 'the wifis' so all I had to do was tell him which profile to set it up as... *buffs fingernails*

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rico... status report

I haven't figured out how to tell you about all the crazy that has unfolded during the last two days. When I do sort it out, you'll be the first to know. I promise

I'll leave you with this though,

I'm going to Kentucky!

Sam out.

It is more important who you're with

It's not the places and things we grew up with that hold our memories...
It's the close friends and loved ones who made them with us that do.

Don't go back to the places from your childhood to find yourself,
instead go find the people holding all the little pieces of you.


We did a couple nights in Glorietta Bay, anchored just off the golf course... I'm not going to lie, it makes me a little nervous actually, especially if those people golf anything like I do.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Arms of steel

Note to self... never arm wrestle with a sail maker or a bosun.

I was redoing a the splicing of an eye into our new main halyard today, because yesterdays didn't work... and I'm stubborn like that. My hands and forearms are worn right out.

One ping, one ping only

"Let me get this straight you're sailing down the coast and you want to go look at boats while you're here?"

Yep we sure do!

Took a gander through the maritime museum here. It's fairly comprehensive, not only can you walk around and touch *everything* ...well except you can't climb the rigging... which to tell you the truth I really really wanted to. They also have museum type displays that tell you all kinds of interesting things!

The main attraction is the Star of India, the oldest iron hull vessel of its kind still capable of sailing. She's very impressive, and the video footage they have of her restored maiden voyage is awe inspiring. It took many hours, and many skills, some so old that they called guys out of retirement to come do. She looked magestic in among all the hundreds of thousands of sailboats dotting the bay that turned out for the event. Half a million people were there to witness it!

I also got to tour a Soviet Submarine, and it was the one used in the movie Red October (I think)! They sure have a lot of pipes and wires and knobs and levers everywhere. There was more room than I thought there would be, but I imagine once you put more than one person inside you'd feel cramped pretty quickly. My favorite part was the torpedo tubes... yep I fit *grins*

They have a special hatch that if the sub gets stuck you can let it loose from the inside and it will float up to the surface with a rope attached so rescuers can find the sub. In an emergency there's a hatch they can use where the guy gets in, they lock it, flood it and then he can climb up the ladder and out the outter hatch and slowly up the rope to the surface... if you're really desperate a torpedo tube can also be used. Of course both of those only work if the sub isn't too deep.

Right, so super awesome by day... tactical error by night. I should've worn pants, it is quite cool in the morning and the evening here now... and for some reason the sun seems to set more quickly than it does up north. I haven't figured that one out yet *shrugs*

Our other tacticle error though was trying to do anything on Thanksgiving. You Americans take thanksgiving wayyyy more seriously than we do, the streets were deserted, the place was like a ghost town... you didn't even have to play frogger to jay walk. So getting a cab was a bit of a challenge, we ended up sharing it with some lady who was late to get to her plane... I gather she tried to scoop us on it, but the taxi driver said no because Dad had waved him down. Thank you so much Mr taxi driver.

Oh and another thing, we've been having trouble with is American money lol... see with all our colored bills in Canada it's easy to tell how much you have (or don't have), well that and the smallest bill we have is a $5. With all the American bills being green though, you have to look at the numbers... so even though you have a mitfull and it *looks* like you have lots, it seems to always end up being $20 in $1 bills.


I know that generally crying really doesn't help your cause... but it just occurred to me that it does if you have soap in your eye.

Its a zoo!

The last couple days have been crazy and consisted of running around, sightseeing and trying to do it all while spending as little money as possible... which is difficult to say the least when you aren't familiar with how a place is laid out, and when everything you need isn't anywhere near where you're staying. I don't think we've quite got the hang of it, but we've gotta be getting there!

We went back to the zoo, and it's huge! Look Mom they have the hedges from Babar!

It's crazy how many different animals they had from all over the world. We were quickly lost wandering through the pathways from one exhibit to the next... ooooh Dad check out this one! I thought the lions were great, the male lion had just finished drinking and went over and started licking his mates face, it was so similar to the behaviour of a house cat it was weird to see such a big ferocious kitty being all affectionate. Of course you can tell they're well fed as they have very little interest in the meatscicles just outside the fence although I'm sure they've thought about... in fact I betcha that's what he's thinking here ;o) But instead they're flaked out in the sunshine... I think lions really do have solar cell tummies.

I was absolutely mesmerized by a dancing elephant. She was hanging out near a little coffe shop that was playing music, standing there swaying to the beat like it was the most natural thing in the world. It was incredibly cool *smiles* I think I could've hung out and just watched her all day.

I'm pretty sure this is a kingfisher of some kind.

And this is an American wood duck.

There were lots of really cool birds, but they were hard to get good pictures of. Beatiful colours though, and they all bounced and moved around so quickly. Hehe I think they have an even worse attention span than I do and seem to change their minds even in mid flight... ooooh shiny! It was also super cool to see some of the really BIG birds up close, like Condors... it made my stomach jump when one glided down from his perch and blocked out the sun for a minute. I mean they look big sitting there waiting for dead stuff, but when they unfold their 8 -10 foot wing span... there's part of you that doesn't want to find out if they can carry you away!

We also checked out the Pandas and the Koalas. They were super cute! They've got a baby panda... 'Nuff said ;o)

Oooh I loved the polar bears too, this guy was sleeping but he looked just like a dog... his feet would twitch occasionally like he was running and every once in awhile he'd move his head a little.

Oh and that scale you see in the background? I weigh as much as a 3 month old cub *s*

It wasn't nearly a long enough day to do and see everything, but it was very cool. It sure makes you wonder though... for all these animals we do know about, and those that are endangered... How many more are there that we know nothing about?

There was this one animal a Takin from China it looks like this

Its fairly large and yet it was only recently discovered because it's very, very shy. Dude. The thing is huge, if we didn't know anything about that... then I know we've got a lot of learning to do still.

I think that despite the bad things that people think about zoos, the more we can learn about the world we live in before we completely mess it is invaluable. I also think that the potential for educating the number of people that go through the zoo is a good thing. Even if it only makes them pause and think a little bit more about the world around them and the impact they have on it, well it's a step in the right direction.

After looking at all these beautiful animals, and then finding out that some of them are endangered. It makes you want to help out, even if it is something that 30 seconds ago you didn't even know it existed.

"Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little." ~Edmund Burke

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Some days you're Brain, and other days you're Pinky

I once heard about a lab rat test that was being conducted to determine the ratio of reward to no reward which would cause in this case a lab rat to stop trying. For instance, a lab rat will learn rather quickly at the ratio of 1:1, every time they push a lever they get a treat. As you increase the number of lever pushes to times you actually get a treat there is some point where the lab rat decides he'd be better off planning world domination.

So far the study makes sense, it pretty much confirms what we'd like to think we already knew... But the interesting question that came out of it, was at what point will they keep pushing even *after* they've stopped getting rewards completely.

Well for the 1:1, they basically try it a few more times... effectively shrug and then carry on with whatever catches their fancy. But the lab rats that were pushing the lever and increased number of times for even one single treat, will continue pushing the lever long past when they should have given up and moved on.

I'm having a lab rat day. I've been refreshing my email, and sometimes it comes up and sometimes it times out... but I keep trying.S

No actually

When you end almost every sentence with "Do you know what I mean?"... It's fine when you don't notice, but once you do it's enough to drive you crazy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


You're never going to believe what just happened to me. Actually I can't believe what just happened to me today... (okay last night but still - we just got internet) Actually I can't believe I'm admitting to this happening to me, sheesh there goes my reputation.

*insert napolean dynamite voice*
I'm such an idiot. I just stabbed myself in the leg trying to get one of those stupid plastic packages open. It hurts real bad!

The worst of it (other than the hole in my jammies) is that I had just finished ignoring that little voice in my head, the one saying "pssst careful you're going to hurt yourself". It's not like I cut myself badly, but it was leaking a little... had to put a bandaid on. Guess it's a good thing I personally inspected and replenished the first aid kit before we left.

I'm guessing this is what butterfly bandages would be awesome for... too bad we don't have any of those...

Oh yeah, and sorry for the extra grey hair Dad.


*phew* now that we're at the end of the day I almost don't know where to start... I've been trying really hard not to just write about what we did in a day, but rather tell you the interesting highlights. I just find its so easy to fall into a running commentary, where you say that you had lunch... I mean I hope you had lunch, but unless someone exploded an egg in the microwave, what do you expect me to think about it... um congratulations on eating lunch? This one turned into a bit of an epic, I'll try and trim it down a little when I'm not so exhasteraded... promise.

We got my little brother to set us up with a rental car again, but then the closer rental place didn't have a car available, and the other place didn't have enough people to come pick us up... Enter new best friend Perce *s* we met him down on the dock checking out boats and he offered to give us a ride which was super wicked AND he drives a 4 wheel drive van... which in it's previous life it was an ambulance! It even still has the siren panel and everything! I asked, but he said he was slowly disabling them... I translated that to mean "No touchie". *grins* I hope that's the closest I ever get to riding in an ambulance *s*

We got our rental car, and set off in the direction of the camera fix-it place... with a tiny little paper map with half the street names on it from the rental place and Dad's laptop GPS combo. We went on ramps, off ramps, under, crossed over and around so many highway/freeways whatever they're called here it would have taken all of my combined luck and navigation skills to get us there with what I had to work with...

The new hotness has occasionally been displaying an 'Err' message so I wanted to get her checked out at an approved dealership blah blah blah. Got there, they took a look at her, checked the errors and said it was something to do with the aperature. Then they did a software reset and proclaimed it good to go... but to bring it back if it happens again. I'm hearing echos of "Have you tried turning it off and on again?"

Next stop Ham Radio Outlet... Oh right I forgot to mention, criticle low laptop battery warning which I know I've mentioned in a previous post here when we were trying to find my Uncles cabin. Deja vu all over again. Soooo back over, under, around the freeways in a slightly different direction... We were down to an 'In one kilometer turn left' and I knew we should be getting close, and I hadn't heard an update... so I clicked the 'tell me again' button... clicked it again... Nothin'! Flying by the seat of our pants, with an ish of a direction and street name *grins* we took the scenic route through a back parking lot, around onto a street and spotted it on the way by *before* we drove past it! Yeah us!

Ran into John the guy who helped Bob check out our rig which was pretty cool, he was picking up a few things from 'The toy store' himself *grins* Picked up some more reference material, and a couple connectors so we can use the J-pole antenna I made *proud smile* I'm such a nerd. Got directions to a Sears so we could get an inverter to run the laptop and not be lost, besides we needed an emergency backup one anyways...

Next it was over to Office Depot, where I talked Dad out of buying a printer... Yes I know it will be useful *when* we need it, but the rest of the time it'll take up space we don't have. Yes I know I take up a lot of space, I always have. No I will not get rid of some of my stuff so we have room for a printer. We also got business cards done up so people don't have to try and read my itty bitty writing on a napkin to follow the daily shenanagins ;-)

< insert picture of business cards >

So you would think that was enough adventure for one day, well no, not for us... we headed for the zoo... We were almost there and somehow ended up in an infinite GPS loop. "In 150 meters turn right"... wash, rinse, repeat. To make matters more complicated I could see where we needed to go on the GPS map so I was ignoring what the super calm voice was saying, but Dad wasn't... *and* he could also see 'Zoo' signs.

After the second loop around, he said with some frustration "I feel like I'm getting three different directions!" Are you ready for this? I didn't say "Well just listen to me cause I'm giving you the right ones." *tongue out* In a voice that was almost as calm as the GPS chick told him to ignore the GPS and just turn right on Robinson... no not this one, this isn't Robinson... now don't turn right here or we'll have to do it all over again, just go straight, yeah there now we should be good again. *proud smile* Emergency averted!

You can't even see where the entrance is from the parking lot... luckily a nice lady pointed us in the right direction, and told us that you need an entire day to really do the Zoo. We made an executive decision to come back tomorrow as it was closing in 2 hours. I was relieved, otherwise we would have been rushed... and that would have stressed me out.

So um yeah, I think I'm allowed to be exhausterated... I think Dad is too, he's having a 20 min nap (that he started an hour ago) before dinner ;o) I'm super stoked for the zoo tomorrow though! I hear they have cute fuzzy pandas *smiles*

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Don't worry, be happy

I don't mean to make people worry, but its nice to be worried about all the same. I'd like to share an excerpt from one of the emails I received that made me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
ps, Could you please not fall off the boat, almost fall off the boat, look like you are going to fall off the boat or think about falling off the boat? 

I promise, I will try my best not to fall off the boat, or do any of those other things... cross my heart.

Apologies, despite the serious nature of the above excerpt I couldn't resist being a smart-donkey ;-)

HR response: Thank you for your concern regarding the person we are responsible for. Your input has been processed and forwarded to the official safety committee. The safety committee takes issues regarding our person very seriously and will review your concerns, deliberate and then make any recomendations it feels necessary to improve the safe conduct of said person. Rest assured we will do everything in our power to ensure that these issues are rectified in a timely manner. If you have any further questions or comments regarding said person, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

Thank you again for taking the time to bring this to our attention, your concern is appreciated.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Where are you?

I would like to take this moment to answer the most popular question...

We are currently in San Diego, at least for a couple more days. I really want to go see the zoo! I also need to get my camera checked out... it's being temperamental, although I can't really blame it, these aren't exactly it's ideal operating conditions ;)

Bandaid removal 201

Forget the old wives tales that say "Pull it off quickly, it will hurt less..." and instead just get some diesel on it, your bandaid will remove itself in 0.2 seconds and it doesn't even sting!

Oh right, and finger update: It hasn't turned green or fallen off yet, so I'm taking that to be a good sign... Even if it doesn't hurt at all, which it really should *shrugs* but I'm okay with that!


Even if you are only running in to the store for a minute you cannot leave your church here. *giggles* These spaces are reserved for motor vehicles only.

As the sun sets

Even the scruffy crab docks become gilded for a few moments as the sun goes down.

Ped Xing...

They have these all over the place, but it made me giggle when I saw it at the airport because you could cut the tension in the air with a knife. It reminded me of just being on campus during final exams, you can feel the stress in the air, people rushing everywhere with too many things to do and not enough time... never enough time.

Right. Back to why *I* thought it was funny... Wellllll if you read the X as it should be read, rather than its common transfiguration of 'Cross' then it would be pronounced 'Zing'. Hehe so now it's Pedestrian... Zing! As in you can cross here, but make it quick or you'll get run over!


I always find it cool when someone manages to make concrete bendy looking. Usually it has that rugged primitive cave man feel to it, but every once in awhile someone scrubs it behind the ears with soap, dresses it in a tuxedo and teaches it how to clink and drink champagne without breaking the glass. I tip my hat to the creator of this masterpiece.


I just thought these were super cute, like the nautical version of something half a step up from torches in wall scones.

They start out little

This may be just a baby MUTANT NINJA KELP 'O DEATH... but do not be fooled by it's cuteness. I'm telling you, those are little flaming horns!