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Journal Entries for August 2005
August 3, 2005 - 9:50 PM
Drove to BC and back with no brake lights!

Last night I hitched up the flat bed trailer to my van and drove out to my aunt's place to pick up our raft so that we could hopefully work on it this week and if all goes well, get at least one of the sections ready to take camping with us on the weekend. I plugged the lights in, tested the running lights first, then the right signal, then the left signal... Everything Seemed to be working perfectly on both the van and the trailer. I drove across Calgary and out of town, arrived at my aunt's house and loaded up the rafts on the flatbed, got them all tied down securely and then went in to visit with my aunt, uncle, and cousins for a while. By the time I was ready to leave, it was fairly dark out, and as I was backing out I noticed that no lights came on when I braked. All the running lights were still 'running', I tried the signal lights which also worked fine, but no brake lights. Then I tried the four-way flashers which also did not work. Then I thought back to the last time I put on the four-way flashers. On the way to Sicamous a few weeks ago, Seadoo in tow, I Had to pull over for a minute and noticed at that time also the four-way flashers did not work. I didn't pay much attention to it at the time, but last night it dawned on me that there must be a separate fuse for the brake lights / flashers and it must be blown, and that this fuse must have blown at some point BEFORE my trip to BC! Which means I've been driving around for possibly weeks with no brake lights!

I found an extra fuse in the fuse box, not sure what it did but apparantly nothing I missed so I stuck it into the burnt out fuse slot and the brake lights came on as they should, both on the van and on the trailer. But that was kind of strange, I don't know why they would have blown in the first place.

It would seem that my tasks and usefulness is being diversified and tested in various areas of our operations at G&K Services... Not only do I look after all the computers in the plant, both in the office and in the Machines, try to ensure that all staff are working safely and that the workplace is as safe as can be expected given the resources and circumstances we're in... I also have been given charge of creating an invoicing system for all these new customers we're beginning to service - and on Friday I've got to go deliver some uniforms and mats to a number of customers! Talk about veering far beyond the range of my job description... But I don't really care. It's paying bills right now and I've got great job security. So what if It's quite a bit off the path of what I was hired to do and enjoy doing. Times change, plans change, and life's not fair. Sometimes if you're lucky enough, people change.

Speaking of plans though, I was thinking about something on my way home from Limerick's tonight. It is fun to plan. Granted that a majority of all the big things you plan in Life will never come to fruition, and a major portion of those that do will not turn out exactly as you planned - it's still a lot of fun to make plans. First you have to start with an idea. Usually that idea involves a goal of some kind, and then you need to develop a path to achieving that goal. If it's a destination you need to figure out how to get there. If it's something you want you need to figure out how to get it. If it's something you'd like to accomplish you need to examine the steps necessary prior to achievement. Planning is exciting. You invoke creativity, reasoning, cause and effect, (possibly some disaster control / recovery should things go wrong) and you might even find Yourself seeking an even better goal as a result of the planning process.

I think I might call an early night tonight. Tomorrow and Friday are going to be big days. Sorry I have no picture for today...

August 5, 2005 - 12:29 AM

My little tomato plant sprouted another tomato the other day... I was very excited. I hate tomatos, but I love pretty much all things made from them - ketchup, spagetti sauce, Casears, etc. Mmm. Maybe I'll grow a taste for this one though. It's a pretty cute plant. I water it every day before leaving for work.

While I was going through some boxes of stuff, unpacking and sorting this evening I came across this little glass vial with some crystals formed inside. Whatever fluid had been inside it was long gone, and all that remained now was these crystals you can sort of see. Now to anyone else, this would have been an easy candidate for the trash pile, but I recognized it for what it was. Many years ago, while I was still living at my parents' house, I took some Easy-Off cleaning solution and put it into this vial so I could keep it, because I loved the smell of it. Now, some 7-ish years later, the aroma of Easy-Off could still be clearly sniffed from the remains in this jar. Boy did that bring back some memories!

I also found an odd looking pair of sunglasses, which I had to take a picture of... Tonight as I was cleaning and sorting it occured to me just how much I was enjoying being a homeowner. There really is nothing like it.

August 5, 2005 - 11:27 PM

Yes, that is a picture of my bathroom sink. Still on a bit of a happy homeowner kick, I've been going around photographing parts of the house that might otherwise go un-noticed. Like I said in yesterday's journal entry, I've been really enjoying owning a house. I paid a bunch of bills yesterday and that was very satisfying. I'm really glad we did this.

Well, today was a Friday at work like no other I have ever seen. I remember one time I was talking with my former employer in his office and he said something to me that has stuck with me. It was a principle that he had applied to all his dealings with his employees, myself included, and one which I both appreciated and greatly respected. There are two things you don't mess with: A man's paycheque and a man's family. An incident took place at work this afternoon where one of those two areas was trampled on by the powers that be in our corporate head office. A situation arose, tempers flared, and now everything has changed. I love going into work on a monday morning not knowing what's going to happen, who's going to be there or what I'll be doing... One thing though - it's not every day you can pause and think to yourself, "I'm driving a millionare's SUV..."

August 8, 2005 - 11:42 PM
Madisson on the Seadoo

Madisson got her first ride on a Seadoo this weekend. Sean, Lynne, Bo, Madisson, Dexton, Dianna and I (I think that's how you spell her name) all went out to the warm lake for the afternoon on Sunday. I was going to say that it couldn't have been a nicer day, but that's not entirely true. First of all, it was pretty windy. But in all honesty, I think without the wind it might have been quite unbearable, so perhaps the wind was a bit of a mixed blessing.

The day started with a bit of a hiccup - I got out there, dropped the Seadoo in the water and it would only run on one cylinder. This gave it NO power, and although I drove it around for about 10 minutes like this, the other cylinder just would not kick in. This had been a growing problem that sprung up this year, but I never really had a chance to look at it and usually after a few minutes it would go away - so I wasn't too concerned. After killing off the battery and doing a bit of work, I discovered by process of elimination that the fault lay in a defective spark plug! Looks CAN be deceiving! Once that was changed out and the battery had been recharged she fired right up and we were able to get another full day's use out of the watercraft without another incident.


It took three trips to haul everyone over to the hot spot, but someone had towed the floating raft (I know, floating raft is redundant...) and tied it up to the barrel buoys so we used that as a bit of a 'base', surrounded by 35 degree water! I think we must have stayed there for at least an hour, and even though the air was quite warm and the sun was beating down - once you get out of water that warm, IT IS COLD!!! Even little Maddy got quite brave, swimming around in her life jacket. Dexton was the only party-pooper and claimed he didn't want to get wet because then he'd eventually have to get out and then he'd be cold. Instead I think he wanted to just lie on the beach and be boring... To each his own, I guess... His girlfriend got quite the burn though... Check this out for a tan line:

Diana's Tan Line

Actually, I think just about everyone got burnt to some degree. Bo got quite a bad burn, so bad in one of the pictures you can see he looks pink under SUNLIGHT! You just know that's not good... Because of my life jacket I mainly got it on the arms and a bit of my shoulders - as usual... We ended off our summer's day with a fire-cooked Bar-B-Q, including hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato salad. It was a great day. About this time I was getting ready to start packing stuff up, I rode the Seadoo (which was full of water from all the playing) over to the docks by the boat launch, reached into my pocket for the van key and discovered to my horror that it was no longer in my pocket. Keys, made out of metal, sink. And sometime, somewhere during the day, my only van key sunk to the bottom of the warm lake! Someone who was once very close to me asked me one time how I would break into my van. I knew how to get into my van, but I never knew how I would start it if I didn't have the key. As things would unfold, I was soon to find out. Although it was no 20-second movie job, I did eventually get the van started and was able to load up the Seadoo and drive home Sunday night. I have to say, that's a long drive after a hard day's play! (Plus, for some reason the sound of the van has always been very soothing for me and after about an hour I was finding it VERY hard to stay awake!) I made it home safely though.

Work today wasn't nearly as disorganized as I thought it might be, but then again I was out of the plant half the day. I had to drive an orange step van (ironic, I know) to Red Deer to drop off some shirts, pants, and shop towels that didn't get delivered on the weekend. Once I used to go to the Wal-Marts in Red Deer to service their lights - today I went to the Wal-Marts in Red Deer to drop off some clothes. Funny how things work out sometimes huh. AND, once again I stopped into the Red Deer 7-Eleven to buy a chicken kabob - only to discover that they had none. When I asked the lady, she explained that they hadn't been delviered their chicken (this time) and so consequently, there were no kabobs. That's twice in a ROW I've gone to that station and left kebob-less. I was NOT impressed.


August 11, 2005 - 12:07 AM

Fight Night

Friday, August 12 - 2005. 7:30 PM Our first tournament begins. Three fights, one boxing round and two MMA matches. In the first match we have Scott versus Jessie. Second match is Jason versus Chad. And the third and final tournament match of the evening will be me against my life-long friend, several time room-mate and former co-worker Jason. If you would like to come watch the fights, contact me ASAP and I will let you know where it's happening. It will be a fun night. Come on out and cheer me on!

The first match between Scott and Jessie will be 3 one-minute rounds. Win by knock-out or technical knock-out. Competitors will be wearing 16oz gloves, mouthguard and protective cup. Both Mixed Martial Arts matches will be two five-minute rounds, win by tapout, knockout or technical knockout. No knees to the head or back. Competitors will be wearing 3oz gloves, mouthguards and protective cup. We will be taping all three matches so there will probably be a video available at some time after the tournament. Undoubtably, I will also have some pictures, and perhaps a few scars.

2:53 PM
And now for something completely different. This afternoon, Kristin and I carried 8 - yes, EIGHT slurpees to work on my motorcycle! (Yes, in one trip...) Needless to say, we were the office heroes for the afternoon. Sadly though, I could not share in the fruits of my labour. Not until after the fight.

August 14, 2005 - 2:15 PM

Yesterday I spent the afternoon finishing the rebuilding of my dad's garage furnace. Quite some time ago we went out to the garage, only to discover that the gaskets in the old gas valve had dried up, cracked, and were leaking natural gas - which was catching on fire! It's not a good thing when your gas valve is burning. Unfortunately, because of the age of the furnace, it was not possible to get another valve like the one that came out, so we had to retrofit the furnace with a newer, generic, gas furnace valve. This meant that it would actually have an external, electric thermostat to turn the main burner on and off instead of the old thermocouple type that was used before. As well, the gas piping no longer fit because the inlet was on the back of the new valve instead of the side, so some fancy pipe-work was required to get it to fit. Needless to say, there were many challenges in getting the new valve in there, but by the end of yesterday evening we had hot air flowing up through the grill on the furnace which was back in the garage, ready to take on another winter's weather.

After doing all the gas pipe fitting myself and succeeding without so much as a single leak, today my project has become the task of running electricity, gas, and data lines out to my garage. Granted, I will probably not complete this entire task today, I hope to get a major portion of the work done. I've already started digging the trench where the pipes will be laid underground, but I need to run over to Jason's house and help him with his wireless network and return his X-Rays so he can bring them with him when he goes back to the doctor tomorrow. I think he actually broke my nose too, but it didn't shift. It is a bit purple around the bridge and it really hurts right between the eyes to chew things, especially when you have to chew really hard. He told me he was experiencing the exact same symptoms.

Anyway, much too nice of a day to waste sitting inside like this. I really just came in to make a list of pipe, fittings, and connectors I'd need and ended up on the computer... haha I guess I'm a little addicted.

August 13, 2005 - 11:53 AM

There aren't a lot of sports where two friends can beat the crap out of each other and walk away better friends than before...

We had a very electrifying night at our first tournament of sorts. With close to thirty people in attendance, there was plenty of noise to cheer the fighters on. Next time we'll have a porta-potty for the guests though. heheh The pictures are up in the photo album in the Fights section, and Bo and I will be putting together a video of the nights' activities which should hopefully be ready in a week or so.

I'm going to head over to my parents' house now to let them know I'm still alive. I talked to Jason last night and they figure his nose should be allright, so everybody walked out of this tournament without any permanent injuries. We'll have to find some way to clean all the blood out of the mats though...

Man I gotta lose some weight!

August 14, 2005 - 1:13 AM
Jason dropped off his X-Rays so I could scan them and post them on here as well. Sorry they're not great, I had to take a flourescent light and float it above the scanner in time with the scan sled as I don't have a transparancy adapter... Turns out his nose is in fact broken...

August 15, 2005 - 11:12 PM

Can you believe it: Here we are in the middle of August - and today it looked and felt like winter!?! Our furnace kicked on this evening to warm the house so of course - I was there, ready to take pictures. I've always loved fire. It intrigues me, mesmerizes me, warms me, and even frightens me at times. (And now that I have a house, it also costs me a fortune!)

I seem to have picked up a cold from somewhere... Symptoms include runny nose, stuffed sinuses, dry cough and fatigue. I will probably stay home tomorrow and work from my house where I'm quite likely to get more done and also less likely to pass this cold on to others.

One of my all-time favorite foods has to be KD with soda crackers mixed in. Mmmmm. You know, for quite some time now I've really been feeling the effects of what I guess you could call lonliness. Tonight more than ever I just wish I had someone to be here with me, sitting in the dark listening to the rain pelting down outside my window. But for whatever reason the well of companionship has been dry for quite a few years. Even an attempt at lighting an old flame has failed. Fortunately there has been enough going on to distract me from this matter of the heart, but every so often I'll be reminded that I am alone.

-- Fire --

Lying in my room here, listening to the sound of steady rain outside my window - accompanied by Lemon Jelly's Space Walk I feel inspired, content, warm, secure, sustained, hopeful. I need to get back into music creation. So much has been on my plate lately but it's something I need to make time for. I've been jotting down notes, even making quick voice recordings of song snippets that come to mind every now and then. If I don't capture them in the moment, they'll be gone forever. The gentle warmth of incandescent light, with it's warm highlights and dark shadows complete the mood.

Oh ya, and I finally found out how gas lanterns work! It's surprisingly simple.

August 18, 2005 - 2:03 PM
I've been home sick the past couple of days, but although most of my time has been spent in my bed, I've actually been working. One of the nice things about my job is the fact that I just need a computer to do most of my daily duties, and if that computer happens to be connected to the Internet, I can do those duties from pretty much anywhere - including my bed! But after three days without leaving the house I decided I needed to get some air, and with the sun shining for a while this afternoon it seemed like a good time to go. Originally I was just going to go to Mac's with Eric to buy slurpees but as we were about to walk through the door of Mac's, Barb called and asked if I wanted to meet her at Marlborough Mall for lunch. We skipped Mac's and went to the mall instead where we had lunch with Barb. I also ran into Jim from Ecolab there too and talked with him for a bit before finally leaving and coming back home. But all that bit of background is just to say that as we were leaving the mall I saw something I've never seen before. I couldn't believe it at the time. This girl was sitting at one of the tables in the food court with this guy. She caught my eye when she stood up abruptly, but then held my attention as I watched her take the lid off her cup of coke and splash the entire contents against the guy's face. She then stormed away and left him there, half in shock, half in disgust and as I walked by he was cleaning his glasses and trying to brush the loose coke off his shirt. When I went down the stairs towards the doors I saw the girl there who had soaked him so I said to her "Hey, that was pretty funny!" and she quickly told me why it was she had moistened this guy in the middle of a busy food court. Apparantly that guy had been playing her, her friend, and this other girl at the same time and (this girl) had just found out about it. SO, the lesson of the day here is this: Don't cheat on your girl or you'll get a coke to the head.

My programming is coming along well, but after talking with Barb at lunch today I can see some more challenges on the horizon. In the words of Bender though, "I like a challenge..." I've been listening to a lot of new dance and club anthems lately and there's some great music out there. I love music in the minor chords, especially fun, upbeat stuff with a great bassline. One of my current favorites is Onyx & Genna - Every Little Time (Jon Dixon Remix). Great tune. Great bass. Good programming song. hehe

August 21, 2005 - 12:44 PM

Yet another First in my new house...

Last night I hosted my first family gathering " all by myself. " I cleaned up the house, went shopping, prepared a tray of Light Refreshments, set up chairs, got everything ready. Much of the extended family came over, we talked, laughed, even prayed together, and I believe that the night was a success. And now I've got quite a bit of leftovers to snack on throughout the next week!

Small World...

I was visiting Lee in the hospital yesterday, brought her a dolphin on the bike - one of those Safeway dolphins like the ones Jason and I used to always put into the flower display cooler at Woodbine Safeway while the cute florist wasn't looking... hehe Turned a few heads, that's for sure! So we had a nice chat in her hospital room, all was well until her nurse came in to check on her and to change her IV bag. As soon as the nurse stepped through the door, I began to shake my head and smile. Although she went right to Lee and started her nurse-ly duties, I called her by her first and last name, at which she stopped, turned around and (I think she was a little shaken that I knew who she was) - asked how I knew her name. I smiled and explained that she actually knew me from a long time ago, that I used to follow her husband around everywhere he went and would regularly sit in with him in the sound booth at church. That lit a bulb but she still couldn't place the face so finally Lee told her my name. She couldn't believe how 'old' I looked, and figured I would have been a lot younger. So we talked about Harvest Hills Alliance, her and Les still attend there. Asked how my mom and dad were. She talked a bit about Les and his work these days. What a small, small world it is! Les is the guy who taught me anything and everything I know about speakers, amplifiers, mixing boards, equalizers, and PA systems. It was under his guidance that I first developed an interest in these things and now it's expanded greatly since those days I lived in his shadow. Les was truly one of those people I always looked up to, respected and enjoyed spending time with - and now his wife is looking after Lee!

August 25, 2005 - 4:20 PM

Allright, so the picture is a few days old. Sue me. Rob, Lee, and I at the hospital's Second Cup where Lee was NOT drinking a forbidden ice cap while she realized her main doctor was sitting at the table beside us... Oops! haha Good thing she was NOT drinking it...

How awesome it is to see the sun again after hearing several people report seeing SNOW the other night... I didn't personally see snow (although I did see the cleanup of an accident across the street from my house last night...) The small world gets smaller! Today I was walking to our plant from one of our 'other bays' when here if I didn't see Selena, one of Becky's best friends (and brace buddy) sitting behind one of the neighbouring bays having a cigarette. Turns out she works in the building beside me. Crazy. I am, however, a little bit hurt that I had to find out from Selina that Becky was home from BC... But the world gets even smaller! This afternoon I was talking to one of the newer employees here, and what would you know it? We grew up in the same neighbourhood! We even knew some of the same people! She knows Kraemer's little brother Pat, she knows Becky... She might even know Brenda - my second grade crush! And get this! Her friend, (who also works at the plant) has the same last name as Pat's wife (Pat from Sylvania) - and even has an aunt with the same name as Pat's wife. BUT, according to her (who even bears a striking resemblance to Susan) - her aunt has three sons which, to my knowledge, Pat's wife does not... But I'm still tripping out about that one. They look SO much alike!

I talked to Jason today and he recounted the gorey details of how they re-set his nose... Man I hope I never get my nose broken. From the sounds of it, it's not fun. I don't think I got a great picture of it that night, SOMEBODY did (and if that was you, can you please send me the picture?) but when I went to take the picture Jason turned a bit and was looking at me so you can't really see his nose. But if you have a picture of Jason's broken nose, PLEASE send it in and we'll put it in the collection. I know Bo copied all the video to his computer but I don't know what the status is on the finished product. I'll ask him tonight and see where he is with it.

From the sounds of things, I might have to brush up on my Karaoke skills tonight... hehehe Karaoke and skills do not belong in the same sentence with my name...

August 26, 2005 - 12:55 AM
Just got home and here's a quick update: The highlights of the night? Shoop and Mambo Number Five hehehe On another note, (musical pun intended) - there's a great song sung by a number of artists which also seemed to strike a chord this evening. It wasn't sung or played, but I kept hearing it in my mind as I watched the events of the night unfold. One of my favorite renditions of the song is performed by Will Young and it's titled, "Love the one you're with."

Turn your heartache right into joy
'cuz she's a girl and you're a boy
So get it together, and make it nice
and you won't need any more advice.

And there's a rose in a fisted glove
And the Eagle flies with the Dove
And if you can't be with the one you love -
Love the one you're with!

-- Night --

August 28, 2005 - 4:20 AM
Well - That'll teach me to go to bed at 10:30...

Tonight I was feeling quite exhausted and spent after a very productive day, and by 10:30 I was very much ready for bed even though this was still several hours before I usually hit the sack. I cut the vent stack through our garage roof for the furnace I'm installing so we'll have heat in the garage this winter, got all the B-Type venting installed and connected to the furnace I bought for two cases of beer off Lorne, the maintenance supervisor at work. I still need to put in a couple of 12" extensions because the furnace isn't exactly where I want it to be but that can be done tomorrow (today) and I also need to re-seal the roof where the vent was cut through. A couple of hours today and all that will be done. Then we just need to cut a couple of holes through the wall of the house and the wall of the garage and we'll have all our conduit and gas piping connected up, providing the garage with electricity, gas, cable TV, Internet and phone. Then we'll have one SWEET setup for working on vehicles, fixing appliances, building things, or anything else that comes to mind - all while in the comfort of warmth, under ample lighting, and in the presence of music or a good TV show.

But back to why I'm writing this right now. About 20 minutes ago I went sproing and was suddenly wide awake. Confused by the complete lack of sunshine outside and not entirely sure why I had regained consciensousness at 4:30 in the morning, I did a quick calculation and the proverbial light went on. 10:30 .. 11:30 .. 12:30 .. 1:30 .. 2:30 .. 3:30 .. 4:30 - That's exactly 6 hours, precisely the amount of sleep I'm accustomed to getting every night. Isn't it wierd how your body can get into a habit of having to wake up after a fixed amount of sleep so regurlarly that even when you have an opportunity to sleep in - it doesn't? So now I'm wide awake, going back to sleep doesn't look like a plausable option at this point. I think I might just throw a lawn chair up on the roof of the garage and watch the sun come up.

... And that's exactly what I did.

August 29, 2005 - 11:17 PM
These nights are definitely getting colder as we slam into the end of August. Tomorrow is the last full business day of the Hampton's Quizzno's under my Aunt and Uncle's ownership. My family and I believe a number of other relatives are going there for supper one last time before they sell the store. This will also mark the end of my brother's employment with them. (I think he still has a few days of preparation to get the place ready for the new owners to take over, but he's definitely running down the home stretch now.)

I took my puppy for a walk tonight and could really feel the chill in the air despite the fact that I was quite warm from running him many blocks before he slowed his pace to a quick pitter-patter. He's still amazingly active considering his age, and I am more than happy to take him for walks every chance I get. The poor guy got so excited when he saw me reach into the leash cupboard that he jumped up but slipped off the wall and hit his head. He then went into a major sneezing fit and I was starting to get really concerned. But eventually he shook it off and was eager to go, and showed no signs of wear the whole time we were out. He would have gone for much longer if I had let him go his own way... I think we were out for at least 45 minutes. I went through two big handfulls of Spitz... I love sunflower seeds. Especially while walking outside at dusk. Anyway, I've got a lot to think about tonight, pleasant thoughts, before falling asleep in a blissful slumber beneath my thick, warm, covers. Goodnight

August 31, 2005 - 2:19 AM
Oh.. My.. Starry Eyed' Surprise
Sundown to Sunrise
Dance all night
We gonna dance all night
Dance all night to this DJ

And out of the blue a light appeared. Perhaps the least likely of places - and now tomorrow brings untold new surprises. Suddenly, life gets interesting.

Quiz Gnome Oar

On Tuesday some of the extended family gathered one last time at the Hampton's Quizno's, or as we all came to know it: Hanson's Quizno's. Now under new ownership and management, this store will long be engrained in the hearts and minds of those who visited it as the best Quizno's in the city, with the best employees in the city under the direction of the best Assistant Manager in the city. Quite possibly the world.

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