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Journal Entries for July 2007
July 4, 2007 - 11:11 PM
Happy Fourth of July!

A New Website Layout is in Progress

Web site updates over the next couple of weeks might be a little sparse as I am working fervently on an entirely re-designed version of my website! It's been a long time in the making and long overdue, and while this layout has served me well I believe it is time for a change. The new web site will hopefully coincide with the implementation of my new server, An IBM NetFinity product with a Clariion Fiber Channel array behind it! Right now I've got 30 hard drives set up in several arrays that will host the web site and the database that will become the core of my system. It's very close and extremely exciting, all that's left now is the new web site layout to be completed which is getting close! It's always nice to see plans come to fruition.

This ladybug was crawling on my tree

This ladybug was spotted (huh huh) crawling on my tree outside. Not sure why, but I felt it deserved a picture.

Maddy has a big heart

Since Rusty is currently full of stuff to go to the dump, I pulled my old Valentine's day costume out and guess who found it... Needless to say she was tickled pink (or red?) and loves to fall down in it.


Last Thursday and Friday we counted our inventory of lightbulbs at Sylvania. There were a lot. Light has always fascinated me, so working as a lightbulb changer has been very rewarding on many levels.

Miscelaneous light bulbs

My bread and butter...

The Lightbulb Changing Crew

After completing the inventory, we gathered for lunch at the Flying-J restaurant before dispersing early for the long weekend. It was the perfect way to end the week and begin a long weekend. Sadly, I didn't do much of anything spectacular this long weekend, but I saved up some money and got a lot of much-needed work done in the house. Housework is perpetual. Swine.

July 8, 2007 - 10:25 PM

Some futuristic power core? Or a common commercial lightbulb? Whichever the case may be, it makes for an interesting photograph - and so begins my entry on the past couple of days.

Go2 Cola, bought in store

First of all, I have two peeves to get off my chest. The first is with Safeway. Here's my issue. If you go to the pop machine outside any Safeway store, you will see the advertised price being $0.50. Fifty cents, for those poor at decimals. That is all in. Taxes, deposit, packaging, marketing, research & development, bottling, quality assurance - it's all included for a mere fifty pennies. Now make your selection. What? It's sold out? Try another cola. It's sold out too? Why, EVERY CHOICE is SOLD OUT! Allright, you say, simply go inside and they'll have plenty of their generic cola for sale. Sure enough, they do - in fact, it's even chilled for your drinking convenience. The only problem - it COSTS MORE! It's advertised as $0.49 (again, fourty-nine cents... you know who you are.) But now, they tack on your deposit. They also add GST to the new amount, and the total comes not to 50 cents like you would have paid outside at the machine, but fifty-eight cents! Now, eight cents you say - surely John has better things to gripe about than this. I do, and you're right - it is a small amount of money to be writing a paragraph and taking a picture over. However, servicing Safeways as I do on a regular basis has revealed to me that this has not been an isolated incident. If it were, you would already be reading about my next gripe. Instead, I have yet to find a SINGLE Safeway pop machine that has ANY pop in it! They sit outside, advertising and disappointing all day. What we seem to have here is a symptom of a seemingly larger problem! Either nobody cares enough to fill those machines, or the powers that be have realized they can make more profit off their pop by keeping them empty. How very irritating.

Licking the spoon

This image has struck a chord with me, not because I like to lick the spoon or because it incites me to buy housewares as is probably intended by it's theme - but rather a problem with the subject of the image has irritated me due to it's incorrectness. Now I'm no baker. In fact, the stove in my house gets far more use as a lighting fixture than a cooking tool. However I have baked the odd treat in it's heated enclosure and I used to love helping my mom bake cakes, cookies, brownies, and other things as a child. Not because I was industrious or handy in the kitchen, but because of the inevitable licking of the utensils involved in the preparation of the dough, of course! And having mixed many batters, I spotted an obvious inconsistency in this picture of the mixing bowl with a finger's taste missing. Look at the line of dough along the edge of the bowl. It's perfectly smooth, with no splatters, no specks, no high-water mark from tilting the bowl while it was being stirred. It's as though they poured the batter directly into the bowl, stuck the spoon in and wiped away a line across it. Clearly a fake. Falsehood, mis-representation of a family tradition. And here endith my rant upon it's subject. (yet all this talk of baking is giving an urge to bake some chocolate chip brownies and mail them to Kelowna... strange)

Sitting Upon a Rock

Now onto the meat of the matter, the real subject worth talking about - our camping trip into Kananaskis this weekend. Bo, Maddy, and I headed off (though separately) and found our way to a campsite at a remote campground called The Point on Upper Lake. Although the hike seemed longer on the way out, coming back I think it took no longer than half an hour, perhaps 45 minutes tops, and the site was simply gorgeous.

Point Campground Map

Twenty sites are available in all, each with their own designated, leveled, raised pad for your tent, it's own firepit and steel picnic table. Because the campsite is situated on a point, every campsite is very close to the water. Excellent firewood and an axe is provided of course, but you must purchase backcountry camping permits for all overnighters, and everything you need to camp must be brought in (and all remains brought out with you.) None the less, it's definitely one of the easiest back country hikes I've done (next to Elbow Lake... Down a hill, up a hill and you're there for that one!)

Me and Maddy

It was a perfect day for camping. Not too hot, but certainly not cold either. Just right, as Goldie-Locks would have described it.

Maddy, the ghost

Here we can see the ghostlike image of Maddy, surrounded by blue light. Sorry to burst any superstitious ideas, but that's just a glowstick and a long exposure shot. Still looks cool though.

Maddy sleeping on the ground

A girl after our own hearts, Maddy wanted to fall asleep outside by the fire. So she brought out her sleeping bag, fluffed herself a log pillow and passed out by the warmth of the fire as Bo and I poked away at the fire, recapping memories from high school and discussing various religious experiences. Several hours later Bo carried her over to the tent and the three of us slept out the night. I sure hope I wake up before Maddy does in the morning... I commented to Bo as we fell asleep. Turns out I didn't, and the little monster attacked me in the morning. She's like an alarm clock with endless resources which lacks a snooze button! From "Wet Willies" to good old-fashioned jumping-on-the-sleeping-person you have no choice but to get up eventually. We got up and found Bo fishing. Breakfast was next on the agenda and shortly thereafter we had our campground cleaned and our equipment packed. A short hike back to the parking lot later and we were headed for home.

Tired from the hike, the fresh air, and the weekend's fun, Maddy passed out cold on the way back to Calgary. We stopped in Boulton for some of their famous ice cream. It's probably not much better than anywhere else, but when you're out in the middle of the bush and there's an ice cream shop, it's going to taste exquisit!

July 15, 2007 - 11:15 PM

If there ever was a case for false advertising, could this possibly be it? Seen in a 7-Eleven store on Friday afternoon. I had to take a picture, it made me laugh. (Seriously, I laughed.) It raises so many questions too. Like, Do they really think people will buy banannas advertised as oranges? Was it done as a joke? Did the person setting out the product aware of their humorous mistake? Did somebody else switch the product? I didn't see any 'proper' oranges anywhere though, so it did not appear to be a simple prank swap... Who knows though. Good picture.

I went to Pine Lake this weekend and I have to say, this was definitely a contender for the Most Perfect Weekend Ever award! We had scorching hot weather, nary clouds in the sky, the water hit a record (as far as I've been keeping track) 29 degrees this afternoon, and the rain, thunderstorm, and lightning came only after we were already packed up and ready to leave. One could not have asked for more. Many friends came out to the lake this weekend, as well as a few I ran into from the area. On Saturday Blair, Mark and Eric all came out and we did some Seadooing and tubing. My friend Kris from Shaw and his wife Nadine came out. Robyn Lee and all theirs came out Saturday afternoon and I took all of them for rides. On a side note, it was a bit strange sitting on the deck of site 38 again - and Uncle Len is quite a character! hahaha I brought out my Venus Fly Trap and we fed it a spider from the deck awning much to the awe and wonderment of all present. Sunday afternoon Pat and his cousin Louis came out with Pat's Jet Ski and we went ripping up and down the lake. Later in the afternoon when the clouds started to loom low over the north end all the boats quickly abandoned the water and the lake became near-perfectly calm. The water was at it's warmest and since we were already wet, Pat and Louis pulled me on the wakeboard a couple more laps around the lake. Just as we were getting ready to pull our boats out of the water, it began to sprinkle. It couldn't have worked out any better. Awesome weekend. Absolutely Fabulous!

Where's Rusty???

I was too busy having fun this weekend to take any pictures, but I did fire off this shot early Saturday morning before I fell asleep on my Seadoo and woke up in the reeds. Don't worry, it was an intentional nap and the Seadoo was not running. It merely drifted across the lake. With the morning sun comes the morning sun's heat which quickly makes one's tent very oven-like. Therefore, wrapped in a sleeping bag it becomes quite difficult to sleep, so I went out on the water and let the gentle lapping of the lake lull me back to la la land. I call this picture, "Where's Rusty?" Can you spot my big orange van? hahaha Good ol' Rusty...

The next couple of images were shot on the side of the road from beneath an underpass I pulled beneath for the purpose of taking said shots. The lighting was incredible and apparently I wasn't the only one determined to get a picture of it. This lady you see also pulled under the same bridge and was using her phone to take pictures for herself. Amazing storm. Absolutely loved it. Though when I stopped by Robyn Lee's place they showed me some of the golf ball sized hail that had hit their neighbourhood and done a number to nearly everyone's vehicles. One lady even had the windshield of her car smashed out by the hail! Crazy!

Now back at home I did some surveyance of the damage. Being out on the water for nearly two days straight did quite a number on my tan, but since I was wearing a lifejacket the whole time you can see what was covered and what was not. Wow.

Now, exhausted, I am off to bed. This weekend was a blast and I hope it will not be the last. It's times like these you remember why you started going out there in the first place!

July 21, 2007 - 12:49 PM
You know you're sick if you get sick on a weekend. I crashed hard last night at about 8:00 and slept right through to this morning. When I awoke, bright and early, the first thing I noticed was that my throat was raw. Then after eating a bit of breakfast and walking around for a bit I noticed a sick, nauseating feeling that I could not shake while on my feet. Sitting down seems to help, so I am sitting down at the moment. But every time I stand up it comes rushing back. Not fair.

Bo and I have been helping Barb & Ed with some renovations to the basement of the house they bought next door to them for Ed's mom.

And now, for some random pictures:

July 22, 2007 2:25 AM
Happy Birthday Lynne!

(See? I didn't post the other picture I took. Not ALL the bad ones end up on my web site...) Tonight was Lynne's big Five-Oh and it was celebrated in style on this beautiful Saturday evening.

Everybody likes Kung-Fu Dancing?

Ironically, I went to Lynne's birthday and I ended up leaving with a present! Actually Sean and Lynne got this T-Shirt for me a long time ago but it just never got delivered. I knew it was a Monty Python shirt, that cat was long out of the bag but I burst out laughing when I saw the depiction of John Cleese atop the French castle wall performing the infamous taunting of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. There are two types of people in the world - those who will recognize this image and share in it's joy and humor, and those who will have no idea what it represents. I pity the latter.

July 26, 2007 - 5:34 PM
I've got one foot out the door, headed to Vancouver for my cousin Jacquie's wedding. On the way to my last job of the day with Pat in his big aerial truck, we had just stopped at the Dollarama store by Treasures of China for a drink where I'd walked right past a DCM truck in the parking lot. Pat and I jumped into our truck and took off down Macleod, when it seemed for reasons I don't post on this web site very ironic on this day that I should see you. In fact, the irony was compounded this afternoon as I rode my bike home from work, I was pondering the irony and was nearly run over by a little black Dodge car, the same as yours. Every so often it feels like everything is connected somehow, we just can't see the strings.

So far from where we started,
So far from what we wanted

July 30, 2007 - 7:18 AM
Made it home safely from BC, had a wonderful time, the wedding was nice, etc. etc. Actually there are a lot of stories to tell and things to write about this weekend, but they will have to wait as I have to go to work! haha

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