26 December 2006
After the Storm

It's all done. We survived Christmas Eve, Christmas and then Boxing Day.
Next year we're going to try simplifying everything. Nicole's not happy about it, since it would mean not pleasing everyone, however, the choice is try to make everyone happy at the expense of our own health or make a few people less happy, but be able to participate more in activities. My real Christmas present was from me to Nicole, a new LG 19" LCD monitor for her computer, her 17" CRT was starting to get long in the tooth. Nothing like having a happy wife. I was happy as well as she got me a Battery Backup for my Computer, albeit, my computer eats power, so I'll have to trade it in for a more powerful one. One of these days I'll switch out the oversized CRT for a more reasonable LCD.

Somehow we braved a boxing day sale, we were up before 9am and went to Big Al's Fish Emporium. Everything was 20% off, up to about 75% off, and there were some deals to be had. Line up was only about 40 people long, and we arrived about 10 minutes before opening. Walked away with a good pump for the fish tank, and several new fish. Plus a few other items we decided to stock up on for the year.

Small update to layout. Will play with it some more, eventually I will put up pictures and genealogy information.

24 December 2006
X-Mas Eve & Cook Off

It's Christmas eve, joy. Will have full details sometime later this week, probably after the un-barricading of our place after boxing day.

Last night was cook night, into the little hours of the morning. We made spinach dip to bring for the relatives, simple nice and holiday-e, after that we had about 10lbs of leftover Roast-Beef to cook with. It had been in the deep-freeze, since September, and nicole wanted it either out of the fridge and into the garbage, since it had been thawed, or cooked. So we made enchilada pie, roast beef italian stew and plantation roast-beef hash. Now the only problem, due to quite a few extra ingredients in the various dishes created, is that there is no more room in the freezer or deep-freeze. Nicole was rather impressed that I was able to find all the various recipes to do stuff to the roast-beef. Probably because I don't like wastage, plus 10lbs of Roast Beef isn't cheap.

23 December 2006

Went into work and helped with painting the trim. It's looking good, but there will still be a fair amount of touch-up when the tape comes off next week.

Watched Little Miss Sunshine. Drama, with elements of comedy. Parts of it were painful to watch, and I would put it on the do not buy/rent pile, as there are better movies out there.

22 December 2006

Nicole forced me out to buy some nice khaki pants for x-mas. Today isn't a happy day at the malls, quite scary. However, all my Christmas shopping is done, so all the poor people who waited to the last minute instead of shopping bit by bit since august can feel the pain. No stress.

Rented two movies tonight: The Devil Wears Prada, a drama on the fashion industry which was rather interesting, and does dash the item that people who try not to be fashionable are still being fashionable, just out of date by several years. Also rented Little Miss Sunshine, but we still have yet to watch it. Was disappointed that Bon Cop Bad Cop was all out of stock at the local rental place, they just don't have enough copies of that movie available. Must be big film companies pushing other films for space on the shelf, and the poor Canadian film is pushed back onto a smaller shelf with limited availability. Disappointing, as I want to see it.

17 December 2006
Overdue Update

Haven't updated in a while so I guess there is some recapping.

The week of the 4th had the Tech Inspection, which went quite quickly, there were a few problems here and there, however, we passed. Problems shouldn't have been there as they are easily correctable, will be putting in work orders after the holidays.

Everything else that week was cleanup, on the 7th there was a mess meeting where we agreed to paint the Sgt & WO's mess. Also the CO was upset, justifiably, that only 1/2 of the unit was in attendance to a regimental training session, everyone apparently should mean everyone.
On the 9th was the unit Soldier's Christmas dinner, it went off without a hitch, lots of drinking, however only minimal problems and no one in the drunk tank at the end of the night. The best thing to cure alcohol is time, so since I was drinking nothing but free drinks it took me awhile to be sure I was sober (4 hours with several litres of water) and then drive home. Note for the wise is to never pass out in a mess, as bad things, though hilarous, may happen to you. Rather funny looking at the pictures though, couldn't believe that they were able to get away with doing it to him.

Last week had me doing paperwork, and prep work for the GATSM course that is happening in January. Also on the 14th starting on the painting of the mess, we were able to do the ceiling in the main area, however it looked so good that we'll eventually do the ceiling over the bar area. 15th was the last day of work, went out bought sporting equipment. 16th, my first day of leave, had me back at the WO & Sgt's mess paiting the wall red with blood. Nothing like putting fear into the life of privates, hehe, Sgt messes shouldn't be warm and cuddley. After went to my grandmothers birthday and saw the family, it was good.

Today, shopping, joy. Listened to the Beatles "Love" album. Not too sure what to think, however, have to remember that it really is a soundtrack for Cirque.

Vacation time.

4 December 2006
Relaxing Weekend

It was a nice unremarkable weekend, nothing happened, didn't do too much, cooked a bit and slept a lot. They finally release a working patch for NWN2 to make it playable, now it needs some more optimization and some added features.

Last week at work was supposed to be the annual technical inspection, however, due to the weather and the RCMP turning people away from driving on the roads in the valley, Chilliwack had to reschedule to next week, makes sense since it's better safe than dead. A bit irritiating, as the spector of it still looms above, and it would be nice to have it all over and done with, however I'm not too worried, just had to bump my schedule a tiny bit.

Need to start getting some pictures up, and reformating this drap website.
Nothing like tomorrow, eh.

26 November 2006
Dinner and Snow

Last night we went to a "Mixed Dinning in" dinner for the WO & Sgt's mess. It was good, but pretty quiet, as there were only about 35 people in attendance. I had left earlier in the day to help set it all up, it was supposed to be about 4 hours however it turned into about 6 due to other members not showing to help setup, in the end it all worked out. Yesterday morning there was also a small amount of snow just on the car when I woke up. After the dinner it was snowing a fair amount.

Last work week went pretty quick, all prep work for ATI. The Annual Technical Inspection starts on Monday, however with all the snow it could be interesting since the inspection team is coming out from Chilliwack.

I originally typed up everything above and then some at around 3am after we arrived back from the dinner, I had done everything and was going to save this, however the power went out. So Nicole and I went out to have a look to see what was affected, turned out it was just the block, on of the Hydro wires was sparking, so the area had no power until about 8am. Going out was interesting, since all the light made it look like day even though it was 3am. Someone from the house behind the one we're in also went out to have a look, he noted that the junction box was right there and that this problem had happened before on numberous occations, guess it's bad on BC Hydro for not doing a good fix. Right before we left to go in a truck was going too fast and skidded off the road... idiots, just because you have a truck doesn't mean you can still drive full spead, the person was able to extract themselves from the ditch in the end and didn't need help.

So today went out, did someshopping, and wow, there was alot of snow on the ground. I'm sure the children are happy today and many people are waiting for school, work, etc to be cancelled so they can have a snow day.

20 November 2006
Cooking with Conrad

It was a good weekend. I more or less just conked out and relaxed. However, today is cooking day, the freezer was starting to get empty, so, I made mock cabbage rolls in the crock pot, split pea soup in the big pot, and beef stew. Freezer should be a bit more full now.

Work will be interesting for the next two weeks, since I'll now be working everyday including the weekend. It's ATI (Annual Technical Inspection) time, so all our gear gets checked out to ensure it's clean, working, and doesn't need repair. If it does then it's tagged, reported and we're supposed to sent it off for repair.

Tried playing NWN2 again today, game seemed a bit weird while playing, then I noticed a glaring bug. Made me really irritated. Computer games should have a bit more thorough testing before release, however they're releasing a beta patch on Wednesday. Guess they'll be using the players as beta testers, heck, people paid for that right. Might as well retire the game until christmas instead of torturing/infuriating myself whenever I play.

11 November 2006
Remembrance Day

It was a good day. The rain showers stopped, the sun shone through, and the 21 gun salute went off without any problem. After we were done then it started pissing rain again.

Watched the shoot on the 6pm news on BCTV, it was good, and also part of the first news article showing two of our guns fire.

This week was a quick week, I was back to work on Tuesday, and did the usual.
NWN2 came out late last week and I was able to get it, unfortunately I was rather disappointed. The game ran terribly slow, there were bugs everywhere, and it just felt rushed and unplayable. I uninstalled it and will reinstall it after they put out a major update, since they've finally admitted that yes the game may not be optimized. I'm pretty sure it's a problem when people have top of the line equipment and the game is still choppy.. the word of the day is un-optimized. Guessing the scenario is having a major distributor tell the game maker to get the game out regardless of its current state. Rather unfortunate in my mind, as it will hurt the reputation of the game a lot more in the long run.

1 November 2006
Last Beer

I had the last beer from Thanksgiving. 3 1/2 weeks, I'm surprised it lasted that long, it could be because neither of us knew it was hidden at the back of the fridge, however, it's mine all mine.

Having too much time on my hands as I'm still on leave from work. Must be why I'm updating this daily.

Ran into an old classmate of mine from elementary and high school, she has a child now, which is quite impressive, and to me quite a bit of a reminder that 10 years has almost passed since high school. Running into people I used to know is sort of weird, they look a bit older, and they're lives change. Makes me reflect a bit about how my life has changed, or hasn't. A point she brought up was, will there be a 10 year reunion come next year, I would like to say yes, but the more people change the more they stay the same. Rivalries and arrogance probably still exist and clicks that used to exist will still cling together as it's familiar.

31 October 2006
Walking Dead

It's Halloween. Watched Dawn of the Dead (2004 version) on TV, all in all a good movie, except for the ending where they all die. One would think that Zombies would eventually begin to rot and decompose to the point where the zombie would ingest itself, thereby rendering itself dust or some type of zombie sludge. Also if lost and at sea with shelter, one would think if need food then fish, if need water collect rainwater and dew with a tarp or fabric. However, as Nicole points out it is only a Zombie movie.

Went in to work today, which is a bit bad on my part since I'm on leave, but I was able to tie up a few loose ends do a few emails and do a bar count. Will have to pick up a fair amount of booze for Remembrance Day and the upcoming mess dinner.

To top it off we've found out our rent will be increase in 3 months. Albeit the proper paperwork was filled out. 8% is a bit of an ouch, however there wasn't an increase from earlier this year. I'm pretty sure the maximum that they legally can do without the paperwork requesting a larger increase is 5% in Canada.

30 October 2006
On leave

Monday is still an ordinary day off, however, with the expectation of the work on tuesday's it's never really a problem. However, since I'm on leave it means tomorrow is off, actually the rest of the week. Kind of bored, here's hoping NWN2 is out tomorrow, maybe a bit less bored then.

28 October 2006
Ghost Train

Went to the Stanley Park last night to right the ghost train, the theme being old horror flicks. We lucked out that we had the "director" performer in the seat right in from of out yelling out various blurbs while taking the train. Relatively inexpensive entertainment for a 20 min ride. Alas it didn't have a main feature as say last Christmas had with the Dancing Elvis on stilts.

Went in to work today, since the unit was parading, pretty simply. I was able to sort through some of the mess on my desk and put quite a bit of the stuff underneath into the shredding machine, ah paper shredder how I love thee, nothing like getting rid of junk and problems of yesteryear.. decade into a nice little pile of dust.

23 October 2006
Science World

It's a sleep in Monday. Well not really, I was up by 8am so I could cook breakfast. Also I had to make mock cabbage rolls, yum.
Went to Science world in Vancouver for 4pm so I could see BodyWorks 3 (plastination of human bodies). It cost $25 to get in, whereas $15 is for the mandatory Science World fee. It was an interesting show, with lots to see, lots of little body parts and it was rather funny that they skinned off the body to ensure all the full bodies had their eyebrows and nipples. Maybe not something for little children due to all the "flesh", plus all the bodies had their little bits.
I can understand the no cell phone, no food and no drink. However, once inside you can't leave, including leaving to use the washroom, and worse there was one entire bench in the entire place for people to sit. It took us about two hours to make it though the exhibition, could've stayed a bit longer except I was rushing a bit, hungry and my back wasn't feeling happy. Also science world closed at 6pm, which rather sucked, since I wouldn't liked to look around at some of their other stuff which they usually have around, in part, because, I've never really been to this science world except back during expo 86. I still remember the old science world which was in downtown Vancouver, in some ways I think that was niftier, maybe a tad bit more gritty, could be because everything had to have latex coating or be plastic instead of the old wood and metal.
I wonder why there are no protests with this show as compared to when the art exhibit, shown at the VAG, had the horse or was it a shark sliced into sections and put in formaldehyde.

17 October 2006
Bleh day

Went to work, cleaned up from post ex, did some forward planning, did some paperwork, yet at the end of the day it didn't really feel like I accomplished much. Guess it feels like a low productivity day, hopefully tomorrow will be better.

15 October 2006
Post Exercise

Back from the states. Went away for 4 days for an artillery ex in Ft. Lewis. It was pretty low key as our sister regiment was running the show. Mixed opinion on how it went, pre-prep for the ex was horrid, and the ex itself went a bit differently for how the unit planned. Could be because we weren't in charge, hence the headquarters side in the unit trying to be low-key. Sort of out of sight out of mind. However with the exercise, we ran into the problem of too many over qualified personnel and not enough equipment. Well it's over now, cleanup will now begin, soldiers who lost or broke equipment will start sending in their paperwork, and I'm summer the same problem and mistakes with this exercise will rear their heads again soon enough.

11 October 2006

Came home drained today. It was a long day. Tomorrow will be an early day. Getting everything packed at work, and trying to get all the paperwork good to go. Have to write all the pertinent stuff down, since there too much to remember that I have to do, if I don't then I might forget. It's rather frustrating, but I think I'll have everything ready this week, by the weekend I'll be working on paperwork from September, hopefully then I can start catching up and get back on top of everything.

9 October 2006
Good Weekend

Nicole did a fabulous job of cooking over the weekend. Made me happy. Had the family out and all worked out well. In my opinion it was a pretty good weekend, as I was able to relax. Plus did a fair amount of cleaning.

7 October 2006
Thanksgiving Weekend

Weekend again. I was able to get some paperwork done during the week, however, this usually involved me working late, since quite a few other things cropped up during work that prevented from doing it. Next week I'll be sure to bring paperwork with me to the field, plus a laptop, so that I can just have at and try getting it done.

We're doing thanksgiving dinner this weekend, a bit of a surprise since we originally weren't, but now we are. So we're scrubbing and bleaching everything to make it look nice and clean.

1 October 2006
Another Week

Another week of work has gone by, and seemed I was running more errands that I thought I would be. I was hoping to get caught up on all the paperwork I have, and perhaps go through the stuff on my desk, so that I could actually see my desk. Guess that will have to wait until next week, but I'm going to have to get it done soon though since we have audits and inspections for the next 2 months.

It's a lazy day weekend. Sit back, relax, and not think too much. Wish it would rain though, if rains enough maybe the clouds will go away.

24 September 2006
24hrs of Sleep

Interesting week. Took a Harassment Advisor course with work, short course in only being 4 days. Drank coffee like there was no tomorrow, and actually drove in to get to the place where they held the course, which was different since I usually take transit. This course will qualify me to be a Workplace Relations Advisor which is useful to have. First two days of the course were death by lecture, but by day three and four it was very interesting stuff, especially finding the ways to resolve issues and dealing with the case studies.

Friday night I slept for 12 hours, then another 4 hours on Saturday with a nap, and then Saturday night another 8 hours. So 24 hours of sleep. Hopefully this means I'm all caught up. Guess I didn't sleep very well throughout the week. Hopefully next week will be better, hopefully, as I really don't like being tired at work.

13 September 2006
1500KM and back to work

For our vacation we went to Vancouver Island. We took the ferry to Nanaimo then drove up to Port Hardy, then went to Port McNeill to take the ferry to Malcolm island. It was nice and quiet, quite serene. After several days there, we drove half-way down the island to Horne Lake Caves Provincial park, camped a few days and went caving. Then we drove to China Beach Provincial park, which is one the south-western tip of the island, and stayed there for a few days. On the last day we drove up to Port Renfrew and then over to Botanical Beach/Botany Bay, which was nifty because of all of the tide pools. Also the area is the southern tip of a rain forest.

So back to work now for the fall training period. It's going to be super busy. I'm going to have to make sure I don't turn into a workaholic, and work way past quitting time, as it's very easy to keep on working especially when in the groove. Plus it's very easy to keep on working since there is so much that does need to get done. It's sort of like death by a million mosquito bites, lots of little things that need to get done. There are also deer and horsefly bites as well for those more pressing concerns. Key thing is not to get overwhelmed and get the most pressing stuff done, while also managing to keep the long term stuff in mind.

20 August 2006

Have two weeks off of work, so some rest time before the hectic fall begins.
Watched the movie Syriana. Summary, everyone is corrupt, and if you do the "right thing" then you're killed for it by the ones who are corrupt. It was a well done movie, however, at the end I wasn't feeling terribly pleased, or disgusted could be a better interpretation.

Went out and had sushi yesterday at Tanpopo in the west end. Wasn't overly impressed, as I have had better from them in the past. After sushi went out and bought some more fish. Moved all the fish in the isolation tank into the large tank. So all the female guppies which were by themselves are now being harassed by all the guppies in the large tank. Also one of the female guppies in the small tank just gave birth to three baby guppies. If they start breeding out of control will have to use the babies as food.

Don't have any games to play right now, so sort of bored on that front. The game I was hoping would out next week has been pushed back to October. The game is UFO: Extraterrestrials, which looks like an interesting remake of the old X-Com game from back in the early 90's. Which was pretty good, and it has never really been well copied.

15 August 2006
Working Week

Should be a good week, have everything lined up to... so ASU run, setting up a new account for standing offer, and giving someone the boot from the military. After this I get two weeks leave, then its 4 months of almost no weekends and non-stop work.

I really like Pina Colada's. Have this great mix from Safeway, add ice, white rum and blend. Highly addictive, as it's perfect for warm days and after work.

Finished playing Civ 4 again on the weekend, it really get's me when I'm 4 turns away from winning the game and the computer beats me to the punch. Arggg! Not a sore loser, just don't like to lose.

7 August 2006
Long weekend

Beautiful long weekend. Busy busy busy. Watched whole lot of DVD's. Nothing like the local Rogers selling off their stock of new movies for $2 each, except the packaging was missing, still for the price it was nuts.

Went visited my Gran and Uncle yesterday for lunch, and then went to the beach. Pretty busy at the beach, however the bay is nice and warm, prime condition to go swimming in. Then today went out to the golfing ranch with Nicole and my brother and hit some balls. First time doing anything else golf related other than mini-golf.

5 August 2006
Week in Review

Made it to the weekend, went through a week back at work. Most productive day for me seemed to be the first when no one knew I was back, as I was able to take care of QM paperwork, however as soon as they knew I was back then tasks and paperwork started piling up in my inbox. Plus I was counseled on being sent back from the tasking, I'm sure there will be more fallout over the next month. Such is life. Hopefully all the QM paperwork will be up to date by September since looking at the training schedule, it seems to be non-stop from September until December.

Temperature has been great: nothing but sun, blue sky and good temperatures. Think from now on the DVD buying, or impulse buying of them will have to be controlled. Some of the previous DVD buys turned out to be really shitty movies, where you watch a bit and then they're crap. So Nicole was buying some last night, phoned, I did quick internet search and we narrowed it down to palatable movies. So we bought Transamerica and the Last Indian. Both were good movies.

Yesterday met up with my Uncle Chris, and his wife Terri who are out from Ontario. Plus my parents, my brother and good family friend Doug were there. Went out to a pub in Poco called the Cat & Fiddle, image for the restaurant didn't make much sense as it had a Cat with a cricket bat. Meh.

28 July 2006

Back home. Weather isn't too bad, as it in the mid-20's. So can't complain. Cleared out of everything yesterday afternoon, did everything in about 3hrs and was able to move most of my kit back by courier. Had to go into the base hospital, had them take a quick look at my feet and my left knee. Left knee still hurts from Canada Day. Will have to have the local medics look at it. However they gave me some anti-inflamation medicine to help with the pain in my knee and feet.

Talked to a MBdr from 78Bty in Alberta who was in Wainwright since May. Apparently they've sent enough instructors home, because of the express test, that they could've run an entire other course. I can understand about base standards, however from talking to different standard cells in Canada, they all have their own standard, so there is no real baseline. Which makes me wonder if they really want instructors to teach or instructors who can run at a certain speed.

Unpacked everything, watched a bit of tv, went and watched the movie V is for Vendetta. Pretty good movie, bit different than the Graphic Novel, however it stays pretty true to it. Bit weird now going from a go go go environment to a somewhat more relaxed environment.

27 July 2006

Did my fitness test (CF Expres Test) in the early morning. Didn't go well. Put simply, the current policy is, if you fail you're sent home. This is rather depressing, not simply by failing the test, but by failing the test I have failed those that are dependent upon me.

On a positive note, I won't be woken up at 4:30am anymore, since the infantry Sgt next door forgot to turn off his alarm clock when he went to the field. So I'll be getting more than 6hrs of sleep now.
Will be temp issuing out my drill can to another Sgt, and I will be doing a lot of paperwork for others in a bit. So something good at least will happen because of my misfortune.

On a negative note, I will be going from a nice air-conditioned room to the pits of hell... since BC is current around 40 deg Celsius. Plus going back to work in poor standings can never be good. Sure doesn't feel very good for me at least.

26 July 2006
Mid Week

Busy, busy, busy. Course was to have 36 candidates, and only 24 showed up (as of today we're down to 23). There seems to be a lot more paperwork on a SQ course than a DP1 course. Lots of extra training, inspections and counseling. Did more counseling in one day than I did on the entire previous course that I taught on. Throat is feeling a bit coarse, as there has been a fair amount of yelling, one would think for a course that is taken after basic training the candidates would be better prepared and remember what was taught to them. However, at this moment it appears they do not. Study, study, study, the instructors are busier than the candidates, have to ensure I know my drills bang on, as we're teaching them something new tomorrow.

23 July 2006
End weekend

Watched the movie Click last night at the theater. Was expecting more comedy, however, it turned into more of a drama. Few laughs, but I was looking for more entertainment instead of getting a morality lesson. Borrowed the DVD for the movie Kingdom of Heaven, was a pretty good movie, however as epic's go at some points it tries to be a big bigger than it really is such as when rallying for battle. I'm sure the convention has been used for years so that the viewers feel that they're part of a bigger event.

22 July 2006

Went out into the town of Wainwright. Lots of building going on, hundreds of new houses are going in and they're building a Warmart and Canadian Tire. Looks like the town is exploding in size. Oh yeah, a Tim Horton's is finally coming to the town. Thank goodness, as there is no coffee shop in town at all.

Went out and bought some plastic soldiers for my map kit, and went to the computer stores in town (WainMicro Computers). Bought some nice speakers and a mouse, which were quite cheap and brand name. Whoever would of thought Brasso would be so hard to pickup, none of the smaller stores carry it so had to go to the Superstore which had it. The Canex here is useless compared to other bases.

Watched the movie Aeon Flux last night. Didn't have many expectations and for me it was a good watch.

21 July 2006

Work week is done. Instructor standardization is done. Next week I begin teaching. Fun times indeed.

Recap of the last week. Flew out from Vancouver, BC to Wainwright, Alberta, Which is the main training area for the military in western Canada. Going to be teaching on an SQ, which is kind of like basic training part 2. Which is a bit different from when I got in, since it was only one course instead of two for basic.

I was able to fix Nicole's laptop. Apparently the alternator (button switch to turn off the screen) was broken, so I opened it up and it looked fine, only had to reposition it for it to work. When it last went in for repair at London Drugs it looks like they just put it in instead of gluing it in. Which is kind of lousy since the repair bill was pretty steep. However it's out of warranty now so it doesn't matter what I do to it now. It's good to have a working computer as I can take work back to my room and do work. Why work and fry when one has an air conditioner.

Sgt & WO mess is pretty sweet here. No line ups for lunch or dinner like there is in the common mess.

Final note. I Failed the express test (fitness test), and will be re-tested next week. Should pass as I'm going to the gym every day, doing pushups whenever the opportunity presents and do shuttle runs to build up the endurance for it. Had to do a small medical today so that they don't see me having any problems with doing it again. Knee still hurts a bit from doing kneeling gun drill on Canada Day, however they stated as it doesn't present an immediate problem and that I don't feel any immediate pain while exercising to deal with it when I go back home.

18 July 2006

Might as well do something with the website. Guess an online journal of sorts. Will be putting up photos, pictures and genealogy stuff at some point in time. Will be keeping it simple, since I don't have time to play to make things "pretty", so text it is.

Sgt & WO mess has wireless Internet, so will have to upload from there at some point, updates will be sparse or when time permits (weekly?). No one in the shacks has wireless.