Tag: family

Another year behind us

I just wanted to take this time to wish everyone who reads this a happy holidays and a hope for all the best in 2010.

It has been another interesting year for me, moving to Bermuda once again, hopefully this time for a bit longer, but only time will tell that story. At the moment I am home in Nova Scotia with my family, which makes me happy. I only get to see them once or twice a year, so I definitely enjoy these times.

I suspect that 2010 will be a busy one for myself, but enjoyable none-the-less.

December 26, 2009

A week of two brothers

It was a hot, tiring week, but like all good things, it too had to come to an end. The week in question was this past week when two of my brothers, Adam and Peter, joined me in Bermuda for some fun in the sun.

The trip which was planned as a way to make sure all of my family has had a chance to visit this small island which I now call home. It also doubled as a graduation present for Adam who will be walking across the stage to receive his degree in a couple of weeks. They grow up so fast. I’m still coping with the thought of living a “real” life myself. Although sometimes living in Bermuda can make it feel a little fantastic.

As for the week, I rented scooters for my brothers and we cruised around the island playing the role of tourist. Beaches, forts, lighthouses and various other sites and activities were mingled amongst naps, BBQs, and evenings relaxing at home. It was low key, but at the same time high energy, at least if you consider heat to be energy. :)

There are photos and video of the week, and I’m hoping to have had a chance to go through them before too long, while it is still fresh, and share some of the memories with others.

UPDATE: I made a video of the week: Bate Boys Bermuda Bash

May 9, 2009


This won’t be long, I’m on my blackberry at the airport, but I made it alright.

Not made it to Bermuda, yet, but made it through the monumental task of completely sorting out all of my stuff and somehow packing it to head back to the tiny island in the Atlantic. If I knew how difficult this was going to be, I would have been a bit more hesitant to agree to it.

I think the problem was that I didn’t have my mother to help me this time. While my friends have been helpful above and beyond the call of duty—especially Jordan—they just aren’t the same as my mom there helping out. Mom: if and when I leave Bermuda, you might find a ticket with your name on it for the week before I leave. :)

Okay, this is longer than I anticipated. Good bye Canada, this time I have no plans to return.

January 24, 2009

Photo Update

I have finally finished going through my photos from Christmas. Actually I haven’t, but the ones from the 21st to the 27th I have, and those are the ones which I uploaded not too long ago. Hopefully this satisfies those family members who were anxious to see them.

On another photography related matter, I have recently (as of today) assembled what I am dubbing the ultimate tripod. Instead of buying increasingly expensive tripods as I grow into my hobby more and more, I took the advice of Thom Hogan and went all out right from the start. I’ve already added them to my gear page, but the ingredients that went into this tripod are as follows:

  • Induro CX-214 Carbonflex 8X tripod legs — carbon fiber for reduced weight since I tend to fly my stuff around a lot. I went with a four section leg because of size as well. It is far more stable than what I had before so I can’t comment versus the three-section. It also has a center column which can be mounted horizontally for some pretty cool setups. It also allows for some very low shots if necessary.
  • Really Right Stuff BH-55 LR Ballhead — the cadillac of ball heads. This guy is expensive but fully impressive. Rated at 50 lbs, it is more than capable of handling anything I can throw at it. I also got the quick release lever clamp for it.
  • Really Right Stuff B50D-L L-Plate — this is the complement to the quick release clamp, the quick release L-plate. Custom fitted to the Canon 50D, this plate allows for the camera to be mounted in landscape and portrait orientation without repositioning the ball head. Brilliant. Great for panoramas.

The only other thing that I’m debating is getting a macro rail from Really Right Stuff as well. I was very impressed not only with the incredible quality of their equipment, but the service I received as well. I had trouble putting my payment through on their website, so I called them and they acknowledged there were some issues and offered to complete my order over the phone. So I told them what I wanted and gave my card details. I asked for the slightly more expensive UPS Express shipping because it was coming from California and the more expensive shipping usually includes free brokerage (making it overall cheaper). Not a lie, I had my merchandise 24 hours later. Seriously impressive.

Overall this combined tripod allows for rock solid positioning of my camera pretty much anyway I want.

January 7, 2009

Living the high life

I am talking literally high above the earth, as I have now moved into my 28th floor apartment which will be my home for the next couple of months anyway. It has taken me just under two hours of being here to get my Internet sorted out with the provider and to get things like my computer setup. I’m still very much not unpacked, which is what I plan to spend Saturday doing.

Many thanks go out to my aunt, uncle and cousin who helped me move all of my accumulated crap out of my cousin’s place and into this one. I seem to have managed to acquire more than I thought over the past couple of months. If I had spent more than one day packing I might have been able to go through some of the junk that I have and thrown out some of the stuff I don’t need any more. But two car loads were all that it took, and I suspect that with the right car, and careful packing, one car could carry it all. But we had to rush it since I managed to mess up the time I was supposed to meet the owner and get the keys.

The place itself is small, but modern and comfortable. As I may have mentioned, this place as a washer/dryer en-suite, which is a huge convenience. There is also a dishwasher, which I likely won’t use much, but would be nice if I was entertaining a couple of people and didn’t want to wash up myself. The pool and the amazing proximity to the Skytrain are the final two pros that make this place a good spot for me. It’s been a long evening though, and I have to go and spend the first night in my new bed. Photos of the apartment are forthcoming.

July 31, 2008

A weekend about town

It was a lot of walking. It was good for me, but it was still quite a tiring experience, one that I have no regrets about. It started on Friday, Good Friday, and I thought it would be cool to visit the Vancouver Aquarium for the afternoon. I really like aquariums, as they allow us to not only see creatures that we can’t readily see in the wild, but we can witness the awe of a completely foreign environment. Short on the heels of the Bermuda Aquarium, I knew the one in Vancouver would be significantly more impressive.

And I was impressed — with the length of the queue. After bussing into downtown and meeting up with my friend Jordan, we walked over to Stanley park. For a couple of supposedly clever guys, we weren’t clever enough to predict the vast number of people who were trying to get in, that the last day of the kids’ spring break and a holiday as well. So we went, we saw and we kept right on walking. We walked up to the sea wall on the other side of the running track. We then strolled along the scenic walk to the lighthouse and beyond, back to the entrance to the park. Continuing along the waterfront we walked into the downtown core, towards Canada Place and then cut up back to Jordan’s place.

After a brief rest for our feet, we headed out to Science World to meet some friends of Jordan’s for a couple of shows at the Omnimax. It was a nice walk, past the GM Place, where a Canucks game was obviously starting, out to the end of False Creek. Since Science World was closed at that point, only open to patrons of the Omnimax, Jordan and I had a chance to play with all of the toys and puzzles which are available on the first floor. There were two movies, one about Egyptian Mummies, and the other about the Grand Canyon and Colorado River.

Saturday was another day with a fair bit of walking. Jordan and I met up with another coworker to head over to North Vancouver on the Seabus, just to check it out. North Vancouver is quite a hilly place, being at the foot of a mountain, and we climbed the streets up to Keith Street. We then wound back down to the waterfront and eventually headed back downtown. Seabus, Skytrain and then back on foot down Granville to El Furniture Warehouse. We stopped in for drinks and at that point we were joined by yet another coworker. After a bit we all headed back to our places, with me retreating to Jordan’s place as I don’t live downtown. In the end, no one was able to meet up again, so we ended up just hanging out for a bit before I headed back.

Sunday didn’t have much walking. It did, however, have a great Easter meal prepared by my aunt. It was a gathering of relatives and a few friends as well. There was some dissidence about the lack of mashed potatoes, but I thought it was absolutely great. I hope everyone had a safe and happy Easter weekend.

March 24, 2008

Weekend of the lamb

Despite a forecast of rain and overcast here in Bermuda, March seemed determined to come in with a weekend of rather pleasant weather. And as my second to last weekend on the island, I tried to make it as enjoyable as possible. I ended up renting a scooter again on Saturday, which greatly enhanced my mobility and thus my opportunity to get out and take advantage of the nice days. Among other outings, it was my third weekend in a row at the beach. The water was chilly but manageable. I was thinking that this would definitely been the most often I’d been at the beach in such a short period of time, but I momentarily forgot about my five day beach odyssey in Montenegro last summer. Those beaches didn’t have sand though, so the experience is different. However I look at it, my “beach density” is at an all time high.

Other highlights of the weekend involve getting lost in a posh-looking golf course, limestone caves, a BBQ and a dinner party. You can see photos of the BBQ in my darkroom. It is the story of my life when it comes to living somewhere temporarily. It is always the last couple weeks that I start to find my place. Perhaps the prospect of leaving goads me into action. And next week my parents and brother are here to visit so it will likely be fairly action packed. A nice way to close out my time here before I fly out to Vancouver.

March 3, 2008

Ultimate tropical month

Ultimate in the sense of last. Tropical in the sense that it could be, if it weren’t winter. But it certainly has been pleasant and I have nothing to complain about weather-wise. I am now starting to plan my relocation to Vancouver. Fortunately, I’m somewhat used to picking up and relocating, having drifted around Europe in the pursuit of my masters.

I am hoping that I am able to squeeze a bit of Bermuda into my time here. That should happen my final week, at which time my parents and youngest brother are coming down to visit me here. I am quite looking forward to it honestly. I always enjoy showing people around and area I am familiar with, and of course my parents are a captive audience. I’ve been planning an itinerary of touristy things to do when they are here… many of which I haven’t done before. So expect more photos from that one week than the rest of my time here combined. I know I have been neglecting my photos and I promised myself that if it is a nice weekend, I will try to get outside and snap some more photos.

PS: Happy Valentine’s Day…

February 14, 2008

Winter fun

When I was on my way into the office today, I noted how nice and warm it was, especially after our bout of chilly weather this past week. Of course, as I’ve mentioned on countless occasions, anything here is warmer than at home in Canada this time of year. So to share a bit of the wintry goodness with everyone, I wanted to showcase a before and after photo of the seven-foot snowman that my brother built in December. As most people who have built a snowman can tell you, they don’t last forever, many not lasting more than a day or two before the forces of nature or neighbourhood kids bring it to a snowy grave.

However, a mound of snow the size of that snowman does have some staying power. But a day of rain will have a toll, and the after photo shows a redressing of the tiny bit of snow that was left after a mild and wet Christmas Eve. Not much left of Frosty there.
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January 6, 2008

Christmas vacation

Every year for my whole life, I have spent Christmas at home with my family. In the past six or seven years that would mean coming home during "Christmas break" at school. School wasn't always in the same spot, but I always had some time to make it back home. This, however, is my first year that I have to take actual vacation time off work to make the trip home. It would be easier of course if I weren't in a different country, but I am.

I was recently speaking with one of my colleagues at work who is originally from Singapore. He was asking me about my Christmas traditions, at least in regards to how I valued them in my life and whether I always spend Christmas with my family. I told him that yes, it was a very important time for me to spend at home with my family, and that it would take some sort of natural disaster to keep me from being at home at least for a couple days around Christmas. For him, he feels the same way about Chinese New Year. Which makes sense to me now because I knew that he had two weeks booked off from the 1st to the 15th of February.

And so, tomorrow I will be flying home, back to Canada to spend a week or so with my family. Now all I have to do is mentally and/or physically prepare for the drastic change in temperature that accompanies that flight.

Happy holidays everyone!

December 22, 2007

Yet another Mac user

Slowly but surely I am converting my family of computer savvy power users into computer savvy Mac power users. My father and my youngest brother have been Mac users for a couple of years now, happily going about their way on a system they can be happy with.

My oldest brother has always been on the fence about them. Not a user per se, but admiring them from afar. Which is a fair stance to take since they are more expensive machines, no question. It would be akin to admiring a beautiful leather couch or a 50" LCD TV if the money weren't there. However, unless you watch TV professionally, the odds are that the Mac is a better investment. And, if like my father, you can get your employer to buy you the computer, all the better. Such is the case now with my brother who is going to be the owner of a new black Macbook.

Now I need to work on my remaining brother and my mother to complete the Mac family unit. These are going to be tougher sells I think. I might have to wait until university softens my brother up a bit before I'll get that convert. Time will tell.

September 19, 2007


Bermuda: 15°C
Halifax: 0.3°C

Backpack: Get Organized and Collaborate
The most common way to get usability wrong is to listen to what users say rather than actually watching what they do. — Jakob Nielsen