Tag: friends

Final Days of Summer

The season does officially last almost another month, but traditionally the end of August marks the end of the summer for many people. In Bermuda, where a lot of people study away, it means that people are getting ready to leave the island, and among my friends here (many of whom are locals) there is a feeling of finality. It is a much different feel than I experienced in Vancouver last summer.

I’ve been reminded more than once that I haven’t been updating my site with news. Normally that could indicate that there is no news. However, in this case there has been and I guess I will blame my alternative outlets as the culprit. I still do intend to integrate these other information sources into the site, but I’ve been having a lot of difficulty settling on certain aspects of the renovation. I guess it is a lot like building a new house, there are a lot of decisions to be made and I don’t want to rush it.
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August 29, 2009

Relief

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

Great last night

72, 76, 91, 106

That is the progression of me getting better at bowling throughout the night. This was ten-pin bowling mind you, which I have never played before. Those bowling balls are quite heavy. I actually learned a lot about bowling in the past couple of days in the process of planning this last event out with my coworkers and friends. Apparently the most common type of bowling in Canada is five-pin bowling which I have never played before. As the name suggests, it uses five pins and a smaller ball. There are other slight variations on the rules but otherwise it is similar to the full ten-pin which is most popular in the US and UK. While the five-pin is the most dominant form in Canada, in Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia it isn’t. In Quebec it is Duckpin bowling and in NB and NS, it is Candlepin bowling. Given that growing up, the only place that I’ve ever bowled was in either Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, you can see why I’ve never played five or ten-pin.

And the rules of Candlepin are different enough that I would have been quite confused as to the rules of ten-pin but for the training I received from the Nintendo’s Wii Sports. I’ve played that bowling, in fact I was playing it the night before, which uses the ten-pin rules. So I knew that there would only be two balls per frame. What I didn’t realize, since in the Wii version I assumed this was a function of being a video game, was that after each ball, the fallen pins are cleared. This is not the case in Candlepin where fallen wood can be quite helpful in getting awkwardly arranged pins down. Apparently Candlepin is much harder, which I might agree with because I don’t think I’ve ever broken 100 in Candlepin, and the highest sanctioned score ever was 245 out of 300.

Enough about bowling though. It was a great afternoon and evening with way too much food had by me anyway. Pizza in the office—way more than we needed—and then the need to by food with our drinks at the bowling alley. Of coursed being stressed out about my move, I consumed more than might be considered wise. However, the evening was amazing. Good friends, good times. I will miss the Vancouver office so much. I feel that part of my being is in those… cubicle dividers… :). I watched it grow, and along with it, the number of great people I am happy to call friends. Jordan, Reza, Ken, and Pero, I will miss our weekend excursions and lunches. At least now you will be able to add more seafood and sushi into your rotation. Of course, I will still be in close contact electronically, but it isn’t the same. All the best.

January 23, 2009

On the move, again

It has been nine months in the making, but I’m actually leaving Vancouver. I am returning to Bermuda to continue work on a project I am currently involved with. A year in Bermuda, there could be worse things that is for sure. The weather this winter in Vancouver has been nothing short of awful (for Vancouver anyway) and so warmer shores are not unwelcome. I will likely have a flight arranged by the time I get to work tomorrow. I am leaving the night of the 24th, overnighting to Toronto and then heading to Bermuda early on the 25th. That gets me there in time for my immigration medical exam on the 26th.

Much needs to be done in the next eleven days to get my affairs in order. I need to squeeze all of my belongings back into suitcases, donating and selling those items which don’t make sense to bring with me. Backing up files, organizing papers and let’s not forget saying good-bye. No one wants to leave good friends behind, but it is a grim part of reality for someone nomadic like myself. Not to say some last minute memories can’t be made.

I’m sure there will be more updates and more photos as the relocation process continues, stay tuned.

January 13, 2009

Welty celebration

First, I’m going to start this off right with best wishes to my friend Jordan on his birthday. He likely won’t read this for a while, and I have already wished him well in person, but there is nothing quite like immortalizing it on the Internet. :)

That is the celebration part. The welts are a result of a game of paintball today with my coworkers. Nine of us in IT plus one computer-savvy business user today went down to Tsawwassan Paintball where we had booked a private course for a couple hours. It was a lot of fun, and our good work dynamic made it all the more enjoyable. How often do you get to shoot at your boss? I will say that while I always enjoy playing, I’m not all that good at it. I guess my lack of first person video gaming combat became very apparent as I was often quickly dispatched by some of my more adept colleagues. And now I have a couple of relatively painless welts from some of my more devastating eliminations. Fortunately not anywhere that shows whilst wearing office clothes. While I did get shot in the mouth once, I managed to avoid catching one in my neck which happened to at least two my teammates.

All said and done, a very successful and enjoyable outing. I hope that we get a chance to do it again some time.

July 22, 2008

Successful excursion

I am now back in line at the border, this time lingering in the US, which is never preferrable. We are at a different crossing, in the hopes it would be faster which is what the Internet lead me to believe. Only it doesn’t seem to be the case.

The soccer game was great, Canada played really well and for a while it was tied at one, then two. The final score was 3-2 for Brazil, but it was fun anyway. Afterwards we stopped off at Merchant’s Cafe, which is apparently the oldest bar on the west coast. After Jordan won a number of games of pool against a random assortment of patrons we went off in search of some food.

We tried a couple of places before we found Il Bistro. At this point we were 11 people. Finding something that had space and was serving food wasn’t easy. But we lucked out in the end, taking advantage of a late happy hour with cheap app-sized pastas and a nice four-cheese pizza. We continued on drinking and it was around 1:30 before we called it a night and ended up back at the hotel.

After a slow morning, we all met up again at a coffee shop on Capital hill and experienced what coffee was meant to be. We ended up leaving after that, saying goodbye to the rest of our party. And that is where you find me—writing this on my Blackberry still waiting to reach the border.

June 1, 2008

Seattle bound

I am currently sitting in a Chrysler Sebring convertible stopped admist miles of vehicles. I am waiting to get across the border into the US for our weekend trip to Seattle. I’m not sure how I feel about driving in the back of a convertible on major highways, but it is nice to be out in the open during this nice day just waiting in the car.

We are heading to a soccer game tonight between Canada and Brazil. And at this rate we might just make it. ;) Hopefully I’ll have some more photos when I get back tomorrow night.

May 31, 2008

Long weekend camping

Most unlike me to not mention upcoming things in my life, especially when they are interesting ones like a weekend camping trip to Vancouver Island. As it turns out, camping is a pretty common activity in BC, with the May long weekend being the point when most camping fans break out their gear for another season. I headed out with my friend and coworker Jordan and his girlfriend on Friday, and along with seven others spent the three nights in Green Point Campground, which is in the Pacific Rim National Park.

I will also quickly warn you that this is a long post. Lets just say I have written university papers that were shorter. It is pretty much a blow by blow account of what I did over this weekend. You may enjoy it, I tried to make it entertaining, but in reality it is mostly for me. A historical record that I can look back on in years to come and remember with fondness these good times. My desire to create and publish are the only reasons it doesn’t remain a file on my computer. All the best. :)
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May 25, 2008

Van Aqua

In my duck tongue excitement, I forgot to mention my trip to the Aquarium on Saturday. Unlike our previous attempt, Jordan and I managed to make it to the aquarium and into the doors without waiting for the rest of our natural lives. I think we actually caught the end of the line that was there from Easter.

After paying our entrance tariff, we started to explore the depths of what the Vancouver Aquarium had to offer. I’ve said it before, but I have a real affinity towards aquariums. I don’t know why, I’m not particularly nautical in any way, but there is something about sea life that I find fasinating—as long as it is not swimming with me. I had heard some pretty good things about the aquarium here, that it was an impressive size, with an impressive array of displays. I definitely wasn’t disappointed by my first visit, but I will say that I wasn’t hugely impressed either. They had a nice diversity of animals, with the sea otters and seals being popular in my books. I also really liked the seahorse and jellyfish. They also have an “Amazon Jungle” display which is definitely interesting with it’s large fish exhibit.

This is definitely something interesting to see when you are Vancouver, and if you can, I would recommend going during the week to avoid the bulk of the crowds—and the kids. Kids definitely love their fish. :)

April 29, 2008

A bit less duck tongue

In case you were wondering how much duck tongue is in fact too much, the answer is any. Today I had lunch with a number of my colleagues at the Fortune Restaurant just downstairs in the mall connected to my office tower. It is actually a seafood restaurant, or claims to be on their sign, but in fact have many dishes which are not seafood. Really, perhaps the best name for it would be a Dim Sum restaurant. Those who know me can attest to the fact that I can’t eat seafood. And while I really enjoy Chinese food, I am not a fan of Dim Sum. Lunch today was a bit of an experience for everyone involved. The problem with mixing vegetarians and people who may or may not eat seafood is that unless you are experienced with what you are ordering there can be much confusion. We were not experienced.

And as it turned out sometimes you don’t always get what you ordered. We definitely ordered a couple portions of spring rolls which didn’t show up at any point. And there was one dish which no one recognized when it showed up. It looked like some kind of meat, but no one could place it. Well after a few rounds, we determined that it was duck tongue. And for some reason we had ordered two portions of it. It didn’t taste too bad, it was in some nice sauce, but it had some hard cartilage like piece in the middle. That made it quite awkward to eat and required a bit of oral dexterity to separate the tongue meat from the cartilage. I can’t believe I actually just said tongue meat.

Not a bad meal in all, I ended up going away fair well sated, but I guess I could have done with a bit less duck tongue.

April 28, 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

Disconnecting

After living in Bermuda for four months and nine days, I am disconnecting my Internet connection today and packing up my belonging to fly off to Vancouver. It is a bittersweet departure, as I am both looking forward to the new adventure and challenges of living and working in Vancouver, but at the same time, I have managed to make a number of friends here in Bermuda, and I am sorry my time here has to end.

Thank you Bermuda, your friendly welcoming nature made the past months enjoyable. And thanks to my Bermuda coworkers who also made my arrival and transition easier.

On a slightly geekier note, today is Pi Day (3.14) and Albert Einstein’s birthday. Enjoy.

March 14, 2008

Social Week

I’m not the type of person who is always going out on the town. At the moment anyway, I tend to just work and then head home, watch a bit of TV, waste some time online or chat with some friends and family. Sometimes I’ll really geek out and program something for my website. However, this past week was quite different.

It started Tuesday with a trip to the Bermuda attempt of an English pub, the Robin Hood. Nice place, and the food is good pub fare. And it is close to work. A few of us went there for drinks, which ended up lasting a few hours. And while we usually end up talking shop, it was a nice release from work, and the norm.

Wednesday brought a dinner out at Cafe Cairo. The atmosphere there was really quite unique, at least within Bermuda. As the name suggests, the place was ostensibly an Egyptian/Middle East restaurant, and while I have yet to visit that region in person, if I were to make a guess at what I might expect, this might have been close to one end of the stereotypical spectrum. My hummus starter was very tasty, and while my ravioli was also really good, there wasn’t much to it. I finished my meal in half the time as everyone else in my party and I was actually making a conscious effort to eat slowly because I knew I didn’t have much. And anything ordered between five and seven are 25% off.

Thursday was a busy day at work, which turned into a late evening at work. Fortunately I was able to get away in time to grab a take out sub and fries from Portofino and then meet a colleague from work and his visiting friend for a trip to Liberty Theatre to catch the late showing of Cloverfield. It was a very interesting film, which apparently ran quite a nice viral marketing campaign. I may post my thoughts on the movie as a separate post. Another late night walking home, another night of just crashing into bed.

And that brings us to last night, Friday. After another crazy busy day at work which caused me to miss our weekly work “Happy Hour”, I joined a couple of guys from work for a night out. It was a quick decision as they walked by saying I should join. After the day I had, I just wanted to go to bed, but what the hell. It was mostly IT, as are a lot of my sojourns, but this time we were joined by a “user”. A new woman who arrived in Bermuda while I was in London. She will be moving back to Vancouver shortly after I head there. The Pickled Onion was our first stop, where we had a couple of rounds of drinks and a few appetizers. After that we hit up two more places, Fresco’s and Docksider’s Pub The Beach. It was a nice time and I got to experience some Bermuda nightlife in some of the places I walk by going home many nights. The others in my group, bolstered by the social lubrication and artificial stamina of alcohol, were heading into a club when I had to part ways, citing extreme exhaustion. That was exactly the case. A returned to the office to retrieve some of my things and then caught the last bus out of town, quelling some of my walking time.

All said, it was a great week, and I would like to extend my thanks to those colleagues and friends who extended their invitations to me. Cheers mates.

February 2, 2008

Nice to catch up

Yesterday I spent the day in Reading, which was a bit nostalgic for me. I met up with three people, two of whom were great friends from my Masters. People I used to spend a lot of time with but now I rarely see. We aren’t the best at staying in touch, but I think that only makes any infrequent visits more enjoyable. There is more to catch up on. We spent the day moving from pub to pub in Reading, recounting the many good times and adventures we shared. It was just what I needed at this point when I am still trying to find my place in my “new” life.

January 27, 2008

Weather

Bermuda: 15°C
Halifax: 0.3°C

Backpack: Get Organized and Collaborate
It's not necessary that each program be a visual work of art. But it's important that it not be ugly. #