Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hockey Nation

Today our prime minister, Stephen Harper, visited the Team Canada dressing room at Scotiabank Place, the site of the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championship going on right now in Ottawa, ON. The PM and his son, Ben, wished Team Canada's players well in their upcoming game against Team USA (at 7:30 p.m. EST on New Year's Eve). Surely no one can dispute that Canada is Hockey Nation when our country's leader takes time out of his day to meet with junior players and wish them good luck in this important international competition game.

EDIT: 12/31/08
The PM's visit must have worked because Team Canada won the game 7-4! In all fairness, Team USA came out strong at the start of the game going up 3-0 on Canada, but the Canadians came back to tie the game at 3-3 before the end of the 1st period. The goals went back and forth in the 2nd period with Canada leading 5-4 going into the 3rd. The score stayed the same in the 3rd period until the US coach pulled his goalie to put an extra player on the ice in the hopes of getting the equalizing goal. The Canadians took advantage and potted two empty net goals, winning the last game in Pool A's round robin. With the win, the Canadians move straight into a semi-final game on Saturday. They will play the winner of tomorrow's quarter-final game between Russia or the Czech Republic. The US has to play a quarter-final game against Slovakia tomorrow. The winner will play in a semi-final game against Sweden on Saturday. The winners of the semi-final games will play Monday in the gold medal game, while the losers play earlier in the bronze medal game. Tournament schedule

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trevor Linden Night

If only I was done my finals right now. I could be boarding a plane this very minute, bound for home. Canada, the true north, cold and free! I can't wait to go home and experience some really cold weather. The West is in the middle of a ferocious cold spell at the moment and I hope that it waits around until I get home. But, snow and cold aside, the real reason that I wish I was flying home tonight, is because Trevor Linden's No. 16 is going to be retired at the Vancouver Canucks home arena, GM Place, tomorrow night. I would give almost anything to be at that game, but, even if I were back in BC by the 7 p.m. start time, I know I would never be able to see the game live. Tickets to Canucks games are in such high demand that the whole season sells out within 10 minutes of going on sale in September. And I know that tickets for Dec. 17 were the first to go. The next best option would be to curl up in our comfy, pink rocking chair and turn on the game to watch the pre-game show and see Linden's number retire. The last time the Canucks retired a jersey was Nov. 3, 1991, more than 18 years ago, when former Canucks captain, Stan Smyl's No. 12 was raised to the roof! Tomorrow marks the end of the 16 Days of Linden and another former captain, one of Vancouver's best loved players, will get his time to shine. I just can't believe that I'll miss it.

Linden's tribute video from the number retirement ceremony

Monday, December 01, 2008

Advent Calendars

Today I drove Tim to Fresh Market so he could pick up some myzithra cheese. While he was trying to find it, I saw some exquisite looking smoked gouda that was completely irresistible...so I decided to buy it. And then I saw Advent Calendars for sale. I didn't have time to look at them extensively because Tim had to get back to SAU for a quartet rehearsal, but I think I'll go back in the next day or two and get myself one because it just doesn't feel quite like December without one. Plus, I'm pretty sure that eating one of those little chocolates every day for 24 days straight is probably an excellent idea...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Flanders Fields

More than 100,000 Canadians soldiers have died in various conflicts since 1899, including:
  • More than 240 in the Boer War
  • More than 66,000 in World War I
  • More than 44,000 in World War II
  • 516 in the Korean War
  • 121 in peacekeeping missions
  • 97 in Afghanistan (to date)
Today marks the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War, which ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

This poem by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian doctor, was written on May 3, 1915 as he was on the battlefield at Ypres, Belgium. It's the reason we wear poppies.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Shawn Hlookoff, a singer originally from Nelson, BC, wrote this song, "To raise awareness for the men and women who are risking their lives for their country and not receiving the respect they rightfully deserve."

Some people say, I'm a fighter
Some people hate what I do
I stand for my country
I stand for you
I have a family that loves me
They respect what I do
Try telling your child, you're leaving
Believe me, it's a hard thing to do

So if I die don't judge me
I will not judge you
And if I die, please accept it
I would die for you

We all have our reasons
Rules, morals, beliefs
I won't slander your opinions
I'm just searching for peace

So if I die don't judge me
I will not judge you
And if I die, please accept it
I would die for you


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Lest We Forget

Since I left for college, every year at this time I wish I was at home. I'm not homesick (although I do long to see my beloved mountains again and to enjoy some real cold weather), I simply miss celebrating Remembrance Day. In Canada, Nov. 11 is a federal holiday and, until college interfered, I always attended the annual Remembrance Day ceremony. Now, residing in the States during the school year, I've realized that I really miss Remembrance Day. Down here it seems like nobody cares about the significance of Nov. 11. Veteran's Day sales seem to have become more important than using the day to remember those who lost their lives. So this year, instead of being home and going to the Remembrance Day ceremony at Kelowna's City Park, I'll do the same thing that I've done since Nov. 2003...get out my red poppy lapel pin and wear it on my backpack for the next week. It's the least I can do to honour the soldiers who fought and died for my country.

Remembrance Day related news stories:
Fallen Soldier Vigil
Poppy stickers
Poppy Man
CBC News In Depth: Remembrance Day

Friday, October 31, 2008

Canadian Politics and The Liberals

Everything that you've ever wanted to know about Canadian Politics as well as the Liberal Party of Canada and their leader/former leader Stephane Dion can be learned by watching these two short clips.

This video follows Allo Stephane!, which seems to have disappeared from YouTube so you'll just have to imagine it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

RMR Corn Maze

*This post is inspired by Danielle's suggestion to go to a corn maze for Tyler's birthday, the recent Canadian federal election, and, of course, my love of the Rick Mercer Report*

On Oct. 21 (ironically Ty's birthday) the Rick Mercer Report visited a farm in Thamesville, Ontario. This farm boasts a five kilometre long corn maze. But wait, there's more. Watch and see the most amazing part of this RMR segment:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Media & the Presidential Election

As many of you might know, I'm Canadian. I have a fairly good understanding about how Canadian politics work, but I don't really know anything about U.S. politics (and I don't pretend that I do). In light of this, I decided that this semester I should take Media & the Presidential Election, an upper division Communications class, to learn more about the politics that turn Americans into crazy people every four years. This is part of what we learned in yesterday's class:
Gov. Palin and Senator Clinton address the nation

Monday, September 01, 2008

Skipping Rocks

Today's "How to of the Day" on my iGoogle account piqued my interest so I clicked the link and this is what I found: How to Skip Rocks. I read through the information in order to become a more proficient rock-skipper myself and then came to the videos. While the first video was mildly amusing to those of us that learned how to skip rocks before we started school, the second one, showing the world record holder in rock skipping with 51 skips, was mind-blowing! I thought it blog worthy and I hope you'll agree. Take a look...

Monday, August 18, 2008

2nd Annual Waterslide Day

Last August, Bryn and our friends, Julie and Cherry, invented Annual Waterslide Day. Originally they were planning to go to Mariner's Reef, the largest waterslide park in the Okanagan Valley just across the lake in Westbank. Unfortunately, earlier that summer Mariner's Reef had been closed down and the land sold to contractors eager to turn the area into a subdivision. Bryn, Julie and Cherry had to amend their first plan and decided instead that Waterslide Day would be held annually at Atlantis Waterslides just outside Vernon, 40 minutes north of Kelowna. I already had plans to spend Sunday to Thursday on a Shuswap Lake houseboat with my dad, aunt, uncle and cousins, so I wasn't able to attend the inaugural Waterslide Day. But yesterday I was finally able to participate in Annual Waterslide Day!

This year, in addition to the three original Waterslide Day members making the journey to Vernon, there were five of us "new inductees" along: Chris, Andrew, Keli, Max and me. Everyone gathered at our house at 11 a.m. and then waited half an hour for the always-late Chris to drive up from his house in Oliver, an hour and a half south of Kelowna. While we waited, Max tried out my dad's massage chair and Andrew worked on a solution to our Log Stacker puzzle in the living room. Bryn, Julie, Cherry and Keli took over the TV room and cheered on Canada's Olympic women's softball team. I divided my time between talking to Andrew and Max in the living room and running to the TV room whenever I heard a loud celebration go up from the Olympic cheering squad to find out what had transpired in the game. Finally Chris arrived and we set out in two cars — the girls in Cherry's car and the guys in Max's jeep — to Vernon.

We spent a fun and eventful four and a half hours at Atlantis Waterslides waiting in long lines, plugging up the River Riot with our tubes, and warming up in the hot tub. When everyone was too extremely hungry to think about going on anymore waterslides, we gathered our belongings, took a few pictures together and drove back into Vernon, where we ate supper at Taco Del Mar. It was immensely delicious! When Julie, Andrew and Bryn were done their food, they ran just down the street to Tim Hortons and brought back some doughnuts, Tim Bits and other Tim Horton-y delights. Bryn and I decided that before going to Dairy Queen for a second dessert, we needed to make a detour and see the Vernon Community Music School once again. From 1998 until we graduated from high school, Bryn, Tyler and I had taken music lessons at VCMS and we wanted to make sure it still looked the same. It did and we continued back to the highway for DQ treats, which very few of us actually finished since we were so completely full by this time.

As we started back to Kelowna, those of us in the girl's car (now numbering five since Keli had decided to join the more exciting car) took another detour toward the north end of Okanagan Lake. We found a small public beach just past the Vernon airport and piled out for the first of three Lake Dunks. Max climbed a willow tree while Andrew found some of its branches tied together to form a swing, quickly climbed into it, and got Keli to push him. Bryn and I documented Andrew's tree swinging experience on video with Bryn's and Julie's cameras and then I took pictures of Cherry, Bryn and Julie on the beach and also an airplane that flew over us on final approach to the runway. Chris meanwhile was sitting on a log and twirling his key lanyard while he watched the rest of us run around. Bryn was in the process of trying to figure out how to get a picture of all eight of us sitting on the log when a little girl came walking across the beach, so Bryn asked if she could take the picture, which she kindly agreed to. Then it was time for us to dunk. The guys had all changed back into their clothes at the waterslides, so only us girls were adventurous enough to get wet again. As Julie and I started wading into the water, I joked that I should throw her in. When she asked if I was serious, I replied that if someone would help me I most definitely was serious. Immediately Max, Andrew and Keli, who had heard the exchange, were at my side begging Julie's permission to throw her into the lake. She agreed, sat down in the shallow water and held up her arms and legs. We all grabbed her hands and feet, swung her counting, "ONE-TWO-THREE" and threw her a couple feet into the water. Julie shrieked and yelped and splashed. The rest of us were helplessly giggling on the shore, half because we hadn't exerted ourselves enough to throw her very far and half because on TWO I had lost my footing and fell straight back into the water on my bottom. Later I found out that Bryn had caught the whole thing on video! When our laughter subsided, Max suggested they throw me next. It looked like fun and was an easy way to get wet so I also agreed to the Lake Toss. They must have swung me in just such a way that I turned mid-air and ended up landing in the water stomach-down. When I splashed my way back to the surface, I found Julie laughing so hard that she fell back into the water. Her fall caused me to start laughing too and when we tried to stop giggling, one of us would start again so it took a few minutes to stop completely. I think if we wouldn't have stopped we might have had to get one of the guys to rescue us from laugh-drowning. I wanted to try for a more dignified landing so while Bryn and Cherry waded into the water for their own Lake Dunk, the three guys tried the Lake Toss on me again. Although I didn't know it at the time, Chris, still sitting on the log, had picked up Bryn's camera and got this throw on video. This time Max and Andrew let go of my legs just a tiny bit before Keli let go of my arms which made it possible for me to land crouched in the water, but still on my feet! As it dawned on me that I had made a pretty good landing, I realized that I needed to finish in good Olympic style. I sprang straight up and threw my arms into the air like a gymnast who just nailed a difficult vault. Then Julie and I swam out a little ways and proceeded to get our legs tangled in a forest of seaweed. I mentioned that I'd heard this area was the Ogopogo's feeding ground and we both hurriedly headed back to the beach. Us girls dried off and we all ran back to the cars to continue on to the next lake.

The drive from Vernon to Oyama was relatively uneventful except for about five minutes when we couldn't see the guy's car anywhere behind us. We wondered if they had broken down and Cherry slowed to way below the speed limit so Max could catch up to us. They finally caught up just before we turned off the highway onto Oyama Rd. between Kalamalka Lake and Woods Lake. We drove to a small public beach on the south end of Kalamalka Lake and were delighted to find a small dock just a short swim from shore. Before Lake Dunk #2 we got some pictures of a really neat sand castle someone had made and was still intact near the water. Then Julie, Bryn, Cherry and I cautiously walked into the rocky-bottomed lake. Once it was deep enough we dunked under and started swimming to avoid walking on the sharp rocks. Julie got to the dock first and climbed up the ladder at the back and then helped me climb up the side of the dock. Cherry was strong enough to pull herself up and she and Julie hauled Bryn up. We decided our course of action and started with the 4-Person Synchronized Dive. When we were all back on the dock, Julie, Cherry and I executed the Lake Tossed on Bryn, then Julie, Bryn and I attempted to Lake Toss Cherry although, without her strength, we were little weaklings and barely even got her over the edge of the dock. Our final event was the 4-Person Synchronized Cannon Ball. Cherry, Julie and I cannon balled with such enthusiasm that we managed to sink our feet into the surprisingly muddy lake bottom up to our ankles and when we surfaced, we laughed and shrieked so much that we almost drank half the lake (just a slight hyperbole)!! We finally calmed down enough to swim to shore and quickly raced back to our cars for the final dip.

We drove about 20 seconds to the other side of the thin strip of land separating the two lakes and parked beside the railway tracks next to Woods Lake. Bryn got to the beach first and found a rope hanging from a willow tree. I decided to sacrifice myself and tested out the rope to see if it could hold any weight; I soon pronounced it swing-able. As I swung out over the shallow edge of the lake, I realized that I was holding the rope too high and if I let go I would surely hit the bottom of the lake so I decided against swinging my way into the lake. Bryn tried the rope too, but held on lower so her fall into the water would be shorter. In the end it didn't help too much since she hit the bottom anyway, but her landing wasn't too hard and it provided us with new laughs because she looked so funny. Then us girls swam out to one of the buoy's and tried to push it completely under water without much success. Finally, spent of all energy, we walked back up to the railway tracks and watched the strange game that the guys had invented as we were swimming and then sat around the parking lot and talked for a bit until we all were so thirsty we had to leave.

We drove to Winfield on the opposite side of Woods Lake from the highway which gave us a really pretty view of dusk settling over the valley. At Winfield we got onto the highway again and came back to our house. Again Cherry's driving got us to our destination much before the guys arrived. We had no idea where the three other guys had gone until they finally showed up and said they had stopped at Andrew's house on the way to let him change into clean clothes. Andrew had put on a plaid shirt to match the plaid shirts that Chris and Max were wearing. I told Keli that he needed one also to match the rest of the guys and he asked if my dad had any plaid shirts. I ran to find one and then got the idea that all us girls should wear plaid shirts too for some pictures. Bryn and I each only had one plaid shirt, but I grabbed two other of my dad's shirts for Cherry and Julie, which were of course way too big. We decided that the shirts not fitting right would make an even better plaid photoshoot since none of our plaid patterns and colours matched anyway. My mum had a great time taking crazy pictures of us with both her cameras and told me later that she had taken 79 pictures of us in our plaid! When the photoshoot was finished, we discussed plans for doing stuff together another day this week and then everyone headed home.

I'm pretty sure that the second Waterslide Day was much more eventful than the first, but now we'll have to figure out how to make the third even better!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Lost has Been Found

Last night, while Bryn, my friend Jodi and I were watching TV for a bit, my parents started cleaning up our old motor home, which my dad took away to the RV place this morning. Almost as soon as they went out to start, Mum and Dad were both back inside and came to find me. My mum had her hands behind her back and both my parents proclaimed excitedly that they had a surprise for me. I, naturally, got quite excited as well and took three guesses (a kitten, some candy and a book that I have been missing for around three years since I loaned it to a friend who never gave it back), all of which were wrong. When my mum brought a small, black booklet from behind her back, I wondered why they were making such a big fuss about it. For a brief second I thought it must have been one of my favourite picture-books when I was a baby or something and my interest was piqued again. All of a sudden it hit me though why the booklet was so familiar. It was a passport! And then I knew why my parents were so excited. Mum handed the booklet to me and I was looking at my first passport that I had reported as lost four and a half years ago to the Passport Office in Surrey. Since the summer of 2003 I have blamed my dad for losing my passport, but now I have to amend that blame. I thought for awhile last night and I think I finally now have the whole story figured out.

On August 16, 2003 a chance lightning strike hit in Okanagan Mountain Park just south of Kelowna and started a huge and devastating fire. Almost two weeks after the fire started my mum, Bryn and I left for our family vacation in Fairmont, BC, but Tyler and my dad stayed in Kelowna for an extra day in order to transport valuables from our house, which was in an area that was on evacuation alert, to my dad's cabinet factory. If the fire crept down the mountain and the evacuation alert became a mandatory evacuation, we wanted to make sure our stuff was safe while we were gone. I called my dad and asked him to make sure to bring my passport along to Fairmont, but when they got there, the passport wasn't with him. He said he must have left it in one of the boxes at the factory. When our week-long vacation was over, the fire had changed direction, our area had never been under evacuation orders, and the alert had been lifted as well, so we started to bring our possessions back home. But after all the boxes were unpacked, my passport was still unaccounted for. I was rather annoyed because I had a lot of really neat stamps in that passport from India, Thailand, Costa Rica, Mexico, Belize and Guatemala as well as my really awesome Indian visa. I racked my brain for where I could have left it and looked all over the house, but when I left for Walla Walla College at the end of September, I was no closer to finding my passport. Luckily, at that time, the U.S. didn't require Canadians to have passports to cross the border or to go to school in the States, so I managed without one for a few months. Then our family started planning for a trip to Europe over my spring break and I realized that I had to give up my passport for lost and apply for a new one. My mum drove down to Walla Walla one weekend in February, picked me up and we drove up to Surrey, just east of Vancouver, so I could apply for a new passport in person and get it in time for our trip. The passport official that took my application listened to my story seriously and asked if I had ever reported it lost (of course I hadn't because we were all certain that it was somewhere in either our house or the factory). She told me that I should have reported as soon as I couldn't find it and gave me a talking-to about keeping passports in a special, safe place so this type of thing wouldn't happen. Finally she took my paperwork and got the process started, but just before we left she mentioned that if I lost another passport, I would be put on a "watch-list" and be watched more closely in case I was doing anything illegal passport-wise. That sufficiently freaked me out and I've kept close tabs on my current passport ever since!

Now, after all this time, I find out that for more than four years my passport has been sitting in the motor home magazine rack right outside my bedroom window!! It's almost unbelievable! I've figured that I must have brought my passport to BC Campmeeting, used it to cross the border and go shopping in Bellingham, WA one day and then placed it in the magazine rack in our motor home for safe keeping during the rest of Campmeeting. Apparently I promptly forgot that it was in there and not at home. So now the Mystery of the Lost Passport is solved and I have it back in my possession, neat stamps, awesome visa and all.

(A side note - This must be the Year of Missing Items Found. This past May I got a phone call at work from ICBC in North Vancouver. When the receptionist told me who was on the line, I had no idea what in the world ICBC would want from me, especially the branch in North Van. The guy on the phone told me that he had a construction worker on another line who had just found my wallet in the basement storage area of a North Van. apartment and had phoned ICBC with my driver's license info so they could call me and let me know. I was shocked out of my mind. My wallet had been stolen from my friend's locked glove box (as well as his Ipod and another friends' new clothes in the backseat) in February 2007 while a group of us were in Vancouver to go to a Canucks game. We had filed a police report of our stolen items, but we all doubted we'd ever see our stuff again. So, more than a year later, I hear this news that my wallet was found. The money inside was obviously gone, but apparently everything else was still accounted for. The dumb thing was that the construction worker, when I talked to him, didn't care to take the time and mail my wallet back to me in Kelowna. He said that if I wanted it I could come pick it up and when I told him I was from Kelowna, not the Vancouver area, he said, "Well I guess you aren't going to drive down five hours just to pick up a wallet, are you?" I had to admit that I wasn't about to do that, but I was rather annoyed that he wouldn't just mail it. I guess it doesn't matter that much since I had already canceled my cards and got a replacement driver's license and stuff, but it would have been nice to have it back. Now I wonder if I'll find that missing book before the year is up!)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Flying with the Q.'s

A week ago, last Wednesday, after work, Tyler and I were able to explore the Okanagan Valley in a little different way; my Dad took us flying. Bryn had a dentist appointment and wasn't able to come, which was sad because it would have been awesome for all three of us to fly together. Even if she didn't have an prior arrangement though, one of us wouldn't have been able to come since the plane is a four-seater.

I guess I should explain a few things now. My Dad doesn't have his pilot's license yet. He started flying when we lived in Alberta more than 10 years ago, completed aviation ground school and got almost enough flight hours to actually get his license, but got caught up in business stuff when we moved back to BC. So he still hasn't taken his flight test which means he can't fly us around. All three of us kids got interested in flying when Dad started his training and Dad took us all to ground school in Kelowna when we were old enough. I did about 12 hours of flight training and Bryn and Ty did a few hours too, but we were already really busy with school work and music, so we never got too far with flying. We'd all love to complete our flight hours so we can get our pilot's license too someday, but for now we want to finish college first. Dad is more determined than ever to actually get his license now since he bought a half-share interest in one of his friend's plane. This friend and his family left Kelowna last September for Guyana where he is a missionary pilot. Another missionary family down there already had a plane, so he is using that plane and left his at home. My Dad is using the plane now as well as another guy that rents time from them. So now that you know about our family, the pilot-hopefuls, I can continue my story.

Dad wanted to go flying and take some of us kids up in the plane with him. Since he doesn't have his license he can't take us up without someone else who has a license so he asked the guy that rents plane-time if he'd fly us. With him, Dad, Ty and me, that was four people. Bryn will have to go up with Dad another time (and I hope I get to go again too!) for her first ride in the plane. The flight was a lot of fun even though we only had three head-sets. Ty said I could use the last pair and he went without. We flew all over our part of the valley and saw Crooked Lake up in the mountains where my uncle has a cabin. We go to the cabin to quad and canoe a few times a summer and it was awesome to see it from the air. We also flew over Big White Ski Resort where we ski and snowboard in the winter. Here are some pictures of our trip:

Before the flight in C-FIIX

Ty and I bravely sitting in the backseat as Dad co-pilots the plane

Our typical boating location (north tip of Woods Lake & south end of Kalamalka Lake)

Lost Lake (left) & Crooked Lake from the air (the dock at the cabin can be seen on the left side of the lake at the very bottom of the picture)

Our winter playground — Big White Ski Resort

Enjoying the view from the plane

A helicopter doing flight-drills over Okanagan Lake

Okanagan Lake north towards Vernon (left), Glenmore reservoir (front right) & Woods Lake (back right)

Me & pilot-Dad back on the ground at YLW

Friday, July 11, 2008

Free Slurpee Day & 10-digit dialing

If you haven't found out about this yet, today is Free Slurpee Day at 7-Eleven. Apparently today is 7-Eleven's anniversary (July 11 - 07/11) and every year to celebrate, each 7-Eleven store gives out 1000 free Slurpees. Bryn, Ty and I are planning to pick up our free Slurpees on the way home from work this afternoon. Go and get one too if you're near a 7-Eleven store!
On our front step with free 7-Eleven Slurpees

In other news, 10-digit local dialing has already started to become a nusiance to British Columbians and Albertans. Since June ended, every time a normal 7-digit number is dialed in this area of the world, the lovely automated operator's voice can be heard telling the caller that they need to dial 10-digits. Of course, she kindly puts the call through, THIS time. When a caller does dial a local call with the area code included, the voice informs the caller that the area code is not needed, YET. I am thoroughly annoyed with the crazy idea that once September rolls around, all local calls in BC and Alberta (and possibly Ontario and Quebec too, although I really don't know much of what they do over there) will require 10-digit dialing. The idea is pretty much ludicrous as well as exasperating and time-wasting! I do understand that new area codes are needed in the western provinces, but my brain has already thought up a much better solution; divide BC and Alberta into north and south, keep the normal area code for the southern areas of the provinces and activate the new area codes in the north. That way we can all keep calling locally with only our normal 7-digits. Now wouldn't that make much more sense?!?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Bonne fête Quebec City !

Today is the 400th birthday of Quebec City. It is widely believed that at 11 a.m. ET on July 3, 1608 Samuel de Champlain set foot on the province on Quebec. There are huge birthday celebrations today in Quebec's capital honouring Champlain, Quebec City, the province and, to a lesser extent, French-Canadians all throughout the country. I really wish that we could have extended our trip a few days longer so that we could have been in Quebec City today and joined in the celebrations, but alas, I'm sitting in my room at home, sad that the "Quiring's East Coast Trip 2008" had to end. Even though we didn't get to be in Quebec City today, being in Ottawa for Canada Day more than made up for it! Now that our trip is over, I need to go back through my blog posts on CanadaTravelBlog, reworked them so they are worded better and therefore are more interesting and add pictures. That'll be my project for the next week or so. Feel free to click on the link on the side of my page to go back and read any of the blog posts from the trip and see if there are pictures yet.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Canada!

Happy belated Canada Day everyone!! Yesterday was jam-packed from the time I got up until falling into bed just hours before getting up again to leave for the airport and home, so I didn't get a chance to wish you all a Happy Canada Day. Hopefully you'll accept both my humble apology and also my day-late Canada Day wishes.

Canada Day in Ottawa, ON was absolutely amazing!! I'm really glad that I was able to convince my dad that we needed to experience Canada Day in our capital city. This July 1 was an especially significant one because of three major national anniversaries. First, tomorrow marks the 400th anniversary of Quebec City. Second, this year is the 200th anniversary of a democratic vote being established in Nova Scotia, ensuring Canada would become a democracy. Finally, this year is also British Columbia's 150th anniversary of becoming a British colony, which meant that Canada would enjoy borders from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west. All three occasions are being celebrated all year long in their respective regions of Canada. In their speeches at the Parliament Hill noon show, both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General Michaëlle Jean mentioned these three anniversaries. It was really neat seeing these two Canadian leaders so close up on the Hill yesterday!

Other than the noon show on Parliament Hill, we also visited the Royal Canadian Mint and the Canadian War Museum. Both were free because of the holiday. The only downside to the day was the extreme heat. We were walking around all day with no sunscreen on and now we look like lobsters. Later, in the evening after the merciless sun set, we watched the national fireworks from Major's Hill Park just behind the Parliament buildings. Have I mentioned yet that it was an awesome day?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Halfway through our trip

Today marks the halfway point of our Eastern Canada trip. We are currently recalculating our trip plans because our ferry to Port-aux-Basques, NF was canceled due to ferry malfunctions. We could have gone on a later ferry that is planned for 5 this evening, but that wouldn't give us enough time to drive across Newfoundland to St. John's for our ferry back to Sydney on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. Actually, the ferry I reserved from St. John's back to Sydney was canceled as well. So yeah we're not going to Newfoundland...I guess we'll have to plan a whole trip for Newfoundland and Labrador next summer. So now we're going to be able to spend some more time on Cape Breton Island today and then continue on to get back to New Brunswick a little early and do some more stuff around there. Today we're going to try and go to the Alexander Graham Bell Historic Site here on Cape Breton Island and then we'll drive around the Cabot Trail on the northwest section of the island and possibly go on a bird or whale tour. For more details about each day of our trip so far, check out the link in my previous post or on the side of this page.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

East Coast Trip

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we're taking off on "The Quiring's East Coast Trip 2008." Although I originally planned to blog about the trip on here, I found out about an ongoing contest that VIA Rail is sponsoring when I was looking at train information on their website. Apparently, every three months VIA Rail picks one winner from all the people who write about their Canadian train travels on canadatravelblog.ca and the lucky person wins $300 towards their next VIA Rail trip. So, after reading up on the contest, I decided to get a Canada Travel Blog in order to both document this trip, and possibly be a winner. I know you all will want to keep up with what the Q's are doing for the next two and a half weeks, so whenever you want to know where we are or what we're up to, just click the ehq_Travels link on the side of my page. Enjoy the blog and pictures!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Captain Canuck Retires

At 11 a.m. today, legend Vancouver Canucks forward, Trevor Linden, officially announced his retirement from the NHL, exactly 20 years after being drafted 2nd by the Canucks as an 18-year-old. I knew as well as any other Canucks/Linden fan that this day would be coming soon, but the news still managed to send a wave of shock through the province. Like most Vancouver fans, Linden has always been my favourite player, not only on the Canucks, but in the entire league and the thought of all the Vancouver players arriving at training camp in the fall without Linden there doesn't seem quite right.

With Trevor Linden now newly retired, there is a second hole in the Canucks lineup. Two weeks ago tomorrow, rookie Vancouver Canucks defenseman, Luc Bourdon, was killed instantly near his hometown of Shippagan, NB in a head-on collision involving his motorbike and a transport truck. Hockey fans across the country and North America were shocked and saddened by the 21-year-old's sudden death and, with Canucks fans still coming to terms with the fact that they will never get to see Bourdon become a star NHL defenseman, the news of Trevor Linden's retirement was disheartening for many. Linden has been a fan-favourite NHLer, not only for his effort on the ice, but also for his hard work in the community. Since relocating from Medicine Hat, AB to Vancouver, he has whole-heartedly dedicated his life to helping others, from reading to kids at local elementary schools, to visiting the Vancouver Children's Hospital, to raising money for Canucks Place hospice. The Canucks website was ready this morning with articles and features to publish as soon a Linden officially told the media of his decision at a press conference. One feature portrays the 16 (his jersey number) most memorable Linden moments throughout his 16 season with Vancouver, while another tells of his achievements off the ice. Numerous videos, much like the one below, were also uploaded to Canucks.com.

Thanks for all the memories Trevor!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Eye Troubles

The three of us younger Quiring siblings have temperamental eyes. Our eyes will cooperate for months and months and then, just when we think that they won't give us any more problems, eye issues pop up out of nowhere. Bryn's eyes have been hurting her for a couple of weeks. She thought that it was because she needed some new contacts, which she got last week, but her eyes still mysteriously bother her at times. Last week Ty's eyes also started hurting and when he went to pick up his new glasses, he was sent to the ophthalmologist to get his eyes checked out more thoroughly. It turned out that he had an eye infection and was given prescription eye-drops to clear up the infection and Eye-Stil drops to keep his eyes from getting too dry.

On Saturday afternoon, when my parents and I got home from potluck, I curled up to read a book, but ended up accidentally falling asleep for three hours. I woke up when Bryn and Ty got home from their quick grad trip to UCA. My eyes really hurt, so I took out my contacts right away and my eyes started to feel better. All was fine until I woke up at 5:30 a.m. Sunday to say good-bye to my dad and Tyler who were leaving to catch their flight to Montreal for a week long 20-20 training session. I found it impossible to fall back asleep because my eyes were extremely light sensitive and even with my blinds down, the five windows in my room were letting in enormous amounts of light. I ended up stumbling to the other side of the house where I crashed in Ty's one-window room for a few more hours. When I finally woke up from my fitful sleep, I showed my mum my eyes and soon after, holding a dark, wet washcloth over my eyes for protection from the bright outdoors, we headed to the walk-in clinic. After sitting beside a cranky mum with a sick baby and an energetic three-year-old for at least half an hour in a waiting room filled with open windows, my name was called and I went to see the Dr. He was an idiot and did absolutely nothing for my eyes...he even insisted on keeping every light on in the examining room. I was beyond annoyed. The Dr. told me that my eye pain was either from my contacts or was an infection that I might have caught from my brother. I had already gathered that much. I asked if I should see my optometrist or my ophthalmologist on Monday, but he said that that wasn't necessary and just told me to make sure my vision didn't change during the next 72 hours and to come in right away if it did or if there was any discharge from my eyes. When I got home I took a T1 and thanked my lucky stars that I was back in Canada, a land where T1's can legally be bought straight off the shelf, without a prescription. After that, my eyes started to feel better and I spent the rest of the afternoon curled up on a chair with a dark blanket over my head, listening to shows on TV. By night I could stand to actually look at the TV screen again and Bryn and I watched the CBC late night movie, "Happy Gilmore." I went to bed confident that my eyes were healing and would feel much better the next morning. If only...

This morning when turned off my alarm and opened my eyes, I was happy to find that they felt much better. I got up and went to shower. That's when I found out that my eyes weren't 100% better yet. They hurt almost as much as Sunday morning. I dreaded going to work and having to stare at a computer screen all day, but I went anyway and managed the pain by shutting all the lights off and closing all the window blinds in my office. Bryn and I even worked out a system where I would tell her what to input into the database and then she would do the computer work. We got pretty fast at updating FoxPro using our system. At lunch my mum took me to the optometrist appointment I had made as soon as I got to work and from there I was sent to my ophthalmologist. It's always an interesting experience going to my ophthalmologist because he mostly does cataract surgeries for people quite a bit older than myself. I was the youngest person in the whole office and all his other patients waiting with me were over 70. It's definitely a very different situation, but I did hear some interesting gossip while I was waiting! It turns out that my eyes have a mild form of keratitis due to lack of oxygen to my eyes which, of course, was a result of falling asleep with my contacts in. So basically I'm using a lot of Eye-Stil and GenTeal drops to keep my eyes from getting too dry and I can't wear my contacts for a few more days...oh and I for sure can't fall asleep wearing my contacts again. I'm really glad it didn't turn out to be an infection or anything even worse! Hopefully my eyes will clear up in time for Friday when we fly out to Winnipeg and start our eastern Canada tour.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


A highly controversial news story, published early this afternoon by CBC.ca, revealed to hockey fans across the country CBC's intentions not to renew licensing for the much-loved Hockey Night in Canada theme song. This shock came a day after the Detroit Red Wings beat the Pittsburgh Penguins to win the Stanley Cup. Thousands of Canadians watched what turned out to be the last broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada for this season and, apparently, the last time the popular theme song could air with the program. As of right now, the online story has 415 comments, almost all of them very negative about CBC's decision to drop the current theme that, for so many Canadians, is considered to be a second national anthem. Only hours after the first story, CBC.ca published a contradictory article to the first one, reporting that a new deal with the theme's composer is still possible. It will be interesting to see whether next season's first HNIC broadcast will use the traditional theme or feature a new, and highly unwanted, one. I, of course, can't imagine tuning in to watch HNIC on a Saturday night without hearing the old, familiar tune.

Watch a HNIC intro that first interviews star Canadian players from the six Canadian teams and then goes into the highly-revered song.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Olympic Update

This afternoon, Canadian diver Alexandre Despatie was granted a conditional placement on the Olympic team. Later, Canadian gymnast Kyle Shewfelt was also conditionally placed on the team. In honour of their almost assured spots on Team Canada for the Beijing 2008 Olympics, here are the clips of both athletes starring on the Rick Mercer Report. Laugh along as Rick learns to dive and tries on an Olympic gold medal!

For more wonderfully entertaining Rick Mercer videos, click here. The 5th season starts June 10!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hockey Fall

If you haven't done so already, check out the video on Bryn's May 26 post. We both were watching Sunday's Memorial Cup final on TV when the unfortunate accident occurred and, after about 15 seconds of complete shock, we found it exceedingly amusing. Monday evening after work, I turned on CBC to watch the start of the Stanley Cup final around a minute before the scene in the following video took place. This time there was no shock, only utter glee! See for yourself.

Julie Days

After coming home from college, I had three days between trips to relax in Kelowna. I spent a good part of those three days with one of my bestest friends, Julie. On Tuesday we hung out and talked, a lot. Wednesday afternoon we biked 9 km's on the Mission Park Greenway from my house to the lake. It was downhill on the way there, which meant it was uphill coming back. After biking 18 km's total that day, I'm still recovering!

On the Manteo Resort dock before starting the uphill journey back

On Thursday, my mum took Bryn, Julie and me out to Milestone's for lunch where I spent a good portion of the meal trying to watch the Canada/Norway World Championship hockey game on a TV much too far away from our table. Then we drove downtown to the Sails and Kerry Park where my mum held a mini-photoshoot of the three of us.

Other activities included having an English-author movie night and playing mini-golf at Scandia. Friday morning our family drove to Lacombe, AB for a weekend family reunion and Sunday morning, before we had even started driving home, Julie flew back to Andrews for PT summer school. Hopefully August comes quickly so that I can hang out with Julie again when she comes home to do her clinicals!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Driving Home

Finally, close to four weeks after leaving Collegedale, I've decided to post some pictures from our trip back to BC. Had we traveled nonstop, we could have made the 4,318 km (2,683 miles) trip home in less than two days (or sooner if we'd taken the quickest, but much uglier route). But alas, we had three cars and only four drivers, so we got home in four days instead. Check out our trip map for the route home.

Stopping in at Union College to visit friends & a cousin

Parking at the Yellowstone N.P. geysers

Cutest little bison in the park

Catching a ride across the boardwalks

Celebrating my 3-year-old memory of this spot

Watching Old Faithful

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Talking to Americans

The most appropriate way that I can think of to start this blog is by introducing everyone to Rick Mercer's Talking to Americans segment on the CBC show "This Hour Has 22 Minutes."

Don't forget to watch the next 4 clips at the bottom after this one is done...they just get better and better. Enjoy and remember to laugh!