Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

This is a shot of the last sun rise of 2010.
The year started off pretty good. My brother, his wife and son moved back to Canada a day before my mom's birthday and surprised her, (OK not really, but she pretended she was surprised). And then my brother's wife Daniela gave birth to their second child in March.
The wife and I took a much needed vacation to Costa Rica and had the time of our lives.
After not putting in my vacation request early enough I almost didn't make our annual boys weekend away to Watkins Glen for the Indy Car race, but it all worked out in the end and we made it to what would turn out to be the last IRL race at Watkins Glen.
And of course I made it to the Indy race in Toronto as well.
And then I turned 40 and am still trying to deal with that reality.
A little after that milestone I celebrated another, my 10th wedding anniversary, (Man, oh man, does time fly when you are having fun).
And then the year took a turn for the worse. My mom began getting sick again and in September was finally admitted to hospital after one of her countless trips to the emergency room. Her cancer had returned and it was terminal. We were told she wouldn't leave the hospital but my mom was a fighter and she did manage to make it home after a month long stay. She spent one last thanksgiving with us at home with her family by her side. She passed away November 16th.
As you can imagine, our first Christmas this year without my mom was tough. My family all made an effort to get together on Christmas Eve like we always did to celebrate the season, and then again on Christmas day for the traditional family lunch. My mom was dearly missed, but I know she was with us in spirit.
And that brings us to New Years Eve 2010. We can finally say goodnight to the year that was, filled with memories both good and bad and look to the future, so bright and full of promise. Tonight we can still dream about tomorrow and what the new year will bring.
Happy New Year everyone, all the best to you and yours in 2011.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I was going through some of the pictures I took recently on my digital camera and came across these.This is Plato, my nephew David's dog who he inherited from his dad's mom. As far a Dave can tell, "Plates", (as he likes to be called on campus) is part Newfoundlander and possibly part border collie. Plates and Dave, as you can see, are inseparable. He lives with Dave in Guelph, where they both attend university. Dave goes to class and Plato waits outside, usually attracting a one or two cute college girls to keep him company until Dave returns. I think in some parts of town Plates may even be more popular then his owner, but being a loyal friend, Plates is always willing to share. Well played my friend, well played.
Dave thinks he is a pretty cool dog.
I couldn't agree more.

Friday, December 17, 2010

All Aboard The Ford Train

I voted for Rob Ford for mayor of this city.
Friends and acquaintances that I spoke to scoffed at me. They asked me why I would vote for someone, who was an obvious racist homophobic buffoon, who didn't have a clue how to run a city and would destroy it by lack of experience.
Sound familiar?
George Smitherman did a great job on selling fear, but forgot to focus on the one critical issue that was on the minds of all the voters, the problems with our city and not the boogieman in the closet.
Nobody likes to be told who to vote for, especially by a guy who pissed away a billion dollars as head of the Ontario Ministry of Health.
Toronto residents were a lot smarter then Smitherman gave them credit for. They didn't buy into the fear mongering and the sky would fall if Rob Ford was voted mayor of Toronto.
Then to my surprise, something amazing happened, (well, not really surprising, we all saw it coming, some of us just chose not to believe it), Rob Ford won the election and became mayor of the city of Toronto.
The first thing he did when he took office was to declare that the war on the car in the city of Toronto was over. Plans for streetcar tracks across the city were scrapped and new plans are underway to extend the existing subway system.
When I heard that I knew I had made the right choice.
I voted for Rob Ford because he stuck to the issues. and yesterday was another example to me that I made the right choice.
In only his second session as mayor of Toronto's city council, Mayor Ford managed to keep three more of his campaign promises.
He repealed the hated Private Vehicle Tax, set forth a motion to make the TTC an essential service and cut city councilors office budgets in half.
Rob Ford may not be as polished as George Smitherman, or as articulate, but the average Toronto resident really doesn't care, just as long as he does what he says he is going to do; which was stop the cash drain at city hall and change the way city government does business.
Change has come to the city of Toronto, and as far as I'm concerned, its long over due.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Taking The Next Step

I upgraded my phone yesterday to an iPhone 4 and I gotta say, I am impressed already.
Just so everyone is up to date, my last phone was the iPhone 3G.
Let me start off by telling you how we got it, because it wasn't easy. Apparently there is this little holiday called Christmas that is right around the corner, and because of this holiday, you can't find a iPhone 4 with my carrier anywhere in the city.
And believe me when I tell you, we checked everywhere. No one had them in stock and no one knew when they were coming. I was getting ready to accept defeat and wait until the new year, when my wife decided to go right to the source to find what she wanted. And I'll be damned if she was able to hook us up with two shiny new iPhone 4's. The only catch was I had to get it for the Apple store, which was a task and a half but well worth the effort in the end.
To get an iPhone 4 from an Apple store, you have to first show up at the store at 8:30am in the morning to book an appointment with a personal Apple shopper. I got a 2:30pm appointment, which meant I had to go home and come back later. And then when you return to the store for your appointment, you check in with an Apple associate and then they send you over to a table to wait for your personal shopper to appear. From there it was just a matter of setting up the new phone and deactivating the old. Start to finish, I was out of there in half and hour with 2 new iPhone 4's, while everyone else was still waiting for the new shipment to come in.
Right off the bat, I'm impressed with the 5 MPG camera with HDR and a flash, which is new. The 720p HD video camera is pretty cool as well. And I love the camera in the front of the phone which allows for video chatting and great self portrait shots.
All this leaves me wondering if I really need to carry my little Canon digital point and shoot camera anymore.
This could change everything!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Home Made Fish and Chips

My wife and I decided to try to eat a little bit more healthy. Which for us means not so much processed foods and a lot less take out. Eating a balanced diet, for two people on the go, can be difficult at times. We went out and bought a few cook books to help with our limited repertoire of dishes.
Yesterday was my first attempt. I decided to try my hand at home style fish and chips.
I used beer for the batter and Cod as the fish and was very surprised at how well it all turned out.
OK. so maybe not the healthiest of choices for my first attempt, but there was a salad to go along with it. Check it out...
Not too bad if I say so myself.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Hard to believe that 30 years ago, John Lennon was murdered.
I was never a Beatles fan, but I can and do appreciate their music.
What makes this event significant for me is that it was one of the first major news story's that I can remember where I was when it happened.
I wasn't born when JFK was assassinated, or even a gleam in my mother's eye when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, nor was I around when Neil Armstrong took is first steps on the moon, but I was around when John Lennon got gunned down on the front steps of his apartment in New York city.
I was 10 years old and I was driving in the car with my mom when the news came on the radio, and I remember thinking this must be something big because they were making such a big fuss about it. This was in the days before CNN, so it wasn't until the next day when I saw it splashed all over the newspapers and on TV did I only begin to realize the significance of the moment I had experienced in the car with my mom.
Of course there would be many more significant moments in history to come, but for me, this one moment will remain one of the first that I can sit back and say I know where I was on the day that this happened.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dyson In The Beach

Back in August, I was walking the dogs down in the beach and I came across this couch on a rug set up in the middle of the sand on the beach in the leash free area. Naturally I went up and checked it out and found out it was Dyson Vacuums, promoting their new pet friendly vacuum. They were taking pictures of all the dogs and of course Hobbes and Calvin had to get in on the action. Here are some of the shots from the event. Thanks to Dyson's promotions dept. for the cool pix!

Cancer Sucks

Well, what can I say?
I has certainly been a while, now hasn't it?
Long story short, my mom recently passed away after her long battle with cancer. Pretty much all my time from the beginning of September to mid November when she finally passed away was spent with my mom. It wasn't pretty at the end, but at least she was at home with her family by her side.
My family and I were humbled by the amazing turn out at her funeral. Its nice to know that she will not only be missed by her immediate family but also by all the many friends she made along the way.
Its been a tough couple of months, I'm not going to lie, but I'm glad my moms suffering is all over. I take faith in the fact that she is in a better place and she got their on her own terms.
Thank you to all my extended family and friends for the support and love you showed me and my family in our time of need. Its nice to know my mom will be dearly missed by not only us, but by her many friends as well.
Rest in peace mom.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

An Airline With A Sense Of Humour

My sister-in-law sent me these shots of a budget airline company that flies out of South Africa called Kulula Airlines. Check out the paint scheme on one of their planes, pretty funny stuff. An airline with a sense of humour, who would of thought it possible?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Biking Update

Stats for August
330 kms road bike
o kms mountain bike
1981 total distance so far
Average speed 26-27 km/hr
best time for 2okm loop -- still 45:21 from July
rode 16 out of 31 days in August

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What Happened To August?!

September first already? What the hell happened to August?! It seems like it was July just yesterday and here we are already in September. August seemed to flash by like it always does and it certainly kept me busy as well.
I just downloaded shots from my camera of stuff that I did in August, here for your viewing pleasure, are some of them...
An old friend from high school, Dave Shacket, who now lives in Vancouver was in town and I took him and his girlfriend on a convertible tour of the the waterfront, stopping at the new Sugar Beach along the way. It was Dave's girlfriends first time in a convertible, and we could not ask for a better day.Some family on my mother-in-law's side, her second cousins, I believe, were in town from Italy and we met them for lunch in Little Italy. My mother-in-law, Mannie had to translated for us. My niece Samantha came by to show off her new bike and I took her on a tour of some of the bike trails in my part of town. How hot was it? Africa hot! I know this because my car told me so. And finally, a couple of shots of the beach,on the very last day of August, talk about the dog days of summer.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Roof Work

We are in the process of having our roof replaced. This is what we came home to yesterday, after our weekend at the cottage. Fun, wow!
The view from the front porch.
Workers removing the fourth and final layer of shingles.
I know there was a skylight here this morning...
The view from the skylight.

The work continues today.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cottage Life

We went up to the cottage this weekend for a little rest and relaxation. Here are some shots from our trip.
Headed to the island.
Rock jumping, Hobbes' style.
Dirty dog.
Hobbes loves the island life. He likes to push rocks around in the bay with his paws and can do this all day if we let him. We call it Hobbes' zen garden.
It was overcast and cloudy on Sunday, so we went shopping in Huntsville and on the way back it started to rain like a son of a bitch. The boat ride back to the island was in a rain storm. Hobbes showing me how much he loves the cottage.Because the cottage is on an island, the dogs are allowed to roam as they please. They usually end up here, playing in the water. My canoe adventure.
The island from the canoe.