Monday, March 29, 2004

Welcome Elijah!

Our old friends (and new Summerland neighbours) Myron and Tracey had a baby boy last week. Elijah is doing great and Myron has posted a couple of photo slideshows online.

When I went over there Friday after work for a ride, Elijah was super mellow, just hanging out by the fire and checking out his scene. He seems so tiny, but he's a big baby...and only five months younger than Ella. We're really excited for MT and looking forward to getting to know Elijah.

And the winner is...

I know I just posted about Angelo last week, but I have to note that his film just won the best short at the first festival it was shown at. I also found this excellent article about Flickering Blue. Way to go, Angelo!

March Sunshine

CBC claimed it was going to hit 21 degrees here today, which is pretty sweet for March in Canada. Usually when Tan's folks come out, the weather turns mediocre, but Pearl it it just right this time. We've been celebrating the sunshine by spending as much time outside as possible:It's shaping up to be a fine summer. We did some wine-tasting yesterday and it seems like we we've been at the beach a lot already (water still way too cold). Good livin'.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Neil's Parting Shot

My long-time Bridges buddy Neil had his last day of work yesterday. His last project (aside from my usual rush requests the day before he left) was developing this Planner Man character, which will be used to market the site I'm currently working on. The guy's talent is outrageous. No wonder Teletoon snapped him up.

Jazz Lawyer

Jeffery Simpson is a fellow Okanaganite with some cool writing and great taste in music (a real-live Weakerthans fan).

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Angelo's Surreality

Angelo has been living a truly surreal existence these last few months. He and Esther are in the last couple of weeks of their India trip, surviving the joys and tribulations of the subcontinent. Meanwhile, he's writing film scripts, updating his other journal with news about projects with Bevan, and somehow fits in time to ruminate with me about bikes and BC livin' through our trusty hotmail accounts.

Monday, March 15, 2004


Ok, none of these photos are spectacular, but I thought they captured our weekend with Mark and Joel fairly well. Family snapshots...more accurate.
  • My new bike consumed my consciousness, if not my lungs and legs: oh so happy.
  • After giving the guys the tour around Summerland, we hit the playground downtown. Ivy was thrilled to have more playmates, and Ella was jovial.
  • We celebrated Mark's birthday in style.
  • Tan and the boys headed up Giant's Head to take in the view.
  • Of course Ivy adored the guys, mostly because they were such excellent players.
  • I wish I had thought to take my camera, but we had a wonderful dinner at Zia's while my parents graciously watched the girls. Yummy pasta, local microbrew, good friends and family...good times.
  • After Mark and Joel hit the road in the afternoon yesterday, we explored Naramata, a cute little town directly across the lake from us. Ivy played and laughed, while I checked out the view from a dock.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

The Stinky

I've been riding my old 1998 Specialized FSR for close to five years now -- it has served me well despite being the wrong size and having blown-out suspension for the last couple of seasons, and it's time to put it out to pasture. For a solid year I've been researching, discussing and speculating about getting a new bike -- yesterday I finally just went in and bought one.

Introducing my 2004 Kona Stinky! I went for a rip around town with it last night and felt like an 8-year-old kid on Christmas morning. It's big and burly, feeling more like a motocross bike than a mountain bike. Six inches of travel front and back, big disc brakes, and beefy components all over. I was getting used to the feel of it last night, popping off little three-foot ledges that it barely seems to notice -- just soaks them up like nothing.

The big question mark with the purchase was related to climbing. Pedalling a 40-pound bike up the steep climbs here may sound ludicrous, but I grunted up the steep part of the Giant's Head access road last night against a stiff wind and it felt fine. Probably on long rides with lots of climbs, I'll feel the extra weight. I got them to install an XT cogset in the back with lower gearing -- combined with the 22-tooth granny gear up front, it feels like it could climb a wall.

I'm so stoked.

Two Shots

A couple of shots of the girls from last night...nothing fancy, but keeps things current:

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Spring in Summerland

We've been having outrageously good weather this week, and we're trying to take advantage of it as much as possible. Tannis made it up the steep part of the Giant's Head climb on her bike while Ivy enjoyed some sunshine inside.

I explored a new riding area this afternoon called Rattlesnake Mountain, a series of ridges on the other side of town from us. Ten minutes to the trailhead, and then some nasty climbing to a great ridgeline trail that meanders up and down on the way to the top. There are still a few small patches of snow in a few spots, but it mostly faces south, so it's pretty dry. So dry, in fact that there are weird pink cacti growing on the slopes, and one stubborn one even got stuck on my tire.

The trails branch off in dozens of places -- it's a full network with some awesome swooping downhill singletrack, although the climbing almost did me in. I saw a bunch of deer and a sleek coyote, then savoured the view back towards "our" mountain with the town down below.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

The Beer Poet

I've become a bit of a review junkie -- if I'm thinking of buying anything, I dig through scores of reviews online. Most reviews are written by idiots, or at least people who can't write, but there are always a couple of gems. A few connoisseurs have made product critiques an absolute art.

There's a wordsmith on the Beer Advocate site who barely bothers with punctuation or capitalization, but the beer reviews are pure poetry. The coverage of my favourite Quebecois microbrew is exactly as I would describe it if I had any imagination whatsoever. You'd never think someone could be so creative in describing the head of a strong beer -- this is just for the bubbles and the aroma:
"rusty red-brown as old train bridge iron, and just about as bitter. this one is a beast. an innocent bit of foam appears upon pouring, but there are updrafts of mad dog alcohol lunging to lascerate and evict all but the bone dusted fragments of head. the nose is of composting grapefruit in a wash of caramel, chamois skin and floor varnish."
My beer exploration has been stalled lately, although we did enjoy a couple of big bottles of Giant's Head Gold Ale from The Cannery in Penticton. There's something nice about gazing out of your kitchen window at the mountain on the label. In lieu of admiring it from the window this afternoon, I dragged my out-of-shape carcass up the mountain on my bike, savouring the Okanagan view and blowing the carbon out of my lungs (again).

Photo Grief

Teri was giving me grief at Neil's going away party for not posting more photos of the girls. I acquiesce:

Modern Rock Classics

I'm still semi-grieving the demise of, but I've been pretty happy with this online radio station called AccuRadio. One ad every five or six songs, acceptable sound quality without much bandwidth, and you don't have to download anything. Apparently my musical tastes mostly stalled in the mid '90s in the realm of Modern Rock Classics -- I still like most of the music in that list. My favourite subchannel rocks: The Core.

Monday, March 08, 2004


17.7 degrees in Summerland this afternoon, which is apparently a record high. It seemed like a gift -- we've really been looking forward to summer this year. Tannis took the girls to Peach Orchard Beach in the morning, and now Vicki went to the Memorial Park playground for the afternoon play session. I got out on my bike for a quick rip so I wouldn't have to gaze longingly out the window all day.

The bike research continues. I've decided to go with a Kona, either the Stinky or Coiler. Same price and very similar, but the Stinky has more of everything -- brakes, suspension travel, weight. Discussions like this have been somewhat helpful, but basically I'm going to have to ride a Coiler and then compare. Maybe this week.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Workin' Folk

Not much going on in the "Play" part of my site this week because we're busy being working folk again. One of the highlights was a Saturday roadtrip down to Grand Forks for Tannis's work -- the girls and I hung out at the park while she visited clients, and then we all went out for some classic Mennonite food that made me miss my grandma dearly...Russian cabbage borscht and cottage cheese perogies...mmm.

We realized that the South Okanagan is more interesting than we thought. The area around Vaseaux Lake is beautiful despite damage from the fires last year, and all the little towns south of Penticton are cute. You drive through endless vineyards and orchards, alongside lakes, rocky crags and occasional patches of desert. Climbing up from Osoyoos gives you an incredible view of the valley and mountains, and I'm dying to visit Mount Baldy, an unpretentious and inexpensive ski hill just outside of town.

Later in the week, we discovered that Shaughnessy's Cove isn't just a pub, so we took the girls there and enjoyed the lakefront dining. Ivy has been busy and active these days, with lots of painting and dancing.