Sunday, April 30, 2006

Salvador Dream

Plett gave me an old tape that we used to listen to, and I rediscovered it on my mini-roadtrip this weekend. It was a three-piece rock band from Vancouver called Salvador Dream with a tight, heavy sound and melodic vocals. We saw them in 1994 or '95, I think opening for Our Lady Peace at the Zoo in Winnipeg (just before OLP got big and stopped playing dilapidated clubs) and they were so intense. Anyway, their Ur album still sounds awesome 12 years later -- huge guitar sound, crisp bass and drums, and the guy's voice was great. It's too bad that they hit the scene just before the internet took off, because there's almost nothing about them on the web and it looks like their songs aren't even available anymore. It looks like the members have formed a new jazz/fusion instrumental band called Namedropper. The sound couldn't be any more different, but it's got a nice mellow groove to it.

Update: Plett says it was Ozzies, not The Zoo...and likely late in I was pretty close.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Dirty Laundry

One of our favourite local summer spots reopens next week: Dirty Laundry Vineyard. I noticed that they finally got their new site up, and it looks great. My only disappointment is that their prices have mostly gone up again, putting their cheapest bottle at $16. Can't really blame them, since their popularity keeps rising (the name change was apparently a huge hit, and their wines have always been excellent) and they sell out earlier every year. I guess it will be more of a special-occasion local destination for us this summer.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Cast Away the Clouds

Musical friend Rose Melberg released her new album this week. We've been listening to it a lot -- wonderful, mellow songs with great harmonies and thoughtful lyrics. The
reviews and interviews (oh, and another one) are starting to appear, and it's been cool to follow along with what her fans are saying on their blogs about the new songs and her recent shows (even with pictures after her NYC show last night -- gotta love the internet).

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mixed Bag

The usual random hodgepodge, with a few notes about the non-photographed weekend happenings:
  • We hit the Mental Gardens (Ella's label for the ornamental gardens) on Saturday -- Ivy checking out new flowers, me and Ella lounging on the grass, and a nice shot of the sisters running amok.
  • Later on it was warm enough for a beach session at Sunoka and some hanging out in the Hildebrand's backyard, where I had to experience the indignity of watching their neighbour's Calgary Flames flag flapping in the breeze. I'm pulling for the Canadian teams in the playoffs, but the flag was open home-turf mockery of the Canucks' debacle this season.
  • Tan and I had a great date later, walking uptown to The Vanilla Pod in its new incarnation. Grandma and Grandpa took the girls out, so everyone was happy.
  • I rode Rebellion with a new neighbour friend on Sunday -- that trail is a total treasure.
  • I was the worst friend ever this weekend, knowing that Myron was slaving on building his "shed" again with a crew of selfless volunteers, and I didn't go help.
  • Eating supper outside this week has been oh-so-nice.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sounds Like Heaven to Me

Everclear had a song called Summerland on one of their earlier albums:
"I think I lost my smile
I think you lost yours too
We have lost the power to
make each other laugh
Let's just leave this place
And go to Summerland
Just a name on the map
Sounds like heaven to me"
He's talking about the other Summerland, but places like the Okanagan and BC's south coast represent Canada's own version of California -- a land of (relative) warmth, the promise of new beginnings and a comfortable place to escape to. I've sometimes wondered what effect that has on the dynamic of communities here. If most of the people in your town are escapees, people who have been willing (and able) to leave their roots and start fresh a thousand miles from "home", wouldn't that self-selection mean that there would be some interesting patterns and shared characteristics that might emerge? Restlessness, difficulty making long-term connections and relationships, more fragmented families?

Thursday, April 20, 2006


These are the kinds of things that accumulate in stacks all over our house. Although the clutter can be overwhelming, there is definitely a positive psychological effect in having simple, warm messages like this popping up throughout your day.

Ella's paintings are getting more interesting these days. This one is more abstract, but she's got humanoid figures showing up regularly now...almost the exact same ones that Ivy started with two years ago.

We're having a decent week. I've been getting out for some riding when I can, although my lungs seem to be getting worse rather than better. We had a picnic lunch at the ornamental gardens with Nada and the girls earlier in the week. The blooming is just getting started now.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Canyon Portrait

Despite Tannis and I almost never showing up in the same photo, we're best friends and do get to hang out a fair bit (never enough, but that's how it goes). I love this shot. A few other miscellaneous pics from the weekend (I took 200+ in a fit of new-toy obsession):

Ella Bella

This certainly isn't a perfect portrait, but I'm in love (with the photo and the kid). I got a few nice pictures of our little Turkey Hawk this weekend:She's blossoming into such a dynamic, fun little girl over the last few weeks...driving us nuts occasionally, but always with something interesting on the go.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Ivy

I think Ivy might even adore Easter more than Christmas. She did lots of hanging out with friends this weekend, blew bubbles, enjoyed our family hike down to the creek in Gallagher's Canyon, played cards with Grandpa H and adored the easter-egg hunt Grandma Hiebert set up with a treasure map and poetic clues.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

BBQ Bill

This is my buddy Bill, dad to Ivy's bud Sam (doesn't it look like they're plotting something?), somewhat reluctant city-dweller, co-founder of Mint Records, lover of Maudite, analyst of human nature, master of dark humour, and friend extraordinaire. He and Sam came out to the "Summerland cottage" this weekend and we all took advantage of the opportunity to hang out and kick back. Good times.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Photo Geek

So we got our new camera this week and I've been playing with it a fair bit, trying to figure out how to use it. First impressions of the S2 IS: the 12x zoom is super fun/fast/quiet, it's chunky (but not prohibitively so), the image stabilization is awesome for cancelling hand-shake in lower light (but can't compensate for subjects in motion, understandably), takes amazing (and huge file-sized) videos, I love that it defaults to no flash (you have to turn it on), autofocus speed is so-so unless you prefocus (but for a non-SLR, it's fine), the lens cap is the stupidest thing ever designed, and swivel-screen LCDs rule.

A few more human lessons have emerged as well. It's a bit scary owning a very new, very sensitive and expensive toy like this -- I'm babying it. I also had to realize that just because it's a good camera doesn't mean that it will only take good pictures. That said, it has taken a few good ones already. Here are a few of the scenery shots for the other photo geeks out there:

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hiebert Sisters

The new camera means I'm going nuts on photos of the girls for a while. A few faves from this week:

Friday, April 07, 2006


I'm liking this photo a little too much (click it to see the whole thing). Heather caught Plett in intense concentration, workin' the shuffleboard at the Legion, with warm light, mirrors reflecting the action, angled lines all over the place, the hand poised in the release of the big shot...a great photograph.

Update: In the friends-who-aren't-professional-photographers-but-take-amazing-photos category, Ang posted some genius pics this weekend, including this vintage beauty at the lanes.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

April Showers?

Super nice here today. Rather cruel to be inside sitting at a desk.

Update (April 10): Steady rain this morning, with showers in the forecast for the whole week...May flowers and all that.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The World at Large

Modest Mouse is rocking my world. The World at Large weaves some powerful poetry into a melancholy vibe, capturing the difficulty and confusion of transition times in life:
"Walked away to another plan.
Gonna find another place, maybe one I can stand.
I move on to another day,
to a whole new town with a whole new way.
Went to the porch to have a thought.
Got to the door and again, I couldn't stop.
You don't know where and you don't know when.
But you still got your words and you got your friends.
Walk along to another day.
Work a little harder, work another way."
lyrics and mp3...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Where Does the Time Go?

Weird 10-day blog gap-out for me -- my headspace has been full-up for a while, and not all of it with bloggy goodness. Also, our poor digital camera officially died last week, so the usual flow of new photos has been shut off. Anyway, to continue the long, proud tradition of only reflecting good news and happy times here, we get a random highlight list from the last couple of weeks:
  • The photo accompanying this post is of Sophie -- absolute hero of our daughters, walking encyclopedia, ass-kicking karate master, one-time Kona Stinky pilot and better half of the globetrotting couple known as Greg and Sophie. We had a fantastic visit with them here, hitting some of our favourite local spots (Shaughnessy's, TCT, Sumac Ridge, The Elite, ornamental gardens), with lots of hanging out at home and in the back yard. We decided that they need to move here. Ottawa Shmottawa. More photos of the visit when I fill up and develop the film in the old SLR...or when they post theirs.
  • Plett has MSN Messenger now -- as if I needed more ways to waste time during the day.
  • Tannis's hockey season wrapped up, and I caught her in such a Canadiana moment after the last game, hauling in hockey gear, sticks and the dressing-room beer cooler with a beer toque on. Molson Canadian would have been more authentic, but I enjoyed the leftover local microbrew way more.
  • Ivy's odd path to literacy is still focused almost entirely on writing instead of reading. She fills up reams of paper every day with signs, tickets, stories, instructions, letters, invitations...but has almost no interest in reading for herself.
  • Ella seems to have noticed how much time Ivy spends scratching on paper, so she's really embraced drawing and painting in the last couple of weeks. I'll have to scan and post one of her masterpieces soon.
  • A surreal morning last Friday: picked Lorne up at 5:00am to take him to the Kelowna airport, a two-hour hike up to an amazing slot canyon on Mill Creek, a delightful breakfast with Marj and Mom, and then back home in time for lunch with Greg and Sophie, which wouldn't have happened if the planned hockey game with Ryan in Kelowna hadn't fallen through.
  • The mountain biking season is in full swing now -- Greg and I did a two-hour loop up the Trans-Canada Trail to the KVR station, up above Deer Ridge, and then back around Cartwright and a quick stop for groceries on the way back. I've been up Giant's Head a couple of times this week without too much pain.
  • Hockey Night in Canada with Myron and Tracey last Saturday = good times. We did pizza at our place with them the day they got back from Mexico, too -- we miss them disproportionately much when they take off for two weeks. Elijah is hilarious these days.
  • Tannis and I had lunch at the Hooded Merganser in Penticton -- amazing setting looking out over Okanagan Lake, and awesome architecture, but the food was pretty boring.
  • Excellent publunch last week with my old work buddy Neil. Been missing him since they moved to Edmonton last year. The remaining core of our Bridges publunch crew joined us: Jim and Mel.
  • I keep forgetting to note how much I enjoy weekly sushi with my friend Russ at work -- despite not updating his site in almost eight years, he's super creative and smart. We're designing a web app to help people make better decisions.
  • Today's soundtrack: my old standby Webjay Mix, with the current favourite tune being Episodes by Pela. I didn't think I could adore a song that builds an entire chorus around the word "Diphenhydramine".
  • Looking forward to receiving the shiny new toy I ordered this morning to replace our dead A60.