Saturday, July 31, 2010

Did Ya Know??

Every so often one of the girls who works on a different shift than I do brings in some magazines to read. Most of them are those Hollywood gossip kind of magazines that I roll my eyes at but still secretly thumb through when I am standing in line at the grocery store. After she is done with them she offers them to me to read while I count down the minutes to the end of my shift. One of the magazines in particular...I forget which one it is....always has a "20 Things You May Not Know About Me" interview with a celebrity. Wait! I think it's "OK" magazine that I'm thinking about. Anyway, this inspired me to think about the 20 things which I would share with the world if I ever became famous and was asked to do this. I've thought long and hard about this (mostly around 2am at work is when the real hard thinking happens), and even though if I were to get famous someday there would obviously be more interesting things to tell about me...but here are the ones that I have come up with at this point in my life:

1) I'm really good at the game Minesweeper.

2) When I was young I knocked out 5 teeth after I fell off of a wall.

3) I would always pick an old car over a new car. I believe that they smell better and have more personality.

4) When I was born, my parent's named me Adrian and that was how it was spelled on my birth certificate. They later learned that that is the boys’ way to spell my name so they decided to change the spelling and get a new birth certificate made.

5) I get the hiccups when I'm hungry or if I eat too quickly.

6) I have an unnatural and extreme fear of sharks. The thought of watching Shark Week on the Discovery Channel makes me feel sick to my stomach and somewhat twitchy.

7) My favourite colour is purple.

8) I'm allergic to alcohol. One would never know this when they witness me downing our homemade slush. Yum yum.

9) I eat chocolate every day. Please don't judge me.

10) I think all space programs are a waste of time and resources. Why are we spending billions and billions of dollars to explore other planets when we have so many problems on our own planet? Let's feed some starving people here before we lose multi-billion dollar machines on Mars, shall we?

11) When I was younger, my nickname was Ade, but then around 1986 when the whole AIDS discovery broke out all over the news, my family decided to change my nickname to "Age". I don't think they thought through the whole naming of me very well.

12) If I could be the best at any occupation in the world and become extremely successful with it, I would be a lawyer.

13) I believe that in my past life I died from either a car crash or a heroin overdose. Evidence points in both directions so I don't know which one it is exactly.

14) I have been tattooed 12 times. Once again, please don't judge me. It's an addiction.

15) I once made the neighbour kid touch dog poo after I told him it was fake.

16) I think that Dirk Pitt is amazing and may just run away with him if he ever were to show up on my doorstep.

17) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the first one) and The Wedding Singer are two of my all-time favourite movies. They're both hilarious and hugely entertaining.

18) I really don’t like ladybugs or worms.

19) I know every single word to the song “Asshole” by Denis Leary.

20) My name is tattooed on a friend of mine’s butt. True story.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Not Enough Hours in a Day

It's 10:10 pm and I'm sitting out on the back deck listening to the hum of the neighbours heat pump and enjoying the beautiful evening while Splash lays at my feet. We were supposed to have thunder showers and crazy winds tonight, but the air is clear and there is not even the slightest hint of a wind. If it were a few degrees cooler, it would be the perfect evening. Well, apart from the millions of river moths attacking my computer screen at any given second. Gross little creatures they are.

Today was a busy day. It didn't start the greatest but proved to get better as time went on. I got home from work a little after 6am this morning and didn't fall asleep until around 7. When I woke up I felt good. I thought that it must have been at least noon at that point. Yeah, no. Not even close. I'd been asleep for less than an hour and a half. Crap. Ok. Fall back asleep. Fall back asleep. Fall back asleep. I dozed and on off until about 10:30 and decided to just get up and stop wasting my time. That's always frustrating. But before the bad mood could settle in, there was a knock at the door and my day got much brighter instantly! Splash was being dropped off for the weekend. Pam and Graham went to Kamloops for the weekend to attend Graham's sisters's wedding so we get Splash for the long weekend! YAY!

So I did a workout, showered, ate and vacuumed then was rushed off to see the chiropractor. I haven't been in nearly a week so I was looking forward to some good spinal cracking. After that I headed to Clives for a coffee meeting with two ladies who work for Teck who are involved with the After Hours newsletter that Teck puts out every 2 months (the one that our picture was in for that hike). I've volunteered to write an article for the October edition of the newsletter and they wanted us to all get together to discuss my ideas and their ideas and see what we could come up with as a group. It's going to be my perspective of working as a summer student up there. I have some ideas of what I want to do...but we'll see how it turns out. I'll keep you posted on how it all pans out.

Tip of the Day: Iced americanos with a tiny bit of milk are addictive and should only be consumed with caution.

After that I did a quick trip back to the house to pick up Chris and Splash and we ran out to my parent's house for a few minutes. Mom and dad already left for the lake for the weekend (we're joining them tomorrow afternoon) but I needed to pick up a few things before we headed out. And by things I mean raid the garden for produce to take with us. Chris took Splash for a swim while I did all the dirty work. Men.

We got home and made a quick dinner. Jer came and picked Chris up for another night of dry walling while my sister Amy and Cadance came and picked me up and we headed to visit with my grandma for a while. I don't get out to visit my grandma enough and I'm trying to make more time to get out there and see her more often. Around 8pm we headed back home and Amy asked me to watch Cadance while she cut the lawn. Of course I agreed. I also somehow got persuaded to go do a beer run for her. I felt extremely unclassy walking out of the Cold Beer and Wine store holding a 2 year old and a 6-pack of Bud Lite. White trash isn't even good enough to explain how I felt. At least I was dressed nicely.

Tomorrow I have to babysit for a few hours then we're heading out to the lake until Sunday. I'm stoked!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Naked Truth

There are some things that I am getting to be quite famous for, such as a bad sense of direction, the ability to break seemingly unbreakable objects and my lovely bad timing. Most people think that they have bad timing, but I truly do. Don't ride in the car with me unless you want to hit every red light. I will always call you right at supper time. My most recent bad timing happened yesterday afternoon at about 4:30pm.

Ok, so when I was a toddler/young child, I was always naked. Trying to keep clothes on me was just a feat my mom learned to give up on quite quickly. I'm guessing that most of my family was surprised to see me grow up to be such a conservative dresser who rarely shows much skin at all. And I don't like to take chances of the possibilty of someone seeing too much of my skin. For example, even if the house is empty, all blinds are closed and all doors are locked, I will still wrap and towel around myself when darting from the bathroom to the bedroom after a shower. But every so often, I take a walk on the wild side and do the unthinkable.

Today while I was in the process of getting changed, I made a quick naked trip to the living room to grab something. And I mean super quick. Walk in, grab the item and walk out kind of quick. In that five seconds in which I was standing in the living room, my sister poked her head in the window and knocked on the door. C'mon! What are the chances?!?!? Of all the minutes of all the days, in that second she had to pull up to the house and knock on the door and peer into the only set of blinds in the entire house that weren't completely drawn. My poor sister. I bet she wasn't expecting that. Assuming that no one would approach the door at that moment was just another awesome reminder of my horrible timing.

Tip of the Day: never assume anything, or else as ass of me you will see.

Last summer the same kind of thing happened but with my roommate. After a workout I decided to make the three step leap to the bathroom while completely nude. I was completely sure that no one was upstairs, but alas, when I stepped into the bathroom there she was with a horrified look on her face. Actually, the look she gave was absolutely hilarious and I will never forget it as long as I live. She moved out shortly after.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Doomed for Divorce?

So here’s a topic that came up the other night and it got me thinking. There’s this guy at work, a young guy…he can’t be much more than a few years older than me, and he’s getting a divorce from his wife who he’s been married to for only 5 years. Another coworker was telling me this and he proceeded to share that this guy was now another one of the regular divorced S-shifters at Teck. (S Shift is the shift that I work. There are 4 different shifts, Q,R,S and T.) Apparently pretty much every guy up there on that shift in the plant that I work in has been divorced at least once in their life. The more I looked into this topic the more I learned that it’s not just because we’re the crazy S-shift group. A very high proportion of the men up there have faced divorce since being employed at Teck. So what causes the high divorce rates up there?

It seems that working 4&4 days/nights can be really hard on a relationship (in which you work 2 days then two nights of 12 hour shifts). Considering that the person on that schedule has a different work week every week, this will mean that your schedule will always completely clash at some time during the month. For example, let’s say a man works 4&4 days/nights while his wife works 9-5 Monday-Friday at a regular job. At one point for 3 weeks straight, there will be 2 days in a row in which the couple will not see each other, except when sleeping. He goes to work around 5-5:30pm which is when she gets home from work, and he gets home around 6:15am which gives them about an hour or so of social exchange before she has to get up for work. For some couples this could be a good thing (absence makes the heart grow fonder?) but for most, especially if you throw kids in the mix, this would be very difficult.

So here are the top 10 reasons for divorce:
1. Lack of commitment towards marriage, sexual incompatibility and infidelity
2. Lack of communication
3. Abandonment, alcohol/drug abuse
4. Physical, sexual or emotional abuse
5. Inability to manage and resolve conflict
6. Differences in personal or career goals
7. Difference in attitudes towards household tasks and financial problems
8. Intellectual incompatibility and inflexibility
9. Mental instability/illness
10. Religious beliefs, cultural or lifestyle differences

I don’t see one of the reasons being Teck lifestyle due to shift work. Hmmmm. But the shift work could create problems in all of these areas listed above. Then again, any other job could create the same kind of problems.

To maintain a strong relationship for this work schedule, both of the people have to be rather independent, trusting and understanding. It would be a hard life to lead and I know guys who have been doing it for 30+ years up there. Working night shift is hard enough…having to keep up a good relationship while doing it day in and day out is just another layer to add to it all. Apparently if a person works night shift for 10 years then they will lose 10 years off of their life. Seriously! It has to do with the natural rhythm of our bodies and the huge amount of strain we would have to put on our system to make it sleep during the time of day (day time) in which it is supposed to be awake and keeping it awake when we should be sleeping.

Tip of the Day: Only do night shift if you absolutely have to and if it’s for a short period of time.

I found this whole divorce/shift work association a but saddening and I think that there should be a huge research study for it to see if this is a world-wide problem or if it just so happens to be a phenomenon for Teck employees. Maybe it all just comes down to the fact that there’s just too many heavy metals in the soil/water here and we’re all a bit loony, hence the difficulty maintaining stable relationships with other people. Makes sense to me.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Plewman's Trail, Take 2

Today began around 7am when I crawled my butt out of bed (on a Saturday morning on my last day off). That part was relatively easy. Getting Chris out of bed on a Saturday morning at 7am when he got home around 3:15am is another thing. The guy spent the evening drywalling with Jer and last minute ended up going to hear a band play at the Arlington Pub until late into the morning. The band is called Chinlock and I wanted to see them play but didn't have anyone to go with so I sat at home alone meanwhile Chirs and Jer went without me. Was I bitter about this?? A little. But considering the day that we ended up having today, I'm glad that I got more than the 3.5 hours of sleep that Chris got.

So like I said, out of bed around 7, out the door by 7:45 and up at Pam's house by 8am. We met up with Pam, my dad and Splash and all piled into my dad's truck and headed up towards Rossland to find the trailhead of Plewman's Trail. In case you didn't read my blog a week or so ago, myself, Pam and Graham all walked about half way up this trail called Plewman's Trail which is an "advanced hike" up just past Rossland. The trail is 5km up, has an elevation of 700m and reaches to the top of what is called Unnecessary Ridge. Today we decided to do the entire trek up there. I had been looking forward to this day for a week now because I was so excited to see what the top looked like! Plus I wanted to see Old Glory mountain. Old Glory is my goal hike for the summer. It's a 15km hike and I am stoked to accomplish it.

So we began the hike just before 8:30 and reached Unnecessary Ridge by about 10:20am. The view was magnificant and we were all very proud of ourselves to see just how high we climbed in such a short amount of time. The hike was considerably difficult in some areas and the bugs were evil at some points, but in the end the view was so worth it. The ridge meets up with another trail, Old Glory Trail, which will take you the remaining 2.5km up to the top of Old Glory or brings you back down to the trailhead (where we began). We decided to take a different trail back down the mountain which was an extra 1.5km but was supposed to be a bit easier on the knees. Everyone voted that way. When we got back down to the truck around noon, we all looked up at the mountain that we had just climbed and were stunned at just how high up it seemed. It seems like it would take forever to climb that far, but it really doesn't. This definitely was a boost of confidence for all of us.

After the hike, my dad, Chris and I went to Castlegar. Dad needed to bring the car in to get an oil change and I wanted to look for Holden's birthday present. We ended up having lunch at a little pub then went and found an excellent gift for Holden. I hope he likes it :) We drove back to Trail and I did some gardening at my parent's house. I ended up picking some carrots, garlic, kale and beets to bring home. Yum yum yum. By this time I was so hot and gross and was time for a swim. The river has warmed up considerably so it was quite inviting compared to how it felt a month ago, or even just a week ago when I went for a dunk. We played some crib, blew some bubbles for Splash and had some dinner before heading back home. All in all, great day. Wouldn't change a thing!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Trip to Champion

Today is my third day off and it has so far been quite fun and adventurous. Sarah and her kids came and picked us up at 10:30 this morning and we all headed to Champion Lake for the afternoon. There was a crisp wind blowing in for a little while which made the air pretty cool, but luckily the wind died down a half hour or so after we arrived. Then it got nice and toasty. Champion is a nice little lake to spend the day at, especially when you have kids to entertain. There's camping, trails to walk, a playground and of course the warm lake to play in.

One awesome thing about Champion too is that there is an added bonus fountain of fun if you know where to look. And by that I mean turtle hunting! There are certain areas of the lake which house lots of teeny tiny turtles to search for (which look just like Earl). Sometimes you have to be up to your knees in mud before you can catch one, but they're so bloody cute so the effort is well worth it. Chris was slipping and sliding all over the place trying to catch turtles for the kids, but those little reptiles are fast to slip off logs into the water. Luckily some other kids who were also turtle hunting had already caught two so we were able to hold them and admire their overwhelming cuteness (the turtles...not the kids).

While we were playing on the beach, we noticed that across the lake we could see people jumping from a rock and swinging on a giant rope into the water. The second I saw Chris's eyes light up when he saw that, I knew that there was no way we could leave without us hiking over there and doing the swing ourselves. So we packed up the kids and walked over to the spot where we saw the people jumping from. Every time I go to Champion I see people swinging over there but just have never walked over to do it myself. Today was that day. And yeah, it was really fun. Holden was pretty upset that we wouldn't let him do the jump, but after he actually saw other people doing it and just how far you swing out there, he seemed quite content to just sit back and watch. He's only 5 and need to be a stronger swimmer to be able to do something like that. I'm excited to go back and do it again.

So what is the plan for the rest of the day?? Who knows! Chris is going to go drywall with Jer while I will probably go do something with Amy and Cadance for a while. Hiking tomorrow!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hike Photo

So I got a copy of the picture that was in the Teck After Ours newsletter that I was talking about a few days back. I would like it better if there was a little less boob showing...I guess I just have to take what I can get sometimes.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Surprise Parties and On-The-Spot Lattes

Saturday was my aunt's "surprise" 60th birthday party. I call it a "surprise" party because she knew that there was a dinner being held but she didn't know the extent of which it would be. The day began early when she got her first surprise...we all chipped in to get her a brand new stainless steel range. I wasn't there to witness her reaction but apparently she was at a loss for words. That's a good thing.

Happy hour for the party started at 5pm up at the Gypsy Room which is a restaurant up in Red Mountain Resort. Unfortunately I had to work until 6 that night so I missed happy hour and the pre-aunt arrival moments. Chris came and picked me up from work, along with my clothes which I had to change into. I'm sure one or two drivers passing by that night got a bit of an eyeful as I clumsily switched outfits in the passenger seat of my tiny Honda. When we found the restaurant I was a bit disappointed to learn that we missed the "surprise!" moment and the reaction to my aunt seeing some friends who traveled many many miles to attend the event. Nonetheless, the party was enjoyable, the company was wonderful and the food was delicious. It was great to be able to visit with some relatives I haven't even had the chance to see since I've been home. Plus after we ate, Chris and I went for a walk around to see the huge expansion project that's going on up at Red Mountain and I got to show him our ski hill. He didn't seem all that impressed by it. I think he was expecting it to be bigger than it is...I believe he just needs to ski it to be able to make a true opinion of it. I have nothing but fond memories of that mountain. Well, apart from the time I skied right into a creek.

One more story while I'm thinking about it. A couple weeks ago when we did our quick trip to Kelowna, we stopped at this little coffee shop in Greenwood called Deadwood Junction. I had read an article in a little local magazine which was discussing the new businesses which have been opening the past few years in Greenwood (Canada's smallest city) and I decided to make a stop at one which was mentioned in the article. This one had actually caught my eye when I drove through back in May to pick up Chris at the Kelowna airport and I had made a mental note to stop in the next time I went through. Anyway, we dropped in to pick up some coffee and I got talking to the owners who were new to owning a coffee shop and they were explaining how they both knew nothing about making specialties coffees. By the way, they were probably the nicest people to ever own a coffee shop. But they were having particular problems with perfecting the latte. Since I worked at a couple coffee shops back in the day, I tried my best to explain the ways of the perfect latte. Apparently explaining the procedure was not good enough so they coaxed me into actually preparing one for them so that they could watch. This was slightly nerve wracking...the pressure was on! I hadn't made a latte in about 3 years. Hopefully it was like riding a bike. But I got through it without making a fool of myself and they were grateful for the demonstration. The one downside to this whole event? We had already bought two coffees and now they offered us the latte for free. I can't drink milk and Chris would never turn down a, needless to say that he was quite jittery and restless by the time we reached Kelowna that evening.

Tip of the Day: Don't travel in a small vehicle when your passenger is loaded up on caffeine.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Friday morning I crawled out of bed to go on a hike with my sister Pam. I've been wanting to learn about all of the trails in this area which I have well over-looked in all of my time living here. I guess I was never hugely interested in these big mountain adventures until now. Perhaps it's the fact that I've been living on a flat island for the past three years has lead me to feel a new deep urge to explore the mountains that I have been missing so badly. So I drove up to her house and we all piled into her car (me, her, Graham and Splash) and headed up to Rossland to find the trailhead.

(Plewman Trail)

Initially we were going to just hike up some of the way on Old Glory Trail which is a rather long path to take on a we had the dog and didn't want to do a majorly huge hike that didn't have good water sources for her. We're not very familiar with this area of trails so we didn't want to overdo it on the first try. Pam, my dad, my aunt and uncle all climbed Old Glory last year and it was about an 8 hour day for them, which is an event that needs to be planned out in advance. As we began the trek, we found a different trail which steered away from our initial planned trail but seemed like a good adventure. It was called Plewman Trail and ran for 5km up the mountain. I later learned that this is actually an "advanced" trail, which is something we are not. But we climbed it for an hour and a half before we headed back home. It was definitely tough in some spots but the semi-tree-enclosed trail was kept relatively cool in the sunshine and the beautiful creeks and views were enough to keep us going along. Pam and I made a date for next Saturday to do the entire trail, which I am super excited for!

Oh, I forgot to mention my 15 minutes of fame. Every couple of months, Teck puts out this fancy little newsletter to discuss everything that's going on in the company and in this edition there was a picture of Chris, myself, Pam and Splash. It was taken when we did the Kootenay Columbia Trail on June 13th for the wellness program that Teck has. I wish I had a copy that I could post on my blog to show everyone. Oh well. The next planned hike is on August 8th and I am very much looking forward to it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Canoes and Coyotes

So has anyone out there seen that "Funny People" movie with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogan? For such a large cast of funny people in one movie, it really wasn't all that funny at all. I think that that may have been the point perhaps...but that's just not fair. Why put so many great people in one film and have it suck so badly? There was one part that made me laugh, but really. I only laughed once in the whole 2 hour and 10 minute movie. Was it really worth it for that one laugh? No. Not really.

Yesterday afternoon Chris and I took a super quick trip down to the US to pick up a few things. And by things I mean gasoline, beer and candy. The US border is about a 7 minute drive from Trail so it's very convenient to take a quick trip out there to buy some key cheap essentials. There is a store just passed the border that accepts Canadian money at par and since everything there is cheaper than in Canada, that store is very well received by all of the locals around here. Gas is nearly 20cents/L less which is lovely.

Today was a pretty great day. We kidnapped Splash yesterday and I begged to keep her for the night, which Pam reluctantly agreed to. The one thing about Splash is that she expects to be walked early in the morning, which is great by me! So I crawled out of bed nice and early to take her for a jaunt. The perfect way to begin the day is to be awake before most of the rest of the world and enjoy the stillness of the morning with your pooch friend.

After a workout, some breakfast and a quick run out to do a couple errands, I hauled Chris out of bed so that he could actually enjoy the day and not sleep it away. I don't know how people can sleep that late. Mornings are the best time of the day! We went out of birchbank again so go for a swim and lay about in the sunshine for a while. After disturbing two blue herons that were lounging water-side, we actually came across a canoe that someone had propped under a tree. The owners wrote a note on the canoe to please use and respect the canoe by placing it back under the tree afterwards. This was a totally awesome discovery. On July 18th, 2008, these two guys named Alex and David Hope (they signed the canoe and paddle) put their canoe in the area for anyone to enjoy the use of. So for that, we thank you guys! We were shocked that we had never noticed it already considering it was only about 50 feet from where we drop out towels every time we go there. In in our defence, it was kind of hidden in the trees.

So we paddled around the water for a while which was excellent. At first we attempted to paddle around with Splash in the canoe with us, but she almost tipped it about 6 times before we decided to kick her out. It was her first time in a canoe so it was to be expected that she would be a bit nervous and restless. When we pulled away from the shore, to our delight, Splash took it upon herself to swim alongside us. If she got tired or nervous then she would head back to shore and wait a minute until the next swimming adventure began. The dog swam many miles today. She's amazing that way.

After the great canoe adventure, we took a rest and headed back to the towels. A few minutes into soaking up some cancer rays, Splash suddenly took off running making this huffy sounds that she does when she's about to attack something. Since I knew what that sound meant, I immediately sat up and looked to where she was running to. I guess a coyote (or more than one for all we know) had wandered to where we were laying and Splash took it upon herself to protect us from it and she chased it back into the woods. Our hero! One single coyote would obviously do nothing to us but it was good to know that Splash had our backs in case of emergency.

I've noticed that Chris and Splash have become quite close and that's he's fallen quite hard for that wonderful mutt. She's taken to him as well though. When he was out swimming by himself she would paddle along with him to keep him company and to obviously protect him from any random swimming coyotes. It was very cute to watch.

After we left the swimming hole and dropped Splash off back at Pam's house, we decided to overdress and go out to dinner at a totally un-fancy restaurant. I think people thought that we were lost walking into the Arlington pub dressed the way we were. But the beer tasted great and the food was super good as well so it turned out to be a decent event overall. The cat-call when walking into the place didn't hurt either ;)

Tip of the Day: According to some people, once cannot add too much honey mustard sauce to chicken burgers. Who'da thunk?

I took this picture tonight and I love it so I thought I would share it with all of you. Taking pictures of people when they don't realize it is basically my favourite way to take pictures.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Out of Service

So everyone at work is secretly accusing me of breaking the elevator on Sunday morning. When I got on the elevator to remove some pallets that another guy had placed on there (and forgotten about), I backed the forklift onto the elevator and went to close the doors to send it down to the lower level (where I go to change the battery). To my dismay, the door was jammed and even with me hanging off of the strap that lowers the door, it would not budge. I went and got another guy to ask if he could move it down but even he was unable to get it to move. I was beginning to freak out because my forklift was nearly dead and all of the zinc coming off the strip machines (the machines that feed me the zinc) were starting to get backed up and the furnaces that I feed zinc into were beginning to empty out. Panic mode began to set in quite quickly at that point.

What they ended up doing was driving the forklift over to one of the cranes and lifting a battery up with that. Why does this shit always happen to me? I touch the elevator and it breaks. Like my friend Gill said, "me and machinery don't mix". This seems to be true. I'm thinking that my reference for this job is getting worse and worse by the minute. I can just see some future employer calling Teck to ask about me, only to have them say, "Oh yeah. That girl. Damn she breaks a lot of stuff. Watch out for that one."

The past two days (my first 2 days off) have been just flying by and yet I feel like I have accomplished nothing. I got my hair done yesterday and went to the chiropractor which was great because, 1) my hair was getting to that almost mullet stage (see previous blog), and 2) I haven't had a good back cracking for nearly 2 weeks since my chiropractor was on holidays of a while. After some quick grocery shopping I rushed home to make dinner for my mom, and of course Chris. Dad, Amy and Cadance all went to the lake yesterday but mom stayed behind for a day because she had an appointment the next day so she was going to drive there the next day to catch up with them. I didn't want her to spend the evening alone so I invited her to have dinner with us. I BBQ'd up some bison burgers, corn on the cob and some coleslaw (dairy-free coleslaw though which is way gooder than the crappy kind that everyone else makes). Typing that out made me realize that that's basically the most cliche summertime meal ever.

By the way, gooder IS a word! It's in the dictionary right next to stupider.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Type of Discrimination?

When I am not doing vast amounts of reading at work, I spend the remaining hours driving along on my forklift doing a whole lot of thinking. I get pretty wrapped up in my thoughts, which can be a bit dangerous sometimes. Take for example my near collision with a fellow employee named Jarrod who was driving along, minding his own business, when I nearly crashed into him while I wrapped my brain around something that was probably quite unimportant. I would like to point out however that is was just past 4am and I was quite sleepy.

My point on this though is the fact that I have a lot of time to think. Today I got a bit lost in a rather serious subject...a subject which I have been faced with both yesterday and today. That subject is mullets. Yep. The old "business in the front, party in the back" kind of subject. Usually I work with the same 5 guys every day, but one of the usuals is away on holidays and the guy who is filling the shift has a very stealth kind of mullet. Can a mullet really be stealth you ask? Oh you betcha! You know how sometimes when a regular every day normal guy goes a bit too long without getting his hair cut and the hair in the back starts to drape down the neck a little, creating a tiny bit of the mullet look? Well this is what this guy has, but all of the time! So one who doesn't know this guy may think "oh that dude need a haircut because he's starting to get a mullet", but little do they know that's his every day hair. There is one way I determined that this man indeed has a mullet and doesn't just need a haircut, and that involves the whole "business in the front" situation. This man definitely has the spiky business going on, but once again it is rather stealth and only slightly spiky. I applaud your stealth mullet buddy.

So after deliberating this man's hair for far too long, I started thinking about the whole mullet society of people out there. See, the thing with men like this one at work is that guys like him may not even realize that he even has a mullet because it is quite sneaky the way that he has it. What if, after 20ish years, his barber never had the heart to say, "Hey Dave, did you know that I've been giving you a mullet since 1986?". That could devastate the man if he was completely unaware of this fact...a fact that everyone else has already known for nearly a quarter century. So the question is, would you want to know if it were you?

Tip of the Day: Some famous people with mullets - David Bowie, Phil Collins, Michael Bolton, Tom Jones, Steven Segal, Chuck Norris, Macgyver and of course, Billy Ray Cyrus.

My final thought (of the day, not of the subject because I could literally talk about this for days), is that we do not give people with mullets the kind of respect that we give the rest of society. Doubt me if you must, but I can assure you that I am correct with this. Think about it. When you're sitting at a restaurant with someone and you spot an amazing mullet across the room, you would lean towards your fellow diner and say, "check out the mullet over by the windows". You don't refer to the person as a man or woman, race, age, colour of clothing...but as the hair and only the hair. Why is that person known as "the mullet" and not as "the man wearing the blue shirt and jeans who happens to be sporting a famous hair style?" Could this be a type of mulletism? We have racism, sexism, ageism, so why not mulletism? Think about it people.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

R.I.P oh Nameless One

A few days ago there was a death in the Kotyk family and I want to send my love out to a special someone who definitely influenced my life in many ways. He was my 12 year old red eye tetra fish (they are only supposed to live 4-5 years) which I got when I was in grade 10. He lived in my 10 gallon aquarium and moved 7 times with me over the years, and believe me...moving an aquarium is not an easy feat. He didn't have a name because when I got my fish there were two of them and I couldn't tell them apart so I left them nameless; although when the other one died many many years ago, I did lovingly refer to the surviving tetra as "bastard fish". This was the meanest fish that ever swam. He would bite the fins off of any other fish that I placed in that tank. To say the least, he was alpha-fish. I learned many things from this fish. Most of all, I learned the kinds of fish that are available to buy which are the most aggressive. Whenever I would go into a pet store to purchase some new fish, I would ask for the meanest fish that they had. Unfortunately these so called "aggressive fish" that they point out to me never survived the likes of Bastard Fish. He was a fighter til the end. I buried him under a shrub in the back-yard because I figured since the guy was 12 years old, flushing him down the toilet just wouldn't be a good enough send off. Dying with a little dignity was what he deserved.

Not much to report other than that. I ended up not having to babysit so we headed out to birchbank again to enjoy the hot weather. Splash was grateful to spend the day with us and get a lot of swimming done. We got a bit too much sun which was stupid and actually a bit surprising since I was covered in sunscreen. It's hard to keep up on applying it when you're out in the sun for 20 minutes, then in the water for 20 minutes, then out for 20 minutes...what's a person to do? Apply every time you get out? Then it doesn't even have enough time to be absorbed properly and ends up just washing away when you jump in the water. I dunno. Maybe I'll call Coppertone and ask for some advice.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Insert Sad Music

So I have to start out by correcting a giant mistake that I made about 3 weeks ago. My friend Gill had a baby boy and I need to correct the name of him. It's Mark Phinneus Aiken. Welcome little baby Mark (Phin) to the world. Can't wait to meet you.

So. Ok. How to even begin this? To sum up my past few days in a nutshell... sheer and utter disappointment. I had to kibosh my hugely anticipated trip to Vancouver to see my friends whom I haven't seen in far too long and to see my all time favourite band perform because of scheduling complications. To explain what happened is kind of irrelevant, but it was basically just my complete stupidity that effed up this trip. We were literally heading out the door with our suitcases, ready to go, when I realized what had happened. After a small mental breakdown and fit of feeling sorry for myself, I pulled myself together and tried to deal with the situation. By far the hardest part was emailing Doug (my friend who we were going to stay with in Vancouver), to tell him that we weren't coming. That sucked.

The original plan was to drive to Kelowna the first day, spend the night in a hotel and drive the rest of the way the next morning...but since that second drive was no longer going to take place, like they say, "when life gives you lemons, make a whole bunch of lemonade, build a lemonade stand and use the profits to buy a machine gun and see if life makes the same mistake twice." Oh wait. Is that right??? So we decided to go to Kelowna anyway and just make a mini-trip out of the situation. We had some good meals, did a little shopping and wandered around downtown and the waterfront for a good while. The weather was amazing so that helped out a lot. It turned out to be a decent time.

Today was my third day off and it was positively lovely. Me and Chris went and got Splash around noon and took her to birchbank for a couple hours. Birchbank is the local picnic grounds that get used from time to time for big events. What a lot of people don't know is that if you drive down the road way past the picnic grounds and do some trekking through the bush, there is an amazing private area to go swimming. The river flows into this little inlet and makes a great swimming spot which is much warmer than the brisk Columbia from which it feeds from. So we did some swimming and a lot of stick throwing for Splash.

After that we headed to my parent's house to do some yard work for my mom. It took little time to get really hot and sweaty so we jumped in the river again. Quite a bit colder than earlier but hugely refreshing. Once you get in and your bones start to freeze up, the water becomes much more bearable. When we got back up to the house we got roped into agreeing to babysit Cadance tomorrow while my sister is at work. Should be interesting....

Friday, July 2, 2010

Book Review

So in case you haven't been paying close attention to what I write in this blog, it is more than safe to say that my job involves a lot of reading time. In fact, I have now completed four books since I began working on the charge floor at the end of May. Every book that I read was so incredibly different from all of the others that I feel as though I've been slammed with a lot of information and attacked with many emotions in a small amount of time. Here's a quick run-down of what I've taken in:

1) The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. To make this completely honest, I actually began reading this book back in December. I got about 50 pages in and inconveniently got trapped in the whirlwind of school which lead to the book being shelved and forgotten about until around the end of May when my every day workload began to slow down a tiny bit. So, this book was...a lot to take in. Richard Dawkins is a famous atheist who writes about how it's impossible for God to exist by breaking down all of the beliefs/myths that people have about this supposed supreme being. One day in the lunch room at work, one of the guys said to me, "Oh you're reading Richard Dawkins. Does that mean you don't believe in God?". My first thought was, do people actually openly ask that question these days? I don't know this guy at all and decided that my beliefs were none of his concern and replied by telling him that people from every end of the spectrum, from extreme atheists to extreme God followers, can enjoy this book because it gives a point of view that a lot of people don't consider and can make one either fight for what they believe in or start to second guess what they choose to believe. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The first 50-100 pages were kind of slow but once I got to chapter 3 I really began to get into it and the pages were turning quickly.

2) Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. This book had me captivated by the end of the first chapter. Obviously I was drawn to the contents of this book because it is about the food industry and farming and where our food comes from. There were parts of this book that left me broken hearted when learning about how some (most) animals are treated at birth and all the way to slaughter. Once again I am happy that I do not eat beef. For some reason, the part where he explained why they cut the tails off pigs just left me feeling so saddened for these poor creatures. Probably because they have an IQ similar to that of a dog and my love for dogs is very well known. But then there were also parts which filled me with hope and fascination. When the reader learns about the most amazing self sufficient animal farm that Pollan visits for a week, it just left me believing that it is possible to have that way of life be the only way of life in terms of raising animals for human consumption. Now if only all those a-holes who own most of the food industry would open their eyes and forget about their bank accounts for a few minutes then we might begin to make some kind of progress on this whole matter. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know where their food is coming come so that they can make an educated decision when choosing and purchasing their food (especially meats).

3) Lord of the Flies by William Golding. I borrowed this book from my friend Shawn well over a year ago and just never got the chance to read it. Well, I ended up reading it in a day and a half. I'm not going to lie. This was a fantastic book. It started off kind of slow and had some majorly obvious foreshadowing at some points, but as I read on, it became a really great read. By the last two chapters I was sitting on my forklift at work ignoring every sound and person around me, trying with all of my might to get to the end of the book because I just HAD to know how it ended. My heart was literally racing as my eyes ran down the pages as fast as they could. Does Ralph get away? Does he die? Are they rescued? Does he somehow screw them over? Do they all die? What happens on that crazy island?!?!? I won't give it away. This author described perfectly how man basically destroys everything that is good and that we will always fail if we were to try to govern ourselves. We're useless.

4) An Imaginary Life by David Malouf. I picked this book off of Pam's bookshelf on my way to work this morning and I was able to read the entire thing in today's shift (I was training 2 new guys which meant I had to sit back and just make sure they didn't break anything). This book was....meh. Nothing special. He's fantastic at making the most beautiful points about life and growing and becoming your true self. It's about a first century poet who is banished from Rome and forced to live in this small tribal village out in the middle of nowhere. He eventually takes in this young boy who lives out in the wild (raised with the deer) and all kind of ill shit occurs. But overall, the book seemed really rushed and I mostly just read it as fast as I could so that I would be done with it and move onto another book.

What will my next read be?? Who knows!