Sunday, December 31, 2006

Have a Stella New Year!

Happy New Year one and all!!

Stella McCartney

Photo of Stella McCartney's storefront snapped after leaving the Coach & Horses pub in London, England.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!!

Just a quick blog to let the world know that we're all safe and sound and enjoying a green Christmas morning.

We wish y'all the most awesome Christmas season ever!!

Snowman in lights

Friday, November 10, 2006

Hike through the pit


This year November 11th fell on a weekend which left us with a choice of days to go for our annual hike. That said, we hiked twice. Both times in the Gatineau Park and surrounding area and both times with a side search for a geocache. As per usual the core crew consisted of Ken, Mike, and myself but on the first day we were joined by Dave.

Trip skidoo2-2006 11 10 119IMG_3416 IMG_3382 Control panel to the sun

Great weather, and as always, good times. Cheers.

Victory celebration with a 46er Pale Ale IMG_3473

(this is an update to a missing 2006 entry)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Curse of the Costco ham

Last weekend, on the advice and praise of Uhrblock, we purchased a Costco ham (Kirkland's Spiral Cut). A real fire sale, $10 off the regular price. We wrangled one into our cart and headed for the checkout.

Arriving at home we slapped that big hamhock on the kitchen counter, opened up the packaged, and wow. This thing is massive. We're going to be feasting on ham for weeks. Well rather than eat 20 ham based meals in a row we decided to chop it up and freeze it. Wait, what's this? A plastic bone button protector thingie? Ok, so this bad boy had a bone. I'm sure I can butcher around that with my Ginzu. Easy enough, right?

Well maybe for a butcher's son. I hacked and I hacked. Blood and juice spilling all over the stove and floor. My wife yelling that she's going to have to disinfect the entire kitchen and me yelling for her to grab the beast before it falls on the floor. Finally, four freezer bags later we get it all organized and stored away for a nuclear holocaust.

Without going into details let's just say that Uhrblock's name was cursed once or twice.

Skunk attack

Then last night around midnight I hear my wife shout from the doorway. SKUNK!! Yep. The ham had come back to haunt us. The leftover ham bone was just too much for that poor skunk to resist. I had to chase him away three times before I could convince my wife to come out and help me clean up the garbage that was now strewn all over the road and front lawn. (Note to blog readers, this type of late evening activity does absolutely nothing for the bedroom romance. If you ever find yourself in this predicament, let the animal enjoy it and tidy it up in the morning.)

In the end the ham proved to be delicious. However the pre and post production work involved will make you want to think twice about heading down to your nearest Costco and picking one up for yourself.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Mr. Solid Halloween

Halloween Night has arrived and thankfully the rain held off and it even got a little warmer resulting in a spooky fog rolling in. I once again donned my Halloween mask and joined the kids on their neighbourhood pillage. The streets were realtively quiet this year and we were able to get through our regular route in no time at all.


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As per usual we ended with a stop up at the corner to see the crazy Halloween guy's house. This year he added an antique car to the mix. This guy goes full out. He even climbs up to the second story windows and nails on fake boards to make his house look run down and abandoned. Huge thumbs up to this horror house.

IMG_3224 IMG_3226

We met up with our old neighbours and chatted it up for a bit before taking off in the van to visit some of our other friends. The first stop required some persistent doorbell ringing as the owner was in hiding after running out of candy. This tends to happen when you purchase the goodies too early and then pack them in your lunch snacks for 3 weeks. As compensation we scored a Mr. Solid Easter bunny. Sweet.

The goodies

Next stop brought us to my personal favourite Halloween spot as it is here that I snag a beer every year. Last year was a festive Saranac Pumpkin Ale this year was a Saranac Pale Ale. So while my buddy kept adding various chocolate bars to the kids loot bags I enjoyed a refreshing ale. Finally we decided that we had best be on our way when he started handing out muffins, Kraft cheese slices and McDonald's ketchup.

The most unique set up this year was the house down the street that was showing a horror flick on their garage door. The projector was inside their car with the sound running through the car speakers. Thankfully it was rated PG.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Amateur Diet Coke Mentos experiment #1

Some of you may remember one of my earlier posts about these crazy guys in lab jackets blasting coke out of bottles. Well last weekend we decided to give the experiment a shot ourselves...

Let's just say we now know where we went wrong and we will try again.

Run like the wind brother!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Thanksgiving in Ptbo


Aside from the one year when we decided to have Thanksgiving weekend in Algonquin Park with my extended family (Grandma included) I've spent every Thanksgiving in Peterborough. This weekend was not going to be the one to break the streak.

We arrived late Friday night in a funnel of weekend traffic and unloaded our gear including little Maxly the snake who we decided to let go at the farm.

Ptbo farmer's market

Saturday we awoke to a crisp, foggy morning. I strolled around the farm and snapped a few pics before heading into town with my wife to check out the farmer's market. The sunny morning had brought out everybody and their grandmother. What a bustle. It was busier than Loblaws. Local high school kids were scattered here and there playing guitars, banjos, fiddles, and other various instruments attempting to raise funds for the Terry Fox Foundation. I flipped them some change and left with a short video that I'll later load to youtube.

Funhouse Avalanche IMG_2838

Saturday afternoon we ALL headed out to the Norwood Fair. The fair was complete with ferris wheel, funhouse, money-grabbing games, the Zipper, horse jumping, and every possible farm animal you can imagine.

Lift Lock shrouded in fog

Sunday morning was much warmer but the fog was again as thick as black bean soup (yeah, that's even thicker than pea soup). I decided to tour the town and soon found myself alongside the canal staring at a cloudy version of the infamous Peterborough Lift Locks. There was a steady stream of photographers taking advantage of this combination of fog, fall colours, and the 8th wonder of the world (or at least the 3rd wonder of Peterborough after Little Lake fountain and the Pig's Ear). Their digital SLR cameras and super sized lenses were definitely making me feel inadequate. Needless to say I kept my little pocket-sized clicker hidden between shots.

Below the Peterborough Lift Locks

By about 11:30 the fog had burned off and the photo snappers had moved on. I too continued on my tour of the town stopping here and there before finding myself on the back deck of my buddy Twig's place in Ennismore enjoying a Bud Light.

Twiggy and I enjoy a pint IMG_2943 IMG_2946

Two hours and many laughs later I decided it was time to head back to the farm and gather the gang for the big turkey dinner at my aunt and uncle's place. The dinner and desserts were delicious my only beef here is that we wouldn't be able to dig into the leftovers the next day. It may be a sin to say it but sometimes a hot turkey sandwich smothered in fries and gravy is better than the actual Thanksgiving dinner.

Maxly the snake

Oh yeah, we finally let little Maxly go and he slithered away under a pile of rocks. There were some sad faces as we had grown somewhat attached to the little guy over the last couple of weeks. Hopefully he's happy on the farm and doesn't feel the need to slither all the way back to his stomping grounds at Charleston Lake. That would likely prove to be a bad idea. Happy hibernating, Maxly!

Tractor trails

Friday, September 29, 2006

Maxly meets dinner

Last weekend we caught a snake just as we were packing up our campsite. As promised, I let the kids take it home to keep it as a pet and look after it for the next couple of weeks. They named him Maxly.

After a little google search we discovered that garter snakes like frogs and worms. Well what with all the rain we've had lately, finding worms has not been an issue. Here's a shot of us feeding Maxly a big fat juicey worm. Yum.

Oh and don't worry, we're going to let little Maxly go back to the wild soon.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Last camping trip for 2006?

Friday we hooked up with some friends in Charleston Lake Provincial Park for what may possibly have been our last (family) camping trip of the year. That makes it 3 weekends in a row this month, certainly a record. Gotta love fall camping.

The forecast wasn't the greatest but after waking up Friday morning and seeing Saturday downgraded from 80% to 30% chance of rain we decided to go for it. Glad we did too, it was definitely a success all around. Here are some pics that more or less tell the tale...

Walking stick
Walking stick, a very rare find. This may possibly be due to it being so extremely well camouflaged. But that's just a guess.

Shoreline Centennial Trail Crayfish claws Big fat toad

Here's one critter that will sure miss all the campers and the free grub.

Cheers and until next year...


Have a rainbow day.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Murphys Point getaway

Our tent

With an awesome weekend forecast (sunny and 30 degrees with the humidex) we decided to pack up the tent Saturday morning and head off to Murphys Point for some rest and relaxation.

Well I swear these weathermen are getting worse and worse every year at their job. As we neared Perth the entire sky darkened shrouding us under a thick gloomy cloud. It didn't look good but we toughed it out and sure enough it cleared up around 2pm and we headed for the beach to catch some rays.

Kids (and I) spent the better part of the day catching snakes and frogs. Beach activities for the kids consisted mainly of "giving the frogs swimming lessons" as they dove under the water's surface with an unsuspecting frog in their hand. Luckily frogs are quite adept at this sort of thing.

As per usual, here are some photos:

This northern water snake got a little ornery when my daughter plucked him from the rock he was sunning on. He actually bit her and drew blood. Left a small tooth behind in her arm too. Ouch. Later one of the ribbon snakes managed to express his desire to be left alone when he bit me not once but four times. Fast and furious little critters. No worries though, we survived and caught plenty more snakes the next day.

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Spider on a dewy web A bullfrog's view

IMG_2024 Murphys Point beach at dusk
As you can see from these beach shots, we practically had the park to ourselves.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Crisps aka potato chips

Gawd I love potato chips.

More than anything I love trying new flavours of potato chips. Especially the hot ones. My one and only complaint is WHY are they so damn hard to find?

Last spring I was in London, England and decided to take a stroll through the neighborhood grocery store and see what kind of new and neat food I could purchase and bring back home to Ottawa.

Well when I hit that chip aisle my jaw hit the ground. I was mezmorized. They had a whole shelf dedicated to different flavours of crisps. Knowing that there was no way I could jam even one bag of these mouthing watering salty snacks into my suitcase I was left only to stare. And stare. After about 5 or 30 minutes I pried myself away from the display and nearly slipped and fell on the pool of drool that had accumulated at my feet. If I ever make it back to London I know what will be my first stop... after the pub of course.

Now Kettle Chips can be easily found in my neighborhood grocery store BUT where oh where are these flavours?

    Sea Salt with Crushed Black Peppercorns
    Sea Salt and Balsamic Vinegar
    Salsa with Mesquite
    Crème Fraîche, Lemon and Coriander
    Mango Chilli
    Double Gloucester and Red Onion
    Buffalo Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil
    Korma (Coconut,Ginger and Coriander)
    Mild Cheese with Sweet Onion
    Tomato with Basil and Green Peppercorns

And what about Lay's potato chips? Everybody knows Lays', "Bet you can't eat just one." Why is it assumed that Canadian's taste buds are bland and ill-equiped for the festival of flavours that they offer down south in the US? Check this list out:

    Cheddar & Sour Cream Artificially Flavored Potato Chips
    Limon Flavored Potato Chips
    Dill Pickle Flavored Potato Chips
    FLAMIN' HOT® Flavored Potato Chips
    Hot'n Spicy KC Masterpiece BBQ Flavored Potato Chips
    KC MASTERPIECE® BBQ Flavored Potato Chips
    Kettle Cooked Jalapeno Potato Chips
    Kettle Cooked Mesquite BBQ Potato Chips
    Kettle Cooked Sea Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips
    Light KC Masterpiece® Barbeque Flavored Potato Chips
    Limon Tangy Lime Flavored Potato Chips
    Natural Classic Sea Salted Potato Chips
    Natural Country BBQ Thick Cut Potato Chips
    Sensations Kettle Cooked Lime & Cracked Black Pepper Potato Chips
    Sensations Kettle Cooked Sweet Chili & Sour Cream Potato Chips
    LAY'S STAX® Cheddar Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S STAX® Dill Pickle Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S STAX® Hidden Valley Ranch Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S STAX® Hot'n Spicy Barbecue Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S STAX® Jalapeno Cheddar Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S STAX® KC Masterpiece BBQ Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S STAX® Pizza Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S STAX® Spicy Buffalo Wings Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S Wavy Au Gratin Flavored Potato Chips
    LAY'S Wavy Hickory BBQ Flavored Potato Chips
    LAY'S Wavy Hidden Valley Ranch® Flavored Potato Chips

Not to mention all the different brands that we CAN'T get here in Canada.


    BBQ Rib
    Chicken Tikka Masala
    Cheddar Cheese
    Cheese & Onion
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup
    Lamb & Mint
    Marmite Yeast Extract
    Pickled Onion
    Prawn Cocktail
    Ready Salted
    Roast Chicken
    Salt & Vinegar
    Smoky Bacon
    Spicy Chilli
    Steak & Onion


    Asparagus & Crushed Black Pepper
    Summer Barbecue
    Smoked Salmon with Horseradish & Capers
    Jalapeno Chilli and Lemon
    Thai Curry and Coriander
    Ludlow Sausage with Wholegrain Mustard

Anyhow if anybody out there knows where I can find me some speciality chips let me know.