Saturday, October 31, 2009


Killer clown

This year the troops were divided up for Halloween. Mom went knocking door to door with Emma and her friend, while Sara went out with her friends ending the night with a sleep-over. This left me at home handing out the goodies and much like every other year we hit the 80 kid mark shortly after 8pm. After 8 it's just the teenagers - half of which can't even be bothered to dress up.

Halloween over the years: 2006, 2007, 2008.

"Just Dead" couple Killa Clown Posse
Evil baby Raggedy Anne Zombie
Stormtrooper and fam. Our pumpkin carvings Pumpkin eating kid's leg

Looking back I still remember my first outing with Sara when she was about 3 or 4. She had her little pumpkin bucket and her Buzz Lightyear costume and we slowly walked door to door collecting treats from the known neighbors. With bags of chips, chocolate bars, and overly generous donations, it wasn't long before her tiny bucket was full. Now being the street smart dad that I am I had come prepared with a bag that I could use to transfer all the candy so she could continue on with her pumpkin bucket in search of more treats (ok ok, they were mostly treats for dad at this point). Up until this moment Sara had been very shy and quiet but the instant I took the bucket out of her hand she started wailing. "No! My candy! No!". (notice there was no use of the word "dad" in there that would have been useful information). Instead I was forced to smile at everybody staring at me and repeatedly state, "It's ok, I'm her father. I'm not stealing her candy. There's nothing to see here. Move along." Man, what lungs for a wee creature.

Paula (and Sara) with the cake she won at her school auction.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween hype

Witch head on a post Spooky kids

The kids have taken over decoration duties for Halloween this year - both inside and out. I must say, it's been a nice break for ma and pa.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Walla-Walla Washington

Reagan Airport, Washington

Here are a few pics from my extremely quick trip to Washington, D.C. this week. My bad on not asking the secretary to book me an extra day but in the end the weather was wet and rainy the entire time anyhow.

As time constrained as it was, I did manage to squeeze in a couple of short tours of the area nearest my hotel where I more or less stumbled across Chinatown, the Verizon Center (home of the Caps and the Wizards), and a great little Irish pub called Fadó. So here's the mixed bag of photos - one or two of which I found a little strange...

Chinatown, Washington DC
Crime & Punishment Museum Prostrate Cancer Sreening on wheels
Washington DC, Chinatown Fire Department Washington DC, Chinatown Fire Department Washington DC, Chinatown Fire Department

The last trio of shots really capture the feel of the trip - one from the seat of the plane, one through the taxi cab window, and the last one from the airport lounge where we spent a couple of hours due to an anticipated line-up at security that didn't happen.

Left wing Washington thru a cab window
Flight home, Gate 16

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall on the Eardley

On the edge of the Eardley

Eardley Escarpment
Parking (Church Hill): N45 34.365 W76 05.535
View point: N 45° 34.024 W 076° 04.466

After a flurry of invites and cancellations it was down to only Kenmore and myself who were up for a Monday hike in the GAT. Sobeit. I packed my gear, a lunch and snacks, and my GPS and off we drove to the west side of Gatineau Park. This time we opted ride the ferry at Quyon before it closes for the season in mid-November.

The Church Hill parking lot was situated in a sea of colour and although the leaves are slightly the other side of peak, they were still impressive and even more so from the top of the Eardley Escarpment.

IMG_8246 IMG_8255

Other than the need to step up, over. and around several piles of bear poop, the day was very relaxing. We hit the top before 11 and after snapping off a few photos we kicked back and soaked in some sunshine. Before we knew it we were eating lunch and drinking pints to some tunes on my iPod (mainly to help keep the bears away). Life is good up here in the GAT. You could practically feel the stress bleeding out (ha, who's kidding who, I work for the Man).

Kenmore and the valley below What a view
Kenmore silhouette Cheers to fall on the Eardley

On the way home we made a quick tour through Wakefield and up the hillside to see Lester. We thanked him for our maple leaf flag and at the same time congratulated him on scoring such a great room with a view (though I doubt anyone would argue that the price was a little high).

L.B. Pearsson L.B. Pearsson

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thanksgiving in P'boro


After a dark and dreary drive down a seemingly continuous stretch of construction littered highway riddled with radar guns and flashing lights we finally arrived in Peterborough. Capital of the Kawarthas. Home to one dead turkey and... well... us... at least for the next 4 days.

We had a busy schedule. Friday night was dinner with the Angevaares at Gerti's, Saturday was moe. in Toronto with Twig and Sue, Sunday was the Norwood fair and Thanksgiving turkey, and Monday was back on the road to Ottawa. Throw into the mix some hiking, apple picking, pie making, more visits with friends, and that about stuffs it full to the brim. Good times.

Colour and clouds Dead thistle
Helping Opa pick apples Norwood Fair
Garter snake

And yet more fall fun when we arrived back home.
Raking or faking? One to rake'em, one to toss'em

Saturday, October 10, 2009

moe. in TO.

moe. at the Opera House in TO

It's not that often that moe. crosses over the border into Canada so when we saw the tour schedule announce a Toronto date over the Thanksgiving weekend we just had to jump on it. Well technically in my case I only bought Paula's ticket that day so it more comparable to a zero gravity hop hop while Twiggy and Sue literally leap at the online ticket purchase even before packing for our moe.down 10 weekend. It just goes to show that there is no such thing as too much moe.

So less than 24 hours after arriving in Peterborough for Thanksgiving weekend, my wife and I were zooming down the road with Twig and Sue in the Jetta to see moe. at the Opera House in Toronto. Sweet. The moe. tunes were blasting and we were pumped. Not even the DVP could throw us off our game tonight.

moe. at the Opera House in TO
Chuck Garvey of moe. Rob Derhak Al Schnier (moe.)

Surprisingly we were one of the first moe.rons in the building (I think the only others waiting in line in front of us were the tapers - including the infamous BradM from Ottawa). I'm not exactly sure why the security was waving the wands at a moe. show but hey we passed through unscathed (unlike the Sue's incident with the beer can pat down at moe.down).

While waiting for the music to get under way (there was no opening act) I strolled up to the stage and snapped a pic of the evening's setlist taped to the floor in front of each mic stand. Not as impressive a song line-up as that played the previous night in Buffalo but still enough to send us home smiling.

Thanks again moe. for another great evening. Oh and how about adding an Ottawa date to your tour sometime soon?

Absent from photo, but still a moe.ron, Paula

2009-10-10 - The Opera House, TO
Set I: She Sends Me>Wind it up, Queen of Everything, Bring It Back Home>Waiting For The Punchline>Buster
Set II: Big World>Ricky Marten>Time Ed, Shoot First>Brent Black
Encore: George
Click here to listen to a boot.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Westport and the Rideau Trail

Waiting and watching and secretly hoping...

A Sunday drive to Westport proved to be just the right cure for our weekend cabin fever. Joining the kids and I was Ken who is always up for a hike and some adventure in the great outdoors.

We picked up the Rideau Trail at McAndrews Rd. off of County Rd 10 (or N44 37.029 W76 25.239) and loaded with snacks and beverages we headed off in search of the occasionally elusive orange triangle as it wound its way through the countryside. Note that if you're following the orange triangle with the yellow tip then you're heading in the direction of Kingston - no yellow tip would indicate that you are Ottawa bound.

Our first obstacle was a large beaver pond. Alas this was not going to be a problem for us as the kind folks of the Rideau Trail Association have provided us with a rather elaborate ferry. It was more fun than a ride at the Ex.

All aboard Team work

Beaver pond traversed, we took a short break on a rocky hilltop and enjoyed some lunch. Soon after we came across an old sawmill near Bedford Mills. (click here for a HDR photo I found online). This place seemed to have a lot of character and apparently for the right price it could be all yours (serious offers only as the sign says).

The old mill Checking out the Old Mill Old sawmill at Bedford Mills

After the hike we drove back to Westport for some chip truck fries at Scotty's Tackle and Live Bait (he also sells flowers and shrubs, and rents boats and motors). Oh, you can also score a basket of shrimp if you're so inclined. We settled on just the fries. From here we headed back into town for some baked cookies (awesome by the way) and a tour of the local port to chase sea gulls off the docks.

Boat or submarine? Dock light
Westport Bakery Checkers for giants Dam Danger Newboro locks

Our drive back to Ottawa was leisurely to say the least. We made stops to check out the local sapper and miner cemetery, a new community centre, an approaching storm, and even a rainbow.

Dead sappers Westport bridge to the sky
Storm a comin' IMG_7901

Gotta love the Sunday drive through the countryside. Cheers.