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A day with my grandfather in Waskesiu

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All sorts of family were out this week(end) with my Aunt Pat and cousin (second cousin? I am not sure how that works) Michelle came up to Saskatoon and we met them at The Berry Barn last Saturday.  I really hoped someone used The Corner Gas joke and asked where they were this weekend.  According to Hank and Brent, “They are in a better place.  Saskatoon.”

On Monday my grandpa came up to visit dad and we went to

  • Fatburger
  • The Park Cafe
  • Waskesiu
  • KartTrack (see Mom’s post for some photos)
  • Ricky’s
  • Jordon and Lloyd also seemed to foil someone who might have broken into our house.  Either that or tried to crush my head with a chunk of landscaping stone.  By the way, if you are missing a piece of landscaping stone, I put it in the trash.  Mom later called the Saskatoon Police Service and they said they would pick up the women.  According to dad and mom (she comes by all of the time), she needs some help.

So yeah, it was a fun two days.  Above are some family photos and as you can see, I am have not mastered the art of the paparazzi and running ahead and getting the shot.  I am not going to get much from TMZ for these photos.  I also am doubting dad’s claim that he is “huge in Europe and Japan”.

I also realize the above photos make it look like I am being left behind.  “Hey guys! Wait up!”

Christmas Eve

As much as I like working at Safeway, it is nice to be home with family tonight.

Mom got up early and made us a great breakfast of Farmer’s Sausage Quiche (real men may not eat quiche but I did today) and then it was off to take Marley to the Pierre Radisson Dog Park before I had to get to work.  I may be the low man on the totem pole in terms of seniority but it is always nice to get some extra hours over the holidays.

I am told that other Safeway’s get quiet on Christmas Eve but not the one on 33rd Street.  We have a lot of working class customers and they have to work on Christmas Eve which means we are busy right up to closing time.

Swan Pizza in SaskatoonCanada Dry Cranberry Ginger AleOn the night of the Civic Election, Dad was in The StarPhoenix’s newsroom and they ordered in Swan Pizza.  We had never ordered it or heard of it but it’s pretty amazing.  If you are looking for great pizza, it’s up there with Panago and Santa Lucia pizza as the best in Saskatoon.  So we ordered a perogy pizza and a pepperoni pizza for dinner tonight, had some festive drinks (Canada Dry’s Cranberry Ginger Ale) and some fun dessert (the awkwardly named Sex in a Pan) before opening presents.

Dad then sat down in front of the Christmas Tree and handed out all of our gifts. 

Oliver

A friend of dad and mom’s gave Oliver a snowboard and bindings.  They went to Larry’s Sports Exchange and got him a pair of snowboard boots so he can use them.  I gave Oliver a pair of Nintendo DS games and a Huskies Athletics hoodie.  Marley gave him some ski goggles. 

Dad gave him some warm snowboarding gloves while Mom also gave him the fourth Jedi Academy book. 

They also gave him a Acer Iconia One 7” Tablet for Christmas.  The same that I have.  Dad is installing Google Hangouts and Google Duo on it so we can chat in real time.  I put it on my phone as well tonight.  Along with it was a case so he can start learning to type.

Acer Iconia One 7" Tablet

Oliver also was given a new pair of binoculars and a Bluetooth speaker.  It was a pretty big day for him and he was really excited.

In his Christmas stocking, there was a model of a helicopter, a wooden Yoyo, and a monthly daytimer so he can keep track of his life which is kind of hectic for a kid in Grade 3.


Mom

Dad gave Mom a new 10” tablet with keyboard. 

10" Android Tablet for Wendy

I knew Dad was getting her one so I ordered in a tablet bag that is made from goat leather and was imported from India.  I also got her a Moleskine journal, a nice set of Sharpie pens and a new thumb drive.

Woods Cypress KettleOliver got her some camping gear.  He gave her a tea pot and a 2l pot for cooking.  Marley gave her a camping frying pan with the expectation that any bacon that is fried up on there, goes to her.  I can’t see that happening.

Sriracha2Go containerIn mom’s stocking was a Sriracha2Go keychain. It’s a little Sriracha container that fits on your keychain.  It’s a pretty funny gift.   Santa got her some new wooden spoons because someone (looks over at the dog) chewed up her old ones as well as some candy.


Dad

Mom gave Dad the same kind of tablet we got for Oliver and I have.  Marley gave him a keyboard case to carry it in. 

Oliver gave dad a new backpack for travelling and hiking.  It had a new Bear Grylls Gerber knife in it as well as a notebook and some pens.

BEAR GRYLLS SURVIVAL SERIES SCOUT

I gave dad a pair of hiking poles for this summer and a new Rode VideoMicro for his Olympus OM-D E-M5 II.

Mom also gave him a Joby Gorillapod Focus tripod.

Marley and Hutch

We all went together and got the dogs two winter jackets.  Marley’s is an old school varsity jacket while Hutch is looking dapper in his dog parka.

Marley’s favorite toy is her rope so we got her another one of those and some boots to go with the jacket.  She hates the boots, loves the rope and is learning to accept the jacket.


Me

Head SnowboardDad and Mom gave me a new Head snowboard and Oliver gave me some snowboard boots.

Marley gave me some new Ryder sunglasses and some Head snowboard gloves.

Dad and Mom also gave me a book called Grand Adventures by Alastair Humphreys while Dad gave me a travel duffel bag so when I want to have an epic adventure, I will be prepared.

Grand Adventures by Alastair Humphreys

Grand Adventures explores the hurdles that prevent us all having as many adventures as we would like to do. Using Alastair’s experience of 15 years of adventures, plus interviews with around 100 different adventurers, Grand Adventures offers encouragement, advice and a polite kick up the backside to overcome a lack of Time or Money and life’s Commitments and Relationships. It will help you choose which sort of adventure appeals to you. And then the second half of the book dissects many of the different types of journey you might choose, whether that is by Bicycle, Foot, Animal, Water, Motor, Climbing, Travelling, living in a treehouse, or something even grander such as blasting into Space.

Consider this: if you saved up £20 a week for a year, you’d have £1000 which is more than enough money to cycle all the way to Japan… Dream Big, Plan Quick, Go Explore.

Oliver also gave me a GSI Outdoors Javapress mug so I can enjoy some coffee in the backcountry.

Finally in my stocking were two Promaster protective filters for my Pentax 50mm f1.8 and 35mm f2.4 lenses. 

My summer in review

I worked all summer long at Safeway on 33rd.  I guess this means I passed my probationary period and they intend to keep me.

  • I used the money to buy a lot of t-shirts in Banff and Moraine Lake, a new lens for my camera, a great looking Timex Expedition watch, and all of my Christmas shopping.
  • Who was done his Christmas shopping in August?  This guy.
  • We went to Banff and Yoho National Parks despite dad being really sick. 
    • Dad pulled it together and still was a lot of fun on the trip.
    • We hiked in the backcountry.
    • Oliver and I got lost in the woods.
    • Dad was almost eaten by a bear.
    • We discovered Montreal Smoked Meat Crepes.
    • I found out that Lake Louise is just minutes away from British Columbia.
  • We went to Fort Carlton and I learned a bunch of Treaty 6 history with Oliver, Mom and Dad.  I enjoyed it a lot.  Dad and I walked around outside the fort (and were eaten alive by bugs) while Mom and Oliver made bannock.  Oddly enough there were no bugs inside the fort the day we were there.
  • I wasn’t going to play football after the trainwreck of a season I had last year but I had a lot of long talks with Dad about it who reminded me that everyone gets knocked down, it’s how you get up is what is important.  So when football started a week ago, I was out there.  It felt good.

Winnebago’s Concept Adventure Vehicle

From NewAtlas

Winnebago's Concept Adventure Vehicle is ready to rough it

Winnebago may still be synonymous with large Class A and Class C motorhomes that tour via highway and camp in paved lots with full hookups, but the company is determined to push its way onto the dirt and rock. It has been trying to woo people like the outdoor-crazy crowd at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market with its the Era 4×4 and all-new Concept Adventure Vehicle, which was unveiled at the 2016 Summer Market last week and shows the possibility of an off-grid-capable 4×4 Winnebago optimized for boundless adventure.

Not many of us can afford this (it starts at about $110k in US dollars) but I think all of us want one.  It looks spectacular.

Fender Benders on Water?

More from the New York Times

It is a section of Panama’s newly expanded canal that has troubled veteran canal workers.

To safely guide the new generation of massive ships through the two sets of locks, tugboat captains and ship pilots rely on an approach wall to properly align the vessels before escorting them into the first narrow chamber.

The wall is an antidote to the currents and winds that push and pull ships into awkward angles, making tugboats wrestle the elements before achieving the proper position.

Each entrance has this structure — except one. And it was at this opening on the afternoon of July 21 that the Chinese container ship Xin Fei Zhoustruck a lock wall, tearing small holes in its hull — canal officials call it a dent — and forcing it out of service. The new canal was not even a month old.

Another container ship had experienced tense moments three weeks earlier as crew members responded to “countless” instructions from a canal employee who was attempting to guide it into the same set of locks.

Ultimately, that transit was successful. But the Xin Fei Zhou’s mishap was not the canal’s only setback. Other vessels have sheared or badly damaged up to 100 buffering fenders that are supposed to protect the lock walls and ship hulls should they come into contact, according to interviews with canal workers.

Several days before the expanded sea lane opened — nearly two years late and with more than $3.4 billion in disputed costs — an examination by The New York Times raised questions about its viability, citing concerns over safety, design, changes in the world’s shipping patterns and demand.

Canal workers had expressed concern about whether the plastic fenders on the lock walls would be adequate and whether tugboat captains had received the proper training in how to guide the giant ships through the chambers — a procedure that differed from the one used in the original canal.

What a mess.  The solution, ban cell phones who take embarrassing photos!

Cosco Container Lines, which owns the ship, said in a statement: “This is a serious matter.”

“Is it a serious marine incident?” Mr. Kinsey asked. “That will depend on the findings and the extent of repairs. Is it a concern? Yes, there’s a hole in the ship.”

Another Chinese container ship, also owned by Cosco, was the first commercial vessel to pass through Panama’s enlarged canal, in late June. At the time, the authority proclaimed a “new era of global trade” that would provide “greater economies of scale to global commerce.”

Witnessing this historic transit, the officials said, were “25,000 jubilant Panamanians,” heads of state, shipping executives and nearly 1,000 journalists. Canal publicists asserted that the ship carried thousands of shipping containers, a load that would not have fit in the smaller, original canal.

But the new canal’s sparkling narrative omitted one important fact: Most, if not all, of the shipping containers were empty. And even with the lighter load, the ship awkwardly brushed against a canal wall, according to photos posted online by canal workers.

Mr. Quijano said some containers had contained cargo. Besides, he said, cargo containers constitute cargo even when empty.

On Tuesday, Mr. Quijano announced that the canal authority was contemplating a ban on cellphones during transits because they were a distraction.