Posted on Leave a comment

Gardening in the Sunshine….

Well, we didn’t make Penticton, spending the entire weekend in the back garden planting our “crops” and building a new composting bin….

The weather was warm and sunny all day long, both days, so we stayed put and got cracking. Carrots, tomatoes, courgettes along with some other things. We’re just figuring out where to put some strawberries and raspberries. Must be getting fired up and going well, the missus wants to start her own gardening/veggie blog/website….

Prawns....

Saturday night, end of day #1, prawns, steak and salad on the BBQ, with a couple of beers and a glass or 3 of wine by the fire pit….

Fire....

Gggrrrrr…..

Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on 2 Comments

The Sun Is Here….

At last, the sunshine is “kicking in”….

View From The Pool....

Been a bit quiet here for the last couple of weeks, waiting for the snow to, being blunt, “bugger off”! We even had a few mm’s drop on Thursday morning. I was alerted to this, when the missus got up for work and I heard, “Oh, dear god!”…. I knew something was up, as I’d done the washing and washing up the night before….

One thing, kept me busy, I was up the mountain behind us scouring for some wood, having had an idea to make a bookshelf out of some of the logs left behind after the dead trees had all ben cut down, when a friend turned up….

“Whatcha doing?”

“Seeing if I can use some of this wood to make a bookshelf.”

“What you gonna cut it with?”

“Well. I’ve got a hand saw….”

“Too funny, dude. I’ve got loads of wood in my garage not being used. And I’ve got some tools, eh…. Let’s go make you a bookshelf. We can have a few beers while we do it.”

So we did….

Bookshelf....

Pine, stained it myself. Got so carried away I did the old bookshelf and the TV cabinet thing whilst I was at it.

And now, I’ve got the DIY bug! Now, I’m planning a coffee table, a garden potting table for the missus, as well as a couple of other things, including a somewhat “major project” in the works….

The kids have returned to school and we almost made it past the first week without incident, until Friday morning, when I got a call from them, saying to come pick up Sam, as he’d been whalloped in the eye by a soccer ball. He’s fine. A lot of drama over nothing in my book, but “you’ve got to be careful”, so the school nurse was telling me….

Parties and cooking are going to be the plan of action for today with a trip to Penticton and their skateboard park tomorrow, as the temperature is due to hit 16 degrees. We’re going to grab a camp stove this afternoon and cook our chicken curry on a beach somewhere on the way home.

Next weekend is the first tournament the Kelowna United boys are taking part in. It’s spread out over the entire 4 day Easter long weekend, not sure why, but there you go. It’ll be good to get to see how they fare against teams from Calgary, Kamloops and other places.

Posted on 2 Comments

Throttlin’….

I’m begining to wonder what the point of paying 40 bucks a month for internet access is….

It’s a known fact, apparently, that ISP’s out here on Canada, as well as elsewhere, I’m sure, are “throttlin’ the net”, as they say, restricting bandwidth and so on. I’ve encountered this myself, this week, as I’ve tried to send some files I’ve recorded to Phantomville HQ, to no luck whatsoever. I can only assume something is going on….

When I get through to the helpdesk, much the same as other large corporations, I am transfered to a very helpful tech guy in the Phillipines, who, when we have mastered the language problems, seems to get things sorted for me…. of a fashion, but says himself, “Other than that, I’m at a loss as to what’s going on”….

All of this, when, as I type this, using the wireless connection provided by the library, watching Sam at soccer training, I can access the web from many other places. Add to this the intense surveillance that is coming onboard in the UK, the monitoring of emails and webpages, no doubt elsewhere, too, why, exactly am I paying for this?

“It’s the convenience”, or so I’m told. Being throttled when I am trying to transfer important files, is not convenient.

So, for the $40 a month I could save the cash, and go sit in a nice coffee shop somewhere and use the internet there. Meeting people, having a chat and so on, rather than couped up in my office talking to no one. I’ve already had a lady ask me to go show her how to use her Apple Mac as I sit here. So that’s some work as a “consultant” sorted, all thanks to my new “concept”….

So, forty  bucks, plus tax? I’m begining to wonder….

Posted on 2 Comments

Good Grief….

Just realised I haven’t posted anything for over a month! Where the hell did February go?….

I seem to have blinked and missed the whole month. Must get back to writing and taking some photos. Even the camera has sat on the shelf unused for the last month. What’s going on?

What news from here then?

Sam fractured his wrist clearing the drive one night, only for a week later, having been in a cast, to be told it was nothing more than a bad sprain. All of a sudden the fingers he couldn’t move suddenly sprang back into life and he was playing road hockey later that afternoon.

My old man turned 60, some friends again throwing a surprise party.

We’ve been working on a proper website for the missus to sell some of her artwork online, in readiness for a possible imminent move. Should be finished soon….

I’m trying to put a trip together to South America, possibly Ecuador, for a summer vacation this year. Firstly ‘cos I’ve been thinking about the place for a while after watching and reading about it and also to check out whether we could live there. We’re of the opinion that we’ve had enough of the Okanagan for now and looking for where to go next. I keep hearing and reading good reports of the country. If anyone can give me some information on Ecuador, it would be much appreciated, emails to theboomerverse[at]gmail.com.

Other than that, everything has been a little quiet to say the least. We’re in a state of limbo at the moment and I’m not sure why….

Posted on 3 Comments

Photography 101….

There’s a certain quality to black and white photos, that can make anybody look like film stars….

Faces....

…. isn’t there. Quote of the day, I think, attributable to Hunter S. Thompson;

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece, but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, shouting GERONIMO!

I’ll try to bear that in mind, over the coming few months….

Tags: , , ,

Posted on 8 Comments

The Library….

I’ve said it before, but possibly THE best bit about the Okanagan, other than the weather and certainly one of my favourite bits anyway, is the library….

Xmas @ TheLibrary....

And it’s just got better!

Not content to have a massive CD library section, TV shows and documentaries on DVD, they now have movies on DVD! Some oldies, some new ones, more to come as the service rolls out. Everything from the Disney films, Batman Begins, Jurassic Park, the Indiana Jones movies, Munich, The Prestige to Atonement, and more, loads! I remember speaking to the crew at the library a few months back and them saying they were worried about people like Blockbuster, but who cares if you take them out? They wouldn’t give you the same courtesy, so stuff them! I’m raving I know, but this is brilliant!….

It never amazes me, when asked what do we do without TV, that people have no idea the library offers so much, for free. In the UK you had to pay for CD’s or DVD’s and videos from the library, but here, no. You have no joining fee, no rental fees, unless you bring them back late, but the new films you get for a week, so if you bring ’em back late, well, that’s your fault.

So, get off your backsides and get yourselves off to your local library, especially if you live here in the Okanagan. You can even save yourself a few quid by cancelling the cable TV….

Mind you, if you encounter the guy with the beard and dangerous ties, steer clear. Not only does he keep turning the checkout machine off, while you’re checking your things out, but he’s right rude! And whatever you do, don’t get on the wrong side of Sophie….

Posted on Leave a comment

Into 2009….

Welcome to 2009….

Been a bit sparse on the blogging front. Trying to keep the kids entertained kind of kept me off the computer for the duration, along with not finding time after collapsing on the sofa after snowboarding. The board game “Clue”, or “Cluedo” if you are a little older has been the hit of the holidays, being played after dinner on a number of occasions. The kids enjoy it, which is, after all, what you hope for in a present, eh….

So, there we go. Another year in the bag, as they say. We never got our own house in ’08. Not sure if that was a blessing or not, in light of current conditions. But then, none of the job applications I made came off either, so there you go….

The missus finally made some headway at least, on the job front, getting the permanent contract with her bank.

Sam was selected for the town soccer/football team and discovered he needed braces on his teeth. We discovered the cost.

Holly made some real progress on her swimming, did a couple of shows and had her first snowboarding lesson.

So, what’s planned for 2009….

  1. After finishing a couple of clients sites, I’m planning to get my own website projects finished along with my plans for FromTheWatersEdge and a couple of others.
  2. Record more music. Having got back into it with the James Bond track in ’08, better tunes are on the cards. Do more with The Phantom over at Phantomville (http://www.phantomville.com). I’ve even dusted off and been practicing the flute for a separate project….
  3. Take more photos and take them “better”…. Having seen a few other people over at Flickr do this, I figured I might do the same; aim to take portrait shots of each of us every day for a year. We’ll see how it goes. I may start from the January 1st 2009, or I might use the first few days to warm up and go from my birthday, on the 7th. We’ll see what shots I get for what is being called “Project365” here in the Boomerverse….
  4. I’m going to be back trading seriously for a bit, see how I go. Got to get some more cash coming in, this seems to be the easiest to get going, for the moment. Unless I go broke.
  5. Go see Cuba, Ecuador, Peru or Japan. Not all, but one of them. Although, the dentist fees for Sam may spoil this one, unless trading goes particularly well….
  6. Get a dog. An Alaskan Husky is looking likely at this precise moment. An advert for a new litter has been “spotted”…

We’ll see next year if all, some or any of the “plans” have happened.

There is talk of going back to skool, or college, both me and the missus to retrain in something. She’s not sure in what, but I’ve got my eye on law. We’re looking at doing that here in Canada, or the UK, maybe via the Open University there, depending on which works out cheapest to do. It’s early days though…. but after tutoring, (I say tutoring, I mean, doing the kids homework for them) through December, I can safely say, I’ve had enough of it. The “kicker” came when a student turned up, with their end of module test, unfinished, with no idea of what to do, having not done the work assigned over the last few weeks, being too busy with their “out of school activity” and being told to help them, which meant ME doing the test, effectively, so that they could get the credit, to get into a college to train for a higher paying job than me tutoring them. That kind of “killed” it for me, I’m afraid.

Can’t think of anything else for now, so after that “rant”, I’m off for a beer and the last bit of xmas cake…. cheers!

Xmas Cake....

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Posted on Leave a comment

Tubing @ Silver Star….

Never mind Big White, Silver Star is where it’s at!….

The tube runs where much better. 3 of ’em, faster, snow in your face, so much so, that you couldn’t see where the hell you were going, or how fast you were actually approaching the inflatable safety "pillow" at the end of the run….

Sam is in the first tube…. and for scale, to get a rough idea of the run, at the top of the shot, those buildings are 3 storey condo’s….. apartments in other words….

Tubing @ Silver Star....

Holly had her first snowboarding lesson, me and Sam had a few runs whilst she did. Only gripe, although it was my fault, was we buggered up a little. There was I thinking a DAY PASS meant AN ALL DAY PASS. Oh no, a DAY PASS is actually a morning and a little of the afternoon, up to 3pm, when you have to buy an AFTERNOON PASS which takes you from 3.30pm up until 8pm, if I remember correctly, when the NIGHT PASS takes over. So we got refused at 3.15pm when we tried to get back up the lift. There we were thinking it was cheaper than Big White too…. As another guy said to me, "Welcome to Canada, mate. It ain’t as cheap as you thought, eh!"

Other than that, thumbs up for the Silver Star resort. The whole feel of the place, despite being busy at lunchtime, was nicer. The buildings weren’t so packed in as they feel like they are at Big White, the design of the place fitted nicely into it’s surroundings, the ski runs were good. I’m no expert by any means, but couple all that with the much nicer drive, especially after the snow storm we encountered on our way back from Big White, and I’m won over.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted on 1 Comment

It’s All Over, For Another Year…

Christmas 2008 is over and done then….

Christmas Eve, just before the kids went to bed, we watched the family favourite, "The Polar Express". That’s 3 years running, so it’s now going to be a family tradition, it seems.

"Not too early!", the kids were told as we put them to bed. We weren’t surprised to see Sam in our  doorway at 4am…. again at 4.30am, 5.15am and 5.45am. At 6.30am, it was a case of "Sod it! Get up!"

Sledging in the afternoon, down at the kids school field.

Xmas Day Sledging (1)....

Xmas Day Sledging (2)....

For Xmas dinner, we went across to the neighbours, for our, what seems to be, annual get together. Loads of food, too much, but nice. 18 of us all crammed round their table. Afterwards a few of us cracked out the games, whilst the kids played hide and seek in the basement. My deck of "Old Maid" was the highlight, an xmas present for me when I was a kid.

Boxing Day was spent up at Big White, (www.bigwhite.com). We were going to go tubing, but as anyone knows, it’s not as much fun when snow is falling as you slide. It slows the run down. So, we’ll go back up and do that again soon. Holly and me did some ice skating on the rink, whilst Sam snowboarded and Leigh walked round the village.

Boxing Day @ Big White....

The drive home, down the mountain, however, was horrible. Snow falling, wind blowing more off the trees, visibility of the road almost non existent and yet, some people were roaring past us. No surprise then, as we turned one bend, a truck which had done so, was in the ditch, almost on it’s side. Passengers were OK, but still, the to the driver, "you moron". Winter tires don’t stop you coming off the road, they merely help keep you on it….

Next up, New Years Eve and day, along with 2009, with all it may have in store for all of us….

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Posted on 2 Comments

Cold, Snow, More Cold and Yet More Snow….

So, that’s it. School’s out for the Xmas Holidays….

Walking Home....

Our fourth one in Canada and it’s the coldest, “snowiest” one yet. Talking to people who have lived here, have said the same thing. Global warming eh…. Just heard on the news, that Vancouver has just broken it’s record for the coldest temperature recorded at the Vancouver International Airport. “Go figure!” as they say….

Sunny, but Cold....

Woke up this morning to a temperature of -18C, which is cold, I guess you can say. The window in the upstairs “apartment” has developed a large crack across it, the cold water tap to us in the “Dungeon” has frozen up and we’re expecting more snow and colder temperatures tonight. Which is nice. Me and Mrs Boom are off to a party, just down the road, but we were going to walk. Now I’m not so sure. Just to make it easier to decide, a “frostbite warning” was just reported, heard by Samuel on the radio.

Our flights are booked for the Caribbean….

Tags: , , , , , , , ,