Friday, December 28, 2007

Turtle's travels

You might be wondering where I've been as of late. I think it best to show you in pictures.

Once the craziness of the Christmas party season subsided, my social schedule seemed to ramp up.

Here we go...

The Friday before Christmas (also the first official day of winter) brought some warms social occasions:

Dinner with my friends Bob & Lori and Leigh Leigh and I are sporting the scarves Lori made for each of us.

Then it was home to grab my room mate, Terri, and off to my friend Rick's for some Christmas Cheer!

Me, Rick, whom I've known since grade 10, and his sister Teri

I call this one "Me and my Ter(r)ies"

The fixture Rick built for his stairway - very cool!

It's no secret, I like tequila (thanks a lot, S.!) and Rick sports some fine agave juice! Here's my glass on the bar, and in case you can't read the sign, it says "one more Fa La La and you're outta here!" Quite amusing, and very appropriate."

I ran into this fellow and his girlfriend on our way out the door - turns out we were in the same CTSR class in 1993 - he took Television, I took Radio

Off and running, Terri and I buzzed out to the airport to get Emarie who was flying in from Florida -- Welcome to "Sunny Alberta"! (um... yah, right...) I took a photo, but it was too dark to show - there's one of Emarie further down the post.

The next day it was dinner with my friend Sarah

We celebrated Family Christmas Eve a little early - on the 23rd.

Laura (my sister), Dezie the dog, Doug (my BIL), Aunty M., Dad and Mom

There was a puppet show, too! Uncle David was impressed.

My nephew, Daniel was too, but I think he was more interested in the video games and how to get the headphones to work on the stereo!

Then there was Christmas Eve. Terri was home with Emarie so the three of us decided to crank up some tunes, and Terri learned how to 'play DJ'!

Terri learning to DJ in the new office - moved to the front room, but still in a state of transition.

"DJ-Mastah-T" at the controls... T stands for something else too, yes?

Tiki partied with us too, and here we see her after her first beer! (Emarie is at the table keeping a low profile!)

Yesterday, my neighbour Jim came over to help buck up the firewood in my pile. Big chunks of log were soon cut down to manageable sizes for chopping. Norm showed up too, but I didn't manage to snap a photo of him.

As I snapped this photo, Jim says, "My agent will be in touch."

The North end of the original pile. I seem to collect free firewood - this wood came from four trees my neighbour cut down to open their front yard.

The new pile starting at the South end - neater, cleaner and easier to chop!

While Jim ran the saw, I prepped a fire. We later had smokies and hot chocolate... oh, and beer... AFTER power tools!

The gang was sledding over at the park and joined us for hot chocolate. Here, my sister looks rather... chilly!

That's it for now... hopefully a "year in review" will follow at the close of 2007. Til then, blessings all, and remember the fine, quality people in your life.

Turtle out.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's a family affair

It would seem my new room mate is earning her keep. Our agreement is that she will help with reno projects around the house. Here we see T. stripping wallpaper in the kitchen. It would appear it's a family affair!

Clockwise from right: Tiki (supervising), Diesel, T. and Ginger.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Four-finger pour

I received two phone calls today to divert my attention away from the task at hand. The first was this morning. D. called to see if I would be up for "another Monday" as he called it, meaning what I can only assume will be an ongoing tradition of sorts: Monday Night Scotch - albeit, not EVERY Monday!

Fine by me since Monday Night Football is boring in comparison.

I had a contract to fulfill out of town, but the timing was going to work such that I could hit M.'s place for a glass of Christmas Cheer.

D., lovingly holding the bottle we started well over a month ago - yes, good scotch is to be savoured.

D. pours - and there are the four fingers!

The second call came from S. who invited me to dinner. When I arrived, I discovered she was in an "interview" of sorts; on her quest to find a new room mate.

To my surprise, and delight, I came home tonight with a tin (or tonne, depending on how you look at it) of healthy Christmas baking! (Sorry, no photos to drool over at this point)

...and what "task" was I diverted from, you ask?

Well... er... I'm about to embark on a writing mission of sorts. You see, I have the final project to submit in my English 399 Detective Fiction course. It's a short detective novel, due... um... tomorrow.

So, I'd best be writing it - wish me luck and remember, good scotch and good food, like good friends are to be savoured and cherished.


Turtle out.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

CAT TAILS 6: Collars - more fun to play with than to wear

Tiki's due for a new collar. For about a week now she's been running around "naked". At first I thought it was too loose, but it turns out that the break-away safety clasp is worn out - which leads to scenes like this:

and this:

...and my so-far-favourite "pleased with myself" pose:

Friday, December 07, 2007

Road Trip to Eureka, USA

OK, I owe you an update on what's been going on around here, but really - what happened on Tuesday deserves its own special mention.

One of the events that was scheduled for the catchup blog was the pending arrival of my new room mate, Terri. She was my basement tenant in 04/05, went to Phoenix to do a 2-year grad programme at the U, and back in October mailed me to ask if the suite was available, and if not, would I like a room mate?

This was crazy: Terri phoned me at 4:00 Tuesday afternoon to say she was just south of the boarder. The Canadian government wouldn't let her bring her truck across because she was financing it and didn't own it outright. The decision was made very quickly that a road trip south was in my very immediate future!

By 5:00 I was on my way to the south end of Calgary - you guessed it - through rush hour traffic! I turned on the radio, curious to see what I was in for music-wise for my impromptu drive:

AC / DC - You Shook Me All Night Long

Perfect. And as luck would have it, ALL the music that came across the airwaves until I lost Calgary reception was GOOD! I've kept a mental note of the tunes and given time I may release a Turtle Tunes disc.

My trip was to take me south of Calgary through Okotoks, Black Diamond, Longview, to the #3 highway west to Fernie, British Columbia, then south to the American boarder to - you guessed it - Eureka, Montana!

According to Mapquest, Calgary to Eureka is a 4.5 hour run. I was on schedule for about half of that until I blew out a tire. Yup, that's right, not just flat, blown out. It was the rear-passenger-side tire, thankfully. Had it been a front tire it might have increased the scary-factor, steering-wise and all. I pulled over, but it really wasn't an appropriate space to change a tire. The shoulder was narrow, and the ground sloped away from the road.

My first thought was "Great, I'm going to be late."

My second thought was "How am I going to change the tire with no road-shoulder to speak of?

With the 4-way flashers on I crawled the van forward about 300 meters where I found an adjoining road into a farmer's field. The mouth of the road was wide, gravel-packed and relatively flat. I pulled out the jack and tire iron and proceeded to lower the spare from beneath the van. The only thing I didn't have with me was a flashlight. Although not impossible, this was going to be unpleasant, changing a 1-ton tire in the dark.

Then the Universe sent me a light - among other things. An SUV pulled in and the fellow driving rolled down the window and asked,

"You need a hand?"

I couldn't believe it. I didn't ask for THIS.

"I'll pull around to the other side of your van so we have some light..."

What amazing luck.

My new-found friend, Kevin, putting the final touches on the 8 lug nuts of the replaced tire.

Kevin, as it turned out, used to work for the military in Calgary and knows the dad of a high school friend of mine. How's that for "small world"? Turns out that Kevin also lives in Calgary and was on his way to Cranbrook (a town beyond Fernie where I was scheduled to turn south).

Back on the road in 40 minutes, I was both pleased with and blown away by this fellow's generosity and good-samaritanship.

After exchanging business cards and shaking hands, Kevin followed me south to the #3 highway. We stopped at the next town, Belleview, AB, but finding only a gas station with no real place to sit in for a coffee, decided we would touch base in Calgary instead.

Back on the road, I relayed my adventures to Terri. She had in the meantime, found a storage facility for her truck. I was to meet her on the Canadian side of the boarder to transfer her belongings to my van, then follow her south to Eureka where she would store her Jeep.

Terri, Emarie and Me in front of the Jeep the Canadian government refused to allow her to bring into the country

It took us about 45 minutes to transfer everything and check in with Customs to inform them to our intended travel. Lucky for me, since I don't have a passport as yet, that the new rule doesn't take effect until January of 2008. Lucky for me they didn't take exception to Terri's bumper stickers...

On crossing the boarder, I was asked by the American guard,

"Have you ever been arrested for anything that you know of?"

I had to process that statement for a bit before I replied. It struck me as odd - being the English Language guy I am.

"...that I know of"???

I just about made a smart-ass remark, but thought better of it. He was tired, and probably had to ask the same stupid question 60 times a day. All in all, they were pretty laid back.

The Jeep just barely fit in the storage unit; in fact, the roll top door curved outward as it passed the front bumper. We had to take the spare tire off the back of the vehicle to make it fit!

Terri's friend Emarie had never been to a Tim Horton coffee shop. We decided to stop in Fernie to take in a Tim's and a bite to eat.

Back at the point where I lost the tire I started feeling pretty tired, my eyes were sore and I felt I needed a break. Besides, at this point it was close to 3AM.

Terri took the wheel to get us to Calgary by 5:30.

I emailed all the appropriate people whom I had informed of my journey, then hit my pillow, but hard!

Two sleeps and three days in, Terri's settled (mostly) in her new room. There will be a blog post descibing the transformation of my office space to her living quarters, but for now it suffices to say she's most comfortable at Chez-Turtle.

Did I mention the dogs? I think not. Terri has two Daschounds. Ginger and Diesel. Ginger was with her back in '04, and Diesel is pretty new to the clan. It's been a bit of an adjustment living with only Tiki to living with another human and two more animals, but I think it's going to work out well for all of us. Terri has agreed to help with a number of reno projects around here, and I can't wait to get on it!

More later on this same station.

Turtle out.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Checking in - 301 posts and counting...

My blogging has been hit and miss lately, and as I "hit the keyboard" to write this, I realize I rather "miss" the blogosphere.

I must make this short for now, but brace yourself for a lengthy post coming very soon, explaining why I was away for so long, and what I've been up to!

It's been a long day like many of the others, so I'm going to check out for now, but a tell-all post is looming...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tag, you're it.

From the most unlikely blogger to participate in anything resembling a forward or a chain-event-anything, Sarah has tagged me with this:

Here are the Rules:
Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
Tag 3 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.
My tagger: Karen

*I like scotch (see previous post) Tequila too, but it's far cheaper to find a good scotch.

*I put my foot in my mouth regularly more often through sheer ignorance and nievety than arrogance or stupidity. "He meant well..." is often heard echoing from the conversation.

*I am a true Turtle - I'm slow; things for me take far more time than the average person - brings to mind something a dear friend said years ago about himself, "I may not be fast, but I'm thorough." Not sure if "thorough" applies to this Turtle, but there it is.

*I am a most steadfast friend; gererous, giving and forgiving.

I just came upon this tonight and figured it worth posting here since a lot of it is true...

Trustworthy. Attractive. Great kisser. One of a kind, loves being in
long-term relationships. Can be clumbsy at times but tries hard. Will take on any project. Proud of themselves in whatever they do. Messy, and unorganized. Procrastinators. Great lovers, when their not sleeping. Extreme thinkers. Loves their pets usually more then their familiy. Can be VERY irritating to others when they try to explain or tell a story. Unpredictable. Will exceed your expectations. Not a Fighter, But will Knock your lights out.

I hereby tag A/C, Mollie, Sare... and *bending the rules here* Jeremiah!

Have fun with it!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Straight, on the rocks please.

The world is a small, small place when you're me. Turns out that my Aunt M. (mom's cousin) and I share a mutual friend in the sound business. D. used to golf with Aunt M.'s late husband, R.

For the longest time, we've been meaning to get together over a scotch, but it's been one of those things you always talk about and never do.

Until now.

A couple weeks ago I walked into D.'s office and placed a bottle on his desk. I said,

"This is to make you feel guilty enough that you'll actually call me and we'll sit down to a wee drahm."

Apparently it worked. Last week over the telephone, D. and I decided to include Aunt M. Calling her was easy - the conversation went something like this:

ME: "D and I were talking and figured we should invite ourselves over for a scotch. ...we'll bring the scotch."

M: "How's Monday?"

It was that simple. The rest went something like this:

The tradition, I didn't know until this week, is that it's called "Foursies". It's the act of having scotch, but it must be after 4PM. What we had was more like "Fivesies", but really it matters not, yes?

To my surprise, I was applauded for my apparently fine choice of Scotch - Glenmorangie Single Malt with a Sherry finish.


I didn't know this, but apparently those of my scotch drinking friends who started me out did me a favour. D. said,

"You started at the top, lad, and that's not a bad place to be from!"

Here we are, posing with the Golden Nectar

...ready to be poured even looks good nestled over the rocks!

What was so very good about all this had *almost* nothing to do with the scotch. It was social time with family and a friend. You can't get that from a bottle, so don't even try, but the scotch was definitely a nice finish on a social occasion.

The things that run through my mind at almost 5AM


I spent most of yesterday lounging. I found a new audio editing tool I rather like, so took the day to put some music together with it - medleys and that sort of thing.

At 4:00PM I realized I'd spent the whole day at the computer - no wonder I was tired!

I'm up now - almost 5AM, and it sucks. I'm tired, and my mind is racing. I mean - it's FULL. I feel something of a discourse in my life right now. Everything's "fine", but just a little off.

I think back to May when I felt the most settled, the most wonderful I had in (dare I say) years.

I don't feel like that right now.

Strange, because in May I felt I had all kinds of forward motion, good balance between work, school, personal well-being, and play. Yoga was new to me then, and I was also doing all kinds of things I loved.

I was sick for most of September, and I think that's what did it. I started a new course at the U. then, Detective Fiction twice a week during the day. That threw my work schedule off, but honestly, not by much. I also didn't go to pottery - and haven't for some time just because I'm keeping up with school, work, friends and yes, yoga monopolized my days a few weeks back.

I tried participating in Yoga Mala days at the studio, which entailed going 6 days a week. It was an effort on the studio's part to get people to "come to the mat" every day. Good idea, but for an hour and a half every day? Too much for this Turtle. I haven't been back in almost two weeks.

My body's been stressed too. I only recently got back into regular weekly massage therapy treatments, and have felt that once a week at the chiropractor hasn't been enough. (the one thing I DIDN'T neglect when I was sick) Oh, my weight programme - that too slipped in September when I was ill.

I guess I dropped several balls a while back and haven't quite picked them up again. My body knows it, so does my mind and it's starting to affect my spirit.

What HAVE I done that's taking all my time? I'd have to say that on the up side, I have a new room mate arriving December 1 from Phoenix. She was my basement tenant back in '04/'05. I've spent a great deal of November moving my office and prepping her soon-to-be bedroom (and kennel of sorts since she's bringing her two dogs!)

There's an update - Turtle's tired. My apology for any type-os.

Lights out - checking out.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Keelo strikes again!

James Keelaghan played the Epcore Performing Arts Centre tonight along with Oscar Lopez - together they are the Compadres.

I walked away with a copy of the new album, "Buddy, Where You Been?" (thanks, Sarah!)- something of a 10-year reunion for Keelo and Lopez.

My sister, L. was kind enough to drive AND spot another $20.00 so we could all have CDs to get signed. Last year I neglected to tell her James was in town, and um... well... it's a good thing she's my sister and loves me enough to forgive and forget, and all that...

Last year I posted here after James played Calgary on Remembrance Day. He's a Calgary native, always proud to return to a warm, home town audience. I remarked to him while he signed my CD that each of his shows always has something different, and I appreciate that.

Hola, James; hola Oscar!

Still, I'm looking forward to some day taking in a traditional Keelaghan show full of the familiar oldies but goodies.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Birthday Turtle

Turtles are slow.

This one's no exception.

Yesterday was my second blog birthday.

Since then, 296 posts and 2417 peeks at my profile.

It all started here when I didn't have a clue what I was going to write about, or if I'd even stick with it.

Thank you, all my blog buddies, for reading, commenting and adding a little spice to my life.

Free Clipart

Monday, October 29, 2007

What I heard...

Walking around my neighbourhood this morning, hot tea in hand, I crossed the street at the local high school and past a group of kids congregating at the pizza place. (Yes, this pizza store is open bright and early on a school day!) Something happened as I passed by that made me think of fellow blogger Jeremiah who, on occasion, writes "Confessions of a Serial Eavesdropper: Things I heard this weekend while not minding my own business..."

What I heard was this:

"...ya, man - so my friend was hard-up for a gift so he gave his grandpa a stolen iPod..."

I have my own thoughts about this, but I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I need a word...

Something's been bugging me lately.

You know those little word plays we did as kids? I have one running through my head, and I need a word to complete it. Maybe you can help?




...and here's the stumper...

I cannot think of a phrase for TURTLE!
What rhymes with TURTLE??


9:54AM - I went Googling to discover that, according to ForeWord Magazine, there is a book called

"Real Soon, Raccoon! What to Say After "See You Later, Alligator" and "After While, Crocodile"
by: Roger Sperberg; Jill Kimball, Illustrator

The review I read went on to say:

"The idea started simply enough. Upon leaving the building, a neighbor said, "See you later, alligator," to which Sperberg's son, Sam, replied, "After while, crocodile." Sam's mother, illustrator Jill Kimball, added "Real soon, raccoon." Sperberg said after that, he, his wife, and son would exchange similar lines as he left for work each day. The book grew out of these exchanges."

...still has me wondering about TURTLE.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Where do I fit in when it comes to sports?

There are some things we're meant to do in this life, and there are some things we're simply not.

Sports, I am not cut out for - especially contact sports like football, rugby and what's on my mind right now, hockey.

A/C posted today on his non-encounters with Rocket Richard. It got me thinking about famous people, why they're famous and with which of them I might have had some contact.

I often work with media personalities local to the area, but I was hard pressed to think of any sports icons.

Then I remembered Tim Horton's. Not the coffee shop specifically, but rather the events I do sound for in support of the Children's Ranch in the Kananaskis.

For a number of years, the event was hosted by Dennis and Bobby Hull. Both hockey legends in their own right.

Dennis Hull - in my opinion a much, much funnier man than his older brother Bobby.

Bobby Hull - The "Golden Jet" often teased by his younger brother over his seemingly vast number of wives!

In recent years I've worked directly with Kelly Hrudey.

What do I admire about him?

He knows how to wear a wireless lavaliere microphone!

A few years back we had a number of guest speakers at the Tim Horton Charity Golf Tournament. Two microphones for three presenters. Kelly was the MC, so he kept his microphone throughout the evening. I cannot remember specifically the other two presenters, but one fellow didn't like where I had placed the microphone - in the centre of his chest, clipped to his tie. (as is standard procedure) Then this fellow did something really dumb.


When this fellow addressed the left side of the room, we heard everything clearly. When he addressed the right side, we lost him completely. There was nothing I could do except watch him very closely and adjust the volume of his microphone according to the direction he was facing.

When Kelly got up to speak once again, all was well because HE had placed his microphone correctly - and left it there!

Kelly Hrudey - posed for this shot as he passed by my table at the 2007 Tim Horton Charity Golf Tournament

So my admiration for a famous hockey player may have nothing to do with the sport, but it's obvious that when getting up to speak, he knows what the GOAL is, and that's to be HEARD.

I may not play sports, but in making it possible for some of those who do to be heard, I connect with them and that keeps me interested in the game.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My weekend persuits

The weather over the last three weekends here in Calgary has been absolutely fabulous. In fact, the phases of the moon must have been 'just right', because the nature of the workload over these three weekends has allowed me to spend a great deal of time on each successive Saturday hiking in the Kananaskis.

Experience has taught me that we all love a blog post full of photos, so sit back and enjoy while I take you on a pictorial journey to Rawson Lake and Lillian Lake on the Galatea trail.

Taking the trail around the south end of the Upper Kananaskis Lake leads you to a fork in the trial.

Rawson Lake is a short, but moderately challenging trek south.

The view through the trees at the south end of the Upper Kananaskis Lake

Rawson Lake - like a mirror; you can see the reflection of Mount Sarrail.

The suspension bridge on the head of the trail to Lillian Lake and the Galatea Lakes. The Galatea trail is about 10 minutes south of the Kananaskis Village turnoff on Highway 40 - south of the Transcanada Highway.

The Galatea trail is to date my favourite hike. One of the things I love is the occurrence of many bridges along the path.

It amazed me how clear the water was!

Approaching the lake, the snow became more prevalent.

Lillian Lake from the west side campsites. I've been known to swim in this lake in August, but last Saturday I would have recommended neither swimming or skating!

The trail on the way down was particularly slick.

One of my hiking partners, D., remarked on how the light hit the mountain, and I was particularly impressed with how my wee camera captured it.

About Me

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.