Friday, June 30, 2006

School's out!

Tuesday was the last day of school for Natalie and Benjamin. They're loving doing nothing, and I haven't heard the "b" word yet (bored!).

Today is Aunt Noreen's 60th birthday! I can't believe it, and Natalie's sure she's only 34 (wait a minute, that would be younger than me!)


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Can A Dah

The woolley girls will be at the annual Buckhorn Blast from 9 to 3 with a couple teens in tow.
I've got Alyssa Komel and her girlfriend coming up from Port Hope to help with our Vacation Bible Schhol Booth.
We're more on the ball this year and are using the big Kid Fest at Canada Day to get kids registered for the VBS.
I'll post photos when we get set up on Friday.
Daddy's working to pull in the overtime bucks.
Our Church is having a concert on Sunday, the into Peterborough for a Kid Fesitval at the waterfront (and YES, Peerborough DOES have a waterfront.)
Nana Arlene's birthday is on July 1st - same weekend as Aunt Susan's
Hope the weather's great where you are.
woolley wonderland!

Canada Day Weekend...

This weekend being both Canada Day weekend AND Susan's Birthday weekend, as well as the 10th Anniversary of our migration to Calgary, it's a doozey!

Canada Day we're looking to head into Canmore for the Canada Day Parade. And on Monday, for Susan's birthday event, the ladies are going riding at a ranch in Cochrane. a 90 minute ride through the foothills. Benjamin and I are gonna do "guy stuff" while they're riding. Then back to Calgary for a birthday party for Alexander in MacKenzie Towne.

Of course, there's the incredibly fun "sand the drywall patches" and "fix the cutoff valve on the toilet" that I'll get to slip in when I'm bored. The good new is that with a number of days in the high 20s and low 30s, we've got the air conditioner in and running, with three fans to blow around the cooler air, so we'll be comfortable in the heat.

And the Stampede parade is next Friday, with the TaeKwonDo club doing some demonstrations in the pre-parade time slot along 9th ave. Rehearsals are still a bit like herding cats, but then it usually comes together at the last minute.


What's up for the long weekend Canadain people? We got nothin special planned unless we make a go at camping for a day or 2.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Home again, Home again

I'm back, but completely in a hazy fog. Need more time to recover and figure out this blog thing. Hopefully I'll have lots of good photos to contribute soon.
I'll need some help with this....from Lorne, maybe?
All the posted photos are great, and it should be a wonderful way of keeping everyone in the, I'm just loopy! hugs for all.....Mom

Monday, June 26, 2006

A weekend in the city

I spent a good deal of Saturday ripping up my latest attempt at lawn repair. Actually more like finishing ripping it up as the Racoons were doing it every night anyway. They flip it up like throw rugs (even though I had hammered in about 30 wooden spikes to hold it) for fun and to get at grubs. So in 2 weeks it was all dead, again. I tried seeding back in may and that was coming along fine for about a month then over 2 days it just all died, again. This time I had to dig down more, put in peat and more soil, spray for the grubs (and ban simon from the yard for now), re-sod, and I got a mesh and made about 40 looped spikes to hold it down. Sunday the Coons only got at a few corners. 10 more spikes in yesterday and today it appears untouched! 400 for the coons, 1 for me!
Simon went to the Riverdale farm yesterday and had a nice time. he sees the cow and goes MOO and does the sign language sign for milk. Smart boy that kid...
I played some baseball while mom and simon went to the pool. And thus went the day. What's up with yooze?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Chocolate Bunny comes home

Fiona was thrilled beyond words to have her first pet (non-livestock).
Chocolate Bunny was sent to live with Steph - Peggy's daughter - the year Fiona was born, as we made life simpler.
He returned to much snuggling, a ride on the pony, one in the cozy coupe and many hours of play.
He lives in a hutch beside the Lilac bush and is ready for play by all visitors.

In the Centre RING

Fiona went to her first Circus in June an LOVED it
here we are before the show starts - enjoying the three rings.
They "get" you by charging to ride elephants, in the "Lion Cage" and the giant blow up slide.
We bought popcorn instead and just watched.
Fiona liked the man getting shot out of the cannon the best!

who's toes is it anyway

well, you know you have a cool daddy
when he lets you give him a pedicure!
Here Fiona does her best to Glenn's toes.
Daddy even got into a pedicure contest with the girls at work.
they didn't beleive he had one, and he had to show the toe!

Friday, June 23, 2006

An iPod promo?

From Father's Day at Cherry beachClick to view a 1.4 Mb movie in a new window.

Or for a longer take,
Click here

Thursday, June 22, 2006

It's Corinne's Birthday today!

Cake on the roof

Today being the solstice, we start a new tradition. Cake On the Roof. We all went up and had cake. Go figure!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


In early May, I visited my friend Marie and her son Thomas in Dublin. This coastline is a couple blocks from where they live. The castle is at an estate called Powerscourt, outside Dublin.

In our travels we spent an evening at Dublin's oldest pub, the Brazen Head, and I was invited to jam with the Band...


In May, I did an outdoor climb, up Old Rag Mountain in the Blue Ridge with my friend Leah from BC -- the woman who introduced me to climbing.

Interview at Mac

The evening before the ceremony at McMaster, the Alumni Gallery arranged an interview for the University Archives. Dad watched from the control room as I chatted for posterity with my interviewer, Pearl Sojnocki, of the class of 1954. She has interviewed one or more of the Gallery inductees for the last twenty years!


On my recent trip to Halifax I did a session of underwater egress training in a simulator that dunked an entire simulated aircraft cockpit from a crane into a giant pool and turned it upside down and -- with instruction each time -- had to open the door underwater and get out and surface.

Albert Bohmier is the company president and invited me. The firm is a past CABC award winner.

Check out to find out more about the company.

What happens if you live in Bavaria, have a Cessna, a good camera and an eye for composition...

Take a look at this site
It's a photoblog with some stunning pix.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ok, so this is what happens when you can't do your job

So, my previuos manager, Steven, is now working in a frustrating envrionment, and just can't delivery what his management wants. Give em' A, they want B, They as for C, your give 'em C, and thay say no, I want D.

So here's the ultimate project deliverable for the unpleasable manager.

More Vacation: It's a good thing...

So, today, out of the blue (as far as anyone I know is concerned) the VP of Human Resources publishes this note to all staff:

Effective immediately, the Company will provide six (6) paid, flex days for non union staff located in Gulf Canada Square in Calgary. Employees in all other areas of the company are not eligible. The change also excludes non-union employees who work a scheduled 12-hour shift and who have a separate arrangement already in place that reflects their unique work schedule.
This location-specific policy is being implemented in response to the highly competitive labour market pressure for professional staff in downtown Calgary, primarily driven by aggressive growth in the petroleum industry. The competition for professional staff has had, and continues to have, a direct impact on our ability to attract and retain non-union employees in Calgary. This policy is aimed directly at addressing the already established practice of Calgary-based companies to grant flex/personal days to their employees in addition to their normal vacation schedule.
The flex days will be in addition to the individual Annual Vacation entitlement; however they cannot be carried forward into the next year, if unused, nor paid out upon termination of employment. Flex days may be used for any personal leave purpose.
The six annual flex days will not be pro-rated this year for regular full-time employees. (Part-time employees will be allotted days in accordance with their part-time schedule.) Specific provisions for new hires and other administrative matters regarding the policy and answers to the most common questions will be available on RailTown later today.

So at 7:00 this morning, I had 20 days vacation for the year; now I have 26. And next year, being my 19th year with CPR, I'll have 31. So that's starting to get pretty good. It's the single best step to improve "employee engagement" that the company has done is many a year. Of course, I don't know how the non-Calgary staff will take it, but who am I to argue...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Trickling in the pix...

So here's the first pix I'll post from the McMaster event: a very nice group photo.
(again, clik on it for a larger image)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A new star is born!

The french branch of the family welcomed a new addition yesterday!
THOMAS was born at 16h41 on June 14, in Fontainebleau (France), weighing in at 3.495 kg (not sure about the length yet).
Mom (my sister Marie-Laure) is recovering nicely, and Dad (my brother in Law Francis) enjoys his last few quiet nights before everybody comes back home.
Here are a few pics of the new baby.

Cars and Chips...

There were two classes of slot cars: the first was the type that came with the original set: they moved slow, but probably to scale. The back ends fish-tailed all over the place. The outside lane as a dream if you had the guard rails in place and a nightmare if you didn't. There was a little white one called the Chapperelle. Then there were the "curve huggers" with the ridiculous bottom magnets that would let the cars drive up a wall, I'm guessing. Looking throught he Eatons Christmas catalogue, at the toy sections in the fall, was usually enough to remind us that the set was in the crawl space, and out it came again.

Spring drive trains. Nasty little metal track connector pieces. Boring layouts, with not enough track. I think the set came with 8 curves, and 4 straight pieces: enough to from an oval. So combining the two sets meant getting any distance at all meant left curve, right curve, left curve, right curve...

250g bags of Hostess Mexican Hot Bar-B-Q chips. Ah, yes. They costs 69 cents. Lots of penny candy. Technically, closer than BATES, as it was really only one block away, not two. But up that steep hill! A slide top freezer with popsicles and mr-freezee for a nickle each. The real Ice Cream treats cost way more. Like, a dime.

Bates was just too poorly maintained to be anyplace a kid wanted to go. It was dark, and dingy and cramped. The big red letters on the plain sign out front. "B A T E S", I'm glad none of us was terribly familiar with Hitchcock's Psycho. The place was finally torn down in the early 80s, and Amir Ismail opened up a new convenience store, at which I spent a summer stocking the milk cooler and hauling about a million cases of 750ml Pepsi from his minivan to the basement. Why buy a conveyer or an elevator when you had $4/hr staff to schlep stuff around...

It was always true that I followed the instructions to the letter, and Lorne just put the models together. And his always looked way better than mine. All these years later, I do know why. I had no patience to wait for the painting. I just wanted to slap the thing together and put on the decals. More decals meant a more colourful model. But as a hobby, the detail painting made the whole thing. One of my best models was the 747 with the Space Shuttle on the back. I actually masked the fuselage, and SPRAY PAINTED that model silver. It looked sharp. 'Course, we shot it up just the same at the quarry with dad's .22 rifle. Later on, I built an x-wing, which looked pretty good. And for some reason, I've got black and white photos of it chasing the Darth Vader Tie fighter across the basement carpet. Why was I shooting b&w in 1978?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

stream of consciousness

slot cars. picked up a lot of things about electricity and mechanics from those. So much so that I actaully took the set in to Anderson when I taught there and had an in class competition where teams would have to assemble the car motor, answer some questions about the parts, then race a number of laps to win.
The cars with the magnets hanging out the bottoms could go way faster with the additional traction. the original cars actually had functioning headlights.
Trains? we had the wind up set (no, 2 identical sets as Uncle bill would always get david and I the same present). Mark Muldowen did have the electric train set which was fun for a bit but not as much as race cars!

Old lady Jackson was a bwitch. but for some reason Jackson's seemed closer then Bates and not quite as scary. I used to go there to get my 'Hot Mexican BBQ' chips on a regualr basis.

Plastic Models. taking a selection of them to the Quarry to use as targets for dad's 22. David's purple dinosaurs. Dad's Rocket and Forestall under glass. my gas powered spitfire on a teather which when we finally took it for its maiden flight (in the parking lot at the OC... what was the thinking there?) it went around about about 30 degrees of arc then up over-head and nose dive into a few dozen pieces. The engiine went on to power a variety of boats and things.
Boats were boring, cars almost as much so but planes and rockets were cool. Tanks were kinda fun. We always wanted the ~5ft.saturn V of which we had the LEM command and service modules.

That's all I have to say about that. (name that movie)

Entry the Second...

This one is just a stream of consciousness note: I was thinking again about the "Growing up Bradt" document we worked on early this year. New topics:
  • AFX Slot cars & HO scale trains
  • JACKSON's and BATE's
  • Plastic Model Kits (excluding the killing of gerbils)
The pix from the Oshawa turned out well, and will go furthe to flesh out the visual side of the finished document. I regret not taking a picture of Arthur and Sylvia when we were there. What's wrong with us? duh...

I see Lorne has fiddled with the properties of the blog owner, which is fine. I'm hoping this vehicle will work for us as a central point of disucssion. The other option is a discussion forum, but that takes a bit more dilligence in watching all the active threads. This amounts to a single-threaded board, I suppose.


The new custom blog

Well I just spent 3 hours getting this thing a little more customized. Whatddyall think? you can post a comment about this blog entry by clicking the link at the bottom. Or click the "Post An Entry" link at left, sign in and create your own post to publish.

Since we're posting construction projects, see ours attached.

Of course we added a pic of Simon and his pool...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The first Entry: Like it should be

OK, this is the same note from this morning, but now it's the first note onthe blog. Click on the picture for the full size one. And since Lorne asked, the top exterior photo is from when we were buying the house, and it was still baby blue. the others were from this past week, and differ only by the lighting. Sort of a putty grey.