Posted: February 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: travel | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

I knew, deep down, that this would happen when I booked my “oh my god I’ve been saving aeroplan points for years for this” trip to leave in early February. Late last week I started checking the weather reports obsessively, and my sense of disaster increased day by day. Forecasts started calling for “light snow”, then the next day it was “5 cm snow”, but this is Canada right, we can handle 5cm?

Stupid “Blizzard”

At the very least my obsessive weather checking meant that I knew as soon as my flight out of Toronto was cancelled, and called into aeroplan early enough to get them to put me on the flight leaving a day earlier. So a mad dash of getting everything done last minute later, some drama with an annoying US Customs agent, and one economy segment later, and I’m safe and sound in LA and killing an unexpected extra day in LA.


Decided to go with the cheapest/easiest way and just too the tourist bus to Manhattan Beach, which was pretty quiet. I did have a delicious breakfast burrito though.

Mini Breakfast Review

Ocean View Cafe – Manhattan Beach, California

Cristobal Bacon Burrito – $4.99
Bacon Burrito

On it’s own the burrito was ok, good ingredients but obviously spiced for white people. Once I went a bit crazy with the bottle of Tapatio hot sauce it was delicious. IMHO you simply cannot have a burrito without some heat.

Another awesome thing – I forgot how delicious fresh tomato is, I always do in the winter. It was such a treat to have tomato that tasted half decent inside the burrito.

The hash browns were meh, but the service was excellent with a very personable waiter who I sat and chatted with for a little bit.

Now I’m sitting in LAX, waiting for the Thai Airways counter to open so I can check in for my next flight – 18 hours from LAX to Bangkok. Next update should be from Thailand!

Hark – a post!

Posted: January 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: deardiary | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

More than a full year since my last post! Here’s what I’ve been up to over the past year.

Trip to Mexico

No blogging from that trip but here’s Pipes’ post about our trip – she’s better with words than me for sure. I haven’t even managed to publish my photos from the trip yet! [edit – ok, published now]

Work, work, and more work

Over the past year I have continued to work on a pet project that has been too successful. Great in that something I set out make happen (despite significant organizational trepidation) has become a real thing, terrible in that we’re now in the bind of having to support it without any of the organizational supports that come with a normal project in my organization. Oh well, still I can’t complain, I’ve got a great boss and am basically encouraged to find new and interesting ways to improve (read shake up) the bureaucracy.

My brother joined the Canadian Forces!

That’s right, the same dude who used to cause so much trouble back in the old neighbourhood is now responsible for our national security – Jokes, he’s totally responsible 😉

Anyways, he finished his basic in late 2009, went on to train as a Aerospace Control Operator in Cornwall, and is now stationed in North Bay doing things he’s not allowed to talk about. I find it a bit crazy that my brother has an honest to goodness security clearance.

Boston (PAX East)

Another trip, another opportunity to blog missed! To be honest, as much as I love hanging out with my tribe of geeky video game nerds, I just wasn’t into it this time. It could have been because it was my third PAX (and I had just gone to PAX prime in Seattle in September 09), or it could have just been that I liked Boston so much I was more interested in exploring than in staying inside and playing games, regardless I had a great time. I met the marvelous H.A. Conrad and Bill Wadman (photographer extraordinaire [srsly – check out some of his work] and all around great guy) and bumbled around Boston for a good long weekend of fun.

Bought a condo

Yes I have had well over 30 different “permanent” addresses in my 30-something years on earth, so I figure the only way to slow that trend down was to kick it up to the next level and buy a piece of (theoretical) property. Pipes and I co-purchased a lovely 2 Bedroom condo in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood of Toronto and it’s absolutely grand.

Renovated a condo

Dang – it’s grand now, but it was a bit of a mess when we bought it. One full kitchen and bathroom reno, not to mention tons of painting, moving in, and furniture assembly (damn you IKEA) later, and we’re super happy with the results. For time scale, we closed in April 2010, moved in July ’10, and were finally “settled” by September/October ’10. Lots of hard work but totally worth it.

Family reunion

I don’t talk too much about my family, because my immediate family is a rather small group, but heck I have a huge extended family that I basically don’t know at all. So at the end of July ’10 I decided to take my mom up on an offer to visit a family reunion with a seriously Quebecois branch of the clan. It was a blast, however I was almost forced into getting a Bloc Quebecois membership card by a member of my extended family. Thankfully I made it out in one piece with my Canadian Federalist leanings intact.


Does it show I like to travel? Originally planned as a solo trip for me to go dive the Mediterranean, Pipes’ decided that Croatia looked cool so it happily morphed into a trip for both of us. Yes another opportunity to blog missed, but at least I uploaded the photos.

Sunset over Zadar

Christmas in Saranac Lake

And finally, we capped off the year visiting my mom in beautiful Saranac Lake, NY. Anyone who followed the Diner Dash will remember the place, no real wealth of photos this time, just a good visit.

Phew – a year worth of updates in a single post… perhaps this year I’ll manage more regular posting to this blog? We’ll see…. (well, there is this trip to Thailand coming up, maybe I’ll post from the road).