Friday, August 25, 2006

Survivor Controversey

So last night on one of the entertainment shows I learned that there is controversey surrounding the latest season of Survivor, starting in September. They are using the same formula as last season when they divide the contestants into four teams (last year they had an older men team, a younger men team, an older women team, and a younger women team), except this year, are you ready for this, they are dividing the contestants along racial lines. There will be a white team, a black team, an Asian team, and a Hispanic team. I could not believe my ears, that in this day and age after we have come so far with multiculturalism and race relations this could be done. They interviewed Probst and he said that it was designed as a unique social experiment. What is this going to teach kids? To stick with your own race, segregation, it's unbelievable. I also worry that when competitions get heated, and they do, things could be said about another team/race. Also, it could very well increase the racial stereotypes that are out there like Asian people are smart and African American people are good athletes. Furthermore, people who watch, I'm sure will be cheering for their own race to win. Having said all this, I will probably end up watching starting on Sept. 14 th (I talked to my brother about this last night and even though he hates Survivor and hasn't watched since the first season, he said he definitely will watch this one), but will we cheer for the white team? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Emma's day at the Salon

Emma had an appointment at "Sassy and Classy" to be groomed today. Over the last two months she has gotten pretty shaggy and matted, we tried to brush them out but it was no use. Steph took her this morning and of course Kobe went nuts running around the house crying his little head of for about an hour, looking out the window, waiting for her. We hoped they might be able to do something to get rid of the mats without shaving her but I guess they were quite bad. She just got home, Steph thinks she looks adorable. She is very soft and smells like perfume and I think Emma is happy, it must feel good for her to get all that hair off. The lady at the groomers said something like "Thank God she's here" under her breath when Steph came to pick her up. She must have been whining like she loves to do. Of course Kobe is very excited to have her home. Here is a before and after shot of our little girl.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Enemy Image

I watched this really powerful, hard hitting documentary last night on CBC Newsworld called "Enemy Image", which traces war reporting and how television has covered war from Vietnam to the present. It talked about techniques the military uses to ensure that the American public never sees the real face of combat and the horrors of war. The Pentagon and the right-wing Pr0-Bush media tightly control the images we see so we get a sanitised, bloodless view and the government looks better in the public eye. As opposed to Vietnam, where reporters had much more freedom to show the real face of war, American soldiers wounded, dying, scared, committing atrocities, combined with images of peasants dead and homeless. These images were so powerful that it swayed public opinion against the war and forced the government to remove its troops.

Since then the American government and military has decided that they do not want to lose control of how a war is covered by the media ever again and have put many procedures in place to ensure that the images we see are the ones they want us to see. Motorcades of tanks and military vehicles draped in American flags liberating cheering crowds of Iraqi's, smart bombs taking out precision targets, missles being fired out to the distance etc. The problem is we are not seeing the other side. What's happening on the ground, the death and destruction those missles are causing to innocent civilians once they hit or miss their targets.

It really made me angry and proud to live in Canada with a much more objective media. I really
hope that they show this documentary in the United States so people there can see the images of war that none of the major networks would show.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


So I've been getting a little flack about not posting anything for some time and my response has been that I haven't done anything worth writing about since we got back from Vancouver. I think yesterday was one of the first times I've actually gotten out of the house and done something. Steph and I went downtown to Summerfest, where they have the streets closed off to traffic and their are all kinds of vendors selling crafts and stuff and all kinds of booths with different kinds of food. It actually wasn't all that exciting, they have pretty much the same booths every year, but we had lunch and walked around. The weather was beautiful and it was just nice to get out of the house.

Today Emma and Kobe are driving me nuts because our neighbors have their grandkids over and they have been out playing in the backyard all day, and of course the dogs are going absolutely crazy, tearing up and down the fence, barking their heads off.

We had planned on doing a big house cleaning day today (I know, very exciting), but after about five minutes Steph started feeling a little under the weather so she layed down and I did the whole house by myself, which I probably could have done all week when I was sitting around doing nothing. Oh well, of course I didn't mind and it gave me something to do (what a great husband I am, ha ha).

Hopefully something will start to happen next week on the job front with the school district office opening up. I have kind of been on pins and needles waiting for some news.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Tourist Day in Vancouver

On Saturday it was beautiful, clear, sunny, so we decided to go down to Granville Island for lunch. After finding a parking space we wandered around a little, poking through the many shops and stopping now and again to listen to some of the street performers. We had a great lunch at Bridges and watched the boats come into the harbour.

After lunch we thought we'd go to Stanley Park. It has been forever since I'd been there, and for all of our time living down in Burnaby together we have never walked around Stanley Park as a couple. It is so beautiful there. We walked along the seawall, then through some of the trails in the park, poked around the open air artists circle, stopped to see the totem poles, watched some men play cricket at Brockton Point. We had a lovely time and did alot of walking.

Then we picked up Tammy and Tom and went out for a Korean feast. It was great, Tammy was in charge of the grill and did a stand-up job. It really brought me back to our time in Seoul when we would eat like that all the time. They bring the raw meat to your table as well as a huge array of tasty side dishes and you grill it right at your table.

After dinner we went to the Richmond Night Market, something I've always wanted to do when I lived in the Lower Mainland but never got a chance to. We got there quite late (it runs until midnight) and it was dark, but the market was lit up by all the lights of the stalls. It was really amazing, hundreds of stalls selling everything you can think of. It was jam packed full of people, and this as well as many of the sights, sounds, and smells reminded me of the outdoor markets of Seoul and Beijing. I got to try octopus balls and dragon's beard candy (very exotic), and everyone had a great time. What a jam-packed day, we were exhausted.

Abbotsford International Airshow

Another great year for the airshow. This was my sixth time at the Abbotsford Airshow and was the principal reason for my trip down south. I left on wednesday morning after packing the car with Tammy's stuff and drove all the way into Vancouver with only a quick stop for lunch and gas. After a shower to freshen up at Tammy's I went out for a great dinner with Tammy, Tom, and Tammy's parents to my favorite Chinese restuarant in Vancouver. On Thursday, after waiting for Tammy to wake up (she finally dragged herself out of bed at 10:30) we went on the internet to try and find something to do. I kind of wanted to go to Storyeum in gastown but it was pretty expensive, as was going to the Aquarium, an Imax feature, etc., etc. So we finally decided on going to lunch at a great little sushi place and then go to a Chinese mall in Richmond. I was a little disappointed after I think I was misled about what we were actually going to (of course Tammy sees this differently). I don't really know what I was expecting, more of an indoor marketplace I think, but it was actually a real mall with clothing stores, foodcourt etc., but it was kind of fun. Then we had a coffe and hit IKEA. My favorite part of the day however, was the hour we had to kill at her place before I headed out to Coquitlam to meet Steph and friends for supper. We just sat on the couch and watched TV, chatted, made sarcastic remarks on commercials and what we were watching. It really brought me back to when Tammy and I would just sit around here watching TV while we were waiting for our call from SD57, and made me realize how much I miss having her around.

I went to the airshow on Friday with my Dad. The weather in the morning was a little cool and cloudy, but it cleared up and was sunny and warm for most of the day. It was nice spending the day with my Dad, I can't remember the last time we did something, just me and him. The
airshow was great. After walking through the static display's, which included modern fighters and bombers such as the CF-18 Hornet, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Falcon, A-10 Warthog, B1 Lancer, and massive cargo planes such as the Globemaster and the Hercules, we made ourselves comfortable near the runway for the show which included fighter demo's, low altitude fly by's which almost knocked you off your feet, and of course the Snowbirds who closed the show.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Fort St. James with Grandma and Bill

This last weekend my Grandma and her long time companion Bill came up to Prince George from the Lower Mainland for a short visit. We were able to see them on Monday night for dinner at my Mom's after our camping weekend, and they expressed some interest about going to Fort St. James on Tuesday but were a little nervous about driving out there. Well, since I'm not up to much these days I offered to drive them out and act as thier tour guide, since I have visted the Fort many times.

The drive out there is nice, as soon as we left Prince George the weather got better, blue skies and sunny, and my Grandma kept us supplied with Scotch Mints from her purse. When we got there it was almost noon and the whole place shuts down from 1200-1245 so we poked around the gift shop and went to lunch at Linda's Place (a great deli in the town of Fort St. James). Then we went back to the fort and looked in the museum and watched the same video they have been showing since I had been there as a kid.

Bill and my Grandma really liked the fort and learning about all the history about this HBC outpost, how it operated, and the people who lived in that era. The fort itself is set up like it would have been in the early 1800's and all the staff dresses in clothes and acts like they are from that time period. The Fort is right on beautiful Stuart Lake and we walked along the shore for a little while. The reason there is no pictures of my Grandma is because she is crazy and refuses to have her picture taken for any reason. All in all though, we had a really nice time. They are driving to Lac La Hache today and then it is on to 1oo Mile House on the weekend for the famous Garlic Festival.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Mount Robson Camping Trip

This weekend we were invited to go camping at Mt. Robson Provincial Park by Nick and Sophia. It had been along time since we had been camping (the last time was a disaster) so we gladly accepted. The first challenge was packing the car. We thought of taking two when we saw how much stuff we were bringing, but with gas these days we had added incentive to cram every thing into Steph's car. There was not a spare inch anywhere in the car, but we did it.

We got to the campsite about 11 and there were still plenty of prime sites available so we grabbed one, set up our tents, and ate lunch. We had such a great time the rest of the day just sitting around the campsite playing games, chatting etc. I'm sure glad we were with Nick and Sophia, they were so prepared for everything (all kinds of snacks, grahm crackers, and chocolate for smores, and just little things we didn't think of that made our camping trip much more enjoyable.

The next day we decided to go to the base of Mt. Robson and hike up to Kinney lake for lunch. We were of course a little nervous about Nick's knee, but he said he thought it wouldn't be too much trouble. To tell you the truth I was a little more nervous about how I would do. It has been a long time since I had been hiking and I know I am overweight and out of shape (I ran out of breath last week running up the stairs to answer the phone). It was a beautiful sunny, clear day and the scenery was absolutly breathtaking. I did alright, it wasn't that hard, except for afew steep sections. The lake itself was amazing, such a brilliant colour of green, surrounded by tall snow capped peaks. On the way back down we were all struggling abit, sore legs, hot, and tired. At the end we added up our Km. to about 16 roundtrip. I was pretty immpressed. We decided that a great showing like that deserved a treat so we went to the cafe at the base and had some ice cream and looked for Sophia's elusive "I Love MT. Robson" T-shirt.

After that we were pretty much exhausted so we took it pretty easy at the campsite for the rest of the day and enjoyed the sunshine and some stiff Taboo competition. We ended the night with smores, hot chocolate, and ghost stories around the camp fire and went to bed. After breakfast the next morning we packed up the car and headed home. All and all, a fabolous BC day long weekend.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

PS2 Meltdown

So the last couple of days my PS2 has not been starting properly. 9 times out of 10 when I turn it on the game disc clicks and a "Disc Read Error" message appears on the screen. Needless to saw this is pretty worrying for me, as playing video games occupies much of my time.

I went to the Internet troubleshooting forums and found that this is a pretty common problem for systems 2 or more years old. They suggest opening it up and cleaning all the dust and dirt out of the inside and on the lens directly. They give pretty easy to follow step by step instructions but warn if you touch this or pull this wire etc. etc. you can kiss your playstation goodbye because even Sony couldn't fix it once you do that. I could send it to Sony to fix it, but of course it is no longer covered by warranty and will cost about $150 US (you can almost get a new one now for that). Although I have a pretty steady hand (painting the details on all those model aircraft isn't easy) I am pretty terrified at the concept of opening that baby up. I really have no idea what I'm going to do but I can totally understand being addicted to something (like Internet) because I am going up the walls, totally bored. Maybe my brother has opened up his PS2 before. It's worth a try.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I Hate Being Sick

I think it started on the night before last but I really didn't think much of it. When I woke up yesterday I had a terrible sore throat, every muscle in my body ached, and I had a fever. No matter how many sweaters and blankets I put on I couldn't get warm. Today when I woke up I thought I was going to die. Ten times worse than yesterday.

It's funny, Steph says I'm such a baby when I'm sick, and although I play it up to a certain degree I guess I agree with her. I whine and sit in bed, constantly asking her to do things for me (which she puts up with much better than I could). I hate being sick, and I think the reason I'm such a baby is that growing up I was very healthy and was very rarely sick. On the other hand, my brother was very sickly as a child and was always in the hospital for bronchitis and stayed home from school alot.

In fact, my Mom used to let me stay home from school once in awhile because I complained that it was not fair that Erik always got to stay home. I guess she felt sorry for me, but I can remember on one occaision it came back to bite her in the rear. Actually my memory of this event is kind of hazy but I have been reminded of it so many times it seems alot clearer. I was probably in about Grade 4, and I had just returned to school after one of my "sick days". My teacher asked me if I was feeling better because my Mom had phoned the school and told them Iwas away sick. Apparently I said to my teacher that "I'm OK, I wasn't sick at all, my Mom just said that so I could stay home and watch TV." This was then brought up by my teacher at a parent night that soon followed this event.

As I sit here the pills I have taken seem to be kicking in and I'm feeling a little better. I hope this is finished with tomorrow.