Why Abbotsford, you ask? This was Ben's first question for my upon my return. I assured him that my first instinct when in Abbotsford is to leave immediately.
I booked my flight to Toronto on Harmony about three months ago, with some very specific dates in mind. I also added my mom to the same flights later on when she decided they would work for her, too. Then one week before we are set to leave, the flight is cancelled, and instead of leaving Vancouver at 06:30, we can leave around 15:00, basically losing a whole day on the other end. Not cool. Lucky for us,
My new flight, however, had to be booked through Abbotsford, as the Vancouver flights at the same times had all been gobbled up, no doubt by disgruntled Harmony customers. Getting to Abbotsford for a 07:00 flight means leaving really early, but thanks to a late but fun night before, I woke up at 04:30 without having packed. I made it from my door to the check-in counter in one hour flat, which is something I would actively discourage you from trying.
I should mention that YXX, the airport in question, is very pleasant. Parking is abundant and cheap, and the only line-up for security is almost sure to be for your flight. This also means no waiting on the runway for other flights to take off, minimal wait for baggage when landing, and as there is no fancy over head landing tube, they use two flights of stairs for you to get on and off the jet (and you thought that rear door was just for show).
So I was in the Guelph/Waterloo area for my sister's graduation this past weekend. It's always great to have the family together, and we managed some excellent meals and partying while we were there.
The graduation ceremony went very well (which I judge as I've now been to few). Unlike last year's endurance test in the muggy Waterloo gym seated on benches for hours, the Guelph proceedings were refreshing: only about 300 grads, decent folding chairs, well-ventilated, some funny speeches.
Later, there was a banquet just for Laura's class. Wine had been provided with dinner, but not every table managed to finish theirs. After confirming that we were not the only ones, we grabbed some of it for ourselves. (Ben, relax; they were going to throw it out anyway.) The festivities continued later at The Ranch, a charming cowboy bar that was a favourite among the graduates. I woke up on a couch in someone's house the next day.
Saturday was quiet, and then it was Father's Day on Sunday. After tasty dim sum, we headed out to the Ontario wine region to check out some wineries. I found some that were quite to my liking, and Bri snagged a case of a lovely red that we will enjoy in the coming years. We capped the day with an awesome tasting menu at one of the winery restaurants - there was some amazing duck and their boar was a treat.
Monday, it was time to head out. The flight back was uneventful, unless you count the dude on the portion to Calgary that really didn't understand how the armrest is shared space, and that the VOLUME UP button he kept jabbing was for the headphones I was wearing.
Though there was essentially no traffic, the drive back to Vancouver from Abbotsford took considerably longer, which I actually found kind of relaxing.
So I bought this iBook. After hearing about Macs for some time now from the likes of Tim, and making extensive fun of them . . . it had what I was looking for and the Bookstore price last week worked for me.
And yes, this OSX is really that great; it has all this stuff I wanted (eventually it will be used for thesis writing, and the all the integrated Unix stuff is excellent - sort of like Linux that isn't flaky but that I also didn't have to set up at all).
As it turns out, I made this switch in the same week as some famous programmer guy, which also turned out to be the same week that Apple announced its big plans to support Intel hardware.
I never did mention that there is a new Jetta that gets me from place to place. It is an '84 this time around with just over 300,000km (though the diesel engine has only seen about 40,000km, unlike the previous '86 Jetta whose original engine made it some 440,000km). It is old enough to have the fancy old VW hubcaps. I have grown quite fond of it, and Orion has been kind enough to help me with some of its quirks . . . these include getting the stereo and even such frivolous items as the parking brake and signal lights. He also managed to get the driver's door sorted out; I had been unable to exit the car using the traditional method (though my original idea of leaving by the passenger door turned out to be kind of dumb as the external handle was just a window-roll-down away).
I am also a master at parallel parking this new car, despite its lack of a right-side mirror and non-power steering. (Having published this statement in print, I am sure to fail spectacularly next time one of you is around.)
Okay, okay, I've been out of this for a while. But after some touching comments from several fans (amounting more or less to "I actually read something on there." and/or "Where are the updates?") I'll see what I can do for you, the loyal reader.
I have a clunky mp3 player courtesy of my good buddy Claus, which saw me through on my travels. All these iPod people make me nervous. But I've been listening to the radio a lot anyway, as I've been happy with the recent (well, it occured before I moved back to Vancouver) shift in format for the Fox. Most of the DJs are good, though one particular guy is a total tool; you would notice if you listened for any length of time during the day.
Anyway, they tend to have themes for weekends, like an all-90's weekend or all Pearl Jam or "then and now" where they play an older song followed by a newer song for the same band (like that old Jimmy Eat World followed by that new Jimmy Eat World . . . hmmmm). This weekend's theme is "Mullet Madness", all 80's metal hair bands. But I was expecting a slightly longer set of songs (they only play one of these every 15 minutes or so); I've heard the same Europe song three times this weekend. Same for Cinderella. Cinderella is brutal. And Ratt. These guys were huge (turns out they are around and touring) . . . how high was everybody back then?!?