Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Been there, done that.

Our friend Andy posted this little meme about the "things we've done", and we thought it would be fun to do it jointly. The legend: Becky, Keith, Both of us, neither of us. Got it? OK - Here goes:

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins (Manatee yes, dolphins, no.)
03. Climbed a mountain (Both of us have climbed a few... Keith a couple more than Becky.)

04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelight bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it.
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise.
14. Seen the Northern Lights.
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables (Definitely not enough.)
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper (pretty unavoidable when you have your own child.)
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can (although that's not very loud for Becky.)
32. Held a lamb (been close to many, seen one just after birth, even. but never held.)
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster (not nearly enough over the last 5 years.)
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (Keith MUCH MORE than Becky.)
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer (like right now.)
40. Visited all 50 states (getting close, though. I'm around 38.)
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country.
44. Watched wild whales (Bay of Fundy: Fin and Right Whales.)
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip (many.)
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs (yes we're nerds, so?)
57. Pretended to be a superhero (haven't we all?)
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites (Ancient Roman ruins in Rome, Italy; Mayan ruins in Veracruz, Mexico; Puebloan Cliff Dwellings in Mesa Verde and Manitou Springs, Colorado)
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date (but not each other.)
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house (only in Monopoly)
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship (a one-day cruise to the Bahamas.)
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children (well, "child"... and its "in progess".)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. There is no 98. Let's add this: Spent more than two days completely alone
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over (it was for a job, but it sort of counts.)
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge (maybe a wee part of it.)
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery (mole removal?)
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication (scientific journals)
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone (nose, collar bone)
114. Gone on an African photo safari (unless African Lion Safari counts)
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery (does a tonsillectomy count?)
120. Had a snake as a pet (caught more than i can count, though)
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Para sailed
132. Touched a cockroach (ick!)
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey (well, some of the Iliad.)
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions (we've each gone to one, dumb idea)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you (unless my high school principal counts. Technically, he knew who I was.)
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head

149. Caused a car accident (just a minor one)
150. Saved someone’s life

Sunday, November 26, 2006

the 100th post

Since there are officially two of us posting on this blog, I can't take the credit for all 99 preceding posts, but still... 100 posts is a milestone. (Or so I've been led to believe by reading others' 100th posts.)

And yet, I haven't got the time for doing the ol' 100 things about me for the 100th post, so instead, I'll show you some of the things that we've been up to for the last week or so.

First of all, my good friend Shannon is here visiting us. We have a fun tradition of going shopping shopping shopping on the weekend after American Thanksgiving. It used to happen in Buffalo/Niagara Falls, but last year and this year she's come out to Colorado, since really people, it beats Buffalo hands down. (I was going to say "no offence" to those of you who like Buffalo, but Keith says I don't have to, because even people from Buffalo should agree.)

This year Shannon came a little earlier so that we could go skiing. Now lets back up a little - I'm not a "skier". I have skied, but not since I was 13. That's a LONG time ago. (18 years!) Last year when Shannon came to visit us, I declined the suggestion to take her skiing (mostly financial, partially a fear of breaking/straining/otherwise injuring some important part of my body.) She was saddened, but we made the most of it and had a good time. This year, I got past my trepidation, gathered a couple local friends who are also good skiers and said "Why not!?"

And it was a blast....

And I didn't break or strain anything. I can't say I didn't injure anything: I have a bruise the size of an orange on my right elbow. (It's really lovely. I could do a-year-of-colour just in that one bruise.) BUT, I surprised myself as most of the teaching from my 13-year-old experience came back to me by the third run. I still fell at least twice per run, but that was just my own little subconscious method not to get too cocky. Lastly, I know it doesn't really have to be said, but skiing at Winter Park in Colorado beats Snow Valley (a bump on the landscape just north of Barrie) to a pulp. Teeny tiny pulp. Nearly microscopic pulp. Nanopulp.

(photos courtesy of Shannon-who-can-ski, rather than Becky-who-falls-a-lot-and-chose-to-not-endanger-her-camera)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy U.S. Thanksgiving

from the mountain-hiking, taco-eating, premium-mint-chocolate-bark ice-cream making, early-to-bed early-to-rise (and go shopping) Canadians.

Enjoy your leftovers! G'night!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

hi, i'm keith and i'm a mountaineeringaholic

i know it has been far too long since i posted anything so i thought i would start back in the summer.

from left to right you see chris, me, ben, and scott. this picture is from our trip to grays and torreys peaks back on july 25th of this year. i posted something about this very briefly shortly after this trip. i have to tell you that of all the adventures i have had nothing really compares to standing at 14, 000 feet. the one unfortunate thing about hiking up these two mountains is that we shared the summit with at least thirty other people.

i must admit that i have mountaineering fever . over the last six months i have been taking courses, buying gear and reading everything i can about mountaineering. over the next two months i will be taking a courses in basic snow travel and avalanche awareness. in the spring i hope to take an intermediate snow travel course which will only deepen my skill set for more difficult summits. i'm sure my parents would rather not hear such things.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thought of the Day

I hate it when I make coffee and then an hour passes before I can sit down and have a cup.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I'm in a quandry. And I'm lazy (again). Actually, that's not entirely true. I have more faith in my readership to help me solve my problem... uh... wait a sec...


(thump thump)

(screechy feedback)

(peering blindly beyond the spotlight) is there anyone sitting out there? (a few waves)

I digress.

On a recent trip to the grocery store (ooh fun, yes) I happened to notice the "Holiday" Martha mag. And then yesterday I saw this post, and just now I saw this, all of which reminded me of a conversation that I had with my step-mother-in-law back in the summer. Yes, this is going somewhere. Both of us are subscribers to Martha's lovely little mag (me: recent, her: very long time/loyal) and both of us were under the impression that by being subscribers that we are entitled to "4 special editions". And yet... a year came and went, and I have no memory of said special editions, and neither did she.

And yet there it is. The "Holiday" edition. It sure seems special. And I've never received it.

Am I missing something? (I mean that literally.) Does anyone know?

Monday, November 13, 2006

I'm guilty

because I didn't vote in the last federal election. No, not last Tuesday. Sadly, I wasn't allowed to vote in that one. (Kudos to the people who did, though.) I meant that I didn't vote in the last Canadian federal election. It was pure laziness, really, and maybe a lack of appropriate stamps. I'm usually very intent on voting, but the whole get-all-your-papers-together, send-in-this-form, receive-the-ballot-in-the-mail, send-back-the-ballot, and do this all by, say, last week kind of took me by surprise and it just didn't end up happening.

Aside: I also fully screwed up our Canadian taxes, and the Government of Canada is giving us WAY too much money right now. No worries, though. I'm on it. I just admit this to show that it's not exactly straight-forward to navigate this "living in another country" thing. It's often a bit of a pain.

But I do take full responsibility for not voting, and hence, our current predicament. It's hard to stay on top of things from afar, but thanks to the interweb (sigh... I miss Corner Gas), I can find out goodies like this on


Canada lags in climate fight
Sweden, Britain and Denmark doing most
Nov. 13, 2006. 03:21 PM

NAIROBI, Kenya (CP) — Canada took its lumps at the UN climate conference Monday, tying with Australia in a “fossil of the day” award while being ranked near the bottom of an environmental group’s list for efforts to combat global warming.

...Sweden, Britain and Denmark won top ranking in the report, while Canada is among the bottom 10.

The only countries ranked below Canada are Kazakhstan, United States, China, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

...Canada, as a signatory to the treaty, promised to reduce emissions to six per cent below 1990 levels by 2008-2012. However, the Conservative government has said the country cannot meet Kyoto targets for pollution reduction — a position that critics see as a virtual abandonment of the treaty, even though Canada hasn’t formally pulled out. The Conservatives have opted to concentrate on clean air and smog reduction, rather than the wider problem of climate change. [Federal Environment Minister Rona] Ambrose has set a goal of cutting emissions by 45 to 65 per cent from 2003 levels — by the year 2050.


{blink blink} Wow. Good for us. We beat the U.S. for being only SLIGHTLY less concerned about climate change than Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan. Really? For Pete's sake, Iran is doing better than we are. What kind of legacy is this?

Okay, yes. I appreciate the fact that the government is sending me $100/month for childcare expenses, and I swear I'm not spending it on popcorn and beer (that's coming out of a separate fund), but come on: 51st out of 56? Surely we do better than that? Sheesh.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Monday, November 06, 2006

I am Becky, and I approve this blog entry.

A few random thoughts:

I can't wait until this election is over.

My 3 1/2 year old son, when given the choice, will ask for Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" or Cake's "The Distance" by name. He prefers these over, say, Sarah Harmer or Veggie Tales. I'm guessing this has something to do with driving around in the car with his stay-at-home dad. a. lot.

I know that it's like this every year, but I still can't get past it being pitch black at 5:30 PM.

Planning for (and getting into the mood for) Christmas is easier in Canada than it is here. There is this unwritten rule that you are supposed to wait until after (American) Thanksgiving to embrace the Christmas season. Yes, Costco still puts out their Christmas items in September, but I'm talking about personally. I'm not saying that I want to put up my tree already (maybe in a couple weeks), but I need to start getting psyched!

I'm not the only one. Keith already asked me if we should start listening to our Christmas CDs. I said "not yet", but then qualified that maybe the Chieftans' Christmas CD would be okay. It's my favourite Christmas CD ever.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ahrrr, matey!

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum...

Pardon the lack of pants. We weren't quite done the costume when the first photo was taken. And yeah, the eye patch and headscarf are plaid. Maybe he's a Scottish pirate.

True to form, upon readiness to go trick-or-treating, capturing the moment on film ("capturing the moment digitally" doesn't have quite the same ring) is all but impossible.

Pumpkin Carving 101

1. Draw faces on your pumpkins:

2. Cut a hole on the top of the pumpkin. Get someone else to scoop out the goop so that you don't get your hands dirty.

3. Have your dad cut out the faces. Watch him carefully. Supervision is key. Be willing to adjust the original cutting plan, particularly when the pumpkin is more than twice as thick as the original eye diameter.

4. Be sure to polish off the finished products. Remove any traces of marker or pumpkin slime.