Saturday, September 23, 2006

I'm going on Vacation!!

Yes, I'm off for a looonnnggg break starting monday. Doing Edmonton, Jasper then back via my old haunt Lake Louise and Banff to Calgary. Might be throwing in Vancouver as well if I can my scheduled confirmed for next month.
Mom and Bro is in town so am doing the grand tour with them.
Nice to get away for awhile. The fizz of a new job has worn off and its getting be rather drudgy.
*plugs in re-charger*

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Art Nouveau.....?

So I've finally had two days off, after working for 7 straight days. Whew.

The weather has been horrible, the previous weekend, summer was still here, daytime highs of 25C, nice, sit outside, drink tea and eat scones weather.

Then...a week ago. A huge low pressure system moved in, how big? It covered half of Canada. The result? Temperatures plunged, desperate moves to bring out the jackets and wintery gear. There was one day, it snowed (yes snow in summer!) west and north of calgary, whilst it rained non-stop here for 4 days. Another day, it was -1 overnight. Nuts. Thank god I got trained in cold weather at Lake Louise.

But life goes on, but sigh, it will officially be Fall this saturday. Boy did it arrive with a bang. Drat summer is over.

But nuts with it, because it was so miserable hanging out in the cold and colder still with windchill, I caught 2 movies yesterday and today.

Both stylo milo, arty farty type ones.

Part 1:
Crank, dang if this wasn't a moving MTV action bang. And I really mean MTV. Jason Statham still looks pretty good, except his cockney accent is showing through now.

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Part 2:
Miami Vice. Also arty farty. Colin Farrell was surprisingly good. He was actually better than Jamie Fox. A more violent, more intricate plot a much more cooler version of the TV series....except....where the heck was the Ferrari Testarossa? They used a Ferrari 420 Spyder for pete's sake. That's like driving a Honda Jazz when you can have a Accord. Why not the Enzo? Ok, enough steam off my chest. But overall the movie was entertaining (I was surprised) albeit rather bloody.

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Gong Li, the main female charactor also raised my blood pressure a bit (just a wee bit, ok ok a lot) with her sultry looks and steamy love scenes. Every bit the come seduce me, sophisticated bad girl, but she had a funny charactor twitch, blame the director. But still MMMMMmmmmmmMMmmm.

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But the best bit is yet to come. Yet another war movie opening this weekend! But this time about those intrepid men in their flying machines. Yummy! And that hunk James Franco, and its got my nick on the title too. Nice!

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And (I'm not done yet) Casino Royale 007 has a new! Damn shame about the Aston, why can't he keep things in one piece?

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Monday, September 18, 2006

A car and a reminder.

So yesterday sunday I worked at another place and was a somewhat ho hum day. But to my disgust, when I reached home, I discovered I had brought the keys to the pavilion back home with me instead of leaving it there. Photobucket - Video and Image HostingDamn, since I no longer had a car, I got to detour and next morning have to go back there first thing in the morning to drop it off and then head back to my usual work place. It means having to leave an hour earlier or else I will won't get back to work on time. So this morning, trudgingly, I went out and hour earlier, braving the hordes of people on the train and walked to the supermart where the pavilion is located. I took some short cuts, usually through the various carparks Then at one carpark, in front of me, out pulled an Aston Martin Volante DB9, damn, I'm already feeling miserable enough having to do this detour so early in the morning and now I get to see this dude enjoying his car. Shit.

As I passed, I glanced at the back of the car to see what model it was (as always, I'm a car nut), but what caught my eye was his licence plate. It said GOALS.

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This got me thinking (shit, thats how he got the Aston), yesterday because I was so damn bored, I decided to set myself some goals (and die, tell my boss about it). Today at work, I exceeded those goals. For the first 6 hours today, I was bored to death again, no customers, or rather a lack thereof. The things started to look up as I was so bored I casually asked a customer who was opening an account if he had a mortgage and he suddenly remembered he had to renew his mortgage in 2 months time. Then after that all hell broke loose and I did half of my week's target in 1.5 hours with the next couple of customers. I had basically written off the day earlier and now I was working my ass off.

After the dust settled, I reflected on the day. Something I learned in a leadership program not so long ago, popped into my mind and I guess it's been percolating in my brain ever since. Always play at 100%, ain't no halfway house, it ain't over till it's over. You can't be half pregnant. You either are or you are not.

Because I had set goals the day before, I had played today (unconciously) like there was no tomorrow. Despite how hopeless things seemed at first.

Nobody ever remembers what you did, but everyone remembers what was the outcome. Did you win or lose? Did you get the girl or not? Results, is what matters at the end, the process may be the most wonderful or horrific but the results define you.

This was a timely reminder. So my detour had a purpose after all. I had a guardian angel looking out for me.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I'm fully tucked in behind the tiny windshield. The roar of the powerful engine howling as another crest rose up before me. I fly over the crest, the front wheel lifting before settling down, ever so briefly I become weightless. A sweeping right curve follows the crest and a series of S shaped corners appears. I can hear the wind rushing by through the helmet. I'm in heaven.Shifting my body weight to meet each upcoming corner. I'm part of the bike. I feel I'm connected to it rather than on it. I'm caressing it through the long sweeping turns.

Pushing hard, counter steering when the corner tigthens. I feather the throttle in the middle of the turn, balancing the bike on the throttle. Roll on, roll off in millimetric movements. I lean the bike as far as I can, my knee is brushing the pavement. I can feel the side of my boots coming in contact with the ground, the sanding, bump, bump, I feel. Past the apex, I straighten up the bike, roll on the throttle, my left foot flicking up through the gears, I'm not even shifting the clutch, I feel the surging power propel the bike forward. The numbers on the speedometer flashes through the dial.

Faster than you can blink, I'm up to 160kmh. The next corner is coming up, I place the bike on the best line for the corner. My estimated braking point is here, two fingers on the lever, right toe modulating the rear brakes, I'm braking hard, dropping down the gears to 2nd, declutch, flick the gear lever, blipping through the down changes. It is a tight left hander. Instinctively, I've already started to lean the bike over, my fingers are still on the brakes and easing off. I can feel myself shifting my weight to countersteer the bike even more. My whole body is working as one.It feels so surreal.

The bike and I have merged. It's become me and I it. My hands and feet are all busy tap dancing with the controls. I'm fully focused on making out the cornering line. My hands and feet are on automatic, matching my thoughts on where to place the bike with precision. I aim for a spot 3 inches off the centreline for my apex of the corner. I hit it dead on, fully leaned over. Mid corner I glance at the mirror, I see the road's reflection. All I see is the road rushing pass in the mirror inches away. It's hypnotizing. Life's reflection, it rushes on by.

I'm straigthening up the bike. There is a long straight in front, I open up the throttle. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I'm fully aware there is 130HP under me that my wrist is controlling. The big engine grunts. I rocket up the straight, I glance at the tachometer, I hit 13,000 rpm, I shift up, again and again soon I'm in top gear. In the brieftest of moments I'm at 250kph. It's astoundingly fast. The engine is screaming away at 10,000 rpm. I ease off the throttle, soon I'm back down to 100kph. It feels like I'm trundling along now. I have a big grin on my face. Back to checking out the scenery.

I'm feeling alive.

I miss motorcycling.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ducks and Churches

So on my last off day which was monday, I had . . . ahem . . . Siew Arp and Char Siew Lo Mein for lunch.

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Then I walked around a bit, to let the food settle and spotted these off 17th Avenue SW. A former church building now housing the Alberta Ballet.

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And St Mary's Catholic Church.

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I kinda like old architecture like these, lots of charactor.

Monday, September 11, 2006

funnies and dressers

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Last night, I popped into the neighbourhood cinema and finally caught this movie. It was a bit slow going at first, but then it picked and it was a blast at the end.

Hammy the squirrel (yes I know, not another one) was the movie scene stealer and his "mission" at the end bit was really priceless! Those energy drinks can be something!

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Earlier in the day I had picked up this book. I haven't read Bond in a long time. I actually have a collectors edition of all the Ian Fleming books. The estate had gotten John Gardner to reinvigorate the series with Licence Renewed and pick up where Ian Fleming left off, bring him into the 80's (when the book was written) and the essence is all there. He drives a really cool SAAB btw, all real stuff.

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While shopping, naturally this magazine cover also then caught my eye. Daniel Craig's been called the best dressed man of 2006, given the thumbs up with the new Casino Royale trailers running and they've actually described him as the new Steve McQueen, which I think its a very apt description. He IS very much like McQueen all hard nosed and craggy. Those eyes are also very similar, very blue and piercing.

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But the best bit is I've discovered the for him version of Cosmopolitan. Unlike hot hot hot Singapore, I actually get to play dress up here with 4 seasons, am searching for my trenchcoat now LOL

And after a hot day strolling around, nothing nicer than a chocolate/raspberry sundae...

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Another Off Day

So today Sunday is my Saturday. Downtown Calgary is pretty amazing during lunch time on a weekday. People leave their offices, go for walks at Prince Edward Island or just sit an admire the local fauna.

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But today I had a huge lunch at a Jap Restaurant, yummy...
But I gotta admit, been eating out a lot and cooking very little, trying all the different makan places around here...

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The ducks are cute.

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Galactic Wanderings

Part 2

So after I walked around most of Kensington, I headed to 8th Avenue downtown aka Stephen Avenue.

This area of downtown is kinda unique. An eclectic mix of old and new, side walk cafes, shops, offices. You can walk from from one end of the downtown office / shopping buildings to the other end, all entirely INDOORS if you wanted, but best on the street. All the buildings are connected to one another via walkways, bridges, overheads. Kinda useful in winter when its -40C. That outdoor pond is a ice skating rink in winter.

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Including an indoor garden along the way.......on the 6th floor
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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Celebrity Duets

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Watching TV tonight, I happened upon this new American Idol wannabe except for one big difference, it's a all celebrity performance...waaahhhhhh

Smokey Robinson
Gladys Knight
James Ingram
Peter Frampton
Randy Travis
Lee Ann Womack....and so on

so many celebs dueting with a bunch of actors, comedians and one world wrestling entertainment champion..

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It was all rather entralling until this lady made her appearance. I couldnt recognise her!
I still have have memories of her kicking Hercules' ass as Xena the Warrior Princess but OMG what a makeover... what poise, what glamour, she so reminds me of the Marilyn Monroe era..

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Lucy Lawless

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

number 200


Wahhhh how postings fly. This is my 200th post.

Coincidently yesterday was a public holiday here in Canada, aka Labour Day. Yes, I'm getting to know the names now Mama Bok :P So I went traipsing all over town.

Part 1:
The famous Kensington chill out area, nice rustic watering holes with little boutique shops. had a good cuppa coffee at The Higher Ground.

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But what made my day was this little fella, he's a Jackrabbit. They can be seen all over Calgary. They're more like Hares. Unlike rabbits who scamper, these guys actually do hop and bounce all over the place. And they are big, can give cats a fright.
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Taking the bus can be interesting....

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Of furries, kamikazes and train stations

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That black squirrel is the chief resident of the park across my place, there is a pair of them. The other ground squirrel is the resident kamikaze at the golf driving range. Naturally it has a charmed life and not a single golf ball goes near it.

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Been taking the local public trains and buses. Like the trains, hate the buses cos the intervals between them are sooo long, I think I finish reading a magazine meanwhile. Takes me 1.5 hrs to get to work by public transport, but 10 mins by car..... now you know why I looking to get a car.

The train stations are kinda cool though, you can walk across the tracks to get to the other side of the platform. I wish they sold Honda Cubs here . . .

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