September 5, 2017

Whirlwind House Guest en route to Oz

 My dad was passing through town on his way to Australia and stayed with us for a little over 24 hours. Luckily I had booked the day off once Kathryn suggested we have a bit more time together, so I was able to capitalize on the entire time for a visit.
 I wanted to have a hike somewhere that would be new for him, so we trekked up to North Vancouver and hiked a series of trails from the reservoir at Capilano Lake downstream through the canyon and ultimately to the salmon hatchery shown below. There were lots of Coho running and they looked to be in very good shape, so it was nice to see healthy fish returning to where they began to start the next generations. The grounds are quite informative as well and you can see into the huge tanks where they rear thousands of fry to the size where they are more likely to survive in the wild.
 We were also fortunate to have a nice close look at this little squirrel munching on some food quite fearlessly at the side of the trail. I would have taken a picture and assumed it was a red squirrel without a second thought, but dad mentioned that it might be a Douglas squirrel which is a more rare species on the west coast, and with a little internet searching low and behold it was. So a new mammal species for me to round out our walk and brief visit! :)

August 25, 2017

FINAL final

 In preparation of the last test I would write at BCIT, I took a wander around the campus and wished a fond farewell to many places that have been at the center of my day-to-day for a very long time indeed. I was delighted to find that the theatre in SW5 was opened into the same single room that I had mentioned in my valedictorian speech and I had to grab a quick victory selfie in the same spot where the whole process began so long (yet not very long) ago.
 I spent a lot of time chatting with and learning from my various instructors over the years, so it was very pleasing to go up to their floor and find every door closed and everyone away. With a new term starting in a few days, they'll need all the rest they can before starting another year over and it felt very proper that there was nobody left to tell me anything else before finishing my last test. To all the fine faculty and instructors on campus, thank you so very much for your time and attention while I frantically turned my career around :)
 I kept this pencil on my desk for my last few finals as well. It's writing days are done, but I felt it was very important to remind myself what this whole process had REALLY been about now that I was hours away from completing my degree.
Now I just have to wait for the final marks to be posted before getting ready for another 2 years in my designation.

August 18, 2017

BCIT: Home Stretch

 It's been a couple of years since I shared any photographs of the BCIT Campus, despite having been there either 2 evenings or 5 days a week for the last four years. Now that I'm in the home stretch of final exams in my last term, I thought I'd share a few pictures of some of the places I've spent so very much time. Starting off with the entry plaza of the main admin building. I've had a number of classes and study nooks in this building and it has a more interesting architecture than most so it worth a look.
 The library was my haven for many hours just before exams. With 2 sets of silent study rooms, there's always been a good place to hunker down and refresh your brain of the course fundamentals. And when that part of your brain is full, the magazine racks were fantastic for getting informed and entertained on a wide range of topics.
 When the weather would permit, this was my favorite spot of all. Tucked away behind the gym and off the radar of 99% of people, this little covered study area was a great way to absorb some concepts AND relax outside. Guichon creek runs right behind it and in the spring and summer it was the perfect place to watch baby ducks, herons, or (at least this term) a muskrat in its comings and goings.

August 12, 2017

Overseas Visitor

 My cousin Simone and I have always gotten along and go way back. Unfortunately, being grownups in different continents, its hard to find time to visit as often as we'd like. In the early days of working in film I would have a lot of banked holiday time and go to Europe every year or two, but trying to fit all your family visits into 2 weeks a year gets a little trickier.
 Luckily, she was in town visiting our mutual friend Riley and we were able to find an evening that lined up in everyone's schedule to have a meal, a few drinks, and a chat. My how we've all grown :P
 Kathryn and I haven't been over to England since we got engaged, but we're hoping to make a visit next spring. With any luck we can have a bit more time to check in and chat in the near future.

August 5, 2017

Deep Cove Team Building

 The Bardel finance team typically has an outdoor social event each summer as chance to have a chat and get out of the office. This summer we did a pleasant hike in Deep Cove through the forest and out to a lookout. The trail is well marked and easy to follow, but has a few steep points that are tricky if you're not wearing good shoes or are a little uncertain of your footing.
 We ended up split into a few groups of different speeds of people, but all reconvened at the far side to enjoy the lookout and have a quick group photo. For those outside Bardel, from left to right: Richard, Dan, Michelle, Sherna, Sandra, Erin and myself.
 The interior of BC has been having a tough year for forest fires and we've been under a cloud of smoke for a few weeks now, so the view the end of the trail was a little yellowed and hazy, but still a lovely spot nonetheless. Luckily the smoke is not so bad that it makes outdoor exertion unpleasant in any way but it does limit the aesthetic for landscape photography.

July 29, 2017

Hiking Eagle Bluff

 My friend Laszlo was in town for a few weeks for work and I managed to monopolize a fair portion of his free time to visit, watch fireworks, and have a drink or two. Amongst that, we also managed to get well out of the downtown core and go hiking on Cypress Mountain out to a point called "Eagle Bluff." The hike was around 4 hours and the worst part was a bit of steep scrabbly gravel right at the beginning, after which it was a very pleasant hike through the forest.
 I shot some panoramas at the top, but they are all so wide (since the lookout had a pretty amazing 270-degree view or so) that I don't think they'd work too well in the narrow confines of this blog. Instead, I have included a "you can see my house from up here" photo of the west end and Stanley Park as seen from the peak.
 There were several nice points to get a bit above the trees and have a nice view, and this peak into Howe Sound was a pretty striking spot as well. There were lots of nice small lakes up there as well, along with very bold grey jays and chipmunks that will literally eat out of your hand given the chance. All in all a fantastic hike I would certainly recommend to everyone, although it is a bit steep in places and should be considered an intermediate challenge for those in doubt.

July 1, 2017

Happy Canada Day!!

 We have a longstanding pattern of enjoying Canada Day together very much, and were both quite pleased to have enough of the day off to enjoy out and about together. We started off on Granville Island, since I'd never spent Canada Day there and wanted to see what it was like. Near the shipyards they had some chalk out for people to decorate a maple leaf, so we got our picture taken doing just that.
 Granville Island was a pretty fun place to spend a few hours. We had some nice Indian food, listened to a little music here and there (though most everyone seemed to be perpetually doing sound checks) and ran into some fun entertainers like the two shown below. Costumes on stilts seems to either be a big thing in Vancouver, or just has become a big thing since we moved here, but its a very neat way of making visible and fantastical costumes.
 Afterwards, we went downtown to the Olympic Cauldron and a  few other spots, but it was SOOO crowded down there that we beat a pretty hasty retreat out of the area, and opted for a walk along the seawall. There was a VERY large Canada flag on display in Stanley Park and we spent a little time sitting in the shade and watching a cricket match as I hazily tried to remember what I ever knew of the rules.
Met up with some very nice friends in the evening to watch the fireworks from the Vancouver Rowing Club and have a great chat. All in all an excellent time and a proud day for our country on its 150th (though obviously as an archaeologist, Kathryn considers it closer to Canada's 10,150th)