Thursday, November 15, 2007

Give us any chance; we'll take it...

It's a good thing I quit Murchie's when I did - and not just because the company's folding. September marks the beginning of the slow season for breweries, and if they're going to hire, that's when they'll do it. And did they ever. As of Oct 29th my new title is 'Brewing Technician' at the Vancouver Island Brewery. So far it's been mostly work on the bottling line (see photo--that's me on the right), but I've been told by our brewmaster that my training starts next week. Hopefully this means less bottling. Not that the work is all that bad, just that it's a bit mind-numbing. The pay's great, plus I get 80% medical/dental coverage, profit-sharing, and two dozen beers with each paycheque.

The only downside is that I can't make it home for Christmas this year. Any other year shouldn't be an issue, but this year the extra-slow pace that the brewery usually experiences over the holliday season is very valuable for training. Oh well, there'll be other years. This year it's just me and the pooch.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Road Trip

Yeah, yeah, I know it's been too long since I've added anything here, but there really hasn't been much to write about until today.

Susan and I rented a car, and took a road trip to Nanaimo yesterday. We've just found out that no airline will fly dogs during December, and Barkley's way too anxious to be kept in a regular kennel's jail-like accommodations. The only alternative we could find--called Camp Happy Dogs--is in Nanaimo. Although the city isn't anything impressive, and despite the weather, the drive was gorgeous.

It had been a while since I'd travelled a highway that made my ears pop -- but unlike Mexico, the Trans Canada has guardrails.

A popular BC family restaurant chain; this one with a view.

Nanaimo's glorious airport

More highway photos to come...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Pooch

So, if a Labrador/Poodle cross is called a Labradoodle, and a Schnauzer/Poodle cross is a Schnoodle, what do you call a Bouvier/Poodle cross?

A Poovier?

A Boodle?

A Boovie-Poo?

We just call her Barkley.

In other news: We've discovered Chinatown, with all its historical beauty and discount produce.

Apparently, it's one of the oldest and most in-tact Chinatowns in Canada; established after thousands of Chinese were "imported" to finish our cross-country railway for us.

Here are some photos...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Settling In

Things are starting to feel normal, now. The excitement of finding your way around an unfamiliar city is fading, which is ok with me -- I was getting a bit tired of always being late after getting lost. One thing I have yet to find: A decent pub. I know it's out there, but so far all I've found are cheesy mock-British/Scottish/Irish pubs full of people twice my age, and loud night clubs.

The other important thing I need to find is a good, cheap bike. Although the bus here is way better than in London, overall it still sucks. Victoria seems to be extra bike-friendly (tons of bike lanes and bike paths, and hardly any potholes), so I can't wait to try it out.For now, here are some photos of our place.

The main room

... from the other side


It's not a home without houseplants

The landlords are avid gardeners

Yes, that's an apple tree

Even the dog has settled in


Hello, all! I've started this blog mostly as a place to store my photos (as my hard drive is not a spacious one). Life for me, right now, isn't exactly filled with gripping drama -- so this will be mostly photos.

Oak Bay, a suburb on the east side of Victoria, is known for it's beautiful houses, expensive cars, beach-front properties, and elderly population. Victoria's often called 'home of the newly-wed and the nearly-dead'. Well, here in Oak Bay, it's mostly the 'nearly-dead'. Aside from the occasional quadruple-murder-suicide, it's a very quiet place. We're lucky to live just around the corner from beautiful Willow's Beach, and many other coastal sights.

Willows Beach -- Just around the corner

Willows Beach -- from the other side

Mt. Baker on the horizon

A misty morning on Oak Bay

Cattle Point -- a short walk up the beach

Oak Bay Marina