Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter wonderland

> Today we drove up to Whistler for some Cross Country skiing. Wifey has been trying to kick The Cold That Won't Quit and finally felt she could handle the trails. It hasn't been the best weather in Vancouver, admittedly, and so our eyes lit up when the skies cleared over highway 99 as we drove north.
> The trails were pristine, and the air cold enough to keep the snow crisp, without freezing us.
> This pic was taken looking north west from the Mountain View trail.
> Finally, a view worthy of a Christmas card this holiday season.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Making it right

Instant Bedroom installers showed up tonight after working a different install to correct the mistakes made yesterday:

- two missing cupboard doors: installed

- wiring conduit cut in the wrong place: partially resolved

- wallbed installation askew at top by 1/8 inch: adjusted
- filing cabinet too deep for the desktop: brand new deeper desktop cut, bullnosed, stained today and installed this evening

Buuuut, the desktop was stained the wrong shade. Doesn't match.

Aaaalmost there.

Sent from my phone. Please pardon typos.

Heavens to Murphy

> The install of our new murphy bed and built-in office for wifey is not yet complete due to some mistakes by Instant Bedrooms. However they are going to correct them shortly and the installers were very nice guys that worked very hard to get things right, so far, at least.


The wall bed is a vast improvement over the old futon, which was too low to the floor for some of our more aged guests to comfortably get out of, and was crammed up against the wall. This features the "autoleg" which drops automatically as the bed opens and raises the bed another 6-8" off the ground.

Table that

I designed this so that wifey would have storage and a large work surface. The drop table was a mandatory feature, and Instant Bedrooms were one of the few with a recessed version of the table, that doesn't look like it was just tacked on the underside of the bed.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dirty Pool

The tables at Pancho and Lefty's have seen some action.


When I sing into my microphone tonight, a spark is jumping across and my in-ear monitors give me a little shock.

Inside my head.

I'm not sure, but I don't think it's all that good for me.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

A placid Mississippi

Room to breathe with the high ceilings of Galvez restaurant overlooking the river.

St. Louis Cathedral, Place d'Armes New Orleans

Now known as Jackson Square. Stopped here on the way to a dinner of amazing Tapas overlooking the Mississippi.

Hasselhoff works it

Why would he do a meet and greet for realtors like this?

Friday, November 05, 2010

What I'd become, if I spent too much time on Bourbon Street


Doesn't matter how cold it is

Bourbon Street will always be full of frat boys waiting for girls to show their wares for beads

Oyster Bar off Royal in the French Quarter

Serve a great chicken and andouille sausage gumbo too

Thursday, November 04, 2010


92F here and gorgeous. Leaving frim the old school LAX terminal. Love it.

Off to NOLA in a few hours. Like old times - travelling business in the US again.

Big Easy

On my way to New Orleans via LA. From one LA to another.

It'a been a long time since I was there and I'm looking forward to seeing it post Katrina.

Always a fantastic city.

Little chance of getting to see any shows but have managed Sonny Rollins, Buddy Guy, Flock of Seagulls, Missing Persons, Modern English and the Beat on previous trips, not to mention three Mardis Gras celebrations so can't complain.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall colours in the courtyard


Sunday, October 24, 2010

The second oldest profession

Outside The Bourbon Country Cabaret in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, in the pouring rain off an alley in a crappy parking lot, a guy is actually selling car audio speakers out of the trunk of his car.

This entire market, supply chain and retail marketing still exists.

Its stunning but also a little comforting.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chocolate avalanche

Touring the Urban Fare chocolate display and enjoying a huge pile of Callebaut chunks.

All good

Slip sliding away.

Sweeny Todd

Ecstatic about his new coif.

Friday, October 22, 2010

On the train turntable at Roundhouse

On the way in from the airport.

Charlie riding in style.

Swings and roundabouts

Getting Charlie swingin on the way to our house ... Fight that jet lag.


Off to the airport to pick up my sister and nephew from the airport. Bringing the boy back on the Canada Line because he likes trains.

I have to admit that I'm pretty excited to see him. He can walk and talk now and is almost a human being. I have purchased a very belated birthday present for him and, dare I say it, am actually looking forward to playing with him.

I may finally be turning into an uncle. More surprisingly, I may be giving a small child more than a passing glance.

Check this space on Monday to see how quickly this warm feeling fades.

Insiders are giving it very short odds.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wendel's cookies on display

D&D by her large Wendel's cookies display at Urban Fare in downtown Vancouver.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Commuting home

It is really the simple things that remind you how fortunate you are.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Night sight

Always get a slight and somewhat childish pleasure out of being sober around large groups of drunken strangers. Wrapping up four nights of gigs in the suburbs at a bar and saw people in various stages of intestinal distress, overindulged duress and drunken arrest on my way from the suburban gig to home, downtown.

I've recently seen the all-too-real and grisly aftermath of youthful overestimation of one's own skills behind the wheel; and therefore I thank the constabularies of Pitt Meadows, Coquitlam, Burnaby and Vancouver for demonstrating their skills last night: dealing with our nation's weaknesses in the wee hours of the morning.

They are our city's social sanitation engineers:

Dealing with bad decisions smeared across our streets.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Ah, magnificent.

Brings a tear to my eye.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thank goodness

If you hadn't forked out the $100 for the personalized plates, I never would have known the model of car you were driving.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 2: Lake Chelan to Koocanusa

In the second morning of our road trip from Vancouver to Koocanusa Lake in Montana, we had breakfast at the B&B with the owners. They are selling up, so if you are looking for a large nicely renovated 1950's house, setup as a nicely done three suite B&B overlooking the river in Lake ChelN for under $600k US...

Under a clear blue morning sky, we drove down into the Columbia River valley and up the other side through a fast and twisty valley on McNeil Canyon Road and up onto a moonscape. In our quest to hookup with US 2 heading east, we had to head straight south on Washington State highway 172 through a visually stunning vista. Dry grasslands, flat and barren, punctuated by large lava rocks that had been dumped there like shrapnel from when Mount Baker exploded some millennia ago. We stopped and got out of the car and experienced total silence. Nothingness. Not even a breeze.

We got back in and completed the last bit of the highway, which jogs only slightly when the highway engineers came up against a piece of lava as large as a house, and decided they couldn't be bothered to blow it out of the way.

We finally arrived at #2 and turned left to head east.

The top was down, the road was empty, and the barren grasslands gave way to endless golden fields, billowing off to the horizon like quilts spun of golden silk.

We rolled along through Hartline, Coulee City, Almira and Wilbur. The coulee is something to behold: Cutting its way through the prairie like a rock walled scar. The highway dips suddenly and dives across its floor, stone walls towering above us.

Then pine forests, and suddenly we are in Spokane and sweltering in the traffic. Through the city after a slight detour (is it really necessary to have both a Business 90 and an Interstate 90? Sheesh) and out the other side after a junk food lunch, then its a straight line north to tan the left side of our face, and we are off to Sandpoint, then as suddenly as we entered Idaho, we are through it and in Montana.

Then we start the long way up the side of Koocanusa to the cabin.

What a drive.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tropic of Koocanusa


19 years and still pulling strong


Sunset over Koocanusa Lake


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 1: Lake Chelan continued

The B&B was nice and comfortable. We were met by the owner Dennis who showed us our room and gave us a tourist map of the wineries, and some rough directions to get to our desired destinations.

We left immediately as it was already close to fourvo'clock and many of the wineries closed at five or six. Our friends had given us some tips of the top recommended wineries surrounding the lake, and we had picked one already to have dinner at (one of the few with a full restaurant) - which coincidentally turned out to be one of the most highly recommeded and award-winning. So we drove down, across the bridge and through the little town - looking a lot like Penticton mist have looked 25 years ago - and out along the north side of the lake toward Manson. The sun wa baking down and the lake glittered invitingly in the late afternoon sun.

We turned up a side road and made our way to Benson vineyards - one of the top rated and recommended places. They grow all their own grapes, unlike many of the other vineyards who import from other vineyards in the Columbia valley nearby. We enjoyed a couple of great wines there and bought a few bottles. The view across the lake was spectacular. From there we drove into Manson and up to Hard Row to Hoe vineyards. Very small, and still establishing themselves. Their theme, name, decor and wine names are all somewhat sly references to a cross-lake row boat business that ferried randy miners to a lakefront bordello
sometime in the lake's history. The lady serving had the patter down and was quite nice, but had only limited knowledgr of the wines, grapes, and varieties. We did enjoy a couple of whites, and so bought a couple of bottles there too. The S2000's trunk was a little too small for us to pick up cases at each winery stop, so we made do with two or three from each place.

We then drove back to the B&B to unpack and change for dinner. Then we made our way (top-up to preserve the coiffure) to Tsillan winery on the south shore of the lake. Tsillanis pronounced She-lan. Hence the lake and town name.

We had a great dinner on the lawn overlooking the lake and valley. The service was terrible (save for our wine server (Calin/Caitlin/?) who was super knowledgeable and friendly) but the food was really really good, and we had tasters of several good wines while we watched the sunset. So we bought a few bottles and made our way back to the B&B.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Washington State stretches like a prairie


Bit Close Encounters, isn't it.


Into the coulee

Highway 2 heading east to Coulee City

Monday, August 09, 2010

Driving up above Diablo Lake


Top dropped outside Concrete WA


Sunday, August 08, 2010

Yes its the name of a vineyard

And yes it is written on the _rear_ of the promo panties.


The only way to wine-tour


Diablo Lake with Dam in the distance


Overlooking Diablo Lake, N. Cascades Highway, WA




Will it fit?


Day 1: pre departure fog and rain

We decided we would leave two days later than we had originally planned, as a friend had asked me to do a casual gig with him for his wife's 50th birthday the day after we were supposed to leave. Of course this meant that rather than leaving in lovely 29c heat and bright sunshine of Friday, we have awoken to a moist gray and misty Sunday morning: the hottest driest July in Vancouver's recorded history, and our first August vacation morning smothers us like a cold wet facecloth.

So likely it will be top up and heater on in the S2000, at least untl midday (if the Washington state forecast can be trusted).

Monday, August 02, 2010

4 generations

A lovely day with family by the sea.

66 years of marriage and going strong

On the deck at Terry and Joanne's in Ambleside.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Garter is thrown


Event kitchen in a liquor store

Yup, that's a full kitchen inside an Ontario liquor store for wine events.

BB sucks.

Wine tasting room in Ontario liquor store

BC: step up!

Jennifer and Vlad are married

Bottle of champers fortifies the groom.

Friday, July 23, 2010

O Canada

Parliament Buildings, Ottawa

Sunday, July 18, 2010

High tide sunset

Walking home on Friday night

Friday night date night

Ends with a warm sunset walk

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another rough commute

Total gridlock at 6:45am.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Happy Mad Sad

Early Roxy appointment when the sun wouldn't shine. So many stagettes. So much drama.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Don't have to go far from home

To enjoy the good life.