Saturday, December 31, 2011

Venus shines over last sunset of 2011

Rather spectacular View from our friend's condo at Big White Ski resort.

According to the star chart, Uranus is just out of view in the upper left,


...please keep it that way,

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Spectacular views

From the "Tile Field" trail in Big White, Kelowna.

Cross country skiing at Big White

A fantastic winter wonderland. Empty trails. Bright sun. Blue sky.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I am so glad I am not high right now...


Babe in Toyland


Doesn't it seem...

That the Christmas season has just FLOWN by this year....


Van Dusen gardens Christmas lights display with Terry and Joanne.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wifey dressed for the wedding

Don't ask.

Dressed to kil(t)

Good boys.

Birthday card from the ever-relevant JanetK


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Getting Cold Feet

Sandy doesn't like to put on her socks but she sure likes them once she's out in the snow.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Fall again

Lovely days

Saturday, October 08, 2011


Nothing that twenty five years of steak and vodka can't successfully obscure.

Sunday, October 02, 2011


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Game is rated Aaaaaaaarr!

Monkey Island RETURNS!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

For the love of boobs!

Everyone knows I'm a boob man.

This coming Sunday, I'm running in the 5km CIBC Run for the Cure to benefit Breast Cancer Research.

I'm trying to raise a little money. I only need a little bit. Some of my friends have kicked it off already (Thanks DIANE!, ROBBY!, PAUL!).

I'm running for my 2nd Mum: Marguerite Simpson, for our family friend Barbara Sherrington, and most recently for Cindi Armstrong who passed away just a few weeks ago in Canmore. All of them were taken before their time.

I'm also running for our friend Colleen F who is a survivor!

Donate to me with your credit card, just a few bucks is all I need. It all goes to the right place and Colleen provides cheerful evidence that sometimes you can win the battle.

Love to all

Saturday, September 24, 2011

St. Bernie

Getting some pooch time with Bernie the St. Bernard on Galiano.


And then some: Johnny's footlong in Vegas.

Safe distance

... Between wifey's fish and my ribeye.

Sorry that Mum is missing this. Next time...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Wished my pop (and Ma) happy birthday(s), rebooked Air Canada flights, worked a 12 hour day, helped wifey unpack and store a giant load of shopping from Costco, removed and repaired a glass shower door, unloaded my drum hardware from our SUV, did two loads of laundry, ironed shirts and pillowcases, took the garbage and recycling out, removed our closet door then the washer dryer and repaired a dryer vent (and put it back again), remade the bed, repaired a garment bag and watched a movie.

Back to it today.

Sent from my iPhone. Please pardon typos.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Only because...

Levor climbed a tree and nailed it fifty feet up in the sky.

HiDef antenna a la Ghetto

This is the sorry assed HD antenna that I made from instructions that
I found on the internet. Our friends Sarah and Levor on Galiano Island
are able to get 12 HD channels where otherwise they would get only

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back in the jug agane

Not since 1984 have these two rubes sat in a classroom together.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Drug Runner

Chico makes a drop off the Miami coast.

Cathy tried wakeboarding

Everyone looks so happy

Say Uncle

Hours and hours of hauling kids around in a boat is actually more fun
than I thought it would be. I must have an Uncle gene in me

Monday, August 08, 2011



Good things


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Yes please

...and a glass of the Duet would be nice.

Think I could put down roots here

.... And a nice big lawn to mow too.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

From my point of view.


Vacation: going well so far

You should see the other guy.


Lunch above Osoyoos

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Getting Shirty

I'm hard to get along with.

Especially if you're a dress shirt.

I have a pair of orangutan arms, narrow hips and other strangely shaped bits, all of which ensure that off-the-rack shirts rarely fit me in a flattering way. Most men's shirts are made for someone with shorter arms, or a thicker middle, and end up blousy and plain on my odd-sized frame.

Last century, I decided that I would not settle for crappy shirts any more, and struck out to find brands that would fit well, last long and look good. Having discovered few at any price that worked, I promised myself that I would have some shirts made for me by the world's best shirt makers. Someday. I searched through guides and learned a lot about what it took to make shirts that would fit you.

I also had some very specific needs: My forearms are freakishly long in comparison with my upper arms. My body is long and pants sit low on my hips. I need a shirt with a long bore and long tails to stay tucked in when I sit. I'm no waifish stringbean, but I have a narrow body, and despite having a little pot belly, anything other than a tapered bore ends up gathering like a fallen sail at my waist. I don't like placket buttons ... too fiddly and annoying in the bleary morning ... and so the placket opening has to be short, so that it doesn't gape at the wrist. But the French cuff that I prefer must be ironed flat, and therefore the placket has to be just the right length for the opened cuff to lie flat under the iron. I like a taller collar, and due to an adulthood of excess, collars need to fit loosely around my burgeoning neckline. I don't like pockets. l don't like gathered and bunched sleeves. On and on and on and on.

In short, I figured out what I liked and, although it felt vain at times, I knew what I wanted, and I searched hard for it.

Eventually, in 2001 I found myself at the doorstep of Ascot Chang in New York city, a remote outpost of Chang's Hong Kong mecca for lovers of fine shirts and suits. Having saved up for some time, I had the requisite cash needed to order the mandatory minimum of four shirts. It was a hefty bundle of US bills, in four figures, and considering that the exchange rate at the time was something like $0.85 US to each Canadian buck, I was prepared to hand it over with more than a little anxiety.

They took more than thirty five measurements from me, and sat for over an hour listening quietly as I delivered my sad litany of complaints regarding traditional shirts. They treated me like a King. Then they quietly and politely took my money and sent me on my way.

A few weeks later, my shirts arrived from Hong Kong. They were perfect in every way ... two white and two blue. They fit me like a glove. They looked great jacket-on or jacket-off. They were lovely. I loved them. They loved me. People mentioned them.

And all was good.

But as they are wont to do, these shirts eventually wore out and became irreparably damaged over many years of laundering and ironing, and, well. ... from life.

Sadly, this year, I finally had to throw out the last of those shirts. In the mean time, I had sought a slightly more cost-effective and local vendor. Having found one, I had more shirts made, but still, the costs were high. A few hundred dollars for a custom-made shirt sounds like a bargain on some days, and an extravagance on others.

Over the past couple of years I've found a few pret-a-porter shirts, now and again, that fit well. Surprisingly Mexx produces a slim-fit line that comes close, and Ted Baker periodically turns out a shirt that fits me, but none are exactly what I want, and Baker's line leans toward the $300-mark. For a shirt that isn't bang on, I rationalized for myself, what's the point? And these shirts aren't made with the kind of quality that can withstand years of wear, laundering, and life. Seams fray, fabric shrinks inconsistently, button holes are poorly made, buttons are cheap. And the fit is never, well, good enough.

Well, recently, I stumbled across a local gem of a men's bespoke tailor and shirtmaker, here in Vancouver. Today I picked up two shirts that Steve had made for me, precisely to my dimensions. And to my shock and disbelief, both shirts together cost over $100 less than a single Ascot Chang creation. To my critical eye, the construction and needle work are consistent with shirts made for me in the past that have cost three times the price. If you've had the pleasure before, then you'll know what it's like to pick the sleeve bore, to specify the length of the placket in millimetres, to pick the specific location of your French cuff button holes (always have two put in, so that you can adjust the length of your sleeve to match different jackets), to pick the height of the collar and length and angle of the point, to add 2 1/2 inches in length over all, so that it stays tucked in neatly, to choose the perfect fabric... Heck, it's nice to spoil yourself now and again, guys. But to get all that for just over $100 per shirt, is a staggering deal. You can barely walk out of Banana Republic or any other middle-America-milquetoast-McClothing shop with a shirt for less.

I'm gobsmacked.

And, as you've guessed it, quite picky too.

But being picky in life means that, more often than not, you get what you want. And, surprisingly enough, being picky helps you discover that you're not the only one who wants to make things better.

If you're ever in Vancouver, gents, go meet Steve at Samson's, who is a quiet and understated guy with a keen eye and a busy shop. He's hidden away in the main floor of a gray condo tower on Seymour just across from Shopper's, in the 1200 block.

Suits are his bread and butter, so shirts are always a lower priority for him. Give yourself a few weeks to wait for the product.

I'm going to live with these for a few months and make sure they hold up, and then I'm going back with a vengeance. We're going to work some dress shirts up with some custom collar- and cuff- treatments, adding some patterns and embroidery, as well as put some casual shirts together for me.

Trust me, it will be worth your time.

Saturday, June 18, 2011



Church and State Winery

Oliver, BC



I don't want to drive ANY more


A Hazy Day in Oliver

Staying at Tinhorn Creek winery, visiting other wineries and hanging out with friends this weekend. Weather cool and non cooperative. We are used to it being an oven down here.

The accommodations at Tinhorn have a spectacular view though.

Unfortunately the local orchards seem to be firing off noisemakers, perhaps to scare birds? Started at 5:30 am and there are about four to six popgun blasts a minute that disrupted our sleep.

Friday, May 27, 2011



A decent commute home.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

This can only mean one thing

I am with my Mother and Father and therefore Vij's is on the menu.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Veggie Patch After

No that's not a mohawk. Those are spring onions.

Veggie Patch Before


Monday, May 23, 2011

Hotato Patch After

After a good Hototilling

Canadian Summer BBQ Season is here


Potato Patch Before

In need of a weeding and rototilling.


Working in my ersatz office, my office away from the office: parent's library in Alberta.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Under Ha Ling peak

Greg, Johnny and Don overlooking Canmore Nordic Centre.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Status update = Beach, Gulf Island, Dogs


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pre reception sparkling

Looking a little socialite at the Westin Ottawa

Saturday, April 23, 2011

2nd to the buffet


A fine Ottawa wedding

Always nice to be at a wedding with an RCMP colour guard.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ottawa bound

Headed to cold Ottawa for a cousin's wedding, just as Vancouver starts to finally hit its Spring weather.

Sent from my iPhone. Please pardon typos.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Crazy Dyke Bitches

Daisy and Sandy have a seriously unhealthy relationship.

(Frozen Elbow River with Jeff, March 2011)