Monday, July 30, 2007

Long Drive and Good Riddance

Saturday I capped off a week in the maritimes with a golf long drive contest in Halifax. There were 3 competitions throughout the day. I competed in the morning session. The day was so hot that when I took my clubs out of the car the epoxy holding them together had liquified. This was revealed to me when after my second swing of 6 balls my clubhead ended up about 150 yards downfield. Luckily I still had 1 more driver. The clubhead was half off of that and I knew I only had a few more swings left with it.

On my 4th ball I knocked the sun tan off the ball. It went 348 yards in the air. I say in the air because I went out to check out the landing area and noticed it was all thick moss. I was told that every ball hit that day landed, bounced about 1 foot up in the air and stopped dead.

It was enough to secure me 2nd place and a spot in the district finals held in Montreal in September. ( has not yet been updated so the link is to an unofficial longdrive site)

Yesterday (Sunday) we went out to the lake for a picnic. I'm glad that Derek and Rachelle could come with us (I'm glad the Lee Wens were there too) because it is the last time we will see them. D and I have been pretty close friends here in Ottawa for the last 6 or so years. We seem to have a lot of the same interests and a similar appetite. I consider anyone who can eat well to be my friend. It's sad to see them go, but it happens. They will be missed by many. They have contributed a lot to our ward and we are grateful.

I know it will be an adventure for them next week driving accross Canada in that truck of theirs but it may get gruelling at times. Don't drive on top of Lake Superior from Sault Ste Marie to Wawa to Thunder Bay at night. You are guaranteed to hit a moose. I guarantee you'll see one at any point in the day. Maybe a bear too. But even the truckers spend the night in the Sault. If you do, bring a sharp knife to at least salvage the meat. Oh and a camera to properly blog about it.

Incidentally, yesterday at the lake Anders was wading out in the water and got in over his head. It was a scary moment. I'm so glad he made a noise and I heard him. When I was explaining to Konrad how serious it was and that we almost had to say good bye to him for the rest of our life he replied "No, its not so bad daddy, we can just name another one Anders" I guess I went a little too deep for him. I can't believe he is that insensitive.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I am not the Saint John Idol

Tonight I ate at my favorite pub in Saint John New Brunswick. Churchills pub. Seaford chowder and Jumbalaya. The best I've ever had. Then I strolled down to the harbour and heard a commotion. It was Saint John Idol. There were a lot of contestants, some good singing, alot of sappy songs and some general admission judges giving me their opinions on the performances. It was great. One 60 year old man told me a girls voice was so horrible she should have been cut off mid song. He thinks the judge went too easy on her. Anyway, I thought the contestants all did well. Perhaps because I imagined myself up there making a fool of myself I was better able to appreciate the performances of the others.

I'll let that seguay into my response to a tag Jessica got me with. I may not be a fit Saint John idol but here is what I am:

Places I worked...
1. A computer programmer for onlinetel ( irony: I dont know a thing about prog.)
2. Assistant manager- Pure Page (GTA paging provider)
3. Mystery shopper
4. Department of National defense

Movies I can watch over and over...
1. the prestige
2. foreign films (tsotsi, beijing bycicle, the mission, kolya, Chocolat etc.)
3. Recycled School Sagas
4. I don't like it so much but its trippin to watch groundhog day over and over.

Places I've lived...
1. Birth place of Alex Trebek
2. Home of A. Graham Bell and James Hillier(inventors of phone and elect. microscope)
3. The only walled North American city north of Mexico
4. Birthplace of Jacques Cartier

Favourite TV shows...
1. No Contest - Magnum P.I.
2. Beauty and the Geek
3. Big Break
4. Sportsdesk (the 30 seconds they devote to non hockey sports)

Places I've been...
1. San Blas
2. Moret
3. Swastika
4. Neuschwanstein

Favourite foods...
1. Grec sandwich (from france)
2. Melona
3. Free stuff and buffet items
4. Roti

Majors I'm considering...
1. Chemical engineering
2. Political Science
3. International business
4. Aboriginal studies and languages

Places Id rather be...

1. Katmandu
2. Bhutan (can you tell I have an affinity to the Himilayas?
3. Indian wells
4. Cape town

People Id like to tag...

1. Dana Carvey
2. Elvis (if you are reading this)
3. One of the 3 nephites
4. Paul Bunyon and his Blue Ox

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hey boys lets ride!

I know I missed my Sunday update but I have good reason and thats all I will say about it. Here is a tardy update.

number 2 (Anders) wants so bad to be like number 1. When we go on walks through the neighbourood he refuses a free ride in the stroller so he can try and keep up with Konrad on his bike. The problem?...Konrads bike is much faster than the trike. Oh, that and Anders can't really pedal. Here is what I am talking about.

This week Konrad was showing me how he can ride his bike without his training wheels touching the ground. I thought it was neat and praised him for it without even seeing the opportunity. Jenn caught it though and took the training wheels off. He's riding like a champ now. Good luck catching up to him now Anders.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

What Boys Do in Summer

My friend Derek and I helped run a young mens youth program for a few years. Last March he blogged what I feel was a good breakdown of a boys winter camp, the whys and nuances of boys camping in winter.

Derek mentioned that we would camp in all seasons with those boys. We just finished our summer camp and eager to carry on D's legacy of documenting the boys' experiences, I pulled out the flashbox and snapped a few. If for nothing else, I know D would appreciate the nostalgia.

I must say however, that camping in the summer is a whole nuther fish altogether. Aware of the minimal risk, the unthreatening weather, and the unwavering efforts of leaders to keep them well bouffed (scroll to Wed. Oct 6, 2004). The boys were now able to focus their energies towards the weightier issues..... War tactics! The inherent cravings of most men and boys.

I have never been to a paintball-less young mens camp. I've been to plenty of paintball prohibited camps but never a "paintball-less" camp. This week end was no different. 8 out of 9 of our young men either had a paintball gun or a slingshot to holster.

Operation Jackson Pollock

We camped in Low Quebec, on the east side of the Gatineau river. (boat access only) It is a piece of Hydro Quebec land leased by the church for a nominal yearly fee so our scouts could have a camping refuge. We usually camp on either the flats or Deacons island (for those who aren't familiar with Deacons island it is the one next to 4 tree island:) This time we went to "the Narrows" a lovely camping site only 40 yards accross the water from the campsite of the youth from the other ward. How fortunate for a paintball armed young mens group.

the Chapel hill ward was the lucky group to settle the adjacent capmsite. We having arrived Thursday afternoon had already made our preparations for war. Chapel hill arrived Friday evening and were greeted by a hailstorm of paintballs at various times throughout the night.

Operations Japetto and Sugar sac

Apparantly chapel hill was a little to trusting, even after Pollock. They left for the evening fireside at the flats 20 minutes early allowing time for our poised reconnaissance group to get accross the straight line their sleeping bags with sugar and fill their tents with crickets they had purchased from the pet store on the way up. I should add that at various points throughout the evening I offered slight protests but I think the boys saw right through it and somehow read them as approvals. I guess they know that I could stop them pretty quickly if I really wanted to and so they kept at it.

Operation Plastic wrap

Another crossing was made before said fireside to plastic wrap many of the openings between trees within their camp making it impossible for the campers to continue on their desired path. This plays into psychological warfare. In fact upon return we heard a chilling cry from one scouter who was scared because he couldnt get to his tent. We detected his sarcasm but the boys laughs gave me the impression that they were satisfied their scheme had proven an annoying obstacle at the least.

There were then numerous discussions about who had performed these misdeeds. Our side tried to convince them it was Gatineau young men and that they needed to return the favour. The story was not believed.

Later we celebrated the battles victory with $99.00 of fireworks.


The rest of the time was spent fortifying our campsite. Each boy had carved a pungee stick and fastened it into the ground to ward off attackers. (We had them take them down at dark) tents padlocked or zip tied, food secured and a scarecrow with a pirate shirt erected. An ill feeling anticipating retaliation was shared among the boys. Ben Collins and Jack were telling me how they would like to be compensated for their attacks. They seemed like mild punishments to me so I reminded them that Chapel hill didn't get to chose the actions taken on them and I had no sympathy for them. They made their bed and would have to undergo whatever was coming. I should admit that I myself was a little nervous as I was sleeping out under the stars in the open on a reclining lawn chair. I'm sure that in the dark anyone in a mummy bag could have been fair game as it would have been hard to distinguish the leaders from the troops.

We had also taken a crash course on triage and first aid at camp that would help us treat our wounded.

The night proved calm and there were no attacks. In fact, when I woke up at 8:00am the Chapel Hill ward had already packed and went home. Ouch! I felt bad. I think the stake president did too. He was in our camp and witnessed the whole thing. He didn't exactly dissaprove either. He chalked it up to boys being boys. Thats what boys do.

On our way out Harrison masterminded a plan to put our excess cinnamon to good use. He offered $2.00 to anyone who would eat a spoonfull. He found 2 eager hard-up-for-cash (I guess) volunteers, Brad Morrison and Matt Jose. The only way he got Matt to do it was because Matt wasn't there to witness Brad's struggle for life during the ordeal. Brad Puked, Matt didn't, both blew clouds of brown smoke out their nose with teary eyes that lasted 5 minutes.

Crossing the lake back to the farm where the cars were parked the wind had picked up and the waves were choppy. This had me a bit nervous as the transport boat was a 14 foot shallow widowmaker of a tin boat. But what would be a war without an element of risk.

Other stories of interest.

The Burned shoe

Jack (Katie Kirk's brother from England) had noticed that his sandals had been taken accross the lake on the first boatload home and he was left with his old shoes. The problem: his socks were with his sandals and he didn't want to wear shoes without socks. So he did what any of us right minded men would do -he burned his shoes. This decision was probably easier made after thinking about having to bring the wet smelly things back on the plane with him. The smoke stunk.

The Plot to Throw Brad in the Water

Brad had hit many of his own comerades point blank with paintballs throughout the week-end. He had also done a couple other not so friendly things to friends. This had Ben Jeffrey plotting with everone to throw Brad in the water before we left. Brad caught wind of this and threw a Survivor type manuever into the mix. He turned the plan around and in the end when I snapped the photo, Ben was the one getting dunked. Oh the injustice. I had to make things right. I threw Brad in too. Just so he wouldn't think I didn't like him (but I do like him) I blamed it on his inadvertantly throwing my back pack into a meadow muffin (cow patty) while helping out.

Good times

Sunday, July 8, 2007


By nature, sons are prone to please their fathers from time to time. A good decision, heeding the council a father has given, learning or accomplishing something never done before. I can think of a few moments in time that have produced proud fathers.

Cal Ripken Jr. playing in a record breaking 2632 games straight

The Wright Brothers making their first controlled, powered, heavier-than-air human flight

Nephi building a bow and obtaining food

Christ triumphing over Gethsemane

However, it doesn't take a monumental feat to make a father proud. Anyone who is a father, as I am, can experience these feelings daily.

Today was a special moment for Konrad and I. A while back I told him that when he takes the sacrament bread he should think about Jesus and when taking the sacrament water we should think of all of the things we did wrong that week and think about how to do them better the next week. He impressed me the next week when I asked him what we should think of when we take the bread. "Jesus" he replied. When we took the water he came to me and told me how he didn't share his treat with Anders that week. He remembered what to do! Now during sacrament he sits on my knee and I wisper a story of Jesus to him during the bread and when the water comes we take turns confessing our sins. We then commit to not do it this week. Eating too much, not helping out enough with housework etc. Not unsurmountable sins but I hope the pattern will remain when the weightier stuff rears its head. Its lovely. He is lovely.