Saturday, December 27, 2003

Merry Christmas!!


It is now a few days after Christmas and Shannon and I are still in New Jersey. So far we have been having a wonderful time and can't believe we've only been here three days!! Right now Shannon is out with my Mom and sister shopping (big suprise) but maybe if I'm lucky she'll come back with something for me.

I decided to stay at home with Dad today and just relax and try to check my email. Webmail doesn't seem to be working though so I have not been able to check my mail.

I got lots of DVDs for Christmas though so I may take a break from the computer and watch one of them instead.

TTYL.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Only nine more days until Christmas!
Only four more days until my birthday!
Only two more days until the Honest Lawyer birthday bash!

The last few weeks are always such a fun and busy time for me. I'm actually all done with Christmas shopping soo am able to look forward to all the parties and travelling I'll be doing in the next few weeks. While the fun usually dies down after New Year's this time it will be prolonged by our move on January 15th.

Have a very happy holiday and all the best in the New Year.

Monday, November 24, 2003

SOLD!!!

All conditions have been met and papers signed. Move in day to the new house right now is set for January 15th. Shannon and I are pretty excited and have already started packing some boxes. It's hard to believe that less than a month ago we had no intentions of moving and now it is all we can think about.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Well, we're one step closer to moving!

Shannon and I sold our house last night after having it on the market for two days. The whole negotiation process was a little stressful but we got through it and ended up with a price that was fair for everyone.

All that is left to do is to finalize financing and inspections. So, in a few more days all that will be left to do is actually make the move.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Well, even though we may not be moving anymore our house is still on the market for the time being.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Here are some more pictures of the house it looks like we'll be moving into come January.

Somehow buying a house is scary and exciting at the same time. I'm really excited about moving to a bigger place that has so much more potential but then it is also scary moving away from somewhere that is comfortable and has been home for the past few years. I guess as life must move on and so should Shannon and I.

In order to keep Angela happy I guess we better start organizing a shooter party too!

Want a map too? Here you go!

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Shannon and I may be buying a new home!

While we didn't really have any plans to move right away we happened to come across a home in Orleans that we liked and have decided to pursue buying it. The link to the listing is below.

2372 Raintree Drive

Sunday, November 02, 2003

So I finally made it back to Ottawa after my week in Los Angeles for the Microsoft PDC. So far I have spent most of my time since returning either sleeping or going to Halloween parties (both very enjoyable).

Unfortunately, being gone for a week also means I have a weeks worth of work that needs to be caught up on. While I get back to catching feel free to have a look at my Los Angeles photos which have now been posted.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Los Angeles - Day 6 (Thursday)

This will probably be my last post from sunny (and sometimes smoky) California. I am off to have lunch and then will be leaving the convention centre and the PDC for the last time. While it has been tiring at times I have enjoyed experiencing the conference and learning about all the new Microsoft technologies that are on their way. On the other hand I am also read to go back home in order to see Shannon and Emma and all my friends.

So...what did I get up to yesterday? Well the conference was pretty much the same as every other day but as you probably know last night was the attendee party at Universal Studios. The party was lots of fun but the time went by way too quickly. By the time our bus arrived at the park it was already 8:00 pm and we only had until 11:30 to enjoy everything. First stop was food. I wolfed down a burger and fries and then was ready to tackle some rides.

The first stop was a haunted house based on the Mummy. Shannon would have especially liked this since there were people in there that would jump out at you. Next (after grabbing a free beer on the way) was Shrek 4-D. This was basically a glorified movie that takes place after the movie left off. Besides just watching and hearing the movie though we also were in seats that moved and vibrated, blew air on you and sprayed water on you. It all accounted for a very realistic and fun experience.

Next it was off to the backlot studio tour of Universal Studios. While interesting the tour was in the dark and it took 45 minutes which cut into my time to do other rides at the park. In hindsight I probably shouldn't have done this tour. Oh well.

After the tour the next ride was Back to the Future. The line was sort of long for this ride so I grabbed a free Cinnabon and beer for the wait. By the time I was out of Back to the Future it was 11:00 pm. With 1/2 an hour left I was hoping to get to do the Terminator 3D ride but by the time I got there it was closed. By now most of the park was closing too so all I had time to do was get another beer and get a few gifts from the souvenir store. They also had free carnival type games I was hoping to play so that I could try to win a big stuffed animal for Shannon. Lots of people were leaving the park with Scooby-Doos etc but not me. :-(

It is now noon here in LA. I am going to grab a quick lunch and my last smoothie and then head off to the Warner Bros studio in order to catch their last tour of the day. Tonight I hope to walk around Beverly Hills for a bit and then find somewhere nice to have my last meal.

Thanks for reading. More pictures will be posted once I get back to Ottawa.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Los Angeles - Day 4 (Tuesday)



Man I am tired! I have been getting up before 7:00 all week and it is beginning to take its toll. I am going to try going to bed early tonight since tomorrow will be a long day.

There really isn't that much to talk about today. I had another full day at the PDC which pretty much meant sitting in hour after hour of presentations and eating too much. I did get the chance to try out riding on a Segway though. This was a pretty fun experience and a very different feeling.

Tonight also happened to be opening night for the L.A. Lakers. The Staples Center just happens to be right next to the convention center so on the way out of the conference tonight the Staples Center was all lit up in blue and there were search lights everywhere. The streets were packed with cars and people and definately had quite a Hollywood look. Too bad I couldn't actually get in to watch the game.

Tomorrow is the party at Universal Studios. This should be a lot of fun so I'm sure I'll lots more to share tomorrow.

BTW...Today's picture is of teh brand spanking new Walt Disney Performing Arts Center. This very unique building was designed by the same guy that did the Guggenheim museum's in New York and Spain.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Los Angeles - Day 3 pt. 2



Well the rest of the afternoon pretty much involved sitting in a bunch of sessions convering ASP .NET and the future of web services. As usual there was a plethora of complimentary drinks and snacks vying for my attention as well.

After the sessions were done for the day the Expo Hall reception began. This reception was basically a way to get all the attendees together in the Expo Hall to enjoy free food and booze and to hopefully mingle and smooze for a bit. I stuck around for a while but after a little over an hour of looking around decided it was time to catch the bus back to the hotel.

PDC By the Numbers:

Number of females found in a room of 7000 attendees: 100
Number of Starbucks coffees consumed per hour: 6999
Number free t-shirts received: 3
Number of pens received: 3
Number of pens with a koosh head: 1
Number of paper pads received: 3
Price of a Microsoft teddy bear: $10

Monday, October 27, 2003

Los Angeles - Day 3 pt. 1

It is now almost 1:00 pm and I am half way through my first day at the Microsoft PDC. So far today I sat through the keynote address from Bill Gates and others as they unveiled Windows Longhorn for the first time.

What else have I done? Well I woke up at 6:30, caught the shittle at 7:00, had a hot breakfast, had a Krispy Kreme Donut and had a hot lunch. BTW...all of this is included in the price of the conference so I trying to make the most of it.

I only have 30 minutes until my next session so better get back to getting more free stuff.
Los Angeles - Day 2



Well, what another full day! As my only full day in L.A. without a conference to go to my plan, along with Rebecca and Stefan, was to see all of Los Angeles in one day. Yes, one day! In order to achieve this feat we booked ourselves on the "grand tour" of L.A. This 3/4 day bus tour managed to show us most of the sites and was worth the money. Here is a quick run down of the sites I saw. Marina del ray, Venice Beach, Santa Monica Beach, celebrity homes, Beverley Hills, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood, plus more!

So the bus tour showed us lots of the city but let me tell you about the rest of my day...

We were dropped off at the LA convention center at around 3:30 in order to register for our conference. First of all, the LA convention center is huge. No, you don't understand, it's HUGE!! How can I make you realize the imense size of this place? OK nevermind just believe me when I say huge. Our registration included the obligatory t-shirt plus a nice lap top bag that was packed full of promotional goodies including a fairly beefy book. Today was the pre-conference so it wasn't very busy but we spent our time looking around in order to get acquainted with the building. Now it was time to catch the shuttle bus back to our hotel.

Once returning to the hotel we dropped off all our stuff in our room and then went back downstairs to catch the limo to Beverley Hills. Yes you heard right...our hotel includes complimentary limo service to anywhere in Beverley Hills. Tonight we decided to go back to Rodeo drive in order to check it out more closely and to find somewhere for dinner. First of all, our limo dropped us off at the Beverley Wiltshire hotel which is the hotel in Pretty Woman and right next to Saks Fifth Avenue where Winnona Ryder was arrested for shoplifting. From the hotel we walked around the Rodeo Drive area and checked out all the stores. Shannon would love this place!!! Thne stores are pretty pricy but from what I saw they all had some very nice and trendy stuff in them which at the very least be fun to try on. Do you want to hear something odd? Beverley Hills is clean. After walking around for a bit we began to notice that the streets were absolutely clean. Not a single piece of garbage anywhere, no gum stains, no grafitti. It was very odd to see such a clean city. I guess it was one of those you had to be there experiences.

Spirit fingers!! Let me see those spirit fingers!!! Can you tell what movie I am watching right now? These are spirit fingers.

Well that pretty much brings me to now. I am in bed typing away and getting ready to go to sleep. I have to be ready to leave at 7:00 am tomorrow in order to get to the convention center on time to have breakfast before Bill Gates talks to us for three hours. More on that tomorrow.

Good night. ;-|

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Los Angeles - Day 1



Welcome the first installment of my blog while in sunny Califronia for the Microsoft PDC. So without further ado let me begin...

My day started at 5:00 am in order to catch my 7:15 am flight from Ottawa en route to Los Angeles via Chicago. I got my first glimpse of the new Ottawa airport this morning as well and was thoroughly impressed. For this first time Ottawa actually has an airport that most other cities of its size already have!

Well enough about the airport, guess what else happened today? Both of my flights left on time and arrived on time or early!!! Cool eh? Also, en route to L.A. our plane flew over the forest fires currently blazing justg outside the city. I could actually smell the fire in the cabin and the entire sky turned orange-red for a few minutes. Just a little bit eerie.

After arriving in Los Angeles I was greeted by a warm and hazy day. I promptly found a cab and made my way through the notoious L.A. traffic to my hotel, the Park Hyatt. This hotel is absolutely amazing and I feel a little out of place. Every car that drives up is either a BMW, Lexus, Mercedes or Porche. The service is amazing though and tonight I am taking care of the complementary show shine service.

After checking in I quickly changed as I was eager to start exploring the city. My plan today was to find a bus and make my way the Santa Monica pier about 8 miles away. From Santa Monica my desire was to rollerblade to Venice Beach along the Ocean Front Walk. The bus ride to the beach took about 30 minutes. I first walked along the beach for a bit and dipped my feet in the Ocean. I then put on my rollerblades and started my 1 mile trek along the ocean to Venice Beach. I wasn't sure what to expect in Venice Beach but wasn't disappointed. This place is a hippie haven and has street vendors selling everything imaginable. I picked up some cheap t-shirts and a blanket while there along with plenty of people watching.

By now the day was wearing on so I decided to start my blade back to Santa Manica in order to catch the bus. Before getting on the bus however I decided to walk a bit in order to find a pharmacy in order to buy some toothpaste plus some snacks for the week.

After getting back to the hotel I finally met up with Stefan and his wife Rebecca. All three of us decided visiting the Sunset Strip would be a good way to spend the evening. I had a good time in Sunset Blvd. There were lots of ultra trendy clubs with even more limos parked in front of each of them.

This now brings us to the present. I am currently sitting in my bed typing away while watching VH1. Tomorrow is a full day of touring the city so I am sure I'll have a lot to write about tomorrow night.

Good night.

P.S. Remember to turn your clocks back tonight.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Hello! It's been a while since my last post so I figured I should write a new entry. Work has been extra busy this week since I am leaving for Los Angeles on Saturday for a week. I am going for the annual Microsoft Developers Conference which usually attracts well over 4000 software geeks from all over North America.

While is Los Angeles I also hope to find some time to see the sights and generally have a good time. I have already booked a full day bus tour of the city and am hoping to squeeze in a tour of the Warner Bros. studio as well.

While there I will be taking lots of pictures and will try to make regular posts here in order to keep everyone informed of my daily activities.

Fodors.com > Miniguide > Los Angeles Overview

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Look out! Hurricane Isabel is on her way! As usual it looks like the Carolinas are going to bear most of what this hurricane has to offer. Up here in Canada it looks like we get to experience a day of rain and heavier than normal winds. Learn more about how hurricanes work here.

Do you remember where you were during Hugo in '89? It just so happens that I do! The night Hugo hit Toronto I was on my way to Canada's Wonderland to see the Fine Young Cannibals in concert. This evening was of particular importance since it was my first real concert experience and some little hurricane was not going to spoil it. My actual first concert experience was going to be Platinum Blond a few years earlier but just before they were to arrive in Kingston to play at memorial arena the band broke up (sad eh?).

OK, back to the hurricane....

So we made it to the concert and from what I remember we saw most of it before deciding the heavy rain and wind were getting stronger. Then it was with great sadness that we left the concert (I'm pretty sure we left early but my memory is fuzzy on that one) to try to get back to Whitby in one piece.

Needless to say the 1.5 hour drive home was scary at times due to said hurricane (Hurricane Hugo if you weren't paying attention). One particular moment I remember clearly (odd for me) was hydroplaning and almost wiping out on the on ramp to the 401 from the 400. While the weather certainly had something to do with it, I later discovered that the tires on the car (a Dodge Aries for anyone that was wondering) were very old and desparately in need of replacement.

Oh well, that is the extent of my hurricane story. In usual fashion my memory is a little fuzzy on some of the details but it is still a story nonetheless. You can be the judge on whether it is a good story or not.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Here is a link to pictures of Kelly and Lionel's new house. Very nice.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

I know it is only September but the snow will be here soon which means winter vacation time!!

It has only been in the past few years that I started going on winter vacations and now I am hooked. I love getting away for a week to relax and play in the sun.

Anyway, right now I am leaning towards going back to Costa Rica this winter and thought I'd pass along a link to my last trip there in 1999.

Costa Rica Trip - 1999

Monday, September 01, 2003

I'm not sure how it happens but somehow Angela gets her face in a lot of pictures. Anyway after sorting through my last few months of pictures I decided it was time to put them all together into one album. Enjoy the show!

Angela Faces Photo Gallery
Since it is a holiday today Shannon and I decided to go on a rollerblading adventure. We went to the Museum of Civilization for a few hours to see the final day of the Bog People exhibit and then went to the market for lunch and ice cream before heading back home again. The weather was great out so it was nice to be able to be outside and not in the car.

Sunday, August 31, 2003

today I helped Kelly and Lionel choose a house.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Oh no! I have lost my blog. have you seen my blog? That blogging blog, always getting lost. Oh blog now I have to get another. And blogs being so expensive and all. What a bloggish situation.
This is my first blog post!!