30 August 2012

Neighbourly Flowers

This morning I was presented with a delightfully seasonal and thoughtful bouquet of flowers from one of our neighbours. She has one of the most beautiful gardens in New Glasgow and far beyond many I've seen elsewhere. We are really lucky to live next to her to appreciate the garden daily.

I took these with my iPhone, but they turned out okay I think:

End of Frisbee Season BBQ

Last Tuesday we played last frisbee game of the summer season. Hopefully there will be a fall/winter league to start soon!

To celebrate a great summer season...we didn't win any games but we had a great time...Greg and I hosted a BBQ.

The auto focus is broken on my regular lens so I swapped it for my old SLR lens, it turns out it's not the best at focusing!

Some of the team, plus a few extra!

Thanks for coming friends!

27 August 2012

Weekend Breakfasts

This weekend was filled with delicious breakfast sandwiches! On Saturday we went to Baked Cafe in New Glasgow and I had a spinach, egg and other goodies on a pretzel. It was very, very yummy.

This inspired Sunday's sandwich breakfast of homemade egg mcmuffin's. We've made them before, but this time we made the english muffins from scratch as well. It turns out that english muffins are particularly easy to make. I followed this recipe.

26 August 2012

Miramichi Adventure Part 2

One of the reasons we were in Miramichi to begin with was to attend a wedding. The wedding was for our friends Nick and Becky, I went to school with Becky at STU and Greg grew up down the street from Nick. It's a small Miramichi-filled world!

The wedding was lovely, the one of the funniest Father's married the couple and the reception was super fun complete with live band and lots of dancing. Becky even took the stage and sang a tune or two, I learned she is a very good singer!

I took a few photos in the chapel but they were much, much too fuzzy. So here are a mish-mash of fun times from the reception, I haven't seen these ladies and gentlemen since our BEd. graduation last July:

Lynnette and I cleaned up the table in the last picture, by cramming everything into a glass...that's the best way to do it - right?

As per a Miramichi tradition, we headed to Ben's (a burger joint just down the street from the reception) and had our share of burger and fries:

Even the newly married couple decided to join us at Ben's, I love the picture in the middle. They definitely class up the place. Congratulations Becky and Nick, thank you for including us in such a special day!

23 August 2012

Miramichi Adventure Part 1

After super rainy weekend in Maine we headed to Miramichi. The plan was to camp and hike Mt. Carleton, but since our gear was soggy and smelly we decided to stay with Greg's parents a few nights early.

Pretty much daily there were epic clouds with accompanying thundershowers.  You can kind of make out some of these clouds below, we took a walk on the boardwalk in New Castle:

Before we actually got to Miramichi, we stopped at a suspension bridge along the way. It gave us a pretty view of the Miramichi River:

Greg's Aunt and Uncle have an AMAZING garden, something to aspire to and we were invited to take some yummy goodies with us. They have since been put to good use (thanks Clara and Keith!)

Rather than hike Mt. Carleton we went to Kochibouguac National Park for the day. The plan was to go for a hike, but our plan turned into hiking AND kayaking - yippee!

A view from a look out, the water was super still and we saw a lot of birds from here (eagle, cormorants, ducks) :

This is the path to the look off, beavers had clearly made their mark:



Now, perhaps it's because I don't speak French. But the location of "Petit Large" just cracked me up:

In addition to the hike up river we checked out "The Bog", which is a pretty cool ecological site. There is this tower where you can get a great view of the landscape.

This bog spreads out from the centre by changing the level of acidity in the soil. Only certain plants/trees can live in such an environment so it forces the landscape to change from a forest to a much more sparse and desolate looking spot:

Finally we went to the beach, not for a swim but just to check it out. There was this clever sign instructing those who might have "accidentally" taken shells from the beach to return them to a bin just below the sign. Well done Parks Canada!

We also saw a Piping Plover hanging out below the boardwalk. While kayaking we actually saw an adult plover and its three fledglings - very neat!

20 August 2012

Mt. Katahdin

We did our best to climb Mt. Katahdin weekend before last, it rained and rained and rained some more. We were able to climb to about 3000 ft to Chimney Ponds, but the ranger at that point didn't recommend we go further. To be fair it was 12 degrees, pouring rain and our finger nails and lips were blue.

Also, my small camera broke because of all of the rain so my pictures of this trip are lacking.

We did have a good time at the campground, it didn't rain all of the time and we managed to have a fire both nights. There was even a lodge at the campground complete with hot tub and bar, yippee!

Here are a few photos from our adventure-vacation!

After setting our tents up in the rain and getting soaked (from the rain) after a paddle in the pond we decided to warm up and dry out  by having dinner at this swanky place. They actually put us upstairs rather than downstairs with the regular people....we were rather dirty so we thought they didn't want to put us in view of their regular customers:

There were lots and lots of clouds all weekend but in this instance they were pretty over the lake:

Saturday morning we got up dark and early to head to Katahdin for 7AM. Like I said it rained, it started about 5 minutes in to our hike and got progressively worse as we climbed up and up. Thankfully we Josh was able to start a fire to try and dry out our soggy clothes. Unfortunately it rained again over night and most things got wet again - womp womp!

Sunday Beth and Josh braved the pond to have another paddle, it was pretty foggy:

On our way back to Canada we stopped in Houlton at a Pizza Hut which was stuck in the 80's. Beth made a delightfully eclectic salad with pretty much everything from the salad bar in it:

Greg and I will eventually get back to Katahdin to climb it and hopefully the weather will be more cooperative!

08 August 2012

SappyFest 7

This past weekend Greg treked to Sackville, NB to take in our second SappyFest. It's a music and art (mostly music) festival that presents a number of up and coming musicians from Canada and the US (but mostly Canada).

There were a ton of bands to check out and one of the wonderful parts of SappyFest is that you leave with a list of music to add to your iTunes list. This year the fine folks who organize SappyFest put together a FREE compilation with a track from each artist/band who played the festival. I highly suggest you check it out, here.

I didn't bring my good camera to take pictures of the band; I'm not one to fight through the crowd to get up close and I will not be one of those people who watch the show through their camera in hopes of getting a good picture while flailing with zoom options. So I took a snap here and there to just remind myself of the different venues. Clockwise from the top right: Christine Fellows plays a wonderful set in a very, very warm church, the lead singer from Fucked Up ran through the crowd during a song and kindly posed for a picture to our right so I took advantage, TomBoyfriend is one of the most bizarre bands to grace the stage with their 7 individual band in a mish-mash of stage get ups, Eternal Summers play a catchy set at the home of the Acadia University President's house,  Canailles - a french country band plays by far the most dance inspiring set of the weekend:

Picaroons is responsible for bringing the beer to the festival, this year we received these lovely re-useable cups to quench our constant thirst:

Saturday morning we hung out at The Cackling Goose Cafe, just up the street from the main tent. It was wonderful, we had their back deck to ourselves (and a squirrel who was very nosy) and enjoyed a yummy meal with dairy free carrot cake for dessert. The topping is actually whipped nut fat (I can't remember from which nuts, almonds perhaps?) and it tastes quite a bit like real whip cream. I made such a fuss over how I can actually enjoy carrot cake given that it's lactose free that the server gave us the biggest piece they had - and we ate it all:

Each year Struts Gallery has some sort of interesting exhibits to go along with the festival. This year there was an very interactive piece: a mini put course made up of bizarre found items. Greg is putting on my favourite hole: through a bathtub down a ramp made up of vintage wrestling figurines:

Each year there is something called City Mail at the festival where people write notes/letters/pictures to each other and throughout the weekend it will get delivered to them. Typically you would check the board (below) to see if you have mail and check in with the folks who handle the mail at different locations at the festival. Sometimes people have to be tracked down based on a description given. It's all very awesome and works well at a festival this size:

Left: a bubble machine and beautiful flowers just up from the main tent. Right: "This Is Nowhere", the slogan for SappyFest 7, and as it is taken from the title of a Neil Young song "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" there were much rumblings that Mr. Young would be the secret show. Clearly this is much too crazy of a thought but the sign hung next to the main tent all weekend.

On the note of a secret show, this year there was no secret show per say. It was announced before the last band played on Sunday night (Thee Silver Mount Zion Memorial Orchestra) that they were in fact the not so secret show as they were in the program and in the line up. To remind you, last year Arcade Fire played under the name Shark Attack, as they were playing with U2 in nearby Moncton. Two years ago, Sloan showed up and played their entire Twice Removed album from beginning to end. So it wouldn't be much a secret if each year there was some sort of surprise. This keeps this interesting and I'm sure in years to come the organizers will manage to surprise the audience.

Okay, so throughout the weekend Greg and I had a few ongoing 'competitions'. The first was the 'best' tatoo and second was the 'best' piece of clothing. Best being a loose term for most ridiculous. It was too awkward to get pictures of both the winning tatoo and piece of clothing so I will explain them.

'Best' Tatoo: there was a tie, between a poorly drawn narwhal behind a gentleman's right ear and a GIANT deer head on the thigh of a woman in her 20's.

'Best' Piece of Clothing: went to a gentleman sporting a solid moustache (to give you a better visual) who was wearing a tucked in dress shirt that had a scene of horses in a field near the water on both the front and the back - I think the scene wrapped around from the front to back actually. The best part was that it was about 2 sizes too small so it fit even more awkwardly. It was amazing.

The reason for these two competitions were because SappyFest is filled with bizarre tattoos (perhaps ironic hipster tattoos best describes it) and a total disregard for any fashion trends. Seriously, you could show up in just about any piece of clothing from any time period and would not be that strange person in strange clothes.

A few general trends in fashion however could not be ignored:

Ladies: Lots of high waisted skirts, pants and denim shorts. There were also alot of cropped tops to meet these high waisted bottoms. Kind of like this:

Dudes: Moustaches/beards, deck shoes, tank tops and shorts:

So this top (there were a few similar hats):
with this bottom:

Overall it was a great people gawking watching experience. Once super ironic item we found and DID manage to get a picture (although poor quality) is this guy's Arcteryx backpack with the patch "Fuck The Economy" underneath the Arcteryx logo. I did a bit of digging and found out that this pack or one quite similar to it costs $175 CDN, so I'm not sure what type of statement he's trying to make about the economy, but I'm fairly certain he's buying into it and not really telling it off:

One more musical re-cap before I end. I thought I would sum up my favourite bands from the weekend, in no particular order:

  • Canailles
  • The Blow
  • Fucked Up
  • Del Bel
  • Christine Fellows
  • Cold Specs (the singer is AMAZING!)
  • BA Johnson (the grossest man I have ever been around, EVER)
Ali's Musical Awards:

Best Show Overall - Fucked Up
Most Danceable - Canailles
Most Bizarre - BA Johnson
Worst Show - Yamantaka//Sonic Titan 

Thank you SappyFest for an amazing weekend, we'll be back!

03 August 2012

Allergy Hilarity

While I am a fan of the musical Les Miserables I am not a fan of allergies. I am lactose intolerant and a number of other foods (which I haven't been able to pin down) seem to wreak havoc on my system.  

This video combines Les Mis and the ridiculousness of food allergies in a super funny way. It's a take on the musical's One Day More and I need to thank Weighty Matters for bringing it to my attention:

And despite this being a spoof of Les Mis, I couldn't help but get excited for the movie version that comes out this Christmas:

01 August 2012

More MS Bike Tour Goodness

While my last post had a more general audience vibe to it, this post has more to do with what I normally blog about - random things!

Here are a few nerdy couply photos of Greg and I, one in our biking gear and the other in our neon formal attire (for the evening banquet):

Way, way back in the summer in 2006 I did research in the Gaspereau Valley on tree swallows for my honors project with my good pal Allison. As part of the bike tour we actually biked by all four of the field sites so I couldn't help but stop and take a picture with one of the bird boxes:

An interesting fire hydrant and a lovely old church in downtown Wolfville:

They had an awesome bathroom sign at the exhibition centre, I like how men's is underlined. Once we got to Sackville (where we stayed for the night) we relaxed on the deck, drank lots of coffee and took in the rain shower under the canopy. It was pretty delightful, here is Greg taking in my pictures from the weekend:

A much deserved beer on Sunday when we got back to Sackville. We stocked up on new beer at Premier Wine and Spirits off Spring Garden St. This was a very tasty choice:

MS Bike Tour, Video Style!

I volunteered to film Beth's (amazing!!) speech at the banquet on Saturday night, and that led me to think that I should video tape more of our shenanigans.

So not only do you have the chance to watch Beth's (amazing!!) speech you can check out the video and photo montage of the Neon Riders' version of the 2012 MS Bike Tour:

You can also watch Beth's (amazing!!) speech here:

In two days we biked about 2000km with a team of 18 (2 of which were our pit crew/photographer, a wonderful treat!) The Neon Riders raised over $12,400 towards MS research and had an awesome time!

For more information about the MS Society of Canada, click here.

And for more blogging fun about the Neon Riders, check out fellow Neon Rider Josh Graham's blog:  MS be Shaven

A space to better document my days and finds with visual aids and clickable links.