Saturday, November 28, 2009

Meet the newest member of the family

Before I get to introducing you to the newest member of my family, I want to share a romantic/corny (depending on how you look at it) story that occurred during my run this morning. I ran at Westwood today and as I was heading along the back part of the lake, I came across a rose hanging off a branch on the side of the trail and attached to the rose was a saran wrapped note that said........ Amber (If you thought my name, I'd have to laugh because if you knew Jason, as if he would do something like that). About 10m later, another rose, 10m late another rose etc. all with notes. I assume there was 12, but I never did count. About 50m past the last one, I came across a young couple walking towards me and the guy had a grin on his face, so I assume he was the one who did it. By the time I came back that way about 30 minutes later, the roses were gone.

Cute idea I guess, but pet peeve that they left 2 bunches of saran wrap on the trail plus a coffee cup where the first rose was. I was hoping to see them on the trail as I wanted to ask the guy if it ended with a proposal or if there was another meaning behind it. I never did run into them though.

In other news, we went to town this afternoon to look for Christmas lights for the house. Since it will be our first year in our own house, I am looking forward to decorating it. While we can't really afford to buy many decorations this year (we had a fake tree donated to us), I really want to put Christmas lights on the house. We ended up buying some LED lights at Canadian Tire. We attemped to go to Costco, but the parking lot was insane so we left immediately. As we were leaving we saw a sign for a nearby vet that set "SPCA Kitten Adoption Center" so we opted to stop and see. They had one cat, about 6 months old that I fell in love with. Then again, I fall in love with all cats.

We left there and then on the way home we stopped at the SPCA command center as Jason wanted to see what was available (last time he was there they had no kittens). This time they had a few and next thing we knew, we were leaving with a new kitty. He came with the name Craven because apparently he came to the SPCA on Halloween with a brother and they named them Wes and Craven, get it ? Wes Craven? Yeah so anyways, Jason still has his heart set on Steve, but I am not sure. To keep Craven, accept Steve and make Jason happy, or think of a new name, such as another tool. Hmm. Anyways, meet "Temporarily known as Craven." No actual birthdate, but they say he is probably around 3 months old.

Socket isn't too sure of him. This is their first meeting

I missed the new kitties head, but Socket likes to use his size and weight to wrestly the new cat and then proceed to try and bite him. We are doing a lot of referring at the moment.

Eventually I separated them as new kitty seemed tired, so I stole him and he had a nap on the couch beside me. Socket then went and napped on his usual chair, and then Jason and I ended up napping, all during the Canuck game where we kicked the Oilers butts 7-3. Once the kitties woke up, the playing continued.

New kitty waking up from his nap

Unhappy Socket watching the "intruder" play

They took a brief break and sat together, which lasted about 3 minutes.

I am sure I will have a few stories and photos for you as these 2 hopefully become fond of one another.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The joys of shopping

With a day off work today, I decided to start my Christmas shopping. I am very non girly when it comes to shopping, which basically means "I hate to shop" (hence the bah humbug Facebook status update from the other day) and shopping at Christmas is even worse. Let's just say a made a small dent in my shopping today, maybe 1/4 of the way there.

The real reason I am blogging about shopping is because I became absolutely disgusted while in a local dollar store the other day. I picked up some window decorations and as I go to pay, the lady at the till talks about how she has been and still is sick, then proceeds to cough into her hands and then..... reach for my debit card. Freakin eww. I felt like saying, uhh can you use the sanitizer sitting right on your cash register please? but of course, I stayed quiet. When she returned my card, I took it by the very edge of it and then used the hand sanitizer out in the mall.

Who coughs into their hands and then grabs a beloning of someone else. Come on, use common sense people! At least cough into your shoulder or something. I guess she thought she was being respectful by covering her mouth rather than coughing directly in my face. Merry Christmas Dollar Store Chick, I better not get sick.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Trevor Freakin Linden

I had a very busy day Saturday and it was all due to Trevor Linden. Back in the summer (June maybe) I went down to Duncan and waited in line for a few hours to get Trevor's autograph as he was there for the grand opening of the new Canadian Tire.

At the time, I think I took a hockey ticket for him to sign. It was from his retirement night last December 17th, 2008. I attended the game with my sister and we had a great time.

The Canucks lined up all wearing #16

Anyways, then a few weeks ago I was told by one of the residents at my facility who is a HUGE Canucks fan, that Trevor was coming to Nanaimo on November 21st. It was then confirmed in the newspaper. Due to the fact, I was given a Trevor Linden jersey for my birthday, I figured I may as well go and get it signed.

So I worked Friday night and was up late, only to get up early at 7:30 so I could get my run done early. By the time I got to Westwood and completed everything, I got out to the mall at 9:45 and found there was already a huge line up. The people at the front were lined up at 7am or earlier apparently.

The signing was set from 11-1 and at no time did I ever think I wouldn't make it through the line. Last time in Duncan, he showed up early and signed for a longer period of time making sure everyone got through. I thought today would be the same, but boy was I wrong. The line was ever so slowly moving as I hung out with a girl in front who I met that day, even though I never got her name, I know she works at Montana's. The Canuck fan from my work was there too, arriving at about 10:30 I let her join me in line especially since she is in a wheel chair.

We hear the staff tell people way far back from us that they probably won't get an autograph as Trevor has to be in Duncan at their other store for 3pm. Oh great, so he does have a time line. Finally closer to one, someone comes around, counts off 100 people and cuts off the line 10 people in front of us. We along with everyone else around us starts to rage. My residents son speaks up and basically said they should have cut off the line ages ago if that was the case .

Then other people start barking to the employee that its fine to cut the line, but at least allow the lady in the wheel chair (my resident) to go through as she had been waiting for hours. The guy gives in and agrees, stating that Anne is the last one. At that point, her son tells me that he wants me to take her through the line so that I can get my autograph as he was only there for his mom. I felt bad for everyone else, even one of my co-workers who was standing with me with her daughter and friend.

At that point, I told the people behind me, along with my co-worker not to leave as they might get an autograph still. Apparently Trevor had 40 minutes and then had to go, so it depended on how many people he could fit through. So a decent amount of people hung around. As we got closer, they drew another cut off not far ahead and people freaked stating its not fair to promise people an autograph and then cut the line off on them again.

In the end, Anne and I got through, plus about 10 people after us, which included my co-worker, her daughter and friend. I got my jersey autographed and basically let Anne have the time with Trevor as I had seen him before. I was attempting to get a photo with both Anne and Trevor and he then told me to hold on a second and that he would get up and stand beside her for a photo. Normally, he doesn't take photos unless its a special circumstance. Anyways, he took a very nice photo with Anne and totally made her day. It was great to see.

I looked back on the photos afterwards and noticed that
in the whole rush of the event, we totally overlooked the fact that there were 2 clipper players (local hockey team) also doing autographs. Oops. Now I admit I don't follow the clippers; however, out of respect, had I seen them I would have given them the recognition and asked for an autograph. Oh well. Anyways, here are some photos from Saturday.

Signing Anne's flag

My jersey (poor Clippers players in the background)

Just as I was walking back to my car at about 1:45, Trevor was just pulling out on his way to Duncan. I ended up following him along the highway as we were heading the same way, well except he is a maniac driver and was speeding way worse than I was. Then again, I guess he was in a hurry. And no I was not stalking him as I live in south Nanaimo, and he was heading south down to Duncan :P

In the end, I got home just after 2pm, sat down for 5 minutes and then got ready for work as I started at 3pm. A rushed day, so I was definitely tired by the time I got home at 11:30pm.

Now I just have to figure out how to get my Bieksa jersey signed. Hmm..

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wow the Pineapple Express is STILL hitting us. Personally, I think we are getting pay back for the extra dry and hot summer. Although it has been raining like crazy, I am not 100% sick of it yet as I don't mind running in the rain, but today was a bit crazy. I was soaking wet by the time I got to the park and then was drenched within minutes of entering the park. Lots of mud, puddles and water.

When I got home, I had to take another photo of the mud. I have seen worse, but it's still worth noting. I wore my old Fastwitch 3 shoes which I figured would come in handy due to the perforated soles. I figured the water may enter easier but at least it would drain and that is exactly what happened. No heavy wet shoe feeling as the water drained out. Unfortunately though, I had wet and frozen feet throughout the entire run.

I even took a photo of the shoes themselves. I love how after a muddy run, you end up with a dirt line above the socks. I tried to take a photo after the shoes and socks were off, but it turned out blurry. You get the idea anyways.

I attempted to run through a local Park, which is actually a Marsh yesterday, but it was about 50% flooded so I had to give up on the trails and hit the road. In doing so, I nearly got spat on by a cyclist. He was stopped at a light waiting for the cross walk and I came up behind him to go up the side road. Just as I was passing him, he spit and JUST missed me. I let out an "ugh" automatically without realizing it and then heard "Sorry." I know he didn't mean to, but thank god he missed me. It's one thing to spit on yourself, but to have someone else spit on you is disgusting!

In other news, Socket went to the vet in order to be neutered yesterday. He went in just after 8am and we picked him up at about 4:15. I was expecting him to be sleepy, but he was anything but. First thing he did was hit his food dish. We had to take his food away at 8pm last night and the vet said that he didn't eat at the vet either, so by the time he got home at 4:30 he was starving. It was pretty funny though as he was a bit drunk from the drugs and was eating funny. He normally doesn't eat like this so I had to take video footage so you get the full effect.

Pre-vet photo

Post-vet photo. He came out and ate, ran around and then willingly climbed back and had a snooze in his carrier that he hates.

Poor kitty. While he was at the vet, we asked them to look at the cut on his neck to ensure nothing was wrong. I guess they shaved the area to get a better look and in turn shaved off his signature goatee that he had. I am a bit disappointed and am secretly hoping it grows back; however, if it doesn't, I will have to accept that. Happy or not.

**** Edit as per D's request*** Sad animal story below. Animal loves beware!

Speaking of animals, a sad story to share. A couple of PIH (Prairie Inn Harriers) members in Victoria were out walking their dogs, when one of the dogs ran towards a stream that looked slow moving but wasn't and the dog got washed away. The owner went in for the dog, but got washed away too. The other PIH lady (they were sisters), saved her sister's life, but unfortunately the dog Sophie did not survive. It's a sad story, but an eye opener about being safe with dogs in this weather. Click HERE to read the story. RIP Sophie.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

When it rains it pours!

Okay I know I just posted yesterday about the rain; however, I now have some photos of the aftermath of the rains. Keep in mind, these photos were taken this morning at about 10am. The Nanaimo River, which was extreamly high when I went to work just before 3pm, was supposed to peak around midnight last night and then slowly drop down again. So the photos below are well after the peak.

The Cedar Bridge which I drive over daily to and from work/town. The water is normally not that high. The water appears as though it went up to the line on the wall under the bridge.

The below photo was taken by a friend yesterday prior to the peak (only this photo was pre-peak)

The river with a road on the back side not far from the edge of the river

The river at the side of a local road. The river flooded this road yesterday according to the paper

Same road, but further down. Evidence where the water broke over the road

Wide River!

Here is the same road yesterday, photo stolen from the local paper

Another of the bridge

My back yard also tends to flood apparently. The was more water last night when I got home, but it was too dark to take a photo

Flooding isn't really a new thing around here, especially in Cedar. In fact, the trailer park that was declared a "state of emergency" due to flooding, floods nearly every year or at least every few years. Anyone who chooses to live on the river, runs the risk of having their house flooded, which is why I would never choose to live on the river.

The last big flood, which was actually worse than the floods so far this year, was in December 2007. It had snowed over a foot and then poured with rain until all the snow was gone. Between the snow and clear ground it was 2 days. So with all the rain and the melted snow, the floods were massive. Here are some photos of the flood back then, when it actually flooded across the main road into town. These photos were also before the peak of the river.

When the river peaked, it went over that side road

The aftermath of the flood over the main road

This isn't a lake, it is actually a field 99% of the year, except when the river floods

Gotta love the Wetcoast. FYI, the rain has taken a break today!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wetcoast has arrived!

For at least the past 24 hours, actually probably longer closer to 36 or so, it has been raining. Needless to say, I had a very wet and muddy run today and I enjoyed every minute of it! I saw only 1 person and his dog in the park and he was wearing gumboots. The other person I saw was in the parking lot putting on his rain jacket.

Normally when it is raining, I tend to be the only one in Hemer Park as it is never really busy. I like these days as I run through the park and it is silent, except for the wind howling through the trees and the rain drops hitting the leaves and dropping to the ground. I find it extremely peaceful. Anyways, I took a photo of my legs when I got home and in fact, I wasn't as muddy as I expected. Maybe the puddles on the road near the end washed away some of the mud.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christmas Party in November?

Yesterday was the annual Frontrunners party, which is a local running store in town. In fact, there are only 3 stores, 2 of which are in Victoria and one here in Nanaimo. I am not sure whether it is in fact a Christmas Party as there are no Christmas decorations; however, others tend to call it that so I will too.

For the past 2 years I have driven to the event, which occurs at the store in the north end of Nanaimo (about a 20-25 minute drive one way from my place). Last year, it fell on a night I worked, so I stopped by after work at about 11pm. Due to driving the past few years, I was unable to have anything to drink and was severely bugged about not drinking by one of the store owners, so this year I decided I would get a ride, kick back and relax with a few drinks.

Each year, they cover the shoe wall and clothing walls with plastic and push the center displays to the side, they hire a dj, buy a keg or 2 of beer, pick up some wine and charge $10 for unlimited drinks. The shop fills with probably at least 50 people, its hard to move around, people are drinking left right and center and by 10 or 11pm, the dance floor is full with runners having a blast. Outsiders may be surprised, but runners can sure party when they want to.

I too had a blast, though I am a very light weight for drinking as I rarely do it anymore. In the end,I think I had maybe 4 glasses of beer and I was good to go. In fact, I felt the buzz after 1 glass (I told you I was a light weight). Hard to believe that when I came back from Australia in 2004 I could put nearly 12 beers into me. The 4 beers was enough, added to leaving the store at about 1:30am, left me with a slight headache when I woke up this morning.

It was totally worth it though. Frontrunners knows how to party and I am already looking forward to next years party. Here are a few photos that a friend (Tony) took at the party.

Tami, John and I

Dennis, me and John

I can't end the post without a new photo of Socket. I left his treats out the other day and next thing I knew he stole them off the table and attempted to break into them. I captured some photos and video of it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Daredevil Kitty!

My 6 month old kitten Socket has turned into quite the daredevil. My bf has been working on my new truck in the garage lately and Socket goes out to explore and get into trouble. The other day, when Jay left the garage for a bit, he came back to find the cat up on the garage door track's (I have no clue what they are actually called).

At first, we were unsure as to how the heck he got up there and tried to get him down. As Jay went for a chair, the cat looked as though he was going to jump, so I was standing beneath him in case he fell, but then he turned around and jumped onto the hood of the car. Crazy cat. Not long after that, he once again jumped up on the rafters; however, this time Jay saw how he got up there. He does in fact climb up the hood of the truck and then jumps up onto the garage door tracks.

Later that evening, I noticed the cat had some fur missing from his neck and it looked like a cut. I have no idea where it came from, but at some point he hurt himself. We'll have to keep an eye on it to ensure he doesn't scratch it and make it worse. At the moment he is booked in to get neutered on Wednesday. I told Jay that he has to take the cat in as I won't be able to do it and leave him there. Knowing me, I'd burst into tears when Socket looks back at me as I walk out of the vet. Sad I know.

It's the same reason I am unable to go into an SPCA. The reason I bring that up is because apparently Socket wants a brother as Jay says. So we are in the process of looking for another kitten under 6 months in age. Ideally we will adopt one, but I told Jay that I cannot go into the SPCA to choose just one because I would end up coming home with them all. I always think about "well if I take this one, what about that one." What can I say, I am a sucker for animals. Because we are getting another kitten, we decided it is time for Socket to get neutered. I will keep you updated on how our search is going!