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Archive for 2010

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May 17

Mission 11 launch

Category: Journal

It is finally here another quest game launched on CP. It has been a long haul to get this one created for various numerous reasons that are just to long to explain on this blog, but I very happy that it is here.

Of course it couldn't have been completed without the hard work of Cody, Cael, Neil, Rory and Tika. Thanks so much guys we rocked it out now onto more new things and other fun stuff!

For all of you out there if you have an account on CP please head on over and check it out. If not here are some screenies, but of course these don't replace the game play.

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May 04

Back from Icograda

Category: Journal

Yep back from what??? Yes Icograda, a design conference in Vancouver. It was a little last minute but one of our graphic design guys at work was stuck in Europe due to the volcano ash and so I was asked to go in his place. Not really a graphic designer myself but was honored to be asked to go and jumped at the opportunity. I really hope I did our design team proud as I really enjoyed hanging out with them for 4 days in Van last week.

I have to say the conference was really really inspiring and thought provoking. From architectural sustainability to brand through history a overview of the design of the 2010 Olympic brand and a discussion on "Delight" it was some of the best presentation and talks I have ever been a part of. I was very much inspired and found a lot of the presentations to be very applicable to game design on so many levels. All at the same time being humbled by the amazing talent and careers of the people in attendance. This conference was very top notch and well worth the worry about getting child care in place so I could attend. 

Outside of the conference it was really fun to hang out with the design team and get to know them more. We had some amazing dinners at some awesome restaurants and did some really cool team events as well. We visited the art gallery and saw the Leonardo Da Vinci mechanics of man exhibit (amazing), painted on a giant video screen with electronic spray paint(sooo much fun!!!!!), group painted at a small restaurant in Yale town, and even did a little Karaoke (I didn't sing!!). On the side I took a co-worker to Tom Lee's music and tested out the electronic drums and drag 3 girls on the team to a comic store whom all ended up buying comics themselves (yes this store is that good).

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There is a lot I am still taking in from last week and soo much to tell but I am still trying to parse through it all. It was a whirl wind to be sure and very last minute but well worth it. However as it being that Naomi was leaving for Edmonton on Wednesday night and I left for Van on Monday through Friday wasn't the best of timing and easy on the kids. The silver lining was that Tristan and I got to spend some good quality time together on the weekend just the 2 of us before Naomi and Rhys came back on Monday. We visited the boat show, tried to fly a kite (wind died), Tristan had his first pirate pack, and shoveled a ton of compost!!

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What a crazy past week but I loved every moment of it even down to the family picnic dinner in the living room tonight.

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Apr 26

Yard Work!

Category: Journal

What an awesome time of year! It's so exciting to start planting the flowers and the garden – much more fun this year that both the boys are into it.  In fact, Rhys actually cries after being outside for 3 hours when we want him to go inside.  We've just started letting him eat outside all the time… less mess to clean up that way!

We planted tons of flowers, both in the front yard and back.  We are really looking forward to spending lots of time in the backyard this year – although it seems campfire season in the Okanagan is already over.  Good thing we got lots of campfires in in February.  We are hoping to have a few barbecues over the summer, and really enjoy having a placy for the kids to play in the backyard.  Also, it's good for them to see where their food comes from – tomatoes come from a vine, not just the grocery store!  Here's a few pics of the boys helping us out, and one of Rhys  being cute with his "I push the button" (doorbell) at Papa and Nana's house.

Now my only worry is having to get up early all summer to water all the flowers!  Oh well, it's worth it.  We just love being in the yard so much!

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Apr 14

End of Sailing Excursion

Category: Journal

We are back and rested… well not physically but at least had a nice break from the regular hectic pace of life around here. Our trip was amazing to say the least and an awesome experience. It would be very difficult to recount the entire trip here in one post so I will give just the highlights and explain some of the pics. I did try and keep a journal which I was going to re-type here for you all but with the long sailing days and time we spent studying there was no time for anything else (only had time for one journal entry). There are a ton of pictures here so we hope you enjoy.

The whole trip started with of course the drive out to Vancouver which had us a little worried about the weather we would encounter as the car got knocked around from the high winds and both Stanley Park and Lion Gate Bridge were closed on the same account. That night we stayed at the Best West at the foot of Granville Bridge and had an awesome meal at the Sanafir which we really highly recommend.

Saturday was our first day out and getting familiar with the boat and all her parts. The boat we were on for the week was Alony-se a 37' Bentenau, very nice boat. We spent a lot of time in false creek with different maneuvers before we headed out into English Bay after a lunch at the Granville market (what a really awesome market). It was a nice comfortable sail as we got used to the boat and the view of the city from the water is just awesome. That night was our first night sleeping aboard the boat which left us a little tired since we weren't used to it.

The next day we all attempted our docking procedures which was a little nervous with all the people watching from the market. After this we headed out into English Bay again but with really high winds that were a little much for us cutting our sail a little short. That night Naomi and I had a nice stroll down False Creek a bit a ate at a wonderful little restaurant run by a Russian couple called Brana's with some live Spanish music. Nobody wanted us to leave the restaurant but we need sleep and to continue studying (there is a ton to learn for sailing!!).

The next morning we got the boat ready for our cruise with food, water, and new dinghy (there is a long story with that one). Then we made sail across the strait to the gulf islands to anchor in Clam Bay. We were lucky in that the winds where good enough to sail across and we where joined by dolphins (very hard to get a picture of).

The morning we woke up in Clam bay was so calm and peaceful surrounded by jellyfish and a hearty breakfast of Red River. The winds were very strong this day as we sailed around salt spring to Ganges for a quick stop and lunch then it was off to Montegeau Bay where we moored for the night.

 

We woke up this morning to very high winds and made sail back to Ganges for the day. This passage was a little nervous for us as we where in high winds and heeled the boat over at 35 degrees at times facing 3-4 foot waves. Not something all of us except for our skipper where used to. Once we got into Ganges we ate lunch and stayed for the remainder of the day. This was great as we got some good time in for studying further for our next test and got to see our friends Alex and Hannah and their little one Niko.

We left Ganges the next morning and headed back to Clam Bay mainly because of the winds. This day was the day that Naomi and I had to Skip and Navigate the boat which went fairly well considering it was out first time doing so. There was some tense moments especially when the Dinghy broke loose and we had to retrieve it under sail while I was skipping. Let's just say that it took waaaayyyy to long. We made it back to Clam Bay in fairly good time and managed the high winds well as now we had more experience under our belt. That night's BBQ salmon was well deserved. 

Finally we came to the last day of our sail and headed back to Vancouver. There was basically no wind so we motored back across the straight but were joined by porpoises and dolphins along the way. Once we got in it was time to demonstrate that we could all do a man overboard figure eight maneuver (not easy to say the least) and to our final test. With all this behind us Naomi and I headed to our hotel for a much deserved shower/bath and Italian dinner.

We spent our final day in Vancouver with a morning breakfast at the Boathouse and a walk into Stanley Park. Then it was onto the Tattoo Parlor to get my wedding ring Tattoo (ouch!!) which I have been wanting since I broke my ring a few years back. Then it was onto shopping and dinner at Rodney's Oyster Bar.

It was an awesome trip with lot of memories, nervous moments and a swirling head of knowledge. We are still recovering from it and still have sea legs which don't seem to go away. We missed the boys and it was good to see them again. Although I don't think we will leave them for that long again, they missed us just too much.

That is all for now there is soo much more to tell but we can leave that for later and many stories in the future.

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Apr 02

Crazy Holiday

Category: Journal

So here we are heading out on our first holiday in 2 years and a crazy one at that!! We are heading to Vancouver to go sailing through the southern gulf islands. Yep this will not be the typical mexican holiday but something much wetter and colder but working more to our dream. 

As some of you know I love sailing and have dreamed of sailing the world and various other places, even retiring to a sail boat and living off of that. Well time to start acting and stop dreaming. So for this holiday we are taking a cruise and learn course through the Vancouver Sailing Club for 7 days to get our ASA 101, 103, & 104 certification. This will allow us to be able to charter a sail boat anywhere in the world for coastal sailing… very cool. 

I should be an interesting trip to say the least and hopefully not too wet. We will not have any access to the net so sorry there will not be any updates along the way. But, we will be taking as many pictures as we can and will post all about it when we get back in week. I plan on keeping a journal as we go so there should be some interesting tales to tell. 

Till then we wish you all a very Happy Easter!

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Mar 29

Spring is Here!!

Category: Journal

Yay!! spring is here!! although i am not sure if we should get our hopes up too much. I was looking through this blog the other day and noticed that in the past 2 years it has snowed on the 2nd and 19th of April yikes.But we will enjoy the weather that we have for now and hope for better especially with our up coming holiday. 

As I have just mentioned it is spring here and we have been having our focus more and more on the outdoors. Rhys just asks to be outside all the time and doesn't seem to care when it starts to get cold. Sometimes he gets really cold when him Tristan decide to "water" the plants and both end up soaked through. I have to say that i am with them in being outside and have been working hard on the yard and garden with many as usual grand plans in mind. Slowly our yard is getting better year by year as i try new things and get on top of the jungle it was when we first moved in.

Other than that things have been pretty good. I have been working less insane hours at work and slowly carving back some lost time. Although i am not sure i will ever get back. I did get the opportunity to help Craig's dad out on the orchard and gather up the prunings for the cherry trees. Was funt o be working all day in the orchard especially when the weather was so nice and always good to give someone a hand. Later that evenging we were all hanging out and Craig just had to make fresh leomonade which of course he had to pretend that the lemons would scream as they were squeezed. The kids just loved this and giggled like crazy. 

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Aside from this all i really have to say is that when you give kids of a close age something that is cool be prepared for a fight. My father in law found this really cool excavator toy for the kids used and we finally kdecide to bring it home for the boys. I am not sure how cool i think it is now as they seem to always fight over it and Tristan just cries cause it is too heavy for him to peddle around the yard. Sigh… what are we to do . Oh yes and let us not forget about the bat mobile that with all the stickers on it we call the "love mobile".

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Mar 22

Mini Mame Cabinet Project

Category: Journal,Mini Mame

So of all the geeky projects I could start and do I was inspired by a post on a mini mame cabinet here. I figured this would be a really fun project to do and allow me to play all my favourite classic arcade games that I loved as a kid. On top of all this I thought having a cabinet around like this would be a good way to introduce the kids to video games in a way that I was hopefully creating a greater appreciation for them instead of jumping them into the modern game scene.

For those of you who don't know I Mame stands for multiple arcade machine emulator. Basically once this is all set up I will be able to play all my favourite arcade games and some other consoles with little difficulty or have wasted some time doing something creative and burned a little money (shhh don't tell Naomi). 

After doing a lot of research I have decided on the guts of my cabinet being the following all ordered from NCIX which is my supplier of choice.

  • ASUS AT3GC-I MINI-ITX
  • Kingston KTD-DM8400A/2G PC2-4200 2GB DDR2-533
  • PICOPSU-90
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7200RPM 32MB Dual Proc 3.5IN SATA Hard Drive

Here is all the hardware before connecting it all up. So far I have it all connected and running windows XP so that I can run the front end Maximus Arcade which I have chosen to use. Next step will be moding the LCD panel I bought to go with all of this.

I have been talking about building an Arcade cabinet for some time now and tackling a mini cabinet seemed more reasonable and a better use of space. In the end Naomi has been completely supportable of this project and that is what counts most. I will keep you all posted as the progress continues.

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Mar 17

Lots of Campfires

Category: Journal

The weather is getting nicer and nicer here all the time and with that more time outside. The boys are just loving being outside as well as the dog and frankly myself as well even though it means yard work. Along with this has been as mentioned before we have been having campfires since the kids ask for them all the time, I think it is mostly because of the hot dogs and marshmallows.

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This month  has been very busy w ith birthdays as well. Let's see there was Naomi's friend Dara and her son Caspian on seperate weekends and then just this Monday Papa Ernie's. With this of course comes cake and more hot dogs (seriously this is all the boys seem to eat nowadays) and lots of fun for the boys. Rhys even in all this got to try a trampoline for the first time. 

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It being Papa's B-day uncle Dave and Camilla came into town and well that just meant one more campfire of course. 

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Like i said before the boys have been busy outside and very industrious. I am not always sure what they are up to besides making a mess but at least they are entertained. Just this weekend I brought home the excavator and Batmobile (aka Love mobile) that Papa found for the boys. They really love playing with them but it has resulted in many fights and Rhys isn't really big enough for them so he just ends up in the sandbox. With this all keeping us busy Dad and Rhys are left tired at the end of the day.

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Mar 08

Watoto billets

Category: Journal

Last weekend was very exciting for us as we got to meet one of our sponsor children through Watoto.  Felix was selected to be part of the Watoto children's choir that is traveling around Canada this year.  When we found out that one of the stops was Kelowna and we would be able to meet him, we were very excited and made sure we got involved.

We took the kids to a performance at Willow Park Church, and they loved it.  Afterwards, we took 3 boys and 1 adult home to stay at our house.  We had a great time with the kids – Rhys was asleep during the whole thing, but Tristan was quite the card.  He loved the boys so much and they loved him too.  It was awesome to just joke around with the boys and see them be kids.  Felix loved Leeloo, and played with her for about 2 hours strait.  The other 2 boys got a hold of our cameras and took so many pictures.  They knew how to use them better than me!  

It was a real blessing to spend time with all 3 of the kids – Bruce, Felix and Jacob while Uncle Gideon went out with some friends.  When they were by themselves, they joked and played a lot more.  They got a real kick out of Tristan, who was showing off a bit.  As we only had one night with them and Tristan was doing so well, we let him stay up until midnight with us all.  He did really well, and we all had so much fun together.

The next morning came too soon, we were sad to only have one short evening with them.  They will always be in our hearts though – reminds us what we have and what's really important in life.

 

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Feb 28

February Gone Already

Category: Journal

Wow February is gone already!! Where did it go?? Seems that for us it went by in a blur of being sick once again, a birthday, costumes, Olympics, campfires and other craziness. 

First it has been a tough year so far as we have spent most of it sick with either a flu or cold :sick: . I am going to be so happy when the flu season is over. Next year we are definitely going to get our flu shots. 

It was my Mom's B-day on the 15th and we all celebrated over at our place on the 14th with Chinese food and an Oreo cookie blizzard cake (her favs). That day was a lot of fun with Tristan as when he woke up he wanted to wear his pooh bear costume so I dragged him all over town shopping in that. Since he likes to pretend and dress up and has to wear a patch for his lazy eye (we always call him  a pirate) I figured I would buy him a pirate costume.  Well that was just too cool beans for him and he had to wear it as soon as he got home and later I took him out as a pirate to get the food. I think he wore that costume for 3 days straight.

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I have been pulling in a lot of extra time at work in the past 2 weeks with 13 hour days so I haven't seen the kids much. To make up for it all I really try and make the weekends a lot of fun for them and with it being so warm here we have had a number of campfires in the backyard. The boys just love the fire and of course hot dogs and marshmallows, which I think is really what they like the most.

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Finally with one last funny note Tristan likes to wear underwear on his head which he thinks is funny. It is funny to say the least but only really at home he tends to like to wear the underwear like that in public which does get you the strangest looks from people. "Come people have you never seen someone with underwear on their head before?" Rhys on the other hand well he just loves his puppy.

 

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