Friday, March 31, 2006


Decaf...must find antidote

The concept of good, espresso coffee seems to have eluded north Americans. Here, Starbucks is considered good coffee, and they are everywhere. Luckily, there's a little cafe near where I live that makes good coffee (well, depending upon who serves you) but at UBC, it's Starbucks, or the blue chip cookie (they make AWESOME cookies, however they should ask if I'd like some coffee with my foam.).

In the physics department, they do have half decent, fresh filter coffee that is made everyday, and actual milk to add to it, as opposed to powdered "creamer" or "whitener" or whatever. Today, I accidentally poured myself a cup of decaf...

It smelled like coffee. It tasted like coffee (close enough). But where was the hit! I drank it and just felt let down, unfulfilled. It was like having a hangover without the big night beforehand; like biting into a meat pie and finding nothing; like Ballymore without rum - it was just wrong!

Friday, March 10, 2006


Road Trippin' to the Rockies - Part 1

It's been a while coming, but finally I'm going to post some photos from the road trip Jacqui and I undertook from Vancouver to Banff. As you'll see, the scenery was absolutely spectacular, and these are only a fraction of all the photos we actually took. Here's part 1, which gets us to Banff.

Here's our trusty vehicle - a Nissan X-Trail, courtesy of Budget. Take a note of how clean it is.
This won't last.

The first mountain range we had to cross on our way to Banff.

Suddenly the "Great" dividing range back home didn't appear to be so great.

Big red barns - not just a stereotype.

Here they come - are the clouds really low, or they mountains really high? Better go up and find out!

Now we're in the middle of it. So this is what winter really looks like! Nothing but Christmas trees everywhere! Also, icy roads and limited visibility in places. I'm glad we got the four-wheel drive it was needed.

Passing through Kelowna, where we had lunch, we started along the edge of this lake, for the next 20 or 30 kms I think! Unfortunately it got dark, and we missed a lot of good lakeside scenery, as we headed towards Golden, out first stop.

Start of day 2 - the X-trail gets treated to some snow which we had to wash off.
Thanks to the Lonely Planet for picking out the motel we stayed at - it was cheap, clean, warm, and close to a real nice, late night pizza place!

Some sun AND blue sky - you just got to treasure this!

Just outside of Banff, we stopped next to this huge frozen lake, where there were signs pointing out the surrounding mountains. It was damn cold, but there was a dude playing ice hockey on the lake!

In Banff, everywhere you looked was a postcard image.

Jacqui exploring the frozen waterfall.

Jacqui playing with the ice

Main street Banff - home to Grizzly House restaurant, where fondue is king. Jac and I had beef, lobster, buffalo, venison and wild boar, cooked on a hot rock. The rattlesnake was a bit expensive.

The view from out hotel room, road trip day 3.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Snowboarding is Addictive

I think it's fair to say that I've become addicted to snowboarding. With three mountains within 30 mins of Downtown - Cypress, Grouse and Seymour - it's just too easy. It's also cool to cruise through the centre of downtown, snowboard under arm. 1 in 3 people will ask either where you're headed to, or how the conditions were. Imagine seeing people cruise through Queen street mall with surfboards.

The jury is still out for me on what is better - surfing or snowboarding. Surfing is probably still ahead, but I think once I start hitting the jumps, snowboarding may win out. It's sure nice not to have to paddle out, though that is half the fun of surfing.

I had five lessons in December/January up at Mt Seymour, and in the last two weeks I've hit my first Black Diamond run. It was the Unicorn, #13 on the trail map. There were some damn steep parts, but it was a long, fun run.

Next stop - the terrain park.

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