Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oh Ho Ho

Somewhere along the way, Scotty learned that the white-bearded man in the red suit likes to say, "Oh-ho-ho." Snowmen say it too, apparently.

Hope you had a Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas 1978 - 2008

My Grandma A gave me a Christmas outfit in 1978, when I was a about 14 months old. As noted in a previous blog post, my mom dug it out of a box somewhere and sent it to us just before Scott was born.

Because his birthday is earlier in the year, he was 20 months old when we dressed him up in the Christmas outfit, so it wasn't a perfect fit. Still, he looked awful cute and we took plenty of pictures. You just don't see many red velvet vests these days.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas in the Idaho Hills

This year we spent Christmas with my family at the home my parents just acquired on the outskirts of Pocatello, Idaho. They are in the area called Buckskin, and they've started calling their place the "Buckskin Lodge" for reasons obvious from the photos.

It was constructed a number of years ago out of ENORMOUS logs and is heated from stove in the massive stone fireplace. Obviously, my parents love it.

Instead of skiing, the lodge offered direct access to sledding -- by way of the driveway. The daily runs with the tractor-snowblower left great snowbanks along the driveway that created a track much like a luge track. The kids (large and small) had a great time. The video shows Scotty and me making a run together.

After 2 or 3 trips, he decided he'd had enough.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Building of Bankers Court

I started a summer internship in May 2008 in a downtown Calgary office building. Out of my 20th-storey window, I could see another structure being built across the street. After a little searching, I learned that it is called Bankers Court, a $68 million addition to the Bankers Hall complex. I found it fascinating to see how quickly they poured the cement for the successive floors, making the building appear to sprout like a plant.

To track the progress, I took a picture on my 3rd day of work and I tried to take one every 2 weeks since then. Today the cranes lifted the portable toilets off the roof, so the job must be nearly completed. That's good, because today is the last day of my "summer" job.

May 8 2008

June 9 2008

June 25 2008

July 4 2008

July 23 2008

August 13 2008

August 29 2008

September 15 2008

September 29 2008

November 17 2008

November 24 2008

December 10 2008

December 17 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Off Road Racing in Calgary

Do you like rally racing? What about winter rally racing?

After a fairly dry November with nothing but brown grass and dry pavement, Calgary had a sudden dousing of 16 cm (6.3 inches) of snow on Sunday. Regular roads turned into rally courses as conditions transformed overnight. Unfortunately, not every driver is a qualified racer, and there were more than 200 accidents reported. I was almost party to one of them, even though I wasn't on the road.

I was standing in a bus shelter on 53rd street NW, when I saw a Subaru wagon slide wide on a left turn and bounce over a curb onto the sidewalk near me. He missed a fire hydrant by about three feet and just kept driving on the sidewalk behind the bus shelter until he could pull back onto the road again.

I left my car at home and took the bus because I thought conditions would be crazy. Now I wonder if I would have been safer in my car.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Power Struggles

Based on the title, this blog could be about two things:

1. The move to try to unseat the currently-governing Conservative Party of Canada and replace it with the first coalition government in nearly a century.
2. The weakening performance of my laptop battery and the malfunction of its electric adapter amid the frenzy of end-of-semester exams and assignments.

It is about the latter.

The battery in my 2.5-year-old Dell laptop has been fading slowly. It used to get more than 2 hours per charge, but now it gets an hour or less. This hasn't been a problem, because I can usually plug it with the AC adapter... until last night. We were using my computer to host a webcast of our quarterly performance and the adapter mysteriously gave out, slowly draining the battery until the computer suddenly died, cutting the webcast to an abrupt finish.

I still had a number of important files on the computer that I needed for the truckload of assignments due this week, so I had to borrow an adapter long enough to pull all the files off. I also face a substantial outlay of cash to replace my ailing equipment.

I wonder if the economic stimulus package promised by the invading coalition has any IT allocations for harried MBA students. I doubt it.