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Monthly Archives: October 2010

A couple of vans

Hey folks, let’s rewind once again and explore the splender that is Wes. I’ve said before and I will say it again. This here blogging stuff it’s good therapy.So here we go. Let me tell ya about a couple of vans that we had when I was growing up. I’m sure we had more, but I guess these ones left an impression on me ‘cause I can only remember stuff about them. One when I was young and one when I was old enough to drive … One year, the fam decided to take a road trip to Ontario. P.E.I – Ontario, It seems so far of a drive to a kid. Now I have no problem driving it. It’s like 20 hours or a little less.

We loaded up the old van … As I’ve said before, my Dad had a passion for old cars, vans, etc. Well, this was no exception. He bought it for $75 I think. Crazy! I can’t even buy a tire for my car for that much. It was a ‘79 Chev panel van. It was amazing. I remember Dad being extra-excited that it had a 350 big block engine in it and not the typical 305, and dual exhaust out to the side in front of the rear tires. Wow, That engine, what a nice rumble ( listen to me like I know anything about cars. Ha ha) It was red with black running boards on the outside, and was all pimped out with carpet and Pine wood on the inside. It even had a bunk at the back.(Can you picture it?) On some other occasions, I’m sure it would have made a great shagon wagon, but to us it was our family van (it was long gone by the time I was old enough to drive. Quel dommage.) OK, back to the loading up of the van … We loaded all our stuff and headed off to Ontario. Oh ya, there were 7 of us – my grandmother, my aunt and the five of us. The van was only a two-seater. (Two captain chairs at the front) We put an arm chair for my aunt and a lawn chair for my grandma,(Yep we’re hicks) us kids just hung out in the back in the bunk or there was also a bench under a huge speaker at the opening to the bunk that we could sit on. (And what a sound system… 8 track). This was before the seatbelt law. You only needed seatbelts for the seats that were stationary in the vehicle. That’s nuts. The folks decided to drive through the States(cheaper gas) and come out in Niagara Falls. I don’t recall too much, except it was hard to get a motel with Canadian money. Dad even tried to buy something with a $100 Canadian bill so he could get American change, but they gave him back Canadian. “Those bastards gave me Canadian money back,” he said. I also remember this trip because it was the first time I got to taste beer. (or at least the first time I can remember liking it) It was a long hot drive and Dad was thirsty, so we pulled over to get a drink. The old man bought a beer. “This is great,” he said, “You can get beer at the corner store.” I remember Mom scolding him for drinking while driving. He just said, “Relax, it’s light beer,” and it was. It was Coors Light and he saved me a sip. Ah yes, “Welcome to manhood,” I thought. Ha, I think I was 11.

We arrived at the U.S. border and the guard was asking the usually questions and looked in and saw all 7 of us and laughed. He told us to have a great time in Ontario and to have a safe trip back. (he reached his hand in and knocked on the wood trim as he said this) Wow, now you would be hauled in for interrogation or immigration, the van ripped apart and they would want to see all your papers. Times do change. Dad later traded that van for a Chevette of all things. An even trade. Who does that?

Now we come to my shagon wagon. Another one of Dad’s many “luxury” van deals. Man, even in its day I’m not sure this thing was ever luxury. It was a 1969 or ‘70 Ford van. It had over three-hundred thousand kilometres on it, maybe close to 400,000 when he bought it. I think he only paid $200 for it (big bucks). It needed paint. No problem, the folks painted it with rollers and paint brushes in the front yard – so professional. It was a camper van and had a pop up roof, like a VW van. Armstrong steering (not power) and no power breaks, and to make things worse, the steering was loose and had about a half of a turn of play, so when driving it, you looked like you were over-acting in a driving scene from an ‘80s movie. And to get it stopped, you had to almost stand on the breaks. Ah yes, good times. It was a workout driving that thing. (steering back and forth and standing on the breaks). You would be covered in sweat when you arrived at your destination. I camped in it for a summer at my girlfriend’s house. We both worked together, so it was convenient to drive in together Everyone at work would always say, “Wes … You live in a van down by the river.” I had no clue what they were talking about. Apparently, it’s a skit from SNL with Chris Farley I didn’t have cable. I lived in a van down by the river, for Pete’s sake. I was big, like Chris Farley, and stayed in a van, so my co-workers thought it was funny to poke fun at me, all day, every day. It was all good fun. I would just shrug it off and laugh. I just now viewed a clip of Chris Farley as Matt Foley (“I live in a van down by the river”) on You Tube, and yep, it’s still funny! (I love technology and the Internets. Everything is out there.) What a great summer I had with the old van. I would drive it to work when we had a split shift, just in case we wanted to take a “nap.” I also took it to a few staff parties. It’s always good to have somewhere to lay your head after a long night of drinking the wobbly pops. It wasn’t great, nor was it a good van by any means, but it served its purpose, got me from point A to point B. I’m not sure what Dad did with it. I know they still had it when I left for college. He should have taken it to the wreckers. He more than likely traded it to someone for another car that they would use until it was worn out or could be traded for something different. Trading and driving, and trading again, or buying $100 vehicles … growing up we had many good vehicles and many not-so-good ones I guess that’s the risk you take when making these kinds of deals. Thank god I didn’t inherit that gene. I like my vehicles on the newer side. What can I say? I’m high maintenance.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

To carb, or not to carb

Wow! I’m really tired of being penalized for not wanting to eat carbs. You ask to sub more veggies or a salad and the “f”ers want to charge you. I mean, come on, how much does some lettuce or broccoli cost? It’s a load of BS! Sometimes they want up to 3 bucks for the substitution. What a crock!!!!!!!!!!

Ever heard of a guy from PEI that does NOT eat potato? Well now you have. I’m not sure they will let me back in. Ha, ha. No, I haven’t cashed in my Island card yet. I still do enjoy potatoes, but now it’s maybe once a month or less. I would rather sub my carbs for something not so heavy (not so carbolicious).I mean, I know that you don’t keep this physique by not eating potatoes and lots of carbs, so I do have to indulge myself sometimes. I’m just trying to cut it back. Society does not want me to, well society can take a long honk on bobo for all I care. I have no problem doing this at home, it’s just when I go out. It’s not too often, maybe twice a month, but what the hell, restaurants are always pushing their extra carbs. Two apps for the price of one (all carbs), two desserts (mmmm…yummy, but carbs) and French fries or a bed of rice or mashed or even baked potatoes, sometimes even a combo of two.

You can never substitute a carb for another meat (that would be awesome, but unheard of). You can’t even substitute it for salad! Drives me absolutely nuts, and makes me so angry! I don’t want to eat it so I have to pay more, is this right? I think not. No wonder there are so many big people out there.

There was a time when I loved to double-carb it. They were good times. You know, potatoes and perogies or fries and a bed of rice. Or how about wedges with a side of roasted potatoes for dinner and, sometimes, garlic bread on top of that? Sounds good, no? That’s cause it is. Ha.

I see now that it’s all about balance. In fact, when I cut back on the carbs, I lost a pile of weight. A variation of the Atkins diet. I hate that word – diet. I still eat whatever I want whenever I want. Diet, shmiet. Everyone knows that the first three letters of diet are die. I tried to do Atkins strictly, but the problem with it is that you always got to check if you can eat this or that. Is it on the list? Can I have it often? All the time? Or avoid? Who needs that? Basically, if I want it, I will have it, and that’s that. I’m just more aware of what I’m eating. And it seems to work. I lost almost 90 lbs doing this, and I don’t want to gain it back. On the other hand, a man’s gotta live. For example, challa bread … who can resist that on Friday night dinners? I can never pass up having some bread and hummus. Or how about beer or scotch. Again, who could resist?

As my life continues on, I’m still searching for the perfect balance and hope to find it someday. I’m also waiting for the doctors to tell me that binge drinking and fast food is the healthier alternative to exercise and vegetables, or maybe a liquid lunch once or twice a week. But I’m not holding my breath for this. Doctors are slow with change. Ha, ha. So let me recap … Life is all about balance, so let’s eat to live and live to eat.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Take the good with the bad

Another year wiser,
Another year older.
Another year of happiness,
Another year of sadness.
Another year of laughter,
Another year of tears.
Another year of celebrations,
Another year of sorrows.
Another year with family and friends,
Another year with conflicts and wars.
Another year of work,
Another year of bills.
Another year of sun,
Another year of wind, snow and rain.
Another year of fine scotches and beers,
Another year of wine and cheese.
Another year of women and song,
Another year of nights that end too soon.
Another year of making memories,
Another year of forgotten times.

Yes folks, these are the wonders of life, with all its joys and pains. Here’s to year number 34.

“Another one bites the dust, another one bites the dust, and another one gone, another one gone, another one bites the dust.” – Queen

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Photography

The other year I talked Karen into buying a Canon Rebel XSI. We got a great deal at a Boxing Day sale. We were in the market for a new camera. The one we had was a piece of garbage. Karen was looking for a point and shoot, and I was looking for something with a bit more power. (Grunt, grunt) I called up my associate RC and asked him if it was a deal. He said something like “yah sure, go for it, sounds good.” (I’m paraphrasing, it was a few years now) So we bought it and we’re lovin’ it. We take it almost everywhere we go … weddings, walks in the park, and I even take it to work for work photography. It is a bit big, which Karen doesn’t like too much (due to the fact that she usually ends up carrying the bag while I take the pics). Someday, I may have to buy her the smaller point and shoot. You know, they’re good for concerts and sporting events where the SLR is too big. It’s not all about the size all the time.

We took it on our trip overseas and got some excellent pictures. Better than I would have ever imagined getting. Everyone on the street thought I was the news or paparazzi. People were posing and asking me to take their picture. One guy thought we were spies, spying on his crappy little diner. I‘m kind of big to be a spy and I kind of stand out. (What a dumbass) I was simply practising night shots on the street, trying to get the blur effect of the car light. So much I need to learn. So many different lighting effects and settings, wow, not sure I will ever learn them all. Ah, it’s only for fun anyway. We have taken pictures at a few weddings. This is a good spot to learn which settings work and which ones don’t. All sorts of different lighting and such. Sometimes the pictures turn out and sometimes they don’t, but that’s the joy of digital. Take another and another until you get the shot that you like. That’s all good if people are posing, if not it’s a little rough. Although it’s still better than film photography. At least you know what it looks like. With film, you take pictures and have to wait to find out that they didn’t turn out. That sucks. (Kids… Film: a role of thin plastic with some kind of chemicals that react to light. You install it in the camera, take 12, 24 or 36 pictures, and then you need to get the pictures developed at a store.)No SD cards or memory and no uploading to your PC.) Let’s call it old school to be cool.

I really enjoy taking and editing pictures. It keeps me out of trouble. You know idol hands are the devils playground. I even put up a website so the admiring public could see all of our amazing and not so amazing pics – whether it be trips, weddings or random shots. The Photography section of the site is great, filled with miscellaneous and scenery pictures, I love them all. I put some of my favourite pictures there. Check it out if you like. WKD Photography I always love to plug our website any chance I can get (I’m shameless). Enjoy…

Some of the pictures were fluke. I was trying for one effect but got another altogether different one, but still looked good. I am getting better now, and usually get what I’m trying for. If not on the first try, I get it by the second or third. That is a really good feeling … to plan for a shot and get it. Plus, I’m learning Photoshop so that helps.Yep, shoot everything in RAW mode and fix it later It’s all trial and error, but it sure would be nice to have someone show me the trials.(Lol)

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2010 in Uncategorized