Wednesday 24 December 2008

this line is now engaged.

first off. we made it. lucy and i drove for just under 12hrs door to door without any issue. the eurotunnel is easy and effortless. driving a left hand drive in the UK is just as easy. we've had a wonderful time back in the UK so far. met some friends, met some more friends, had a pint...had a few more pints.

ah, also.


we're engaged. i asked her in a weird dolgy-esque sort of way on monday morning and that's that. no more news. not now. not until sunday when we get to vegas.

happy xmas and all of that.

Friday 19 December 2008

disco xmas special

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Let the gamblin' drive begin!

After living in Switzerland for 3 years, for the first time, I will be driving back to England.

View Larger Map

Heading out Saturday morning, house guests confirmed to house sit, the drive will start. A little excited about it. Why? Well, I really want to see if I can get to Birmingham on one tank of diesel. 1100km. If I keep it cool and no excessive speeding or unnecessary breaks...I think it's quite possible. Sure, flying is easier, but is it more fun? I think not.

I get to drive through Champagne in France. I get to stop at Quick burger (the french/belgian rip off of McDonalds).

After spending 8 days in the UK with my left'll be off to snow covered Las Vegas to fulfill a tiny promise to myself. Never to spend new years in the same place twice. After a nice 9 days in Vegas, it'll be back to the UK for a bit more fun and excitement, and then the drive back.

That's it. Hockey free for three weeks : )

Wednesday 10 December 2008

More snow!

It's snowing in Switzerland, still.

Hockey has been in full swing. The hockey games settle down next week and will break off until January. So, between now and then I suspect I'll be playing a few games of poker, eating some food and relaxing a bit more then normal. Can give my body a rest and allow it some time to heal.

Work? Holidays? meh. same old same old. not much has changed.

When not flying off to Toronto unexpectedly, been working on some neat projects that I find interesting and fun. If you don't enjoy what you consume your time with, don't do it. Find something to enjoy...makes things much more pleasant..

Tuesday 25 November 2008

snowier times

this past weekend we got a dumping. snow snow snow snow snow. snow everywhere. snow here, snow there. winter is here. gone are the nice balmy 8C temperatures. here are the nice 3C days and the -1C nights. this is winter in montreux. will rarely get colder then this. up in the mountains where i play hockey it looks to me like they had about a foot of fresh snow this weekend. awesome. if you like to ski, this season looks to be much better then last year.

no skiing for me until after my holidays. mid-late january i'll give it a go again.

Friday 21 November 2008

the return

after a very long week last week, lucy and i are now back in switzerland trying to adjust to work and time differences, etc. it's very difficult living in two time zones. a lot of things i need to get done for toronto can only happen mid-afternoon over here. oh well. as it stands... we should be back in toronto in about 8 weeks...maybe less.

Thursday 13 November 2008

sad toronto

My grandfather.

A week ago he had a fall and was taken to the hospital. 92 years old. Throughout the next week he was lucid and his normal self : ) Two days ago things started to complicate and I received that phone call that no one ever wants.

Within minutes, Lucy and I were in the car headed north to Zurich for a flight to Montreal, with another flight waiting for us to take us from Montreal to Toronto. 18 hours later, we're in Toronto and getting up to speed on how things are. During our flight we found out that he went from very bad to very good and it was very surprising for the doctors.

By the time we were finally able to get to the hospital, he had gone back to very bad and as the hours passed, he came back to good...and i was able to speak to him and spend some time.

Sadly a few hours ago things went bad again and he passed away.

An honest man with integrity. That's how I will remember him.

Monday 3 November 2008


We have snow in Switzerland now. The mountain tops are frosted like a delicious cupcake. My foot hurts.

Tuesday 14 October 2008

slightly bruised.

so, if you haven't heard already, october 31 2008 is my last day with ibm switzerland. long story, wont get into it ... mixed emotions. what next? you decide... ; )

in the meantime, i've been keeping myself busy. lots of hockey. sunday i played in a 4 team hockey tournament in villars:

"11 - 0 contre la 1ère équipe de Malley, puis 7 - 0 contre la 2ème équipe du même club, et finalement 10 - 0 contre le HC St.-Cergue en finale"

I had 5 goals in game 1, 2 in game 2 and relaxed after that ;)

Last night it was a game again. I only had 4.

10 years on after starting to play on a regular basis, i've made huge improvements. it's nice in a way to see that hard work, determination and passion have all paid off in one way or another.


Wednesday 24 September 2008

let the games begin

The new winter hockey season starts soon. NHL, Swiss, CHiP HL! Oh yeah. That's right. I have a nice big list of 41 games between now and march 3, 2009. exciting. hopefully i'll add more games over the next week.

nothing else is overly new or exciting. still in switzerland, yep. who's visiting? i have a nice guest bed that feels like concrete...!


Monday 1 September 2008

maybe. dead. peut-être.

it's been an interesting weekend.

i'm sure you've seen falling rock signs once in your life, while driving. well, i see them all the time. i play hockey up above 1000m in the ski resorts here in Switzerland. on my way home friday night, i had the unfortunate pleasure of receiving my first falling rock. it landed on the side of my car, near the fuel tank. the damage isn't bad...but i gotta wonder.

what is the point of the road sign? in my car, i can do nothing. you can't drive while looking up to the sky. what if you did? what if you saw a rock falling? surely no level of skill or avoidance technique would make it better. oh well.

ah, now if you have been following for a while, you'll know i had a gold-fish type fish. Maybe. he wasn't actually a gold fish. to be honest, not quite sure what type of fish he was. in any event, he died last night. gave him a proper burrial instead of the royal flush...and now he'll be enjoying lake geneva from his rose garden.

Sunday 24 August 2008

woof. the old dog and a new trick

over the past 10 years or so i've managed to keep myself ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. over the past 2 years i'd say that i've slowed down and have allowed some technology to pass me by.

For example, web pages. They aren't simple anymore. From tables, to css, to javascript, it's all gotten a little insane. So much to the point, i really have no interest in learning about it all again. Sure, I can make a simple page, but the more complex crazy nice ones...well, web 2.0 has passed me by.

Programming? Been looking at getting back into developing again. I look at C, C++, Java and i've lost a lot of interest. I'm now looking into Android, the new google sponsored mobile phone platform. It seems to be neat, but I just don't know. I don't have this overwhemling urge to jump into it...and well, i have no real reason to learn it.

My fear now is that I have cornered myself into one technology.

Following up on my last post, i crave something new. Now to find it. Something that appeals to the old dog...something new.


Tuesday 12 August 2008

the disgruntled odyssey

i have a theory. it's a good one. wont you sit down and read it?

i can not speak for any other industry and only the one i am currently in, and have been for the last decade and a bit:

2.5 years at one company in the same role is the limit

I strongly believe this.

If you are in a role that does not evolve to constantly challenge you, then you will fall out with the role and the people around you, to the point that productivity slides.

How to change this? Evolve.

Friday 25 July 2008

more trip thoughts

so, do i drive to genoa, take a ferry over to greece and then try and get a ferry to cyprus and then a ferry to egypt...or do i drive as far east / south east as i can and chance it through syria and turkey.....oh the dilemma's!

Sunday 20 July 2008

jazz is over and the drive will begin!

well, last night was the final night of the 42nd montreux jazz festival. i gotta say, it's great for a few days (third year i've been here for it) but after kinda just wears on. it's nice experiencing it with people who've never if you are planning on being here next year, let me know.

no car accidents this month.

new sofa has arrived. yep. i bought a new one. how good is it? well, it's nice. the two i had previously...those will be moving into the downstairs room. i'll be able to accomodate another 4-6 people now in the house. 2 up, 2 down, 4 down-down. not bad i say. i just need to charge sleeping fees ;)

in other news...i'm in the initial stages of planning a road trip. prague? well that was fun...but wasn't far enough. no. my idea is to go flat out for 48hrs ... sure i'll stop here and there...but from here, can you figure out where i can get to in 48hrs at 120km/hr? : ) that's 5760km...

i haven't finalized dates yet...but i do have a target in mind. research into insurance is completed and that's not an issue. visas i'm researching now and routes. now i just need to decide if we'll use a production company to produce a documentary of it. similar to the long way round...

Tuesday 1 July 2008

5 Years and Canada Day

This time, 5 years ago, I was starting my first day of work in Barnwood, Gloucestershire, England. It was only my third or fourth day in a whole new (old) world and it was the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

I had never been to europe and that had all changed.

It's interesting to look back now on how things have evolved in the past 5 years. From celebrating Canada Day on my 3 year annivesary in London to chilling out with friends and having a BBQ at the house here in Switzerland, it's been a wild ride so far.

Had you asked me 5 years ago where I thought I'd end up or what I was doing ... today was definately not where I had pictured myself.

Tonight I will continue to do what I have done for the past five years.

I will keep challenging myself with "new things" to do. I've taken up golfing. I'm absolutely crap and will be acquiring the services of a professional trainer to bestow some nice habits upon thee. This is like skiing. I don't like it but it's something different and I will keep pushing myself to take advantage of my surroundings and opportunities while I'm here.

Who knows, maybe in 5 yrs i'll be in a completely different place...

Happy Canada Day, eh.

Sunday 22 June 2008

summer and cobbler

so summer has finally arrived. yesterday, in celebration of the longest day of the year -- in terms of daylight -- some people came to visit, enjoy a bbq, drink some beer and swim in the pool. was nice. today promises to have a few more moments of sunlight if i recall (it being a leap year).

Geeking out, I've upgraded my home computer from Fedora Core 8 to Fedora Core 9. Now i'm playing with Cobbler and looking at using it to deploy automatically some images so i can start testing some new ideas. Boy, does the fun never stop here. Really.

I've also ordered a new phone. My HTC s620 keeps falling. It's still in great working condition but it's a little scratched and messy ... so i've ordered the HTC s710. Still, just a phone. I don't need an iPhone, i don't need GPS in my phone. I just want a phone i can check my email, type quickly and ummm maybe take a few photos.

That's all. 32C the entire week here at the PP.


Thursday 12 June 2008

she bangs...

well, i normally don't post crap like this, but i was impressed by it. i even think an old colleague, scarr, would appreciate this

have a blast

Thursday 5 June 2008

we're gonna party like it's my birthday

so obviously, judging from the emails and facebook messages, a few people remembered my birthday on may 31. i wasn't around. haven't been online for a wee bit. been travelling and experiencing Europe a bit too much.

Here's the drive I've done in the past week:

View Larger Map

The neat thing I've only just realized is that I am only about 350km from the Mediterranean. Coming back via the St. Bernard Tunnel. My second time through the tunnel and still find it amazing. My only concern this time was that it's so high up, the temperature drops and I only have my summer tires on. Oh well, still got home safe and sound. 5 1/2 hours it took from Monaco to my front door. Less time then it takes to get to Montreal : )

So now I'm back at home...gonna relax for a few days and get back into the work swing of things. Lucy is now living over here and has bought a cute little Peugeot 206 convertible clown car. While she goes and plays with that, I'll be playing with the present she bought me: Logitech Harmony 785 Universal Remote


Monday 26 May 2008

Paris in 72 hours!

Got back from Paris last night with very very sore feet. A neat place. Didn't experience the pick pockets like everyone else i know...I did experience Angelina's famous hot chocolate. I'm still feeling the chocolate buzz today.

I've also gotten into the Croque-Madam. Over here in Switzerland I can only ever get the Croque Monsieur. Well, I'm a big fan of the Croque-Madam now.

Saturday night, ended up at The Great Canadian Pub, Paris. Ended up staying until 1.30am ... hoping to see game 1 of the Stanley Cup final between Detroit and Pittsburgh. Too bad, it started at 2am and I was exhausted. Oh well. Was only game 1...

Wednesday 21 May 2008

toronto in 48 hours

was in toronto this past weekend for 48hrs for my grandmother's 90th birthday party. some things in toronto just never change. flights there and back were fine. this time, no bags were lost. heathrow terminal 5 is very nice. a little crap having to transfer between terminal 4 and terminal 5 ... other then that a doddle as you'd say.

this week, friday, off to paris and then toulon,france and the rest of the french riviera the following weekend and then ... no more travelling ever. can get expensive after a while : )

the car is in the body shop and will be ready friday. taking a week to fix. for now, i get a nice audi a4 1.8t wagon. woo! the fun. means i can buy some garden furniture hopefully.

Thursday 8 May 2008

april showers bring may flowers

me again. i'm still around. muahahahha. been busy. finally managed to go and experience a little of what Zurich has to offer. i was impressed. i quite enjoyed myself and the people i met up with.

April kinda flew by. Preparing now for a very busy month of may. between work and traveling, it's hectic to say the least. I was supposed to be in Hong Kong right now playing in the HK5's tournament. Due to some work issues and scheduling conflicts I had to cancel my flights and skip it. That's ok. There's always next time.

Don't really have much to write about except my grass. The lawn is so thick and if i don't cut the grass every week it becomes unmanageable. much like my hair.


Wednesday 23 April 2008

exchange that license my it.

for those who have known me for years, you'll undoubtedly have heard of my stories trying to exchange my Canadian drivers license for my UK one back in 2003/2004. for those who don't, quick synopsis:

As a Canadian, you can only exchange your Canadian license for a UK "Automatic" driving license unless You can prove that You have taken a driving test in a manual car.

I contacted the Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) for a copy of my driving test (which was done in the 99 VW Jetta - VR6 manual transmission) and they advised that after you pass your test and you are entered into the computer, the paper is destroyed. They do not record what type of transmission you used to do your test on. This meant in the UK I would have to do a road test to prove I could drive safely a manual machine. No thanks. I'll move to Switzerland. They seem more clever there.

Now here we are, in Switzerland. To date now, I have been 3 times to try and exchange my Canadian license for my Swiss license. Each time it has been one disappointment after another. They never give you a form saying make sure you bring all these different pieces of paper, identity, medical forms, etc. Depends on who you speak with ... and their mood ... dictates what you need to bring with to exchange your license.

So, keeping this in mind, I showed up to exchange my license (sorry ... not exchange ... obtain a swiss one and still keep my canadian ... just makes my canadian one not valid in switzerland. they put big yellow stickers on it to say so) ... i go to the desk, give over all my information, etc. Things are going well. I've managed to do it all right this time.


Not this time.


Turns out, because i have a "G" class license from Ontario, I am allowed to drive vehicles in Switzerland that are B, BE and C. Turns out B is a normal car. Great. BE is a normal car with a trailer. Cool. C is a vehicle over 3.5 tonnes. Because I'm allowed to drive a C type vehicle, I need to go and get a medical test. This would mean a fifth trip. Thankfully I was able to explain that I have no desire to drive a big truck or Winnebago ... so I filled in a form that excludes me from the right to drive a C class vehicle.

Finally. I should have my swiss license for driving in a few days. Then they can take it away for speeding and other great things that unusually happen when i am driving minding my own business...

Monday 21 April 2008

technology can suck my kazoo

Where to start.

1. 1and1 could possibly be the worst provider i have ever dealt with as a customer, ever. I pay a small portion monthly for a 1&1 Root Server III. I have had this now for almost five years maybe? A long time... Consistently once or twice a year the machine dies. Just goes offline.

end_request: I/O error, dev 03:01 (hda), sector 0
end_request: I/O error, dev 03:01 (hda), sector 525096
EXT3-fs error (device ide0(3,1)): ext3_get_inode_loc: unable to read
inode block - inode=29683, block=65637
end_request: I/O error, dev 03:01 (hda), sector 0
EXT3-fs error (device ide0(3,1)) in ext3_reserve_inode_write: IO failure
end_request: I/O error, dev 03:01 (hda), sector 0
end_request: I/O error, dev 03:01 (hda), sector 525096

I'm no rocket scientist (yet) but that looks like hard drive problems to me. Each and every time this error happens when the server is no longer available via tcp/ip or serial console.

Each time I open a ticket and maybe 2-3 days later it's resolved with a hard reboot or "a loose cable was found" and fixed. If I didn't have people who depended on the machine being up, I would be quite amused.

More amusing is the inability to find live operators online to help or the remote hint at getting a service credit. HA HA HA. More and more i realize that with the internet catching on, many companies can happily take money for shit service with no recourse. What is someone going to do? Sue over 150usd/month? Sue over the lost money?

What I really love is the auto-responder:

Dear Customer,

This is an autoresponder e-mail.

Thank you for your recent e-mail.

We expect to answer your e-mail within the next 12 to 24 hours.

-- Hi, how about fix my machine within 12-24 minutes. It's 2008! Does it take 12-24 hours to fly an engineer onsite to resolve the problem? Bastards.

2. My IBM VPN. Who knew that upgrading my VPN software at the suggestion of the auto-updater would completely destroy any chance I have of connecting to the internal network and keeping myself productive. Now I can't do anything and it's fantastic.

There are forums dedicated to extracting and ripping this 'pos' VPN software off the cmputer and reinstalling. Apparently the uninstaller isn't quite groovy enough to work. Calls to technical support? Complete waste of time.

Maybe I just provide to my customers such a high level of support and expect this in return when I'm a customer. Thinking about it now...when businesses want my money, it's so easy to take but so difficult to maintain. Why is that?

I think the internet in general may be fucked a little bit and I'll have to rethink all of this.

Monday 31 March 2008

2800km, 4 wins, 2 loss, 3rd.

Well, the trip is over. Back at work trying very hard to fight off a cold that's sneaking up on me. In total I put around 2800km on the car this past week. I managed to do Prague to Montreux in 7hrs. A little crazy given I was on snow tires and it was 25C on the road!!! Ahh well. Last thing I wanted to do was spend even more time in the car. To be honest, I'm a little sick of driving. No more big road trips for a few weeks, atleast.

So, the tournament. Was fun. Lots of fun. The group of guys I was with? A hoot. Could have been the first time I've played for a team where everyone got along. No personality conflicts, nothing. I'm hopeful that some photos will surface soon online. I don't have that many. The tournament organizers ensured that there were videos taken and lots of photos. There is a very nice team photo that was done. I am hoping to find a copy of it so I can post it online.

In total we lost 3 games, won 4, and finished 3rd in the tournament. I believe that I managed to win the top knucklehead category with the most penalties in the tournament. I finished the last game with 16min in penalties. I don't agree with the reasons ... c'est la vie. I had fun. The ovation I received as I left the ice in with 4 min to go in the last game (game ejection) was the highlight for me. I don't know if they were clapping because I amused them ... or if they were clapping because they didn't like me and were happy I was leaving. I'll believe in the clapping for me because i'm the best. Yep.

Anyways, fun.

Friday 28 March 2008

500km + 1 loss

today, march 27, we only had one game. we lost a spirited effort 8-5. 7-5 if you don't count the goal against while we had our goalie pulled with less then a minute to go. prior to the game i had taken another round-trip scenic drive to Brno, Czech Republic with Greg so he could drop off his "old faithful".... he has to pick it up tomorrow. In total, for this trip, I will have made 3 round trips to Brno. Wow. Exciting.

The hockey here is great. Light checking. In Switzerland if you touch someone they go nuts. Here, it's ok. If a clean hit is given...that's ok too. If it's a dirty hit, well...thankfully the referee's aren't blind. I enjoy this kind of hockey. It is how its supposed to be played.

So far I have a nice slash along the left side of my belly, a puck shaped bruise in my right/center belly and a bruised top right foot from a blocked shot. That's what I'm really proud of. I can't flex my right big toe without it cramping from the bruise. So cool.

This evening we ventured up to Prague (Praha) to watch HC Silva play in game 5 of their best of 7 playoff series. It was fun. The crowds here love their hockey. It's a pleasure to be a part of...

Wednesday 26 March 2008

2 wins + 1500km


Made it to my final destination in the czech republic with a few small issues, but nothing major. if you haven't already heard, i was pulled over 1km from the Czech border, in Germany for speeding. Kinda. After searching my car, going through my papers and everything else,
they let me drive away. I was amused ... but wasn't overly concerned at the time. Speeding ticket in Germany is against their constitution, no? My driving buddy (in another car ... bmw M3) had to pull over twice due to mechanical reasons. Shoulda bought an Audi,
eh? So today and tomorrow I will be / have been the runner for him driving down to Brno, CZ from Velke Mezirici.

A few may be asking, why I am in this little town in the Czech Republic? Hockey, duh.

Today was the first day of the tournament. Our team beat a French team from Paris 9-3. Our second game of the day was against a team from Toulon, France. 9-3. So far we are doing well, however, the Russian team looks very strong. They showed up with 3 full lines and
3 goalies! They have one guy that's very old and plays with no helmet. That is amusing.

Anyways, just a quick note to say hola, and add some filler about me. Hope all is well


ps. canada flag sticker on the back of the car is nice...and i'm sure helped me in not getting a ticket / arrested in Germany

Monday 24 March 2008

that little tickle

I'm off to the Czech Republic tomorrow. My GPS can find the town but can not find the hotel! Can't wait. I've had to put my snow tires back on because we have lovely white and fluffy snow all around this region. Hopefully the rest of the team that leaves a few hours before me...will have an uneventful journey and will arrive at the hotel safely (and be able to give great directions!)

I went skiing yesterday in Ovronnaz. Was fun for a bit until the clouds rolled in and it started snowing. Ended up down in the baths and relaxed for a few hours in the hot water while my face was burnt by the wind and snow. What a tickle...

Monday 17 March 2008

winter has returned

just when i was excited for summer to be on us, we've been hit with a lot of precipitation and colder weather. oh well. the past weekend was nice. quite pleasant and a good break. was nice to speak with my house guests as opposed to the normal jazz cafe crowd.

Watched Sweeny Todd, Juno and Golden Compass. I think Juno was the best out of the bunch. At times I didn't like some of the dialogue. Seemed forced or trying to be funny ... and at other times when the dialogue was simple it was great and amusing.

This week is a short week. Easter Friday / Monday then off to Czech...

Here is the tournament advertisement:

Friday 14 March 2008

winter be gone

it's warmed up again. consistently in the teens temperature wise over here in switzerland. still the occasional snow falling up in the mountains...i wont complain. i really enjoy winter here. much better then toronto.

the car is great ... no complaints still. i have tickets for the auto show this year but really can't bring myself to find a reason to go. i like my car. infact, i don't think i could find another car right now, new or slightly new, that could tweak my interest. I'm happy. Content. Go figure.

Hockey season is winding down. Another week and it's over officially here in Switzerland. I then go on the trip to the Czech Republic to play the last week of March ... then nothing until May in Hong Kong! Then end of may in Toulon.

Work is going well. May have taken a while but things have evolved very quickly in the past 60 days. 2008 has started off quite well and i can foresee something larger on the horizon.

now, i have a few friends visiting from the UK for the weekend. Time to play host and listen to thick english accents. wonder if I miss them. the accents.

happy steak & bj day to anyone who's getting some. steak.

Tuesday 26 February 2008

Sunday 24 February 2008

swiss life

This past week I've played hockey every night except Tuesday. When not playing hockey, of course, I'm working. When I find time in between the hockey and work ... I sit here and blog! Does anyone read? Probably not. Do I care? Nah. This is somewhat therapeutic to sit here and ramble on about nothing much. Well, that's not true.

--- maybe the goldfish is still alive. 1 week old. i have since renamed him to a name i really shouldn't post online. let's just say he looks like a german dictator from the late 1930's-1945. I'll post photos and you'll understand. He is responding well to the name change. I've also decided to make him the fattest goldfish in the world. He now enjoys multiple multi-course meals of fish pellets daily. He's acting strange like a deranged psychopath hell bent on taking over the world. Could be the moustache. Could be the illegal fish bowl. Either way, if you don't hear from me for a few weeks...suspect the fish.

Last night I played hockey for the first time with the team I will be travelling to the Czech Republic with at the end of March for an ice hockey tournament. In total there are six teams. The following countries are represented (from what I recall):

France x 2
Czech Republic

Yes, I realize that makes five, not six. Sue me. Anyways, the game went well. We only had three substitutes on the bench which made it tough. Honestly though, this was my fourth game this week and all the games we only had 3 substitutes on the bench. Needless to say, my new skates have been broken in a little bit ahead of schedule. I like them.

In the next few weeks I'll hopefully be playing with "Android" -- Google's sponsored cell phone operating system. That or getting back into some java programming. I have a few ideas and starting to have free time during the nights and evenings. As always, I'm brewing up some new schemes on how to take over the world through investments in Nutella.

Post ya later!

Friday 15 February 2008

a quiet valentine

For those of you who know me ... even a little bit, you'll know that i think this valentine's day is a complete waste of time and a commercial scam. I would suggest that the world have a Dolgy day. It's as good as an excuse to spend money as this Valentine thing. If you want to buy someone roses, why not do it when you want...not when someone long ago decided that February 14 would be the day of days...

I spent my evening watching prison break.

Now, the reason for this blog. I found it quite amusing and cute. I was given a gift. It wasn't a valentine's day gift. Just a gift from one friend to another. I am very difficult to buy a gift for. If I want something, I go and buy it. Clothes, toys, books (except the last one...), etc.

I was given a goldfish. I've never owned one in my life. The goldfish has been named "Maybe". Why? Well, again, if you know me...I rarely commit to anything until the last minute. It's easy to say maybe...just incase. Never know what might happen.

Also turns out that in Switzerland, a normal glass fishbowl is illegal. Apparently it leads to depression in fish. Funny that.

Anyways, I now have a fish decorating the house. Hopefully it lives without trying to kill itself from depression...

Thursday 14 February 2008

Home sweet home

Last week, as some of you know, I travelled back to Toronto. I left Switzerland on Thursday and arrived in Toronto that night. Spent a quiet sushi / sake filled evening with my brother, sister and her boyfriend. Friday night, for those of you who were brave enough to venture out into the nasty elements gripping toronto, I had a fun time at Gretzky's. Saw lots of familiar faces and faces from a life long past. Was great. Especially that burrito at 2am.

Thoughts about Toronto? At one point, it was -28C and in total, the entire time i was there, 45cm of snow fell. I don't miss it. I the friends, I miss the family ... but overall, I do not miss the city. It's my home town, and forever it will be just that.

Now, I'm back in Switzerland. Of course, British Assways is consistently horrible and managed to lose 2 of the 3 bags I checked. They did arrive today, less then 24hrs after I landed ... so i'm not that upset. Amused more then anything.

Saturday 2 February 2008

drink with a dolgy?

For those of you unlucky enough to
  1. live in toronto
  2. be in my address book
  3. speak with me
I have emailed you an invitation to come for a drink Friday February 8 @ 8pm. I'm posting here for everyone else who i haven't invited, who may not live in toronto and most probably do not speak to me ... yet continue to stalk me online ; ) (Amy Winehouse and Britney Spears I know you're reading...!)

Email me if you want more information.

Things have been super hectic and truth be told, i'm looking forward to the 8 hour flight back to Toronto. Gives my brain a bit of a rest and leaves me with no control. Just sit back...wait.

Hockey is going well. I play this year on three teams officially. Nestle "A" and Riviera are two of the teams and are in the CHIP HL. The third is Nestle "B" team. We opted this year to set up this team for people who wanted to have fun playing in an atmosphere that isn't as competitive as the league the Nestle "A" team plays in. There have been some weeks where I've been on the ice 5 out of 7 days. I enjoy it to no end but my body is starting to suffer. My right wrist of which I have had many problems with over the past 10 years has gotten increasingly worse. Making a fist hurts my elbow! Same problem as years ago. That is on my list of things to do in February. Have a doctor look at it and advise. Hopeful that a third operation isn't necessary. March I'm off to the Czech Republic for a 1 week tournament and then in May, I'm back to Hong Kong for the Hong Kong International 5's ice hockey tournament again.

Now, onto the geek stuff. On my home computer I have been trying when I have spare time to maximize my download speeds so that perhaps I could watch streaming high definition video. I found that on my desktop I was getting max speeds of about 200kbps download and 151kbps upload. That's crap when I'm paying for 200mbps! On my laptop running some tests it reports my speed to be 5329kbps download and 451kbps upload. Better, but still shit given what I pay.

Turns out, if i use a program on my desktop that isn't java based (Azureus / BitTyrant) i get a huge speed increase. I'm not close to the 5329kbps that my laptop reports, but I am doing around 900kbps which is much much better. Why is it like this I wonder. Maybe when I next have free time in September...

The car is fine. People here keep kicking their car doors open when they exit their car...leaving nice scratches all over it. There are now 2 additional A5's in the office parking lot (sorry jerks, i was first) and two black S5's (still...i was first).

That's all...back to tinkering with speed.

Tuesday 29 January 2008

hockey hockey hockey

been so busy playing hockey at night and working during the day, i've had no time for anything else. the latest thing was Saturday afternoon. We had our second annual open invitation for people at Nestle that wanted to try ice hockey (full equipment).

Some photographs above. Stayed up to watch the NHL all star game the other night. that was nice.

booked my flights for this year's hong kong tournament. may 6-10 i'll be playing and entering the hackers hockey club again into the tournament. looking forward to that. march it's off to the Czech republic to play in a week long tournament, and then during my birthday weekend it's off to Toulon, France for another tournament.

I love this game.

Thursday 17 January 2008

Skiing photos

I've uploaded some photos from the past weekend. Not many. Didn't have time as I was flying down the mountain in a mad panic.

Tuesday 15 January 2008

conquered...and sore

I managed to do the following trip Saturday during a very nice and heavy snow storm:

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One issue with GPS in the car is that it did not pick up what roads are closed for a season. So we had to make a big detour ... I still think that the road was open, but ... we'll never know. Anyways, spent Sunday skiing at

I have never skiied as much as I did that day. I have to admit, at one point I did enjoy it. Laying in the snow at 2600m, waiting for people to finish racing down a piste a few times...enjoying the sun and the fresh clean air and silence. I don't think this is what people enjoy about skiing but eh...I found something.

Funnily, I had gone against my first lesson I made myself promise when I moved to Europe. Never assume or expect anything. As I was running out of diesel heading up to Saint-Sorlin D'Arves ... i figured there would be a gas station there I could fill up at.


Nothing. Closest gas station was in Saint-Jean de Maurienne ... 21km away according to the GPS. I set off Sunday evening in neutral the majority of the way. By the time i had reached the gas station, the needle was the lowest ever and the gas station was infact a brand new Citroen dealership ... NOT A GAS STATION. The next one wasn't much use either. Eventually I saw a McDonalds in the distance and thought at worst I would drown my sorrows with le big mac (how's that for french?) while my car sat empty in the parking lot...

Nope. I saw an AGIP in the some diesel into the sucker and that was that. Drove back up, had a nice relaxing sleep and headed back home the next morning, aching and in pain from the previous day of skiing.

View Larger Map

Back to Toronto Feb 7-12. Can't wait to feel that harsh cold disgusting Toronto winter again.

Friday 11 January 2008

Attempt #9

When I moved to Switzerland December 31, 2005 I had never in my life put on a pair of ski boots (let alone held a pair of skis) or stood at the top of a piste looking downwards at the scenery below and beyond.

Two years and 11 days on, I have been skiing 8 times. People say that playing ice hockey will help me because it gives me some degree of co-ordination or balance, or something. Sure it does. I think that playing ice hockey and the amount of time I've spent on skates has taught me some pretty valuble bad habits. Much to the point that my legs are so sore and exhausted after a few minutes ... i know i'm not doing things right.

"Relax your body...don't use your legs..."

Funny guy said that to me. I ended up doing a snow plow with my chin. I think by playing hockey and never learning how to ski before, it has ruined any and all chances i have of ever enjoying it.

Why do people do it?

The scenery:

Yeah right. If you aren't looking at the idiots in front of you and behind you and you aren't looking at the tree's lining the piste and you do happen to look up....yes, that's a nice view. However, you only get to appreciate this view while parked firmly on your ass in a big heap of snow after you've wiped out or succumbed to exhaustion.

The adrenaline:

Hmmm. This is a good one. If you ever go skiing, try not to turn. Go in a straight line and see how fast you can go. Sure gets my heart rate going. To the point that i realize that I still have a lot to live for and dying in a heap of me somewhere on a ski slope while attempting to nudge my adrenaline levels to a new high isn't quite how i picture going.

The calm:

All i hear are kids whizzing past me yammering on in french. I have no idea what they are saying...but I can imagine. Needless to say, skiing, unless you're alone in a heap of snow by yourself, isn't that calm.

Of course, this is just me and it's something I really do not like doing. But I persevere. I'm not exactly sure why I trudge on...but I do. For now. Next stop, Saint Sorlin d'Arves, France. Going to meet a few bulls there for some "fun filled skiing".

aka goofy

Thursday 10 January 2008

back online!

For three years and11 days, I have not had a personal computer for use when I am sitting at home. That's changed now. My computer arrived from England and is now connected and humming along downloading updates and downloading FC8 (fedora core 8). It's actually a little exciting.

I'm supposed to be off to a hockey game tonight, but i really feel like dorking about on the computer and getting it working so i can use it to do more work...if that makes sense.

In other news, I set up *another* blog ... it's dedicated to my car. I will not gloat or go on and on about this piece of aluminum steel on my 'personal' blog. Instead, that will go on the other, with pictures too.


Thursday 3 January 2008

Celebrate New Years in Switzerland

December 31, 2007:

10.30pm -- Headed home and made some dinner. Left over mashed potatoes and some frozen turkey tits from October.

11.25pm -- Decided to walk out onto the terrace, grab a seat and reflect on the past year while looking out over lake geneva and up at the clear star filled sky.

11.30pm -- Every bell in Switzerland started to ring. All the churches, it was magnificent. I don't think i've heard anything like that in my life. The setting was surreal and the sound...well, who knew. It lasted a good 25 minutes and I was left wondering, why?

So i've done a little looking around thanks to google:

"It is an old folk tradition that spirits of darkness walk around the last night of the year. Therefore, the demons must be frightened away with ringing bells, lest they linger and work evil on men and beasts."

Is it true? Who knows. It did bring a nice big smile to my face and was a welcome way to end off 2007 and to put it behind me.

Wednesday 2 January 2008

his story

a new year and a new way of doing things.

for almost 10 years i have maintained through one form or another a presence on the internet for my personal thoughts, photos and life. it has been invaluable in allowing friends, family and miscellaneous people to see who i am, what i'm up to and where i'll be, without having to retell stories over and over again.

i find my internet presence to be a great tool for self-reflection and historical reference.

i look back over the years and can't help but think about what a wonderful ride it has been so far.

great times in toronto, the move to england and then switzerland, where i am still based. i know not what the future holds, but i do know that i will be using this forum to continue the chronicle for those who might be interested...what's next?