Friday 31 December 2010

Sortilège (Canadian Whisky & Maple Syrup Liqueur)

Without wanting to sound like I have a problem with the 'drink', having back to back posts relating to alcohol, I cannot delay posting about this.  An absolute gem.  Something, as a Canadian, I never knew existed. 

Produced exclusively in Quebec, as a Toronto native, born and raised, it never crossed the border.  Absolutely delicious if it's kept in the freezer and served, well, frozen.  By doing this, you loose about 1/3 of the liquid as it all congeals .. and when you pour it out, it's almost like a thick sludge.  However, when you taste it, incredible.  

I went to the LCBO at Summerhill and inquired if they had this.  "Excuse me, do you have any Whisky from Quebec?", I asked...  

"We only sell Canadian whisky.", was the response I received.

Too bad.  If you have an opportunity to try it, you will not be disappointed.  

Celebrating with an old friend...

A few years ago, while enjoying a somewhat entertaining lifestyle, I took it upon myself to make a tiny investment.  I purchased a bottle of Cristal.  It is the second one I've ever purchased and this one would sit in a cold dark cave until I had such opportunity to celebrate.  

Small interesting fact:  I don't like Cristal.  Out of the various champagnes that the region has to offer, I find this one above all others, gives me heart burn.  It comes down to the bubbles and how dry it is. 

So, off it went, into a cave, until I had something to celebrate...
  1. Cristal put into storage (October 2007)
  2. Met Lucy (March 2008)
  3. Parted ways with Nestle (February 2009)
  4. Moved from Montreux, Switzerland to London, England (April 2009) and left the Cristal in the care of a very good and more importantly, trusted friend.
  5. Married Lucy on July 01, 2009.  
  6. Lucy and I moved to Doha, Qatar for August 2009
I've not finished.  4 or 5 of the above could very well justify opening the bottle and having a drink. 
  1. Jack Dolgy was born, October 24, 2009.  
  2. Lucy, Jack and I left Doha, Qatar permanently September, 2010
  3. We all moved to Zurich, Switzerland, October, 2010
  4. Started a fantastic new job at Swiss Re.  October 2010
Still, these are fantastic things to celebrate, but not quite there....
  1. January 01, 2011, we all move to our new and permanent home in Thalwil, Switzerland
Yes, this is the one.  We will not open it for new year's eve.  Will not even open it on new year's day.  We will enjoy it on January 4 / 5 when we can finally sit down with Jack in our home and celebrate the 10 milestones that are mentioned above...

Here are some photographs outlining the swank that is Cristal.  Happy new years and this old friend will soon celebrate with us a very interesting and dynamic 3 1/2 years.

Tuesday 28 December 2010

some new hardware

We've moved quite a bit over the past few years.  As such, everything that is non-essential was gifted, sold or donated to the trash.  Of this, I haven't had a personal computer in a while.  Would explain why my blog is suffering, as are all of my web assets (i use this term loosely).

  1. Had the Samsung Galaxy S fixed.  It still is a beautiful phone with a lot of problems. managed to sort me out when I was in Toronto a few weeks ago.  
  2. Purchased a Lenovo Edge 13".  You can read the engaget review here:
  3. Purchased a nice little Western Digital 2TB drive.  Turns out 500MB wasn't enough for all the Jack videos.  Still creates for me a problem in what I'll do with all the photos and videos.  Really not happy with all the different solutions out there today.  Some are good, but none are perfect.  

The past weekend was Christmas.  Jack, Lucy & I travelled back to the UK from Zurich to celebrate with her family.  Jack still has no idea what's going on, so it was nice and relaxing.  Some photographs:

Christmas 2010

I've also posted lots of new videos on youtube of Jack:

There's an update!

Monday 8 November 2010

phone blogging

Its not cool. Typing out an entire thought from my telephone seemed like a fantastic idea until i set out to do it.

Watched Inception and then Scott Pilgrim. .... For me it is incredible the imagination some people have. Watching the movies i think the ideas are incredible. Ideas i've never had.

I want an original idea i can turn into a movie.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Sunday 7 November 2010

Tuesday 19 October 2010

blogger post #100 #GalaxyS and @jdolgy

Well, for this post, it'll be fun and all about two things:

  • Jack -- You know.  The coolest little dude with the name of an action hero?  Jack Dolgy.  Well, Jack's been getting his snot on in a big way.  I didn't think something so small could physically create so much shit and more importantly so much snot!  It far outweighs him if I compare the two on a digital scale.  Still, if you see his blog and see the videos, he's a very happy guy and we couldn't be more proud having him evolve as amazing as he is.  
  • My Samsung Galaxy S ( #GalaxyS for you twitter folks) ...I've had the phone for 60 days I guess.  Time to get my thoughts out about it for the number of readers to this blog ( zero .. based on comments and followers )
Things I dislike about my  phone:
  1. I cannot upgrade to Android 2.2 (aka Froyo) still!
  2. If one cilck lag fix works (which it does) ... why has it not been adopted as a default?
  3. Battery life in Doha, Qatar with QTel was absolute garbage.  Phone wouldn't last 10 hours!  Thankfully after moving I can go 2 - 3 days without a recharge.  Bizarre eh?
  4. Skype releases a client through the android market.  No Galaxy S support.  Thanks jerks.
  5. I cannot remove applications that were installed by default.  I don't want the Al Jazeera widget for example.  Let me remove default base apps!
  6. New keyboard app for people with big fingers. I'm a big guy.  The virtual keyboard on the screen is made for an average person.  
  7. Swype is no good for me.  My fingers are too big ... I can't see the other letters to swype to!
  8. Not the phone as much as it is the Android Market.  When google checkout was released, I was all over it and signed up.  To my dismay, I really couldn't use it for anything back then.  Now I can with the market ... or can I?  AMEX is not supported for google checkout sales outside of north america.  Garbage.  I want airmiles if i'm forced to use a credit card.
Ok, well, it's not that bad...really.  Things I really enjoy about my phone:
  1. Jack loves it.  I can play a video on it and lock the screen and he'll sit there mesmerized by it.  He loves watching videos of himself and seeing his photo as the background wall paper always gives us a smile.
  2. It does everything I need.   Email, twitter (thanks #twicca) and a decent camera.  Everything else is gravy. 
  3. Angry Birds.  I like it.  Sad.
  4. Google Goggles.  Very cool.  
  5. Google sky map
  6. The phone fits my hand and face.  
  7. It's light.  Very light.  
  8. Video and photos are so nice and clear ... with the direct upload to youtube, I really appreciate it even more.  With a snotty little kid racing around the furniture ... I haven't had time to reach up and grab the Sony TG3 we have.  Instead, the phone comes out and HD recording instantly.  
  9. The GPS worked great.  Not sure what everyone else had  a beef with.  We used it to navigate through the UK, France and Switzerland ... twice.  Not an issue.  My only wish is that it would save the journey so that I could post a graphic showing the road trip on a blog entry .... like this one!
  10. The additional camera apps you can get from the market are extra great.  I love the polarandroid photos ... the pics of jack and lucy and jack himself taken with it are fantastic.  just wish it supported the self shot ....

All in all, as you can see, I have more positives compared to negatives.  Looking over the negatives, they are just whines, not significant issues or problems.  Happy the battery life problem was a problem with QTel and Qatar and not a problem with the phone.  If you're looking for an alternate to the iPhone ... go for it.  I'm not disappointed and I don't think you will be either...try something different that not EVERYONE has.

Finally ... Zurich is treating us well.  We have settled in and really thoroughly enjoy 100% of it all.  A big difference from 70% ... Once again, we can smell snow brewing above and beyond the mountains.  Delicious.

Friday 1 October 2010

Zurich Roadtrip in Polaroid -- September 2010

some polaroid'esque photos (i like the format) of our drive to Zurich over the past 24 hours.

Friday 3 September 2010

simply amazing...

What I love about technology is how difficult it can be ... and how simple it is.

The above is a google chrome experiment done with Arcade Fire, the band.  It is awesome.  Maybe I don't get out much (surfing and all that), but this is the first time in 10 years I've seen anything like this.  Suddenly, I see a beautiful fit for a set of websites dedicated to new age (iPad free) comic books!


Wednesday 1 September 2010

Preparing for a new adventure...


The Dolgy's are leaving Qatar.


Zurich, Switzerland


Why not.  World's most liveable cities Before moving on, scan through Mercer's list.  Look at Monocle's list.  Not a coincidence that Zurich is on two lists.  Lucy and I thoroughly enjoyed Zurich the times we visited in the past.  Through a fortunate set of events I was offered a fantastic opportunity with a fantastic company.

Will we be sad to leave Qatar?  Yes.

Jack was born in Doha.  Qatar will always be special for that.  We have made great friends and enjoyed a very distinct part of the world few get to experience.

Will we return to Doha?  Of course.


October 2010


By any means.


Lucy, Jack and Myself.

Wednesday 18 August 2010

something beautiful

Have to type quickly ... At Dubai airport and my next flight is about to leave:

  • Emirates business class is pretty damn foooooooofy.  Still, I do prefer British Airways (weird I know)
  • Watching an electrical storm from the airplane as we flew over Turkey was AMAZING
  • Flying into Dubai as the sun was coming up was pretty awesome too.  Makes you realize just how spectacular it is
  • Emirates business lounge at Dubai airport is HUGE
  • I'm sick of flying

Tuesday 17 August 2010

stuck in Frankfurt

At the end of last month I flew from Doha back to Birmingham to see Jack and Lucy.  It was a very short trip as Lucy and I flew out 3 days later to Antigua for our honeymoon.  Yes, it was 1 year late, but that's ok.  We're very proud of the delay.  We enjoyed 7 days in Antigua with only 2 days of rain attributed to 1 tropical storm and the rain gods knowing the last day I was fed up with sitting around in the sun doing nothing....

On Saturday just past, we had Jack's Naming Day.  What is a naming day?  You'll have to ask Jack, or Lucy ... or someone else ; )  Basically, it's a day when we gather up friends and family who can make it, and the most important people to Jack:  His non-related guardian type folks who will be present throughout his life to offer morale guidance and advice when family isn't good enough (see: rebellious years as a teenager)

Here's the entry from Wikipedia:

Now, this wasn't a Christening.  Although, there are similarities .. but it wasn't.  I assure you.

It was a nice day despite the rain.  Alas, my side of the family couldn't make it ... and that's the difficult part about having a family in Canada, wife's family in the UK and living in the middle east.  Sometimes it's pants.  C'est la vie!

I'm now on my way back to Doha ... Unfortunately, the rain that hampered Jack's naming day celebrations has also disrupted my return.  My flight from Birmingham to Frankfurt was delayed 80 minutes.  Just long enough for me to miss my connection ... So now I sit, blog and wait for Emirates to open up their desk so that I can check in for a flight to Dubai ...and eventually Doha.  Could be worse.  I could still be in a line somewhere wondering how I'd be getting home.

Some fantastic photos of Jack and all of us will be online soon, and some video.  Just need to get settled down first and shed the flight blahs ...

Tuesday 20 July 2010

shaking knees...

It's been well over 20 years since I've felt an earth quake.  Living at The Pearl, Qatar ... I'm a little concerned, and have been for months as earth quakes continue to rattle off all over the world.  They seem to be progressively getting closer and closer and i'm just not convinced that the build quality here is as good as uh, let's say ... Japan  

I'm happy that Jack and Lucy are back in the UK ... i'm pissed that i'm here and had to go through that.  Sorry, 10 stories up with another 15 stories above me ... no door way would ever save me from that.  

So ... i think it's time to move. 

Saturday 26 June 2010

Followed by the Governator.

Imagine my surprise when I received an email that the governator of california, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was now following me, @sdolgy, on twitter. weird man.

I'll be back.

Friday 25 June 2010

a day out in the dust!

Today Jack is going to the babysitters. Lucy and I are heading down to the Four Seasons here in Doha, for a day together. Sadly, we wont be spending much time outside due to the sandstorm.

What is a sandstorm?

It occurs when heavy, constant winds move the dust around and off the ground. Wikipedia has a great article, with a fantastic picture.

Here's a great aerial view of a sandstorm:

Thursday 24 June 2010

February 11, 2010?

Well, it's been a long time. Time has flown by. I cannot believe for one moment that the last blog post i put was February 11, 2010. So much has happened since then.

Been to Toronto with Jack and Lucy. Was great to see the family and to introduce Jack to everyone. I was well impressed by Papa Mike and Uncle Jake. Definitely an instant bond there between the Dolgy boys.

Sadly time wasn't on our side. We weren't able to get back in time to Toronto, and my last remaining Grandfather had passed away two weeks before our arrival.

Doha is hot. 49C isn't unheard of and summer really has only just officially kicked off with June 21, 2010 passing us. The country will slowly evaporate as people flee the hot for western climates. Lucy and Jack will head back in July and I'll head out to meet them at the end of July for a few weeks.

As always, work is a constant highlight. Diversity is fun. What am I working on these days? I'm asked this quite a bit. I just don't know. Everything? I know that's a poor answer...but it may very well be the best answer.

Technically, my position is still "Enterprise Integration Architect". To date, I think the only integration architecture I've done is integrating myself into other Enterprise's to help influence technical strategy ...

Suppose that's the quick 4 month round-up. Check out Jack's blog:

Jack Dolgy

We seem to put more updates there. Guess that's what happens when you transform into a parent. Still an odd feeling. Parent. Sasha. Parent. Weird.

My favourite bits about being a dad (seeing that my first father's day was Sunday gone):

- the smile he first wakes up and looks at me in the morning. genuine
- the smile when he spots me walking in after work. genuine
- the lip of doom .. appears right before a scream / cry session. priceless
- the laugh ... how do we lose that laugh? all kids have it
- the jibber jabber googoo gagaga speak
- how he looks like bugs bunny with two top teeth and two bottom teeth


Thursday 11 February 2010

an evening of mistakes

playing with a windows server i tried to do a few clever things. next thing i know it, locked out. can't do anything. after getting a SAC (serial console) i was faced with a challenge i've not had in a while. learning to do something new, quick!


who knew microsoft had such cool commands via command prompt. in the end, i couldn't fix my problem so had to re-image ... oh well. atleast it's a new skill.

hand is still in cast...few more weeks to go. frustrating typing with one hand and using a mouse with the left hand. bizarre.

Wednesday 3 February 2010

right wrist has never been right, right?

So. Here is my right wrist. Nice, eh? Little history. Years ago I had two surgeries on my wrist within a month. Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) .. i had Arthroscopic surgery and then i had an open repair to correct some damage.

14 years later, a slip here, a fall there, and i'm back to incredible amounts of pain, unable to hold Jack, and massive discomfort. being right handed also sucks.

x-rays show no fractures or broken bones. MRI results show a lot of fluid around the, i'm now in a cast for a few weeks to keep it immobile in hopes swelling subsides and fluid goes away.

if you never stopped to realize how important your wrist and hand are ... and how they work together, it's pretty cool. unless it goes wrong.

Tuesday 19 January 2010

almost time to head back...

Well, 9 days is almost done. Jack has survived the bitter cold and damp of the UK with flying colours. Cool little adaptable guy. He managed through his first wedding and his first stay in a hotel ...

We head back Thursday and sadly Lucy has informed me that I can not say 'Hi' to our son on the airplane or near the airport. I'm sure you can figure out why.

Wednesday 13 January 2010

oh no! snow!

Lucy, Jack and I flew out of Doha, Qatar the night of the 11th, direct to London Heathrow, via Bahrain. Interesting experience. First, Jack and flying...not a problem. He woke up twice for food and went back to sleep. I don't think anyone else in the cabin (aside from the cabin crew who couldn't get enough Jack time) knew we had a baby with us. Sweet.

In Four Oaks now and it's snowing. Lots of snow on the ground and well...we didn't expect to be visiting Canada ... but in England. Being new parents, a little hesitant to expose desert Jack to the cold weather. meh. he's coping so far. tuque and all.

we'll be here for 8 more days then back to Doha for sun and very little precipitation. between now and then, quite busy (not quite a holiday) ... weddings, friends and lots of visits. fun times.

anyways...more photos soon of jack, on his blog, and of us too! off to the Bullring in Birmingham if we can get the citroen p.o.s. out of the drive...