A week (nearly) in Banff…

I have been supporting the BDO A&A Conference in Banff, Alberta since Monday.  More on that in a minute.

On my way to the conference on Monday, I had to stop in Calgary to pick up some hardware for the conference.  As I was parking and paying for the parking, I had to enter my plate number in the machine.  I looked at my car and didn’t recognize the plate number.  I went back to my car (about 50 feet away) and noticed, the plate was a standard red Alberta plate, not the Support our Troops black plate.  Someone has stolen my plate and put this plate on my car.

So, as I am leaving Calgary for Banff, I call Calgary Police to report the stolen plates.  They ask me to pull-over so that’s not a problem.  I am on the phone for about 30 minutes.  She wants me to contact the RCMP in Banff to turn in the stolen plate and I can visit the Registry office in Banff to get my new plate.

So I did that this morning, yesterday was far too busy.  No issue getting a new plate, $22.50.  I then drove to the RCMP detachment, wrote a short statement and handed in the stolen plate.

All in all, it was a minor inconvenience really.  I have been driving around since I returned from my trip to Ontario with a stolen plate on my car though.  Luckily, no police had followed me and entered the plate number into their computer.

I now have a new plate, albeit a regular Alberta plate, I need to decide if I want to get a Support our Troops plate again.  They are just under $90, so I may…

The plate that was on my car was stolen in the same neighbourhood that my car was parked in while I was away.  The police didn’t tell me when that plate was reported stolen, but did confirm it was while I was away, so I know the plate theft didn’t happen when I was home anyway.

The conference was pretty good, although there were a fair number of issues on Tuesday.  Everything is back up and running now, was by mid-morning today, so that’s good.  Presuming there are no new issues tomorrow, I will head home around 10am or so.  If there are issues, I will stay and then I may need to delay my return home until Friday.  We will see what happens, but I suspect all will be well.

It’s been a good week, the Banff Center has some beautiful scenery for sure.  The food here used to be quite good, it has gone downhill quite a bit I found.  They are offering too many vegetarian and vegan dishes and not enough “real” food.  So, I am getting a bit tired of plants.  I will see what the offerings are for dinner tonight and I hope for some good meat anyway.

I am looking forward to seeing the dogs tomorrow afternoon and then I am done work for the day, so I will probably catch a nap.  I may, or may not work on Friday, regardless, I am off next week so I will enjoy that.

I’ve had a good week, even though it’s only Wednesday, hopefully you have as well.

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The weekend of nothingness…

This was supposed to be a weekend of nothingness and it is working out just fine.

Yesterday, I actually slept in, well, slept in to my norms, you would likely consider it getting up really early.  I was up at 5am, woke just before that so that was great.

I spent the day watch some of the Saw series of thrilling/suspense/gore movies that came out 10 years ago or so.  I had seen some of them, others I had not.  The plots, for a horror series, are actually not bad.  The gore is something else and I am finding, as I am getting older, I guess, that I don’t like it as much as I used to.  Either that or the fact that the special effects now are so much better than back in the day when I used to watch zombie movies with my sister and brother-in-law.  Anyway, I am on Saw V now, it is currently on pause, I seem to need breaks in the action, likely to collect myself.  🙂

Today, I will continue with a day of nothingness, but I do have more planned for the day.  I may head to Walmart shortly, the dogs like car rides and there are a few things I need.  It’s not a bad trip, not like living in the city though, it is 100km return.

I will catch the Redskins vs Bills game at 11am and quite likely have an afternoon nap after football.  I am going to make some chicken cacciatore this afternoon as well.  It should be good.

Tomorrow at noon(ish) I head for Banff, I am supporting a work conference until Thursday.  The dogs will go back to boarding for a few days.  Hopefully, it will be a relaxing week, I don’t want IT issues galore.  The food and accommodations at the Banff Center are amazing, so are the views.  I may take an evening and go into town and see what the tourists do.

After I get back, I will have a day and a half to work, then I am off for a week.  No real plans, other than some hikes with the dogs, presuming the weather isn’t horrible.  Winter is pretty well here already.

Enjoy your Sunday, hopefully it’s relaxing, well, presuming you are looking for a relaxing Sunday.

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I guess I called it…

I guess I called it correctly.  Greinke pitched a gem last night and held a 2-0 lead for most of the game.  He did give up a homerun in the 7th inning and shortly thereafter was replaced, it was a good call, he had done his job.  Now it’s up to the bullpen.

Well, they shit the bed.

Needless to say, the Nationals drove in a bunch more runs and won the World Series.  Oddly enough, the visitors won all of the games which has never occurred before.  Congratulations to the Nationals.

I would say that the Astros need to do some work in the off-season getting their pitching in order.  The bullpen needs work and they will lose a starter or two, for sure.  I am unsure on position players, that will be seen over the coming weeks and months.

So, it’s now the off-season.  On to football and some hockey.  The Bills are doing pretty well, although they lost last week in a game that just about everyone expected them to win.  In all honesty, I don’t know how the Flames are doing overall.  I have watched part of one game up to this point.

Baseball starts back up in February with Spring Training and my MLB.tv subscription will renew at the end of February.  It’s a long season, but, it IS the best sport around.

I will now tend to hibernate a lot.  I will go to bed early and hopefully sleep in a bit, you know, like 4am or so.  It’s the end of October and I am sure it will be the end of the year before we know it.

Happy Halloween to all, be safe out there tonight.

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Congratulations to the Nationals…

I was pumped for last nights game 6 of the World Series.  Justin Verlander was set to pitch on full rest and the Astros had been clubbing the ball.  Verlander had not pitched particularly well in the World Series and not like his normal self all play-offs, so I figured he was due.

He shit the bed.  Again.

The Astros bats came up silent.  Again.

The Astros gave up numerous home runs.  Again.

The one thing that shocked me was that the Manager actually pulled Verlander about when everyone on the planet figured he should have been pulled.  AJ Hinch has been given a team with so much talent that a, and forgive me, a drooling retard could manage, yet, he seems to screw up more often than not.  I truly hope he’s fired first thing on Thursday morning.  He won’t be, but I hope he is.

I turned the game off last night after the home run in the 6th (I think it was the 6th) after the “controversial” play at first base.  It wasn’t controversial and if you think it was, you have no clue about the rules of baseball.

Anyway, I figure that the Nationals will win tonight and for the first time ever, the visiting team will win every away game.  Quite something really.  I could be wrong, but with (likely) Grienke on the hill, he’s no match.  He’s only pitched slightly better than Verlander.  Cole may be available, mind you, on short rest, to help out, but, the Astros bats have been all but silent at home and there’s no reason to think tonight will be any different.

At present, I am considering not watching, but, I may change my mind come game time.

This post-season has pissed me off.  Oh well, I will get over it.  And if I don’t, spring training games start in on;y 4 months.

Regardless, it has been entertaining.  Congratulations to the Nationals on your first World Series title and if a string of miracles happen, then, congratulation to the Astros on your second World Series title.

Oh, Astros, when you fire Hinch tomorrow morning, I am available to manage.  Thanks.

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Back to the normal routine…

It was back to work yesterday and I was actually happy to be back to work and get back into my normal routine.  It was a busy day, very busy actually and that made the day zoom on by, the way days should go.

The dogs got back into their normal routine as well.  They headed out in a bit of a snowstorm to go on a pack hike with their dog friends.  They were gone nearly 3 hours and were quite tired when they got back.

I had an Air Cadets meeting last evening.  They had contacted all of my references before I left for Ontario, we just had some issues scheduling my interview portion.  We did that last night and I was taken on as a volunteer.  Not sure what the next steps are exactly, but my police clearance came back and what not, so shortly, I will be good to go.

Tonight is game 6 of the World Series, back in Houston with the Astros holding a 3-2 series lead.  I am hoping it is over tonight, two excellent pitchers on the mound.  I would also prefer that the Astros score early and often and then just cruise to the Championship, it is less stressful that way.  Regardless, it will be some good baseball I am sure.  I will have a nap after work seeing as I am going to bed so early lately, my winter hibernation has started already.

Nothing else on tap for the rest of the week really and nothing planned for this coming weekend either.  On Monday, I head to Banff to support an A&A Conference so the dogs will go back into boarding for a few days and I will be staying at the Banff Centre in Banff, great rooms and amazing food.  It’s just three nights, I will be heading back to the Pass on Thursday morning.  Should be a good time.

Enjoy your week.

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All tied up…

Saturday was a relaxing day.  I didn’t sleep in, but I didn’t really expect to sleep in.  I was up around 4:30am, later than normal I suppose which is good.  I did catch a great nap around 11 and woke up shortly after 1 – not bad at all.

The Astros and Nationals played in game four last night with Washington holding a 2-1 series lead.  It was a great game, if you’re an Astros fan.  The final was 8-1 and Washington really wasn’t ever in the game.  It was the type of game I like to see.  We are now all tied up, it’s now a best of three series and four of the best pitchers in the league are facing off over the next two games, should be some great baseball.

I had forgotten that I signed up for veggie service with the Veggie Guy who sells at the local market all summer (and into the Fall).  I got a text around 6pm asking if I was coming to get them, dumb me, I didn’t enter it into my calendar.  So, I zipped over to pick them up.  In the shop where the pickup was, a company called The Pantry Girls sell a bunch of other food in bulk and the prices are great.  Will be something I will look at every other week for sure.

Hopefully, the weather will be agreeable for a good hike today, it was rainy then snowy most of the day yesterday.  The dogs could use a good hike, so could I – I have a LOT of desserts to burn off from last week’s conference.

I am back at home this week, then next Monday I head to Banff after work to provide support at a conference.  The dogs will go back into boarding for a few days and I will likely have a good time.  Tough life this job is, I enjoy it.

You should enjoy your Sunday.

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Back to a normal routine…

I am glad to be back into a normal routine.  The dogs and I took it easy last night.  I had to make my own dinner (I know, horrible, right?) and then there weren’t 5 different types of cake to choose from for dessert.  That is actually a good thing, I am unsure how much weight I put on in the last two weeks, but I bet it was 8 pounds anyway.  I typically don’t eat dessert often at all, but I did at the conference, both at lunch and at dinner and I am pretty sure, if they had put cake out at breakfast, I would have eaten it then too.

We watched the baseball game last night.  It was an absolute must-win for the Astros and they came through and won.  It was a good game, the Astros pitching was solid and they had enough offense to get ahead and stay ahead.

Game four is tonight and I am hoping that Houston ties up the series and then it will be the best of 3 which will surely make for some exciting baseball.

Nothing else planned for this weekend.  I will stick close to home, take the dogs for a hike or two and watch more baseball.  Tomorrow is football day of course, the Bills are at home again.  They are having one of the best seasons in recent history, so that’s awesome.  It’s fun to watch.

Enjoy your weekend.

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End of my trip…

The conference wrapped up yesterday around 1:45PM.  In general, it was a good conference, not the best we’ve had, but pretty good.

The venue was nowhere near as good as Blue Mountain, that was amazing.  The food was good, but not great.  Breakfast was the best meal each day.  That says something right there, I think.  Not too hard to make homefries, bacon and eggs.  The desserts though, now they, were amazing.  Different cakes at lunch and dinner, I definitely ate way too much cake and probably put on 10lbs while I was away.

The rooms were ok, but nothing spectacular.  The beds weren’t particularly comfortable and the duvets were actually too short for the beds.  One major positive was the water pressure in the showers, it would pound paint off of a car.

So, all in all, I would say it was about a 3 out of 5 which is just a passing grade.  Oh well.

Anyway, our CIO is retiring and we had a small tribute to her on Thursday.  Nice things were said and they were true.  She held it together, mostly, in her “goodbye speech”.  A bunch of staff took selfies with her, I posted mine to Facebook, of course.  Good luck on your well deserved retirement and the start of the next phase of your life.

Our new CIO was named and it was exactly who I thought and hoped it would be.  Good luck, you’ve got a great team to work with and I look forward to working with you in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

Our bus left for the airport at 2:15 or so, it was a good ride, except for the accident that we encountered in Oakville.  It took us about 1.5 hours to get around, all but one lane were closed down.  We got to the airport shortly after 5pm.

I checked my bags and got them through.  A bunch of us leaving from terminal one had dinner together which was good.  It was nice to get to know new co-workers and catch-up with old co-workers.

My flight was slightly delayed in taking off but otherwise was an uneventful flight which is how we want all flights to be.  I took a taxi to my friends place where I was spending the night and slept very well.  I think I will sleep even better tonight, in my own bed.  I left Calgary this morning and headed home.  I unloaded the car and went to get my dogs from the pet resort.

Blondie, Hera and Twix were happy to see me and I was happy to see them.  They are all sleeping on the couch, so, they appear to be back to normal.  Hopefully the weekend will be nice so we can go on a good hike.

The World Series resumes tonight and it is a must-win for the Astros.  They better start playing the ball we all know they can, otherwise their season will soon be over.

Enjoy your weekend.

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See ya, Ontario… :)

Today is my last day in Ontario and the last day of our IT Conference.  We go just until 2PM and then the bus will take those of us who are heading to the airport for destinations across this great country of ours.  I have had a pretty good time while in Ontario.  I have eaten a LOT of food, a lot of desserts and drank a lot of wine.

The stay in Ontario was a good one.  I saw a lot of friends that I have not seen in a while which was great.  I did miss out on seeing some people that I wanted to, you can’t fit everything in, unfortunately.  I will be back in August for a couple of weeks, I am planning on driving back and bringing the dogs with me.  That will be fun, and crazy.

The IT Conference was pretty good.  It was great to see new and old co-workers and put names to a lot of faces as we’ve had a lot of turnover in the last three years since the last conference.  We have a shortened day at the conference today and I am not even sure what the presentations cover today, guess it will be a surprise to me.

The hotel that I have been staying in is nice, but nothing really special.  The food has been good, not great.  The desserts have been amazing though, I don’t need any more desserts, for quite a while, well, lunch will be an exception.  That will be it though, back to my normal routine tomorrow and I am really looking forward to it.

I land in Calgary tonight around 10:30PM and should be at my friends place by 11:15 or so.  I am spending the night so that I don’t have to drive home that late.  I plan on heading out tomorrow morning early, perhaps 5AM, have not completely decided as yet.  I am looking forward to getting Blondie, Hera and Twix from the pet resort, I will be happy to see them, and they will be happy to see me, I am sure.

Friday will be a relaxing day of nothing.  I bet I will have a nice nap in the afternoon and then catch game three of the World Series.  Houston had better win because they will NOT take 4 straight from the Nationals, I don’t think.  Yesterday’s game was a stinker and I turned it off around 10:30PM.  It was 4-2 and then, in a matter of minutes, I was told it was 8-2, I was glad I turned it off.

Thanks for the hospitality, Ontario.  I’ve had a blast but it’s time to get home.  Safe travels to all my co-workers traveling today as well.

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Mid point in the conference…

Monday was a fairly relaxing day.  I went out for breakfast with two friends that I had worked with on the 2011 Federal election campaign.  We went to The Lancer in St. Catharines which was excellent.  The food is great and whatever the spices they put on their homefries makes them amazing.  We ate and chatted for 2 hours, it was a good visit.

I had to do my packing and what not, I had washed everything, I hate traveling with dirty laundry.  A friend of mine picked me up to take me to the hotel where my conference is being held.  We are in Niagara on the Lake staying at the Pillar and Post.  The hotel is quite nice, quite old as well.  The food is good, but nothing that I would “write home about”.  The desserts are amazing though and I need to stop eating them.

We had a hospitality suite on Monday evening, I didn’t stay too long, I think I went to bed around 10:30pm.  Tuesday morning was busy, we were listening in to the conference but at the same time supporting the firm since IT needs don’t just disappear.

I watched part of the ball game last night and I am ashamed to say, I fell asleep.  I much prefer watching in Alberta where it is 2 hours earlier, the games end at a much more reasonable time.

Today will be much the same as yesterday.  The group is heading to Wayne Gretsky’s Winery and Restaurant for dinner tonight, we always have an off-site dinner.  Should be good.  Over the years I have developed a taste for wine so I should enjoy it.  None of us are driving so that’s a good thing.

The conference wraps up tomorrow around 2pm.  Those of us who are flying will head to the airport around 2:30pm.  My flight leaves @ 8:30pm and I arrive in Calgary just after 10:30pm.  I didn’t want to make the 2.5 hour trip back home at night so I am staying with friends overnight.  I was supposed to go both for breakfast and lunch with friends, but I really want to get home so I canceled both of those meals.  I am also REALLY tired of eating at restaurants, I need some home-cooked food.  I am also really looking forward to getting my dogs from boarding and I am sure they want to get home too.  I will be home for just over a week and then the dogs have to go back into boarding for a few days while I support a conference up in Banff.  That’s just a Monday through Thursday though, so hopefully, it will zip by.

Well, here’s to another day, enjoy yours.

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