Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Great Western Journey (I Know The Title's Lame, You Got Something Better?)

Well, things have settled down here in Calgary now that Dad has departed back for home. We were busy all last week going out to Tim Horton's, travelling to Red Deer and Banff, etc. Since yesterday I have kicked my job searching efforts into gear, e-mailing contacts, familiarizing myself with the C-Train and the downtown area, and so on. I even got a hot job tip from a colleague, so it hasn't been a bad first two days to say the least!

As far as last week goes, I'll detail those experiences later, but first, a brief summary of my trip to Alberta:

Day 1: I was worried sick over complications at the border. It turns out the crossing the border at McAdam was a good call, as the border guards there were nice and not arrogant like some officials can be. Prior to the crossing, I had lunch with Trooper and my Dad (he was with me on the trip) at Pizza Delight. Good times!

Day 2: Rainy and miserable, as we travelled in the midst of the 2 week perpetual rain that plagued New England. We got to the Cleveland suburbs by nightfall, and saw the movie, "Two For The Money". Al Pacino at his best, I totally recommend it!

Day 3: This was the short day of the trip, as we only drove 3 hours to Ann Arbor, Michigan. We had lunch at Bella Italia with Kent and James East, did some banking (which led to the wire transfer debacle, as documented in the previous blog post), and I took my Dad on a driving tour of Detroit. We checked into a fancy hotel (Weber's Inn) because it was the only place in the city that had a double room left. We got a room facing the indoor pool area for $145 ($269 regular!). We were able to walk out into the pool area directly from our room; it contained the pool, a hot tub, a sauna, a bar serving food and alcohol, a pool table, a ping-pong table, and a jukebox. One word described it: sweet! That night, I took Dad out to my favourite place to eat in Ann Arbor: Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger, which was followed by a night out at Conor O' Neill's!

Day 4: On this day, we drove through Chicago, which is much bigger in person than any pictures you may see of the city's downtown. Winsconsin was scenic, as was the Mississippi River Valley area. Southern Minnesota was as flat as a pancake, and it was exactly as interesting as that sounds.

Day 5: This day was spent traversing South Dakota. We stopped off at Wall Drug and got our free ice water (as it promotes for 300 miles previous, stupid sublimial advertising!) then we made for the Black Hills, home of Mount Rushmore. Tourist trap aside, it was a spectacular beginning to the Rocky Mountains, and an eye-opening drive as well, with a high number of highway fatality signs (markers placed by the SD DOT at sites of fatal accidents) at various hairpin turns along US 85.

Day 6: We got to Gilette, Wyoming the previous night. The drive on this morning was desolate but beautiful, as the craggy peaks of the Rocky Mountains came into full view. This is not the place to be during a snowstorm, as gates come down during bad weather at interstate on-ramps. Moral of the story: If you leave town, you will die! Montana held spectacular scenery on a order of maginitude many times greater than Wyoming, as the highway ventured through mountain passes for the first time. The land gave away to prairie again just before the border crossing at Sweetgrass, Montana, setting the stage for the final day.

Day 7: This was the last leg of our journey. We left from Lethbridge at 7:30am in the morning, and got into Calgary 2 hours later.

Man, my fingers are tired, as is my neck...

More on the events of last week tomorrow!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Hey Jimmay! Wire Agents Have Got Ya Monay!

Hey all,

I have arrived in Calgary, Alberta! I've been here since Tuesday, and I have spent the last 3 days (a) getting familiar with the N.W. quadrant of the city, and (b) trying to track down 95% of my net worth, which was wire transfered from my U.S. bank account on Friday, and finally appeared in my Canadian bank account just this afternoon. Last time I ever do business with Comerica Bank!

I'll have more details on my cross-continental trip later this weekend, when I have more time to type...

Friday, October 07, 2005

Home On A Friday Night With Nuttin' To Do!

Soon I'll be back on the road again, headed westward to start a new chapter in my life (this cliche is brought to you by...). I'm here at home alone tonight, as my Mom is working nights at the hospital, my Dad's out for coffee, and my little sister went to a school dance.

Man, it's humid out! It's October the 7th, and I'm in Nova Scotia, this isn't supposed to happen...

Oh, and the NHL is back, my Habs are 2-0, and are looking to go 3-0 by beating the Leafs tomorrow, which they will of course!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Owie Times 100!

Today was eventful. My little sister had her fingers jammed in a door 3 times by a classsmate at school today, so I had to get her, then drive her and Mom to the hospital to get X-rays done. No broken bones thankfully, but her fingers still hurt rather badly.

I think about having a door slammed on my hand repeatedly, and it makes me shudder ... ouch!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Roll That Beautiful JSB Footage!

This weekend, I'm burning a copy of a Jimmy Swift Band concert (hereafter known as the JSB) for Kent, one of my co-workers and a best friend that I made during my time at Humantech. Since he made a mix-CD (better than a mix-tape, take that Napoleon Dynamite!) for my journey back East, I figured burning a JSB concert was a fitting return-gift, countering the Best From The West with the Beasts of The East!

The sound quality is great, considering it was a pull from a taper, and that the files I burned on the CD were hi-quality MP3's, and not SHN files.

This concert is one of the best compilations of JSB greatness out of all the shows I've heard over the past 3 years. Where do I go to get some JSB lovin' you ask? Go to http://www.archive.org, and then type "jimmy swift band" in the search field at the top of the web page. Click on any of the 40+ shows available for download, and then you can groove the night away!