Saturday, January 28, 2006

Voting + Pictures + Work Stuff = Mixed Bag That Has No Witty Title To Go Along With It!

It's the weekend, which means (you guessed it) more pictures! This will be the last of the pics for a while, as I have posted all the pics that I had in my backlog. These latest pics came all from my new digital camera, so pics will be making a much more regular appearance on this blog, if not everytime I post!

As for this week, I voted in the federal election for the NDP (I changed my mind from the Greens due to the fact that the NDP stand a better chance at promoting a progressive agenda in the days ahead). Kaufman came in third, getting buried by the Conservative candidate (shocker of the century!!!)

I heard more about the Edmonton job on Thursday. It sounds like exciting work, and I can't wait until a timeline is drawn up for the project so I can get started!

Other than that, it's back to work tomorrow at the part-time job at Sportchek. It has been quiet lately, not surprising since nobody buys anything in January...

Downtown Cowtown

Last weekend, I went downtown for the first time since November. For anyone who hasn't been to Calgary, downtown is where it's at! Buildings going up everywhere, the Stephen Avenue Walk (last pic, just walk there on a chinook day at lunch, there's buskers, food vendors and lot and lots of people), as well as the +15. The +15 is a work of genius, allowing office workers to shop, eat lunch, and move about the downtown in comfort, even when it's -30c outside.

Nose Hill Park

One cool, cloudy Saturday afternoon, I was bored out of my skull, so I decided to go walking in Calgary's wilderness within a city, Nose Hill Park. Once you walk out of view of the parking lot, you enter a surreal landscape of endless rolling grasslands. It really does give you a sense of much needed isolation without leaving the city limits, as this town is getting more crowded with each passing day...

Skiing Is A Life-Affirming Experience That Everyone Needs To Try!

Over the holiday season, Janet, Shaun, and I headed out to Sunshine Village for a day of hurling ourselves down the side of some of highest mountains I've ever seen. The first pic was after I had crossed skis and nearly blew out my knee trying to uncross them. The rest of the day was fine, aside from the occassional fall from not skiing in over 8 years. I will be heading out there again soon after the situation concerning my possible job in Edmonton clears up!

Christmas in Calgary? Break Out The Shorts and The BBQ, Forget Turkey Dinner!

These are pictures from Christmas Day in Calgary. Temperature? 15 glorious degrees, with bright, plentiful sunshine! Yet, we still have people skating on the Hidden Valley rink, puddles and all! The top 3 photos show the excitement of gift-opening on Christmas morning (yes, that is the often-talked about "fireplace channel" in the third pic from the top).

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Another Weekend, More Photos!

The photos below are from the week after I arrived in Calgary. The majority of them are from a road trip that myself, Dad, my sister Janet, and her fiance Shaun took out to Banff on the Saturday of that week.

As far as current events go, the Nortel interview is pending, and I may have another job prospect brewing up in Edmonton. If none of those pan out, Eastward to Ontario I will be heading!

Jimmy Explores Banff For The First Time, Gives 2 Enthusiastic Thumbs Up!

After Norquay, we headed to a trail which led to the Bow River in Banff. We walked past the rapids, which combined with the shadows of the nearby mountains, made for a cold and damp experience! We then went out to dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory on Banff Avenue. Spaghetti entree + dessert for about $10, great deal! The coup de gras for the day was spending a hour in the Banff Hot Springs. If you follow this blog, you know how I like hot tubs, so I took to this pool like a fish to water! The cold fall air gave it the perfect contrast, making for a relaxing end to an eventful day...

The View From Norquay Mountain

For an extraordinary view of Banff and vicinity, Janet & Shaun took us up the road leading to the Norquay ski area. Halfway up the mountain, we got out of the car at a scenic viewpoint. I was not yet acclimitized to the elevation in this part of the country, so I was in the throes of altitude drunkeness (means I was light-headed, and my limbs were tingling pleasantly). The views of the Banff townsite were nothing short of spectacular. Walking out on the meadow before the severe dropoff was also an experience to remember, being so high up, yet so close to tumbling hundreds of metres to the base below.

Rocky Road Trip

On the Saturday of the week that my Dad spent in Calgary before flying home, we went out to the Rockies for a day of sightseeing. These pics were taken on the way out to Banff. The first one was just west of Cochrane, the second was approaching the Bow Valley prior to Canmore, and the last one is looking up at one of the Three Sisters. Beat the crap out of the Rockies in Montana, which were awesome enough in their own right!

Another Aitken Animal Invades Alberta

This photos were taken on the morning that we arrived at my sister's place in Calgary. I was officially in the heart of the Canadian West!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Western Trip Photos, At Long Last!

I've finally got off my behind and posted all the cross-continent trip photos from October 2005 for your enjoyment. Please feel free to leave comments, and I'll address them as soon as possible!

The Home Stretch

At the 1 week stage of our trip, we were finally within sight (1 1/2 hours sight) of our destination. At 7:30AM, with the moon still i the morning sky, we left Lethbridge for Cowtown. I was exhausted from our week-long oddessy, but it was ground-breaking in that I saw alot of territory that I had not seen before. Soon, with my career plans shifting, I may see them yet again, very soon!

The Great State Of Montana: Butte To Great Falls

No comments required, other than if you're near this corner of the world, just drive this section of I-15 from Butte to Great Falls. You won't regret it!

The Great State Of Montana: Billings To Butte

Pic 1: Approaching the Rockies west of Billings.

Pic 2: The Missouri River again, near its headwaters.

Pic 3: Livingston (I think), Montana's downtown. Nice!

Pic 4: Driving through a mountain pass near Bozeman, Montana.

Pic 5: The city of Butte after crossing the Continental Divide.

Welcome To Big Sky Country

We then entered the final U.S. state on our Western journey: Montana. This is gigantic state, only bested by Texas, California, New York, and Alaska I believe. The second pic heralds our arrival in Billings, the state's largest city. Beyond layed the majesty of the Montanan Rockies...!

More Wyoming (Told You It Was Desolate)

As Day 6 dawned, we were awed at the beauty and emptiness of Northeastern Wyoming. Indeed, one of the few mostly wild, untouched areas of our world...

Wyoming: Where The Cattle Outnumber People

As Day 5 died, we made our way into Wyoming, the most desolate state on our trip. Luckily, it wasn't winter, so we weren't threatened by the snowstorms that warrant the gates that keep you leaving town when the white stuff is coming down in these parts. Yup, that would a bad situation!