For over 11 years the Tercel took me everywhere. It was an awesome car. It rarely gave me any issues during the entire ownership. I can only hope to be as fortunate with the new Subaru we own. It is a world of difference! I’m looking forward to getting acquainted it. 🙂
Final KM on the Tercel was close to 265,000.
We test drove a Kia Soul, a Toyota Matrix, a Mazda 3 and the Subaru Impreza. When we started looking at cars I loved the Soul. I still do… but when you compare the quality of the other makes… it was kinda hard to keep the Soul in the running. The Matrix seemed a little bland. In spite of my love of Toyota and being a happy owner since 1999 … I decided to branch out and was impressed with the competition. We both really liked the Mazda 3. It was a VERY close second… But the Subaru impressed me the most. The engineering and subtle details I found hard to overlook. The all wheel drive grips the road like glue… it will be a welcome change to have that after the Tercel! The exact car is a 2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i. Anyway, zonked. Get the car Tuesday.
Ball Hockey ended last night on a sour note. We got owned badly. They were simply better, faster, stronger and well organized. We are just a bunch of guys in comparison. There are two divisions in our league and we were great in ours but moving up to play the best in the other division and a great disparity was uncovered. I guess it wasn’t ironic then that there was really nothing said amongst my teammates before we left. No formal goodbye, great season… people just… left. Ultimately though it was fun. It is a little frustrating to have a mind that wants to challenge and be aggressive and a body that says uh, no. Playing a physically demanding sport in my late thirties against mostly twenty year olds really makes me feel my age at times. We did win our division however and had a winning season. Most of the guys on my team had a good attitude. I would consider playing again if we were in the same division. I’d rather win in a crappy division than lose in better one. *smirk*
The quest for a car continues. I’m still uncertain what to do. We have added a few more cars to the mix as well to test drive. At some point, maybe even tonight, we’ll test drive the Mazda 3 2.0L and 2.5L and a Subaru Impreza (I believe the 2.5i). All of these cars rate well on Consumer Reports, so regardless which we settle on I think we’ll get a reliable car.
We were originally suppose to spend this weekend at the inlaws’ cottage near Honey Harbour, but we were uninvited since the cottage owner’s plans got changed. That was fine, it rained most of the weekend and I had work to do anyway. Friday night I played some pool with KK. While it was close for most of the evening, the night certainly goes to KK. I’m hoping to get a new phone from Telus soon. I’ve decided on the HTC desire, much like most of the GTA it seems, as it has been out of stock for a week. *meh* I like the Android platform. KK showed me his Android phone, and it is an impressive device for sure. It is remarkable how much tech they cram into these small phones… I’m looking forward to the leap in tech. I’m currently using a Nokia 6265i, which has been a great phone, but it is time for an upgrade.
Speaking of upgrades, we did some car shopping Saturday. My 1999 Toyota Tercel is still running well, but the reality is it has 263k on it and it is very long in the tooth. It has also been a remarkable car. It is going to take an amazing deal to get me to not buy another Toyota. So we started the day at the local Toyota dealership. We test drove two Matrix, the XR and the AWD… I did some reading about the AWD when we got home and found it really makes very little difference. We also tested the Sport RAV4, which B. fell in love with, and exclaimed it will be her next car. I liked the Matrix XR. It was peppy and responsive. The sightlines would be an adjustment after being in a low to the ground Tercel for over a decade. I do love the Kia Soul however, and I had to either confirm that or shelf that desire so we also test drove a Soul. While I still think it is a very cool car, after having driven the Matrix earlier it is (IMHO) the better car. The Soul interior seemed plastic-y and cheap, the engine sluggish and unresponsive. So… at the moment the front runner is the Matrix! B. decided to throw the Toyota momentum off by suggesting we try a Subaru Impreza 2.5i out…Hmm. I really know nothing about the company, but I’ll give it a shot. Hopefully we can test drive one sometime this week.
Anyone who has known me for a long time knows my love of music. Since high school I’ve wanted a drum set. I think I’ve finally found an option. Clearly the traditional set is loud, very loud… So I’m looking into electronic drums. Something like this, but an entry level set. The volume would be set by the by amp. *joy*
I spent most of today between web development for a friend and laundry. During the dev I watched Iron Maiden : Flight 666. After watching the Rush documentary a few weeks ago I had high expectations for this movie. It was good, but somewhat disappointing. Yes it showed the passion of Maiden fans around the world, but I was hoping to get more of an insight into the bad itself. Instead of all the concern footage, I would have preferred more introspection from the band members. Oh well. Rating: *** I’ve also been watching all the new Futurama episidoes. Awesome stuff. Tonight at 11… DOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMM!!!!!
Last weekend was pretty quiet. We stayed home most of the time and did the usual housecleaning. Saturday night we watched State of Play with Russell Crowe. Overall it was good. The ending was a little weak. Rating:***1/2. Sunday was more of the same. Groceries. Laundry. An impressive storm whipped through the area in the early evening. High winds, driving rain, thunder, lightning… it was an impressive show, the power even flickered a few times.
Today I attended a St.John’s Ambulance course on First Aid. (I’m also there tomorrow) I’m going from work. I volunteered to go. I’ve always thought it would be good to learn some life saving skills, especially if someone else is paying for them. We seemed to cover a ton of material in a day. My brain is swimming with symptoms, recovery positions and the correct way to save people. We covered bleeding, heart attacks, seizures, CPR, burns, strokes, diabetes, choking, how to create various bandages… etc. it is already starting to fade. It seems the purpose of the course is to give you enough knowledge to keep someone alive until medical aid (a medical professional) can arrive. Hopefully I never have to use any of this training, but if I do, there is a chance of a better outcome for someone. It was a longer drive today to the training facility. I attended the class with one of my coworkers. He has a lot of interesting things to say which I’ll elaborate on at some point in the future. Ho-hum.
I feel especially tired and fatigued today…Going to crash a bit earlier.
Played my final ball hockey game of the season. More bruises. Blocked two shots. Ouch. Ouch. It is looking good for us to play in at least one final game in a week.
It was a perfectly clear night in Bolton to watch the Perseid meteor shower. I laid down in my backyard and waited, and waited… the shower was more like a trickle. I think over 35m of watching I saw about 6 or 7 meteors. Kinda underwhelming. I couldn’t find an ideal time to watch… *shrug*
Back to another full work week. I’m loving the morning traffic these days… Very light right now… it is going to make September particular disturbing and awful. The dog has the runs. I won’t go into any detail as to how disgusting it is. *vom*
Played my first ball hockey game in over two weeks. Ugh… I have a ton of evidence of the rough play from the game: cracked toe nail, bruised elbow, bruised knee… apparently I played well, one teammate remarked that he thought I told a line of cocaine. I said two lines. I was pretty bagged by the third period. We spent a lot of time in the box which means a lot of running to block point shots. The game ended in a two two tie. I’m achy breaky today and I play again tomorrow. Arggghhh…Trying to figure a way to protect my toe somehow. Hmm.
We started trying to gain back our property from weeds last Sunday. It is a massive uphill climb. It seems even if we dig them out the frackers return. I’m thinking of nuking the whole lawn. Sigh.
My iTouch has still not surfaced. I have absolutely no idea where it buggered off to. If someone found it there was a enough info on it that I could be contacted from, but nothing. So now I have no MP3 player. If it doesn’t show up in a few weeks I’m thinking of replacing it with an iPad.
It was a pleasantly shortened work week. Traffic going into work last week was very light, which is rare and wonderful. Unfortunately it won’t last. The week was also very quiet at work with more than half the staff away on holidays and nearly all of the managers. I lost another co-worker as she quit and took another job. She was one of the women that started under the same work project as me so it was particular disappointing to see her leave. I talked to her a bit about it and internal personality conflicts was the main reason she started looking for another position. Shame. We seem to lose a lot of good people from the same department… yet the manager stays. *Hmm.*
Hockey was Tuesday. Upon showing up at the arena it became clear it the game was canceled. *frown* So I drove out there for nothing. Usually the team captain calls everyone to let them know. I didn’t get a call. Apparently he got the news about the cancellation late and he only had my e-mail address as contact info so… he couldn’t reach me. For some reason, at the time, that really irritated me. He eventually sent me an e-mail explaining what had happened. It is all sorted. The other team couldn’t get enough players and forfeited the game. We are in round robin playoffs so we got full points for the game.
Friday night we took out Michelle to our favourite local Sushi restaurant as a thank you for watching our cats while we were away. Dinner was yum. I tried a my first Sapporo (a Japanese beer) with dinner. It was decent. After dinner I met up with nIVEK for some pool. It was a fun evening, curiously my shot making improved with my beer consumption. Heh. Yesterday we had my sister over for dinner and a movie. We went to see a late showing of Inception. Wow… what a film. An intelligent, engaging, action film? Yes! It was a remarkable visual feat and what an impressive story. To quote RT: ‘Smart, innovative, and thrilling, Inception is that rare summer blockbuster that succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually.’ Rating: ****1/2 It is rainy today, not sure what we are doing, feeling pretty lazy so far…
Somehow my iTouch has gone missing since our vacation. This is making me sad. 🙁
The week at Round Lake was fun. It was no where near long enough. I’m sure we could have spent three weeks there let alone one. There was so much left undone and really it would have been great to have more time to do nothing. The first few days at the Lake were really windy. So windy we didn’t really want to swim. I was certainly concerned the waves would sink the ever-circling-over-protective dog. So we took advantage of the poor swimming day to get groceries on Sunday in Barry’s Bay. It is curious how accustomed one becomes to expecting certain produce, and when it isn’t available you think WTF. The wind continued on Monday. We pretty much chilled at the cottage and drank Pacific Ma itai cocktails. Mmmm. I continued to read Blink. Monday afternoon we finally found some motivation to get off our asses. We drove over to Foy beach, which is across the lake. It was pretty nice once we finally figured out how to get to it from the road. (It is no longer fully operational… and there is no signage) Tuesday B.’s friend TS came out to the cottage with her newborn daughter Ivy for a visit. TS is always enjoyable to see. I finished reading Blink! I must really enjoy Malcolm Gladwell… for me to finish one book is feat in itself, for me to finish two and begin a third? Unheard of… Blink was another fascinating ride of anecdotal stories. This time Gladwell explored human perception and what happens during the first few moments of an experience or situation. What occurs in the mind in the ‘blink’ of an eye. It is another extraordinary look into how humans perceive the world. More importantly it offers an opportunity for us to improve and review perception and judgment… and this could be revolutionary. To quote from the book: ‘judgment matters: it is what separates winners from losers. …’ Sometimes more information allows one to make worse decisions. ‘We have come to confuse information with understanding. … The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding (my italics). We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.’ The final line of the afterword sums Blink nicely, ‘Once we know about how the mind works – and about the strengths and weaknesses of human judgment – it is our responsibility to act.’s On to the next Gladwell book The Tipping Point!! The Lake is finally calm Tuesday evening. We went over to B.’s aunt’s cottage (which is just a doors down) to celebrate her Mom’s 65th birthday. Or is her 67th? B. was confused. *smirk* A delicious dinner.
Every year we come up to the area we stop in Wilno to check out the art shops. This year was no exception. We also stopped in to visit a mutual friend’s store in Wilno who sells various holistic cosmetics. B. was in heaven with Ingrid’s wares. We did a short walk behind the church but it was stupid hot and within the ‘stations of the cross’ on the church grounds. It was a little odd. That afternoon I watched the rest of Darker than Black – Good series. I liked the lead characters. It was a little hard to follow at times but the production and animation was top notch. BK201 (Hai) was a very cool character and Misaki Kirihara was a lovely series of lines. Rating:***1/2 I started Noein on Thursday. It seemed interesting after first episode. It is some sort of time dimensional travellers in search of the Dragon Torque (whatever that is) which is *of course* a young teenage girl. I’m not quite sure why so many Anime series have teenagers in them. I guess the target audience. Another thought, why do these dark creepy sci-fi anime series have candy-ass girly theme openings? Bizarre. After a few episodes the story is actually quite compelling, with cliff hangers at the end of each episode. Thursday afternoon we drove out to Golden Lake for a hike with another of B.’s friends (Jess). It was a long, hot walk to a lovely vista. After the hike we went in search of an artist we discovered last year in the area by the name of Alfred G. Villeneuve. He captures the essence of the Algonquin region much like many of the famous Canadian group of seven. We were both smitten by his work and we were lucky enough to catch him at home at his studio on Thursday. More than just an impressive artist, Alfred was a wonderful and inspiring person to meet. He is clearly passionate and loves his craft. We talked with him for about two hours about the area, art and of course his paintings. Mr.Villeneuve had his art on display all over his home. We wanted to take home about half of them – it was overwhelming. We decided we would think about the works and come back on Saturday.
Friday we drove out to TS’s cottage on Paugh Lake for most of the day. The road in is a little rugged with lots of loose gravel… and still people were passing on it. *head shake* She has a wonderful setup. She is on an island but has road access within *eyesight* of her shoreline. It is a short boat ride across a channel to her doorstep. Pretty sweet. The cottage and property were awesome. They have lots of property and it is already well worn and defined. We got in a brief visit with TS’s BF who is a stand-up guy. B.’s friend Bonnie&Buck&family also stopped in at the cottage during their whirlwind of a day. We could have stayed there all night… but at this point we were starting to feeling the Round Lake time slipping away and wanted to get back to the cottage. Saturday we woke up early to get to a close out sale in Foymount for Sierra Designs. The place was packed with people. I found a nice deal on a jacket and a fleece. After Sierra Designs, we returned to buy a few pieces of art at Mr.Villeneuve’s. What a process it is to try to eliminate pieces of art when you like so many. Once again, Mr.Villeneuve was a patient and courteous host as we painstaking sorted through art on two floors of his home. We are very happy with the painting we ultimately selected. I’m very confident we’ll be back for more. Many of his painting we likely were being sent to a gallery in Toronto and others were out of our current price range – there we so many striking options. Phew. Sunday B.’s brother Steve arrived at the cottage. Sunday turned into a drink fest. Her aunt has a ‘floating bar’ which allows you to drink and lounge (while floating) on the lake. Awesome. We spent the day with a bunch of Steveo’s friends and B.’s cousin Allie. Allie dropped the N word (not the slur, the Canadian band) comparing them to Rush. Henceforth from that moment she became a most hated enemy. *smirk* It was kinda dumb for us to drink all night when we wanted to get up to get home the next morning. Needless to say we ended up leaving much later than expected on Monday… It was fun to chill our last night with some bevies and a fire though. Good company. Good times. I’ll proof this later, I’m sure it is a mess.
We left after my ball hockey game a week ago Tuesday (which now seems like ages ago) and arrived pretty late in Barrie at my sistar’s to drop off the dog. After a fairly long drive we arrived in the Tobermory region. It is quite nice here. Lots to do, hiking, biking, kayaking…. Upon arrving I could already tell we weren’t going to have enough time here to do everything we want to. We stopped in Hepworth at SunTrail to get a second kayak. It is a nice store, tons of outdoor gear, helpful staff.
We eventually made it to Bruce Peninsula National Park of Canada…it is a 5km drive in. It seemed like the longest 5km ever. In spite of being tired we forced ourselves to bike around the park. It is a beautiful rugged, dare I say Canadian looking area. We stopped at Cyprus Lake along one of park trails. A narrow but long beach with clear warm water and a sandy bottom. Awesome. The Bruce Trail also runs along the coast and connects with some of the park trails. The Bruce ran into ‘the Grotto…’ it was a interesting open cave right on the shoreline. The whole coast has the ‘northern Canadian painting character’ that has been replicated by tons of artists.
Thursday was pretty busy. We were eager to get kayaking – strangely… it was difficult to find a place to put the kayaks in the water on the Huron side near Hay Bay. (We were told Hay Bay would be a good area to go since it was fairly calm) Eventually we paid to put in at a local campground. The water in the bay was (as predicted) calm but as we got close to the edge of the bay it become much rougher. I felt pretty strange – even had touch of vertigo – which is an unsettling feeling when you are in the middle of a bay in a
kayak. Gawd. Fortunately it passed and we toured around the west edge of the bay. After kayaking we drove into Tobermory and walked around. There are all kinds of shops, we walked in a few art galleries as well. We rarely agree on art but we did on Thursday. We found a striking piece of a wind sweep tree in metal encased in a small piece of flag stone from the area. It is very evocative the area. We loved it. It came home with us. After our unexpected art winfall we grabbed some fish and chips. We watched a gull sit on the business beside the restaurant and wait for patrons to leave, it would then swoop down and raid whatever was leftover. It was a curious plan for a gull. When we were done eating we returned to the campsite for the evening. Disappointingly, it was starting to cloud over and rain. Bah. In spite of the crappy weather we chilled out near the fire with a few drinks. We played our first game of Gin Rummy together. Super Awesome Dave defeated whatever by 50 points. *flex* The fire was pretty small and didn’t cast much light on the campsite. Suddenly B. screamed… she claimed to have seen a raccoon. (I didn’t) and she said it hissed at her… (I heard nothing) *cough* I think this might become an x-file.
Friday was a driving day as we returned to Oro-Medonte. We stopped in Lion’s Head for ‘breakfast’. We wanted eggs and bacon but couldn’t find an ‘all-day’ breakfast place. *frown* It was crazy how busy the small towns in the area were. Gridlock in
Owen Sound! Wiarton! Unreal… We stopped to get a pie at Fernwood Farm Market and ended up getting white chocolate raspberry scones which somehow fell from heaven and were for sale there. Amazing! We spent the rest of the afternoon at my sister’s.
The drive to Killaloe from Orillia seemed much quicker. It was pretty uneventful… even passing through Algonquin park. We did stop near Dwight for more baked goods however, Hell, it is vacation. *grin* … I’ll post Round Lake soonish. Just got home from a 5.5 hour drive. I’m bagged.