Wednesday, October 24, 2007

All good things...

The title of the last episode of "Star Trek : The Next Generation" always reminds me that all good things come to an end...and so this Friday brings and end to my working relationship with Moli-Moli. He is leaving Big Sticky and heading out to make his fortune on the open sea. The open sea being a local internet startup. While it's sad that he's leaving - everyone at the Sticky is excited for his new adventure (and some are jealous).

If you're in the greater Waterloo area this Friday - come out and join a shit load of us at Ethel's for some beers (and Jager).

Good luck Moli-Moli!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I know, I saw the footage.

My backyard may be a hideout for a chupacabra. I've come to this conclusion based on two weird events that have happened recently.

Two weeks ago, I walked out to my car and found the back passenger door open. "Great," I thought to myself - someone has broken in and stolen, uh, well my spare change and some burned CD's that only have two or three songs on them because I'm too lazy to burn a complete CD. This is where we get to weird event #1 - nothing was missing. Nothing at all. Usually, if someone (or something) breaks into a car, you'd figure they'd take something. Hell, there was about $10 bucks in change (Canadian dollars are coins), so you'd figure it'd be a pretty good haul. This struck me as strange - but I thanked my good luck at the fact that no windows were broken and nothing was taken and so I went on about my business.

This past weekend, the wife, my buddy B.M., and myself spent the day recovering from Oktoberfest at Concordia Club here in Kitchener. Once I was finally able to get off the couch, I decided to go outside and bring in the empty bottles from the deck. Everything appeared normal - that is until I looked at the grill. Someone - or something - had taken all the parts out of the grill and put them in order, on top of each other - directly in front of the grill. It was as if someone (or something, sorry that is getting old) wanted to make an alter or sacrifical shrine to, well - I don't know. What makes it stranger is that there was a cooler for of beer next to it - untouched!

You might be wondering why I would jump to the conclusion that a chupacabra did these two things. I like to follow the Sherlock Holmes methodology of deduction. First, get rid of everything it couldn't be - then, what ever is left, no matter how insane, is the answer. So - it couldn't have been kids or the meth clinic people. It wasn't the squirrels - they have no aboseable thumbs. It can be only one thing - El Chupacabra!!

Thank goodness we have no goats.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Board the windows, try to hide.

I've become a fan of the CW show "Gossip Girl". Take a moment to let that settle in.

Ok, back? Good. You're probably scratching your head, wondering "Why? What would drive him to watch 'Gossip Girl'? Could it be that he really never got over the cancellation of 'The O.C.'?" To be honest - I haven't thought about "The O.C." in a while, but thanks for bringing that up. I'm not entirely sure why I find this show intriguing - especially since the Nielsen voting American public has launched the show to 94th place out of 102 shows. There is absolutely nothing in the show that I can relate to. For instance, I have none of the following qualities or traits -
  1. I am not from New York City's upper west side.
  2. My family is not old money.

  3. At no point have I attended a private school or attempted to gain entrance to an ivy league university.

  4. I do not live in a hotel.

  5. A mysterious girl does not live blog about me.

Live blog? Mysterious girl? The odd part about this show is the voice over by the titular "Gossip Girl", who is never revealed on screen. Who is? What is her motivation? Does she get a lot of money from those Google AdSense ads when NYC's finest click to get the latest dirt on their friends?

Now, you'll slap me - but I believe this the an attempt to create a "LOST"-esque mystery. While I've not read the books that "Gossip Girl" is based on, I've thought about this mystery enough to come up with my own theories. My first theory is that Gossip Girl is actually in the future, and she's pre-dating her blog entries. Why? In order to warn the spoiled students at the Constance Billard and St. Jude's School for Boys of their dangerous ways. Don't buy that? Second theory - Gossip Girl is the Interweb after it attains sentience. New York City has hundreds of CCTV cameras for post security (or spying, depending on your interpretation), it could be conceivable that the Gossip Girl/Interweb can control them all to spy on rich teens. Why? In order to find suitable hosts for the nanities it has developed to make an army of attractive cyborgs. Think about it - pre-ivy league elite - get to them when they're young and then the Gossip Girl/Interweb can take over the world.

Call me crazy.

That was rhetorical.

My friend Randy Smith took a photo of a police car that crashed into the liquor store near where I used to live. I added LOLCAT tags to it.



Monday, October 01, 2007

Where did you say you found that case?

This past Saturday, while hundreds of Canadians were taking advantage of the strong Canadian dollar, I was standing in the immigration line at Fort Erie completing my final steps of getting my Canadian permanent resident status. That is why there is a beaver holding a Canadian flag to the right. Just in case you were in wondering.

The whole process of "landing" is really quite easy. I drove up to the main gate and handed over my passport and immigration visa. The border agent, who looked young enough to be working a part time job at Jacob, was amazed that an American had a Canadian immigration visa in his passport. She filled out a form, handed it over to me, and directed us over to the immigration office.

The line was short and I only had to wait about two minutes before a just as youthful looking agent took my forms and began the process. Fifteen minutes later everything was completed and I was off. Seriously. That was it. Having never really immigrated before (save for that whole moving from Ireland thing), I was expecting a delousing and maybe even someone respelling or shortening my last name.

Now, I just have two more years before I can apply for citizenship - and then I can run for parliment and become prime minister and then you will pay, oh yes, you will pay. So vote for Kinsella!

Thanks.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

So I guess I'm out of the book club

There is a trip to Buffalo in my future. On Monday, a FedEx envelope arrived from the consulate in Detroit. In this FedEx envelope was my passport with a shiny new immigrant visa. With this visa, I can drive across the border to the U.S., have lunch at Chilis (there are no Chilis in Canada) and then drive back into Canada and officially immigrate into Canada.

This part of the immigration process blows my mind a little bit. I'm already living in Canada. I have a job, a house, and three empty cases of beer in the back of my truck. Yet even with all this - I still need to leave the country and immigrate back in. Not that I'm complaining - I love the chance to go to Buffalo and go to the Walden Galleria and spend an hour convincing myself why I really wouldn't save any money by buying a new iPod in the U.S. vs. buying one in Canada. Though with the weak U.S. dollar, my agrument might not hold any weight now.

Anyway - it's almost October and I'm getting excited for Oktoberfest. Sure, sure - Canadian Thanksgiving is next week too - but what is more important? Seriosuly. You need to get your priorities straight.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I'd do anything for a klondike


P1000731
Originally uploaded by alexkinsella64
Rough month, rough month. It is nearly October already and I have barely had a chance to get used to September. The leaves are changing colour (and starting to fill my backyard). I'll say this - a wet suit is not that flattering. Just so everyone knows, the wet suit was already ripped when I put it on. My massive ab muscles did not rip it.

Anyway - today, I bought my first pair of new eye glasses in almost a decade. My current pair are scratched, dented, bent, and well - no where near the prescription I need to be able to safely operate a motor vehicle. The nice people at Iris helped me pick out a decently fashionable pair - I'll post a pick when they are done. Wow. How freaking needy is that - I'll post a pic of my new eye glasses? Weak sauce man, weak sauce.

Ok - I'm going back to watching the MTV Music Video Awards Celebrity Remix on Much Music.

Word Is Bond.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Point Break

I don't love Patrick Swayze movies as much as my brother does. That would be impossible. That being said, if I could live out any Patrick Swayze movie - it would be a three way tie between "Red Dawn", "Road House", and "Point Break". The Soviets aren't invading any time soon, so no "Red Dawn". While Jeff Healy (the blind guitarist) has a club in Toronto, I doubt it is the "Double Deuce" - so that's out. That just leaves "Point Break" - which, as you will see in the video below - is now crossed off my list.

"If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love." - Point Break



Big thanks to the staff and pro Flowriders at the Wave House in San Diego for giving us all one hell of a good time!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Now that's what you call emo


P1010458
Originally uploaded by alexkinsella64
We ventured back up to Penetanguishene for another awesome weekend on our friend Colin's sail boat. Last summer, we weren't able to make if out of the marina - but this past long weekend we got a chance to sail up Georgian Bay and spend a couple days enjoying the great weather.

There was of course some drinking, a lot of random discussions about politics and emo music, and a lesson in what not to do with a flare gun. Due to a court order, I can't discuss much of the details - here are some photos for now.

Enjoy

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Passport please

In scenes reminiscent of waiting for college acceptance letters, I have been checking the mail box every freaking day for a thick envelope from Immigration Canada. As many of you know (or don't know), I am in the process of applying for permanent resident status here in Canada. Today, after a little more than a year and a half, I finally got a letter saying my application had been approved and that my passport is needed so they can attach the immigration visa.

A year and a half might seem like a long time, but it falls within the 30% range according to the CIC website. Pretty good as far as I am concerned. I always remind myself that while, yes, it is a long time - imagine the wait for someone emigrating from a country you really want to get away from. Somewhere were the morning question isn't "Tim Hortons" or "Starbucks" - but which 20 mile trek has a better chance of leading to clean water. That is a little melodramatic, but sadly, it is a fact of life for millions.

I'm an immigrant twice over now, but each time it has been from one industrialized, English speaking country to another. Also, I'm not emigrating for political, religious, or some type of life saving reason. I'm doing it because I really love living in Canada. There are so many resasons besides hockey, beer, and words spelled the proper British way (even though the British own all the houses...that's another story).

I love being shocked by schools having photos of the Queen rather than the President. I love ketchup potato chips. I love pronouncing "Weber" as "Weeber". I love listening to jokes about Newfoundlanders and getting the punchlines (but I don't laugh, because that would be mean). I love hearing "Welcome home" when I pass through customs at the airport. There are a thousand of these, and even now, I'm starting to sound cheesy - so enough of this. I'm just happy and that's that.

As is customary among the ex-pat bloggers - here is a timeline of my application process.

  1. August 25, 2005 - application submitted
  2. October 2005 - corrected applications resubmitted
  3. December 20, 2005 - application accepted in Buffalo
  4. December 19, 2006 - application transferred to Detroit (Rock City)
  5. May 2007 - request for medical exam
  6. July 2007 - request for additional documents (I got married, they needed proof)
  7. July 25, 2007 - medical results received in Detroit
  8. August 7, 2007 - request for passport

...to be continued (and thanks CIC!!!)

Friday, August 03, 2007

first the fat boys break up


glassware_argus
Originally uploaded by alexkinsella64
My buddy Dan Mickelson from Wisconsin just told me that the Argus in Madison is closing down and is supposedly becoming some kind of high end night club. Sad panda man, sad panda. For those who haven't been to Madison (and if not, what the hell is wrong with you?) - the Argus was one of the older pubs around. I didn't even go to university in Madison - but I did make my way around the pubs and bars there when I got the chance.

I've always felt bad about permanently borrowing glasses from places - but with the Argus closing, I feel great about it. Until someone drunkenly drops it - I will have a piece of history.

I'm not recommending going out and taking glasses - that is wrong. Do not look at this gallery of photos.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

plan this

Best line from a blog post detailing wedding planning tips that I've ever read -
"There's no reason to bother meeting with more and more vendors if you've found someone whose work you like and whose price fits your budget. Is it possible that someone getting married across town from us is going to have better flowers? Maybe, but our guests won't know, so we don't care. (Besides, does such a thing as "better flowers" even exist? Oh, you know what? Fuck you.) "

I totally agree with what this guy is saying. During our wedding planning, we really didn't get stressed out until the day before - and there were only two things that stressed us out. For Laurie - it was not being able to print the seating cards because the printer wasn't working. No big deal - we used a different printer. For me, it was not being able to tie my tie correctly. I wasn't trying to be a perfectionist or anything - it was just damn hot in my house (no A/C) and I was sweating. So I asked my dad to tie my tie for me. Problem solved.

Planning for us was easy. We looked at one venue - liked it, signed up. Flowers - we got them at Sobeys - saved a fortune, looked great. Our friend Sharon had a live band at her wedding. They were awesome, so we signed them up - a little more than a DJ would cost, but much more fun. As for the insanely expensive cake - we went with a girl just starting out. Cake was awesome (cake taste testing was the single greatest night of my life). Just go with your cut (and your wallet) and remember that it is supposed to be a party.

For anyone getting married - please read that article, take it to heart, and relax and enjoy throwing an awesome party. That's what the day is for and don't let anyone tell you any differently - unless they are paying for it, then they can say whatever the fuck they want to.

Also - go with open bar, you will never regret it - although some of your guests might. Them, and whoever has to clean up after them. I won't mention names, but you know who you are.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Po ta toe


Picture 021
Originally uploaded by bmsox622
Since it is the 1st today, I’ve decided that now is a good time to track my expenses for a month and then come up with some kind of budget. Budget? Yes – seriously. I feel that I’m old enough now to start being responsible when it comes to discretionary spending. That is the word for today by the way – discretionary. Try to use it in a sentence today if you can. Anyway – I’m thinking about this budget as I drink my $2 coffee from Starbucks, and it occurs to me that I have to write down that I spent $2 on a coffee from Starbucks today in my budget. Seeing that expense marked down makes me reconsider my two to three time a week habit. Maybe I should just suck it up and drink the coffee from the machine upstairs. Hey – the coffee is free. Sure the milk is the kind that can sit unopened in a cupboard for four months, but hey – free is free, eh?

In non-budget related news – I was reading the awesome blog “The Consumerist” yesterday and they had this article about Burger King coming out with ketchup flavoured potato chips. Instantly, there were 15 or so comments from other readers pointing out that Canada has had ketchup flavoured chips for decades. Yet another shining example of how Americans know absolutely zilch about their neighbour to the north. Sure, it is just ketchup chips – but that is just the tip of the ice berg my friends. Ice bergs are ketchup flavoured here too.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The fan is not oscilating

My brother John has posted three new entries over at his blog about life in Mongolia. Judging by

DSCF4214
Originally uploaded by Khansella
his posts, life in Mongolia seems to revolve around wearing a funny outfit, going to modern looking night clubs, and then inexplicably going tubing down a river the next day. I admit - I am jealous of his lifestyle. I am, however, quite angry with two things. First, he is by far a better writer than I am. Better than I will ever be. Second, the only "style" that I could call my own was my awesome ability to take drunken self portraits. Now, my brother has chosen to start doing these and I am left with nothing. That was my thing man - my thing! What now? Thanks. Merry Christmas to you too.

Anyway - I learned something tonight. Do not eat Taco Bell before playing hockey. You will feel sick the entire time (hello heartburn) and your burps will smell freaking terrible.

I spent the weekend reading Harry Potter books. I'm not really a huge Potter fan (I prefer the spirited adventures of The Baby Sitter's Club - but that's neither here nor there. I want to read The Deathly Hollows, but my wife says I should read the other books first. This is what happens when you get married, your wife makes you read the first books in the series before trying to read the last one. In two days, I managed to complete "The Prisoner of Azkaban" and get half way through "The Goblet of Fire". One thing I noticed - the "Goblet of Fire" book has way more in it then the movie had. Hopefully I can finish it this week and get on to the "The Order of the Phoenix", which probably has nothing to do with going to see a Cardinals game.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Focus. FOCUS.

Wayne and Ann, my new Aunt and Uncle In-Laws, bought us this awesome video camera as a wedding present. It is the Panasonic SDR-SD10 - and the two best things about it are that it is water resistent and drop proof - two features I wish my digital camera had before it was dropped. Damnit. Anyway - here is the first video I made with it. I haven't shot or edited anything since 1998, so excuse the camera work and sloppy editing.


If the player doesn't work, try this link to see the video.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I wonder if they have pudding?

As tradition dictates, we received an awesome Cuisinart coffee maker as a wedding present. Previous to the Cuisinart, we had a Wal-Mart no name coffee maker. It worked well, until the coffee pot was knocked out of the coffee maker and onto someone's head (who will remain nameless) and then onto the floor. Upon meeting the floor, the coffee pot was seperated into a thousand pieces. Some of these pieces continue to make their presence known by imbeding themselves in my foot on a, thankfully, not too regular basis.

Anyway - last night I decideded that it was time to try and replicate the "Foldger's" commericals and find out if the best part of waking up was really Foldger's in my cup. Sadly, I had bought Maxwell House coffee instead of Foldger's - so my house is now a Maxwell house. I followed the instructions and set the Cuisinart's auto-on function to start brewing coffee and precisily 6:31 am. I always set my alarms for odd numbers - never 7:00 am, always 7:01 am. There is no logical reason for this.

I wake up this morning, have a quick shower, get dressed, and then walk down the stairs. As I get to the kitchen - the inviting smell of freshly brewed coffee greets me. I quickly grabbed the paper from the front porch and then proceed to pour myself a cup.

Mmmmmmmmmm.....coffee. While it is was no coffee house coffee, it was still decently delicious. I read the paper, drank my coffee and then took off for work.

Around ten minutes into my fifteen minute drive, I started to get heartburn. "Heartburn? How can I get heartburn from coffee. That only happens when I don't eat..." BREAKFAST. In all the excitement over making coffee, I had completely forgotten to eat breakfast.

Holy shit, that is the lamest story ever. EVER. I am wired now though.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Where do I start with this ignorant cow?

A few months ago, I walked into a Starbucks and ordered a venti, extra hot, non-fat, no-whip cafe mocha. I then walked out of the Starbucks and kicked my own ass.

I'm mentioning this today because I was a Starbucks this morning (just ordering a coffee, I swear). There was a hipster in front of me with his girlfriend (or his beard, I couldn't tell) and he was trying to order for her, but her order was such a conveluted mind fuck of an order, that he just gave up and let her order for herself. There drink total came to over $10.00 for two drinks. What the hell did they order? All I could make out from his stutterings were the words "venti", "iced", and "extra shot"....so who knows. Since I don't really give a shit anyways, I didn't bother to stay around and find out what they ordered.

What I'd love to do is order a "ghetto latte". This is when you order, say a tall Americano in a venti cup, add milk from the condiment bar, and then ask the barista to microwave it for you which becomes (wait for it, wait for it) - a venti latte. How awesome (and cheap ass) is that? Some people object to it - read this Starbucks gossip page for the heartbreaking debate.

What do you think? (I think I wish I had some Baileys to put in my coffee.)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Brand New Stuff

Mitch Hedberg once said "I have so much tarter, I don't have to dip my fish sticks in shit". The only reason I bring that up is because 102.1 "The Edge" has played that same clip twice now during their "Mitch Hedberg Moment". There are so many other good moments to play, I'm not sure why they keep playing that one. Also, Hedberg has been dead for two years now, so why start plugging his material now?

Anyway, speaking of good moments, you might have read in "US Weekly", "In Touch", "Life and Style" or "People" that I got married last month. I try to keep my personal life out of the tabloids, but those son'bitches just don't quit. Fucking telephoto lens. Speaking of camera (what is with the segues), there are some links at the bottom of this post to some photo galleries of the event of the year.

I really need to drop some names of people who made the wedding rock -

  1. My parents and Laurie's parents for all their help, patience, laughter, hard work, and generous financial contributions.

  2. The entire bridal party who took care of an awesome pub crawl, bacherlorette party, and wedding day drink fetching.

  3. Bardia Bina for planning an awesome bachelor party in Toronto!

  4. Greg A. for throwing an equally fantastic night in Waterloo!!

  5. Jenn Haus for baking the most awesome wedding cake ever. Banana and chocolate icing is the best combo ever!

  6. Sandy MacDonald and his band for rocking the hell out of Grey Silo.

  7. Emily Dempster and the other two musicians whose names escape me at the moment. If it wasn't for the fact that I have no tear ducts (or emotions), your music could make me cry.

  8. Doris and the entire Bingemans and Grey Silo staff for making the night fly by without one problem. It has been a month and people are still talking about the meal. You all out did yourselves 1000 times over.

  9. The cart girls at Grey Silo for convincing my Canadian hating friend John that Canada has something to offer besides nationalized health care and ketchup chips.

  10. Everyone is came in from out of town/province/state/country to party with us.

  11. My brother for finally turning the "how are you successful" question into something funny for his toast.

  12. Bryan for telling me I never had a shot. Also, for almost getting taken down by a 50 year old. Good times, good times. :) Finally, for putting up with my nonsense - especially the 8:45pm camera shopping trip so I'd finally shut up.

  13. Keith from Energy Limo for giving us an awesome price for the Coors Light limo. Yes, I said Coors Light limo. Nothing screams class like having the Coors Light limo at your wedding.
  14. Dean and Erin of Calvin Photography for capturing an astonishing number of great photographs.
  15. Don Perron for marrying us.
  16. Laurie's mom, my mom, Aunt Ann and Uncle Wayne for decorating the Timber Room - amazing job!
  17. Michelle for somehow getting into every single photo that night.
  18. Everyone for coming out and celebrating with us!
  19. Laurie for marrying me (cheesy, but true)!!

...and now for some photo galleries...

Khansella's gallery
My photos
Bryan's gallery

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

23

In all my years, I've only owned three pets - a hamster named Penfold, a cat named Snowball (which, yes, I know is really, really, really cliche), and a beagle named Snickers. Forgetting the cat and hamster, I've always thought that I was a 100% "dog person". I thought this until I came across the website - I Can Has Cheezburger.

Cat people are weird - and that weirdness is perfectly illustrated on this website. People upload "cat macros" or "lolcats with macros for your convenience" to the site to share with other cat lovers. The whole idea is to put poorly constructed sentences, sometimes Engrish sounding phrases on phot0s of cute cats. There is also a thread of walruses looking for their buckets - I'm not really sure about how that fits in with this whole internet phenomenon, and I really don't want to question it.

I've decided that if I did get a cat, I want one that looks like the one above. Every time I see that photo, I can't help but feel better about the world. That doesn't say much about my mental state, but hey - what can you do, eh?

Last night, we booked our honeymoon to fabulous Las Vegas! I know that most people probably wouldn't pick Vegas for a honeymoon spot - but we've already been to The Royal Decameron in Panama this year, which was technically "honeymoon-ish". WestJet has awesome packages on right now - we're going to stay at the MGM Grand and see a Cirqe de Soli show gamble away the kid's college funds. That means I can bet a total of, let me check the account, ah - we can gamble with about $3.50.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fifty One

The biggest event of spring in Canada has to be Tim Horton's Coffee's "Roll Up The Rim To Win" contest. After you finish your cup of coffee (and I stress "after" - I've learned that from experience) you can "roll up the rim" to see if you've won a prize. The top prizes are pretty damn good; Toyota Camrys, 42" plasma televisions, iPod nanos....The regular prizes are free coffees or donuts. Now I've won about four free coffees this year so far - which is the worst I've done in the four years I've lived in Canada. Four coffees? What the hell? I drink two to three of these damn things each day and I've only won four coffees?? If it wasn't for the fact that I'm hopelessly addicted to coffee, I would have quit playing a long time ago. Still - when the contest is over, I'm going to try and quit and see how long I can make it.

I wonder if anyone's made a pot of coffee yet this morning?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Y2K7

The Dell Dimension 4100 is the best computer ever. Woke up this morning and the time was already set right. Oh yeah. Eat that Dell PowerEdge 9820.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Being that it is a dictionary


06800006
Originally uploaded by alexkinsella64.
There's an updated gallery of Heather and Ken's wedding photos from Panama. I'm prone to go a little overboard with the photo taking - especially after I've had a couple drinks. Combine a 1 gigabyte SD card, my Panasonic FX03, and an endless supply of pina coladas, banana daiquiris, and a concoction called a "Tropical Decameron" - I ended up with over 400 shots. I've trimmed the gallery down to 169 of the better (and less incriminating) shots from the week. There's also a small gallery from our time at the adult only pool, Palo Alto, with the swim up bar, or as it is affectionately known - The Adult Pool. We brought one water-proof disposable camera with us, but we ended up clicking it out in one day. Thankfully, we had an extra, regular disposable camera - that for some reason was wrapped in a package that looked like denim. Seriously. I'm still not sure why they did that. Anyway, I found that any camera can be brought in the pool as long as you keep it above your head.

Every time we'd go to the Adult Pool and order a drink - the bartender would double the order. If you asked for two daiquiris, he'd respond "..no. Quatro." Four beers was always "...no. Ocho cervezas." Needless to say, he was our favourite bartender.

Here's a brief breakdown of the entire trip. I cannot stress enough how awesome the Royal Decameron Beach Resort is. If you're looking for a vacation idea, then for the love of whatever supernatural being you believe in, take a look at this place.

Monday
Flew to Panama. Landed on the wrong runway. Our plane clipped the tail of a parked cargo plane. Pilot got out, looked at the other plane - got back into the cockpit and taxied away. We tried to get him to at least leave his number on a piece of paper under the cargo plane's windshield wiper. Luggage claim was nuts - most of our bags were randomly placed in two large piles that were on opposite sides of the conveyor belt. Finally found bags, got resort info and made our way to a couple of buses. Cold Panamanian beer was waiting for us. Two hour bus ride to the resort - stopped at a cool restaurant for more beer ($1 Coronas) and some local grub. Arrived at resort - check in process was extremely quick. They also served tropical punch with rum during the process, which helps. Dropped off our carry on bag at the room - very spacious. Met up with the rest of the group for dinner at the buffet restaurant "Pacifico". Forget what we had, but we never had a bad meal at any place there - so we'll just go with that for the rest of the review. After dinner, went to the first bar on the beach. Someone suggested sambuca shots to honour our surviving a plane crash (see above). Somehow made it back to the room. Some people ended up taking a head dive into bushes on the way home - so the bar ended up with the nickname "Header's". We ended up there every night for the rest of the trip.

Tuesday
Got up early and went to orientation. Learned that we should not use our beach towels to reserve chairs on the beach. Later, read some of the book I bought in the airport - "A Year In The Merde" by Stephen Clarke. It's a good read. Put on a generous supply of SP30 and headed to the beach. Had a couple pineapple daiquiris. Booked an excursion to a house boat on Gatun Lake for Wednesday. Went back to the pool. Had a couple beers. Went to dinner at the buffet "Atlantis". Ended up at "Header's" again.

Wednesday
Woke up early for the excursion. Two hour bus ride. Stopped at a Super Xtra grocery store to get bananas for the monkeys we'd be seeing. Met with our captain, a guy from Texas who spoke Spanish really well. Took a ride in a cool speed boat through Gatun Lake. Made some pit stops to feed bananas to monkeys. They were the same breed of monkeys from "Outbreak". Didn't let that freak me out, but we didn't feed the monkeys either. Had an awesome lunch on the house boat. Took a canoe to a waterfall. Another two hour ride back to the resort. Met up for dinner. Had a couple drinks at "Header's".

Thursday
Josh wore the shortest shorts he could find. Went to play golf with Paul, Steve, Josh and Dean. The golf course almost didn't let Josh play - was able to convince them otherwise. I shot about 10 over par. 10 over par on EACH HOLE. Went back to the resort. Changed for the wedding on the water front. Wedding ceremony was awesome (we also learned about Panamanian laws...long story). Reception was outside next to a pool. Fantastic food and drink. Danced a little. People jumped in the pool. Took a fierce photo. Danced some more. Ended up at "Header's".

Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Spent each day either at the pool or on the beach. Played giant chess with Sandra and Troy's kids. Didn't learn my lesson two times at the Adult Pool. There were some stitches involved once. Went to Manuel Noriega's bombed out house on the beach. Jumped in the pool myself one night. Went to a little restaurant off the resort called Pipa's. Had a three lobster tails, jumbo shrimp and rice for $25 dollars. Also - beers were only $1. Generally enjoyed myself too much.

As I said before - Panama is an awesome country, and you should go. When it comes to writing travel reviews, I just get to the point I guess.

Viva Panama!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I generally encourage belligerence

We just got in last night from Panama....here are some photos, but I have way more than these.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Vamos a Panamá

Si, es verdada. In a little less than twenty four hours, we'll be on our way to sunny Panama City for Heather and Ken's wedding. Just to be clear, we're talking about Panama City, Panama - not Panama City, Florida. Also - I am singing the Van Halen song constantly, thanks for asking. I'm not even the biggest Van Halen fan - so this is kind of weird. I feel like listening to Guns-n-Roses "Appetite for Destruction" just to clear my head.

To be honest, I have no what idea what Panama is like. I've been reading wikipedia articles on the nation - and it seems like we're all missing out on a damn cool place to go. I hear people talk about Costa Rica all the time - it's where Heather and Ken originally looked at - but the prices there are nuts. I'll be taking a ridiculously large amount of photographs over the next couple days, check back for a link to Flickr later.

I've got to get my gear packed (must remember underwear). Have a great week.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Aren't much better, but better

Politics as usual? Well, in the U.S., sure - but as newbie in Canada I'm constantly amazed at the differences between our politicians. One example from tonight was newly elected Liberal party leader Stephan Dion's appearance on "The Rick Mercer Report". At one point in his life, Dion was a Quebec seperatist, he even ran for office for the seperatist party. Now he's a federalist - and Mercer asked what changed this. Dion told a story how he went door to door campaigning, and at one house - the man of the house invited him in. The man's wife poured them some rum and cokes, and they spent the night talking politics. After three hours, Dion left and "....I was a federalist and I never drank rum and coke again."

Personally, I love the fact that politicians here have the freedom to tell a story like that. In the States, he'd be labled a "flip-flopper" or something else idiotic. People can change their views over time and aren't pigeon-holded into one set of beliefs for the rest of their careers. I'm trying to find a clip of the interview to post.

Anyway. Today marks my seven year anniversary of working for the same company. I believe this officially qualifies me as having a career - which is amazing because I am a software development team lead, while my university degree is a B.S. (ironic, isn't it) in Russian and Eastern European Studies. Anyway - happy anniversary to me, great job man, great job.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

How many fillet o'fishes did you eat


P1000299
Originally uploaded by alexkinsella64.
The holiday season has come and gone. We've escaped with our lives and house intact, save for some minor liver damage and a broken shower curtain rod. Our second annual New Years Eve Eve party was a rocking time (in my humble opinion). In an odd way, I'm glad people don't RSVP to it, because then we have surprise guests. Here's a link to the photos from New Years Eve Eve and News Years Eve at Lara's house.

Happy New Year!!!!