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Dirty Monkey

Day number four completed as promised. And the moral of today does not reflect on such material observations as before, and more so about social aspects.

Unbenounced to you readers this will be the third straight day of beach volleyball in what has become a bit of a group vendetta. With new people coming and good friends going day in and day out it is even harder to maintain or even deem it necessary to build relationships while you are abroad. The concept that you will probably never see these people again is a great deterrent to meeting and learning who new people are. But the effort you put in, and even for a short time can be worth every second after learning of their personal experiences and opinions. In short, the saying “It is a small world” is something to view as an advantage, in that these people you will “never see again” may come right out of your own backyard, in which case you may see them every day. If not, why not once a year, and reunite with those who made your trip abroad more enjoyable. Keeping the good times rolling.

So as for the volleyball crew, we have a solid ten players including three girls and seven guys, all competitive, all light hearted, and all willing to get teammates, victors, and sometimes even losers a cold cervasa. Today was all about sharing ourselves, and after four hours of play in the hot sun, two hours in the shade trading life stories and enjoying each others cold drink inventions we all discovered much in common. I’d like to say we are accepting of everyone who crossed our path today, but some people do not fit in the group dynamic that has set standards and values. There is nothing wrong with those people, they simply belong with other groups and should know enough about themselves to realize this. On the upside of that though, when you find those people who do fit, the progression from acquaintances to friends is a fast transition.

The other conclusion I came back to today is one I have adopted for several years of home life. That is one day opportunities that present themselves may not always be accessible and so it is important to seize them when and if you can. The year I spent working the docks in Sooke for example came back and put me up on my game today, where as I have not been on a paddleboard in some time, I also realize some people have never been on one period. Naturally I enjoy helping others and in this case, instructing in one thing or another has become a daily engagement for me in career and everyday life. The lessons I learned and the ones that I taught came back naturally so that my friends achieved the most out of the time we had to paddle today, and as yet received a better experience then one they could have obtained alone. I must admit my mistakes though, In that 1: I had no open water paddling experience and so had to alter my own methods and the methods I was teaching, and 2: Teaching while drunk is non advisable, especially during activities that require a fine amount of balance and co-ordination. But that is life. We live and we learn.

A short day, in all, yet a busy and active one, requiring a gratuitous amount of rest, and with that note I will add one last snippet of wisdom.

Your trips abroad are not always vacations, the difference between the two is miniscule, the vacations are comprised of rest in places where you seek adventure, and travelling is adventures in places where you could someday rest. The importance with both is a merging, to find the time to make sure the right amount of adventure receives some time to rest, therefore tomorrows outing will require a day of rest, to recover from my busy Adventurcation.



Melon Bowl

Olla once again from Mexico. As the trip continues the more I learn, and today was no exception. First I have to lay down some ground rules for Mexico which I am now privy too. Although I’ve been here two days not knowing them or learning them quickly can be your downfall both here in country and of course back home. So without further distraction… Oh wait I found something shiny.. Ehem, further distraction, I’ll move right into day number Melon Bowl.

The first rule of vacationing abroad, especially a country where the sun hardly ever sets, and burns like the fires of Hades all day is simple. The sunscreen you’ve brought, sorry to inform you, but it is not enough. Should you be fortunate enough to have genetically inherited a darker skin tone like my cousins, then congratulations. Life has given you a worldly passport to the hot and humid lands. However for those northerners like myself who hail from Arian ancestry, our pale white skin cannot handle anything, no matter what is covering it. (Except snow, which rarely occurs this near the equator, but could you imagine, we’d be set) Regardless, it’s truly irrelevant how white we are anyway, because within a day the white gives way to red and the red introduces PAIN! The Moral of this story doesn’t exist sadly, unless you see the need to view it as "be darker" or for the desperate people, "fake bake" and hope to hell it deflects some natural UV for the chemically light generated type. I trade off nonetheless

Second rule is less of a rule and more a general worldly observation. It began with a statement several years prior to this trip while I was still in Canada, that was exactly, and I quote exactly, "This is the best Mexican food in the world". First off, for those who know where I am going with this, I was young, dumb, and was convinced the world was flat… (no, that’s not right), convinced the world consisted of the red and white maple leaf land. I was wrong. The best Mexican food in the world, is in Mexico, doesn’t take a genius to put that together, it takes a pilot and 4.5 hours of travel time from most of our fair country. And so I have adopted this rule, as only seems right to influence my future and correct any misgivings I may have in similar situations. Plainly put, the best food of a certain cultural background, comes from the country itself. Eat Chinese (Real Chinese) in China, Thai in Thailand, Whatever they have In Australia. As for Canada with our lack of cultural diversity. Well we lay claim to the indistinguishable mess that is Poutine. So There.

I’d also like to mention that getting in shape becomes a priority while you are away. Whether it be the fact your shirt is off the entire time, or that everyone else looks hella more attractive in this light, its and inspired thing. It got me out of bed this morning early to hit the gym for and hour (first time in months) followed by a thirty minute run on the beach. Perhaps when you book, the travel agency should give you a goal to meet before the vacation, so you are prepared and looking fine when you get there, but either way, all the free time allotted to me allowed for a solid two and a half hours of beach volleyball, and a swim to the boundary buoys this afternoon. And that leads me full circle to the first point, sunscreen was not enough.

So tonight I sit by the clay ovens, dealing with a peckishness issue after an enormous (REAL) Mexican dinner. I’ll never look at a fajita or taco again the same way. And sadly, I think I’ll harbour a slight disappointment every time I bite into one now. But that is the life of a traveller I suppose. You experience the best pieces of a foreign culture, and then the imitations that used to satisfy what you believed was desire no longer satisfy what you now truly know as something special.

However, I suppose that in itself is a blessing, for it encourages you to return and re-experience that lost excellence you so crave. And thus, the travel bug can be captured by something as simple as a rumbling stomach.


The Return


I have been aware that it has been quite some time since I have done any blog updates, and I feel extremely regretful that this has been the case.

Recently I returned from a vacation to Mexico and spent every evening there compiling my thoughts on the trip it self, so without further adu, I will be posting one of the entries each week to cover all seven days abroad. Hopefully afterwards I can resume semi-regular posts on updates throughout my life in Victoria, and beyond.

I find things most peaceful now, but have missed reading and writing enough these past months and decided to dust off the keyboard and put some time in doing what I enjoy.

Hello folks, glad that I am back here on cyberspace. I know it has been a long time and trust me I wouldn’t have failed so miserably at constant updates if it hadn’t been for a good reason. Suffice to say I spent an incredible semester at the University of Victoria, and made more then enough friends for one guy to comfortably have, I might add that most are female much to the constant dismay and harassment of my girlfriend, but that is how the cookie crumbles. I feel like this year as part of my resolution to live my life as I would to be happy with my decisions that I will start telling things more like they really are in reality, perhaps dive a little deeper into emotion and voice solutions out loud to sounds off my thoughts to myself. At times I’m sure it will sound a little preachy, but then again, it is a blog, I am supposed to narrate me…. hard enough as it is..


Anyway I figured I would drop a short line here on new years eve to restart what I hope to be a regular thing, maybe not so cut and dried of a schedule but more when I need to voice thoughts and ideas, and share the crazy happenstances of this small Island community. Happy New Year to all those who read, good luck with your resolutions, and check back soon for new material. I hope not to disappoint. I may find time to summarize some major events of the school year later but for now I think short and sweet is the best way to go.



Remember to always get your daily rush, keep the heart going and the blood flowing…

As I promised, a continuation of my post from last night, now however, comes the “extra curricular” activities that occurred on the fifteenth week of epic awesomeness. Now quickly I must add I have yet to eat any dinner tonight, and did participate in a full soccer practice just hours ago. So although I have late courses to attend tomorrow I am quite tired and low energy, so bear with me if this post does not surface to Tuesday morning. However it is currently ten thirty giving me an hour and a half to pull this off and given the rhythm I currently have going and the fact that these topic may be easier to cover due to the exciting nature of the content I will do my best to finish on time.

Lets start with something that needs one last update until I can put the huge case closed sign on the file and ship this damn thing away. I had my final visit with my Chiropractor last Tuesday and after a short conversation and the usual beating, breaking and bashing, (more consonance might I add) of my back we still had yet to crack the darn thing. According to him that is a very good thing, and although I usually feel really good once its cracked, I have to be honest, It felt amazing without it as well. The fact that all pain has receded is a great relief to me, especially with the winter soccer season looming. My Chiropractor Mike thinks it strange for me to have had the paralysis episode a few weeks ago, but he also assured me that under the circumstances with the time my back was injured, and the initial condition of the injury may have caused a major muscle group to bunch and thus the source of that incredible pain was probably the unbinding of those fibres finally. More good news was yet to come as well, as he was very confident on the recovery of my back despite the extra time it took. He believes the extra time and the precautions I have been taking have really let it heal properly and says I may not lose as much or any strength in my back from this point. It is a good feeling not being broken anymore, and I’m really happy to be able to sit, stand, and sleep, (HAHAHA) again.

Now I plan to continue my portion from yesterday about the people I have met while at school but not the ones whom I had a past knowledge of. The first two I met with Sydney in our Bio class. Between the two of us we have two people sitting. One guy, one girl, and they are Adam and Sarah. New to each other as well they are both very friendly and seem quite intelligent in the same field I find myself, shall I say competing in. However I think that it is possible these will be the people I find myself studying with as they are very relaxed and indeed even more in my field then I anticipated. In fact, Adam hasn’t chosen between Microbiology or Marine Biology yet, but when I mentioned my goals and we started talking about the field, it was clear he knew what he was talking about. Another of our new acquaintances is Dave. He is a forth year Marine Biology major, (yea that’s right another one. I seem to attract them like gravity) But he is also a player on the Uvic Soccer team. In fact, ironically we met him half an hour after watching him play the first game of the year. He was a really excitable guy, and in fact although we were on our way home, he convinced us to come out with him and his friends. That is where Charmaine and I then met Jessica and Cassidy. Another Girl Guy combo there. We spent the evening socializing and getting to know a new group of friends at the Fox. A very classy little spot in Victoria (and I am actually dead serious when I say that). But we will get back to that later. Finally I met another fourth year girl who actually lives right up the road from Charmaine and I. Although we had a short conversation from the bus stop I am willing to bet money I’ll see her again, because in reality, Victoria is a small town in feeling, and Uvic is a massive concentration of the youth of Victoria. Anyways I’m rambling, but her name was Cookie (and this is where I did a double take and tripped into a ditch). I have to admit it was unexpected and she told me not to worry because it wasn’t the first time she’d had that reaction. Typical Psych majors, always asserting their principles and mental dominance over others. (Jason if you are reading this one you know I’m talking about you).

I believe I already mentioned a soccer practice up above. But this one I’m talking about was last week. Thanks to the beautifully rebuilt back I am now sporting I managed to not only hold my own, but impress the coach of our local Soccer Club. I’ve finally reached U-21 and this is going to be a fast and hectic league depending on what happens. The good news, I wont be alone. I encouraged my Best Buddy Josh to come and try out with me, and we still haven’t lost the old touches. I guess playing together for three years does leave an impression of intentions and a good mindset for how each other plays. Anyways, all I can tell you at this point is the first trial game is coming up on Wednesday night and then the team will have final selections. Here’s hoping we kick ass, because literally that’s what out Coach (Chris is his name by the way) wants from us. And although tonight’s practice had a fair amount of gayness to it, as he mentioned. It was overpowered by an excellent display of co-ordinated and well executed football. Boo Yah!

As always there is some Thaddeus news off campus this week. For the first two days of term Charmaine and I toted him everywhere, and as usual we received the WTF response from almost everyone. That being said the promotional game is not always an easy one and although the major consensus was a good overall response, we did not get as many people actually visiting his page ( as we would have liked. However we did have several people who were totally stoked on the idea completely and have shown there support. And as a bonus the first bit of Swag has been put on order and since it has already been produced we are just waiting on the money on this end. The Drinking Shark is growing, slowly but surly, we simply have to persevere.

Oh finally we are growing closer to the end of this massively fun filled week. Saturday rolled around, and for those people in Victoria the first Saturday of September Semester means one thing, CTF. (For those who are unaware CTF stands for Capture the Flag and is played by two apposing teams who try to steal flags from the opposing territory without getting caught) However this was no simple game of CTF, this one, was a world record breaker. Previously the world record for the largest game of Capture the Flag was two hundred and fifty participants. Now that may not seem like a lot but when you actually see two-hundred and fifty people occupying a field and running everywhere you get a better idea of what you are in for. However as I said the “previous” record was two-hundred and fifty. Being Victorians we do not half ass anything here, and so we more then doubled the ante. over seven-hundred and fifty people participated on the Uvic grounds. Yea, now think about that size of wide game. The final score was 28 – 27 for Blue, (not our team) after two hours of play, and this truly was due to some questionable plays made by a non-yellow team, but as well some devious thinking on their part.

If you happened to be watching my Facebook this weekend, you would also have noted another addition to our household on Saturday. As well as two SWAG yellow CTF Tees, I took a quick jaunt up to Langford to a really cool, brand new, locally run skate shop called Regular Underground. I did my waiting, took my lessons, and paid my dues in the last two years and finally I have my own Longboard. As a quick, efficient, and completely free way to travel and cannot imagine not using it now, and it has completely extended my exploration range of my area, along with providing excellent health benefits, it is the ultimate way to travel in Victoria. Combined with the bus system, the need for driving is completely irradiated. The only sad part is Charmaine has to be a little more patient while we a=wait for her board to arrive from California, but soon we shall be shredding together. My board is a 2012 Rayne Demonseed, it is uni-directional and rolls on drop through Paris trucks, with Monster Zombie slide wheels (butter smooth). Trust me, I have already put them to good use. On top of all that I find it to be a most relaxing past time, and along with enjoying it a great deal, the practice time I have put into it is great cardio and core strength training. Cannot wait to get rolling again. However I still need a fair amount of rubbing Alcohol. Gravel in shins hurts a tad.

As I promised, every detail of my journey here in Victoria as a fully fledged man, I recall mentioning an outing with some of the Uvic soccer team to a place called the Fox. Well candy coating the details would only sweeten the amount of sin contained within. For the Fox is a strip club. Finally set foot in one, after much prompting over the last year from a certain buddy of mine, I ended up going without him. But I want to stress something, ok, two things. One I am a student first and foremost, therefore I have no money to tip strippers, so I at least avoided that detail for now. Plus, I am waiting for the Canadian Government to bring back singles, to make the whole transaction easier. The second point I need to make is one I already made earlier. The fox is actually one of the nicest (clubs) of any kind I’ve been too. Not many places can hold a candle to the good atmosphere, well priced beverages, good music, and yes, The entertainment is top notch. Now not to dive too deeply into that subject (and I’m sure that statement produced a few raised eyebrows) but we only stayed for a rough two hours then made our way home. And yes I did thoroughly enjoy myself, in fact, I do intend on returning at some point, but that is just my journey, so whether you agree with it or not is up to you to decide, and perhaps, partake in true “Adult” entertainment. After all, it is a legal revenue source, so there has to be something to it.

Finally I am down to the last portion of this piece, and like I promised, a view of Felicitas from a non-academic perspective. Cheapest beer in town. Easy going atmosphere, great people inside, outside, and all around. You cannot ask for much more to de-stress with, if of course you are nineteen plus. In such close quarters as a university, it also makes a lot of sense that meeting new people there is a snap, and it is true. Simply because you already see these people daily, the closeness and laid back feeling of this excellent drinking establishment makes the whole experience easier and in fact epic fun, for you and your party, and then unexpectedly the other people you didn’t intend to meet but just appeared out of nowhere. Something I regret is that I cannot include Felicita’s in my De-Stress guide for first years, because most are still underage it is not something they can fully experience, but definitely when the opportunity comes up it is recommended you visit. It really is a gem in the middle of campus, and aside from the massive profit they must turn, the people running the show are already kind and very happy to help anyone who happens their way. Especially if their way is leading to good times.

Well I managed to pull the story off tonight. I’m exhausted, but at the same time it is a nice surprise to be able to get my thoughts out now while they are still crystal clear and fresh. The best writing is always done right after the inspiration that triggered it. Or at least that is my opinion. The reflective bit, is simply to get the story to make sense to everyone else. and with that I present my closing thoughts…

Thanks for the time and make sure you get out there and get your daily rush. Keep the blood flowing and the heart going.

Mmhmn, that is correct, the title says Part one. To be dead honest that is almost not even enough to cover everything that has gone on in the last seven days, and seriously I will not even be going into full details about everything that happened because I will already be here all night and I would prefer some sleep before class tomorrow morning, so I will be breaking this weeks activities and events into three specific sections. Now only two will be showing up in my weekly updates, but do be aware a third piece will be placed in my thoughts section due to a brain teaser posed by my Journalism Professor Mrs. Vivian Smith about stress and its relationship to first year and in reality all students. But most specifically I will comment there about the challenges facing freshmen/women because I look for it first hand, to my own guilt as a little bit of relief for myself (I do feel a touch guilty yes) but also as a reflection of my first year, and indeed this year starting at a new facility away from home. That being said, these updates that I will cover in part one will be a reflection that is mostly reflective of the academic importance’s in the past week, or as best as I could divide them equally, while the second issue, (which may have to wait till tomorrow) will mostly follow the recreational experiences of the seven day kick off to semester. So without further ado, the fifteenth week of my little Victoria journey.

With three hours till my midnight deadline I feel like diving straight into the meat of this issue, my courses. However I think it is acceptable to start with the first day points I just have to make, so that will come second. But anyways, first day. It truly is something you have to experience, and not something that could be imitated. Perhaps it could in theory be reflected by the final day of classes, but I think the feelings although similar would be directed differently. Our atmosphere has a simple composition, mostly nitrogen, some oxygen, many other small concentrations of particles, but pure energy is not something usual described with these facts. However it is the only real word which properly describes what it really feels like when you first step onto campus. Surrounded by thousands of your peers, everybody curious, excited, nervous, sick, overjoyed, basically bursting at the seams with an overflow of emotion, passion, creativity, and especially a desire for bettering themselves through education. To explain it to an average high school student would truly be explaining color to a blind person, while their desires simply want the year to end as soon as it begins, each moment you spend surrounded by these people is empowering, and encouraging. It is your job to learn, and at that moment the concept of overtime just doesn’t cut it. That first class is one of many cups and into each you pour yourself whole heartedly and yet still there is some to spare, and that overflow you splash on the people around you while they do the same, so really it is like a giant water fight of chaotic excitement. That is just the first thought…. yea, I know right.

I’m going to let that sink in for a moment while I go over a short review of each one of my courses, and then add the afterthoughts of them collectively. This way I can limit the work through condensing material, and yet still maximizing the amount of important content. So lets start in the order I attended these new doors to enlightenment, Biology. To be precise, this is no longer just general biology, but Micro Biology, and while this pertains less to my focus of Large Marine Animal studies, it is imperative to understand the environment in which they live, and considering the worlds Oceans host at least two thirds of life on our little blue marble, that’s a lot to learn. My professor is quite an interesting character, and although while he can take his points to the level where the entire lecture hall is ready to burst with laughter, he is at the same time direct, and wastes no time in demonstrating the pertaining point and making sure we are all at an agreement in our understanding of that point. So while it is a relaxed class with a soft environment, the knowledge is thick in the air and you always walk aware with the important details. (As my one small side to Bio, I had two class the first week unlike the other two, which is why I have a second point, but it turns out I was a bit ahead of myself in my pre-reading and am now a good two classes ahead, oh well I guess) Secondly I have Writing 102, also known as Non-fictional writing/ Journalism. My new Professor is no Tim Marshal, but in her field she holds a candle with him: and for me, this can only benefit me in perfecting my writing style and professionalism. Her keyword: Focus, which for the time I am in her class will be my new motto. Journalism is something new to me and I intend to make it into my own special talent in which other try to outdo my work. How is that for a goal, couple that with a Masters in Marine Biology and I think I will be guaranteed an interesting career. (The keynote for this section: I was in fact waitlisted for this course, however of one hundred students, number twelve is not a very high number and so I decided to stick it out while other began to drop, more on that later) Finally I have Organic Chemistry (Hisssss) or at least that was the original perception I had based on the opinion of other I knew who had attempted this course. Bear in mind I am one week into it and may in fact change my mind to align with that thought, but for now it is probably the class I am most excited about, based on the premise that my Prof has mentioned that this course he teaches is sixty percent visualization. For a dreamer like myself, visualization coupled with my free and large thought space this should equal a very entertaining and productive semester indeed. (my final side note to Organic chemistry happens to be that it is the only course in which we started actual work on day one. The good news: while my prof was introducing the process of the activity we were executing, I was already finishing the exercise, and I was right on. Yep, still Razor sharp, Oww). To round off my analysis of the start of semester and my new “Focus” points I will start with this thought. Those of you who constantly read my work know that I was a little disappointed with the end of the summer months on the basis that I felt I had missed so much, however after exploring the tip of each of my new endeavours I have gotten more excited than I was for the beginning of summer, and if this level of enthusiasm keeps up I feel like I will not want classes to end anytime soon. I was originally planning to have my classes rated from highest to lowest in all areas and then use specific detail on the top and bottom one, However I cannot choose a clear winner which I suppose also means there are no losers. Kind of a lucky break for these already tired fingers, considering I probably saved myself about five more lines of print.

Unfortunately there is a downside to all this epic learning. This stuff isn’t free, but to be fair, with the level of class, professionalism, and quality of the learning that can be done at Uvic it actually makes sense to be paying this time, and as a huge surprise the rate at which I am paying is actually lower then the rates I was paying back home at our small community college. Fairness? Karma coming back? Subsidisation from the government? or just pure style from Uvic? I think a little bit of each. There is even a bonus in that your registration fees go towards your outstanding tuition so they gave me some money back…. Impossible. But even with all that good news I still have a small snag, Opting out of Health and Dental is taking a couple days, but once that is done, money saved and tuition paid.

I did mention before that I was on a waitlist right…. Yep Just checked, (two paragraphs up, right before the Hissss), Well get this, every waitlisted student isn’t stuck for the first several weeks waiting for space. Class sizes are usually estimated at greater then registered levels to accommodate waitlisted students and drop ins. Meaning plenty of space for number 3 on the waitlist. Oh yea, I forgot to mention. Being number twelve was determined two weeks before school started, by the time I got to class I knew I was down to three. What I did not know but was quick to find out, was that during that first class while I was sitting in lecture at eight thirty in the morning, several students dropped the class, meaning that by the time I left that morning I was actually accepted and on the class roster. Yep, they do not mess around at Uvic, things get done. With that finally established in stone, I now have all three of my courses set up, and a space reserved in my only lab this semester. Things have clicks, now I just have to keep “Focused”.

I have to interject a little fun fact here, to take a small siesta from the serious scripture. (Ha, see what I did there, how’s that consonance taste) Anyways the point I was making was going to be about the buses out to Uvic. As a central hub in Victoria and as the largest bus exchange in Victoria the buses there can get quite cramped. By this I mean I literally had to sit on the floor next to the fare box by the driver so she could see her mirrors. On top of that I stated that having to get back off the bus because it is too full has to be the worst feeling ever, but then I retracted that statement when we stopped to let people off and yet kept the doors shut for those wanting to get on. We cannot run double deckers everywhere people. One stop closer could be the difference between getting on or not, and if you really need to use a bus, go for one earlier then the one you absolutely need. Because missing class or work is fun for no one. Just a little stop in the long route my mind is on. (Ha, Bus humour!)

The next thing I have to add ties in nicely with my article on the Stress of First years. The point I am addressing here is friendships. Seriously one of the top five things you can do to help yourself avoid stress in first year is have a solid group of friend. Five is a nice number off the bat, because this way you do not have to commit all your time to a social life as I have discovered, but you still have enough variety to not irritate each other and keep things at a respectable relaxed level. This is especially true if you share different interest with different friends, that way there is not too much overlap. But anyways, I am getting onto my article and not onto my personal point, so back to “Focus”. The first day is a strange day, because although everyone is running around and doing their best to get everything figured out right aware there is a surprising amount of collisions with random people, and even more surprising some of these people I actually know. For example, while working Triathlons I met a fellow lifeguard named Hannah. She lives a ways out of Victoria and yet the very first day of class I run into her almost immediately, not surprising considering we knew each other would be at Uvic, but seriously considering the number of people at the university and the proximity of the University the chances are small, and yet, within five minutes off the bus. Of course I have a few friends from Salmon Arm. Primarily Josh and Brandi, whom I grew up with and have been around all summer with Charmaine and I as well, but imagine finding Amanda here as well. Nathan-less, but I assume that is for a reason and yet it was still a nice calm moment thrown into the craziness of the first day. Along with her I met an old skater friend from SA. Although missing his old partner in crime James, and sporting a swag beard Riley changed a lot from his days of hitting the skate park in SA. I think the only right word would be matured. His theory, and this coming from a Psych and Philosophy Major, was that leaving Salmon Arm allows you to grow, and not only do I trust his theory, but I actually came to that exact conclusion myself. Whether or not it is true is debatable, but I think the results speak for themselves. Biology was a funny class due to the ease with which I settled in, however it is my field so I guess it is no surprise. However there was a small wrench in the machine of that course, and he was sitting two rows down from my seat. My landlord Andrew is in my bio class. Although it is in fact hilarious it is also ironically dangerous. Now I have to keep good notes, or else rent may see an increase (joking). But at least that though will encourage me to push even harder then before for great grades; who knows, rent may even go down. Finally there is one of my work associates from the summer. Yea, who knew that would come back at me right as class started. And yet, there was Sydney, day one of Biology, sitting three seats away and just as surprised to see me in class as well. Of course it is nice to have a friend in class, it helps build a foundation for a support structure in studies, but to have that person be someone you already know quite well, just makes everything that much easier. I am not quite done with the people of this week, however that sums up all I knew before I started class, and the others will have to wait until part two. So on we go with the next topic.

THUNDERFEST! That’s right folks. Second day of classes is the official kick off to Thunderfest. Which is essentially a giant careers and events fair, and while it may sound big, next week’s club days are even bigger. But not nearly as big as the giant beach ball we spent an hour playing volleyball with. Imagine some two thousand students and just students all crammed into an events fair, covered in foam, water guns, signing up for events, contests, and getting to know their fellow student body. I must admit though, my favourite part of Thunderfest had to be Charmaine and I’s EPIC game of Jenga. and by epic I mean we set a Uvic record and attracted a crowd of some twenty people to gather around our table while her and I consumed RockStar energy drinks courtesy of Club 9-one-9 and assessed all the angles. To tally our final scored I will say that the tower toppled on Charmaine, however with the huge amount of wind we had, it really could have been anyone’s game. But speed was the main focus to get the other player back on the tower a.s.a.p. and see if the wind would take them down. Still, we achieved twice Charmaine’s height off the table surface and literally were stretching to reach the top of the stack. We made several days for the surrounding crowd, and received numerous pats on the back and hand shakes for our achievement. And just what did it look like you ask, well have no fear, for I shot pictures of the beast.

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My final closing note for this post will mirror my post on the non-academic events of this week to a degree. However staying with the theme this will focus on a good all around retreat from anything negative that school might bring. This amazing thing, is in fact a place, and this place is called Felicitas. What is it, well it is a Bar, on Campus, With the cheapest beer in town, and it opens in the afternoon. For anything that you need to get away from it is amazing, and situated right near the SUB (Student Union Building) it is the perfect location to meet up with those friends I suggested you get yourself and kick back from the mind filling and or cracking you have been doing. Truly it was an inspired idea, and only one hundred paces from the bus exchange which runs routes all weekend late to get those drunk students home to their beds safely, Uvic truly is a home away from home. To add to that there is a massive number of support facilities inside the SUB including a full movie theatre and to top it all off, Multi Gender Washrooms…. That’s right, Co-ed washrooms. That could be really weird. There is no male female signs, you either guess it, or share it with the opposite sex. Which I do not believe any of us have done since we were six. Oh well that’s University for you.

Typically I’d add my tag line here, but seeing as I have a second part to do tomorrow I will close tonight with a simple Stay Tuned for tomorrow’s second update. Along with my first week survival guide which will go up at some point this week.


Midweek Wednesday

Well I did not get to my laptop again on Sunday to update you guys on the remainder of last week so tonight I will get that done. However I think I will leave out the Monday to Wednesday details till this coming Sunday and hopefully complete it on the time frame I have set for myself. Trust me in the last few days things have gotten fairly busy especially this today so I have not just been slacking, and to be dead honest it is not out of the question to do an entire post on today itself because so much ended up happening that I could right a few pages just on the last twelve hours. But like I said, that will have to wait, and on the bright side, It gives me something to look forward to writing about on Sunday if nothing else happens (doubtful) and of course something interesting for you to look forward to reading come this Sunday. So from this point on let us pretend it is Sunday September second and I shall get on with the last few updates from the last post last Wednesday or something. God I have seriously confused myself already and I have not even started on the main paragraph, time to get started. The end of week Thirteen… Victoria!

Well it is officially September and that means the ever dreaded back to school. I must say that this is the first year in many that I am not super stoked for the summer to end. I spent so much time either working or injured that I missed a fair chunk of all the fun there was to have in my new city. And with all my new friends and places to see and things to do, that is saying a lot. However one major change that cannot be ignored this year and that does have me bouncing off walls is instead of returning to the OC (Okanagan College) I have moved up in the world to Uvic. I promised a lot of people I would make it here, and trust me I had some doubters, to them I say thanks to your “constructive criticism” (I believe that is the appropriate way to say that) I made some serious changes to my life, study habits, and work ethic over the last several years since the end of high school and I believe even more so since coming to Victoria and starting fresh on my own. This year is going to be my bet yet since graduation and nothing is going to slow me down. But like I said missing a lot the summer had to offer I have been trying to cram it all into the last few weeks and so my timing on registration and touring the campus was cutting it a little close, however it got done and on time and the best part is the last piece of prep for the school term was completed this week. This also officially proves that I made it to my first milestone goal and that my Uvic ID. Picture and all with all access Bus pass to the area of Victoria. Life is now sweet and a little bit cheaper, so I believe it is time for a celebratory emoticon.🙂
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The second thing I have to add is another update on my back status. On Thursday I pulled a massive double header on my back starting with an adventurous “hike” up Mt Doug. Now I say hike because that entails travelling by foot from point A to point B, which happened to be the bottom of Doug to the Peak but if I were to really describe it I think climb would be more appropriate. For those of you who know both Charmaine and I well you probably know we have a desire to go rock climbing, full harness, carabineers, cams, chalk, etc.. but up until this point we have be delayed in finding a store that could properly supply us. However moving to Victoria changed all that. One of the many reasons I love this city is that you can find anything somewhere, and in terms of outdoor gear that place is MEC. However as a rather important side note, with my lack of income due to missing work, and Charmaine’s general lack of work coming from her boss, we cannot at this time afford everything right away, so our excursion up Mt Doug was done as a total free climb, also sometimes referred to as bouldering. The traverse entails three peaks ranging from small mid then the large one, each with a deep valley in between, however both the mid and large peaks have several faces of sheer rock ripe with mounts and climbing lines. So taking extra care and of course not exceeding limits we made our way up several vertical walls and all the way to the top of Doug, in a surprising forty-five minutes might I add. However we want to ascend and descend the large verticals, and so as we build our gear list from MEC we will progress up harder and harder faces. (and yes mom I will be careful) I will add several pictures of the trip to our weekly gallery, most of the photos show some faces that seem quite shallow, but trust me they are steep.

I believe I said a double header though, and that is only half of the story. For after returning from Mt Doug I accepted an invitation from my good friend Joe, who has sadly decided to move back home for the school year due to work (we miss you Joe), to go to the gym. (For the first time in almost four months) The real kicker, we decided to start or workout cycles on an arms day, and trust me I lost muscle mass since last winter. However I did complete and hour of workout, with a small ten minute, and much more boring then I remember treadmill run. But as always I no longer end my workouts there. Afterwards I wrapped my hands and set myself to a so-so bag training workout, my punches have lost some power, and due to my still tender back, (especially after the climb) my kicks were not what they could be. But I will say my endurance is still somewhat intact and my bare fists can still go awhile on the bag. First try I will say not bad. But I have to get back on top, and possibly find a good MMA trainer around here. I miss Grappling and ground impound. Was definitely in better shape before I stopped that.

Finally the weeks party details. It was the turn of a decade for my Best Friend Josh this week, the old man finally turned twenty and while I still have time I decided to rag on him quite a bit. However I expect that to come back in November so I didn’t get too irritating. I did however convince the poor guy to consume five pieces of cake though. And keep in mind that although that does not sound unattainable, this was after three beer and a massive Birthday Steak. Not to mention the of course promised drinking shenanigans that ensued afterwards. At our prodding, and the bet made of twenty-five dollars if he could manage it, Josh fought like a champ, to finally claim victory as the master of cake. However to say victory is strange, because in no world would I want to be him after he finished the fifth piece. The rest of the cake is still sitting in his fridge untouched. Needless to say, no one wants it now. But as I mentioned, ensuing shenanigans. This is of course referring to a fantastic game of Shuswap style sociable. Which included card stacks and rum shots, running half naked. and hiding from people that someone may have run into their car. (No damage was done, we checked) ((and the someone, will remain nameless)). The great part of this episode of awesome ended with a massive shotgun circle. Courtlin remains the champ, but I promise to train to beat him. Its not easy with a full sized steak burger in my belly and half a dozen other beers and my own two pieces of cake. The night ended perfectly and safely with Char and I taking the midnight bus home, which basically dropped us off right at home. The bad news: Burgers and BBQ Sauce was forgotten at Josh’s. Eventually recovered.

Well that covers the end of week thirteen. coincidently written halfway through week fourteen. It was jammed with the last death throes of summer, and we really did our best to make it a good last week. Now, school starts and the seriousness has begun. Wait… doesn’t Res have a lot of parties… oh well. Give a little get a little.

Thanks for the time and make sure you get out there and get your daily rush. Keep the blood flowing and the heart going.

De-Construction and Delays

Well I am now Sitting in my kitchen in week number twelve of our glorious escapade to Vancouver Island, and may I just add in that very first statement by no means did I misuse a capital letter in sitting. That happens to be a very important detail, and also something I will never again take for granted: That’s right, the ability to sit. It also holds the key to why this post is approximately three weeks overdue and honestly I must apologize for not being more committed during the last several weeks, but in all honesty I’ve been spending a lot of time sleeping, relaxing, or taking trips out of my own head as apposed to going to work, exercising, or enjoying my wonderful; new surroundings. So hopefully I have a proficient enough memory to update you on all the gritty details as to why this has taken so long, and thankfully due to my condition I did not miss much in those two weeks because frankly, not a lot happened. However with the recent recovery a lot more has happened in the past week and I will update it as well this coming Sunday when the week officially comes to a close.

So to make a long story much shorter then it could be, and knowing that there is indeed an even longer version then the long one. I am going to attempt to recount the important events over the past two weeks pertaining to a back injury I sustained at work on the 4th of August, a Saturday. The next morning I was feeling a little bit of a strain in my lower back but I was also dealing with a pulled left shoulder so at the time I thought nothing of it. To make things worse after a few days the pain in my shoulder went away while my back pain was still progressing, but due to the healing of my muscle that had just taken place I figured I had simply pulled another muscle in my back and that a few more days of work followed by two days of rest would fix me right up. I was wrong…. Those two days of relaxation did nothing and each morning as I woke up I felt a progressively worse sensation in my lower back. Still under the assumption that I had pulled a muscle I decided to take those two days off easy and try to rest, and although the pain did not really get worse it did not deteriorate or get any better. But my days off were then over and I had to be back at work, so for the second week while having an injured back, I returned to work executing lifts of those kayaks and paddleboards unaware that each passing day was in fact injuring me more greatly and that the strain I had my spine under was soon going to give. You can tell instinctively when you wake up that your body is either functioning correctly or not. Especially being human, we have the ability to vocally describe our situation and whether or not something is wrong. And when you are on a double dose of Ibuprofen and can get no relief from the pain you are in, something is definitely wrong.

I hit the wall on the fifteenth of August, a Wednesday. I woke up in such pain that I could not bend in the shower, and had to physically roll out of bed then crouch to get off the floor. Still, I am half of my father so I insisted that I was fine and got ready for work. However my inability to climb the two steps outside my front door to the road was enough for Charmaine to order me back inside and tell me I wasn’t going to work. At that point I was in too much pain to argue. So after calling my boss and letting him know I wasn’t going to make it to work I settled instead for a quick breakfast and a trip down the road to our local doctor. I must say that one amazing feature of Victoria is their walk-in clinics. I literally walked up to the glass, registered with the nurse and was taken straight into an examination room. No wait, at all. Empty at twelve O’clock in the afternoon on a Wednesday, fantastic. After a quick examination and an even quicker urine test. That’s right a working laboratory with no wait either, we “confirmed” that I had a massive muscle strain in my lower back and not a kidney issue. So with a prescription in hand it was off to the drug store for some mid level muscle relaxants. Needless to say that after two days of use, including the day I received the pain killers I was no longer screwing around. My back was messed up and the pain was now increasing exponentially. The relaxants, doing absolutely nothing and my mobility was seriously decreasing. So, on my final day off I decided to go see a chiropractor. It turns out… that I had two lumbar spinal disks misplaced, both on an angle leaning from my lower right side to my upper left shoulder. This caused the muscle groups in my lower back, which are quite major might I add, to reshape and stretch into this position which was causing me discomfort, and the more time I took waiting to have my spine corrected, the more adjusted the muscles were becoming which also meant that the recovery time it would take to return to its proper position was getting equally longer. So back on Ibuprofen and off the muscle relaxants I returned home, back freshly cracked and spine back where it should have been. I’ll admit I was feeling better. The next day I repeated the back alignment and again I felt better, I was getting back to normal and was thinking I was in the clear. All in time for Raffi to visit us two, as that day was only one afternoon away. Then came the day of paralysis.

I must also add as a small side note that prior to the first visit to the chiropractor on the seventeenth of August I visited Uvic on the sixteenth to register for my course and get assistance from a course advisor. You have no Idea the satisfaction I experienced when telling my advisor that I would have less of an issue registering then she anticipated because I was already a second year student, but to be honest, I was cutting the deadline rather close and I think next year now that I know what I’m doing I will be a little more prepared. However in under thirty minutes she had my entire year sorted out and had me fully equipped to take on the challenges of a big university. So I must say, Hats off to a Ms. or perhaps Mrs. Beth Christopher for helping both myself and Charmaine establish a fantastic timetable at both Camosun and Uvic. You truly are an amazing advisor and we could not have done it without you.

The 21st was the worst day in many ways, perhaps because I spent a lot of time waiting in a hospital waiting room behind people who had absolutely nothing wrong with them, or maybe because I was unable to be the host I wanted to be when Raffi arrived. But I think if I had to sum it p to one thing I would be completely selfish and admit it was the excruciating pain that surged through my entire body, with every step, flex, or movement, and I must again thank someone, My good buddy Joe, who I have only known for three months who helped drive me to the hospital. Because I know now I would not have made it there without him. After two hours waiting on my feet, and I mean this because I could not sit down at all, literally because If I did there was no guarantee that I would be able to get up again, but finally I made it into emergency and the doctor advised me to take some codeine based pain killers. Now those who know me well enough know I am allergic to the stuff, however he recommended a synthetic so no worries he knew what he was doing. It really was all he could do for me other then recommend I go and speak with my chiropractor again. He then offered to dose me up before I headed home and for some strange reason I declined. About two hours later I wish I hadn’t and I still don’t know why I did. Probably something to do with Charmaine’s theory that he wanted to see how baked I would be and that when I denied the doctor looked mighty disappointed. Regardless. The trip home after was a short bus ride followed by a three hundred metre at most walk through hell. Ever step was making my scream, and literally by the tie I was home I had cycled clean through a sailors curse book and was making up a few choice words of my own.

By that point in the day it was only noon and I was going nowhere from that point on. I just barely managed to use the bathroom and then set myself on my back on the couch with my Xbox and Charmaine left to fill my prescription and go find my chiropractor. She was gone what I consider and agonizing hour and when she got back the message was crystal clear. Off the couch and onto the floor with my back as straight as possible. It is a lucky thing we have a yoga mat, and due to the couches, way too many pillows. But with that combination of items, along with a hot pack and and Ice pack, I began to feel some relief. Some was not quite enough though, and that’s where the pain killers stepped in. I doubt that they really relieve pain in any way, but I will say this. You leave your own body for the duration of the drug, or at least, your conscious self becomes unattached, because for the next four hours I was a brain dead, stoned, and apparently hilarious ragdoll, with no recollection of pain. And while all that was taking place, Raffi arrived.

The good news is that from that point on it has been nothing but recovery for me. Ever day I feel stronger and every morning less pain remains. It is the thirtieth of August today and I began writing this yesterday, so the events of today will remain confidential until Sunday, but I can say I am on the threshold of one hundred percent once again. It took exactly two weeks from the time I was properly diagnosed and set on the path to recovery to final feel like I did before, and two weeks for the injury to take its full hold on me, but now I have it beat. One whole month of pain and mystery, now solved and dealt with, and might I say thank god it is over.

I would like to also add that Jason did visit us as well as Raffi but that visit ended this week so again the rest will be on Sunday. However I will say in terms of having fun with Raffi, things went pretty well even in my crippled state. We spent a good day playing video games while I recovered from the worst of my paralysis, and then the next morning on discovering that I was feeling much better we went, and against my Doctors’ wishes (our little secret) Longboarding for several hours. The first time on a board since April and it was absolutely amazing. In the space of that one afternoon I managed to stretch my back out properly and I believe it did nothing but help the healing process. On another note, in that same afternoon with almost zero effort, Charmaine and I convinced Raffi to move here to Vic and we are very excited for his arrival next spring.

The only thing to really focus on now is school in all its upcoming excitement. I was off work for several weeks but managed to claim compensation at least until I find less stressful work on my back, and the next goal on my list is to purchase my longboard, Which might I add was discovered in a shop only two blocks from my house. To the skate shop known as One Six. I am coming soon for my Demon Seed.

Anyways, as always…

Thanks for the time and make sure you get out there and get your daily rush. Keep the blood flowing and the heart going.

Moonlight Misadventures

It is an unfortunate circumstance this 10th week in Victoria which has me writing so late, but as it happened this Sunday I had quite a full day that began at 3:30am. Therefore if I seem to be a bit inconsistent forgive me. I am extremely tired and the red bull I consumed nearly three hours ago has started to lose to affect. Therefore I apologize but I will probably only stick to the very key events this week and keep the content level low, for my own benefit as well as yours, because I know you do not want to listen to some unfiltered exhaustion fuelled garbage, and believe me if I allowed myself, I’m sure I could find plenty to go on about.

So, as I said I was awake at 3:30 this Sunday morning and I believe that it probably deserves some explanation as to why in the blazes I would push myself to be awake at that time, but trust me the reason is good, although the level of sanity it involves may not be. Recently, and by that I mean about a month and a half ago I took part in a triathlon as a certified lifeguard and an employee of West Coast Outdoor, we ran the water support for the Subaru Elk Lake triathlon. This means I was awake bright and early in order to ride around on our own Hobie kayaks and prevent swimmers from drowning or falling into any trouble. Although that event went fairly well despite beastly weather and screaming winds and whitecaps I was hesitant to volunteer for the Sooke triathlon based upon the distance at which I would have to travel, combined with the usual start time for most swim times during these events. I was informed I would have to be in Sooke by six am this morning, and so if you take the time to do the math, that is the equivalent to, one hour of driving before six am, so we are sitting at five am, followed by an hour first thing in the morning to prep for the triathlon, get ready to leave the house, and get ready for work at the same time as I was to be going there directly after the triathlon. This puts my start time first thing in the morning at four am, however, me being the event master had a hard time falling into a deep sleep and so around three thirty I was shaken awake by a small undetectable circumstance in my house. At this point I figured I might as well stay up and wait for my alarm, so that when that bell finally went off I could pounce on it like a tiger. It turns out I began to doze and so the alarm got the better of me in all its super loud obnoxious glory, bastard! Still, a commitment is a commitment and so I slowly hauled myself out of bed and headed out to Sooke for the day. The triathlon itself was quite uneventful and went off without a hitch, therefore I enjoyed the equivalent of a six am paddle around young lake for no true purpose, followed by a nine hour work day, (high five) which hit its high point around noon when a crazy family, all hopped up like rabbits turned what was a peaceful day into something out of a disaster movie. So there is my explanation of the three thirty start this morning, and the continued reason as to why I am as tired as I am, but I shall push forward with all my reserve strength till I collapse either in my bed or on my keyboard! HA!

The job hunt continues as it did before, but is now coupled with the impending start of the fall semester at Uvic. With myself finally registered I am in a scramble to get into my light course load before everything fills up, and I must say, being a second year student really has its advantages in that area as the pack has been thinned somewhat. Both the job and school process have been made a little simpler as well with the addition of Char and I’s new printer to our delightful little tech family. We found this little beast at London Drugs for a price most thieves would consider highway robbery and unsurprising of HP the setup was dead simple to add its powers to our network of devices. Question: does everything have Wifi now? I’m waiting for the box of Cheerio’s that you can command pour itself… Yum.

Speaking of Yum, Charmaine and I decided to do one thing together once a week that I think is not only a great display of compromise and passion, but also of our ability to combine our ideas and talents. Recently I posed the idea of one night a week where we cook together, the catch being we both go shopping together that day and pick one ingredient at random in the supermarket that is unusual in our diet. This week we choose to turn coconut into something delicious, and after adding some prime rib steak we were all set for an island style barbeque. I decided to take a spin-off of the usual garlic infused steak my father has become famous for and instead infused these bad boys with coconut slices, topped off by an all original secret homemade Islander BBQ sauce. I will hint that the addition of ghost chilli and coconut water was a definite must, and taking the fruit of the nut itself and grilling it right on the surface unwrapped and smothered in sauce using the natural cup shape of the slices. After topping the steaks with these grilled coconut slices we added a fresh coconuts and fresh raspberry garden salad. Dinner was incredible and has since solidified the idea of mystery night in our household. I personally cannot wait for the next secret ingredient. Some say there is such a thing as too much barbeque, and to those people say, pound sand. I`ve been grilling four to five nights a week since the acquisition of my B-cue and loving every moment of it.

In other news I recently attended an evening with friends at the peacocks billiard hall, also known as the Games room in the Strathcona hotel in downtown Vic. There really is nothing like sitting around a table for a few hours with three friends and shooting a few rounds of team pool, and as an added bonus we took Thaddeus with us and found an opportunity to promote him to a few individuals just one table across from our own. This little adventure ended after Joe and I lost our second game in a row off of a scratch on the eight ball and returned us to a large parking complex on Yates street, where we discovered we had no way of escape. Both or vehicles were gated inside the structure which would only take coinage, (although it advertised credit cards).  After contemplating smashing through the gate Courtlin and I decided on a more subtle approach and instead approached the night guard to the complex, who informed us of the small minute screw up mentioned above ^^. He was kind enough to understand our situation and let us out of the structure for free which was a very kind thing to do at twelve thirty at night and to which he received many thanks from the four of us.

Continuing with the games news, I’d like to mention the purchase I made to expand my Xbox game collection of Forza Motorsport for a cool twenty deer…. I mean bucks (the male kind made of paper). Anyways I am part way through this beyond epic driving simulator and must say that the increased difficulty is providing a nice challenge and is definitely worth picking up if you are contemplating good driving games. Keep in  mind though this is a simulator, not a sandbox racer so throttle and brake control is vital, and although driver assists can be set up to help you play the game by essentially driving the vehicle for you, that isn’t any fun, so I recommend taking the time if you decide on this purchase and learning the movements, weight, and reaction speed of the vehicle you ultimately choose to drive.

As I said I was going to keep this week rather short, and thankfully I am more then a little alleviated from that task by enjoying a rather uneventful weekend so far. I managed my goal of not falling asleep on my keyboard so I must give myself props, and perhaps a small air high five to the red bull that I am sure is sustaining my consciousness. I now plan to go crash face first into pillow heaven, so I am sorry if I left anyone craving more of my usual small details, but for now I am good and done. Perhaps I’ll add another unscheduled post some point mid week for week eleven just to compensate my lack of bread and butter this time. But for now I am out cold…. so….

Thanks for the time and make sure you get out there and get your daily rush. Keep the blood flowing and the heart going.

Getting out of the oven!

Whew, I’m sure for anyone living on the island or the lower mainland I do not need to explain this caption at all. During the past four days the entire West Coast has been hit by an extreme heat wave which has turned all the local residents to slow moving jelly-based individuals, the visiting tourists into louder, more obnoxious and always demanding travellers, and those of us trying to acclimatise from the hot Okanagan heat into our usual selves as apposed to typical Islanders. Now it may seem like something as small as weather cannot do much in regards to changing an entire population, but in all seriousness, this has been no regular set of weather patterns. Much like the Thunder Storms we experienced several weeks ago the average temperature per day in Victoria has been in the mid to high thirties region, and Sooke, the small ocean side city in which I work in the low to mid thirties. It really has become a fun game watching the locals slowly succumb to the heat, while I am finally believing we have hit the summer months, however this has also messed up my process of adaption to the island’s more moderate climate, so although I currently love the sunshine and the heat, I feel that further on in the year I will experience some depressing moments with the wet and humid atmosphere. That being said, it seems everywhere I go I take a strange climate shift with me in my back pocket, so who knows, I may even get my cold crisp white Christmas after all. But that is ages away and tonight I have to focus on week number nine of the great Victorian expedition.

Finally after much talk and excitement about the visitation of my Parents the time has come and past. They stayed over both Monday and Tuesday night and we had a wonderful time for those two days catching up and enjoying each others greatly missed company. I will say it was probably hardest for my mother who I can tell misses my loud and obnoxious self, although why I could not tell you, although were I to speculate I would expect the reason would relate to some for of a never boring afternoon in my presence. Regardless of the obvious emotional distress and Charmaine being a bit under the weather during the visit, which might I mention did not deter her from making an absolutely delicious and garden fresh spaghetti sauce complete with French garlic bread, and my feeble and by the box Ceaser salad, to which level I shall never stoop again, we made the best of the time we had showing my parents where I worked and the beautiful drive I enjoy every weekend to Sooke. The area in which we live with its endless amenities including parks, services, and liquor stores (always a bonus in University, but with four of them within a five minute walk, some might wonder if we didn’t plan this??). The second afternoon was even better as we took a quick tour of Uvic together after a long morning coffee then took  a trip to Hillside mall to show my Mother the amazing Telus store Char and I found. Unfortunately Wade, our usual Telus guy was not there, but his Co-worker TJ who has also come to know us well was there to help my mother reset her email on her Iphone. Afterwards my parents wanted to shop a little and so as a family we ended up in Zellers where we eventually came across the BBQs. Now anyone who has been around me in the evening over the past half dozen weeks knows I was physically aching for a BBQ, and as luck would have in all of them were on sale at Zellers, due to the closeout thanks to Target. My parents knew it was something we would need and so they decided to buy Charmaine and I a BBQ and a full propane tank as our house warming gift. Well, you never have to tell a man twice to set up a BBQ so as soon as my Dad and I had that bad boy home we began a rapid, and precise, professional assembly of the grill. In total it took us just under one hour and two beer to assemble the BBQ and I immediately wanted to throw some meat on it. However we had dinner plans in town and so I had to leave my newest cooking tool alone, and unused. Although it may seem sinful the dinner we had together as a family was delicious and instead of being busy cooking we had time to talk about future plans and current ideas and desires on both sides of the table. Dinner took a rough three hours and afterwards we decided to head home and off to bed, as my parents had to catch a ferry the next morning and I had to be off to work on the 11am bus. Although it was only a short two days, I really appreciated the time I had with my parents who I had not seen in two months and now am even more excited about having Charmaine’s parents over and proving infinitely that we are alright and fully independent now.

I am delighted to say however that the use of the new Barbeque was close at hand. The day after my parents left Char and I decided to have a BBQ with our friends in the form of a small party. At the time we had no idea how small the party would get, but regardless of the number of participants there was definitely a large level of consumption, which in turn led to a large amount of regret. The party started at seven, and right from the get go I was on fire as a total grill master. Four huge Smokies, along with six big burgers, and the ever present Veggie dogs for our resident animal right friends. But with two designated sides to the barbeque we were successfully able to avoid the theological debate. Unfortunately my good friend Court had to leave early due to work the next morning and with him went his girlfriend and another of our group who needed a ride home, and so it was left to Charmaine, Joe, our landlord Andrew, and myself. Of course Joe and I being the champs we are, did not let that little detail stop us, and together we each finished a case of beer and then some, including B52 coffee shots and massive mugs of the great golden brew. The party ended sometime around two am and both Drew and Joe left together via cab, while Charmaine and I went to bed, where I in a matter of moments passed out cold. Needless to say both Joseph and I were hurting the next day and I am somewhat displeased to note that nothing got done that day after the party, other then sitting around in pyjama pants and tank tops. High fives were exchanged at one point much later in the week. The strange thing to that party is that we discovered and finally accepted the loss of a huge bag of cheese fill Bolivian Sausages. To this day we still have no idea where or when they might have disappeared but we do hope that if they are hidden somewhere, it is somewhere refrigerated.

Being the party animals that Char and I are, we decided this week that one party simply was not enough, and so we were determined to have yet another get together. Fortunately for us it also happened to be our friend Claudia’s birthday this week and so we were alleviated of organizing, cleaning and generally dealing with another group of people in our house. She wasn’t as lucky, but that’s what happens when you turn twenty in Victoria. After the events of the previous party it was plain to myself that drinking was not on my agenda, however upon arriving the party vibe took over and I found myself driving Court’s car (dead sober might I add) back to my house to retrieve the contents of our bar fridge. Upon returning to the party Charmaine and I engaged in drinking games, shots, and general dumb foolery with our friends as the party seamlessly and unknowingly began to grow around us, from a modest ten people, to a full blow thirty, half of whom I have never met, and the other half whom I still don’t know. Strangely enough, as if to counteract the events of the barbeque night, against our will Charmaine and I’s bodies would not succumb to the affects of drink and atmosphere and so instead we distracted ourselves with meeting new people and displaying our talents for cheerleading, and free running. For the next portion to make sense I must state that the occupants of Claudia’s crash pad are a large group of hard-core metal heads, and so you must imagine the entire time an ear shattering symphony of screaming and guitar screeches. This continued into the night until it reached its peak at one thirty in the morning when a delightful and I believe completely within their own rights (as I too was also become irritated) neighbour called the Saanich police department and filed a formal noise complaint. It was not long after that the five O was knocking at our door and informing us that the party was going to be shut down if the reckless and noisy behaviour of the rest of the party (current friend group exempt) continued. Well I must add that being the sun of a police officer has given me a good sense of when things begin pushing the boundaries of the law and so I started to pack my things and finish my current beer. It was only a few minutes later that the police decided to end the shenanigans and closed down the party for the night. Again, dead sober I collected my Charmaine, and we left the party, thanking the officers for their leniency and enjoyed a delightful walk home hand in hand. Seeing that I had to work the next morning it was quite fitting and timely that we arrived home when we did, and after a quick hot dog BBQ to satisfy our midnight hunger we drifted off to sleep.

I must say that while my parents were visiting I was able to reset my sleep clock a little, back to earlier nights and earlier mornings, and although my week was filled with late night activities in the form of a BBQ and a party I still have enjoyed the second portion of that mantra in earlier rise mornings. Before during the July portion of living in Vic I would often sleep late till around ten or even eleven in the morning and find that I had wasted almost all the free time in my day, especially if I had to work as well. Now with my earlier mornings I am getting to enjoy some of that again, and currently I am using it to relax and wake up properly without a rush, prep my lunches for the day and even cook larger more complete and of course delicious breakfasts. I’m going to continue this trend I think, and perhaps even encourage Charmaine to join me with an earlier seven thirty rise time, but I think I will also incorporate those early nights as well when I can, because I do so love to sleep and am finding my bed very comfortable in the morning, so therefore if I want to wake up early but have more in bed time, it can only mean earlier nights.

Finally I have a tech tip to give. This is primarily for those people who run devices on Android networks or are in the market for new equipment and find apple products expensive and Microsoft too complex. Android runs on all Samsung products and is partnered with Google, and your personal Gmail account which allows for the system to back up every bit of data on your device if it were to break or be stolen, this is extremely cool but not the main focus of my point. Android is also equipped with a program called drop box, which is essential a secure local storage center for your files, photos and videos which does not occupy space on your phone, allowing you to store more then your devices actual capacity online. Even though it is connected to the net, this is only to have a free space to place the data, therefore it can only be accessed by you and those you allow, essential turning your Gmail account into another hard drive, and as a bonus Drop box works on all computer operating systems already so you can share any files using a common file type and adapter to move items wirelessly between devices, and If you have a home network with other people in your home, drop box allows for certain public folders to be contributed to and access via the internet from any location by a certified device. I think this is what is referred to as Icloud, except I found it much simpler and there is not need to actually individually log onto and certify device with pin codes or passwords.

Finally I have a small Thaddeus update this week as I always try to. It has been decided and is in the design process to produce Drinking Shark T-shirts for our promotional party scene. Each shirt will sell for ten dollars with a portion of the proceeds going to the purchase of more product and the remainder going straight to the Charity we choose for Thaddeus to represent. It will be an ocean wildlife charity, we are both just busy busy busy and have not gotten around to contacting one yet.

Well that’s all from Vic this week. Number nine has come and gone and I can’t wait to find out what is going to happen next.

Thanks for the time and make sure you get out there and get your daily rush. Keep the blood flowing and the heart going.