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.