Graduation Banquet

On Friday I went to the graduation banquet at the BMO centre from 17:30 to 23:00. I had a good time and was able to talk to and take pictures with friends over the course of the night. There was a buffet-style dinner at the beginning, followed by videos, speeches, and dancing. The hall was larger than I expected but there were more than 700 people there so it wasn’t entirely unexpected. Of the whole event, getting a chance to talk to friends outside of school was the most fun. I ran into one friend before the banquet who I don’t get to see much since they’re part of theatre production and not in IB. We ended up matching in colour which was completely unplanned but amazing. Also managed to wear dinosaur earrings with my outfit. Overall, it was a good time even if the music was really loud.

Banquet Hall

Slow roast beef sirloin, wild mushroom tortellini, broccoli and grape salad, and wild rice salad.

Strawberry shortcake

Hana, Gwyneth, Shahrzad, [me] and Coco

Coco, [me] and Shahrzad

Gwyneth, Emily, Coco, [me] and Shahrzad

Miranda’s High School Graduation

Today was the big day! After three years at Sir Winston Churchill High School (and 13 years of school), it was time for Miranda’s grad. It was held in-person for the first time since 2019, and I think everybody was excited for that. The ceremony was starting at 9:00, and Miranda wanted to be there at 8:00, so we were in the car and on the road by 7:45. The ceremony was being held at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium at the University of Calgary. It wasn’t too hard to drop Dad off nor to find parking and some seats.

Ready to go

The kids filed in, and Miranda settled in for a long morning in what she called “a cheap chair”. I pity her, because ours were more comfortable and we were able to stand up a few times over the course of the three hours.

The master of ceremonies was the principal, Mr. Rajan, and he did a good job of his speech and keeping things moving along. Three different people read out names for three blocks of kids. Miranda was in A-H, so was up and on stage in the first hundred kids. There were 693 graduates to go through.

Miranda got a nice certificate on stage that indicated she had met the requirements to attend. 😄 That is to say, it’s mathematically possible for her to pass her exams, I guess. Good for her!

The end of the ceremony was marked by the kids tossing their caps into the air. It was fun, if a little chaotic. Ian was the best at capturing it. I got a 1-second clip, and Tammy got a still of the caps in the air. Here’s Ian, getting the whole thing.

We fought our way through the crowd afterwards to get to the car and back home again. While we were merging onto the Crowchild Trail, I got a notification on my watch that someone had rung our doorbell. I heard Tammy talking in the back seat to the delivery person (not sure how she managed that) and the package was left on the doorstep. When we got home, it turned out to be some roses from Colin and Carol!

Now we’ve had some spaghetti with garlic toast for lunch, and we resting a bit. Tonight, Miranda will be taking part in the Grad Banquet at the BMO Centre. I’ll be dropping her off and picking her up again later.

Now, the new camera! Only two days ago, we got more information about the grad ceremony itself. We got an idea of what the seating was going to be, whether or not (NOT) you could come closer to take a picture, etc., etc. It became clear that we were not going to be near to the stage, particularly because Dad wasn’t going to be able to climb a lot of stairs. That led to a decision to be made. The old Pentax K100D still worked, but:

  • The camera refused to take pictures with the long lens attached,
  • The white balance always is a problem under artificial lights and
  • The sensor, while good in its day (6 megapixels) was not that great.

So it was either an iPhone photo from a long ways away or a somewhat better 55 mm lens zoom with the Pentax but sketchy photo quality, or…

We chose the new camera option. It’s the Canon EOS M50 Mk II which came with a nice 15-45 mm lens standard, and we added the Canon EFM 55-200 mm lens. We gave it a workout at the park last night and then today, in Ian’s hands, we got good photos of Miranda (see above!)

Just to compare, here is a photo that Dad took of Miranda coming onstage, and next to it is the one Ian took at the same time.

I think that was $1400 well-spent, right there.

Pre-Grad Photos

Last night, Miranda and some of her friends and classmates met up at Baker Park in Calgary to shoot some photos with their grad caps and gowns. We took the opportunity to dress nicely and get some good family pictures. It was a beautiful evening for it.

Miranda, Fatma, Shahrzad, Maryam, Janelle, Gwyneth – fellow IB’ers

There were mostly girls there. Towards the end a few guys showed up, but I think the ratio was about 15 to 1. Ian was snapping away with our new camera, becoming the unofficial photographer of the event.

We were there for about an hour and a half, but the evening was so nice it wasn’t a chore.

Miranda and Grandpa

Afterwards, we returned home and had an early birthday celebration for Dad. We don’t get to see him around his birthday, normally. Two weeks away is close enough, right? And who needs an excuse for trifle?

On the subject of the new camera… that will have to wait. We’re off to the grad ceremony now.

Finally Some Summery Weather

On Saturday and Sunday, I was grumbling about the weather. I had a 100 km ride to Airdrie with Phil and Perry on Saturday where the temperature was 4 degrees to start and 8 at the end (about 1:00). Sunday was a little better, with 8 to start and 13 to end, but I would have liked it to be warmer. The sunshine was nice, but it was chilly when the sun hid behind a cloud.

My riding group on Sunday. I’ve got three layers on, that’s why I’m smiling.

But today, the weather was sunny, and actually warm. It got up to 19, and was really nice all the way from before lunch and into the evening. We had BBQ burgers and hot dogs with ice cream treats for dessert on the deck. (It being a holiday Monday, Miranda was at home today. What a treat! 😄)

I also opened the first bottle of the second batch of cider. It’s raspberry-apple, and I was really pleased with it. Translation: I would serve it to guests without making excuses. Maybe it had something to do with leaving it more than three months after bottling, or more likely that I left it nine months in the carboy. It’s clear, a nice colour and has no yeasty flavour. Tammy still would like it sweeter, but that’s her.

The cider

Miranda wanted to watch the 2009 BBC adaptation of Hamlet, starring David Tennant, so Tammy and I joined her downstairs for a chunk of the day. It was good, and nice to revisit for the first time since Grade 12 (for me).

Even Murphy enjoyed Hamlet

After lunch, Ian met up with Joey and Josh and they cycled downtown. It would have been okay, except Joey’s bike got stolen. Ian was lucky: it could have been his bike. His wasn’t locked either. We’ve had a talk about that. He wouldn’t want to be having the night that Joey’s having.

Tomorrow is the start of virtual Tech Trek at work. I have a lightning talk to give with a co-worker named Victor. And Dad arrives on Wednesday for Miranda’s grad on Friday. It’s going to be an action-packed week.

Happy 49th Birthday Simon!

Today Simon turned 49.

To start the celebrations he opened his cards and gifts over breakfast before moving on to the annual tradition of ride the same number of kms as there are candles on your cake. This year he did it inside on rollers because he had to be done, showered, and ready for a workshop at 10.

The middle part of the day was work (or school for some). I beetled home after work in order to assemble his cake. The actual cake part was baked on Sunday. Today I made the orange-flavoured buttercream and put it all together. After work, we went for supper at Mitillini’s. 3 of us had pizza and I had the steak. When we came home we had cake then (re)watched the first episode of Loki.

Happy birthday Simon. We hope you had a great day! 💚❤️

First Day With Everyone Not At Home

For the first time since early 2020, all four of us are at school / at the office.

Everyone is on-site (I’m the blue dot)

It seems like a momentous occasion. Figures that there was an Amazon delivery this morning. Hope it doesn’t get swiped from the doorstep before someone gets home.


Oh, and I saw some baby honk-honks on my way to work today. 🥰

A family of geese

Mr. Murphy’s Tent

If you recall, for his 6th birthday, Murphy got a tent to play in outside. The weather was nice enough this weekend that he got two chances. First was Saturday afternoon in the sunshine:

Murphy enjoying his first time in the tent outside
Ian was jealous and joined him

The second was at dinner tonight. Tammy, Ian and I had dinner on the deck and then played some Uno afterwards, while Murphy got to watch the birds and listen to the dog bark over the back fence.

Miranda’s Registered for Courses

Exciting times! Miranda has signed up for her first year’s courses at the University of Calgary.

On one hand, it’s nice to see that the registration technology is so much more advanced than when Tammy and I did it at UVic: a paper course catalog and using a touch-tone phone to find out that the course you want is waitlisted wasn’t fun.

On the other, some things don’t change… like finding the course you want is waitlisted or otherwise won’t work in your schedule. Funny, I seem to recall Tammy telling Miranda to have alternates for her courses lined up. 🙄

In other news, I am missing skin on my hands this morning from taking off the tires on my Roubaix, replacing the sealant and putting them back on again. What a painful, thankless job that was.

And thanks to her Mother’s Day card, Tammy now has a nice set of Murphy cutouts on her monitor.

It started as a joke: I made her a card with the Cricut, and the resulting cutout was so nice that I stuck it to her monitor. The subsequent cards have joined the first…

Happy Mother’s Day from Calgary

Today was a pretty low-key day. It started off with a breakfast burrito made by Ian and a lovely card from Simon (from the Mr. Murphy collection). Ian started prepping last night by making the pico de gallo. This morning he grated and rinsed the potatoes until no starch remained to make the hashed browns. Then he scrambled the eggs and nearly burned the bacon. Sadly there was a mishap with bacon grease and the floor, but Simon can talk about that. 🤣 The final product was very delicious (and spicy – the jalapeños were a real eye-opener!).
After breakfast we did a little grocery shopping which included some libations for today: a Growler of Neapolitan Stout, a box of chocolate beer, and some moscato. Can you believe Baby Duck was out everywhere?! We also got some hors d’oeuvres for lunch which we ate while we all played Minecraft. Miranda got a cake from Abbey’s last night and she did the writing on it. We had some of that with lunch. It was mild and nutty and spice-cookie flavoured – very delicious. The Chocolate disk on top was also delicious.
After lunch, we continued with Minecraft until I had to take Miranda to work. Supper was leftovers and popcorn with fruit with the moscato and a tequila seltzer while we watched The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. There was also some laundry thrown in throughout the day. It is Sunday – laundry day – and laundry day waits for no holiday. 😜
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. Thank you to my loving family for everything today. 💜❤️💚💙

Mother’s Day laughing all the Way

Had a fun day today. Started out with some lovely flowers and cards

Yes that’s a glass full of alcohol on the lady’s face

And a flower that changes colour when floating on water

Then things got interesting when we pulled out the card game ”That’s What She Said”. If any of you have seen The Office, yes it’s just as dirty and funny!