Not Sure What to Think

Most of today, I’ve been trying to make heads or tails of yesterday’s declaration of a state of emergency in Alberta due to COVID. The government has gone from “no restrictions” to “state of emergency”. No pumping the brakes along the way, just full gas to pulling on the e-brake. Part of me wants to yell “I told you so!” really loud at the UCP and anti-vaxxers (I have to get in line behind basically all the doctors, nurses and business owners), but that’s like one passenger yelling at others on the Titanic. The fact remains that despite the measures, the long lead times of COVID mean that the health care system here is about 10 days away from failure. The expert on the radio this morning gave the advice: “Don’t get sick or in a traffic accident or hurt yourself in the next couple of days, because you might not be able to get help.”

The bright spot is that we will finally have vaccination status cards. The downside is that we don’t know yet if we can get one for Ian. I guess we’ll learn more as time goes on.

The new rules are inscrutable, but then we haven’t exactly been whooping it up as part of the best summer ever. Might be why we’re still all healthy.

Smurfing blue!

Before anybody berates me it was Bri that mentioned the smurf. 🙄 Anyway we went to our favourite hairdresser and refreshed her blue hair colour. Tried a different brand this time and wowwee what a blue!

Ian’s Braces

This morning, Ian got braces at the orthodontist for the second time. He has had an expander in since last month, and now has full braces, top and bottom. This should be the last round of this for him. I took him to the orthodontist this morning for a 7:20 am appointment. That was pretty early for Ian: he had to get up by 6 am.

As we drove to school, I warned him that his mouth might be sore today and he said no, but later when he came home he told me that only minutes after getting dropped off, his teeth started to ache.

A little Advil never hurt anyone.

Belated Anniversary Gift?

Yet another computer. I’m beginning to think we have a problem. 🤣

I’d been humming and hawing about getting an M1 Mac for a while. When they came out, we ordered a MacBook Air for Tammy right away (she was long overdue for a replacement) and then a Mac Mini to replace the seven-year old family computer. My work computer is a 2017 MacBook Pro, which isn’t too shabby, but compared to Tammy’s Air it was not up to par. I chewed on the possibilities of stealing the Mini and using it day-to-day, but I couldn’t justify pressing the 2013 Mini back into service. Realistically, I should be getting a new computer from work this year or next but I don’t want to prod my boss about it, because M1 (or M2 or M1X) MacBook Pros aren’t out yet.

MacBook Air in Silver. 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD

When Apple released the new iMacs this summer, I nearly pulled the trigger on a yellow one. But it wasn’t quite the right machine. The next generation of pro-level iMacs and MacBooks should be around the corner. So the “right ones” are out in the future. So why this MacBook Air and not the iMac? It came down to the what might might be next. When I get a new 27″ iMac or MacBook Pro, and this computer will need a new home. And Ian could use this for his movie making. So I might only be a temporary “owner” of it, but it will be fun. When this arrived, I told Ian to start making a business case for why he should inherit it. 😄

Today, I used it for work for the first time. Everything was snappy. This evening I was using Xcode and the battery was still at 91% and it wasn’t getting warm. This machine is amazing. I’ve lost 2″ on my second monitor (the MacBook screen) but gained a fast-forward in performance.

Thank you, Tammy. Even if it was just a kick to stop me from humming and hawing.

Last Ice Cream Ride of the Season

And it was a special one: Miranda was at the ice cream shop.

I led out the “Spicy B” group and warned them there would be lots of hills. 😈 I had ridden parts of the route before, but never the whole thing so it was new to me too.

Yours truly and my group: Mark, Ron, Lee, Brenda, Rick, Richard, Phil and Jarek

We got to Abbey’s just before 8. We were the first group to arrive. I was surprised that Miranda was the only one behind the counter, but another girl (Sienna?) showed up. She was on break. As more and more groups of cyclists showed up, the line grew out the door. Eventually Abbey herself and another fellow showed up so that there were four working and then the line moved well.

Miranda holding the fort

We ended up being quite a crowd.

And earlier in the evening, Tammy and Ian went to Abbey’s and got some milkshakes. Tammy took this picture as Miranda made their shakes.

24th Anniversary

Today it’s twenty-four years since that day long ago when Tammy and I said “I do”. It was a quiet day, mostly spent at home except for taking Miranda to her first shift at the ice cream parlour. It was supposed to be tomorrow, but they called this morning and asked if she could start at 4 today.

Tammy made me a card with a big assist from Miranda, and I gave Tammy a pair of blue opal earrings and a chocolate apple from Purdy’s. Opal and tanzanite are the gemstones associated with a 24th anniversary.

There was an e-card from Colin and Carol and a card from Dad. Thank you! It’s nice that you thought of us.

We elected to have takeout from Zaika. We had it at lunch: on one hand, Miranda was around and on the other hand it gave more time to digest it. 😁 Tammy made mango lassi drinks and a poppyseed pie which was delicious. It was a great lunch and we watched the latest Ted Lasso episode too.

Nom nom nom

Happy Anniversary, Tammy! 😘 Next year is silver.

Miranda’s First Job

Yesterday, Tammy spotted a “Help Wanted” post on Facebook for Abbey’s Creations, an ice cream parlour in Montgomery. Miranda quickly updated her resume and biked down there. She spoke to someone for a few minutes and then had a red velvet ice cream before heading home again. Today just after lunch, she got an email offering her the job. She starts Saturday night. More information when we find out.

Mmmm… 🍦

I’ll volunteer to pick her up from work if it comes with a free cone. 😝

The Last Bit and Trip Home

The last parts of our trip to Victoria were the barbecue at Stephanie’s, and then a visit to the Royal BC Museum.

The barbecue was a success, with Tristan making a bacon-wrapped pork roast along with corn on the cob. It was a second chance to get the family together on the trip. Bonus! For some reason, nobody took any photos??? Strange. The weather was nice in the back yard and it was a good cap to the day.

Zachary had to work the next day (new job at Lordco auto parts) but we met up with Stephanie, Tristan and Brianna to visit the museum. There was a new Orcas exhibit that I wanted to see, along with all of the classics. The deep-sea exhibit was under renovation the last time we were there and it was reopened now, with a Jules Verne-sort of vibe that was cool.

The new exhibits tend to have interactive computer screens and certainly have a lot of information, but there is something “atmospheric” in the older diorama-style or walk-through exhibits. As I get older I find I like the old town with its Victorian recreation of Vancouver/Victoria the most fascinating.

We had lunch at Red Robin before saying good bye. We skipped over to Hillside to get some groceries and to find Strait and Narrow, a gin-based drink that Tammy found a can for when we were playing disc golf on Pender. We also stopped at Qoola at the kids’ request. There used to be one in Calgary’s Market Mall, but it has closed.

Dinner was White Spot takeout! We’d been trying to go to White Spot the whole trip and failing. First, it was after the book store trip downtown. The location on Fort St. was too busy, and then the location on Douglas is closed now. 😢 Then we stopped at the one on the Pat Bay highway after Pender to find it was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. 😫 It finally worked out for dinner.

We had a reservation for the 8 o’clock ferry on Friday. It was an early morning, on the road by 6:30. Dad got up to help us get on our way. I finally got a decent picture of him at the very last minute!

Ready to leave

There was fog on the water as we took the Queen of New Westminster to Tsawwassen. But it cleared up by Active Pass.

The whole week we’d been worried about whether or not the highway would be open. It closed hours after we passed through on the way to Victoria. On Wednesday we’d heard that it was open again:

Highway 5. Travel advisory in effect between Exit 183: Peers Creek Rd and Exit 286: Merritt for 101.8 km (6 km north of Hope to 1 km south of Merritt). Due to a wildfire. Essential travel only. No facilities or washrooms available. No access off main hwy on off ramps. Watch for crews & enforcement. Watch for debris & wildlife. No stopping on hwy. Please lower speeds & drive with caution. 

We could have taken Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon or Highway 3 via Princeton and Crowsnest Pass, but both would have extended a long day even longer so we chose to try the Coquihalla. It was smoky, and there was lots of evidence of the fire that passed through.

The weather was much nicer than the trip down. It was cooler: I think the hottest we saw was 28 degrees in the Salmon Arm area. The smoke was mostly gone so we actually got to see the mountains. There were rain showers from Yoho through Banff, which wouldn’t have been a big deal except that our wipers aren’t in great shape. It’s been a dry summer and neither Tammy nor I thought to check them before the trip. Wasn’t critical, but it made the last stretch in the dark that much more tiring.

Rogers Pass

There weren’t that many headaches on the road. A couple of weird drivers doing unexpected things, but nothing out of the ordinary. The one major, major, MAJOR foulup that we saw was in Kicking Horse Pass. They are working to widen/straighten the road, and so it was reduced to one lane. We came to a complete stop for about 10 minutes just east of Golden, but then we were slowly following the tractor-trailer through the twisty construction area. The truck was loaded and slow and I’d made a few comments about it as we crawled along. But when we got to the far end, all hell was breaking loose.

At the east end of the construction, divided highway started again. The traffic cones had put us on the left side of the highway through the construction, and at the end we merged back onto the right. But up ahead, the first vehicles through the construction had missed the merge! They had continued up the left and now were face-to-face with the waiting traffic coming west. The cars and trucks were doing three-point turns, but there were several semi-trailers that could not. It was a mess. We just merged to the right and drove by the chaos happening in the opposing traffic lanes. I imagine it was going to be a snarl for a while.

We got home about 11:20. It was nice to be in our beds again. Murphy was happy to be home. He spent most of the day in his carrier in the back, being very quiet.