Tuesday, February 27, 2007


City Hall

In Montreal's old port.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


A couple of months ago I was sad to find that I didn't have any pictures of the motorbike that I drove in Taiwan. But, Kevan used it to drive around when he visited us there, and he sent me this picture yesterday. That's a nice bike. Well, it's kind of a ridiculous bike... but it was lent to me for as long as I needed it.

Can you guess how many cc's are under all that fiberglass? And the top speed?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Winterlude by night

Winterlude is Ottawa's winter festival. Here are some pictures of the canal downtown in the early evening.

Ottawa - Our Nation's Other Capital

I think that Ontario and Quebec are much colder than the west. I swear that the temperature has been between -10 and -20 C since I got here three weeks ago.
So... this is the Parliament building were the government meets. A large part of the building is open to the public, including the floors of the Commons and the Senate where the government meets. I went to question period a couple of times, and it was interesting to see the dynamics in the house. There's always another another opinion when four political parties are arguing with each other for a share of the vote. Thank God we don't have a two party system! It was also interesting to see the natural leadership of the four party leaders. Word to the wise... watch out for that John Baird. He's a bulldog! (and probably isn't overly conscious - or interested in - of the meaning of the words that flow loudly out of his mouth)The tower of the parliament is called the Peace Tower, also open to the public. This is the view looking east over an older section of Ottawa.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

soup anyone?

I've been staying at Chris and Katherine's for over a week now... but before any of you pull out the line about guests going bad like fish after three days, you should know that I cooked all week (here we are eating hong shao niu rou mian - Taiwanese beef noodle soup). It's been great. This could be my new career. Other friends interested in providing me with free room in exchange for cooking and help with your grocery bills can contact me by email. Your chances of being chosen for this wonderful opportunity will substantially increase if you are living in an interesting locale.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Here are some pics of Chris, Katherine, and I hiking/sleding in the Gatineau Hills, a provincial park boardering Ottawa on the Quebec side of the river. It's been along time.

Watch that rock...

As you can see, it's a dangerous pastime. I went over a precipice once, but I managed to hold on to the edge. We put on quite a show for some of the other walkers.

Those are actually the ruins of Sir John A. Macdonald's (Canada's first Prime Minister) summer home up there.

It was my first time in Quebec, and I can report that everything you've heard is true. People really do speak French there. A flurry of French was directed more than once by passersby, each time leaving me grinning and racking my brain for "Je ne comprends pas" (twice to no avail). Of course, after a couple of seconds of silence, they repeated their questions in English. I've dealt with this in Asia for years, but I have to say it's strange when it happens in your own country (when you've grown up in Alberta anyway). All the more motivation to study French.