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The Archies

Photo diaries from travels around our humble globe are still being posted; the unemployment diary has been downsized as i am now employed! I hope to post stuff to keep you distracted from your respective employment.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

We've got a flock of british tourists with us at the mo, so we are doing the tourist thing with them - camping up north, CN Tower, and of course, Niagara Falls. Now one of the best parts of Niagara is not just the waterfall itself, but the miriad of wacky and tacky attractions nearby.

The king of all of these, i must say, is NIGHTMARES haunted house. You have to go slightly off the beaten trail, to the top of clifton hill and turn off it some, but it's worth seeking out. As this photo will attest.

My crew were completely cakking themselves. Completely drove the memory of the falls straight out of them with terror. Just check out my wife's face on the right!! At this moment a jeep is charging at us. I'd like to think i'm protecting everyone here, and not flailing wildly!

Everyone was great sports and there was very little crying.

Monday, September 19, 2005

You're Urinating Right Now!

And now a glimpse from the fireside chat:

(Doctor) Neil James: No really. Aparently- every time you go in a pool, you involuntarily micturate a small amount.

Us: Mixurate?

Dr James: No - Micturate. Micturate actually means "to pee". I once had a professor who was very adament about that - you urinate 24 hours a day - urinating is the process of making urine - and you're always doing it. Micturate is the actual disposal of the urine.

Us: So.... we're all urinating ...uncontrollably....right now.....

Dr J - Yes !

Us: Getting back to the pool thing... how DO they measure that??

File under "where has the year gone" : IT's be talk like a Pirate day again, bully... arrrr....

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Grassy Bay Bear!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Algonquin Canoe Trip

I have returned! Safe an uneaten. It was a pretty amazing trip.

I was camping in the back country of Algonquin Park - for those in the know we did a 4 day trip going out through Canoe Lake - Burnt Island - The Otterslides - Grassy Bay - Tom Thompson lake, and back home through Canoe lake again.

Algonquin park is big. REALLY big. 7,725 square KM big. Bigger than some small nations! (16 to be exact!)

One of the most memorable occasions has to be going across Grassy Bay sunday morning and seeing a ma-hoosive moose swimming across the river - so we made it full speed for the beast - only to realize about a football field and a half away that it was in fact the largest black bear i had ever seen! We paused briefly and then continued pursuit! It seemed more scared of us though - it swam back and forth a bit and then leaped out onto the bank - it's massive hindquarters just seemed so powerful. It then stormed off into the woods. That was great!

You always needed to be bear concience- we hung our packs from trees every night to keep them from eating our food! We saw ANOTHER bear swimming across the river on our road home and got really close to that one - it was a much smaller cub raiding one of the cabins near the embarkment point.

Sunday was the day of the massive 2.3 Km Portage - for my british friends that's where you sling everything onto your back, including your boat, and hoof it to the next body of water. My partner Graeme was a machine - he agreed to take the boat for the first shift, but bearly slowed down till he had done the whole thing. Nice one!

Some parts of the otterslides were too shallow to sit in your canoe for - but on the hot days it was lovely just to walk through the water gently pulling the canoe - sure beats portaging all your packs and canoeing against a strong headwind.

There were 6 of us on our trip (seen here doing their best shampoo mohawks - Neil to the left is currently getting a leech!) and it was a good team of folks to have! Always a laugh - but super athletic. I was the weakest link for sure- but it didn't matter too much.

Here we are coming up to one of the 273 beaver dams we had to cross - everyone had to get out and over the dam each time. I tell you I had a close encounter with a beaver that scared me a lot more than the bear did! one popped up about a meter from me and made an angry rattling noise- but i had no idea where it was - it sounded like it was right in the boat. I whirled about kaking myself! Everyone else saw what happened and were splitting themselves laughing.

Anyhow.... that's my story and i'm sticking to it! It was nice to get back and drink real water again without clorine drops in it!! There were some REALLY hard slogs (how a few sleeps dulls the memory of such things!) but it was so worth it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

How to get rid of Fruit Flies

Behold- Public enemy number one - the fruit fly. Not sure why, but ever since we moved into this apartment we've been fighting them.

Well, after going out last night without completely scraping our plates (*gasp*) we came home to a rather nasty swarm indeed. My wife hates these guys. In fact, she hates me talking about them, lest they infer she is not a sanitary person, so keep this on the down low.

But the reason i wanted to share this was because I turned to the internet for help, and boy did i ever find it.

And the mighty internet came through for us - big time. It suggested takng a small bowl, putting vinegar or red wine in it, covering it with saran wrap (cling film) and poking a hole in it, you will bake a "fruit fly trap"- the flies will get in, but can't get out. Well, it was worth a go- since we had a double bowl thingy, we tried both red wine and balsamic vinegar.

The little guys love it. At least till they die a drowning death. They particularly like the balsamic vinegar - and i can see a few of them swimming in that one at any given moment. The red wine is also effective, but clearly the balsamic has about 4 or 5 times more fruit flies.

Those dots you see at the top? Fruit fly remains. There's gotta be about 20 in there right now after 1 day. Home made pest control that's environmentally safe, fun, and, if you don't have a television, entertaining!

OK - so it's been pretty quiet this week. I'm getting ready for my first big canoe trip with the guys. I'm off for a proper GI Joe canoe trip in the deep algonquin otterslides. By the way, here's an interesting bit of trivia: Did you know there are over 2000 bears in Algonquin park? It's true!