28 February 2009

Dear Nana and Papa

Seriously, six year old kids know what alevins are? And they know how to spell alevins? Maybe I need to start watching that gameshow with the 5th graders. This is all Justin's own spelling, no help from Apa.

The Pink Pouter

We recently had Dress in Pink day to protest bullying. You can see how excited my son was about wearing pink to school, while it was just like any other day for my daughter. I don't know if this is just a Vancouver thing or if it is more widespread...but if it is a Vancouver thing it wouldn't surprise me. Everyone knows that men don't wear pink...except a few suave and debonair high finance types who wear pink to lull their prey into complacency...or the English. Ever been to London? Why do all the dudes there wear nothing but pink shirts? But then I guess everyone knows that English men are all gay (not that there's anything wrong with that). My son said it best..."Aaawww, why don't we have a Dress in Blue day?"...I guess because that would be every day for you, little blue dude!

16 February 2009

Peopled Out

Those who know me well would agree that I am not a people person. I generally don't like people. People annoy me. Like the drive-thru lady at Starbucks who has a need to tell me her life story every time I want an Americano. I don't care, lady, just give me my caffiene! I'm happiest running alone, sitting by myself staring at the sea or gazing from a mountaintop.

This past week has been tough. Last Saturday we had a semi-formal work related engagement. Monday night was a retirement party for Norman, with the full Board of Directors, at the stuffy Vancouver Club. Most of the members were already senior citizens at the time of the Great War. Wednesday night I had a Chartered Business Valuator's dinner at Sutton Place - you have to go and endure the presentations to get education credits for professional development purposes. Then of course we had the Lover's Ball on Thursday. On Valentine's Day, Judie invited 4 adults and 4 kids over for dinner and the total complement of 6 hyper-charged rug rats blew through the house like a hurricane on steroids. Sunday was a family dinner, along with the Kim's. We went to a Greek restaurant and the kids were fighting over the olives. Crikey. I am socialed out. My good behaviour is running on empty right now.

Kenpo felt great today (boxing / taekwondo).

13 February 2009

No Free Trips to Halifax

I know my aunt Gretchen will crucify me when I confess here on my blog that I was recently in Halifax and didn't have even 5 minutes to call.

We took a serious look at buying a container terminal in Halifax, and I swooped into town to tour the site. In my defence, all my schedule allowed was to fly in from Montreal, see the facility, and then race back to the airport to catch a flight to New York. I was literally only there for a few hours. That sucks. Over the course of the last 15 years since I left Nova Scotia, I seem to have had no luck whatsoever in ever getting an all expense paid trip to Halifax where I could combine business with pleasure.

Although the container terminal is in excellent condition and obviously has a first rate management team running it, our analysis shows very little long term potential for container traffic in Halifax. While virtually every other port in North America has shown 5% to 8% growth (until 2009 which is another story), Halifax has been pretty much flat for the last 20 years, with a few upward and downward spikes here and there. Our view is that the expansion of the Panama Canal and deepening of water at the Port of New York are two events that will likely have a major negative impact on Halifax's container business. It is a real shame, as I would have loved to have been involved in shaping the future of Halifax's waterfront.

C'est la vie. No free trips home for me!

The Ball

I decided to give a report on the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's Lover's Ball, since it is rare in Vancouver to see such a swanky event, and even rarer that yours truly would be in attendance at something like this. I'm more at ease when they fill BC Place with mud and bring in the monster trucks.

Judie and I arrived in gown and black tie (Judie wore the gown, just to clarify) at the Hotel Vancouver and walked the red carpet to the entry hall. Waiters were soon thrusting champagne glasses in our faces, a young lady was pinning a white flower on my jacket and flash bulbs blinded us as we made our way inside (mock paparazzi for effect, to make you feel important).

A six foot something Amazon lady wearing a Tiffany blue dress moved toward me and I was secretly racking my brain wondering how I knew this woman and how I would explain it to my wife. I breathed a sigh of relief when I realzied she was the model wearing the $18,000 Tiffany pearl and diamond earrings and bracelet that was the raffle prize for the evening. Susan, the wife of our host John, ended up winning!!!

We entered the lavish ballroom (where we had our wedding dinner in 1996) and listened to the VSO play while we found our ornately decorated table, with a massive centerpiece of white callolilies. The entertaiment consisted of a lively VSO set, 13 year old violinist Ester Wong doing a magnificent solo from Carmen, and a Korean drumming troop, resplendent in their Valentine pink and red hanboks. The VSO is actually very talented, and in their 90th year, they won both a Juno and a Grammy for the CD they recently released.

A live auction of rare prizes and opportunities preceded dinner, but most of the items quickly fetched in excess of $10,000, out of my league. Are we really in a recession? You'd never know it with this crowd! Dinner was a beet salad followed by steak and lobster and some sort of chocolatey thing for dessert.

Dancing followed, but Judie had a 5 AM wake up call for boot camp, so we left early. Perfect timing for me, as today is my rest day! I slept in until 7 AM! Whoohoo!

All in all, I do have to say the event was very well orchestrated (no pun intended) and I'm sure a huge success for the VSO.

10 February 2009

Day 18

This morning I weighed in at under 190 lbs for the first time in over a year and a half. I feel great and have new found energy. Today I tackled yoga, whereas 2 weeks ago it chewed me up and spit me out.

04 February 2009

Bowtie Be Gone!

I went into Black & Lee today to get my tuxedo for the Lovers' Ball next Thursday night (side note - how the heck do I get myself sucked into these things?).

I figured I'd be in and out of the store in 10 minutes because all I wanted was a straight forward James Bond style black tux. The wheels came off the bus when I was asked me what kind of tie I had in mind and I said "I dunno, just yer standard black bowtie...I guess." The salesman looked at me with utter disdain. It seemed like the lights all around me darkened and a bright spotlight shone in my face. "Sir, with all respect, take a look around the showroom at all the displays and tell me what you see."

Damn it! As my eyes darted from one display to the next, I realized that out of twenty displays, there was only one bowtie! Long neck ties are the current fashion! Who knew? When did that happen? I was sooo embarassed.

03 February 2009

...Bring It Again!

Day 5 of P90X is Legs and Back and Ab Ripper...I did better on this. Day 6 is Kenpo, a combination of street fighting and taekwondo moves. Kenpo is a lot of fun, and a killer cardio workout. On Friday, Day 7 for me, you can rest or stretch. I did the stretch routine and it was almost as hard as the yoga workout!!! Sheesh!

I'm now into Day 4 of week 2, which is a repeat of week 1. That meant today was yoga day again! I did much better than last week, and I feel pumped up this morning!

My big flaw in my timing in starting this program is that I'm going to be on Day 77 just when we go to Hawaii!!!