29 July 2010

Parliament Hill

You can't really go to the nation's capitol without visitng Parliament Hill can you? Brooklyn felt so patriotic she burst into a rendition of her own version of our national anthem which goes "Oh, Canada, give a little shake-shake" followed by shaking her butt. God only knows where she came up with that one!!! I blame Judie.

The kids thought all the limestone bannisters were for climbing...good thing they didn't have skateboards or we may have been arrested.

These two get along only slightly better than Harper and Layton.

Hey, Justin actually smiled, so I had to include this shot.

Brooks liked the Unicorn with the tongue sticking out. I'd be gagging too if I had to hold the flag of Royal France.

Canadian Museum Of Nature

The Canadian Museum of Nature underwent a massive renovation recently and the results are spectacular. Lots of hands-on activities to keep the kids busy, lots of cool dinosaur bones, fossilized dinosaur poo, whale poo and neat exhibits of real live bugs and frogs of all kinds. I liked the leaf and stick insects, but I've been itchy ever since we left.

Justin pretending he's a baby seal coming out of the ice. Where's that club-like-Olympic-torch when you need it?

Heat map of Justin's face. Hey! Even his boogers are hot.

Brooks pretends to be an Arctic Ocean researcher.

And Uncle Bruce can't help but take the wheel! Which kid had the most fun?

So Much For Not Playing With Guns

Brooks hangin' at Fort Henry...with my sunglasses. After having several pairs destroyed by the kids over the years, I only go for Zellers $12 replicas these days.

Take another step back...no, that's ok, you can cross the chain fence...yeah...ok...uh huh, just one more step back...

The best 5 minutes of our vacation.

I would have paid triple the admission if I knew I go to lock up the kids in the brig.

Holy crap, it looks like he's wearing a kilt!

This picture makes me glad I didn't have a sister (well, other than Bruce). All that excitement of pretending to be a British soldier shooting your rifle at Fort Henry stifled by a sister saying we look like Barbie and the Three Musketeers.

My son is pretty smart. I shouldn't have taught him how to light matches, though.

Well, Uncle Bruce, after introducing my innocent children to guns and violence and armies and war, you deserved to get a rifle rammed in the family jewels! OK, I can't lie, Brooks is actually ordering him to do one of those Irish Riverdance dances. I'd post the video of what followed but as much as I'd like to embarrass Bruce, he is my sister, after all. And, well, he's not a very good dancer either. He CAN carry a tune, I'll give him that, the man can sing. It's just too bad that all he knows is showtunes and Gilbert and Sullivan songs.

Dinner At Rosecliff

Parties at the Newport mansions in Rhode Island...that's how I roll, baby! Rosecliff has been featured on America's Castles and is one of the many summer "cottages" preserved by the Preservation Society of Newport County.

It was built in 1902 by Theresa Fair Oelrichs, a silver heiress from Nevada, who modeled the mansion after the Grand Trianon of Versailles. The ballroom is the focal point of the property. After dinner, a 14 piece band played 3 solid hours without a break, covering everything from Chattanooga Choo Choo to Poker Face.

Have you ever seen such a beauty? This is the car I rented in Newport. We had a few pre-dinner whiskies at the hotel and I was feeling a little tired so I just parked on the lawn in the back yard. Oh yeah, and Judie is in the picture too.
The Great Gatsby was filmed at Rosecliff.
Dinner was in a tent on the lawn...a tent with hardwood floors and air conditioning. Each of the 8 courses was paired with a wine. This is the sort of mindless, mundane crap I have to do for work. I really took one for the cause, and I hope my coworkers appreciate my sacrifice.

Climing At The Boiler Room

Aunt Ellen took us to the local indoor climbing wall in Kingston. Justin proved to be more of a bouldering guy...but Brooklyn was aggressive and fearless and climbed to the ceiling of the former cotton mill.

We also met Rob Chisnall, a local who has a Guiness Book of World Records title for the most two finger and also one finger pullups!!! Insane!!!

25 July 2010

Samsung Crap

I am no longer a fan of Samsung after our LCD television stopped working. The tv is only 3-4 years old and naturally I didn't buy the extended warranty from Best Buy. In my experience, every electronic device I've ever bought has lasted at least 5+ years, so I didn't think I'd need an extended warranty.

Why I'm upset is that it appears that - after scoruing the internet - Samsung has a well documented problem with their LCD tv's with this very issue. The culprit parts are 4 tiny capacitors that cost about $2 each at Radioshack. It blows me away that Samsung does not stand behind this problem. Why buy a $1,000+ tv when the components Samsung chooses to use are crap?

I've ordered replacement parts to fix the tv, but it is nothing but a nuisance and it makes me never want to buy a Samsung product again.

01 July 2010

Happy Canada Day!

This is the second coldest Canada Day I've ever experienced. When will this miserable weather end and summer begin?!? The only time I've been colder is when I had to buy a fleece in Whistler one year because it was practically snowing. Sheesh!