Second Northern Tour of Duty Approaching Fast

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
My summer has ended as quickly as it arrived. The end of the school year came to an end before I knew it - it did not feel like 10 months. Now, my summer vacation has also ended ... and it sure did not feel like 7.5 weeks. And that is probably because I barely had any down time between going on road trips, random all night gatherings, day trips, shopping for supplies and bouncing around getting all of my health needs taken care of. Where did my summer go????!!!!

Friday, I depart for Ottawa by bus .... yes, another 14-16 hours on a bus. What does one do to pass the time on an overnight bus trip other than sleeping? (as I know I didn't sleep for more than three hours on the last trip - and that was the part between Ottawa and Montreal that I slept on). Myself, I am loading up my carry on bag with many traveling essentials - iPod loaded with music, laptop full of TV eps, PSP with plenty of games to keep me entertained, a book to read, and of course snacks for the trip.

Once I get to Ottawa, i'll have a couple of days of visiting relatives (that I didn't get to meet up with on my trip down south) before catching my plane to the North Aug 4. Part of me wants the flight to be canceled and other parts don't ... it's kinda strange. I want to get back home to the North so I can experience a Northern Summer (as I am returning almost a full two weeks before everyone else) and get back into the Northern groove (and of course, move up the hill to my new place)... but at the same time, I'd really like to just stay down here in the south and chill for a couple more weeks. I know I'm not the only one to feel like this as a teacher (or as a southerner now living in the North). It's hard to explain how I feel ...

But, I am excited for my second year in the North. I'm almost considered a veteran now!

Sweet!! The Animated Adventures of Bob and Doug MacKenzie!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008
Ahh, another part of my youth is being animated.

Animated Bob & Doug McKenzie
Global Television Show Reunites SCTV's Dave Thomas, Rick Moranis
© Dominic von Riedemann

Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis are back, and animated, for Global/Fox's 2009 TV series The Animated Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie.

Lock up your moose and hide the Molson Canadian: those hosers Bob & Doug McKenzie are back.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Fox Network has hooked up with Global Television to produce The Animated Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie, a primetime TV cartoon series that reunites Second City TV veterans Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas.

Thomas' company Maple Palms Productions, announced on Monday that Fox joined Global to produce the pilot episode of the series, based on the characters he and Rick Moranis created for the comedy sketch series SCTV in the early 1980's. He and Patricia Burns are producing and developing the show, with himself and Moranis as executive producers.

The Animated Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie will place the beer-swilling brothers in the fictional town of Bordertown ("Cause it's on the border between Canada and the US, eh?"), which will serve as the backdrop for their comedic adventures. Dave Coulier (Full House), Colin Mochrie (Kit Kettridge: An American Girl), Pat McKenna, Derek McGrath, Ron Pardo, Jayne Eastwood and Ho Chow have already signed on to voice characters in the show.

Two Presidents Productions will animate the series, with pre-production design and storyboarding from House of Cool Studios.

Bob & Doug McKenzie: A hoser's history

Moranis and Thomas originally conceived of the fictional brothers as a way of making fun of CRTC regulations, and bureaucratic nitwits in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. When their primetime series SCTV moved to the CBC in 1980, senior network executives demanded that the Second City comedy troupe add two extra minutes of "specifically and identifiably Canadian content" to the show.

Offended by the network's request – since the show was already taped in Canada with a mostly Canadian cast and crew – Moranis and Thomas devised "Kanadian Korner," a two-minute show-within-a-show that skewered Canadian stereotypes. They created, and portrayed, a pair dim-witted brothers named Bob & Doug McKenzie, who embodied every possible Canadian stereotype. They wore heavy winter clothing and tuques, swilled beer, derided each other with insults like "Take off" and "hoser," and threw the word "eh" into nearly every sentence.

Filmed at the end of the day with only a single camera operator, Moranis and Thomas would ad-lib several segments and then select the best ones for broadcast.

To their shock, "Great White North" (the new name for the segment) became the most watched part of SCTV, and Moranis and Thomas rode a wave of popularity that led to them to record two comedy albums (the first one featured an appearance from vocalist/bassist Geddy Lee of the Canadian prog-rock band Rush), and commercials for Pizza Hut and Molson Breweries. Moranis and Thomas even developed, and starred in, the 1983 cult comedy Strange Brew, which played better in Canada than in the United States.

In 2005 Moranis and Thomas revived a variant of their Bob & Doug McKenzie characters – now renamed Tuke and Rutt the Moose – for the Disney animated film Brother Bear, and its direct-to-DVD sequel.

Global has already ordered 13 episodes of The Animated Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie for its 2009 schedule.

Kennie O - Wii 1

This afternoon I got to have a little bit of fun with a colleague's Wii as I wanted to test one out before I committed to purchasing one for the North. Well... apparently according to the Wii (as I was playing Wii Fit), I am unbalanced. No not the mentally unbalanced (although I am sure some might argue this point with me) ... but unbalanced as in the Wii is amazed I am able to walk and talk at the same time. I spent the afternoon playing around with Wii Fit, Guitar Hero, Rockband and a little bit of DDR'ing. It was a lot of fun, and I was wiped out afterwards - yeah for racing with Wii Fit!

I'm still thinking about ordering up a Wii a little later on this year, as I do have my PS2 right now with all of my adventure, FPS and psycho-thriller games .... just waiting for the Wii to catch up with those :-).

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.18)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.17)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.16)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Happy Birthday (er ... Anniversary?) iPod

Friday, July 18, 2008
As I sit here on a cool night, listening to the rhythmic and calming sound of rain gently falling on the patio along with some Sigur Ros playing through the docked iPod, I can help but to think about my relationship with this wonderful little black gizmo.

For the last three years, my iPod and I have endured a love-hate relationship. We've had our ups and our downs. How joyous I was the first time I plugged you into my new iBook and you lit up, and smiled, thanking me for leaving that inferior PC behind. You were home. At one with a fellow Apple product. And how frustrated I was when you randomly decided halfway through a 10 hour road trip to let your hard drive seize - and in the process, I lost all of my music.

We've had plenty of good times together. The hours spent in the bowels of the university library with me as I dug through the stacks and archives. The random road trips we took together in vehicles packed well beyond their legal limit. And the countless hours where I played brick while sitting in some of the most boring lectures on educational theory.

As time went on, my music collection grew from a conservative 10 GB (as I was still using my discman to supplement my musical needs), to a whopping 750 GB - much of this purchased digital downloads or ripped CDs that I own.

Although I have had to replace your earphones countless times and your screen is cracked, you still can survive a 14 hour bus ride with no charging, and have accompanied me on my wild and wacky northern runs in the winter.

Happy 3rd Birthday/Anniversary iPod!

Photos from the Trail

Thursday, July 17, 2008
Photographs from the trail .....

Rekindling Relationships .... er Addictions

For the most part, most of us living in the North (who are originally from the South) do get to travel southward every now and then. Some of us more often than others, and some of us get to stay out longer than others.

For many of us, we all have our weaknesses / what is the first thing I am going to eat when I get south. Big Mac's, Quarter Pounder's, Whopper, Starbucks, lobster, fresh fruit ..... and Tim Horton's. We (and I may not be speaking for all of us in the North), but for the most part, we all have a serious Timmy Habit ... and we all love sharing our relationship rekindling with each other as we have our first cup of Timmy's in the south. As nothing - and I mean nothing, tasted better to me than that first freshly brewed cup of Tim Horton's at 5:45 AM .... well... maybe except for these fresh strawberries I have been eating non-stop for the last week.

Today however, I have been sent of a special mission .... a mission to attack a blueberry fritter. A mission given to me by none other than Tina from Just Below 63.

So here's for you Tina - me enjoying that blueberry fritter! Hope you get to enjoy one too soon!

Blogging Tag

Jen of Jen of Nunavut has tagged me in a little blogging tag game started up by Kara in which we have to ask "your significant other to tell you three things that they know about you and then publish this information on your blog. You also have to pick more victims and then go to their blogs and leave them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged. The comment must end with the word ‘pthththth’".

Jen, having great difficulty with Nathan in getting answers altered the rules of the game where the poster can post three things about ourselves that the rest of the world (or just Jen as I think she's bored today :-) ) would like to know.

I went with a hybrid of the two where I asked my university partner-in-crime to tell me three things that he knows about me ... I got one ... and it made no sense what so ever (sigh, you are right Jen ... men just don't understand the premise of this info sharing activity). So here are three things that I know about me that maybe you don't:

1. I know copious amounts of random facts and information ... and know how to interject them seamlessly into a conversation.

2. I have an unusually large amount of music with me in the North. Mind you, it's all MP3's ... but there is 750 GB of music here with me - and yes, I have listened to it all this year.

3. I can't handle dry toothpaste in a sink - especially when it isn't my toothpaste. It makes me want to puke.

And Jen, you are not alone in checking email/facebook/blogs an insane amount per day .... I also partake in that "activity".

So... I now tag: (and you can use whichever rule set you like)
Jackie from The North is my Snowcone / A Journey Northwards
Jennith from The Blog Bog of the Tundra
and Trudie from Life After AC

(as I know at least one of you will read this at some point this week :-)).

Happy tagging! pthththth (just for you Kara!)

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.15)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.14)

Monday, July 14, 2008

More Pics

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.13)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Adventures in Cycling

Wednesday, July 9, 2008
This past week and a half has been quite a busy one. Since I've had really nothing to do down here in the south I decided that this would be a great time to go out and explore the trail system on my (well my parents') bike.

It all started out with a day trip out to Killarney Lake, not too far from where I am staying. The weather was great - not too hot and had a nice breeze. A rather nice trail to head out on - especially since I hadn't done any trail biking since last year.

Soon, I wound up taking daily trips out on the trail system all throughout Fredericton. Out towards Silverwood / Woolastook on the Valley Trail, all over O'Dell park, out towards the airport on the Lincoln trail which joins onto the Trans Canada Trail, and the Vanier Trail, which also joins the Trans Canada Trail. All without a hitch. Bike seemed to be working quite fine - other than some minor gear / derailleur issues, but nothing that I couldn't handle with a little bit of tightening of cables. Or so I thought.

So today being another hot and humid day (it's been disgustingly hot and humid here in Fredericton for the past week), I decided enough was enough - time go outside for a bike ride. So I headed out, Camelback filled with cold cold water, a couple of apples and a peanut butter sandwich, and the cell phone and 40$ incase I got stuck somewhere's and off I went. Just to be different, I took the Northside trail today that joins up onto the Trans Canada Trail (Upper Saint John River - Irving Nature Park Trail) that would eventually take me out towards Mactaquac, but I was only going to be going as far as Keswick for today as it was just too humid out.

So I headed out, ready for a great morning / afternoon of biking. Or so I thought. All was going well until about 1KM before the Keswick Plaza. The derailleur on my bike decided to crap right out and go berserk - more so than usual. It would not hold a gear no matter what I tried. And not having a pic-nic table in sight, I couldn't easily flip the bike over and do some trouble shooting. Swearing up a storm, I continued biking to the plaza, chain and gears grinding against each other - no doubt that I was coming along as I am sure you could hear me for kilometers.

I made it to the plaza and flipped my bike up so I could be at eye level with the derailleur while I ran through all of the gears trying to see where exactly the issue was - and not having the proper tools with me also was a slight hinderance to the DIY repair.

So here I am, a good 15km out of Freddy, with a bumed bike, and me now all sweaty and covered in bike grease staring at it going "what on earth is wrong with you!". Enter in the two Mounties heading out on patrol. Bless their souls, they decided to come over to see what on earth I was doing. We struck up a chat while one of them also took a look at my bike to see if he could figure it out too. Nope, it was beyond him. I figured oh, well.. here I go again. Time to either a) call a cab to come and pick me and my bike up - bye bye 40$, b) try to bike it back home, or c) walk it home.

To my surprise, the Mounties grabbed my bike and stuffed it in the back of the truck and told me to get in, they'd take me back to civilization - as they were headed that way. Yeah! Mounties to the Rescue! Thanks!

They dropped me off at my favorite bike shop, as I figured might as well see if I can get it fixed now rather than go home and then go back out. My bike guy Steve looked at it, took it out back and ran through all of the gears as well.

Steve: Shaking his head, "I've got good news and bad news".
Me: thinking ... well I probably already know what the bad news is .... so "let's go with good first".
Steve: "I managed to get one gear set working again - properly. The other two just keep slipping out of place .... but eventually fall into place - key word eventually".
Me: "Ok, that's better than none I guess".
Steve: "Bad news..."
Me: "Let me guess ... rebuild?"
Steve: nods
Me: Sigh.

So there we have it. My parents bike needs a derailleur rebuild. The quite amusing part is that these bikes are practically new, as they just got them before I arrived here in NB from Canadian Tire (to which Steve believes is the issue). Now all I have to do is go out and take the other one out and see if it's still doing the same thing (which I imagine it is). I guess I now know what I will be doing tomorrow while over the river .... looking at a new bike.

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.12)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.11)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.10)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Canada Day Fireworks