All posts by canadianveggie

I enjoy exploring the great outdoors, eating good vegan food, cycling around Vancouver, solving problems with software, learning about urban planning, and discussing politics.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

I’m off to the Emerald City tomorrow. Should the beginning of a grand adventure. My flight leaves early tomorrow morning and I arrive in Seattle around noon (30 minutes before Greg). Then we’re driving down to our condo in Redmond. I’m a little nervous about clearing customs and will feel better once I’m settled in our new place. Work starts on Monday morning.

I had a great stay in Winnipeg. It was great seeing everyone and spending time with the family and Roxie, Allison, Erinn, and the whole crew at Lorie’s. Unfortunately it will be close to 6 months until I’m back in the Peg – I’ll miss you all.

I don’t have a laptop or a digital camera yet. Once I get my first paycheck I’m going shopping. So you’ll have to wait until then for some pictures.

New Look

I got my braces off this morning and it feels great!

The new look …
No Braces

You’ll have to excuse the rosy cheeks and glistening nostrils – the picutre is taken after walking from the bus stop in the frigid cold.

I have to go back this afternoon to get my retainer. Joy.

In other news, I haven’t started work yet. Don’t start until the 17th. I’ve been filling my time with an addiction to an online game, Eternal Realms. I now know why people call these games things like EverCrack. It’s fun, but way too addictive.

Christmas Pictures

As promised, here are some pictures from Christmas 2004 at the farm. Warning: Big pictures (400 – 900 K)

Gingerbread House (Baba and Alexander) – Kelsey also helped. Good job team!
Presents Everywhere (Trevor on couch) – I guess no one was naughty this year
Immunity Necklace (Mom) – Mom will not be voted off the island tonight
7′ Long Blanket (Mom & Dad) – Nice candy necklace
I’d Rather Be Sleeping (Kelsey) – Not everyone enjoys waking up early to open presents
Can I Go Back To Sleep Now? (Kelsey) Blame Wiener for the early morning
Bonfire Under Construction (Aunt Sheryl, Derek, Uncle Uke, Me) – Building a Ukrainian fuel cell
Ceremonial Lighting of the Bonfire (Trevor) – Notice the spent fireworks stuffed in there
Fire and Ice – Not enough snow to put out this puppy
A Rip-Roaring Blaze – Not as big as last year, but still impressive

So, how did you spend your boxing day? I spent it hauling dead trees from the bush and making a big-ass blaze.

New Year’s Eve is Cancelled!

Sorry to inform you, but New Year’s Eve has been canceled. If you had plans, I’m sorry, they’ll have to be rescheduled.

I did have plans to go out tonight. But I was informed earlier that New Year’s Eve has been canceled (or rather rescheduled to some time in the next two weeks). So, now it’s a night in with the parents. Yippee!

I think it’s a bad karma catching up to me. I spent most of the day laughing at Kelsey’s misfortune at being stuck out at my Grandma’s farm in Sandy Lake, MB. Her and a bunch of her friends drove out on Tuesday to do some snowboarding up at Asessippi, but a big snow storm came barreling through and has stranded them there for the past two days. We had 45 cm of snow here in the city (not that gave pause to most Winnipegers). And to top it off, my grandma’s sewage system broke on Wednesday and was just fixed today, so they haven’t been able to flush toilets or have showers until today.

So, making fun of my sister’s predicament couldn’t have helped my karma. Nor could bailing on Allison and Erinn two years ago for New Year’s. I guess I had this coming.

So, my night’s plans now include doing a puzzle with my dad and breaking high scores in pinball (9.5 million so far).

Hope everyone is having a better night. See you next year.

Christmas Review

Got back from Christmas at the farm on Monday. As always, it was a blast.

The highlights:

  • Oneupmanship in MS Pinball. Uncle Rodney was a machine. No one could touch his score.
  • Christmas Eve dinner – more food than you could shake a stick at, and enough beans and cabbage to make

    sitting around the fireplace dangerous.

  • Baba Luhowey wondering who the new girl was (sorry Derek, but you need a haircut).
  • Our Coulson-sized bonfire – a blaze that could be seen for miles (pictures to be added later when Kelsey gets back from her snowboarding trip).
  • Uncle Uke’s fireworks show – including the African Lions and the Statue of Liberty stunt.
  • A short, but lively broomball game on the lake at the Ponderosa.
  • Getting schooled in Hola (a card game) by my 98 year-old great-grandmother – she hasn’t lost any of her


More of my Christmas review


Turns out Christmas came 2 days early. I’m still missing my mark for Performance Analysis, but the other 4 grades represent the best marks I’ve ever received. My two 1st year arts courses really helped to boost my mark. So did some awesome group work in OS (thank you team!). And a generous belling in Requirements didn’t hurt either – there is no way my mark should have been that high.

An email this morning from Prof Berry (Requirements) gave us our exam and final grade as well as the class averages. I wish more profs would release that kind of information.

Christmas Stuff

I thought I’d write a quick post about my general Christmas experiences in Winnipeg so far.

The trip home was fairly uneventful. Although Hugh Chipman (Arrrrrr!) was sitting beside me on the ride to the airport. And then our plane was delayed 30 minute while they located the pilot. I thought that was amusing.

I arrived in Winnipeg Friday night and have been freezing my butt of ever since. Today was the first day I didn’t wear long underwear all day. Although the weather here is really wacky – temperatures around 0 Celsius one day than near 0 Kelvin the next. It was -1 today, but tomorrow has a high of -22 (yes, “HIGH of -22”! meaning it will be colder than that most of the day).

The Christmas shopping is well underway. I braved the mall on Saturday and bought a few presents. I need to finish it all off before Thursday when we’re heading out to my grandma’s farm for Christmas. The farm is always a blast. Lots of relatives, great food (mmm kutya and perogies), and the annual Christmas bonfire (see picture) and broomball game. Not to mention numerous crokanole tournaments.

As soon as Kelsey (little sister) gets home from her fake bake session I have to head out to drop off that Fed Ex package, pick-up my mom her hair appointment, and pick-up Roxie from work. Roxie and I are making a ginger bread house tonight. We’ll see how that turns out. Maybe I’ll post a picture (I’m starting to like this live journal thing) – don’t worry I’m sure the posts will start to spread out soon.

Take it easy all. And if I haven’t talked to you individually, have a great Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and a fabulous New Year.

The Drama Begins

Well I wasn’t going to start my journal until I started my trip to the States, but I had an amusing incident today. But to fully appreciate it I’m going to have to start my story on December 9 when I had a meeting at school for all students heading to the United States for work terms.

During the meeting the co-op guy started talking about crossing the border and the forms we needed to have if we wanted to avoid a full-body search. Anyway, I hadn’t received any of those forms from Microsoft yet, so I asked indiglo_i (who is also working at Microsoft in January) if he had received his visa forms yet. Sure enough he received his two weeks prior. Agitated, I sent an email to my contact at Microsoft who put my in contact with a lady in the legal department. Anyway, I got everything straightened out and the forms were sent to me by FedEx.

*fast forward 10 days later – today*
Well the FedEx package finally arrived today. I opened it up to see how many forms I had to fill out and to check if any of them required me to promptly send some forms back. Anyway, I started reading the cover letter and it kept referring to the American Consulate in Mexico City. Confused, I flipped through the other papers and noticed they were all filled out for a Microsoft Intern from Mexico City named Fernando. I can only assume Fernando is one confused hombre in Mexico right now trying to figure out why all his forms refer to Christopher of Winnipeg, Canada. I wonder if he knows where Winnipeg is?

So, now I have to make a trip down to FedEx to overnight the package back to Microsoft (my legal contact was very sorry about the mistake). Hopefully I get my real forms soon. I’m not worried yet, as I don’t leave for a few weeks. But I would like to get everything settled. I still don’t have a plane ticket booked. I’ve found a two bedroom condo to share with indiglo_i, but we still haven’t got a finalized contract back from the owner yet. So there are still a few things left to fix up before I leave.

Back to the visa mix up. I’m kind of happy to find out that there will be Mexican interns working at Microsoft. I’ve been told there won’t be many (if any) Americans because their college system is such that most interns work in the summer, so I thought it would be all Canadians. From what I was told most MS interns will be from Canada – UBC, Simon Fraser, Waterloo, and Sherbrooke I think. I’ll have to make a point of meeting Fernando when I start work. I wonder what department he’ll be in. Maybe this will be the odd beginning of a new friendship.