Oh Canada

Well, I just got back from two weeks in British Columbia.  It was quite fun.  After two solid days of driving to get up to Vanderhoof, Karli's home town, I woke up at 5:00 the next morning to drive 6 more hours out to the coast to go fishing on my father-in-law's boat.  We had great weather for 3 days, and it didn't start raining until the moment we stopped fishing and headed back to the marina.  I caught some great salmon, halibut and ling cod, and we caught about a million red snapper among all of us on the boat.  We also played lots of cards and ate great, fresh seafood, including the best salmon I've ever tasted.  We also went swimming, but only briefly, as the water was nastily cold, and saw tons of wildlife.  There were 3 whales swimming with our boat for an hour or two one day.  They surfaced a bunch of times right near the boat, and two of them jumped all the way out of the water at one point.  Very cool.  We also got two Bald Eagles to come pick up little fish that we threw into the water.  One of them swooped right down just a few feet off the little skiff we were in.  They were beautiful.
After I got back from the ocean, we turned around the next morning and went camping at a nice, little lake north of Vanderhoof.  Porter and I slept in a tent, while everyone else stayed in cabins.  Porter was stoked, and would not be denied his night in the tent.  He wanted to go to sleep at like 6:00pm, just so he could go in the tent.  While there, we all got eaten alive by black flies.  The bites are still healing on me a week and a half later.  Nasty little buggers they were.  The camp also had a sweat lodge that we were able to use.  We lit up a nice little fire in the stove, got it boiling hot in there (75 degrees C), sat in it as long as we could and then went to jump in the freezing cold lake.  Now that is living!  Next day we let Porter and Walker catch some little trout, which we cooked up and let them try.  Porter liked the fishing, but not the eating of the fish.  Walker just wanted to play with the fish hooks, worms, outboard motor and anything else he could get his hands on.  We're just lucky we were able to keep him inside the boat.  Saying he lacks the patience for fishing would be quite the understatement.
The next week I mostly just babysat and tried to get our van fixed (the fan had been stuck on high since halfway through Banff National Park on the way up).  It seemed, in working with the repair shop, that Vanderhoof was a bit of a geographical oddity: two weeks from everywhere.
On Friday night we were getting all packed up to leave and Karli decided she hadn't had enough, so she sent me home without her.  I caught a ride with her brother, Kyle.  Karli should be coming home in two weeks or so.
All in all, it was a ton of driving, but some good fun and visiting.  I can now look forward to two weeks of bachelorhood.  Anyone want to go wind surfing?

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Constitution Party Pass Along

I got this email from the Constitution party.  They asked me to pass it along, but I generally think that passed along emails are terribly annoying, so I decided to post it here instead.


"If taxes are laid upon us without our having a legal representation where they are laid, we are reduced from the character of free subjects to the state of tributary slaves."

~ Samuel Adams


Davy Crocket to Bono: “It’s Not Yours To Give”…


Lancaster, PA: 8/8/07- The Constitution Party joins Americans who champion limited government by condemning a recent Republican National Committee move. The RNC has endorsed a proposal by Irish rocker Bono to commit American taxpayers to spending $30 million to “eliminate global poverty”.


“As if any amount of taxpayer funds would actually accomplish that goal. What usually happens is the money extracted from us to fund these wealth transfers first fills the pockets of foreign dictators while barely a trickle ends up lining empty food bowls” stated Constitution Party National Committee Chairman Jim Clymer.


“History has shown us socialism does not work. Bono’s ill-advised scheme is socialism. The Republican Party has agreed to consign Americans to the same fate as other socialist countries with its recent endorsement of Bono’s global goody bag.” Clymer further added.


The Constitution Party, the third largest party based on voter registrations (Ballot Access News), points out that Bono, outspoken on environmentalism, global wealth transfer and socialist policies in general, owns several mansions throughout the world and travels by jet. The four engine jet he flies (while admonishing Americans to drive a hybrid) gets about 3 miles per gallon.


“What we now see is the GOP  aligning itself with a man who advocates American taxpayers fund worldwide projects after he  moved his lucrative music enterprise out of his native Ireland and to the Netherlands to avoid  higher taxes” Clymer pointed out.


“The Republicans, the so-called party of ‘limited government’ whose control of the White House and/or both houses of Congress for a quarter century has resulted in quadrupled federal spending, would do well to heed the words of fabled frontiersman  and Tennessee Congressman Davy Crockett. In the 1800’s this wise statesman said: “We have the right, as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please… but as members of Congress we have no right to … appropriate a dollar of the public money… as… charity”. Crockett said these words after a constituent told him when it came to using taxpayer money for humanitarian purposes: “It’s not yours to give!”

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Freakonomics on the Green River

So I heard about the book 'Freakonomics' last year and I've been meaning to read it ever since.  My brother Jeremy recently read it, so I finally managed to get around to it this week.  I actually downloaded the audio book, put it on my iPod and listened to it while driving in my car.  It is an awesome book.  I really enjoyed it.  It's pretty much just about a bunch of random crap, but it was all very interesting.  I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a bit of a thought provoker.
I was able to listen to most of the book while I was helping drive my ward's scout troop to their green river canoe trip on Monday.  That was quite the adventure.  They mentioned on Sunday that they were short a driver and were pretty panicked, so I said I had the day off work and could help drive if they needed.  The next morning I showed up at the church at 8:30 as they had requested.  There was one other car there on time, and no leaders.  I ended up waiting around for 2 hours before we were finally ready to go.  I was a bit annoyed because had I known, I could have done 2 hours of the work I had put off to help these guys out of a jam!  Oh well.
We finally drove out around 10:30, drove to Green River, then to the put in at Crystal Geyser.  It brought back some good memories for me of the time I camped there as a boy on my own first canoe trip.  We unpacked the gear and then drove to the take out at mineral bottoms to drop off the two trucks that will drive the scouts home when they're finished.  That took about 4 hours, and by the time we got back to Crystal Geyser dinner was almost ready.  It smelled good so I decided to stick around for a bit, catch some lizards and go for a dip in the river.  After a good dinner I headed back home.  I got back around 10:30.  Quite a long day of driving, but I was kept good company by Freakonomics, and I was happy to be able to pay back the world for my own good experiences in the scouting program.  My Karma feels good.  Earl would be proud.

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New Sledding Video, Finally!

Here is the link to our sledding video from this year.  This is my first experiment with digital video editing.  I just ended up using Microsoft Movie Maker that comes with Windows.  It was very easy to figure out and worked quite well for me.  Enjoy.

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