Oh, Canada!

OK, I’ve been hinting at this for a while now, but here is the official announcement, for everyone who has been asking and doesn’t already know. I am moving to Canada. I’m renouncing my US Citizenship and climbing off this sinking ship of failed democracy.

Not really. I am moving to Canada, but it has nothing to do with my feelings about the current state of affairs, nor is it so that I can move to a place that endorses gay marriage. If I wanted that, I could move to California, where it is much sunnier and warmer. No, I am moving to Canada for the greatest and noblest of all reasons: to make my wife happy. It’s not that she’s been begging me to move or anything, but she misses her family a lot and would love to live by them again.

There are a lot of other reasons for moving, too, which I’m quite excited about: Our kids will have lots of cousins to play with; We’re moving to a small town with a more laid back atmosphere and lots of relatively cheap land available; It will be a good test of my new remote working arrangements, in preparation for further international travel; It will be a good chance to get to know Karli’s family better. All in all, I’m looking forward to the new experience. It should be a great adventure.

This has been in the works for over a year now, as I’ve been applying for a permanent resident visa, which I finally received early this year. Next step was to sell our house, which we just closed on last week. Currently we’re living in my parents’ basement while we finish up a few last things and until our new home is available. We plan to make the final move to Vanderhoof, BC in early July.

So now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

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Extreme Sledding 3

On Saturday we did our yearly ‘Extreme Sledding’ trip.  Now that I can move my neck enough to sit at the computer, I figured I’d write a few words about my experience.  If you haven’t seen the videos of previous years’ exploits, check out the Videos tab above.  I will be putting together a video for this year, too, but it might take me a few weeks to get it all finished (check out the photos in the sidebar or in my flickr account).

We left about 8:30 Saturday morning, got up to the parking place about 11:00, and got up to the top of the hill about an hour later.  OK, I got up to the top of the hill about an hour later.  Everyone else made it 15 minutes before that, but that’s OK.  I’m proud I got my fat butt up the hill at all.  This is the day, every year, where I realize how much sitting in a nice cushioned chair all day long does not prepare one for hiking up snow-covered, 45-degree-inclined hills.  But, as I said, I did eventually make it to the top.  Then the fun part started.  The snow was very hard packed this year, but we managed to cut our way through the cornice and dig our best tunnel ever.  That took an hour and a half or so.  Then we were ready for sledding.  You might think this is a lot of work just for sledding, but that’s why it’s so Extreme!

So, my brother Jesse was first to go, as usual, and he didn’t kill himself on landing, just summersaulted about 5 times, rolled a ways and slid to a nice stop (par for the course), so we were all ready to go after him.  My first two attempts were super weak because I kept hitting the sides of the tunnel, slowing down and dribbling out the end with none of the coveted ‘air’ I was seeking.  Finally, I figured out I was getting too much of a run at it, so I got a bit closer and made a perfect run.  It was good enough to match Jesse’s previous 2 longest jumps, which I know because I landed right in the divit caused by his previous landings.  Unlike everyone else, I don’t like to ditch my sled in the air and land safely and gracefully on my back, I like to hold the sled right to my butt and try to land and keep riding.  In this case, I did exactly that, but as I mentioned, I landed right in a hole, at which point, my spine compressed 3 or 4 inches, and although I landed on my sled perfectly and could have kept going down the hill, I opted instead to fall over and start crying.

After that, I didn’t want to go out the tunnel anymore, but I took a couple runs off the cornice where I could find a nice, soft landing for my bruised posterior.  I also managed to get thoroughly soaked in my redneck snowsuit (Levis and a Fleece jacket) since I already sent all my snow gear up to Canada last week (more about that later).  All in all, it was a great day, and I’m happy to say I’m not permanently injured.  I think.

Ooooh. I feel so stimulated.

Well, I just checked my bank account to make sure there was enough money to cover the new furniture we bought, and lo and behold, there was a surprise gift there from the good old IRS!  That’s right, the government has officially stimulated me, and it feels, oh so good.  Never mind the fact that all my retirement savings are now worth less due to the inflation caused by printing all this love money.  For now, let’s just revel in it.  And what will I be using my windfall for, you ask?  Well, it should just about cover the costs of me moving to Canada.  It might not be exactly what George Bush wanted, i.e. blowing the money on cheap Chinese goods, but if you’ve read my previous posts you’ll already know that’s what I did with my first refund check, so it’s OK.  Tonight I will sleep soundly, knowing there couldn’t possibly be any problems with an economy that is just giving away free money.  Ahhhhhh.