I just wanted to wish all of you a Happy Holiday, however you celebrate it. I'm heading out of town to visit some family and I should be back before the end of the year.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Has it really been 3 months since my last blog? (Checks date on last post...) Yep. Three months and 4 days to be exact. When I started this blog back in January I intended to post new blogs a lot more often than this, but life has a funny way of getting in the way of things. Nothing tragic happened, I've just been a busy boy this summer. Well the good news is that now that my workload has lessened I have more free time on my hands, and that means I'm getting back on the blogwagon.
So... where do I begin....? Well, while I figure that out I'm going to share some images from my summer and let them tell their own stories. Enjoy!
The Wandering Oak
Saturday, July 25, 2009
It’s been a while since my last blog and I feel like we should catch up. How are you? That’s great, or that sucks, whichever may apply. Myself? I’ve been busy. I’ve been back at work for a few months now, and as the weather warms up our productivity also picks up.
In case you’re wondering what I’ve been doing lately the answer is a little bit of everything. The company I work for has been contracted to replace all of the caulking in every window, balcony/patio door, and flashing on two 20 year old condo buildings in Victoria’s James Bay area overlooking the harbor. The first building is 9 stories tall and the second is 11 stories tall.
Needless to say, swing stage work is not for everybody. I’m fine with heights as long as I feel that what I’m standing on is secure, but I admit there is a bit of a learning curve and I did have some shaky legs for a while there. There’s a reason it’s called a swing stage – it’s always moving! Now I’ve got my “sea-legs”, but from time to time a certain co-worker of mine likes to just do things without warning me and it still catches me off guard. There’s nothing like that split second feeling like you’re going to do a face-plant into a bay window 70-90 feet off the ground!
You folks don’t have to worry too much about me though. I do wear a proper fall safety harness and am clipped on to a safety line at all times, even when I’m climbing out of the stage and onto a balcony. Yep, you read that right. I ride up the building on the stage then climb out and over the rails and hop into people’s balconies to do work.
Learning and adapting to all of these new skills has earned me a recent pay raise and some great comments from my supervisors and that makes me feel pretty darn good.
A few weekends ago, we also visited the Royal BC Museum to check out the “Treasures: The World’s Cultures from the British Museum” exhibit and it was really fascinating. The carpenters and painters really did a good job in making our museum look like the British Museum. The Egyptian and Roman artifacts were particular favorites of ours. Much of what we saw we were already familiar with from books and TV shows, but to see the real things were something else. They actually had a casting of the Rosetta Stone and a real 3000 year old mummy!
Well that’s it my friends, and family, and everyone else. I’m still alive and well and I’ve just been spending my days hanging off the sides of buildings. That’s about it. Thankfully I’m a gifted enough writer to make it all sound interesting.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
For today's post I've decided to re-post something fun that I originally wrote more than 4 years ago on my previous (and now defunct) blog site. I believe the world needs laughter, so I thought I would post this here on my new blog so that new readers can enjoy it. It was inspired by a conversation I had at the time with a good friend of mine. This is how my post originally appeared in March, 2005.
How cool would it be to be a cartoon character for a day? Think about everything that you can do. The laws of physics simply would not apply. The only way you could be killed would be if someone were to erase you (or Dip you, for those Roger Rabbit fans out there.)
Here are some examples of the way your life would be as a cartoon:
- Wherever you go and whatever you do, there will always be music playing in the background. That music will change according to your actions or emotions. (i.e. travelling, fear, joy etc...)
- Just before you go to run somewhere, you will hover for a moment in the air as your feet pick up speed. Then, when your feet do touch the ground, you will take off leaving a puff of smoke accompanied by the sound of a gunshot or speeding race car.
- If you run into a wall, your body outline will be left behind if you make it through, or you will leave a perfect impression of yourself on the other side if you don't.
- If you run off a cliff, you will keep going and will not fall unless you stop, look down, and realize you are standing mid air. Remember to scream on the way down. AAAAaaaaaahhh!
- When you do hit the ground, you will again leave a perfect body outline as you plunge about six feet into into the dirt or floor. Bonus points if you are in a multi level building and fall through each floor.
- If you get flattened, you can easily recover by blowing into your thumb and re-inflating yourself back to normal size. You can also re inflate with a pump, but be careful not to over inflate or you will pop and fly around the room when someone pricks you with a pin.
- You will never have to worry about doing laundry as you will only wear one outfit. Chances are you will have a closet with hundreds more identical shirts, pants, or dresses in case something happens to damage or stain your clothes. If you don't wear clothes, change that to fur or feathers. (think Foghorn Leghorn)
- If you take a blow to the head from items such as a frying pan or anvil, birds or stars will circle above your head. The great thing is there will be no concussion.
- Your eyes will always be visible, even in total darkness. That way others will always know where you are.
- Your skeleton will be seen when hundreds of volts of electricity pass through you.
- When something surprises you, your eyes will pop out of their sockets and grow to 10 times normal size.
- When something frightens you, your skeleton will leap out of your body and run away leaving your skin in a heap on the floor.
- When there is a monster behind you, your companion will not be able to warn you with anything more than incoherent babbling. You can easily check by feeling the creature's face without looking back. It won't do anything until you actually look it in the eye.
- Like Homer Simpson or Fred Flintstone, if you are a big fat guy your wife will always be thin and hot regardless of how many children she's had.
- If you're a guy and you see a hot woman, your face will morph into that of a wolf, your tongue will hang out, you'll howl and or whistle loudly and your right foot will rapidly stomp on the floor.
- If you are shot, you can easily locate the bullet holes by taking a drink.
- Acme will endorse every hair-brained, half-witted scheme you attempt.
- You will only have minor burns when the stick of T.N.T you're holding goes off.
- If you are being chased, you can always paint a hole or opening in a wall to hide in.
- Whatever you need you will always be able to reach behind you and grab, such as flowers, an over sized mallet, a gun, or even a flame thrower.
Since writing this original list, I've thought of a few more things that would be different in your life if you were a cartoon character. And they are:
- Your voice might be provided by a famous celebrity.
- You will never show any signs of aging. In fact, the opposite usually happens. The quality of your animation will improve with each passing year.
- If you go to jail, chances are you'll be out the following week as if nothing ever happened.
- If you should die a cartoon death, it's not uncommon to see your spirit float out of your body. Sometimes death himself may be standing there to offer some smart assed comment about the way you died.
- Don't worry, you'll be back next week - once again as if nothing ever happened.
- At any given moment you or someone in your life will break into song and it will likely turn into a show stopping number.
- If they ever make a live action movie about you the cartoon character - it will suck. Period. (Think Garfield, Scooby Do, etc...)
- When walking anywhere you'll pass the exact same buildings, trees, people or cars over and over again. This is all normal. (I can't believe I didn't think of this one the first time I wrote this!)
- If your animated life gets syndicated, there's a good chance people everywhere will quote or re-enact scenes from it somewhere during their day-to-day conversations and those who get the references will laugh and join in on the fun. Feel good about that!
This last image is what I'd look like as a popularly styled cartoon character.
Th-th Th-th That's all folks!
The Wandering Oak
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
For the past few years this UGG boot trend has really gotten out of control, and I know I’m not the only person who feels this way. There are all kinds of blogs and Facebook groups made by people who absolutely hate these things, yet these fuggly boots are everywhere. I even saw girls wearing them in Hawaii! Their feet probably smell like the asses of the sheep from which those horrid boots are made.
To quote a friend of mine: “Just when you thought Crocs were the ugliest fashion footwear, someone watches Napoleon Dynamite and thinks ‘Hey, why not oversized fabric boots?’”. My wife (who thankfully refuses to conform to this footwear faux pas) is a big fan of the TV show What Not to Wear and she says “You know something’s a fashion no-no when that show won’t even go near them.”
People who like these boots always claim “they’re so comfy”, “they keep my feet warm” and “they’re so cute”. No. They’re not. They’re also not very good for your feet or your back since every pair out there has a tendency to lean out to the sides and spill over the sole causing the wearer to walk with a funny shuffle. They might keep your feet warm, but I highly doubt they are as waterproof as they claim to be, especially the ones that look like granny’s knitted house slippers.
Even more attractive is when girls wear these boots with baggy sweatpants half tucked into them, usually with some ridiculous word like “Juicy” or the name of their school printed on the ass. I’ve even seen girls wearing them with those short pants that flare out and cut off just above the boot exposing about an inch of leg. Correct me if I’m wrong ladies, but I always thought you wanted to make your butts and legs look slimmer and not like the back end of a Mack dump truck.
In my research for this editorial, I even discovered that they make UGGs for Men?!? Ladies and gentlemen, if you ever catch me in a pair of UGGs you have permission to bitch slap me into next week. It’s bad enough some people put them on their dogs.In summary, I’m not going to tell people what not to wear, so if you’re happy wearing lazy people’s footwear, go right ahead. After all, you’re not alone. Hollywood celebrities wear them too. Just remember that people are going to see you in them.
The Wandering Oak
All images courtesy of public domain sites on the world wide web.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Link the first. Every girl loves that hunky lead actor from Twilight, right? Well check this out:
And then there's Twitter, a glorified status message board if you ask me. Doesn't anyone call anyone or write letters anymore? When I was younger my phone had a really long curly cord that wrapped around everything as I wandered around the house talking to my girlfriend, and I'm not even that old! Again, this isn't a rant, but I can relate to the main character in this particular video:
The Wandering Oak
Next week: UGG Boots and why they're just wrong.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Today is the first day of Spring, and it's finally starting to look like it around Victoria. So, for a special bonus today here are a few photos I took within the past couple of days. I won't caption them. I'll simply let them speak for themselves.
Happy Spring everyone!
She seemed a little intoxicated and bet twenty-thousand dollars on a single roll of the dice.
She said, 'I hope you don't mind, but I feel much luckier when I'm completely nude'.
With that, she stripped from the neck down, rolled the dice and with an Irish brogue yelled, 'Come on, baby, Mama needs new clothes!'
As the dice came to a stop, she jumped up and down and squealed...'YES! YES! I WON, I WON!'
She hugged each of the dealers and then picked up her winnings and her clothes and quickly departed.
The dealers stared at each other dumbfounded.
Finally, one of them asked, 'What did she roll?'
The other answered,
'I don't know - I thought you were watching.'
Not all Irish are drunks;
not all blondes are dumb,
but all men...are men.
Monday, March 9, 2009
I even found some crocuses popping up here and there and I was sure Spring was finally here.
Imagine my surprise when I woke up to this on Monday morning...
The snow continued for a few more hours...
The clear sky is nice and all, but there's a blast of cold air coming down from Alaska that's going to take us back below freezing again. How does that expression go? If you don't like the weather...
Now, for my friends in the rest of Canada, parts of the USA, and any other chilly corner of the world this time of year, this weather may seem like nothing but I lived on the prairies for about 20 of my 32 years and I moved to Victoria to get away from cold weather. Normal temperatures for this time of year are highs around 10 C and lows of around 3 C. It's barely above Zero as I write this and getting colder.
Quite simply, I just don't like it. Bring on spring and summer!!!
The Wandering Oak
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I must admit, there have been times in my life when I've envied our cat. Sometimes it would be nice to have a safe place to run and hide out for a little while when life gets loud and scary.
The Wandering Oak
Monday, March 2, 2009
Unfortunately, due to seasonal winter layoffs I'm not working all that much these days, but that doesn't mean I'm completely useless around the home. And my hard working wife certainly appreciates it. If it was the other way around she would do the same, and when we're both working we split the household chores. Here's a list of things I've done today, in chronological order, and ALL of it before noon!
- Paid rent. Since the first was on a Sunday we're given a day's grace.
- Cleaned and replaced the cat litter. Not just the daily scoop, but I mean a full clean and scrub of the litter pan. Then I took the old litter out to the trash bin in the parking lot.
- Vacuumed the entire apartment including the couch.
- Dishes - including wiping down the counters.
- Folded and put away the laundry that my wife did on the weekend.
- Cleaned the Brita water pitcher and replaced the filter. The little indicator started blinking last night.
I only stopped here and there to make a cup of coffee, have breakfast, shower, and check facebook. If I was a super hero my secret identity would be Domesticated Man. Sure I don't wear a cape or a mask, and I don't have a fancy armored car loaded with cool gadgets and weapons, but I do have a functional pair of yellow rubber gloves.
Maybe instead of a bat symbol spotlight we can use a giant soap bubble. That might be fun.
Domesticated Man AWAAaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!
The Wandering Oak.
PS: Completely unrelated; I've changed my screen name to match the blog name. Quercus Wanderus was just something I was trying out, but being called Q didn't feel right to me. (No offense to anyone intended) Besides, who speaks Latin these days anyway?
Monday, February 23, 2009
Like many young married couples my wife and I are saving up to buy our first home, hopefully within the next couple of years, but until that time we live in a spacious one bedroom apartment here in Victoria. It's a nice enough apartment, don't get me wrong (hardwood floors, clean building, good location, on a bus route, reasonable rent, and a friendly caretaker) but, as I'm sure many of you can agree, there are some things about apartment life that just suck no matter how nice your apartment is.
It seems that no matter when I want to have a shower someone else has the same idea and then it becomes a fight to maintain a consistent water temperature. The nice thing is that I live directly above the boiler room so I get the hot water first, but when the water is hot enough to blister the paint off the walls that's too hot! So I ever so slightly turn the hot down - and I mean just a tiny fraction of a turn people - and suddenly the water becomes so cold certain parts of my anatomy instantly disappear! I don't even think Mariah Carey could hit the high notes I hit when that happens!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
During the time that my colleagues and I were working around the site, a group of carpenters came in and built this new structure. I was asked to paint the entire thing, except the roof which was fabricated on site from coloured sheet metal.
It was actually back-breaking work standing up on a ladder and looking up all day, but I had to make sure that I got into every nook and cranny. I put one coat of oil based wood primer and 2 top coats of weather resistant paint on this thing.
There are no less than 16 of these hydrants scattered around the Ogden Point terminal and each one of them is surrounded by those concrete filled steel bollards. I don't have a before picture, but believe me they were badly beaten from the weather and required a considerable amount of effort to prep and prime them before adding 2 coats of safety red and yellow paint.
The painting company I work for was actually commissioned to repaint nearly the entire facility from the giant warehouse you see there (with the Westerdam tied up behind it) to the maintenence buildings accross the parking lot. We did all of the lamp posts, fences, bollards, and of course my bright red hydrants.
And for no reason at all, here's a photo of our company's scissor lift. They're just fun to drive.
So there you go, a look into what I'm doing when I'm not writing or playing my guitar. And if my boss should happen to see this, I didn't take these pictures during work hours.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Hello dear reader,
Welcome to The Wandering Oak. This is my very first posting here, so I believe introductions are in order. I don't really want to share my real name, but I will tell you that I'm a 31-year-old (32 in February) married man and I live in Victoria BC, Canada. I have no children, but we have a cat that's a real handful. I enjoy rock music and playing my guitar. I also enjoy photography and I love the beauty of Nature.
Most of all though, I really enjoy writing. I've had a few other blogs hosted by various sites before, but, aside from my personal Facebook page, I really don't use any of them anymore. I made a lot of great friends through my past blogs, but as time went on my readers soon dwindled to just those few friends so I eventually just said f**k it and jumped headfirst onto the Facebook bandwagon with, apparently, a few hundred million other people.
Nowadays the bulk of my writing has consisted of filling out those endless repetitive surveys that circulate around and I've got to tell you those are starting to get old. Whenever I do take the time to write out a note or an essay on Facebook, I find I can't say everything I want to say because, like many people, I have everyone I know in the real world on my friends list.
Lately I've been wanting to create a blog that's a little more grown up than Facebook or My Space. Something that can be taken seriously. This blog won't be a personal journal full of those "today I did this, this, and that" stories, though I may use examples and stories from my life to make a point about something. As I mentioned before I like photography so you will also see some of my photos here from time to time.
Now you're probably wondering about the title. I hummed and hawed over a title for the longest time until this one came to me. There are a few sources. I have always liked the oak trees that thrive here on Vancouver Island, so much so that I had one tattooed on my lower left leg (with one of my guitars leaning on a rock in front of it). I enjoy walking through the woods, so earlier this afternoon the light bulb went off in my head. The Wandering Oak.
I hope you will return, and join me as I wander.