Monthly Archives: October 2005

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Bird flu detected in Canada birds

Canada says it has discovered a strain of bird flu among healthy wild birds in the provinces of Quebec and Manitoba.

(Click here to read more)

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Keeping you up to date……

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“What’s the point of going out, we’re just going to end up back here anyway?” – Homer Simpson

It’s been a while, dear readers, news is coming in and has happened in the interim.


For all the emails I have had about how I go about funding my stress free lifestyle, I am pleased to announce, I am preparing the details, of courses you should take, programs you should join and books you should read. So come back later this week, and all shall be revealed!

As for the what the gang and me have been up to;

I’ve been at work for a whole week. I say work, it’s more of a sidestep into something new. No financial institution has been brought to its knees as yet, but the day is still young.

My hard drive has given up the ghost it seems, taken my music archive, test podcasts and 10,000 photos with it, and despite all my good intentions, I never got around to backing it up properly. A lesson to learn for me, and any one else replicating my stupidity. I did store some things on my Dad’s machine, so when it gets here in a couple of weeks, I’ll know the extent of the loss! Always back your files up. I am getting a DVD burner this week to do just that, as well as taking delivery of a mighty sleek looking iPod for music.

My friend Darren, has taken me to my first proper ice hockey match, a league one that is. The Kelowna Rockets went down, after a fine unbeaten run, 4-1 to Prince George. That’s 2 games they have lost both times I have been to watch them, so maybe I’ll let them get on with it in future, and just read up on the results in the paper…..

Leigh has been working in the vineyard, as well as our neighbours factory. We;ve been on a couple of hikes, with our friend from the vineyard, to Bear Creek, (the pics were on the hard drive. I’ll get some more when we go back), as well as Knox Mountain, and looked back on Kelowna.


Sam has been going to Scouts, or Cubs for him, and also just done a stint selling poppies for the Canadian Legion. On more than one occasion it was heard that he was using his English accent to make extra sales. Did OK at it though. He is off to Vancouver at the weekend, to see a football match, US style, and camp out with the the rest of the pack, in the stadium. Rather him than me, the temperature is going down rapidly out here….


Holly’s scooter and gymnastics skills are growing gradually and, along with me and Sam, has started aikido! She likes it, so we’ll see how that one pans out. They are taught by a tiny lady from China, who always smiles if that means anything.

Speaking of aikido, on Saturday, we were invited along with the rest of the kids aikido group, to go back to the Sensei Pat’s log cabin, up past Big White, the local mountain. The view from her balcony, as the house was directly on the side of a lake was something else. At times like those, having left it at home for the first time since we got here, you could do with a camera, I was told……

We were treated to a delicious turkey soup, done in her own Chinese fashion along with some of her home made bread rolls, and hot dogs. She had also got in a load of pumpkins for the kids to hollow out and carve their Halloween faces into.

A quick trip up to see the snow at Big White and a family snow ball fight made us realise just how cold snow can be.

And so, we made it past the 2 month mark without much ado.

The Tide Begins to Turn…..

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“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu

So the tide begins to turn in our favour! I’ve got the job I wanted, something I have always wanted to have a go at, a stock market trader! Wicked! And better still they want me to get cracking sooner than I thought. I start next Monday, at 7.30am, no jacket required, hoodies OK, but no sports casuals…..

All done by 1pm mind you, so plenty of time to hit the golf course with Bill in the afternoon! Sorry, pick the kids up from skool is what I meant…..


“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.” – Mary Pickford
The Doughboy strikes again!

Patenting a Pig and other news……

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Now you can claim the patent on a living creature. (Read more)

Watch what you eat, too. E161g is the one they put in farmed salmon to make it pink, and eggs to make the yolk yellow, and that leaves yellow deposits in human eyes. Nice. (Read More)

PS. How to cut your BT phone bill!

Thought some people might be interested in this – If you’re calling from the UK, we’ve found a good web site where you can sign up for low cost phone calls. We signed up for this before we left, but also, have just registered some family and friends up for the service. I also used them for making conference calls. If you want any more info on this, click on the link below, or get in touch with me.

You keep you BT line and number and simply pay Equitalk for cheap calls (there’s no codes to dial or boxes to plug in, unless you simply want the basic service).

It only takes 3 minutes to join on-line – just click on the link below and you’ll go straight there:

Cheap Calls, in the UK and Abroad!

Take it easy!

Mark

Grape Picking……

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Saturday was spent picking the grape harvest from our friends vineyard. There were about 15 of us doing the picking, some people coming and going throughout the day. As the morning mist rose through the valley, an eerie sight, the sun came out, and warmed up wet hands and cold feet, making the work a very satisfying experience. It’s hard work, physically, back breaking as it were, until you learn the trick of using one of the buckets as a seat!

The view from Coyote Vineyard

The whole job was done in the tradition of a celebration of the reaping of the harvest, that the owner, Annabel had experienced in a number of the countries she has lived and grown fruit. Lunch was provided, bread, crackers and rolls, various cheeses, sausage and salami, wine and lemonade for the kids. And all this with a breathtaking view!

We managed 3.5 tons, which was a good amount for the small plot, and they were boing taken to the local wine producing factory the next day.

The kids had a superb time, playing in the barn, (I don’t know what they were making but for half an hour an intense hammering was heard from the old place!), as well as carrying buckets full of grapes to the and riding on the tractor with old Ron, driving him up the wall he said, but he clearly enjoyed ticking the kids off, then carrying them around the vineyard collecting the full tonage bins. We only saw Samuel here and there throughout the day, whilst Holly was busy helping Leigh and Annabel pick fruit.

And all this, whilst the howl of the coyote pack in the woods could be heard, and a small group of wild deer watched us from the adjoining orchard.

Payment was a couple of bottles of wine from Quail’s Gate vineyard, where Annabel’s husband works, and went down a treat, before we fell asleep, exhausted from hard work and fresh air, on the sofa, watching TV.

I think I agree with the kids, let’s stay for little bit longer!

The Teachers Strike Continues……

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Taken from the Kelowna Daily Courier. I particularly like the part about the Premier’s Drink Driving Conviction. As usual, the politicians are above the law.

Take a stand, urge teachers – by CHUCK POULSEN The Daily Courier

The principals and vice-principals who have manned largely empty schools were challenged Tuesday to take a stand against the Liberal government

Former Central Okanagan Teachers’ Association president Alice Rees, speaking to a union rally in front of KelownaMission MLA Sindi Hawkins’ office, termed Premier Gordon Campbell’s Liberals “bullies” and called on principals and vice-principals to support the teachers’ strike

“We are teaching the public about what public bullying looks like,” Rees told 300 union supporters. “We took the stand for our students because they are worth taking a stand for. We called on the public not to be a bystander, and the public said `what is above the law?’ Justice. They’ve got it

“Trustees around the province are telling the bullies to stop, and I raise the same challenge to the principals and vice-principals and their association. They have to stand up and tell the bullies to stop.” Almost all of the 1,260 teachers and 1,025 support staff in the Central Okanagan will be off the job for the third day today, keeping 22,000 students out of their classes

Participants in the rally were handed a leaflet picturing Gordon Campbell’s mug shots from his drunken driving arrest in Hawaii

Said Rees: “We are not criminals. If your face was on this picture, you would be drummed out of our profession.”

“They (the Liberals) are counting on you to break, but that is their biggest mistake,” Rees said.

COTA vice president Tom Potts also picked up the theme of bullying.

“How can we face our students and your children in the classroom with any kind of dignity and credibility and teach them that bullying is not OK; that they should not take a stand and be a bystander?

“This is the worst kind of bullying. In the face of their (Liberals) callous disregard, we have finally walked away. It is long past the time to practise what we teach.”

Ron Bobowski of the North Okanagan Labour Council told the teachers they have the support of the labour movement.

“Teachers are looking to take a stand for the kids and I want to let you know that we will be behind you until this is resolved,” said Bobowski.

George Popp of the BCTF in the Kootenays said the teachers’ stand is important to all workers.

“Working people for the last century have struggled, fought and died for their rights,” said Popp.

“The road ahead will be a rough, rocky one for working people in B.C. if we allow them to renege on a freely negotiated contract.”

Popp quoted Plato, saying: “Some laws are unjust, and just people must oppose them.”

Hawkins was not at her office, saying she had a dental appointment and then would be attending a meeting of the Canadian Home Builders Association.

“I think it’s absolutely fine for people to have the freedom of expression on what they believe in and express that in the way of demonstrating,” said Hawkins. “But no one is above the law and I think it’s unfortunate that the teachers’ union and other unions are encouraging people to break the law.”

She said issues such as class size and learning conditions should be discussed at the government-proposed “learning table” rather than through negotiations.

“Those discussions must include not only teachers but principals, parents and trustees,” said Hawkins.

That’s my political rant over.

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“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” – C.S. Lewis

Just discovered I haven’t posted anything in over a week. Better rectify that.


Since you last heard from the Evans Canadian Brigade, we have had a superb, Thanksgiving Dinner with our friends, Bill and Darleen and their family. We all had to give thanks for something which is a real experience, before we could eat dinner – and we had to go first! Not as bad as it sounds, as we would have been the odd ones out if we didn’t join them. It wasn’t necessarily a religious thing, simply to say your appreciation and that you were thankful for something that has happened to you, that you have been able to do, or simply to say you were thankful for your health. There is a lesson for all of us here.

Also, here in BC, the teachers are out on strike! I thought we had left that fiasco behind, but no. More money better conditions and a cap on class sizes are the sticking points, as well as the liberal government tearing up the teachers contracts and making it illegal to strike. This could be a long one. I would like to see how they are going to imprison 42,000 teachers. Anyway, the kids were off for their full day last Friday, and as of today, Tuesday, they are still off. The teachers in theory, could be off for the next 30 days, so we are bracing ourselves for a prolonged holiday!

The kids disappeared the other afternoon, only to be found pestering the builder a couple of doors down, for any wood he may have spare, as they had a tree house to build. It’s now in the construction phase, which started this morning at 8am! It’s cold, but I looked out the window to see the 2 of them in the pyjamas, lugging wood up into the woods behind the house.

Holly has started gymnastics, been a couple of times, and is now doing flips already, whilst rolling off of the sofa and any chair she can find!

Sam is due to start cubs on Wednesday, with his best friend, Jacob.

Leigh has been painting loads, and we are in the process of setting up an online store for them to be sold, as well as finaly getting to grips with the wonders of the world wide web. As much as she denies it, she is actually showing some interest in the developments of the forthcoming podcast/online radio show.

I have a couple of interviews, on Wednesday, one of which is as a forex trader, working 7am to 1pm. That sounds good! They need the afternoon off to go play golf. Great sounding job! As well as working on the software and set up I need to get my radio shows going. Keep ’em peeled. They’ll be more info on the blog when it is up and running. I am doing a test show this afternoon, so if it all goes well, DJ Dougboy will be hitting the airwaves, or at least the web, by the end of the week!

Until then listeners, take care!

PS. I am gradually getting around to replying to the emails from everyone about life in Canada. I wasn’t expecting quite as much interest!