Friday, December 01, 2006

Vegas... the sunset strip...

More like the frost set strip. I was very disappointed in the weather this past week in Vegas. I attended Autodesk's big event of the year, Autodesk University (AU). I learned numerous things and had a great time. It was my first AU. Though there were minor issues with the organization of the event (like not telling me the pick up location for the shuttle after moving it) I think the organizors did a FANTASTIC job; from meals, events, and simply getting people to where they needed to be.

I was very disappointed in numerous courses. My main concern was software that crashed in presentations and in labs. In one case we came to AU with knowledge of a bug in the software. When we presented the issue in the Exhibition hall to Autodesk their response seemed mixed, perhaps not surprised. But the kicker was during one of the courses when the presenter wanted to use this component--the software bug was displayed for all to see. Okay, I can understand Autodesk missing it (though it is a very big bug rendering a major component useless), but the presenter didn't even try it before the presentation.

Presenters with indepth knowledge of the products that I was interested in was not available. In fact, when I asked Autodesk and other publishing groups about books and training in these areas I was told that there wasn't enough demand for it... not yet. Hmmmm.

One Autodesk employee, based out of London, England said he would take my technical questions and concerns back to the office and reply back. Good stuff. BTW, Angela, this employee said he graduated from Kingston University--and wishes you the best of luck there.

As a first timer to Vegas I found the strip exciting and fun. I just had to visit and do a bit of gambling in all the big hotels from the Venetian to the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The Venetian is where AU was held and the Mandalay Bay is where I stayed.

In summary here is my ranking...

5. MGM Grand
4. Venetian - grand hotel... loved the Venice theme.
3. Mandalay Bay
2. Caesar's Palace - wow... grand place.
1. Belagio - In a word... Class.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pixie's Big Day Out

Today Pixie made a trip out for her first set of shots and to reunite with some of her family.

Pixie and Copper.

Bunny and Cookie.

Pixie and Pinto.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

More Pixie

The day was going well taking these shot of Pixie plus a short clip; then I decided to check our sump pumps. The weather here has been very wet. We have two pumps supporting two separate areas. One of them I heard coming on every 15 minutes while the other remained quiet. The quiet pump had failed and the water was only millimetres from going over the top. A new pump has been installed just in time.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Pumpkinfest 2006

With good friends we made our annual visit down to Waterford's Pumpkinfest. Though its an all weekend event we typically enjoy the Friday evening events of viewing locally decorated homes for Halloween and the fireworks. As usual the organizers put on a great even--once again.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Whiteman's Creek

Whiteman's creek crosses more territory than just Apps Mill. However, I seem use the names App's Mill, Rest Acres and Whiteman's Creek interchangeability.

In any event, another beautiful autumn day not to be missed without a walk along the creek. This time, and the very first time, for Pixie. Many others found their way out to the creek and many of them stopped to meet Pixie, welcoming her to her first visit to the mill.

We were quite amazed she walked most of the journey.

I was also surprised to see a vistor taking a quick autumn swim with his dog in the creek. Click here for short video.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Mohawk Chapel

Canada's oldest surviving church, H. M. Royal Chapel of the Mohawks in Brant County is apparently the only Royal Chapel in Canada.

Shelley thought it might be pretty this time of year so a stop was planned.

This is also the burial location of Captain Joesph Brant.

Norfolk County Fair

We made the annual trip down to the Norfolk County Fair. The place hasn't changed in 20 years. I snapped a few images around the track and near the fairground office where the one-man-band was getting a huge audience (click here for short video).

Brent tried is luck at shooting out the red star with a gun that shot pellets somewhere within a few inches of where gun was pointing. He pointed the gun, which was equiped with a lazer, at the centre of the red star, and when he pulled the trigger pellets wondered all around the outside of the star.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

New Pet

Brent is finally getting an animal he has wanted for some time. I am not sure if he is up for the work ahead, and we shall see if the cats and I are up for the work. This puppy, unnamed at the moment, is one of five pups from a well-known local couple. The mother, Cookie, is a 10-pound Jack Russell terrier who apparently likes Barlett pears. The father, Bunny, is a toy fox terrier and apparenly does not care for pears. This mixed breed have been named Newport terriers, by their owners who live on Newport Road

Out of the two remaining pups they had left when we visited Newport Road, one was a bit smaller than the other but was too bouncey for Brent. The larger of the two has more interesting colour on her head and was Brent's first choice. And, so far is not bouncey at all--very quiet and still.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Phil - Happy 70th

We held a surprise BBQ bash for Phil. Angela travelled from England to aid in the surprise. After cutting the cake Phil found himself surrounded with interesting gifts. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PHIL/PAPA/DAD.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Red Hats are Red Hot

The local Brantford group of the Red Hat Society, "a social organization where there is fun after fifty (and before) for women of all walks of life" (as their website states) joined Walter Gretzky in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada for the BIG BIKE RIDE.

Advertising their Red Hat Festival for April 2007, the Heart and Stroke organizers inadvertently put "Red Hot Festival" on the sign. So with a little digital manipulation we have it corrected :)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Let's Go Blue Jays

It has been a long time since I went to a Blue Jay game. The last time I went to a Jays game was during the CNE when their home ballpark was Exhibition Stadium. I think it cost me $5 to get in. :)

Brent and I enjoyed the game though the Jays lost to Chicago 7-5.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Spring is here

Spring has sprung. I have spent the last two weeks outdoors gardening; getting very dirty, getting very sore joints and hands--and loving it. I think I have created bigger flower gardens this spring then lawn that I had back in England. This first image shows my newly planted spruce tree, which in 15-20 years will be 60' high. Stay tuned for more pics :) In the foreground (about 20' in front of the spruce is a new gift from Laura to mom; a bird bath with a matching bench and ornament.

Near our back corner, in our neighbours yard, we have discovered a family of very friendly bunnies. While our cats were outside one of these bunnies came up to the patio and fortunately the cats did not attack it. It later wandered into the next yard where I snapped this next picture (I must tell you this is my neighbours yard--I keep my lawn in much better shape). Using a 10X optical zoom I simply framed the shot and snapped; and unknown to me at the time I had also captured a red (or purple) finch in the image.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Gore Road, Cambridge

I don't recall one weather forecast being acurate this winter... not one. Each time there has been a forecast for any amount of snow I have been disappointed. This is best I can do for any snowy images. Sad really.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A walk along the Grand River

It has been a disappointing winter with the temperatures frequently fluctuating below and above freezing. So, when the temperature is comfortably below zero and the sun is shining (with a bit of snow on the ground) it is worth a walk on the trails. This image was taken here (click only if you have google earth installed).

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Trans Canada Trail

This image was taken on the Trans Canada Trail near Waterworks Park in Brantford, Ontario. I must say I am not taking enough pictures. I will return here to take more pictures... it is very pretty. The interesting thing to note here is this trail, along the Grand River, is part of the Trans Canada Trail. If you are are not aware of what this is... well "just imagine an 18,000-kilometre (11,250 mile) recreational corridor winding its way through every province and territory, linking over 800 communities along its route!". Has anyone walked it from end-t0-end yet?

Oh, yes we do live in a very big place. Did you know the distance from St. John's Newfoundland, Canada to London, England is 3734 km (2321 miles). But the distance to St. John's Newfoundland to Vancouver is 5000 km (3108 miles).

Google Earth reference