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Hendie

Calgary Diary I

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Hendie

This winter is really "deurmekaar" this year. We seem to be oscillating between temperatures above zero, and then, like today dropping to -25 again! So just for remembering what Calgary looks like in winter, here are a few piccies I took recently:

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Oh! and another little interesting thing I heard on the radio this evening doing my taxi-dad bit, was that Pizza73 now offers ordering of pizzas online! So technology is catching up with ordering out too!

Enjoy!

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Karen

Um, Hendie, I think we have had online pizza ordering in Toronto for quite a while.

Oh well, we do live in the centre of the universe here, so why am I surprised?! :)

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Guest Barbara

We have had so much snow in Calgary. Here are some photos to show you how much. The one is the picnic table at work, we eat lunch there in spring and summer.

The other a tree in our front garden.

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Hendie

icon_gogeocaching.gif Geocaching Discovered

Some of you may recall that I mentioned Geocaching when I talked about the GPS unit that I got for my Treo some time back. Well, this weekend Heinrich and I finally got around to embark on this really fun family activity. For starters we picked one in our neighbourhood, The Hamptons to be precise. WE loaded the coordinates into the Treo's TomTom navigational software, and the GeoNiche gps tracking software. The former we used to navigate by road as close as possible to the cache as we could, and the latter is then used to complete the search on foot. Heinrich's keen observations led us to the micro cache, a 35mm film canister with a rolled-up logbook for logging your find. I recorded the find at the site using GeoNiche, and later transcribed it onto my account at the Geocaching website. We tried another one in a ravine not too far from our home, but because of the snow were unable to find it.

One would think that these caches would mostly be on hiking trails in the back country, but no, there are literally hundreds of them all over Calgary for instance. Every one is described by the person who created the cache, often with cryptic clues as to the actual hiding place. A GPS will usually just bring you to within about 5m of your target, and from then the search is really on to try to find the hiding place. The travel bugs are also an interesting way of identifying and tracking items in caches. The most common one is a dogtag-like plaque that you can attach to your item.

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The one plaque you keep for record purposes, but the other (the one on the right) you register (and "activate") on the Geocaching webste, and then deposit it in a cache of your choice, or even create a new cache somewhere. Then sit back and let the geocaching community help you keep track of its travels across the globe. Of course there are also specialty coins like this one for Canada, that act as travel bugs all by themselves.

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Hendie

Hitching a ride in a ski lift

Lyné and I spent a week at a time share resort in Radium, BC recently, and on one of our day outings we visited the Kicking Horse Ski Resort near Golden in the Rockies. I had heard from the folks at the resort we were staying at that they have enclosed gondolas at Kicking Horse and I wanted to find out whether we could get a ride in one of those up the ski hill. See, we're not really skiiers, but we just LOVE the outdoors, and what a bonus it would be if we could see the Golden valley from the top of the ski hill! Well, it turns out we were in luck: for $20 a head we could take a ride in a gondola all the way to the top of the mountain. Also, purchasing this ride-only ticket allowed us to bypass the lengthy queue of skiiers waiting to board:

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And then it was off we go, up, up, up the hill to the very top!

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Perched at the top of the hill we were surprised to find a cozy little restaurant, the Eagle's Eye, that offered a full menu (we just had some soup), and a resident guitarist who was entertaining the crowd of skiiers (... and us) with some contemporary music.

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Suffice it to say, the view was SPECTACULAR, and the ride was worth it all the way!

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Hendie

Spring is in the Air!

Memories of scenes from Fly Away Home filled my mind this morning as I got off the CTrain downtown and heard a familiar squawk. Looking up I saw a Canada Goose making its way through the skyscrapers on its way back from the South. It sure lifted my spirits from the drab and grey surroundings of leafless trees and blackened heaps of icy snow next to the roads. Yesterday was the first day that quite a few folk commented about Spring being in the Air, and today is no exception. Streamlets of run-off water can be seen in gutters, and there is a distinct sprightliness in the sunbeams touching the concrete and glass of the city. I wonder whether the prospect of daylight savings this coming Sunday has anything to do with it, but even though there is not a sign of any green yet, the season certainly seems to be changing!

Enjoy!

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Matisse
Spring is in the Air!

Memories of scenes from Fly Away Home filled my mind this morning as I got off the CTrain downtown and heard a familiar squawk. Looking up I saw a Canada Goose making its way through the skyscrapers on its way back from the South.

It's always great to hear the sounds of the birds returning.

Have you read The Snow Geese by William Fiennes?

It's a beautiful book about his journey to follow the snow geese on their migration from Texas to Hudson Bay.

His description of standing in the middle of the flock as they land for the night will give you goose bumps.

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Guest Barbara

Such a good weekend ahead for us. They say Sunday it will be 19, spring is on it's way.

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Hendie

Spring is in the Air??

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This is the scene that greeted me this morning at the bus stop. And when I asked the bus driver how he would explain the snow, his remark was "You must be new here, Spring comes on May 25th only!" As it was the bus was almost empty because the driver simply could not negotiate some of the steep inclines higher up in the area we live in - I guess those folks stayed at home today. When I got out of the train down town, the guy handing out free newspapers greeted me with a "Ho Ho Ho!"

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Hendie

Scavenging Visitor

OK, so we cannot boast black bears in our back yard, but we were pleasantly surprised to meet this little critter visiting the other evening!

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.

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Husky

Hi Hendie,

Is it a porcupine? VERY CUTE!!!

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Guest Barbara

We went hiking today to Grassi Lakes.

Thought I would share a few photos.

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Moonstones

Thanks for sharing Barbara! wow how clear is that water! stunning. :o

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Guest Barbara

We had fog over night in Calgary and a wonderful frost this morning. I think the trees look so beautiful. Took these photos at work this morning.

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Guest Barbara

Today is the coldest day we have had in Calgary in the over 3 years we have been here. It was -32 with the wind chill -49. I have never been that cold in my life. I only did 20 m from my car to the office but the wind was terrible.

I am fine now I am warm in my house. It is -30 right now and will get colder over night. By Thursday things will be better.

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Karen

Barbara,

I have experienced those frigid temps here in the GTA many times, and it is hard to deal with that kind of cold or to explain just how cold minus 32C feels to anyone who has not.

Meantime, here in the GTA, it was an almost balmy 2C today!! Some frozen rain could occur tonight, though.

Amazingly, after minus 32C, when you get to about minus 5, it feels delightfully pleasant and warm!!

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Cathy

The Calgary Tower lights its flame. "The Olympic Flame atop the Calgary Tower was lit for 12 hours today in honour of the fallen police, fire, military and emergency service workers who have died in the line of duty." Apparently it takes about 50 gigajoules per hour of natural gas to keep the flame alight.

(The pictures were taken from the 29th floor of the office tower where I work. The reflections are caused by the fact that I couldn't open the window)

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Guest Barbara

I took some photos downtown this morning.

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Hendie

Calgary Stampede 2009

Dit maak nou maar nie saak hóé lank ek in Calgary bly nie, maar die Stampede bly maar vir my nog 'n lekker ervaring. Vanjaar was geen uitsondering nie, en ek en Elsje het die Grandstand Show die eerste Vrydagaand van dié jaarlikse buitelug ekstrawaganza terdeë geniet.

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Die Grandstand Show, wat hoofsaaklik deur 'n groep, The Young Canadians, uitgevoer word, is uit die boonste rakke, en is tesame met die vuurwerkvertoning tussen-in oor en oor die moeite werd om by te woon. Hulle noem dit nie verniet The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth! nie!

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Vir dié wat belangstel in nog fotos, hier is die res van hierdie jaar s'n, en hier is 'n paar van vorige jare.

So as julle ooit aan die begin van Julie Calgary toe kom, maak seker julle mis nie die Calgary Stampede nie!

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Liz

Lyk baie gesellig!

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