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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Job search

Well the true hunt began on Monday as our class took a field trip to the InVivo Job Fair that was being given at the Hyatt Regency.
Nothing much came out of it but it was a good experience nonetheless.
I got to meet with a few companies and added my CV to their growing piles.
It doesn't look like anyone that was present there is interested in having interns nor had any of them any clue that our program existed. But it gave me some experience meeting with these people and trying to find intelligent questions to ask them and pretending to know what I'm talking about!

All caught up

There a a few new posts to be found below, enjoy!

Sunday September 25th

Tim treated us to waffles for breakfast as we could not make any fresh bread because the bread maker was in pieces. It is now back together again and somewhat working but we still need a new timing belt. Atleast it's not making that ka-klunk sound anymore but there is still a loud whirring happening...

Tim was gracious enough to let Susanna borrow his bicycle so she & I headed over to the Olympic Basin to watch Ysabel dragon boating.

Here is Ysabel with the Alliance Genesis team

And the weekend was capped off by some curling spectating at Long-Point.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Saturday September 24th

Our skills as heavy labourers were called upon as we cleared out Dave's apartment, and yes, we actually moved some of his stuff to France's apartment! (Her place was already jam-packed with her stuff.) We were done in time to pick Susanna up from the airport as she was coming in for a visit/business trip (she is an old friend from Vancouver.)

Susanna & I headed to Old Montreal & strolled around there and then met up with Tim, France, Dave & Geoff at Les 3 Brasseurs. Good beer, ok food, loud music & baaaaaaad waiter!

Here's Dave & his peanut!

Friday September 23rd

Happy Birthday Maman!
Had the family over sans Tim as he went to the Glenmore open house. P-J did the cooking and we were treated to yummy pork chops. I did make the cake though - apple served with applesauce.

Wednesday September 21st

The excitement of the day was a fire alarm in the morning. Everyone had to evacuate off school property so needless to say DeMaisonneuve Boulevard between Atwater and Wood was not the place to be driving that morning. Five fire trucks and three other emergency vehicles showed up and then left after about 10 minutes. We got to stand around outside for another 40 minutes. Turns out it was a flood on the 4th floor. Oh well, it gave us a break from the boring computer lab we were doing.
I also bumped in to my ex-brother-in law and found out that if I were still married, I would be an aunt come this February (congratulations Marc, I think!)

Sunday September 18th

In retrospect, I guess I should have studied a little bit harder than I did last weekend but my test results were decent enough...Sunday afternoon Steph & Olaf popped over (well, I guess you don't really "pop over" from Rigaud, but you know what I mean!) and we then strolled over to the CCA where we saw an exhibit by Douglas Coupland on kit toys (Lego, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, etc.) It was a little disappointing as it consisted of basically one sculpture made from various types of toys. Anyhow, it brought back memories of our youth (oh so long ago!)
We also had the pleasure of watching the Eddie Murphy movie Metro which was quoted as "Murphy funnier than Ever!" which definitely was a misquote. I then tried to convince Olaf that there must be a comedian out there by the last name of Ever but he wouldn't buy it!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

This week in my nutshell

This week consisted of lots of bike riding, lots of time spent at school and lots of dealing with Tim being absorbed by redesigning the Glenmore website and also being sniffly & sore-throaty!

Lena (previously mentioned German border-girl) has decided to stay with us, at least for now. If she decides the commute to school is too long or if she finds something better (ha!) and closer to Lilly, the other assistant, she will move out.

And I could not have asked for a more exciting Saturday's amazing how much useless information you can search through when you do a Google search...Anyone out there know the limits of detection for the Biuret and Bradford Protein assays???


Monday, September 12, 2005

September 2nd and beyond

Friday the 2nd consisted of fixing the toilet which we had left in a state of disrepair the night before leaving

and then in the afternoon, we greeted our new border. We are again letting out our spare back bedroom to a German teaching assistant from College Ahuntsic. Her name is Lena Rüther and, needless to say, she is tall, blond and gorgeous! And I must say, very nice. We really hope she will stay with us for the year and it seems likely she will.

Saturday was car wash day! Our poor baby was quite dirty after her long trek so we headed to Brossard and gave her a good cleaning inside and out. France & Dave joined us for supper & we had burgers and sausages on the bbq and got acquainted with Lena as she also joined us for the meal.

Sunday I spent most of the afternoon in the backyard with Harry Potter as Tim went down to St-Paul-de-l´Ile-aux-Noix to pick up Eric, Cathy & her folks after their jaunt on Voilà!

Eric´s blog

Cathy´s blog

France and Dave came over again that evening, they had bison burgers while we had salmon done on a cedar plank, yummy as always. We also plowed through a 1.5 L of wine!

Labour day was more or less labour-free. Got woken up by Lena´s mother who did not know it was a holiday over here. Had fun framing some of our pictures but ran out of frames so we only got about half of them up on the wall. Our bedroom re-decoration is now almost complete!

And Tuesday was the dreaded return to school & work...luckily I only had half a day and Wednesday was even better, no classes at all! We did have to go in for a meeting with an Emploi Québec agent and giver her an assessment of our program so far. Unfortunately any remarks we make at this point won´t bring on any improvements for our group but hopefully will benefit next year´s students. We were all bitching about how we will have to find our own stage and how we needed help and information which turns out we got the following day in our Job Search Skills class. Thursday was a long day. I´m so thankful I live so close to school ´cos finishing at 7:30 really sucks!

But I have Fridays off this term, yay! Enjoy it while I can! So I biked over to my folks place and brought home lots of yummy tomatoes from my mom´s garden and some green beans too.
Friday evening we initiated Lena to Pub night at McKibbin´s in the Waste Island. I think she enjoyed herself save for being hit on by some guy who Heidi tried to rescue her from until he started on her too!

Saturday I was awarded the ¨Most Valuable Rover¨ trophy for our team at our softball league banquet, woohoo!

And on Sunday, believe it or not, Tim went curling! I made my way to Boucherville by bike to join him which was not as easily done as expected because of all the closures due to the Festival de la Santé/Marathon. But I eventually made my way across the Jacques-Cartier Bridge and got to Boucherville in about an hour and forty minutes. Shall I mention that they lost both their games?! Oh well, the first games of the season, can´t expect too much! I wasn´t brave enough to face the journey home by bike (too tired & too windy) so I stuck around for the second game at 5 which only ended up starting at 5:40.

Okay that´s enough of the boring play by play as I am now all caught up, except for today...

Had to get up to make it to school for 8 this morning, ugh...then spent about 2 1/2 hours learning about pipettes, ugh...then came home and did housework, ugh...but I also made some rye beer bread and some oatmeal cookies, yum! And then we had creamy garlic shrimp for supper, yum again! I didn´t manage to recreate the shrimp entrée we had last fall in Baltimore but it was damn tasty nonetheless.

Creamy Shrimp in Baltimore

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Newfoundland Recap

I'm going to attempt a quick rundown of our journey to the Rock...

We left Saturday August 20th, pretty much on schedule, just sometime after 7 am. The weather was overcast/drizzly/misty. At least we managed to pack the car without it downpouring on us. Our first stop for gas was in Ste-Hyacinthe and that was actually our first fill-up at over $1 (those were the days!) By the time we got to Moncton, the sun peeked out and we continued driving and then stopped for the night at the Victorian Motel in Amherst, Nova Scotia. 11 hours later! Twelve if you count the hour time difference!
Discovered Alexander Keith's Red ale, very tasty.

Sunday we were again on the road just after 7 and made it to Sydney by 12. Drove around the area and visited the Fort Petrie Miltary Museum, a bunker that was used most recently in the two World Wars but dates back to way long ago.
We then headed for the ferry terminal and boarded around 3:30. The boat ride was pretty uneventful. It was pouring rain most of the time so we didn't spend anytime out on deck. We got in to Port-aux-Basques about 11:30 and actually managed to find our B&B quite easily despite having no directions to the place.

The next morning we took off in the fog and just outside of P-aux-B, we veered off the Trans-Canada and took a side road towards Cape Ray and saw the first (of many) lighthouses on our trip. We stopped in Cornerbrook where we had a pretty nasty lunch at

Mary Brown's

and then got some supplies and hit the road again to reach Gros Morne National Park

We set up at the Trout River campsite.
The next morning we headed out for a 14 km hike along the pond, which is more like a really big lake. It was overcast again with a few periods of drizzle but with the major gusting wind, you could hardly tell it was raining! Very strange landscape on the 2nd part of the trail, almost lunar-like.
That evening we went to a campfire ghost story session (it was actually in a shelter around a wood stove!) The wind was howling in the eaves and the hot chocolate was very yummy and warm (it had the mini-mini marshmallows in it!)

The next day we headed a little further North in the Park to Lobster Cove Head (lighthouse) and came across ¨The Heap of Junk¨, some kind of makeshift friendship monument between Canada and the U.S. and we left a note to mark our visit. In Rocky Harbour we picked up some steaks for supper which Tim cooked over the fire. And we´d come prepared with our Montreal Steak Spices so they were very tasty. We also stopped at South East Brook Falls on our way back to the campground where we got a few good shots of the waterfall and then got swarmed by mosquitoes when we turned back on the trail. The great thing about hiking around there is you hardly encounter a soul. Maybe Gros Morne Mountain would have been busier but there is no way we were going to attempt ¨the longest and most grueling¨ hike in the park (16 km rated as very strenuous and takes 7-8 hours to do!) Although the view is supposed to be spectacular (on a clear day...) and I think its the second highest peak in the province.

Thursday morning we packed up camp and headed to Twillingate. We went on a tour of the Notre Dame Winery and stocked up on some blueberry, blackcurrant, damson plum and rhubarb wines, our favourites from the tastings we got. When I was in NL back in ´94 I had tried the Markland Cottage Winery´s blueberry wine and had rated it as pretty awful. Apparently it has gotten better, maybe the competition has helped!

Friday consisted of Cape Bonavista and Trinity which are best described by our photos and that night we stayed at a B&B in Clarenville. The first two places we stopped at were full and the third place didn´t look promising either as they had a driveway full of cars...turns out they had a wedding party going on but we were more than welcome to stay the night & join in the celebrations! After a brief discussion and a more than enthusiastic convincing by Sonya, the owner, we decided to stay. Although I did not witness it (as I was slumbering at the time), they screeched Tim in, not by making him kiss the cod but by having him eat a capelin and down some kind of nasty rum.

Gosh this description makes our trip sound like it went by much faster than it did...

Saturday we made our way to St-John´s and after checking into the B&B (which was more like a boarding house really), we did the all-important tour of the only microbrewery on the Island, Quidi Vidi. We then walked all around Signal Hill & that area.

Sunday was Cape Spear, just a short distance outside the city and we also visited the Johnson Geo Centre. That evening I got the scare of the trip...we had gone to get take-out pizza for supper and about 5 minutes after leaving the restaurant I realized I didn´t have my we raced back and lo and behold, it had slipped out of my pocket on the seats where we were sitting and someone had actually given it to the waitress all contents intact. PHEWF! BIG SIGH OF RELIEF!

Monday we made our way back across the island and camped ina provincial park past Corner Brook at a place called Barachois Pond. We saw our first and only moose! Didn´t have time to get a picture though. Had some heavy rain during the night so we had to pack up the tent wet the next morning, yuck.

Tuesday we got to Port-aux-Basques pretty early so we kept going to Rose Blanche (another lighthouse!) which was very picturesque. Then we caught the ferry back to Nova Scotia that afternoon. We had booked another B&B that evening in Sydney as we were getting in late & it was also raining the whole boat ride. At least it was on time.

The next morning it was again pretty grey and we visited the Alexander Graham Bell museum in Baddeck and another stop was at the Glenora whiskey distillery in Glenville (pretty bad road signs to show you the way but we found it).
That night we stayed at the youth hostel in Wentworth. Pretty quiet place. There were only three other people there, a couple from B.C. & a guy from Toronto. Turns out that the guy running the hostel was from the Shore. He even went to the same high school as Tim. Small world...

Thursday was the last leg home. Pretty uneventful save for the spotting of a Florida RV probably worth $400,000 pulling a motorcycle trailer with a Honda Shadow behind which they were pulling...a Hummer H2. Man, now that´s the way to retire!!!

Okay, that´s enough babbling for now, this last week´s events will have to wait...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A good start to the day...

Orange juice, banana, bike ride.

Now it's off to 5 hours of Job Search Skills and 2 1/2 hours of Applied Protein Chemistry lab.

Have a day, eh!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Playing catch up

Well, we're back home now and Newfoundland was most's my first try at a panorama using the stitch feature on my camera

The rest of our (numerous) photos can be seen at

Newfoundland photos