Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A drink before retiring...

A drink before bedtime is something I've really come to enjoy. Lately, I've had the pleasure of getting to know two new favourites - Murphy's Irish Stout and Laphroaig Scotch Whisky. Murphy's is a smooth, creamy ale with hints of chocolate and coffee, and goes down like mother's milk. I'm not a huge fan of dark beers, usually, and I've never liked Guiness, but Murphy's is great, and you can get it at 7-elevens around Taiwan, so it's easy to pick up. I've been told by British friends that Murphy's is an old ladies drink in the UK, but whatever. I like it fine.

A couple of months ago, I was presented with a bottle of 30 year old Scotch whisky from the Laphroaig Distillery on the Isle of Islay, Scotland by a friend departing Taiwan. This is maybe the most interesting Scotch I've ever tasted. It has a strong flavour, very peaty, and a little pungent. From their website: The aroma, on pouring the 30 year old, gives an initial burst of sherry, the full profound depth and roundness of sweet fruit then becomes apparent followed by a tantalising hint of Islay peat. On tasting, all the traditional Laphroaig personality comes through, allied with a succulent, heavy roundness that belies the massive depth and power of this outstanding and unique single malt. Some consider it the finest of all Islay single malts. I still think Glenmorangie, finished in sherry or port wine casks, is my overall favorite, because it's an "easier" Scotch, but when I drink the Laphroaig, I tend to get lost in thought a little more, and that's a nice feeling.

Slainte Mhath!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Trudi & Gustav

Trudi & Gustav, originally uploaded by Maoman.

When Trudi is snacking in her chair, Gustav is never far away, which is great, as it means our floors are always spotless!

Standing Happy

Standing Happy, originally uploaded by Maoman.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Trudi can say "Da-da"

This is from last month already, but I just got around to putting it up now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The eleventh hour

The 11th Hour is a new documentary from Leonardo DiCaprio about the state of humanity and the world. I don't know if this documentary is any good, but I'll watch it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

How to do a typhoon weekend right.

Friday: Waited for the nanny to come to our house to take care of snookums. Went to work, only to find out that there wouldn't be any. Yay! And because our schools semester is tied to the calendar, and not to the number of classes taught, typhoon days are considered "acts of God" and don't need to be made up/refunded. Figuring that Saturday would also be a vacation, we left a message on the school's machine saying that the school was closed for the weekend.

Knowing that the nanny was at home with the baby, V and I decided to make a night of it. We had a lovely meal with wine at Carnegie's, running into a number of the usual suspects there. My steak was fantastic, and I really enjoyed the house red. We also bought a truckload of takeaway Indian curry dishes from Carnegie's, and V ordered a pasta/pesto/seafood dish to eat the next day. After dinner, we went to Warner Village, shared some ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, bought some donuts for the nanny and her husband (to alleviate our guilt), and a couple of donuts to enjoy while we watched a movie (The Bourne Ultimatum). It was our first movie since our daughter was born last December, so we enjoyed it. The theatre was quite empty, and there were no annoying people using cell phones during the movie, so my aggravation levels were at an all time low.

Saturday: The wind was howling, but we went for a walk on the lobby level of Lotus Hill - lots of wind, but thanks to covered pathways, no rain or flying debris. Trudi and Gustav particularly enjoyed themselves. Then we went to Costco, which was very uncrowded. We bought some essentials, and then headed home for a nap. We heated up the Carnegie's takeaway we had bought the evening before, had a fabulous curry feast of, watched some more TV, and then I taught my wife to play Risk. She enjoyed it, even though she lost. (I'm an old hand at Risk, and show beginners no mercy.) We played into the wee hours and then hit the sack.

Sunday: Today woke up late, made a pot of fresh coffee, French toast with a dollop of sour cream, fresh raspberries and maple syrup, and some Costco bacon there is none finer).

This afternoon, took the dog out for a walk, and shaved and showered. Best weekend I've had in years!

Ferry from Quathiaski Cove to Campbell River

Getting on the ferry to from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay

Heriot Bay Marina

Heriot Bay Afternoon

Aroma Cafe on Quadra Island

Strolling on the dock of Camp Homewood

Island Evenings in Canada

Kerry and Colleen's Place in Campbell River, British Columbia

Vanessa and I had a lovely dinner at Kerry and Colleen's house in Campbell River. We were sorry that we only had the one evening together!

Trudi strikes back against the papa-razzi!

This was on the ferry to Campbell River from Quadra Island.

Heriot Bay Inn

V and I enjoyed a supper of fish and chips at the Heriot Bay Inn.

Evening ferry from Campbell River, BC to Quadra Island

As soon as we boarded the ferry, I could hear the bagpipes. With camera in hand, I went to investigate...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Home again...

Well, we're back in Taiwan again. Vanessa and I had taken some of our buxiban students to summer camp in British Columbia, and done a bit of touring with them as well. We had a great time, and took hundreds of pictures. Here's a video of jellyfish that I took at the Vancouver Aquarium: