Anthony on , , 05 Jul 2007 01:00 pm

geocaching.gifOK, I thought I’d spare you the pain about reading more about geocaching while discussing our latest outings, lest you think this was a geocaching blog. However, we did catch a few caches down on Westham Island, and up on the Sunshine Coast too.

One of the caches was just outside the bird sanctuary, down a bit of a trail by the slough that borders the sanctuary. Gwen took some delight at taking a “view from the cache” shot:


There was another cache on the island that was on private land: a farm that had a produce stand. The farm owners have given permission for the cache and I’m pretty sure are actively involved with it. It was a bit of a unique cache: a foam pumpkin in an old seed planting machine on the edge of what I assume was a pumpkin patch. After retrieving the cache, we picked up a couple boxes of fresh raspberries — which I’m pretty sure is the reason that the farmers approve of the cache!

On Sunday, while up on the Sunshine Coast, we picked up a cache right at the narrows. We took a few more pictures since Nana was minding the boy while Gwen & I hunted down the cache. Behold another “view from the cache” as well as pictures of us and the cache site itself.




The narrows themselves are part of an “Earthcache“, which is why you see me holding the GPS in one of the previous photos.

On the way back to the ferry, we picked up a cache near the rock beach you saw in the previous post. We were 4th to find for the cache — the first to find (FTF) happened only the day before. So close!

And, while waiting for the ferry in Langdale, Gwen and her mother picked up another cache inside the ferry waiting area. Not a bad weekend, but now that the weather’s turned hopefully we can grab some more caches next weekend. Maybe we can hit 50 cache milestone!

Anthony on , 29 Jun 2007 10:30 pm

Gwen’s already covered all the salient points, and pretty eloquently too. I thought I’d add my two cents for the sake of completeness. Plus, it makes for a good blog post.

So, as Gwen has noted, it was a rough night to start with. In addition to the restlessness of the boy, the weather has been pretty much the pits. Last night, we were subject to brief periods of torrential rain. It was pretty warm, so all the windows were wide open and these downpours would wake us up every once and a while. It was the type of weather that you’d associate with severe thunder and lightning, but Vancouver so rarely has thunder and lightning, and we didn’t last night.

I woke to a woman shrieking. It was a cry of pain and terror. It was followed shortly by an angry man’s voice and the sound of a dog going nuts.

Before I had a chance to fully appreciate what was going on, I was out of the house barefoot and shirtless heading down the stairs to the alley. Despite the hour (1:30 am?) our condo complex was reasonably well lit. The alley was a different story.

I reached the alley, opened the gate and made my way to the middle of the alley. It wasn’t raining, but it had been recently and the pavement was pitch black. The alley itself isn’t too well lit, but there was some sort of light at the end of the alley as I looked east. This had the effect of backlighting the scene laid out in front of me.

What I saw was a large-ish man dressed in dark clothes straining at the end of a leash. Well, at the business end of the leash was a large dog, pulling, and barking endlessly. It didn’t look like a Shepard, instead it looked like a large pit bull or some other large, muscular dog. Hidden in the darkness of a carport must have been a woman. She was whimpering and crying, but other than that and the dog barking, there seemed to be no other sounds. Certainly the man wasn’t saying anything, nor was he moving.

I took in the scene and tried to make sense of it. There was clearly a woman in some distress, but it didn’t seem that she was actively being harmed. In fact, it seemed that the man had pinned her in the carport with the dog, and was content to keep her there. At this point I was thinking domestic dispute or something, and I yelled down the alley inquiring if everything was alright, and if anything was needed. Clearly it wasn’t alright, but I figured we had to start somewhere.

The shadowed figure said nothing. Possibly he didn’t hear me over the dog barking, but I certainly did get a look. Some sight I must have made too. Anyway, I yelled down the alley again and this time I got a response: “Police”.

Now, this wasn’t the most helpful response in the world. Was he asking for the police? Was he claiming to be the police? Pretty unclear. Regardless, I’d seen enough. I started back into the condo to call 911 when one of our neighbours from the front of the complex came to the alley. After a quick discussion of what was going on, I resumed my journey back inside to call 911. Just as I turned around, though, a police car came down the alley from the east end with lights flashing.

At the same time, two unmarked cars came rushing into the parking lot at the west end of the alley. Two plainclothes officers jumped out and ran down the alley. At that time, it became clear that the man with the dog was a policeman with the dog squad. By this time (only a few short minutes later I’m sure) quite a crowd was gathering in the alley. Another neighbour from our complex was coming down the stairs, and some people from some of the neighbouring condos were poking their heads out. Suddenly feeling rather underdressed and ancillary to the situation I went back inside.

Gwen and her mother were on our balcony (which overlooks the alley) and I went up and joined them. Not much to see. The woman was now angry and was screaming bloody murder, and the police were going about doing their job. I’d seen enough and knew it was going to be an uphill battle getting back to sleep, so I beat it back to bed and started down the path to slumberland. It was going to be another hour and a half before I got there.

After discussing the happenings with folks throughout the day, I’ve come to a few conclusions.

I should have brought a phone with me. A cell phone or our mobile, it doesn’t matter. If there was something unpleasant happening, going back for a phone wouldn’t have been helpful.

Shoes would have been nice.

There was some discussion about going into the alley in the first place. Ali wondered what would have happened if the person had a gun. The thought hadn’t crossed my mind until then. In retrospect, though, I was in the alley before the cogs started turning in my head. Oh well.

Just part of living in a big city, I guess!

Gwen on , , , , , , 29 Jun 2007 07:01 pm

Anthony and I got to sleep sometime after midnight only to be wakened by a horrific scream in the alley out back. The screaming kept on going followed by a man yelling and the woman still screaming bloody murder. (Well no those weren’t her exact words, but it really sounded bad.) There was also a dog (obviously big) barking loudly. The. Whole. Time.

Anthony decided to grab some pyjama pants and run outside to see what was happening. He didn’t take a phone, nor shoes, nor shirt, but went outside and yelled at the couple to see if everything was alright. Mom was up on the balcony and asking if she should call the police, and a bunch of people from the front of our complex came out back to see what was going on. I grabbed some clothes and went upstairs to get the phone that was working so I could call 911 if needed.

The view from the balcony was kind of strange. A number of people were outside in various states of dress, what turned out to be a police officer with a police dog, a couple of plain clothes police officers and unmarked cars, and a woman who was tracked to a garage alcove in the complex behind us after allegedly stealing something. The police officer with the dog was yelling at the bystanders to calm down “She did a thief,” or something to that ungrammatically correct effect. So we had in our alley a “police incident.” It was very loud and frightening (the woman sounded like she was being assaulted,) and a big burst of adrenalin for the second time that night.

I tell you waking up to a woman screaming like that is very very disturbing. I can only thank god that Aidan slept through the whole thing.

Getting back to sleep was difficult. Not only did we have the after effects of the adrenalin push, but it stayed noisy and confusing in the alley for quite a while. About ten minutes after Anthony got back inside (fully admitting that he really should have put on some shoes and brought a phone) it got quite loud outside again. The woman yelling “You have already told me my fucking rights. I don’t want to hear them again.” The police officer(s) obviously telling her again. The paramedics doing something or other but not using the siren. Again I say thank god Aidan didn’t wake up.

I suppose there are several pieces of good news in this scenario.

  1. Anthony wasn’t hurt and now realizes that if you go out to help a screaming woman (he did stay far away and ask if she needed help) you first put on shoes and bring a phone.
  2. Aidan didn’t wake up.
  3. Anthony finished listening to his audiobook since he didn’t get back to sleep till after 3 am.
  4. I realized once and for all that I do not want to be a police officer. (Not that I was actually thinking of changing careers.)
  5. It gives my mom a good story to tell when she gets back home.
  6. I got to use the word “allegedly” in a grammatically correct manner, I think. and
  7. It makes one hell of a blog post.

(Cross posted at Left Coast Mama.)

Gwen on , , , 29 Jun 2007 06:57 pm

Last night started out great. Mom and I went out to dinner and afterwards for a tea and it was lovely. We had a great time and a nice chat. It was really nice to just relax and talk and not worry about the time.

When we got home everyone was tired so we got ready for bed. Anthony and I changed Aidan (boy he hates being woken up and put on his back) so he doesn’t get absolutely soaked through by morning. It has been working, and really since diapers were not getting him through the night, it has been worth it. The previous two nights Aidan just went right back to sleep and didn’t wake until morning. Last night not so much. Yes he went back to sleep, but he decided to wake up (well I think a car woke him up in that critical 30-40 minutes after getting back to sleep) and he let us know in no uncertain terms that he didn’t want to be. Another weird fact is that he didn’t want to go back to bed. He would fall asleep on me but would not go back in to his crib with out screaming, that is until he had time with Daddy as well. Sometimes one parental unit is not enough. He went back down for the night after he had his cuddle with Daddy. If that had been all it wouldn’t be too bad, asleep by about midnight we could handle that. But that was not all . . .

(Cross posted at Left Coast Mama.)

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