Anthony on , , , , 28 Apr 2008 07:21 am

This past weekend was rather busy. Saturday was a rare sunny and warm day, so we decided to try to take full advantage. We started with our regular video chat with Grandma and Grandpa, had breakfast, and then biked down to Granville Island for Ocean Construction Supplies’ annual open house. Last year’s open house was of mixed success. This year was much better.

Ocean is an oddity. It’s a fully functional and operational and industrial concrete plant in the heart of a tourist destination. It actually fits quite well into its environment, with brightly and colourfully painted concrete trucks. (Note: We didn’t actually take any pictures of the cement trucks, so the next shot is by Maurice Jassak as found at

Unlike last year, Aidan was excited to actually get in the cabs of some of the construction vehicles, like this large front-end loader. The cab was ok, but he didn’t want anything to do with the tires, bucket, …

Mommy was allowed to do this, but he didn’t like it very much…

He also sat in the cab of this concrete truck (this photo also by Maurice Jassak)

Part of the fun is a big pile of sand that they put out in the middle of their marshalling yard. They sprinkle this sand pile with Tonka trucks, and it ends up being swarmed by mostly boys, aged 3-6. This shot shows a rare moment when there were no other kids on the edge of the sand pile. Typically it looks like a very confusing hive of bees.

Lastly, he went back to the Bobcat that he sat in last year. This year, the camera survived.

After biking back home, we grabbed some lunch and then headed out geocaching!

We headed down to Delta, just south of Vancouver. There were a number of caches that were placed as part of the BCGA’s Cache Blitz 2008. These ones were rated 1.5/1.5 and there were about a half dozen of them so we figured it was going to be easy going.

It was no such thing. The first cache’s ground zero put us in the middle of a parking lot, with various heavy machinery nearby (a wood chipper, for example). It was right beside Splashdown Park, which was preparing for the coming season, so there were lots of muggles around. And lots of trucks. After poking around for a short while, we stopped. We just weren’t comfortable, and it wasn’t an appropriate area for Aidan.

Our next stop was out in the middle of nowhere, beside a fence post, a drainage ditch, and a pile of discarded building supplies. We searched for a while — the GZ put us in the middle of a field-like area — and then another geocaching crew pulled up. They found it in short order, in the pile of rubbish. I was refusing to look in there, but had pretty much figured it must have been there since it wasn’t anywhere else. I mean, I hate digging through garbage to find caches. What is that teaching Aidan? And, once again, the coords were off.

The third stop was much more satisfying. It was a short walk along the edge of a ball field, and Gwen found the cache within seconds of arriving at GZ.

The last stop was next to the highway, in some trees, surrounded by more trash, in an extremely hilly area. All the found logs noted that it took them forever to find it. We DNF’d this one too. 1.5/1.5? Not a chance. Also not appropriate for Aidan. And the trash again?

I was quite steamed by the end of the caching — quite frustrated. So, we went to DQ, grabbed some ice cream and drove down to Boundary Bay park to overlook the marshes and mud flats and eat some ice cream. It helped considerably.

Back to Vancouver and cleaned the apartment better than it had been cleaned for quite some time! Put the boy to bed and then Carla and Tomer came over and we played Thurn and Taxis for the rest of the night. It’s an interesting 2 player game; I’m not sure if it’s better with 4 or not. Tomer won both times, I’m sure he enjoyed himself.

On Sunday, it rained.  We stayed inside.

Anthony on , , 08 Mar 2008 05:43 pm

Here’s a quick shot of the boy riding his bike last weekend at Douglas Park:


Today we went back to West Point Cycles to look at the Compact Trail-A-Bike. After sitting Aidan on it and adjusting it as much as possible, we made the decision that it was just too big for him. And so, the decision was to get a seat for the back of Gwen’s bike. We got it installed, took it home, had some lunch, and took a bike ride as a family. After some initial uncertainty, it was pretty clear that the boy was thoroughly enjoying himself. Gwen seemed to be having fun too.



So the problem we have now is that due to the odd shape of Gwen’s bike’s frame, it has to be mounted upside down in the bike carrier for the truck. This makes it impossible to have another bike on the carrier (you know, like mine) at the same time because the handlebars of the two bike interfere with each other. We’re still working on that one.

Anthony on , , , 02 Mar 2008 12:49 am

corsa_2_ladies_red.jpgGwen’s birthday came early today. We bought her a new bike. It’s the one shown to the right, a Norco Corsa 2. She got a pretty helmet and a basket to put on the front too.

It met all her requirements: Easy to get in and out of, lighter than her previous bike, and ridable on a number of different surfaces. Plus it has a number of other features: fenders, a full chain guard, V-brakes, trigger shifters (rather than the typical thumb or grip shifters), front shocks, and a seat post shock. She says it’s the softest bike ride she’s ever had.

So now, we need to figure out how to transport Aidan around until he’s proficient on his bike. We’ve looked at seats that sit over the rear tire — but they max out at 40 lbs and Aidan’s about 37 right now. We’ve looked at trailers, but MEC’s write up on them seems to indicate that 12-18 mo age is the sweet spot for trailers. original_folder_compact_silver.jpgWe’ve looked at Trail-A-Bikes (left) and while it’s the alternative I favour, Gwen’s not so thrilled about them and we haven’t been able to try Aidan on one that’s the proper size. A bike shop is bringing some more in and will call us when one of the smaller ones is in so that we can give it a go.

So, hopefully sooner than later we can be a stereotypical Vancouver family toodling around on the seawall with our bikes.

Anthony on , 24 Feb 2008 07:39 pm

Yesterday, my second cousins Hendrik and Andreanna came over, Hendrik with his girlfriend Lisa, and Andreanna with her husband Sean and their kids Nellie and Juliana. Aidan and Nellie and Juliana are third cousins, which is to say, they are the children of second cousins, who are children of first cousins, who are children of siblings. Got that? Aidan’s great-grandmother and Nellie and Juliana’s great-grandfather were siblings.

We got the party started in the usual way, with wine, Guitar Hero III, and mutual humiliation.


We got down to some serious eating, and managed to squeeze everyone around the table:



Nellie liked Aidan’s doll:


And Aidan and Gwen liked Juliana. Aidan was really quite gentle with his baby cousin.



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