Day 2 in Santiago
April 26, 2005

We've had gorgeous weather so far, it has been sunny and about 20 degrees everyday. We've walked around all of Santiago, and have been to all the major attractions. I'd say we've walked on averaged 10kms per day. Food is very cheap here, yesterday for lunch we both had a salad, chicken, rice, a drink, and dessert, and it came to $6. For dinner we went to a traditional Chilean restaurant and I had Pastel de Choclo which is a baked corn cake full of meat, chicken, and vegetables served in a clay pot. It was really good, and that's not just the $3 bottles of wine talking! We took the funicular to the top of Cierro San Christoval today. It's amazing how smoggy this city is. On a clear day you can see the Andes; however, we could hardly make out the city below us. Dayna's bag showed up this morning, she was quite happy to change out of her stinky clothes. The homestay we are living at is quite nice, it is very cental, and close to the metro. We leave tomorrow for Valaparaiso, which is on the coast of Chile. I have uploaded a few pictures to my gallery have a look!

We're here!
April 25, 2005

We've landed in Santiago and have found our room safely. Dayna's bag is lost in transit, and we are hoping that it arrives tomorrow. I bought the tickets on my gold Mastercard, so we think that she can go on a shopping spree to buy some new clothes on them while we wait for her bag.. We are going to cut this entry short, because people are smoking all around us and it's brutal. Off to expore!

2 Sleeps Left
April 22, 2005

The last few days or so I have been in a mad rush to get all the loose ends tied up before we fly into the sunset on Sunday. I mailed off my taxes last night, I was lucky enough to have my friend Leif dp my taxes for me this year, and he ended up saving me a few grand. So if anyone needs a really good accountant he's the man to talk to. My mp3 player FINALLY arrived after 3 weeks of waiting. The woman I ordered it off had to go to a funeral, was sick with the flu, her laptop died, and then the mp3 player got turned back at customs. After searching far and wide I picked the iRiver H320 it has great geek appeal. Reasons it's better than an iPod: it has an FM tuner, it has a large amazing colour screen, it plays videos, and best of all it supports USBOTG which means that I can plug a CF reader into it, and transfer all of our pictures directly to the mp3 player without a laptop, which means that I can store 20Gb of pictures on it while we are in South America. I also updated Dayna's site to a blog, so that she no longer has to be sitting at home in front of Dreamweaver to update it, go check it out!

MCSE 2003
April 18, 2005

As some of you may know, I quit a stable job at Tillica to take on a contract at SRK Consulting back in September. Although there was more risk involved (my contract ends on Friday, and I have no job when I get back from South America) I have learned a lot, and my resume has gotten dramatically better. Part of my commitment to myself (and to my boss Mike) when I took this contract was that I would get my MCSE 2003 in an attempt to make myself more valuable to potential employers. Today I passed my last test, and am now an MCSE 2003! All in all I am extremely happy that I took the risk and went the contract route. It's good to switch jobs once in a while, it helped to motivate me when I was stuck in a rut. I also would not have been able to take 6 weeks off if I was still working as an employee. Now I just have to hope that I can find a job or some more contracts when I get back. If you're in the IT industry and know of someone who needs a Windows guy (who still remembers a little Linux) drop me a line.

RIP Internet
April 16, 2005

Yesterday was a sad day, the internet died. After doing some quick troubleshooting I figured out that it was a Shaw problem, not a me problem. After talking to the helpdesk guy for 30 minutes and explaining that yes I have rebooted my computer, he finally figured out that I had been cut off and that I would have to speak to the "bandwidth department". Apparently we had done about 79 gigs of traffic in March, and that is a nono (the monthly quota is 20 gigs). After calmly explaining that I only have a 1Gb hard drive, and only use the internet for sending email, they turned my internet back on. Apparently I have some sort of spyware, or virus or something. They also think someone might be stealing my wireless. I'm going to have to see if someone can look into that for me. Does anyone know a good computer fixer guy?

Brad is older
April 11, 2005

Brad turned 26 last week, and invited "the guys" to Quadra island for a camping getaway. We thought ahead and got reservations for the 5pm ferry from Horseshoe Bay, and arrived at 4:20 only to be put in the Langdale lane, and end up with an incompetant cashier named Irene. She failed to give us the 5 minute grace period on our reservation, and wouldn't acknowledge that we had waited more than 10 minutes in the wrong lane as the result of a highway worker's mistake. After a lot of arguing we ended up missing our ferry. I ended up talking with the terminal supervisor for about 15 minutes, and we were given a full refund. We got to Quadra on the last ferry and scared the heck out of Adrock by coasting down to the cabin with the lights off, and creeping up to the porch of the cabin. It was a really good, relaxing trip, and there were no casualties other than Adrock falling in the ocean, and Speedo's passenger side door being ripped halfway off. Skarb has posted some pictures here

Google rules..
April 5, 2005

Google has done it again. They have added satellite images to their already amazing maps page for an example click here. The interface is amazing, being able to click and drag the map is wicked.


I'm not sure if its the Vancouver gas companies trying to gouge us, or if the Abbotsford gas stations are losing bundles of money, but gas prices are VERY different. When Dayna goes to class she is filling up for ~70 cents a litre. On my way to work today I saw that gas prices in Vancouver have hit 102.7. The gas station actually had to wedge a fourth number in there because the prices were so high. I'm just glad I drive a Jetta and not a huge SUV. People who have SUVs really must love driving them because I can't imagine filling with $60+ in gas 2 or 3 times a week.

I remember back in the good old days when a high gas price was 49.9. I'm wondering how long it will take (or high the prices have to go) before North Americans follows the European trend and people start moving towards smaller cars. On a related note speedo sent me a link to a new craze, SMART car tipping. I guess cows don't cut it anymore.

Island Getaway
April 3, 2005

My mom's birthday is next weekend, and because I'll be on Quadra for that weekend, Dayna and I went over and celebrated a bit early. We had intended to take Harbour-Air over, but because the weather was really ugly we didn't feel that it was worth the money. The original plan was to spend the weekend on Ruxton, but because of the rain it wasn't worth going. On Saturday we went for dinner with my Aunt Denise, Uncle Rudy, and my cousin Krysta. I hadn't seen Krysta for a while, it was good to see her again and to meet her boyfriend (I had met him at Pete and Sara's wedding, but oddly don't remember). We spent the rest of the time with my parents and their close friends Leo and PJ. We spent Saturday night playing Texas Hold'em for quarters, and then went for a huge walk on Sunday along the Ladysmith waterfront. I ran into Misty at the Horseshoe Bay bus stop. It was great to see her again, and it seems like things are going really well for her. All in all nothing too crazy or exciting happened this weekend, but that was the plan and we got a lot of sleep.


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