March 13, 2009

Well, I promised updates, and then I go AWOL…what do you do? We all have our weaknesses right? It may because there really hasn’t been much to report recently but I’ll see what I can dig up…

I think the most impressing “thing” (for lack of a better word) that has happened since I’ve come here is the Thane Road avalanche. First, I’ll give you a little background on the roads here in Juneau. Or maybe I should say, the lack thereof…

Although Juneau is not an island, by ANY stretch of the imagination, it is “landlocked”. The main road through Juneau is about 40 miles (64 km for my metric friends…) from end to end. Yes, it ends at both tips. From downtown Juneau, you can head north about 30 miles (albeit beautiful miles) and then you run into the ocean. Or, you can head south about 10 miles and just plain run out of road. That 10 miles is known as Thane Road and as become one of my most feared roads. As you drive out Thane you have the Gastineau Channel on one side and a steep mountain side up the other, and as a result it is known for it’s avalanches. A dear friend of ours, in his mid 90’s, having lived here 70 odd years out on Thane, is able to predict to the day when an avalanche is coming. Apparently, when it snows heavily one and then warms up a few degrees and turns to rain the next, an avalanche is as good as guaranteed, in his mind.

On February 8th that’s exactly what happened. We’d had a huge dump of snow, 8 inches or so, and then it go beautifully warm and yes, poured rain. This is a picture a few weeks later from across the channel, even after a bunch of avalanche shooting and plowing.

img_25021

Luckily, no one was hurt, but that hasn’t always been the case with Thane Rd avalanches. It is the only road into town for the residents out there. Another good friend of ours had a scare of a lifetime when her late husband was caught in an avalanche and swept out into the channel. Luckily the tide was out. (Let it be noted is was NOT the avalanche that killed him!)

Nothing like adding a little excitement to your drive into or home from work! 🙂

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Stinky Feet

June 18, 2008

There is a very very sick person playing a very very sick joke. There was a 6th foot found on the coast of Western Canada today. The fifth was found just last Monday, and they have been mysteriously been showing up on the beach since last fall. I guess there are some suspicions that it has to do with a plane crash off the coast a while ago, which I guess, would be the more pleasant solution (in a very messed up kind of way). But without thinking too much about it, it is actually a little humorous. I mean, how strange is it that severed feet, still in their shoes, none the less, continue to wash up on shore! And even better, all except the one found on Monday were right feet/shoes. Methinks someone has a left shoe fetish! (ew!)

Sixth foot found on B.C. shore

Globe and Mail Update

Another human foot has been discovered on a B.C. shore, the sixth such grisly discovery in the last ten months.

RCMP in Campbell River on Vancouver Island said a local woman strolling a beach found an Adidas sneaker this morning, containing what appears to be a man’s foot.

“It’s certainly suspicious,” Sergeant Mike Tresoor said in an interview.

“A lady walking on the beach alerted us to this. … It appears to be human remains. We haven’t absolutely confirmed it – it will be confirmed through a pathologist.”

It appears to be a man’s right foot, size 10. The first four were also right feet.

All six have been found either near the mouth of the Fraser River or on beaches along the Strait of Georgia, a relatively small portion of the province’s vast shoreline.

The latest find is just minutes away from where a float plane crashed and sank three years ago. Four bodies were never recovered.

Kirsten Stevens, whose husband was the only passenger whose remains were located, was at the spit in Campbell River Wednesday trying to find out more on behalf of the families of the missing men.

“We are so frustrated,” she said. Efforts to determine if there is a DNA match between the victims and the feet that have washed up are continuing.

“Aw gosh, this is the same spit where the plane took off from, it’s a constant reminder of the lack of closure,” she said in an interview.

The story of the severed feet has generated growing interest worldwide with the discovery of each succeeding foot. Stories have been written for or picked up by the BBC, Fox News, CNN, the Associated Press and many others.

The six feet, while not yet identified, do have some common characteristics: All have been found inside running shoes, buoyant because of their thick, air-filled soles.

Police have released few details on the sixth and fifth feet, but the other four showed signs of disarticulation, which means the foot separated naturally from the leg, not through severing that would prompt speculation of foul play.

The location of the finds has prompted ocean current experts to suggest that the feet all could have been washed down the mighty Fraser River.

The first right foot was found Aug. 20 on Jedidiah Island in the Strait of Georgia. On Aug. 26, another right foot was found inside a man’s size 12 Reebok sneaker on nearby Gabriola Island.

A third was found in the same area, on the east side of Valdez Island, on Feb. 8.

The fourth foot was found May 22 on Kirkland Island in the Fraser River, only a kilometre away from the site in Ladner, along the same river where the fifth foot was found on Monday.

The fifth foot – the first left foot – was inside a size 10 black Adidas running shoe

R.I.P. Luc Bourdon

May 30, 2008

Very sad news all over our papers today.  Yet another example of why I hate motercylces. 😦

Bourdon got motorcycle licence only two weeks before fatal crash

SHIPPAGAN, N.B. — Luc Bourdon received his motorcycle licence just two weeks before his bike veered into the path of transport truck in northern New Brunswick, killing the promising NHL defenceman instantly.

RCMP investigators said Friday that Bourdon’s inexperience may have played a role in the death of the Vancouver Canucks rookie. Bourdon’s uncle, Robert Boucher, said his nephew dedicated himself so much to hockey that he took no time off in the last five years as he pursued his dream of playing in the NHL.

Boucher said Bourdon came home to Shippagan earlier this week for a one-month vacation so he could play golf and hang out with his friends.

So many of those friends own motorcycles that Bourdon decided to buy one, too.

“He loved to have fun,” Boucher said in French during a news conference at the town hall in Shippagan, an Acadian community of 3,000 about 250 kilometres northeast of Fredericton.

“Like anyone who is 21, he loved motorcycles. He wanted to buy a bike. That was his choice.”

Bourdon was the first-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks, 10th overall, in the 2005 NHL draft.

He also played a key role in Canada’s gold-winning teams at the 2006 and 2007 world junior championships and was expected to have a bright future on the Canucks blueline.

Bourdon was named to the all-star team at the 2006 world juniors. At the 2007 event in Sweden, Bourdon scored the third-period goal that tied the game and forced overtime against the U.S. in the semifinal game.

Bourdon split last season between Vancouver and Manitoba of the American Hockey League. He played 27 games with the Canucks, scoring two goals and collecting 20 penalty minutes.

Boucher described his nephew as a fun-loving guy who “liked to be crazy and do crazy things.”

“He was always ready to help people out – people in the family and others as well,” he said.

“We lost our little Luc, but I think that Shippagan as well has lost someone important.”

RCMP Insp. Roch Fortin suggested weather might also have been a factor in the crash. He said the wind was gusting heavily at the time of the accident on a winding, two-lane road between Shippagan and Lameque.

He said Bourdon’s bike crossed the centre line and collided head-on with the truck.

“The truck driver tried everything is his power to avoid the accident,” Fortin said.

The crash occurred not far from Bathurst, where another sports-related accident in January killed seven members of the Bathurst High basketball team and an adult.

Anna Boucher, Bourdon’s great-aunt, said his family is struggling to cope with his death.

“It’s so sad,” she said. “He was a good guy.”

She said that although Bourdon’s NHL career took him to Vancouver, he often returned to Shippagan and gave back to the community.

“He came to the arena and he used to talk to all the little guys there and he used to play hockey with them,” she said from her home in Shippagan.

Boucher recalled that sports were Bourdon’s driving passion in life and he excelled at many, including hockey and golf.

Jacques Robichaud lives across the street from Luc Bourdon’s father.

“Naturally, the community is saddened,” Robichaud said in French. “We all followed his hockey career from the beginning.”

Flags at Shippagan’s town hall were flying at half-mast.

So this just takes the cake! Vancouver has all kinds of stereotypes (most of which are socially incorrect so I won’t go there) but this has got to be one of the best! We are known for our bad drivers…perhaps in some parts of the city more than others but I’ll just leave it the generalization of “Vancouver”. This article is priceless and only justifies this stereotype even more!

Canada’s Worst Drivers looking for Vancouver ‘talent’

Last season’s worst driver is from city, year before from Lower Mainland

John Colebourn, The Province

Published: Wednesday, April 09, 2008

There’s no shortage of talent around the Lower Mainland when it comes to bad drivers. That’s why a crew from the hit Discovery Channel Show Canada’s Worst Drivers is coming back to find more suitable candidates for the upcoming season.

“There’s some dreadful drivers in the Vancouver area,” said Guy O’Sullivan, the executive producer of the hit television series.

“We don’t know exactly why.”

In last season’s production, Vancouver’s Jason Zhang, 42, was found to be the worst driver. The year before, Michael Telford, another Lower Mainland resident, was given the dubious honour.

“I’ve never been comfortable driving,” Zhang said yesterday. “The problem for me was I never learned how to drive properly. I’m just not confident on the road.”

Despite efforts by the crew of the series last season to improve his driving habits, Zhang said he will not be driving a car any time soon.

“There are bad drivers everywhere,” said Zhang, who commutes by bus. “You can’t say Vancouver is the only place there are bad drivers.”

The ultimate goal of the TV series is to teach the terrible drivers some correct driving procedures. According to O’Sullivan, Zhang should not drive at all.

“He was the person we made the least improvement with,” he said.

The Toronto-based O’Sullivan said the crew goes out with the drivers to see how bad they really are.

“We will spend a few hours testing them,” said O’Sullivan of the worst of the worst. “You can tell a bad driver pretty quickly.”

In some cases, he said, his crew has come back “ashen-faced.”

“It’s like a career in the army. You really are on the front lines.”

O’Sullivan said he doesn’t know why Vancouver seems to have an inordinate number of bad drivers.

“That’s the great mystery to us,” he said, “how they got their licence in the first place.”

 

And the BEST part….check out this comment:

Boo Hoo
Wed, Apr 9, 08 at 10:36 AM
Forget Vancouver – save your time and visit Richmond. You will find the worst of the worst right here. Richmond, the land where the most common vehicle is the Autobody Courtesy Car.
WELCOME TO VANCOUVER!!! 😀

What has our nation come to that this is how our children deal with confusion? We are all entitled to how we feel about life issues, but do we really have to go to this extreme to enforce our own opinion? In my world, the actions this boy took were dictated by the negativity, hate and violence that seems to be abounding in our society. Ellen has some good points…it all starts with seemingly harmless jokes, whether it be about religion, race, or sexual preferences. The worst part though…these boys are in grade 8. So that makes them, what, 13??

Wow.

http://ellen.warnerbros.com/2008/02/a_tragedy_that_should_never_ha.php

BAREing it all?

September 12, 2007

kyla-ebert.jpgYou may or may not have already heard about this, but I just read about it and thought it was pretty funny. Recently Kyla Ebert, who was taking a flight from San Diego on Southwest Airlines was asked to deplane and almost not allowed to fly because the outfit she was wearing was supposedly offensive to the other travellers on the “family airline”. This picture shows her in the same outfit that she was wearing that day. I can’t lie, I’m pretty sure I would never be caught dead in a skirt that short, but honestly the outfit was just like any other female college student’s on a hot summer day. Since when, aside from indecent exposure, are we subject to dressing according to the approval of those around us.  Brittany Spears can wear virtually NOTHING on stage and get away with it, yet a random girl dressing according to the season is humiliated in front of dozens of people. Our society never ceases to amaze me.

Rest in Peace Pavarotti

September 6, 2007

luciano-pavarotti.jpgAt 5 am this morning surrounded by family, Luciano Pavarotti, world renowned tenor passed away after a year’s battle with pancratic cancer. He will be missed, but his legend will be remember for centuries to come.

It used to be “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego”…then is was “Where’s Waldo” (or vise versa…I’m not sure) But now it’s “Where the Hell is Matt Harding?” This dude used to do a little dance every day when he’d go into his co-workers office to go for lunch. Somehow…he got the wise the idea to tour the world and dance in every place he visited so he quit his job, got sponsered by Stride and off he went. I saw him on the news this morning…he was just in Vancouver and is starting another world tour but this time it will be based on dancing with people. Pretty funny….kinda cool…check out his video:

and this is an interview with him that explains a little more about why he did this…if you’re interested!

Welcome back Mr. Linden!!

August 27, 2007

This newtrevor-linden.jpgs is a couple days old now, but just sending out props to Trevor Linden being resigned to the Vancouver Canucks!! (even at a meagre $600,000) This may very well be his final year before official retirement and how cool would it be (this is just me dreaming) if they would make him captain once again for his final hurrah?! Naslund is a fine captain, but I don’t honestly think he holds a candle to the heart and commitment that Linden has to this team. The majority of his NHL career has been with our beloved Canucks aside from the moronic year that they traded him away for Bertuzzi. (look how far that got us…) But after a few years he was back once again, big as life and carried on to lead the team!! This will be his 16th season with the Canucks, having played over 1000 games and gaining over 700 points!

Welcome back Trevor Linden!!

Check out his bio and stats on this website.

Death on Wheels

June 14, 2007

I had such a lovely morning this morning. Woke up early, bought a tea then went for a big walk down to kits, around the sea wall, watched the seagulls smash their morning clam breakfast on the beach, chatted with “the man” then wandered up to my traditional little breakfast joint, grabbed a paper and sat down to frenchtoast and bacon. Doesn’t get much better than that. But my perfect morning was dampened by the local news. Right there on the front page was the picture of a young highschool boy who is fighting for his life after a near fatal accident on his dirt bike, and a few pages later was a man, about my father’s age pictured sitting on his new cruiser bike just hours before he was fatally hit on his way to work that day. I grew up around bikes. We had dirtbikes growing up that we used to rip around the field on, we had three wheelers, quads, and my brother even owned a street bike that we used to ride to school on. But that doesn’t mean they’re safe. I really don’t have a problem with bikes. They’re super fun when used respectfully and in the right circumstances. The danger is in those on the streets around you. You can be the most defensive driver, but if someone doesn’t look close enough and doesn’t see you, you don’t have a hope in hell.  My brother’s and my endeavors riding to school lasted just one season. There were far too many close calls and I don’t think I’ve ever ridden with anyone more careful and defensive than him. Maybe it was because he had precious cargo! =) But I’ve had friends who used to get offended when I wouldn’t accept a “joy ride” on thier new set of wheels. And yes, every young guy that I’ve ever known to have a bike, if they’ve even come through it unscathed has not owned their bike for much more than a year. All with the same reason: it’s not worth the risk. If only people could understand this before life comes to a grinding halt as it did for these 2 men.

My love and prayers go out to these two families. Life will never be the same.

I’m sorry.