Friday, November 26, 2010

Northern Classic

A little hockey history will be made today.....with Fort McMurray in the spotlight. For the first time ever an outdoor junior hockey game will be held down at Mac Island. The final touches on the outdoor rink were made last week and its quite a sight. Our local Alberta Junior Hockey League team, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (also known as The MOB) will play host to Drayton Valley. I'm not too familiar with the league though I do know that the MOB had a great season last year, making it all the way to the semi-finals. Last time I checked the standings, the Oil Barons were sitting in something like 2nd or 3rd place overall in the league so I'm sure it will make for a great game. Planning for this event has been in the works for some time as I understand it and one of the goals was to break the attendance record for a junior Canadian hockey game. Looks like the organizers managed to beat that record quite handily. The previous record was something like 4400 and from what I've heard through the grapevine at work, the first block of tickets was sold out in 52 minutes. I'm sure it will be a great game and a real feather in the hat so to speak for Fort McMurray.

I wish I could say I could be there to be part of hockey history but alas, my work schedule has me occupied with other plans. Ah well. Let me join the local chorus of die-hard fans though as I shout,"GO MOB GO!"

EDIT - The MOB ended up with a 4-2 victory and set an oudoor attendence record at just over 5700 people.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Womb With A View

As promised here is a picture from our 20-week ultrasound from last week, my favorite of the bunch.


Here are a few pictures of the kids having fun at the brand new pool/waterpark at the rec centre. They had been waiting patiently for over a year for it's big opening. It's a fantastic facility and will provide an opportunity for the kids to have fun and burn off some energy over the coming winter months.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Welcome To My Womb

I'm having minor technology issues here but I did want to get up a picture from our 20-week ultrasound before too much longer. You can catch a glimpse of Junior(ette) here courtesy of Lisa's Facebook page. And I promise to have a few more pictures up before too much longer.

Remembering Warmer Days

So this summer wasn't the greatest. It was much rainier and cooler than expected. Now Mother Nature has thrown another punch as we've been socked with some pretty frigid temperatures this past week. It makes from some pretty cold mornings at work though once you get moving of course it isn't so bad. I suppose I shouldn't complain as I keep hearing we can expect a colder than normal winter here this year. One a brigher note, we seem to have escaped the worst of the snowfall that's nailed other parts of the West. Still, there are moments that I long look back at these pictures and long for a little more heat...and some fall colour.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Earlier this week we went in to the hospital here for our 20 week ultrasound. It sure was a lot more convenient than having to drive all the way down to Edmonton as we did for the last one. The plan was to take a few pictures and some video but we discovered at the last minute that the one set of batteries were dead and we couldn't find the right kind of batteries we needed in the store here for the second one. We were hoping to learn if our new arrival would be a girl or a boy....and the answer is......we actually aren't sure yet. The technician told us she thought it might be a boy but it was too difficult to tell. It MAY have been a penis but baby had its legs closed and wasn't cooperating so it may have been the umbilical cord. Lisa is pretty confident its a girl however given her past pregnancy experience so I guess we'll just have to wait for now.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Knowing Where You Stand

Getting home from work entails using a couple of different buses. The first bus (a big yellow one.....woo hoo!) takes me from my work site to a transfer point where I board a larger (and much more comfortable) coach for the ride back into the city. (Thanks, Diversified Buslines. What would we ever do without you?) Anyhow, at my transfer point, the bus turns off onto a siding where a pretty curious sign can be found. Now, I'd love to be able to have a picture of it but there is a very strict policy regarding the use of cameras and cell phones on site so you'll just have to take my word for it. I've been passing this sign almost everyday for the past couple weeks now and everyone seems to comment on it. As you turn onto the siding, you see a large white sign with large black lettering. It reads "BUS AND HAZARDOUS MATERIAL ACCESS ONLY".

Yikes. I didn't realize I was that toxic.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Into The Oil Patch

I've finished up my first shift with my new employer and have to say I'm pleased with how things are going so far. Apparently, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Taking a step back from a career you've been in for 10 years and looking for change has had its own unique challenges, setbacks and general moments of angst but I've managed to pull it off. I started a new position up at the Suncor site late last month which has me on a 10 days on/4 days off rotation. Today is the start of a little R and R. It's primarily an outdoor job and more physically demanding than what I'm used to but I have to say the body is holding out good so far. I actually find myself with a lot more energy now that I'm on the move and not stuck to a desk so much.

I now work with a major contractor that deals with scaffolding and the first couple days were a major learning curve, trying to remember the names of all the different pieces, how they fit together, what part is stored where and all that fun stuff. Plus, my first weekend on the job just happened to coincide with the annual inventory time. I've now counted, bundled and sorted through more right angles, standards, ledgers and transoms than you can imagine.

Getting to work requires taking a bus up to the Suncor site, a 30km drive that can take well over an hour due to traffic and all the construction going on at the moment. I'm impressed (if I do say so myself) with how well I've adapted to the 4am wake ups. Fort Mac really is a young person's town so I'm a little bit older relative to most of the people I work with but I enjoy the new pace and the energy.

The long hours mean I only get one full weekend off a month but one of the first things I did was to take a permanent marker and write the kids' names on helmet to inspire me during any rough times (as I know there will inevitably will be) that may come up in the future.