Meanwhile in Ottawa

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    Insults In The Dark - 2016 - Bennett Lake
    November 28, 2016
    Travel
    Another year, another fun week of “Insults in the Dark”. The 2016 edition of our annual tradition had us up at a cottage on Bennett Lake, located about 30 minutes NW of Perth, Ontario.
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    The Matriarch's seventieth (or as others say: Mom's 70th)
    November 21, 2016
    Events
    Mom recently turned 70 and to celebrate this event, my sisters and I got our families together to throw mom a weekend party under one roof so we could have some laughs and make good memories. Mission accomplished.
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    Insults In The Dark - 2015 - Charleston Lake
    November 14, 2016
    Travel
    Continuing with the annual tradition of “Insults In the Dark” (a week long buddy cottage getaway that started as a weekend camping thing), we rented a cottage about 45 minutes North West of Brockville. The game of cottage roulette continues.
  • evening picture of the firepit
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    The Firepit
    September 6, 2016
    General
    Dad loved to work on yard projects and his last project of note was the firepit he put in down by the lake I found photos that detail it's construction and thought I would put in chronological order and share them. Enjoy!
  • Alley in old Montreal
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    Montreal: Land of construction and considerate drivers
    August 29, 2016
    Travel
    A two day trip to Montreal with the family turns into a quick reminder of why Montreal is known for their amazing traffic infrastructure and excellent drivers. That said, the amazing culinary experiences far outweigh the urban planning deficiencies.
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    Hooked on HTC Vive and Audioshield
    August 3, 2016
    Musings
    I’m hooked on a game called Audioshield for the HTC Vive. In case you hadn’t heard, Virtual Reality (VR) is finally here for the unwashed masses and the one game I keep coming back to is one that combines both music and dexterity.
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    Make thousands of dollars a week by stuffing envelopes at home. No really.
    July 8, 2016
    Musings
    Ever wonder about those ads about making thousands of dollars by stuffing envelopes at home? I did when was in junior high and satisfied my curiosity. Read on to get the overview of what it's all about and even see the material that I was sent. Classic stuff.
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    Colour profiles and colour spaces and monitors, oh my!
    March 1, 2016
    Musings
    As I delve into the world of photography, it seems everyone must go through the hell of understanding color and how it is interpreted and represented in the digital and online world. This is my journey.
  • Intro for the life of bob peters
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    The life of Bob Peters
    February 4, 2016
    Musings
    It's been over a year now since dad passed and during one of our conversations prior to his passing, he talked about being forgotten. It got me thinking about doing a project to highlight his life and after many weeks of working on it, the final product is now here. Enjoy.
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    Capital VeloFest 2015 - Tour La Nuit
    October 2, 2015
    Events
    The Tour La Nuit event in Ottawa is put on by Capital VeloFest and is a fun 20km night ride that takes place in the fall. I had missed it last year but was determined to go this year and made sure I had lots of 'flair'.
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    My stick man costume attempt using XL Wire
    September 28, 2015
    Events
    I decided to pull a two for one deal and create a glow in the dark stick man costume for Halloween and a night biking event. After much thought, planning and a bit of a work, I came up with version 1.0. Read on to find out about the mysteries of XL wire.
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    Escape Manor or how I failed my first escape room
    September 23, 2015
    Events
    I finally got around to trying an escape room but my first attempt met with failure. From a social psychology perspective, it was just as fun to watch as it was to solve some of the puzzles we came across. I will be definitely going back for more. Read on to find out why we failed.
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    Life of an estate executor
    September 18, 2015
    Musings
    The life of an estate executor is not all glamorous and exciting like they portray it to be on TV. Wait a minute... they don't show it like that at all. While you can find many a website that covers the basics of being an executor, I thought I would share ten things that will greatly help anyone who takes on this role.
  • Hearthstone logo
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    What I've Been Playing: Hearthstone
    August 22, 2015
    Musings
    For the past few months, I've been playing a game called Hearthstone which was developed by the same people who put out World of Warcraft. This game is more accessible to the casual gamer as it is an online collectible card game that touts itself as being "Deceptively simple, insanely fun." While I agree with that statement, I think they should have added "highly addictive" to it as well.
  • I'm back. Again...
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    I'm back. Again.
    August 22, 2015
    Musings
    So I've been absent from my website for nearly a year now but it's not because I haven't been busy or because I didn't want to post. For those who know me, my father's health and passing were a big focus for me over the past 12 months but couple that with a house move, executor duties, a broken elbow and a few other things sprinkled in there among the regular life duties that we all have and I found myself wanting to use my downtime for other pursuits.
  • Stony Swamp - trails
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    Ottawa - Stony Swamp
    September 5, 2014
    Mountain Biking
    Stony Swamp is a great place to go for a quick mountain bike ride and I've included a short video of me doing what I love to do (after the break). It is also a good place for budding mountain bikers who are not afraid to get dirty, I would highly recommend going with a friend and take your time to explore what the area has to offer.
  • The face of the Astrological Clock
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    Backpacking in Europe – Czech Republic (Prague)
    August 29, 2014
    Travel
    The next stop on our European backpacking tour was Prague in the Czech Republic. A few nerve wracking experiences didn't stop us from having a great time. Good cheap food, mind blowing architecture and blacksmiths - what is there not to like?
  • Darcy gets crushed by a German blacksmith
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    Backpacking in Europe - Germany
    August 2, 2014
    Travel
    On the next part of our trip, Stephanie and I discover historic Germany where make some new friends, visit many landmarks, visit a chocolate museum and get to experience the joy of supplementary costs on our 'unlimited' travel pass.
  • The quintessential clog boat - believe it or not, the Canadian flag is what caught my eye.
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    Backpacking in Europe – Netherlands
    July 30, 2014
    Travel
    As the first installment of my Europe series, we land in Amsterdam, Netherlands to start our European trip. We are shocked by their museums, red light district and the prices at McDonalds. We also found the cheapest place in the world to drink but there's a catch.
  • European Union Flags
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    Backpacking in Europe - Student Style
    July 15, 2014
    Travel
    I recently found an old travel log of when I backpacked through Europe and thought I would share. Back when I was a student, I spent a year studying in Scotland at the University of Strathclyde as part of Carleton's University Exchange Program. It was definitely a personality defining year for me and it played a big part in shaping who I am today and I think back on that year with fond memories.
  • Warning: Standing with the Sequoias will make you feel small
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    Sequoia National Park
    July 10, 2014
    Hiking
    Those close to me know that I'm not fan of going back to previous travel destinations but Sequoia National Park is one of the exceptions. I've been there twice and I would definitely go back for a third visit if the opportunity arose. In my youth, I had always heard stories of the giant Sequoias and always wanted to stand beside them. When I finally got to see them, I was not disappointed. Read on to see just how big these trees really are.
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    Mental Suicide - A short story by Arnold Peters
    July 6, 2014
    Musings
    Arnold Peters is a legend in my family. His stories, escapades and accomplishments are still talked about in our family today despite the fact he passed away almost 18 years ago. Aside from being my grandfather, he was a farmer, a father, a husband, a miner, an air force mechanic, a union organizer and a Member of Parliament. I'm sure he has other titles but those are the ones I know of and while digging through some boxes at my father's place last summer, I can now add something else to the list. A writer. Read on to read his original short story: Mental Suicide.
  • Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park
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    Gros Morne National Park
    June 15, 2014
    Backpacking
    I don't know what it was that pulled us towards Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland. Maybe it was the fact that it was on the opposite side of the country than our previous epic trip (West Coast Trail) or maybe because it was something different than what we usually do. Whatever it was, Chris, Sarah and I decided that we were going to combine both unmarked map and compass hikes: The North Rim Traverse and The Long Range Traverse.
  • I love me some barrel sauna time! In the distance, you can see another cottage. Lots of privacy.
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    Insults In The Dark - 2013 - Fiddler Lake Resort
    June 9, 2014
    Travel
    While on our last Insults in the Dark summer trip, we kept driving by the resort so I got curious and looked it up online. It was pretty swanky and we joked about going there the following year. Fast forward 8 months and it was planning time again and as usual, it was tough nailing down a weekend where everyone was free. As a result, our choices were limited on where to go and the resort we joked about going to became a reality.
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    Ottawa Comic Con - 2013
    May 18, 2013
    Events
    Ottawa Comic Con 2013 has passed and it was a success. Bigger, better organized and more people. Read past the break to find out what were some of the highlights and to see the cosplay.
  • The ghost branding deparment was in fine form when they did this bike
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    Enter the Ghost: HTX Lector 2977
    May 7, 2013
    Mountain Biking
    Summer is here and it took some doing but I finally got my new bike. Ladies and Gentlemen, say hello to the Ghost HTX Lector 2977. Big kudos to MEC customer support for coming through for me on this one!
  • Success vs Failure
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    Accomplishments vs. Failures
    January 5, 2013
    Musings
    I've always been curious as to why people appear to be more interested in other people's failures vs. their accomplishments. Is it out of curiosity? Is it because deep down inside they feel better about themselves if they see other people fail? Or is it perhaps because some people just delight in the genuine misfortune of others? What do you think?
  • The Whining Demotivator. Professional soccer players have this down to a fine art.
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    The 2013 Despair Demotivator Collection
    December 30, 2012
    Musings
    While some people thrive on motivational posters, I do not fall into that group. What I do enjoy though is the merchandise put put by despair.com! In particular, I quite enjoy their annual demotivator posters and I thought I would share this years crop with you.
  • Who can resist a sign like that?
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    Rappelling at Cape Enrage
    November 27, 2012
    General
    While driving through New Brunswick, I happened upon a little place called Cape Enrage which sits in the Bay of Fundy. I was pulled in by the promise of a rappelling adventure. Once I got there, I noticed a lighthouse, a restaurant, a gift shop and a sign pointing to adventure. Skipping the other stuff, I headed over and signed up for the fun stuff.
  • Darcy trudging through the muddy/grass parts
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    Rideau Trail
    November 20, 2012
    Mountain Biking
    The Rideau Trail is a 305km hiking trail that was developed back in 1971. Meant for anything but biking, Chris and I decided to bike it. Not one of our better ideas but it definitely created some long lasting memories and tested our endurance.
  • Video Games Live Level 2
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    Video Games Live - 2012 - Level 2
    November 2, 2012
    Events
    Video Games Live is a traveling video game concert that includes composers, conductors, orchestras and choirs as part of their group. Yes, video game music has come a long way since the beeps of Pong and Asteroids. Jump in to see what it is all about and listen some classics that you may recognize.
  • The grotto area along the Bruce Peninsula trail.
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    Bruce Trail - Peninsula Section
    October 28, 2012
    Hiking
    Chris, Sarah and I decided to do a portion of the Bruce Trail as part of a weekend trip. The Bruce Trail itself stretches from the Niagara Peninsula all the way up to Tobermory. As you can imagine, the landscape changes quite a bit over a trail that long so we figured we would hike a section that allowed us to follow the coast line of Georgian Bay so we could take in the coastline views and finish in Tobermory itself. I had done this once before and was ill prepared. This time was different.
  • The goofball shot of the tourist standing with one foot on either side of the equator.
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    Ecuador
    October 18, 2012
    Travel
    When I tell people I decided to spend 3 weeks on vacation in Ecuador, the typical question I get is "why there?". My typical response is "why not?". My goal was to go to a place where there would not be thousands of tourists armed with cameras and camcorders. Well Mission accomplished.
  • A flowerpot formation on a rainy and misty day
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    Georgian Bay - Flowerpot Island
    October 2, 2012
    Hiking
    One can find Flowerpot Island in the Georgian Bay, not far from the tourist trap known as Tobermory. So what's so special about this island aside from the fact that it houses a nation park and an 1800 year old dead cedar tree? Well I don't like to give hints but the island name should be the give-away. Read on to find out more about these odd looking formations.
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    Algonquin Park - Minnesing Trail
    September 24, 2012
    Mountain Biking
    Minnesing Trail. Lots of good but exhausting memories. Found in Algonquin Park, Minnesing Trail is a moderately difficult one way trail that was created for mountain bikes. It starts off fairly easily and then ramps up. Fear not, if you realize that you may be in over your head from an endurance point of view, you can tap out by taking one of the smaller loops so you can exit to freedom. Read on to find out more about one of my favourite mountain biking trails.
  • My Schwinn Homegrown Factory - in less clean times
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    To Schwinn no more
    September 13, 2012
    Mountain Biking
    Farewell my Homegrown Schwinn. We spent many years together and saw lots of trails but it's time to move on. Find out what happened to one of the best bikes I've ever ridden.
  • Stunt car driving at Mosport Park
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    Stunt Car Driving at Mosport
    September 10, 2012
    General
    I've always wanted to take a stunt driving course and thanks to a birthday present from my wife, I was finally able to do that. The course was put on by "Wings and Slicks" and despite the cool & wet weather, it turned out to be a great day. Read on to find out just how much fun we had.
  • Snowshoeing - Mt. Marcy - Take 2
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    Snowshoeing - Mt. Marcy - Take 2
    August 31, 2012
    Winter
    Chris, Sarah and I decided to head back to the Adirondacks to try and reach the top of Mt. Marcy. After our near disastrous first attempt, we had acquired a lot of experience and had fixed the group dynamics so we were destined to make it to the top this time. Or were we?
  • Muddy as all can be
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    Mont-Sainte-Anne
    August 31, 2012
    Mountain Biking
    It was my first experience with downhill mountain biking and Mont-Sainte-Anne was not very nice to me. To say that it was pleasant would be a lie. I went on the opening weekend (for the mountain biking season) which was June 1st and you think that the weather would have been fantastic right? Well how does 10c (50F) with driving winds and rain sound to you?
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    Haliburton Forest
    August 30, 2012
    Mountain Biking
    Haliburton Forest is a privately owned forest that is 70,000 acres in size and has 300km of trails for cross country skiing, snowmobiling and mountain biking. In short, it is a mecca for people who love to explore on trails. I fully intend to revisit this place as it has a lot to offer.
  • Getting ready to scuba dive at the Prescott docks on the Saint Lawrence River
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    Scuba diving at Prescott Docks (Saint Lawrence River)
    August 28, 2012
    Water
    The Prescott docks along the Saint Lawrence is a popular spot as it is frequented by diving schools for the open water certification courses. Sometimes busy, it is a great spot for beginners as you are close to lots of people and you got a chance to get some great eats afterwards.
  • Apple Logo - 2012
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    Steve Jobs and Apple: Masters of refinement, not innovation
    August 26, 2012
    Musings
    I realize that this may ruffle a few feathers but I strongly think that Steve Jobs greatest accomplishment was redefining the word innovate. I believe that Steve Jobs and Apple are masters of refinement but not innovation. Want proof? Read on to find out how Apple merely improved upon other designs.
  • Chris and Sarah walking on the beach before the tide comes in
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    West Coast Trail
    August 23, 2012
    Backpacking
    Backpacking the West Coast Trail is an adventure of a lifetime and it ranks as my all time favourite backpacking trip. If you ever get the chance to do it, you should jump at it. The West Coast Trail claims to be one of the top backpacking trails in the world and with good reason. Read on to find out what makes it so amazing.
  • Matt and Michelle's first canoe trip together
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    Frontenac Provincial Park
    August 20, 2012
    Canoeing
    Frontenac Provincial Park has some amazing canoeing/backpacking trails and it's one of my favourite spots to visit. I've been there a number of times for day hikes but I once did a 6 person canoe trip which included a couple who were new to the portaging scene. I was given the role of food police for Matt and Michelle as we had to trim the weight from their packs since some of the portages were quite long. Despite the inspection, Matt still managed to sneak in some heavy food.
  • Taking a break to enjoy the view while up at domaine-st-bernard
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    Snowshoeing - Domaine Saint-Bernard / Mont Tremblant
    August 19, 2012
    Winter
    During a week-long trip up at Mont Tremblant with a buddy of mine, we were fortunate enough to get out to the Domaine-Saint-Bernard for an afternoon of snowshoeing. Lots of trails, great views and relatively quiet compared to the life on the mountain. If one wanted, they could choose to stay on site as well as there are hostel-like dorm rooms available.
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    Cafe Del Mar Overload
    August 19, 2012
    Musings
    Back in '97, I was introduced to a song called Cafe Del Mar which is a trance song that was done by a group called Energy 52. The song has become so popular in the trance world that it has spawned a crazy number of remixes. Something about the song resonates with me and when I first got a hold of the song, I had four remixes. I listened to those songs endlessly and I eventually branched out and found more and more remixes. I was hooked.
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    Ottawa to Kingston - Road
    August 18, 2012
    Mountain Biking
    There are a dozen ways to get from Ottawa to Kingston on a road bike and they all take you through small picturesque towns. Not a particularly tough trip is you go in a group of bikers where one can draft off your fellow riders, talk to them and speed along on your feather light road bike with your ultra thin tires. A different story when you are a steel framed mountain bike with knobby tires.
  • A heavy spring flow in the adirondacks
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    Adirondacks - Mt. Marcy - Take 1
    August 12, 2012
    Backpacking
    While I settled on the current title for the name of this adventure, "Trial by fire in the Adirondacks (or how Ikea tealights saved us)" is a lot more descriptive of how it went down. This was my first real backpacking trip and I can honestly say that it taught me most of the lessons I needed to learn for all my future backpacking trips. Painful lessons but at least I didn't have to take a survival course to learn them right?
  • One of my brave yet foolish moments where I chose not to wear the bandana over my mouth
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    ATV - Mexico
    August 9, 2012
    General
    I grew up in the era of the injury prone three wheeler and as a result, I never got a chance to play on them. I was more a snow machine guy but I always wanted to play around on a quad bike so when I got the chance to try one while at a wedding in Mexico, I was all in.
  • Me, standing at the base of the falls during the spring runoff
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    Ottawa - Lusk Falls
    August 8, 2012
    Hiking
    Lusk Falls is the worst kept secret of the National Capital Region. It is my favourite hike to do in the Ottawa area and it is found in a quiet part of the Gatineau Hills. Why does it top my list for best trail? Read on to find out.
  • Insults in the dark 2012 - The cottage we stayed at
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    Insults In The Dark - 2012
    August 6, 2012
    Travel
    Another IITD and another fun year. We did another cottage trip and managed to snag a rental up near St-Sauveur (within a 30 minute drive). We hiked, played board games, read, watched the Olympics and a bit of Netflix, kayaked, swam and biked. I also managed to get caught up on sleep. This place was pretty sweet despite the fact that the owner was in his cottage which was 100 feet away from where we were staying.
  • I'm back.
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    Up and going
    August 1, 2012
    Musings
    After many years of reworking my website in various technologies from simple plain HTML, ASP.net, MVC3, my original site was never relaunched and life just kind of got a hold of me so I never got around to relaunching it. I had a bit of a revelation last year when my uncle passed and I realized that I needed to do this.