Friday, June 20, 2008

I heart PTOs

Personal Time Off days are definitely one of the best perks about my job. Nearly every second week has a long weekend. How can you beat that? With seventeen of them, that's another three weeks off of work...even though you can't stack them. Anyhow, today is a PTO, so I slept in, went for a run and am now lounging on the couch watching Fashion Fridays on CityLine. The weather is absolutely gorgeous outside (in fact the temperature in my condo is currently a brisk 28.5 degrees Celsius). I am longing to be on the golf course, but without any wheels to get me there, and my clubs still in storage, this is a bit difficult.

ooh! From the front page of the Sports Section: I hit a home run at slo pitch last night! And no, Dad, there were no errors involved. And no, everyone else, it was not over the fence. I also got smoked with the ball as I was crossing the line at home plate....right between my shoulder and my back. Ouch. Today it's swollen and feels like a deep bruise. But, I will live.

Well, I should go shower and make some breakfast.

Bye for now.

Oh, P.s. - Brodie and I will be in B.C. from Friday, June 27 to Tuesday, July 1.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rain, rain, go away!

Up until today, the weather in Fort McMurray has been beautiful. I can hardly say the same for Calgary where, for about 6 of the 7 days I was there, it poured rain!

I was in Calgary last week for an off-site meeting, a PTO a two-day training course. Brodie was also off on Friday, so we headed out for a round of 18 at Speargrass Golf Course, located southeast of the city. It was about 9 degrees when we set out, but since there was a rare break in the rain, we decided to take our chances. Well, the 9 degree weather continued and despite the fact that I was wearing a golf skort, we weren't letting anything stand between us and the golf course. After a bucket of balls at the range and the purchase of golf pants at the pro shop, we were on the first tee box. It took us 3 hrs and 30 minutes to finish 18 holes and luckily the massive storm that had originally started making its way for us was rerouted to the south. As soon as we finished, we packed up and drove back into the city. After about 2 minutes on the road, it started to pour. Whew - just in time! I shot a 102 and am still looking to break the 100 mark. I've shot 100s, 101s, 102s, 108s and more, but I still cannot bring myself to get under the 100 barrier. This year I'm doing it.

Friday afternoon we set out car shopping. We'd been up to the Country Hills Toyota dealership on Thursday evening, but after a little research on a used 2007 Rav4, we decided it was scarily underpriced and the fact that the salesman's first words to us about the vehicle were "You don't want this one, it's a lemon" (although 15 minutes later he said he talked to his manager and that one wasn't actually the lemon, it was a "white one they have that they're not allowed to sel", we decided to look elsewhere. Friday took us to Canyon Meadows Toyota where we were introduced to an excellent salesman - about our age, hilarious and super nice. Not once did we feel like we were being sold to. So, we bit the bullet and bought a 2008 Rav4 Sport in Alpine White. We looove it. It's got a sunroof and black leather heated seats - it will be fabulous for the scary Fort McMurray winter. I left it in Brodie's capable hands untilt he end of June when we'll drive it back to B.C. for Funtastic and then I'll bring it up here to the great white north. While I'm still coming to terms with dropping that kind of cash on a vehicle, I appreciate the fact that the insurance on this brand new 4 wheel drive, V6 vehicle is less than it was on my 2002 Ford Focus SE in B.C. It's true, B.C. really does stand for "Bring Cash". We left the dealership and were able to pick it up on Saturday. Reid went through all the stuff with me then sent me on my way with a Toyota beach bag and 12 Callaway golf balls. We also purchased a rubber liner for the back (to contain Barkley's hair) and sidestep boards so I have something to stand on when I'm scraping the roof off in the winter.

That's the biggest news I have so far. It was nice to be able to spend the week with Brodie and his roomies. It was also nice to go to dog training with Brodie and Barkley. We even took Brodie's roommate's dog, Tyson to training. He's an 11 mth old pitbull - cute as can friggin' be!

I think that's about it for now. Writing this is interfering with my online poker game!


Monday, June 2, 2008

It's actually quite nice

To all of you who said Fort McMurray is a terrible place to live, I say: you were wrong.

The population is diverse, but friendly. The weather is windy, but warm. The city is bustling, but tolerable.

To date, I think we have enjoyed better weather than the OKanagan (aside from the insane snow storm in my first week) and I'm really enjoying that it stays broad daylight out until about 11 p.m. these days...even if it's wreaking havoc on my sleeping pattern.

Yes, there are things I wish were different - I wish Brodie was with me. My family was closer. My golf clubs were here. BUt all in all, it's been a pretty good experience.

I like that the land is flat so that no matter where you go for a run, you never have to pre-plan your route to avoid the hills :-)

I like that the grocery store is a 1.5 minute walk from the door of my condo, that the baseball fields are a 12-15 minute walk (depending on which diamond you're on), and that I have successfully learned to take the bus.

I have also met some really great people, found a place to live when I'm out of company housing and am, for the most part, settling in to my new home in Fort McMurray.

Now, if only everyone else would realize that this is their "home" - if only for a month, a year, or a decade - and start treating it as such.

Keep your garbage in your truck, your attitude at home and be willing to admit this place is now your own!

Miss you all.