Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Half Marathon is done.....and Lisa is working!

Hey guys,

I know that we are getting really bad at these things. The truth is we haven't had too many things to write about lately. Life is settled into routine and between Lisa's job hunting and my running we haven't had too many adventures. Plus my life at work seems to have completely changed to me booking and changing flights but not actually going any where. My latest trip to New Caledonia has been delayed by a week and my next trip to Papua New Guinea looks to be happening in August (fingers crossed there isn't going to be a conflict with Flo's trip).

I am sure you are all aware of the horrible luck that Lisa has run into with her recent job hunting. It has started to turn around (again, fingers crossed). She started work today for another branch of the government. This is a temporary position at the moment but they seem really eager to try and find a way for her to stay on and are throwing job postings at her to apply for. Yeah Lisa! I know that she is writing everyone an email going into more detail. We didn't want to tell anyone about this until she actually showed up to work because of our recent run of luck.

Last Sunday I finished the Gold Coast half marathon which is 21.1 km! and trust me it is longer than it seems! I was able to get under my goal time of 2hrs and came in at 1:58:10. Lisa and a couple of friends made up a great cheer squad for me and they even got up at 3:45am to drive me to race. For anyone who knows Lisa understands what a sacrifice that was for her. I came away with no injuries other than muscle soreness. There is a shorter run coming up in September that is my next goal. Between now and then I just want to start getting quicker. I figure should only take me 3 more years of intense training before I can maybe, possibly, almost keep up with Scott. Here are a few photos from the day.

Before the race:

Running to the finish line:

Cheer Squad (minus Monika):

Time to lay down:

Lisa has posted some additional photos on her Facebook account.

We are rapidly approaching the season of visitors. Flo will be here in less than 4 weeks already. Shortly followed by the Nebors and then my parents. We are looking forward to the company.

Hopefully less than 2 months passes before our next blog post.



Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Just a random story, just so you can point and laugh

Well, had an interesting day about a week ago. OK, so it starting innocently enough. In the morning I went to the fridge and I went to open orange juice (one with pulp) that had been in the fridge for a while (maybe 2 weeks). When I started to open it (I was by the sink in the kitchen) it sounded like when you open pop (the gas escaping), so I was figuring yeah...its gone bad. So I was letting the gas out of the bottle and then the thing FREAKING EXPLODED!!! Orange juice that smelt like alcohol was EVERYWHERE and I do mean everywhere, on the ceiling, on the painting, all over the table and chairs on all the cupboards and about a litre all over the carpet!!! I guess luckily I had the laptop over on the couch and the bottle exploded towards the kitchen table and juice stayed away from the couch/TV part of the room. That was about 9am. So I sprang into action, again luckily, I was able to clean the walls and the painting right away (no stain) but then I had to take care of all the papers that were juice soaked, clean the entire kitchen, then clean the ceiling…and clean…and clean…and clean. I could not get the juice out of the carpet, so I hired a carpet cleaner. I cleaned all of the chairs as well and thank god we had got the fabric protection b/c I was able to scrub them and then vacuum them then wipe the legs, and they turned out fine. I was soooo tired…..I cleaned for about 6 hours. I guess our place is really clean now. hehehe

AND the moral of the story is: DON’T BUY ORANGE JUICE WITH PULP!

Oh and btw, when the juice exploded it was so loud that people actually opened their apartment doors so see what the noise was...

And no, I do not have any pictures of the distruction and mayhem, my first reaction to this crazy situation was not to document it...I went into problem solving Lisa. Oh and by the way, I too was drenched in fermented orange juice, I smelt just lovely :)

Just thought I would share this experience with you all so you can laugh at my expense. A little gift from me to you.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I knew I hated spiders for a reason

Hello all

Lisa here, giving an update of life in Oz. Rick is back from New Cal and had fun (I know, fun at a mine site? Not something I usually hear when he comes back from site.) A little history lesson for you all, New Cal is a French Colony so the fun came from the food. He said he has never eaten so well! Well I guess that is what happens when you have been conquered by the French instead of the English, excellent food!! Damn the English getting to Australia mere hours before the French!! (a little more history for you all.) He went wind surfing and actually managed to get up. He has pictures but not on our camera and I have not seen them yet. I will get him to add them when he gets them.

Before that, we went on some day trips for the long weekend here (ANZAC day, Australia New Zealand Army Corps). We headed out with Toni and Mon on one day, and then Toni and her friend Alana from Melbourne the other. On Fri the 25th we went to the Kondalilla Waterfall and to see the giant pineapple. As per the title of this blog, we saw the biggest spider ever!! Bigger than my hand, its the pic below. We were going to put something up for scale but no one was getting close to it! After we took the picture that was the end of the walk!!! Back we went.

The next pics are of the waterfall, lunch in the town (Toni trying to eat my hand b/c she is so hungry...the food took a while.), the "weather" map, and then the GIANT PINEAPPLE!!

We had a great time, and were gone the whole day. People were swimming in the waterfall pool BUT, some kid came out with leeches on him, so...yeah..not going in. Then this unassuming tiny snake crossed my path and I thought nothing of it, BUT as this is Australia, turned out it was a brown snake and even the little ones are venomous...of course!
The giant pineapple was pure cheese! It was great, with the awesome pineapple store filled with super cheap and cheesy souvenirs. You then walked up the inside the pineapple to the top, all the way learning about pineapples! hehehe. But this is only one of many giant things around Australia, there is the giant Lobster and many more. We will try to go to more giant stuff if we can :)

On the Sat we went to Noosa heads and Underwater World. Noosa was great and super pretty, got to go to the beach and tan for a bit, did a little walking and got some great pics. Oh, and weird...when we were leaving we were in the parking lot and Alana was just standing behind the car and this crazy guy in a lowered truck starting freaking out b/c he thought she was in his way and started yelling at us that we were smoking heroine! HUH?! I think perhaps he may have been on drugs...and really...is smoking heroine really your first option to yell at someone??!! Any who, it provided some entertainment for the rest of the trip for us all :)

And then for Rick we went to Underwater World (was there any doubt). The best part was this moving walkway that let you go under this HUGE fish tank, the pic is below. Oh and they had a frozen giant squid...it was crazy, it looked completely fake like some special effects guy made it up...also pic below.

Oh and during lunch, this woman comes up to us and wants to take our picture for the Sunday paper. It was for some seafood/fishing story they were doing (we were eating prawns) BUT we didnt make the paper some ugly fisherman did, looking sad about how he cant catch enough prawns or something...boooo! But it was pretty funny because the woman taking the pics wanted us to look 'natural' but then she had us feeding each other prawns...yeah!! right! how 'natural' is it to feeding your adult female friends seafood?? I mean really!!

Not too much else happened during the week, pretty low key. The weather broadcasters here still crack me up, they had 3 days at 22 degrees and are talking about heating bills skyrocketing! hehehe. And now I find that I am using some more Aussie terms now. Mobile instead of cell, Ute instead of truck, Boot instead of trunk, sunnies instead of sunglasses...it is changing me!

Anywho, gotta jet, I will let everyone know updates as they happen. Email if you can!

Miss ya

Lisa and Rick

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What else is new.....

Hey guys,

It is has been a while since we have posted anything new. That doesn't mean that we have been any less busy, but apparently our literary inspiration has been low. Life is good, and the weather is just getting better and better. Now it is has cooled to a more "Vancouverite" manageable temperature, staying in the mid twenties. I no longer require a change of clothes after spending 30 minutes outside.

The one downer that has popped up the past couple of weeks involves our neighbours cat, mainly that it has reappeared. This cat squeaks and squaks all day, it is just unbelievable. Thankfully we don't hear it in the majority of the house but the computer desk is near the front door so even as I type this I can faintly hear it now...... It had disappeared for a while and were hoping for the best (i.e. moved, tracheotomy, or hit by car) but unfortunately it has returned.

We have been spending the weekends checking out a few attractions and a couple of day trips. We went and saw an exhibit of Andy Warhol art that is being put on down the street. His portraits are kinda neat and you can actually see how his colour choice changes your impression of the face but some of his other stuff I just don't get. Not that I have ever been confused with an art critic but still.......it is just a can of soup?

Yesterday, Lisa and I went and saw an acrobatic act at a local festival. Toni (our friend) is friends with one of the acrobats so we went to see them perform. It was absolutely amazing, the do things that really shouldn't be possible by any human being. They had a really entertaining show as well. We snapped a couple of pictures with Lisa's camera on her phone.

(Toni's friend is the one in the middle with the full grown male balancing on his head.)

Today was my first 10k run, I was hoping to finish it in 60 mins and I was pretty much on target. According to my watch I was at 59mins but I haven't got an official time yet. Lisa snapped a couple photos (against my wishes) of the run and has "instructed" me to included this photo.

One of the most difficult parts of the run was trying to drink water while running. I was lucky if I got as much water in mouth as went up my nose. This photo captures my struggles.

I am pretty happy that I completed the race and am looking to keep the ball rolling. I have recruited a mini-team of people to train for the half-marathon on the Gold Coast, July 6. Knowing that run is more than twice as long as this one I will need some other people to keep me motivated.

There is a long weekend coming up this week (Friday) that we are both looking forward to. We will be heading up the Sunshine Coast this time for a couple of day trips. Then Sunday night I am off to New Caledonia for a short site visit. I am looking forward to that trip it will be interesting. I didn't even know where New Caledonia was a couple of months ago. I am heading there with a couple of guys my age so it should be a lot of fun too.

That's it for me right now. I think Lisa is going to right something later.


Rick and Lisa

Friday, April 4, 2008

Big News.....

Lisa, yes....my wife Lisa. Went running this morning. Mark this day on your calendars.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

Hey guys, it is time for another update of our ongoing Australian Adventure which closely resembles a normal life. The longer we stay here the less it feels like we are visiting. The weather is still fantastic as are the new people we have met. We have still been able to get out somewhere new each weekend which is great. So why don't I give you a rundown of what we have been up to...

A couple of weeks ago one of our friends competed in a mini-triathlon and we used our refined encouragement skills (not participation skills). It was a lot of fun and didn't take nearly as long as it does to cheer Scott on for one of his races. We got a photo of everyone at the end of the race.

We made the shirts the day before. We were the only ones dressed up so we stuck out a little bit but it was a lot of fun. I am hoping to corral that emotional high of watching lots of people cross the finish line to motivate me into running a 10km next month. I have said this before though so we will see.

This weekend we went to check out Mount Coot-tha lookout point (http://www.ourbrisbane.com/living/suburbs/mt_coot-tha/history/). The views were awesome and it made me realize that Brisbane is actually flat. I don't know why I thought otherwise but I just assumed that there were some hills. Even Mt. Coot-tha wasn't really a mountain. It was more like Hill Coot-tha. Lisa mentioned that it was a lot like Mount Royal in Montreal. I had to take her word for it. As usual, a couple of photos....

After the lookout we went over to the "Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary" (http://www.koala.net/index.htm) which ranks right up there with a trip to the aquarium. Those little fur balls are pretty cute. This place will definitely be added to the "Rick and Lisa - Tour of Brisbane" for all visitors. We will be purchasing a season pass to that place.

As proof that Koalas are irresistible to say no to, here is a picture of Marylin Manson (aka Brian Warner) holding a Koala....

They also had kangaroos and a few other animals there.

Overall....great trip, won't be the last.

Saturday included a massive dinner at a German restaurant that tested each of ours digestive capacity. I don't think I have ever seen a serving that big, it was huge and delicious.

Anyways, I am running out of things to write. Time to jet I guess. Write us with an update when you get a chance.

PS: Did you notice the joey in the kangaroo pouch (2nd kangaroo photo)?

Monday, March 3, 2008

I am a terrible blogger...sorry

Hey all,

First I am sorry that I have been a lame blogger. I realize I owe you all some info and some pictures, so here we go :)

OK, so here is a pic of the fake beach behind my house, it stretches further down and goes just beyond the corner. Its a bit of a cloudy day when I took the pic and no, I am not in the picture. I took it as I was walking home with my camera phone. Eventually when we go down to the beach, and when one of us does not go into the water, I will get a picture of one of us in the water.

Moving on, like Rick said before, we have finally got all of our furniture and have some art on the wall. A couple of things went wrong, of course, and so we are going to have our entertainment table replaced in a bit (they installed a shelf wrong and all the hardware is showing) and they didnt follow the specific specs of the couch so instead of getting a new couch, we are getting a second side table...which by the way, they were supposed to call me to organize delivery, and they have not....crap! I need to make a call.......

Ok, I am back, called the place and they thought I already had it! This sort of thing, by the way, has been the story of our lives! Arg! Anywho....I was promised a call back today with the delivery date and time, we will see if more heads have to roll, hehehehe.

We had a great time at surfers paradise! We ended up making our day trip into a overnighter and got to go to SeaWorld, the surfers paradise beach (where we got yelled at by lifeguards for swimming in the wrong place :) ), eat some good food, and look at the ridiculously expensive art (we thought we would get something for our place but when a place wants $250,000 for a sculpture, its time to leave). We got some sun (in a good way, while wearing 30plus sunscreen, Brisbane has scary skin cancer commercials). Here are some pics we took at Surfers and then some pics at SeaWorld.

This is me, right past the Surfers Paradise sign, standing in the essence of Surfers Paradise. It was a Monday, so it was quiet and really beautiful.

The famous Surfers sign, and if you look close that is me on the left, we had to take this picture from across the street. It would have been difficult to find someone that would not have taken off with our camera to take a picture of us both :)

At SeaWorld they have all these huge pools in the middle of the park were they have trainers working with Dolphins at different stages and randomly, they decided to put a giant boat in this one that does not really do anything :) And yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am wearing a sack dress and flip flops! HOWEVER, I believe in having a waist hence, the belt.

SHARK! hehehehe. They have a HUGE shark exhibit and this giant one decided to come after me (through the glass) so I took a picture :)

Ricks homage to Pete...
Pete, just for you! (and maybe a little for Mitz, Ron and Jennifer :))

This is Ricks first time driving on the wrong side of the car and the wrong side of the street, he did a great job! Everyone was safe and sound. By the way, everyone should get a GPS when renting a car in a city you dont know, no maps...just follow the arrow...lovely!

We have been invited to go to Fraser Island on Mar 29&30 but we are still deciding if we are going to go. Fraser Island is just off the eastern coast, about 3 hours north of Brisbane. It is known for this amazing lake called Lake Mckenzie. It has super fine white sand and clear blue water without all the downfalls of the ocean, for example, no deadly jelly fish, rips, sand EVERYWHERE b/c of the waves, and of course no sharks. We of course will keep you in the loop and let you know.

Oh, a random story for you all. So a week or so ago I am down in the parking garage taking out the trash and I see, leaning against a pillar, a laptop bag and a tote bag. There is no one around and it is just leaning there like someone put it down and then forgot to take it with them. I assumed it belonged to someone in the building as it was right by a parking spot. I went up and told Rick and got my cell phone so when I went back down I could open the bag and see if there was any contact info so I could return it or at least call the person it belongs to. So I opened the laptop bag and all that was in there was one business card for a real estate agent and...porn. Yup one business card and porn DVD's. So as fast as humanly possible I dropped the bag, got upstairs and washed my hands for like 5 minutes. I am guessing that the business card was not the owners as if he was the owner I would assume as a real estate agent he would carry more than one business card, so I am happy in the knowledge that I will never know which one of my neighbors it belongs to. :)

Anywho, more job hunting for me. I am hoping that I should be hearing something this week as most the jobs I have been applying for have closed yesterday. Wish me luck.

AND by the way... if you want regular blogs and interesting pictures I expect the same from you! :)...2 way street people! :)