Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Enjoying Doing Nothing

We've been back home for a few days now and we are all enjoying doing a whole lot of nothing. Our sleep schedule is all messed up (going to bed at 3 and 4 in the morning, and not getting up until noon), but we figure there is no point fixing that until after New Years.

Rock Band 2 was waiting for us when we got home (thanks for the instant shipping Amazon!), so Rhiannon and I have been playing that quite a bit. We finally unlocked Shackler's Revenge by Guns N Roses - now to find where they have hidden away the Megadeth tune. Rhiannon is getting quite good on drums. If we continue at our current rate of play perhaps Todd and I will have a drummer to jam with soon!

So what to do next? I think I'll open a frosty Boddingtons while I think about that. I love the holidays!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Intelliware Christmas 2008

While were catching up on events already past, on December 6th, our band played at the Intelliware Christmas party for the fourth year (I think it was the fourth time?) running. Intelliware is the company my brother (along with the rest of the band members) works for, and I just join them every year in exchange for a free meal and open bar (my drink of choice every year is St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout).

The past three years have been at Hugh's Room, which has, to be quite honest, spoiled us musically. Hugh's Room is a great venue with a dedicated sound person and permanent (and great-sounding) setup. We literally would show up, plug in (and sound check) and enjoy ourselves. This year the venue was the Argonaut Rowing Club in Toronto. It is a great place, but there is no sound setup to speak of. As a result, we had to rent all of our own gear and set things up ourselves. We spent most of the day lugging gear and setting up, and by dinner time I was wasted and my voice was already screwed.

From Intelliware Christmas 2008

I wasn't particularly proud of our performance, but I am always hard on myself. What can you do; the bottom line is we had fun. The second set was particularly enjoyable as it was very late and everyone was mostly drunk as we banged out tunes until we were shut down by management at about 2:30am. ;) We still didn't get any of our Rush covers recorded (I think our rendition of Limelight was one of our best tunes this year), but we managed to pull off Money without too many hiccups.

If you look close, you can see Coco in the background (the one with the super-bright, blue LED) in all her tubetastic glory. She worked and sounded great all night. My thanks to Intelliware for hosting a great party, yet again. They really are a great bunch of people. The food (and the Oatmeal Stout) was awesome, and I had a great time despite my self-deprecating tendencies.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve In Tsawwassen

It's Christmas Eve and we have been in Tsawwassen (just outside Vancouver) since very early Sunday. On Monday the women drove to Abbotsford to get the turkey and spent some time shopping so I got to spend the day with Jordan and Griffin.

This is basically what Drew and Rhiannon have been up to for the past few days:

With the unusual weather, we have been spending a lot of time indoors passing the time with games.

But the real news here is the weather. Apparently this is the most snow Vancouver has seen in such a short period of time in many many years. Lucky us! So much for coming from freezing cold Ontario to warm Vancouver! Here's a picture of Jordan and Tracy's back yard yesterday (before the latest 15cm snowfall!):

At least we're not in Saskatchewan where the temperature has not rose above -20 (Celsius) in the past 12 days or so! I'm also thankful we got here with only a minor delay. The Vancouver airport has basically been shut down for a couple days and many people won't be making it home for Christmas. Some people have been camped out in the airport for over a day with no flights in sight! While the snowfall here isn't all that much (we get stuff like this all the time in Waterloo), Vancouver is just not prepared to deal with it. There are virtually no snow plows to speak of here (we've pushed at least four cars out of the cul-de-sac here - it hasn't been plowed yet), and most people don't even own a decent snow shovel! Wow.

Tomorrow I'll be getting up early and making waffles for everyone, and then the kids can finally open presents. Drew has been counting the sleeps since we got here. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have more to talk about and some more pictures (I've barely taken any so far!).

Merry Christmas to everyone!

The Melvin Family Christmas

On the weekend of the 13th we had our Melvin family Christmas (yes, this is out of order, but I have been so busy lately - working, and now being lazy and doing nothing - I haven't been keeping up with things). Anyway, we made our way down to Wallaceburg and stayed with Grandma and Grandpa for the weekend. Sunday we all gathered in the local hall (our family is so big we need to rent a hall...) and had a really good time. My mom organized the whole thing (I think she enjoys that sort of thing); she got a few big roasts of beef and we all contributed desserts and various other items to the meal. We did a kids gift exchange, as well as an adult one. Drew has already watched Kung Fu Panda a few times, and we are all waiting until we can watch Wall-E together as only the kids have seen it. We forgot our camera in the rush to get out, so the pictures we did get are pretty crappy (taken with the cellphone).

Anyway, I think it all went well. Everyone had a good time, and there were no major fights in the process. That spells success in my books!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chillin' Out In Vancouver

Wow - I can't believe I haven't posted since October! I've been pretty busy with work and other things; but now I am officially on holidays for the rest of the year and we are spending the next 8 or 9 days in Vancouver (Tsawwassen, actually) with relatives.

We're staying with Sharon's sister Tracy and her husband Jordan, and we are meeting our nephew Griffin for the first time. We left on Thursday after a bit of confusion due to the impending doom of snowpocalypse. Our original flight was cancelled but we were booked on another one leaving 7 hours later. After spending a fairly boring day at the airport, we finally made it here and got to sleep about 5:30am (Waterloo time) yesterday morning. Sharon's parents are due to arrive today (their flight wasn't cancelled), and Drew is already counting the sleeps until it is time to open presents. Hopefully we'll get out a bit to see the sights and I'll post some pictures.

It is freaking cold here! I thought Vancouver was supposed to be warm and wet? We are expecting a big storm tonight so the girls are going out shopping before it hits. I'm happy to stay put with a drink and a warm sweater on, and just do nothing.