Monday, June 08, 2009

Leaving Taiwan

Yes it's true. After 10+ years heading back to North America, Silicon Valley to be specific.

Job and kids are the primary motivators.

Been reflecting on my time in Taiwan as there's less than 30 days to go (July 5th is the date on the one-way ticket).

I would have liked to hiked more in Taiwan. Snow Mountain was the first big mountain (+3000 meters) I hiked in Taiwan.

Here's the story from Gary Heath:

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/archives/2001/05/24/87112

However, unedited version for the following section:

Walking through Huanshan felt like a retreat from a war front -- the peaceful rustic scene of orchards and mountainside dwellings contrasting starkly with the savage trail just battled. Back on the bus everyone looked tired, but my friends had all returned in good time and had the drinks ready.

Was originally written as the following:
Back on the bus everyone looked tired, but my friends, Dal, Joerg and Huiping, had all returned in good time. Dal had somehow procured a bottle of Canadian Club whisky in the village for us to drink -- a tonic for the troops.

Obviously I prefer the unedited version.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween '08

Since last year was such a success we decided to repeat the Halloween event in our neighborhood. Five homes participated and the kids went our trick or treating and then returned to our home to hang out and compare candy.

Since it was also the neighbor's daughter's birthday a number of Griffon's classmates also attended.

Pictures here.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hiking Big Interior


_MG_8050
Originally uploaded by jdgemm
Second Island Mountain summit. First was last year's King's Peak. This year was Big Interior. Set here.

Originally we planned on starting Friday, but weather forced us to wait until Saturday. We started on the trail Saturday 08/09 at 11AM and finished Sunday 08/10 7:30 PM.

Elevation: 1,857 m (6,093 ft).

Saturday was wet. Both during our hike and it continued after we set up camp around 7 hours after we initially set off. A couple of new pieces of gear that came in handy, softshell, and pack cover. Met a few folks on the trail, including group from the Vancouver Island Alpine club.

After our dinner of thai curry we played crib in the tent and eventually the rain stopped. Lesson learned only change into your dry clothes when you know you're no longer going to leave the tent.

Sunday was long. In one day we would need to hike up to the summit and back and then hike out the trail we had just hiked the day before.

In the morning the sun was teasing us through the clouds, but never really shone through. We started our summit bid at 8 AM. Getting used to seeing snow in August. Steep snow so the ice axe was necessary (no self belays necessary, but did practice a self-arrest). Beautiful terrain and my boots held up well (no blisters).

After a walk on a short ridge we were on the summit, celebrating by drinking some Canadian Club and marking our entry into the mountain registry. Unfortunately we were so socked in no real views from the summit.

Coming down was much quicker and after we returned to our base camp it was 12:30 PM.

To get out initially we needed to do some scrambling up which wasn't too fun, but after we got back on the trail smooth going.

We returned to the truck around 7:30 PM, tired, but happy. Beer made us happier. Lesson learned, buy chips to go with post-hike beer.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Canada '08 Trip- Familiar sighting

After Griffon's swimming lesson we walked around Craig St. Every Tuesday night during the summer they have an open market where local folks can sell their goods and tourists/locals can browse.

Well we were about to leave when a woman tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was Dal and did I attend Uvic.

12 years ago was the last time I saw Chris, but recognized her instantly.

After futilely trying to condense 12 years into a 10-minute conversation we exchanged emails and went on our way.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Arrival Canada Trip '08

So we made it. Left and arrived on Friday June 20th. 11 hour direct flight to Vancouver.

As always Trev was the first familiar face we saw.

After staying up until past 4 am chatting w/ Trev, the next day we came to the island where for the first time Kate, Anna, Griffon could meet my second oldest sister and her family.

Went and saw my brother's property and hiked around some falls in Errington. Anna was having a blast in the water.

Saw Jamey today and will probably end up visiting him in Courtenay sometime this week.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day 10 End of Master Cleanser- Orange Juice tomorrow

Well after 10 days of drinking lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper it's orange juice and soup for the next few days.

Another master cleanser done. Unfortunately only 10 days because of upcoming business trip. This one went relatively smooth. Last time I remember I was looking forward to breaking the fast and start eating again. This time I feel I could have continued for a number of days.

Regarding weight loss similar to last time, approx. one pound per day for total of 10+ pounds.

Day before 75kg 165lb
Day 1- 74.2 163.24
Day 2- 73.4 161.48
Day 3- 73 160.6
Day 4- 72.2 158.84
Day 5- 72.6 159.72
Day 6- 71.2 156.64
Day 7- 71.6 157.52
Day 8-71 156.2
Day 9- 70.6 155.32
Day 10- 70.2kg 154.44lb

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Master Cleanser Day 7

Today was rough. It was Kate's Mom's birthday so the family went to a vegetarian buffet. Two hours of sitting there watching people eat plate, after plate, after plate isn't fun.

Later we went to Jason's Market in 101 to buy more maple syrup (half the amount for about 50% more expensive than Costco) and it's sample central there. Pasta, sausages, cheese, salad... every aisle has someone pushing food at you to sample.

Probably because of travel I'll only be able to stay on the fast for 12 days instead of 14. Of course one of the side benefits of cleaning out your system is the accompanying weight loss. I'm averaging over losing a pound per day.

Sunday 05/18 weight- 75kg (165 lbs).

Sunday 05/25 weight- 71.6kg (157.52 lbs).