Friday, April 28, 2006


Well, it's done. Mark and Lindie are married. Well, at least we think they are. At this point, we just know that it was supposed to be today, and we were supposed to watch it from afar using the miracle of the internet and webcam. It seems that it wasn't all that miraculous, and we have seen neither hide nor tail of the newlyweds. If good things happen to good people, however, they had the best day of their lives and there were tears and laughs and dancing and white and cake and drink and some old lady who noone really knows, singing "For they are jolly good fellows".

Why is there always one of those. I think I will start up a new wedding/party service. It will quickly silence said old folks without causing too much gefuffle. I will need "ninja" somewhere in the name. Not that I have anything against old people. They are great and wise (until they lose their minds) and I respect all they have done, like inventing cars and central heating and beer. I wonder though, how the wisdom doesn't include knowing that NOONE likes singing that song. Especially when we are forced to sing it 3 or 4 times. Perhaps it's their own private joke. They know noone will say anything and everyone will join in. They are all probably giggling into their gin and tonics at us silly young fools. As Edmund Blackadder says:"I want to be young and wild. I want to be middle-aged and rich, and I want to be old and annoy people by pretending to be deaf."

So. I hope "all that" is all that it's cracked up to be. I wish a dishwasher upon the two of you soonest. If not immediately. You deserve every happiness.

That is all.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Hello from Claire

Hello world:) I apologise for my lack of writing recently, but I have been unbelievably busy. The new office I started working in a few weeks ago is crazy busy, I'm seeing close on 40 patients every day as well as 15 or so in the hospital. And because this town is so small they treat all doctors like they are on permanent call, so I assisit in theatre at next to no notice and am constantly answering my pager, plus 24 hour calls somewhere in there. Its taken a while to adjust to the new pace and with trying to study for exams on top of everything I've had a few weepy moments. But its under control.

Otherwise life is fairly good. I have 4 nurses helping me in the office, all very friendly, I really like them and wish I didn't have to move on. Spring is here, and it is beautiful - it really is. The sun is up at 5 and down at 8, the grass is green the birds are out, the trees are budding. Its a proper spring. We are enjoying some aspects of our small town, farm life, like going for a run around the lake after work and stopping on the way back to pat the donkey.

Just paged - someone with chest pain, back in a bit.

I'm back, patient alive. Okay I must sleep while I can.

P.S Canadians are weird they say please and thank you at the same time, i.e - can you drop this at the lab please thank you. Also they don't know how to say look at it - they just say lookit. And a lot: lookit the sky, lookit over there etc, adults not kids. And someone said to me the other day that working with me had been a slice. I just mumbled something back - a slice of what?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Who now?

Well, either we are now famous, or someone is pulling our leg. Jaques? Who are you? Most of the people who read this silly rag are family and friends. I haven't paid for any advertising (although, ...)? Confused confused. As far as writing in french, its not likely to be terribly interesting. There are only very few french words in my vocab, so I would quickly run out of ways to combine "bonjour", "wee", "bon voyage" and the numbers one to ten. Oh wait, nine. No, ten. Yes. Perhaps you can comment in french and that way I can slowly learn through translation. As we know, thanks to Paul, I have lots of time on my hands, and its probably better spent learning french than watching Star Trek reruns.

Make it so.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Thank you to everyone who has commented so far. I would like to request something though. Please can you comment more. With the distance and time difference, we have times when we feel quite isolated. Email would be awesome, but since we are using this blog to comment, we can't expect a whole email from you. Just a little thing here or there. Like a conversation. Everything we write is done for one or other of you folks. Questions are very welcome. We have forgotten what we wanted to know, and I'm sure there are things you want to know.

Answer: Yes, I, Skippy, have plenty of time on my hands. Dishes, mopping, laundry, tidying and finances only take a couple of hours a day :).

Comment: We too have crime. Only this morning there was a piece on the news about 3 - yes 3!- break-ins. They even asked people to phone in if they had information. It's a warzone over here.

I realise that its a pitiful bit of begging going on, but we love hearing back from you. More so than you enjoy hearing from us. I know its hard to believe, but its true.

Now, let's have a little poll: Do you like the photos we post, and if so, which do you like the most? Is it the scenery, or the curious "look at this weirdness" ones? Or are there photos you would love to see, but havent? As stated, I have some time, so I'll do it for you. Only because it's you.

You know what's next:
Nothing, since that is all.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Okay, so it was actually glow bowling and it was for Pam's(one of the nice nurses here) birthday. She's the one we went to Pockets with a few weeks ago, and has been very nice to Claire at work. Now, she invited both of us (obviously) but Claire is working (is at work as I type - hence all the blogging) so I went along alone. I really went for the food because the last time we saw her she said that when her birthday came around, she would arrange a dinner party with traditional Ukranian food (I'm sure we've mentioned that most people here are of Ukranian descent). Perogies are potatoe stuffed... potatoe. With Cheese. Dipped in Cream. Beet rolls are... okay, let me not go into it any more than to say its all pretty "eh?". Soft tastebuds or something. The roast ham was very nice, but it was a roast ham.

Anyway, it moved from dinner to bowling at the "arena" which is three lanes glowing by the magic of UV lights. There are only 5 pins, and the balls are a little bigger than a tennis ball. You also get THREE throws. Needless to say it was PISS easy but I still felt my head swell when I won. I was going to say "I Bliksumed you okes". But I didn't. Then we all went back to her house for more drinks and merriment. All in all it was quite fun. By Yorkton standards. No head-bashing the wall excitement, but fun enough.

So I've remembered some more weirdness.=
Slow driving. The speed limit in town is 50. Most people give themselves a good 10km buffer. So that brings them down to a nice leisurely 40. Thats not the weird thing. It's that I've started driving that speed. When I'm alone and there is noone else around. I feel like such a rebel on the highway when I "druk my voet in die hoek" up to 90.

People don't walk unless the man is green. No question. Not a car for a million miles. Man=red : people=stand. Man=green:people walk. Except its a hand that's red and the man is white. Nevermind. It's weird. Apparently they fine you if you "j-walk". I dare them. I'll open up a can of whooop-ass!

Finally, they are allowed to advertise prescription drugs on tv here. You'll notice they never say the name of the viagra or myprodol on SA tv adverts. But the agreement here must be that they can advertise the drug on the condition that they list the side-effects at the end. It makes me laugh. You've all read the side effects. They are MAD!
"So enjoy a good nights sleep with blah-blah. Side effects may include headaches, drowsyness, nausea and vomitting, bleeding from the ears, and death. So speak to your doctor today about how blah-blah can help you". AS IF!? The stuff could KILL ME!? Sometimes the side effects list is half the advert - no jokes. These Canadians are WEIRD!

That is all.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Pictures of stuff...

Calgary Childrens Hospital. Bright and colourful on the outside too.
General Calgary Shot
The Rockies
Entrance to Banff national park.

That is all.

Things that are weird

Well, maybe some are weird, but mostly just different. I was just thinking about how odd it is to be driving on the right hand side of the road and thought I would just lay down the things that have been on my mind.

I've only had a couple of "OH-CRAP-SHIT-#$%*!-DAMNIT" on the wrong side of the road experiences, and it was mostly because I wasn't thinking. It's not a problem mostly, but when there is an ISLAND between the lanes... Well I'm sure you can imagine how quickly the "bad-words" fly out your mouth. Claire doesn't drive too often (since she ended up in a ditch - I still rag her), but she did find herself looking at another driver thinking "what IS that fool doing on the wrong side... OH CRAP!". It was on the HIGHWAY. At night. Nice.

Waterslides. For some reason, Canadians have a total love affair with waterslides. Not everywhere, mind you, just at hotels/lodges/motels. Every one you drive past has a sign saying "Waterslide". All appear to be indoor.
Maybe its code that Foreigners aren't supposed to understand. Maybe it really means "Free booze".

French/English. Everything has half the space available for designers. All chocolates are "Nutty Crunch" - "Krunch avec BonNuts..." or whatever that would be in french... wait - let me go look for something...Okay, I'm back (I know it seems like an instant to you, but I REALLY went away there - trippy).
We have:
Light and Crisp : Harvest Crunch / Legeres et croustillantes Croque Nature
Flaked Light Tuna / Thon Pale Emiette
Chicken Broth Mix / Poulet Melange pour bouillon

I know it seems like "yeah, so?" but sometimes the product is facing one way and not the other, so all you get is : Thon Pale Emiette. WTF?

Side Dishes: Somehow I feel like I've spoken about this. I'm too lazy to go look. When you order food at a resturant, they have a little routine they do. It goes something like this: Would you like potatoes or rice or pasta. Potatoes. Would you like them baked, stuffed, mashed or fries? Stuffed. Will that be with cheese, bacon or mushrooms? Would you like soup or salad to start (don't forget its included - this isn't a starter)? ... etc. The variety is great, but how weird is it that you can have, for example, a steak with a chicken soup and spagetti? Oh, and you get a brick of garlic toast with everything.

... I'm sure there were more. I'll keep you posted when they pop into my head.

That is all. Okay, its not. But it is for now.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Snow and Summary

It's STILL snowing. I say still because when I first started posting here, it was snowing. It was also snowing when I accidentally lost the post. It continued to snow while I lost the post the second time and finally, its snowing now. I know you thought it was melting and getting warm. So did we. Nice though. Clean, white, beautiful. Yorkton is collectively grumpy about it though. I don't think I could ever get fed up with something this pretty. The horses are.

So Calgary. Let's sum up:

Drove to Regina. Dinner at Mojo. Best steak of my life. Drove on to Moose Jaw.
Waffles and oatmeal. Drove to Calgary, booked into the Hyatt. Lunch at Irish pub (we think Canadians think all pubs must be irish). Site seeing and coffee x lots. Drinks at funky club. Felt at home again with glass and steel towering overhead.
Some shopping and a haircut for Claire (as if we would let a bumpkin anywhere near her hair. City folk only. She would get a mullet, or as we now call them, a Canadian). More site-seeing, movie, dinner at "The Keg" near the 24 hour liquor store. Claire even ventured a steak.
Drove to Banff. Deep in Rockies. Looks like swiss town - lovely. Lots of damn tourists. Hate them. Oh wait ;-)...
Got bullied into taking the buffet instead of the eggs. Had eggs anyway. Showed that waitress! Also spilled my smoothie. Drove to Yorkton.

An awesome weekend. We got our fill of real coffee and shopping and high-rises. We even gymed a little. I'll be back a little later with some pics. I just can't risk losing this gem again.

That is all. (or is it...)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Calgary and Banff

Well, we're sitting in an internet Cafe chatting to the whole Rawson family. We have had the most awesome weekend in Calgary taking in the sights and sounds. What a lovely place. And, within a stones throw, is Banff, where we are now. Its a tiny little ski town deep inside the Rockies which looks like a swiss town. Quite touristy, but lovely none the less.

Not too much time to post, but will do a huge post when we get back to teenie tiny Yorkton.

Monday, April 10, 2006

It's a comic about me

Just found this and it's appropriate because I found it on the animation mentor news mail AND because its EXACTLY how I was feeling. Just ask Jo.

Animation Mentor Comic


We went to the hockey last night. The Yorkton terriers (whose mascot looks like a bear) are in the middle of the "finals". Its a million (okay 6 I think) games between them and North Battleford Stars. Its a "best of" thing. So went went along.

Lets look at what went down.

The strange looking lady was there taking tickets:
There was a very very loud compressor driven truck horn:
A Zamboni:Some warmups:And an all-out free-for-all fight resulting in 3 send offs:All in all a good night out.

That is all.

Weekend in Kamsack

Well, its a little out of order, actually, since I actually only got the news of Animation mentor once we got back, but I'm sure you'll all forgive me. Eventually.

So, Kamsack. Where to start. Well, luckily for my writer's block, there aren't many options. Kamsack is little. The highlights are: John Deer showroom (mandatory for this part of the world), Co-Op Petrol station and convenience store, Second hand shop, taco shop, hospital and finally, the chinese food place. Oh wait. There is also a little ice-cream stall that does a ROARING trade. I know?! WTF Mate!?

Okay, so its warming up, but its not ice-cream hot yet. What's even more odd is that we saw an ice-cream shop with queues of 20 or more in Regina last weekend. I have a sneaky suspicion they sell something else. Next time I see one, I'm going to go over and ask for a "cronic" strawberry ripple, or a caramel coke whirl. We'll see what I get.

Speaking of druggies, Claire says she has never come across quite so many in one place. She will have to give details, but the memorable bits were the fact that one in two patients she saw this weekend was there asking for drugs for nonsense and they were making stuff up to "shoot". Like "I have a backache, please give me morphine", or "yeah, I shot all my kid's ritalin so I ground up some tylenol in boiling water and shot that". The town is pretty depressing, sure, but that's ridiculous. I should go there and try and cultivate the creativity of some of these people. Untapped resource. I'll have a feature length animated film in under a year. Okay, what am I talking about?!

For lunch yesterday, we decided a little excitement was called for, so we went to "Wong's". After a little language struggle, we ordered our chop suey and chow mein and waited. After a little wait, the little chinese lady came through with a packing crate. That's right - A PACKING CRATE. Photo attatched for clarification :

When we were presented with it, to add to the confusion, she said: "We don't need that anymore!". Okay - we'll take it off your hands. I think she must have been shooting sweet and sour sauce.

We took some pics to give an idea of the "scenery" we went through. Typical of the area.

We also passed through a town full of tight wallets.

That is all.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

I'm IN!!!!!!

Animation Mentor has accepted me to start classes in July. I can't believe it !!!?!???!!?!

I am a little overwhelmed right now. Been away all weekend and now I come back home to this news. Oh boy.


Friday, April 07, 2006

Clearing it all up

Well, it seems I've been misleading (maybe not). That house isn't ACTUALLY built out of cardboard. I know I'm potentially insulting your intelligence, but its made out of a fibreboard type thing that all the houses here are made from. Some have "brick-look" fascades (which I think is crummy looking) but its all this stuff. Its to do with insulation, apparently, but it looks rediculous while they are in the middle of building. Things tend to be in a state of half-done-ness over winter. Noone is very keen to get out and do stuff. So there are a few houses with big words all over them at the moment. I can only imagine spring is going to be a complete explosion of activity (although looking at the size of a lot of these people, that's either not the case, or they are like anti-bears. Store up blubber for the summer, then burn it all off).

So I was up mighty early yesterday to go get Claire out in Melville. What a beautiful time of day. Dawn. All the Dawns I've seen are beautiful (go back to the night out with our friends to see how beautiful that Dawn is). Look at this one:
Sorry for the distortion, but its almost 270 degrees of image.

We're off to a place called Kamsack. You can see that it's not too far away. Somewhere around an hour away. It's near Duck Mountain (it better either look like a duck or be COMPLETELY covered in ducks, or else...) so we might see some sights. It's sunny and warm (+4) most of the time now, so there won't be any skiing. Bummer.

I might take up Lacrosse.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Random Ramble

I've been helping out at the local school. I was asked by the Gynae's wife if I would like to help with the kids struggling with maths. (The Gynae is the coolest dude ever and is the one who's house we are staying in. More on that in a bit).

It's an "inner city school" but I think that just means that its government funded and they have a lot of problem kids. Not naughty, as such, but troubled social situations and learning difficulties and stuff. They have 5 autistic kids. 5!? Thats a whole lot for anywhere, let alone a school that has (i estimate) fewer than 200 total.

So I've been sitting with a sweet very quiet boy named Bobby. I just don't know how someone can get left so far behind in a subject like maths (or math, if you're here). He is battling to get his head around stuff he should have been up to speed with years ago. I don't know who to blame, but I know who not to blame. Bobby. The kid makes you want to cry because he so wants to get it. The principle (sweet lady too. Shook my hand when I left yesterday. Was weird. Shes still sweet), told me that he finds himself pages and pages of examples to try and forges through them alone at home. He gets almost every one wrong, but is trying so hard. Breaks your heart.
I'm hoping I can find something to help him get a foot up and get within striking distance of his class mates. Sorry to go on about it, but it's different when you know that daddy will just hire him into the business anyway, and he'll be fine. I'm sure this kid needs his education to get somewhere. Sheesh.

Here is what the school looks like:
Not very exciting, I know, but people seem to like the visual aids.

On the way home today I found a lovely example of something we never see in SA. Building with cardboard. Yes, thats right, the people here are like rich bergies. Their cardboard boxes just have windows and stuff and they paint them, but its pretty much the same idea. Check it out:

Mad, hey!?

That about wraps it up. Claire is working a million miles (okay, about 30) away tonight, so I miss her. Expect more updates today.


We've moved

Well, we moved back into the little house in the prairie last night. I guess everything is in the prairie out here, but this is more out of town. Its about 3 minutes out of town, but, as with all the little places out here, things get "rural" very quickly. Its nice. We're living above a garage, and its small, but the property is huge, and there are horses and fields and ... you know, farmy stuff. And we are about the same distance from work. (Man, I really must finish my tour of yorkton for you guys. I've doctored a map to have locations and everything. Just keep not getting around to putting it up. Today. I promise).

And since we've now left, I will now show you what the main living area of the LAST place was like. HAHAHAHA. Shut up. I am not a slacker!

I will make a panorama of the new place very soon. And put pictures of the horses. They are not huge or made out of cement.

That is all

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Congratulations guys!!! We are soooooooo excited for you. Can't believe our friends are so grown up. Yay, YAY!!! We look forward to meeting the newest Taylor when we come home

Moose Jaw

Its really a place. I swear. And they have a moose. Made out of paper mache. Okay, I think its actually cement, but it looks like paper mache. Look for yourself.

And to give you a sense of just how big this dumb-ass thing is, I have added us from before into this shot (bacause we couldn't actually be seen in front of it for real)
Stupid Canadians. What is with them? There is a huge cow outside Russel, near the skiing and a turtle near turtleford. Why? Anyway. They make nice buildings. Old-worldie.
The place is famous for its Spa, and for having some underground catacombs or something where gangsters used to hide out (including Capone according to rumour). We were going to go look, but had a bagel and another cappuccino instead. Also it was closed.

Then we drove home. Claire too. And she didn't crash into the snow. Mostly because there is none left. But now there are geese and ducks.

That is all.

The City

We went away. I know we are kind of away already, but you know what I mean. We needed some coffee and some shopping and we had plenty of both.

We left on Friday after work and headed into our hotel (the Radisson) to drop our bags. We then went in search of a little vibe. It was close at hand in the form of a lovely packed little irish pub. We searched around for about 10 minutes trying to find a place to sit, and eventually ended up at the bar. Wouldn't you believe it, right alongside some South Africans. We didn't chat though. They weren't even chatting to each other and looked like they wanted to gnaw on the bar. Bad week I think.

We went for some chow, and back to the hotel to charge up for a big day of shopping and posing. Okay, the posing wasn't too easy, since there isn't anywhere nice like JB's to drive around over and over. Also, we don't drive a GTI or anything.

Bright and early we went out to Atlantis, which is a lot like Seattle Coffee, just without the bookshop attatched and quite zippy. It's actually quite weird how similar it is. We debated whether they are copying each other somewhere - even the logos are a lot alike.

Charged up, we went and blew some cash, adding to our cool (which of course won't be appreciated in Yorkton - but screw them - we know we're hot). Body shop, shoes, jeans, skirts. We filled the back of our car, and slaked our buying withdrawl. It was gooooooood.

We spent pretty much all of the rest of the time just soaking up the vibe with Chris (Claire's friend from Bara - see previous post for more details). Casino, Dinner, more coffee, books. It was all just what we needed. We even gambled a little. We took them to the cleaners. Put down $20 and walked away with a solid $21,50. Oh baby. We are so hardcore it scares me.

Pooped, we fell into bed to recharge for another early day...