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Thursday, 21 February 2013

Crickets! Crrrrikey!

So...there is a cricket in my house.
Which is not really my house, given that I am living in my car.
But that's another story.

Cricket. In house. In winter. Not ok.
The cricket made itself known last night.
(Oh - and if you're wondering, NO! I am not one of those people that keep scary pets that eat live crickets.  There was no chance of escapees in this case. This was a completely random cricketing.)
I was alone in the house trying to eat dinner.  'Chirp!' came the sound, high-pitched and irritating.  I ate a bite of my sandwich, hoping it was a one-time, random chirping. 
'Chirp!'
I had to leave the house. 

Hours later I returned.
This time I was with Paula.  We'd been in the house mere moments when the cricket made itself known.  I set about making a snack.  Paula, on the other hand, could do NOTHING but seek out the insect.  Against my will, I was drawn into the hunt.  Two hours later, after unplugging the microwave, fridge, stove, modem, smoke detector, doorbell and every other remotely electrical device in our home, we still had not found him.  We opened every bag of grain, flour and carb-product and Paula didn't even stop at the coffee beans.  I turned off my phone.  The cricket went silent.  For a moment.  Paula shot daggers at me with her eyes.
And then, 'chirp'!



Exhausted and emotionally drained, we lay down on the kitchen floor.  For some reason Paula looked up.  She noticed something under the counter.  We got close to it, and heard the offending noise:


I sighed with relief and said, 'Oh, it's a carbon monoxide detector'. Paula backed away from the thing as though terrified. She said, 'I've never seen that thing before'. And then she did the strangest thing.  She put her mouth close to the small machine and said, 'Chris, are you listening?'  She was clearly convinced that our house had been bugged.  By our own room-mate!  Honestly, who would go so far as to do that?  I told Paula she was crazy. Chris was out of the house at the time.  He's always out of the house.  He's here from Germany doing medical research and the mice in his lab must be tended to every four hours.  He's so often out of the house in fact that he has had to purchase this in order to sleep in his lab:

Chris' Ostrich Sleeping Pillow

Anyway, I digress. Given our difference of opinion on the device, Paula and I figured that it was time to call in expert help. A one am phone call to our favourite instrumentation specialist assured us that we were not likely in immiment danger.  Still, to be safe, we opened all the windows and crawled into bed together (better to die together than alone, I always say).

After a fitful sleep, I stumbled into the kitchen.  I found Chris there making coffee. I regaled him with the cricket episode.  He brought his hand to his face and began to giggle. 
'WHAT????????????!!!' I screamed, waking Paula and all the neigbourhood cats. 'It worked exactly like the testimonials said it would,' gasped Chris, now doubled over in the kitchen.  As he wiped tears of laughter from his eyes, he reached under the counter for the offending device.  Tucking it into the box he pulled from his pocket he said, 'Have a nice day!' and headed back to his lab.

Chris likes to emphasize that he purchased not just the Annoy-a-Tron, but the Annoy-a-Tron 2.0

Epilogue:
I giggled all day long.  Something about this premeditated prank by my 26 or 27 year old (he's not sure) self-appointed younger brother makes me feel loved.  (I mean he was thoughtful enough to order the thing online for goodness' sake!)  For Paula two different things have happened.  One:  Chris is now to be known as 'The Annoy-a-Tron'.  And Two: we are busily plotting revenge....

Monday, 11 February 2013

Lifts of Love: High Speed Quad to the Heart!




All photo credits to Max Losee

So...it started with an innocent little idea. 
I was just riding the chairlift with a friend.  We began to laugh about the 'Singles' line at the base of the chair.  And, oh, if only it were that easy in life....Wait a second....YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! And thus, Lifts of Love was born.  Speed-dating at a ski hill.  Each lift ride up is a speed date with some other eligible snow rider.  And if you don't like how it goes, well, you schuss off into the distance.


By the next day, Cupid (aka Jeff Siddle) was on the slopes of Mt Norquay for his photo shoot.
 
A couple weeks later, 100 singles were lined up to ski and shred for the evening.  Connections were made, numbers were exchanged.  And the rest, as they say, is sweet ski hill history.  Until the next Lifts of Love event, that is!
Lifts of Love - Ride the High Speed Quad to the Heart!

Thanks to CJSW's Charmer's Almanac and Mountain FM for radio interviews, and a host of others (including but not limited to the Canmore Leader, Rocky Mountain Outlook, Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun, Virgin Radio) for great stories and coverage!
Footnote:  The added hilarity here is that I grew up skiing at a very small, intimate ski hill. When skiing alone, at the base of the hill you were to raise a pole in the air, tilt your head back and belt out a mighty 'SIIIIINGLE!'  I always thought this was how one should operate in pubs and such.  Finally, I now have an outlet.  And for those of you who are thinking that I launched this entire event as a  campaign to uncover my next mountain man.  Well....so what if I did???