Sunday, March 25, 2012

Live Laugh Love

I framed and hung a photo from Kerry and Elsa's wedding.
Re-using this table-top frame was perfect for the photobooth layout!
I just had to add a picture hanger.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


My pal Chris brought over his microscope and we looked at things up close.
100x, 200x, 400x, and 1000x magnification was at our disposal!
In addition, the microscope had a lens for phase-shifted light.
This helped to illuminate subjects differently for furthered examination!
This is an advanced scope for University studies, and the imagery is incredible!

Although we had some stock slide specimens to examine, we found our own.
We compared cat, human, and dog hair.
I sliced a paper thin piece of cork to examine cellular structure.
We also took several water samples likely to contain life.

We found microbial life in our terrarium!
We obtained samples from Lost Lagoon and English Bay as well.

Surprisingly, there was less life in the Lagoon than the Bay.
The most abundant life sample was obtained from our indoor terrarium!
The sample acquisition was carried out as follows:
Approach body of water, scoop sample at shoreline.
For the terrarium sample, I scraped up a teeny tiny bit of soppy wet moist moss.

Chris made a video of one of his earlier microscope sessions.
Check it out!

Microscope Adventure 1 from Chris Vondruska on Vimeo.

This is my first set of videos taken through my AO Phase Star 110 Microscope. The audio may contain random dumb content. :)

Subjects include Kefir and Kambucha Bacteria, Paramecium, Water Mites and more.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Before Wind Power...

I found a picture I took from my apartment before the turbine was built on top of Grouse Mountain.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Clothes Donation

I tried getting rid of 5 t-shirts, maybe a pair of jeans.
I'd like to have been able to let more than that go, but its a start!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Headphone Fix

I used a spark-plug wire spacer to brace my headphones.


B-Reel Mail

Mount Seymour Backcountry Hike

Rachel and I went out to for some back-country snow travel and to practice safety with an ice ax. Mike came up from Seattle and the 3 of us snowshoe'd into the B.C. Park wilderness area beyond Mount Seymour ski resort. Although the deep powdery conditions were poor for ice ax practice, we still had a great day hike; preparation for longer more scenic and exposed routes we have planned for later this year!

We followed the ski-boundary to the top of the mountain where the back-country starts.

Visibility was low, and fresh snow was constantly accumulating on top of the 24" that fell in the past day.

A few back-country skiers had been up here for the fresh powder. We followed their tracks beyond the ski-boundary to get to a decent slope to practice falling on.

This big Raven was the boss - we stopped and listened to that beautiful quiet sound of a snowy day in the middle of nowhere, and the bird's presence was powerful and awesome.

My wife is from the flat lands of Central Illinois, but she has been getting to know life in the mountains now, and loving it. We've been working her up to prepare for some alpine backpacking trips this summer - we're hoping to visit a few of the more remote north shore summits.

We stopped in some trees and drank some hot whiskey cider.

I warmed up some of my wife's Vietnamese sandwiches - real luxury dining, considering the venue!

We marveled at our frozen surroundings in our tree shelter which kept us out of the wind and snow while we ate.

Often, alpine climbing involves traversing exposed snow slopes, so knowing how to travel safely with an ax is important. A mountaineering ice ax is used for stability when walking on steep snow slopes, stopping a slide, or preventing a fall in the first place - important skills to not only know, but be confident in, when traveling on steep snow with exposure below.

We left our packs here while we practiced plunging the pick and spike ends of the ax into the snow on the surrounding slopes of various grades.

I demonstrated arresting a fall when you're sliding down a slope with an ice ax. Falls happen randomly, so it is good to know how to recover from any of the 4 fall orientations that occur: face-up feet-first, face-down feet first, face-up head first, face-down head first. It can be a bit awkward to do, especially if you start sliding by accident, so its good to practice every year (rather than falling for real on the summit slope which may or may not drop off into a crevasse or off the face of the mountain!).

Our shelter.

As we headed down the mountain, the clouds started to part at last!

It was very surreal out for a while!

The lighting was changing dramatically as the sun shone through the clouds passing by overhead.

The sun shone in an inspiring way to end our great day on the mountain!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

MSR Mouthpiece

The mouthpiece to my water bladder froze - I bit down - it tore.
So, I replaced it, and leaks it does, not anymore!