Monday, August 27, 2007

Sand Castles, butterflies and ...

For the last little while I've been thinking I don't go see Paul and the family enough. I do drop by once in a while but usually a long while. It doesn't help that they have a busier schedule than me with them both working shifts and Lelaine is into so much after school. She has become a great little swimmer and from what I've heard she very good at Highland dancing as well. This past week I decided I wanted to do something with Aunt Gladys so I told her Patty and myself would be picking her up on Sunday to go to Parksville.

Sunday came so off we went to pick up Aunt Gladys. When we arrived Paul told us that she had a pretty bad fall about 20 minutes before we showed up. At 89 years old any fall would be pretty bad but she had been looking forward to going so off we went. The only thing I told Aunt Gladys before we left was to leave her purse at home. Aunt Gladys feels bad when other people treat her and at restaurants she will say she is going to the washroom but will sneak up and pay the bill. I told her there will be none of that this time. We drove up to the beach in Parksville only to find out that they had kidsfest on that day. I asked a guy guarding the gate if I could at least drive up and drop Patty and Aunt Gladys off and he let us through. I then went to try and find a parking spot to meet them. I only had to do one lap of the parking area and got a spot pretty close.

The first thing we went to see was the sand castles from the yearly competition they hold in Parksvill. It was a very sunny day so taking photographs wasn't easy but I'll post the results anyways.

Next we drove down the coast to a little restaurant on the beach to have lunch. It has a beautifull view of the sandy beach and ocean and the meal is quite nice and very filling. Aunt Gladys behaved her self and let us pay.

Next it was off to Butterfly World in Coombs. We had tried to go here when Jodi and Maisan were here but it didn't work out. The place looks like a jungle inside and its very warm and there are hundreds of butterlies floating around. The hard part of photgraphing them is they don't seem to land much and when they do they constantly move. Add in the fact its dark and its even more difficult. I managed to get a few photos of the butterflies as well as the flowers and other creatures they have inside.

We left there and decided we would get an icecream on the way home. Coombs market was way to busy so we decided to keep going till we hit a Dairy Queen. We past Nanaino and I said I'd go to the one in Lady Smith. As we got near Lady Smith I noticed Aunt Gladys was tired so I asked her if she just wanted to go home instead. She said no but that if we stopped for the icecream she had to pay. I let her twist my arm and said OK. The drive through was closed so I said I would go get them. When I brought them back Aunt Gladys didn't want her change she said it was a tip but I told her if she didn't take her change back she'd wear her icecream instead of eating it. All in all it was a fun day and I'd like to do it again sometime.

One last note about something that has nothing to do with this weekend. I contacted the B.C. Lions and asked if I could get a side line pass for the game Sept 15th vs Toronto and they said yes as well as offering me one for the Montreal game which I can't make. As much as I like the Ti-Cats it burns me how they came up with so many excuses not to give me a pass and how B.C. is more than willing to help me out. If I knew the guys name I had dealt with I'd send him an email telling him what a jerk he is.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Some Famous Family

Duncan fighters slug it out

Kick boxer Corey Gower and boxer John Williams pose at their Duncan home gym, Final Round, after winning their respective bouts Saturday night at Victoria's Western Speedway. Both fighters won by unanimous decisions.

By Mike D'Amour

Aug 21 2007

A pair of Duncan fighters — one who kept on scrapping to a win after being badly injured in the ring — shone during the Summer Slugfest.

Boxer John Williams and kick boxer Corey Gower won their bouts by way of unanimous decision Saturday night at Victoria’s Western Speedway.

Williams, who turned 20 Aug. 2, was most impressive with his win over Victoria’s Jeff Hawkes under dark skies that threatened — but never produced — a downpour.

It was a different Williams than the one who stepped into his first challenge last April for a lazy three-round exhibition during Saturday Night at the Fights at Si’em Lelum Gymnasium.

The fighter who turned out Saturday in front of more than 2,000 rabid fight fans displayed the countenance and abilities of a much more seasoned scrapper.

Williams dominated the first round and was the aggressor throughout the fight.

He came on like a pro in the first and in the dying seconds turned into a buzz saw when he threw a series of lefts and rights that stunned his opponent.

The ref stopped the action to give Hawkes a breather and a standing eight-count moments before the bell signaled the end of the round.

Possibly buoyed by the first two minutes of the scheduled three-rounder, Williams again came out swinging in the second and rarely let up during the next 120 seconds.

Hawkes threw a few half-hearted punches, a couple of which found their mark, but none with the power to phase the local lad.

The action slowed in the last round until the 10-second signal was heard.

Again Williams took his cue from the pros — who often finish strong during the dying seconds of a round to impress short attention-spanned judges — when he threw a flurry of punches to end the fight.

Kudos must go to trainer Wally Petrovic, the 50-year-old owner of Duncan’s Final Round Martial Arts Centre, who seemed to have worked magic with Williams during the past few months.

Williams is a kid fight fans will definitely want to keep their eyes on in the coming months.

As they will Corey Gower who, if things go the way they should, could one day be a formidable presence on the national scene.

Gower, already a powerhouse at 21, took on tough Dylan Palmer of Vancouver during the tenth bout of the night.

The local fighter came out sharp, fists and feet both landed with pinpoint accuracy.

Palmer took a number of shots to the head and was quickly bleeding from the nose.

However, during the round — in a move missed by most fans and even Gower’s trainer — the kick boxer took a hard, bowel-liquefying shot to the groin.

“I think it happened in the clinch,” Gower recalled a couple of days after the fight.

The ref apparently missed it too and with Gower weakened, the fight was ordered to continue.

“I saw (Gower) grab himself, but the ref said, ‘Go,’” said Petrovic, who was working the corner.

“I knew as soon as Corey came back when the round ended something was wrong.”

Gower, admitted he briefly thought about quitting the fight because he was in such great pain.

“It was like a two-way door,” he said.

“I thought I can either finish and be a winner, or I can stop and get a nice safe feeling.”

To his credit, Gower showed what he is made of and fought through the next two rounds.

Gower seemed to get a little sloppy in the second round of the three-round contest and took a couple of shots to the head. But he quickly rallied and showed his champion’s heart when he dominated his opponent for the rest of the fight.

Palmer’s heavily-tattooed body showed every shot, from his reddened torso to his mashed face.

“He was a tough guy,” Gower admitted after the fight.

“I hit him with great shots and he took them all.”

Gower is still suffering the effects of the accidental low blow, but is confident he’ll be well by November when Petrovic is planning to hold his second Duncan-area card.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

four of four

Sorry thought I had posted this last week!

Not much to say other than I love this place. We got to walk around in their compound and we got to see them get fed. Its a small park but they have some pretty good viewing areas of the animals thay have. Not quite the same as Haliburton which I'm going to take Patty to see when we hit Ontario next summer.

A wild beast not a zoo animal

A few pictures of wolves

A den from right inside the wolf pen

A close encounter

Getting a drink to wash down the meal


Mountain Lion Love

Me and the wife on the road home

Finishing the trip the way we the end of the ferry

Trip to meet the In-Laws part three of four

Well I'm probably boring everyone reading this but I'll keep plugging along...

After the tennis match we went back to Natalie and Peter's where I had a quick shower then got ready to drive to Kamloops. We said our goodbyes and headed out of town. Kamloops is about an hour away. It was a beautiful evening and the scenery was very nice too. First impression of Kamloops was its a very nice looking city. If it wasn't for the cold winters and being so far away from the ocean I could see myself living there. When we arrived at the parents place they were out for a walk so we parked the car and joined them. This was my first time meeting Pat and I must say he is as nice as I had heard if not more so. I enjoyed talking with him and he took me downstairs to show me his computer and a book he is working on. He must have a few hundred thousand books on his shelves down there too. Pat is a very intelligent person but doesn't come off too stuffy. I told Patty I wish we could have spent more time with them. Patty's mom is Acadian like Jean but still has a pretty strong french accent. She also likes to feed you all the time. Before bed there is tea time with all the snacks and in the morning there was a bacon and egg breakfast. They have a beautiful home and the view from the deck is amazing especially at night when the city is all lit up.

Now Patty's mom is an amazing artist and all around their house is some of her work. She even has some in a shop and has sold at least one. We have a few of them around our house and Aunty has a couple at her place. Patty's mom is always looking for ideas so I'm going to send her pictures from time to time to help her out. She mentioned something about a horse so I'm going to go looking for some horses to try and get a good photo for her. I took a few pictures of some of her work to share with everyone.

Saturday morning after breakfast we went outside to take a few pictures. Then we packed the car and said our goodbyes and headed off to the Kamloops Wildlife Park but I'll save that for my next post.