April 22, 2008

Stuck in Calgary

I had to get up very early to fly from Edmonton to Calgary. There were a few delays because of planes having to be de-iced. By the time I got to the terminal, I had to hustle to get to my connecting flight. I made it just in time as was one of the last passengers boarded. When I landed from Edmonton, it was just starting to snow in Calgary. Now that I was waiting to take off...it was snowing very hard...I mean really hard.

The pilot said that we would have to wait it out, so we sat there in the plane. It was snowing so hard that snow was sticking to the outside of the plane and we could barely see out of the windows. About an hour or so later, they turned on the TV system for us. I tried to watch Juno, but it wouldn't load so I settled for 'There Will be Blood'. It seemed like a pretty good movie and Daniel Day-Lewis is always a good actor. About half way into the movie, with the snow still falling as hard as ever, they canceled the flight and let us off the plane.

With most of the flights delayed or canceled, the airport was chaotic. I quickly called Air Canada to see what my options were. Rather than spend all day waiting to see if any flights would get out, I took a seat on a flight to Houston the next day. With the airport so busy, it was hard to get something to eat, but I waited in line for half an hour and got some grub.

I called my Aunt and asked if I could stay at her place for the night. She lives in South Calgary and the airport is on the north side. The cab cost me $70 and the roads were treacherous...but I finally made it there.

Here are a couple photos from the airport.

Well, it turns out that we set a record for the most snow to fall before noon...the previous recored was from 1920. It stopped snowing for a while, and even warmed up above zero but then it dropped to -10 just as quickly and started snowing hard again. I don't know how much snow fell that day, but I heard it was as much as 19 inches in some parts of Calgary. By the next morning, it was all melted off of the roads and about half melted everywhere else. Crazy.

So by the time I got to Houston, rented a car and found a hotel it was Friday evening rather than Thursday afternoon. A little behind schedule but still do-able. I found a Mexican fish restaurant to have dinner and ordered 'Catfish and Shrimp'. I was scared to order catfish but I figured 'why not?' It actually tasted like any other fish...not to bad.

The next day I made my way to the job site and met with the people I needed to. I had a look at the rig but couldn't actually go onto it because they were doing a crane lift and it was all roped off. The project manager said that we would send me some drawings (so why did I come all the way down here?).

I finished up at the rig and drove around the Houston area. There sure have a lot of freeways. Someone has since told me that they have the biggest interchange in North America. I probably drove over it and didn't even know. I didn't really want to get too lost so I headed back to the hotel, got some grub and settled in to watch NHL playoffs.

The trip home was pretty good and I was back in my car around 3:00pm. Funny enough...the weather in Edmonton was as nice as it was in Houston....25 degrees and sunny. All the snow that was still hanging around when I left was now gone and it looked like Spring had not only come...but had passed into summer.

Fast forward a week later and Edmonton has been in a 'Winter Storm Warning' for 4 straight days and we now have several feet of snow...don't you just love it here?

April 9, 2008

Houston, we have a problem.

I'm going on a business trip to Houston tomorrow. I don't get to go on many business trips, so I'm pretty excited. I've never been to Texas before. Hopefully I'll have some time to take some photos and maybe I'll be able to check out the area.

Should I bring my coyboy boots and hat? (yes, I actually own those) I'd probably look like a tourist who shows up in Edmonton with a parka and dog sled team.

I wonder if I'll be able to watch hockey playoffs down there? Probably not, they seem to prefer watching bowling, fishing and poker.

The last two times I've flown in and out of the US, I've had long flight delays and was even stuck in Salt Lake City for a night. Let's hope for better luck this time.

Mike out...

April 3, 2008

Beer Darts

Tired of the same old outdoor games? Looking for something with more kick than badminton?

Beer darts may be for you

Best played outdoors with four players (two teams of two), Beer Darts, is fun for both participants & spectators. The object of the game is to make the opposing team chug their can of beer by puncturing it with a dart.

You will need four lawn chairs, a standard set of darts and a case of beer.

Set up
Set up the lawn chairs to form the Beer Darts court as seen in figure 1. The teams sit facing each other with their target beer between them. The target beer must be shaken vigorously prior to being to being placed into position.

Figure 1

Playing the Game
Players take turn throwing all three darts at the opposing team's target beer. Players must remain seated while throwing the darts. See figure 2. & figure 3.

Figure 2

Figure 3

If a player's dart punctures a beer can, the opposing team must immediately chug their punctured beer. The beer must be finished before play can continue. See figure 4. & figure 5.

Figure 4

Figure 5

After finishing their first beer, the team replaces their target beer with a freshly shaken beer and continues play. Once a team has punctured two of the opposing team's beers, they are declared the winners and may taunt the loosing team. See figure 6.

Figure 6

Variations to the game may be necessary depending on player skill and amount of beer consumed.

If players are having trouble hitting the target beer, move each players chair 10cm closer each time that player misses with all three darts.

Another variation is to place both of a team's target beers out at one time.


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I've been told that you aren't anybody unless you have a blog...so in my lifelong quest to become somebody...I'm creating this blog. The primary idea is to fill people in on what is happening with Mike Hodson Photography...but you can expect to see plenty of other stuff here as well...like photography tips and explanations, road trips & parties, general musings and family updates (my wife & I are expecting out first child this year).

Anyway, welcome aboard and check back often. I'll try to update the blog as often as I can and if I don't have anything exciting going on, I'll try to dig up some old favorites.