On our way to Port Renfrew & 一些插話

Before the trip:

考試期間老爸老媽就在計畫考完要帶我們出去玩,以下是我和老媽通電話的概況:

我:所以最後決定去哪裡?

媽:去Victoria附近,有很多trail,還可以釣魚。

我:喔。(心想:Victoria附近哪來的trail? 釣什麼魚?)

後來才知道,老媽說的「附近」是指Victoria以西100公里左右的Port Renfrew。= =;有點像是說我們要去台北附近划龍舟,結果是在宜蘭一樣。

Stop 1: Sooke

Slept the entire way from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, to recover from the traumatic 6:30 wake-up call. Drove up to Sooke, and got to their visitor center before 11am.

Sooke Visitor Center

Saw a “Genuine Westcoast Weatherstone” outside the visitor center that says:

A dry stone means it’s not raining

A wet stone means it’s raining

A shadow under the stone means the sun is shining

If the stone is swinging it means the wind is blowing

If the stone jumps up and down it means there is an earthquake

If the stone is white on top it means it’s snowing

If the stone is wet on the side it means dogs have recently passed by

Thought I should share. The lady in the visitor center pointed us to a few stops that we should make along the way to our destination. I found almost all volunteers at any visitor center to be friendly, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic to help.

We followed her direction and quickly found the Whiffin Spit Park, located on a little tongue in the Sooke Harbor.

From Sooke to Whiffin Spit Park and Sooke Harbour House Hotel Restaurant Gallery & Spa

Met a very hyper dog.

Dad found a very cool bench and got very excited. (快來看!!超帥的椅子!!)

So we all had some fun with the pictures. I’ll use this opportunity to introduce the characters of this travel journal. Me:

 Mom:

Charlie:

On our way out, we met a random lady picking seaweeds along the beach.

After some chatting, we learned that she was bringing the seaweeds back to Toronto for a presentation. “For U of T?” My dad asked.

“No, it’s a gorment presentation!” she chuckled. “I’m a specialist in seaweed preparation…” and she went on to talk about how to prepare crazy dishes using seaweeds that my little residence-kitchen cooking brain did not register even slightly. She said we could google “seaweed lady” and find her, but her website is www.sea-flora.com.

And then we went to the super-duper, omg all around Sooke Harbour House Hotel Restaurant Gallery & Spa. (You can tell it’s sort of a big deal by its name, can’t you?)

This is a perfect example of not expecting a whole lot and being hit out of the park by what we find. From the front door 

to the main floor…

From the walls,

to the hallway…

From the awesome rooms,

to the awesome books…

From the inside,

to the out…

This place completely took our breaths away. Even the sun came out to add to its magic. Some other tourists who visited the room with us kept saying: “it’s up to you guys to get a good education and a good job, and bring your parents here.” which my dad was very glad to hear.

But man, the price tag on this little gem sure is heavy. We escaped as quickly as we came, and went to Point No Point for lunch, somewhere between Sooke and Port Renfrew. 

This is one cozy place, where four small tables (2 of which seat 2 ppl, and the other seat 4) are squeezed into a closet-sized room, where all the whispers (and probably even breathing) from the other tables could be heard.

Every table was equipped with a pair of binoculars for the beach. Point No Point also offers cabins for accommodation, but it’s pretty pricy. Lunch was very nice though.

After lunch, we went straight to our cabin in Port Renfrew, which we found quite startlingly different from what we expected… (to be continued)

 

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Kicking off my summer!

I felt I should write a more constructive post about my summer than the previous one. I feel this is going to be an awesome summer, judging from the spectacular kickoff so far:

April 26th

Relaxing afternoon at Pajo’s fish & chips with Alina and Thomas in Steveston, Richmond.

Nice and relaxing except for the fish & chips part, because we had this to go with them:

Alina’s super special recipe: ketchup, Chinese hot spice, Canadian hot spice, soy sauce, garlic & pepper, lemon & pepper, Montreal Steak seasoning, and other unidentified spices. If you think that’s where our biochemist stops, you don’t know her. She adds this to complete her Nobel-prize winning invention:

Half-and-half cream. Yummy.

This was followed immediately by a unexpectedly wild dinner party with SCI Team peeps, in which we made, hm, plenty of jokes inappropriate for a public blog, involving watches, name tags, and cages.

Like Thomas said: “that’s what friendship is like, right? We can be serious with each other, and we can make jokes. … right?”

April 27th

Helped with the garden at my house (as in a garden that we grow vegetables in. [insert picture here]), and went to get stocked up for the up coming family trip. Went to get a pair of prescription sunglasses at LensCrafters in Richmond Center. The poor sales rep was giving us a 20% discount, but hell no, my parents killed her completely and got 45% off.

Here’s a memorable conversation:

Sales rep: “Oh, you want to make your lens ultra thin? I’m afraid that would add $30 bucks.” (was getting 35% off)

Dad: “It wouldn’t if you give us 45% off *wink*.”

Sales rep: “Er… I will have to check with my manager on that.” *walks away*

Me: “Hey look, the manager is young.”

Dad (to mom): “Go work on the pretty lady manager.”

Mom: “That would be Billy’s job.”

Me: “Er… ok.”

And I tried to catch her eyes and give her my look of death. But she never made eye contact.

[sorry, no picture of young, attractive sales manager here]

Later that night, picked up David and Jenny and met up with Sophia for a nice gathering at Posh Richmond. Meeting with old pals from high school is always great. Sometimes I feel that we have just enough things to talk about and keep each other entertained for the length of one dinner, other times we seem to find endless things to bring up and joke about. And this time it was definitely that latter 🙂

Poor Harvey though. He sort of became the climax of our increasingly inappropriate conversation. Well, I think he deserves at least part of the blame for his use of obscure slang AND staying in Okanagan, leaving all of us hanging and waiting for his arrival 😛 (so that we can continue to joke about him)

Oh, and I got a MCAT prep book. I sort of cut it up into chunks so that it’s easy to carry.


It’s Barron’s. It’s $35 from Chapters, has 300 something pages of course notes and 4 paper practice exams and 2 more on CD. Compared to Kaplan’s gigantic prep book filled with note that I dunno if I would even read that costs $150, I think Barron’s will at least keep me occupied for 2 weeks.

SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Y E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!!!!

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啊!來了來了!我的夏天來了!

住在加拿大的一大享受,是個性鮮明、各有特色的四季。不像台灣整年綠油油的,拍張相片如果不說很難分辨春下秋冬(除非相片裡看板被吹下來砸車)(颱風天啊),在這裡秋天有艷紅的楓葉,冬天有銀白的雪花,春天有櫻花和鬱金香。

夏天呢?亮麗的陽光和舒服的溫度。聽起來好像沒有什麼特別,但是在這座城市裡,這兩者足以將世界美化,把心情放鬆,在慵懶的夏日午後隨便找棵樹下一躺,誰管他開的是櫻花還是楓葉。

而今天早上7點起來,天空淡淡的、不帶一絲雲彩的淺藍還遺留著些許晨曦。八點半的考試,我梳洗完,八點就帶著一身精神早早出門。慢慢踱步,花了十五分鐘穿梭於影子的涼意和陽光的溫暖之中,心裡沒有緊張,只有舒服和享受。

考完過度準備的biochem,出來陽光依然耀眼,晃到常光顧的日本料理,店內空空,原來我是今天第一個客人。點了常吃的拉麵,再加五個sushi犒賞自己。回到宿舍,把多餘的大外套放下,坐不住就又溜出門去。

走經過松樹下,頭頂上傳來奇怪的噠噠聲,一度以為是松鼠拿東西打我,但是聲音太密集,而且一直沒有果子掉下來。停下腳步抬頭看看,看不出所以然,不過猜倒可一猜:滿樹的松果在陽光的催促下,正一片片興奮的打開,迎接夏天的到來。

深吸口氣,啊:我的夏天來了!

 
 
 
 
ps. 然後走到SUB,發現他們的BBQ開廚了!這是夏天到了的鐵証啊!

期末考紀錄:老爸老媽補給隊!

沒日沒夜沒天沒地沒良心的讀了一個禮拜的書以後,我變這個樣子:

但是還好!親愛的老爸老媽昨天來探監,不但帶了高級糧食來餵兒子,還帶我跟老弟出去吃午餐,吃完到QE Park散步,試圖拯救我瀕臨走火的理智。

前一天晚上才下過雪,把QE Park的櫻花、鬱金香襯托出一幅難得一見的景色。(有多難得一見呢?市內鏟雪車司機說他從來沒有在四月出動過。氣象老兄也說:上次四月下雪是1950年代的事了。)所以老爸確認「你說你可以從Razr上抓相片吼?」之後,就很不客氣也很不顧形象的跟它拼了。

我也不落人後,用Krzr跟他尬。

而配備最好,帶了Canon,一路上一直唸要拍雪中鬱金香,連坐在車裡看到有人院子裡有花也會抽出相機的老媽一下了車,馬上要我們全部擺好姿勢,接著…

我和弟:(乖乖站在老爸旁邊)

媽:(興高采烈非常興奮)

相機:(吱吱吱,自己收起來了)

全體:…呃,沒電?

媽:((((((((((((((((((((囧)))))))))))))))))))))))))

爸:…從昨天就沒電了ㄟ,你不是說要充嗎?

結果老媽不認輸,拿著相機一直甩,還真的給它甩出一堆電,公園逛一圈竟然被老媽甩出幾十張相片。都是:選景,開機,快快快快!,喀嚓,趕快關機!!!非常刺激。不過像機在家裡,下次有控再補。

ps. 慫恿老媽架網誌秀相片中。上次老弟想到(台語),把老媽拉進facebook,目前她朋友數有二。兩個兒子是也。登入次數我看也差不多只有兩次XD

還問我facebook好麻煩,還要從email連過去。原來她只會從我在她牆上留言,寄到她信箱的通知上的連結進入facebook啊!

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Finals update: it shall be done tomorrow

Guys, my dreaded pharmacology exam is around the corner. I have accepted my fate, and am now starting to read my notes from term 1.

Here’s a conversation between a pharmacology buddy and I, just to show that my phobia is shared among at least some of my colleagues.

Buddy: uuhh, just finished compiling the final drug list.. Do you know if we have to know Prostaglandins, TX, TL (n.b.: term 1 stuff) etc?

Buddy: I remember the prof said that ~30% is gonna be from the 1st term material, but then someone said that it’s only relevant for the profs who taught us both terms…

me: yeah… maybe…
Wait, whos’ that someone?
Was it me?

Buddy: LOL it might be

XD~~~

Finals update: self-quiz program

I wrote a self-quiz program for pharmacology. I better get an A+ on this final of doom…

I guess YouTube quality is a little less than optimal for a demo like this… oh well, not that anyone would want to see what the drug names are anyway.

On a geeky note: there’s room for extending this program to include other subjects, test formats, or even make it an interactive, “multi player” competitive game XD

But this would have to wait… my list of projects is growing faster than I can type.

Tools used:

CamStudio (screen video capture)

Windows Movie Maker (video editing)

MySQL, eclipse (making the self-quiz program program)