Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's freaking cold up here

... in the frozen North. Yeah, it's getting to me, what can I say. The human body just wasn't designed to operate in temperatures of -28°C. Oh well, by Thursday a high of -7° is expected, practically tropical compared to the temperatures the past few days. Oh, and did I mention the current wind chill here in Edmonton is -40? At we can drink the water, or at least that's what people keep telling me.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Quarterly update

And, no the post title is (hopefully) not an indication of my planned frequency of updating this blog :)

I was back in Vancouver for a holiday a couple of weeks a ago. It was nice to see the old sites and sounds of my former city of residence. I somehow thought that the week would be relaxing, but with one thing and another it really wasn't. It was great to catch up with friends and spend time with family, and with all that going on a week went by pretty quickly.

I spent some time at a friend's new warehouse/shop. She spends a lot of time India, Nepal, and Tibet and has started and import business to sell some of the magnificant goods from the region. The image at right is from her warehouse.

I'm also newly engaged! Ilana and I got engaged beginning of September. It was quite the exciting event!

Work is going well. For the first few weeks I was a little frustrated that they couldn't keep me busy enough, but lately I've been decently busy which is far more enjoyable. The transition from being self-employed to working at a medium size company is a challenging one. I very much enjoy that I no longer directly deal with the business side of things, though I think that my experience in that area has been valuable to me. It's also interesting working in a company where software is not our product, but rather something used internally. Not that some of our software isn't exposed to users outside the company, but the requirements (especially from the setup and customization standpoint) are completely different than Libranet, a product that was basically off-the-shelf software. So then my exposure to the world of corporate information technology is an interesting journey thus far.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Up the walls and down again

 

So it's been quite a while since I've posted here. What's changed? I'm pretty well settled here in Edmonton now, and I'm enjoying Summer while it's still here. I've found work at a company in downtown Edmonton (and they are open source friendly to boot).

Since my move I've yet to get a chance to visit Vancouver again, but my girlfriend and I have been spending several weekends in Calgary with her parents. They live on the West side of the city making it a short drive to some very beautiful hikes in the Rockies.

As the picture above indicates I've taken up indoor climbing. My girlfriend and have been managing at least one climbing season a week since we started in June. It's a great way to keep fit and a pile of fun to boot. (In case you are wondering why I'm not roped in the picture, it's because I'm bouldering below the 3 meter line.)

Oh yeah, and I've got an Israeli dance class starting at the Edmonton JCC in September. I'm quite excited about this opportunity to teach and pass on this great activity.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Unpacking is fun

The process of unpacking has mostly ended. It's been long process, but there are only a few odds and ends left to be put away.

Oh, and on the way from Vancouver my little blue car got rear-ended on the highway. Luckily the relative speed between us and the vehicle that hit us was relatively low, so the impact was not extreme. Still, it was enough to spin out the car and send us across the left lane into the grassy median in the center of the highway (Alberta's highway 16). It's really more of a hassle than anything else.

The weather here in Edmonton has been terrific the past few days and I've been getting out on my bike for short rides a fair bit. My girlfriend and I took an indoor climbing course this past weekend which we both really enjoyed. It's a challenge for sure, but one that I look forward to doing more of.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Packing

The "Big Move" happens this Thursday, so I'm being swamped under the task of packing. Then 1200km and a lot of unpacking later I'll be settled in Edmonton.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The chaos of transition

Okay, right so it's been a while.

The big news is that I'm moving cities. Goodbye Vancouver; hello Edmonton. Yup, it's a big change. I'm also in the midst of looking for job opportunities in Edmonton, so if anyone knows of anyone in Edmonton who needs a software developer be sure to drop me a line.

It's quite a concept: pack everything up in a trailer and move on over the Rocky Mountains. After Vancouver, the lack of mountains (or just down right lack of hilliness) and the dearth of ocean will be quite a change. And hey, there's always the -30°C weather in the Winter (yes, I'm well aware that it doesn't often stay that cold for any length of time). I'm looking forward to exploring Edmonton's cultural offerings, and of course the Rockies are just a short drive away for when I need my mountain fix. Most of all, I'm looking forward to moving in with a certain special someone ;)

So what does that mean with Libranet? Well, I'm not going to be developing Libranet any further myself. If any one has any interesting ideas or propositions I'm open to hearing them. For now I'll keep the Libranet forum and mailing lists running (though I do need some forum moderators to keep an eye on things). I'll update the Libranet website with a more official sort of announcement in the next while.

Oh, and I'll be starting an Israeli dance group in Edmonton. There's still a lot of organizational type stuff that needs to happen before sessions start, but it's in the pipe.

All in all then a lot of changes happening. All for the best I think, it's time for me to start moving forward again.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Photos & update


I've finally gotten around to posting almost all of my Israel pictures. They're up on the same gallery as before, but this time goes up to and including Petra. I still have some more pictures to transfer from my camera. I'll get those up when I get the chance.

Which brings me to summarizing the trip. Basically there were three sections to the trip: the first leg was the Taglit-Birthright tour, a ten day whirlwind that took me and 38 other young Jewish Canadians across almost all of Israel; the second involved some further traveling with people from the tour; the third leg was spending time with family in Israel.

The Taglit-Birthright program is amazing, and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone who qualifies for the program. The program is designed for Jews from the age of 18-26 who have never been on a group trip to Israel (and no, going with family doesn't count as a group trip). Besides being a hell of a lot of fun, I feel that I saw a lot more of Israel than I would have traveling just on my own, and the experience is different due to being with a group of similarly aged people and having a tour guide. Our trip's guide, Noga, was absolutely amazing. Not only was she incredibly knowledgeable, but her passion for Israel was felt by all in the group. Our tour leaders, Debbie and Ben, also did a great job of keeping everyone together, yet allowing us our freedom when they could. The tour goes all over Israel and for our group included the north of Israel (the Golan, the Kinnert, Tiberious, Tzfat), Jerusalem (including of course the Kotel), the Dead Sea (along with Messada and Ein Gedi), a night in the Judean Desert, and Tel Aviv. For the last five days of the trip our bus was joined by eight Israeli soldiers. Since Israel has mandatory military service at age 18 this meant that we were with eight Israelis in a similar age group to the rest of the bus. They were all very enthusiastic and were just as interested in hearing about where we come from and our thoughts on Israel as we were on hearing about life in Israel.

During the trip I meet an amazing girl by the name of Ilana, and we decided that we wanted to spend the remaining time that we had together in Israel traveling together along with a friend of hers that she had previously planned to meet up with. She was staying for a shorter time than I, so that meant we had another four or five days to spend together before parting company with her going back to Canada (Edmonton) and me staying in Israel for another six weeks. We spent a busy few days dividing time between Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. After saying a sad goodbye with the decision that I'd come and visit her just as soon as I got back to Canada (and yes, here I am staying with her until mid next week when I head back to Vancouver) I moved on to the third phase of my Israel experience.

From Tel Aviv I went straight to Eilat where my mom (also on holiday in Israel at the moment) was staying. Eilat is where her two sisters both live, and where I would end up spending most of my remaining time in Israel. Eilat is the southernmost city in Israel and is quite isolated from the rest of the country, both by distance and because of the distance socially as well. While Eilat gets very hot during the summer with temperatures that can head well north of 50°C the winter is nice and mild with day time temperatures between 12-20°C. It was really only ever cold during the day when the strong desert wind was blowing, and at night where the temperature cools off quickly because of Eilat's desert location. In Eilat I spent most days just lazing around taking the opportunity to just relax and do nothing. Many of the nights were occupied with Eilat's Israel Dance community. From Eilat I decided to go on a tour to Petra (and naturally my mom couldn't pass up the opportunity and decided to join me). The trip into Jordan and through Petra was amazing and well worth the journey. My mother and I then decided to head north to Jerusalem for a while. We ended up spending over two weeks in Jerusalem. Once again I spent most days just relaxing with some touring of the city and four nights of the week I would go to Israeli Dance sessions in and around Jerusalem. From Jerusalem we rented a car for the journey back to Jerusalem. The drive was about 400km, long by Israel standards, but not really considering distances in Canada. The road takes a beautiful twisty track down to the Dead Sea, along the coast of the Dead Sea, then through the Negev close to the Jordan border and all the way to Eilat. I then spent my last remaining week or so doing some more relaxing and dancing in Eilat until heading back to Canada.

So all in all a really terrific holiday. It's not often that one gets a chance to take two months off to travel, and I'm glad that I took the opportunity when I could.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Back in Canada

That's right, back in the winter waste land. Okay, so I lie, Canada really isn't all Arctic wilderness. But, it was snowing in Edmonton today which is where I am at the moment.

So I never really ended up blogging my travels as much as I expected. Internet access was not always easy to get to when I was in Israel, and there's only so much patience for computers when on holiday so I spent most of my time on emails.

Canada is proving to be quite a culture shock for me after living in Israel for two months. I'll adjust back eventually I guess :)

I still need to upload a bunch of photos and do the whole trip summary thing. Needless to say I had a great time.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Quick update

Back in Jerusalem for the time being.
Hopefully I'll get a chance to post something more substantial at somepoint.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Update from Eilat

So I'm here in Eilat just kicking back and relaxing. I'm ever so slowly uploading pictures to my gallery, but it will be a while before everything I've taken so far gets uploaded.

Eilat is very liad back and relaxing. The weather is warm, or at least by Vancouver standards. It's only really cold when the wind kicks up, and the first few days I was here I was walking around in a long sleeve shirt and sandals.

I've been dancing several of the nights that I've been here. There are many Rikudiam groups here in Eilat which I was surprised at since there are only something like 50 000 residents. There are groups every night except Friday night (of course). There are a lot of dances done here that I have never seen before, never mind know, but there are also a lot that I do know which is nice. I'm looking forward to dancing in some of the bigger groups in Tel Aviv.

So I've been all over the place in Israel so far. The first leg of my trip was a Taglit-Birthright trip that consisted of about 40 young Canadians from mostly Western Canada.