Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dancing Man

Recently got back from a week's long stay at Gabriola Island. It's so beautiful over there. The photo above is a picture of some arbutus trees taken from the beach. This photo has NOT been retouched at all. It's kewl how it kind of looks like a black and white photo with a splash of colour [when it's actually entirely in colour].

So on the third day we were on the island, I was sitting on the beach with my DH and, as the sun shone down on us, I turned to him and said "You know what would be perfect? Getting a tattoo of dancing man. I wonder if there is a tattoo artist on the island. Would be lovely if they could do it on the beach." [although I knew that the chances of getting it done ON the beach would be pretty small (no power for example)].

Dancing man is a petroglyph that can be found on Gabriola. There are quite a few [roughly over 8,000 years old, done by the First Nations]. But dancing man is the one that I fell madly in love with when I first saw it, oh, so many years ago.

This is a photo of a replication of the dancing man petroglyph. They have replications of the petroglyphs at the Gabriola Island Museum so that folks can go and do rubbings on those [thereby helping to protect and preserve the originals].

Anyways, from the beach we ended up heading over to a relative's home on the island. I asked her if she knew of any tattoo artists on the island. She said she didn't, but I could try asking another relative on the island as they tend to be more up on that kind of thing. We had a nice visit and then we left. On the way back to our cabin we decided to stop and get some ice for the cooler. As soon as we parked, I turned my head to the right and what should I see? A sign that said "Pretty Devils Tattoo." Naturally, I had to run up and into the place and harass the poor artist. Thankfully, she turned out to be a very sweet (and patient) talented woman who answered all my questions and let me know that she'd have time in the next few days to do the tattoo. I left the shop and called her the next day (okay, I called her a few times - perhaps I should have gotten a tattoo called "stalker woman" instead of "dancing man"). I finally went in on the Friday and got my dancing man tattoo on the outside calf of my right leg.

This was taken not quite a week later - still in the healing process. As you can see, it's absolutely fabulous. It kind of has almost an Aztec or Mayan feel to it (at least to me). He's so happy and so gosh darned cute! I'm very pleased with how he turned out.

So if you're ever anywhere near Gabriola and you want a tattoo, be sure to give Sue Addison at Pretty Devils a call. Check out her website: and see for yourself. She's not only a wonderful artist, but a wonderful person too. I can't wait to go back and get another piece done by her (I'm thinking something to do with stylized Arbutus).

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Pirates Ahoy, Matey!!!

Today we took the boys on Variety's Boat for Hope tour. We got to dress up as pirates and climb aboard a boat that was all decorated up as a pirate ship. The weather was horrible: rainy, cold and windy. But we had a GREAT time. We sailed around False Creek and had a few "ports of call" where, basically, we were "attacked" by some pirates in little dingy boats. We had to brandish our swords and the kids were armed with powerful water guns that they got to "shoot" at the invading pirates. One of the invading pirates was eating a weiner and Mike squirted him right in the hot dog. Once we had "subdued" the invading pirates, we were given some "treasure" to collect. All the kids were completely soaked [from the rain and from squirting water], but they didn't care because they were having too much fun. It was a really good day and I can't wait until next year.

All the boys getting ready to get on our pirate ship.

Mike is keeping an eye out for invading pirates.

Luke joins Mike in scouting for pirates.

Luke is inspecting the ship for any damage.

Some "invading" pirates trying to shoot us with their (water) canons.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

How a Couch Destroys PS2 Controllers

I had been puzzled over the last few months on how it is that we seemed to be going through PS2 controllers faster than rolls of toilet paper. In the span of 10 months, we had gone through over half a dozen PS2 controllers. They simply stopped working. Oldest son commented on how it was only after youngest two sons were playing that the controllers were getting wrecked somehow. Inspecting the controllers showed no obvious signs of destruction: they hadn’t been yanked on or smashed; the cords hadn’t been chewed on [as youngest would do several years ago – but the things still worked]. Observing the younger two at play, they weren’t pushing the buttons any harder or doing anything to the controllers any differently than they had over many years of play. We replaced the whole PS2 system thinking that perhaps the console was to blame. Nope. Within a week of the new system in place, two more controllers bit the dust. So what on Earth was going on?

We finally figured it out. It has to do with the couch. See, we bought a new couch just under a year ago. It’s a really nice couch. A large sectional covered in a nice wine coloured faux suede type of fabric. It fits the whole family with room for a couple more.

But, how, you ask, does the couch have anything to do with the destroyed PS2 controllers? I’ll tell you. We discovered quite by accident one day that second-youngest son gets quite animated when playing video games. He wiggles and squirms and flops around on the couch. When he does this, electrons are pulled from the surface of the couch into his body. As soon as he goes to touch anyone or anything, *ZAPPPPP*. It turns out that he was building up large amounts of static electricity and frying the controllers when he’d touch them.

I went out and bought a special bracelet for him to wear when he’s playing on the PS2. It has a rubber part that goes around his wrist which is attached to a wire that we then clip to the metal frame of the coffee table. In essence, we have to “ground” him in order for him to be able to play. We’ve had the bracelet for over two weeks now and we’re still on the same controller.