Archive for November, 2009

Queen’s tam in the wild?

Queens Tam

Old man on bus wearing what’s that? A Queen’s tam?

Today is a special day. From today, there are only 2 more weeks left of school; the countdown has begun! But there is oh so much to learn in oh so little time. Everything this year comes down to final exams.

I made the same thing for dinner today as yesterday. It was a delicious meal yet again. Last time I had a lot of the marinade in the oven with the chicken, so it seemed like the lower half had been boiled and the upper half baked. This time, I included just enough marinade to cover the chicken and mixed the rest in with the rice. This gave the rice a very nice, warm colour (primarily from the turmeric) and it tasted excellent on it’s own. It’ll be delicious as lunch tomorrow if it lasts till then.

Tandoori Chicken

My very own tandoori-esque chicken

Late night running and Tandoori chicken


Squirrel on neighbour’s roof, shot with new lens

Had a fairly slow day today, dim sum was cancelled at the very last minute which I was pretty disappointed about. We’ll probably to it another time though before the semester ends. I started watching Rome, a TV series, which was probably a bad idea as it wasn’t untill 6 or so episodes later that I stopped watching. Played around with my new lens a bit, but couldn’t really see how it was without leaving the house.

I decided I’d have chicken for dinner, and had no homework or anything else pressing, so spent a while prepping it. Thawed it for a few hours in a sink filled with luke warm water and marinated it with cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, chili, turmeric, salt, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, chicken stock, some chopped cilantro stalks, and olive oil that I prepared by heating it, placing a chili in it for a few minutes (letting the oil soak up the juices from the chili), then discarding the chili. I let it marinade while I went for a run.

I’d been planning to go for a run most of the day, but didn’t end up leaving the house till 4pm – my typical procrastination. I decided to run the full loop of the southern Endowment lands (trail map here), which was Huckleberry -> Hemlock -> Council -> Sword Fern -> S.W. Marine -> Clinton -> Sasamat -> Huckleberry. By the time I got to Marine drive it was the tail end of sunset. I actually took a break from running for a bit because the view was amazing. The view south was, I’m guessing, towards Vancouver Island, and I could just see the firey last few moments of the sun before it went down behind the mountains. The ocean was completely calm, and although overcast it didn’t rain. A little while later I got a bit lost and some dog walkers told me to head out to the street as it would be pitch black in 10 minutes. I decided to stay on the trails a bit longer, and they were right, it got pretty dark. After getting lost a couple times and re-tracing my steps, then getting chased by a dog with it’s old woman older calling after it, and running through a couple soaking wet puddles, I made it back to the road, was honked at by a car for running across the street, and than ran the sidewalk home.

The chicken was superb, as I had toasted all the spices and ground them individually. The chicken also had time to marinade for a few hours, and I had scored it well, so it soaked up the juices rather nicely. I wasn’t too sure about what temperature to put the oven, but I knew a traditional tandoor gets up to 700F so I maxed the oven at 500F. It took about 30 minutes to cook and took a very nice yellow colour because of the turmeric. Paired with rice, it made quite the dinner.

Tuesday is the due date for my 441 assignment, so I anticipate a late night tonight.


Sliced Potato

Using the apple-peeler-corer-slicer on potatos

Baked potatos in the oven today, layered with cheese that had been sliced into rings using the apple-peeler-corer-slicer. They were quite excellent.

I went to the trip meeting yesterday for heading up to Squamish this weekend for the Wilderness Survival VOC trip, but I bailed mainly cause of the rain. I’m planning on going for Dim Sum with some people from my economics class tomorrow.

Stephos for the second time ever tonight. I had the lamb souvlaki and it was pretty good. The lamb was a tad on the chewy side so I might decide on chicken next time. Also, the only difference between the small and large portions is an extra skewer of lamb, so I’ll probably get the small and save $3 next time. Definitely a worthwile restaurant to visit despite the 30-40 minute wait.


Lamb Souvlaki at Stephos

Student aid application accepted


Brock Hall

Just to throw it out there, this is supposedly the snowiest November Whistler has ever had, the season looks promising! “422cms have fallen so far, smashing our record for all time snowiest November!! The avalanche danger is currently high to extreme.” (Whistler Blackcomb website)

Free cupcakes yesterday outside the SUB! I’ve also got a coupon to Cupcakes, a chain with a few stores around Vancouver. They’re pretty much half icing, but they’re good if you’re looking for a sweet fix. I had the pre-trip meeting for Wilderness Survival this weekend. I’m thinking of bailing due to the rain though. The whether is not going to be very nice at all. I can’t say I fancy sleeping in a tent in the rain and making fires with wet wood. It could be very informative though. Option 2 is dim sum with Adam et al from econ.

I also confirmed that I’ll be receiving financial assistance from the BC government. Free money is definitely nice.

I returned about $1200 worth of products over the past 2 days. Yesterday was a $110 econ textbook that I “borrowed” for an assignment, today was a $1000 camera lens and $100 worth of memory from futureshop. They’ve extended their return policy until Januay 3rd or so (ie, any product bought now can be used until Jan 3rd before it must be returned).

Evening Running

Buchanon D

Buchanon D314

I went for a run through the Endowment Lands again this evening. I just made it before it got too dark, 4:10pm – 5:00pm. I didn’t quite get to the output level I would have liked, but it was a good run nonetheless. It’s definitely beneficial to look at a map beforehand and decide on a general route. I ended up going farther than planned as I was faster than I thought I’d be. Huckleberry -> Hemlock -> Council -> (south on the side of a road at UBC) -> Powerline -> Imperial -> Top -> Huckleberry. If I decide to go for longer next time, I’ll go farther south, maybe to Soutwest Marine. I saw Hao Li walking his dog during my run. He’s the professor for Econ 420, optimization in economics. I sat in on his course for a few weeks until the math became so difficult, my marginal learning fell to zero.

I had an interesting talk with Vasko, a fellow econ student, today about the education system. His policy was to do whatever it takes to get the highest paying job quickly after university. His plan is to do very well over the course of the next two years and be accepted to the MFE program at UofT, quickly get his MFE and move into the lucrative profession of finance. That means taking relatively easy courses this year and next as to boost his GPA. It’s unfortunate that sacrificing learning is an optimal strategy to getting a strong post graduate application. I’m still trying to take courses in which I’ll learn the most. I suppose you can only say what’s right or wrong in retrospect.

Mozart’s Requiem by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

VSO Reception

Katie and I at the Orpheum

Finally had my econ exam today and it wasn’t all that bad. More time would have made a big difference. I received a letter saying I had been approved for student funding, which will be a relief.

Went to Kam’s Place for dinner and ordered Laksa (a noodle soup with chicken and prawns dish) along with lemon chicken (breaded chicken, somewhat similar to schnitzel, but not as good and a bit on the sweet side. Following that, we headed through the rain to the Orpheum Theatre.

It was a great show, the first time I’d seen an orchestral production in many years. The last time was probably on a field trip with band or choir back at Collingwood. The conductor was the very lively Bramwell Tovey, a pleasure to watch. I particularly enjoyed the choir towards the end as it projected very well. For only $10 with a student access pass, I think I’ll go again.

Trail running in the Endowment Lands

Indian Curry

I realize I haven’t posted here in a full week. The first few days were becaues I forgot my SD card at my Mum’s and didn’t get it back till Tuesday. I was pretty busy till the end of the week and after forgetting to blog one day, it was easy to forget the next. Trip reports are daunting tasks but don’t actually take that long.

Today I went for a run for the second time this year around the Endowment lands. 45 minutes: Huckleberry -> Hemlock -> Nature -> Cleveland -> Sherry Sakamoto -> Salal – >Cleveland – > Nature -> Deer Fern -> Huckleberry. I really should start running more as I haven’t been getting a lot of excercise recently. It took a while to find the trail map online, but here it is.

Met my Mum for coffee and picked up some spices from Fraser St. $12 for everything: cumin, coriander, cinnamon, garam masala, shredded coconut, onions, an orange pepper, mushrooms, and an eggplant. It seemed like rather a good deal. I’ll have enough spices for quite a while now.

The curry was quite good. I used 5 cloves, where I normally don’t use any and made the rice with half coconut-milk half-water and a teaspoon of shredded coconut. It was ok, but still not as good as the restaurant. Next time I’ll use better quality coconut milk if I can find it and perhaps more shredded coconut. Though it was quite sweet. I should start experimenting with bay leaves, mustard seeds, fenugreek, and mustard seeds – all ingrediants I have yet to use.

Whistler 2009-11-14


Headed to Whistler with someone who had advertised a ride-share on the VOC message board. Picked up from Taylor Way and the highway at 7:45am and left for the mountain. Arrived at 9am and got our gear together.


The line-up for the gondola up Whister was massive (Blackcomb is closed untill November 26th). When we got into it, it was all the way to Zogs. Supposedly later it reached almost to the movie theatre. On the good side, it moved very quickly. They crammed 10 people into every gondola, so it wasn’t long till we were at the front of the queue.


There was lots of fresh snow and although there were a lot of people, it was great to ski. Line-ups weren’t over-the-top and were 5-10 minutes most of the day (towards the end of the day they weren’t much over a minute.) We stayed on Red chair most of the day as the line was shorter. Though we did get a decent run down one of the black runs to Harmony and then skiid the road to Emerald. There were a few rocks, but I was lucky and didn’t hit anything. I’m going to want to bring my nice skis from now on, as I can really feel the difference in terms of ability to turn, ability to carve, and general absorbtion of shock.


We grabbed some lunch and I had a sandwich made by Dad along with an instant soup and hot chocolate as-per-usual.


We met up with a couple of Adrian’s friends after lunch and skied with them for the rest of the day. (Wow, my first time realizing the propper spelling for “skied” – interesting…) Everyone kept up and skied well. Adrian seemed to have raced before and was consistantly the first one down.


We got back to the car at 4pm and I arrived home at 6pm. There was killer traffic across the Lions Gate, and I forgot to tell Michelle to turn up Denman, so it was rather slow going up Burrard. I grabbed a cinnamon bun with Katie from Grounds for Coffee to end the day. A great start to the season!

Elfin Lakes, November 8th


Drove up early Saturday morning, left North Van at 7am, snowshoes in hand. We didn’t know the exact route and made the mistake of turning up an old logging road that got smaller and smaller untill it was the end part of a mountain biking trail. We only realized this after engaging 4 wheel drive, driving through many ditches, through some very deep puddles, rather slippery mud patches, and finally seeing a mountain biking trail map with a “you are here” sticker many miles from where we were supposed to be.


We doubled back,  caught our first glimpse of snow for the year and made it up to the parking lot. After a longer than usual gear up, we were both wearing snowshoes for the first time and were ready to depart on our journey up to Red Heather cabin. We left at 9:10am (oh how I love camera metadata) and quickly got used to using snowshoes.


We soon passed some snowboarders who were hiking up to get some turns down Paul Ridge. I can imagine they had a pretty tough time hiking through the powder up to the ridge wearing snowboarding boots. Even with snowshoes on, Tyler and I sunk down a decent ways whenever we stepped off trail.


We arrived at Red Heather in good time, 10:35am and had a lunch break (neither of us had had breakfast and our sandwiches were rather appetizing). I also brought out a couple rows of chocolate as per tradition.


It wasn’t long after leaving the cabin that the trail ended and we had to start making our own trail towards Elfin Lakes. By 11:25 it was so socked in, and progress was so slow that we made the disappointing decision of turning back. Next time, skis are a must!


It took us about five tries to get this shot alright. I couldn’t figure out how to enable the 10 second timer on my camera, so I had only 2 seconds from pressing the shutter to getting into frame. It worked out well in the end though.

Overall a good adventure away from the city. I mean, how often do we have this much snow by November 8th? It’s pretty unusual. I will definitely be heading into the mountains as much as I can from now on.

Grind in the snow – Winter has arrived! (And Thai curry)

Thai Curry

Thai Curry

Slept at Mum’s last night, it was quite comfortable on the couch. Went down to Lonsdale Quay with Mum and we got breafast and some ingredients for dinner. I decided it had been far too long since I’d done any excercise so I decided to do the Grind. It started snowing between the 1/2 and 3/4 mark. It was very exciting to walk to the clearing by the gully just before the 3/4 mark and see the snow slowly falling down. It gave me a bit of a boost going up, although the trail was rather slippery, especially in an old pair of running shoes. The chalet was closed for a function, so I came down for coffee at Starbucks. I can’t say I’m a fan of the Christmas blend, but it was nice seeing my former co-workers.

I made Thai curry for dinner for the first time. Flavouring ingredients consisted of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, cordiander, cumin, ginger, garlic, coconut milk, shallots, lime rind and fresh red chilis. Bulk ingredients consisted of chicken, eggplant, mushrooms, red peppers, and snap peas. Garnish was a sprinkling of fresh coriander and basil (not shown in picture). It was pretty good, I was glad to have had the chance to make Thai curry at last. Next time I’d use snow peas instead of snap, I’d put more salt in and try to get rock or sea salt if available, use more eggplant, and more chilis (I only used 2).

Didn’t go hiking with Tyler today because lack of car, but we plan on snowshoeing up at Elfin Lakes tomorrow. I can’t wait!