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  • Mr. Orange Toque goes to Afghanistan

    December 17th, 2008 she Posted in Adventures with MOT, Those Who Volunteered, Where No Flan Has Gone Before 5 Comments »

    Having sipped wine and smoked cigarettes in Paris, watched the sun rise over the Taj Mahal, and shopped in Winnipeg, MOT decided something was missing. He’d lived a life of fun-filled abandon and it was time to take the next step. MOT found friends amongst the Canadian military and decided to go along on the latest tour to Afghanistan. Who could blame him – it was this or spend another cold winter chopping wood in the wilds of Alberta.

    Granted, he certainly didn’t like how the trip started. Being forced out of bed and into the cold at 5am wasn’t his idea of a good time. Then, there was lots of “hurry up and wait” time before the bus left for the airport at 9am. Enough time to get his picture taken with some of his luggage. As you can see MOT does not travel light. Many of his bags were shipped overseas separately from his “hand” luggage.

    MOT and some of his luggage
    MOT and some of his luggage

    Like most members of the military, MOT doesn’t know exactly when he’ll be coming home (although, he sort of knows the month) or how often he’ll have access to a computer to post updates on his adventures. He’s certain many pictures will be taken and his stories posted as soon as he can find access to the interweeb.

    While he’s away, his behaviour will be carefully monitored by the men and women of 408 TacHel Sqn from Edmonton, AB. We wish him and his associates a safe trip.

    C/p Dust My Broom

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    November 26th, 2008 she Posted in Save Us From Evil, Where No Flan Has Gone Before 2 Comments »

    From Tweetsgiving to terrorism. So go the days of our lives.

    This morning I woke up excited about the use of Twitter as a tool for advertising a charitable campaign. As the day wore on and news began to filter out of Mumbai, Twitter is once again proving it’s unique position in social media circles. News of the Mumbai attacks are reported to have begun surfacing on Twitter an hour before the first reports began appearing in mainstream media (such as CNN).

    Having spent little time outside of work in Mumbai, I can’t begin to express how heartbroken I was when I learned of the latest attacks.  While I don’t have a close of an emotional (or personal) connection to Mumbai as I do with Bangalore or Manila, I can’t help but cry at the thought of the suffering and terror now gripping the city.

    We didn’t stay at any of the hotels mentioned in the news, but we did take pictures of the Taj Mahal hotel when we were touring Mumbai and again when we were on our way to visit Elephanta.

    Learn more about the attacks:

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    I should be sleeping

    April 11th, 2008 she Posted in Where No Flan Has Gone Before 2 Comments »

    I landed at midnight last night and arrived home just before 1am MT. Having just crossed 3 timezones my body was suffering under the delusion that it was past 4am AT when I finally crawled into bed. I started my day at 7am AT. Have I mentioned I don’t have any luck trying to sleep on planes?

    Late night and early morning flights always remind me just how far outside of Edmonton the Edmonton International Airport is located. There’s nothing quite like driving a half an hour to get to the city limits (30 mins if there’s no traffic, over an hour during daylight) and another 20-30 minutes to reach the airport when you have a 6am flight and need to be at the airport 2 hours before departure.

    Poor Drew had to be at work at 0 dark 30 for mandatory time on the rifle range and was not amused. He was less amused when he discovered – upon arriving to an empty parking lot at work – that he’d set the alarm clock an hour early and landed at the office 45 minutes before he was supposed to be there.

    I was going to drop into work for an afternoon seminar on copyright law but didn’t even hear the alarm go off. I slept for approximately 12 hours and missed the session.

    And now I can’t sleep. Crossing time zones is always evil. Of course traveling from the east coast to the west coast is not nearly as disruptive to the internal clock as traveling to India or the Philippines was. I do have a few days off before I head back to work on Monday, so it’s not all bad.

    What’s bad is my 10am appointment with the dentist. Yep, it’s that time of year again…

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    it snowed (and rained) last night

    April 5th, 2008 she Posted in Random Burbling, Where No Flan Has Gone Before 2 Comments »

    I haven’t managed to take any pictures while I was here. There hasn’t seemed a reason to bother. My sister is a great one for taking pictures. She’s always snapping moments in time. Usually capturing people as opposed to places.

    I didn’t really pay much attention to the city when I was here in 2006. Who sightsees in their hometown? I noticed some development projects, new roads, silly things like that.

    Driving around in the backseat of the car with my mum and sister a few days ago gave me time to look out windows and see what has become of my hometown. I always knew it was more of a small town, blue collar, working class city but I don’t think I ever really noticed just how dank and dirty it seems. Seedy in sections. It’s like an old grand dame who’s let herself go and doesn’t even realize it.

    Now I sit in a hotel and stare out windows at broken pavement, broken cars and furniture in messy backyards, boarded windows and peeling roofing tiles. I wonder if the hotel planning team had taken a good look at the neighbourhood they were building in? Actually, from the front end the view is much different. I guess you can’t expect much separation between the glitter and the rough when you’re living in a small city. I wonder if it’s always been this way or if it’s simply my black mood that encourages my vision of this side of the city?

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    and so it goes

    March 31st, 2008 she Posted in Where No Flan Has Gone Before 5 Comments »

    Tomorrow I have a full day. First there’s the packing. The shifting through textbooks trying to determine which ones to cart from one end of the country to another. Then there’s the updating of my iPod contents so I have something to listen to on the bazillion hour flight. I need to dig out my spare laptop batteries and install my bagpipe music software to help me practice. Oh, and I can’t forget my chanter and at least the basic music book. Once that’s finished I get to sort through my boring wardrobe and decide what to bring. I’m leaning towards t-shirts, comfortable sweaters and jeans. The only problem is they take up so much room in a suitcase. I suspect a few pairs of dress pants and blouses will make their way into the case in an attempt to try and save room.

    So much stuff for just a week away. Of course, I can’t go a week without working on my History paper. It’s the final one valued at 40%. That means at least 3 books are being packed. More if I end up bringing my articles from my course pack.

    Mom says the weather has improved – although snow is expected soon – so I won’t need to find my winter boots. Apparently a good set of sneakers (I don’t think I own any) or solid pair of shoes will suffice. I can’t get away without a warm jacket and at least one heavy sweater.

    The things we do to visit with family…

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