Pumpkin Carving 101 with Brother J ...

How very cool! Wish I was able to trick or treat at his place. My mom will arrive in two days with a big bag of sour keys ... happy Halloween to me!

A bit of time has been spent over the past few days scouting out a turkey or two. Three sit in my freezer now as I type ... can't wait, can't wait!

Only six more sleeps until Vietnam ... it's coming up fast and I am so ready!

Little Levi

Thursday October 25th, 2007

It's been a very busy month ... it's hard to believe it's almost over. A new photo album will (hopefully) be up in the next day or two. I was away last weekend and found myself at a very impressive aquarium. I took a ton of photos and am currently working on them. With all my new found work, trying to piece together a Halloween costume for the party on Saturday and my upcoming trip to Vietnam, one hardly has the time. Eyes posted. Time to run ... again!

Monday October 8th, 2007

I think Typhoon 柯羅莎 (Krosa) was, perhaps, the biggest of the year. Some quotes taken directly from the Taipei times ...

- potentially the most dangerous storm of the season so far

- moving in a northwesterly direction at 15kph, packing sustained winds of 184kph and gusts up to 227kph

- with a radius of 300km

- 500 households were still without water at press time, while 72,000 households were still without electricity and approximately 2,200 home phone lines were out of commission

- Mudflow risk remains high, with more than 260 rivers listed at red alert and 660 at yellow alert

- Council of Agriculture said that as of 5pm yesterday, about NT$748 million (US$22.9 million) in damage had been tallied so far, but that figure was expected to rise

- 3,283 hectares of farmland were damaged, with an average crop destruction rate of 20 percent, meaning that the equivalent of 2,630 hectares had been destroyed

- banana and rice crops were the most heavily hit, persimmon, guava, papaya and grape farms were also damaged

and the best for last ...

- Hsintian river overflowed into the park's grounds and then receded, stranding the fish

- some people interviewed doubted that the fish were safe to eat, others gathered as many as they could, arguing that the fish had probably come from the Feitsui Dam and were therefore safe to consume ...

I ventured from my place to a friend's around noon on Saturday ... he lives a few buildings over. I nearly blew away walking over in the underground passage. He lives up on the 14th floor and his building was shaking most of the day. Announcements were warning folks not to go outside. If going outside was necessary, to please stay out of the courtyards. About 10 of us spent the day indoors with scrabble, a BBQ, twister and tequila and gin, straight up! What else were we to do, really?!

Just before noon on Sunday, I found myself venturing around to see what the fuss was about. People were obviously up much earlier than I ... (perhaps due to the tequila) ... piles of debris were scattered here and there. The driving range just behind the complex had blown to pieces.

Trucks and working crew have been cleaning since early morning. Once again, I find myself amazed and a bit scared of what mother nature can throw out. Learning quite late that this weekend was Canadian thanksgiving, I find myself thankful for the fact that I have a standing home. I don't find myself with a full plate of turkey, but that will come upon mom's arrival.

29 more sleeps ...

Thursday October 4th, 2007

Seems as though it will be a wet weekend for tiny Taiwan. See us now ... won't see us tomorrow ... nor the day after that! Typhoon 柯羅莎 is on the way. The wind has been picking up with each passing hour. A solid week of rain is showing in the forecast. One can only hope it's going to change. Wednesday is 雙十節. It's a day off and it best be sunny!

My Vietnam trip is coming up fast. With 2008 just around the corner, work has been plentiful and time has been tight. A break will be needed as I hope to maintain this pace until late next year. That is, of course, with the exception of a diving holiday in some exotic place over the Chinese New Year.

33 more sleeps ... not that I'm counting yet or anything!