Thursday, December 27, 2007

Images of BC trip: Calgary to Fairmont to Kelowna and home again

Castle Mountain, west of Banff.
We've scrambled it (in the summer, that is).
Anticipating Fairmont and seeing Brent's parents

The "Bavarian" village of Kimberley,
where we went Christmas shopping and just looking around

Lunch in Kimberley.

Being blissfully lazy in the suite. I am curled up on the floor by the fireplace,
something I had been looking forward to doing since we first decided to go to Fairmont

Mom and Dad took us to see the old Fairmont hot springs bathhouse.
One tub per room, water runs in one side of the building and out the other.
Hot water coming out of the ground.
Note the green plant. The water is HOT!

Looking at houses, getting ideas for PJB Design.
Rich Albertans retiring to Fairmont build lovely houses.
Waiting for avalanche control work on the Trans-Canada between Golden and Revelstoke.
We only survived the 3/4 hour wait by eating Dad Bouwsema's yummy flatbread. ;)
Beautiful and snowy in Revelstoke National Park.

At last, Revelstoke, where we met my parents.
And then, homeward again two days later, after several lovely swims in the hotel pool,
a funeral, good visits with cousins and aunt and uncles and two Starbucks trips. ;)

Out the hotel window the morning we were to leave:
almost six inches of new snow and still falling.
Breakfast with Jorgen and Theo in the hotel before we leave.

Tense driving with thickly falling snow all the way from Kelowna to Golden.

In case you were wondering, we made it home safely. :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Farvel Bedstemor

My Bedstemor, pictured here with our family, died on Monday. She was three months away from her 97th birthday. She was born in Denmark and moved to Canada in the fifties with her husband, with four small children and a baby on the way. She was a faithful Christian and humourous, kind and interesting lady. She will be greatly missed but she is in heaven now, free from her broken and bent human body.

Vi elsker dig, Bedstemor!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

River-- Sarah McLaughlan

A lovely musical interlude: We knew the month between semesters was going to be busy but it has become now busier yet. We got a call from my mum on Monday letting us know that my Bedstemor, her mother, died Monday morning in Westbank, British Columbia. So, rather than driving back to Calgary on Friday from our visit to Brent's parents in Fairmont, we're driving to Kelowna Thursday afternoon for the funeral Friday morning. It will be good to say goodbye to her and to connect with the Sveistrup family and our Danish roots.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Two Bit Suit

Last year at about this time we found ourselves in the little town of Nanton to visit with friends of ours and to see John Wort Hannam for the first time ever. After this small coffee house concert we gained a great appreciation for his music. So when the opportunity to see John again in such an intimate venue we couldn't pass it up. Thanks to Tyler and Rachel for inviting us to go! He certainly did not disappoint putting on a great show, very personal.

John debuted a new song never sung for an audience before. He had to sit down because he did not think he could sing it standing.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Handel's Messiah, audience participation style

Our friends Rachel and Trevor saw what looks to have been a truly amazing version of Handel's Messiah in Korean, see their blog about it here.

We too, went to a performance, with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic Choir.

Rach and Trev's version had a choir of no less than 500....
our choir was comprised of, among many others, us! It was the singalong version, where the audience pays twenty dollars each for the opportunity to be a part of the chorus. It is an AMAZING experience. I highly recommend it to anyone interested (and who can read music).

Brent's mum and I sang in the Alto section and Brent's Dad and Brent sang Bass.

And last but not least, our conductor was no less than Handel himself. ;)
And, finally, Stephen Avenue, downtown Calgary, when we left.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Giant Cookies

We regularly check out this cooking blog because there are often interesting and tasty and easy-to-make recipes there (ie vegetarian chile and the butternut squash soup we made a while back).

Last week we found a GIANT ginger cookie recipe there. Ginger cookies are my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE (but only if they're chewy). :)

They turned out perfect. Here's the recipe.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Amazing Commercial

This is a pretty amazing commercial for something we both believe in.

Friday, December 07, 2007


We've become more and more appreciative of Feist lately. I should note that this is largely due to the influence of Bec and Eric, who were fans before she became pop. :) Anyway, yesterday Feist was nominated for several Grammys, including one for the best short music video for the video that follows. Apparently the idea for the choreography came from when Feist, at 12, was one of the dancers for the 1988 Olympics, which, you may recall, were in Calgary. So without further ado, the lyrics for Feist's 1234 (which, really, aren't very deep, I must admit), and then the video. One Two Three Four Tell me that you love me more Sleepless long nights That is what my youth was for Old teenage hopes are alive at your door Left you with nothing but they want some more Oh, you're changing your heart Oh, You know who you are Sweetheart bitterheart now I can tell you apart Cosy and cold, put the horse before the cart Those teenage hopes who have tears in their eyes Too scared to own up to one little lie Oh, you're changing your heart Oh, you know who you are One, two, three, four, five, six, nine, or ten Money can't buy you back the love that you had then One, two, three, four, five, six, nine, or ten Money can't buy you back the love that you had then Oh, you're changing your heart Oh, you know who you are Oh, you're changing your heart Oh, you know who you are Oh, who you are For the teenage boys They're breaking your heart For the teenage boys They're breaking your heart

Monday, November 26, 2007

Chick Corea

Last night we went to a concert put on by Chick Corea. With him was featured Eddie Gomaz (bass), Hubert Laws (flute), and Airto Moreira (percussion). What a fantastic mix of musicians, and it showed in their music. I've never been to live jazz, but this was a great first show to see. Below is a clip of Chick Corea with his regular band, the Chick Corea Acoustik Band.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

We really enjoy the Mac's Vs. PC videos that Apple puts out, even though we hvae a PC :) Here are a few of them, even international ones.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Baby, It's Cold Outside

We've sort of been waiting all November for snow and tonight we got some! Lets hope that is sticks. We has some snow back in October you might remember, but it didn't last long at all, just long enough for snowmen to appear in schoolyards for a few days. To celebrate the snow I decided to make us some gingerbread lattes. Tasty! Molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. The proportions are to taste, so I'll have to make it again to perfect the ratios.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Have you ever seen the movie The Terminal? It's one of my all-time favourite movies. Everything works out in the end in The Terminal. Can you believe a similar situation occurred in Canada...and the man died?? I simply cannot understand this. How could it happen in Canada? It's absolutely heartbreaking. How could people be so heartless and insensitive? This sounds like a story from Communist Russia or a conspiracy movie, not from Canada and our supposedly upstanding RCMP. Taken from here

An eyewitness's video recording of a man dying after being stunned with a Taser by police on Oct. 14 at Vancouver International Airport has been released to the public.

Robert Dziekanski is jolted by a shot from an RCMP Taser.Robert Dziekanski is jolted by a shot from an RCMP Taser. (Paul Pritchard)

The 10-minute video recording clearly shows four RCMP officers talking to Robert Dziekanski while he is standing with his back to a counter and with his arms lowered by his sides, but his hands are not visible.

About 25 seconds after police enter the secure area where he is, there is a loud crack that sounds like a Taser shot, followed by Dziekanski screaming and convulsing as he stumbles and falls to the floor.

Another loud crack can be heard as an officer appears to fire one more Taser shot into Dziekanski.

As the officers kneel on top of Dziekanski and handcuff him, he continues to scream and convulse on the floor.

One officer is heard to say, "Hit him again. Hit him again," and there is another loud cracking sound.

Police have said only two Taser shots were fired, but a witness said she heard up to four Taser shots.

Robert Dziekanski falls to the floor as an RCMP officer looks on.Robert Dziekanski falls to the floor as an RCMP officer looks on. (Paul Pritchard)

A minute and half after the first Taser shot was fired Dziekanski stops moaning and convulsing and becomes still and silent.

Shortly after, the officers appear to be checking his condition and one officer is heard to say, "code red."

The video ends shortly after.

Minutes later, ambulance attendants arrived but their efforts to revive Dziekanski were unsuccessful and he was declared dead.

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dale Carr said no one can judge what happened to Dziekanski by just watching the video.

"It's just one piece of evidence, one person's view. There are many people that we have spoken to," RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dale Carr said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Four RCMP officers subdue Robert Dziekanski after stunning him with a Taser on Oct. 14 at Vancouver airport.Four RCMP officers subdue Robert Dziekanski after stunning him with a Taser on Oct. 14 at Vancouver airport. (Paul Pritchard)

"What I urge is that those watching the video, take note of that. Put what they've seen aside for the time being. And wait to hear the totality of the evidence at the time of the inquest," Carr said.

But retired superintendent Ron Foyle, a 33-year veteran of the Vancouver police who saw the video tape, said he didn't know "why it ever became a police incident."

"It didn't seem that he made any threatening gestures towards them," Foyle said.

Much of the video was shot through the glass walls that separate the international arrivals lounge from a secure area outside the Canada Customs exit.

The video was recorded in three segments. The first segment shows Dziekanski before police arrive.

He is clearly agitated, yelling in Polish, and appears to be sweating. He can be seen taking office chairs and putting them in front of the security doors. He then picks up a small table, which he holds, while a woman in the arrivals lounge calmly speaks to him in apparent effort to calm him down.

Before police arrived, Robert Dziekanski picked up a small table and put it in the doorway between the customs exit area and a public lounge.Before police arrived, Robert Dziekanski picked up a small table and put it in the doorway between the customs exit area and a public lounge. (Paul Pritchard)

In the second segment, Dziekanski picks up a computer and throws it to the ground. Three airport personnel arrive and block the exit from the secure area, but Dziekanski retreats inside and does not threaten them.

Officers arrive in lounge

Then four RCMP officers arrive in the lounge. Someone can be heard mentioning the word Tasers.

Someone replies, "Yes," as the officers approach the security doors.

Police have said repeatedly that there were only three RCMP officers involved in the incident, but the video shows four men in RCMP uniforms.

People in the lounge can be heard clearly telling the police Dziekanski speaks no English, only Russian. His mother later said he only spoke Polish.

Police enter the secure area with no problems and can be seen with Dziekanski standing calmly talking with officers. They appear to direct him to stand against a wall, which he does.

As he is standing there, one of the officers shoots him with a Taser.

RCMP officers have also said police did not use pepper spray because of the large number of people at the airport at the time. But the video shows Dziekanski standing alone with the four officers in an otherwise empty area, which is separated from the public area by a thick glass wall.

Pritchard hired lawyer

Paul Pritchard, right, accompanied by his lawyer, Paul Pearson, at a recent press conference, said that he feels police are trying to manipulate the truth.Paul Pritchard, right, accompanied by his lawyer, Paul Pearson, at a recent press conference, said that he feels police are trying to manipulate the truth. (CBC)

Paul Pritchard shot the video with his digital camera, but afterward he surrendered it to police for their investigation on a promise that they would return it within 48 hours.

The next day, police told Pritchard they would not be returning the recording as promised.

Carr previously stated investigators kept the video longer than they anticipated in order to protect the integrity of the police investigation while they interviewed witnesses.

Saying he feared a coverup by police, Pritchard then engaged a lawyer to start legal proceedings to reclaim the recording. Police returned the recording to him on Wednesday.

Dziekanski, 40, died on Oct. 14, hours after he arrived at Vancouver International Airport. He was on his way to Kamloops to live with his mother in the B.C. Interior.

Robert Dziekanski with his mother Zofia Cisowski in Poland, before she immigrated to Canada.Robert Dziekanski with his mother Zofia Cisowski in Poland, before she immigrated to Canada.

The Polish immigrant arrived from Europe the previous day around 4 p.m., but for some unknown reason he did not clear customs until after midnight.

Dziekanski's mother had already returned home to Kamloops after waiting for several hours at the airport. She claims airport officials offered her no help locating her son.

The RCMP's integrated homicide investigation team, the B.C. coroner's service, the Vancouver International Airport Authority and the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP are each conducting their own investigations into the incident.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

November 11th, Lest We Forget

For The Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Our Hometown

Last summer Paul Brandt filmed a music video in our hometown, Lacombe. I happen to be a big fan of Paul Brandt...and of Lacombe. :) So here's the music video (thanks for the idea, Carla). By the way, the corn maze is just west of town. If you see any sheep in the video, they belong to my parents.

Friday, November 02, 2007