Monday, March 31, 2008

Cat In The Window

The Pickster returns to the blog.

I feel like the paparazzi when I try to take a pic of my furry friend. The moment I get the camera out she runs and hides. I just managed to snap this one before she ran from the camera and hid under the bed.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Time To Head Home

Road Leading Out Of Joshua Tree National Park

Saturday, March 29, 2008

G'night From The Mojave

Night Fall at Key's View, Joshua Tree National Park

On My Way To The Desert

I am heading out to the desert. Making my own mini retreat this weekend.

Shot this pic out the car window while driving through the Palm Desert area.

Coachella Valley Windmills, Palm Desert, CA

Earth Hour

On Saturday, March 29, 2008, Earth Hour invites people around the world to turn off their lights for one hour – from 8:00pm to 9:00pm in their local time zone. On this day, cities around the globe will hold events to acknowledge their commitment to energy conservation.

Play a part by turning your lights out at 8:00 pm tonight.

Google goes dark

Friday, March 28, 2008

Field Trip

Today was 'one of those days'...

It started when I forgot to set my alarm last night and I didn't wake up until my cat jumped on me at 8:30 am. Eeek, I had planned to be at work by 8:30 this morning. I ran through the shower, threw on some clothes, packed breakfast and lunch and was out the door in 15 minutes. I didn't know I could move that fast in the morning!

Through out the morning, a series of unfortunate events was increasing my frustration level. As 2pm was approaching R- came over to ask if I was ever going to break for lunch. Ouch! I hadn't even started the breakfast I had packed for myself.

Definitely time to dial down the intensity of the day - so I decided what I really needed was to take a little field trip and get out of the office. A roadtrip to Encinitas for cupcakes seemed the perfect solution. R- was on board - so off we went!

Ever since my trip to Sprinkles, I have been on a quest for the ultimate cupcake. Recently I found some rave reviews for a small bakery tucked away in a nursery in Encinitas. So there we have it, Elizabethan Desserts, the perfect destination for today's field trip.

a sign pointing the way to a hidden gem

Our Treasure
Diggity Dang (my fave), Black and White, Banana Cream and Berry Buckle

Happy Field Trippers!

After our little field trip, the afternoon went much smoother. Despite the sugar high I was able to finish off my goals for the week with some time left over to help a colleague with a problem they were spinning on. By 6 pm we had it solved and I left happy and ready for my weekend adventure in Joshua Tree!

Mmmm good!

Green Surf Wax

Sticky Bumps, a local Carlsbad company has come out with a new eco-friendly surf wax. It is non-toxic, biodegradable, petroleum free, with no synthetic chemicals. Check it out!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Geek Girl Flips

I shoot all the video for the blog using my little 'flip'. I like it because it is small and easy and fits in my pocket.Geek Girl did a little tutorial on downloading video from 'the flip' on a Mac. Thought I would share it!

David Pogue has finally discovered the Flip Camera - click here to watch his entertaining review!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Quote of The Day

A lot of religious people prefer 'being right' over 'being compassionate'.

- Karen Armstrong
during her TED talk, A Charter For Compassion.

If you enjoy books about spiritual journey then I highly recommend Karen's book Through The Narrow Gate. It details her personal struggles with her vocation and reconciling the demands of the religious life (pre Vatican II) with her faith. It also chronicles her return to secular life during the 60's at Oxford and the resulting culture shock. The follow up book, The Spiral Staircase:My Climb Out of Darkness continues the story of her journey. I found the second book to be sad. It is the story of disillusionment and the movement away from personal faith to a detached scholarly study of religion.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Good-bye Zen

It's official. My beloved Zen blend tea is no more.

Lately, I have been on the prowl for a store that stocks my favourite drink --Zen Blend Iced Tea. In frustration, I even e-mailed SOBE to see if I could order some direct from the manufacturer.

Sigh. Here is their response.

Date: March 24, 2008 12:00:29 PM PDT
Subject: A Message from Consumer Relations 011547700A

Hi Tippie,

Thanks for taking the time to email us at SoBe Beverages. It's always a pleasure to hear from a fellow lizard lover!

Unfortunately, the product you’re asking about has been discontinued due to slow sales. I apologize for any disappointment this causes, and I'll be sure to share your comments with our senior marketing staff.

Thanks again for contacting us. We appreciate your interest in our company.

C- F-
Consumer Relations Representative

So it is on to finding a new favourite.

The current front runner is ...
Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea by POM.

Check it out and tell me what you think!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bumper Sticker

Saw this on a car window while riding my bike through Del Mar on the weekend.

Thought it was a good thought for the day!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

I started off Easter this morning at the early church service. It wasn't technically a sunrise service - but it was early for me. After church I took a quick nap before heading out to spend the day with friends.

I was greeted at the door by 5 year old Z-. He was over the top with excitement about wearing a tie earlier that morning. The excitement over the tie and the anticipation of the egg hunt was contagious. We pulled out the life size pick up sticks and played a few games followed by a round of scrabble. A- and I were busy coming up with abstract and complex words such as 'toe', 'we', and 'cat'. Meanwhile Z- tried to convinced us that the object of the game is to make robots on the board with the tiles. The result was an interesting hybrid of simple three letter words with the tiles creating an 'oddly' shaped robot.

Easter dinner was an wonderful surprise! Two of my favourite foods in one meal -- grilled salmon and asparagus. I love asparagus and had forgotten that I was in the company of fellow asparagus lovers! The experimental part of the meal was the potatoes. They were made with olive oil, thyme, lemon zest and kosher salt - an amazing combination.

Pick Up Sticks!

Easter wouldn't be Easter without an egg hunt. While friends in Canada were searching in the snow for their eggs we were enjoying 89 deg weather! Once the eggs were found and the treats unloaded - the eggs became sailing ships in the pool. The egg/ships spent the afternoon sailing from China across the pool to Encinitas for a birthday party - and then floated on to France. The wonder of a child's imagination!

Searching for Eggs

Basket of Eggs

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday Bike Ride

Today was a gorgeous day! Full on summer weather. I took a bike ride up the coast. Along the way I stopped in Cardiff. I enjoyed a wedding on the beach and then about 200 feet away I sat and watched a local surf competition.

One of the things I enjoy most about spring time - is that everything is in bloom. The side of the road is teaming with colourful flowers.

I stopped at Torrey Pines State Park on the way back to sit on the beach and read for a bit. Currently, I am reading, Turn My Mourning Into Dancing by Henri Nouwen. The theme of the book is that the way through suffering is not in denial, but rather in living fully in the midst of the trials that come our way. A recommended read. Provides some good perspective on finding joy in the journey.

Once Upon A School

Dave Eggers talks about how his 826 Valencia tutoring center inspired others around the world to open their own volunteer-driven, wildly creative writing labs.

It's as simple as asking "How can I help? Click here to hear his story.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dryer Balls

Dryerballs are designed to reduce drying time and soften fabrics without using fabric softeners. As Dryerballs tumble around in the dryer they lift and separate your clothes. This allows the air to flow more efficiently and reduce drying time. The Dryerballs nodules help relax the fibers so clothes feel softer and towels are more absorbent.

I got a good deal on some from e-bay a month or so ago. So far I am pleased with the results!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Tap Project

To find out more about the tap project click here

March 16 - March 22.
Think Globally. Drink Locally.
San Diego Tap Project.
Participating Restaurants in San Diego.
Make a donation

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Welcome Back

Today our friend R- returned to work after three weeks vacation. She went home to India for a family wedding! While R- was gone her work was re-distributed to the team - but we barely kept our heads above water day to day. In fact, over the last few weeks the work has been piling up waiting for her return. I winced thinking about what would be awaiting her when she walked in this morning.

To help lighten the blow and make sure there was no doubt that she was missed - we did a little re-decorating of her workspace!


Now get to work!

Multiple computers set up, time to multi-task
Each monitor has a sign with a client name and list of work that has piled up

Monday, March 17, 2008

Irish Blessing

As a young lady, my grandmother came on a boat from Belfast, Ireland to Canada. So today I wear green in her memory.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Irish Blessing

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday always has such a celebratory mood. It was fun to see the choir waving Palm branches as they sang this morning.

On my way out the door I noticed a discarded palm fron on the patio. So I picked it up and 'borrowed' a few leaves to make some traditional palm crosses. One to add to my collection and the rest to put in Easter cards.

my palm crosses

Click here for instructions for making a Palm Cross.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dubious Distinction

From: Tippie Canoe
Sent: Friday, March 14, 2008 1:20 PM
To: employees
Subject: happy 3.14

Ice-cream pie in the kitchen for Pi day.

M- thinks you should wait until 1:59 (3.14159) to partake. But, I say the early bird gets the worm.


From: M- Z-
Sent: Friday, March 14, 2008 1:39 PM
To: employees
Subject: RE: happy 3.14

And the next MEGA-UBER-GEEK Award goes to…Tippie Canoe! Yeah!

Last won by M- for sending out an email when he got to enter the 10000th Bug.

Favourite Road Trip Photo

The photos you get when you lend your camera to someone for the day ... always a fun surprise.

Here is a favourite from a recent road trip.

Special thanks to Jac my photographer and co-pilot!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Pi Day

Enjoy some pie on Pi (3.14) day!

Ellen's Song (I'm a talk show host)

I don't really write songs or sing or play piano. But, I thought, how hard can it be?

- Ellen

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Look Before You Leap

My favourite rules from the Freestyle Terrain Park

#7 Never jump blindly. Look before you leap.

#11 Aerial somersaulting maneuvers are not recommended.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

No Fun Allowed?!?

¡Pero, voy a las montaƱas para jugar en la nieve!

Hmmm, isn't that exactly why people make the trip from the beach to the mountains ... to go play in the snow!

For the non-spanish speakers ... a little translation.

no se it is not
permite permitted/allowed
jugar to play
en la nieve in the snow

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sunday's Adventure

After having such a good time last weekend- Jac and I decided to do an encore road trip this weekend. We figured that this may be our last opportunity this season to go play in the snow.

On the way up, we invented a new game to help pass the time. The name of our game ... Search For Sizzler ! I am proud to announce that I was the grand prize winner - having identified two brand new Sizzler restaurants! I offer you photographic evidence of my prowess...

Sizzler Sighting

This week we branched out and tried something new - the freestyle terrain park! The idea is you zip down the mountain and then use the hills on the terrain park to launch yourself. As you go flying through the air you congratulate yourself on being so cool. For me the challenge was to do controlled 'turns' around and skillfully avoid the terrain and getting launched. The first run I stalled and had to jump up and down and skooch from side to side to get going again. Jac on the other hand caught air, not once, but twice!!!

We were blessed with clear skies and the view from the top of the run was amazing. Here you are up in the cool mountain air surrounded by snow and pine trees - and then off in the distance is a gorgeous view of the desert.

View of Desert from the top of Ski Run at Mountain High

Monday, March 10, 2008

Signs of Spring

The freeway is a sea of blooms this time of year - and I love it!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Got Snow?

I am heading up to the mountains again for a day of snowboarding and skiing!

To get in the groove -- here is a video of last week's trip.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Thought for The Day

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.

- Helen Keller

Friday, March 7, 2008

Quote of the Day

We're here to know God, to love and serve God, and to be blown away by the beauty and miracle of nature. You just have to get rid of so much baggage to be light enough to dance, to sing, to play. You don't have time to carry grudges; you don't have time to cling to the need to be right.

author Anne Lamott, in a recent interview. (Source: The Washington Times)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Come Build Hope 2008

I am starting to look forward to Memorial Day weekend and the Come Build Hope trip.

One of the roles I have on the trip is setting up the online registration system and providing tech support. We are testing the online registration this week. Goal is to bring it live early next week.

While I am in the 'Come Build Hope' groove - I thought I would share a picture or two from last year's trip.

Neighbourhood kids help with the house frame

My team worked with the community to build a home for this little girl

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Thought For The Day

A Few Snipits
From "Giving Away My Time"
By Rev Steve Murray
LaJolla Community Church
Sunday March 2,2008

The apostle Paul uses a phrase, "redeem the time", in two of his letters. It basically means, by God’s grace, get the most good out of every moment.

It is a marketplace analogy: take every opportunity you have to do good!

We move from the universal to the particular to fulfill God’s purposes. From ‘God’s love’ to ‘loving and living for God.’ This allows us to apply big ideas in small and meaningful ways. I can’t do everything but I can do something. I can’t be everywhere but I can be somewhere. I can’t help everyone but I can help someone.

Tolstoy tells a story called The Three Questions.

The most important time? Now.
The most important person? The person you are with.
The most important pursuit? The good you can do.

To whom and to what will I give my time? And how does it fulfill God’s purposes? The needs in this world are so overwhelming that it is tempting to check out. “I’d love to change the world but I don’t know what to do; so I leave it up to you.”

Everything we do in life takes more time than expected! Getting kids ready for school; getting yourself in shape; getting dinner ready. Finishing any project on-time is a challenge! We all know how precious time is. Time flies, right? We are all pressed and pressured to use our time wisely.

Two ways to redeem your time and give it away to fulfill God’s purposes

  1. Approach everything you give time to as an act of serving God.

    The most mundane, necessary things will become more significant to you! The most important, precious things will receive their proper place in your life.

  2. Get rid of everything that doesn’t fit item one!

click here to download a printable version of Steve's message
click here to view video

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

do not call

Cell phone numbers are now fair game for telemarketing companies.

Not a big fan of phone solicitation... add yourself to the 'Do Not Call' list. or call 888-382-1222

Monday, March 3, 2008

Flip and Tumble

Cool re-usable bag that folds down to a ball Check it out at

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Finally We Made It!

After two previous attempts being scuttled by weather - today we finally enjoyed a little road trip and day in the mountains snowboarding!

I was the pilot for today's trip

and Jac served as trusty co-pilot, official photographer and DJ! J- did a great job snapping photos to document our day. Including capturing the finer details such as this picture of our map with hand written directions!

This particular road trip is crazy! Two hours into the trip, you know you are almost there, but you are driving through the beautiful high dessert with these amazing cactus trees all around you. Sitting in your car, vent open in a short sleeved t-shirt - you can't help but start to question your sanity. Here I am in the midst of the desert - what in the world makes me think in 20 minutes from now I will be hurtling down a snow covered mountain on my snowboard?!?

Then, just when you least expect it, in the distance, beyond the cactus - a snow capped mountain appears.

Today, I finally decided that I am confident enough in my 'pro-bunny' status to seek out new and greater challenges. Ah, life beyond the bunny hill! J- and I took the lift way way way up to the top. Despite a few dramatic wipe-outs and one spectacular face plant - I had a blast. J- artfully navigated the hill on her skis and chuckled at the snowboarders sitting on the hill all around her.

Little sister Heather is the one who introduced me to snowboarding. She always helps me as a struggle on and off with my boots - I was missing her today! Hopefully, next year we will be hurtling down a mountain together in Colorado!

We were pretty pleased with ourselves by the end of the day. Tired - but stoked with all the fresh air and exercise and ready for a hearty dinner. On the way up J- had noticed a Sizzler. It was a childhood favourite of hers. Growing up in Canada, I have these weird cultural gaps that I am always anxious to fill in. So we set our sites on Sizzler for dinner. Fortunately for us, the I-15 corridor is Sizzler country!

On our return trip, we made a comic attempt at putting my iPod on shuffle. After a good laugh at my ecclectic mix of music - we put on some road trip tunes, found our groove, and bopped the rest of the way home.

Click here for the photo gallery of our snowboarding trip!

A "shout out" and special thanks to Minh for providing us with a steal of a deal on lift tickets.