Sunday, December 19, 2010

Edmonton Opera Flashmob Performance

Due to my association with the Edmonton Opera: encore! group I was tipped off about a flashmob that was going to occur this past Friday at City Centre Mall.

I arrived on the scene at about 1:10pm and there was quite a large crowd formed. I couldn't get down to the floor level like I planned so I grabbed a spot along the railing near the big Christmas Tree. There were plenty of people milling about asking questions, "What's going on?" What is everybody looking at?"
Eventually the singing started and Hallelujah reverberated through the mall. It was quite an impressive sound. My co-worker Colin is in full throttle (just under the sign and 2 away from the escalator).
I recorded a shaky video excerpt of the song which you can see below.

This is the second Edmonton Opera flashmob in the last year. Unfortunately I missed the first one, but here is the video.
Tacky Christmas Sweater Day at Work

Last casual Friday at work was our 3rd annual Tacky Christmas Sweater day. This year did not disappoint as we had more participants then ever before.

Productivity meeting first thing in the morning.
 Jamie and Greg enjoying a coffee and donut in front of the Christmas tree.
 Pop-pop owning the look.
 Waiting for the folks on the 5th floor to come down for pictures.
The 'family' picture around the Christmas Tree.
After work a bunch of us headed to Eastern Promises for drinks. All of these were not Amy's but when you rock a John Deere sweater you can do whatever you want. This might also be the last shot of Amy with her cast. It was scheduled to come off the next day.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter at the Legislature

A couple of nights ago Christina and I went for a walk through the Legislative Grounds. They are only about 5 blocks from my place - a nice winters walk.
I took a few pictures playing around with a flash and without. The snowflakes really 'popped' under the flash and look kind of cool, but also kind of weird. Judge for yourself.

McKay Avenue School, just down the street from my condo.
Christmas lights at the Legislative grounds.
 Christina at Leg (flash)
 Christina at the Leg (no flash)
 Stu at the Leg (no flash) 
 Stu at the Leg (Flash)
 The big tree.
I found a little side panel on the Leg with stained glass. I have no idea if this window is always done up like this or if it's a Christmas display.
Entry way to the interior of the Leg.
Inside the Leg. A choir was set to start in about a half hour, or in Stuart time: seemingly days. We did not stick around. I am insufferable.
So what do you think? Do you like seeing the snow in the flash or do you prefer the pics with no flash.

Additionally: Now whenever I goto the Legislative grounds I think of the song Edmonton by Rural Alberta Advantage.  I wanted to make it a purple city, but Christina seems to care about her retinas.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree!

It's a little bit stormy outside tonight and the snow falling is making it feel a bit Christmasy. I have no lights or Christmas tree in my little condo but Christina previously took pity on me and invited me to help dress her tree. In actuality, I was asked to help because her artificial tree is really freaking heavy and she needed me to carry the pieces upstairs from her basement. 

Notice the lovely tree skirt that I got my mother to make for Christina last year.
The final piece.
As you can see below we decked the halls a few weeks back during Movember. Looking good!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The End of Movember

Another successful Movember has come and gone. I raised around $350 bucks for prostate cancer research through the power of facial hair.

Thank you for your donations. Here is a shot of the mustache on November 30th.
We had a few people at work grow mustaches this year including the big boss man and his silver topped upper lip. Here is a sampling of some of the work Mo Bro's. That's some professional looking dudes.
This year Movember got extended a few extra days for the annual Movember gala. It's basically a celebratory costume party where you are encouraged to dress to your mustache and awarded prizes. Last year Christina and I were awarded couple of the year. This year we got lazy and had some bad luck with our costumes so we pulled a complete 180 and went 'normal'. Normal for us was a building a backstory and dressing up as the star QB and head chearleader 10 years past our prime. My ring is supposed to be from a football "State Championship" but it's really a Red Lantern ring from DC Comics.
Before heading out to the big gala we hit up a local pub to meet the rest of our crew for the night.
First to arrive were Chris and his lovely wife Tara.
The epitome of sex appeal.
Drink it in.
Our posse continued to expand including the Bells and Greg.
Adam, Jamie, Jeff and their folks arrived to help put down some table kegs. The Super Troopers syrup bottle props got put to good use.
Things started to get out of hand
Eventually we got to the Oil City Roadhouse on Jasper Ave for the big gala. The Roadhouse is usually a country themed 'meat market' and not a place I would goto willingly. However, they did it up well for the night. The mechanical bull that is usually a big attraction was done up for one night only to take mustache rides. I didn't do very well and was thrown off in only a few seconds. Matt had at least time to pose.
Being a country bar and myself a good ol' boy for the night I grabbed myself a Budweiser and a blonde.
Mike Miller, one of the dudes who actually helped bring Movember to Canada, was in his Eskimos outfit that he rocked during the Grey Cup festivities.
Greg's costume was most likely lost on a bunch of people but I thought it was pretty sly and dead on.
 Greg with his inspiration: Micheal Cera from the movie Youth in Revolt.
  Eventually the judging finally started. Our group had quite a few winners. Adam won for "worst mustache".
He decided to mascara a little portion so people could actually see some of it. He had the blondest and most uneven mustache ever: It didn't grow beneath his nose but grew to at least a centimeter around the corners of his mouth. We called him Catfish.
Tara and Chris won the best couple prize which was supercool. That makes it 3 years running that someone from our Movember team has won the couples prize. While Chris was on stage he was introduced as Kenny Powers of the TV show Eastbound and Down. That immediately made him a crowd favorite. He parlayed this popularity into a berth in the finals for the honour of being the Edmonton Man of Movember.
I captured this video of the finals. Beware, there is some NSFW language.

(Spoiler Alert - Chris Wins) After the big win there was nothing left to do but dance.
If you're at Oil City Roadhouse then that means there will be line dancing. If there is line dancing then that means Christina will be there, most likely leading it.
Before everyone got too messy or took off we took a work reunion photo of all past and current staff in attendance. We are a bit of a motley crew.
 So mark another great Movember in the books. Once again thank you to all who donated and we'll see you next year.

For more pictures: Click Here.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Grey Cup

This year Edmonton hosted the 98th Grey Cup. To celebrate the big game the downtown of Edmonton was transformed and for once was really fun. The 'Festival' around the game officially kicked off on a Wednesday and I took every chance I could to celebrate the Riders being in the big game.

The downtown kickoff party
 Rider superfan "The Flame" and fireworks erupting out of city hall.
When the politicians got up to the podium to speak I decided to take a walk. Directly behind and completely unbeknown to the masses assembled the Grey Cup was just sitting there waiting to make it's entrance.
 The Grey Cup organizing crew did a fantastic job of creating a football themed festival complete with multiple displays and interactive football activities. I of course loved the Rider displays.
 Christina actually has pretty good form (for a girl). Her delivery is so quick the camera can barely pick it up.
One of the biggest attractions was the Capital Power zipline. I never went myself, mostly just because I'm too impatient to wait in line. My co-worker Jeff is enjoying the ride in the right picture.
I really liked this sign-post centered in our downtown. I, in all seriousness think they should have kept it as a permanent sign.
When tickets went on sale for the Grey Cup months ago I weighed whether not it was worth buying tickets. I really wanted to go but was seriously strapped for cash at the time, and then they sold out. When the Riders actually made the big game ticket prices from websites went through the roof. I pretty much wrote off being able to go to the game. Then when I was walking around checking out the sites on Saturday Daniel phoned and said he had a couple of extra tickets. I jumped at the opportunity and went into a self-imposed exile to make sure I was in good shape for the game.

Gameday prep. To ensure that I would stay warm for the outdoor game I got suited up in my Rider gear and increased my fried chicken intake at KFC.
The magical ticket from Daniel. He got it free from work. Needless to say Daniel's boss is cool.
 We had pretty stellar seats. Nine rows back around the 10 yard line wear the teams were introduced.
 The mighty Rider offense.
 Old man Calvillo is unstoppable.
 Looking to inspire the fans and the Riders this idiot de-robed and tried to get a cheer going.
 As you can see the dude above had more bravery than brains as it was freezing outside. Daniel, Christina and I were getting pretty chilled in our seats. Somehow cold beer didn't warm us up. Weird.
Even though the Riders lost the game 21-18 to the Alouettes it was a great week of celebration and football. Thanks again to Daniel for the tickets to the game - I owe you a kidney or something...

More pictures Click Here.