Sunday, June 19, 2011


You have all heard of the acronym D.I.Y.  
As you know, it stands for "Do It Yourself".  As in 'home-projects-that-the-amateur-can-easily-do-for-him-or-herself'.  Well, my friends, around Chez Sotham, we have come up with another acronym....D.D.I.Y.


After owning our thirty year old house for 18 years, our back deck was rotting off of its moorings.  Literally.  So to prevent someone from plunging to their death this upcoming summer, we hired a contractor to build us a new deck.

If this 'before' picture doesn't scream "Sanford and Sons" 
what the hell does? 

Look at the back of our house at the beginning of the construction!  Good grief, we had to pull out a lot of crap from underneath it!
Talk about UGLY!

I wanted to document the hideousness of our house and deck so that we had something to compare the new deck to.  Oh my God...anything would be an improvement over that monstrosity!

Off come the rotting floorboards.

"And they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly....."

Ahhh...that's better!  What an improvement already.

Constructing the forms.

Pouring concrete into the forms.

The deck structure being built.

Hard at work.

The deck floor is on!

Waiting for the rains to stop so the Duradeck guy can come and apply the flooring.

The Duradeck flooring is on!

The stairs and landing being built.

The stairs are done!

The railing is on!!!!!!

The stair railings are on!


"Now, if I can just squeeze my body through these railings, I can easily escape by climbing down the trunk of this tree!"

Celebrating with a martini and a B&B.

Just a wee bit of an improvement eh?

There is still a little bit of plastering and painting that Joe has to do.  And of course we must get ourselves some fabulous patio furniture.

If you live in the Sea-to-Sky area and are in need of an uber-professional contractor, please give Marcel a call.  He and his crew are friendly, punctual, on time and on budget.  Just don't book him this fall, as we want him to renovate our kitchen for us.

Marcel Lanter
Markor Construction

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hockey Night In Vancouver

Because hockey is our game; because the Vancouver Canucks are in the finals of the Stanley Cup play-offs; because the CBC plaza was open for business; because it was a Saturday; and because it was sunny for the first time in months, Joe and I grabbed our sunscreen, threw several lawn chairs into the trunk of the car and joined the tens of thousands of Canucks fans to watch the second game of the series.

But as you well know, I can't enjoy anything on an empty stomach.  So the first order of business was to eat.  Thankfully, Joe obliges me in all things gastronomical.  

We didn't want to park too close to the downtown core of Vancouver, so we opted to leave the car in Chinatown.  How utterly convenient!  We stopped at the New Town Bakery on Pender Street for some spicy pork buns.

Freshly steamed pork buns.

We noticed that every waitress was wearing an Alex Burrows Canucks jersey.   Our waitress told us that Alex Burrows is the owner's favourite player and so she bought jerseys for each of the waitresses to wear throughout the play-offs.  Number 14 is everyone's favourite guy these days.

Hockey loving waitresses.

After stuffing ourselves silly with pork buns and all manner of dim sum, we hoofed it up to the corner of Hamilton and Georgia Streets to set up shop.  We put out our row of lawn chairs, plunked ourselves down and enjoyed the pre-game show.

It was like being at a rock concert!  Loud music, beach balls floating overhead, a sea of blue jerseys, colourful painted faces, hoarse voices, and smiles as wide as the sky.

Molly, Robin and their friend Andrew soon joined us.

  Fashionable fans.

"....and the cutest fan awards go to Robin, Molly and Andrew!"

We ran into the Dorosh family from Squamish Elementary School and they joined our gang of fans.

A family of die-hard Canucks fans.

The kids behind us were lots of fun.

This guy sat in front of us.  He was from Victoria and brought his own Stanley Cup.  His tinfoil-covered styrofoam trophy got a huge response from the crowd.

Get your face paint on.

There was good-natured rivalry between the Canucks fans and the few Boston Bruins fans.

The heat and the sun proved too much for Joe, so he wrapped his head in his jacket and had a little nap amidst the noise and revelry.  I admire anyone who can sleep on the fly like that.

Thousands of fans packed into the downtown core of Vancouver waiting for the puck to drop at 5:00pm.

Once the game began, everyone got serious.  Faces were glued to the screen.  The place went nuts when the Canucks scored the first goal.  Courtesy of Alex Burrows of course.

Go Canucks Go!

The mood became glum and sombre when the Boston Bruins were winning.  But those frowns were soon turned upside down when the Canucks tied it up 2-2.

The place went CRAZY when the Canucks scored the winning goal 11 seconds into the overtime period.  Alex Burrows....we all love you.

This young lady with her body-painted chest greeted us as we spilled out of CBC Plaza after the game.

70,000 hockey lovers packed the closed streets of Vancouver after the big win.  I'm sure the party went on into the wee hours of the morning.

What a fantastic day!  Thank you Joe, Molly, Robin, Andrew and the Dorosh family for making it such a fun experience!

Bring on Game #3.

*For more detail, click on the photos to enlarge them.