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A manly post!!!
Sep 10th, 2009 by Jeff

After checking on the “junk” comments for the blog, I noticed an inadvertent lost comment from my friend Patrick. He had just read my first post and was thankful for the injection of some testosterone to the wells360 blogosphere. In the interest of keeping that flowing, I will now discuss a great BEER discovery! I also have my favorite nephew to thank for part of this discussion (that’s you Jack!). He wanted bottle caps from around the world and I would not deny him that simple request. I have been sampling beer in Canada and Japan and collecting the caps to send back to him. And while all beer is good, during my stay here at the K house hostel near Mt. Fuji, I have found a microbrew that is now climbed to the top of my list – Gotenba Kohgen Beer. I have had a delicious Weizen and now (as I write this) a quite tasty Dunkel! Now I just have to find it when I get home. All my Arizona friends, consider that your assignment! Try to find a little Japan in AZ for me so I can relive the trip with you when I get back over a cold one!

Cheers!!!

Jeff

Vancouver Island and my expanding interests
Aug 22nd, 2009 by Jeff

Another week in and things are running a little more smoothly. We have been able to set up accommodations with family and couch surfers for the rest of the month. This has taken some of the pressure off the immediate “find a place to stay” scramble we were doing early on. However, Kate and I have been discussing the ease of internet accessibility in Canada, and that it may not last as we move further west in Asia (although it might – since we are planning on staying with couchsurfers who rely on the internet?). I guess well find out soon enough. However it turns out, Kate and I are feeling a little more pressure to get set plans in place for Japan, China, Cambodia and Viet Nam.

I have particularly enjoyed our time in Vancouver Island. Rock climbing with our host Kyle was an unexpected and pleasant surprise for me. I had always wanted to try climbing out in the wilderness on a real mountain (I had done the rock gym once or twice) and it definitely brought a new “edge” to the sport. Although I was strapped in and safe, I still had a very real fear of slipping and falling down the mountain. Also, I was much higher than I had ever been in a gym. On both climbs that I did, I opted to not push too hard and risk any injury (but it would be cool to try again and summit the section of mountain I was climbing). However, overall I was very happy with my performance and would definitely like to pursue this more (Jeff and Chloe – we should get together and do this in AZ when Tess and I get back in town).

Today we spent the day in Duncan. This is about 50 miles north of Victoria. The town has a quaint little city center and we went to the farmers markets (some things just won’t change with Kate – I am sure farmer’s markets will be on the “things to do” wherever we are). The market was very nice and I did get an awesome smoked venison sausage. (I also had some great smoked elk earlier in the week in Victoria). After the market we went on tour of the totem poles in the town. The local indigenous people have had totems in the culture for hundreds of years. It was very interesting to see the different forms and be told the reasons for totems: as a family ‘coat of arms’, as a method of story telling, as a memorial or burial tribute, in addition to a decoration for the homes. Seeing all this great art made me wonder what I’d use in a design for a Wells family totem? I think an eagle would need to be there somewhere, with Pappy as a pilot for American Airlines and my degree in Aerospace Engineering. The other stuff is still under consideration. I may sketch something out on this grand tour of ours.

We also spent some time today at a Raptor Sanctuary. I’ve always enjoyed seeing these birds of prey in the wild and this was a very up close look at them. The center does daily flying (off tether) demonstrations and we were in very close proximity to the birds; only a few feet away. One of the owls in the show was hand reared and allowed the trainer to manipulate his head and body to show us up close all the interesting things that make these birds so special. It was quite informative and educational (schooling points for Kate and I – woohoo). Falconry has always been something I have had an interest in and this experience definitely piqued my curiosity – this is another thing I will need to learn more about.

As far as the Network Administrator stuff goes – things seemed to have ironed out for the most part (knock on wood) no more major computer glitches (although the wireless seems to be a little finicky – my latest research seems to indicate it is just the nature of the Eee 1000HE network adaptor). I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.

Cheers,

Jeff

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