I love sports, but years my active children prevented me from enjoying more than informal squash and tennis games on campus. I coached the Aldergrove Aces, a girls soccer team, from 1992 to 2002, and have coached various baseball teams. Although my favorite coaching position is in a lawn chair, out of the rain, I finally retired in 2003. Now I no longer dread Thursday evenings, standing in the rain yelling at a bunch of teenage girls, more interested in boys than soccer.

                              The Mighty Aces c. 1997 and next is the last picture of the Aces in 2003, Fraser Valley Champions both years.

I've been involved in the alternative public school movement in Langley where I live. My kids all attended a "traditional" school, and I have been involved in the PAC at various levels over the years. Like my church, I've held several positions on the PAC, from  president to secretary. In 1998, after several  years of hard work, a group of parents convinced the Langley school board to create the Langley Fundamental Middle School.  Since the middle school only goes to grade 9, my kids have finished off their education at Pacific Academy. The physical contrast between the two schools is remarkable. The middle school is a converted ancient elementary school. There's no change room, so we had a dumpster converted to one. There was no library, so the parents built one. PA on the other hand, is the pet project of a local Christian billionaire, and the 40 million dollar campus is quite spectacular.
My other great love is to putter around our small Langley acreage, seen here on a typical July day in British Columbia:

One of my more enjoyable projects  was to build a shed in 1999 over my well. Seen here:

This project began in the spring of 1998 when I had to remove a large cedar tree from directly behind my house. The tree was a "clump" cedar, with about a 4 foot diameter at the base where the clump merged together. Remarkably for that size, the tree was only 40 years old.

I stored the logs over the winter and in the spring of 1999 used an Alaska chain saw mill along with my table saw to make the lumber. Over the summer I built the shed. The cedar siding is in the "batton and board" style that was quite popular for barns on the west coast because it is easy to build and stands up well to the rain.  I tried to make shakes for the roof as well, but the second growth tree was a little too twisted for that. I bought the shakes for the roof, and only fell off 9 times in putting them on!

All told, the shed cost $180 and about three months of my time... or about $195 total.

Since building my shop, I tend to spend a lot of time making things for other people. In the summer of 2002 my son and I visited my grandfather's homestead north of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. My cousin had been removing some of the wood from the old house to make furniture. He gave some of the wood to me, and I made two tables for my father who grew up on the farm. The pine used for the top is over 80 years old. One of the panel boards was signed and dated by my deceased uncle Tom (my dad's brother), so I framed it in the old wood as well.

        That's my mom in the picture with my dad. Here are some other

wood working projects.

Although I don't enjoy the hike up, I often find myself on top of mountains.

 It's hard to see from this picture, but Langley is surrounded by beautiful mountains. I'm sitting on top of Mount Cheam at one end of the valley, 6500 ft above sea level. I'm sitting on a ledge with about a 1000 foot drop. The entire valley is below me, and  I'm thinking "why didn't I bring more food with me!".

Just north of Langley, by only 15 miles, one can be in old growth forests like this one:

<>         The second two pictures are on the way to the summit of Mount Blanchard, better known locally as Golden Ears. It is a 12 hour hike, and age and time were against us that day ... we never made it to the top. However, in 2006 a group of 9 economists headed out on the same trek. Four of us made it to the top:

Prior to the assent I took a moment to sip some juice and contemplate the final assualt:

Even though the weather was "crystal clear", the valley was so polluted you couldn't see my home town of Fort Langley just 15 miles away.

Here's another mountain top view. We're up on a peak which I think is called "Green Mountain". The wind was blowing so hard the guy on the left almost fell off the cliff after this picutre was taken. This mountain was almost 5 hours from Vancouver, but on the way up we came across two cross country motorcyle groups, one quad group, and almost got run over by two nuts in a dune buggy ... so much for the wilderness. Needless to say, we saw no wildlife.

I grew up just outside the village of Fort Langley, B.C.'s first capital. At the time Fort Langley had a population of about 600, and the entire municipality was around 20,000. Every sunny day you could see the mountains crystal clear, and it was not uncommon to go for "a Sunday drive." Unfortunately (for me) Langley is slowly becoming the home of strip malls. The pollution in the Valley resembles the Los Angeles basin, and traffic is so bad the days of Sunday drives are long gone.