Halloween pumpkins

I carved my very first halloween pumpkin 🙂 They sell specially grown pumpkins for the purpose over here. I was very stoked with my effort and proudly displayed on my front door step.

My halloween pumpkin

After going to a halloween party with a bunch of fellow chemists, I realised that mine wasn’t quite in the same league as the locals efforts …

Halloween pumpkins

Calgary lab

After a lot of trips with trolleys, moving some massive fridges and packing way too much glassware into too few draws and cupboards, we finally moved into our new lab in the basement of Science B at the University of Calgary.

Ryan Hellyer: New lab at University of Calgary

Ryan Hellyer: New lab at University of Calgary

Ryan Hellyer: New lab at University of Calgary

Here’s a photo of my boss Mike Benn. I stole the photo of the University of Calgary website – hopefully they don’t mind.

Mike Benn/a>

Pool party

30 degrees celcius, blazing sun and a ridiculously cold winter approaching … so what better reason than to have a pool party 🙂 We found a scungy inflatable pool in our shed, got someone to bring along a slip n slide and setup a web cam in our window to catch all the action.

Unfortunately the web cam also caught me bobbing round in the pool before everyone arrived. My attempts to hover in the middle of the pool without stabilising myself failed. The motion detector in the camera triggered just as I hit the water 😛


The slip n slide was very popular, I can be seen bobbing in the pool on the left, this time with my feet firmly planted on the bottom of the pool 🙂 Thanks to Yeye for the video.


Banff National park

I’ve visited Banff township in Banff National park in the rocky mountains a few times now. It’s only an hour and a bit away from Calgary. It’s similar to Queenstown but without the lake. There’s lots of hiking (tramping) and site seeing to be down there.

Tunnel Mountain at Banff

The above photo is of Tunnel Mountain. It’s not much of a mountain, more like a steep hill. I walked to the top while there.

Cascade Mountain near Banff township

Cascade mountain (above) is out the other side of Banff township.

Bear proof bin in Banff township

Oh yeah, they have Bears in Banff! Even the rubbishi bins (see above) have to be made bear proof!

An Elk, I took this photo on the outskirts of the Banff township.

Elk in the area are allowed to wander free around the town. They’re huge beasts which look quite scary but are apparently quite harmless.

Los Angeles

And the prize for my worst first impression of a city ever goes to … Los Angeles. The stench of smog at the airport was simply foul. The following photos I took from the plane show the yucky smog quite nicely.

Los Angeles smog from plane #1


Los Angeles smog from plane #2