HART and YVONNE’s Vacations


I would like to document all our vacation trips here to remind us that we NEED more vacation trips!

We got Zeus the Cat on June 10, 1998 (Born October 5, 1997) and Maxxie the Papillon on February 28, 1999 (Born April 27, 1998) .. It makes sense why vacations are dwindling. We also got Sophie the Papillon on September 7, 2002 (Born July 20, 2002). Here are our vacations in reverse order!

Timeline of the Story HARTandYVONNE

15,000,000,000 BC – The “Big Bang” Theory – The universe is created and so was Hartley and Yvonne’s destiny

3000 BC to 2500 BC – Construction of the Egyptian pyramids at Gizeh

2500 BC – Stonehenge was built

November 30, 1996 – Hart visits Stonehenge

March 8, 1997 – While watching A&E or the TLC channel history on Pyramids, Yvonne decides to initiate a chat with Hartley on PowWow

March 12, 1997 – Hartley and Yvonne met in person for the very first time

May 10, 1997 – Hartley moves in together with Yvonne in her apartment

June 16, 1997 – After Hartley’s brother Brad’s birthday dinner, Yvonne asks Hartley to move in together in her apartment since he was practically there all the time anyway

September 7, 1997 – Hartley sells his dumpy house on Collegiate Street

September 16, 1997 – Hartley and Yvonne purchase a condo together

October 31, 1997 – Hartley and Yvonne moves out of the apartment and are forced to live with Hartley’s parents for the month of November 1997

November 29, 1997 – Hartley and Yvonne move into their new condo

June 10, 1998 – Hartley and Yvonne rescue Zeus (Zeussie the pussy cat) from the Winnipeg Humane Shelter

February 28, 1999 – Hartley and Yvonne purchase Max (Maxxie the Papillon dog) from a breeder, for Yvonne’s upcoming birthday present – No thanks to “As Good As It Gets” movie and the “Westminster Dog Show”!

July 25, 2001 – Yvonne and Hartley’s MOTHER apparently books “Fool’s Paradise and Stillwater Chapel” on a popular weekend with a 150 guest minimum … without telling Hartley!

August 13, 2001 – Yvonne quits smoking cold-turkey and starts chewing Nicorette

October 22, 2001 – Hartley decides to quit smoking and quits cold-turkey umm.. November 5, 2001

August 31, 2002 – Hartley and Yvonne get married in a Medieval / Renaissance Style themed wedding

September 7, 2002 – Hartley and Yvonne purchase Sophie (Sophie the Papillon puppy dog) from another breeder

September 2002 – Hartley redesigns the wedding website into this HARTandYVONNE.com site

And they lived happily ever after ..

August 1, 2005 – Hartley redesigns the wedding website into this HARTandYVONNE.com Blog site

HART Describes … How We Met

This story follows my 1996 European Trip story. If you have not yet read that page, please click and read it first…. // HART

It was just a few months ago in December 1996 when I travelled and visited internet friends in London, England and Stockholm, Sweden. Needless to say, my credit cards, my exhorbant long-distance phone bills and my astronomical heating bills of my dumpy house on Collegiate Street was getting to me. I was determined to be a hermit during 1997, leaving my house only to earn wages to keep my banker and credit mongers happy!

I am a multi-tasker. I remember in early March 1997, I was chatting online with people I have befriended from the internet, in MiRC, ICQ, and POWWOW .. at the same time … I believe I was possibly even in the middle of an online Cribbage tournament game when “somebody” paged me on Powwow. I said my Hello’s and Goodbye’s and apologies, but bookmarked this user CALLIOPE38. A few nights later, Calliope38 was online again, in Powwow and we chatted or rather, ‘typed’ together. Please keep in mind, that Powwow is an “IRC” chat program (“I”n “R”ealTime “C”hat) and it was neat watching someone type as fast as me! It wasn’t until this second chat session – that I realized she was from my home town .. Winnipeg.

I asked her if she would give me her telephone number, and before she finished typing it on the screen .. her phone was ringing! Yes – it was me 😉 We talked a few times over the phone over the next few days – each time the call lasted for several hours. I found we had much in common, she laughed at *most* of my jokes, and sounded very sweet on the phone (translation: her sexy voice and breathing in my ear was a great turn-on!) .. and she was a local call! From Winnipeg!

I found it curiously odd that we were both looking for something (someone) online, and we both actually went out of our way to travel to meet a few online acquaintances, in person… Yes, she seemed very nice. We had a lot in common.

Her name was Yvonne, and her birthday was this upcoming Thursday, March 13th.. I asked her if she wanted to meet me, and she invited me to go out on her birthday. OMG.. (I thought) too much pressure for me! “Why don’t we meet, in a non-date situation, on saaaay… Wednesday March 12th?” I asked… I knew she was having problems with her Win3.1 program, and I suggested I could upgrade her to Win95 and we could talk, meet, and mingle. She liked that idea. I did too naturally, as it pushed our meeting UP one day!

She lived in an apartment, on the other side of town. I immediately left my workplace, at 5:00pm on the nose, giving me about a half hour to get down there. I got there in about 20 minutes. I buzzed her apartment number and said “Hi. I’m Hart.” She said.. “Hi There.. I’ll be right down” and she buzzed me in. Well, obviously I knew her apartment number, but she confused me by saying she would come right down… So, I just stood there, waiting for her — with Win95 CD in my hand.

Suddenly, she came down a long hallway and walked towards me.. “WooHoo” (I was thinking to myself reminding that she was “Local and a Cutie!” .. 🙂 She came towards me and put out her hand for a hand-shake and I smiled and said “Hi. I’m Hart” and shook her hand … she smiled back and said “I know .. I’m Yvonne”..

Yah – that sounded awkward, but it wasn’t awkward at all .. we went up to her apartment and I immediately began to work on her hard drives… ON HER COMPUTER .. (you dirty minds you).. and installed win95. Thank goodness for its slow installation procedures, as you know, and the fact it takes forever at 99% during every update procedure….. we had lots of time to chat face to face and learn more about each other. Well, she let me continue to work on the upgrade, and did I mention that her computer was on a desk in bedroom?

I was a gentleman at all times. Yvonne had to work early the next morning, and we were only at about 40% conversion and it was about 10pm. I offered to stay and finish the upgrade, be really quiet, and hopefully be out by midnite! Geeez… the 286CPU was taking forever, and by 2:00am, it was only at 80% so, I was going to see if I can just crash maybe on the floor next to the computer, or .. beside Yvonne on the Bed. Unfortunately, her HEDGEHOG (Heidi – memo, who just passed away September 2002) started to eat her kibbles and woke Yvonne up, and I quickly pretended to type something on the keyboard and notioned with a sad face to Yvonne, “it’s nearly over.. but .. it still will be awhile.. go back to sleep!” .. I left, and fell asleep on the sectional in the living room.

Yvonne woke me up early in the morning, and we had coffee and chatted. She left for work and I finished off the final installation steps needed before heading off to my home for a quick shower, then to work. My ~get-to-know-you~ plan worked… Yvonne asked me out on that real date later that night, on her birthday. All this time, I had referred to March 12th as our anniversary date that we met… even though it’s a killer time for presents …my mom’s birthday is March 11th, and Yvonne’s on March 13th .. *sigh*

HART’s 1996 European Trip



This is the story of HART’s Jacket…. Pictures will follow


Hello … this is my story … My name is Hart … I first heard about the “internet” in January 1995
and have been online since March 1995 .. if you can call having an account with CompuServe as “being online” …
In the summer of 1995, i signed up with GATEWEST.NET and have been here ever since. The internet greatly
impacted upon my life .. I believe this to be so .. specifically, in the way I viewed life, the people and
the situations around me. I have learned much since 1995 … I have met many wonderful people …
and a few not so wonderful people ..


I was always curious about those talk shows .. YOU KNOW the ones .. Jenny Jones, Donahue, that new-guy (at the time)..
Jerry Springer? A psychologist will probably suggest that my fascination arrived as a result of failing my final
university course three times, due to lack of “participation” (aka – chatting in public) back in the early to mid-1980’s)
Perhaps that is why I was so fascinated by the fact that one can actually chat with people around the world in semi-“real-time” ..
Well – I am a fast typist! (thank-you piano lessons) .. and I liked to chat with other people. I could finally have the last
word – or, type something I should’ve said earlier. Yup – I liked to chat online .. I soon discovered that … well …
guys never chatted with other guys and gals never chatted with other gals .. Yes, it’s a big world out there but also a
lot of lonely people everywhere!! Me? Oh sure .. I am friendly … I wanted friends .. girl friends of course.. but ..
I ALSO WANTED TO MAKE MONEY!!! In November 1995, HART’s HomePage first came online ….


The first page of HART’s HomePage was the hardest. But, once you have an idea for a homepage, all you need is “content” ..
My provider loved me … I was on a budgeted 30 hour per month plan and averaging approximately 280 hours per month
online .. Did I mention that after midnite was for free and additional hours were extra??? I would scour the internet
for ideas how to get rich .. for ideas how to entertain people .. for neat little gimmicks that were totally unique
to the mass public … to having the most useful and coolest links that one could find … I would sign guestbooks
for hours on end and get reciprocal links on “friends” pages in order to increase traffic to my website .. I wanted
people to come and BOOKMARK my site!


Get-Rich-Quick … SEND HART MONEY!!!! Why wouldn’t people send HART money? Well, sure – I had no great product
or service to offer .. I didn’t want to rip people off .. I am not dishonest, nor would I want to cheat people ..
All I wanted was their money .. Not a lot of money, any amount of money!! Any amount would do .. I decided that I was
also going to accept coins from around the world. It didn’t have to be those shiny new coins, but could be those “older”
coins too 🙂 .. Perhaps this was my “in” to getting-rich on the internet, recriprocating with trading of coins with
other collectors .. For those that didn’t want to offer me money, they could offer some suggestions! .. I would post
every suggestion, and thought that one day, perhaps I could even publish a book about my exploits and all these
people’s get-rich-quick suggestions.. oh well


Yes – I was going to be rich now, and open my mail every morning and make a deposit every day – So I thought! ..
But, the ca$h wasn’t coming in as fast I had planned. I even tried “fooling” people by creating a Send-Hart-Money Page
with the link referenced as XXX – Hart’s Porn Site… Unfortunately, all this attracted were the younger teenage and
university students, and you can imagine my load of hate emails I received every day when they discovered the truth
about my ruse on that page.. It was spring 1996 and I had lots of time to chat now, and I wanted to be a regular ..
I wanted to belong .. I didn’t want to be ~The New Guy~ .. I wanted a chat HOME where, everybody knows my name …


My philosophy on the ‘net was simple. Be myself .. be HART. Let’s face it – my home address was there for all to see ..
(I was asking people to send me money!) I had nothing to hide .. A lot of people seem to be afraid that they will
stalked or harrassed if they *gasp* revealed their true identity – like their name – in chat rooms. I worry more about
REVENUE CANADA pulling up my Social Insurance Number and freezing my bank accounts, garnishing my wages, keeping track
of me from my credit card receipts, etc … . No, I’m not afraid of being “me” .. Add the fact that, well although I might
like to ’embellish’, it’s much easier telling the truth about oneself than remembering all the lies – or worse – going
through an identity crisis remembering all the characters and names one can create … If people want to really chat ..
to HART .. they should know who Hart really is. I honestly believe that actions speaks louder than words, and if you
ACT like an asshole, you ARE an asshole .. ~YES-EVEN YOU Mr. “ImaNiceGuy” ….


I used to hang out at regular semi-“real time” chat sites, and certain “real time” chat channels in IRC (Internet Relay Chat
programs) and found myself making many friends. I was friendly, I was honest, I was funny at times – and most importantly ..
I was just being a friend to talk to online. I wasn’t looking for “cyber-sex” or “one at every port”, .. no – I believe, I was doing what most people at that
time was doing … sitting in the comforts of home, just having a good friendly time chatting with people around the world…
Until, that is … there came some programs that were not only “real time” chat programs, but you can chat privately to
get to know people even better!


The time was before ICQ or AIM .. and besides being able to chat among friends, in semi-private rooms in the IRC programs,
I did meet one girl that I fancied and eventually bought an airline ticket and met her in person. I wouldn’t go back to change
anything now – but, at the time – it just seemed to be a good idea at the time that was never meant to be. Well – except for
the long-distance bills, the credit cards, and everything else. I sure could use a vacation and it was common knowledge
that my internet “IRC” friends were planning a group trip to London, England and Stockholm, Sweden just before Christmas ..
Me – I didn’t really go out much (couldn’t really afford to I decided), and chatted even more online.


I sure could use a break paying off my bills. I opened my mailbox one day and found a letter from the MBNA Bank
theorizing that I was “pre-approved” for a credit card limit up to $100,000 if I ‘acted now’. I immediately filled
the application out and applied, and was shocked to receive a notice stating I had a $5,000 limit now! WooHoo! The
first thing I did when I learned this, was call the travel agency and booked a flight to Europe! I had everything I
would need – lots of vacation time owing to me from work, Credit card limit (to kite other credit card payments) .. I
shaved off my long hair at that time to get a passport picture (short hair being low maintenance) .. and was almost ready..
Only thing I needed .. was a new Jacket.

CHAPTER 10 – HART’s JACKET was born

Thanks to my cousins Mark and Yale Singer at HARV-AL Sportswear Ltd., I decided to create a new jacket. I didn’t want
a beater jacket, nor did I want a parka. I wasn’t sure what the weather would be like in Europe, but I’m sure it could
either be cold, rainy, snowy or all of the above. I designed a cool looking Leather Jacket with Blue trims and arm guards,
and I had my email address (hbs@gatewest.net) embroidered on the chest. Now, in the fall of 1996 this was highly unusual, as
most people didn’t really know what email really looked like, although they might have heard about it… but, certainly they
never seen it on a jacket. The Jacket was great! Have you ever had your name on your jacket
and someone came up to you and said… “BOB! (or George! or whoever your name is” ..but didn’t know if they REALLY knew
your name, or just read it off of your jacket??? Worse yet – Do I know him? Having the email address on the Jacket
stopped that.

CHAPTER 11 – NOV 28/96 to DEC 16/96 TRIP

My trip was 19 days in length, including the overseas flight. I stayed in London, England for 6 days,
then flew to Stockholm for 7 days, then back to London for the remaining days. This is what I remember most about my
European trip. Nov 27/96 I was up until midnight packing. Nov 28/96 I arrived at the Winnipeg Airport at 5:30am (CST).
Once in London, myself and several of the internet chat friends met, and were drinking and socializing inside
every pub and tavern. A smaller group of friends I had planned to see Stonehenge first thing in the morning was expecting
me to arrive that night, and were planning to leave at 4:00am in the morning! I left my drinking friends, tired, jet-lagged,
(don’t forget the 6-hour time difference too) and sleepy anxious to find the bed and breakfast. I had directions, take the
train to the end of the line, then a taxi to the address. Simple.


Well – I fell asleep on the train and my suitcase stolen. My suitcase with my passports, clothes, directions to
the bed and breakfast, phone numbers, .. everything!! Well, except for all my money and travellers cheques I kept in
my pocket. I remember walking around some neighbourhood alone, no passport, totally depressed, for hours, hoping for
a miracle. I remembered at about 2am that I did keep on a secret page on my website, my itinerary and a few phone numbers.
All I needed was access to the internet – something hard to find in the middle of nowhere at 2am… I found a huge mansion
with a little box room guarding the gates and amazingly found a security guard playing online games ,,, a miracle I thought.
I woke up one of the internet friends living in London, and got the name of the B&B I was to stay at. I apparently was only
35 miles from where I was supposed to be, so I just took a cab and got to the B&B at about 3am … I didn’t sleep
much, as my roommates greeted and got me ready to go driving to Stonehenge …


By 1996, there had been much defacation of the rocks by tourists and they had blocked off the site to the public. We
had gotten special permission to arrive before everyone else to go inside the rocks, in the early morning before sunrise.
We chose to do so. I remember standing – tired, but fascinated with the structure – asking some Druid Gods to have PITY
on me and return my Passport, clothes and belonging. The next day, when I called the train station for the fifteenth time,
I was told that an anonymous traveller dropped off my suitcase two towns over and I could pick it up anytime! A friend drove
me to pick up my bag, and I looked inside it – My Passport was there! My clothes were there! I had an Orange Juice inside
the suitcase, but that was gone – and most importantly – there was a note…. It was from my robber … that said

“Dear Mr. Singer .. I apologize for taking your briefs and case and thank-you for your Juice. I must say,
that as I am quite fond of Canadians, you are most certainly lucky not to have stored any cash or valuables in your case.”

Certainly a polite thief… and, a Miracle of Stonehenge .. By day 3 I had my passport back, and stored on my body from now on!


It was a great weight lifted from my shoulders. Who knows? I could still be wondering around Europe today, trying to get
money to get home to Winnipeg. I surely “Wasn’t Worthy” (Wayne’s World reference) … I was thinking that I am either the
luckiest guy in the world, – or I’m invisible… Yah! That’s it! I must be invisible!! (sitting drinking Guinness…) Heck!
I’ve got about 10 rolls of film with me – I wonder what it would be like to take of my vacation, without any pictures of me???
Well – that’s silly – sure, but .. I could take (tah-dah!) Pictures of HART’s Jacket! I then decided at that moment that
was what I was going to do. I would showcase my new fancy shmancy Leather Jacket, having fun on vacation! Think of all the
things HART’s Jacket could do! And, when I get back to Canada – people will ask me .. “Where are you in all these 10 rolls
of pictures Hartley?” And I would reply – “I’m in all of them – except, I’m invisible… all you can see is my jacket”.


Well, following will be those pictures … but I would just like to mention that after my European holiday, I didn’t do
much else back in Winnipeg, except start to pay off the trip. I was a homebody, at home on the internet listening to music,
chatting in Real-Time with my usual amount of friends – until one day in early March 1997 that changed my life – when Yvonne
found me in the POW-WOW White pages and started to make a conversation with me. When we both realized that we were “LOCAL” calls,
we got off of the internet and chatted in “real-LIFE” and now we are married……….Awwwwwwwww

1996_trip-00.jpg – Yes, Broke and three feet of snow to shovel, I was desperate for a vacation

1996_trip-01.jpg – HART’s Jacket takes a Bus Tour of London, England

1996_trip-02.jpg – HART’s Jacket eating Chinese Food somewhere in Trafalgar Square

1996_trip-03.jpg – HART’s Jacket on the Tour Bus (note the hbs@gatewest.net email address embroidery)

1996_trip-04.jpg – HART’s Jacket stops and chats with some more Internet buddies

1996_trip-05.jpg – HART’s Jacket enjoys a unique blend of Swedish Coffee in Stockholm, Sweden

1996_trip-06.jpg – HART’s Jacket looking for stuff to do in Stockholm, Sweden

1996_trip-07.jpg – HART’s Jacket watches how the Swedish accomplish Mass Transportation

1996_trip-08.jpg – HART’s Jacket back in London, England at Trafalgar Square

1996_trip-09.jpg – HART’s Jacket notices “Bobbies” (policement) taping up Manhole covers due to terrorist threats

1996_trip-10.jpg – HART’s Jacket keeps a watchful “eye” er, “sleeve” for unusual activities

1996_trip-11.jpg – HART’s Jacket almost gets ruined from those nasty pigeon shit *eek*

1996_trip-12.jpg – HART’s Jacket visits the Tower of London, and takes picture of the Thames

1996_trip-13.jpg – Yes – that was a SAFEWAY GAS BAR in London, England .. Hmmmm

Sorry – all other pictures weren’t developed for about 3 months after the trip and didn’t survive or are barely legible and too dark
to be scanned and put up on the internet .. Sorry! Hope you enjoyed the story and pictures though! 🙂

Yvonne Describes … How We Met

Hartley and I met on the internet. Back in February 1997, ICQ was just in its infancy. But, there were other messaging programs out there and a hot program was POWWOW. One night after I had come back from a lackluster date, I decided to go online. One of the nice features POWWOW had, was that it had an option to look for people in your home town. So, I decided to browse and see who was online. There was a name “Hart-at-work” that for some reason, jumped out at me. So I messaged him.

I said something clever like “Hi, how are you?”. Hart-at-work replied with something just as snappy, like “Fine thanks, you?”. We messaged a couple of times and then because it was late we logged off. We didn’t get together again for a couple of days, but when we connected again … we never really said goodbye.

I found out his name was Hartley Singer and that he was an accountant that worked with his dad. The first time he came over, he installed Windows 95 on my computer. He was so sweet, because the installation took a very long time … so long in fact that it wasn’t done until the next morning. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but he slept on the couch while I slept in my bed. I remember waking up at one point during the night and saw him sneak into my bedroom, where I had my computer, to check on the progress of the installation. As soon as he was satisfied that all was well with the program, he ever-so-softly crept out again.

That’s when I had my first glimpse of how considerate and sweet Hartley is. Well anyway, as I’ve mentioned before, Hartley never really went home again. After about a month, I realized he wasn’t going to leave and I wasn’t going to let him go anyway.