Monday, December 15, 2008

New Rules

With the busy holiday season ongoing, drivers in T'Bay have adopted a whole new set of rules to help get the gifts under the tree. Most noticeable, the first 15 seconds of a red light no longer means stop. In that first few seconds when the light turns the color of Rudolph's nose, anyone making a left is ok to carry on. Whether you are in the intersection or not is now irrelevant. Christmas spirit takes on a whole new meaning as people carelessly steal time from other drivers.

A meeting of the Northwood coaches saw good discussion but a decisison to drop the remaining practices in favour of more games. I went with last year's survey which pointed to kids needing more practices. I redid the schedule during lunch on Wednesday and emailed everyone with the news. Replies came fast and furious, all in favour of the original schedule. Coaches have re-thought the move and all but 2 want the practices back. The 2 will get shceduled together so they can have scrimmages if they choose. They both have poor turnouts for their practices so maybe it's something to do with the practices or just the mix of parents. More games mean more time in the arena for me so I'm all for going back to the original plan, plus I think it was a step forward for a rec league.  

Tomorrow is our annual Christmas Skating party. I got my blades sharpened and have the 'jolly' uniform all ready to go. It should be a good time for the kids as the committe gathered lots of prizes, treats and 25 large pizzas were donated by a grandfather. I have to wrap up here so I can get the tunes ready.

I missed walking on Monday norning with all the snow but made the hike every other trip. I thought I would eventually have to stop because of cold but I don't think it will get much worse than the -38F day (windchill) so maybe I can go year round without using the car. 

Farzum and I talked about making one of the girls into a fixed gear today as we was doing the blades. He said I could try Nathan Petrie's ride out to get a feel for it. He wants the web site I started for them to develop so he can get rid of some of the odds they have from 75 years in business. Maybe I can get some bartering for parts going.

December miles
Riding 83 miles
Walking 50
Ethel:5 miles
Boots:2.5 miles
100 push-ups
100 sit-ups
Ethel:5 miles
100 push-ups
100 sit-ups
Boots:3.5 miles
100 push-ups
100 sit-ups
Ethel:5 miles
Boots:3.5 miles
100 push-ups
100 sit-ups
Boots:3.5 miles
100 push-ups
100 sit-ups
Ethel:6 miles
Boots:1.75 miles
100 push-ups
100 sit-ups

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Some Web Apps

Did you ever get a text file with no capitals? Type for 5 minutes with cap locks on? Here's a handy little web app that can save you alot of editing, 'Case Convertor'. Just copy and paste your text into the box and select what you want done, process and then copy and paste back to your word processor, or save as a text file. The thumbnail of the webpage was made with another web app called 'Thumbizy'

The newspaper generator can be fun. Make a headline and a story and email it to a friend. They'll be looking twice.

December miles
Riding 62 miles
Walking 35 miles
Ethel:5 miles
100 push-ups
100 sit-ups

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another One to Pray For

Ok, I admit it. This morning was cold. All week people have been asking and until today I really wasn't, but this morning got a bit chilly. Only from the waist down to the ankles, everything else was good. The temp at 8am read -29C or -20F with a windchill of -39C but the wind didn't make much of a difference as it was at my back for a change. 

Ginko and I watched Home Alone, at least until we both took a short nap. He was up in bed by 8 so he should be good and ready for a day out tomorrow. We're hitting his favourite spot for breakfast and picking out a tree along with whatever else Sal has planned.

I got an email today about one of the other league presidents in town who has been diagnosed with a cancer that they haven't been able to source. He needs a PET scan and can't get scheduled so some friends of his are trying to raise cash for him to go to Duluth and get the scan quickly. The hockey community is coming forward to help out as emails have been sent around town. He is also one of our little league coaches so I've asked for them to help as well. He's 36 with a 14 year old son, a new wife and a baby on the way. The damn disease has absolutely no conscience.
December miles
Riding 57
Walking 35
Ethel:5 miles
Boots:3.5 miles
100 push-ups
100 sit-ups
Boots:4.5 miles
100 push-ups
100 sit-ups

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Walking in the Zone

This morning's walk was a bit of a test of my cold weather gear, -25 with an 11km wind. Except for an Ipod malfunction before I even go out the door it was all good. I put a new set of tunes on last night but the software must have gotten trashed so nothing worked this morning but I was already layered up and ready to go when I made the discovery. A sweat was already forming so I grabbed my phone and used it instead. The only cold I felt was on the front of my legs during the last quarter mile or so as it was directly into the wind. The ski goggles definitely make the package work as my head was toasty all the way. The Ipod problems became a positive as I learned later in the day.

I was dreading the walk home as soon as the heavy snow started at about 3pm. I was not looking forward to trudging though powder. I got the Ipod restored in the morning but lost the tunes in the process. I have a bunch on my pc at work so I grabbed something I knew I would enjoy quickly as I didn't have time to be too picky. Led Zep IV or ZOSO. I hear lots of Led Zep these days as the 'classic' rock stations try to convince a younger crowd that they were the best. I've been listening to them since they were not allowed on radio, no need to sway my vote. Most of what I hear are single cuts. Listening to the entire album is a treat. The chords of the next song are already playing in my head before the last one ends, I know where every note of Jimmy's solos are going. I must have listened to that album more than 100 times but it has never sounded better than it did today.

The walk home itself was more fun than I thought walking could be and not only because of the tunes. Being enclosed in my orange tinted world was like walking through the storm but being detached from it. I couldn't feel the wind, couldn't hear it or the cars and it all just seemed to be floating by as I marched on. A train had traffic backed up on Memorial and I passed a dozen cars along Durban as they tried to fight their way onto the main street. I passed some of them again as they were held up at the lights at Isabel. Drivers hate it when I pass them on a bike, they must have been cursing my progress as they sat motionless. 
December miles
riding 47 miles
walking 27
Ethel:5 miles
Boots:3.5 miles
100 push-ups
100 sit-ups
Ethel:5 miles
Boots:3.5 miles
100 push-ups
100 sit-ups

Monday, December 8, 2008

Saddle Upgrade

I carried Ethel's seat post to work this morning through the lovely fresh powder. It was warm enough to pull my gloves and unzip after about a mile. At lunch I jigged the extra seatpost I had in the basement, which is bent but works for the project, to our drill press. I drilled a test hole successfully and then took the plunge and cut the top mount off of Ethel's. The spare seatpost slide into Ethel's but with lots of play. I ran the drill through both and then put a 5/16 bolt through, drilled through both again and added a second bolt and brought the creation home. I attached a saddle and rode 5 miles after making a few adjustments. Total cost $0, and the results were as I had hoped. Much improved comfort while riding the dreaded indoor season. 

As I drove around at work today I saw so many guys out on bikes it was depressing. When I made the hike home it was like walking in a mixture of brown sugar and margarine with a nice coating of Pam on the sidewalks.  The first day at 100 didn't kill me. The last 3 or 4 of each set feel just like they did last week so I must be getting a bit stronger as I continue
December miles
Riding 37 miles
Walking 20 miles
Ethel:5 miles
Boots:3.5 miles
100 push-ups
100 sit-ups

Friday, December 5, 2008

My Cold Weather Hero

Sitting on Ginko was a bit of a downer, he was asleep for the night before I even left the house to walk there.  The football game was not worth watching and the hockey game was over for me after the Canadiens did their pre-game history lesson. Listening to Jean Beliveau talk about the good old days whe the Habs ruled the NHL roost was interesting. He made $100, 000 for 5 seasons, total, and won something like 10 cups. Eric Staal's contract works out to that much per game.

The pic above is Jill Homer, my cold weather hero. She's getting ready to ride Iditabike again, 350 miles across Alaska. Her post today discusses her cold weather gear, items she will be using again and those she is looking to replace. Love her bike, a Surley Pugsley. Her exploits and achievements are the reason behind my naming my Lapierre bike Jill. Check out her blog for some great writing and pix of Alaska.

Next week starts 100 push-ups and sit-ups a day. I was going to ride on Saturday but it snowed just enough to make me decide against it. I'm going to take Ethel's massive seat post to work with me and try and fix a normal one to it so I can put on a decent saddle. Riding her is only painful because the saddle is uncomfortable, like sitting on a wooden barstool for a long time, it cuts off the circulation.  
December miles
riding 32 miles
walking 16.5 miles
boots:1.5 miles
Ethel:3 miles
boots:3.5 miles
90 push-ups
90 sit-ups
Ethel:3 miles
boots:3.5 miles
90 push-ups
90 sit-ups
boots:4.5 miles
90 push-ups
90 sit-ups

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


The only thing about walking to work that I can really say I like is that it gives me lots of thinking time like a long ride, and I get to listen to tunes. It is a more demanding activity than a short, no effort ride so I guess it will be better for the long haul. I have it down to 30 minutes so it isn't taking any longer than the 5 miles ride I was doing when conditons were more bike friendly. This morning was pretty cold with my face into the wind most of the way but with 4 layers on top, 2 on the bottom half, a toque, polar-buff and scarf I really didn't feel it. I'm going to go looking for ski goggles so my eyes won't be watering all the way.

I get to sit on Ginko tomorrow. Looking forward to spending some time with him as it has been a while. He may be around a bit more as Jen is looking to change the arrangements a bit.
26 miles (riding)
3.5 miles (walking)
Ethel:5 miles
Boots:3.5 miles
90 push-ups
90 sit-ups

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Damn Slop

I left this morning with perfect conditions, not too cold and dry.  I looked out the window as I was unpacking and the snow had already started piling up. It stopped by 10 but there was just enough to make my way home sloppy and gritty as the temp wasn't low enough to keep everything frozen. Finding the edge of the pavement is a chore in fresh snow, the roads feel narrower. I'm going to be hiking it until either it dries up again or spring comes. Its too tough on the bike and at probably 7 miles per hour the physical part of riding is pretty much gone, the fun with it. I could literally feel the small rocks that were getting kicked up going through the chain and sprockets, crunching and grinding.  
December 21 miles
Eyowen:5 miles
Ethel:3 miles
90 push-ups
90 sit-ups

Monday, December 1, 2008

Another Monday

Not feeling like riding lasted 2 days. This morning I had no great desire to walk but the promise of riding got me up at 6. It really wasn't as cold as I had expected so I made the trip home and back at lunch as well. Late last night and just before lunch I had what felt like the pain of a kidney stone, oh boy. The ride home at lunch was done in some pain but the cold really helped, that and a couple of tylenol 3s. Push-ups and sit-ups are up to 90 a day and I got through the first day easily. Once I get to 100 I want to add something else, probably a mile on the treadmill. 

December 13 miles
Eyowen: 10 miles
Ethel:3 miles
90 push-ups
90 sit-ups

Friday, November 28, 2008

Northwood and Thunderwolves

Saturday was a busy day as we took almost all of the Northwood players to the Thunderwolves game. 225 people all together. They got a good game to watch as LU won 6-3 over Guelph and included a charity teddy bear toss. 28 huge leaf bags of stuffed toys were collected for various charities.
I made 4 trips on foot to the Gardens on Saturday and another couple for the games today. Not sure why but the distance just didn't seem worth dragging Eyowen out of the basement. I came closeer to falling on foot, about 6 times, than I have on a bike. There's plenty of salt and sand on the streets but nothing on the sidewalks yet. Might be safer to ride than walk to work. My year to date mileage won't get to 5000 but I'm still satisfied. It seems almost impossible to think just how far that is. I've learned one thing from riding and that is things add up, just keep at it and the numbers will be there.
2008 4393 miles
November 304 miles
Ethel:3 miles
80 sit-ups
80 push-ups
Eyowen:4 miles
Ethel:3 miles
80 push-ups
80 sit-ups

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nine Months and Counting

Snow. Yech. One day of work left in November. One day of commuting by bike left to complete 9 months for the year. We'll see what December brings. I just checked back in the blog to March when I started full time commuting and had days then 0f -34 with the wind so its no where near that cold yet. Haven't even gone the short way other than today in the falling snow.

 I'm feeling more and more confidence in Eyowen. I'm always a bit leery of my own mechanical skills, and since I assembled her from a bare frame even more so, but today I was up out of the saddle a bit and riding no hands in the usual spots so I guess I'm over that part of getting to know her. The frame is smaller than any of the others so she's perfect for riding now, not as far to fall. Just kidding.
November 294 miles
Eyowen:10 miles
Ethel:3 miles
80 push-ups
80 sit-ups
Eyowen:12 miles
Ethel:3 miles
80 push-ups
80 sit-ups

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh To Be 22 Again

Not much new in the past few days. I've added another 2 -ups to each rep so I'm up to 80 of each daily. The weather is definitely nicer for getting back and forth. Eyowen is behaving well after a few issues with the crank getting loose. I just never got the drive side tight enough but it seems good now. Better than in Toronto where a cyclist and a cabbie got into an arguement and the cabbie rammed the biker and his $5000 into a pole. He lived but lost a leg, the cabbie is going to see some jail time but I don't think that will help the cyclist much.

Hockey went well on Sunday, 3 games and a total 4 goal spread. Things are getting closer as the season goes on. All of the kids and coaches along with some parents (225 altogether) are heading to an LU game next Saturday. I sent a players profile form with the weekly emails and quite a few have responded already so it should be good for some smiles in the yearbook.  

AJ just got back from Minneapolis where he and his buddies took in the ACDC concert and saw Alex Ovechkin play the Wild. Not a bad couple of days. 

November 266 miles
Eyowen:11 miles
Ethel:3 miles
80 push-ups
80 sit-ups
Eyowen:13 miles
Ethel:3 miles
80 push-ups
80 sit-ups
Eyowen:2 miles

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Eyowen Lives

I was up at 7, had a quick breakfast and did my push-ups. I wanted to give myself enough time to walk to work in case I had any problems on the first ride. No big problems and she felt pretty good. Very quiet due to the lack of gears and extras. The bottom bracket bearing came slightly loose so I retightened it once I got to the shop. Sal and I went for dim sum and a few errands, she went off to work and I headed to Petrie's for inspection. Everything passed Farzam's lookover except the bearing again. I picked up a couple of the new style sealed units and borrowed a tool. After checking things at the Gardens I headed home to tear her apart and install the new bearings. The installation went well and the difference was very noticeable in the smoothness of the new bearings. I returned the unused bearing and the tool, slipped in to the Gardens and then came home.

I found a fun website last night, pedalmafia. It's a Japanese company that sells parts to make scale models of bikes. The fun part is designing them in the flash program they have running. My Japanese is not quite what it used to be so I'm not positive but I think they make the parts you design in and kit it for your assembly.  Similar to the lego factory design website where you can download a small program, design something in the thousands of available blocks and then have them ship you the parts to re-create your design. The pic below is as close as I could get to Eyowen since I don't have a real picture yet. Can you tell I'm having fun with this site?

November 234 miles
Eyowen:7 miles
Ethel:3 miles
70 push-ups
70 sit-ups

Friday, November 21, 2008

Don't Give Up Just Yet

An hour after posting last night I was back in the basement pulling the front fork and fixing an obvious error in my assembly of Eyowen. I pulled out my repair manual, two hours AFTER completing the job, and discovered the cause of the odd feeling in the fork. I had one of the bearing sets facing the wrong direction. If I left it loose the fork had play, if I tightened it up it got too stiff to steer properly. Off came the fork, pulled the bearing out and replaced in the correct direction. Everything feels much better now. I never did put any weight on the frame or test ride her so the bearings should be fine.

I woke up at 5:30 this morning thinking, I could ride Bridget one more day. Yes, no, yes, no. I flip-flopped like city council for an hour as I did my push-ups and had breakfast. At 7 I was in the basement again pulling the front wheel off Eyowen and putting it on Bridget for the ride to work. I wore just about every layer I have and was actually warm enough to stretch it into a 3 mile ride, I was sweating when I got in. The low was somewhere around -18 but the wind was up so it was a bunch colder. Only my watering eyes felt it. With Bridget I can shift up and keep the speed low while pedalling faster to stay warm. I love the feeling I get when I come in after being out in the cold long enough to have it sink in. I get that invigorated flush from head to toe as the warmth seeps back in.

I got off at 3pm for good behaviour and headed to Petries for a cable and some BS. One of the girls was putting through a sale and the customer's name on her credit card was exactly the same as her sister's. It is a long Finn last name, same first and middle names as well. Apparently they have almost exchanged surgeries a time or two. She called her sister to confirm she wasn't short a Visa card.

I got home, had some supper and then finished Eyowen. It was a bit late for a test ride and I didn't feel like suiting up again. We'll see how everything turns out in the morning as I'm on Saturday duty.

November 224 miles
Bridget: 6 miles
Ethel:3 miles
70 push-ups
70 sit-ups

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Eyowen Takes Shape

I spent a couple of hours working on Eyowen tonight and had to call it quits as I was short a rear brake cable. Everything is ready to go but I'm still going to bring her in for a quick look over. 

I walked the 1.75 miles to and from work and although I enjoyed it mainly because I can listen to my ipod, I missed riding already. I only saw a few brave souls riding, both without any lights, but I envied them. Walking over bike tracks in the snow made me wince especially when I knew some of them were mine.

November 215 miles
Ethel:3 miles
70 push-ups
70 sit-ups

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Last Ride for Me?

This morning Bridget and I were out early crunching through the fresh snow. I took the long route as everything was perfect. What was dark was now lit up by the blanket of snow. Lately all I have seen of the bike path in the early morning is the spot 12 feet ahead of me and maybe the eastern horizon. Today was like riding at noon in comparison. It was cool but refreshing, I wanted to keep pedaling.

Then I decided to go for a spin at lunch to pick up some mail, big mistake. The snow was melting, the roads were narrower and I had no front fender. I either went 8 mph or got splashed by my own front wheel.

By 5 o'clock the temp had dropped and the wind was up. It was much colder than this morning and everything was frozen. I was good to the bike path but coming off there and onto the side streets was treacherous. It looked like soft snow but lights shining on the roads revealed ice everywhere. I slowed down and got my butt home safely but am really considering walking to work in the morning.

Bridget got totally covered in slop so I started piecing Eyowen together. She is long overdue and this is not how I wanted to get her on the road but Ceclia's frame is a mess and the other girls are too expensive to abuse. I got the hardest parts installed, the bottom bracket bearings and shaft, front fork and bearings. I'll get Farzam to look them over before I go too far, never assembled those parts before and have only a book to refer to. I took them all apart last fall so at least I had some idea. It all feels tight but free, just not sure about the amount of grease to pack in. 

November 212 miles
Bridget:11 miles
Ethel:3 miles
70 push-ups
70 sit-ups

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Last Ride for Cecelia?

Cecelia started to show her age (20+ years) more than just cosmetically this afternoon. The bearings in the bottom bracket are loose and for now Bridget will be commuting. The bearings made some creaking noises last week but I couldn't pinpoint the source until now. The lights and fender along with her own front wheel were swapped after getting home. It will be a rush to get another less expensive option into service before the snow and salt hit the road.

It was somewhat colder this morning but I'm still not fully into all my layers or options for staying warm. If the temp is the same or lower tomorrow I'll add another layer to the bottom half, the top half was just fine. I picked up some winter cycling gloves and they are much warmer than the mitts I had been using. Nice long cuffs with velcro closures, palms with grip, soft thumbs for drying your eyes and a couple of loose fingers for braking make them really handy.
November 198 miles
Cecelia:11 miles
Ethel:3 miles
70 push-ups
70 sit-ups

Monday, November 17, 2008

Everybody Has A Win

The last place Northwood team got their first win yesterday and I couldn't have been happier. They are a hard working bunch but just could not get that first W. I had one parent from the opposing team tell me she was pulling for them because they were the only one without a win and she was on the team that struggled early last year. The got the winner with only 20 seconds left so it was a great way to do it. After 7 games they are only 7 points out of first so they still have a chance to have a good season. The other 5 teams are very close and no one knows who will win when they get to the rink. Sunday's 3 games were all decided by a sinlge goal (2 in the last 30 seconds) and other than 3 ties it doesn't get any better. 

November 184 miles
Cecelia:12 miles
Ethel:4 miles
70 push-ups
70 sit-ups
Cecelia:3 miles
Cecelia:5 miles
Ethel:5 miles
60 push-ups
60 sit-ups

Friday, November 14, 2008

My New Hero, Rick Mercer

Chek out his latest rant.


I could say tgif about any Friday but after 3 straight Saturdays at work this one is very welcome. I started the day with a visit to my family doctor and sat for nearly an hour for a 5 minute visit, got a flu shot, reviewed what we already knew and headed for work. I had a few shop jobs I was not looking forward to and chaos welcomed me at the door. Seems a few invoice went through without GST. An easy fix but a few tense moments. I reviewed all the customer files and corrected another tax error but nothing major. There must be a night shift or some other gremlin in our systems because I set things one way today and tomorrow they seem to change themselves. I stayed through lunch and headed home at four, tired and with a bit of a headache. The ride home felt great as the sun was shining for a bit and just to get out an hour early was nice. Cecelia has forgiven me for leaving her out Thursday night but she managed to bite me on the way into the basement, though technically it was Bridget's wheel skewer that grew teeth so maybe she's mad at me too.

Ginko is coming over early Saturday and we're heading for breakfast, something to look foreard to as we haven't seen him this week.

November 155 miles
Cecelia:8 miles
Ethel:3 miles
60 push-ups
60 sit-ups

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I did something yesterday I haven't done all year, left a bike outside over night and unlocked. I remembered as I was leaving to pick up Sal from work, the car was in for some service so AJ had driven her to work, but then forgot her again. Needless to say when I went out this morning Cecelia was not impressed with being left out in the cold and rain. To make it up I switched over Bridget's front wheel as the bearings in Cecelia's were about done. I've been wanting to get into Petrie's and take Farzum up on his offer to guide me through building a new wheel but weekends are pretty much taken up by hockey and with another $300 sunk into the car extra funds are slim til month end. All is forgiven for now. I was almost afraid to look out this morning expecting her to be gone.

November 144 miles
Cecelia:11 miles
Ethel:4 miles
60 push-ups, 60 sit-ups
Cecelia:4 miles
Ethel:3 miles
60 push-ups, 60 sit-ups
Cecelia:12 miles
Ethel:3 miles
60 push-ups, 60 sit-ups

Monday, November 10, 2008

He Does It His Way

Former Chicago Bears hall of fame middlelinebacker Mike Singletary was given the reins of the San Francsico 49'ers in late October. In his first game he told a player that got a stupid penalty to hit the showers, something simply not done in the pros. He went to the fans and apologized for the teams performance, ranted to the media about the teams lack of desire and apparently dropped his pants in the locker room during his post game 'talk' with the players. He was an intense player and looks to be an even more intense coach. The experts say they admire his style but don't think it will work with today's millionaire athletes. 

Tonight the player that he benched scored his first td of the season with a great effort and moments later they were laughing and hugging on the sideline. In his second game tonight the heavily favoured Cardinals are down 11 points at the half and Singletary looks pretty damn smart right now. They may not win the game but if they lose they'll do it his way, with pride and 110% effort.
His first press conference.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Snow & Ethel

Sounds like a movie title, snow & Ethel, the next super cops. But no, snow is what I woke up to on Saturday morning and headed into for the trip to work. I took the long (5 miles) way as it felt really good, probably because it wasn't rain. Ethel is the e-bike and I dragged her out last night for a quick spin to make sure she made it safely through a summer of neglect. 
I bumped up the work outs to 60 push-ups and sit-ups daily rather than ever other. The plan is to add 2 to every week. Have to cut back on the input now as I've been eating way too much since finishing the ride in June.
November 107 miles
11-10, Cecelia:15 miles, 60 push-ups
11-10, Ethel:3 miles, 60 sit-ups
11-09, Ethel:3 miles
11-08, Cecelia:12 miles, 50 sit-ups

Friday, November 7, 2008

Beavers Moving to Town

Lunch time today came and we had just worked through another mystery with the new software. I didn't really feel the need to eat so I jumped on Cecelia and went for a quick 40 minute ride down to the bike path and then up through the college to the university. The rivers were really swollen with all the rain we've had. It was nice to ride without the rain suit and with a bit of sunlight.

Along the river near the college I had noticed some trees brought down by beavers. There is no sign of a dam yet but I'm sure these trees were are going to show up somewhere along there soon. I never thought I'd see deer in this part of town so whose to say it can't be a beaver. 
November 74 miles
11-07, Cecelia: 17 miles, 50 push-ups

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Beware the Crocodile

AJ added another trophy to the crowded bookshelf in his room last weekend with the Thunder Bay Flag Football Championship. Seems whatever he plays he'll win the big one sooner or later.

Miles are a bit hard to come by this week as the rain won't let up. My ride home tonight was wet and windy and heading into the wind was stinging. The rain suit does its thing and once I get inside I'm still dry.

I got on the scale for the first time in a while and am still hovering at 235, X-90. Hard to believe after the snacking I got into since Halloween. Putting me in charge of the treats is like having the crocodile babysit the baby wildebeast, somethings going to get eaten. Push-ups and sit-ups are going well and I guess Ethel will get dusted off some time soon. Six seasons of the Sopranos are waiting for another look over the winter.

This link to this video was all over web news sites so I checked it out, sounds like a big step in cancer research and hopefully more effective treatment someday soon.

November 57 miles
11-06, Cecelia:8 miles, 50 sit-ups

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Surprise Surprise Surprise

In the who would've thought it possible category, a black man in the Whitehouse, gas goes under $1/litre and city council unanimously approoves improvements to infrastructure for cycling. I'm not sure I can take all these surprises at once. I hope Mr. Obama can take the Americans on more historic adventures as we all know we'll be following right on their tails through good or bad. Gas prices continue to tumble, somehow we're not quite as cheap as the provincial average of .87 but who would have thought it could drop this far this fast. Not that it makes much of a difference to me. And finally when I took on the survey project that was part of the presentation to city council I never dreamed we'd see any real action or that I might someday actually ride on the improved trails or bike lanes. I just hope that issue number two doesn't change the mind of our council. Low gas prices won't last long and they have been known to do a 180 on an issue or two in the past.

I have to say that daylight savings time really bites. So far the mornings have been only moderately brighter and even Tueday when the sun was shining it was down before I got home at 5:30. I had to run the lights on the way home tonight. I'm not real sure where the savings are, I was already good with dark mornings but now I get it at both ends. Just a matter of time I guess.

Days 1 and 2 on the new software were a nightmare as people who thought they were ready froze under the gun. Things that were supposed to be easy weren't. I spent hours running back and forth putting out fires and trying to keep my own work going. I got lots done today and found a few more features that we needed work arounds for. Tuesday balanced where Monday didn't, until we remembered that Saturdays sales were included. The one big advancement on the new software is I can trace any transaction back and find out who, what and where it all goes wrong.  

November 49 miles
11-05, Cecelia:6 miles 50 push-ups
11-04, Cecelia:15 miles 50 sit-ups
11-03, Cecelia:9 miles 50 push-ups

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Quiet Sunday

Sal and I had brunch with the Wicklunds who are in town for another wedding. I got dropped at the Gardens with Cecelia for the last 2 games and of course everyone wanted to drive me home because it was raining. In the last game of the day a rare penalty was handed out, even more so because the penalized player was a 6 year old girl. She is without a doubt one of the best of the first line players and she was devastated by the call. Most often first time offenders are confused but don't break into tears until mom or dad show up in the penalty box to make sure they are ok. Then they break out because they assume they have done something really awful. She was in tears before she even stepped in. I sat with her and told her how she was a real hockey player now that she had a penalty but she wanted nothing to do with the game from that point on. I waved over her mom, who is one of the coaches and a former university player. I even told her mom used to get lots of penalties, no go. She refused to go out when her time was up and unfortunatley it was her last shift. Our referee-in-chief felt really bad, next time he gets to sit there with her. I called a couple of hours later and she has recovered but I don't think we'll see her back in the sin bin too soon.    

November 19 miles
11-02, Ceclelia:1 mile

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Are You Happy Deer?

Today's title is not a mis-spelled bit of sarcasm, though the 7 bags full of leaves in our front yard will certainly make a special someone who has been hinting happy. Jill and I rode over to Mission Marsh after raking the yard and met the happiest deer on the island, the only buck I've ever seen there. His family was everywhere and was only outnumbered by the deer watchers. They were stopping all over the road tossing apples, oblivious to traffic all around. I pulled over and politely waited but the island's residents and OPG workers late for a shift just barrel through, not that I blame them. 

After riding Cecelia almost exclusivley for October, Jill felt so smooth and light. I forgot all about shifting for the first bit and getting comfy with the bar setup took a few miles. The new bars on Cecelia have taught me one thing, my arms can be a strong part of pedaling if I pull as I push with my legs. Monday it will be back to the push-up and sit-up regimen as my back feels good to go again. Increased upper body strength and a decreased middle are the goal.

Inventory went pretty well and we are up and running for the new year on Simply Accounting. We still have lots to learn, some more than others but I think it will work out fine. Not having 2 systems to keep fed with information will be a relief.

AJ showed off his costume in an attempt to get Ginko to sing a song last night. It didn't work on him but apparently the patrons at Jacks thought it was great, he hauled in almost $200 in tips during his shift from 10 til closing last night. Nice going Mr. Chiquita.
November 18 miles
11-01, Cecelia:6 miles
11-01, Jill:12 miles  

Friday, October 31, 2008

Shadows Chasing

This morning I was in an odd mood. I noticed my shadow as I passed beneath streelights, sneaking up from behind and then passing me only to fade under the glare of the next light and then make another pass. You get accustomed to your shadow riding along next to you more or less just there, but when the sun is an hour from the horizon it is a dynamic thing, always changing and moving around you. Lower lights near the college bike path caused it to pass rapidly, riding through a crescent causes it to approach from various angles. I noticed other lights as my early morning ride went on. Tailights of unseen cars travelling along the river reflected onto the water making them appear to be moving across the surface. My headlight on the darkest parts of the bike path shining a 6 foot spot 15 feet in front of me, giving just enough light to jar the memory of each crack and bump in the pavement. The glare of headlights on approaching cars robbing me of my night vision. The low light of cars behind me, hopefully seeing the blinking red of my tailight. 

2008 4089 miles

October 424 miles
10-31, Cecelia:13 miles

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nice Day for A Ride

With the temp heading for the 20's I grabbed some water and a camera at lunch, traded mitts for riding gloves and shed a few layers so that I could catch a long ride after work. Cecelia and I headed north with the wind at our backs and ended up circling Boulevard Lake before heading home. The head wind and the setting sun made the trip home a bit long but it felt good to get a longish ride in.I wish I had traded the jeans for shorts. I kept reminding myself that whenever the sun is directly in front of me and going down, I'm all but invisible to my 4 wheeled companions on the road. It sure is good to hear that Ontario is planning a 'no cell' law for drivers.

October 411 miles
10-30, Cecelia:26 miles
10-29, Cecelia:16 miles

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall Colours and Chrome

The switch to simply Accounting is progressing at work, it has to as we go live next week. I have the inventory in and quantities enetered so we are paralleling both systems looking for problems. We are finding them almost hourly but so far have not come across any 'showstoppers' as Jason calls them. It is just a different way of doing things and after 20 years on the old system it is taking some getting used to and imagination to come up with methods of doing what we have come to take for granted in new ways.

Jill's blog had some great pictures of the plants around Juneau turning so I thought I would add one here. Scroll down her blog as she made a visit to the Grand Canyon and hiked across it, some nice pics of that as well. This shot was taken near the cancer Hope park along the bike path where it crosses Balmoral. Most of the leaves are off the trees after a few days with high wind but these plants still look great. Just wish the sun had been out to really make the colours snap. Cecelia appears in her current all weather setup. Riding in this cooler weather is great as long as I wear enough layers.

I've been using Google's new browser, Chrome for about a month now and have changed over about 95% both at home and at work. I find it very fast compared to Firefox and it leaves Explorer in its dust. Recommended and free. Another free download that helped tune up AJ's laptop is Malware Bytes. It's great for getting out stubborn adware. It was recommended by one of the Northwood coaches who runs the local 'Nerds On Site'.
October 369 miles
10-28, Cecelia:16 miles

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Just in Time for Halloween

I grabbed the phone camera last night after having everything hooked up at the Northern Nights sleep clinic. The mess of wires in my hand come from the sensors glued to my legs, shoulders, chest, chin, temple and who knows how many locations on the back of my head as well as the mic on my neck and the breathing straps around my chest and stomach. The computer monitors just about everything including eye movement and there's a camera above the bed so it's tough to fall asleep. I ended up having to put on my mask at about 2am as the apnea is still happening. We got the pressure dialed in and with the new mask it will be all systems normal as far as sleep goes. I have to say the staff at the clinic has to be the best medical staff on the planet. Friendly and professional, everything moves through so smoothly it amazes me every time. They should put on clinics for other medical offices, and not of the sleep variety. 

I got home this morning with just enough time to throw some breakfast in my pack and grab Cecelia for a quick ride to work. By lunch the wind had picked up and I had to put on an extra layer and switch to the polar buff. I'm loving the feel of the 'new' Cecelia, a poorman's 'cross bike.

Some cycling math. These are estimates based on two known numbers and one estimate. 
4000miles/12mph=333.3 hours (miles/average speed)
333.3hrs x60=19,998 minutes
19,998 minutes x 80 rpm (a guess)=1,199,880 revolutions of the crank

October 353 miles
10-27, Cecelia:12 miles

Friday, October 24, 2008

Delayed But Done

Pedalling past the 4000 mile marker got held up by the weather. I got my commutes in Friday but didn't really want to get wet on the way home. I stopped in at Petrie's and picked up a roll of bar tape for Cecelia. I took off the H bar and put on Molly's original bar that I had cut down. When I tried it on Molly it seemed far too narrow but then I was used to the big wide bar on Bridget. Confused, me too. As with most changes to the cockpit of a bike, she feels very different and since I'll be spending most of my saddle time with her that's a good thing.  

Saturday morning dawned wet but I was in no mood to be denied again so Cecelia got thrown out in the rain and I put on the wetsuit and headed for work. I got a ton of data entered into the Simly database and felt great when noon came. I took the long way home and had the distance I needed to crack 4000 miles or 6437 km. Cecelia was thrilled to get the big ride after spending so much time in the basement. I think next year I'm going to track k's.

Off to the sleep clinic. 

October 341 miles
10-25, Cecelia:10 miles
10-24, Cecelia:16 miles

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

20 to Go

It doesn't seem possible but sometime Friday I plan to crack 4000 miles on my bikes in 2008. Who gets the honour has yet to be decided. Molly is still waiting for tires and Cecelia is just plain tired so it will be up to Bridget or Jill to finish it off. The forecast is looking uncertain but even if I have to wait til Saturday I'll still be happy with the results. 

Conquer Cancer announced today that events will be held in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal along with the 2nd in Toronto. I would sure love to ride into the Rockies out of Calgary but I think raising donations to go to Alberta would be a tough sell. 

20 miles to 4000
October 315miles
10-23, Cecelia:15 miles
10-22, Cecelia:15 miles

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Visit From Mr. Murphy

On Sunday I get re-checked for sleep apnea so today I bought Sal a present, a new mask. Turns out they were on sale, only $130, what a bargain. I really don't feel any different when I sleep without it but she says I'm still annoying so I thought I should get the new mask before (a) the test and (b) she kills me in my sleep. 

If I owned friction today I would have sold it for a pack of gum, and I only chew gum when I fly, reluctantly. Anything that could go wrong did, twice. We are two weeks from switching over to a new software and hardware setup and our early 90's dot matrix printer (dont' even know what that is do you kids) decided today would be a good day to retire. Heck it has worked there only a few years less than I have and I've been ready to retire for a decade, it was due. As that happened 6 walk-in customers showed up at the same time. We have entire days, sometimes a week when we don't see 6 walk-ins. Picture us scrambling to find and complete hand-written invoices, while trying to reprogram another printer, change over the 3000 foot ribbon, machine rotors and flywheels, and answer the phones without doing serious damage to any of the above or each other. I would have happily chewed the entire pack. Getting on the bike at 5 and leaving the day behind was like slipping into Lake Superior on a really hot summer day, and the beer I had when I got home tasted too good to be legal. I can't wait for tomorrow, to end that is 
60 miles t0 4000
October: 285 miles
10-21, Ceclia:15 miles

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Northwood's regular season got off to a good start on Saturday with a 0-0 tie to open things up. A couple of 7-3 games followed but there were some key players missing so we'll see how the balance is as we go. The one player whose parents refused to be moved up a line because 'he hasn't even scored a goal', got 5 in two games. 

I went to a meeting at Con College and rode home down the bike path in the dark at about 8pm Sunday. I had Celcelia with a tailight, bar light and the helmet light I use in the mornings on the way to work.  First I came across a pair of eyes lit up by my 'head'light that jumped off the path and then sat in the bush staring at me as I went by. I think they belonged to a cat but could only see the eyes blazing. Next I cane across 2 sets of eyes but these were up higher off the ground. I slowed not knowing what they belonged to. As I got closer I could make out an adult deer and a yearling just off the path. I got about 10 feet away before they decided they would trot away. Very spooky the way they eyes shine in the lights especially with no moonlight at all.
75 miles to 4000
October 270 miles
10-20, Cecelia:15 miles
10-19, Cecelia:4 miles
10-18, Bridget:3 miles
10-17, Cecelia:16 miles 
10-16, Cecelia:14 miles

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Long Weekend

Saturday I spent a lot of hours posting both games and practices to the net. 60 games and 84 practices went up and were available for download by NHL parents and coaches. I spent 3 hours at the rink handing out paperwork to the coaches and making sure things went smoothly. I hit the library for another book, I'm really enjoying reading. I had to wake AJ to bring my keys. No not for the car, I locked my bike before realizing I had left the keys at home. He needed to get up for a meeting anyway.

Sunday dawned a decent enough day with a projected high of 18 so I decided since Sal was going to be getting prep done at the club I would make the ride to Mom and Dad's. After about 30 minutes I stopped at Uncle Frank's and removed a layer of clothes as it was getting warm, nothing like shorts and short sleeves. As I passed the prison farm about 100 Canadian geese squawked overhead and I was able to watch them spiral down into the field for a rest. I was wishing I had brought a better camera but was prepared to stay the night so there was really no more room in my pack. That may be why my back has been sore for 2 days. As I approached Mink Mountain Road I came to the spot in the picture that despite the lack of any sun was a colourful feast for the eyes. I took this same picture the first time I made the trip out as I knew I could make it once I reached this spot and it brings back a warm memory every time I go past this spot. When I ride I'm always in a hurry and hate to stop for anything let alone pictures, then kick myself for not having more pictures.

Monday was spent very carefully as my back was trouble all day, probably should not have done the push-ups. Sal was up to her usual holiday ritual of whipping up a huge meal for the troops, all 5 of us. We got Mike and Mel online with video for a bit so if felt a little like they were here for a bit, not quite the same. 
Thunder Bay managed to vote in the losing party again. At least we can say we tried to change things. I think one of the spoofs by the Air Farce guy said Canada spent $300 million to end up in the same minority fix. Unless things change overnight they sure haven't changed by bedtime. Carry on Mr. Harper, we're behind you 41%.

127 miles to 4000
October:218 miles
10-15, Cecelia:16 miles, 52 push-ups (then back said no mas)
10-14, Cecelia:12 miles
10-13, 99 push-ups
10-12, Bridget:32 miles
10-11, Cecelia:4 miles, 65 sit-ups

Back on Track

I managed to convince the parent of the player that was going to quit to give it another chance now that he's on a team and that seems to have worked. I finished the reguar season schedule, printed coach's copies and emailed it out to everyone. I scaled back one round of games and added more practices as was the wish of most parents that completed the survey last year. Things are moving along nicely again.

I saw Dr. Holtby at the sleep clinic on Thursday and am scheduled for another pajama party at the end of the month to see how my apnea is doing. I don't seem to need the mask much anymore but he says it's better to be sure, I may be able to reduce the pressure a bit more. He is interested in riding in the Conquer Cancer but may have a conference that week. He commutes daily, was one of my first sponsors last year and has offered to do the same this year.

When I got up this morning and looked at the number of push-ups on the schedule I thought no way I'm going to do that many. The end of the third week or halfway through has 88 spread over 5 intervals. I managed a total of 90. I can feel the difference when I work in the shop especially today when I was hammering away at some rusty bolts for 30 minutes. 

I finally brought Eyowen home from work. The frame has about 30 coats of orange and a dozen of clearcoat. The fork is black and still needs some work but I can do that at home. I hope to put her together over the winter as I've been too wrapped up in other things over the summer to get to her.  

181 miles to 4000
October:154 miles
10-10, Cecelia:11 miles, 90 push-ups

Thursday, October 9, 2008

How Do They Do It

After my check-up in June before heading for Toronto I got a call back with an appointment for an ultrasound. It was scheduled for the week we would be gone so I had it rescheduled. I asked what it was for and told matter of factly 'blood in your urine'. Panic:condition yellow, what now. Do I go on the ride or not? I decided if I had something I couldn't really make things any worse and maybe I wouldn't get another chance. At the same time I was changing over some insurance and had to be given a physical by a nurse for the company. A week later I got a phone call from the insurance company asking if I had heard from my doctor with any results from my check-up. I hadn't, but I got the sense that they knew something from their tests and were not going to tell me. I was sure something big was coming my way. Panic:condition orange, why now after just getting back to feeling good? When I got back I went for the ultrasound, met with my family doctor and learned that I had gall stones. Not a big deal most overweight people get them, but I had to be referred to a urologist for another test on my bladder as the ultrasound doesn't get a good picture. I asked what are we looking for and as if we were looking for a lost tennis ball the good doctor calmly says 'a tumour'. Panic:condition red, imagination on overtime. Off to the next appointment where I'm told I about the procedure and not to worry. I was as worried about the procedure as the results. The procedure was done yesterday and all is well. Panic:condition green, knew it all along. Right.

The brain does funny things when left on its own to imagine. The not knowing and the waiting are troubling and my mind wandered the paths of many possible futures, none of them good. I imagined the worst. I thought maybe that's how I lost weight, alot of people have asked if it was on purpose or was it because I was sick. I looked at things differently for a while, why bother painting Eyowen (the bike I'm building) since I'll never get to ride her. Why buy that new piece of software or even a pair of jeans.

Then because I wasn't feeling sick I just decided I wasn't. I quit feeling sorry for myself and got on with things and it only caused mild concern now and again. But the night before and the day of, I was as nervous as a cat. All the fears that had crossed my mind since June raced through my head again. A simple, yet terrifying, 5 minute procedure and a quick decision by a doctor that can change your life in an instant. I thought I had an idea of what people fighting cancer go through before but I had no clue. The strength of those that live with those same fears and worse, that battle through the treatments and continue to be the same person they have always been is inspiring. For now I'll keep trying to help the cause and be thankful to fight it with my time and resources.

192 miles to 4000
October: 143 miles
10-09, Jill:11 miles, 53 sit-ups
10-08, 82 push-ups

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


No more than 2 hours after I announce and send out the teams, somebody decides to pack it in. Why in the world would they wait until teams are done? And they are looking for a refund on top of it, no problem less $100 for the chaos it will cause me trying to find a player. And it can't be just any player, he has to fit the slot vacated by the one that quits. "Yes we're looking for an 8 or 9 year old player, how would you rate him on a scale of 1-5? Can he skate the length of a rink in under 20 seconds?" 

This is why I get the big bucks I guess.

Teams Drafted

It took about 4 hours but the 2008-09 rosters are done. Every player was timed and then evaluated during 2 hours of scrimmages by at least 7 coaches. The rankings were then averaged in a colour-coded spreadsheet. Teams were added up so that each age/line was as equal as possible and then goalies were added in to finish the balancing act. With all of the siblings and requests (100% satisfied) I still think the teams should come out fairly well balanced, but I'll have my fingers crossed until they all play each other once. Now it's up to the coaches to do their thing and make them all better.

203 miles to 4000
October:132 miles
10-07, Cecelia:16 miles, 51 sit-ups

Monday, October 6, 2008

Home Videos of Home

Mike and Mel have some new pix of the house and a home video of ... you guessed it their new home. Have to say we're really proud of both of them, they're living the dream. Mike called Saturday night to tell me his grade 9 volleyball had taken the title in a 12 team tournament. He has added weekly volleyball to his hockey schedule along with coaching and teaching duties so he must be staying busy. Mel is probably busy just keeping him in line.

219 miles to 4000
October:116 miles
10-06, Cecelia:16 miles, 74 push-ups

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Triple the Fun

Northwood evaluations are done so now I just have to put all the numbers together and setup the teams by Wednesday. The final cheque for registration came in today so no need to be nagging on that front. One little guy is finding excuses not to come out but he really isn't skating so I suggested pulling out, going for lessons and coming back next season, he's only 4! and I have a replacement waiting in the wings. There is one 4 year old out that can skate better than some of the 10 year olds. He's a riot to watch with the puck as he just heads for the nearest net determined to put it by the goalie, any goalie.

Today was test day for the 100 push-up plan. When it starts you do as many as you can and then select a starting point from there with the final goal being able to do 100 non-stop. My initial test was 8 and today I did 25 and could have gone a few more. So in 2 weeks I have more than tripled the number I can do, hopefully applying the same regimen to sit-ups will work as well.

Jill and I did a 45 minute ride before going to the rink, I love Sunday mornings. So peaceful and with the leaves crunching under the tires and falling in the wind I really did not want to head inside the Gardens.

235 miles to 4000
October:100 miles
10-05, Jill:9 miles, 25 push-ups (test 2)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Long Cool Ride

I got out this morning at 10 with Jill and she persuaded me to go for an hour. We headed out Oliver Road and thought 10 0r 20 miles would be good. It was pretty cold and my fingers were really feeling it. Once I got to make a small climb I was warmed up enough but my hands would stay cold the whole ride. We passed Mapleward where I had planned to make my turn for the backside leg. We went down Twin City Crossroads and continued out 130 towards 61. The climb up the hill after crossing the Kam warmed me and the geese flying in circles over the fields were a humourous distraction. I took Hanna Road by mistake past the Staals place and then followed it to Gillespie which brought me back to 61. I hoped Tom would be in the shop at the Tournament Center so I could stop to fill up with water and use the facilities. The shop was closed and I didn't have a lock so I carried on down Mountain Road. As I was making the descent back to City Road, the most fun part of the day as I can get Jill close to 40 mph, some dodo pulled out 100 yards up the road. I sat up and scrubbed most of the speed I had picked up and then he goes about 100 yards up the road and stops in the middle of the road to look at a house or something. Iasked him to wake up as I pulled around him. Talk about a killjoy. The ride ended up being 35 miles and I enjoyed every minute of it, cold and all. The itch is still there.

We had the kids scrimmage today and tried to evaluate them for team creation next week. The little guys provided some real entertainmnet as even the LU crew setting up for the game later stopped to chuckle at them. It should be an interesting season.
244 miles  to 4000
October:91 miles
10-04, Jill:35 miles, Ceclia:1 mile, 44 situps

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fuel to the Fire

As if having the forest industry nearly shut down isn't enough, we have mills starting up only to crash before they make their first sale, taking small business with them. An employee of Thunder Bay Fine Papers stopped in this morning at the shop. He feels horrible as it was his name and familiarity with most of the suppliers around town that got them to fix or sell anything to the 'new' mill. We did a bit of business with them but most of the inventory was old stock and my time in the shop. He told us there are others on the brink as a result of not being paid for anywhere from $600k to nearly $1 million. We got an email from the mill last week asking suppliers to quit calling as any available money is going to the government loans. It's funny the paper has reported what the mess has done to the employees (the fellow that stopped in is out of work also) but not to the business community. I've heard of 2 that won't survive if they don't get paid. We all jumped on the bandwagon to sell to them with thin reassurances that all was well. He also told us that even if a deal was reached they would never get back up and running as most of the re-trained employees have left town for other work in desperation. Would they risk leaving another job a second time to be laid off in a matter of weeks? The whole thing smells rotten.

I changed bikes at noon today, something I rarely do unless I have something planned. I didn't have anthing on the agenda other than a nice leisurely ride home with Jill, but she had other ideas. When it came time to turn towards home we turned in the opposite direction and ended up in Parkdale. My normal 5 miles home got to be 10. She was right, it was a good day for a longer ride even if I was wearing jeans and 3 layers.
280 miles to 4000
October:55 miles
10-03, Cecelia:8 miles, Jill:14 miles, 62 push ups 
10-02, Cecelia:17 Miles, 33 sit ups
10-01, Ceclia:16 miles, 55 push ups

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Everything Old is New Again

Interbike is the annual bike expo held in Vegas which features what's up and coming for the new year in bike. the show wrappped up Sunday and it seems every manufacturer has introduced a new model to tune in on one of the more popular cycling trends, the single speed commuter. They may be made of more exotic materials and have higher-end components but when you get down to it they have recreated Molly. Nice job! For only $800-$1000 I can go out and pick up a bike that is fashioned after one that is 32 years old and lurking in the basement. As Brandyn would say, "I really miss Molly".
2008: 3665 miles
September: 428 miles
09-30, Cecelia:17 miles
09-29, Cecelia:6 miles

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Blown Away

My brother Brian. In 50 years I've never heard so many words from him at one time. And this in front of a couple of hundred people at his daughter's wedding. He totally blew me away with his calm, humourous and touching delivery. Hats off, you really did a great job.

My time at the rink this weekend was spent timing the kids to aid in the evaluation and then trying to convince parents to allow their kids to move up or down as their skill level demands. Most are at least willing to give it a shot, one wasn't and that soured the day. Others say yes and then continue to bring the kids to the wrong session which confuses the process to no end. It will work out somehow.

I cracked 400 miles for the month with a short ride before heading in to the rink Sunday. The weather doesn't look too promising but its been a good summer, I only got caught in the rain a handfull of times and never when I wasn't ready for it. As long as there are no snow banks I'll keep going as I'm not looking forward to my butt and Ethel getting together any time soon. The push up program had me at 49 this morning. Brandyn got up with me at 6am and watched from the couch under a comforter and never said a word. Since the program calls for 3 days a week I'm going to start the same system on the off days with situps. I'm okay with my weight but I need to get rid of the spare tire so I can feel comfortable in cycling clothes even when not surrounded by other people posing as sausages.

September:405 miles
09-28, Jill:6 miles
09-27, Jill:7 miles
09-27, Ceceila:1 mile
09-26, Jill:12 miles

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sounds of the Ride

I have had this in my head for 3 months now and ran across my draft in the blog edits. I really noticed the sounds all around me while riding and during the events of the ride.
the sweet sound of 14 million
the scream of the starter, RIIIIIDE!!!
the high pitched ratcheting of campagnolo free wheels
on your left and whoosh as a team sped by
the whirring of Jill's wheels at 38 mph
the click, click, click of 30 riders clipping in
the pounding of my heart on Mt. Hamilton
the encouraging cheer of the crowds
the hihowareyous as you passed or were passed
the roar of the falls as we approached
the sound of my own voice saying, I'm at the falls

September:379 miles
09-25, Cecelia:16 miles

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm In

It's been nagging at me for some time now. Do I want to? Do I need to? Today I finally got answers to both, I do and I do. I registered for Conquer Cancer 2009. I feel like a weight has been lifted now that the decision is made and paid. Procrastinating cost me an extra $25 but I'm committed to doing it again. Hey Dave, wanna go for a little ride in June?

Since finishing the '08 Ride I've been slacking off, eating pretty much what I want. I haven't gained more than 5 lbs. but I know I wasted the summer after June. So here it is September and I make the decision to start training all over again, go figure. This time it wasn't even biking that got me to want to sign up. I started the 100 push ups plan on Monday. At first I thought it would be pretty easy just building to 100 in a session but Tuesday I had aches all over my shoulders, chest and stomach after doing the first session. I did the second set of reps this morning and felt great all day. In 6 weeks I'm supposed to progress from being able to do only 8 push ups I managed to start, to 100. We'll see. 

AJ picked up the winning rbi in the final game of the Senior Men's Championship slapping a short fly over 2nd base. Tipper pitched an incredible 1 hitter with 1 walk and 11 k's. Let the champagne pour. AJ managed to outscore the A's on his own with 9 runs in the series to their 6. It was great to see them hoist the hardware.

September:363 miles
09-24, Cecelia:17 miles
09-23, Cecelia:18 miles
09-22, Cecelia:16 miles

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another Weekend

Another weekend flew by. Saturday was an early start as the NHL hit the ice at 8am. I'm about halfway through evaluating kids and moving them to their ability groups. A few parents are fighting the placements but it will all work out in the long run. The youngest group has a few non-skaters so coaches were looking for chairs. Best I could come up with was the buckets we keep jerseys in. They worked really well as the 'bubvket brigade' got moving and had some fun. 

Brandyn surprised us all Saturday morning as he was out with his friend from across the street and came up the sidewalk 'pedalling' his tricycle. He has resisted pedalling anything in the past despite everyone's best efforts and the fact that his buddy zooms all over the sidewalk. 

I rode out to the curling club to help out with the banquet for the Northern Lights Men's Club on Saturday. I had planned to put Jill in the truck for the ride home but there was so much stuff to bring back to town I ended up riding home. Big mistake as I had maded the ill-advised decision to ride in my jeans. My butt was in worse shape after the 25 miles than the 120 in the Ride. Never again. Someone said 'nice bike' as I was heading out. He asked if I got it at Petries. He mentioned having a pair of bikes stolen and I said I was at Petries when they recovered one, a cop's bike. Turns out he was the cop.

The Dodgers ran out of offence tonight so game 5 will be played on Tuesday. Long time player Brad Crocker got the final win of his career (barring a miracle) as he shut down the Dodgers, allowing only 1 run. The A's sqeaked out a 2-1 win.

September:312 miles
09-21, Jill:5 miles
09-20, Cecelia:5 miles
09-20, Jill:25 miles
09-19, Bridget:10 miles
09-18, Bridget :15 miles

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

10 Seconds of Wonder

It didn't last long but it was somehow unforgetable. I was riding down the bike path along the McIntyre and where the path comes close to some of the building there is a 6 ft. chainlink fence. A small flock of sparrows took off in front of me and all but one veered off over the river. The one flew alongside me on the other side of the fence for 10 seconds, maybe even less. I don't know why but that instant of time made the whole day. 

AJ's Dodgers are up 2-0 in the finals winning by a combined 18-1. It's a shame that the playoffs are so late and most of the kids that go back to school, some of the top players, have to miss. The series is lopsided because the A's are missing some key players and even the Dodgers are short the rookie of the year.  AJ has been on a tear with the bat and his legs as he has scored 7 times in the series. Defensively the Dodgers have been strong behind great starting pitching. AJ made two gems in the first game. Charging in from short to take a softly hit grounder, picking it up on the run just behind the mound and throwing on the run. The other was a double play on a chopper to the pitcher who wheeled and threw to him at second where he had to jump the runner sliding in from first and then make the throw.
September: 252 miles
09-17, Bridget:16 miles
09-16, Bridget:14 miles

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hockey Season Begins

After I don't know how many years another season has begun. I was thinking about how fast the weekend went by and some of the things I really enjoy about this part of the year. Coming out of the rink into the warmth of the sun, soon enough it will be colder outside those doors. The smiles of 5 year olds getting their first taste of the game and sometimes the tears of 5 year olds who aren't quite sure what to make of it all. Being in the dressing room as hockey friends that haven't seen each other since last season meet and share bragging rights or just some fun. The excitement of the rookie parents with their cameras and enthusiasm at a first practice. The smell of the dressing room, okay maybe I don't enjoy that one as much as find some comfort in knowing it only gets worse as the year goes by and I won't have to be in there much later on. Meeting new parents and catching up with those returning. Being able to look back on where kids started when they get to be 10 or 11 and remembering their Bambi imitations. Knowing that for some unknown reason I'm back to see it all again. All in all, with some of the preseason stresses already worked out, it is a fun time of the year.

September: 222 miles
09-15, Bridget:18 miles 

Saturday, September 13, 2008

NHL Hits the Ice

Northwood hit the ice for the first time tonight as 10 kids were out giving the pads a try. We'll have 6 teams and some have decided to split the time in net so that more kids will get a chance. I've never had an abundance of goalies before, one less source of stress. I also landed the sixth head coach tonight so that concern has passed. The rest of the kids hit the ice tomorrow and hopefully it won't rain on me again.

I just came across a link to some desktop wallpaper from the National Geographic Photo Contest. This shot of Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River is my new wallpaper.

I've been using Google's new Browser 'Chrome' for about a week now and it is pretty fast as advertised. With my double monitor setup I love how I can simply pull a tab off and throw it on the second monitor when I need to. It is pretty lean but does everything I need in a browser and since I use lots of Google software it is a good fit on my system. 

The guys at Petries recovered a stolen bike on Friday. A couple of kids pulled up and parked 'their' bike outside. They browsed around the Marin mountain bikes and asked if Petries was the only shop in town that sold them. Nathan noticed the white Marin outside as being a customer's recently stolen so he brought it inside and the kids took off after a brief altercation. There is an 'eye in the sky' camera up the street so they will probably get nabbed, the fact that the bike was stolen from the garage of one of our city's finest probably won't help their case much either.

If you are a regular reader, click the new 'follower' gadget on the right menu. 

September:204 miles
09-13, Bridget:11 miles
09-13, Cecelia:2 wet miles
09-12, Bridget:18 miles

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Eric, Remember Me?

It's sure nice to hear that Eric Staal signed a new contract today that by rough figuring works out to about $100,000 per game. So in a single period, maybe 8 minutes of actual playing time, he will just about surpass my annual salary.
Remember me Eric, the guy that introduced you to Little League baseball? Probably not. I knew I should have kept in touch.

September: 173 miles
09-11, Cecelia:10 miles

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hello Al, The Leafs Need YOU!

As my last duty with Lakehead Minor I assisted with the AA draft. The four hour ordeal confirmed my faith in AA coaches. I believe most of them are on ego trips and just waiting for Brian Burke or Bob Gainey to call them up to take the reins of an NHL team. They have about as much of a chance to fly on the next shuttle mission. From picking another coach's son when the team has no means of protecting him to displaying a total lack of class these guys did it all. I can't say that 100% of them were at fault, but the gentlemen in the room will never have a fair shot at a competitive team. At least they can sleep at night. I thought that coaching was what happened on the ice at a practice, behind the bench or in the dressing room. Apparently you need to work the parents and the system and not be afraid of what a room full of your peers think of you. And kids aged 9-12 are in their hands for the next 6 months.

Cecelia is back on the job today with her new brakes, bar tape, front fender and working lights. I managed 5 miles on the way in but skipped the ride home at lunch as it was a bit soggy.

September:163 miles
09-10, Bridget:16 miles
09-09, Ceceila:16 miles

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Weekend Adventures

I got in 2 nice long rides on the weekend. Saturday I left at about 4pm and headed through the south core street fair. Got a look at Terry's (from Petries) 73? Duster. You could literally eat off the engine block, totally restored and immaculate, and orange. From there I headed for the Tournament Centre to see how the AA evaluation skates were going and checked in on Tom Petrie at the little store and daycare they run out there. You gotta turn the tv off, it's attracting a crowd. I left there and went west on 61 to 130 and then back in through Rosslyn Road and the Parkdale path and home.

Sunday we went to Ed and Maureen Feller's for a great supper, some Super Tock (2 wins for the guys) and a short sleep before coming in this morning for work. I've never had speckled trout before and they had caught a 20" prize at their secret spot, miles up a creek and over some beaver dams somewhere Dorion. Maureen served it with a stuffing and it was great, as were Ed's potatoes and Sal's dessert. I rode out and found some pretty narrow stretches along Dog Lake Road, especially when somebody passes coming in the opposite direction. I love the hills too, not too many flat stretches north of 102.

For the skunks I passed, that had passed.
(road poems from the lonely cyclist)
Oh mister skunk,
you surely must have been drunk,
when you tried to cross the road,
to chase the tiny toad,
no sign of evolution did you show,
as you crossed the line so slow,
all the stink you could conspire, 
could not save you from the tire,
as it laid you flat,
and that was that.

quote from an ss blog. "Who am I? Nobody famous. but my dog likes me."

September: 131 miles
09-08, Bridget:11 miles
09-07, Bridget:25 miles
09-06, Bridget:32 miles

Friday, September 5, 2008

NHL Fills Quickly

With our online registration running since the first week of August it took only 2 hours at the college to fill the six teams for Northwood's 2008-09 season. Parents were given an option to pay $100 extra and do no extra fundraising. 39% of people decided to pay the extra, makes everyone's life easier. This will also put the pressure on those that decided to pick the fundraising option to follow through.

So many times lately I have grabbed what looked like a promising book from the library, read 50 or so pages and decided I had better things to do. With sleep apnea in full effect I wasn't able to read for more than a page or two and I lost one of the things that I enjoy doing every day. Now I can get into a good book, if only I could find one. Last weekend I devoured Conn Iggulden's 'Lords of the Bow'. It is a historical fiction based on the life of Genghis Khan, the Mongolian leader that brought the tribes together to take on the most advanced empire in the world. It was a book that left me wanting more and fortunately there is another prequel and a new final sequal due out this month. I'm reading the first of 3 now (I always seem to grab bokk 2 of a series) and also have book 1 of his Julius Caeser series on the go, but JC will have to wait until I finish with GK. 

AJ's team went up 3 games to 2 in the Senior Men's semis tonight with an 8-1 win. The local sports said he had 4 hits, 3 runs and stole 2 bases. He probably followed that up with 3 or 4 wobbly pops. I guess as long as I stay away they'll keep doing well.

September:63 miles
09-05, Bridget:15 miles
09-04, Bridget:14 miles
09-04, Cecelia:2 miles

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Never Say Never

I guess I should have learned my lesson with the rain. Never say 'I never get...'. Today it was a flat. 

At 5 I had to meet with an investigator for Hockey Canada about a 4 year old legal battle that just won't go away. Hopefully the info I brought will help get the greedy sob off the coaches back. Anyway I wanted to ride Molly today as I wasn't sure how secure she'd be during the meeting. Somewhere on the bike path she snagged a tack. No loss in pressure and I didn't yank it out so it held the rest of the way to work and back and forth at lunch. No problems getting to the meeting but you guessed it, I leave at 6:15 and she's totally flat. Of course I was able to bring her right inside so I could have switched up at lunch. I had my mini-pump so I filled up and headed for Staples to make copies for hockey registration Thursday. I had to stop about 8 times to make the 4 miles home. I have some Marathon+ tires on order with Farzam but won't see them til '09 so Molly will be grounded for now.

I made a major traffic no-no heading back at lunch. I usually cross May St. and use the back lanes to avoid traffic, get on Southern and go over the foot bridge and around through Vickers to the bike path. There was no traffic so I decided to go up May and turn left from the inside lane but got caught by the yellow. There I am in the middle of 4 lanes of traffic at lunch, fun stuff. So I decided to jump on it to get through my left before the traffic could move but forgot the opposing lanes get an advanced green. Step on it we're in no man's land against the red. I made it through with room to spare but nearly got backed into 3 times as I went up my normal route as trucks kept pulling out of driveways and not seeing me in my apparently invisible orange jacket. Lesson learned.

September:32 miles
09-03, Molly:16 miles
09-02, Bridget:16 miles

Sunday, August 31, 2008

August Miles

2008: 3237 miles
August:540 miles
08-30, Molly:2
08-30, Jill:29

Strange as it may seem, Molly (who has the least $ invested, is the oldest, and the least technically advanced) is leading the yearly mileage race.
  • Ethel (e-bike) 372 miles 11.49%
  • Cecelia (ss mountain bike, rain and s***ty weather specialist) 433 miles 13.38%
  • Jill (geared hybrid/skinny wheel, most $ invested) 692 miles 21.38%
  • Bridget (geared mountain hardtail, next most $ invested) 864 miles 26.69%
  • Molly (1974 ss racing) 876 miles 27.06%