Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday Morning Weigh-In X-85

I was finally at home on a Monday morning for a proper weigh-in. 2 long rides on the weekend made all the difference this week, 50+ miles on the weekend and now I'm hungry for more. The streets and highways are clear so there's no more excuses. I didn't hit the 350 I was hoping for but it was a bit far fetched to begin with.
The cooking demo is sold out so my goal of $5000 for Conquer Cancer has a real chance now. I'm looking forward to Sunday.
Farzum is getting a new bike ready for a long test ride. She's a Lapierre 300RCR. An aluminum road frame, wheels and gearing with straight bars and a carbon fork. I took a short spin after the long ride Saturday but she needed a few changes before making a final comittment. If the weather is good Saturday it may be a done deal. I'm still working on a name be it will be French, go figure.

March mileage:
Ethel 21
Cecelia 161
Bridget 74
Total 256
2008 751
April goal 400 miles

Saturday, March 29, 2008

You Tube Awards 2007

Check out this amazing video from the You Tube awards site. The Laughing baby below is another category winner.

Have a Good Laugh

First Ride with TBCC

Bridget came to work this morning on the back of the Monte, after dropping off trophies we headed out 61 to the Neebing Roadhouse to join in the first group ride of the Thunder Bay Cycling Club. As I expected Bridget was one of 2 mountain bikes in with all the road machines. About 20 riders headed out on 61 headed west in a loop that took us through Stanley. In all we rode 30 miles in 2 hours so the pace was a bit tough and though I kept up for about 23 miles I came back alone. My legs were cramping just a bit so I couldn't push hard enough to keep up the pace. Bridget's tires and overall weight (along with mine) just are not cut out for keeping pace with the 'weight weenies'. I was coaxed to get right into the group where it is easier to ride in the slipstream but had lots of trouble matching the pace, they ride differently than I am used to. I like to get a jump on the hills right at the bottom and I found myself braking at times going up the hills as I got too close to the bikes in front of me. All in all I enjoyed the ride and with a more suitable ride, sorry Bridget, it would have been a lot more enjoyable.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Catching Up, X-84

The only thing wrong with 2 weekends away is trying to catch up with everything that you didn't do while you were away. Tonight was a brief discipline hearing for LMHA and then endless phone calls and emails. I think I got them all done. I have 2 events coming up, the NHL banquet and the Cooking Demo for the Conquer Cancer Ride and I think I have everything in order for those. Collecting the trophies has been a big pain.
Our weekend at Mink Mountain was very restful and relaxing. My back feels great after sitting in the hot tub and it that was even better as Sal joined me a few times this year. The snow put riding on the back burner but I did get in 14 miles on Saturday and Bridget felt great with the new Brooks leather saddle and Ergon grips. The saddle looks very uncomfortable as it has absolutely zero padding, but I can honestly say it is the best my butt has felt after 2 hours of riding, as advertised it just 'disappears underneath you'.
I won't make my target mileage for the month but I'm getting out as much as I can. I should have known that 2 weekends away would prevent hitting 350 miles and then my back just ended all hope.
Watch for Sal's new blog,
As usual, she prepared enough food for our Easter brunch to feed an army. I brought her to the fridge on Monday morning as we were packing up all the leftovers and asked, how many people came out? How many did you expect? I'm going to put her recipes online in a blog so she can share them. The X-84 I saw on Tuesday was pretty much expected. I knew I was lost when the goodies started calling my name. I'm back on the wagon but definitely lost some ground over the last 2 weeks.
Finally you might have noticed my Conquer Cancer donations have gone over the required $2500 mark and I want to thank everybody for getting me there, I can now officially ride in June.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Rest of the Story, X-88

Sunday dawned and the snow followed me to Calgary. It was dull and gray. We headed out for breakfast and decided on Humpty's. I haven't had a scrambler in 2 years so that was a treat. A hockey team of 10 year olds came in and sat next to us. Here's a hint. When little Johnny asks for a milkshake with his breakfast, just say yes. If you don't he'll make his own with coffee creamers and sugar, yumm yumm.
We drove down town . There sure is lots of construction going on. We had to get within a few miles just to see the skyline so Banff was just not going to happen. The sun did finally make its way through the clouds but it was already mid-afternoon. We strolled through a few malls and then went back to the apartment and played some x-box and watched hockey. We went across town to Amici's, a small Italian restaurant that was very good. The evening flew by and before I knew it Mel and I were headed to the airport for the flight home.
The flight was quick and painless, if only I could say that about the hours after landing. I drove Sal to work and as we pulled into the parking lot the Monte started buzzing. I checked under the hood and was pretty sure the alternator was gone. I gambled and headed back to town and made it to a shop by 4:15. Yep alternator. Of course we didn't have it on the shelf so I had one picked up at the competition. It was all apart and ready to go when the wrong part showed up. I found another but it was too late to get done. So I grabbed a ride to work and as I lifted my laptop bag from the trunk and hefted it to my shoulder my back went. With searing pain and wobbly knees, I dragged my suitcase and bag out and then took one of the small Toyotas home in agony. I didn't even unpack until the following evening as I could not lift the suitcase to open it. I then had to drive out and pick up Sal in the Toyota before I could get any serious meds. I spent Tuesday on my back with a heating pad and Robaxacet dulling the pain. Its a lot better today but still gives a little reminder twinge now and again. Hopefully some hours in the hot tub and on the bike this weekend will make things better.
I managed to climb the scale on Tuesday and it read -90, but I didn't want another of those midweek readings to fool me again. I weighed in this morning at X-88 so at least straying from the stricter diet didn't cause me any loss of progress.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Off to Calgary

After a 7:30 meeting it was check out time and off to West Edmonton to find something for my hard-working, left-at-home, stuck-with-my-car, better half. I won't spoil the surprise but I hope she'll like it.
The mall is simply insane, the wife and son of the couple we met at the dinner last night spent a week there in the water park, rides, and other attractions. But at least I found something.
There was about 4 inches of snow in Edmonton last night which made the roads a mess but it dried up before we hit Red Deer, about halfway to Calgary. I got to check out a huge bike shop and picked up something for keeping my chain tight on the singles but avoided anything big. Not sure if the weather is going to clear for tomorrow but the fingers and toes will all be crossed tonight. We just finished some steaks from the new bbq and are off to play rock band. Hopefully eviction for noise is not pending.

Show Day

Day 2 got off to a better start. As I was having breakfast our rep came by, grabbed the tab and arranged a ride to the warehouse which is only a mile and a bit from the hotel. It was a very interesting tour. The warehouse is simply huge. As I poked around there was constant tooting of the horns of the small lift trucks zipping around the aisles. Parts are stacked up to about 30 feet, the drivers all carry scanners and some are hooked onto the lift trucks because of the height they get up to. Parts are grouped together but not numerically so the scanner is aimed at the paperwork and then gives the location of the part, once picked the scanner picks up the bar code on the actual part and is logged into the order. Everything then gathers in a boxing area all divided into the various destinations. I got lots of pix for Dave, he'll be amazed.
I decided to walk back to the hotel and once warmed up I felt like a ride so I checked out the Athletic Club next door and hotel guests are free to use the facilities. Rode on Ethel's great grand-daughter for 50 minutes and headed for a shower before lunch. Lunch was provided and pretty simple, glad I had a big breakfast. There was a 45 minute talk by the head trainer regarding what's new in vehicles, the theme of the show was supposed to be strictly whats new for us to purchase. He started it out with a video of what people thought we would be driving by the turn of the century, the intro to the Jetsons. Lots of computer goodies coming in the new vehicles and Mr. Gates has his fingers into the automotive mix now. Microsoft is using the same strategy they have employed with pcs for years, giving away the operating system to the manufacturers. I guess that went pretty well on that platform.
The show floor opened and off we went. Lots of the people I talked to were disappointed with what was presented but maybe because I haven't been to one since about 1990 it was interesting for me. I spoke to most of the companies we sell and a few new ones, got a few ideas and saw a few things that might get us somewhere. Before I knew it the afternoon was gone.
I called Mike and told him I had another ticket for the Dinner Theater which is also located in the hotel. Our tables weren't together so they didn't want to go but after some reassurance from our rep we decided to go. They arranged for us to sit together and we enjoyed the evening. The buffet was great, lots of selection and everything I tried was very good. The show was pretty good, very loud and seemed a bit overacted to me. We sat with a couple who just got into the buying group from Sioux Lookout. Very nice, friendly and funny. Mike and Mel had a good time I think.
The day ended with a quick session on Messenger with Sal. Here I was enjoying dinner and a show and she got home around 1am to have breakfast/lunch/supper and sit down for the first time in 12 hours. I felt kind of guilty. Have to find her something nice to bring home.

Friday, March 14, 2008

And then the Flight Attendant Said...

As we are landing in Calgary the flight crew wished the Nordic ski team that was on board good luck. And we also have another special occasion, its his 38th birthday and his first flight ever. So I said to the elderly lady next to me, its the pilot. Ha ha. Yes that's right, the captain' s first flight in the pilot's seat. Thanks for not sharing that one earlier.
And another strange one, the pilot and co-pilot were twin brothers.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I Love to Travel...

but not like this! 7 hours split between airplanes and the Calgary airport waiting for an airplane, not my idea of a fun day. On Monday the hotel I'm at emailed me welcoming me and asking if there was anything they could do, I replied asking about the availability of a shuttle to the airport which looks close on the map but really isn't. No answer as of 10am this morning. The buying group I'm here as a member of called on Tuesday to confirm and I asked them the same question, again no response. So after 7 hours of sitting on my butt (and I thought it got sore on a bike saddle) I was not going to search around, grabbed a cab and headed off. 45 minutes and $58 later we pulled into the parking lot here at the 'what can we do to make your stay more enjoyable' inn & suites, right behind the, badumpbump tshhh, airport shuttle. How about answering the email that you started.
The young lady at the front desk answered quickly, why yes we do. Then she informed me my room was taken care of as if that was going to help explain to my rather thrifty employer why I had to charge $70 on the company visa (I wasn't going to stiff the cabbie, Mohamed, we have enough issues with our middle-eastern friends). The room was taken care of before I got on the plane, but thanks anyway.
Sitting in the Calgary lounge, and as we approached I got a glimpse of the Rockies in the distance. The long day and still soreness of my butt will all be worth it if I can get just a little bit closer, are you getting this Mike? Stay tuned this can only get better. God I hope so.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Morning Weigh-In X-87

I just knew that Wednesday was off somehow.
Hats off to Jennifer, Kimberly and Christopher. A very nice afternoon for your parents. I even got to see some people I haven't seen in years, 2 couples that had kids in the NHL and another that I know through the hockey office. Thanks for pushing the cooking demo too.
It finally warmed up today and with that narrow roads, slush and puddles everywhere. Riding at 5mph is not exactly my favourite but it'll be gone soon.
Much as I want to I have some minutes to type up for Lakehead Minor. I have 3 nights before I leave for Edmonton, a meeting Tuesday and Bikes for Humanity Wednesday so no free night to push it back to.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Last Cold One?

Friday...I made it, rode to work and back 4 times daily except for Wednesday AM (only 2x) when I had to go for a hearing test. I took one 10 mile ride on Thursday after work but today every other day was just too cold to be messing around. The wind chill this morning was -34 and I'm heading right into it at 10 mph, with my eyes watering after my glasses fogged out. Altogether 60 miles in March to date. The good news is it can only get warmer.
I stopped in to see Farzam after the video store and was looking for a wrench. Instead he pulled apart the front hub on Cecelia and found an extra bearing, my error. I had 2 wheels apart at the same time and was being so careful not to miss any that I put in an extra. The front wheel is in rough shape but still rolls.
After the first 2 paragraphs I had some pasta and watched 'Michael Clayton', well worth the 2 hours spent. If you get a chance to see it, don't leave for a bathroom break or to get some popcorn, the plot is all over the place for the first hour but comes together for a great finish.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday? Morning Weigh-In X-89

I'm not sure why I forgot to weigh-in on Monday or why I remembered today but the news was good anyway. I've started the daily commute and although it has been cold it really is good to get out every day.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Another Season in the Books

The 2007-08 Northwood Hockey season is over. Saturday was nerve racking to say the least. I had 3 games in 3 hours and 2 of them had to have a winner, ties were not an option. With the tight games we had all year and nearly 25% of our games ending in ties, I was dreading the possibility of 2 overtime games and the lack of time to fit everything. I picked up 5 minutes from the group ahead of us who saw the trophies and offered to clear out quick. I let the teams and refs know to be ready to go early.
The first game was just a filler as the bottom 2 teams were getting in their last game and no hardware was on the line. They had tied each other Friday which resulted in a 3-way tie for the last spot to play for a trophy, bring on the calculator. They tied again and I thought, here we go. Game 2 was for our Best of the Rest and the last place team in the regular season faced the first place team. It ended 2-1, the winner had 5 minutes to celebrate and take pictures on ice.
Next up was the Championship game. After their last game in the round robin they were scuffuling in the hallways following a 2-1 battle. It was to be another close one. This one ended 3-1 and they had 15 minutes for celebrating and pictures. After it was all over they were in each other's dressing rooms sharing the huge cake that one team had brought and the pizza the others had bought.
A lot of parents came by and thanked me for the work this season and although I had headache it felt pretty good. Good that its all over for another year and good that some people appreciate what it takes to put it all together. In some ways I miss it already, but I'll enjoy my time until next September when it starts all over again.