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