Saturday, September 26, 2009

Welcome to Moncton

After work this morning I headed over to our storage locker to sort sweaters for the first skates Sunday and to meet the goalies for fitting equipment. I hauled 10 set of pads and 6 chest protectors out last week and brought them to Petrie's for shipping north. They were all teen sizes that we haven't used for years and old school, brown leather and filled with horsehair. Great workout when they get wet from the ice. That's why the old goalies were stand up, once they got down it was so hard to get themselves off the ice.

Sal hasn't gotten over her untip last night, 11 people with a bill of $250 and they tipped $4 on a debit transaction. Last thing she said last night was "4 dollars", and first thing this morning, "4 dollars". Hopefully tonight went a bit better. We think they might have meant $40 but missed the button.

Made two flights in the Beaver today, Port Hawksbury, Nova Scotia to Charlottestown, Prince Edward Island and then on to Moncton, New Brunswick. Brushed up on my ILS landings and just about have the nav radios figured out again. Now I'm looking online for charts and approach plates. The GPS works like magic but there's not much of a challenge in that.

Bridget got hooked up to the Vado camera for a spin through Kam River Park. I haven't done any editing yet so nothing to show. I found a great new way to treadmill, reading a book. It's not easy but at 3mph I can hold the book and manage to read. Felt like 5 minutes instead of the 20 it takes for a mile.

Song of the day, Simple Man by Paul Rogers.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Is It Really Thursday Again?

I guess that's about the longest period without a post in some time. Time is flying by with my new work schedule, hockey meetings, phone calls and e-mails.

I decided I was slipping in the diet and exercise department so early Monday morning I was up for a 1 mile walk on the treadmill and then did 50 pushups and 50 situps. Felt great. There's something about the buzz after working up a sweat and feeling the slight ache in the muscles. Tuesday morning was another story as the aches were deep and painful. I managed the walk but there was no way this old body was doing ups of any kind. The plan is to start up again next Monday and work up to 50. Walking feels good. Been cutting down the intake and grabbing more water and fruit again.

My flight across Canada has advanced to Sydney Nova Scotia after a 155 mile hop across from Newfoundland. It was an interesting flight featuring fog, wind and engine trouble. You can set variable levels of trouble for increased reality but I have my hands full now that I have quit using the autopilot, so I was surprised by the stumbling of the engine. I tried a few solutions but it ended up being too rich a fuel mixture. My first landing attempt had me coming in sideways with a severe crosswind so I pulled out and circled around to the other runway and got down fine. I'm enjoying the flying much more now that I'm not doing it every day for hours at a time.

Lots of preparation for the weekend as Northwood hits the ice. Everything seems to be ready to go, up until the city cancelled one of the most important session we have. Can't move it up a weekend because of the turkey day long weekend and the next was supposed to be the opening of the regular season. That's the downside of being in the Gardens I guess.

We're waiting for the season premier of Grey's Anatomy. We started watching the dvds of the first 4 seasons in the spring and have seen 100 episodes. I had planned on recording it with Media Center but something in the tuner is not working. It took a Dell tech almost 2 hours to determine that the software was fine but the hardware needs replacing. So we missed the 9-11 and are sitting up til midnight. George dies, a real downer.

Just reading this over and wow, no mention of a bike anywhere. Yes I'm still riding but just taking it easy. Nothing epic, nowhere near my goal and no excuses.

Song of the day, 'Hold Your Head Up' a classic from the 70's by Argent.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tailwind Thursday

Not much of a tailwind today but since I'm off til Tuesday I guess I might as well enjoy it. Looks like the pattern will be work Tues-Wed-Thurs, off Mondays and Fridays since my sidekick hates long weekends, bonus I guess. We got a few shop jobs in this week so the time flew by.

I cranked up Flight Sim the other day and cruised around a bit for the first time in about 8 months. I've started a cross Canada flight with stops every 60 miles or so, depending on airport availability. My first landing was a bit of a dodgy one. Came in way too fast and pulled out just in time for a go round and then took my time. I've made four short hops from St. John's Newfoundland heading east, hoping for at least one landing in every province. Not much to see on the big island, not in flight sim anyway. Landings have improved greatly since the first.

Hockey is going pretty well so far. Got through another AA draft on Tuesday. I sure hope these coaches get that call from Brian Burke soon. As for Northwood we don't hit the ice until the 27th but are meeting to plan things for the early sessions.

I just realized this week that throughout Conquer the Caribou neither my butt nor my hands hurt. Both have been sort of nagging me, especially my hands. After day 2 of Conquer Cancer they were still buzzing back at the hotel, hours after the ride had ended. Last Sunday, nothing. Maybe because my legs were the focus of my attention. Not really sure.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

From the Headlines

From today's Chronicle-Journal, "Crime Stats Continue to Drop" Apparently even the bad guys have moved out of town since there are no more rich people to steal from.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Not So Bad

The First Caribou Charity Ride went better than expected. 256 riders came out for either 50 or 100km on the country roads west of TBay. I finished the 100km (actually 105) in 4 hours and 45 minutes. I went out nice and slow letting just about everybody zip on by. I made an early stop at the first aid station for a bathroom break and then got back on the nearly deserted road. I didn't see anyone close until almost Hymers as I starting catching up in the hills. Next up was the 9 km to Nolalu that was a twisty hilly section that put up a pretty good fight. Got by a few more here. Sal and I had a plan where I would call her from Nolalu and then we would meet at the next corner where 590 and 595 meet. My cell had 'no service' so that plan went out the window, the same place my Rogers plan is going when my contract is up. I came upon another rider on the side of 590 and stopped to see if he was ok. He was patching a tube and had 2 others on the shoulder beside him. He had crashed earlier, his derailleur was acting up, someone had given him a tube with a hole in it and he had attempted 2 previous patches without success. I offered him my spare tube and luckily it was the right size. This left me with no way to fix a flat but I'm pretty confident in Jill's tires. I borrowed his TBay Tel cell phone and called Sal to let her know the change in plans. He finished the patch as I was pulling away and it seemed to be holding so he will return the tube to Petrie's as long as the patch held. There were a few steep little devils on the rolling road back down to Hymer's. One just before the stop sign had me down to about 9km per hour and my legs were cramping in all new locations. I really thought I had been hydrating enough but apparently not. Once back on 61 I stood to get up a bit of speed and both legs cramped so badly I almost lost it. Sat down and let things cool, shifted to a more friendly gear and kept a nice easy pace to the finish. I was banking on about 6 hours so I'm pretty happy with less than 5. Pretty sore too but it never hurts as much when you exceed your expectations.

Friday, September 11, 2009


My head is still spinning from a week of weird. Being off work for 4 days last weekend seemed like forever. Then only being in every other day had me sort of off balance both at home and on the job. It will take some getting used to I guess. I've already secured some 'cash' work timekeeping hockey for the winter, which will help some.

I came to the conclusion tonight that no matter what happens in the Caribou ride on Sunday I'm going to be happy just to get out and try to climb all those hills. I've been stressing over it all week but not going or doing just the 50km would be failing. If I go out and don't finish it won't be failing, not trying would be failing. Sounds like I'm making compromises but that's not it at all. Neither of the Conquer Rides really felt 'epic', the actual effort wasn't as big as I had anticipated. They didn't feel real, like I left something on the table. This ride will definitely clear the table of all the ride I have in me. And if it clears the table and puts me on the floor, fine. I'm not going to worry about it any more.

Northwood registration is 100% full with a waiting list. We're in demand but I refuse to expand, keep it small and manageable. The debates over at Lakehead Minor have already heated up as the first draft with mixed AA age groups approaches. Coaches are already testing the new rules and it should be an interesting evening.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Oh Boy

Sal and I just came back from driving the 100+km route for next weekend's Caribou Charity Ride. It is going to be a long day in the saddle. The first 10km is flat along highways 61 and 130 but then things get increasingly hilly. And the hills just keep on coming. There was plenty of traffic on the narrow roads but that was mostly due to the Hymer's Fall Fair. We passed right through Hymer's on the way in and covered just about every route to the grounds so I don't expect the traffic to be any where near as heavy next weekend. Unfortunately I don't think the hills will flatten much at all. Same distance as the Conquer Cancer ride but I can see an extra 2 hours or so.

We decided to stop at Stanley to share one of the famous burgers. Another item off the bucket list as neither of us had been there before but neither of us could taste what all the hype was about.

Sunday we went out to mom and dad's for a relaxing afternoon and supper. After cutting 2 inches from Jill's handlebars I was a bit more comfortable during the 41km ride to the Sturgeon Bay Road but continue to get 'bees in the hands'. Not sure what else to try at this point.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Disgusted in August

August was an all round bad month. I'm not going to blame everything on the weather or the constant mechanical problems with the girls. I got a bit lazy and maybe just tired of riding alone. I skipped three days during my holidays plus the two when we were away. I got out with Molly the day we returned and she added a broken spoke to the 2 flats sitting in the basement. My heart was just not into riding for a bit. Sunday I got out for 40km on Jill after wrestling the Schwalbe Marathon+ tire and a new tube onto the rim Saturday night. I fixed the flat on Eyowen and retrofitted an old crankset so I have a bad weather singlespeed bike ready to go again, should have had one ready all summer(?) I guess.

Hockey is just around the corner and I've been busy fielding calls and handling the online registrations which are high this year. Northwood will take 96 players for 6 teams again and 65 spots are already gone without an official registration. I'm on for the Lakehead Minor AA registration for the next two nights and then Northwood's next week.

AJ's Dodgers have won 2 games in a row in the semis to take a 3-2 lead in the sries. Sure gets cool at the ball park when the sun goes down.