Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

all the best in 2011!

take it easy tonight, you want to make it to next year.

Word Lens

I saw this demo of a new app while surfing this afternoon, amazing!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What's A Guy Gotta Do?

Tuning in to NFL Network this morning and they reported Favre was fined $50k for not cooperating in the league investigation of his supposed texts and pictures sent to a fellow Jets employee in '08. More surprising was the news that the Vikes are thinking of starting him on Sunday. Really? Rookie Joe Webb looks like the direction of the future for a team that clearly lost their way this season. They fired their head coach mid-season and at 6-9 are just one game up on the Detroit Lions. Favre had lots to do with both. He has thrown 11 tds and 19 interceptions, a nice addition to both all-time records. His passer rating of 69.9 has him ranked 30th for the year. In his first start Webb was 17 for 26, ran for 31, ran for a td, did not throw a pick and beat the number 3 team in the NFC.

If the Vikings want to throw Favre a bone and let him play one more time just because he's Favre, they really aren't doing him or the faithful any favours. If they lose they will be tied with the Lions. Seems like the coach and management are suffering more from post concussion syndrome than the old qb.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Gear

With my Christmas gift card and cash I ordered a Nikon S8100 camera and a 16gb memory card. There were none left in the store and with the sale ending on the 30th I didn't want to miss it. Ordering online was easier than getting up at 5am to stand in the dark waiting for the store to open.

The camera is powerful enough for just about any situation and most importantly small. I want to be able to carry it everywhere. Most mornings when I walk or ride to work there is something that catches my eye but a cell camera just doesn't cut it in many cases.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Welcome

Welcome back planeofthought readers. I'm not sure what prompted the overhaul. Some days you just wake up (at 5am) and want to make a change. So here we are with a new look, less clutter and no more planes. I haven't fired up MSFlight Sim in so long that it had to go. The underlying theme at plane had been old lately so I went with a play on rider/writer and made it old. No idea where that came from either. Who knows maybe next week it will all change again. All 739 post since 2007 have made the move.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sirens and Idiots

Sirens on Christmas morning. Someone's special day just got derailed. My mind raced around tree fires and heart attacks. Definitely not some over-diligent constable chasing a speeder. Hopefully nothing too serious.

On Wednesday in the middle of my first game at Delaney, screaming could be heard throughout the rink. In the far corner I could see a rink attendant physically holding back one adult from another. The skeptic in me said they had to be arguing about the lopsided game they were watching. One thrilled and the other ticked about the unfairness of a system that allows such unbalanced teams to face off. Wrong. Grandfather and ex-son-in-law couldn't use the common sense God gave them to accept that they can't stand within 10 feet of one another without spitting on each other and starting a public incident 3 days before Christmas. Somewhere out on the ice or hiding on the bench was a 7 or 8 year old trying to have fun playing hockey. Police were still there more than an hour later taking statements.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Another one is already upon us. Funny how when you are a kid it takes forever to come. Then you get older and you run out of time trying to get everything done before the big day. It sure seems like the vibe around here lately is old. Anyway before I forget, have a safe and MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Work was quiet as expected this week. I worked on a quick, free and accessible web page. Using the google blogger system, zoho creator, google docs and gimp I came up with a decent presence on the net. Our old site was probably prettier but the content was 6 years old, never updated from the first post. The domain name no longer comes up so I think it was vaporized. It's good to feel part of something at work again. There are signs that things will get better, we just have to hold on and be here when it does.

Typing on the popup keyboard of a smartphone screen can be difficult for anyone that doesn't have ballerina fingers. Here. I've tried a few second party keyboards and while Thick Buttons worked very well I was intrigued by Swype. Basically Thick Buttons makes the keys of what it predicts the next letter combination will be. If you type 'th' then the a e i o would all get bigger to assist you in pressing them. Swype is even smarter. You just start on the 't', slide across and down to the 'h', continue sliding back to the 'a' and then across to 'n, lift your finger off the screen off and than appears in your email or whatever. A blue contrail follows your finger around so you can see where you have swyped. I'm not quite a fast as the demo below, yet.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lost Treasure, Found

No denying it, Led Zep was my favourite band as a kid. When I got the chance to replace the Grand Canyon-like vinyl with cds I jumped at the 4 disc boxed set and later the 2 disc completion set. Somewhere over the years the 2 disc set had gone missing. My guess is an enterprising young teen tested the unknown waters of ebay with my tunes, but that's another story. Without the missing discs I could never listen to the entire albums as they were recorded originally back in the late 60's/early 70's. Doesn't seem like a big deal but when I hear the end of 'misty mountain hop' from the ZOSO album my brain loads up 'four sticks'. While browsing the music on my pc at work today I got a huge surprise, all of the missing tracks! I whipped out the usb cord and dragged them to my phone and then with everything back in one location created the playlists that put the songs back in order. All is well again, order has been restored.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Real Paycheck!

The perch. This is my office most Monday and Wednesday evenings. Running the clock is almost second nature now although I did put a goal up on the wrong side of the board last night. It took all of 30 seconds before a horrified grandparent notified me of my error.

Almost another week of work done, hard to believe. The days are flying by even though it hasn't been busy. December is not a great month, never has been. I mean do you want brake pads for Christmas? I am no longer dreading going in even on Mondays. The 15th marked my first full paycheck since September '09. Wow was that a shocker. A day before I came home to the second installment of the HST bribe and November timekeeping check, nice timing.

If you haven't found a reason (more secure, faster, loads of features) to switch over to the Chrome browser yet, the new Web Store might just do it. There are all kinds of free apps that run in the browser and I think it's a preview of what the Chrome operating system will be. Check out the Sports Illustrated or New York Times apps, tons of content if you tend to keep up with the world online as I do. The Chrome OS boots in 15 seconds, lets see any version of windows come within a minute of that. I have added a few program like Dropbox and Evernote which give me access to files at work, on the phone or just about anywhere I need them. I can save my hockey stats to a spreadsheet located on Dropbox and then do my weekly writeups at work during lunch and have access to the stats. If I make changes at either end it's all synced. I used to email things back and forth and ended up with a few versions on the go.

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Going To Be A Well Worn Folder

I opened a new folder for emails Sunday, LMHL/suspensions. One day later there are 20 emails in the folder. Apparently not everybody likes the new stiffer policies being delivered by the executive.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Get It

I always wondered why people listen to old standards, songs or music that has been around forever. Well most of what I listen to has been around for quite a while now and I finally got it this morning. I was listening to disc 2 of Yessongs, a live album recorded in 1973, while walking to work and it hit me that the music was 37 years old!  I was always amazed that 8 guys could be in such perfect sync in a live setting. The music was dubbed progressive rock a few decades ago and had plenty of quick changes of tempo and there's no conductor to guide them. I have probably listened to the songs one hundred times and every change was right there in my head, every note of the solos was familiar. But it's comfortable, yes another clue that leads to the ever popular theory that I'm old.

Week 2 of the new FCD wrapped up with a quiet day. Most of our shipments didn't make it due to road conditions. We spent a bunch of time updating inventory that will be ordered over the next few months. We're using internet radio with a couple of speakers I've had since Dell 1. Sure is nice to be able to hear some music without the ads and mumbling of the local talent trying to be funny. All the local stations can be dialed in quickly for a news or weather fix. I found a great little internet tuner call Radiosure that is basically just a small browser with station addresses built in and searchable by genre, or any keyword.

A long evening on the clock last night as I was assigned to the 'problem' team in Peewee A. Lots of incidents with this bunch. A team just as I remember them from the days when Northwood had teams in this loop. One or two kids that were better than they should be in the division and taking out the frustration on everyone. One of them got hit and then retaliated by slashing the other kid over the head, after the penalty was already called. He almost missed him but made enough contact to get 5 and a game. The kid that he whacked got 2 and 10 for a hit to the head, probably with an elbow. Add to that discussion 2 disallowed goals that required conversations and a 4-3 game almost didn't finish in the alloted time.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Busted

After receiving a complaint from a coach, the vp from LMHL took in a Novice game I was timekeeping tonight. These 7-8 year olds play 3 ten minute periods with a 2 minute buzzer to change lines. Every kid is supposed to play at least every 3rd shift or 5 minimum. A coach is using 4 defence and 11 forwards meaning some kids see 1 shift per period or 3 in an hour game. He is up for a 3 game suspension. Kudos for the quick response.

Monday, December 6, 2010

How Green Was the Ref?

You know you have a green ref when...Young refs are notorious for not blowing the whistle hard enough to be heard causing major confusion as players continue on and often score only to have the whole thing waved off. I mentioned to a young ref after his first game tonight to "turn up the volume" on his whistle. Not a word of a lie, he looked at the whistle in his hand for a knob to turn.

I guess I'm just getting old, at least that's what the dr. tells me. For about a month I've been getting some tingles in my hands and occasional light headedness. I thought my circulation was off and my ticker was going on the fritz but he says no, I'm very low risk with my blood pressure and cholesterol where they are. Hope he's right. Time to start working with the xbox kinect and digital trainer.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ten Minutes

After game one on Saturday I was disgusted, disgruntled and disappeared. A game ends early and neither team is close to ready, coaches arriving at the scene of the crime 5 minutes after the standard 15 minutes they ask from parents. For ten minutes I went for a walk. I headed for Petrie's and the refuge of hearing someone else's problems while my own were still steaming. But Farzum was busy upstairs and Nathan had few tales of the past week. No new bikes to drool over this time of year so I headed back down the street to confusion. Refs that don't understand the way we handle penalties. A brief explanation and quick solution to that one. A coach running around the end boards from the bench, here it comes. He has been after me for weeks to replace a player that has made 1 game out of 12 and 1 practice since teams were formed in late September. This week I arranged for a new player and the old one surprises everyone by showing up. The mom has done more bingos than the player has games. Dad offers the coach $100 to let her play. Surprising as they registered through ProKids. Dad meets me in the hallway and offers me an escalating bribe that ends at $10,000 to let her back on the ice, "you're breaking her heart" I'm told. Money is not the issue. I broke her heart? Maybe for one week but what about the other 10. A full refund of bingo credits in exchange for sweater and socks will be offered and I'll probably be told where to put that. Next time I'm going for a 209 minute walk.

Friday, December 3, 2010

1 Week Under the New Roof

So it's been one week in the new building. Things seem pretty good, much more relaxed. One thing I learned was that a slow day is just as mind numbing in a small building as it was in a big one but at least there are lots of projects to tackle. People are having some adventures finding us and of course we didn't advertise anything so most go to the old building first. I've rearranged a few things and have done some training for the digitization of the counter, no more paper lying around. Scan it, tag it and file it.

I finally updated my phone to the newer Android 2.1 and it has opened lots of windows to newer software. The standard music player isn't bad but limited and not really big finger friendly. I loaded in an old favourite that has been around on PCs forever, Winamp. It allows much simpler navigation which is critical when you want to find some music in the cold. It can create playlists which the standard player would only do when connected to a pc. It even allows wireless transfer of music from the pc to the phone. All this for the extremely reasonable price of free. For those of you with android 2.1 or better, here's the QR.

I've been walking to and from work and timekeeping all week. Feel pretty good but no weight is being shed. Once I finish with the dr. on Monday I'll start using the xbox and fitness program if he gives me the go ahead. I was hoping to add some studded tires but with the rain and ice alternating from day to day walking just seems more logical. I'm going to lose the bike tough butt that takes forever to get back but I'm not a fan of riding on ice or in freezing rain.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

1 Day Down, 3379 To Go

The move is complete. It was a tough week not just because of the moving aspect but because I hadn't worked a full week since June and half of that was at Petrie's. The new spot is small but I have to say the first day was as much fun as I've had in a long time on the job. I have more than enough to do all day and the atmosphere seems much lighter, relaxed. The walk in the morning is just over 30 minutes so it still gives me time to get everything going. Our first shop jobs came back from Winnipeg. The work is top notch and once we get some pricing to base estimates on we should be okay on that end. The shop will even allow us to send our own lining so we can still see some profit there. Hopefully business will get better and the new leaner and friendlier setup will work out.

It was very strange to see the old building empty. It didn't seem like we would ever get all of the accumulated baggage out of there. Lots went to the dump and the scrap, lots was sold off for a song. Just don't have the room to bring it all with us, which is a good thing.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Beat to the Punch or Slipped One?

Some news this morning as I settled in at work. My co-worker of some 24 years has given his notice. He is going to our most hated competition so things are a bit tense. I'm looking forward to the whole thing. He was a cranky sob at times and didn't do much for customer relations. He wouldn't get involved in any activity outside of the workplace. He's good at what he does but there are things that his new employer doesn't know about him. I wish him luck but can't say I'm going to miss him too much. I may be wrong on that, but we'll see. Too bad he didn't leave before the whole move thing or we may have been able to keep the building and the shop. For now it means back to full time work in a week or so. Now that will be hard to adjust to at least until payday.

I started writing a short story. I love historic fiction so I decided to search for a little known Canadian hero, did some research and then let my head weave something together. Now I'm in edit mode, adding a bit every day, re-reading what I have and checking facts. I'll put it up somewhere once I have some more put together. Having a great time doing it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kenny Loggins

We took in Kenny Loggins in concert last night. Sal was one of only 2 from the front row to ask for his autograph. Anywhere else in the world the girls toss underwear on the stage, in TBay it's wool scarves with maple leafs. He put on a great show and we couldn't have gotten any closer without having some musical skills.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Moving, Stopping, Crying and Thinking

I can't believe it's been nearly 2 weeks since I've written here. I guess I sort of lost track of things or maybe what I had to say didn't seem very important with other things that were going on. Nevertheless, here goes.

I finally saw the new location for the shop today. It's small, 1300 sq.ft as compare to the 6000 we're leaving but no where near as dark and dingy as I had feared. We put up just about 50% of the shelving in half a day. We had talked about not moving any high volume items off the shelf until moving day was closer but when I returned I saw this...I decided just to bite my tongue and go with the flow. The two weeks leading up to the actual move should prove interesting. Tip toe through the brake shoes, through the brake pads, through the alternators...you know the tune.













I rode home at 5:30, it sure gets dark fast now, and was treated to this as I crossed the railway bridge behind McIntyre Center. I really need to stop and snap a picture when I see one more often. I find myself in a hurry to just get where I'm going and more often than not just take in the scene without slowing down. I had passed 3 adult deer not more than 200 yards from the Superstore parking lot. They didn't even flinch as I pedaled by, I should have taken a picture of them.














I recorded and watched 'Storming Juno' this morning and finished up after work. It is the story of Canada's D-Day accomplishments. Our military may not be a force that is feared around the world today but in WWII they were total ass-kickers. Once the dramatization portion was over interviews with actual vets had me tearing up as they told their stories.

And lastly I need to write. Ideas of a storyline are spinning but I don't have anything I want to run with yet. It may mean I won't post here often but it is an itch that has needed some attention for too long.  

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, I Think

walk:1.8 km
cycle:13 km
oatmeal, coffee, crackers and cheese, diet 7 up, wagon wheel, blueberry/brown sugar cookies, caneloni, diet 7up/rye

I had forgotten all about inventory today. Dave counted some yesterday and we finished before lunch today. It's not like the old days when everything had to be wiped from the computer, counted and put back in. I still hold to my opinion that as many mistakes were made putting all they info back in as were ever on the shelf. Shop jobs are still coming in daily with just one month til the move. Another waste as we won't have the room or equipment to keep it up.

This just in, 3G service on Mt. Everest...before Thunder Bay.

I was taking a shower after work and listening to AJ's new shower radio. The sports came on and announced that game 2 of the World Series was on tonight in San Fran. I thought 'that's normal, the sportscaster is a day behind'. Then came the weather forecast, cool tomorrow and sunny on Saturday. I know my schedule is messed up but isn't this Friday and Game 2 was Thursday?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lost Day

walk:3km
cycle:2km
oatmeal, grapefruit juice, rice, curry chicken stir fry, wagon wheels, nacho chips, scotch, diet 7up

I had planned to paint the trim in the hallway, even bought a brush. Ran a few errands, banking, parts for the cpap mask and a stop at Currie's. When I got home I lost all desire to paint. Worse than that I lost all desire to do much of anything, result I ate way more than I should have. I just could not get anything done. I did manage to find a replacement player for the one who quit last weekend and then pedaled to the Gardens to introduce the parent to the coach. That was about it for the day. Totally wasted.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Welcome to Apathy Bay

walk:2km (left my cell at work, variety mix on old ipod)
cycle:7km (pontoons and mainsail left at home today)
2pcs. toast w/peanut butter, 2 coffee, steamed rice, water, cavatini, blueberry/brownsugar cookies, wontons, diet pepsi

Gotta love good ole' TBay. Citizens have bitched and complained about city council for at least 2 years so what do the angered citizens of our fair city do? We set another dismal number for voter turnout, 46%. If you are happy with what is going on down on Donald St. then get out and help keep the powers that be stay in office. If you're not happy then get out and put your X beside someone you feel will do a better job. If you don't care then just keep on doing what you did, turn the channel on Thunder Bay. If election day had been Tuesday we may not have seen 30%. Good luck Mr. Hobbs.

Lights Out

cycle:6km
sailing:3 km
2 pcs toast w/peanut butter, banana, coffee, diet pepsi, granola bar, corn bread, cavatini, water, wagon wheel (remember those?)

I spent a few hours at work Tuesday hearing all about how the shelves in the new location will fit under the lighting which is being upgraded. Measuring on the floorplan while looking at a grainy little camera picture of a dingy looking building. No I haven't actually seen the inside of the 'new' building. Yes we are officially moving. Letters to suppliers, signs for the counter and a message on the invoices all indicate the date. Back to the lighting. I've been working with absolute crap for lighting in the shop for 3 years and haven't heard more than a 10 minute argument about it being 'just fine'. I finally won the day when I said the light we have now is horrible, how much worse can it be?

How about that weather, when did we move to St. John's? Felt like a day beside the ocean.

Monday, October 25, 2010

More Annoyances

weigh-in:261
walk:3km
oatmeal, banana. coffee, cranberry/sunflower seed bread, diet pepsi, chicken quesadillas, juice

I love stores with online catalogs and flyers that don't match what they have on hand in either stock or price. Sears, Home Outfitters and Marks were on the list today. Sal was thinking of a trip to Duluth for some Christmas shopping and I was thinking we should shop at home. I tried but of course everything that's on sale is on a truck somewhere or not really available in the store or 40% more than online. Canadian retail is a disaster. Don't ask anyone a question because if you've been looking more than 5 minutes you already know more than they do. The Arrrrrghs of October continue.

Looks like we have a new mayor.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October Arrrrrrrgh Part Deux

Walk:3km (Sting -Nothing Like the Sun)
cycle:3km
2 cranberry/sunflower seed bread, cinnamon bun, 3 coffee, bbq chicken, caeser salad, corn bread, oven fries, jujubes, lemonade

After today's games every Northwood team has a win. Much better than last season when it was January before the last team got a W. I still don't think the teams are as balanced as they could be. Brandyn's team lost with 35 seconds left on a screened shot the goalie never saw. We lost a second year player that 'just isn't having fun' which is very strange at this point in the year.

It's pretty bad that while listening to bad elevator music playing as I was on hold with shaw cable, I was able to solve the mystery of captions on the tv with google searches. The solution is nowhere to be found in the manual and you can't turn it on or off with the remote but there they were for 2 hours. "Did you know Shaw video on demand brings you the latest movies with the click of a button?" That and 3 other looping commercials interspersed with the same easy listening piano piece that was anything but. ARRRRRGH. Hire a few humans.

He's Skating

walk:3km (Dream Theatre-Falling Into Infinity)
oatmeal, 2 coffee, lf muffin, 2 pcs cranberry/sunflower seed bread, cappuchino, meatloaf sandwiches, water, munchies, rye caeser

Today, Brandyn was skating. He was still falling but he was taking 10 medium sized strides before that happened. He is gradually making his way into the play and even camping out in front of the opposition's net. His team won 2-0 in an afternoon full of shutouts.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Arrrrgh! Wait Not Enough rrrrrrrrrrrs

walk:3km (Coldplay X&Y)
cycle:6km
2 pcs. toast w/peanut butter, coffee, beef on bun, diet pepsi, crackers & cheese, banantini, meat loaf, scalloped potatoes

Today was a typical battle at work. All week long shop jobs have been streaming in. Not like they used to when we had 3 shop guys and me doing the scheduling and ordering, but busy for the times. And what do we do this afternoon, we take 3 cars to the scrap yard on Mission Island. No you can't do that work that will make us money you have to stand at the counter and wait for the phone to ring and hope nobody wants anything cause there's no delivery for awhile. And then next week try and explain why nothing is ready. Arrrrrrgh!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Make Work Project

walk:3km (Peter Frampton-Frampton)
2 pcs. toast, banana, coffee, chicken stroboli w/salad, iced tea, cheese, lemon square, diet 7up/grapefruit juice, 1oz Famous Grouse

I just went thru a 3 hour ordeal trying to get coaches a records check. There's a website setup so we can invite them and they get a quick $25 return. After numerous emails to set up a league account the invitations were wrong. They came up with a $29 option. The dropdown would not work and they could not tell me what was wrong. I tried the page in explorer and it worked there. I let them know that chrome is not compatable with their site. Then cancelled all the invites, emailed everyone so they knew what was up, redid the invites and sent them again.

I gpsed my walk this morning. Reception from my pocket must have put things off a bit, check out my drunken stagger down Simpson St.

View Track 14 in a larger map

No Room to Move

walk:3 km (Kings of Leon-Only By the Night)
cycle:6km
2 pcs. toast, banana, beef-cheese bun, diet 7up, crackers and cheese, steamed rice, baked fries, munchos, diet 7up

I worked from 1-5 and thought I would take the long way to work. I didn't even notice the purple sky to the north until I had riden a ways south and turned west. I quickly gave up the long way as it was going to end up being the wet way. As it was the wind was howling and it rained but not enough to soak me.

I went into the shop with a few small jobs and found just about every workbench gone. Those that remain were covered in bits and pieces form those missing. I said we should close the shop because I can't work around all the piles. That went over well.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jill Gets the Call

walk:1.8km (Yes-Yessongs disc 2)
cycle:24km
2 pcs toast, coffee, triscuits w/cheese, gatorade, power bar, caesar, brisket burger and casear salad

I had a 6:30 - 9:30 stint on the clock at Neebing and work til 5:30. How to get there? Both cars were going to be on the other side of town and unavailable. No way to connect with the 3 buses it would take. Didn't know any of the refs doing the game other than to say hi. 15 km through town on a single speed in an hour is pushing it. So I threw the lights on Jill and she got out of the basement for the first time since June. It sure was nice to ride with gears. Don't get me wrong I love the single speed thing but I was able to get there in about less than 45 minutes, change and still have time for a drink and check emails.

I sent a bulk email to all teams in Lakehead Minor after the Sunday meeting. I got a call Tuesday telling me HNO was swamped with people looking for things on their website. If they had only read that everything they wanted was on the Lakehead Minor website they would have been fine.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just 1

weigh-in:260
walk:3km (Yes-90125)
2 pcs toast w/peanut butter, coffee, banana, 8 triscuits w/cheese, jambalya, buns, lemon square, coffee, scotch, jujubes (traditional)

Even a pound is progress I guess.

Cruising the Net, Vol.1

walk:2.6km (Clapton-24 Nights)
2 coffee, Sal's breakfast scrambler, grapefruit juice, salad, diet 7up, apple crisp, cappuchino

I added a bunch of cd's to my hard drive and then to my phone last night. Having a chance to listen to tunes while I walk gets me out there every morning. I can still enjoy music I've been listening to since the 70's, but also have lots of newer stuff so I'm never stuck with repetition. For the days I'm off I added about a km, Saturday I just didn't feel like turning for home so I kept going. I'm going to get it to 3km tomorrow. I'm sure weighing in tomorrow will show zip for progress since I wasn't able to ignore the calls from the devils in the kitchen. May have to start wearing the headphones more often.

1st Installment, Cruising the Net
"holding a grudge is letting someone live rent free in your head"


These are not Bighorn sheep on the Buffalo Bill Dam in Cody Wyoming, so what are they?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Opening Day

walk:2.6 km
cycle:3km (wow)
2 pcs. toast w/peanut butter, coffee, dim sum, nachos, diet 7up

Opening day was non-eventful. Three teams picked up wins, three got losses. I found a backup timekeeper, another former player who picked it up quickly leaving me to do my running around between coaches, collecting registration and so on. Brandyn came out and I think he's over his not wanting to be. He touched the puck twice in his first shift but not much after that. His skating gets better every time he is out there. His Canadiens won 5-2.

I really wonder why some people put their kids in. One girl has missed 5 of 6 team practices and was gone again today. What is the point of taking a hard to get spot if you never show up? If they miss again I'm going to look for a replacement.

Ron...I'm In Here

walk:1.8km
2 pcs. toast, coffee, cheese & triscuits, 3 gl. water, diet pepsi, chocolate, szechuan stir fry & steamed rice

I have everything ready for the Northwood season openers on Saturday, I think. Why did I eat chocolate? I didn't know it could talk but I swear it was calling me as I was reading. I started a website for a friend who has been doing Northwood trophies for decades. He really does great work and has the best prices in town. There's not much on the site yet, but if you need some engraving he's your man.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The New Hawaii 5-0 is Just Bad

walk:1.8km
cycle:12 km

2 pcs. toast, coffee, 2 gl. water, crackers, pasta and sauce, wedding cake, chocolate, 2 diet pepsi

The new Hawaii 5-0 looks good, lots of great shots of the islands and attractive actors but the story lines are so weak. In the epsiode that was the straw that broke this camel's back, a group of Serbs kidnap the inventor of a computer that can break into any system and are preparing to sell it to another group for a billion. They shut down air defences and radar allowing the buyers to land at a remote airport. Then the four members of 5-0 take them down. The Serbs who have been at war for decades, forgot to put guards outside the building. And this all happens in a day. Seriously? Seriously deleting this from the pvr. If you want a real cop show check out Detroit 1-8-7 or Blue Bloods.

It's A Good Thing

walk:1.8km
cycle:14 km
2 pcs. toast, coffee, sushi roll, 2 gl.water, salmon and fries, diet pepsi, apple crisp w/ice cream

I've been watching a PBS show on World War II and it's sure a good thing that Hitler was such an egomaniac. There have been numerous stories of how the Germans were one day away from major victories only to be redirected by Hitler against the advice of his generals. And no more dumb Polack jokes. Polish mathematicians not only broke the the German's Engima code machine, they got it to the English before Poland was invaded and then suffered torture without giving up the fact that they could read the German's code. It was one of the biggest advantages the Allies had.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Transit Tuesday

walk:3.5km
2 pcs. toast, coffee, sushi roll, crab cakes, steamed rice, duck, carrot cake, diet pepsi, mentos

I took an interesting ride to Neebing Arena with our city transit system for a couple of games on the clock. Everything worked well, I even used the 'Next Bus' gps system from the stop where I transferred from one route to another. I walked down to city hall which was thick with wind turbine protesters, looking for the #3 Airport. I got there about 10 minutes early but saw the #3 on a bus in line. Nope, #3 Northwood. I saw another #3 arrive, nope #3 Memorial. I checked and rechecked the time and the stop. I was still in the right place. The #3 Airport finally showed up, why have 3 of #3? When you can only see the back of the bus you are running for, the 3 is all you get.

I rode about 15 minutes and the bus veered from the route I had in my head, making a loop around Victoria and Donald. I asked the driver if he came back to Arthur shortly, otherwise I would miss the connection. He grunted. I made the connection and got a very talkative driver. One guy put his bike on the bus at Frederica and Brown, rode to the store at the Mission and got off without his bike. The bus picked him up again as it passed by on the return loop and then dropped him at the same spot where he grabbed his bike and went his merry way. "Don't tell me he just went for smokes?" I asked the driver. He told me he gets lots of those. As we waited at James and Frederica, he told me he was waiting for the Mainline which had radioed that they were late and since no more buses head out Broadway for a few hours he was going to hold until the connection was made even though it made him late. He was pretty friendly for someone who might be walking a picket line in a matter of hours.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Sushi

weigh-in:261
walk:1.8km

2 pc. toast w/peanut butter, coffee, 2 gl. water, sm plate pasta w/chicken, california rolls, duck, salad, crab cake, crazy cake, carrot cake, rye and diet pepsi

Somehow I slipped through the wedding weekend and lost 6 pounds for the week. I had everything I wanted, only had 1 drink at the reception but that was never a priority. I get up looking forward to my 20 minute walk, of course every day so far has been clear of rain. There's always the treadmill if it gets soggy.

Sal and I have been enjoying sushi rolls at the Sushi Bowl since my birthday and decided to try and make our own. She got all the supplies and today she made about $150 worth. We have lots of supplies and of course the few tools required left over. I rolled just once and my result brings back memories of her first batch of cabbage rolls when we were still in high school, just a few years back. I used way too much rice and the thing is about 2 1/2" in diameter. She went online for more instructions and her second batch are down to the nice size we were looking for. I tried a sample of the first batch and the taste is there, now with the rolling technique mastered she'll be cranking out one of our favourites. AJ and Jess are coming for supper for his birthday so they'll get the first try along with crab cakes, duck, caesar salad and crazy cake.


Lazy Sunday

walk:1.8km
cycle:3km
chorizo skillet, 3 coffee, turkey, ham, stuffing, salad, veggies, v8 juice, snack mix, diet pepsi, diet pepsi and Crown Royal

We had brunch with Curtis' family at the Victoria Inn, picked up a few groceries and then I headed to the Gardens for half an hour. Brandyn wasn't in the mood for hockey. I hope he was just over-tired. He wants to play but has to give himself the chance to catch up skating-wise. We went for supper to Curtis' parents place and they served a fantastic thanksgiving meal. We came home and watched some tv and went to bed early. Tomorrow is weigh-in day and after eating out 4 times in 3 days I'm hoping for a par.

Wedding Day

walk:1.8km
2 lf muffins, coffee, wedding dinner (salads, chicken, beef, scalloped potatoes, salmon, rice, ribs, cheese cake) 1 caesar, wine, diet pepsi and carrot cake

The wedding went off without a hitch under sunny skies and perfect weather. Old friend Pastor Keith Bunn performed the ceremony. Jen and Curtis both looked very happy and maybe relieved that it was all over. It's great to have Curtis officially part of the family. And of course Brandyn was dashing in his tux. Everyone had a great time, thanks to all those who came out to help celebrate.  

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Friday Frustrations

walk:1.8km
cycle:16 km
2 pcs. toast w/peanut butter, 2 coffee, 4 gl. water, steamed rice, salad, potatoes, steamed veggies, chicken, bruschetta, 2 pc. carrot cake and a couple of caesars

I got to work and was greeted by 2 rush shop jobs. The first was a driveline that I had apparently fixed 2 years ago. I wasn't even sure what needed to be looked. I pulled it apart and found a pair of discs we might have supplied but had never installed. The customer argued that we had fixed it, "how long have you been here?" Too long. I cut the new discs put them back in and billed about $200 for an hour and some scrap material. The next job was a simple one, or at least would have been until somebody sold our compressor to brother John. I ended up taking the shoes to the customer's shop and using their air power to de-line the 4 shoes, then had to loosen, remove and replace the 144 rusted bolts and lining without an air ratchet. I've never had my hand cramp up but there were a few times when it wouldn't open. I finished at 5:27 and jumped on Eowyn to get home and cleaned up for the rehearsal party.

We entered Tony & Adam's and the place was packed. We had a private room but when we got there it was just 4 tables with place settings, no table cloth, no candles and garbage from a previous party just 6 feet from where Curtis and Jen were sitting in a small room where extra chairs were stored but in full view. I tossed the boxes, wrapping paper and empty envelopes on top of some chairs but at least out of sight. The food was good but served sporadially, potatoes just seconds after the salad and a good 20 minutes before the chicken. Sal was less than impressed.

A Terrific Thursday

Walk:1.8km
Cycle:23km
2 pc. toast w/peanut butter, coffee, 3 gl. water, crackers, cheese, tomato

We went shopping this morning, did bank deposits and then came home. Sal was off to work and I did a bit of LMHL work and then went over to Mission Marsh. Even a long train couldn't spoil the day. The deer were out in small herds, a nice breeze and 22. In October. Days like this are a definite bonus.

As I thought the HNO job was announced today. Another out of town university grad which I didn't expect. At least this guy is from Thunder Bay. We lost 2 players to broken collarbones this week which is very strange. At least they weren't on ice accidents.

The US senate just passed a bill that makes loud tv commercials illegal. AJ call your buddy Mr.Harper and get him on it. But first make it illegal to run the same commercial 30 times in an evening or two times in a row.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Working Wednesday

Walk:1.8km
Cycle:15km
2 pcs. toast w/peanut butter, 2 coffee, 3 gl water, cheese, tomato, crackers, hndfl dry cranberries, nachos, May's hm dumplings and 1 gl. iced tea

I was off this afternoon but got a ton of hockey work done. Entered all of the sheets for the city, all 96 players and a dozen coaches in the Hockey Canada database so they are all insured. I even did my buddy in Jersey a favour by updating his golf site. Now I have Thursday off and can do...oh snap, I'm going shopping.

What a great day. Any day in October where I can wear shorts is a bonus. I hate riding in pants. I discovered this week that my long way to work is not 5km but 7.5km. My mileage for 2009 is way off as I religiously went the long way to work and back. I never bothered tracking 2010, way down. 2011 will be a different story as doing it with a gps is so much easier, no gizmos to transfer from bike to bike. And much more accurate apparently. The city has the bike path closed for repaving right where I normally ride so I've had to find some new long ways to work. I enjoyed a bit of different scenery.

Mike called tonight. He's pretty pumped about coaching hockey. In Calgary players sign up in their neighbourhoods like Little League and they have one elite team for the city. In Midget they have 6 tiers below the elite and he's coaching tier 2, probably about the skill level of the Kings. I was surprised (and proud) to learn he was head coach, since he's new to the Calgary hockey community. They are already talking about a trip to Texas, a well funded team. He and Mel are vehicle shopping as the Pathfinder is just about done.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Close Call Tuesday

Walk:1.8km
Cycle:17km
2 pc toast w/peanut butter, coffee, 12 crackers, 3 gl water, 1 gl.clamato , cheese, tomatoes, meat loaf, garlic mashed taters, corn

Had a bit of a brain ache after almost a full day of spreadsheet work. Solution, ride home the long way. A sore butt trumps a sore head I guess.

Who stole the Bears playbooks this week? They looked like a peewee team playing a pro team, and it was the Giants! They are still undefeated. That wasn't a defeat that was an embarrassment.

I broke the freebie clip on the tail-light I was carrying around the rink in my pocket on Sunday. It was pretty useless but better than nothing. I picked up a great unit with 10 leds including one for each side and super battery life. The Cateye LD1100 gives me real visibility. I moved my headlight to the handlebars as the light on the head thing was just too geeky for me, heavy too. Today must have been my day as I had 3 closer than normal calls with cars. Nothing really scary. One backed out of a blind spot, one took an aggressive posture in an off ramp as I went straight and one old guy turned left right in front of me. He was impressed when I went no hands and waved 'hello'. Well his wife was. I still don't think he saw me. Can't see the 267 lb guy on the orange bike? Time to make that long overdue eye appointment.
 

Here We Go Again

Tonnage:267
Walk:1.8 km
Cycle:15km
2 toast w/peanut butter, coffee, 2 gl. water, 12 crackers, sm. cup dry cranberries, 1 gl. iced tea, 1/2 bell pepper, 1 gl. frutopia, grilled chicken burger, chili, apple crisp and ice cream
I was doing fine until tempted late last night.
What do you do when you need another word for something, but you can't even think of the word thesaurus.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Time For a Sip

A long day at the rink today but all 6 teams are up and running. I started the day dragging team sweaters, socks and accessories out of storage. From noon til 5 I met with coaches and got everything handed out, made a visit to Petries just to visit and went for a half hour ride between teams. With just a few loose ends left I can at least take a bike to the rink and come and go as I need to. I came home and did up the schedule and got it on the webpage, season kickoff is 2 weeks away.

I guess the HNO job is out. I haven't heard of anyone getting an interview but it seems to be taking a long time. My guess is they have imported another graduate of sports administration. Hopefully they found someone with a reason to stay in Tbay.

The season for Lakehead Minor starts Monday and I'm working the clock again. Every little bit helps and it gets me exposure to what really goes on at the rink. Hearing about incidents a few weeks after in a room in the college just doesn't give a true picture. Not that I'm going to witness every half-crazed coach or parent that throws a tantrum because an offside is missed, but being around some of the other side of the game gives me a clear vision of what I don't want to see Northwood become.

Seems like I'm talking about nothing but hockey lately. I guess it dominates a lot of my time and thinking. As of Monday I want to start more walking and riding to burn off some of the summer. I've been saying that to myself for a month or so but maybe saying it here will make it happen.

A glass of Famous Grouse tasted so good tonight.  

Friday, October 1, 2010

Teams Made

It was along week from evaluations on Sunday, goalie testing on Monday and Thursday and work in between. There were eager kids trying out the pads without the basic skating skills that are a recipe for disaster. And parents whose kids are skilled enough and antsy to play in net but don't want them to. By the end of Thursday's practice we had 3 full-time goalies and 6 part-time. Of course the part-time path is one way to go but puts a strain on the equipment we have, Tom Petrie is smiling. I made about 5 trips there and had a few kids go for sizing.

I'd worked all day Thursday, rode across town to pick up the car and then picked up every piece of goalie gear we have from storage. After walking back and forth to Petrie's twice they were all geared up and ready to go. One kid didn't like his chest protector, tried two more consecutive sizes (1 too big, 1 too small) and then decided to get his old one back. I had to take it from another kid who isn't ready to play in net after breaking the news to him because his parents couldn't convince him. Once the goalies were all set it was time to make teams. I had to pick up Sal and sat in the parking lot reading emails and surfing for an hour, thank God for my phone. We had supper and watched Grey's anatomy and then I hit the drafting of teams. I was shocked when I checked the time and it was 2:18am. I had the teams but still had to get the info out to coaches and parents. I finally landed in bed at 3:38. I just hope the teams are close to equal. One more day of hauling equipment and then I can start biking back and forth to the rink.

From the Office of the PM

Friday, September 24, 2010

Walking in the Rain

I thought it would a good idea to start walking a bit more as riding back and forth to work really doesn't provide enough of a workout. I certainly picked a fine day for a walk. Puddles and (sorry Mom) worms everywhere. I wore my rainsuit, so while dry from the outside I was wet from the inside. I got to work thinking I had a spare t-shirt here, nope just a fleece. I tried to dry the t-shirt but to no avail. Then I broke my reading glasses in half. I tried squinting at the monitor until about 9am then called Sal, sorry.

The Dodgers picked up their second city crown in 3 years last night on a drippy and cold night. Sal saw the lights on from Fort William Road so she went over and sat in the drizzle to catch the end of the 10-3 game. They played 2 best of 7 series and lost only once. Nice going.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dodgers One Win Away

AJ's Dodgers recovered from a bad game to take a 3-1 lead in the Senior Men's final. He had another good night with 3 hits despite a sore throwing elbow and stiff left wrist. Even in the 13-4 loss on Sunday he scored 2 of their 4 runs but wasn't his best defensively. They had all of the backups in the game to start which at this point is a nice gesture from the coach but not a winning one.

Mike sent me a text on Sunday when I was at Delaney, "guess where I am". I was thinking, no hoping, he was riding his bike in Banff, even a vicarious ride in Banff would be cool. Wrong. He was in a rink doing player evaluations. He's going back behind the bench in hockey. Be brave Calgary.

I was dragged over to Moore's to get a suit for the wedding this morning. Arrrrgh. I would rather wear spandex bike shorts in public than a suit. Heck I could have gotten a nice fixie for the price of a suit I'll wear once, ok maybe twice.

I'm getting pressure at work to decide if I'm staying on after the move. I wish I had never even mentioned the HNO job possibility. I just can't see much of a future if things stay the same even in a smaller, cheaper location. I did offer another plan where Dave and I would hold the fort and see how things go without the family present day to day. It wasn't dismissed without discussion so maybe that's a way to gain some ground.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Face of a Future Star?

He came a long way this weekend. Last week he was barely standing, spent more time on his butt than his blades. This week he was moving. Small strides, the hint of a glide and a lot more blade time. He even dangled the biscuit from one side of the rink to the other. None of the other bambis could keep up. Check out the highlights.
 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. AJ Kresack

I know he had a great couple of games but I never expected Harper to come and shake his hand...

Week in Review

The highlights of this week were few.

Tuesday I was at the AA draft where a few coaches made asses of themselves. With the first pick overall one coach proceeded to 'select' 9 coaches kids from other teams, none of which were first round picks. For every one we had to hand out papers for ranking by every team, collect them and then come up with a round where the player belonged. After 5 of these I noticed that there was no ranking of 1. So they were calling the name of a player that they knew was not a first round pick just to get the coach of another team to use a protection. I'm proposing a 3 game suspension.

AJ's Dodgers won a questionably scheduled game one of the finals on his double to the fence in center field on Tuesday. He's hitting with some unusual power as he got a double and a triple in Thursday's thumping and was on after every at bat. They have a 2-0 lead in the best of 7.

I got my resume into HNO and after a frustrating week at FCD I'm hoping it works out. I'm not really relishing the thoughts of moving the shop or stock. I had shop work all week but have to stop and wait for deliveries to go so I keep getting pulled up front. It's very hard to give a customer a time when a job will be done when I have to stop every 30 minutes.

The Ginko and I spent Wednesday night playing Wii sports. He kicked my butt at just about everything, I think he gets a bit more practice.

Today I'm home catching up on banking and paperwork for various leagues. I started the baseboard project Wednesday and I think we have a colour to go with. The mitre saw I picked up a few years back works like a charm. No more excuses.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

1st Day Hurdles

Brandyn made it through the biggest hurdle in a rookie's career, his first day on skates. He was falling frequently when I checked on him early but after a re-tightening of the laces he was staying on his feet. As for the rest of the day I collected over 50% of the registration fess and we had just 5 kids MIA so it went pretty well. Threatening phone calls and emails have already been delivered, it's so nice to have the leverage of a waiting list 20 kids strong.

I just finished my 'curriculum vitae' for the HNO manager's job and also signed in online for part-time postal worker. I got a good tip from a dad who got in recently so I wasted no time. Now that I've told the boss I'm looking, I feel kind of liberated.

AJ and I went to Curtis' stag last night. I just had dinner at the Keg and skipped the other entertainment. Curtis was poured home around midnight so he missed some of the activities as well. He won't miss his hangover.

first days on ice

on his way to a daze

Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Geekiness

As if bike helmets aren't geeky enough. After riding home from the college after registrations and meetings in the dark this week, I was told I needed a light. I stopped in at Petrie's and checked out the goods. I ended up with the Night Rider Mi-Newt USB. It mounts anywhere, has lithium ion rechargeables, and is very light and small. I have it mounted on my old/winter helmet so I can switch bikes easily and don't have to leave it out for thieves. I still need a more powerful tail-light.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Can't Please 'Em All, Won't Try

I'm sure glad I left for work a bit early this morning. As it was, it was cold, windy and raining but 10 minutes after I got out of the rainsuit it poured.

I was told tonight that "kids that don't have computers can't play in Northwood" because there are no spots left for the walk-in registration. Someone whose kids changed their minds and now want to play "will do as many bingos as you want", if I take a spot from someone else who never waivered on playing.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Single Speed Ride to Camp

I've done this ride quite a few times over the last three years but today I decided to give it a go single speed. This was the first time all year that I went all the way in as Jill's skinny tires and loose gravel are a bad combination. Eowyn's big fat Maxxis Holy Roller tires are perfect for the pavement/gravel conditions. She's geared to pretty much go anywhere but not very quickly. When you only get one gear to pick from it has to get you up the hills, gravity will get you down. On flat ground I can comfortably spin at about 20 kmph. When I reached Moose Hill I stopped at the Fire Hall for a drink and to eat a peach. I was pleasantly surprised to see I'd gone 28 km in 1 hour and 36 minutes. I was using my phone's gps to track the ride, no speedometer on the bars leaves me much more comfortable and allows me to just ride without worrying about how far or fast I'm going. The almost 18 kmph is very close to what I do with a fully geared skinny tired bike. And Eowyn is the most comfortable ride I have. The 1980's steel frame and big tires mean a smooth ride and no pain in the shorts or hands. If I could just find a place to stop to get rid of some of the gatorade, life would be just about perfect.

About 5 km up the road after passing the old MTO yard where I thought I might see a biffy but didn't, I saw a bright blue portable on the other side of the highway. Excellent. I finally took off my jacket and continued up 61 to the Sturgeon Bay Road. Now the fun begins. I knew I probably wouldn't be able to urge Eowyn up the hill just past Walker Road or the monster at the gravel pit. Hopping off and pushing was no real surprise. Cramps in my calves as I was walking were.  I reached the top of the steeper part and gingerly climbed back on, being careful not to put my leg in a position that would cause the tug of another cramp. I clipped in with my left foot and just as I began to push down I was grabbed by a huge cramp and my leg decided to stop doing anything my brain was asking. Balance went south and I fell north into the middle of the road in the middle of a hill. I quickly checked to make sure my phone hadn't jumped out of my pack, stretched my leg to alleviate the pain of the cramp and then decided I had better get my butt off the road before someone tried to crest the hill.

I got up checked things out and found no damage to the bike or myself. Pulled another long drink of gatorade and then got back on again, this time easing the pedals down and slowly building a bit of momentum. I made it up the rest of the hill and then stretched my legs in turn as I freewheeled down the hill on the newest and roughest part of the road. Another short climb follows and I rode up that one right on the edge of cramps. You can feel them just lurking, one big push and they grab that muscle and pull like a dog that stole a steak. I managed to creep up the rest of the hills and reach the highest part of the road and then glide down to the spot where you first see Lake Superior for a picture. On my first ride out here in 2007 on the CTC piece o'crap I stopped there to do the same. It felt pretty good to get here today too.

From this point it's a long run downhill back to the edge of the lake at Sturgeon Bay and then around the bay to the biggest climb. I rode to it and part way up but there was no way my legs or the gears were going to let me ride it all. I happily hopped off and pushed about 100 yards up the steepest section, climbed back on and slowly pushed the pedals the rest of the way. Down the other side back to the lake and we're done. 52km in 3 hours and 7 minutes, the new single speed record. Looking back to the post about my first trip out by bike I see that I made the top of the hill for pictures in just under 3 hours so the ss record beats that first ride on a geared bike, crap that it was.

To top off the day, the men won the Alleys rematch 3 games to 1. Three of the games went down to 1 move remaining, as close as it can get.








September 2010

August 2007


View SS Ride to Camp in a larger map

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ginkovechkin

We took Ginko to Petries to get suited up for hockey this morning. He decided he wanted to be a goalie for about 5 minutes. I gave him a pad and told him he could just stand behind it. He gave up on that and Tom got him set up with just about everything he needs. It's going to be different having someone in the fold again. I can feel some more energy behind me this year.



Friday, September 3, 2010

Inspired in September, What A Dumbass

It's not every week you hear humidex and wind chill in the news but this week has had it all. In a matter of just 3 days we've gone from 40c (104f) to 8c (46f), maybe lower tomorrow morning. Riding to work this morning was an adventure in dodging puddles and raindrops. Amazing how our newest chunk or roadway has 6 feet of puddles along the curb. I wore my rain suit and it was cold enough not to work up a sweat but my shoes kept getting splashed so I spent the day in damp socks. The ride home was actually fun as the 50km wind was at my back, just point the bars south, a few turns at the pedals, sit back and feel Mother Nature pushing me homeward.

No plans for Saturday yet but Sunday we head out to Mom and Dad's for the Alley Rematch. I'm hoping to ride out. Just for an extra challenge I'm thinking singlespeed. Eowyn is the candidate so far. Jill is pouting since she hasn't been out in more than a month. I've been inspired by Noodle and Precious. They are 2100+ miles into crossing the US for Livestrong. The setup they have actually sends twitter post from the bike, all pre-programmed to happen when certain events take place. Here's a link to a short video showing how it all works.

I got the ice schedule for Northwood for the upcoming season. I'm very happy with it. The lady who has done the scheduling for the city since before I began has retired and her replacement only trained for 2 weeks. At least she didn't try to reinvent the wheel. We're back in the Gardens once the end of September rolls around and have our usual time slots.

I just have to say that feeling inspired to do some big cycling adventure in September is just plain dumb. Better late than never I guess.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

This and That

The cool air sure feels good but hidden under that friendly temp is lingering humidity. Just start moving around and the sweat is back. Sure beats hurricanes though. It looks like we're in for a loooong weekend of sitting indoors.

The manager's job at HNO is open again. The young guy that got the job three? years ago left at the worst time possible, just as everything is getting into gear. Haven't decided whether or not to send a resume again but I have major support from at least one board member. And as another LMHL exec said, 'nothing ventured nothing gained'. I'm pretty sure the writing is on the wall for my current employer so I'm leaning towards giving it another go.

I found a very cool website while reading over at Fat Cyclist yesterday. It's a blog submitted by the bike of a girl riding across the U.S. for Livestrong. She has it wired into the web somehow so that it constantly gives readouts of mph, distance traveled, direction etc. Check out I Am Precious.

Did anyone lose a van?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

People Are Strange

I have been mailing last year's parents once a month since April and then more frequently as registration filled up, even had a running line on the % of capacity on our website. I called the coaches and left messages for others that I hadn't heard from. We hit 100% of capacity Friday evening, went over by 1 and then had a space open up and got back to full. This morning two of last year's parents called saying "I understand you are full but...". But you didn't have 5 minutes to do an online registration, heck I've filled out a half dozen of them for those that at least bothered to pick up the phone and call. As much as I hate saying no I can't risk taking too many kids and then not having enough of everything, ice, equipment, coaches and so on.

Sal and I went for our (just about) weekly Sunday morning ride, or as we call it 'destination Timmy's'. I was back on Eowyn after not riding her for a week, sure felt odd. A few handlebar tweaks and she's good to go. Farzam and I are dreaming up a new bike we will build (at least in our heads) over the winter. I'm hoping for a Rohloff 14 speed internal hub. One of the best engineered parts you can get for a bike it gives you the equivalent gearing of a front and rear derailleur system with 27 speeds.




View Track 8 in a larger map

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Can You Heimlich a Choking Horse?

Dear Direct Energy,
A few years ago I made the mistake of falling for the horror stories of impending doom as told by one of your door-to-door youth movement clones. With his help, fears that the price of natural gas would spiral ever upwards blossomed in my mind.  I would be facing monthly heating bills that a horse couldn't swallow without being assisted by the heimlich maneuver. So I signed up and 'locked in' those great prices you offer as a supplier of natural gas. Last year I read the price was dropping, you offered to renew my plan with just a modest increase. I declined. After 7 months of equal billing at a savings of $16 per month without your assistance, I received four straight bills of a whopping $5 each. Then I got my end of year settlement invoice from Union Gas and received a CREDIT of $214.
 
I know last winter was warmer by comparison so Mother Nature gets at least part of the credit for lower bills, but I didn't move to Vancouver. I pity your customers that simply resign and then sit back smiling when they open their bill thinking they have outsmarted someone. Actually, they have.


Facts:
With your special locked in pricing

  • January 2009 Gas Used 664 units - $329.29 added to equal billing plan

Without your special locked in pricing

  • January 2010 Gas Used 640 units - $147.39 added to equal billing plan
  • 3.61% less gas used and 55.27% less cost

To summarize, it wasn't that warm, thanks for nothing and keep the clones away from my door.
Yours truly,
Outsmarted but learning in Thunder Bay

Monday, August 23, 2010

Faster Than Expected

New carpet is in. Sal just couldn't wait to put the vacuum to it. Project one is nearing completion, only about 300 more to go.

That New Carpet Smell

Since Behr Ultra+ (paint and primer in one can!) has virtually no scent, the house is beginning to smell like new carpet. Quickly checking the progress I'd say another couple of hours before the installation is done. Then we get to start moving back in. we're going to leave out things like the stereo equipment we never use and the 100's of cds. The living room will be a bit sparse for a while. We could have saved ourselves a bit of work by leaving the nailed edging in place, a real chore to remove. Later we'll be going for supper and then to look for a vaccum.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Second Coat

Well the 2nd coat went pretty well, other than being blinded by staring at painted/unpainted walls for another 8 hours. Everything evened out with the additional coat and I'm not even crabby anymore, well maybe a little.

Hockey is going well, 93% full. I called a few of the coaches who haven't singed up just to be sure they weren't just being lazy and then expecting a spot. Almost every eligible player from last year has registered so I guess that's enough of a 'keep it up'. The new phone makes a contact list a breeze. It syncs with google so whenever I add or edit a contact in gmail, my phone gets updated. Far easier than trying to type them all in again on the screen.

I hit 53 tomorrow on what should be an interesting day with both the carpet guys and Shaw guy working in and around. Funny after getting over the 50 hump another year is just that.

I seriously need to go for a ride!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Live Painting Updates

9:59am - nooks, crannies and crevices of hallway cut in, Coldplay on the boombox and apparently I'm crabby
11:54am - half the living room edges cut and I know why I'm crabby, PMS or Painting Man Syndrome, John Mayer on the box
1:33pm - lunch break, Sal brought dim sum, just about done with the brushes, Payl Carrack supplying the distractions
2:29 - break out the rollers, finally some progress, Michael Buble crooning on the box
3:15pm - hallway now has one full coat, Train making the noise
3:54pm - two walls done, Crowded House on the box, running out of steam
4:41pm - another 30 minutes should finish coat 1, just can't wait to get up and do it all over again tomorrow
5:08pm - one gallon behr ultra & one coat done, Led Zep taking us home, time to clean up and chill for a bit

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dear Brett

Borrowing from one of my favourite bloggers I am posting an open letter, to Brett Favre.

As a long time Chicago Bears fan I hated you with a passion for years. Your success generally meant the Bears did not fare too well. In the 13 years you spent at the helm of the Packers the Bears took the division only 3 times. You were easy to despise as the gunslinging leader of the opposition in football's oldest rivalry.

Then after a successful season in 2007 you announced your retirement. Every sports channel reviewed your long and stellar career. The clips showed you as a cut up on the sidelines, it really looked like you were playing for the fun, the sheer enjoyment of the game. I really got a laugh from your Keith Jackson impersonation. Somewhere in my mind hate turned to admiration of an old guy who paid his dues, made good and then said goodbye after one of his best seasons with a youthful, surprising team. I think the game in 2003 where you lit up the Raiders a day after losing your father softened the grudge I had held.

And then the rumours started. Would he come back for another season? You toyed with the notion, to the point of turning the team where you made your name into traitors because they wouldn't take you back. They decided not play your little game. They named their new number one, their future. You signed with a mediocre Jets team, just for fun, and 12 million. You got the Jets to an 8-3 record with your record setting arm (most touchdowns) before the tailspin began because of your record setting arm (most interceptions). Yes you were hurt, but that's what happens when you get old. You managed to play the game again with the Vikes last year, were hailed as a saviour but still came up short in the end.

Here's an idea for you Brett.  You want to go out on top, that's obvious. You can't give it up after last season, losing in the playoffs, your last play an interception. So when you have that game that has everyone saying 'he's still got it', retire in a blaze of glory (ie. last minute hail-mary against the 49'ers). Don't throw away what respect your fans and fellow players still have for you. You have your rings, your championships and your millions. Go play with your kids and let someone else play football.

Birthday Plans

What do I want to do for my birthday I was asked. I guess I should have said leave the country or ride a bike a 100 miles. Instead it will be new carpet, phone and internet day. Which in turn means I have 3 days to remove the old carpet and paint the living room. Oh Happy Birthday. It will all be worth it but I can't wait for Tuesday.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Morning Ride

Sal and I got out for another Sunday morning ride. It was so nice and cool with a welcome headwind. We went along the bikepath and wound up at Timmy's out by Thunder Bay Mall, our longest to date. Sal even wanted to do some exploring in and around Parkdale before heading back. The way home was littered with more pedestrians and dogs on the bikepath so we went to Petrie's for a bell, for my bike. Molly has become my 'old man' bike. She's set up for easy, comfortable riding on Sunday mornings so I guess a bell was a necessity.

note to Timmy's: get some longer straws!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Doesn't Feel Like Hockey Season

I spent the morning at Petrie's pricing hockey equipment, a new experience. Now if there was just room to display it all.

I rotated my collection of bike parts a bit giving Eowyn and Molly different sets of handlebars. Just like having 2 new bikes. I'm still deciding what I want to work towards. I'm thinking a singlespeed 29er like the Felt Solo9.

I finally finished the Quest 2the West blog. A few things slipped through the cracks but it's done.

Northwood is sitting at 60% capacity. I may not even need a walk-in registration. One downer is our first day on the ice (wish I was there right now!) is the same day as the Caribou Charity Ride so that's probably not in the cards for me. Just too many things going on first day to spend it riding. Can't wait to see Ginko out on the ice. Wendy just called and Conquer the Dog is a no go also.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Here It Comes

Hockey season is coming at me faster than a transport on the other side of a narrow highway. I'm at 55% of capacity for registration and our first ice is already scheduled. Ice rentals went up more than $13 per hour with a slight increase and the addition of HST. I raised our registration price by $10, dropped the credit card option (was costing about $15 per player) and the cheaper fundraising option. If they want to save now they work first and then get the credit. I put up an online form so people can still sign up online and that seems to be working well. I get an email seconds after they register and then send them an email to confirm. Pretty slick and doesn't cost a dime.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

By A Whisker

After some gathering of goods for the diabetes pickup this week we headed to Mom and Dad's for supper and alleys, a new game they have which is played on a board the same as tock but with dice rather than cards. The score remains deadlocked, scotch drinking men 2, slush drinking ladies 2.

On the way home a deer decided to play chicken with us. I was following a pickup hauling a boat (with 2 kids riding in the bed!) about 6 car lengths back. Sal made a noise and then the windshield was full of brown. I tapped the brakes and twitched the Impreza to the right and missed the tail of a huge buck by a whisker. He nearly got hit by opposing traffic as well. I never thought they were dumb enough to run between cars. So much for that theory.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

What Have I Become

I just realized I've become a slave to a piece of hardware. I carry it everywhere, hell even to the bathroom. I just went on a 24km ride on Eowyn and it was right there in my pocket, tracking my every move. It tells me what to do, reminds me, even nags me. I have cut back a bit, for a while there I was charging the battery every night. There is some good coming from it, I spend less time on an actual computer. With my plan I have 5 totally free contacts so I can call or text Mike, even send him pix without additional cost. I added Kev and Sue today too. Time to cut the lawn, so I'll plug in and listen to tunes thanks to my master.

View Eowyn, Aug7/10 in a larger map

Bikes, Boxes and Coffee

Mike has his bike, Rachel. He got her all together and then went for a ride to school. I guess I missed a loose couple of allen keys and the crank which is an eccentric slipped. He had Mel pick him up and as I was panicking and trying to find info on the web he had it fixed. I called Farz and he gave me quick instructions. I went over to Petrie's to eyeball a bike with the same setup but there were none on the floor. Mike has had her out again so I guess he fixed it, but I still want to understand how the thing works.

The map is Mike's route from home to work courtesy of  Google My Tracks on his Android phone. What I wouldn't give to do that ride every day. As you exit the 'burbs and ride straight west to the Bow Valley Pathway you get an eyefull of Rockies and then turn north and the downtown skyline rises 30km away.

View Home - Work in a larger map

Rachel ready for the trip to Calgary
Sal got to use her cup holder on what's his name?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Famous Grouse

Just cracked open a bottle of the Famous Grouse single malt scotch. It was the go to drink in a series of books I read and man it is smmmmmoooooth.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Finals

Well our little league team made the final but their luck ran out there. We never did make the gold medal game at the Worlds, once Canada was out and the clouds rolled in my interest waned. We used some Keg gift cards and just had a relaxing evening. Much better than sitting through the 2 hour rain delay.

I went to Petries this morning but left at 11 as there wasn't much doing. Sal and I went to run some errands and got caught in the brief downpour. When hail came down I headed for shelter but it ended before I could even get off the road. Looked like a blowing snowstorm for a minute of two. There was a tree knocked down on Miles near Patterson Park and as we drove home a fire truck followed us. "Just hope it's not going to our place", Sal commented. As we turned the corner onto our street there was a fire truck already surrounded by pylons further up our block. We went around and saw that another tree had sheared off a major branch and was leaning on a house about 4 down.

We're getting ready for new carpets. I took out the french doors tonight and put them up on kijiji. If the weather cooperates I hope to paint before the carpet arrives but not with the humidity we're having lately.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Another Day at the Diamond

Just came in from another game behind home plate announcing a little league game. The team representing our league won an exciting game with a 5 run rally in the bottom of the 5th. One more win and they are in the final. It's been a long week of working and then riding through town over to the diamond. Today I got a ride as there wasn't enough time to do it by bike, good thing as I would have been wet by the looks of it.

We are ordering new carpet tomorrow, finally. Sears has a pretty good sale on and we met with their carpet guy who had plenty of knowledge and advice, too bad he is a little behind in the tech department. The man needs a cell phone.

Sal scored 3 crabs yesterday at the Super Store, leaving behind just 1. She took them to work and brought home supper, Cantonese Style Crab. I can't remember a meal I have enjoyed more. I decided to forget about  trying not to get messy and just enjoyed every mouthful.

Sal picked up tickets for the gold medal game in the World Juniors on Sunday. That should be a great game and hopefully the Canadians will be there as the upsets have really put things in their favour.

I put in a day at Petrie's on Thursday. I boxed up Mike's bike and took it to Purolator. $130 by ground or $600+ by air! He was in no rush once I gave him the quoted price. He'll have to wait until next Wednesday to ride 'Rachel', his Felt X-City 2. She's a sweet ride. I brought her home for an extended test ride one night but just a size too big for me. I may still get Farz to build me one with the internal hub. It would make a great commuter as I hope Rachel is for Mike.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Long Days, Fun Days

We had breakfast with Mike and Mel this morning then put him on a plane back to Calgary. We had two great outings with them while they were here. On Sunday we all headed out to see Mom and Dad, and I mean all of us. AJ, Mike, Mel and Ginko all had fun trapping 'clawfish'. Lots of food, some drink and perfect weather.

On Monday we all went to Mel's parents place. Lots of food and drink again and the kids all hit the pool as the weather behaved again. It was another sad goodbye to watch as Ginko gave Mike a hug. They had spent most of the day together, Brandyn collected on an ice cream bet and scored a Nerf machine gun to boot.

Then came Tuesday and back to work capped with a ride over to Current River to announce a ball game in the provincials. A half day today and another game. At least this one was worth watching. I really hate the little league pitch count. A 2-2 ball game in the 4th inning, Current River's pitcher hits his maximum and the other team score 4 runs immediately. The Kingston team had a neat story. They had no diamond to play on. It was finally ready about 6 weeks ago but no one would come to their all clay diamond to play. They got in 2 exhibition games and then won the draw from a hat for district playdowns and the other teams had to come play on the clay. They won 3 more and then practiced 7 days a week for 6 weeks and here they are in the Ontarios.

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Phone, Old Books

One of the many functions my new phone has is the ability to download public domain books into a 'Kindle' type reader. I found a good one today and it links directly into the archives where many of the classics can be downloaded and read. I already finished London's "Call of the Wild" and am into the second chapter of "White Fang", two classics I've never read. There are hundreds of books available and the software keeps track of the last page read, a simple touch on the screen turns the page. All very cool.

I got an email from Dave Wadson yesterday. He and a few friends are entering the 2010 Caribou Charity Ride so I'll get signed up and have someone to ride with. I wasn't going unless I found someone to ride with. They still aren't asking for donations outside of the entry fee, seems like a lost opportunity.

It came to me today that driving across the prairies with Sal sleeping in the seat beside me is a lot like riding my bike solo over long distances. Lots of time to think. Biggest difference is the cd player is on and I don't have tunes running over and over in my head. Butt gets sore just in a different way. The twist on words 'relative humility' came to me somewhere in Saskatchewan and today I created I don't know what. Anyway...



Relative Humility
feel good about achievement,
without making others feel otherwise.
take pride in accomplishment,
realize there's more to be done.
accept praise gracefully,
don't expect it.