Sunday, March 31, 2013

I actually ran

Slept in. Gradually realized my legs were feeling pretty good, and it was nice out. Limbered up, and started running easy. I got into the groove fairly quickly, with my feet feeling light and easy. My left knee wasn't bothering me at all, but my right heel was a bit sensitive. Concentrated on light, even, fairly short footsteps, not worrying about trying to go fast. About 3.5 K mark my legs started protesting a bit so I eased off and called it at 4K. Walked home, and stretched and rollered really well after. Iced the heel and the bottom of the quads as they were feeling a bit tender.


This is a typical pattern for my run, so I'm pretty pleased. My breathing was really easy throughout. I've been breathing harder from a fast walk. Like the bike yesterday, I wanted to work my legs a bit, but not overdo it.

Other than that, our day was pretty quiet. I did some work on the novel, read a bit, puttered around the house a bit, and that was our long weekend.

Look at yesterday's blog for the cute pictures of Curtis, and some other nice stuff.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

A happening day

It started with this.
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A nice pastry from Yum Bakery. A cupcake from dessert last night, brought over by our financial advisor. 2012 was a good year, and the paper was a tasty warm up for the desserts. French press coffee. I'm really liking it done this way, if I have a few minutes to take care of it. I did have something a bit more substantial to balance out all that sugar, but that's much less interesting to look at. Yes, real linen napkins.

While eating I had to deal Curtis watching me.
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One never really quite knows for sure what a cat was thinking. There some who might be some fooled into thinking he's just enjoying the sun on his back.

Very shortly after he was in my lap, which he then cruelly abandoned for some cat nip that Linda brought. Here he is sleeping it off.
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All the wine kits I ordered are in so I drove up to Valentines in Red Deer to pick them up. This is a nice thing to do. It's a short drive, only 1.5 hours of highway driving. I turned up the tunes and sang along. It reminded me a bit of moving out to Calgary. Perhaps the high point of the drive was singing along to Sugar Sugar. That's one of the first really big pop hits I actually remember, watching The Archies while waiting for piano lessons.

Why drive to Red Deer for wine kits? The selection. This is just one part of the store.
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They have everything you could possibly need for wine or beer kits, and very, very reasonably prices. Easily worth the gas and driving time. I saved so much money I bought another nice kit.
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Now that I have the humidifier element out of the sink, I got the first of the kits started. We've had this furnace more than a year now, and this is the first time I've actually looked at the humidifier element. It was totally caked with scale. It took two soakings in vinegar to get rid of most of it. I should have done before and after photos, but probably best not, it was pretty gross.

My leg is feeling better today. I think the heavy duty rolling yesterday really helped. I didn't want to try running again, nice as it is, so I got on my bike instead, and after a good warmup, pushed pretty hard, with only a few knee twinges. I backed off then, wanting to spin out the muscles, and work them a bit, but not over work them. On the bike 45 minutes. Then another hour of rolling on the ball. Mostly low back, a lot of butt and hips, and lots of IT band. Plenty of owie. I can feel lots of tingle in my legs now. Any luck at all I'll try running tomorrow.

While I need to work on tax paperwork, I don't want to tonight. There's a really good rum swizzle on my desk, and I'm in the mood to work on my novel. So if I'm slow to respond to comments, tweets, or Facebook, that's why. Deep in the throes of creation, that's me.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Lets see now

I didn't tell you about my Thursday swim. It was good, considering I've been in the pool once in the last month. Oddly enough it wasn't my arms complaining, there were some squeaks from my left knee.

Friday was puttering around the house. I did try a run about noon, and that didn't go so well from a running perspective, but the fact I was able to try at all was progress. Left knee complaining.

What's odd, and why I haven't sought medical advice, is that what hurts keeps moving around. During the swim it was the top of the knee cap. During the run it was the bottom, with some aches in the bottom of the quad. Sometimes its on the inside or outside of the knee. My thinking so far is that some or all of the major muscle groups around the knee are all locked up and tight, pulling on the smaller ones.

After the run I used the ball and rolled and stretched for more than an hour. Pigeon alone was 5 minutes a side. There were lots of owie moments. Lots.

BBQ lamb tonight for a friend coming over for dinner with good news. We're very happy to see her, and what she brought.

Cleaning up after helping her take a case of wine to the car. Bed soon. Anyone want to drive to Red Deer tomorrow morning to pick up some wine? Speak fast.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tired and lazy, so a snippet!

Here's another chunk of the book written on a rainy day in Bermuda. Essentially no editing. I realized reading over some of what came before this I'd written in a little contradiction, but it's easy to fix. I'm still figuring out the rules. I also haven't figured out the name of the monk that Dwen is talking to, so I've referred to him as Xxx. Easy to fix later.


'So how am I to know before popping out of a door and interrupting a tea party? Do they post signs or what? If they can see the door they must use it themselves, and know that anyone could walk out at any time.'

'Like the doors, there are signs for those with eyes to see. You would find it difficult to walk into a place with a strong privacy ward. Sometimes there is an actual sign, but don't count on it. You're much more likely to find an actual guard.'

'Thats got to be a dull job. If you can see this, why would you take such a job?'

'Some of them would ask about why you do shift work. Many such guards can't use the system as such. They are escorted into the system and they sit at the desk doing their thing. People have varying degrees of blindness. You don't see much yet, but you seem to have a strong feel for the system, which is why we are worried about you getting into trouble. Some people can see the doorways, and are terrified of them. They have nightmares about monsters coming out.'

'Are there monsters?'

'Of course. Didn't you say you met a talking octopus diving a little car? That easily qualifies as nightmare material. Look at all the mythological creatures and don't be surprised at what you meet.'

'The octopus guy was nice. I take it not everybody is?'

'The humans you meet almost certainly will be. Some of the near humans can be nasty by our standards, though they consider themselves honourable. The stranger creatures, well, you never know. The ones you saw were cautious of you and Les because they could tell you didn't really belong. The cafeterias are neutral ground, but they didn't know if you knew that. Truth be told, they were nervous about you.'

'That's kind of funny. Afraid of us, on our first visit. So if I wanted to bypass the cafeteria, and go directly to the plant, could I do that?'

He shrugged. 'I suppose you could if you wanted to badly enough, but why would you go bush whacking over a mountain when you could follow a tunnel under it?'

'I suppose. This might be a stupid question, but are there any maps?'

'Only the ones you create yourself. I could sketch a number of connections, like to get to London, but if you can't see the doorway, it won't do you much good. The best way to learn the system is to have someone take you. Once you've seen, or been through a doorway it's easier to find it again, and easier to find others.'

Dwen brightened up. 'I've always wanted to go shopping in London. Even though you're a monk, do you know how to show a girl a good time?'

He smiled. 'I wasn't always a monk, and yes, we will visit London. The cafeteria under London is one of the major system nodes, perhaps the center of it for earth.'

'Now?'

'Maybe not right now. There's still stuff to talk about. How's your hot chocolate?'

'Refill. I can hear those scones calling me, but my butt doesn't need it.'

They walked over for the refill.

'You know, this whole thing still blows my mind. That someone or something set up this network of tunnels, just to have a quick way to get from place to place. Don't people use it for smuggling? To avoid government regulation? That seems almost trivial in the great scheme of things.'

'You might be right. We don't really know. We do know that being able to see the system at all goes along with traits like honesty and integrity, at least as far as humans go. I've sometimes thought that the way we use the system is like sitting in an air conditioned car enjoying being cool, but not realizing what else we could do with it.'

'I'm still figuring out how to reliably cope with the door locks. You know I'm going to be going crazy sniffing around Calgary for system doors. Maybe Les can help, I think it was him the first time. Do all of them lead to the cafeteria?'

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bird theme yoga

Zoom! No, that's not the yoga, just my life lately.

Shortly after posting last blog I got this photo.
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There is a Mosquito bomber flying again. I watched about 10 minutes of video of it. Curtis was almost as fascinated as me.

Decided not to swim this morning in favour of getting into the office at the regular time to put the final polish on a presentation. Good thing too. It all went very well and I've got lots of work now. Just after getting back the office furniture guys arrived to make the changes we requested. It's a small office, with a huge desk unit that took up all the space. It was quite the production getting it out. Here's what my part looks like now, with me standing in the doorway.
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Essentially as soon as we got home my neighbour called. He'd forgotten a box and asked me to take it to his son's place before they left to go to the same place. Sure. I owe him a favour anyways for shoveling my driveway while we were on vacation. Turns out the son and I have lots in common, did IMC the same year, and are both having problems finding work out and work life balance.

Then a quick bite and off to yoga class. Pardon me if I burble a little bit. We have the best yoga instructor in the world, and with a small class of the regulars we had so much fun! Linda nearly fell out of a pose she was laughing so hard. It was fun, relaxing, and a good workout, all in a bird theme. We did water bird, owl, flying bird, crow, stork with eagle arms, heron, pigeon, and peacock mudra during meditation. Just lovely.

Quads and IT and Soleus are all feeling better. I actually ran up the stairs to yoga class. Maybe I'll run after work tomorrow; it will certainly be nice enough. So it's been a long and busy day. Good Night.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Attitydinkontinens

I have a bad case of it. But then, so does almost every other blogger. This will make it all clear, and give you a smile at the same time, especially if you like Swedish humour. Just more words to import into English.

Even though I'm not ogooglebar, I've never had anything bloggbävning, and to be honest I hope I never will. That way I can stay an honest blogger and know who my readers are. While I take some photos, I'm not all livslogga about it. People don't want to look at me more than once in a while. I note that a photo of Linda got more likes than everything else I posted for the two months before added together. I'm not complaining, just saying that hawt bloggers have an advantage.

Linda is not the slightest bit nomofob. She has the oldest functioning cell phone in Canada, I'm sure, being well over a decade old now. It probably has fewer than 50 minutes of talk time. I get that way a bit, just because it was expensive to buy, and I perceive it as valuable. More places need a mobildagis, especially restaurants, and places with live performances. There does need to be a system to make it painless.

I've become much better at cutting down on trädmord. The poor trees. They spend so long trying to grow and become big trees, then the humans cut them down and turn them into kleenex or paper towel. One use and they become compost. It seems an undignified end for something as beautiful as a tree.

Along with the social media post I wrote a little while ago, I've been thinking a lot more about köttrymd, and trying to enjoy it more. So for instance, today I had a wonderful long phone conversation with one of my best friends. I'm out for a walk at lunch time again, just seeing what's happening on Stephen Avenue. A few times I've run into people I know on the street and that's all wonderful. But it can't happen sitting there in a small office. I chatted with a neighbor as I was doing some BBQ beef tenderloin, and marinated chicken.

That long conversation probably means I'm not going to get downstairs for a spin and core workout. Oh well. I'm not training for Ironman, after all. It's easy to get sucked into that, but I'm trying not be all Åsiktstaliban about it.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Glad I didn't run

Today was nice, so nice. Clear and sunny, just above freezing. My legs are feeling better, or so I thought this morning. We moved offices so I got a slightly different chair. No, they don't move chairs. I don't have this one quite tuned in yet. Going home I could feel a bit of stiffness in my lower quads, but the other things that have been cranky, weren't. Even though I'm deep into an xl extract of a database, I need to get up and move around a bit.

We have a refresher dance class tonight. I had time to run, shower, and grab something to nibble. I really did. I saw several other runners out there having fun. Dance class was East Coast swing, which we know. We reminded ourselves of a bunch of steps. The a review of waltz. Once we saw it again, we were good to go.

The only problem is that waltz is ONE, twwwwooooooooo, three rhythm, with a deep knee bend on one. It didn't take much of that for my knees to start feeling cranky again.

Sunday I forgot to talk about a good solid core and stretching session. Pushups even. More than one set of them. Including some other things with them, mountain climbers, legs up, legs out to the side. Lots of oblique ab stuff. Pigeon forever.

Neither did I mention BBQing the rack of lamb. Oh so yummy. One person at the office said they were going to follow me to my office and help me eat it. As if. And I haven't even mentioned the dessert from Yum.

The rest of the week is supposed to be nice, with one day almost nice enough to be outside on the bike. Imagine that. I think I'll settle for a run.

I have this great blog title. The Shadow of the Paw. Now I need to figure out the rest of it.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I'm so over the zombie apocalypse, a rant

Normally I'm a pretty easy going guy. Everybody has their own slant on the world, and mostly that's all good. It's always interesting to me how someone can take the same situation, the same facts, and come up with a totally different interpretation of it. I was in one group that got into a ferocious argument about if it was called a "non-member surcharge" or a "membership discount" on the price of the event.

Lately it seems that all fiction is dominated by vampires, werewolves, and other fantasy creatures. A bit tiresome, but I don't have to buy it or read it. Zombies seem to be pushing their way into that group, and  that makes no never mind to me.

But when zombies come up seriously in Quebec politics, I sit up and take notice. It seems like the zombie apocalypse is getting big press these days, and in a way that I don't get, seems to be taken seriously. People say they are preparing for a ZA. (I'm not gonna type it out in full anymore.) I can't tell if they are stupid, or lazy, or mentally deranged.

Say it with me people. Zombies aren't real. They don't exist; they can't exist. There are many things to be worried about these days, but the ZA is not one of them. There never will be streets full of the undead stumbling along mumbling brains. And if there were, modern day America is going to be slim pickings for them, especially if they start in the Walmart parking lot.

I love me a good conspiracy theory. Seeing how the whack-o brains think and distort reality is amusing. It's light entertainment. Sometimes a good one offers an alternative explanation for things that actually survives a few moments of thought. But the weak spot of almost every conspiracy theory is that they ignore human nature. They assume some secret group with nearly unlimited competence and resources to carry out obscure tasks in pursuit of an arcane goal. If they were that good they'd be running the economy in a straight forward way, as the government itself, or some world spanning corporation. Anybody reading the paper knows that competence isn't a governmental strong point. But wait! It's all a ruse to lure you in!

But the biggest failure is they assume people can keep a secret. There's an old saying, three can keep a secret if two of them are dead. It's true. Let's imagine for a moment that somebody in the government ordered that the twin towers be bombed, and somehow coordinated the planes crashing into them to cover it up. Think about who has the stroke to order it in secrecy, and just think of all the people that would have to be part of it, from people making the plans and giving orders, engineers to figure where the bombs should go, down to the guys that actually install the bombs in the buildings, all while they are full of people. And not a single one of these hundreds, possibly thousands of people has geeked to the astronomical payout for a kiss and tell book called "I helped cause 9-11 and Dick Cheney gave the orders".

Not that I for a minute believe what the government says. One of my more useful filters is to assume that everything an elected government official says, is a lie, or an incomplete version of a truth. Kevin Page excepted of course. Harper proved Page was telling the truth by trying to fire him and stonewalling.

So now we're on about the ZA. There are people that seriously believe that the Centre of Disease Control in Atlanta is working to create zombies through vaccination programs for the flue, polio, and other diseases. Or some more secretive corporation. I can't tell if they are deranged, or just using the ZA as shorthand for thinking the world is all fucked up in unspecified ways, and want to be ready in ways that make them feel good. Which in America means carrying around some honking big weapon, ready to play hero. Cars and guns, inversely proportional to the size of brain and dick.

Now, in fact, there are any number of people that believe the global economy is becoming unravelled and we are reaching some crisis point. Fair enough, and there's lots of evidence pointing that way. Buying a basement of food, paying down debt, and a bunch of other activities are a practical, rational response. If things don't come unglued, one can always eat down that stockpile.

One might seriously disagree with the policies and governmental practices of Harper or/and Obama and believe they are ruining their respective countries. There are any number of oppositional activities one could do, with varying practicality and efficacy. Harper is for all intents and purposes an elected dictator. Obama has some restrictions on what he can do, but since he's crossed the line about retail drone strikes on American citizens, it's not a big step to wholesale use of the military. Good luck with opposing them.

Or you could believe that Harper and Obama (or their love child) are a sign of the second coming, or the rapture, or a bunch of other hooey. You might be in favor of this, assuming that you are one of the chosen that is going to heaven. Or you are just a garden variety fruit loop, and your response involves prayer. Or maybe hoping the aliens come rescue you.

You could be worried about being laid off from your job, getting some new super-bug, having "the system" make a mistake not in your favour and put you through hell, or the Trilateral commission raising prices of essential commodities, or the Illuminati revealing themselves, or your car breaking down, or your spouse leaving you, or any number of other things. There are various responses to these, some more practical than others.

In all of them, a proper response depends on being able to name the issue, identify and quantify the risk, listing the hazards, and evaluating the mitigating factors. Waving your arms and shouting about the ZA is not going to get you anywhere. It might take a spreadsheet to keep track of your issues and responses, but that's what Excel is for. When you find out that you are much more likely to be struck by lightning than be a victim of a terrorist incident, you might change your personal security routines, and start laughing at airport security procedures.

But in all cases, just being all riled up about the ZA isn't helping you. In fact, it's hindering you by preventing you from thinking about what real, actual risks you are facing, and figuring out what you can do about them. Coming to understand that they are not a practical risk is a valid outcome. Being trampled by a rhino is not on my list of things to worry about, and most of the time, being mauled by a bear or cougar isn't either. But go hiking in the Rocky Mountains and it's very practical to consider the possibility of being attacked by a bear.

One of the things that made a great impression on me when I was a kid was some of the Notebooks of Lazarus Long, and this one in particular, "What are the facts? Again and again and again — what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what "the stars foretell," avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable "verdict of history" — what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!"

Book club today, discussing A Stroke of Insight. I thought it was an excellent read, and intend on rereading it. This was a good one to read on the iPad, what with some of the technical words being very easy to look up in the iBooks app. Our brains are a more remarkable organ than I had believed. Pity that most people waste the one they were given.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Saturday compendium

Lots of stuff today. For whatever reason I was up early this morning, catching up on Facebook and Twitter. Normally cats don't like citrus juice, but Curtis was very interested in the orange pineapple mixture we have on the go right now. Very interested. He likes to sit on my desk while I'm doing computer stuff. Every now and then he gives the computer keyboard commands that have taken me a while to figure out and fix. Here's a comparison to my my hand to give you an idea of his paw size.
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My legs have been feeling better after the Wednesday massage. Downstairs for some limbering up, light stretching, mobility, a bit of core, and some meditation. I chose to try to meditate in Tree pose. Oddly enough, it's my arms that got tired first, trying to hold them above my head. My legs were perfectly happy with the pose. At first I thought my yoga teacher was nuts for saying it was meditative, but I'm beginning to get it. I have to admit that looking up to a ceiling of beams and sub-floor isn't the most enlightening view.

Then I was on my bike for 45 minutes of easy to moderate spin. This felt pretty good. My left knee still isn't very happy with standing. I had a cheerleader during my spin. Celina likes to encourage me to get all sweaty and finish, because then she's all over me as I stretch.
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And
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Earlier this week she was also 'helping' me type, but got all tangled up in the mouse.
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Then out for some shopping. La Boulangerie is an amazing cafe. They used to have a booth at the Kingsland Farmer's Market, but that closed to our great sorrow. We needed a fix so we went all the way up to their 4th St store. Not surprisingly it was full, with a line up for goodies. Everything is yummy. We did take out, and pigged out on it throughout the day.

MEC for some new street shoes. My old ones were long past done. Parking was a bitch, and the place was full. The new shoes feel much more comfortable. There was no give in the old ones at all. For whatever reason, I'm very bad about hanging onto my old shoes too long. Like running shoes for nearly a year. My current ones are from the end of August, so are a bit over 6 months old, and if I believe Runmeter, have about 300 K. They still feel cushy, so they should be good for a while yet. Do you guys go by milage to replace shoes, or just when they lose their cushiness?

Then up to the Italian Supermarket. This is a great place to shop for stuff. Great prices. We get pasta, cheese, nuts, and a few other odds and ends here. Pity it's so far away. It, too, has been discovered and it's hard to get parking.

Then to one of my favourite places, the Calgary Farmer's Market, for a yummy lunch at Big D's. Shopping at Yum Bakery. Yes we loaded up on goodies. Strolled around a bit. I just love the vibe. They had a singer doing some pop standards, and I couldn't quite decide if I liked her voice or not.

Home for a nap, some reading, some puttering about, and playing with the mammals. Altogether a very nice Saturday.

Oh, almost forgot. I made it through a whole week with no coffee at work! Yay me! So far the rule, Life is too short for bad coffee, is working out well.

Oh, and spam! Or rather the lack of it. Ever since I turned off allowing anonymous commenting, I have had zero spam. ZERO! How awesome is that? Not need to turn on that stupid robot captcha thing I hate so much. Just disallow anonymous comments, and life will be good.

Friday, March 22, 2013

How can DSotM be 40?

And how can Bobby Orr be 65? Everybody has seen the photo of the famous horizontal goal. I watched it live on TV and nearly freaked out. What I really remember about him playing was that he made just about everybody else on the ice look like they were wearing training skates or were just up from minor hockey. Here's a clip of a bunch of his goals. Just amazing. You young whippersnappers say all you like about Gretzky, and admitted, he holds a ton of records, but Orr is the best hockey player ever. He sure doesn't look 65 now.

The other thing about that second clip that is amazing is what the guys aren't wearing. No helmets, no face shields. There are some fan shots too, and it's interesting to see how people dressed and wore their hair. That's one of the reasons I like old movies, seeing ordinary street scenes.

And Dark Side of the Moon turned 40. How can that be? I don't remember it when it came out, only discovering it a few years later. I'd just bought a good stereo system, and a buddy wanted to hear what it sounded like. Yes, I was blown away. The thing is it doesn't seem all that long ago. I was living in Streetsville at the time. From there everything just seemed to flow. I didn't think I was moving to Calgary forever. I had a buddy move out, and he convinced me to move out, get a job, and split an apartment with him. So we did. Everything I owned fit into a 78 Lemans. I could write an entire blog about the drive out.

That apartment,  a tiny little illegal basement suite, a place in Dalhousie, a townhouse with Linda, and this house are the only places I've lived in Calgary. Somewhere along the line I woke up and realized it was home, and not Ontario. It's quite possible I'll never live in another home till someone carts me off to die in an old age home. Lets see if I can list all my employers here. Atco, City of Calgary, Nova, Amoco, BP, Skystone, EOS, IMS, Nexient, Enmax, Skystone again, Talisman, and now Penn West. Lest you get bad thoughts about what kind of worker I am to have held so many jobs, Skystone had me back, and Nova, Amoco, BP, Talisman, and Penn West all extended my contracts. So I must have been doing something right.

To be honest, in my head it's still about 1984. My mental map of Calgary has huge holes where I know there are homes, but I've never been there. Anything north of Country Hills is terra incognita. I still think of myself as a young person, even if my knees or back tell me different some days. I have an odd memory. Some memories are from when I was a very very small child. Lots of things over the years I can remember very clearly, yet I forgot my sunglasses at my massage therapist's on Wednesday. I can be driving somewhere, then suddenly realize I'm on auto-pilot and no idea where would have ended up if I hadn't remembered where I actually wanted to go. I almost did that going to yoga the other night, and only just made the exit. Yet I can remember what parts of a database used to look like, and can recognize my own fingerprints in changes.

I listened to Dark Side of the Moon the other day as I was reviewing a presentation I have to give next week. I fear I allowed myself to get distracted listening to Time. Maybe it's a sign of age, but it really struck home as I listened. The time goes so quickly. One dinner I remember clearly with Linda's cousin and his wife, who was breast feeding their oldest child. He's grown and on his own now. I met Georgina when she was maybe 3, being the child of the girlfriend of one of my best friends. She's married and has a delightful child of her own. Most people keep track of the ages of their friends kids by relating them to their own kids. Without kids of our own, I have to work to keep track. It's tougher than it sounds. There's probably an app for that.

Most people believe we will all live longer than our parents. A couple more years and I will have lived longer than my father. He died at what is now considered a breathtakingly young age, child mortality not considered. That has me a bit spooked now, to be honest. The odds of living longer than my mom are not particularly good. She's still going strong, and when last I checked a few months ago, HER mom was still going strong. I don't know many people my age that have a living grandparent. I'd like to think I can make it to 100, and have every intention of doing so, but the statistics are not promising.

Even though I'm musing about the past a bit here, I don't do it all that often. Mostly I'm forward looking, planning the things I want to be doing. Lots of things I still want to learn to do. Surfing and scuba diving are two of them, and I hope to get them done this year or next. Some people seem to like my photographs, and I'd like to learn a bit more about how to take good ones on purpose, instead of by accident. Lots of things I want to learn.

What about you? What do you want to learn to do?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

This'n that

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind. Although our vacation was very relaxing, and we had Sunday to stir about the house, getting back up to speed at work after 3 weeks off was a bit of a leap. In addition, the first thing was to find my office. I knew there was a move coming so I was all packed up. My office this week is nice. Cold, but nice.

Here's the good part of the view
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Here's the not so good part.
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I have to be packed up again tomorrow, and I move to an internal office. The only view is another office. Oh well.
As some of you know, I like photos that have reflections in them. This is a gooder.
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After work today we went over to Southcenter mall to look at Canstruction. Stuff made out of stacks of cans. Very cool.

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In other news, Curtis has discovered a new place to hang out. Now I'm afraid to put the paperweight collection back there.
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My legs are feeling better today. I'm walking normally, but there is still some creakiness. Slept like a rock last night, which is very unusual for me, and was woken up by the alarm clock, which is even rarer than a good night's sleep.
There was something else, and now it will have to wait for another time.



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My legs are a wreck

Such is the professional opinion of my wonderful massage therapist. She worked on them for 1.5 hours, and there was still more to do. It was an owie, even in a good way, an owie.

Back in the pool this am. I think there is a swim meet happening, so things were a bit crowded. I swam a bit easy, and a few interval laps. Pool feel wasn't bad. The main goal was trying to get my legs to relax.

An "only you" adventure after swimming. After swim, walking to the office, and I'm normally really hot getting into the building. So today I'm trying to unzip my jacket and nothing is happening. There I am, getting hotter by the minute, trying to keep my pack on one shoulder, and holding my wallet to wave at various doors, elevators, and turnstiles to get in. Even after dumping all the stuff I still couldn't unzip. I'm roasting, I'm hungry, and have to pee. There was just enough space to get the jacket off over my head, with my scarf trying to strangle me along the way. Somehow I had tangled the scarf into the zipper. For a while I was afraid I was going to have to cut up my favorite scarf to get it off, but I managed to get it out ok. Then unzipping the jacket was hard because part of the zipper hadn't zipped up. For a while I was afraid I had broken it, but it all turned out ok. Good thing nobody was watching that performance.

Massage was a good brutality. Things still hurt. Yoga hurt, with some poses being total non starters. I think it was all good in the long run, but my legs have been so tight that now they are starting to relax post massage, it's actually hurting a bit more as they sort themselves out. I'm about to see if more sleep will help.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Social stuff

The first 'pitcher' of rum swizzles was a success! It was actually a measuring cup, but never mind. 1 oz dark rum, 2 oz of a mix of orange and pineapple juice, a dash of bitters, and a dash of lemon. Pretty good, and better over ice.

Very easy spin 30 minutes and then stretching my legs. Looking forward to a massage. Knee and heel still cranky, but maybe a bit better.

I've been thinking about social media a bunch lately, and this is one of the occasions where I need to write about it to understand what I actually think about it.

Once upon a time, back in my youth, the only practical way to get to know someone was to be close to them. You might work at the same place, go to the same gym or church, live in the same neighbourhood, or attend the same school. Once the relationship was formed it might or might not survive a separation. There are people that got to know each other through letters and phone calls, but that's tough sledding.

Now things are different. To the youth of today it seems natural, but I still marvel at being able to get to know people that don't live anywhere near me. Through blogging and other social media, I'm pretty confident that if I went to Southern California, or Boulder, or Nova Scotia, and probably other places that don't instantly come to mind, I could go to lunch or dinner with people I've never met in person and have a great time. It's allowed me to meet people at races or training camps already having some basis for a relationship. People have come up to me to ask if I'm who I am. (It's the mustache, I can never shave it.)

Linked In was the first social media site I joined, and it was pretty lame at first. Now I look at it almost every day. It's a valuable tool in the competitive world of holding a job, especially if you're like me, an independent contractor. You never know when someone you know tells you to contact someone they know to discuss a job. I've got at least two jobs that way. Now my rule for connecting to someone is that I have to have worked with them in some way. It's most often someone I've worked with, but it could be someone I've purchased services from. Some of my older contacts don't meet that criteria, but that's ok. If you look at my profile it's pretty much built around my work life. It needs updating to better reflect what I'm actually doing at Penn West these days, but that's life.

Blogging is my first social media love, and my most enduring. I like doing a blog. There seems to be a small, but fairly loyal audience that like what I have to say. Which is nice, considering I'm writing this for myself. I love getting comments. I remain amiably baffled by which posts get read more or less, and which collects comments. Every now and then I rip out a good rant, and people like those. Some are semi-rants, or bleats about some topic or another. I'm pretty sure that none of my readers are bored because I'm always talking about only one topic. They might be bored because there's a wall of text on a topic they aren't interested in, but that's another issue.

Facebook was next, and that was a bit of a struggle for me. I'm up to 141 "friends". I'm seriously contemplating exactly what I use Facebook for. I've loved getting caught up with cousins, and staying caught up with some people that don't blog much anymore. But as I noted in my linked blog post above, I've got some issues. Every now and then I go through my settings and make sure I've got things nailed down. Most of the time my rule about Facebook friends is that it's someone I'd go to lunch or coffee with, and that I don't mind them reading what I post, and I don't mind reading what they post. I know most of the people, or knew them at one point. But I am considering culling the list a bit, though rumors of changes to the newsfeed might make me change my mind.

In order, what I like to read on FB is what my friends post for themselves. News of what's happening in their lives. Photos of cute kids, or beaches, or race photos. Or even just a pretty sunset, I've been guilty of that. It might be banal to others, but that's ok.
Reposts are a mixed bag. One particular buddy is a treasure trove of good stuff, interesting photos and links that I often follow. Other reposts, like the stupid intelligence tests to pick a word meeting some criteria, or the math test, or the number of squares, I wish I could make them go away. Forever. Same for forward this if you love your mother, or put x in your status if you love dogs, and all that sort of crap. I'm getting crankier about that, and too much will lead to being unfriended.
I don't play any games on Facebook, and won't respond to invitations. I'm very, very suspicious of third party apps.

I've read about Facebook getting less popular. Kids are moving to other social media sites to do their thing, away from what they see as their parents thing. Many people are pissed about the changes to privacy settings, and the data ownership issues. Some want to get back to interacting with their real friends. Others are pissed at the advertising.

Twitter had me baffled for a long time. What could you say in 140 characters? I've come around now. It's such a great way of getting news I don't read the paper anymore, and don't listen to the news on the radio. My only criteria for following someone on Twitter is that they have tweets that interest me. That might be because it's news, or they are witty, or it's a notice they've blogged and I follow their blog. Just because you follow me is no guarantee I'll follow you. Most of my tweets are notice that I've blogged, short things I want to say on Facebook, or (semi-) witty responses to what other people say.

I flirted briefly with Google+, but I'm kind of pissed at Google these days, and besides, didn't like it. I do have a Flikr account, but it's mainly where I put images for my blog because the linked Picassa account for Blogger seems to be full. I haven't got around to any of the other zillion social media sites. I'm just not that social a guy, I guess.

There is a growing push to recognize that people legally own their own data, their personal information, their photographs, their text, whatever else they've created, and not the company that provided a social media site. The media sites will hate it, of course, but too bad. There is also a push to punish privacy breaches. It's one thing to have some new and diabolically clever attack succeed, but quite another to have some script kiddy assault get results. That should be punished.

Part of it is the prevention of identity theft, and part of it is simply good practice. Part of the onus is on people themselves, since most of us are very bad at choosing passwords. It's hard to create an endless series of passwords that are easy to remember, easy to type on a variety of devices, and yet are hard to guess. I can't help but think that eventually we will get DNA analyzers in all our devices. They work when we hold them, and don't when someone else holds them. Perhaps there needs to be a 'keep working for x seconds button' so we can let others look at photos, or make a phone call.

In most ways I like the social media world. We're still figuring out how it works, and lots of people have been burned by it, and that's too bad. There's a story I like to tell about a young woman I once worked with. She was photographed on the Red Mile screaming her lungs out during a Flames game. That photo was put up on an early social media site where people modified the images, and reposted them, sometimes with comments. I was looking at this one morning, wondering if it was her. I got the guy across the hall to come and look, and sent her an email with the link. We're looking, and can't decide, when we heard this scream from down the hall. It was her. She came running in to ask how to get it taken down, and was very disappointed to learn that it was essentially impossible, that once an image is on the internet it's effectively there forever. She got a really thoughtful look when told that many women had had the same experience, only they didn't have their shirts on. I am sure that some poor kid somewhere is going through hell because a NSFW photo was posted in Snapchat, and someone screen shotted it while it was still alive, then posted the screen shot. All these social media tools are just that, tools for interaction. Our other tools have various safety features, but lost of people lost limbs to power tools before the safety features were worked out. Play safe, my friends.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lived in, or cluttered

While on vacation we spent some time in the evening watching cable television. This is a rare thing for us, since we don't have it at home. Wipeout is even funnier on the big screen. I nearly peed myself a couple times, restraining myself that there must be some major injuries coming out of that show. Still, they signed up for it.

The major part of the TV diet was HGTV. We got a big kick out of the Property Brothers, and international house hunters. Love it or List it was fun a few times, then got tiresome. There were a few others that were more of the same.

As some of you know, I'm a big fan of the lived in look. We live in our homes. The stuff we use daily should be close to hand. Things like the several books on the go, mobile devices, wine, cookies, that sort of thing. Art on the walls and elsewhere helps make a home comfortable. Cats especially make a home more comfortable, and cat toys make cats happy.

The one thing that became clear from HGTV is that trying to sell a home means being death on clutter. Every show said it, get rid of the clutter. Some of the homes that I thought were nicely lived in, or maybe trending a bit to the clutter side were castigated as being just this side of a catastrophe. Or a dump, which it was in a few cases. I reassure myself that all of it is staged.

Still, I've been looking around our house. The upstairs I think would be termed lived in, more or less, depending on what day of the week it is. Downstairs I've been saying is clutter. Out and out clutter. I've had to wade through it, move it, stack it, try to find stuff in it and otherwise face it. Where, exactly, is the line between lived in and cluttered? I thought most of the for sale homes on the shows, or even the new look to be unbearably sterile. That's just gross.

Our whole society is based around things. Getting more of them. Better things. Bigger things. Meaning we also need bigger houses to put stuff in. Bigger garages to store extra stuff in. Rental storage facilities for even more stuff. Our society is drowning in stuff. Clutter, most of it. I'm struggling with what to do with the pieces of it that are technologically driven. Specifically, books. We have a ton of them. Probably a metric ton. Seriously. If you gave me a few minutes to look some stuff up, I could tell you about how many, but I don't really want to know. I'me guessing on the order of 4000 books down in the basement. Some of the oldest are nearly 100 years old, and falling apart, the pages oxidizing. I doubt they're actually worth anything.

Tell me, what does one do with a complete Encyclopedia Brittanica? This is probably 5 cubic feet of high quality paper that will never be looked at again while it's in my basement. Why would I? Why would anyone? Seriously, what do people do with them?

When we had to tidy up for house painting, I moved all the CD's downstairs. I don't know how many there are. Hundreds, maybe a thousand. I don't know. Most of them are in the computer, and unless I get screwed over on some digital rights thing, those CD's will never see laser light again. It's the digital rights thing that worries me, so I'm not in a rush to get rid of them. However, in the mean time it's just clutter.

Trip souvenirs are a good source of clutter. I brought home a couple T shirts, a hat to keep the sun off my ears, a glass octopus to replace the one Celina broke. There was no end of stuff I could have brought home. At least digital photos take up no space.

My first day back to the office entailed finding it. I was moved during vacation, and I move again on Friday. Sigh. I like this office very much, and I know unless something dramatic changes, I will not like my next office much at all.

My heel and knee are very cranky today. I stretched them yesterday and did a good core workout in the evening. If I was ambitious, I'd do that tonight, but don't go holding your breath waiting for me.

It was suggested to me that the reason Curtis likes to "help" me type is that he wants to start a blog. I'm not so sure about this, and he's being coy upon being put to the question. He undoubtedly has opinions, just not sure a blog is the right forum.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

No sympathy, I expect

We are home. The cats are pleased with us. It's snowing and cold out. I'm feeling a bit of weather whiplash. Good thing I don't have to run today. Our last morning in Bermuda I woke up to this. No filtering or editing here. Just the photo.

IMG_3111

While we were waiting in Toronto for our delayed flight, a buddy reminded me of Air Canada's motto, "We're not happy till you're not happy." Though I do have to say they got us home eventually, even if the baggage delivery here was even slower than Vancouver. The extra carry on bag, the one with fragile stickers all over it, was about the third item off the belt with the regular stuff. So much for going and collecting it with the over sized. At least everything survived. Now to experiment on making Rum Swizzles.

I ended up taking 470 photos in Bermuda. Some of them look really nice on screen, much nicer than how Blog Press shows them in Blogger. So I may be redoing some of them. Pardon me if you think you've seen them before, but some are really good, and haven't been done justice. Most of the ones I put up will probably have some tweaking done.

What follows should be a video I shot in Horseshoe Bay. Let's find out if this works via Flikr. If not I can go back to You Tube, I guess.


While on vacation I discovered some spam comments actually sneaking onto my blog. I've tweaked some settings that should prevent anonymous posters. I hope that doesn't block anyone from actually posting. It shouldn't, since all anonymous was spam, and all the real comments were from people I know, or recognize their names. If there is a problem please let me know somehow, via the twitter button, Facebook, or plain old email. If I must I'll go back, and turn on comment moderation for all posts, not just the older ones. I take pride in my blog, and have some of the finest commenters around, so I don't want to dilute their efforts. I've already made a bit of a round catching up on comments on other people's blogs. I've missed doing that.

Back to regular blogging, whatever that is. First there was the month of one word blogs in February. Then a bunch of vacation blogs. Now back to the regular world. I was thinking a lot about vacations and my working life. My buddy Alan once said, "I strive to schedule my work the way most people schedule their vacation." We are already thinking about our next vacation, though quite a bit depends on exactly how this project goes, and if I get renewed or not. Linda is researching Copenhagen, I'm looking at Iceland, and plan on feeding my buddies Mike and Julie tea and cookies while interrogating them about Cozumel. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Temporarily frazzled

I remember when airline travel was fun. Traveling home on (gag choke) Air Canada, I've been stuck over and over again by all the stupidity inherent in the system.

Frazzled at the moment because I could take two bottles of rum onto the pane from Bermuda, yet not in my carry on from Toronto to Calgary. I should have put it in our checked bags during the 5 minute window of opportunity.

We wend our way through the maze, till the security guy hauls them out and says its unsafe to take liquids onto the airplane. There they are in a Bermuda duty free bag, with the receipt, right off the plane. Since my checked bag is deep in the bowels of the system, I had to give it up, or go back and check in my carry on bag. For an extra bag fee of $20 to add insult to injury. I was seriously afraid my red sweaty face was going to trigger some quota seeking guard. Sure enough I had to do the extra check. Linda was waiting for me with rolled eyes. Good think we had lots of time. At least they put a fragile sticker on it. I wonder if I'll see it again at the other end. At least I remembered to take out my iPad.

Nice lunch for an airport. Now waiting for our flight. Better than a night at the airport hotel like last year. Still wondering how long they will continue with the stupid no electronics rule. Wondering who could possibly 'breathe normally' if the masks drop out during flight. Watching the cabin crew struggle through handing out food and drinks via a very poor process. Glad that planes do exist to get us around. Getting to Bermuda by train and ship from Calgary would take the better part of a week.

Missing our kitties. Can't wait to get home.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, March 15, 2013

Last full day here

Another perfect day here. Perfect for lazing on the deck, strolling around town a bit, lying in the hammock, and now, sitting in a shady spot. Thinking back on how much we've enjoyed this vacation, even if we do miss our furrballs.

The bus stops are marked by poles, and the colour tells you which side of the road to stand on. Sometimes it's easy to get turned around. Pink poles are for girls going to Hamilton to shop.



Blue poles are for boys tired from shopping in Hamilton.



These are the bus stops we've used the most, and if it looks like we're standing on the street, we are. If it looks like there is a wall that prevents any escape from traffic, they do. Travel here is a bit of an act of faith. This is the main road going into St. George's, and I'm pretty sure some of the bike paths in Calgary are wider. There is no margin for error on the roads here, which is why we haven't rented a motor scooter or used the apartment bikes.

I could cope with a scooter. I could cope with driving on the wrong side of the road. I could cope with narrow twisty streets and navigating on the fly in busy traffic. I'm pretty sure I could cope with any two of those. All three together are right off my list of adventurous things to try.

I like this signpost to tell you who lives on this street.



While I'm barefoot at the moment, here's the pile of my shoes by the door.



Bermuda's architecture is nice, with some odd twists. This looks like a resort hotel, but I think it's actually an office building.



Here's what the Hamilton waterfront looks like.



We are going to be sad to go, especially since the weather is finally getting nicer here and is crap in Calgary. I've taken about 400 photos this time, many of which are near duplicates. There are some videos as well. Once home I might clean up some of them and tell some more stories. Tomorrow is a travel day so I probably won't have much to say, though there is a 3 hour wait in Toronto and wireless access.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Beach running in paradise

Just so you know. I'm on the deck as the sun is going past the hill.



It's warm, with only the gentlest of breezes. There is a glass of wine just out of that photo. Dinner was superb. I'm happy. Let me tell you how I got that way.

I didn't intend to run today. Right heel, left knee, and left hip were all cranky this morning. I figured a day off was ok. Then on the way into Hamilton it turned into a perfect day, warm, sunny, gentle breeze. The ride in on the bus was exhilarating. Hardly anyone on it and the driver was really good. We think she was trying to set a record. At one point she pulled out and passed a car. No kidding. This is a first for me. We shopped a bit for the last time, and picked up more chocolaty goodness from the market.

The gentle walk and the nice day got me in the mood to run on a beach. As soon as I was home I changed and headed out. Ran very easy over to the beach by Ft. St. Catherine. Heel and knee still a bit cranky, but feeling better as I got going. Still a perfect day. Stripped off my shoes and socks. Started running back and forth, sometimes easy, sometimes hard, sometimes soft sand, sometimes packed sand, sometimes splashing in the water, sometimes not. A small family played on the beach and dabbled in the water.

A girl looking a bit like Sara Gross joined me shortly after starting. I thought she was nuts to be running in shoes, but every lap she headed up the driveway to the fort. I know from experience that pavement is really rough for bare feet. I walked through the water every 4 or 5 laps, then ran more, in perfect sunny weather. Warm enough to sweat, but not hot.

Eventually I got rid of everything but shorts, and put on my swim goggles. After getting wet I practiced beach transitions. It was near low tide. There's a bit of a shallow beach shelf knee deep, then it goes to chest deep or so quite quickly. I dashed in, dived, and swam hard maybe 50 m. Probably not as much as 100 m. It is the ocean and no lifeguard. Next stop is the Azores. Swam in hard, found the shallow bit, and burst out of the water to sprint up the beach. Ocean water tastes great!

I did that a few times, having fun. As I got out, she got in and swam back and forth. I didn't feel the need to actually distance swim so I ran easy to dry off a bit. Stretched. Walked. Chatted with her a bit when she got out. Turns out she's a Canadian teaching here, and this is her routine when it's nice enough. I did some stretching yoga on the beach. It's amazing to do yoga with a gentle surf background. Back bends are the most amazing thing ever when you're looking up into a clear blue sky.

Ran very easy back to the house. Not springy but feeling like I could go quite a while. However I knew the crankiness was still there and didn't push it. Chatted with Linda about future vacation plans. Rinsed off. Sipped wine. BBQd some beef tenderloin steaks in a custom Linda marinade, and had them with rice pilaf, veggies, and a simple salad.

Now you understand why I'm so happy? Oh, and here's the view just past the iPad, right this very second, not even standing up, lazy carcass that I am.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A historical day

No, nothing to do with the new Pope that was just announced. Until a Pope starts doing something to correct the centuries of misogyny and child abuse they've been handing out as institutional practice, they will continue being irrelevant to the modern world.

Today we wandered through Fort St. Catherine. I wasn't sure what to expect, and even my most expansive anticipations were blown away. This place is amazing. Some of you may have seen photos of it from the outside, brooding over a beach I have run on several times. It's bigger on the inside.

We spent much of the afternoon there. Victorian engineering in general interests me, as does various military hardware. What can I say, I'm a guy, and most guys are interest in things that can go Boom!

There are a lot of forts in Bermuda to defend against various threats over the centuries. Trying to take this one would take some doing. There's actually 3 forts close together, this one, and up on the hill above it, Fort St. Albert, and Fort Victoria. We walked past their ruins, and even that was impressive.

Bermuda has spent quite a bit of money restoring the fort. If you are interested in artillery and British imperial history, this a must visit. They have all sorts of cannon and other artillery pieces on display. There is a huge case full of various pre-WWI small arms. There are several displays of British crown jewelry on display.

You can walk through almost all the fort, from the gunpowder and shell rooms in the bowels, up to the top of the keep. The view is amazing. There is a ton of information about the life of people working in the fort, all extremely well presented. There are several models showing how the fort developed over the years.

I got a whole new appreciation for the engineering skills required to construct such a building given the materials and equipment at hand. Many of the history books talk about the various macro aspects of the empire. This fort makes it clear just how well organized it was. They talk about what people ate, how it was prepared, how they lived. Each barrel of gunpowder was numbered and tracked. There was a system, and rules to be followed.

We both thought our time today was very well spent. Here's a few photos of the day. These two keep following us around. That guy with the sunglasses looks pretty sinister, doesn't he?















A 360 degree shot. You'll have to embiggen it to make any sense of it.


A small part of the small arms display. Don't be put off by the paneling.





Linda exploring the depths. Surprisingly, this wasn't the least bit claustrophobic.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Soft, pink, ankle deep sand

It's just killing me that I can't really comment on blogs using the iPad. Blogger has eaten many, but a few get through, and I don't know why. So if you're thinking I don't love you anymore because I'm not commenting, it's not true. Reading lots, and gnashing my teeth at all the witty comments going to nothingness.

Back to the beach today. We started at Horseshoe Bay and slowly worked our way along. There are rock outcroppings that create smaller private beaches. Sometimes you can wade around to them, sometimes you have to walk some sandy trails to get there.

There were a few more people today, but the majority of them appeared to be one herd of college kids. We walked to the end, and kept going one past where we got last time. We had it to ourselves. After a bit of running in the soft sand, I swam a bit, and tried snorkeling, but the water was too turbid to see anything. The water was much warmer than any of the triathlons I've done, even if the locals think its way too cold to even wade in.

It was very relaxing. We strolled on and eventually made it to Warwick beach. Even fewer people. Softer, deeper sand. We loved it. Eventually we emerged and headed back to the house as the clouds were getting darker and it was starting to cool off.

Some lightly processed photos for you.









- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, March 11, 2013

Seals, otters, and octopuses!

The tower has stopped singing. The clouds aren't moving so much. The rain has stopped. The run this morning was the longest yet here, about 75 minutes. Warm and sunny. Drank coffee on the deck after.

Our adventure today was the Aquarium and Zoo. It's surprising large, with the expected marine creatures local to Bermuda. But there are also exhibits from Madagascar, the Caribbean, and Australia. The octopus has some toys on a string to play with; I just wished I was on the other end of the string. We watched the 4 seals for a while, though the mother was just working on her tan. The pair of river otters were delightful, as otters always are. Watched them for a while too. There is an alligator that they said didn't eat this time of year, but he had a bit of a gleam in his eye as he looked at me.

We wandered around Flatts Landing a bit, then into Hamilton. Goodies. Visited with a friend of a friend. Home for bison burgers on the BBQ.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Another writing day, some of it on deck

Lots of rain this morning, though by the afternoon the winds were dropping and there was some sunshine. Naturally, I spent part of it out by the pool, writing. We had a hard night last night, watching 3 or 4 episodes of Wipeout. I love the squawks the women let out as they get whapped into the water by some rotating implement.

Here's more of the raw novel snippet.

'Thats good. Now keep in mind that people will see different things, that's true even where we come from. You see x, a fairly utilitarian space. I see a much more comfortable space, quite a bit bigger.'
'How can we be seeing such different things, even down to room size?'
He smiled. 'Here's the secret. If you are here, you are helping to create it. You yourself at the moment, not so much. That's how they know you and Les didn't really belong. But since you were here at all, there was the chance you could learn. Some people stumble in, and manage to learn enough on their own, though the odds are not good. As long as you're with me, nobody will look twice at you. Well, the human guys might, but that's different.
'We didn't create this, and we don't know how old it is. It's introduced to us during our training. When we knew there was a soft spot here, we really pushed to move onto your plant grounds. Getting into your old facility was perfect for us. Once we knew we had the space, we added that bit of tunnel to connect up.'
'You didn't actually dig it, I get that. How would think it into existence?'
'Lets walk before running. Are you done your coffee? Lets take a bit of a walk. Dirty dishes go here.'
'Do I dare ask who does the dishes? And the cooking?'
He grinned. 'That you have to have to ask tells me more about you. Lets go this way.' He walked her across the room. 'Are you seeing where we're going?'
'Not yet, though that wall is further away than I thought. Hey, where did that stairway come from?'
'It was always there. Lets go up. After you.'
Dwen started up the spiral stairway. They couldn't walk beside each other, but neither was it a really tight spiral where you had to pay attention to where you put your feet. 'How far up?'
'You'll know when you get there.'
Dwen paused to look over the railing. Somehow after two turns she couldn't really make out the cafeteria anymore, or even the walls. It all seemed to fade into fog. 'So is the fog normal, or am I limited again?'
'Well, this one is foggy to some extent. Ah, here we are.' He reached past Dwen to rap on a nice wooden door, then opened it. They walked into a plain stone walled hallway, turned right, and a few steps brought them to a large open room dominated by a Buddha statue. He bowed to a monk sweeping the floor, and after a brief pause Dwen did the same.
Outside that room was a nice balcony. Dwen gasped at the view. 'Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.'

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Some dressed up photos

Normally, wind resistance is not an issue during a run. Normally doesn't apply during gale force winds. The weather tower was singing all night long. It sounds much like a jet airliner as it comes in to land. Running along the ocean this morning was a bit like running up a steep hill. Leaning forward and pushing hard. At one point the headwind nearly stopped me mid stride.

Ran about 40 minutes, through town to Gates Fort, up to Ft Catharine, and back via Kyber Pass road. Started by limbering up and running really easy, and then pushing fairly hard when it felt good for a nice run. Walked to cool down, just missed some rain. Lots of stretching after.

There are some tall ship sailing school in port. I've chatted with a couple people from them. Today we walked down the hill to look at the ships close up, then stocked up on supplies. (Wink, wink.) Most of the rain has been quick showers, but just as we got home it settled in.

We are otherwise taking it easy today. I've spent a bit of time playing with Snapseed to clean up the photos, but not push them over the edge into art. The first one is of course Linda sitting at a little picnic area in Coney Island, mostly out of the wind.



Different parts of Horseshoe bay.





Looking along the coastline.


There people up in the rigging doing something in preparation for their departure on Sunday. Their next port of call is the Azores.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, March 8, 2013

The lash of salt spray

It's still very windy here. I got a bunch more writing done last night and this morning, even if I couldn't do it outside. We had a long discussion about what to do today. Over coffee. Watching a few showers zoom through. After sleeping in a bit. My legs are feeling a little cranky so I didn't run first thing. Or any thing. Maybe tomorrow.

We were watching morning television after the weather report. There is a guy selling workout DVDs called Insanity. No equipment, just a bazzillion isometric exercises done at high intensity. They said you'd be well on your way to being ripped in 2 months. It looked tough. Even though I'd like to expose my shy and retiring 6 pack, I didn't order the video.

Eventually we headed off and ended up at the Swizzle Inn. Can you picture a combination of a grilled cheese sandwich and fish and chips? Now I can. As near as I can tell they batter and fry the fish, then pop it onto an open grilled cheese with tomato, then close it all up. It's huge, and delicious. Look at the name of the place if you want to know what we powered down a half pitcher of.

From there we wandered out and spent some time on the railway trail again. We wandered through Ducks Puddle Park, then Coney Island Park. This left us completely exposed to the wind and sea spray at times. Wind that nearly knocked me off my feet a few times. Enough spray we had to clean off our sunglasses several times, and I was licking more salt off my lips than I did during ironman.

Then into Hamilton to pick up some goodies. The Miles Market is a MUST for chocoholics. Pity it's so far from here, but then maybe it's just as well. I think I've lost a bit of weight.

Here's a few more I unretouched photos from today. I often end up taking a bunch of the same shot, hoping the spray will appear, or that I'll be standing still enough, or any number of other photography flaws cancel each other out. There was a 45 second long video of my trying to stop the video. I couldn't see squat on the screen.



That big fort on to of the hill is the Martello fort I ran to the other day. If the rail bed was still there getting home would be a walk in the park. As it is, it took about a 20 minute bus ride and a bit of walking.





A tiny little harbour. That gap in the rocks isn't much wider than the boat. The rock wall was 10 to 15 feet high, I think, and the spray was often coming over top.








A nice column near the market. Clear blue sky's at this point. 20 minutes later there was a brief rain shower.


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