Friday, April 30, 2010


Up 5:15.
Pool 5:30.
Swim. 1 hr . Ugg. Slowest I've swum a timed K in a long time. Water was thick. I felt slow and heavy. Other stuff involving fins and paddles. Still slow. Tried drafting off the other swimmer in the lane, and I couldn't keep up to her for more than a length.

After the swim I found out why I was feeling so heavy. Wish I could have done that before the swim; it would have probably gone better.

Work. Lots of coffee.

A bit of Thursday's core, which all too littered with the words plank and pushups for my liking. It had me spooked yesterday. It had me spooked today. 3 pushups is failure. A minute of plank hurt.

Run. 50 minutes. Ugg. Easy start then harder. Hills. Wind. Heavy feet. Stretch after.

Now 8:12. Finish wine, go to bed.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The sweet spot

We didn't get that much snow delivered to hour home, maybe a few cm at most, but some parts of town got much more. My co-worker measured more than a foot in her driveway. A heavy, wet foot. She stayed home. It wasn't that cold, but there was a lot of snow coming down. It was slowly melting. Running would have been an exercise in wet and heavy, and hoping you wouldn't get hit by a car.

Instead of running outside, I did a hard deep water run for an hour. Nothing more to say about that. Oh, warmed up by swimming 10 minutes. Not fast, but working on really powering through the flip turns.

The bike this evening was weirdly good. Or goodly weird. Warmup was going a bit slow. I could smell the Indian take out we'd brought home. My legs flat out didn't want to go above 110. Standing was better than the other day, but it would have been a struggle to stay with it. My legs didn't want to do any big gear work at all either.

So what did they want to do? Spin at 90 in time trial gear. Part of the first set was to do just that for 5 minutes, then do something else. When I looked at my watch 8 minutes had passed. My breathing was easy, and my heart rate was astonishing. I even sat up to adjust the band. I tried a bit more spin and big gear stuff, and it was no better. So back to TT gear at 90. My legs were happy there. I didn't have to force anything or particularly work at it to stay between 89 and 91. My heart rate settled in at 128 to 130 bpm which is excellent for me doing this. Normally it's 132 to 133 bpm by the time I finish such a set. Did that for 10 minutes and took a break that included a bit of spin up. That went a bit better not worth talking about. Then another 10 minutes of TT, feeling just as good. Sweating a bucket, but breathing easy, and a nice steady heart rate. Nice cool down, with some spin ups to 110. Anything over that was work and getting into jiggly muscles that didn't feel good. 1.25 hours of good solid strong bike, even if I couldn't spin, or push big gears. I'll take it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yet more snow

A jerk nearly spoiled my swim today, but I looked over it. He wasn't worth getting upset about. Just because he's an idiot that doesn't want anyone to pass him, and will speed up to prevent it from happening, even after you've nearly done it. Then he squeezed me into the lane ropes to get out of the way of the third swimmer coming towards him. I thought, briefly, about grabbing him by the foot and punching his lights out, then thought better of it. That particular set was very fast.

Otherwise the swim went really well. Just under an hour. Not quite a half hour of core that I didn't do last night. Yoga as usual.

The snow is falling hard here. There wasn't time for a run, so I'll probably have to make it up with a water run tomorrow. They're saying there might be several inches of snow. But why am I telling you this? If you're interested you can read it yourself. 10 cm is 4 inches, pretty close.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

There was a firm brains/legs talk

It's no secret that I've been disappointed in my biking for most of the last several months. Still not sure why, but I'm getting pissed about it. So tonight I got on the bike, and while doing a good warmup had a firm talk with my legs. I told them I wasn't getting off till the planned ride was done, or they actually failed. I told them I was done getting off because there was a bit of pain. I told them they were going to push through, they had to suck it up, and all that other stuff. I told them that if they could run, they could bike.

1:50 later I got off and stretched. Happy. Sweaty. Legs tired, but feeling pretty good. Took the warm up slow and gentle. One leg drill was good, and I could have gone longer. Then some 20/20's. Main set involved 3x5 min on starting at TT gear or less one. I did the first one in TT -1 just to see how it felt, and then went to TT. The 3x4 min in TT+1 at 85rpm. Then 3x3 minTT+2 at 80, except the last one that I did at 85. Just because.

I won't say my legs felt great throughout. No, there were times they complained and grumbled, but I was in no mood for it. I found I had to concentrate on spinning, and my upper body wasn't as steady as I'd like for most of the ride. Standing sucked big time. My right knee didn't like that at all, right at the top of the pedal stroke. Good thing the plan didn't call for any standing.

The good thing about the ride was looking at my heart rate. It's getting back to where I think it ought to be, and the one minute recovery was consistently about 30 bpm.

Monday, April 26, 2010

There was an audience for my swim today

The swim plan said "go hard." I looked at the lanes. The pool big dog, the one I've nicknamed Mr. Outboard was in the fast lane, and very rightfully so. Another guy was trying hard to keep up and not doing a good job of it. Two slow women were sharing the other fast lane. I thought about "go hard", and got in the lane with the guys.

A brisk warmup showed I could pass the other guy, and he soon retreated to the next faster lane. Just me and Mr. Outboard. Holy crap can this guy swim! My warm up was a bit brisk, and he blew by me. Into the first main set, (4x100 on 2 min desc) and he's still passing me. My fastest 100m was 100 seconds on the nose, and he passed me in one length. I couldn't even stay in his draft. By the time I got to my 50 m intervals I think he was doing cool down because I could keep up and he was doing other strokes. I even passed him while he was doing a kick drill. (woohoo!)He left and Mr. Elegant joined me. He's a tall skinny guy, swims about the same speed as me or a hair faster, and uses fewer strokes doing it. Have I ever said how nice it is to be sharing the lane with people that know what they're doing in a pool?

All the time, I had an audience. Or at least, I could see them, even if nobody else could see them and their stop watches. JA, JS, KB, TW, and KF. You know who you are. All of them watching me swim, making notes, consulting their stopwatches, frowning occasionally, grinning every now and then, and periodically yelling at me to get the lead out of my ass, or get my elbows up, or TUCK AND FLIP dammit!!!!! I'm not sure how they convinced the lifeguards to let them bring in the deck chairs and a big frosty jug of some fruity drink. Yes, with the little umbrellas. I'd suspect there was booze in it from the good time they seemed to be having but some of them are teatotal. They laughed really hard during one length with fins (going hard) where I was trying for a better body position and ended up submerging myself just as I was going to breathe.

I wasn't sure what to think of going for a run. My knee is feeling better, but I was feeling sort of blah. Still, I decided to get'er done, and I'm glad I did. My left calf was a bit tight at first, but I stopped and stretched it a bit, and it was fine after. My knees were fine, as were quads and hams. Everything was fine. It was a fine night for a run, nice and cool, with a bit of a breeze. By Calgary standards of course. The 'Toontown girls would be in booty shorts and jog bra, I was slightly overdressed in tights and long sleeve tech shirt, and my California readers would be in multiple layers. I mean, what's wrong with 8 C (46 F) and a light breeze that has the flags nearly straight out? Walked to warm up, ran easy 10 minutes, and settled into a nice stride for another 35 minutes, then walked some more home. Stretched. Feels pretty good. Now lets see how the Tuesday bike goes. It will almost certainly be indoors since the rest of the week looks like rain. I should have known it was too soon to take the trainer tire off, but it's done.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The annual mint plant trimming

No GQH, "mint plant" is not a euphemism. This is how I know it's spring here. We have a mint plant out front. When it starts sending out new branches it's time to trim off the old ones. And get after the dandylions, and start thinking about mowing the lawn. I'm not sure how wild mint plants cope. We didn't get any tulips at all this year. We have hungry bunnies coming by pretty regular. Or deer, they like tulips too.

I wouldn't call the bike today a failure, but neither was it a good ride. As long as I concentrated on my pedal stroke, and stayed in easy gears it wasn't painful. But if I started pushing instead of spinning, or tried harder gears I started getting right knee pain. Not as bad as the other day, but still enough to dissuade me from doing the pyramid of power my coached scheduled. And no T run either. The plan was to hit the pool for a deep water run instead, but that didn't work out. Stupid pool schedules.

It seems my afternoon workouts are the tough ones. I can get my run or swim done in the morning and that feels pretty good. Getting on the bike in the afternoon is hard, partly because I'm tired from work, and partly because I don't know what to expect. It's easier to get going on a workout if you have every reason to expect it to be a pretty good one, or at least a normal one. But I've had so many bike workouts go bad it's like I'm expecting them to go bad on me now. Which makes me less eager to get at them. It's odd that the run is going well again, and the spin isn't. I'd have though the various leg pains would be more punishing during the run. I'm going to have to think about this.

Weekly Summary
Swim 3.0 hours
Bike 2.5 hrs
Run 1.5 hrs
Walk 1.0 hrs
Cardio total 8.0
Core/stretching 2.5 hrs
Total 10.5 hrs

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Friday swim was early. The pool opens at 5:30 and I was in the water at 5:35 for an hour and 5 minutes, plus some stretching at the end. The first main set was 800 m alternating easy and hard, 25, 50, 75, 100, 75, 50, 25. Then the whole thing over again, this time with fins. That turned out to be 2 minutes faster. It was fun watching the girl in the next lane trying to keep up. She normally swims a bit quicker than me, even if I'm pushing it. During the easy fin sets she wasn't dropping behind very fast. At the end she said she loved chasing faster people, even if they are wearing fins, as it makes her think about her stroke and try a little harder. I was sharing the lane with a guy I met at swim camp last year. Then another guy joined us. As long as it was the two of us I could pass whenever I liked, but it got a bit tricky with 3.

My knee is still giving me what for on Friday evening, and I was beat, so I went to bed early. Like 8am.

I'm counting today's half hour brisk walk through Costco dodging cart wielding geezers as a workout. Picked up a big box of Clif's bars at $3 off, which works out to $11.99 for 18 bars, or 66 cents per bar. Way cheaper than MEC at $1.40 last time I looked. MEC has wider flavour choice, though.

Here's what I spent most of the time looking at this winter, sitting on Estela.

Here's the next most popular view of the basement.

Lastly, here's the view outside at 5pm today.

My knee is gradually feeling better. I'd been hoping for a ride outside tomorrow, but what with the snow, and this forecast, I think I'll be on the trainer again. 8 C is 46.4 F.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A confession

Not the toes! I'll talk! Anything but the ice cold toes! Please!!!! I tell you whatever you want to know!
(There's a story there too.)

Some of you do pay attention after all, at least some of the time. In fact, I DO mouse left handed. Trackball and trackpad to. I'm versatile that way. I learned how because I once was doing some work comparing paper to electronic documents, and it got very convenient to mouse with one hand and check things off on paper with the other. I suppose I could have done the check marks with my left hand and moused with my right, but then it would be difficult to read the paper upside down.

Sigh. I guess I'm going to have to explain that too. When I was writing with my left hand it was easier to do it upside down and from right to left. Less ink smearing. Not that writing left handed was much neater than right handed, so it turned out some of my relatives were wrong when they said that nothing could be messier than my writing. Since it was my writing they were complaining about it shouldn't matter which hand was used. The fortuitous invention of computers has meant that when I do any substantial amount of writing it's going to happen with a keyboard. My marginal at best handwriting has diminished into a scrawl that even I can barely decipher. The last serious amount of handwriting was done onto a slate, which bizarrely enough could recognize my handwriting better than my printing.

ANYWAYS. Just to confuse IT people everywhere that see the mouse on the left side of the keyboard, I leave the buttons oriented for the dexter among you. I get a giggle out of watching people briefly try mousing with the left, and then moving it to the right. Then I boggle their brains by using it right handed as well. Which I do with other things. When I took up golf I had to try both sides to figure out which way worked better. I golf the opposite way to most people most of the time, (not quite as strong by a few yards but much straighter) but I'm not above borrowing a 5 iron if there is a tree in the way. Not that I golf well, or much. I used to be able to play tennis with either hand, and tried once with two racquets but the serve was kind of tough. I haven't played tennis in more than 30 years so I have no idea if I still can. Lets see. On the bike I drink with my right hand because I'm better driving a bike with my left hand. I just make sure I'm not likely to need the brakes in a hurry. Same with driving a car. Most tool use is right handed because most tools are designed that way, some less subtly than others. Lets see how long you keep your fingers running a circular saw left handed. For a while when I was doing a lot of numeric entry I taught myself to use the keypad left handed and that was handy using a USB keypad on a laptop. When my right elbow was broken I didn't mind brushing my teeth or shaving left handed but mostly do it right handed. I pretty much run on auto-pilot in the morning, as Linda could tell you.

I've always found it hard to answer if I'm right or left handed. It depends on the task. Some I'm better with left, others with right. Sometimes it depends on the circumstances, where it might be easier to reach in to a tight space with one hand rather than the other. I suppose most people would consider me somewhat right hand dominant.

So am I weird? Most people that know me say yes. I'm being honest here. Even the ones that don't are either weird the same way themselves so it doesn't count, or they're lying to me for some reason. Enough of this. I'm procrastinating about doing core. Onwards.

The run this morning was super! Started at the east side of the pedestrian bridge, ran all the way down to the north support for Memorial Drive and back in 45:30. Mostly easy, but some going harder. The sun was just coming up and the temperature was perfect for running.

During the day I banged my right knee against my desk. It's in a cube farm designed for midgets. I don't have enough leg room and one of the squares of rug is loose and attacks my feet. Oh the humanity!

That banged knee came back to haunt me during the bike. The half hour of core was not-so-subtly altered to try to loosen up my back. Wall sit was right out; a few seconds of that had my knee screaming. Plank and pushups were a shambles. The rest was ok.

The warmup on the bike took forever, and my knee gradually complained more and more. I tried standing to stretch it out and nearly fell over. After that it hurt more, so I gave up and iced it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One of those swims

Most of the time it felt like I was swimming slow, yet when I checked the time for the various sets it was about normal. Which was sort of weird. Concentrated on stroke, especially elbows. My new job has a lot of mousing in SAP, so my left shoulder is killing me. Swim is the only thing that feels good for it. Just over an hour in the pool.

No time for a run today. I think I'm going to have to adjust my schedule. No point planning a run if there isn't time. I'll run from work in the am.

Yoga was good, in a groin opening way. Time for bed.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

That did not go as well as I had hoped

It was beautiful out there today. All I heard from people at work was how nice it was, as they came in from whatever they had been doing. I'd got to work early, and worked through most of my lunch so I could get home early. I had decided to take the trainer tire off and give Estela some fresh air.

Changing the tire went ok. I thought. Even though I was really careful, the back tire went flat just before the bride over Fish Creek. I'm guessing a pinch flat. This is on the second time I've changed a tire in the wild, and this was just as frustrating as the first time. I got everything back together, but then the CO2 cartridge would not fire. I pushed and pushed, and nothing. I ended up using the stupid pump, and only got the tire hard enough to get home. Of course, 30 seconds later I had hard tires again.

In the mean time, it had been a really gusty ride, and I could feel how rusty my bike handling was. Riding the hybrid is not the same. I was getting pushed around all over the road and having to work pretty hard to stay out of the gravel. There is no shortage of gravel and crap on the sides of the road.

After pumping the tire I decided to ride around the neighbourhood and get tuned in. Geez the roads are crappy here. I nearly got taken out twice by inattentive drivers. One didn't even look as he rolled into the intersection, then stopped. The other was merging onto the road I was on. He was looking right at me, but I don't think his brain actually registered me. I was already starting to move toward the middle of the road and slowing down when I could see the light bulb turn on. Between the flat, the drivers, the wind, and my rust skills I figured I was tempting fate to continue.

Throughout the ride I was getting weird transient pains in my calves, knees, and one new one in my right hip flexor. And this is for an easy short ride! An hour, tops. I'm going to take the attitude that the first of everything is the hard one, and next time will be better. I was driving right past MEC last night, if I'd known this was going to happen I'd have stopped and got more tubes and cartridges. I hate going out with less than two tubes and cartridges. Now I get to see if I can find and patch the hole. What fun.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I frightened some small children

There I was, running along, but wait, lets begin at the beginning.

Swim plan had all the toys again. Pull, paddles, kick board, fins. What I didn't have was a watch. The pace clock is set so that only the geezers and the farsighted can see it. So I'm pretty sure the swim was about an hour. Not much more, or much less. It went well, with the two other people sharing the lane getting out of the way as needed. To be fair, when I'm doing kick, I'm the one getting out of the way. Talk about pathetically slow. I took my rest breaks by either counting slowly, or leaving just before the other swimmers got there.

It's a beautiful day out, 20 C (68 F) which for all intents and purposes is perfect. Lots of people are out, enjoying the summer weather. We have to take it while we can. Walked 10 minutes, then started running easy. Things didn't feel quite as light as on Sunday, but still much better than recently. It took quite a while to settle into a pace. About 15 minutes into the run, there is a large school ground, with the path next to the fence line for homes. I can feel things brewing, and suddenly let out an enormous belch. Seriously, I'm sure there was an echo from the school wall. Almost instantly after, there was two kids peering over the fence. I think they were standing on a trampoline or something. They asked "was that you?"
Nope, it was my dog. Sorry if he scared you.
"You don't have a dog mister!"
Not any more I don't.
They looked horrified.

I grinned to myself the rest of the run. There go two messed up kids. Yahoo! Confusion to the enemy. My stride felt much better after that.

Ran 45 minutes, mostly strong and feeling good. No idea how far. There were a few minutes I faded, and the way back wasn't quite as fast. I was maybe 50 m from my starting point. Walked 10 minutes home, stretched.

And yes Deb I know it's you. Miss your blog. Hope to see lots of comments.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Holy Brick Batman!

Sat is my rest day. I'm pretty firm about not working out. I considered catching up on the swim and run I missed, but decided not to. I did run a little anyway. Just a little. I zoomed down Road to Nepal (car, not bike), and found Julie slogging up the last hill to 549. I parked and walked down the hill so she could see me coming, and not think some anonymous Chester the Molester was coming to get her. I don't have a cow bell, so I yelled out that I was clanking it loud, and that she needed to push push push, and that she's almost done, just the "easy" way back to her car was left. I ran beside her for a minute. She's a very focused girl and I don't think she realized anyone was there for a few seconds. She nibbled a bar and transfered water around and chatted. Quick hug and she was off again. Lots more to go since she'd started late. I had thought of joining her, but I'm not quite ready for that ride yet, given the evidence of riding home from work on Friday. I can't wait to take Jenna down the Road. (Let me know when you're coming!)

It had to happen sooner or later, and I guess today was the day. I hadn't thought the breakthrough would happen today, since my legs felt a bit tired over the weekend.

Short core session, about 20 minutes or a little more, including doing more pushups (+2) than the plan. More and deeper squats than usual. Slightly longer plank than the plan. But at the end of the plank one can meditate on each individual digit in the thousandths of a second, so any extra is good.

Onto the bike feeling strong doing the warmup. Added one leg drill that was not in the plan. During the spin ups I was overjoyed to see my spin legs are back!! (Woohoo!) There were three spin up sessions for 30 seconds each. The first was 120, the second was 130, and I decided to go balls out on the last and see what happened. 168. Yes indeed. This my friends, is the best I've done for MONTHS!!! Even sitting at 120+ felt good. I could stay there, and then spin up even faster, with very little back fat jiggling, sympathetic vibrations or resonance. You can bet I'm happy given how recently I couldn't hardly get over 100 rpm.

The rest of the workout went equally well. I was spending some time in TT gear. Even a week ago that was right out. Today I settled in, and stayed there longer than the plan. Well, only a minute longer. My lungs were good, but my heart rate was still a bit higher than I'd like it to be. The bike was 1.75 hrs.

One minute transition. Shoes, hat, key, kiss Linda, go. The run felt good right from the start. There was a slight niggle in my left calf, but that went away in less than 500 m. Ran easy, trying for a nice stride. To my astonishment the first K was 6 minutes, not even trying! Haven't done that in a long time. Picked it up at the half way point, and went a hair strong as I had to back off a bit about the 2.5 K mark, but finished strong. 3 K, 17 minutes flat, and ran easy a few minutes to bring it up to the 20 minutes planned. Walked. Chatted with neighbour briefly. Stretched. Nibbled. Blogged. Buddies Cath and Jason coming to visit in a bit. They timed it perfectly. There are fresh warm cookies to be had.

Weekly Summary
Swim 2.0 hrs
Bike 4.25 hrs
Run 0.6 hrs
DWR 0.75 hrs
Walk 0.3 hrs
Core 2.5 hrs
Cardio total 8.0 hrs
Workout total 10.5 hrs

If I have a good week, and the weather is nice, next weekend might see Estela with her road tire back on, out in the sunshine. She was giving me a bit of a hard time about being indoors today.

Friday, April 16, 2010

First outdoor ride of 2010

Poor Estela is still chained to the trainer. I don't like taking her on bike paths, and the pavement is pretty bad in places on this route home. There is still a ton of grit to be careful of. You saw that map a few days ago, though today I went the other way around the zoo, and the path is open around the south end of Stampede park. It was a beautiful day for a ride, though it got a bit windy toward the end. I took my time, mostly just riding along. The speed limit on the paths is 20 Kph, and that's pretty much my average speed. Some places you're stupid or prescient if you're doing more than 10 Kph. Like going under Elbow Drive at the west end of Stanley Park. The scenery is great already, even so early in the year! I didn't keep track of the time exactly, but it was a hair under 1.5 hours, which is about right.

My kneecaps felt a bit stiff and creaky toward the end of the ride. I think I'm sitting just a little shorter on the hybrid, and I'm pretty sure the cranks aren't quite the same length. Stretched my legs, and decided going for a run isn't the best idea. So far this week I'm down a swim, run, and core session, and I'm tired anyways. I might try to sneak in a swim tomorrow, on what is supposed to be my rest day. Or maybe I'll take the hybrid out for another ride since its supposed to be so nice. Or I might "rest" and do a bunch of stuff with wine bottling. And laundry. And yard stuff. My neighbours are already starting, even though there is supposed to be unspoken agreement that you don't have to do anything to your yard till the May long weekend, since it's still likely to snow again.

What is it with people? Keep right is the standard, yes? About half the people on the paths (runners, joggers, walkers, skaters, and bikers) were on the left side of the paths, shambling along. I thought I was going to have a head on collision at one spot. One geezer scared the crap out of me. He's walking along where he should be, on the right side of the path. I honk the shark (no GQH that isn't some perversion, it's my version of a bike bell) and he looks over his left shoulder while turning left into the middle of the path and took two steps to end up in the middle of the left side. Which was where I was aiming to pass. All the while he had this amiably bewildered expression on his face. It's like he's never been passed by a bike before. Or maybe he doesn't remember it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I think Susi left her gerbil behind, and the damn thing came here to live for a while. It has been evicted, and can look elsewhere for someone to give it a hookah pipe. My brain has been in overdrive the last little while, absorbing a ton of stuff for work, finishing off the paper, figuring out schedule options for workouts, and a few other things. With any luck the blizzard, for now, has passed.

Wed swim just over an hour. Lots of drill. No drama. What with errands after work, doing some BBQ, then yoga, there wasn't time to run. BBQ chicken was really good. mmmmm.

Yoga was really good, but it damn near killed me. My shoulders are fine swimming, but everything else kind of hurts. Some of the range of motion stuff, and specific yoga moves for the shoulders had me wincing.

Thurs morning is normally an early day in to work, but I had a downtown appointment for the slippery finger of life, as it's called. With the shortage of GP's here you make an appointment for when they're willing, and you move heaven and earth to make it. I had to book my next years physical now, with the next available appointment mid May 2011!! He waved the geezermeter over me and said there is no taint of geezer on me. In fact, he says my age (which is mumblety) is the only positive factor for a whole bunch of stuff they start looking at now. Everything is good. But I'm still on the list for a colonoscopy sometime when the clinic gets to me.

Plus I had to drop my taxes off to my accountant. Made up for yesterday's missed run with a 15 minute core warmup, and a 45 minute hard water run. My legs are good, and in other circumstances I might have run outside. Plus, leaving my accountant's office building was the high point of my day. She was blonde, very pretty, my height in modest heels, great legs in a really, really short skirt. Like shorter than her finger tips with her arms at her sides. Sigh. There are days I miss working downtown.

Then rather than run outside after work, I met my buddy SD for a beer. Which was really good to catch up with him. So no run or bike or core this evening. Core on beer sounds like a bad idea. But wait! There is a plan. Which is to ride home from work tomorrow afternoon, and maybe run after that. Sat I'll get my Friday swim in, with some core.

For some of my blog buddies getting 20 comments on a blog is a light day. But not for me. Yesterday's hit 20 comments, which is a new all time high. Yay! Just please don't anybody notice that there was actually only 7 people that commented.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Dread Pirate Roberts workout words

You all know who the Dread Pirate Roberts is. I hope. If not, in one way I envy you for the first time experience you could have. The sooner the better, for you. And yet in another way, I pity you, because you've been missing out on so much, for so long. It's got everything. Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.

There are people known to have peed themselves laughing while reading or watching. I realize that it came out before time began for some of you; the book in 1973, and the movie in 1987. Even so. The movie is very good, and the book is better. Those of you who don't know what I'm talking about can stay after class (or leave a comment) and I'll share.

What does this have to do with my workout? The words plank and pushups. Side plank with leg lifts. Pushups to failure or poor form. Three sets. I'll have you know I exceeded my expectations, but didn't set a new best for pushups. 5, 6, and 7. Since you asked with breathless interest. Ouch. That was 30 minutes worth of core done per schedule.

The bike was a slow warmup, not feeling particularly spinny. The maintain 90 rpm and add gears every minute did me in. I lasted 7 minutes at 90, and another 30 seconds trying to get my legs to go 90 and them not doing it. They were all quivery and quaking, twitching, and shaky. Pedaled easy a good 5 minutes for recovery, then started the next set, maintaining 90 in an easy gear, nice and aerobic. Well, shit. My legs thought it was going to get hard again, and got all pissy with me. The easy spin went to crap about the 10 minute mark, and some niggles were getting to the point of starting to think about them.

Then *IT* happened.

This has probably happened to all of you with different foods, though some might not admit it. A pair of Linda's cinnamon pinwheels mugged me. They marched downstairs, dragged me off the bike, and forced me to eat them. Fresh, hot, young, and frisky pinwheels. I didn't stand a chance. Only 60 minutes on the bike. Friday is supposed to be nice. With any luck all the snow will melt. I'd like to try to ride home from work.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Running in the snow. Again.

Interesting swim this am, doing a pyramid. Lots of looking at my watch. Fortunately there wasn't much drama. Swam pretty hard trying to keep up to the chick in the next lane. No matter what, she swam just a bit faster. Her arm stroke isn't so hot, but that's deceiving. Her kick is to die for. It took me a surprising amount of time to catch her when she was doing just kick. Just under an hour in the pool. Stroke felt pretty good. Left shoulder was a bit sore after.

It snowed all day at work. As I drove home it was snowing less and less. While getting changed the weather taunted me. The sun actually came out for a few minutes, but I was not deceived. I wore my wind/rain jacket anyways, and just as well. It started snowing again very shortly after locking the door, and then it snowed harder and harder throughout the run. Which was pretty good, since you ask. Walked 10 minutes, ran 20 then turned around, and got back to my run start with 15 seconds to spare. Walked 10 back to the house. Stretched and rollered 15 minutes. Legs felt mainly tired, but there were a few twinges around the knees, and nigglies in the calves.

It's supposed to snow all night, and it's anybodies guess how much will be on the ground. Which is a good thing, really, we need the moisture. However, it's a safe assumption people will have forgotten how to drive in the snow, and there will be carnage on the roads tomorrow. Any single car "accident" (and there are lots of them) should be considered proof of the driver's incompetence. Their license should be suspended until they take and pass, with perfect marks, a recognized drivers course. Grrrr. That's for the cars. For 4 wheel drive vehicles, pickup trucks, and SUV's, the driver should be executed on the spot, and their head put on a pike at the scene of their incompetence. There should be a big sign, naming them. That might make things safer for the rest of us. GRRRRRR!!! (Can you tell I had vitamins with supper tonight?) Hmmm, on second thought, maybe not. There'd be so many signs on the roads that people from out of town wouldn't be able to see the street names.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Another brick in the path

The paper albatross is gone. I mailed my final assessment paper to Mount Royal University, and in a bunch of weeks I hope to get a nice letter saying I passed. Now I can get back to work, and working out.

It took a while today to get into it. I was in a mood to drink coffee and eat treats. But that was yesterday, and I can't be getting slack. The big day, according to the counter on Jenna's blog, is 139 days, and 13 minutes away. Exactly!

Cored 20 minutes, feeling strong for the first time since I don't know when. Celebrated by taking the tri dips really really deep. Even did plank for a few seconds longer than the plan called for.

Biked 90 minutes, feeling pretty good. The spin is coming back, and I'm feeling stronger, but I can sure tell there is a long way to go to get back to where I was.

Transition for 3 minutes, mainly figuring out how cold and windy it is out there. Turns out to be 1 C, and fairly windy. Long pants and a jacket. Ran 20 minutes around the block, just 3 K. This felt not too bad, just tired.

While buying coffee at Planet Organic, I found this recovery stuff. It's called Recovery, by Purica. it claims to be full of natural goodness to aid tissue repair and recovery from overtraining and trauma, and other stuff. I figured give it a try and got the extra strength stuff. Anybody else tried this?

tick tick tick. 139 days Exactly!!! Boom! hmmm, wait a sec, that can't be right. The race doesn't start at 6pm. I think the clock is out by 12 hours. Look into that, please, Jenna. We can't be working on the wrong timetable here.

Weekly Summary
Swim 1.5 hr
Bike 3.75 hr
Run 1.5 hr
Walk 1.0 hr
Core 2.25 hrs
Cardio 7.5 hrs
Total 9.25 hrs

Saturday, April 10, 2010

First work lunch run, ever

Susi knows this story, so she can skip the next couple paragraphs. Once upon a time, she and I worked for the same company, a small boutique engineering firm. (She's an engineer, my geek beanie only has one propeller blade, rather than two. We started the very same day.) They were up in the boonies of NE Calgary, not far from the airport, where there are very few places to go out for lunch. Since they started out as a very small company, they had lunch catered, and continued the practice as it grew. They had a big lunch room, and brought in hot meals. I'm pretty sure the practice paid for itself. Lunchtime was announced over the intercom. It was a very nice social occasion.

There were lots of runners there. They would set aside their lunch while they were running, and had worked out a system for getting through the showers in an orderly way. The company didn't care when people showed up, how long we took for lunch, or when we left. I wasn't a runner then. I wasn't even remotely fit by even the most generous standards. I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to go running, especially in the heat of the day. I have apologized to those I have seen since. They were right and I was wrong.

The next couple places I worked at didn't have locker and shower facilities, so running at lunch wasn't much of an option. Some people can afford the downtown fitness facilities. But where I'm working now is bigger. I've mentioned the showers and locker room. There's also a fitness room, but because I'm a contractor my card key doesn't give me access. Oh well.

While I wasn't working full time it was easy to do workouts whenever I wanted, typically near the middle of the day when it's warm. The last couple weeks have been a challenge since the training was pretty well 8-4. Now we're working our own schedules, at last. The general plan is that I'll get a swim or a run done between dropping off Linda at her work, and starting at mine. Or I'll do a run at lunch. Then do the bike in the evening, or sometimes, ride home from work if Linda has dropped me off.

What with one thing and another, Friday was the first time I felt I could run at lunch. Changing, a bit of light stretching, not quite 10 minutes walking each to warm up and cool down, a 40 minute run, showering and changing took exactly 90 minutes. It would be nice to have access to the fitness room to be able to stretch after, but I just took over a section of the parking lot.

The run was good. I had dithered about what to wear, and in the end I'm glad I wore everything that I brought. It was one of those days. In the sun, sheltered from the wind, it was quite warm and I was overdressed. Out in the open, in the wind, I was cooling off pretty quick and wishing I'd worn a touque instead of a cap. There was some ice on the path in places from yesterdays mini blizzard. I've run the path on the west side of the highway many times, but it's always been in the morning, never much later than dawn. It's interesting seeing in the full light of day.

At first I was a bit stiff, and my legs felt more tired than anything. Started easy, and gradually settled into a good pace that was just a bit quicker than my easy run pace. Some of it near the middle was nearly at my desired half IM pace, but my legs didn't want to do that too long. Or my lungs, come to think of it, and I dialed it back before pushing too hard. No pain, not even many niggles. Which is good. I enjoyed the run today in a way that I haven't since early Feb. It was nice to run without worrying about every step.

Linda picked me up after work and we went to the Clay Oven for dinner. I just love their food, and could eat their Naan bread all night long. We've got leftover Bagnan Baartha, Lamb Kaharhi, and Butter Chicken for lunch. Once home I put my feet up for a bit. Even though it was only a 4 day week, the work is pretty intense. I can feel my left shoulder tightening up. (I mouse left handed.) We watched the men staring at goats movie, and enjoyed it.

Today is a rest day. Coffee is brewing. Linda found some banana chocolate scones from our favourite bakery. I'll go get the morning papers in a few minutes. Life is good. Oh, here's the run route for your delight and edification. My building is the white one in the upper right corner.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Allegro snow

And the snow/hail/wind *is* pretty darn allegro right now. Linda was saying it was near whiteout conditions while I was downstairs on the bike.

No, the allegro is the music I was listening to during core and bike. I've decided to work through all the songs in my iPod, in alphabetical order. 4521 songs, 12.2 days, 19.72 GB. Today I got to the allegros.

I know some of you are horrified at my choice for bike music. Let me put it this way, baroque music from the early 1700's is what I think of as 'middle aged' music. The oldest songs on my iPod are from the 1300's or so. By my standards Elvis and the Beatles and the Rolling Stones are wild and crazy new music. Much of what follows hurts my ears. I digress.

The day started with a swim. A time trial swim. A 1500 m time trial swim. My coach wants to figure out where my fitness is after my long sickness, and slackitude. Well, it wasn't as good as I hoped, and not as bad as I feared. Things went to pot from about 1700m to 1.1K or so, with some truly horrible flip turns, but I got it back together to finish strong. What with warm up and cool down, that was 45 minutes.

The girl in the red swimsuit in my lane is a cheater! She normally swims just a hair faster than me. There I am, churning through my swim, she's doing pull, and coasting along behind me. Lap after lap. Not that I minded, it was giving me incentive to stay strong. But if I'd had my wits about me, I'd have let her pass, and drafted her. Or is that cheating for a time trial? During my cool down I was drafting her, and she was going faster than I felt like going for cool down.

The core was per plan, about 20 minutes. The bike was a good solid hour, feeling pretty good, but there's still a long way to go to get back to what I think of as normal. I got off a bit earlier than planned because I suddenly got really really hungry, and my legs starting getting all crampish on me. Those two things happened almost exactly the same time, so I suspect they're related. I cooled down, then ate.

Work has a locker room and showers. And a place to lock up bikes. It's mere feet from a bike path that will take me home, if I make all the right turns. And some left turns, come to think of it. It's a nice ride.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A trail of iron oxide

That's the funny colour of water behind me this morning. Rust, flaking off my joints. The swim was a bit clunky this am, but slowly got better. Swimming with two other people that are just a bit faster, so I had some incentive to try to keep up. 45 minutes. Shoulders a bit stiff.

Then the run this afternoon. I was thinking about this all day, trying to see what my legs would think. In the end I just went. Thinking about exploding eyeballs of pain. Walked 10 minutes. Stretched a bit. Ran really easy not quite 10 minutes, then stretched a bit. Nothing hurt, lots of niggles around the knees, but I could feel things settling into a stride. My legs felt more tired than anything, though hams and calves didn't want to go much harder. The next 20 minutes was gradually getting better, and felt pretty good. I could never turn my brain off and just run, and I certainly didn't have light feet, but this is the best it's been since mid-Feb.

Things got sloppy for a few minutes, and I was thinking I should shut'er down, but then I was trying to think what I'd say if someone asked just why I quit early. Did some posture and stride checks, tried to relax, and things settled down a little. There's a bus stop with a bench that is 4 houses more than 1 K from our house. So I noted the time, and tried to run easy and relaxed, just like I'd normally run, perhaps a bit slower than my half IM pace. It turned out to be 6:50 or so, which is right in there for my relaxed running pace. So I am cautiously optimistic.

I had time for a few minutes of stretching, then off to yoga. Lots of leg stuff, and forward bends. I suck at Clamshell. The girl next to me just about broke her nose flopping it onto the mat. Overall it felt pretty good, and my legs seem to be happy with it. Going to ice the hams and calves a bit. Just in case.

Oh, and my Road ID arrived on Tuesday. I've been wearing it during workouts, just to get into the habit of wearing it. Not that I'm likely to fall off the trainer and be discovered by some stranger. Very comfy, shouldn't be any problem with the wetsuit coming off over it.

It's certainly a relief to know that LuMu is still there. I guess if you'd left your blog up, some of us (not mentioning any names) would just hijack it and start a conversation of our own on it. Hope you could keep a copy of the text, or archive it somewhere, there was some pretty good writing there. Looking forward to regular comments!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Ride of the Nigglies

Only my music was a combination of Weird Al Yankovic and P. D. Q. Bach. Not Wagner. Sigh. And no tall, beautiful, battle-hardened blonde maidens carried me off afterward. Even bigger sigh.

Core went per plan, even the plank. Yay! Had to be careful during the lunges since my knees weren't liking that much.

The first 45 minutes or so of the bike was one niggle after another. Just about everything got into the act, but I pressed on. I promised my coach I'd only be getting off if there was actual pain. More than transient pain. IT HAS TO BE PAIN THAT NEARLY MAKES YOUR EYEBALLS EXPLODE!!! was what she said. Well, maybe not that much. (Yeah, she did give me a bit of a pep talk. Whatever gave you that idea?)

Got through 3 sets of 10 minutes of good bike stuff, and gradually felt better as the ride went on. In fact, the 75 minute mark came, and I probably could have gone on, but I was mostly cooled down by then. Legs felt pretty good. Stretched and lightly rollered. Writing now a bit later, there are a few tingles happening, so I'm going to ice them in a bit.

And what happened to The Loose Moose???? Wordpress has eated her blog! We love you LuMu, come back!

Monday, April 5, 2010

that's all I'll say about that.

Quiet long weekend for us. Friends over for dinner on Saturday. No workouts at all, except working on cranking a final paper for the Business Analyst courses I'm taking. The only thing left is to run it through Word itself for pagination, table of contents, formatting tweaks, and other last bits of polish that seem appropriate. I'm too cheap to buy MS Office, so I use an open source word processor, which is more than fine 99% of the time. But if the document is going to be opened in Word, and it's important, there are sometimes subtle formatting or page spacing issues. I'm sure glad to have this done and that's all I'll say about that.

I've still got this cough, and I'm glad I've already got a doctor's appointment scheduled for next week, because I was told by coach in no uncertain terms this has to be dealt with. The words "walking pneumonia" were said to me, which scares the crap out of me. Good advice on the issue with the legs, too. Things are feeling interesting after the acupuncture this afternoon. I think that's all I'll say about that.

Workout totals sucked last week, and that's all I'll say about that.

Taxes! I need to go through the envelop that has all the tax stuff sent to me this year, get it organized, and off to the accountant that does my taxes. I'm late this year, normally I already have my refund. But I don't think I'll be getting much back. That's all I'll say about that.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rantity rant rant rant

Today is Good Friday. I have a 1500 m time trial scheduled for today, but of course the pools are closed, and I'm much too cheap to go to Talisman. Besides, they're taking the roof off of it, and it's likely to be a gong show. A day of rest never hurts, and I'll have a go at the swim tomorrow. I was thinking about running today instead, since it's going to be so nice out, but I'm really not sure what my legs will think of that. The indications so far are not good.

And really besides, I really need to be working on my assignment from Mount Royal. It's due the middle of the month, and I want to essentially finish it this weekend. Since I do my writing in Open Office (much too cheap to buy MS Office), I'll need to head to the library to finish page numbers and table of contents and check formatting in Word, before printing and sending it in.

But first, a rant, to get me warmed up, and used to my keyboard again. The keyboards at work are squoogey long travel wonders that I hate. I love my Mac keyboard. You can tell which one I'm talking about from a recent blog that included a photo of my desk. Plus, one of my faithful readers begged for a rant. She needs her fix.

The rant starts with this story in the Globe and Mail. (Oh, and I should first warn you that this rant might well offend the religious sensibilities of some people. ) The essence of it is that a woman wearing a niqab showed up in French classes, and got all pissy about men in the class, being taught by a man, and even other women being able to look at her. The school makes the point that one needs to see the positioning of the mouth to ensure proper pronunciation. To say nothing of the equality issue. To say there was an uproar is putting it mildly. (That isn't the article that caught my attention, but at the moment I can't find the one I was thinking of.)

Background and preparatory remarks. (You know a rant is going to be good when there are background and preparatory remarks.) Canada is the most multi-cultural country in the world, bar none. We have immigrants from almost every country or culture, and we do not toss them into a melting pot. We, rightly or wrongly, assume that the best of the immigrant's culture is a valuable addition to our own. Over the generations people grow up, and into a Canadian culture that grew out of a Native, French, and English core into something that is almost indescribably rich and complex.

The complex part comes from the conflict in rights. Rights to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, rights to justice and personal security, property rights, and the general expectation that we are generally free to go about our business however we see fit, with the understanding that these aren't absolute rights. There are conflicts with the rights of other people, and society in general. Finding the balance is the hard part, and Canadian society has been struggling with that balance for our entire existence. There is nothing that indicates that struggle is going to end anytime soon; indeed, that struggle might well be considered part of the Canadian identity.

Back to the niqab. Canadian women were at the forefront of the equality movements. In Quebec they had to overcome the paternalism and misogyny of the Roman Catholic church in addition to wider societal prejudice. Now comes a woman who says she wants to wear the niqab, something many Muslim scholars say has no place in Islam. Something representing, in Western minds, a tool of misogyny and oppression. Many people are horrified at the prospect of someone being subject to such oppression, yet that person sees it as an expression of religious freedom. Therein lies the conflict.

It would be interesting to know where this woman came by her religious views. Someone has told her something that leads her to believe what she does. Who? Why? Some people have a simplistic view of Islam as a bunch of wild eyed terrorists, but my evidence is that most of them are peaceful and law abiding people who are a credit to Canada. Islamic society in general is at least as complex as western society, so one must be careful about drawing general conclusions.

Yet many people view this as the thin edge of the wedge, bringing unwelcome cultural practices here. First the niqab, then Sharia law with public stoning and beheading. Most Canadians think that immigrants have an obligation to learn one of the two official languages, and to "become a Canadian." Note, please, that even the most Canadian-ophile would probably not think this includes totally abandoning your original culture. Where is the line? So far the discussion is civil, and this is one of the hallmarks of Canadian society, is that such discussions are mostly civil. Sure, there are a few wingnuts on the extremes of debate, but everybody else (especially the wingnuts that disagree with them) recognizes them as wingnuts, and our halls of social discourse are not held hostage by the wingnuts. Generally speaking.

In other religious news, the Pope thinks that all the media attention about child-molesting priests is "petty gossip". As near as I can tell, in every time and place that the authorities have looked at allegations of child abuse by priests, they've found credible evidence of it. Along with credible evidence of cover-ups. For a while, the Catholic church would excommunicate anyone going to the secular authorities with such allegations. It isn't just the Catholics. Take a look at the Indian residential school system. The Anglicans, United, and Presbyterian churches got in on the action as well, admittedly with government sanction.

My view is that religious views are just another tool for certain people to hold and exert power and control over other people. Being a priest (pastor, minister, rabbi, cleric, preacher, imam, vicar, call it what you will) has, over the centuries, offered an easy living for those willing to do nothing harder than talking and counting their money. Anybody that disagreed with you could be accused of any number of crimes, and by golly, it's amazing how that trial turns out when you're the prosecutor and the judge. Ferocious punishments helped keep the others in line, lest they be next on the pyre.

Fortunately, times have changed. Anyone with their eyes open can see the Catholic church has been wrong about everything. Every single effing thing the church has spouted for nearly two millennia has been shown to be wrong. So much for Papal Infallibility. Why would it have any credibility now? Personally, I'd like to see the authorities in every political jurisdiction in the world simultaneously investigate every allegation of child abuse, sharing their knowledge, and working together to deal with priests fleeing to another jurisdiction. Then, when all the rats are cloistered in the Vatican, we smoke them out. Catholic apologists would call this a witch-hunt, and by golly they've got it exactly right. How does that line go? He that lives by the sword...

My view is that religion is an obsolete holdover from an ignorant and superstitious past. Anyone putting forward religious arguments is trying to exert control over others, most often for their own benefit. It doesn't matter if the subject at hand is gay rights, clothing choices, statutory holidays, voting rights, treatment of prisoners, abortion, the sabbath, water rights, citizenship rules, or anything else. Look at what they say. It's all about denying other people, but you don't see the leaders of religious flocks denying themselves. Oh no. They exhort their flock to give them money for "good works" of an unspecified nature, and siphon a little off for themselves. They *are* well dressed, well housed, and well fed, aren't they?

Let's get it straight, people. The analects, bible, koran, talmud, tao-te-ching, vedas, whatever, are all works of fiction. That's right, fiction. They were made up. Just because there is some true things said, does not make all of it true. Any work of fiction in the library has true statements in it. These works are certainly rich in cultural and literary value, but they are no basis for running a civilized country. Some parts of the bible, at least, would be prosecuted for hate crimes if published now.

There are any number of churches in Canada, and even a small town will have several. By and large, religion isn't a big deal here. People that go to church typically don't make a big deal of it, and those that don't go, don't make a big deal of it. Mostly.

The Jehovahs come around banging on our doors, parroting their bigoted filth about religion, just like colonial missionaries trying to convert the natives. There are a number of imaginative responses to them, and they deserve what they get.

Every now and then the bishop of Calgary rears up on his hind legs and threatens to excommunicate our political leaders for their views on abortion, leading me to suspect he wants a return to the Middle Ages. I don't know what his views on the child abuse allegations are, and haven't troubled to look. He's willing to speak up on other issues, so I'd be surprised if he was silent here.

The local Jews are subjected to having their graves defaced and other indignities. There is an active synagogue within walking distance, though I'm not sure which version. But I suspect it's fairly observant, since I've spoken with some of the members, and they have pretty firm views on what they can and can't do on the sabbath. I think some aspects of their faith are weird, but that's me. Still, defacing a grave is beyond the pale.

There are few sects practicing polygamy. I think they're nuts, myself. I can barely keep one wife happy, and the mere thought of trying to please several is enough to give me the shivers. Except these guys aren't about pleasing their wives. It's about displaying their social status, and exerting domination. Oh, and teenage nookie, that's probably the big attraction.

There's a mosque not far from where I work, and I chanced to drive by during worship one day. Other than at the airport, I've never seen so many taxi's in one place. It must have a considerable impact on your day to worship several times. I don't see the point. If your god (however you define god) is of the all-knowing variety, what's the point of prayer? He, she, it *already knows* and what's more, knows if you know, or are just going through the motions.

Which brings up the whole aspect of prayer. "God's will" is a common phrase used to try to explain why shit happened. God made people sick. God ordained that car accident that killed a family with young children. For every evil that happens, there is a reason, but only god knows it, and it is imagined it serves a greater purpose. So, lets assume for a moment that god gives people cancer. "I'll pray for you" is another, closely associated phrase. If god gave someone cancer, what good is praying about it? Or, is the cancer conditional? If x many prayers of a certain sincerity are offered up, god will take the cancer away? Wait a minute, god is all-knowing. He already knows if sufficient prayers would be offered up. Maybe that's why some people get it, that god knows they don't have sufficient prayer weight on their side? So then, isn't prayer futile, since the actual praying is irrelevant? Or does god do this just to trot people through the motions?

What purpose could possibly be served by killing thousands of people trapped in a pair of large burning buildings, then collapsing it in a grinding cloud of glass and concrete? What possible purpose is served by causing untold millions of children to be born who's only achievement in life is to starve to death? Tens of millions starved in Ukraine, or slaughtered in Cambodia, or executed in China? The millions of people that died in the Black Plague, or Spanish Flu?

Let's take another view, that god listens to prayer, and perhaps occasionally, acts on it. If there is one prayer that has been consistent for centuries, widely agreed to by people of all faiths, and is likely to be included, it's for peace on earth. Whatever form that takes. Is there any? Peace, I mean. I think we all know the answer to that.

Which leads me to the spectacle of various sporting teams praying in public for victory. Oh, they don't say it like that, they ask for the strength to do their best, and all. But really, they're praying for victory. Let me see, god hasn't chosen to answer the prayers for peace on earth (and that's assuming he could bring about such a condition) and these putzes are petitioning for victory in a sporting event. That qualifies as chutzpah in my books.

Soon the current pope will die. He's in his 80's after all. Then the cardinals will gather to choose a new pope. What beats me is that if the pope is truly god's representative on earth, you'd think he'd care about who was chosen. The cardinals, being the ones voting, and praying (there's that word again) for insight, are presumably being told how to vote. Yet, they go vote after vote. Somebody isn't getting the message.  If things were working the way the church says they should be, there ought to be one unanimous vote.

I believe in a free an open society people should be free to believe any fruit loop thing they choose to believe. Dye your skin blue? Have at it, but don't be surprised if you have a tough time getting a job. Want to sacrifice a bull to Zues, or anyone else? Observe some basic hygienic procedures, all it a barbeque, invite the neighbours, and have at it. Want to open a halal butcher shop in your garage? Wait a minute. Spare the rod and spoil the child? That's child abuse. Taking small children to church and filling their heads with nonsense? More child abuse. (I have my issues with the public school system too, but that's another rant.) The line comes when what you believe starts to affect other people. Then they start getting a say in how your beliefs are practiced.

As for the woman with the niqab issue, she is wrong. Inside your house, wear what you please. Outside the house, Canadian society expects to see the face of the people we're dealing with. So does Egypt. She has no right to insist that the teacher of a class be female.

Am I rant-gay? No. I am also an equal opportunity stalker. Hi TG.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Too much pain

Pain, enough of it to make me quit trying to ride, in all sorts of weird places. My left elbow, which is the one I didn't break, hurts in biking position. Why? Lots of sharp transient shooting pains in my left leg, mostly calf, but some hams as well. And my lungs working much harder than they should be. The core tonight had plank and pushups out the wazoo. Just thinking about that was painful.

Of course, all this is nothing to the pain of the throes of rant creation.