Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Slowest flip turns ever

So I ran again Tuesday evening, another 2 K, just a hair under 16 minutes. Again I don't believe the Runmeter graph lines, though these are somewhat more believable. My neighborhood just isn't that hilly. Even though it was about 30 C, I was running easily for a bit, not even working up a sweat, then noticed I was limping on my right leg. No pain, just a bit of unevenness. I decided I didn't need to push it. Came home and stretched.

In all my knee and leg are feeling better, and now it's my low back that feels really stiff and slow. I think that's progress. I hope so. I'm sure missing my weekly yoga class. Somehow it's not the same doing it myself.

I can't talk much about the situation at work. It's getting interesting. There's a phrase involving smoke and a sensitive portion of anatomy, that is common in the industry here. My friends know what I'm talking about. It happened big time today. In addition, we got mentioned in the papers. Not in a good way. Sigh.

That was after a lovely water run with my buddy Katie, then she headed out to deal with stuff. I stuck around for a swim, with a 50 m lane all to myself. The swim felt fine, but the flip turns were abysmal. My back and hips don't want to bend. If I hadn't frantically used my hands to help get around, I probably be there still.

Here's some pretty flowers from our garden, and one grumpy cat that wanted to join us outside. He is learning to have his teeth brushed. So far I haven't lost any skin or fingers. He's such a good kitty.

Plus it's been days since any comments. I'm dying here guys. I love comments. Hint, hint.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

So I ran, at last, just a bit

The big yay is that we slept in! We've been dragging our tails always doing something. I can smell stain in my sleep, and it's the low emissions stuff.

But today we slept in, then coffee on the patio. Leisurely. Enjoying it, on a perfect summer day. Thinking a bit about the Ironman 70.3 going on not very far away at all, but not much, and certainly not enough to to go cheer.

The run graph is all over the place. I don't believe a line of it. The elevation changes are way too big, and the pace is way too variable. I know I was a bit uneven at the start, but not that uneven. In the end, it was 2 K, 16 minutes, starting slow and gradually speeding up. The first K and a bit was pretty clunky, but I was expecting that after not running for several weeks.

Google Rum Swizzles. They are really good on a patio on a sunny day. Especially after a nice bit of BBQ chicken and salad. Better with an ocean view, but I have a memory for that. Rum Swizzles = part of my afternoon. Linda was a bit more sedate.

Our friends Kris and Sophia dropped by, and we had a wonderful chat. This is what summer is all about. I'm glad I didn't try to work today. The stain experiment shows we need to let things dry a bit more and see if that makes a difference. The painting she did will wash off if I stain over it, at least now, according to the test sample. I'm happy to wait a bit longer.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Stained Thursday after work till dark.
Stained Friday, then volunteered.
Stained Saturday, then volunteered.

At last the entire lodge is done the second coat. Painting is all very philosophical and all, but this is getting old. At least Ive got the knack of it now, and it's turning out pretty good. My shoulders are killing me.

So Friday I bailed on work and waved a paint brush all day. In the evening I went to the Calgary 70.3 to help set up bike racks. Home, bed, exhausted, poor night of sleep. No time to run.

Saturday I had an easy wake up, then finished the last wall, and did a bit of touchup here and there. There wasn't time to run, not even a short one, before heading out to T1 again.

This is the important part. I stood in the hot sun for the better part of 5 hours, and didn't get a sun burn. SPF 100 forever! Or expire from heat stroke. This is amazing. I loved chatting with the athletes as they checked into T1 with their bikes. It's a cornucopia of bike porn, so many sleek and sexy bikes. I wanted to show off Estela, since she can certainly hold her own in that company.

Some people go to these events, and it seems they are a non-stop social club, running into people they know every few minutes. Not me. Not today. There 5 hours, only saw one person I know (Hello Sara Gross, hope you have a great race!) and missed a couple of my buddies (Go Sue and Mike!). No doubt they were organized and got there early.

Tomorrow I'm going to run first thing. For sure. I promise. Just a bit. Right after #coffeechat, if Im awake. Then there's a bit of experimenting with the final clear coat of the stain. It should be good for the lodge and cedar fence. Should bottle some wine and finish off that season. There are no doubt other things on my to-do list, but I don't want to think about it.

Here's a photos photos, just to amuse you. It should be clear what's what.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cleared! Dry!

Good news! I'm cleared to run, very easy. Not too long/far. So tomorrow I'll try a couple K and see how that feels. My right quad feels like someone glued a giant hot water bottle to it, and every now and then it simply didn't work. This makes walking difficult. It got gradually better today, and the pummeling of the muscles behind my hip bones really helped.

I've been out working on the second coat of stain on the lodge the last several evenings. I never cease to be amazed how much stain some of the wood is sucking up. You'd think the end grain was getting drunk on it, theres so much stain being sucked up. Much of it has 3 coats now, and still looks thin. Dry climate, dry wood. One advantage is that things dry out quick.

Work. Well, work is a giant Charlie Foxtrot. I'm still on hold.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I had hoped for less pain

Last you heard I had X-Rays in hand, waiting to see Dr. M again. The news wasn't all bad, but it wasn't all good either. At least there is no nerve impingement so we can work on the muscles. ART on one of the specific quads cranky from water running of all things, and that muscle in my butt. There wasn't even much crickle-crackle after, which is a relief. What I did learn is that I've got some arthritis in my very low back. That's a bit unnerving for a young guy like me.

The water run was just over 30 minutes, not thinking I was going too hard. Then walking out to the parking lot I could feel it getting cranky, and it got progressively worse all day. Even today it isn't much happier, so I bailed on an evening run. Its not a stabbing or pulling pain, but I have to think about walking. My whole leg feels very unstable, and there's a few times my knee sort of flopped on me. It's not a scream in agony kind of pain, more a suck in the breath kind of pain. Not fun.

Walking into the City Hall parkade yesterday I noticed these huge day lilies blooming away, and was wondering about ours. When I checked on them this morning, they aren't as tall, but there's a few really beautiful blooms.

Instead of the run I went out and put another layer of stain on one side of the lodge this evening. Can you tell when one? That was 2 hours of bending and stretching. Oddly enough, my quad feels better after this. Maybe a good night's sleep will help.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

So, how'd I do?

On Friday, I posted my to do list. Here it is, with a thing or two crossed off. Did I exceed your expectations?

In no particular order:

  • Fix a few stain dribbles on the lodge floor where I got sloppy.
  • Finish the first exterior coat. (Weather dependent.)
  • Start and finish the second coat. (Weather dependent.)
  • Start and finish the clear coat. (Weather dependent.)
  • Test some of the clear coat on the fence to see how it looks.
  • Tidy my desk. I emptied my work pack, and it's all on the desk, and none of it goes back to work.
  • Start on my year end paperwork for my company. Completion will be nice, but starting is acceptable.
  • Clean and store a bunch of wine bottles. Some need bleaching.
  • Bottle the one wine kit that looks ready to go.
  • Run with a buddy. Gently.
The exterior staining took a lot longer than I thought to do around the windows, and there was quite a bit more interior staining I decided to do. By the end of Saturday I was where I was hoping to be on Friday. Sunday looked like rain, and it did rain several times. Now I need to brush sand off the bottom bit before I stain again. Good thing I didn't try to push ahead.

The desk, before and after, with a surprise in the middle.

The surprise in the middle is the remnants of my social insurance card. Good thing I've got the number memorized. The plastic is only 40 years old or so, and has been in various wallets. I recently swapped wallets and dragged a bunch of stuff out, and that was in the middle of it, but I didn't realize at the time. I also found a receipt from our trip to Vancouver in 2012. I really should tidy more often.

As for work paperwork, the bar was pretty low, I admit. I count organizing the paper neatly, as "started." You can send your commentary to

I washed and bleached bottles, and bottled the Pinot Grigio. We are drinking it with dinner and it's really nice just out of the carboy. There's just the slightest bit of sharpness. I think with some refrigeration, and a spicy patio snack, I could serve it to guests and there would be no complaints. A few months in the bottle and it should be wonderful. Pity summer will be over. I'll have to see about the label though. It could peel off really easy, or be horrible.

I had lots of encouragement from my run buddy today, but my legs were not with it at all. Plus it rained and was cool and I was feeling like a weenie, and sort of wanting to see the x-ray results tonight before running further. Many of you read just the "weenie" comment there. That's ok. I read how far they ran and was impressed. They are champs.

The un-weenie activity has been giving Curtis 4 squirts of medication every day. It's getting harder and harder. The teeth and claws haven't come out yet, but that's only because he's a very good natured cat. I'm seriously thinking about invoking the country vet rule, that is, if you can't catch your patient, it doesn't need you. Here I am, getting the furry eye because the rival object is in my lap.

Another weekend has zoomed by. Even with a nap this afternoon, I'm still going to be tired heading into work tomorrow. I figure the odds are 50-50 I'll be told my contributions are no longer needed, so I'm not in a rush.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pink and white

Pink and white sounds so fru-fru, but there was none of that here. This was rugged and manly pink and white.

Pink Martini
Pink Floyd

That was my soundtrack for working on the lodge today. More white stain. This was the delicate (but not fur-fru) touch around the windows that I didn't do the other day. It took much longer than I thought it would. The windows aren't too badly smeared. I made another pass around the places that have end grain showing, and added more stain.

I grooved to the sound track and thought peaceful thoughts. This was a very soothing activity. I'm trying not to think about work today, but I found out today that work had made some decisions about the various projects. One that I'm working on is moving forward, but I don't know if I still have a role on it. Two others are in a "must consult with the business" phase. Which means they didn't read the documentation we supplied them where those business owners explicitly said they needed and wanted the projects to move forward. I'm very cynical about this, and let's just say after more than 20 years in Calgary's roller coaster oil and gas industry, I know where my bread is buttered, and what I should be doing now. And I am. Nuff said.

Then the interior. I decided once the windows had the white stain on the outside, they really needed some clear interior stain on the inside. Plus the dinner trays. I had lightly sanded them down, now I added another layer of stain. Plus the floor touchups. Plus the inside of the doors. It was another very full day.

So far of my list of things to do this weekend, I've done two of them. Not a high completion percentage, I admit. I am being strongly encouraged to do one of the remaining things and let's see if I sleep in or not. I'm thinking about clearing a few of the smaller things off the list, then getting back to the lodge. Like my desk. I really must excavate it. Before and after pics there, I promise.

Waffles with strawberries and maple syrup, with coffee, opened the day. We closed it with rack of lamb, wine, and veggies. It was a perfect night for sitting out and relaxing. So much for cat supervision.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The long weekend to-do list

Friday is a vacation day for me, even if it does start with a dental appointment. But I love my hygienist and her magic fingers.

Much as I would like to sit and veg all weekend, there are THINGS THAT MUST BE DONE. Herewith a list for your amusement. At the end of the weekend I will tot up the score. That ought to be even more amusing.

In no particular order:

  • Fix a few stain dribbles on the lodge floor where I got sloppy.
  • Finish the first exterior coat. (Weather dependent.)
  • Start and finish the second coat. (Weather dependent.)
  • Start and finish the clear coat. (Weather dependent.)
  • Test some of the clear coat on the fence to see how it looks.
  • Tidy my desk. I emptied my work pack, and it's all on the desk, and none of it goes back to work.
  • Start on my year end paperwork for my company. Completion will be nice, but starting is acceptable.
  • Clean and store a bunch of wine bottles. Some need bleaching.
  • Bottle the one wine kit that looks ready to go.
  • Run with a buddy. Gently.

I think that's enough, don't you? Plus this is all in addition to important things like making and drinking coffee, paying attention to cats, giving medicine to a cat which is getting to be more of a struggle every time, getting ready for work next week since they haven't told me to not come back. Plus I'm sure that the chicken in the marinade in the fridge will be on the BBQ sooner or later.

How many of you want in progress photos of the above activities? You must leave a comment to get photos. Or contact me on twitter.

Which reminds me, the Facebook withdrawal is going well. I'm on for a hasty scroll, (semi) witty comments where I deem necessary, then on to other things.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I was afraid, but overcame it

During my last (pathetic attempt at a) bike ride I realized I simply couldn't go on the way I have been, struggling with my leg. Waiting for it to get better, giving it a rest, then starting gradually, with lots of stretching and some core work. It's mildly better, in that I can usually walk without grimacing, but it's not right, and showing no signs of getting any better.

Back when I had the slight tear in my medial meniscus, I went to Dr. Macdonald and it was wonderful. Well, except for the low back wrestling contests. I found it extremely difficult to relax enough to let him deal with my low back. My mid back isn't much better. There were a few times I thought I was going to pass out afterwards. This is me, not him.

So during the visit we did a brief review of what's been happening. I need to get an X-Ray of my low to mid back. There may be some impingement on the nerves, which could affect anything in my entire lower body. My right knee is in pretty good shape for a guy my age and activity, which is a relief.

This session was a bit of a warmup, really. Lots of mobility work for my right leg to see what's what. Some deep work in the hip flexor, and something in the top side of my butt. The muscle you walk with, whatever that's called. Then there was a bit of crickle-crackle. Not much, in the great scheme of things, and it didn't hurt. Yay! I can feel a bit of a difference in my legs, but I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep. He didn't say it, but I could hear him thinking it, wondering why I'd stopped coming, and why I'd taken so long to come back.

Curtis is still trying to tell me, politely but firmly, that he doesn't need the medication being squirted into his mouth. I am beginning to wonder how much is actually getting in, and how much is being spat out or ending up on fur. I have to admit, he seems totally back to normal. He was snoozing and I got a bunch of photos of him, mouth open. You can see the one missing bottom tooth. We were told to not go looking in his mouth, but from what we can see things are looking very good.

Swam and water ran on Monday. Gack. Let's not even talk about it.

Staining is happening to the outside of the lodge. I'll blame a bunch of hours of that for why the swim sucked. There is much more staining to happen.

I was over to Sunterra to get a coffee this morning, and it was so darned nice out I almost didn't come back. Several of my colleagues took an extended break out on a patio somewhere. I'm not quite sure what I'm actually doing there. If my leg had been feeling better, I might have headed it home to go for a run.

I got my best laugh of the week from Twitter the other day. There was a notice to yyc that casual two-week was over, and to please show up at the office on time, wearing grown up clothing. I loved it. This year it seemed the guys were dressed sloppier than ever, and the women, well, let's just say there's no better time to be a guy, or a lesbian than during Calgary Stampede.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Now it's our turn to be stressed

Some of you may know that Curtis had to go in for some dental work on Friday. There was a huge chunk of tartar on several of his teeth, well beyond brushing or dental crunchies. They were worried about what else was under all that, besides teeth. There were several icky medical words used I don't even like to think about.

Here are the before and after shots. He spent the ride over trying to convince us, rationally and politely, that it was all a big misunderstanding, and that he was fine.

Here he is home after, looking his normal distinguished self. In fact, the teeth covered in tartar were fine, but they discovered one of his little teeth up front was cracked, so they had that out sooner than talking about it, easy as pie. Everything else was good.

The vet staff all loved him, and were drawing straws to see who could take him home if we were a few minutes late picking him up. As if. Then they tried to offer him a job working there, saying he would be a valued addition to the office staff, able to talk to the incoming cats and calming them down. He told them he already had a job, keeping two humans and another cat in line.

Now we, and by we I mean me, get to squirt one medication into him every 24 hours for a few days, plus another 2 medications every 12 hours for the next 10 days. It's a good thing he's a good natured cat. I'd rather do pills. I'm also glad they gave him a kitty pawdicure while he was under. Just in case, you know.

Other than that, Friday was eminently forgettable. Today was wonderful, starting with OEB with buddies. No selfies, though, can't imagine how we missed that, considering how many other selfies we've done. Nor did we take any photos of the food. You guys will just have to go to OEB and find out for yourselves. No, we just had a great chat, ate great food, and loved the oldies soundtrack. The music, guys, not us talking. Sheesh. Then down to Millarville Market via Road to Nepal, looking wistfully at all the people on their bikes. Then a lovely  peaceful afternoon. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Whirr, not Grrr, for real this time

Still no workouts, unless you count riding .41 Km as a workout. That was after working on Estela. This time I remembered the secret for cleaning gucky chain lube. The secret is not to get it on your hands in the first place. I found the rubber gloves and wore them. Much better.

You may remember this post, where I used a brutal tool on poor Estela to get the chain off. Now I've got the right tool. It looks like this and works perfectly.

I was more thorough this time. I started playing with the little gear wheels in the rear shifter, and found the problem. The middle gear wheel didn't want to turn hardly at all. I found the right allan key and took it all apart. Somewhere along the way I managed to get a rock up in there, and there was a huge gouge in the bearing cover. Plus it was all gucked up, which wouldn't help. Once it was all apart I cleaned it and smoothed out the scrapes and gouges. When I put it back together it spun freely. Nice!

Then I did the other one, since I thought it had been spinning ok, but now I could see it needed work too. It was gucked up as well. I took a toothbrush to the chain and scrubbed hard. Once it was all back together and lightly lubed I went around the block. I couldn't believe the difference! So much nicer.

Even that little ride I could still feel the twinges in my leg, so it's not as if this will make the difference in me being able to charge down and back the Road to Nepal in record time. Only a few days till the appointment.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Well, Stampede, again

Today was Stampede day for me. For some people, this is a week long series of events, one after the other. Exhaustion is the most benign outcome. Other less desirable outcomes include divorce, social diseases of various kinds, and a liver that is deeply unhappy with you.

For me, being a staid old stick, I'm not sure I even know how to go about getting into trouble at Stampede, or any other time. So today I hit my Stampede quota for breakfasts and lunches. One of each. Both put on by the companies I'm currently contracting through, or have contracted through in the past. Both well attended, both with the expected foods, though the lunch was much better than expected. It wasn't BBQ beef on a bun, much to my surprise. Of course the music was too loud, but that's to be expected.

My boss that had recently been fired showed up to both, and it was nice chatting and getting caught up. She is well along in the process of landing on her feet. Us worker bees are still in limbo, but it isn't really bothering any of us. We all know what to expect, and are making our plans. This is part of contracting life.

The workout life has been nonexistent since the Sunday not-ride. No swim. Too busy or too hot to run. And, well, my leg is giving me hell since then. I think trying to run would be a bad idea. Yes, I have an appointment made with Dr. D for next week. Can't wait. Unless he pulls out some voodoo out of my butt and it's good as new, I've come to the reluctant conclusion I'm not going to be running the MEC marathon in the fall. 4 months of training is not enough, starting where I am. I've no need to suffer through it to say I've done it. I'd much rather be properly trained. If he gets me fixed up I might be ready to go for next year's Stampede Road race.

The link splitter thingie tool I bought the other day works like a charm. I hadn't quite meant to actually take the chain off right then, but I'm washing it again anyways. I think this time I'll clean the whole bike, properly, rather than just a swipe and dab at the chain.

I love lilies. They are such happy colours. This is the first lily to bloom. This one is such a pretty yellow. I'm looking forward to the orange ones.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Slow, one-legged, granny-gear attempt to ride

Many of you missed yesterday's post, with the photo of the completely inappropriate tool used on poor Estela.

After yesterday's wonderful run and the great bike out to Chestermere the day before, I was keen to get out for my first road ride this year. Let me count the ways it failed.

  • Only my left leg was working, really.
  • The right knee was being pissy and weenie, not doing any of the work.
  • Flats and downhill are ok, but there is no strength for uphill. Even the left leg isn't feeling strong.
  • I was in granny gear most of the ride. For today's route, I'd normally be in the big ring and the second biggest cog at the least. Not even close.
  • I'd been hoping for 50 K, and thought I might turn around at 22 and 22X, which would be about 40K or so. I actually turned around at the Red Deer Community Church. As regular riders in that area know people parking at 22X and 37 St are just getting up to speed when they pass the church. I decided going any further would be risking actual injury to my knee. Been there, done that. Hope I haven't done it again. 
  • 17.5 K in 48 minutes. (Hides face in hands.)

Today is the last day of vacation. It's gone by pretty quickly. I'm going to miss sitting out on the patio, drinking an iced coffee at lunchtime. Any time, really. The rest of the day will be puttering around doing house things. Maybe some gentle stretching for my knee.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The tool that horrifies the Velominati and Estela

So there I was yesterday, on a wonderful ride with buddies, coping with a bit of chain Grrrr. I think this was Estela's way of telling me I'd been neglecting her too long. I was pretty sure the problem was sticky chain, old broken down lube caked with dust and other noxious substances.

After another layer of stain in the lodge I set Estela up on the bike rack and started working on the chain. I remembered the chain as coming apart very easily. Push the right two links together and it pops apart. Not today. I don't have the right plier thingies that would do this, so I had to improvise.

Are you afraid yet? This is not even remotely the right tool, but I got'er done. That's what being a guy is all about. Red Green would be proud of me, even if he would think Estela is a bit of a sissy bike. I say she's a classy bike who has never let me down.

Chain off, cleaned, I didn't even lose the two little link pieces I needed to put it back together. Cleaned the gears and gear changer thingie. My spelling is the first thing to go and I'm not even going to try to spell derailers. Put it all back together, then spent a while looking for chain lube. Eventually I found some, but it's not what I wanted to use. Better than nothing. A quick ride around the cul-de-sac had the gears going whir instead of Grrrrr. So who's up for a ~ 50 K (hopefully more than 25K, and for sure  less than 100 K) ride our 22X?

Then came the fun part. Getting the remnants of stain and chain lube out of my hands. It's still not all gone.

But no, the fun part was getting sunscreened up and heading out for a run in the heat of the day. I was in the mood to run. My knees have been feeling pretty good even with all the kneeling for the stain. I started easy, then headed up towards the reservoir and back. I was hoping to go for an hour, and in this heat, that's excellent for me. I ended up going an hour exactly, 8.4 K, working just a bit harder than chatchatchat pace, but not so much I was gasping and working. It was one of the best solo runs in a very long time. Why?
-It was short enough that I felt pretty strong throughout.
-It was long enough that I got a great workout, and had to talk to myself a little bit to keep going the last few minutes.
-It was the right level of exertion; I could feel my legs working, but no complaints.
-It was a hot sweaty affair, which was exactly what I wanted.

After some stretching and a shower I fired up the BBQ. I haven't done rack of lamb for a while, but my touch has not deserted me. It was awesome, even by my standards. Rack of lamb is just about my best thing to BBQ. Needless to say, we ate out on the patio. The weather was perfect.

So now I'm finishing off the glass of wine, and letting my meal digest in peace as I write this blog. I know there is Stampede chaos and people out there trying to get drunk and/or laid, but I am serene. It's almost bedtime, though I'll write a little longer. Writing on the patio is so peaceful. Good thing the wine is done, or I'd be pouring more.

If you want to ride, tweet me or email me, that's the best way to reach me. I suppose you could comment here too. I don't have a departure time yet, but it's not likely before 9am. Normally on these I try to leave after cool, and before baking hot.

Friday, July 4, 2014

A fun bike with buddies, and stuff

I'd forgotten how much fun it was to get out on a bike with buddies and just enjoy the ride. No pace, no time requirements, no distance goals, other than getting to where we wanted to go. Chat along the way. Explore a detour or two.

Michelle organized this ride to Lake Chestermere. Earlier this year she ran it as part of her training for the 50 K run. She wanted to see it in summer, but didn't want to run it again. Now she's working on bike distance, so it was easy.

I took Estela, even though she is too much bike for the bike paths, and I was pretty sure we'd be on a gravel road for a detour. My hybrid needs some work. We met up, and drove to where the path and canal cross Glenmore trail. A bit of getting sorted out, and we were off. Turns out Estela needs some work too, I think the chain needs cleaning. Tomorrow.

It's a beautiful flat ride. The canal had lots of bird life on it, and there were always interesting swirls and ripples in the water. We just rode along, no rush at all. Michelle and Antje were on hybrids or mountain bikes so they had to work a little harder. You have to pay attention during the detour near 52nd St, but other than that, it's follow the path and enjoy the ride. I won't talk about how Michelle ended up in mud up to her ankles, that's a story for her blog.

Here's some photos, in whatever order blogger puts them.

This is from Michelle's phone, an obliging bystander took it for us.

If the photos don't make it clear, it was a perfect day. Warm and sunny, almost no wind. We couldn't have asked for a nicer day.

Even though I wasn't really paying attention to pace or anything, I did turn on run meter. I wanted to see what the map and pace lines actually looked like. Here you are for the number gurus of you. I can understand the pace line being all over the place. We sped up and slowed down quite a bit. But that elevation line is WHACKED. This is a seriously flat path. Just at the end I rode to the actual detour to see what work they were doing and to see if there really was a reason to close the path. There was. I rode back fairly briskly to catch up, well above 30 KPH for a while. But look what the elevation did; it dropped way off, and trust me, that path is flat. Maybe I should have had the other one going too, just to see what it said.

It felt pretty good. I could feel my legs talking to me a bit after the 5 K sprint at the end, but my butt was still fine. Maybe Sunday I'll go out for 50 K or so. Who's up for a ride out 22X from my place Sunday?

Once they dropped me off at home we had an iced coffee on the patio and chatted more. Lovely. No Stampede parade could be this enjoyable, and being in an office isn't even in the same universe.

Then I got to work. There were some spots where pressure washing the rocks had blasted out the sand and it needed to be filled in again. Lots of hands and knees, tamping bits of sand in, and spraying it with enough water to activate the polymer.

Then a nap, lying on the grass beside the lodge. More lovely. Then staining parts of the lodge. We've got a food grade clear stain for the inside, on the wear surfaces. I did the floor, benches, the food trays, bowls. Another layer tomorrow. Here's what it looks like empty. That white pipe is the air intake for the grill just above it.

I can't believe vacation is almost over, and there some things I really must get done before going back to work. For as long as that lasts, anyways. But it's too nice right now to worry about that.

Oh, the SQL joke in yesterdays blog? I'll try to explain. Usually a SQL statement starts with the word SELECT. This tells the query what data fields to get. Then there's a WHERE clause to tell the query what table the field is in. It usually looks like this:

SELECT fieldname1, fieldname2, fieldname_n
FROM tablename;

There can be much else, but this will work. However, if you're good, you can start a query like this:

a AS (SELECT blah blah blah FROM goo goo goo),
b AS (SELECT glug glug glug FROM gah gah gah)
SELECT field names
FROM a, b, maybe other tables
Where (explain join conditions)
maybe other stuff;

This lets you join together several queries as a sub-queries, and their results are like a temporary table that you can use in an overall query. But it's more complicated to write, and there's more things to go wrong.

Hello, are any of you still awake? Did I just cure your insomnia?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The big hot sweaty run

Sometimes I think that being on vacation is harder than working. At work I just stand there, and think of clever things to say in SQL, then even cleverer text to explain the whole thing. I even thought of a meme for the Most Interesting Man -- I don't always write SQL statements, but when I do, they begin with 'with'. (Yukyukyuk, yeah I know. I think two of my readers get the joke. If you do, please comment so I know who you are.) But on vacation who knows what I'll get up to?

Tuesday I should have turned on Runmeter for our Canada Day walk. It was a long one. Really long, in a fairly hot sunny day. Then a long wait for the fireworks, just about freezing my tail off. When we were planning the day, I forgot how cool it was likely to get. It was lots of fun. Here's the selfie, and some of the nice bikes parked at Village Ice Cream.

Wednesday we slept in, big surprise. I had some stuff downtown to do, doing the things that a spooked herd member needs to do. All that went very well.

Today Linda was setting up for some buddies to drop by, so after a short swim and a long water run with the champ Katie, we got all ready. It was smoking hot out, bright and sunny. While getting set up I decided I hadn't been out for a good hot run in a long time.

It used to be, once upon a time, that I could barely walk in the hot weather. Then I started doing this fitness thing, and got better at dealing with the heat. So today is high 20's, and I wanted to run. I wanted to get hot and sweaty. So I did. No expectations about time or pace, just out for a run. It ended up behind a bit more overcame and more humid than hot. Humid for Calgary guys, work with me here.

I felt comfortable and strong, running just sub 7 minute K's. That lasted till I started coming up out of Fish Creek. I'd sort of thought it would be cool and shady down there, but no. There were lots of hot and humid spots. I started slowing down a bit, and walked up part of the hill. Even after the top of the hill I wasn't settling down into a run again. I could feel the heat and my legs were starting to get a bit tired. Rather than push it, I took what I'd done, about 6.5 K in 45 minutes, and was really pleased.

Stretched after, and settled in on the patio to write and generally relax. This part of vacation is good.