Thursday, December 28, 2006

Captain Canuck 2007

Our hero gently tings his fork against the wine glass. Family and friends, dining at the festive Christmas dinner table, pause with anticipation; he stands for his big announcement:

"I want to proudly unveil plans for a new, subscription-based blog that highlights the adventures of Captain Canuck. This blog would build on the current offering with all-new anecdotes, video files (in collaboration with YouTube), message alerts with the latest news about CC, and a modest monthly fee. Some of the proceeds might go to World Vision (to help those in need in Africa)! "

Our hero flees the room, shielding his head from the deluge of dinner rolls that rain down.

"I have to find a different focus group", he sighs...

Brother, can you spare some time? (on your tread)

To mitigate the caloric onslaught of the holidays, I brought home some workout attire. I have been beg/borrow/stealing workouts everywhere, esp. at the new CARI complex at UPEI which is fantastic.

So far: 2000 m swim , 13 miles run, over 3 days.

An unexpected bonus is that I have re-discovered the importance of doing normal stuff on extended trips. It really reduces the "culture shock" and being immersed in a different world (even if it is the venerated "home home").

iPod Newbie

Does anyone (e.g. Binky) know if the iPod Shuffle has an accessory to play it through speakers/stereo? Just curious... Of course the iPod has tons of 'em but I'm not sure about the shuffle.

Gift Cage-Match

This is a tale of 2 gifts that I received from my immediate family.

In the left corner, it's the iPod Shuffle. This tiny micro-player is my first entry into the next generation of media players. I have long been hooked on the musical crack of iTunes, but now I can get a fix on the fly. There is even potential that ol' Herbie (the car) will be catapaulted into the 21st century (via an adapter).

In the right corner, it's World Vision Canada. Binky, my sister, and others have been giving gifts to needy families in the 3rd world. A family in Africa received a rooster and 2 hens in my name. Very cool indeed....

And so the showdown comes down to benevolent charity versus hip marketing. It seems like a lock, but if anyone can out-hip social justice, it's Steve Jobs, wearing black. Zounds! The contest looks like it will end in an uneasy draw, save for the fact that the rooster, being the beneficiary of an aviary menage-a-trois, tips the scales.... Rejoice!

World Vision 1 Apple 0

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Year in Review #3

Random Highlights of 2006

-- Hawaii. Esp. sitting in a car with 3 dear friends, listening to the waves crash into the volcanic rock at twilight. Jeff Buckley's version of Hallelujah playing on the stereo. It was something to be near the ocean (i.e. home) and yet not, listening to a familiar song (and yet not).

-- Summer. An evening in the middle of Missouri. Booze, guns, 4-wheelers. Bombing along a dark country road on the 4-wheeler with my Bobbi McGee, a blonde bombshell, holding on to me for dear life. The summer was one of those that they write songs about. It will always seem 10 times longer than it really was. A la Calvin and Hobbes: the days were just packed.

-- Career. Finally changing employers! Jump!

-- Fitness. As is well-documented, catching my arch-rival on the run after overcoming a 20-minute deficit in the longest tri to-date. It was my own modest Olympic gold.

-- Music. It is cheesy but I learned a gorgeous arrangement of "Danny Boy" in the spring on keys, before abandoning the instrument for the summer adventure. Often, the old die-hard tunes are that way for good reason.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Upon Further Review

Doug Greene 1 Bing Crosby 0

Original here

ps. Mrs Stacey voted for Angels We Have Heard On High -- 'twas the last carol sung at our service.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Travel Observations

-- All women in Chicago wear a black, 3/4-length winter coat. Personal style is manifested via fabric selection: sleek leather, suede, wool, etc.

-- If the creationists want evidence that humans evolved from primates, here it is: watch a group of people de-board an aircraft.

-- Montreal's airport could really use some clocks, and perhaps baggage-handlers who made the big leap to walking erect. (You can make up your own jokes here).

-- It's good to be home! It won't be a white Christmas this year, but c'est la vie, n'est-ce-pas?

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Hallucenogenic Christmas

I wrote a blog entry about "Christmas in the Trenches" but I'm not in an "earnest" mood. So:

I believed in Santa until I was 12, long after the other kids cynically huffed on their cigarettes and laughed mirthlessly at the bitter revelation.

My belief was mostly predicated on the fact that on Christmas Eve, when I was 5, I awoke late at night and, beside myself with excitement, I looked out my bedroom window. I swear, I saw him in the sky, just like in the poem.

It is not clear if I had drunk from the wrong punch bowl that evening, or if Mom had perhaps dropped some acid while I was in the womb. Maybe I was having a "rite of passage" vision, like the Iroquois. I don't know, but I saw him...

And to be honest, I'm still not convinced it's a scam. Though from the excerpt below I wonder if he uses cocaine.


And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

I'm outta here... The next dispatch will be from The Island. Have a peaceful holiday, everyone.


I don't think it is my place to blog on this, and yet I can't write without acknowledging it.

The Island lost a good man this week. He will be missed.

I could blog a dandy story that I will remember forever, but it feels wrong. Many of you have heard it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Confessions of A Pirate

I found a tune called "He's A Pirate" on iTunes from the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack. I listen to it way more than I should -- I have it on repeat while I shave lately (!).

It's a heroic, orchestral piece, in a bombastic, "classical" style, but this is not great art -- it's total popcorn (and yet you or I should try and write something as good), but I've come to realize how big the music was for those Pirate movies.

It also has me re-evaluating my stance of not listening to music when working out or competing. The absolute highlight of the year from a physical standpoint was overcoming a 20 minute headstart by my arch-rival during the Lake StL tri. This tune would have been perfectuoso when he came into view on the road ahead during the run.

My delusions of grandeur probably would have caught fire and I would have just burned up on the spot.

Monday, December 18, 2006

It's Beginning To Sound Like Christmas

Binky has a lovely post about favorite Christmas carols.

Here are some of mine... It's hard to pick because so many of them are brilliant.

4. The Little Drummer Boy. I remember watching some animated TV special when I was 7 and this song choked me up before I even knew what "choked up" was. Naturally the best version is with Bing Crosby and David Bowie.

3. I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas. Berlin was fantastic and this tune is the one for being away from family. I've been away a couple of times and it is so true that "i'll be there in my dreams". I generally don't have sad Christmas's when away, because I just think of all the great ones.

2. O Holy Night. You haven't lived until you come out to the late (11 pm!) Christmas Eve service at a small church back on PEI, and see the soloist (Doug Green) do this one up right. More than once, when he nails it, I have whispered, breathlessly, to myself that it was worth the entire trip home.

1. Christmas in Killarney. I can't believe this is #1. My sister and I used to play an ancient LP called Merry Christmas (NOT White Christmas) by Bing Crosby and the Andrews sisters. One side was devotional; the other side was secular. Many tunes had that big band sound. Two of them were so cheesy that I wonder if they were written especially for the album: Mele Kalikimaka (a Hawaiian romp) and Christmas in Killarney, an Irish wannabe. Both are incredibly cheesy but C in K is delightful.

and yours?

Happy Hanukkah

A belated Happy Hanukkah to everyone! My friends J and Stef hosted their annual "party of the year" / Hanukkah party which was a blast and also a great way to introduce newbies like me to the holiday tradition.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Year in Review #2

I'm not done just yet, but here are the year's numbers.

Swim: 45.8 miles (74 km)
Bike: 520 miles (837 km)
Run: 332.4 miles (535 km)
Walk: 52.4 miles (84 km)

Total: 950.6 miles (1520 km)

It's been a great year...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Attack Cat Returns

I came home this evening to see a black, feral furball on the steps: Chicago is well!

I had been very worried recently, especially after the ice storm.

He's bigger: probably a year old now. And I think he has a food source because he's not as scrawny as he was before. Though he was still very vocal about getting some chow.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Year In Review #1

I've been blogging for about a year.

Some thoughts:

-- The top two comments from people, in conversation, regarding the blog are (1) it is all about the author and (2) there's not enough about the author

-- I didn't know what my writing style would be like. Looking back, I don't write diary entries, "Happy Birthday Bob!" messages (except a vague message on my own birthday), or much about my personal life. Hardly a mention of sex, politics, or religion -- no wonder my numbers are dwindling.

-- Blogs are perhaps best-suited for those who live far away. They can get details that one would never think to mention in conversation. It's hard to summarize 9 triathlons over Christmas dinner.

-- A lot of people hate blogs and find them to be quite self-centered and impersonal: an online, cut-n-paste form letter to the masses. I'm thinking of sending them a direct email announcing my new subscription service for 2007 -- for just $14.95 a month, you can get all the CaptainCanuck news straight to your mailbox! I can make jokes like this here because they won't read this blog.


I can't believe I'm going home in less than 2 weeks! A lot to do beforehand, but looking forward to it, of course.

It's been a great year but a long one. The years where I get home more than once a year are easier.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Things Are Not Always As They Seem #34

In the NBC special on the Hawaii Ironman, one competitor was a military guy who lost a leg in action.

Near the end of the show, they showed the climax of his ordeal with a scene of him crossing the finish line. It was about 11 pm at night. The man had been racing, with an artificial leg, since dawn. A large crowd of people stood, in drizzling rain, at the finish-line, which was lit up like a beacon in the night.

The man crossed the finished line triumphantly and wept. He went over to his family on the sideline. One woman had a garbage bag over her. As the man went to her first, it was clearly his wife. I noticed that she didn't embrace him but rather stiltingly leaned over and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

I swore at the TV. I couldn't believe she wasn't more jubiliant -- this guy had served his country, suffered greatly, and then pulls off an Ironman. "Can't you hug the guy, you cold-hearted...... ??"

Then someone else gingerly lifted the garbage bag from her. She held up a 12-month-old baby for her hero to kiss. She had been standing out there for hours, protecting the little triathlete from the rain.

I teared up. LOL. My apologies to her. That's a tough family.

Exercising Religiously

Yesterday, NBC had a 1-hour recap of the latest Hawaii Ironman. It was awesome in many ways, especially since I visited The Promised Land earlier this year.

One of the human-interest stories was a Catholic nun in her 70s, who completed the Ironman yet again. She finished with one minute to spare (if you don't do it in 17 hours, then it doesn't count).

Let's recap exactly what she did:

-- 2.4 mile swim in open water
-- 112 mile bike on a course with notorious headwinds
-- as a nightcap, a run called "a marathon" (26.2 miles)

You might think that if a woman in her 70s can do this, then it is just a matter of training -- you put in the hours and just pull this off. That is absolutely false. This is a tremendous achievement. That lady sure has more chutzpah / guts than I have, and I've been in the trenches.


Sister Madonna Buder was introduced to running at the age of 48. A priest spoke to her praising the power of exercise. He described running as a "panacea with the power to cure depression [and] harmonize the mind, body and soul." Buder, full of inspiration, put on some hand-me-down shorts and went out to find the runner's high.

From this article

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Another Idea

Incredibly, there are still 60,000 people without power in St Louis. It has been 6 days, and there have been several fatalities due to fires and especially carbon-monoxide poisoning.

I don't know what to do about CO, but I have had it with fires due to unattended candles. Can't someone invent this:

The Candle Attender: a container that holds candles. It might look like a small oven that a child would play with. It has heat-sensors that monitors a constant-amount of heat -- if the heat level rises dramatically (after lighting), then it squawks very loudly and might even douse the immediate area with water.

I'm not an engineer, but you get the idea... Maybe the thing could have a lot of reflecive surfaces which would make it desirable from an aesthetic standpoint.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Case For North America: Exhibit 1

From 60 Minutes segment on NetFlix: the documentary Hotel Rwanda is the #5 movie rental at the company, above the mainstream smash, Wedding Crashers.

Pretty cool....

Case Against North America: Exhibit A

There is a commercial where a blonde with a southern accent is peddling high-def TV and says "My movie is broadcast in 10DHG-XYZ. I totally don't know what that is, but I want it."

*sigh* All too true. Too bad they don't broadcast in tolerance and enlightenment.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

GoCartus Maximus

"Perfect...", he growls sardonically. Our hero, CC, grits his teeth and, leaning forward to check side-mirrors, downshifts his intrepid explorer, Herbie, into 2nd gear. Ahead, a truck has slowed down, threatening to rob precious momentum needed to make the next hill.

This is no place for a Mazda Miata. It is a dark, stormy day on a treacherous, snowy mountain route in the northern Alps. However, our hero has only 20 minutes left before reaching the rendez-vous with an international team of special forces. Together, they will smuggle medicine and toys into a impoverished country ruled by a malevolent dictator.

He feathers the gas, but the tires break free... Yikes! He quickly corrects the fishtail and glides into 3rd gear, lowering the torque of the engine, and closes the gap on the lumbering lorry. Herbie's engine growls softly against the constant frappe of sleet hitting the windshield.

Moments later, our hero wipes the sweat from his brow and makes a final turn onto a backroad. The road is covered with ice and snow, but looks passable. The car drifts elegantly onto the road. So close now, and with no traffic, the dynamic duo of man and machine speed up slightly to navigate on the snow.

But ahead there is a small intersection... it is becoming clear that nothing has traversed this area since the last snowfall: more than a foot of snow in a small drift, spanning 8 feet. Zounds! In a split-second, our hero calculates the odds, curses his vehicle's low-clearance, and guns the engine. "Hold on, Herb..." he mutters.

The car fishtails slightly like a cat swishing its tail before the chase. At 30 mph, the car lunges ahead ploughing into the snow. In a split-second, the front of the car catches the drift, and veers to the left; the rear-end kicks out violently, and the duo come to a sudden stop. Busted.

Minutes later, our hero plods into the rendezvous, and clops up the stairs. The ramshackle building is filled with office cubes. He pokes his head around one cube. "Commander Eric, can you help me get my car off the road?"

"Sure..." Eric replies, grabbing his coat. As they march toward the snowy spectacle, Eric looks up, puzzled -- "did you call me Commander?"

Now is the Winter of our Discontent

We've had a bit of a storm here in StL. I'm always biased that "real" storms happen back home but I'll grant that this one was pretty good.

I don't know the stats but a lot of freezing rain/ice and then an uncharacteristic dump of snow. The biggest news for the area is that power is out again for many residents -- this just after a PR fiasco in July when a thunderstorm left the power company scrambling. Though true sympathy goes towards the families who are trying to cope, I am sympathetic to the power company in that one can only fix things _so_ fast. (I am less sympathetic toward their enormous profit margins and rate hikes).

Some thoughts:

-- I love how winter brings people together. I have had more spontaneous conversations in the last 2 days than the last 2 months. I shovelled out a guy's car and may have found a new compadre to hit the bars with.

-- I have also been the frequent recipient of kindness, thanks to a go-cart/Miata named Herbie. Not good... I also managed to punch a small hole in the top in a fit of ice-clearing enthusiasm/rage. Really not good.

-- When I first got my car, it had mud-snow tires on it. I think that gave me a false sense of security for winter -- the car was great in the snow. Alas, those tires are long gone

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Power of Primates

I saw this on PBS: a show about researching animal emotions, particularly gratitude.

Four chimps were in captivity at a psych lab for 13 years. For all of their lives, they lived inside, in four "rooms" surrounded by chicken wire. Their trainer, using hand-signs, told them that they would soon be moving to a new place (a giant, well-funded outdoor playground). They were shown this new habitat one evening (from behind glass), and stayed one last night in temporary cages.

With the daylight, the doors opened and with the trainers looking on, the chimps were free to emerge into the great outdoor compound. The trainers fully expected them to dash outside and begin playing.

Instead, they crept tentatively through the door, checking out the new digs. Gradually, they hooted and hollered with glee, but before enjoying the new environs with abandon, two of the chimps retreated to the glass behind them, and kissed their trainers before scampering off into the playground.

Wow. This is a reality show worth watching.


"We patronize them [other animals] for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the sense we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of earth." -- Leah Krubitzer

"Except pitbulls." -- Captain

A Day in The Life With an Arch-Rival

Time taken by arch-rival during his T-day 5K: an eternity

Time spent at work today contemplating the gym: 8.5 hours

Time spent at gym running 7 miles: 1 hour

Excusing oneself from subsequent swim due to bleeding toes: Priceless

Feeling good about toasting said rival in the next series: Even better

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Stat Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

I had a Hall of Fame swim (for distance) at the gym today. My annual mileage numbers are piling up, but they are overshadowed by my Dad.

Check this out: on the bicycle, he's cranked out 4,300 kms in 2006. That's 2,700 miles and it's just crazy. He has bike-commuted 100+ days this year. (I'm at 500+ miles this year, which is still dwarfed even with the "Tri Defense").


(*) The "Tri Defense" is a term I just coined whereby triathletes can always excuse themselves from various athletic comparisons, rightly or wrongly, because they do 3 sports. This will probably be a blog entry.

Gettin' off the Pharm


Since 1999, the 52-year-old family doctor has been treating diabetic patients in Lawrence, Kansas, with an approach that was abandoned by most physicians in the 1930s. Worse, this Depression-era remedy is the opposite of the current guidelines established by the American Diabetes Association, a nonprofit organization that spent nearly $51 million on research in 2005, and so should know a thing or two about how to handle diabetes.

There's no question that Dr. Vernon is trouble -- but for whom? Not her patients, that's for certain. They just won't stay sick. People walk into her office afflicted with type-2 diabetes and, by every objective medical measurement, walk out cured. There's $51 million that says that isn't supposed to happen, not in a clinic in Kansas, and definitely not as a result of cleaning out the refrigerator.

From a Men's Health article on a common-sense treatment for diabetes (lower blood sugar via diet). For some reason, the new Google tools on Blogspot is messing up links, so go to MensHealth and search for "diabetes" (the title is The Cure For Diabetes).

Friday, November 24, 2006


I spent Thanksgiving at BryGuy's folks.... A great time, with enough people to crew a battleship and enough food to sink one.

Many games were played... And I finally saw "The Office" which has been recommended to me by a lot of people. Now I know why.... Terrific show.

Diplomacy 1 Rage 0

On Wednesday night, the neighbours let the dogs out onto the deck (aka my roof) circa 12:30 am.

I almost went up and knocked on the door in a rage. I almost blogged some fairly profane and unfair generalities about dog owners. But I let it go...

On Thursday, I decided to leave a little note, at their door, explaining the situation and the architecture of the building. It should be pretty obvious, but the neighbours are a guy and girl in their early 20's and, like their pitbull, they don't seem to be the shiny-est pennies in the fountain.

I went out for a lovely T-day excursion, and then returned to my apt. There was a note left in my door. Dialogue! Would it be friendly?

It was. The girl wrote a profuse apology. Nice.... I'm glad I took action in a polite way.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Ringtone Revolution

Sometimes, you just know something is going to happen. I had a feeling back in the 1980s that the Japanese motorbike manufacturers would start doing Harley knock-offs. Now, they are everywhere. I knew this before the bike makers knew it.

I have another idea. I'm writing quickly now because Microsoft is getting close and nipping at my heels. Their new iPod wannabe, the Zune, can "squirt" songs. The idea is that if 2 people with Zunes are in close proximity, that Person A can send a song to Person B using wireless capability (with a short message). My guess is that this will be buggy in practice but the idea is excellent.

My idea is "collective ringtones". And it will be very annoying. Here's the scenario:

-- Person A gets a call on their cell
-- Before ringing the cell checks the immediate vicinity for other people on the same network. If someone is found, then it sends a message to Person B's phone.
-- Person A's cell goes off, perhaps with "Shave and a haircut"
-- Person B's cell goes off with "two bits!"

Great.... Movies and the symphony will never be the same (yet again).

Remember, you heard it here first.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

To America:

Happy Thanksgiving! This is one holiday that is much different than in Canada: the sentiment is the same, but not only are the times different but the scale is much different. It is a huge holiday down here and a uniquely American experience.

I hope everyone has safe travels, good times with fam and friends, and lots of Tums.

To Canada:

Happy Thursday! Joyeux jeudi!

Nose to the Grindstone

For a month now, at my new gig, I have not done personal email, blogging, or surfed extracurricular websites.

It has been fascinating...

(a) I'm _way_ more productive
(b) I have no idea what is going on in the world (and I watch a lot of news)
(c) I actually login to Yahoo and have several messages waiting
(d) I have to hammer out messages in the early AM

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A different perspective

Everyone knows that Michael Richards (aka Kramer) went on a bizarre, racial tirade at a comedy club.

Talk-radio is filled with questions about whether "we" should accept his apology, or if it was racially motivated. (Here's a hint: it was).

But here's the real story, and it is sort of uplifting:

Imagine that you could go back in time to the early 1960s and tell Dr Martin Luther King that in 2006, a guy is caught spewing bigotry onstage in front of 200 people, including an "n-word", which became censored 10 years before. Video of the episode is posted on a vast linkage of computers, and the man has no choice but to apologize on national TV to try, lamely, to save his career.

That's kinda cool... The dream is not here, but things have changed for the better, no?

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Wikipedia is a fantastic online encyclopedia, written by its user-community. It even has entries for particular days, though why anyone would want to write about a day is kind of weird.

See today

Thursday, November 16, 2006

3 word poems

Here's a game spawned by Rosie's 3 word poems. Go through A-Z as fast as you can a la stream of consciousness. For example,

Adam aimed angrily. Bear bites beautifully. Canada collapsed crazily. Deer dashed dangerously. Ernie earned earnestly. Fox fought fruitlessly. Gaza grew grossly. Huey halted hilariously. Iraq invaded irately. Jack jumped joyfully. Karen kicked knackeredly. Love loves lustfully. Mike microwaves meekly. Nancy nattered negatively. Oliver oomphed overtly. Patrick pounced prematurely. Quarks quake quarterly. Roof rumbled roughly. Steve shimmied stealthily. Texas turned timidly. Ursula usurped, usually. Veal vindicated victoriously. Wealth wounds wearily. Xerox x-rays xenophobically. You yell yearningly. Zipper zips zealously.

That took 14 minutes! Gah! But I was trying to be sorta poetic.

Word play

I haven't had much time to think, but Rosie's comment was good motivation to give it a shot.

Here are some of my 6 word stories:

Sept 10 2001-- doc's appt tomorrow

Mrs President, Mr Winphrey line two...

Laser detects souls seared in crematorium.

Waiter, are these locusts truly organic?

French Ayatollah pledges to rebuild Paris.

For sale: swine kidneys, never used.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The McGurk Effect

Here is a neat phenomenon from a neat book

It is called The McGurk Effect (see it here)

It is a video of a guy saying "ba ba" with an audio layover of him saying "ga ga". Our brains do reconciliation of visual and audio input before it gets to the language center, and the two incongruent inputs merge to form "da da", which is the closest thing that our brain can figure out. This is way lower than consciousness (Miss G could help us out here): we have no choice in the matter!

For St Louisans, McGurk's is a popular Scottish bar, so I suppose a secondary effect would be that everyone sounds like this after a few too many pints of Guiness.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Six Word Stories

Here are some "stories in six words", as solicited and printed by Wired magazine. Mostly sci-fi....

Lie detector eyeglasses perfected: civilization collapses. -- Richard Powers

The baby's blood type? Human, mostly. -- Orson Scott Card

Kirby had never eaten toes before. -- Kevin Smith

It's behind you! Hurry before it -- Rockne S O'Bannon

Epitath: foolish humans, never escaped Earth. -- Vernor Virge

Longed for him. Got him. Sh-t. -- Margaret Atwood

Internet "wakes up" ? Ridicu -- [no carrier] -- Charles Stross

and yours? (Mine on the way... I don't mean your favorites but rather your own writing. Captain Canuck assigns homework!)

In Flanders Fields


Each November, Poppies blossom on the lapels and collars of over half of Canada’s entire population. Since 1921, the Poppy has stood as a symbol of Remembrance, our visual pledge to never forget all those Canadians who have fallen in war and military operations. The Poppy also stands internationally as a “symbol of collective reminiscence”, as other countries have also adopted its image to honour those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

From this site

The poem, from Dec 1915:


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae

Thursday, November 09, 2006


How sad... I didn't even know Ed Bradley was ill.

He was my favorite on 60 Minutes. Folksy, brilliant, and had style.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


My car, Herbie, hit 200,000 miles! It had about 54,000 when I got it a decade ago.

Ol' Herb is limping along these days with several ailments, but he is still fun and a smile-maker on a warm day, or at 6000 rpm in 2nd gear. Nice going, bud. Thanks for the rides.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Results Are In

My dad won a seat... Congrats!

See local results

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I'm Captain, and I approved this message

The upcoming week is gonna be a doozy on the political front:

1. My Dad is running for councillor in a municipal election on Monday, back on The Island. He has been deputy-mayor but took some time off after an unsuccessful bid for mayor. Good luck!

2. Missouri is going to have a good-ol' smackdown on Tuesday. The main issues are a constitutional amendment (versus a law!) on stem-cell research and another proposition that would raise tobacco taxes to the national average. The stem-cell issue is hotly contested indeed.

3. Naturally, the US is having the Congressional and Senate elections on Tuesday. It will be interesting.... I don't think voting machines will be hacked but I do pity the poll-workers who have to deal with the problems. I hope I'm wrong but I think it might be chaos in a lot of areas.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

StL Film Festival

Rejoice! It is that time of year again: the international film festival is here in St Louis.

Check it out

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Well, I decided that Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates (movies) had hit mainstream, especially when Matt Lauer of the Today Show dressed up as Capt Jack on the morning of Halloween.

With the new gig, and generally some stress in life, I decided to go to a party with a mimimalist approach this year: go easy and go lame.

I went with a toy snake and a pedestrian bagel on a plate. The theme was:

Snakes on a Plain Bagel!

It bombed, as expected. One person appreciated it. One. Kinda touching, actually

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Curator Went Down to Georgia

I saw this on Charlie Rose... Le Louvre in Paris is doing a major partnership with a museum in Atlanta over the next 3 years. Think of an exhibition on steroids...


Louvre Atlanta is the fruit of a groundbreaking alliance the High has created with the venerated Paris museum and will bring an array of artworks from the Paris palace's vaunted collection to Atlanta over the next three years.

See an article

ps. The episode of Charlie Rose may be available through his website and Google Video

The Gig

The new job is going ok... Here's some niceties:

1. The commute is trivial
2. People are friendly
3. The workplace is very multicultural
4. The cafeteria is subsidized for $3 a day: i.e. you can eat free if you keep it under 5. Note that the parent company is French. No word on "wine days" or "the new 30 hour work week"
6. My team lead reminds me of my beloved Aunt Millie, which is high praise indeed

There are downsides: mostly that the place is right out of the movie, Office Space, but c'est la vie!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

New Neighbours

I have been hearing some significant noises on the deck above me.

I was concerned that the raccoons were back (gah!). However, from the "thumps", I knew that if it was raccoons, then they had gained a lot of weight. Plus the noises seemed to be sync'ed to the opening/closing of the patio door.

Yesterday, I received confirmation: someone came to the door, asking if I would fetch a toy for his dogs, as it had fallen onto my deck.

I was happy to retrieve it. I was grateful that there weren't raccoons above me, and, hey, I like dogs as much as the next person. As I was on the deck, I asked the guy what breed he had. He said, "Pitbulls".

I looked up toward the deck above me. There stood two big, mean junkyard dogs who looked very territorial and not happy to see me down there.


Now, some 24 hours later, I can't believe how often those dogs are out on the deck, which is, essentially, my ceiling. It doesn't bother me as much as the raccoons (who lived inside the deck), but as I type here, there is a constant thumping of 2 large dogs playing.

Dog lovers, fair warning: there may be significant ranting on this blog in the days to come. Sadly, these rants will not be aimed at the dogs, per se, but rather their owners (or a small minority of them, at least).

I have been asked if I'm a "dog person". I'm not. I like dogs, and dearly loved some particular dogs from childhood (RIP, Brawley), but I'm definitely not a dog person. In fact, I don't understand most dog people (much like people don't understand triathletes -- there is nothing "wrong" with either dog people or triathletes, but.....)

ps. There is a chance that these dogs are just visiting. I couldn't tell from the conversation. One hopes....

pps. It is now 12:15 am. I heard the patio door swish open, then a dog running around, then another swish. Surely, SURELY, they aren't letting the dogs pee on the deck?!? Man, I don't want another jihad/holy war with this apartment


It is a lovely day in StL -- sunny and 70 F. The St Louis Cardinals are on parade through the streets downtown.

Some notes:

-- The Cardinals have won their 10th championship, 2nd only to the mighty Yankees (26) See a list here.

-- Tony LaRussa joins Sparky Anderson as the only managers to win the WS from both sides (American and National Leagues).

-- One radio reporter said he was stopped in traffic, downtown, when the final game was in the 9th inning. As the Cardinal closer struck out the last banner to win the Series, people ignored the lights, jumped out of their cars, and started embracing.

-- The only time I have seen that was similar was when I lived in Ottawa in 1993, and Toronto won their 2nd WS. People were embracing strangers even though Ottawa is 5 hours away from Toronto.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Experts Are Idiots! Cards win! Cards win!

What a fantastic playoff run!

Very few people in this town gave the Redbirds a chance when they fell backwards into the post-season way back in the early fall... But people in this town started to believe as each team fell -- except for the baseball pundits.

A bonus -- I found this bet from Vegas last night. It is a bet, placed on July 5 that the Cards would win the "World" Series. I was too nervous to blog it last night, but it was a nice find! BryGuy has a similar ticket (neither will pay big money but it's a nice touch).

ps. I didn't think the Cards would win when the post-season started. I was just happy that Houston didn't beat us out for the division. But I had been to about 6 games in the new ball park so it was awesome to see the big win on TV, here in StL

pps. "The Experts are idiots" is from a sign spotted on TV during game 5.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mazel Tov!

This was a big weekend for a circle of friends.... Stef and J had their respective "farewell single-hood" bashes on Friday night and tied the knot on Sunday evening.

I'm awaiting the inevitable flow of pics but for now:

1. The bachelor party was a hoot! We went to a high-end indoor go-kart track which was fantastic. Yours truly posted one of the faster laps but sadly not the fastest lap (which is driving our hero crazy). If you are in the area, check it out here. Also, if you are a serious carnivore, then check out Cafe Brasil

2. The ceremony was lovely. Everyone looked fantastic but the groom and esp. the bride stole the show. The service incorporated many friends and family with a charismatic Rabbi and thoughtful inserts that explained the events as they pertained to Judaic tradition. Afterwards, everyone was festive with dances, speeches, and merriment.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ode to Yadier

O, Yadier Molina!
The cheers from the cantina!
The Mets are your senorita,
gracias, Yadier Molina!


ps. Yadier is the catcher for the StL Cardinals and will definitely not have to wait in line at any fine restaurant in this town. Along with Suppan and Wainwright, pitching aces.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Redbird Fever

The town is electric with the roller-coaster ride of the St Louis Cardinals! The team snuck into the playoffs, avoiding an epic collapse (magic number of 5 with 12 games apiece between the Cards and Astros). After a surprise victory against San Diego, they now lead the Mets 3 games to 2 and are a win away from the World Series.

Monday, October 16, 2006

New Gig Redux

I should have mentioned earlier that my new gig is still in the same town, doing pretty much the same thing. I will be a consultant now though which means I am pimped out to various clients. Interestingly, I will be joining many alumni from my current gig (though not at the first client site).

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Nobel Peace Prize

I saw a delightful news report on the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

In a semi-accurate summary, an economic professor had the idea of a bank that lended "micro-loans" to the poor, in Bangladesh. It has been a major success for everyone involved. Some particulars:

-- The typical loan is $100
-- The usual borrower is a married female trying to pull her family from poverty
-- The default percentage is an astounding 2%, though the percentage of borrowers who improve their lot is approximately 50%
-- The phenomena is affecting social change for woman as they have more influence in the decision-making of the household

Very cool stuff... especially that the Nobel committee recognized the effort. Several pundits have noted that this grassroots effort is much more successful than any number of international-aid agencies.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Can I Have A Witness

by Alex St John, columnist in CPU magazine. Emphasis added.


Windows’ blue screen of death was annoying, but at least it was unpretentious. They improved on this in Windows XP, with a new dialog that gave you some false sense of control over your computer’s doomed state.

This dialog contained a much subtler set of insults to the user, but at least its creators had the decency to apologize before offering to run their spyware on your computer and pretending that you might be smart enough to make heads or tails out of the error report they were offering to send themselves. The presence of two buttons gave you the pleasant illusion that you had some choice in the situation. It did a good job of making you feel a little guilty for being annoyed with them if you were unwilling to help them out with the problem by hitting the Send Error Report button. I suspect that Microsoft hired a team of psychologists to help them design this dialog.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Na Na Naa Na, Hey Hey Goodbye

Canadians are very familiar with a song that fans of the Montreal Canadiens sing when a victory is at hand.

I am singing it today: I have given 2 weeks notice at my current employer.

It is a bittersweet farewell, though: 7+ years and a lot of personal growth, fun times, and memories. Sadly, many of the people are gone now.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

For Back Home

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

From Wikipedia:

The first and original Thanksgiving comes from Canada. In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Unlike the American tradition of remembering Pilgrims and settling in the New World, Canadians give thanks for a successful harvest.

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an English explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Orient. He did not succeed but he did establish a settlement in Canada. In the year 1578, he held a formal ceremony, in what is now the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to give thanks for surviving the long journey. This is considered the first Canadian Thanksgiving, and the first Thanksgiving to have taken place in North America. Other settlers arrived and continued these ceremonies. He was later knighted and had an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada named after him - Frobisher Bay. (which is close to environs of Jennifer at North of Nain)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Crazy Train

Mental wounds, not healing: Driving me insane.
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train. -- Ozzy Osbourne

It's a gorgeous, warm late summer day out in a pastoral rural area. As one gazes along the horizon, the bucolic stillness of the corn fields is disturbed by a dust-devil twisting along a country road. Near its path, trees sway, corn stalks fold, birds flee....

Our hero bears down on the pedals of his trusty steed, Blackbird. True to proper form, he glides the pedals back and forth a la Nordic skiing, rather than the "bangers and mash" style of stomping on the downstroke. His elbows touch; his arms tucked in tight to the aerobars. With gritty grin, he leans into the upcoming turn, oblivious to the stop-sign bending in the wind.

It is the RecPlex triathlon; the last event of the season. He leads his nemesis, the dreaded Jim G, by several minutes. Even though his arch-rival had a 1 minute headstart, our hero came out of Transition 1 ahead. Jim G was spotted panting heavily at the turn-around of the bike, about 4 miles back.

Suddenly, our hero slows involuntarily. His jaw slackens. Schisse! The white planks of a railroad crossing are folding down, like the arms of some obstinate, foreboding giant. Red lights flash, bells clang. A train! Blackbird glides to a stop with about 4 other dismayed cyclists.

It's bad news: in many triathlons, trains are just a way of life. The judges cannot and will not account for their delay, no matter how unfair. Our hero looks back down the road. No sign of Jim G. Dozens of railcars streak by. 1 minute, 2 minutes... How many cars can be on a single train?

After an eternity, the giant unfolds his arms and a dozen cyclists dart out from the gate like the Kentucky Derby. In no time, they are back up to speed... But at what cost?

Much later... our hero spritely bounces along the park trail. About 1/4 mile to go. All is well: Jim G has not resurfaced, and if only one can press on, then one might break the 2 hour barrier, even with the wretched train delay. Focus!

And finally, with arms extended, our hero reaches the triumphant end of the race, the 2006 rivalry, and the season. Possibly as fit as ever, he crosses the line, with arms extended: 1 hour 59.04 seconds.

It's been a fine year. 9 triathlons. Countless miles. CC 2 Jim G 1. Bring on the pizza.....

ps. Last year, the same event pre-Blackbird (on Butterscotch), the time was 2:22

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Best of StL

The Riverfront Times has posted the Best of StLouis 2006. Very fun reading for the locals

Stay tuned to this blog channel for my own "Best of..." in the coming days/weeks

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Number Nine / Numero Neuf

Another tri on Sunday... This will be #9 for the year.

This is the fall RecPlex... And the deciding 3rd round in "Jim G vs CC 2006". The score this year is knotted at 1 apiece.

Jim G has been pretty busy with his new gig and continues to claim that he has not been training. We'll see. I'm not sure I'm as fit as I was for Lake StL but I feel pretty good.

I feel _very_ good about the swim time: 9:10 am. Woo-hoo! Now that is a reasonable time to start a race.

So far, so good

In the first half of 2006, the stats:

swim X meters
bike Y miles
run Z miles

From July to date, the totals:

swim 98% of X
bike 130% of Y
run 80% of Z

Not bad... April and May were rough months for fitness, so that explains part of it.

Lemp Mansion

Some friends went out the other night for a murder mystery dinner theatre at the Lemp Mansion.

What a hoot! A good meal and a great story put on by some fine actors. We all dressed up to fit the theme: the Roaring 1920s.

All 40 diners received roles, though about 6 received bigger roles. I was one, and ultimately was deemed "The Killer", which may have been:

(a) to fit the plot
(b) a nod toward any improv ability (they didn't know I have taken classes)
(c) the diner with the worst onion breath

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Lewis & Clark

Congrats to several friends who ran/walked the 1/2 marathon at Lewis & Clark! I was part of the "cheering contigent" which was fun.

A neat sidebar was that Dean Karnazes, ultramarathoner and general freak, was there to do the marathon. It is his first in a series of 50 in 50 days. Pretty crazy but if you know his book/60 Minutes segment, you know it is sort of par-for-the-course.

He is a good showman and knows how to do a gimmick. The gimmick this time was that he and his wife renewed their vows during the race (with a Running Reverend, no less).

See Fleet Feet and his blog

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Here comes that funny feeling again

Partly due to the realization that most companies act like sociopaths (see previous post), I have started to sniff around for other opportunities in my current locale.

It's exhilirating yet nerve-wracking. I generally disdain the "fear of change" feeling; but that irreverent dismissal is a _lot_ easier when the stakes are low.

Going to see a weird, un-reviewed movie is one thing; a new gig/lifestyle is quite another.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Crowd Rushes By

Zounds! I am suddenly in 6th place in the FleetFeet tri series.

I was expecting Bob K, Nancy K, and some others to take over, but Luke H has come out of nowhere. That guy did extremely well last year (562 out of 600) but hadn't posted any results.

Ah well.... it was fun while it lasted.

I'll have to return to destroying Jim G.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Quote of the Day

"We are all Americans! can we not feel profound solidarity with the United States..." -- Le Monde editorial, Paris, France, Sept 12, 2001.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

2 Kids, A Fish, and now A Cat

She's back! My cousin is blogging on her adventures. This and Binky are the only blogs from home (so far) and massively important.

A key theme: my 2nd cousins, Action Girl (aka L) and Super Girl (aka J), whose photos adorn my office door and whose lives have happened since I came to the US (that freaks me out). Also, my cousin teaches at the same elementary school that I attended. The legendary West Kent. (I often tell people I was more of a Renaissance Man at age 10 then I will ever be now.). Finally, the "hubby" is a first-ballot Hall-of-Fame inlaw. Like my sister, my cousin chose well and I have 2 friends in the family.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Eye of the Tiger

Our hero, part man, part tiger, is aboard his trusty steed, Blackbird. The feline-equine combination race along the jungle path at blistering speeds. The tiger is on the hunt, with his senses perfectly attuned to his environment: eyes furtively darting for movement, his keen nose scours the air for the scent of prey, whiskers on edge.

It is the Lake St Louis triathlon. No mere swim, bike, run in the park, this is about redemption.

To this point all is well. The swim was longer than anticipated (tigers don't like water). Blackbird, for once, has been in a great mood. Now, our hero glides into T2, the transition from bike to run.

He quickly changes gear, and then pounces toward the exit area. He does not detect the rabbit named Jim G, who started 20 minutes beforehand, a sizable lead. Yet, some sixth sense gives him hope. He licks his lips and wipes away the sweat.

He notices that he is still wearing his bike gloves, and zounds! he has forgotten to don his race # for the run.

A rare gaffe: he turns around and heads back to T2. An abomination... It costs him 1 and 3/4 minutes.

35 minutes later, the tiger ambles along the jungle with a renewed sense of urgency, driven by his costly mistake. He may or may not have made up the time, but things are going well. The sun beats down on the rolling of hills of the affluent suburb.

Scanning the field for prey, his eyes lock onto white: a man in a white t-shirt. With a heart-rate monitor. Short, reddish hair, and a stiff, military amble.

It's him!! Incredibly, the joyous adrenalin of spotting prey sends the tiger into pure bliss. His tail flickers back and forth. His eyes widen. Again he smacks his chops.

This is going to be good. But what to do? Does he toy with his prey? Does he wait and stalk?

He decides to pounce, and before long, he strides up alongside of the rabbit. Like many animals in this situation, the rabbit has glazed eyes: fear, and an overwhelming sense that it is over. Nature has compassionately administered a powerful sedative for what is to come.

The two exchange pleasantries, as though they are not mortal enemies. They run together for a moment, and again the decision: does the tiger "hang" with the rabbit for a bit? Or does he push on, striving for total domination?

He chooses the latter. He strides past the rabbit, looking back on occasion to prevent an unlikely comeback.

It is a good day: CC 1 Jim G 1, 2006. Redemption. Domination.

ps. In fairness, Jim G had a fairly significant, though brief, bike wreck. To his credit, he generously claims that it did not affect the outcome.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Thrashing like Piranhas

This TV commercial is a delightful spoof of a triathlon lake swim, which is notoriously abusive.

If you don't have sound, the guy says "My name is John Doe. I'm a triathlete training for the swim. I like my training to simulate the race conditions as closely as possible".

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Hunter and the Hunted

As noted below, Saturday is the Big Show between Jim G and I.

My main goal is to beat his time, but wouldn't this be lovely:

The hundreds of participants start to swim in waves based on age-group. Jim G's age-group start is 20 minutes prior to mine. In the biz, this means Jim G is the rabbit.

I guess that makes me the tiger, oui? >:-)

A new goal: to actually pass him on the course. (This is one very tall order but wouldn't it be great!!).

Monday, August 28, 2006

Remembering the YMCA and 2 feet

This entry will be uncharacteristically cheesy. Ah well...

When I was very young, I was scared of water. I used to take the summer swimming lessons with my friends and sit on the edge of the pool, refusing to go in, even with a lifejacket or "floaties".

Then one day, at a beach at age 7 or so, something clicked and I decided I would give it a try. I was still timid, but I had made the mental leap of dealing with the fear. This "leap" was probably diving underwater and not-drowning for 10 seconds or so (ha!).

That winter, the local Y provided "yuletide swimming lessons" on either Christmas Day (surely not!) or Boxing Day. My parents signed me up and brought me to the Y.

I was the only one there. A nice, teenaged girl was the instructor, and did a fine job of hiding any disappointment at being one kid away from getting the holiday morning off. My parents watched through a tiny window from the reception area. (I'm not sure where my sister, C, was).

After 20-30 minutes of assessing my skills, the teacher gave me a challenge: to start at the deep end and swim all the way to the shallow-end of the pool, where she would be waiting.

I sat at the edge of the deep end, and saw her tiny form waving to me. I looked and saw my parents in the window; surely it was evident to them what was going down here. My little heart raced like a hummingbird. This was it: the bigtime. I was going to be a swimmer! If I didn't drown. With a deep breath, I pushed off and began not-drowning. I kicked like there was no tomorrow. I crawled awkwardly through the water. I sputtered, burped, and blew bubbles. With my eyes squinted shut, I blindly tore through the water in a frenzied battle for what seemed like an eternity.

Finally, after 3 arduous minutes, I couldn't take it anymore. It was too much. Perhaps I drew in some water. Perhaps I was weak. I don't know, but I stopped swimming and popped up in the shallow-end, about 2 feet from the end of the pool.

I was crushed. 2 measly feet away from what would have been a miraculous achievement.

Well, next weekend, it will be almost a mile in a deep lake with no safe shallow-end. And like every swim at my current Y, I will think of that day, that teacher, my folks/family, and coming up 2 feet shy.

I'll be grateful for an active childhood and a supportive environment. And I'll make it all the way this time. All the way.


ps. Hardly a newsflash, but all kids really should be involved in something athletic. It's a big deal.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Lake St Louis: Battle Royale

Sept 2 will be a big day: 'tis the Lake St Louis Triathlon, the premier event in the St Louis area.

It is also Round 2 for Jim G vs Me, 2006.

In many of the other tri's, there have been 200 people or so. Lake StL has 750 participants; it's a big deal. They have a short course and a long. We are doing the long (aka Olympic distance): 1500 meter mile swim, 40K bike, and 10K run. It is arguably my most challenging event yet.

Some people have asked about Jim G, archrival and general nemesis. Sadly, he does not work with me any longer, so we don't get daily updates. But he is doing well and claims to be training "somewhat but not enough". He feels that I have a big advantage for Lake StL, but he always says that.

The mind games have begun.

I'm tempted to train more (but run the risk of overtraining), train less (to reverse his reverse-psychology), or stay the same (which is probably just what he wants). It's not easy to figure out his angle.

Fading in the stretch

The new standings have been posted for the FleetFeet series.

They are hard to read but here's the gist

Bob K 528
Captain Canuck 476
Nancy K 464
Brian K 442
Wade P 401

Note 1: Bob K is 71 years old. He has an advantage because scores are based on your age-group and there is only one other guy in his age-group; my age-group is killer. However, in the last tri, I only beat him by a scant 3 minutes. He is 71 years old!

Note 2: The others have 5 of 6 races -- one race in hand. This is Bad News... I certainly won't win but also may not be in the top 4 (the top 4 are deemed "elite" and get discounts at the store).

Ah well... it was a nice run while it lasted.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


At most triathlons, the organizers mark your right arm and right leg with your number, using a Sharpie or other permanent marker.

In Mattoon, IL, I saw someone who had asked for a "smiley" on the other leg.

At the recent Alligator Creek Tri in O'Fallon, I did the same. I had completely forgotten about it until during the bike, when I heard a woman's voice saying "I like your smiley. It made me smile." A rare, kind moment of banter out on the battlefield.

Then she passed me, going about 10 mph faster than I. Next time, I'm getting a "frowney".

Weekend Warrior

Our hero slices through the murky water. Right stroke, left stroke, breathe, repeat. Part man, part bass, he quickly catches up to his rival, who coyly claims that she "had held up" to give said hero "a chance" in the race to the other side of the river.

The scene is not a triathlon: it's the Bass River near Steelville, MO. The occasion is Floatus Tripicus: a charming way to enjoy Missouri's idyllic rivers with hundreds of your favorite people. Combine a Mark Twain novel with Mardi Gras, and you get the idea -- a traffic-jam of debauchery on the high seas. There are no beads (strangely), no nudity (sadly), and no litter (incredibly), but one will probably see sights that one never expected to see. For example, a dude standing on a rock face, 40 feet above the water, while an armada of canoes, kayaks, and rafts congregate to see if he will listen to the guys ("jump!") or the ladies ("are you crazy?").

And one's vessel _will_ capsize -- but all is well, since one is often in 2 feet of water (see "are you crazy?" above).

It is a curious venture for someone doing a triathlon the next day, but there are only so many weekends in a summer, n'est-ce-pas?

Hours later, the alarm goes off. It is 5:30 am, and time to roll. Our hero stands up, testing his lithe, sinewy body after a full-day paddling/swimming/boozing adventure. He creakily falls back onto the bed, feeling like he has helped someone move... a piano.

Some 2.5 wretched hours later, he again slices through water: cool, blue, and chlorinated.

And later yet, on the bike, miles from anywhere, he re-examines his training regimen while doing a body inventory. Pain? check. Bruises? check. General muscle failure? check.

Settling into the aero position on Blackbird, he smiles wryly. As summer should be: The days are just packed.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

While you were sleeping...

Longtime readers will know Chicago is my feral furball friend.

I have started to feed the little waif some real cat food, instead of treats. To be honest, he hasn't been coming around more often (what, chicken liver isn't good enough for you?) but methinks Exhibit A (the top of Herbie) shows that he has associated my car with Good Times. (He likes to hang out near cars).

ps. No, I don't know for sure if it was him, but that's my wager.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Adios amigos

In local news, Software Plus is closing! How tragic...

It is a store at Olive and Fee Fee. Think of a mini-Best-Buy with lots of computer tech, great book selection, many game PCs for free play, and geek-punks on staff who seemed to know their stuff.

Big sales right now as they are liquidating.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thought of the Day

Synopsis of this documentary

Since the late 18th century American legal decision that the "corporation" is legally a person, it has become a dominant economic, political and social force around the globe. This film takes an in-depth psychological examination of the organization model through various case studies. What the study illustrates: the behaviour of this type of "person" typically acts like a dangerously destructive psychopath without conscience.

My thoughts today are with 2 dear friends who deserve better than they got.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Another Tri Article

Full article here

Quoteth (emphasis added):

We were living (and swimming, biking, running) proof. Six men of varying ages, body types, and fitness levels, active but not insanely so, easily finished our "sprint" triathlon -- a half-mile swim, 18-mile bike ride, and 4-mile run. An Ironman this was not. That's a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile ride, and full 26.2-mile marathon. That's insane.

But in everyday conversation, nobody hears the distances. They hear only "triathlon." The work-to-reward ratio was ideal. The postevent soreness, less than after a 10-mile run. The afterglow, sublime. We're all doing it again this year.

20 Reasons to do a Tri

An interesting article on doing triathlons... Note that we ain't talking Ironman here -- just tri-sports.

I thought this part was the most interesting (and surprising):

Quoteth: If your children watch you finish a triathlon, they may never look at you the same way. How do I know? My mom was a triathlete back in the formative years of the sport -- the early 1980s. At that time, people knew very little about how to train for the triathlon; trailblazers like my mom were making it up as they went along.

Bogey at 6 o'clock

Uh oh... some guy in the Fleet Feet series has a perfect 300 points in 3 races. I have 395 in 5 races.

Not good... I think I'm in his sights.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


BryGuy turned me on to a delightful documentary, Wordplay, that is currently in (independent) theatres.

It is a documentary about the New York Times crossword puzzle: its fans, its constructors, and its longtime editor, Will Shortz. Many puzzle fans are featured, including: former President Clinton, Jon Stewart, and the Indigo Girls. Also, there are profiles on some of the top competitors in the annual puzzle competition, hosted by Shortz.

If you get a chance, check it out... Highly recommended.

Some personal notes:

(a) My paternal grandmother did a crossword every day for decades. She was a dominant Scrabble player and was sharp as a tack until she passed away at 91. Though I don't think she did NYT's puzzle, she would have loved this film. These are her people.

(b) Shortz is shown in-studio for NPR; he is running a contest for some callers to his radio show. One puzzle is, given a category, provide a name for something in that category that starts with the same two letters as the category. For example, if the category is "auto manufacturers" then "Audi" is a good answer. The keen viewer will notice that his list of categories contains "Provinces of Canada". (If you need a hint with this answer then perhaps you should stop reading this blog. Thank you.)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Debate Redux

A recent post explained the debate: enter a 1/3 IronMan versus improve on the FleetFeet series (and solidify my miraculous, if tenuous, lead in the standings).

BryGuy elegantly stated the case for the 1/3 IronMan. However, I have decided to cherry-pick some easier races in August.

The reasoning was pretty easy:

-- I've hardly spent any time on the bike lately, in part due to crazy heat/storms, and in part due to sloth. LOL. A competitive 40-mile bike ride ain't gonna happen for me

-- Round 2 with Jim G is in early September: the Lake St Louis triathlon. This is the most prestigious event in the area, and though it's not a 1/3 IronMan, it will be a new milestone for me (0.9 mile swim, 26 m bike, 6 m run).

-- I have recently re-discovered there is more to life than training. ha ha...

So the next events are sprint tri's in Wood River IL and O'Fallon MO

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Chicago is My Kind of Town

It seems that we have made a new friend. Long time readers of the blog may recall that during the Raccoon Offensive that a fiesty, feral furball was caught in a humane trap. I released him and watched him bound up the roof-top with nary a look back. I named him "Chicago" because he has white socks (think baseball).

Well, some months ago, I saw him again, and I decided to make amends by throwing some little cat treats at him. For a few weeks now, he has become more and more trusting. This week, he ate a treat from my hand and I even petted him. In fact, lately, when I go to my car, he'll appear out of nowhere in a jet-black streak not unlike Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Storms are a Pane in the Glass


Captain Canuck HQ was thought to be spared from the storms of last week. After all, HQ is just an apartment with no roof/shingles to speak of.

Sadly, the crew (me) left a patio umbrella out on the deck. Apparently the winds were so gusty that the umbrella, swayed by the wind, broke the glass in the table. This despite the metal holder built-in to the table.

However, one can't really complain. As of Saturday PM, there were still 350,000+ people without power. Though the wretched heat has abated, people are getting grumpy. I saw a large, handmade sign in the apple-pie of Maryland Heights that read "No Power. Fed Up!"

ps. It is marginally humourous that this incident took place on Wednesday PM and that I didn't notice until Friday PM. (The blinds were closed)

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Debate

The next event in Mattoon IL is a 1/3 Ironman. This is a very interesting distance because I might be able to do it, but I'm not sure. It would be rough.

However, if I do that race, I can't do other, easier races in early August, which impacts the series (see last post).

The Debate: challenge myself with the 1/3 Ironman or cherry-pick some easy races and go for #1 in the series?


Number One with a Bullet

Don't blink but I'm back in first place in the FleetFeet series...

This is mostly due to the fact that I have one race up on the main contender, and that last year's competitors aren't active this year.

The way the series works:

100 points if you win your age-group for a tri/bi, and less depending how far you are off the pace.

Best 6 races count for a possible max total of 600.

Last year, the winners averaged 99.5 per race. My current average is 79 :-} Ouch.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

It was a dark and stormy night

Some friends and I went to see the Leonard Cohen documentary at the Tivoli on Wednesday night. The sky was looking dark and foreboding as we went into the theatre.

Upon emerging, I thought "Hmmm.... it must have rained". I unzipped Herbie's top (Herbie is a car, for the uninitiated), and drove down Delmar.

Yow. It was no mere rainstorm: some kind of steroidal micro-cell or something. Trees down, branches everywhere, power outages.

It was a rough night for some... No power and night-time lows of 80 F after a day that hit ~110 F (heat index).

Check out these pics...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Public Radio

My dear friend Jennifer scored a gig as an intern for a show on NPR! She works for Speaking of Faith with respect to their website. Good luck, Jennifer!

This means that she works (I think) for the same organization as Garrison Keillor. However, no GK sightings as yet.

For Canadians, NPR (National Public Radio) is similar to the CBC, in that it is smart, literate, and has a certain culture about it. It is not nearly as pervasive in society down here though, which is unfortunate. My favorite show is Fresh Air. The host, Terri Gross, is one of the best interviewers I have ever heard.

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's not the Heat, it's the Stupidity

The midwest USA has a fever -- the wretched "heat index" is off the charts, on par with hay lofts in which I worked as a youth on PEI. I can't imagine doing real work during the day down here.

I can imagine another tri, however: tri #5 (Ballwin) was yesterday; the "stupidity index" was high. But this was a big deal: a year ago the Ballwin triathlon was my very first one. I had no idea if I could do it. Wide-eyed, I watched the wily veterans set up their transition areas with cunning, while I naively tried to follow their lead. I ended up burning out on my mountain bike and walking a lot of the hilly run (in terrible heat).

What a difference a year makes. A new bike and a whole lot more experience. Knocked 9 minutes off my time (a 10% improvement) and finished 80-something out of 210 -- the first time I have been above the 50% percentile. The heat was rough, but no walking...

ps. Credit to Bill Cosby (and his wife) for the delightful subject line

Sowing her Wild Oats

She's a rising star in St Louis! Jess strikes again with a photo exhibit on 7/22. With top billing no less! Look for her work and other local art at Wild Oats this weekend.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Leonard Cohen Is Your Man

He's a Montrealer with a gravelly voice and charm to spare. His lyrics are accessible enough to be intriguing and yet Zen enough to provoke. Many of his songs are better known as covers (Jeff Buckley, Jennifer Warnes, etc). One song is famous for recounting a tryst with Janis Joplin (Chelsea Hotel #2). Jeff Buckley has a wonderful cover of Hallelujah which has resonated with dear friends of mine.

He's Leonard Cohen and you should check him out. A new documentary is out at indy theatres.

The film is here

Great quote:

"Now, I don't want to give you the impression that I'm a great musicologist, but I'm a lot better than what I was described as for a long, long time; you know, people said I only knew three chords when I knew five."—from interview with BBC Radio 1FM (1994)

One of a dozen memorable lyrics:

Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on
I'm just paying my rent every day
Oh in the Tower of Song

I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get?
Hank Williams hasn't answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
A hundred floors above me
In the Tower of Song -- Tower of Song, Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ironmen and Ironwomen in StL

From the Post-Dispatch:

"Some Saturdays when I'm out riding 100 miles in 90-degree heat while all my friends are at the pool or at barbecues, I'll think, 'This is crazy,'" said Ofsthun. "And there's always some time during every race where you think, 'I'll never do this again.' But my sister said it's like having a baby: You forget what the pain is like. And the next day, you go to the finisher's banquet and sign up for the next one."

me: I'm no Ironman (more of an Aluminum Man), but it is true that you forget the pain. Tri #5 is this Sunday.

What Kind of Genius are You?

Quoteth from a Wired article:

What he has found is that genius – whether in art or architecture or even business – is not the sole province of 17-year-old Picassos and 22-year-old Andreessens. Instead, it comes in two very different forms, embodied by two very different types of people.

“Conceptual innovators,” as Galenson calls them, make bold, dramatic leaps in their disciplines. They do their breakthrough work when they are young. Think Edvard Munch, Herman Melville, and Orson Welles. They make the rest of us feel like also-rans.

Then there’s a second character type, someone who’s just as significant but trudging by comparison. Galenson calls this group “experimental innovators.” Geniuses like Auguste Rodin, Mark Twain, and Alfred Hitchcock proceed by a lifetime of trial and error and thus do their important work much later in their careers. Galenson maintains that this duality – conceptualists are from Mars, experimentalists are from Venus – is the core of the creative process. And it applies to virtually every field of intellectual endeavor, from painters and poets to economists.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Run, don't walk

"Just don't start walking... Please don't stop running."

Our hero plods along the pavement, glistening in the shimmering heat as one mirage after another appears on the horizon. First, an oasis; then the St Louis Arch; finally, and strangely, a casino.

He has returned to Mattoon IL for the 4th tri of the season. Staying with the pack during the swim, he had inadvertently entered the Ulimate Fighting Championship and received several blows to the schnozz. Undaunted, he pressed on with his superbike, Blackbird.

Now, he is on the last mile of the run. So far, so good, save for the heat. It is early July in the middle of the cornfields of Illinois. Though it is not truly stifling, it is definitely uncomfortable for a Canadian. The casino morphs into an inviting ice floe. Harp seals call out to him, telling him that it would be cooler if he just slowed down.

With 1/2 mile to go, he approaches two male runners. These men are probably wholesome, honest citizens. Good fathers, perhaps; stewards of their community. But on the battlefield, they are goons. They are both in their 50s and burly. They hear our hero approach, and with a dismissive glance, turn up the pace ever-so-slightly.

The three cluster together for the next few minutes. An unspoken pact is forged: let's see who has the mettle; whoever falls back is the loser. The pack stays intact up until the last twist of the trail, which veers from the pavement onto a grassy field: 40 yards to go.

Goon A makes a charge, leaving Goon B in his wake. Goon B yells encouragement. Our hero lays back, calculating his move. With 30 yards to go, he springs into action: ignoring a pounding headache, he sprints away from Goon B and starts to reel in Goon A, who is now 20 yards from the finish. Having seen most of the field finish without incident, the crowd cheers the dramatic episode...

With 5 yards to go, our hero is right on the tail of Goon A. The narrow finish gate forces a crucial split-second decision: does he take the victory with a gauche elbow-chop-and-butt-in-line move, or does he ease up, having proved his point? He chooses the latter. A small, tactical battle won with implicit class.

He crosses the finish line. But all is not well... The long week has taken its toll and, having completely overheated, his own body turns against him and launches a rather, er, violent protest.

Minutes later, tri #4 is a memory. Our hero finishes 75th out of 90, a frank exposure of his modest talent and a testament to the elite caliber of the field.

But there is a bright side: he didn't walk.


" We, the people of Effingham, Illnois, realize that our town is effing far from St Louis. However, the journey is also effing frustrating as well -- if we don't snag you with effing traffic then we will get you with effing construction. Have an effing jolly time in Effingham, where there is more than just ham: we also have effing chicken!"

-- a message from the Effingham Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Euphemism Council

Friday, July 07, 2006

Bling Haiku

I check, they bet... raise
"lucky" Aces over Dames
blinded by bling

Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy 230th, America!

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all People are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. (Decl. of Independence, 1776)

In terms of history, this is Pretty Cool Stuff (tm). A symphony built on the overtures of the Magna Carta. It is easy to get caught up in the divisive politics of our times. But as a guest in the US, I'm here to say that this place, and my Yankee friends, are wonderful. Nothing can replace someone's home, and like Canada, each country has its struggles, but I'm lucky to be here.

Bonne Fete, les Etats Unis! Happy Birthday...

ps. Plus, in addition to democracy, any country that gives us the electric guitar, the airplane, and Scarlett should be applauded.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The True North, Strong and Free

Dear Canada,

Happy 139th! How does it feel? It was certainly nip and tuck in the first years, and then again circa 1980 and 1995, but you made it, n'est-ce-pas?

I do think that the US is fantastic, and I have appreciated the handful of other countries that I have visited, but there is no place like home (not because it is home, but because of what it is). Thanks for everything, and keep up the good work.


ps. My thanks to those American friends who sent e-cards... Merci bien pour les curriels!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Fitness Tip #2

Tip #1 was "never get involved in a land war in Asia". No, wait, it was "get an archrival".

Tip #2 is "accountability". If you have a pseudo-compulsive tendency to compile stats (like my Dad and I), then it is fun to try and crank up the numbers and then tell someone. Every morning, Jim G and I report on what we did, and the speed etc.

Here's my year-to-date report. The point isn't so much the numbers themselves but the goal of beating them in the 2nd half of 2006.

1st half of 2006:

Swim: 17.6 miles (28.3 km)
Bike: ~240 miles (386 km)
Run: 137 miles (221 km)

Run/walk: 52.4 miles (2 marathons)

Calorie intake: a lot

and yet I don't feel fit because I haven't worked out in 3 days!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Vehicle Indecision 2006 (Episode 3)

In this face-off, we have Vehicle A...

It's so ugly, it's chic. A veritable Boxmobile that goes it's own way with EurAsian utilitarian style. Not a hybrid, but sips gas... and it's way popular with the kids and DIY home-owners alike (though it received a "no way" from my personal focus group). Introducing the Scion xB

Versus Vehicle B...

If anything outdoes the Miata for cuteness, this is the ride. And in the top model, it has 200+ HP. It's the Reigning Royalty of Retro-Ride Reductionism, the venerable Mini Cooper

Merging in Traffic

There is a website called Worth1000 that has some great Photoshop galleries. Some truly creative and talented people out there.

Check out this gallery, of merging cars. There is a Lamborghini station wagon and an old Ford Mustang mated with a Scion xB. (Be sure to scroll down as they get better as you go).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Way down south

If you need any tools sharpened, you may want to stop by Lord Stanley's gravesite, because he is no doubt spinning like a lathe: the Stanley Cup has gone to Carolina.

This could be a sign of The End, but at least the playoff MVP, rookie goalie Cam Ward, is from Saskatchewan.

On TV, did I hear people singing the Canadian national anthem in the Carolina rink? I thought that was very cool.... esp. if it was Americans joining in with the dozen ex-pat Canadians.

ps. The astute will note that Tampa Bay won in 2003. But that was ok because (a) all Canadians love Florida (the snowbird effect) and (b)the playoff MVP was Brad Richards, from The Island!

Vehicle Indecision 2006 (part 2)

One strategy for a new vehicle is to wait for the production of some new concept cars.

The Ford Mustang's retro look has inspired other manufacturers to go retro as well.

Check out the new Chevy Camaro

Check out the new Dodge Challenger

I'm a sucker for retro but I can't help but wonder if the designers for these cars were heavily influenced by a Muppet named Sweetums. Can you see the resemblence?

(Hint: think of headlights as eyes)

Monday, June 19, 2006

If at first you don't succeed, tri tri -- yeah yeah

Well any interested parties have read the headlines by now. After a day of introspection, I have decided the tri was fun. Everything went pretty smoothly but Jim was just faster on the bike and I wilted in the heat during the run.

Some factoids:
-- I was 13 minutes faster than last October (swam/biked faster, ran much slower)
-- Out of 51 racers, in my age group, I finished 40th. Sounds bad, but I'm pretty happy with that
-- I tend to binge on desserts for a week after a tri, but after a decadent dessert last night, I think I'm going to continue my training diet for the next one
-- the order of the "gang of 5" was: Ember, Jim, me, Mike, Robert. Ember torched us in the pool and then on the bike

Every tri has a story, and this one was no exception. People hang their bikes on racks, as shown here.

Well, while some of us "regular folks" were setting up, an elite racer came sprinting out of the pool and grabbed his bike. As he yanked on it, the A-frame bike rack came tumbling down along with about 4 bikes. Yow! Thankfully some of us were able to grab the rack and restore it (we told the elite guy to "go, go, go!" and not worry about it).

That's one thing about tri's: you can be chillin' in your transition area, warming up, chatting, etc, and then someone right next to you is changing gear frenetically. I don't know many sports where (a) changing gear is a timed event or (b) the racers and soon-to-be-racers are in such close proximity.

ps. thanks to everyone for their support!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Headline: Jim 1 Mike 0

(Reuters) Jim G won today at the Triathlon World Cup. When pressed for comment, he said that "the win felt good". A crestfallen Mike stated that, "this is a tremendous setback for me but I will be back, after taking time to reflect with friends and family".

Friday, June 16, 2006

Summer Joy

What an exceptional, splendid photo, from Fred & Stacey's blog.

You just ain't appreciatin' a new swingset unless your back is into it and you can look up at the sky....

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Setting the Stage

Finally, the first "big" tri of the season is Sunday. There will be 5 in our "gang", all starting consecutively, with various strengths and weaknesses:

(a) Jim G, arch-rival, average in all 3 events
(b) me, protagonist, racing for the Forces of Good, average in all 3 events
(c) Ember, by far the strongest swimmer, weak runner
(d) Mike, by far the strongest runner, poor swimmer
(e) Robert, the unknown X factor

We start in the pool at 20 second intervals. The gang are friends of Jim G, but Priority #3 is to beat 'em all.

Priority #2 is to accrue more points towards the Fleet Feet standings.

Priority #1 has been well-documented: to avenge Jim G's victory in October 2005 (while getting fit, enjoying a friendly rivalry, and a bunch of other things which sound good but aren't really important -- ha).

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Track & Field

For a few weeks in the early summer, the St Louis Track Club holds a "track series" in my neighbourhood. Last night, I set a personal best in the 1500 metres. And I didn't finish last! (I beat one guy out of 15.) Like triathlons, track runs have some extremely fit people -- it keeps one modest.

Last week, I was impressed twice:

(a) A 77-year-old man ran a mile in 8 minutes.
(b) A high-schooler ran a mile in 4:30.

Of course, the high-schooler had just stolen, and crashed, the senior's car, which might explain the situation (not really).

Monday, June 12, 2006

Operation Warmup

Our hero blindly slices through the murky water. Part man, part catfish, he partakes in a triathlon near lovely Mattoon, IL.

Rather than thrash in a mob of swimmers, he has laid back from the pack during the treacherous open-water swim leg. His strategy: use Blackbird during the bike leg to catch the pack.

Our hero emerges from the lake and sprints to the transition area, looking rather pained (pic).

He hops on Blackbird, which has been set to a very easy gear, giving sweet salvation to burning legs. His feet crank the pedals. "Hmm...", he thinks, "this gear is quite easy". Then he notices no forward movement. Alarmed, he looks down, and his fears are confirmed: the chain is off the front cog.


He fixes the chain, then bikes, then runs. He finishes 67th out of 80.

"Warmups aren't supposed to be pretty...", he rationalizes.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Swim, Bike, Run, Pray

I'm doing a tri in Illinois on Saturday. Here's a pic of the finish line from 2005

Note the subtle religious overtones... ha ha. This is actually a brilliant strategy because people are quite likely to seek salvation after a tri! Triathlons and bad hangovers are good motivators for spirituality.

Note that also along I-70 in the middle of Illinois there is a cross that stands about 200 feet tall and cost $1 million (which strikes me as being contrary to Jesus' philosophy and wishes). See it

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Plot Thickens

Two news bites:

(a) The inimitable Jim G has received an early Father's Day present: aerobars for his bike. Zounds! There goes a solid advantage of mine. However, he still is unaware of Blackbird.

(b) The showdown with Jim G is on 6/18. But I have found a very short tri on 6/10 in the middle of Illinois. This will be a great warmup. So, bootcamp comes to a close....

7 days of bootcamp:

swim: 1.56 miles
bike: ~45 miles
run: 15.8 miles
fatigue factor: moderate

Friday, June 02, 2006

One for the Road, Herbie

In a few short weeks, I will have had my car, aka Herbie ("Go-Cartus Maximus"), for 10 years. Holy schmoly.

We have been through some interesting times, let me tell you. A road-trip to PEI; a road-trip to South Carolina; countless jaunts with the top down; break-ups & make-ups; triumphant parking-lot donuts after exams, triathlons; and, yes, some mechanical difficulties. Automobile magazine listed the Miata as one of the Top Ten best cars to ever own. I concur. Weather-tight, reliable, quick, but most of all: fun. Car and Driver once said that the Miata makes you want to take out the garbage, pay your taxes, and spend time with your in-laws. Every day for 10 years, a piece of me has felt like I had won the lottery.

Herbie used to be a hit with the ladies. One last hoorah was recently in a Dairy Queen drive-thru: the girl handed me my order and then, with a railroad-track smile, beamed "I like your car!". Kinda sad, in a way, but we'll take it.

One for the road. How, oh how, can I replace Herbie with a Prius? Heaven help me.

ps. Another big hoorah is that Disney has stolen Herbie's likeness and personality (without permission, I might add) for its upcoming summer blockbuster !

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Game On

It's June. The first tri of the season is 3 Sundays away (gah!) -- a rematch of last year's autumn showdown with the dreaded Jim G.

Last year I had to "cram for finals" by doing a personal boot-camp for 2 weeks and then a week of rest, which is not the ideal. The ideal is to work hard during the period 12-to-4 weeks before the event and then taper off, feeling tanned and well-rested.

Yet somehow (by design?) here we are again, under-prepared and rather un-tanned... 'Tis stressful but exhilirating at the same time. It's actually quite fun to have a goal and feel one's body respond to a boot-camp.

Thankfully, this year there is Blackbird. Oh yes. Oh yes.

So, here we go again. Blank slate for June: 0 miles swum ; 0 miles biked ; 0 miles run.

Game on.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Top Ten Cliches

This site skewers "stock photography" by listing the Top 10 cliches.... Excellent.