Friday, April 28, 2006

Meal Plan For Our 5 day Canoe Trip

This is a screen capture of our meal plan. It is basic and I am sure it will be changed/added too as time goes on, but here it is.

A Few Notes:

  • Breakfast on day one will be at the restaurant in Deux Riviers after we sleep in the car( See "Slight Change of Plans")
  • Lunch on our last day will be at the Dixie Lee in Mattawa ( something we did last year and will now do annualy). I will never forget how good that chicken tasted last year

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Doing my first Marathon...Man have come a long way

I have decided to run my first marathon. This will be the first time I have run more then the 10 km Terry Fox run and 4 years ago this would have been unthinkable. Here is a summmery of how I started working out and why...

MY BACKGROUND:.Woke up one day about 3 and a half years ago and discovered that I was fat( SEE BEFORE PIC FOR PROOF)! I looked awfull and worse...I felt as bad as I looked. Sick of being tired, out of breath and lazy, I made the decission to do something about it and started to a low Carb diet and managed to lose 95 pounds in just under 4 months. I was very proud of doing so, but wanted a way to keep it off and so I looked to exercise.

I started by lifting 3 days and cardio 3 days and heavy abs rountine 3 days , every week . I HATED it for the first 2 months, but kept with it..even though I wanted to quit daily. After some time, it became less of a pain in the ass and turned into my personal daily Challenge. I look forward to each work out and have made some great gains.


  • 35 years old
  • 6'2, 206 lb.
  • 10% Body Fat

  • Continue to build lean, tight muscle
  • Noticable size and definition
  • Remain healthy
  • Be a healthy role model for my kids
  • Run a marathon

I have completed all of my fitness goals except the last one and the time has come.

I will be doing the Port Perry Half Marathon. In case you may not know (as I didn't) , a half marathon is 21 km (13 miles) and a marathon is 42 km (26 miles). I had originally thought of doing the Toronto Marathon, but settled on the half marathon. The half should prove as good a test of my fitness test and by the end I will know if the full marathon is for me.

I will have to modify my training routines in order to be ready for the September 9th marathon. My weight training and abs workouts will continue untouched throughout, but the same can not be said of my cardio training.

I presently do 30 minutes of cardio, 7 days a week and keep my target heart rate of 145 bpm (beats per minute). I alternate between running, stationary bike and the stair master.
This is my marathon training program and it will start June 3rd, 2006 and continue right up to the day of the race Sept 9th, 2006. You will see that there are 2 off days on the running schedule and on those days I will do my normal cardio.

The thought of failing to reach this goal scares me a bit. When it comes to health/fitness I am very dedicated and proud of what I have accomplished. . I am not sure if I can do this and scared of what effect this may have on my training if I fail. Mostly, I fear that any failure here could derail all of my efforts.
You see, in many other parts of my life I have failed or just given up before I failed, but I can honestly say that for 4 years I never have when it came to working out or nutrition....Never.

This is why if I am going to do this, I not only want to finish, but finish strong for no other reason then to prove to myself that I can...

Friday, April 21, 2006

I was born 35 years ago today...

Yes today I turn 35 years old and to celebrate I bought myself a couple of gifts for the trip with my birthday money…yes I said birthday money, but let me explain.
Ever since I was a kid I was given money on my birthday and despite the fact that I am married, have 3 kids, a home and both of us are gainfully employed…my parents and my parents-in-law give me money every year.

I actually look forward to it…why? Well it is easy to deny yourself something with your money when you could be paying a bill, contributing to RRSP’s or buying something the kids need, but you can’t do that with birthday money. That money has to be spent on me. It would be contrary to the the birthday gifting process to do otherwise and I am not about to screw up the system for everyone...Well that, I just like getting new stuff…

Enough of the explanations and on to the gifts:

Sports/Hiking watch, , Altimeter, Barometer, Thermometer, Alarm Chronograph, Compass, Stopwatch, Daily alarm, 1/100 stopwatch, Hourly time signal, 12/24 hr formats, Countdown timer, , Full auto electric luminescent backlight, Low temperature resistant, Large capacity solar power, , Brushed stainless steel bezel with light gray selector buttons, Stainless steel caseback, No battery replacement required, 50 meters/165 feet water resistant

The visually arresting, warp-speed expression of Chameleon versatility and adaptability stripped to the bone for lightness. Peripheral fingers with protective sub-surface bumpers function as hitching posts for stretchy, NetGain lacing system that molds the combination mesh/stretch upper to the foot like a second skin. In-Board molded EVA midsole cushions and supports, while exclusive Vibram Octogrip Sole provides multi-directional traction. Slip-Lasted Construction Nubuck Leather/Breathable Mesh Upper Breathable Mesh Lining Lycra/Neoprene 4-way Stretch Collar Adjustable Elastic Cord Lacing System Friction Cordlock 4.5mm Anatomical Footbed Nylon 6.6 Injection Molded Arch Shank In-board Compression Molded EVA Footframe Air Cushion Midsole Vibram Octogrip Sole/Trek Rubber

I have wanted both for some time, but could never justify spending the money. Birthday money is made for selfindugence, so this makes it almost guilt free. The watch I got off of eBay and it was a good deal at $106 and has all the bells and whistles I wanted.
The hiking shoes like the watch, were not a need, but are by far the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned and will but put to good use. I love these shoes and although I am not a “shoe guy” , these look very cool.

Tonight my wife is having a little kwasi-party and then we are going to get together with Gerry and his wife Marie. Even without the gifts…I love my life!!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

My favorite Dennis Leary quotes

  • Racism isn't born, folks, it's taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list.

  • The best pitch I ever heard about cocaine was back in the early eighties when a street dealer followed me down the sidewalk going: I got some great blow man. I got the stuff that killed Belushi.

  • I would never do crack... I would never do a drug named after a part of my own ass, okay?

  • Then there is the 1970’s…there we were in the middle of a sexual revolution wearing clothes that guaranteed we wouldn't get laid.

  • Jerry Lewis has been married twenty times. He gets married on a Tuesday, they find his wife dead in a swimming pool on Thursday. Maybe if you married someone who's old enough to swim next time, OK Jerry?

  • We live in a country where John Lennon takes eight bullets in the chest, Yoko Ono is walking right beside him and not one bullet. Explain that to me

Slight Change of Plans

First off, what a great Easter weekend! We spent the Friday with my parents at their place in Uxbridge. My sisters Jo and Kate were there as well with there family's. It is always great to get together with them, but for no particular reason this holiday meant more to me then usual. The rest of the weekend was spent at home with the kids. The weather was incredible and we took full advantage by going to the park and just playing outside without the need for coats for the first time this spring. Again ...a great weekend!

Gerry and I got together Friday night just to hang out, talk and play some xbox. When the conversation inevitably turned to Algonquin, we decided to finalize our travel plans. The original plan was for us to leave home at 5:00 am on Aug 3rd and we would arrive at Brent around noon. Keeping in mind our goal for day one is to make it from Brent to Burnroot Lake before sunset. Although this is not impossible, with us leaving Brent so late in the day, it would make having to go at 90% for about 6-7 hours a must. This is not to say we are not up to the challenge, but we would also like time to take pictures and appreciate the natural wonders.

This is when Gerry came up with a brilliant idea...leave the night before! So instead of driving up that morning, we will leave at 4:00 pm Wednesday Aug. 2nd and arrive at Brent around midnight. We will either sleep in the car or more likely on the ground for the night and in the morning we will grab some breakfast in Deux Riviers, before we pick up our canoe from the store at Brent. By doing this we can be on the water by 9:00 am (if not before) and be on Burntroot Lake by late afternoon. What a great idea!

This is a great example of how our styles compliment each other. I am a concrete thinker and I do my best when able to work in facts, research, organization and information. Gerry is an able bodied concrete thinking, but his real strength can be found in his ability to think in the abstract. I strongly believe that this is why we are such an effective team and it is these traits that will prove handy once we are put to the test this summer.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Directions to Algonquin...

I had a request for directions to the town of Brent in Algonquin Park, so I have attached a link to Mapquest. The directions will not take you directly to Brent, but to the logging road that leads from the main highway. You will have to edit the starting point...unless you live in Newcastle that is...

Driving Directions from Newcastle, ON to Deux river's, ON

I have also added them to the LINKS list in the sidebar.

I would also like to thank all the people that have shown interest in either joining our trip or having us go on a trip with them. To date, I have received 7 offers and they continue to trickle in daily.

Although this has given us both something to consider for future trips, for now neither of us are ready to add members to our trips.(despite your being knowledable and friendly)
Thanks again for your interest...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

We have made the reservations

Today I called and booked our sites through Ontario Parks. I was a little surprised that they wanted to reserve where we were staying each night while in the interior. Not the exact site, but what lake we were going to be staying on. This seems strange….I mean what is to stop someone from staying an extra night on a site they particulary like? If that happens, does it not make the “Reservation” useless?

We hope to stick to plan reserved with Ontario Parks, but even the best plans were made to be broken.

The plan I reserved with Ontario Parks was as follows:

  • August 3, 2006-Day 1 - Put in at Brent and spend night on Burntroot Lake

  • August 4, 2006-Day 2 - Day trips by day, second night on Burntroot Lake

  • August 5 2006-Day 3 - Visit WW II P.O.W camp, night at top of High Falls

  • August 6 2006-Day 4 - Continue E. on Nippising R., night near Rivers end

  • August 7 2006-Day 5 – Break camp, back to Brent, travel home, plan 2007 trip

Monday, April 10, 2006

New features added

I added the "Algonquin 2006 Countdown" to the top of my sidebar over the weekend. This started as me thinking it would just take a minute or two and turned into an hour I can never get back. It was not as easy as I thought it would be, as most of the countdown timers require uploading to the host server and from what I could see on blogger, this would not be possible. So this one is not as elaborate as the timer I originally wanted, but it does the job. It is cool to see the time tick away and in case you were wondering...yes it is in real time! I just hope that I have not made the blog look junkie by adding some extras and I trust that someone will let me know if it does. (Yes Gerry, I am talking to you)

The weekend was quiet, but just what I needed. Gerry and I got together Friday night and we managed to have a few laughs, share some bottled water and talk about the trip. I could talk Algonquin 24/7 and fortunately for Gerry, this is one of many areas where he and I are so similar. In my world he is one of few people that have the same passion and thirst for information. It is very cool to know that my best bud and I can talk about all things Algonquin without getting the usual blank stares. ( See our wives for an excellent example)

I have to get back to it, but I would like some feedback on the countdown and if anyone has suggestions on better ones I would like to hear them...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Gear List for 5 day Canoe trip

Well the time has come for me to start my gear list. For those that know me, this will come as no surprise. I am completely obsessive compulsive when it comes to all aspects of organization and my need to make lists is a natural extension of that compulsion...The list will be a work in progress and I will constantly be updating this post as things are added or removed,

LAST UPDATED ON APRIL 10, 2006:Gear List for 5 Day Canoe Trip

Gear List for 5 Day Canoe Trip
Clothing: (Including Clothes worn):

  1. 1 pair shorts

  2. 1 pair convertible pants

  3. 2 T-shirts

  4. 1 light long sleeved shirt

  5. Bathing Suit

  6. Tilley hat

  7. 1 pair merino wool socks

  8. 2 pair tube socks

  9. hiking boots

  10. bandanna

  11. hooded rain jacket and pants

  12. lightweight sandals

  13. 3  pair underwear

  14. Fleece hoodie
Equipment and Personal Items:
Kitchen Equipment:
  1. camp stove - check operation of stove

  2. 2 tanks of fuel (small and large)

  3. lexan fork, spoon and knife

  4. spatula

  5. 2 liter Teflon pot

  6. frying pan

  7. coffee filters ( in cup ones)

  8. dish wash items (biodegradable soap, dish cloth, j-cloth)

  9. fair share cup

  10. coffee cup

  11. 2 nalgene water bottles

  12. butane lighter

  13. wire whisk
General equipment:
  1. 3 man tent (Jim packs tent,  Gerry poles) - check for leaks

  2. nylon tarp (used for rain protection in camp) with set-up ropes attached.

  3. sleeping bag

  4. thermarest sleeping pad/chair

  5. repair kit (duct tape, clothes mending kit & spare buttons, , multi-purpose tool, and a pad patch kit)

  6. 50 to100 feet nylon 3/8 inch bear rope, light-weight cording and string

  7. folding saw

  8. first aid kit (mole skin, antibiotic, anti-diarrhea, small scissors, elastic bandage, pain relievers, sun burn lotion)

  9. toilet paper (double bagged)

  10. life vests

  11. spare zip-lock plastic bags of various sizes

  12. water filter and j-cloth for intake

  13. maps and laminated info

  14. 1 day pack (Gerry or me)

  15. bungee cords to fasten fishing rods to gunwale

  16. towel

  17. chess set

  18. garbage bags, 1 contractor + 1 regular

  19. small rescue mirror

  20. 1 bottle biodegradable soap

  21. wind/water-proof matches

  22. sharp hatchet

  23. camp pillow
Hip/Camera pack:
  1. butane lighter, paper, canoe tipper

  2. compass

  3. 2, two-ounce bottles bug repellant (at least 30% DEET content)

  4. Map

  5. chap stick

  6. Swiss army knife

  7. journal + pen

  8. epinephrine , antihistamine, vitamins, Motrin

  9. camera, film, memory cards, pod, solar charger, extra batteries

  10. Sunglasses, rope

  11. headlamp

Internal Frame Pack:
  1. fishing rod,  basic tackle, fish batter, knife, license,

  2. sunscreen

  3. Stuff sack all items (packed inside the large personal pack)

  4. toiletries :toothbrush, paste, safety pins, towel, , soap

  5. small paperback book (optional but nice for camp-bound days)
Other Items and considerations:
  1. OHIP, drivers license, bank card, visa, cash

  2. Itinerary and phone numbers left with someone at home.

  3. Hide key on or near vehicle to avoid carrying a key on the trip

These are kind of funny...

I was sent these this morning and although I am not fond of the hundreds of joke filled emails I get, these made me smile and for that are worth posting.

Let me know what you think...

Monday, April 03, 2006

We leave 4 months from today!!!

Here I am sitting at my desk this morning, when I look up and notice that the month on my calendar needs to be changed. So as I flip the page on my "Ontario Outdoor Adventure" calendar from the cross-country skiers of March, to the Point Pelee Marsh picture in April, I notice the date...

Today is April 3rd and we leave for our trip on August 3 rd! This means just 4 short months until Gerry and I leave for our trip. (...and I figured that out without the use of calculators, sliderules or an abacus...thank you Mr. Link and your patience in Grade 9 math class)

It may seem like a long time away, but we have been planning this trip since we returned from the last one and that 8 months ago. Wow...hard to believe that eight months has gone by that quickly, so the next 4 should just be blur.

On a different note, I had some of the pictures from last years trip enlarged to 8 X 10 to hang in my office ( I have included them in this post). I just bought a bunch of cheap dollar store frames and hung them all in a row. They look great and it may seem kind of corny, but just having them on the wall makes me happy. One of the unexpected things from last years trip was how much I enjoyed photography. I had never really had much of an interest, but I found that I loved finding that perfect shot and if I may say so, I think some of the pictures are rather good.
Last year Gerry and I shared a camera, but this year we each have our own. This year we will both have our own digi-cams, so this has the potential for some heated do many things with Gerry and I.
Example: "The who can throw the pinecone closest to the center of the dirt circle game" We invented/played last year and it is soon to be included in the Olympics.
Although Gerry claimed victory last year, I have reason to believe the French judge had been bribed.

I should get back to work, but it is great to know that the trip is just around the corner.