Monday, April 23, 2007

Stop wearing shorts's April!

For the record I am not a big "short wearing guy". As girly as it sounds, I just never know what shoes to wear. Shoes feel goofy, but sandals make my feet feel nude......just me?
That said, there are lots of others that should not be wearing them either. The warm weather has people dawning a wide selection of "vintage" shorts resurected using the time machine some people must have hidden in their closets. The fashion police should be on high alert. Seriously the last time I saw this many white skinny legs I was at IKEA!

Oh and Ladies here's a hint. If you are overweight, that's fine, personly I like a lady that is not all skin and bones. But please don't wear low riser cut offs's just not a good look! I tell you this because I care, as I used to be a very fat guy don't forget!
Today I saw 3, overweight, forty-something ladies wearing shorts that were so small I could see 1/4 of their bums. Not to be rude, but what the hell are they thinking?

In summary:

Shorts are good, but when getting dressed make sure they are your shorts and not your daughters.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Amigo Pro Gear Test Video

Below is the long awaited gear test for the Amigo Pro water filter from Ultralight Adventure Equipment. As I am sure you will note, I have left in a few bloopers. What can I say, I love gear by I am no actor!

I look forward to your comments.

Facebook comes to Algonquin Canoe Trips

I have added a Facbook "badge" to my sidebar. A few of the visitors of the blog have found me on facebook, so I figured I would make it a bit easier by adding the badge. All you have to do is click on it and you will be whisked away to my Facebook profile.

If you haven't joined Facebook yet.....don't do it! You will spend hours finding every person you have ever had the slightest contact with and worse yet, it's FREE! :)

Going Back In Time

While searching through some old pictures to post on Facebook I stumbled across this photo taken in Algonquin in the summer of 1992. I am the guy on the left wearing the hairspray helmet and feathered hair. Other then my questionable taste in hair styles, I love this picture. It was the first time I had ever been to Algonquin and it was that experience that never really left me. Even years later when Gerry and I would start tripping together, it was that thought of that initial experience that rekindled my love of the park.

But for the life of me, I couldn't remember where the picture was taken? All I knew was that it was on a hiking trail along the highway 60 corridor. Not a lot of information to go on. So with just these few clues went to the Algonquin Adventures Message Board and asked for help. Within minutes the experts there agree that is was taken on Booth's Rock Trail. This trail is located next to Rock Lake! Yes, the same Rock Lake that I will be doing my solo trip this July. Amazing eh?

So I have decided that it high time I revisit that spot! Once I have completed my solo trip I will hike the 5.1 km Both's Lake Trail . My life has changed so much since I stood on that rock for the first time 15 years ago. Since then I am married, have children and a career. but despite all that, that place will most likely look exactly the same, even if my picture does not.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Quick Update

It has been over a week since my last update, but there's far to much to talk about then I have time for at this moment. For now I will give you a summary of my past week and a half, with the promise of more details to come:

  1. I am addicted to!
  2. My tri training continues and I am starting week #3.
  3. The swimming was much harder then expected, but after some rather disappointing days, I am starting to make progress.
  4. I have not done any Yoga in over 2 weeks....just having a hard time fitting it in.
  5. I have been sick, but still managed to complete my workouts...barely!
  6. Still waiting for nice enough weather to do the video field test for the Amigo Pro water filter.
  7. My Hennesseyy hammock has not arrived yet.
  8. My eBay swim goggles SUCKED, so I bought some great ones at CanadianTire...never underestimate "The Tire".
  9. Easter weekend with my family was great.
  10. Jack is doing well. House trained and has turned out to be just a great dog. He completed puppy obedience school and won best in class honours. His health is almost 100% and only has 2 more weeks of medication.
  11. I have decided to put Jacob in Tyke hockey this fall. He is very excited.
  12. It has started to feel like spring and canoe season starts in just a couple of weeks.
  13. As usual, my Leaf blew it and so for now I am forced to cheer for another team...Go Penguins?
Have a good day folks!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Amigo Pro Water filter!

As I mentioned in a previous post, we have bought a new water filter. After some problems with customs Canada it eventually arrived about a month ago and I am very pleased with it. When I can find a day off with some decent weather, I will do I field test and video the entire process.

If you are going to purchase one ask them to send it using the regular United States Postal Service. Mine was sent using UPS and unlike standard post, they use a 3rd party company to collect the customs fees. I was shocked when I was asked to pay $34 CAN when it arrived. On reviewing the invoice, the actual customs fee's were only $6, but I was charged a WHOPPING $28 "administration fee". SCAM! Don't make the same mistake I did!

New accomodations for Solo Trip

On our first trip in together in 2005, Gerry and I brought every luxury item our aluminum Gruman could carry. We had had so much stuff that it was difficult to find space for it all. We had everything from camp chairs to coolers, but it wasn't until we ventured into the interior that I appreciated the degree of comfort we enjoyed when it came to sleeping. We used this over sized air mattress and man was it comfy.

For the back country we needed something that would provide comfort, but be light enough that it wouldn't feel like an anchor as we hauled from lake to lake. The 3/4 length Thermarest sleep pad seemed to be the perfect solution and for the most part it was. It provided a fairly cushy pad and it could be converted into a very cool is that right? But I am a big guy and I tend to sleep on my side. After a few hours my shoulders and hips started to get sore, so I would roll over. Well this continued throughout the night. By morning I woke feeling a bit sore and allot tired. Now I was having unrelated back pain at the time, so I am sure this experience was exacerbated by my discomfort. After a particularly bad night, I remember thinking "there has to be something better."

The solution is the Hennessy Hammock. It has all the best qualities of a tent and the comfort of a hammock!

From their site:

"At last, you will never need to find a level camp site. No more roots, rocks and puddles coming through the floor of your tent. No more aching muscles and stiff joints from sleeping on the hard ground. Experience a level of comfort on the trail almost as good as your bed at home and maybe even better."


Patented "Easy Enter, Easy Exit" Through The Bottom:Walk in to the middle of the hammock, turn around and sit down. Lay back and lift your feet inside

Patent-pending Asymmetrical Shape:Lying on the diagonal is the secret for maximum comfort in hammocks. We have designed the first hammock with a diagonal axis. We call it the "A-sym". We have moved the right side anchor point of the hammock down by your knee and the left side anchor point up by your shoulder. This makes the hammock feel longer with a wider 'sweet spot' of comfort. Then we did the same for the rainfly and added 30 percent more fabric for excellent coverage.

Patented "Snap Tight" Zipperless Closure:
Your weight tensions the entrance which automatically snaps closed behind you.
Patented "Perfect Set" Comfort Curve:Integral ridgeline maintains the same comfortable shape with each use to keep your back straight and level when resting on the diagonal.

Patented "Never-Tip" Center Balance Design:Eliminates instability by entering from the centre instead of flipping over the side. This is the first hammock that does not cause you to lose your balance while entering the hammock.

Bug-proof:Large area of No-See-Um netting to provide ventilation and keep insects outside the hammock. When properly sealed, the entrance design also makes sure no bugs get into your hammock at night while you are alseep and also during the day when you are away from camp.

Windproof:The No-See-Um mesh and hammocks fabric will deflect wind to provide a calm space inside.

Waterproof:The rain-fly is polyurethane coated polyester ripstop or silicone impregnated nylon and may be tilted to any angle, rolled up above, removed or used separately.

Gear Organizers:Triangular Mesh Gear Pocket, Glove Hooks, Caribinier Loops A nifty gear pocket slides on the ridgeline and stores out of sight behind your head - this can be used to store your keys, pocket knife, change and other small personal items . Two glove hooks are also threaded on the ridgeline and can be used for attaching LED lights and even attaching a drink can by the hole in the pull tab. All hammocks ridge lines are installed with a loop on each inside hammock end to which a small caribinier can be hooked to hold daypacks, water bottles, and other small items which are too heavy to hang over the ridge line.

Full Velcro Seal:Your body weight keeps the entrance sealed when you are inside the hammock but the Velcro seal keeps bugs out while you are away. The Velcro seal also prevents unintentional opening when flip/flopping around.

I ordered the Explorer Deluxe A-Sym and will do a full review of it once it arrives.

Monday, April 02, 2007

My Son given a shot with the "big club"

On Saturday we went to Jacob's last hockey game of the season....again. It turns out, they invited 20 of the kids from his team to participate in an on ice try out for the Newcastle Minor Tykes and Jacob was one of those asked to attend.

He was at a friends birthday party prior to the game, so he was filled to the brim with cake and candy. Just before he stepped on the ice he let me know that he might not score 6 goals today, I smiled and told him to just have fun. Despite his sugar high, he managed to score a goal, prevent 3 and most impressive, set-up his teammate for a tap in!

After the game I was approached by the coach of the minor tykes. He liked Jacob's speed and scoring abilities, but was most impressed with his ability to read the play. In fact, he said that was the first time he has ever seen a 5 year old go to the side of the net and look for an open man to pass to. I credited Jacob's favorite Xbox game, NHL 2007, as his "inspiration". They offered him a spot on the team for next year and I have until the end of the month to decide.

Since then I have been back and forth on whether to let him go up to tyke or to keep him in the Mites program for another year. Both would be beneficial, but in the mites program they don't have games until half way through the season and I think he would just get bored. ....I am still unsure.

Below are two clips from the try out. The first is his goal and in the second he back checks, strips the puck from kid on a partial break, then goes end to end to set up his buddy.