Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The one gift that every woman will be wanting this year

Friday, May 25, 2007

Tri Training Update!

I just got back from the pool and for the first time since I started training I am excited about swimming! I really disliked it for the first 4 weeks, I guess I went in way overconfident and it showed. My first time out I expected to kick ass, but I couldn't even complete 50 m without having to stop and gasp for air.

But that was 8 weeks ago and things have changed. Today I swam consecutive sub 1:45 100 meters and when I was done all 1000 meters, I felt like I could keep going. This has NEVER happened before! Usually by the time I finished I am so tired and out of breath that I am just happy to be able to leave...but not today, NOT TODAY!

That's all for now...just had to tell someone!

A little bit of this and that...

  • This summer will be the first where we have had all 3 kids in soccer. When we registered them I remember Tanyia saying "...imagine if they all play on the same day?". I dismissed this as very unlikely, "nah, there's 7 days to choose from...what are the chances of that?". That was the kiss of death, 'cause as I am sure you have already guessed the impossible has happened. We are fortunate that we have friends that have agreed to take one of our boys to practice, otherwise it would be impossible.
  • With me doing 2 workouts a day, 6 days a week, I go through allot of laundry. I wear moisture wicking shirts and shorts both, but since they are so expensive I don't have many. This means that I have to run the washing machine much more then if I had more workout clothing, but with the shirts costing $50 each, what choice do I have. Well Vector Cereal is offering a free $50 Running Room technical running shirt with every purchase. I went out yesterday and bought 4 boxes and when will be picking up my shirts today. That's $200 worth of running shirts for buying $23 worth of cereal and the best part is I ALREADY eat the cereal!
  • UFC 71 is tomorrow night and I am so pumped. This is one fight I have wanted to see since Rampage Jackson knocked out Chuck Liddell during the Pride fightings Final Conflict 2003. Although I haven't spoken to him about it, I hope that Gerry is able to come over and watch it. These guys really don't like each other and have allot to prove...this is going to be thrown down. Whooo!
  • I am meeting up with an old friend tonight for drinks and some fun. This was all made possible by Facebook. Up until now, all the people have met on F.B have been people I knew, but not really in the category of "good friends". Dave on the other hand was one of my closest friends and a great guy. I am meeting him at his home in Brooklyn and then we'll go visit his parent. Dave and his family were always allot of fun and I've been told that they will be having a karaoke party tonight....anybody up for a little " To all the girls I loved before?". I will do an update on how it turns out, but I sure hope it turns out better then Gerry's experience....does anybody smell boiling rabbit? Just me?
Have a great weekend everyone!

30 Years ago today I became a Geek!

A long time ago, before Star Wars sold out, the Force turned farce and R2-D2 became a postal pimp, there was magic in the air.

It was the summer of 1977, and I was just about as excited as a 6 year old boy could be.

Although it would be years until I would see the movie, I could watch the TV trailer and it had been billed as "the story of a boy, a girl and a universe." It also had robots and spaceships and cool lightsabers....what more inspiration could an aspiring geek need?

I always liked science fiction, but that trailer changed the way I would look at my world. I was no longer confined to my little home in Wabush Labrador, I now dreamed of exploring the Galaxy and fighting the "bad guys".

I wasn't alone in this. Millions of other people had exactly the same reaction to Star Wars three decades ago. They fell under the spell of the heroic rebel quest of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia and the quasi-religious life force known as "The Force." They booed the galactic fascist Darth Vader, the planet-destroying agent of the evil "dark side" of The Force.

The original Star Wars movie, first released on May 25, 1977, spawned a franchise of six films, countless commercial spin-offs and the multi-billion-dollar Lucasfilm empire run by creator George Lucas.

It changed film forever, creating the ever-expanding universe of entertainment options that modern movie going has become and making "blockbuster" a more important word in Hollywood than "Oscar." This summer's big-ticket "threequels" like Spider-Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Shrek the Third all follow a trail of gold blazed by Star Wars.

So let's all pay homage to the biggest geek of them all....God Bless you George Lucas!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Gerry is even happier then this guy!

Gerry just called me and he has ordered a Hennessy Hammock as well. So now CC2007 will officialy be the most comfortable trip to date.

We talked about doing a video together once his hammock arrives, but Gerry seems reluctant. C'mon Gerry, embrace your iner geek with me. Hello?

Way to go won't regret it!

Iridium Flares are frequently seen in Algonquin

If you are anything like me, ritght now you are thinking...."What the hell is and Iridium Flare?"

Q. What is an Iridium flare?

A. An Iridium flare is caused by the sun being reflected from one of the three main mission antennae (MMA) of an Iridium satellite. The MMAs are flat, highly polished aluminium surfaces, and when the angles are just right, they can reflect the sun just like a mirror. There are over 80 of these communications satellites
in orbit, and they are operated by the Iridium LLC Consortium.

Essential Canoe Expedition Tips

General Tips

  • Keep the things that you want during the day, for example water, snacks, sun cream, sun glasses etc., in a separate bag, a bum bag is handy for portages
  • Pack your food and cooking equipment separately. It makes it easier to bear proof your camp, keeping all food substances separately.
  • Pack your bag so that when you arrive at camp the things that you want first are at the top of the bag

Packing your Canoe
  • Only take what you need!It is nice to have a few luxuries but too many and you loose to chance to be at one with the wilderness!
  • Paddle tandem - half the effort on and off the water!
  • Practice paddling a loaded canoe before you set off.

  • Limit the number of items in your boat
  • Put any bits and pieces in your boat in one bag so that you don't end up juggling on the trail
  • Limit the number of times you have to walk the trail - First time with a bag and paddles to check out the trail (it is frustrating doing this with a boat on your shoulders) then second time with the boat.
  • When paddling tandem (highly recommended!) you can alternate who carries the boat, and operate a 3-bag system.
  • Take rests when carrying the canoe - on your first walk of the trail look for places where you can prop the boat up and climb out from underneath without having to put it on the floor
  • Strip the boat down before carrying - it is heavy enough without swim lines and throw lines hanging off it
  • Make sure you leave your boat well up from the water so you don't come back to find it floating away
  • Leave the beginning of the trails free from clutter so that other paddlers can access the portage trail

Arriving at camp

Try to have a pattern that works, particularly when paddling in a big team - this is my suggested order:

  • Unload everything from the canoe
  • Put the tarp up - you can then put everything under it if it is raining
  • Set up your tent / bivi away from the kitchen area and fire
  • Sort out a fire - collect wood etc. (see fire-lighting tips)
  • Cook dinner - it is nice to do this on the open fire, but it does tend to take longer - take stoves as a back up
  • We always have a swim, a drink and relax before getting to bed early for the next day

Bear-proofing your camp

It is essential to keep your campsite clean and tidy to ensure you don't have any unwanted visitors in the night:

  • Cook in only one area- you only have to clear up one up then!
  • Keep all food and toiletries away from your tent
  • If hanging your food bags in the tree, make sure you do it before it gets dark!
  • Get into the habit of tidying the kitchen and brushing your teeth at dusk, so that everything is ready to hang in the trees, and you don't remember your toothpaste at 10 o'clock!
  • Ensure that you don't drop any food on the floor
  • Burn all food rubbish on the fire- it is possible to burn orange peel as long as you have a good fire going
  • Collect 'grey' water (washing up water and pasta water etc.) together and dispose of either into toilet box or dig a shallow hole away from camp
  • Gut any fish caught well away from the camp area

  • Get everything ready before you start
  • Collect a good collection of wood, kindling, birch bark and pine cones
  • Use the birch bark to get the fire going, put the pine cones on top, then the kindling
  • Leave the fire pit stocked for the next person

On the water:
  • Get used to the scale of the map - 1:80,000 is common
  • Stay hydrated by keeping your water and water pump handy
  • Keep some snacks close at hand if you are like us and want to continually graze

Friday, May 18, 2007

Deep Fried Turkey....this is not a joke!

Last weekend my family met for dinner at my sister Kate's house and they were deep frying a turkey! At first I was really grossed out by the idea of eating a KFC like turkey, but tried to keep an open mind about it. Well I am glad I did, it was awesome and despite what I expected, not the least bit greasy!

It wasn't that tasteless, bone-dry turkey I cringe at on Thanksgiving. It was moist, flavourful and cooked in a quarter of the time of a regular turkey. I shot some video of it thinking it would be an easy target to make fun of after the fact..."...NASCAR, BB-Q and deep fried turkey...Whoooo what a weekend", but I can't say a bad thing about it.

Gobble? Why fry? There is no other way I can think of to cook that will give you a moist, delicious turkey in such a short period of time. The skin will be crispy and the meat will be juicy and--depending on how you marinade it--spicy.

Deep frying a turkey is not a horribly difficult thing to do, but it requires some preparation and effort to do it right, especially the first time.

Found this on Consumer Reports:

"Consumer Reports has issued a caution on turkey fryers stating that Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has refused to certify any turkey fryer as safe! UL said all of six cookers examined could overheat oil to the point of combustion and goes on to use words like "scalding," "flames." "engulfed" and "fire."

So other them safety it's all good! LOL!

The video is my brother-in-law and his Mom and Dad checking to see if it is cooked.

You can do it!

Ever since I laced up my shoes and went for my first "real run" over five years ago I have wanted to help others to do the same. There's lots of reasons why, but the one that means the most to me is that anyone can do it....ANYONE! Unlike other sports, running is very individual and so are the goals and results.

Back in high school I played on lots of team sports and had some success, but I was never the star player I wanted to be. Whether it was rugby, basketball, wrestling or volleyball, I was always an average athlete and despite experiencing the feeling of winning as a team, I never felt I had contributed as much as the more talented players. There was no way for me to compete with them...they just had more god given ability and so I accepted the "worker" role on the various teams I played. I always wanted to have that feeling of doing my best and be rewarded for just that, without being outshone by someone more talented.

This is the best part about running. It's all about me! Not really, but it is all about individual results and people race against themselves as they strive for a new personal best. This is the reason so many of us run and explains the explosion in popularity in the last 20 years. With this in mind, I want to help people get out and give it a try.

The last few weeks I encouraged my wife Tanyia and Gerry's wife Marie to start a beginners running program. I could tell they were interested and motivated, but at first they were still hesitant, so I gave them some time to think about it. About a week passed and I still had not heard anything, so I emailed them "the plan". It's a starter run program created for those that have not run before and prepares them to complete a 5 km race. They liked it immediately and have been following it for 2 weeks! They are even going to compete in the Port Perry 5 km race in September of this year. Way to go girls!!!

Gerry and I have also laid the ground work for him and I to train together for a 10 km race this fall and are just working out a few details. It is so cool to help others benefit from running and even if only in a small way, I like to think that I have helped inspire them as well!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Time for a much needed update....

I know...I know, it's again been way too long since my last update of any significance, but between the demands of work, home and training it has been difficult to find the time. So this will be a summary of my last few weeks.

  • The Hennessey Hammock- It arrived in about 10 days....not bad delivery time considering it is coming from B.C? At first glace I was impressed with the packaging and the fact that it comes with it's own stuff sack that has the set-up instructions printed on the outside...very cool indeed! The actual set-up on the other hand proved to be a little tougher then expected.. It wasn't that it was difficult to put it up, quite the opposite actually as the "tree huggers" and the hammock were up in about 5 minutes. The part I struggled with was figuring out the instructions for tying the "Hennesy Hammock Knot". This knot is the only thing that prevents you from crashing to the ground and as I found out the hard way, if you do it wrong the 3 foot fall should help to remind you the next time. The instructions on the stuff sack were almost impossible to decipher, so I again turned to the forum to ask for advice on how to tie it correctly. As usual they delivered BIG TIME with this great site that describes how to do it and even includes a video. After watching the video a few times I have mastered it. The hammock is very cool and unbelievably comfortable. One of the features is how it can be used as a "camp chair", but I think it's more like a Lazy's that comfy folks. As a tent it was great and although it will take some getting use to, I am sure this will quickly become one of my fav pieces of gear.
  • Tri Training- My training continues to go well, but I have had to do some traveling with work lately, so it has impacted it a bit....but nothing to significant. The pool is still the thing I find most difficult, but with all the great advice I have been given from my coach Erin and Alex, my new RCMP "pool buddy" I have made some great progress. Alex is now in his early 50's, but at one time was one of the top 5 triathletes in all of Canada! He has been an incredible resource and I great guy to boot!
  • Work really Sucks! - I have had to put in some stupid long days ( 20+ hour days) for the last week, so this has impacted my 'free time" in a big way. The positive side of this is how it has me appreciating how good I have it most of the time, but I will be SO glad when this is over. ...despite having the greatest co-worker in the world to spend time with. ( She is reading over my shoulder, so what else could I say?) LOL!
I will update again on Friday....NO REALLY I WILL!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Natural Spring Water

Just posting this as a reminder to myself and others that there's a natural spring on the portage between Rock and Pen lakes. It has been tapped and has been a water source in this area for over 100 years. Since I will be there on my solo trip this summer and love a cold drink on a hot day...this will be perfect. Apparently, even on the hottest day, the water is so cold it almost hurts.

Here is a link to the forum post I found it in.

Here are the directions for anyone who doesn't want to read the whole thread:

"to find the spring be sure to look to your right as soon as you get off the first set of boardwalks... you'll see the very wet area under the boardwalk - about 3 paces to the right is a trail - the entry is usually overgrown a little. You'll go up a bit and to the right and curve back down - there is a board to stand on and a pipe in place to make filling your bottles easier."