Friday, April 25, 2008

GM's Electric Car Update

Back in February I wrote a piece on the GM's Volt and expressed my interest in owning one. GM's new electric hybrid prototype aptly named the Volt, took a giant leap forward this week, as the first working model hit the road and with that came the announcement from GM that Volts will start rolling off the production line in early 2010.

This vehicle is unlike any other hybrid and it appears it is poised to turn the auto industry on it's ear. With it's ability to drive without the use of fuel for the first 60 km and then use it's small and ultra efficient on board gas engine to re-charge the batteries that power the fully electric engine, this car is like no other available. This has the potential to put GM back in the drivers seat as an industry leader and will force all vehicle manufacturers to reexamine the way they look at fuel efficiency. Good news for drivers, environmentalists and manufacturers alike.

The news that the Volt will go into production came as an unexpected surprise to the naysayers (...myself included) that expected this project to go the way of the EV1, GM's previous electric car project that was swept up in controversy after destroying the cars and scarping the project despite a waiting list of tens of thousands. The documentary "Who Killed The Electric Car" was the first to dig into the theories surrounding this controversial decision by General Motors. One of the most suspicious in a long line of questionable decisions for this vehicle was when GM turned down a 1.9 million dollar offer to buy the remaining 78 cars and 3 days later had all 78 of them shredded. You can check out the trailer HERE.

Here is a video from ABC news regarding the project that I though was very good at explaining what this car is all about.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ted nails me.....

On the way down Bill, Ted and I were all talking canoes, camping and Algonquin and out of the blue Ted says to me...

TED - "Hey Jim, if you were camping and woke up in the morning with you're pants around your ankles and a condom hanging out of your ass would you tell anyone?"

ME - "NO!"

TED - "You want to go camping?"

Good one buddy!

UFC 83 Road Trip Recap

What an awesome time! The Bell center was electric and we couldn't have asked for a better showing by GSP. I had hoped to complete my write up of the trip today, but as usual, all the stuff I get paid to do at work kept getting in the way.

For now here are some of the things I learned about my buds...

  • Singing can be fun...unless it's Bill doing his drunken, sing along version of Hotel California in a cab at 4:30 in the morning. As awful as it was for the cabbie, it was hilarious.
  • Not to be outdone, on the drive home Ted took it upon himself to serenade us with his cover of Iron Maiden's, "Run too the Hills". It sounded like someone was choking a pubescent Peter Brady.
  • We all got to learn what Ted's thoughts on what constitutes a gay or non-gay act. I'm not about to get into detail here, but let's just say he was OK with pitching...not so much with the catching. More then a little disturbing considering I had to share a bed with him.
  • Andrew made a new "friend" at Wandas
  • I had the best sandwich EVER at Reubens
  • Had our post bar meal at Moe's, a local landmark....of sorts. It's a little whole in the wall diner located next to the old Montreal Forum. Eggs and sausage at 4 am never tasted so good.
  • Jager bombs were the bomb!
  • Rob is an Ottawa Senators fan....enough said?
  • I forgot to buy a t-shirt at the fight
  • Brent is one funny SOB and a great guy to boot!
  • Bobby was good enough to "show us the sites" of Montreal and was another great guy I met while in town
  • Back at the hotel, at around 4:30 am this twenty something kid knocks on the door and asks if he can come hang out with us 'cause his buddy is passed out...SLAM! Good call Billy!
  • P.S - The fight was good too!
The next trip is already in the works for Bills Birthday in October....VEGAS BABY! More on that later...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My interview with the National Post

We are leaving for Montreal in a few minutes, but I just remembered that the story I was interviewed for was in todays paper. She quotes me a few times.

You can read the it HERE.

Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for reading....

Friday, April 18, 2008

Gag gift from my wife

On the eve of our guys weekend of debauchery and mayhem in Montreal, Tanyia bought me this t-shirt that I believe captures the spirit of our male bonding weekend....

Canoe Fund Update

With my birthday just around the corner my family have again come through with "birthday money". As I have said before, at 36 (...almost 37) I fell a little guilty about accepting cards stuffed with cash from family....but still not guilty enough to turn it down I guess. So with me never wanting to hurt any anyone's feelings, I continue to graciously accept their generosity. That's nice of me eh???

Anyway, with all the recent contributions to the "Jim Birthday Gift Fund" of late, my Canoe Fund has grown considerably. With just over 3 weeks until I pick up my used canoe from the Portage Store, I already have over the $1200 I expected to pay for my used canoe. Excellent news. No more renting canoes....YEAH!!!!

I would like to lightheartedly thank....

  • Mom and Dad - For your incredible ability to send heartfelt birthday Hallmarks filled with cheques just when they are most needed. I Thank and love you both!
  • Betty and Joe - Cash is king and so are both of you! Thank you!
  • Linda - You put the "Money" in money order. Thank you so much! All kidding aside, we have been through some real ups and downs over the past 9 years....thanks for you patience and love.

Ishpatina Ridge Info Links

  • Youtube video of a group of yahoo's crossing the Sturgeon river in a truck on their way to to the ridge.
Thanks to reader Pierre for the assist.

A little running humour to lighten your day...

A woman was having a daytime affair while her husband was at work. One wet and lusty day she was in bed with her boyfriend when, to her horror, she heard her husband's car pull into the driveway.

"Oh my God - Hurry! Grab your clothes and jump out the window. My husband's home early!"

"I can't jump out the window ~ It's raining out there!"

"If my husband catches us in here, he'll kill us both!" she replied. He's got a hot temper and a gun, so the rain is the least of your problems!"

So the boyfriend races from the bed, grabs his clothes and jumps out the window. As he ran down the street in the pouring rain, he quickly discovered he had run right into the middle of the town's annual marathon, so he started running along beside the others, about 300 of them.

Being naked, with his clothes tucked under his arm, he tried to blend in as best he could. After a little while a small group of runners who had been watching him with some curiosity, jogged closer.

"Do you always run in the nude?" one asked.

"Oh yes!" he replied, gasping in air. "It feels so wonderfully free!"

Another runner moved a long side. "Do you always run carrying your clothes with you under your arm?"

"Oh, yes" our friend answered breathlessly. "That way I can get dressed right at the end of the run and get in my car to go home!"

Then a third runner cast his eyes a little lower and queried, "Do you always wear a condom when you run?"

"Nope.........just when it's raining"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


This week has proved to be busier then normal at work, so I haven't been able to do an update until now. Here is a bullet point update....oh, and I know the picture really has nothing to do with this post but I just found it cool in a goofy way. Enjoy...

  • UFC Montreal - 3 more Sleeps! Yeah, I know that sounds really gay, but I'm really excited. We leave this Saturday for the "Guys weekend" and it's been so long since we started to plan this that it doesn't seem real that its that close! We will be going to the fight at the Bell Center Saturday night then going out on the town. I'm bringing everything I need to make "Jager Bombs" for our pre-fight festivities at the hotel. I will be updating with LIVE pictures from the event to my profile on Facebook. So if you haven't already, join the Algonquin Trips Fan Page on Facebook.
  • Training Update - It is going AWESOME! Pain free and working harder then ever! I can't wait to compete in June. My swimming is faster and smoother then ever and my running and biking are even improved. It seems the pain was effecting more then even I knew.
  • Getting Props at Work - For the past 2 months I have implemented some big changes that I strongly believed would create new business. In that time our revenues have TRIPPLED and I was rewarded today with a 50% increase to my base salary, even more vacation weeks and some other perks. A few months ago I was very close to leaving for a new opportunity...I'm so glad I stuck around!
  • Jacob's Summer Hockey - He had his first game last Sunday and had 3 goals and 2 assists. Funny story. I ran into a girl I dated in High School at the arena and it turns out that Jacob and her son are on the same team and line. They combined for 11 points! What a small world.
  • Sens Suck- Since my Leafs didn't make the playoffs....AGAIN...the next best thing is watching the Sens get blown out of the water by the Penguins. The Sens are down 3-0 and play again tonight. All I can say is cross your fingers and get out the brooms. SWEEP SWEEP SWEEP!!!
  • CC 2008 Route Change - I haven't heard from Gerry about my proposed route change, but have continued to research the trip and I'm now even more convinced that this trip was made for us. Very exciting! I will update after I speak to Gerry.
  • I Feel so Good! - I thing this is in large part due to the lack of medication and being pain free. I can't remember the last time I felt this good physically or mentally. It's as though my head has been in a fog for years and has finally cleared. Just had to share it everyone.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Great site for Maps of proposed CC 2008 route

This is an amazing site with maps of the area. The area we would be in are the two in the top left.

This is more of a personal reminder then a post. lol

Possible destination change for CC 2008?

While returning from Jacob's summer hockey yesterday Bill and I got to talking about this blog and canoe tripping. He had read my post about the SPOT device and commented on how cool it was. That led to a great discussion about gear, trips and trip planning that made the drive zoom bye. Before long Bill asked if I had ever done the canoe trip to "the highest elevation in Ontario". He had a friend from work that was into canoe trips and had told him about that trip that took place in the Temagami region. I consider myself fairly well informed when it comes to canoe trips, but I had never heard of this. With my curiosity now peaked, I made a note to look it up when we got home.

Shortly after I arrived home Bill emailed me a link to this info site (thanks buddy!). After reading it I was hooked and for the rest of the day couldn't get the view out of my head. After the kids were tucked in bed, I spent the rest of the evening scouring the Internet and managed to find many well written trip logs, but the best by far was Chris Lawson's. You may remember Chris, as I have mentioned him on here many times before and he is well known for the natural, engaging way he writes. If I wasn't convinced this was a place I wanted to visit before, I sure was after reading that!

Trip Features:

  • Located in the Temagami Woodland Reserve
  • Ishpatina Ridge is the highest point in Ontario (2,274 feet)
  • The Peak has an 80-foot fire tower
  • About a 6.5 to 7 hour drive from Newcastle Directions to the put-in
  • 3 km hiking trail to summit
  • Less Challenging canoe route. In fact, this is much less then any trip we have done in the past
I have not had a chance to talk to Gerry about it yet and I want to do a bit more research, but this looks like just the kind of thing we look for.

Tentative Schedule:

  • 3 night trip (excluding Thursday night in Hotel)
  • Depart Newcastle in the afternoon of Thursday July 31st and spend the night in motel/BB near put in (Elk Lake or New Liskeard area)
  • Day One: travel from put in (Montreal river and Beauty Lake road) to to this beauty site on Smooth water Lake.
  • Day Two: Break camp and travel to Lake where the trail to the summit begins ( still have to research) then walk the 3 km trail to the summit. Explore, take pictures, check out the fire tower.
  • Day Three: Break camp and travel back to this beauty site on Smooth water Lake again.
  • Day Four: Travel back to put -in and head home.
What do you say up for it buddy?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

This and That...

This post will just be a bunch of random stuff that has touched my life in some way.

  • New Business- I'm nearing the end of the process of starting a new business. I don't want to let the cat out of the bag just yet, but it will be directly related to canoeing and I'm very excited to get it off the ground. More on that in the weeks to come.
  • Toronto's Anti-Handgun Campaign- Mayor David Miller has been on Youtube, Facebook and the city's convincing people to support a federal handgun ban. For the record, I don't own or do I ever plan to own a gun and although I agree that something has to be done, this isn't the answer. I would be in favor of increasing minimum jail sentences for those caught carrying a handgun (10 years sounds about right), but a total ban will only punish those who are willing to own up to having a handgun, while the illegal ones that are the real problem will continue to land in the wrong hands. If this argument sounds familiar see "Federal Firearm Registry". All of this reminds me of one of my favorite Archie Bunker quotes.
Gloria: "65 percent of the people murdered in the last 10 years were killed by hand guns"
Archie Bunker: "would it make you feel better, little girl, if they was pushed outta windows?"

  • I'm loving Spring - No snow to shovel, fresh air, wet yard, muddy dog feet, dog poop to clean up....? .....I'm hating spring! :)
  • Back Pain- Well it's gone for good! I have been relatively pain free for weeks and loving it. My training is so much easier and I feel like my body and mind are running much "cleaner" without all the medication. I can't wait to see what it's like to go to Algonquin without pain!
  • Something that REALLY Bugs Me- I hate when morbidly obese people say "I'm a picky eater". What??? Maybe if you were a little more "picky" you wouldn't have a weight problem. I don't usually judge people , but come on "picky eater"? Please!
  • Algonquin Trips Blog In the National Post- I was contacted by Melissa Leong, a news reporter from the National post. She wants to interview me for an upcoming article on the UFC. I have agreed and will update you when the it's published.
  • New Gear- I LOVE new gear and with my birthday just around the corner and I have bought myself a few canoe related gifts. A SPOT personal locator, a 60 Liter barrel and harness from Headstrong and a bunch of stuff from MEC including the GSI Dualist Cookset and MEC Guide Tarp.
  • Training Update- Being pain free has made my workout so much more enjoyable. I'm back to loving my 2 a day workouts and making some great progress. The tri software eRacePlanner has turned out to be an excellent tool and has made my training more challenging, but with less hours. I just feel so good going into the tri season and can't wait to compete in Guelph in June.
  • Brain Age- I'm so addicted to this game. We bought Lauren a Nintendo DS for her birthday but since it's in May Tanyia and I have been using it. Well this game is so addictive and unlike most of the games out there it can increase your brain power. From the official Brain Age site...
"Exercise is the key to good health, both for body and mind - and now there's finally a way to make mental exercise simple, fun, even competitive. Inspired by the work of prominent Japanese neuroscientist Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, the Brain Age games feature activities designed to help stimulate your brain and give it the workout it needs like solving simple math problems, counting currency, drawing pictures on the Nintendo DS touch screen, and unscrambling letters."

Jacobs Hockey Update

As I mentioned a few posts ago, Jacob's hockey is winding down and they are deep in the playoffs. The "A" championship would be decided by two games against the dreaded "Green Team". In the regular season they finished 1st overall and we were second. They had beat us 3 times going into this 2 game series, so although we tried to stay positive even the kids new this was going to be tough. I overheard one kid from Jacob's team wondering out loud how bad they would beat us...." you think it will be 10 or 15 too nothing?", he asked.

As it turned out we were up 2 - 0 in the first game, but with only a minute left they came back and won 3-2...a real heart breaker. The second game was no contest, as they went on to beat us 10-2. The kids were fine with it, after all it is just a game.

They had the awards banquet for his team this past Sunday and the video can be found below. Jacob was given a special award for "Most Improved" and it can be found at the 6:55 mark of the video. Funny story.....after he got his awards I went up to him and saying "Hey buddy that's awesome!" and he responded " I know we get pizza and cake". Another reminder that at his age the hockey will always be an after thought compared to friends and food...the way it should be.

He started summer hockey Sunday morning and Jacob did very well. He was rated very high after the evaluation camp and later that day was selected third in the draft that involved 68 players . He was one of only 3 underage players (he is 6 playing against kids 7 + 8 ), so this was very cool and I'm very proud of him.

Congratulations buddy!

CC 2008 Route has been Decided

As I mentioned a few posts ago, our route for CC 2008 has been chosen and the winner is....

Access Point 11 Opeongo ->Proulx -> Little Crow -> Big Crow -> Hogan -> Muir -> Merchant -> Happy Isle -> Opeongo

The dates still have to be decided on and this will depend on when some personal stuff for Gerry falls into place, but it will most likely be a 3 nighter the first weekend after Labour Day weekend.

Day One:

Arrive at access point 11 as soon as Algonquin Outfitters are open. ( I believe 8 am, but will have to check). Take water taxi to Proulx Lake and them make our way to Big crow which is where we will spend our first night. I have wanted to go to the this lake for a LONG time, so I hope to land one of the sandy site on the East side. It will be cool to check out the old fire tire and ranger cabin. I may try to climb it, but by no means does that mean I endorse anyone else trying it.

Day Two:

Make our way from Big Crow to Muir and make camp on one of the many sites. I want to find out if there is a site that is better then the rest and will look to the AA forums for recommendations.

Day Three:

Today we get to venture into the low maint portage trails that lead from Muir to our the final destination of the trip, Happy Isle Lake. I had considered spending the night on Merchant, but decided on Happy Isle after reading all the glowing reports of those that have visited it and the reports of leaches in Merchant was all the extra convincing required. I would love to be able to get the site described HERE. It looks to have everything we look for and would be a perfect place to spend the last night of CC 2008.

Day Four:

Today we will make our way to the western tip of the north arm where we will be picked up by the water taxi.