Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Hey guys!

I know it has again been a long time since my last update, but I haven't left you for good...I promise. It's just been a very busy year is all. Lots of great stuff going has been happening this year, but much of it is very time consuming and that is the reason why my posts have dried up a bit.

Jacob's hockey takes up the bulk of my free time these days. He made the Novice rep team as an underage player back in September and it has been no stop ever since. The team is trains 6 days most weeks, so it doesn't leave much time for other stuff. I am helping out with coaching the team and they are doing really well.

Anyway, I have plans to do as many as 3 trips next summer. Imagine that?? I plan on cracking open Jeff's map book over Christmas and start the planning. It will be the third trip for my oldest daughter Lauren and the first for Jacob 7 and Ethan 6, so I want to make sure they enjoy themselves. I was thinking about taking them up to Cedar Lake and do some light day trips around the area, but that's a long way to go to just stay on "the big lake" IMO. Ether way it will be a fun summer.

Here are some other things that have been going on....

  • Tanyia and I went on Vacation WITHOUT the kids for the first time ever. We went to Cuba for a week with another couple and it was so much fun.
  • While we were away Jacob played in the Silver Stick, which is an international qualification hockey tournament. Well they won it and Jacob scored the overtime winner! Now we are off to represent Ontario in the International Tournament January 20 - 23 in Michigan.
  • Still training hard, but just 4 days a week. It is the off season after all..:)
  • I am considering taking next year off triathlons. I love it so much, but it takes between 20-40 hours a week and I am thinking I need a break....that and we are going to Nova Scotia for 3 weeks next summer, so it will really mess with my training. I may change my mind....but that's where I am at with it now.
  • I am addicted to the TV show Glee. I know it seems like a "chick show" and maybe it is, but it is so damn good. The show is on hiatus until April, so if you plenty of time to get caught up.

That's all for now folks. Wishing each and every one of you a safe and happy holiday!!

Friday, October 09, 2009

27,000,000 views and I've never of heard of this?

I admit that I am not exactly the hippest guy anymore. Just the fact that I just used the word "hippest" should speak volumes about how long ago it's been since I had any genuine idea of what what was cool.

I do however consider myself pretty up to date on pop-culture, so it's with a bit of surprise that I admit I don't know how this one got by me.

Here's the scoop.... last night I'm watching one of my fav shows (The Office) and on it two of the main characters are getting married. At a critical moment in the show they make a reference to a youtube video where a wedding procession breaks from tradition and dances their way down the isle.

This morning, still puzzled by the reference, I check you tube and sure enough this amazing video of a real life wedding has had over 27 million views. How did a pop savvy guy like me not know?

Anyway for anyone else who, like me , has been living under a rock the video is below. It really is cool and makes me happy every time I see it. I have always done my best to blend in and not do anything that had the potential for others to laugh at me, so I have so much respect for this couple. On a day that most consider one the most important of the lives, they decide to do their own thing and in doing so, show that this day is about them and the way they will live their lives and not about pleasing everyone else. How cool is that?

Let me know what you thing in the comments.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Look who's Back!

"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."

Mark Twain

I think that sums up my absence from the blogging world. Hello everyone!

I know it has been a crazy, ridiculously LONG time since my last post and I have lots of good.....well, I have lots of excuses anyway. My last post was in June for gods sake! Before I get down to it, I would like to take a moment to thank the countless individuals who posted, emailed and in one case even called me ( was a concerned family member, but that still counts right?) to encourage me to return. It was you that brought me back and it means so much that you took the time to see how I was doing. Thank you all!! You ROCK!!!

As for what's been going on the last 4 months....well, suffice to say, a great deal. So much has happened that it will be tough to do it all in one post. So I think this calls for a "Bullet Post" where I will answer some of the most common questions.

Q- Are you coming back?

A- Ta Da!!!!

Q- How did your trip to Rock Lake with your daughter go?

A- It rained the whole time, but it was my best trip to date. Funny story.....we almost made it all the way to our site on Pen Lake without being rained on, but with just 10 minutes left the skies opened up. We arrived at our site, but not before being completely soaked and cold. I wanted to be sure Laruen was taken care of, so I put up the tarp, started a fire and had her in dry clothes reading a book in no time. I then went about setting up camp as the rain continued. After I was done I walked up to Lauren, sitting wrapped in a blanked and seated in her chair before the fire...looking like a queen. She turns to me and says "Dad, why are your lips blue?".

Q- How did your Ironman go?

A- This will take far more time to explain then I have space, but for now I am disappointed to say I did NOT do the Muskoka IronMan this year and this is the main reason I have not posted. I guess I just wasn't ready to admit publicly that I fell short of my goal. It still hurts to admit it. Things happened that I could not do much about ( more on this later) , but I am back on the horse and training hard, but this year I plan to take some time off over the winter. Not doing this was a major factor in what happened this year. Lesson learned the hard way.

Q- What's going on with your family/personal life?

A- Lots of great stuff here. Tanyia and I are going to Cuba in December, but this time without the kids. This will be the first time we have gone on vacation without them since our honeymoon. We are going with another couple and it should be a blast.

Other family related stuff....

-Jacob made the Novice Rep. Hockey team despite being a year younger then the other kids. I am on the coaching staff again this year and it is fun, but takes up so much time. Last weekend we had our first 2 regular season games and Jacob has 3 goals, 3 assists in the first and 2 assists in the second. Nothing like starting the season 2-0!

-Ethan is playing ball hockey this year. He has mixed feelings about it so far, but I think once he makes a few more friends he will be fine.

-My niece Crystal moved in with us this past January after her Mom (Tanyia's sister) passed away suddenly. I wasn't sure how it work out, but I am happy to say I could not have hoped for better! Her boyfriend Bob and I have become friends and it is then that we are going to Cuba with. Although he hasn't said anything specific to me about it, I have a feeling Bob is going to ask her to marry him while we are away. I hope he does. They are both great people and they have a solid relationship.

That's all for now folks, but I PROMISE I will post again on Friday! It's great to be to you then. :)

Monday, June 29, 2009

$8,550 to go camping for 3 days?

At Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, in British Columbia, there is no such thing as roughing it.

In the summer months, two adults can pay $8,550 to spend three nights in a luxury tent at the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in British Columbia, Canada. The all-inclusive price of admission includes flights from Vancouver to the resort on a remote fjord, gourmet meals, drinks, massage treatments, horseback riding, fishing, whale and bear watching, kayaking, hiking, sailing, clay shooting, rock climbing, archery, swimming, mountain biking, cooking classes and day trips.

Just in case anyone wanted to splurge for that special someone. lol


Just making a note that I have added the "Bug Report" link to the Algonquin Park Info Links in the sidebar.

.....and it keeps getting worse!

Over the weekend I tried to keep my hopes up that the weather forecast for our trip would luck I am afraid. In fact it got a bit worse.

Now they are calling for thunderstorms all day for our arrival and moderate to light rain for the duration of our trip.

While on Algonquin Adventures this morning I found a link for a park "Bug Report" and things are not looking pretty. Check it out HERE.

Given the high rating of both deer and black flies, I think I will go back to Canadian tire and pick up this smallish bug tent I saw there. It's similar to the picture here, but much bigger. It was only $20 too, so even if we don't use it this time it's a cheap way of having peace of mind, without adding any weight.

I already have a bug jacket, but I will grab one for Lauren too.

I will try to update before we leave, but in case I don't.....wish us luck and I will update when I return.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Rain in Algonquin again?

It looks like we will have rain on our father/daughter trip for the second year in a row. Given how awesome the weather has been the past few days I am a bit bummed that our trip might be a bit on the damp side.

When I told Lauren her response was much better then mine. "No big deal Dad...I can handle rain, it's much better then having to use the thunderbox after you". Nice eh?

You can CLICK HERE if you want to check out the weather for our trip. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Algonquin trip booked!!

Kind of throwing this trip together at the last minute, but my first trip of the year is booked for next week and the destination is....

Rock lake!

Yes the now infamous Rock lake where you may remember, I experienced a tornado touching down not far from my site while on my first ever solo trip. Well this time I am bringing company in the form of my daughter Lauren.

We are going for 3 days from June 30 - July 2nd. The route map is attached, but we plan to spend our first night on Pen lake. I am hoping to land one of the beach like sites on the eastern shore that also has a great view of the sunset. For our second night we will be traveling to Galaeiry Lake and since I have never been here before we plan to check out one of the two island sites, as Lauren has never stayed on one and I think it would be cool for my princess to have her own island for a day!

We will both be bringing fishing rods and I hope to snap my 5 trip fish less draught....but since I am NO fisherman, I think I have a better chance of having a good conversation with Lauren. No need for nervous fish while I am around.

I will try....I repeat try to update before we leave.

On the knupack update: I have sent 5 emails and not had one response. Not sure what kind of business he is running but his customer service is not winning him and friends here. I will update should I have any news to report.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Knu pack looks to change the way you look at portaging

Imagine if portaging didn't have to hurt your shoulders or be uncomfortable at all?

Well for a few years now I have heard the name Knu Pack bantered about, but never paid much attention. How good could it really be I thought? It's called "The Knu Pack" and after watching the video below my mouthed dropped! At first glance this looks to be the device I have been searching and praying for. Seriously....this looks like the one and only device to take all the pain out of portaging!

Watch this video and let me know what you think.

From their site:

"The words "comfort" and "portage" are rarely ever used in the same sentence... until now. The patented Knu-Pac system integrates the carrying ability and comfort of an external backpack frame with a 100% waterproof bag to allow you to carry both your canoe or kayak and/or your gear with more comfort than you can imagine.

Knu-Pac gives you full visibility, improved body posture, increased maneuverability and, best of all, the weight is carried by the larger, stronger muscles of your legs and not your aching shoulders. The unique cradles support virtually any size canoe or kayak at the balance point and allow for easy loading and unloading. Our universal thwart allows any solo canoe or kayak to be carried with the Knu-Pac with a simple clamping system.

Now you can carry your kayak anywhere!"

* UPDATE: After doing a bit more reading I found out that ownership of the company has recently changed hands, so I have contacted the new owner to find out when he plans to update his products page. As of this writing it says " New products will arrive for 2009 season, updates to follow". You can click HERE to go directly to the products page.

The Trip and a Half Method

On our trips, Gerry and I have always single carried portages and have never really understood people that do the double or even the dreaded triple carry. If you need to make three trips you are on a LONG trip, really disorganized or more often then not, bringing way to much crap! I think it helps that we started out on the right foot by making smart choices about what gear was essential, then buying the lite weight version, while keeping luxury items to a minimum. We never wanted to do that "car camping without a car" we once did again and after having seen many people unsuccessfully try to do just that in the Algonquin interior ( know, like the guys we have all seen on portages with the coolers that "clink") I don't see us changing anytime soon. But we are not getting any younger and I am sure there will come a time when we will have to look at doing the double and when we do the "the trip and a half method" is the way to go. I have heard the "trip and and a half method of portaging described many times, but never as well as this.

Makes sense to me!

The trip and a half Method:

Consider the case of 2 paddlers arriving at a 2k portage with a canoe and 2 packs. They walk the packs through first, and this trip takes them 20 minutes. One of them goes back for the canoe which takes 40mins for that round trip and a total time of 1 hour. The other paddler waits around for the 40 minutes.

If they did the trip and a half method they would walk the packs half way in 10 minutes. One would drop the pack and go back for the canoe while the second would complete the portage and then return for the pack. They would both complete the portage in 40mins thus saving 20mins.

In general, if somebody is waiting for a long time at the end of a portage they are doing something wrong.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Awesome Trip Log Video

Tenzing (AKA Chris Loomis), a frequent and popular poster on the Algonquin Adventures message board has shot a movie of a recent trip. His engaging personality combined with his unique first person perspective of the film and life, make it a must see.

From Chris's video info:

"Journey through the Saint Regis Canoe Area of New York's Adirondack Mountains, as Chris Loomis paddles and portages, rediscovering the routes and memories of his childhood"

Below are parts 1 and 2 please watch and let me know what you think in the comments.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

About time for an UPDATE....

Hello everyone.

A lot of stuff has been going on over the last few months and over that time I have thought of updating, but just didn't have the drive. Until recently, my love for this blog has been at an all time low and I am at a bit of a loss to explain why.

Do I still love Algonquin? CHECK
Do I still love to blather on about things that mean little to anyone but me? For sure!!

But for some reason, I just didn't feel "inspired" to write or share anything for a while, so I choose not to. I tell you this not to make excuses, but to explain that should this happen again....that this is most likely the reason.

Thanks to everyone....and yes I mean EVERYONE that emailed, posted and Face booked wondering when I would be return. From what most of you have said it was both concern that I had walked away for good and a need to have the "Snow blower ass guy" removed from my main page! Worry no more my friends, as I plan to be the only ass you see here for a while.

Now for an update....

Algonquin Trips Planned: As of this moment I have no definite plans for trips to the park this summer. Sad eh? I have a loose timetable for a 3-4 day trip I will take with my daughter and the strong wish, but no plans at all for a trip with Gerry. I will post more when I have time, but I plan to take Lauren to Rock Lake to complete the solo route I would have taken in 2007 had it not been for the Tornado. Just writing about tripping is getting me excited about it, so I will try to post more this afternoon after my workouts. Any trip planned for CC2009 would hinge on Gerry and we haven't spoken about it, so I can't say with any certainty how likely it is to take place. I would like to get back to our annual tradition and have been batting around some ideas. More to come....

New Canoe Pad: I bought a new yoke pad, but sorry no video this time! This one is from Hooligan and is the polar opposite of my other ones. It is a simple, thick, water proof pad and looks to be a much better solution then the last pair. My old ones worked well for the most part, but needed to be readjusted depending on who was using them and I think this proved to be a bit of a pain. I will post a full review of the Hooligan....I am thinking a video might be fun?

Iromman Training: This has been a sore spot for me and is the main reason I haven't been posting. I inured my leg 6 weeks ago and have been unable to run or bike.

How did it happen? I was running and heard/felt a "pop" and felt severe pain on the outside of my left knee. In training this happens from time to time and in the past I have been able to run through it with no consequences, so that's what I did. I completed the 90 minute run and it hurt at times, but nothing over the top bad. Once a stopped I realized how bad things were and within 20 minutes I could not even walk. The pain was focused on the outside of the left knee and I could not put any weight on my leg or bend my knee without pain. I was really scared and thought it was a severe knee injury.

After a week I could walk with a bit of a limp, but it still hurt all the time. Running was out of the question. After 3 weeks I tried to run twice and each time could only manage about 15 minutes before the pain forced me to stop. It was very frustrating. I had been to countless Doctors, Chiropractors, Massage, Sports Injury clinics all in hopes of finding the problem, but they didn't and I began to get really down.

Working out has become as essential to breathing to me and for the first time in years I was unable to do what I loved. Even when all of my back problems were at their worst I could still fight through the pain and get my workouts done, but this was different and I feared my running days were over. I was so pissed off at everyone. I knew that it was something simple, but no one could give me a correct diagnosis or any help that made even the slightest improvement. After 5 weeks of this I had gained 15 pounds, was WAY off my diet (is McDonald's a food group?) and hated how I felt. This was the lowest I had been in years and I felt so sad and helpless. It was hard to believe that I was the same guy that 5 weeks earlier was ready to conquer the world. My self confidence seems to be tied to my workouts. No workouts = No Motivation for anything.

It was while I was doing my daily (....and I do me daily) google search for a solution that I found a site that changed everything. The diagnosis? Iliotibial Band Syndrome. I sat and read the site through and knew that I had found my problem. The "IT band" runs on the outside of the thigh and connects the hip to the knee. In runners, this fibrous connective tissue tissue can rub on the outer aspect of the knee and become inflamed causing severe pain + all the symptoms I had been experiencing.

After more research I found a myofacial release technique that crushes all of the "knots" out of the tissue. I used a lacrosse ball and lying on my side put in between my thigh and the floor and rolled it up and down. It was extremely painful , but once I was done, nearly all my knee pain had subsided. Finally a solution!!! Armed with this, I went back to my RMT and told him that I wanted him to work on my IT band for the next week. That was last week and since then I have been running and biking with no pain. It's still not 100%, but it's healing and I am back doing what I love. The moral of the your own advocate for health and don't take no for an answer. Ironman here I come!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Drop your pants and blow the driveway"

While looking for an image for my "Stop what you are doing and go outside...NOW!!!" post I found this image that didn't work for that, but is just to damn funny to ignore.

Enjoy? lol

PS - No it' not ass is MUCH hairier!

Stop what you are doing and go outside...NOW!!!

If you haven't been outside for any extended period of time it! It is so sunny and warm. That's just what I needed. I love winter and all the great stuff that comes with it, but this one seemed longer then normal. In fact, I can't remember EVER being this happy to see the white stuff go.

That and my evil side LOVES the fact that all those folks looking to escape winter for March break may have just wasted a boat load of money!

Ahhhh.....that sun feels so good!!! Here's hoping you too will have a chance to enjoy it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cool video showing how to set-up a tarp shelter

While checking out Mungo Says Bah this afternoon I found (as always) some very interesting posts. I am VERY happy with my Hennessey Hammock, but should a planned "Ultra lite" backpacking trip take place this summer this would be perfect.

Check out this link and the video below.

How to make a Tarp Shelter.

Wolf population reaches ‘epidemic proportions’

A 2004 decision by the Ministry of Natural Resources to create a permanent ban on harvesting wolves in 40 townships around Algonquin Park is having serious repercussions, according to Huntsville resident Gerald Borley.

Borley believes wolf populations are approaching “epidemic proportions” in central Ontario — specifically in the Muskoka and Haliburton areas. He has written a letter to Minister of Natural Resources Donna Cansfield explaining his position on the need to reinstate the harvesting of wolves.

The ban was first announced in 2001, but it was implemented for only 30 months, so in 2004 the ministry put a permanent ban in place.

An avid hunter and naturalist, Borley states that over the last five years, he has witnessed an “exploding wolf population” in the area.

“As the years have passed the wolf numbers have grown dramatically and their numbers are such now that they are decimating our deer and moose populations at a staggering rate,” said Borley. “Prior to the ministry’s decision to implement the no-wolf (harvesting) zones, local hunters were allowed to trap wolves up to the Algonquin Park boundary, which in itself helped keep the wolf population under control.”

Borley said that as a hunter who has hunted the same 1,000 acres in Lake of Bays for 25 years, he has noticed a dramatic decline in the amount of game on the property. He has also observed moose cows without calves, does without fawns and an abundance of wolf tracks with scat containing hair.

“There’s wolves all over and the MNR is closing their eyes to it,” he said. “We know our bush well and this is what has stood out to us over the past few years.”

Borley is concerned for a number of reasons. He says sightings of wolves in the Muskoka area were considered rare up until about six years ago and wolves are now becoming bold enough to enter rural areas. A big part of the reason for that, he said, is that deer have moved into more populated areas due to fear of the wolves.

“I live in a small subdivision just outside of town and had a wolf walk through my backyard, and my neighbour across the road saw one walk right down the road between our houses,” said Borley. “One of my hunting partners woke up early one morning to an awful bunch of growling and barking only to find that two wolves were standing at the pen where he keeps his dog. As he opened his side door the wolves left. Had the dog been in a kennel, it likely would have been killed.”

Borley has heard many recent stories about wolves entering rural areas. For example, he said in Dwight a group of children were playing in their driveway when suddenly three wolves appeared. Fortunately, the family dog was in the vicinity and it ran out to challenge the wolves. Although it was not killed, the dog was nearly mangled to death.

“When the ministry opened up the no-harvesting zone around the park, it provided more room to breed, and our wildlife in the last few years has died right down,” said Borley. “Our game is disappearing.”

Barry Radford, senior communications adviser for the MNR, stated he would not comment on whether the MNR has received an increase in reports of wolf sightings because he does not field those calls. He did say, however, that there is an increase in predators in general entering rural areas across the province, and these high populations tend to follow behind the growth of prey, which in the case of the wolf is deer.

“Wolves do what they do,” he said. “They venture out of the park, often pursuing deer. Once these predators have adapted to human habitation and sources of food, trying to relocate them is not an option. Predator populations are high because there’s an abundance of food.”

Radford said the reason the MNR put a prohibition in the 40 townships around Algonquin Park was to help preserve the park’s existing wolf population, which is a unique subspecies.

When asked if the MNR would ever consider reinstating wolf harvesting zones, he replied, “It would be a matter of what the circumstances are at that time.”

Rick Stronks, Algonquin Park’s chief naturalist, confirmed that in 2000 an advisory group put together a report on the need to protect the park’s rare wolf subspecies, known as the eastern wolf. The wolf is closely related to the red wolf that exists in the United States. He said one of the main reasons behind the research was to determine the exact species of the wolf and if this is an animal at risk of extinction.

“We do believe it is a different species than the grey wolf, and we know the population seems to be stable as opposed to going down,” said Stronks, adding that research has also shown the wolf population extends outside the park. “Leading up to the ban, there was a question about what species of wolves we have. If unique, we need to protect it, not just in the park but in surrounding areas. Wolves live in territories and they don’t know what their boundaries are. To be on the conservative side, the minister said ‘let’s protect the wolves and research this animal.’”

Lake of Bays resident/photographer Peter Glen, who has lived in the area since 2000, indicated that over the years he has noticed an increase in wolf populations. Glen has been able to capture some close-ups with his camera of wolves feasting on a dead deer about 200 feet from his kitchen window. He said when he made a sudden noise, the wolves “stood and stared at me and weren’t too keen on seeing any faces.”

“I did see evidence of them before, but it was mostly scat and dead deer that had been killed on the ice or in the bush,” he said. “I feed the deer sometimes during the winter and they do accumulate here. When I went in (to the township office) to pay my tax bill, I found out that the whole area around where I live is considered a doe yard.”

An excerpt featured in the February edition of Ontario Out of Doors stated that the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs paid $1,038,618 in compensation for wolf/coyote predation on livestock and poultry in 2007/2008. Over the past few years, there has generally been an increase in compensation across the province and in areas around the Grey-Bruce region (Owen Sound) and northern and eastern parts of the province have been making more claims.

In 2008, the Town of Huntsville received five claims for killed livestock, totalling $1,628.15, and in 2007 received three claims totalling $753.75. The Township of Lake of Bays received one claim in 2008, which totalled $297 and three in 2007 totalling $802.24.


Blog Updated

Just a quick note to let you know that I have added a link to Jeffery M's in the sidebar.

I just can't believe I haven't done this before now!

Best Algonquin map gets even better!

A while back I posted about a new Algonquin map being made available for free by Jeffrey M. Jeffrey, a popular poster on the Algonquin Adventures message board, has taken it upon himself to compile information from, maps, satellite images, trip logs and MANY other sources to create what has quickly become the "must have" map for the Park.

The map has so many features it's easy to forget to list them all, but the ones that stand out for me are:

-Accurate mapping of all water bodies ( even some lakes are missing on other maps)
-Old and new Lake names (great for history buffs)
-All roads old and new
-Old and current portage routes
-Old and current campsites
-Common fish for most lakes
-Historical sites
-Points of interest from some of the most experienced people to ever walk a portage
-Rail lines
-Difficult or Impassable portages

....and the list goes on and on. Simply put this is hands down the best map Algonquin has ever had and now it can be yours.

Jeffrey has always made the map available for free from his website Free Algonquin Park Map, but with version 2.0 set to be released this weekend, Jeffrey has announced that we will also have a printed full sized map or book version available for purchase. Both versions will of course still be available for FREE download, but if like me, you prefer a physical map and don't have a printer capable of recreating it in all it's glory then this should interest you.

In yet another classy move, Jeffrey is selling the book and full map versions near cost and what little money is made he is donating to Algonquin related charities.

Just to sum this up....

Jeffrey takes YEARS to create the best map ever, then makes it available for free and when he does sell it....oh he gives all the profits to charity. How cool is that people?

I asked Jeff the following questions and below are his responses:

Will the pages be laminated or waterproof?

"Nope, it won't be waterproof or laminated. I'm just going with a print-on-demand company (And ordering in small quantities to save folks the $15US shipping charge that would apply if one were only purchasing a single copy.) That means that options are limited sad.<span class=gif" width="14" height="14">. The good thing is that the pages are printed by a laser printer, meaning that if you bring a page or two (Or the entire book,) and it gets wet, the ink won't bleed, the paper will only get soggy (Again, it'd be nice if I could find a way to get it printed on a waterproof substrate but such is life.)"

Size and weight?

"Size in pages is... 84. I don't have my proof yet, so I can't tell you weight. The dimensions are 8"x10" with .5" margins on all sides except the centre which has a .75" margin (Which makes each map 6.75"x9" or 9"x6.75")"

What format? I imagine the full map in the front cut in to 70+ sections, each pointing to the appropriate page number. Am I close?

"You're exactly right. There's a table of contents and an index map pointing to 72 different submaps. Each submap was custom made (As opposed to being extracted from the big jpg) so that nothing gets cut off. The scale varies between pages, but is 1:80 000 for the most part with a few 1:60 000 sections and two 1:100 000 sections (The 1:100 000 sections cover places that wouldn't be of as much interest to those who paddle Algonquin; for instance, Lake of Bays is covered by on of those two maps.) When I release the new map and make copies of the book available for sale, the PDF of the book will be available online for download."

When do you expect it to be available?

"My timetable is like this... receive proof, approve proof, release map for download online, order 50 or so books and shipping supplies. Hopefully I'll receive the book proof this week.... that means that I'd post the map this week and order the 50 or so books this week as well. Obviously there's places that delays could happen in this timeline, but that's my hope."

I am very excited about the book version and have already reserved 2 copies. To get your name on the list or if you just want more information visit the links below and be sure to let Jeffrey know that you read about it here!

Go HERE to reserve your copy or to ask Jeffrey questions about the book for full sized map.
Official Free Algonquin Map website.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rick Mercer Report visits Algonquin Park

My son in the newspaper....for something good this time!!

Sorry folks for being away for so long. The kids sports and my own training take up almost all of my free time these days, but I had to share this with you.

Below is an article that appeared in our local paper recently about my son Jacob's Hockey team. We are into the playoffs now and have a good chance of making it to the "A" final. I will let you know how it goes. Until then, enjoy the article.

Click HERE to see the article on the Newspapers website or you can read it below.

Eight is enough for Cavers

MVP scores eight goals in Newcastle tyke team win

Mar 10, 2009 - 08:44 AM

CLARINGTON -- Newcastle Minor Tyke team #2 took home top honours from a tournament in Norwood, winning the A championship game 4-2 over Peterborough, after victories against Norwood and Millbrook earlier in the day.

Newcastle goal scorers for the tournament included Jacob Cavers with eight, Eric Bargent with seven, Keith Warne with six, Madison Hannon and Carson Parish with three each, Kyle Murphy with two, Karmen Penney, Jacob Robinson, Shawn Imlach, Cooper Stone, Cole Cottam and Alexander Lebel.

In net, Ashley Imlach recorded two shutouts. The MVP trophy was awarded to Jacob Cavers.

Friday, February 06, 2009

It's cold!!!

While walking Jack yesterday morning I was a little surprised by just how cold it was. Being that it's winter here in southern Ontario it should be cold, but this felt like the coldest day so far this year. It turned out it was very close. The temp at 8 am yesterday morning was -22, but when you factor in windchill it felt like -31. For the record, I was the only one complaining about it...even Jack was giving me this "don't be such a bitch look".

This got me wondering about what the coldest recorded temperature would be.


What is the coldest place in the world?


Far and away, the coldest temperature ever measured on Earth was -129 Fahrenheit (-89 Celsius) at Vostok , Antarctica, on July 21, 1983.


Who's the poor bastard that got that assignment?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Google Maps on your GPS!

Last year I bought a used Garmin, etrex Legend Cx off Craigslist. I bought it for the trip to Ishpatina Ridge that unfortunately never happened. It came with Topo maps for all of Canada and street navigation software. I loaded the streets software and loved it so much I even bought an aftermarket mount for it to use in the car.

The only problem I have with it is loading new way points by address. The software is very awkward to use and even after entering an address the chance of the software finding the location was 50/50 at best. So, I would have to manually search the map and once found, enter the way point on my computer then upload it via USB to the device. What a pain in the ass! The thing that really sucked was that I would often use Google Maps to find the location and then search the software map. So many times I wished there was a way to just find a location on G. Maps and upload it to my GPS.

Well now there is!!! While looking up the location of an arena for a hockey tournament this weekend I stumbled upon the answer. (SEE IMAGE) After I plugged in the address and it was found I clicked on the "send" button (..thinking I would send it to the team) when I noticed the GPS option. Moments later I loaded the plug in for my device type (Garmin) and within minutes I had uploaded the way point. This is so cool!!!!

It's compatible with all the big GPS makers as well, so if you have one check it out!

Check it out.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Great article alert!

I stumbled upon this article (originally posted in the Washington Post) and it really stuck with me and although it's almost a year old it's an excellent read.

I am not about to wreck it for you, but it involves someone famous and immensely talented that participated in a social experiment that rocked the music world to it's core.

Interested? Read on....

A Most Interesting Story

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about

45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy.

His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a
commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things
are we missing?

Maybe it's not just the Bears I should be worried about.

The Ontario Puma Association.....nope, not a joke. I did a double take when I read this one, but it's true. There numbers, near extinction at the turn of the century, are now on the climb and if the the map of sightings is accurate they may be coming to a back country campground near you.

The Puma weighs between 140 and 220 lbs and can reach lenghts in excess of 2 meters (including tale).

Despite their menacing appearance there have been relatively few attacks. From the Ontario Puma Association website...

"In the past 110 years in North America, humans have encountered Pumas 66 times, resulting in injuries 59 times, 15 were fatal. Excluding cases where people were killed by captive Pumas and cases where people intentionally approached or harassed a wild Puma, the attacks drop to 54, injuries to 48, and fatalities to 9 times.

In the last 30 years, there have been 10 deaths due to Puma attacks. Five occurred in British Columbia, two in California, and one each in Colorado, Montana, and New Mexico. Almost half of the Puma attacks in the past 100 years occurred in the 90’s."

They considered a seclusive creature and an encounter is considered VERY rare. That said, now I have two animals to let my imagination run wild on while in the park at night. "Was that a branch, a Puma or a Bear?.....please let it be a branch!" lol

Is your XP PC slow? This may be the soloution

Over the past year or so, I have really started to see a dramatic downturn in the overall performance of my work laptop running Windows XP. Slow start-up, slow program start and even slow web browsing had gotten so bad that it was painful to try to do just about anything and expect a quick response.

I started to look for solutions. The first thing I did was defrag and it helped, but only in terms of file retrieval. Then I downloaded a pair of anti-malware/spyware programs and scanned my computer. These programs remove malicious software from your computer that may be gobbling up memory and even sending out your personal information without your knowledge. Scary Stuff!
I used and really like these two Freeware programs, Malwarebytes and Spybot Search and Destroy. They worked well and despite having a very good handle on what sites I visit and monitoring what comes into my system, the programs found and removed hundreds of these little corrupt files. With this I saw a noticeable performance boost, but still not back to the lightning fast response time I was once getting.

Then I found FreeRAM XP Pro and everything changed. This program works in the background and manages you RAM or "working memory", allocating more if the demand is higher. Very cool! I just followed the simple instructions for set-up...

"Even if you're not a RAM whiz, you can still easily free up RAM on your running system? By selecting AutoFree mode and then 'go,' FreeRAM XP Pro can automatically optimize your system, balancing levels between your memory cache and the computer's speed."

It was really that easy and the performance boost for web surfing, DVD burning and multitasking large programs is incredible! What a simple and great program that I can't recommend enough to anyone running a Windows XP OS.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

It's Official!!

"Jim Cavers you are now Registered

for Muskoka Ironman 70.3."

Well I just got the confirmation, so there is no backing out now....GULP!!!

On Septermber 13,2009 I will become an Ironman!!!

EDIT: Below is a short, but excellent video I found after I posted that describes what this event is all about. It has video from the 2008 race and the scenery is incredible. I get chills every time I watch it and have already watched it TEN TIMES.( ...and counting)

Check it out....

Monday, January 05, 2009

That is so true!

"If you are calm while everyone around you is losing it, you probably don’t know what the hell is going on."

While registering for Ironman Muskoka this morning I stumbled upon this quote that I think perfectly describes the moments before a Triathlon starts.
The anxiety is palpable and standing on the beach, as the seconds tick away to start time, no one can hide their fear. In many ways it's one of the most honest moments a person can experience. In life you can hide your fear, but not there and everyone standing there knows it. You compete against each other, yet for that moment you are bound by purpose and fear is the common denominator.

I registered for the Ironman Muskoka, which is a half Iron. (Swim 2km, Bike 90km, Run 21km), but plan to do an Olympic and Sprint as well. The Half Iron wil be my last race of the season and will be the focus of my training this year. If all goes well, I plan to use this race as the launching point for my first Ironman in 2010. Lake Placid!