Thursday, November 22, 2012

Summary.

As much as some may think, I haven't forgotten about this place.

- I'm still on the right side of the dirt. (Alive, that is.)
- I'm training (well, kind of training) for the Comox Valley Half Marathon again, and I'm running with a guy I work with who's extremely fit, but has never ran that distance and has only ran one 10k race ever. It's fun to have someone to follow a program with.
- Work is still work, and until I win the lottery or some other logistical impossibility, I make it as fun and interesting as I can.
- My Movember mustache is just as hairy, itchy, gingery, and gray as it was last year. There's about one week left, and trust me - the razor can't come fast enough.

Suffice to say I'm back, and hoping to not fade away again.

Later.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pile It On.

..Oh hey, Boss - What's up?

You've got something else you'd like me to do?

Is that before or after I:

a) Finish learning the new department you want me to run, while b) still running my regular department and c) doing my everyday assistant manager duties?

Should I make room for it between:

d) Maintaining, updating and tweaking the company website, e) setting up the social media (Twitter, Facebook) and f) running that as well?

Maybe I can fit it in between my:

g) training for a Marathon that HAPPENS IN A WEEK AND A HALF, and h) juggling my regular family responsibilities.

Yeah - sure, why not.

Whatcha' got?





Later.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Invading My Inner Sanctum.

I have an annoyance.

It's not an earth-shattering annoyance or anything, but it's just a slight change in my regular routine that's bugging me.

You see, there's this girl who works at my gym - extremely pleasant, great personality, and has that outlook on life that you need when you're dealing with people at 5:30am.

I can understand that working part-time at a tiny local gym isn't where the big bucks are, and I'd be kidding myself if I said I was surprised to see that she had picked up a second job.

It's where here second job IS - that's where the annoyance comes in.

You see, she now works for the same company I do.

I don't work directly with her (she's in the other location) but now everytime I see her at the gym, the talk has gone from pleasant chit-chat to "work" talk - customers, things that happen, etc - our common ground has increased immensely.

And there's my annoyance - I go to the gym to not only better myself, but to get AWAY from talking about work. (The Wife and I work for the same company as well, so the goings-on of the business are a big subject at home.) It's my time and area to not think about what I do for 40+ hours a week. I could ask the Wife not to talk about work, but explaining that I want her to stop doing it so that some other girl can would go over about as well as you'd expect it to.

Yet I don't want to be rude and not talk to the girl at the gym - I just don't know how to break it to her that I don't want to talk about the job - maybe if I keep changing the subject, she'll get the hint.

Either that, or I'll have to duck out of the gym when she goes to clean the bathrooms...

Yeah - maybe I'll try that first.




Later.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Headwind.

It must be Fall again.

I don't care what the calendar says, to me, fall is when the soft breezes of summer give way to the chilly wind of winter.

I encountered them this morning on my run.

When you're sweating away in the midst of a 8 miler (and running waaay faster than you should be), a cold breeze coming up behind you is actually a welcome relief. (Contrary to popular opinion down south, there was no smell of Moose in the air - just the crisp, clean scent of the ocean.)

But turning around is a bitch.

As I rounded my halfway point and headed back, the cold breeze went from welcome relief to incessant pain-in-the-ass, as the wind kicked up and turned a rewarding experience into something much less fun.

I actually had to lean into it, people. That's how strong the wind was.

It sucked.

There's nothing pleasant about a headwind - you never hear any runner say "Right on - the wind's blowing right at us!"

It slows you down, makes it harder to run, and just generally sucks balls.

As I get closer to my Fall Marathon (28 days!) I just hope that the day of the race is a calm and cool, and that the breeze somehow magically stays at my back.

Either that or I somehow find a really fast fat guy to run behind - drafting isn't only for NASCAR, people.




Later.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Dear Newsweek:


Thank you for making any attempt to eat asparagus, from now until the end of time, incredibly awkward.


I could watch this woman eat all day.
I will admit your cover did get my attention, so good job at that.
 
But seeing those luscious lips preparing to do dirty, dirty things to those asparagus spears has forever scarred me. Maybe it just shows that my mind, like many others, resides in the gutter 90% of the time.


 



Later.
 

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Funk.

Hello people.

Don't attempt to adjust your monitor - turning it off and on wont do any good, it's actually me.

I know most of you thought that I abandoned this place, and I'll admit, I thought so too. It's hard to explain what's been going on in my head for the past month.

Somewhere along the line, I just stopped life.

I was living, but not really being a part of anything. I worked, and if you were working with me, you'd be hard-pressed to say that anything was wrong. I had fun with the kids, enjoyed time with my family, but I just stopped anything to do with just me.

Running felt like a chore, going to the gym was an exercise in futility. I didn't feel like doing anything. I had no motivation. I ran over 130 miles in July and barely 50 in August.

Worst of all, I could see what was going on. I could see the missed runs on the calendar, feel the lack of energy in my body, and no matter how much I said "I'll get back on track tomorrow/Monday/whenever.", when that day would come, I'd actually talk myself out of doing it - finding some reason to not run or hit the weights.

And my family isn't going to complain - if I'm not at the gym or on the road, I'm home. And who doesn't want Daddy around more, right? And when it came down to it, I'd feel better that I stayed and had a couple hours with the kids before work.

Until I'd see a runner on my drive.

Someone out there doing what I should be doing - someone who probably has the same goals/plans/problems that I do, but with one difference - they were out there doing it, and I wasn't.

I thought about this place alot, to be honest, but my creative energy and motivation was in the same place as my physical - completely fucking absent.

You have no idea how much this sucks.

I had a small epiphany the other night, though, and I'm trying to follow through on what I realized:

I'm happiest when I'm doing something for myself. When I'm running, when I'm writing, and when I've looked after me before I've looked after everyone else. I know it sounds selfish, and I'm totally not phrasing it right at all, but trust me, in my mind, it works.

I have one month and one day until the Royal Victoria Marathon. That's 4 weeks to get my shit together and do what I should have been doing all summer. Will I qualify for Boston? Hell no - but I am going to do it, run it, and finish it.

Sunday I did 10 miles. Today I hit the weights, ran 3.1 (5km) and tomorrow is an 8 miler. I have a big run this weekend to get back on my training program, but I'm looking forward to it more than I'm dreading it.

I'm hoping that's a good sign. (Hurdling a moose would be a better one.)

I hope to be around here more often as well. It might not be the everyday occurrence it once was, but it'll be more than it has been, that's for sure.

Damn it feels good to get that off my chest.

Thanks, people.



Later.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Tale of Two Runs.

I ran yesterday and today.

I'm running tomorrow and the day after that too, but that's not important. The thing is, I couldn't have had two different runs if I would have tried, and it was all due to heat.

See, I normally do my runs in the wee hours of the morning. It's cool, there's no traffic, and the run just seems to go better. Yesterday, however, I slept in and when I did wake up, the kids asked that I not run and that we spend some time together instead. (How do you say no to that?) The easy choice was to run on my lunch at work instead.

Since I was working late shift, lunch rolled around at 4pm, and I set out as soon as I could get changed.

Holy shit was it hot.

I know it wasn't Texas hot, or probably even Chicago hot, but for my area of Canada, it was pretty fucking hot outside.

And that run sucked. I sweated and sweated, and it felt like I couldn't get my pace under control. I hated it halfway through, and only finished it because I was so far out and had no choice but to run to make it back to work on time. (Looking back, I could have hitch-hiked, but would you pick up a sweaty guy who's breathing hard on the side of the road?)

In contrast, today's run was smooth as silk. My pace was good, it was hard but not too hard, and while I was sweating, it was more of a trickle than a waterfall.

And that level of comfort made all the difference.

After yesterday's run, if someone would have asked me why I ran, I would have to them it was because I was obviously crazy. Today, my answer would have been one about challenging yourself, the serenity, and the sense of accomplishment.

Funny how 5 or 10 degrees can make a difference in performance and outlook, isn't it?


Later.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Absenteeism


Today is my first day back to work after holidays.

I could talk about all the fun I had with the family, the things we did, the frustration of coming back to work, or I could even touch on my thoughts in regards to the shooting in Colorado or the whole Penn State/JoePa thing.

But I'm not going to.

Instead, I'm going to tell you of the thing that's slowly been bugging me during my entire holidays.

Elk.

Particularly the lack of them.

Do you see that sign up there? There are literally hundreds of them along the highway - the minute you've driven past the 6km warning for those Elk, there's another sign telling you to look out for more. We traveled up and down the Island during my week off, and I saw so many of these signs that you'd think there was an epidemic.

For those of you who haven't ventured into Canada, your first visit must seem like a wild safari, where herds of Elk are about to spring from the bush any minute and haphazardly trample your rented SUV. Why would they have the signs if the danger wasn't there?

I'll tell you a secret: I've lived on Vancouver Island for 25 years, and I've yet to see an Elk. Ever. No mommy elk, no baby elk, and no majestic bucks ready to leap over the 4-lanes of highway.
I've seen deer, bears, cougars, (both wild and in-the-bar kind) - but not one single Elk. I've seen them in the Yukon, but not once on Vancouver Island. I guess they hate the cost of the ferry just as much as I do.

So why all the signage?

Why not warn me about the sketchy hitchhikers, horrible gas prices, and slow-moving elder drivers instead? Warn me about something I'll actually see, instead of some mythological horned beast who's going to endanger me with his presence - this isn't the Bible belt, people.

I think the signage is to make it seem like there are tons of them out there. Keep the tourists on the lookout for imaginary Elk so they don't notice us gouging them with our food and fuel prices.
I'm sure there's an Elk out there - the Government wouldn't lie - but he's probably old, in ill health, and doesn't get within 20km of a highway since a run-in with some Vegan hunters in 1969 who wanted to "commune" with him.

But that's just my theory.

And its a good theory too - one I'll keep reminding myself of every time I see one of those signs....






Later.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Three Days, 23 Miles.

I'd offer an excuse for my absence here, but it really doesn't matter - I just didn't feel like I had anything to write about.

I've spent the last couple of weeks running, working, seeing movies (both the Kid-Bitten-by-a-Spider variety and the Talking-Teddy Bear-with-a-Bong variety.) and for the last week, have been doing the Family Vacation thing - we've kept it fairly low-key, and didn't bother venturing off Vancouver Island at all.

For the post title to make any sense, I had to explain about being on Holidays. For those of you who remeber my trip to Vegas in May, you'll recall my Wife has a rule when we are on Vacation: it's a vacation from running as well.

I know - crazy, right?

Since she knows I'm not going to take the whole week off running, we just settle for me not running when we are out of town. That meant our 3 day visit to Victoria put a serious cramp in my weekly mileage. To get back on track I decided to drop my shorter runs this week and just focus on the long runs and steady pace runs.

In a juggling match of epic proportions, I ran my Tuesday 7 mile run on Wednesday, my missed 9 mile Sunday Long Run on Thursday, and my Friday 7 miler was actually run on..well, Friday.

That's 23 miles in 3 days.

Did I mention there was a day at the lake and a minigolf-bumper boats-beach day in there was well? I've spent more time on my feet on my holidays than if I was at work.

And I actually feel pretty good.

I have a light 4 mile run tomorrow, (completely optional) and then an 18 mile Long Run on Sunday.

After that, my holidays are over and I'm back to my sweet routine of running, work, and life.

...oh yeah, I'm going to try to include blogging in there too.






Later.



*Did I mention it's only 73 days until my marathon? Any guesses as to how bad I'm freaking out?

Friday, July 06, 2012

Friday in the Park With the Kids.

So with today being our first real day of Summertime heat, I decided the last thing I wanted to be doing was hanging inside with the kids.

Do not confuse Canadian summer heat with what Triple T is going through in Chicago - that shit ain't natural, and I'm sure that the extreme heat they are feeling is just because there is possibly a portal to Hell on Lower Wacker Drive. (That's a road in Chi-town, right? I got it from the Blues Brothers.)

At first I thought I'd take them to the beach - sun, sand, possible views of bikini-clad bodies (there ain't nothing wrong with that) - but the thought of all the shit you have to bring to the beach, plus the fact that you have to lug it all there and back, put a kibosh on that idea. I'm doing yard work tomorrow, so packing crap around today was not in the plans.

I took them to the trails instead.

We went for a hike/walk on the Canyon View Trail - it's a 6km loop over and around the Campbell River - it's at the far end of town, about 20 minutes from my house. We grabbed a bottle of water and headed on our way.

The trail isn't actually red - that's just my awesome MSPaint skills.
I figured the kids wouldn't do the whole thing - that they would tire out and want to quit after the first big set of stairs, but they persevered, (there are benches occasionally) and did the whole thing.



As you can see, there are stairs and stairs and hills and hills. The bench was a welcome relief to them.

The Boys main plan was to make it to the steel bridge over the canyon. The goal? To drop rocks, of course. C'mon - they're six and nine - throwing rocks is in their nature.

 

The first picture is the bridge - my youngest is holding a rock up. I know it looks like he is giving you the finger, but trust me, it's a rock. The other two are the view from the bridge looking up and then down the canyon. It's pretty high up, and I'll admit, the rocks make a pretty loud and significant splash when dropped from that height.

 

We then crossed over the dam (that's the swirling water from the outflow) and headed back towards the car. The trail on this side of the canyon is way lower than the other side, so the sound of rushing water is beside you all the way. I'm pretty sure that's why the Boys had to stop and pee a couple of times, and I'm definitely sure they'd be pissed if they knew I posted about it.


On the way back, there was a sandbank alongside the river (you can't see the trees growing out of it, but they are there) and people had carved their initials into the hard, compacted sand. We decided to go along with the flow and etch ours there as well.

(At least I'm pretty sure it was people's initals - it could be the remnants of some sort of Satanic ritual - I may just have inadvertently sold the Boys souls. I guess they can deal with it when they turn 18.)

I guess the desecration of nature's beauty should shock me, but I was just happy to see that none of the words scribbled there were curses or slang for genitallia - having to explain to my six-year-old why someone carved "cock" into the sand would have taken the magic out of the moment.

Since we were almost back at the car, the Boys thought we should have a sit down and just chill for a second. We sat on this bench:


and enjoyed this view:

Until they realized that 3 guys sitting on a flower-covered bench looking at the river isn't the coolest thing in the world. After quickly getting up and talking about how much we all love Hockey, we made it back to the car.

All in all, it took us an hour and a half to walk the 6km. The runner in me groaned at how slow we were, but the Dad in me had a great fucking time.









Later.

...and before anyone asks - no, we did not see any Moose.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Anticipation

Things I'm looking forward to tonight:

- getting off work at 9pm. This many late shifts in a row starts to drag on the soul.

- Speeding (shhh don't tell) into town after work to meet up with the Wife and Sidekick to see the new Spider-Man movie. (Yes, the title of the blog is "....a Forty-Something Man", but let's be honest - mentally, I'm like 18, tops.)

- The coffee and Peanut Butter M&M's I'm going to have while watching what I hope will be a cinematic masterpiece and not a train wreck of epic proportions.

- Finally crawling into bed after a night of fun and friends, knowing that at 5am my running shoes are waiting for me.

Top that - I dare ya.




Later.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Bald Ponytail.

I've seen this hairstyle at least 3 times today.

Maybe it's the granola-chewing, tree-hugging, free-loving, never-left-the-sixties attitude of the people who live in the area where I work, or else this dreaded folic nightmare is making a comeback.

It has to be stopped.

As a guy who has noticed his hair slowly creeping away like a coward in the night, (I'd convert to Judaism just for the hat.) I can't imagine a hairstyle that does nothing but draw attention to what you're lacking.

It would be like having a small dick and choosing to only wear chaps.

When I've seen these abominations in the store, I'm compelled to do one of two things:

  •  gently take them aside, assure them that no matter what they think, it just doesn't look good and they should embrace who they are in the best way possible
Or
  • walk up behind them with scissors, cut the damn thing off, and scream "Just wear a fucking hat already!"

I've restrained myself so far, but I think I'll just play it by ear..

..however, I'll keep the scissors handy - just in case.





Later.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

I Feel:

  1. That now that things are (relatively) back to normal with my parents health, I can finally take care of that other person I've been neglecting: Me. (I've been informed by the Wife that I should probably include her in that statement.)
  2. That while I have been keeping my running mostly on track (I've only missed two short mid-week runs) the area I really have to get back on track with is Nutrition. Mini-Donuts and Coffee may sound like fun carb-loading, but really aren't the best for me.
  3. That I am a creature of routine, and I need to get it back.
  4. That since I am also a running nerd who likes his data, I could have just about snapped the other day when my Nike Sportband refused to upload my 14 mile run.
  5. That the rage was short lived, as a Non-functional Sportband meant I might get to buy the Nike+ GPS Sportwatch that I've been drooling over for six months.
  6. That right about the time I realized that, the Sportband worked. It was a mixed bag of emotions.
  7. That I really need to take notes more. I had many things to write about over the last couple of weeks, and I really can't think of any of them right now.
  8. That as much as Canadians are lauded for our self-deprecation and humbleness, we get really full of ourselves on Canada Day. I'm all for national pride, but where is it the other 364 days of the year?
  9. That after saying that, I'm sure I'll have to turn in my passport.




Later.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Priorities.

With all the visits back and forth to to see my Mom at the Hospital, I've gleaned some important facts from the Doctors and Nurses around her.

It seems to me that the most relevant things for them to know about anyone in regards to their health are:
  • How did you sleep?
  • How much did you eat/drink?
  • Did you take a shit?
Sleep and nutrition/hydration I can understand - it's the Hospital's unnatural preoccupation with bowel movements that concerns me. It's my Mother's lungs that don't work great, people - questioning what's coming out the other end just seems weird.

They must know what they are doing though, because she is slowly getting better. Her dissatisfaction at the moment is being in a four-person room (and on the door side, not the window side) instead of the window-view, solo area she had in ICU - she could look at the deer grazing on the helipad* to pass the time, and she misses that. I've convinced her that being out of the Intensive Care Unit is a better thing, regardless of view.

She did state however, that she can't wait to get home - at least she won't have someone asking her about her colon every 10 minutes.

I'm going to try and find a way to work that into our daily talks from now on...






Later.

*not shitting you - actual deer munching away on the grass beside the helipad. It is a Canadian hospital, after all.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Elderly Dichotomy

Today was a day of errands with my Dad - taking care of the banking and other things that need to be done while my Mom is still in the hospital.

My Dad is kind of a funny guy -  He doesn't drive anymore, he's shaky, unsure, and can be the most cantankerous and frustrating guy I know.

I love him to bits.

The thing with my Dad is this: Because of his age and physical/mental condition, doing anything with him takes forever - and yet he has absolutely zero patience for anyone.

Example: We head downtown, and Dad decides that he wants to eat before we do the shopping. There's a Subway inside the grocery store, and he says he wants to go there. For me to walk from the car to the Subway would normally take less than 2 minutes. Walking with Dad takes 15.

We get to the Subway, and there's a lineup. We are in the line for no more than 2 minutes when Dad looks at me and says (and I quote) "Can't these fuckers move any faster?". As you can see, Dad's appreciation for the talents of a Sandwich Artiste only goes so far.

It was like that everywhere we went today - get Dad out of the car, take him where we had to go, and watch him get crankier and crankier anytime we were in a lineup. We usually spent more time getting him to where we needed to be than we did doing what had to be done.

The irony of it all hit me when I got him home and settled - I said that it was nice to get those errands out of the way, and he said to me "It would have been faster if people in this town weren't so goddamn slow."

I almost explained to him that aside from the groceries, almost everything we had to do could have been done in less than five minutes online.

I held my tounge.

Dad hates computers more than he hates lineups.







Later.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Distance Therapy.


I'm not sure if my Twitter feed shows it or not, (I think the Nike+ software/site upgrade messed with that) but I've been running lots of miles the past week or so. I think last week was 36, and this week looks to be creeping close to 40 when it's all said and done.

There's two reasons for that.

One, I'm at the point in my Marathon training where the mileage starts to ramp up - and two would be the fact that right now, running is what's keeping me sane.

There's been some stuff going on with my parent's health that has made life a bit of a chaotic jumble lately. It's manageable, but at times it's a bit overwhelming and organization is critical.

Of all the bouncing back and forth from hospital, home, work, and my parent's place, having that morning run - that time of the day when it's just me, my shoes, and my thoughts means more than ever.

Knowing that no matter what - whatever prognosis, whatever comes up, the pressures of work or the schedule juggling at home - tomorrow at 5:30 am, there's a run waiting for me.

4 miles, 6 miles, intervals, hills, and the always-loved Long Run - those aren't just numbers on a program - they're my salvation.

I can sweat away my frustrations and clear my head for organizing what the day will bring. I can finish the run with a stretch, a shower, and a coffee - and believe me, the day looks infinitely more manageable when your view is from the right side of the coffee mug.

After I get off work today, I'm heading to the hospital, then out to check on my Dad, and then eventually to home.

When I get there, I'm going to come through the front door and see my shoes, sitting where they always are, ready for tomorrow's run.

And that's when I know everything's going to be okay.


Later.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Inspiration.


Having been at that stage where I was the Chubby Guy running on the side of the road, wondering if people were laughing as they drove by, I found the following blog post to be incredibly inspirational and rewarding.

Just thought I'd share.

Flintland: Hey, Fat Girl.





 Later.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Physicality

Having recently turned 40, and because it just seemed a prudent thing to do, I went to my Doctor on Friday and had a complete physical.

One of my co-workers was recently diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, and he has said that while he'll be fine, he still wishes they had caught it earlier (he's 56). with that in mind I called and set up an appointment with my Doctor.

(Actually, my Wife called, because she's got the number memorized, and I barely know where the place is.)

Turns out my Doctor is on vacation, so I just said I'd take whatever Doctor was available. In hindsight I might have wanted to re-think that decision.

The waiting room at the office wasn't too bad - they had replaced the chairs since the last time I had been there, the magazines were current, and there was even a running one that I could read - fresh coffee would have topped it all off, but I guess you can't ask for everything.

The nurse came, called my name, and I followed her to the other room to get weighed and measured. As a Canadian, I'm ashamed to admit that her statement of "1.78 Meters and 79 Kilos" made as much sense to me as "12 Stone and 17 Hands high".

After getting sent back into the waiting room for a moment, I was called to one of the examination rooms and given a robe to change into.

This gave me pause.

When talking to the guys at work, they all told me that it was all modern-day stuff - that all they did was listen to your heart, check your lungs, and everything else was done by lab tests. If that was the case, why the robe?

I know - the resemblance is uncanny.
Not being one to shy away when someone tells me to get naked, I shrugged my shoulders, stripped down, and pretended the robe was some sort of cape, or that I was doing a re-enactment of Brad Pitt in Twelve Monkeys - but just the asylum scenes.

Once I was comfortable in my robe (as comfortable as you can be with your ass hanging out) I sat and waited for the Doctor to arrive. At this point a heated seat in the examination room would have been a great addition.

When the Doctor walked in, I got another surprise - it was a woman. My regular Doctor is a man, and I just automatically figured that when scheduling a replacement for my physical, they would have just switched another guy in there. Oh well, how bad can it be, right?

She started off asking me questions about my health and history - normal type stuff - and lit up when we discussed exercise and I mentioned I'm a runner. She and her husband both run, and we discussed goals, plans, and past races for about the next 10 minutes.

She then had me get up on the table and checked my heart and lungs. At this point the whole robe thing made sense, as it was way easier to do all that without a shirt in the way. Everything was great and we were still discussing running when she asked me to roll over on my side.

What?

She didn't even pause in our conversation - we were talking about running, she said I was going to feel some pressure and slight discomfort, and next thing I know she's knocking on my backdoor and complimenting me on my smooth and small prostate.

She didn't even buy me dinner first.

While I thought our relationship had taken off to the next level, she was just as casual as ever, and was still asking about my training and if there were any other races I was doing before the fall. I was halfway through my reply when she said "While I'm at it, I might as well check your testicles."

Since I was still glowing from the prostate compliment, I lifted the robe up and let her get to work.

I'll admit, I was expecting another round of praise, but she kept quiet and just kept feeling around and around and around... she kept checking over and over in a certain area, and it wasn't until I told her I forgot to mention my Vasectomy in my history that she seemed satisfied with what she was looking at. (I'm taking the silence as a compliment this time.)

We discussed some of the lab tests I'm going to have to do - since my work schedule and the lab hours don't jive, they'll have to wait until Tuesday to happen - and then I was free to put my clothes back on. (I almost asked to keep the robe as a memento of our time together.)

From what she told me, I'm the picture of glowing health - at least until the lab tests come back, and hopefully they won't say anything different. So all I have to worry about is whether or not my cholesterol is high and my blood sugars check out okay.

Next to that, my only other fear is that they'll hand me a robe and ask me to roll over on my side...






Later.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Water Wings.

I'm trying something new in both my training and general life, and while rewarding, it's kind of driving me crazy.

It's Hydration.

Basically, I've realized that in the general course of the day, I don't drink enough water. Sure, if you count the kind that is mixed with ground up coffee beans, sugar, and cream, I drink tons of it - but not so much of just the regular stuff.

So I've been trying to drink a bit before I run and whenever I'm thirsty during the day, I try to reach for the water bottle instead of the coffee cup. It's been pretty good so far, except for one thing:

I keep having to pee all the time.

Maybe it's the added fluids, maybe my bladder is only the size of a walnut - I'm not sure what it is, but I think I've turned into a 5-foot-10 water conversion unit.

I think my kidneys are working overtime just to get me to put down the water bottle. It hasn't affected my running yet, but the day I have to stop in the middle of a race to pee, it's over.

I'm willing to give it another week but if I keep peeing like this, I'm going to have to have Adult Diapers underneath my running shorts.

I'd stay and chat, but I'm on my lunch, and I have to pee before I go back.

Later.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

I Feel:


  • That since today was National Running Day, I made sure to log some miles (which I would have done anyway) and I did a tempo run (7:15min/mile) just to show those pesudo-runners who's in charge on the roads.
  • That since yesterday was a hill day, maybe putting a tempo run right after wasn't the best choice.
  • That since coming back from Vegas, all I've done is work and run. (The Wife forbade me from running in Vegas) I can't complain about the running, but the work really sucks.
  • That I should get a medal for every person I don't slap after coming back from holidays. That includes customers, co-workers, and just random people on the street.
  • I've decided that I really like the dry heat - Vegas was around 40C (100F) and I loved it. Coming back to the humidity of the West Coast just made me feel sticky and smelling like a moose.
  • That given the choice, I would never run another hill again. Problem is, you can't go more than 1km from my house without having to go up some sort of mountain.
  • That I'm both amazed and appalled at Helicopter Cat.
  • That since (because of social/personal obligations) I'm moving my Sunday run to Saturday, my Saturday run to Friday, my Friday run to Today, and Today's run to Tomorrow, I may lose track of exactly what year it is.





Later.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Filthy Fun.

Yesterday, for most of the afternoon and part of the evening, I took my kids down to the Fair/Carnival that had stopped in town for the weekend.

Rides, games, and food were available for the youngsters to enjoy.

They didn't have any of the food, because after working in a restaurant for so many years, I'm not letting my child get food that was prepared by a dirty carny in a place that may or may not have passed it's last health inspection.

They didn't win any of the games, because carnival games are all rigged pieces of crap that try to get you to shell out tons of cash for a trinket that is made for pennies in some Chinese sweatshop.

And then there were the rides. The kids got more fun out of the obstacle course playgym area, the mini roller coaster, and the haunted house (in June?) than anything else.

But then it hit me.

I don't let them play the games they'll waste money on, or eat the food that I don't trust, but yet its perfectly okay to put them on a ride that was trucked in and assembled by a guy who likes working for the Carnival because "There's no rules on the road." That certainly instilled a lot of confidence.

I hope he follows the rules when he's putting that roller coaster together.

I realize how foolish it is that I'm trusting the safety of my children to a guy who's main talent appears to be spitting and rolling his shirt sleeve up higher anytime he sees a pretty girl.

Add the total time it takes to disinfectant the kids afterwards, (there were some seriously unclean people hanging out there.) and it almost seems like a hindrance more than anything else.

But then I saw their smiles.

Despite all my reservations/bias, they had a great time - and can't wait to do it again.

That makes it all worth it.




Later.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Forty and Fortunate.

So my Birthday was pretty fucking great.

The Wife and I headed down to Victoria on Saturday, and I was all ready for a great dinner out with the Twin and the Sidekick to celebrate, and then a day of visiting and just hanging out.

Only part of it worked out that way.

Once we got seated and started with dinner, (I even enjoyed the Sidekick's recommended beer choice that evening.) the waitress had a surprise for us. When she filled our water glasses, she dropped off a small envelope between my brother and I.

My first thought was that she was pretty brazen - trying to give me her number right in front of my wife - but I was soon proved wrong as we flipped over the envelope to see a big "#1" on it. We opened it, and out poured some letters that we unscrambled into the word "What".

(I only had one beer at that point, so unscrambling a 4-letter word was easy.)

When the waitress would check back on us, she would randomly drop of another envelope, each one containing a different word we had to unscramble.

Envelope 2: "Happens"
Envelope 3: "In"
Envelope 4: "Vegas..."

By the third envelope, you figure we would have had it. By the fouth it should have been a certinty.

Nope. We were fucking clueless.

These are the faces of two VERY confused individuals.
I had guessed that the Wives were taking us to a local casino after dinner. (Vegas, gambling, it all makes sense, right?) the Twin had guessed that it was some sort of trick question - if what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, then it must be some sort of secret code or something.

What can I say? We'd been drinking and aren't too bright.

After a moment, I looked at my Wife and said "....are we going to Vegas?" To which her and my Sister-in-Law said "Hell yes!"

The Twin and I had 2 questions:
  • "How the hell can we afford this?"
  • "When?"
To which the Wives replies were:
  • "Don't worry about it."
  • "We fly out in less than 10 hours."
They told us that they had someone watching our kids for four days, we were booked to fly out at 9am, and that it was already pre-planned. My SiL even had the Twin's work give him fake hours so that he didn't know he had the time off. My Wife had skillfully (and secretly) packed everything we needed, including extra clothes and my passport, right under my nose.

(In fact, I found out during the course of the weekend that everyone in my family, the Wife's family, the Sidekick,  everyone at work, and a few other select friends were in on keeping it a secret from me. Some of them had been hiding it from me for six months. Those lying bastards - I love every one of them.)

We were going to Vegas.

I was fucking stoked.

We finished dinner that night, and I commiserated with the Sidekick that it was too bad that he had to work, as he had always wanted to go to Vegas, and it would have been a blast to have him along. Unfortunately the demands of his job were keeping him home this weekend. I told him I'd text him in the morning before we got on the plane and let him know how the trip was going throughout.

I didn't sleep a wink that night.

The next morning we headed to the airport to catch a short flight to Vancouver and then onwards to Vegas. As I was standing in the terminal waiting to check in, I was texting the Sidekick, who was asking how busy the terminal was, if there were lots of people, etc.

I sent him a message saying it was surprisingly busy for that time of day, and 10 seconds later I hear a voice right behind me say "It doesn't look that way to me."

I turn around to see the Sidekick, luggage and all.

Turns out my Best Friend was coming along too.

I glanced at the Wife, who just looked at me and said "You didn't think there would be just one surprise, did you?"

I actually kinda did.

So we hopped on the plane, jumped to Vancouver, and 2 and a half hours later looked out onto this:

Paradise.

...and it was awesome.

How awesome?

This awesome.

There are boobs EVERYWHERE in Vegas.








Later.




Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Absence Can Be Explained.

....Because I was in Vegas, baby!

Yes, the wife surprised me with a trip to Vegas for my 40th.

I have pictures, stories, and really sore feet.

More to follow..


Later.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Sunshine and Shoelaces.

Today is officially the first day of my holidays.

A whole week of nothin'.

Sounds like a dream right?

Just so you know, my "nothin'" will include:
  • A weekend away for my 40th Birthday. It's tomorrow, so the Wife and I are ditching the kids and going to celebrate with my Twin and his wife who live in Victoria. It's supposed to be nice and sunny, so I'm hoping for good weather, good company, and bad (for me) food.
  • Because it's my first week of Marathon training and I'll be away Sunday, I cranked out my scheduled 10-miler today. Get it out of the way so that I don't feel guilty eating bad food. I'm thinking I'll do the 6-miler I was supposed to do today tomorrow morning before we leave for Vic. (I'm sure the Wife won't mind if I sleep in the car - it's my birthday, right?)
  • I am skipping a 3 mile run that I could do Sunday, but if the Wife caught me packing my running gear for a weekend away, I think she'd make me run behind the car for the whole trip down. 
  • Next week's mileage tops out around 33 miles, and I'm totally looking forward to it. I think sticking to my maintenance plan between my Half Marathon and now really made jumping into a more advanced program easier than just starting cold.
  • I'm also planning on getting caught up with my yardwork now that the weather is nice - I've been keeping up on the lawn, it's just the fine details that need to be taken care of.
  • The Wife is having a Charity Garage sale on the last Sunday of my holidays for her Relay for Life fundraising team. I cannot wait to get all the accumulated crap that people have been donating out of my garage. I know it's charity, but it's also my garage.
  • I also have grandiose plans about taking the kids to the pool a couple of times as well, but we'll see how that works out - I'm still sketchy after just getting rid of the cold I'm sure I picked up the last time I was there.
Include whatever else pops up along the way, (I've had a friend invite me to go fishing one of those days, and another who wants to do a trail run) and it should be a busy week!

I almost think that holidays should be my full time job.






Later.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stinky Pete.

There was drama at my gym this morning.

Stinky, ripe, smelly drama.

While not directly involved, I did get to witness/hear about it.

Let's be honest - odours at a gym are not a new thing. Take an enclosed space where people are exerting themselves and you're going to get a bit of funk in the air.* That's why the girl behind the sign-in desk at my gym has a scented candle burning 24 hours a day. (At least I think that's why - she could be cooking Meth when I'm not looking.)

I will admit to having released some odours myself while on the treadmill - hence the reason I never eat oatmeal before I run - but overall, I'm confident that I smell okay.

Today's issue was B.O.

As in ripe B.O.

As in smell-you-from-across-the-room B.O.

It was THAT bad.

The guy who was the source was completely oblivious to it. Much like the people who work in sewers or live under port-a-potties, he was so used to the stench that he was seemingly unaffected by it.

And it wasn't that "I've been busting my ass benching 275 for 12's" sweat smell, it was the "I just got out of bed and always stink like this" smell.

He was foul before he even started sweating. I felt fortunate that he wasn't in my area, and that I still have a trace of my head cold hanging around.

The drama came when some of the other patrons started to take offense to the odours - and thus began the most passive-aggressive tactics I've seen in a while.

Instead of just saying "Hey Bud, little ripe this morning, don'tcha think?" and leaving it at that, you get people who drop weights and walk away when he was near, people who would gaze at the unopened window, people who would all of a sudden develop a itch in their nose, and an awful lot of coughing.

Wouldn't that give you the hint? Not this guy. He must have thought he was in a gym full of HADD people who had head colds.

There where a couple of people who were pretty upset and felt the need to complain to the girl behind the desk. I'm not sure what she was going to do about it, as it was time for me to leave, but I'm sure I'll hear all about it tomorrow.

Although knowing what I know now, tomorrow I'll have 3 layers of pit-stick on, and a Bounce sheet hanging out my shorts.

Just to be safe.




Later

*Note: this is not good funk, like George Clinton and Parliament, with some Bootsie Collins goin' on - this is nasty, stinky, should-have-bathed-in-Febreeze funk.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chomp.

There's no pretty picture for my issue, so....Hamster!

I think my mouth is trying to tell me something.

For the last 3 days, at least twice a day, (if not more) I keep accidentally biting the inside of my cheek. It doesn't matter if I'm eating, chewing gum, whatever - my cheek just meanders in there and, CHOMP! I'm in pain.

It's not like I'm starving and resorting to self-cannibalism - if I was, I'd start with those juicy love handles that I'm packing around and not the inside of my face.

It's incredibly frustrating.

I'm hoping it's just something I can treat with the usual "Man's Way of Doing Things", (ignore it, hope it goes away) because it would be a shame to have to get a professional involved at some point.

Me:  "Doc, I don't know what's wrong - I keep biting the inside of my mouth."
Dentist:  "Have you considered stopping?"
Me:  "Yes."
Dentist:  "Keep trying - oh, your insurance doesn't cover this type of visit - that'll be $150."

I like my way better.


But just in case - does anyone know how many calories in a human cheek?







Later.


Monday, May 21, 2012

I Feel:


- That after having had this head cold for almost a week, I've decided I'm either dying, or I'm Patient Zero in some sort of new pox on humanity.

- That my cold must be on steroids, because it only makes me feel like shit when I stop moving. You know, only unimportant things like sleeping really bother it.

- That since my gym was closed and my running program doesn't start until tomorrow, a 12-mile bike ride at 5:30am was a nice change of pace.

- That the reason I gravitate towards running instead of cycling is the simple fact that I look like a complete dork when I wear a helmet.

- That working on a Holiday should mean more than extra pay - it should mean free donuts and coffee, (Possibly beer afterwards) just to make up for all those schmucks who come in and say "Working on the Holiday, eh? Glad I'm not you!".

- That contrary to popular belief, there are douchebags in Canada.

- That changing the radio station at work can be a life-altering experience.

- That if I consider the above statement to be fact, I'm putting way to much thought into Peter Frampton's music.

- That we need better radio stations around here. More music, less moose.

- That the worst part of the lunch-hour nap in the breakroom is realizing that I was snoring throughout the whole thing. Thanks again, head cold.




Later.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Plauge and Obsession.

Picture tissues on one side and Nike Frees on the other.
I'm sick.

Not really-really sick, though - more like annoyingly-can't get rid of sick. Ever since the kids and I went swimming last week, I've had this annoying dry cough/congestion thing going on.

I feel like absolute shit in the mornings and at night, but through the better part of the day, I'm fine. I actually feel my best when I'm running or at the gym. Once I start to get my sweat on, my body just clears up and feels great - it's not until after I stop that everything feels smothered again.

While I think the best thing to do would be to run forever, everyone is telling me to just slow down and rest.

I'm taking their advice for today.

As nice as it is outside, I'm not going to run. I'm going to do some stuff with the kids, let them play in the yard, and just relax and do nothing more strenuous than laundry.

Why laundry, you ask?

Because my running gear is in there, and I need it for tomorrow.*

It's a twisted kind of balance, but it works for me.







Later.


*Tomorrow is my last Maintenance Program Long Run. Marathon Training starts Monday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

First World Problem.

I've got a problem.

After I came home from a run in my new shoes, I scraped the top of my thigh on the corner of my dining room table.

The scrape, while not deep or painful, is right at the spot where my phone sits in my pants pocket. All day while I've been at work my phone has been bumping and rubbing against the scraped spot.

Talk about annoying.

Sure, I could put my phone in my other pocket, but that just feels weird. I could just leave my phone upstairs, but then what do I do if I need to look up the fat content and glue sensitivity of Goat yogurt? I'd have to go alllllll the way back upstairs.

Plus, its cold up there because of the air-conditioning.

*sigh*

Tough life, eh?


Later.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mumbles

Remember the Dick Tracy movie?

That flick came out when I was 17 years old, had Warren Beatty before he got all leathery and Madonna back when she was the subject of my dreams and not my nightmares.

It also had Mumbles - played by Dustin Hoffman - a gangster who no one could understand because of his tendency to...well, mumble everything he said. His speech was so garbled it was nearly incomprehensible.
Quite the looker, eh?



Now Mumbles works for me.

Not Dustin Hoffman, (if it was him I'd ask why he did Sphere) but a guy who I find I can't understand for the life of me.

Now, I'll be honest, my hearing isn't that great - according to the Wife, it's atrocious. (At least I think that was what she said.) Years of rockin' out to Hair Metal and following the rule of "If It's Too Loud, You're Too Old" has been detrimental. But I'm not taking the entire blame for not hearing ol' Mumbles - he has to take some of it when it sounds like he's trying to practice a ventriloquist act without the dummy.

I worked with Mumbles before, and even then his horrible speech patterns drove me nuts. But we worked a schedule that had us only working together occasionally, so I just faked like I understood what he was saying and left it at that.

But now it's different.

Now, we are working together practically every day - and while the work-related stuff he says is somewhat easy to understand and get the gist of even if I didn't hear it right, it's the other topics of conversation that get messed up.

I ask him how his weekend was, and his answer is unintelligible to me. He could have said he went out and drop-kicked puppies all weekend, and my answer is "Sweet- I'd like to try that sometime."

As you can see, it leads to some puzzled looks.

But now I'm in a conundrum: Do I admit that I've been unable to understand what he's been saying all this time and ask him to speak clearly, (thus showing that I've been half-assing every conversation we've ever had) or do I just continue with what I've been doing and hope he never catches on?

As you can see, the choice is more troubling than Warren and Madonna's STD results after that movie.









Later.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sexy Sweet Kicks.

Fresh out of the box.
I picked up my new shoes Friday.

They're Nike Free Run 3's - an early Birthday present from the Wife.

I'm glad I was able to get them early, as they are a more minimal shoe than I normally run in, and I want to give my feet time to adapt to them before my training starts May 21st.

Aren't they sexy? I think they are sexy, sexy shoes.

I agonized over making the change from my Asics. I checked reviews, read online, went to the store and looked, and debated, debated, debated.

 I've ran in them twice now, a 3 and a 5 miler - so far they feel great, almost like they aren't even there. The difference in weight is amazing, and my Asics were pretty light to begin with.

Lookin' sassy!
As much as I like the look and feel of them, I'm giving them a week before they truly become "mine". If I have so much as a twinge of discomfort, I'm taking them back and going with my old model of footwear. Could that be considered a sign of paranoia? Maybe, but my feet are my life - I'm not taking chances.

If you happen to be in Victoria in the fall, and are watching the Marathon unfold, keep a lookout for these sexy shoes - and the sexy legs they are attached to - they'll probably be carrying a very tired runner.

But he'll look fucking fantastic.

 




Last.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cottontail

This is a box of Annie's organic White Cheddar Pasta that I was planning on having for lunch:

When your pasta options are shells or tiny Bunnies, go for the shells.
Delicious, nutritious, organic. What more could you want?

Unfortunately, the people at Annie's are twisted, sick individuals.

Why, do you ask?

Because they want you to do this to open the box:

And I don't even have to buy it dinner first?
Yup - If I want tasty, good-for-me cheesy pasta, I have to Poke a Rabbit in the Ass.

Punch the Banana Chip.
Prod the Balloon Knot.
Plow the Back Field.

That just ain't right. (Especially with no lube.)

I think I'm going to have a sandwich instead.





Later.





Thursday, May 10, 2012

Relative Acceleration

*Breaking News*

While on my drive home from work today, I stumbled across the perfect automobile speed:

- It's whatever speed I'm ideally traveling at.

Once I've achieved that speed, there are only two conclusions that can be reached:

- If you are traveling faster than me, you're obviously a manic and a menace and should be removed from the road as soon as possible. (Hopefully with harpoons and spiked belts.)

- If you are traveling slower than me, you're a retard and should be placed wherever slow-moving people can be dealt with safely - like a merry-go-round, or maybe just held underwater.

As you can see, it's quite a brilliant deduction, right?

You may also deduce that my drive home was shitty and frustrating.

...and you might be correct.




Later.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Smooth Pimpin' Drink

Look at this guy.

He's King and he knows it.

Just look at him.

He's all laid-back, sipping tea in a chair, watching while his breakfast waters itself not 50 yards away.

Who chooses these pictures?

Whoever they are, it's obvious they've never been to Africa, seen anything on the National Geographic Channel, and used The Lion King as their main source of reference.

Celestial Seasonings does this shit a lot, I noticed.

They've got Pandas in robes having tea,

Those Butterflies are totally going to drop that teapot.

Bears asleep in chairs having tea,

Covered in fur and asleep next to an open fire? That's just trouble waiting to happen.
and even Dragons and Maidens having tea...

Picture taken straight from a wicked-cool van.
No wonder the Tiger looks pissed:

Is that Mowgli in the background?

Everyone else gets tea but him.

I'd be mad too - goddamn Lion gets a freakin' chair and tea - and the Tiger has to sit in the dirt and look at some dumbass urn. Someone should talk to PETA. Maybe they can get Celestial Seasonings to change their ways.

....or maybe I shouldn't re-organize the tea section at work anymore.

Staring at all those boxes makes you a bit wacky.

But I sure am craving some tea...







Later.


Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Dear John Mayer:

I'm a sucker for your laid-back, soulful tunes.

I've been a fan since your early days, and have remained one because I try not to overplay your music and I completely avoid your Twitter feed. (I keep hearing you're a total douche bag, and I really don't want the confirmation.) Next to "Your Body is a Wonderland", I can listen to almost all of your music with enjoyment.

So you can imagine how excited I am that you have a new album coming out soon. I really like the first single, "Shadow Days" - you are right back to that mellow sound that just puts me in a relaxed mood.

The video, however, is fucking horrible.




I'm sorry, but you look like a dirty fucking hippie.

I don't know if it's the hat, the hair, or the scruffy chin-fluff you've got going on, but I swear you look just like a homeless guy who's currently residing in the bus shelter beside my workplace.

Take away the guitar, add a bus shelter, and BAM! - Homeless Guy.
 The unfortunate side effect of this is that whenever I do hear your new single, I swear I can smell cheap liquor and human excrement. I'm sure this wasn't what you intended when you decided to change your look, but I'm just keepin' it real for you, and hoping you'll see the light of day.

I tell you what: You get a haircut and stop raiding Billy Jack's closet, and I'll do my best not to associate your music with the drunk guy that staggers across our parking lot towards the liquor store thrice daily to drown his sorrows.

Unless that's actually you.

In that case, can I get an autograph?








Later.


Monday, May 07, 2012

In the Long Run: The First Marathon.

I'm sure that my dredging up of personal Marathon history isn't going to be as exciting as Triple T's - did you know she just completed her 1st Marathon? You can read all about it here.

I ran my first - and so far only - Marathon on October 11th, 2009.

Looking back, I had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting myself into. I just photocopied a program from Runner's World magazine, stuck it on the fridge and started running. After each training run, I'd check it off with a marker and just do what the paper told me.

I ran a 3:28:20.

The Runner I am now gazes back on the Runner I was then and shakes his head in amazement.

Poor form, bad stride, shitty hydration, and the belief that "stretching" was code for Gay Porn and to be avoided at all costs. All things considered, I shouldn't have done as well as I did.

What I had going for me was ignorance and speed.

Fast forward to almost 3 years later - I've had injuries, gained weight, got better, lost weight, and found running again. I think I appreciate what I accomplished more now than I did at the time.

Sure, I was proud of what I had done, but it wasn't until I had lost what I had and got it back again that I came to that realization.

I had ran 26.2 miles.

That's a accomplishment that not everyone can attest to. Oh yeah - go to a running club and it seems like every single person has done one or more, but go out to a random person on the street and see what they say when you ask them if they've ran one.

Everyone who completes a Marathon is amazing, but there are the two groups that blow me away: The Elites because they are so blazingly fast, and the people who are out there for over 6 hours because they just won't quit.

If you told me that I had to train harder to improve my time, I'd jump at the challenge in a heartbeat. If you told me that no matter how hard I tried, I'd be out there for over 5 hours, I'd rethink the whole idea.

Both of those groups deserve the praise they get.

In celebrating Triple T's finish, I realize how much I can't wait to start training for my Full in October. The scary thing is, I'm looking forward to the training almost as much as the run.

In honor of Triple T's 1st Marathon - I decided the least I could do today was run half of what she did. Doing anything less than 13.1 when she just did 26.2 doesn't seem fair. So I busted out a nice slow 1:53:09 Half Marathon distance, and contemplated where I've come from and where I'm going in regards to running.

As I've learned in this collaboration between the two of us, one thing is clear: While the finish is important, it's the training, the work, and the journey to get there that can be the most fulfilling.

Congratulations Triple T - You can now add "Marathoner" to all the other titles you have: Wife, Mother, Blogger, Friend.

You wear it well.







Later.



Like I said at the start - Check out Triple T's Race Report here.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Safety First.

The awesomeness of my cellphone pictures astound me.
See this?

This is on my pack of Christie's Fudge-Drizzled Caramel Popcorn.

(Before you accuse me of going retro and getting back my fatty status, it's one of their 100 calorie packs - a small portion that I have as a dessert to finish off my lunch - it isn't a bucket-full or something.)

Now I can understand Kraft, (who owns Mr. Christie heart and soul) wanting to protect themselves by putting the first portion of that message on the package. Caramel Corn isn't meant for 3 year olds and under, and if you are giving it to them, I don't think a warning on a package is going to change you.
It's the second portion of the message that confounds me. "Older children should be seated and supervised while eating." Holy shit - it makes this stuff sound dangerous. What puzzles me is the obvious question: What parent out there would let their 6 year old run around while eating a choking hazard anyway?

"Hey Susie-May, you look peckish - why don't you have some o' this here Caramel Corn while yer hanging upside down at the playground?"

"But I'll have to stop juggling my pet Rattler if I do that, Pa!"

"Hmmm - that's a pickle... why not just do both at the same time?"

"Geez, Pa - that'd be swell!"

Next to that, I think most people are reasonable enough when it comes to giving their kids food. (I said most, not all - I guess there are idiots out there.)

But the part about older children being "Seated and Supervised" just seems silly. I should make sure my 9 year old sits and eats his food? If he's not doing it already, I've failed as a parent, and I haven't seen him doing handstands at the dinner table, so I guess the message has sunk in.

How would that go with a teenager? I'm sure if my Dad had told me to sit so he could supervise me while I ate my snack, I would have thought he was nuts and ignored him.

But Kraft has to protect themselves from the stupid and litigious out there, who don't want to take blame or responsibility for anything.

And thus the package warning is born.




Later.


Friday, May 04, 2012

...of the Year.

Today I have weed-whacked, mowed, raked, and organized not only my yard, but also my parent's place as well. (I believe this qualifies me for Son of the Year.)

I've also done laundry, vacuumed, the dishes, scrubbed the toilets* and accomplished other things around the house. (Husband of the Year.)

Did I mention this was after my 6 mile run followed by weights this morning? (Fuckin' Awesome Guy of the Year.)

Throughout my travels and efforts today, I've had 4 travel mugs of Coffee, and plan to have more. (Caffiene Addict of the Year.)

I'm even taking time to type this blog post out. (Blogger of the Year.)

I'm now about to sit back, relax, and celebrate May the Fourth Be With You by watching either my favorite Star Wars movie [Empire], the Crappiest Star Wars movie [Phantom Menace], or the one where I'm entranced by Padme's abs and Obi-Wan's majestic blue eyes [Attack of the Clones]. (Nerd of the Year.)

And I still have one more day off after this! (Most Productive Guy of the Year.)

Fuck, I'm awesome. (Modest Guy of the Year.)







Later.

*I'll be honest - they weren't that dirty, and it was a total brush/wipe/flush job.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Nobody Takes Pride in Their Work Anymore.

I'm very disappointed with a group of people who live around where I work.

It's hard to pinpoint anything in particular, but it just seems like they aren't doing their job with any enthusiasm or pride anymore.

Of course, I'm talking about our local shoplifters.

If they are going to steal things, you'd think they would do a better job and actually finish what they start.

In the past week, I've found:

- A box of granola bars with one bar stolen.
- A six-pack of mini-cans with one can gone.
- A single roll of toilet paper taken from a pack.
- Two hot dogs stolen out of a pack of 12.

It just seems lazy.

"I really want to steal these hot dogs, but taking all 12 is just SO much work." I almost feel bad for them.

Of course, it may not be that they are lazy - they could just be stupid* - it probably takes more effort and risk to open the package and steal one thing than it does to steal the whole thing. (Okay, maybe not the toilet paper - that shit comes in HUGE packages.)

I think if they just took a bit more time, they'd do a much better job. They may even not get caught, and possibly move on to bigger and better stores than ours and steal some really good shit.

If they are reading this, I wish them the best of luck.**




Later.

*like shoplifting isn't stupid enough.

** and by best of luck, I mean if I catch you fuckers I'm going to have to hang back from shanking your thieving asses.

Confession.

A friend and co-worker worker of mine did something horrible today: he brought in fresh-baked, chewy, soft, chocolate chip cookies.

That bastard.

Do you know how long its been since I've had a decadent dessert or treat? I had Applebee's after my Half Marathon, and I had waffles after my 15k, but since then, nothing. At treat for me lately is fruit and yogurt for dessert, or something equally healthy.

But I wanted that cookie. Oh, I wanted that cookie like 14-year old me wanted to touch a boob: with my entire being. I visualized the taste, the texture, the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of the chocolate, and how good it would taste with my coffee.

(Yes, coffee. Fuck milk and cookies. I'm a Dairy Guy who hates white milk - oh, the irony.)

I broke down. I succumbed to temptation.

Not only did I demolish that cookie, but one of it's sisters as well. It was a whirlwind of crumbs and teeth.

And it felt good.

Do I feel guilty? Well, sorta. But I justify it with the 10km run I did this morning, the apple I ate at lunch, and the fact that I just wanted it.

So there - I've confessed. My shame has been made public, my crime brought to light. It's like a weight has been lifted of my chest.

Confession is good - and tasty.




Later.

Monday, April 30, 2012

In the Long Run: Mental Health.

Much like my own head - a lot open open space.
It's Taper Week, people - and we know what that means.

For me, it's sympathizing with Triple T as she goes through the madness that is the Taper before your first Marathon.

For her, it's wondering if you've done enough, trained enough, are prepared enough. (The answer to all those questions is Yes - she has, she did, and she is.)

There's also the lingering questions - Am I going to hit the wall? Will I be hydrated enough? Will I have to poop?

I'd love to be able to give her the answers to those, but I can't. I can tell her that from my past experience, it's Yes - but you'll push through, Yes - if you're not like me and ignore water stations, and No - don't even think about it.

I was looking for a graphic to accompany this post, and I saw a saying that sums it up pretty succinctly: "Running is a Mental Sport and I am Insane". (Reminder: I have to go back and buy that T-Shirt.)

In a way, it's true.

You have to be a little bit crazy to run 26.2.

You also have to be driven, focused, committed, (the dedicated kind, not the put-in-asylum kind) and a glutton for punishment. I think a Marathon should give you two medals: one for finishing the 3 months of training, and one for finishing the race.

Fuck it - make it 3 - Taper week should get a medal of it's own as well.

I hated my Taper before my Marathon, I hated it before my last Half, and I'm going to be dreading it in October.  I can sympathize with what Triple T must be going through. My only suggestions are lots of coffee (that's my solution for most things) and try not to stab anyone.

The Mental part of my Running right now is different - I'm waiting to start my Training for October - I'm "in between" programs right now, so I'm just doing maintenance runs - Tempo, Intervals, Hills (sorta) and a 10 mile Long Run every weekend. It takes mental effort just to stay focused and to not slack off and think "In May, I'll just pick up where I left off.". As any runner will tell you, it's easy to lose that foundation you've worked so hard to build up - now that I have mine back, I'm not going to lose it again.

My mental focus is on getting ready for the training to begin. Making sure I'm ready for what it's going to take to do my best in October. Getting ready for the miles, the stretching, and even the Taper.

I'm willing to skip that last part.

So I sympathize with Triple T and what she's going through in the week before her Marathon.

What exactly is she going through?

Why don't you look here and see?

Tell her I sent ya - and that she's going to do just fine.








Later.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Motions.

*If you are my Boss, and have stumbled upon this by accident, just move on - know that I'm working hard and loving every minute of it. *

I can't stand being at work today.

It's not that there is anything really WRONG with work, it's just that I'm I'm totally not in the mood to be here. I'm doing my job, getting stuff done, but I'll admit, my heart's not into it. I'm just going through the motions, waiting for the night to end.

The day is cold and windy, so I'd rather be chillin on the couch, sipping a coffee and watching a movie than be dealing with the Grocery and Dairy sections and their assorted responsibilities.

If my job didn't entail actually closing down and locking up the store tonight, I'd just send myself home - my lack of enthusiasm for this place can't be good for me.

Normally I'm focused on getting whatever needs to be done completed as fast as we can with the most fun for everyone involved - I'm THAT guy at work. The chipper, cheerfull asshole who makes the tedium of the job go by a bit better thanks to my easy-going manner and sense of humor. (Yeah, I know that sounds self centered, but it's what I've been told - and they were sober when they told me, so I'm taking them at face value.)

But today?

Meh.

Oh I'm doing the job, (If you are my Boss and have disregarded the previous warning and are still reading, I've got everything done and the place looks great) its just that I'm not upbeat about it. I'm slogging through it like everyone else normally does.

And the hours are dragging by.

There's just over 4 hours left in my shift, and if I'm lucky it will only feel like 14.

Fuuuuuuck.

Later.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Boston Treadmill

As you all know, I'm a treadmill guy.

Until the weather around here starts to get around the teens, (50+ Fahrenheit or so) I prefer to do my early morning runs at the gym. There's probably a million reasons why I should be running outside all the time instead, but I just can't stand running in the cold. (How Triple T did her winter training is unimaginable to me.)

That being said, I just saw the most awesome fucking treadmill ever. It is a thing of beauty. It's like the Rolls Royce of treadmills. Fuck that - it's like the Ferrari of treadmills - clean lines, minimalistic look, and loaded with extras.

It's the ProForm Boston Marathon Treadmill.

Is that sexy, or what?

Not only does it look incredible, but it's loaded with training stuff:
  • HD video of the actual Boston race route, with the platform inclining and declining to match what's shown on the screen.
  • Want to run your favorite route, but it's a screaming blizzard? (Or you live in Chicago) You can plot it on Google Maps and the treadmill will let you run the route, adjusting for hills and such. (You can even see the route with Google Street View.) I could practice running the streets of London, the roads of Paris, or the trails of Campbell River.*
  • There's a ton of speedwork and tempo programs loaded on there as well, to help get you ready to run the big race.
Now let me put it right out there - I would rather run Boston, London, Paris, or even good 'ol Campbell River than have this treadmill. There is no substitution for being there in person.

However, this treadmill combines the geeky tech-stuff that I like with my running obsession, and that's not a bad thing at all. Would I use it to do race-route specific training? You bet your ass. Wouldn't it be cool to be able to plug in the Goodlife Victoria Marathon route for some of my Long Runs? It would be like writing your S.A.T's with the answer sheet beside you.

The scary part is there's no price on it yet....

Well, there's always the Lottery - or maybe I can persuade my gym to get one.

Maybe I should add it to my Birthday Wish List - practically everything I want involves running to some degree, so would the appearance of a treadmill really surprise anybody?

I didn't think so.

I'm just going to go check that site out again, and drool a little bit more.






Later.


*Guess which of those three I'd pick last.