Monday, February 18, 2013

Petty Penny.

As you may have heard, Canada has started phasing out the Penny from use. It took effect on February 4th, and I thought I'd wait a couple of weeks before I commented on it.

Now, I work in retail, and there has been various responses to the change from our customers.

(In case you're wondering how it works, it's easy - we still accept pennies, we just don't hand them out. If your total was $4.31 and you give me a $5 bill, we give you back 70 cents. If it was $4.33, I'd give you back 65 cents. Debit and credit pay the exact amount - nothing changes for them. Simple, right?)

Not fucking likely.

The majority of people don't pay in cash anyway, and of those who do, the majority doesn't care about the one or two cents they may be gaining or losing per transaction.

However, there are people who think we are stealing their life savings from them, one red penny at a time.

They howl about whether it should have been rounded up or down (we've got the government guidelines posted beside each register) and say that it's some sort of conspiracy to make our money worthless. I had a lady say that taking away the penny will make future generations bad at math. (Someone please explain the thought behind that to me.)

The irony of it all is that at the end of January these were the same people who would have gladly chucked 4 pennies into the "Have a Penny, Take a Penny" pot beside the register - they'd complain about pocketfulls of pennies then, and now they mourn the the fact that they only get silver back when completing a transaction.

I'm glad it's going away - the fact that the government was losing 11 million a year producing it was a kicker - not that I think they'll spend it any wiser, but you know what they say - "A penny saved is a penny earned."

See?  Round that up to a nickel, and we're really making money!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sweetness Weakness.

Right now, I'm in a love/hate relationship.

That relationship is with my body and the food it craves.

With training for the Comox Valley Half Marathon I find I'm constantly hungry. Nothing wrong with that, right?  Food is fuel, and the body needs fuel to work efficiently.

The problem is that I keep filling my tank with old-fashioned leaded gas instead of premium, high-octane fuel.

Basically, I'm eating like shit and I know it.

I can get my head around it - I've done it before, but this time feels like more of a struggle than previous times when I've had issues with food.

It's quite aggravating.

When you think of a guy with his jaw wired shut and go "He's got it easy." you know you've got to address it.

If you happen to come across a guy in a staring contest with a donut and losing, don't worry.

That's just me.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Imagination Conflagration

I had a strange dream last night.

Not only was it strange in the fact that it was weird, but strange in the fact that I remember parts of it. (Lately I've had issues with waking up throughout the night for 2-3 min and falling back asleep, but that's another post.) It was just odd enough that it stuck with me after waking.

I've recently switched gyms to something newer, nicer, and closer to my house.  It's literally less than a 10 minute walk away - sooo nice on those early mornings.

In my dream, I was working out at my new gym, and post-workout jumped onto the treadmill.  I'm running along thinking about nothing (a usual occurrence when I run) and I briefly looked to my left - running beside me was Rich.

Rich is a guy from my old gym. I've never really mentioned him by name in any posts before, but if there was ever an incredibly annoying, loudmouth, close-talking, bigoted, misinformed person mentioned in any of my former "gym" posts, it was him.

As I look away dumbfounded, I glance to my right, and am equally shocked at who is on the treadmill on my other side.

Does anyone else have that first girlfriend/boyfriend who ripped their heart out and stepped on it? Well, that's who was on the other treadmill.

I looked at them both gave them the "What the fuck are you doing here" look and just kept running along.

But they stayed there.

And stared.

And stared.

Finally I just remember running so fast that when I looked back again, they were gone, and the gym was empty.

I know that all of that has to be symbolic of something, but I'm clueless as to what it is.

All I know is no more Subway for dinner - I'm guessing the Cold Cut Trio was the cause. That's my theory.

And I'm sticking to it.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Spirit Squared.

Watch "Spirit of the Marathon II Official Trailer" on YouTube

Now this gets me excited.

Ages ago Triple T introduced me to Spirit of the Marathon.  I think it's the type of movie that any runner should watch, whether they plan on doing the 26.2 or not - the way it showed that no matter what level, we're all runners at our core really had an impact on me.

That movie centered around the Chicago Marathon, which I thought was cool, being as it's where Triple T lives, and it's also one of the premier Marathons in North America. I thought it was great that they showed the different parts of the city, and I envied Triple T because she got to run in that giant concrete forest. (I run in an actual forest, which some of you may think is better, but trust me, after seeing nothing but trees, barns, moose, and deer, running between skyscrapers would be bitchin'.)

This time around the movie revolves around the Athens Marathon, which is just as compelling to me because it's one of the ones that I dream of one day running in. (The others being London, Paris, New York, Chicago, and Boston.)

I know I'll find the stories intriguing.
I know I'll find the scenery breathtaking.
And I know I'll be watching it alone because the Wife thinks I'm already too nuts about running.

If you haven't seen the first, I'd recommend it - and try not to drool when the elite runner gets her year's worth of free shoes delivered from her sponser.


Tuesday, February 05, 2013

I Fought the Bottle (And the Bottle Won)

In the last month, I have been drunk exactly two times.

The first week of January I was in Victoria with the Sidekick, and he decided he was going to "educate" me about dark beers. Somehow that evening turned into a two-man pub crawl, and the next morning was the worst I've felt since I was thirteen and had Mono.

Last night I was with the Sidekick again, and the culprit was wine. There were many, many good bottles that were sampled, enjoyed, and demolished. Between the two of us and his parents (it was their wine, after all) I think we polished off five bottles.

I woke up this morning feeling horrible.

From this, I've learned two things:

1) The Sidekick is a bad influence. (However, he does have numerous beneficial qualities, so I'll keep him around.)

2) I just can't fucking drink anymore.

Since I hit the big four-o last year, I just can't seem to handle my booze. I don't put away as much as I used to, it hits me harder, and I feel absolutely disgusting for at least a day or two afterwards.

I toughed out a four-mile run this morning just because I hoped it would make me feel better, and maybe getting a good sweat going would get my body back to normal. (It did help, but was the most unenthusiastic run since man began walking upright.)

I think my only choices to improve the situation are to either quit drinking entirely, or start some sort of progressive training plan where I incrementally increase the amount I drink each week - sort of like a marathon training plan for my liver.

I'm pretty sure it'll have to be the first one - my liver just twitched as I was typing up that last sentence - I'm pretty sure it would move out if I attempted to follow that plan.

For now I'll just suffer in relative silence, and hope that the next time the Sidekick rolls into town I dimmly remember the way I felt this morning.

Good luck with that, eh?