Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Photos

Having fun with the collage feature in Picassa!
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Swim, run, sight see?

Today was time trials day in the pool. Seemed ominous but wasn't actually that hard as we had lots and lots of time to rest.

My times, if you care to know:
50m kick - 58sec
100m free - there was a dispute between the gun time (Alan) of 1:40 and the timer's time (Dave) of 1:36
400m free - I only timed the second half (3:45) so I have no idea! I'll ask Alan
Everyone is on an easy week but as I only have three weeks and one more long run until the Langley half marathon I ran for 1:35. Irene was happy to run further with me so I had some company and, equally important, someone who knew the trails. Six years and I still have no idea where I'm going!

I was pretty spent after my longest run in half a year but had made plans to check out some of the free Olympics stuff with Helen so instead of passing out on the couch I had a quick shower and snack and headed out the door. I wore compression socks though in the hope that might be as effective as an ice bath.
Today's photo is of a sculpture from Canada Northern House (well worth the time to visit):

Saturday, January 30, 2010


I started off today a bit cranky, probably should have ridden on my own rather than inflict myself on others but everyone came out alive so I guess that's all good.

Rode about 2.5 hours then ambitiously decided to invite friends over for dinner. Considering how sick I was earlier this week I probably should have taken it easy for the rest of the day.
On my way out to pick up dinner fixings I got a couple of good shots.

Crow in a tree:
Apologies if you're getting tired of the tree shots butI love them as photo subjects.
West Coast bragging shot, snow drop in the rain. In January:
This is my picture of the day, btw. And no, Mum, I did not spray the flowers with water, I found them like that!

When I got home from shopping I realized what I'd gotten myself into. I like my apartment very much but it is most definitely not set up safely for one of these:

I thought I'd reasonably kid-proofed my place but Hiroki quickly found all the breakable and sharp things I'd forgotten. Happily he managed not to kill himself or wreck the place. Too badly:

Wontons with garlic & pepper (hot)

My new favourite food. It hurts (spicy) but it's sooooo good!
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

You can taste the kale!

Eating veggies that are colourful is good for your health and for photo ops. Sadly I was busy formatting this photo and over cooked the chard a wee bit. However the roasted pine nuts I added made up for the slightly crispy chard.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I was talking with my Mum this evening (looking for sympathy, of course) and told her I was using my "gimme" for the month and not taking a picture today. She said today should be easy for picture ideas as it's international family literature day (or something along those lines). Which gave me an idea for a photo:

I originally bought the book for my nephews but somehow it never made it out of my house (I love pop-up books!).

She also wanted to know where my "What is it?" photo album is, so Mum click here to see it.

Now I'm heading back to the couch where I will attempt to stay awake through the rest of the Canucks game.

No Picture Today

Since yesterday's post things went downhill quite a bit. Or the pseudoephedrine wore off. Regardless, any photo that documented my day would be, well, gross (sinus infection, remember). Also, there's a warning on my antibiotics that the drugs "may alter taste". I'm afraid of what that might mean aesthetically and that I might end up taking pictures that are the equivalent of Celine Dion ballads.

So instead I'm posting a shot that I took over Christmas, Skaha Lake on a calm, clear day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Feed a cold, starve a fever ...

... but what do you do for a sinus infection?

I've decided to take a carpet bombing approach and hit it with all my most powerful weapons: drugs (prescription and OTC), sinus rinse, bad afternoon TV, steaming and, the most potent of all, jewish comfort food from Solly's. The antibiotics haven't done much, the rinse hurt, the claritin got me stoned and too hyper to nap (darned pseudoephedrin), but the pizza bagel, chicken soup and babka bun were great. Wonder if I get my medical plan to pay for bagels??


Yesterday's photo (idea from
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Sunday, January 24, 2010


I went to the later swim today - we have so many people we now have a 7:30 and an 8:45 session. Last week I was a keener and went to the "fast" session at 7:30 but as my bussing options are pretty lame (1 hour on transit - boo hiss) I figured I'd try the later session today. I'm on the cusp - slowest of the fast and faster of the slow - and can do either so for now I'll stick the later swim.

Alan wants us to write down the stuff we need to work on immediately after our swim otherwise we won't remember by the next time we swim. I have enough trouble getting to the run on time so that's not going to happen! So what he wanted me to work on was ... um ... slower but stronger kick and more time gliding on my side. Yay! I remembered.

The run was a bit tough as we had a couple of speed demons running with us who pushed the pace and, of course, everyone tried to keep up. Not exactly an easy pace but I got in 1:20.

I didn't have an opportunity to take a picture so today's picture is a "cheat." I chatted with Cassandra on Skype and her very loving (i.e. hungry) cat decided to give her some affection to remind her it was dinner time. In this screen shot you can see the cold calculation in his eyes "If I make her think I love her she'll give me food!"

Anyone know how to change a .png file to .jpg so I can put this in my Picassa 365-10 album? Photo programs don't seem to like .png.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Recovery Drink

Had a fun ride with the club today. A small turnout, all women and one-to-one newbies to "old-timers" but a nice group. We got heckled/hit on by a male runner who told us we needed a guy riding with us. Marie might have got his phone number if we'd stuck around!

The major excitement was when Emma (?) had a flat and I got to show off my tire changing prowress. I like changing tires. Yes I'm weird, but I think that's been firmly established already. Turns out the issue was the tire itself (rubbing from the fender), but of course I didn't figure that out until right at the end. The Cheung brothers serendipitously appeared right when we needed someone with tools and know how and they patched the tire and rode with Emma back to somewhere she could buy a new tire.
This is my post-ride nutrition. I'm experimenting with smoothies. This was a grand idea - banana, frozen peach, frozen blueberries and milk. Then I added cocoa and it wasn't quite so good. Sad to realize that cocoa doesn't make everything better. Next time I'll try a bit of honey.

"So Much Beauty It Could Make You Cry"

The Daily Shoot has suggestions for folks doing the 365-10 challenge. Yesterday's was the name of a song or lyrics from a song.

At the risk of being sappy a lyric from Modest Mouse's "So Much Beauty in Dirt" fits with how this challenge is making me see the world around me.

This is from the VAG's Offsite Gallery by the Shangri La.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Photo Dilema

Today I was stumped. After 18 days I'd run out of ideas for pictures. No clue of anything even mildly interesting.

Sometimes when all seems lost fortune decides to favour you. Or, in this case, fortune (disguised as KT) calls you on your cell as you're about to leave work and says he's just outside the building with his wife and child and would you like to say hi?
Everyone else in the photo was blurrier than HT above so sorry Mum & Dad but you got cropped.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Trees! Too bad they make me sneeze.

My allergies are kicking in, this may be the culprit.

Even if the subject is responsible for my stuffed up head, I really, really like this picture.

Recovery Drink

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Biking is good for my sanity

I rode on my own this afternoon as I had a work commitment this morning. I'm very glad I did as I had a chance to clear my head and get a bit of perspective.

Biking is good for that - you have to pay attention to traffic and the world around you but this doesn't take your full concentration so you can let your mind wander. It's my version of meditation, instead of saying "ohm" I keep a consistent cadence.

Today was a wonderful clear day and the views on my ride were stunning. Initially I kept wishing I had my camera but then decided just to soak up the beauty. For a good chunk of the ride I had such deep and intellectual thoughts as "Ooooh!" or "Pretty!"

This helped to clear out the mental cobwebs and somehow while thinking of nothing very much I managed to figure out something from work that's been bothering me for some time and I may even have come up with a potential solution.

Glad to be back on my bike.

Information Underload

Had to skip the morning ride and go to work. Less crowds and more time gave me chance to notice things that I usually miss on my weekday commute.
Now I have to go for my ride!

Friday, January 15, 2010


The sun came out in the afternoon and made for a lovely end to the day.

I wanted to get a shot of the evening crow migration but I but missed them and had to make do.
I'm finding this a challenge, not just in coming up with new shot every day but then picking one I like best (notice the number of posts with multiple pictures?). Picking between crow shots tonight was quite tough! Here's the whole set, you tell me which you like best!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm tired, cold and wet

So this picture isn't the most artistic.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday Spin

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rainy Day Run

Monday, January 11, 2010

Morning Routine

It's important to have breakfast, especially before a workout, but it's also key to refuel after your workout:

Breakfast bagel and coffee - perfect post-swim snack!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ice Bath - In Pictures

A photo essay on what is required for an ice bath.

Fill a large receptacle with cold water:

and add ice:
Brew up a cup of something hot:

and sweet:
Then get something warm to wear:

something to read:

and a watch so you can time it:

Now jump in!


The first 90 minute swim of the year! It wasn't as painful as last year's first, I recall looking at the clock after 45 minutes and the dread sinking in as I realized we were only halfway through.

Today wasn't so bad largely because there was a fair bit of talking before hand (swim ettitquette, coach introductions, etc.) so we lost 15 minutes of swim time. The main set, however, was appropriately brutal. : 8 x 100m on 2min. After 45 minutes of warm up, including push ups, crunches, vertical kicking and 5 x 50m kick, this was a bit tough.

I tried taking some pre-swim shots but the lighting was poor and they didn't turn out. I'm sure Amy will be very happy about that. (Apparently there is a rule that I'm not allowed to take pictures of Amy. I'll review the official "365-2010" rulebook to see about that!).

So here are some shots from the end of the run. As I can everyone survived, which is always a bonus, and we all looked pretty satisfied with our workout. My shot of the day is final shot.

The post-run stretch.

Deb showing off her slick ner running style, Chris stretching and Clayton ... we won't ask.

A little blurry but I like the composition.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

First ride of '10

Today was the first club ride of 2010. The folks in the lead had obviously eaten their Wheaties, Teresa and I got got dropped right away and at points along the way we found various others who had been spit out the back of the pack.

Teresa and I had a nice easy ride, eventually the rest of the crew will settle down and remember we're not doing a stage of the Tour!

Here is my morning in pictures:
Fuel for the ride. Only two hours so Gatorade is all I need.
Just me, Louie and the open road!

Post-ride road grit!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Complaints (for Kathryn)

I mentioned in my 2010 goals post that I was trying again to do the Complaint Free World challenge of going 21 days without complaining.

Foxtrot, one of my loyal readers (I have at least three), thought it sounded like a good goal and is in on it too. Pretty challenging since she's working full time while going back to school - she should have lots to complain about!

One of the ways to help notice when you complain (step 1) then stop complaining is to wear a bracelet and move it from one wrist to the other every time you complain. Last time I tried this I used a rubber band, not the classiest way to do things I'll admit. The official bracelets look like this.

If I was going to upgrade from a rubber band, however, I wanted something a little more elegant. Which leads us to today's photo of the day and my suggestion to Kathryn: Isn't this challenge a good reason to buy jewellery??

Rest Day

While the rest of the club was at the first running practice of 2010 I was watching this:
with Captain Cactus (also skipping the run):

Brian had the great idea that I should take a self-portrait of ourselves drinking beer with the game in the background, which would fit with my theme as this would perfectly illustrate my (complete and total lack of) training for the day. I somehow forgot, blame the beer or the excitement of Burrows' hat trick.

I'm going to forsake my theme,however, and instead go with my favorite shot of the day because I really, really like the effect. So, without further ado, presented for your viewing pleasure is "Sunrise Reflections":