Very important disclaimer

Please be advised that the contents of this blog are opinions only (my opinion, the opinions of my family and the opinions of anyone else directly or indirectly involed in this blog). This is not an accredited training blog, nor is it an accredited anything blog. If you (and you) do anything that this blog says, or don't do anything that this site says not to do, and you get injured, sick or killed, you cannot blame me or my family or blame anyone else directly or indirectly involved in this blog. By reading anything on this blog (including this message) you are saying that you are a person who makes thier own choices in life and does not hold the writer of this blog, the writers family or any one else that may be directly or indirectly involved in the production or writing of this blog, responsible for your stupid and irresponsible behaviors, injuries, sicknesses or deaths. With that said, please enjoy my fun blog.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Here we go RIDERS, here we go!!

*WoOt* *wOoT*

That’s right. A double woot.

Today the Saskatchewan Roughriders will atone for their 13th man debacle from 2009. You see, the Riders have a distinct advantage at their home stadium (and some away stadiums) whereby the crowd becomes an extension of the team. In Mercan rules football, you would call it the 12th man, as up here, North of the medicine line, we have 12 players on the field of play for each side, not 11.

So last year, the Grey Cup game was hosted in Calgary, and for all intents and purposes, when the Riders are here, it is a home game. Hence, we had the advantage of the thirteenth man. (the crowd noise is the 13th man. please keep up).

Ok, the short story is. Montreal had a 50 yard FG attempt for the win. They missed. It appeared that the Riders had won. But wait. Penalty flags… What for? Um to many men on the field. There was an effing 13th man on the field. Yep, you heard me right. 13th man on the field, when there is only supposed to be 12. Ya-huh. Ok. Dang. Move the idiot kicker 10 yards closer and give him another chance. Yeah, he made it. we lost.

We have been dealing with the 13th man jokes for a year now.

Guess what. Riders are back in the final again. Also, Montreal is back too!

Redemption will be ours.

AND I was at the game last week, whereby the aforementioned Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the hometown Calgary Stampeders. Heck of a game. Here is what it looked like to me.

Wow… McMahon Stadium looks CooooLD!


If the Riders weren’t in the game, I figure there may have been 20,000 people show up. WITH the Riders in the game, 33,000.


Almost there…


People still tailgate, even in this weather. There was a really funny smell coming from this group…


Just makes you want to book your next Caribbean vacation, doesn’t it?


Almost into the warm stadium. Not.


We made it to our seats. Dad had a large furry Muskrat die on his head on the way into the game. He said it was warmer than the hat he brought, so he left it there. Look! Ryders Eyewear, at the Riders game! Shaaa- ZAM!


Most of the Linemen were bare armed. There were a few times when the officials were looking at challenged plays that took 8-10 minutes. Those guys must have been ffffff freezing… gawd. This shot is just prior to kickoff.


This guy, James, was happy at the beginning of the game as the Stamps (red) went up 11-0 early on. Spoiler alert: he left sad. boo hoo.


I was hungry, so I buggered off down there (photo) to buy a couple burgers. While I was waiting in line, the Riders scored 2 touchdowns in the last couple minutes of the half to take the lead. Yeah! Then I tried to put some mustard on my hamburger, but the packet was frozen. It was the first time I put a mustardcicle on a burger. The Burger was pretty gross and it gave me Food Poisoning the next day. Remember way back when, like a week ago when I had Food poisoning for the first time ever? Yep, again. Dang. It was another tough day… oh well, it’s been a week now and I am finally able to eat a full meal again without feeling ill. sah-weet.


So. As I was heading back up to our seats, I thought this was a pretty cool spot to take  a photo. The home team wears red uniforms. This is what I mean by the 13th man, all that GREEN at an AWAY Game! YEah!. Rider Nation is EVERYWHERE! However, as I was taking this picture, a dude totally wiped out down the stairs.


I casually flipped the little green camera over to record video. Here is the result… Fun stuff indeed. Not too many people were injured in the making of this video.

Even at halftime, people went back out to do some more tailgating! wow!


Here is Dad, looking impressed.


The Game itself was really good. For being so incredibly cold out, there were some pretty amazing passing plays, and not too many turnovers!


It got cold enough in the third hour to have to pull out the Balaclava. Dad had one too. This thing was a life saver.

DSCF2886 DSCF2889

This video pretty much tells the WHOLE story in 36 seconds! The Riders got a first down and can now run the clock out! *WoOt*

I just thought these two pictures captured the feel of just how cold it was…

DSCF2893 DSCF2895

And now, as a treat to you, for reading all the way to the bottom of this post, here is a little instructional video of how to dress for a Football Game in Canada in November. Dad and I both were VERY well prepared after watching this video, and we both really enjoyed ourselves! I don’t know who the model is in this video. Never seen him before. Just a random video I found.

Now don’t say I never gave you anything, dear readers.

The Riders will play for the Grey Cup today at 2pm EST. Wish us luck! Oh, and if you have to ask about anything Canadian Football wise, just wiki the Canadian Football League for all the answers. The bottom line is, the game is very entertaining on both sides of the border…

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Off to plow again…

I have a number of blog posts to get to, it’s just  that life tends to get in the way. To hold you all over, here are some things I saw today.

I like snowdrifts.


My view today out on the highway.


Unsafe to take pictures at highway speed, but they tend to turn out pretty cool.


Whoops! The sun went down yesterday and the highway south of Calgary all of  a sudden turned into a frosted layer of ice. In a 10 mile stretch there were probably 30 vehicles spun out into the ditch like this.


I just kinda liked the windswept industrial look of this one.




That, my loyal readers, is Calgary Smog. this kind of yuch happens when a layer of very cold air traps a layer of warm air at the surface. While it feels very nice, it makes things kinda dirty around here. The actual name is an ‘inversion’. IMG_8352

I am off to plow up the slush that used to be snow. The warm weather makes a big mess of our lots, so we get to plow them on nice warm nights. YAY! Tomorrow is the Grey Cup (Canadian League Superbowl, and my team is going to WIN!)

Friday, November 26, 2010

My block today…

It was –51f, 3 days ago. today it was +40f… That kind of weather change gives me a headache and a smile all at the same time….


A Calgary Budget (is a joke, this post isn’t a joke, the budget is) rant… (Post removed)

This was the place where I had posted a rant about the Calgary City Budget and a story of a ‘waste of taxpayers money’ I had witnessed.

This post was picked up on twitter and Local Media and City Staffers had read it, and an anonymous reader (Mr Mayor maybe? or just a concerned staffer) commented a reply to my observations, with an explanation.

I have major concerns over what the City is spending it’s money on, but this particular blog is not the forum for such a discussion.

Mr(s?) Anonymous (or anyone for that matter), if you wish to contact me directly, I am available at nzeller at shaw dot ca. I posted a reply to your comment, but I have removed the comments from this post as well. I have no desire to continue a conversation with a person who does not identify themselves. I have no time for that kind of discussion.

As my disclaimer states, this is my blog, and they are my opinions. If you read this blog, you are acknowledging your understanding that I write what I want and you can’t do anything about it. I am no one in the big scheme of things, so take my writing for what it’s worth, Nothing. With that said, enjoy my fun blog!

Anutha Winna!

You, loyal readers have spoken. I, however, forgot about the Merca holiday of shopping and face stuffing, so I am sure that could have swayed these results if some of you (you) weren’t in a tryptophan and football induced coma.... Lucky for Jarrett from pedalpaddleplod tho, he wins! AND lucky for him, someone HATES his closest competition… Jarrett won by the narrowest of margins…. Wow! Won the contest by a single ‘Whatever’…


Congrats, here is what you have won. a 13 x 19 canvas art print of the following. How’s that for one of a kind?! (ps. you can actually choose any photo from this blog to use, just let me know)


Oh. Are you interested in the total results??…..


Are you sure?

And I still have another contest going on. See here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Poster Contest Poll!

Remember this contest? The one where the winner gets a custom poster?


Well here is the poll where you will choose the winner. I will close this poll on Friday at 6pm MST. Just click what you think of each one. I chose the 10 I liked the best for the poll. It’s my blog. You get to choose the winner out of the 10.

You can do the survey 1 time per person.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

GU-stmas Stocking winner!!!

But first… the 12 days of Gu-stmas, as put together very quickly and haphazardly by me… for you!

  • On the first day after Gu-stmas, my true run buddy gave to me – GU as a tree.
  • image
  • On the second day of Gu-stmas my true run buddy gave to me – Two fitted socks
  • On the third day of Gu-stmas my true run buddy gave to me – Three Gu Brew
  • On the fourth day of Gu-stmas my true run buddy gave to me – four Volunteers calling splits
  • On the fifth day of Gu-stmas my true run buddy gave to me – A FIVE K PR!!!!!
  • On the sixth day of Gu-stmas my true run buddy gave to me – Six race entries
  • On the seventh day of Gu-stmas my true run buddy gave to me – Seven age group placings
  • On the eighth day of Gu-stmas my true run buddy gave to me – Tasty Gu Chomps on the run
  • On the ninth day of Gu-stmas my true run buddy gave to me – negative split pacing
  • On the tenth day of Gu-stmas my true run buddy gave to me – Ten new bloggy followers
  • On the eleventh day of Gu-stmas my true run buddy gave to me – eleven family members cheering
  • On the twelfth day of Gu-stmas my true run buddy gave to me – fun, friendship and inspiration galore from this crazy runno-shpere on the internets! Thanks everyone!

and NOW!!!

With 137 total entries, The winner for the Gu-stmas stocking contest is!!!!!

image image

Jesse!! Run to the Border!! Congrats, email me at nzeller at shaw dot ca with you mailing address! Jesse’s request for his GU stocking was:

“My ultimate Gu stocking would simply be large and full. I'm a college student, I'm not picky, I'll just take whatever I can get!”

OH, Calgary was the second coldest place on Earth this morning behind Antartica, –46c. Can you even imagine that? that is –51f… u huh. the furnace is WORKING hard, the house is a comfortable 74f!

No Talky Tuesday…

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The highly anticipated and long awaited Snow Plowing Report, Right?

OK, so I haven’t been running for 2 reasons. I have been plowing snow every night and also my foot is still injured. I haven’t gone to the doctor, but it is getting better each day, so as long as it keeps snowing I won’t run and it can’t get hurt further. (that’s the theory anyway)

Housecleaning first:

  • I will put together the survey for the poster contest soon, I promise
  • I have my Mustard Bath Contest going, go enter!
  • Today is the last day to enter the GU-stmas Stocking contest, winner announced tomorrow.
  • I will blog soon about what made me dress up like this…


I teased you a few days ago with a garmin map of one of my parking lots I plow. Some of you seemed to enjoy that, so here is a full report from that night.

This was the 3rd night in a row (Wednesday last week) that we went out. I stopped for coffee at the Good Earth Cafe in my neighbourhood, which is in the top right of the map (yellow dot), and that is where I started the garmin. 11 hours and 76 miles (123km) later I stopped it at the same place. I’ve also numbered the lots on the main map so I can reference where we are as I report. Note: the satellite photos are NOT from the night we plowed, for the purposes of this report… The Daylight and the greenery kinda gives that away.

Warning. This job is not as glamorous as it seems. While I wouldn’t dissuade your children from pursuing a rewarding career in snow movement engineering, I would advise a cautious approach, as it can be quite addicting and fun given the right circumstances and radio station! And remember Kids, do your homework and eat your vegetables, and some day you can be a plow monkey too!


Like all good reports, first the stats. the time is 11:50, but 50 minutes of that was sitting in Good Earth for breakfast before heading home at the end of my shift. So 11 hours was the full shift. Elevation/Pace/and Calories are pretty unimportant, as I am in a truck, although the calories could be what I take in in one shift as I tend to eat very bad in the truck… The Heartrate was pretty telling. I think it means I am in OK shape. 61 average with a spike of 105. The spikes came when I was eating donuts at Tim Hortons Coffee Shop would have to get out of the truck and help load the Skid Steer on the Trailer. AND I was actually running when the best pace got down to 1:00 per mile. really.

OH, here is my best Garmin 305 tip ever. If the Garmin beeps low battery and tells you to hit '<Enter>, Don't do it! If you hit enter, your Garmin will shut down very quickly. If you leave that note up there, it will keep recording for you, and not quit! I have done this on runs and also on this plow night. The warning came up at about the 9 hour mark and it was still recording at the 11:50 mark when I finally shut it down! The only down side is that it makes it difficult to see the data with the warning up there, but it’s still better than not having any Garmin at all.


This is pretty much what I look at all night… Like my tape deck?


And without further adieu, my first short film on snow plowing… enjoy! Watch this through and you will be rewarded with me singing! badly!

OK, the deets: Here we are 21kms away from my house. I am ALMOST at the first parking lot. Gotta get gas first. The mileage in the truck is pretty bad while plowing. I drive about 70-80 miles in a plow night and have been averaging about $50.00 per night in fuel.


We get to the first lot and get started. Dad and I have been plowing together for a long enough time, we don’t have to figure out who does what, we just get to work. I drive around and crate a ‘line’ that he back blades bays and parking stalls to where I can reach them with the truck. While he does that, I go push snow where he isn’t needed (like the area that shows Lap 24, it is just a straight push) Once he get done back blading, then I go and start moving that snow over to where we can push it all to the pile locations. Customers are pretty picky as to where they want the piles. Can’t block off a parking spot… might be a fight in the morning… don’t want that.

So: Lot 1 on the map, about 10kms/6 miles of plowing.


This is a pic looking from Lap 27 toward Lap 30 in the map above…


On to the next lot: This one is the biggest pain in the ass as the bay that you see at Lap 41, is quite space constricted, lots of dumpsters/ truck, loading bays and then all the way around that building are cars that are scattered, making it a super pain to do a good efficient job of the lot. Notice that PIA area, Lap 41/42. It’s only 150m in lenght and I actually drive over 2kms in there, back and forth… yuck. That area is very low and sheltered too, so it gathers TONS of snow when the wind is blowing a bit. The lot across the street is easier, except on this night you can see a void of space just below Lap 34. There was a cleaning person in the building and his van was parked there. I went and banged on the windows and doors of the building but didn’t get a response. About 10 minutes later the Cops showed up and asked If I had banged on the door. Yep. Turns out the cleaner kinda pooped himself thinking there was someone trying to get in, and called 911.

So: Lot 2 on the map, about 18kms/11 miles of plowing.


here is a photo of the finished area where Lap 33 starts.


We then moved down the hill to area 3. This is by far our largest lot. It has pretty much everything. small lots, long pushes, big wide open areas, driveways, landscaped Islands, warehouses, retail and restaurants. The first plow on Monday, we didn’t get to this one until noon, so there were tons of cars in the lot. Now we make this our 3rd stop so we don’t have to manoeuvre so bloody much. The best part for me is the loop at the bottom right. High speed and lots of sliding involved there. Fun! That whole run down that backside of the building is pretty good for me as I get up into second gear and really make the snow fly! Yeah!!!

So: Lot 3 on the map, about 23kms/14 miles of plowing.


Lot 4. I hate it. Lots of cars and trucks.very uneven ground. long pushes. There is a lot of shit that the blade catches on. Whenever the blade catches on something. It’s like hitting a brick wall in the truck. The crash is very load and very violent. I typically scream like a girl when it happen followed by a string of profanities that would make a snowplow drive blush.

So: Lot 4 on the map, about 9kms/5 miles of plowing.


Hey… wanna see what it’s REALLY like out there!


Stupid Garmin. It caught us stopping for coffee and snacks at Tim Hortons.


Between these 2 lots, I was driving along and saw these awesome lights in the sky, these are just building lights and street lights reflected up into the cold air. The combination of the humidity and the cold made for a pretty cool light show. The Little Green Camera struggled to get the incredibleness of the view and I wish I had my SLR with me, but here is the result anyway…


Dad does this one by himself in the Skid Steer. Too small for the two of us. I go on a do Lot 6 on my own.


Lot 5. It a fun once as I just go round and round and round. Easy on the Transmission and easy on me! See Lap 94 at the top, the weird squiggles?? 1 stupid car parked there. Totally ruins my Zen in this lot… grrr.

So: Lot 5 on the map, about 9kms/5 miles of plowing.


Love this one. Because it’s LAST *wOoT*. It’s a pretty easy one. except when there is a Tractor Trailer in the Right hand area. Normally the lot would get plowed like the left side, but the truck was sitting there waiting to unload some pianos.

So: Lot 6 on the map, about 5kms/3 miles of plowing.


Just to the left of where it says Lap 100 above,  is this chain link fence below. How freaking big ARE the rabbits here that they bent the fence to get under? Yikes!!


So, what do you think? don’t quit your day jobs tho, all the good plow jobs are taken for now…

Yeah, I’m not sure about this…

We are off to the Western Final of the Canadian Football League.


Layers! Lots of Layers!



Here is the The Sports Network preview of the game… for anyone interested.

Here I am with a LOT of layers on. The only thing missing from this picture is my big ski-doo gloves and my boots. I think I'll be VERY comfortable this game.