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.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I got a coach!

So that means I have been running again! Woo! for the past few months, I went out on occasion, if I had the time. Well, now that I pay for the coaching, I find the time.

But. WoooWeee was it tough slugging getting back into it.I think my biggest obstacle is my mind knows exactly what it’s in for as I build up my base again. And it doesn’t like it. But my biggest strength is, funnily enough, my mind. It knows that it can talk the servant limbs and lungs into anything. It’ll just be like “Shut  UP Legs!” and they will carry on.

However. due to a crazy weekend, I didn’t do my 10k long run. I was going to go out on Monday morning, but didn’t get up in time. I was feeling like only after 2 weeks of coaching I was already falling off. I decided I was going to do my run on Monday evening instead.

It is freaking hot here. Hotter than ever. I ran an 8k last week in the heat and really really didn’t like it. Our blood here in Canada is very thick and not used to this kind of heat. I decided to head back to TKO circuit instead to try and beat the heat.

Um. why the F is it outside? Pete is moving to a new space and is holding the classes in a park for now. Hot. very Hot!

Here is the one line email I got from Coach:

“Ha!!!! Now that is what I call some school yard justice. Hilarious.”

thanks coach.

So, because I didn’t run, he shifts my hard, technical run to Tuesday. I am so crazy sore from the circuit workout, every part of my body is screaming at me to not run the 6k Tempo. Well, I figure if I miss this one, I am heading down a path of excusery that is very hard for me to return. So my brain tells my legs to SHUT UP! we are going running.

the 2k warm up felt soooooooo long. I was asked to run a quick (for me) pace for 6k. Coach is testing and trying things to help establish a more structured plan so we can train this fat ass for the Calgary Marathon in May of next year. I have been purposely running routes with moderate hills in them, on all types of runs, just so I become a stronger runner overall. That and the fact that there is no real flat areas in my neighbourhood. Hopefully I just get used to rolly routes.

So in two weeks I have already gone from sucking suck to sucking less.  my first ‘easy’ 5k 2 weeks ago was a bitch. So was tonight's 8k (6k at tempo). So better. right?

peace yo.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Day 9–Off Island, and my very smart Wife.

hehe. you didn’t think I was going to finish our vacation story did you? Well I am. Are you happy about that?

Ok, so in the interest of not worrying certain readers, we didn’t let on to anyone that the free van was not running that great. You see the van we drive was given to us, not running, by a friend back in December. I nursed it back to life and it’s been a workhorse for us. I have replaced or repaired:

  1. starter
  2. Front right wheel hub
  3. front right axle
  4. rear springs (man does make a loud bang when they break, woo!)
  5. rear shocks
  6. flushed and serviced the entire brake system
  7. the pre and post catalytic O2 sensors
  8. flushed and serviced the transmissions system

All these items I did myself. I can’t imagine the costs to have this done. I am more than certain this trip wouldn’t have gone ahead if I had a shop look after all these items. So there was truly a balancing act. Kind of nurse the van and all it’s little tendencies across BC, or don’t go on the trip. What we decided was, if the van conked out on us, farther than 100kms from a Canadian Tire, we would phone Enterprise Car Rental (they pick you up), and try do hide the fact that we took the license plate off the van when we left it on the side of the road. You were a good van, bye bye now.

Thankfully that plan didn’t come to fruition, and the van performed admirably for what we asked of it on this trip. I don’t think there is a harder trip to subject a vehicle too anywhere else in Canada. Mountain pass after mountain pass, windy roads, steep drops, tons of traffic and extreme temperatures.

Up to now we hadn’t gotten into the temperature extremes. The forecast was for near 40c/ 102f at our destination in Princeton. I was worried about this trip. The van had been heating up on the inclines and when parked in traffic (that was part of the reason I was so upset in Vancouver), so with the very high temps and my knowledge of the challenging Hope-Princeton highway, I was concerned.

Sorry about all that. I digress. back to the story.

We woke up in Victoria, after having changed our ferry reservation from 3pm back to noon. We just wanted to get going. We knew this trip part of the trip out of the lower mainland would be a bit stressful, so lets boogie! We did the complimentary continental creakfast (sorry, I love alliteration), and packed up for the trip to Schwartz bay. We did get to see the big blue bridge open, just as we were heading out, so Andrew I was very stoked.


We beelined it up to the ferry terminal from there and got there in time to catch the 11am crossing! So good! 15 minutes in line and we were loaded up and on our way. The trip across is cool as you are close to America (actually in American waters part of the time), image

as well as navigating a really narrow passage called Active Pass. It’s pretty active alright. A very strong tidal current is noticeable as we make our way through.


Seeing Mt Baker was a highlight for me.

An Island Provincial Park. I think this was Galiano Island. It was a long weekend too!

Here is the entrance into Active Pass. You can really see the currents moving!

We met another ferry in the channel, so again, a highlight for me.

As we enter the Juan De Fuca Straight Straight of Georgia (thanks Elle) Mt Baker is clearer and more impressive.

I did see a seal that almost got whacked by the ferry. He looked like “HEY, I’M Swimming Here!!”


Another one of Mt Baker as we exited the Pass.


Before we knew it we were getting the 15 minute warning as Vancouver appeared through the haze. Man was it hot. probably 30-32c at this point.


We got off the ferry and didn’t look back. We found the Alex Fraser Highway and headed east. The highway skirts the international border so there is a lot of traffic. There is a lot of traffic anyway.


It was a relief to get back on the Trans Canada Freeway at Abbotsford as I was tired of lights. The temps were high and the van was running hot. The trip from Abbotsford to Hope was uneventful. We did stop for gas in Langley, picked up a Jugo Juice and a gallon of engine coolant. Oh, one of the reasons I was ok with taking the van was the fuel economy is unbelievable for a large 1999 vehicle. We filled up 3 times on the entire trip. Didn’t have to at all on the Island. With economy like that, any issues that the van has would be outside the engine block, therefore easy to repair if necessary.

We made the turn onto the Crowsnest Highway and started to climb. I spent a good amount of time watching the heat gauge. The trip up isn’t really that scenic compared to other highways, but nice nonetheless, but I was trying to manage the engine heat. It was about then Traci asked me if we should open the windows.

I was like: WTF? why on earth would we open the windows? What are you, stupid? Why would that help? Like seriously, that makes no sense. Again, WTF?

She looks at me in disgust and says: we could turn the Air Conditioning off and drive with the windows open.

I was like: OMG. I am so sorry, you are so effing smart.

So I turned off the AC and whoop, down went the temps. You know, deep down I knew that, but if it were up to me that day, we probably would have been on the side of the road waiting for Enterprise to come pick us up. I love my wife! We spent the rest of the trip playing the AC/Windows Down game as we drove up and down the mountain roads. That little piece of Wifery advice was the moment I quit worrying about the van, knowing we’d be fine. On day 9. Ah well, better than day 11.

Once we crested the pass, then the road gets just silly. I’m not sure what made it so important to get over the mountains at this exact spot, but whatever it was, it cost nothing but money. This road is crazy at times.

See the other road below the 30k sign? Same road.



That’s only about a km shown there… And 8-9% grades. In a past life I may have enjoyed that kind of road a lot, but as I age gracefully , I seem to be enjoying less of a challenge.


So we got to our destination in Princeton. It is about 35c. So hot. The hottest I have experienced in years. I decide I don’t mind it and to just enjoy it to the fullest. windows down, doing airplane arm out the window! Yeah!

Oh, yeah, we passed about 2 dozen cars on the last 100kms with their hoods up pouring steam. They obviously don’t have wives as smart as mine.

We checked in, got into our Cabin and headed over to the little lake for a swim. Andrew played on the slide for an hour! We stayed at Princeton Castle Resort, the same place we stayed at 15 years earlier for a night on our honeymoon. It has turned totally weird now. We found it to be nice, with really strange parts to it. Traci said it was haunted…


Like this. So weird.

Not much else to tell except the resort is built around this old castle ruins as shown above. More on that in the next episode… 

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I know this is a little painful, but it means a lot to me…

Please pop down to the linked blog post, have a quick read and then vote for me if you want to… this whole ordeal ends on Firday… so no more shameless begging.


Click here!


If you do vote, make sure to leave a comment in that blog post so you are in the draw for the art print! (your choice)


Thursday, August 23, 2012

I’m so close… (A contest with a $150 value prize!)

… to moving on to the voting round of the Jasper Dark Sky Correspondent contest. I need your help. Bad! I am giving away a $150.00 canvas printed photo from my large collection of photos. More on that below…

I have slipped from 3rd to 5th though. and 6th is moving up quickly. Only the top 5 get to move on to the finals, where we will be judged by the contest officials.

I am doing pretty well considering I am a 38 year old family guy, entering only with a photo, where my competition are young and posted with videos.

We could win an all expense paid trip to Jasper National Park to be the social media voice of the Dark Sky Festival. You all know me pretty well by now. This prize is so unbelievable up my alley that I am considering going even if I don’t win. I would compete directly with the winner, to show them the error of the decision. hehe. That'll teach’em. Well, I think I will win, so I won’t have to be that guy… would be pretty funny though.

I tried to set up a Facebook event, to get people to engage, but that is just another step that seems a little onerous. The issue is, the contest is a Facebook App. If you choose to vote, you have to ‘allow access’ to the app.

Also, I think my (younger, possibly more hip) competition have a huge Facebook friend list. This makes a difference when involved in a social media competition like this.

So, I am going to fight fire with art. I want you to re-blog this contest for me. On twitter, on Facebook, on Pinterest (can you post stuff like this on Pinterest?), on your blogs and where-ever else you hang out on the internets. Why would you do this you ask? Well, I am going to give away a 16” x 20” canvas mounted art print of any image you’d like from my Flickr, Blog, or Facebook photography page. You can also include your favourite quote if you’d like me to put it on there for you. The value of this prize is approx $150.00.

Ok, so. Go to this contest page, allow the access stuff they require (it’s normal stuff and you can revoke this after the contest is over on Aug 31) , find my entry called “Family Man, Social Media Man” and vote each day.

This is what my entry looks like, so you can find it.


You will get an entry for each day you vote, and you will get two entries for each posting of this on your social internets. You do have to come back to this page and remind me that you did these things. Just put a note in the comments. If you have already voted, make sure you comment with the amount of votes already. I will make the draw in the first week of Sept.

You can click the share links below to post to your twitter or facebook (each link is a vote, each time you link it, which is every day hopefully)

for helping, you can take this photo and use it for your own personal use, like a screensaver etc. Click it, then right click to save.


Thank you!! THis is a pretty big deal to me, I appreciate your playing along!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Calgary Storm, Aug 12-12–There be lightning here!

I enjoyed a very productive evening, shooting the incredible lightning storm over Calgary last night. I started shooting from my house, mostly backlit clouds as the lightning was a little farther into the storm from our place. Weather Modifications Inc were flying 3 aircraft in the storm, shooting silver iodide into the clouds in an attempt to keep the hail small and non damaging. They didn’t succeed this time as there is widespread hail damage over much of North Calgary. The first pic is one of the planes turning on their grid flying pattern in front of the storm.

Click to enlarge.


Got a few good ones from the house, but as soon at the storm moved east, the sky started lighting up over the houses and I knew it was time to head down where I could get a full view of the sky.

So down the street I went and spent the next couple hours shooting this incredible light show!


Then I went home. Too bad I didn’t do this for a living. I can’t imaging how amazing these shots would be with a really high end lens… And if I had all night to chase this storm. Fun stuff!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I’d like to win this trip to Jasper… *Jasper Star Correspondent*

… to do the things I do when I travel anyway (you know, all the socially internets things I do). You can enter too. If you ended up winning, I’d be happy for you, but be really disappointed inside. But i would get over it. in time. with help. i’m sure.

ahem… what? no, there is just some dust in my eye.

Ok, so, here is what I’d like you to do for me.

  1. go to my entry for the contest.
  2. let Jasper Canadian Rockies (do go have a look at their FB page, it’s got some pretty spectacular photos on it) site have your wallet (or just let them do the thing they do when they want you to vote in a contest. It’s just facebook permissions. DOn’t kid yourself, they know you are there already whether you allow access or not. But you do need to allow access to vote. THANK YOU!, at the end of the contest you can revoke the access if you must.)
  3. Click vote
  4. Come back each day and repeat #3. (I will remind you)

What happens at the end of August is they take the top 5 vote getters and choose a winner from them. So if you see anyone else with lots more votes don’t despair, as long as I am in the top 5 I’ll be eligible for the prize!

The winner gets a 5 day all expenses paid trip to be the Jasper Dark Sky Correspondent for 5 days beginning on my Birthday in October!

I am so this guy!

Here is what my entry looks like, just so you make sure are on the right page.