Liver Spot

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Plant Progress 2010

Plant Progress Status Date February 3, 2010

Safety Motto - Know when to come in from the cold.

Project Controls Update - Of course we can fix that - Please kindly sign this time and material work order.
Change Order Status: Plant has suffered winter damage and requires TLC to recover to former resplendence. Disciples to prepare budget numbers.

Discipline Update:

Civil and Design Engineering - Drainage looks good.
Structural - I'm conducting a tensile strength test.
Architectural - I better check the fire code. It looks like wood kindling.
Process - The soil is too wet. Definitely over watered
Mechanical Services. Fairly close to the window. We should upgrade the thermostat
PD and Piping - Investigating claims of over watering. Require meeting with Civil, Structural and Process.
Mechanical Engineering - That's a nice saucer
Material Handing - Do you want to help me scrape barnacles off my boat on Sunday?
Electrical Engineering - If you want Metal Halide lighting we will require a larger electrical room
Instrumentation - Plant shutdown key is ready just in case
Accounting - If this is a change order where is the original contract for this plant?

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Still Around

What's going on this year:

Of course this blog is named Liver Spot in honour of my favourite liver spotted dalmatian, Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (also known as Plum). Plum has been gone for three years now!

I really want to get another running dog, but don't think I want another Dal just because they shed so much! I am now looking at getting a Pointer, a Weimeraner, or a Great Dane.

Getting my Wind Energy Company going
My best friend Murray and I started this company three years ago.
We have five projects in Texas and one in Arizona.

Dating the lovely Susan, who I met 42 years ago in Kindergarden.

This is a comeback year! I will do Ultraman Canada when I am 50. So I have to get in Ironman shape again.
Riding with Glotman Simpson cycling.
Running injury persists but still expect to run an Ultramarathon this year.
Boxing Lessons at Griffins Boxing

Piano Lessons!!

Stopped coaching swimming in February because I was spending too much time on my company.
Will take some swim coaching courses in 2010.

Friday, September 12, 2008

That Was A Long Break

What have I been up to? Just having fun:

Bike riding - we raised $6000 for B.C. Lung Association on a 200 km ride to Cultus Lake.

Playing at the beach with Bogey and his people.

Surfing lessons in Tofino

The latest version of this blog will focus on SWIMMING! Particularly Swimming for Beginners. Videos, instructions, funny posts and practices.

I'll throw in the occasional post about me too.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


I spent the holidays in Ottawa and Montreal visiting my relatives.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'm Not Your Friend, I'm Your Swim Coach

The old model wasn't working. I was trying to be everybody's buddy and make sure they showed up for class by being nice. The good thing about this model is that I didn't scare many people away and the dropout rate was not bad - I still have about 10 people per class at the end of the session. The weaker swimmers now have good endurance. But the bad thing about this model is I have not enforced proper technique enough and they have developed bad habits.

I've had nice guy swim coaches and tough guy swim coaches and I have to admit the tough guy coach works for me. Craig McCord is a good example of the tough guy. He used to yell at the kids. I wonder if he yells at the paralympic athletes? Probably.
Anyway the problem with being tough guy is that some people will drop out, however those that continue will really benefit. I think a tough guy coach screaming "raise your elbows!" will prompt me better than the hippy touchy feely nice guy coach suggestion that "you might find that raising your elbows would make your entry more efficient". My touchy feely crap just isn't working with my weak swimmers.

This week I started being tough guy coach (complete with yelling) to shake things up and get them to drop the bad habits.
Improper kicking is the worst problem. I haven't given them enough kicking drills and most of them really need it! Monday I got them to do Titanic Kick.

This is an advanced exercise and takes a high level of effort to maintain the proper position. Without strong effort, swimmers sink, like the Titanic. There's no slow or easy way to do this drill. The purpose of this drill is to gain an understanding of the amount of effort it takes to lift any part of the body out of the water while trying to maintain blance and propulsion. Also, it's a strenuous workout.

Flutter-kick on the back with your arms together a streamlined position and pointing directly toward the sky or ceiling. Arms should be perfectly straight (no bent elbows).

I thought I would have to jump in to rescue R. He had closed his eyes and was slowly sinking to the bottom of the pool while kicking. He was probably thinking "everything is fine, I'm probably supposed to be under water".
But once the swimmers got the idea that they had to kick really hard to be able to breathe they did it. So much of it is just mental.

Today we worked on more kicking drills and I gave them 800metres of kicking homework.

As a tough guy coach I hear a lot of "my legs are burning" comments but at the end of practice I hear "thanks for a great workout".

By the way, I know a few of you swimmers have found my blog. If you have time to read my blog you have time to make it to swim practice. We still have a few sessions left. Did I mention I'm also giving out Candy if you show up? And get this - no more butterfly - we're mostly working on proper freestyle technique.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


There are some supplements I can recommend. One that works for sure is a protein drink after a workout. The role of protein in recovery is well documented.
Of course you shouldn't waste your money on any supplement until your diet is in order. Fortunately I have kicked my Krispy Kreme habit.

Not a supplement - and no I didn't eat the whole box

I know there is no magic bullet. Lets face it, most supplement ads are for suckers and uninformed idiots. There are a lot of uninformed idiots in Ironman - me being one of them. I have wasted a lot of money on fad supplements.

And I think I'm doing it again. Why do I keep getting suckered in? I'm not doing Ironman anymore, but I am weight lifting. I know that weightlifting buddies John and Kiven are taking Creatine and Arginine and they are getting stronger than me in the gym. I guess I am somewhat competitive and it drives me crazy when John can lift something I can not.

I think Creatine works and there is a lot of scientific data to show that it isn't harmful. Well that's a plus anyway. A couple of Canadian scientists have really interesting nutrition and supplement websites:
Dr. Dave Barr is a pretty cool guy and his website is very informative. And Dr. John Berardi.

Go Canada - we know our supplements. No Ben Johnson jokes please.

I am now taking Creatine and Arginine. Why am I taking them and do these supplements work?

Creatine is actually being used to treat a variety of medical conditions such as Muscular Dystrophy and Lou Gerhig's disease.
It helps restore ATP which is used up when the muscles fire. Unfortunately studies indicate that it will not increase my running or cycling ability.
But I believe it does allow my weight training exercises to be pushed further than without it. And thus allows me to lift heavier weights. There is no real harm in taking it other than the fact it is expensive and it irritates my stomach.

Arginine is more contentious.
Here is a quicky Biochemistry/Physiology lesson on Arginine:
Arginine -> Nitric Oxide -> Vasodilator -> Nutrient Delivery -> Muscle Growth and Strength.

Nitric Oxide eh? Why don't I just inhale deeply from a car exhaust pipe? Not quite the same. Anyway, the point is that it is a vasodilator and is supposed to increase blood flow to the muscles.
The bad side is it inhibits platelet aggregation and could potentially interfere with blood clotting mechanisms.

Does it work? I think it does. I get such a pump when I take it - a pump is when your muscles are enlarged and your veins are popping out. I'm sure women are really attracted to this look. ha ha
Anyway, it could very well be the placebo effect. I just paid $60 for the bottle of Arginine and I really want to believe in its effectiveness.
It's probably not going to hurt me but it isn't as proven as Creatine.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Get Rid of It

I'm buying new furniture for my place and this has prompted me to do a major purge. It is obvious that I have far too many books. The Wodehouse collection is sacred, but I can safely recycle my 1984 undergrad textbooks.
For some reason I really like calculus and did pretty well in it. I even took some advanced Math courses and I'm not really sure why, but they probably had some practical applications back then. Differential Equations and Boundary Variables was a little difficult. There is a "Hello Kitty" sticker on the side of this book - a reminder to me that this book isn't for kids and I better take it seriously or I would fail. No comment on whether I actually passed this one or not however.

Why learn this stuff? Any practical application? Of course!
These particular equations examine ecological situations involving two species, one of which preys upon the other. In the absense of a predator, the prey grows without bounds, in the absence of prey the predator dies out.
These equations are very simple and there are ways of making them more realistic.

I also used this type of equation to study excitable neurons in the Physiology lab.
Maybe I should keep this book. Could come in handy someday.
Just kidding - it's gone; I'll dump it off at some used bookstore. I don't think anybody would buy it on Ebay.