Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Have a great Holiday!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Skunks and Dals



Vancouver is a fantastic city if you are a nature lover. Wild animals abound in the Pacific Northwest. I'm not surprised nor even afraid to run into a bear while hiking or running trails. I don't, however, like crossing a skunks path. And there are a lot of skunks in Vancouver. Amazing I haven't been sprayed by a skunk while running in Stanley Park or even while running through the West End. Some of my friends have not been so lucky.

CB (who used to live a block away from me) took her dalmatian Beanie for a 3:00 am walk (dalmatians eat anything and everything and then require late night walkies) when Beanie went over to investigate and got sprayed. CB took Beanie home and the elevator smelled like skunk for months.

Doggie Day care told her to wash Beanie with Dog Shampoo, Baking Soda, and hydrogen peroxide. It worked for her and Beanie was normal in about 4 days. The elevator was never the same though. She always feigned ignorance about the smell in the elevator too.

Rob's dalmatian Rauli just had an encounter with a large skunk in Kitsilano. He knows I am a dalmatian fan and asked if I would like to look after Rauli for a few days. I appreciate the thought Rob, but I'll wait until Rauli is a little less odorous.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Posting Names

I had some complaints from acquaintances or coworkers that I wrote about because I mentioned their names. And I deleted these posts because I respect their wishes. You'd think I would learn my lesson: Don't put peoples full names in your posts.
Recently I wrote a post about running the Stanley Park seawall and running past an old friend, Rebecca, but not saying hello to her.
I put her last name in the post. Her old boyfriend found my post by doing a google search on Rebecca and we exchanged a few comments in that post. Now Rebecca's brother has also found the post via a google search. Time to delete her last name from that post. It was kind of cool to hear from her brother and ex boyfriend, but I think if I hear from her it will be angry words - she probably doesn't want her name published on some guys blog.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Christmas Party

It's the start of the holiday party season. Last night we had our Project Controls department get together at O'Douls on Robson. The department has grown from 3 to 25 in the last three years and we're going to get even busier next year.

We decided to have a gift exchange and if you didn't like the present you opened you could exchange it for something someone else got. The limit was $10.00 for a gift and I bought a bottle of Canadian Maple Syrup which Mike T. opened and decided to keep rather than trade it. mmm. Pancakes and maple syrup! I ended up getting a horrible set of Canadian Flag face cloths!

Perhaps one of my brothers will be the recipient of a re-gift this year.

Saturday Dog Walk

I really like the Saturday afternoon dog walk in the endowment lands. It takes about an hour and a half, it's pretty good exercise, the dogs are very amusing and the dog walkers are really fun to talk to.
Bogey just had a bath but we couldn't stop him from jumping in the first puddle he saw.

He was being bratty because Cindy had kept him in the car for a hour while she was at the Christmas Craft Fair with Bonnie. Don't know what his problem is - I would rather sit in the car for an hour than go to a Craft Fair.
Cranberry Scented Soap just doesn't do it for me.

Teamwork - Bogey and Missy sharing stick carrying duties.

Thanks for letting me be part of the dog walkers group Cindy!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tourenados de Rossini

My parents generation was very lucky. They had Umbertos, Hy's, and The Treehouse. Restaurants of the 1970's were far superior in the level of sophistication than restaurants of today. Even the old White Spot Dining Room on Granville was fantastic. Today I took my cousin Zara to Earls and was fairly disappointed in the quality of food.
This experience got me reminiscing about the good old days and my favourite dinner: Tourenados de Rossini. This is my favourite steak dish; Fillet Mignon, en cru (on garlic bread) with pate foie gras and a redwine/duxelle mushroom reduction. It was very popular in the 1960's and 1970's but due to a lack of sophistication in todays restaurant crowd it is almost impossible to find. Hy's doesn't even serve it anymore. And they also stopped making Beef Wellington! Sadly the younger generation does not even know what these dishes are.
The suburban group (with disposable income) would prefer to go to a chain restaurant like Moxies, Milestones or Earls. As a result Hy's has lowered its sophistication standards to try to compete thus eliminating my favourite dish. Gotham and Mortons are one step up from Hy's but they cater to an unsophisticated crowd that happens to have money. I do not like Mortons. I consider it the McDonalds of Steak. It attracts a crowd I do not wish to associate with. Mortons patrons will happily pay $1000 for a bottle of Cristal Champagne, but they don't have the sophistication to order Tourenados de Rossini.
Sigh. I guess I will have to go to some old time U.S. steak house to get my Tourenados de Rossini.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Random Mini Posts

The April 7, 2006 McDonalds Hash Brown is still looking rather fresh despite being broken in half during my office move. There is no evidence of anything growing on this "food".

However, there is evidence of something growing on my favourite Protein Whey mixer cup! This is the second cup in a year to suffer from mold and/or bacteria. Must be the Tang that I add.

I ran in the Haney Harrison relay last Saturday along with seven other friends from work. There is a fierce rivalry between us and another Vancouver Engineering firm and sadly they beat us this year. I was the lead runner but couldn't keep up with my rival Dave F. But I actually didn't do too badly and was within a minute of my predicted time. I was about 46 minutes for 10 Km. It started raining heavily after the second leg. My friend Neil had a stellar performance. Pictured left is Neil after finishing leg #5. Note the heavy downpour.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Swimming Break Through

About half of my "Intro to Masters" class are beginner level swimmers and have never done any of the other three strokes: Butterfly, Breast Stroke and Back Stroke. They were pretty shocked when I started writing butterfly drills on the whiteboard. I started them with butterfly kicking drills. They always want me to jump in and demonstrate - to let you in on a secret, my buttefly technique is lousy and I just power my way through - after 50 metres of fly I'm exhausted. Those who can't do teach, eh?
I'm nice though, I let them use fins. The women generally get the kick but the guys don't undulate enough. One of my newbies, W., just couldn't get the kick down. She couldn't get any rhythm to the kick timing and then she started doing some sort of frog kick thing. Last week I got them to add arms to their butterfly. 4 strokes single arm right arm, 4 strokes single arm left arm, then 4 full strokes.
W. was doing a monster smash on her butterfly entry and her timing and kick were way off too. But she stuck it out. I had her visualize jumping over a barrel for the entry.
This week I couldn't believe my eyes when W. pulled off a 25 metre fly looking really smooth. Her entry was graceful, no face plants this time, she was able to kick at the same time. That timing is so important. Then she was able to glide underwater with outstretched hands. She's quite small and not strong in the upper body but she still catches enough water to propel her smoothly. And she was undulating and getting her bum above the water! The lifeguard and I were blown away because we were commenting to one another on W.s Fly issues just a week before. I've been working on Alistair for three years and he hasn't made any improvements in Butterfly.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Real Men Don't Eat Tofu

Soybeans are made into paste called miso, into soy sauce, tofu, tempeh, and natto. It is also used to make products for lactose intolerant people such as myself. Here are some examples of Soy products found in my fridge:
Soy Yogurt, Soy Milk, Soy Ice Cream, and Flavoured Tofu.
I must admit that I really like the taste and texture of these products. Soy has come a long way. Thank goodness there are milk substitute products so I don't need to take Lactaid pills.
But I've been rethinking my relationship with soy lately.

There are manly foods and not so manly foods. Unfortunately soy lowers testosterone levels. Soy contains the plant estrogens known as isoflavones. Lower testosterone levels? Why would I want that - oh sure, lower testosterone levels will reduce my chance of getting prostate cancer, but I would have a lower libido and make it even more difficult to maintain the small amount of muscle that I do have.
It's not just that. The soy industry has convinced people that anything with soy in it is super healthy. The fact is that the products in my fridge are highly process junk foods that contain a lot of sugar. Miso and tamari soy sauce are really not that bad because they are naturally fermented and use organic soy beans, but modern soy products (like the ones in my fridge)are manufactured using high tech processes. They've been put through extremely high heat, pressure and chemicals. Not so natural.
Maybe I should move onto rice milk or almond milk.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sean's First Drive

At Thanksgiving Dinner last night my brother Sean confessed that he had "borrowed" my Mustang Mach 1 when he got his drivers license. I certainly must give him credit because at the time I had removed the stock seats in order to install Recaro racing seats. Sean knew that mom's car key actually fit my Mustang. Thanks for the great security Ford! So he used one of mom's keys to get into my car, put a milk crate on the floor so he had a place to sit. I suppose creativity is the sign of a genius. He then went out to Deltaport which is a really long stretch of road out to a deepwater port and got up to 160 miles/hour. Pretty hard to make the seatbelts work when you're sitting on a milk crate. I'll keep an eye on my Kompressor next time I go over to his house.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Learning How to be a Swim Coach

I coach an Intro to Masters class and my swimmers need to work on both their technique and also on their endurance. I've got a plan for the endurance part thanks to Joe Lee - he's made an excellent set of practices for me. So my difficulty is learning how to teach the swimmers the proper technique. It's obvious to me what their problems are, but I'm not sure how to correct some of the problems, such as legs that sink regardless of how hard they kick. I need a really good book for swimming techniques. The Swim Coach Bible really isn't as good as I thought. Donald sent me some great stuff from a book called Swimming Faster, written by Ernest W. Maglischo. This book is amazing, but it's fairly technical and it's difficult to read more than two or three pages at a time - any more leads to brain-ache. Swimming Fastest has some great stuff on front crawl common errors and how to correct them.
I went to Chapters Book Store to get a copy of the book for myself, but there wasn't even one single book on Swimming! The closest thing was a diving book by Greg Lougainis. Swimming really seems to have lost it's popularity. There used to be two excellent swim magazines, but neither are published anymore. I'll check the library.
Maybe I should buy Terry Laughlin's Total Immersion book. That seems to be the standard. I'm still kind of faking my way through helping them with stroke correction, but I'm getting better at it.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Tinea Versiclor

Warning - Biochemistry and Microbiology discussed in this article may cause glazed eyes and boredom. Also it's been 25 years since I was in Biochem and so maybe I got my facts mixed up. Hopefully my Science Editor still reads my blog.

I have never actually seen my back and am impressed that I still have lat muscles even though I don't swim much anymore.
But this picture is more to point out my latest affliction - Tinea Versicolor. (white dots on my back)
It started in the summer and I assumed it was just peeling from a sunburn I got in Oregon. But it didn't go away. Fortunately one of my swimming friends is a medical doctor and she commented that I had Tinea Versicolor otherwise it never would have been diagnosed. It often goes undiagnosed in the general population.
Tinea Versicolor is caused by a the organism Malassezia Furfur, which is found on 90% of the adult population. It is not considered a contagious disease because this fungal pathogen is a normal inhabitant of the skin. It's NOT an STD (thank goodness).
The reason this organism affects some people and not others is not well known. Obviously it depends on the organisms nutritional requirements. Create a growth environment for it and it grows. Tinea Versicolor is more common with people who sweat more (cooks, athletes, people living in tropical climates).
Interestingly new evidence suggests that Aspartic Acid is critical for this pathogen to grow. Hmmm. I drink lots of Crystal Lite. It's loaded with Apartic Acid! That would serve me right for drinking those zero calorie drinks. Oh man, can't drink alcohol, can't drink coffee, can't drink Crystal Lite.
By the way:
Tinea means "Fungal Skin Infection"
Versi means "many"
Color means "color"

Tinea Versicolor can either cause white spots (hypopigmentation) or brown spots (hyperpigmentation). In my case I have hypopigmentation If I had Hyperpigmentation I would look like a dalmatian. The pathogen (M. Furfur) oxidizes lipids and creates tyrosinase inhibitors. These stop the enzyme tyrosine from catalyzing the production of melanin (thus stopping normal skin pigmentation) and creating the white spots.
Other facts:
Tyrosinase is a copper containing enzyme that catalyzes the production of Melanin. People with mutated tyrosinase genes have albinism.
Michael Jackson has Vitilgo, which also causes hypopigmentation. But Vitilgo is different than Tinea Versicolor because the melanocytes are destroyed either for autoimmune reasons, or by chatechol neutransmitters, or by phenols. Vitilgo is much harder to treat than Tinea Versicolor.

How do I cure Tinea Versicolor? Easily, thank goodness.
Selsun Blue shampoo (with Selenium Sulfide) applied topically to the affected areas and left on for 10 minutes per day for two weeks. The downside is I smell like sulfide. I don't mind chlorine, but sulfide is not that nice. So that's why I'm wearing the Dolce & Gabanna cologne that Sean gave me for Christmas.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Sneezing King

My friend Rachel has a tattoo that I just had to ask about. She told me that her dad wrote a series of childrens books in the 1970's and that this character was the Sneezing King from a book called The Rose of Baz Iz.

I'm really not a tattoo fan and I will never get one (not even an Ironman) but I think that was a nice tribute to her dad.
Her dad, Chip Young, also wrote:
The Boy Who Came With Cartier
Foxy Grandpa
Honky the Christmas Goose
The Little Hen of Huronia
The characters in his books were modelled after his children. Sweet eh?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Worst KFC

The worst Kentucky Fried Chicken store, possibly in North America, even the world, is on Davie Street, two blocks from where I live. I am unapologetic in that I really like KFC. I have liked it since I was a teenager in Tsawwassen, and my best friend Steve Edgeworth was manager of the local KFC franchise, and he would cook up a big batch just before closing on Friday night that would not get sold and we could eat for free! But I am now an adult with a real job (and don't really need free chicken) and I digress.
This outlet never has what I want. I have asked for white meat chicken breasts and they NEVER have that! I often get the response "I'm sorry, sir, we don't have that." Usually I'm just happy if I come out with anything. The Davie Street location is also an extremely incompetent store. I went to the Davie Street store tonight and asked for an easy order: 20 pieces of extra crispy chicken. I gave them the $18.00 and waited for 10 minutes when another employee asked me if I was waiting for something. She told me that the cash register doesn't actually send the order back to the kitchen. So my order had not been received yet. OK, I'll wait.
Interestingly I just paid $18.00 for a "bucket" of chicken which consists mostly of wings and legs, but I prefer white meat chicken breast. It costs $2.00 per piece of Chicken breast - so I should be able to get 19 pieces of Chicken Breast for $18.00 but they won't let me order that! They tell me that I can't wait the 20 minutes it takes to cook up that special order, but they will deliver it for $3.75. Frustrating!
This franchise is also the ONLY KFC in downtown Vancouver and attracts a lot of attention from PETA. Funny enough it is the most consistantly protested place in Vancouver. There are always 10 people outside protesting.
From the city that started the most important environmental movement in the world, Greenpeace, I find it very sad that Vancouver protestors have degenerated into a bunch of chicken fighters. Is the only protest that we care about now KFC? Is this what Vancouverites really are adamant about? And, in fact, why would we care about a KFC that doesn't even sell chicken? Can't we find something better to protest?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Albums I Love, but am too Embarrassed to Admit

Michael Jackson -Thriller
Bee Gees - Saturday Night Fever
Prince -Purple Rain
Abba -Super Trooper
Shania Twain - Come On Over
MC Hammer - Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em
The Lion King Soundtrack
Britney Spears - Oops!…I Did it Again
George Michal - Faith
Vanilla Ice - To the Extreme
Celine Dion - Falling Into You (ha ha just kidding about this last one.)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

35 km Training Run

The Victoria Marathon is only three weeks away! I did my last long training run yesterday with M. He bought a GPS but neither of us are smart enough to figure out how to use it. I guess my problem is I have a principle that I refuse to read instructions because I believe that good products should be intuitive. However I will break this principle and read instructions when assembling Ikea furniture because I've learned the hard way. But I digress.

I ran from my place to Ms, then down to the park for an outside loop. We're both in pretty good shape for 45 year olds. Although he has taken to wearing the knee supports and orthotics.
M on the first lap at Third Beach. He's pretty happy because his weight is down to 152 lbs.

I always run clockwise and almost nobody else runs that way. I like that direction because I always say "hello" to people running towards me. This is the clockwise run view looking at the North Shore of Vancouver:

The second time around we ran the inside loop which includes a 2 km hill. Brutal. We did the same run last week but made the rookie mistake of not taking any gels. Last week we both suffered. This week I brought six gels and a water bottle - and my camera.
Me on the third lap.

I'm actually in a really good mood because the endorphins have kicked in and I'm cranked up on Power Gels. I was saying "hi" to everybody. Although I was kind of anti social when I ran past (but did not say hello to) Rebecca N. who I dated in University. She was president of the Alma Mater Society.
Pretty good run and my confidence is high.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Swim Coaching Strategies

It's not easy being a swim coach. I don't want my swimmers going home and griping about me at the dinner table. I'm going to work on my presentation this year.

Here are a few ideas/strategies:

Dress appropriately and act professionally - Last session I showed up in my work clothes and proceed to remove them on deck until I was cool enough. I looked like a male stripper.

Speak/demonstrate clearly and confidently. - They're looking for leadership. Don't let them be the boss of me. Demand attention and do not proceed without it.

Keep approach simple. Clearly communicate that it's not what you do it's how you do it.

Reinforce my expectations. Please show up on time. Please use flip turns.

Plan lane organization for efficient use of space. Butterfly down and breaststroke back will probably result in them crashing into each other.

Be prepared to answer "why are we doing this". As if I don't get that one enough from Alistair. Usually I have to fake an answer. This time I'll be prepared.

Swimmers should walk away from every session knowing they have enhanced their knowledge and skill.

Be in control at all time. Don't let Carrie and Jody swim the wrong way.

Do something positive for each swimmer every session. A comment or a joke.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

On a Lighter Note

My brother Sean tells me that there is an inverse correlation between Pirates and Global Warming. Maybe I'll buy that V8 Hemi Dodge Challenger and help rid the world of those pirates.

Goodbye Plum

I will miss Plum so much. She was a puppy when I rescued her from the Delta SPCA 14 years ago. She was deaf from birth and the breeder put her in the SPCA. Her deafness was never a problem and she learned hand signals very quickly. Obeying the hand signals was another matter. She visited me on all of my North America projects and even lived with me for a summer in Port Alberni.
She met all of my other dalmatians: A.J., Jasper, Whistler, and Sunny. Her favourite game was chasing the tennis ball and catching it on a bounce. She loved running and was still able to keep up on a three hour run when she was 12. She was an excellent swimmer and followed me into the water when I took her up to Powell River a few weeks ago. If she got out of the yard I knew I could find her at Heather's house eating cat food. She wasn't particularly fond of bears and if she spotted one she would run and hide under a bed. She loved the Tsawwassen beach and also the cabin on Gabriola. She loved Duncan and would climb up on his wheelchair to get closer to him. I would like to thank Tracey for looking after Plum and giving her such a wonderful home.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Travelling Dog

Plum loves to ride in the car and insists on sitting in the front seat. She looks pretty sharp with her Breast Cancer Bandana.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Temple

I’m now getting serious – but not obsessive – about my nutrition.
As an example if Murray asks me to go out for beer I will put my hands above my head as illustrated below and say “temple”.
Similarly I will not indulge in Starbucks Chai Lattes, or Tim Horton Timbits or any other non Marathon training foods.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Random Mini Posts II

This is a once in a lifetime photo of me wearing a baseball hat. I really dislike it when guys in their 30's and 40's wear baseball hats. I think it just looks lame and I think they are trying too hard to look youthful. I just wore it because liz thinks I would look cute in it. Of course I do look cute in it, but that's neither here nor there. I'm not wearing it again. The principal is that it would be difficult to mock people wearing baseball hats if I wore one myself.
My Hat Principal certainly has its drawbacks. Last time I did Ironman I was the only one of 2000 entrants that didn't wear a hat on the run. It was really hot and I guess I looked like I had a good case of heat stroke about mile 7 when spectators started commenting that I didn't look good. Jim Miller suggested that I should wear a hat and one lovely woman in the crowd offered me her son's baseball cap. I don't think I would have made it through that race if it weren't for that kid's baseball cap (which I still have - but will never wear again).

It has been three months since I bought that McDonalds Hash Brown and put it in my top drawer. It has dried out a little bit and broke in half when I picked it up about a month ago, but it still looks like a minute in the microwave and it will be ready to eat. Absolutely no mold on it.

Speaking of mold, I got rid of that dodgy old protein shaker. I bought a new shake mixer for $3.00 at that little supplement store on the corner of Bute and Robson. I went into GNC and they wanted $10.00! Those bandits! I was off the protein drink kick for awhile, but now I am mixing it with Silk Brand Soy milk (Silk is the best, So Nice is not bad either). I can keep Soy milk in the fridge and nobody will drink it. And I like it!

I am being kicked out of the executive wing and moving to the south side of the 7th floor. I like being over here on the north side and sometimes get to listen in on interesting high level conversations. On the bright side my buddy Antonio gave me first choice of which office to move into. I chose the one with the nice view - the new Shangrila office building. (A little nicer than Anna's view of a Main Street alleyway). Engineering offices are notorious for boom and bust/ hiring and firing and shuffling people around all the time.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Yaletown Grand Prix

Me and Sara Neil. I met Sara in high school at a basketball tournament, (but she doesn't remember me). She is an amazing athlete and raced in the Olympics. When I was bike director of the tri club I asked her to come out and give us some "real" cycling coaching (as opposed to the type of coaching that I offered)

I missed out on the Canada Day 4 km swim because I went to English Bay at 8:30 and I should have gone to Sasamat Lake. Doh. I'll swim 4 km tomorrow by myself and save the $50.
But I did make it down to Yaletown to watch the cycling race.
My friend Graham Tutti came in second in the Men's Cat 3/4 race.
Here is Graham and girlfriend the beautiful Michelle. (not my ex)

Oh, and here's the race (I really didn't go to watch, just to socialize):

Friday, June 30, 2006

Relocating Glaciers

I admit that my industry is not the most ecologically friendly. Mines are also not aesthetically pleasing and if you’ve been to the Kennecot copper mine in Utah you will agree. But, it’s hard to live without copper and even gold has its place in society so we keep building mines.
We have just started working with Barrick Gold on their Pueblo Viejo Gold Mine project in the Dominican Republic and so far this client is a pretty good one. So I try to keep up on other Barrick projects. Barrick is very active in opening new mines and they have an interesting property in the Chilean Andes at about the 5000m level. The problem at the Pascua Lama site is that the ore body is covered by three glaciers. No problem, say the Engineers, we can RELOCATE the glaciers. WHAT? How do we do that? Hair Dryers if time is not a factor, I suppose.
Construction is slated to start in September, but the Chilean Government has so far rejected the plan to relocate the glaciers. Barrick has started to refer to the glaciers as an “Ice Reserve” which environmentalists believe is a way to downplay the importance of the glaciers.
There is an environmental movement called “No Dirty Gold” which urges retailers to boycott mining companies that is irresponsibly mined. Tiffany and Cartier are committed to these standards. The Chilean local governments are very concerned about community impacts of this project and will likely fight it to the end.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Peruvian Dalmatians

My friend (and fellow dalmatian owner) Claudia just got back from her business trip in Peru. We sent her down there for three weeks so that she could help implement our new SAP accounting system.

When she was in the Arequipa office her window had a view of the alley (not the nicest view around).But look at the Dalmatians!

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Airwolf - a great 1984 CBS production. It was a wonderful show and it starred the talented Jan Michael Vincent. The basic story was brilliant. It was a basic story of a helicopter with guns on it. So right there you know the possibilities for the show were endless. Plus it starred Ernest Borgnine, who I love. Such a character. And it was filmed in Vancouver (well, for season 4 anyways)

Alice Lake

Just got back from a fantastic camping trip at Alice Lake, near Squamish, with my brother Sean's family, and his inlaws, Bev and Rupert. I haven't been camping in 25 years! I had to go to Mountain Equipment Co-op and get a sleeping bag and a thermarest (a self inflating air-matress!) Rupert owns a camper trailer, and Sean brought up a 4 man tent and I was in a little 2 man tent with liz. The campsites are huge at Alice Lake and it's very private. It's a beautiful setting and so close to Vancouver.
Rupert is retired and now does a lot of hiking and camping. He took us on a nice 3 hour hike around the lakes then back to Alice Lake beach for some suntanning and swimming.
Camping was a lot more fun than I remember and next week liz and I will go up to Nairn Falls near Pemberton.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I take the occasional liberty at work. I have even defied the No leaving the building during work rule and in fact have crossed the alley, gone to the Royal Centre Starbucks and got a Soy Chai Latte. Lately I have ventured even further from the office and went to the 7-11 at the corner of Thurlow and Alberni to get a Slurpee. And I’ve now done that trip a few times. It’s not a problem yet (like my Slurpee addiction when I was a teenager. – “Mom, can I borrow the car to go um, study at Wally’s?” Then I would drive down to 7-11 and get my Slurpee fix.)
No one is going to comment if I have a Starbucks cup on my desk. Well, they might say, “where’s mine?” And I don’t really have a good response to that question actually, other than my vacant look. But I digress.
If I have a Slurpee on my desk I risk getting discourteous comments from passers by. Comments such as “good training food”, or “what about your Reflux?”. As an aside, if you drink your Slurpee too quickly you will get a headache. I have it on good authority, (the guy that sells Slurpee machines to ARCO gas stations) that you can get rid of the headache by pushing your tongue to the roof of your mouth and sucking. I have never tried this trick because as a skilled Slurpee drinker I do not get those headaches. Nor would I want to subject myself to one, even for the sake of science.
Two things come to mind about improper Slurpee enjoyment at the office. You should not rub the straw against the round top thus creating an eek eek eek eek eek noise. This is very annoying to coworkers. Furthermore, you should be careful when you are nearly finished the drink not to actually make that slurp sound. It’s just impolite.
I'm still watching my sugar intake and I really don't want to know how much sugar is in a Coke Slurpee, but I'll bet it's a lot.

Monday, June 19, 2006


I want to learn how to wink in a business setting. That is, instead of saying “hello, how are you” all I need to do is wink. It’s not that I’m lazy or dislike talking but I think this is a skill that I would like to acquire. Why do I think this is a good idea? Because there are two gentlemen on my floor that acknowledge me by winking and it kind of looks cool.
I practiced on the weekend but my first attempts came across as forced. I was using too many facial muscles and it just didn’t look good. Plus I don’t have the timing down at all. I mean, how long should I close my eye? I have come to the conclusion that the wink has to be very relaxed and it has to last long enough for the person to see it.
It’s funny that I never learned how to wink in elementary school. I distinctly remember where, when and how I learned to blow bubbles with gum. (not that I’m proud of that – in fact it is one of my pet peeves). The winking could have come in handy for my grade 4 crush on Cheryl Cunningham.
Perhaps I’m not old enough to get away with the business wink. I don’t want people to think that I’m odd - that would defeat the coolness factor.
Is it worth it? It would actually be pretty useful in an athletic setting. For instance if I were walking around transition area and I saw someone but I forget their name – I could wink. That would really be handy.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


I collect P.G. Wodehouse hardcover books. The first one I bought was when I was in Cairns, Australia in 1997 when I went into a used book store and just happened across it. The book was Uneasy Money and it only cost $2.00 Australian. However, this was definitey Easy Money! It's worth at least $100.00 Canadian! I'll never sell it though. This edition was printed in 1934 and it came with the cover.
When I came back to Canada I decided to start looking for other Wodehouse hardcovers. They are pretty hard to find, but they are out there. I have about 20 original hardcovers now. Of course I have most of the paperback copies of his books.
Hugh Laurie was the definitive Wooster, and he is now better known as Dr. House on the popular TV show, House. So funny to hear him with an American accent.
If they ever show the series Jeeves and Wooster on PBS again I highly recommend that you watch it. Very funny.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Dream Project

I was looking at my brother's site today and had a flood of memories. Sean was talking about the Lotus Super 7 he has always wanted to build and I was reminded of my Kit Car project dream.
I am a pretty good car mechanic and have lots of patience for skinned knuckles and stripped bolts. My dad taught me many of the tricks (such as leverage) and which tools to use for which job.
I know how to change an engine or transmission and am not intimidated by the complexity of it. On older cars these tasks are actually quite easy.
Anyway, I always wanted to build a Kelmark GT.

You could purchase this car in various stages: the fibreglass body only was the least expensive way to do it. Then you would buy a Volkswagon Beetle, modify the chassis and use the VW running gear (engine and transmission)to power it.
Or you could buy the body and a tubular chassis. Then you just supply the running gear. Or you could buy it preassembled - but that was really expensive back in 1977.
I sent away for the information package and then planned how to build it. The Vega V8 engine looked like a much better choice than the puny VW 1600cc engine and they were easy to find.
But project Kelmark never really got anywhere especially when I bought my Mach 1. I did end up putting a fibreglass front end on the Mach 1 and that saved a coupld of hundred pounds. But it still wasn't really a sports car like the Kelmark.
There's one for sale in Winnipeg on EBAY! hmm.
Body and Tubular chassis!
If I had free time I would seriously consider it. Sean still has all Dad's mechanic tools in his garage.

Friday, June 09, 2006


Good Lord! Dull is the worst label you could give me! I have no problem with the other criticisms. But Dull! Sigh.
Anyway, here is a glimpse of my exciting life:

I have 21 dress shirts. But one of them is like Jerry Seinfeld's "Pirate" shirt and I don't wear it too often, so lets say I really only have 20 dress shirts. I actually like ironing - it gives me a sense of accomplishment. So Laundry Night (typically tuesday) is a pretty exciting evening for me.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Oyu Tolgoi Update

My current project is a Copper mine in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. No, I am not going there, although I am sure there is an ex girlfriend or two that hopes that I do. The project is continuing well even though the Mongolian government is being difficult and just slapped a windfall profit tax of 68% on copper and gold once prices pass a certain threshold. I agree that countries such as Mongolia should get their "fair share" from foreign companies working in their countries. But I dislike governments that threaten Nationalization. It causes too much instability.
Not much to do and no scenery - it looks like a Mars landscape. It would be good training for Marathon Des Sables I suppose.

The site is looking pretty good these days - they even built a basketball court.
Not quite as nice as the swimming pool we built in Indonesia.
I couldn't imagine living there for a year.

Monday, June 05, 2006

What is a Swim Parka

No, you don't wear it while swimming. It isn't made of neoprene, nor is is lycra.
It's a long overcoat with a fleece lining. It is a very important piece of clothing to wear after getting out of an outdoor pool such as Kitsilano, or Second Beach pool when it is cold out. Here in British Columbia it can get still get cold at night at this time of the year. Not cold like in Ottawa but still maybe below 10 degrees.
Or I can wear it during a swim meet when I'm waiting around for an hour between swim events.
What's so great about it? It's got pockets and a hood and it's water resistant and warm. Sadly it's just not fashionable with the speedo stripe and all. Swimmers will appreciate the beauty of this jacket, but not many others would. It's not skimpy, but still I may be self conscious wearing it in public. But I have set a precedent by wearing my Nike jacket to work and therefore will likely wear the Parka downtown as well.

Jimmy Pattison and Me.

I now have a connection with Jimmy Pattison. For those not from British Columbia, Mr. Pattison is a famous British Columbia Entrepreneur who is credited with making our Expo 86 a success. He also built the Save On Foods grocery store chain and created Urban Fare, the high end gourmet food experience store.
Anyway, what do Jimmy Pattison and I have in common? Jimmy Pattison gets his hair cut at the Executive House Barbers in my building! I may have sat in the same chair as Jimmy Pattison!
By the way, the barber did a pretty good job; he worked on me for half an hour, and then gave me a scalp and shoulder massage all for $19.00!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Dixie Chicks vs. Les Claypool

I would just like to clarify that I am NOT a Country Music fan, and therefore do no particulary like the Dixie Chicks. In fact I would probably mock any of my male friends that admitted they liked the Dixie Chicks.
And the Dixie Chicks were causing me a lot of grief and anxiety this morning. I ordered tickets to see Les Claypool (of Primus fame) through Ticketmaster and wanted them delivered in the mail. But the tickets never came and the concert is on Monday! I tried to phone Ticketmaster this morning but kept getting a busy line! Being unable to get through on the phone drives me crazy - and I was very anxious about getting replacement tickets. So I stormed down to the Ticketmaster main office to demand a resolution. It was then that I learned that Dixie Chicks tickets were just on sale and that was why Ticketmaster was particularly busy and that was why I couldn't get through on the phone.
Yeah, I know Rick Rubin produced their album - but still - it's country and I don't like it. Who goes to something like that anyways? Not me, even if liz asks! (Nor will I ever go to a modern dance event - just too painful!)
Anyway after a bit of wrangling with the Ticketmaster agent she produced two replacement tickets to Les Claypool! Yay!
The Tickmaster person was actually very helpful and I didn't have to have a temper tantrum to get what I wanted.
Les WHO? you are probably wondering. I realize I have eclectic music tastes, partially thanks to my brother Sean, and to CITR radio and I really like the alternative music scene.
Les Claypool is the leader and bass player for Primus. Primus WHO? They are a goofy progressive metal/funk jam trio and they wrote the theme song for the Cartoon show South Park.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sunday Visit

I went out to visit Plum, who lives with the lovely -ex Tracey.
Plum and I went on a long walk to our favourite park in Centennial Beach. This walk sure brought back a lot of memories. I've run all five of my dals through this park countless times.

After visiting Plum I drove over to my brother Sean's house and had a nice visit with him.
Sean and Conner.

We went out for a walk around the block and I pushed the buggy.

Looking after babies is so easy. Perhaps I'll have a chat with the fabulous liz and see what her thoughts on babies are.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


As most of my readers know, I've been married before and since then I have had some issues regarding commitment. I am presently dating the fabulous Liz and have expressed my fears around commitment with her and she has been understanding. We have discussed that this is probably a very common thing to occur after a marriage doesn't work out the way you expected. The other day though, I found myself challenging my perhaps knee-jerk declaration that "I have commitment issues" when I looked around at Liz's home and noticed all of my stuff lying around- tooth-brush, lots of sweaters, hoodies, socks, underwear, water bottle, skis, camping gear. I have her keys on my key chain, she has my apt keys, I loaned her my car all last week and I had hers, and most significantly, she knows not only my interac card's PIN but she also knows my passwords for all things. Maybe I've just gotten caught up in the 21st century's hype re commitmentphobia and my "commitment issues" are what I think I should be feeling but are not actually what I truly feel. The more I examine my behaviors, the more it seems that I do not have commitment issues and that I should go against the current trend and commit to NOT having commitment issues; but maybe I better think about it first.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sugar Free Blues

I've been fairly bad with my diet the last couple of months and I was going crazy with the ju jubes and Coca Cola. There were highs and lows with the insulin swings and I shouldn't be eating that stuff because of my reflux symptoms therefore something had to give. So I started a new "diet" last week - the no sugar diet. I will stay on this diet for one month which should be long enough to stop the cravings. I am trying to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and also eating carbohydrates such as cereal and pasta, but I have given up any food with added sugar such as cinnamon buns, carrot cake, candy, Coke, etc.
Liz is a very healthy eater and I have been getting much encouragement from her. So far we have lasted nine days on this diet and wouldn't be surprised if I have lost a few pounds.
I did cheat once by "mistake" when I was trying to pick off some melted chocolate that looked really disgusting (because of the coins embedded) in my Mercedes Console and put a small piece in my mouth just to see what it would taste like.
I also cheated in my dream last night. In my dream I was eating a Custard Danish in a restaurant and the waiter came up and asked "May I tempt you with some Ice Cream?" and not wanting to be rude I replied "Yes, please." Just then I woke up. It was so real! I remember being able to taste the Custard Danish.
My Birthday is coming up so I'm allowing myself one more "cheat" day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Other Liver Spot

I have owned two Liver Spotted Dalmatians.
Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (also known as Plum) and Sunny.

Sunny was, of course, an unwanted dalmatian (still lots of them around) but I don't even remember how I heard about him. I think he was in the Delta SPCA. I already owned 2 dalmatians, so I certainly didn't need another one, but it just seemed right at the time.
He is a great dog, but he and Whistler didn't get along. Whistler liked being the Alpha dog and he fought with Sunny.
I had Sunny for a couple of months and he was a terrific running dog. But the Whistler/Sunny fighting wasn't acceptable so I gave Sunny to some neighbours in Tsawwassen. Sunny has since moved out to a beautiful farm in Chilliwack where he has tons of room to run.

For the new readers, in the last fifteen years I have owned 5 Dalmatians.
A.J. (Female - about 5 when I got her from the Delta SPCA)
Jasper (Male - Original name Jazz but his musician owner couldn't keep him. I ended up giving him back to the original owner because he barked all day long and it bothered my neighbours the Davenports)
Plum (Still doing well at 13 years. She is on Cartrophen which has helped her mobility immensely)
Whistler (Male - He had a hard life with previous owners and suffered from epilepsy and kidney stones, but he loved living with me)
Sunny (Male - Wonderful dog but didn't get along with Whistler)

But the next dog will be a deaf Great Dane. Why a deaf one? Because I like to take care of the animals that need a little more help.
Check out the Deaf Dane Rescue in my links section to see how cute those guys are.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


You can't see the mold, but I know it's there.

I have finally cultured some bacteria at my desk. Unfortunately it is not on the McDonalds Hash Brown which is still looking pretty fresh in my top drawer. (I bought the Hash Brown on April 7)
This culture is in my Protein Drink Mixer. I usually mix the protein powder with water but lately I have been using 2% milk. And I have recently learned the secret of adding TANG flavour crystals to the protein powder to give it that extra zing.
But since I forgot to clean out my Protein Drink Mixer over the weekend the mixer is looking a little unclean. I guess the combination of Milk, TANG, and Protein Powder is a good growth medium. Who knew?
I've tried to wash the mixer but it still doesn't smell very good. Maybe I'll take it out to UBC and Autoclave it. Or maybe I should just buy a new mixer for $5.00.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Stuffed Animals

My friend Meander asked if anyone had a teddy bear from their childhood. My Grandmother brought this guy over from England and gave him to me in 1961. He is a Chiltern bear. Not collectible since Scamp (our Boston Terrier) has eaten half his face and one ear, but I still keep him around.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Jersey Collection

One Jersey? No, you need more than one.
Here is my current Bike Jersey Collection.

My Oldest Jersey - Shaftebury Brewery
Tim Wittig from the tri club started the brewery in 1987 and he sold it to Sleemans in 1999. It's a cool jersey and kids really like the bee.

My Triathlon Club Jersey (old logo)

Rocky Mountain is a Bike Company in Vancouver

Of course you need a "Canada" one if you ever race overseas or in the States.

And you need a long sleeve one for the cold days. Sometimes you don't want to use the arm warmers.

I really like the colours of the Campione one. Joe Donahue wants me to give him this jersey because it matches the colour of his bike - but no way.

Race Jersey

Fun Jersey - fits in with the Tri Buddha philosophy

Generally, I disapprove of short sleeve bike jerseys, but on a really hot day you need one.

I went to SFU for my Masters so it's kind of sentimental.

My "one-piece" Racing Suit. I can't get away with wearing it this year. Maybe if I drop 10 pounds I'll model it. You have to have a hot body to wear that one.