Saturday, September 26, 2009

Granville Island Flame Thrower

Fiona and Jess came over this morning and we took Jocelyn to Granville Island. We stopped to watch this flame thrower guy.

crazy flame thrower guy
crazy flame thrower guy
crazy flame thrower guy
crazy flame thrower guy
crazy flame thrower guy
j is not sure
J wasn't exactly sure what to make of the guy...we think she was a bit bored because not long after this, she fell asleep!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Taiwan - Sun Moon Lake

Postcard from Taiwan from guan

Description: A Wonderland in Taiwan - Sun Moon Lake: Sun Moon Lake was first a small lake which, in the Japanese Colonial Period, was enlarged by collecting water for electricity generating. People visit Sun Moon Lake, strolling and fishing by the lake or taking their time in a boat for teh gorgeous scenery of the lake.

Taiwan - Shui-lien Taroko National Park

Postcard from Taiwan from zxc0530

The Netherlands - Groeten uit de Achterhoek

Postcard from The Netherlands from MamaBabe

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's been seven years...

but we picked up exactly where we left off...

bath tub party
Nine years ago I met Rebecca (second from the left) in Switzerland and we created some havoc together. The picture of us in the bath tub (with Christy and Liz on either end of the tub) is the night before I left Switzerland we had a little party...

Anyway, two years later I went to Australia and spent a couple of weeks with Rebecca in Melbourne. She was here yesterday with her friend Dani - they had just spent nine weeks travelling together and they stopped in Vancouver for a few days. Rebecca was on her way home to Australia today and Dani headed south to Washington and California. But even though it had been seven and a half years since we saw each, Rebecca and I just picked up where we left's so nice to have friends like that. I was so sad to see her leave our apartment tonight - we had such a lovely day together - we walked through Stanley Park and part of downtown, we went for Greek food, we went to MEC, we had birthday cake and we got takeout Chinese and we just had a great time. Amazing how seven years of life have passed and while many things have happened in our lives, it's still comfortable and easy and great.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Step By Step

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

So, when I went back to work, I set a goal of an average of 70,000 steps every week (Monday – Sunday). I chose to set a weekly goal rather than daily goal because some days I knew I’d have a lazy day or I’d drive to work or I would just be low for some reason and some days I’d have super excellent wonderful days. And that happened. When we went to the PNE, my total was 18,121 and the next day when Jocelyn was sick and we spent most of the on the couch together I hit 6,225.

10,000 steps is what everyone should be walking in day. Most people reach between 4,000 and 6,000. Around 6,000 steps most people will gain some health benefit as that’s around 30 – 40 minutes of exercise over the course of the day. 10,000 steps should help promote weight loss.

I knew 10,000 a day would be fairly easy to achieve on days when I work – I walk about 3 km before I even get to my desk with dropping Jocelyn off at day care and then walking from the bus stop to my office.

So now that I’ve been back for four weeks, I figured I should check in and see how I’m doing.

The first week I was back, I only wore the pedometer once, so I’m ignoring that week. Week two I averaged 11,767 for a total of 70,601 0ver six days (I forgot the pedometer on Monday); week three I averaged 14,230 for a total of 99,613 and this week’s first five days I’m already at 71,115.

I think I’m going to readjust and aim for 84,000 steps a week or an average of 12,000 steps a day which might mean going for a walk at lunch time which will have double benefits as it will mean I’m not eating at my desk!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Internet Trolls

So, I read Dooce. It's one of my need-to-check-every-day websites. You can find a permanent link over there on the left.

Personally, I think she's an amazing writer (she being Heather B. Armstrong), she's got a good sense of humour and, well, I enjoy reading her site. It might be a bit voyeuristic of me, but I love getting little glimpses into life at in Armstrong household. For the most part I agree with what Dooce has to say, but if I don't, well, I keep it to myself, because really, just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean you're an asshead.

That's right. Because they don't like Dooce or her writing or her t-shirt or whatever, people trolls send her hate mail and call her things like asshead. Well, she's started a hate mail page that is riddled with ads because hey, why not. (I've added a link over there on the left too.)

What I don't get is why, if you dislike someone's style of writing, subject matter, way of dressing, way of raising her children, dogs, house, chin, whatever you don't just STOP READING. No one is forcing anyone to read anyone else's websites. I have no problem with the advertising on the main and I think it's a very creative and unique money-making plan to cover the hate mail page with advertising. I enjoy my (almost) daily read and why not have ads, this is her source of income after all. And if you really dislike it that much, why oh why oh why would you waste your precious time commenting or sending an email? Just close the browser and move on already.

Anyway, check out the hate page. You'll be surprised at the people out there...or maybe you won't!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

They Work!

Back in May, we got new blinds. We got honeycombed blinds for all the windows with thermal blackout inside bits for the bedrooms. The idea was that the rooms would be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Our bedroom has been really warm lately compared the rest of the house. Jocelyn has been sleeping in a fleece sleeper with a cozy comforter and I have been contemplating sleeping standing up in the shower with cold water running over me because it's been so warm in our room.

But last night I had a brainwave.

We sleep with the windows open in both rooms and with the blinds down a bit to let the air in, but Jocelyn's blinds and the blinds in the living room and dining room get opened every morning before I go to work. I don't always open all of Jocelyn's blinds all the way, but they do get opened. The ones in our bedroom don't ever get opened all the way. The small blind on the open window gets put down part way, but that's it - Alex sleeps much later than I do because of when he gets home and so he doesn't really open the blinds.

So last night I opened them all the way and let the room air for about 15 minutes. And what do you know, I could feel the difference in temperature after...

So the blinds do work. They were holding the heat in the room. Too bad it's a bit too early for that! At least this might mean a lower hydro bill this winter!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Not In Shape For Work!

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

So when I agreed to blog with Stacey, I figured I’d be talking about my daily exercise routine, food and that sort of thing. I thought I’d be musing about how my body is complaining that I’ve started swimming again or how much I like/dislike one of the yoga instructors or how hard it is to eat properly when you’re running after a one year old and working full time. I thought I’d be celebrating that I’m almost to my pre-baby weight, but lamenting that the remaining weight seems to have settled in different places than before.


Not this time. Maybe later we’ll get into that…right now well, right now I need to focus on getting my body into shape for work. Because I’m seriously out of work shape.

And yes, yes I do have a desk job and I do sit at my desk for a large part of my day. But I’m still out of shape for work.

After a year of daytime naps, hanging out with my kid on my comfy couch and wandering the neighbourhood, pushing a stroller, my body is protesting the desk chair lifestyle after only three weeks back at it! My back is complaining, my right shoulder is revolting against my mouse usage and my eyes are voicing their disapproval of my extended computer screen viewing.

Tomorrow I am treating my back and shoulder to a massage and I’ve been setting a timer to remind me to a) stop working and walk around the office a bit and b) look somewhere other than the computer screen (which usually means doing some filing…ugh). I do have to be careful with my back though – almost three years ago I had a serious back injury and I was off work for three months. (You can read about that here.)

So, the poor shape I thought I was in is nothing compared to what my body thinks…I guess that’s one more thing I’ll get to blog about…training my body to enjoy the desk lifestyle!

Kelsey's Ironman Race Report

This is Kelsey's race report from Ironman in Penticton a couple of weeks ago. I talked about it a bit here and here and of course here, but these are Kelsey's own words (edited a bit with her permission). There will be more pictures to come...maybe on the weekend. Kat and Mico are friends of Kelsey's from Australia who also completed the Ironman in Penticton. They are both professionals and it was Mico's first professional race. And when she refers to Busso, she's talking about her first Ironman in Busselton, Western Australia last December. You can read more about that in a whole bunch of previous posts.

Here's Kelsey:

Ironman Canada. In a word: Tough. I will say it three times, tough tough tough.

Early morning of course, we started at 7. Kat, Mico and I walked down to the race together, we were all staying at my friends who conveniently live just off the race course. With over 2600 people starting the race, warmup wasn't really an option. Somehow I found my best friend Vicki's sister in the crowd (probably cause Vic volunteers on the swim crew and told us both the best place to start). Both of us being decent swimmers we headed to the front of the line. O Canada was sung and we were off.

The first 500 meters can only be described as frightening. I was pretty nervous for the swim, with so many people, no seeding and a very shallow lake. Kat gave me some advice (fast arms and be aggressive) and I tried to remember that, but still freaked out a bit. It was unlike any thing else with so many bodies and so little room. It's a given that you'll end up knocking people around and being knocked around, however one guy beside me didn't take too kindly to my accidental elbowing and tried to drown me. No word of a lie, he stopped, took both his hands and pushed down on my shoulder with all his strength. I thought I was about to die. Got out of that mess and soon after it thinned out a bit. There were always bodies around but it was no longer the claustrophobic mayhem.

Out of the water in 1:03:34, good enough for 330 overall.

Onto the bike and off. There's a small climb about 20km into the ride, then it's pretty flat with just a few tiny hills up to the 70km mark. It was through this portion that things started to go wrong. I had a pretty bad headache, felt nauseous, had my hands going numb, blurred vision and lost feeling in my tongue. Didn't know what was going on, I was taking ibuprofen, drinking tons, but nothing seemed to work. When I described it to my sister the next day, she said this is exactly what happens to her when she has a migraine. Interesting.

So the ride proved challenging, as I was struggling to keep food down. Got through the first major climb, Richter's Pass, then you hit some rollers (apparently nicknamed the 7 b*tches, but I really didn't think they were so bad), then into an out and back. Pretty windy, especially on the out and back. Just before that section I got to go by my cheer squad, Team Mulvilove, in all their pink glory, with signs etc. It was awesome.

After the out and back, there is a gradual but constant uphill to the last climb, Yellow Lake. This comes at the 150k mark and that's when the headache went away. I guess with the headache I'd been riding a bit conservatively because I passed a ton of people on the climb. Training last year in Canberra with you all probably helped too. I had a ton of fun on this climb, got more Mulvilove (a bunch of my cousins were at the top of the hill with guitars and tambourines, apparently quite the crowd favourite). Then you do a wicked fast decent down the Penticton (I got over 70k per hour on the downhill).

6:54:19 1858 overall (I have to work on my cycling!!!!!!!)

Into town and out on the run. I really enjoyed the first 5 km, which is through town with lots of spectators. It had started to get real smoky from some forest fires and that pretty much killed my appetite. I was trying different foods at every station, things that had worked at Busso, but nothing seemed to want to stay down. I was already in a bit of a calorie deficit from the bike, so this was bad news. Started to walk a lot. And once you hit the 8km mark, there are no spectators...I started to really appreciate Busso's three laps for that. I started to talk myself out of the race, it was hot, the smoke was making it super hard to breath, I wasn't having any fun....

Finally made it to the turn around. My aunt and uncle were out there with my cousins, that was good and I got my special needs bag. In it, a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie. Golden. It did take me 8km to eat the whole thing, in tiny tiny tiny bites, but once it was down I could pull myself out of the rut and ran the last 15km in.

The last 2km were mostly good, you're right downtown with tons of people. It does involve an out and back right before the finish. You come down by the lake, the finish line is to your right but you have to turn left and run another 800m down the road, turn around and run back. That seems to take forever. And ever and ever.

But I was done. Finally. I had my sea of pink shirts (about 25 at this point, not everyone made it to the finish) waiting for me and that was great. It was so awesome to have such a huge cheer squad, no one had a bigger or better one out there.

Run split was 4:30:36, 667th for that portion.

Total time 12:35:45, 1052 overall. 108th out of 693 women.

Sorry this is so whingey, I wish I could say it was awesome and I had so much fun but I really didn't. I'm happy enough with my finish time, I just wish it had been enjoyable like Busso was. I'll definitely do this race again, with better cycling skills and I am vowing to enjoy it the next go around!

It was awesome having Kat and Mico around, great to have some Aussies around again. Kat got in the money and Mico had a pretty impressive debut, especially his swim and bike. We made the most of Monday, hitting up a bunch of wineries in post race celebration.

Yay Kelsey! And somehow this report doesn't sound like it's coming from someone who has retired from Ironman...I guess we'll see! Oh, and being a migraine sufferer, I am even more amazed at Kelsey's incredible strength and abilities - there's no way you'd catch me taking a walk around the block, let alone doing a 180 km bike ride and a 40-whatever km run on a day when I had a migraine!

Get Fit Chicks! Part Two

Last month I mentioned that my friend Stacey had started a blog about her weight loss-get fit journey. Well, she asked me a couple of times very nicely and I've agreed to blog with her about getting back into shape after having Jocelyn. We are also being joined by Stacey's friend Caroline.

There's an introduction from Stacey below and you can see what we're up to at Get Fit Chicks!

Introducing Caroline and Shannon

I’m very pleased to announce that two of my friends have agreed to join me in blogging their efforts to become Fit Chicks. :)

Caroline is relatively new to working out – she started a program earlier this year. She’ll be blogging about how it feels to be working out, her program and many other things!

Shannon has been working out for awhile but after the birth of her beautiful baby girl will be blogging about getting back in shape post-baby.

Check out their details on our “about the chicks” page!

Welcome Caroline and Shannon!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Braving the B-line

I had an appointment yesterday morning and so I didn't take the B-line to work. I also didn't take the B-line home because our network decided to crash, so T from work dropped me off on her way home so that we could both try to work from home.


I did take the B-line this morning and it took almost twice as long as it usually does. It didn't help that it was pouring rain and felt like winter, but I'm not sure how thrilled I'm going to be about commuting from our place. This is the first time I've had to commute from the new place during term. We moved during the summer and then Jocelyn arrived, so this is a new experience for me.

I'm not even going to get started on the horrific bus etiquette some of my fellow bus riders had today!

NOT looking forward to the ride home. Sigh. Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

It's coming...

It's almost here!

On Monday morning (we were still in Kelowna) I got up and took some laundry out to hang on the line and I swear it smelled like it did on the first day of school when I was a kid. And then in the middle of the night I woke up to thunder and this morning rain. And it wasn't really light at 6:00 when I got up.

Fall is coming.


I'm so excited.

Fall means leaves changing colour and fresh, crunchy apples and chilly air and soup and slow cooker food and darkness at bedtime and cozy beds and tea before bed and I could go on and on and on.

I love the fall. Can you tell??