Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shoulder Update

Saw a physiotherapist last night. She told me to do the following: no swimming, no dragon boating, no push-ups, no bench presses, in fact - no weights with my right arm at all for the next few weeks, I can do yoga - but no poses that put pressure on that arm/shoulder, also I can do these front and lateral arm lifts with a smelly rubber band thing.

Because I'm kind of an impatient person (in case you didn't already know that about me - haha) I asked how long it might take before this healed. In return she asked me how long it's been hurting. My response, about 5 or 6 months. She said, "there's your answer." And then I thought a bunch of stuff I'm not allowed to say here because certain people (Hi Mom & Dad!) might get offended.

Other shoulder updates: got an x-ray done last week and will have some specialist look at that when I see him in DECEMBER (glad I'm not in any hurry ...). Went for a combined osteopath/acupuncture treatment which really seemed to have done some good up until the visit with the physio yesterday when all the tests I was made to perform aggravated the shoulder a whole lot. So much that I even followed orders and iced my shoulder even though all I wanted to do was put heat on it and I'll do the same until the physio tells me I can add heat again.

Stupid ice. It's not bad enough that summer's over and that means winter's coming, now I have to purposely make myself cold. Poop.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

End of another season

As tired as I've been, as sore as I've been and as much complaining and whining as I've done over the last few months, suddenly the dragon boat season is over and I'm wondering where the last 4 months have gone.

This weekend was our last dragon boat competition of the 2010 season. We ended on a bittersweet note. While we did improve a lot this season, we didn't quite meet our goals. For me though, I do feel very proud of what we did accomplish. That we improved overall at the competitions (no final B this year) and are becoming more consistent as a team, this I think is worth remembering. We beat some good teams and some great teams, this is also worth remembering. That we still have a long way to go is also very important and I think will help to keep us motivated during the long winter training months ahead.

For now, I am resting all week. No gym, no running, no biking, nothing. And I am already missing the energy and excitement of my team members, and the adrenaline of a race.

Wait until they see us next year ...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hotel Review

If you're ever in the Toronto area and need a budget hotel, do not stay at Casa Mendoza. Here's my review (see review by StephanieT7 - that's me!).

Oh yeah, and a few things I forgot to mention:
No bedside table, just some leftover wooden box, painted brown, with barely enough room to fit the telephone. One bedside reading lamp (for 2 beds?). No overhead lighting, just a seris of misplaced lamps with bare bulbs hanging from them. No suitcase rack/holder, so there was no place to set my bag down except the filthy floor. There was one chair - it was a rickety old wooden bistro chair that had seen better days. I set my bag on that and wouldn't have trusted it to actually use it as seating for a person. There were 2, what shall I call them ... coffee tables? One was a piece of log, the other was another leftover piece of painted wood that had been nailed together.

Right, think I'm done.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Great White North Challenge

Update: final results from GWN are posted here.


What a weekend! In some ways it was not what I was expecting, in others it more than met my expectations.

The hotel, pardon me, motel (that should've tipped me off): did not meet expectations. Apparently some people don't understand the definition of clean/safe. Old rusty, squeaky (double, not queen) beds, sliding doors to balconies that don't lock, holes in the wall directly to the outside, ants in the bathroom, old toilet pipes coming out of the wall, broken toilet paper holder, no towel holder, mirror sitting on the floor, SHAG "rug" ... the list goes on.

The races: exceeded expectations. Competition was tough. We raced some of the best races ever but it still wasn't good enough to make the cut for Final A. We finished 2nd in Final A consolation, which means 8th place overall. The team was hoping for a top 12 finish, we achieved that. Some were hoping for a top 6 finish, we didn't achieve that. This does not surprise me.

I hate being the voice of doom on the team but I just don't think we're there yet as a team. We still have a fair number of new people on the team, whose technique isn't the same as the rest of us, and our timing is still a big problem for the team.

Continuing, the race site: met expectations. It was big, there were lots of trees for shade, lots of portable toilets with portable sinks, decent selection of food stands, some shopping, good places to watch the races, good marshaling area, great announcer (dude must have no voice left by the end of the weekend).

Team spirit: met expectations. Although we, for the most part, did stay together, it felt like there was a little bit of team spirit missing. I wonder if that had any effect on our races, or if it was as a result of our performance. It's hard to say. Funnily enough, after all the brou-ha-ha in Ottawa about needing to have a team dinner, it was decided that we wouldn't do that in Toronto. What ended up happening of course, was that 22 of us had a most-of-the-team dinner, even if it did mean eating at 3 separate tables. The table I was at (with 12 of us) was the best (of course!) we had a great meal together and then went out for dessert afterward to the fanciest bubble tea place I have EVER seen. Apparently they take their bubble tea a whole lot more seriously in Toronto than here in Montreal.

All in all I had a great weekend. It was sunny, it was not hot but it didn't rain (ok, a few little drops but not enough to complain about). Any plans to retire from competitive dragon boating are naturally gone, again. What is it about competing, or more precisely losing, that makes me want to paddle harder, train harder, compete more??? Whatever it is, I want more and next weekend I'll get it. Last competition of the season, Quebec Cup will take place at the Basin. See you there!

Friday, September 03, 2010

New favourite song

Have been listening to this song over and over and over again for the past week. Can't get enough of it. In fact, the entire album is pretty awesome.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Lack of updates

Vacation got away from me and never did have the time/energy/will to fuss about with wifi connections, etc. so didn't update again while I was away.

I'm home now and have posted a huge whack of pictures over here. There's also a second set for the Zurich Street Parade. Have a look if you like and enjoy!

Oh yeah, and for the record - my goal to eat cheese and chocolate every day while I was away ... Successful!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Slower than molasses

Have just finished downloading today's pictures and would love to get them on to flickr but the wifi is slower than molasses so it'll have to wait. Probably until I get to Yvette's.

A few observations from today. There must be a lot of Indian tourists that come here because up at the Jungfraujoch, there was an Indian restaurant. Bollywood theme. I kid you not. If I'd been feeling a little better, I might've gone there for lunch.

Oh and while I was up there, I took a picture of a woman wearing high-heeled wedge SANDALS. That's getting the Stupid Footwear of the Year award from me.

Went to dinner at an Italian place that advertised pizza (what Italian place wouldn't?). Beside me was a Swiss couple, speaking in Swiss-German and I was able to follow part of their conversation. Across from our two tables was an Asian family. Fair play to them, they ordered in broken English and charades, and were understood. Did they speak/understand any German? I have no idea. When their food came, they started eating in a way that may appear rude to us white folk, but is in all likelihood perfectly normal in their culture. Well, the (Swiss) woman beside me started commenting on how like a pig one of the people across from us was eating. It was on the tip of my tongue to tell that woman that those people would probably think the same of her, if they saw her eating their food in their country, so maybe she should be a little more open and a little less judgmental. My German not being what it was in 1989, I said nothing. Never mind the fact that her conversation was heard by more people than just her dinner partner.

After dinner I went for a walk through town and around the big park. On one side of the park I came across nearly a dozen Swiss men all wearing these blue shirts with little edelweiss flowers and black caps with the typical Swiss flower border. They were walking through the park together, pulling a kid's wagon piled high with Swiss teddy bear cows and a ghetto blaster playing some music. They were drinking beer and just walking. What was all that about?

Yesterday when I got on the train to come here, the first language I heard was French. Not any French though, Quebec French! I'd just crossed an ocean to hear the familiar Swiss-French accent and Swiss-German and what do you know, the first thing I hear is a couple from Quebec. And again another couple at dinner last night. Nothing today though and I've been keeping my ears open!

And finally, it's only two days but still ... you'll be pleased to know my goal to eat cheese and chocolate every day that I'm here is on track so far! I know I am!!!

Top of Europe (or Montreal in January, hard to tell the difference)

As tired as I was last night, a good night’s sleep was not in the cards. I could not keep my eyes open a minute past 9pm so went to bed thinking I’d surely sleep until 5am or so. Not quite. Was wide awake 2:30-4:45am. My plan to get up early and catch one of the first trains up to the Jungfraujoch did not happen. I ended up dozing until the kid in the room next door started slamming the door and screeching at his parents, just before 8am. Isn’t that just what you want to wake up to? No? Well, ME NEITHER!

Had a lovely Continental-style breakfast. Fantastic coffee, orange juice, yummy grainy breads, cheese, jams, yogurt, fresh fruit salad. Everything I needed.

Headed out to the train station in a bit of a drizzle but hoped things would improve weather-wise by the time I got up to the Jungfraujoch. They did and they didn’t (it was rainy and cloudy this morning and has been clearing up since early afternoon). When I met the travel agent yesterday, she explained that instead of taking the same train route there and back, I could do a loop. Go one way through Grindelwald and the other way through Lauterbrunnen. So that’s what I did. On the way up to Grindelwald this morning the clouds were quite low but gave a fantastic dramatic view of trees and mountain tops peeking through. I left Interlaken at 9:05am and got up to the Jungfraujoch at 11:22am. The last couple of kilometers are all done in tunnels and you have no idea where you’re going except up. By this time I had all 5 layers of clothing on and I’m glad I did. I would’ve just about killed for a proper hat (but my hood did great in a pinch) and gloves. The Jungfraujoch was packed with tourists. And according to my very unscientific survey (i.e. people watching) Asian tourists outnumbered Indian, European and North American. First I visited the Sphinx area. One side of that was closed off due to falling ice. There was a tonne of snow up there! It was still very cloudy and extremely windy. But there were a few mountain peaks here and there. As much as I knew you needed a clear day to see the mountains, I decided this was my chance and am glad I did it anyway. Next I wanted to walk through to the glacier but that was closed off due to threat of avalanches. Back through the tunnels and over to the Ice Palace.

Now I have to mention that I have never been at a high enough altitude to experience altitude sickness and I haven’t the slightest idea how high you need to go to experience it, but today I really think I was having some trouble with the altitude. Not long after leaving the Eigerwand station (2865m) I started feeling dizzy, this was still while we were on the train, and my eyes hurt. Thought maybe just a bit of jet lag, being overtired. Right, so start wandering around the Top of Europe (3454m) and the longer I was there, the worse I felt. By the time I got to the Ice Palace section, I felt nauseous as well, could feel my heart beating like crazy, and just felt light-headed. Nothing I’ve ever felt before. Weird. So I slowed down and took my time. After the Ice Palace, went to the Plateau area. But here again, a large part of this was closed. You could go out and walk for maybe 50m on the snow. After that it was closed off. It was sooo windy there! Everybody was surprised by the amount of snow, the wind and how little we could see. Didn’t stay long. Back inside, thankful for some warmth, I bought a few postcards and made my way back to the train. Had originally planned to stay there for lunch, but felt so wrong, I decided I’d be better off heading back sooner rather than later. In all I only spent an hour up there. Yes, it was an expensive hour but I was happy to be heading back down and hoped I would start feeling better soon. I was right. By the time we got back to Kleine Scheidegg, I already felt miles better. My eyes had stopped burning, I wasn’t dizzy and my heart wasn’t racing anymore.

From Kleine Scheidegg, I took the train through Wengen and Lauterbrunnen, and finally back into Interlaken. As promised by the timetable, arrived at 2:54pm. Across the street from the station is a Co-Op(grocery store) so popped in there to pick up a ready-made sandwich, a bit of fruit and then ate that as I walked back into town through Casing and Unterseen, following the walking path along the river. That took nearly an hour and by the time I got back into town it had really cleared up quite a bit. It was warm enough that I was even able to take 3 of my layers off! Was able to take a few of pictures of the city without having to worry about my camera getting wet.

Next big decision … where to eat tonight?

Thursday, August 05, 2010


Here I am. Posting from Interlaken. Am staying at Hotel Blume for 2 nights. It’s a small hotel located on a pedestrian only street, about 5 minutes walk from the train station. My room is small but it’s clean, has free wifi access (!), and for just under $100 a night, it’s perfect.

The flight last night was good. Had done my check-in online in the afternoon, so only had to drop off my suitcase and clear security. There was nobody in line!? I was through in no time at all and had to kill a full 2 hours before they even started boarding the plane. Flight left on time and actually arrived a good 40 minutes early in Basel. Collected my suitcase and found my way to the train ticket counter without any bother. Bought my half-fare card and a ticket to Interlaken. Finding everything could not have been easier. The bus was right outside the airport doors and took me directly to the train station. Jumped on the train and was on my way less than half an hour after getting my luggage. The Swiss (perfectionist) part of me looooves how well things like this work.

After checking in at the hotel, dropped off my bags, pulled one of my gift calendars out of my bag and walked over to the travel agent (because of course I printed off directions and have them in my travel binder) to thank her for sorting out my hotel arrangements. While I was there I was also able to buy my ticket for tomorrow’s trip up to the Jungfraujoch – The Top of Europe!

Weather isn’t exactly great right now. Grey and rainy and cold. From the weather reports, it looks like it snowed up in the mountains today. But it’s looking good for tomorrow and Saturday!

On my way back to the hotel I wandered around town a little and figured out how to get back and forth from a few key locations. Going to have dinner at the Mexican restaurant located in the hotel. Am feeling the time difference, even though I did “sleep” for nearly 5 hours on the plane. Figure if I can make it until 9pm, I’ll catch a good night’s sleep and be ready bright and early tomorrow for some fresh mountain air!

Am so excited and happy to be here at last, after so many months of planning.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Unbelievable but true! We won 1st place in Premier Division Final A, 500m! That means a beautiful, fantastic, wonderful GOLD medal for each of us and a fancy trophy for the team to keep until next year.

In the 250m we didn't do nearly so well, finishing only 4th or 5th, I believe. We had an open lane and the wind did nothing but push us back the whole race. That hurt.

In the 100m "Best of Fest" face we raced against 5 other mens teams and lost. To be expected, I suppose, but I'd just like to mention that whichever boats were in lanes 3 and 4, they were well ahead of the pack on the start. Cheaters.

And finally, my old womens team, needed me back for a few races too, so I sat in and we were able to finish first place in Womens Division C 500m. So that was pretty awesome too!

It was a beautiful weekend. Hot, sunny, good friends, lots of laughter and GOLD medals!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Day one results: two 500m races, both with a 2:09-something. Not a 2:06 but still enough to make it into FINAL A on Sunday!!!

Also paddled a 500m with my old women's team. 2:28 - ouch. But with this community team there's no pressure to perform. Phew.

Dead beat, heading to bed with some Advil.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wanted: New shoulder

This pain in my shoulder is getting to be more and more of a problem. Thought my swim training was lagging a bit so decided this morning would be as good a day as any to get back in the pool. Discovered that I can't rotate my arm at all without huge amounts of pain and a weird clicking noise in the shoulder. This can't be good. Stopped after 10 minutes. Crap workout. Not sure what this means for the triathlon in September. I know it's only 750m but right now I can't even do 100m without wanting to rip my shoulder out.

Have made an appointment to see an osteopath but could only get a slot in late August.

Good news: only 22 days until I leave for vacation!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Peas: 1, Lentils: 0

Tried a new salad last night to eat for my lunches this week. Made with quinoa, green lentils, argula, peppers, feta, plus herbs and a salad dressing. All stuff I like. So I started and while the lentils were cooking, I noticed a weird smell, like, not a lentil smell, but didn't think too much of it. Finished cooking the lentils, the quinoa and threw all the ingredients together. It looked OK but the lentils looked a bit bigger than I thought they should. Still didn't think too much of it.

Until ...

I woke up this morning at 5:15am (5 minutes before my alarm) and thought to myself, "oh yeah, I used dried peas, not green lentils."

Suddenly I wasn't really looking forward to lunch. But I ate it. And it was OK and I didn't barf. I could have cooked the peas a bit longer, but the rest of it was good. The dressing was lovely and the quinoa takes the flavour very well. I will definitely make it again but next I'll make sure I use LENTILS.

Rant over.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ottawa Recap

Where has the week gone? I've been trying to write this update since Monday night and I'm not getting much further along.

Most importantly - the pictures of the weekend can be found here.

In short: Special thanks to Marc for fixing the car window, and to Nick & Sue for letting me relax at their place on Sunday night and all day Monday.

We didn't finish as well as last year, but then last year the future provincial, national and Olympic canoe/kayak champions weren't competing with us (this week I found out that there was a Beijing Olympic medal winner paddling with the #1 team). We had been aiming for a top 8 finish, and ended up with top 5. Very proud of that.

On both Saturday and Sunday we had our shares of challenges to overcome during the races. Strong currents, paddling against the wind (in the 2k, no less), broken paddles, injured paddlers, trash talking from other teams, boats cutting into our lane, rain delays. The only thing that didn't happen was that nobody fell out/off the boat.

All in all, it was quite a weekend. Go Mix!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

No crying in baseball (treatment)

Saw my athletic therapist tonight to work on my right shoulder. Have been having problems with it since about March but after my last visit in April, things were better there for awhile. Since Saturday though, it's been far worse. To the point where I'm actually carrying around a bottle of Advil with me.

Anyway, saw the therapist tonight and he poked and prodded and rubbed and made me do a bunch of different exercises to tell me ... umm ... I swear, I was listening intently to what he was saying but really, what do I know about muscles and bones and stuff? Nothing. So - there are these muscles that make up your rotator cuff (?) and some of those are tight and one of them is m-e-s-s-e-d up. Probably from too much paddling, training, whatever. This one little one in particular is under part of some bone and along the top and it's rubbing the something or other. (Isn't this helpful all this technical talk?) Anyway, it's no wonder it's been so painful and that I'm having trouble doing push-ups, bench presses, etc.

The short of it is: I did not cry during the treatment! I did ask how many people he made cry every week. He said one or two and I determined I would not be one of those pansies. All I could think of was Tom Hanks in that girl baseball movie saying, "There's no crying in baseball!" Well, there was no crying in treatment for me. So there, sadist-therapist guy :P

I will have to go back twice next week to work on it though and just the thought of it right now scares me (as I sit here with my deliciously cozy hot water bottle on top of my shoulder.)

No paddling for me this weekend. We're having our 2nd dragon boat initiation day at the Basin. If you want to see what dragon boating all about, come over at 11:00am on Saturday. $45 gets you in, we supply life jackets and paddles, get you trained up on technique, have fun in a couple of races, door prizes and a fun post-day 5 à 7. See you there, rain or shine!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Oh the pain

If you haven't already seen the pictures of the fantastic (because really, there is no other word to describe this) bruise I got paddling on Saturday, check out my new set of bruise pictures here.

Saturday's race was good. Not great but still good. We finished 4th overall. So no medal, no glory - but still, out of 45 teams, it's not too bad either. And if you consider that we have 12 new people on the team, it really isn't that bad at all. But I'm kinda greedy now with the glory of winning and didn't get what I wanted. Oh well.

The competition on Saturday consisted of one 1000m, one 500m and a 250m race. As I paddled in the first race, I could feel pressure on my hip and was a little uncomfortable but didn't feel too bad. As we started warming up for the 500m race, I could feel more pain in my hip but didn't really pay much attention to it until we finished the race when I had trouble moving my leg and standing up. When I went to change, I discovered my hip was already bright red and purple with bruising. It was throbbing and obviously swollen. Luckily, I got rotated off for the last race because I'm not entirely sure how I could've done another race in so much pain.

I'm still not sure why I have that bruise. The boats used aren't boats that we use in training practices but they are boats that we paddled in last year at competitions and I never got any bruising then. The only thing I can think of is that the butt pad I sit on is higher than my old one. Maybe I'm just sitting too high on the seat now and that is what's made the difference. I'll have to wait until our next competition to find out though.

In other muscular pain news, the right side of my neck is all pinched, as it the top of my right shoulder. I'm almost positive it's because I sleep too long on that one side and the pillow I have isn't supporting me properly. To help with that I have (a) booked appointment with athletic therapist to get that worked out properly and (b) bought new extra-firm side-sleeper pillow. Hoping that will help.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Have been reading this book on triathlon training and find it super motivating and interesting. And after chatting with my brother Nick over the weekend about the race, training, etc. I decided I'd get my first brick workout in before dragon boat practice last night.

I probably should have picked a cooler day. I probably should have been more aware of what I'd eaten earlier in the day and what I had to eat later. I should definitely have been better hydrated. I should have worn a hat. Lots of coulda, woulda, shoulda.

In the end I biked from home to the Olympic Basin - 10k, then dropped my stuff off as quickly as possible (hello transition!), did a 3k run and had enough time for a 1k cool down walk. But a normal person probably would've stopped there. Not me. I ate a quick 100 calorie granola bar, drank some water and jumped into the dragon boat for an hour of paddling practice. (Our first competition of the summer season is this Saturday!) After that, because I still wasn't finished ... I had an apple and went and did a short 30 minute intense weight training session in the gym with the team. And finally, biked another 10k home again. Boy, the shower I had after all of that was great!

In all I burned roughly 2000 calories last night. That sort of freaked me out. So I drank 500ml of chocolate milk, and was still thirsty, so drank some water and a bit of leftover protein shake, today's pre- and post-workout breakfast snack.

Am going to have to pay better attention to what I eat and drink. And the temperature.

But back to the main point. I did a brick workout! Bike and run. And I lived. The first kilometre of the run was rough. My heart rate was still elevated from biking. I ran a little slower than I normally do because of that but the upside is that my shins didn't bother me at all and they still feel good today. Originally I thought I might do a 4k run but the F1 put a stop to that and it was probably just as well. The temporary stables around the track/basin are up now in preparation for the race in June so I couldn't do a full circle of the basin. That alone is probably what saved me from puking during DB practice - but it was close!

Did a very light workout this morning at the gym. Tried to keep my heart rate between 130-140 but it still went up to 150 on a couple of the intervals. Oh well. I'm taking it easy tonight.

Survived my first brick workout. Yeah, me!


Right, so the pictures from my trip to New Brunswick are up here.

And, as an added bonus, here are a few pictures from Nick, Sue, Darcy & Wesley's visit this weekend.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh yes, I'm home

Arrived back home on Friday night. Saturday had practice, then had to run a few errands. Spent most of Sunday fiddling around with my not-so-new laptop, transferring files and not getting the wireless to work. So although I've downloaded the picture off my camera, I haven't gone through them yet and that means I haven't put them up on flickr yet. But I'll get there.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Acadian Shore

Shediac is about 20 minutes from where I'm staying and was really easy to get to. Arrived there by 9:30am and enjoyed an hour walking up and down Parlee Beach before the rain started.

Tried to find a couple of places that looked interesting in the guide book, but of course, they weren't open yet for the season. One of the places even looked to have burned down during the winter, or was undergoing some kind of renovation. By 11:30 I had made my way to Chez Léo's Fried Clams and ordered a lobster roll. It was great! A bit mayonnaise-y for my taste and I was surprised that the lobster meat was cold - but it was delicious! I should maybe have ordered another one ...

From there I headed back east along the Acadian Shore toward Cap-Pelé and found another great little scenic road to drive along. At Cape Jourimain, I nearly ended up on the bridge to PEI! (Must pay more attention to road signs.) I followed the scenic road most of the way until Upper Cape (now into the Tantramar Region) and stopped a number of times to take a quick picture by the roadside. It was so beautiful. By this time it had been raining on and off since I'd left Parlee Beach and I had had about enough so I headed back to Moncton.

After a late lunch at Cora's, I returned the rental car to the airport and caught the shuttle bus back to the hotel. Feeling a little tired out. Probably from all this fresh sea air! Going to relax for a bit and probably head down to the pool in a little bit.

Had a great weekend! Looking forward to another busy week at work in the Dieppe office and then will be very happy to get back home.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! Sorry I couldn't be there. Hopefully Dad is treating you to something special.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Fundy Coastal Drive

Got off to a great sunny, if cool, start this morning. Made it to my first stop, Hopewell Rocks, by 9am. As I sort of expected, the place was closed. Apparently tourist season here doesn't start until May 17. There was a sign stating that the place was closed and if you entered, it was at your own risk. Sooo ... I entered! And boy, am I glad I did! I spent the next 90 minutes in stunningly beautiful landscape, hiking from look-out point to look-out point and enjoyed the warmest and sunniest part of the day there. I even walked on the ocean floor! Although having the entire place to myself was at first a bit on the creepy side, I got out of my head and started really listening to the ocean, the birds, the leaves rustling in the trees. What an incredible morning! By the time I got back to the entrance there were three other cars pulling up and getting to go do the same thing I'd just done. I was glad I didn't have to share the place with other people (and I'll thank you, Mother, for keeping your remarks to yourself.)

Next I headed to Cape Enrage. Is that the best name ever or what?! Somehow I was driving too fast and missed the exit for it, so ended up heading straight to Fundy National Park and figured I'd stop back there on my way back, which I did.

First of all, Fundy National Park is huge. I only stopped at a couple of the hiking stops. Apparently there's something like 50k of hiking trails! I only hiked about 6k of them. But 6k of rugged and beautiful trails. It was very windy there, clouds had covered the sky and the temperature had dropped. I was glad to have 4 layers of clothing. And still I wasn't quite warm enough. Where did I stop? Hmmm ... let me check my map. I stopped at the Covered Bridge and took a bunch of pictures there. Then on to Plage Point Wolfe Beach, which was just over 1k, there and back. Then on to Matthews Head (4.5k loop), which provided some spectacular views of the Bay of Fundy. And finally on to Herring Cove, which was another short 1k there and back. By this time, the wind had really picked up and I had both my sweat shirt hood and my rain jacket hood pulled tight around my head. I could've used a pair of gloves too!

Finally back on the road, I headed to Cape Enrage, caught the exit this time and made my way up this crazy half paved road. Of course, this place was still closed too. I wanted to walk over to the lighthouse but was so cold by this time that I just couldn't do it. I only took a few pictures from the look-out point and then jumped quickly back into the car. But I can see that it would've been fun to stick around for a little while on a warmer day.

Arrived back in Dieppe just before 5pm starving. During my hike at Matthews Head, I had lunch on the go because there was no food to buy inside the park. After dropping off my bag, camera, etc., I decided I needed pasta. Headed to a fun little restaurant called Graffiti and had a delicious lemon dill linguine with scallops. When I got back to the hotel I finally took advantage of the hotel pool and hot tub. Even better - I had it all to myself. There wasn't a single person there.

Have pretty much decided I'll head to Shediac and that area tomorrow. It's raining now but am hoping it will only be cloudy tomorrow, and maybe just a little warmer, please?

Friday, May 07, 2010

First Week Done

What a week. As excited as I am to go out and explore New Brunswick tomorrow, right now all I have energy for is sitting in my hotel room eating pizza that I ordered in.

It's been a good week at work. We got all kinds of stuff done and I think I finalised a record breaking 100+ invoices to clients in the last 2 days. Insanity. But am proud of everything we did and feel we accomplished a lot this week. Next week should be a little less stressful and I hope to spend less time in the office and more time out in the evening doing stuff.

Pizza's here ...

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Moncton, here I come!

The last thing I was thinking about yesterday morning when I got up was where my next trip would be. I worried about the weather, if I needed my umbrella, etc. Nice banal stuff.

By the time I got to work and started reading through my emails, that had changed. All of a sudden I was wondering if I'd like to try working at another of my firm's offices for two weeks. With a "nothing to lose" attitude, I put my name forward, got my team's approval and somehow, by mid-afternoon, I was the lucky winner of two weeks hard work in Moncton!

In all honesty, with the work that's going on right now in our department and our current staffing problem, I never thought they'd choose me. I know other people applied to go (one in fact, was the guy who works next to me). Why did they choose me? I can think of these reasons: they want someone to get work out? That's me. They want someone who knows her way around the billing system, the time reporting system, the expense reporting system, the client network? That's me. They want somebody bilingual? That's me. They want somebody who works efficiently? That's me. They want quality work? That's me. But that's a lot of other people in my office too, so in the end, I'm still not sure why I got so lucky.

Anyway, ticket is booked, hotel is confirmed and I'll be on my way Sunday afternoon. I had the choice to come home on the weekend but have chosen to stay out there and do some exploring. There are already a couple of things on my "must-see" list: Bay of Fundy (want to see if I can walk on the Ocean floor) and Magnetic Hill (have your car roll up the hill all by itself!). This list will surely get added to while I'm there.

Better make sure to charge my camera batteries. You know I'll take lots of pictures.

I wonder if there's a dragon boat team I could paddle with ...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fitness Test Results

Last night we did an abbreviated fitness test. Only 4 exercises.

Chin-ups: Take a wild guess! Go on ... you know the answer. I did zero. What a surprise :(

Back extension: 4 minutes, 7 seconds. About 30 seconds longer than last time.

Sit-ups: 84 in 90 seconds! This is 10 more than I did in January and 4 more than our coach set as the benchmark.

Sit & Reach: Long story short (involves sitting, reaching, a tape measure, some math), my flexibility is above average.

While I was glad not to spend 2 hours forcing my body to its absolute limits, I must admit I would've liked to see if I'm stronger at bench press, faster at bench row and at sprinter run, and if I can do 50 push-ups in 90 seconds. I think I can but will have to wait to find out.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Found out this morning that my Grandpa died last night. My heart is breaking.



Here are some photos we found in Grandpa's room and some others I found in my photo albums. More will be added as I find them.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

#82 - Check!

#82 - Be the first to borrow a book from the library. Check!

It took me nearly two weeks to realise this but I did it! I was all ready to take this back to the library tonight but when I opened the back cover and realised I was the first person to take it out, I had to bring it back home and take a picture as evidence.

Somehow I've managed to cross three things off my life list this month. How cool is that?!

Friday, March 12, 2010

#90 - Check!

#90 - Buy a lottery ticket. Check!

Today I did it!

Did you know there is no tax on a lottery ticket? Actually, I'm sure there is but this must be the only thing in Quebec where the GST/QST are included in the sales price. Who knew?

Have started keeping track of the items I'm checking off my Life List on flickr, you can check out that set here.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

#50 - Check!

#50 - Bake a soufflé. Check!

I wanted to take a picture of it when it came out of the oven but some friends had just stopped by with their 2 week old baby ... so I had to wait half an hour.

Notes on baking a soufflé: Not as hard as it you might think. Delicious!!!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

#67 - Check!

Was going through my Life List today (thanks for the reminder, Mighty Girl) and have discovered that I can cross another item off my Life List! Woot!

#67 - Have a great big soaker tub and use it weekly.

Well, I moved last June and got the big soaker tub. I don't use it weekly but it's pretty darn close. Yeah me!

Also, am setting myself a deadline on two goals. This month I will cross #50 (Bake a soufflé) and #90 (Buy a lottery ticket) off my list.

I wish with all my heart I could cross #89 (Do 2 pull ups) off the list but it is not so. YET! I am trying very hard at every practice by using the cheater machine (not a technical term, go figure) and also by doing reverse training. It's not helping. YET!


Update March 4 -

Thought of my third goal for this month while I was on the elliptical trainer this morning. Although it's not on my life list it's something I've been needing to get done since last August.

Buy a new rim for bike tire.

Spring is coming. Can't smell it yet but I can see it when I leave work and it's still light. All of a sudden I'm almost feeling light-hearted. Weird.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


No practice today so I tried a recipe I've been dying to try for ages now. Here's the result.

Monday, February 08, 2010

43 Push-ups

Have I mentioned that I can do 43 push-ups in 90 seconds? I know I have. Just not here.

Here are the latest results from the fitness test at the end of January:

Bench press max weight: 105 (same as my best to date)
Bench press reps: 67 reps (7 less than my best to date)
Bench row reps: 95 reps (best ever!)
Back extension: 3:35 (not great but still better than last time - argh)
Sprinter run reps: 228 (1 less than my best to date)
Sit ups: 74 (same as my best to date!)
Push ups: 43 (personal record shattering best ever!!!)
Chin ups: 0. Sigh.

I felt pretty good about the results but not great. I let stress get the better of me that night. Our own team plus another were both doing fitness tests at the same time so the gym was jam packed. You couldn't move and it was crazy loud.

Until our next fitness test (no idea when) I am working hard at the chin ups. Every practice I use the cheating machine (whatever the hell it's called) and I try to do assisted chin ups and also negative training (that's what some of the guys call it - you get into position of a chin up and then release slowly to work the same muscles as you would use pulling up). No success yet but I'm trying.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Summer Plans

Because January is so horrendously long and it's months until the next long weekend, I had to give myself a little lift this last week. A lift in the form of summer vacation plans. After much searching and about a dozen calls back and forth with my travel agent, I managed to get a return flight to Basel, Switzerland, in August for just over $1,000, taxes and everything included. Rather pleased with that.


Meant to post this last weekend. I forgot.

Now I can move on to complaining about the horrifying cold. It was -33C with the windchill when I left the house at 5:30am. That was not funny and quite painful.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming.