Monday, August 31, 2009

2weeks1gather Article "If I were a book ..." + Stressful Day

Having slugging it out with Margaret Atwood's "Survival - A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature", I finally completed and posted my 2weeks1gather article on the due date Aug 30, 2009 (see Lotusandcedar). Was I ever tired today zzzzzzz !!!

Anyway, I picked up K at Trail Head after work hours and we went to the gym at 6 pm only to find out J was at the Jewish Recreational Centre !!! We left the gym early. K had some "comfort" food at Dick's to console the stress and disappointment. I dropped K off and went back to the gym to finish my exercise.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Miserable Sunday Weather

The weather had turned cold and rainy since last Friday. It's hard to believe, but I turned the heater on last night. The day time high was in the teens, and at night single digit !!! We had a long cool spring, tornado weather in August, and now this. I feel robbed. Anyway, complaining abt the weather is very Canadian.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Machine-Human Interfacing

The Y Gym was re-opened Saturday Aug 29, 2009. Finally, I no longer had to do my weight training and machine-aided aerobic exercises in little rooms. But my favourite in-door track (16 rounds to a mile) would be replaced by one half its size :(

I tried out the brand new machines. They were not bad once I had figured out how to use them. As well, the body which had been conditioned by the old machines, would need re-adjustments, a process that I called "machine-human interfacing".

Mom II

We went to Lincoln Field again and there were hardly anyone there today. Yeah !!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mom I

I went w Mom to Lincoln Field but was advised to come back at 09h30 on Saturday. She said the suggested time would be too early. Okay Mom, let's try 11h30.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Last Zumba lesson

We had a small group this evening in the Fitness Room for Women, as the Y gym itself was under renovation. K didn't come and wouldn't continue with the next session :(

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Marathon Training - Farlek Run

I showed up in a crowded Running Room with over 30 people milling around. There were the parents with their young kids for their first family run, beginners who would like to run but would likely walk towards the end, and veteran runners with belts decorated with gel packs like ammunition around their waists.

When it was time to head out, I found I was the only one in the marathon group. The instructor was a twenty something young man who was in top shape. I preempted by making statements that began with "I used to ...." and sprinkled it with " ... but not anymore (grin!)" It worked !! Well, actually he was a nice guy and would have let me run at my own pace anyway.

So the two of us ran all the way out to the Ottawa River parkway, did a 10 K loop around the bicycle path and I finished my one-on-one farlek/interval training in fairly good time - at least that was what I thought.

Back at the Running Room, I caught my breath, gave my "personal trainer" a high-five and thanked him for the run. Upon giving me a smile, he took off like a gazelle. To him, my "hard" farlek training was just a warm-up run for him.

What a Headache

As the Chinese say:

If you have a headache, check your head.
If you have a foot-ache, cure your foot.

In reality, cause and consequence do not always have a simple one-one relationship.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Staycation in "Cuba"

This blog article was posted on Lotusandcedar

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jewish Recreational Centre

I must say the weight machines were not top of the line, but their small 25-metre salt-water swimming pool was quite relaxing during off-peak, laps-swim hours (w/o the crowd and kids thrashing about). The free passes are good for a week.

YMCA/YWCA Renovation Closure

Because of the renovation at the Y, the training session will be held in another recreational centre. The good news is: There is free use of swimming pool and hot tub after !!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dancing lessons on YouTube

I found out there are quite a few good YouTube video clippings that provide dancing lessons from the basic to the competitive styles. Interesting !!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Swing dancing this evening

K and I went swing-dancing 8-10 pm and we quite enjoyed the challenge (see also Aug 22 2009 blog article at Lotusandcedar).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Annual Blood Test & Workout

After going for my annual blood test, I bicycled to 3BAAB and as soon as I parked my bike the sky just opened up. The downpour lasted for almost 15 minutes c/w lightning altho it was not as bad as the weather that had hit Durham and Vaughn in southern Ontario Thursday. I took a good nap before going to the Y at Argyle for a 2-hour weight/machine workout. I am saving my energy for the 18 k LSD run this coming Sunday.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Half-marathon training: Easy Run

The Zumba class was cancelled today. So, I went with the Running Room crowd and did an easy run (abt 60 min, avg 7:15 min/k) via side streets to Woodroffe and then back via bicycle paths to Maitland/Merivale. I even sprinted the last 75 metres !! They plan to do on Sunday an 18 k LSD (w/ 1 in 10, i.e. 1 min walk after 10 min) and then a 20 k the week after, before tapering off in prep for the Army Run half-marathon on Sept 20.

After the run, I went to the Y but found out they closed at 9 pm due to renovation. I managed to squeeze in some sit-ups and machines. For the next 7 days, I will have to use the Y on Argyle.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Half-marathon training: Nine Hills

I spent part of the day finishing the AC's responses to deal w/ issues and procedural options. At 6 pm I went for Running Room's free session and did nine hills (total distance abt 10K avg 7 min/k) w/ the half-marathon crowd. I did not go w/ the full-marathoners cuz they were training for the September race in T.O. and were planning to run to Mooney's Bay 3.5 k away, do 10 hills, and run back. I am just not there yet. By the time I finished my work-out at the Y and grocery shopping, it was almost 22h30.

Embracing Change

SCK called me from Vancouver and we had a one-hour telephone discussion re Embracing Change. All panellists will need to make an approx 1 minute presentation followed by Qs/As from the audience.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Professional Gardener

I have to admit he did a very thorough and professional job of cleaning up and making the backyard look like a public garden downtown. I almost wanted to take a photo of it for the record (while saying to myself: Look, here is the standard, try to keep it up eh?)

Today, I committed myself to running the half-marathon. Went to the Y for weights and machines, plus an hour on the Elliptical (max 139 bpm only). Bought Mediterranean and bison burgers with home fries for supper!!

I looked at my Sept and Oct calendar: Will be busy !!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Backyard Jungle Issue

Today in btwn rain showers, I managed to mow the front and back lawn as well as taking down some of the thistles and junk plants in the backyard. The air was 30+ and with the high humidity it felt like 40 deg C. I was drenched in sweat !!! Hopefully, my effort would reduce the overall cost of hiring the professional gardener. The backyard jungle issue was dealt with.

Went with K to Y for personal training session in the evening. Did not go to Dick's after. Went to bed at around 1 am.

Dealing with Issues and Allergy

I did not sleep well last night at all. Leaving the relaxed life at the cottage, I was back to dealing with city-living and other issues as soon as I woke up !!! It all comes down to priorities in life. What are important and how much? Refusing to drive, I spent some time this morning doing the task myself, but had to stop and wash my forearms with soap to rid of the itchy bumps. Not too happy abt the whole situation. Sigh !!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to the City

At almost 16h30, I managed to swim (with goggles and flippers) across the lily pond to the north end of the island where the open water was much cooler than that on the bay-side. There were schools of big fish in deeper water and lots of little sun fish in the weeds. At one point, I came face to face with a line-up of four or five palm-size ones, wondering who this lake creature was swimming thru their lily-pad neighbourhood. I did not make it around the whole island because of the cooler water temp and of my lack of training this summer. Before leaving the cottage, I soaked in the outdoor jacuzzi for abt an hour.

The return trip was stressful for many reasons, one of which being the highway traffic jam. I had to drive thru some back roads to get back to the city.

It was not a good ending to an otherwise relaxed 2 days at the cottage.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cottage Life

I had to do grocery-shopping and other chores before heading out to the cottage. The weather was sunny and 30 deg with a nice breeze. I had almost a 2 hr nap on a folded down lawn chair under the shade in the open !! Even tho I had been grazing on roasted peanuts all afternoon, I was still able to down a BBQ T-bone, 2 cobs of boiled corn with butter, some potato salad, followed by a big slice of chocolate cake with vanilla ice-cream. Yum !!! But with a full stomach, there was no skinny dip at night.

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Empties" the Movie

Went to see "Empties" at the By Towne Cinema. Unlike the many North American movies catered to a younger audience these days, there are no explosions, no car chases, no sex, and no violence. Will, there is a bit of sex, but it is of the "matured" type with more fantasy than actions. I find "Empties" not a bad movie, considering that the original plan tonight was to go dancing !!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

University of Ottawa

When I was living in the Sandy Hill area, I used to swim at the University of Ottawa's Olympic size pool. I also took a course in Eng Lit to improve my writing skill. Now, I have a new relationship with U of O :)


Went to Dick's and tried out their buffalo burger. Well, I like the beefy one better.

Losing Marbles (Part 2 of 2)

Yes, I left the device on the floor at 3BAAB. I will have to be more careful keeping track of those marbles !!!

(see Part 1 posted on 20090812)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Going to Bed Early - 8 hours sleep

Pete asked me at the gym this afternoon whether I still go to bed at 5 am. Well, let's say the situation is getting better, but still not ideal (which is to have 8 hrs sleep on average).

Updated 20090813:

Made it -> Went to be bed before mid-night and had 8 hours of sleep!!!

Losing Marbles (Part 1 of 2)

What happened? This careless lapse might cost me money. I hope the device was left at 3BAAB and not stolen from the vehicle. NEVER leave brief case, packsack, laptop and other personal items under the table or on the floor. Losing something once every two yrs is still once too many (not counting the camera I misplaced near the window)!!

(see Part 2 posted on 20090813)

Two People Charged

The two people allegedly implicated in the incident on 20090802 have been charged. I drove S this afternoon to Elgin Street to help with the investigation.

Running Room Run

I had always wanted to do it; and I did it this evening. I joined the Running Room crowd slightly after 6 pm and ended up running six hills, which is abt 400 metres each at 2-3% inclination, with the group training for the Army Run half-marathon. All things considered, I wasn't doing too badly in the 45 min. Now, if I can trim 2-3 kg of fat off my tire .....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rest Day

Didn't do any exercise today :(

Feeling of Hunger

Many North Americans are obese or obsess with food. I think it is good to have that empty stomach feeling from time to time, just to remind ourselves what hunger is like for the rest of the world.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Glebe Video

I always enjoy going to Glebe Video, which is located on Bank Street. Unlike Rogers, Blockbuster, and other bigger chain store, it caters to folks who prefer the classics, foreign-language films, and other specialty movies. The shop is on the upstairs of a converted old apartment building. One room is dedicated to VHS and the other, DVDs. The owner still relies on pen and paper instead of a computer for bookkeeping, and your receipt is hand-written instead of printed - all to make the rental experience more nostalgic.

Note: My blog article abt my encounter with the ATM earlier today was posted at

Sunday, August 9, 2009

YMCA/YWCA Equipment Auction

The YMCA/YWCA fitness centres at Carlingwood and Merivale had their equipment auction sale on August 9 at 6 pm. While there were lots of good deals on used exercise equipment, the machines were just too bulky for home use. I was told the next day that the auction lasted till 11 pm and that the Ys sold all their listed goods. I am glad for the charitable organization of which I have been a member for many years.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Training for the Army Run

Today, I walked with K to downtown where we stopped at the Parliament Club for lemonades and a burrito before buying some French books and magazines at the Byward Market. However, instead of walking back, we took the bus. It doesn't look like K will be doing the half-marathon at the Army Run.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Work Planning

I completed the draft Work Plan and emailed it out today for next week's teleconference discussion!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Near Car Accident

Driving out of the Y gym parking lot, I saw the traffic light changing green (in my favour) and was about to enter the intersection when a car coming from my left ran through the red light without even slowing down. Had I pulled ahead just a few seconds sooner, I would have been side-swiped on the driver's side and seriously injured or even killed. I horned madly at the driver but the car just kept on going and quickly disappeared into the night. Frankly speaking, I am not ready to die, or have the time to be hospitalized.

Jerk !!!!

Starry Starry Night

There are times when I may find nothing interesting is happening. It is as if I am going through a void deep in the universe. One way of keeping myself from "sleeping at the switch" is to mark down events during an otherwise uneventful time period. I must not forget the beautiful starry starry night of the Milky Way - just look up!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Top Secret of Dieting

Since coming back from Morocco in November 2008, I have not been able to shed the weight I gained from gorging all that yummy Moroccan food. While I am only abt 4 kg over my 'ideal' running weight, the extra load does add up over the 42.2 km distance of a marathon. The secret to dieting is very simple and you don't have to pay big bucks for this advice: Don't eat when you are not hungry !!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Private Time

I have pretty well gone non-stop for almost 15 hours (06h30-21h45) of which 2 hrs were my own personal time (coffee and gym). Well, I am going to cook supper, watch the news till 23h00, and then call it the day!!!

Every Parent's Nightmare

I told K yesterday that the incident on Aug 2 (*) was every parent's nightmare. While street crime could happen to anyone, it's shocking when it's someone you know. A token of appreciation should be given to the neighbour who came to the rescue of the young man in distress. Some nice flowers perhaps.

* Please see my comment on "A Sleepless Night" posted on Aug 2, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Windows Sorrow

Ever since the reinstallation of Windows XP Home Edition (version 2002/Service Pack 3) by Best Buy on July 8, 2009, I had not been able to use the Input Method Editor (IME) Writing Pad for Traditional Chinese. I tried to download the IME from Microsoft Download Centre, but it did not work. Today, Geek Squad ended my Windows sorrow by installing physically disc 2 of "Service Pack 3" and I am back in business.

For future references:
* Open Control Panel/System to verify the version of Microsoft Windows, and other system information.
* Go to Lotusandcedar and search under "IME" for my blog article on the Chinese Writing Pad.

Bright Eyes and Bushy Tail

I wake up and feel good!! It's sunny and warm outside. Today is a holiday but some stores are open. Perhaps I will have the Geek Squad fixed my computer's Chinese IME problem. But first, a cup of freshly brewed coffee at Bridgehead. See you later alligator!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Sleep Account

I slept for 3 hours this morning and again from 4 to 10 pm later today. Sleep is like a bank acct. Lack of sleep due to insomnia, blogging, games, and other all-nighters will eventually take its toll on one's health. As sleep deficit accumulates, it's better to pay now rather than later with a heavy penalty.

A Sleepless Night

I am still up at 06h25. Gotta get some shut-eyes!!!!

(Please also see my blog article "Every Parent's Nightmare" posted on Aug 4, 2009:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Running on Momentum

July 31 was a productive day, plus I had a good work-out at the gym (including a 3-mile run). Now I need to maintain the momentum in August !!!