Things I’m thankful for

October 13th, 2010 1 comment

Well, it’s the Canadian Thanksgiving.  I’ve never been one to really reminisce at this time of year and think about just what I’m thankful for.  This year however, things have different.  There’s been so many changes in my life this past year that I find myself constantly reflecting on it, if there was anything I should have done differently, and analyzing those changes from the past year.

Mostly, I’ve been thinking about the people, the friends and family who make up the social fabric in my life, from this past year and prior.  That’s who I’m most thankful for.  The list, in no particular order.

The team of coworkers from my last employer. Each and everyone of them were like family.  I’ve never been so close to  anyone I’ve work with as I have with these people.  They’re all good friends and people who I consider myself fortunate to have worked with and maybe will do so again in the future.

My sister, for showing me strength and passion over the years as she’s dedicated herself to her marathon, triathlon and most recently her Ironman training and pushing herself ever harder. She’s an inspiration to me and a good friend too. I only wish we could hang out more but living in different countries at opposite ends makes it difficult.

My parents, mom for always being there and for being a good listener. Even if her advice sometimes is a bit wacky.  Just don’t let her give you relationship advice. :)  My dad, while we haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, he is my father and the only one I’ll ever have.  I’m still glad he’s in my life and my father.

Dion, someone who has been a recent entrant to my life and one who has intensely challenged me and made me look deep into my core to discover just what I want from life. I’ve learned a lot about myself in the short time we’ve known one another and I’m thankful for that.  She’s someone who will always be a part of my life and I feel truly blessed to have met such a unique soul and I look forward to many more years of having her as a dear friend.

My cranky buddy Jason. While we don’t hang out as much as we used to or would like to (living in different cities will do that) I always enjoy his company and we always have a good time. His brutal honesty and directness helps keep me grounded and real and I’m thankful for that.

My good friend Guy, we’ve known one another for probably seven years now and we’re closer than ever.  A true friend, one that is always there for you when you need an ear to talk to. Be it something silly or something serious.

My ex girlfriend Q, while we didn’t part on very good terms and she’s since chosen to make like the time we spent together didn’t exist, I’m still thankful for having her in my life those years we were together.  It was with her that I really began to explore the culinary world to greater heights than I had prior due to our mutual love of all things epicurean. They were years of change and growth for both of us and I’m glad to have had her with me throughout them.

Therese, What can  you say about someone you’ve now known most of your life and shared a very big piece of it as partners. While we’re not together anymore, we still count one another as close friends and always enjoy our visits.  Again, another friend that I’m thankful to have in my life.

Others such as Cait, Scott, Kristin, Eric, Elli, and Natalie are people I’ve met from Twitter, each one has become a good friend and I can’t imagine not knowing them

I’ve also met so many other people here in Calgary via twitter that have become friends, people that I’m really enjoy their company whenever we can get together.  There’s also all my other friends that I left behind in Vancouver that are missed and I think of them often.

My life is far richer because of these people.

*ok, I started this prior to Thanksgiving and meant to publish it then but didn’t get around to it until now.

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Traveling

September 26th, 2010 No comments

just another flight.

So I travel a lot. I love flying, doesn’t matter where I’m going or what type of plane I’m on. Even flying on a regional lawndart excites me. Thankfully my employer doesn’t have those in it’s collection of planes, just 737-600′s, 737-700′s and 737-800′s. If you follow me on twitter you’ll always see me posting a picture of the winglet or of some sort of wing shot. It’s a hobby and maybe a bit of an obsession at times from the teasing I get about it at times. :)

Everythings coming up Westjet

I’ve been fortunate in the past several years that my work has taken me to some pretty amazing places. I’ve worked in Philadelphia, Alaska(a remote location 100 miles above the Arctic Circle) New York, Connecticut, India, and Poland. When I saw the movie Up in the Air I could identify with a lot of the main characters travel quirks on being prepared, collecting points and strategizing just what line to get into when going through security.

What amazes me at airports is peoples behaviour going through security. The current level of restrictions have been in place for some time, but you still see people trying to bring through the strangest things.

Large amounts of liquids for instance. I’ve seen several people gong through with their only carry-on item a large can of Axe body spray! W…T…F… Really? I don’t get it. Even more amusing is watching them get upset when security says no to it. Another time not long ago, I was waiting to go through for an early morning flight, this guy had a half bottle of whiskey in his carry-on. When security pulled it out and said no, the guy grabbed it, grabbed his stuff and walked away from the security area. He then opened it and started drinking. I still wonder if the gate agents let him on the flight as he would have been drunk by the time they boarded. Lol

I’m also amazed at the amount of metal people try to carry/wear/forget about and go through the detectors and get grumpy about the manual wanding after. C’mon, lose the cheap costume jewelry and remove the bling.

By the time I’m in the security line, my pocket contents are in my bag for easy retrieval, I wear a belt that doesn’t set off the metal detector, and my laptop is easily removed from my bag for x-ray.

Ahh then there’s the people who are actually on your plane. From the people who are quiet and keep to themselves to the ones clearly on vacation and they’re determined to get the party started *NOW* This group can be the most entertaining and at the same time the most annoying. They more often than not are the ones getting paged to the gate as the flight is about to leave and can be found in the nearest airport lounge. Drunk before the flight takes off and the last to board. Of course they continue the party as soon as the beverage cart comes by and are loud and boisterous. If you’re lucky, they pass out and you get some quiet for the rest of the flight.

Then there’s the neurotic parents who speak several magnitudes of volume higher when addressing their spawn but are quite capable of conversing at normal volumes with their spouse and the flight crew. It’s almost like listening to a “dumbass tourist” speaking to someone who doesn’t speak english and think that increasing the volume will enable the recipient of this sonic abuse to miraculously understand the language. :)

I’m sure some of my flight attendant friends could share some more horrifying stories of human behaviour on planes or at the airport.  I always have a good laugh when I read some of the tweets from @maniacalmom or @flyinhp describing the characters they run into during their days at work. They’re worthy to follow just for those amusing anecdotes.

Good night

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Categories: life, travel Tags:

Time to ride…

September 23rd, 2010 No comments

Well it was the last weekend in August when I did a quick overnight trip to Nelson BC and back.

After a stressful week in both my professional and personal life I decided I had to “get the hell out” for a weekend and thought what better way than to do a quick overnight rip on the bike.  The big question of course was where to?  One of my favourite areas to ride in BC is around Nelson BC and it’s relatively easy day trip there,  but it is a full day of riding.

Friday after work came around and my mind was made up, but I had a breakfast date planned the next morning with the lovely Cait. We’ve been friends since early this year and it had been a while since we hung out.  Needless to say I couldn’t ditch our breakfast as we had *much* to catch up on.  I had the bike loaded up and ready to go for the trip and we met at AKAWinebar as soon as they opened with me in my full riding leathers.  :)

11am departure

After a great breakfast it was time to hit the road, a little later than I had hoped to, but I was okay with not making it to Nelson if it took longer than safe to ride(I won’t ride at night in critter infested areas.  Deer are just a little too twitchy for my liking).

Of course the ride from Calgary to Lake Louise was pretty tedious but I was able to abuse the speed limits and get past there pretty quick.  Shhhhhh ;)

Once past Lake Louise, it was time to indulge in the mountain twisties I’ve missed so much since moving to Calgary.  That’s one of the things I miss the most about riding in BC. Abundant twisty roads… It does make for a good excuse to do a road trip though.  :D

A quick fuel stop in Golden, then off to the next destination and some lunch in Revelstoke.  It was already fall weather in the mountains and I’m glad my bike has heated grips, they were needed.  Unfortunately I was wearing my summer gear under my leathers and was getting pretty chilled by the time I hit Revelstoke.  Ended up buying a thermal shirt at the local Valhalla Pure to try and stave off the cold a bit.  Since I arrived there early enough, I decided I had enough time and daylight to get to Nelson so a quick call to my usual hotel there to reserve a room and off I went.

The ride between Revelstoke and Nelson is where the fun truly began and is one of my favourite routes in the province. My all time favourite is in the same area, from Nakusp to Vernon via heading east on Hwy 6. But that’s a story for another time.

waiting for the ferry

Leaving Revelstoke takes you into a very nice road that’s lightly traveled and as there’s a ferry at the

I'm on a boat!

other end, the traffic tends to be in groups.  It’s also full of very nice back to back sweepers and S curves. A perfect warm up for the stuff to come and a very good time to “stretch your legs a bit” with some nice higher speed cruising.  The road eventually comes to the Galena Bay ferry that takes you across Upper Arrow Lake.

One thing that’s great about the ferry system is they generally let bikes off first so we’re not bunched up behind the traffic on the boat.  Today was no exception and I opened it up as soon as I got off the ferry.  The ride to Nakusp is a lot more technical and has way more sharp corners and my beloved twisties than the early part of the road.  I was able to to really go quick on this portion of the highway. Sometimes a little too quick as I had a few moments of needing to change my underwear, but I was grinning from ear-to-ear and at times giggling like a madman in my helmet.

For not riding a lot this season and not much the season before due to mechanical issues with the bike, I was really in the groove.

road construction

Strangely enough I felt more comfortable on the bike than I ever had and rode it to the limits of my skill.  This entire trip had me entering corners at speeds I’d never attempted before and exiting them much quicker.  The play of working through the gears and touching the redline in 2nd, 3rd and 4th made short work of that road. Far too quickly I arrived in Nakusp and stopped long enough to top up the tank and then the final dash to Nelson to the waiting hotel room and a few pints of beer.

Four KM outside of Nelson there was a massive line of traffic for road construction, the flag person directed me to ride to the front and join the other bikes there.  There were a few other Triumph riders and a large group of BMW riders.  About 20 minutes later the flagperson came up to the front of the line and started chewing out the guys on the BMW’s.  Allegedly they were abusing the traffic laws worse than I was earlier but unfortunately they did so in front of drivers who were now in the lineup.  These same drivers complained to the flag person and called the police who were apparently on their way to have word with these guys.

Nelson Beer

Strangely enough or perhaps lucky for them, there wasn’t a police escort waiting for us when the road opened and I made it to my hotel room a few minutes later and immediately went out in search of a couple pints of beer and some dinner.  :)

early morning view from the hotel

I needed to get an early start to the day as I wanted to be home before it got dark.  Unfortunately the weather forecast wasn’t looking good east of Revelstoke but I had no choice but to ride. A quick breakfast and I was off once again.  You could definitely feel the fall chill in the air and I was thankful I had a few layers on under my gear to help keep me a bit warmer.  I was aiming to be in Revelstoke for lunch as I was meeting a friend that I recently reconnected with via Facebook.  We’ve not seen each other since around 1991… I was looking forward to this though, we used to be pretty good friends at one time and I was excited to catch up.

Waiting for the ferry.

It was a beautiful sunny morning and the roads were dry and there was no traffic.  I made it to the ferry in record time and had a 20 minute wait for the next departure.  Again I was first on the ferry and would be first off once more.  I managed to make it to Revelstoke right at noon, another quick stop at the outdoors store to pick up some thermal socks and a thin wool toque to wear under my helmet and it was time for lunch. I managed to make it from Nelson to Revelstoke in just under 3 hours, including the ferry travel time and the wait for it. I was worried about the weather from here on out as you could see huge storm clouds just east of Revelstoke.  I had my rain suit with me so was prepared for that, but I still don’t like riding in the heavy rain if I can avoid it. Also this would actually be the first time I’ve ridden in the rain with this suit since I bought it a couple years ago.  True I’ve worn it before, but what looked like a big storm ahead at the time, fizzled out by the time I hit it.   lol

Leaving Revelstoke for Calgary

This picture is the last of the sunshine that I would see and the bugs were soon washed off too. Made it maybe 30km out of Revelstoke where I had to pull over and break out the raingear as the clouds ahead were pretty threatening and you could see the rain coming down.  This was the last picture I took on this trip. From here on out it was just focusing on riding, battling the horrendous traffic(there’s a special place in whatever hell they believe in for rental RV’s who try to pass one another in passing lanes. Can you say 2+km line of traffic behind them? yah….) plus dealing with the poor visibility brought about by the rain, the tire spray and riding at speeds too slow to blow the rain off my visor. :(

I did make it home safe, but had to stop in Canmore to eat, warm up and recharge my energy. It was an exhausting day and once home that night, it called for a large glass of scotch, a hot bath and plenty of sleep.  All in all, not a bad weekend.  :)


Categories: life, Riding Tags:

Run Stats for the day

September 18th, 2010 No comments
testing a fitness tracking program to blog publishing

Activity

Route: Elev. Avg: 1044 m
Location: Calgary, Canada, Elev. Gain: -1 m
Date: 09/18/10 Up/Downhill: [+80/-81]
Time: 01:13 PM Difficulty: 4.4 / 5.0
 
Weather: Cloudy
  -15 C temp; 76% humidity
  -15 C heat index; winds SSE 21 kph

Performance

Distance: 12.04 km
Time: 1:20:39
Speed: 9.0 kph
Pace: 6' 42 /km
Calories: 1144

Map

 

Elevation (m)

 

Pace (min/km)

 

Splits

Km Pace (min/km) Speed (kph) Elevation
Gain
actual +/- avg actual +/- avg
1 6' 51 +0' 08 8.7 -0.2 -11 m
2 6' 06 -0' 36 9.8 +0.9 -3 m
3 6' 18 -0' 24 9.5 +0.6 +5 m
4 6' 21 -0' 21 9.4 +0.5 +5 m
5 6' 38 -0' 04 9.0 +0.1 +6 m
6 6' 45 +0' 02 8.9 -0.1 -8 m
7 7' 10 +0' 27 8.4 -0.6 +3 m
8 6' 41 -0' 01 9.0 +0.0 -3 m
9 6' 45 +0' 02 8.9 -0.1 -3 m
10 6' 34 -0' 08 9.1 +0.2 -6 m
11 6' 40 -0' 02 9.0 +0.0 +5 m
12 7' 28 +0' 45 8.0 -0.9 +7 m
end 8' 53 +2' 10 6.8 -2.2 +6 m
Versus average of 6' 42 min/km

Posted from bimactive.com

Categories: life Tags:

Inspiration

September 16th, 2010 No comments

Nice day for an Ironman

This past weekend(September 11/12) I experienced something that left an entire room of people without a dry eye and served to inspire me in ways that I’m not quite certain yet. All I know is I keep thinking about this and it stirs me.

My sister Julie just competed in the 2010 Wisconsin Ironman and the night before the race one of her tri-club teammates (Beau, I think that was his name) related a story from his recent experience doing the Ironman in St. Louis.

Beau was halfway into the bike portion of the course when he had a mechanical failure of his bike while climbing a hill. He felt his foot come off the pedal, no worries,sometimes this happens when you’re riding hard. You just reclip into your pedals and continue on. He tried several times and after his foot wouldn’t clip in, he looked down and saw that he was still clipped in and that his pedal had come off the crank!

He quickly pulled over to the side of the road and popped his shoe off for a closer inspection. Turns out when he shipped his bike to this event he had to remove the pedals for shipping. He not realising it at the time, had inadvertently cross threaded that one pedal into the crank and during the ride it stripped the threads and eventually popped out.

He was upset, but prepared for something to go wrong, as a frequent Ironman competitor he knows that not everything goes to plan. He texted his buddies to get some beer ready for him as he was out and waited on the side of the road for a tech official to come by.

A woman cheering people on by the side of the walked over to see what was up and offered to help try and get the pedal back on. Turns out she’s an avid cyclist and repairs her own bikes, so she knew what she was doing. 20 minutes of trying later, tech came by and immediately said that you’re out, I’ve seen this before and it’s not repairable. They said they’d send a truck to pick him up and left.

The woman who was assisting him insisted on running to her house at the top of the hill to get some tools to try and fix this. Off she went and returned about 30 minutes later with tools and some thread repair tape. They were able to get the pedal attached and off he went. Less than a mile down the road it popped off again and he knew that this time he was done. He decided to walk his bike back to the original breakdown spot as that was where tech was sending a truck. The woman was still there and while they talked at the side of the road a guy rode up obviously in great pain, got off the bike and announced that’s it, he’s done.

Talking to him, they found out his knee had dislocated several times during the ride and each time he’d popped it back in. He was scheduled for surgery the following week to fix it, but he couldn’t miss the Ironman and attempted it anyhow.

The guy asked to borrow Beau’s phone to call his wife to let her know the news and that he was out. Beau and him chatted for the next 15 minutes until the truck showed up, by now Beau had been stuck for about 90 minutes.

As they were loading up the bikes Beau realized this guy had a really nice bike and suddenly had an epiphany, perhaps he can get back in the race using this guys bike! He asked and without a seconds hesitation the guy  said of course. As Beau went to ride away he discovered his shoes clipons weren’t compatible with the ones installed on this guys bike and he couldn’t lock in.

He asked to use the guys shoes as well and the guy asked Beau “What size are you?” Beau has size 10.5 shoes, turns out the guy has size 15!! Beau said he’d do it anyhow and put the far too big shoes on and rode away. This made the ride less efficient due to the shoes slipping around on him but he was back in the race.

Beau finished the race, not his best time but he did it.

Next day he’s driving home to Atlanta and making a few calls. He saw a strange number in his call logs and was puzzled by it for a moment until he remembered that this was that guys wifes phone number. He hit dial as he wanted to thank him for the use of the bike and check in with him to see how he was feeling.

His wife was excited to hear from him and said they’d been following him the entire race and that they were extremely happy he completed it, and sounding wayyyy to happy to be telling him this. In all this Beau had never gotten the guys name and they finally made introductions. Matt(I think that was the name, for this narration it will have to do) was doing well and told Beau that he was happy Beau had finished the race

Beau started to tell Matt that what Matt had done was the most selfless thing he’d experienced in many many years and that karma will come back to look after him for this. If it wasn’t for Matt trusting Beau with his very expensive racing bike and his shoes, he would never have completed. Beau went on to tell us that this is one of the things about competing in these races, you’re all in it together and become an extended family by association.

At this point Matt interrupted and said: “Beau, I only wish I had thought of offering you my bike before you had asked. You need to know that I needed a part of me to finish the race. You see, for years I’ve volunteered at a camp for kids in wheelchairs who can never do something like this. I was competing for them. As part of this I had engaged in fund-raising and had even found sponsors. I raised $50,000 for the kids camp to complete this race. I was heartbroken that I wasn’t going to be able to finish the race and to face these kids and tell them that a minor knee problem took me out especially since they face such hardships to mobility. I also didn’t want to face my sponsors knowing that the race hadn’t been completed.”

At this point there wasn’t a dry eye in the banquet hall, even Beau was choking up relaying the story. Since this happened Beau and Matt have become good friends and Beau is planning to volunteer at the same camp next year with Matt.

His story touched everyone in the room. I’m sure I missed out a fair bit of the details, but you get the gist.

Everyone from the ATC Tri-Club participating in the Ironman

Race Day:

Excited and nervous

I woke up at 4am to get ready and be at Julie’s hotel by 5 am to pick her up and get her to the start of the race.

This girl was a bundle of nerves, she was stressed but I just tried to stay out of her way and help keep her calm.  I knew her training for the past year had prepared her for this. She was ready, even after becoming quite sick three weeks previously and being ordered by her Dr. to stop training for two weeks, right when she was peaking in her distances and about to start tapering on the training. Not a good end to her training, but she had the base and that’s all that was necessary.

I accompanied her to prep her bike and drop off her transition gear bags. Then left to go pick up our mom and come back to see the swim and bike race kick off

2500+ people in the water for a mass start was a sight to see. Of course we had no idea where Julie was in that mess of people but wewatched things until it was close to her finishing and doing the transition. We didn’t make it to the water exit area as we didn’t know if we’d actually see her or not so we opted to head for the cycle area.

We set up at the base of the parking garage entrance where they’d ride right by us. It was fantastic to see so many bikes going by and the speeds they were traveling at.  We didn’t know where Julie was so we just had to watch for her in the 100′s of cyclists coming down the ramp.

She flew by us at high speed and was riding strong, so fast I unfortunately missed getting a picture of her heading out and even sadder that we didn’t get a chance to cheer and let her know we were there.  :(

After she passed us we knew we had a few hours to kill so we, mom, her friend Lee and I grabbed some breakfast and wandered

Cheese, glorious cheese...

around downtown Madison sightseeing and me finding an artisanal cheese shop called Fromagination (and stocking up on some local Wisconsin cheese, the tasters blew me away, wow!) before taking the shuttle to the area where the bike course did two loops.

We had been following Julie’s progress via a GPS tracker she was wearing, what we didn’t realise at the time is that it wasn’t updating as frequently as it should have been. We arrived at the bike course viewing area in what should have been plenty of time to see her, only to find out we’d missed her by less than five minutes. Thankfully another member of her tri-club support crew was there and cheered her on as she went by.

Throughout the race I’d been updating her progress on her facebook page to keep her friends informed. They were just as excited to be reading about her progress as I was to be reporting how she was doing. I even had time at one point to upload a selection of photos to her Facebook page, this was all appreciated by her friends who couldn’t be there to share in the experience.

We knew we couldn’t miss her on the second loop and found a spot on the course settled in and cheered on the other contestants as they passed. You could see the joy in some of their faces from having people they didn’t know cheering them on and providing encouragement. You could also see the struggle some of them were going through, reaching deep into their reserves as they tackled the second half of the 112 mile ride not knowing if they’d be seeing the finish line that night.

As time went by the crowds thinned out and the race organizers started packing up, the music was shutdown(was a crappy selection anyhow), the vendors turned off their bbq’s and left just the supporters cheering the last of the cyclists on. It was then you could really see the difference in having your presence there made to the athletes, from some pumping their fists as they went by to outright yelling out their thanks for our support.

Mile 93'ish

All of a sudden Julie appeared, she was so excited to see us she stopped and got off the bike to give us all a hug then hit the road again for the final 15 miles back to the transition point to begin the run portion of the race. Throughout the day I had been taking pictures and managed to get several pictures of her then.

We then hopped on the shuttle back to the transition point and hoped that we would get there before her. As luck would have it we made it and watched her come in and again cheered her on.

We moved over to the run start area to watch her get that portion of the race underway. She came out of the transistion area

Looking happy and running strong

looking strong and happy, again she stopped for a quick hug and was off for the marathon portion of the race, the final 26.2 miles. A course that was designed as a loop that had to be repeated twice with the first half turn around point having you tantalizingly close to the finish line. Again due to the GPS tracker feeding us bad info, we missed our first rendevous point by a couple minutes as the next update from the device put her well past our location. Thankfully she was going to loop past another street close by in about 30 minutes, so we went there to wait for her arrival. She was happy to see us again, but was clearly struggling, we had a quick talk and she was feeling sick. Lee had her coach on speed dial and immediately sent him a text and the coach called right away to discuss what was going on. He had some suggestions based on symptoms and we waited for her to come by again as the turn around loop about a mile away from us.

As she passed us next we talked with her and found that she was feeling bloated and was in some gastro-distress. Her coach recommended easing back on the water, increasing her salt intake slightly and to walk through the aid stations. She continued on and we kept track of her whereabouts with the gps tracker and our cell phones and a laptop.

Almost done...

We were concerned at this point as the tracker showed her minutes per mile time increasing significantly now, then decreasing, which told us she was in a run/walk mode. At the next meeting point, the final split measurement and turn around to the last part of the course, she was looking better. Apparently she obtained some immodium at the aid station(or had it with her, not sure) and was feeling much better. Another round of hugs, some more pictures and she was on her way once again.

We made our way to the finish line to await her arrival. I was getting a little worried as the mobile tracking site kept going down and the laptop was having issues connecting too so we were unaware of her exact location and what her speed was like. We managed to get a spot by the finish line and cheered on the other athletes as they came across.

Crossing the finish

Finally at 15 hours, 4 minutes Julie came into sight and crossed at 15:05. She finished strong and with power. I never felt more proud of her than I did at that moment. It was an amazing experience to be a part of and so inspiring. 15 hours of non-stop pushing her body to the limit and beyond.

The official live stream

I managed to get some pictures as she went through the gauntlet of ironman staff who cared for the incoming athletes, hooking them up with a blanket, getting them a finishers shirt and medal, plus checking to see if they needed medical assistance. I saw julie go from a huge smile to crying from the emotions of finishing to the joy of seeing some of her teammates come in shortly after her and having a reunion and posing for a group photo at the finish line.

I did a final update of her Facebook and uploaded the final pictures of her at the end of the race and crossing the finish line. Even changed her profile picture to one of her with her shiny finishers medal :)

After some socialising it was time to get her back to the hotel and call it a night. Up at 4am, to bed at 1am. A long, tiring and very exciting day. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything and I’m so glad I went.

Julie’s effort that day inspired me in many ways, first and foremost it’s convinced me to take my running more seriously. I’ve decided I’m going to start training for a marathon again and will be aiming to do the Vancouver one in spring of 2011. I was also inspired and in awe by the families and friends who came together to support these athletes in this endeavor, not just on race day, but throughout the training that lead up to this day.

My sister, the Ironman

All in all, it’s given me a new found appreciation of life and people.

So, what inspires you?

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Categories: human spirit, life Tags:

Just passing through…

September 3rd, 2010 No comments

Sometimes by the strangest of coincidences you’re brought together with someone who you don’t expect to meet nor interact with. Sometimes those meetings are fleeting, just a momentary interaction that impacts you in a minor way, but later that day or perhaps the next you still remember it. Later that week the memory will have faded to become background noise; only to have the feeling associated with it be brought back by a trigger of some sort when you least expect it, even then it’s nothing more than a familiarity you feel without knowing the true cause of the memory.

Other times you’re brought together with someone who is in your life for what feels like the briefest of moments, but they leave a lasting impression; one that you will carry with you for all your days.  Powerful memories that will have meaning and any trigger from a snippet of a song, a scent, a mannerism, and so on will bring back instantly those feelings and memories that were created at that time and will instantly be associated to their origin.

Recently I had the honour of being touched by the latter. I met someone through a mutual friend who introduced us this summer.  We meet, we hit it off, we trade contact info and start texting. We quickly discover that we need to go on a date and learn more about one another. Strangely enough, it quickly becomes obvious that our paths had crossed 15 years prior in another city and province. We trade stories only to find out we knew a lot of the same people and her ex-husband and I worked together for a while. The world shrank to an insignificant spec that night and made my head spin at the realisation of it all that we were in the peripheral of each other’s lives 15 years ago, but never knew it until this particular moment.

A far too brief and intense summer whirlwind romance ensued until we were forced apart by a situation beyond both our control. However in that all too brief time I touched something that almost defies description, pure unadulterated joy.  Something I had long thought wasn’t possible and now that I’ve tasted it, I know it and I now know what I want.  I’ll forever be changed by this and will be eternally thankful.

We both hope that down the road our paths will bring us together again. We were left with no hard feelings, no regrets and feeling thankful for the opportunity of the short time we had together.

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Lets put this thing to use shall we?

August 20th, 2010 No comments
on another flight between yyc and yvr

on another flight between yyc and yvr

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Yet again I’ve ignored this thing. Been busy and preoccupied with life and haven’t been feeling particularly chatty.

So where were we last? Right, well I’ve now been living in Calgary for just over a year now. It’s been…an interesting year. That old saying/curse of “may you live in interesting times” certainly holds true here. Not to say that it’s all been bad, far from it. The past year has brought significant changes and experiences to my life.

I’ve made a career shift in the past few months going from the IT Security consulting/sales engineering role to an IT Architect in the corporate world. It was a change that came along with other significant changes in my life. They say the three biggest changes you can make in your life is to change jobs, change(end) relationships and move. In this case I did all three in a matter of a month or two, changed jobs, a temporary move to Calgary became permanent for now and I ended a long term relationship. Life altering indeed and sometimes it still makes my head spin when I think about it.

I’ve also made many friends in the past year and am pleased to know that some of them will be life long friends. One thing I did before moving to Calgary was to sign up for Twitter. I started using it a bit while living in Vancouver and wasn’t entirely convinced of it’s usefulness. Once the move happened I found the value of it as it allowed a newcomer to a city to reach out and get involved in meeting others. For that it’s been invaluable, met people in social circles I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It’s even led to some dating ;) and random impromptu nights out for fun and socializing.

Find me and follow me on twitter why don’t you, I’m there as:

@twowheelgeek

I still travel a great deal these days, but it’s for pleasure rather than business. My new job is for one of Canada’s Airlines, you can figure out which one from the picture above. ;)

Thankfully this affords me the flexibility to spend a fair bit of time in Vancouver. It’s strange, when I left a year ago I wasn’t in a healthy place as I couldn’t see myself returning there and I had a strong dislike of the city. It’s not a perfect place(really, what city is perfect?), but now that I’ve had the opportunity for some significant soul searching and making those changes in my life, I am comfortable there once again and even miss it.

So where does this leave me now?
Well, I’m going to commit to updating this thing at least once a week, start exploring photography more and enjoy the happiness that I’ve found in the past months.

Hmm, just had an idea for another posting, a photo collage of pictures I’ve taken over the past year that I think are worthy of sharing.

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testing mobile client

May 7th, 2010 No comments

Just a test post from the mobile Blackberry client.

But I do highly recommend this bottle of wine. Outstanding with bbq’d steak and grilled veggies.

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and another year has gone by…

May 4th, 2010 1 comment

since I’ve updated this thing.

Wow….

so many changes in my life since then.

Where to start? How about  a quick recap of the past couple of years.

After the Poland trip I was sent to both Mumbai and New York for work, all these trips were incredible and I’d do them again in a heartbeat.  I’m still wanting to get back to Poland though.  That place holds a special spot in my heart.

There’s been many a concert and an overwhelmingly fantastic number of meals and bottles of wine served.   :)

Sold my beloved V-Strom and purchased an 07 Triumph Sprint ST

Other news, I moved from Vancouver to Calgary. The company I was working for asked me to relocate on a temporary basis for a year to help grow the business  here.  It’s now at the end of that year and even more changes have happened.

I’ve enjoyed life here immensely and made the decision to stay here permanently.  Around this time my relationship broke down with my long-term partner and we called it quits just before the 2010 Olympics.  At the same time I also went through a job change and left the consulting company I had called home for almost 4 years to go back to the corporate world as an IT Architect.  It was an excellent opportunity for me career wise and I couldn’t turn it down.

That’s enough for tonight, look for more soon. I think it’s time to start rediscovering my love of photography and posting more photography and food related posts.

See you soon,

Al

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May 4th, 2010 Comments off

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