Thursday, July 28, 2016

Together forever a newt and a barnacle

The city has approved the roof renovation plans that my company is going to do in the building we are located. We occupy the north half of the fifth and sixth floors of the building and by next summer we'll have space on the roof of this eleven storey structure. I am hoping that the roof part will include a four season section so that even in the winter we can go up there.

It would also be great if there was a bathroom and a small kitchen area with a sink and microwave. With all of this it would make the place very multi functional. Most likely it will be wired for our company's WiFi to allow people to have meetings and work up there.

My own job won't allow me to work up there much as in my support department I need to be near the phone in case someone calls for support. Most of our customers don't do that, unless it is a real emergency; they log their help requests either by email or by the web interface of our ticketing system.

On days that I fast (Mondays and Thursdays) I often get cold, so having the space up there on warm summer days will give me a chance to thaw out.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

It was a big error made up of pent up goat cheese

I should have bought the next smaller size.

Dangling from the left most, the right most, and the time indicated that the birthday of an estrogen driven lava fume would enable the disabled, would mollify the deliciousness of a vapid beach ball thrown peacefully between an iguana and an ice berg. Twice.

Don't bracket the branches, or bucket the bunches or slaughter the silk. An enigmatically simple solution to an enormously small problem was forgotten by most mortals. I should know.

Deranged is much better than sea-ranged. Check your alphabet.

Twice, then, again.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Spartan Race completed

Last week I spent up at Camp, but on the Sunday immediately prior to going to camp I participated in my first ever Spartan Race.

It was a coworker who organized a group of us to go and before the race started we decided to see about sticking together to run the race as a group.

Before the race started, on the grounds of the race, there were a few practice elements and it was interesting to see who on the team was able to do it, and who wasn't. We had to climb over a wall to enter the starting 'pit' and that was easy enough.

We were more or less grouped together at the starting line, and the first 80 minutes or so of the course we were to follow was a fairly steep, continuous, uphill. About 5/7ths of the way up there was a slight leveling off and those of us who were at the front of the team decided to wait for the rest as we did not all ascend the hill at the same rate.

It turns out one of our team members felt ill part way through, and two others stayed with him. For those of us who were at the top, we decided to press on. Out of about 11 team members, five or six of us moved ahead, and as the race progressed, this front group separated further. I ended up in the very front of the team with another coworker, a young woman, and we decided to be partners for the remainder of the race as of about the 4/7 mark.

I do not remember exactly the order of the obstacles, so I will simply list the ones that I can remember in whatever order I can think of them. There were three vertical climbing walls, one at four feet, one at six feet and one at eight feet. There was also an angled wall, where the top of the wall is closer to the racer as compared to the bottom of the wall. There was also a through wall (a rectangle cut out of it that a racer climbs through) and an under wall (a wall raised up about a foot off the ground that a race climbs under).

There were three crawling spots, two under camouflage netting and a third under barbed wire.

There were four carrying obstacles, one was a sand bag, one was two tires, one was two water jugs and one was a very heavy atlas ball. For the first three we had to carry the items up a hill and then down, or down a hill then up with the tire one being very long. For the atlas ball we had to carry it only a short distance, then do five burpees, then pick it up and bring it back.

There were some upper body strength obstacles, like the rope climb, the monkey bars and the tank raise. The tank raise was an obstacle where a propane cannister was filled with sand or water and tied to a rope that went up to a pulley and back down again, so the challenge was to raise the cannister to the top by pulling down on the rope.

There were a few other obstacles, like a balance beam, jumping over a fire, the slippery wall/cargo net, and there was some mud in a few spots. In youtube videos I've seen of other races there was more mud, or some muddy water to pass through, but in this one there wasn't. Between each obstacle there was some amount of going up the hill some more and then going down the hill. The total distance of the course was 8.5km.

There were four water stations spread out throughout the race and at each one I downed two or three cups of water. That worked out fine for me, but before the third water station my partner had started to flag so we took it easy.

My partner and I ended up completing the race in 2 hours and 52 minutes. If I had been doing this on my own I think I would have cut off about half an hour from that time as there was various times that I had to wait, near the beginning, and then a few more times when I had to wait for my partner. In the M40-44 group I placed 68th out of 92 competitors. I'd have placed 52nd if I had come in a half hour sooner.

She wasn't able to do some of the obstacles but in those cases I was able to help her - for the monkey bars, for example, I did them and then went back to the start and put her on my shoulders.

I really enjoyed the experience, it was a thrill to get through the obstacles and the challenge of over coming the distance. My plan for next year is to purchase a season pass for Spartan Races held in Eastern Canada and attend three or four different races.

There are different distances - the one I did last week was the Sprint distance, the shortest one. There is also a Super distance (about 1.5 times the length of a Sprint) and a Beast distance (about 2 times the length of a sprint). If you do all three of these in a calendar year, you earn what is called the Trifecta. I will see if I can do that next year.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

when else would wood brood food

The left most earlobe of a ketchup stained quagmire wrestled with an idiomatic expression issued by a sulking sultry armpit.

That either of them would have attended a Nascar Race in mid-May would be a prevalent fact of no particular value.

Beyond all reason, lies obfuscation.

Friday, July 15, 2016

the best thing about sliced bread

There is a fair chance that this will be my last blog post until about July 25 as I will be off to the summer camp that my family attends most summers over the next week.

So after the Spartan Race on Sunday I will be driving up to camp.

We got some more heavy rain over night last night with a chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon as the heat and humidity continues this summer.

Current Temperature: 22C
Forecast high for today: 28C
Current Humidity: 78%
Current Skies: Partly Cloudy
Current wind: 6kph gusting at 9kph
Sunrise: 5h21
Sunset: 20h38

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

ever since a syncopating

This coming Sunday morning I will be awaking at about 5:00AM.

At about 5:35 my buddy 'R' is going to arrive at my house and together we will drive to pick up 'A' and then 'S' and then meet at a restaurant at 6:30 to hook up with most of the rest of the team.

Following that we'll head over to Owl's Head (a ski resort) to participate in a Spartan Race, our heat starts at 11:00AM.

As I am a participant and not a spectator I may not be in a position to take photos.

I have done some training (with one more training session tonight, and perhaps one more before the race) in preparation for this event. I am not certain how much training the rest of my team has done.

I am very much looking forward to doing this, I think it will be lots of fun. Exhausting, perhaps, but fun just the same. I realize that at 15,729 days I am not as youthful as I once was to do events like this, but I'm still fairly fit and hope to be able to do this kind of thing for at least another 6500 days.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

when a photogenic lamp post goes on strike

Two times did the unrealistic debater rock the boat counter-clockwise in the hope of shouldering the responsibility of planting a prime number of trees and watching the eleventh one grow.

When ostentatious serendipity ate some french toast with table syrup on a Tuesday morning, thirteen live West African crocodiles pirouetted among the glaciers, asking for the wallets of the audience.

Nigeria, as a country.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016


A good friend of mine owns some lake front property out in the country side where there is no building, however, a road and clearing was prepared for him so it is treated as a private camping ground. For the past three years I have gone with him over Canada Day weekend to what he calls the Dad & Kids Camping Weekend. He has done it years before but I only started going three years ago and this year I decided to document it.

Here is Lac de la Carpe and the star shown is about where his property is.

When you first arrive at his unmarked driveway (unmarked because he has no building) you first come upon a gate, which was just installed this past Thursday.

The next three photos shows his street down to the clearing. There is a slight curve to it that allows for the camp site to be hidden from the road.

It was only two families (mine and the owner) who arrived Thursday morning and that is about when I took these first photos, so none of the other tents of the other Dads had arrived yet. Here is the camp site before those other Dads arrived:

Earlier this year he came up and completed the work on a water tower. At the lake he has a gas powered pump that pumps water from the lake into these two rain barrels and then gravity has the lake water from the rain barrels pushed back down to the campsite. This water was used for the toilet in his camper as well as for washing the dishes, but we brought our own drinking water separately.

Here is the campfire.

And here is the campfire again:

This screen tent is good for keeping the bugs out, but not the rain, so we threw the tarp on top knowing that Friday evening rain was expected. This became the lego tent as many of the boy kids brought lego.

Behind the camper is his wood pile.

There is rather of a steep hill to get down to the water and so years ago, soon after he acquired the property, he built the stair case that you see in the next few photos.

Here is a photo looking back up the stair case.

Where the steps come almost to the end there is a landing that is evidence of an old road that used to run the circumference of the lake, looking left we can see it go only to the next property.

Looking right, even though there is a wood pile in the distance, the 'street' continues past the property.

After the last few steps we get to the dock and the lake.

This panorama photo is from the end of the dock, hopefully it turns out.

So more people arrived resulting in new tents being added, some here:

And some here.

While sitting around the fire it would happen occasionally that I would discover some of the very small wildlife that was around us. Here are two videos showing just a bit of what I found:

On Friday late afternoon, into the evening, overnight and into about mid-morning Saturday, it rained. Sometimes torrentially, mostly solidly and rarely, a light drizzle. So we organized ourselves with some tarps:

This last one is where we did our cooking and cleaning for the meals.

All in all we had a good time, the Dads all pitched in whenever something needed doing, mostly with food preparation, but also with tent set up and take down. The kids all had a great time and look forward to this each year.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

when the least just keeps

Yes, so the month of June will soon be over.

Rocket Science isn't something I keep in my back left pocket.

Tuberculosis, as far as I can tell, isn't anyone's best friend. This must make her particularly lonely.

Time travel to go back to mortuary school in the 1960s would not be unlike rediscovering snow. I should know.

Being tone deaf is not the same as being deaf. Being colour blind is not the same as being blind. Making a stupid mistake does not make one stupid.

A brief soliloquy was attempted to be used as a wrench to pry free the humiliated from the shameless. It worked only partially.

Freshly fried bacon.

Sunday, June 26, 2016


Here they are, the clothes washer and dryer that we started with back in 2001. The washer has met its end. The dryer is up on Kijiji and the new machines have been ordered, scheduled for delivery July 13.

It is kind of odd, but it is possible that the machines I just ordered are either the last, or more likely second to last clothes washer/dryer that I buy in this life time. At 15,713 days old, I still have a way to go, but in another 7700 days I may be fortunate enough to move into a place where my laundry is taken care of by others.

Gives pause for thought, certainly.

Friday, June 24, 2016

an unlikely candidate

I will be somewhat MIA over the next nine days as my company is closing for the first every Summer Christmas vacation. Here in Quebec we have a holiday on June 24th, and here in Canada we have a holiday on July 1st. My company found that not enough people were taking time off throughout the year, so they decided that the working days between those two holidays would be company closed days, compelling people to take some time off.

I work in the support department and so our customers may still need our assistance next week so we split our team in half - half work next week and the opposite half work the following week. So I'm in the half that has next week off.

From Thursday to Sunday I will most definitely be AFK as I'll be camping, but up until Wednesday I should be about.

It really sucks about Brexit. I have some good friends who live in England and they're all pretty upset about this. It seems it was mostly a generational division and the friends I have are all in the 'young' side that wanted to remain a part of the EU. It doesn't make much of a difference to me personally, but because I have some friends who are implicated, I definitely formed an opinion on this one.

I fear it is a portent of things to come with respect to the American election.