Monday, December 22, 2008

White Christmas

Are you having a white Christmas?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What credit freeze?

My bank just increased my credit line without being asked. I rarely use it and they don't make any money off me so this won't help their bottom line.

Don't the banks know that there is a credit freeze on in Canada?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The details

The techies in my family have asked for details so here they are.....

I bought a Samsung 42" plasma $659 with a Samsung Blu Ray player $179. Both from Future Shop - best price and free stuff thrown in. I got 3 free blu ray movies and 6 months of a free HD TV upgrade from my existing service provider included in the price. The deal is that I continue to pay my normal rate for TV service and they install a HD dish, HD receiver and give me free channels for 6 months. After that I'll be hooked so I'm sure they will get their money back. lol

My next TV will have all the bells and whistles but this one is great for the money and I'm really happy with it. I was very impressed with the Panasonic Viera but just don't have the extra few dollars right now. It was selling for $1399 with a sale price of $1299. I loved the TV but would have had to wait until after Christmas to buy it if this was the set that I wanted. The reason is that I just bought new living room furniture and don't have tons of cash right now so I'm pacing myself.

The only thing that I don't have is a surround sound system. To be honest, I have never had a good sound system so I don't miss it. My living room opens onto about half the house so it would be hard to position the speakers for good sound quality. It wouldn't be a bad thing for me to wait until I get a house with a more enclosed TV room before I buy a good surround sound system. I was intrigued with Cycling Potato's Bose suggestion and I'll definitely think about it and will have a listen in the stores.

I might be the last person in Canada to get a nice TV but it was worth the wait. Great TV at a great price. Can't beat that.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My eyes hurt

Last night my eyes hurt from watching too much TV. Maybe I shouldn't be sitting three feet away from a TV that is sized for a 10 foot room.

Hmmm... time to rearrange the furniture and then get back to watching. Love the colour and the sound from this TV. Now I'm kicking myself from waiting so long to buy a decent set. The old TV is in the kitchen but I'm not sure if I'll connect it or not. Maybe it would be good to watch cooking shows while I'm cooking. Don't laugh - I do cook once in a while.

Not much snow here compared to southern Ontario. Just a skiff on the ground but I bought a new toque, scarf and mitts anyway.

Friday, November 21, 2008

TV Shopping

Researching prices on the internet is not very productive. The economy is so bad now that the retailers are putting products on sale without advertising the discounts on the web. I learned this today when I decided to buy a new TV.

The TV that I selected was $799 on the internet, $748 at Leons and $659 at Future Shop (including 6 months free HD TV). Definitely worth taking a few hours to drive around.

I started with the Samsung website and used their selection tool to determine the best TV for my living room. Once I had a couple of models in mind I checked the store locater and found several in my immediate neighbourhood. I checked the on-line prices at each store and then started driving around to the different locations. This didn't take long since I live in the big box store shopping district.

The short version of a long day was that Leons is having a weekend sale and the sales price was cheaper than the internet price. Future Shop was undercutting Leons sale price in an unadvertised sale the salesman told me was designed to compete directly with Leons. Best Buy was not having a sale but their accessories were cheaper than the other stores. I checked the price on identical models and also had a look at the overall inventory pricing.

Bottom line - Future Shop had the best price on TV and Blu Ray players. They also threw in free stuff like 3 free Blu Ray movies and a 6 month free HD TV package from my service provider. Best Buy had the cheapest HDMI cables and surge protectors. Leons - not worth the trip since I was paying cash, but they do have a payment plan available if you want to finance your purchase.

Other points -price guarantee and return policy. They both offer a 30 day price guarantee. Future Shop offers returns up to 5 January on today's purchases but Leons will only do an exchange - not a return - if you change your mind about the purchase.

Now it is time to stop blogging and start TV watching.


We have snow. BOO

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Plasma or LCD

Hi folks,
I'm finally ready to buy a new TV. I've browsed the stores and read the on-line reviews but can't decide what to buy. Do you have any recommendations?

Also, what sound system do you recommend?


Saturday, October 4, 2008


I did the annual 13 km ruck march yesterday, followed by a 100 m fireman carry and a simulated trench dig. This event is part of the annual fitness testing that we do and is mandatory.

It went much smoother this year compared to last year. My fitness level is higher this year so the march was much less painful and the other tasks were easier. The temperature was lower which also helped. Last year I drank 4 bottles of water during the event but this year I managed to get through with only one bottle and a juice drink box.

I'm glad it's over for the year and feel pretty good about my overall level of fitness. The half marathon training is still paying dividends. I'm a little sore today but not to the extent that I can't enjoy the day.

Now the rucksack is safely stored in my basement until next year and I'm starting to think about winter fitness activities. I have taken a long break from the gym but am starting to think about resuming the fitness activities that I was doing last winter. I felt pretty good about the ab workouts and the toning exercises so they will probably be part of my fitness routine again this year. More to follow in the coming weeks.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


The Canada Army Run event was today and I'm pleased with my results. I came in at a race time of 1:59:38 and had an adjusted time of 1:58:03 based on my individual shoe chip. I'm really happy about this time and had a great race day. My three friends are all pretty happy with their times too and we are getting ready to register for next year's race.

The race was really well organized and it actually sold out so they had to stop taking registrations about a week and a half ago. The volunteers were excellent and there was lots of water and gatorade along the route. The race course itself was on paved roads along the rideau canal and was mostly flat with a few very gentle hill sections. Weather - sunny and a little cool. We actually were freezing prior to the race but warmed up quickly once we got going.

I'm still on a runner's high and feel fantastic. I definitely recommend to all my family and friends that you do a race. Start with a 5Km distance if you haven't been running for a while and then you can decide if you want to work up to 10K or longer. Hope you have fun training.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hey Homeless Guy

Hope you have fun in your travels. Remember that you have a couch to sleep on in Kingston if you are ever in the neighbourhood.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


My vehicle finally passed the 100,000 km mark. Still drives very well and has a lot of life left in her.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hip Hop

I signed up for adult hip hop classes this fall. The first one was tonight and it was really fun. It will be a while before I'm ready for the streets though.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Labor day

Hope you enjoy your labor day long weekend.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Triathlon in BC

Does anyone know of a website listing triathlons in BC? Maybe in Vancouver or somewhere else on the coast?

Sunday, August 10, 2008


The YayBoo comments seem to have a triathlon theme. Anyone care to train with me (via long distance of course). We could meet in some exotic location to complete a race and then kick back in vacation mode after.

Calling all friends - let me know if you are interested. Otherwise, I probably won't do a triathlon in the next year.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The voting has started

The YayBoo voting is off to a good start. Here's a little tutorial to clarify how it is done.
1. Click the +add button at the bottom of my blog post.
2. Scroll through the list and select Yay or Boo for the items that interest you.
3. Click on the "Submit Votes" button at the bottom of the list.
4. Click on the "refresh list" icon beside the submit votes button.

You will now see the selections change order with the items that have the most votes at the top. Note that if one person votes Yay and a different person votes Boo, the votes cancel each other out.

This list making is fun. You guys should try it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I only came up with 43 goals which isn't much for 1001 days. Send me your suggestions please.

101 goals in 1001 days

Trent Hamm from the Simple Dollar blog had an interesting idea. He decided to create 101 goals that he wanted to complete in 1001 days.

This sounded like a great idea to me so I decided to make my goals in the form of a YayBoo list. Here are my goals, in no particular order, and everyone can vote on whether they think these are worth doing "Yay" or not "Boo".

Hit the +add button at the bottom of the blog entry to see more items in the list, my comments and the voting buttons. You can also leave a comment if you like.

PS: Please let me know if you are having trouble seeing the list. I was playing with the settings for making it public/private and am not sure if everyone can see it properly.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Furry friends

I've had some visitors recently.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wasp attack

I went into the back yard to putter around and was stung by a wasp. Not being the smartest person in Kingston, I stayed in the yard. Then I got stung a second time and got mad. After looking around for a while I found the nest under my deck. I made a quick trip to the hardware store and bought a giant can of wasp and hornet killer. There's going to be a wasp blood bath later today. hahahaha

Fortunately both bites were on the same leg, so I only have one gimpy leg, not two. My ankle looks kind of cool - it is about double the size it usually is. Doesn't hurt, though, which is good.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


There have been some great comments posted this week about nutrition and weight loss during PT. I'm thrilled to see chrisrawk join me in my fitness endeavor and Eric has provided a great suggestion for eating well without depriving yourself. It's much easier to stay motivated when you have a fitness buddy to train with, so I'll send you a big "high five" Chris and good luck with your workouts.

You asked a good question about weight loss. The general rule is that if you want to lose weight then your calorie output must be higher than your calorie intake. It's "simple" math, although there is nothing simple about it. Basically it just takes a lot of determination.

You'll have to decide what works with your lifestyle, but I can tell you a little bit about what works for me.

The method that has worked best for me over the years is to start by concentrating on exercise and work on eating habits later. The reason this works for me is because I am much more motivated when I feel good about what I am doing. Generally exercise makes me feel good, and depriving myself of my favorite foods makes me feel grouchy and depressed. Dieting has never worked for me and I don't even bother to try it these days.

The exercise will burn calories and it will speed up your metabolism. By building muscle and by speeding up your metabolism you will find it easier to maintain a healthy weight (as well as a great beach body).

Keep up your fitness routine and when you have gotten over the hard part (muscle soreness, putting aside distractions and making exercise a priority in your day) you will start to look forward to the workouts. At this point, your body will start telling you what it wants you to eat. Your body will tell you to drink more clear fluids, it will tell you to cut down on caffein, it will tell you not to feed it high fat foods. This sounds crazy, but I find that when I am serious about exercising my eating habits change without much effort.

It's also a good idea to make changes slowly so that you don't feel deprived. It is easy to make small changes such as fixing your coffee with only one spoon of sugar instead of two, making your sandwich with butter on one piece of bread instead of both, using less salt, etc.

The timing of your meals can set you up for success, as well. By taking in a lot of food early in the day you will be less likely to get the munchies at night. I like to eat two little breakfasts and a good sized lunch which helps me resist the urge to nibble all night on treats.

Making your early meals more robust also helps. Having soup with your lunch will help give you a nice "full" feeling without taking in too many calories. Spicing up the flavour of foods also helps you feel more satisfied. Some healthy ways to do this are to add some tasty salsa or tangy cheese to your meals to fire them up a bit.

Please let me know what is working for you and maybe I'll pick up some ideas that I can use.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The half marathon clinic is going well. We are starting hill training this week which should be a challenge. My run team at work is also coming along. We have people coming and going because of summer vacations but I think that we will have 6-8 hard core half marathoners. There may be some others too but right now they are busy with other activities and I'll have to wait and see if they are going to continue with the training.

I feel really good about the improvement that I've seen in my own running and I'm also enjoying being outdoors every day. At the end of the day, feeling good is the whole point of living an active life so here's hoping that I can keep the momentum going.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The blog experience

I was asked a question about the blogging experience. I've really enjoyed it and would recommend it to you if you want to share your moving experience.

Posting messages on the blog was easier for me than sending out individual emails to family and friends. I had limited bandwidth so sending photos by email was painful and slow but posting the photos to the blog made it easier to share them. The blog also kept a historical record of my posts that I could look back on from time to time. This is a lot harder to do through email.

Blog sites are free to set up, unless you would like some special features. Once you set it up I recommend limiting who has access. What I did was I controlled who could leave comments on the site by enabling the feature "moderate comments". You can also limit who can view your blog and this might be a good idea if you are posting a lot of personal information that you don't want strangers to have access to. If you do this, please add me as a guest so I can see your blog.

If you want to make money off your blog, send me a private email and I'll send you some links and resources that you can use to get started. I have decided not to do that for my blog, but there are lots of people who have turned their writing into a business. It sounds like a great idea - have fun with your writing and get paid for it. I like the getting paid part, just not the obligation to create original content regularly to attract readers. Something to think about for you writers, though.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions and I'll try to answer them.

Happy blogging.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Beer Runners

I finally chose a half marathon to enter this fall. I have been attending the clinic at the running room, but hadn't decided which race I really wanted to do. Now the decision is made.

I have entered the ArmyRun half marathon which is being held in Ottawa on 21 Sept. I entered as an individual, but today I managed to find enough friends at work who were interested in it that we are going to form a team. Our team name is "CFJSR Beer Runners".

I think it is quite catchy and is very logical since there is no real reason to run unless there is beer at the end of the race. lol

Only 72 training days left. If you would like to check out the website go to


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Smog alert

Today we had our first smog alert of the summer. It was hugely hot with lots of humidity. It sure would be nice to have some ocean breezes right about now, unfortunately the ocean is too far away to do any good.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The bank is no longer my enemy

The transfer process that I wrote about yesterday seems to have been resolved. More to follow.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Internet banking

I just called my bank to ask about transferring money.

The agent who answered the phone told me that there would be lower fees if I made the transfer by internet instead of using telephone banking. This sounded good to me so I logged onto the internet banking system and tried to make the transfer. After entering all the required information I hit the "transfer" button but the transaction did not go through and I received an error message. The message said that the debit function wasn't active and I had to call an agent.

I telephoned the bank again and explained the problem.

The agent said that the account was inactive so the internet functions were disabled. She offered to reactivate them for me and said the services would be available in 24 hours.

Technically, the first customer service agent was correct. My internet banking fees were very low - actually they were zero. Not having services means that no fees were charged. Hmmm

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cat came to dinner

This is Milo, the neighbour's cat.

He usually stays in his own yard, but today he decided to check out the bird feeder. It has been a favourite of the local birds since being put into the garden last week. I'm not sure if they are going to come back now that the cat is around though.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The lazy gal vs. cheapskate conundrum

I love my house but I know that eventually I will have to sell it and move. With that in mind I need to look at home improvement projects from two points of view. What will enhance my living experience without making it financially impossible to sell and move at some point. Since my financial investment in the property roughly equals what I could sell it for, then I won't be doing any major projects like upgrading the kitchen or bathroom, or finishing the basement. My plan with these areas is to make them pretty and functional without investing tons of money.

The yard, however, is another story. For the past two summers I have been working hard installing planting beds and new plants. I only planned to work on it last year, but decided to make some changes this spring so have expanded the planting bed slightly and moved some shrubs around. The place is looking pretty good, in my humble opinion, and will be very nice in a couple of years when the plants reach their size potential. This gardening hobby has brought me a lot of pleasure and I think it will also differentiate my house from the others in the neighbourhood so that it "should" be easy to sell.

Now to throw a spanner in the works. Yard maintenance might drive some people away. I have an opportunity to put in an underground sprinkler system that will make my work load lighter, will encourage responsible water use, and will help the garden and lawn grow throughout the drought season that we have each summer.

A local company installed underground sprinkler systems at two of my neighbour's houses and they are thrilled with them. During the installation, I asked the owner of the company some questions and he gave me a quote of $1250 for the front yard and $1000 for the back yard.

Then my cheapskate nature got involved and I decided that I could install the system myself for a lower cost. After all, it is basically just hoses and timers. I researched it locally but the hardware stores don't carry parts for underground systems. There are some drip irrigation systems and timers for above ground systems which I looked closely at. Finally I purchased a timer with splitters for the tap and two extra hoses with sprinklers. This would be enough capacity to cover about 80% of my yard using an above ground sprinkler system that I would have to put out the night before each watering and take in each day after work. Not much work and cost effective.

Just after purchasing these parts, however, the lawn service company delivered a written quote to my door stating that they could install the complete underground system for $1500 + $75GST. This would include front and back installation with a variety of sprinkler components that would apply water in zones that would respond to the different qualities in my yard. The quote also includes a rain sensor, a backflow preventor and a 2008 fall winterization and 2009 spring startup.

This will be a much better system than the one that I was going to use since the watering will be responsive to what the yard needs and the system won't come on during rainy periods. It definitely appeals to my lazy nature since I won't have to do anything except mow the grass all summer. My cheapskate nature thinks that $1575 is a lot of money to spend when I can do it for a little effort for much cheaper. (The price discount from $2200 definitely appeals, however.)

Since the overall price is less than 1% of the home's value this is a viable project to do that will improve the overall home's appearance with a more attractive yard and make it easier to sell. (Well, perhaps not easier, but non-gardening types of people won't automatically turn away.) I also love the lazy aspect - all I do is write a check and sit back to enjoy the yard.

What should I do - take back the components that I bought from the hardware store and install the underground system or keep the cost effective above ground system and spend the rest of the money on BBQ and beer?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

The skunk hunter

The crocodile hunter found that tracking wildlife is hazardous but I took a chance and chased down these two cuties.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bring on the birds

Have bird seed, waiting for dinner guests.

New bookcase

The new bookcase arrived. I'm using it in the kitchen for spices and baking supplies, since I don't have enough cabinet space in my teenie kitchen.

As soon as I learn how to cook, you're all invited over for some good food. Until then you are invited for food - that's right, just food, nothing good about it.

Blue skies wanted

Waiting for blue skies... hope they come soon. Had a productive couple of days. The kayak is down from its storage place in the roof of the garage and the saddles are on top of the car. The bike has paniers and a rack for the front. The paniers are sitting on the living room floor while I pack, but that won't take long. All the camping gear has fit in but I still need to buy some essentials like food, stove fuel and a lighter. A quick trip to the store this afternoon should take care of those items and I'll be ready to go. Just need some sunshine!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sleep and more sleep

Weigela's are rumoured to be excellent for attracting humming birds. I haven't seen any hummers yet but the flowers are beautiful and I'm enjoying looking at the shrubs. The little mini W's in the front yard almost died over the winter so they aren't doing much to enhance the garden, but the bushes in the back yard seem to be doing very well.

The iris are past their prime but other plants are coming into bloom now so the garden is still pretty.I arrived home late last night and then poked around the house for a little while checking the papers and having a snack. I didn't feel especially tired but apparently it caught up with me and this morning I slept in until 10 AM. Right now I am dragging around the house taking my time getting started.

On the bright side, the garden is in bloom and looks great.

The small number of strawberry plants that I have are producing an amazing amount of fruit. Last year I moved the plants to a different planting bed because they were sending out so many runners that I was worried the neighbours would complain that the plants were intruding on their yard. If the growing season goes well, I should have enough plants and runners to make jam next year. The birds haven't eaten the fruit yet but I have bird nets purchased from Lee Valley that I can install over the bed if my avian friends become a nuisance.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

running clinic

Today was the first day of the running clinic that I signed up for through the Running Room. My goal race is the Toronto Waterfront half marathon which is held in the last week of September. My last half marathon was in 2004 and the time was 2:01:some seconds. I was quite disappointed that I didn't finish under 2 hours and also hurt my knee during the training and it took six months to heal completely.

This time I want to finish under 2 hours and do it injury free. So far the run club is fun. There are about 20 people signed up for the clinic and they are all different abilities. Several have done previous clinics and seem to like going from one race to another with their friends. I haven't been to the Wednesday or Sunday group runs yet but will try them when I get back from vacation.

Surprisingly, the mileage isn't very high. The training schedule calls for five days a week of running but the mileage is only 3 or 4 Km runs except for Sundays which are 7 km. After the first month the mileage picks up sharply so hopefully I`ll be in a solid training mode by that time.

One thing that I need is a new pair of shoes. The ones that I have are hurting my legs and I know that they are at the end of their useful life.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Reader comments

Hi folks,
Deadwood has been a favorite of mine for a while now. I watched season one and most of season two but haven't seen the rest. I might pick up the next part of the series to have a boo. It took me a few episodes to get into it but I really started to enjoy the dry humour in the show. Any other suggestions for series? Keep in mind that I haven't seen any of this year's TV offerings.

Re: stones in the garden. The stones came from the back yard so there isn't much of a story to tell there. I am going to collapse one of the flower beds that were installed by the previous homeowners. The bed is in a bad location and makes it hard to water and weed. The plants are being moved and the stones are being relocated.

I have a vision in my mind's eye of a lush tropical paradise in my back yard. The reality is much different. So far there are a few spindly shrubs surrounding a weed choked patch of green plants masquerading as a lawn. Weed and feed have been dispatched and we'll wait to see if it does any good. Starting this autumn the city is banning the use of pesticides so I have a small window of opportunity to eradicate all the noxious weeds on my property before I have to go "au natural". More to follow in a few months.

Name that pest

Saturday, May 31, 2008

New garden part II

The plants are in but I still need to find some mulch to give it a finished look. The boxwood shrubs and the cone flowers came from my back yard. They weren't being appreciated in their little corners. The white flowering plant is new. It is supposed to like full sun so this should be a great location for it. We'll see how it makes out in the next few months.

It's great to be home

I got home late at night on Wednesday and had Thursday off to chill. Didn't do much on Thursday except wake up really early, walk to Tim Hortons where unexpectedly my friend met me (she was up really early too). Friend from the same plane ride home, just as happy as me to be back. Then I called home, bummed around, had my car fixed up and registered, bought some clothes (hurray spring sales), ate pizza and went to bed really early. I love Thursday in Canada.

Friday I went to work for a couple of hours, along with all my friends who also woke up really early. Did some paperwork, listened to the padre talk about watching for warning signs of behaviour changes and then went home for the afternoon. After changing into civvy clothes went to do errands. First stop liquor store- $188. Then grocery store - $191. Then plant store (aka nursery) $95. Girl`s got to take care of the basics you know. Anyway, then I chilled out for the evening. I love Friday in Canada.

Saturday is here. Woke up really early. It was raining out so I had breakfast and drank coffee for a couple of hours while surfing the internet. My TV signal isn`t working since I have to go up the ladder and point the dish, haven`t been bothered to do that yet. After a while I went out in the rain to have a peek at the yard and noticed that the rain barrel wasn`t taking in water and there was a pool of water collecting next to the foundation of my house. Searched around for a screw driver to fix the rain barrel filter and after solving the water-by-the-foundation problem decided to stay outside and do some weeding in the yard. The ground was nice and soft from the rain and the weeds came up easily. Then I moved to the front yard and put some plants in the ground from yesterday`s shopping spree. Chatted with the neighbour for a while. He`s been in Afghanistan before and didn`t think that I was weird for hanging out in the rain. Don`t know what the rest of the neighbours thought but they didn`t come out to complain so I don`t care too much.

After a while I went inside and dyed my hair (bought the dye yesterday). Like I said, girl`s got to look after the basics. Anyway, then I had a second breakfast and am working on a Kahlua and milk drink that is going down very well. The sun has come out and I think I`ll go put the rest of the plants into the ground. Here`s a before shot.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I'm home and I'll post final measurements in a couple of days once I get over the jet lag.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


30 min elliptical
30 min stairmaster

My motivation is going down. So is my appetite. My shorts and trousers are falling off despite having belts. Can't wait to go home and get some new clothes for spring. Something that fits.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Bike 30 min max HR 135 bpm
Elliptical 30 min max HR 148 bpm

Monday, May 5, 2008

Rested up

I took a couple of days off and am all rested up now. It's starting to get really hot out during the day but the nights are still somewhat cool.

Today did 30 min on bike max HR 138 bpm
Then did treadmill for 24 min 4 km max HR 165 bpm. Spent the last six minutes walking and HR recovered to 119 bpm fairly quickly.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


did 30 min elliptical and 30 min stairmaster. Slightly lower energy level today. We have visitors for the next two days so there will be a lot of driving around to the sites and talking talking talking. Hopefully there is a lot of coffee drinking too. I have managed to find ice cap equivalents at most of the places we visit. Not exactly like Tims but pretty tasty none-the-less.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hot again today

30 min bike and 30 min elliptical. Avg HR 137 max HR 148 bpm

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hot today

Spent 30 min on bike and 30 min on stairmaster. Sweated like crazy and drank lots of water, but not enough.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Spent 30 min on the bike 12 km
Then did 30 min on stairmaster max HR 146 bpm

Right now I don't think that I'll see any improvement between now and when I go home. My goal is to stay in the shape that I'm in despite the conditions. It is hot and dry now and I'm having problems with breathing and congestion. Nothing major, just something that slows me down a little in the gym. The people who are not going to the gym are feeling the effects even worse than I am. Everyone is snuffling a bit.

I'm glad that it is finally hot though. I was very tired of being cold all the time. This last month will be much more comfortable.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Did 15 min on bike 7.1 km.
Then ran on treadmill 3 miles 28:15 max HR 148 bpm
Cooled down on elliptical 10 min

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cardio again

30 min rowing and 30 min elliptical. It's getting hot out so I'm spending a lot of time drinking water. Feel pretty good though.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


One hour of biking.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Heart rate up

Did cardio today. Bike 30 min 135 bpm Hr 13.8 km.
Elliptical 30 min 150 bpm HR.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Second PT today

Went for PT again in the afternoon. We had a troop volleyball game after lunch which wasn't much fun. Afterwards some of us went to the gym. I still had lots of energy from taking the last two days off so I went on the treadmill for 27:40 and ran 3 miles again. Then cooled off with 30 min on the elliptical. It felt really good to do the hour in the afternoon. Tomorrow morning I have to work so will be skipping PT.


Had a slow start today because I was tired so started on the bike for 8 minutes 3.6 km. Then I decided to rev the engine a bit and did treadmill for 30 min at 6.2 miles/h - 3 miles total. Nice slow pace and had an easy time breathing. Then finished on the elliptical for 20 min to cool down. Feel pretty good now.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Late night

Had a late night so today wasn't much to write about. Did 30 min elliptical and 30 min stairmaster. I'm having a little stomach upset so think that I'll take it easy today. No spicy foods. Otherwise, it's sunny and warm so I think it will be a good day.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

High energy colours

The Brits had a couple of volunteers paint the gym last night. The bottom of the walls are now glossy black with a bright red stripe. It looks pretty good and smells very painty. I'm feeling kind of happy now after spending an hour in there. Did 60 min on the stationary bike for a total of 26.5 km. Average HR 130 bpm in the first half and 135 bpm in the second half.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tired today

med ball kayak 20
incline situp 20

squat 7.5 kg db 15
J complex 5 kg db 6/Ea

calf raise 7.5 kg db
seated row L5 15
split squat 15/leg (killer exercise)
romanian deadlift 5 kg db 15

Monday, April 14, 2008

My old routine is starting to get easy

I think it's time to raise the weight level or else find new exercises. This routine is starting to get easy.

crunch 25
forward lunge 12/leg
Obar + 10 kg 12

single leg squat 12
tricep dip 15
jackknife 15

seated row L5 15

db fly 5 kg 15
leg lift 20

squat push press 7.5 kg db 15
med ball kayak 20

Cardio after a day off

Took yesterday off because I was tired in the morning and was working late into the night. Got up at 4:30 AM today for a task and kept going until 3:30 in the afternoon when I was released for the day. Went to the gym but didn't accomplish much since I am really tired right now. Did 30 min on bike 12.6 km total and then 30 min on elliptical. Avg HR on both was 130.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tired and sore today

Couldn't get to sleep last night because I was a little bit hungry. I wasn't truly hungry so I thought I'd lie in bed and wait it out but after two hours I finally got up and had a snack. Then I slept like a baby until way past my alarm and had to rush around this morning. Still had time for a quick breakfast and then did some light cardio.
Rowing machine 30 min
Elliptical 30 min.
Legs are a bit sore but overall feel pretty good. I think that today I'll be doing lots of water drinking.

My fat friend is coming to the gym every morning and going through the motions. This is more PT than he has done in years so it will take some time for him to feel the benefits. I'm sure that by the end of the tour he'll be a little healthier though and maybe this will carry over into his home life. Maybe not too. I guess it's up to him once he goes home.

Friday, April 11, 2008

PM Cardio

Went to the gym after work today and did 60 min on the stationary bike. 29.2 km total. average HR 130 but it went higher in some parts of the workout.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Quick routine today

Back to morning routine today and it was a good effort. 3 sets of each

squat push press 7.5 kgdb 15
med ball kayak 20

bench press O bar + 10 kg 12
leg lift 20

single leg squat 12
tricep dip 15
jack knife 15

seated row L5 12
lat pulldown L4 12
leg over med ball 20

chest fly 5 kg db 12
lunge 15

4 pt shoulder press 5 kg 15
calf raise 5 kg db 20
romanian deadlift 5 kg db 15

Progressive cardio

Today I did three sets of cardio, each getting progressively harder.
Rowing machine 30 min 5450m
Elliptical 30 min max HR 150bpm
Stairmaster 30 min max HR 162 bpm

It was a good workout that burned off a lot of energy. Went to the gym in the afternoon because we were working all morning and are planning to work this evening. The split shift was a nice change and I had fun doing my PT today. The rowing machine was a good workout. I really felt it in my back and butt. The medic said it was a good choice for exercise but that I should not extend my knees all the way so I concentrated on keeping them slightly bent during the extension. Also concentrated on pulling my shoulder blades together during the pull part of the exercise. I'm curious to see if I feel any effects tomorrow.

Also, a replacement part for the hot water tank in the girls shower room has finally arrived. I have been doing a combination of showers in the guy's room and bird baths in the girls toilet room. It depends on how busy the guy's shower is. I can't wait to have the girl's shower room back again and have a nice long hot shower without anyone waiting outside the door telling us to hurry up.

It has been cold and rainy here all week and I was joking with the guys that we are going to go home without a tan. I'd rather have a little cold weather, though, since it is easier to bundle up than to escape the heat. I'm sure the heat will come back in a week or two anyway. When it rains all the pollution and dirt is cleaned out of the air and it is easier to breathe so for now I am enjoying the place. My cardio workouts have improved, I think.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Upper body

My legs are sore from the last two days so I did upper body today.

full situps 25 X 4 sets

3 sets of everything else:
incline bench press 10 kg 15
upright row 7.5 kg 12
leg lift 15

single leg squat 15 (my balance is getting a lot better)
bench dip 20
jack knife on bench 20

seated row L4 20
J complex 4 kg 6/ea
seated row again L4 15

leg over med ball 15
med ball kayak 15

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Afternoon PT

We had to leave camp early today so I put off PT until the afternoon. Went from 3 to 4 PM.
30 min bike 13.8 km max HR 135 bpm
30 min stairmaster max HR 152 bpm, average 148 bpm.

The stairmaster is a killer workout and my leg muscles are really tight right now. I drank a V8 and had some crackers with peanut butter after PT to tide me over until dinner.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Run outside

I ran outside this morning. I did the 10K route which is eight laps around the camp. It took about an hour with a nice slow pace. The temp is quite cool so it was comfortable and I didn't have to drink too much water.

Yesterday was a rest day because I was feeling a little sore and tired. The rest seemed to work. Today I feel really good and full of energy. I have to admit that getting out of bed was hard but now that I've had breakfast and PT I feel good.

After PT I had a "bird bath" in the sink in the toilet room. The ladies shower has been not-serviceable for the better part of a week and at night we put a sign on the men's shower and take it over for girl hour. This morning there wasn't enough time to get the guys through and myself too so I just washed in the sink. It was ok. Our bathroom is always nice and clean so washing in the sink wasn't a big deal.

Pat asked about the Romanian deadlift. This is an exercise that I have been doing periodically for a few years. I didn't know the name of it, though, so have just started calling it by its real name. I'm trying to educate myself on what these exercises are called but it is not easy since different web sites use different names. All I know is that there is only one name for the one-leg squat and it is a great exercise for the thighs and butt. I'll be doing some of those tomorrow.

Too bad about the snow storm back home. Hope Portugal is sunnier and there are lots of cafes to sit in that serve red wine.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Need new routine

I'm getting bored with my workout and I think that it is time to open the books and build a new routine.

Squat push press 7.5 kg 15
situp 15

bench press O bar + 10 kg 12
leg over med ball 20

single leg squat (bench) 15
tricep dip 15
jack knife on bench 15

lunge with med ball 15
med ball kayak 20

calf raise w 5kg db 20
romainian deadlift w 5 kg db 15

Friday, April 4, 2008


It is a little bit colder today so PT was much easier. It is raining a bit too which is good since the rain cleans all the pollution out of the air.

Did 30min on bike with 13 km and max hr 140 bpm.
Then did 30 min stairmaster max hr 155 bpm.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Delayed post

I did my workout this morning but the computer connection was so slow that I couldn't get on-line to post my workout. It was the usual so you didn't miss any information.

One thing that I am starting to enjoy doing is the one-leg squat on the bench. It is a killer workout but should be great for toning up. Here's the rest - 3 sets of each.

situp (incline) 15
squat push press 7.5 kg db 15

J complex 5 kg 6/each
leg over med ball 20

single leg squat (bench) 15
tricep dip 20
jack knife on bench 20

single arm row 7.5 kg db 12

dead bugs 20
med ball kayak 20

lunge with med ball 15
4 pt shoulder press (5 kg) 10

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Toning routine

Took yesterday off because I was busy but got back into the gym today. Did 3 sets of each:

squat push press 7.5 kg db 15
vsit with med ball 20

single leg squat on bench 15
tricep dip 15
jack knife on bench 15

negative situps 15
lunge 15
leg over med ball 15

calf raise 15
vsit with med ball again 15

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sticky buns

Sorry to hear about the gluten free diet. Hope this doesn't mean an end to sticky buns with butter. Butter by itself is good, but it is hard to eat without the bun underneath.

Heart rate high

Worked at keeping my HR up for the entire hour.
Did 30 min on eliptical with max HR of 145 and average of 140 bpm.
Then did 30 min on stairmaster with a random program. Max HR 161 bpm, avg 150 bpm. Good workout. I feel tired now but am glad that I did it.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Bike 30 min 13.5 km max HR 135 bpm
Stairmaster 30 min L15 max HR 165

Worked like crazy on the stairmaster. Sweated lots, HR was up and drank lots of water.

My chubby friend showed up for PT every day this week but he hasn't been working very hard. At least he showed up though. The rest will come in time. The people replacing me in two months are very fit so it is worth his while to get in shape before they arrive or they will kick his ass. We'll see how it goes.

I'm a little bit tired from my workouts this week but feel really good overall. I feel relaxed and have been sleeping like a log every night. My appetite has improved a lot and last night I had a huge dinner and a junk food feast after but my weight is staying constant - not going up or down,which is good. I'll try to eat more earlier in the day to stave off the food cravings late at night. I'm still eating three cooked meals at the mess but might start having morning snack to get my calorie count up a bit. A lot of the guys are taking protein drinks but I don't want to start doing that.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Was tired this morning but still did a good workout. 3 sets of each:

1 arm db row 7.5 kg X 12
dead bugs 15

squat push press 7.5 kg X 15
leg over med ball 15

single leg squat (bench) 15
tricep dip 15
jack knife on bench 15

bench press O bar + 5 kg 10
lunge 12

4 pt shoulder press 5 kg 12
leg raise 15

rotator cuff 3 kg 12


Thursday, March 27, 2008


Went on the bike for 65 mins. 30 km total. Hr avg 130 bpm

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

toning workout

Started with 30 min on the bike for 14.1 km total.

Then did 3 sets of each:

situp 30

squat push press 7.5 kg db 15
leg over med ball 12

single leg squat (bench) 10/leg
tricep dip 15
jack knife on bench 15

bench press O bar + 10 kg 12
leg raise 20

This took a little over an hour. The exercises felt good and I especially like the set of three on the bench (squat, dip, jack knife)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Upper body

Still recovering from yesterday. I drank lots of water after the 10K but still woke up dehydrated. Did an upper body routine today. 3 sets of each
1 arm db raise (10 kg) 12
bench vsit (supported) 12
upright row (7.5 kg) 12
incline situp 12
lat pulldown (L4) 12
flat bench press (10 kg) 15
bicep curl (7.5 kg) 10
tricep skullcrusher (7.5 kg) 10
military press (5 kg) 10

Now I'm going to spend the rest of the day drinking water.

BTW, did I mention that water drinking is what I'm going to do today?


Monday, March 24, 2008

Don't call me lightning

The Brits had a 10 K run to raise money for a charity that they are supporting. The event was held all day to accommodate shift workers and people had the option of running outdoors or indoors on the treadmill. Myself and one of the supply guys decided to do the outside run so we each paid out $10 and started about 3:15 in the afternoon. I finished in 1:03:40 which includes a slow steady pace, some stops for water and one porta-potty stop. Overall I'm pleased with this time under the conditions and I'm glad that I did the run.

Morning PT

Went for breakfast at 6:30 and then went for PT from 7:00 to 8:15. It feels really good to start the day with a good workout.

Spent 30 min on bike at 12.5 k

Then did 3 sets of each of the following:

incline bench press 10 kg db 12
squat 5 kg db 12

j complex 4 kg 6 each

incline situp 10
leg lift 15
superman 15

smith machine - reverse pullups 10

Short workout but it went ok. My weight this AM is 152 lbs, after breakfast, a bottle of water and the PT. I'm happy with that.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

No Sunday routine

We have not had a Sunday routine for four weeks now. I was hoping that we would have one in honour of Easter Sunday but it wasn't meant to be. My first timing was eight o'clock, as usual. It's not a horrible time, but it would be nice to have one relaxed day this month. Anyway, went to the gym in the late afternoon and did a good workout.

Bike 25 min 11 km

then weight room 3 sets of each exercise

olympic bar 12
O bar + 5 kg 12
squat w/ 5 kg db 20

bench dip 15
jack knife on bench 20

lunge w/ 3 kg med ball 10/leg
vsit w/ 3 kg med ball 20

dead bug 20
crunch 20

situp 25
side squat 10/leg

It was hot so I drank two full bottles of water. This was quite a lot for a routine that includes a lot of ab work but I sweated it out by the time I was done the routine.

Starting tomorrow I am doing PT in the morning before work. The person who works for me is so unfit and unhealthy that he can't even do his job properly. He's been here a month and I've tried to encourage him to do PT, with mixed results. He is incapable of doing exercise and has trouble walking and climbing stairs during our normal work day.

Now his breaking in period is over and my supervisor and I are getting him into a regular PT program whether he wants it or not. This means that we are "babysitting" him in the gym, starting at 7:30 AM. I'll let him do his own program for now since he can't really do anything more strenuous than walking without looking like he's going to have a heart attack. In the mornings the gym is full of Brits so I hope he puts in an effort so they don't form a bad opinion.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Fast run

Went onto the treadmill tonight for a quick run. The first treadmill I went on couldn't keep the speed constant. I bumped it up to 11.5 km/h but it kept dropping to 10.8 and then going up to 11.5 again. I think the belt was slipping. Anyway, did 1.3 km and then switched to another machine. On the second machine I went 11.5 km/h for 2.6 km and then stopped. Max HR was 167 bpm.

We had a BBQ tonight. The food was tasty and the speeches were short. No beer though. I wore shorts for the first time outside of PT. It is definitely shorts weather now which is great.

Friday, March 21, 2008


It's hot and dry here so we are all drinking lots of water these days. It isn't unbearably hot, though. I am so happy that the winter is over. Life is a lot easier now since we don't have to go around in winter clothes and damp. It rained a little bit today but not enough to make a difference to the dust. It did clear some of the smog and pollution out of the air so it is easier to breathe now.

For PT I did a run on the treadmill. 5.5 km in 30:10 minutes. It felt really good to run today. Then I did 30 min on the stairmaster with a total of 600 "steps". It isn't true stairclimbing but I had the resistance turned pretty low so I had to move quickly. Drank lots of water but am still a little bit dehydrated. Energy levels are good tonight and I think the next few days will be quite relaxing, in comparison to the past week.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Went on the stationary bike for 25 km in 52 mins. Not sure what my heart rate was. It's hotter now so I had to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Working hard

I earned my pay this week. The hours have been so long that I didn't even put on civvy's, never mind go to the gym or do anything fun.

I think that tonight was the last really long night. We've turned the corner on the urgent projects and can get back to a normal routine. It's after 9PM and I'm beat so won't go workout tonight but tomorrow I think I'll have time again.

Hope you are having a good week. Talk to you soon.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's getting hot out

Went for PT at 4PM which is great because I haven't had my normal schedule for longer than I can remember.

Run 5 k in 28:06 max HR 165 bpm

bike 17.6 km 41 min HR 135 avg

It's getting hot out and I have to keep reminding myself to drink water. Today my friend in Ottawa emailed me a picture of his house and the snow bank in his front yard is as high as his roof. I guess this was a lucky year to be away from home. I'm so happy that it is warm out now. Life is a lot better and more comfortable. Everyone is more cheerful and they come out of their rooms more now. Only two months to go before I am home (plus or minus a couple of weeks).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ankle is better now

My sprained ankle is better now. I also had a shorter work day than usual. I went for PT at 8PM and did the stationary bike for 25 km which took 1 hour (less a small amount of time.) Felt pretty good but I'm tired from the long hours.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Busy lately

Tonight I went for PT at 8:30 PM. Did the stationary bike for 20 km in 48:45 minutes. It was a slow pace but felt good.

I sprained my ankle a little while ago but it didn't hurt on the ride tonight.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Short workout today

Went for an easy bike workout today. 45 minutes with a total of 20 km. I'm quite tired today from all the long hours and didn't have my usual energy. Things should settle down in a week or two and then I'll get back at it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

2 Mar workout

This is yesterday's workout that I haven't had time to post until today.
Run 5 km in 29:12 . Avg speed 10.5 km. Max HR 165 bpm.

I was too busy to go to the gym today. Maybe tomorrow (hopefully).

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Feeling good

I was very pleased with my "stats" today and went into the weight room with a good attitude. It was full of Brits today but I just moved around them and did my thing. I only use girlie weights so I never have to wait in line to get what I want.

Situps (full) 50 reps X 2 sets

3 sets of the following:
squat push press 7.5 kg db - 15 reps
let raise 25

romanian deadlift 7.5 kg db - 15
forward lunge: 7.5 kg db - 9 & no weight 15; with medicine ball 15 X 2 sets (it is very hard to do a proper lunge with a medicine ball held straight out in front of you. Normally I wouldn't have thought of it on my own but one of the French Cdns walked my me and suggested it so I tried it. Painful but a good workout. I'll do it again.)

J complex (arms) - 4 kg db, 6 of each exercise
crunch 25

glute bridge march 15
calf raise 7.5 kg db 15

bench dips 20

bicep curl 7.5 kg db 15
med ball twist (abs) 25

rotator cuff 3 kg db 20, 20, 12

finished with:
situps (full) 25 reps X 4 sets

Good workout today. I'm curious to know how I'm going to feel tomorrow since I was quite sore after doing this workout last week.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Hey Hey Hey

Hey hey hey, Fat Albert says go to the gym and do your cardio. And I'm going to sing a song for youuuoouou. And Bill's going to tell you a thing or twoooowowowo.

Ok, I'm a little bit happy today. I've been working like a dog the last three days, and not a lazy dog either. More like a dog on speed. Running around for no apparent reason, fetching things for other people, barking at trees. Well not really barking but you get the idea.

Anyway... today was a long day again - 7:30 AM to 8:30 PM BUT I did get a couple of hours in the middle to go the gym.

run 5 km in 28:15 max HR 156 (better than before), avg HR 152
bike 29 km in 60 min max HR 140 avg HR 134
hot today, drank lots of water all day and one bottle during PT

I feel great. Lots of energy and burned off some tension. The days are sunny now so it is actually fun to be outside. The really hot weather hasn't come yet so it's still comfortable. Best of all there's only two and a half months left until I come home.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I miss the gym but long work days have prevented me from going. I'm not sure what tomorrow brings but am hoping to get back to my workouts.

On the good side it is warm here now.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Active recovery

Had a lot of sore muscles today because I changed my routine yesterday. Glutes, hamstrings and shoulders were telling me that I was not their favorite person today. To make it up to them I went for a mild bike ride of 60 minutes exactly with 29.6 km distance. Max heart rate 140 bpm and average hr 135 bpm. Well within a safe zone. Drank a bottle of water during workout.

I liked yesterday's workout, though, and I'll do it again on Wednesday. Tomorrow I will be out of the camp from noon until 9PM or so and won't get my workout done. I'll use it as my rest day this week.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

New weight routine

On the way back from my trip I bought the Men's Health 2008 guide for inspiration. It serves my purpose better than the women's guide because it focuses on building strength and endurance vs. toning. Tonight I pulled some exercises out of the magazine and tried them out. It was time to shake up the old routine that I was doing and bring some life back into my workout.

Here's the routine. 3 sets of each ex:

squat push press 7.5 kg db X 12
leg lifts 15

romanian deadlift 7.5 kg db X 12
single leg squat X 10 per leg

J complex (from the website) 4 kg db X 6 of each exercise
crunch X 25

glute bridge march X 12/side
dumbbell calf raise 4 kg X 15

rotator cuff 3 kg db X 15/side
crunch side 15

dead bugs (abs) 25
stretch - total body

Right now my shoulders and legs are sore. I can also feel the workout in my back which is good since usually I don't feel like it was exercised. I'm curious to see how I feel tomorrow. Drank lots of water today and ate three well balanced meals. Energy is good and spirits are good.

Morning PT

Went to the gym at 10:30 AM and had a good workout. Did a run of 5 km in 28:38. Max HR 170 bpm, still too fast. Felt good after the workout though. Had lunch at noon and skipped dessert so I'll give myself a pat on the back for that. This afternoon I am going to concentrate on drinking lots of water while I work to keep my fluid levels high.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Flood fixed

Well the custodians fixed the flood in the gym and all of us gym rats were allowed back inside. Unfortunately it became flooded with Brits who hogged all the good equipment so I modified my workout and had a good burn. 3 sets

Vsit with med ball twist X 25
squat push press w/ med ball X 25

crunch X 25
forward lunge w/ 5 kg db X 12/leg

bench dips X 15
1 arm db row 7.5 kg X 15

Vsit on bench 15

bench press O bar + 5 kg/side X 15, 11, 8

upright row 7.5 kg db X 12

military press 5 kg db X 12

Cardio - stair master for 20 min

Had a good burn by the time I was finished. Drank a full bottle of water during the workout. My legs are tired but I have lots of energy.

We went to a Thai restaurant tonight as a going away party for the guys I work with. They'll all be heading home in the next couple of weeks and the new crew will show up. They're pretty happy and the Thai food was good. I'm full of rice right now and have a happy carb glow.


The gym is closed today because there is a flood. Hopefully it opens soon. A lot of people will be disappointed if they can't get their workout, including me.

Weight today 152 lbs. It has been stable which is a good sign that I am balancing my exercise and nutrition properly. I've had a few cheat foods lately but have managed to work them off in the gym.

Friday, February 22, 2008

We Endure

I joined a website that helps you track your mileage and lets you know how you are progressing towards your goal. Up to now I have been posting my workouts but haven't kept track of the mileage in any way. The website is called I set up a profile and am going to keep track of my running and biking. I'll also still post here since it keeps me honest and I need to focus on weights too.

Today's workout was cardio. I ran on the treadmill for 5 km in 29:10 with a max heart rate of 170 bpm. Unfortunately the 170 was my HR for over two thirds of the run. Not good!

Then I did stationary bike for a while. Cycled 24 km but wasn't sure of the time since the display was broken. The HR was 135 bpm which is healthy and sustainable. Drank a full bottle of water during the ride.

I feel pretty good now. Supper wasn't much to write about but I'm having a cup of hot tea right now and am sitting here waiting for a phone call about one of my work orders. It is 8 PM so hopefully the call comes soon and I can call it a night. Yes I know that I'm lazy and slothful but I'm ok with that part of my character. lol

Thursday, February 21, 2008

BBQ tonight - no PT

Tonight we are going for a BBQ at one of the sites we support. It is snowing out so I think that everyone will hang out inside the building all jammed together in a small space. It should be a good time. Because of the short time between finishing work and going out there will not be any PT today. I'll make up for it tomorrow, though.

There was a question about our outside temperatures. It has been cold for three months. The last two days it warmed up and was sunny but today it is below zero again and a wet snow is coming down. It isn't terribly cold but since we spend a lot of time outside I find that I need my long johns and coat on almost all day.

To get an idea what it is like, imagine having all the rooms of your house in separate buildings. The kitchen is in one building half way across camp. The bathroom another building down a long boardwalk. Your TV room and lounge is in a fourth room. Your bedroom is across the way from the TV room. Your gym is in the same building as the kitchen - far far away. Your mail room is on the other side of your little camp. You don't have a garage for your cars -they are outside of course. And last but not least your office is in a separate building again. All these places are relatively close together but when it is -10 degrees you really feel the cold when moving from place to place doing your normal activities. This isn't complaining - it is what it is. I'm just trying to give you a picture of life here in the wintertime.

BBQ tonight - no PT

Tonight we are going for a BBQ at one of the sites we support. It is snowing out so I think that everyone will hang out inside the building all jammed together in a small space. It should be a good time. Because of the short time between finishing work and going out there will not be any PT today. I'll make up for it tomorrow, though.

There was a question about our outside temperatures. It has been cold for three months. The last two days it warmed up and was sunny but today it is below zero again and a wet snow is coming down.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


My legs hurt today and I felt twinges in my chest and shoulders when I moved quickly. Nevertheless it was a really good day. Spent time driving around to do work at the other camps and it was sunny and warm all day. Had a good time and accomplished a lot of work too.

This evening I did a slow run. 3 miles (5 km) in 30 minutes. My thighs weren't happy with me for the run but my breathing was nice and relaxed and the heart didn't have to work too hard. It was a nice day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Parsnip fries for dinner

Had an interesting side dish for dinner tonight. The cooks shredded parsnips and baked them up like little french fries. They tasted really good - crunchy and sweet.

In the gym I finally got back into the weight room and had a good workout. My weights were a little lower than before because I haven't done a proper workout for so long but I don't think it will take long to get back at it. 3 sets of each

squats 25
O bar 10 (warmup)
O bar + 10 kg X 12
O bar + 15 kg X 12 X 2 sets

lunge (forward) 12/leg
flat bench dumbbell press 15 kg X 12; 12.5 kg X 12 X 2 sets

lunge (side) 12/leg
1 arm db row 10 kg X 12

leg raises 25
upright row 7 kg db X 12

Vsit with med ball twist 25/side
4 pt shoulder press 5kg db X 12

full situps 30

My legs are a little sore from doing cardio and now lunges and squats. The rest of me is ok though. I was a little winded towards the end of my workout which was ok because I was trying to get my heart rate up. Only three months to go to get back in shape for summer vacation. I think I can do it now that I don't have any distractions.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Spent one hour on the stationary bike yesterday. Loved it. Three of the treadmills are broken so didn't have a chance to run because the Brits were using them.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cardio X2

Did a short run of 2 miles in 19 minutes. Then did 30 min on the elliptical machine. I was hungry when I went to work out and it showed when I ran out of energy. It still feels good to be back in the gym,though.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Back at er

Went to the gym tonight at 4:45 pm and boy did it ever feel good to do a workout again. I went on the treadmill for 3 miles (5 km) in 26:45 min. Started really slow because I wasn't sure if the altitude would affect me and didn't want to stress my post-holiday muscles too much. Started feeling really good half way through the workout so I put the speed up and finished much faster than I started. Afterwards I hopped on the stationary bike for 30 min. Just a slow ride to loosen up the muscles a bit.

I'm still jet lagged from the trip but am putting in full work days and then some. My luggage has been located but hasn't arrived yet. Also, winter is taking its toll. The women's toilet room has frozen pipes and I have been sharing the men's. Luckily they have lots of stalls. The showers are working ok. The women's is hotter and cleaner but when I'm not in there some of the guys go use it. Things are working out ok here and we are all in a rhythm that seems to work. The new people will start arriving in the next couple of weeks and I hope they are relaxed when they show up.

That's it for tonight. I'm really tired and I'm going to hit the sack. Talk to you again tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Arrived safely

Hi. I arrived safely at my final destination but my luggage decided to stay in Toronto for an extra night. It should arrive sometime, perhaps. I'm quite jet lagged but otherwise ok. Just so you know, my hotmail account isn't working. I'll try to find out why but until then my work email account is still active if you need to contact me.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Traveling today

Adios amigos and amigas,
I start traveling today so won't be in touch with you for quite a while. Due to the magic of the international date line I can burn through two calendar days in only 20 hours. Then I have some short haul trips and I'll be back in location. I'll email you when I arrive.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Monopoly World Edition

The Monopoly game is creating a World Edition and is asking for our votes to choose which cities will be included on the new game board. So far there are three Canadian cities in the top twenty but they need your votes to stay there. The 3 cities are Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Check the Leaderboard and cast your vote by visiting the website.

To continue the monopoly theme, last November Mike and Rob at the TwoWiseAcres Real Estate blog posted an article called 5 Lessons Monopoly Can Teach Us About Real Estate Investing. This article has been a favorite around the blogosphere and there have been a lot of links to it from other bloggers. I am hugely impressed with the creativity that went into the article and am recommending it to all of you.

Happy reading and don't forget to VOTE.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Thank you

Thank you Rabbits from Rabbit Hill. They're beautiful.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Market commentary

Volatility can be a friend to value investors with cash.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'd rather be sailing

It's time to share the pic of the treat I bought myself when I was coming home. It is sitting on the rug from Samarkand, which I really like. Thanks cycling potato.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Personality profile

I just took an on-line personality test and it came up with a profile called INTJ. I'm curious to know if you think it sounds like me or is total bog wash. The other profiles are included for your reading pleasure. You might see yourself in one or more of these abstractions.

You are an INTJ

INTJ: "Life's independent thinkers": Very few INTJs exist in the U.S. but they have a vast influence on corporate and academic life (think Ted Turner and Steve Jobs). They have the vision and will see it through to completion. Leadership skills enable this type to play a dramatic role in shaping U.S. corporate culture. Independence is the force that motivates. The perfect think tank specialist. the INTJ's natural partner is the ENFP, or the ENTP. INTJ's dominant function of Introverted Intuition is best matched with a partner whose personality is dominated by Extraverted Intuition.

ISTJ: "Life's natural organizers": Dependable, accountable, responsible. Type: the quintessential manager. A no-frills, work-hard/play-hard sort. Lives by the bottom line and can be very cost-conscious. Work comes first, then family and community (describes 6% of the general population, 30% of the U.S. military). the ISTJ's natural partner is the ESFP, or the ESTP. ISTJ's dominant function of Introverted Sensing is best matched with a partner whose personality is dominated by Extraverted Sensing.

ISFJ: "Committed to getting the job done": Fierce commitment, responsibility and deep loyalty. Puts service above self and is dedicated and dutiful in most aspects of life. Quiet, content to work quietly alone. Becomes wrapped up in servicing others. ISFJ's natural partner is the ESTP, or the ESFP. ISFJ's dominant function of Introverted Sensing is best matched with a partner whose dominant function is Extraverted Sensing.

ISTP: "Just do it": Often misunderstood and underestimated. A "Lone Ranger" type. Would rather be doing than planning. Produces results without getting bogged down in bureaucratic red tape. Would rather put out fires than design fire drills. the ISTP's natural partner is the ESTJ, or the ENTJ. ISTP's dominant function of Introverted Thinking is best matched with a partner whose personality is dominated by Extraverted Thinking. The ISTP/ESTJ combination is ideal, because both types share the Sensing preference for perceiving the world, but ISTP/ENTJ is also a good combination.

ISFP: "Action speaks louder than words": Manager who will pass up a promotion to stay where the action is. Live and let live is the motto, and service is the cornerstone of motivation. Supports and helps all colleagues on the job. the ISFJ's natural partner is the ESTP, or the ESFP. ISFJ's dominant function of Introverted Sensing is best matched with a partner whose dominant function is Extraverted Sensing.

ESTP: "Making the most of the moment": A risk-taking, entrepreneurial, give-it-a-go person. A type with a real flair for most things. Doers with a basic built-in restlessness who like to keep their hands in a variety of pots, cheering to keep everyone on their toes and to keep life exciting. Downside: restless/hyperactive. ESTP's natural partner is the ISFJ, or the ISTJ. ESTP's dominant function of Extraverted Sensing is best matched with a personality type that is dominated by Introverted Sensing.

ESFP: "Let's make work fun": Free-spirited, nervy and nonconforming. If the work is not fun, tends to avoid or drop the issue and move on to something different. Very sociable type who enjoys high energy and jovial interaction. Can keep many projects moving at once. Strength is allowing others to be different and work at an individual pace. Good in big, bureaucratic organizations. Can work the system for the good of all involved. ESFP's natural partner is the ISTJ, or the ISFJ. ESFP's dominant Extraverted Sensing function is best matched with a personality that is dominated by Introverted Sensing.

ESTJ: "Life's natural administrators": Proverbial jack of all trades. Accountable, responsible, productive, results-oriented. Found in leadership positions in a cross section of professions, from law and medicine to education and engineering. When a job is to be done, a regulation established, a system implemented or an ongoing program evaluated, call on an ESTJ to manage it. ESTJ's natural partner is the ISTP, or the INTP. ESTJ's dominant function of Extraverted Thinking is best matched with someone whose dominant function is Introverted Thinking. The ESTJ/ISTP combination is deal because it also shared the Sensing way of perceiving the world, but the ESTJ/INTP combination is also quite good.

ESFJ: "Everyone's trusted friend": Graciousness describes the general lifestyle of this type and sums up the management style. Can encourage and motivate workers to accomplish goals. The work setting is very formal but pleasant. Tends to display parental judgment, even impatience. This is called a Santa Claus management style, since the ESFJ keeps lists, even mental ones, and checks them twice. Distributes rewards and critical glances/guilt trips. ESFJ's natural partner is the ISFP, or the INFP. ESFJ's dominant function of Extraverted Feeling is best matched with someone whose dominant function is Introverted Feeling. The ESFJ/ISFP combination is ideal because is shares the common Sensing way of perceiving the world, but the ESFJ/INFP combination is also very good.

INFJ: "An inspiring leader and follower": Scholarly, dependable in the workplace. A popular human services-oriented type who directs energies toward bettering the human condition. A gentle person who cares for and has genuine concern for others. Likes neatness and order at work and a setting of quiet congeniality. Intellectual and idealistic. INFJ's natural partner is the ENTP, or the ENFP. INFJ's dominant function of Introverted Intuition is best matched with a personality type that is dominated by Extraverted Intuition.

INTJ: "Life's independent thinkers": Very few INTJs exist in the U.S. but they have a vast influence on corporate and academic life (think Ted Turner and Steve Jobs). They have the vision and will see it through to completion. Leadership skills enable this type to play a dramatic role in shaping U.S. corporate culture. Independence is the force that motivates. The perfect think tank specialist. the INTJ's natural partner is the ENFP, or the ENTP. INTJ's dominant function of Introverted Intuition is best matched with a partner whose personality is dominated by Extraverted Intuition.

INFP: "Making life kinder and gentler": Whether leading or following, this type is most productive when working for some idea or service. Cannot tolerate routine. Needs to serve personal values. If INFPs can translate their work into a type of human service, it might make something they do not want to do somewhat worthwhile. They make decisions subjectively based upon personal values and do not want to control others. Are comfortable with a live-and-let-live credo. Not typically found in an executive position in a corporate setting. Good at executive behaviors in a movement or an institution centered around social causes. INFP's natural partner is the ENFJ, or the ESFJ. INFP's dominant function of Introverted Feeling is best matched with a partner whose dominant function is Extraverted Feeling. The INFP/ENFJ combination is ideal, because it shares the Sensing way of peceiving, but the INFP/ESFJ combination is also a good match.

INTP: "Life's conceptualizers": Free-spirited idea mills and/or absent-minded professors. Love the abstract and need time to be alone and to think and rethink. They do their "homework" on any issue presented to them. (Males have an easier time being cool and aloof than females.) Might have a lack of social awareness. They provide a source of ideas and inspiration, but making deadline is not a top priority. Great clarity of thought and vision for an undertaking. the INTP's natural partner is the ENTJ, or the ESTJ. The INTP's dominant function of Introverted Thinking is best matched with a partner whose personality is dominated by Extraverted Thinking. The INTP/ENTJ match is ideal, because these types shared Intuition as a common way of perceiving the world, but INTP/ESTJ is also a good match.

ENFP: "People are the product": Do well in executive roles even though their characteristics of effervescence, enthusiasm and spontaneity are not typical of top corporate managers. They can be very skilled at flying by the seat of their pants. Can do many things at the same time but might neglect to plan and be prepared. More females fit this type than males, but males tend to be promoted. Have great ability to empower others. Inspiration rather than control is key to their management style. ENFP's natural partner is the INTJ, or the INFJ. ENFP's dominant function of Extraverted Intuition is best matched with a partner whose dominant function is Introverted Intuition.

ENTP: "Progress is the product": When an ENTP is on the job, you never know what to expect next. Every moment is up for grabs when they are around. Characteristics: energetic, dynamic, creative, resilient, argumentative. They are punsters who would rather engage in intellectual banter than complete some meaningless task or be quiet by themselves. The public world is exciting to them; they tend not to be committed to a schedule or project if a more exciting challenge comes along. ENTP's natural partner is the INFJ, or the INTJ. The ENTP's dominant function of Extraverted Intuition is best matched with a personality that is dominated by Introverted Intuition.

ENFJ: "Smooth-talking persuaders": They are life's salespeople, natural convincers. Prefer to live their daily lives in a structured, scheduled and orderly fashion. Aware of interpersonal dynamics in every situation, but have a strong need to lead. Females fit in well at work and have a high need to please others. Those males with these characteristics sometimes have the problem of being seen as wimpy and seek out jobs in psychology, theology and other people-oriented careers. ENFJ's natural partner is the INFP, or the ISFP. ENFJ's dominant function of Extraverted Feeling is best matched with a partner whose dominant function is Introverted Feeling. An ENFJ and INFP are ideally matched, because they share the Intuitive way of looking at the world, but the ENFJ and ISFP are also a very good match.

ENTJ: "Life's natural leaders": Have right mixture of basic leadership qualities: enthusiasm, vision, objectivity and accountability. Most often these characteristics are attributed to males. Women need to balance their natural femininity with their natural leadership skills. All ENTJs are robust, direct and hearty strategists who can see possibilities in almost everything and can act upon these possibilities instantly. ENTJ's natural partner is the INTP, or the ISTP. AN ENTJ's dominant function of Extraverted Thinking is best-matched with a personality type that is dominanted by Introverted Thinking. The ENTJ/INTP match is ideal, because it also shares the common Intuitive way of looking at the world, but the ENTJ/ISTP match is also very good.

Near white out

I'm slowly losing sight of the neighbours.

-40 on the prairies

Our reliable weather spotter Patricia mentioned that it is minus 40 C on the prairies. That's pretty darn cold, if you ask me, and I think that most Prairie dwellers would agree. It might be a little warmer here but it certainly is not the weather you want if you are planning to be outside today. There is a flash freeze warning with high wind gusts and freezing rain. Actually I was woken up this morning by the sound of the wind shaking my house. I'm chalking that phenomenon up to a strong wind, not to a weak house.

I reluctantly spent yesterday indoors with the hope that I could go out for a walk today, but somehow I don't think that is going to happen. I have lots of good books to read, plenty of food and no particular reason to go out in today's weather. I was toying with the idea of putting my car back on the road for the next week but think that I'll cancel those plans.

Road trips to Ottawa and Toronto would be fun but they can wait until spring when the highways are safer. Now you know the truth - Babe is an armchair adventurer. I'm a fair weather excursionist who is just as happy to explore the world of books and imagination as the winter wonderland known as Canada in January.

It's a good thing I don't live in the tropics. Life would be pretty boring if every day was warm and sunny. Right now I have the excitement of watching the wind blow life past my front window. My neighbour's hot tub cover is blowing away in the wind. There is a dog walker going by the front of my house. It's rare to see a dog with an expression on its face, but this one is definitely saying "couldn't this crazy lady have left me at home?" The school bus is canceled so the usual group of kids didn't come out today.

Generally it is a good time to hibernate. I'm down to the last few chapters of Into the Wild and should have it finished before lunch. The author wrote about some other explorers who have perished over the years and tried to make sense of the mindset these people had. It is tempting to claim to understand the desire to live a minimalist life and get away from civilized society but I'm not sure that I can get my head around the complete renunciation of life that these men exhibited. The concept of simplifying your life and "getting away from it all" is a different animal than going into the woods and starving to death. By choice. Without putting a back up plan in place to save yourself. I probably won't be able to understand it because I can't conceive of living this kind of life.

The next book on my stack is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. Have any of you read it? If so, what did you think?