miscellaneous

everything else

Coming Soon: Spring

It’s the second day of March, and, with the windchill factored in, it’s – 15C outside. People are telling me that Spring is “just around the corner.” Really.

To be fair, – 15C isn’t bad, considering that we’ve just come out of a couple of weeks where the temps have been been between – 27C and – 37C. But, warm weather creature that I am, I figure I’m looking at six more weeks of chilly stuff before we get to “warmish”. And that doesn’t take into account the inevitable “Let’s have one more go at it” early April snowstorm.

Never mind. Spring is on its way. Really.

So I’m preparing for some outdoor running. When the daytime temps get to about 5C (and the rock salt disappears from the sidewalks), that means short barefoot runs around the the neighbourhood. As the temperatures rise, the runs will get longer. By early May, I should be doing some decent distances – barefoot, shirtless, and watchless. (Think blissful Zen-style runs.)

When the rock salt goes, the skateboard will come out. I made some progress in the late Fall as “Skateboard Newbie,” but I have a long way to go before becoming “Skateboard Al.” I’m not aiming at learning any advanced tricks – just cruising around the ‘hood and being able to ollie will suit me fine.

Last on my Spring “ta da!” list is getting my fixed-gear bike on the road again. It’s a custom-built titanium frame, it’s brakeless, it sports Phil Woods hubs and a Brooks Swift saddle, and it’s an absolute beauty. It only needs new tires for the new season, and I’ll be profiling proudly.

I feel better already.

In Review: 2014

Just for fun, here’s the skinny on what happened on this blog in 2104. What traffic was like, where visitors came from, yadda, yadda, yadda..

Check it out!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Kelso

Kelso

This afternoon, we said goodbye to our greyhound Kelso.

His going was gentle and peaceful. We were with him until the last, holding him, talking to him, and letting him know he was loved. It wasn’t easy, but he was ready to go, and he seemed to be at peace at the end.

Kelso was a gentle companion, a loyal friend, and a beautiful animal. In the four and a half years he was with us, he gave us so much joy. He made us laugh, he taught us a lot, and he filled our world with wonder. JoAnne, Toby, and I will miss him hugely.

My heart aches.

Coming Up

I’m not posting much to the blog these days. That’s because our house is being renovated. We’ve moved out temporarily, and the dogs and cats have been boarded. The project is supposed to take three months to complete. And that’s not all – we’ll be travelling for a couple of weeks early in the new year as well.

For a while, I’ll rely on my tablet, rather than my desktop computer, to access the Net. All well and good for Twitter, Feedly, etc., but a bit of a chore when it comes to writing lengthy blog posts. So, for now, I’ll just bring you up to date on some of the things I’ll post when I next get close to a computer.

First, a post about homoeopathy. I’ve been following a homoeopathic regime for a little over a year now, and it’s brought about some significant improvements to my health. I know that homoeopathy doesn’t sit comfortably with a lot of people, so I’ll give serious thought to what I’ll say about it. I don’t want to start any wars on the subject, but I do want to share my experiences.

Same with topic number two, which is earthing. It’s another controversial subject. Besides, I’m fairly new to it. So I’ll let some time go by before putting my thoughts in a post. Again, though, this is about health improvement and enhancement, and I want to share what I’ve learned.

Lastly, I’m running the Run4RKids 8 Hour Ultra on January 3, so you can expect to see a full race report soon afterwards. Because both homoeopathy and earthing are playing roles in my training for this event, you can also expect to read something about them in the report.

Stay tuned!

Skateboard

FootBoard

I recently bought my first skateboard. I’ve always wanted one, but always found excuses for not getting one, as in “I won’t be able to do it,” “I don’t have the time to do it,” and “I’m too old for that sort of thing.”

Excuses don’t cut it anymore. In the end, I figured it was time to learn some new skills, so I took the plunge.

I’d really wanted a longboard, as I think they’re the most beautiful type of skateboard. But I was convinced by two of the staff at Zumiez, a local board shop, that a shorter, lighter, and wider board would be better. So I ended up with a Z Flex Street Rocket.

Street Rocket

The Street Rocket is described on the manufacturer’s site as “Low to the ground and built for speed, the Street Rocket has been the go to board from the ages… Quality, speed, and durability will take you back to the beginning where originality was everything.” (I love the way skateboarders talk.) I also bought a helmet and some cheap Converse sneaker knockoffs to go with the board.

So far, I’ve only had a couple of sessions on the board, on my driveway and on the street beyond it. It’s a scary experience – like slathering your feet with vaseline and stepping onto a sheet of ice. But it’ll come, I’m sure. Next step is to head over to the local schoolyard, where there’s more flat asphalt and no traffic. Eventually, I hope to try out the city’s skateboard park, which is highly-rated among local skateboarders.

As it turns out, my fondness for concrete and my new interest in photography has played out nicely in getting a bunch of images from the local city skatepark.

Skateboard bowl

By the way, the image at the top of the post is a hope for the future. To date, I’ve only seen one person riding barefoot on a skateboard – a tall, young guy on a longboard moving effortlessly along a neighbourhood street. Don’t know if I’ll ever get there – but I’m certainly going to try!

Birthday!

1948 Limited Edition

Today’s my birthday. I’m now 66 years old.

Funnily enough, that doesn’t seem old. I’m aware of having lived for a (relatively) long time, but that’s not the same as feeling old. I’ve been through adventures and misadventures, good and bad health, smart moves and some very dumb ones, and I’ve got the scars (physical and psychological) to show for the journey. For all the ups and downs, though, I’ve ended up in a good space. I’m a happy man.

All in all, it seems to me that 66 is a nice number. What surprises me is how much I’m looking forward to 70. :-)