Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Monday, 29 June 2009
For what was to have been a stormy weekend with rain and thundershower's, we really lucked out. Saturday and Sunday ended up being Diamond Days. Sunshine, warmth, gentle summer breezes. It was our real first taste of summer.
Cottager's and camper's have made their way back to the "hood". Teenagers have been partying hard on the beaches the last few weeks since they've been released into the wilds and have been let out of school.
The migratory waterbird's are back too. Seagull's or as I affectionately call them "Shithawks" are back, along with Turn's, Buffleheads, Mallard's, well you get my drift.
Yesterday was a gorgeous day and I ended up going for a 47K bike tour. But more about that later. I'm on staycation, I don't have to sit at my computer! So, I'll catch up with you later, enjoy yourselves.
Life's fun if you don't weaken,
Thursday, 25 June 2009
The top guys are leaving with millions in their pockets, while my friends have their retirement funds taken back and are left wondering if they have to now look for jobs at age 70, because everything they had, stocks, retirement funds, everything is being yanked away from them.
There is something terribly wrong with this.
Now, don't get me wrong, on this next topic, as I have been involved unions myself at one point or another but here is the most absurd issue EVER.
In Toronto, the largest city of Canada and yes, Toronto considers itself to be the centre of the universe, we have striking city CUPE workers who collect garbage on strike as well as the unionised workers who operate day-care's within the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) . This has gone on for several days, the garbage is piling up and it is stinking to high heaven with the record breaking high temperatures we are experiencing. Now I live hours away from Toronto now, but my father is still there. He says it is very distressing. There has been no real effort to stop this madness nor have they even come close to reaching an agreement with the union.
but here's the clincher;
The province of Ontario has also been in contract talks Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). The LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) want to roll back the number of full time employee's, hire them back as casual labour and therefor do not have to pay for their benefits, pensions and health care as well they can cut their hours of working without having to justify it since they would be considered "casual labour".
"The main issue is the breakdown between full-time and part-time jobs, said Robinson, who added that 60% of LCBO workers fall into the casual worker category and earn an annual income of less than $20,800 per year.“The central issue is what kind of jobs do we want in Ontario?” he said. “ Do we want ones with decent pay and benefits, or insecure part-time, throwaway jobs?”"
It was announced on Tuesday, June 23rd, the LCBO would be going on strike at midnight that night.
People across the province rushed to their local Liquor Control Board of Ontario store in fear that the liquor retailer would be closed for the upcoming long weekend. Many of the stores had their shelves cleared and a spokesperson for the provincial retailer said the LCBO racked up as much as $ 60 million in sales yesterday -- setting a corporation record.
With the fear of a province going dry and with the fear of losing such a cash cow, the province and OPSUE went back to the bargaining table and ratified some of the contract. Therefor no strike. The LCBO is a multimillion dollar corporation and yes, they do pay back and pay forward with monies going to hospitals etc., but are we controlled by unions? Would this have happened if it were privatised and the local depannier or grocery store could sell liquor? The province would never give up this cash cow.
What truly astounded me was the number of people who flocked to the Liquor stores to stock up, it was incredible. (yes, I was one of them, I picked up two bottles of red wine (Domaine Boyer) and a 6 pack of beer, yes, Molson Canadian).
Now, why can they divert a strike when it involves closet alcoholics and huge income maker and not divert a strike which involves the health and safety of a city like Toronto?
I am not educated in such things and do not profess to even begin to understand. And I'm sure I'm missing the point in some cases but really, it make you wonder.
Life's fun if you don't weaken,
I took that photo on June 23rd!!
oh, I've also been running 5k and cycling - GO ME!!
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Monday, 22 June 2009
It has come to my attention that there seems to be more activity going on with "us" lately than there has been over the past three months. Don't get me wrong, I love to be included on such things as walks, massages, loving caress's as you apply Pensaid or soaking in a hot bathtub with Epsom salts, or propped up with a hot water bottle or even better, ICE. Of course there is my ever fashionable brace during those achy days, but, I just happened to look over the keyboard while you had your feet on your desk at work and noticed that there were two races recently modified on your sidebar.
WTF are you thinking?
You want me to start running distances again as well as all this biking? Are you out of your ever loving mind? Do you not realise the pain we went through with Paetella surgeries years ago and how long we were laid up? Do you not remember the second time when you went for your little sleep, while I was poked, prodded, and suctioned during arthroscopic knee surgery, NO, you don't remember any of this do you?
Are you having a Blonde Moment??
Did I just read that you've signed up for the Canada Army Run in September and the Picton Half Marathon in October???
No wonder we've been getting up really early and going out for these "little training runs", you thought you'd pull one on me didn't you, you thought that you would increase the mileage and I wouldn't notice.
Well, let me tell you something sister, okay, I'll go along for the ride on the bike, but when it comes to this running schnitzzzz, you'd better be ready for me to run right along with you! But remember, you'd better *look after me and I'll look after you.
Yipppeee, we are back in action. Half Marathon training has begun.
*'cuz if you don't I'll cause you such pain you'll regret you ever had this blonde moment!!!
Thursday, 18 June 2009
This past week I've been getting up and out the door to go for my early morning runs before I get ready for work. The alarm goes off at 5:30, I have my chat with the Big Guy up stairs (yes, I pray) and then I have my "warm and fuzzy" cuddles with Lily, feed her (you don't think I'd get out the door if she hadn't been fed do you?) and out I go.
Believe it or not, I'm up to a whopping 2.20K in 16 minutes....please, hold back on the applause!
Thrown into the mix, I've been biking after work. I'm still not 100% comfortable doing long distances on my own yet, but on Tuesday after work Wooo Hooo Karen and I had a really nice 30K + ride in sunshine and warm weather. It was fabulous, but note to self, I really need to get a proper tire pump. My hand held pump just doesn't get the right amount of pressure into the tires. So maybe tomorrow I'll head over to Bushtukah and / or Moutain Equipment Co-op and check out what they have to suggest. I have Birthday gift certificates burning a hole in my pocket for Bushtukah, so trust me, I'll find something I want!
Yesterday I took a huge step out of my comfort zone and I went shopping, I HATE shopping, but I was down to the nubs on ever possible staple you need for your house. Last December I actually went to Costco which is about 40 minutes from where I live and got a membership, I really don't understand the philosophy of spending money on memberships when you're going to spend money on items, but I got one anyway. Yes, I walked in, signed up walked out and haven't been back. Duh.
So yesterday having to go out of absolute necessity, really truly, I drove over, parked the car, took a big deep breath and walked in, grab my cart and toured around like a visitor from another planet would. Holy YIKES, who knew all the schnitzzz stuff you can get there. I spent about an hour and half there and well, I now have enough toilet paper and Kleenex to last until I'm 80 years old. Plus, I looked as though I have a family of 12, people kept staring at my cart, maybe they just do that naturally to see what I have that they've forgotten to pick up...
Once I get over the shock of dropping all that money and realizing that when I need to buy more T.P. in 2020, it wasn't such a bad deal after all. Will I go back? Definitely I'll go back because I spotted a sweet little red kayak that would look good on the Ottawa river with me in it!!!
Now that I've consumed my lunch (yes, from Costco), and robbed the company of time while writing this post, I'd better get back to work!
hmmmm, wonder what lunch will be today? ....I'm still hungry....
Life's fun if you don't weaken,
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Monday, 15 June 2009
I use to get up at the butt crack of dawn and ride my mountain bike around the bay, which is a nice 10K loop, with a few rolling hills and great scenery of the Ottawa River. It really is very nice, but for some reason over the past few years I stopped doing it. In fact, since the beginning of 2009 I've stopped doing a lot of things. There is absolutely no reason why I can't get back into this little habit, it in fact would be really good for me if I did. Note to self, get your lazy A$$ in gear. Am I suffering from *Agoraphobia?
*From the Greek words Αγορά (Agora, public place, often a marketplace), and Φοβία (Phobia, an intense often irrational fear). It is actually a fear of all open, public places, especially crowded places. Victims could even find leaving their secured environment (house), physically impossible. As they may experience drowsiness and often loose consciousness.
Well, I haven't consciously lost consciousness, nor am I any more dopey or drowsier than normal. Who knows, but it something to contemplate. LOL.
This weekend was our first full weekend of nice weather. Unbelievable, we actually hit "average" temperatures, two days in a row! How freeking great is that?? Geezzzz, someone please tell the weather gods that I need my sunshine and warmth, paaaallleeezzzzzzzzzz!
On the running front, well, I need to find my reason to run again. I'm missing it and need to shake it up a little. It is hard when you have no real goal. I've never really been one to set goals, but I need to set one now.
So, here goes....whether I walk it or run / walk it, I'm going to register for the Canadian Army Run
Half Marathon in September.
I'll do a few little 5K and 10K over the summer and work towards the half. Nothing like setting the bar really high, but what the heck, you got to set a goal don't you!
Life's fun if you don't weaken,
Thursday, 11 June 2009
The photo's I took along the route do not do the hills, the turns nor the dog leg's in the road justice.
It is a winding road for sure with some pretty nasty hills, not Lake Placid hills, but hills none the less. The scenery in some spots was gorgeous as you cycled past lakes and rivers. There were an awful lot of fishing boats being unloaded at the various boat launches along the way.
Other spots along the way were farmer's fields, crops and cows.
As mentioned, the girls cycled to the water / rest stop where I had parked my car to wait for them. It was a station being manned by two CB volunteers who were sitting at a card table with huge water tanks beside it. You could hear the chatting between the other CB volunteers from the other locations, when it came across the airwaves that an ambulance had been deployed, there was a *cyclist down. Luckily the girls were coming down the hill towards me when I heard that announcement. Otherwise I would have really been worried.
After a very short stop, water bottles refilled and a quick shoulder rub, off they went, straight up a huge winding hill.
I continued along in the car and met them at the last stop before they made their way into Kingston. That is where the U R HERE sign was situated, pointing the way into the park entrance where the RLCT crew had set up tables of sandwiches and drinks and there were even discretely located porta-potties too!
After a short stop they were on their way of the final 35k leg of the trip that would bring them into a heavy, fast moving traffic and construction, then into the old part of town and finally Queens University
This peloton passed me on several occasions throughout the journey and to say the sound from the whirling tires was incredible and the noise from them clipping in and out at streetlights was magical, is an understatement. I can truly understand the allure of cycling from experiencing this weekend.
After heading down this street for sometime, we entered into the common area of the University. I have to say, I've never been through the grounds of Queens, it is very impressive with the old limestone buildings, cobblestone roads and pathways to Lake Ontario.
Before the girls arrived, I got the dorm room key and found my way to Victoria Hall, at least that way Karen wouldn't have to wander around tired and lost while walking her bike. We shared a room over looking the track and soccer pitch. This area is used night and day, the sports facilities are spectacular.
We wandered off to the bar tent and waited for Nancy's husband to arrive. They were going to spend a romantic weekend in Kingston and drive back home on Sunday. We finally meet up with our friends Anne and her husband Dean, they had cycled the 177K distance from Carleton University with their friends from the town they live in.
Karen and I ended up meeting some of the guys she had cycled with during spring training and we sat with them in the huge cafeteria to have our meal. The food selection was out of this world! I won't even begin to describe it, well, okay, a little. There was of course pasta with a choice of vegetarian sauce or meat sauce. Various meat (hot and cold) selections, along with frittata's, this was in the "hot" food area, we then passed through the beverage area, sorry no adult BEvERages served here. From there we entered into the grand hall, and that is exactly what it was.
Down the centre of the hall was the salad bar. Again, an incredible selection of salads and fruits. On either end of the hall were the dessert tables and under the expanse of windows was tea, coffee, hot water and their accoutrement's. This was not the place to hold back and stay on your diet!
Afterwards, we rolled our full tummy's back to the dorm room and again we ran into Anne and Dean just as we were waiting for the elevator. We headed to our room and poured some wine and heard about their trip, shared some more laughs.
The night was still young so we decided to go for a walk along the boardwalk beside Lake Ontario. It was a beautiful evening and there were so many people out and about, after a few kilometers, we called it a night and headed off to bed, Sunday morning would come soon enough.
Karen set up her bike for the next day's ride and then it was lights out.
In all honesty, I can say there is no way I could have cycled this event. My knee is just not ready for it and there would have been further damage done to it if I had tried. Even though I had contemplated trying it, it was a WISE decision I made not to do it.
Next year girls, I'll be with you next year, God willing!
Life's fun if you don't weaken,
* Karen spoke with the cyclist that went down, they had been changing spots in their peloton when one of the riders lost control. He had been taken to the Perth Hospital where they stitched up his face. His sunglasses had torn a flap of skin from the bridge of his nose, under the eye over to the cheek bone. A sprained wrist and injured collar bone was also included in the injury list as the result of the fall.
In true bravado he told Karen he'd be cycling home on Sunday....maybe he did, but we didn't see him.
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Monday, 8 June 2009
This weekend was the Rideau Lakes Bike Tour and truth be told I was still sort of wallowing in my pity party.
Some of the Wooo's Hooo's bowed out of the event and sold off their spots quiet easily and in no time flat. I on the other hand tried to sell mine, but for some reason no one was interested. I took it as a sign that I really was suppose to go and enjoy the time being Sherpa extraordinaire to Karen and Nancy, which I happily did.
If you recall, Nancy started Chemo on March 31st of this year in her ongoing battle with Lupus. Even though she is struggling with the effects of the chemo, it certainly is NOT keeping her down. Two weeks before the cycle tour Nancy ran the Half Marathon in 2:30, right along with Karen during the Ottawa Race Weekend. You girls ROCK!!
We all go through life struggles and Karen is certainly going through her fair share this year too. 2009 has been a life altering year for many of the Wooo Hooo's but we all support one another in what ever fashion we can. We are all like sister's, we laugh, cry, get along, have differences of opinions and sometimes get ticked off with one another, but we always support one another when the going gets tough.
Saturday morning dawned bright, sunny and a little cool, but the kind of day you knew would warm up. The girls left early to meet at the Perth Curling Club and get on their way. A 100K ride would take awhile....
I left later in the morning after packing up the cooler with fruit, drinks, chocolate milk and a couple of bottles of adult BEvERages and and made my way to the Curling Club to collect my bib number and the tour route.
WOW!!! I honestly can say I've NEVER seen so many cyclists! All shapes, all sizes, all ages. Spandex and Lycra for days!!! Every type of bicycle imaginable....WOW! Pretty good eye candy too! After ogling, I headed off to find the girls...
The tour is meticulously monitored with designated rest stops, pit stops, food, drinks and shade! There is a roving bicycle maintenance truck that covers the entire route, back and forth depending upon where they are needed. There are water stops with CB operators talking to one another giving updates as to how the masses are moving. There were bike clubs from all over Ontario, Quebec and the USA, there were families, recumbent's and bicycles built for two...
Since there are various distances involved and various levels of capabilities, the tour is touted as this.
Although en route support includes sag vehicles, communications, police escorts and mechanical support, riders must be self sufficient as only the disabled riders can be accommodated in the rescue vehicles.
Participants under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult who will assume full responsibility for them. "
Thursday, 4 June 2009
my salute to you Marcy!
Marcy was one of the very first blogs I started reading when I started blogging a year and a half ago. I mean how could you NOT read "I signed up for THIS?!?". It was like watching / reading about a train wreck, you just had to read what ever stuff was being spewed.
She taught me things I never really wanted to know and she introduced me to all things trashtastic. Gah, I'd never even heard of the Kardashian's before Marcy!!
Who knew we would all fall in love with the homie from Albany.
So to my friend who hangs on the wall of my house, I will miss you, truly I will.
I wish you much health, great happiness and we will catch you on the dark side (Facebook).
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARCY!!
Have a GREAT DAY!!!
Life's fun if you don't weaken,
*p.s., Marcy, if you see a shadow in the garden of your new place in Maine, it's just me setting up my lawn chair!!! LOL....