Sunday, December 31, 2006

seeing out the year with friends

paddy, naomi, tom, arlene, sol, piper owen and i skied in absolutely magical conditions this afternoon/evening. later, after dinner and cx world dvds, we saw the fireworks over the forks.
a perfect evening to end a perfect day to close a great year.

all the best in 2007.

quinzee building: step one

make pile composed of fresly fallen snow.

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

can you spot the three cars in this photo?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

eye candy deux

i shoulda waited. it always gets better. [go to head tube down tube close-up] va-va-voom.

OTT: Beck [The Information]

eye candy


OTT: Beck [The Information]

praise the heavens and pass the skis

we've got 5 cm of fresh snow coming in from the dakotas tonight!

OTT: Beck [The Information]

Friday, December 29, 2006

ski before dawn

tom and i had a chatty two hour ski this morning with lots of skill work and drills. he is a good technical skier and it is hard to believe that this is only his second year skiing. i've been skiing all my life but i've always taken my technique for granted and was indifferent to waxes. needless to say i am learning much this winter.

i am getting great happiness from the fact that i am experiencing no knee pain while skiing this year. i had always thought it to be a result of a variety of factors not the least of which was the curcuit at windsor park which has me often weighting the left leg. at any rate, it is now beyond conclusive that the problem had been some combination of my previous boots, bindings and skis. for my first ski this year i had my old kit and by the end of the ski had that pain - very light - more like the prelude to pain.

however since acquiring paddy's old skis and bindings and used soloman active c9 boots i have been pain free. and that is after a combined 13 or so hours of skiing like a hamster in circles at windsor park.

p.s the skis are hot and dialed pour moi.

pps. with the sun not coming up until after 8:30 skiing before dawn is not too difficult to acheive but man it was tough dragging myself out of bed at 6:30.

OTT: skiing - radiohead; blogging - stone roses, david bowie, mozart, stranglers

Thursday, December 28, 2006

tour de kildonan

ok. what else would i do on a balmy late-december evening other than a two and a half hour, meandering, point to point ride on my fixie from one end of kildonan to the other, and to the other, and then back through all those aformentioned others.

consider the circumstances: the kid's are at their mom's; poor snow conditions still prevail and tom and i are skiing before dawn; i just had a marathon movie evening on the couch when the flu ripped through the kid's houses; i was'nt invited to anything tonight.

i am goal oriented [this is the reason why i participate in competitive sports; the opportunity to be throughly trounced by lack of preparation fuels preparation] so lets say that somewhere in the back of my mind is lindsay's gravel nightmare. but closer to the point is my desire to develop a sound mental map for this year's single speed championship. ok that one's out of the bag.

brothers and sisters to the south
you will be happy to know that it is a tropical balmy 21 f or -6c here.

OTT: on the ride - radiohead; blogging - camper van beethoven, stereolab, dirty three, xtc, frank sinatra, the ramones.

lego completo


OTT: stevie wonder

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

visions of ski wax danced in my head

so ski-mania season must be here for on christmas eve i dreamt of ski waxes.

aside from a stomach flu that ripped through our lives from the 24th to the 26th we have had a great time. the kids and i were out skiing this afternoon. and this year i have a new lego helper. piper has been helping me build owen's star wars lego.

she now wishes to be an engineer and a vet. i say, you go girl.

OTT: chris isaak [wicked game]

Sunday, December 24, 2006

daily dharma

[the continuation of a sharing of verses from gil fronsdal's new translation of the dhammapada.]

those who consider the inesential to be essential
and see the inessential as essential
don't reach the essential
living in the feild of wrong intention

those who know the essential to be essential
and the inessential to be inessential
reach the essential
living in the feild of right intention

Saturday, December 23, 2006

egg beaters

i've had a week off from my 'day job' so it's been a super busy week of skiing, cycling and working at the shop. but now that i have a minute i want to share a nifty little story.

so thursday morning i'm riding down town for a quick errand before going into the shop. suddenly my pedal is feeling funny. kinda absent actually. i look down and the outer pedal of my egg beaters had come off the spindle. i looked at the bottom of my shoe and it was'nt there either. i brought my fixie to a stop with one foot. that takes a while.

i had my ipod on so i had'nt heard the pedal come off. so i spent about 15 minutes looking along the side of the road. back and forth, back and forth along the same block. with no sign of the pedal i set off for home with damaged pride, i had just rebuilt the pedals two days before and had obviously failed to sufficiently tighten the screw which holds the pedal onto the spindle.

when i got home i called paddy to explain the situation. he tells me that he probably has some spare parts and we can put things back together. so i ride in with one pedal and one spidle. true to his word paddy has what i need and over the course of the morning things are put right.

then, just after one, tom comes into the shop. and exclaims "i'm riding into work and you won't believe what i found.' he reaches into his pocket and fishes out the pedal i had lost that morning. it looked like it had been run over by a few cars but with a little prying it was fine. it was feet from where i was looking but was beyond what i had decided would be the possible area.

thank paddy, thanks tom

Thursday, December 21, 2006

daily dharma

whoever is defiled,
and devoid of self control and truth,
yet wears the saffron robe,
is unworthy of the saffron robe.

whoever has purged the defilements,
is self-controlled, truthful,
and well established in virtue,
is worthy of the saffron robe.

unpacking the dharma: the saffron robe refers to buddhist monks who wore that colour robe. this passage, common, i think to all 'wisdom traditions' asks us to beware of the limitations of those who may present themselves as virtous. it also, i think as us to beware of our own limitations.


well folks the solstice is here and for the next six months the days will be longer with each passing. cheers.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

daily dharma

too funny. i had thought of providing food related dharma but i have committed to providing the dichotomies verse by verse. however the universe has unfolded with today's verse having an apropo food reference.

"whoever lives
focused on the pleasant,
senses unguarded,
immoderate with food,
lazy and sluggish,
will be overpowed by mara,
as a weak tree is bent in the wind.

whoever lives
focused on the unpleasant,
senses guarded,
moderate with food,
faithful and diligent,
will not be overpowered with mara,
as a stone mountain is unmoved by the wind.

unpacking the dharma: mara was, for the culture within which the dhammapada emerged more than two thousand years ago, an evil entity who brought or facillitated death. mara in this context also represents the deadening forces of anger, fear and clinging. to succumb to mara is to fall victim to these things. to overcome mara is to be free of them.

tummy full of pain

tom, aka the poosher, the race organizer shows how its done at -21.

hal, the evening's champion, showing perfect form at the table


i started a haiku but there is nothing about last night's food that i wish to remember or memorialize. i will say that my strategy to put down three plates was wrong and painful.

but what a great night. the sky was clear the downtown/forks location was beautiful. there was surreal christmas music emanating from the skating rink at the forks; weird lights on the bridge, and a core rattling wind from the south that sunk the temperature down to -21.

a bucket of winter challenge points were scooped up by mr. dr., paddy, who may have walked home and turned 2 hrs of riding into 5-6hrs of trekking, and myself. we were all riding fixies, as was tom, and riding with buddies.

the best line in the commentaries i have seen so far is offered by johnny 'i think this is normally time for a good recovery meal, but sadly i am still way to stuffed to even look at food.'

Monday, December 18, 2006

how to prepare for nordic cross

the set-up

- strap skis to bike.
- ride bike to windsor park.
- ski 15 km
- ride bike home
- remove skis from bike
- ride to 'former mrs's' for spare key after discovering that house key is not in pocket.
- move coffee table into basement
- ride home from former mrs's
- chug water quickly blog
- wait for paddy
- enjoy the pain of feet thawing for third time today


this morning's post will be of varied subjects. bear with me.

i am on day one of a week's holidays which will, as a result of christmas day and boxing day, extend into next week. and to celebrate i will go outside and play even though it will pretty much guarantee tired legs for "curry not hurry." today's activity, may, and if i publically disclose this i will look weak in the not doing, be an all time fave of mine. this activity hearkens back to the day's before i drove [i did not get a driver's license until i was 31.] it is simply riding to windsor park on my bike with my skis strapped to my back pack. it is a very cool and tiring form of winter duathlon.

there was something else i wanted to say - now i forgot it.

and today's dharma:

hatred never ends through hatred.
by non-hate alone does it end.
this is an ancient truth.

many do not realize that,
we here must die.
for those who realize this,
quarrels end.

unpacking the dharma: the realization and acceptance of one's inevitable death leads one to recognize the futility of quarelling. of greater value in my mind, and consistent with the dharma, it is the acceptance and realization of our potential to consciously live this precious life among other equally precious beings that really brings home the futility of quarreling and bickering.

OTT: the tragically hip; new order; the clientele; lou reed and the tots

Sunday, December 17, 2006

daily dharma

but first. last night saw the annual, and for me innaugural, christmas gathering at casa gauld [no ironic use of casa for the gauld residence] it was a great evening of friends, food, conversation and some drinking too. it was an evening to be thankful for.

now today's dharma. we continue with the dichotomies and it occurs to me that these brief and sometimes subtle passages go directly to the heart of buddhism.

"he abused me, he attacked me,
defeated me, robbed me!"
for those carrying on like this,
hatred does not end.

"she abused me, attacked me,
defeated me, robbed me!"
for those not carrying on like this
hatred ends.

now go out there and play in the snow.

OTT: Dinosaur Jr.; David Bowie; Camper Van Beethoven

Saturday, December 16, 2006

daily dharma

i've frequently thought of directly infusing my blog with the dharma. i have just obtained gil fronsdal's translation of the dhammapada [shambhala 2006]. i believe that fronsdal and the dhammapada are something that should be shared.

so begining today with the first verse of the dichotomies i will proceed to share the dhammapada.

all experience is preceded by mind,
led by mind,
made by mind,
speak or act with a corrupt mind,
and suffering follows,
as the wagon wheel follows the hoof of the ox

all experience is preceded by mind,
led by mind,
made by mind,
speak or act with a peaceful mind,
and happiness follows,
like a never departing shadow

OTT: James Keeleghan; Soul Coughing; Prince; The Clash; Sarah Harmer; R.E.M.

Friday, December 15, 2006

ahh tokyo

ahh summer. don't get me wrong i dig winter. but there is nothing like a lazy evening and a crowd of bikes. look

Thursday, December 14, 2006

time for lunch?

not le poseur courier. today's catalogue drop off ranged from j b mitchell to george v with a number of river heights and fort rouge stops in between.

related to these hours on the fixie;

a) my left crank was coming loose today. at first i thought it was my pedal or cleat. a quick tightening of the appropriate bolts and a quick 'big jim' stripping of the dust cap [not easy to be delicate at the side of the road with gloves on] and voila. back on the road.
b) the learning curve is gentle now and i find that i am gunning it and rather than approaching the intersections with trepidation i am counting on my newly developed skidding ability.
c) i've run into the former mrs's [aka the kid's mom] twice, on wolseley yesterday and apparently she spotted me huffing up the disreli today.

i dropped in on our brother jeremy at bikes and beyond. to say hi, confirm that we all ran into each other tues night, and to tell him about the curry race.

OTT: riding; garbage.
posting; adem, david bowie, mike doughty, moby.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

tour de maples

today's delivery of my company's ultra-excellent french language title list found me pedaling the fixie throughout the central and north-western part of the city.

elapsed time 1:36. call it an extended lunch.

total kms: many
bliss factor: over the top

OTT: riding; garbage [all their stuff on the shuffle]; posting, garbage - bleed like me.

fresh from the editor: aka mister mister

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

earning my calories

today found me running work related errands across town. for those who know wpg today was wolseley to transcona [very close to club regent] and then to the depths of charleswood [beaverlodge school - south of roblin and the perimeter] and back to wolseley. total kms - lots.

what would have been an hour in the car was two plus hours on the bike. i threw my lunch hour in and stayed at my desk a little later tonight and yesterday to ally feelings of guilt and had the pleasure of playing poseur courier.

while i was out there earning my calories i began to muse over a subtle shift in my thinking and planning that has begun. for lack of a better description i would call it the shift from post-season to pre-season.

07. oh yeah.

OTT: public enemy; hilary duff [wtf - you say. all our music is on the ipod]; faith no more; tea party.

p.s. interested riders meet at the footbridge assiniboine park 21:20 hrs for some night fun. come one, come all. after the pain optional fg's at f&h.

Monday, December 11, 2006

fixie fun deux

oh winnipeg. you frosty, slushy, dame........

from the editor; for the record

my poor skills, not tom's

rather than wait for someone else [for my skills are lacking] to make the pdf loadable i have cut the text from the nordic report and simply paste[ed] it here.

thanks to the editor of the report.

is the calander is here:

dec.18 (monday) curry is for hurry, a splendid race spon-sored by our very
much loved it will be a race to remember, yes. we will meetat the curry
house on sherbrook on monday at 7pm. the rules will be presented durring the
feast. please bring moneys for the buffet.

dec. 23 (saturnday) has been bookd by some man named jonny. the details of
his exciting date have not been reviled yet. we wait with excitment.

jan. 7 (sonday) is a race hosted by our locol libery man, hal. we have not
recieved his details of his fantastic race evant.

jan. 29 (monday) is a race that will be made famouse by _ _ _ . (not found
details of his news yet)

feb 18 (sonday) yes, this will be remebered remembered for some times. it is a
hidoku, no haiku race (a strange poetry from the far, far east, yes even further than
india). dave the ‘guru’ is the master planter behind this dusie. just rem -
member to count it right, it’s 5-7-5.

mar. 11 (sonday)it is a pleasure to announce the first race invented by our
friend mr.dr.. he has a plan, but i can’t remeber the plan, so i will wait for the
details to his planingns. when i will find the plans, you will be notified of his planings right
of way.

apr. 1 (sonday) if pure is your story, he will maki it a funny raciing day. some
fools day of racing made up all by him self , our pa.d id tyhing there is an lot of very
exitment about his plannings. it’s har to stand to wait so long. but we will have to
becouse it’s in april, which is fhar away from now, which is december. i’ll wait,
and tell his news when i have found it.

the editor

Sunday, December 10, 2006

hammy's return

hammy, back from her adventure, and the door through which she had escaped.

hammy's back in her cage after 23 and a half hours on the lamb. we had left her cage open on the floor in piper's room so she could, when and if she found her way out of the space above the living room ceiling, more on that below, find food, water and her nest for much needed rest. when i found hammy, however, her cheeks were full of food and it appeared that she had no intention of settling back into her cage.

earlier in the day piper and owen took the news of hammy's escape well and we focused on how we would recapture her. hammy's adventure looked most bleak when we could repeatedly hear her scratching in the floor above our heads while we were watching a video this evening. piper felt hammy's scratchings sounded anxious and i silently agreed. however, we agreed that hearing her was a good sign; that she was a smart and tough hamster; and that she could probably get out of any space that she had gotten herself into. we all went to bed hoping for the best.

shortly after falling asleep with the sounds of 'democracy now' in my ipod's ear-buds i awoke first to a sound i could not place. it was immediately followed by what sounded like what you would expect to hear if a hamster fell through the floor and landed on a pair of 'winnipeg-winter-proof' snow pant's ten feet below. i immediately thought that hammy had fallen through the hole in my bed room floor - the room had, eons ago, been a kitchen when this house was a duplex; the hole is a small rectangle that had accomodated water pipes - and fallen into the hall closet below. i grabbed the flashlight at my bed side [we were all so equipped just in case we heard scurrying in the night] and quickly descended the stairs.

well there, in the front hall, was hammy, who, i could tell when i scooped her up, had her face full of food. when i got her to her cage i noted that half of the food that we had put in her bowl was missing. full-faced hammy was on the lamb alright.

i could not resist waking piper up so she could see hammy. she is now, a much happier sleeper. and momentarily, after sharing this story, and going back to bed, i will be too.

OTT: democracy now.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

hammy's adventure

last night i got in from calgary [it was great to see my family, friends, and colleagues] at around midnight. i went in to check on hammy, the resident hamster, to see how she fared during my absence.i open the top door to her cage, we chat, i give her some food, make note that i will have to clean her nest in the morning, and open the bottom door to give her some food. i dutifully close the top door and move on to the hot bath that's been on my mind during the flight home from calgary.

after the bath i go back in to check on hammy. but she's not in her cage. i had forgotten to close the bottom door. oops/sh%#.

after determining that hammy was no longer in piper's room i checked the other upstairs rooms. at this point hammy had been on the lamb for 15 to 20 minutes. after i pretty much decided that hammy was no longer upstairs and had somehow managed to get down stairs, with much tumbling i'm sure, i wandered around down stairs.

with still no sight of hammy i knew i would have to use my ears to find her. i hoped that she would make audible noises. i sat myself upstairs with all the lights off and immersed myself into a nice - long needed - meditation. i thought of hammy: sharp claws for climbing, poor vision, no depth perception, a burrower, etc. and opened my ears.

after about 20 or 30 minutes i recognized a non-patterned but repetitive noise from downstairs that had no house related origins [this house is a hundred year old creaker]. i moved my sit to the bottom of the stairs. after about 15 or 20 minutes the noise emerged again. right beside me, around a nook in the front entrance way! too good to be tru hammy was right around the corner.

it was too good to be true. when i got up to examine the spot of the noise it was clear that it was coming from the cold air vent for my furnace. ok. i removed the grate and there was a tangle of wires and cables that had been routed through that vent by previous occupants of me casa. this was the origin of the noise. hammy had been on the wires and cables which were knocking about and hitting the 'tin' sides of the ducts.

well. i went to the basement to examine the cold ducts - there are two independant duct works in the house. one system with two vents, one in the front hall / living room wall and one in the kitchen / dining room wall, sucks the cold floor level air into the forced air system. the other system carries the hot air from my super swish, ultra high efficiency, furnace throughout the house. fortunately hammy had not found her way into that maze. [or had not as of last night.]

by now it was about 2:15 am and there was little i could do but a: make sure hammy had not, as of yet, fallen down, remember no depth perception, the cold duct and into to furnace screen. and b; to ensure that she had a way out of the cold air duct. she is a great climber but i was afraid she had gotten down to the secondary duct level, as a result of my finding her location and opening the grate, and could not get back out the way she got in. so i cut up some window screen and slipped a strip down the ducts so that she could use that mesh to climb back out.

i then settled on the couch to listen and very soon fell asleep. i woke up at three and went to bed.

it is now mid morning and hammy's adventure continues. she is, i believe curled up somewhere, in the duct i hope and sleeping her day away as she does. if she did climb out last night and there is a very high likelyhood that she did she could be anywhere on the ground floor.

piper will need to be briefed, supported and reassured. she will be upset but i am hoping that she will not panic. hammy is tame and she will come out. eventually we will see her scurry hither and yon.

will keep you all posted. i will gladly accept any hints or suggestions.

OTT: Janes Addiction [Rio de la habitual]

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

i've been tagged / you've been tagged

i've been tagged by griffin.

to quote:

"So heres how it works:
List six weird things about yourself. Strange habits, likes/dislikes, et cetera.
Pick six victims to tag likewise. Leave comments so they’ll know what’s up.
Describe how the tagging works."

tagged by me: paddy, team johnny, shona, dr. h, alberto, johnny g

this post was intended to be "i'm really busy preparing for my trip to calgary [burglers see below], and will draft my idiosyncracies while sitting in airports and will choose my victims likewise."

but i am compelled to preoccupation. so here goes.

1. i bite my fingernails and chew on my fingers. the pain of raw fingers is part of the reason for this activity and also a reason to abandon this activity. go figure. [on a related note my second tattoo was assured when i was digging the pain of the first tattoo.]

2. my life's outcomes are often a result of a fundamental battle between my romanticism and my pragmatism.

3. i am tolerant of almost anything but intolerance.

4. i am compelled to exercise not just because i know it is good for me but because i am vain and need to look fit as well as feel fit.

5. i have had and will continue to have an unflagging crush on a friend of mine. nobody knows who this is.

6. i buy groceries in small batches for each of the following reasons. a; i wish to have just what i and the kids need and thus little waste of food or money. b; freshness. c; because i am too parsimonious to buy a week's worth of food at once. d; if it is in front of me i will eat it [see #4].

[attention burglars skulking blogs to determine when homes are empty. spend time looking you will find the spare key and will not have to jimmy the door. you are welcome to anything of mine but i insist that you touch nothing in the kid's rooms. please clean-up after yourselves. please leave the bikes alone. thank you.]

OTT: the killers [Hot Fuss]

Monday, December 4, 2006


s.o.b. winter challenge, scroll down, side bar on right. lol.

OTT: John Coltrane [Blue Train]

cold feet

as paddy would say 'holy crap.'

winter has descended deep freeze style. good for winter challenge points. by my estimation i have amassed 392 pts in the last 28hrs.

last night's ride with some of the fort garry crew, chris, johnny g, and vic was classic. light snow, punishing wind, slick streets, suicidal corners, incredulous drivers and frickin cold feet. i'm looking forward to more of those even if it is -30 something out there.

btw, american hardcore was a great documentary and well worth seeing.

and oh yeah. sunday saw the first ski of the year. i've said it before i will say it again xc skiing is bliss, pure unadulterated bliss. get out there and ski!

OTT: XTC [Apple Venus Vol 1.]

Saturday, December 2, 2006

winter's goals

- have fun
- increase strength to weight ratio

strategy for fun quotient: decrease meaningless, dreary or un-fun activities: focus on what gives me, the kids and my friends genuine happiness and go with it. we have good health and good baseline of happiness. probability of success - high

strategy for strength to weight ratio: increase strength; decrease weight. i have thus far gained no weight in the off season; strength training will be done without weights [with the excepetion of some leg work and perhaps some low weight / hi rep upper body stuff] and will be done on the 'suffer-sticks' and in the pool which will also serve to keep the muscle lean and the fat off. probability of success - assured.