The Logical Philosopher

Monday, December 08, 2008

Turkey Lurkey

I had a blog post done up entitled "Turkey Lurkey" but at the last minute it was vetoed by LP-ette.

"But how will you know I even posted it? You never read the site?"

"I'll know... woman's intuition. Do you really want to tangle with that?" she replied, letting the last line hang.

"errr. Ok. I'll post something else instead."

So today's post is brought to you by the animated French, in the form of a animated short:

It takes a second to get going but it is pretty funny. At the very least it will give you a reason to practice your french.

Friday, November 28, 2008

No Logo

A few weeks back I was up on Hornby for a few days. I managed to get away on my own, just with some tools to do some work and my mountain bike to get some riding. It was a true accession into my man-cave, complete with a mountain bike, some beer and some 'haut de gamme' steaks from the butcher. Almost blowing up the BBQ tank would have completed the rite of passage, but I narrowly avoided that (and I stress the word narrowly).

The thing I love about Hornby Island is the two ferry commute. The first ferry, Buckley Bay to Denman Island, is about a 2km crossing which takes 10 minutes. Another 10 minute drive and you need to sit and wait for another ferry to go over to Hornby. All completed it is a 20km commute that takes almost an hour between waiting for ferries and, well, waiting for more ferries. It really is the 2nd ferry that forces one to slow down. I recall last summer I had to go from being on Hornby time, which involved meandering down the twisted and bumpy roads to my beach destination, to the next day driving back home and flying out to Nashville for a week, which left me on a 4 lane highway (one direction) doing 120kph in the slow lane. When I got back to the hotel I was longing for the 2nd Ferry of Nashville, but none were to be found. Being surrounded by Country music at every bar on the main strip didn't help either.

As I sat in the zone of "the 2nd ferry wait" I looked across the straight at the trees that were turning a shade of golden yellow. Fall was here, and the colors of nature were starting to diverge from their green summer shades. As I looked at the trees, my eyes were drawn to the items I had packed for my trip. It was a contrast in nature vs. man because just within my view inside my truck I could see how advertising has really taken over everything we touch: I drive a Nissan, drink Sleemans and Coke, and eat PowerGels when riding my Kona bike in preparation for Ironman, or reading many a Random House books. I work for Schneider Electric on my Dell laptop, while listening to my Apple iPod. And I am a frequent traveller of BC Ferries.

During my 4 day excursion I got out for a ride up Mt. Geoffery with Doug for an hour or two (thanks Doug!). Having not hit any trails on my mountain bike for a few years I started slow. The trails were soft and smooth and the scenery at the top of the Ridge gave a great view of Denman Island, and beyond that Vancouver Island. At the top of the Ridge trail I took this picture.

Later that afternoon I headed to the beach, and managed these few shots of nature. It was cold, but incredibly clear and sunny.

It was a striking contrast to my view on the first ferry ride of my trip. In one view I only had to look in my immediate personal area to define what I was doing. On the other view I managed to go 3 days without seeing anything commercial. I was defined by my environment, not the other way around. Ironic that this thought happened at the commercial time of Christmas. What that really means is that it's too bad for anyone on my Christmas list that was hoping for something commercial from me.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

No Stokie for you!

Opps I did it again. Another bike accident, only this time I only managed to break 2 bones. Last Saturday I left for a short 1 hour ride, but arrived home via the hospital with one broken Radial Head, one cracked rib and one mad wife.

It was a great day for a ride. Sunny, but having just rained it was a little slippy out. I needed to do a errand so had decided to ride the back roads and stay around town. About 40 min into the ride I came across some railroad tracks.... and that is where I went down. One of my wheels must have slipped when I crossed the tracks, which were in my defence, at a 50 degree angle to the road. I remember seeing my wheel jam sideways, my bike instantly turning at a 50 degree angle but abruptly stopping thereafter, and then pure physics taking over and my body continuing to move in a straight line. Only without my bike.

I do recall the feeling of my head rebounding off the pavement at the same time as the rest of the side of my body hit the ground and literally slide to a grinding halt. Thankfully this time my helmet took a 2" crack right on the side. It is times like this when I remember why I wear a helmet.

As I lay there in the middle of the tracks, a car stopped and someone came running up. "Are you ok? Are you hurt?" I heard from up above.

I laid there for a moment, took stock of my injuries.
Feet moving? Check.
Arms moving? Check.
Neck sore? Negative.

Then I unbuckled my helmet and uttered my the first words that came to mind: "Man, my wife is going to be pissed."

And I was right. For the next few days she was answering the phone "Hello! I have 4 bikes for sale, which one do you want?"

Here's how my Text Message conversation when with my riding buddy waiting in ER to see the Doctor:

LP: At VGH after crashing my bike. Even got an ambulance ride. Shit
TK: What happened? Call me.
TK: Are you ok?
TK: No, is your bike OK?
TK: Another car? Is your Soloist OK?
TK: Get LP-ette to call me if you are getting turned into the Bionic Man.
LP: No car. It was my Trek.
TK: Whew! What did you do?
LP: Railroad Tracks.
TK: Don't think are are getting out of walking the dog this afternoon.

As you can see the importance of the bike was paramount. A true measure of a riding buddy.

With no riding for almost 2 weeks I have been itching to get out on the bike this week. I was thinking to bundle myself up like Tyler Hamilton in the 2003 Tour de France.

Because if I'm going to break some bones I may as well have an epic story to follow....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

... and Riley makes 5.

The newest addition to the LP family arrived yesterday. A nine week old Labrador Retriever named Riley.


After months years of begging and cajoling, LP-ette finally just did what she always does to get me to comply: ignores me and does what she wants. In reality she does what I end up doing, so I can't really complain. Except when I do what I want, the end result usually isn't her cleaning up after a puppy that happens to find it more convenient to relieve himself in the living room than the garden.

The first night at home he wouldn't stop crying when we put him in the crate so LP-ette ended up sleeping on the couch with him at her feet and getting up with him every 2 hours or so to take him out to the bathroom.

Today, after I asked her where she was sleeping tonight, she looked at me and threw her hands up in the air. "I know! Don't even say it!"

"Say what?"

"You know, me being crazy for this whole dog thing!"

"I didn't say that. I was just wondering if I would get to stretch out across the whole bed tonight."

Needless to say I am now more than 1 point down in the books of matrimonial support.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

How to set a PR at your next Marathon

So after 40 days of not-so-intense training, I did the marathon again today.

I can say with conviction, that less training will actually increase your time. And by less I mean about 70% less than recommended.

Here's how it went:

3km - my neck started to seize up. Usually it starts to seize on my long runs, around 23km. I am 20km early for a blowup. Or a 15km blowup, depending on who you are.

5k - I realize my 6am breakfast is now digested, and I am hungry. Luck me, I have a gel pack on me. Mmmm, vanilla goop for a snack. I also realize that I haven't raced for 3 years, which means I haven't practiced running and grabbing water off a table for 3 years. The grab goes well, the drinking it without spilling 95% onto the ground does not go well.

8k - my knee starts to tighten up and I start to think my Chiropractor may be right. I decide right then and there not to give her the satisfaction of being right. Foolish or Wise? you ask? Only the next 38k will tell....

10k - time = 54 minutes, right on pace for a 4 hour race. I look back and I am about 1/2km ahead of the 4hour pace bunny. Right then and there I decide to see if I can run a sub four hour Marathon. I think the endorphins had a large part in making that decision for me.

18k - the elites pass me (at their 28km mark) and I feel slow. And fat.

21.2k - time = 1:57. Still ahead of the pace bunny. I would have slowed down but he wasn't that cute.

26km - I am officially doing the longest run of the year. Surprisingly my mind has not reach the WTF are you doing to your body point in the race.

30km - time = 2:45. Sweet. I am on pace for a PB, and despite the burning sensation and numbness in my neck and hands. At least this race the burning sensation didn't happen elsewhere (that for another story).

32km - I lose my Motrin somewhere in a portapotty. I was sore, but not sore enough to dive in after it.

34km - I start to walk and get passed by the pace bunny. My blister, which feels larger than my entire foot, has reach boiling point. Pull off my shoe and a grain of sand falls out. Not any grain - a small grain which I suspect was entirely shaped like a pointy star.

I think back to a race I did where I saw a sign "You think 10k is easy? Well, you are in luck - the race just got easy."

I also reach the WTF are you doing to your body point in the race. I pushed it out. It was an epic feeling of mind over matter.

35km - I hear someone yell at me from behind. (full disclosure: I was delirious in pain so I am paraphrasing what I heard, from what was said). "Hey LP, nice post yesterday. Your Chiropractor sounds like a bitch!" I turned around to see my Chiropractor. Boy, can you say Awwkwarrrrrd!

38km - I realize that pain is temporary, but a sub-four hour marathon lasts forever. I pretend I am blocking out a 3 and 5 year old running around on Christmas morning after eating candy in their beds. Yes, the same technique can be used for blocking out physical pain.

39km - This song comes onto my iPod

I guess it is the Eye of the Tiger of the Rap generation. Whatever, it seemed to work.

Then, right at that second my GPS battery died and my Average Pace and Race Countdown. All I can think is Shit, now I have to go oldschool and do pacing math, which will probably reinforce the 'WTF are you doing to your body' thought process.

40km - I realize that yes, pain is temporary, but it is also right here, right now.. Again the Block your Children technique comes in handy and I put my head down and just give 'er.

My final time was a 4:02, a full 13 minutes faster than my PR, of which I did after 13 long weeks of training. Pfft! I think. Next year I wonder if I can do a sub 4 hour marathon if I cut it down to just 30 days of training.

Epilogue - It took 20 minutes to walk to my car, even though it was less than a km away. I didn't even make it across the crosswalk while the light was green. My time may have been faster, but my epilogue is going to be much slower this time.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day 39 of my 40 Days to a Marathon plan.

So in the past 39 days I managed to increase my mileage 130% per week, slightly above the doctor recommended increase of 10%.

I went from:
Drinking beer most of the summer, and generally lounging about on Hornby.

To, starting in the first week of September:
A 5k run (to make sure I could still run)
A 10k run (to make sure I could still do 10k)
A 8k speed run (to make sure I could still run fast)
A bike ride (to the running store to pickup some body-glide)
Then a 16k, 21k, 26k, 10k, 25k, a 20k and then finally, a car ride to the chiropractor for a pre-race checkup.

To say she was not impressed at my 40 day plan was a slight understatement. This was her rant: "You know, both you and my husband, you're crazy. He decided to do the same with only 33 days notice. And you know what?" At this point there was no replying, as I saw her talk with the same fury that LP-ette talks to me in. "Let me tell you what. I have to pick up the pieces of both of you! No sympathy here! None! Don't come to me when you're broken!"

All I could think of was about her husband beating me by one week less of training. Damn. If I was only lazy one more week, I too would be that cool.

Today I found myself in a bind - with a knee problem I couldn't stretch out I needed an emergency chiropractor visit to loosen things up. I am not sure what was worse: My wife's face when I said I was leaving a family function to go to the Chiropractor, or my Chiropractor's face when I showed up in her waiting room.

"Have I told you that you're stupid?" she asked me, as she inflicted a serious amount of pain during her adjustment. "I mean, seriously."

The only reply I had was one of pain. "Holy crap, where you are pushing, that really hurts."

I laid on her table for awhile, while she continued to prod and adjust my knee. "So will my knee hold out?" I asked. "It feels like if it will either blow up by 10k, or loosen up and I'll be good to run."

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure your knee will make it to 10k. Don't worry about that, just worry that at 15k something else in your undertrained body will blow up."

So wish me luck tomorrow! With all the motivational talk I've been given, I am sure that the eye of the tiger feeling I have will be the only thing pulling me through!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Battleship Grey

How come people at the dentist's office just don't listen?

To the 5 year old at the dentist today, who washed his hands with the Listerine, next time listen to your mom when she yells 'NoooOOO!!!". Yes, Listerine will sting those cuts little man.

To the self important business woman who kept trying to book a facial with multiple massage parlors, that just happen to fit into her "important and full schedule", next time read the sign that says "For the comfort of those in the waiting room, please turn off your cell phone or blackberry". Oh, and yes, we all heard you then whisper "Is there any students available to do it at a reduced rate?".

To the Hygienist that kept leaning on my face to get a better reach with your tool: Yes, for the last time, that hurts. My head was not meant to deform into the unnatural shape of your tool, particularly when the tip is pointing into my forehead.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vivid moments

I found this scrawled in my journal. No date. No context. Spelling mistakes are included as written:

Had a dream last night. Very quniten terinteno.
Samari swords, escape from rooms.
‘come with me’ – followed into dark alleyways.

Then there was this one:

Break the glass - safety at the edges.
Get by the ****
Seal off from the virus.

Sometimes when I have vivid dreams, I try to write down the high points so I can remember them later. Occasionally I wake up and think “Man, that dream was a major motion picture type dream”. A few months ago I even dreamt a plot for a cool sci-fi movie, which is strange because I don’t like sci-fi movies.

Apparently with this one I must have thought it was just for a local film festival, or I would have written more. Maybe I can get optioned by Lions Gate Entertainment to do some writing.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Day 8 of my 40 day Marathon Training....

It has been 8 days since I decided to see if I can do a Marathon in 40 days. I have managed 4 runs and 1 bike, with my long one at about 16k. Looking at my past marathon schedules I was supposed to be doing a 30k run. I think my legs were happy I did the 16k.

This week I've got 2 short runs, 1 bike (for cross-training) and then shoot for a 20k next weekend.

For my alternate cross-training exercise I put up 550' of moulding in our new addition. As I was cutting and nailing up the moulding, I accidentally cut one too short, and had already nailed it up.

"Awww, Mother f..., I mean shoot!" I exclaimed, as I looked down from the ladder to see Little LP standing under me.

"Dad..." he drawled. "You said a bad word."

"What did I say?"

"You said 'shoot'. And that's bad. Unless you meant to say para-shoot!"

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

40 days to a Marathon

After another week on Hornby Island, this time with all my inlaws camping on our property, I have multiple posts ready to write. Future topics include:

"How my inlaws put the fun back in dysfunctional"

"How my friend's piece of frozen assturd got me out of spooning with my wife"

"How I got a woodie when making smores"

and my favorite:

"How we put the letter g back into camping"

But before that I have decided to throw the gauntlet down. Apart from a few sporadic 20k jaunts, I haven't really run for the past three years as I've been too tired. Yes, you read that right. I have been tired. For three frickin' years. I go for a run, and come home and need to sleep. I go ride, and come home and need to sleep. I go to work,and come home and need to sleep. Heck, some days I wake up from a sleep and need to go for a nap. This past month I came to the conclusion that, well, fuck it. If I am going to be tired I may as well be tired while actually training for something I can pull off. Something simple like training for a marathon in 40 days.

LP-ette told me tonight I was crazy. Actually, there was a verb in front of the word crazy (or is it a noun or an action verb?). I kind of agree, but then again I did an Ironman on a drunken bet, so there has to be some crazy in me somewhere. Here is my thory: I estimate in 40 days I can work about 6 to 8 shorter tempo runs, and 4 longer runs in. A few 20k's, a 25k and a 30k. If I can do that I am going for it.

So last week I ramped up with a 5k run, then a 12k around Helliwell Park. As I wound around the parks cliffside trails, enjoying the solo view, I was sold. Mind over matter, for 5 hours tops was all I could think. The next day I even managed a cross training 2 hour mountain bike ride. Who knew I would go to the dark side of biking to train in my 40 day window!

My motto will be "as long as the body holds up, I'll do it."

And if I finish, I can finally give that big black SUV the one fingered salute!

And for all the loving support I got along the way? I'll get my wife this shirt:

... and then I will probably go for a nap...

Check back for updates!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Those M&M’s have girth

Droopage. Girth. Tonight has been an evening of exploration.

“I have discovered the most amazing thing!” she exclaimed, eager to share her new discovery.

“As you know, we ran out of chocolate for our Smores, but…”. She hung onto her last words, looking us both in the eyes to ensure we were listening with rapt attention. “But… if you stuff the marshmallows with M&M’s and then roast them, you end up with a M&M infused Smore! Brilliant!”
Sandritia, having surprised us for a quick visit to Hornby Island on our holiday, was enjoying an evening campfire. Judging by her excitement, it had been awhile since her last campfire.

“What do you think!” she beamed. Like a new parent, she was looking for the accepting words that her newly created child was beautiful. And like the socially inept engineer-male I am, I decided to take this opportunity to tell it like it was. I looked over at her new creation of four marshmallows impaled on a stick, and studded with green and orange M&M’s, and simply answered “It has some good girth… “

Right behind me Logical Philosophette chimed in with a giggle, “…and droopage!”

Even through the glow of the fire embers, we could see both shock and disgust cross her face. “How can you have ‘girth’ and ‘droopage’ in the same sentence, describing the same thing at the same time? I mean, that’s just plain wrong.” She started shaking, the tip of the marshmallow stick exaggerating her movements. Hmm, nice fourier transformation of her movements to the tip of the stick I thought.

“Well technically it is both.” I stressed. “I am an engineer – don’t tell me what properties cannot co-exist. I mean, you rammed four marshmallows on the stick to roast, embedded another thirty or fourth M&M’s. I mean, once heated up gravity had to do something with all that weight.”

I was quickly rebuffed by the brilliant legal mind of Sandritia: “Girth brings visions of vigor. Droopage brings the reality of…well, reality. They can’t mix! It would be like Fabio hanging with the Golden Girls. Technically possible, but unimaginable!” she exclaimed, punctuating her words with her red hot marshmallow stick. It was, in her dictation style, technically a great use of a prop for her argument, but unimaginably inappropriate if she had meant to keep the seriousness of her appeal going.

And at that exact moment, gravity took hold and crossed the rubicon: The weight of the M&M’s pulled the warm marshmallow off the stick, the entire mass congealing onto the sandstone rocks surrounding the firepit. In an instant her prized delicacy had moved from Girth + Droopage, to Globular + Globular.

“Touché Counselor. Had you had one property of either Girth OR Droopage, you would still have a full stick. Now your stick is stuck with, well, I believe the scientific property you are looking for is ‘Globular’”

All I can say is thank goodness it was dark out as it allowed me to see and dodge the red hot stick being thrust in my direction.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Blogging Mojo is Back...

I was up at the crack of dawn today - my bag packed for a quick hike around Helliwell Park. Arriving at the point, I sat. I contemplated. I sat some more. Even at the hour of 7am about 30 people jogged by my place of contemplation. All I could think of was "man, fit people get up early."

I got back home and pulled out my blog notebook. It had been well worn until this spring, and needed put away until it called.

I think I found my blogging mojo.

See you in a few days.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Crap! Going back again...

I had my France story written out, but then got delayed and now I am packing to go again. I have 4 suitcases this time - 3 of them filled with materials for the conference I am speaking at. That means 3 empty suitcases to come back with.

I am going cheese shopping on the way home. Anyone know the customs rules for bringing smoked meats back into Canada?

If all goes well there is going to be one big cheese party when I get back. I think I will have Air Canada status too, which means priority loading for my suitcase full of cheese. Sweet.

I think I need a sabbatical from work to get some of this blogging back into gear. Man, I can't wait for our summer to begin.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

More Cheese Please

2 weeks of france have opened my eyes to Artisan Cheese and Kilkenny.

Been busy getting out from under my email since then.... more updates to follow...

It will be a food-gasmic update. Old school LP at it's best. I promise.

Thanks for being patient.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Back from France...

But I am already packing to go again!

After a 2 day layover in Nashville for meetings, and a 1 day in Dallas due to weather, I finally arrived in France. During my travels I had some great stories written up in my mind, such as:

  • Eating at the Pork Only restaurant with the vegetarian in the group
  • Accidentally ordering Pigs Ears and Feet off the menu. Now we all know what 'tête' and 'pieds' means in French.
  • The Vodka Bar... which only served vodka. And lots of vodka. I now know how to translate "spicy vodka" on the menu. I'll leave it at that.
  • French bathrooms. In a 2000 year old city it was amazing how the upgrades were only about 100 years the times.
  • The 68 gate sprint through Frankfurt Airport. Yes all 68 gates. And they still closed the flight out on us.

    Upon my return from my travels my work kicked into high gear and I was wrapping up a project that I needed to get out the door this week. There have been lots of stories, just no time to write! It's funny how when I took a 5 week break from blogging how many people called or emailed me to ask where I went. It was like their free source of fine literature had dried up. I didn't know I was in such demand. Either that or I know which people really have lots of time on their hands to read things online.

    Tonight I'm packing for another 2 week trip, flying out tomorrow. Here's hoping this time I get some time to write. At the very least I will try to recount the Spicy Vodka story. The ending has a great kick to it.

  • Friday, January 18, 2008

    Stuck in DC

    Yesterday I was in Nashville.

    Then today I left for France, but got delayed and stuck in Washington DC with no luggage.

    Tomorrow I do not really care where I am as long as I can find some clean clothes.

    So far it has been a trip of many numbers:
    10: "Just missed that plane by 10 minutes" x 2
    5: "All I needed was 5 more inches"
    4: Number of free Season Tickets to the Nashville Predators Game
    3: Number of bars we had to go to find an open kitchen in DC at midnight.
    2: Number of room keys we all got.

    Let's hope tomorrow brings more happy numbers to us all.

    Thursday, January 10, 2008

    Hornby Island here we come!

    After 10+ years of saving,
    3+ years of searching,
    2+ years of setbacks...

    It is finally official, we found exactly what we were looking for, and the deal is ready to be closed!

    Hornby Island and the Logical Philosopher

  • Minimum ½ acre island property
  • ferry boat accessible
  • walking distance (with 2 kids) to a public, sandy beach
  • Sandstone bluffs to walk on a plus
  • It was serendipitous, as we actually were up looking at different properties when this one, which had been taken off the market, was suggested by the realtor as a private sale. Within the day of us getting back from our 1 day adventure turned into a 3 day tour, the offer was in and we were on our way to testing the structural integrity of the outhouse, and making sure the well was not full of iron supplements for the kids.

    While the only structure on the lot is an outhouse, we have our work cut out for us, but I'm hoping I have a lifetime to get the list done that Logical Philosoph-ette has started to draw up for me.

    This is the view from the Galleon Beach across the road:

    And from Grassy Point, a 5 minute walk:

    And there is even a bike shop! Maybe this summer I will pull my Kona back out and turn back from being a roadie to the dark side of mountain biking.

    Many thanks to Donna at Coast Realty for helping make it happen.

    This summer is so going to rock.

    Monday, January 07, 2008

    Squirrel vs. Bunny

    I saw a squirrel and bunny try to simultaneously make it across 2 lanes of rush traffic today.

    The result: Squirrels are much faster than bunnies. In fact, the evidence is probably still on the road.

    Thursday, January 03, 2008

    Spears vs. Obama

    I've seen it all: The breaking news of Britney Spears beats out any relevant news of the day. I wonder what she would have polled at.

    Tuesday, January 01, 2008

    New Year, Logical Philosopher Style

    Logical Philosoph-ette and I were discussing plans for the 2008 new year and here's what we came up with:

  • Hang out and camp on our own private piece of West Coast paradise.
  • Have no family deaths, or unexpected pregnancies (sorry no link, she wouldn't let me blog about it!)
  • Do some cool schizzle at work.

    As long as I spend a significant portion of time on the first or third point, the year will be considered a success.

    What's your plans? I will be looking for some guest posters, so let me know if that is in your plans for the year. I would be happy to accomidate.