There’s probably a bit of dread mixed in too, but getting back on the ol’ half marathon horse is exciting.
Probably that pic of Claire befriending a ladybug she found while helping with the autumn yard work.
So, sometimes I like to play around with random ideas: like, a live blog post stashed in amongst my otherwise carefully plotted out writing. This might just be that thing. No guarantees. No plan. No plot. Just whatever happens, updated sporadically throughout the day. Go… Share & Enjoy!
October 2nd @ 6:39 am
It’s raining and cold. Again. Looks like fall has arrived in force.
Claire and I enjoyed our typical father-daughter breakfast, munching on some cereal while I listened to the news and she took care of some colouring. Very important stuff.
I thought I’d take another stab at an incremental “live blog” party again today. I have my many reasons, of course, but my simple purpose is really another trial of writing on the go. It would be a nice way to journal our upcoming travel, I think. But I’m not sure how the phone or the software will hold up to my crazy blogging.
October 2nd @ 7:11 am
The commute begins anew.
Did I mention that it’s cold and raining?
Rain is an awesome photography prop, the light reflects off nearly anything that gets a little wet. If you know what you’re doing –and you’re not relying on a phone camera– you can take some crazy cool pics in the rain. So, too bad I’m rushing off to work instead of heading out for a photo expedition, eh?
It’s been about a month since the university started up again, and the commuter traffic on the train seems to have levelled out, or at least, it’s levelled out in my head and I’m used to it again. The summer is great this way: half full trains in the morning and seats all to myself. Now: cram on board and fight for somewhere to put my bum for the twenty five minute ride.
October 2nd @ 7:39 am
The train was super-speedy this morning. No delays. No lingering at random stops without explanation. It does that sometimes.
So, here I am, with twenty free, glorious, simple, priceless minutes to spare before I go into work.
May as well write some more, huh?
I can’t decide if it’s actually raining less downtown, or if it just seems less because it’s lighter out now and I’m in the shelter of a few high rise office buildings. Out the window a number of people are sporting their umbrellas. But an equal number are walking around with indifference to the same weather: so, are the umbrella folks over-prepped or are the rest of them in soon-to-be winter denial?
October 2nd @ 9:25
I stop to refill my caffeine delivery system and make a quick note about the mango seed I’ve been growing in the little pot on my desk.
It’s alive. Or it seems to be.
It poked out of the soil a week ago and hasn’t seemed to do much since. Maybe it changed its mind. “An office? Meh… Wake me up when I get to somewhere tropical!”
October 2nd @ 11:21 am
Just ten free minutes between back to back meetings, and not nearly enough time to go back to my desk for any meaningful reason.
It’s still raining downtown so I’m stuck using the pedways unless I want to get wet. Didn’t even think about bringing a jacket.
I’ve been watching the demolition of these buildings for a couple weeks now, walking by our sitting in the nearby food court. I have no idea what’s replacing them. Another office tower, I presume? Those things take years to build, so I guess we’re in for a good long span of redirected sidewalks and skyline cranes, eh?
October 2nd @ 11:59 am
Of course, when you’ve just had a nearby meeting wrap up a bit early, and your stomach is rumbling in full agreement, you can’t pass up an opportunity to visit “Chicken For Lunch” for a quick bite, especially when the line is only about 30 people long.
I’m feeling in the mood for something spicy, particularly since all I had for dinner last night was a bowl of Shreddies.
October 2nd @ 12:44
For the remainder of my lunch break, a fruit run.
Thanks to the rain and cold, my summer fun days of finding fresh fruit on foot are fearfully doomed. What used to be a nice walk down Jasper Avenue in the sun, is once again becoming a dungeon-like lurk through the LRT station tunnels.
Sure, I can get to the grocery store without a jacket in nearly any weather, but the cool weather hurts more for these first few underground trips in the fall.
October 2nd @ 4:05 pm
And here we are, on the train again. I’d say the day flew by, but that would be an unfair assessment.
As days go, it was fairly typical. And that’s all that you need to know about that.
The train seems busier than normal. Not busy-busy, but fewer seats to choose from than seems normal. Maybe it’s the rain. (Autocorrect wanted me to type “Maybe it’s the train.” Maybe it knows something I don’t?) It’s still raining and chilly. Does that mean more people take the train than normal? Or do people get depressed and skip out of work a bit earlier. Me, leaving at my normal time, but everyone else fifteen minutes ahead of schedule… perhaps?
The phone has held up about as good as I’d expect for this live blogging adventure, though. The app is a little hard on the battery, of course, maybe because I’ve been pushing quite a bit of data up with my photography add-ons. Or maybe it’s because the screen uses lots of juice. Either way I topped up my charge for a little bit this afternoon, just to make sure I had sufficient power to blog until bedtime.
People do odd things in trains. Who am I to talk, I guess? After all, I’m blogging, right? The girl across from me is knitting a sock. Another girl a few seats away is watching a movie on her iPad. Lots of people texting, gaming, or just reading. More devices in more variety than I can count, I’m sure. Five years ago I would have actually looked out of place typing furiously into my phone; now? Not so much.
Although, I gotta say, autocorrect leaves much to be desired on this phone. I mean, why would I want to write “nit” rather than “not” for any conceivable reason? Strange.
October 2nd @ 4:28 pm
So my car stereo has been doing this:
If you can see it then video uploading to my blog works but, my century-old technology called a radio does not. Fail.
October 2nd @ 5:01 pm
Well, the Kid might have been largely indifferent to seeing her old man when I picked her up from school, but the dog was delighted we were home.
Hungry, too… apparently.
I guess that means I’d better stop writing in this stupid blog and have a look in the fridge and see what to feed the humans tonight.
October 2nd @ 5:18 pm
Apparently some QT with the daughter trumps dinner.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m nit complaining.
But does anyone know the rules to this game she created? I think you just roll the dice and go around and around and around in circles.
Who’s hungry anyhow?
October 2nd @ 6:24 pm
An hour later and we’re well into the digestion phase of our evening, and capping things of with some after-dinner music courtesy of Claire’s piano practice.
After three years of music lessons I’ve gotta admit the girl is getting pretty good. I mean, she’s not like one of those crazy kids on YouTube who can play epic concertos at the age of three, but she’s good… sight reading music and carrying a rhythm kinda good, at least.
The dog is now moping. She wants a walk.I’m nit complying, instead kicking into single parent mode so Karin can go to her dance class. Sorry pup, but homework and practice come first tonight… at least until there are two adults back in the house.
October 2nd @ 7:49
Now? One little girl of to bed.
Stories… sleep… and we’ll call that a night.
Live blog, signing off.
A “Hackable Me” post is a few words on incremental personal self-improvement: a personal hack to better myself. I’m actually very skeptical when it comes to the kind of DIY, fixer-upper, read-this-book-to-change-your-life sort of self-improvement one normally thinks about. On the other hand I tend to consider that (a) publicly scrutinized goals and (b) introspective evaluation of those goals through words tends to lead to making me a better person. This is just a thing to do with that.
It’s been a summer. What else can I add to that without going into strenuous detail on the results of a six month effort to get into better shape that has so far resulted in over thirty lost pounds and nearly nine-hundred kilometers run?
Part of that success, whether you buy into it or not, has simply been this thing called public accountability. In other words: I write it down here, and for whatever reason I feel compelled to be accountable to having written it. I did it because I said I would. Odd, huh?
Goals must be enacted… once again.
One teeny-tiny little problem: Since running my crazy fast half marathon that accountability has dwindled. My personal accountability, unfortunately, is less of a motivational driver when I’m only self-reporting. And while I could go on and on and on about this here, I’m not exactly sure anyone actually cares. In fact, I find it tremendously unlikely that some guy rambling on about his diet and exercise plan, regardless of success, is any kind of attention-grabbing headline for most of my readers. But, alas…
…it is nearly October.
October means one thing: Not only is it the month when the holiday decorations seem to appear unseasonably early in the malls, but it is the start of a long, long, long season of food, treats, dinners, and feasts. Temptation is officially upon us. Thanksgiving dinners. Halloween candy. Harvest bounties. None of which even begins to deal with the approaching Christmas season and the month’s worth of chocolate, baking, and plentiful calorie-rich gift giving. Couple that with the onset of sub-zero temperatures and the move towards a sloth-like, warmth-seeking existence and…
…points, pain, and some motivational pledging.
In about two months, give or take, I’ll be off to Vegas to run another half marathon: The trim and fit guy who came to visit over the summer can’t go on a completely different vacation, and ideally not yet a permanent one. So, something has to be done. Measures need to be taken. Goals must be enacted… once again.
See where this is going yet? October is now officially scheduled for one more round of self-hacking, that’s where it’s going. Hacktoberfest! Oh, yeah… that’s right: It’s going there. You read it here first. October one the fun begins anew: points, pain, and some motivational pledging. See you on the other side.
A “reloaded” post is a quick-clipped summary of a bunch of small things from the past few days. I want to write them down, but I am either lacking in (a) details or (b) time. That’s just how it goes sometimes. Enjoy.
Walks in the Park
Autumn arrived in a splash of colour, and with it the temperature dipped out of I’m-wearing-shorts-everywhere range and into the better-wear-a-hoodie-when-you-go-out range. Along with the changes in weather, the abrupt and familiar disappearance of usable daylight outside of working hours, and that sudden proliferation of Halloween decorations around the neighborhood — yes — the leaves changed colour in a wash, a wave, a sudden brush of synchronized nature over the last few days of the previous week. I am well-acquainted with previous year’s procrastination of the same seasonal change, wherein (1) I notice it, (2) put off taking photos until a more convenient time, and then (3) completely miss the best opportunities for photography. Instead, this year I assigned myself the theme of ‘autumn colours’ for the week and made not one but two jaunts out to Terwillegar off-leash park to stimulate the yellow, brown and orange pixels on my camera’s sensor.
It’s sad, but one of the folks I’ve been running with for nearly two years — I met her when she was my assigned Group Leader when I taught that clinic waaaay last year (don’t recall that I ever wrote about it here) — is up and moving to the States later this month. One of the other folks I run with went and organized a going away party for her, a sort of pot-luck, late-evening dinner thing (like real grown-ups tend to do) this past Saturday night. As most parties I tend to go to these days are either the result of (a) a toddler’s birthday party or (b) a family gathering, it was a little weird gathering for small talk with a bunch of people I normally chat with about on topics related directly to, or falling out of, running. Fun though. I wish we’d do that more often.
Late Night Politics
I got home from the run club party and the provincial (quasi)election was still in full swing. The leadership race for the conservatives had been filling the airwaves, net-waves, and twit-waves for weeks and it all boiled down to a couple of yet-to-report ridings, some simple arithmetic, and a lot of blow-hard speculation from every random politico the news-heads could muster into talking as they attempted to fill numerous hours of hurry-up-and-wait for the results. In the end, the tweets called it more than an hour earlier than the television, secretive sleuths with smart-phones lingering in the shadows outside of candidates doors reporting the glimpsed-at movements, expressions, and other bodily-language-cues that ended up predicting the win of Alberta’s first female premier.
Death of a Salesman
Karin and I had switched out Citadel Theater Season Tix from the increasingly inconvenient Friday night outings to a much more parent-friendly Sunday afternoon revue. (It basically means improved access to babysitting.) We hired the neighbor girl to tend Claire and we were off for a date at the always-humorous rarely-depressing (or is it the other way around) tale of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’ — over three hours long and counting. I’d studied the play back in high school, but I’d forgotten much of the story in the interim. And this isn’t a review — just an accounting of our attendance: you should go. Support your local theater!
House of Cards
After spending much of Monday parked in front of my computer playing video games, I opted instead to park myself in front of the television last night, Tuesday. It is soooo autumn now, and outside was that cold, dank and dark drizzle that one can only endure for the time it takes to walk the dog and retreat back to the warm and dry of the couch, cuddled with the same dog under a big blanket. I scanned through the PVR and located the two-hour-long Dateline program I’d recorded a couple weeks back, the one about the wannabe film-director slash-slasher serial killer from Edmonton (I’ll avoid using names deliberately because I don’t need the awkward traffic) who lured that guy to his garage and then tried to write a screenplay about it. It was interesting, particular because the landmarks in the show were so familiar and I remembered so much of it from the news reporting at the time. Typical for Dateline, the narration was replete with melodramatic emphasis and lurking cliffhanger teasers bringing in the commercials. Fitting, kinda.
Memories of Coffee
Finally, I wanted to make note of one of those funny little quirks of the modern barista-based coffee industry: the personal relationship. I take the train downtown each morning and due to my need to sync the trip with available parking, with fluctuations in the same, and a work schedule that is aligned with somewhat rigid office hours, it happens that about two or three times a week I arrive in the urban core with twenty or so minutes to kill before I need to hit the office. On those particular days I’ve taken to landing in a somewhat lower-trafficked Second Cup, nabbing a coffee, and parking with my Kindle for the duration. For a few months I’ve ordered the same thing: a medium Paradiso (their house blend.) Then for the last few weeks I’d get to the counter and the barista (always the same girl) would ask: “Medium Paradiso?” to which I’d smile and nod, accept and pay. Earlier today, this morning in fact, I stopped in, lined up, and (to my surprise and the amused chuckle of someone watching) actually completed the entire transaction nearly wordlessly: a smile and a nod, a swipe of the card, and voila… a medium Paradiso with my “thanks” as the only verbal exchange. The first time that’s happened, I think. Never had that kind of service at Timmy’s have you?