Friday, January 16, 2009

Day 8: Still no luggage

Well today is Day 8 without my suitcase.  I get upset every time I think about it now.  I called WestJet this morning just to get an update.  Officially, the Central Baggage department is handling my case.  They have yet to make contact with me.


So far, I have gotten on with my life.  I am running on my old shoes that have close to 600 miles on them.  Yes, they do hurt and my hips and knees throb a bit afterwards but the good feelings far out weigh the bad.  However, the balance is quickly changing.  I do have two pairs of old shoes that I am switching out for the moment but both pairs have 500+ miles on them.  It is funny to note how different they feel after running two weeks on brand new shoes.  In the new shoes, I hardly felt anything until about 8 miles and I recovered quickly to run the next day.  Now I throb after five and probably could not run more than 4 times a week, even running consecutive days is taxing.


The loss of running clothes has been a challenge.  Although I have escaped the wintery climes of Edmonton, the temperatures are still below zero in the morning.  If I had something more than shorts to wear, I probably would wear it.  Seeing as I don’t I compensate by layering the top half with fleece, which is surprisingly comfortable to run in.  The weather has been compliant in that it has not rained since I have been back.  There is no rain forecast for the next 4 days.


As far as podcasting goes, I think I mentioned all my podcasting gear was in the bag as well.  Digital recorders are surprisingly cheap and I do use it for work as well, so I will be able to replace it and expense it.  The loss of the Giant Squid microphone is damaging.  Therefore, I will replace the recorder and be back in operation for the weekend.




Saturday, January 10, 2009


My world came crashing down in a blur as I touched down at the Abbotsford Airport. As I got off the plane and headed for the Arrivals area of the airport, I watched as people picked up their luggage and I patiently waited for mine to show. It never showed and in fact at this writing still has not shown up. I have been researching all sorts of lost luggage statistics to find some solace, a glimmer of hope.

I have been nothing but a cranky, miserable SOB since the moment my luggage failed to arrive. I would like to blame WestJet for my condition but really, I am in control of my mood and nobody else.

As I face the reality that my luggage may never show up, I keep going over all the things albeit material things that are in the suitcase that are very much part of
1) My brand new running shoes – I got them for Christmas
2) Running Pants –for cold weather running
3) Running Shorts
4) 2 pairs of running socks
5) Long sleeve running shirt that my boys bought my for my last birthday
6) My Ultimate Direction water bottle holder that my wife got for my first ultramarathon
7) Several running shirts
8) Work shirts
9) Pants
10) Underwear
11) Socks
12) A printer – yeah a mobile printer light compact expensive
13) My iPod Nano – doesn’t get much use now that I have a Touch
14) My digital recorder for recording my podcast along with the microphone
15) My electric shaver – I’ve had to shave with a blade for the first time in years –ouch!. Plus the other toiletries
16) My running jacket
17) Down vest for added warmth

Sure all these things are replaceable. However, with a baby on the way real soon I cannot afford the cost of replacing any of it. Some of thing things kind of go together. Much of it has been accumulated over years of acquisitions.

I cannot change what has happened and it has given me cause to re-evaluate my life. I may not run for a couple of days or until I can, figure something out but I will live.

Moreover, to my wife, I admit I have been an ass. Forgiveness is the first step in repairing the wounds.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Manzella Wind Pro Gloves

I bought a new pair of gloves today at the Running Room. For all of you who do not know the Running Room is like a Canadian institution. Starting from one small store in Edmonton, it now has stores in every major city in Canada. Little did I know that the store I would visit today was actually store #1.

Manzella makes the gloves from Polartec fleece and come up well past the wrist. The Index and Middle finger and thumb have an added reinforcement for a little extra grip.

The official name of the glove in the Wind pro®-10 as part of the Manzella Glove Selection System. I chose the ‘warmer’ glove as there was also a ‘warmest’ and a ‘warm’ glove for three different climates.

They fit well and breath really well and don’t allow my had to get all sweaty. They were pricey at $39.99 but I had a gift card that I was dying to use. After yesterdays near frostbite episode, I did not want to be cold again. These gloves did not let me down.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Edmonton: Day 2

Awesome run today, I really tested my mettle. Although the run was only 8 miles it was -25C which is biting cold. The run started well deep in the heart of the city and within a few block of the hotel I found an awesome trail which I recorded my podcast. I don’t know how far the trail went on for I took it for about 4 miles out and turned around.

By the end of the run I couldn’t move my fingers. My wife called me on my cell phone and my hands were so frozen I couldn’t grasp the phone hard enough to pull it out of my pocket. I don’t think I could have lasted another mile in the cold but I had a ton of fun suffering through it. Is that pathetic or what?

When I I finally got inside and started to thaw out the pain of the circulation coming back into my extremities was excruciating. It’s later now and I’m totally thawed out. I didn’t suffer any noticeable windburn so I’ll be out there tomorrow

Monday, January 5, 2009


Edmonton is not such a bad place after all. I never thought that I'd actually appreciate the cold Albertan weather. The weather has actually warmed up over the last week. Last week Edmonton was one of the coldest places in Canada at -42F. If you are wondering -40 is where the Celsius and fahrenheit scales meet and are equal.

But I must say Edmonton has got it together when it comes to snow removal and sanding. The streets are a beautiful mocha brown, beautiful maybe an over statement but I really love running on a surface with traction. Back home in Mission it is still slushy and the streets are frozen. In fact it was a snow day back home so even better that I'm out of town. I ran to Staples and around the downtown core where I am staying. There were some pretty interesting sites to see even in dark. I love exploring a new place.

Although I really miss my family when I'm gone and I think they miss me. Eatting out every meal really sucks and you have to find healthy places to eat. I'll have to work on that tomorrow!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


We watched an amusing movie last night. “Surfer, dude” which is a film starring Matthew McConaughey. It was a bad movie but the premise of the movie was somewhat interesting. I will not spoil it for you but Steve Addington is a surfer, which is all he is. During the movie, we see what happens when a surfer has no surf and nothing else in his life. It is a long drought and this is possibly, where the movie dried up.

Nevertheless, I started to draw parallels between the main character and myself. You see it has been about three weeks since I last saw the street in front of my house. Three weeks ago, the snow came and stayed for a while, a long while. As a runner, I have longed for the clear open road and a chance to unwind on it. It started the day after school let out and it has not let up yet. I have had brief glimpses on the road and sometimes ventured out on to the snow pack or slush and ice or whatever safety allowed. However, these were very rare adventures. My moments of solace abate me.

And so now begins the real storm before the calm. In my entire work career, I do not think I have ever been busier. In the next 8 weeks from this day forward I have planned and in the books:

Two trips to Edmonton
One trip to Toronto
One trip to Prince George
Two trips to Kelowna
And topped of by one very important trip to Ethiopia.

Most of the trips will be flying some I may drive. The trip to Ethiopia is not in the books and as an added stress; my beautiful wife says she is going with or without me. First available date and she is gone. My first available date is the middle of February.

The Christmas break was simply wonderful well maybe not simple but wonderful just the same. The weather could not be better suited for a break as it almost forced us to stay home and relax or shovel snow. My back may never be the same. I am always sad to see long breaks end but this one I was ready to end it.

From what I understand, the weather pattern has changed and it will be warming up and switching to rain. Maybe I will be able to see the road beneath my feet once more. However, until that time I wait.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Resolutions 2009

Well we are 3 days into 2009 and I’ve had a bit of time to think about things I’d like to change this year. I’m usually not one for resolutions, in fact I’m kind of a ‘Do It Now’ kind of person. Or more so ‘Do It Now or Never at All’ but I’ve been inspired.

Personal Resolutions
Communicate more. – I like blogging I really do but I get distracted by whatever comes along. Finding time to sit down for a hour or so just doesn’t happen so if I blog I will blog shorter. It’s taken 3 hours to complete this post. Work in progress.
Communicate efficiently – say it succinctly in as few words as possible. Whether it’s podcasting or blogging. Just don’t babble.
Details matter- I’ve always for as long as I can remember have been a Big Picture person and details were not as important. I’m finding more the details do matter in that it shows a different side of a the person.

Goals for 2009
 Run in a far off place. In picking up our daughter in Ethiopia I plan to get at least one run in.
 Run another marathon. The next goal and this goal are not necessarily exclusive of each other
 Set a some PR’s
 Run another Ultra. With my schedule I’ve got a short list right now
 Work the core. My core sucks and I’m going to change that now!
 Build the Upper body and gain some weight. I’ve got put on some muscle.

Yes it’s a short list but like I said the shorter it is the more efficiently I can get it out.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Wait is OVER. This is my Daughter

Thank you thank you thankyou. Just a quick post. News came in via email with great news. And now I wish to share a couple of photographs with you. For more information and news and stuff check out our other blog

Counting down to the Court Date

Do you believe in jinxes? I guess that is to say are you superstitious? I believe the Bible says not to believe in it as it gives power to the evil one. I can't help myself really, I'm a jock, an athlete if you will. We are superstitious by nature: favorite socks, favorite hat, pre-race routines the whole enchilada.

In baseball if a pitcher is throwing a no hitter nobody but nobody talks to him in the late innings. Nobody looks at him for fear of the 'stink eye'. It's bad mojo, superstition prevails we don't jinx.

In many sports during the playoffs they don't shave once again superstition.

January 1st was just a few days away when I started this post and with it our second court date. I can't help but think we somehow jinxed the first court date. I can't elaborate but I think we did. The question
is: Is writing about it now somehow changing my karma? I don't believe so because I'm not changing the groove. I am merely an observer to the celestial events I haven't bought any plane tickets I'm just taking it all in.

I must say the anticipation is killing me. If I don't post this then the karma dogs got the better of me. If I do post this then it gives Jenny an out and I become the fall guy.
Okay I di

At 11:30pm with just 30 minutes left in the year my pager went off. A
Cardiac call with ambulance delayed, something inside triggers everytime an cardiac emergency call comes in like somehow I've been given a special gift and only I can do this. But with just 30 minutes left in the year I knew I'd probably be on scene rather than at home ringing in the New Year.

As it turned out, the patient was DOA. In fact it was Mission's final homicide of 2008. With just 10 minutes left in the year we were told we could clear. I might make it after all I said to our District Chief on scene.
"Hey guys!" was the call from the paramedics.
"You jinxed it", I murmured to myself. A minor detail but just enough to have me on a truck rolling home when the clock struck midnight instead of at home.

The house was dark and quiet when I got home at 8 minutes after the New Year.

When the pager went off at 6:30 I was extremely groggy but I had the presence of mind to remember that this was the big day. Stay home dumbass!

I got up and let the dogs out. Silently I would wait. If the phone rang it would be good news. If the email alert went off it would be bad news.

7:00 and then 8:00 painfully I watched the time go by. I lit the prayer candle my mother-in-law brought by the night before. I popped my head in to the bedroom to see if Jen was awake. Bad move dumbass!

In my head, I fought off visions of that terrible day in November when we got the email and not the phone call. I quickly put it out of my head. Think positive, be happy.

9:00 Oh yet another cardiac call. I do nothing but silently stare at the computer scene.