Monday, December 31, 2012

Best tunes of 2012 - The Remixes



So 2013, in my opinion, hasn't been a great year for dance tunes. Or maybe I have been out of touch a bit. Regardless, as always I am listing my top tunes for 2012. The remixes and the singles. Hope you enjoy them as much as I have. You can certainly move them them.

In no particular order.  Here are the Remixes:

1. Rihanna: Where have you been (Martin & Souza Radio Edit)

2. The Wanted: Glad you came (Funk3d Radio Edit)

3. Jason Derulo: Breathing (Mike Rizzo Radio Edit)

4. Kelly Clarkson: Stronger (7th Heaven Radio Edit)

5. Cher Lloyd: Want you back (Cahill Extended Mix)

6. Karmin: Brokenhearted (R3hab Radio Edit)

7. Nelly Furtado: The bigger the better

8. Kylie Minogue: Timebomb (Extended Mix)

9. Christina Aguilera: Your Body (Country Club Martini Radio Edit)

10. Amelia Lily: You bring me joy (Steve Smart & Westfunk Radio Edit)

11. Little Mix: DNA (Kat Krazy Radio Edit)

12. Carly Rae Jepsen: This Kiss (Digital Dog Radio Edit)

13. Florence and the machine: Spectrum (Calvin Harris Radio Edit)

14. Maroon 5: One more night (Ultimix)

15. One Direction: Stole my heart (Radio remix)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

BRB

Sorry it's been over a week people.  Life is getting busy but rest assured I am still into the program full on.  I am currently suffering from a bout of stomach flu so don't have much to say right now but stayed tuned for a full update in due time.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Recovery week #2 and a reality check.

So, in the P90 program, they build in recovery weeks to allow your body to rest and forget the hardships of the past 40 some days.  Does it work?  Absolutely.  Do I like it?  Hell no.  I do not like being away from a weight lifting scenario for too long.  7 days isn't bad and I know I can handle it but damn...Xmas is just around the corner!  If there is a time I need the extra calorie burn it is now.   I will do my best to get some extra tennis in and maybe some spinning to compliment all the stretching and yoga for this week.  Not to mention my physio is still on the schedule.

I am officially half way through the program.  I am really enjoying the results so far.  Could I be eating better?   Yes.  There is no doubt.  But that is about to change as well.  Got some not fun news that will force me to make better choices.

Over the past few weeks I haven't been feeling 100%.  Something has been off and I couldn't put my finger on it.  So I went to my fam doc a week back and had a blood test.  Stress with work, the home renovations...etc.  It was all building up.  I also had him check on some new cysts I am getting on my face.  Especially around my eyes and on my eyelids.  My moms neurofibromatosis really kicked in when she was in her 40s and now covers half of her face even after 2 surgeries.  I figured this was going to be the time for me as well.  As I carry the same genes and already have some spots here and there, I just accepted that this was the beginning.  Anyway, although he didn't discard this possibility, he actually believed them to be a xanthoma.  Fatty cholesterol deposits that surround the eye when lipids are high.  Which leads me back to my blood test.  Seems I have high cholesterol.  So with those factors in play together, he told me not to worry too much but still....all things considered, he advises I pay more attention to my diet and focus on better choices.  If I do that, the lumps should go down.  Not to mention, since I have already been under the knife for similar lumpoma surgeries, I need to be extra careful moving forward.  Looks like my weekly chinese food binges will need to be altered to allow more veggies and less fried tofu and peanut butter sauces.

I know having high cholesterol doesn't seem like much but it is kinda freaking me out a bit.  Although 99% of my family dies from cancer, the idea of having a heart attack is not fun.  I always thought my fitness would protect me from all this but supposedly you can have the best body ever but still have clogged arteries.  Who knew? So moving forward, it is time for me to really give my head a shake and get it together.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Life and Stress

It has been a week and a bit full of stress, bad luck and overall suck.  I am tired of having this hole in my ceiling with no apparent movement on the repair.  I totally wasted over 50$ worth of art supplies on a painting that simply did not work.  On top of that, I failed my french grammar exam which halts the promotion I was being offered at work.  Now I have to wait 30 days to be retested which just adds more stress to life.  And there are two cherries to be placed on top of this pie of crap.

First, because of all the above, I inexcusably went back to comfort.  In other words, I pigged out all weekend.  Rolling in crap food.  Pancakes (twice), bacon, sausages, peanut buttery treats, you name it.  I felt so sick afterwards but man, did it feel good to let go.  I am back on track but I know I have set myself back.  That leads to cherry number 2.

Because of my food escapades, my numbers are down in my P90 challenge.  No, I am not referring to my weight.  I only wish.  My numbers refer to my actual lift pounds and reps.  With the shit food running through my veins, my energy is down, I feel exhausted and the stress of live is rolling in deep.  Big exhale.  So as a result, my repeat week has not gotten off to a great start.  

Okay, wallow over.  Life continues, and I have a trip to Mexico to plan.  Time for a tan and some sand between my toes.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tough


Last week and this week have proven to be a challenge.  I think that this is a critical time in my 90 day journey and I am trying my best to push through.

At this point, it is getting tough.  I am tired and hungry and my cravings for the "old" food I used to eat are nagging at me non stop.  I would kill for a chocolate bar and some greasy onion rings.  But I know that one day of crap can ruin a full week of effort.  So I am doing my best to just remind myself why I am doing this.  I can't afford to start making deals with myself in order to eat crap food.  What a sorted history I have with doing that.

The workouts are also getting a bit repetitive.  I am doing my best to ensure I mix things up and combine big weights one day with lots of reps the next and that is helping.  I find this is a great way to really push your muscles to that other level.  Thankfully I excel in the weights and it keeps it all real.

All in all I am still pushing through but it is getting harder and harder to push play.  But don't worry, I am doing it.  Nothing is going to get in my way but week 6-7 is not as motivating as week 1-4.

Staying on track on my food and continuing to trim down a bit will continue to be the driving motivation for me.

Pushing through...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Update

Hey people.

This week was a bit stressful.  What started as a tiny little leak in my ceiling has turned into a major construction and demolition project. I am not happy.  Especially since I have to deal with this until the new year.  Mid to late January at best.  So I have a huge hole in my ceiling until then.  How awesome.

On the P90 front, I am doing pretty good.  For some reason I feel like I am slowing down.  But I am really not.  The routines are still killing me and I look forward to the yoga days but still...I feel like I am exhausted all the time.  On the positive side, I am now seeing changes to my upper body.  Especially my shoulders and chest.  It is all those damn push ups.  I hate them but I love them.  ;)  Although I am down a few belt sizes, I still don't see any change in the mid-section.  I think that is because I am super hard on myself there.  I don't think I will ever be happy with that section unless I am under 5% BF and have a six pack.  And of course, that is NOT my goal.  Oh well.  I am still pushing along and about to start week 7 soon.  I kinda want to repeat week 6 so that is on my mind a bit.  With all the stress going on at work and at home I don't feel I really gave week 6 the attention it required.  On the diet or exercise front.  I just have to remind myself that I am in control and get back to making better decisions.  It all boils down to decisions.

My BeachBody bro and P90X challenger Mike has also created a blog here.  Give him a look:  http://www.mikewardchevy.blogspot.ca/

Here is a pic of the lovely hole in my ceiling.  In Jan-Feb, my entire ceiling has to come down so they can replace it and respray the surface.  Will be a fun winter for sure.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

The wagon.

To keep it simple, I fell off it this week.  The workouts were there, don't worry about that, but the food was a bit off.  I was on training for work all week and didn't have the options I would normally have when it came to lunch and snacks.  I wasn't about to pay 10 dollars for a salad when a slice of pizza was only 2.99.  So there were a few bad moments to say the least.  However, at dinner I made the right choices.  It wasn't all a waste.  And on the workout front, I went up another 5 pounds on my weights.  I am spending too much money on this...lol.  But I can see the diff in my upper body for sure.  I still can't believe how hard this program is.  200 push ups in one session...really?  I'm still pressing play.  6 weeks to go.

But alas, the pizza wasn't the worst of it.  After 7 weeks of being very careful with my sugars, I not only fell off the wagon I willingly jumped from the damn thing.  I don't know what it was but I could NOT get sugary treats out of my mind all day yesterday.  Maybe it was because I have been depriving myself for so long and it just built up.  Who knows?  All I do know is that I could not stop thinking about it.  It was like an old addiction coming for a visit.  So I caved.  I had syrup with pancakes and a chocolate bar.  Not together of course.  Hours apart.  Strangely however, I noticed a very interesting thing afterwards...although they were very yummy, they didn't give me the same feeling they used to in the past.  Hmmm.  I didn't expect that at all.  I was kinda left feeling, blah and unsatisfied.  Not sure what that is all about but needless to say I am back on the wagon.  I don't think it will be as hard to stay on track now as I have allowed myself to cheat and found it to be kinda useless.

Back on the courts tonight for the first time in well over a month.  Since my physio issues.  I am kinda nervous but really looking forward to getting back to my passion.  It is seriously the "thing" I think about when I wake up and the last thing before bed.  I am lucky to have been able to play this sport for so long.  I only hope I have many more years left.  I hope you all experience this feeling about something in your life.  You just can't beat it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

In the thick...


Sorry I have been quiet on the P90 front.  I am still going strong but this phase is a bit harder than the last.  Although it seems like the same exercises, the reps and back to back sets are killer.  They only give you about 15 seconds rest and there is no pressing pause if you want the full affect.  Thus, you are soooo sore and exhausted it is hard to go on.

I am getting a bit better on the Ab Ripper DVD as well.  It is only 15 minutes long but there are over 350 reps to do.  What I have noticed is that my abs are getting stronger but what keeps me from finishing all the exercises is my hips, groin and lower back.  Sure I am getting better but man, it is crazy how injuries just stay with you for the rest of your life.  I am afraid how they are going to affect me when I am in my senior years.  Much worse than if I was not trying to stay in shape but can you imagine?

Still can't finish the entire Yoga X program.  The first 30 minutes are a million down dogs and sun salutations.  Sure a couple are okay but there are about 50 or more.  It is crazy.  Plus you have to do push ups every time.  Killer.  But I am still doing it.

On a positive note, I am down another belt notch.  And believe it or not, it drives me batty.  I still can't see any difference around my midsection regardless of what my belt says.  Grrrr.  The smallest change would motivate me so much it isn't funny.  I figure I am being denied it to see if I can stay on track without the validation.  Nothing is going to make me stop I tell ya.  I am just a few days short of half way.  Yee haa.

My personal/work life is challenging right now but those things are not important sometimes.  Especially when you have goals in mind and a drive to meet them.

Deep breath.  Keep pressing play.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Parking of Pregnant Ladies

I know this sounds like a great song title but alas, it is not.  It is the subject of my frustration this morning.

As I was pulling into my bank today I saw a nice sports car pull up and park in the "Reserved for Expecting Mothers" spot.  Awww, good for them I am thinking...

Until out of this car comes this 60 year old man with a 27 year old woman who is about a size 1.  Lycra yoga pants, ugg boots, tight sports top, lululemon jacket....you know the type.  Grrrr  I figured she was maybe a week pregnant...if at all.

So based on this, I figured they should change the sign.  It SHOULD say, "Expecting Mothers....in their 3rd trimester.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Babies, Pins and Push Ups

Great news all around.

First of all, my sis by another miss, Kelley has popped out a baby boy.  Gabriel.  Felt like forever before I was going to see this little guy.  Felt like 9 months.  Sheesh.  Congrats to John and Kel.  Big Love to all three of you.

Here is a pic of the little guy.  Fresh as can be.


Secondly, Kim got her pins out of her leg today.  Gross.  I won't get into too much detail but needless to say she is well on the road to recovery.  I foresee her back on her bike and kicking my ass as soon as the snow melts.  Sorry I don't (thankfully) have a pic of her knee.  

And last but not least I am 2 days into Phase 2 of my challenge.  OMG I can't even describe the pain I suffered on Monday night.  More push ups, this time in slow motion.  Ouch.  And then even more..but from a semi standing position.  How do people come up with this torture?  

Today was plyometrics.  I hate them.  Passionately.  I might just come up with another routine to replace this particular workout.  It kills my lower back and destroys my groin with all the jumping and lunging.  Thinking of cycling instead by not sure that those classes would burn as much calories.

Anyway that is about it today.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"Rest" is over...back to the pain.

Week 4 is over.  Thankfully.  I am a bit bored of the stretching and yoga at this point.  Not that I don't need it...of course I do, but a week of it is a bit boring if you ask me.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Phase II.  More weights but a totally different set of exercises.  Can't wait.  Even though I am sore all the time, I enjoy the weight portion.  Working out is easy for me.

The main challenge with me is still the food.  I have been very good with cutting the sugars and junk food for the most part but there are still days where I double my allowed intake of calories.  Like yesterday.  I buckled while on the road doing errands and gobbled down a cheeseburger and small fry.  I justified it in my head because it was after 12, I hadn't eaten all morning and I had already had a speedskating practice where I know I burned about 800 calories.  STILL, I know it was wrong and a lapse in judgement.  I have to get a handle on those.  I know it isn't the end of the world but when they add up over time it DOES have an impact.  Not to mention an emotional one.  It just adds the guilt and self deprecating thoughts which I do not need at this point.  Must stay positive and believe this can be done.

On that note, several people have said they notice a change.  I still can't see it but that it great news and certainly adds to the motivation.  Positive feedback has such great effects.

Other than that, life remains grand.  My poor friend Kimmy is on her back for the next little while after knee surgery and I can't even imagine how she is coping.  That would drive me insane.  But I know she will come back stronger and more determined than ever.  It is good for me because now that she will be recovering, I'll be able to keep up with her.  ;)

Keep pressing play.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Recovery week my ass!

Week 4 of the P90x challenge is supposed to be about recovery and rest.  It is supposedly meant as a small break from the onslaught of weight exercises you suffered through in weeks 1-3.

Well let me make this quite clear.  There is no rest or recovery in week 4.  Sure you might not be lifting any weights, but doing 90 minutes of Yoga is no easy task.  30 minutes of downdogs and planks followed by 60 minutes of abs, twists, turns...and all other sorts of torture will keep you sweating and sore for days.  Don't kid yourself.  It kinds of makes you yearn for the weights again.  At least I yearn for them.  ;)

There are still a few of the poses that I can't do.  No matter how I try, my body just does not bend into the plow position or the crow.  Check out these pics of the moves.  Any person with "weight" on them is not going to be able to do these.  That is my only somewhat negative comment thus far on the program.  I have a hard time believing that any male over 210 pounds would be able to complete some of these routines.  BUT that does not keep me from pressing play every single night.




Sunday, November 4, 2012

Phase 1 Complete



I officially completed the first phase of my P90x challenge.  Here are some interesting tid bits that I noticed over this 4 week period.

  1. In the first week, I could barely complete some of the classes with a 10 or 15 pound weight.  By week 4, I can complete almost all the classes with 25 pounds.  I am not getting bigger per say, but my muscle endurance is increasing by leaps and bounds.
  2. I can totally see how eating crap, even a bit, can totally ruin a workout.  There is just no fuel in bad food.  Nothing your muscles can use.  And trust me, you need good fuel.
  3. I still can't make it through the entire 95 minutes of yoga but that is ok.  I add 2 more yoga days in my week to compensate.  As they say on the DVD, "do your best and forget the rest".
  4. I am down 2 belt notches which is great but I can't "see" the difference.  That is kind of frustrating.  However, it seems to be a common factor with past and present challengers.  Most say that you will notice a visual change in week 7-9.  No problem.  As long as I continue to "feel" better, the visuals don't matter so much.
  5. I will miss my bulking program that I normally do in the winter.  On P90 it is more about the cut than the mass.  I am okay with that.  I have never really completed a cutting program.  So time will tell.
  6. I think the most important thing I have learned so far is that success on any program begins in the kitchen.  Of course personal trainers learn this during their Canfitpro certification but it is rare we put it into practice ourselves.  We save it for our clients.  This time around, I am turning it around on myself.  I have been very successful with reducing my sugars to less than 25grams a day.  For me, most of that  is used in my coffee and or a tiny bit of peanut butter.  Needless to say, although it is hard, I am very happy with my dedication on this front.  Especially since I am a self described sugar addict.  On top of that, reducing my carbs and stocking up on my veggies and proteins has also paid off.  Sure my energy during workouts is sketchy, the overall effect is worth it.  The key to my food success is what I have been telling my clients for 10 years.  Keep a food journal.  It is the only way you can't cheat yourself.  When you see those numbers, there is just no way you can fool anyone.  Yourself most of all.
  7. And the last thing...is accountability.  It is hard doing this by myself but thankfully I have the support of fellow X'ers who are a wealth of knowledge.  It is so easy to say "not today" but when someone is expecting your update on a daily basis, pressing play doesn't seem so difficult.  After all, even if your having a bad day, just by pressing play, it is bound to be better.  
So here comes the recovery week.  Lots of cardio and yoga.  Plus a crazy amount of core work.  Something I need more of considering all my injuries.  Which sadly are still there.  But I'm not going to focus on that for now.  Staying positive.

Stay tuned for more updates.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

One step back.

Life happened today. I was not impressed. 

The work crew went to a Thai buffet place and I tagged along with the mantra in my head of "I will ONLY eat the veggies and rice"!!! Well that didn't work out quite the way I planned. The curried potatoes and peanut chicken was calling my name and I felt that if I didn't answer their call that they would be upset with me. Needless to say, we became close friends pretty quickly. Sigh.

Of course, on the way back to the office, guilt kicked in and I felt like I had just ruined the past 3 weeks of this new challenge. All that hard work ruined with one dirty lunch. 

Even though I know that I am still on track and that I can't kick myself for one bad meal, guilt can be a horrible thing. Deep breath. Pressing play on the program...maybe twice tonight for good measure... emoticon

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

X Stretch

Thank god for X Stretch.  Just when you need a break in the program, there is a 60 minute stretch day.  Ahhhh.  Not easy but man does it feel good after.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy one.  I have lots to do after work to prepare for a dinner party on Friday.  So much food to make not to mention the groceries.  But it is going to be a great healthy menu.  And of course I have to add in my shoulder and arm routine in the midst of all that.  No rest for the wicked, I tell ya.

The no sugar thing is getting hard, I must admit.  Candy and treats are being circulated around the office and it is killing me that I can't have any.  But I am staying strong.  The only cheat I have is a bit of peanut butter.  But I think I am going to put an end to that....even if i am allowed a certain amount per day.  Why not I figure?

Anyway...boring entry.  Sorry.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A pleasant surprise

Although I did a double yesterday with my p90x challenge, I still was a day behind in the program.  Sunday is normally my rest day but I decided to set it aside and treat my days off this week as my rest period.

This meant that today was another double duty day.  Argh.  Instead of doing the p90x yoga at home, I went to the gym and did the yoga class there, which I am not sure was the right decision.  It  proved to be very difficult.  I am not sure what was going on but I was heaving and gasping for air the whole time.  The balance tracks were crazy!  Then I had to come home and do my shoulders and arm routine.

To be honest, I was actually planning on doggin the workout (doing half the weight) but as I started, my ego got in the way and I couldn't cheat myself.  I finished the 60 minutes and even bested my reps in some places.  Of course I am totally exhausted now but it was all worth it!  Will be a deep sleep tonight...

As us P90ers say:  Just press PLAY!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Update

It has been a few days since I got a chance to update.  I was sent to Toronto yet again to give training and was not able to work out.  I did however stick to the eating program very well.  Salads and chicken and only one cheat.  Fries.  But still no sugar and it is kind of a decent cheat.  Right?  ;)

As for the workouts, they are going really well.  I am still sore after each program which I always take as a good sign. I am upping my weights when needed and keeping  track of each and every set.  Things are good.  I have to double up today to make up for my Toronto trip.  It should be a fun day.  Kenpo boxing followed by 90 mins of Yoga.  Not sure this is going to work.  I might substitute Yoga for their 45 minute stretch program.  It is nice to be back on track.

My flight yesterday from Toronto was horrible.  Severe turbulence.  I mean severe.  Barf bag was full and there were women crying and screaming for the 5 minutes of hell.  A few injuries for those who were not wearing seatbelts and ended up hitting the ceiling.  Along with their wine.  The beverage cart fell and there were many broken glasses and wine bottles broken at the back of the plane.  Where I was.  After the 5 minutes, I was soaked.  Completely white in shock and soaking wet.  I felt horrible after being sick which ended up lasting for about 4 hours afterwards.  The stewardess asked me to stay behind so she could assess my condition but I was in no mood to stay on that plane a second later than necessary.  Even when off the plane I could not settle.  Once home I called telehealth and they gave me some good advice to settle.  They said I might be in shock.  Fun.  So another tranquilizer for me and it was off to bed a few hours later.  

So no more planes for me thanks.  I think the train will be my new best friend.


The above pic, just after the turbulence, and after that poor man hit his head on the ceiling, is shot of where everyones drinks ended up. You can see on the right top where the red wines of passengers stained the ceilings.  The cabin was trashed.  I can't even explain the havoc that 3 minutes caused.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Accountability Crew

Part of this P90x challenge, based on the info I have received, is a element called the Accountability Crew.  It is a group of people who either support you when you are doing good or kick your ass in gear when you are feeling down.  I realized that I don't have such a thing.

So, I joined the p90x forums to help with the questions I have and to get the umph I need from time to time.  They are pretty great I must say.  It is very comforting to have conversations with fellow like minded sufferers of this program.  lol  Most are at different stages but we can all relate in one way or another to the challlenges.  I was impressed and grateful.  It is strange being on "this" side of the trainer equation.  Normally I am the one handing out the support and knowledge.

Today marked the start of week 3.  I upped the weights on a few of my sets and boy, could I feel it afterwards.  Lifting my fork for dinner was a struggle.  I am going to be soooooore tomorrow.  Plyometrics are on the schedule for Tuesday.  God I hate that day.  Where's Yoga/Stretch when I need it.  ;)

Oh ya, I am down a pant size!  Yay.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

80 days to go.

So far so good.  There have been a few times when I found myself trying to talk myself out of doing my class but after an internal arguement with myself I didn't miss a single day.  Even last night, after a dinner party, I was doing my workout at 10:30pm.

The journey has been a great one so far although I am so sore all the time it is little bit of a pain in the ass.  I don't mind upper body pain but pain in my legs and junk is just getting tired.

On the good side, when I started, I was lifting 15 pounds for most classes and even that was heavy.  But now, with dedication, I am surprise how fast my strength and muscle endurance has increased.  I am up to 25 pounds for almost all of the exercises.  Yay.  On the downside, I still haven't managed to make it through the whole 90 minutes of yoga.  Although I do other yoga classes 3 times a week, this 90 minute class just wipes me out and the moves are much more advanced.  I am not a great twister I have discovered.  I hope as time goes by, the body will give up a few inches when it comes to yoga.

As for the sugar, I have been on point.  Not a single grain for over a week.  Except for last night.  I had a small, really small, slice of red velvet cheese cake.  Of course I paid for it with a massive headache.  Not sure what that is all about.  I was expecting a huge sugar withdrawl but it really didn't show up.  And not having carbs was a bit hard in the beginning but now I am just fine.

Today is Yoga at the gym, Chest and Biceps AND Ab ripper X.  Phew, it is going to be a tough day.  There will have to be a nap in there somewhere.  ;)

Until next time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ab Ripper X

After speaking to my physio expert, she gave me the "go" to start aggressively working on my core this week.  I have been doing very simple tennis and gym stretches for my abs, groin and back but nothing crazy.  Just a few movements from yoga and such.  Still hard though.

Today was the first day I used the Ab Ripper X routine from my P90x challenge.  Wow.  It is only 15 minutes long but there are no breaks.  Not even one.  And the moves are NOT easy.  There are 350 ab repetitions in 15 mins.  25 or so per movement.  I could only do 5-10 of each movement.  Sometimes less than that.  The "boys" were screaming in pain.  I wish I could have set them aside.  On the coffee table for a while.  If only.

I cramped a few times but I was told that it was to be expected.  I am dreading tonight while trying to sleep. Should be fun...ouch.

I can only get stronger...

Apart from that, the sugar free element is going well.  I caught myself this afternoon drinking my recovery drink when I realized that is MUST have a glucose delivery system.  Indeed I was right.  31 grams of sugar per serving.  I was quick to spit out the drink and pour the rest down the drain.  See you in week 5 yummy sugar drink.  ;)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Stage one

I know I know.  I've been slacking.  But I have good reason...I've been training!

I'm into week 2 of my reboot to p90x.  I tried it once before and couldn't stick with it because of my schedule.  It was summer, the tennis courts were calling me...etc.  But now that winter is here and the outside is closed to me for 8 months, I figured it was a great time to reboot the program.

So far the results are great.  It is a hard program.  Really hard.  Like really really hard.  But the workouts I don't have a problem with.  I'm a gymhead, I can take anything.  But the food...now that is my challenge.  1600 cals a day?  No carbs for 4 weeks?  No sugars?  Yikes.  Today will be my first day in limiting my sugars.  I am a sugarholic so this will be deadly for me.  The only time I am allowing a bit of sugar is for my coffee.  I can't drink it black.  So gross.  But as of today, no more chocolate (which I eat everyday), no more sugars in food, sauces...etc.  Decision has been made.  Foot has been put down.  Consider this your warning everyone...I hear the sugar withdrawl attitude is brutal.  lol

So stay tuned.  Updates will be varied when I have time.  On a plus side, after only 2 weeks, I am able to touch my toes again.  With all my injuries, I haven't been able to do that in over a year.  I can equate this to the yoga and stretch DVDs of the program.  And my physio.

Let the fun continue.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Trip Report - Venice/Athens/Mykonos/Dubrovnic

For the pic slideshow that accompanies this report, to here:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/30813780@N00/sets/72157631544863348/

Venice: Having only the opinions of friends about Venice (most of them very negative), I was a bit nervous about what the city would be able to offer me. But within minutes of actually being on the island, I was totally taken in by the romance and beauty of this place. The rich colors of the boats, shop windows and the smell of freshly baked goodies follow you around while you walk the maze of the city. Sure it is a concrete jungle but there are no office buildings, no large eye sores or the smell of gasoline to distract you. You are surrounded by cobble stones pathways, cute walking bridges and occassionally a street performer either singing italian opera or strumming the strings of her cello (stunning!). I would have loved to sit for 30 minutes and enjoy those sounds with a cappucinon but at the time, I thought I was pressed for time. Lesson learned…when in Europe…relax. I wasn't blessed in the food department. As I am not a fan of pasta or fish, I was limited in my choices. Don't order the chicken. In most instances it comes as pressed schnitzel. Gross. The pizza is hit and miss. Don't believe the pictures on the menu. Just look around and scope out the right place for you. When you find it, sit back, order a few and spend an hour or so just people watching. It seems to be a popular passtime there. Popular choices have free wifi (thank god), so include that on your list of "must haves". Venice is a 3 day stop max. There were sections I missed which sucks but you can't have it all. Make sure you get to the island of Murano. It is worth the water taxi ride and the glass shops are beautiful. I would go back for 2 days for sure.

Athens: This city took me by surprise. Never would I have thought it had so many people. The city scape is massive! In my ignorance, I was expecting an old city, not modern…much like the smaller places I had visited. But this city is anything but not modern. Imagine Toronto, with the occassional greek temple thrown in here and there. If I am to be honest, I was disappointed with Athens. The Acropolis was under major construction and was flooded with tourists. I don't know why I thought I would be alone and would have the opportunity to take the perfect picture. Even at 9am, there were thousands of people and the chance of getting a good pic without it including a massive crane, scaffolding or a bunch of green pants tourists was next to impossible. In fact, there are only a few items worth a photo up there. In retrospect, I am glad I got to experience it, but I could have done without. However, Zeus' temple, only a kilometer away was far more interesting to me. The colors, the height of the columns, the massiveness of it…impressed me far more than the acropolis. AND there were no tourists. Maybe 20 at best. I loved it there. Not much to see but just felt more personal. Before you leave, be sure you get to the shopping district. The sidewalk vendors and cafes are great and you are bound to find a deal or two. Now that I have been there, I would probably not go back. There just wasn't enough for me. If I had more time, maybe I could have visited more sites but as they are spread out around the metropolis, it just isn't worth my time.

Mykonos: This island getaway was simple, beautiful, friendly and met all my expectations. The white painted homes and storefronts, the blue waters, the food, the hotties…etc. It was all a slice of perfection. Sure you can tour the island in a day, so it isn't more than maybe a 2 day stop but if you take some tours to the nearby islands, it can be a full 2 days. My side trip to Dylos, the birthplace of twins Apollo and Artemis was interesting to say the least. The island itself was pretty cool. The ruins, the history and stories…but the ride there was a nightmare for me. The 30 minute ride to the island is paved with rough waters, deep swells which all translates into one sick puppy. I must have been green by the time I got off that ferry. It was not something I would do again regardless of what kind of beauty awaits. Be warned. Lol By the end of the day, after shopping in "little Venice", I relaxed with a liquor and an amazing plate of chicken gyros. By far the best meal of the trip so far. And free wifi of course. I could have sat there for hours. Table by the beach with the tiny houses on the hill sides all lit up around me. Gorgeous. It is what you think of when you think of Greece. I would definitely go back to Mykonos. If only for a short time.

Dubrovnik: To be honest, I didn't know a single thing about this place. I had no expectations and had no clue what I was getting into. Unfortunately, it was the only day that it rained. It was sad because it was by far, my favorite place on the trip. Ok, a close tie with Venice. This walled city had the old feel of Camelot while retaining a romantic and renaissance essence about it. The marbled streets and hidden alley way cafés and restaurants were a welcome continuation of what Venice had introduced. But by far, the tour of the wall (although terrifying to me because of my vertigo) was stunning. The ocean spray on one side balanced with the old city on the other was a view I won't soon forget. The colors of the roofs and cathedrals were stunning. If only the sun was out at the time. :( I only had a short time in this city but I would love to go back for at least another day to experience what the entire city has to offer. The shops, the food…etc. There seems to be a lot I missed. The only thing I noticed about this place is that the mood of the locals didn't seem all that positive. They were not rude but they didn't seem happy. There was an aire of sadness in the city. It was strange. Maybe it was the rain…?

So there it is. Of course there are tons of mini stories that happened in between the nooks and crannies but I will save those for another day. ;)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tease

I just arrived home from my vacay to Europe.  12 hours of travel, 8 hour flight.  Argh.

I plan to write all about it in the next few days but as a teaser, you can check out some of my fav shots.  The schedule included Venice, Bari, Mykonos, Athens and Dubrovnik.  Trip report to come....




Monday, September 3, 2012

Awesomeness

I have to say, this weekend at the 24hr race, I was inspired and awed at the amazing people I have the pleasure to know.  So many of them impressed me over the past 2 days.  Whether it was in speed, technique, positivity, drive or overall attitude, it made me miss skating so much.  It has re-ignited my desire to get back on those torture devices.  Of course, I have to get healthy again first and make sure I don't do myself any more damage.

So my hat is off and I give much respect and admiration to those of you who gave it your all this weekend.  Take comfort in knowing that regardless of your race level, you were inspiring. 

A special congrats to the winners.  It was great meeting you all and watching pros at work. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Short Vent

When I just left a comment on your facebook page, there is really no excuse for spelling my name wrong when you reply.  Seriously, it is right there above your comment!  Hello!  Dumbass.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Creativity

The plus side to not being able to play tennis, skate, cycle or fucking anything is that I have all this free time to paint.  Normally I don't begin until the snowfall but I figured why not.  So here is a pic of my latest creation. 


Friday, August 17, 2012

Ouch

Sooo I have begun my Active Release therapy for my legs.  There is really no way to describe this type of physio.  By the time I am done my 30 minute session, I am soaking wet in sweat, have a massive headache and am so tense I almost feel like going home to bed.  Not to mention the pain that follows you around all day.  I keep reminding myself that this is all needed to get better.  I do NOT want surgery. 

On top of my two tears, my doc says I have abnormally tight hamstrings which is no doubt causing my hip, groin, back and leg problems that have plagued me over the past 3 years.  But she says that in time, I can make great gains in correcting the issues.  But of course, it comes at a cost.  Lots more physio and strangely enough... a lot of yoga. 

Yoga...I have done it a few times but never really considered going more than occassionally.  Looks like I am going to have to wrap my head around this if I want to continue playing my sports at the levels I am accustomed to. 

So overall, I am in good spirits.  I really can't complain too much.  Pain will eventually go away and in the end I will be at a better level than what I started at.  That is the goal after all. 

Leaving for holidays in a few weeks.  Can't wait.  To swim in the warm waters of Italy and Greece will at least calm my mind if not these sore legs.  Now if only I can get my passport back from Passport Canada.  Bastards are taking forever.  The countdown has begun.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

So that's that.

My running challenge seems to be over before it even had a chance to start.  Last September when I tore my right soleus muscle (calf) while running, it took about 8 weeks to get back to the point where I could walk without pain.  Through out the winter and spring, I focused on light cardio and tennis which didn't seem to strain the muscle, unless I was moving backwards (strange).  Well fast forward a few months.

In June, I decided to get new shoes and try running one more time.  I began really slow and hit the treadmill 3 times a week for nothing more than 3km per session.  Nothing fast, just easy.  I felt the "pressure" on both legs almost right away but began an immediate stretching program to help out.  Things were going okay.  Not great but ok.  Over the past weeks, my left leg, not the previously injured one started to pull a bit more than usual.  To the point where it was getting hard to ignore.  So I stopped the cardio and just hit the weights.

Today, I taped up the left leg and did some light lunges at the gym during a class.  20 mins in I felt the right calf pop and that was that.  The left did just fine.  So now I have a strain in my left and a tear in my right.  WTF.

So that's that.  Nothing I can do now.  Can't really walk or put any pressure on my right leg.  I had to pull out of the 24 hour Inline race which sucks.  Letting down a team is never a good feeling.  Especially since I really haven't been skating much this summer. 

Trying to book an MRI but wait times are 4-6 weeks which is about the recovery time needed.  Sigh.  So I am going to get a prescription for some Active Release Treatments and hit the physio right away.  Need to be on my feet in Greece and Italy in a few weeks.  No excuses.  Hopefully the docs can provide some more permanent solutions.  I can't afford this scenario to continue.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A perfect 10

As some of you may not know, I was a gymnast in my early days.  I never qualified for high bar or rings...instead I trained exclusively on floor and vault.  Vault was always my favorite and I won several medals on it over the years.  So with that said, I know a bit about vaults.  And THIS, below is the best vault I have ever seen.  It is a perfect 10.  I do not know why it wasn't scored that way.  Can you find anything wrong?

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jpmoore/us-gymnast-mckayla-maroney-landed-the-vault-of-her?sub=1700888_479102

Next

So the Gluten free thing is done.  I did a full 30 days pretty strict with only a few minor mishaps that were almost impossible to avoid.  The findings?  Well I am not intolerant to gluten.  That is for sure.  There was no energy increase, no weight loss, no noticeable difference.  In fact, what I did notice were quite negative factors. 

1.  Without those carbs, I found I was more grumpy than normal and I thought about food all the time.  I couldn't focus on work because I was daydreaming of bread and cookies. 

2.  Also, without the "full" feeling that gluten filled carbs normally provide, I found myself eating twice as much non gluten foods.  Even though the foods were more natural and better for me, I would need to eat so much more to get the same energy levels that smaller portions of gluten foods provided.  Thus no weight loss at all.  If I had stuck to the same portions, I would have been starving all the time.

3.  Eating out, which I do regularly is almost impossible when you are gluten free.  Unless you order salads everytime.  But what is the fun in that?

So next on the life trials will be a sugar free month.  Now this is going to be a true test for me.  I can't remember a single day, in years, that I have not had chocolate or a sweet of some sort.  I am not sure how I am going to approach this but am looking forward to seeing what happens.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

No title.

My buddies death is still plaguing me these days.  It has me thinking about all sorts of stuff.  Mostly, and I guess most sadly is that we really don't remember people much.  Do we?  I mean, sure we miss them right off but pretty quickly, life moves on, we forget, we process and continue.  We are only reminded every so often that this person or people we once knew are gone.  So this train of thought has me thinking about the grand scheme?  If we truly make so little of an impact to each other, what is the point?  It only seems to matter when we are alive and face to face because once gone, we become such a fleeting memory. 

I am not sure if it is society at large, our busy lives or whatever, but there used to be a time when death and all that had much more of an impact.  Right?  Now it just seems that we close the chapter, tell some funny stories, shed a few tears and move on.  I don't know what I expect but if that is all there is, I don't know why we bother. 

I hate the idea of death.  Of not being here, of not having an impact.  Seems like once your living impact is gone, you have none at all.  We spend so much of our lives craving for attention, acceptance, love etc. but it is such a false sense of security since once we're gone those things are so easily forgotten. 

It's not like we can walk around like mourning zombies either.  I get that.  I know that life moves on.  It is just sad, to me, how easily we tend to forget.  Our lives seem so much more important that the people around us who we should really stop and get to know....better.  Lest we forget them. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Where is everyone?

I feel I haven't seen anyone in ages.  With tennis, cycling and now running clinics not to mention my daily gym workout, I feel like I haven't seen any of my other friends in forever.  What is going on with everyone?

I have to find a way to get back to social skating on Thursday.  This week.  It will happen!  It sucks that I have tennis every Sunday morning and then family time right after cause I have missed almost every Sunday Bike Day skate on the parkway.  Not that I would be able to keep up with them anymore but still.  I miss the crew.  I will have to get out there soon. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Recap

Travel is done.  Phew.  Looking forward to getting back into the swing of things here in Ottawa.  Tennis anyone?

Hiked the Luskville falls twice now and the second time was much better.  Why?  It was done at a human pace and not the pace of 3 teenagers.  What a difference.  Legs were fine afterwards. 


Birthday was quiet and spent away from home this year.  Meh.  Nothing to report there.  Well nothing I can put on a blog anyway.  lol

On funny note, the hotel check in clerk Tianna (a hottie little Kelly Rowland look-a-like) called me Beefcake when I was checking in.  That made me laugh.  She is now my favourite Torontonian. ;)

Although the customer service is excellent, Porter's flights are horribly bumpy.  I was in hell on the approach into Ottawa.   Anxiety sickness is no fun. 

Love this heat.  Please send more.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Awesome Things

Spending the day with my nephews.  Can`t get anymore awesome than that.....unless they all played tennis.  Now THAT would be awesome.




Friday, June 22, 2012

Musings

Weather in Ottawa has been awesome.  Plus 40s all week.  I am loving every minute of it.  Nothing beats exercising until you are totally soaking wet in the hot sun.  Makes you feel like you have pushed yourself to the limit even if you haven't.  lol

Hit the skates this week and it is just not the same since the back injury.  Not sure what I am going to do.  Back, Hips and Groin keep me from any kind of proper technique or speed.  I feel like a rec skater all over again.  Sigh.  I will stick with it when I can but I don't see myself being able to hit the 30kph club again any time soon.  But maybe I will get lucky and with more outings my body will adapt a bit more.  Here's hoping.

Thankfully back at the gym again.  All that work travel had me missing my program and it showed right away.  Felt like my muscles deflated.  But I'm back and loving the pump.  With advice and guidance from my power lifting friends and trainers I know in the states, I have added some new exercises to the routine.  I am expecting big things. 

On the Bro front, he is doing really well.  He looks a lot better and has put on some weight.  His spirits seem to be high and his motivation is there.  I am hoping that he reaches out when/if he needs any kind of help.  I haven't been the best brother in the past but I'm willing to be whatever he needs now. 

Apart from that, life, as always, is good. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ya gotta love kids....

http://www.buzzfeed.com/samir/the-biggest-kid-fails-of-all-time

I hate cats with a passion but the ones in some of these are funny as hell.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Home sweet Home

Looking forward to spending some time in my own city.  My whirlwind tour of Canada is over and I am back to my sweet bed.  Hotel beds suck.  Way to soft.  Just like the belly I have grown while on travel status.  Argh.

On the up side, it was great to reconnect with old friends and their new friends.  I love making new connections across the cities.  It makes life so much more interesting when you have someone to have dinner with no matter where you find yourself. 

I will have to take my camera with me next time.  I never thought of taking pics.  I know...me not remember taking pics?  Don't even give me that look. 

Some Awesome Things about travelling:

1.  The "Intimacy Package" you get when checking into the Cosmo Hotel.  They EXPECT you to get laid.  Glad I could oblige.  lol

2.  Dinners with old and new friends.  Catching up and telling stories.  Awesome.

3.  Porter Airlines.  Your customer service was fantastic.  Surprised the crap out of me.

4.  Falling through the door and collapsing on your own bed.  Heaven

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Awesome Thing

Sitting in an empty Starbucks at 645am on a Saturday with my bro just shooting the shit about everything. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Remembering Jeff

This is not an awesome things post.  This is a tragic things post.

My good friend, of about 20 years, Jeff McLaughlin was found dead last night from what I am hearing is an overdose.  I haven't been able to confirm any of that just yet but this post isn't about how he died, it is about how he affected people while he lived.

I met Jeff while playing volleyball way back in the day.  It was almost impossible not to be pulled into his gravity.  For the people who know him, they will agree that his energy and his personality actually overwhelms you when you are in the same room with him.  Some call it schtick but to me, it was just his way.  He had a way of being the center of attention in almost all environment and if he wasn't, he would just declare to everyone that he should be.  It was that simple.  lol  For my birthday one year, he bought me a picture frame.  It wasn't a special frame but what made it unique was that it came with his 6x8 glossy smiling head shot in it.  lol  I will remember it forever.  He was hysterically laughing the whole time but I expected nothing less from him.

Over the next 20 years, we would cross each other paths on the tennis courts, volleyball courts and once or twice on the curling ice.  But you know me and cold...curling was short lived.  ;)  No matter how many months had gone by, no matter how many relationships pulled us away from hanging out together, the minute you began talking to Jeff, you felt better.  I can't remember a single time where he didn't seem on top of the world.  Of course that is not the case if what I am hearing is true.

It has been about 5 months since I saw Jeff last and I have no idea what was going on in his life that led him to this decision.  I am hoping that this may have been just a bad accident and not a result of hopelessness.  Because if the latter is true, it is hard not to feel guilty that you weren't there, you couldn't help...etc.  But I know that is a pretty selfish thing to think.  We can't all save each other. 

So regardless of what happened, I hope that Jeff has found peace.  I hate to think that he couldn't find it here among his friends and family that cared for him.  Buddy, I will always appreciate our matches, our drinking binges and partying...but most of all your jokes and endless laughter.  It seems like a lifetime ago but the memories feel like yesterday.


More Awesome Things

My oldest friend, the one who I consider a sister, is having a baby!!  It has been something that she has wanted her entire life so I am over the moon that she is beginning this adventure. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Awesome Things

Benign Results!  Awesome news from a dear friend far away.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Awesome things

A few for the past week or so:

When someone honestly guesses you are 5 years younger than you are.

A full nights sleep with awesome dreams and no tossing and turning.

Backhand winners. 

Gluten Round 2

Going to jump on the gluten free bandwagon one more time.  Will try to pay more attention to what I eat this time around and hopefully I will see even better results.  Of course, it didn't help when I forgot at lunch and ate rice and then a cookie.  Mmmm cookie. 

Other than that I am seriously thinking my memory is fading.  My combination of words is getting worse and my short term memory is totally out to lunch.  Today I combined stone and rock into stock.  I have no idea what causes this.  lol  But it is annoying. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

CN Cycle 2012

Cathou and I joined forces to do the CN cycle this morning.  The first real cycling event of the season for us slow pokes.  ;)  All it all it went pretty well.  We pulled in a 35k in just minutes over the hour mark.  I am convinced that had we started at the top of the pack and not in the middle, we could have shaved off at least 5 minutes of wasted time weaving in and out of crazy kids moving all over the place.  Talk about dangerous.  Top speed was just a hair over 45kph.  Considering there are no real downhills in Ottawa, that felt great. 

Anyway, we were pretty happy regardless.  I wanted to beat a few key people along the way and we did.  A total mind thing for sure but it is "my" mind thing so bare with me.  I was really surprised not to see more people (from the team) out but I hear that some of them skated.  I was in no shape to skate for 35 or 70k as M. Garvin did.  Crazy bastard.  ;)

So it was a good benchmark set for the season.  Easy to beat for sure.  Looking forward to more and more events. 


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Awesome

Brunch with Mom.  She pays!  Totally awesome.  :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Awesome, Tasteless, Morbid, Nasty Ads

Can you believe this is all from an actual Marketing Competition?  Companies compete to come up with these nasty fake ads.  One of my favs. Totally morbid and wrong. 


You can check out more of the nominations here:

http://www.chipshopawards.com/nominations

Monday, April 23, 2012

An ode to....

...all my trainer friends at GoodLife across the country.  I crack up thinking of some of you doing this!  LOL


Sugar

Damn you sugar.  The last 3 weeks have been a never ending worship of thee.  Sponge Toffee, Skor Candy, Peanut Butter cookies...Crack Eggs....etc.  Sigh. 

Time to snap out of it.  It is all Jesus' fault.  Him and that Easter Bunny. 

The harbingers of chocolate!!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday's Awesome Thing

The feeling that even though you got totally destroyed and beaten, you tried your very best and that alone makes it all worth it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Awesome Things

Guess I have been living under a cyber rock as of late cause I didn`t hear about this "awesome things" website.  Such a good idea.  So good in fact, I am stealing the idea for my own website.  I am not going to post everyday but only when it moves me.

So on that note, today's awesome thing:

Walking through security at work and having an elevator waiting for you.  And your the only person in it. 

Awesome

Monday, April 16, 2012

2nd attempt

Cathou and I hit the Gat hills again this weekend determined to do better than we did last time.  Or at least that was MY goal.  I can't speak for her.  But I am sure she wanted it to.  Just sayin..

ANYWAY, we did much better and although I was still gasping for breath, we beat our previous time and it felt much easier this time.  So if I make this a task twice a week, in no time I should be able to reach the Lookout relatively painlessly. 

Here is the reward.  Great pics at the top.  Oh, and the gummies were good as well.  Yum


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Open Season

Well most of the crew got together yesterday for our first "real" ride of the season.  Organized by Ray and Tanya, it ended up being a great turn out.  Thanks you two.

Knowing me, you instantly know how I feel about cold.  I despise it.  So as you can imagine, I had more layers on than.....well I had a lot.  4 at last count.  Still a bit chilled but I managed.

I quickly learned that bulking at the gym during the winter and focusing ONLY on weights means you pay a dear dear price when you begin an activity that requires a cardio base.  Climbing the Gatineau hills is (for me) about as extreme as I want to get when it comes to cycling.  For most of the jaunt I was sucking wind like Heidi Fleise.  Needless to say, after the nausea passed, I was able to make it to the top and then back to the bottom unscathed.  I think I might have been last to pull in but that doesn't bother me in the least.  I did it and that is that.  Not like these guys can play a 3.5 hour tennis match now.  ;)

I need to learn to not judge myself against the other cyclist whipping by me.  LOL  It is so easy to conjure up nasty thoughts of your friends as they zoom by or overtake you on the climbs.  And the pros that are up there...well they are crazy.  Their climbs look as effortless as the downhills.  And they are no smaller than me, make no mistake.  Some of these guys are big guys.  Bastards.  It doesn't help that I brake the entire way down the hills.  Speed is not my friend.  Need to get over that. 

Anyway, it was a great day and it felt perfect seeing everyone again.  I will not play tennis before doing that climb again.  That was a good lesson learned.  But I look forward to getting back onto that climb to conquer it at a reasonable time.  In the meantime, time to get these lungs back into shape.  Where is that heart rate monitor again.....

Monday, April 2, 2012

Damn the truth

So it looks like my friend A. Legacy was right.  I used to feel all great when getting off the cybex machine after burning (what I thought) was 1000 calories.  It was my fav machine at the gym.  Not only because I enjoyed it, but because hell...1000 calories is pretty inspiring. 

Well they have replaced my cybex with a new machine.  It only provides calorie burn numbers according to your constant heart rate.  Well today, after an hour of some pretty high level intervals, my calorie burn was just 500.  Argh.  Damn reality.  I liked the numbers better when I was led to believe these fitness untruths. 

Now if I can only accept the truth that a PC Blue pizza isn't only 200 calories for a whole thing rather than 1/4 of a pie.  Baby steps...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Road Trip

Because I have too much holiday banked at work, I needed to take a few days off before March 31st.  What better way to waste a few days than to go on a road trip.  So I grabbed my best bud and off we went across the border to Waterloo.  3 hour drive.  Nothing crazy.

Let me sum up the trip like this:

$800 worth of clothes for less than $350.  Love me some outlet malls.
If you want an ego boost on your looks or weight, go to Syracuse.  You'll never be hard on yourself again.
Everywhere to eat seems to be a roadhouse.  Massive calorie barns.... but tasty.
Baton Rouge is WAY better than Dinosaur BBQ.  Just sayin.....
Who knew Syracuse was the "place to be" for St. Patty's day.  People fly in for it?  WTF?
Customer service is actually pretty remarkable.  Service people were SO friendly.  That was surprising.
OMG, McDonalds is the center of the universe for white trash.  I can't even describe the things we saw there.

Yay for Nexus Cards.

Now to go through my old clothes and pitch out all the things that don't fit anymore.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Latest Painting

and yes, it is for sale.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Let's get on with it.

Okay winter...I am through with you.  I have put in more than enough of my fair share of gym time, cardio...and family time.  I deserve a bit of warm weather and dry pavement.  The gatineau loop and the bike paths are callling my name.  I realize it is only March but cmon.  Don't you think it is time to move along... 

You know you are ready for spring when you are considering taking a vacation somewhere warm just so that you can bring your bike and skates.  lol  How sad is that.  Especially since I am no where NEAR being in shape enough to open my spandex drawer.  Bulking these last few months always comes with a side effect.  A spare tire.  But I am not worried.  I am nothing if not determined.  I see inspiration all around me and that always pushes me in the right direction. 

I am looking forward to seeing my skating group again as well.  It has been too long.  Totally my fault for not keeping in touch.  Hopefully they have all been sitting on the couch all winter and are out of shape so that when we begin skating again I can keep up.  Unlikely but a guy can hope right?  ;)


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Shared

got this from facebook.  Thought it was pretty funny...and accurate.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mexico 2012

Mexico 2012 was awesome.  My best bud and I were prime candidates for a nice relaxing 2.5 weeks in the sun.  It is just what the doctor ordered. 

Here is a quick review.

We bought a tour through Yukatreks to go to Coba and a Cenote.  They had a good review on trip advisor so we felt in good hands.  Turns out, they were right.  The company, employees and everything were perfect.  Reliable, clean, friendly...etc...they had it all.  And they delivered everything they promised.  However, Coba itself was lack luster for me.  I guess the mistake I made was booking the tour in the first place.  I didn't want a walking tour with 20 minutes of explanations at every turn.  I know I should have known better but....  So for over 2 hours, I got the run down of everything Mayan.  Sure it was kinda interesting but most of it had nothing to do with the buildings or structures I was looking at.  Coba, although sprawling over a few kilometers only has a few buildings to offer the tourists.  You can climb the pyramid at the end so that is the saving grace.  For me personally, I would skip this one.  Thumbs up to Yukatreks but not so much to Coba.

Tulum.  For this excursion, we did it alone.  We jumped on the ADO (greyhound) for less than 7 bucks and headed to the ruins.  About an hour to get there.  Tulum was beautiful.  Set on the cliffs, the green grass and trees make it a stunning place to be.  However, the hundreds of tourists can be a detraction from the whole experience.  You are never alone.  There are people everywhere.  The buildings are in good condition and make excellent subjects for photographers.  The sun can be an issue here.  There is little to no shade and taking pics often results in flares in your shots.  Be wary of where the sun is.  It costs about 5 bucks to get in and there is a lot of walking.  Be prepared. 

For the bus, be sure you check out the schedules.  The earliest bus there was about 9 but the earliest back to Playa isn't until 1pm.  You don't want to be just hanging around for nothing.  Zzzzz

Isla Mujeres.  Although we didn't stay overnight here on the island, it is something I would recommend.  If you are taking bus to Cancun and then the ferry to the island, be sure to enjoy it for the day.  We only did a quickie afternoon visit.  Go to the far end of the island and check out the views, spas, cliffs...etc.  It is beautiful.  At night, check out the other end of the island for the nightlife and restaurants.  You can get a hotel room for less than 50$ if you look around.  Be sure to enjoy the beach...it is beautiful.  Total trip from Playa about 25$  Includes ADO, Ferry and taxi.  

Playa itself is awesome.  I can't imagine why anyone would want to go to the Mayan Riv when only an hour away is Playa at probably half the cost.  Look into it....

I will review the restaurants individually in future posts.....

Here are the pics....

http://www.flickr.com/photos/30813780@N00/sets/72157629185039893/

and one to water your mouth...


Friday, February 3, 2012

Music

For those of you who sent me an email or facebook requesting a CD of the top tunes of 2011, I haven't forgotten.  I am just back from Mehico... so give me some time to unpack and get organized.  Thx.

A full on Mexico post is forthcoming. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recap Reloaded

Well after a few emails to blogspot, I still can't understand why my recap text was removed from my own personal blog.  The comments still show up in my inbox but the entry text is gone.  Thus, I get to write it all over again.  And if you don't want to hear it, don't read it.  See how simple that is?  And if you want to continue with assholery comments, feel free.  I am all about free speech as long as it is not offensive or inappropriate.

So as I was saying previously, 2011 was a challenge.  I have an alcoholic family member who although has had this issue for decades, he hasn't really been battling the demon.  He has, in reality become more like a willing victim of it....if that is possible or if it even makes sense.  Anyway, this year there have been several developments which have included counselors, police, lawyers, jail time...etc.  You really can't imagine what this disease can do to a family.  Talk about making you feel helpless.  So as the year ended and the new year began, it has gone from worse to almost hopeless.  As a family unit, it is pretty devastating when you are forced to watch someone you love be taken over and taken away from you.  My only hope for 2012 is that I get to meet him again for the first time in 20 years.  It has been that long since I remember him the way I "want" to remember him.  Thanks to all my friends who have been there for me when I needed to chat or needed advice, legal and otherwise.  ;)  And to those of you who actually asked and gave a shit.  It is appreciated.

It is this kind of stuff that puts life into perspective.  Focuses the mind on what is important and what you should just toss aside.  Problem being, tossing shit whether it be physical, mental, personal or otherwise is pretty hard to do even when you want to do it and you know you would be better off.  This is what I mean when I say things like "I feel disconnected" or "unbalanced".  And for those reading, just because you don't write about it, it isn't as if you don't have the same periods in your life.  It is exactly what life is all about.  There isn't a single one of you out there that hasn't lost someone or has similar things happening in your life right now.  So instead of hating, try relating.  Much less negative.

Thankfully I love my job, even though it is stressful at times.  I am grateful for a paycheque so there is no issue on that end.  Sports injuries....well they have come and kept coming in 2011.  L1 disk hernia, torn achilles...you name it, I survived it.  No more injuries.  I will prevail mother fuckers!!

Going to focus on health, wealth and family this year.  Not necessarily in that order.  ;)  Will try to take a positive spin on things but no promises.  So if you don't want to hear the truth, don't ask (or read).  Wishing you all the best for the year of the Dragon.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Life on hold...for at least another week.

Just noticed...several of my posts have been removed. Not sure why as they didnt break any blogspot rules. I don't want to rewrie them, nor illicit the comments that came with them. But I will if need be. After all, free speech is indeed that regardless of the source. Mexico is awesome. Heat is brutal and I am burnt to a crisp with another week to go. Yeee haaa. Hard to write posts on the iPad so bare with me. More fun news in the coming weeks. Good and bad of course. Got to keep it real.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Best Photo

How cool is this.  National Geo has released its best photo of the year.  Check this out.  The runners up are linked below.


http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/01/national_geographic_photograph.html

Best of 2011 - Part II

Here are the tracks that are not all about the remix.  There are a few this year from the same band which is quite surprising.  But all in all, still a good list I think.  Enjoy.

Someone Like You:  Adele
Rolling in the Deep:  Adele
If I Die Young:  The Band Perry
Not Over You:  Gavin Degraw
Stereo Hearts:  Gym Class Heroes
Don't You Wanna Stay:  Jason Aldean ft. Kelly Clarkson
Cannonball:  Little Mix
Not a Love Song:  Wonderland
The Flood:  Take That
Breakeven:  The Script
Jar of Hearts:  Christina Perri
Keep Your Head Up:  Andy Grammer
Nothing:  The Script
For the First Time:  The Script
Indestrcutible:  Robyn
Hang with Me:  Robyn
Heart On My Sleeve:  Olly Murs
Set Fire To The Rain:  Adele
King of Anything:  Sara Barellis