Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Red Shoe Diaries

I have to admit, I have a bit of a fetish for red shoes. The most recent addition to my collection is a pair of Holey Soles that Jason bought me. He had a pair of blue ones that he wore everywhere and I would steal them every chance that I got! So one day, after coming home from a particularly nasty workday, there were a pair waiting for me beside his at the door! Fun!

Today is a RED SHOE day! 

I wore my red shoes today because I felt the need to inject a little levity into my day. I'm finding it harder and harder to concentrate on what I am doing at work... hence this blog! Anyhow I've received many comments on them - all the way from "COOL SHOES!" to "They make your feet look like Papa Smurf's". Sigh.

Do YOUR shoes float? 

I realize that these shoes are uber-trendy right now, but I don't mind looking like a yuppie. The little nubbies on the insoles give me a wicked foot massage when I wear them with no socks! Nice.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Victoria, here I come!

We're IN!

New Balance 1/2 Ironman

Cool. Now I have to get my knee to work again!

I've got Sunshine....

Spandex as far as the eye can see! Posted by Hello

This past weekend, Jason and I decided to pack up all our touring gear for a "trial run" up on the Sunshine Coast (50km & 60 km). Highlights included:

1. Stopping to share a ripe sunshine-warm mango and strawberries and dip our toes in the ocean at Davis Beach.
2. Conquering the 21% and 18%-grade hills, plus countless others, without losing any gear.
3. Jason patiently feeding me Clif bars as I not-so-gracefully bonked in the last 10k en route to the campsite.
4. Shiraz and Danish Blue on a picnic table in front of a beach sunset at our campsite.
5. Meeting people along the way that were full of great touring advice and funny stories.

Toes & Mangoes on Davis Beach Posted by Hello

Cool things I found out:

1. The Sunshine Coast is GORGEOUS and named quite aptly.
2. There are free hot showers at Porpoise Beach Campsite. YAY!
3. The ferry fare to Langdale is only $11 RETURN!!!

My travel partner is probably the most patient and understanding man on the planet. I have to admit that I had a few low moments... bonking on a hill or two (although I never walked my bike!), my stomach being upset with meat (still mostly a vegetarian), forgetting to pack the sunscreen... Jason was very supportive and relaxed, which makes me extremely happy and lucky! I've never had any doubts about these qualities in him, but when you're sweaty and cranky and starving, having a handsome man feeding you a Clif bar on the side of a hill - he was like a knight in shining spandex, pulling up on his red metal steed.

Fully loaded! Posted by Hello

Doing this trip gives me a ton of confidence about our upcoming cycling tour to Germany. Since we are self-directed, self-supported and self-propelled... well there are a lot of bases to cover to ensure an enjoyable trip! That being said, I'm a pretty laid-back traveller (when I'm not bonking) and I'm learning quickly that Jason and I are very like-minded and compatible in that sense. I'm looking forward to running after bike-friendly trains, plotting out our course as we go and trying to find our way in the dark.

As far as planning goes, well there isn't much of one. We are going to take a train from Frankfurt to Passau, then start riding along the Danube to Vienna. We'll stay there for a short while, then ride up to Prague. We'll train back to Frankfurt from there. We were toying with the idea of hitting Budapest, but it really depends on what kind of mileage we get. We were averaging almost 18km/hr in the hills of the Sunshine Coast. The Danube route has a net elevation LOSS and is quite flat (being alongside a river and all).

18%, F*&%#K! Posted by Hello

Another funny thing is getting used to the mindset of riding for a while, then stopping and eating almost hourly. You're not trying to race anyone, not trying to hump it up every hill to get to the finish. You're not going to average 30+km/hr, you're going to stop and take pictures and smell the flowers. The enjoyment comes from the journey itself, and not just the destination.

One roadie passed me (while I was drafting Jason) and I started to pick up my pace, as if to catch up... what was I thinking???? Jason laughed. Silly competitive side always comes out, even when I'm loaded with panniers on my makeshift touring bike!

Cool Grandma/Grandpa Mirrors! Posted by Hello

My bike sucks, it's a $250 mountain bike with slicks and racks. Jason souped it up with a nice mirror, which I have to admit is a WONDERFUL addition, even if it is a little grandma-ish.

We leave in less than 2 weeks, yay!!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Nailed it

Yesterday was my test for the Level II Occupational First Aid course.


In my test group, there was a 50% failure rate... one girl even cried in the middle of it. Talk about stressful, there were a few people whose jobs relied on their obtaining the certification. It really sucked to be a patient for those people when you knew they were missing steps, not catching onto important hints like cyanosis and arterial bleeding... One woman was so nervous that sweat was dripping from her forehead onto the Rescusi-Annie doll. I was worried she was going to slip while landmarking!

I managed to keep my cool and nailed my 4 scenarios with a 100% pass. I really enjoyed learning all that stuff, and I actually kinda liked both the nurturing aspects and the stressful nature of the job. I like connecting the dots between the presented symptoms, the mechanism of the injury, and then figuring out what I should do in response. I like prioritizing what I should do, and I really like trying to figure out what could possibly be happening with the person, much like if they were a machine or a computer program.

It makes me realize that I can easily apply some of the strengths that I have and enjoy using - thinking logically, analyzing, prioritizing, being practical - into a different field. I just don't know if I'd be able to handle the emotional side of a job like that, where you are dealing with people instead of machines.

I've always known that while I'm good at being an engineer, it's not my life's work. As an aside, I teach fitness classes because I like working with people, being social, helping people better themselves and feel good day to day.

Could a healthcare-related career be something that I might be good at? I've thought of being an RMT or a physiotherapist... what about a paramedic? Hmmm.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Prickly about the Cactus Club

Why is it that every single time our team goes out for a group lunch we HAVE to go to the Cactus Club? Geee, could it be because the waitresses are all curvaceous 20yr-olds, wearing low-cut, slinky, tight black clothes? Hmmmm... doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure this one out.

You know, it isn't so bad that the guys on my team like to partake in the eye candy at the restaurant. If they served good food and had decent service, I would have no problem going there for lunch. Hell, I would even make the reservations! But the food sucks, it's overpriced and the selection is abysmal.

The only reason I decided to join them today (since I had a yummy lunch packed in my bag) was because Boss-man was buying beer. So of course I drank my fair share! Now it's 2:00pm and I have a few hours of work left to go, but my thought process is GONZO!!!

An hour or so in the sunshine with a beer in hand makes it pretty hard to return to work in any way, shape or form. I imagine the guys on my team probably have visions of Bambi, our waitress, dancing in their heads...

There are certainly some times that I wish I didn't work in such a male-dominated workplace. I guess it could be worse, at least nobody suggested going to the strippers! On second thought, I would probably get free drinks there...

Hmph. Where are the lunch restaurants with the eye candy FOR GIRLS??? Anyone?

Friday, April 15, 2005


Here's what I've been up to for the last little while... those knitting needles that I got from my grandma are getting a LOT of use! Since I'm riding my bike a lot more these days, I think my knitting production might take a bit of a hit over the next while.

As you can see, I know a LOT of pregnant people right now!

Big Baaaaaaaaaaaad Baby Blanket - for my very first neice or nephew! Posted by Hello

Lotsa toques and booties - for all the little buns still in the oven Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

2 more ventilations to finish me off...

For years now, I have been waiting for my company to let me take the company-sponsored Level II First Aid course. Why?

1. I work with numerous people that I would consider to be walking, ticking time bombs in the health-sense.
2. I teach fitness classes that attempt to raise heart rates and breathing rates of not-necessarily fit people.
3. I teach fitness classes to lots of people over the age of 60, with hip replacements and pacemakers and long lists of medical ailments.
4. It's free, and I'm already used to re-certing my fitness-related first aid every year.

But above all, it's because I am constantly around people that I care deeply about and would hate to stand by and watch them suffer if something bad happened.

So FINALLY I beat everyone to the front of the line when the attendant spot came up. I'm in Day 3 of a 5-day course.

If there was a sign across my forehead, it would read "TILT TILT TILT!!" Five days is NOT enough to learn all of this information, much less practice it on willing guinea pigs.

"Who wants to have their eyelid everted?"

"What about a obstructed airway?"

"Stroke, anyone?"

Yeah. Anyhow today was the first day that I had a bit of a meltdown, watching my imaginary cyanotic patient staring up at me as I tried to seal my hand over his open pneumothorax. I have always had a profound respect for anyone in the healthcare field, but it has increased tenfold in the past 3 days.

My knees are sore from attending to the seemingly endless stream of victims today. My brain is fried from trying to remember when or when not to insert an oral airway, or if so, WHEN? And my fingers are in "The Claw" from holding Rescusi-Annie in the jaw-thrust ventilation position. But I will read my assignment tonight, do my homework and return to class tomorrow like a good lil' tri girl for another day of my newly-discovered triathlon: Airway, Breathing and Circulation.

Hopefully I will never, EVER have to use this stuff. But if I do, at least I know (mostly) what I'm doing!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

First finished knitting project - Go Grandma Go! Posted by Hello

Finished my first scarf and toque set from the Stitch n' Bitch Knitters handbook a while back, so I thought I'd post a pic. This is the "Ribbed for her Pleasure Scarf" and the "Hot Head" toque. My girlfriend Jen lives up in Prince George, so hopefully she will have use for it up there. Brr!

I'll be taking my Level II Occupational First Aid course through St. John's Ambulance starting on Monday, weeee! Sucking chest wound, here I come!

Friday, April 8, 2005

Sign me up!

Okay, I did it. I entered the Victoria New Balance 1/2 Ironman.

I'm still in physio.

I'm running 3&1's for 20 minutes.

But I just don't care! I've been looking forward to this race for sooooooooo long, if I have to crawl through the 20km run, I will. I just can't NOT sign up for it.

So I ponied up the $200, popped my registration in a Fedex envelope and couriered it away. Yes, I'm a bit paranoid that I won't beat the other 500 people wanting to enter the race :)

I'm so excited. On my bike in this morning, I was positively beaming because I had the filled-out form in my hot little hands, ready to send. When did I become such a tri-buff?

So now I'm up to swimming 3 times a week, and biking whenever I can (to work, for groceries and long bikes on the weekends). I'm doing jump-squats as part of my physio, and hope that it will get my legs stronger and my knee ready for the run. Even my step class helps! Biking through Europe for most of May will help, since Jason and I have to lug around camping gear, etc. My cardio is great. I really think I can get better in time.

I think I can, I think I can!

There certainly is something to be said for goal-setting.

I can't wipe this grin from my face.

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Hot off the Press...

Do free newspapers provide news to the masses... or just wasted paper?

This morning on my way to the skytrain, I was encountered by THREE different people asking if I wanted a free paper. Dose, Metro and 24 Hours. Why are so many free papers available in Vancouver all of a sudden, and what is the idea behind it?

Now I see papers all over the skytrain and busses from people who take them, as it is hard to say NO to free stuff, and then just toss them aside. They didn't pay for them, why do they care? Or do they think that they are being nice by leaving them for the next person to read? Who knows.

I've picked up one of these papers to read and found it to be mostly adverts and silly entertainment news. I guess the idea is to attract a new genre of readers? Or provide a cross between a People magazine and the Sun?

With the accessibility of the Internet, I've thought for a long time that newspapers are a bit wasteful. How many people do you know that read theirs cover to cover, all sections included? Pretty rare. And yet all that paper still gets wasted. At least when people pay for their papers and take them on their way to work, they are less likely to toss them when their stop comes up. I wonder if the companies paying the people to distribute the papers are also paying people to go pick up the mess they leave behind?