My Journal

Note ~ This is everything I've written over the past few years which I've bothered keeping. Depending on where I go with my writing and this site, a major cull or change could transpire.

Warning ~ the further back you go, the more boring it may become. Proceed at your own risk, and with extreme caution.

    Progressing to Simple

    April 21, 2017

    I've been journaling my various back and gut maladies enough lately that I need not delve any further into that topic for the time being. As such, a brief update on the other main thing taking my attention; the march toward a simpler, more minimalist lifestyle. We've been slowly moving toward...

    Gut Instincts

    April 13, 2017

    It's amazing how quickly five days can evaporate when, between delicate personal issues, work and other distractions, you don't get anywhere near your daily journaling. Anyway, as I've alluded to a little, my preoccupation at the moment happens to be my digestive system. Always a little bit sensitive, I've had three...

    2017-04-08

    April 8, 2017

    When it rains, it pours. Or, something like that. I've documented some of my previous issues this winter - multiple bugs, including a two week doozy over Christmas, and a dislocated shoulder chief among them. Even just in terms of said rain, March was utterly dismal and a week into...

    2017-04-05

    April 5, 2017

    Something became really clear for me today at work, or perhaps just clearer still than it's been at times in the past. I guess I was pinged a bit by the post I wrote last night about organizational and departmental management's role in the quality and value of UX design...

    2017-04-04

    April 4, 2017

    This began as a summary of the IA Summit, which I attended the weekend before last. However, after you take enough notes at enough 30-45 minute sessions, you end up with a journal post that is far too long, totally unfocused and likely of not much use to anyone. So,...

    2017-04-03

    April 3, 2017

    I only realized this afternoon that, with a family gathering last night for a bite and some beer, I'd completely forgotten to journal yesterday. This was only the second day of my recommitting to journal every day. As letting go is a big theme for me these days, onward and...

    2017-04-01

    April 1, 2017

    A few months ago, I vowed I would publish a journal post every day. After a little while I realized an entry a day was a bit much. At the time I wanted the quality to be somewhat decent. However, the frequency slowly dwindled to every few days, to weekly,...

    Tepid

    February 26, 2017

    If there's a word I hate, it's tepid. Nothing but a negative connotation, I always have a mental image of a cat gingerly dipping it's paw in water, shaking it off and walking away. From dictionary.com: adjective 1. moderately warm; lukewarm: tepid water. 2. characterized by a lack of force or enthusiasm: tepid prose; the critics'...

    Cemetery Dislocation

    February 8, 2017

    Bad run routing choices in a big snow storm and a little hidden ice begat a hospital adventure on icy roads, a gnarly upper body injury, a week off work and at least three times that long off cycling and running. "Cut through the cemetery" I said to myself. "It'll be...

    A Good Start to 2017

    February 1, 2017

    The biggest problem with deciding you want to make some significant change is the dilemma between just trying to do it all, or to prioritize and discern. I started with the former, but over the past two months I've had to move toward the latter. So, in no particular order,...

    Animal Arbitrariness

    January 19, 2017

    The past couple of weeks has been interesting to me, in that a few seemingly unrelated stories highlight just how arbitrary our feelings about animals can be. The randomness of which is usually a direct result of how humans benefit from animal exploitation, and we're often completely unaware of it....

    Baby Steps

    January 7, 2017

    A while ago, I decided I wanted to focus more on creative pursuits; notably reading, regular journal writing, re-engaging with drumming and music, sketching, visual art, and the like. I'm definitely making progress on the first two, and if you include learning and developing a love for Sketch, a progress...

    2016 ~ a brief recap

    December 31, 2016

    More good things happened around the world than you probably realize, while a few real shitstorms got pretty much all the headlines. Low mileage and a tight back marred an otherwise quiet year, personally. Oh, and multiple bugs, endless winter and functional fireplaces, too. If all you watch is mainstream and...

    Christmas 2016

    December 27, 2016

    We had planned to hit a number of local things this year, but just as we were beginning down that path a week before Christmas, we were hit with a nasty plague. Derailed from doing much except cleaning up and preparing for a quiet family weekend, we managed a couple...

    Hope and Optimism

    December 24, 2016

    2016 has been a bad year, both culturally and politically. It's easy to be pessimistic and cynical if you allow yourself to be. I know I have ~ too much. However, I've also made a decision to try and let go of the crap I can't change and try and...

    Bugs

    December 22, 2016

    I won't even go into the persistent tightening of my lower right back, which according to all medical reports and treatment I've had thus far, is due to my QL muscle. I've lost enough riding and running to that alone, particularly in the second half of 2016, as I've eased...

    Consideration

    December 20, 2016

    Or, rather a lack thereof. I know I'm not always as compassionate as I could or should be, but generally I think I manage to consider those around me pretty well. It's not hard. Don't jump queues, don't reach in front of people, excuse yourself, hold doors open when you...

    No more numbers

    December 18, 2016

    I wondered when I'd miss my first day. In the first week, it turns out. Not because I got lazy, rather I got so busy yesterday I completely forgot. I arose late and, focused on reorganizing our living room, everything went to hell in a handbasket. If it's any consolation...

    The End is Nigh

    December 16, 2016

    For many, winter is synonymous with death, and for good reason. While the west coast where I live is usually wet and mild, it's more common in Canada to experience long periods of subzero temperatures, snow, dry air, rock hard turf and icy streets and sidewalks. For the past couple weeks,...

    Not Bailing

    December 15, 2016

    I know I'm journaling pretty well-worn territory, but my first goal is to build the habit of daily writing. So, for now things are kind of mundane. Two days ago I lamented the fact I haven't been good at sticking to my fall/winter base training plans and wondered aloud why I...

    Bloedel

    December 14, 2016

    Nevermind the challenge of adopting a daily journaling habit, sometimes the time doesn't present itself for a little reflection nor actually putting fingers to keyboard. Today was one of those days, whereby I couldn't squeeze in even a run. So, without any time to reflect and do some proper writing, I'll...

    Bailing

    December 13, 2016

    As the fall has progressed and holds us firmly in the grasp of winter, it's cold for Vancouver. And, we've got lots of snow on the ground with several inches falling over the past ten days. Maybe it's that. Maybe it's the bugs and injury stuff that turned my fall...

    Daily

    December 12, 2016

    I'm renewing my interest in personal creative pursuits and that actually covers a few things; writing, reading, music primarily. It was going to be a new year's project, but why put off for 2-3 weeks what I can start today? This is the beginning of that writing part. I'll probably struggle...

    Donald Trump is saving me at least $1200

    November 17, 2016

    Enough has been written about President-elect Donald Trump, that it's somewhat pointless for a middle-aged Canadian guy to weigh in further. There are many theories as to why Trump was elected president. While I won't bother offering any new thoughts on the election result, a few things I've read have resonated with...

    A Victoria birthday weekend with a (better) half

    October 11, 2016

    Pre-race We took the 9pm ferry on Friday evening and, with the exception of eating crap, had a very uneventful trip to the Island. Check-in to our regular hotel was the usual breeze. We scarfed ferry terminal food in Tsawwassen coming over, then with few options at 11:30pm in our hotel...

    Should Pit Bulls be banned?

    July 1, 2016

    With recent media coverage of dog attacks, municipalities such as Surrey are considering revisions to their dangerous dog bylaws. A June 20th attack on a senior there was the latest high profile incident. In this particular case, the owner took off after his dog caused serious injury, forcing the police to hunt him...

    Blogging renovation part 4; Contractor

    May 5, 2016

    It's between a little over eight months since we finished substantial kitchen and bath renovations. I waited this long to post my thoughts on the contractor, to remove (most of) the emotional component. We hired Aero Kitchen and Bath in spring 2015 to do the work, plus some additional tile...

    2016 BMO Vancouver Marathon; a brief report

    May 3, 2016

    This is a reasonably brief report, as I decided to go a little in-depth about my training experience before I ran, so that it wouldn't be tainted with whatever happened at the race. Pre-event From early Saturday afternoon onward, I focused on relaxing, walking as little as possible, continuing my carb load...

    It’s all over but the marathon

    April 30, 2016

    I wanted to write this before I ran so, regardless of how the day goes, the training will be documented from my pre-race perspective. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the marathon. Beginning with the 1998 Vancouver Marathon, I ran at least two a year for a...

    We’re easily sold a bill of racist (and other BS) goods

    October 15, 2015

    Depending on which poll you believe, 67%, 68%, 72%, or 82% of Canadians agree with Stephen Harper, that women shouldn't wear a niqab during citizenship ceremonies. The excuse given is that it contravenes our standards, customs or some other Canadian thing that the offended person pulled out of their ass....

    Blogging renovation part 3: Revelation

    September 28, 2015

    This post is long overdue. In fact, other than a couple small things being taken care of presently, our renovations have been finished for over a month and a half. We waited for ages for the final invoice and are now working through some final billing issues with the contractor,...

    A considerably smaller BC speed limit cash grab

    August 31, 2015

    It's been quite some time, twenty months and one week to be exact, since I was given an excessive speeding ticket on Christmas Eve 2013. You can read all about the incident here. That's a rather long post that also outlines my feelings on the logic, or lack thereof, with...

    Blogging renovation part 2: Middle

    July 6, 2015

    In my first post about our renovations on May 24th, I wrote about the scope of the job and included a few pics of the areas to be renovated, the weekend before they were to begin. Generally, things have progressed quite well so far. There have been a few small...

    2015 Scotia Half race report

    June 29, 2015

    This will be a very short race recap. Originally, I'd wanted to focus on a few key half marathons and work hard to get my time back under 1:30. I had a pretty good start to that with the First Half in mid-February. Coming in just a touch over 1:31,...

    A long overdue update

    May 31, 2015

    At the end of January, I suggested these would be a twice monthly kind of thing in 2015, based on writing two of them by that time. Well, here I am nearly four months later and I still have just those two updates. I thought I'd do a better job...

    Blogging renovation part 1: Genesis

    May 24, 2015

    I'm really doing this series of posts for my own benefit, so anyone else reading these may not get much out of them. It was a bit of a long road finding a contractor, so I'm not going to bother documenting that process here, as I have a different type...

    2015, the year of the half

    March 4, 2015

    Staying injury-free for some time now (largely due to a little luck, regular core/stability work and hitting on the right training approach for me) and having a decent First Half time on what was really a mini 8-10 week training cycle, I'm kind of buoyed for the year ahead. I...

    WordPress front-end frameworks

    March 3, 2015

    A while ago, I took a look around to see what was available in terms of dependable front-end theming environments for WordPress. The main reason was to provide a solid starting point from which to develop a core institutional parent theme, which we could then use to develop numerous child...

    One down, eleven to go

    February 2, 2015

    I guess these updates will be a twice-monthly kind of thing if January is any indication. That's OK, as that's probably frequent enough to keep myself honest on tracking my goals for 2015. I'm not sure they're of interest to anyone but me, either. Things kept percolating along for the...

    A good start

    January 13, 2015

    While it wasn't an explicit 2015 goal in my 2014 year-end review, I wanted to write a bit more on my journal. So, I guess this is the start of that, as well. However, it's not the main reason I'm writing this very short update. My main reason for hopefully...

    Off-leash

    January 9, 2015

    If there's one unfortunate byproduct of Vancouver's off-leash dog parks, it's clueless owners. Don't get me wrong. I love seeing a couple pooches hamming it up, running around like lunatics and generally getting their dawg on - when the owners have both purposely come to an off-leash park for this...

    2014 in review

    December 31, 2014

    In terms of big things, 2014 was pretty subdued for me, and the second half of the year was downright sparse. That can often be a good thing. Without further adieu then, a general inventory of my year, with a hint of planning for the next one. Early on Going back to...

    All I want for Christmas …

    December 23, 2014

    As my thoughts turn a little bit to the past year and what the coming one may bring, I give you my musings on the way I'd like things to be. I don't spend too much time regretting things I've done, nor do I make a bunch of new year's...

    The awkward relationship between the BC SPCA and meat

    October 16, 2014

    I've always had difficulty with the relationship our society has with animals. Most people I know feel real compassion when companion or wild animals are treated badly or hurt. We donate, run, walk, cycle, and do any number of things to help rescue them, and often go to our local...

    Darby; a dog’s life in pictures

    July 23, 2014

    I've been grappling with something for ten months. It was August of last year when Darby was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, and only a couple short weeks later when we put her down. I had intended to write a retrospective post about her life, and started to do so a few...

    2014 Victoria Granfondo; riding ugly

    June 22, 2014

    Don't let the title of this post fool you. On most any count that matters, it was a great day. The ugly was pretty much all me and my legs. I can't really complain because the weather was great, the course was beautiful, the on-course volunteers killed it, and I...

    A fine BCPSEA and BCTF mess

    May 29, 2014

    British Columbia public school teachers, represented by the BCTF, are undertaking rotating job action this week (and next, we just learned) to back contract demands. From Monday to Thursday, kids will be out of school one day per week, per district. Limited administrative job action began in April. The BCPSEA, the...

    Brody the rescue dog

    May 19, 2014

    After Darby left us in the fall of 2013, it was really hard thinking of adopting another dog for some time. We felt robbed of time we expected to have with her, and given that we confer people-like status to furry friends in our house, the thought of another dog...

    2014 Sun Run report and thoughts

    April 27, 2014

    I had one of my two go-to race breakfasts, opting for the double serving of oatmeal with brown sugar. The forecast had been for rain and a high of 10 celsius all week, so my weather expectations were low. But, I prepped by wearing a compression liner and a t-shirt...

    2014 Pacific Populaire ride report and quarter pole assessment

    April 6, 2014

    I don't have nearly as much to say about the 2014 Pacific Populaire, as I did in 2011. I've done a lot more, and significantly longer, rides in the three intervening years. I've managed a few 60-80k road rides this year and been fairly consistent on the trainer over the...

    2014 St. Patrick’s Day 5k

    March 24, 2014

    While it's hard to write a lengthy race report on a 5k, there's always something to learn be reminded of from any event and this was no exception. As I've been training more consistently and staying healthy, apparently I have to re-learn an old racing lesson. I've had some decent training...

    2014 Dirty Duo 15k trail race

    March 13, 2014

    I didn't expect to have back-to-back 15k races two months apart to start the 2014 season, as there was supposed to be a half marathon in February. A small spill and tweak two days prior to that killed it. All in all, I was reasonably happy with this run. The...

    Planned races for 2014

    February 12, 2014

    I haven't done a full season of racing since 2011, and that year sort of tailed off in the fall. 2012 and 2013 were very spotty and mostly lost due to my problematic left side. And, these issues do linger and could come back to bite me. However, I'm feeling...

    BC speed limits and cash grabs

    February 1, 2014

    I’m a cyclist and driver who views most speed and traffic issues through a cyclist’s lens and who generally feels car drivers behave poorly when circumstances call for caution. Also, when it comes to urban neighbourhoods, traffic calmed areas and places like school zones and playgrounds, I have a zero...

    2014 Chilly Chase 15k

    January 26, 2014

    I wanted to make sure I had a gauge for the First Half on February 16th. I'd contemplated the MEC 5k in Richmond last week or the Richmond Icebreaker 8k next week, but neither of those would allow me to set an expectation for a half marathon. The Chilly Chase...

    When the treatment causes the pain

    January 9, 2014

    One of the less pleasant aspects of going through my 40's has been the development of allergies. As of my last allergy test, I was allergic to dust, pollen and shellfish. While you don't see too many clams flying around, the dust and pollen in the air has made me...

    Meet the new year, (not the) same as the old year

    January 4, 2014

    OK, so the title of this post might betray my age, but I love The Who and, in particular, Won't Get Fooled Again. While it's now January 4th and I've met the new year head-on, I really hope it isn't the same as the old year. This is the second...

    Making sense of Christmas

    December 24, 2013

    It's not that I don't like the season. In fact I like it very much in some ways. It's just that, as an adult, I don't really get Christmas any more; certainly not what it is in 2013 anyway. I get a little melancholy this time of year, and posted...

    December 2nd was wireless carrier freedom day … sort of

    December 3, 2013

    December 2nd was a big day for wireless subscribers in Canada ... sort of. If you renew or sign a new contract with a carrier in Canada after this date, the rules just changed substantially in your favour. Sure, Canadians still pay some of the highest wireless rates in the...

    The way she probably wanted to go

    September 6, 2013

    The most shocking thing was simply the suddenness of it all. A month ago, as far as we could tell, we had a healthy dog closing in on 11 years old. By all outward signs, Darby might buck the big dog trend and live to 13 or more. Then she...

    Devastating news far too soon

    August 27, 2013

    As friends and acquaintances have asked, I've had to tell this story too many times now, and we're not yet at the final chapter. I'm writing this partly as reference for further requests, and partly to get the words down just as I want them. I probably still won't get...

    A tale of two pass-cards

    August 18, 2013

    If you live in Vancouver, no doubt you're only too aware of a couple different examples of public service pass cards either presently being rolled out, or already in use. The Vancouver Park Board is currently offering their OneCard and BC Transit is just about to launch their Compass Card....

    I thought this season would be different

    August 13, 2013

    It's almost as if my body knows it's getting close to being able to train hard and actually try to race when I run. I say this because, just as I get past some injury or condition and begin to look at race planning, something else happens that sidelines me...

    5 Peaks Alice Lake 2013

    June 10, 2013

    This was my third running race of the season, but I'm still just thinking of races as events this season. Despite the fact that I've been called a sandbagger for saying I'm not really racing yet, that's how I feel. Sure, I'm running as hard as I can for the...

    My funky foot part three; becoming a runner again

    May 15, 2013

    It's been ages since I felt the way I do now about running; a feeling I'd describe as quasi-euphoric. I won't go into any detail here about the trials and tribulations of the past 12-18 months. If you're really interested in such long-winded stories, part one is here and part...

    The so-so Vancouver Marathon marketing customer experience

    January 3, 2013

    Since I'm a little cranky about email marketing and spam, I thought it might just be me. However, when I saw a couple tweets yesterday echoing my feelings, I knew I probably wasn't overreacting. On New Year's Eve, I registered for the BMO Vancouver Marathon half. Within a couple days...

    My funky foot part two; a holding pattern

    December 12, 2012

    In April, I outlined my experience to that point, with my left foot. At that time, after several months of annoying and somewhat perplexing symptoms, I expected that by now, I'd have more of a solution - perhaps a surgery or something - to report. Sadly that's not really the...

    Rosenfeld Media Toronto UX workshops

    December 4, 2012

    Last week I hit Toronto for three workshops organized by Rosenfeld Media. Since I had to fly to Toronto to do them, it only made sense to do all three. My main purpose was, admittedly, to take Lou Rosenfeld's Adaptable Information Architecture workshop, but I ended up with three very...

    Designing with Agile with Anders Ramsay

    December 4, 2012

    Anders Ramsay was really an unknown entity for me as I got to day three. Like the other two workshops, this one was based on his book of the same name, though this one is yet-to-be published in 2013. The nice thing about Anders' workshop is that, where the other...

    Adaptable Information Architecture with Lou Rosenfeld

    December 4, 2012

    Lou Rosenfeld has been a well-known information architect for many years, with a strong and varied consulting background. Back in the 90's he wrote what is still likely considered THE bible on IA (and a must read for anyone who does this stuff). Organizing content for a web build, designing...

    Do-it-yourself Usability Testing with Steve Krug

    December 4, 2012

    Steve Krug has written two well-received books about usability, Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability and Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems. This workshop was based entirely upon the second book and dealt with making usability testing as...

    Detesting Lance Armstrong: Why it’s not about the dope

    October 23, 2012

    There's little value in re-hashing the doping history of Lance Armstrong; at least the history as reported in USADA's Reasoned Decision, published last week. Depending on primarily witness testimony, it is a detailed and thoroughly documented indictment of the cyclist. For years before the report, suspicion of Armstrong's doping was...

    Ride2Survive

    June 24, 2012

    I tried typing with a sore, swollen wrist with Naproxen and Tylenol 3s in my system the day after the event - not the most effective way of writing. As such I had to get my thoughts down while this amazing event was a little less fresh in my mind,...

    Roger Waters breathes new life into 33 year old Wall

    May 27, 2012

    I've been a Pink Floyd fan since I was 16. At one point in my teens, I owned 17 albums and probably listened to Floyd more than any other band for a few years. It might have had something to do with my hobbies at the time, through the late...

    Why anti-cyclists have it wrong

    May 21, 2012

    As someone who both cycles and drives a fair bit, I've got no axe to grind with either side of the bicycle-automobile debate. I'm an equal opportunity hater when I see a member of either fraternity doing something stupid. I lament the helmetless nimrod zipping his bike through stop signs...

    My funky foot part one; symptoms and diagnosis

    April 30, 2012

    As I've told friends and people I ride and run with about the foot issues which are severely impacting me at present, I often get puzzled looks at the terms metatarsalgia and neuroma. I felt that, as opposed to lengthy explanations over and over, I'd just capture all that stuff...

    Veggie bouquets and animal brickbats for the Canadian Red Cross

    April 23, 2012

    I've never wanted to be one of those vegetarians. In truth, at one time several years ago, I probably was one of those vegetarians. You know, proud of my lifestyle choice and verging on being preachy and sanctimonious about it to others. I volunteered for, and donated...

    Kicking cancer’s ass

    April 9, 2012

    Cancer touches almost all of us directly or indirectly. Finding a cure is very important to me, as I've lost relatives to the disease and have a healthy wife, in part, due to the kind of research this fundraising supports. I've actually surpassed my $2500 goal by almost $300 as...

    Seasonal wishes for religion, animals and greed

    December 26, 2011

    Given what Jesus purportedly stood for, I'm not sure he would have been too keen on how we've contorted his birthday celebration into an orgy for the senses. The reality, though, is that fewer people are attending church and, for many of us, Christmas is simply an excuse for overindulgence...

    Crossing the line from Twitter to email

    October 16, 2011

    Design criticism discussions happen all the time on Twitter.  Frankly, it's an occupational hazard if you are in this line of work.  Late last week, someone I follow who also does UX work in New York, tweeted sarcastically that someone obviously thought this design was a good idea.  This started...

    5 Peaks Buntzen Lake race report

    September 24, 2011

    I really can't form an opinion on today's little jaunt around Buntzen Lake, the last of the 5 Peaks season. This is mainly because the last three weeks have been a frothy blend of non-training and IMS physio. More on that, but first a very brief recap of...

    Grieving GranFondo

    September 16, 2011

    The day after what should have been a nice road ride from downtown Vancouver to Whistler has not brought me fond recollections. This is because, for the second of the ride's two year existence, I was not able to do it - AGAIN. Last year was not so bad. While...

    5 Peaks Whistler (Blackcomb) race report

    August 26, 2011

    I'm going to endeavour to keep these small race reports short. I won't go into detail about fighting our way out of Vancouver traffic Friday afternoon as rush hour started, or the uneventful drive up to Whistler in beautiful, sunny weather. I won't even write about checking into...

    5 Peaks Mt. Seymour: not a race report

    August 6, 2011

    Since I want to make sure I capture a little something about all the races I do, I've done a short recap of today's 5 Peaks Mt. Seymour enduro. Earlier this week, due to snow and course conditions, they shortened the race. The 12k enduro became 8k and the shorter...

    The CBC supports animal cruelty, Calgary style

    July 12, 2011

    There are many campaigns with which I do not get involved, even though I generally support them; causes with significant enough grey area that I am not riled to action. As a native Calgarian (and Vancouverite for the past 22 years), I've been bothered by many of the rodeo...

    2011 Scotiabank Half race report

    June 28, 2011

    Yeah, I know I said I wouldn't track my racing and training any more for a while, but I've changed my mind - a bit.  I'm not going to do a monthly training journal, but I will still do race reports.  In place of the aforementioned training journal, I'll highlight...

    5 Peaks SFU Enduro race report

    June 19, 2011

    This one's a week late - so kill me.  In truth, it's likely to be my last race report or journal post tracking my training for a while.  More on that shortly.  I must admit some disappointment with last Saturday's race - not because of my 1:03:00 time, but because...

    Training for May 2011

    June 7, 2011

    This will be a very short training recap for last month.  With a four day conference mid-month and a trip to Toronto over the last five days of the month, I knew I would be hard pressed to hit my targets.  I came up nearly twenty miles short for cycling...

    2011 BMO Vancouver half race report

    May 3, 2011

    It took me a couple extra days to finally post this thing, but I've been pretty busy since Sunday. Sunday's half marathon was part of the BMO Vancouver Marathon's 40th anniversary running.  For me, the day was just about perfect on all accounts and I got something right that...

    Training for April 2011

    May 1, 2011

    Month to month, I'm happy to say my training keeps improving in a very modest sense. I fell just a tiny bit short of all my targets for April, but I'm choosing to include today's half marathon in my monthly running mileage, thus bumping it just over my goal...

    5 Peaks Golden Ears race report

    April 24, 2011

    I'm not sure I should be calling these races right now, as that would suggest the normal cycle of preparation for such an event was followed. You know, tempos, track intervals, hill repeats, longer runs with race pace legs - in short, training. Unfortunately, since my diagnosis of a...

    Pacific Populaire 100k ride

    April 9, 2011

    The rain stayed away, but the day really never warmed up from the 9am start of the Pacific Populaire. I'd thought of doing this ride a few times before but something always got in the way. When I suggested doing it to Juerg on our 70k ride the...

    Vancouver bike lane Nazis

    April 8, 2011

    This piece of subtitle editing is really good and this is a funny 4 minutes, well worth the view. As Christine pointed out on Twitter, I can't place the original movie either. Anyone know what it is?...

    Training for March 2011

    April 4, 2011

    This was a better month than last, but mostly because I set reasonable goals for my fitness and saw a bit of improvement with my knee and I learned a little something about each thing I'm doing.  I also got in for my MRI early due to a cancellation, so...

    St. Patrick’s Day 5k race report

    March 12, 2011

    A short race deserves a short race report, and I'll endeavour to keep it just that. When I registered for the St. Patrick's Day 5k, I didn't think I'd be laying off most of my training, doing knee exercises, and testing uncomfortable knee braces for the month prior....

    Training for February 2011

    March 1, 2011

    The diagnosis early in February that I have damaged cartilage in my knee certainly changed what I was planning on doing, and this month's training reflects that. I had a pretty ambitious middle distance race schedule for myself this season, which I'm hoping I'll be able to hang...

    Expedia provides customer experience from hell

    February 20, 2011

    Expedia has horrific customer service.  My last experience with Expedia (which will truly be my LAST experience) began almost a year ago, on April 20, 2010.  I was closing in on the end of my Masters journey and we booked a family vacation to Honolulu for August 2010 to celebrate...

    First Half race report: more questions than answers

    February 13, 2011

    With regard to the weather, this race has serious horseshoes up its a**. That's a good thing, because like most other years the rain held off and the weather was very nice. There was a very strong field this year, in part, because the race was not run...

    Sled dog cull outrage reveals our complicated relationship with animals

    February 5, 2011

    Reaction to the Whistler sled dog massacre has been swift and strong. In case you are not up on your BC or Canadian news, it recently came to light that in April 2010, 100 sled dogs were killed during an economic lull after the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Winter Olympics....

    Training for January 2011

    February 1, 2011

    This month isn't going to set any records, but it wouldn't be much of a 2011 commitment to better journal my training if I missed the first monthly entry.  And, while at 46 my PR's may all be behind me, I'm not convinced that is the case.  I think I've...

    2011 Steveston Ice Breaker race report

    January 30, 2011

    A race report on a flat, out and back 8k waterfront event is likely to be, well, uneventful. This is definitely in that category. However, one of the things I promised myself this year was that I would do a better job of reflective writing on my training...

    Vegan transition year-end nutrition gut check

    January 2, 2011

    A couple months ago I outlined my return to a plant-based diet, starting back in early September. I am happy to report that I am progressing nicely in my dietary changes.  As a pretty athletic guy, I wanted to make sure my nutrition was solid. The many years I was...

    The challenge of choosing races for 2011

    December 12, 2010

    December is a time for sharing with family and friends, imbibing a little, enjoying good food and, if it's your bag, exchanging gifts and celebrating religious things.  It's also a time for me, unlike other years, to actually do a good job planning my 2011 race calendar. December 26th, 3rd ed...

    Pub fundraiser for pancreatic cancer

    November 15, 2010

    My wife is helping organize a fundraiser to assist a friend's family in a time of need, next Tuesday, November 23rd.  Please read on for complete details and forward to anyone in the Vancouver area, who might be interested in attending or purchasing draw tickets.  If you are interested in...

    Becoming vegetarian again and other lifestyle changes

    September 21, 2010

    When I became a vegetarian the first time, it was a long time ago - probably about 19 years or so.  When I first turned my back on consuming animal products, I was all-in from the start.  I went vegan - and I do mean vegan - first thing.  No...

    Bad behaviour? Blame people, not social web tools

    September 19, 2010

    I can't imagine too many things more degenerate than the behaviour of a group of people at a rave in Pitt Meadows a week ago.  A 16 year old girl was drugged and gang-raped while a sicko took photographs.  One of the rapists and the photographer have since been arrested...

    Persona non grata in the United States of America

    July 30, 2010

    I'm just trying to come to terms with what can only be described as one of the single largest fusterclucks I have ever experienced in my 45 years on this planet. Even with a day to digest what happened, I really can't get my head around the magnitude of...

    Vancouver Marathon half marathon race report

    May 2, 2010

    This will be a pretty short recap. The weather was pretty unpredictable. Forecasts this week ranged from sunny and 18 celsius to rainy and 10 celsius. At 5am, when I got out of bed, it was overcast and a mild 10 celsius. The latest forecast suggested...

    Getting to the thesis research

    December 13, 2009

    Here I am, about a third of the way through my thesis year and I'm finally getting to the fun stuff, in that I'm actually doing research interviews as we hit the Christmas season. I'll admit that, from the end of summer when I was really beginning to finalize...

    Clearing cobwebs and groinal eggplants

    August 20, 2009

    So, when I finally sit down to write my first journal entry in more than a month, what do I write about?  Why, my recent sports hernia operation, of course - and getting out of holiday mode and back to job work and thesis work.  Truth is, I've got two...

    Is cloud computing still blue sky?

    July 17, 2009

    As I lurch through this summer trying to finalize the thesis proposal which will frame a large part of my life for the next year, collaborative tools for learning are never far from front of mind with me. A real interest of mine is the use of collaborative writing...

    Anticipating intentions and meeting expectations

    June 13, 2009

    This week was a frustrating and interesting experience at work.  At the end of the week prior, I finally launched the new design of our program catalogue.  It's a little hard to explain or show what this means.  It's a new interface for a specific kind of site that will...

    Grokking the literature review

    June 1, 2009

    I have to admit that I'm liking the literature review process, the more I understand the right approach. Having said that, I've not really done what could be classified as a real literature review yet. I did a very surface one (which could only really be called a...

    Defining thesis research questions

    May 20, 2009

    Getting down to the right research topic and asking the right questions to address it is a pretty challenging process. About the only thing I can say for certain is that I'll be looking at blogs at BCIT. My preliminary proposal sought to understand the institute's experience with...

    Pondering the thesis

    May 10, 2009

    So, now that I know I'm going to do a thesis for the second year of my Masters degree instead of more coursework and a smaller project, I'm facing a plethora of decisions. I've got a very basic concept of what I want to research, but over the course...

    Can you really design experience?

    April 30, 2009

    I don't think so. I often think of the way we phrase things or the terms we use to refer to things. While 'user experience design' is actually in my own work title, I don't think it applies to what I do. Oddly enough, I was reminded...

    2009 Boston Marathon race report

    April 24, 2009

    I have an odd history with marathons. I took a fairly large break from running up until a couple years ago and endurance races seem to be lumped into pre and post break categories. All my pre-break marathons fell in a fairly consistent range of 3:06 to 3:17....

    The week before Boston: taper, travel and hotel woes

    April 22, 2009

    The week prior to April 20th was a real doozy. Not only did I have to finish off a final paper for my present MA course, but in addition to getting ready to fly to Boston I also had to shore up several details for my current big work...

    1 week to Boston – home stretch

    April 13, 2009

    I've decided for this race to really pull back and taper as well as I can, particularly since my last big week was late in the game. You always go through this mental game during the taper of worrying about losing fitness prior to the race. Cutting back...

    2 weeks to Boston – taper time

    April 5, 2009

    A pretty good week to close out major training for Boston. I had to skip Tuesday's run due to unforeseen circumstances, but I wasn't about to skip the mileage, so I decided to shift everything and do three runs in a row, Wednesday through Friday. I thought it...

    Poor experience takes away from nonprofits

    March 30, 2009

    A couple experiences I've had in the past week left me wondering whether a nonprofit would suffer from bad customer/user experience in the same way a business would. I figure that good causes can be cut a bit of slack because they usually operate on very small budgets and,...

    3 weeks to Boston – week two of race prep

    March 29, 2009

    I had a pretty good week this week and am feeling stronger all the time. I'm not fast again - yet. However, my ab and groin stuff is minor to non-existent now, and my paces and intervals are generally starting to pick up a little bit all the...

    Learning to write in a changing, digital world

    March 23, 2009

    A couple of things I read this past week really struck a chord. It occurs to me that we really don't seem to be teaching people how to write for the emerging world. Over the past few months I've been exposed to academic writing. Detailed formatting, citation...

    4 weeks to Boston – week one of race prep

    March 22, 2009

    All things considered, this was a pretty good week. I finally got my mileage up firmly in the low to mid 40's and did enough of each kind of workout, that I really met my goals for the week. I had intended to get up to 22 miles...

    5 weeks to Boston – recovery and low mileage

    March 16, 2009

    The long run this past week was supposed to be shorter, but I had originally wanted to keep the mid-week mileage up. So much for the best-laid plans. The week was weak. It's not an excuse (well, it is really), but I'd been trying desperately to get...

    6 weeks to Boston – recovering from a bug

    March 9, 2009

    After last week, I was pretty sure this past one would be pretty tough going and I was right. I got all my runs in, but found that my aerobic capacity was somewhat diminished and everything was just a little bit tougher. I did, however, notice that my...

    7 weeks to Boston – nothing to see here

    March 4, 2009

    OK, so getting really sick isn't going to do your training any favours, but I had to bail on a whole week of training. That means a 16 mile long run, valuable hills and speed work and about 40 miles of my training overall. I'm pretty choked but...

    8 weeks to Boston – finally did the 20

    February 22, 2009

    This was a breakthrough week in a couple of ways.  While I didn't quite hit 40 miles, I got a lot closer and I finally got the 20 miler in I should have done three weeks ago.  This week had a bit of everything and I was generally pretty happy...

    Ridiculous rollovers add nothing

    February 16, 2009

    Sometimes a nifty CSS or Javascript trick to provide contextual information or a useful visual cue to your users adds a real touch.  The web is full of good examples.  Below are not three of them.  Sure, Web Designer Wall has some good tutorials, the requisite colourful background, drop shadows...

    9 weeks to Boston – First Half half marathon

    February 15, 2009

    I knew I had a half marathon to race this week as part of my training and, with the heavy legs and lame long run from last week, I decided to keep the mid-week mileage short and fairly brisk and try for some fresh legs come Sunday. My strategy seems to...

    Reflection and philosophy

    February 13, 2009

    The course I've just started this week in my MA studies is focused primarily on community-building for online learning.  We've been posting images that suggest facilitation and community and commenting on them.  The literature reading thus far has been - and I'm admittedly only about half way through it -...

    10 weeks to Boston – heavy legs

    February 8, 2009

    This week promised to be much better than last, and it was in some ways, not so in others.  The weather was pretty good and I kept the mid-week mileage a little lower, anticipating my first twenty mile run of this training schedule, with good runs.  While Tuesday's run was...

    11 weeks to Boston – a sick one

    February 1, 2009

    I didn't manage to come anywhere near my 34-36 predicted miles this week, but I got sick, was off work for a couple days and was in the throes of finishing a final paper for one of my courses. Not a good week for training, but it ended on...

    The folly of free

    January 26, 2009

    I'll admit that I'm really qualifying the title of this, specific to business critical applications, regardless of what sector that business is in. We now seem to be in pre-bubble-burst 2.0, big-time. How long before the social web balloon pops in favour of more realistic and sobering economics?...

    12 weeks to Boston – speeding up

    January 26, 2009

    Maybe this past week should have been 'Recovery Week, part 2' since I upped my mid-week mileage but reduced my long run. All in all, it's working well so I won't fret and I was back up to virtually 30 miles. This was the beginning of phase 2,...

    13 weeks to Boston – a recovery week

    January 18, 2009

    Under normal circumstances I might not have used this week as a recovery. And, I guess it's hard to call a week where you still increase your long run a recovery week, however, I reduced the mid-week runs to two with a total of a little under twelve miles....

    14 weeks to Boston

    January 12, 2009

    The weather keeps improving so that is a very good thing. The first week back after the Christmas break would have been nice for cycle commuting, but the roads weren't supporting that yet. There's always the coming week to get that back into gear. While I have...

    15 weeks to Boston

    January 4, 2009

    This week was probably not as bad as last, weather-wise. However, I'm making sure I ease into higher mileage a little more slowly than I had planned, so my mileage is only a tiny bit longer than last week. I'm paranoid of fragile abs and groin muscles, so...

    When delivery method and subject matter are the same

    January 1, 2009

    The MA I'm pursuing right now is an interesting beast. One thing that has been very engaging about it is that what I'm studying is actually how I'm studying too. That is to say, while the subject matter of many degrees delivered via distance has nothing to do...

    16 weeks to Boston

    December 28, 2008

    This past week was pretty challenging, but I'm rather proud of myself, in that I only managed to miss about three of my 26 miles of running. Plus, everything is feeling pretty strong right now, as long as I stick with my core balance/stability exercises and stretch in all...

    17 weeks until Boston

    December 19, 2008

    There was nothing remarkable about my running for the first week of training. I'm not sure if I'll detail future training posts individually or with just a weekly recap like this - likely the latter. I've taken a marathon training program and modified it a bit to keep...

    Grappling with the reality of always-on

    December 16, 2008

    With every issue for which the previous generation is ill-equipped to deal, the hand wringing begins anew. I recall only a few years ago, prior to the advent of the social media which now dominates the web, internet addiction was a serious issue in the late 90's according to...

    Serious barriers to going open

    October 28, 2008

    While the title of this post sounds gloomy and might make it appear that I don't favour opening up the web as much as humanly possible, in truth it's the exact opposite. However, I like to think I'm also a realist and as I read and think about the...

    Writing collaboratively with Skype chat and Google Docs

    October 22, 2008

    I'd imagine most people find the benefit of Skype to be that of free long distance calls. As long as the person you're calling is also on Skype you can save airtime or long distance charges. That's great, but given I do very little long distance calling and...

    I’m a citation weakling

    October 3, 2008

    I'm getting my head around writing for graduate studies, but I don't think I'm using citations the way I probably should be to really provide effective support for arguments I'm making. Maybe it's my process. I just completed a paper that, while it didn't have to be academic writing in...

    Testing designs on non-functional prototypes

    September 16, 2008

    I find myself grappling with the odd project management and user feedback issue as I trundle through the big project that takes up the bulk of my working day at present (and likely will through to next summer). In particular one issue has been eating at me for a...

    Will post-sec embrace the open social?

    August 26, 2008

    The answer to this question seems to be largely dependent on what you read, and it probably also depends on what you want to use open, social software for. Based on some of the mailing lists and discussion forums I read, and post-sec sites I visit, social media concepts...

    Residency wrap

    August 15, 2008

    I really could not think of much but getting a good night's sleep for a couple days after my Royal Roads residency ended last Friday. Now that I have had time to get through the rest of one of my two textbooks and finished the first of my two...

    The web as a research tool

    August 12, 2008

    The past couple weeks have been a real education when it comes to using the web for academic research. I am at different places on each of what I've identified (so far) as three primary knowledge streams of the MA I'm undertaking, research being the one I've got a...

    One gigantic learning cycle experiment

    August 8, 2008

    In my mind, there are two distinct ways of looking at what this group of great people has been through in the past two weeks. There's the side that forces you to look at yourself, examine your own beliefs and theories and (hopefully) begin realizing some new possibilities....

    Online constructivism

    August 6, 2008

    As we all really begin looking at learning in the context of the web, it's interesting to take a look at some of the research around the effectiveness of the medium. How some of this information affects you probably depends on how you feel about the web to begin...

    Team dynamics

    August 1, 2008

    Now that our first assignment is all done, but the short presentation later today, I wanted to reflect on team dynamics. It's fair to say that there was a challenge or two in this first project. I don't consider that bad, as this week has been primarily about...

    Taming an MBTI beast

    July 30, 2008

    I found what we covered today to be a pretty important thing and it's left me struggling a bit to frame it in light of learning and working in a team environment. In our morning session with Hillary, the MBTI inventory was both reassuring and disturbing. At a surface level...

    First impressions of Royal Roads University

    July 28, 2008

    More aptly, this post might be called, "What I crammed into my first day and a half." Seriously, though, it's been a bit busy and this post will not do it justice. This is not to suggest that I'll be posting recaps of everything I do because there...

    Masters blogging

    July 23, 2008

    A lot of my writing on this site will now chronicle the trials and tribulations of obtaining a graduate degree while working full-time, trying to maintain a marriage and family, and hopefully still getting a little exercise along the way. Something I've been pulling together for some time and which is...

    Digital rights and access under assault

    July 13, 2008

    It doesn't seem to matter what kind of access you want, or what you want access to. You're under assault, plain and simple. With the news last week that Bell and Telus customers will pay at both ends for text messages and the obscene Rogers iPhone rate packages,...

    Canned responses to C-61 letters

    June 25, 2008

    While I haven't yet printed, signed and sent any of the copyright petitions, I did manage a bit of an email writing spree regarding this hideous proposed legislation. Would it surprise you to know that I haven't had a real response from anyone yet? To be fair, our politicians might...

    Does tech make us stupid, or just rude?

    June 18, 2008

    OK, so maybe not stupid, but apparently lazy. At least according to The Atlantic's Nicholas Carr it does. Based on the length of the piece, his writing chops are certainly still intact. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the...

    A reversable food crisis

    April 30, 2008

    The biggest problem with the current food crisis is not that it exists, but that it never should have happened in the first place and can definitely be reversed. And it’s not just the wrong-headed rush to create biofuels, but the products our food system produces the most of (and...

Top