Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Xmas FAQs

Okay, I rarely participate in these things but I could not resist. Christmas is just too important. Credit to my wife for starting this.

1. When is the best time to open presents?
As late as possible to frustrate those who are too anxious!

2. Have you been naughty or nice this year?
See above.

3. Real tree or imitation tree?
Real tree all the way, although I am embarrassed to say I do own a fake one. It was a good deal!

4. Favorite Christmas cartoon character?
Herb, the rhinoceros from a Claymation Christmas. Here we come a waffling!

5. Did you ever write Santa a letter?
I think only once or twice

6. Buy any Christmas presents online?
Not this year

7. Save the ribbon and paper or rip right through it?
Open slowly to increase suspense (see #1)

8. Sharing Christmas with family this year?
Yes, friends and family.

9. Ever ride in a one horse open sleigh?
No. Would you believe a one parent open wagon?

10. Ever roast a chestnut on an open fire?
No, I would really have to dislike Chest to do that. Who's named Chest anyway?

11. Favorite Christmas pie?
Mincemeat of course, is there any other?!

12. Favorite Christmas movie?
Scrooged. "Niagra Falls!"

13. Favorite Christmas song?
Currently O Holy Night (Josh Groban knocks this one out of the park), but O Come Emmanuel is a close second

14. People on your Christmas list; more or less than ten?
You put people on your Christmas list!? Weird.

15. Will you have a white Christmas this year?
Knowing Colorado, only in the morning

16. Do you believe in Santa Claus?
Of course!

17. Who would you like to kiss under the mistletoe?

18. Who gives the best gifts?
Santa! (see above)

19. Do you send Christmas cards?
Yes, begrudgingly.

20. What color best represents Christmas?
Red, thanks Coca Cola!

21. Do you own any Christmas music?
Can you say "Boney M"?

22. How many Christmas parties will you attend this year?
That I'm not hosting? 0

23. Does the postal worker get a gift this year?
Yeah, gotta give those guys credit. I wouldn't go for that whole neither rain nor sleet nor snow thing

24. Giving a present to a pet?
Yes. Will the pet appreciate the present? No.

25. Your shopping: All done, half-way done, just started, not yet started?
Not yet started. Yikes!

Blown Away

Good grief! I went on a run today after seminar and just about got blown away. The winds here are about 30 mph, which does not make the 33 degree temperature very pleasant. At least the sun was out. Regardless, despite a stiff headwind on half of the run I still managed to do my same circuit in 35 minutes. My ears are still red from it though, I need to get a little ear warmer!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Running update

I did get to go out running yesterday. It was chilly but sunny, so I ended up being hot by the end. Just a 35 minute trip, but it was a great pick me up for the rest of the afternoon. Hopefully I'll get out again tomorrow, but I have seminar at noon so it will be tough to find the time.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


What a game! I can't believe I got to watch my Eskimos win it in overtime. That was probably the best football game I have ever seen, down to the final minutes for the championship. Ricky Ray (the quarterback) really played a great game. I was thoroughly impressed with his ability to excel against a relentless blitz defense.

I thought I would add an anecdote to this post. The summer before I left Edmonton I won a call in contest for a TV station to meet some of the Eskimo players. We had no car at the time (nor could we afford the bus) so I had to leave 2 hours before the event to walk to the Eskimo house in Edmonton. I left the apartment on time (6 am) and got on the elevator only to have it break down with me in it. I wasn't about to let that stop me getting to see my Eskimos, so I pryed open the inner doors, found the safety release for the outer doors, and sqeezed through a two foot space to the floor below. I got there just in time for the event. In the end I did not win the tickets that were up for grabs, but I won an Eskimos baseball cap that I still wear to this day.

Way to go Esks!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Cable has not let me down!

I found out today that one of our HD channels is going to be showing the Grey Cup on Sunday! Woo hoo! That's worth the five extra bucks we pay for those channels. Last year I was hoping they would be showing the game in Vegas, but we were not at a big enough sports book to see it. So this will be the first year since we left Canada that I will be able to see the big game. To make matters even better, my Eskimos are in it. I hope they stick it to the Alouettes. I want to see them get plucked, all puns intended. Go Esks!

I got out for a nice run today, and since I bought a little bicycle pump a few weeks ago, Elijah was able to ride shotgun in the joggy stroller. Went a little longer than my usual 3 mile route and was out for 45 minutes. I'll probably take the weekend off to recover and try to add a little more mileage next week. I'm definitely feeling like I'm getting in shape again, just gotta keep with it. That will be harder next week when the weather is nasty. I'm going to build off this week's momentum though.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving here in the US (Canada had theirs already in October), one of my favorite holidays. I actually like the date for the US Thanksgiving more as it is so much closer to Christmas. It marks the beginning of the holiday season and kicks off an entire month of merryment. In preparation for this weekend's festivities I went for a run yesterday at work. It's still like 60 degrees here in Denver and it is nice to be out running in shorts and a T-shirt in November. We are supposed to get snow next week though. My run was only 35 minutes, but it was a good workout and it gave me the energy burst I needed for the afternoon. It turned out to be quite a busy day yesterday for me, even though half the campus jiggered off early. I paid for staying late though as the traffic was terrible going home. What normally takes me a half hour took me a full hour yesterday. I'm glad I don't have to do any more travelling this weekend.

In past years Thanksgiving has been a difficult holiday for us as we have not had any family to share it with. But we have always had wonderful friends who have opened their homes to us in the true spirit of the holiday. That is really what Thanksgiving has become for us. Now that Elijah is here, we will be cultivating our family's Thanksgiving traditions and I want Elijah to learn the kindness and generosity that should be associated with the holiday season. Thanksgiving is about thanking God for the gifts he has given us, Christmas is about thanking Him for the gift of Jesus Christ. We give gifts at Christmas to show our thanks for the gift God gave us. The holiday season is about sharing what God has blessed us with with others. The friends who have opened their homes to us have demonstrated this perfectly, and I want to do the same for others.

Elijah is up from his nap now, so we are off for a family walk. Have a wonderful holiday everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2005

What a day!

It's November 21 and it is 60 degrees here in Denver. It's hard to believe it's late fall. I decided that if I want to get out for longer runs I have to find a better time to do it, so today at lunch I went for a run around the campus. I found that if I went to the gym at lunch it was an hour and a quarter trip just for a half hour workout. So running at work fits the bill a little better. I went out for 50 minutes and covered a fair distance, both on streets and on a nice gravel trail. I could tell I had not been on a run that long in a while though, at 40 minutes I was really feeling it. I gotta keep with it though, the new home transition has been hard on me and my pants are not fitting as well as they used to!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Party Animals

Well we were party animals this weekend. We had our housewarming party on Saturday and a good time was had by all. I got to enjoy some of my scotch with some great friends, and Melissa even got to play her "Shout About Movies" game. Food was simple but tasty and drinks were plentiful. Our first guests showed up at three and stayed until ten. I can't remember the last time I had that much fun. In the midst of the preparation for the party I actually had time to squeeze in my half hour run! I got out again today and hit the gym for a half hour speed workout. It seems like I'm having problems finding more than half an hour to run, but it's better than nothing at least, and the speed work is good. I got on the scale at the gym though and I can see I have some work to do before Thanksgiving, which is next week if you can believe it. I couldn't.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I had my dentist appointment today, and it was as pleasant as it could be with someone rooting around under my gums. Not much build-up of anything substantial. It's nice to have clean teeth though. They made me take an antibiotic before the cleaning though, which I have not had to do before. I'm not really happy about the idea of taking antibiotics for no apparent reason, but they seem to think that my heart murmur puts me at risk for a nasty infection with the bacteria that is introduced into my bloodstream during the cleaning. My doctor has spoken to me before about it, I just haven't really taken them seriously. This is just another example of something that was never an issue in the Canadian health care system but here is a big deal. I guess you get what you pay for, and that perhaps all the lawsuits here aren't all that bad if they are keeping doctors and dentists on their toes.

Speaking of staying on ones toes, I did not get to go out for a run yesterday like I was hoping. Melissa had her dentist appointment yesterday and I had to take care of Elijah. I thought I might take him out in the joggy stroller but the tires are flat and I threw out both of my crappy pumps in the move. I guess I need to get a new one. Anyway, I substituted a run yesterday for a long walk instead. Elijah and I took the *long* way to Safeway and ended up being out for an hour and a half. At my pace we probably covered 7 miles. All that fresh air must have got to Elijah though as when we got back he went down for a 2 hour nap. That was a nice treat for Melissa when she got home. I'm hoping to get out for a run tomorrow before the snow hits. Yes, it is 75 here today and tomorrow we are supposed to get snow. Welcome to Denver!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Car repairs

First off here's my accountability: I got to the gym today and went for a 25 minute run. I think the track there is about a tenth of a mile. I figure that because if I run at my 10 minute per mile pace it takes me about a minute to get around. Today was a speed workout so I alternated 2 minutes at a 10 minute per mile pace with 2 minutes at a 6.7 minute per mile pace. It was a good workout but not long enough. As I went at lunchtime I couldn't justify being away for too long. That coupled with the car trouble I had meant I could only spare a few minutes. But any amount of time is worth it I figure, especially when I'm trying to get back in the swing of things.

As for the car trouble, I pull into the parking lot and pull on my parking brake and the button pops off and flies into the windshield. So it took me about 10 minutes in the parking lot to figure out how to set the brake without the button. When I got back to work I called the Saturn dealer to see if they had the replacement part. They did, so I drove by there after work and picked it up. Twenty-five bucks and 5 minutes later the brake was fixed. I'm glad I didn't pay them to put it in as it was really easy and it would not have been worth the $75 worth of labor they probably would have charged.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Third Degree

As I seem to be getting the third degree from certain individuals, I will give a brief report on my running. The last time I blogged about it I had ramped up my miles to 20 in one week without introducing those miles gradually. I did end up paying for that and was achy the entire weekend after. Since then I have found the time to go running at least once a week, but not as much as I would like. It's a hell of a lot harder to find time to run with this job than it was before, so perhaps some accountability would do me some good. Last night, 30 minute 3-mile circuit, 450 calories burned.