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Trepid Archives

Exciteable descriptions of a new life living in "The Best Place on Earth". The new template is more basic, more classy, tidier... so totally not me! 

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

4:08 p.m. - OK OK

So there's two ads that really bug me on Canadian TV.

There's the car ads that claim they've put race-track technology into your engine. Sorry, I don't want my super-light car engine to do 64 fast laps of a race track then fall appart as it crosses the line. I can't afford it - though that seems to be the philosophy of many manufacturers since it's what ACTUALLY happens to Fords, GMCs, Hondas etc. etc.

Then there's the advert for Chicken Cordon Blue (yes you heard me - "Blue" - not "Bleu")... and in the next line they say...

"Chicken with a French accent"

Excuse me?

I have made the decision to contineu blogging with less personal stuff - that I will reserve for email bulletins.

There you go all.

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7:48 a.m. - Blogging Disatisfaction

Whingey whiney.

Well, although I have had some fun blogging, it has not turned out to be the two way exchange I had totally hoped for.

I feel a little bit like a soap opera. There are plenty of regular visitors to this blog but very few leave me comments or fill in my guest book. They come, they watch and they go again.

Whether this is because I am boring or because they're scared of being spammed, I don't really mind, but the truth is, I get much more interaction from emails than I ever do from the blog world. OK OK maybe I haven't been trying so hard recently to write anything profound or even good but such is life, when it's hectic.

So as things are a-changin' here in Canada, I will be keeping up to date with all my flesh-friends and family in the old fashioned way - by email and, as ever, by writing letters because "the pen is mightier than the keyboard".

To all of my friends in blogland, I will miss you but I will probably get more work done without you. I will certainly continue to pop by your sites and check out the activities in Conneticut, Vancouver and other random places that you all stumble across. You are welcome to stay connected to my world. Just email me above and I'll update you too with the latest stories of the adventures of A, Hubby and Slaughterpuss the cat...

who, last night, curled up in the sink to sleep whilst I was colouring my hair, giving me a wonderful photo to end this blog on. I'd like to call it...


Trepid Explorer. Out.

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Monday, August 15, 2005

12:41 p.m. - Torn, segmented and stuck back together again.

There’s been a lot written about dual personalities recently so I’m jumping on the band wagon. I am usually two people.

I am an athlete. I am an athlete from Monday to Friday on my lunchbreaks and sometimes for an hour before and an hour after work. Occasionally I am an athlete at the weekend when my other persona shifts over and allows me to be an athlete.

I am also a wife. I am married to a man who does not support the athlete and the athlete does not support the wife because the athlete leaves the wife tired at the end of the day. The wife has jobs to do that she quite enjoys but the athlete does not approve of – like digging rocks out of the garden – because it repeatedly breaks the athlete so that it will not work on Monday morning.

In one perfect world I would be married to another athlete who would join me in being athletic and in being tired at the end of the day.

But the world is not perfect and I ask that if I were married to another athlete, would we get any of the good stuff done that hubby and I do? Hubby and I are making a great home and building and developing. Our asset is growing in value and our quality of life is improving in bounds as we go along this path.

In the other perfect world, the wife would come home at the end of the day, raring to go with laundry and cooking and being nice and hanging out with hubby. She wouldn’t disappear off on her own on weekends to do triathlons. She’d be strong enough to carry the couch up the stairs and probably be a bit fatter. Her temper would not be so short.

I know that my parents love athlete. They are proud of her. They also love wife. This is the job of parents. They love all the me’s.

Hubby prefers wife. He doesn’t really understand athlete, he just considers it a saving on the gas money when she uses her bike to go to work.

Cat likes wife – she gets fed earlier by wife and athlete usually drops food everywhere.

Wife smells better. Athlete is responsible for the way Wife looks. Wife feeds athlete (at least if she doesn’t, then husband is on hand). If it wasn’t for wife, athlete would be broke, because I think Wife is the one who goes to work. Certainly, wife is the one who saves money and athlete spends it.

So I have two mutually exclusive personas – tell me no-one else does.

This week I am also the evil Stepmonster. It is my bi-annual opportunity to mother someone. Not much, because he’s 14, but there is some affection there. In a poke in the ribs, a glass of orange juice poured from the fridge with ice cubes, a carefully made cup of tea, a question asked about a new discovery, a recipe taught.

Stepson will be with his dad all day every day this week. I am a welcome relief for both of them when I get home. A chance to stop being together and instead, share together in telling me about their day. It doesn’t matter how trivial a day it has been for them, there are adventures found in each trip into the city. Even if it’s just drinking a coffee and smelling the overdone perfume of the old lady on the next table or laughing at her weirdo dog, each moment shared is carefully recounted. Each orator falling over the other to get his version of the story in first.

On days like today the athlete fails. The athlete seizes on the first excuse in the book to get out of what it’s supposed to be doing, in favour of needing the car to stop at the winery to buy three tickets for the outdoor Shakespere production this evening (note to self: Must read up to appear knowledgeable on Merry Wives of Windsor). I could’ve sworn there were many things I had to do today – but they were all excuses. I don’t need the car to look up a bunch of stuff on the internet. In a last desperate attempt, the athlete packed her swim cap this morning but her goggles were still on the bedside table so no swimming either. Tonight I will be step mom and I will rush home to listen to tales of the blind-man (as in window blinds) in the hardware store and how many big rocks were added to the wall before the sun came over the house and I will enjoy every moment.

PS. Bizarely, stepson seems to like both me's. Wife's OK but athlete can answer questions about his bike and kick his ass in a tickling fight.

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9:18 a.m. - Weekend

Did someone say picnic at my place?

It takes concentration for a quail to balance on a fence

A Stellar's Jay or Blue Magpie with a hat.

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Friday, August 12, 2005

9:38 a.m. - I was surprised yesterday

I managed to ride home after the half hour walk to the bike shop to pick up "Bike". Who's feeling much better, thanks. Less rattles, more response.

I got home to find Stepson nowadays looks his age - 14 - instead of 12.

We sat and ate dinner in relative silence, me being exhausted.

This morning I feel good and hope to get a run in at lunchtime.

This day is an epic day of work but we are under control! Except I keep getting distracted by the latest updates on my best friends' stag party, involving a 13-hour marathon "treasure hunt" in a green Reliant Robin called Vera that was purchased on E-bay for 50 quid. Keep an eye out for them, they're not hard to miss in Batman and Superman outfits. They were last seen in the vicinity of Stretford-on-Avon - saving damsels I believe.

To the batmobile!

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

10:15 a.m. - It had to happen one day.

Bike got sick this morning. She’s been feeling under the weather for some time. The gears have been gradually getting “off”, needing me to shift a few stops before the gear change is finally made. All that good stuff that one usually passes off as being too lazy to clean the cables, chain and shifters.

This morning, going up the steep hill out of the house I couldn’t get her to stay in bottom gear which is a real shame as it’s a big hill and at that hour I am cold and asleep. Eventually I gave up and settled for second to easiest and the weiner ring. Oh woe is me!

She was kind enough to play-up only moderately throughout the ups and downs of the Naramata roads and the KVR with all its undulations. Finally, though, at the end of the cemetery road, the gear shifter would work no more and the cable hung limply from its sheath. This left me only weiner ring, middle ring and dinner plate ring to play with. “Ladies and Gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts, we are about to experience some turbulence”.

One has to make the most of the 40kph downhill into town at times like these.

Then, to top it all off, there were three of us on bikes at the lights outside work. All employees, all heading in the same direction. Testosterone laws took over and a sprint was on. We looked like the kids from “Byker Grove”. Brynt asked, “can’t you do better than that” as I just beat his mountain bike over the gate threshold.

I think I did quite well with my three gears really – considering.

So in the news this week: Ernest Alva (Smokey) Smith Canada’s last surviving recipient of the Victoria cross has passed away at age 91. He lay in state in Ottawa all last week and has now been returned to BC for a full military service in his home town of Vancouver. He single-handedly fought against German infantry and tanks in WW1 in Italy to defend his mate who was injured in the ditch next to him. True hero.

Two straight male buddies are going to get married under the new Canadian Gay-Marriage laws so that they can enjoy the tax breaks associated with marriage. Response is generally, “Good for them” for pointing out the legal loopholes in law but then what should married couples (gay or otherwise) have to go through to prove themselves before marriage? Love testing? What if these men then met the woman of their dreams and wanted to remarry? So a few gay people have been outraged and a few people are using it as an excuse as why gay marriage should never have been allowed and a lot of people are annoyed that they’re taking the piss out of marriage. One man said on the TV yesterday, “Anyone can marry anyone now” which made us laugh as we discussed the possibility of marrying your dog.

In ice hockey, they’re getting the rinks ready for this years NHL season (cancelled this year due to contract negotiations between the player’s union and the owners). The players are essentially the equivalent of UK Football stars – so not very bright. Proven by one chap last night that insisted that the machine they have produces “better molecules” for the ice that they’re making. Correct me if I’m wrong but I didn’t think you could go too wrong with a water molecule. Two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen. Bingo! Unless they have heavy ice or something? I dunno.

Ho hum. Off to the bike hospital.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

12:33 p.m. - I hate it when big "organisations" let you down.

I went for a swim yesterday. I was going to run but I couldn't face the prospect of running in the intense heat of the day (34 degrees) so I dived in my car, drove to the baths, got stamped in and got changed. This took up 15 minutes of my hour lunch break and the re-dressing and drive back to work takes off another 15 monutes, leaving me only 30 minutes to swim.

When I get into the pool the lifeguard tells me I have to wait 10 minutes for lane swimming to start because all the lifeguards are currently with kids groups and there's no one to supervise the public swimming. This is apparently on the programme but, honestly, I didn't check the programme on the internet before I left and if the woman on the desk had told me my rushed 30 minute swim would only be 20 minutes long, I really wouldn't have used up one of my $2.95 swim sessions on it. I would've had my rest day. Fortunately I was adequately entertained for 10 minutes by an instructor trying to get a little girl to put her full face under water. She was doing a very good job of trying to persuade the child it's not scary and had way more patience than me.

When I finally got wet, I managed to belt out 38 lengths with my 20 minutes so not too bad. Crawl is really hard work. My arms aren't so bad, it's my kicking legs really need work. They must be different muscles again from running and cycling muscles. I see now why they say Triathletes are the most ballanced of athletes.

Last night I got a call from Ironman Canada as I have volunteered to help on race day. They should have got in contact with me around July 15th but didn't because all my details have changed since then except my address and no one writes anymore now do they? It turns out that my job I did last year is no longer available - catching the athlete's bikes after their cycle ride. So I am on Traffic Control! FAN-F'Ing-Tastic. A six hour shift of dealing with grumpy motorists and idiot public. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE people - but "the public" are a different animal. "I'm sorry you can't possibly cross the road with your baby buggy, there's a group of 50 triathletes approaching on bikes at 30km per hour, please wait". The organiser reassured me that there would also be security on hand for those times when people don't listen to us! Oh ffffphew!

Oh well, hopefully I will be able to get a front-row "standing" position when local hero Tom Evans comes by to kick asses of all and sundry on his way to win again. I just hope I don't have to be facing the other way to stop the surge of the crowd down Main Street. Not all on my little own anyway.

Otherwise, prepare for the terror of tomorrow when I become.... wicked step mother from hell!

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

4:12 p.m. - Quail game

California Quail are in abundance here. I think they are the stupidest birds on the planet which makes them amusing and sorrowful at the same time.

Quail are short fat birds, about the size of a british coot (the black birds seen on lakes with a white smudge on their foreheads). They have speckled breasts and the males have blue grey wings folded over their backs with distinctive chequered patterns underneath. They have a silly quill on top of their heads which dangles forwards over thier eyes and bobs up and down as they run. And they run as often as they must and fly only when necessary.

Quail have a great capacity for reproducing. A pair will hatch approximately 10-12 young early in the season and when they're almost full size, will produce another batch. Just to make sure, families stick together so it's not unusual to see flocks of 40-80 birds hanging out together, eating, occasionally running and generally being flustered and stupid together.

They are the type of organism whose legs operate independantly from their brain, meaning that the bird moves in whichever direction its head is pointing. If you are in the middle of startling it with your approaching vehicle, it will deffinately run towards your car before the brain does the math, applies the logic then finally steers the legs away from the car. If a whole flock are present, each bird runs in a different direction and they remind me of a 1980s computer game (pacman or something) where the computer can't work out what to do when all the bad guys meet eachother down an alley way so they all wander up and down bumping into eachother before moving along and bumping into the next bad buy etc etc.) Again I emphasise that they only fly if they must. They do this less frequently than the English (probably french in origin) Pheasant.

If your car was too close to the quail in the first place, the running instinct results in quail tradgedy which can be heartbreaking, since their mating instincts causes them to be very attached to their mate. You will often witness the other half of the pair running back into the road desperately trying to figure out why its best friend, that was only just recently following it, is no longer moving. Sorry, I have to move on here, it's too painful.

If a pair becomes separated, they miss the large family group so often two males or three females can be seen wandering around playing family, trying to look like a bigger flock.

The large family groups can move through long grass with apparent stealth, only appearing in a frenzy of running, bobbing and clucking when something scares them.

The most efficient way for a quail to get into the air, is to continue paddling with the feet, even when airbourne. I don't know why this is - possibly to ensure that the ground is no longer there. Last night I witnessed a quail attempting to take off without the paddling action. It bent both "knees" together and hefted its huge mass into the air with great effort. Unfortunately previous forward momentum from running won over and the bird completed a somersault, complete with flapping wings before shaking its head and moving to try a second time.

Quail do not soar or beat their wings they desperately flap. Flight takes them only as far as the nearest pole, fence post or tree branch. Often just further along the ground. They are insufficiently co-ordinated to land on cables, or maybe their mass would cause them to do an upside down rotation on a cable, before thier feet had to let go because it couldn't hold the weight.

Last week the cat brought a tiny quail chick home. It was still very alive and I managed to wrestle it from the cat before much harm was done. By the time I had shoved the cat in the house (like putting an octopus into a string bag) the little bird had hidden itself very well so no pics I'm affraid. It was very cute and all quail are pretty cute really. With their foppy hairdo and short legs, fat bellies and every call from a little chirp to a wood-pidgeon-type haunting "hoo hoooo-hoo" I love them dearly. Since our lot is no longer bush, we've seen much less of them this year as there's a free-range cat and no place to hide. I have few pictures of them because they are so scaredy, it's hard to get a still shot. I do wish I had a helmet-cam on my rides to work, then I could share the wonder of 40 fat birds making it into the air, legs a paddlin'.

There's no conclusive ending to this post, it's just a ramble and time to go home.

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Monday, August 08, 2005

1:22 p.m. - You're not from round here are you?

The one and only FF I have seen in Canada.
Bring back memories anyone?
Look at where they've put the fuel cap!!??
Did it really use to be there?

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Friday, August 05, 2005

11:38 a.m. - Doorknob view on my workworld

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

11:42 a.m. - It pays to ride to work

Because I saw this:

Then this:

Standing here with his sisters:

I thought this flower looked sad

Even though it had pretty friends but its probably because it's facing North!

I was amused by the seaguls playing in the sprinklers

And took a picture of a manmade rainbow (I was on my bike, that's why it's crooked)
Also, the deer had red eye, which could not be corrected by Picassa so I gave it brown eyes, with MS Paint - that's why it looks VERY blank and crappy.
This one was from last Friday
Mum and Dad will recognise this as my desk

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

7:17 a.m. - Being Grumpy for the Day

My legs are crippled from harvesting clover.
We no longer have the use of our stairs.
They are being finished so we have to climb a ten ft stepladder to reach the bedroom.
This isn't easy with cripple legs but funny as it feels like climbing up to a gigantic bunkbed.
It still hurts my naked feet.
I've never really DONE bunk beds well.
Tonight when I go home I will have different neighbours.
I always thought the same people would continue to live in the house next door forever.
Yet we've gone from being their new neighbours to their old neighbours within 13 months.
Was it something we said?
Looking forwards to having Yanti and Brent and their to-be-baby as our new neighbours.
I haven't done any training since last Tuesday: a) my legs hurt; b) I can't get up early any more.
Need more training sessions in smaller chunks.
Need to get fixed first.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

3:43 p.m. -

The Naramata Fayre was excellent as ever. I sat and jiggled my ass to my favourite local bands. “Age Discrepancy” – Yanti’s band - and “Nameless” – which is the “Bad Parkers” minus a member and plus Jeff’s son. Yanti does a fab version of “Summertime”. The opening line even makes Hubby say, “ooh she does that awfully well”. We were taking the cash this year, backed by a security guard who was checking ID cards and stopping anyone from bringing dogs in (Canadian Liquor laws you know!).

On Saturday I was fighting fires, helping the fire department stop a house fire that took out an entirely new log home from spreading into the cemetery across the street from us. POOR BASTARDS. Sorry, but having been through building a house, I feel SO sorry for someone who has to start all over again. I helped by waving my sun hat at the firemen to show them where the fire was. I was running at the time so they might’ve been overly distracted by my bikini top. I proceeded to make matters worse by turning on the sprinklers in the cemetery and getting my cream-coloured linen pants soalked through. Good job my undies were clean!

The rest of the weekend was spent harvesting clover which has really got out of control and developed seeds that I didn’t want to spread. No other jobs got done. None none none. Legs are buggered.!


Back at work this morning I found out my promised monthly pay rise was actually annual so one twelfth of what I was expecting. Sucks to be me sometimes. There's me thinking they were going to pay me something getting on for normal.

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