Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cycling to work


I had planned... hoped... that maybe, I could cycle to work tomorrow.

Those plans are on hold, for at least a day or two.

First of all, my newly chosen route needs to be re-evaluated. It seems I had picked every damned "Closed for construction" road between home and work. So, yeh, I need to look at that again.

That alone wouldn't necessarily stop me, but upon arriving home after cycling 42kms, I was greeted by a whole bunch of my neighbours standing around a massive puddle at the bottom of our parking lot. They then decided to start cheering me on, to ride through this massive puddle. A water main broke and the water was seeping up through the cracks in the pavement.

How could I say no? :) The water must have been about 5 or 6 inches deep.

Luckily a sink hole hadn't started. After the water main was shut off, and the water drained, all that was left was sandy mud. Despite warnings, a few cars actually drove over the area.

It's 9:45pm and they're just starting to dig to repair it. With the possibility of still not having water tomorrow after work, I'm not going to chance coming home all sweaty and gross.

Things I learned

I learned a few things during my ride today

Ogilvie Road between Montreal Road and Jasmine Crescent is an absolute nightmare to cycle on. I'd even go as far as to say it's dangerous. That stretch of Ogilvie Road is pretty bad for cars, and the edge of the road where cycling happens is probably worse.

Since Laurier was blocked off for running races today, I had to divert to taking the Mackenzie King Bridge over the the Rideau Canal. The first thing i learned is that it has a bicycle lane, on the inside lane. This is awesome. I then learned that Albert and Slater are probably better streets to ride on than Laurier. Since they are both 1-way streets, the bike lane is also on the left side of the street, away from heavier traffic like buses. More awesomeness.

Most drivers in Ottawa aren't assholes and they actually give you space to cycle at the side of the road. Some even change lanes. I had to dodge a lot of potholes and large puddles, and most people left plenty of room for me to do that. BIG thanks to everyone who does that for cyclists.

As for those who insist on practically clipping your elbow with their side mirror... fuck you.


The roller coaster ride continues — Week 28 progress

Since January, and interesting weight pattern has developed. It's like a roller coaster ride. Three weeks of loss, followed by one or two of increase, then loss, then increase.

This is my weight chart, captured from my page.

I'm not sure why it's happening. Is my body going through some kind of cycle on its own?  Or am I slacking off on my calorie counting every 3 or 4 weeks, and following up with an increased workout?

There are no charting abilities for calorie intake on, but I was able to export the data and create a half-assed chart to see if there was a similiar trend on my calorie intake. It does go up and down, but it doesn't mach the weight trend pattern.

Soooo... as you can see on that chart, my weight for this past Friday was indeed up. I guess (I hope) I can expect the next three weeks will be losses, which means I will finally break the 230 lb mark!

The weather this weekend has been pretty shitty, so I haven't been out cycling and it's not looking like I will today.

I have a new mini-goal for this week. That goal is to cycle to work at least one day. If the weather cooperates — and it looks like it will, based on the forecast — that day will be tomorrow. If all goes well, I may do it more than one day. I'd really like to see what kind of impact it'll have on my weight loss.

7/52 — No more

In my last 7/52 post, I mentioned that it could be my last.

It was.

I didn't take any photos at all this past week. My only option to keep it going would be to find something, somewhere, in my house to shoot throughout the course of the day. I'm not in a very creative mood today, so the selection of photos I would likely end up with would be crap.

Soooo... that's it, for now. If I come across any interesting shots, I'll definitely shoot and post it, but they are no longer part of the 7/52 project, sorry.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Better late than never — Week 27 progress

I'm late for posting my weight loss progress.

No big strides this last week. I was down about ½ a pound on Friday's weigh-in. I'm anxiously waiting for the day I get below the 230 lb mark. After this past weekend of... somewhat uncontrolled summer indulgence, that may be another week or two away. :)


7/52 — Week 20

I'm beginning to tire of this project. It feels too forced sometimes trying to come up with 7 shots to post. It feels like a chore and I don't like that.

Having said that, I didn't have any trouble coming up with 7 shots for this week. This may be the last though. I will, however, continue to post anything interesting that I happen to shoot. We'll see.

One of my co-workers has dead tulips on her desk. One morning I happened to see them and thought they looked pretty cool. I liked the colours.

It was my daughter's 13th Birthday last Monday. Scary. :)

While cleaning up the flower bed and planting a few new flowers this spring, I noticed the ants were out in full force, feasting on the sweet nectar of the peony buds.

I went for another bike ride this weekend with my son.  I was hoping to spot the trilliums along the bike paths and was not disappointed.

And last, but not least, my usual model. It's strange to find her lying out on the open floor, but it was a little warmer in the house than usual and I guess the cool floor was the answer.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

2011 Cancer statistics

The Canadian Cancer Society posted new cancer statistics.

In 2011, an estimated 27,800 people will die of cancer in Ontario, and 66,900 new cases will be diagnosed.

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in Ontario, followed by breast cancer and colorectal cancer, respectively.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in Ontario. An estimated 6,700 people (3,700 men; 3,000 women) will die of lung cancer in 2011. The second leading cause of cancer death in Ontario is colorectal cancer; an estimated 3,250 people will die of colorectal cancer in 2011.

Cancer statistics for Ontario men

For Ontario men, prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed type of cancer, followed by colorectal cancer and lung cancer, respectively.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Ontario men, followed by colorectal cancer and prostate cancer, respectively.

In 2011:

  • An estimated 10,600 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and an estimated 1,550 men will die of prostate cancer.
  • An estimated 4,500 men will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and an estimated 1,800 men will die of colorectal cancer.
  • An estimated 4,100 men will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and an estimated 3,700 men will die of lung cancer.

Cancer statistics for Ontario women

For Ontario women, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed type of cancer, followed by lung cancer and colorectal cancer, respectively.

For Ontario women, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death; yet, the lung cancer mortality rate for females in Ontario is among the lowest in Canada. Breast cancer and colorectal cancer, respectively, are the next leading causes of cancer death in Ontario women.

In 2011:

  • An estimated 9,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and an estimated 1,950 women will die of breast cancer.
  • An estimated 3,900 women will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and an estimated 3,000 women will die of colorectal cancer.
  • An estimated 3,600 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and an estimated 1,450 women will die of lung cancer.

The above findings are taken from the 2011 Canadian Cancer Statistics. These statistics are prepared, printed, and distributed through a collaboration of the Canadian Cancer Society, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Statistics Canada, provincial/territorial cancer registries, as well as university-based and provincial/territorial cancer agency-based cancer researchers.

See the original info here:

Please make a donation, whether it's $1, $2, $5, or $10 — every dollar helps.

Donations through the Relay For Life supports the Canadian Cancer Society’s mission to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of Canadians living with cancer.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

7/52 — Week 19

I didn't shoot any photos all week. The weekend was mostly crap, weatherwise.  When I went cycling today, I brought along my trusty S3 IS again and managed to play a little catch up.

This is the new Ottawa Convention Centre. It wasn't a very good shooting angle, but photography wasn't my point of going out today. This just happened to be along my route.

This was my intended destination, where I work. I didn't have to work; I went there to see how long it would actually take me to ride there on my bike.

On the way back, I decided to stop a few times and shoot in Chinatown on Somerset. These kids were drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. A few people were stopping to take pictures. I stopped on the other side of the road to shoot mine.

Ever since the archway went up in Chinatown, I've been meaning to take a picture of it. Today, I shot a few. :)


Lowest to date — Week 26 progress

Friday's weigh-in: 231lbs.

My lowest to date, in over 25 years.

I went a little overboard this weekend though, so I expect a rough catch up week. My daughter had a Birthday party and it was also my wedding anniversary, so I did indulge in lots of good food.  I tried to make up for it today by going for a long bike ride. Hopefully it made a difference.


Monday, May 9, 2011

7/52 — Week 18

A day late. Oops.

Not much of a varied selection this week, but I did dig out my old Canon S3 IS for some shots! I went cycling with my son on Saturday and brought the S3 along for the ride.

Anyway, to start off with... my Rock Band addiction gets a boost. The Fender Squier Stratocaster is finally available in Canada and my pre-order from last month arrived. Playing Rock Band 3 with it is more difficult than you might think.

My daugher wants to learn guitar, so she had to give it a try.

When my son and I were out cycling, we came across a bed of daffodils along the Rockliffe Parkway. We weren't along in thinking they were photo-worthy. As we left, a photographer arrived with his camera gear and tripod to take his own shots.

While I was taking pictures of the daffodils, this little guy was watching us from a distance. My son insisted that I take its photo. :)

My S3 never ceases to amaze me at how good its shots are.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

I'll fit in this one day...

I love T-shirts. I love free promo T-shirts. Give me a free promo T-shirt and I'll wear it. Guaranteed. (within reason, of course...)

What I've always hated is that more often than not that free promo T-shirt is either an XL or an L size. Being an XXL free promo T-shirt lover sucks.

In many cases — if I really liked the T-shirt — I'd tuck it away in my drawer for "I'll fit in this one day..."

That day has finally arrived.

This morning, while looking for something to wear, I came across a few of those T-shirts. I picked one out and tried it on.

It fit! It's not tight or even snug, it's a comfortable fit! I think it's an XL. I don't want to take it off to check for fear that I'll wake up from a dream. :)  But I can say that this particular one never fit me and I've had it for about 2 years.

I was half-tempted to try some others on, but I decided to wait and leave them for another day so I can be just as surprised.

It's little things like this that keep me motivated to continue my weight loss. I've got about 30lbs still to go. My friends and family tell me that I'll be too skinny at 200 lbs. I can't rememeber if I looked too skinny when I was that weight in my late teens/early 20s (I was the same height).  All I remember is that I've been self-concious about my weight nearly all my life, except for a short time when I was in the military and lost most of it, and I've never been told I was too skinny.

My doc says I should be 190 lbs. 200 lbs is the goal, but I'm pretty sure that I'll be happy at 210 lbs, but I won't know for sure until I get there.

I can't believe that I'm actually half-way to the goal. Go me go. :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Back on track... deja vue — Week 25 progress

I'm back on it and made more headway. I credit two salad lunches and a ~30 km bike ride on Sunday. I'm down to 233.2 lbs — my lowest recorded weight to date in the last 25 years. :)

We bought our son a new bicycle on Sunday and after I topped up the tires with air and adjusted his seat, I decided to do a little maintenance on my own bike. Of course, I then had to take it out for a spin. I didn't plan on out for more than an hour, max, but as I rode I kept wanting to go further. I ended up at Petrie Island about 15kms away. I was happy to see that almost the entire bike path is now paved too. The last time I rode there two years ago it was all gravel. My weight loss and overall fitness improvements are definitely paying off; I wasn't early as tired after the ride like I usually am after the first long ride of the year. I'm tempted to work my way up to another ride out to Rockland like I did about 5 years ago.

I'm looking forward to the weekend and more riding, and getting my family into it as well. I doubt they'll want to ride all the way to Petrie Island though. :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

7/52 — Week 17

It was a really nice weekend, weather-wise, and I didn't get out much for shooting. :( I did, however, spend time outside... just not with my camera.

I discoved this little guy hanging outside my window at work, on the 3rd floor. It rained the next day and he was gone. Not sure if he's just hiding, or the rain and wind took him away.

One of my DailyShoot contributions for the week. The theme had to do with depicting a choice.

My sister got new dresses at her shop and needed photos taken so we could put them up on her web site. This is one of them.

One of a few new visitors to our backyard. They don't seem to like landing on the hanging feeder. Instead, they choose to eat the seeds that fall on the ground. I wish they'd eat faster because there's a huge mess on the ground. ;) I'm not sure what kind of bird this is. They spook a lot more easily than any of the others.

I weeded the flower bed this weekend. This is one of the many hostas that I have growing.

We went out to buy our son a new bike since he has outgrown his last one. After putting air in the tires, I figured I might as well do all of our bikes. Once my bike was ready to go, I had no excuse and took it for a ride out to Petrie Island and back. That wasn't the plan, but the further I rode, the further I wanted to ride. 31.2 kms in total. Not bad for my first ride of the season. I may have to try riding out to Rockland again as I did a few years ago. Anyway, this is the hub of my front wheel.

And a reflector from the same wheel.

It's too bad there's no easy way to bring my camera with me when I got riding. There were a few nice photo opportunities that I missed out on. I may have to settle for bring my old S3 IS instead.