Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mid-life crisis?

Yesterday Groupon had a really good deal on a Chironex Tuxedo 250 Maxi Scooter. $4200 value for $2500. My wife and I had been looking at electric scooters a few weeks ago for short trip errands, etc. and they're pretty close to $2000, although you don't need a licence or insurance to drive one unlike this Chironex one.

Anyway, that's not really the point.

I don't have my Class M licence to drive a motorcycle, but if I did it would have been extremely tempting to take advantage of the deal.

That got me thinking seriously about getting my Class M licence. I joked that I'm having a mid-life crisis, but I've always thought about one day getting it, and picking up a second-hand motorcycle to use for a commute to work or just go out for a ride in countryside on a sunny day. I'm not looking for a "crotch rocket" or some big-ass cruiser — just a decent sized, nice-looking, street bike. I know my limitations.

I've never driven a motorcycle. But 25 years ago or so a friend of mine had a bike and we used to go out for rides, with me on the back. I loved it. Seeing the road whizzing past. Feeling the wind. Freedom? It's hard to describe.

I am also well aware of the dangers of riding a motorcycle. We got in an accident once when a car turned left into a laneway in front of us. We couldn't stop or swerve out of the way, and ended up hitting the front left corner of the car, catapulting both of us over the hood of the car. Miraculously, I landed on my feet beside the car after hitting my knee on the handlebars. My friend landed on his back beside the car. Aside from a few scrapes and bruises, we walked away from it. I know not everyone is that lucky.

I dug around the web and found an old version of the "Official MTO Motorcycle Handbook" that someone had made into a PDF. I read through it and was surprised that I knew almost all of the correct answers to the sample questions in the book. Some I knew because my friend had told me them 25 years ago, and some are basic common sense.

I decided to order the current (and hardcopy) version of the book from the Service Ontario Publications web site yesterday.

If I do decide to get my M1, I also plan on taking an approved course. I took drivers ed for my car licence, so there's no reason why I wouldn't do the same for a motorcycle licence. (aside from cheaper insurance rates)

We'll see how it pans out. :)

(P.S. I still think those electric scooters and pretty cool...)

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.