Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I have to do this!

I've met Dwayne a couple of times now and he's nothing but trouble. :D He's full of beans and has a thing for tough runs as you'll see if you care to read his report.

He's an ultramarathon guy. He likes them long. Like 100 kilometers long.

The Polar Bear Run – My First Time
Dwayne Sandall

‘A one-of-a-kind 30-K straight across frozen-over, big-as-an-ocean Lake Winnipeg (the world's 13th largest). "If it's clear out, you can see the finish line from the start line!" says Hasher Denzil Feinberg, a.k.a. the Tin Man. But, he adds, "if there's a whiteout, you could get lost and die." ‘ (Runners World, January 2003)

So began my intrigue with this event.

It is now the evening before the 2004 Polar Bear Run; a wide range of thoughts bouncing around inside my head - Am I crazy?, What will the wind be like? What’s the compass bearing I need in case I get lost? This is going to be really cool! A call from Jeff Badger, the organizer, added to the mood of trepidation. He had somehow mistaken me for someone who had done this run before and was asking for my opinion on the trail conditions. He seemed concerned that the trail was going to be in bad shape because of the fresh snow that had been falling. I flashed back to the day before; me walking down Lombard Avenue at lunch time, slipping and sliding in all the now slushy fresh snow, thinking ‘I hope the run isn’t like this’. Jeff said it wasn’t slushy, just loose. My mind eased. I didn’t hear back from Jeff that night, so the race was on!

The morning of the run was intimidating right from the start. A late start out on the road, my intrepid support team (the lovely Julie G) trying to nap as I drove, waking up only when we came upon treacherous stretches of highway and I muttered various phrases under my breathe. The mix of sun then snow and cloud as we drove north was amazing foreshadowing to the 3 hours of running ahead of me.

Arriving in Gimli at about 8:50, it was the closest I have come to showing up within minutes of the start time. A quick walk around of the Gimli Lakeview Resort and we found a group of spandex encased souls milling about. A few hellos and introductions, payment of the modest $20 fee, and before I knew it, we were heading out the back towards the lake.

On the logistics note, there are two start times, one at 8:00 am, and a second at 9:00 am. If you can do 18 or so miles in under three hours, then the 9:00 start is for you. 8:00 if you need over three hours. I opted for the 9:00 start, figuring worst case scenario I would be slowed down to a 9:00 minute per mile pace if the conditions were tough, giving me a finish of about 2:40 – 2:45. We’ll come back to that prediction.

As the small gaggle of us wandered out to the shore, I was scanning the lake looking for the sign of a trail. None was apparent to me. There were faint signs of wind blown shoe tracks heading out onto the lake, but little more. As Julie and I walked out she gave me words of encouragement and with the ceremonial last kiss, I joined the others on the frozen span of this massive body of water.

An informal ‘I guess it’s go time’ from someone in the group, followed by the all familiar sound of chirping chronographs and off we went. Off into what appeared like a great void of white; snow, ice and sky, not much else in sight.

Within a few moments, there were a couple of clusters. Four of us surging out ahead (Dallas, Grant, Murray and myself). Dallas and Grant had done this run many times, so I figured I would try to hold onto their pace as they would know where to go. By this time the poles that marked the trail were passing with regularity.

In the first few kilometers we were all talking about the footing, or actually, the lack of footing. Jeff was right when he told me the night before that it wasn’t slushy. It was slightly crusty snow about two to four inches deep, mixed in with some drifts about a foot deep. Very occasionally, you would come to a stretch where the footing was solid and it felt like you could finally get going again. Those stretches usually lasted about five to twenty strides before you were back to sliding around in the loose stuff. Ironically, given that we were running on a lake, it was like running in sand. I’ll have to come back and run along the beaches in Gimil in the summer to see if there is any comparison.

After 2 km, Murray said our pace was 8:30 per mile. I noticed my heart rate was already getting into the high end of the zone I had set. This was going to be a long run.

The poles marking the trail were still passing with regularity. They were supposed to be one tenth of mile apart. I thought about counting them, but never did. Staying on my feet was a big enough challenge.

Somewhere around 40 minutes into it, we hit a slushy spot. I got wet. Really wet. My left leg went into the water to about half way up my calf. My right foot was just to the top of my shoe. I wasn’t worried about my feet getting cold, but already I was thinking back to my first marathon when my left foot got soaked at the very first water station and I finished with some amazing blisters and a black toenail.

Shortly after the soaking, the group I had started with started spreading out. With Grant and Dallas slowing getting further ahead. By about half way, they were still visible in the distance, with Murray about 3 poles ahead of me. I thought I was keeping a steady pace, but it was impossible to really tell. I had long shut off the tone on my heart rate monitor that told me I was over the top limit of my zone. I had set an upper limit 175, the thinking was that my average in last years Manitoba Marathon was 176 bpm, and I wasn’t going to be running as hard today as I did then. Was I ever wrong. At an hour and a half into the run my heart rate was 183. I was wondering if the footing was ever going to improve. It was also about this time that one of the whiteouts started.

Imagine looking ahead and seeing nothing by white, with the distant shape of another in front of you. Look back and see nobody. Look left, look right and see nothing but white. It was both serene and surreal at the same time. The only constant was the marker poles, the line they created receding into the distance. They were still passing with regularity, albeit, a bit slower.

It was around this time when the effects of the wet shoes were starting to be felt. In an odd twist, the solid footing was no longer as welcome, as the harder surface put much more pressure on the blister now growing on the ball of my left foot.

As the visibility cleared I could see more people ahead of me, and I was gaining on them! It was the tail end of the early group. As I caught up to them, we chatted for a bit, wished each other well and off I went. My mental game was now to count the number of early starters that I would pass. I do the majority of my running alone, but with the constant flow of runners on Wellington Crescent I am never really ‘alone’. Today, I realized how alone it could really get. The casual hellos to other runners and the occasional chat with a friend made those runs less solitary than this one. A few moments later, these two that I just passed slowly slipped into the oblivion that was the whiteout behind me.

Although I have painted a somewhat solitary scene, I never was truly on my own. The other person that was always around was the guy running the water station. This was the first event I’ve ever taken part in where the water station came to you. There were two snowmobiles constantly going back and forth providing fluids when flagged. They were also there to give you a ride if you couldn’t keep going. On an additional logistics note, there is a warm up hut about half way across the lake. I didn’t slow down and take a look, but I am guessing there wasn’t a porta-potty in there.

If you recall, I had predicted that I would do this run in about 2:45. At about 2:10 or so, I could see the first glimpse of the Belair shore line. My spirits were lifted, I thought maybe, just maybe, I would make it. Then some more snow and wind gusts, and as quickly as the shore came into view, it was gone again. This peek-a-boo game would continue for the next 45 minutes.

I remember reading about European sailors searching for the New World and how excited they would get when they saw a bird, because it was a sign that land was somewhere near. At 2:55 into the run, I saw a bird. I too got excited. Although the shore had been somewhat visible for a few minutes now, the bird seemed to validate that it was really close. My excitement was only slightly diminished when I realized that this bird was a big crow. I tried to imagine the beauty of the dove bringing the branch to Noah and his zoo crew instead of this big black crow looking like he wanted to dive bomb me.

I passed the tenth person (yes, I did keep counting) and I was into the final stretch. I could see a slight curve in the maker poles, the small crowd on the shore, even hear some cheering as another brave soul again set foot on land. I somehow found that little bit of energy we always seem to keep in reserve and I tried to get my finishing kick going. My feet, now numb from the pain of the blisters, hesitated a bit, but cooperated long enough to get me to the other side in 3:04:44. What a feeling to get there. Looking back, I could see nothing but white and the one person I had passed a few hundred metres back.

A few handshakes, a big hug from Julie and then I attempted to climb the hill up to where the parking and my thermos of hot chocolate was. My quads began a protest nearly the moment I stopped running, this hill seemed to be nearly impossible. I made a few stops as I climbed to take pictures and allow my legs to rest.

This was the hardest run I had ever done. Although 8 miles shorter than a marathon, the lack of solid footing made this a physical challenge. On the other side, it was also mentally challenging as the sheer vastness and emptiness seemed almost overwhelming at times. I don’t think it would have been as hard mentally if I had ran with someone else. The physical challenge was bore out by the numbers as well. For comparison, I ran the 2003 Manitoba Marathon at an average pace of 8:29 per mile with an average heart rate of 176. For the Polar Bear, my average HR was 183, the pace 10:13 per mile.

As tough as it was, I will be back. This is definitely a run that hooks you in. The group was a great mix of people, a microcosm of the diversity of the people that get hooked on running in the first place.

Although I have always loved being outdoors, (part of the reason I love running) being out in the middle of that vast frozen sea made me appreciate the wonders of the world just a little bit more.

Polar Bear Run
March 7, 2004
18.1 (approximately) mile point to point course, across frozen Lake Winnipeg along the Snowman Trail that runs from Gimli to the end of the Yellow Brick Road in Belair.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

'I had a screaming pain all over my body'

It marked the first time that a swimmer had been in such cold water (2 to 3°C) for so long.

"As soon as I dived in, I had a screaming pain all over my body," Pugh said in a statement released from his MV Polar Star ice breaker from Drake Passage....

My God! What kind of drive is seeded within us? Maybe I'll be wondering less after my first round with "hills" on a tread mill tomorrow. It should only take 80 or 90 minutes. :P


Fred Rompelberg,
Maastricht, the Netherlands,
eldest professional cyclist in the world,
current holder of the Absolute Speed World Record Cycling with 268,8 km/h.

marathon training

Excerise caution in marathon training Running's holy grail can be the experience of a lifetime, but use common sense: experts

TORONTO (CP) — Audacious would-be athletes who plan to add “complete a marathon” to their list of new year’s resolutions should exercise caution and common sense, say running experts.

“Goal setting is really important because you don’t want to set an unrealistic target and then be disappointed and even hurt yourself,” said Bruce Kidd, a former Olympian who is now dean of the faculty of physical education and health at the University of Toronto.

“That’s true of any participant in physical activity — whether it’s someone just starting out or it’s someone entering the Olympics.”

In recent years, marathons have become a matter of course for baby boomers seeking an ultimate fitness experience.

Celebrities have also got in on the act, with megastars like Sean (Diddy) Combs and Oprah Winfrey extolling the life-altering virtues of a 42.2-kilometre run.

But the marathon boom has also brought a new hurdle: many people aiming for running’s holy grail are simply not prepared to complete such a gruelling task.

Case in point: the popular Toronto running group JeansMarines was recently banned from the 2006 Marine Corps Marathon in Washington.

The move came after group founder Dr. Jean Marmoreo was accused of helping some runners take a shortcut to shave about 6.4 kilometres from course so they could avoid disqualification at this year’s event.

While participants at the event are required to cross the finish line in under seven hours, one race organizer said some of the JeansMarines runners were on pace to do it in a whopping 13 hours.

That left some in the running community questioning if the runners belonged at the event in the first place.

Marmoreo’s husband, Bob Ramsay, says JeansMarines — whose motto is “Yes ma’am, you can do a marathon” — learned a lesson from the ordeal.

“One of the things we’re doing is we’re saying ‘Look . . . you who are coming off the couch, are of a certain age, may be pretty overweight, this year would be best if you made a half marathon your goal.”

Experts say a more moderate approach to running can sometimes reap greater long-term benefits than the exhaustive do-or-die training involved with a marathon.

“You’d like to think that people are doing this on the way to an ongoing regular, lifetime fitness program,” said Running Room founder John Stanton.

“The ideal of all or nothing (goes) against that. A marathon is a high, but you don’t want it to be such an emotional and physically challenging event that you’re never going to run another step again.”

For those who are intent on going the distance this year, experts agree that the first order of business is a visit to a doctor.

“Unfortunately, people die at marathons,” said Jay Glassman, founder of the Toronto Marathon.

“It’s not that running is dangerous or contributes to the cause, but . . . there are often underlying medical issues that people might have.”

After runners receive a clean bill of health, they may want to consider a combination of walking and running to help them reach the finish line.

Marathoning guru Jeff Galloway swears by such a strategy and has developed a formula that uses a runner’s pace to determine what ratio of running and walking will best work for them.

“The biggest problem I see is people getting a base of fitness and then pushing the envelope too far,” he said in a telephone interview from Atlanta. “And the other component is to put enough walking into the mix.”

Adds Kidd: “It seems to me that the main thing is to keep going. It’s hard sometimes, but you’ve got to learn that if you’re in a bad patch, you hit the wall ... you can still keep going if you’re properly trained and so on.

“Walking is one way to do that.”

For those brave souls who do manage to run, walk or crawl to the finish line of a marathon in 2006, Galloway is convinced the experience will remain with them for a lifetime.

“I’ve advised over 200,000 runners. There has been nothing that I’ve seen or been told about from these people that has given the (same) sense of satisfaction and achievement as finishing a marathon,” he said.

“I hear from people that are CEOs of big companies, famous people, folks that have done it all, and the thing you’ll see on their office wall above all others is a T-shirt or a medal (from) the marathon they ran.

“There are certain accomplishments that you have to do yourself and this is one of them.”

Monday, December 19, 2005

Today's smile

Deviant Art is quite the place for a graphics hound like myself. A friend sent me a link to this image that brought a smile to me.

Yesterday's 10km run that averaged 81% of my maximum heart rate sure took it out of me. I must learn to rest more effectively. That was the biggest mileage week since the summer and it's only going to increase now by leaps and bounds.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I Am Canadian, eh!

So, what do Canadians have to be proud of, eh?

1. Smarties

2. Crispy Crunch, Coffee Crisp

3. The size of our footballs fields and one less down

4. Baseball is Canadian

5. Lacrosse is Canadian

6. Hockey is Canadian

7. Basketball is Canadian

8. Apple pie is Canadian

9. Mr. Dress-up kicks Mr. Rogers

10. Tim Hortons kicks Dunkin' Donuts

11. In the war of 1812, started by America, Canadians pushed the Americans back... past their 'White House'. Then we burned it... and most of Washington, under the command of George Cockburn who was insane and hammered all the time. We got bored because they ran away, so we came home and partied... Go figure…

12. Canada has the largest French population that never surrendered to Germany.

13. We have the largest English population that never ever surrendered or withdrew during any war to anyone. Anywhere. EVER.

14. Our civil war was fought in a bar and it lasted a little over an hour.

15. The only person who was arrested in our civil war was an American mercenary, who slept in and missed the whole thing... but showed up just in time to get caught.

16. We knew plaid was cool far before Seattle caught on.

17. The Hudsons Bay Company once owned over 10% of the earth's surface and is still around as the worlds oldest company.

18. The average dog sled team can kill and devour a full grown human in under 3 minutes.

19. We still know what to do with all the parts of a buffalo.

20. We invented ski-doos, jet-skis, velcro, zippers, insulin, penicillin, zambonis, the telephone and short wave radios that save countless lives each year.

21. We ALL have frozen our tongues to something metal and lived to tell about it.

22. A Canadian invented Superman.

23. We have coloured money.

24. Our beer advertisements kick.


25. The handles on our beer cases are big enough to fit your hands with mitts on. OOOoohhhhh Canada!

26. And we don't bomb our allies.

27. oh yeah... our elections only take one day.

Winter BBQ scare

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Council of Canadians

This election is going to be some kind of long.

I saw this go by and thought some might have a use for it. It's a fairly objective look at the different options for those of us that might invest something in
democracy and vote.

I saw a tag in Toronto in 1981 at Ryerson in Toronto and I've never been able to forget it.

"If voting could change anything, it would be illegal."
Apparenty it's a popular saying.

I also remember vividly the day my grade eight math teacher called me a cynic and from that point on I knew what it meant.

The Amazing Proportional Representation Simulator

Explaining the Turnout Decline in Canadian Federal Elections

The beauty of the American right.

Canada through the eyes of some parts of main stream America.

A great little movie to help enjoy more Fox network insight is "Outfoxed"

Land of the free, home of the brave and bastion of myopoia.

Almost totally useless facts

I haven't verified any of this.

1.Duct tape loses its stickiness when used in temperatures below about –25 ° C (-13 ° F).

2.Gilligan of Gillian’s Island had a first name that was only used once, on the never-aired pilot show. His first name was Willy.

3.Dr. Seuss and Kurt Vonnegut went to college together. They were even in the same fraternity, where Seuss decorated the fraternity house walls with drawings of his strange characters.

4.The Les Nessman character on the TV series WKRP in Cincinnati wore a band-aid in every episode. Either on himself, his glasses, or his clothing.

5.John Larroquette of "Night Court" and "The John Larroquette Show" was the narrator of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

6.Kermit the Frog is left-handed.

7.The lifespan of a taste bud is ten days.

8.Non-dairy creamer is flammable.

9.The ashes of the average cremated person weigh nine pounds.

10. The dial tone of a normal telephone is in the key of "F".

11. If you put a raisin in a glass of champagne, it will keep floating to the top and sinking to the bottom.

12. Beelzebub, another name for the devil, is Hebrew for "Lord of the Flies", and this is where the book's title comes from.

13. The term "devil's advocate" comes from the Roman Catholic Church. When deciding if someone should be sainted, a devil's advocate is always appointed to give an alternative view.

14. Before Prohibition, Shlitz Brewery owned more property in Chicago than anyone else, except The Catholic Church.

15. It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King James Version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 16, the 46th word from the first word is 'shake' and the 46th word from the last word is 'spear'.

16. In 1986 Danny Heep became the first player in a World Series to be a designated hitter (DH) with the initials "D.H."

17. In the four major US professional sports, (Baseball, Basketball, Football, and Hockey), there are only seven teams whose nicknames do not end with an "S:" Basketball: The Miami Heat, The Utah Jazz, and The Orlando Magic. Baseball: The Boston Red Sox, The Chicago White Sox. Hockey: The Colorado Avalanche, The Tampa Bay Lightning. Football: None.

18. In 1963, baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry remarked, "They'll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run." On July 20, 1969, a few hours after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Gaylord Perry hit his first, and only, home run.

19. When the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers plays football at home to a sell out crowd, the full stadium becomes the state's third largest city.

20. The sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” uses every letter in the alphabet. (Developed by Western Union to Test telex/twx communications)

21. In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.

22. Average life span of a major league baseball: 7 pitches.

23.The only 15-letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is “uncopyrightable”.

24. Did you know that there are coffee flavored PEZ?

25. The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.

26. The airplane Buddy Holly died in was the “American Pie.” (Thus the name of the Don McLean song.)

27. Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history. Spades - King David; Clubs - Alexander the Great; Hearts -Charlemagne; and Diamonds - Julius Caesar.

28. 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

29. Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them used to burn their houses down -- hence the expression “to get fired.”

30. Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn’t added until 5 years later.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Upgrade to

It's not finished yet, but I'd like some feedback if anyone cares to comment.

The new and improved site

maniacs and astro images

Damian Peach's astro images are remarkable.

Some of the Winnipeg maniacs from runningmania got together last night for some laughs. Note the number of glasses of water. :D Lots of cheap humour in evidence and that's just the way I like it.

Monday, December 12, 2005


The difference between the mile and the marathon is the difference between burning your fingers with a match and being slowly roasted over hot coals.
Hal Higdon, "On the Run from Dogs and People"

"A lot of people don't realize that about 98 percent of the running I put in is anything but glamorous: 2 percent joyful participation, 98 percent dedication! It's a tough formula. Getting out in the forest in the biting cold and the flattening heat, and putting in kilometer after kilometer."
- Rob de Castella

Veikko Karvonen, 1954 Boston Champ
-Marathon running is a terrible experience: monotonous, heavy, and exhausting.

"Marathoning is like cutting yourself unexpectedly. You dip into the pain so gradually that the damage is done before you are aware of it. Unfortunately, when the awareness comes, it is excruciating."
- John Farrington, Australian marathoner

To describe the agony of a marathon to someone who’s never run it is like trying to explain color to someone who was born blind. ~ Jerome Drayton

The marathon can humble you. Bill Rogers

Frank Shorter
-You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming.


-Running is a mental sport, and we're all insane!

Go figure! They are Canucks!

The creaters of the blower.

Canadian Content is alive and well.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

computer talk

is what a

do first

in the morning!

on the link below

type in your first name.


Friday, December 9, 2005

Anyone tried this?

Christmas Cake.


1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 bottle Irish Whiskey
2 cups of dried fruit

Sample the Irish Whiskey to check quality.

Take a large bowl, check the Irish Whiskey again.

To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.


Turn on the electric mixer.

Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.

Add one teaspoon of sugar.

Beat again.

At this point it's best to make sure the Irish Whiskey is still OK.

Try another cup .... just in case

Turn off the mixerer thingy.

Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.

Mix on the turner.

If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the Irish Whiskey to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt.

Or something. Who giveshz a ****.

Check the Irish Whiskey.

Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.

Add one table.

Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl through the window,

Finish the Irish Whiskey.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Big ass rail car

The Schnabel car, the world’s largest capacity railcar, left Duluth today for the long trip to Alberta Canada.

Now if I could just figure out how to track the damn thing and maybe get a peek at it.

So many buttons, so little time!

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Weather Issues

I take it that our wet coast has had some winter weather.


Day 2 - Vancouver Blizzard 2005

Chilled Vancouver commuters faced their second day of winter hell today, as an additional ¼ centimeter of the peculiar white stuff fell, bringing the lower mainland to its knees and causing millions of dollars worth of damage to the marijuana crops. Scientists suspect that the substance is some form of frozen water particles and experts from Saskatchewan are being flown in. With temperatures dipping to the almost but not quite near zero mark, Vancouverites were warned to double insulate their lattes before venturing out.

Vancouver police recommended that people stay inside except for emergencies, such as running out of espresso or biscotti to see them through Vancouver's most terrible storm to date. The local Canadian Tire reported that they had completely sold out of fur-lined sandals.

Drivers were cautioned to put their convertible tops up, and several have been shocked to learn that their SUV's actually have four wheel drive, although most have no idea how to use it.

Weary commuters faced soggy sushi, and the threat of frozen breast implants. Although Dr. John Blatherwick, of the Coastal Health Authority reassured everyone that most breast implants were perfectly safe to 25 below, down-filled bras are flying off the shelves at Mountain Equipment Co-op.

"The government has to do something," snarled an angry Trevor Warburton. "I didn't pay $540,000 for my one bedroom condo so I could sit around and be treated like someone from Toronto."
Thanks for sending this my way Vere.

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge--even to ourselves--that we've been so credulous.
Carl Sagan

This is from the newly re-issued newsletter, "In the
Spirit of Crazy Horse", available online at:

Aho my relations,

As I approach the end of my 30th year deprived of
freedom, I write to you
from the United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg, PA,
after a grueling
transfer odyssey that put me in solitary confinement
for six weeks. I am here to appease a
vengeful government agency that came into my land to
back a puppet government that was
betraying the Lakota nation in the most despicable
way, giving away our land, murdering ,and
torturing our people.

It took the corruption of two
countries (Canada and the U.S) to obtain
my extradition, conviction, and imprisonment. Today
the U.S. government protects a real terrorist,
Luis Posada Carriles, from extradition to Venezuela.
Posada is one of the masterminds
of a car bomb that assassinated a former foreign
minister of Chile, Orlando Letelier, in Washington
DC, a crime that has been called the worst act of
foreign terrorism on American soil
before 9/11.

He is also responsible for the bombing in
Venezuela of a Cubana Airlines flight
with the resulting murder of 73 people on board, and
many more acts of narco-terrorism. In
spite of the incessant claims of this being a country
of laws and the example to the world of
justice, freedom, and democracy, it is obvious that
this government protects whoever it wants
and imprisons and kills whoever it wants.

The US government keeps getting more oppressive and
tyrannical, everybody's rights are being
eroded, fears are heightened as a tool to keep the war
machine, alive and increase the destruction
of Mother Earth, innocent people are dying all over
the world in the name of
"democracy and freedom," the prisoner population in
this country is increasing exponentially,
approximately ten percent of all prisoners are here
for life, most of us are people of color.

Those of us who dare stand up to injustice get locked
up or assassinated.

The US government
is not pretending anymore, they overtly murdered
Filiberto Ojeda Rios, an elder and leader for
the freedom of Puerto Rico, and government allies are
on national television openly calling for
the assassination of courageous champions of justice
like President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela
who has offered our poor communities and myself a

Chavez is the first President in this
continent, and probably the world, who is returning
land to the indigenous people, making
them part of the governing institutions, and
recognizing and protecting indigenous culture. It is
time we all unite to stop the madness threatening the
whole planet, and stand together with
those who go beyond words and deliver on the promise
of freedom and justice, and against
those guided by greed, arrogance, and prejudice.

Stay true, work in unity, confront the traitors,
don't be afraid, and don't let our struggle die.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse
Leonard Peltier

Another site with Peltier's story

Monday, December 5, 2005

Reviews Written by viktor_57, an Amazon reviewer

Viktor's review, Cooking or Alchemy? makes me smile.

Thanks for the nod Wheezie.

The book being reviewed is:
Conscious Cuisine: A New Style of Cooking from the Kitchens of Chef Cary Neff by Cary Neff

Sunday a hundred years ago.

What a beautiful day it was yesterday. It's funny how such a cold day can bring on such feelings of warmth.

I sneaked my long run in as I was feeling unusually strong. I was expecting to be spent after what I thought was a concerted effort at Saturday's race, but by the looks of things now, I could have gone out a lot faster than I did.

The tell of the tape was that my run yesterday was quite a bit faster than I expected. I had pretty much ignored my chronograph and heart rate monitor, relying instead solely on perceived exertion to ensure I was well below any aerobic threshold. It was a mind numbingly easy run. When I went to enter the data into my running journal I thought I had goofed somewhere because my heart rate was so much lower than it should have been for that pace. My speed was also much faster than I had estimated it to be.

Apparently my cardio program is working very well! I'm excited to find that even though I was much faster than anyone had expected on race day, I probably had quite a bit more to offer the distance than I showed.

I was curious on Saturday about this because I really didn't hurt during the run at all. In fact I was comfortably detached. I couldn't talk at the end, but I recovered quickly. If I had been on the ball, I'd have taken my heart rate through intervals after I was finished to see just how quickly I recovered, but I was too wrapped up in an unexpectedly fast time to give a hoot about anything except celebrating.

A doctor friend on suggested that she had a similar experience after her first half marathon, but more delayed.

My life has been riddled with offering up the wisdom from countless hours of study and many dollars in books to help others. This is the first time I've been able to turn some of that research into something I did for the care of myself. Self loathing does not die without a long battle. This success, although very minor, represents a paradigm shift for me. It's something I've tried to display in countless ways and have been, until now, baffled as to how to make it happen. Self preservation has eluded me in many cruel ways.

I attribute two primary things to the change. First, I'm 46 and the hormone levels have likely begun to recede and second, the application of dextroamphetamine to help focus my ADHD brain. Irrespective of the source, the feeling of hope is now made of more than theory.

It's been a three year journey from hopeless despair to some sense of hope rekindled.

Physical activity in an aerobic range, continuously for 40 minutes, four times a week is a very powerful medicine on many levels. I'm grateful to have found it.

In my euphoria, I set out with Bonnie and Manon yesterday in the arctic cold to join Larua at the tall grass prairie preserve in Gardenton for a skate on the big pond. The area was doted with countless muskrat mounds and a gigantic beaver lodge. I've never seen any that were bigger. The pond had a skiff of snow on it which made us miss the glide portion of the program when skating against the wind, but it was idyllic in the setting at least.

Bonnie said later she had been watching Manon pull hard while running with the wind to gain maximum speed and almost cried at the beauty of the scene. Cat tails, coyote tracks and not a sign of humanity anywhere other than the ones gliding above the rodents hunkered down for the big freeze. Big sun dogs stood as sentry aside the low hanging sun. Ice crystals making fairy dust of the pristine air we inhaled. Not all days can be enjoyed in mountain top experience, but life is sometimes brilliantly loving in it's gifts. Yesterday while skating on the marsh, it was clear to us all that we had been at the right place at the right time to catch this one firmly by the tail.

Once we had our skates off and were about ready to head to the car, Laura asked if anyone would be interested in sassafras tea. She'd loaded an insulated bag with a thermos of tea! Laura loves to gather interesting roots and wild foods of all kinds and the tea was appropriately exotic. She'd collected the sassafras root in Rhode Island when she was last out that way and this was what the tea had been brewed with. It was also sweetened with a tropical leaf, but I've forgotten the name of that plant.

Characteristic of Laura's efforts, the tea was carefully crafted through years of practice to be perfectly brewed. Everyone was clearly delighted not only to be passing the thermos cup of hot liquid to warm our chills with, but with the flavour. Treats so well tailored to the old fashioned nature of the skate are a rare and wonderful gift. Laura has many special gifts and I'm grateful she shares them so willingly with us.

No skating today, just work and house chores, but the feeling of contentment persists.
Life in the slow lane.
The hopeless romantic.

Sunday, December 4, 2005

5km Santa Shuffle - Winnipeg 2005

Some images of the day. Click on the thumbnails for a closer look.

Tricks are for kids

I guess the girls had a good time today. They came home and ended up playing with the camera for a long time. Click on the small images if you care to see them in a larger format.

Saturday, December 3, 2005

Winnipeg Santa Shuffle


5:34 min/km

8:58 min/mile

The 5km was broken into two equal loops and a third short one. I ran the first loop at about 85% and the second one at about 92% and the third short stint at 98%.

I dressed perfectly and it was cool this morning in the hoarfrost, overcast and about -16C or so I think. I warmed up for 10 minutes prior and that seemed wise in retrospect. It helped me to focus on my pace with which I've struggled.

That was fun. I've been watching DrJ's ( spin on fun when it comes to racing, and I was so very convinced it would be hellishly difficult to endure but, surprisingly, I was at home there. It was intense, yes, but it was fun. It demanded all my attention and I enjoyed it all. I've never raced before and the energy generated with all the other runners around was infectious in all the right ways.

After so many miles alone, it was nothing short of thrilling to be in the company of others that know the joys of running. I could drag this feeling out for pages, but I'll spare you.

I met Cheryl (Dr. Phil celeb) for the first time today and was struck by the contrasts between my feelings of euphoria and her congested energy backing up on a taper that she's built toward for so long. She has her first marathon in 8 days. I kept thinking that what she is headed for would be absolute bliss. The degree of deferred gratification in training for a marathon is something beyond my ability to reason through, but if it provides any part of the feelings I carry today, it's something I want to jump in with both feet for.

For now a half marathon at the end of February will have to do.

I'm more than a little embarrassed that I wasn't more conscious of others and their requirements for support. I was wholly distracted with my own elation, which leaves me feeling a little childish now. The seasoned veterans of race day like Jill, Dwayne, Natalie, and Cheryl were so kind and indulgent of my new thrill. It was tremendous to have other runners to share the experience with. I'm still a little giddy.

Dwayne's Running Room 5km clinic crew were a good bunch. A friend and I joined a table for lunch at Stella's with two of them. Diana and... I'm so bad with names! The conversation was lively and the food was wonderful.

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Yikes! Nana's on fire!

What a display of colour! Mum! You are stepping out in such fine style these days! Nicely done. It's spectacular. I hope the J-girl loves it as much as I do.