Thursday, September 27, 2007

Run for the Mouse

Yesterday evening hundreds gathered at the duck pond in Assiniboine park to celebrate one of the running communities fixtures by participating in a 5km fun run and fund raiser. Marilyn F. known widely as "Mouse" is almost finished her chemo therapy and will have to be off work for a while as she gathers her strength again. I was happy to be able to participate in such a lively show of support. The running mania crew got the ball rolling and have held events across the country to help her out. Many others stepped in to make it a huge effort and success.

Natalie took a bunch of images. Although I was sick and had to break and find refuge in a washroom before the finish, it was worth the effort to get into the city and join in the fun. Boo came too and as we got out of the car a friend of hers and main rival for academic achievement was there to greet us with her running team. Kim's a speedster and it's great to see her continuing her running at the University level.

Here is the thread on with peoples comments on the evening in Winnipeg.

I wish Mouse the best of luck with her recovery.

Colleen (eme), Cheryl (runcherylrun), Ian (clocker) and Boo

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Chickens and turkeys

Yesterday was butchering day for the chickens. We had them done at a government inspected plant this year again. With a fifty four dollar invoice and some driving it's very difficult to do anything but be happy about the choice. Doing them ourselves is fun in it's own way I suppose. It's a bit like washing dishes by hand with others. It's a social time that is lost in most of modern day hyper activities. I don't miss the labour of it, but I've only really ever embraced hard work for fun rather than profit anyway.

Just behind me in line there was a fellow picking up some turkeys. Twenty three of them he said there were. The staff there were interested in which one of us was the guy with the turkeys. Once I got a look at the size of them I understood why. The first shopping cart could hold only four of this man's birds. A young guy came out from the cleaning room and grabbed the first one off the top saying "I've got to know what these weigh" and proceeded to the scale in front of us. The bird he chose to weigh was by no means the biggest, but it did qualify for the designation of big irrespective of it's mates. It topped out at just over 45 pounds. I'm thinking that I would likely need a bigger oven for that size of bird.

I wish I had taken a camera with me. When a shop that sees about 600 birds a day, every day is remarking on the size of some bird, I know it's a monster. The staff were all commenting, because none of these turkeys fit any of the equipment they had to deal with their butchering.

Our chickens this year look great. They are a nice size and hopefully not too fat, but we'll see that once we get one toasted up. That's another benefit of not doing the work ourselves! I can eat chicken right after killing day! Otherwise it takes me a couple of weeks before I can stomach the thought of eating them.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Winnipeg Tracks for Glory 10km race


I spent June, building up to running a similar mileage as when I left off running in March after the Polar Bear 30km run across the frozen Lake Winnipeg. I had some trouble with my left foot that got attended to by some highly technically produced inserts for my runners and some great physiotherapy.

July and August were both high mileage months by my standards. I was able to straddle the 20 mile week for several weeks in succession and survive them without blowing up in one way or another. I haven't been able to do that previously so I'm happy to be pushing that threshold.

This was my first 10km race. Having the maniac support was great. KBO was a wretched tease picking up early that I was pretty focused prior to the horn. After I gave her a shake I felt much better. :P Mouse, eme and NewFinnLoper all offered their cheers to help us all along. Having a cheering section was very much appreciated!

Some time trials for the 3 and six mile distances earlier this month lead me to believe I have a sub 60 minute 10km in me, but yesterday was not my day. I woke up feeling sluggish and sleepy. I guess my body isn't use to getting two solid nights sleep in a row! Sheesh... can't win for losing. It was also a warm humid day which was taxing to say the least. I'm a cold weather guy through and through.

I can be a really poor judge of pace, but fortunately yesterday was one where I was right on the money. If I had been feeling my oats, I might have had more trouble with pace I suppose.

It was a warmer day than I had hoped for and much more humid than I realised at first. I wasn't disappointed to be across the finish line just shy of my goal because I managed as well as I could and left everything I had to offer this race on the course. Having nailed the pace alone is a good cause for celebration.

Thanks to all the maniacs and family that helped boost my spirits along the way.

Lamb to the slaughter


Giving Karen a shake


Two cups and a sock




Tilting in reflection


Karen's 5km loop - still smiling (brightened up a bit from her original)


KBO got these shots of me on the go

Still smiling
Still smiling a little closer
The bald guy 200 meters from the finish line

Anyone got a freezer for sale locally?

I need another freezer. The abattoir called and will take the chickens tomorrow instead on the tenth of October! Good for feed costs, bad for freezer space! Help!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

bullies be gone

This is the type of thing that should evolve into a formalised approach to the problem of bullies. Making it public and blowing the lid off the secrecy is admirable. There's a thesis paper in here somewhere.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

pizza and spinach

Now how good is this? Late planted spinach so rich and green that you would think it was summer. In my real life, as opposed to the rich inner life I so often dwell in, I lit the first fire in the stove today. Not a big one. Just a tiny one to ward off the damp chills that had gripped my prairie bones today.

I must make an appointment to have the meat birds cleaned up for the freezer. Not that there is any room in there for chicken, but one must live with a strong faith.

Tonight I got my pizza crust down to manageable levels. Usually it turns out to be far too much dough. Tonight I only gave myself .75 of a cup of water to play with and all was well.

Why is the mozzarella so different on commercial pies? :( I want that cheese!

Meite phoned for a tune up on making pizza dough this afternoon. I called her a bad name after I realised I too would have to make pizza now that I was drooling at the thought.

Thinner crust pizza on the baking stone - broken pie


Thinner crust pizza on the baking stone - whole pie


Late planted spinach a gift!


Sunday, September 2, 2007

firewood, pizza, freckles, ultra coach

I cut wood two days last week and didn't run at all, but managed to log 61 miles running this month anyway! I was bucking for seventy some, but I'll settle for healthy and raring to go.

Boo and Snoot helped fell, limb, buck up, load and unload on Tuesday. It was all we could do to fill the half ton twice and make it to dinner. On Wednesday Boo was off to the bright lights of the big city to begin settling in for her first year of University so Snoot and I were on our own. We decided that we would finish up what we started and split and stacked about a cord of small poplar.

With the salvage from the old summer kitchen being almost all cut up and stacked and the new poplar now safely under the eaves, we'll have enough to begin the heating season. Once the leaves are down Snoot and I will go back into the east bush and begin clearing around the east garden and then onto some trail making that I've always wanted to do, but never go around to.

The small poplar we cut on Tuesday was standing dead for two summers after the Tall Grass Preserve crew had girdled it to make way for more tall grass. If it wasn't so small it would be a great pleasure to help them out. They are charging me $2 a cord for the wood.

My body is still weary from the heavy work. I intended to run today, but it was stinking hot and I lost my motivation and chose to clean up some paper work in the shop instead. Now if I could just get the rest I need. I don't seem to be sleeping with any rest these days which will not be good for me. I've got my eye set on a race in three weeks if I can just hang onto my health as I finish up training this coming week and then begin the taper toward the 10km run in the third week of this month.

It's been such a busy summer. I've read more this summer than I have in years and the shop is rocking just now. The
Lieutenant Governor has seen fit to commission an overhaul of the show piece tall case clock and that's always welcome. I love working with such fine machinery!

Cooking for three won't be too big a change because Boo was gone most of the summer. We celebrated tonight with a big fat pizza.

In other news:

Snoot got a hair cut and a fresh crop of freckles


Thick crust pizza


Sauce fixings. The produce continues to roll in!


My coach and inspiration for running got some press today


Andy got a laser welder! I can't stop dreaming up ideas to make with this thing. What a toy.