Another Duathlon Come And Gone

Filed under: Uncategorized — Keith @ 7:28 pm

I raced in another duathlon on Tuesday May 27, 2008. I did better than last week. I was about 9 minutes faster this time. I improved by about 8 seconds on the first run, and by approximately 12 minutes on the bike section, and I was about 2 minutes longer on the final run. The bike section made all the difference, and I really have to thank JF at Gords for letting me borrow a road bike so I could see the difference in performance for myself. It was a massive difference to say the least. If I continue to do duathlons and potentially triathlons I will have to look into getting a road bike of my own (or a real triathlon bike).

I was so much slower in the last run leg because I basically walked the first 1.8km of it and jogged the last 200m to the finish line. I didn’t collapse after, so I take it as a positive sign. :)

The big finish! Hi-5!


I Raced In A Duathlon

Filed under: Uncategorized — Keith @ 10:36 am

Well now, I haven’t had an update to my blog in a very, very long time. So perhaps it is time to reform the habit of adding more noise to the Internet. Because, you know, my life is just so damn interesting that everyone wants to know what I have to say. ;)

So, the scoop is that on May 20, 2008 I raced in a duathlon. I raced in duathlon #3 of a 4 race series at Birds Hill Provincial Park. And even more specifically, I raced in the short duathlon. The short duathlon consisted of a 2k run, 13k bike ride, and a 2k run to finish. It is something to note that I actually did finish the race. I also finished in last place for all age groups and both genders for the short duathlon. To sprinkle a bit more humble pie into the mix, there was a guy in the 50-59 age group for the medium course (basically double everything 4k/24k/4k) who finished 5 minutes before I did. That’s how long I took relative to the field. :)

It didn’t help that I rode a mountain bike for the biking section and everyone else was on road bikes or triathlon bikes.

I do intend to race in the final race of the series on May 27, 2008. However, I am going to borrow a road bike to see how much of a difference it can make to my race time, and my energy levels for the last segment of running.

JF from Gord’s Ski and Cycle snapped some photos of everyone from Gord’s who raced. I put copies of the photos that I am in into a Flickr set on my Flickr account. Below are a couple of images from the set.

Victory is mine!

Gord’s Girls!
(and a few guys – I was too exhausted to stand, so they posed around me!)


Winnipeg Fringe Festival Review – Flamenco con Fusion 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Keith @ 9:41 pm

From the Fringe guide:

Flamenco as you’ve never experienced before! Moving quickfire into the modern world, traditional flamenco meets hip hop for a fabulous fusion of old and new.

The guide also lists a website for the show at: http://www.flamencoflow.com/

The venue for this show was the MTC Warehouse. It is a small professional theatre house that was quite comfortable to sit in for the show. This was the first show I have ever seen at a Fringe festival, and I suppose it was a decent leaping off point. The start felt a bit slow to me. I’m not sure why, but it did. It took me a little while to get into the show.

The guitarist was enjoyable to watch and listen to. There was one segment that really impressed me where he appeared to be picking with both his strumming hand and the hand on the neck of the guitar. I was slightly surprised that an acoustic guitar with pick-ups wasn’t used. The guitar was a non-amplified guitar with an external microphone positioned near the guitar.

The dancing portions of the show were an interesting hybridization of urban dance with the Spanish flamenco. Perhaps hybridization is too strong a word. There were two dancers; one was a male hip hop dancer, and the other was a female flamenco dancer. The staging of the two was in a format of a dance-off against each other. Given that the show was about an hour long, what at first is interesting can grow a bit repetitive after a while. That is exactly what happened from my perspective. Both dancers had a certain number of moves, and after the second round of dancing off against each other, I realized that any more dance-offs were not likely to contribute much more to what was already seen.

The show was enjoyable at an overall level, and I liked the guitar playing enough to buy the guy’s cd on my way out of the theatre.


Those who have enjoyed such privileges

Filed under: Uncategorized — Keith @ 2:52 pm

“Those who have enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.”

- Franklin D. Roosevelt


Google Spreadsheets

Filed under: Uncategorized — Keith @ 1:58 pm

I just found out about Google Spreadsheets, and they once again left me shaking my head with how well they are pushing the web browser as a main-line application interface.

I have a small spreadsheet that I use to keep track of my personal budget. Not that I ever really pay attention to my budget, but I occassionally glance at it. The problem I have had is one of portability. I first created an Excel spreadsheet at work one day, but then needed to use it at home. Then I switched my home OS from XP to a flavour of Linux, and consequently used OpenOffice, which rquired me to re-write some of my macros.

While Google Spreadsheets may not be as advanced as Excel or OpenOffice, it is more than good enough to keep my simple budget spreadsheet for me, and allow me to access it from essentially anywhere.

AJAX just keeps getting cooler by the minute! :)


Sheila O’Malley

Filed under: Uncategorized — Keith @ 12:20 am

The Sheila Variations is a blog that I read off and on. Sheila is rather amusing on a frequent basis. Not too long ago she wrote a post over the course of a couple weeks (I think) about the movie “While You Were Sleeping“. I thought it was a very, very fun read, and decided to buy her something on her Amazon Wishlist as a thank-you for, well, just being her. ;)

She got the book yesterday, and sent me a thank-you email, and then mentioned that I bought the book in one of her blog posts. Ok, she doesn’t mention me by name… but I know I bought that book. I’m glad she enjoyed the gift!


Dead Canadians Don’t Count

Filed under: Uncategorized — Keith @ 11:57 pm

Would you like it if the Government of Canada, knowing that someone was planning or conspiring to harm or kill you, did nothing?

Well, Garth Tolms an opinion writer in The Times (March 2, 2006) appears to think they shouldn’t go out of their way to prevent it.

Garth, in a rambling and disjointed column shares his perspective on why Canada should not be involved in the conflict in Afghanistan. Garth suggests that “[the people the Canadian Armed Forces are engaging] aren’t really our enemy”, and asks “what have they done to us”. He then admit that “a few Canuncks have been killed” but chooses to discount these deaths as evidence of attacks against Canada saying “…but that doesn’t mean it is an attack against Canada”.

Unfortunately for Garth, the deaths of Canadians as a consequence of fundamentalist actions does constitute an attack. Indeed, a threat doesn’t become a threat only when a threshold of Canadian blood has been spilled. Canada has already experienced more than a couple acts of terrorism on our soil. Further, there are several known incidents where terrorists have been prevented from completing assignments on our soil.

Garth then suggests that if we aren’t on Osama Bin-Laden’s “list” yet, “we will be soon enough… Thanks to General Hillier and our new PM”. Garth presents Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan as some sort of spur-of-the-moment decision since “our new top general has decided that we are a military and sometimes our job is to kill”.

Even a simple Google search would have revealed to Garth that Canada started mobilizing troops for deployment to Afghanistan around October 8, 2001 when Jean Cretien was still the Prime Minister.

Speaking in Ottawa, Chrétien said Canada is mobilizing some military units for the coalition, but said he wouldn’t provide detailed information that could endanger lives.

Canada has been participating in Afghanistan since (approximately) late 2001, and yet Garth pins our involvement on the new top general and new Prime Minister.

Garth further states that perhaps we are involved “because the US is our friend”, and then recommends that “we [should] just worry about our own borders and let the States do their own thing”.

I have no doubt that our proximity to the US, and our relations with them were certainly contributing factors to us deciding to join an international sanctioned coalition [Resolution 1267 (1999), Resolution 1333 (2000), Resolution 1363 (2001), Resolution 1388 (2002), Resolution 1390 (2002), and Resolution 1455 (2003) ] to move against the Taliban in Afghanistan. I would also suggest that since Canada has been the target of attacks or attempted attacks in the past we are not out line in wanting to participate in neutering the Taliban in Afghanistan for the defense of our own nation.

Garth’s final reason to not participate in Afghanistan is because our soldiers are now “politically correct and pampered” and “most of them can’t stand up to their own spouse, never mind an angry suicidal militant”.

Setting aside how insulting Garth’s last assertions were to our military, it should be pointed out that a Globe and Mail report from last week described the forces arriving this month in Kandahar as follows:

The 2,200 Canadian troops arriving this month have at their disposal an array of hardware and personal kit that, many soldiers say, makes them the envy of the international coalition in Afghanistan.

Garth’s attack on our military has no credibleness and only serves to demonstrate how little strength his argument has. His position simply does not stand when held up to the light of reason.

Radical fundamentalism is a growing problem in today’s world, and given that there have been both successful terrorist attacks and foiled plans of terrorism towards Canada, it would be irresponsible of our Government to not participate in a sanctioned action which should improve security for all Canadians in the long run.

I will leave the last words to Michael Den Tandt from the Globe and Mail:

Soldiers are soldiers. During three weeks in Kandahar, I heard occasional griping. I heard many expressions of fatigue. The group I stayed with in Kandahar had been there six months. They’d had enough.

I also heard, to a surprising degree, numerous expressions of idealism — an idealism that should give Canadian critics of this mission pause.

There was Capt. Kerri-Ann Iwanonkiw, a 26-year old with a brilliant smile, who spoke passionately about helping Kandahar’s girls hold their first-ever craft festival.

There was Capt. Francois Giroux — a man who on previous tours has witnessed horrors that most Canadians could not imagine — yet remains deeply optimistic about the military and its ability to project Canadian values.

There was Chief Warrant Officer Ward Brown, a soldier’s soldier and veteran of eight tours, whose voice broke as he spoke about the Afghan poor, and about the psychological burden that Canadian soldiers will take home with them, when they return home.

“I’m sure that there are young guys on their bunks, at night, that aren’t sleeping,” he told me.

Polls show that many Canadians remain unconvinced about the merits of the Afghan mission. The debate is sure to continue for months. It is likely to intensify when more Canadians are killed in action, which is likely.

Whatever the tenor of the debate, however, no one should forget this: Canadian troops in Afghanistan are not politicians. They are soldiers, all volunteers, doing an extraordinarily dangerous job because they believe in it. They are risking their lives to help people who desperately need help.

They deserve nothing less than strong, unqualified support.


Mark Steyn On The UN

Filed under: Uncategorized — Keith @ 7:38 am

via Instapundit;

Hillsdale College has an abridged speech Mark Steyn gave in 2005 about the UN.

Remember, *waves hand in front of your face*, “There is no genocide”!

The [good people of Darfur in Sudan] have instead fallen under the care of the UN multilateral compassion set. So, after months of expressing deep, grave concern over whether the graves were deep enough, Kofi Annan managed to persuade the UN to set up a committee to look into what’s going on in Darfur. Eventually, they reported back that it’s not genocide.

That’s great news, isn’t it? Because if it had been genocide, that would have been very, very serious. As yet another Kofi Annan-appointed UN committee boldly declared a year ago: “Genocide anywhere is a threat to the security of all and should never be tolerated.” So thank goodness what’s going on in Sudan isn’t genocide. Instead, it’s just 100,000 corpses who all happen to be from the same ethnic group—which means the UN can go on tolerating it until everyone’s dead, and none of the multilateral compassion types have to worry their pretty heads about it.

Emphasis mine.

Remind anyone of Rawanda?


More Technorati

Filed under: Uncategorized — Keith @ 8:49 am

The Technorati site is like an onion – there is just more to see and find with every layer you discover!

I just found the page for Technorati Mini, and thought the disclaimer for it was worth mentioning!

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Technorati Mini may be habit-forming. Do not operate a motorized vehicle while using Technorati Mini. May cause excitement and/or nostalgia for Web 1.0. Minors should discuss using Technorati Mini with their parents. Technorati Mini may annoy popup-blockers. Do not taunt Technorati Mini.

They certainly have a sense of humour!


Filed under: Uncategorized — Keith @ 12:36 am

I found a cool extension for Firefox tonight called Performancing. It is an embeded tool to help make blogging easier.  I’m writing this entry using it at the moment, and it is pretty darn cool!

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