Pressure I don’t need

Okay, the last entry ended in a lie. Something did happen on Tuesday. I had entered my journal into the website and finished the spell check. Before I could submit it, my screen went wavy. Nothing seemed to be doing anything. I turned off my computer, and then tried to turn it on again.
It wouldn’t.
So for the rest of the evening I was concerned that my computer had died, taking the hard drive with it. I had nothing else pressing, so I went to bed early. Since I was well rested, I woke up earlier than I wanted. I couldn’t get back to sleep because I was thinking about all the data I had lost. I decided I would skip running tonight and take the computer back to where I had bought it.
After breakfast I did a last check. The thing started and booted up without a problem. So I quickly started copying the important files onto other media. I was late for work, but I got most of the irreplaceable stuff saved.
This was the first time I have ever backed up.
At least it was very intuitive what needed to be done.
So this evening I recreated my last entry from memory, posted it. Then I wrote this.
Strangely, I’m back to only posting on days that I run.

Broken Promises

So much for promises.
I said I would write more often, trying to do it more than just on the days I go running. Then what do I do? I don’t even write on the running days. That’s just sad. At least I got an entry in on Monday, but that was just musings, and not an update as to what has been happening to me.
So here is what has happened.
Nothing happened on Thursday, so there is nothing to report.
Nothing happened on Friday, so there is nothing to report. There was no D&D game because there was an Oiler’s hockey game that several people had to attend. It’s getting near playoff time so they’re a little on edge. Instead the game was postponed.
On Saturday, I kept busy. In the morning I went to get my hair cut. They redid the colors so the blue is now more vibrant. After some banking, I had the D&D game at 2:00. The player’s fought a lot of purple worms, and I nearly killed a few at the “hands” of an air elemental. I shut the game down at 9:00 and then headed off to New City to get some non-nerd socialization in.
Unfortunately, there was no one I knew there. Usually Jake and his group are there by 10:00, but there was no sign of them. So I just stood around. I did see two people I recognized. Christine and Carrie were there. They were the two beautiful girls who were dressed perfectly for the special night last month. I was able to apologize to Christine for accidentally knocking a cigarette into her lap the last time I saw her. She was cool about it and said she was pretty plastered at the time. That was a load of my chest; The pretty girl doesn’t think I’m a total idiot. However, after talking with her, I did the typical Erik thing and continued standing around, not talking to anyone.
On Sunday the morning run was 21km. It was supposed to be 23km but they still aren’t honest with us about distance. Anyway, that is effectively a half-marathon. I ran it in 1:42:28, which makes it the fastest I’ve ever run a half-marathon. Especially good considering that it was a training run and not a race. The rest of the day was maintenance.
On Monday there was the usual Chianti and Die-Nasty. I did get some affirmation that a scooter is good for picking up chicks. During dinner, I was updating my friends on the state of my scooter purchase. The waitress overheard and said “You’re getting a scooter? Cool!” I’m taking that as a good sign.
Nothing happened on Tuesday, so there is nothing to report.

Stupid Environment

From the subject line, I’m not saying the environment is stupid; I’m saying I’m stupid about the environment. Let me explain.
Epcor, the energy monopoly in Alberta, has a program where you can pay more for your electricity, and then it will come from renewable energy sources. i.e. wind and solar. I believe I still get the same electricity as everyone else, just that more of that pool will come from renewable energy.
According to today’s newspaper: “Alberta is the largest producer of wind power in Canada and is the only province where consumers can choose to buy wind-generated electricity.” – Edmonton Journal 2004-3-29
When this program started, I was living in an apartment where electricity was covered within the rent. Supposedly I could have run a particle accelerator in my place and not paid any more. Since I had no say in how the power was made, I didn’t worry about it. I was too lazy to lobby for it. I did think that if I had a choice, I would choose the renewable energy plan.
Now I’ve lived in a condo for a year, and I pay for my own power. I had totally forgotten about the option. And I do have a choice.
See! Stupid!
I’ve got to get on this now.

I don’t seem to be updating this journal as often as I thought I would. Have I grown tired of it? I seem to only write in it on Sundays and Wednesdays… Both days I go out for runs. Take that how you will.
Maybe it’s because not that much interesting happens to me. I can summarize what has happened since Sunday, but it’s rather flat. Oh wait, there is something interesting!
Yesterday I purchased a scooter.
There is this small scooter store next to where I live. So I pass it all the time. The scooters look fun. I rented one last summer, but my sister wouldn’t let me drive. She had a nice death grip on the steering. Then when I walked in in January, they gave me a nice sales pitch. I think the clincher was that it was great for picking up girls. I find that hard to believe, because nothing I do ever impresses women. But I try not to think about it, otherwise I get depressed.
Going off on a tangent there. Sorry.
So yesterday I went and gave them the down payment. They said they would give me 5% off if I did buy before it came in. Everything about this screams “bad idea!”. That money would make a nice dent in my mortgage. But it looks fun, and I’m only young once. Right now I don’t have enough life experiences to make me happy, so I’ve got to make some more.
Had a fast run today. On the way back, I saw a former co-worker. She was let go when the company was bought out by the big American one. I could only talk while the light was red, but she seemed to be fine.
I’ll try and update tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll be interesting by then.


Every so often I remember a good friend from my days in Winnipeg, Alex. He had a term he used every so often: Apex of stupidity. Every time he thought he had done the dumbest thing possible, i.e. reached his apex of stupidity, he would go and do something dumber. So he never reached his apex. Alex wasn’t in any way stupid, but it was a good joke.
He was also a bit of a musician. So he had a song he started writing.

I’m as dumb as can be
I can’t count to three.
Got no brains.

My car keys I lose
I can’t tie my shoes.
Got no brains.

They took my license away
‘Cause I drove through Safeway
Got no brains.

Any time I do something stupid, I remember that song.
The plan today was to use a cesar salad kit and some chicken to make chicken cesar salad. I need garlic for it so I went out of my way to pick some up. ($0.10 at Save-on-Foods, and that was my only purchase.) Then at 6:30 I decided to start making it. So I take the salad kit out of the fridge. I then notice carrots in it. That’s not right. Close inspection showed this was not a cesar supreme kit, but a taco supreme kit. A slight, but very important, difference.
Dumb as can be.
Other than that, everything proceeds.
On Friday I had a D&D game. I gave my players some self-esteem by letting them kill lots of undead, instead of the usual big monster that takes forever to kill.
On Saturday I went to see the play “Enigma Variations”. It started out simply with a reporter coming to interview a reclusive writer. But with just those two characters they had a surprising number of plot twists. I didn’t care for the actor portraying the reporter though.
This morning I ran 30km. It was supposed to be 32km, but the people who organize the runs can’t seem to keep track of distances. You would think after all this time they would, but studies show, we ran 30km.
My legs hurt.

My toe has betrayed me!

I wore the token green today. I don’t want to talk about it.
I did not sleep well last night. At about two in the morning, my toe started to hurt. I think I’m getting an ingrown toenail there. I had an operation to correct that on my left foot, but my right foot is still susceptible. My toe nails are really wide so I have to be careful about this. I don’t want to get an operation to fix it now because I’m in training for a marathon. I don’t want to throw away all that work because I’ve got to give my feet a rest for two weeks..
Anyway, a dull throbbing pain in your toe does not let you sleep well. In the past, I used to use some topical liquid that I think sedated the pain. I don’t have that anymore. (It eventually expires.) So at around three in the morning I started rummaging through the medicine cabinet for anything. I grabbed some anti-inflammatory from last year. (At least I think it was an anti-inflammatory) and put some on the toe. Standards of safety drop like a brick at three in the morning. A while later the pain stopped, and I’ve been fine since.
Today at work I found out that a co-worker is leaving the company. Alex was always nice to have around, because he had a little fame about him. In his younger days he won the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. He is now going to be reporting on the Tour de France. With his departure though, I get to claim the spot as the healthiest person at the company. When I say healthiest, I refer to exercising. Not eating. I’m on the eat whatever I want diet.
Speaking of running, I’ve noticed that the Wednesday runs aren’t very encouraging. They only last about forty minutes. It takes me about half an hour to warm up. So for most of the run I’m not feeling relaxed. I feel like I’m just plodding along. But for the last ten to fifteen minutes I feel great. I was really motoring along and I felt like I had good form. But still, most of the time, plodding.

Weekend update

On Saturday I was strangely organized. I got up and started my laundry, then went back to bed to read the newspaper while the machine churned away. I was done fairly quickly which left me with the rest of the day to do with as I pleased. This brings me to the common problem; I don’t have enough to do to keep me occupied. After I did a bit of book shopping I went back to my suite. I changed into shorts and then went onto the balcony and sunned myself, while reading. It was just that warm.
In the evening I decided to try out my bathtub with the water jets. I took a book with me and soaked in warm water for two and a half hours. The hope was that it would help relax my tight calf.
After dinner I went to New City. I don’t have anything exciting to report about that place. It really is just a bar. I only go to that one because there are people I know there. I don’t care for the music and I don’t drink. But I do get to go out and socialize.
This morning I went on a 30km run. The entire time I was focusing on how my calf felt. It seemed to grow tighter throughout, but not enough for me to stop. I tried changing my stride. Usually my run becomes a long plod, but I tried to be bouncier. I think it helped. I ended strongly.
Monica showed up for the run too. She only did the 16km run, but it’s good to see her getting past her injury. I recapped all the people I had met who knew her.
Then there was the brunch. I went home after with intention of going grocery shopping. I never did get around to it. I was still to full to motivate myself to buy any food. I can probably survive until Tuesday, so I should be okay.
For dinner I had a quarter pounder with cheese. They’re on sale on Sundays. That’s the advantage of running. I can eat anything I want. In fact I should probably eat more. Instead I choose to just eat faster.

She’s everywhere!

Today there was a small party to get to know the people in the Ceridian company. They are our partner company in corporate challenge. We’re a little too small to compete effectively, so we’ve teamed up with Ceridian to better our chances. We’re still in the pool of the smallest companies.
Anyway, I talked to a woman, Patty I believe, who is also doing the five mile challenge event. Surprise surprise, she knows Monica too. Ever since Monica stopped showing up for running, I keep meeting people who know her. Well this is the second person. But I’m surprised to find just one person in that category.
Yesterday I submitted by income tax forms. I’m concerned that I’ll now get some extra T-slips. The investment companies always seem to take their sweet time in sending out the forms. Since I have a refund coming, I don’t want to wait any more than I have to.
I’m not going to worry about it. The amount on those slips will be so small that it probably woudn’t change my taxes significantly. Not that I expect to get any. Most of my investments are in RRSPs, since I’ve liquidated most everything else to go after my mortgage aggressively.
On another note we got a message from our corporate overlords recently. There is a new policy concerning vacations. You have to take all the vacation time you accrue in a year, during that year. So I’ve now got to plan out three weeks of vacation for myself. I had hoped to go to Europe this year, but the person I was hoping to go with is trying to buy a house. So I’m trying to save up more vacation time for next year. Regardless, I’ve got to think up some ways to waste time this year. I was thinking of a week in June so I could do the Manitoba Marathon. It doesn’t sound like a relaxing vacation, but I was thinking it was the place to do a marathon. In Winnipeg I’ll at least have family to support me.
My calf musle still feels tight. I’m going to try out my condo’s bathtub tomorrow. It’s got water jets. I’ve never used it, but my sister and mother both enjoyed it.


So today I thought I would try something different. I decided to try running with a faster group for the Wednesday night run. Usually I’m at the front of the five minute (per km) group and in danger of getting ahead of them. But the next faster group (the Speedsters) go a lot faster. I decided to try and keep up with them.
It was only a 7km run, but I quickly found out that they don’t take as many rest breaks as the other groups. I’m not even sure if they take any. If they don’t, I lucked out and got a short break before a hill today.
I was at the back of the group most of the time. But I didn’t completely embarrass myself.
But now that it is a few hours later, my right calf is feeling tight. I’m trying to stretch it some more and massage it. This is the same kind of pain that happened last year that caused my injury that effectively took me out of running for half a year.
Let’s see what happens tomorrow.

Ah! The Pain!

So I wake up this morning, fairly early, and realize my legs really hurt. I guess they still haven’t recovered from the long run. I could still function perfectly well, but it was hard to get back to sleep when your legs feel like someone opened them up and is letting them air out.
Once I got up and active, the aches disappeared. But thank you for the attention.
I’ve been looking for an accountant to handle my taxes this year. Because of that large influx of capital from my company’s buyout, there are some details I have to work out. So I checked with the accounting firm that handled the buyout. It was quickly determined by all parties involved that using them would be overkill. Their rates start at $500. For that amount, I’ll try doing it myself. I can screw up multiple times and still be ahead.
There is something I’ve been pondering lately.
Why is (President) Bush considered the leader of the free world?
I could understand that if I voted for him, but I didn’t even have the chance.

Financial planning

So this has been a busy theatre weekend for me. After I did my journal on Friday I went to the play “The Vile Governess and other psychodramas”. Since I worked the concession, I got in free. It was three plays by a local playwright. The first one wasn’t very good, more just weird. But the other two were quite entertaining. I really felt for the governess in question as she was ruining the lives of everyone around her.
On Saturday, I was lazy. I read my book club’s book all day. In the evening I went to see “The Winter’s Tale Project”. It was a musical based on a Shakespeare play. That’s two strikes against it. I despise musicals. When the actors break out into song, all plot development stops. And if I don’t enjoy the song (common occurrence) I’ve got to amuse myself until it’s over. I find Shakespeare.
Now having said all that, this was a fantastic play. The music was always good, and the plot went humming along at all times. By the end there was even a tear in my eye. (Was that a bad thing to admit to?) I would recommend it to a friend, except that the last show was yesterday.
The advantage of seeing the play on Saturday was that I couldn’t go to the bar. So I got a decent night’s sleep for once on a Saturday. The next day I ran 30 km. I did it in 2:30:03. So I missed my goal by three seconds. Well it gives me something to shoot for when I’m doing the same distance next week. Right now my leg muscles are still aching.
In the evening I saw the movie “Lost in Translation”. It was good, but the trailers make it look a lot funnier than it actually was. I’ve read complaints in the newspaper that it portrays the Japanese poorly. Frankly, I thought it made the Americans look worse. Interestingly, a co-worker, Keith, who is a caucasian who knows Japanese and lived there for a few years, said that the Japanese portray the Americans poorly all the time. So we’re still good on the karma scale.
My previous investment broker retired recently. I was never that pleased with him. But today I met the replacement. He was nice enough to visit me at work, and we had an hour long discussion of my finances. I’ve got $5000 I need to invest in something. He seems to be recommending China. It’s a booming economy now. I asked, and Spain isn’t on his radar.
Well, now I’m off to dinner at Chianti. Then I’ll see another play (Die-Nasty). Afterwards I’ll go to the exercise room and stretch my muscles. (They still hurt, remember.)

Going through withdrawl

For the past few days, a co-worker has been bringing her dog into work. The dog has just been through an operation, so needs to be watched. This isn’t usually allowed, but this was deemed an exception. So she has a nice friendly dog in her office.
For most of my life, I’ve had dogs in the family. When I moved to Edmonton and started living on my own, I realized that I cannot have a dog. Being single, the dog would be left at home most of the day. I can’t subject an animal to my lifestyle. So when I do get a chance to interact with a dog, it feels special.
Every so often, at work, I would take a Dog break. I would go to her office and give the dog a good scratching. This was the last day that the dog will be there. But it was really nice to see her. Now I want to take a healthy dog out for a good long run. I do mean healthy, because my runs don’t work on dogs that aren’t in good form.
On another note, I found out that they have rearranged the buzzer codes on the front entrance of my condo building. You know, the list of people and numbers you have to press if you want to talk to them. Normally I don’t pass through the front entrance, because I go to the parking area. When I do pass through, I don’t usually stop and sightsee.
Then how do I know that they rearranged them?
Because now instead of listing them by order of occupancy, they’ve gone to alphabetical order. That puts me right at the top. So if someone is stuck and needs to get in, without knowing who to call, they will ALWAYS pick the first name on the list. So at 11:00 at night, I get ringed up by people wanting in. It happened a few days ago and I wimped out and let the person in. At least I looked at him on the screen to make sure he didn’t look dangerous. But I should have gone down and made sure he wasn’t doing anything wrong as I follow him throughout the building.
This is going to start being annoying. I don’t need this kind of guilt.
If I do start following people around, maybe I should start charging. “Oh you want in? It’s two bucks for the trouble. Think of it as a security deposit.”
But do I have the backbone to try that?


Well I’m feeling bad. I haven’t updated this journal since Friday. Technically it was Saturday, but that is only because I was up really really late on Friday. I must be lazy to have slacked off this long.
Anyway, let’s recap!
On Saturday I did nothing much. Wandered around the condo in a daze. I did get around to doing laundry. In the evening though, I went back to the bar. Jake was there too. I wasn’t much to talk to, as I was still dealing with a lack of sleep. I went home at 11:00, because, as usual, on Sunday I run.
I did something different with the run this week. Lately I’ve been feeling my group was going too slowly. So when a rogue group (not part of any organized Running Room clinic) went past us, I left and joined them. I still only went the distance I was supposed to (19 km) but this time I did it non-stop instead of 10 and 1s. So for the next few days my legs ached. They haven’t ached in awhile, so I take that as a good sign toward building muscles.
After the run I went for brunch. This time Mike was the center of attention, giving everyone history and culture lessons. Apparently the British people really hate the Americans. Something about, during World War II, the Americans having tea with the local girls in England, while all the men were dying in northern Africa. There were also comparisons between Hitler and Bush. Generally stuff that the politically correct wouldn’t talk about.
Sunday evening I went to a coffee place, had a hot chocolate, and tried to clean up my D&D campaign notes.
Monday really doesn’t deserve any mention.
On Tuesday I went to my Improv class. Much to my surprise, the door was locked. Last month’s classmate, Jenny, showed up a minute later. She knows practically every actor in Edmonton, so she phoned the instructor to find out what was going on. Not enough people had signed up, so it was canceled. It would have been nice to know that before.
So I bought Jenny a drink at a coffee place next door and we talked a bit. She eventually convinced me to go with her to see “The Underpants”, a play adapted by Steve Martin. It took convincing because I had, that day, purchased tickets for the Thursday show. So we went, and I had my ticket transferred to Tuesday. A bit of a loss, since I paid Thursday prices for a cheap Tuesday ticket.
The show was good, and it was fun to hang out with Jenny. She seems to know the entire theatre community. The play wasn’t as funny as Roxanne, but it was still something I would recommend.
After, Jenny convinced me (I’m very pliable) to come with her to a birthday party of one of her friends at the Sidetrack Cafe. So we went. After paying the cover charge to get in, we found that the band we were there for was gone, and the party was rapidly shutting down. So we only stayed for half an hour.
Wednesday was a running day. It was colder than I expected.
Today, there isn’t much to report. I had a coupon for $5 off of an Amazon purchase, so I spent half an hour trying to find another book I wanted so I could get free shipping. In the end though, I found that the coupon had expired yesterday. D’oh! Well, Shaw will probably send me another one eventually. They seem to do so every couple of months.
So that brings us up to date. I’ll try and write more often though, so I don’t have to do these long epics.
Speaking of which, I’ve noticed something. If I look at someone at random’s journal, there is usually just a few sentences of information in each entry. Whereas I’ve been raised on ‘s entries which are usually short novels. So I suppose I shouldn’t feel pressured to be like Jeff, when everybody else’s entries are so small.