Corn Maze

In my younger days I was always on time. Well, actually I was usually early, but you get the idea. These days I’m not quite as reliable. I like to think my punctuality was beaten out of me. Too often it has happened that I show up on time for some event, and then spend long periods waiting because other people didn’t have the same standards as I had.
I was punished for being on time. So you learn to adapt to not be punished. But today I fell off the wagon and showed up early.
In other words, my company had an outing to the Edmonton Corn Maze. It’s a nice place, with various farm stuff happening around it as well. The maze is divided into two sections. Each section has five parts, marked by signposts. These signposts basically mark mini-mazes. You have to hit all ten signposts, which means you aren’t searching for the exit, but the next signpost. You are given some questions, and if you answer correctly, you get a hint as to which direction to go.
When it (finally) started, I stayed with the group. But that changed eventually. What happened was that I started paying attention. When I was going with everyone, my mind shut off. But then I started going ahead a bit, and I concentrated on paying attention to where I was and what paths were leading where. Note the paths not taken, and be aware when you think you see another path that is probably the other end of that untaken path. I had more fun that way, I think. But isn’t the point to get lost, and make mistakes?
On the second phase, I stuck with a group of coworkers who had arrived on time. We got to the sixth signpost, and we were pretty sure of our answer (which was wrong) so we headed left. Eventually, all routes looked like they headed back to the signpost, except for this one which was over a lot of fallen corn. But there weren’t any ribbons blocking it, so it looked like a valid route. However, after passing it, we promptly found the ninth signpost. Okay, we had missed the seventh and eighth.
This is where you get to note various personalities and get to make stereotypes. I, the software developer, decided to go back and do the maze properly. The point wasn’t to get out as fast as possible, but to play the game. All the others were marketers and sales, who did want to take shortcuts; tired of pushing the baby stroller. Later, I found the program manager made sure his people/children were happy and left the maze after only the second signpost.
I would go again, but I used a GPS along the way so that I could see the results of my wandering. I’ve started at it and compared it to the aerial photo of the maze to figure out where I went.
I think I know the maze too well now.

Corn Maze by ad_havoc
Corn Maze, a photo by ad_havoc on Flickr.

The Pursuit of Happiness

I’ve been feeling good lately. There are a number of reasons possible for this.
Now that I’ve finished my Death Races for the year, I have more time for other pursuits. I’ll be going to Jamaica in less than two months, to a place where there will be many pretty women, and I want to look good. Running does not make me look good (it doesn’t hurt though). I need to bulk up my upper body, so on Tuesday I went to my gym and tried to put it through its paces. My muscles still ache, but I have an endorphin rush. Those usually only last for a few training sessions before my body adapts. In a week, my training will do nothing for me. I should enjoy it while it lasts. For most of Wednesday morning I was feeling powerful.
I’m employed again. This boosts my self-confidence. So far the job has been good, and I like my co-workers. And this is a job where the boss isn’t constantly stressing me out. I hope I’m doing a good enough job that they want to keep me.
I’m smiling more. I come into my work with a good attitude, and I seem to like smiling while there. Don’t know if that is happening outside of work…
It’s nice having confidence. I think it is allowing me to talk to pretty girls easier. Although that might be a subliminal order from the hypnosis session I had in Jamaica last year. I’ve probably already said too much…
Doesn’t make asking them out any easier, but I think I may have given up on that.
All in all, feeling good.

Over-thinking things that should not be over-thought

So, in one of those sleep deprived hazes I started think about the mountain lake on Deathwater Island within Narnia; as chronicled in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Okay, the water turns anything it touches into gold. Lord Restimar died when he dove into it.
I was thinking about that in particular, and was wondering if he would have felt any pain when his hands turned to gold before his head. Would the nerve pulses travel faster than the speed he entered the water? Would his brain feel it.
But then, his brain never touched the water. It was in his head. Then I thought some more.
Gold, as far as I know, doesn’t let water pass through it. So really, it should have changed the surface of his skin and his hair into gold. Probably painful, definitely unhealthy, but if he never opened his mouth, that should be it. Gold is also somewhat flexible if it is thin, so I would think he would be able to swim his way out. Possibly blind?
Or we could just say it was magic.

Self improvement

I have found an area of self-improvement for myself.
I don’t drink, but I have friends who do. Because of a party, my fridge is full of beer. Hopefully it will get drunk at the next party I have.
Last week, a friend said to me, “I don’t think you have enough beer in your fridge.” His wife told him not to encourage me. At the time I was heading towards a stash of beer that wasn’t in the fridge to go put it in, until he said “[eallen] can recognize sarcasm.”
I can. I often employ it myself. But I also act dumb and pretend I don’t. This may be funny a couple of times, but it is no way to live.
I should never purposely act stupid. I know I do, and it is something to work on. But it’s such a broad area that it is hard to really tackle it. But if I can focus on stopping the I-don’t-recognize-sarcasm habit, I think I’ll be able to make headway.
Hopefully my friends will point out if I start backsliding.

Gorilla in the mitts

The Edmonton Gorilla Run was yesterday.
I had a friend who insisted that she get a picture of a gorilla in a tutu. I didn’t protest much (or at all) so I went and picked up a tutu from the halloween section of Value Village. It was a women’s size (as opposed to what?) so it was a little tight. But I could still get it on over the suit.
The biggest problem with the outfit initially was that it shed. Little tufts of gorilla hair are now roaming my condo. (I haven’t done an analysis of the car yet.) But once it was on, it was very enjoyable to wear. Probably more than the law allows. (Don’t judge me!) I decided to wear my foot gloves instead of regular running shoes; they looked more like gorilla feet. (Although I’m debating going to buy a pair of gorilla feet to make it a complete costume.)
I was actually hoping to run into neighbours when I left my place, but the hallways were completely empty. No one to freak out.
At the event there were probably about 200 gorillas milling around. It is probably good that I was wearing a tutu, because I can’t see how you would be able to tell people apart. Honestly though, girls are very sexy when they are in gorilla costumes. I don’t think I’m a furry. The story that I’m stinking to is that because so much is covered, you have to leave a lot to the imagination. And the imagination is always better than the real thing.
The gorilla suits were fairly good for the event. Or cheap? Either way, they let the breeze go right through them. Which was important, considering how hot it was.
When the run started, I kept my mask on. That lasted about a kilometre and a half and I’m surprised it was that long. My peripheral vision was shot, so I had to call out to anyone trying to pass me to make themselves known. After that, I only put it on when I saw a course photographer. And even then, putting a mask on, while running, with poor vision was not the safest course of action.
I did my best to keep the pace-banana in sight. I could have been faster, but the initial route was over a rocky path. And through my foot gloves, I felt everything. It didn’t take long for me to feel water pooling in my rubber gorilla gloves.
A cute girl I had been talking to, also wearing foot gloves, caught up with me. She hadn’t run in a year due to an injury, so I made it a mission to get her to the end. Encouraging words, keep pace, stop with her for water. I think she placed in the top three for women on the race. Some photographers from the newspapers came up afterwards asking for our names; I haven’t seen my picture in either paper, but I haven’t looked online yet.
At the end, they were handing out bananas. The lemonade was more needed. We hung out for awhile, watching the other gorillas come in. There were some really good costumes out there. One had a belt that held up a pole with a little plane flailing about. He had broken chains and a barbie doll to complete the imagery. There was a fashion faux pas where I found someone wearing the same costume.
All in all, it was a great run. I would recommend it to people. Even if they only walk it.

Hot to trot

I got injured back in February. That destroyed my plan on running many ultramarathons this year. I had planned to do two in May, The Death Race in August, and the Lost Soul in September. At the time I had only signed up and paid for the Death Race. I didn’t sign up for the others because I wasn’t sure I would be able to run them at all. It was a bad injury.
I got better; enough to do the Death Race. But I didn’t sign up for anything else.
In that time, one of the ultras moved from May to October. I could in theory have done the three ultras needed to get the Alberta Triple again.
But I am somewhat glad that I didn’t sign up for the Lost Soul. It is tomorrow, in Lethbridge. That is a desert environment, and it gets even hotter in the coulees. And the forecast is for 30 tomorrow.
I would melt.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to run that 160km event again, but not under these conditions.
Maybe next year.

Friendly fire

I went to a game of paint-ball today. It was a company team-building exercise.
Apparently there are no paint-ball facilities in the city, so we had to commute well outside. But it was a nice outdoor setup, with interesting fields of battle.
I don’t know how it went for the team-building though. I don’t know if I feel closer to my boss when I was trying to get him to cover me while I was pinned down my enemy fire. He didn’t help me. It would have probably helped if I knew his name though. Hey, I’m still new at this company!
There was one guy who came with his own equipment, including a vest (which I think was bulletproof) and fancy gun. He claimed to not be good at paint-ball, but he was in marketing so we assume he was lying. (He was.) I did hear him say, after a couple of games, “I forgot how much fun it is to shoot people.” (Or something like that.) I’m voting him most-likely-to-snap.
I would recommend it to a friend, but I would also recommend eating a lunch beforehand. I think I was running out of energy towards the end. But I frequently forget to eat. My bad.