Shark Team 6

There is a gentleman here, who is nominally part of the group I’m with. At first I thought he looked like a soccer player. But as I’ve gotten to know him, I’m changing my opinion. He refuses to eat any carbs. He does a lot of exercise, but he clamped up when I ask him what he was training for. My theory is that he is part of some special-ops force.
There are two small rubber sharks at the resort. Both have gone missing and they are needed for some performance that is happening later. They have been given names, and one is even on a leash. They have generally just been misplaced. This happens when you give drunk people a level of responsibility they shouldn’t have.
One was finally been found in a woman’s villa. However, this was done by peeking through her window. At the same time that she had lost her key, but she said she had a spare on her table.
So, special-ops guy and I went to try and retrieve it. The balcony didn’t look possible to sneak in. But he found that the back window was open. With me giving him a boost, we squeezed him through it. He extracted the shark and spare key and we returned them to the proper authorities. He is now being kept in a locked safe.
Is this considered rendition?
2013-10-31 4:25

That was a Great Birthday

I had a nominal celebration today for my 40th birthday, which isn’t for two and a half weeks, but the friends I have here won’t be around on the actual day. I didn’t really know we were celebrating, I thought I was just part of the act.
At dinner, some of the girls put on a show. They were all dressed in Hooters outfits. While waiter music was playing, they acted like terrible waitresses. I was one of the “customers”. This involved me being assaulted by a lot of food.
I think I’ve got all the cake out of my nose, but it is hard to be sure.

I have good friends. Here and in Edmonton. I want to thank you all for being my friends.

Now back to the party.
2013-10-30 23:07

It’s Always the Left Leg

Today was excursion day. The plan was to leave the resort, go snorkelling, followed by a shallow ocean cove. Lovely stuff. It was looking a bit dicey when it started pouring rain half an hour before we were supposed to leave.
A new friend had asked me to go get something from her room, on the other side of the resort. So off I went. I was in aquasocks, so I wasn’t able to run. I started getting very wet.
And when I got back to the main building, I didn’t go all the way to the stairs, and instead hopped up the one foot tall ledge to the main floor. The floor that had wet tile. In my aquasocks with no grip. In the slip that happened, my left shin slammed into the corner of the ledge.
This was not a simple cut. There was an open wound with some depth in it, even if it was only a couple of millimetres. Fortunately, my friend George was having breakfast there at the time. He is a trained paramedic. And, an always prepared paramedic. He had the first aid kit on him and he started operating quickly.
It wasn’t too painful, and the endorphins kept me happy. I enjoyed being the centre of attention. He was thinking that sutures might be needed, but we ended up using a butterfly bandage. It acts like a stitch for small wounds. Although he had trouble getting enough light to work because everyone wanted to see.
I do have travel medical insurance, but nobody really wanted to go to the hospital for a small wound.
Of course, being who I am, I still wanted to go on the excursion. George didn’t have too much of a problem with this. We wrapped the leg up in bandages and cellophane and off we went! It had even stopped raining, although it was still cloudy.
It’s a good thing that George was here, because along the way, the bus/truck stopped for beer. An American, used to thick American bottles, tried to open his bottle be banging the cap off on an edge. He claims that he fainted, not from the glass cuts, but because he was still buzzed from drinking the previous night combined with lack of sleep. All I know is that he was lying on the ground with ice on his head.
The snorkelling was in a small swimming hole. Very beautiful. Initial thoughts by people was that it was cold. I thought it was great. It had nothing on glacial lakes. It was clear and although it wasn’t perceptibly deep, you could see creepy tunnels that led deeper.
The ocean cove was the same as last year, except the weather was better. No rain, but still cloudy. It was a pleasant place with a weird thermoline. Variations of hot and cold water were happening all the time.
Then back to the resort. George looked over the wounds that had been received and replaced the bandages. Right now it hurts a bit, but nothing worse than I’ve had after an ultramarathon.
2013-10-29 19:44

In the Dominican

I feel somewhat bad that I am not being diligent in updating my blog while I’m on vacation. But really, I’m on vacation, having a wonderful time. Why would I spend any time on the computer that I didn’t have to? Why am I doing it now?
I complain about my flights, leaving at 1:00 in the morning, but I shouldn’t. It means I get to sleep most of the flight and not waste a vacation day traveling.
I didn’t get the room I expected when I arrived. I had requested the same one I had last year. Instead I got upgraded to a villa. Which is nicer, a bit more centrally located, gorgeous view, but no kitchen. Did I really think I would do baking while I was here?
Today (technically yesterday) has been a very good day. Most of it was spent in a haze. I stayed up too late yesterday and was groggy all day. But I’m on vacation, so I have to man up and go and do stuff. Most of the time I am falling into my usual habit of being a facilitator; making sure everyone is having a good time.
What I like about the people I am friends with is the complete lack of judgement. Wait, that came out wrong. While they might have a lack of judgement, they also don’t judge. They are willing to do anything and accept everything.
Last year, we had pony races. I didn’t do well due to circumstances I don’t want to talk about. So this year, I made it personal. Off came the vacation clothes, and on came the running gear. (It was amazing how much nicer it is to walk around in running shoes than the sandals I had been wearing.) To make things more interesting, the steeplechase is done with all the “horses” (inflatable stick ponies) competing at the same time. Jump over the three deck chairs; through the two hoops; around the hedges; back through the same hoops; centre stage to hula-hoop; finally two more hoops before the finish line.
Rightly so, I was favoured to win this year. The difficult part was when I was coming back to the same hoops I had gone through before, the husband-wife team had left a trap. While she was racing, he was blocking the hoops. Well, if they are going to cheat like that, they started it. After the wrestling match pile-up was completed, I was able to sprint off ahead of her and finish.
The bull-roping demonstration was well done.
I’ve been making friends here. Mostly British women with nerdy boyfriends who are absent. I’ve been getting many compliments from the organizers. I feel comfortable and accepted. There are single women here too. It’s nice.
Overheard: “Mi beaver es su beaver.” After I gave a cute stuffed beaver to one of the organizers. I hope they don’t name it Justin.
I was fantastically dressed tonight, and got a lot of compliments. I have stayed up very very late, with very little caffeine. I am still oddly alert, but I blame the large amount of mental stimulus I’ve been having. I escorted multiple women to their rooms. Although the first one was because she was scared of spiders that might be lurking there. In her defence, there are very big spiders here. It is hard to find a big enough glass to try and catch them with.
I should go to bed now. Breakfast ends in six hours.
2013-10-28 4:52

Inflight Entertainment

I prefer flying Air Canada to WestJet for one simple reason. Air Canada has better televisions. WestJet wants me to pay to watch a movie, or I can watch live TV on the back of the seat in front of me. With Air Canada I get a selection of movies to choose from. It’s amazing how nice that is. All things considered, I will pay a bit more to fly Air Canada.
Because I am flying with WestJet today (it was significantly cheaper), and I am cheap, I’ve brought along my iPad which is loaded with movies and shows that I want to see. You would think this would be better? Even the screen is bigger with an iPad.
But you would be wrong.
With an iPad, I can put it away and not feel like I am missing anything. In fact you are saving good entertainment for later, so you should. But confined to your seat, upright and in the locked position, you have nothing else to do. And you can see movies you wouldn’t normally see. But if you don’t watch them, you are not getting your money’s worth. And don’t wait, because the flight doesn’t last forever.
I need pressure to see movies. Movies that don’t have a deadline have a tendency to linger in my lair. I liked renting videos with the built-in need to return them within a week. Even if I have nothing better to do than stare out the window, I will still not watch.
These are the things I have to deal with when I fly.

Edmonton Airport

The fools let me on without weighing my luggage. Bwa ha ha.
I’ve got another hour before my plane takes off. So I will pass the time by blogging. Although I am sure that when we do board, I will be sitting next to the guy who is sniffling like it is going out of style. Blow your nose! I’ve been avoiding sick people all week, and now they will probably forcibly confine me with a Typhoid Harry.
The Mac’s convenience store here is full of temptation. They have McCain Deep ‘n Delicious cakes just asking to be purchased. Even a Froster would be great. But none of these are foods you should eat on an airplane. And I don’t need anything caffeinated when I am planning to sleep most of the way. I’ll take a Gravol to encourage that.

Pre-Iron Horse Ultra

Tomorrow I run the Iron Horse. It’s a 160 km ultra east of Edmonton along the Iron Horse trail.
I’ve got several factors against me. My ankle still hurts from previous injuries. I think I’ve got a touch of a cold. I forgot my flask of gel that I was sure was going to make this a great race.
The factors going for me is that this is a simple ultra. It’s mostly flat. I know the route now and what to expect. The weather looks solid. They’ve marked the route this time. The northern lights will look spectacular. I’ve made sure to get lots of sleep all week.
Well I mostly got a lot of sleep. Last night I was up late packing, and I had trouble sleeping from stress.
But if I do this, I’ve got the Alberta Triple.

Now if only we could find a good restaurant in Saint Paul to eat dinner at. The Boston Pizza is advertising for managers and it shows.

Come for the family. Leave because you’re exhausted

When the family visits, it becomes an operation. That operation is to make sure they always have a good time. And I mean, always a good time. The entire time you are here, you will be having a good time. Resting is not a good time, so we should be doing something exciting. My mother says “You always give us your whole self when we visit you.”
Unfortunately, when my sister visited this weekend, she came pre-exhausted. She arrived Thursday, and we went out to the Urban Diner for dinner. But the next day, while I was at work she had some interviews and traveling to do for her thesis. She got back in the evening after getting herself tired. We went to Chianti’s and then watched half a movie.
Saturday was when we got down to business. She wanted to do her first 15km run, in the morning. So after we went to the Farmer’s Market, we went out running. To add encouragement, I said we would only go to Famoso for lunch if she did the run in two hours. There was yelling. There was crying. There was “Eye of the Tiger” being played. But in the end, she did it. Barely.
The afternoon was spent getting supplies and general readiness for the barbecue in the evening. I nominally called it her debutante party. About nine people and a dog came and had chicken and burgers. I think it went well.
Sunday we went for a brunch at the Urban Diner. Mostly because I wanted poffertjes, and my sister was a good excuse to go out. (Note: Go earlier next time. The place fills up quickly.)
In the afternoon, it was off to the Edmonton Expo. Also called Comic Con. We met up with some friends and wandered the floor. My sister ditched me to go see a seminar but after five minutes she discovered that it was boring. Instead she went to see the celebrities. She didn’t feel like paying for autographs, so she just went up to them to say hello.
Now she is a big fan of Joe Flanigan. She wasn’t before, but she came back gushing about him. We then saw the Christopher Lloyd seminar. I discovered that the audience really shouldn’t be allowed to ask questions. Apparently people can’t separate fiction from actors. The only good question was a request to hear him say “Great Scott!”
When the con ended, we went to Da-de-o, and then saw the movie Looper.
Her drive home on Monday was not easy, so I’m told. She was thoroughly tired. But she got home safely, and then promptly went to sleep.

Mission Accomplished!