Seeing things in Yaletown

I went for an eye exam today. It has been probably four years since my last one. I was a year behind when I got laid off in Alberta, and it consistently slipped my mind when I got to BC two years ago. But I’m on the ball now.
It was a short walk to the optometrist; I like downtown living. I had to pass through the Yaletown Candytown, a street festival that took over a few blocks.
Everything was professional at the doctor. This seems like a good place to go. Prognosis: My eyesight is not that bad, considering my age. I do not need to wear glasses.
However, she did put some pupil dilation formula in my eye so she could take a good look at what is going on in there. She first noticed that there is some early signs of cataracts. My mother had them later in life, so this isn’t surprising. And it is a simple operation if they want to do something about it. It isn’t a concern yet.
A more pressing matter were some warning signs of Macular Degeneration. I haven’t got it yet, so I can take steps to mitigate it. Mostly, I have to protect my eyes from UV light. The doctor was recommending I get some good UV protective sunglasses. Even better, would be to wear a hat. (Thank you Steph for your help in getting me the one that I wore today.) I also need to have my computer use a darker background, possibly using NightShift as well. I also should eat colourful fruits and vegetables, which any doctor would tell you.
I’m glad this was caught early. Although there is no cure, so I have to be careful.
Afterwards I wandered out into the festival. It wasn’t great while my pupils were dilated; it was impossible to focus on some things. But it was still a good place to hang out.
There were creepy gingerbread men wandering around. I liked the two inflatable polar bear costumes. There was some sword fighting demonstration, and I liked that one of the actors was dressed like Princess Mononoke.
There were also ice sculptures. I frankly found them offensive. This is not a city that deserves ice. It is not cold enough to support it. Leave the ice sculptures to places where the art can last for more than a few hours.

Alberta Vacation

I had a good vacation. It was nice and relaxing.
My computers all seemed to work, so I could do my personal work. I didn’t get too far, but I did advance things. The chief part was to work with my father and figure out what we need him to do to start making progress. With that, things should start happening quickly.
I continued doing the running every day. The area my parent’s live in is not great for running though. Wait, let me rephrase that; it is good for a run, but not for multiple runs. There is only one area that feels safe to run; otherwise I’m running on a major highway. So a lot of my runs were on the same backroad. It’s a beautiful road, but I was on it for seven of the nine days.
On two of the days I went into the Kananaskis park to do something different.
I initially tried to go up the Moose Mountain service road. It seemed like a good challenge to do a long uphill. However, I saw the Pneuma trail, which parallels the road and I thought that would be a nicer way to go. Unfortunately I had done no preparation for such a change, so I was unprepared for some of the facts on the ground. Namely, that there are trails that intersect the Pneuma trail. And the Sulpher Springs Trail is a much more major trail that I mistook as the trail I should be on.
I started suspecting something was wrong as I was going down a lot more than I expected on a trail that was supposed to be going up. However, I figured that I could always turn around at some point and go back the way I came. Fortunately, it did not come to that. I encountered the road that I had used to drive into the park. I was able to parallel that to get back where I started, at nearly the distance I wanted to run.
Dallas, the family dog, was well-behaved the entire time.
The next time, I attempted the same plan, but with a better idea of where I needed to go. This time, I was able to get to the top of the road. I even got to the top of the peak, but I don’t know the name of the mountain I was on. From there, you could see the trail route to the top of Moose Mountain. Thankfully I wasn’t going that far. I was happy with what I was seeing. From certain points, it felt like you could see the entire Canadian prairies. I’m certain I saw the buildings of Calgary.
All of this running did continue to make me hungry. My mother complained that I was looking too thin. However, I was eating twice as much as everyone else.
But all good things come to an end. On Sunday I flew back to Vancouver. The flight from gate to gate would be an hour and forty minutes; enough time to watch an entire movie if I didn’t get distracted. It was going well until they decided to reset the entire system. The half hour reboot meant no more movie for me.

Travelling to Alberta

I’m flying to Alberta today to visit family.
This has to do with my vacation time. After Catalina and I got married, we wanted to go on a honeymoon. I avoided taking a vacation so that we could have a long one together. However, we are apparently not very good at planning, so it didn’t happen. Next year!
But, it has gotten late enough in the year that I HAVE to use my vacation time before I lose it. Catalina has gone back to Houston until next year. My mother hasn’t seen me in awhile, and I could use some spoiling. So I will go to visit family for a week, and use the time to rest and recover.
In December I will use the remaining vacation time to go see Catalina in Houston.
I haven’t been traveling in awhile so I feel out of practice. The trip has had an ominous start: my backpack opened up while I was walking and when I took it off to close it, my laptop and iPad went flying and hit the hard ground. The iPad seems to be okay except for a banged up corner. The laptop still seemed operational but I haven’t given it a real test.
I had plans to do a lot of my own computer work in Alberta, so it is important to me that these machines are operational. My family is out in the country, so I have to provide my own entertainment. And this will be a good chance to catch up with projects I have neglected too long.
Nothing to be done about it now. I guess I’ll just try to fly safe.


The cost of things is a continual source of stress. But not in the way you may be thinking.
I am an adult with enough disposable income that there are few things that I want that I cannot go out and buy. Only big ticket items like new homes remain out of reach. (Darn Vancouver real-estate market.) Most other things I can convince myself that I don’t actually need if I stop and spend a moment thinking about it. Usually because I can say I don’t have the space for it. (Darn Vancouver real-estate market.)
But the thing I can’t afford these days is sugar.
I have gotten a (probably) unhealthy fixation with my weight lately. Since I’ve done daily running, I have dropped in weight. I think I’m 25lbs lighter than I was when I was just doing ultra marathons. That is a significant amount of weight. I would probably be better at running an ultra now than when I specifically trained for them. (This may be one of the aspects of “Mindfulness”. I’ll have to look into it.) It’s easier to go up a mountain if you don’t have 25 unneeded pounds.
Catalina keeps admiring my body to the point where I feel like a piece of meat.
So, I have a vested interest in keeping slim. What makes it hard is that I am constantly hungry now. I justify eating all the time because I am burning an insane number of calories. I actually believe this, and I don’t think I’m deluding myself. I try and eat things that aren’t too terrible for me. I’ve taken to bringing hard-boiled eggs or small oranges to work to keep me going. But I also have a stash of fishy crackers and chocolate covered nuts as well.
I would like to eat candy bars, or have a hot chocolate, but I know those are straight up sugar, so I don’t.
I’ve given myself permission the last couple of days to cheat and eat any halloween candy that is offered. But for the most part I still avoid sweets.
Work sells subsidized candy bars in vending machines all over the office. I’ve never had one. They are pretty cheap, but I tell myself that I can’t afford them, because of the sugar.