Flu Shots

Tammy was super-efficient and got us all an appointment for flu shots at Rexall this evening. It was for 6:30 so we walked down after dinner. It was quite busy there, but we were all “shot” by 6:35 or so. So far, a few complaints about soreness. Miranda thinks the lady hit a nerve for her, because her arm twitched and it hurt more than usual. ๐Ÿ˜ข

They applied these neat inject-safe barrier things before the shot. The needle went right through the middle.

Ian’s arm afterwards

In other news, Ian’s voice is well into the “broken” territory these days. Lots of inadvertent squeaks and things when he talks. ๐Ÿ˜†

My First ATESL Presentation

Today from 10.00-11.35, Tamara and I gave a presentation at the annual (and this year virtual) ATESL Conference. Our topic was how to make communication easier with staff and students using SharePoint and Google sites. I know what you’re thinking: ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ด On the contrary, it seemed to be well received by all 87 attendees. There were a lot of questions and they enjoyed the brief demos we did.
This was my first time ever doing something like this and I have to admit it went really well. We didn’t have any technical issues (which was our biggest fear). Hooray! I’m afraid I don’t have any pictures to share, but you can look at the presentation PDF. At some point there will be a video available to watch (should you have nothing better to do or can’t fall asleep ๐Ÿ˜„) and I’ll post the link here.

Thanksgiving 2021

Today we had our Thanksgiving dinner as is our tradition. It gives us a chance to recover the next day without having to be at work or school.

I put the turkey in at 8 this morning because I wanted to make sure it was cooked in enough time for Miranda to eat with us and digest everything before going to work tonight. Stuffing was put together last night and the desserts were made yesterday afternoon (pumpkin pie, pumpkin tarts and pumpkin cheesecake bars). It’s pumpkin-tastic! We had some cubed sweet potatoes with sprouts, corn, and carrots. Of course we had gravy and cranberry sauce. We had some diet cranberry gingerale with our meal and darjeeling tea with dessert. Even Murph got some turkey and sprouts.

Before lunch, I managed to get in a 14km bike ride on the trainer while watching Perry Mason and Simon followed with short ride of his own. Everything turned out just great, except the weather. It went from hail to rain to snow all with a gale force wind within a couple of hours.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

2021 Tour de Victoria

We’re back at Dad’s place right now. Ian’s nearly comatose and I’m not much better. ๐Ÿ˜Š We managed to be organized enough to successfully participate in the ride (much anticipated, delayed from 2020).

I was up at 5 and got ready for the start of the 140 km distance at 7:30 am. To my extreme disappointment, when I got outside with my gear and my bike, it was raining. I looked at the forecast and nothing was indicating rain, so I girded my loins and drove down to the start. By the time I got there, the rain had stopped and I didn’t see any more rain for the day. The weather got better as the day wore on.

My ride was uneventful. I kept with the leaders up to Wale Road on the Old Island Highway but then dropped back along the Lagoon and out into Metchosin. I was mostly solo once I started climbing Humpback Road so I took my time and stopped to give Stephanie a hug in Langford and stopped in at aid stations. It’s so hard to rein in the tendency to go hard when I’m on my own. I finished in five hours and 13 minutes.

Taking off again after saying hi to Stephanie

Ian rode the 45 km route for the first time, and Dad dropped him off at the start. Ian had time to take some nice photos of the scenery as he was waiting for the start.

He killed it, doing the 45 km in less than two hours. He had lots to say about it in the car on the way home, from the older man in front of him yelling at some oblivious pedestrians to the extra hills he had to climb to the 45 turnaround not being what he expected. He also didn’t think much of the meal afterwards.

Having lunch by the fountain

Here is some video of Ian crossing the line.

Day of Rest and Prep

After our long, long day in the car yesterday, Ian and I got a chance to decompress a bit today. We managed to get some good sleep on the air mattress (despite Ian being a bed hog ๐Ÿท). We cleaned and lubed the bike chains first. Then while Dad went to have coffee, Ian and I got haircuts at Danny’s and then stopped by Jackson’s new store just down the road from Dad’s.

A lunch with Dad and then Ian and I headed downtown. We parked near the Harbour Air docks and then went to Murchies and walked over to the registration check in at the Trek bike store. It’s a lovely day in Victoria today. Let’s hope it’s as nice tomorrow.

When we were back, we pinned the numbers on our jerseys and bikes and then checked them out in the parking lot. We’re pretty much ready to go for tomorrow’s ride.

Tonight we are going over to Jasmine’s restaurant for dins with Steph and the gang.

Updated

Here’s a picture of the group at the restaurant.

But even better was the van outside decorated with Totoro.

Fall Drive to Victoria

Ian and I are currently sitting in the parking lot at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, waiting for a ferry to take us to Victoria. We might make the 8, or we might have to wait for the 9.

We are heading to Victoria to take part in the 2021 Tour de Victoria. Tammy’s working and Miranda’s up to her neck in Grade 12 IB, so it’s just Ian and I. It’s Thursday, and the ride’s on Saturday.

It might have been a normal drive from Calgary except for the season, but Highway 1 is closed right now because of the construction at Kicking Horse Pass, just east of Golden. So after we passed Banff this morning, we turned west and followed Highway 93 to Radium. We couldn’t see much for most of it, but once the sun rose, the scenery was nice.

Then we rolled into Golden. We made our only “restaurant stop” of the day: at the McDonald’s drive-thru. Our stops today were rest areas, eating our sandwiches and chips we brought in a cooler.

The day was pretty wet for the most part. At some times, like on Highway 5 between Kamloops and Merritt it was a downpour.

A wet drive up to Rogers Pass

Can’t complain though: it could have easily been snowing in the mountains.

The other worry besides the weather was the ferries: apparently there were a lot of cancellations yesterday because of the weather and one of the ferries breaking down. It was supposed to be even windier today. We were prepared to stay at a hotel in Vancouver if we couldn’t make it.

In the end, I think the only issue (besides a couple of cancelled sailings) was that yesterday’s frustrated travellers came today. We got to the terminal by 4:30, but there’s a three-sailing wait. It gave Ian and I a chance to walk around and stretch our legs.

29 Years Since…

Yesterday was the 28th of September, and that means that if you had a time machine and travelled back exactly 29 years you would find a couple of young University of Victoria students going out on their first date. ๐Ÿ˜Š

That night ended up at Tim Hortons in View Royal (it’s a Serious Coffee now) where we chatted for a long time before a first kiss and each going our separate ways in our eerily similar silver Chevette and Acadian.

In honour of the day, we risked the pandemic to make our way to the Timmy’s in Crowfoot Circle to have coffee together.

Fun with Tubeless Tires

Tubeless bike tires are an innovation in cycling that started in mountain biking and has percolated towards higher-pressure road tires. Right now, most road cyclists still use a traditional inner tube to hold in the air inside the tire that provides structure and tread. Myself, I mostly use tubes, but when I needed to replace my Roubaix’s tires before the Badlands Gran Fondo, I elected to try tubeless again. Tubeless promises:

  • Fewer flats since the sealant inside will fill small punctures,
  • Eliminating “pinch flats” caused by hitting a sharp edge and pinching the inner tube, and
  • Being able to run at lower pressures which is more comfortable on the road.

The start of the 2021 season was full of punctures for me. I think I had 5 or 6 over the first month of the season. And it was even worse, thanks to the bike parts shortage from COVID. I found myself patching tubes instead of replacing them. But since late July, I’ve been riding a set of Specialized 2Bliss tires and I’ve not had any punctures.

That’s the good part. The bad part is that my tires have been going flat overnight. They leak enough air slowly that they go softer over the course of a ride and are down to about 10 PSI in the morning. It seemed like it was getting worse, too. I went for a 4-hour ride to Bragg Creek yesterday. I started at 95 PSI and ended at 50 PSI. With the Tour de Victoria coming up, I am worried that my tires might be effectively flat before I finish the ride.

I am in the middle of trying to solve the problem right now. The short version: I don’t think I added enough sealant to my tires the first time around, and the sealant dries out over time (making the problem worse, as observed). I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I only put 20 mL of sealant in each tire originally. I added 20 mL more last night, inflated to 80 PSI and then left them for 2 hours. After 2 hours, they were down to 40 PSI. ๐Ÿ˜ญ I did some research and I did a “bubble-test” in the bathtub this morning. To my surprise, it looked like the bubbles were forming on the sidewalls. I expected them along the bead or maybe at the spokes or valve. A little more research found that some tubeless tires have a thin sidewall and air can escape. The solution: more sealant, applied properly.

I have added 40 mL more to each tire and made sure to coat the insides well. In an hour and a half, we’ll see if I was successful. ๐Ÿคž

Updated

I think that was successful. I’m doing a longer test now, but the pressure in the tires was much higher after 2 hours than it was previously. My way to measure isn’t very accurate, but I think it was only a drop from 80 to 70 PSI. I’m doing a five-hour test now.

Busy Sunday

Talk about a day that was full. Too full. Now we have to go back to work!

The most important thing happened early: Tammy found out how to get access to our immunization cards from the AHS. All of our cards, including Ian! That is the best news, because we didn’t know if/how we would get his. Miranda has a learner’s license and so has a verified My Alberta Digital ID like Tammy and I do, but Ian doesn’t. But when Tammy showed me her phone triumphantly this morning showing Ian’s card, I yelled “Print it! Print it!” ๐Ÿ˜

The next step was ordering a laminating machine, of course. And thanks to our modern world, it arrived just after dinner. Now I have Ian’s card and my card in my wallet, all ready for our trip to BC.

Tammy laminating our set of cards

Paling beside that is the fact that I had a great club ride this morning. The only complication there was that it was the Calgary Marathon today, and the route went through Bowness, right in front of Bow Cycle. It made it a little tricky for our groups to get in and out, but we managed.

Me with my “biker” buddies: Ignacio, Phil, Liz, me, Todd, Hannah and Lee. Wing took the picture.

And lastly, another Amazon package arrived tonight: a set of wireless microphones. Yes, we have reached the “karaoke” point of the pandemic, folks. It’s a sad state of affairs. ๐Ÿ˜‚

New wireless mics, plugged into my Roland keyboard amp and fed by the Apple TV

Tammy, Ian and I had some fun with that this evening. Well, Tammy and I had more fun, I think. Ian’s voice kept breaking. It was funny.

Alongside all of that,

  • Tammy went grocery shopping
  • Tammy did some preparation for a talk she will be giving next month for ATESL
  • I did some programming on my “BookFramer” app (more on that later).
  • And Miranda’s at work. That’s why she missed out on karaoke.

Ride with Ian

We’re only two weeks away from the Tour de Victoria (assuming all goes well with COVID) and Ian’s been good about ramping up his riding. He’s been riding with me and also on Zwift once or twice per week.

Today was a test: he and I rode to downtown and back: 43 km. He did great, so he should be fine for the 45 km Tour de Victoria distance. We took time to go and look up at the Suncor and Bow buildings.