Hello (Again) From Edmonton

Hello! For the second time in two weeks, I find myself in the provincial capital, although the circumstances are much different. Last week, I was conducting a two-day workshop with Service Alberta, while this week I am a guest speaker in a two-hour executive presentation at ATCO. The travel schedule was almost the same, but this afternoon I was working with Mary and Brian on our presentation for tomorrow morning.

It turned out that Steven was here teaching a class in Edmonton, so he and I availed ourselves of the hotel’s complimentary wine and cheese tasting before heading to a Japanese place for dinner. Incidentally, of the two white wines on offer, the German riesling was superior to the Californian cabernet.

Beef yaki udon. Steven had the sushi.

Another Ski Day

That’s two in two weeks! The conditions were good: snow was crunchier than last week but not bad. Faster condition. Fewer people. Almost zero line-ups at the bronze chair, so much so that Ian and I were getting lots of runs in.

Looking down

Tammy and Miranda called it quits a little early today because Tammy got a cramp in her leg, but that was the only “injury”.

We stopped at Dairy Queen in Cochrane on the way home. πŸ” 🍦

The view towards the lodge from the chairlift

Hello from Edmonton

This is the first trip in two weeks to Edmonton. I made my travel arrangements for next week’s trip while I was sitting in the bus station this morning waiting for my coach. This week is Service Alberta, and next week it’s ATCO. Good thing the bus is a comfortable way to travel.

It wasn’t too early a morning this morning: a 5:30 alarm got me downtown well ahead of my 8:00 bus departure. A couple of hours working on slides, answering email and other stuff whiled away half the trip. The movie on the bus was Ready Player One, a movie that I didn’t mind seeing again. The bus got me to Edmonton at noon, with enough time for a quick lunch and then off to see the client for 1:00. The first afternoon went well, if maybe a little jumbled, but then that’s pretty normal for discovery with a new (to me) client.

This evening I need to do some more prep for tomorrow morning. It’s a large and complex system we’re analyzing.

The view from the Red Arrow

Ski Day, Bike’s Fixed

Today gets a πŸ’―. It was just a really good day from top to bottom. We had fun together, be it when skiing, when driving to and from Nakiska, when having lunch and dinner, everything. Not that everyone is unpleasant normally, but it was just a really good day.

We were up and about earlier this morning, and off to go skiing. I didn’t know what the conditions would be like, but it turned out they were excellent. Just a little under freezing, with groomed runs that were soft and a dusting of fresh snow. Sunny, and the only time we really felt cold was when Ian and I went up the Silver chair for our last run of the day.

The top of the Silver chair

Ian getting ready to conquer the mountain

Tammy got to try out her newly-waxed snowboard, and she says that she could really tell the difference.

After lunch, I took my wounded bike down to Bow Cycle and yakked with Mark and Richard and Tara before getting down to business with Mark and fixing it. As expected, I needed to replace the crank, which meant the whole unit: crank, crank arms and chainrings. We also replaced the bearing in the bottom bracket. It didn’t take long: I was back home before 4:00.

Since I have my bike back, I have set up a virtual club ride for tomorrow morning at 7:00, and Ian is going to try to take part. Perhaps it isn’t going to be the easiest ride, but the “Keep Everyone Together” setting is enabled, so he will keep up if he keeps turning the pedals over. We’ll see how it goes. We did a 15 minute ride together tonight to test it out, and it went fine.

The Death of a Crank

This morning, I went to have an indoor ride. Wasn’t going to be a big workout, just getting some exercise in. When I went to step on the pedal to swing my leg over my Norco Valence, I realized that the crank arm wasn’t as… connected… as it should be.

That ain’t right

A quick inspection showed that the actual crank shaft was torn apart. That got me to thinking about Wednesday night and the BCC Zwift ride. About 3 km from the end, I stepped on the pedal and it felt… weird. I initially thought that the cleat on the bottom of my shoe was loose, or maybe even the pedal was loose. But when I got off the bike, I didn’t find the cause.

Well, I found the cause. I hastily set up my Roubaix for riding on the rollers and then posted to the BCC forum on WhatsApp.

Sorry about the language… but that’s funny!

I looked it up, and since I started tracking my rides on Strava, I’ve put over 18,000 km on my Valence. But that was October 2015 so that number doesn’t include 2013, 2014 or most of the 2015 riding season when the Valence was still my main bike. It’s well over 20,000 km, anyways. Probably more like 23,000.

My weight and power output probably don’t make life easy for my bikes.

Happy Valentine’s Day

It was a work day for me, but a day off for Tammy and the kids. Tammy filled her day with baking and other tasks in the kitchen, resulting in a fabulous dinner tonight.

Mini deep-dish pizzas with Caesar salad, and cupcakes for dessert. The cupcakes were filled with strawberry filling and topped with cream cheese icing.

I suppose my contribution to the meal was the drinks: a french martini (first photo) and a Chambord cosmopolitan (second photo). I gave Tammy a bottle of Chambord (raspberry liqueur) today.

Tammy baked so much that we didn’t even touch the apple pie that she made. When she asked “How are we going to eat all of this?” I answered: “By riding about 200 km this weekend.” πŸ˜‚

Apple pie

Happy Valentines’ Day, everyone! πŸ’˜

Dad’s Cataract Surgery

Today was a day that seemed for a while like it would never come: the day of Dad’s cataract surgery. While I think it’s safe to say that no one looks forward to surgery, especially the idea of someone going into your eyeball, the truth is I’ve been feeling bad for him as it’s been getting harder for him to read, etc.

Stephanie texted me after she picked him up from the hospital, and they were having a late lunch at Jasmine’s in Colwood. I was surprised that he looked just about the same as usual: no eyepatch or any sort of bandage. The sunglasses were necessary because his right eye was still super-dilated.

Stephanie surprised him taking the photo. Doesn’t always look so dour…

He and I had our regular FaceTime chat this evening, and he told me all about the experience. Sounds like the worst parts were the sterilizing eyedrops and the doc taking the tape off after the surgery was done. His friend Lynn from the building drove him to the hospital and Stephanie picked him up. He’s not supposed to drive for two days, but he has the green light to go for a (relaxed) walk. He shouldn’t really be too put out by the whole experience. I know he was preparing everything for being pretty incapacitated for the next few days. Joke’s on him: he’s going to be bored because he’s got everything done.

Glad that it went so well. It’ll be good to have both eyes working again, right?


Keepin’ On

Nothing exciting happening. Just life.

Miranda and Ian have both started their second semester in school this past week, so there’s that. I was under the weather yesterday with another really short bout of something. This time a headache and sweats in the night. Right as rain today, though.

I did finish watching the first series of For All Mankind last night. It was excellent. If you have a new Apple product, make sure you activate your free year of Apple TV+ and watch it.

Oh, and the biggest news is Murphy has managed to hide his collar somewhere. He has never taken kindly to having to wear it, but every other time he has gotten it off, we’ve found it and put it back on. This time, he seems to have hidden it. We’ve looked over the house from top to bottom and there’s no sign of it yet.

Bow Cycle Service School With Tammy

It’s been a busy weekend, but not in the usual way. This weekend was two days where Tammy and I went to Bow Cycle to take part in the Complete Overhaul Service School course. This marks the fourth time I’ve done it. It was a first for Tammy. The basic outline of the course hasn’t changed:

  1. Bring in your bike,
  2. Tear it down to the frame,
  3. Clean everything, replace worn parts,
  4. Build it back up better than new.

I took my Roubaix, and Tammy took her Cannondale. The course was reserved for the Bow Cyclist Club, and this is the first of three weekends where there will be 6-7 people in the class. When I took it in 2016, I was the only person in the class. Tammy was the only woman in the class, and she certainly did fantastic. She was the first one done by a long shot and helped me re-wrap my handlebars with new tape.

I think the kids enjoyed the weekend: no parents around and yesterday we brought home Chinese food and Timbits and today we brought home Red Swan Pizza. We took a few pictures, and a video of Derek wrapping bar tape, but nothing too great, so here’s a picture of Murphy instead!

Murphy sleeping

Continue reading