Friday, October 31, 2008

Gas Prices Drop !!

Well I'll be. I never thought I would see it again but gas in Nova Scotia has finally dropped below $1 a liter. Wow. Now as a cyclist I don't use a whole lot of gas driving my car, but I do use some. So seeing the price drop is great in my eyes.

Of course it is simply a reaction to the falling economy, which isn't a good thing. But it could be worse. The economy could be down and the price of gas could be up!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Movember - Important Info here folks

Movember - Sponsor Me

What is Movember? Read about it in detail here . Simply though it is a fund raiser for Prostate Cancer in which participants pledge to grow a moustache throughout the month of November and you pledge to give them support and hopefully a donation.

I donated to my friend Mike Milloy . By clicking on his name you can also donate to this worthy cause. Or maybe you already know someone who is seeking donations, or maybe you want to grow a mom as well!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Well I completed my first ever Duathlon. This took place in Riverport, Nova Scotia. This course was familiar to me as it is where I race my bike each year. For this race though I had to run 4km, ride my bike 28 kms and finally do another 4 km run. Running isn't my strength, in fact I just started doing it seriously this summer. Still I managed a personal best time int he first 4k, then did a great 28k tima trial on my bike with an avg speed of 33km/hr followed with a very slow but steady final 4k. I was spent for sure but managed to place 45th out of 84 people entered which was a great intro I think. I look forward to doing another one in the future.

Also I must say wow to the Triathlon Nova Scotia people who put on the event. Well organized, plenty of help, computerized time tracking, plenty of food and water and all went at schedualed times. That meant we were done, had lunch and awards were handed out all before noon.

My total time of 1:35 is now my base for future events.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Green Thoughts Again

Adding to my biking ways I have added a fender to my bike. Now how does a piece of plastic make my life more green? Well it means less muddy junk flying up and all over my clothing. This means fewer trips through the laundry machine and therefore less waste of water, energy and soap. Not bad for a $10 fender from MEC.

Ian's Gone Green

So I think that occasionally I will post about some of the things I do to make my life greener and more environmentally friendly. Most are small and simple ideas that are easy to implement. Some are a little more extreme.

I guess the biggest thing I do right now is ride my bicycle to work rather than drive my car. This is a 50 minute bike ride and seriously cuts down on the amount of gas I need to consume.

Now I am not insane and some days I do have to ride in my car to get to work. Those days where the wind and rain are at hurricane force or else the snow is piling up really high. But I do brave the cold, even heading out when the wind chill is well below -20C. It feels good to do as well, though I am sure my food bill is higher.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ian Watches Olympics

Okay so me watching a television broadcast of the Olympics isn't that exciting normally, but at my house there are Canadians and Americans (well one of each anyway). The biggest fight so far seems to be which channel do we watch, CBC or NBC. That seems to come down to who gets the remote first. We did both really enjoy the opening ceremony. It was quite spectacular I must say. The coverage of the sports though, for me, has been a little sad. Canadians aren't doing as well as I hoped. But I hold out hope that we will return home with a good little clutch of medals. And hopefully some of those will be gold.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fog, ugh

So I am tired of getting up and riding to work in the fog. I get wet and damp but it is still hot. Oh joy. I thought this was summer? Sure a little fog now and then is to be expected on the coast, but this is seriously silly for the middle of July.

Anyway, I hope the lawn appreciates the dampness, something should. I certainly don't appreciate the damp puppy foot prints that Newt brings into the house each morning.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Final Bike Race - Tour de Wentworth

So the final race came and went yesterday. It was a stage race in Wentworth, Nova Scotia. The day started with a 15 km time trial. It began with a nice tail wind and ended with a horrible headwind. My bike isn't really setup for time trials. I have no bars or aero pieces, I have no skinsuit or fancy helmet. So I was just trying to minimize the damage. I think I did respectable though was behind most of the other riders in my catagory.

Then came the road race. 79 km's. It got hotter and the wind stayed, if not picked up. I was doing fine through the first lap, then part way through the second lap an attack came. I tried to follow but my legs cramped up. So I ended up loosing the leaders. I got my legs back, started to ride hard to keep the time gap close and managed to finish the race. I guess the heat, wind and tired legs from the morning got to many riders as I somehow managed a third place finish and third place overall. Needless to say, with all the pain I went through I will take the result.

Many thanks to Elizabeth and Newt for being my support and handing me fresh water during the race. It was needed.

Monday, July 7, 2008


Well I have one nice little garden in front of my house. I tend to it and keep it looking pretty good. Other than that I have a lawn. I figured (well and my wife Elizabeth helped) that it was time for some more colour and interest. So we bought some very nice planters. They look like stainless steel with a modern feel, but still a bit on the warm side. So far I have one setup near the back of our property. It is a dual purpose planter. Partly it is for decoration, partly to prevent small puppies from falling into drains, or at least hurting themselves on the drain grate. I have planted poppies in it as it will be hot and dry back there. So now it is a waiting game for flowers to appear. Perhaps I will have pictures one day.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Race 2 - Riverport

Well the end result of race 2 wasn't so great. I mean I did fine, I hung with the pack for almost the whole ride until about 1/3 of a lap to go. But I was dead tired and couldn't hang on for the final series of attacks. It was rough. My leg was pretty much healed up from the weekend before but I didn't get any real training in during the week leading up. So my muscles were tight. This year there are only three (3) races so I am really aiming on doing great for that final race. Traditionally I haven't done well at Wentworth, but I have a few weeks to see if I can get a little more out of myself. Here's hoping.

Oh the result from Riverport? I don't know that actual result but I thinkI finished around 7th or 8th. The results haven't been posted yet.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

First Bike Race of the Year

So I completed my first cycling race of the year. It took place in Yarmouth, and as always was a well put on event. My challenge for myself this year was to finish with the main pack. That was all looking good for most of the race. That was until the end of lap three. It was at this point that a very poor cyclist decided to make a bone headed move and fell down. I promptly ran over him sending me into the ditch. I finally got myself together, but the pack was gone. My leg was torn open, my bike made funny noises but I managed to at least catch the guy that made me crash and passed him and went on for my best finish ever in Yarmouth, a 5th place. My leg is still sore and bad looking, the bike though is still working, and I was only 9 minutes behind the pack by the end so that was great. The final 30 kms were lonely but survivable and led to a great personal effort from me. So I was happy in the end. Hopefully I have some pictures of the event.

Monday, June 2, 2008

First ride out to Peggy's Cove this year

So I did my first ride out to Peggy's Cove solo this year. I like that ride. It has hills, wind, fog, heat, just about everything you can imagine. It also is a good indication of my fitness level throughout the year. This first ride was done at 27.8 km/h and was about 85 km in length. I anticipate that I will get much faster as the summer goes on. I should be able to do that ride in almost 30 km/h by August (solo anyway). Hopefully I will also get some company on future rides as well.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Just ordered a Neuros OSD

Okay so I just ordered a Neuros OSD device. What is it you say? Well I provided a link so I won't go into too much explaination but needless to say it is a media device that can act kind of like a PVR/DVR/VCR, plus a digital media player and a digital media converter (great for turning your VHS tapes into DVD's). It is coming from the USA so I will have to wait for another week or so before it arrives here and I get to play with it. But I will keep you up to date on the progress I have with it.

Wind starting to die down

Oh my has it ever been windy these past few days. That is really strnge for this time of year around these parts. That is usually wind reserved for the Fall months and hurricane season. Well it certainly makes the bike ride home painfully slow at points. You peddle for all your worth and seem to make little headway. It has also meant that we can't take little Newt out for a walk very easily. The wind will blow her around, and needless to say she isn't very happy about being out in it. It wasn't quite as bad this morning but I hope it dies down a bit more before I embark on a long bike ride tomorrow. Or at least is nice enough to blow at my back on the way home.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Why so few posts Ian?

Okay so why have I done so few posts on my own blog? Well it is due to my attempting to keep 2 blogs going. This one and one for Newt my pup. As it turns out Newt has been pretty much everywhere i have been lately so I tend to update her blog first. I can tell you that I was able to visit long time friend Allison Duffy Friars yesterday in Windsor. That was great. I hadn't seen her in 3 years and finally got to meet her babies, Bruce, Jack and Harry. Very cute kids.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Argh - Flat Tire

So Monday I started my bike ride home from work and got a flat. But this was a bad one. A drywall screw, at least 1 1/2 inches went in one side of the tire and out the other. Anyways, I managed to get a new tube in a limp home with low air pressure (good old hand pumps). At home I took the tire off and inspected it. Not good. The screw had left a big enough hole that when fully pumped up, the tube would start to push through the hole. I attempted a repair using polyurethane glue and an old tire tube. But alas this mornign I find my tire flat again. Oh well. Looks like tonight I have to hit the shop and buy a new tire. rather annoying as this was a new tire last year and I expected at least a few years of riding from it. So I had to drive the car today. At least it is raining today so I can take a little comfort in arriving at work warm and dry.

Monday, April 28, 2008

So Glad I have a VCR :(

So I was fairly excited about a lot of things this past weekend. One of which was the fact that there were a couple of races (F1 and Indycar) which I was excited to see. But I had to do a bike training ride early Saturday morning so in the VCR goes a fresh tape. I came home in tiem to watch the race but decided to hang out with Newt our dog instead. As I sat near the TV little did I suspect that the VCR was on but no recording anything. Lovely. So I had to read about the race instead. And then I find out that the Indycar race will be broadcast on TSN Alt channel. Of course that would be great if I got fancy digital cable. But alas I don't so counldn't see that. But luck of luck they were rebroadcasting it at 1:30 am. Which turned out to be an edited version of the race (oh joy) and since it was so late I would have to tape it. this time I can't blame the VCR for my not actually hitting record. Oh well. At the least Newt was fun to play with.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Been too long

Sorry it has been awhile for my loyal readers (or perhaps for the tumble weeds that blow through). Anyway, my wife and I have been busy for the past bit getting ready for our new puppy. We bought ourselves a little girl chihuahua named Newt. She is botha fiesty firecracker and our cuddle princess. Far too much fun and excitment in such a tiny package. But she is great for taking on walks, even managing to keep up with both of us no problem. You can check out her blog at

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sometimes Spam brings a smile to your face

Sure its spam. Sure it is annoying to have an email box full. But I gotta say that I sometimes laugh out loud when reading a few choice ones. What it must take to artfully craft the nonsense behind such an email is beyond me. Anyway, I just received one and I must say that everyone should try to read this.

Hi my friend!

I only wished to write to you the letter and to tell as in general my
letter got to you! First I would like to speak a little about myself
my name is Dina to me 28 years I live in Russia to Kirov. All the
others wash data and a photo in the appendix to the letter data. I was
in agency of acquaintance and to me advised yours e-mail the address I
do not know whence they him took but they gave me yours e-mail that I
could have acquaintance to you. And I only wanted that you have spent
about 10 minutes both looked wash a photo and wash data and received
from you the answer you would like to have acquaintance to me or you
only would not like this? Tell to me I so only the nobility it much
would like. Also I shall wait much your answer. I started to search
the man as to me very alone and 28 years and I do not have man if you
wish to begin with me correspondence or easier to begin acquaintance
tell to me your answer. I shall wait much!

I hope your new friend well I hope that I can become for you friend

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Old Triangle

Well it was time to say a sad aferwell to some good friends and fellow employees from Parks Canada. Of course it isn't like we won't see them ever again, in fact I spent Saturday afternoon with Robert watching movies. But it is kinds sad not to have them at work anmore to chat with about the crazy crap that goes on here and abroad. So a hardy cheer to a job well done, raise a glass, have a drink and enjoy the day.

For the full compliment of pics:

See you guys later.

Friday, March 28, 2008

March: In like a Lion Out Like a Lion?

Okay, so a big storms ushered in March and frankly have been a mainstay this winter in Nova Scotia and Canada. But now it is officially Spring, it is March 28. And it is snowing outside. And we are expecting over 10 cm of snow here, maybe as much as 20 cm and possibly with some rain.

Sure I know that everyone complains about the bad weather. But my real complaint is that when the weather gets like this, I can't bike to work. I don't mind getting wet, I don't mind getting dirty, but Halifax has no real access to safe bike routes in this city. That means when the weather is really bad, I have to contend with bad drivers in poorly maintained cars without snow tires, all sliding right at me. I have riden a few times in some snow this winter. It isn't that bad, just slow. But I can't be sure that some cars won't slide into me and kill me during those times.

So bring on the weather, but please Halifax, bring on a way for safe cycling to occur during those times.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ian added a Link

So I added a link to my links section. Sure I haven't posted much lately, but that sure is something. Let Levi Ride is a campaign to get Levi Leipheimer back into the Tour de France. this is a podium finisher from last year and now since he joined a team that had a rider test positive for drugs, he and the team are banned. He wasn't even on the team last year and all members that were involved in the drugs were dropped. Even the coach is new. I like the Tour, I like Levi as a rider, and I hope he can maybe somehow get back in. The link has all the info and a petition as well. If you ride, it is at least worth a read.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ian Went to a Movie

Wow it sure has been awhile since I went to see a movie at the theatre. But my dad was dying to see No Country for Old Men. I suppose the Oscar buzz caught his attention. This was one of those movies that everyone knew about except for me. I somehow missed this movie completely. That was kind of cool in a way. I went in fresh as can be. And I must say that I really liked it. It reminded me of the time I went to see Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven. I mean they aren't the same movie or similar in plot, but they were similar in atmosphere. And I thought that was great. Now this is a very violent movie and quite graphic, so I would avoid it if you hate the sight of blood. But if you can stand that and want to see how a truly interesting movie is put together then I suggest you head out and see this one. It really shows the world is not black and white.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

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So how many of you have had a drink of Chinotto by San Pellegrino? I had not even heard of it until very recently. Sure I had their lovely sparkling water, and their orange pop as well. But what is Chinotto? Sadly I thought it would be a cool Italian version of Cola, like Brio. But instead it is a weird citrus/herb flavour. Perhaps I should have read the can prior to drinking as it clearly says this on the label. I do not think I will be heading back fopr more of this interesting flavour anytime soon.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Broken pedal = slower commute

Okay so I was cycling to work yesterday and I noticed at one point that my pedal was not allowing me to clip in (I use clipless pedals which contrary to the name allow you to clip into the pedal for maximum pedaling power). So I got off the bike to check and noticed that one of the screws/shafts that holds it altogether was sheered off. That sucked. One of the tension springs was missing as well. So repair was not an option (especially on the roadside at -12C). Luckily I could still use the pedal as a standard platform pedal and continue riding. But when you are used to your foot being attached to a pedal it makes a world of difference to things like power and speed when you can't any longer.

Okay, so this story isn't super exciting, just letting you know what was going on with me. Oh and I had a spare pair of pedals at home, so things are great now. Commuting by bike in the winter is rough stuff.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Toronto - The real story

So I arrived in Toronto last Wednesday night, traveling during a fairly major snow/freezing rain/ rain storm that was happening in the Halifax region (well Martimes). I flew in on Westjet, which turned out to be a good option for me as Air Canada had canceled most of their flights. Sure the take off was rough but otherwise it was a fine trip up. So what else did I do in Toronto? Well I hung out with my wife, which was nice. We did try to get out of the condo she is staying in as often as possible but the weather was not always great. Toronto actually had a ton of snow on the ground, which made sidewalks really horrible. And on the Sunday there was a massive rain storm. We still managed to get out to a few furniture/design shops looking for ideas for our house. And there was lots. We also walked around one day on Queen Street. Wow, talk about shops. And really nice ones as well. We were there on a fact gathering mission to see what sorts of dog products we might like to purchase in the future when we get a dog. One night we also were able to get out and see a movie at the AGO (art Gallery of Ontario). It was a movie showing the life of an art project called the Spiral Getty. Okay, so it was an art film and I was very confused as I didn't know what the Spiral Getty actually was. Perhaps some background info would have been good for me. In the future I will research before such films.

I had previously written about flying home on Porter Air. Lovely company. Of course Halifax was in the middle of another storm with heavy winds, rain and deep cloud cover for the flight home (reminder February is a horrible month to travel. But good old Porter pilots managed to get us down safely.

It is nice being home I must say. I hope my wife will join me soon, but alas she needs to stay in Toronto for a bit longer. Hopefully I will soon be posting about our new dog, but we do have to wait until she gets here before we can even bring a dog home to live with us.

I do like visiting Toronto, but I think I would actually get a bit bored living there all the time, sensory overload or something. Well I guess I would adapt to it, still I like it here in Nova Scotia.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Toronto the preview

Okay so here I am in the airport in Toronto. I am flying Porter Air back to Halifax so I get to enjoy the awesome lounge they offer. I will post all about my trip when I get back to Halifax and get to sit down for a minute. It has been fun, but I do enjoy being home as well. Mobbile blogging is new to me so I think I will stop now while my hands are still painfree. Hope to hear from all my readers soon. Take care.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Saturday With Dave



So Saturday morning was a fun time. Dave and I met for a nice coffee and a chat to start the day. Coffee from the Smiling Goat is not something to be rushed. No it must be savoured. That is because the coffee is brewed on the Clover. Not sure what coffee brewed on Clover is? Time for google my friends. Needless to say it is spectacular coffee and the guys at the Smiling Goat love to give you nothing but the best.

From there a walk around Halifax (Strange Adventures Comics, MEC, The Book Room, Loomis, Folklore Music) really made the morning great. It was nice to get to some good shops and explore what is out there. I managed to buy a few items, namely a great indy comic called "The Incredible Change Bots", a new headlamp from MEC, and also a new pick guard for my acoustic guitar.

We finished the day at Coburg Coffee. This is another great coffee shop in Halifax, mostly because they make great sandwiches. And on Saturday it is all day breakfast. So good.

So that was my morning with Dave, my afternoon and evening was spent with his parents (Rick and Phyllis). I also managed to spend a little time with his brother Charles and his wife Leslie. All in all a good day of visiting, exploring and fun.

The next day I would go on to see the HKC dogshow. Fun stuff and great dogs.
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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Beer and music and friends

Oh my beer? Well sure, beer is good. It is better with friends though. So Dave and Carrie and I went to O'Carrol's Pub on Saturday night to enjoy a brew and listen to some old friend's of David's play some great music. Brennan and Bonnie Jean MacDonald. Fiddle and guitar; some instrumental, some singing. Great stuff. Might I also suggest the handmade potato chips with dip. Oh man those are good. Fresh, hot potato chips? The best thing ever.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Star Anise - A nice Place

Ever want a tasty dinner? Well we sure did this past Saturday and what better choice than some good Vietnamese food. So off to Star Anise Vietnamese Noodle Restaurant we went (David, Carrie and I). And I thought, I sure could use a spring roll. Mine was filled with pork (though veggie ones are available). Yum city. I finished off the dinner with some pomegranate green tea and a bowl of noodle soup with flank steak. I don't think I had had such a noodle bowl before and the flavour was very interesting. Sadly my taste buds could not detect the exact spices, though I am sure they are commonly used in Vietnamese food. So if you are in Halifax and require Vietnamese food you no where to head (it's on Barrington Street).

Pothole Update

So anyway I was cycling to work again this morning and it looks like a few of the big pothole sections I had complained about in the past (well the last post anyway) have been filled. Of course this is temporary patch work that will ultimately fail and is really bumpy, but at least for now it is not a giant pit. Hopefully this work will continue and my commute to work will not be an offroad experience.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Potholes? Ahhhhhh

So how much worse can the street of Halifax get? I had thought not too much worse until I rode my bike to work today. There was three tiems I had to stop my bike and walk through sections of rode. And I have a Mountain Bike! Anyways, the last few years have seen a lot of really shoddy road work done in Hallifax, mostly resurfacing of exisiting pavement. But the new stuff just peels off every winter witht the snow plows. I can't believe that people in cars aren't complaining more. But at least this is a start for me. I will be shortly writing an email to the transportation people of HRM (Halifax) and perhaps I will get a response. I may even publish it on this blog. Oh well, at least it is sunny outside and I was nice and warm for the ride this morning. Later.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Eating Pie is a Good Thing


Ever just want to eat pie and drink fresh coffee all day. Well that is practically everyday with me. This lovely shot from from Cousin's Restaurant in Halfax. Sure the coffee is just plain old ordinary, but the pie is spectacular. It is my new belief that pie should be consumed a minimum of once a week. And to that end I will attempt to make some more pumpkin pie this weekend. Yum.
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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jan 26-27th Weekend

So this past weekend was fun. My wife came home for a visit (she is working temporarily in Toronto) and we got to head out to a great concert at the Marquee. Slowcoaster was playing with opening act Hey Ocean. I has never heard of Hey Ocean before and was really impressed with them: female lead who also played flute, guitar, bass and drums. All very accomplished musicians. We had decided to meet for a snack before heading to the concert (my friends Dave and Carrie) and tried to head to local favorite The Bluenose, but alas it was closed. So instead we headed up to the Wooden Monkey. It was great and the bread pudding I had was the best.

The rest of the weekend was more relaxed than that. We did manage to take in a few episodes of our favorite (though cancelled) show Arrested Development. Darn that show is funny.

While I don't have a picture at the moment I will be uploading a great shot of some particularly good pie I had at Cousin's Restaurant. Unfortunately for Elizabeth, I went to Cousin's prior to her arrival with Dave and Carrie. Too bad for her I guess.

Later folks.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Weekend of Jan 19th

snow at white point

I spent this past weekend hanging out with my buddy David and his wife Carrie. They added to our group with a few of David's friends from his work. Since they were from out of town Dave thought they might lie to see a little scenery of Nova Scotia (they were from Poland). Anyway here is a quick shot from our walk around White Point (the one near Hubbards, as there is more than one). Yes, a slightly grey overcast day it was, but still perfect white fluffy snow was there to make it a magical site.

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Cold day, bad roads

Another crazy day of weather in Nova Scotia makes for bad cycling. The bridge was really icey and meant I had to essentially coast. The temperature this morning was also -15C which was not the greatest. But later this afteroon it will be close to zero if not above. All that means is the roads will be slushy and bad, I will be overdressed and far too warm. Oh well, it still beats driving a car.

I am hoping that I can eventually get a new front tire for my bike. The problem is that the tire I want does not seem to be in the stores near me. They say a shipment will be in soon but yet, 2 month later still no tire. I had a flat this weekend from a tiny piece of glass. I figure it won't be the last considering just how work out and thin that front is. But patience is all I can have I guess.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Welcome 2008

So here it is the beginning of a new year. And the beginning of a new blog for me. Since no one actually bothered to read the old blog I figured it would be safe to try something new.

So far the year has brought rain, snow, cold, warm and dirt. At least in the world cycling. My commutes to work have been very messy this year. Thankfully the washing machine has been working in good order to keep me as clean as can be.

I have discovered that the city of Halifax is not the most bike friendly, especially in the winter months. The clearing of the roads, particularly the edges has been very slow. That makes for a slippery ride as well and there have been a few moments where I thought a spill was on its way. Luckily that has not been the case.

There has not been a lot else going on that is crazy exciting. I have decided to play guitar and uke a little more often this year and have discovered the fun of playing Supertramp songs at the moment. Perhaps one day I may play them for you!

Well later folks