Friday, November 6, 2009

My Childhood Memories of Great TV

Okay so I just got through watching the re-release of V - Visitors this past week. I remember that mini series well from the 80's. And as I watched the new version I hoped for one of those great things to happen, the new outshining the original. Or at least the new one being good enough to keep watching. But alas this is no remake of Battlestar Galactica. This seemed to be a much lower production value. And the choice of completely wooden actors didn't help. The only thing I can hope for is a return of Robert Englund as the "slow" V with a heart of gold. One can hope.

So far as I watch remakes of many shows and characters that I loved as a child I have been sadly depressed. I wish they would just come up with some new ideas, or at least hire a script writer that can mold that original concept into something better than it was (ala Battlestar).

I mean really, Transformers? That was a sad attempt to make things blow up. GI Joe? Why did I bother. And Astro Boy? Well I haven't seen it yet, but judging from how much I loved that cartoon as a kid I will probably avoid seeing this new version.

Perhaps I just watch too much TV. Perhaps my judgement was clouded as a kid. Regardless, at least when doing these remakes, please take a little time to create something fun and worth my time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Riverport Duathlon a Success

Well the Riverport Duathlon is done now. My racing is over for the year (I think). The result was pretty darn good.

The Day began all cold and dreary with a forecast of rain. Luckily the rain held off until the start of the race, which meant I didn't have to stand around getting cold before heading out. And the real bad weather held off until the bike portion of the race was started. I don't mind biking in the rain, I hate running in the rain.

Anyway, the race started well for me. I was next to my friend Mike. But I really wanted to get to the front early on and started to work my way past many of the other runners. My philosophy on racing is to go out really fast and hope that momentum carries you over the finish line.

Well I finished the first run strong and entered Transition 1 with a time of 16:58 for 4 KMs (a 4:14 kph avg pace). I quickly got into my bike shoes, helmet and grabbed my bike. As it was wet, running to the bike start line was tricky and of course as always I fumbled clipping into my peddals (I should work on that). Then off I went.

I was happy with my bike ride. I passed a few riders as well as a couple of cars. The rain started to really come down and my feet were soaked. My new aero setup was really comfortable and allowed me to stay in a tuck position for almost the whole 28KM lap. I entered tranisition zone 2 with a time of 48:21 (34.7 KPH). And as I had purchased a quick clip shoe system I was into my running shoes in record time. Off I went for the run.

And just like last year my legs immediately gave up. All that training went out the window and the cramps set in. I did my best and kept my pace as high as I could manage. It took me close to 3 of the 4 KMs to get the legs working again. By that time of course I had lost many spots to other runners, and my goal of a top 20 finish was dashed. But my other goal of a decent improvement over last years total time was still there. So I picked up the pace as best I could, I turned the bend for the last 100 meters or so and sprinted my butt off and managed to stop the clock at 1:27:50 to beat last years total time (on a sunny day at that) of 1:35 and change. My final run was 22:32 for 4 KM. Although that seems slow it is still so much faster than last years sub 26 minute run.

I know have something to strive for again in next years events. I have a years worth of data on my successes and failures for Duathlons and Running races. And next year I also hope to add in a triathlon or 2 as well, assuming I can learn to swim well enough.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Riverport Du Is Coming

Okay, so I like the Du's (see earlier posts). For me the biggest of the season is coming up. All other events that I have participated in have lead to this one. The Riverport Duathlon, this October 4th. I have registered in advance (I think I was 3rd or 4th to do so) and have, for the past few weeks started training specifically for the demands that this event will place on me.

What makes this one so special compared to other things I have done this year (my first Century ride, my first running races, and even longer more grueling Du)? Well this is the first Duathlon that I have repeated. Therefore I have expectations for this event. Last year I finished 44th overall, 17th out of 20 in my age group. That was a great finish as I had never run that far in my life, let alone with a bike ride in the middle.

So this year I have to beat that. I have to place higher than 44th, as I have been training hard. In fact I want to see a top 20 finish overall. And I really want to get into the top half of my age group.

We'll see how training continues and I will report back. So far I have ramped up my distances to 2 k run, 20 k bike ride and 3 k run. This weekend I plan on upping that first run by a km and the last run by 4 k. I may even time myself this weekend to see how my times are coming along.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Crab Fight!!


I went to do some SCUBA with Dave yesterday. It was like crab city down there. And this crew (in the bottom corner) was fighting for supremacy. I am sure it is a hard fought battle between 2 tough oponents, but when they are only 4 inches big or so, it is a very cute sight.

No interesting fish on this dive. A few small lobsters were seen though, but they are the biggest cowards of the sea.
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Monday, August 17, 2009

Ian Finishes His First Real Century Ride

So yesterday (Sunday the 16th of Aug) I rode my first real century ride. A proper 100 miles in one day event. Well in Canada of course that is 160KM's. I have ridden many metric centuries in the past which are 100KM's, but never the traditional style.

Anyway this was the Middleton Century Ride, in Middleton, Nova Scotia. They were celebrating their 100 years as a town. And what a great event. Rest/food stops each 25K for the first 100K then a brief water stop at the 130K mark before a final ride back to the beginning.

I rode originally with 2 friends from my riding team, the Spinachers. Mike and Fred decided to sign up for the metric century as the time needed to complete the whole ride was going to be too much. So at the 100K mark I waved goodbye and moved on solo for the next 30K. At the final water stop I met up with Dave who I had spoken with a few times in other legs of the ride and rode off with him. Then a large group of moderately fast riders came up, we joined in and off we went. A minor crash later and we managed to finish with a riding time of 6:08:35.

My final computer readings were for 164.31 KM at an average of 26.7 KM/H.

Most important is that today, though tired, I am not at all sore or stiff.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ian discovers......

So I am not always fast when it comes to web apps and useful tools. I am also not always the first to jump on the its so cool bandwagon. But often I do get there. Anyway I just picked up 3 useful things lately.

1. Chrome Web Browser from Google. Why another web browser? Well I use a lot of Google products (search, mail, calendar, blog, photos....) and this browser runs them all very well. Also it is super fast compared to the latest offering from Firefox. And I can move the tabs around on the top of the browser to reorganize things. Sure it is a bare bones look, the style just isn't there yet. But I suspect it will be soon. And I hope they get some sort of add blocking app for it as well. For that reason Firefox will stay on my computer.

2. Twitter. Okay so I do Facebook already, I don't own a smart phone (nor do I make many cell phone calls) and do people really care if I just went for a swim (see my 4th Twitter post). Well maybe I don't need Twitter, but if is growing in popularity, it is free, and I thought I should grab my user name of choice prior to it going away. And while I was at it I might as well have a few posts added for good looks. Will I keep up the Twittering (or Tweeting)? Maybe, but as they say, if a tree falls in the forest....

3. Yeah I know. Everyone else already knows about this site. Well I did too but just never went there. Finally did. Good for a chuckle. I do like satire (see: The Onion)and this site is full of it. But mostly I like reading some of the comments on this blog, as so many people don't seem to understand satire at all and take this a a truth giving site. Oh my.......

Monday, June 29, 2009

Second Running Race of the Season - Success

Well I did the Bedford 5K in support of Cancer Research this past weekend. The day was overcast and a little foggy. But the course was fast and I impressed myself with a personal best of 19:06. I managed 7th place out of 225 people. My previous best 5 K was from a duathlon segment in which I managed 23 minutes. I must say that my running is coming a long way and I look forward to seeing how far I can take it. My main goal is still the duathlons and cycling, but running sure is a fun addition to my sports repertoire.

My wife also ran in the same race and she managed a personal best as well. She knocked 3 minutes off of her 5K time from the Bluenose Marathon event and came in at 32 minutes. A great result.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Third Duathlon of the Season Completed

Well, my Duathlon season is almost over. With only 4 events to do (or is it Du?) I knew it would come and go quickly. But this last event was pretty nice. The turn out for the Du was small, only about 14 people or so in total but that was to be expected as the Triathlons are in swing now and that is where people seem to want to turn their attention. I guess Du's just aren't as sexy.

Anyway, I was happy with my result. 5th overall and first in my age class with a time of 1:15. The distances were 3.5K/20K/5K. It was a great test for me with running being so new. These short distances can be killer as the regulars can sprint these much better than I can. But I managed to keep as close as possoble on the first run and then went all out on the bike, which was great.

I have lots of room for improvement, but the final event isn't until Octobre, so that is fine. I have my new Aerobars on order and look forward to really getting my bike setup for these short distance sprints.

Next weekend I have a 5K running race in support of Lung Cancer Research and my wife will be joining me. I look forward to it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sun is Shining, Better Get Out and Train

Well the second Duathlon was completed last week. I was happy with my performance overall but I seriously need to train and get faster if I want to compete for top honours in the future. I think I have to really work on my running if I want to have a shot at moving up. So I look outside today and see the sun shining and I know that I have to get a good training run in prior to next weekends Duathlon in Greenwood.

My friend Mike Milloy has decided to give a duathlon a try and is popping over this afternoon for a tarining session. I think he will do really well next weekend. But first we have to show him the fun of jumping off your bike at high speed and grabbing your running shoes and taking off on foot.

My ultimate goal this year is still to succeed in the October duathlon in Riverport, NS. that was my first race last year and I know what I need to do well there. A top 3 age group finish will let me know I am on my way to succuss in the future. The race will have over 100 competitors and will be fast. But I will be ready for it.

Well take care!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

2009 Cyclesmith Duathlon


Well the first Duathlon is over. What an event. The weather was great (warm, cool breeze, sun shinning), the turn out was great (over a hundred people in the overall standings), and the volunteers and course workers were super helpful.

I pushed through the first run, getting a personal best on a 5 KM run, then flew through the cycling section of the course (34KM), finishing with a cramped filled 6KM run at the end (I pushed through the cramps early and finished strong).

I didn't manage to beat 2 hours like I hoped to, but I got close with 2 hours 3 minutes. I ended 42 overall, 11/20 for my age group. Not a bad start. My cycling, oddly, was the part that let me down the most. I could only manage 30.7 KM/H over the course. I really need to get training on the bike more I guess, though my running is still not as great as it could be either (but getting better all the time).

Anyway, next event is this weekend. Hopefully I have enough recovery time, though this event is shorter which means I will be able to push even harder for a good result.
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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ian Does a Little Gardening

So I decided to plants a new little garden on the property. This one is beside the back deck. Its main purpose was to house a clematis plant which will hopefully cover the new trellis we installed on the deck last year. But since I was planting in this spot anyway, I thought I might take the time to make a proper garden in the space. So I built a nice wooden raised bed (or Victory Garden). This allowed me to add lots of great fresh soil for the plants to grow in. And since this is an area we don't look at much I thought I could plant some useful plants here which would serve us well over the summer months. To this end I added broccoli, thyme, dill and chives. No the experiment begins. Will these plants like this spot? Will they grow nice and big. If not, then next year I will try other plants. I suppose I could look at potentially something like a berry bush or rhubarb in this spot. Who knows.

Oh and the stain is of course incomplete at this point. The weather held up just long enough to put that much stain on the wood. Soon, I hope to at least get this whole side done, and all the spots where the clematis vine will grow.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bluenose 10K Results Are In

Well what a race. 1903 people registered to run the 10K race at the Bluenose Marathon. I started as close to the front as possible to avoid all the squished slow start that was to befall the other racers. In fact I was one of the first couple of people across the line.

I tried to pace myself for the long run as this was my first real race. So I took it in stride (no pun) when people were passing me. And even though it was wet and cool I always grabbed the water or Gatorade from the feeding stations. The only incident I had was when a racer jumped in front of me to grab some water. I had to push off of him to avoid a pile up. Odd as there was no one else around so he could have easily avoided me.

Anyway the race was great. I hurt most of the way but held in for a pace that was faster than I had been practicing. I hoped to get under 50 minutes and I did with a 48:43.1 and finished 165th overall (pace of 4:53 km/minute). 32/181 in my category (men aged 30-39).

All in all a great weekend at the event, starting with a trade show, pasta village, after race food and friends, plus meeting all sorts of interesting people. Anyone not having been before and who may even think they would like to try the 5K should definitely give it a go.

Oh and congrats to my wife who did her first major sporting event with the 5K run. She bested her projected goal and came in under 35 minutes!!! Plus she only started running less than a year ago. Look out next year for her!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It is almost time for the Bluenose Marathon

Okay, so I am not actually running a marathon or even a half marathon. I am running a 10 KM race, but it is still part of the race day of the Bluenose in Halifax. I am really excited about this race.

Last weekend I did my final big training run of 8+km in 41 minutes. That should put me somewhere near my hopeful goal of 50 minutes or less for the 10 km run. And if that holds up then I might even get my other goal of a top 100 finish.

I will post about the weekend this coming Monday I hope. And hopefully will have good news.

Turns out this running thing can actually be fun.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ian's Switch in Summertime Activities

Okay, so for the past few years I have been all about racing my bike in the local road racing series through Bicycles Nova Scotia. Due to many factors this year I have decided to take on a new challenge. That being Duathlons. So for those that don't know that is a run - bike - run race. Normally hosted by the same people that do triathlons, but without the swimming (which I am horrible at). Anyway, I did one of these last year and fell in love with the sport and the organization that hosted the race ( I think there was an older post about that in the archives).

So that is my plan, along with maybe some running races as well (I did enter the 10K Bluenose Race this May in Halifax). I will keep you updated on results and my impressions of the sport as I go along. Here's hoping for a fun summer of run - bike - run for me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Breeding Fish

Well I bought some new Neon Dwarf Rainbow's last weekend (those being tropical by the way). 1 male and 1 female to ad to my already nice group of 1 male and 2 females.

I try never to put new fish right into my main tanks in case they have illness or parasites, so I set up a small quarantine tank in which I can watch them. Well it is a few days later, I come home from work and those little fish are getting very frisky. I notice some freshly laid eggs on various areas of my fish tank. So I guess they are healthy. But I will still wait to see if any parasites show up in that tank.

I am not too worried about the eggs hatching, the Rainbows are supposed to be very good at eating their own eggs, and I have no where else to put them at teh moment. Still it is nice to see the act of breeding in process. Adn who knows a few little guys might survive.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Last photo of Reno

Just a quick last closeup of the tile. I have added the sealer and caulking in this picture. I was really impressed with the lack of shine from the sealer and the fact that the caulking matched the grout so well.

Kitchen Reno Project Done

So there it is. I have waited as per all directions and now I have
been able to get the caulking done on my kitech tile back splash. I
bought the crazy expensive (oh alright $9) caulk that matches the
grout I used for the tiles. I didn't think it would be that close of a
colour and texture match but low and behold, it did. They even add a
grit to the caulk so the texture is right. I was impressed.

So now that the tiles are done and ready for use it is time to look
at more home projects to complete. At this point we still have our
ideas for built in's in the living room, plus we have our outdoor
gardening to think about.

Ian Loughead

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Phase 3 of the Kitchen Project Complete.

Okay so no photos this time. Nothing really to see in fact. I sealed the grout last night. At first I assumed it would darken things slightly, but in the end the colour reverted back to light once dry. That is nice. All that is left is to caulk around the edges and I am really looking forward to that. I will wait until tomorrow so that I can di things in the light of day and not at night, when I am generally sleepier.

The worst part about the sealing process? Cracking my head on the sharp corner of the range hood. Ahhhh. And I did it right at the start, so I had to just slap a bandage on my head and carry on.

I will now have to start thinkg of new projects for the house.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Kitchen Reno Phase 2 - Grout



So the grout is in. I am very glad that I don't have to grout walls often. Ouch. My arms and hands are sore and it was just a tiny area. Anyway, it is done and now just needs to dry before I caulk the edges. And after 3 days I can seal it. Then the project will be totally complete.
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kitchen Reno Project Phase 1



So I started the day with no tiles on the wall behind my stove. Now I have tiles. This was my first attempt and I must say I like the results so far. Now i have to wait 24 hours until I can add the grout. Then 3 days before I can seal the grout and tiles. Until then the kitchen is on simple food prep only. No splashy food mess for now.

I would like to thank my friend Rick for loaning me the tools to do this project adn to the guy at Home Depot who helped us pick out our products.

Phase 2 pics to follow. Check out the complete set of photos in my web album.
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Friday, April 3, 2009

Home Reno Time

Well it is finally time to start looking at some of those little projects around the house. I just installed hooks on all the bathroom doors which I am proud of, but the big test should be this weekend. Time for some tiling.

This will be my first tiling project, though it will be a small one. I am going to be tiling the back splash / wall behind the stove. Enough uncleanable splatters on the wall I say. And time to add a littel character to that area.

We decided on 2x2 tiles on a sheet. Ceramic with a faux stone look, which should go with the flooring really well I think. Only 10 sheets of tiles will be needed so hopefully it should be too hard to accomplish, and there are only a few cuts to make, which is also great.

I will post some pictures of the process as I get it done.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Interesterified fat? The New Trans Fat

Man, those food companies have figured out how to avoid the bad label of trans fats and the use of hydrogenated oils. Now they have Interesterified fat. I just noticed it on my box of Trans Fat free crackers.

That is a link to a story about it all. And a quick search of the web shows lots of hits and lots of studies.

I have already been forced to make my own bread to feel somewhat good about eating it. Do I have to make my own crackers now?

This new fat will only show up in the nutrition section of your processed food as Saturated fat.

And what is with the name. At least Trans Fat was easy to pronounce.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back from the Sun, Back to Winter.

Oklay so my wife and I just got back from the Dominican Republic. Oh how Imiss the warmth and sunshine. Today they are calling for another winter storm in Halifax. Seriously, Spring has officially arrived and I have to put up with 10-20 cm's of snow again. I was so happy to see grass, even though it was brown. The tropics had me spoiled.

I have posted some pictures from the trip in my web album. Check them out.

I must say though, that the thing I miss the most about the trip is the nice man that made me poached eggs each morning. I never liked poached eggs a whole lot. I like them a lot when someone else makes them for me. The free booze was okay as well, but fresh eggs for me was a hit. Oh and fresh doughnuts with sugar. Darn, now I am hungry.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bluenose Marathon

So my wife and I decided to throw our hats in the ring and join up for the Bluenose Marathon. It is a marathon help each year in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Now we didn't actually choose to run the marathon proper as we are both very new to the running game. Instead she chose to run the 5K and I chose to run the 10K. This will be very fun I hope. I looked at last years entrants for the 10K and there were over 1500 people running that event.

The most I have ever run in a day, at this point, is 8K which was broken into 2 sections of 4K for a duathlon (there was a bike ride in the middle portion). So 10K will be a good challenge for me and really give me something to train for.

Now the event isn't until May 15-17, but entering now saved us $60, so it was time to take the plunge and join up.

I guess that training starts today for me!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

PETA? Sea Kittens? Crazy?

Okay, so now PETA wants to re brand fish as Sea-Kittens ( Their hope is that if people think that fish are kittens they won't eat them. Really? Are they truly that mad? Have any of you tried to hug a fish? I have, it isn't fun. And I must say that I like fish. I have very nice tropical fish tanks at home (which I am sure PETA hates as well). But they still aren't fun to hug and play with like real kittens.

And if you do go to the website you will notice it is focused at children. This is possibly the part of PETA I hate the most. They aim a lot of stuff at kids without parents permission.

I think in the end they should approach this anti-fish eating campaign a different way. When I was young I didn't eat fish due to its icky factor. Fish were slimy and gross. Go with that PETA.

But at least PETA lets you design and download your very own sea-kitten. Awsome:

Create Your Own Sea Kitten at!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Year, Same Bad Weather

Wow, how can the weather be this bad in Halifax. I am not sure how often I have seen the sun these past few months, let alone how often I have been able to keep dry. It is either rainy, snowy or foggy. Often I feel like we must live in a mountain or something.

Cold I can deal with, I can dress properly for that. But cold and wet. Yuck.

Yesterday my bike drivetrain froze up. Too much water in the rear freewheel. There is nothing quite as nice as peddling on your bike and not going forward. In the end I had to go home and take it all aprt to clean thinsg up. Lots of good grease later and I am back and riding again. Though not today as it is cold and rainy and they tell us that it will freeze over and be a sheet of ice going home. Ahhh.