Sunday, July 29, 2007

LA Confidential

Ok thats enough of the spooning post.

Yes this week I was in LA. Mostly on business but every morning I woke up at 530 to go jog/waddle on the beach. Hermosa beach... wide open with a concrete sidewalk fro biking jogging walking or roller blading. You can go for miles. Hundred of people do. The sidewalk is busy all day .
I saw a for lease sign on one of these beach side units. 7500$ a month for nothing shorter than a one year lease.
It got me thinking. If I took a year and lived on the beach would I love it or would I be bored. probably 100k$ ---one year. Could I turn it all off for a year and just concentrate on my health. Ride the bike 20 miles every morning. Play beach volleyball, walk the beach in the evenings, focus on low fat no carbohydrate food. 100K$ is a big bill.
This is all the result of having lunch with my university buddy. We are both overweight and running 100 miles an hour jobs. We agreed that at his point what we need most is health. At 48 the career is achieved but we are going to need our health. Both our fathers work out every day and are in better shape than we are. We now have a pact to get in shape by 50. Real shape.
So I am on an exercise binge- hence the jogging on the beach, the big bike ride yesterday, the one hour of swimming. But will it be enough? If I had the 100K$ would I go for it?
Probably not. I love work too much. I would never blow 100K even if I had it. I am a little too conservative to live in Hermosa Beach California for a year. Its sad. I hate myself for even saying that.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

In defence of the Spoon...

Can we men write about intimate topics? This is a challenge but I will try.....

I was recently challenged by a blog reader to comment on what men need. My standard answer is Beer Sex and TSN.... (for those not from the land of the red mapleleaf...TSN is our version of ESPN) This glib ridiculous answer usually placates the masses and allows us to spend more time goofing off.. Yes its ridiculous.. men need tools.. power saws.. drills...gas powered stuff.. an air compressor... steaks..we need to play hockey not just watch... GOLF etc etc... we are just as needy as the rest of the planet but try to make it simple in Beer sex and Tsn and we try to move on.

I was whaled upon with the spoon... "Don't you like to spoon" "how come that's not on your list" "cuddling and spooning are never part of men's lists" My first response is you have to be kidding me... we men can spoon... we may not make a big deal about it...but we spoon..

Spooning can be vital is getting another shot at item 2.
There is an art to it... you do not want to be there cramped in there all night... she can tetherball you if she has too but you don't want to stuck there.
Most men know. the spoon - we imagine its what women want.. so we need to do it.. lets face it its not complicated.. but there are a few simple rules..
First --- never spoon just for the heck of it.. men in the neighbourhood will hate you, we will kick you out of the club.. Spooning always has a purpose. There are really four key types..." pre", "post", "hey I was thinking about golfing in the morning" or "the I really screwed up bad"
The last two are self explanatory... you hang in there as long as you can until she purrs... or self extricates herself.. if she self extricates- you will have to move to another technique unless you can hold position until she makes her point and then refolds herself in...if that happens you are golden.. if it doesn't well... lets look on the bright side.. you still have power tools to play with in the morning.
the keys to the pre and post are to be patient. We all prefer the pre. It has an intrinsic end point. its not always possible but that's life... This is key but in the end they have a couple of steps regardless of whether its pre or post.. . don't talk much "(is this enough spooning" is a pure rookie mistake)... little talking and you can claim the cuddle at the same time.. " slow movements... don't go for it... touch other parts for once.. stroke the arm.. I know it sounds stupid but go ahead... let her relax.. its ok - in fact desired for you to get excited but hold that thought for a while... this is important always kiss the neck... ... when she starts to make soft noises... poof you are almost done...
see That was not that hard. We men are much less superficial than you imagine. We look at life in depth we just don't talk about it much...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dial Up...

Tonight I am a 48 year old man currently in his parents basement surfing the net on a dial up connection.

I know I should be happy. If I am on business in Toronto I always stay with my parents. They are hurt if I don't and really its ok... My mother has breakfast on the table in the morning. She stands by to pour the milk in my cereal or my coffee because I must be incapable of doing such a task. my coffee is poured for me and brought to the table and my grapefruit is sugared and pre cut to make my life easier...

My dad pontificates on how much fibre he is getting and how much I am getting etc etc etc..

We all watch baseball on TV in the evening even though I am not much of a fan... but all of that is ok if....

I wasn't spoiled on high speed internet.... this post has no picture because it would take too long to find one... I feel myself growing older with every minute of dial wears on you

so... there is no interesting post tonight (not that its common to have one) I am bored to tears in the basement and there is no escape... its about a 28k connection at best..

yes I am spoiled..tell me what you are doing tonight so I can feel worse...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Saint Louis Misoury

Yes it was St. louis week... It looks idyllic -the arch, the downtown view, the mississipi, the riverboats.. Unfortunately the photogragher of this picture (supplied via google image) must have been standing in the middle of the strip club haven where there must be four "gentlemens clubs all packed together" or maybe you are further south and you are in the midst of oldtime chemical plants and superfund sites and where odd odours permeate the air and you spend your time thinking this can't be healthy... or maybe you are further north in the midst of East St. Louis Illnois where pockets are really really rough and crime has driven away easy living...
Then we have downtown St. Louis where the core of the city is built up and punctuated by great architecture- the city hall is beautiful... the glory of the twenties is evident everywhere.
I stayed in down town and when I drove up to the hotel Sunday night (albeit 1 am Monday morning) the front parking lot is empty and a security guard directs you to the caged lot at the back.. there is a paddy wagon and two police cars evicting some guests...
St. Louis proper is said to have 350K residents who sleep there and 1.1 million residents during the day. its hard to have a good tax base like that and so there are rough areas... beautiful architecture is boarded up waiting for the next boom...
The people are good though... The guys in our plant are solid hardworking family people who just want to do the job and go home. I know a lot of them by name and many more of them talk to me like they know me. There is seemingly no racial tension in the plant -the guys just seem to get along.. The African American woman who is behind the counter at the hotel is happy that I am back and seemingly oblivious to the police action in the rear as she is checking me in..
people are people.. the car rental shuttle driver was great... retired from the steel mill after 37 years... been married for 40 and wants to keep it that way... allergic to mold... went to Niagara falls Canada once... and calls Canada the land o f the toonie and the loonie.. ( i gave him both for a tip.. all this in the ride from the airport to the rental cars
I am not a fan of the city but it makes for an interesting week

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Am I missing life?

How much of life do we miss because we fail to engage life around us?

I was on vacation all week and I dedicated myself to exercising and working on my basement. The basement is a saga job, it will take me about a year to finish- mostly because I do not work on it religiously and work normally wears me down. none the less the week was good, climbed the mountain, rode about 100 miles on various bike rides and swam a little.
The one thing I did not do was play golf.. I play about 2 or 3 games a year but I love golf. None of the usual suspects were around to play this week so I thought I it was not to be.
yes I am getting to the point...
This morning I woke up at 5 am and I was lying there pondering life itself when a thought struck me. What I should do is drive to the Mountains and try to see if there was room for one person to play golf with a group. I lay there and argued with myself.. what if they don't do that, they probably have a waiting list, its looks overcast what if it rains etc etc... Finally i burst out of bed.. loaded my golf clubs, my bike and my hiking stuff in the car and headed out.. The bike and the hiking is just in case I was right.
Bottom line... I got on no problem.. played with this old guy who was great to play with. and it was glorious, in amongst the mountains. I shot a 99 which is about normal for me.
But what if I hadn't had that energy spurt..what if I had lay in bed and goofed off and not engaged the world? How much of life do I miss when I work too much or watch too much TV.
I think its logarithmic- you engage the world and you have multiple experiences that yield multiple more experiences.
Energy is our precious resource but I have to work my mind to avoid complacency

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Stampede's coming to town....

Yes Calgary is known for the Stampede and it starts tomorrow.. These pi cutes are from a Bull busting event at a local bar to warm us all up for the hoopla.
I can take about 57 minutes of rodeo...after that its like a car race where you find yourself waiting for the big wreck.. More Beer and a little empathy is in order.
Half of the event is just looking at the crowd. Big bellies and big belt buckles wander on by and you wonder why they wear those things. The "Bud Girls" flog beer and cleavage in equal measure but they look no more than 22 and so their appeal is limited to ice cold beer even if you are sentenced to bud lite. I have to admit that there is a strong appeal to the appearance of thirty/ forty something women wearing mid length skirts and cowboy boots. But the crowd is looking for fun and in a holiday mood and it is contagious even if the 57 minutes of enjoyable rodeo is over.
In Toronto there would probably be protesters on the cruelty to animals banner. There is no such thing in western Canada and in truth the cruelty on this day is on on humans as at least three bull riders were scraped up and helped off.. The best/ worse one was where the bull slipped and fell on the rider and then rolled off him. He staggers up and they announce that he is eligible for a re-ride..
The stampede starts tomorrow..let the fun begin...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Other pictures from the day....

The mountian above is the one across from the one being climbed....what a backdrop...

The little white spec in the middle is a plane flying way below me as I climb up the trail.

You can see the town of Canmore Alberta way below.......

The Mountain and Me

Yes I went to climb to the top of this peak on Canada Day. It is a humbling experience.
It is a relatively easy mountain to hike to the top of. One woman did it in 48 minutes. But for me it is not so simple. There are no flat spots. Ok one that is about 20 ft long. You start up from the parking lot at the back and you start up and really it never stops climbing until you are right at the top of the peak.
I do this to see if I am getting in shape, to show that I can still do it like I used to. Its supposed to be therapeutic. Climb to the peak stand on top look down on creation and feel strong..
As I was sitting by the trail gasping for breath I pledged to exercise everyday the rest of my life. I was winded, whipped and by the end my legs wobbled. But I went up and stood there.. I did not give in to the demons on my shoulder that said.. rest go home now... you've come far enough..
At one point another hiker spotted a bear across the rocks. I could barely make him out even with my zoom lens on my camera.. The demon says "go back there's a bear... its dangerous"..but luckily reason prevails.. the bear was a long ways away and running the other way. And since at this point I was above the treeline with only rock ahead of me the idea that a bear might find this terrain appealing is a little ridiculous even for my demon.
It was a little disconcerting at the top as I am there peering over the cliff -- three climbers are rapelling up the cliff and climbing over the top edge about 20 ft down. Now that'll startle ya a little...
The deed is done... one mountain is climbed.. I am looking for a new one...