Mark the Date: Unpacked the China

The bone china has seen the light of day for the first time since it got packed and will see use for the first time since… Christmas 2010?

The kids and the unpacked china

I’m not sure exactly who mentioned it first, but the idea got floated that we could use the china at Thanksgiving dinner tonight. I didn’t realize that there were three 2x2x2 boxes down there all marked “china”, or I might have had second thoughts. The kids and I worked at it. The dinner plates were at the bottom of the last box, of course. It will be nice to actually use the dishes.

The china has been “homeless” since we gave the china cabinet to Tammy’s friend Trish in 2011. It was part of a larger purging of the old furniture. At the time, Tammy was turning the dining room into the classroom for home schooling, and we put the whiteboard where the china cabinet had been since we moved in. Now it’s sitting downstairs, and perhaps we will get a cabinet to put it in.

The turkey’s in the oven and all the side dishes are either cooked or ready to be. Tammy made pumpkin pies this morning.


Happy Thanksgiving!

New Bike Work Stand

Manna from heaven, that’s what this is.

On Tuesday evening, I got an email from my boss, Brian:

Simon, I have a Park Bike stand I am not using anymore. If you could use this you can have it. Trying to slowly declutter house!

I tried to play it cool, but I did include this GIF in my affirmative reply.

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Cycling Year End Party, Customer Appreciation Night

The 2017 cycling season is definitely winding down. We’ll see how long the Sunday rides will continue. Last Sunday was windy and chilly, but a fantastic ride, nonetheless.

Riding up and over Nose Hill

Wednesday night was the club’s season wrap-up party, which was held at the Last Best Brewing pub. I walked over from work and Tammy picked me up on her way home from work. There was a really good turnout and it was a good time. The photo below was only about half of the attendees.

Hannah, Phil, Alice, me, Peter, Collette, Kenny, Paul, Tommy, Allan, Kim, Mark and Wing

Then last night, it was the Bow Cycle Customer Appreciation Night. I’ve stopped by almost every year since I moved to Calgary, and bought my old trainer at the 2013 edition. There is food and drinks and deep discounts on pretty much everything in the store. This year, Tara arranged that the Bow Cyclist Club would have a table at the event, and Peter and I volunteered to help her. It was a good excuse to be at the event for a long time. Got to see lots of people I know and answered lots of questions for people.

Me, Tara and Peter

Noveling Update

It’s interesting what making a concerted effort will bring. It’s entirely too easy to put things off to tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow…

Case in point: NaNoWriMo. It’s going to be our tenth year this year. Whether or not any of the combined eighteen novels that Tammy and I have written in that time ever get published, I cannot help but look at the body of work and be impressed.

In the past two years, NaNoWriMo has been escaping from November and running around the rest of my year, too. I have edited two novels now, and Tammy has reviewed and further edited one. This evening, I printed an edited copy of the second for her to review. The interesting thing is that the month-long format of NaNo works so well for that, too. This September, I diligently worked at the editing process and by this evening, I was done. Now I have cleared the decks for this November’s effort, and I have a much clearer idea of what I want to write. I will spend time in October getting my thoughts together.

This novel, tentatively titled Outpost Tyranny, came together with a November, an April (Camp NaNoWriMo) and a September.

What else can be done if I work at it for a month?

New Trainer, Fall Riding and Weatherstripping

Fall is truly taking hold in Calgary. Gone are the 30 degree days, replaced with 7 degree days. Soon, snow will take over. In anticipation of the long winter and slippery roads, I have purchased a new cycle trainer. In 2013, I bought a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, which is still going strong. However, in the time since, I have taken up Zwift, which along with other similar apps has really driven the market towards computer-controlled trainers. These are trainers which vary the resistance and measure wattage directly for apps like Zwift.

Using my Bow Cycle Ambassador discount, I brought home a Wahoo Kickr Snap.

Wahoo Kickr Snap glamour shot

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25 Years… Since that first date

Today is September 28th. Before we got married, that was our “anniversary”. On that day, back in 1992, a then-nineteen year old Simon took Tammy to see Sneakers at the Caprice Theatre in Langford. I wanted to hold her hand, but I knew my hands were clammy with anxiety. Afterwards, we went to the Tim Hortons on the Island Highway, across from where the casino is now. The theatre’s closed, and the Tim Hortons is a Serious Coffee now. I didn’t have coffee: I had tea. I didn’t drink coffee back then. I also had a truly awful chocolate chip bran muffin. I don’t know what I was thinking.

We sat and talked for hours. It was a tremendous first date, if not flashy. I got a good-night kiss, but it wasn’t flashy, either. I remember Tammy stopping to pull the gum out of her mouth first. If we still lived in Victoria, I’d take her back to the same spot and kiss her again. 😘

Highwood Pass

And hot on the heels of yesterday’s MEC ride is today’s Highwood Pass ride. Considering I was going into the weekend wondering if either ride would happen, I ended up with two.

Highwood Pass is something of a local legend in Calgary. It is high enough and steep enough that it deserves respect, but it’s accessible. The road is closed between December and June 15 every year, and a lot of riders take advantage of there being no cars on it on those weekends right before it opens. I had never ridden the north side before, and my MEC rides didn’t take me all the way to the summit this year or last.

The ride was put on by The Lead Out Project, and sponsored by Bow Cycle. It wasn’t technically a Bow Cyclist Club ride, but there was great attendance.

Some of the gang, ready to roll. Photo by Wing.

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Glass Half Full Ride

Today was one of those tests to see if I’m a glass half full or glass half empty guy.

It was the MEC Fall Century Ride, and I was signed up for the 160 km distance. I did it last September and today was the capstone of the cycling season. Unfortunately, the weather has turned from summery to wintry in the span of two weeks. Two weeks ago it was 30 degrees, but this week it was trying to snow.

The glass half empty person would complain that it was barely two degrees this morning in Turner Valley.

Paul, Adam, Tommy, me and Phil

They would also complain that I didn’t get the 160 km ride that I signed up for. Phil and I ended up riding together for the day, and when it got even colder as we climbed into the mountains and the snow was coming closer to the road, we turned around.

But, I’m not that guy. I dressed warmly, and felt strong. We were within visual distance of the front group until almost the 30 km mark. We took it easier after that and had a great ride up into Kananaskis Country. While we didn’t go all the way up, the scenery was beautiful.

Me about a kilometer from where we turned around

We got a 122 kilometer ride, when I thought for sure I wouldn’t get a ride at all. Then, when we came back down, the weather perked up and got warmer, but not too warm. Sunshine makes everything look better.

The road back to Turner Valley

Finished in about four hours and 20 minutes, and got to eat the after-ride meal with everyone I started with. My toes weren’t even numb by then. 🙂