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. πŸ™‚

I Win, Ikea 😈

I win. You tried to beat me with your ridiculous pipes, but I beat you.

Who says an oval peg can’t go in a round hole?

Okay, okay. It’s a total bodge. It will be replaced with a full set of new pipes in a couple of weeks, but for now this is good enough to make the sink usable again.

The short version of the story is that a piece of plastic broke on our Ikea sink. It was the piece that held the stopper and the pipe under the drain against the bottom of the bowl. When it broke, water could run freely into the drawers under the sink.

I went to Ikea last night with the broken piece, thinking I could replace it. But no, the “Rinnen” plumbing system had been redesigned in the three years since we installed our sink. So I got new pieces up to the bodge above, thinking I would be able to fit the new to the old. Unfortunately, the new part’s pipe had an oval cross-section, while the old one was round!

So, armed with more information, Tammy went to Ikea this afternoon. I wasn’t there, but as I understand it, they didn’t have the parts we need. They have been ordered and will arrive in about 2 weeks.

I didn’t want to be without the sink for two weeks, and I had a brainwave at work. What if I used a section of bicycle tubing as a flexible cuff between the oval and round ends? I spent a couple of hours this evening trying different ways of doing this. The first way (sliding it onto the sink side and sliding a short section into the drain) worked for about five seconds before water started coming out. Then I tried something similar (feeding a longer section in so that it went down the drain) and that worked. But it was a slow drain. Then I tried sliding it onto the drain end, and then onto the sink end (as pictured above). That was hard work, but after a lot of effort, I got it.

What you see above can handle a full sink draining, with the tap on full. This will suffice for the two weeks.

Also, sorry about the lack of posting. It’s been back to work and back to school and sort of quiet around here. We got Miranda her “Malm” bed with drawers on Sunday, and last week Ian finally spent the rest of his birthday money on a share of an XBox One S.


The new plumbing kit has arrived from Ikea. At this point, I am hopeful that I will be able to replace just part of it, rather than all the way to the wall, but we will see. If the weather doesn’t cooperate this weekend, then I might have time.

Crazy Smoky Summer Coming to an End

2017’s summer in Calgary will be the summer of smoke. It has been dry and hot, with only two thunderstorms that I can recall. Yesterday was over 30 degrees again. I imagine that we might be close to a record for number of days over 30 this year. Combined with the sun, you’d think that I’d be in cycling heaven. But before vacation and especially since we have returned from the coast, the air quality has been horrible. Last night was the worst: after dark, you could look out at the streetlights and see cones of smoke under them. The warnings from Environment Canada aren’t dire, but you have to wonder if there is a health risk associated with extended strenuous exercise in it.

Hazy Calgary

Last summer it was so wet and stormy, it took three months to finish the deck. This year the lawns are parched.

Phase Eight Complete: Miranda’s Room Trimmed

As I posted before our vacation, there are nine phases to this mad scheme of Miranda’s. Today, she and I completed the eighth.

The completed room

I think it has turned out better than I hoped. When you walk in, the sensation is definitely the right one.

Now she has to work with us to finish phase nine: decorating. Miranda is in there now, moving stuff around to figure out the layout of her room. For furniture items that we don’t have yet, she is mocking them up with substitutes to see how they work.

Hard work pays off

Flooring in Miranda’s Room

Yesterday was a bit of a relaxation day for me, but today it’s right back on the horse. I want to get the bulk of the work in Miranda’s room done before the end of the month. That way I can relax a bit and work on other projects like editing my 2016 Nanowrimo novel so I’m ready for November.

Miranda and I did some reconnaissance and information gathering yesterday, so that we would be ready for today. We hit Rona for nine cases of laminate flooring, then Home Depot to rent a laminate cutter. It’s like a big paper cutter with a guillotine blade and it was awesome. No electricity, no noise, no dust. It was a huge timesaver. Using that and my rechargeable Ryobi jigsaw, Miranda and I got the room done in about six or seven hours.

Starting out. One tricky cut accomplished already!

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The End of the Trip, And a 20th Anniversary

Friday morning was my last chance to have a ride before heading home, so I grabbed a quick bite and headed out for a loop through Metchosin and East Sooke. It was a 50 km ride, and the first part was a fight. I went up and down and up and down so much I swear my ears were popping. Worth it for the photo, though:

Sooke Harbour, glimpsed from Gillespie Road

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Eclipse, Ft. Rodd Hill, Visiting and HOLY CRAP MY SON’S DRIVING A FERRY

This has turned out to be a fantastic holiday so far. The weather on the coast is sunny and dry, and the neato activities just keep coming. Yesterday was the 21st, and it was the day of the solar eclipse. I’d noted it in our calendar, but hadn’t really made any specific plans for it. Victoria was the best place in Canada to watch it, with about 90% totality. We got up and breakfasted, and then I built a pinhole projector out of cereal boxes. I would rather have had my telescope and solar projector that I used for the Venus transit, but this was better than nothing. We got into the car and headed to the beach. We didn’t need to go to the beach to watch the eclipse, but it was a nice setting and memorable location.

Me looking at the projected image of the sun

The kids at the beach

The effect of the eclipse was more muted than anything. It got a lot dimmer, and the heat disappeared, making the morning cold. It was a success.

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The 2017 Tour de Victoria

This is the third year in a row that we have worked the Tour de Victoria into our summer vacation trip back to Victoria. In 2015, I rode the medium distance. In 2016, I rode the full distance. Now in 2017, I rode the full distance, andΒ Tammy and Miranda rode the challenge distance! Woo! πŸ•ΊπŸ•ΊπŸ•Ί

Yesterday, we went down to the Trek bicycle store to sign in, and then walked downtown. It was a lovely day, and we stopped on the Johnson Street Bridge to watch the Coho Ferry backing out.

Victoria Harbour

The gang on the bridge

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