19 December 2007
The wood is Acacia, which is a common wood in the Philippines. Very hard and dense. We like the distinct wood pattern and are quite happy with our choice.
Next up over the holidays, painting and new curtains for our room. When will this home reno business end?!?!?
7 December 2007
I am very happy with this layout. But I will have to wait a few days to enjoy the room again. This week, we are getting new hardwood flooring installed upstairs, hence, we've had to clear out all our stuff from up there and spread it around other parts of the house. As of this morning, this is how our living room looks like:
A small price to pay for getting this beautiful, original 70's shag carpet replaced with hardwood:
Pics of the new floor to come next week...
19 November 2007
I came in to work on this wet and gray Monday morning and found a very nice gift on my desk. An iPod Touch! It's a thank you gift from Navarik for all the hard work that has gone into creating and building our product - Navarik Inspection.
I've been with Navarik for seven years (longest I've ever worked in one company) and it remains such a great place to work. I truly am lucky to have a job that I thoroughly enjoy and to be in a company that makes me feel very much appreciated.
16 November 2007
The main screen shows a calendar of the activities downloaded from my GPS. When I select a specific activity, it shows the speed, pace, distance, time, heartrate, etc. Every little thing I’d like to know about my run or paddle. The map is really good too because if I click on a particular lap or distance in the list below the calendar, it highlights on the map where that lap or distance was.
There is a full view of the just the map. Very entertaining to see how far (or not) I went. In this one, I was in an OC6 and we paddled from Burrard Marina to Stanley Park past Siwash Rock and close to the Lion’s Gate Bridge. The view of the city from the water is fantastic. As you can see from the image above, we paddled around 10 km that morning.
The activity detail graph is what I find really useful. I can study my speed or pace over time or distance, which is really helpful when training. Or for races, the coach can see how the team did at different legs of the course. Pretty neat tool. The green line graphs the speed and the red line graphs my heart rate.
I like my new toy. I could spend hours just analyzing the data collected by my Garmin. Geeky fun!
8 November 2007
For the past five or six year, I’ve attended Circle Craft every November. And every year, I go to Silvia Dotto’s display to admire her work. And every year, I tell myself that someday, I will have a few of Silvia’s serving dishes. Someday. Two years ago, Yvette had the bright idea of asking Ed to get a flat platter for my birthday. I absolutely loved the platter and have used it many times since. (Thanks, Vet and Ed!)
A few days ago, I got an email about the up-coming Culure Crawl from Silvia and she announced that after more than 10 years of making them, she will be retiring her serving collection. She will be putting her creative energies into new endeavours. My initial reaction was NO!!! Her pottery is so beautiful. But I can understand her need for more artistic challenges.
I decided that I have to get one more piece before they go away. (Ed agreed!) So last night, I went to her studio to pick out another platter. Well, I ended up buying a bowl (in aqua) AND a platter (in espresso brown). It was just so hard to pick just one. Totally not budgetted whatsoever but I didn’t really care. These pieces are what heirlooms are made of. And they will be put to good use.
I parked them on our dining table last night and just stared at them with a smile on my face. Someday is today. And it felt really good.
4 November 2007
Here's a photo of Neo on our evening stroll. So cute!
Several Navarik folks donned their costumes in hopes of winning the best costume award, plus to have some Halloween fun. Congratulations to Dave K. (winner) and Randy R. (runner-up) for the win.
My faves were Noel's Obi-Wan Kenobi and Andy's samurai. Noel's wife actually sewed the robe, with lining so that it's not itchy to wear! Thumbs up from me.
22 October 2007
Kai (Cathy and Carl)
Elise (Kari and Nathan)
Darren (Janet and Orvin)
Olive (Lou and Ryan)
Madison (Lynn and Don)
Adrian (Darren and Amy)
Matias (Mel and Nick)
Keaton (Veronica and Jeremy)
Since July 2006, there have been even more babies:
Joshua (Yvette and Brian)
Owen (Susan and Mike)
Elijah (Erin and Gary)
Senna (Leah and John)
Keira (Sharon and Norm)
Isabella (Mark and Linda)
Justine (Andrew and Monica)
Kelly (Elaine and Elton)
Lucas (Marty and Christine)
Luke (Shelley and Mark)
Selena (Shirley and Len)
Madelin (Monica and Josh)
And three guys at work are expecting babies early next year, too. Must be something in the water....
15 October 2007
Then a few months ago, instead of the lines showing up, the picture disappeared, the screen turned black and a white horizontal line appeared in the middle of the TV. We banged on it; nothing happened. We figured out that we had to turn off the TV for 5 to 10 minutes and try again. Sometimes doing that once did the trick. Sometimes we had to do that several times.
We started shopping for a new TV. A friend of ours bought a 37“ LCD TV for $1,200. So that set our budget. I thought a 32” would be fine (and we can spend less than $1,000) but Ed said that in order to have a picture that’s the same height as our dying TV, we needed to get at least 37“. Fine. Then Ed said we shouldn’t get anything below 1080p because blah, blah, blah. Whatever. Fine. Budget is now $1700. As we compared different brands, Samsung and Sony became the top two choices. I said I prefer Sony. Budget is now $1900. Aiya! Where is this going to end?
Last Friday, I saw a flyer that advertized a 40” Sony TV for $1688 at The Brick. The same TV at Future Shop was selling for $1,900. Wow, it’s a great deal! So off we went to The Brick. Get there, buy the TV, and get out, right? Nope. There’s this Sony home theatre system that’s HDMI blah blah blah that if you buy it with the TV, the package will cost $1,998. $300 for a $1,000 home theatre? How can we not buy it? So we did.
So much for having a budget! We suck.
3 October 2007
First up, the lovely wallpaper in the kitchen. We actually started stripping the wallpaper last July. The wall sat bare for a couple of months. I sanded it a couple of weeks ago and this week, Ed put primer paint on it. It is now officially ready to be painted!
Do I miss the yellow flowers on the wall? Not really.
The other thing I did was hang framed prints on the dining room wall. Next thing for the dining room is to replace the massive light fixture that dominates the room currently.
For the living room, I purchased pillow forms for the throw pillow covers I bought in Manila a year ago. Yes, it took me a year to buy pillow stuffing. And I found out that they sell pillow forms in even sizes - 14 x 14, 16 x 16, etc. Well, the throw pillow cases I have are 15 x 15. So they do look too big for the 14 x 14 pillow forms I bought. Probably will take me another year to fix that.
Our big ticket item this year will be the new carpet for the upstairs. I really am looking forward to replacing our 70's shag carpet. Although I'm not looking forward to Bob and Neo clawing away at the new carpet. Darn those cats.
Next year, maybe we will renovate the kitchen. Maybe... We have asked for a quote from one company already. We'll see how much they quote. At the rate we're going, probably will take us five years to get that new kitchen.
20 September 2007
- The dock at False Creek is very quiet now; dragon boat season is done.
- I’ve had to turn on the heater in the house.
- Air is crisp and cool, even when the sun is shining.
- New episodes on TV.
- NHL is back on.
Summer just zoomed by. I’m kind of sad it’s coming to an end.
11 September 2007
But I was in a cooking mood. Ed and I have not been home a lot the last month or so. I don’t think I cooked a meal at home the entire month of August. So I found myself missing my kitchen and wanting to do homey stuff. Like cooking. I chose dishes from the Wild Rose cookbook that I can prepare for our friends. Simple, healthy yet delicious dishes. I made salsa, rice pilaf (basmati), steamed vegetables, lemon tahini dressing, lentil dahl, and baked herbed red snapper. I quite enjoyed preparing the meal for Ed and our friends, and I was proud of it (I don’t normally cook). I felt quite happy having friends around the table, enjoying the meal I prepared. But it can’t all be healthy stuff - we balanced it out with some cake from Pine House bakery.
29 August 2007
What have I been up to since my go-karting evening...
- Ed and I attended Paul and Teresa's wedding (wonderful celebration!)
- We went camping at Green Lake - actually cabin-ing is a more appropriate description
- We went to Vernon with our DB team for the Vernon DB Festival
- I went to Vernon (again) with the FCRCC Outrigger team to compete in the 45km Fresh Water Challenge
- I volunteered to be a timer for the novice and womens races during the Outrigger Nationals in Kits
- Ed and I went to Calgary with Without Warning to compete in the Club Crew qualifiers
- And in between all the paddling and road trips, I worked and worked and worked.
Yes, it's been a busy summer. Regrettably, I have not been in touch with family and friends much. But with my paddling season winding down, there will definitely be more time for that.
I'm looking forward to a lazy weekend where I can just sit at home and hang out with Ed and our cats. I'm crossing my fingers that weekend will come soon...
12 July 2007
27km! I actually did it. I raced with the FCRCC outrigger womens #2 crew - Jen, Sandra, Cathy, Lela, and Barb. I carpooled to Gibsons with Cathy on the Friday. On the ferry, we bumped into a couple of paddlers from Victoria. Mick started pointing at landmarks - this island and that island - and how we’re going to paddle from the island over there to the island over there and then to Gibsons over there. Like, far points over there! That was when it truly hit me that this race is freakin’ long! My heart started pounding and I started to feel very anxious. What the hell did I get myself into?!?
I had a restless sleep. The anxiety of the race made it impossible to sleep well. Woke up at about 6:30am and had a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Filled up my hydration system and got my energy gels ready.
Time to race. The first leg of the race had big waves. I still find it awkward paddling in big waves but I concentrated on getting into the forward lean position to plant my blade and catch. I guess paddling in big waves is more fun and interesting than flat water. I just need to get more comfortable doing it. We finally got calmer water once we turned around Hut Island and paddled the length of Bowen Island. The boat also sagged at that point. But we battled through it and got some power pieces in there. I set my Garmin GPS to beep every 15 mins and also every 9km. I started thinking of the race as 15 min pieces and that helped a lot in keeping my focus. I could do a 15 min piece, no problem, and focusing on the task at hand that way was a big help. I focused on my technique - keeping my back tall, swinging my hip forward as I reach it out, leaning forward solidly for the plant, burying the blade fully, and using my legs for the pull. I thought about acceleration through the water. But as I got tired, the harder it was to do that. But really, all I thought about throughout the race was keeping my form solid and doing what it took to keep pulling hard.
The third leg of the race, we turned away from Bowen and started heading back towards Gibsons, was wavy and windy again. This last leg was pure adrenalin. I think all of us got a second or third wind because we got the boat to glide a lot better. The most tiring part for me was around km 20 when Barb had me paddle on the left side for a while to help keep the boat stable through the waves. It must have been around 6 hut-ho’s that I stayed on the left. It was like dragon boating but after paddling for 20 kms first. That one hurt.
Our time was 2 hrs and 42 mins and we came in 5th overall (out of 11) in the women’s category. I think that was a good showing for a crew that had a newbie who had never paddled 27 kms before. I was very happy with how I did and how my body held up. Staying hydrated did wonders and eating properly before the race helped, too. When we crossed the finish line, I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t believe that I did it! What an amazing feeling that was. I think that’s what people who finish a marathon for the first time feel. Disbelief and pride, all rolled into one big emotion. It was great!
21 June 2007
This year, the summer will be different for me. Alcan was last weekend and instead of it being the start of tapering off, it puts my racing season into full gear - for dragon boat and outrigger. Looking ahead to July and August, I have two more dragon boat festivals and three outrigger races to compete in. If my dragon boat team decides to go to Kelowna, then that's another one I can race in come September. It's going to be a busy summer...
The other thing that's different is the amount of paddling I'm doing. In years past, the week after Alcan was spent off the water. This year, after racing in nine races during the Alcan weekend, I went out in the OC1 to practice for an upcoming time trial the day after Alcan. On Tuesday, I had a coached session in an OC1 and paddled around 8km. On Wednesday, I had a practice with the OC6 crew and we paddled over 12km. That's a lot of paddling. Tomorrow and Friday will be rest days. It's time for some rest.
So, if you're wondering what I've been up to lately, there's your answer. Paddle, paddle, paddle.
6 June 2007
In any case, I started looking for a different station while driving to work and stumbled across 107.9. They played alternative, some rock, a little pop. It’s a good mix and hardly any ads or contests and sh*t like that. Found out today that it’s a station run by BCIT students who are in the school’s radio programming and management program. Pretty cool!
5 June 2007
27 May 2007
26 May 2007
It was a little cool and cloudy but the water was fairly calm and the wind just slight. Good paddling conditions. I always feel nervous before a race and that morning was no different. I did my yoga stretches before I left the house and I did a quick jog to get the blood flowing once I got to Burrard marina. Met up with the other paddlers and we made our way to Jericho. Just before 12:30, we boarded our OC6 and made our way to the start line. Except that nobody seemed to know where the start line was. We were moving up the boat to where we thought it was when we heard the start gun go off. Oh shoot! We’re going? I was on my off-side but what the heck, let’s do a start, shall we? So off we went and we actually did a pretty decent start. Ready and reach, I heard, and I settled in to our race pace. It’s a long race and I wanted the rate to be low and steady so we don’t burn out and fizzle midway. I was sitting in the first seat and my job was to set the pace for the rest of the team.
All the mens teams sprinted off ahead of us and behind us was a pack of the mixed teams. We were in the middle of the two packs, basically by ourselves all the way through. It was hard to gauge how fast we were going or if we were holding up our pace. I just kept the rhythm pretty steady and hoped that we were doing okay.
We finished third out of eight mixed teams, clocking in at 1 hour 28 mins. This was a very good result for us and we were all pretty happy with how we did. We could hard walk after all that paddling but we were happy.
1 Lotus Mixed Open 1:19:33 1
2 Pacific Reach Mixed Masters 1:24:35 1
3 FCRCC Ke Kumu O Ka La Mixed Open 1:28:49 2 <- that’s us!
4 Ocean River Mixed Masters 1:34:00 2
5 Powell River Mixed Snr Masters 1:37:45 3
6 FCRCC Mixed Masters 1:39:54 4
7 FCRCC Mixed Open 1:40:19 3
21 May 2007
7 May 2007
4 May 2007
1 May 2007
25 April 2007
And my ultra bright niece is one of them! Wow!
We always knew she was gifted. When a 6 year old reads all the Harry Potter books and actually understands them, it’s pretty clear that she’s gifted.
When Andie was in the sixth grade, she wrote the SAT exam. She scored high enough to be close to the score expected of geniuses. Sixth grade! In the two years since, she has learned algebra and trigonometry. She has practiced her writing skills. All in preparation for the admission test into TJHSST. There was an essay portion and a multiple choice portion in the admission test. She nailed them both!
Come September, Andie will be joining the other gifted students in this school. What an exciting opportunity! I am so thrilled for her. More important than her academic achievements, Andie is a sweet girl, a caring big sister, and a loving daughter. What an amazing person she is. Congratulations, Andie!!!
And kudos to my brother and his wife for being such diligent and supportive parents! Congratulations to all of you!
16 April 2007
This year, my goal was to beat last year's time. But I was worried because I didn't train as consistently as I did last year. I travelled for work in January and February and these things tend to play havoc with my routine. So I really only started following the Sun Run training program starting in March. That gave me six weeks of running 2 to 3 times a week. I was not feeling so confident about achieving my goal until the Monday before the big race. I ran for 50 mins and covered 8.8km. Hmmm... I started thinking that I may actually do 10K in 60 mins!
This morning, the weather was cool but dry. A good day for a run. Over 54,000 people were participating and the energy could be felt everywhere. My favourite part of the run is the downhill stretch from the start time to Denman St. It's a great way to start a race and get the blood flowing. I kept track of my pace on my GPS monitor and by the time I hit the 4km mark, I knew I was ahead of my target pace. That gave me good energy to tackle the hill going up to Burrard Bridge. The stretch on 4th Ave didn't seem so bad this year. That was where I struggled last year but this time, I felt pretty good and not once did I think of walking to rest. Reaching Cambie Bridge, I kept telling myself to keep pushing because this is the difference between being under 60 mins and being above it. I crossed the finish line and I stopped my timer. It said 58:24! I was very happy with that time. I hope the official time is not too far off. It was really fun this year. It felt easier. I didn't feel like I was going to keel over or my legs were going to fall off, like last year.
I think I will sign up for another 10K run this year, just to give me incentive to keep running and training. Crossing that finish line below the target time is turning out to be addictive!
27 March 2007
There you have it... A new look. I like it! I hope you do, too. :)
23 March 2007
I’ll have to check if my new desk is feng shui approved.
20 March 2007
I didn’t know what to say. I felt compassion for her and I was proud that in spite of her fear, she forced herself to keep up with the times by learning to use the ATM. But I also could not say that I understood, for I did not. I tried to think of something that would make me feel that way and I drew a blank. Maybe when I am my parents’ age I will know what it’s like. I hope not, though. I’d like to believe that my desire to figure things out will always overcome any fear of the unknown. That’s my hope, anyway.
5 March 2007
Like our visit here a month ago, this has been another food-fest. We have been eating very well and the portions here in the US is gigantic. So all that weight and fat I lost during our D-Tox cleanse are back, for sure. Oh well... Once again, I spent money on clothes. But this time around, I got to walk along the Magnificent Mile, and drive around the neighbourhood near Wrigley Field. We visited an area called Old Town, just north of the Chicago Loop, as well as a place called Geneva which is about a 15 min drive from Warrenville. Geneva is a quaint and picturesque village situated by the Fox river. Very pretty town. On a warmer day, walking along its pretty streets would have been a lot more enjoyable. As it was, we had to walk briskly because of the biting cold. But the thing that struck me the most was the blue, blue sky. Not a cloud in sight. It was a beautiful day.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my luggage will not weigh over 50 lbs or else they will charge me extra. I think it is in the high 40’s. I hope I’m right.
19 February 2007
I’m certainly more aware now when I eat sugary or processed foods. I don’t deny myself but I also monitor how much of it I consume. I lost some weight during the D-Tox but I’ve gained some of it back already which I’m happy about. The big highlight for me during the twelve days is the meal I whipped up without a recipe. I actually invented a dish!
11 February 2007
This morning, Ed and I joined our friends for dimsum. We had congee and some tofu but none of the really cool dimsum stuff. But it was not as traumatic as I thought it would be, sitting there with all this yummy food that I can’t eat within reach, just tempting me. Instead, I enjoyed my friends’ company and didn’t focus on the food. Come to think of it, I was slightly dreading going to dimsum but I ended up having a really good time.
8 February 2007
I started at the dock in Alder Bay, then out to False Creek and headed east towards Science World where I made a U-turn to go back towards Cambie Bridge. I continued west until the buoy across from the Granville Island Hotel where I turned left to cross False Creek to head back to Alder Bay.
My time: 39 mins and 42 seconds. My target was 40 mins so I’m happy about coming in just below it. It was a very calm night and the water was so still. On a windy, choppy day my time would have been above 40 mins. But still, it’s not bad for my first 5km loop. At least, I have a benchmark to work off of. By the end of the year, I should be closer to 35 mins. That’s the goal anyway, something to shoot for.
6 February 2007
I never, ever imagined that I would be one of these people who would have “special needs” for their food. I have certainly reached a new milestone for myself today. Too funny.
5 February 2007
So, here we are, eating super healthy meals with no additives or processed anything. We’re allowed to eat as much as we’d like but from a list of allowed and recommended items like buckwheat, brown rice, beans, fish, vegetables, etc. Unfortunately, chips are under the “not allowed” list. Rice cakes with almond butter just doesn’t sound as enticing as cheese puffs.
The biggest adjustment is the planning for meals and snacks since we will not have the luxury of take out or granola bars. But, it is only for 12 days. Totally manageable! At least that’s what I’ll keep telling myself until we’re done.
12 January 2007
This has been our routine. We arrive at the client’s office before 9am and the morning session goes from 9am to noon. We eat lunch at cafeteria, which is pretty nice and serves good food. The afternoon meeting goes from 1pm to 5pm. Then we check our email, make phone calls to the office, etc. Then we head back to the hotel and we partake in the happy hour at the hotel lobby. They serve a different treat everyday (chicken wings, mozzarella stick, etc) and we can enjoy some wine. After happy hour, we either rest up or work out. Three times this week, I managed to head to the gym and run on the treadmill for 30 mins. Kind of feels weird doing this after having even just a few sips of wine. ☺ Then we meet up for dinner. We’ve had Korean, stir fry, pizza, seafood, pasta, and so on. I have a container of Ben&Jerry’s ice cream in the fridge in my room. Eating is such an easy pasttime when there’s nothing much else to do. Scary.
After getting back to the hotel, we do more work, send more email, watch TV, then go to sleep.
This is the life of a contractor who travels to the customer’s office. Work, work, work, eat, eat, eat, then work some more. Once I get to my hotel room, I can’t seem to stop myself from going to the computer to review the notes for that day, to add more things to my to do list, and do more work. And even when I manage to close my laptop, my brain still doesn’t stop. It’s churning away, going over the discussions we had that day, thinking of what should be done and what will be coming in the next few weeks and months. Thinking, thinking, thinking. The only time my brain would stop thinking about work is when I watch TV. No husband and cats to distract me. No home to be my retreat.
This week has been a great learning experience and this will really help me do my job better. This business travel life, though, I can’t imagine how people do this week after week. I’d get really fat if this was my way of life. Especially with the size of food servings here. Even the salad is in a massive bowl.
Anyway, I miss my home, my hubby, my cats. Here, it’s me and my Mac. Not quite the same.
Tomorrow, though, Randy and I get to explore downtown Chicago. Yay, it’s a break from working all the time and living in a hotel. We plan to visit the Art Institute, Michigan Ave, and Museum of Science and Industry. I’m looking forward to it very much.
8 January 2007
4 January 2007
• Training for and running in the 10k Vancouver Sun Run. I really was not much of a runner prior to that but after the first few painful runs in January, I began to enjoy it. By April, I was going on 10k runs after work. At the Sun Run, I finished in 62:30 minutes and I was happy with that result.
• Training for and competing at the Vancouver dragon boat festival in June. I took my training more seriously - running, weight training, time in the marathon canoes, and of course, our team practices. The hard work felt good.
• Trying out paddling in outrigger canoes starting in July. I joined the novice program at FCRCC and by August, I raced in my first ever outrigger race. It was in Vernon and it was a 27km long race that required water changes. It was a lot of fun!
• My first ever admission into a hospital’s emergency room. Interesting experience.
• Our visit to the Philippines. Definitely the highest of highlights for me and Ed. Spending time with family and old friends, visiting new places, experiencing new adventures. It was a wonderful trip.
• Christmas with Lizza and Pat in Spokane, WA. An excellent way to end the year.
Other very notable notables:
• !Dop Van Dop (aka Joshua) was born. Cute little sweetie.
• Josh and Mon got married. (and 5 other couple friends tied the knot and we got to share their special day with them)
• Introductory flying lesson. Thanks to Ed who gave the lesson to me as a Christmas gift, I spent an hour in a two-person plane and I even got to take the controls for a while. It was a little bit of a dream come true.
We had one lowlight - our house got broken into in late April. Bastards!
I’ve been thinking that 2006 was a humdrum year for me but after thinking back and recognizing the highlights and notables, it actually was a good year. There were some disappointments, definitely, and many things for me to improve on but I continued to have excellent health, a job that I enjoy, great friends, two very adorable cats, and a loving husband. I also spent more time with my family here in Vancouver and my sister in Manila. And these are really what matter. I look forward to being blessed with these gifts again in 2007.