28 August 2008

Sublime Waters

This makes me really miss paddling and racing...

Crew: Jen, Sandra, Cathy, Lela, me, and Barb (from right to left)

Taken after we finished the 27km Gibsons race in Aug 2007. Photo by Barry Haynes.

25 August 2008

Another one done

I have been glued to the TV for the past two week watching the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I love watching the Games and I think CBC does a great job covering the events. And the streaming on cbc.ca was awesome, too. Most nights, I would have the TV on CBC and I’d have some event not being shown on TV streaming on cbc.ca. So cool.

Highlights for me:

- The Chinese female weightlifters snatching and clean-and-jerking more than double their body weight. Holy cow!
- Canadian men’s eight rowing team winning gold. And Adam Kreek belting out the Canadian anthem during the medal ceremony. Sweet moment.
- Simon Whitfield tossing his hat and coming from behind to contend for a medal in the triathlon. He got silver. What an amazing effort!
- The favourite Lolo Jones from the US stumbling over the last hurdle and ends up finishing out of medal contention in what is most likely her only Olympics. I felt bad for her.
- Carol Huynh overwhelmed with emotion as she sang the Canadian anthem and watched the flag go up during her medal ceremony. Wow.
- 10km marathon swimming: 1 hour and 52 mins of non-stop swimming. And “eating” during the race while floating on their back. Crazy.
- 20km walk: 1:26:31 winning time. The gold medalist walks 10km faster than I run it.
- Adam van Koeverden bombing out in his 1000m finals then coming back the next day to win silver in the 500m. Roller coaster ride for every paddling fan.
- The indoor volleyball semi-final and final matches between the US and Russia, and US and Brazil, respectively. So quick and powerful! Very entertaining.

I love the drama of the Olympics. The expected winner doesn’t always deliver, while an unknown breaks through with a victory. And you have athletes like Usain Bolt hamming it up for the cameras and Michel Phelps winning everything. This is the drama of sports, just magnified tenfold. It is the Olympics, after all.

Next up, the winter games in Vancouver, 2010. Can’t wait!

22 August 2008

I am stunned

I am in disbelief.

Adam van Koeverden had a disastrous final race in the K1 1000m last night. At the 250m mark, I thought that he looked a little tight, that his strokes were not as powerful as I’ve seen in his semi-final races. But I figured that it’s the 1000m race, not the 500m race, so it just must be a different stroke rate or race plan or something. Then in the last 200m, everything just unravelled. AVK started to fade, and fade, and fade. He finished 8th out of 9 paddlers. What a disaster. What a shocker.

I sat in silence, with my mouth hanging open. I’m a paddler. I’ve had races where I believed going in that I’m going to kick ass and then during the race I feel my body betraying me because it has tightened up and it’s not doing what I want it to do, and my mind starts to wonder WTF is going on. And after the finish line, I scratch my head and can only guess at what went wrong with me.

But I’m a recreational paddler. More competitive than most rec paddlers, but rec nonetheless. And I just never thought I would see a world-class paddler like AVK have a meltdown like that. Paddlers like me, sure, but not them. Not him.

Paddling has a lot to do with feel. Coaches always say feel the water, feel your pull, feel the blade. But when you tighten up, you lose that feel very quickly and you end up not paddling very well. AVK has the 500m finals tonight. Except for the race yesterday, he’s been paddling well all week. I’m praying that he gets it together for the 500m, that he’ll have a fantastic race. Go, Adam!

20 August 2008


I went to my first ever rock concert last night to see Radiohead perform at UBC Thunderbird Stadium. It was my first ever concert at UBC Thunderbird Stadium, as well. And it was the first time I could test just how waterproof my new Patagonia Rain Shadow jacket really is. It was pissin’ rain! (Happy to report that the jacket worked really well.)

I’m not really all that familiar with Radiohead’s music and recognized only a couple of the songs they played. Nevertheless, I enjoyed listening to them, as Ed and I huddled in the rain, trying to keep warm. The music was dark and moody and with the smell of pot heavy in the air, it was pretty cool.

7 August 2008

And it continues...

Last October, we bought a 42“ Sony TV. I posted about it then and Darren posted this comment:

oh, and now you'll have to get High Def satellite or cable...no point in having in having an HD tv with no content!“

Well, well... Darren must have had a crystal ball or Ed and I are just really predictable. As of today, our cable package is being upgraded from Basic Cable to Digital TV (we get the HD stuff for free for a month as a promo), plus we are getting an HDPVR.

So what prompted this upgrade? The 2008 Olympics. I am a big fan of the Olympics and want to be able to watch the live coverage that CBC and the other networks have. But I’ll be at work or sleeping when these events are going on, so I had to recant my heartfelt ”we can make do without HDTV“ opinion. I need a PVR. Of course, Ed is as happy as can be wtih my change of heart. I did have one condition for Ed - we had to lower our mobile phone bill to offset the increase in our cable bill. Ed got us a deal with Bell Mobility a month ago so now, our bills do more or less even out in the end.

So if you don’t hear from me for the next little while, it’s because I’ve gotten sucked in to mindless digital TV land...

3 August 2008

This executive class rocks!

The one perk I really like with work travel is being able to fly business class. We don’t always get to be in business class but sometimes, we get to. My flight from Paris to Montreal last July 25 was especially awesome because I got to fly in one of Air Canada’s refurbished planes. I thought the plane was new but Bill D. told me that they are actually refurbished. Well, I really like how they have redone the inside.

Each traveller has his own “booth” and the chair extends out to become a bed. I was able to sleep very comfortably for a few hours. Although for taller people, I don’t think they will be able to lie flat and stretch out. Thank goodness I’m not that tall.

It was not all perfect. The entertainment system didn’t function at all for my booth during the flight. Only 40% of passengers had working systems. The rest of us had to rely on our iPods and books for entertainment.

I think the newness inspired the flight crew too because the service was exceptionally good. Anyway, it was such a treat to fly in that airplane. I hope I get to do it again someday.