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05 March 2009 @ 01:59 pm
Well, as I didn't get around to writing an ITLAPD post, I guess this is the next most likely candidate.

urbanpringle and I are doing the WWF CN Tower climb again this year! My goals for this year are reasonably predictable, I think -- I'm more than doubling my financial goal and I'm hoping to clock in with a time of fifteen minutes or less. We'll see how that turns out.

This year, however, I've actually started training earlier than two weeks! The Individual/Public climb is scheduled for April 18th, and I began my training two days ago, on March 3rd, so I'm hopeful that I can work up to my 17:38 time from last year and then surpass it. Plus this year I intend to be more proactive/less timid about approaching and asking people to donate

Tuesday -- 15:54 for five up-and-down "laps" (not the ten I was hoping for, but I have been rather out of shape, so I'll work up to the ten I need to be doing.)

Today -- 23:00 for seven laps. This I'm happy about, 'cause if I can manage to increase by two extra laps each time, I'll quickly be up to ten, and then soon beyond ten.

I thought I'd make a post every week or so, with a "status update" or so detailing how climb training is going.

Next training day will be Saturday. Hopefully tomorrow won't be as uncomfy as Wed -- as usual, I had 'fun' climbing/descending stairs, and even just hopping up onto my bed!

My WWF Climb Page, if anyone's interested in donating. I intend to make a Facebook post about this sooner or later.

And if anyone's interested in also climbing, whether in the Team Climb or the Individual/Public Climb, here's the WWF's CN Tower Climb page, with registration links and info.

Mood: Not really work-inclined, hence why I'm actually posting for a change. (Plus I'd meant to put this up, sometime sooner or later.)

Music: The Whitlams, Gregorian chants (for when I'm doing schoolwork), and the soundtracks for three seasons of Battlestar Galactica, occasionally interspersed between the other two.
21 April 2008 @ 04:08 pm

Rob (urbanpringle) and I, with our Climb shirts

I did something this past Saturday morning that I wasn't sure I could do. I climbed the CN Tower's 1776 steps, and in only 17 min, 38 seconds, too! (for reference, the average time is between 25 and 40 min.) The crazy thing about this whole thing was definitely both the event and the lead-up to it -- I put myself into a self-created training program for the climb, for about two weeks, and pretty well kept to it. Every other day I'd go to the Dana Porter (UW's big on-campus library) and climb for about 30-45 min up and down the ten flights nine times, as that was pretty well equivalent to the CN Tower's height. They were good workouts -- afterwards, I was quite red-faced and thirsty. So, even with this preparation, I approached last Saturday with a good measure of trepidation. Even though I felt I'd figured out a good pacing strategy, and had noticeably improved my climbing time of the Porter's stairs, I still wasn't confident as to how the actual climb would turn out. This was mainly for one specific reason: when counting the number of trips up and down needed to approximate the CN Tower's number of stairs, the count included the stairs covered when descending, which, at the time, seemed problematic, as when training I frequently felt relieved when coming down the stairs, as it seemed to be less work (until later in the climb). I had visions of being stuck on some mini-landing, waiting until my calves finished hurting before I would carry on.

Thus, as I approached the Tower from below, it was definitely with apprehension. It looks really big when you're nearby it, as most tall structures do.

What's also been interesting to me in this whole process is how I've managed to just pick up and go at the whole training, and the activity itself. I've never really considered myself a particularly athletic guy, nor one who is in good shape for any sort of endurance or even sprinting task, and my physical training/athletic activities are not in the slightest bit organized -- I bike around when the weather is nice, and sometimes go walking. I play some sports, generally ultimate and soccer, although these are of the pick-up variety, and aren't too often. I enjoy them, but I haven't been on any teams since playing soccer in grade school/junior high, and haven't thought about going back to that very much. So it was rather surprising when, last Thursday, I timed myself for my Porter stair climb, and found that I was nearly ten minutes quicker than I had been when I started training. Not bad for only eight(?) sessions, I think, especially as during the first two I was attempting to run the stairs, as opposed to picking a good climbing pace.

When I started the actual Tower climb itself, when they stamped my time card and wished me luck, I was surprised to find out that climbing those stairs was going better than I thought. The stairs weren't as tough as the ones in the Porter -- I think the slope was not so steep and there were fewer per flight -- and so I found myself moving pretty steadily. I didn't feel the need to take any breaks, as even though my calves did start complaining somewhat, it didn't seem bad enough to warrant a pause. And I think it went quite well. When the volunteers/staff stamped my timecard at the top of the tower, I was thoroughly stunned to see that my time was around 18 minutes, as I'd thought I'd take more in the order of 30-45, as had been my times for climbing the Porter.

In case you can't read it, Rob's and my times are 17:22 and 17:38 respectively.

All in all, this has been a really neat experience, as it has been a neat chance for me to surprise myself. While I may not think of myself as particularly athletic or toned, and more quickly categorize myself in the "scrawny (slender?) weakling" category, with a little work, I can pull off something pretty good. =)

So, would I do this again? For sure! It's great fun, and I had a real sense of accomplishment. And now that I have climbed it once, I have a much better idea of what I'm getting into. Maybe I might be able to shorten my climb time in future, too...?

05 February 2008 @ 10:58 pm

As of very recently, if you're in the US, you can order your own Firefox plushie!

Squeeeee! </fanboy>

(For them's that would like to order and aren't in the States [though it seems more like North America...?], I read that it's supposed to join the International Store in about two weeks or so. Don't ask me why...) Although, since

There's a little back story to this -- back when I discovered Firefox in grade 12 or so, around 2003/2004, that was pretty soon after Firebird had been rechristened Firefox -- in the days of version 0.7/0.8, too. And so as part of my discovering of this awesome browser, I ended up stumbling on the Mozilla store, and I came across the plushie. And boy did I want one. But I didn't have a credit card, so I decided I'd wait until I did have one. And time passed. And then when I finally had a credit card, I remembered the plushie, and lo and behold, it had been removed/discontinued from the store! Waaaah!

But then I somehow stumbled across a bug someone had opened in the Mozilla bug database, called "Bring back the Firefox plushie." There were many of us who were interested in seeing this little guy come back to the store. And so when the very first poll was put up for what to add to the Mozilla store, those of us on that bug's mailing list were notified and mobilized. In the end, the plushie won, with 43% of the vote, and so it's now in the store. =DDD

Tags: ,
I saw this on someone else's blog, so I thought I'd do it too, as I rather like it.

In 1986 (the year you were born)

Ronald Reagan is president of the US

The US officially observes Martin Luther King Day as a national holiday for the first time

The space shuttle Challenger explodes moments after lift off, killing 6 astronauts and a teacher

A major nuclear disaster occurs at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union

Japanese video game maker Nintendo introduces its games to America

US warplanes bomb Libyan headquarters in retaliation for terrorist attacks

The Soviet Union launches the Mir space station

IBM unveils the PC Convertible, the first laptop computer

Charlotte Church, The Olsen twins, and Lindsay Lohan are born

New York Mets win the World Series

Chicago Bears win Superbowl XX

Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup

Top Gun is the top grossing film

"That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne & Friends spends the most time at the top of the US charts

ALF, the Oprah Winfrey Show, and Pee-wee's Playhouse premiere

...because I've come up with something to say.

This one's the funny one, where life imitates art.

Yay for xkcd:

xkcd: 281

(Ten second back story: I sent my video card back to the manufacturer because the fan on the card was dying.  They are sending back a replacement and shipping it with FedEx.)

So I have a tracking code, and I'm checking it semi-regularly (possibly even semi-obsessively), and as I write this, this comic is coming true, exactly as described -- package is still in Memphis, having travelled there from Louisville, on the way to Mississauga.
31 October 2007 @ 11:05 pm
Thought I'd post a little about what I saw/etc. on Hallowe'en:

  • saw two people waiting in line for the streetcar at Spadina who were dressed as Yip-Yips (one red, the other blue) -- wished I had a camera
  • saw a guy at school wearing a tank --> he'd built it out of cardboard, painted it, and had it to fit around him
  • someone was dressed up as an oversized pocket calculator
  • someone else was a Rubik's cube
And I dressed up with a beret and a red blinking plastic nose -- a failed French clown.

And the subject quote comes from It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!, which I watched this evening -- and thus have the (ever-so catchy) Linus & Lucy track stuck in my head.

Anyway, that's all.

19 September 2007 @ 08:05 pm
Ahoy there, me hearties! It be International Talk Like A Pirate Day again, but this time I'm on workterm and not in school. So I took a pirate hat and eyepatch to work with me today, and wore it as I answered people's tech support questions and so forth. And I did the pirate voice, but not a lot, as my boss wasn't entirely keen on it. He said he was "born without the drama gene," and also made references to questioning my judgement and such, so I kept it sort of toned down. But on the way back home, I rode the subway wearing the hat and eyepatch, and noticed a few looks, and a couple giggles. Only one question, though, which sort of disappointed me. Ah well. *shrug*

It be much fun, indeed. Some year, though, I gunna be getting meself a full-out proper costume, and plannin' some events an' the like. This year I be listenin' to appropriate music and I gunna be watchin' the Secret of Monkey Island play! It's only an hour and a half.

Sadly, no photos this year, as I lack a camera and people around me who have one.

So, for another ITLAPD, I be signin' out. Shiver me timbers!

Music: Pirates trilogy soundtrack and Pirates of Penzance soundtrack, o' course!

25 March 2007 @ 04:32 pm

When I arrived back home from church earlier this afternoon, I noticed that my apartment was stuffy. An opened window fixed that. After the stuffiness was dealt with, then things were sort of cold. And I felt like I wanted a fire. But there isn't a fireplace (I wish!) where I'm living. So, I turned to Google. Call it what you like -- sad, amusing, really nerdy, whatever. I found a minute-and-a-half-or-so clip of a fire burning in a fireplace, and then piped it out to the TV. Send the sound out to the speakers, and poof, instant fire. Set the video on loop, add some jazz piano music playing semi-softly from Winamp, and I've been enjoying my "fire" with piano music for the past few hours. And somehow, whether an illusion or not, once I looked at the TV, with the "firelight" flickering, and sounds of snaps and crackles of the wood, I felt warmer.

Some people put on socks or slippers. I go looking for fireplace footage online. =P

...which reminds me, I was thinking of making hot chocolate and then reading a book or something. Or writing some emails. Whatever it was, I think it's time for hot chocolate and munchies.

Location: Home in Taranno.
Mood: Cheerful.
Music: Lao Tizer's compositions (here's to jazz piano)
Reading: Nothing of a fictional nature, at the moment. Other than that, I'm reading On Becoming A Counselor (Eugene Kennedy & Sara Charles).
Ivy update: Ivy seems to be doing well, barring some of its leaves.

20 March 2007 @ 01:52 pm
It's funny how much your perspective changes when you're sick. I woke up this morning (somewhere between four and five am), and since then I've been sick. Whereas normally I'm rather blasé about the fact that I can drink whatever I want and my stomach doesn't mind, today, that's not been the case. Only in the past two and a half hours have I been able to drink small amounts of water, and that's been quite a good feeling.

I've just started on a watered-down orange juice "program," where you water OJ down half and half, and then take small amounts every 15 min beginning with a 1/4 teaspoon or so, doubling it each time. I'm hopeful that this is the road to recovery now, as I was not a fan of this morning.

Though, the orange juice treatment has its downside -- I'm now craving more of this stuff, as I was previously just drinking water, and so have been flavour-deprived since then.

Once things are all back to normal, hopefully by tomorrow morning, then I'll be back to drinking glasses of normal OJ and so on. I wonder for how long the "novelty" factor will stay until it wears off and then the events of today just merges into the generic "Days I've Been Sick" category in my head.

Mood: Tired. And sick. And lethargic.
Location: Home in Toranno
Music: Nothing. Yesterday I was listening to Irish jigs and reels, but I don't think music is necessarily a good idea for me now.

15 February 2007 @ 06:47 pm
And the Love Doctor Results are in!

Name: Lukas Matthews Sex: M

Who Was Best For You
1. Lauren Smith 63.41%
2. Sarah Connors 61.15%
3. Leah Harder 60.65%
4. Darlana Dyck 60.27%
5. April Ross 59.82%
6. Faith-Anne Wagler 59.68%
7. Becky Klassen 59.01%

Who Was Worst For You
62. Karolina Zych 47.51%

Who You Were Best For
2. Lauren Smith 65.03%
3. Darlana Dyck 62.86%
3. Tegan Zacharias 55.28%
4. Jessica Blatz 65.06%
5. April Ross 64.34%
5. Mimi Hollinger-Janzen 55.39%
6. Rosalie Chung 62.60%

Who You Were Worst For
59. Karolina Zych 45.43%

Your best friends are:
Darryl Drudge 60.54%
David Powell 60.42%

Personality Profile: Indices are out of 100, numbers in parenthesis are your ranking in the college
Masculinity/Femininity ratio: 54.55% (47)
Lust/Love ratio: 62.96% (66)
Extrovert/Introvert ratio: 44.12% (70)
Playa rating: 64.52% (50)
Marriability rating: 84.92% (64)

Psychoanalytical Profile: You are a cool, soft-spoken, loving embodiment of suave who likes to
tailgate on the way to the Math and Computers building.

The Love Doctor says: These numbers don't even tell half of the story. Trust me, things were meant to be.

So, immediate conclusions: Karolina Zych and I should not even consider a relationship. =P

Also, here's to Darlana for correctly setting her gender this year. =P

Further conclusions (i.e. comparing last year's results to this year's) and an actual entry to come soon.

Location: Home
Music: Footloose - Almost Paradise