Friday, July 22, 2005

Fire alarms, Pedometers, and Canoeing

Let's start at the beginning.

Yesterday afternoon, I'm sitting at the computer (quelle surprise), and the fire alarm starts going off. So I finish my email (what? It's almost certainly a false alarm / drill, and I'm involved in some intricate negotiations (in a game of online Diplomacy) so I don't want to lose my train of thought on that. Plus I'm hoping it will stop soon.

It doesn't stop so I figure "well, I may as well go get some groceries while I'm out of the house - the bottom of the stairs is seriously about 25% of the way to the grocery store, and more than 50% of the psychological distance.

So I grab my wallet, throw on the sandals, and open the door. I imagine I smell smoke (yes, olifactory hallucinations are possible, even if I can't spell them) and start to plod down the stairs.

The fire engines (two of em!) arrive at about the same time I leave the building. I feel safe. I'm not being sarcastic, this was like a three minute at absolute most response time. Sure, we might lose the appartment that the fire started in (my vote is for the one that the annoying guy who insists on holding the elevator for a couple minutes while we wait for his girlfriend to finish locking the door). But the rest of us are safe.

Grocery shopping is fun. Like working out, I can't always motivate myself to go, but once I start doing it, I usually enjoy myself, and it's good for me (since I am boycotting the local pizza place - I'll explain some other time, I'm too lazy to go back and add pizza to the title of this post, and we all know how good I am at staying on topic ;)

As always, I end up with a basket full of stuff. The box of miniwheats I bought (shh - I got the sugar frosted ones, don't tell my mother) included a pedometer as its toy (I got the Toucan Sam one, but I really wanted Tony the Tiger, it's a Kelloggs conspiracy).

Cereal box toys have really come up in the world from the time when my brother(s) and I used to fight over who got the cheap plastic monster (or whatever). Mind you, I think the winning the squabble was the best part of the cereal-box toy. But then winning is very important in my family, or at least to my grandparents, my mother, both of my brothers, and my sister (and possibly even my father, although he denys it whenever I claim that he is competitive and won't let me win the discussion, so there's a bit of a paradox there).

Anyway, I have a cheap kiddie's pedometer in the pocket of my shorts, and it has registered an embarrassing 611 steps today (in my defence, it's not very accurate - apparantly it's 6 steps to the bathroom from the lounge, but only 14 to the elevator (10 times further). Still, it's pretty cool.

I didn't take it canoeing though (left it in my friend's car, so there's another 200 plus steps, several of them carrying a large aluminum canoes). For those of you unsure of the difference, kayaks are enclosed, canoes are open, and Canada claims to have invented at least one of them.

It was great fun. The resevoir was a little cold when I splashed myself, and the water was a little choppy (we wobbled a bit too much for comfort a few times). We paddled around in the classic S (or sometimes O) shapes that fairly inexperienced canoeists make (it's very different from a kayak, which I have paddled a few times, or a white water raft, which I have sat in a few times while the river threw us around.

I've now added another semi-goal to my list of things I want to do - a long canoe trip, maybe from Whitehorse to Dawson City, or even all the way to Alaska. This list is starting to spiral out of control, but whatever, it's better to have goals like "walk the length of Chile with a llama" than "make partner at the law firm by the time I'm 38.7 years old".

If you disagree, then just leave. Your type isn't welcome here :P

Well, I'm done for the day. Hope ya'll enjoyed reading it.

PS - Happy 30th wedding anniversary Mum and Dad.

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