Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Shopping

I went Christmas shopping today and it was hard to find a spot. I think this guy is onto something.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Wow, it seems as though this semester has flown by... although, sitting in the midst of exams, perhaps not fast enough. I've gotta say - I can't reeeally complain too much this year. Tough, but not "pull my hair out of my scalp, drink 5 cups of coffee a day, eyes bulging out of my head" kind of tough. Yesterday, Saturday Dec.12th, was my first exam. It was definitely nice to have a full week to study for my hardest, highest percentage exam: Sociology of family relationships - 50%... ouch. After doing quite well on the two given assignments for the course, I BOMBED the midterm... double ouch. I definitely had my socks pulled up to my knees this past week. I know the textbook inside and out. I probably shouldn't count any chickens before they hatch, but I couldn't help leaving that classroom without a huge grin on my face and the feeling I nailed it outta the park... although I should give credit to the fact that the final was written with more concrete, clear questions, compared to the midterm. Still, feeling good about a final, especially a final that is weighted SO heavily, is probably one of the best feelings!

Now, 1 down and 2 more to go. I've got an exam tomorrow afternoon that I'm a little nervous for: Sociology of Gender. We didn't have a midterm in this class, so there's nothing to base what tests will be like. The format: 3 essay questions in 2 hours. Yeah, you read correctly. And to make matters worse, they are based directly on course readings. I almost feel like I've used up all my memory on my Family class, there's no more space in there for more readings... but I'm trying. I'm reading the highlighted ones over again. They're not sticking now, but I'm hoping the sight of the exam papers in front of me will scare the thoughts out of me.

Tuesday, Dec.15th is my last exam. It's a condensed exam schedule that definitely has some pros to being done so early, but I'm hoping that the short time will keep me motivated enough to keep studying!

After that, I fly to Ontario!!! I'm really excited to visit family again - my extended family get togethers are something that I've missed most about being away. It will definitely be nice to be back with some familiar faces. Danny is also joining me, but he is flying separately, because of his exam schedule and timing - he goes straight to the airport after his last exam and takes a red eye flight and I pick him up in the morning. Hopefully, I will also get to meet up with Heather Hollman, who is currently living in Toronto to attend Chiro school - it will definitely be bizarre (but in a good way) to meet up with her there!

On the afternoon of Christmas Day, Danny and I fly together to Regina. His parents just moved there from Whitehorse this summer, so his whole family is celebrating Christmas there. I am very excited! His parents are such friendly, fun people. His sister has come to Victoria for a few visits and we've spent a fair bit of time together and always had a blast. We stayed with his brother and sister-in-law in Lethbridge and went on some fun adventures over the summer. Regina will definitely be another wonderful adventure!

On top of all the holiday jetsetting, I fly back to Victoria on the evening of the 30th. My Dad, Paulie, is going to be waiting to pick Danny and I up there with a HUGE smile on his face (hopefully). I have 3 full days before I have to start work and school, and we're planning some awesome day hiking trips. My brother, Dan, gets in from Calgary sometime in the New Year, which is when I'll be celebrating my FOURTH Christmas get together! Wow, Christmas sure puts a few things in perspective - like how fortunate I am to have so many wonderful people in my life!

Happy Holidays... I've got to get back to studying!

Keep your chin up,


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Almost there...

The fall semester is almost done.... only 2.5 weeks left of classes, 10 papers and only 3 exams. I've started a 'To do' list of the last assignments I have left to do in hopes to be more productive. This week is reading week. I've been doing a fair share of work. I still have a good chunk of work cut out for me. I think my list is a good motivator!

Last Monday was Danny's birthday. To celebrate, I threw not one surprise party, but TWO! Sunday night, I surprised Danny by taking him downtown. He didn't know where we were going. We parked the car, walked around the block, then.... Dan jumped out and scared the heck out of me. We met a group of people downtown for a couple games of lazer tag. The equipment was a little beat up, with cords sticking out, and taped back together, but regardless, it was ridiculously fun, and I think we should go again soon! To make things even better, I had ANOTHER surprise party for him on Monday. He had a class and midterm to write at 6pm. I picked him up from class, with everyone waiting at his place for him to arrive. I secretly called the house when we were 60 seconds away, and gave everyone time to hide. Coming home to a very dark house, Danny was slow to enter... then after he gets in the house and heads for the lights, the group turned on the lights, jumped out from behind the couch and yelled surprise. Tom hid in the deep freeze and popped out first. It was a super fun night and totally surprised Danny!

I also booked my tickets to Ontario for Christmas this year. I'm excited to be back and see family and friends again. I haven't been back home for Christmas in 2 years... and what's better? Danny's coming with me! ...well, not exactly. I am arriving a few days before he does, because his exam schedule runs later than mine. He catches a red eye on the 20th and I pick him up early in the morning on the 21st. I'm really hoping I can meet up with Heather Hollman. She moved to North York to go to Chiropractic School. Christmas is usually a busy time of year, so hopefully something can be worked out! On the 25th, Danny and I fly together to Regina, to meet his parents who just moved there for work. We stay there for 5 days before we head back to Victoria to meet my Dad and celebrate my 3rd Christmas! (wow, can you say lucky!?)

Keep fit and have fun!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Ah, Septmber...

September only means three things: the transition from summer to fall, the celebration of my birth, and the start of SCHOOL!

Since school has started, I decided to take 5 courses this semester. Originally, I was going to take 4 courses, but I really want to get them done and over with. With my pre-req's out of the way, I have the chance to take some courses that I am really interested in. The line up: Sociology of Gender, Sociology of Family Relationships, Sociology of Mass Media and Popular Culture, Sociology of Aging, along with a first year English class that is needed as part of my major.

I'm thinking the English class, with it's many 2.5%-merit assignments is going to prove itself the most challenging.

So far, the semester is going well. We're 3 weeks in, and assignments are already coming due. I'm still working at the shop; Weekends, and Monday/Wednesday afternoons. I'm lucky that they're so flexible so I can take any time off I need. It's definitely going to be a busy 3 months ahead of me, but something I think will be relatively manageable.

I'm also going to be buying a new road bike for the spring. The 2010 lineup of Specialized bikes is ridiculously good-looking. My only hold-back: Tarmac or the Roubaix? Any recommendations?

Back to the paper-writing... Keep fit and have fun!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pender Island

Pictures from Pender a couple weeks ago... Enjoy!


ferry terminal

Giving Paulie the race report from that morning

Excited for Pender!

Checking out the route

"How do you know when you're a pirate?"

I spy with my little eye...

Don't try to defeat the system

Plan under fire?

fueling up with some delicious granola bar.. yummmm...

Here we come!

Such beautiful roads!

Only 15 minutes to the pier

So pretty

Pender is really hilly

Bridge to South Pender

Crossing the bridge

Taking in all the sights..

The point at South Pender

Passing by a family of deer

We filled up our bottles alot

Tom thinking up ideas so people don't have to touch shit

In a world of hurt

So fresh


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sri Tri

Last Sunday was the Sri, Self transcendence tri. Coming up to race day, I was pretty pumped that I had the day off to race. Working 40+ hours a week, I knew going into it that it wouldn't be anything miraculous.. but I was just content with excercising in the sunshine!

The swim went quite well for me. I'm pretty sure I offsited tonnes and made a 3 leaf clover instead of a triangle, but I still came out of the water sub 26 minutes which went pretty quickly. The bike was rough - really rough. I just didn't feel any power in my legs and felt like I couldn't push anymore than I was. Coming in off the bike, the run felt really bad. Luckily for me, it went by really quick and I had my best tri-10k time ever.

Post triathlon, I headed home really quickly. Showered, changed into riding gear and ate some left over pasta all in 7 minutes then I was out the door.

I met Tom, and we rode out to the ferry and caught the next sailing to Pender! We rode around the northern coast and took a little bridge across to south pender island. The island is really small and really, really hilly! Tom was on me every 20-30 minutes telling me to eat and drink more. I kept complaining about how much I hurt, but he would put me in my place and tell me to think about better things. Pictures will come when I get them off of Tom's camera.

Danny and I are heading to Hornby tomorrow morning. I took out a 29'er from the shop and we're going to hit some flat and hopefully fast trails. I've heard amazing things about Hornby, so I'm super excited!

Do like Hal Johnson and Joanne McCloud,


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

spills and skills

check it here.

On another note, my good friend, Heather, started her 2 phase trip to Onterrible today.

She is one person that is dedicated to changing the world, by leaving it in better condition than how she started with it. She is such a beautiful person and always puts a smile on my face. She is going to Ontario to specialize in Chiro. We've had a couple 'goodbye' dinners, and here's a couple pics.

Exuding lots of passion and motivation, I am going to miss her A LOT!

Keep fit and have fun!


Thursday, July 23, 2009


I've been working 5-6 days a week at OBB. It's been great; lots of fun and a nice pay cheque. The only down side, is that I don't have much time to excercise. I just got into a nice routine and I'm feeling really motivated with the new schedule.

I've just started an early morning swim practice with Tyee. Clint Lien is the coach, and practices usually run about 1 hr and 15 minutes. They run Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It's phenomenal!! I'm really pumped to get my swim fitness back!

This week, I've also went to my first Prairie Inn Harrier's run on Tuesday evening. It was nice to be off work to get out there for once... especially since I registered in March!! It was nice to have a familiar face, so Mike Janes ditched his usual Tuesday TT to meet me for the run. We did 4 x 2km loop, with each loop having 4 sections, and approximately 30 second recovery between the sections. On the last loop, during the second section, Noe gives me a shout out while her and two others ride by! It felt amazing!!! After the workout was done, they had bins of candy for everyone to eat, and we're talking some good stuff; cherry blasters, licorice, marshmellows, gummy bears, and 3 kinds of gatorade. Wow, my $7 membership certainly got it's money's worth!

On an even cooler note, This week I won the Zone's free food friday. After sending in an email, the Zone called me yesterday telling me I won. They come to your workplace and bring you hot house pizza for you and all your co-workers. Pretty deluxe. Needless to say, I was pretty pumped. They are going to be recording live for the lunch hour, directly from the shop!

I'm also planning a trip to Hornby Island for a couple days during the first week of August! The island looks so beautiful, I'm really excited for the trip!

Keep fit and have fun!


Thursday, July 2, 2009


Last week, I got back to Victoria from a two week vacation. Flying to Toronto, I went to my younger cousin's wedding In Kingston. It was great to see fam and friends again, after being away for so long. I'm very happy for Sarah! I also got a chance to see family from the Skinner side. Both of my older cousins recently got engaged, so it looks like I will be going back sooner than I thought.

While I was at the wedding, Danny was racing the Canada Cup #4 in Edmonton.

He drove my car from Victoria so he could pick me up. I had a fairly quick turnover in Ontario, staying only 5 days. I flew to Calgary where Danny was waiting for me. We stayed with a friend of Danny's from the Yukon, Nicole, for 3 days. Traveling with 5 people, and 5 bikes takes a little ingenuity! While we were there, we went to Lethbridge for a horseback riding trip!

Danny's sister-in-law's family owns a 2,000 acre ranch somewhere between Calgary and Lethbridge. The trip was ridiculously fun!

On the trip, it was also Tom's birthday. As a celebration for his bones turning older than time itself, I made a cake. It took a lot of patience, but luckily Amber, Danny's sister-in-law, helped me work on it for hours!

From there, we headed to Canmore for Canada Cup #5. Canmore is incredible. The views were spectacular and the riding was hard!

And I made a friend along the way...
Not a bad backdrop for a race...
Tom coming through the top of the first climb really quick...

Danny flying through the singletrack that's riddled with roots, stumps and rocks...

Driving back to Victoria, we took two stops; One in Salmon Arm to see Paulie, one in Kelowna to see Danny's family. Salmon Arm was a quick over night stop, and we spent 3 days and 2 nights at Danny's grandad's house. His parents are moving from the Yukon to Regina, and we met in Kelowna during their move. Danny took me on a pretty hilly road ride, we went for some good walks and ate some delicious meals!

On our way back to Victoria, we brought along Danny's parent's dog, Sadie, for the week while they flew to Ontario to visit more family. While this dog would jump up on you, pull the leash, jump on beds and couches, bark, I worked tirelessly to help her kick these bad habits. Danny's Mom was impressed that Sadie wasn't pulling on the leash when Danny returned her. Maybe I missed my true calling.. ?

Canada Day was lots of fun. No work and all play makes for a good day! I had a little get together and made moose burgers and a HUGE lasagna. After eating as much food that would fit into my belly, a few of us drove up Mt. Doug to watch the fireworks. It was nice seeing them, but it wasn't the same being that far away from all the excitement.

This month is going to be crazy busy at the shop. I'm working lots of hours and don't have much time off for any sort of racing... which is fine by me because I'm not entirely race fit right now...

I'm looking for some early morning/late afternoon training buddies... if you're interested in some swims, rides, and/or runs, let me know!

Keep fit and have fun!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cali and OBB

Last week I've started working at Oak Bay Bikes. It's been an adjustment, but the shop is amazing. The guys there are super helpful (and patient!) and Karl, the owner, is one of the best bosses out there. Really, I don't think I could say enough about the fabulousness of the Oak Bay crew. Come into the store for a visit! I should be around all week except Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

I'm hoping by throwing myself into this environment, I'm forcing myself to learn the things I want to know, but rarely put the effort into understanding. I'm wanting to know more about the trade and bike industry as a whole, and this will be the best way to do it!

few weeks ago, I came back from a trip to California. The weather was beautiful, the people were entertaining, and though I didn't ride much, from what I did ride, it was incredible! Check out the pics:

We did some camping between the boy's race weekends. The scenery was unbelievable!

Stay fresh,