Monday, November 20, 2017

Walkn in the U.S.A. (2)

Early to Late Snaps.

Son Paul and I landed in Chicago last Monday, before noon. Once off the train we adjusted our backpacks, left Central Station and immediately started walkn south on Canal toward Roosevelt.

Paul had two destinations in mind before we checked into Essex Inn. Whole Foods (for solids) and Binny's (liquids).

1st Chicago photograph, "Historic Hall", for son David, firefighter.

We walked, tubed and bused Chicago until Saturday - toured the town and experienced (and relished) but 1% of what it offers the curious visitor - and arrived home early Sunday morning almost flat broke, with a few good stories to tell.

Like the time I met cousin Glenn Harrison at Jolly Pumpkin Pub in South Chicago. At first sight, we didn't think we were related. But, we got along very well, laughed at the same jokes, swapped business cards, and agreed to stay in touch.

Where's Waldo?

 Waldo wore a red jacket. Paul is lower right.

 My next house?

 Detail re two stairways. The slot (low, left of centre) is the first step down.

 "Dad, should we go in?" "Yes, just to check out the tin ceiling" ; )

Batman lives in Chicago?

Recommendations: Walk Chicago when possible. Visit Cultural Centre opposite Millennium Park.

Please link to Walkn in the U.S.A.

Photos GH

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Walkn in the U.S.A.

Have Fun, Will Travel.

[Photo: Destination Known. The Wall spells it out]

Paul and I came up with a plan.

Plan: Go west. Walk, tube, bus, and Uber to various parts of a big, brash, fascinating, rough-edged American city.

All in all, we got around Chicago with relative ease and saw what we bargained for, in good supply.

Early recommendations: Walk around The Bean. Grab lunch at Macy's.

Under The Bean. Find Gord's red coat.

More to follow.

Photos GH

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Port Bruce - October 22, 2017 (2)

Last Chance May be October 29.

[Photo: I say, "Come on in. The water's fine.... i.e., brisk!"]

One more dip before November? It's possible. 

Posted signs tell me The Corner View Cafe closes on October 29. Last chance for me to sit on my favourite corner with coffee, BLT and Key Lime ice cream, this year. So, if next Sunday is above ten degrees, away we go.

Photos from along the way:

Who wouldn't want to return.... for Key Lime cones at the very least?!

This is my favourite barn, and future home and workshop if 
Pat wins the lottery and wants to move to the country. : )

Photos GH

Muskrats Prep for Winter (2)

Furry, Little (?) Creatures!

[Photo: Heading south, right under my feet]

When the muskrats heard my footsteps on the bridge over their heads, they would 'bottom up' and disappear into the murky depths of Edgeware Creek. But because the creek is not very deep, they would soon reappear, not far away.

When I stood still with the camera, they went about their business, which seemed to involve swimming about, visiting one another under bushes near the creek bank, and more swimming about.

Just a second before it 'bottomed up'. Bloop!

I shall return, if weather allows.

Please link to Muskrats Prep for Winter.

Photos GH

Last Projects 2017 (6).

And Then, a Woodpecker Came Along!

[Photo: Finishing touches on two bird feeders]

Final tasks in the workshop are definitely coming along nicely. One bird feeder is finished and out the door (and I forgot to take 'finished' photos!), and the second one (now also sold) will be finished very soon. Trim needs a second coat of red but once it is dry the assembly will fly. Maybe I'll remember to take a final picture!

The swap box is almost finished as well. I just need to cut lumber for a new platform and collar to accommodate a wider metal pole. Everything should be ready to install on an Old South front yard in a few days, and I will be finished projects for 2017.... (Jinxed alert!)

 Red trim for one feeder.

 Most of the trim is attached.

 Plexiglass is inserted, 5/8th inch above the surface of the base.

 Two latches are now required - to keep squirrels at bay.

 Swap Box is ready for assembly. Platform and collar are next up.

Red paint goes a long way in the workshop.

About being finished for 2017. I thought 'Voila!' could be stated very soon.... until a recent email arrived with attached photo.

I believe a pernicious Hairy Woodpecker has been at work on one of my Little Libraries and help is needed to repair significant damage. Though I have not had to deal with this type of repair on a library in the past, I have seen this type of damage one other time this year, and it occurred on the cedar siding on my own house, above the workshop door. So, two wee fixes are in order asap.

Hopefully, by the time I'm finished, all Hairy Woodpeckers will be sipping Pina Coladas somewhere far to the south of London!

Please link to Last Projects 2017 (5).

Photos GH, Y. Tyml.

Feeling Some Pressure (9).

Counting Down to Race Day.

[Photo: Going down the up staircase, Harris Park]

I ran on the Terry Fox Parkway yesterday, nice and steady for 4.5 miles after a quarter-mile walk to warmup. Today I have a 3-mile 'easy walk' scheduled, and tomorrow I have my last 'steady 6-miler' before race day, Oct. 28. So, the race will be in my legs by Wednesday, and two easy walks on Thursday and Friday will help prime the pump for The Hallowe'en Haunting 10K on Saturday.

The 4.5-miler was my 13th run in October. Slow and Steady Eddie.
SP45 above means Some Pressure, 45th outing of 50. 

I had 15 runs in September and will finish October with as many or more, including Saturday's race, during which I will try to maintain a steady pace - within my limits - and finish in 64 minutes, thereabouts. (I will predict my race result tomorrow, after my 6-miler).

 Legs are healthy. Must be doing something right.

Weekly walk/run mileage for the last 10 weeks - looks steady.

Average of the last 10 weeks is up from previous averages.

While doing more running during September and October and keeping 'some pressure' on myself (aiming for more hills, taking fewer walking breaks, pushing the pace a bit), I often wondered if I would like to keep running through the winter. Would I like to do a half-marathon in the spring or early summer (one of my favourite distances)? 

And while running yesterday I thought about a plan that would keep the 10-Km distance in my legs until spring: Try to complete about 6 outings per week until March, i.e., 2 easy walks, 2 'slow and easy' walk/runs (walking with running breaks, or running with walking breaks), 2 slow and steady runs in the 4 - 6 mile range, with total mileage per week in the 25 - 30 mile range. 

I've been swimming upstream and liking the adventure. 

I have another bridge to cross re The Comeback.

I guess I'll have to decide what to do soon because I'm only 5 outings away from setting new goals for the rest of 2017. I've maintained Some Pressure for my last 45 outings. Can I keep that up for another 100 outings, or until March? We shall soon see what I decide.

Stay tuned as The GREAT Canadian Comeback continues.

Please link to Feeling Some Pressure (8). 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Port Bruce - October 22, 2017 (1).

Warm Enough for a Dip?

[Photo: I walked straight into the deep end]

The tall, stout waves along the north shore of Lake Erie were both cool and inviting yesterday, and seconds after I'd tossed my T-shirt onto a beach towel I was chest deep in the water.

"I'll stay in just long enough to blow the dust off," I said to myself.

Unfortunately, I misjudged the height of the first wave - I was having trouble with the footing at the same time - and my old, trusty pocket camera got a soaker*. 

In my lifetime I have taken dips in colder waters (summer of 2007, at Hattie's Cove on Lake Superior) but not at such a late date in the year. And, the skies were so clear yesterday, some of the photos seem to be record-breaking as well (in my humble opinion).

 Incoming! Even more refreshing than Key Lime ice cream!

 The fellow in the red T-shirt exits the lake a few seconds before me.

Round Two, coming up!

Camera is dried off and still taking photos.

In we go again!

After a quick towel-dry I headed for The Corner View Cafe for a BLT, coffee and a Key Lime cone. All three items were the best of the year, as car after car and bike after bike toured past my corner table. 

If weather allows, I shall return.

*Three 30-second videos did not download this morning, so something is definitely fishy inside my old camera. Rats.

Photos GH

Muskrats Prep for Winter.

[Photo: I was looking for Snap Turtle, noticed Rat de Riviere instead]

With some mild weather ahead (i.e., mild enough for motorcycling), I will likely be able to return to an active creek that travels under two small bridges on Edgeware Line, south and east of Mapleton (home of "Taxidermy and Cheese Shop").

I hope to see Mr. Snap Turtle, a large snapping turtle - one more time - before he migrates for the winter. And now I will keep my eyes peeled for the swimming adventures of at least two healthy muskrats that like the same section of the tiny creek. 

Definitely at home in the water, I called them 'river rats' to myself until I showed the photos to a friend in Aylmer. She immediately said, "They're muskrats." 

Who knew? Not me. I don't think I've ever seen one, before yesterday. (Unless the large brown rat I saw, this spring or last fall on a walking trail behind the PUC building at Ridout and Horton, was in fact a muskrat. I just said to myself at the time, "That's the biggest rat I've ever seen!")

Life is full of small adventures, especially if one pokes their nose under wee bridges along the way.

More to follow.

Please link to Favourite Photos (2).

Photos GH