Saturday, February 28, 2009

San Diego - la fin

It turned out I love San Diego :) had a great time, got to enjoy some nightlife, sat on a vey sexy roadbike for, oh, 13 hrs spread ove two days. It was red. It made me realise I wish my own bike was red! alas, t'is black.
THat's all, internn is expensive and this keyboard is crappy. Am on way to Vancouver now... sigh. I hope I can tan o te beach there? :S

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

San Diego

piss off.

Not only am I not in Hawai'i, but my hostel apparently does not allow ALCOHOL AND deleted my blog post.

HI San Diego - we may be in a fight.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Surfing USA!

I went surfing today!

It was more amazing than I ever could have expected. I loved it - and shockingly, did WELL at it. Very rare for Miss J-maki-maki (my new Hawai'ian name I gave myself) to do well in sports, particularly on the first try! (I stood up on my first wave!) I figure surfing is about two things: balance, and not being scared to fall. Apparently my balance is decent, I only feel off really when stupid *@$* children got in my way and I didn't want to behead them. I figure good balance comes from a secret thrill of climbing/jumping on rocks and biking? I have no idea. And I'm not scared of falling because, well, I'm not.


Honestly, surfing was one of the best experiences of my life. My ribs are a bit sore from laying front down and paddling, but no sore muscles yet. I could have just stood with my board instead of laying on it, but I like bobbing and heading face first into the waves when I was waiting for my turn. It was so much fun, I can't believe I didn't take surfing up as a child (duh, lives on PEI).

I contemplated renting a board for the rest of the afternoon, but was kind of hungry and needed to fetch a couple of things. *and lay in the sun*

I think I will rent a board on Sunday back in Waikiki :) :) :)

Also have a bad sunburn. I coated myself in sunscreen, but apparently missed the back of my legs at the very top. So from the bathing suit bum line down to halfway down my thighs is blinding red. Sexy. And a bit painful to sit on when driving. Lesson learned!

Time is up.

La fin.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Things of note:
  • It's amazing - obviously
  • The weather fascinates me: it rains about every 20-30 minutes, just wee sun showers, and sometimes it's quite puzzling as you can feel rain, but looking up, see no clouds. You could tell those who ran for cover at the beach were unexperienced with such weather. Other than that, the sun shines! -- even when it rains
  • WIND - it is sooo windy here, but apparently it's not the norm, according to a strange man I talked to at the bus stop (he was very normal at first though). So basically the weather almost reminds me of Edinburgh - except the sky-high temps and sun.
  • I flew first class from Chicago to LA! Very good experience (how could it not be?) but probably wouldn't spend an extra $1,000 just to get the experience.
  • We got a free upgrade at our hotel - we have a corner room. At first they upgraded us to a room that, uh, already had people in it. Awkward. I walked in the room and saw stuff on the bed and floor and we booted it out of there. Our view is good on the east side, but amazing on the south side. East is the Nike store across the street, south is Fort DeRussy Park and the beach, and a kazillion palm trees.
  • Jet lag is a big difficult, I have woke up at 5:30am both days so far. It's nice though, in a way, it's 8:10am now and Erin and I both ready to tackle the day. On the down side, we were planning on heading out on the town (so I live my grade 12 dream of marrying a surfer) but she was snoozing at about 9:00 and I didn't last past 10:00.
  • Free brekkie at the hotel! They have "tona" toast - and it's goooood. It's a blueish-purple colour and taste like amazing would taste like, if packaged in bread format.
  • So many tacky gift shops and I want it ALL. So far I have bought a bracelet and a journal. And band-aids, but that is unrelated. And beer. Also unrelated.
  • I have blisters already! I decided the Chicago airport would be an excellent place to break in my new flip flops, and my feet were roasting in my boots. So I decided I would walk the entire Chicago airport in my new flip-flops with a crapload of weight on my back. Hey - you know what is massive? The Chicago Airport. I seriously walked for kilometres and kilometres. I got blisters between my toes a wee bit and they just won't heal. Luckily I have other sandals, but I also have not worn them in months and walked a lot in them yesterday so now have a wee blistert on the top of each foot. How did I become such an amateur?
  • Am paranoid that we are trying to do too much and won't receive amazing tan that I desire so badly. Need to schedule in more beach time.

Must hop off now as we are going to Pearl Habor (specially the MS Arizona Memorial) for the morning. Hopefully only the morning, it is known for having very long wait times. Then we explore Honolulu and China Town and, fingers crossed, if sunlight time remains I change into my bathing suit and nap on the beach.

I need to figure out how to live here.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Recession & Snobby Kitty

Today I *drove* to work so had the opportunity to listen to the radio on the way. It was the Global Financial/Recession Update, so I listened to the sad stories of Canadian job loss (except in Saskatchewan, if I heard correctly). Then, as per usual, my brain started to wander a little bit. Would the recession be so big, mean, and evil if there were more communication barriers? What if we didn't know that the economy collapsed in Iceland? We would not had become quite so nervous, stashing our pennies in a box under our bed. What if we, as Canadians, did not know about the Dow Jones or NYSE? How would our own economy be chugging along? It's hard to imagine though, as we do not live in a special Canada bubble, and watch our currency shake up, exports decrease, imports become more expensive/cheaper, or whatever happens. Canada is massive, could we function without importing/exporting? I quite think we could, but crap I would miss bananas.

If we gradually stop importing and exporting, what would be the consequences? Clearly many products would not be available, and, likely, many products would become more expensive. Looking around my office, I search for something that was 100% made in Canada. I see very few things:
  1. Coins on my desk (while minted in Canada, not sure where the actual metal comes from)
  2. Paper?
  3. My ancient Northern Telecom phone (though this is questionable)
  4. ME! (only thing I'm 100 percent sure)
I think recession fears greatly accelerate the start of recessions. Scary! Bad things *may* happen! So people and organizations start acting like it *will* happen, sooner rather than later. Yes, it's nice to be proactive, but maybe being too proactive has its downsides. I'm trying to think of an example but not pop quickly to mind... Imagine a rumour got started that we heading towards a global shortage of eggs. People panic, and start stocking up on eggs. All of a sudden, the eggs are gone, and it turns out the prediction of the egg shortage was correct. Never mind that the sudden increase in demand (actual shift of the demand curve instead of shift along the demand curve) is actually what changed.

But really, what do I know?

I don't really follow exchange rates very much unless I'm leaving the country. Even then, there are only a few currencies I randomly look at: USD, GBP, Euro, etc. The ones I have used in the past extensively. The others I used I don't follow so much (DKK, SFF [or whatever the abbreviation for Swiss Franc is]).

Right now the Euro-CAD exchange rate is pretty close to the same (I think) as when I galloped around the EU in 2004-05. The USD is stronger than my super happy fun US playground days (2005-06), which isn't surprising. I don't think anyone thought the CAD would sustain its power over the USD for too long. I recall talking about it in fourth year (fall 2003) how no one though the dollar could sustain itself over $.83. We easily surpassed that for a nice 5ish year run, and are close to that level again now.

Then there is the GBP - the pound. Which I have no symbol for on my keyboard.

What happened and why did I not notice?! I recall when first moving to the UK in May 2004 the exchange was a hairball inducing $2.60 - 1GBP cost $2.60CAD (or, .38 GBP bought $1CAD). Now the rate is $1.83CAD to get 1GBP (.55GBP gets $1CAD).

Apparently I live under a rock, albeit a pretty rock most likely. That's a rather substantial drop, although a good chunk took place while I still on the other side of the sea. When I left in August 2005 the exchange rate was about $2.10. Still, to drop another $.30 on top of a $.50 is rather substantial.

Currency exchange is a very curious game.

The plus side of this is that my US money is worth much more now than it was than when I came home in Nov 2006! I literally made an extra 7% or so by doing nothing. Mind you this is eliminating the possibility that I could have invested it in Canadian funds at a higher return rate... but that seemed like so much work :P

Regarding my Snobby Kitty, last night I slept at my parents' house for unimportant reasons (I had their car and returned it late). This morning Mr. Cat was sitting on the floor. I sat down next to him and patted him on the head. He looked at me, sat up, and walked about three feet away, sitting down where I could no longer reach him. Hmph, I thought. So I shuffled over to his new location and enjoyed his company for about five seconds before he left the need to, again, rise to his feet and promptly sit down about four feet away.

Kitty and I aren't friends anymore.

Friday! Long weekend! Happy "Islander" Day!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

pedal pedal pedal

Hmm, I'm watching the snow fall out my window from work and think it will disrupt my plans this evening. I was going to go to a documentary being shown on campus (because it's in Spanish with English subtitles and Spanish is sex-ay) but classes are cancelled this evening thus I suspect the showing will be cancelled as well. If it's not cancelled, I'm not sure I want to stay on campus until 9:00 and then walk home in potentially very, very crappy conditions.

Someone biked by me this morning as I was walking to work this morning and I was jealous. There is no reason I can't be biking to work! Except my bike is in my parents' basement. Actually, I went biking on the weekend and it was lovely! I still haven't figured out how to keep my toes from going numb, however. Perhaps I will master that this coming weekend.

By purchasing new toes!!


I was thinking earlier about the difference between running and biking, and how it seems people have a passion/interest for one but not the other.

Why I prefer biking:
  • I stop moving my legs, but the bike keeps moving! aka, downhill
  • It's faster than running - woooooooooosh
  • I can do it longer, hours, really
  • Hot ass ("biking bum")
  • Bells *ding ding!*
  • Biking through large puddles
  • Get to play in traffic
  • I'm convinced I have a funny run, but do not have a funny, uh, "biking posture"
  • Spandex
  • Carrying a biking helmit when walking up the stairs to work makes me feel cool
  • The actual bike - biking gives you something to use, running, well, you don't use anything. This is similar to me liking lacrosse, "I get to carry a stick!"
  • Hobby: you can take apart your bike, improve it, clean it, etc. Running? Well, you can't really dismantle your legs or sneakers.
  • Accessories: you can buy neat things for your bike. Like lights, reflective crap, clipless pedals, different handlebars, forks, etc. Mind you I know nothing about any of these things, excepts lights.
  • Different kinds of biking on differen terrain
  • Coming home completely muddy after rain and biking on trails
I felt a bit wobbly biking this weekend, nothing to be concerned, but since I had been sitting (peddling) on the spin class bikes at the gym, I never have to be concerned about balance, tipping over, or skidding on ice. Also felt the difference in the requirement to move my own weight and the actual bike as well. At the gym I just move my legs. "There they goooo! Look at those legs, and nothing else, moving!"

I would like to leave, but don't feel like changing back into my winter clothes to walk home. I'm wearing a "winter skirt", which is such an oxymoron. No skirt is actually designed for winter wear unless a pair of snowpants is constructed under the skirt.

I'm also going on strike from wearing pantyhose because they are stupid. Exception is fish-net stockings and similar, because you aren't kidding anyone about trying to keep warm. And because apparently that is all I own now for under-skirt covering.

I want to bike to Quebec City this spring. With someone. It's far too long of a journey to do alone. I suspect if one could pedal 60 km per day, it would take 13 days. While in perfect conditions 60 km/day is perfectly feasible (only about, hmm, 3 - 3.5 hrs, ceteris paribus), it would be foolish to expect perfect conditions in the Maritimes in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, or even Dec. Wind, hills, and gear would also slow one down, as would sore knees. It would be road through NB (and I would make someone drop me off at the Bridge to save myself some time/energy) and trail for most of the part through Quebec, along the Flueve St.-Laurent. Bien!

Takers? :)