Monday, October 31, 2011


All the kids here at work are excited for Halloween tonight. We had a party here for them on Friday and that was cool. As you would expect some children wore their costumes to day care today. Ashley and I had a bit of a conversation about that at lunch, how so many costumes you see these days are store bought and require very little creativity and imagination. Not that my Mario costume was all that elaborate on Friday, but my Nightwing one for the karate Halloween party was all kinds of homemade awesomeness.

I was telling Ashley about when I was a kid and had made a ghostbusters proton pack out of plywood and that yellow nylon rope for straps. It was great, but oh so heavy and painful to wear! Another year I was a ninja and when I showed up at Matt's house his dad opened the door and said 'What are you supposed to be? A kid with a stick?'

Last year I actually went to a Halloween party that my friend Keri threw and was superman, probably my best costume ever, though the shirt was a bit big.

What was your best costume? What are you planning to be this year? Comments!

Sent from Samsung Mobile

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Year Of Blogging

Today marks one full year of blogging for me.  My thoughts and opinions, sadness and exciting events.  Some things I’m sure none of you cared about (the post read count numbers prove it) and some things you guys have loved to read.

I’ve found new people out here on the internet that share my opinions and are encouraged by my rantings, and others that inspire me.  My wife took up blogging as well and it is nice to read what she has to say most of the time.  Mandy, Marion, Andrea, Lim, Amber and Kenlie as well as a few others have left encouraging or funny comments that I love to read (seriously comments people, I love them).  And sharing with those peoples sites have brought me lots of new readers, another thing I love. 

I, as you may have figured out by now, am a stats guy, sort of.  I can’t tell you much about professional hockey stats or whatever, but personal stats, yes! (like how this year I’m on pace to get more points at hockey, but way less goals it seems than last year).

in the last year as you can see by the counter there I have had just over 4100 page views, I’m pretty happy with that.  The post you folks loved to read the most was How I lost 80 pounds. Rounding out the top five are:

  1. How I lost 80 pounds
  2. That Was So Awesome!
  3. A New Beginning
  4. My Friend Gym
  5. Effort

I think it’s kind of funny that my original post is still in the top five, but as new people come most like to read about where it all started I suppose.

Thank you everyone for stopping by, I like writing, and I’m glad that a few of you enjoy reading it.  I’m going to do some sort of contest and give away some fairly awesome (at least in my opinion) prize, more on that later today I think!  In the meantime, here as some of my odd site stats that I have gathered over the last little while in preparing for this post.

Best Month

681 hits in September 2011

Worst Month

78 hits in April 2011

Weirdest Referring Sites (click at your own risk)

Which means either they had a link, or someone was finishing up and them came right to my site!

Odd search terms that lead people here:

  • hurts wisdom
  • +management +"knowing when to speak up and when to keep quiet”
  • "chez chris"
  • and knowledge put to a test
  • courage fortune cookie

Visits from outside of North America

Double digits

  • UK
  • Germany
  • Singapore

Odd one offs

  • Qatar
  • Philippines
  • Netherlands

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Anticipation Vs Reaction

We’ve had this discussion at karate a few times, usually during randori.  That’s where one person stands in the middle of a group and is attacked by the people forming the ring around them, the person in the middle must defend themselves by blocking or redirecting the attack and then taking the opponent to the ground.  What happens quit often is that people begin to guess what is to come new and have a pre-set response in their head to use when the attack comes.  Rarely does that turn out as planned, mostly because the attack that is being anticipated is not the one that comes and the grand idea you had does no good.

It is then at karate that I bring up this little story.  When I was a teenager I played a lot of floor hockey, I was the goalie then.  The type of goalie that got picked first in gym because I was usually that good.  That skill came from practice.  My dad and I watched hockey a couple times a week on TV and during the 15 minute intermission we’d go down to our mostly empty basement where my dad had made a 4’x6’ (regulation size) hockey net out of some wood and a tarp, I’d strap on a couple road hockey pads, one regular hockey glove as a blocker and my baseball glove on the other hand.  He’d start out about 15 or 20 feet away and shoot tennis balls at me, trying to score.

It was challenging and fun and most of the time I’d stop him, eventually though a few would get through and I’d get frustrated and begin to go down early, or move before he’d even really shot the ball.  One night he asked me what I was doing.  I said “I’m guessing where you’re going to shoot”.  We had a short discussion about the flaws in that, and once I was back to reacting to the shot I would stop many more shots than when I was guessing.

As an adult this idea comes in handy fairly often, not just at karate or playing as a goalie now (though that is what brought it to mind), but because how you react to things and when you react can make a great impact on your day to day life.  Anticipation is important, you need to be able to see things developing in front of you and prepare, but when the time comes reacting appropriately is essential.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sad News

Sadly we had to put her down. Her kidneys were not failing- they had failed and her blood was pretty much toxic inside her.

I said my goodbyes but I couldn't be in the room while it happened.

I'll miss you Daisy.

Sent from Samsung Mobile

My Cat Is Sick

My youngest and tiniest kitty, Daisy, is very sick. Amber took her to the emergency vet clinic last night and they told her this morning that she my be having kidney failure.


So today or tomorrow I'll find out how much love costs and if I can afford it.

I'm sitting here for now with one arm holding the cat box closed, because even as sick as she is, Daisy hates being in a box. She's got an IV in her leg is why she's in there. She's meowing away, and is showing more life at trying to get out than she has in general for the last few days.

I hope when I take her to the vet this morning it ends up with good, and not too expensive news. It bothers me that money and the expense of possible treatment could be the deciding factor on what is to be done with her.

Here's hoping that it all turns out for the better.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Up All Night

I have not stayed up till 2am on consecutive nights since I was unemployed.  But this weekend I did I couldn’t help myself. 

First of all there was no shortage of activity this weekend as usual.  I took Friday off work and played hockey Friday morning and then I played goalie that night.  It was by far my best game as goalie this year.  I made some pretty good saves and had my lowest number of goals against me in a night so far, eight.  Out of the eight shots that got past me I was screened completely by my own defenseman on one, two were deflected and two more were perfect shots to the top corner.

I came home from that pumped and started playing Batman, mainly the challenge maps, they are so much fun, the combat in this game is just about flawless and I can’t get enough of it, especially as Catwoman.  Her fighting style is great and so different from Batman it’s like playing a different game.

Saturday night I was up till 2am again.  I went to karate in the morning and then had the boys I do respite care for over and played Black Ops all afternoon then again it was off to hockey.  This game as a forward, but we were still missing our regular line as Mark was MIA, something to do with his wife’s birthday I guess.  I did end up with an assist and four shots on net, so not bad, but not as good as it could have been. 

I came home from that and again played Batman.  This time it was the story mode and it’s one of those games where you get a new objective continuously and so I am compelled to find out what happens next and get to the next objective.  Finally Amber told me to come to bed for the third time or so and I did.

Today I woke up at about eight and headed to the gym for my new arm day, killer, but awesome.  As usual I loved the gym on Sunday it was a cinch to get to all the equipment I wanted and by the time I was done my arms were screaming at me. From there it was off to paintball and then home to help my dad take out the air conditioner, fix the front step and do some more work on the back deck.

I have spent this afternoon playing Batman again, mostly flitting around gathering Riddler trophies and trying forever to beat up on Mister Freeze and the Joker.  I have tired a few more channels to get a NOS energy drink code other than my plea on here but so far nothing, so if you can help me on that front I would really appreciate it.

All in all my self appointed long weekend was a huge success even if I will be a bit tired tomorrow morning.

An Odd Favour

Hi everyone, this favour is for my American readers because the favour I’m about to ask cannot be completed here in Canada (which I think is dumb). 

As you know I bought Batman: Arkham City for my Xbox.  It is awesome and I am enjoying it greatly.  What the publisher of the game decided to do was to offer about a million different pre-order bonuses and exclusive deals with companies for free downloadable content.  One of those companies are the producers of the NOS Energy drink (Coca Cola).  Now we have NOS here in Canada, but it`s bottled and sold by the Canadian arm of the company, the US bottles have codes on them that can be redeemed for points and all it takes is one point to get the downloadable content for the game.

Why didn’t the Canadian side jump in?  I don’t know, but it’s annoying since I didn’t even think there would be a difference and spent $3 on a can of the stuff earlier yesterday.

So what’s the favour?  I can hear you telling me to get to the point already!  The Favour is, if you drink NOS or know someone that does could I pretty please have the point code from under the bottle lid or from the pull tab?  It would be super awesome of you!

If you are so inclined to do me this favour send the code to my email account –

Thanks in advance!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Using Game Walkthroughs Is Cheating

Is case you are not aware I am a fan of video games.  I have owned every Nintendo home system, most of their portable ones and also an Xbox 360.  I have played and beaten countless games as a kid, as a teen and as an adult.  Games can tell a good story, they can bring friends together (like when me and my roomies played hours upon hours of Super Smash Bros Melee) and games can challenge you and make you think.

That is unless you use walkthroughs.

I’m proud to say that on my first play through of games I avoid hints as much as humanly possible.  I want to figure out things for myself, how to beat that boss, how to get to that area and how to find that item.  That’s the challenge, it’s the whole point of why the game makers make things hard to do.

Back in the day there was no internet to figure things out, but I found all the warp pipes in Super Mario Bros (and Mario Bros 2 and 3).  How? By hitting every hittable block and trying every bloody pipe I could get to.  Some things I learned from a friend but that’s coming together to discover and share information, I feel that is different than going to Google to look something up.

I just got Batman: Arkham City as I mentioned a couple of days ago on here.  It’s a game with a massive open area of Gotham city to explore and discover things in.  The Riddler has placed trophies and riddles throughout the city.  This element is one of the challenges of the game, can you find all the riddle answers? can you collect all the trophies and solve all the puzzles?  Now in the game there are certain guys placed around the city that you can come across and interrogate and some things will get marked on the map for you, that’s fine, it’s part of the game.  However this morning I saw that there is an app for your phone that will tell you the location of ALL the trophies and the solutions to all the puzzles and riddles!  Three days after the release of the game! Ridiculous!

Why spend $70 on a game and then use the internet to complete it?  I understand that people get stuck, I do as well, so far I’ve been stumped on a couple of solutions to get trophies in the game but I figure I just don’t have the upgrades to solve the problem yet.  I’ve got hours to put into the game still, it will come to me. 

When I get to the point that I’m so stuck on a key element of the game that I’m about to throw the controller yes I’ll look up something, for instance I was playing The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and early in the game I had to get across a gap, I tried every single thing that came to mind I was stuck on this one flipping jump for probably an hour (you had to climb and go through a series of rooms to get back to the jump, so every failed attempt meant about five minutes of work just to try again).  Finally instead of smashing the TV I looked it up, use the leaf as a parachute to float across – ugh.  Infallibly when I am that stuck the answer is something like that, staring me in the face the entire time, use a certain item this way – the sad part is I even knew you could use the leaf that way, but totally didn’t think of it.

Now to be fair, after I have beaten a game on my own I have used walkthroughs to unlock things or find other items on a second play through, my reasoning there however is that I have already beaten the game and found as much as I can find on my own, so at least I know I have done the main task the creators wanted me to do on my own.

I only know one person personally that is has Arkham City, I don’t know if he reads my blog.  But I challenge him and any others that come across here to complete their first play through without looking anything up.  If you get stuck, ask me maybe I’ll have figured that part out, and then if you do as me, I’ll know that there is someone I can ask when I get stuck.

Even Batman has Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Jim Gordon and Alfred to turn to for help.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Legs, They Hurt!

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, before sitting around all evening and playing Batman: Arkham City I went to the gym.  My goal was to be in and out of there in about an hour, which is no mean feat considering that I was starting a new leg day fitness program.

My previous program (that I have been using for about ten weeks or so) was designed to help me with running over great distance with as much speed as possible.  This new program is about making me explosive again. To be able to turn on the jets when I need then at hockey.

So mixed in with a lot of squats and legs presses are plyo type exercises meant to wear me and my muscles out.  From all the things I did yesterday though by far the most painful, both at the time and now, are (were) the hamstring exercises.  I was in agony doing them and it hurts to sit and get up now. I think the thing I liked most were one leg alternating leg presses, tossing the weights up in the air with one leg and then catching them with the other.

The rest of the twelve different things I did were just as trying, but not as remarkable.  It was totally the right thing to do as well.  I didn't get as much time with my new game, but I felt amazing, and painful.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader

A couple of weeks ago on my facebook I declared today Batman day.  This announcement is because today two great Batman items hit the stores.  Batman: Year One gets the animated feature treatment.  This is a Frank Miller comic book, an d one of his good ones.  It looks at the growing pains of Bruce becoming the Bat-man and the tough time Jim Gordon has in adapting to life on the Gotham PD as opposed to the Chicago force.

The other item is the Batman: Arkham City game, of which I will be picking up the collectors edition.  I have had Batman: Arkham Asylum since it came out and played it to death and would still happily do so, so my expectations for this new game is high and given that you can play as Batman, Robin, Nightwing and even Catwoman!  I'm pumped to get my hands on my copy tonight and begin playing.

I have however made the decision to take time to go to the gym this afternoon in spite of the overwhelming desire to just go home and play.

I've mentioned earlier on here that the drive and dedication of Batman (among other people) are part of what kept my mission for fitness going, so it wouldn't really be right to skip the gym to sit and play a game, even if I have been waiting on pins and needles for almost a year for the game.

With that in mind, since I declared the day in the first place, I proclaim that part of Batman day is doing something that exhibits your drive and dedication to do something amazing.  Go forth and celebrate!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Marriage: Year One

Today I have been married for one full year.  It was a great year and I’m really happy with everything that we did together.  I’m also so proud of my wife at the moment as she has reached her first weight loss milestone this week!

I find it a bit hard to believe we have been married for a year it seems like it’s been such a short time what with the whirlwind of school and jobs and such that we have been bombarded with in the last twelve months.

I wouldn't change a thing that has occurred since our wedding and I think my favourite moment since that day was taking our cruise last January.  We’ve done some many great things in our first year and I can’t wait to do so much more in the years to come!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Friend Making Monday: 8 Taboo Topics


Now it’s time for FMM!  If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

And Here, we, go!

1. How often do you read/watch the news?

a. Since we only get one channel on the TV at work I end up watching the news for about twenty minutes each day, except Tuesdays because my lunch starts later. Before I started working there, I almost never watched the news, though if there was a topic of pertinent interest I would make sure I found out about it.

2. What is your opinion on beauty pageants?

a. I think they are great on one point and stupid on many, many others.

3. Would you date/marry someone who has different religious views than you?

a. Yes, I think I already have actually. My religious views are not all that strong, but I have a few points that I try to stick to. As long as the other person and I can agree on those main fundamental points, I’m not concerned about the specifics of a religion getting in the way of a relationship or friendship even.

4. Do you follow politics?

a. I follow them enough I know which party I want to back in any given election. Politics is not surrounded in the hoopla here in Canada nearly even a fraction as much as it is in the United States and so most of the time there is not the drama getting in the way of the actual politics so it’s easier to keep a bead on things.

5. How often do you talk about sex in your daily life and/or on your blog?

a. I talk about it enough, but not on my blog.

6. Does it make you uncomfortable when someone asks you about your salary/income? Does it ever happen?

a. I don’t understand the convention of keeping one’s salary/wage under wraps. And I especially think it’s weird to apply for jobs when the company won’t tell you up front what the wage will be. Want to know what I make? Read enough of the blog to deduce what company I work for, then go to their website and look it up. I’m not going to tell the whole internet what I make, but if a friend asked me, I’d tell them. Does it come up? Hmm recently yes because all my friends and I are getting different daycare jobs at different places and it’s interesting to compare.

7. Do you tag friends and family in pictures that you post on FB, or do you seek permission first

a. I tag people, they where there to have their picture taken, most of my friends know each other, and we only get up to varying degrees of legal/hilarious antics, If I’m at an event and I’m posting pictures, you can be sure there is nothing incriminating on them.

8. Can you be friends with people who have opposing views on ‘taboo’ topics?

a. Yes, though I would hardly call these topics all that taboo. Maybe for acquaintances or people who take their personal views super seriously. I can be friends with a lot of different people and differences spark discussion and debate, and creative name calling, and we all love that.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday at the Gym

Honestly it was hard to get in gear and go to the gym today.  My weight has been steadily low for about a week, at 160ish instead of my usual 163ish.  So the ' need' to be at the gym is not as apparent as it has typically been, that and I played two games of hockey last night.

But in the end the furnace must be stoked and the beast must be fed.  I went to the gym doing my leg day program.  Let me say that leg day designed for getting ready for hockey is just that much more difficult after playing hockey about ten hours earlier.

I do love the gym on Sunday mornings though.  No one is there practically.  I can get to all my equipment and do all my exercises without having to work my way around people.  So much nicer and less crowded than a weekday.

I whipped though my program in an hour, including the stretching and feel great, much better than the headachey wafflepants I was this morning.

Now to head to chapters to see if they have Justice League #2 and perfect my nightwing mask for this Saturday.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Right Equipment

If you want to get a job done right you need the right tools.  I’m sure you’ve heard this before and I’m not telling you anything new, but it really is true.  In my sporting life I have found this to be the case over and over again as I progressed toward fitness.

When I began at the gym I just did my thing and basically used one or two tools out of the whole set available to me, both at equipment at the gym and my own body. Eventually I got some guidance and now I use all the equipment for their intended purposes

I bought actual running shoes over the summer and while I have heard it said that $100 running shoes don’t make you go any faster I would disagree with that if they are actual running shoes and the extra money is spent on function and not branding.  The ankle that I snapped over doesn’t hurt with those shoes on and they provide much more stability than $30 Wal*Mart shoes do.

Over the summer I also finally bought some Under Armour shirts and again am amazed at how well they actually work and provide the benefits they claim on the labels.

An so finally I have brought this idea to my hockey while I have been slowly integrating new things for hockey like new skates for last year (my first pair of new skates turned me from an ankle burner into someone that can actually skate a few years ago) and today I have bought a composite hockey stick.  It was a cheap one yes (I’m still not ready to fork over $100+, or even $50+) but it is a composite stick.  Here’s hoping it does for my shot what new skates did for my skating.  It would be nice to have a bullet shot for a change.

The right equipment for the right job simply makes things easier!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

You Know You Have A Good Job When…

You don’t really want to use sick days, and the people you work with are genuinely interested in your wellbeing.

I spent Monday evening and night alternating for freezing cold and hot and sweaty.  Lovely.  Not as awful as it was in March since it only lasted two non-consecutive days, but not all that great either.

I wasn’t all that thrilled that I had to stay home on both Friday and on Tuesday, I missed ‘my’ kids, I missed my friends at work too.  And I know how much an upset of routine can make our room go bonkers.  I was happy to be back at work today.  I enjoyed reading books on the couch, I enjoyed the fresh air outside, but mostly I enjoyed how much, even after three months being at work doesn’t feel like work.

You know you have a good job when you enjoy it even when you don’t feel 100%.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I Am Iron Man

In keeping with the idea of revving up my cardio for bursts today I deviated from the usual weight training and did my Cardio Iron Man program that Jodi gave me about a year ago or so, I think.  It consists of a rotation between the rower, spin bike, treadmill and the stepper.

Round one is three minutes rowing where I aim for mid 40’s of strokes per minute, six minutes of spinning (one minute sitting, crank up the tension and one minute standing, turn it down a bit and a minute with my arms on the bars (repeat)).  Six minutes on the treadmill follows starting at seven miles per hour and going up by .5 each minute, then finish on the stepper where I try to keep it at about 110 steps per minute.

Round two is more of the same except it’s two minutes of rowing and stepping and four minutes each of the spin bike and the treadmill (1:20 minute lengths for the three stages on the bike and go up .5 every 40 seconds on the treadmill).  To finish on the treadmill this round I just kept tapping up on the speed and was going at about 11mph for the final 30 seconds.

Round three, more of the same, 1.5 minutes on the rower and the stepper and three minutes on the bike and the treadmill.

It is an intense workout and because of the constant switch up it’s easier to push hard on each machine each time around, the desire to coast never comes up as it does when running a long distance. the whole work out takes 39 minutes and at the end I added some back extensions and the stability exercises that the chiropractor gave me.  Apparently I have lots of abdominal muscles and they are dominating my lower back a bit so I have to get back on working my back a bit more.

So while I didn’t get to do my usual marathon of activities this weekend, partly because I have decided to not do much on Saturdays in the way of intense workout so as to be better prepared for hockey and partly because of rainy weather today, I feel that a game as goalie, karate, a game as forward and a workout that lasted over an hour is good enough for me to feel satisfied.

He Shoots, He Scores!

Game one of the season was awesome!  We played against Living Hope Church and their team last night was decidedly young!  Probably an average age of low 20’s while our team’s average age is about 30 something.  But I am getting ahead of myself. 

All day yesterday I was pumped to go play, I bought new hockey socks since mine had a couple of big holes in them and I got my skates sharpened and earlier in the week I bought some under armour gear to wear as opposed to wearing and old t-shirt and a second jersey under the team one to keep warm.  An under armour cold gear shirt is an amazing thing!  At about seven o’clock I was trying to convince myself to wait a little longer before I left for the game since we didn’t start playing till 9:30.  Luckily there was a pre-season Habs vs Lightening hockey game on and that filled my time.

Arriving at the rink all the familiar faces were there and we picked up right where we left off last year.  Jeff, Mark and I composed our usual line and we took the first shift of the game. 

Now I am fit, I can run and lift weights and do any crazy exercises that Jodi gives me.  So I was surprised that after the first shift I was a little bit winded.  But I suppose I have been training my body to pace itself for the last three months running 10K and not training to go full out for two minutes or so and then have a short rest and then do it again, over and over.  So while my recovery time was fantastic, I know where I need to put focus on in the gym for the next little while.

I’m proud to say that I scored the first goal of the season for our team, streaking down the right side with Mark across the ice the goalie wasn’t sure if I was going to shoot or pass and I threaded a shot right between his pads, five hole as they say.  Our line kept on rolling too, later in the game we had two goals in under twenty seconds as mark found Jeff open at the side of the net twice, nearly the exact same play resulting in goals.  Jeff also had a goal scored in a scramble at the goal mouth (that was called back because the ref lost sight – but since we went 12 minutes over our usual end time and Living Hope scored then, I’m counting Jeff’s goal). Mark also netted one on a little passing play. Jeff was carrying the puck up the right boards and chipped it to me, I slipped it back to him as he left the side and then Jeff passed it over to Mark who one timed it to the back of the net.

Five goals for our line in a 7-6 victory.  We could have had more I think too, I had two one timer shots go just wide as they were not quite in the sweet spot, but another couple games and I’ll be making those shots find twine. 

A goal and three assists is a great opening night, but the win is even better.  I love playing hockey!  Unfortunately there are no pictures since Amber has to work Saturday nights, boo.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Game 1 as Goalie

So last night was my first game as a goalie this year.  I felt pretty crappy all day and spent most of the day on the couch.  But keeping with the idea of sweating it out, I felt better during the hour of hockey than I did at any other point in the last day.

Playing goalie was great.  Amber came and took some pictures and video.  I’m no Patrick Roy that’s for sure, but I did make a few pretty good saves and kept the soft goals down to two I think.  I was the only goalie there as Greg had to work so I was only competing against a pylon which takes some of the fun out of it, both for the players and for me.

Below we have a few videos and stitched together pictures that Amber took with my phone. I’ve included a few regular pictures as well too.

Some pictures put together, look for the puck under the pad at the end
Just knocking it away