Sunday, March 31, 2013

Rock Climbing

All I have to do is extend my right arm and give a little hop and I can reach that hold.  That’s it. Three, two, one. Ah! I loose my grip as I lunge and the rope I am on catches me. So Close.20130330_173610


But, I’m getting ahead of myself, you probably want the whole story.

Yesterday I headed out with Sarah to Toronto, to meet up with Tara who I met while doing Run For Your Lives, to go to Joe Rockhead’s indoor climbing centre.  Tara brought a couple of friends too, Darrell and Onika.  I have not been out rock climbing for ages!  Twenty years at least have gone by since the last time, and I have never been to an artificial climbing centre.  You might be thinking that rock climbing outside is a pretty technical thing for a thirteen year old to do.  You’d be right, if there was any safety involved.

When I was nine our family moved to Buckhorn, Ontario.  We built our own house, and since we were constructing a log house and huge logs were moving about my dad would regularly shoo me away (or I would leave because I was bored) and I would go exploring in the woods.  In the woods, or at the side of the road or whatever I’d find all sorts of huge rock faces to climb.  I had no safety, my parents didn’t even know where I exactly was.  When I started climbing it was either climb to the top, be able to get down, or fall to my death (or serious injury).  Luckily I never fell, but I did get a few slivers of rock stuck in my hands.

So, on to yesterday.  The first part of our day was a lesson, how to do the harness, how to tie a figure eight and keeper knot, how to belay.  Once that was out of the way we were free to climb.  The lesson was pretty fun though too.  The first climb was a little tricky, I only got up maybe where my feet were twelve feet off the ground or so, and then I wanted to come down.  To you have to let go of the wall, trust the harness and your partner will keep you from falling and then lower you down.  Once that initial fear or letting go was over with though, I was ready to go! and my next climb hard me touching the roof of the building and looking out a windows to the cityscape.


Tying knots

Rock climbs are rated from 5.0 up to 5.10, then 5-10, 5+10, –11 +11 –12 +12.  The hardest I tried was a 5.9.  In the lesson room the hardest wall is a 5.7 and both Sarah and I made it to the top of that.  I believe Tara did too. 


Tara Climbing


On the way down

We moved out to the larger room and took on a few of the walls out there.  The ceiling was much higher out here and so when you were at the top it was a little trippy to look down at your partner to give out your instructions.  I made it to the top of two or three walls our there one of which had a lean outward on the wall the whole way up!  Sarah climbed all the same walls I tried and made it to the top of all the same ones too I think!  It was pretty awesome.



This was the hardest wall we made it to the top of


Sarah made it too!

I moved to a wall that was straight for a bit and then angled out.  By this time we had been climbing for about four hours!  One this wall is the first time I could not hold on!  I was trying to reach for a particular hold and just could not make it.  The great part was that by this time I totally trusted the rope, and since the wall had an angle to it I swung out and away from where I was climbing.  Which meant I also swung back.  I grabbed on again and a got myself attached to the wall with my hands and tried to make it to the grip again.  Nope.  I did that a few times, but only once made it past that point and I think only one grip higher.

From there we went to the bouldering cave witch is just where  you are only a few feet off the ground really, but you are trying to go more side to side rather than up.  At the end of the day it is pretty hard to do.  your fingers, hands and forearms are all pretty sore.  I managed to do a couple of the routes they mark off on the cave, and did a few just random climbs.  Sarah and Tara were pretty awesome here too!


All in all it was a super fun day and I can’t wait to go and try it again.  It was also way cheaper than I thought it would be since $35 was all it cost for a day pass, gear rental and the lesson!

This morning my arms are still a bit sore, more like tingly I guess.  You really use a lot of grip strength and forearm strength to do all that climbing!


(If you want to see all the pictures, go to the facebook page!)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Friend Making Monday - Ten Questions

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 and over 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!

Ten Questions

1. Describe the kind of home you would live in if money were no object. I
I'd live in a large and quiet place in a small town, like Bridgenorth or Millbrook.  My own design and built at least partly by me with lots of help from friends and family.  I'd have a large, partially wooded lot, perfect for paintball and a pond to have a rink on in the winter.

2. Are you more conservative in your actions or more rebellious?
I wouldn't say that I am rebellious, but when the mood strikes I can be a bit off the wall.  Like getting up and dancing with all the wait staff on the last day of our cruise.

3. Would you go to Mars even if it meant you could never return to Earth?
Like on my own?  Probably not, it would be pretty boring there if it was just me.  If it was like to start a new life and colony and stuff maybe, as long as Amber and a few other friends at least were coming along.

4. Name one song that makes you want to dance every time you hear it.
I generally don't dance, like in a formal, get out on the floor with your partner and such type of way.  I chair dance to a lot of songs though.  At the moment I'm really liking Roboteyes and one of their remixes.  I'll post a link when I am on my laptop instead of the work computer.

5. Share one thing that you wish you could go back and do differently in your life.
I wish I could go back and tell my younger self to have a bit more stick-to-it-i-tive-ness!  It would have made my 20's so much easier!

6. Share at least one accomplishment that people wouldn’t expect you to be proud of.
I won high jump in my school in grade 8.  Beating out taller and more fit people (though I was not all that big at the time really, I was not as athletic as I am now).  It's not that great of a feat really, but it's nice to be the champ at something.  So either that, or when I do something at hockey that looks really good, but was only half on purpose!

7. Describe one delicious thing that you’ve eaten lately.
Warm chocolate melting cake.  See the picture on the last blog about the cruise.  I would eat it every day forever if I could, and be totally willing to run the 5k to account for it each of those days.  So great!

8. If you had a theme song that would play every time you entered a room, which song would you choose? The Imperial March would be good, but I'm not that evil.
Most people would probably pick the Mario theme for me
I think I'd go with The Legend of Zelda theme, a bit heroic and adventurous

9. Has technology enhanced your life, or has it over complicated your life?
It has enhanced my life, but wasts a lot of my time too.  I both love and curse imgur all the time!

10. If you could get paid to do any job, which job would you choose?
I'd totally be on the Mythbuster crew.  I know they sometimes do a lot of tedious tasks, but any job that regularly includes blowing stuff up in many, many different ways must be awesome!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Final Instalment

At long last here is the wrap up of the cruise.  Day seven and day eight were pretty low key aside from one event which you will soon see, and actually on day eight it was just the trip home.

There is not much else to say really, I do lots of talking in this one so check it out.  You can skip the middle part if you like but near the end I give a little tour of the gym on the ship so that’s pretty neat.

Oh yeah, so I ate all kinds of weird stuff on the cruise!  Each night except for the first I think they had a Didja item on the menu.  Like Did you always want to try this but were too scared (or too cheap)?  It didn’t say the cheap part.

So I ate oysters rockafeller, shark, escargo, alligator, sushi (which I eat all the time!) and pictured below, frog legs.  I figured I always hear Phil Robertson going on about them on Duck Dynasty, so I should try them.  I think if they were crispy I would have liked them, but they served them battered, in a garlic butter, so all the batter went all mushy.  Blech.  Escargo was ok, all you could taste was the cheese and stuff, but chewy, same with oysters rockafeller.  Shark and alligator was served as a fritter, so you only got a teeny tiny taste of it really.




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Turbo Trivia and Amber up on stage

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The magic guy learning us some stuff

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Frog legs

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Getting ready to dance with Oksana and another cruise guest

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Warm chocolate melting cake.  I had this every night except one.

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Towel Cobra

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Caribbean day 5 & 6

I know this is taking a bit of a while, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you all with pictures and videos, and I have been busy in the mornings before work trying to catch up on sleep.  On day five we were in Puerto Rico.  We didn’t have an excursion planned and so when we got of the ship we just talked to a local guy that got us on a tour bus that went up into the rain forest.  It was very cool to go and see and be in.  It was not their wet season though to wildlife was a bit scarce even when our guide Josh was looking for little quarter sized tree frogs called Cokee (co-key).  La Coca Falls was a bit of a trickle as well too, but it was cool to see.

That night was Hasbro The Game Show for the second time on the trip and I managed to win myself up on stage by answering a trivia question.  ‘In the Peanuts comic strip who does Marcie refer to as “Sir”?’

We played giant operation, which was really skee-ball.  you rolled the balls up into the injuries and scored points.  The team of four with the highest points wins.  We won by nearly double the score, and so each of us four got to draw a Monopoly ABM card.  So us four and four winners from the game before us (a giant curing version of Sorry) put out cards in the machine, and mine ended up being the highest value!  the prize was not a ship on a stick, but a bunch of mini Hasbro games, and card games, and $150 for  (Un)fortunately they don’t ship to Canada, so we just got $150 back as credit on the ship!  Sweet!

There was also a magician for the last few days and I was sure to get involved with him.  I have a bit of video from one of his shows, and later we went to his seminar, pretty awesome!

The next day we were supposed to go to Grand Turk, but due to a Gastro-intestinal virus outbreak at the port, two ships has loads of people sick earlier in the week, the Captain cancelled the stop.  So our power snorkel excursion was cancelled as well.  And on the ship we just did trivias and stuff.  One exciting thing was that someone got hurt and the U.S. Coast Guard had to fly out in helicopter, and pluck them off the ship to fly to get medical care!  There is a little video of that which was pretty neat to see.  It’s hard to see the guy going back up into the copter, but if you look close you can see it.


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A Pirate ship in the port at Puerto Rico

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La Coca Falls

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Looking down

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The guide told us to be careful and not jump around

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I couldn’t help it

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Some Bamboo can grow 4’ in a day!!

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The Big Bath, this was the first thing workers built when they we sent in to build the roads up the mountain.

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Our Guide Josh

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The Lazy Indian (sent your hate mail to Puerto Rico, not me, that is just what it is called)

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The view from the top of the lookout tower

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Inside the tower

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Almost everyone had a nap on the way back!

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Mofongo!  Soooooooo Good!

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Towel Turtle!

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Hasbro the Game Show

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I played Operation

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We had one minute to score as much as possible

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I went second last and had a huge score

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Amber the Cruise Director and Me

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The Piano Bar guy, he was from Stratford, Ontario and taught us The Beer Song

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Amber with her Scattergories trophy

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Guy Fieri’s burger joint on the ship, it looked REALLY greasy, we did not get food from there

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U.S. Coast Guard taking a sick person off the ship!

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At elegant night dinner

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Me and Oksana, the best server ever!

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Towel frog