Saturday, June 21, 2014

Running and Solstice...

So it seems the people have spoken. I'm not as obsessed with blog traffic as I was back in 2009, when this blog was at its prime. But I'm still curious as to what people like to read.

So, for example, I did a blog about geek movies of 2014. So far, 40 people have clicked on the link to read it. More might have, but direct links to it are 40. Which is not impressive. It's one of the least read blog posts I've done so far this year. Which is a pity, in a way. I'd been considering writing more geek related things. I have a bunch of graphic novels I'd like to review, for example. But there appears to be minimal interest.

However, my little Commission of Government rant, that has 214 so far, and rising. Plus it's easily the most praised thing I've done in awhile. An awful lot of smart and politically astute people whose opinion I respect a lot - Sara Rich Dorman, Craig Westcott, Barbara Dean-Simmons and Ed Hollett - have said some very kind words.

I look at it and all I can see are the typos. It's the problem when you feel ranty and hit 'post' before doing a couple of hard edits.

Politics has been a source of frustration for me. I love it, I have an opinion on it, but I feel very...restrained, in what I can say. Federal politics is right out due to work restrictions (well, common sense). Nunavut is too damn small for me to go off on the territorial government or any of the Inuit orgs. And I always thought I was too far removed to really do a proper and insightful commentary on Newfoundland politics.

But maybe I still have some juice. That makes me oddly depressed. It means that despite having not lived in the province for nearly nine years, the same old bullshit is ongoing, which means I have no problem following what's going on. Nearly a decade removed, nothing has changed. How sad is that?

On a personal note, I engaged in the middle age masochism of doing a road race today.  I used to mock those people. Now, it seems, I seem to be becoming those people. Although given how I feel tonight, it's doubtful I'll be doing sprints tomorrow.

A little history. My dad got into running big time in his 40s. I suspect there was no correlation at all between being newly divorced and having extra time on his hands and deciding that after spending all day delivering mail, that running 10-15 km was a good idea. His high water mark was probably running the Telly 10 on his 50th birthday and finishing 25th over all. Not bad considering something like 1,000 people run in that race.

There are not many opportunities to run in Iqaluit. Most of the year it's too cold or slippery except for all but the truly committed (and I mean that in all senses of the word). When it warms up enough, then the mosquitoes will normally feast on your flesh while you run.

But there was a 10k run in town today and, despite having never run that distance before, I'd give it a shot. After all, I spend at least 30 minutes on an elliptical on the four days a week I'm at the gym. I can do 10 km easy, right?

Sometimes I'm just clever enough to get myself involved in some really stupid things.

So yeah, did the road race today. Knew I was in trouble pretty early when my right achilles started acting up. Half way though I couldn't feel my left foot anymore. And the sado-masochists who designed the race route decided that the last 2.5 km should be uphill and into the prevailing wind. So that was fun.

But I finished with a time of 1:05:20 which everyone tells me is pretty good for a first race. Or at least they're being kind and lying to me. And it's only cost me my ability to walk normally. I usually take Boo for a walk in the evening and carry a walking stick. The stick is normally for defence to deal with any aggressive strays we might encounter. This evening I had to use it to, you know, walk.

Every now and then I think, "Hey, maybe I should try a marathon some day." Today was a useful reminder to not be quite that stupid any time soon...

Today is Summer Solstice, mean it's the longest day of the year. That means sunset is 11:01 pm and it rises again at 2:11 am. It doesn't get dark at the time of the year.

I always get marginally depressed on this day. Don't get me wrong, all the daylight can be a pain the in ass if you don't take the proper precautions. People get binky with sleep deprivation. That's why we "declare night" around 9 pm and close the curtains. We have some pretty heavy duty blackout curtains in the bedroom, so we have no weird daylight coming in.

Still, we've been building to this day for six months. It feels like your fleeing the dark and the cold and rushing toward some sunlight and warmth. And yes, we still have a couple of months of long days and temperatures spiking maybe as high as 15C or so (I'll still bet money we get snow in July this year. We've currently gone 22 consecutive months with at least some snow falling).

But yeah, now we're sliding back towards the cold and dark again. And that brings me down a bit. But in the meantime, a few pictures of what it was like around 10 pm tonight. And yes, that is still quite a bit of ice in the bay. The floe edge is not supposed to be too far away, but even with that ice being awfully thin, there were still people out on it on the ski-doos today. Crazy people, but I guess they know what they're doing.

Last Five
1. Dirty pool - Spirit of the West*
2. Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Warren Zevon
3. Katherine kiss me - Franz Ferdinand
4. Gleaming auction - Snow Patrol
5.  Unkind - Sloan

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