Sunday, May 31, 2015

From 20 min. to 30 min.

When I first started running and jogging back a few years ago, after the break I had of course, I set my goal for 20 minutes. Depending on the day I ran and time, as well, sometimes it was easy and at times difficult to do. 
Today was the second day that I increased the length from 20 minutes to 30. It was not really easy but I did it. But running for 30 min. does not prove anything. How fast you're running that 30 min. and how far you run is important. of course I don't want to push myself too hard because I'm 25 anymore but I've seen old people here running like a machine without even panting! 
According to the data saved by Fitbit (which I have problems with a will probably post them later) I ran 2.16 Km between the hours of 09:45 to 10:00 today. It makes my speed at 8.64 Km/h (Don't laugh!). There are lots of talk about the average speed, what is jogging and when it would turn to running. I think I will have to leave them for later but what I also have to watch is my diet. I had lots of Ice Cream, Cake, Chocolate Bar and Candy recently and I have to start going easy on them. I hope I can have a post in a few months declaring a better speed and lighter body! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Turned Down

I applied for a position last Fri. This was the first one in the past 15 months. The answer was quick and simple and I received it yesterday: At this time they preferred to go with other applicants. 
The qualifications was a match for me and I didn't even have to change much. I was not very hopeful but was not really disappointed when I sent it either but I got disappointed when I received the regret letter! The good thing about the position was that it was at a site and while it might not seem very appealing to me, I would have had the opportunity to learn, had I been given the chance to join. I even might have been able to get my certificate credited. But it's gone now and I have to move on. I don't know for how long the job was but I was hoping to get out of this nuthouse. I guess I will have to try harder. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Missed Photography Opportunity

I went for a walk and run today to Nose Creek Pathway around Bridgeland. That's where I started and walked up all the way to 32 Ave. It was sunny with no cloud and wind at all but it was fortunately not very hot. The area is now very beautiful. Wildflowers, grass, trees and birds singing and flying around makes it a perfect place for a morning walk and run. It's so beautiful that Deerfoot's traffic doesn't bother. 
I ran back for 20 min. just to see if my back muscle has become better or not. I feel much better but it's not healed completely. The only regret I have for today's exercise is that I had forgotten to take my camera. While I was on the trail, first I saw a couple of flightless bird which looked like Grouse to me. Then further down there was a Deer in the trees watching me passing by! It was hard to believe that it was there but I saw it and I had seen other similar or dissimilar animals previously. Then I kept going and of course there are always Robins everywhere and other types of colurful birds that I don't even know their name. A good Sat. morning. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Horseshoe Canyon (Alberta)

I saw Horseshoe Canyon first time back in 2003 on my way to Drumheller. Just took one or two photos and passed. Today I had a short hike in there after 12 years! My original plan was to go to Banff National Park and hike to Bourgeau Lake but The Chef canceled his plan and I had to drive The Lady to work so by the time I was free, it was too late to make to the park, do the hike and come back to the city to pick her up. I am tired of city parks and a miserable rain has been falling down since the morning so I decided to take my chances in Highway 9 and Horseshoe Canyon. It was raining heavily all the way to the destination and when I reached there I noticed the differences. They have put up signs and there's washrooms and information. The parking lot is prepared and there's even an overload parking space. I parked and there were already a few cars parked. Some were just taking photos and some were trying to get down the canyon. 
I had my runners on but my hiking boots were in the trunk. I tried going down the hill but I slip and fell! I twisted my waist and it felt really painful. I realized why a few people I saw when I parked were covered in mud. It was a messy, miserable, muddy trail! I walked up with difficulty and went back to the car to grab my hiking stick and change my shoes. 
Walking down the hill was still not easy and I feel again and again and landed in mud at least three times until I balanced myself eventually. I realized that the rocks are covered in mud with a thickness of half inch or a little more and it was very sticky. I had mud all over my hands and some on the camera bag too but I had to keep going! 
There were only a small party ahead of me and the rest of the visitors just took their chances by looking from the top and taking photos. 
It got a bit better when I went forward and followed the trail but was looking for a stream to at least wash my hands and wipe off the mud. I heard water was dripping after a few minutes and went down. There was a Chocolate Milk colour stream but it was better than nothing! At least I didn't have to drink it. The canyon was really nice and wild flowers of different kinds were seen alongside the trail. I was hoping to see some species especially because I saw footprints but saw nothing but different singing birds and a few rodents. 
This little beautiful blue bird had captured a bug or maybe a worm and was trying to eat it when I shot this and having no zoom lens I could not get closer but this still shows the beauty of the place as well as the bird's
I finally saw the party I had seen earlier. They were getting ready to go back. I looked that they had taken a rest where I met with them and I realized a gorge like deep stream beside the spot which had made them not going forward. I jumped over the stream and continued on the fading path and that was when rain started again. I had left my rain jacket in the car because it was making me very hot but the rain didn't bother at all. It was kind of nice. The vegetation was really nice at this part with different greens on different trees of early May. This month is not generally a good month for hiking particularly if you want to hike in an open space such as Horseshoe Canyon. The rain disturbs you not because you get socked. It is because that it make the paths impassable. We had the similar situation in eastern British Columbia last year. It was raining so much and everywhere we wanted to go, I remember in Field, we were told that we would need a 4x4 and it would be really muddy! I knew all that but I certainly didn't want to stay at home so I went there. 
Different greens colours of different trees make Horseshoe Canyon a very pleasing place to the eyes in May
It was getting late and I knew I had to go back to the city. Considering the rain, the muddy and slippery path and the possibility of getting lost, I decided to turn around and go back to the car. I always leave a little room for photography on my way back because on the way I spot the opportunities and on return I shot them but this does not work all the time especially in mountains because when you are ascending the lighting is different from the time of descending. It is lighter generally when you're going back down but it also depends on the mountain's position towards sun. 
Anyway I got a little distracted - as usual - on the way back but I found the way and reached myself up the hill and got to the car. I had to put my rain-jacket on the seat in order to be able to drive because my bottom was covered in mud. The rain again started while going back to the city but it was a nice drive back. Regardless of the mud I guess going to Horseshoe Canyon in May is not such a bad idea because in June and July it becomes too dry and too hot. At least in mountains you get the breath and streams. There won't be any of those in here. There's no map for the canyon but I don't think I was too far away from the end. 
(Photo, top: Hills and rock are covered in dust and when it rains it turns to mud and covers them and makes it almost impossible to walk on but they look different and nice. Same scenes could be seen in Dinosaur Provincial Park. In fact if someone sees Horseshoe Canyon, he or she would not see much difference in Dinosaur Provincial Park. in that park you can see Hoodoos in addition to this type of rocks. Plus you get the chance to go to Red Deer River for Canoe and Kayaking, if the bugs let you!)

Friday, May 15, 2015

American Woman

One of the issues here in North America, which I pointed at that once, is having the laws and regulations which are hardly enforced. The other issue is that the majority of them are complicated and hard to understand. That is why we have this lawyer and that lawyer. That's why judging, courts and all the related shit is a good business. 
One good point that Jesse Ventura brought up in one of his interviews was that there are too many laws. He said when he had been elected Governor of Minnesota, the people directed him to a room full of shelves all around, loaded with thick, big books and told him that they were all State law! He asked why they needed that many and the answer of course is if something is too much and too complicated, people have no patient to read and understand that and that's when they get into trouble. In order to get out of the trouble, then they have to hire lawyers. And who are the lawyers? The very same guys, almost, who enacted the laws! So you know how some benefit from things! 
With that in mind a few years ago I purchased this woman American Beauty from Columbia House. I like most of the movie except for the ending where Kevin Spacey is shot. Normally the lead role is left alive to the end and that's when the audience is happy. He got killed and all the evidence led to believe he was the bad guy. That's why I didn't like the end and overall the movie and got rid of it. I guess I traded it in when Blockbusters had that program, years ago, I guess it was 2004 or so.
In the movie there's this scene that Spacey is behind the wheel and sings American Woman alongside the singer on the radio or a CD. That was the first time I head the song and a few years after I thought: Has ever been any lawsuit against the singer of this singer? He says nasty things about American women! There should be at least an American woman who's pissed off! Then a few weeks ago when I was searching for a few songs I came across the original version of the song by a Canadian band from Winnipeg, called The Guess Who! So to me then the problem became bigger: A few Canadian fellas form a band and insult American women! Anyone unhappy? There should be one or two? There should be a law out of this many that you can use against the one who tells nasty things about you. At least that's what I think. Chris, The Lair, Kyle, the American Lair claimed that he had punched Ventura in a Seal's bar when he was running off his mouth and for that he was sued and lost a case which cost him US $ 1.8 million. Fortunately he lost that when he had already lost his life! How has it been possible in a society that opportunists are everywhere that no one ever complained about these guys!
(Photo: The original The Guess Who in early 70's)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Spring Snow

Just when I posted pictures of Spring in Calgary, the surprise sprang up! I woke up in the morning around 07:40 and look out the window and there it was snow was falling!
This was shot at exactly 08:00 in one of Downtown streets
Although we had some on the ground, it stopped around 08:15, I would guess and by noon nothing was left but small puddles.
(photo, top: Trees are covered with a little snow)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Spring of 2015 in Calgary

This week again, similar to the last one, I couldn't go for climbing/hiking. However I spent a lot of time outside. From South Glenmore Park to Carburn Park, tried to keep myself active. 
Spring here but as usual it has rain, snow, strong wind and the normal chill of Alberta. I'm tired now after hours of walk and run in the past 3 days. I hope I can get enough rest during the week. I don't exactly remember how long last year's winter took but I do have it recorded here that the 3rd day of May was a cold and snowy day in Calgary.I have brought a few photos of Spring here and there in the city. There has been some rain and snow in the past three days but no snow on the grounds. 

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The 2015 Initial Plan

Hiking and mountain climbing season is short in Canada and every year I become impatient when we reach May. There is barely any mountain you could go all the way to the summit before the first week of June. I have had 5 hikes/scrambles/climbs so far and the three good ones were performed in Arizona in my road trip. One was simply a long walk on road and the last one was an unsuccessful attempt but a good exercise, no doubt. So I'm waiting for June to come and I can start my climbs. This year I looked and realized that I will have 32 days between the months of May and September. The question is how good they could be used? 
If you look at the main table of my ascends and hikes in last year you see that the first major ascend was performed in May.31. So probably trying The Wedge was not a good idea, two weeks ago but at least we got a good work out and we learnt the trial!
I have listed 12 hikes for myself in 10 different areas and 2 different provinces. I am determined to accomplish all and also do the other 20! 
Some say revealing these things in a weblog is not a good idea and the information could be misused by maniacs but I say what is that they could possibly do? By the time anyone even wants to join me on the hike or scramble, I'd be either more than half-way up or on my way back down! So I don't care. All I care is I can use this summer and fall in best possible manner and do as many ascends and hikes as I want.
(Photo: Two tables. The above table shows the major ascends and hikes of 2014. The hike to Kehlsteinhaus is not listed because that was not in the original plan and performed in place of one you see listed as S-5 to S-9. By the way in this table P indicates Primary and S is short for Secondary. The smaller table below is what initially I have prepared to be performed in 2015 and a few of them are already done. I hope I can get close enough to my ideal number, 32)

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Wasted Life

I took a walk in North Glenmore Park yesterday around sunset. It was quiet, nice and peaceful. A bit chilly though. I didn't mind. I never mind cold. There was barely anybody out. People were there but sitting in their cars. How silly! A few on bicycle. Passed. A group down by the reservoir shore with a big fire. Young fellas. Probably getting ready for their beer and barbecue! Something people could do that every week without being tired of that! Not me. I didn't even get close to them. Simply turned back. I wasn't looking for action. I was looking for silence and peace. 
While passing the storm ponds this old Persian verse hit me:

... بنشین بر لب جوی و گذر عمر ببین
This virtually means:

Sit by the stream and watch how your life is passing before your eyes. 

And it's not Arabic. It's Persian. There are similar alphabet but the language is different. There are similar alphabet in Urdu as well! 
Of course there was no stream but the pond reminded of that for no reason. Seriously this is something we have no control over it and one day we realize that we are close to the end and what have we done? Have we lived our life the way we wanted? I bet for most of the people the answer is No! I'm sure for me the answer is no to the most part. But how can we change that? Not much I guess. My passion has always been mountains. That's the only thing matter to me. And my job. I haven't reach the level of expertise I have wanted in my field. Not that it's too late but I got not much time left. How can I control my time, overcome my laziness and struggle myself to study and reach a higher level? I know with mountains I don't have that much time. I always can wake up at 04:00 and am sure will be able to do the same for the next 5 or even longer. But career: I don't have that much of control. Not that easy.
(Photo: Storm pond in North Glenmore Park, near reservoir)