I need to find $2000 on the street

I am the world’s worst blogger.

I see many great people who blog daily, weekly, biweekly, or whenever they feel like it. And usually, they feel like it every few days! I always feel like I will, yet somehow I just run out of time. Perhaps I should just be more disciplined and allot a block of time every few days. Work out a schedule. Put to use this iPad of mine, perhaps?

What I like to believe in my head is that it’s unproductivity as a result of poor tools. The Dell laptop I’ve had since 2008 is really on its last breaths (not even, since the fans don’t work properly. To use my laptop in this crazy hot summer, it has it’s own oscillating fan), and I’ve been postponing lots of projects until I get a new computer. Podcasting. Blogging. Video. Photo even.

At this point, I’m ready to embrace the full Apple ecosystem: iPhone, iPad, iMac. I’ve wanted an iMac ever since those futuristic, blue, all-in-one machines started popping up in my middle school. Thankfully, they’ve evolved quite a bit since those CRT days. I can’t help but go and play with them whenever I find myself in an Apple store or one of those blue and yellow monstrosities of an electronics store.

There’s just one small problem: I need a good 200 unmelted Bordens (we don’t use that in Canada, do we?) to get one. They start at just $1199, but add a few hundred for better performance, and may as well add a few hundred for extra inches (insert size joke here), and before you know it, you’re looking at the cost of a crazy awesome adventure – that sits on your desk.

Fall. 2012. So long as nobody announces thinner lighter iMac with Retina display (because I know it’s coming).

Photos

I went on a little adventure looking for an Ottawa installation called Balancing, only to discover it’s been gone since 2008. Oops. So I found a couple of new sculptures (and a couple of classics) to enjoy instead!

201207_18_01 - Tall Cello

201207_18_03 - Twist Up

201207_18_04 - Two of Three Watchmen

201207_18_05 - Under a Spider

The Runner

Ottawa Race Weekend course in downtown Ottawa, as run by me and Nike+GPS

When it comes to running, May was a big month for me. I ran my fastest 1k (5:02), mile (8:17), 5k (29:18), and my furthest distance (5.13k). I also recorded my 250th kilometre with Nike+ and Nike+GPS since I started using it early last year.

To top it off, I ran the 5k in the Ottawa Race Weekend with 9678 other lovely people, and managed to place 2380th (top 25%) quite a step up from finishing 5621 of 7354 at last year’s army run (top 77%). But to put my result in some context, the fastest result of the Ottawa Race Weekend 10k race reached the end faster than I did in the 5k.

Waiting before the Ottawa Race Weekend 5K

The race itself was very good. It’s a very different feeling – and very motivating – running with 9000 people, at once. You see someone in front of you that doesn’t look like they’re going very fast, so you try to pass them. In a quiet moment, a bunch of people will pass you. The people watching along the side, cheering for loved ones (and cheering for everyone in general) is great to see too. The best, though, must have been some of the signs that people held up. One was “halfway there – just kidding” around the 4-4.5km mark. My favourite that made me laugh while running was, “your pace or mine?” Twitter tells me Lululemon had something to do with some of these motivational messages. Good on them!

Starting the Race

Regardless, I’m quite happy with being able to do this. High school me who couldn’t run halfway around the school (650m, give or take) in phys ed would be very impressed. I’m hoping to do at least another Army Run this year. Maybe Terry Fox. Maybe the Ottawa Hospital Rattle Me Bones Run (I am a valuable member of their team, after all).

The big question is, what do I do to become a better runner. Is it possible for me to stay motivated through a longer 6-, 8-, or even 10k? Should I push myself harder and shave valuable seconds off each kilometre I run? I’m not really looking to eventually do a marathon. I mean, I’m sure it’s great to be able to do one, but 40+ km is a whole lot of distance to cover, and I’m sure they don’t allow of napping breaks.

Yellow Corral for 30-35-minute finishers. I did it in 29:44.9.

 Perhaps I should just get used to running 5k at a time. Hit it every time I run. After doing that a while, perhaps adding a km or two wouldn’t seem so challenging. And naturally, I would speed up in the process. I suppose there are many, many hot, muggy summer evenings for me to try to figure it out… And a few more medals (and mosquito bites) to be had in the process.

5K Medal

112 – How Did Shopping Carts Get Up There?

201102_11_02 - Next Stop: Carleton

201102_11_03 - 501 Heron

201102_11_04b - Bronson / Airport PKWY Overpass

201102_12_01i - Shopping Atop a Mountain

There’s so much waiting done each and every day. It’s so easy to become annoyed and pace while waiting for the waiting to end. I do most of my waiting at bus stops (and increasingly, O-Train stops), and for a while, I took a fair number of pictures for those 5- or 12- or 30-minute waits. Then DS games, books, and eventually the iPhone got in the way, demanding my full attention not only at stops, but for the whole commute. Yet lately, a sudden reversal. Perhaps I should apologize now!

Speaking of iPhone, the Google Translate app is available, free, and pretty much the most amazing tool ever. Just speak into it, and it can speak your phrase back in another language! Hoshi Sato might even be impressed. I want to go to a non-English-speaking area and see if I can really get by using it to communicate. Would anyone like to take a trip to India, China, or Mexico? In fact, Google if you’re listening, I would blog and Youtube the whole experience!

Photos: I love the view of the O-Train heading North from Confederation Station. If I were more daring, I would jump down onto the track after it departs to get a better shot. There’s only a few seconds before the train is too far away!

Also, on my way home tonight, I noticed that, somehow, a couple of shopping carts have ended up atop a parking lot snow mountain. Alas, I didn’t have my camera, but the iPhone worked to prove the insanity of such a discovery. I hope Loblaws isn’t missing their carts…

107 – Vanquished Malware at N45.113 W75.347

201010_05_02 - Mushrooms in the Field

201010_05_04 - Photo Op

201010_05_21 - Jason Mraz XIII

201010_12_04 - Glancing Upwards

201010_17_01 - Gum Post

201010_17_04 - New Trick

Much has happened in the past month. I’ve been to two concerts, tried Geocaching, got an iPhone, cleaned my website, and got into following the municipal election.

Concerts:
Jason Mraz and Stars. Both were fantastic in their own way. I met Mr. A-Z (do people call him that? Shoulda asked), and fell in love with a few of his new songs, most notable What Mama Say. First concert at Scotiabank Place, to! Stars had fantastic lighting and a great crowd, and are really good live. Very impressed.

iPhone:
iPhone4. Is there more to say? It’s perhaps the best device I’ve ever owned.

Website:
It was attacked somehow recently, and unwanted script ended up on every page. So I cleaned it out old school, and now there shouldn’t be any malware warnings when people visit. Check it out: BenjaminWood.Net! My blog, as part of the site, had also been flagged, so I hadn’t updated it just because of that headache. Maybe I’ll write more often now.

Geocaching:
One of the results of having an iPhone. Now I can know exactly where I am (within 5 metres, or sometimes 10)… which means I can find caches! I’ve found 17 so far, with Jen, Susma, Grace, Jon, and Leo. Leo is so awesome by the way! I’ve never seen a dog do a handstand before. Just knowing that peole have hidden things all over really renews my sense of the world around me. the Geocaching App is the best app investment I’ve made so far (Cut the Rope being a close second).

Election:
Mayor, councillor… the bus strike really showed me how important this municipal thing is! I’ve been following websites, news, blogs, etc, trying to figure out who will hold my interests in transit and transit and, well, that’s mainly what I’m concerned about. I’ll write more tomorrow probably.