Negotiating the Jones

Posted by bernicky - November 30th, 2006

It was cold, windy and rainy tonight but I still managed to fit in a short run to roll over 400 for this month again. Woohoo. The official tally is 401.83 Kilometers.

‘Tis the season for some coughing

Posted by bernicky - November 27th, 2006

Friday stared with a sore throat that progressed to a stuffy head, sneezing and coughing yesterday. It is after all that time of year so it is hard to complain.

The other thing which happened on Friday was the annual AGM of the Association of Support Services for out school board. O.K. it was a union meeting. The board sent along a fellow to do a presentation on asbestos to tell us that all buildings built before 1985 had asbestos in them (which means almost all of the schools in the board). Then he went on to tell us not to worry about anything because all of the asbestos was trapped into the matrix of the building materials and unless it is disturbed it is not a threat. Unfortunately for him he had bronchitis and coughed frequently during his presentation. This was after delivering the exact same compulsory attendance presentation at every school in the district. For those of us who missed the compulsory presentation we will get to see it again.

The one hour presentation boils down to the following.

1 – Asbestos is in all the buildings
2 – Asbestos can cause respiratory problems including Asbestoses and Mesothelioma – but it takes 20 – 50 years to develop the disease (that was actually the language used). The presenter actually played down these diseases a little emphasizing recent unconfirmed theories that other indestructible fibers like fiber glass cause the same problems.
3 – The buildings have tested almost all negative for asbestos in the air (almost – my school tested positive on the second floor but they only took one air sample on the second floor – the 8 samples from the first floor tested negative and the 2 from the third tested negative) With the bulk of the classrooms and support services office on the second floor you would have thought that the majority of samples would have been taken on the second floor.
4 – They aren’t going to do anything to remove the asbestos from the buildings – when you consider that asbestos was used as filler in tiles, wallboard, pipe wrapping etcetera it doesn’t come as a surprise that it is going to be left alone.
5 – They told us how things should be done properly to prevent asbestos from becoming airborne.

The long and short of it is that if you don’t like it you can leave your job. The good thing is that the board at least has put some effort into finding out the situation and actually has an environmental control plan going forward as renovations and structural changes are made to the buildings. It would have been nice if these plans had been put into effect before we pulled a couple of hundred new cable runs and remodeled the third floor last year. Water under the bridge I suppose.

Little things

Posted by bernicky - November 25th, 2006

Every run can bring interesting events. Today at the spur of the moment I changed my regular route to another one adding 3.25K to my 20K run. It was such a beautiful sunny morning I didn’t want to stop. The best part was the last hundred meters though when I spied a pileated woodpecker. I scooted into the house and grabbed my wife’s camera and tried to find it again. Unfortunately the zoom on the camera isn’t very good – this is the best picture I could get.

pileated woodpecker

Sticking to it

Posted by bernicky - November 24th, 2006

With two atrocious runs under my belt earlier this week it was a no brainer to run this afternoon with the unseasonably warm temperature and spectacular sun. The reward was a smooth, uneventful and quick paced 14.7 K. Part of me was dreading the possibility of another bad run but fortune was on my side today. Woohoo.

Porking up

Posted by bernicky - November 24th, 2006

I don’t know how it is happening, but I am gaining weight. I actually don’t know where I am gaining it but the scale is showing a steady increase in weight over the last 21 days. It seems that unless I write it all down and analyze exactly what, when, where and why I am eating that I am condemned to weight gain. Heading into the Xmas season of course doesn’t make it any easier but what can you do? I don’t suppose everyone else would cancel the season to help me maintain my waistline 😀

Meanderings

Posted by bernicky - November 19th, 2006

A big chunk of Phoenix Club runners were in Philadelphia today. They had some great runs. Allison ran 3:34:01 beating the time she needed to qualify for Boston by almost 6 minutes. Phoenix will have a good number of runners going to the much storied Boston Marathon in the spring. It would be nice if we all had club jerseys by then. I have designs on qualifying for Boston one day but probably not for a while yet.

Meanwhile back in my regular life:

Sony released the PS3 which sold out rapidly because Sony couldn’t meet the supply. Given my own experiences with Sony’s shoddy workmanship and substandard customer service I’m not sure how fast out of the gate I will be to try and buy one. Sony has already been plagued by the fact that the PS3 has trouble playing PS1 and PS2 games.

I was actually waiting for the Nintendo Wii which also launched this week. It too sold out but has two more scheduled delivery dates before Xmas. At the local store I go to they received 3 PS3’s but 54 Wii so I have every confidence I will have one in hand before Xmas. I hate to admit it but I love playing game consoles. The portable format Nintendo DS is my favourite though our daughter lost mine a little while ago.

Today I have been watching the Grey Cup the 94th Canadian Football League championship Montreal has been soundly trounced by superior defense, superior offense and superior manpower. It has been a demoralizing experience though I probably shouldn’t shout at the television apparently the players and referees can’t hear a word I’m saying.

Only 41 days left in the year. Only 35 days until Christmas. Only 27 days until Tracy is in town. If I could run 864.54 K in the remainder of the year I could roll 4000K this year running Alison put that bug in my head but it is something to think about.

Race pix

Posted by bernicky - November 14th, 2006

These are pictures of myself and another Phoenix runner – Ian Cordner (he is much older and much faster than I am) crossing the finish line at the Boreal cross country race on Saturday.

Sony service slightly silly

Posted by bernicky - November 13th, 2006

You can tell when a company is on its way down the tubes by the way in which they handle customer complaints. If my recent experience is any indication Sony doesn’t have much life left in it as a company. In a nutshell here is the problem/experience.

I have a Sony DV handycam TRV33 it’s a nice camera and has worked well up until now. Yesterday it ceased to be able to use its Firewire and USB ports to connect to a computer. The RCA port works fine and I used it to transfer VHS quality video to my computer.

At school we have an AV guy who has been doing this stuff for 40 years and knows cameras inside out so I took it to him this morning. He didn’t even look at it instead he admited that he had exactly the same problem with the school’s Sony handycams: The USB and Firewire ports simply stopped working.

O.K. so it seems that Sony has a USB/Firewire issue with their handycams that doesn’t preclude me from trying Sony customer support. The customer support phone number had a robot at the other end of the line asked me in French if I wanted to be served in French, and when I said no it continued to ask all the support questions in French. After answering all the Yes/No questions I was offered the opportunity to participate in a Sony customer satisfaction survey. (Note to company don’t have a robot ask me questions and provide no answer then ask me to take a satisfaction survey) Of course I readily agreed to take the customer survey but once I agreed to do that a voice told me that there would be a ten minute wait before I could take the survey. So I hung up.

Needless to say I am still at a loss as to what to do with my HandyCam. We’ve recorded maybe three DV tapes worth of stuff since we bought it and it has already given up the ghost. This close to Christmas the only thing that I know for certain is that the PS3 is off my shopping list and maybe a Canon DV camcorder is on it.

Running all sorts

Posted by bernicky - November 12th, 2006

Yesterday’s Boreal 10K cross country run went well if a little slower than planned. I finally crossed the finish line after 45 minutes of running which was slower than I wanted but not a let down. The pace was good and at the end of the race I still had plenty of gas left in the tank.

Today my run was an unplanned 20K. It seemed to me that a long slow run would be the way to go this morning. As it worked out the run probably should have been shorter as the last 5K really took their toll on me. On the upside today I reached one of my goals for the year finally rolling over 3000K on the hoof for the year. After todays run the official count is: 3017.09K. Woohoo.

Remembrance Day 2006

Posted by bernicky - November 11th, 2006

Every Remembrance Day has only one purpose: To remember those who have died in combat. Remembrance Day is not the purview of liberals, conservative or greens it belongs to all of us who care about the quality of life we have and the freedoms we enjoy. We are all of us quick to claim our freedoms and often as not just as quick to eschew our responsibilities. Those who we remember today were quick to defend the first and claim the second.

Today I remember my father Archie Bernicky, Sergeant in the Royal 22nd Vandoos who fought in WW2 and Korea. My uncle Leslie Bernicky, Private in the Mont Royal Fusiliers from 1940 to 1945. Taken prisoner on the Dieppe Raid 19th Aug. 1942. Darcy Tedford, Sergeant of the 1st Royal Canadian Regiment who was killed in action in Afghanistan on October 14, 2006. I will also remember those soldiers I have seen on the news who are learning to walk on their new artificial limbs, learning how to use their new hands or adapting to life in wheelchairs.

Today is a special day for those who choose to make it so. Those who choose not to make it so are making a choice which they are free to make because others made commitments to guarantee that freedom.

poppy

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