Toronto Spartan Race 2012

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Nursing Shoes

Nursing Shoes

This weekend was the Spartan Race in Toronto, which Alain and I did with Pickles and with a bunch of old friends. The Spartan Race is a 5k obstacle course that actually happened in Barrie on the 24th. To measure your personal performance, the organisers tagged each participant with a little microchip attached to the shoe. That way, it’s easier to identify the body/foot afterward, in case it gets lost, I guess?

In preparation, I took my old nursing shoes and cut grooves into the soles (they were completely smooth before) and wore those for the race. I’m glad I did this, because one of the obstacles was wading through 200m of waist-deep mud with barbed wire overhead. By the end of the race, I (and my shoes) were filthy, of course. I threw them out once we got back. I paid $25 for those shoes last September, and they were worth only $25. This is the most honourable death they could have had.

A wheelbarrow

A wheelbarrow

The actual race wasn’t so hard. I even did the climbing-up-a-rope thing (which I had never done before). In fact, I did all the obstacles correctly without having to do the penalty (20 burpees). Pictured to the right is me carrying a wheelbarrow with concrete and sandbags.

Murph over flames

Murph over flames

What was difficult was waiting for the bus at the end. We got in line for the bus and waited. And waited. And then the clouds came in and the sky got dark and it started to rain, and the temperature went down. Alain and I went under the towel that we brought to try to conserve our body heat, since we were wet and cold and stationary (being in line for the bus). It took an hour for the bus to arrive. They probably could have thought that through a bit better.

Now it's Alain!

Now it’s Alain!

The day after, we were informed by the Spartan Race that due to an electrical problem, about 1000 participants’ times were lost (including my time and the times of everyone I knew). I’ll never know how I did! That might be for the best, because I stopped for about 10 minutes at the beginning of the race to help a poor woman who broke her leg on the very first turn of the course. I felt so bad for her!

Hay bales!

Hay bales!

Weird thing to think about: my friends and I are now in the background of dozens of people’s Spartan Race photos on Facebook, and we have no idea.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2012-2933,
    title = {Toronto Spartan Race 2012},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2012-06-28,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2012/06/28/toronto-spartan-race-2012/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Toronto Spartan Race 2012" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 28 Jun 2012. Web. 21 Sep 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2012/06/28/toronto-spartan-race-2012/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2012, Jun 28). Toronto Spartan Race 2012 [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2012/06/28/toronto-spartan-race-2012/


Life is interesting

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Making decisions on the basis of what looks 'interesting'

Making decisions on the basis of what looks 'interesting'

The following is a roughly paraphrased transcript of a conversation I had by text message with a friend who believes that more strange things have started to happen to him since he has started hanging out with me.

My friend asked, “Will I get used to having weird stuff happening to me?”

“You will know that you’ve reached the final stage in getting used to the weird in your life when you learn to profit from it,” I answered him.

“Heh, I’m afraid of what I’ll have to see before getting used to it!”

“Oh, it’s not what you see that will scare you. It will be most frightening when you start making decisions on the basis of what you think would be most ‘interesting.’ ”

My friend asked me, “Have you reached that stage yet?” And at the very moment that I received the last text message, I passed a sign printed on a white 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper on the bulletin board for the Dollar Cinema that I pass every time I leave the gym.

I sent them an email asking for details. I’m curious to see where this goes.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-1024,
    title = {Life is interesting},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-12-1,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/12/01/life-is-interesting/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Life is interesting" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 01 Dec 2010. Web. 21 Sep 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/12/01/life-is-interesting/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Dec 01). Life is interesting [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/12/01/life-is-interesting/


Rioting

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Hockey Riots

Hockey Riots

So I walked to the gym yesterday, and I went shortly after the end of the hockey game between Canada and the States. This is what was happening at 19h10 at University and Sherbrooke in Montréal. People running, screaming, cars honking.

Turn down the volume when you click on the link, though.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-658,
    title = {Rioting},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-03-1,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/03/01/rioting/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Rioting" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 01 Mar 2010. Web. 21 Sep 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/03/01/rioting/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Mar 01). Rioting [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/03/01/rioting/


Fixing my pants

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My hulking-out pants

My hulking-out pants

So for a couple years now, whenever I went to the gym, I wore this old pair of sweaty pants that had a small hole on the right side. It was along the outside of the leg, so you couldn’t see anything, but it was immediately below the pocket, and slowly getting bigger.

Since I haven’t been feeling well lately, I’ve been stuck inside, and so I finally got around to fixing it.

I couldn’t find the end of the black thread, so I used the red thread instead. I figure, they’re hulking-out pants, not fashion pants. And I did a terrible job with the stitching, so it won’t last. But that’s okay, because it’s red stitching, so it was bad to begin with.

But on the upside, when I’m feeling better, there won’t be a giant hole in my pants when I go to work out. :)

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-606,
    title = {Fixing my pants},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-01-11,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/01/11/fixing-my-pants/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Fixing my pants" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 11 Jan 2010. Web. 21 Sep 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/01/11/fixing-my-pants/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Jan 11). Fixing my pants [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/01/11/fixing-my-pants/


At least I have a name for it now

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The very hour that I submitted my last essay for last semester, I felt a tickly feeling at the back of my throat. My neck stiffened. A headache descended upon me, and my body more-or-less collapsed. I think it was the stress from the previous semester that finally got to me.

After New Year’s Eve, though, I thought I was getting better, but then immediately after class on Tuesday, I started to have a relapse. The headache and sore throat came back with a vengeance, complete with dizziness, neck pain, dry itchy eyes, and swelling at the back of my throat. They were the same symptoms I had back at my parents’ place that I thought had gone away, but much worse than they ever were there. So this morning, I went to the McGill walk-in clinic before it opened, so that I would get a spot, hopefully before class started at 10h.

I’m really quite happy about the timing of the way things turned out. I arrived at 7h45. The clinic opened at 9h. I was 10th in line, so I was processed and saw a nurse by 9h30. She ordered some blood work and a throat swab, which was done by 9h55, just before my class started. The Biomedical Ethics Unit building is literally across the street from Student Health Services, so I got there on time. (I really didn’t want to miss the first class.)

I was given an appointment with a doctor who would interpret the lab results at 11h, so I told my prof, and snuck out of class at five minutes to. I arrived at the clinic at the very moment that the doctor was calling my name in the reception room. She told me that I have Mono (good grief!) and that I have a lot of the Mono. I might also have strep throat, but the throat swab results won’t be ready until tomorrow. I also have a follow-up appointment for next Wednesday. Anyway, the appointment lasted 10 mins, and I was back in my seat by 11h15. The seminar had taken a break and so I didn’t miss very much at all.

But now I think my body is just screwing with me, because after all that, I got home and started to feel better immediately. I haven’t taken any pain-killers all day, and yet I have no headache. I stand up, but I don’t get dizzy. I can concentrate, and I can even swallow like a normal person now. I feel fine.

What this means for me practically is that I can’t go swimming, probably for a week or two, while I’m still infectious. It also means I can’t drink for about a month, and I have to take it easy, physically. The doctor says my liver is sitting about a centimetre below my ribcage, and it usually doesn’t like to live there, because it could get poked by something and start bleeding internally, and it’s having a hard enough time fighting off all the Monos as it is, so I can’t play football or rugby.

I blame the Métro for this. I think that’s where it came from. Too much touching of hand-rails, and I admit that my hand-washing is not always up to code. I’ll let you know whether or not I have strep throat. If I do, it means antibiotics for me!

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-604,
    title = {At least I have a name for it now},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-01-7,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/01/07/at-least-i-have-a-name-for-it-now/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "At least I have a name for it now" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 07 Jan 2010. Web. 21 Sep 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/01/07/at-least-i-have-a-name-for-it-now/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Jan 07). At least I have a name for it now [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/01/07/at-least-i-have-a-name-for-it-now/


Weird to find this in the pages of one of your books

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Eat a hamburger. Do it now.

Eat a hamburger. Do it now.

Pickles was looking through some of the books that we don’t plan to keep, either because we have multiple copies, or because we don’t like the book enough to keep it around forever, and she found this. It’s a post-card sized advertisement for the beef that McDonald’s uses in its hamburgers. She was using it as a bookmark at some point in the past.

This is just weird.

If you can give me a good translation of the Chinese phrase at the bottom of the advertisement, you will be awarded 4 points.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-437,
    title = {Weird to find this in the pages of one of your books},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-09-19,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/09/19/weird-to-find-this-in-the-pages-of-one-of-your-books/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Weird to find this in the pages of one of your books" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 19 Sep 2009. Web. 21 Sep 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/09/19/weird-to-find-this-in-the-pages-of-one-of-your-books/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Sep 19). Weird to find this in the pages of one of your books [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/09/19/weird-to-find-this-in-the-pages-of-one-of-your-books/


Dark alley on campus

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I walk through here on the way to the gym

I walk through here on the way to the gym

It’s usually not this dark here. I walk through here pretty much every day on my way to the gym. What I like about this is the shapes of the concrete against the overcast sky.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-340,
    title = {Dark alley on campus},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-08-31,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/31/dark-alley-on-campus/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Dark alley on campus" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 31 Aug 2009. Web. 21 Sep 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/31/dark-alley-on-campus/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Aug 31). Dark alley on campus [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/31/dark-alley-on-campus/


Creepy statue

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Creepy statue in downtown Montréal

Creepy statue in downtown Montréal

I went to the gym by Métro on Monday, and on my way there, I came across this statue. It’s supposed to be a crowd of people. I didn’t read the plaque that explained what it meant. I prefer the sense of mystery.

What is the man pointing at? Why is there a little gremlin person, crouching at his butt? Why is everyone standing so close together? Why are they all white people?

Creepy statue in downtown Montréal

Creepy statue in downtown Montréal

Creepy statue in downtown Montréal

Creepy statue in downtown Montréal

Another interesting thing: This statue was pristine. There wasn’t a bit of graffiti anywhere near it. Maybe this is because it’s right in the middle of downtown Montréal, and people would notice. But still, I see lots of buildings around there that have been vandalised.

Anyway, I like the contrast that the white crowd of people gives to the dark glass buildings behind them. And how creepy those gremlin-people are.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-144,
    title = {Creepy statue},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-08-5,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/05/creepy-statue/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Creepy statue" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 05 Aug 2009. Web. 21 Sep 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/05/creepy-statue/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Aug 05). Creepy statue [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/05/creepy-statue/


McGill athletic centre

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McGill athletic centre exterior

McGill athletic centre exterior

The McGill athletic centre is a maze. I went there on Friday for the first time, and again on Monday, to go for a swim and to use the weight room. To get to the pool, you go through the main entrance off Pins Ouest, and then turn right. You go down the hall until you see a sign on the right with a diagram of a man on a diving board, which says “vestiaire masculin” (men’s change room) and “follow me.” You open the door, then go down a set of stairs, open another door, and follow a winding path of doorways and corridors with low-set pipes running above your head. If I was much taller, I would run into them, I think.

A sign that leads through a labyrinth of hallways with low ceilings and exposed pipes to the men's locker room

A sign that leads through a labyrinth of hallways with low ceilings and exposed pipes to the men's locker room

After my swim, I checked out the weight room. It was very busy, but there were a lot of cardio machines there. I got lost on the way out and had to ask someone coming out of the football team office how to find the men’s change room that adjoins the pool. They pointed me in the direction of a completely different set of twisty hallways that went by a rather large set of loudly humming electrical panels and did eventually lead to the change room where I had left my things.

Sketchy hallway on the way to the McGill Memorial Pool

Sketchy hallway on the way to the McGill Memorial Pool

Oh, and by the way, they’re strangely insistent that you bring your towel to the fitness centre. When I paid for access to the school gym on Thursday, the gentleman who was helping me made mention of it at least 4 times while selling me the gym membership. Not only that, but there is a big sign, saying that you need a towel for entry, just outside the fitness centre doors. Maybe it’s a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference or something.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-120,
    title = {McGill athletic centre},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-08-4,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/04/mcgill-athletic-centre/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "McGill athletic centre" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 04 Aug 2009. Web. 21 Sep 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/04/mcgill-athletic-centre/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Aug 04). McGill athletic centre [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/04/mcgill-athletic-centre/


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