Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Beer & Bling Report

Thursday night a few friends and I went to Beer & Bling, an event held at Working Silver, a silversmithing shop, where local jewelry makers were selling their wares while sampling some fine Steel & Oak beer, with beer proceeds going to the Arts Council of New Westminster 1. And I have to say that the turnout was great, both the beer and the jewelry were excellent, and it appeared that lots of both were being sold!
My friend Heather stopped by on her way to dance class, my friends Kim and Cath came in from Vancouver (with poor Cath making an accidental side trip to Surrey because she was on an Expo Line instead of a Millennium Line train2.) and my friend Erin came over from Surrey. Cath did the lion’s share of her Christmas shopping, Kim did a mix of shopping for gifts for others and gifts for herself, and I bought one gift for someone else and a few things for me, and Erin got herself a ring plus a bunch of business cards so she can go check out the artists websites and spend some time deciding what to buy3

I can’t show you what I bought as a present lest the recipient be tipped off, but I can show you what I got for myself!

First I got myself a Christmas tree ornament:

Christmas tree ornament 2015
It a Christmas tree to hang on the Christmas tree. Meta-Christmas, if you will.

And I also treated myself to this necklace and these earrings:

Earrings and necklace

They kind of look like (a) you could do some serious damage with them in a street fight and (b) you could use them to ask Scotty to beam you up.

  1. Full disclosure: I’m on the board of the Arts Council. []
  2. For those of you not from the Vancouver area, the Expo Line and the Millennium Line run the exact same route from Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver until they get to Columbia Station in New Westminster, at which point Millennium Line loops through New West and Burnaby, and back to Vancouver, whereas Expo Line crosses the river into Surrey. If you are Skytraining just within Vancouver and Burnaby, you don’t need to pay attention to which train you get on, so many a Vancouverite who ventures out into the ‘burbs has found themselves on the wrong Skytrain thinking “omg! Why are we going over a bridge???” []
  3. I don’t think Heather got anything, but I could be wrong. []

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Beer & Bling

I’m stealing this directly off the website of Working Silver, a silversmith who offer silversmithing supplies, classes, and silver jewelry for sale. They are having a Christmas shopping night that is paired with beer drinking, which is also a fundraiser for the Arts Council of New Westminster, a nonprofit organization of which I’m on the board of directors. You should check it out!

BEER & BLING Christmas Shopping Night!

Dec 10th 5-10pm

Sample Craft Beer made by our friends at Steel & Oak and do your Christmas Shopping at the Arts council LOGO same time!  Hand made sterling silver jewellery by local artisans, Jewellery making Classes, and Gift Certificates make wonderful Christmas gifts!!

At the Workingsilver store and teaching studio, we are all about hand made sterling silver jewellery and supporting local artisans.  Partial proceeds from the Beer Tasting will go to the New Westminster Arts Council.

Workingsilver: 131 E Columbia Street, New Westminster

  • Driving: 5 minutes from Hwy 1.  FREE off street parking available behind the building for this event
  • Walking:  5 minute walk from the Sapperton SkyTrain Station
  • Free Parking available behind building after 6pm

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Beer – Now In Soap Form!

Hey, remember that time that I made a bunch of suboptimally carbonated beer? Well, I happened to tell my friend Susan about that. And the thing is, Susan owns a soap making company. And one of the types of soaps that she makes is beer soap. And to make beer soap you need, apparently, uncarbonated beer!

I’m sure you can see where this is going!

Beer soapSo I gave Susan some uncarbonated beer and she scienced it into soap!

It smells heavenly – sort of like a sweet bread, with a hint of orange (as she included orange essential oils in it). I have a bar of it in my shower and it’s quite lovely!

Check out Susan’s company, A Little Soapy Business. She sells all kinds of soaps and skin care products1.

  1. As per usual, I have not received anything to promote Susan’s business. We did an old school bartering deal – I gave her beer in exchange for a few bars of soap! []

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Here and Gone

So remember that time I told you about howall thehouseguestswere on their way to my place? Not only did that trip whizz by in the blink of an eye, but it’s been a week since they left and I’m only just now blogging about it!

In no particular order, our adventures included1:

  • wenttoBowen Island2, where we had some amazingly delicious food at the Old Orchard Grill3
  • delicious dinner atForage– I’ve been there a couple of times before, but omg, is their food ever fantastic. And their wait staff is amazing!
  • delicious breakfast at Angelina’s
  • went to my hockey game – well, my mom did. My sister was busy at her conference that day.
  • went to Daniel’s hockey game
  • went to Granville Island, where we did some shopping4 and enjoyed some Lee’s Donuts5and some drinks at Liberty Distillery. I also bought myself an herb garden to put on my balcony6 – it contains parsley, sage, chives, marjoram, and peppermint and it only cost $13!
  • my sister and Dan got to meet my kitties! My mom had already met them on her last trip, but was happy to see her grandkitties again!

Pursuing my phone, I realized that I was a delinquent in taking photos, so I have no proof that anyone actually visited me. But I did take this photo of me stopped in front of a “no stopping anytime” sign on Bowen Island, in my ongoing project to chronicle people disobeying signs.

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So there’s that.

  1. “Making a delicious meal onmy BBQ” didn’t end uphappening and “trying my delicious home-brewed beer” happened for Dr. Dan, but not my sister (my mom and Dan’s student don’t drink beer, so I wasn’t expecting them to). []
  2. which just so happens to be onmy list of 101 things to do []
  3. Best. French fries. EVER! []
  4. I bought a new dress and got FOUR compliments on it the first day that I wore it! []
  5. Dan and his student agreed with me that Lee’s Donuts kick the butt of Cartem’s Donuts! []
  6. which just so happens to be onmy list of 101 things to do. []

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Requisite New Running Shoe Blog Posting

Near the end of my training for the BMO half, I noticed that I was getting a bit of shin splints, which, for me, is generally a sign that I need a new pair of running shoes. I thought it was kind of odd, since I didn’t think I’d had them all that long. A quick search of yew old blog showed that I’d gotten them on Oct 4, 2014, which means I’d only done the Rock’n’Roll 10 km race in October, plus the training for BMO. A search of ye old RunKeeper tells me that is only a mere 449.2 km that I’d run in them. My previous pair, which I got in September 2013, lasted me through half the training for the Fall Classic (plus the race itself), and the training for (and the races) the Hollywood Half Marathon AND Scotiabank 2014! That’s a whopping total of 901.4 km!

Anyway, by the time I realized that I needed some new shoes, it was too close to race day to break in a new pair, so I decided to just suck it up and wait until after the race. I’ve done a few runs since my race and each time, I’ve been feeling the shin splints and thinking “Oh right, I was supposed to go buy some new shoes!”

So on Saturday I headed over to the Running Room1 and, much to my delight, discovered they were having a sidewalk sale! I had brought my old shoes, as the salespeople there often like to take a look at how the shoes have worn out in order to help you find a new pair. I talked to a few salespeople, all of whom thought I was crazy when I said that I can usually get two half marathons worth of training out of single pair of runners. “I get new running shoes every 3-4 months,” said one. Good thing she has an employee discount!

Now, my usual MO when I go running shoe shopping is to bring in my old shoes, have the salesperson watch my walk and run, whereupon they say that I need a neutral shoe2. I feel it’s only fair to try on all the shoes just in case there is another one that is better, but the vast majority of the time, the Nimbus seems like it was made just for my feet!

The problem I faced on Saturday, however, was that they had the exact model of the Asics Nimbus that I had just worn out on sale (since it’s last season’s model and they are unloading them to make room for the new model). Despite *hating* the horrible pink colour, I actually quite liked them when I first got them and for most of the time I ran in them, but they wore out twice as quick as my shoes usually do. Thus, I was a hesitant to buy them again, though as one salesperson pointed out, since they are on sale ($130), if they wear out faster, it might even out because I paid less for them. The salesperson also found that they had the exact same model of Asics Nimbus, but in a non-hideous colour! (Where was that when I was buying them the first time??). So, as usual, I tried on every pair of neutral shoe that they had, and the Nimbus came out on top. However, there was also a pair of Saucony that I like almost as much, and it was only $70. So I hemmed and hawed and pretty much drove the staff nuts with my hemming and hawing, but in the end I decided to get both pairs. I figured that since they were on sale, I was getting two pairs for not much more than I usually pay for one pair. I am planning to use the Saucony pair for my short runs and my Asics pair for my long runs, figuring the Asics will last a bit longer since I won’t be putting all my miles on them and I won’t mind the Saucony ones being not quite as comfy as the Asics, since I won’t be wearing them out for long runs. I’m also considering that I might leave the Saucony pair at work as my lunch time running shoe and use the Asics for runs at home. It’s like having home and away jerseys, but they are shoes.

Anyhoo, this has been a much longer posting then I thought it would and probably no one is still reading. But every Requisite New Running Shoe Blog Posting must also have a photo of said running shoes and I am pleased to report that the era of the hideously garish running shoe has come to a close. Also, to reward anyone who is still reading, there is also a cat in the photo.

New running shoes

This was the best photo of the shoes that I could get, as every other photo attempt either had Watson sticking his face in the camera or was blurred because Watson was trying to eat the camera. Also also, for the record, I did not, in fact, get one shoe from each pair. There are partners for each of these shoes – they were just a little camera shy.

  1. As per usual, I have no affiliation with this store. I just like their service! []
  2. As opposed to shoes for those who pronate or supinate), then I make them bring me every neutral shoe in the store, which I dutifully try on, running around in each pair, and then I buy the Asics Nimbus ((I started with the Asics Cumulus, but then progressed to the Nimbus. In my running career, I remember one time where there was a shoe that I liked better than either the Cumulus and the Nimbus – it was a Saucony shoe and it felt amazing on my feet. But when that pair was done, I did my usual routine of trying on all the shoes and it was back to the Nimbus. There was another time where the Nimbus felt the best when I tried it on in the store, but then when I actually used it for running distances, there was a spot that constantly rubbed on the bottom inside of my foot and I hated those shoes, but continued to wear them until they wore out, because I am nothing if not cheap. []

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Frog Stand

In my old apartment, I had built in gas fireplace with a spot above the mantle that was originally meant to hold those old boxy cathode ray tube TVs, but which made a very good place for a frog tank.

Christmas tree

Apparently the only photo I have of the frog tank above the fireplace is from last Christmas! You can just barely see it in the top right corner of that photo

My new place doesn’t have the built in gas fireplace, so when I moved in, I was faced with the question of where to put the frogs. I needed a piece of furniture that was strong enough to hold the tank, that had room for the two electrical cords required (one for the filter and one for the heater) and, ideally, that looked nice too. When I first moved in, I put them on top of a small bookcase that I had1, which seemed fairly sturdy, but I wasn’t 100% sure it would be able to sustain the weight over the long-term.

One of my friends suggested that I should get a stone pillar – like the kind you might see in a garden, but I looked at a few places and couldn’t find one. And then I got the brilliant idea that perhaps I should actually look a a built-for-purpose aquarium stand. I looked around online and found a few things that would be serviceable, but I decided I should check out the store where I usually go for my frog needs, Aquariums West2. I needed some new filter pads for the frog tank anyway, so I headed downtown yesterday to the store to pick those up and check out my frog tank-supporting options.

They had some tall black plinths which were very nice, but cost nearly $200 and of all the things that I want to spend $200 on, plinths are not high up on my list. But, as luck would have it, they had a couple of small aquarium stands that were end of the line, so they’d built them up and were selling them at a deep discount. Which meant that I got an aquarium stand for cheap AND I didn’t have to put it together3!

And so I bought the stand and put it in a different corner of the living room than I’d had the tank in on the bookshelf – I’d put the bookshelf in was a corner between my two giant living room windows and so the tank was getting too much sunshine, causing the algae to grow like crazy. I’m hoping that having the tank not in direct sunlight will prevent that from occurring again!

New aquarium stand for the frog tank

New frog tank stand!

  1. All my other bookcases were too tall to put the tank on top, but the other shelves had closed backs so I wouldn’t have anywhere to put the cords other than running them out of the front, which would look silly. Plus, they are Ikea bookcases, so I don’t have a lot of confidence in their strength. []
  2. Note that I don’t have any affiliation with Aquariums West – I just like the store as the people there are knowledgable and helpful. And they only teased me a little when I asked them where they kept their terrariums with spiders in them so that I could always be sure to steer clear of that part of the store! []
  3. While I do enjoy assembling furniture, when it comes to furniture that needs to support a lot of weight, I much prefer that the assembly be completed by a professional! []

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Real Estate Mogul

FOR SALEHey, remember that time I bought a condo? That was pretty awesome and also stressful but mostly awesome. I’ve never done a real estate deal before, as I spent my twenties giving all my money (and a bunch of money that wasn’t mine) to various universities in exchange for letters after my name and the first half of my thirties paying off that crushing level of student loan debt. Couple that with the fact that I live in an insanely expensive city when it comes to real estate and, well, it means that I didn’t really think I’d be buying a place anytime soon. But I’ve really taken a liking to New Westminster and to my neighbourhood in particular. And when a place – almost identical to my current place1 but on a different floor – came up for sale in my building at a price that I was comfortable with, well, the rest is history.

The whole buying process was an interesting experience. I’m sure those of you who’ve done it before think it’s NBD2, but for a newbie, it sure can be overwhelming. I used a realtor and a mortgage broker, referred to me by a friend, who walked me through the process3. Once I’d looked at the place a couple of times, talked to a friend of a friend who happens to be on the strata council in my building and had my realtor look into the building, I was reasonably convinced that the building was solid4. After that, there’s a process of making offers and counter offers and once there was an accepted offer, I had 10 days to “remove the subjects”. I’d made the contract subject to some pretty standard conditions: for example, that I’d be able to get satisfactory financing, that I’d be able to read the strata by-laws and the last two years worth of strata meeting minutes and would be satisfied with those5 and that I’d have a condo inspector check it out and I’d be satisfied with the their report.

The latter one proved extra stressful because the week that I was removing subjects just happened to be the week of the BC Home Inspectors’ conference being held inHouse/Home Inspection Kelowna, so the first few inspectors that I called were going to be out of town until the day that I needed to remove subjects! Happily, I was able to find one guy who got good reviews on the HomeStars.com (basically the Yelp of home-related things) that was not going to the conference and he was able to inspect my place. He gave the building a good review – said it was in great shape and the strata council was doing an excellent job of maintaining the building to keep it in good shape. His only suggestion was that I should replace the rubber hoses, which can breakdown, on the washing machine with braided metal
hoses6.

Money makes the world go 'round.During this time, I was also arranging for a mortgage. Obviously, I wanted the lowest interest rate that I could get and I wanted to pay accelerated biweekly (which automatically saves you money and time on your mortgage), but I knew that I also wanted to have the flexibility to make lump sum payments7. As well, I needed to work with my financial guy  to take money from my Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) under the first time home buyers plan8 and other money out of my Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) for my down payment. Along with other savings that I had, I was able to make a 25% downpayment, which allowed me to avoid paying Canadian Mortgage & Housing Commission (CMHC) insurance9.

So, once all the subjects were removed, I had a deal! And I have to say, I experienced a great deal of relief once it was all settled – I Sold Sign Boardfound it very stressful to be doing all this negotiating, investigating, deliberating, and deciding! After that though, I had to deal with all the usual stresses of moving – hiring movers, arranging cleaning/
steam cleaning of the carpet in my old place, changing over utilities, etc.10. Since I plan to stay in this place for a while (unlike when I was renting), I wanted to do a really good job of purging stuff that I don’t need11, so I was more deliberate in my packing – taking time to consider if I really needed this item or that item, and putting stuff in boxes for donation/recycling/garbage12. The move itself was the easiest one I’ve ever done – I just needed to move up four floors, so I booked the elevator and some movers to move my stuff – didn’t even need a truck! Since the apartment layout is identical, I told the movers to put every piece of furniture in exactly the same place in the new apartment as it had been in the old apartment!

The cats reaction to the whole moving process was exactly what I predicted – they LOVED the packing, as it meant everyday I was bringing cardboard boxes into the apartment and they had tonnes of fun climbing on packed boxes, jumping into and out of empty boxes13, looking inside of boxes that I was in the middle of packing. But the day of the move was a bit stressful for them, especially Watson. I had to lock them in the bathroom while the movers were moving stuff so that they wouldn’t get underfoot or escape into the hallway or onto the balcony and they didn’t like that at all. I went in to visit them, giving them pets and treats, throughout the duration, but Watson was unhappy – he alternated  between sulking and crying/meowing pretty much anytime I wasn’t in the middle of giving him a treat. After everything was moved to the new apartment, I brought them up to the new place and they sniffed everything and checked out the new place, but Watson remained a bit stressed for a while – I can tell because he was panting and following me around the apartment, meowing for attention. Lots of pets and playing and some treats helped to make him feel more secure and eventually he took a nap with his sister on the tallest pile of boxes. Crick remained a lot more chill throughout the whole situation.

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Now that I’m all moved in and have returned from my San Francisco trip, I have begun unpacking in earnest. I made some good headway with the unpacking this weekend and though I still have much do14, I feel like I’ve transformed the place from “giants piles of boxes everywhere” to “somewhat livable.” Perhaps I’ll post some photos once it’s all done!

Image Credits:

  1. The slight differences include that the new place has nicer appliances and fixtures (compared to the crappy appliances and basic faucets one puts into a rental apartment), dark wood laminate floors (instead of crappy carpet that you put in a rental suite), no cheesy wood panelling in the kitchen, a sliding glass door on the tub (compared to a shower curtain rod that often fell down in my old apartment), but no gas fireplace. []
  2. No Big Deal. []
  3. Not to mention talking to other people who’ve been through the process recently and reading tonnes of stuff about the process. []
  4. When I first approached the realtor, she was a bit hesitant about the building due to its age. But once we’d done the due diligence, she was convinced that it was a good building. []
  5. Oddly, I actually enjoyed reading the strata minutes – at least in part because my recent MBA makes me now able to understand financial statements and governance and other such things. I think I’d like to run for strata council next year. Yes, I know that this means there’s probably something wrong with me! []
  6. And since the last thing I want is a flood, I did that the day I moved in! []
  7. a.k.a. “balloon payments”, a.k.a., “prepayments”) and/or to increase the amount of my regular mortgage payments in order to pay off my mortgage faster. This is how I managed to pay off my student loans so fast – every time I got a raise, I figured out the after-tax difference and increased my student loan payment by that amount and when I did any contract work, I’d take the after-tax amount and make a lump sum. By making these types of lump sum extra payments, you pay off your principal quicker, resulting in significant savings on the amount of interest you end up paying. I have a spreadsheet to track all this ((Of course I do. []
  8. For the uninitiated, in Canada one can take up to $25K out of one’s RRSP for the purposes of buying your first home without having to pay tax on it, so long as you pay that money back into your RRSP within 15 years. []
  9. Don’t get me started on CMHC insurance. Basically, if you don’t make at least a 20% downpayment on your property, you are considered a risk to not be able to pay off your mortgage. Thus, in order to be allowed to have a mortgage, you have to pay the CMHC to insure the bank (or mortgage company – basically, whoever lent you the money) in case you default. Let me repeat that – the CMHC insurance protects the *bank* – it doesn’t protect you. And *you* are paying the cost of the insurance. I’ve talked to many people who don’t realize this – they think they are paying for insurance that protects them in some way, but it doesn’t. The thought of paying money for insurance that doesn’t benefit me in any way really irks me, though one of my friends pointed out that it’s basically like a tax for living in the Greater Vancouver area, where costs are so high that few people can save enough for 20%. At any rate, I’m very glad that I got a good deal on my place and have been good enough with my money to have saved enough to have a 25% downpayment. []
  10. Most annoyingly, I paid Canada Post to forward my mail – even though it’s going to the same building! But there’s no other way to get the mail from the old apartment to the new apartment – even if I knew who was moving into my old apartment, I couldn’t ask them to slide my mail under my door, as my building has a security system where your fob only gets you onto your own floor of the building, so they would have no way to get on my floor! []
  11. As stuff I don’t purge now is much less likely to get purged at any other time than during a move. []
  12. Of course, the level of deliberateness with which I packed decreased the closer I got to moving date. I started labeling everything by the room in which the contents belong, along with a description of content (e.g., “Kitchen – Wineglasses” or “Office – Textbooks”), but by the time I was a couple of days ’til the move, every box’s contents was described as “Misc.” []
  13. I swear Watson is spring-loaded – the height he gets when jumping out of a box is incredible! []
  14. Yes, I realize that I could have been unpacking more instead of blogging, but (a) I wrote most of this posting on the plane to/from San Francisco and just hadn’t gotten around to posting it. []

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I Bought A Condo!

mega monopoly has skyscrapers

Here’s a photo of my condo building – it’s the tall one, second from the front. All of the red buildings are wedding dress shops1.

A few weeks ago, my friend Kim came over for dinner. On her way in, she saw a realtor who was waiting for a client who had an appointment to look at  a condo that was up for sale in my building. She came in and said, “Your exact apartment is for sale on the 10th floor. Why aren’t you buying it??” And then she told me the price. And the price seemed too good. My first thought was “omg, what’s wrong with my building? Why is this apartment so cheap?” I should note here that “cheap” is relative. Housing prices in Greater Vancouver are insane and though New Westminster, where I live, is cheaper than Vancouver (or even Burnaby), this price seemed quite good, even for New West. So I went and looked at it and though it was a little weird looking at an apartment that has the exact same layout as mine, there were a few things that made it nicer – better appliances2 and laminate floors3, for example – so I wasn’t looking at an *exact* copy of my place – but pretty close! And then I called a realtor to have her look into the building for me and I talked to a friend of a friend who is on strata4 in the building and everything checked out. And I crunched some numbers and found that mortgage, strata fees, and property tax will be significantly less than my rent. And I realized that I really like my apartment, I like my building, I like New West. And I don’t have plans on going anywhere else. So I put in an offer. And after some negotiation and some due diligence5 ,6 I am now about to be the proud owner of my very own condo – closing on June 23, possession on June 24.

Ok, technically I am going to be the proud owner of 25% of a condo, with the mortgage company7 owning the other 75% of the place but allowing me to live there in exchange for me paying them off for the next 22.27 years8  ).

Monopoly

The mortgage company.

In related news, Watson & Crick are over the moon with all the cardboard boxes that I’ve been brining home. Moving is a kitty paradise. Until the actual day of moving, when they’ll be trapped in a room as movers make a bunch of noise in the other rooms. I suspect that will drive them crazy.

Cats and boxes

Cat heaven.

Image Credits:

Footnotes:

  1. New West joke! []
  2. My current place has the crappy appliances you put in an apartment for a renter []
  3. Mine has crappy carpet that you put in an apartment for a renter []
  4. For my non-BC readers “strata council” or just “strata” is what we call the condo board in BC. []
  5. Home inspection, reading two years worth of strata minutes and strata bylaws and other such fun things. And I have to say, having done the MBA made reading all this stuff way easier, as I could understand all strata financial statements, which I wouldn’t have known how to do before. []
  6. I really wanted to put in the contract that the offer was subject to the approval of my cats and then to bring the cats up to the unit and let them roam around and then say “Yes, they seem to approve. I’ll take it!” But I figured that might not be very professional. []
  7. Hey, remember when the RBC mortgage calculator told me that I was only eligible for a mortgage of between $69-$71 dollars? []
  8. It’s a 25 year amortization on my mortgage, but I’m doing accelerated bi-weekly payments, which immediately drops me down to 22.27 years (based on my current interest rate, anyway) (or less  ((I’m planning on less. I paid my student loans off in record time by making lump sum payments any time I made a little extra money and raising my monthly payments every time I got a raise. I’m planning to do the same thing with my mortgage and my mortgage broker found me a mortgage with a great interest rate that has the flexibility to do that. []

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Good Night, Sweet Sharkies

For the past few years, I’ve been using Sharkies Organic Sports Chews1 as my electrolyte and sugar replenisher on my long runs. They are super tasty and full of nutrition-y goodness. So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that they’ve been discontinued!!

I finished what I thought was my last pack of Sharkies2 on my long run last Sunday3 and so I went to London Drugs the other day to get some more… but they did have any. However, they also didn’t have the coffee or the tea that I usually buy there, so I assumed that LD decided that it hated me and thus had stopped carrying the stuff that I buy there. I cursed the fact that the Thrifty grocery store in New West was turned into a Save-On, as Thrifty had carried Sharkies whereas I’ve never seen them at Save-On4. But then I remembered that the Running Room carries them and there just so happened to be a Running Room right by the LD. And that is where I was told the news: Sharkies are no more!

Sharkies

RIP Sharkies

The salesperson at the Running Room told me that the closet product to Sharkies – in terms of nutrient content, taste, and consistency – is Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews:

Honey StingersHowever, this week in my half marathon training plan is the week where I get a bit of a break, with my “long” run being only 12 km. 12 km does not warrant electrolyte and sugar replenishment, so I’ll be waiting until next weekend’s 18 km run to try these guys out. I’ll be sure to report back on my findings!

  1. As per usual, I have no relationship whatsoever to the companies/products mentioned in this blog posting, other than the fact that I bought these products. No one ever tries to bribe me – life is so unfair! []
  2. As it turned out, I later discovered another package hiding in my linen closet! []
  3. As an aside, I made the silly, silly decision to do a 16 km run last Sunday, which is the usual distance that my training program would have me for that week of training for the June 22 Scotiabank Half Marathon – oh yeah, I’m doing the Scotiabank Half Marathon in June… I don’t think I’ve mentioned that here on ye old blog yet! – but I hadn’t been doing the previous weeks long runs. I mean, I did my Hollywood Half Marathon in April and then decided that I needed a few weeks off from long distances to recover, and then I got busy, and then I did the 8 km race so I couldn’t do a long run that weekend, and then various other excuses, and only now that I’ve officially registered for the Scotiabank half am I taking it serious that I need to train. OK, wait, what was I talking about? Oh yes, I made the silly, silly decision to jump from an 8 km run one weekend to a 16 km run the next. I did the run fine, but my quads were freaking sore for the next four days! []
  4. Also, Thrifty is just a way, way better store than Save-On! []

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Red Shoes, Blue Shoes

When I got to the gym before work, I wear my gym clothes and running shoes on the way there and bring my shower stuff and my work clothes with me. Unfortunately, last Wednesday when I went to the gym before work, I remembered to pack everything… except my dress shoes. Which meant the only shoes I had were my runners, which didn’t exactly go with my dress pants:

Day 199

Luckily for me, I work in an office tower that’s attached to a mall. Usually, I hate malls with the fire of a thousand suns, but in this case, it turned out to be handy, as there’s a discount shoe store in said mall. So I popped on over there once the mall opened to fix this fashion faux pas. As luck would have it, they were having a “buy one, get one half price” sale. And so then I *had* to buy two pairs, because financial responsibility.

My first pair was the more practical of the two that I chose – an average heel height, thickish heel width and it even has a cushy insole:

Blue shoes

The lighting in that photo isn’t great, but the shoes are shiny and dark blue.

The second pair is the super sexy pair though:

Day 203

In related news, it’s challenging to take a photo of one’s shoes when you have a curious  cat in your apartment:

Red shoes and a kitty