Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lost and Found

As I pulled up to the house this morning after a doctor's appointment, I saw what looked like a Husky wondering around our yard and drinking water from the puddles in the alley. She had a collor on and a rope that had been broken, it was obvious that she was lost. I got out of my car and approached her very cautiously, and she was very friendly, licking my hand with tail wagging. I looked on her collar and found no dog tags, which was really too bad. I led her into our backyard and called animal services right away. She waited at the back door, looking in, ears perked, and tail wagging. She tried to get into the house, but I didn't let her, my allergies as bad enough as it is! So Sarah and I went outside with some fresh water and to play. She was a lot of fun, never barked, and her and Sarah got along great! She was a beautiful dog with beautiful markings and one blue eye and one brown eye. Her and Sarah sniffed each other, played, peed where the other one peed, and played some more! She was not a skinny dog and it appeared she had not been gone long, but I gave her a bit of Sarah's food anyways which she chowed down on. Animal services didn't take long, less the half an hour, and I was sad that she was going to the pound. Hopefully she is micro-chipped and they are able to find her owners soon! I took some photos of her and Sarah playing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cirque de Solei, Kooza

I am blown away every time from this amazing show! This was only my second time going to a Cirque, but after last night, I will make sure I go to it every time it stops in Calgary.
I managed to get some last minute tickets through Ticketmaster and I took Laura who had never seen a show. We started of at the new Hudson's Tap House and just managed to get a table as the hockey game was on TV. After supper we headed down to the grounds giving us plenty of time to walk around so we weren't rushed.
All the t-shirts and paraphernalia were very expensive. They had some very nice masks ranging from $50 to nearly $500!! There were also a couple nice shirts, but they where $89! Needless to say, I didn't by any souvenirs!
Of course we were not aloud to take photos, so I have nothing to show, but it was spectacular!
Cirque also seems to amaze, and just when you think they have impressed you, they take it one step further. My favorites of the night, the contortionists who did things with their body that I didn't even think were possible, the 4 men on the tight rope - who for their last act, cycled across the rope, and the two men on the wheel of death. There were moments of gasping from the audience, and there were 2 times where men almost fell. Once on the tight rope but he managed to catch himself and pull himself back up, and the other was on the wheel of death when his skipping rope got caught on the wheel (at this point they were on the outside of the wheel!).
The one thing about this show that I didn't remember from the previous one I saw, which was ages ago, was that this show was hilarious! Between the stunts there where comedians performing acts and it was so funny at times I was almost in tears! They also got the audience involved and the people that they pulled up on stage were perfect and went along with the whole act.
What a great night it was and I can't wait for the next Cirque to make its way to Calgary!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nenshi for mayor

As my life has been pretty uneventful and well, somewhat boring, I thought I'd write about the Mayoral election that just happened yesterday.
Our mayor for the last, oh, 8 years or so, has stepped down and Calgary has had the biggest race for this position in my entire life. There were 15 candidates running in total, however it was primarily a race between 3 of them; Ric McIver, Barb Higgins and Naheed Nenshi. All from different backgrounds and running very different campaigns. The advanced poles were showing a difference of 1 or 2 percent as to who would win, and it was a fight up until the very last minute. Including the day of voting were Nenshi was actually out on the Anderson walk way overpass with signs, balloons and banners waving as passer-byer's drove by. In the end, with a total of 40% of the votes, Nenshi, won the election and on Monday will be sworn in as mayor. Mciver had 32% of the votes, and Higgins had 26%. We had a total of 10% more voters out then in our last election in 2007, and a couple of the voting stations in the SE actually ran out of ballots!! More ballots were brought in however at one the stations the courier could not get in, so some people were turned away and could not cast their vote. There were complaints about this as they still wanted to vote, however there were so few people that didn't get to cast a vote, that it wouldn't have made a difference in the outcome anyways. Pretty amazing that we had that many people out voting, which I think is great. It is a right, and a privilege, and no one should have any excuse to not vote.
Back to Nenshi, he is 38, born in Tasmania, grew up in Calgary, went to U of C, as well as Harvard and has spent the rest of his career in Calgary. He is also the first Muslim to be elected mayor in all of Canada. He has made National news and I really hope he can bring change to our amazing city. He has a lot of work on his plate, our 60 million dollar deficit, transportation and the airport tunnel, among many other things. He came from behind in the election and was considered the underdog, and he pulled through. He had his word and name out there, and campaigned everywhere, including the University which I think was a big advantage for him. Even though he was not my electoral choice, I am fully behind him and really hope he leads Calgary in a positive way. Not only is he a new face at city hall, there are 5 new alderman's that have been elected. City hall is going to be completely different and I hope these new faces, as well as the old, can lead this changing city in the right direction!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Alzheimer Run and Walk

I've finally got 10 minutes here to talk about the Alzheimer walk that Laura and I did over the weekend.
It was an early morning, wake up call at 0700 and I made sure I took Sarah for a nice long walk as I had to work evenings after the AM event. We had gone down to E'Claire market on the Friday before to pick up our package, but we didn't want to be rushed and we wanted to take advantage of the free breakfast! Hot chocolate, coffee, tea, oranges, bananas, cinnamon buns and juice! The walk started with Calgary's famous Peter Maher who is a part of the Alzheimer's society as his mom has Alzheimer's and he MC'd the event. Laura and I got a photo with him at the end of the race. Peter's daughter sang the national anthem and for some reason I got slightly emotional, most likely a combination of a few things. Next there was a pre stretch with an aerobics instructor who got the whole crowd involved. It was very entertaining!
The race started with the runners first, everyone in the front line were getting ready to start their stop clocks, can't wait to do it myself next year! The countdown for the race ended with Peter Maher saying 'Yeah Baby" instead of "one", it was great. The walkers were next and it was very crowded! There were plenty of walkers, of all ages, and Laura and I sped by as many as we could! We walked the 5km's in about 50minutes and it was a great day for it as well! We brought our jackets with us but had them off within 5 minutes of walking! Once we returned we were given free pizza from Papa John's, and stayed outside enjoying the warm weather and watching the runners and walkers cross the finish line. In total there were about 1000 people who raced and over $150,000 were raised, plus $30,000 donated from the Investors Group! What a great success and we were told it was the highest attendance of racers in the history of the event. Both the oldest male and female racers were in their eighties and there were prizes for the top three male and female runners. They had 50/50 tickets, and the lady who won donated the winnings back to the society, so kind of her! The day was such a great success, and I have photos but am unable to find my cord to download them to my computer. Laura and I, plus hopefully mom, will definitely be racing next year! Lets hope the weather is just as nice :)
Thank you for all who donated, I understand it is hard to support everything, but this is really close to my heart and it truly is appreciated :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

pose running

A few nights ago when I was talking with a girl at work about working out and running, she mentioned a new style of running that was introduced to her that is amazing. It is called Pose running and is a low impact, more economical and less likely to have injuries, type of running. I did some research on how it is done and after watching a few videos of how to do it properly, I decided to give it a try. So last Friday I laced up my running shoes and headed out for my first attempt.

The main components are instead of running heal to toe, you run mainly on your forefoot and barely touching down on your heal last. When running heal to toe it is very hard on your knees and you are more likely to get shin splints - which I was getting just from running outside on two different occasions. You also run with your upper body leaning forward, almost like you are falling! This is more economical keeping your body in a straight line, instead of concave when running heal to toe. I lucked out when I first started this as I was running into a head wind which made the motion a bit easier to do. The last thing is kicking your heals up when running. With all three of this combined, you naturally run faster using gravity to help you, instead of against you if you are running heal to toe. Heal to toe running you slow down every time you slam your heal into the ground, but when running forefoot first, by the time you foot hits the ground you are already moving ahead allowing gravity to help you.

It is kind of difficult to explain, but it actually worked! I naturally ran faster, almost too fast and I found it difficult to jog lightly. Plus it made my lungs work harder which affected my asthma. Most times I had to stop was because of my lungs. AND, you work your hamstrings and calf's much harder, and by the time I was 3/4 of the way done, my calf's were already starting to burn. That evening I could feel them tense up and for the next 2 days I would barely walk or go up and down stairs! Good thing I had to work the next day to keep the blood flow going or they would have stiffened up for sure!

I have yet to head back out and try it again, i think I ran too far the first time, and my calf's are finally back to feeling good. Maybe tomorrow when I wake up I will try and go for a short run and see how I do. I think I will have to slowly work my way up to gaining endurance and increasing my lung capacity.